Joy’s Journey (Departure)

Many of us can point out the exact time she left. Like the last straw that broke the camel’s back, you can think back to that exact period when it all became dark. But do you remember when she started packing? When the dark clouds started covering?

That time when the first straw was placed on the camel’s back. Do you recall? Because that’s exactly when Joy booked her ticket.

I try to think back and I wonder, Was it when heated words started flying around and burned up Peace?

Was it when life made big brother become a man early and he did not have time to play Super Mario and Contra4 with me anymore? I truly loved those games and lost to him with a smile on my face.

Was it when big sister seemed to constantly be in thought, head calculating with so much focus. Opening her bulgy eyes unconsciously (if you are reading this, I love your eyes😁)

Was it when baby brother was not much of a baby anymore and became a philosopher with so much ‘what if’ questions and theories that he spent more time in his own mind than outside with people. I have received more questions from him than my exams and tests.

Was it when I became an observer, too cautious to get involved in life as it unfolds that I step out of the scene and watch from the sidelines. Missing a lot but at the same time unconsciously committing stories to memory that I did not know I would write about much later.

When did the drift start? When exactly did Joy open those bags to pack up all our smiles little by little until there was nothing but cautious silence and eyes that never went dry?

When did she zip up that bag, locking away the hearty laughters and playful bants? Why wasn’t resolve and determination enough to make her stay?

Can you relate to this departure in any way at all? How many straws are currently weighing down your camel? How many more before it snaps?

This camel is ready for runway, see the fine lashes. Okay back to the main topic!

Many of us say that Joy would come in the morning. But why allow her leave knowing you cannot predict how long the night would last?

If you have witnessed Joy’s departure and arrival, I congratulate you on her return. I hope you’ll see her when she opens the box this time so there won’t be another departure.

If you did not realise when the night came and you now wait for morning where it should get better again. I do not think you should wait passively, go on your journey to find Inner Peace, true Joy is never far from Him.

The first sign you get that the journey away is about to begin is when Peace is burned up. When you push the Prince of Peace out of the door of your life, Joy follows. If you keep him close, even in tribulations, Joy will stand. You will finally understand why those legendary ‘crazy’ disciples rejoiced through it all. So what’s it going to be?

Allow the straws to pile up to breaking point? Or deal with each straw as it appears?

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

He said he gave, but did you receive?

Thank you for reading the first part of Joy’s Journey (Departure) 💖.

Follow me as we prepare for the second part of Joy’s Journey (Arrival)✨.

Joy’s Journey (Arrival)

This follows after Joy’s Journey (Departure).

✈️

“Joy’s Journey (Arrival)”

I sat on the Sycamore tree that night
I knew my faith wasn’t tall enough,
So I took Zacch’s lessons and held on tight.
Joy cometh in the morning

I had prepared the table for the feast
For when I will be asked to come down.
No dust of gloom, the house was neat.
Joy cometh in the morning

Scores have been settled,
I’ve made fourfold refunds of love
Raging waters have been kettled.
Joy cometh in the morning

I don’t disdain the dark days,
It is a lesson that I reflect on
as I wait for the light rays.
Joy cometh in the morning

There’s a shift in the air, I feel it.
The Prince is passing and I am ready,
Peace is the forerunner and he says;
Joy cometh in morning


It’s more than just daybreak;
This morning I speak of
The fluent will stutter and earth will quake
Come sit with me on this tree because,

Joy cometh in the morning!

✈️

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Thank you for reading💖. May true Joy find you always.

Crippled Goals

What if it’s not broken? Those precious plans you’ve been running with. The dream to go to the University, that tireless job hunt, the struggle to be mentally stable, to let go of that addiction, to be your own person, to cut the chains of your background. What if truly delay is not denial and its just crippled,waiting patiently for you to get a support and keep moving.

Many of us have had to postpone dreams and switch lanes at some point.

Wherever you stand, whatever true race you’re running, I hope you do not falter on the first set back . If the admission doesn’t come now, maybe its not ready to. Let the first thought not be that you’re not worthy because who is truly worthy in this tainted world?

Instead of spending time becoming a shell of who you once were, completely cutting all ties with those that seem to be moving father down the lane than you (something I was almost guilty of but for the reality check slap from true friends and family) . Why not take that time to build your crutches to support your legs until you can stand again?

I believe there’s a crutch that stays beside you through every goal for when you need it.



So when you can’t stand anymore, I hope you find it. I hope you speak to someone who has gone through the tunnel you want to go into, I hope you seek skills to strengthen your resolve rather than wallow in self pity. I hope you find the strenght to tell yourself that it’s not over. Because it truly isn’t until it is.

.

✴️

“Crippled Goals”

Let us remember determined legs;
the ones you grew
to pursue goals you believe to be true,
Because what is faith without work?

Let us run down a little bit forward,
we meet the arrows and the sword
Determined legs endured wounds,
Because what’s a warrior without scars?

Let us limp onwards,
a surprise push and we loose balance
Determined legs are now broken
because what’s a hill without ups and downs?

Let us crawl through the pain,
We grew up so much that we became children again,
digging the sand to get to the prize;
supportive hands come out to play

because what’s a treasure without the find?

✴️

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So find that crutch. It might be difficult, but you can. You’ve already come this far, so why not? There’s a Divine crutch that wants your burden, why not hand it over?

Come unto me all ye that Labour and are heavy laden, for I will give you rest… for my yoke is easy and my burden is light

Matthew 11:28-30

What do you say?

In Wrath Remember Mercy

When last did you loose your sight? Or let me put it this way, when was the last time you were blinded by rage?

Take deep breaths and think back to that moment when you were so mad that even your body was shaking and coherent words were difficult to form. That time when all you wanted to do was break something, anything at all without caring that your own body could get hurt in the process?

That moment of adrenaline rush when you forget everything else you’ve always stood for, you ignore all the warning alarms in your head just for that single heated moment. All you see is red.

Now picture this rage that makes you want to destroy whatever was the trigger. Picture this rage turned inwards.

The mad wrath that causes you to destroy yourself from the inside. While many others would lash out, say the words that’s the cause of the anger and confront the parties involved, some others would turn all that fire inside. The rule of “conceal, don’t feel” . But is it truly possible not to feel when you already feel it so deeply that you direct it at yourself?

If this describes you then what I would do first is to congratulate you. All that self control to resist causing harm to those around you, holding back spiteful words, keeping everything away from everyone else in that moment. Not many people can be the super hero you’ve trained yourself to be.

Then secondly, I would find a heavy book and smack you with it.

For trying to kill yourself without even realising it. Or maybe you do realise it but you’ve told yourself that it’s better you than someone else. You’ve agreed that you can handle it, concealed inside.

But for how long? How much more can your body endure? How much longer can you hold up those inner mental walls that these concealed emotions keep chipping at? How much longer before you become a shadow of yourself? When will you finally let it go and forgive yourself for the sins that you probably did not even commit? In your wrath do you remember to have mercy on yourself?

I know how annoying it can be for people around you to keep telling you to forget like you have control over what your brain decides to remember (cue in eye roll) so I will not ask you to forget. Rather I’d say make peace with it, it takes time and effort but you can. Make peace with those memories that pull you deeper into the shadows, turn them into your strength because you went through those dark times for a reason.

Look how strong you’ve become, see how much you’ve endured in secret with your head held high. Your shadow is a part of you but it should never become the whole you. It’s one of the books in your library that will help you beat odds so harness that power. Find your inner peace like Master Shifu (I really love that guy).

I know that fire will not quench from just reading this or what anyone else says, but I believe it will ebb away as you go to war with. It doesn’t matter who started that fire in you and at what age or how long you’ve had it, the only person that can quench it is you. I know you can, I’m begging you to can.

I’ll end this with the words of one of the wisest Kings I know

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Proverbs 16:32

You are clearly already slow to outward anger, now all that’s left is for you to rule your spirit. I know you can, I really hope you do💖.

I Love You

We have been told many times that true love is a verb, so real that it’s visible for even the blind to see. The definitions go on and on, it’s never ending.

What is love to you? Who is love to you?

Out of so many definitions, theories and practicals out there, there is one that stuck with me. A wise woman I was fortunate to meet a few years ago, asked me what love is. I don’t remember my exact response but it was probably one of the usual definitions.

She said I wasn’t wrong and then she gave me her own definition. She said, “love is never having to say I’m sorry”.

My instinct to argue this out was already kicking in (like yours probably is right now 🙃). My naive eyes saw holes in her definition. I mean, how is it possible to never have to say I’m sorry? I believed and still believe that there will always be moments were apologies will set in because to err is human. Hence, defining love as never having to say sorry was quite confusing for my sixteen year old self. So I asked what she meant and she explained.

I cannot recount her words verbatim but I remember the summary; when you truly love someone whether family, friend or life partner, you make conscious effort to ensure that you do not knowingly do things that will end up with you having to say, I’m sorry.

I understood that “never having to say I’m sorry” meant never having to intentionally cause grief or pain to the one you claim to love.

We have all seen or heard of instances where people say they love someone but still did things that made you question how true that love is. You already know this person enough to forsee what would lead to “I’m sorry” so why not just do what you can to avoid it?

I’m not talking about the playful bants where we say sorry and laugh it off, I’m talking about deeper hurts that leave a scar, cause insomnia and even silence someone’s laughter.

If you saw the hurt coming and you still went head on then that is not love.

You knew someone you claim to hold dear would loose sleep and smile yet you did not stop. You knew those actions whether repeated or for the first time would cause someone to question their self worth and drive them to an edge yet that did not deter you. You knew you would have to say I’m sorry yet you continued on the path. Is that truly love?

Think about it for a minute. When was the last time you said “I love you” to someone? Now think again, how many avoidable “I’m sorry” have you said since the year began?

Just take a little time to think as we move into a new month. This fabulous February that we call the month of love. Have you been a true friend, husband, wife, father, mother, daughter, son, sibling? Have you?

How about the God you say you love? It is true that grace is there but “what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”.

I love you; it has more weight than it lets on. Why not be sure you can carry it before you promise it?

I wish you a love filled February ahead! I love you and Jesus loves you much more!

Mind Games

We sometimes spend time hiting our heads on a wall just to prove a point. Why? Why do you feel you have to prove your worth to a particular person or set of people? Do you feel your worth will be less if you do not become someone you feel they would respect?

Every time you are given a dare by the same people that undermine your worth and you follow through, a part of your self worth chips away from the whole. Then it goes on and on from there until that’s all you see. You just want to win to prove to them that you are worth something. The more you yield, the more of yourself you loose and the more they see you as less than who you are.

If you are about to go down this road, this is me telling you to back out before you loose yourself. If you have already lost yourself, this is a call to come back home 💖. Let this Christmas be about warmth and love rather than unhealthy competitions and self loathing, you have gone through a lot in 2020 and you came out strong. Give yourself a pat on the back and forge ahead with your plans and keep beating odds!

Remember that there is only one you in the world, so be you with everything you’ve got!

MIND GAMES

Throw the dice and close your eyes.
Send a little prayer to where your faith lies.
Dread mixed with hope and
Tension thick like tough venison.
Will you win and showcase your grin?
Or will you loose and drown yourself in booze?

Open your eyes and look at the dice.
Watch as grief rises from your loss
And threatens your voice.
Silent tears may fall,
Wails to mourn the loss might echo.
Grim faces might be all you’ll see.
Will you play again?

Shuffle the cards with your shaky hands
Another prayer to whoever is in charge
Cards are drawn while you wait.
The frown on your face tells us your fate
Will you play again?

Everytime, a different opposition
Same you with the same obsession
Faced with the tough question,
Will you play again?

“love is the answer and you know that for sure…”

Beating Odds

You do not need a whip, bamboo stick, or even your fist to beat this one. You need something stronger than that.

I am not asking you to be little David with the sling marching up to Goliath the giant who was fully clad in his war armour. Neither am I saying you should be Esther and go against the law at the risk of your life. No, I am not asking you to become wonder woman or a superhero of any kind, far from it.

I am only asking you to work on strengthening the one thing that we all have in common with these people. Your mind.

Taking time to build your mind; learning to know things for yourself through research and not just swallowing what you have heard (like a drop of the bulk of information that has not even been verified) , what we Nigerians call “them say”.

I see the mind as a beautiful library housing different books we have all picked up during the course of our lifetime. Everything you have been told, seen, endured, loved, hated, achieved is all in that library. As we grow, words, grief, truth, lies, desires, depression will walk into that library and throw some books out of the shelf.

You need to guard your mind diligently and consistently. The walls cannot stop all the threats from walking into the library. It can hold the weak ones back, yes, but some others will force their way in. They look through your book collection to see which one to throw out to make room for themselves.

Many books will be replaced, I believe it is necessary. Change they say, is the only constant thing. Ideologies and goals will change. What I believe is important is that you do not allow the good books to be thrown out or even the books you consider bad that actually taught you a good lesson.

At all times, you must guard it. Once it is broken, nothing else in you will function right. Always be sure that what you are guarding is the truth.

This is to anyone who has been told to give up a good goal for ridiculous reasons like gender, race, family background, tribe, you name it.

Even when the numbers do not tally, you can still beat the odds because what matters the most in that sentence is you. When you weigh the cost and believe you can, then you most likely will. You just need to take the first step.

Many will come into that beautiful library with scrabble, monopoly, ludo and other games. They will play mind games with you, a different game for every meeting. Some others will come in with stories, true tales and pipe dreams. Life brought some of these people your way and some others, you sought after and invited on your own.

Through all the mind games and stories of ages past, remember to pick apart truth from lies. Girl do not forget that you are allowed to have a dream. Put down your goals and grow with it. Boy do not accept that you should not simply because someone could not. If the baton is worthy and the race is true, I say run with it!

What is in your hand? use it.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

We are all familiar with the question, “have you lost you mind?” People tend to ask this when they feel you have done or you are about to do something they consider out of character for you or your kind in general. I am asking this same question for a different reason; to know if you are still in charge of the library God gave to you.

Have you allowed bandits to rub you off your confidence? Are your books hopelessly scattered on the floor? Have you cowered in fear while dust gathers in a once beautiful place? Have you walked out on yourself and left your guard duty to someone else?

Tell me, through the ups and downs you have gone through. Though the success and failures you have frequently faced. Through those dawn and dusk when you loved and lost. Did you loose your mind? Or are you still in charge?

A Special Pot

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry to me is not ‘like’ a story, because it ‘is’ a story.
What makes a good story?
I think its a good plot with a message.

Poetry for me is mama’s pot. Throw in the metaphor, metonymy, allusion, alteration, parallelism, paradox and whatever you have right there with you. All mixed together, in no particular order.

Poetic Pot

Then you stir while humming a nice tune filled with emotions.
Love, hate, regret, anger, shame, grief, joy, burning desire. The dominant emotion will be the aroma of whats cooking.

When you finally serve the dish, the aroma, that’s the emotion will be the first noticeable feature. And when the munching, swallowing and disggesting begins, it will fall into a stomach lined with emotions.

This, for me, is poetry.

And that is exactly what is in here. To see all the post in this category, just tap on the ‘Home’ icon, then tap on ‘A Special Pot’ in the options you will see. It should look something like this;

Uyai Ekong (Beautiful War)

It’s a girl! the doctor said
My eyes glowed with unshed tears while many celebrated.
Your innocence was painful to look
at so I closed my eyes and wept.

You grew and glowed, men followed.
On your flawless face,
confusion showed.
Why? , you asked,
so society explained.

This is your life
There is only one path for you,
to play the part they believe to be true.

This is your life;
To be seen and not heard.
Many have fought this war
You can try, but they assure you that you will fall

This is why I wept;
I fought and failed.
Why? Why did you come as a prey?

I could not take my eyes off you
I just knew you would be trouble
that fiery glow in your eyes;
the same glow in the eyes of brave soldiers.

You promised to die trying,
to come back for me if you win.
I do not want you to die, my child
Please put away those rifles and let’s make waffles.

Listen to me dear
I know this war, this quest to soar
Take my hand, I’ll show you the plan

Hide that glow in your eyes before the moths attack
tighten your fist, resist the urge to punch down their rules
Bite your tongue, hold back your retort
Hide your light my dear

Fight in secrete, only within
Put up a smile to hide your wile
Mask your fire with a cool shield
Hide those gory plans with your playfull chuckles

Fake the stumble, do not reveal your confident strides
Be a beau outside, conceal the beast inside
Become the beautiful war I could not be
The battle angel of reform.

What Is In Your Hand?

Have you ever heard the saying, “use what you have to get what you want?”. I heard this a lot growing up but it was usually in the negative light. It either suggested using your body to earn money sexually, or using your position to oppress people into giving you what you believe is yours to have.

Growing up, life showed me that it could be interpreted in many more ways.

What are you doing with what you have?

When you hear the word “talent” what comes to your mind? An amazing voice? A dance machine for a body? A photographic memory? Magic cooking hands? These are all awesome but are you nothing without one?

You can blame society for setting what you could call a partial and depressing standard but you cannot blame society for your adamant refusal to see beyond it.

Society will always say, but will you always do? Take time to separate the stones from the grain. Do it because you believe in it, because it is what you want to do, because you have weighed the risk and you know you can handle it. Take a little time to see things a little bit deeper.

I was taught to listen, so I do. I listen closely to the words of wisdom whether it be truly wise or not, consider it one of the joys of being young; everyone wants to give you their own piece of advice. And that is what it is, an advice. It is not a decree that you must follow.

Seperate the stones from the grains. An advice might be a good one but not good for that particular situation you are in. Only take what you need. Mother told me this and I have decided to run with it. Will you?

What is in your hand?



I do not know what individual talents you have but there is one thing I am 100% sure everyone reading this has and that is Life.

So use what you have, to get what you want.

Reflector

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s the fairest of them all?
A little piece of man’s creation
Who art thou to judge us all?

It is superficial to stare
But I must not be scruffy and unaware
My neck should not be bare
Exquisite must be the condition of my hair

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Looking smug and standing tall
You cause me to doubt myself for the ball
In anger, I ponder, should I make you fall?

In self doubt, I walk into the hall
For companionship, I cling to my shawl
Many seem to understand that it’s a ball
Why then did that woman dress like a doll?

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Same conceited look on the ladies wall
We both watch Anastasia and Drizella’s brawl
Another argument on who’s the fairest of them all

Finally, the end of it all
I make my way home and out of the hall
Escaping fellow maidens and all their gall
At home; on the couch, I finally fall

The silence; a welcome lull
The sprint from the ball left me sweaty and sore
I scream at the sight of my hideous twin.
Until I realised, it’s that same mirror on the wall!

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Now think of the “Mirror” as the society we live in then read it again before you continue downwards.

Share your thoughts with me🤗.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. I do not hear your siren’s call. I do not care what you think of me. I am much more than you can see. ~Queenisms

What they see doesn’t become you until you begin to see it too. Do not loose yourself. ~Prospoet

The Thankless Robot (PART 2)

Why did i decide to use ‘thankless’ instead of ‘ungrateful’ (which would have flowed better right?). Well I thought about it alot but I decided that ungrateful is too strong for the pure intentions(I never wanted to hurt anybody) I carried around. I was grateful to humans (I still am) whether they believe it or not. I was thankful to them for whatever contributions they made into my life(the positive and the negative).

I was thankful to God for being there. Where the thanks became less was when it had to do with me, I did not appreciate myself. No matter how many times i was praised, I was never enough for me. Which is why I decided that the ‘less’ in ‘thankless’ fits the picture in my head perfectly. So back to that robot!

If you have not read the first part, then click here to read it. I know some people will ignore this😁. Seriously, go back and read The Thankless Robot (PART 1).

Time lapsed and the robot grew, still following her own programing. If only i can get my hands on that girl. I only thank God that I wasn’t obsessed with competing with other people because I would probably be an ex convict by now or better still, in rehab 😇.

In PART 1, I said there was no external pressure, I was the one driving myself insane. In this second PART, there were external pressures, so much that the track I was running on became cold as ice. People had noticed my race and they were interested, the atmosphere became more intense and they started talking to me. Both the old and the young. The baton in my hand felt hot but I couldn’t drop it. I pushed forward with the discomfort. I had been told that nothing good came easy. I wish I had also been told that taking a break was not the same as giving up.

Whenever I tried to take a break, I would look on my loved ones and their suffering would discourage me from resting. Also, there would be someone to tell me that I’m about to become lax, or I’ll never amount to something if I rest, or one tongue lashing or the other. I did not even know which pressure was worse, the one I inflicted on myself or the one I allowed (because truly, words hurt you with your permission) to be inflicted on me.

The line was too thin for me to know the difference so I simply focused on the goal. I had lost myself.

When the GCE (General Certificate of Examination) result was released. I had an A, Bs and Cs and one D that felt like death(9 subjects altogether). I focused on the failure, I saw nothing else.

When the JAMB(Joint Admission and Matriculation Board) exam scores came out, It was a good score but it wasn’t what I aimed for so to me, I failed.

The pressure was suffocating me. Words were thrown at me, little words that cut deep because my skin was already weak from my personal quest.

I always wondered why others could shake off those words but not me. It took a lot to stand up with the ‘confident’ face I was often commended for. Those negative words would resound in my head over and over again. Why? I did not know why then but today I do. I had become my own wall. I had unknowingly trained myself to focus on the negative things around. My aim was to never feel in my comfort zone but I was going about it the wrong way.

The WAEC (West African Examination Council) exam result came out and I did not see one A in all the 9 subjects, neither did I see a C, D, E or F, I laughed. I had straight Bs. Close people rejoiced, but to me, I had failed again😁. I couldn’t let anyone know I was not happy with the scores because they would think “she just wants to show off”. If you knew me during these times, I can say that less than 10% of you can say we were friends. True, gisting, studying, partnering, solving problems, helping each other, calls and chats kind of friend. It was entirely on me, I take the blame🙈.

As if my sister could sense it, she reached out to me and asked me if I understood that ‘B’ wasn’t failure. I agreed, yes, but don’t we all do that once in a while? Say you understand when you actually don’t?🙉

.

I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror without sighing.

I could not get scholarships with my results and that was one of my greatest wishes. If I could go back in time, I would knock some sense into myself but sadly, it’s not possible.

The failure I considered the ultimate, the one I actually paused my life for, the one that made all my dedication seem like rubbish, the one I refused to go to church for, the one I forgot to eat for, the one I stood up and started walking to nowhere for, the one…..well you get me right? It was when all the admission list for the University of Ibadan came out and I was not listed. That was more than I could take. It was the end for me, A part of me died that day and I’m glad it did.

I have come to realize that what did not kill you, taught you a lesson and what killed you, made you a lesson. I learnt a lesson and became a lesson at the same time.

The first thing I did when it dawned on me that I was really not accepted, was to go to a book vendor. There was an old man sitting close to the University and he had lots of novels(my other secret obsession😸). I robotically walked under his shade (it was just like a stand, not an actual shop). I perused through his books and I talked to him about the ones I had read or the authors I knew. I stayed with him for a while before he asked, “won’t you go home?”, the effort I had put into my brave face fell for a moment. If he noticed it, he never said a thing. I bought two books, and I started reading them there.

A while later, the old man’s grandson (I’m not certain though, just guessing that that’s their relationship) came to tell him something that I couldn’t really hear clearly. After a while he turned to me and asked if I could watch over the books for a little while with the little boy. Of course I said yes (but please I am not encouraging you to just talk to any stranger🙈).

I sat down there to gather my thoughts, what do I do next? I had no time to waste. I wanted to study law and starting early was my aim. I called my older siblings and we talked, both asked me to go back home first. They did not yell or berate me, they knew me well and they knew I had just taken a big blow. I stayed until the man was back and then I thanked him.

How I got back to Lagos from Ibadan was a blur. How everyone found out later was an even blurrier blur.

Days passed and I was still floating. I secretly harboured hope that they would call me. They never did.

My older brother decided to tell me a bit of his story on one fateful day. He told me about his own set backs. I heard the regret in his voice and I realized how privileged I was to have him exist before me. We took a long walk that day, I remember well. I looked at him and I knew I was the reason he just went back into his painful past to bring out a lesson.

When I got home after the walk and looked at my mother staring up at me with a blank face. It was never that blank before, it always held emotion. I caused it, I knew I did.

I looked at my little brother. He had always been quiet but my quietness had made him more quiet. How was I so blind?

I was trying to grieve alone but these people were openly grieving with me. I had people that truly cared about me. My success and failures, everything that made up me. I knew I was privileged to have them by my side.

I wept that day and my mum held me. Many things happened that made me shed tears but these tears were washing away something, they were different. I couldn’t stop saying “I’m sorry”. I was sorry for many things and it’ll take pages to list them out. I couldn’t stop wailing like I had just lost a child. I had held the dam for about a year and it finally broke that day. My little brother was next to us and I felt his light touch on my back but he did not say a word.

No mater how serious I was outside, I was always my family’s clown inside, the one that wouldn’t stop talking, the one that pestered everyone with hugs, the one that asked endless questions, the one my family was missing all this time. I was too busy being lost in my head to notice before but that day I did.

I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. The way it happens when your soul knew that death was close.

I had stayed away from friends and acquaintances (especially the ones that had gotten into school). I did not want to be asked “what happened?”, ” are you sure you checked the list well?”, “so what happens now?”. I had become curt and easily angered. I was everything I did not want to be.

Some were genuinely concerned but some others were sure to tell me how ‘my books had finally failed me'(cue in my eye roll here😽)

I had dropped the baton and stopped running but I had not given up( I guess I just wasn’t wired to give up😸).

I was taking the long break that I should have taken in bits all those years.

The robot died and I took over. I reached out to the people I had pushed aside. It took time but I became my family’s clown again. I made a new baton and ran with God right next to me. Now I understand that failure can only have the weight that I give to it and little successes only glow if I polish it. I have a new baton, a baton of many colors.

I am running with a smile on my face now. I am still passing the baton to a more determined me at every turn.

The jibes will never stop, I know that. As long as I am still alive, I will still face successes and failures. I understand that now and I hope you do too.

I still stumble when I fail but now I know to take out the lesson and continue my race.

To all those that have a burning desire to achieve something. Whatever meaning you’ve carved for yourself, whatever baton you are holding with your life, whatever race you have decided to run, do not loose yourself. Do not run alone. Always remember this;

…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy

Romans 9:12

For reading this far, I say thank you❤. For showing this to someone that you believe would relate to it, I say you are gold💟. To everyone that was a part of this part of my life and you are still a part of my present, I say thank you💞. With love, from a very thankful human.

The Thankless Robot. (PART 1)

Yes indeed, persistence and determination is commendable but wisdom is still the principal thing. When you have a goal, obstacles immediately form before you. Even as you break down wall after wall, more walls will spring up. First, be absolutely sure that it is the right wall, then do all you can to break it down. In all thy doing, do not loose yourself.

The day you despise your little achievements, the day you look at where you are and you do not see a reason to be thankful, that is the day you become your own wall. That being said, let me tell you my story, just a part of it.

My father told me many things when I was younger and it was often about my grades. He believed that I was a fast learner and many around me did too (me, I wasn’t feeling so smart😗. I never said so though, I was daddy’s girl and I wanted to push myself to make him happy).

I always thought that offending my father meant getting ‘low grades’. I put that low grades in quote because back then, I did not actually have low grades(that was then though. Time has passed and I have had grades that I am not proud of. But hey, let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone, I promise to dodge😝), they were just not high enough to meet the standard that we both agreed on.

We had this unspoken rule that I always had to beat my old self or be at tally with it, going lower was unacceptable. So if yesterday was 70%, today must be either 70% or higher. Anything below 70% becomes failure. Do you catch my drift?

As time went on, it became a part of me. I wasn’t doing it for anyone this time, it was for me. There was no external pressure, i had my eyes on something and i pursued it with my everything. No one was to blame but me.

I saw things and took them to heart. I saw people pick up their children with cars, I saw children that never got sent home because of school fees, I saw children that weren’t walking around with worry and gloom hanging over their heads(children that had the luxury of being carefree as children should be), I saw children that never felt a pinch in their stomach, I saw siblings play happily like children should. I saw people living comfortably and I wanted that. I wanted it for me, my siblings and even our future children. I wanted to change my life and the life of those around me and I only knew one way to do that.

I often heard that one had to be born with a silver spoon, have a talent (like a really good voice, something in sports, etc.) or you are book smart for you to truly succeed. Since the first two did not fit who I was, I picked up the third and ran with it like a baton. A baton I kept passing to myself. I was always at every finish line, waiting to collect the baton and continue. Every me I met on the track was even more resolved than the last.

A little girl about to run

I bent the rules a bit and followed it strictly. The rule became that I either beat yesterday or beat yesterday. Being the same was not an option, it was failure in my eyes. Less was punishable by starving. Every time I broke the rule(unintentionally of course)I would feel like I’ve betrayed myself and what I stood for.

I have always believed that if you do not make the most of what you were given, you’re like the man that buried his talent simply because he only had one, unlike his peers that took time to grow theirs. I believed that I had the ability to beat my yesterday(academically). I felt I had what I needed to get what I wanted so every time I failed to do so, I was angry at myself. I do not remember being sad for failing, but i remember a lot of anger and disappointment, the true reason for my tears. That was when I was little so don’t start judging me yet😁. I was thinking like a child would and I thought everyone else thought that way. I truly had a stubborn resolve, one that would put a mule to shame.

A frustrated girl

If you attended a typical Nigerian primary or secondary school, then you’d be familiar with the ritual of everyone comparing test scripts whenever we got them from our teachers. Me, I hated it. I would hide it like my life depended on it😂, and no it’s not because I failed, I just wasn’t proud of any score. Even 100% couldn’t make me happy because I had to beat it later. For me it was an endless circle of competing with myself (for those that I had a sort of competition with in the past, just know that you were probably competing with yourself because I was completely lost in my head😝) that I probably did not even know I was on the road to becoming a thankless, obsessed robot.

Someone once asked me why I was not smiling during the annual speech and prize giving day. I said I was just thinking of how I would miss my classmates. I was about nine or ten then and I was such a good liar. She saw the tear drop on my smile and she probably thought “awww she’ll really miss her friends”. Meanwhile I was counting how many prizes less I got that year😂, i knew it was time to pass the baton to a more determined me. Talk about an unhealthy obsession! Somehow, i always saw my academic cup half empty instead of half full. To think I was the one doing myself and I was just a child(smh😁). Shame on you past self, big shame on you.

Truly I am not proud of my thoughts back then. I really did love God but I kept him as a spectator on the bench. He handed me water when I needed it, he was my medical team when I tumbled and bruised myself on the track, He held me when I cried, He smiled at me when I needed a friend. He understood my fight and cheered me on. Although i am grateful for Him agreeing to sit on the bench and be there for me. I only wonder what my life would have been now if I allowed Him run with me, side by side like He does now. I feel the difference, I see it. I just hope this speaks to someone.

What does failure mean to you as a person? A weak ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or everything below that? Someone wants a shot at that position that you do not value, someone wants that life you have. This is because we have different measurements for failure. The general term is just that, a general term. What truly affects us is our individual definitions. What is hidden behind our smiles.

To all those that have a burning desire to achieve something. Whatever meaning you’ve carved for yourself, whatever baton you are holding with your life, whatever race you have decided to run, do not loose yourself. Do not run alone. Always remember this;

…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy

Romans 9:16

For reading this far, i say thank you❤. For showing this to someone that you believe would relate to it, i say you are gold💟. To everyone that was a part of this part of my life and you are still a part of my present, I say thank you💞. Watch out for Part 2 of The Thankless Robot written by a very Thankful human.

The Duty of Care

I really like Lord Atkin’s definition of neighbour in the renowned case of Donoghue vs Stevenson.

Stay with me until the end😘, don’t allow the case scare you away. I’m driving somewhere😉.

On 26th May, 1932, Lord Atkin passed a judgement that became one of the most significant cases of the common law world, Donoghue v Stevenson. This case established the foundation of negligence law that is still used today in Queensland – the concept of duty of care.

For the summarised version of the case; it all started with a snail (hilarious every time I think about it). Mrs Donoghue found the remnants of a snail in her ginger beer (note that she already drank out of it. Very ‘eww’ worthy😂, or ‘nyama’ like we say in my area) manufactured by Mr David Stevenson.

Thereafter, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and she dragged Mr David to war in court. Unlike the David we know from the Bible who won battles countless times, this one lost. A particular part of Lord Atkin’s speech on the case is my area of interest;

The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer’s question, Who is my neighbour? receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who, then, in law, is my neighbour? The answer seems to be – persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question

Don’t you just love this Atkin guy👏?

Does his explanation turn any wheel in your head? Well it turned many wheels in my head, from the bicycle wheels to the power bike wheels (none of which i have mastered 😂). Please don’t get dizzy just yet! Stay with me.

I coined a quote from Hebrew 12:14(follow peace with all men…) to check myself. It goes, “give or don’t give, but live and let live”. I do my best to remember this whenever I’m dealing with people that I am not in good terms with.

I have not spent many decades on this planet but the short while I’ve been here, I have come to understand that giving, being nice, being friendly and approachable (basically showing care) is foreign to so many people. It is not that they do not want to, they just don’t know how to.

I take Lord Atkin’s explanation to mean that your neighbour is someone affected by your act or lack thereof.

Now it is true that the girl isolated in one corner while everyone else is happily jumping about is a stranger to you. It is also true that she is your neighbour.

The little child asking you for directions could very well be the same rude one you met a few days ago. It doesn’t change the fact that he is your neighbour.

The strange red eyed guy smells like trouble and it is best to stay away. I agree, but he is still your neighbour.

The one that betrayed you over and over again, throwing your trust to the pigs is definitely one that you will never forget. The truth still remains that he is your neighbour.

The one that made promises and called you a fool when it was time to fulfil is very much your neighbour.

Very tiring, but there is no loophole in this law. Neighbour means neighbour.

No one is saying you have to be chummy or very friendly with everyone (that is impossible because of some very annoying humans that we all have in our circle😂) . The point is just that you fulfill your duty of care. You can learn to be civil at least, right? Remember that no matter how angelic you are, you’re still a demon in someone’s story (I wonder how many horns you have in those stories)

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. You do not have to approach the sad girl in the corner if you do not feel like it (some would but everyone cannot be the same), however, you owe her a duty of care to not start a rumor or point fingers to make her feel worse(this is something everyone should be able to do)

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. You do not have to help the rude child (someone else will or he’ll find an alternative without you. You are not indispensable so come off your high horse). Just fulfil your duty of care by going your way in silence without throwing insults at him. For those that will throw insults and still help, well….we’ll talk about that later.

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. The strange red eyed guy is none of your business if he is minding his business. No matter how bloody and unbelievable his story is. You owe a duty of care to keep your judgemental stares to yourself, it is useless. Unless of course you are a white slate;without blemish or sinful thoughts, then feel free to be the first to cast a stone.

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. As for that one that has betrayed you over and over again, you do not have to be as close as you were before. Just fulfill your duty of care by forgiving. Yes, forgive and move on for your peace of mind.

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. The one that promised and has not fulfilled, your duty of care is the same as that of the betrayer, forgive. (If it’s a contract type of promise, please collect your money or whatever is the equivalent😂. Without malice of course)

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. If you do not know how to love your neighbour by giving your time, resources, encouragement and advice to mention a few. Then start with your duty of care. If you only have negative words and actions to put out in a particular situation then put nothing out! It could take just one word to destroy someone, and that is the greatest harm you could do to your neighbour. Turning them into a sort of robot that does not feel anything anymore. No one should live like that.

How many people have become empty snail shells because of you, your words, your actions or lack thereof?

The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour

Lord Atkin

Loving is not just doing positive things, it’s also avoiding the negative things as best as you can.

👇This is my favourite example of love for those that want to go beyond the duty of care and show love.💕💖

this is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you

John 15:12

He gave everyone a chance, everyone. Not just his family and close friends. Not just those that believed in God. Not just the rich and smart ones. Not just the influential and strong ones. Not just the dark and fair skinned. Everyone was His neighbour.

Remember that because you do not like someone does not make them any less of a person. They will not suddenly poof and disappear. We just have to learn to live together as best as we can.

I could go on but let me end here. If you cannot help then at least try no to make it worse. That is the easiest way to show that you care. Then maybe one day, you’ll learn to love too.

give or don’t give but live and let live

Prospoet

Je Te Pardonne (I Forgive You)

A wise man once told me something a few years back. I was between the age of eleven to thirteen years old. Before I tell you what he said, please make sure you are not eating, about to eat or just finished eating. If you are, just leave this and read later when you are sure you will not puke and blame me for it. However, if you are sure you are good to go, then please read on! PS: I have translated the French picture quotes you will see later on, right under the pictures.

He said, “Atönö uduañ mben ökpö usuñ, ndijine isifreke.” (That is in Efik language)

It literary means, “a person defecates (or poops, whichever one you prefer🙊) by the way side, the one that steps on it (barefoot) does not forget.

It did not sound so bad until he elaborated. He told me to imagine a very hedieous, disgusting poop on the floor which might still be fresh (feel free to scream “eww” or “nyama” like we say in some part of Lagos😂). Then he said, assume you were somewhere on the beach where you were walking happily until you felt something hot beneath your foot. Not knowing what it is, you look down to find out.

The surprise makes you loose your balance and you slip and fall on the poop, hands first (now there is no more doubt that your discovery is definitely from a human). To further ruin your day, the lethal stench invades your whole being as passers by stare at you.

(👆i edited it as best as i can to make it less…….unpleasant without altering the main point).

These are my thoughts; Anger, embarrassment and some other emotions would push you to flee the scene. Days will pass and the memory will still make you cringe. Some might stay away from that particular place for a while, even when the audience had long forgotten the incident. Some would pour out everlasting curses on the owner of the poop. While the perpetrator has no idea that he(or she) caused you distress, and if he does, he’ll forget it soon because it did not affect the person in anyway. Relate that scenario to life in general.

When you are offended but the offender has no clue or feel the gravity of the offense like you do. Forgiving becomes very challenging, but we must, right?

Je Te Pardonne (I forgive you)

Forgiving is easy, relatively
But forget, scarcely
It has never been by choice
The memory goes silent but comes back with a loud voice

Soft whispers lures in the chaos of ages past.
A smile today will trigger tears of yesterday.
It does not mean I have not forgiven
but I cannot erase this memory I was given.
Some say it is a blessing, life’s very own lesson

You drop the act and your deed is done,
While I’m left on the stove to burn
I see the scene every time I hear your name
I hear the action!, making me go insane

I feel the suspense,
Again, the plot begins to make sense
I feel the spotlight through my closed eyes

you made many promises, but they were all lies

“I forgive you but I have not forgotten”

“I forgive you, you know not what you have done.”

I did not need a car to drive me to the edge.
Your words did, your actions,
little gestures that meant nothing to you but kept me up at night.

“I forgive you, you do not see right from wrong.

You did the act but I live with the memory
Shattered from inside, counting down until the outside falls off
You do not even remember,
Yet I cannot forget.

“I forgive you, now it’s time for me to move on.”

Whether things fall apart or not,
just know that I forgive you,
as I must.

“I forgive you not because you deserve it, but because I deserve peace”

Thank you for reading💖. I leave you with this; remember to let go, for your peace sake.

If you can tolerate French for a bit then click here to check out this song! There is a bit of English in it too.


Leave a comment, I want to know what you think!(I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll fall in love with French like I have and hopefully, it will love us back😋.

My First Blogger Nomination!!!

Do not scream, I already did that for us. So just smile and do a weird happy dance😂.

I have only been here for a short while so you must understand how shocked I was when I discovered that Reni Alugo’s blog nominated me for the Vincent Ehindero blogger award! Reni got nominated by Ria’s haven before she nominated me.

Reni is an amazing person. She is one of the few people that I know here and she has been really supportive and encouraging. I do not know how she does not get tired of the questions I ask her in private (it seems the more I know, the more I realise that I do not know much😂). Thank you for nominating me Reni and for being an awesome person💖. I also thank Vincent Ehindero for creating the award.

So Reni has some questions for me💃.

Q&A:

Q: How many countries have you visited?

A: Just one. I would love to see more places though, and its certainly in the plan.

Q: Where does your motivation to write/blog come from?

A: Many places! First from the whispers of my awesome God of course. Then from friends and family that support me with their great feedbacks. From Reni who has a special way of making people(especially me) smile with her words. From Mosky for pushing me to take my writing to the next level. From everyone that has ever liked or commented on my post. I could go on and on but I think you get the gist already😊.

Q: Who is your favorite writer/blogger and why?

A: *sighs dramatically* this is a very tough one you see. Everyone, at least the ones I have met, seem to have their own style (very commendable I must add). It is not easy picking a favorite so Reni would have to stand in for everyone 😘. I love her approach in her write ups, it has a different air to it. You should check them out so you will understand why I say she is awesome.

Q: What is the one thing you want to be remembered for?

A: I have always said that my aspiration is to be an inspiration. If I can only be the influence that someone out there needs to come out of somewhere dark like loneliness, sadness or any other ‘ness’ that messes with one’s sanity. Even if it is one(but I aim for more) person in the whole of my existence, that would truly be amazing!

Q: What makes a good blog?

A: I believe it is the ability to convey your message effectively to your intended audience. Every other attribute falls under this. That is just my own opinion though.

Q: What is your favorite thing about marriage?

A: 😂😂😂 You know I am not married Reni, but let me see…..well I’m not sure honestly. The companionship maybe?. Having someone that is a friend and more than a friend at the same time till death do us part. I hope this makes a little sense.

Q: Would you rather have a lot of money or a lot of good friends?

A: Good and loyal friends without a second thought. They will lead you right and money would only be a matter of time.

Q: What are 5 words that best describes you?

A: Godly, curious, childlike, assertive and deep😉.

This was fun!💃

Here are the rules👇

• Thank the person that nominated you with a link to thier blog
• Make a post of the award (with photo)
• Post the rules
• Ask 5-10 questions of your choice
• Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them
• Follow Vincent Ehindero @vincentehindero.wordpress.com to qualify for a free blog promotion and shout out and more blogging opportunities.

My nominations are 🙈:

° http://nightgalestorm.home.blog/

° https://iamtaiwotonablog.wordpress.com/

° https://blogbyima.wordpress.com/

° https://maverick.wordpress.com/

° http://faithfood.blog

I am nominating you because I truly admire your contents and I hope you never stop sharing them 💪😘.

My Questions for you💃:

  1. Would you rather read a book or see a movie?
  2. What keeps you away from writing as often as you would have loved to?
  3. If you could add one thought in everyone’s mind, what would it be?
  4. Smarties or skittles, which do you prefer?
  5. What are the five words that describe you?
  6. Who is your favourite male and female character in the bible and why?(do not even say Jesus, he is taken)
  7. What do you want to be remembered for?

I am at the edge of my seat waiting for your response! Do not leave me hanging lest I fall.

Remember that I adore you and Jesus adores you more!😘

I really do not want to leave yet but I must. Let me drop this GIF for Reni and Ria’s haven.

This isn’t goodbye! I’ll be back😘.

The Fantastic Four

Four men that I have been thinking about a lot lately; one stanza for one man. Four in all for four of them.Can you guess who they are? Leave a reply below if you can name any of the four. I’ll reveal where you can find the answers on the next post so stay tuned😘.

°•°•°•°•°°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°°•°•°•°•°°•°•¢

If this road leads to the end,
we must make it worthwhile.
I’ll hold the Lion by the Jaw,
hold my head high even when my eyes are out,
Don’t let me go.

If this road ends all leads,
we must brace up,
I’ll hold my rod to the sky,
please hold my hand so we don’t die.
Don’t let me go.

If this road takes our sight,
we must listen for the voice.
I’ll find this new faith.
Hold me Baranabas, teach me, show me.
Don’t let me go.

If this sight takes us to the road,
we must tary in the temple.
I’ll see the new born baby King,
keep me alive until then.
Don’t let me go.

You might want to get your bible now😉.

The Petitioners

Pride is not welcomed in this court, only humble submissions, do you dare stand before this just judge? Well, these people dared….

°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°• °•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°

°

When she found out she was pregnant she did not know what to feel, tears filled her eyes as she told her loving husband the wonderful news, their joy knew no bounds. Their marriage was finally going to be blessed with a child after six long years of trying and praying.

When they found out it was a girl, her husband confessed that it had been his prayer all along, “finally, another lady to collect the heart you stole from me”, he joked. She smiled. She wanted a girl too! They made plans and predictions on what their daughter would be. Wale concluded that she would be in the banking sector like him or a footballer like his younger sister, Abigail. Mofe disagreed. Her daughter would be a reporter or an editor like she was. They just joked around the topic but neither really worried about what she would become, they would support their golden girl in whatever part she chose.

Meanwhile, life was making it’s own predictions as complications came in and the unborn child’s life was threatened. They did everything they could. Her husband fasted and she prayed while the doctors did all that was in their power to do. They needed a miracle.
The day of delivery came and Leticia was born but her mother’s womb was lost. The miracle they expected did not happen, at least not how they expected.

Years rolled by and what was lost was nothing compared to what was gained. Leticia was growing up to be a wonderful young lady. She had her father’s calculative brown eyes and her mother’s glowing caramel skin. A miracle in flesh. At age ten, she was at the top of all her classes except creative art.

“The paints won’t stay on the paper mummy it always ends up on my body! Then i look like a confused rainbow”, she whined when Mofe talked to her about her dislike of the subject. The little girl hated anything that got her dirty and she constantly complained about it.

Her mother sighed, ” what do I do with you my sunshine? How do you even know what a confused rainbow looks like?”, The girl only giggled and ran off.

Little Leticia was a curious creature. She wanted to know everything. She loved nature and the one who created it. When her aunt came over one weekend to pass a night, Letticia ceased the opportunity to make her tuck her in when it was her bed time. She always said that her aunty was one of the best story tellers and it was not a lie. Abigail Damilola Johnson would do anything for her niece and the little girl knew that. They were so close that the twenty-eight year old became the sibling Leticia would never have. After aunty Dami told her the story of how Moses saw a part of God’s glory, she could not stop wishing she was there. As sleep finally began to pull her in, she whispered, “If only I could see God once, it would be so cool”. Abigail just smiled.

Whenever Leticia stared off into nothing, her mother would get worried because it was probably the begining of another round of questions. “So who gave birth to God? Who decided that i should be a girl? How do you know i am your child? Are you sure they did not switch me at the hospital? Oh! Mother we need to get a test done! Your daughter could be out there somewhere”. Her mother would be thinking of the appropriate speech to answer her questions when Letticia would suddenly laugh and say she was only joking. She enjoyed scaring her very concerned mother.

Leticia did a lot of things that many would call crazy and others would call interesting – it depends on the side of the coin you observed from. One time, she caught mosquitoes and put them in a bottle, sealed tightly. “I just want to see how long they can survive without air” She defended with an innocent smile. Her father had just discovered the bottles under her bed. He was speechless, how did she even catch it without killing it in the process? She readily explained to him.

“You just have to follow it Daddy, until it rests somewhere because it’s not easy catching it in the air. Then you cover it with your palm and make your palm into a fist then you guide it into the bottle!” Wale was awed by his little girl and also made a mental note to get insecticide, consistent spraying was necessary because Lagos mosquitoes were very stubborn. Leticia would not mind that the mosquitoes will be gone, she had the ones she needed for the ‘experiment’. Daddy promised to keep their secret away from mummy until the project was completed. She was everything daddy hoped she would be, she had his heart and she kept it all to herself.

When she turned sixteen, Leticia began to turn her mother’s sanity inside out. It started when she went for a camp and came back with red hair; red hot flaming hair. Her lovely black curls had been straightened and her mother was ready to burst into flames.
“Leticia Toluwalase Johnson, why is your head on fire?” her mother asked her in a decievingly calm voice. After reminding her mother she wanted to be called ‘Leti’ not Leticia and ‘Tolls’ instead of Toluwalase, She went further to explain how an experiment had gone wrong and the camp instructors made her come back with her battle scars as punishment.
“I was this close to making a breakthrough mummy, so close. I will not give up though, i will try it differently next time”. She said, smilling like she could already see the success of whatever experiment she was carrying out. All this while, Mofe was quiet and when she finally spoke, the happy smile disappeared from her daughter’s face.

“Come closer Leti or is it Tolls you want me to call you? Come closer so I can carry out my own experiment let’s see if I pound your head with my pestle maybe you will have more sense and stop using yourself as a lab rat!”. A few seconds of silence passed after her outburst before she sighed deeply and gave her daughter a sad smile. “You are my only child Letticia, the only one I will ever have in my life time and that doesn’t bother me because you are one in millons. Just stay alive for me okay? That’s all I ask.” Overwhelmed by her mother’s emotions, Letti nodded and squeezed her mum in a tight hug.

Mrs. Johnson constantly worried about her daughter but Tolls was daddy’s little girl and thought her mother’s worries were unnecessary. Time flew by and Leti flew to the United States of America to pursue her career in medicine. More time flew by and Leti did not fly back to Nigeria. She always had one project or experiment to complete. I’ll be back soon, she repeated every other year.
After much begging and tears from her mother, Leticia finally came back home for the Christmas holiday. Wale was happy to see his two favorite women together again. If their feminine squeals and gossips bothered him, he never said so. Devotion time became longer with Leticia’s questions; she had not changed in that aspect, in fact, the questions were more advanced. They often referred her to God for answers. Only He could deal with them.

“So who is he?” Leticia’s mother asked in-between her daughter’s speech about the coronavirus outbreak in China.
“Its not a ‘he’ mother, it’s a virus that is killing people”. She shook her head dissapprovingly like her mother was a naughty child who did not know how to listen. Mrs Johnson only scooted closer with a mishievious smile that her daughter recognised so well.

“I’m talking about the one with green eyes that calls you everyday. The one you text every time with a goofy smile on your face”. Letti face palmed at her mother’s description. “His name is Jeffery, o ye mother of mine, Stephanie’s older brother”.

Steph and Leti worked in the same hospital and they had bonded over time. Steph was like family now. And as for Jeffery, his eyes were hazel, not green, and no he did not call her everyday and she definitely did not have a goofy smile when talking to him. Mrs Johnson was silent for a few seconds trying to hold back a laugh. Then she said, ” I will just hold back my comments until after the wedding” before bursting into fits. Leticia stared at her mum with her jaw hanging open.

“What?!” She shouted in disbelief. After her mother recovered from her fits of laughter, Leti explained again that he was just a friend and nothing more.
“Why?” it was her father asking this time. Wale had a peculiar way of creeping into their conversations once in a while. Leti thought hard and when nothing smart came up, She said the first thing she could think of “ well…..he’s okay but he is a lawyer and…and….” She trailed off unsure of what to say next.

“and….” her mother mocked with a smile

“And well, you know how lawyers are, very sneaky with big words and unnecessary archaic grammar. Plus his eyes are scary like all those monsters on TV. He smiles a lot and doesn’t get angry at anything i do which is very creepy!” How can anyone be so tolerant and patient? Especially with someone as unpredictable as the young Miss Johnson?

Her mother could not stop laughing and her father could not keep his smile in as he responded. “I see what the problem is Tolu my dear, he is easy on the eyes caring and he seems to understand you well which makes him difficult to figure out unlike your crazy experiments which you can arrange under numbers and formulas. It’s okay Leti it’s okay to fear change but do not let that hold you back. Pray and think about it, don’t rule him out completely or jump in without thinking. Ask God for clarification and please don’t say monster in public, you are twenty-seven not four years old”.
Letticia sighed and responded with a resigned “okay”.

The lovebirds left Leticia to her thoughts and she was getting immersed in it before her phone rang. It was work and they needed her back there immediately. She had only spent three weeks with her parents after being gone for eight years and it was time to leave again.

“We’ll make video calls everyday mum, please stop with the tears”. She said that in January and now it’s May, mother is still crying and father is consoling her lovingly. The virus had gotten to Nigeria, the United States and many other countries in the world. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic and Leticia was in one of the hot zones. Her video calls came in less and she always looked worn-out but happy.
“ I need to be here mom, God is using me to take care of people and I’m content. Stop worrying too much, I’ll be fine”. Her mother begged her to come and take care of people over here “God can use you anywhere” she persuaded. Leti laughed and tried to tell jokes to reduce her mother’s fears, She blew her father kisses and ended the call.

That call should have lasted longer, that was all the Johnsons could think about when the next video call came in and it was not Leticia’s face on the other side. Stephanie, her close friend had puffy eyes from crying and could barely put together the words so her brother, Jeffery; the hazel eyed monster, did the talking.
Leticia was now a patient with the others she had been helping, the virus had gotten to her, She was fighting for her life. All they could do now was pray.
Mrs. Johnson was not the first to cry this time, it was her husband. His little girl was fighting for her life at twenty-seven, She had barely lived! What is wrong with the world?

The gravity of the situation forced Mofe to go on her knees in her daughter’s room. It felt like she had just been drenched in cold water. She quoted all the Psalms she knew, reminded God of all his promises, begged Him to do something. She prayed until there was no voice left in her, her body shook from tears that had ceased and her lips quivered. Her eyes were dim, She looked just like Hannah at Shiloh begging for a child. Mr. Johnson knelt next to her and hugged her close. They were both quiet as Mofe kept shivering from life’s cold truth.

“Where is He?” She asked in almost a whisper.
“Where is God in all this Wale?” She asked with a stronger voice. A lone tear slid down her left cheek. She had not exaughsted the tears afterall. She choked back a sob as the dam broke out again.

“Shh…Mofe, don’t talk like that please” her husband hushed while in his own tears.
“I’ve not lost hope, you shouldn’t my love. We have to be strong and follow all precautions. Leticia must not find us weak when she comes back, I know she will come back. The world is falling apart, we have to do our best to hold together whatever part we can. There are a lot of affected people that need our prayers, not just our daughter. Stay strong my dear.” he sighed deeply. He did not know if he was convincing his wife or himself. At this point, he would grab unto any ray of hope. They were at court with the Just Judge and they waited for his final verdict with their heads bowed. They dared to challenge Him with his own laws and precedents.

“Leticia will beat this, my daughter is a fighter. I strongly believe that this plague will passover soon, you’ll see” Wale said with renewed strenght.
You just wait and see.

And so we wait on our knees, with our heart in our hands, hope in our eyes and mouths filled with supplications.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. ~Matt 21:24

Have you asked?

Dark Sunday

Is this my story to tell?

I do not know. What I do know is that I witnessed a part of the story, heard some too and I just have to put it down so it is not lost in time and altered by memory. It all began with a pen and a notebook on Sunday 17th May, 2020.

I wanted to write something but I could not concentrate so I opted to sleep early. It was about past eight pm. There was nothing else to do anyway, with my phone dead, no electricity to charge it and the curfew stated by the Nigerian government was already here. Everyone had closed up their businesses and the police patrol cars were dancing around. The silence around me and the chaos inside me lulled me into a partial sleep. I don’t know how long before I heard her scream. I heard my mother’s scream and I was forced to wake up.

Half awake and half asleep, it’s a new habit that I’m working on dropping. A state were you are asleep but you still know a bit about what is going on around you, even making out conversations here and there. It is an unhealthy type of sleep but it’s also the reason I knew that whatever the issue was, it wasn’t from inside but outside on the streets. I had picked up some words in my sleep.

Jesus!……. How many people dey inside?…….terrible…..run go, run go!…..oya inside!…..you no hear am?

I had successfully ignored all until I heard the scream. That’s when I jumped up and looked out the window. It was dark since the streetlights were still under construction. The Pandemic had halted and slowed down a lot of things. I could barely make out anything so I did what I thought i had to do. I went out into the night, following all safety precautions of course.

All I had to do was stick to the sound of screaming women, shouting men, confused youth with phone torches piercing through the dark night. The area was crowded with people when I got there but they slowly began to disperse. Some mumbled prayers and thanked God for things that would have made me smile if not for the dire situation in front of me. A car was right there in the middle of the scattering crowd. I would later find out that it is a Toyota Camry. The wheels where in the air, they had just stopped rolling, and the roof was smashed into the ground. All this did not really get to my half awake mind until I saw the unconscious man on the floor being supported by another man. I lost all words, I have not seen many unconscious people in my life and one that was so close too.

The youth in the area had found a way to bring out the driver from the car, which is the unconscious man I saw. The man supporting his weight was his friend who sat in the passengers seat with him before the accident occurred.

How did this happen? Why is the man still here and not in the hospital? Not that I wish it but, why wasn’t the friend harmed? And where were the confounded patrol cars I had seen earlier?! Isn’t there someone to call?

As if sensing my last thought, a guy next to me dialed what I assume to be an emergency number and began giving descriptions. He was getting frustrated with the answers he was getting because his voice rose an octave higher in anger. I eased away from that angle and got closer to the car. It was completely ruined and the air bag was out, I could hear sniffles from the crowd and I wanted to remind them that their tears would do nothing but I decided against it. I continued my novice inspection without touching anything of course. The road was really smooth and you could see the screech marks of the car. Trailing it a bit farther I could see where the bumper had fallen off and where the windscreens had shattered. All this probably happened while the car was tumbling.

Ah! Den no collect am oo. Make the man no die oo!…..carry am go general hospital nah……wey those police wey dey that junction before? All of dem don japa abi…..hey stop!….stop!..

I looked around and walked towards the scene where i had wandered away from. I observed to understand what was going on when I saw the unconscious man again. I thought they had taken him to the hospital. My thoughts were not wrong, they did take him there but he was rejected. COVID-19 scare they say and it took a lot of self control to keep myself from face palming on the spot. They needed to get him to the general hospital while he was still breathing but it was so far away and there was no other car on the quiet expressway. They tried stopping a private car that drove by but their shouts of ‘stop!’ only scared the driver away. I don’t blame him though, we all looked like a bunch of night robbers. I know I did with my beanie that covered my head down to my eye brows and the baggy shirt and short I had thrown on. I passed for a young boy, just curious like the rest.

Someone suggested taking him to the Airforce base which was close by. Again I did not think any help would be gotten from there and someone else voiced out that thought. Civilians and the military just don’t mix, they say. Another lady called an emergency number, the first was still yet to arrive and we had no idea how much time the man had left with the gash on his head and his unconscious state. His friend looked ready to pass out from the piggyback ride he had given the former to the first hospital that rejected him and probably also from the shock of the whole situation. Those with light fingers had been quick to steal a phone and curses were being rained on the unknown person.

While waiting for help to come, the passenger from the accident was questioned by the good Samaritans or Nigerians in this case, that had helped to retrieve them both from the tumbled car. I got closer, not close enough to be noticed but enough to hear. I was useless to them anyway so there was no point in being seen. We were fewer now. The crowd of almost forty or more people had reduced to less than twenty. I could see both men clearly now, both of them were young, around their late twenties or early thirties was my best guess. The story recounted from the conscious one went thus;

It was infact his car, he just allowed his friend to drive while he sat in the passenger seat. They were not intoxicated, everything was right in their head. His friend had been on a speed of one hundred and twenty kilometer per hour and he did not have his seat belt on. When he complained that his friend should go slower, the latter stepped on the break immediately. That was all that happened and the next thing he knew, they were tumbling. He believes that it was probably the seatbelt that kept him from meeting the same fate as his friend but he honestly couldn’t say.

If that was indeed the truth, we might never know.

Help finally came from a friend that had been called. The emergency rescue team or whatever they are called were still yet to be seen. Both men were helped into the car and off it went. People still lingered a bit before the patrol cars came and everyone was running from being asked any questions. Some shouted obscenities at the Police, LASTMA men and the Lagos State government as a whole. “If na money una go run come, mtcheew” the guy in front of me said before walking off into the dark night. I silently walked away too after taking one last look at the car and the police men that were now guarding the scene from the thieves that were supposedly quietly waiting for everyone to clear out; that’s what I heard from the old men and women that knew the area well. “If no body dey here dem go steal everything for the car finish, even the tyre sef”. I could still hear people’s prayers as they walked or ran back into their homes.

Science would probably have an explanation for everything that just happened and that’s understandable. However, it doesn’t change the fact that i believe it is grace. People have died from less but somehow, this duo survived up to this point. Think of all the what ifs, what if it was a bit later than this and no one was awake to help? What if the guy had been alone in the car and there was no friend to get help? What if they had both died on the spot? What if the car broke through the fragile pavement and entered the residential building that was close by?

I saw love right there today. The youths did everything selflessly. The people that helped to carry the unconscious man did not have to do what they did. The others that directed cars (that refused to help the victims of the accident) away from hitting the upturned vehicle in the dark, did not wait to be paid. Call it pity or common sense but i call it love. Without considering faults or reward, the Christ kind of love.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity…..

No one knows how the story will end. We might never hear about these men again, and it’s probably too minor for the media to carry. It does not change the fact that it happened and humans came through for humans. I dare to hope that there’s still hope for humankind. I could not be of help with my almost nonexistent muscles but I count it a privilege that I could put these words down. I am learning not to take things for granted, we all should. Observe, listen, withhold or recount, lend a hand,do what you know to be right. Be a part of the change.

Live everyday like its a miracle💖.

Whispered Woes

“Patience is key to unravelling certain mysteries”

Thank you for opening this page! I am really glad you did and i will appreciate it if you stay with me until the end. Do not get bored!💖

There is a lot of uncertainty in the air right now. Many things do not make sense and even the ones that do, it’s not so easy wrapping your head around it. Just remember that it’s not the end. Do the needful and breath, take it in one at a time. You will be fine, we all will.

Below is a poem I wrote in isolation. I send a shout out to the people of Abak Midim, Oruk-anam local government in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria(a part of my root lies there). I borrowed a piece of us to write this poem. Also, I send a shout out to all medical personnel in the world, you are the armed forces in this trying times and we remember you always. I send love to every country. It is my prayer that our lands will be healed soon. I would really appreciate it if you leave a comment, let me know what you understand or don’t understand. Thank you for reading this far, please continue😘.

“Whispered Woes”

Let me tell you a story mama told me
The one about the ‘Ekpo’ of Abak Midim you see;
A time when it wasn’t just a man in a costume,
But a resemblance of dead souls that spelt doom

When the time drew near for Ekpo to roam,
The clan trembled in fear and everyone stayed home
Dressed in the hideous mask and nothing else,
Their loud wails resounded like warning bells

Dare to venture out and risk joining the dead;
A bravery that no one comended
Then mordern religion came and subdued Ekpo,
Yet posterity continually whispered woe

Years rolled by and here we are,
The digital age, a beautiful star
Until the whispered woes shook the balance
Ekpo mutated and resumed it’s dance

Abak Midim is not the focus anymore
This new Ekpo hungers for much more
Restricted movements in continents,countries and clan
As it glides in and attacks a specific organ

The earth trembles and everyone stays indoors
Ekpo governs the air while future uncertainty pours
Science toils in pursuit of a breakthrough
While we pray that a solution will come through

I weep for every man and woman
I weep because of the Ekpo of Wuhan.