Baba Oni Lu

It was my father’s birthday, and it was a landmark birthday so I decided to travel to Ibadan to spend the day with him.

I left Lagos very early, but can you believe I almost couldn’t locate my father’s house? I never really lived there because by the time my father was done building the house I was about to graduate from university. Only my wedding too place in the house.

When I reached the gate, my Dad was standing outside waiting for me. He was so excited that he was throwing a party; he had called all his friends to say that his daughter, the lawyer who lived in Lagos, was around. This surprised me because my father is the kind of man who rarely shows emotion.

Shortly after, I heard the sound of drums. Someone was drumming.

“What’s the time?” I asked the housekeeper.

“8:30am,” she immediately replied without looking at a clock or watch.

“How did you guess the time right?” I asked after confirming.

“It’s Baba Oni Lu.”

At about 2pm, I heard the same sound of drums, and again the housekeeper said it was Baba Oni Lu, which translates to “the father who drums”.

“Who is this Baba Oni Lu and why is he always drumming?” I asked.

My Dad explained that it was the man who lived in the house opposite ours. Whenever he was going out in the morning to buy food from the vendor, he drummed with his food flask. For lunch and dinner, he did the same thing, at those particular times, every day. That was why his housekeeper could guess the time accurately.

My Dad said Baba Oni Lu was a widower who lived alone. When I asked about his children, my Dad said he had 7, all of them married; sometime last year he saw one of Baba Oni Lu’s children when she came to visit. Whenever my Dad doesn’t hear the sound of Baba Oni Lu’s drumming, he goes to check on him.

All of this got me thinking. I don’t like the way Baba Oni Lu is living. I wouldn’t want my father to live like that. How can we take better care of our senior citizens in Nigeria, since senior citizens’ homes are not so popular around here? I remember when my brother told my Mum to take my grandfather to such a facility. My mother was offended. “How can you even think of such a thing?” she asked.

What most Nigerian parents want is for you to bring them to live with you. How advisable and viable is this, and for how long are they going to be living with you? It also got me wondering how often we call and visit our parents. I discovered that when they reach those senior years, they need our attention. Look at my Dad all excited because I came visiting.

A senior peoples’ facility could be a lucrative business o! What do you think?

  1. How can we create activities for our senior citizens?
  2. Would you bring your parents to come and live with you? What would it be like if your spouse brought their parent to live in your home?
  3. What if there are no relatives or village people to help take care of your parents? How do you take care of someone who spent much of their adult life taking care of you?

 

 

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Should She Keep Her Options Open?

 

Wisdom and Femi met at a friend’s birthday party. They fast became friends, and then they started dating; they were in love. Femi told Wisdom several times that he would be her husband. He had gone to see Wisdom’s parents and told them of his intention to marry their daughter.

It’s been two years, and the wedding has still not taken place. Wisdom understands that Femi needs to put certain things in order before they get married. However, she is 27 years old, and her mother is on her case to get married. In fact, her mother not only wants her to “keep her options open”, she has someone in mind; she wants Wisdom to date one of their family friends.

“My dear, this guy has been chasing you for years, why not give him a chance? Is it because of Femi? With young men of nowadays one cannot be certain you know, especially when it comes to these Yoruba demons or whatever you call them. Femi has said he will marry you, but he has not married you.”

Wisdom always finds herself defending Femi before her, who is convinced that Femi has more money than he really does.

If she starts going on dates with this family friend, she may end up liking him and that may distract her; but what if Femi ends up disappointing her? She would have to start all over again, with 30 knocking on her door.

If this happens and this family friend is no longer available by that time, what would happen to Wisdom?

 

  1. If Wisdom were your sister would you advise her to keep her options open as there’s no certainty in relationships?
  2. Should Wisdom stay faithful to Femi and take her chances?

 

Please advise her.

 

Pot of Life

 

Uzoma has been married to Eze for 14 years. The have 3 children who are now in boarding school.

In their 14 years of marriage, Eze has never kissed Uzoma. He comes back from work, asks for his food, and goes to bed. In fact, at some point in their marriage they went over a year without sexual relations. He does not let her hold him or touch him. The few times he needs to have sex, he just tells her “Nne come to my room” or he goes over to her room and spreads her legs; no foreplay, no intimacy, no relationship.

The day she asked him, “How can you just have sex with a woman without foreplay?” his response was, “I don’t have time for that, I’m going to work tomorrow.”

Even more hurtful are the days when Eze verbally abuses Uzoma, says cruel things about her family, and then goes into her room at night to demand the sex which he considers his right. If she refuses, he gets angry and starts shouting until Uzoma, who is meek and doesn’t like confrontations, gives in.

Uzoma doesn’t know anything about Eze. He pays the children’s school fees and gives her money for feeding. Her life is one of loneliness, especially as her children have left for boarding school. In addition, Eze has taken to calling her “Pot of Life”, referring to her belly which he says is like a big pot.

Uzoma’s world is turned upside down when she walks into the banking hall one Monday morning, and one of the bankers compliments her.

“You look amazing,” he says.

“With this my pot of life?” she replies.

The young man, Omo, does not understand what she is talking about, but they become good friends. Omo listens to Uzoma’s stories, talks to her, calls her, cheers her up, and soon emotions set in.

Omo is married, but Uzoma cannot be bothered. The one thing on her mind is having the time of her life with Omo, just one night. She will beg God and He will forgive her, but her fear is Eze finding out. He must never find out because if he does, he may never forgive her especially since he’s a very traditional Igbo man. Her marriage would be over.

1. Should she go and have that one magical night, assured that God will forgive her because she has been through a lot?

2. Do you think Eze will ever find out? Who would ever tell him?

 

Please comment.

 

 

Three Times Before Dawn

 

Affiong returned to Nigeria after she finished a master’s degree in the UK.‎ On getting to Nigeria, her mum introduced her to Ubong.

Ubong is the first son of a prominent doctor in Calabar. His father is well respected for his contribution in the health sector and in the society.

Ubong and Affiong fell in love and before anyone could blink, wedding bells were ringing. Affiong and Ubong received numerous gifts, including a house in the Lekki axis from Ubong’s father, and an SUV from Affiong’s family.

After their wedding, Affiong gets a job in a good company but Ubong does not want to work; he says he prefers to go into business.

Three years into their marriage, they now have a daughter, Itoro. Ubong is still not working. Affiong is footing all the bills while her husband sits at home and watches TV. Affi’s job is on the mainland; she has to drive to and from work, and also take care of the domestic chores around the house.

Most bothersome for her is the fact that Ubong’s sex drive is very high. He has to have sex 3 to 4 days in a week, and on each of these days he needs at least 3 rounds before dawn.

Affi’s problem with this is that she has to go to work the next morning after those rounds of sex, which always leave her exhausted. She has pleaded with Ubong to schedule the marathon sex for weekends only, but he says it’s not a thing he can schedule: it is based on the natural urge.

Affiong cannot afford to pay a driver, so she has to drive from Lekki to the mainland, and drive back from the mainland after a hard day’s work, take care of the house chores and Itoro, and then have 3 rounds of sex before dawn. She has asked Ubong to at least help by driving her to work and picking her up, and his reply was that due to the intense traffic, it would not make any sense.

Affi knows very well that her husband is spoilt and lazy, but what can she do?

How should Affi handle this situation?

 

Omo Rere

It’s so great to be back! I apologise for the long break. To make up for it, I have two posts for you today. Enjoy!

*****

When my children do something good, I call them “omo rere”, which is Yoruba for “proper child”. You see, with my kids eating is a challenge. You practically have to beg, dance and make promises just to get them to eat something before going to school.

On this fateful day, my last daughter, without any dancing or promises from me, finished her food and showed me her plate, “Mummy see, I finished my food.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I started dancing, singing and praising her, “Omo rere,  omo rere, omo rere…” Her older sister was so unhappy about this that she came up to me with an accusing look and said, “Mummy, you!” I asked her what I had done wrong and she said, “Mummy, after everything I have done for you, you did not even call me omo rere.”

I wondered what my five-year-old could possibly have done for me, so I asked her.

“What have you done for me?”

She said she:

  1. Had her bath
  2. Brushed her teeth
  3. Did her homework
  4. Ate some of her food
  5. Made her bed.

After all these she did for me, I did not call her omo rere, she complained. I just had to clarify things for her right there and then. I explained to her that all those things she listed, she did for herself and not for me.

“If you don’t eat before going to school, you will be the one hungry before lunch time. If you don’t have your bath, you will smell and people will run away from you; you will have no friends. If you don’t do your homework you’re the one who will be punished in school. If you don’t make your bed, you’ll sleep in an untidy bed. So my dear, you are not doing me any favours. It’s because I love you and don’t want anything bad to happen to you, that’s why I encourage you to do these things you just listed.”

It’s the same in our relationship with God. When God commands us to do something, or to obey His commandments, it’s not for His benefit but for our own benefit. God knows the principles upon which He founded the earth. Those principles are based on who He is so when He tells us to keep His commandments which are based on those principles, it is for our own good. We are the ones who will be blessed. (Job 35:6)

If we sin, what do we accomplish against Him? However, because God is love, he doesn’t want anyone He created to suffer. That’s why He tells us in love to keep His commandments. That’s why He gave us His Son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins; it was out of love for us, not because He needs anything from us.

There is a Yoruba proverb that says, “Omo yi ma pa mi, ma pa mi, ife lo wa be.” When a mother is asking a child not to “kill her”, that is, do something that will hurt her, she is talking out of love. It will get to a stage where the mother will say, “Ma pa ara e!” meaning “Don’t hurt yourself!”

5 Steps to Get Your Prayers Answered

 

Do you want to know how to move from unanswered prayers to answered prayers? You must understand these basic steps:

  1. Pray: People often say they are praying, and they may not be. They may just be wishing and desiring. The way to get answers to prayer is to actually pray. Ask God and you shall receive. Dedicate time multiple times in a day to make your requests known to God.
  2. Diligence: To be diligent is to keep at it; that is, to keep praying until you get an answer. Pray today, pray tomorrow, pray every day. (Luke 18:1)
  3. Fasting: This brings about spiritual strength. There are certain things you can only get through fasting. (Matt 17:21, Mark 9:29)
  4. Submission to God: You must submit to God in everything. This means, do everything God wants you to do, obey His word, and love Him.
  5. Worship and Praise: This is one thing that opens the heavens. This gets the attention of God. God inhabits the praises of His people.

 

Why Pray?

About 3 weeks to my wedding, my younger brother came to Nigeria from the UK where he was studying, to attend the wedding. When he came, he reunited with some of his friends who were studying in Nigeria and other countries. They wanted him to throw a party celebrating his return.

Now, my older brother and I were eavesdropping on their conversation and we both decided not to give him a dime for the party because we felt it was a meaningless party – to us. My younger brother at that time did not have any money as he was a student who wasn’t working. However, he did not have the nerve to tell his friends.

So every morning, my younger brother would come to me and say “Sis, I believe you. I need this money” and he would explain the reasons why I should give him money for the meaningless party. Day after day, he would tell me I was the best sister in the world, that I was very dependable and reliable.

That was how I ended up giving my brother money for a meaningless party.

Jesus gave the same example in Luke 18, when we keep praying and asking God for the same thing, trust me He will give you. For instance, parents know that when children keep asking for a particular thing, at times you give it to them just to get them off your back.

So please, keep praying.

 

 

Next week: Why Diligence?

My Love, My Pain

 

Meeting Ijeoma was the best thing that had ever happened to Chike. Loving her brought him so much happiness for some reason he couldn’t explain. Her beauty and tenderness captivated his heart, and he knew he would definitely marry her.

They were from neighbouring villages in the same state, and Chike did not think his family would have any problem with Ijeoma. He introduced Ijeoma to his mother, and his mother adored her immediately.

Chike was a businessman who sold electronics at Gudu market in Abuja, where he had two shops. His business was doing very well and at the time he met Ijeoma, he had 6 boys under him, and he was building his house somewhere in town. Ijeoma was rounding up her HND and about to go for NYSC.

Chike informed his parents of his intention to marry Ij, but they asked him to hold on so they could make some findings about her.

One Tuesday morning, his mother came visiting. She told him in clear terms that he could not marry Ij, the love of his life. She said their findings revealed that Ij carried bad luck; anybody she married would never make progress in life, and there was also a high tendency of this bad luck affecting Ijeoma’s children.

Chike could not understand what his mother was saying. This was the first time he would have a disagreement with his mother. His mind was made up to marry Ijeoma.  Chike’s sisters paid Ijeoma a visit and asked her to leave their brother alone, but their efforts proved abortive.

Chike went ahead with the wedding and turned his back on his family.

Three years into the marriage, Chike’s fortunes had taken a turn for the worse, seemingly proving his family right.

He had lost everything he’d worked for over the years. He could not pay his house rent, had sold his 3 cars and his uncompleted building, yet his business was doing so badly that he had become heavily indebted. Chike had become a subject of gossip in the market; everyone was talking about how bad things had become for him.

Ikenna, Chike’s friend and colleague in the market, took him to a pastor, and the pastor told him exactly the same thing his mother and family members had told him; his wife Ijeoma belonged to a water spirit, and there was no way he would make progress with her in his house. The pastor also told Chike that their two daughters had the same spirit. Even giving money to Ijeoma or the children would always work against him.

Based on this, Chike decided to take his wife for deliverance. However, after going for more than 10 deliverance sessions at different churches, their situation remained the same.

Frustrated, Chike took another decision to separate from his wife and children. He sent them to his wife’s parents’ home.

To his greatest surprise, things turned around for him immediately. The association of traders to which he belonged at Gudu market contributed 2 million naira for him to invest in Chike’s business. According to them, they knew he was not a lazy man- he was just going through tough times and needed help.

Right now, Chike is confused. He is doing so well now that things have improved for him, but his heart still goes out to Ijeoma and his children. How can he be enjoying a comfortable life while they suffer? The thought breaks his heart. Is it not wickedness, he wonders.

What should Chike do?

Go and bring them back, and risk his life and business crashing again?

Marry another wife and start a new family?

Will God be angry with him for abandoning his wife and children?

“Poverty is not a good thing,” Chike says. “I don’t want to experience it again.” Yet his heart aches for his love, and their kids.

If you know any other way out, please advise Chike.