Sunday, 21 February 2016


You deserve very little credit for being what you are and remember, the people who come to you irritated, bigoted, unreasoning, deserve very little discredit for being who they are. Feel sorry for the poor devils. Pity them. Sympathize with them. Say to yourself: 'there, but for the grace of God, go I'. -Dale Carnegie

If you've lived more than a day on earth, you would probably agree with my roommate, Felix when he says, "the world is not a beautiful place". Maybe you've seen some beauty, maybe you had some respite or maybe not. But how do you view the world?

Here, on the unattended flyover of hall 3, with the obligated wind rushing against my fine chest, the view is almost tranquil. The sun is fighting his way up already. I can see a guy vigorously brushing his teeth that an unsolicited concerned has gripped me. Another colourful dressed fella is so carefully feeling the comfy texture of his afro hairstyle as he ceaselessly runs his comb through. And if you could look, you'd also see that everyone is so busy with starting the day. They seem 'OK'...or not.

No doubt, we've all received our own personal share of life's blows. To rephrase one of the laws from George Orwell's Animal Farm, "All blows are equal, but some are more equal than others"

Sometime ago, I read of  a toddler who was abandoned at the foot of the home for special people with a letter that read "...he's such a sweet little boy BUT, he's an imbecile. Please, help us..." The only thing that child did wrong was to be born.

In the densely packed streets of our metropolitan cities are increasingly growing number of beggars, most of whom are children. Sadly enough, when they were born, the only craft they were taught was BEGGING! My friend, NDU Daniel Success captured it better in the last two stanzas of his empathic poem,
"Where did I go wrong?
I have groomed a lying tongue
Or maybe
Just maybe
It's cos my mother
Turned me to a beggar"

Last week, in a hostel that's not too from here, three girls were raped in their rooms. I wonder what detached comments we will submit this time, since they were not scantily dressed but jejely studying or 'jacking' as it's known here. They dare not say it out...we can't know them...for then, the stigma shall be worse that the act itself. A part if their person has been ripped. Silence and their hate for men is the only 'how' they now know. We don't care, not when she ain't our sis or bae.

Matthew(not real name) is a final year student in his early 20s. He's a straight A student.. He didn't play with sand. He didn't learn how to ride bicycle or motorcycle. He never played football or boju boju. He didn't have playmates. His peers called him soft. He is the only child and was always locked inside for protection. His cousins were his only friends. His parents so love him that they unknowingly stole the most crucial part of his growth - his CHILDHOOD! He'll be graduating this year, BUT he can't start or substain a simple conversation. He can't relate with the opposite sex. He's afraid of the future. He' trying so hard to get back his childhood. Everyone thinks he's annoying, so, anger towards the world is his resolve.

Damilara is the kind of girl whose beauty made a lasting impression. Yeah....she is damn fine. BUT she attended a public school where those that spoke simple English where termed 'forming'. So pidgin and a haggard grammar was all she was left with. She was shocked by the reality of University, everyone or almost everyone spoke the Queen's english. She has now turned to a quiet soul. Her esteem is battered. She no longer feels beautiful. Reclusion is now her only defence. She is still trying to recover.

In their song, T. Tribett, J. Moss and K. Franklin sang, "It could have been me". None might relate to you. Yours might be better or worse.  Anytime you want to wear that cloak of judgement, remember that it could have been you. It's still our duty to help our brothers and sisters. There's a story behind every act. Do you care to know? The late Stephen R. Covey put it this way, "seek first to understand and then be understood". 

What if you knew that the guy with HIV didn't not forget to use condom, but was born with it! 

What if you knew that your pregnant course mate was raped!

What if you knew that the reason he's carrying over so much courses is because his papers were missing!

What if he's not selfish, but just broke

What if...

To everyone who has been shortchanged in one way or the other, I pray you healing. Yes, we can all heal. None of our heart wounds has got diabetes...some are just deeper than others. LET GO and LET GOD heal thee. I hope you know that you are not alone! Reach out to someone, Don't let that scar go to waste!

Sunday, 7 February 2016


Never again shall a single story be told  as though it's the only one.

I read recently that the average Nigerian child will want to be a doctor, accountant, lawyer, nurse, banker or engineer. One website refers to them as the most marketable courses. At first, I saw nothing wrong with this simple statement. In fact, I almost clapped. It was after I thought deep that I saw the lacuna it has made in our nation's health.

It started in primary school when the teacher will state, "If you want a Dr., Engr., Barr., Pharm., to come before your name, you better be serious. Or else, you will end up a farmer". Now, this was repeated for several years that it became impossible for pupils to see farming as anything but poverty and want. When any child was asked what they wanted to be when they grow up, it was normal to not hear them say police, teacher, chef, nutritionist, soil scientist, farmer, musician, soldier, artist.

This continued in secondary school as it was not rare to see hear blunderbuss teachers slaying statements like , "Udoh, you should be a doctor; BECAUSE you are very good in biology". "Amarama, maths comes easy for you, you should be an engineer". "Usman, I've seen the way you deal with numbers, you should fill in for accounting". God help you if the only course you are good at is agricultural science! Your portion of scorn Will be out of this world. We let our children graduate from 12 years of schooling with a faulty concept of career and value.

You still Wonder why almost all our young people are angry and irritable? Why there's halfhearted approach to public service? It's simple...broken dreams. The doctor really wanted to do business. The engineer seriously had the dream of becoming a research farmer. The agriculturist's mind was fixed on medicine.

Our society is crawling with young souls who either did not get what they wanted or got what they thought they wanted but later found out their heart beats for another.

What if those pupils our classrooms were told to study hard to become honourable doctors, engineers, lawyers and FARMERS? (agriculturists)?

What if Udoh was told that he needs good knowledge of biology to become a doctor or an ANIMAL SCIENTIST?

What if Amarama was taught that maths needed in Engineering and AGRICULTURE?

What if Usman was told that he needed his finesse be an accountant or an AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIST?

I hope the Education minister and school owners read this. Employ trained and compassionate counsellors in our primary and secondary schools.  It is sickening to note that public tertiary institution have such a department as GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING but it's missing in public primary and secondary schools. So, I'm left to wonder, who needs the milk more? The forming child or the formed adult?

Mummies, daddies, guardians and teachers, teach our children that there are over 570 courses approved by NUC that can be studied in our institutions. Also, add that they can read anyone and still succeed!
And to all victims of broken dreams...heal and help posterity with your scar.

To all agriculturist, projections implies that by 2050 Nigeria population will rise to be over 500million. They will need food!
The future is green...I hope you can see!
This piece is the brainchild of a chat I had with Marvellous Osaji following the publication of my last post. This one is dedicated to you. Thank you for your suggestion dear.