Sunday 19 May 2024

JUST A BOY

 


I was thinking this morning...... It was in 1987, and I just gained admission into the University of Benin. It was my first time leaving home to stay away from family. Everyone around me was big, and for some reason, I saw myself in that same frame. Imagine my shock when I stumbled on this photo last week. For the very first time, I saw myself for who I truly was. I was only 17 years old and just a boy.

I remember taking most of my first year lectures at the 500 Lecture Theater at Ugbowo campus. Every lecture day, before dawn, I was among the first students to get to the hall, not only because I wanted the best seat for myself but primarily because I wanted to reserve a seat for a fair complexion female classmate called L.E. Everyone wondered why I take the pains daily to reserve a seat for L.E because she was out of my league. I never really understood why myself. But looking at this photo, I now understand that I was just a boy.

My roommates were really huge (in the voice of Donald Trump). They will boss me around, oppress me, make me the butt of their jokes and downright disrespect me. I never understood why. On one occasion, I reacted and gave Tunde a stars generating slap. Despite escaping being pummelled, it couldn't force them to show me some respect. Thirty-seven years later, as I reflected on this photo and how small I was, compared to my classmates, I understood the origin of the disrespect. I was only a boy.

Though I was young and with a small frame, I saw myself from the lens of my mind's eyes. I was as big and mature as the people around me. I did not allow my age and size to make me feel less than those around me. I may have been a boy and seen as a boy, but academically, I was among the biggest in the class. What I lacked in brawn, I had in brain.

The challenges of life can sometimes be overwhelming, making you feel like a boy. Those around you might even compound the problem and like Saul to David in 1st Samuel 17:33 tell you 'You're only a boy.' Believe in yourself and face whatever Goliath is before you. With God on your side, you will look back like me after overcoming and say, 'Wow! How did I do this? I was just a boy.'

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 12 May 2024

AFRICAN MOTHERS DAY

 


I was thinking this morning..... I have given up trying to understand the number of Mothers Day we celebrate each year. It's looking like we have one each quarter. I am not beefing mothers. They are special creatures of God.

I was barely eight years old when my mum got pregnant (again). As a child, knowing there was enough food at home, I couldn't understand why my mum would choose to eat small chunks of white chalk, called 'Eko.' I later found out that the Eko was Calabash chalk or baked clay, which some pregnant women eat as medicine, to suppress morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting. Our mothers had to eat clay because of us. Chai! I kowtow for African mothers.

Twenty-five years later, it was the turn of my young wife. She was in labour to deliver our first child. She has been taken to the Warri General hospital. The facilities were basic or maybe non-existent. Standing by the entrance of the delivery room and listening to the cries from labour pain and running around for extra blood, I almost fainted. I look back today at the sacrifices being made by mothers and could only doff my hat and kowtow for African mothers.

After childbirth, one grandmother will subject the new mother to hot water therapy, where they soak a piece of cloth in hot water and use it to massage the new mother’s belly. Chai! What about a Sitz bath? The new mother that gave birth vaginally will be made to squat over steaming water so that blood clots in her womb can come out so she can heal properly internally. Oh my God, what our mothers go through for us. I kowtow for African mothers.

I wish it ended there. The new mother will be given very spicy foods such as pepper soup to help to flush out unwanted blood clots in her body and help to boost breast milk production. Whether she likes akamu (Pap) or not, she must drink am. You will hear something like, 'You must finish this peppersoup or else you won't lie down.' Chai! I kowtow for African mothers.

African mothers are the epitome of strength and resilience, despite reliving Genesis 3:16 every time they give birth. In the UK, Sunday 10 March was chosen as Mothers Day while in the USA, Mothers Day is May 12, but considering the difficulties African mothers overcome daily, every day should be African Mother's Day.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Mothers Day!

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

Sunday 5 May 2024

MY ASSISTANT NAMED LUCKY



I was thinking this morning.... Driving from Owo towards Akure was a huge billboard with the face of the Ondo State Governor, and a message 'Ondo is Lucky.' Really? The message held me captive for a few minutes, as I pondered on the meaning. Would it be regarded as luck that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu died and his deputy named Lucky took over? Or should we just take the statement on the face value that the state is lucky to have a man like Lucky Aiyedatiwa?


Seems like de javu. Exactly 14 years today (5th of May 2010), President Umaru Musa Yar'adua died in office, and his vice named Goodluck Jonathan took over the reins of power as president. Could it be a coincidence? I couldn't help but quickly scan my life just to be sure I had no assistant named Lucky or Goodluck. Would you blame me?

Back to the years, I went wondering once again. It was late 2003 when Shell placed an advert to fill up a vacant position. I applied and had to compete with a guy who occupied the position as a locum. I came tops at the interview, and he was second. He had to leave after I accepted the offer. Two months into my resumption, this guy walked into my office one morning, handed me a newspaper cutting, and said, 'See this advert here? I brought it so you can apply. I know you will get the job. Please apply, so you can leave this job for me to come in.' Long story cut short. I applied, got the job, and this guy took my position in Shell. Though his name was Martin, I am beginning to suspect his middle name might have been Lucky or Goodluck.

While the principals of Goodluck Jonathan and Lucky Aiyedatiwa had to die for them to sit on the throne, I was promoted for Martin to sit on his dream job. Someone might be thinking of changing his name to Lucky. Don't bother. I know of a guy named Lucky having the most difficult of fortunes.

Your past and even your present might have been the result of someone's misfortune or fortune, but your future is your choice and decision and not because you are named Lucky or Goodluck. Good names are powerful but not enough to give you success. Some persons are named Success, but their lives are filled with failures. The fact that Gabriel's last name is Jesus does not mean he must die for Arsenal FC to win the English Premier League. Name alone doesn't change anything, but looking up to God and taking steps does. Remember Matthew 7:21.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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