Sunday 29 October 2023

My £1 Scholarship


I was thinking this morning..... I gained admission to the University of Benin in 1987 and was very excited as I arrived at the main gate of Ugbowo campus. My euphoria soon turned sour weeks later as I began having challenges paying all the bills. With two of us in the university, my parents were doing their best.

It was all joy, when my dad came home that sunny afternoon in August of 1988 and announced that my Scholarship by the Oil Company has been approved. We celebrated because it was a lifeline and an assurance that I will be completing my university education. The scholarship value was N1,500. Yes, One thousand, five hundred naira only.

From the N1,500, I was able to pay for my tuition, accommodation, feeding for the month and still able to send N500 back home. What was left was to be my allowance for another 3 months. I remember writing a letter back home giving account of my scholarship money. A letter that has become famous within my family, just for laughs. I had penned down amongst other words, 'I received the money and had to buy a table fan because the room is hot. I was forced to buy shirts (2). I won't be able to send back the money expected because I will not have enough. I would've soaked o, but unfortunately, my garri has finished.... Your son, Weyimi.'

That was the year 1988. Today, my siblings will laugh at me for the audacity to use the scholarship money to buy shirts. I was lost in thought on Friday when I heard a British pound sterling (£) now sells for N1,500. I imagined how my scholarship money in 1988 that we celebrated, amounts to just £1 today (the exchange rate then was N4.5 to $1).

While the equivalent of one pound today will pay my 3 years university tuition fees in 1988, it can't buy a single textbook today. The value of £1 today could feed me a whole year in 1988 but can buy a tin of sardine today. There are people that killed for N1,500 in 1988 but today, that amount (£1) can only buy a roll of toilet paper.

Do not stress, fight or kill for money, but rather strive to serve people, so you won't regret it in the process of time. Like in Gen 47:15, money will fail but your service to humanity and God will never fail. Remember my £1 scholarship.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 22 October 2023



I was thinking this morning..... Last week, while sitting at the departure hall waiting for my delayed commercial flight to Lagos, I got gisting with a colleague about the economic challenges Nigerians are facing. He told me about his medical doctor friend that recently japa'ed to the UK. Months after, the guy told him that since he left Nigeria, he no longer suffers from hypertension for which he was known. When my colleague asked what the magic cure was, his friend responded 'My bro, it was Poverty Induced Hypertension (PIH).'

Just this Friday, I received news of the father of a client of my wife who suddenly slumped in the office and died shortly after. This was a man that had frantically made so much effort in the last few months to send his children abroad for further studies. You can say he was financially okay. While I narrated the story to a colleague, his conclusion was that the man may have died of FPIH (Family Pressure Induced Hypertension).

While attending a Mental health and wellness retreat last week, we were told of workers that are afraid to go home at the close of work because of the mental torture they are bound to face from their spouses. You can say these people are suffering from MIH (Marriage Induced Hypertension).

If you have been listening to news on local and international channels recently and feeling like someone is pounding yam in your head. Quickly visit your doctor because you may be suffering from BIH (Bad-news Induced Hypertension).

Hmm! Yes, there are so many causes of stress and hypertension today compared to the time of our grandparents. It really makes me wonder whether the constant hustle is worth it. We live our lives and become tense like someone hanging on the edge and waiting to drop. PIH, FPIH, MIH, BIH or any other SIH (Self Induced Hypertension) are all triggers to pull our hands off the anchor and make us drop. Be intentional about your health and wellness because las las, most of what we are chasing and dying for are vanity (Ecclesiastes 12:8). Relax and stay off the edge.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 15 October 2023



I was thinking this morning..... I recently read the official transcript of the deposition of Chicago State University  (CSU) official, Caleb Westberg. The lawyer to Atiku, Angela Liu, had asked whether CSU certified documents for any other person as it did for Tinubu. “No. I believe this was made because it’s more of a Nigerian thing,” said the registrar.

While a lot of emphasis has been given to the negative interpretation of 'It's a Nigerian thing,' I was pinned down by the several other behaviours of Nigerians that can make someone say 'It's a Nigerian thing.'

When children quarrel in Nigeria, the beef is usually settled with food. Have you seen Nigerian mothers eat with their children? They love to share their food with their children, regardless of if the child has had enough. What is it with Nigerian mothers and their peculiar food behaviour? Don't worry, it's a Nigerian thing.

In May of 2022, the Dean of the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Ian Holloway, had announced that nine students were graduating with Masters of Law (LLM) that year and all 9 were Nigerians, including the daughter of a friend. While a typical Oyinbo stops serious spending on their children when they turn 18, Nigerian parents will sell their prized possessions and even borrow to send their children to do Masters. Why do we do that? As I thought about it, I couldn't but conclude that it's a Nigerian thing.

Have you seen many aged parents struggling to eat in the village while their children live in affluence in the city. When they die, their children throw a lavish funeral party. If you are asking who does that, just know it's a Nigerian thing to care for the dead more than the living.

There are so many things we do that make us who we are as Nigerians. It's neither good nor bad, it's just different, just like there are different kinds of gifts (1st Cor 12:4). What is important is to be the original version of yourself and not a photocopy. Despising the uniqueness of being a Nigerian is a waste of the honour God has placed on us.

A friend asked me why I am always thinking on Sunday and I responded with 'Is anything wrong with Sunday?' If you are wondering why I answered a question with a question, don't worry, it's a Nigerian thing. So relax and enjoy another Sunday.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 8 October 2023



I was thinking this morning..... Despite Nigeria hosting the World Toilet Summit in Abuja in November 2022, Nigeria now holds the unenviable trophy of the country with the most open defecation/urination in the world, moving from 5th place in 2003 to 2nd place in 2015 and now 1st place in 2023. This is because one in four Nigerians lack access to a toilet. They therefore defecate or urinate in the open fields, drains, bushes and bodies of water.

If you live in Nigeria and grew up in the hoods, it is common to find different inscriptions at street corners and on walls saying 'Don't defecate or urinate (piss) here.' It was one of such warnings someone was meant to put up but instead wrote 'Please Don't Peace Here.' While we don't want piss, we desperately need peace.

Recently, I accompanied a friend to the car wash at Novare Mall in Lagos and was shocked at the number of young men and women at the expansive parking lot drinking alcohol and smoking weed in the open. As I observed a young man empty his bladder at the base of a tree, I felt led to go tell him 'Please do not piss here, but peace here.'

Visit some families and see the level of trouble and emotional war going on. Wife insulting the man and husband hitting the wife and you will be tempted to scream 'Please don't piss here but peace here.'

The stench from the very poor sanitary state of our streets is as strong as the economic and political stench in this country. The leaders are 'pissing' on the faces of the masses resulting in violent agitations in some quarters. At the global scale, Russian-Ukraine war is on and the Israeli-Palestian war erupted yesterday. We must hold our leaders accountable, insisting 'Please don't piss here, but peace here.'

Should anyone get under your skin and you feel pressed to release yourself, I beg you to please give piss, sorry, peace a chance. End the violence because peace is priceless. John 14:26 says 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.'

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 1 October 2023



I was thinking this morning..... I was served breakfast on-board a Delta Airlines flight recently. The breakfast pack read 'Mediterranean Breakfast Calzone (Egg & Cheese).' I turned the pack over to read the food labelling information. The major components were wheat flour, water and cage-free eggs. What exactly does cage-free eggs mean? I wondered.

How do you cage an egg? I decided to ask a friend, named Google. 'What does it mean if eggs are labeled cage-free?' I asked. Google responded 'Cage-free' refers to farm environments where chickens that produce eggs (layers) live in open indoor spaces. Overall, cage-free represents an increased quality of life for hens as compared with those held in cages.'

Wow! If cage-free represents high quality, then one can infer that poor quality is synonymous with caging. My mind drifted to a recent interview I conducted for a graduate position. The shortlisted candidates were taken through written and oral tests. While some were okay, many were just below par making one wonder if they were caged within the four walls of the university. The majority of our graduates are definitely not cage-free because their quality is so poor.

Consider the recent set of political leaders across the nation. Regime after regime, it seems things are getting worse because the quality of our politicians is dropping. Why so? I do not know, but one thing I know is that they are definitely not cage-free politicians. They must have been caged by political godfathers.

According to the World Poverty Clock, at least 71 million Nigerians are currently living in extreme poverty while another 62 million are living below the poverty line. With 63% of Nigerians having such terrible quality of life, one can conclude that most Nigerians are not cage-free citizens. The question is who caged us?

Many have been caged by fear or negative mindset, while some others are caged by marriage, religion or avarice. Nigerians have been caged by bad leadership. A sure key out of any cage is knowledge. No wonder Proverbs 4:7 says 'with all thy getting, get understanding.' What better day than today to free ourselves from all forms of cage. Be a cage-free citizen.

Happy Independence Day!

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

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