The Quandary – Part 1

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Uju woke up that morning with a grateful heart. She looked lovingly at her husband, Olumide, still snoring gently beside her, his gorgeous body curled in the fetal position he so preferred. She was tempted to snuggle closer and hug him, he was looking so adorable. She silently rose up. She had always been the early riser, which had become an advantage now, with three kids to prepare for school and a five month old that she was still breastfeeding. She smiled at the thought of her lovely daughters but the smile was quickly followed by a grimace at the thought of the theatrics they always put up whenever she had to wake them up for school. The oldest was 5 years and the twins 3, the very age when the thought of dawn did not bring smiles to children. How funny how these same children woke up early to watch cartoons on weekends and holidays, just when the parents need the sleep.

She checked Sophie, her baby. She was still sound asleep. Of all her children, she was the least demanding in feeding, as though she knew the battle that had raged before her conception. Uju unconsciously shuddered as she remembered the emotional trauma she had gone through convincing her husband to try for another baby. They had initially agreed on having just three kids when they got married regardless of the gender. Their decision was based on the evaluation of their income and desire to give each child adequate attention and love. Also to give both parties time to further their careers. She had hoped for a boy when the first child turned out to be a girl, and would not have been so dismayed at the birth of another girl as a second child, but the arrival of female twins marred her last chance at having a boy. Her husband adored the twins, after all, having them was a gift many people hoped for but never got, especially in his Yoruba culture and more so, he hated gender discrimination; knowing how his nine sisters had been deprived of education just so that he could thrive as the main heir of his father. But his uneducated family was not impressed. They wanted a male child. Olumide was the only son of his late father and on him was laid the duty to carry on the family name. All the blame was laid at her feet, and they had begun threatening her with talks of bringing in another wife to fulfill that task. Uju became unsettled. The fact that she was Ibo and they had never really warmed up to her, ever since the full-blown war against the only son marrying from a different tribe had been won by her husband’s insistence that he would marry her and never return to the family. She begged and begged him to reconsider his stand. He was annoyed with her for not trusting him enough to remain faithful to her as a Christian and that there was no assurance that the next child would be male. She quickly goggled new medical methods used to determine the sex of a baby during conception. Olumide finally succumbed only when he got promoted at work with a higher pay and felt they could take the risk of having another child. She had to postpone her Masters which did not seat too well with her husband. Finally she got pregnant and alas! It was a girl. She hung her head in shame. Her husband fumed for weeks and refused to name the child, claiming it was her idea. He even refused to put on the same ceremonial cloth at the naming ceremony as was their tradition. She was only too glad he was even present at the occasion.

Uju snapped back to the present and quickly carried on with the day’s chores. Things were looking up for her now. She would be resuming at the Pan Atlantic University to run her Masters in a month’s time. It was expensive and would surely limit the family budget but it was time to move on with her career. Her husband had gone as far as taking a soft loan to pay for the school fees. She just loved this man. He was willing to invest in her. Thinking of that, made her heart soar.

Towards evening, she began to shiver and experience unusual weakness. She decided to take a little nap, only to wake up feeling nauseous. Within minutes, she was vomiting. She went to the Pharmacist nearby to get anti-malarial tablets , just as she was about turning away from the counter, she sighted a pregnancy kit. Her heart skipped a bit when she remembered that her present symptoms were similar to those she exhibited when pregnant. With a feeling of foreboding she bought the pregnancy kit. She rushed home to use it and behold it was positive. The next day she went for a proper test and was told she was 7 weeks gone. The world came crashing down indeed. Immediately thoughts of abortion came rushing through her mind. Her husband would think she deliberately got pregnant again. If it was a girl, it would only get her in-laws more angry. To kill an innocent baby and face the wrath of God or lose her husband for good, and ruin her chances of furthering her career was like being caught between the proverbial red sea and the devil.

(Piece by Ololade Okedare)

Ololade has a degree in Physiotherapy from Obafemi Awolowo University and is a writer (screen and prose) by profession. She is passionate about women empowerment, family institution, child rights and social justice. She is deep rooted in her Christian faith and has a platform where she mentors young women. She is an alumnus of Orange Academy and currently running her post-graduate programme in media and journalism at the Pan African University. She is married to her beloved Fiyinfolu.

 

MISFITS RULE THE WORLD

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Hmm! That’s me heaving a sigh. I sometimes sigh in defeat when I am at the verge of quitting. Millions of thoughts cross my mind on a daily basis…thoughts as these…Will you ever crack this stuff? Will you ever stop being broke? Will you ever stand out? Will you ever do anything extraordinary? Is there anything you can do well? You may not be able to do as much …you need to consider the current state of your health…you are not as qualified, you are not as strong… you are not as pretty…you are not as intelligent there is nothing extraordinary about you, you are just ordinary person…. just stick with that…

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Haltttttttttt!!!!! I am about to go crazy if I don’t consciously stop these thoughts. Other times I do more than stop these thoughts, I speak out in opposite direction (positive confessions), I get on my feet and go about those ‘impossibles’. I go back to whatever I have failed at and try again. Oh please, is it that simple? someone asks…No, it is not as easy. No, it is not as easy at all! And that is why I am sitting before my computer at 10:33 this morning scribbling as fast as I can what has helped me to stay positive, what has helped me progress, what has helped me face those issues and particularly what has helped me stay sane!

First thing is to Desire, and then ask! That’s it? Yes, that’s it my friend. Just desire not to remain in the same situation and then ask for help. Help from whom? Ask God at every point in time to help you.

What does God have to do with this? God has everything to do with everything. He is a professional in using misfits to achieve great feats. I discovered in Rick Warren’s Purpose driven life’, that all the people God used for exploits in the bible are like you and I. They’ve got weakness, they have failed before and the have walked these paths before. Check out what Rick discovered…’Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was co-dependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair amongst numerous family problem, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric, Peter was impulsive and hot tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Thomas doubted, Paul had poor health, Timothy was timid….’

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These are misfits but God used each of them in his service and He can and will use you too if you stop making excuses, if you stop letting negative thoughts take over, if you turn over to God, if you rely and depend totally on Him and importantly if you develop a functional relationship with Him.

Your weaknesses are tools for exploits in God’s hands…don’t give up and don’t give in!
Be the best you can and stay positive!

Omidanjesu!

Happy New Hair!

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On Monday, January 4, 2016, I made my hair. Yes, I did and it was beautiful. It was and still is because my husband said so. I rushed into this cute mini salon across my house on a late evening to put my hair together in readiness for work the next day. It took about an hour thirty minutes. Afterwards, I strolled in to quickly prepare some food for my family. Apparently, my husband had just made hot white rice and brought out the stew and vegetable from the freezer. I was really grateful to him for helping out, only that he just left the frozen rice accompaniment beside the sink…meaning, Seyi, I don’t know what to do about these stuff…will you please sort this part yourself?

Anyway, I was still thankful to a sweet man, many men do noble things but this sweetheart surpasses them all…

Sorry to veer off. When I got to the door that night, my husband opened the door for me and I realized that he was just standing there with a wide grin, with shinning cute eyes staring at me after I had stepped in, the hair actually gave me a new look. It was still not a big deal to me but it was to my dear.
While he awoke from his amazement, I went about doing good concerning the stone cold vegetable and stew. As I moved around the house, I noticed times without number that my husband was staring at me which made me a bit uncomfortable, a good feeling it is.

This made me wonder and wander; I wandered far from the present. I sojourned to a place I usually go when I get this feeling ‘the good uncomfortable feeling’. It is a good place, don’t be scared, lol.
I came out with this, if I did straw curls and my husband is this tripped because I stepped out of my comfort hair zone (braids), he is intrigued by this new look and can’t keep his eyes off me. So I asked myself, what little thing or step or action will I take as regards my relationship with God that will make Him pleased with me as my husband is? What can I do for God that can make his heart beat? Or better still, what am I doing about situations around me that can make God glad and smile at me.

What if we start thinking this way? Stop complaining and start touching our world by tweaking things here and there, by stepping out and forward in repping God, by being the best we can be in everything assigned to us or just by working on having a functional relationship with our big daddy – God.

There is so much we can do to change the world, to change lives, to affect our society… one thing as simple as anything is to be the change we want to see.

Just Be!

Cheers!
Omidanjesu!

 

SHADES OF GREEN

“Hurry Seyi…” That’s my husband hastening me up one morning while I was dressing up for work. So in a bid to do as asked, as fast I could, I donned a lemon shade of green blouse with a leaf green flat foot wear, as I picked my earrings and bangle…I was a little hesitant because I was donning different shades of green which is not the usual mode in vogue….and then it dawned on me that life is green.

Since the colour ‘green’ symbolizes life, its shades too may symbolize some things….say seasons, levels, grades, phases or times of life. My focus is not on the meaning on the different kinds of green; my focus is on the different stages of life that we are and what we do per time. It is also pertinent that we do a little exploration on what the colour ‘green’ symbolizes and also exhibit some shades of the colour. Let’s go take a peep … …

GREEN is balance and harmony. GREEN is hope – anticipation of things to come. GREEN is growth, relief, renewal, rebirth, restoration. GREEN is prosperity and abundance. GREEN is nurture, fertility. GREEN in shades – Pale, Emerald, Jade, Lime, Dark, Aqua, Olive, Grass, Yellow … … …

We are here today, tomorrow we aspire to be there, we get there and then, aspire again to be elsewhere. Life is in phases and men are in sizes. All shades of green symbolize the different states of man’s feelings, attitudes and emotions. They also symbolize the different stages of life we find ourselves. Some shades of green connote positive energy while some, negative energy.

Importantly, green is all about balance in life. Have I asked you where you are in life or better still what stage of life you are in? Are you abound or abase? Are you comfortable or struggling, happy or sad, wealthy or poor…Are you climbing, in between goals, amidst survival…whatever state of life you are right now, I just need you to know and believe that you are on your way to your ‘there’. Nothing or no one can stop you. Only if you embrace a functional relationship with God and replace the word GREEN with LIFE while you ponder on this few lines below:

Green is God …
He makes me lie down in green pastures…. He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…

There is no GREEN without God. His complexion is Green … (Lol) *winking*
Have a GREEN life, Have a GOOD one!

A Thought Away!

Turn the pages of news papers, flip on the television, get on a bus or pose at a news paper stand and all one gets is one bad news after the other, displays and shows of shame, manifestation of shallow minded, mentally lazy individuals who turn out to be at the nation’s hem of affairs. I just seem frustrated at the pace at which values and ideals are being thrown out of the window without any shrug. It happens every day, and then I complain every day, and then I find people like me who do nothing but make random comments and make competitive and impressing conversations out the whole mess.

So I asked myself if I have been a contributor to the way things have been or if I made a difference in my environs…has anyone been influenced by my being: by the reason of the fact that I exist… So, this soul search continued till I heard this  from a father– TD JAKES. He took me on a journey that teaches me that I have to be the change and this can only happen through my thoughts. I can erect and pull down through my thoughts.

The intangible is what determines the tangible; our thoughts are what we have become over time. There is a nose diving, dumping down of ideas in today’s world. We sit up for hours watching people doing reality shows and obscene music videos. The people who are schooled to do creative things as drama, dance, writing and the likes are searching all over the place for jobs. It is the lack of ideas, thoughts, strategies, and experiences that has put this generation in the state it is. People do not feed on positive minds anymore. We have a generation that doesn’t produce anything; we are just famous for being ‘cute’. Popular for for being a consumer. The truth is, When ideas stop, economies, buildings, corporations, businesses, industries, conglomerate and ministries stops!

Thoughts become realities. You are one thought away from the greatest experience you have ever had. If you can think, you can change, move, evolve, grow, become… You are just one thought away from that change you dream of, from what you hope for. You can never be better than your thought!

You see, this is a season when you need to get out of the noise and find a peaceful place to get that thought…one thought in a century is enough to change an entire generation. Now, it’s not other people’s thought that make you or mar you. You have to go to a place where you will get your head together because it’s your own thought that becomes reality; it’s your thoughts that creates you; build you…one thought delivers you from hopping around. For me, church is key; that’s where I find sanity, I add up pieces in my life and get going. My friends are key, I don’t loiter around with just anyone. You can’t afford to be in the same place with somebody who has written life off and still think straight, you can’t roam with negative oozing people and think possibilities. Choose you environment, choose your life!

Don’t let anyone mess up with your mind… because that’s your most prized possession, that’s where your thoughts spring from. Your thoughts are your life. Your life, family, and business come from within. So tell me, who are you mingling with?

We are creators because we are created in the likeness of a Creator. We need to be creative to live our lives to its fullest potentials. God doesn’t give anyone finished goods because we need something to create. God didn’t create the automobile, chair, computer… He made gold, iron, steel, tree…..He gives us the raw stuff. He gives us things to think about! So look at yourself and ask what I can do with the stuff that have been given to me, since I don’t get finish goods. Make something out of what’s on your inside. You are just one idea away… You are one idea away from what you saw in your dreams, in your subconscious. You are not waiting on God, God is waiting on you. One thought makes you define yourself from who you are and not who you were.

Words create thoughts. What are you speaking? Words breathe; they become thoughts and become realities. If positive thoughts have power to pull you down, then positive words have power to pull you up. So what do you care about ‘smelly’ talks that people say about you? It is not their thoughts that make you. It is your thoughts that delivers you from what you been through and make you fly into your tomorrow. You are called according to God’s purpose…Dedicate yourself to His purpose and He will sort you out all round because God always pays for what He orders!

THINK THE CHANGE, BE THE CHANGE!

I am Oluwaseyi Oniyide. I am a builder; I build esteem, courage, thoughts and perceptions. That’s what I feel strongly about…I do these with words. I believe that you are inspired or challenged positively by these words above, please like,  share this page, and also leave a comment and share your thoughts. Your thoughts shared can save a life, that life makes a generation.
Thank you for stopping by.

IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!

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I am so sorry for being away for a while without telling anyone. When I was away, I needed to take out time to do something on my computer, so I sought a quiet place. while I was there, this was what I encountered and I thought it was an experience to share.

Bimpe, please I just have to say this, I know I have spoken about it twice or so but I have to do it again. You are my best friend and I cannot watch you go on like this. This guy is distracting you, can’t you see it? You have stopped singing! Remember, every time you open your mouth to sing, things change. People come looking for you to appreciate you for saving them from drowning, from suicide, from taking a wrong turn…and every time it happens, there is that light in your eyes. You are happy and things work out. But now, this guy doesn’t even give you time for yourself, for anything that you are interested in, talk less of pursing your dream …He has tampered with your love for God, your relationship with God no longer functions… (She heaved a sigh and held the hands of her friend, looking into her eyes; she opened her mouth to say more…) Bimpe, you have changed, you ….

I was sitting in a corner where this conversation was happening, the friends were oblivious of that fact so I stayed still. But when Bimpe responded to her friend, I almost gave myself out.

Tolu, please stop…stop this ranting, I beg you (Tolu, flinched surprisingly. Bimpe removed her hand from her friend’s, got up looked into Tolu’s eyes and dropped the bomb shell) It is my life, I can do with it what I wish. Who are you to judge me? Who are you to judge my relationship with God? How dare you Tolu.How… (Tolu, tries to interrupt)

This time, I wanted to turn and peep, it is not satisfying enough to eavesdrop, so as I shifted, my chair cringed and the friends looked back but they were not interested in their new discovery, especially Bimpe.

Bimpe, I am not judging you, I am simply… (She gets up, tries to place her hand on her friend’s back but Bimpe moves away with irritation written all over her face). Please try to understand me, I am just trying…

TOLU! (raising her voice) I don’t want to hear anymore…I have said it and I will say it again……I will do with my life whatever I want. It is my LIFE…. (She storms out with a loud hiss.) (Tolu is dumbfounded, she couldn’t move…Then, she remembers the person around who is looking at her now. So, she starts to walk away even though her feet were heavy)

I finally had the guts to turn around, well … not to eavesdrop anymore but Bimpe’s lines were coming back so strongly, the echoes were so loud… ‘I WILL DO WITH MY LIFE WHATEVER I WISH’. I was just too shocked to think. I sat there for a while and this was what was going on in my mind.

You cannot do with your life what you wish except you have the power to operate the air you breathe. You are too unsure about the next second of your life to hold on to it without giving it serious thoughts. Life is meaningless according to Solomon. He says “… life is a chasing after the wind”. So how come statements like ‘I can do with my life what I wish’ comes out from people’s lips without thoughts.

This is what baffles me the most in that conversation, “This guy is distracting you. Can’t you see it? You have stop singing. Remember, every time you open your mouth to sing, things change. People come looking for you to show appreciation for saving them from drowning, from suicide, from taking a wrong turn…and every time it happens, there is that light in your eyes”.

Here is my take on this, I also do not have the right to judge anyone, I have got weaknesses like you everyone but I have also learnt that we have been given so that we can be a give. We can’t ignore the gift or choose to do with it what we wish. The gift is a tool for humanity, it is a gift given for a purpose. A vessel cannot serve itself; its fulfillment is in meeting other people’s need. Your life is not about you so is mine not about me! We have been sent for a reason! It is our assignments to find out what to do with our gifts and when we do, get down to work. Don’t consult your feelings, don’t ask for opinions from your current situation and don’t take advice from those who have not been down that road.

Wake up my dear friend, smell the brewing coffee. You are uncontainable, there is too much on your inside to live an ordinary life. You are God’s special product … God’s image … God’s look alike …. How can you be here for being here sake? You are too loaded to be a WASTE! YOU ARE PRICELESS!

DON’T BE DISTRACTED, MAKE EVERY DEPOSIT COUNT!

Omidanjesu!

WHAT’S ON YOUR INSIDE?

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Meet Adebukola , soon to be Mrs…. *grinning*…… (That’s for another day). ‘Bukola is my colleague at work. I don’t know her for too many things but this much I know. There is a particular thing she does, she is so passionate about it she needs no encouragement. I am sure you are dying to know… BATIK!

Don’t tell me you don’t know anything about BATIK….Ok, ok! I will tell you. Take a ride with me. The word ‘BATIK’ is thought to be derived from the word ‘AMBATIK’ which means ‘a cloth with little dots’. The suffix ‘TIK’ means ‘little dot, a drop, point or to make dots’.

BATIK originates from Javanese word ‘TRITIK ’which describes a resist for dying where the patterns are reserved on textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie die techniques…
Batik is an art and a craft. It is simply the art of decorating using wax and dye. Batik is part of an ancient tradition and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is from Java, Indonesia where it has been practiced for centuries.

Hmmm! Lol, did you just take a deep breath? ….. Like, ‘that’s some history’. Hehehe! History is good o! Anyway, this is what I am driving at, you don’t have to do everything to be famous, you don’t need to be any other person to thrive. All you need to do is to get on your inside and find out what makes you tick. There is something that creates sparks within you and there is something that makes bubbles in your belly. There something that brightens your face like sunrise. There is something that you are happy to do even when you are tired and fagged out. That thing you do in spite of the raging storm. That thing that gives you satisfaction, it gives you joy. It puts a smile at the corner of your lips at the close of day. That is it! ….. That is your purpose. That is the tool God has given you to influence your world.

At times a gift may seem insignificant, don’t despise it … if you do…you will keep wandering on earth like a misfit; you will keep asking the question ‘why are things not working or why do I feel unfulfilled’? That small insignificant gift or endowment or talent is your tool for breakthrough.

Adebukola Oyedemi is the CEO of ‘Amoke Aladire Asiko’, she is to me not many things, but this part of her opens up some other aspects of life to me…she invariably teaches me discipline, creativity, patience, consistency, resilience and entrepreneurship…

It is either of two things, it is either you are inspired by this write-up, to go on your knees and ask God for clarity as to what it is He’s placed on your inside, do a soul search or you are interested in patronizing my friend, Bukola … Maybe you want learn or buy some of her art work displayed below. Do not fret; you can reach her via this contact.

Company: Amoke Aladire Asiko

Mobile: 0803 839 9397; 0818 279 4225

Email: bukyem29@yahoo.com

God is the custodian of purpose; Give your life a meaning!

Omidanjesu!

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