Monday, December 10, 2007

The Narrow Escape

“Iyabo Olayinka”
“Nurudeen odeyemi”
“Murktar Yaradua”
“Bolanle same last name as Allied”

My heart skipped a beat as the name bellowed through the loud microphone. My eyes; although fixed on my sandals saw the chilled stares of the other students through my peripheral vision. I also heard whispers of scandal rumored through the whole assembly.

“Bolanle same last name as Allied”

Even though I considered Bolanle a wimp, I knew she would not dare go on stage. Punishment was inflicted in the presence of all while exoneration was privately awarded, that was how it was unjustly done in our school. She couldn’t take the chance for a tabooed crime as mine.

“Class teacher and house mistress of Bolanle last name as Allied” please see to it that she reports to my office immediately. She is in more trouble than she can imagine, no one is allowed to skip morning assembly” Mr. Paseda and Ms Osikoya both nodded to the principal.

Courageous enough to return an intense gaze of my own, I looked up to search for Bolanle in the next row. Our eyes met. She gave me a deadly look which was contrary to her character. Molade and Rita, her friends did likewise. I made a mental note to write their names as both noise makers and vernacular speakers for that afternoon. The ascendancy of a class captain gave me such rights. The extent of my power was limitless within the thousand square feet of our classroom. It wasn’t my fault her name was called at the assembly, our English teacher Mr. Adeyemi made his common mistake.

Mr. Adeyemi, who regarded himself as a no nonsense teacher with well behaved students had a snobbish mannerism to him. He was one of those teachers who affect an offensive air of self satisfied superiority in matters of taste and intellect. I think he schooled in Ghana because he seized every opportunity to correct students and staffs alike; on their English pronunciation. “It is not pronounced eDUcation, its eJUcation”.

I still cannot fathom why Mr. Adeyemi called me Bolanle. She and I had nothing in common except our last name. We looked nothing alike neither do our initials. Bolanle is short, fair and robust compared to my tall, dark and lanky. There was a day I was brave enough to correct him after my rationalization of his unexcused able behavior. You would think wining the best English student for three consecutive years and also being one of the top students in the school would make my name an icon, but his man couldn’t be bothered. That day ended with me kneeling down in the sun for three hours because I interrupted him during his lesson.

Students trotted out of the assembly hall after we were dismissed to our various classes. Bolanle cornered me on the staircase.

“Allied, you need to rectify this situation. We need to let the principal know the wrong name was called”.

“I will take care of it”

I made the decision to confess to the principal. He was amicably calm when I told him I was responsible for the crime and not Bolanle. His disbelief echoed in his voice. He knew of my achievements in the school and would not have guessed that a nerdy quiet Allied is capable of breaking serious school violations. With his head abased he declared his judgment. The utmost punishment was my parents being notified of my infamy. My grandmother would be disappointed the most. She recently told my dad that he needed to trust me more.

The rangy bursar was called to thrash me. I was glad that it was done in the privacy of the principal’s office and not in public like the others. My cooking stove was confiscated along with a small bag of rice and a carton of indomine noodles. I was also given a long stone throw portion of dry and stubborn grass to cut. That punishment was for inviting Murktar Yaradua into the girl’s hostel for dinner during extention.

Mr. Adeyemi was called by the principal to see to it that our parents were informed of our recalcitrance. I watched him outside the principal’s office as he dictated to the school secretary what the letter is to say.

“Can you please give me the names of the offenders’ sir, I need to pull out their files to get their home address” she asked

“Sure. The miscreant names are Iyabo Olayinka, Nurudeen odeyemi, Murktar Yaradua, and Bolanle same last name as Allied”.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stolen Childhood

I imagined the aran*; hung over the open closet across the room wrapped around my ill and shriving body. The image conjured surged a powerful urge to get the velvet fabric at all cost. I contemplated over the two options available; it was either I gather enough strength to walk the painstaking steps to the closet or scream loudly, which would send Asiata running into my room to get it for me.

I decided on the latter but my voice was weak. It sounded as if the echo did not leave my room. Or it could be that Asiata heard me but was bent on her revenge because I freed her caged butterflies? She kept them in order to send messages home to her people in Ilorin. “Backwards bush girl” was what I called her before i opened the mesh-like cage and released her diurnal insects. Doesn’t she know moths are for sending messages not butterflies?

The former option it had to be. I pushed away the Ankara wrapper the aran* is to replace, for it did not do much to keep me warm, besides, it reeked of Robb. I made the five seconds walk to the closet in thirty five seconds. I pulled at the fabric but the corner of the velvet snagged on the tiny nicks on the closet door and its end was caught in between the cracks. I tugged at the cloth until my legs gave in due to fatigue and i sunk to the floor. Everything went dark.

I woke up to the sound of wood cracking in fire and the aran* wrapped around my body. But to my dismay, the surrounding was alien. In the middle of the room was a real camp fire and behind it was another girl sleeping on a straw mat at the extreme. There are two entrances into the room, one had a door and the other had a curtain. A depicted calendar with the image of Jesus was hung on the door and on the floor by the right, sat a small amu* covered with a metal tray with different color plastic cups arranged on it.

A tall light skinned man entered through the curtain entrance, he took water from the amu* with one of the plastic cups. He hiked up his glowing white sutana*; a result from its several rinses in robin blue powder water, revealing a black trouser underneath. I would have labeled him an albino but he is freckles and blemish free. He came up to me and placed his hands on my forehead. I shrunk away from his touch for I did not know who he was. He handed me the cup of water which I took but did not drink and he said in Ijebu* dialect that we will start in thirty minutes.

A plump lady came in after he left. She was also dressed in a sutana* and with her was a small bowl, a wad of paper and a folded white cloth. Without speaking, she took me to the river to bathe. In the paper was a ball of black soap, which she generously applied to my hair with a twine sponge. I was given the white cloth to wrap around my wet naked body. I shrived to no one in particular as we walked back, the night was dark and cold and I was scared. We entered a building; a place I assume is some sort of sanctuary. Stick inscent were burning at the four corners of the room and there were benches arranged for an audience. She left me there and came back with two other women and two men, the light skinned man included.

Surrounded by the five church members, I was asked to kneel down in the middle. At this point, i found my voice and asked them why I was there and where my parents were. All my questions fell on deaf ears. They sang praises to God and the prayer session began. The light skinned man who was the leader explained to the rest what their mission was. He stated that i have been ill for the past month and my family had brought me here to be cured. He also claimed they are to command my spirit friends to leave me alone to enjoy life. For an eight year old girl, it was terrifying to hear of ghosts and spirits in the middle of the night. I crouched where I was and screamed.

At the tintinnabulation of the church bell, whips made from the remnant of a sugar cane plant landed on my back. The five of them shouted gibberish as the cane descended on me. I cried and danced to the canes like my life depended on it. Before I passed out I heard one of the females say in ijebu* “her case is a strong one; she might not make it through the night if we don’t beat the little devils out of her”

I almost did not make it through the night. Times without number, buckets of water was poured on me while the canning continued. I was asked to repeatedly send these spirit friends I neither could see nor hear away. I was to denounce my imaginary spirit land and claim earth as my abode. Broken in spirit and weak in stamina, I made up my own images and bade them goodbye for I wanted to live. The canes stopped as dawn broke over the valley. The advent of an adult began with this day. For there is no night so long that will not end with a dawn. And no day dawns like another.

** Aran – A velvet fabric used as a duvet

** Amu – A dome shaped water vessel. It cools the water in it.

** Ijebu – The literary dialect taken from the Yoruba language.

** Sutana – A white garment worn by the church organization. (e.g., Celestials and Cherub and Seraphim)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 21

I have been tagged by sis Believer and friends Aijay and Writefreak. Thank you guys! You forced me to look beyond my trouble today and count all the numerous blessings God has bestowed on me.

Join me in the Thankfulness Chain....if you've been tagged, please complete the tag on the assigned day example... if you're tagged for November 21... that is day 21 and you should title your post 30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 21 provide a link to the person that tagged you previously Also provide a link to the two people that you're tagging for the next day so we can all follow the chain... Do let them know they're being tagged.. why they're being tagged, and how to grow the chain if you're unable to do the tag on your assigned day... still choose the day to reflect the date you do it (if you're choosing not to back date it) ...example... if you're tagged for November 25 but dont get to do it till November 27... and you're not back dating.. it's okay to do it as Day 27 you can post these rules or something to this effect to help it along.. :-)

Abba Father, your praises are my thanks. You have revealed to me your character through your names. You are the God that never lies and I am thankful I am your child.

Yahweh, I am that I am, you exist and pre-exist. I reverence your name for you shall always be forever.

ELohim, I thank you Lord for creating me for your purpose. I am here to give glory and honor to your name. I will praise and give thanks till the end of my days. I also thank you for the ones whom you created me through, my mom and dad. I couldn’t have chosen any better. I thank you for allowing my siblings to be created through the same blood and for placing us together. They are just so wonderful. My household and I will forever serve you Lord.

ELshaddai, I thank you Lord for being sufficient enough for me. Though, you have placed good friends and acquaintances in my path, I am happy that my worship is all for you. When the night was long you broke the dawn. When the storm raged so long, you calmed your child.

Jehovah Jireh, I thank you Lord for having everything under control and providing at the right time for my needs. Your gifts and blessings do not tarry and for that I am grateful.

Jehovah Nissi, I thank you for being my banner of hope, love and encouragement. Lord you are my rallying point and my means of victory over the devil. My battle belongs to you Lord.

Jehovah Shalom, I thank you Lord for your envelope of peace and rest in my life.

Jehovah Shamma, I thank you for being there for me. When I was in ruins, you restored me. You did not abandon me when I turned my back on you. Lord I say thank you.

Jehovah Rapah, I thank you for being the great physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of his people

I thank God for all the wonderful friendships I have made on blogsville. I can’t name you all. I am especially Thankful for TERC. It is wonderful to talk to people who are sold out to Christ. I pray that we not only be hearer of his word but also doers. And the good fruit will yield and produced more fruit which will feed the world in Jesus name (Amen)

I tag Rinsola, Afrobabe, Yayi, darkelee, solomonsdyelle, daddy's girl and Belle.

Friday, November 9, 2007


“I have been here before” I thought to myself. The warm room I stood in had a strange sense of familiarity to it. I surveyed the place like an architect looking for his signature on a building. I turned around confused; and there you were standing with your arms akimbo

“What are you thinking about?” you asked

“Your place looks very familiar. I feel like I have been here; in this very room”

You shook your head and turned away as if I was crazy. We both know it was impossible, the house was completed two months ago and this was my first visit. I moved towards the sofa but sat at its edge with my coat still on, fiddling my car keys. You pulled me into the couch, thinking it was the game we play, the one where I pretend to leave and you beg me to stay. Whereas, this time I was really feeling uneasy about the oddness of the intimacy with the room.

We watched a funny movie on TV and you placed your head on my lap, unconsciously I combed your hair with my fingers while you laughed at the silly dialogue. I laughed too. Not at the movie but at you because you giggle like a school girl in love. Your laugher was replaced by soft snores, your chest heaved at the sound of each breath you took. I still marvel at how fast you fall asleep. The movie was over and as if on cue, the grandfather clock chimed one and I knew it was time to leave.

I kissed you on the forehead and whispered into your ears “I am leaving”. You asked me to let you fall asleep before I do. I smiled and obliged even though you are already sleeping. I lay next to you and it took me thirty minutes to find my way to slumber land.

I woke up and could see the crimson sky with autumn leaves dancing to the wind’s praises through the parting of the curtains. It must be cold outside. The feelings of strangeness and familiarity came back strongly and I felt it should not be ignored. With my eyes closed, i tried to remember where I saw this room and what it signifies to me. I dug and dug deeper into my mind image box. Suddenly, it came back to me; everything much brighter and in more detail. My heart sank and I knew before I looked, a dark ring stain made by your coffee cup would be on the table.

I sprang up and checked, there the evidence was. The dampness and color of the stain on the wood gave its timeline away. The mark was recently made; it couldn’t have been more than a day old. I looked at you sleeping and tears filled my eyes. Slowly, I put my coat on and found my shoes. It was not until I got into my car that the tears let out. Yes, I have been in that room before. The same room in my dream where you would cry and plead with me to let you marry someone else and all I could do is stare at the fading dark ring on the coffee table.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And it came to pass

From your trials and errors in the past 9 years you gained insight. Patience was the key and deceit was its lock. The plan was flawless and the lies were secured. Every step had to be thought carefully, the very end had to have had the perfect beginning.

With the dice cast and the game won, you placed me on the board for your amusement. First, it started with the phone calls, then your rigmarole; both elaborate and complicated. I know you will say I pushed you to it. Yes, I have heard it numerous times “Allied you never let things slide, you are too inquisitive”.

Since the ordeal, I have asked myself several times, how come I never saw it coming? I am usually in tune with things of this nature. Thinking about it now, I should have known. I saw the signs but my sunglasses blurred the vision. The warnings too were echoing but my ipod was more deafening. The secrets were glaring but I couldn’t be bothered.

I think the real reason I didn’t think you could do it was because I didn’t believe you could. After all, you failed for 9 years. What I didn’t realize was, though you failed all those years, you always tried. Noting all your wrongs and furthering it towards perfection.

The deed is done and it has come to pass. I am sure you are glad you pulled it off. I am also glad even though you know I hate surprises.

Thank you guys. I really enjoyed my surprise party.

** Me in the middle asking them how they did it. The plan was perfected to the point that I INVITED THEM TO THE PARTY**

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What you call them they will become

This picture was taken 20yrs ago. Funny enough i still look the same except for the hair. I am not into didi* anymore :)

I look back at the events that had transpired in the last 356 days and all I can say is THANK YOU LORD.

There were days I cried like there is tomorrow. Days I laughed and I ask you why you Love me so much. The days I was too ashamed to come into your presence, because I thought my sins separated me from you. Those days I ask you stupid questions. Days I asked you to renew the right spirit within me. Daft days I get angry at you for not keeping your promises. Fulfilled days I realized that I have not received your promises because I am ill-equipped for them. Countless days of my foolishness. Constant days of your loving and kindness.

Father, I don’t say this enough, but I Love you so much. I thank you for giving me the privilege of being your child. Because of your favor, I get the favor of men. I thank you for your mercies which are abundant in my life. Not only do you keep me safe, you also get me out of punishments I truly deserved.

Every year, a month before my birthday, I go into this “reflecting on my life” mode. I try to weigh the growth and stagnant places in my life, spiritually, physically, economically and socially. This year is no different. I went into my reflective mode, but with the WRONG attitude.

Originally, I got the attitude “this birthday is going to be different" because the things I thank God for last year now had a BUT or FULL STOP somewhere. That thought started the escalation of frivolous emotions…

Then I stumbled on Jeremiah 17vs 7 “7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit”.

I got on my knees and began to pray for forgiveness. The “God in Heaven who reveals secrets “(Daniel 2:28) has revealed to me that I need to be steadfast in spirit. I need to trust him.

All my reflecting should only be spiritual. Because when we are in good fellowship and intimacy with God, it is generally difficult for Satan to attack us in our spirit. Attacking our bodies is an entirely different topic, but Proverbs 18:14 (The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?) does show that if our spirit is in good condition, especially if our relationship wand fellowship with God is good, we can sustain through even physical/ emotional infirmity.

If I take on the attitude of not having a Good birthday, it will be so because I thougt and willed it. The battle starts from the mind. By establishing defeat in our minds, Satan can render us ineffective with minimal effort because that condition will dictate us, fueling off our own efforts!

For example, a baby circus elephant may originally need to be restrained by a chain around its foot. It will strain and strain against its bonds but after a while it knows that it is impossible to break free, so it eventually gives up. When the elephant is older, all that is needed to keep it from running away is a small rope. The adult elephant is very capable of breaking its bond now, but because it has been conditioned with the impossibility of breaking free for so long in its mind, it's given up without trying!

Things become what you call them. I call my birthday HAPPY and blessed.

Henceforth, I will start calling unspeakable Joy, everlasting happiness, heart full of praise and all the good things that the lord has willed in my life.

My life will become what I call it. And I call it a God Shaped Life.
Happy Birthday Allied. This year is just the beginning of uncommon favor in your life

I stayed up all night preparing u guys these delicious food

Nigerian food is a must

I also love Indian Food

Get something to drink

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sins of the Parents

“Allied, I have gist for you oh” said an acquaintance of mine. I guess every one has this type of friend, who always has gist. You listen and nod, maybe a comment here and there but you never dive in too much for fear of her mentioning your name when she is relating the gist to someone else. Also, you never get to close to her because you hate people that gossip but you never send her away because her stories are always juicy.

“Eh, you do? What happened” my ears already perked. Ok, I like gist as the next person. What can I say?

“Yes oh, but don’t say I told you. I am just telling you because I think you should know”

“Of course” I said, we both know she will use the exact same line to the other twenty people she tells.

“Do you remember Gbohunmi?”

“Gbohunmi? Gbohunmi? That name sounds familiar. I am not sure…..who is he?”

She smiled “You don’t remember, but you know I was talking about a boy. It might have been a girl now. Anyway, Gbohummi in night vigil”

Of course I know who Gbohunmi is, I was just “demoing’ for the girl. Before i know, a concocted a story about Gbohunmi and I will be carried through the tri state“cobalizing” me in one of her numerous gist.

“Is he the tall dark guy that plays the drum”? Another white lie, I knew Gbohun is the guy that plays the guitar. He is a cutie, but a lot of girls are after him and I don’t want to be counted in the number.

“No, the other one that plays the guitar” she said impatiently

“Oh, ok…. What about him?”

A laugh with mirth escaped her lips “My dear, the guy really likes you oh. It’s been a while now, we were talking yesterday and he told me”

Pulse racing, heart pounding… but I managed to stay clam “really, since when? And why are you the one relating the message”

“What message? he did not send me to you, I am just telling you. Infact let me land before you bury me. I asked him what he will do about it, but he told me, he can only like you from a distance. Cause of the complication” she paused for the effect of her words

“Complication? what complication?” asked curious me. “But I am not married, neither do I smoke or drink. Or is it because I don’t go to his church?” I shamelessly listed my biodata.

She laughed “no, he said he did his home work and he found out your parents are separated. You have been exposed to divorce, so it’s not likely you will make a good wife”

My jaw dropped. “What”?

She repeated herself, like I didn’t hear her the first time. “What a shame, you guys would have been a cute couple; I hate it when something like that happens”

“He said that? Who wants to marry him anyway” my ego was bruised. If she knew that I had already envisioned what our twins would look like. Nimi (Oluwalonimi) will inherit his dimples, and my beautiful face and long hair (by Nigerian standard) and Kintan (Ireoluwakintan) would have his daddy’s long eyelashes and mummy’s almond shaped eyes.

“Yes, he did. Guys think like that sometimes…. anyway I got to go, bye”

She left, and I stood there for another minute or two pondering on what she said. I have never heard of this before... “What?” I said loud again.

I decided to investigate further. No, not with Gbohunmi, but talk to other people and see if this is another disease that needs to be purged from the society, and Boy was I surprised. I found out that a lot of guys believe in such things. From, Nigerians, to Indians to Guyanese. They all punish the children for the “sins” of their parents.

Notice I put sins in quotes. Sin is defining what is morally unacceptable in each culture. WOW

I refuse to believe people think this way, WE ARE CHRISTIANS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
For once i am speechless…

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Perfect Boy

I don’t know why he is refereed to as the perfect boy, but that is the name my dad coined for him. Dad of all people, who would flare up at the mere mention of a boy’s name from anyone of us girls, could not help beaming at the mention of perfect boy’s name.

I was out the day he visited our home with his mom. The whole household told me of their visit cohesively. From the way he smiled, to his courtesy and respect for elders. My dad never failed to mention that perfect boy voiced his opinions only when his mom asked him. To my dad, that is ideal respect. From what I heard, his mother asked for me and she expressed that the only reason she brought him along was to get us acquainted. My mother jokily told me that his mother was trying to send me a message.

I was shown his picture and i must admit, he is adorable. His smile, his laughing eyes, which were big, it was impossible not to be lost in them. And the best thing was that he had so much hair, I knew he will not be bald anytime soon. He must be a heart breaker wooing so many females with his charming smile. Instantly, the feeling of love enveloped me.

Yet when Mom voiced that we should pay him and his mother a visit, I felt some discomfort. He looks cute and all, but I don’t want to sacrifice my evening of luxuriating in the breeze reading a good book to decking up like a “good girl” and have a nice but proud mother look me over to see if I am fit to take care of her son.

When we got to their house, I was asked to sit next to him while our parents excused themselves. He watched his mother leave and he fixed his beautiful eyes on me, it lit up when I smiled. Even though no words were exchanged, I knew he liked what he saw. Suddenly, I smelled something disgusting and I covered my nose. I then looked at him with a naughty grin, as if on cue, he started crying and his mom picked him up from his bassinet to change his diaper.

The perfect boy do have flaws after all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Already Complete

Just because no one has been fortunate enoughto realize what a gold mine you are,
doesn't mean you shine any less.

Just because no one has been smart enough to figure out that you can't be topped,
doesn't stop you from being the best.

Just because no one has come along to share your life,
doesn't mean that day isn't coming.

Just because no one has made this race worthwhile,
doesn't give you permission to stop running.

Just because no one has realized how much of a woman you are,
doesn't mean they can effect your femininity.

Just because no one has come to take the loneliness away,
doesn't mean you have to settle for a lower quality.

Just because no one has shown up who can love you on your level,
doesn't mean you have to sink to theirs.

Just because you deserve the very best there is,
doesn't mean that life is always fair.

Just because God is still preparing your king,
doesn't mean that you're not already a queen.

Just because your situation doesn't seem to be progressing right now,
doesn't mean you need to change a thing.

Keep shining, Keep running, Keep hoping,Keep praying,

Keep being exactly what you are already; Complete!

Friday, September 7, 2007

What did you hear?

“But Mummy it’s Jacob” I said, screaming this time to get her attention.

“Which Jacob ?” she said

“Jacob Jacob”

“Jacob? Oh, our Jacob but Why didn’t you tell her that you were talking about Jacob?”

“Frankly mummy, it is not of her business who I was talking about and besides I was not talking to her, she was eavesdropping. You know it is one the things I detest. Why is she reporting me to you anyway? I am a grown up woman. I need to go”

“Are you now angry with me? I am doing my duty as a mother. If I hear something not pleasing, it is my right to ask you. And aunty did not do anything wrong, she is looking out for you that is how we do at home.

“Mom you did not ask me, you accused me”

“ok sorry.”

“Mom I need to go. Will talk to you later”

That was how the phone conversation ended with my Mom. To say I was upset is an understatement. I was fuming. It all started last week Sunday in church

I need to clean the bathroom, run the dishwasher, which means I have to stop to get the detergent... ah, the laundry. Gosh! I also have to cook. I will do it after I sleep. Men, I am so tried.

“Halleluiah… Glory... Thank you Jesus”

My mind was transmitted back to church. Apparently, I had been thinking about all I had to do instead of listening to the sermon.

“… We need to break negative mind set, just because your parents are drunkards doesn’t mean you are going to be one. We need to talk about generational curses too….” My pastor was saying.

“Preach it pastor” my cousin was jumping and clapping.

I looked at her and I wished I had the energy to listen wholeheartedly. From the looks of it, it sounded like a very good sermon. But I had a sleepless night and coming to the early service was proving to a “not so great” idea.

“… face your neighbor and tell them, Neighbor, oh neighbor, the devil is not going to steal this mind because it belongs to God...” my pastor commanded

My cousin Tolani and I faced each other and repeated the same words. “… Say it like you mean it...” came the voice from the pulpit

Tolani repeated it this time but I said nothing. She raised her eyebrow, a gesture to ask what was wrong with me. I shrugged then wrote at the back of my sermon notes “Jacob slept over at my place last night”.

So? Came her reply

“I allowed him to sleep on my bed last night.”

“You shouldn’t have done that… You of all people…”

“I know right? But what is done is done. I will not repeat the mistake again. Can you believe he held on to me the whole night?”

She smiled and opened her bible. I knew more questions will be asked because she knew I was not like that with Jacob. After the sermon, Tolani had to run downstairs because her mother-in-law attended the same church with us and she had to go and show “face and mark attendance record”. I decided to go wait for her downstairs. On my way to where Tolani in-laws stood and conversed, I meet an aunty that is a friend of my mom. Her name is Aunty Laide. I greeted her and we made general conversation about how life is treating everybody in both our family. While I was talking to aunty Laide, my cousin came to join us.

We excused ourselves and said bye to aunty laide. Two pews down from aunty Laide, Ore, Tolani’s baby started to cry. We thought it was wise to feed him there and then before they begin their long journey home. We sat down and continued the story of Jacob.

“So? You finally gave in eh? Allied I always thought you were strong, but I can’t believe after all your shakara, Jacob still managed to sleep with you.” My cousin said

“WO, (look) I don’t even know how the boy did it, one minute we were watching TV, the next minute I dosed off. I woke to up to his silent tears. I asked what was wrong, but he gave me more tears. I was tired, so I just held his hands and led him to my bedroom and he slept, holding on to me.”

“Eya... I wonder what was wrong with him. Where is he now? How come he didn’t come to church with you?”

“Folarin came to pick him up this morning” I answered.

“Don’t tell Folarin because she wouldn’t allow him at your house again...”

“Point noted. Abeg, I need to go, I have a lot of things pending... I will call you later. Bye.”


Monday Morning, my phone rang and my Mom was “bringing the house down” on the other line.

“Allied, eh, what is this I am hearing? Men are sleeping at your house? In your bedroom? ah.. Is this what you do because you have your own place?”

“What are you talking about” which men?

“Aunty laide said some guy slept at your house on Saturday… ahh why are you embarrassing me like this”

“But mummy…”

“Don’t mummy me, that is absolute rubbish and nonsense and I know you did not learn that foolishness from me”

“Mummy... listen”

“God knows I bought you up right… I can’t even imagine you were discussing that in church. Aren’t you ashamed?”

“But Mummy it’s Jacob” I said, screaming this time to get her attention.

“Which Jacob” she said

“Jacob Jacob”

“Jacob? Oh, Our Jacob but Why didn’t you tell her that you were talking about Jacob”


Now that we are back to the beginning, I will fill in the missing parts. Jacob is my 17 months old nephew. We are weaning him off sleeping next to someone because he tends to get up at night and feed. He has his own room and bed and the instruction was to let him sleep by himself under every circumstance unless he is sick.

But aunty laide did not get the whole fact. She went to tell my mom “These are one of the reasons we do not let girls live by themselves. Allied your daughter was boasting in church about the man that slept in her house last night”.

Next time I see aunty Laide, I will ask her “What did you hear?”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cherokee Legend

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bind and Loose

As a Nigerian, it is not an unwelcoming sight when i walk into a church and everybody is shouting/praying. It is embedded in us. After all, the bible says “Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force”.

I remember taking my 5 months old nephew to a restaurant with a group of non Nigerians. Our waitress sat us next to the piano and despite the loud noise my nephew slept through the whole meal. We were there for 2 hrs. One of my friends commented on how he is such a good baby because he slept peacefully in his car seat and didn’t even stir. I just smiled. The truth is that my nephew has been going to night vigils every Friday since he was a month old. He is used to noise at this age.

Ok, where am I going with this? I have gone to many night vigils or churches where we were asked to intercede for another. I found that many Nigerians when they pray - always bind (Loudly may I add) rather than loose. Eg

“ I bind the generational curses in sister’s lagbaja family” or “ I bind all the enemies that are trying to destroy bro tamedu household”

Definition of bind - to fasten or secure with a band or bond. Or to fasten around.

Definition of Loose - free or released from fastening or attachment

Why do my fellow countrymen bind curses rather than loose? I have had to suppress numerous urges to stop my prayer and tell my neighbor (the person praying besides me) that “Aunty, you do not bind but loose” or maybe you can cast. But I am always afraid that they may see me as an ITK ( I too know) or rather label me as an enemy of progress or Bind me along with whatever they are binding ( I rebuke in Jesus Name - AMEN)

There are times when it is good to bind. Proverbs 3 vs. 3 states “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man”

So my fellow Christians, Let us bind kindness and truth like a necklace and wear it as an adornment and find favor with GOD and man. Also, let us loose, cast, throw, command things that are not of God so we will have his blessings because:

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19 RSV)

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Quest...

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape...

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear...

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone...

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...but a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them...

A strong woman walks sure-footedly...but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls...

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...but a woman of strength wears grace...

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong...

Monday, August 6, 2007


I awoke startled. Beads of sweat formed at the crown of my head then it trickled down my back for I was in the sleeping position. I hated the moistness and tried to move around to air dry it but to no avail. I looked around and could not recognize where I was, the room was semi dark and the only ray of sunlight in the room was shinning into my eyes. As I tried to shield the light with my hand, to my dismay I realized my hands were bound. Each hand was tied up at the wrist and covered with some kind of cloth. That made the operation of my fingers virtually impossible. My hands felt clumsy and I couldn’t free them. I was getting irritated now. First the sweat on my back, then the sunlight in my eyes, and now this impairment of my hands was proving to be a pain.

I tried to yell, but only came distorted whispers. I then realized I couldn’t move, I tried a few times but without success, the ache in my back made me know I have been immobilized for sometime now. I succeeded in letting out a loud scream, but that too didn’t last to long for I was exhausted. Maybe Dehydrated. I recollected that I was brought into this room some months ago. There were two. Who they were I do not know. One of them who seem to be the boss was always looking from afar, giving instruction on how things are to be done. He never came near nor did he say anything to me. But sometimes he would stand at the entrance of the room and stare for hours. I have seen him three times watching me sleep. The “other” one is very gentle and always smiled at me. She cleans the space allocated to me. She also bring me food which I will not take from her anymore because I suspect... no, I am sure, she puts sleeping pills in the food, cause all I do is sleep after I eat.

I concentrated back on my tied hands. I had to free my hands and get out of here. If they found out I untied my hands, they will put it back on, despite my protests. I couldn’t fight them, they were simply too powerful.

I attacked my bound hands with a renewed vigor. I shook them furiously and even tried to use my mouth to remove them. I was determined to get rid of them. That seemed to be my sole purpose in life now. I used my other hand and started shaking the cloth, trying to break free. Slowly, the cloth seemed to give way and my fingers gradually sneaked out. I got one hand free! I was jubilant. I gave out a loud cry of happiness. But before I could work on my other hand, the “other” walk into the room. I gave a very naughty triumphant smile to her so she would not suspect what I just did...

My mother shook her head in wonderment, as she entered the room. She said “Allied you have managed to remove the mitten – u this girl”. She started to put the mitten back on my tiny three month old hand again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Scathered Lives 2

I finally posted the part 2 of the story. Sorry it took a month, i cant lie that i was really busy, i just didn't know how to end the story. I had to update quick when

  • Anonymous revealed her identity
  • One blogger like this threaten to ban my blog
  • Another stalks me on the phone
  • and lastly the blogger that always asks, then encourage me with the word of God.

You all know yourselves.


Leke, crouched near Lola and whispered “Marry me”. Lola suddenly became furious; she stood up violently and pain shot through her body. She had never imagined her first time would be taken forcefully. He robbed her of her fantasies. She looked down at Leke and spat in his face. “Shameless pig” was all she could utter.

Two months later, she found out she was pregnant and confided in her mom. Her mother’s reaction shocked her beyond imagination. Mrs. Kola held the end of her wrapper and danced around the room singing praises to God. Lola yelled at her.

“MOM why are you dancing? This is rape and I have a bastard growing in me” she said.“Hush your mouth! No grandchild of mine is a bastard. Why shouldn't I be happy? This is God’s doing. Leke is a good man. I know what he did is wrong, but he won’t leave you stranded and I also suspect you like him. You followed him voluntarily to the hotel. I just hope it is a boy so you can at least get that out of the way. Men love boys better. It is good that you are moving on. Have you told Wale?

At the mention of Wale’s name, it seemed a forceful wind knocked her off balance. She staggered back. Her mother ushered her to sit. Wale? She thought. How will she tell him? What would he think? She grabbed her purse and walked out of the house into the rain. Her mother ran after her. “Lola, where are you going? Lola, don’t do anything foolish, Lola?”

She continued. At first she walked fast, and then broke into a run. Though, it was raining, she could feel the hotness of her tears on her cheeks. It stung. What would she do? Should she abort? “O God No” she cried. She couldn’t bring herself to do it. She remembered her friend Tinuke who aborted her pregnancy while she and Wale were still in college. Tinuke never made it out alive. She died on the operating table. The doctors said something about her loosing too much blood. Abortion is not an option. She reasoned with herself. Wale is a rational man. He loves her, he will understand. She is the victim and Wale would see that... A decision was made to call him that very night.

She headed home. Her mom was not in the house when she got there. “Even better” she muttered. She dialed Wale’s number on her cell. It kept on ringing; no one answered not even his voicemail came on. She looked at the time. 7pm. It was midnight over there. She decided to call back the next day. Lola heard the front door open and close, her mother is home. She hurried towards the door in her room to lock it. But before her thought turned into action, her mom swung the door opened.“Please meet me in the living room” she said quietly and turned around to the opposite direction. Lola was not sure what to do? Is someone outside? She hoped her mom hasn’t told any of her father’s relatives. She lingered in her room a moment longer then she stepped outside.

Her legs almost gave in when she stepped into the living room. On the couch sat Leke. His arms akimbo and he was looking down at his feet. Her mom sat opposite him and gestured towards the seat beside her.“What are you doing here” Lola yelled“Oro ariwo ko” Mrs. Kola said quietly. She continued “Lola sit down and let us talk this out. Leke has promised to do the needful. I am glad to hear that”. Hate burned in Lola’s eyes. She looked at her mother “the needful”? She repeated. “And what might that be? Is he going to give me my virginity back?” she screamed as tears streamed down her face.

Leke spoke on cue. “I am willing to marry you. I really like you” I can’t forgive myself for what I did. But I thought you like me too. Lola ran into her room, locked her door and cried herself to sleep. Days passed and she hasn’t been able to reach Wale. She called his cell phone numerous times and it kept saying “the sprint PCS number you called is temporarily out of service”. She called the landline where he stayed and the Lady told her Wale moved out a couple of weeks ago without a forwarding address. Lola also sent him an email but it came back undelivered. She was worried. There was no way to contact him; she had exhausted all her options.

Several more months passed and her belly grew as well. Her mother invited her father’s relatives to come and speak some sense into her. Leke was also invited. They all came on a hot Saturday afternoon. Her dad’s elder uncle spoke

“Lola, we the elders of this family are here to talk to you. Even if your father is alive, we will still be here to talk to you if this same situation arises. Your mother came to report you to us that you don’t listen to her. She said if she talks, you are silent. If she is silent, you cry. She can’t take it anymore that was why she invited us. Mama Lola, am I wrong?”

“No sir”

He clucked disapproval and pointed towards Leke “do you know this young man?”

Lola did not look up but answered “Yes”

“Is he responsible for your pregnancy?”


He looked at Leke “Did you impregnate her?”


"Are you ready to marry her and give her your name?”

He beamed “Yes sir. I really love Lola”

Uncle Bayo continued “I don’t know if you love her or not, but you are going to marry her because of the shame you brought upon her. I don’t know why young men of today cannot control themselves. If you wanted a woman badly, you should have taken a wife or perhaps visited a brothel. Lola is not just someone’s child, she is our child. I will not tolerate any ill treatment from you towards her. Do you hear me young man?"

"Yes Sir”

"We have forgiven you, now ask Lola for her forgiveness". Leke prostrated on cue and he pleaded.“Lola, you have heard. And as your father, I am ordering you and not asking. I want you to work with your mother and choose a date. And young man, Tell your people to come and see us. Congratulations” he extended his hands and Leke shook it.

Lola and Leke got married and Anu was born 2 months later. Meanwhile, Wale had not contacted Lola until his recent email to her. She looked down at Anu and she knew instantly what she had to do to get Wale back. She will be prepared. She called Teniola, her housemaid and handed the baby to her. She instructed her to feed the baby and change her diaper. She changed into a boubou and stepped out of the house. She took the keys from her driver and drove herself to a mallam shop and asked him where she can get rat poison. He had some and sold it to her. She came back home and gave it to teniola to keep until “aunty Laide” her friend comes calling for it.

Leke came home, and was so happy to see Lola and Anu, ever since they both got married 6 months ago; he had lavished her with every wish of hers. But he loved Anu more, he is always eager to change her diaper or feed her during the night. He spoke to Anu in baby gibberish and she smiled.

“How did your day go” he asked Lola

“Fine” she snapped and went to their room and slammed the door. Leke was used to her tantrums. Sometime, Lola is affectionate and sometimes she is snobbish. He tried to atone for his sins at different times, but Lola would not forgive. He asked Teniola to bring his food and he spent the rest of the evening in his study.

Lola got another email from Wale. It gave details of when his flight will arrive. He also would like to meet up for old time sake. His email stated “sorry I didn’t contact you for a while. I thought it was the best thing to do. Now that you have settled down, we can talk as friends” He is probably being cautious. He still loves me. She thought.

Two weeks before Wale is due to return, Lola called her mechanic to her house. She said there was something wrong with her car brakes. The mechanic checked and told her everything is fine. She asked him to show her how the brake system works. He did and left. A week later, Leke died in a car crash. His brakes failed and his car collided with a truck carrying petrol causing a huge explosion. Lola was in mourning, she wore black. She declined allowing relatives to stay at her house. "I want to be alone" she said. A day before Wale‘s arrival. She fed Anu and cried while doing it. Teniola felt sorry for her because she thought Lola was crying for Leke. Lola put Anu in her crib.

Next day, Anu did not wake up. She died sometime during the night.Teniola discovered her. She screamed, she ran and told Lola. Lola just sat on her bed and cried. She refused to go see Anu. She beat at her chest and slapped herself. Teniola ran out to call a neighbor. Everyone came. This is a tragedy they all said.

Two days after Anu’s death, Lola was in her room waiting for a call or text from Wale. She decided she will have him come to the house. Family and Neighbors will not think anything of it. After all, she is in mourning and Wale is one of the sympathizers. It was a quiet afternoon and she needed a bit of distraction so she switched on the TV. The news was buzzing concerning the plane that went down in the Atlantic. It was coming from the United States, no one survived.
Names were been read and Lola heard Adewale Timi.

“It can’t be” – she screamed, her mother ran in – “Lola what is it? Take it easy. I know you are still in shock” Lola thrust herself to the ground.“My God what have I done? I have destroyed lives. Wale cannot be gone. Why? Why?"

Her mother was confused – “Wale? Hush Lola, Leke is your husband. Why do you keep saying wale?

“I have destroyed everything mummy. My life is done. I have no reason or desire to live." She kept rolling around on the floor.

Mrs. Kola was frightened. Lola her only daughter was loosing it. She hugged her daughter and busted out crying, "Lola its okay. God can see what you are going through. He will give you peace and replace all you have lost. Look at Job….."

"Mummy, you don’t understand, I killed Leke and Anu. I murdered them for Wale. Mummy God is already punishing me." Lola said sobbing

Mrs. Kola was in shock, she could not speak, she disengaged herself from Lola and started sobbing hysterically

"Wale why did you do this to me?" Lola sobbed. "Why? I did this all for you and you disappointed me."

Lola suddenly stopped crying, she got up from the floor cool and collected and walked towards the nightstand. She reached behind it and grabbed the rat poison. She remembered putting it there after she mixed it with Anu’s milk three days before. She looked at her mom, who was coiled on the floor still sobbing and said “I should have been content mummy. I should have known that life is a gift not a right. I destroyed those gifts.” With a swift movement she drank the content in the bottle. Her mom ran over and grabbed to examine the bottle. Mrs. Kola froze.

Lola went into convulsion, minutes later she breathe her last. Mrs. Kola wailed with all her might, neighbors rushed in, for teniola had gone to get help.What happened? They asked. They saw the bottle and shook their heads. Why? Why did she do this? You should have been watching her for she was still distraught” they said. Mrs. Kola wept uncontrollably shaking her head. She is determined to keep her daughter’s secret. Her family honor should not be jeopardized. She will be the seed that decides the harvest around her.

With regard to Lola, I saw it from two points of view...if i go the Shakespearean route, then every one must die, and then I thought of David (Bible) also. He too killed for love and then suffered the consequence by losing a son, but his story continued...I think the wage of Lola’s sin is Wale's death and being able to live through it will be her redemption. But I don’t know how to live out that redemption.

Someone can take the story up and give it a befitting ending.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it." "If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. "In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on." "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later, after you've rested.

Friday, July 20, 2007

He Understands

I Said:
Sometimes I feel like giving up
It seems like my best just isn’t good enough
Lord if you can hear me
I am calling you
Do you see, do you care
All about what I am going through?

God Said:
One more day
One more step
See I am preparing you for myself
And when you can’t hear my voice
Please trust my plan
For I am the Lord,
I see U and YES I understand.

Then I Said:
Sometimes I feel like I am alone
I am just like a stranger so far from home
I feel like I have done all that I can do
Please lord, give me strength
I am just trying to make it through

God told me again:
Just One more day
Just One more step
For I am preparing you for myself
And when you can’t hear my voice
Please trust my plan
For I am the Lord,
I see U and YES I understand.

Then I Said:
But , But Lord,
This is more than I can bear
It has become so hard to share
I know you said you will always be there
But you have forgotten me here

God Said:
I am the Lord, I changeth not
I won’t forget nor have I forgot
You see everything works according to my plan
I am God trust me
I have got the whole world in my hand

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Scathered Lives

I am coming home


That was all the email said. She read it again and checked the time it was sent. 9:17pm last night. She made some calculations; he must have sent it around 3pm his time. Joy and happiness both rolled into one emotion. She is excited. Finally, they are to meet again. At last, they will be together. Her thoughts ran wild. Will she still look beautiful to him? Will he recognize her? What if he doesn’t love her anymore? She looked at herself in the full length mirror, Her body is still in shape, her hair which he loved so much is cut short but it brings out her beautiful almond eyes, her breasts are bigger and fuller which pleases her. She thought about what will she wear when she meets him? She remembered he loved to see her in pink, but it is possible he has changed after 2 years. No, he is still the same person, her heart tells her so. She smiled to herself, and reminisced on how things were between them before they parted.

Lola and Wale met in college and their relationship began as friends. Within a year, it grew into something deeper, though nameless. Friends from each side teased them about it. During their last year in college, Wale kissed her while they were arguing about some trivial thing. She still remembered that kiss after three yrs. He asked her to marry him. She accepted.

Lola was brought back to reality when Anu cried in her crib. She looked at the baby with sadness. How will she explain? She picked up the baby from the crib and looked at her closely. Anu is a very beautiful baby, how she wishes she belonged to both of them. She studied her baby for another minute, Anu, happy to be at her mother’s bosom smiled and rage consumed Lola. Anu had Lola’s features but her nose and smile were that of her father Leke. She remembered the circumstances how she met and married Leke. He had been one of her father’s friends. Even though, he was younger to her father, he was still treated as an equal because of his wealth and position in the community.

When Lola and Wale both graduated from college, Wale got admission into a university in the United States to study his MBA. He was not from a rich family nor did he know anyone in the U.S. He had to come up with money for his fees, room and board. Lola’s family was not financially well off, but because her father was well respected within their community before he died, she had contacts to family friends who are wealthy. One of such friends was Leke Sanni.

Leke Sanni is a business tycoon who is both shrewd and generous in his dealings. He made his wealth through family inheritance but also had the business sense to continue to make more. At the age of 39, he still had no plans to settle down; He is not a womanizer but known to be in company of beautiful women. One day, Leke saw Lola at the entrance of his company, and he quicky ushered her in, not because he recognized her but because her beauty caught his attention. When they got to his office, he was very nice and warm to her, he asked her if she wanted anything to drink but Lola declined

Mr. Sanni, I am Albert Kola’s daughter, Lola. I came to you because you are one of my father’s friends and I need your help” She started refusing to meet his eyes

“What is it my dear” he asked not in a fatherly way

“I have a friend who is so dear to our family, he needs a loan to go aboard and he also needs a job when he gets there. Knowing someone of your caliber will help him”

“Who is your friend?”

“His name is Wale Timi, we grew up together. My father treated him like his son when he was alive.” Leke remembered Lola’s father as a generous man. Even when he didn’t have, he made it a point to give. But how come he never realized how beautiful Lola was? He asked himself. Leke sensed what she had not said. He knew Wale and Lola were more than friends; he conjured up a plan. He pushed his chair back and stood up.

“Lola” he said softly as he walked over to her and gently placed his left hand on her shoulder. Then he continued “I will help you.” Your father was a very nice man and once upon a time, he too was there for me” She was grateful to hear this. She asked him when Wale can see him. The arrangement was made and Wale was given his loan and he left the country promising Lola that he would come back for her.

Four months passed, Lola paid a visit to Leke Sanni to thank him for all he did for Wale. Leke was glad he could be of assistance. He invited her to dinner, and she accepted. When they got to their destination, she realized it was a hotel, a bit perplexed, she questioned him

Mr. Sanni, why are we here?

“To eat” he said. “Haven’t you dined in a five star hotel before?”

Lola felt embarrassed and she smiled. He continued “Don’t worry, there will be other people joining us if you are feeling uncomfortable”

She relaxed when she heard that. He led her into a private suite. Dinner was ordered. Lola began to feel uneasy because they only ordered dinner for two. She questioned him again

“Mr. Sanni, why are you holding a meeting in a suite instead of a conference room and shouldn’t we order dinner for the rest of the group?”

He answered “No, dinner is just for us, and the meeting is being held here because of its confidentiality.” She excused herself to the bathroom. While in there, Leke laced her drink with a sleeping drug. Lola came back, apologized that she had to leave. Leke asked her to at least have a drink before she leaves, she had the drink, something didn’t feel right, and she knew it. It was too late though; she began to feel drowsy. She staggered her way to the bed to sit down and only minutes later, she fell unconscious as she watched Leke walk towards her.

Lola woke up with a headache, she looked around, but could not recognize where she was. She got up and realized she was naked. Could it be? She wondered as her hands tried to hide her body from the morning light. Still doubting, she hurriedly grabbed her clothes from the floor. Leke heard her from the bathroom and he ran into the bedroom to meet her; He was smiling. This is when it hit her, there was no longer need to doubt, his face told her the story of last night; she is a woman, her body confirmed it.
With her eyes welled up with tears and her clenched fists making a thousand promises of pain, she darted across the room and lunged at Leke. She hit him till her hands gave up and her legs gave in; she collapsed to the floor sobbing.

To be continued…

Friday, June 22, 2007

Well said

How many of us feel this way?

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Behind the poem

The Poem

When two separate souls meet
something beautiful can happen

When two different souls intertwine s
omething exotic can develop

When two distinct souls become one
someone somewhere envies their bond

When one soul wars with itself
someone at home gets torn apart

When we are tired, weak and weary of war
somehow we go back to the beginning

When we learn to make our soul work as one
somehow how love grows even more

When two separate souls meet
something beautiful can happen

The train moved violently knocking everyone to the same side. He bumped into me, and muttered a quiet sorry. I nodded without looking in his direction. He moved closer towards me this time without the help of the train. I looked at him and his eyes held my gaze. He wasn’t exceptionally handsome, but everything about his face seemed perfect; his eyes had kindness in them, a “cute as a button” nose and his ears looked like they would be fun to twist. His hair is full and wavy, I felt like running my hand through it. He has thin lips which look like a smile and his eyelashes were long and heavy like that of a woman. All these features, I observed in 20 seconds, and then I looked away. He got off at the next stop, but not without leaving his business card on my lap.

When two different souls intertwine
something exotic can develop

Work was exhausting, but I managed to catch the 8:05pm train. I saw him, again, sitting at the corner of the train reading a book. I had been looking at his business card all week, even picked up the phone a couple of time, but didn’t have the nerve to call. I didn’t want him to think I was easy, frankly I like to be pursued. I don’t know how that defines a relationship, but it is a role society has given me to play, a false sense of having the upper hand. As I looked at him from a far, I saw the book he was reading was the Holy Bible. Once I realized he was readying the Bible, I felt all sense of the rules of dating went out the window; I gathered my confidence, walked up to him and I whispered in his ear “would you like to have a cup of coffee with me”?

When two distinct souls become one
someone somewhere envies their bond

We met regularly for coffee breaks, lunches and other reasons to see each other. We were both eager to share the meaningful experiences in our lives. Our friends came to know of us only by our name. We had so much in common, and those few things that were uncommon were exciting. Friends kept asking “What is it about this person? Who is he/she? Why are you smiling ?” All the questions gave me more reasons to smile. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was, what if I had missed that train? What if I hadn’t been bold enough to go talk to him first the second time I saw him? The time came when we introduced ourselves with each others friends. Our friends seemed very happy for us, but as an African adage goes “Don’t mistake the whiteness of one’s teeth for a pure heart”.

When one soul wars with itself
someone at home gets torn apart

Have you found someone?” my mother screamed from the end of the line.

Why? I asked, not bothering to tell her to keep her voice down.

“Because when I talk about marriage, you don’t get angry anymore”

“Ma, I have decided not to argue with you about that matter anymore, there is no point for me to get angry everyday".
My mother continued by saying, “I know you, I am your mother, I have watched you grow the past 25 years, you can be very rebellious if you want to, God knows I did everything right with my parents, I don’t know why he had to give me a rebellious child”.

“Ma please focus…. I have to get back to work in 15 mins. Can I talk to you later?”. She spoke even louder, “No, just tell me yes or no, have you found someone”?

I wasn’t sure if I should tell my mother, this woman is very unpredictable. There was a time when we passed a beggar and I threw the change from my pocket into his bowl, she slapped my hands, complaining that I am part of the reasons these people don’t get jobs by helping them afford their booze. The following month, we passed the same street and a beggar came toward us, she begged for money to feed her children, I gave her a cold look and walked away. My mother shouted at me, for not having compassion, saying “how is it that I gave birth to this girl? Everyone in my family is caring, you must have gotten those traits from your father’s side” Ha!

I decided to tell my mother about my relationship; it’s been one year since I’ve been dating him and I feel it is the right time to share my joy with her.

“Ma I met someone, he is a nice guy with a great personality and hardworking too” I said all this in a rush and bit my lower lip waiting for her response.

“He is also Christian” I added quickly.

“Where is he from?” she asked calmly, but I can hear her breathing heavily

“He is Indian, from India” I said.

“Hm, I will talk to you later”; - - then a dial tone.

I look at the phone and wasn’t sure what to think, my mother as I said is unpredictable. As the thoughts of her calling anybody else in the family to tell about what I said and my doubts of should I have told her, raced through my head, my phone rang and it was him.

“Hey “I said smiling, I love how he calls at the right time.

‘How are u? he asked

“I am fine “

“ Sooooooo how are u? He asked again?

“I am fine” I said again “is there something wrong, you sound a little distracted”

“We have to talk; can you meet me after work?”

“Sure, I hope it’s nothing serious “I said

“No, ok I got to go bye’

We met in starbucks; he picked an isolated place, which got me nervous. He usually sits in front of the window watching people. He asked if I wanted to drink anything, I declined. He was noticeably nervous as I can see; he kept touching his tie and scratching his left eyebrow.

“What is it?” – I asked him in an anxious voice.

“Listen, I told my mom about us last week, and things are not going well. She said all kinds of things which I am not about to repeat. Her blood pressure has gone really up, she is in and out of the hospital, I am sorry I didn’t tell you this before, I tried to bear it all alone, but I can’t. As you know I am an only son and I have a duty to perform. She has been there for me all her life and I owe it to her. I can’t continue this relationship, at least not now. We have to give ourselves time. I Love you, you have been there for me, but I don’t want my mother to die over something like this. Please understand me. I am very sorry.”

I wiped his tears with the back of my hands. His home is in turmoil and God knows what I will face when I get home. I hugged him, said “I understand “, then picked up my bag and left for the station. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I ran all the way to the station with tears streaming down my face. “Oh God this hurts” “why me?” i kept asking but as they say time heals all wounds.

When we are tired, weak and weary of war
somehow we go back to the beginning

I caught the 8:05pm train. I saw him sitting at the corner reading a book. The Bible. He looked up and smiled. He came over and said “would you care to have a cup of coffee with a friend?”

Those words were enough for me to understand we have found a friend in each other, for 3 years of separation didn’t matter. Our friendship begins again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A proverb 31 woman in this day and age? Is it possible?

Who is the proverb 31 woman? Lemuel wrote that his mother told him about this woman. We don’t know the basis of the story – It might have been who his mother was or the type of woman his mother wanted him to marry.

As Christians we know the bible do not lie. Everything in it has come and will come to pass. The reason for the description of the Proverb 31 woman is for Christian women to be like her...

A proverb 31 woman in this day and age? Is it possible?

Yes it is. Proverbs 31 woman is any woman who puts God first. The ideal woman of Proverbs 31 should encourage all women everywhere. Cultures changes, but this woman’s God-inspired character still shines brightly across the centuries.

Before I began to study the scriptures, I was very intimidated by this woman. This woman is the Crème de La crème of all women. I felt I couldn’t measure up to her. She is too ideal for today’s generation. Every godly woman wants to be like her but also dislike her because of her perfection. We believe we can’t measure up to her no matter how hard we try.

I have since realized that there are a lot of Proverb 31 woman in our generation. We are close to her more than we think. Even though, she is depicted as a married woman, a single woman can also be a proverb 31 woman. We will analyze the passage together and see how we measure up.

I will start from Proverbs 31 vs. 10. Put a Yes or No to every statement.

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Are you a woman of valor? – a strong and capable woman who can use her intuition wisely and listen to God

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

Do your husband/ family have full confidence in you? Does your industriousness add to the family income?

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

Do you do right even when it’s not convenient and profitable? Are you reliable?

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

Do you shop carefully for clothing for your family? Do you work willing?

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls

Do you get up early to start your chores and make sure you have the daily menu planned for your family? You don't just go to the corner convenience store to buy your supplies. You shop for quality within your budget. Sometimes you let your light shine and give little treats to your coworkers or neighbors?

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

Have you been involved in the process of choosing and buying a home? Do you know what rents and house prices are in your neighborhood? Have you even taken some of your money to beautify your investment?

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

Do you keep yourself relatively physically fit and not afraid to "roll up your sleeves?" Looking after a home and family can, at times, be hard work.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

Are you a productive woman? Whether you are working away from the house or taking care of the home and family. Do you know your way around the bank and supermarket? Are you on the growing edge and not afraid to learn new things?

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers

Can you use a thread and needle? Can you mend holes and split seams when it's necessary?

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

Is your family your only concern? Do you have a heart for the needy people in your community? Do you give to the food bank on occasion, and help out when a neighboring mom is ill. Charity is part of God's plan for Christians.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Do you provide clothing for the family? It is one of her responsibilities. She takes this seriously, and plans ahead. She does not practice crisis management. This woman has high standards and dresses properly for the occasion.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

Do you pray for your husband? Do you stand with him in all things...? This man does not have to spend half his time trying to straighten out problems at home and his success in the social world comes partly from her support, just as her success comes partly from his support. The original woman of Proverbs 31 couldn’t phone her husband for his opinion on matters. She made many of the day-to-day decisions about their property and goods. He trusted her to manage the estate efficiently.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

Could you manage my own home-based business? This woman runs a business from her home. Her efforts and industry add to the family income

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

Are you confident that God is in control? He gives you strength and dignity. Your relationship with Jesus Christ gives you the confidence to not always be worrying about the future.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Do you speak words that are wise and true? Do your friends trust you to speak the truth? This woman is well read and has the facts. She knows what she is talking about. Whether about her job, her personal values or her opinion on world events, she is able to express herself intelligently, tactfully and diplomatically. People come to her for good advice.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Do you supervise your own household well? Are you an organized, energetic person who carries out her responsibilities?

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Are the praises directed towards you from your husband and children well earned? Are you trying your best to serve them through Jesus Christ? This woman is not a doormat, slavishly trying to appease and please her family, no matter how unreasonable their demands. She is honored in her home. Here we gain an insight into the character of her husband as well. He teaches their children to respect her and the virtues she personifies. A role model for women of all time

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Here is the key to this woman’s effectiveness. Her priorities are determined by God’s will, not her own. She is concerned about what God thinks, rather than with what other people think. Physical beauty and clever conversation are admirable qualities. But if a woman’s beauty and charm are the extent of her virtues, what happens when time and the trials of life take their toll? This woman does not depend on beauty and charm for her success. She recognizes her need for God.

Do you Fear the Lord?

31 Give her the reward she has earned,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Her Christian works bring nice comments from friends and family, neighbors and coworkers. Her reward is eternity. This woman is actively doing, not merely talking. She does not boast about her plans for the future or her successes of the past. They are obvious

So, how did you do? Tally up your "Yes" and I think you will surprise yourself. The lines should now be erased between you and that "perfect" woman of the Old Testament. You are one and the same.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

15 things Me-me

1) Immediately I came out of my mom’s womb there was a black out. The placenta was still inside her. I guess for this sole reason, my mom always think I need deliverance.

2) I bear a man’s name. It is equivalent to a girl named Abraham. Even Nigerians find it weird. Many a times, when we were younger, my female friends got slapped just because they told their parents they visited their friend A*’s house. They thought their children went to a boy’s house.

3) I sucked my thumb till I was ten years old

4) I hate confrontations. It makes me so uncomfortable

5) I observe before I interact. This gives people the impression that I am very quiet, but my close friends will tell you I can’t shut up.

6) I am a neat freak – I will clean everything under the sun.

7) I can cook almost every Nigerian dish. This is an accomplishment for me because I was not allowed to enter the kitchen when I was younger. I was a very clumsy child. I learnt by going to this woman that had a Nigerian restaurant by my house.

8) My name was changed 3 times before I was 3. Thank God I don’t have multiple personalities.

9) Talking about names – I have a weird, unique (at least I think so) and RAZZ middle name. The name has been the “butt” of many jokes. What was my family thinking?

10) I can’t keep malice with anybody. It bothers me when someone do not talk to me because of something they think I did.

11) I can’t relate to my siblings. I have tried several times but they see me as one of their aunties rather than a sister. We are generations apart

12) I have older friends because I have always been the youngest in my class. I was skipped 3 times in school.

13) I have to eat/munch and drink in the middle of the night. I always have a bottle to water and some snacks on my night stand – and NO I am not a WITCH.

14) I am a very light sleeper. I don’t sleep well if someone sleeps next to me.

15) Lastly, I Love GOD. I have a relationship with him that only he and I understand. I want to submit myself totally to him (I am still working on it). He had mercy on me. His mercy was not only to get me out of the punishment I deserve but also to grant me favors that I am not worthy of.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Never Say Never

There is a phrase abi is it adage that says “Never say Never”. I now believe the adage. When someone narrates to me, an incident that happened to them which sounds like something from a Nollywood or bollywood all I do is gasp and say ahhh... eheh… o tio…pele... etc

But something happened to a very careful me last weekend that I still can’t believe.

Ok, last Sunday – I woke up at 8:15am and realized that I will be late for church. The previous day had been an enjoyable/painstaking Whitewater rafting experience (again). I came home in the wee hours of the morning with pain in my shoulders and bum. I had unconsciously told myself I was going to make it to church the next day – ( Mom, see I remember some of the lessons u thought me) – “if you have the power to stay out late last night then you have the power to get up early in the morning to go to church ( my mom use to say)

My church is about 30 mins from home and I was already 25 mins behind normal Sunday schedule. Maybe, I should have just gone back to sleep and go for the 11am service but the angel in me just wanted to get church over with and get back home for 11am so I can have all the day to myself. Hence, I rushed to get ready for church, known that i will miss praise and worship but at least I will be on time for the sermon.

At 8:53am I got into my car. Mind you Church started at 8:30am. I started the car, turned on my AC because it blazen HOT, inserted my ipod into the FM transmitor and Yinka Ayefele voice was heard by my neighbors. I jerked the gear in reserve and off to church. I was on a mission to make a 30 mins drive into 15mins. Normally, on my way to church I usually stop for gas, but as it was that I was REALLY late, I decided to skip this ritual and make it to church before the sermon began. Shebi I can get gas on my way back.

Got to church in 20 mins - Went inside and sat in the balcony - after church, of course some people came over to say hi
“Ah, Allied you came in late. I saw you when you walked in”
“Allied kilode to pe de?” said another (Allied why did u come late?)
“I wasn’t that late – I came in during prayer.” I answered
I remember coming in when the pastor was praying. Don’t these people close their eyes? Emi o mo pe mi lo wa so ni church – (I don’t know if you are here to monitor me in church).

We sha said our goodbyes. I ran into another close friend T. with her beautiful baby. She apologized for not coming to my cousin baby’s naming. She then asked if we can visit my cousin A. Since A lives close to church it did not pose as a problem... That was how T. changed my agenda for the day.

We drove to my cousin house – To get to cousin A’s house, we had to go through the back drop of civilization. That is to say we saw nothing on our way there.

At 4 pm my friend T. left and cousin begged me to stay with the baby so she can go out to dinner and catch a movie with her husband. I agreed. They came back home at 11:30pm. Not to mention how pissed I was cause I have to go to work in the morning (I work in another state – so my commute is an early one). I got into my car at 11:45pm and turned on the AC and switched the song on my ipod to “Why me” - like my spirit knew that I will be asking God that same question in 5 mins.

As soon as I made the turn out of their complex, I remembered that I still hadn’t bought gas and my indicator was already in E (empty) since morning. Not to worry there are numerous gas stations on the highway. (so I thought)

On the highway, the first gas station I saw was closed. Okay – shebi there is another one down the road, I passed the second one and that one too was closed. Omo see how I started praying. I switched to gospel song to see if that would help God remember me – (The bible says enter his court with thanksgiving in your heart)

To cut the long story short – my car stopped in the middle of the highway. I kid you not when i tell you i started talking to the car - "baby, come on now – don’t do this to mummy" “Baby just start so i can get you off this road, you don’t want anybody ruining your perfect body do you?" “God please let her start" As if the car heard me or God pitied me (I will go with the latter) my car started. I changed into the right lane fast enough for it to stop again in another minute. Now I was on the last lane but still it is not a safe place. This highway is christen the 3rd most dangerous highway in the US – I know compared to Nigeria, it is probably the safest. My car stopped in the middle of the dark highway at 12am in the morning. I had no phone (I purposely left it at home because I was waiting for a call that I know will never come – Let leave that for another blog)

To be continued…

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unspoken Desire

This is fictional. I love using first person singular because it makes me feel what my character is going through.

it is just a story. Enjoy!

The sound of his laugher fills the kitchen even though he is in the next room. My skin crawled but at the same time my heart also leaped.

He is the happy type and his laugher is the contagious kind. I remember those days when we were young and I loved to hear him laugh. I secretly blushed when Mom use to say “A happy man is a good husband”.

"Aunty Naomi, Mom is on the phone” my niece yelled

I dropped the peeled onion and cleaned my hands with the apron around my waist. I picked up the mounted phone in the kitchen


"Naomi, I will be home late. I have to stop by mom’s house... What is that loud noise?" my sister asked

With sadness I answered

"It is your husband laughing”.

Friday, May 25, 2007

What season are u in?

Chapter 3

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a
time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

I don’t know why this particular chapter is always left for funerals! This is the meaning of life itself. We should read and reread this chapter while we are alive, so we can understanding what living a good life is.

I have passed different seasons in my life and will still pass many more. Some I overcame, some I rectified my wrongs and others I am still struggling with and in Jesus name I shall be Victorious.

There are many times I have groaned and cried “God, why me?”, there are occasions that I have fought with GOD ( I know, I am such a silly girl). And there are times I will call on him to remember the promises he made. When i am finished with my tantrums, i read the bible to show God his promises, then I remember this chapter and it gives me the clarification – we have to go through all season “under the heaven”


Because God has made us in such a way that we are not satisfied with life as it exists "under the sun.” If we were, we will not look towards heaven. We have to be pushed out of our comfort zone in order to praise him. And by virtue of this appointment of God, all vicissitudes which happen in the world, whether comforts or calamities, come to pass. Which is here added to prove the principal proposition, That all things below are vain, and happiness is not to be found in them, because of their great uncertainty, and mutability, and transistorizes, and because they are so much out of the reach and power of men, and wholly in the disposal of God."

This is to remind me how much life is beyond my control."

So whenever that promotion didn’t fall through – I remember my planting season

When that boy breaks my heart – I remember my healing season

When things are not going right in my life – I remember my build up season

When that thing I am asking God is not yet here – I remember my time to get season.

New opportunities will arise; but sometimes we’ll just have to wait patiently for such opportunities. At other times we’ll lead more aggressively, other times we’ll need to stand back and watch as God works as only He can to prepare us for the next season in our life.

know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor -- it is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

While you are in whatever season - always REJOICE! "There is nothing better" - literally, "not good for a man except to REJOICE, to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good." God is indicating that this is as good as it gets in this life.

That you REJOICE
That you do good while you live
That you see the fruit of your labor
And that you recognize all of this as a gift from God.