In Memory of 2014...

In one of the very old episodes of Grey's Anatomy, there was a stupid patient (believe me, that show has the most stupid patients. It had better not be a mirror of real life). This patient and his moron best friend were reenacting World War11 in their garage, so they built a bazooka. Somewhere along the line, of course it hurt one of them. It wasn't until a paramedic's hand was inside the victim's chest did they realize the bullet wasn't through and through; no exit wound. That meant at any point it could explode and blow them all into into a billion pieces. Panic, evacuation and all the usual expected stuff followed. Bottom-line, there were two people--paramedic and anesthesiologist--left in the O.R at a point, while others were strategizing somewhere else. Most people were evacuated. Some others played heroes and insisted on staying around. Then a conversation ensued between the paramedic and the anesthesiologist.

"Pink Mist." The anesthesiologist said.

"That's what the bomb squads call people who get blown up by bombs. A human being blown up into shreds, reduced to just a fluid, such that finding a finger would even be difficult."  He continued, to the dismay of the already shaken 22 year female paramedic.

After which he carefully showed her how to manually release oxygen into the victim, carefully explained the pace at which she should release and hold back carefully. Then he slowly walked out of the room.

"Dr. Milton!" She called out, as soon as she realized he was leaving her alone...with her hand clasped to a bullet in a man's chest.

"I have kids." He said, without any guilt and walked right away.

Friendship: The Three Cs.

I use the word 'friendship' loosely. I was listening to a message on leadership by T.D Jakes on YouTube, where he spoke about certain things pertaining to leadership; character, conflict, and your team. Team being those around you. Hence, my choice of the word friendship. Since we are used to calling everybody our 'friends' anyway. I used to have a habit of saying to people about some other person(s), "He/she is not my friend." Lol. It always used to seem mean. I might be naive in many other things, friendship has never been one of them. I was just built, or rather I grew up knowing not everyone could or would be my friend. It is just not humanly possible for me. Shrug. Okay, so according to T.D Jakes, the three categories below, which I termed, 'The Three Cs' are all members of your team, or perhaps a method to select your team.
Confidantes: "A person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others."- Google. These kinds of people are few, of course. We all need at least one of such people in our lives. With these people, you are comfortable in your own skin, to be who you want to be. You can tell them anything, and be sure it will be safe with them. They are with you when you fall, when you rise, when you are stuck. No matter what, a confidante is there. T.D Jakes said if you have only three of such people in a lifetime, you have done incredibly well. That is to say, they are scarce. You know how you sometimes have people around visiting, and you start to get uncomfortable, such that after a while, you just want them to leave? Well, those are not confidantes. You never get tired of confidantes, and since you can be yourself with them anyway, you don't mind them being around. There is a caveat though.

You see, you have to feed these confidantes. Not with money, or food or material stuff, but with yourself. Yes, you. Confidantes are not around for your 'cause', whatever that may be. They are around for you. Sure, they believe in that cause, but they mostly do because of you. So, if after  a while, you start to become unavailable to them, they begin to fade. As with every plant, and living being they need to be fed: with your time, yourself, your presence, you. If you become so busy that you have no time for them, you realize that they may gradually begin to fade out of your life.

Constituents: Now, this is tricky. The people in your constituents are always there for you too, just like confidantes. They have very similar characteristics, except, they are not there for you, but for your 'cause'. Understand that this word 'cause' is used loosely. Your 'cause' may be anything; from your eventual goal in life, something you strongly believe in, your current aspirations...anything. Remember, leadership was what was being discussed. These categories of people are often mistaken as confidantes, because they do practically everything a confidante would. The problem is that they are there for the cause. So, if they are offered a faster route elsewhere, they would take that option and leave you. You start to think you were betrayed, but you really weren't. You just did not recognize that people in your constituents were not your 'friends', they were never there for you, they were there for what they could benefit. On the other hand, if a confidante if offered a 'faster route' or a 'better alternative' to you, confidantes don't leave. They stay.

Comrades: Aha. These ones are neither there for you, nor are they with you for your cause. The reason you have these people around is because they are there for what you are against. This is a typical example of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend.' They are fighters. They are probably so frustrated by what you are fighting against, that they will do anything to get rid of it, including team up with you. T.D jakes used the example of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Both groups of people were certainly not friends, but when it came to antagonizing Jesus, they teamed up really well. Unfortunately, we may think these people are our 'friends' or that they love us, and then we make the dire mistake of confiding in them. When these people leave, because they sure as hell would leave, they can turn back and use the private information we gave them against us. Remember, they are fighters. That's pretty much all they know how to do, fight.

Knowing what category each person belongs helps a great deal. A lot of times when we thought we were heartbroken because of  a 'friend', it wasn't that we were betrayed, we really just did not understand these people's purpose in our lives. Not everyone is here to stay. Knowing this helps you wade through life even better. Such that even after they leave or do what they know how to do best, hurt you, you are still very cool with them, because you have a perfect understanding of things. You can't be a great leader if everything everybody does hurts you and brings you down. In recent times, I have learnt more than ever the power of emotional strength. Oh, and please for your sake and the sake of your sanity, not everybody you get along with is your friend. Get that into your thick skull, ok? Do that, and watch drama exit your life. Lol.

"For survival sake, you have to be able to handle people leaving." - T.D Jakes.



"No discipline is enjoyable while it's happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained this way."- Hebrews 12:11

Something happened to me, which I think was pretty weird. I was reading a chapter in the book of Daniel. It's been a while, so I can't even remember what part of it. Anyway, the point of that chapter was a prophecy from God to Daniel. God was going to punish the Israelites with certain disasters and hardship for a stipulated  amount of time, I think about 2,175 days. And then, I was happy which is the weird part. No, not because of the punishment but because it was an assurance to me that evil days are numbered. I felt relieved for them. At least there was an end date. There's a certain confidence that comes from knowing bad times are not here to stay. If you are writing an exam, for instance. No matter how tedious and hard the exam may be, there's a comfort that comes when you think about the last day of the exam. "Soon." We say, "It will all be over." Perhaps we could approach life's challenges with that philosophy too. "Soon it will be over."

There is a stipulated time for it to end, that stuff you're passing through. So, I think I have matured when instead of a silent anger or 'attitude' when I go through stuff, I smile and remind myself this too will pass. Maturity is when instead of grumbling at every little problem--I use the word 'little' very loosely--you take your time to learn what that problem is there to teach you. Maybe there's no lesson in that problem, but instead of panicking at every problem scare, just chill. Be still, and know he is God. I am not really sure there is a lesson in every problem or that everything happens for a reason. I think that's just crap people say to make you feel better. But that's story for another day.

The point is that knowing there is an end to whatever you are going through is a comforting way to get through the problem. And there always is an end to everything. Remember that.

I used to have a picture on my old phone, it said, "In the end, everything will be okay. If it is not okay, it is not the end." Perfect.


Last Day...

...not of the year. Lol. But of my internship. How is it already four months?! Anyway, I am thankful. What did I learn? Well, for one it is absolutely great to try out different things. At least you know which works for you and which doesn't. I know for sure now that I have, I am, and will  probably always be uninterested in the finance world. Sitting behind a computer, and manipulating excel-sheets is boring as hell. Lord have mercy. How do bankers and people in that field cope? Arghh. I also know I am still very interested in research. Of course, writing is kinda like le first love. So I was cool with that. I also know working on/with social media isn't half bad. Yeah, I did all of that and more. Lol. Cool times.

I will miss the delicious cappuccino. Yum. The only reason I even took coffee on cold mornings was because we had a Keurig machine at work. I don't know if I'll still take as much coffee after I leave. Did I make friends? NO. Surprise surprise...not. I did have an amazing supervisor. She was just really kind to me. Apart from the brief NYSC stint I did back in Nigeria (Mshewww), I have been blessed with very kind bosses so far. I had really annoying bosses in the school where I was supposed to be teaching voluntarily in Nigeria, smh.  Anyway, thank God for the favor he continually bestows on me.
My favorite thing on my desk.

Another phase is over. As this year comes to an end, several phases in my life also are coming to end. But that's great because I am trusting God for much more better things to come.

For everything that has a beginning, there is an end.

Blessed is the end of a thing, that the beginning thereof.

Wait, 'everything'? Marriage too? Lol. Just Kidding.


On Suicide and Depression

I stumbled on a Nigerian girl's blog recently. I was reading her posts, and was really intrigued by her personality. I thought she was eccentric, especially for a Nigerian her age (late twenties). Then I found out she was a lesbian. Okay. And then I read a post where she talked about being attracted to her friend's Mom. She described an incidence that involved the woman and herself, and she mentioned the sexual tension that existed. In details too. I felt my food in my mouth. Yeah, I think I gagged. I mean, her friend's Mom! People were really excited in the comments section though, talking about 'give us more' 'how could you stop there now' 'omg suspense' 'tell us what happened jor'. So maybe I am just different. But common, your friend's mother? Fine, to each his own.

Anyway, to more important issues on her blog. She had mentioned that she dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts in the past. Now that she was over that, she told her parents about it, just to see their reaction plus to foster communication (I guess). Their reply blew even me off. She said they were silent on it at first for the first few days, and then much later said something like "Be copying everything in America oh" I paraphrased that. Typical Naija parents? Lol. Of which people commented that they weren't surprised at her parents' reaction, since that's how Nigerians behave anyway. AH I was surprised as hell.

I have typical Naija parents too. The usual disciplined, strict type. However, God forbid I ever have severe depression, and I told them. I am not sure they will just wave it off as something petty. Now, forget depression, GOD FORBID I ever became suicidal, and I told them. AH, I know for sure, it will be a pretty big deal. Suicide is such a big deal, and it's so sad many Nigerians don't yet see it as that, a big deal. Some of the most seemingly happy persons have gone on to kill themselves. Unfortunately, we feel "Nigerians love life too much to end it themselves." I hear you, but these things still happen. Thankfully, the above lady is doing great now. She saw a therapist...she's doing much better anyway.

Maybe I don't even know what I'm talking about, and perhaps my parents are really that 'typical' Lol. Unfortunately, there WILL NEVER be a way to find out. Because see, even if I just asked them to see their reaction, and later explained I was joking...the parents me I know will be too frantic to even hear the 'I was joking' part. LOL. Especially my Mom. Nah uh. I love them too much to give them a heart attack. Suici gini?

I just wished it wasn't something seen as trivial. I understand the sexual orientation of the above lady contributed to her parents' reaction. They must have thought, first, that and then now, this. Lol. Also granted, in Nigeria life is structured in a way that doesn't really allow for suicide. I mean even a really poor person probably lives in a face me I face you*. With all that goes on in a face me I face you, how will a person still end up depressed? lol. You have neighbors, family, friends etc so I agree depression is probably hard to come by. However, it still happens albeit rarely.

Let me tell you someone that can help though, Jesus! See, you don't even need health insurance with Jesus, like you will with a therapist. Lol. Seriously though, just go online and search for messages by pastors, or read the bible yourself. Listening to, reading about God's promises, and the assurance of his love are really uplifting. I promise :-)


P.S: Notice how I have been on a roll recently, churning out posts upon posts. Hehe. That's because I don't bother planning what to write, I just do it. Yes, just do it! Whatever 'it' is.

*Face-me-i-face-you is a form of Nigerian architecture where a group of one bedroom flats have their entrances facing each other to form a compound with a main entrance leading into a square in the middle.- Wikipedia

P.S; He Hated Her

I was making a mental note on my next post, when something occurred to me. I was going to put a "P.S; insert something here", then I thought to put an extra P.S but this time with "I Love You". You know, like the movie, "P.S; I Love you". Then all of a sudden, memories of that old, romantic movie came flooding into my head. What a horrible movie, I thought. At the time the movie came out, it was the best thing since sliced bread. If you watched that movie without shedding REAL tears--I'm talking about water works-wailing-kinda-tears--you have no heart.

However, in retrospect, what sort of a horrible person was that husband? How can you put someone you love through that painful ordeal. Okay, quick recap for those who don't know the movie.

  1. "When Gerry (Gerard Butler), the husband of Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), dies from an illness, she loses the love of her life. Knowing how hard Holly will take his death, Gerry plans ahead. Beginning on her 30th birthday, she receives the first in a series of letters written by him, designed to ease her grief and encourage her to move forward to a new life." - IMDB

All the time she could have used to move ahead with her life and heal, she was receiving creepy letters from her already dead husband. Ewww.

Sunday Funday: OOTD.

The thing about having a blog is that you are able to feed your inner narcissism. #Ohwell. On this cold, dreary Sunday night, tired of studying, I remember some old pictures in my inbox from my sister. What do I do with all these pictures? Oh yes, put them on your blog. They are from thanksgiving weekend. So, technically they aren't OOTD right? I am not as fashion savvy as style bloggers, so manage me. By the way, who says style bloggers are fashion savvy? They really just think they are. Okay, let's get to these pictures already. Shall we?

Introducing The Eye Witness Application

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors" - Plato

Voting is one of the most precious rights of every citizen and we all have an obligation to uphold the integrity of the electoral process. We all need to be involved not only in voting but in the counting, verification and tallying of EVERY vote in this election. Have you registered to vote today? Do you know where the nearest polling unit is located? Do you know who your candidates are? Do you want to be able to participate in choosing your leaders? The Nigerian election 2015 is around the corner, what are you doing to ensure that the process is free and fair?

We present the Eye Witness Application,, a multi-platform application that allows you participate real time in the verification, tallying and counting of every electoral vote in all elections in 2015. The application is available on android platforms, iOS platforms and can also accept SMS. So you can use the application from your phone, tablet (android and iOS) and laptops.

Pre-election, the Eye Witness Application enables you to submit complaints about pre-election issues, locate your polling units, read news feeds, verify candidate information and start and follow discussions. On Election Day, the application allows you to submit accreditation numbers, election results and report events (text, picture, videos) at your polling unit. You will also be able to follow the results nationwide for all contests based on results reported from polling units nationwide from ordinary people like you. Post-election you can see the results breakdown and follow election petitions.

 Do not buy into the myth that you are powerless. Register to vote today, locate your polling unit, vote, broadcast the results live, follow the results. Do not let another four years go by without your voice being heard! The progress of Nigeria lies in our hands. Download the Eye Witness Application today or visit

You can contact us on: Spread the word.

Visit us on Facebook, google+, youtube, and twitter

Be a Witness, report the votes!!

Written By a Cop: It May Save Your Life, or a Loved One's Life

WRITTEN BY A COP: Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or a loved one's life. In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation... This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, & everyone you know. After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do :The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. Learned this from a tourist guide. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,
DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you... Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.
DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head,
and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR ,
If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat:
DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware:look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor ,
and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.
Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women
are attempting to get into their cars. C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN!
The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then,
it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late
and she thought it was weird.. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT
open the door..' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby
had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way,
whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer
has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.
10. Water scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full blast so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.
Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors! Please pass this on
This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby Theory was mentioned on America 's Most Wanted when they profiled
the serial killer in Louisiana
I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know.
It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle..
I was going to send this to the ladies only,
but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc.,
you may want to pass it onto them, as well.
Send this to any woman you know that may need
to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it
and it's better to be safe than sorry..
Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or
a loved one's life.
I don't really know how to cite this because I saw it on Facebook. So, I copied it exactly how it was. 

I was Part of a Panel, I Spoke on Nigerian Politics. Here's What I Said.

I am really sleepy, but I also really want to do this today. Here goes. I was part of a panel earlier today, where I spoke about politics in my home country, Nigeria. I know we all know about Nigeria's politics, and the mayhem that it really is. We all grew up hearing 'politics is a dirty game'. End of story. However, there is so much more to it than that. After the meeting, I decided to document it. Where else to do so than on my blog? It was something I took serious, but didn't prepare so much for, because I have exams.  Besides, there's only so much I can know. I will come back to this.  So, what did I do? I tried asking for pointers. I only got from my Dad. Twale to you Daddy! My brother had promised me to talk to me about it--seeing as his Facebook is only about politics--without me even asking him. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to talk (blame his network provider). Thank God I spoke with my Dad though, what a tough audience, with so many questions. UGH. But, trust me, I didn't disappoint. Hahaha.

I started by giving a brief history of Nigerian politics.  I said we had a bicameral legislature, and a presidential form of government, with the president as the head of the executive branch. I talked about the British colonization; our independence; our brief stint at parliamentarianism; the first coup; then how the military handed over to civilians; then another coup; on and on I went till present day. I explained we were in our third republic, and although we have had a democracy straight up since 1999, we were still nurturing this democracy. I gave them this introduction, with the exact and accurate dates, including events surrounding each milestone. I then moved on to modern day politics, which of course is the interesting part. *rubs palms* I explained that unlike the United States where candidates are elected for substantive issues they stand for, candidates in Nigeria are supported, and voted for based on mundane things like religion and ethnicity. I am sorry Nigerians, if I made us sound trivial and shallow. That's because we really are. Moving on. I talked, and talked, and talked. Lol. I was really brief actually. And then I rounded up by saying, although the presidential election is coming up on February 14, we have not had any presidential debate yet. THAT FACT REALLY IRKS ME, by the way. I think I did a pretty good job, if I say so myself. At least for someone who had no preparation at all. (I had an exam the night before!). Now, you would think my audience would applaud me, and let me be. LOL. Nope, they fired questions. In the course of answering these questions, I realized that Nigeria has MANY problems that are so ingrained in the system, I wonder if they will ever be solved. Forgive my pessimism. I will post the questions I remember and my answers to them. Look, I remembered so much when I planned to blog, but hours of statistics have left me almost blank.

Q: (I am paraphrasing) Since your president promised to clean up corruption, why hasn't he? Why is it that things have got even worse? Have they? If yes, how?

My Answer: Of course there is corruption in the country. (There is corruption everywhere though!) It is very much ingrained in the society, unfortunately. I am not sure President Jonathan came in to power with the promise to eradicate corruption. If he did, I am unaware. But he has not eradicated it, that I am sure of. I sometimes wonder though if Nigerians really want corruption eradicated. I say this because, corruption is not just at the top. So, although we talk about it, I wonder what it will take to really eradicate it. Maybe not completely, but to an extent. I sincerely have no idea as to why Jonathan has not yet worked on the eradication. Perhaps, he wants to, but just hasn't figured how to. Perhaps, he's indifferent. Because, indeed corruption is worse, and at its peak now. A typical example is the removal of oil subsidy mayhem. In fact, the oil industry general. I don't have the exact figures off the top of my head, but several billions of Naira have been declared missing. Now, I must tell you, my president does have a knack for selecting and forming committees to tackle problems. (Honestly though, what is it with Jona and committees lol) However, these committees never last, and we would usually be back to square one. There was a nationwide protest regarding the removal of oil subsidy in 2012. That also did not last. The former CBN Governor tried his best to expose corruption as much as he could; he fired several bank chiefs, and only then did we realize how deep the corruption saga was. Unfortunately, the Governor himself was fired. There are several instances of corruption, and maybe not much attempt at resolution. Unfortunately.

Q: (Still paraphrasing) Are you taught your history? How much of your history do you think is taught? Why do you think African countries would rather learn about the impression of Western countries about your countries, than to actually learn about your countries? You mentioned ethnicity? How much of that is a problem? What do you identify with, your nationality or your ethnic group?

Home boy brought it IN. He just kept on going LOL. 

Okay, so there was another Nigerian on the panel. She didn't know much about Nigeria. Apart from being younger than me, she has been living in the U.S since she was 11. At this point, she answered briefly before I continued. She talked about not being taught enough about the country. And then went on to say if two Nigerians met in a foreign country, they always made sure to first ask what tribes they belonged. She said although her Dad is Ibo, he grew up in Lagos, and speaks the Yoruba language almost more than a native speaker. He doesn't know much of the Igbo language. Yet, he would never identify as Yoruba, always as an Ibo person.

My Answer: Well yes, our history is strange to many people of my generation.( I told the audience my actual age lol. Hi whoever is reading this and doesn't know me personally, I am in my early twenties :-)) Unfortunately, for some reasons we just weren't exposed to it enough. In fact, many are oblivious of the real account of the Nigerian Civil War. I remember when Adichie's book, Half of a Yellow Sun was to be made as a film. There were many controversies saying it was going to tell a story that could make the country even more volatile. Actually, the movie only depicted the love and drama revolving around the protagonist. I am just as surprised as you are that young Nigerians know who the first president of America was but are clueless about the Nigerian history. Now perhaps, those taking History classes in higher institutions would know more. But I do not think mainstream media has enough of this. I may be wrong.
Ethnicity is a BIG issue. Maybe it's not so much of a problem as it is usually made to be. But I know two ethnic groups in Nigeria may be as diverse as two countries. Many of us just have not been able to look beyond what ethnic group we belong to. Coincidentally, I just had a heated debate on Facebook recently about ethnicity and identity. I would say many Nigerians, including myself identify first with our ethnic groups, and then with our nationalities. For instance, I am first of all Yoruba, before I am Nigerian. In fact many parents would frown upon their children marrying from a  different ethnic group. Not necessarily because they hate the people in those other ethnic groups, but majorly because they understand how extremely different from each other the ethnic groups are. It is possible we have found it hard to see past this. So even if a leader is performing below par, we tend to look favorably on the leader because he's from the same ethnic groups as we are. There is a lot of tension among ethnic groups, and understandably so. The insurgency of Boko Haram in the north for instance is not understood by some others. It is restricted to the north, and it's hard--really hard--for those in the  other parts of the country to relate with the menace. So yes, I think ethnicity is more of a barrier than a blessing to the country. You should note though that these are my views, and some other Nigerians may think very differently.

This was really long, so I summarized it. Whew. For real though, I had never really thought about some of what I said till they came out of my mouth. There's so much work to be done in Africa as a whole. I KNOW there are many brilliant minds among young Nigerians. But I also think that it is hard to solve something you don't know much about. So first off, we have to eradicate ignorance, get knowledge--lots of it. Then, start to take action. What really scared me was that, these problems are NOT restricted to Nigeria alone. Africa as a whole is suffering. We were five panelists from Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya (The Kenyan was born and bred in America. His Mom is African-American. His Dad, Kenyan) and Gabon (The Gabonese was born and raised in France. She is part from Congo-Brazaville.) Yes, there are two different Congo countries. Yes, we were such a diverse group. Not one country had a political system worth bragging about. I think Kenya scored the highest. Yes, I gave scores in my head. Yes, I am competitive like that. LOL. Congo was the saddest. African leaders though, so unfortunate,

This was LONG. Maybe, MAYBE I'll post a second part. I am so exhausted now. I should go to bed.
Love, and some order,

The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying

I was on the phone with a good friend the other day. After covering important topics, like disparaging each other's mothers and retelling semi-factual tales from our college days, our conversation turned to the mundane.
"So, how's work going?" he asked.
For those of you who don't know, I make money by teaching leadership skills and helping people learn to get along in corporate America. My wife says it's all a clever disguise so I can get up in front of large groups and tell stories.
I plead the fifth.
I answered my buddy's question with,
"Definitely feeling blessed. Last year was the best year yet for my business. And it looks like this year will be just as busy."
The words rolled off my tongue without a second thought. Like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or placing my usual lunch order at McDonald's.
But it was a lie.
Now, before you start taking up a collection for the "Feed the Dannemillers" fund, allow me to explain. Based on last year's quest to go twelve months without buying anything, you may have the impression that our family is subsisting on Ramen noodles and free chips and salsa at the local Mexican restaurant. Not to worry, we arenot in dire straits.
Last year was the best year yet for my business.
Things are looking busy in 2014.
But that is not a blessing.
I've noticed a trend among Christians, myself included, and it troubles me. Our rote response to material windfalls is to call ourselves blessed. Like the "amen" at the end of a prayer.
"This new car is such a blessing."
"Finally closed on the house. Feeling blessed."
"Just got back from a mission trip. Realizing how blessed we are here in this country."
On the surface, the phrase seems harmless. Faithful even. Why wouldn't I want to give God the glory for everything I have? Isn't that the right thing to do?
As I reflected on my "feeling blessed" comment, two thoughts came to mind. I realize I'm splitting hairs here, creating an argument over semantics. But bear with me, because I believe it is critically important. It's one of those things we can't see because it's so culturally engrained that it has become normal.
But it has to stop. And here's why.
First, when I say that my material fortune is the result of God's blessing, it reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers. I can't help but draw parallels to how I handed out M&M's to my own kids when they followed my directions and chose to poop in the toilet rather than in their pants. Sure, God wants us to continually seek His will, and it's for our own good. But positive reinforcement?
God is not a behavioral psychologist.
Second, and more importantly, calling myself blessed because of material good fortune is just plain wrong. For starters, it can be offensive to the hundreds of millions of Christians in the world who live on less than $10 per day. You read that right. Hundreds of millions who receive a single-digit dollar "blessing" per day.
During our year in Guatemala, Gabby and I witnessed first-hand the damage done by the theology of prosperity, where faithful people scraping by to feed their families were simply told they must not be faithful enough. If they were, God would pull them out of their nightmare. Just try harder, and God will show favor.
The problem? Nowhere in scripture are we promised worldly ease in return for our pledge of faith. In fact, the most devout saints from the Bible usually died penniless, receiving a one-way ticket to prison or death by torture.
I'll take door number three, please.
If we're looking for the definition of blessing, Jesus spells it out clearly (Matthew 5: 1-12).
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,
2 And He began to teach them, saying:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I have a sneaking suspicion verses 12a 12b and 12c were omitted from the text. That's where the disciples responded by saying:
12a Waitest thou for one second, Lord. What about "blessed art thou comfortable," or 12b "blessed art thou which havest good jobs, a modest house in the suburbs, and a yearly vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast?"
12c And Jesus said unto them, "Apologies, my brothers, but those did not maketh the cut."
So there it is. Written in red. Plain as day. Even still, we ignore it all when we hijack the word "blessed" to make it fit neatly into our modern American ideals, creating a cosmic lottery where every sincere prayer buys us another scratch-off ticket. In the process, we stand the risk of alienating those we are hoping to bring to the faith.
And we have to stop playing that game.
The truth is, I have no idea why I was born where I was or why I have the opportunity I have. It's beyond comprehension. But I certainly don't believe God has chosen me above others because of the veracity of my prayers or the depth of my faith. Still, if I take advantage of the opportunities set before me, a comfortable life may come my way. It's not guaranteed. But if it does happen, I don't believe Jesus will call me blessed.
He will call me "burdened."
He will ask,
"What will you do with it?"
"Will you use it for yourself?"
"Will you use it to help?"
"Will you hold it close for comfort?"
"Will you share it?"
So many hard choices. So few easy answers.
So my prayer today is that I understand my true blessing. It's not my house. Or my job. Or my standard of living.
My blessing is this. I know a God who gives hope to the hopeless. I know a God who loves the unlovable. I know a God who comforts the sorrowful. And I know a God who has planted this same power within me. Within all of us.
And for this blessing, may our response always be,
"Use me."
Since I had this conversation, my new response is simply, "I'm grateful." Would love to hear your thoughts.

Blog Diaries: Volunteering.

In the spirit of thanksgiving, myself with a couple of colleagues joined a local community charity, to distribute Turkey and groceries to Seniors in the neighborhood. I promise it had nothing to do my my last post. LOL. I had signed up for it since forever, and only just decided on that post recently. But it's good to know I am not just talking, but walking the walk. Right?! Haha.

Imagine my surprise when everybody seems to find the fact that I volunteered strange, case in point MY OWN SIBLINGS. What does that say about me? I am selfish? LOL. I mean, look at this.

Sibling A: So, how was your day?

Me:           It was good, I spent the early part of the day volunteering.

Sibling A: Volunteering?

Me:            Kini Lol

Sibling A: O ya mi lenu ni (It surprised me)

With sibling E, na me go look for wahala.

Me:             I am tired. I volunteered today; we shared  some Turkeys and  groceries to Seniors who need them.

Sibling E:  *Laughing out VERY loudly* Were they going to give you Turkey too?

Me:           O_O Whattt?! I went to SERVE! Am I less privileged or a Senior who needs food? *confused face*

So, here I am thinking of my life and how selfish I must be for one sibling to be flabbergasted that I'll give my time to others. While the other sibling was sure there must have been an incentive to get me out in the freezing cold. Well well, surprise surprise :-)

The experience was a good one. However, as gratifying as it was to put a smile on people's faces, it was physically exhausting, not to talk of the very cold weather. I think I must have frozen at some point.  It was no wonder I took a nap as soon as I got home. I have since refused to leave the comfort of my comforter (see what I did there hehe) all day. I did learn some lessons though. These Seniors are lonely, and have absolutely no one to spend thanksgiving with. Even though my own family doesn't have a big celebration, it was a reminder to be thankful to have a HOME to go to. I felt so blessed to have my family to go home to for thanksgiving. An ordinary hug meant a lot to these people, some of whom are probably ill.

I am even more thankful that my own grandparents are and were never lonely, for the most part at least. I never met my paternal grandmother, but I am sure she wasn't alone. My paternal grandfather was definitely not lonely, he had us :-) And would eventually die in our home, in his room, on his bed. #Blessed. My maternal grandparents, both are alive and are certainly NOT lonely. LOL.  So I started to pray and hope that no matter how busy my silly siblings and I will be, we will have plenty of time for our parents, and make sure they are never alone. I hope they wouldn't be so in need of someone to talk to, that talking to an absolute stranger will make their day. I hope that just as they have been there for us (siblings and I) all our lives, we would also be there to cater, take care of them, but most of all, just BE THERE. Just in case I forget, this post will be a constant reminder.

So you see, it was a win-win situation. I helped out, and even took home lessons.

Till next time, blogsville; Love, love, and more love. Be kind.


Your Christians Are Very Unlike Your Christ.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Gandhi

Hello there. You! Yes, you. I see you reading, from posts to posts. I see you, because everyday Blogger tells me you are around. I sometimes wonder what you think about all these many things I write. I am thankful you take your time to read them all. I hope you are well :-) Life has been happening for me. In a good way. Thank God. What a roller-coaster year! I can't wait for December or my last post of the year, whichever comes first. Maybe, just maybe I'll be able to capture what this year has been for me, in mere words. Maybe not. I wish I was anonymous though.  Anyway, moving on.
I saw the above picture on Twitter. I was moved beyond words. I mean, this is another level of generousity. It got me thinking though. Is this man a christian? I don't know, and I didn't bother to find out. If he is, perfect! If he is not, shame on the rest of us, who call ourselves Christians. Sometime ago, I talked about wanting to blog on how unlike Christ Christians are. I was worried about stepping on toes. I may have changed my mind. Being the true daughter of my father and seeing the above picture, I threw caution to the wind and decided to say what I really feel. Okay, fine...I won't say ALL of what I am really thinking, just some. I'll try to be as politically correct as I can.

If the man in the above picture is not a Christian, then WHERE ARE THE CHRISTIANS OF THIS WORLD? Oh, yeah I know where they are. They are busy amassing wealth, and more wealth and more wealth. I feel many of us have forgotten the real essence Christianity: to be Christlike; to love our neighbors like ourselves. But many people can't even love their own families unfailingly, how much more a random stranger on the street. How much money is too much money? When will it be okay for you to stop FOR A MILLISECOND and realize their are starving people in the everywhere. When will you stop and just hand over a little something to that homeless beggar you walk pass every morning? When will that private, luxurious jet be unnecessary? You know, how about I just use these millions of dollars to send the some children to school. I mean, they want to go to school, they can't afford it. Seeing as I won't be laid to rest six feet under the ground with my diamond Rolex watch. Plus my coffin will probably be too small to accommodate a whole aircraft. How about I invest some of these money in the lives of the younger generation?

The world we are in now, it's hard to explain to people that you are fine affording the basics of life without looking mediocre. I am not saying to not aspire to great things, we all should. But we also should understand those caliber of people who really do not want very much. See, Christ called us to show the world children of who we are. We certainly can not do that by being selfish people who don't give a damn if people in a different part of the country are being senselessly murdered, day in day out. "It's kuku in the North. Let them be killing themselves." If you speak in ALL the tongues in this life, SPEAK all the words in the bible from Genesis to Revelation off the top of your head, and you have no love, you are wasting you time hunnay. Love is certainly not selfish. Love is amazingly kind, pfft Love ain't greedy too, you know. Now, forget that myth that you have to be like the man above to change the world. You don't have to change the 'world'. You are not Jesus. From the moment I realized I CAN NOT change the world, I have had more peace with myself. Say that with me, I.CAN.NOT.CHANGE.THE.WORLD. You can do so much more though. Just look around you. Volunteer because you want to, not because it will boost your Resume. I see you. LOL. Seriously though, start from loving your family, your friends. True, genuine love, not all that hypocritical nonsense. Oh, that little cousin who is bad at maths, help them. Don't delight in their failure. Those cancer survivors that need wigs, can you make one? Get on it, send to them. Just do something.

It's so bad that even INSIDE the church, Christians are...funny. For lack of a better word. I hate to talk about this, but I was in a church recently. I didn't know anybody there, heck I hardly know anyone in this whole city. People would excitedly and enthusiastically hug or shout greetings across to their 'friends' and would legit look past me with a straight face. LIKE for real. Not even a hello, not even a fake smile, you know the type Americans love to give. How can you be so nice, warm and loving to the person sitting RIGHT NEXT to me, but be so cold and stiff to me? HUH? Fellow African folks like me, people of my ETHNIC GROUP. Man, so much for being a christian. If I walked right into a club, I am sure that I would at least get all the guys grinning at me and winking at me, and all that stuff. But inside the house of God...a different story. The incident(s)--it wasn't just one Sunday-- made me think back to my childhood church, and wonder if at any point in my own life, I had been guilty of that too. Honestly, I don't know. But a church should be a community where the Love of God thrives. Christians should that same love carry around with them at all times.

That's all folks...for now.

I had a good last weekend. Two different friends came to my city. It was so good to have a real conversation, not over the phone, not over Skype. I know I say I come alive in my own space and all that, but man sometimes I just miss my friends and our gossips and all that. Hahaha.  So I am posting pictures of food for you to drool over. I love taking pictures of food. Everybody in my house knows, and they allow me to take pictures of their food before they dive in. Till I come your way, next time (which may be a really long time, again :-(. Life guys, life is happening), remember to share as much love as you can.