Saturday 27 August 2022

Passport of Mediocrity


II was thinking this morning...... In July, I had cause to renew the International passport of a family member. After paying for premium service, a date for data capture was confirmed for mid July. We showed up on the said day, only for us to be told that the date on the computer was end August as against the 15th July on our slip. How can this be? I protested. 'Oga, there is nothing we can do. This error is from Abuja.' My contact replied in frustration.

For 4 weeks, I followed up with Lagos, called Abuja and pushed every button I knew but the error could not be corrected until my lad departed Nigeria without renewing the passport. Time wasted and money lost. Speaking with others with similar experience revealed that renewing your International passport has become a prayer point for many.

As I reflected, I wondered why we have to fight, lobby and pray for something as simple as renewing a passport. More so, this is meant to be a paid service and not free. Why should producing a passport I have paid for be synonymous with solving world hunger? In the words of an Immigration officer I complained to 'Oga, even me I tire for my people.'

If you rely on public service in Nigeria, truly, the poor service will weary you out. For weeks, public power in my estate has been 'half current.' Even my 5th wife (sorry WiFi) which is privately provided is so epileptic that I am considering a 6th. The downside of these poor services is not so much the failure but the air of arrogance with which the operators wear the badge of mediocrity. Chai!

I know a lot of efforts are on to improve on public infrastructure particularly with privatisation and the introduction of technology. The challenge is, systems hardwares are being upgraded without commensurate attention being paid to human hardware. You can't deploy analogue workers to run digital assets. It won't work. Some of the analogue workers are bent on sabotaging the system to maintain their racket.

The difference we seek is in us. Until you improve on your mindset and be the change you desire, what you have is a passport of mediocrity. Colossians 3:23 says 'And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday 20 August 2022

The Urgent 2k Phenomenon

I was thinking this morning.... about “The urgent 2k Phenomenon.” If you are yoruba and don't belong to the Generation Z, you probably will be asking 'Kilon jebe?' meaning 'what's that? 'Urgent 2k' is a term used by mostly young Nigerians to explain the unplanned loan request gotten from friends or loved ones, to meet very basic personal needs. It's usually between the range of N2,000 to N5,000 hence its name.

The Urgent 2k phenomenon used to be common with the poor but has quickly become a thing with the Middle class who according to African Development Bank (AfDB) data, makes up about 23% of the Nigerian population. A strong Middle class is the backbone of any economy, because of their spending power. This is changing.

If you run a home with more than 3 adults, then you will appreciate how high cost of living had gone. Serving bread for breakfast has to be carefully considered because a teenager can eat a whole 'Ojile bread' (only legends from Warri will understand). Feeding the family has become a major line item on most incomes. Working fathers and mothers used to be known as 'Bread winners,' but today, the income that was once very good can hardly win bread and is gradually falling into the class of 'Urgent 2k' that can only meet urgent basic needs.

Have you tried booking a flight recently? If you are married with three children and have urgent need to travel from the South-South or South East to Abuja or Lagos. You should be planning to cough out about N1million for return tickets. The alternative road trip will mean thinking seriously about how to raise money just in case the K4R professors strike. If you consider what you earn and the cost of the trip, then you will agree that your job is fast becoming an 'Urgent 2k hustle.'

With the declining value of the naira, most young Nigerians are no longer working to be rich, rather they are doing so for Urgent 2k. As I mused, I prayed that any agent or system working to reduce my hard earned income to 'Urgent 2k' will fail. Instead, I will keep faith with Genesis 26:13 that says 'and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday 13 August 2022

Godmarks and Birthmarks


I was thinking this morning.... Growing up in Warri in those days was fun. We were always outside playing, most times shirtless. As we did, we saw ourselves for who we are and observed skin spots which we simply referred to as Godmark. We believed it is a mark given by God to identify a person on earth.

With time, we found out these spots are called birthmarks, which is a skin abnormality that’s present when, or develops soon after, a baby is born. Examples include Mongolian spots and benign nevi.

I remembered Godmark yesterday when a friend told me of a friend of his that lost his wife some years ago. This happened after he had lost his first son and his daughter in quick succession. How can such tragedy befall just one man? Was he marked out for evil?

As I mused, I came to the conclusion that while not everyone has birthmarks, every human and nation has Godmark on them that are indelible and invisible and that these marks mark one out for certain unique experiences in life.

Frane Selak (1929 – 2016) was a Croatian man who was known to have cheated death seven times. He was involved in a plane crash, train crash, bus crash, car crash and fell from a mountain but he survived. While he's described as either the world's luckiest or unluckiest man, I am thinking 'Godmark.'

Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia were once third world countries struggling to come out of poverty. While others got good leaders that turned their nations to First World countries, Nigeria seems to be blessed or should I say cursed with bad leaders that are continuously dragging us down. Why? While many Nigerians ask 'Na who do us this thing?' I am thinking 'Godmark.'

Godmark could be a mark for greatness or for punishment like was placed on Cain. It is looking like the mark placed on Nigeria was for punishment with bad leaders and 2023 will go a long way to prove or disprove this. Whatever it turns out to be, one thing I believe are the words of Galatians 6:17 that says 'From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Sunday 7 August 2022



I was thinking this morning..... In the just concluded World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, 18-year-old Italian decathlete, Alberto Nonino, competing in the 400m race suffered a wardrobe malfunction. He was forced to complete the race with his privates hanging out of his loose-fitting shorts, and ended up coming last.

Alberto Nonino blasted past two rivals in terrific style on the last bend in the race, but in the final straight he slowed down and was filmed grabbing his crotch. His competitors then went past him and he finished at the back of the pack. Spanish-speaking press were quick to claim Nonino’s slow 51.57 second 400 metres was the result of him opting to run without underpants. Hmm! Funny but serious.

Life is a race and most people have something very personal to hide. Like is common with humans, they jump into the race without adequate preparation or too much assumptions. It doesn't take long before their 'privates' spill like that of Alberto Nonino.

The recent ousting of UK Prime minister Boris Johnson was primarily because he suffered wardrobe malfunction and his 'privates' during the Lockdown Partygate spilled. He was forced to abandon the race.

We are in another election cycle in Nigeria. It's still early days into the race and we are already seeing candidates grabbing their crotches, because their 'privates' such as certificate scandal, drug cases, past corruption cases, health challenges and many more, are hanging out in public glare. The reason is simple, they are running without underpants. Unfortunately, like Alberto Nonino, Nigerians are not known for abandoning any race, they will rather suffer the disgrace and die than quit.

Truth is, we all have done something in the past we may not be proud of and may not want to share with the public. If that is true with you, then do not enter the race for public office because your past, present and future will be scrutinised. And if you must run, please wear underpants.

As for me, Philippians 2:16  is my watchword and it says 'Holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey