Categories
Nigeria

Opinion: A Sitting Time Bomb

The protesting Nigerian youth is a sitting time bomb.

Trying Times

I type with trembling hands. These are trying times indeed.

This morning I saw a troop of angry protesters march through town demanding end to police brutality. Since its inception last week, the national protests had gained momentum. For days now the Nigerian youth protested in cities and villages, and everywhere you could find them. The government had ignored them for long and now they want things to change. I mean to change for good. I hope.

Background

It’s common to witness police brutality in Nigeria. Well, everyone thinks that the armed forces uniform grants ultimate power. The police are involved in extortion, extra-judicial killings, bribery and all manner of corruption. This is the unfortunate reality we live in. Worst, they are like puppets in the hands of the government which use them as they chose, especially during elections. I’m particularly annoyed with the extortion of bus drivers. This I have witnessed since I was a child. The roadblocks on our highways and other roads are their markets. This doesn’t paint our law enforcement or the nation good.

Further violence

In some parts of Lagos and Abuja, protests turned violent. Reports of cars being set ablaze, of wounded or killed people, looting, make the coming days look gloomy. In Benin city, videos of prison breaks fill Nigeria’s social media space. In some videos, I saw crying prisoners, thankful for freedom, some police stations burning and of course, hoodlums who took this as an opportunity to rob innocent people. So I’m worried about many things. I’m worried about the future, about my country and about the gunshots I hear in my backyard.

Recently the army planned to resume the Operation Crocodile Smile, the second. I just hope these smiling crocs do not stray into hot boiling water.

What the Youth Demand

All the youth demand is police reforms and end to bad governance. Yes, and gainful employment, plus the provision of basic social goods. We buy water and electricity, while in some countries these are free. I had another thought: if the protesters had a good job, no one will have time to protest. Nigeria’s leaders must be informed again that Nigeria belongs to everyone and resources for all Nigerians.

Will the government and her army play this game? Will they molest and intimidate peaceful protesters? To our dear highly respected armed forces note that the youth is not antagonistic towards you. We are just demanding a better future – one that includes you, the youthful soldier and your generations born and unborn. A word is enough for the wise.

I’m a worried Nigerian youth.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nigeria reflection

Nostalgia: Hills I Call Home

I sit outside my granny’s house, clad in blankets and a pillow. It was a rainy day and a very cold one. The cold extended into the evening and early night. The village is surrounded by streams and hills and this must have contributed to the extreme weather. I left town a few hours ago but the rain caught up with me.

One good thing about this place is it’s hilly countryside – it’s nested in-between ancient hills and surrounded by forests. So morning is a beautiful sight to behold. I remember how scared I was to walk through the path blanketed by tree branches. Trees stuck out their branches, covering the roadside and sunlight. During night time, I mistake those branches as ghostly fingers waiting to grab their victim.

One time I missed falling millipedes as they lost their grip and fell from tree branches. I won’t forget the funny scenario displayed by a friend when a pair of millipedes fell into his shirt. I have witnessed a monitor lizard slain. I also have seen several rodents and snakes disturb the bush. I have seen an owl hunt in the moonlight and soldier ants visit frequently. The hills are their playground. Even now as a young man I feel indifferent towards the hills and her numerous inhabitants. I am suspicious of any movement near the bush path.

Back to my lonely reflection: I feel welcomed by insect zithering. They sing a disturbing lullaby. Sometimes I wish them away. There’s no frog in the vicinity, thankfully. A crazy frog choir would have been worse. Some insects stroll into my room. Crickets hide in cracks. Moths marry my torch-light, sun-flies drive me crazy during the day, wasps and bigger moths buzz about, investigating the lamps around the house and other light craving insects play out their hearts. Indeed, insects are a restless bunch. I know a lot of them but not their names. My favourite is the handsome lady bird.

The cold hands of night grip this tranquil village. It’s very dark out here safe for few stars, which are dots imposed upon the dark sky. I’m familiar with this hilly climate.

Now lightning take images of the clouds and grassland. I see tree skeletons with each flash but the hills are invincible without much illumination. It seems it will rain again. It’s good to be home.

Categories
Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Muse reflection

Time

Make hay while it shines

This talent of mine…

This is one talent I find solace in. It’s an avenue to paint my heart on ink, to play with the soul of nature and record lovely and beautiful memories. In my mind I create a happy and peaceful world; where I live in fine images and thoughts. It’s safe from all manner of pollution. I guard this world jealously.

Each time I pick a pen to write, thousands of little word fairies cloud my mind. Sometimes it feels like magic and other times I’m just the squirrel jumping off the tree. Haha! I’m left to pick the deserving, to mine and enjoy this wealth. It’s really nice to have such a gift. It’s a blessing and I’m grateful for it. I hope every writer, budding and established can relate.

Time

This evening as I write I feel my eyes lazy, my thumbs almost numb but time strings surge forward consuming moments and events as it went. I’m cold but time won’t pause while I fall sick.

Tick tock,” says the clock, “I wait for no man.”

Time is like a moving train. Its seconds and minutes can never be recovered or reversed. Something becomes nothing with time, vice versa. Even nature’s acts have it’s way of working with time; dew can’t wait for the sun, frogs croak when it rains at night, the moon and fireflies light up dark skies and worms burrow when the sun shines. Everything plays its role with time.

Now time won’t mind the weak and lazy, nor those who refuse to work. It flies on, because it’s a pompous but precious commodity. I wish I could spend more of it creating. But if I do I may starve! So I must find a better job to make ends meet, to make income to buy important things like pen and paper. The stress and pressure is so awful but I really want a job related to my gift or turn my gift to work. Either way I could have fun while doing what I love most. I also hope many writers relate.

Epilogue

I do read something before I retire each night. By that I train my mind to make a record for reading time. Also when I read I allow my characters to interact with my real self and other characters from people’s books. In my mind, I can be anything. I can be the emperor, the nun, a horse rider, the little daffodil, a waterfall sometimes and even the stars and sunlight. I can assume any role and find joy playing it. Time is very precious. It’s nice to find some of it to study.

It was a long day for me. I hope that we will never give up on our gifts and learn to manage our time. Have a good night.

Categories
Christianity Inspiration/Motivation Love and Christianity opinion quotes reflection thoughts

Quotes on Resilience

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ Joel Osteen.

A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose. John Maxwell.

I love the light for it shows me the way to go, but I love the darkness more for it shows me the stars. Og Mandino.

We can’t speak about resilience without speaking about hope. Hope is the bedrock of resilience. Reeta Roy

You can stay fours days without food, but the minute you lose hope, you’re dead! Eliud Kipchoge


Always remember that when battles are like a flood there is a standard, a red line it cannot cross. We gain strength by overcoming obstacles.

Ever had to give up? Remember why you started at first. That purpose is the reason why you must persist. Have a great day.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love opinion reflection thoughts

Reflection: Counting the Costs 1

At times you need to stop everything you are doing to sit by yourself and mend your broken wings.

Cold evening and a To do list

I sit outside. A cold evening out here with me. A community of crickets quizzing through the grassland. A gust of wind upon my face, swinging my helpless lamp back and forth. The crickets, just like myself must be musing over the changes in weather conditions. Before now the noon was hot. Strong wind blew hot air and it has been two weeks since we saw the last rain. So all is dry. The mud on the once flooded road is cracked up, exposing the debris. I overheard an elderly man speak that the harmattan will come a little bit earlier this year. To me it’s too early to predict. Maybe the earth is recovering after all. I think.

The year is far spent and almost over. Memories of New year’s eve still fresh on my mind. I remember my wish to start my graduate education and to support some friends and relatives with their endeavours. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck and had most plans canceled or postponed. In spite of that, I’ve made outstanding success in some areas. But the year is not over yet.

On relationships

I’ve learned many things about relationships (dating). Sometimes it scares the trees out of my head to even think about those.

I’m not an expert when it comes to dating. In fact I’m not into one at the moment. I’ve observed my close friends try and it’s crystal clear that managing another person’s emotion(s) can be one huge task. Toxic people and relationships can suck the life out of other people. I’ve seen it happen. Yet I know that many relationships can change things for the better.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love Nature Pastoral Poetry

Thoughts: I Wonder

Sometimes it’s hard to stop a rolling stone, but whenever it may roll, it always seems to find its way back home. Brett Boyett

Home Forever

Dear motherland, I’m proud to call you my home. I’m reminded of sunset, it tells that it ends where it began. From tree branches on the hilly countryside, I see shadows of land retreat with the setting sun. When the sun travels away the shadows of trees and shrubs fall upon the ground, timid firmament blocked by passing grey clouds and day becomes a shadow of itself. Such beautiful landscape and sight I’ll give all to behold every day.

Dancing figures of butterflies and fireflies contradict day and light. Light, dark. Sunlight, moonshine. Beautiful wings spread over this damp earth my fathers walked and tilled.

Everything is magical when I think of you Africa. I truly love you.

Beautiful Land

My beautiful home sits up those ancient majestic hills and spread across fertile green valleys. A land carved by Providence itself, combining both the simplicity of the forest land and sophistication of human civilization. When cold hands of night descend, the beauty is unmasked and seen through mist and moonshine. If you must see, you will wait for the moon. When the moon appears, she is dressed in white. It let’s her light upon the great land and the vast wilderness. Forces of light and darkness may battle. I ponder on what courage that walk the dark night but queer fireflies that fly in droves and glitter randomly. Their light add to the night’s beauty, which words cannot describe exactly. Then I ponder further, fearing for the future of this beautiful land and her people.

I wonder…

I wonder oh Africa, how much gold you worth and yet fall to the wicked hands of poverty. I wonder how you love and in return you are hated. I wonder why there’s so much but yet little to go around. I wonder if I’ll ever grow out of this love I’ve for you. I wonder if I can retain this loving mindset for man and nature forever. But how long should your children wait to become great again?

Categories
education Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle quotes reflection thoughts

Quotes on Helping Others

1. Nothing makes life sweeter than making people happy.

2. The people you help today become your soldiers in the battle of life tomorrow.

3. To invest in properties is good, but to invest in people is far better.

4. To make money, make people.

5. Your greatest trophies are the tears you wipe away from people’s faces not the things you acquire.

6. Your greatest achievement should be raising achievers.

7. People will defend, stand by you & honour you when they realise you value them.

8. Don’t let other people’s ungratefulness stop you from making others great.

Categories
lifestyle love poems nature poems night poems Poetry

Poetry: I’ll Wait

Love can be crazy
Yet I am amused
I try to figure the words
You pelt me with,
When we spoke of love
It was zenith of all, everything
Days and nights
It fell in and out
Maybe this was right,
I look farther away
Towards sunrise
A pint of love on my breast
And strong hope waiting…
To behold another beginning
So I let this patient heart beat
While it wait for you
Time will surely fade
But I will wait for your return

Categories
culture/tradition education lifestyle Nigeria opinion reflection thoughts

Opinion: Leadership Woes

Admitting imperfections are great ways to becoming a better person, people and leaders.

City of Talents and Resilient people

I was born and raised in Ogbor hill, a suburb of Aba, a city in Southern Nigeria. Aba is known for its industry and export of labour to many Nigerian cities and overseas. The city is full of talents and all manner of craftsmen and women live in it. As a manufacturing town, traders and private businesses such as leather works, pottery, brick, electronics, food processing, plastics, metal, cosmetics, distilleries, and fabric call the city home. Most of these factories are owned by private residents. Many foreigners also trade in the city’s large markets and the enterprising spirit in Aba can be likened to none in Nigeria. The city itself is a big market. Aba youth is highly skilled. It’s common to see graduates turn to business as means of livelihood. This enterprising spirit led many to pick up different skills and develop talents to fit in with Aba’s resilient business environment.

Little is done to encourage the budding enterprise which has been in the city for decades. Yet Aba can contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth if her potentials are well harnessed.

Sadly I remember dead startups and factories and even more on their way to moribundity.

Leadership woes

Like most African cities, government neglect is common. Lack of proper economic planning and public infrastructure kept the city running in circles. With no visible economic plan on ground, Aba records low growth and decline in economic activities each year. In civilized economies, a city that shows promising private ventures involved in wealth creation and industrialization is aided by the government. When government steps in, it should be to create an enabling business environment. But this is not always so. There are key areas to focus on should the government decide to fix Aba’s unique economic landscape. First and foremost, good road network and stable electricity should be in place. Sadly, Aba’s road and drainage systems are in a state of limbo and contributes to road accidents recorded each year. In Aba electricity distribution is epileptic, or let me put it in milder words: not consistent. This push away investors and increases cost of production as businesses resort to generators for power.

The Way forward?

The two best ways to start government intervention is by bringing uninterrupted power supply and building good roads in Aba. This two can go a long way in encouraging businesses and startups. Providing clean water, markets, tax incentives and holidays, patronising local content will help too.

Not only will good road networks encourage inter state trading, it will enable access and more businesses to thrive in rural places where electricity is cheaper. If steady electricity is achieved, government can work to reduce the electricity rates paid by startups and businesses.

Despite years of government neglect, the city’s people had grown thick skin to negligence and the saying that life must find a way vividly applies to the city’s hustle and bustle. Aba will continue to live because it is a city made resilient and popular by her own people.

Categories
Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle quotes

Quotes on Unity

When spiders unite they can tie down a lion – Ethiopian Proverb.

None of us is as smart as all of us – Ken Blanchard.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love culture/tradition education lifestyle Love and Christianity opinion reflection

Mechanics of Savings: a Christian perspective

Mechanics of Savings and Financial Intermediation

Savings as described by financial analysts are the portion of income which are not used for consumption expenditures. They are referred to as investments, because huge portions of such savings in financial institutions constitute the capital extended to businesses, governments, individuals and other entities as loans. This is done through the process of financial intermediation. Financial intermediation involves three key parties, the Surplus Economic units, the Deficit Economic Units and the Financial Institutions. The SU’s are the economic units that their current income exceed their current consumption expenditure thereby leaving them with more funds. The DU’s are the economic units that their current consumption expenditure exceeds their current income thereby arousing their desire to borrow to supplement their income. The SU’s and the DU’s do not have direct contact, rather a medium or some kind of intercession is provided by financial institutions. Both SU’s and DU’s can be governments, private individuals, businesses or firms etc. Savings is an important factor in any economy and as such its role can not be overemphasized.

What the Bible says about Savings

The Bible teaches that saving money is a wise practice for many different reasons. God is our source and provider for everything we need.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). One of the main ways God provides for us is through money, and it is our job to steward that money well (Matthew 25:14– 27). We are accountable to God for how we use everything He gives us in this life, including money. Saving money demonstrates good stewardship of the resources God gives us. Saving money allows us to be prepared for the future, and being prepared for the future is good. Proverbs 6:6–8 shows us that this principle is lived out even in nature: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and its food at harvest.”

Planning ahead and saving money makes it easier to accomplish goals and allows us to be more effective in ministry (see 1 Corinthians 16:2). When we don’t plan ahead and save money, we are more prone to go into debt, which the Bible tells us is unwise (Proverbs 22:7). Of course, there are plenty of wrong motives for saving money. If we’re saving money out of
fear of the future, it shows we’re not really trusting God to provide (see Luke 12:7; 2 Timothy 1:7). Miserliness is sin, and it’s foolish and arrogant to make money our security. “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.” (Proverbs 18:11), yet riches “will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” ( Proverbs 23:5). 1 Timothy 6:10 warns against greed, saying, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” To fully understand the value of saving money,
we must remember what the Bible says about giving. God desires His people to be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7). It’s impossible to out- give God! “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). Sometimes when God gives us things, be it money or something else, it’s intended for us to give away. Other times, He gives us things that are meant for us to keep for ourselves and use in His service and for His glory. It’s wise to hold everything God gives us loosely so that we can give it away if He asks us to.

More Study Texts:

Proverbs 6:6-8
1st Corinthians 16:2
Proverbs 21:20
Proverbs 13:11
Proverbs 10:4-5
Proverbs 13:22

Categories
opinion reflection thoughts

Thoughts on Global Tension

An African proverb goes thus: when two elephants fight the grass suffers. The only issue in the case I’m about to discuss is that both the elephants and grasses suffer.

News
Before the advent of novel corona virus, the world knew some peace. I mean there were wars, civil unrests and some economies wobbled on unsteady legs, but the world never came close to this level of distrust, hate, and xenophobia towards one another. Before corona virus we could sit and reason on the same table but this is not the case anymore.

Each day I wake to heart breaking news. Nations isolate, build wall boundaries as the US did across its southern border with Mexico and Brexit from the EU. Other nations focused on territorial expansion and conquest: China, Pakistan and India in Kashmir and Lakda; Israel and Palestine Territories; Greece and Turkey; China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and South China Sea. Spying and economic sabotage is the new. Corona virus for example crippled some economies. Suddenly more satellites are sent into space, more equipment are purchased for armed forces. India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other countries are purchasing military equipment. Lands (and islands, previously without military presence) are rapidly fortified. Economic guru’s say the world economy is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Countries retreat into their shells, to withdraw from alliances and agreements. Nationalism are on record high. It had overtaken common human reason. The human selfish and greedy nature is awoken. Nations pledge loyalty to their benefactors or brethren. Communism and capitalism engage in a ruthless tug of war. Yet the world is faced by other pressing issues like rising poverty levels and insecurity, unemployment and lack of quality education. Lebanon’s economic woe has more than our eyes see. Hong Kong, an important international financial hub is no longer under the influence of the West and this is causing ripples globally. Religion is persecuted and minorities silenced or sent to camps in Asia and Africa. Freedom is gradually suppressed. At this time, things don’t look good for the human race. The truth is that the world is heading for a conflict.

What am I really talking about?

I’m no politician but I follow political trends. I need no gainsaying to know that the world is very sick. I also don’t need a soothsayer to tell that corona virus is not the major bone of contention. Why should America and Europe bear the brunt of the Corona virus disaster while China, where it came from record lesser cases? I don’t want to buy into theories. Not yet.

Every nation and region has a fair share of internal disturbance. This shows that no national ideology is perfect. So we must stop trying to impose on others our ideologies. America and the rest of the world is still contending with racism. Recent global riots on racism and black life matter protests attest to that. China is grappling with human rights violations like the case of the Uighur muslims. The EU has shown its weakness by taking biased decisions. The UK is not perfect, Scotland is dissatisfied and nationalism is growing. The German, French and Italian economies are not that strong anymore, Brussels has a big job to do. Talking about economy, Venezuela, Lebanon, Zimbabwe and some other nations suffer from hyper inflation. Does it look like someone is testing how inflation rates will look on selected samples from each continent? Sine Fein wants political and economic unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Middle East is divided into factions; Iran and Saudi Arabia leading different factions. The war in Yemen is one of selfish interest and does not reflect what the average Yemeni wants. Turkey is fighting for her interests in Libya and currently having a roll with Greece. From Burma, to Thailand and Malaysia human rights abuses are recorded. We don’t need to talk about North Korea, it’s a very secretive country. Siberia just like Biafra and Catalonia demand their independence and liberties from Russia, Nigeria and Spain respectively. This is a global uproar.

To summarize, I have few questions that I’ll like to answer. First, why the sudden land grabbing, territorial expansion and intent to exercise economic and political influence over other people? I know this has been happening before now, but why the sudden intensity? In my opinion, I’ll say with the look of things, it seems that some nations are grabbing resources and spaces in preparation for something. What is this something? Whatever it is, it won’t spell good for anyone.

I’ll end with a rhetorical question: do you agree with me that there are forces anxiously fighting to destroy the global economy and possibly ignite a worldwide conflict?

Categories
quotes reflection virtues

Four Quotes on Humility

Perfection is impossible without humility. Why should I strive for perfection, if I am already good enough? Leo Tolstoy.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. Bill Gates.

True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue. Martin Luther.

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men. Lao Tzu.

Categories
opinion quotes reflection

Quote: Dream big

You’ll never know… Just dream. Dream big.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love education lifestyle Nature opinion

Modern Scramble for Africa

A Bitter Pill

What comes to your mind when you hear about Africa? Savages. Poverty. War ravaged. Disease. Uneducated? Let’s face it, Africa is what it is today because ‘the world’ contributed in keeping it so. We’re only poor by the world’s standard. This is a bitter pill.

Another Scramble for Africa?

The economic hustle and rivalry between the East and West is rooted in selfish interest and greedy conquest. Capitalism vs Communism. Colonialism. Imperialism. Gold-plated forms of modern slavery, with Africa almost at the middle of the tug of war. It’s unfolding to me that some nations are already on course for a second conquest of Africa. It’s easy to play on the gullible African mind. So we trust so easily. We corrupt easily too. The first recorded conquest began late 18th century, when European nations sat on a table to share Africa’s land, people and resources (Scramble for Africa). Not even an African was present to discuss his people’s future but many will play roles in keeping the roots of colonialism watered later. I’ll like to note that more nations has joined this hustle for Africa’s resources. Recently, African children and women in search of greener pastures travel abroad to work as laborers. Some end up in drug peddling and prostitution. Late 18th century saw the European slavers draw up agreements and maps that will enable them exploit Africa’s abundant resources. Now these countries in addition to new arrivals sabotage each other economically to achieve their aims. Every Greek gift; loan, grant and aid play a role in modern slavery. Foreign governments want African resources for themselves and this is not because they care for Africa. I follow trends concerning Africa. I see how Africans are treated abroad. Yet these countries are foremost in exploiting African people and resources. I’ve this to say to all modern slavers: Stay away from Africa.

Kafala System

Have you heard of the Kafala system? The concept is based on buying people to work in private homes abroad. I’ll tell you why I used buy. This idea originated from the Middle East and it’s backed by law. Normally a sponsor (family) pays local and foreign agents to recruit domestic workers (mostly females from Africa and Southern Asia) to work in their homes. On arrival most of these workers are converted to slaves. They are exploited and treated inhumanly by their sponsors.

Let’s look at what may qualify one as a modern slave: when physically abused for no reason, personal belongings like phones and travel documents seized, under fed, locked up in the house when others go out, raped and sexually abused, not allowed to sleep on a bed or couch, sometimes not paid as when due or at all, ignored when sick or just asked to take pain reliever for every kind of sickness, works from morning till night (with little or no rest) and not allowed to socialize. What will you call that? I made the list after my interaction with many victims of the Kafala slavery. Some who had the boldness to speak to me revealed that their mistresses value their dogs over them. Some countries have failed to make laws that protect the rights of domestic workers. This is shameful. Shame to anyone who treats another human as slave. We’re not free until every man is free. Now activists ask that Kafala be abolished. I’m in full support. Abolish Kafala now or make laws that will protect the rights of domestic workers. Abolish all forms of modern slavery now!

Modern slavery goes beyond this flawed Kafala system. Consider rich nations that control the resources of another. That’s modern slavery. When a country instigate chaos in another country. That’s modern slavery. When a country interferes in another’s election or economic decision. That’s modern slavery. Those points may not define slavery exactly but as far as there are elements of exploitation and lack of total freedom, it’s slavery to me.

The end

By now you might have noticed my obsession for Africa. It’s a beautiful place honestly. It’s only bedeviled by bad leadership. Bad leaders contribute to Africa’s suffering. Yet some are only corrupt because of foreign influence and interference. So I won’t blame all African leaders completely for Africa’s woes.

I’ll end with the words of Pocahontas: If you walk the footsteps of a stranger you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew. We’re only poor when measured by the world’s standard.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nature nature poems Nigeria

Reflection: The Virus and China

Not so cuddly thought…

As I lay on my bed I had a thought. A thought that actually provoked many questions. Maybe someone can help me understand these issues better if my opinion does not reflect reality. This is the first reflection on racism, the next will be on Africa. NB: I speak for people, and not governments.

China, Oh China!

I love China. Yes I do. I love Jackie Chan. I love the funny movie Shaolin Soccer where football became a whole new form of thuggery. I’ve several Chinese friends on Facebook and WordPress. I’m amazed at their creativity and industry. I’m amused each time Chinese movies portray people performing martial arts mid air (honestly is that even possible?) I watch Chinese comedy too. My geography classes taught that there are a lot of people in China – that it is the country with highest people population. I read about the Great Wall of China in high school and how it kept bandits and China’s political enemies away. I know a little about the culture and dynasties, language, technology and cities. We sure have a beautiful world and history, don’t we? Talking about Chinese cities; I admire Hong Kong and Macao the most. I can say that they are European flavour in a Chinese soup. Maybe that’s a silly metaphor. The capital city Beijing is so big that it could take in the total population of my home state! There are many big cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou. There are other beautiful things to see in China. Apart from the serene countryside, numerous flowers, rivers, mountains, lakes, and more abound. I’ve seen videos of this beautiful land. I love China indeed.

But…

But I won’t forget Wuhan. No one will forget the city in a hurry. But it’s just a name like New York. Wuhan has engraved itself in the hearts of so many. So history will remember her for the disastrous gift. Let me be plain, the corona virus pandemic started there.

Why the pandemic may have originated from Wuhan, I can’t see this scenario: the local fishermen packaging contaminated food to be shipped abroad. I agree that human interaction helped in spreading the virus. But people won’t deliberately export this virus. People might be innocent. I can’t say that for any government.

I can’t conclude that every Chinese is responsible for the pandemic. That’s quite unfair. I mean we can hold the government and policy makers responsible. Every economic sanction, sabotage or revenge will affect innocent people too, just as the virus ravage distant places. The bad guys are in every nation. We know them.

I deliberately avoided the bad sides of this great nation. I could have mentioned human rights violations, racism against foreigners (will talk more on this later), cruelty to wild and domestic life and labour camps. Let’s face it, every nation has a history, good and bad, just and unjust. But I’m no judge.

For those calling for blood or revenge, there’s absolutely no need for that. The common enemy now is the virus and it’s leading a global warfare. We’ve lost a lot already to it. This is time to stop the blame game and racist attitude. We need China, the same way we need Africa and America and Europe and every other nation on earth. Some governments do not represent public opinion.

Diversity is strength. I prefer to see the good side of every nationality. I only pray that one day the bad guys will have no stake in our political future.

This is just a humble reflection. Have a good night.

Categories
culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry reflection rhyme tips

Imagining Love

Imagine riding a horse into sunset
Or sitting with kids to hear rare stories
Or listening to country late into the night
Or picking beautiful flowers & berries,

With the one you truly love…

Start a blog here.

Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Reflection: Respecting our Environment

Most of my quiet times are for self reflection. Each time I prepare to reflect, I take nothing along, invite no one and try to keep my brain free of thoughts. I assume that I’ve nothing save from myself and my environment.

During my stay in Workers Village, Tudun Amba in Lafia, Nigeria, I take long walks away from home. I pick a quiet place where I can enjoy uninterrupted connection with my environment. Luckily green fields surround my neighborhood. I only had to find a good spot, under some tree shade to reflect. Our environment returns whatever we give to it, respect is reciprocal.

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We won’t know the true extent of Providence if we continue to ignore the impact of our activities on the environment. We are tenants and the Environment our landlord. No good tenant treats her landlord wrong, vice versa.

I remind myself that peace and tranquility is an extraordinary mix gifted to man by his environment. This is the best time to reflect on ways to treat our environment better.

I speak for green things, the trees and wildlife, and everything that considers itself living. Happy World Environment Day.

Here, read ways we can keep the environment safe and clean.


The picture above was taken in my favourite hangout spot in Tudun Amba, Lafia, Northern Nigeria. I now travel and live both in urban or rural communities of Southern Nigeria.

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Africa education lifestyle Nature opinion Pastoral reflection

Letter: Heal today

Dear Friends,

I always talk about forgiveness because someone out there needs to let go. Life is designed in such manner that people may not always have it as they wish or want. So disappointments, heartbreaks, hurt, betrayal and pain are unfortunately part of life. Being good does not guarantee that people will be good to you. Loving does not guarantee a returned love. But letting go is best attitude. It is in our best interest to let go. Never go sour because the world is sour. Be different and heal your world.

I want you to heal today. I want you to let go of waiting for appreciation or apologies, of worrying about unreturned affections, of crying over the past. I want you to forgive yourself and everyone who had wronged you. A life lived on gratitude, love and peace is priceless. May you receive the love you put out there today.

Love ❤,

Oke

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Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 28: Humility

The way up is down. You don’t know how strong you are until you forgive someone who is not sorry for what he/she did or until you accept an apology that was never given. That is real strength.

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Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Thoughts on Covid-19

Even with the breaking news of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Abia State, some still doubt the media and think that the news is a hoax. People can be stubborn you know, add ignorance and then you can imagine what it can birth.

The human nature is fraught to benefit at the expense of others. This pandemic has become a money spinner for some people. Now substandard products flood the market. Consumers will have to exercise extra care when selecting safety products (hand sanitizers and face masks).

Advice: Remember NOT to touch your face, especially the nostrils, eyes and mouth. Don’t touch walls, public railings, seats, generally things that are for public use or outside your home. This will include eating out, using public cutleries, handshakes, hugs, and other human intimacy. Use disinfectants and spirits always to clean surfaces, bought materials, and yourself.

I’m sure we will overcome this. We need to take care. Stay safe.

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lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

My thoughts on Love

I love you and I want you to know.

We know that love is a feeling and a state of mind, desirous to be there for someone or see a person succeed or be better. This desire lead to kind acts and actions summarize it all. Yet love can be expressed verbally.

Who needs to know you care for them? Everyone! Family, friends, co-workers and neighbours. Acts of love are passed through our kindness and compassion for people and living things. How you treat people and your environment speaks volumes about yourself. Kindness, compassion and selflessness are loving virtues. Anyone who loves others loves himself. We are love creatures.

Loving someone means, “I love your life, your intentions, your interests, your aspirations, your hopes yet you’re not a threat to my life and aspirations.” So I enjoy loving you for you.

While we pray and work to cleanse our land of the virus, reminding someone of your love can bring hope. Drop a beautiful message to your loved ones today.

It’s a rainy morning. I’m grateful to love you another day 💛❤️💚😘

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Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 26: Be Kind

Be generous with kind words and deeds.

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education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 25: Diligence

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

_Martin Luther King Jr

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Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 24: Be Strong, Be Yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”_Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 23: Generosity

Spare a coat, clothe the naked
Spare a spoon, feed the hungry

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 22: Get Knowledge 2

A lack of knowledge creates fear, seeking knowledge creates courage.

NB: To reject something you know nothing about is ignorance.

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 21: Faith 2

Believing is seeing, not the other way round.

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

I choose Faith over Fear

Just few months ago the world celebrated the new year. People, companies and countries nurtured aspirations and dreams, hoping for a happy year. But the advent of the virus brought fear and uncertainty. With what is going on, this pandemic may cause economic stress across the globe, particularly in Africa.I’m happy it’s Friday evening. All primary and secondary schools in Abia State closed today. So holidays have officially started. Due to the sit at home notice issued by the government I may not travel home. I’m sitting outside, to enjoy some quietness and breeze. I wonder how long we’ll wait to hear that the virus is gone. I’m not afraid, the world have suffered worse before now.In my area, there’s no news of the virus yet. People still go about their business despite the warnings. I’m grateful to all fighting this scourge and I pray for those who doubt the existence of a Supreme God. In these times and always, I choose faith over fear. Life is surely vanity without faith.Let’s stay safe and be grateful for life. My thoughts and prayers to you all. I know we’ll smile again. Good night 💛💚💙

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culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 20: Dream

If you can dream it, you can do it

_Walt Disney

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 19: Get Knowledge

Not to know is bad, not to wish to know is worse. African proverb.

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culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Series

Self Reflection 17: Companionship

Surround yourself with worthy people. Your network is your net worth.

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culture/tradition education lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 16: Look beyond

Look beyond the mirror called self.

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culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 15: Compassion

Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.

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Africa education lifestyle

Update on Covid19

The World Health Organisation (WHO) asked African leaders and health institutions to prepare for the worst. I’m afraid, African leaders are doing little or NOTHING to prevent the spread of the virus. Moreover, health institutions in Africa is in shambles, so I don’t know how we will be preparing to prevent the spread of Covid19 with all these drama. In Nigeria for instance, life goes on as usual. Public associations and places are not limited, restricted or isolated respectively. Markets, schools, and religious centers are still open. Morning news headlines read that there are 8 confirmed Covid19 cases in the country. The figures may be growing elsewhere in Africa! People make joke of the virus, thinking that the virus is ineffective in the tropics. But I’m not bothered about this goof, I think that more should be done on providing education on the virus.

As much of Africa’s population live in remote/rural areas, disseminating relevant information may be difficult. The government, nay everyone can a role. While NGO’s can help educate the rural populace about the virus, teachers in schools can suspend some lessons to teach students about it too. Taking Covid29 lightly may bring unforeseen mayhem. I plead with bloggers to share information on the virus. Information is power. Let us help stem this scourge.

#coronakindness

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Africa education lifestyle Nature

Thoughts on Africa and Covid19

I follow recent global events with keen interest. I’m worried and hope that this scourge end soon. I’m aware that the growing pandemic is leading lesser economic activities across the globe and this may cause hard times for African economies in particular.

Most African nations depend solely on exports for survival. Nigeria, like many other countries depend on crude oil, solid minerals and agro product export. Imagine what will happen when foreign borders, economic and physical are closed and there is no market. Now let me highlight Africa’s major problem as public resource mismanagement. When public resources are hijacked by bad leaders with no foresight and ineffective economic planning, growth is retarded. Corruption and political instability has led Africa down the wrong path and it has become the way of life in some nations. Now we face a bigger problem which our leaders may downplay as well.

If leaders utilized those plundered resources to create opportunities and diversify our economy, we may stand in a position to render help to other nations. But of course, we are always at the receiving end, receiving both mercy and pity. American, Chinese and European agencies are worried that Africa may not be able to contain Covid19 should it escalate. What can I say?

I write from my bed, these thoughts refused to let me be. Good night everyone.

#coronakindness

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Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 13: Happiness

Fill yourself with joy. Let your inner self radiate true happiness.

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Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 12: Patience

The law of sowing and reaping may take time to manifest sometimes, but it will surely come to pass.

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culture/tradition Nature Pastoral Series

Reflection

I wonder why we, sophisticated humans find it hard to love. If we all can take a lesson or two from ants, the world may just be as peaceful as the anthill.

I saw on Facebook a video of people being tormented and executed somewhere in Asia and Christians in Northern Nigeria and a human was busy recording. We have come to a point that someone falls in a ditch and people around will first take a video of him before trying to save the person. It breaks my heart and I think we have failed. It’s painful, as I write and in no time will sleep, thankfully in peace that some people, children, women, men are hiding in forests and caves, away from comfort. I pray that God intervenes and that we look beyond the mirror called self. If all religion preach peace and love, then can we let this love lead?

Good night everyone.

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Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 10: Don’t worry

Worry gives a small thing a bigger shadow. Feed your faith and don’t be anxious!