Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Bunga!!!

What??? The bunga is two years old! That is two years. Two full years. I cannot believe that once upon a time, you were an idea... 'An inception' and all we knew about you was that:- 

i) you 'showed ya mama'. I had morning sickness from week 4 of pregnancy to the day you came out. I had the worst insomnia ever. To the point that I would pace the bedroom for hours, unable to sleep. The new phrase in the house was 'I am a woman of few words" because I could not talk anymore. To
the extent that the hubby looked at me on one of the bad days and said' Baby, but you humble sha'.  


This is the Only official picture of Pregnant me. Everything else was unfortunately destroyed ...hehehe
ii) You were in a hurry to come out. You came two weeks early, which was a surprise given that I had planned to start my maternity leave one week to the EDD.  You know what they say about labor. When it hits, ALL you feel is pain. True that.  Let's just say almost 40 hours of 2 mins contractions are enough to wish Eve didn't eat the damned fruit !!  But truth be said, when it is all over, it is so worth it. 


Adrian at birth, giving the world the fist. 
AD, wide eyed at 7 weeks+ 
iii) You are just a bundle of fun and joy. From your classic 'Elmo dance' to your 'Jump like a Kangaroo" moves, to your love for music and rice (my two favorite things by the way);  to your first birthday when finally we all agreed that you have my smile, to the warm hugs you give when I get home from work. Since it is your birthday, I would not talk about your peeing in the bathwater, or flooding the living room because you want to operate the water dispenser, or your vigorous coloring of my sofa with your crayons, and the constant re-arrangement of my makeup drawer. Or the fact that you said 'Dada' first before 'Mummy. No, I will save that for your wedding. You are a special one. 
AD, at one year
AD, at 18 months, just starting school
  

Aww, the bunga is all 'growed up'. So before I get all teary eyed, I just wanna say: Happy birthday to you my son. May you grow to be a blessing to your generation. 
Happy birthday to you. 
Happy birthday to you. 
Happy birthday dear Bunga
Happy birthday to you!!!


Mummy loves you. Wery Wery Mush. 



Ehiz

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Of Living.

It has been a whirlwind of emotions and activities over the past month. From some redecoration in the house which almost turned bad, to dealing with some organisation issues at work; to a family medical scare that required a trip to the emergency room, which thankfully turned out OK, to consoling a dear friend over a family tragedy.

Some dark moments indeed.

But there were bright moments.  From attending the ADVAN marketing awards for excellence and winning two awards, to participating in the highly esteemed Genevieve Pink Ball,, to visiting a dear friend and his twin girls, of which Adrian lay claim to Taiwo, to celebrating with Mrs 'Fineboy' on an awesome miracle God wrought in her family; and to hanging out with friends, reminiscing about the good old days when we were young, single and carefree. 
  
As the French say- c'est la vie. Such is life. The good.  The bad. The pain.  The joy. Happiness and health.  Sadness and grief. 

This week I attended what was arguably the most emotional service of songs for a friend's sister. And as her life was celebrated and the terms flowed freely. .. it was clear that despite the short time on earth, she has touched so many lives. She was like the Biblical Dorcas, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and taking care of children and family. 

It was a moment of reflection for everyone in the room... and I am sure we all left thinking: "What would people say about me when I am gone? What would I be remembered for?' 
The good news is that we all have a lot more years (hopefully) to right wrongs, do good and bring smiles to faces around us. So lets start doing that. Because time waits for no one. 

For those grieving, we take solace in the fact that we have hope. Hope within our hearts. That soon, a day will come where there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain. And we will be reunited with the ones who have gone before us.  

I can hardly wait. I can hardly wait. 

Well, I'm tired and so weary, but I must go on
'Til the Lord comes and calls me away, oh, yes
Where the morning's so bright and the Lamb is the light
And the night is as bright as the day, oh, yes

There will be peace in the valley for me some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh, Lord, I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see
There will be peace, peace in the valley for me. 

Well, the bear will be gentle and the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh, yes
And the beasts from the wild shall be led by a child
And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am.

There will be peace in the valley for me some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh, Lord, I pray
And there'll be no sadness and no sorrow, no trouble I see
Yes, there will be peace, peace in the valley for me, oh, yes


Great week/end folks. 

Ehiz

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Kiss... Part 1


"Kiss Me".

She had been preparing for this moment for a long time. Too long in fact. She had watched countless movies and read online posts on what constituted the perfect kiss. She had practiced in front of the mirror until she got every thing perfect. 

Minimal to no lipstick. Instead her lips were coated in a soft sugary pink lip gloss, the one that would leave no marks on his face or his shirt, but would make her taste desirable. 

She had scrubbed her lips with a cocoa butter scrub earlier that morning. To get rid of any dry skin. And patted it dry with a soft cloth. 

She had taken so much time brushing her teeth with her electric toothbrush, her roommate had to scream at her to stop. She even scrubbed her tongue with a new tongue scrapper. She was not going to take any chances. 

Her makeup was all natural and minimal. Everything was soft. Soft smokey eye shadow, with soft eyelashes. No extensions. Soft blush hinting at the curves of her cheekbones. Soft tendrils of hair escaping the deliberate messy bun. 

The look was perfect. Perfect without trying too hard. 

The room also had the same vibe. The lighting was soft. Not too dark and menacing.  Not too bright and threatening. Just perfect. And silent. Pin drop silent. So silent, you could hear him breath. 

"What did you say?"

"Kiss me. Please."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy 54th Independence Day Nigeria!

I dropped off the lil one in school today, all decked in native attire. His school is celebrating October 1st; Nigeria's Independence day. The day where we told the British to sod off, and they did. Quite quickly, if I may say so. Of course, we have our founding fathers to thank for fighting for our independence. But there is someone (or something) we always forget to thank - the mosquito!. Lets face it: if not for the mosquito, the British may have stayed for longer. But thanks to the famed anopheles, they were all too happy to leave. I jokingly tell my friends that our national coat of arms should feature the mosquito and not the eagle/horses... (hehehe).  

As I drove through Isaac John street, I saw that all the kids were dressed up as well. They all looked so happy and cute. It took me back to my childhood days, the good ole' days where Independence day celebrations were a BIG deal, and was second to Christmas. Literally. 

We always went to the stadium (Ogbe Stadium) for a fun filled ceremony. There were speeches, cultural displays and of course the much anticipated March Past.  We would rehearse for months on end, until we got every step right. And then we would go to sleep the night before, quivering with excitement. 

When the day dawned, we would greet everyone and anyone - Happy Independence Day!

We would get dressed in a hurry. No one wanted to be late to the stadium. It was the same outfit every year - firmly starched dark green uniform with a matching cap, the bright yellow neck-kerchief, glistening white socks, pulled up to our knees, and shiny black shoes. This was my uniform (I marched for the Adventist Youth Society, the youth arm of my church). 

We would line up in the stadium for hours, patiently waiting for the march past. As usual, the governor would arrive late. But it did not matter. We would practice our moves, chat with friends who were participating in other schools/societies; and we would dream of the ice cream we would have after the ceremony. 

When the governor arrived and all the speeches were done, the police band would strike a tune, so musical, so rich, so wonderful and so loud, our hearts reverberated in unison:  

Oye sa la ze bo. Oye sa la ze bo
Oye sala ze, Oye sala ze
Oye sala ze bo. 

If you have anything to do, 
Anything to do, anything to do...
If you have anything to do
Better do it right!.......

And we would wait for our commander to scream: "By The Center, Quick Time!!!!
Left, Left, Left, Left. 
Left, Riiiiight.
Left Riiiiiiight, 
Forwarrrrrd March!!!!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, I finally took up the 7 day challenge! And with a bit of consolidating, I made it to Day 7!! Its my birthday and I am quite happy with myself. Overall, I think I am in a very good place, spiritually,emotionally, physically. And I have a lot to be thankful for. 
So, in honor of the gratitude challenge, I am sharing my Facebook posts! Enjoy!!!

Day 1: I am grateful for Life. And all its ups and down. The highs and the lows. Heartaches and Happiness. Failures and Successes. Trials and Triumphs. Rejection and Restoration. Disappointments and Achievements. Sorrow and Joy. Chaos and Calm.. All these and more, I am grateful for.

Day 2: I am grateful for my parents. My Dad (aka Elder), who raised me as a capable woman, and gave me a strong sense of self worth, of independence, of confidence, of dedication and of disciplined work ethics. My mom (aka Mamaloo). My 'Shero', who raised 7 kids brilliantly, who instilled in me the spirit of excellence, and taught me hospitality, empathy, and the true meaning of practical Christianity. For these and more, I am eternally grateful for. 


Day 3/4: I am grateful for my sisters. I got three of you, and you guys have been my Rock. Friends. ShoulderToCryOn. ArmsToRunTo. You are TrailBlazers. Awesome Moms. Fantastic Wives. Professional Women. You are a constant source of Inspiration. Dedication. Determination. Thank you for being great Role Models. Thank you for loving God so much, it was only natural for me to love him too. For teaching me Respect. For teaching me Empathy. For teaching me Patience. For proving to me that I can be Anything I want to be. And for Cheering me on.

The Doc, The Banker, The Nurse.
The Playful, The Reserved, The Thinker.
Igwe d 1st, Igwe d 2nd, Igwe d 3rd.

For Loving me and More, I am Eternally Grateful For.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Of Gratitude......

Today, I was taught a critical lesson in gratitude. I have been meaning to commence '7 Days of Gratitude' as a prequel to my birthday next week.... .. but I have been putting it off on the pretext of being too busy. Then I stumbled on to a post on Facebook today and I started bawling like a baby. The post is about a lady who knew she was going to die. And she handled it with grace and dignity. And she lived life to the fullest. You can read about her story here. And So There Must Come An End

More often than not, we forget the most important thing we have - Life. The ability to wake up in the morning, the ability to get up, brush our teeth, take a shower, wear our clothes, all without help. The ability to eat, to laugh, to cry, to work, to play, to live and to love. To cuddle under the blankets with the spouse on a chilly night, to have the little ones race to the door and greet you with a beaming smile as you return from work....... the list is endless. 

Thankfully, something comes along to shake us from our reverie, and we are reminded of how damn lucky we are. To be alive. And as long as we are alive, we know the future is bright.  

As we countdown to the end of September and the end of the year, let's challenge ourselves to live life to the fullest. Enjoy every moment. Take a vacation. Stop to chat with someone. Give your long lost friend a call. Smile at a stranger. Be grateful - express appreciation for what you have, not for what you need or what you want. Never stop counting your blessings. 

Celebrate Life. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. Every Second. 


Happy Living Folks.  

Ehiz. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of Girls and Drama.

Girls have drama. It is just the way we are wired. Very early on in life, we are dressed in pink, our tiny tufts of hair are forced into tiny braids or puffs with colored rubber bands, our feet forced into dainty bright colored shoes, belts, pop socks, tights, skirts, and of course, the lil dab of lip balm to prevent any dry lips.

We are fussed over by everyone and anyone. We get compliments that we are cute, pretty, lovely. And we grow up believing we must remain the center of attraction and attention every single day in life. And then one day, we realize that the world revolves and rotates without our command.

Girls have drama. I vividly remember in University where there was this big fuss about who needs to say hi first. It got so bad and mean spirited that we had to create the "Law of Greeting": If you come into class, and you meet a group of girls seated already, you have to be the greeter. If on the other hand, a group of girls walked into class, and you are the only one seated, then you have to be the one to say hi first. Net, the 'greeter' always had to be minority while the 'greeted' had to be majority.

I can bet that no guy on earth has ever had to go through such silliness. Today, I cringe in embarrassment when I remember. But for us then, it was THE most important law ever.

Girls have drama. Unfortunately, I cannot give examples from work, because it will cut too close to home but the stories and legend abound of the 3 Macbeth Women. Myself included. Enough said.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Of ALS, Ice Bucket and Giving.

So, I was nominated for the ALS ice bucket challenge. I turned it down. There is a lady who is battling renal failure and needs roughly 9 million naira to save her life. There are 4 kids, who are struggling in university, with no financial support given their father's demise. There is a lady who got fired after having a baby, and she was the sole financial provider. There is a girl, who needs 200,000 naira to save her eyesight.  All this in Nigeria. In Lagos. In Ikeja.

I could go on and on. Poverty abounds. Even the good book says  in the book of Matthew that the poor will always be in your midst. But then it goes on to say, that it is imperative we help them.  As much as we can. And much more. And then some more. Else we may just run the risk of missing the reward of eternity.

Sadly, we tend towards being more selfish than sincere. Selfishness which is linked to greed. My father used to make character links all the time. He would say - A Thief is Always A Liar. Think about it, it makes sense right? When someone steals, he for sure will have to lie to cover his tracks. For selfishness, he would say:- A Greedy Person is Always Selfish.  Another no-brainer here. There is just something about wanting everything (greed) that lends itself to not wanting to share as well (selfishness). 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Of Calamity Crow and tempers.


Super HEROES!!!!!!! Heroes of the City.........
If you are forced to watch kids channels, I am sure you must be familiar with JimJam. There is a program called Heroes of the City, where the lamppost, the fire truck and the police car all race to save the city from fires and any disaster; and sometimes from the silly and clumsy bird called Calamity Crow. 

Now, Calamity Crow is a sweetheart,  always singing to himself as he skips along the road (yadiyadiya, yadiyadidoo), but you know he is going to destroy something, or get himself entangled in some calamity like setting his house on fire as he tries to cook. The list is endless. Despite that, he has such a sunny disposition and is always trying to help.

In one episode, Calamity Crow overheard the city's baker complaining about a late delivery of flour, meaning no bread for the town for that day. The baker also muttered something along the lines of being so angry to the point of losing his temper. Now, Calamity Crow was quite concerned about the lack of bread, but he was more concerned about the baker's missing temper. So he decided to go help the baker find it. Yes, find the missing temper.

He searched everywhere, in and out of bushes, down the small streets, in the playground, earnestly looking for the baker's temper. But it was so difficult to find because Calamity Crow didn't know what a temper looked like. Add to that the fact that no one was willing to help him! As soon as he mentioned what he was looking for, people just started giggling. But that didn't stop him. He just kept on looking.

I cannot remember how the story panned out, but it made me quite ashamed. Reason is that just a few days ago, I lost my temper as well. With a longtime friend. To clarify, I do think that the reason for my irritation was well deserved. I felt the friend was being overly critical, and his criticism came from a sense of superiority as opposed to genuinely wanting to help. I also felt the friend was falling into the trap of holding a lot of people to high standards but making exceptions for select people, himself included.

But then, I overdid it. And as all things 'overdone' goes, said too much, too fast, too deep. 

And you know the way God works, something like this happens, and during the week, a ministration would come to prick your conscience. Our Wednesday meditation study reminded me of the 3 questions we all need to ask ourselves before we speak about another person, which I can argue are the same set of questions we should ask ourselves before we speak at all:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Of Resumption, excellence and other things



First of all, I  must apologize for my deafening silence. It has been a full 2 weeks since I wrote on the blog. I would like to promise that it will not happen again, but like the saying goes..... Man Proposes, God Disposes! 

What have I been up to? A lot actually. Aside resuming work and all the drama that comes with it, I am also preparing for a church choir concert on the 23rd August, a couples retreat workshop organized by the church on the 24th of August. And I am part of the planning committee of both programs. 

Work is as always work, with the fire fighting, strategic session, creative collaboration and passionate politics. It does feel that with the Ebola Virus Disease, everyone is acutely aware of his or her own mortality, and with that comes some measure of calmness and tolerance. It  feels wrong somehow to argue over the accuracy of a financial budget or who should be rewarded for a great business result when doctors and nurses are risking their lives to protect the country. We owe them a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude, for those who have lost their lives and for those who fight on.

For the couples retreat, which is a first of its kind in our collation of churches, I am really looking forward to hearing from seasoned experts on how to chart the roadmap to marital bliss. After all, I am but a jambite in the University of Marriage. When you talk to people that have been married for 15, 20+ years, you wonder - How on earth did you survive that long and not like explode? So, I am hoping that the one day retreat will provide the much needed answers, among other things like parenting and alternative sources of income.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Beginning and The End.


Someone smart once said Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End. Which is great if you are going through some challenging times. But when it is the END of your long awaited vacation, you just want to find that smart-ass and stuff his mouth with cotton balls.  Which is not possible, since the phrase has been around since 1702. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, it is true. Vacation is over. I would like to think I accomplished 80% of my to-do list. And to KM, who has been pinging me to check if I rested, permit me to say I did not leave the house today (Thurs Aug 7th). Please do not ask what I was actually doing at home. You know the drill "Ask no questions and you will hear no lies". 

I would like to say I am all brimming with energy and inner zen and looking forward to going back to work. But truth be told, I am freaking out because of the almost 400 emails I would have to go through, and the 'well, we agreed this when you were out on vacation" conversations which I would have to live with for at least six months.  

I am also wary of Ebola. As I wrote on Facebook, when the government puts out a statement that everyone in Nigeria is at risk of this extremely contagious disease, then we all should get worried. Because if it is not contained, at some point, Lagos will have to go on lock-down. To be honest, I am wary of sending the lil one back to school in September if there is no positive news. 

It doesn't help that hand sanitizers have suddenly become extinct. Pharmacies, Supermarkets, Shops have all run out. And when there is scarcity, the fake-dom market thrives. I am told there is a new brand in the market called Ebola Hand sanitizers (no idea if it is true or another lame joke). Add to that this wrong information about bathing with hot water and salt! Tsk tsk. What is important is that we all need to be super uber careful, and yes, go overboard with the best hygiene practices (handwashing with soap and water), and pray, pray, pray for this curse to pass over us.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

RECISION - Resolution

Bibi was singing in the shower, or at least she tried to. It was a tough couple of weeks, she feared she would lose her mind. Thankfully, Tonye was there to pick her up. He was the perfect husband, wiping her tears when they finally came, spending time with her constantly, never complaining when her mood darkened.


The fact that he even agreed to see a marriage counselor took her by surprise.  And true to his word, every Saturday evening, they went for their one hour session, where they painfully got to know each other again. 

Somehow, it was fine the way everything worked out. It would have been heart wrenching if she had seen Tony but thankfully he relocated to South Africa with Sesan. She never got any correspondence from him. No phone calls, no emails, nothing. She found it strange at first, but realized the clean break was better for everyone. 


Hey babe, are you done with the shower?” Tonye opened on the bathroom door.  “Not yet, still trying to get this facial mask of my face, it feels gross.”  She felt his gaze sweeping across her body, glistening with soap.  He asked– “shall I join you?”  
“No no,” she responded, “we do not have time, why don’t you clean the car a little? You know the driver is not coming today.”  "OK babe", Tonye said, closing the bathroom door behind him. 


Bibi returned back to peeling off the irritating facemask, thinking how great it was to have the caring Tonye back.  The mask didn't appear to work, so she decided to exfoliate her face as well. She dashed out of the bathroom all dripping wet and naked, thanking heavens that the kids were with the grandparents for the summer holidays. 


She got the cream and started the slippery journey back to her bathroom, when she overheard Tony laughing. He was on the phone, and she could hear bits of the conversation.   “I told you not to doubt me. It worked just as we planned. Tony dey craze. Hope no wahala, else I will resend the reminders.…. …. Miss you too shadow. Please visit soon, …... his voice  lowered and she could not hear him……don’t worry, I can handle Bibi, she's pretty but not that smart"..


Bibi didn’t wait to hear more. She walked back to the bathroom, and finished her shower. Her mind went on overdrive – “who was Tonye talking with?”

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Of Singlehood

What is the worst thing you have ever been told regarding your single-hood? I bet it cannot be as dramatic as mine. You do not believe me? Lets give it a go!

First, an elderly woman from church:  "The problem with you girls is that you are too selective. You are looking for ready made husband. There is nothing like ready made husband. So just humble yourself and just agree to any man who comes to marry you!". 

A guy from my advertising agency (context is that I was given a visa to Saudi Arabia), "I guess they gave you a visa because you are over 30 years, and they figured, you are not a temptation or risk to Saudi men, because if you are still single at 30, that means no one wants you any way!" 

OUCH, I still think that was the rudest thing anyone has EVER said to me.

Lets face it - if you have crossed 30, and you are not married and you are female, you must be used to the aunts who wonder why you do not want to settle for Johnbull with crooked teeth and an even 'crookier' smile, smug married women who pretend to actually be worried that you are not yet settled, and the uber righteous sisters, with the zillion kids who always remind you every week how you are on their prayer list.

Don't get me wrong. I am a big believer in intercessory prayer. The Bible teaches us to pray for one another. But I vehemently abhor the type that reads more like an insult.  Case in point is when a newly married person in church said "I am praying for God to bring you to my level"  How do you respond to that?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

RECISION - Return

Bibi glanced at the clock one more time and wrinkled her nose in frustration. "Where is Tony for goodness sake?" He had sounded all concerned and agitated when she had spoken to him. He promised he would be with her as fast as possible.  

What could be keeping him?  She had dashed to the bathroom as soon as the call ended and got her self ready in 15 minutes. She did a quick mental check - presentable clothes- check!  teeth all brushed and clean - check! decent hair - no check! She almost forgot to remove her sleeping scarf. She yanked it off her head and dashed to the mirror to shake out her braids- now check! 

She kept expecting the knock on the door. She chewed her lower lip one more time, a sure sign she was getting worried, and tried dialing Tony's number. It rang out. She contemplated sending an sms, but decided against it. In any case, he never read his text messages on time.

She checked in on the kids, and they were fast asleep. Bless their hearts. If not for them, she would have gone insane.  And bless Tony too. He was everything she had ever wished for in a guy.

She walked back to her room, and her eye caught a picture peeking from one of the book shelves.  It was a picture of herself, Tonye and Tony. The three musketeers, they were called back in the day. Tonye was always the 'bad' guy, and Tony was the cool dude. Shame she fell hard for the bad guy - it would be this same 'badness' that would ruin their marriage.

She thought to herself "Why couldn't he just grow up and stop being reckless? Even if he was experiencing the famous mid life crisis, why didn't he just buy a motor bike like Yinka?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On Vacation

I am on vacation. For the first time in a long time, I do not have to wake up 5 am, hurriedly say prayers, wrestle the lil one off my back so he can also get ready for school, get dressed in the dark (so I don't have to wake the hubby up--- you see I am a very considerate and caring wife, hehehe), bundle ourselves into the car by 6:30 am, dash off to Ikeja GRA to drop him off at playschool, win another wrestling episode to get him out of the car and into his teacher's arms, turn around, beat the nasty traffic to get to work by 7:30am, grab a bottle on water as I dash up the stairs, take my medication, dart to the restroom, slap on the war paint makeup, straighten my clothes, swipe any baby drool, wear my shoes and then tastefully glide to my desk with my early morning smile, which some fearless soul tells me it is a cross between a grimace and a snarl.  PHEW! 

Thankfully, I have Esther, aka Estee-loo, our nanny from Ghana who has been with me since Adrian was 4 months, and of course, the super efficient Wale, the driver aka my first born son. 

It is a frequent joke among the two of them, Wale is my first born, Esther is my second child, and Adrian is the 3rd. Together, we are one big happy family. We operate in some loose form of democracy. Decisions are taken collectively, especially when it concerns the lil one. And then, each is given the freedom to execute at their own will during the week. It is quite unique, I tell you. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Eid Mubarak friends.

Aunty Ehis, why do you say Happy Sallah? we are Christians?!" 


Whoa..... I was a bit thrown by that question yesterday. I never ever asked myself if I was crossing a spiritual line by extending warm greetings to someone of another faith. Same way I never thought if I was sinning if I was invited for iftar. 

I tried to find a biblical passage to help me understand what was the the right thing to do. I vaguely recall David being so hungry he ate consecrated shewbread, meant only for the priests. I also recalled Jesus and his disciples so faint with hunger that they harvested ears of corn and ate them directly, incurring the wrath of the Pharisees who accused them of harvesting and breaking the Sabbath. 

Funny how their thoughts were: we rather you die of hunger and keep the Sabbath today, than to eat and keep the Sabbath for more years!! 

Then I went to Corinthians where Paul advised us to be careful so our actions do not cause weaker brethren to sin, in the context of food sacrificed to idols. 

I am not the Bible expert nor scholar, so after the foray into the scriptures, I tried to imagine what Jesus would have done.

Would he have woken up in the morning and upon seeing people of another faith, wished them well?
Would he understand that they were fasting and try to be patient and caring during the period?
At work, would he agree for them to close early so they could rest especially during those 2 hours  before the fast is over? would he be careful not to plan unneeded late meetings during the period?. 
Would he send them a big fruit basket to use to break their fast? would he join them for iftar? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

RECISION - Regret

Tony didn’t see THAT coming!


As he stood in front of the door, his mind flashed back to the Sherlock Holmes movie where Sherlock and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty played out all possible scenarios assuming they engaged in a fight. His mind started to race through scenarios:  

“What if Tonye punches me? I can return the punch, and then all hell will break loose. He looks like he has been working out, but I have the height advantage. Sadly, my polo shirt will suffer the damage, but Mama Azuka, my elderly neighbor can get me another one. 

Poor Mama Azuka, How would she feel if she saw me fighting? She probably would run out brandishing her walking stick, shouting Evi Ednah Ogholi’s hit song ‘Stop that fight, you may lose your life' ---- Mind, are you kidding me?”

Ok, what if Tonye punches me and I do not retaliate? Would he take that as a weakness and keep punching me?  How long would I stay calm before I start to punch him back? What if he pulls a gun and tries to shoot me? --- Seriously?"

But wait oh, what if he really tried to shoot me?  I would have to struggle for the gun, and it may just go off.  Honestly, I would just die in peace. But the bullet may hit Tonye instead. OMG. What if he dies?! How will I be able to look Bibi and the kids in the eye? How can I prove it was an accident and not premeditated murder? I would enter police wahala, I could even end up in jail! --- Calm down mind!”

Whichever scenario, Tony knew today was the day, where they would have to decide who gets Bibi. One person will win. And one person will lose.    

Tonye finally broke the painful silence: “Hi traitor, can I come in?”

Friday, July 11, 2014

RECISION - Redirection

He heard the phone ringing on the bedside table.   

It was her ringtone. He hesitated for a second, trying to decide whether to pick it up, or let it ring out.  He decided to risk it.  “Hey pumpkin, I am kinda busy right now… his voice trailed off as he grasped her faint words….…"What happened? Listen, its ok, everything will be fine. I am coming over now”

His mind raced in all directions as he replayed the extremely brief call – "Tonye knows”.

What does he know? How much does he know? How did he find out? But most importantly, what did it mean for them?

One thing was sure – he had to get out of the house FAST. He could see her in his mind’s eye – sitting on the bed, clutching the phone tightly, trying hard not to crack under the strain. He felt it in her voice – her usually musical voice had a tinge of sadness that just broke his heart.

"Tonye knows”

He didn't see that coming at all. He had just dropped her off at home, and they shared a lingering kiss, making their usual 'if-then' plans for the weekend. IF Tonye goes out, THEN we can have lunch on Sunday. At the back of his mind, he knew he was taking a risk, kissing her so close to her gate, but it was very dark, they were in the car, no one could see them. At least, so he thought. 

His thoughts froze for a second. Was Tonye watching them from the window? Was he the shadowy figure that appeared to be lurking around the neighbor’s house?  How did he get her to tell him?  Did he yell at her? Did he become violent? 

Friday, June 27, 2014

RECISION- Reflection

He slammed the door behind him with such force that the windows rattled and the room vibrated. she shuddered, not from the cold but from pent up emotion. 

In a way, it had gone as she planned, but in a way, it didn't. She had never planned to tell him about Tony, - wanting to buy some time, until they could break the news together. They had rehearsed it word for word until it sounded perfect, less threatening, more pleas than insults...


She shivered again, and reached for her favorite housecoat, the one with the sprinkling of flowers in soft luscious pink... the one Tony had given her for her birthday last year. Just wearing it made her feel better, calmer.  


Maybe she should have worn it before the confrontation... Maybe it would have forced her to control her outburst. What was she thinking?? Blurting out Tony's name! Maybe in some way, she wanted to hurt him just as much as he hurt her? 


How could he have sex with a stripper? Did he think she wouldn't know? It was all over him - the smell of lurid cigarette smoke, cheap perfume and of course unwashed bodies post sex. Sigh. He probably thought he could disguise it by jumping into the shower immediately, but his clothes also reeked of it. Did he think she was that naive?

Of Broken Relationships

I remember my first love. It was a boy in Primary School. His name- Uwa. Surname starts with A. You will notice I didn't spell out his surname, just in case he stumbles onto this blog!!!

Well, like all 'first loves' go, he was my seatmate. And he was a lot of fun. In those days, we created our own entertainment, with bottle tops, chalk drawings (seuwe); hand and footwork games (10/10). We even played Nouns on paper (person, place, things).

He was pretty cool, because unlike the other boys in the class, he never 'looked for our trouble'. This means he never used to demand for our biscuit, or hit us, despite the fact that he was sitting between two girls. On the contrary, he was the consummate gentleman - doing all the things boys do like playing football, sneaking in elastic bands and throwing those elastic band missiles, tearing his book to make airplanes etc.

But when it came to the ladies, he was pretty respectful. He actually used to protect us.  And I really needed protecting, not because I was naughty and a trouble maker, but because I was extremely reserved when growing up. I know, I know - you do not believe me. But I was a shy child. University changed me - but as usual, that is story for another day.

In any case, with Uwa, we had a great relationship, until he broke my heart. We had finished exams primary 5, said our goodbyes and went on holidays. On returning to school to start Primary 6, I found out that Uwa had abandoned me, and had gone off to secondary school!

I was furious - how dare he leave? Who will be my new seat partner? and who will take care of me now? But most importantly, why didn't he say goodbye?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Of Racism, and other isms.......

February 6th 2014 was my 3rd wedding anniversary.  The hubby did something special- he asked our Pastor to come home and have a special prayer with us early in the morning. It was great. Given we both had a busy day ahead, we agreed to have dinner together and then see a movie.

I got off work, and raced to the salon to get my hair and nails ‘did’. As usual, it took longer than expected, so the hubby had dinner alone, and then we went to see the movie. The movie was ’12 Years A Slave’ - which brings me to my first lesson of the day – never EVER see a movie about slavery on your wedding anniversary or any anniversary for that matter. For those of you who have seen the movie, you know what I am talking about.

In the movie theatre, we had a Caucasian couple sitting just above us. They were quite noisy before the movie started which got me a bit irritated. But then the movie started and unfolded, and they became dead silent. Pin drop. No popcorn crunching. No sodas guzzling. Silent.  

As the movie progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly angry, bitter and upset. All the incidents of racism I had experienced started welling up in my head and I kept thinking about each one and what I should have done:-  


Friday, June 20, 2014

RECISION: Reveal

I want a divorce.
The words hung in the air like a thick mist – filling his ears, roaring in his brain. He shook his head vigorously and asked – “Divorce? Did you just say divorce?

He felt it everywhere – the shaky voice, the sweaty palms, the constricted throat, and most of all – the fear. How could he lose the mother of his kids, the stability of his home?
His eyes misted over as he looked helplessly at his wife – who sat there in cold silence, rays of determination burning in her eyes.
She looked straight into his eyes and replied – “Yes Tonye, you heard what I said. I have filed the papers. I am requesting sole custody of the children but I am willing to discuss visitation rights. I want no spousal support, but I get to keep the house. We can split the cars equally. As for the landed properties, the joint ones can be sold while those...

Her voice trailed off...at least in his mind. He felt himself drift, wanting to run within his soul and hide. But he couldn't. Not anymore. Forcing himself to return to the present, he asked - "Why? What has gone so bad to cause you to decide on divorce? Separation I could understand, so we might have space to work things out – but divorce? Why so final? Is it so bad that you see no other option? Bibi…. Why?

RECISION - THE STORY

For years, I have been toying with the idea of writing a short novel. And then, over the past few weeks, with this blog, people have asked me to write a book. A FULL book. I tell them: baby steps, one cannot move from drinking milk to cracking palm kernel. And given the fact that I only have 29 teeth (story for another day); I am extremely wary of cracking palm kernel!

So, one day, in traffic, I started writing  RECISION on my Blackberry. I would like to say I had a Stephanie Meyer moment where I saw a vision of Tonye and Bibi dancing, but alas, all I had was a Lagosian moment where I was stuck in traffic on the way to the island, and the radio was blaring one of these 'Why do men cheat/Forgive him or not' programs.

So, it kind of stuck with me and I decided to put pen on paper - or in in the words of my Egyptian friend Salma - my finger on the Blackberry touchscreen; and tell a story of love, betrayal, forgiveness and restoration.

What happens when you are faced with decisions that challenge your entire being and shake the foundation of what you know to be right or wrong? What do you do then?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day

It’s been a while since I sat down to floG (my invention- a cross between facebook and blog);. But what better day to write than today!

Happy Father’s Day to my dad and to all the fathers and future fathers to be.

I love my Dad. Absolutely, Unconditionally. So much so that my Mom jokingly used to tell me: "go g Right from when I was a little girl, I knew he was special.

When I had a growth spurt in my childhood my dad coined the nickname: Ehis Eyeast because he said I grew like yeast.

I remember how he would make us laugh with stories about his childhood and high school education, his sojourn in America in the times where racism was alive and kicking, his conversion into the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

I love my dad because he is my hero. He taught me to be strong, independent and tenacious. Let me share two vivid memories.

Memory 1: Draw Baby Draw
My childhood friends know: I cannot draw to save my life. In Primary school (I was probably 7 or 8 years), we had an assignment- to draw a map of Nigeria, with key agricultural produce for the different regions. I cursed Nigeria for being so blessed agriculturally!

After struggling for about 3 hours, I went to my Dad and said: "I just cannot draw. I cannot draw a goat, I cannot draw yam." My dad, the ever humorous guy, laughed and said: "As long as the goat and the yam look different, its ok!"

Memory 2: Better Next Time
I was 10 years, and first term in Secondary School. I was exposed to new subjects which I had not done in Primary School. My result was not good. I placed 28th in a class of 41 students. I slunk home; and hid my results. In the evening, my dad was ironing (did I mention Daddy loves ironing, and till this day, he will iron my clothes for church?); and I sat down on the floor beside him. I started by asking my dad what is the least position I can 'carry" in a class of 41 people. His response was: "Well, you have to be above average, so that means around 13th to  15th?"

Tired Incredible Hulk.......

I am tired. Not like charming tired, a lil bit tired but real tired tired. Tired.
I had a crazy week. The lil one was fighting a bout of infection, so it meant late night trips to the hospital, cleaning up after frequent puke episodes and all night wipe downs to crash a 38+C fever.

Add to that some regional visitors at work which meant long meetings and tiring brainstorming sessions.

Add to that an impromptu trip out of Lagos for personal reasons.

Add to that the World Cup, which turns every Nigerian man into a fanatic.

I wonder how many of us were so happy when the boyfriend said that he was not a football fan/not so interested in football/and wham! Fast-forward to some months post marriage and the drama surrounding the DSTV remote started until you admitted defeat and got a second TV in the bedroom.

Truth be told, football also does bring out the gentleman in every guy;

Sunday, June 8, 2014

RIP to an Icon

I was honored to meet the great Dora during our Ariel factory opening in Ibadan. She was blown away by our product demonstration that she asked for a picture with the 'P&G capable women'. Few days later, we went to pay an official ' thank you' visit and she promptly autographed the picture. Sheer coincidence, it was my birthday- 26/9/06. The good ones may not last long, but the impact they have on the world lasts forever. Sleep on Mama D.

Ehiz


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nigerian Accent - To Have or Not To?

In 2009, I decided to visit a dear friend in Scotland over Christmas. My objective was to experience the Much talked about White Christmas- the stuff of movies and storybooks. Let's just say that after that experience, I am always running to a "Red Christmas" - one filled with hot sun and harmattan dust!

But I digress. During lunch at her place one day, I met two lovely Nigerian ladies who were also in Scotland. And we got talking about people and accent. I must tell you-the Scottish accent is probably the most unique in the world. You can swear on your bank account that they are NOT speaking English.

I was amazed at how they switched from that accent to pidgin to Igbo and back to the accent. And I got thinking- everywhere else in the world, we accept accents, without blinking an eye. We refer to some as cute, musical, nasal, uppity.

But when it comes to our Nigerian accent, we immediately refer to it as 'bush', uneducated, non polished, ignorant.

Why do we do that?

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Day I Cried


We had just driven into Ikeja shopping mall when I heard an Ariel advert on the radio. I told my driver to stop so I could listen to it, so he parked right besides Steers.

Glancing out of the window, I saw a boy, probably 17 or 18 years old, who looked familiar. His lanky height, yellow eyes, pale skin and his teeth with a slight over bite..... I watched him for about a minute, wondering what he was up to, as he kept looking all around him.

Then, he came up to the window and knocked timidly. I lowered the glass and asked: "Yes, how can I help you?"

He looked at me through his clear glasses and said. "I was summing up courage to knock, I am a 200L student in University of Lagos; and I am asking for assistance to pay my department fees..... I just need XX naira to pay the fees and to buy my drugs, because I am a sickler and....."

I jumped in "Yes I know you are a sickler, I have been watching you actually. I have a brother with your condition, he looks just like you. You shouldn't be out here in this hot sun". I knew dehydration is a killer for these guys.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Welcome

Yaaaaaaaay!!! I have a blog!!!

Thanks to a persistent talented young man (KM) who literally dragged me by 7:58pm to set it up!


I cant wait to get started...... For now, you can read up about me here.


Now, to find that young man again and ask what to do next?!!! Hmmmmmmmm.


This Thing Called LIFE. Vanity. Upon. Vanity

Cynthia. Cynthia Amaize Cynthia Ovuede. Federal Government Girls College. 1989. We liked FGGC Benin because at least we could make ou...