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Daily Journal

“It is only the sun that visits the sea, the sea does not go to the sun”-An Ibibio proverb


I am a son, even when I may not be the sun. I wonder from which subconscious part of my brain that I dig up the Ibibio proverbs.

You know, I was meant to be riverine but I do not love the water. I think the best way I love moving is air. So, when my seafaring friend comes to mind, I remember one Bonny Island trip I did not take up during service. I am meant to be a seafarer too, he thinks. Let me not talk about it.

So, I was dropped off at the NLNG jetty as early as 5.30am to start an adventure. And if travelling by sea was just about this, then there is nothing to worry. Confidence 2 was a pretty vessel and very comfortable. It was like a small aircraft and the whole NLNG transport system was operated like that. We had less trouble to Bonny Island because it was via a large river by the same name, not high sea per se. For an hour and a half, we cruised.

It felt so nice that when we were passing, my friend stood at his gunship and waved from the deck. He is the chief engineer. I waved back. It was like a scene from the movies. I was on a Business Class ticket and picked where I wanted to seat-by the window where I will see him!

I had someone with our names printed waiting for us on the other side, at the arrivals. We went with him on a bus to the gas plant on the island for a meeting. The only thing was that after it, we could not go as our boat was booked for evening. Time flew by and I was home, with memories of a water trip sticking.

“Man was not made for the law, the law was made for man”-the Bible


I love the Bible because it is a very realistic book. For instance it paints God’s laws as being reasonable and often considers circumstances. When I was heading to Garden City earlier this year, I had an excess luggage of like 2kg.  I had been in the queue for long and was running late as the flight was soon to board. I did not expect the young pretty lady at the counter to be reasonable, they often are not. I wanted to pay for it but she waved it off to my shock. I made sure that I tipped her over the amount for the excess luggage, she refused the tip and I persuaded her to. I can keep using that airline that made me spend two days trying to fly home just because of her.

Today, it was the opposite. A bus. I wonder why a 14-seater bus would keep to a 30-mins in advance check-in time, and I arrived 20 minutes before departure and paid a fine, only to sit and wait for others that arrive late and leave 7 minutes after supposed departure. It is very unreasonable. I may stop using a regular and so-far-so-very-good transport service because of another her. When I was delayed several times by over 20mins, they did not pay me anything.

The journey was smooth, but the rest of the day was eventful.

I had Goodnews visit to show me his new gadget, then I picked up my friend who was in town as his vessel was docked not so far away. Then my sister by the same name came down as she was to travel the next day, but I could not meet her until 11pm as we had gone to use the ATM and the truck shocked us by breaking down, two days after maintenance. It was a funny story. It was late and no mechanic, unsafe to park.

We tried to fix it but it did not work, but traced what the problem was: a faulty fuel pump. We pushed it and later got someone to tow it.

I am just very tired. I have something to prepare for tomorrow but I cannot.

“Repeated admonition does not guarantee that the message are heeded” –Me, obout the delay in going home.


I have really missed you because I have been so busy and tired. I will talk less about this for now.

After the very successful last night, we were determined to arrive at the assembly hall early today and we almost did.

During the noon break, I saw someone from my congregation back at my hometown. It was a lovely thing. He is in school and I do hope that we both see him.

I decided to try something during noon, to go and meet up with the family that I had twice promised to visit and did not show up. I had lunch with them and it was ofada rice and native sauce. If you do not know what I am talking about, “ask gooogle”.

I was wearing something different and it kept everyone talking. Many concluded that I was wearing an Akwa Ibom traditional attire, but I had adapted something into it, and still I did not have the waistcoat, beaded shoes, walking stick and wrapper, but it was still colorful.

I think I must have greeted all I could remember in the congregation, especially as we had a cleaning of the conveniences to do. It was a task I was a task I was meant to oversee. It went very well and swift, but at the tail part, we got stuck and spent an extra hour trying to put it right. The simple thing is that someone did not heed the repeated announcements.

I was very grateful for the patience and support that the brothers and sisters showed; but what looked like sacrifices for me was one brother in the cleaning department going all the way in an unimaginable way to get it done, and my troublesome friend, Abigail giving him her support all through, throwing away picture time from her mind.

I found the bus not bad, but a bit rickety, compared to the one last year. It had no AC and the driver was pretty rough. It had started raining, but the joy of the convention where we learnt about courage was making us radiate. We sang all through even as the bus went up and down potholes.

It was when we stopped that we felt the real impact of the rain. I live 2-minutes-walk from where the bus stopped but we stood in the bus for 20 minutes and a shade for 40 minutes as the rain poured until it was dark.

It was a Sunday that became a Rainday.

“There have been a prison break in Satan’s jail and these people you see standing got out”- The speaker of the convention’s baptismal discourse.


I had an invite yesterday that I could not honour. An entire family were waiting for me, but there were factors that made me not to be able to show up. I cancelled the appointment early enough though. When it was imperative that I would do the same this evening, I felt sad. I called to cancel the appointment again, but it turned out to be pretty good because ‘all roads led to our hotel’.

That my friend did not give up his design disturbance, and he was very fortunate. I had brought along my laptop because of him. My experience in engineering design made me realize that many things will be modified and there are always corrections. I was able to complete it for him though.

I was late for the convention, but it was not because of the design. There was a little water problem with water and we had to wait for it to be pumped to have our bath. Then as soon as we moved in the vehicle, there was a downpour. There being only one umbrella in the vehicle meant that I had to do a little commuting, taking those that came with us to the auditorium from the car park.

The convention was interesting, it highlighted examples of courage in the past and during our days. Of course, one thing that stuck to our minds was the tiny animal, the mongoose, it showed a great example of courage. It feeds on poisonous snakes bigger than it is and it was amazing how it does it. There was a thunderous applause even before the video clip got to the end. The lesson was clear, the mongoose relied on its natural defenses and abilities to overcome the snake, and we too need to depend on the defenses provided by Jehovah to be able to overcome Satan, “the original serpent”.

I met more people during the noon break, almost everyone. There was however something more to be excited about. It was the baptism. Three people from our congregation got baptized: Grace, Joseph and Excel. It was one of the best things to happen and the congregation thronged at the exit to wait for them and welcome them and take photographs. It was a joyous occasion.

Two of those baptized were somehow staying in the same hotel as we did and there was a party to welcome them in the evening, so everyone turned up. It was an amazing party, my kind of party. It was pretty too that there were coming to where I was, so I was not worried about the cancelled visit anymore because they were around too.

In the end, it was a lot of words of encouragement for them and we heard from them. Their projection for the future in terms of spiritual goals were good. One threw all off balance and made us roll with laughter. Excel, a teen said he wants to be a congregation elder in the next three years. It was very funny.

Those who wanted sat down to watch a rather bizarre but interesting match between Samdoria and Inter Milan. It had three disallowed goals and an inter goal on a third trial seconds before the final whistle. It was a day of fun.

“The thing about them is that the love they have is different, it is expressive, it is deep”- Me, about my congregation in Lagos


I have never left a set of people behind and feel so guilty, never. I have been a people’s person from the start, always been, but these people are absolutely different. They touch your heart and the mark sticks. I have been trying to solve their enigma but with no success.

Today was the first day of the ‘Be Courageous’ regional convention in my congregation and I was meeting people after months. It was warm and lovely greetings all through. There is hardly anything that will compare to the love here, hardly anything.

The convention was special, it always is. The talks, videos, people. The atmosphere was so warm. It took away all the stress of yesterday, all the disappointments from Eko never changing for good. I knew it will all melt away, the stressful feelings. Love covers all things, doesn’t it?

In the evening we had guests in our hotel. Some people I have not met yet since I returned came around and I was happy to see them.

The kids were especially interesting to be with and everyone kept asking if I was finally back.

I have had little time to talk these days, so let us keep it short until time spread out like a book to write on.

“I am biased with choosing people, but there are some that from the start, you know that they belong to the top drawer…”-Me, in a chat with a friend weeks ago


I was woken up this morning by a call, 4am precisely. I had only slept for less than two hours. It was that friend again. Whatever it was that he wanted me do must be so important to him, and he was also keeping a promise of waking me up.

Life is a journey, and by living, I think I was about to take one this morning, that early. I was very nervous. You know, I will try to make you understand by an illustration. I am meant to be in a relationship with Cici Eko, but work has taken me away from her. She is very insecure because even when I was around, it was more of complaints and tolerance than professing love. At work, I have a secretary called Miss Garden. Eko thinks that Garden is a threat to our supposed love and she is jealous and has labelled all kinds of accusation. I was going back to Cici Eko today and I am pretty scared. What if she pours hot water on me? I hope you know that I am referring to cities and not people.

Well, it was a journey that I promised, but was not certain until I could sort work out. I mean, I had to ‘workout work’ and surprised myself. I seem to love the thrills of keeping deadlines and promises. A promise that involves children are ones that should be taken care of. Mine involved children and there was no excuse not to keep it.

I have always been keen on people I travel with, and often I say little to those by my side, especially when they initially respond to a conversation coldly. I have hardly had someone I travel with that is worth remembering for long, but I think I met my match of a travelling companion today, someone with a “Chii” name, and someone that belonged to the top drawer of travelling companion, by that I mean someone that sits beside you on a journey.

I think it was the Eko-Garden City argument that sparked off the conversation from the very start of the journey. I found myself defending Eko and the defense soon crumbled. I have not seen someone hate Lagos as much. And in the end, it was a discussion that lasted the entire trip. There were too many topics that were shared, when the person was an engineer and had an open mind on religion, seem to know good movies, was once a writer, could be a good art critic… it was one of my best trips for a long time. It was one journey I will not easily forget.

How did Cici Eko receive me? I walked into her arms and I was excited. I thought I was forgiven for the times of being away, but the initial welcome was really all I got. I should have known better. First, my Taxify efforts did not bring quick results as the three taxis I booked for were on the other side of the expressway and would take a little time to arrive. I had NO time. Eko gave me a rickety taxi that wires would be joined together for it to start, and I paid twice the price.

Every other thing about Eko was annoying. She so punished me that I wanted to go back to Garden City. Eko earned a new nickname from me,

Look

About,

Go

On

Suffering;

I meant LAGOS. I wondered how people survive here. It is funny that this is coming from me. Going for the location of the convention I came to attend is a story I rather not tell here.

What was more important was that I met friends that I have so missed, and one big friend that was around because he kept a promise he made 8 months ago, travelling for an entire day, halfway across the globe to be here.

Another solace after the annoying journey was the hotel or lodge or whatever it was. Whoever built it had so much taste and it was a refreshing place to stay in, even when the road was pretty bad.

“You have strong eyes”-My Mother, as my ability to tamper with sleep as a kid


You should know that I am writing this tomorrow. Today was one of the ‘longest days of my life’. I am using a phrase that my brother Solo would use for each day he spends in Lagos when he comes for something. When he first arrived to visit, he did not really comprehend what Lagos stress is. He said we were ‘only bones without flesh’. Forget about him being a mouthy person that could give funny names to everyone on the spot. He called us ‘stockfish’ and later confessed that if he is in that city, he would have been so lean.

I had work today, big work. By that I mean I had an aspect of work to complete today and failure to do so would make complex my plans for tomorrow. I was successful. My sister was stopping by to drop something from Mum but I barely had time for her. There was something else.

I do not know if they give me thrills, but I had something that could not wait till tomorrow and it was a plea for help. I could not have done this for many people, but he was a friend. I kept awake until 2.30am tomorrow…too tired to write.

“Sometimes, you need to step on a toe to get the train moving”-Me


I was very tired last night, you must have noticed if you did not sleep off as soon as we started talking. I was happy that you slept because I felt sleepy too, even during the nearly one hour of call. Sleep can really be a beautiful thing when one is tired.

However, the beauty of sleep does not last when one is thinking. I had a truckload of things on my mind yesterday. People say that one should “sleep over” things, and I did. I woke up with the truckload becoming a trainload. I was facing a race against time and control was not yet in my hands so I had to wrestle the control as fast as I can. It was a mail that did the magic.

I think it is something I took from my childhood. I normally forgo a lot of things and ‘take things lightly’, but too many ‘lights’ make a ‘thick’. When those things I cannot not succeed without surfaces, I try diplomacy first and when it does not work, I change to a more drastic approach and get what I need on time.

Well, a 6am mail got everyone running around by 7am and I was able to do what I needed to do from 8am and by 2pm we were still there. I mean, there is so much uncertainty in life and waiting is something that requires so much patience.

Work went well, and by that I meant well into the evening, defying the rain and the odds.

A classmate and old friend called. It had been so long a time, just that the excitement was cut short because there were unpalatable news shared. In the past few weeks, she lost a younger sister and her mother. One could only comfort with the hope of resurrection.

Mother and sister both called, mine. At least that was comforting. Sadness mixed up with stressful days are not good. I am too tired (yawning), let me sleep.

“The only difference about us is language; our stories are the same…”- Genevieve Nnaji, on CNN, about her film Lionheart


I have this feeling that this movie can make me renew my Netflix subscription which has been on hold since 2016. I remember one of the last movies I watched on it, a movie adaptation of a bestseller, To Kill a Mockingbird, I so loved the little girl that was the lead character. She was my kind of child!

Now, talking about language, how do I talk? I want you to be honest about it. Do I have some type of posh accent, either real or made up? I am tired of people claiming that I do. I think it is the way they listen (they say I pronounce it lisn). Early this evening, where we were trying to get matching components for a drawing I made, I went to get airtime in the next shop. I mentioned the network I wanted it for and the two ladies there just kept repeating it. Then they asked if that is how I speak or I was just putting up a show. The more I tried to say no, the more they repeated what I said. It was almost embarrassing.

Now, I met someone called Believe yesterday. It really sounded funny, but that kid had a lot of savvy, believe me. He asked a lot of questions and made a lot of observations.

I remembered him today because of the belief that if you do things to people, the same thing could happen to you. I do make a lot of calls, or so they say. Today, I got a call for almost an hour from my now former colleague. It was a good call.

Today was competing with yesterday for the hottest sun, and today worn. I was often thirsty and a lot of water was taken. I was so tired and for one of those few times felt hungry, the type of hunger that disappears when it sees food.

Well, I am racing against time to meet up with my Cici this weekend. I mean Cici Eko. Miss Garden is pulling off a stunt that makes me wonder if she is having some sort of unspoken emotional attachment like what a movie called a “real side chick”. I hope you know that I am referring to cities.

I talked to my brother, that one you know, after a “long time”, our kind of long time which is 12 hours.

 

“Doing something requires more will than power”-Me


I do not know why it is becoming a habit to miss breakfast on Sundays, I have a feeling that it is deliberate, a scheme jointly carried out by my right and left hand-sides.

Today was a bright day, an extremely sunny day. It was the type of scourging sun that stuck Jonah in Nineveh and he wanted to die after the gourd plan was eaten up by worms. I thought the sun had won over the entire day when rain struck by 5.30pm. I was still out preaching then, just about to leave. It subsided eventually and as soon as I used the window to get to my street, it poured angrily. The rain has not really been happy about my rainbow pact and looks for every opportunity to get back at me.

Well, I may not have intended to be out in the field that long, but preaching is so fun a thing. It gives one a kind of immeasurable joy at the end that clouds over any negative feelings that may have been felt in the course of meeting unresponsive, unreasonable or verbally abusive people.

Well, it was a day that a lot about Moses was discussed. He was so meek and so righteous that one wonders how he got to miss out on entering the Promised Land as he was at the threshold. He let the actions of others make him sin in one of the only moments of his madness recorded in the scriptures. He just lost it, his temper, good judgment and all.

When preaching, we meet a lot of people. I met two that fit into the description of those I have not met for a long time. One was beating about the bush and turning in circles, so it was difficult to see an intellectual basis to discuss. The other was…trying to show intellect, but in a different way.

It was funny where he was trying to show that: in a Batcher or mini-slum. It was obvious that he was revered there and he readily let us know that he was a “been-to”, I mean, had stayed abroad. By abroad, I did not mean Cameroon. His story will not make a bad read.

Now, let me remind you, there is a difference between preaching to someone you meet for the first time and teaching those you have met before. We went to see someone in that batcher when he called us and claimed we had avoided talking to him because he was drinking and smoking. He asked for a magazine and while we introduced a topic from the Bible its theme was taken from, he claimed he was done with reading as the message from the Bible was something he was not interested in. we were puzzled.

He used a lot of “f” and “s” slurs, and made up an accent and readily stated he had been to another country. Anyways, he said someone did study the Bible there until he needed help and the one studying the Bible with him refused it. It sounded like the ego-soothing justification he wanted to sell, but we pried. He said he had “issues with the law” and “wanted a surety” but “would not like to go into details”, but the man “behaved like the white man he was and said things should be done the right way”. So, he decided to stop studying the Bible.

He next said we all come from the “big bang theory, do you know what that is?” I am only telling you what he said without our replies, but I told him that if he is trying to try my intellect, then this was not the avenue as I will not respond. “I went to the uni, you know” he said. I laughed in my heart.

I am still laughing now. Can something originate from a theory?


“There is a thin line between patience and waste of time”-Me


Of course I have said this before, and I will keep saying it again and again if it applies to a particular day. I am referring to the writing above. I know that you are thinking about the blog setting, but I am coping with that pretty well. In fact, it has led to a lot of new discoveries and I am thirsting for time and space to be able to explore them. I hope you like how the blog looks now. I know if a pro touches a button or two, it will be near what I want. How do you know that he is not about to do that now? In short, I hope to put the blog up to the view of more people, and this our tiny discussions will not only be for your ears. Don’t worry, no one will take your place in my heart from you. It is 12 hectares.

So, what tested my patience that much? No, it was not the emotional patience but the patience of waiting. I had a colleague from Lagos again, he arrived this morning and was to do some work in another location. We were to help him get some items and drop him off. I have forgotten to tell you that that agreement signed between me and Nature for less rain is still valid. It has been sunny and partly sunny days since. Today’s sun was the type that crack coconuts and scourge ‘coconut heads’. It started pretty early, so it was not much of a surprise that I craved for ice-cream. We stopped to buy.

Okay, I paid and waited for the ice cream maker to mumble churning sounds as if grumbling that I disturbed her sleep. Nothing came out after ten minutes. The girl tried again….someone else came to try. The machine had to stop the sound for the cream to be dispensed, she refused. OFF. ON. START…continuous grumbling…30 minutes went by, I was still waiting, this time around for my refund. I still had a thirst, but a thirst of leaving as I was waited for.

Talking about waiting for something, I finally got the shipped equipment. The more we looked at it, the more we saw the clumsiness of the system it is meant to be used in, but there is always a way around things.

It was a day of trips as we dropped off our colleague where he was to work and on our way back, saw epic battles between the sun and rain as each lost and gained territory. It was also as if they jealously guarded the demarcations. There will be very heavy downpour as we drive past a place, and in the rain we could see where there was intensive sunshine.


“It is the child that scatters army ants that bite the elders”-An Ekid proverb

I have been asking myself ‘who sent you?’ for the past hours. I have not slept this night and I am certain I will be up till 2am tomorrow morning. It is this blog. I updated something and used the updated version, not knowing that all the settings are off…I mean gone! All the months of sweat, how will I know how it was and put it up before tomorrow when you are awake?

I do not know what made me have this excessive desire to experiment today. I had spent over an hour earlier trying to do something on Microsoft Sway. I love Sway (I sway), but I was bent on integrating it to the blog. It would have been a lovely way to post, but I know nothing of embedded codes and yet I refused to give up.

I am fond of insulting the computer, and on nights like this, they get back their pound of flesh. Let me keep struggling, at least to bring up the pages. I hope all our little chats are intact, if not, I sway I will break the head of this computer. Come on, “sway” is not a swear word.

Today was a day of expectation, when the final piece of the work puzzle was meant to arrive. I was expected too to show up with it on site, but it failed to arrive when it should. That was annoying enough, but I kept my calm and looked for ways to calm nerves…then it happened!

Open your ears. I exploded. I mean, it was for a few seconds, but it drove in a point, that I could be upset too. It reminded me of two movie moments, one is Sound of Music where the governess had an argument with Captain Trapp, her boss. He was in the heat of the surprising exchange forced by his brain to call her “Captain”. Another is a movie, where the boss said “Listen to me” and in the heat of it, the subordinate said “No, you, listen to me” and the boss listened.

All the same, I am not going to tolerate anyone delaying me here anymore. I am tired of it, the losing of control for what I am responsible for.

I learnt one thing about myself in the incident. One of the things that gets me upset the most is the judgment of motives, it brings sacrifices to the fore, sacrifices I had hidden. In a language that you will understand, let me say this ‘don’t ever compare me to the ‘them’ and use that to judge my actions. And don’t take my delegation to mean permissiveness because the people I deal with, I know them, and most of them can put their lives on the line for me, if they do not do it for you or for others, it may just be that you are not me’

That explanation seem to confuse more. Let me be out of here!

“…I do not want to go to the university, I want to learn a trade…” –P.U.

When a very heavy downpour started this morning, I knew I had more hours of sleep. It is amazing how the weather works. Of course I studied it in school to understand it more, but let me ask the question a layman would ask: if the sun takes moisture up to form rain, why does the rain mostly fall in the rainy season when the sun is less? I suppose the simple illustration of condensing water from a boiling kettle is not enough.

Do you want me to bring up the controversial topic of higher education? I have a degree and I think it suits me well, having a degree. I am not saying that not having one would not have suited me too, depending on what the alternative would have been. People think I am a book person and have on more than one occasion called me names like “Prof”, “Scientist” and in the university “Aristotle”.

Unfortunately, I am not a book person, I have never been. You see, those days, people believed that “scientists” were at the highest level of intellectual knowledge that will revolutionize the world….Newton, Einstein, etc. People in secondary school did not separate these ones to be Chemists, Physicists, and Engineers and so forth, they were all “scientists”.

A lengthy conversation with a young person made me reflect on why I made the choice I made in terms of career. I saw that I insisted on making my personal choice and did forgo a lot of “opportunities”. I was very impressed when this young person (who initiated the conversation) said she does not desire to go to the university but wants to learn a trade. It was a bit of career talk, and I was impressed. For youths who know me, then they would phrase it the way I often do: the YOUNG PEOPLE ASK: WHAT WILL I DO WITH MY LIFE? Question. Coincidentally, this came hours after another young person had asked about engineering courses.

Over the years, I have written a lot of negative things about university education, especially the quality and value in the country. The fact is that everyone wants to go ‘for going sake’. I remember an article in a magazine in either my first or second university years: GOING HIGHER, IS IT WORTH ALL THE STRESS? In that article, I claimed that the [Nigerian] university experience is “a systematic way of learning how to cope with stress”

More recently, in a poem Oil Wails, I called additional degree holders “Master of Papers” and “Doctor of Colored Papers”.

Of course, higher education has its own advantages, but it has dangers and should not be hoped on as a guarantee to success.

Today went well and meetings were in the evening. With Evergreen back, I knew that she will persuade me to sit with her family and promise not to disturb. It was about to go well when Benetia, the four-year-old you know, wanted to speak into my ears. She said I should not sit there or she will not ‘be my friend again’. I told her it was like a welcome, and I had already agreed. Another word into my ears….she said she has permitted me. It was like adults having a conversation and it nearly made me laugh.

I thought the problem was over until after the Christian meetings when the four-year-old came fuming: I have not sit with her, with her family before, why must I with someone else. I was stunned, and she was really upset. I asked her when I can do that, she said “today” and I went blank. How can I do that when Christian meetings is already over?

“Sometimes I wonder what the greatest problem of this country: corruption or religion”-Me, in a conversation.

I got a quick answer from my best friend. He said that [false] religion is a form of corruption.

It was the second day of there being no power supply and I realized how our lives in this planet is tied to electricity. I had a lot of things to do with the computer and my devices were off, except one, and the reliable ‘small phone’ every Nigerian seem to have, and almost always a Nokia.

I did do some reading, but later, my mind started wandering towards fixing the generating set. We were scheduled to be out by about noon, but then came the rain. I have hardly experienced such an intensity of rain, it was as if it was with anger. You know, on Monday, I had a promise from heaven, a rainbow. It was a sign that the continuous days of rain would pause, and it did. Sun shone the following day being yesterday, and today too. This rain was as if I was warned by Rain itself that she is still around.

It fell for like an hour and stopped. It was crazy when we went out and saw that there was no drop of rain in a place that was like 7 kilometres away, I mean not even a drop. How does Nature do it, this game of fooling us?

Well, when we returned in the evening, the 36-hour power outage was over. I was even more excited to talk to the one I call My Personal Assistant who just returned after the holidays here. Kids do respond to impact, and when one can, one should dish out positive influence.

You are waiting to hear me talk about religion. I have been critical of what people regard as religion, the hypocritical ones. In two days, I have had reason to. I had a classmate share something on social media. Sometimes, I try to make settings on social media so stringent that I control what I see, but really, the whole place is flooded with information.

Okay, this my classmate is a pastor by profession, at least he has a church and a very large following. He was sharing what another pastor did, a miracle and glorifying ‘God’ for it. The other pastor had miraculously ‘changed the genotype of a sickle cell patient (SS) to the genotype AA and also cured another person of HIV’. That pastor must be God.

I attended the same secondary school with the former, and I wondered where he was during biology classes. It is easy to believe that illiterates are gullible, but really, I curiously went to the comment section to see what people will say, but everyone was ‘glorifying God’.

Yesterday, as we were driving out for the radiography results, an old man dropped an invitation in the vehicle. It was the image of several apelike creatures, carried by a man dressed as a Muslim that made me laugh. The man was carrying them in a tray, and there was something about “operation drop the evil load’.

The church said its nickname is “Last Bus Stop” and promised to relief anyone who came of evil loads including unemployment and childlessness.

One was expected to come for the “tarry night” with olive oil, a list of your evil load, and names of at least 7 enemies and deposit them in a tin for prayers…

And someone was calling me this evening and claiming all religions worship [the true] God.

Please, let me not get myself upset.

“The problem with consistency is that it blinds you from reality”- Me

I had a very tiring yesterday that ended this morning. I had to sleep and expectedly woke up late. There were few things to wake up for, except maybe waiting up till noon for the radiography test results to be produced.
It was meant to be a lazy day, but I have ways of making such days busy. I had to shift my attention to writing mails, pressing for the ‘last piece of the jigsaw’ item to be sent down for work, or at least we be told it’s whereabouts. It can be really distressing, the shroud of uncertainty about anything.
I knew I had to apologize to you and talk to you about yesterday, but I had to attend to work first, so the mails followed. Eventually, I was told the item had arrived the country. It was some sort of relief, but I am careful about these work-related emotions. Seeing is always believing.
As soon as I picked up my computer to start apologizing to you, power went off. I was confident, expecting it to take the usual few minutes for it to be restored…but nothing happened and there was no explanation. I still waited for a clue until my devices went off, one after the other. I am still waiting, like I did through one of the longest nights here.
Of course, we did go out for the radiography results and spent a couple of hours there, and that seemed to have been the relief. As we were leaving, we saw Evergreen, Puregold and their kid brother Bestman. I really do not know what inspired their parents into giving those names. They seem different, the names. We gave them a lift to their shop, but the talk about my seized umbrella was a dead end.
Why is power supply such a bother? Well, since I have been here, it has been near constant. It meant the generating set has been abandoned for heaven-knows-how-long. The consistency of constant power supply has eroded in our minds the reality of power failure. We only think of the generating set on days like this. At first, there will hope that the power will be restored soon. And whenever it is, we will forget the reality again.
Talking about forgetting reality, I wonder if this will be the first 9/11 that I will not remember in 17 years.
What am I using to type this? One device that is always the last-one-standing. I will not mention it because I am not paid for adverts.

“’I’m sorry’ is easy to say, but difficult to mean”- Me

I’m sorry, I really am, and I mean it. I know you will be seeing this update sometime tomorrow, because I am writing it in the tomorrow of today. Today was so busy that it had no space for the writing, or even for times in unsolicited calls. I was not running around like a bee, but I was really mentally occupied.

If you want to know, last year, my brother and I seem to compete for the Most Stressful Day title and he won sometimes, and I won sometimes. I scan through the EKOes journal to realize that these days often coincide. So, today, by 10.30pm, he called to tell me that he was just leaving work after all…I did not let him finish. I told him I was still on site and my day was not yet over. I hope you know what transpired next: the person looking for pity was giving pity.

Well, if I have a work that I came to do, like the one for the past couple of months, then at least for one day, I will expect myself to be out there late on, doing nothing really, except fighting off mosquitoes and the cold. I will not even be near where the work is carried out, but I will be there all the same.

That aspect of work is radiography, popularly called “x-ray” but I know that it is radioactive materials with slightly more intensity that is used, what can easily see through metals as if it were a piece of paper. Now, this radiography is a dangerous process if one is around it, it can kill cells. There is a safe distance to be away when the actual exposure goes is done, some 300m or so. It is funny to watch the process. The guys carrying it out would wind the device connected to the box where the radioactive source is, and they will run away.

Now, it is just about timing. There is a time taken for the substance to “decay” or cause the exposure…this is like going back to my physics…but that exposure is like taking a photograph as a photographic film is attached to the metal to be tested.

I was not even near where this was done, but I was near enough to see them from a distance when I want to. Others still present on the facility were further, almost locking themselves in a far place. There is always a mystery people surround radiography with, they are so warned against it that it feels like kids being warned of ekpo masquerade those days.

People keep trying to know when the radiography will be carried out precisely so that they can go away, they plead that they ‘have not finished having children’ as they allude infertility as a result of exposure to radiography. Also, they extend the safe distance to 1000m.

Well, the radiography was carried out. I had thought it would last for some 5 hours, but the one of the guys that came to carry it out said it would last for two. We had gotten to site by 3pm and expected to start by 6pm after work, but we could not until an hour later. It took four hours and I realized that one of the longest times there could ever be is a mosquito-infested waiting time.

What I am trying to say is that I got home tomorrow morning, so I’m sorry for putting this up late.

“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”- Jesus Christ

I was not even through with talking about charity yesterday, and this morning, a guy in the same keke with me asked of the favour of a fare, and I wondered if that was fair. I feel targeted in this “gift” thing, especially when he said that ‘he looked at my face and his spirit said that he should ask’.

I liked his style, he was rather playing the “testing you” cards, at least that is cooler. The desperation game in begging annoys. The question now is, should you give someone simply because he begs? Should the story told really matter, even when you know it is not true? Are you wicked if you refuse to, even when you could? Are you encouraging laziness and creating a culture of dependency when you give?

Take for example the lady of yesterday evening with a baby. Of course, the baby was to enhance pity. Sometimes, one will smile and say, ‘at least it is not like Lagos that beggars of various categories and line every street’. Truth is, there are many things more dignifying, but begging is really lucrative. I am very sure that she would not use the money to eat. If I could give, another could. If today was successful in raising funds, tomorrow might be, and hence a means of livelihood is created.

Come to think of it though, charities and NGOs are some form of begging institutions. Though they are established for specific purposes, people make money off it.

Well, I think street beggars are not the worst type of beggars I know. One can easily get rid of street beggars…except of course Lagos beggars; some will almost beat you up for not giving. The most annoying beggars are ‘month end beggars’, people you know a bit that make it a habit of manufacturing stories when they think you have received your salary. They feel they have a moral right to your sweat…and they are often in swarms and you cannot put off all. Sometimes, if you are not careful, your entire earning is spent on them. Those who you are responsible for are neglected.

Today was Christian meetings and it was well-attended and thoroughly enjoyable. The same was true of the preaching….until the rain put the sun on the ground. It was then that I felt the impact of Puregold seizing my umbrella. She said that she will not release it to me until I tell her how old I am. I have told her, yes, that I am as old as I am today, but she seems not satisfied. Please intervene.

A young person attached to us was surprise when I spoke Ibibio. She was on holiday. She said I did not look like an Ibibio, not like a Yoruba or Hausa or any tribe. She said I looked like “someone from Lagos”.

Should we not talk about tribe thing tomorrow? (I am really struggling with .the………………………………………………………………………………….. k.eyboard this …………………………….evening, it keeps bringing out dots without control, just this evening)…………

“The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak”-Jesus Christ

I think I slept before my midnight bedtime yesterday and that is meant to make me wake up ‘in the middle of the night and not be able to sleep again’. That is always my claim. Anything outside this and with no favourable weather for extra sleep signifies that something is wrong.

I was woken up by a call, and the owner of the voice said I should wake up because it is morning. That was almost 8am. I opened my eyes but still sounded like a sleep-drunk person. I could not gather the strength to get up and my legs felt very heavy as if I played soccer the previous day. I could not really understand why I was having the pains. I could not remember any strenuous activity yesterday…except my quarrel with the rain as I went to get my clothes. I did not know that I suffered these bruises from her hand. She must have come off worse because she was hiding under a blanket all of today.

Today the kids that came for holidays were leaving, including my ‘Personal Assistant’. I could see the emotions grow from last night, and I did not make it spill over to tears. I promised that I will see them again. It has been weeks of fun and lessons about life. They will never forget “initiative”, the word and its meaning. I never really missed people as a kid, but I will miss them. The house now feels empty, devoid of cries and laughter and NOISE.

Well, the lazy morning was a busy morning. I had to attend to several things from the computer that I had breakfast by almost noon. I think I failed to check the time.

Even after noon, I could not go out as someone was cleaning up the house. I had to wait. In the evening I went to see a couple I am friends with. I was glad that the wife was recovering from a severe case of typhoid. I have never had that sickness.

Well, on my way there, a rather young ‘mother’ stopped me. She said she ‘did not know how to start’ to tell me what she wanted to. I knew at once that she was a beggar. I hardly give people that kind of alms, but she asked for food. I asked how much it costs, knowing that she may be lying. I had no denomination of money to give her, so she had a lucky day in her life.

That brings the debate of giving alms. Add it to the list of things I am to tell you.

“I am no more interested in startups, I am interested in businesses”-Me

I have always been someone that funny things will creep into the mind and set them as rules. I find myself doing a lot of things others do not do, or at least not the way they do them. And my explanation for this is that I “feel” things more than I think them, and the things I feel are stronger.

It is not just you, sometimes I feel like taking my head for a scan, I seem pretty sure that there will be a couple of strange “plugins” or at least a couple of plugins too many.

Well, that is how I woke up in 2018, and out of nothing, without any ‘reason’, motive or motivation, I declared: “In 2018, I will be keen on startups”. See, I did not mean starting a small business, but merely observing them and giving a pat on the back where I can. A Nigerian will always ask “what are you gaining from it?” This has been the greatest Nigerian problem I have always faced. I started making portraits, the question popped up; I [am attempting to] start a blog, the same question…must everything directly boil down to money?

Well, I learnt from my friend yesterday (more from the wall than from him) that I should rather focus on businesses. In the context, startups are businesses that are has more of its existence as an idea, waiting for people to invest capital for it to thrive. Businesses are not looking for investments, it is looking markets, people, consumers or users. When it get these, it grows and eventually thrive.

Anyways, I sometimes fear that the neuron controlling my mind is in the army. He wakes up one morning and proclaim a decree and every one of them obey. I see it in the way this startup thing went. It made business ideas flow, something that was hardly heard of, and really, I have given practical on-professional busy-ness advice to small businesses owned by friends, many of which are ideas. Now that General Neuron has abolished the word “startup”, maybe my business head will annex the hands and legs.

I stayed indoors for half of today. It was not really the rain, but the aspect of work to be done was to be down either at night or whenever there is no one at the premises. There were circumstances that made the whole process called off today. I was happy that the message came early enough to spare half of my day. So, having already utilised most of the first half in front of the computer, what should I use the other for?

I used it to poke the rain and it poked back. I was thinking I could ‘dash’ somewhere and be back in a flash, but the rain dashed such hopes of a quick return.

So, I went to the drycleaners, but then, the main place I went to was where I had clothes sewn for me. It sounds strange, does it not? I had clothes that fell into the “native” category sewn. Why do they call them “natives” anyways? All clothes are natives in its place of origin.

I grew up not liking traditional wears with its full ambiguity. There was always something ‘parachutic’ about it…the “1500” seemed like suffering, I never wanted to ever tie a wrapper, the Igbo traditional wear called “chieftaincy”  once had living room chair cover variant. In all, I did fall in love with ceremonial attires not really meant to be worn every day, I fell in love with the Fulani Herdsman Attire. It may have meant that I had a slight runway mentality.

Remind me to talk about things a bit traditional tomorrow. ‘sleep is catching me…’

“Do not give a child a fish, teach him how to fish”- a Japanese proverb

I am very upset with my brother Ezra! Why are you doubting me? Many people believe that I can NEVER be upset with my younger brother. I do not know if it is because he has been mixed up the most in my life. He does not know that I would have preferred a younger one to be a sister because boys are hardly ‘dote-able’, they grow up too fast, catch up with you, pass you in height and even make people assume that they are older.

Well, my brother consumes 70% of my total talk-time, and that is an average of 30 minutes on the phone each day (when we are not together). Everyone at work are complaining and sometimes I have learnt not to answer his calls if I do not have a spare hour. Now, the problem is, he has stopped sending regards from Eko, specific regards. One of those who kept sending the regards notified me today. So, in all the times that had passed, Cici Eko had actually cared even when she is a Miss Independent.

Now, why is that important? Just yesterday, I was accused of scheming to abandon her for Miss Garden. I said that I felt guilty because I had those slight feelings, I was thinking that Cici Eko had been avoiding me, little did I know that that city will never give up. At least Ezra should have used one minute of the 30 each day to say that she asked after me. That is his crime. I will keep punishing him by talking about him a bit more subsequently.

Well, don’t think I wrote about him, the “fish” thing above because of my brother. He does everything that I do, so he does not know how to swim. Wait, did you say that I do not? I did say that he DOES everything that I do, I did not say that he DOES NOT do the things I do not.

I do not think that the Japanese were even thinking about fish when they coined that proverb. They discouraged giving out things that will create a culture of dependency, I have been TOO guilty of this. I remembered it today because a boy was involved, and a man too. Let us forget the man because after over two years, the first call you will put through to someone should not be asking for money. It can annoy, this Nigerian idea of mentally determining people who have a heart and no responsibilities. Maybe I should wear a banner stating: I HAVE FOUR NON-BIOLOGICAL DAUGHTERS!

Sorry, what was I talking about? Okay, the boy and the fish. In the Bible, a boy had fish that was used to miraculously feed thousands, today, boys are looking for people to always task for money. One really has to be careful about giving money to minors because many minors are ‘majors’ in certain lifestyles. Children are hardly innocent. When the money demanded goes beyond that for ‘biscuit’, be ready to run.

So, I had a case today and I blame myself for getting stuck in the position of a fisherman on a boat. Aha…you believed me right? I am meant to be from a riverine area, so that is believable. I was however not talking about real boats, just life-boats.

I have always had this unpractical mentally of trying to give first solicited ‘help’ because I think it is a ‘once and for all’ thing, even when I know the stories are cooked up. I have been wrong ALL OF THE TIME. My best friend is always saying “tell stories too”.

So, the fish boy…well, you now know that he has eaten bits of fish and I knew that he should rather remain in his parents’ boat. I was wrong, his parent felt that my boat was ‘fishy’ and I knew that there was a problem. Now, I don’t like it when people TRY TO get close to me because I am mostly a closed person who decides which length which person goes. Naturally, I resist that closeness…but the resistance has been coming up against sly-coated persistence (forget the grammar).

This whole thing is like life in the jungle….draw near, nearer, nearer….strike! Demand for a fish that if not eaten like right now, life will be threatened. Of course it is all lies. Were it to be true, you will ask him the type of fish and he will say “ekpai” which is ‘bongafish’; but if he says it is “inaha”, the king of fishes or salt water catfish, then it is greed. I unconsciously had promised something before I realised. I then faced a dilemma: my word is a bond. The past two weeks had been reminders so I decided to act today. I gave money for the fish to someone older and instructed: he wants fish, take him to the place and pay for it. Of course you know that I am not talking about edible fish, but the boy will be so disappointed. I never asked anybody money as a kid, I was brought up not to.

On a very rainy today, most work was on the phone and the computer. I was able to sort out a pending aspect of work and arrange it for tomorrow, that aspect that the client was being ‘booky’ about. In the end, like one of my introvert friends would say: everyone is happy.

Today I went to see that my friend I told you about the other time, the one from junior secondary…I don’t know why you keep forgetting… Eye-ef-eye-oh-kay: Ifiok. We went to his new office in a close that was rather a Closcent. You got confuse. That is my word for a crescent-close.

I like the setup of the office because it was artistic and there were many things on the wall, I am mostly after things on the wall. Before you think of gossiping, let me quickly add that Sahara Group has one of the best artistic offices I have seen, especially given what it is into.

I knew I would see Ifiok before I return to Eko’s arms, but I had to today. I had to bring to him an old client of his who happened to be a friend and colleague…who may not be around here on the yesterday of the day after tomorrow. I must say that for some parts of the conversation, they were saying things I heard but did not understand. I heard that there are computer languages, but I wonder if they were speaking Java or C++. I was not sold for too long though.

Let me introduce you to Snap-iLabs because you will be hearing more about it. I just re-learnt today that their application can make me sweat out another pastime of attempting building mobile applications. I should try it out before the year runs out. Snap-iLabs has everything to do with Ifiok.

The last thing I learn was the difference between “startups” and “businesses” and it totally shaped my thinking. I need to rephrase something. Let us talk about it tomorrow. I will if you remind me. Remind me to call two people too.

I went to another office, to see the vendor for the work tomorrow and then to Christian meetings later. Both were successful.

Tomorrow will be a long day. Let tomorrow come (that is the translation for both Ibibio and Igbo “good night”)

“When in doubt, ask”- A popular saying

It was a little stroll back from attempting to use an ATM near work and a vehicle stopped with two young people inside. They said they wanted to ask for the way to “Port Harcourt Town” and I started laughing. They had strayed by veering off the road for some 10 minutes or more, and were heading for the sea, literally. I showed them the way, it was simple.

If yesterday was a day that moods fought each other, today, the weather did. We had wanted to go early to work, very early, but a colleague delayed us a bit saying the taxi she came with was crawling on the flooded roads in the heavy downpour. It was strange because where she was is close to where we were, but we knew it was so. Just before we left, the rain got to where we were. On the way, there was no rain, and at work, there was a timid sun hiding beneath a thin layer of clouds all day.

It was until the evening, when we were about leaving that the rain fell on site, and we ran and left it behind, only to discover that it was very dry halfway home, and people were looking at the vehicle, wondering where we had the water and dirt on it.

Work was very successful today. There are few things as exciting as troubleshooting, discovering an error and fixing it. It was not my call, but I had been very worried. When the error was from an equipment that was delivered as “a package” then it was annoying. What that means is that it was like having an item supplied by a manufacturer, fitting it into a system and realizing that there was a fault on that item. You normally will refund it, but sometimes, you try to fix it and shake your head that a brand could soil its name by a silly mistake.

Now, I have been there before. Where? You ask. I am still thinking of the first part of that movie. I sometimes regret that I did not really have a village experience and so the Africanisms of my writings are sometimes very thin. I however grew up in a multicultural society that thrived on a lot of respect, where elders are regarded as infallible. I must say that, compared to many societies I had later found myself, the vast majority of elders were very responsible, those who were not were not respected beyond basic respect. In fact, they were sometimes mocked.

I remember one of such (I grew up in a housing estate) who was a working doctor, but he was a smoker and an alcoholic, and I think he was also a bit prone to domestic violence. He was almost always shunned and kids behaved towards him as if he was someone to be feared. Even when he may be sober, it was often a quick greeting and running off.

So where did I say I have been before? I have been in situations as a kid where I resisted against the ideology of the infallibility of elders. I never seemed to believe in it. While I did not campaign against it, I felt it was an abused privilege. Granted, I knew they were wiser than kids, but I read too much not to see many obvious flaws. I remembered telling an elder something like: “a Japanese proverb says that an elder should apologise to a child if he is wrong”. I may not remember the exact words, but I had read that in an awake.

Where apologies were almost impossible to obtain, corrections were what I did not give up on. For instance, I knew that flip-flops are “slippers” and not “silppers” and I would be bent on correcting whoever it was that made the mistake.

So, when an elderly person thinks I am wrong, sometimes, they tried to use the opportunity to prosecute me. Mother had quickly realised how I was and adjusted her training methods to suit me. Others hardly did. So, there will be those moments where you do something you are trying to get right and they put you on the spot, in their mobile court. You do that, it is wrong, you do the opposite, it is wrong. They ask a question, you answer, they say you are talking back, you remain silent, they say it is equally insulting.

I had an aunty like that who visited once in a while. I give kudos to her for making the best cakes and cooking “one spoon” of very delicious soups using the ingredient of ten pots. I never really found a way to like her and she made sure our egos clashed. I may have been between 5 and 8, but I saw her as being too full of herself and playing the infallibility and superiority cards.

She always targeted me because I always spoke my mind. I felt she had no right to impose some unnecessary rules, even when I will be silent about it. She could tell me that I was foolish not to sweep, but I will tell her the truth, that I was only waiting for her to finish cooking, and deciding not to sweep until then was smart. When I did sweep, she will walk and stand on the path suddenly, and say I disrespectfully swept on her (hissing).

Don’t mind her, she was a troublesome person that can manufacture a quarrel from nothing. It was because of her I mentally coined one of my earliest sayings: “if you move to the right and there is a problem, then you move to the left and problem starts, you may be the problem”

Hold on, am I spending too much time with Miss Garden, a city I claimed to be “just my secretary?” Someone reminded me that I needed to go back to “the real woman” Cici Eko and leave the “side chick”. Instantly, I felt guilty. No one is capable of making me feel guilty like one smallish young woman called Edikan. She used to be a little person that had misplaced my works the most, but she had been a “Womentor” for over a decade, a self-declared Personal Bride Analyser who has many times voiced her frustration at her job and yet not given up. Extending her job description to cities is aimed at getting back at me. I have the back of a tortoise though.

Good night.

“Sometimes we have to embrace our darkness for the light to shine through; sometimes we embrace our pain, but it is ultimately for our gain…”- the movie, Ehi’s Bitters.

Did you see the tears? So if someone told you that I cried, you will believe the person. There seem to be no tear that emotions seem capable of drawing out of the duct these days. Champions of my tears are exhaust fumes and onions.

Early today, someone that is work-related almost got me upset. There are these documents he required for an aspect of work. I went through, talked to the vendor and our team and realized he was being ‘booky’(not being called Bukky o) so I sent him a mail to review the requirement as what he listed were not necessary, and thus stringent. Unfortunately for us, a lover of books play by the books and he sent a mail to his superior. This morning, he insisted on the requirements and made a comment about “cutting corners”. That was the match that ignited both the intellectual and English side of my brain.

First, I did what I had avoided doing: go to the books. Engineering could sometimes be like the legal system. I was busy quoting codes and standard because the more I read the more I realised that I was right. In the end I analysed English words, two word. He sent an understanding mail. We sort things out tomorrow.

I always have a problem with people who try to show intelligence.

What will I use to calm my neves today? A song by Johnny Drille and Simi, Halleluyah. I so much love that song where two of my best Nigerian artistes combine to perform a song sweeter than wine. You know, in music I look for lyrics, then interpretation, then voice. It got everything, and in addition, touches a topic often directly ignored. It is a little bit like Beneath Your Beautiful for me, a song that touches ‘subtle life’ and ‘a song I could have written’ because I explore those subtle thoughts than anything else.

I visited a bank to rectify my account. It was my first account and was opened as a test in secondary school. It used to be one of the most customer-friendly banks then. The bank had issues when its then owner was arrested and of all the interested buyers, one of the banks I hate most bought it over. That bank is so ancient in terms of service, all over the country. Today they proved that they had not changed and I walked out with smiles on my face, but pain in my heart, fighting like the sun did with the rain, desperate that it does not spoil my ok day.

What did I need to make the day set? I got a call from my non-biological daughter, the most popular of them. She was just through with exams and it went well. I was excited too. She is a smart young lady.

Did the cloudy part of the day fight back? Of course. Power supply. The evening was darkening, and we heard the power company had been going around all day checking prepaid metres to know those who are tapping power illegally.

Did I fight the darkness with ‘something LIGHT’? Of course. It was that movie, Ehi’s Bitters, one of the best Nigerian movies I have seen.

When someone asked me the kind of movies and books I like, I tell them, ‘the ones about life’. Can we talk about this tomorrow?

“We need each other more than we think that we do, reach out”-Me

Forget about the quote I put up there, today was meant to be fulfilling, but it ended up to be very annoying. I have said several times that I like to be in control of the things I am responsible for, outside this, when the things I am responsible for is out of my control and not going well, I feel helpless and it gets me upset.

What was it again…that was you talking, right? You mumbled it, but I heard you. I have good ears at night, almost like that of an elephant. Well, it is work again, waiting for something to arrive. Waiting can really be painful if what should take days take weeks, and the weeks are becoming months.

The funny thing is that no matter how worried I become, the items will arrive when they would and my worry will not make it faster.

So, while I was dealing with the issue above, something else popped up. It was the electrical aspect of the work. The electrical engineer, and all of us battled to troubleshoot and traced it to an item supplied. So we will have to wait until the manufacturer tells him what may have been wrong and what to do. The thing is that, even when he suspects something and could try to correct it, you would not do that to an item that has not yet been commissioned and is still under warranty.

We, we ended work with our heads hanging low, thinking of how the opportunity to closeout that aspect of work just slipped past, and it was no fault of ours. These multiple factors on a work that has almost dragged to twice its completion time just messed my head. I need to be back to see Cici Eko this month, that lady has been too patient and we have places to go to together.

Well, I do not let bad days hang, even when the day still had a litter of annoying mails to add to the mix. I tried not to be pushed into answering them because a piece of my mind often tastes like a piece of Yoruba peppered goat, an Eko delicacy…and a piece of my mind is hardly a piece, it is often a heap.

What is the cure of bad days? Many things. The simplest of them all is a good call. Ask you mind whose turn it is for you to make that long call to.

You may fault me, but I see life differently. I see it often as a canvas of vivid colours, I see it like a pizza many people share, and I see it like walking through a storm by locking our arms, holding firmly to one another to form a wall. So it really baffles me when people seem afraid of me, when they feel intimidated when I am half the height of my best friend, when they seem terrified even when I am half the size of my brother.

It also baffles me when people seem unafraid of me, when they try to use my head for selfish gain, when they try to fool me even when an above-average head size suggests a large brain, when they demand special attention when I barely notice anyone more than I notice everyone. It really surprises me when people think that I should be “un-me”, or be like the “them”.

Well, the bottom line is that we need each other. If you are not afraid, then let’s talk.

“My food is for me to do the will of my father…”- Jesus Christ

Why will I start today talking about food? It is because I missed breakfast. I woke up early, but there are often too many things to do in the morning and time runs out pretty quickly. This happen on most Sunday mornings when I prepare for meetings in the morning.

When I was finally set, I was six minutes behind the time I leave home, but that did not mean being late, it meant being six minutes less early, it meant skipping breakfast despite the appeals of my colleague. I knew I had preaching after the service, but there could always be stops to snack up lunch.

Meetings were fun, the talk about the real cause of “natural disasters” was analytical, and it was like a court argument. I loved it. During the watchtower study, I smiled. A kid had cried last week after it, she was behind me. She cried when she was not called to answer a question, she really sobbed. I had to take her to the person who had conducted the study and he apologized and promised to call her to comment today. He did and she was brimming with smiles, she was so excited that she commented.

I did go out in service and it was really nice. I felt like I had blessings, of course those were the names of the two people I walked with. It was also an eventful preaching campaign, on that was interrupted by rain and I had left my umbrella behind. It would have been easy to stop because of the rain, but we only paused and moved on. We were determined and it paid off. In the end, it was past 3pm when I realized that I had not eaten all day, not even snacked.

It brought back to my mind what Jesus said, he had preached all day and not eaten and when asked he made that statement. There is something about preaching that could make someone not feel hunger. Preaching sometimes engrosses the mind.

I had time later to do a little study and research. I have become ambitious about this study thing lately, even applied for an online flash course I am not sure I will have time for, even when it is for a few days.

I suppose hours on the system is sedentary, I really felt it on my legs and had to stop…

I talked to a couple of lovely people eventually. I was so glad with the Patanis in Patani. Two kids in the family took up a volunteer service fulltime and it is an amazing thing to do.

It is the second of September and I am still stuck here. I think I am a little upset about it, but what can I do? I just have to wait and see what happens.

The one that does not hope will not get disappointed”-Me

Do not misunderstand me. Hope is one of the greatest quality to display. Without hope, we do not have a reason to live, we do not have what to really live for; we cannot bear anything with joy.

Hope is so important that the Bible calls it an anchor. It is the brother to faith.

We should not hope for everything, at least not strongly. There are things we should take risks, but be prepared to lose, to put away our hope in it. If it comes, fine; if it does not, we move on. Nothing is so certain in this world.

It is only on things that have to do with the creator that our hope should be total as there is complete reason to rely on such promises.

I have had this argument of hoping for things and have been trapped in both sides of the argument. You should expect that because I have so many ideologically strange people as friends, but I seem to be one of the most ideologically strange of them all.

I have a friend that ‘does not want things’ because ‘wanting things in the past has done her no good’; you know, that attitude could affect a lot of things you do, and they could be a disparity between ‘your mind and your body’. Now, before your thoughts start wandering, I meant such people could be mentally sharp, but physically lazy. It starts by them letting themselves to be defined by others.

I have another friend who gets all he wants by exerting himself so hard. It is strange the type of zeal and efforts put, and he could beat himself if in one of those rare times he fails. The danger in this is being critical of others in terms of their efforts. Such people hardly recognize limitations and the fact that different people have different abilities.

I have yet another friend who tries a lot, does everything right but often fail. The main thing is that she makes the failure affect her because she hopes too much. Life is like a dice throw, sometimes you get lucky many times, at other times you get unlucky…repeatedly. She often have the disposition of life being against he, and it is really sad to fail many times.

Well, I did not expect today to be sunny, neither did I expect it to be rainy. It did rain very early when I was asleep, but when the early hours were sunny, I took it. When it eventually became rainy, I still took it and smile.

It is September and I should no more be here, but I am here. Every time my phone rang, my heart beat. There are many waiting for me at another place, stating that I promised to be back yesterday. There are many too that are happy that I am still here. I am caught in the middle of another controversy: location.

MMESOMA EJIKEME: THE ONE I CALLED ‘MY PERSONAL ASSISTANT’

Children are amazing, the way they think and reason captivates me. With them, you never really know what to expect and they ask questions that might make your hair stand.

Of course, not all kids are like that, some kids are just too quiet, others are too naughty and playful. When I however find an expressive child that at least have a high intellectual capacity, then I can relate with that person well, there naturally seem to be a bond as my mind is often biased towards intellect. That kid does not need to be posh or speak a lot of English or have a foreign accent or have rich parents.

So, when the six-year-old came over for holidays to where the father had come to work, her intellect was displayed when she vividly remembered me from two years ago. We had amazing times and discipline times, and there were a lot of questions to answer. Each time she says “I want to ask you something”, my heart will skip a beat.

Eventually, a couple of people got jealous of a seeming preferential treatment, but the thing is that I try not to dote to an extent of not being firm.

For the time they were around, I called her my Personal Secretary and taught them the importance of using initiative. I also operated the “reward system of training with them and I think that it worked.

The kid has potentials, but like every kid, there are a lot of idiosyncrasies that one needs to fight against. One of her greatest weaknesses was not being familiar with Bible stories, but the cartoon characters Caleb and Sophia did teach her a lot of lessons.

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