Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kenya Weather, Warmth & Women

Dear Blog

I'm sorry.

It's been a while we spoke. So much has happened. There's so much I want to tell you. Been so busy over the past few months relocating and all, I sort of put this relationship in the backburner. I apologise my dear.

B: Relocating? 
Yes, Relocating. Relocated to Kenya a couple of months ago.

B: A couple of months?? A COUPLE OF MONTHS?? And you failed to mention? 
Calm down na. 'Twas hectic and all. Oya sorry, ma binu.

B: Hmm...okay fine. Why relocate?
It's work jare. Got this interesting assignment in Nairobi.

B: Osheyy Barrddest!!! Tell me ALL about it.
Hmm...where do I start? OK, let me tell you a couple of things that struck me when i first got here?

B: Dont you dare leave anything out!
But it's a lot na. Don't worry, i'll break this up into gists. You'll get everything in the end, trust me.

B: Ok go on, I'm listening.
Cool!
So, first thing: It's cold in Kenya!

B: Cold?
Yes. you heard me. Cold! I arrived in the middle of 'winter' - it was about 10 - 14 degrees celcius and I needed a heater and two hot water bottles to sleep warmly! It's crazy! And the most annoying part is, when I tell my naija friends that it's cold here, they say

"Cold? In Kenya?? is Kenya not in Africa?"



As if cold weather is a respecter of continents 😐

Normally, I'd go ahead and give them a quick lesson in Geography 101, about how Kenya is elevated etc etc, but these days, I just shake my head and change the subject quickly. No time.

B: Meanie!
Can't help it, mehn. Worse still, is when someone asks,

"So, Jide, how far away is Kenya from Lagos by plane?"
"Close to 6hours"
"6 hours???!!! Why na?? But that's like from here to London...."


Interesting stereotypes!

2. The people are warm! Almost Nigerian-like. Almost. (Dear Nigerians, there're no warmer people like you, anywhere in the world! Twale! 🙌). My first interaction with the Kenya people was at an offsite office meeting. I was my very calm self, sitting down and being antisocial minding my own business. When the people around me finally knew I was Nigerian, a lady said, 'I knew it! He couldn't be Kenyan. he has this Nigerian...oomph!' Which thereafter sparked a conversation whether or not Kenyan men lack this oomph quality, and some irked irate individual even went further to ask if her Kenyan husband had the oomph!



All the while, I sat there, thinking this was the very first time I've heard that word spoken out loud, at the same time smiling and basking in this supposed oomph my Nigerian heritage bestowed on me. 'Twas then I became a part of the team 😎.


3. Their girls love Nigerian men. Well...I was once corrected by a male Kenyan when he said, "Our girls don't like Nigerian men...only their money!"
And I was left wondering what the difference was between a man and his money.



By the way, Nigerians are renowned for thier largesse, and ostentatious display of wealth (mostly gotten from 'unknown' sources). Still, Mr. Man,



Also, it seems Kenya men don't show as much affection to their female partners...in words, currency and deeds (LOL) - generally speaking, that is. And since, Nigerians are renowned for their exuberant endearment, and ostentatious display of affection towards their women, Darwin's Law of Natural Selection accurately predicts that Kenyan women would naturally (lol!) gravitate towards Nigerian men and their money (however ill-gotten, and especially as they - Nigerian men - are in short supply within proximity). See how the combined laws of biology and economics are working against the poor Kenya dudes 👅.

There is a good lesson here for the Nigerian ladies: Your men are of huge value elsewhere. #AppreciateANigerianManToday

And a caveat for my Dear Future Nigerian Wife: banish fear and doubt; i'm all yours!

4. Last one for today B
B: Oh no. I was just grabbing my popcorn for more stories!
LOL. I'm a bit tired. I promise to continue next week.
B. Cross your heart?
Cross my heart.
B. Okay. go on.

So, there's so much stereotype about West Africans, it's amazing! I spent the first few months trying hard to dissociate myself from a couple of them: They say Nigerians (read West Africans) like very spicy foods (I don't!). They say Nigerians are drug dealers and conmen (read a book please). They say Nigerians can dance very well (err...for me, not so much). They say we go to clubs and spray money on our women and friends while singing PSquare's 'Chop My Money' (What now???). They say our food smells (this particular stereotype is local to the guys in the office - another story for another day B). They say we buy multiple bottles of alcoholic drinks at parties (well, this is kinda true. LOL). It's so bad that when I hang out with friends, and I'm simply drinking from my glass of red wine, someone would approach and say, "Jide, where are the bottles?? Aren't you a Nigerian??"



Anyways, i've learnt to live with it. I'm Nigerian and proud. Made up my mind to accept the good and deflect the bad. Nothing do me!

Talk to you next week B. Promise to have more juicy stories for you, as you walk with me through this journey of more success, in this land of opportunity and adventure!

Bless up!

***
Follow my wits on Twitter: @olatunbode

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why I Will Not Pay Tithe



"The people there were more open-minded...and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was really true."
 (Acts 17:11 GNT)





My friend Deji had a problem. He came into the group chat with very worried words:

"Guys,' Deji started, "Do you pay tithe on your gross income or net income?"

It was a seeming simple question, but it brought up an uproar in a Whatsapp group filled with diverse intellectuals.

"The New Testament Christian is not supposed to be religious about gross or net or 10%," Ovie started, 'He is supposd to give liberally"

"From my understanding, you pay on what enters into your account" postulated John, who schooled in the UK. "If 500 enters your account, you pay 50".

"But you've earned more!" Deji retorted, "The tax is yours, you've just paid it to the government.

"Ehn, go and pay more na!" Funto replied. Funto is the clown of the group. Nobody really takes him seriously.

"I just want to know what it is" Deji responded. You could read the plea in his words. "I've always paid on net, but someone told me today that it's wrong"

"Not true bro", Funto replied again, this time, trying to form serious. "Bible says give what you feel you owe God...no set rule."

(At this point, I literally gasped at my phone! I had no idea what Bible Funto reads)

"Tithe is between you and God, not what man thinks is right", Funto continued.

"Why do we even pay tithe at all?" Femi, the smartest guy in the group, asked. "And what happens if we don't pay?"

"NOTHING," bellowed Ope, who is from the rural parts of Ibadan (this is a joke within a joke, as Ibadan comprises of only rural parts).

"Abolutely nothing! Prove me wrong Bible Scholars,' Ope continued, 'Christians would be accepting everything hook, line and sinker. I had this same conversation at work and people were saying gross...I just hissed!"

Deji continued, in response to Femi's question: "Well, because God said so? I'm not sure. I just believe it's in your best interest to."

(At this point, Deji had to munch the famous tithe Bible passage (Mal 3:10-11) from his phone, as if to erase all doubt as to what God had said)

"So what is the consequence of not paying?' Femi urged.

"I cannot tell. What if I've been missing out on some blessings? I have certainly not met all my goals"

"And you think it's because you don't pay tithe?" the belligerent Ibadan boy asked.
(And to be fair, Deji never said he didn't pay tithe, but I guess Ibadan people never really pay close attention).

"Well, who knows," Deji replied, "perhaps I could've gotten a job in GE and be flying all over the world, or a job in P&G and be balling like Femi. But repercussions or not, it will be nice to know what is right. Just to be sure"

And here, my dear readers is where we start our own conversation.

You see, I'm constantly in search of truth. I understand that where religion is concerned, we're typically fed with truths, half-truths and sometimes blatant lies from a variety of sources. So I question everything. And to be honest, I have been having the debate at the back of my mind about the meaning behind my tithe payments. Why do I pay tithes? This is such a strong economic question especially in this era of falling forex and rising oil pump prices (Nigerians, can I get an Amen?), and so I asked myself, way before Deji brought up the discussion in the chatgroup, why, oh why, do I dish out 10% of my hard-earned income every month?

Did God really say we should pay tithe? This sounds like a funny question, especially after referring to Malachi chapter 3. But as you will soon see, God, in that Malachi chapter, was speaking through a prophet, to a specific people, within a specific period of time, and under some specific circumstances. It doesn't, and cannot, apply to everybody. Truth is, you cannot remove a book from the context in which it was written, and the Bible is no exception. In fact, taking the wordings of Scripture out of context would make Christians no different from other religious fanatics running around killing people. Check out Deut 17: 1 - 5 or Deut 13: 6 - 16 where God commanded his people to kill their own family and even raze down cities that turn away from God. Or check out 1 Cor 14:34 where women are forbidden to speak in church.(Ha!) So no, thank you very much, the Bible should be read and understood within the context it was written.  In fact, it's a dangerous something to take the Bible (or any holy book for that matter) out of context.

So, what's the context behind tithing? Does it apply to everyone, or not? Is it paid on gross or net? To fully understand the idea, we need to take a step back to the beginning. Walk with me, as I paint the big picture as succinctly as I can.

1. First, Father Abraham was the first person mentioned in the Bible to pay tithe. As the story goes, a couple of kings made an alliance and captured the city of Sodom, plundering, looting and taking the inhabitants as captives. Abraham's nephew was one of those captives. Someone escaped and informed Abraham, who then gathered 318 strongmen, chased the alliance, defeated them, and recovered all that was taken, including Lot. On his way back, he met a priest of God, and gave the priest a tenth of the recovered loot, and bam! Tithing was born.

2. Second mention of tithe was done by Jacob, grandson of Abraham. Now, Jacob was just about done with duping his father of Esau's blessings. His mother, knowing how annoyed Esau would get, told Isaac, Jacob's Father, to send Jacob away. In doing this, she was successfully killing two birds with one stone. For one, she didn't want Jacob marrying one of the local girls, as it seemed they didn't have proper home training (lol!). Secondly, she feared what Esau would do when he finds out his blessings had gone with the wind. (As an aside, I always wondered why Isaac had only one blessing to give. Like, c'mon! You have two kids, you want one of them to suffer ni? Or haf Blessing become scarce? LOL! But I digress).

Anyways! Jacob packed his load and started on a journey to his uncle's place several hundreds of miles away. Now, for a moment, just imagine how Jacob would have felt, leaving his father's covering and his mother's love. Fear? Uncertainty? Apprehension? Exactly! So you can imagine his relief when God appeared to him in a dream and promised to bless and protect him. Jacob woke up from that dream startled until realization dawned upon him that God was there, and with him. To seal the deal, Jacob made a vow to God, saying, if You do all these things you promised me in the dream, I'll give you a tenth of all my belongings. It is interesting to see that even after God had promised to bless and protect him, Uncle Jacob still went ahead to forge a contract, complete with legal consideration. (If you ask me, I think this was born out of his wayo behaviour. People typically believe others - even God -  would act the same way they would act, in a similar situation. This is worth thinking about for a bit). But what is more interesting is that God took this deal pretty seriously, and made a reference to it 2 chapters down the line (Gen. 31). And here we have the second mention of tithing, which in my opinion, is mighty instructive. But hold on, let's get to the third and most controversial mention of tithe in the Bible...

3. Tithing in the law of Moses. This is the best known, least understood, and most touted part of tithing. Ask anything Christian why they pay tithe. They will almost instantly point to Malachi 3 vs 10. In fact, do a google search for just 'Malachi', and...

But the real question is, why did God write tithing into law? In short summary, when He supernaturally rescued the Israelites from centuries of slavery and led them through the Promised Land, He called out the tribe of Levites as a group of people who would live their lives exclusively as priests. He then provided a means for their livelihood - He commanded the Israelites to part with a tenth of their income (very loosely speaking) for the upkeep of the Levites. Understand that Israel at that time was a theocratic state. God was Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. He made the rules, enforced the rules, and ensured equity among everybody. In fact, where equity was concerned, He instituted multiple types of tithes, for widows, orphans, and even for some festive occasions, etc. You see, tithe was supposed to be some form of modern day tax to ensure a social security system for the economically disadvantaged, and God sweetened the deal, promising to bless and prosper the Israelites if they faithfully obeyed. (There is an interesting parallel between tax and tithe - subject for another blogpost, perhaps).

Now, with this understanding, fast forward to our popular scripture, Mal 3:10. If you read the entire book of Malachi (Remember context!), you'd understand what God was communicating through his prophet. In summary once again, Israel was messing up! From the priests to the people, everyone was doing and behaving anyhow. Priests were offering stunted and worthless sacrifices, men were marrying foreign and godless women, divorcing their wives, and even forgetting to pay tithes! 

Apparently God wasn't happy, and spoke in very strong words through Malachi to the Israelites.

Do you see the specificity of that passage now? And do you see how erroneous it might be to broadly apply it to every Christian? 

Herein lies the crux of this discussion, and this is why I won't pay tithe: tithing as prescribed by Moses' law was made specifically for the children of Israel to meet a specific need, the original intent being irrelevant and obsolete for today's Christian.

But within this insight, came a much deeper revelation. You see, I believe that one easy way to success is to seek out success behaviours of successful people and emulate them. If you can figure out the cause, and do the cause, you can expect a similar (same?) effect. 

Do you remember what Jacob did?

Jacob got a powerful promise of prosperity from God (similar to our New Testament promise of prosperity), and then took a proactive step by cutting a deal with God, one that God acknowledged Himself and kept! I like that. And I want that. 

So I drew up my own contract with God (as funny as that sounds), and my giving a tenth of all I own is keeping my part of the deal. This makes my tithing a very personal something, and holds me solely accountable to myself and God (parties to the contract), and no one else. It removes the guilt and remorse that my friend Deji was feeling, because now, I simply executes the contract based on the terms I drew up, with proper understanding and ownership! Paying tithe on gross or net becomes an unnecessary discussion. 

So this is why I pay tithe. Not out of willful (ignorant?) obligation, but out of a deeply cultivated covenant. 

Now, does this mean all my past tithing has been in vain? Fortunately, no. Giving, in itself, is a valid and pretty powerful principle of prosperity. But entering into a covenant with God is a much more powerful next step - call it the icing on the cake, or if you like, the insurance policy on your prosperity (or health, or fame, or whatever value your contract stipulates). 

So go ahead - with deep introspection, define the scope of the covenant/contract and keep your part, knowing without an iota of doubt, than the Second Party to the contract has never, ever, breached a contract. And He won't start now.

#nuffsaid

*Real names withheld to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned. Not that they need any form of protection, but this notice looks pretty fanciful on a blog.

**Remember to share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Thank you!

***And follow me on Twitter too: @olatunbode

****Special thanks to Tolu Odugbemi, whose real name isn't withheld. You were Godsent!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Slayer.

So I got featured on a blog!

My friend, Nike, decided to do an interview for working professionals who do a couple of other 'extra-curricular activities'. She coined the word 'Ultrapreneur' for this phenomenon, and I'm humbled to be right at the starting lineup!

Read the post here, and remember to tell me (and Nike) what you think!

Gracias.

Friday, March 25, 2016

There Is Something Wrong With My UNILAG Undergrad Education

I am convinced there is something wrong with my UNILAG undergraduate education.

The very first time I felt this way was in my second year at the Lagos Business School, pursuing my MBA. I was walking down the staircase, and I noticed one of the steps was chipped at a corner. I took little notice of the chip and kept on walking.

The very next day, I was walking on that same staircase and to my utter amazement, I noticed the step with the chipped edge had been replaced!!!

What?? Replaced?? Under 24hours?? In this country?? Impossible!

To understand my bewilderment and perhaps create some perspective, I was coming from an undergraduate background where an entire hall of residence will collapse under disrepair and mismanagement, with not even a wink from the authorities. Hell... I was coming from a country where the roads would be totally impassable, riddled with crater-sized potholes; with goverment officials passing by on a daily basis in air-conditioned SUVs, and with no thought to its maintenance. (Lagos State, for the record seem to be an exception, as potholes are swifly covered up in most instances, but this is an exception, rather than the rule)

So, you see, the chip in the step was not the issue. I expected the chip. What I didn't expect, was the swift corrective action. And herein lay the problem: I had come to expect this mismanagement as the norm. Shocking, and sad, but true.

This is the first issue with my undergrad education.

The second issue is more critical and saddening. I found, by a series of close observation and back-of-the-envelope research, that graduates of some private universities, most especially those of Covenant and Babcock universities were doing far better than graduates of my alma mata in terms of leadership, entrepreneurship, and even governance. I took multiple samples of youths in different sectors: government, education, business, entertainment, PR, agriculture, New Media, etc and a good number (if not most) of the youths leading these sectors (of the sample space) were graduates of these aforementioned private universities!

What are they teaching them there, biko??

No, really, someone should tell me. I'm pretty certain the curriculum is pretty similar, so there has to be something extra-curricular that instills in these graduates the knowledge, the skills, and the grit to be successful leaders and entrepreneurs.

Don't get me wrong...graduates of UNILAG exist that are successful and are leaders in their own chosen fields, no doubt! (Heck! I'm one of them!) But I'm talking numbers here. For every 1 UNILAG graduate leading in one field, say Entertainment, there are, perhaps 2 to 3 to 4 graduates of Covenant or Babcock (this is loosely speaking, but please challenge me here if you have contrary figures). They have to be doing something right. The question is: what?

And sadly, I do not know. I wish I could claim on this piece that I had found the answers; and all UNILAG authorities need do is 1, 2, and 3; and then voila...our graduates would be running for President. LOL! I wish. But I don't have the answers.

But dear UNILAG school authorities, (if you ever get to read this), I know where we can start:

First, we need to acknowledge that the quality of the undergraduate we churn out could be greatly improved. Then we need to vastly and quickly improve the school's infrastructure. Give the students a wholesome sense of belonging! Third, infrastructural maintenance should be top priority for every Department and Faculty. Every chip in the stairs need to be repaired pronto!

Finally, we need to pay these two universities a visit, and perhaps do a small study, to find out why their graduates turn out as they do. Forget the comic nature of this post - this is serious business! Research is the lifeblood of any university, so this final idea should be an executional walk in the park.

Now, this writeup is in no way designed to cast aspersions on The University of First Choice, and The Nation's Pride. Far from it. I've said it before, and i'll say it again: every Nigerian student consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously, wants/wanted/would love to be a student of  the University of Lagos. This is Fact. Ask your Mummy. Numerous conditions make them choose other universities. LOL! To yourself be true.

Truth is, I'm proud of my Alma Mater. I met great people there and did wonderful things. This is simply a clarion call to make the school much, much better. (Case in point, UNILAG just recently produced the first ever perfect CGPA graduate this year. Beat that Covenant University!)

Now, if you have any insight into my conundrum above, please comment. Share your knowledge/guesses/theories, whatever. Let's talk about it, please. And find a way out.

#nuffsaid

Follow me on twitter: @olatunbode.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015!


Source: krvn.com
2015 was terrific! Now you might not understand how incredible this statement is until you take a look at how awful my 2014 was. Yes, I said awful. Read my article here on how 2014 turned out (zoom into #7&8). Notice how I said 2015 would be the best year yet. Notice how 2015 did became my best year yet, last year. LOL!

To be honest, on all fronts, 2015 was a great year. I won't begin to mention how great...one blog post isn't enough. But I'll tell you what I did to make the year turn out so great! And it's so simple, it's unbelievable (and annoying, really):

I set lofty goals. Honestly, I cringe each time I say or write this; because I see, in my mind, people rolling their eyes at this comment. This is probably because goal setting is the most overstated and underused principle in human history (a little hyperbole never hurt anyone ;)). But seriously, there is nothing new in goal setting, but I believe people get it wrong in 3 ways:

  1. In actually setting them! LOL. Some group of people don't just set goals. They believe what would be would be. I believe in making things be. True. So I always set goals. Always. And the goals are lofty, so even if i don't make them (I didn't make all of them in 2015), I'd have stretched and become a better person in the process.
  2. Write them down and put them where you can see them frequently. I wrote my goals down and put them on my bathroom door (see pic below). I crystallized all of them into 5 important 'rocks' (template was borrowed from my office :D), covering my physical, spiritual, professional (career), financial, and emotional life. I see this everyday and it serves as a constant reminder.
  3. Do them! This part I missed out in 2014. Execution is a critical skill! And it can be learned. It involves breaking down the goals into little blocks, and including timelines for achieving them. It involves periodic reviews i.e. reality-check: where am I vs where i planned to be. It also involves revising the goals where necessary.
All these and more made 2015 a success; and I'm grateful. In my usual fashion, I end this piece with 6 things i'm grateful for in 2015:

  1. Grateful to God, who crowns every effort with success.
  2. I'm grateful for my family, and for the deeper relationship I'm forming with everyone of them.
  3. I'm grateful for my mentors. You guys keep pushing me upwards. God bless you!
  4. My besties, friends and colleagues, thanks for accepting my weirdness :D
  5. Folake Okunubi and Buki Agbeniga, for leading the best and most effective (*wink*) training I received this year, thank you!
  6. For my blog readers, thank you for your patience. I deprioritized writing in my blog on purpose in 2015, so I'm sure you mustve missed me. But not to worry, writing is on my list of goals for 2016. Stay tuned!
God bless you people! Let's be deliberate and make 2016 our best year yet. Happy New Year!

Cheers.
Source: appadvice.com
Follow me on Twitter: @olatunbode

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stop Asking When I'm Getting Married! Dammit!

Source: http://goo.gl/BfFu1V
So! My twin brother, Diran, got married last December. It was a beautiful wedding and he married a beautiful bride, Folusayo :) (See pictures below).

And as much as I love weddings, this one had one downside: the funny looks I was getting from 'supposed' friends and family. You see, when your twin gets married, everybody starts to wonder when you too are going to tie the knot. 'Everybody' fell into the following general groups:


Frank Family: These were sincere family members, who honestly believed Jide was getting old.

FF: Jide, you know you're not getting any younger. Ehn? When do you want to settle down? Ehn? When are we meeting her? Ehn? Why is she not here for your brother's wedding? Ehn? Don't you know this is the best time for her to meet the family? Ehn?? You better marry now oh. Ehn?? Do you want to pay school fees when you're 70years old?? Ehn?? Ehn???

Jide: *shoots own head*

Party Planner: These ones were just looking for the next owambe to attend

PP: Jide, when are we coming for your own wedding na? Give us enough time to prepare oo. And we dont want Ankara, we prefer Lace...

Jide: *runs into a speeding truck*

Believable Brutus: On the surface, this group seemed to be empathetic to my plight. I felt they understood my pain about wanting to be free of all the 'conjugal' pressures, and they were pretty much believable...complete with sad faces and all. But behind the scenes, they also had their own agenda

BB:  'Jide, don't mind them jare. Take your time. God's time is the best. Don't put yourself under pressure, okay?'

Jide: 'Thank you Aunty,' I replied with a half sigh of relief

BB: 'It's okay my dear. Pele. But have you met my friend's daughter, Bisola? She is sitting beside me on the table, whenever you are free you can come and ...

Jide: 'Et tu, Aunty?' '*slits wrist*

Match Makers: These shameless ones made no attempt to cloak their motives. They went straight into business:

MM: Jide, wa, see this lady's picture on my phone. Do you like her? She is a very good girl oh. Hmm. A very good homemaker too. Omo dada ni, I'm telling you!. She will take very good care of you gaann. Oya take her number down...zero eight zero...

Jide: *picks up table knife and stabs self repeatedly*

Sophomoric Sage: These ones are the absolute worst! They are newly weds, who suddenly believe that, just because they're already married, they have more marriage or spouse-finding wisdom, than the rest of us brain-dead, socially-stunted, stupid, single folks - even if their marriage is only a week old.

SS1: Hmm, Jide, it's not easy oh...finding the right person to marry. You just have to trust God to make the decision for you. I'll be praying for you, you hear? Don't worry. See, before God showed me my wife ehn, I had a dream...

SS2: Ah ahn, Jide, all these girls that are around you nko? Pick one and marry na. Abi are they not fine enough? Na wa oh. What else are you looking for? You see, when you marry, the fineness will disappear! I'm telling you! When I married my wife ehn...

Jide: *picks gun and shoots both THEIR heads*

All these in one wedding!

LOL

Honestly, I found all these a tad annoying. I believe marriage, (i.e. when to marry, who to marry, how to marry etc) is a very personal something (I said 'I' believe. The word 'I' is also a very personal term. Biko, take note). I mean, it's bad enough that YOU think I'm getting old, and YOU think I don't have gehfriend, and YOU think I should settle down fast, but to come and blurt it right in my face, feigning contrived sympathy or whatnot, and telling me in supposed-to-be-humorous-but-pretty-damn-annoying ways to go get married quickly...c'mon! While we're at it, why don't you go ahead and zip my fly down and check if i'm circumcised? Since we're all about privacy invasion, we can as well go all out, no?

Rubbish and Nonsense.

Don't ask when I'm getting married. Don't hint. Don't haunt. Just pray. And wait for IV. If it comes your way.

C'est fini.

PS: I hear it's even worse for female siblings. If you're in these shoes, you all have my sincere sympathies.

Wedding Pictures:


Diran and I. Yes, they said I ate all the food, but truth be told, he didn't want any food! Whose fault?

There is a reason in Yoruba-land, weddings are called igbe'yawo, which is literally translated as 'The carrying of the wife'. As the legend goes, when young men in the village reach a ripe marriageable age, on a particular market day, they storm into the village square with the intention of finding a young virgin. When such one is sighted, the young man hurries to her, lifts her with his hands and carries her to his father's house, like an antelope caught from the forest. This is where the marriage rites of both families begin. This is why weddings are called igbe'yawo, 'The carrying of the wife'. Soon enough, the tradition was abolished in most villages, because, as it turned out, young men who were not strong enough to lift full-bodied and sometimes voluptuous virgins were growing old without wives; and also, plus-sized virgins were growing old without husbands, as there was nobody strong enough to to lift them! The Confederation of Yoruba Obas (CYO) convened an emergency meeting and unanimously agreed that this tradition should be stopped immediately. But the name of the rite was preserved as a memento for posterity - thus igbe'yawo is called so even until this day . It is rumoured that in some deep corners of the Ijesha kingdom, this 'barbaric' practice still goes on without inhibition.



See how fine Folsayo is. Diran just set the bar unnecessarily high oh, Chai! That's how people will come to my wedding and start whispering that after taking his sweet time he didn't even find fine wife!


This is what happens when the priest threatens to take away the bride if the voice of the groom isn't heard throughout the church: the groom sings with all his might! Hehe...


OK, so this last one isn't about the wedding. it's about the coming elections, and it's courtesy the small billboards at the mall. The message is pretty explicit. Please go and get your PVC and vote. Don't sit on the fence for any reason. Decide. Vote. And let your vote count. After you have cast your vote at the polling booth, wait for the votes to be counted and results announced. That's a sure way to ensure that your votes truly count. May the best man win.

God bless Nigeria!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

8 Things I'm Grateful For

Source: http://goo.gl/bBxywq
So I'm grateful for a billion and three things. Most of which, I typically overlook. So, at this end of this topsy-turvy year, i'm listing, as much as I can, the 8 top things I am grateful for.

1. I'm grateful for God's love. It's immense and unfathomable. This isn't spiritual. It's factual. I believe out of all of God's creations, He loves me the most. I'm deeply grateful for that.

2. I'm grateful for my family. I believe every family is unique, like a thumbprint. Mine is as unique as can be. I'm grateful for my parents, as their idiosyncrasies go a long way in making me me. I'm grateful for my twin who is getting married soon. I'm grateful for the success of the preparations, and for his beautiful bride, Folusayo. I'm grateful for my other siblings, and for learning each day how to be a big brother and a role model. I'm grateful for Uncle Remi, who I learn from on a daily basis, for Aunty Jite, who I love very dearly, and who probably wouldn't believe it (lol), for Uncle Tope, who always removes the haughty clouds from my head and verbally reminds of the family I come from, and for Aunty Foluke, who always gives me work that I never get to doing :( (Lol! e jòó, e má bínú)

I'm grateful for my grandma. For my first decade+ on earth, she was unarguable my bestest friend. (Yeye, I'm prepping a separate and special piece for you)

3. I'm grateful for my boo. My friend and arm candy, she brings colour, fun and beauty to my life.

4. I'm grateful for my friends and colleagues. I have the coolest friends in the world. Starting with my two best friends, Belema (who is voting for GEJ in Feb 2015. We're so different, it's amazing how we get along so well. Me thinks it tells of my high degree of love and patience. hehe) and Kelechi (whose love for me is perhaps, next to God's. Lol! I'm grateful for that love. And I pray someday, I'll match and beat it :D). I'm grateful for my other friends too. They are too numerous to count. My colleagues from UNILAG and LBS...those from work, my crazy IT team in the office, my church goons I grew up with... I couldn't ask for better friends. Believe me. I'm grateful for where God has taken us, and the infinitesimal nature of where we are now, compared to where we will be. I'm grateful for those of you who read my blog too, from all over the world. Yes, I also call ye friends. (lol) I'm grateful for allowing me take a piece of your time with my thoughts. I'm also grateful for the feedback that makes this blog and my writing better.

5. I'm grateful for my mentors. For Becky, for George, for Attila, for Dr. Bakare, for Femi Ekujumi, for Dr. Ebun Fasina, for Dr. Adeleye, for Uncle Remi, those who I have had touchpoints with this year (thank you!), and those who I'm yet to have (forgive me!). You guys make me a better me. I'm grateful for that. I'm also grateful for Mummy T and Mrs. Agunbiade. For no special reason. I'm just grateful. Still.

Also to Sam Adeyemi and Tony Robbins, my mentors who don't know I exist...yet (lol), but whose words and teachings inspire me in no small measure...I'm grateful.

6. I'm grateful for knowledge. I learn new things almost on a daily basis! From my family, to my workplace, to church, to the books I read, to the videos I watch, to what my mentors say, the knowledge is just...well, plenty!

7. I'm grateful for action. On my side, there has been very little of this, this year. I'm grateful for the wisdom to see this, the humility to accept this, and the will to make a change in 2015.

8. Lastly, I'm grateful for 2014. Wasn't the best year. If I were to do it again, I'll do a lot of things different. But still, I'm grateful. This reminds me of 2007, the year I dubbed 'My Worst Year Ever'. Lool! (Long story, to be told some other time) 2007 ended poorly to be honest, but 2008 overcompensated for it. So, inspite of 2014, I'm still grateful. Cos I have learnt. And I'm looking forward, with keenness, to applying those learnings and making 2015 the best year I have ever had.

Oluwaseun.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Bible is Incomplete (Bible Musings Part I)

Source: http://bit.ly/1lPie1g
Wait. Before you bring out your match boxes and gallons of petrol, just hear me out. Try to listen to what I have to say, reason with me, and have an open mind. After which, you can go ahead and burn me, if you please.

But before I begin, let me lay down two important premises.
Premise 1: I am a Christian. I love and believe in God; and I also believe in the authenticity of the Bible as God's Word.
Premise 2: I do not claim to know all the answers. I probably even have more questions than answers; and I'm with this piece, trying to put some structure to my jumbled thoughts. So, biko, follow through with me. And if by any chance you get more confused after reading..well, welcome to the club :D

Now, the title is not just a marketing ploy. I mean every word. Think about it for a second...is the Bible really complete? Now, I'm not about to argue some faith-based circular reasoning that says 'The Bible is complete because the Bible says so' (pls refer to premise 1). Logic 101 tells me there's something inherently wrong with that line of reasoning. I strongly believe God gave us our minds to think and reason things out for ourselves, especially for things that are right out there in the open. And I consider this topic to be one of those things we should think about.

First, who wrote the Bible? Men did. Yes, you heard me. Men wrote the Bible. Largely inspired by God, yes, but penned down by the hands of men. From the historical early books, to the prophetical, the biographical, the letters, and to the revelational, men were those God used to write words that we call the Bible today. This fact is important.

Second, I don't think God sat down one day to say: Hmm..I think I need to author a book, and I'll solidly call it 'The Bible!' (ghen gheunn!!). I sincerely doubt that. In the days of Jesus, what we call the Old Testament were different and distinct books often referred to as 'Scriptures', which loosely means 'Writings'. Just imagine a white-bearded, Gandalf-looking, old man with a crooked walking stick called Isaiah (the old man is called Isaiah, not his walking stick - in case you read that wrong :p), writing down in Hebrew some prophesies that God revealed to him, and finally wrapping up these writings in a scroll for safe keeping. Now, also imagine a young lad in the bush tending to sheep and once in a while writing down poetry on a papyrus sheet and squeezing it into his tunic the moment he sees a hungry bear yawning and prancing towards his sheep to feed (Lool! Too dramaic?) Now imagine a very wise and wealthy king consumed out of deep love (and lust?) for some voluptuous babe(s?) and pens down how much he loves her body and wants to get into bed with her, coupled with his fantasies of her wanting him too (This particular book started with King Solomon Randy asking for a frenchkiss! Naughty, naughty King Solomon. Lool! Go read it from The Message Bible, if you don't believe me). Now fastforward a couple of centuries and imagine a filty, beaten prisoner with shackles on his hands and feet, dictating a letter to a friendly slave, who scribbles what the prisoner says and sends out the letter to his former master named Philemon.

These scenarios are exactly how the Bible was written. Men were the ones, in much later years, who decided to compile these different writings into one volume called 'The Bible'. I won't bother you with the history and controversy behind this compilation...Google (much unlike the Nigeria Police) is your friend here.

Third, and here is the clincher: The Bible is over 2,000 years old, with the earliest books written as far back as 3,500 years ago! Did God stop speaking somewhere along the line? Or do we have everything we would possibly need scribbled in 66+ holy books? Some would argue 'Yes we do!' I won't argue. I'll tell you what I think.

I think there is more to the Bible than the compilation of ancient writings.

So, the question is, if the Bible is incomplete, as I'm postulating, what then completes the Bible?

Two things:
  1. If (notice how there has been too many 'ifs' in this piece?) God speaking to his prophets in ancient times and other interesting activities people decided to pen down, make up what we call the Bible, then it takes no rocket scientist to see the missing link in today's world. Books! There are a million and three solid, God-inspired books out there that are valid extensions of the Bible. God still speaks to his prophets, pastors, etc, who in turn write down what God has said. And I'm not talking just about spiritual or 'prophetic' books. I also mean the everyday inspiring books written by everyday people that inspire and motivate us to be better. Considering the fact that people like David, Solomon, Ruth, Job and the likes weren't prophets but wrote 'Scriptures' or had 'Scriptures' written about them, it goes to show that God can inspire everyday people too to write Bible extensions. Everyday people like you and me! Lool! (Of which, if you haven't read my God-inspired book, read it here. hehe...). And also, it means that everyday people can have books written about them inspire others. Now this is food for thought: Will your (auto)biography inspire people?
  2. Now the major difference between those old buggers two thousand years ago and now is this: God speaks to us directly! And this is a huge shift. You see, in those days, people like King David, etc used to rely on Prophets (and their writings) to hear from God or to understand the best course of action in any situation. but with the advent of the Holy Spirit, we have direct access to God and his Word. This implies that I can simply ask God for stuff (direction/help/understanding, etc) and trust that He'll answer. I'm not reducing the relevance of the Bible. I'm simply saying there's a difference between 'what God said', and 'what God is saying'. I call it situational relevance! And this, in my opinion, is final piece that completes the Bible. Think about it. 
Do you agree?

Update:
This piece came about from a conversation I had with Ada, and a question she asked. She has also asked that I give credit where credit is due. So, babe, here you go!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

...andddd I'm back!!!


Source: www.paulmcveigh.co.uk
It's been two years. Two years since I wrote here. I feel a bit sad and all, but i'll spare you guys the emotional crinkum-crankum. I got motivated by one of the directors in my office, who is a wife and a mother. I recently stumbled upon her blog and was just blown away! Someone, who is easily multiple times busier than I am, still finds time to blog. She writes so well, and consistently so. And she even sings in church sef. Shame on you Jide. Shame!!! With all my excuse of being too busy to do the little things that also matter, here is someone who seemingly does it so effortlessly.

Truth is, my life did really get busier. Work went up a couple of notches, girlfriend (yes, I've got one of those now) also requires 'quality time' as a sign of love (such a herculean task for a loner like me), my dad had a serious 'talk' with me about my being out of touch (at least he stayed away from the subject of marriage in THAT conversation! Or wait...did he??). I'm not even good with birthdays of friends anymore...sending half-hearted sms'es/bbms to celebrants or skipping the birthday altogether (I was once a birthday rockstar! I literally call ALL my friends on their birthdays. it's a very smart and cheap way of speaking to every single friend once a year :D - now it seems I don't even care :( ). Too many balls are getting dropped and frankly it's unnerving. And then there's CandyCrush! That tiny sugary parasite eats whatever tiny droplets of time I have left.

So that's how I got talking with my friend Simone (let's call her Simone). In this talk, she went on and on about how I was so energetic and disciplined and how she wanted to be like me, etc, etc. For a moment, I thought she was texting the wrong person (lol!) But I have been friends with Simone for close to a decade, so it seems she knew what she was saying, no? Still, I was taken aback by her statements - here I was, complaining about my indiscipline, and on the side of town, someone wants to be like me. Hmm. I then looked at my life critically and realized that I am disciplined. At least to some good degree. While in school, i put a lot of discipline to my books, and my relationships. Now, the same level of discipline helps with my work, and a few relationships. But I'm thinking there should be a greater level of discipline I can aspire to. There's some level of personal and professional effectiveness that ensure that I juggle every aspect of my life efficiently and with grace, without dropping any ball. That, in my opinion, is what I need right now to perform at my peak (My office people would find that last phrase interesting).

So I have started a journey with Simone. A journey to a higher level of discipline and the ensuing effectiveness. We started by understanding ourselves (strengths, weakness and all that shit - of which, we discovered during one of our exercises that one of my inherent weaknesses was indiscipline! Lool! I looked at Simone and said 'Ha! You see!!!'). Anyways, now we understand how to leverage our strengths and improve on our weaknesses. We're at the point where we make plans for the next 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years! We define the most important part of our lives and think up what and how we want it to be in the future. Its a bit scary, but we're closing our eyes and doing it anyway (blind faith?). I'm guessing that's where discipline stems from - the temerity to pen down our goals and the tenacity to stick with them no matter what. I have always been good at that first part, I need God's help on the second one.

Writing this piece made me happy. Perhaps that's what discipline does to you at the end of the day - You feel fulfilled that you made a promise to yourself, and you kept it. And in turn, it gives you the right impetus to make and keep another promise to yourself, and another, and another. Talk about a virtuous cycle!

So here's to a long life of made and kept promises.

Source: http://renkocafe.nl/oefen-2/discipline.html

Monday, December 24, 2012

Who made my 2012?


Ok, so i'm sitting in the office now. My younger brother bashed my bumper this morning, and so I had to take my car to the mechanic. Or rather, I had to call the guy to come pick the car up. God knows it's needs a mechanic's touch. These days, i dunno who's driving who...am I driving the car, or is she driving me? Oh yeah, it's a she. My car is a she - a babe. My laptop sef is a babe. But that's another discussion for another day.

In my intense boredom, i decided to continue reading my novel - Clash of Kings. Yeah, by the way, I've started reading novels again! :D You see, sometime ago, I noticed i've not read a single novel for close to 5 years! I mean, is my life so serious that i dont have time to travel into the world of fantasy, adventure, action horror and gore? (I left out sex deliberately). Don't get me wrong, i read oh. But i got so bogged down reading very serious books from Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Jack Welch, Stephen Covey, etc. I have a long waiting list sef, on my bedside table and in my wardrobe - books I've bought but I'm yet to read. A waiting list of serious books. Mscheew. Anyways, I decided to venture back to reading novels, and I have not regretted it. Maybe the reason why I stopped reading novels, was because i discovered the immense value in reading all these serious books. And I'm a cronic overdoer. I like cake, so I eat it a lot. I like(d) novels, so I read them a lot. I discovered these serious books, so I read them a lot too. (I like girls, so I ...)

Anyways, (I've said too much of anyways.) Anyways...I told a certain friend of mine to give me a novel to read. That didnt turn out well. So one day, i decided to plunge in and start with George Martin's Game of Thrones series. It's been a blast! That guy's mind is something else, I tell you. You should see the battle scenes he paints. So graphic, and so alive! And his characters, OMG! They're like SO REAL! I swear, i can relate with Tyrion Lanister (the dwarf - for those of you who have seen the series), and some other pseudo-despicable characters in the book. I'd advise anyone to take the book and read. Give your mind a boost.

Anyways, (here it is again), I sat back to read my book, but the prints on my iPhone is kinda small so I couldnt read for long. I usually read on my iPad - much bigger screen. So I stopped reading, and decided to tweet. No tweet was coming to mind...of which, i think i've lost my twitter mojo. or maybe i've gotten too busy. Who gets too busy to tweet? Sometimes, I get thoughts floating all around my head, and I'm like 'Hmm...I should tweet that!', but I'm just too lazy to pick up the phone. Lol! Of which, someone should invent a tweet app that is installed in the brain! You think up a tweet, then you think 'tweet that!' and it gets tweeted! Just like that! Wait...does my writing this idea mean I have an automatic copyright? Just in case some thieving genius reads my blog in the shower and twists the story... Anyways, you head it here first!

But this is all a bloody digression. This is perhaps what happens when boredom takes over the mind of a young man and he attempts to quell it by writing. My initial discourse was to be on people who made my 2012. And I got the idea by some tweet I happened upon.

(of which, it's past seven, and this mechanic has not come with car. God punish devil).

So, I'll just reel out names of people who made my 2012, and why. Please note that this list is in no order, and it's by no means exhaustive. Remember, I'm bored, and I'm writing this because I forgot my iPad at home. I'm better off reading George Martin, than putting my random thoughts in paper.

Anyways (!!!)...that said, I'll start with Deji Adebusoye. He worked in P&G before he left to INSEAD for his MBA. I've waited for 5 mins in order to try and craft how/why he made my 2012. But I dont have the time, nor the intellectual stamina to try to attempt such a task. So, just take his name. Next, Ifedapo Adeleye. He lectures at the Lagos Business School. Then there's Kemi Ogunyemi, who also lectures at LBS. She selflessly help me in some project I worked on (you'll hear about that soon). She also has this different and inexplicable way of looking at things. Next is some fine baby like that. I wont mention her name. My interaction with her made me a better person. She works on a rig. Lol! (Just so you'd know yourself. And just so the rest of you won't think it's you. :p )

OK, so I just called the mechanic and he is close. Time to pack up and post this. I'll make this list longer, and post it later.

Kindly pardon all my typose jare. For those who frequent my blog frequently, (is that phrase even correct sef? Abeg who cares), you'll know that I'm always very careful with my spelling, puctuation, etc. But tonight...well...

Thanks for reading :)

Do Have a very Merry Christmas and God bless you!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Hafengers


OK, so I stole another blogpost. I fell in love with found a girl blog that was really cute, and funny. The very first post was hilarious, believe me, and something rang true about it. Twas written, by Her Excellency, Honourable Justice Rantalot. Don't ask. Just enjoy!

Almost on a daily basis, I see all these incredibly, amazingly astounding super-heores on TV. Saving America. Making a difference in Jand. When there’s about to be a nuclear blast, the center of the action is always New York, or Washington, or maybe London sef. But here in Naija…Nothing!!! No super ‘anytin’. We’re on our very own.

If you push someone off a five-storey building, the person will land, face first, because Superman won’t come. If trailer is coming at you and you have nowhere to run, it will jam you because there’s no Incredible Hulk to stop it. If somebody ties you with rope, there's no Wolverine with his knuckle-knives to come and cut it. Or even when you want to buy something and the igbo-guy selling it calls price for you, Professor Xavier won’t be there to help you read his mind and tell you whether he’s cheating you. The list goes on and on and on. We Nigerians are at a disadvantage without super-heroes.

The question then is this – Are Superman and co being unnecessarily unfair? I’ve thought long and hard about it. I have also discussed it at length with my not-so-imaginary friend, Kaptain Private and we have concluded that you can’t blame them. If I were a super-hero, I’d stay away from Nigeria too.

Imagine Batman wants to sharply go rescue someone in Ajah in his Batmobile, and he’s coming from Ikorodu. Before he reaches, the person would either have died or rescued himself. He’ll use one hour to battle potholes in Ikorodu. Police will stop him and ask why his windows are tinted. Okada will bump and scratch his ride. When he’s about to enter Island, they would have closed 3rd Mainland Bridge...etc.

Or say Thor wants to sharply break one armed-robbers head, he finds that someone has stolen the hammer. Yes. The same hammer that only Thor’s supposed to be able to carry. Naija boys will move that thing and nothing will happen.

Magneto, on the other hand, is jejeli performing his duties. He stretches his supernatural hand and calls all the metals to himself. Little does he know that almost everything is fake. When you’re calling silver and gold and it’s only fake fake Aba made things that are there. Aba made things don’t respond to anybody. Magneto would be a waste here.

Perhaps Iron Man wants to run from one bad guy. He jumps from the building and waits for his Iron man suit to come and meet him. Unfortunately, NEPA has taken light. There is no light to open the door for the suit. And Iron Man lands *SPLAT*. The End.

Superman won’t be able to fly, for all the Nepa Poles. He’ll keep getting tangled. And when he rescues someone and he’s flying to take them to a safe place; If he mistakenly flies over Benin, All those ‘birds’ will ‘un-rescue’ the person.

Spiderman nko? Is it buildings that are waiting to collapse he wants to be swinging from. Kaptain Private said Spidey will prolly have to operate Okada. Smh.

If Hulk uses too much power to jump on all these our badly done roads, He’ll end up underground. And then he, the superhero, will need rescuing.

You see how risky the super-hero business is in Naija? Why do you think no Nigerian has even invested in flying suits and such?

The only heroes we can boast of here are babalawos, witches and policemen…“The Hafengers”.

If the super heroes should even decide to come, I can only imagine the things Naija people will ask for -

“Mr Fantastic, I want to do my BIS oh. Abeg stretch hand and get money for me. Thank you, Sir.”

“Thor, see that girl snatched my boyfriend. Use your hammer and bury her for me.”

“Wolverine please help me give my child tribal mark. All three lines at a go.”

“Wonder Woman shey you’ll help me pose and trick my husband. I want to see if the idiot is cheating on me.”

Even kidnappers will start asking Superman to help them hide their victims in Mars.

If you were a superhero, would you come to Naija?
O_o

Yours truly, Rantalot.


Have you stopped laughing? Lol!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Soliloquy


At what point do I stop looking?
At what point do I end this stare so lecherous?
Seeming uninterested, cold stare, unbeckoning
Yet down  below pulses intently. Treacherous
At what point do I step up?
Brace up, firm up
At what point do I speak?
With my tender heart quivering, wondering,
if it will get what it seeks

At what point do we stop being friends
And go a step higher?
I'm pretty damn sure we were made for each other
At what point will you see that?
At what point will all this end?
At what point would you stop running away
And listen to what I have to say?
At what point would I stop being weak?
At what point do i stop longing
for much more than a kiss on my cheek?

In the midst of all ache the intrigue brings,
At what point do I finally realize that you're out of my league?

(c) 2012 Jide Olatunbode