How My Brother Got to Study Abroad

 

My brother Seun was like the black sheep of the family. Any rule my parents made, Seun made it a point of duty to break. If you came to my house and my parents were screaming, you could rightly guess Seun was at it again.

My mum had declared that none of her children would leave Nigeria for a first degree. She felt that most Nigerian children schooling abroad lived without guidance and some of them got into drugs and all manner of vices.

At the time Seun finished school and was waiting to get into the University, I was already in the University and my older brother Jide was also about to round up, so Seun was at home with my mum and our baby brother Eniola. Around the same time, the house help left and we were all worried. How would Mum cope with work, the house and my younger brother? She did not have a driver at the time so we were desperate to get a house help as I was going back to school.

Before I left for school, I went to Seun’s room to talk to him.

“Seun, I beg you, please don’t give Mummy headache. Please, I’m not saying do anything around the house, just don’t be a nuisance.”

Seun looked at me, shook his head, and walked out of the room.

As soon as I settled down in school, I called my Mum, and she said everything was fine. I was surprised to hear that. She had not gotten a help, and yet things were fine? How?

“Your brother Seun has surpassed my expectations. He takes Eniola to school and brings him back, washes my car, drives me to work and back, helps Eniola with his homework, and whenever he goes out he comes back at a decent time.”

I couldn’t believe it! When I came back home from school, the house was in perfect shape and everything was as my Mum said. I went to Seun’s room to see him.

“Eh ehn, Seun!”

He looked at me and said, “You people think I’m a bad person, right?”

Seun’s conduct moved my Mum so much that she started thinking of what she could do for him. Both of us would go out and she would start asking me, “Should I buy this shirt for Seun? What about these shoes? What should I buy for him?”

“Why not ask him what he wants?” I replied one day.

So we got home and she asked Seun what he wanted.

“I want to go to school in England,” Seun said. “All my friends have gone, and I’m the only one left in Nigeria.”

That was how Seun went to study in England.

For Christians, it’s the same thing. There is a dimension that serving God activates for you. The Bible says if you obey and serve God, you will live your days in prosperity and your years in pleasures (Job 36:11).

Service brings a dimension to a relationship. It make your record with God good, as though God is now indebted to you and will look for ways to pay you back.

 

5 Ways to Serve God

  1. Giving to the poor.
  2. Looking for a need in the church and taking care of it.
  3. Giving to humanity without announcing it or expecting anything in return.
  4. Preaching the gospel, praying for people who are hurting, taking care of widows and orphans.

 

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Let’s Define “Snatching”

Mary and Martha are members of the same church, and both of them serve in the choir. Mary has been dating Ugo for 5 years. Like many relationships, there were issues, and they had broken up and made up a few times.

Martha put out word that she was looking for a house as she wanted to change apartments. The information reached Mary and she told Martha there was a vacant apartment in her compound. Mary gave Martha the agent’s number, and soon Martha moved into the vacant apartment.

One day, Ugo went over to Mary’s house to drop off some of her belongings; they had just broken up again. As he was coming out of the house, he saw Martha stepping out. He’s had his eyes on Martha since the day he saw her in church, but she had always seemed unapproachable. Mary peeped out of her window and noticed that Ugo was going to give Martha a ride, so she ran out.

“Ugo, there’s something important I need to discuss with you, please come back inside.”

From that day, Mary started trying to befriend Martha, but Martha kept her distance. Ugo on the other hand had started frequenting Martha’s office and inviting her to lunch. Eventually she agreed, and while they were out eating, she asked about Mary.

“We’ve broken up. It’s over between us,” Ugo said.

It’s been weeks since Martha and Ugo started dating, and Ugo’s happiness knows no bounds.

Mary

Mary is very bitter. She’s going from one member of the choir to another, telling them how Martha snatched Ugo from her and did not even give time after their breakup before pouncing on him. She’s convinced that if Martha had not entered the picture, she and Ugo would have made up as they always do, and they would be together now.

Martha

Martha says Ugo did not tell her that the breakup was recent. He told her that the relationship had died a long time ago, and that Mary knew he was not going to marry her.

Ugo

Ugo says Mary is a manipulator, that their relationship wasn’t heading anywhere. When they broke up last year, she had called the whole church on him, crying to everybody. Church members were reaching out to him and pleading with him to reconsider, and even the pastor had to call him and ask him to make peace with her. That was when he went back and made peace with her. To her, they were back together, even though he kept telling her that they were just friends.

Mary says there are rules:

  1. You don’t date your friend’s ex.
  2. You should give a one-year period to allow for healing, before going into another relationship. She also feels Ugo should have known it’s too awkward ‎to date Martha after her, when they both live in the same apartment building and sing in the same choir.

What do you think? Who made the rules, and why is it that you can’t date the ex of someone you know?

Did Martha snatch Ugo? If she did or did not, how do we define snatching?

Do You Do What You Say?

 

I felt like God was telling me to keep to my words more. I could promise you 100k and change my mind at the slightest challenge I faced in fulfilling that obligation.

It was that time of the year when all the helps abandon you and travel for Christmas, so you are alone to manage the home, children, and business all by yourself. I had mapped out a way to survive that period.

On this particular night I was cooking into the early hours of the morning, making a variety of meals to store in the freezer so I could take them out as needed. At about 2:30am, my two-year-old daughter woke up and came to me in the kitchen. She said she was hungry, and wanted to eat what I was cooking.

I couldn’t give her fried rice at 2:30am, so I told her that if she could tell me the name of the food I was cooking at that moment, I would give her some.

To my surprise, she said I was making fried rice! How could a toddler under 3 guess that correctly? I wasn’t expecting it, so I told her, “If you go to sleep, fried rice will be the first thing you eat when you wake up,” knowing well that she wasn’t going to get any fried rice until lunch time.

“No, Mummy. No.”

“Why are you saying no?”

“You don’t do what you say, Mummy.”

What?!

That’s the same thing God has been trying to tell me. When we keep our word, we exhibit the character of our Father in Heaven.

Do you do what you say?

 

 

5 Tips for Keeping Your Word

1. Ask the Holy Spirit for help. You cannot achieve anything without the help of the Holy Spirit. Without Him you can do nothing.

2. Avoid emotional decisions; giving or doing things out of emotion and sentiment is very dangerous. Emotional decisions can lead to pressure to do something that is beyond you.

3. Do not make a promise based on what you are expecting, please make sure you actually have what you are promising. What if you promise what is not yet in your hand and there is some form of delay or the money doesn’t come? You’ll find yourself under pressure.

4. Don’t make decisions to impress people.

5. Don’t make promises for glory and honour, those things only come from God and they are free gifts.

 

 

 

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?

 

 

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?