Where Are We Now?

10 Sep

The long vacation started end of July for some pupils/students, early August for others, and like every other holiday, the children could not wait to really get into it. Then, the menace called Ebola set in. The press had a field day, spreading terror how best they could. It was like “Catch Ebola in the bus-stop nearest to you”. What else could ruin a holiday than a life-threatening virus.

Granted, the sensationalism created a lot of awareness, (let’s not talk about the bathe and drink salt saga) and a whole lot of changes in many. Notable amongst others is how orderly Nigerians became…no more pushing and shoving at bus-stops, minimal body contact inside of buses, and then the hand sanitisers!

I think producers of hand sanitisers made their greatest sales this period. You can find hand sanitisers sticking out of purses, back pockets, breast pockets… Even those who know nothing about the sanitisers use them these days. For some hand sanitisers replaced the hand creams. It is not surprising to find some using hand sanitisers after washing their hands with soap under running water! Strikes me as quite funny, since the washing of hands with simple soap and running water is really all that is needed, maybe the sanitisers are for ‘double’ protection.

Next we have multiple resumption dates for schools. The Federal government’s directive to adjust the school resumption date was greeted with mixed reactions. Those whose entire livelihood depends on schools’ resuming would not hear of it. If you ask me, all the brouhaha over the resumption date is entirely selfish. Have we really sat back to think about what would happen if this virus enters the school environment? We shall be talking about the wiping out of whole families! The ‘it is not my portion’ ideology alone would cause the biggest problem.

Many, due to their religious affiliations do not believe that anything ‘bad’ can happen to them. This in itself is a high powered self deceit. Bad things happen everyday, even to the most righteous of men! Anyway, back to Ebola, how many parents would have a child running a fever, vomiting, etc and associate the illness to the dreaded virus? We would first try out our usual self medication, during which time the virus would simply pass on to others within the family. If that doesn’t work the next port of call is the church for ‘faith healing’. Even if there is a nagging suspicion of what the problem really is, who would be brave enough to give it its rightful name, after all ‘it is not our portion’. Of course, the hospital is the last resort.

So where exactly are we now? Are schools resuming on the 22nd of September? 13th of October? Indefinitely?

Putting aside our selfishness, what exactly is the right thing to do?


The Children Just Love Fun

7 Jul

Madonna, the ‘material girl’ once sang that girls love fun. Much as I agree with that, I also know that another group that just loves fun is the children.

The children have a great capacity to love and appreciate those little things that the ‘adults’ seem to think is a complete waste of time. The children simply love a fun environment.They thrive in a fun environment.

Have you noticed that children do better when they are not being ‘examined’ under close ‘scrutiny’? A question a child would answer without stress when chatting their friends could be missed in the examination environment. That is because of the pressure and stress associated with the examination setting. No wonder some schools won’t pass any child below six years of age under the rigours of examinations. Yet these kids grow up more balanced than those who started sitting exams from age two. Why on earth should a child at such a tender age be labeled ‘bright’ or ‘dull’ based on the results of an examination!

Why not try raising your children under a fun environment? Let laughter reign in the home, the children leave to face each day with a cheerful disposition. Smile, smile at the children, look at your reflection in the mirror and smile. Give yourself and the children a treat. Go out to fun places and amuse yourselves.

Everyone, children or no, love fun after all.

I Remember MJ

25 Jun

I remember very early in the morning this day 5 years ago, I received a phone call, a call that changed my mood for the rest of the day. The caller suggested I tune in to a particular news station and hear first hand what was going on.

I refused. I insisted the caller tell me themselves what it was I should find out. The caller gave up and simply said “Michael Jackson died last night.”

I didn’t believe it.  And neither did I have the courage to tune in to the news station to verify it either. I just blanked out that piece of information from my mind, and decided to face my day as if nothing had happened.

The office was buzzing with the news when I got there, I could see quite clearly that there was at least some truth in what I had earlier heard. But then I still did not react…I was in denial.

Then I got a call from The Gambia, it was from my elder brother who had travelled there at the time. Why was he calling? It was to tell me exactly the same thing, “Did you hear…” At this point I was sitting in front of a TV set and taking in the same piece of news, without any outward show of emotion.

And then my dad walked in. He took a good look at me and asked “How are you holding up?” It was all I needed. I broke down and I cried.

You may wonder ‘why would every member of my family be placing a call to me about this event?’ You guessed right, I was a great fan of MJ in the family and everyone knew that. So everyone just felt I needed consolation…imagine that!

But actually, I did.

I guess everyone had their various reactions to MJ’s death. For some it was good riddance to bad rubbish, to some it was a matter of ‘so he died, duh?’ And yet to some, it was earth shaking. To me it was like, “How could someone like MJ just drop dead?” It was so surreal.

Michael was an enigma. Everyone had an opinion about him from good to bad to downright ugly. Though opinions about his life has always been diverse, a fact that everyone concedes is that he was a great singer, entertainer and performer. No one argues that whether a hater or a lover.

But all the same, everyone still felt his exit from the world scene and like it or not, the world still feels his absence five years down.

What more can I say?

Adieu Michael Jackson.

I remember.






When All Hope is Gone

23 Jun

The leaf hangs on there


Up, up up the top

Of the tree

Blown hither and tither

By the wind

Which blows on all

All that sinned

Then comes the fall

attachment broken

The leaf briefly its

Fall is broken

By the countless others

leaves like itself

That clothe the tree

the tree itself

But the leaf its mission

must fulfil

It glides away from

the others still

And continues its fall

yes it does

This time on its own

it really does

Glide and glide blown

Hither and tither

Then it lands right

there on the water

Which flows with a

mind of it’s own

Wherefore the leaf goes

It glides with the flow

The same way the water


To a land, to land

Where there is no hope

And Bang! You Are Awake

21 Jun

Have you ever been so tired from so much work you did through the day, and you can’t wait for night fall so you have all the sleep you deserve and more, if possible? You are practically sleep walking as you go through the motions, or are they the ‘before bed rituals?’

a light dinner? Check

a shower or a long soak? Check

your favourite night gown, pajamas, something you are comfortable with? Check

a comfy bed and heavenly pillows? Check

the right room temperature? Check

You crawl into bed with the greatest enthusiasm, a fitting end to a stress-filled day. And then…

You wait…

You can hear the clock ticking endlessly, was that an owl hooting out there?

The wait continues

You find yourself listening for the minutest sounds you can ever imagine. You give your head a vigorous shake, you’re supposed to be sleeping right? You toss and turn, you count sheep, you pick up a old boring novel, but nothing helps, you are simply awake. Then you get up and pace around the room, trying to get yourself tired? again?

Many would identify with this scenario and wonder where to get help.

I am no sleep therapist, so I certainly cannot help you with this problem. All I want you to know is that you are not alone in this, millions out there also find it difficult to fall asleep, even after a hard days work.

So if you have a solution, why don’t you share it? It would be highly appreciated.


A Woman’s Age

19 Jun


My mother once told me that the age of a woman depends on who is asking. That is to say that just as a chameleon changes its colour to suit the environment, a woman’s age also undergoes changes in order to blend with the ‘environment.’

Before the computer age when you could google any information you need, which would include such medical reports which are not ‘classified’…what could be classified about when you were born, I mean, we all know Prince George of Cambridge weighed 8lb 6oz! Well before now, we all rely on whatever the person in question told us to determine the age of others. The women especially had field day misleading whoever they wish, about their age. These used to be the determining factors

  • who is asking?
  • you really want to know?
  • you already know.

For their ‘peers’ women would generally slightly increase their age. They do…

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A Trip Up a Hill

10 Jun

Two months ago I heard about a community that lived up a hill for a time for fear of being invaded. That is a whole village migrating up a hill (difficult to climb mind you) and living there for years with no communication with other communities around them for the period they stayed up there.

This happened somewhere in South-Western Nigeria, in a place known as Idanre. The hill actually exists till today and you have to go up approximately 660 steps to get to the top, these steps are part of a stairway that runs at the side of the hill clear to the top. There really is no danger of falling off the stairs it is perfectly safe with overhanging trees and rest stops in the case of your getting tired and needing to catch your breath.

Up the hill you can still find the village school, the palace of the king (Oba) and some of the ancient deities. There is a river up there, which explains why the village could be that self-sufficient. There is also the building where the ‘white man’ lived…who knows maybe that is how they were discovered.

The community has since come down the hill, when they were sure they were out of danger, and they now reside around the foot of the hill…interesting people if you ask me.

Quite an interesting place to visit – if you have the stamina to go up 660 steps. I did not last more than 350 steps, but going up those 660 steps is a promise I have made to myself.



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