THE BEST LAID PLANS

I have only recently come to a realisation: there will always be women who believe house work is a wife’s primary responsibility just as there are men who believe a wife’s worth is not much if she does not cook, clean and scrub.

And nothing is wrong with that.

As long as such men marry such women, all will be well. Because the most important thing is the happiness of the individuals in the union, and happiness is in the mind.

That was, after all, the way I was raised, being African and all. It was only after some 30 years of evolution that I adopted the views that I now hold. Personally, I will do domestic chores for only as long as I cannot afford help. As soon as I can afford it, I do not plan to lift another broom or scrub another pot in my life.

I have visions of travelling the world with my cute little family and building an empire- or two- with my partner. I do not have plans of prematurely acquiring  wrinkles or always being too tired to take proper care of my body.

I plan to be the mother that gets back from work and does homework with the children, reads to them and can still spend hours ‘gisting’ with the hubs. I know only too well that all these dreams can very easily remain dreams if one has to first ‘branch’ to the market and then come back to make soup after sitting hours in traffic. I ain’t about that life biko.

Finally, I so want out of the rat race. I believe there is so much more to my life than a cycle of work -cook-clean-baff children -sleep-wake up-work….. until children leave home and I retire, by which time I’m probably already too old to enjoy the kain life and all I have to look forward to are aso-ebi and omugwo. Chukwu aju biko.

I also know that I am not the only one who thinks this way and that I shall marry someone like me, one of these days. The only problem would be if somebody in category A and another person in my category decided to marry. But if people would stay in their lanes and attach themselves to people with whom they were compatible, all these daily debates they are constantly using to block somebody’s road on social media would be completely unnecessary.

To whom brain is given…..

JUST BECAUSE

I wish people would stop arguing about their faith. It usually achieves nothing but ill feelings. I have not heard of a single convert who was won over by argument.
Faith, by it’s definition, defies logic so a person’s faith usually comes from a deep-seated conviction more than anything else.1465055689472[1]

If someone thinks they came from monkeys or mosquitoes, allow them. If they think Christianity is a scam which the West invented in order to deceive and colonise Africa, nwanne do you think your arguing will change their minds?
These arguments never look good on us- nor on the God we so gallantly seek to defend. Even the Bible says we should win people over with our conduct.1465056192592[1]  Conviction is the job of the Holy Spirit, biko allow Him to do His work. No epp am.
We all screamed blue murder when a woman was beheaded in Kano, but I thought about it and realised that sometimes, we are closet murderers ourselves. When we tell somebody that the hottest part of hell has been reserved for them because they challenged our beliefs, nwanne, what shall we call that one?
The same Bible we are trying to defend says that anyone who hates his brother is guilty of murder, so we would do well to judge ourselves first.1465056596619[1]

I believe the thing to do if we are convinced someone is going the wrong way would be to pray for them, talk to them and let our lights shine……

1465056960202[1] But for heaven’s sake not to argue with them. The Bible does not even permit us to argue amongst ourselves ya foduzia…..

1465058522292[1]

The truth is we are all going to die (hopefully, nobody dey follow argue that one). And when we die everyone will find out for themselves who was right and who was wrong. O tan.

textgram_1465054492[1]

TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE.

I have only recently discovered- and rather painfully at that- that help can only be of value if it is given on the terms of the helped not the helper. I find that more often than not, a lot of our ‘good deeds’ serve more to pacify nagging consciences than any true altruistic purposes.

I will give a rather simplistic but very apt example:

Supposing one had a neighbour who lived from hand to mouth- and had only 2 hands but had to feed 6 mouths- and one lived in opulence. Many of us would struggle with a misplaced sense of guilt at the unfairness of this disparity, and try to assuage this guilt by say, giving them foodstuff once in a while or sending them some of our children’s outgrown clothes.

We might have noticed that the son had worn the same pair of trousers to school for the last 3 years despite having grown just as many inches or that they wore the same shoes to church and school everyday. What we may never have bothered to find out was that they were quite content with their threadbare, but decidedly clean, clothes and that they didn’t really mind eating beans for supper every night.

We may not know, because we did not think to ask, that all they really needed was money to fix a leaky roof because it got rather uncomfortable whenever it rained or someone to help baby sit the two youngest children during the week so their mother could attend night classes and finally get a degree.

Sometimes, help rendered on our own terms is no help at all and then we wonder why we don’t get as much gratitude as we think we deserve.

I have reached a resolution: to find out what my beneficiary needs and then try to help in that way. It might not always be convenient to give what is actually needed but then again, giving is not supposed to be convenient either.

OF RULES AND FOOD CHAINS….2

Rule Number Four#

Ensure that you utilise every given opportunity to save money for The Organisation even if it is just twenty naira. The Lord who sees in secret will reward you openly, but since you have no intentions of waiting until the Lord’s reward comes, you have to bring your penny-pinching efforts to oga’s notice so that he can reward you in a more timely fashion.

Of course, since money saving opportunities do not manifest themselves regularly you might on occasion have to create them by yourself. It may only mean that some people are cheated out of their dues once in a while but that is simply what is called ‘collateral damage’. All is fair in love and war……and corporate climbing.

Rule Number Five#

You have to (in fact it is highly imperative that you) learn to ‘talk the talk.’

All your little speeches need to be peppered with terms like ‘goodwill, above and beyond, etc etc’. This will be a useful tool if you are to execute rule number four effectively.

For instance, when you are trying to make an argument against paying a staff member for working outside their job description or regular hours, it will go something like, “members of staff are encouraged to go above and beyond, hence should not expect to be paid for working outside their normal shifts.”

These altruistic words of yours are sure to reach oga’s ears through the extremely efficient ‘Information Network’ but in order not to leave anything to chance (or somebody’s selective amnesia) ensure that these thoughts are conveyed via email and copied to everyone that matter- including the man at the top.

If however, you happen to be the affected member of staff, you reserve the right to pull out the employee handbook or the Nigerian constitution (whichever has what you need) and defend your right to be duly compensated for taking on a responsibility that was not primarily yours.

The truth is, with all the huge ‘sacrifices’ you have been making for the betterment of The Organisation a few grand here and there is the least they could do as a token of their appreciation. Rest assured that within 24 hours an email from the top would have been sent to the accounts people, titled ‘APPROVED.’

By this time, you are definitely on cruise control and have earned even more unofficial titles as the ‘Teeth, Hair and Nails of oga when he is not on ground.’

Unfortunately, because of all the evil people on this earth and the witches in your village who will not just let you be great, you will have to learn one more very important rule:

Rule Number Six#

Thou shalt must acquire the ability to go from 0 to 180 in 0.00015 seconds flat.

Let me illustrate.

There are times when some of your back-biting will backfire through no fault of yours (yes, despite the fact that you spend your entire Wednesday evenings in church binding, casting and laminating all the witches in your village, some of these witches are unnecessarily stubborn and some of them even have friends who come to loosen them at night after you have wasted precious hours binding).

For example, you may one day accidentally learn that one of your colleagues whom you have been running down incessantly, is in fact a very important fixture in oga’s bed life. I know that these discoveries can be heart-breaking and there would come with them the temptation to go and confess your sins to the Lord and pray for pardon. DO NOT give in to that foolish temptation. It is from the pit of hell! If we were going to go the christian way, would we not have gone from the beginning ni? Is it after all this effort when one is about to eat the fruit of one’s labour that they will now allow one annoying conscience to come and pour sand sand in one’s garri?

Tufiakwa!

My brethren, if you find yourself in such a position do not fret, the solution is simple: Do a rapid 180.! Immediately turn from chief castigator to bosom friend. In fact, bosom friend, cheerleader and confidante. And this will be surprisingly easy because when that discovery becomes an open secret, aunty-important-fixture will suddenly find herself at the receiving end of a lot of ‘beef.’ People who could not stand each other before will unite against this ‘enemy/usurper.’ Luckily, this will leave a very big loop hole which you could easily fill because at this time, aunty will need all the allies she can get and will not think twice about forgiving your earlier transgressions and becoming BFFs with you.

Beggars cannot be choosers.

During that time a lot of secrets will be leaked to you. I cannot say it is your responsibility to leak those secrets to the world but if you had the habit of controlling your tongue in the first place, you would not have climbed this high. So if you, via circumstances beyond your control, happen to say more than you should, do not worry. It is not a treasonable felony.

Keep your calm while vehemently abusing the person who spread the gist which he heard from the person that was told by the person that was told by the person you told not to tell anybody. In any case, aunty would probably get the bulk of the blame anyway, because who told her to go and open her mouth and be telling you of all people all her innermost secrets. Serves her right!

In conclusion, Dearly Beloved, wisdom, they say, is the application of knowledge. With this abundance of knowledge that has been made available to you on a platter of gold, there should be nothing that can stand in the way of you and your ambition.

If however, you are a holy-nweje who cannot condescend to such levels, and you stubbornly kept reading even after you were warned very early to desist; and you continue to knock other people’s hustle and complain about how their ways are not pure and bla bla bla, all I have for you is this very sound advice from my paternal great aunt’s first cousin, twice removed:

“If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”

 

HOW TO MAKE YOUR WAY UP THE CORPORATE FOOD CHAIN

Dear brethren, it is a jungle out here and in the jungle, there is only one rule- eat or be eaten! Only the fittest survive and the rest end up as suya or kilishi.

Now every organisation has its idiosyncracies but generally speaking, there are two globally recognised ways of making one’s way up the corporate ladder however precariously that ladder might be sitting (abi standing):

Number one is the highway aka tying the two wrappers and gele of patience a la Joseph in the bible, and waiting for divine favour.

Way number two is for my less patient brethren and involves going the whole political nine yards of scheming, ass kissing, and back-biting your way to the top.

If you belong to the former group, kindly desist from reading beyond this point; if, however you are not above a few under-handed gimmicks in order to get the recognition you believe you so richly deserve, then I have been sent to reveal to you the Good News.

Rule Number One#

When oga-at-the-top calls to discuss an issue (and trust me, he will. It is part of “The Organisation’s” rite of passage for any newcomer and its essence is to “test the waters” aka find out if this one is a potential stooge/monitoring spirit assistant or an unambitious duller). So, as I was saying, when he does call please do not stupidly imagine he called to hear whatever pathetic opinions you might have on the matter (unless they happen to be the same as his own in which case, carry go!). The proper line to toe in this situation is to purchase the best massaging device available and properly massage his ego. Comments like “everything you do think and say is right, sir.” “You speak the mind of the gods, sir.” “You know all things sir,” are the way to go.

Remember, the question is totally irrelevant. When it is not like he has lost the phone number of his family members that he would now decide to call you to hear your opinion. Giving opinions, solicited or otherwise, is the prerogative of family biko. Statements that begin with “honestly, if you ask me sir,” should be permanently banned from your vocabulary. Who is asking you?

Rule Number Two#

If you do manage to scale the first hurdle, whether by accident, design or default, there will come a time when oga-at-the-top will call you to get “information”.

*side-bar: this is the official nomenclature. It is also known on the streets as tatafo, asiri, aproko. Yes oga indulges in this on a regular and although he insists that he needs the ‘information’ to keep abreast of goings-on since he is not ‘on ground’, we all know better*

Now on the fateful night that this call does come through (and yes o, it is always at night. You know nothing pure happens after dark), kindly do not waste too much time giving foolish situation reports like “we finished the proposal today and we have decided to visit the bla bla bla…..” Is that what we are here for?

Look my brother/sister, the more scandalous the gist, the better for your career o. If oga says “what do you think of Mr X,” he does not care if Mr X is finally getting the hang of writing case formulations or that you have been grooming X to start running groups from next week. *yawn*

Something along the lines of “Hmmmm… This Mr X sha. I don’t know o, but somebody that does not know how to do a simple BPS instead of sitting to learn, spent the whole afternoon gisting with that fine female support worker (*insert name here*). And I hear he’s been hovering around the store since they brought in those new UDT kits o. In fact I think you should send an email to the store guys to send you a report on the number of UDT kits we currently have.”

That last bit is also very important because you want to show that in addition to keeping your ears to the ground you also have overwhelming concern for the well-being of The Organisation and are quick thinking too.

Also note that the information you gave about Mr X does not have to be completely true. In fact, it does not have to be true at all. As long as you were able to give oga ‘information’ as well as demonstrate your abilities, dass all o. Oga does not care and neither should you. And if it is any consolation, absolutely nothing will happen to Mr X because:

i) chances are oga is also using Mr X to get ‘information’ about you.

ii) UDT kits will be counted as per your recommendation and will be found complete so nurrin spoil.

So you see win-win! You would have risen several notches in oga’s estimation and that much closer to your coveted position (whatever that might be) and nobody would have to suffer for a crime they didn’t commit…..or at least, not yet.

Rule Number Three#

At this time, you would have gained status as oga’s ‘person’ but do not imagine you can now rest on your oars. Mba o! The kingdom suffereth violence my brethren; do not be like the proverbial sluggard lest somebody come and collect sleep from your eyes.

From time to time, you are to make use of your monthly call credit allocation (which you were previously using to call that foolish boy who has refused to take a hint and change your phone for you) to call the oga and give him ‘informations’ on the goings-on around the office. By this time, of course you know the kind of ‘information’ that would be required.

However, seeing as the aim of this exercise is to consolidate your ambition not just discredit other people, it would be important to chip in vital information about yourself too. E.g

“MD sir, due to the fact that Madam K has not been keeping proper records at all, I have had to close 3 hours after the usual time for the last 2 weeks in order to ensure that accounts are balanced.” Conveniently forget to mention that there were in fact, 3 of you who stayed back till 8 o clock and that the bulk of your reason for staying behind was that Brother Y had chosen to work over-time and he was your ride home.

And by the next morning, there will be a strongly worded email from oga to Madam K asking her to submit all her reports no later than 30 seconds from the time the email was sent and ensure that she copies everybody in her email, including the intern who came to learn ‘accounting work’ yesterday.

Much later, there will be another email sent to everyone where your name would be casually mentioned followed by a commendation on your dedication and conscientiousness. At this time, oga go don find one nickname for you eg Ide ji mba (hire a translator if you are lost) or iya “The Organisation” (again, go find translator).

I will continue tomorrow biko. Sleep!!!!!!

HOPING BEYOND HOPE.

http://bible.com/r/Fy.T Today I am reading day 29 of Oswald Chambers: Hope – A Holy Promise :

One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God. God takes the saints like a bow which He stretches and at a certain point the saint says, “I can’t stand any more,” but God does not heed, He goes on stretching because He is aiming at His mark, not ours, and the patience of the saints is that they “hang in” until God lets the arrow fly.

Stand steadfastly true to God, and God will bring His truth out in a way that will make your life a sacrament, i.e., the abiding presence of God will come through the simple elements of your life, but you must wait for Him.

Reflection Questions: In what ways am I being stretched? How would it be less stressful if I would relax and not resist? Why do I feel as if I must run when I am in trouble rather than stand steadfastly?

Quotations taken from God’s Workmanship, © Discovery House Publishers.

It feels like this was directed at me. Alone. No one else. If someone had gone into my head and wanted to write about it, they couldn’t have done a more precise job.

MOVIE REVIEW: PHONE SWAP

I decided to review this movie because I just saw it today and (as usual), I have a few thoughts.
First off, it’s a Nollywood flick- for those who were wondering.
Second of all, Kunle Afolayan tries- have to give it to him. The movie was pleasantly watchable and we are talking Nollywood so that’s a frigging huge deal.
However!!! 😀
What would I be if I couldn’t be a nitpicking somebody, so here goes….

1. I have to take offence that they called Owerri a village. I’m not from there but it’s the frigg’n capital city. Why oh why, narrow-minded/elitist Nigerians??

2. Every adult that was raised in Nigeria knows how to eat fufu. End of. They might not like it, but they damn well know how to eat it! For world peace’s sake, it’s the same way you eat amala or starch, or eba. This is what is breeding fakeness in this society. Somebody will finish watching this one and imagine that it is unacceptable to know how to eat with your fingers. Shior!

3. That her policeman (abi policewoman) sister was rather hostile, and unnecessarily so, if you ask me. If you invited somebody to your house then waris with all the rudeness biko. I know she was supposed to be uncouth, but even uncouth people have an idea of social etiquette for house guests.
I think that was an ‘over-interpretation’ of her role.

4. How did he buy 10k credit upon arriving Owerri and the next day he was out of credit? And nobody thought to show us the 12 hour call he made to Australia the night before.

5. Lastly, the end bits of the movie had some seriously improbable scenes. It was as if they no longer cared about credulity and just went haywire, like ” we have just 20 minutes left to wrap this thing up, guys make it happen.”
So people were teleporting from Lagos to Owerri, suddenly taking over the companies where their children worked, recognising people they’d never seen, etc etc.

Having said, nice movie, totally watchable. Although I think Kunle could have cast people that actually knew how to speak igbo. But I guess if you don’t know the language you’d never notice so it’s all good.

Oh and I liked that they didn’t push the romance story too much because I was really not feeling any chemistry. I think a love-y scene would have been a hard sell.
But then that’s just my two cents.

Who begs to differ agrees?

UNCLE BILDAD YOU FAIL AM OH!

I’m currently reading the book of Job;
I started two days ago. I chose Job because all the other books I tried to read were depressing. Ironic abi? Let me explain: you know how when you are miserable and happy people just make you even more miserable?
Misery loves company and things.

Anyway, I happened upon a verse which I found interesting:

….Look to God and pray……
if you are pure and good,
He will quickly come to help you.
Job 8: 5-6. ERV

A little background: this was one of Job’s friends who had come to commiserate with him when they heard of his misfortune.

I read this and thought to myself: fa fa fa! Iro o! If there’s one thing I know from personal experience, it is that God does not quickly do ANYTHING. If you have chosen to rely on Him alone, then my brethren you must tie the wrapper of patience plus matching gele.

Someone once said ‘you cannot outwait God.’ I totally agree.
He can be everywhere at the same time so there’s never anywhere He’s hurrying to be; therefore, if He has to wait your whole life to make a point, best believe He can and will.

Quickly ko! If I hear!

WHAT IF I WERE A FIREMAN? OR A BUS DRIVER?

I find it extremely a tad annoying when people are surprised that I don’t typically get weekends and public holidays off work.

As a doctor, I would expect them to be shocked upon hearing that I work nine to five, Monday to Friday, not the other way round.

Someone actually once complained that it wasn’t fair that we were made to work public holidays and I asked them whether they would think it alright if they were to take ill on a public holiday  and on getting to the hospital, were turned back because the doctors were off for the day.

I didn’t receive any reply, of course, so I shook my head, turned and walked away.

image