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.