MISSION POSSIBLE!

It's quite a happy month! I like!

It’s quite a happy month! I like!

Hello everyone, happy second half of the year and 4th of July to my American people! It has been quite a season for me, very quiet, turbulent and somewhat lonely but I have a great feeling it would soon be over :). Anyway, on the last day of June, a friend said she was embarking on a 30 day challenge in the month of July and asked people to join if they were interested. The challenge? 30 days of in her words, no meat and its siblings (chicken and turkey); so you eat normally but the animal on top must be fish, sea food or egg and you get to drink only water, loads of it (no beverage, soda, juice except fresh fruits). So I thought to myself, why not!

Water - detoxifying since the garden of Eden!

Water – detoxifying since the garden of Eden!

It has been four days well three as day one was a rehearsal and it has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. First, I never knew drinking water was so difficult! I can comfortably have two meals without drinking water. Second, I used to pee once a day and credit it to efficient bladder (I could hold my pee for hours); however, since the challenge, I pee more frequently than a pregnant woman in her last trimester and I’m not joking! Third, I’m beginning to enjoy drinking water :), I now drink an average of five 75cl bottles daily. Fourth, we created a BBM group and in four days I have met the most amazing of God’s children! Absolutely wonderful and passionate people, I think some of the friendships I have made on the group will be lifelong. Fifth, I have to fall in love with fish and I especially like this one, lol! Sixth, my tummy is flatter; it will be as flat as an ironing board by the end of July! Yay!!!!

Lastly, I am in this challenge in spite of. I am in the midst of a 21st century immaculate conception kind of experience in more than one area of my life. No, I’m not Mary, Jesus has already come and there’s only one Jesus; I’m not pregnant either, I’m just in situations where God is my only option, no plan B – so it’s God you have to save me or you have to save me. I’m fighting battles but I’m confident the war is won so I just ride on God’s grace knowing it really isn’t by my strength and works, it never has been. I choose not to worry, isn’t that what trust is about? Trust is letting go COMPLETELY and it is difficult for our human mind to comprehend. It is choosing to allow another will even though yours is intact. It is relinquishing power no matter the consequence.

Can you?

Can you?

A dark tunnel is never an excuse to stop in your journey else you would never see the proverbial light at the end. Your journey is like a movie, so many characters but you are the lead, it’s your story so make sure it’s great! Don’t be so focused on your pain, that you miss the opportunity to be someone else’s gain. Know that life is not a hierarchy, it is a circle of relationships meaning we are all connected and need one another. Keep your circle intact; keep moving, some people will only rise because you made it so make it and I don’t mean just financially but in your journey as a parent, writer, teacher, dancer, CEO, scientist, politician, pastor, whatever God has called you to be. To make it you must TRUST God. I’m in this challenge because I trust God.

My father and I

My father and I

This one is for Laiza, Ursula, Ukay, Boomie, Ugo, Miriam, Seun, Presh, Nedu, Jephthah, Kemi, Sheila, Becca and Anwuli – the challengers. Here’s to friendship! Thirty years of it perhaps?

With sardine bread and sea food okro soup!

p.s you can join the challenge too and if you have / are doing something similar, please share!

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A MADE UP NIGERIA!

I recently heard that there’s nothing as powerful as a made up mind; I think this is where Nigeria is. Our election is underway and with the drama of card readers which apparently is not a respecter of persons (ask President Jona), propaganda from every corner, worrisome silence from the South East and South West regions (no ‘rumour’ of results from polling units over 24 hours after elections were conducted), result overload from Twitter and Facebook (even my sister in Canada sent me election results), an MOU between INEC and NURTW (amazing right?), ati bee bee lo….one thing is constant –Nigerians have been PEACEFUL and UNITED!

It hasn’t always been like this, maybe never. It was slavery for God knows how long and even after Independence, we remained slaves to greed, ignorance, tribalism, ethnic and religious sentiments, corruption, injustice, wickedness. It doesn’t take much to make another a slave; you don’t need guns or money, just make their mind believe something other than the truth and that is what our ‘masters’ did to us. My God, we have believed a lot of things! Watching the INEC chair (and I beg to digress) address journalists a few hours ago on the elections, a Nigerian journalist with all the pressing issues, asked “Sir, what do you think the global impression of Nigeria will be as a result of this elections?” I could not believe it! Global impression?  It’s like when you have been told the solution to an ancestral curse and you are still concerned about ‘what people will say’; even Jega hardly acknowledged his global impression question. Sadly, that is what my brother still believes. Back to our gist; THAT slavery has ended because somehow, someone found the truth that we are not meant to be slaves and it is spreading like wild fire! There’s an awakening in the land and people are taking their position, getting battle ready! In my polling unit for instance, a Hausa community in Lagos; it started to rain during voting and INEC officials were forced to stop the process at some point because the ballot papers were getting wet and there was a high risk of tear and ink smearing. The community had provided a mat as a makeshift canopy against the harsh rays of the sun but water was dripping all over when it started to rain. The electorate would have none of that, they wanted to vote! Less than 20 feet from the polling unit stood a brand new market,locked up, awaiting commissioning. In the blink of an eye, the lock was broken and INEC officials and materials were safely moved to the brand new polling unit where voting and the rain continued till late evening. There were legitimate reasons to mar the process that day but Nigeria fought and Nigeria won!

No one knows what INEC will announce on Monday night but regardless of the outcome, CHANGE (not the party) is here! It is not business as usual, Nigeria is deciding her destiny this time. Not with violence but with her strength of mind, moral resolve, character. A new army is rising, one that will fight for justice and speak the truth. Whoever the winners are, genuine or imposed, we will demand accountability, we will push you for results and by all means vote you out if you do not deliver on your mandate. The dead days are OVER; this country is alive with blood flowing in her veins, yes! Blood that is deeply red and of course green! And as for global impression, the world will take note soon enough! God bless Nigeria!Nigeria

MY LIFE OR YOURS?

All hail the champions - Cote D'Ivoire!

All hail the champions – Cote D’Ivoire!

It’s the AFCON 2015 final, my sister and I tune in to watch the penalty shoot-out; defending champions, Nigeria, failed to qualify for the competition so the tournament really was of no interest to me (patriotic to Nigeria and not Africa ba?). Anyway, Cote d’Ivoire are the new champions of Africa and Andre Ayew of Ghana was inconsolable. It was really sad and while my sister and I discussed Ayew’s touching breakdown, I remember my phone (I had been tweeting about the penalty shootout earlier and got caught up with Ayew who remains handsome even in grief, chai!), I’m absently scrolling down my BBM contacts when I see TJ’s picture up on a dear friend’s dp. Yeh! It’s Tunji’s birthday I think but as I check my friend’s status to confirm, I see “sleep well brother”.

I’m in pain. I can’t explain it but it hurts, really hurts. I have known Tunji for almost eighteen years, we weren’t close but he kept in touch. He left for America after secondary school and was in touch via Facebook. I am capable of being lost in my world, being with people for long periods without getting to know them and moving on when it is time to move on. I say that I am minding my business but am I really? I am asking myself questions and I am worried that in a bid to respect people’s privacy, not be nosy, not to pry, am I crossing the line to becoming blind to others?

Tunji's Ankara Shoot

Tunji’s Ankara Shoot

In almost eighteen years of knowing Tunji, I honestly cannot recall a moment we hung out or had a conversation that stayed with me but when I learnt of his passing, I just broke down crying. Tunji wasn’t someone I’d categorize as a FRIEND, he was just a secondary school mate but he left an impression, he was involved in our lives in his little way. The yearly birthday messages, the comments on your picture or occasion in your life, his constant smile. I remember the first time I took note of him on Facebook; he had posted some pictures of his sister and her family. They radiated so much love and peace and all had dreadlocks – husband, wife, and a cute little baby boy! They seemed very arty, like Bob Marley meets Chimamanda Adichie kinda thing. I remember saying to myself “I’d like a family just like that”, plus I have always wanted to grow my son’s hair, still do. Then Tunji started to grow dreadlocks and I was charmed because it was so unlike his gentle demeanour and personality, I like weird : ). Just before we recovered from the gentle dread-locked TJ, he became a photographer and metamorphosed into one really cool creative individual.

Tunji was in Nigeria January last year, He’d sent me a message on Facebook asking if I could be one of his models for an Ankara shoot and sent his number. I didn’t see the message till days later; I responded apologising and sent him my number, asking him to reach me if ever there was a future shoot. Tunji called me immediately and we chatted about his trip, the shoot and other small talk – it was the last time I spoke with him. My school mate is gone, he had sickle cell and I never knew until after his death. Tunji understood what I am now realizing; that life involves not a lot of time but a lot of relationships. I am ashamed at how selfish I have been and commit to doing better in my relationships not this year, but every day. I will work at this resolution daily; irrespective of how I feel or what I am going through. Thank you Tunji for living fearlessly, for giving lavishly, for loving deeply; you have given me the courage to do same. God comforts and strengthens your family at this very difficult time.

In loving memory of Tunji Fadeyibi

In loving memory of Tunji Fadeyibi

 

WATCHMEN

Phone rings

Hello

Hello Ma, this is the reception. I’m calling to inform you that we want to move you to the main building. Also, we won’t turn on the generator until 6pm and we will turn it off at 10pm.

Pardon?

I think it’s better I come to your room

That would be great, thank you.

Click

I am on leave; my first in four years and I decided to spend my two weeks by myself – just me, myself and I! I’m not weird, neither am I lonely, I had just missed spending time with ME and the one who made ME. Truth is I’m not really great at being vulnerable and one of the times I’m most vulnerable is when I don’t know what to do. I was at a point when I had no clue what to do about my whole life.

My fantasy and next stop, can't wait!

My fantasy and next stop, can’t wait!

Now relax, I wasn’t suicidal, I was just helpless as to the next step to take. I was very distracted, going through the motions with a lot on my plate (most of which I had no idea how they landed there); my head was so full; any attempt to think brought bad headaches. There was only one thing left to do – RETREAT!
I wanted to visit another country but I couldn’t afford a proper vacation – my finances was in a pretty bad shape. What I could afford however was a resort in South West Nigeria (my accommodation – the hotel annex, and two meals per day – yes, it was that bad) so I packed my bag and off I went!

I must swim with dolphins o, YOLO!

I must swim with dolphins o, YOLO!

I have been here four nights and I’m sad because I see how beauty has deteriorated. The pictures I saw online is a fantasy of my reality here. The gym is not functioning, one look at the pool and I said to myself “jump in and come out with instant craw craw (that’s rash/hives I think), that is ehn a total reverse of Namaan’s story kwa! “, the Wi-Fi nko? You see I had planned to shut myself from the world; you know, just me and my God. I even sent out messages letting people know I’d only be available by e-mail; suffice it to say I had to turn on my phone at intervals to access e-mails. The heater wasn’t working, I was handed an electric kettle on arrival which I totally love by the way *big grin*; the water was coloured (I wished I brought some alum by some stroke of fore knowledge), and eighty per cent of the menu did not exist. The only thing functioning properly is the golf course and I’m not a golfer. I really didn’t mind the state of the resort, the reason I came was for solitude and that was top notch!

When my sister called to find out how I was doing, how the place was; I looked around and told her “I wish I came here a decade ago, this is another Nigerian story – poor maintenance.” This place would have been a beauty ten years ago. It’s like seeing a beautiful woman who circumstances has aged prematurely, you see glimpses of what she was and what she could have been and it just hurts. I’m pained at what Nigeria has become and as much as it is convenient to blame the older generation for our woes, we are all responsible because Nigeria is not a noun (a name, a place, an inanimate object, dead); it is a verb (you and I, living Spirits, ability, potential). It’s like letting someone pick a spouse for you and when things go horribly wrong, you can blame the person all your life but the person you are most upset with is yourself – for doing nothing, for letting someone else take control of your life. Nigeria is ours and is us. Let’s not be mediocre about it, lose the ‘it’s none of my business’ attitude.

You, Me, Nigeria

You, Me, Nigeria

Stop throwing thrash on the roads, drainage, that’s what causes the floods! Yesterday was World Malaria Day and Nigeria is one of only two countries to still have malaria. Stagnant water breeds mosquitoes which in turn causes malaria and kills people! Yes, that is the ripple effect of throwing your pure water sachet in the gutter. If you can’t understand how the youths have their priorities scattered all over the place, mentor them, mentor one! Give a day a week, even if on social media like Leke Alder (you should follow him on twitter by the way @Leke_Alder he tweets specially to the youths on Saturdays). Don’t think it is enough that your children are well mannered and school abroad; life is a leveller and your little girl might just bring home the ‘riff raff’ as her fiancé. Yes, the government is the major culprit in the country’s poverty level but if you can, get a child off the street, sponsor their education. Let’s cultivate the habit of correcting and fixing things immediately there’s a problem, let’s not wait until the problem is beyond repair. Because then we are helpless, vulnerable and vulnerable people often times can’t make a sound decision.

Our girls in Borno are still missing almost two weeks now; we are headed towards helpless and vulnerable. Watch my back and let me watch yours. Let us be able to say to each other “I got you” with our lives tied to every alphabet! That is a glimpse of the Nigeria we can be. Lord, have mercy on us; preserve the kidnapped school girls and please return them safely to their families. Sigh, no internet here – this will be uploaded whenever I return to civilization. God bless Nigeria.

When we look out for our neighbour, we look out for ourself.

When we look out for our neighbour, we look out for ourself.

DO YOU MIND?

To strength in waiting…

This is one question that took me a while to accept the meaning of either of its responses. I mean someone asks:

‘Do you mind a sandwich?’ (Meaning – do you want a sandwich?). Your answer is YES, so you say:

‘I don’t mind’ (meaning – I want a sandwich). Someone else asks:

‘Do you mind pepper soup?’ (Meaning – do you want pepper soup?). Like me who likes good food, you are about to say yes when you remember you started to stool that morning and respectfully decline by saying a polite NO, which translates as:

‘I mind’ (meaning – I don’t want pepper soup though you curse under your breath wondering what luck you have to have chosen that morning to lose control of your bowels).

Anyway, it never did make any sense to me – why I have to say NO when I mean YES, and vice versa. Well na so oyibo want am and I learnt the hard way. Imagine this scenario:

 

I'm screaming on my inside "NOOOOOO, come back hereeee", as the waiter walks away.

I’m screaming on my inside “NOOOOOO, come back hereeee”, as the waiter walks away.

At a party with some friends…

Waiter: Do you mind Chapman? (Which is the only non-alcoholic drink, I do not take alcohol and I am very thirsty)

Me: yes please

So, waiter turns around and walks away while I almost die of thirst as shame won’t let me admit I made a mistake in spoken English!

What foolishness you say? Yes, I know, that was over a decade ago; I am wiser now, not as wise as Solomon but wise enough to say with a smile ‘excuse me, I changed my mind, I’ll have the Chapman’. Back then, the way I thought was ‘I’d rather die of thirst than be humiliated for 2minutes’ – my reputation (my nickname was professor as I read the dictionary like it was a novel) was more important than my health, with all the words I learnt, I guess I never came across the word dehydration!

Now, this is not a note on grammar rather it’s one on the ‘confused’ state of believers; how we say YES but actually mean No and vice versa.

Let’s take Abraham and Sarah for example Gen 17:15-19 & Gen 18:9-15, today they would be one of the world’s ‘sexiest’ couples! They were beautiful, rich, powerful, influential but childless. As believers, they waited on the Lord from their 20’s right up to when Abraham was 85! Then Sarah said, ‘enough is enough! Every fertility treatment has failed; even God has sealed my fate. I am 75 now and way past menopause. Take my maid Hagar, she has been with us since she was a girl and is part of the family; lay with her and have a son to inherit all that is ours’. Months after, Ishmael was born. Thirteen years later, Abraham has forgotten all about God’s covenant with him and Sarah is definitely not praying for a child at 89 but God shows up all the same to fulfill His covenant and promise. Guess what? Abraham and Sarah are not excited, instead, they laughed! Isn’t that ridicule? Over the years of waiting they have ‘adjusted’ their faith and embraced their circumstance, actually, believed it was God’s will and promise. God was merciful and fulfilled His word Gen 21:1-7.

How about Gideon Judges 6:11-7:18? The Israelites had been praying for deliverance yet when God sent deliverance, Gideon chickened. In the years of waiting, they had accepted oppression as normal so much so that Gideon was beating wheat in a winepress. God was merciful and still delivered Israel even though He had to convince Gideon over and over again.

Even the Shunammite woman, as sensitive as she was in meeting the needs of a prophet 2nd Kings 4:8-17, she too had conformed to her circumstance and could not understand nor accept her blessing.

Zechariah Luke 1:5-24 unlike others was not so fortunate, I guess at this time heaven was exasperated at our ‘unbelief’ and mind imprisonment or maybe it was because Zechariah was a serving priest of God and Angel Gabriel expected more belief from him. Whatever the reason, Zechariah was punished for his unbelief though his prayer was still answered – God is still merciful.

Nahhhh, this is not your story; God is always on time - relax!

Nahhhh, this is not your story; God is always on time – relax!

True, waiting is hard especially when there are no signs of the expected as you wait. It’s easy for us to judge the saints of old and preach a sermon on their unbelief but are we any different? Our generation is referred to as the microwave generation meaning patience is not one of our virtues.  Like Abraham and Sarah, haven’t we all helped God with answers to our prayers when it seems like He is too slow? And when we do decide wait, the reality is that we do not wait at all because when God comes along He does not find us in position, we have drifted with the tides of our problems. Just as it is when one stands at the bank of a beach, the waves come and wash up your feet on the sand. As they recede back to the ocean, we glide along with the sand and unassumingly, unknowingly, slowly but surely, we are knee deep in the ocean and are soon carried away if we do not realize on time to run or cry out!

It is not like some of us do not wait but we drift because we are idle while waiting. In reality, when we do nothing in waiting, we are only waiting for the waves to come pick us up from the shore. Waiting is a process and like most processes, is an essential ingredient for the product without which the product cannot be formed. It is not like God desires to withhold our desires; it is just that to become the product, we require essential ingredients in the process of waiting. So in waiting, do not be idle. Learning is a requirement so learn all you can in the period of waiting and if you learn nothing at all, learn patience. While you wait, form a character. Be like Hannah 1st Sam 1:1-20, she didn’t focus on her problems (her barrenness or her rival – Peninnah, some of us would have beat Peninnah silly!) instead she focused on the solution – God, and she was ready when He was. As difficult as it may seem, see yourself in your desire and rejoice! Meditate on God’s word, remind yourself of His promises, move with the right association, keep yourself in perspective!

God is tired of not finding us in position, He’s broken when we are bewildered that He blesses and delivers us. So as we pray for God to deliver Nigeria, God is asking ‘do you mind being Nigeria’s deliverance?’ Eight years after graduation, a bus driver barely surviving; God is asking ‘do you mind being a billionaire?’ Childless and vexed; God is asking ‘do you mind being a first mother?’ Successful and distressed; God is asking ‘do you mind having peace?’ Young, beautiful and confused; God is asking ‘do you mind wisdom?’

At the beginning of 2014, you rejoiced at a new year, a fresh start, new opportunities! You made your heart believe and expect again; now almost three months gone you struggle to hold on to the threads of your expectations –  hold on! Whatever your prayers and desires, God is asking ‘do you mind answers?’, ‘will I find you in position?’

Like a soldier; always in position, battle ready, eye on the prize!

Like a soldier; always in position, battle ready, eye on the prize!

A MATTER OF THE HEART!

I’m in love!!! In Love with God, myself, my womanhood and more recently, my hair! It all started a little over two months ago. I decided to go natural by accident, I have very soft hair and so naturally I relaxed my hair every four months, then six, ten months and finally I left it for over a year! At this point it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and the different stylists I tried were anything but nice. I remember the last time I fixed a weave, the experience was so bad that when the stylist said “Aunty, you no go collect my number? Are you not happy with me?” I replied with a straight look “No, I don’t want your number. I’m not coming back to your salon”. Something in that line sha. Everything hurt! From washing my hair to blow drying, combing, and then super tight weaving, the actual sewing on of the weave was laced with poking my scalp with the needle and my ears got a fair share of burns during tonging. I kept asking myself where I went wrong that day. I’m sure I took some aspirin when I got home, it was horribly unforgettable.

My sister sent me this to encourage me on my natural journey, lol!

My sister sent me this to encourage me on my natural journey, lol!

Fast forward few weeks later, I’m on bella naija and a feature caught my attention. It was something on natural brides and I thought let’s see what we have here, I could pull this off as a bride (my sisters would have a fit though, hehehe!) and that’s how I found it, them, O naturals salon! The bride’s hair was gorgeous and looked so pain free. I immediately called them up and booked an appointment. Now it might surprise you but this was my first hair appointment and I announced proudly to my sister when I got home “I found this amazing salon that does natural hair and I have an appointment on Sunday, I’m going natural!” I counted the days to Sunday; it was like I was resuming a high profile job. Sunday came and right after Church I was on my way, I arrived early and it was a full house.

The result of my first appointment! *big grin*

The result of my first appointment! *big grin*

We started by taking off that horrible weave I had on (the whole experience made me dislike the hair) and that’s how my love affair began. My hair had never known such tenderness; I mean who loosens hair with leave in conditioner! As the stylist took out my weave she spoke tenderly to me and my hair with soothing jazz/soul music in the background. It was a hair therapy session, a hair spa! I felt no pain at all and had to apologize to my hair for all the years of no loving from me. She took her time taking out the weave, I had to join her as I felt at this rate na here I go sleep o. We washed, steamed, and then I was given a camera to pick a style from their archive. While all this was going on, someone would come from time to time to pass sweets and offer you a drink. When I was done, I had spent over five hours and I enjoyed every second. I was sent on my way very happy, with a complimentary bottle of leave in conditioner and a bill of N6,000. I weaved my natural hair for N3,500, the highest I had ever woven my hair was N200 but I paid gladly with a silly smile on my face too.

Another view, love! love!! love!!!

Another view, love! love!! love!!!

Passion earns more than profession. Someone asked me some days ago what passion meant to me and I said “a piece of the heart”. No, passion is all of the heart. The heart is the core of your being, your Spirit, who you really are. We are all unique, each of us different from the other. Passion is not ‘really liking something’, it’s deeper than a feeling. Emotions are very fickle; here today, gone tomorrow so they cannot be trusted. You cannot be passionate until you have found yourself, know who you are. You must ask yourself what you stand for; your life’s journey begins upon the discovery of your identity. When you find YOU, you cease to exist and begin to live! You are no longer a person but a pleasant experience – people never forget a pleasant experience! So you know why you can make going bald a trend, have the biggest market share of your industry by following your heart, light up a room by just smiling, possess a hug that’s warmer than the coziest blanket? It’s the YOU experience that only you can give! There’s nothing appealing about a bald head especially if you don’t have a perfect Amber Rose head mould, it’s the authenticity of YOU that appeals to people so much so that people start going bald too! My sister asked me why I keep going back to Onaturals (It’s quite a distance from my house), I thought about it, smiled and responded “I go back for the experience”. I just love Omozo (Onaturals owner) and how she lights up when she talks about natural hair.

In the words of a friend "beautiful hair architecture!"

In the words of a friend “beautiful hair architecture!”

The beautiful thing about finding yourself is you become so contagious, you give others courage to do same. So start your journey to personal discovery – find God first because He made you, find Jesus, He’s the access to God (John14: 6) and the Holy Spirit. You have no idea how amazing you are; the world is waiting to experience YOU.

P.s To book an appointment, call 08158024444 or visit http://www.onaturalsbeauty.com

Eyes Wide Open!

At the beginning of the month I got an invitation to cover the Elysee Summit on Peace and Security in Africa which held in the romance capital, Paris. Exciting right? However, I was not so excited about it. As is the norm at such events, you don’t really cover much, only what you are “fed”. Most of the meetings of course are closed door so the thought of flying thousands of miles to a temperature exactly opposite mine for a week just to take pictures of Presidents arriving the Elysee Palace did not quite appeal to me. Did I also mention hanging around for hours in nice press rooms, waiting for these meetings to end? However, my friend Doki would hear none of it. Doki is a medical doctor fascinated with politics. He unashamedly says he did not become a medical doctor to save lives but longs to save lives in politics by stopping wars! I will let you all know when Doki decides to run for President, I go be Chief of Staff be that *big grin*.

Eiffel tower

See Paris and die, they say. Na lie! See Paris and wake up! Be inspired to create!

Anyway, Doki would not hear any of my reasons. “Anwuli, what are you talking about? This is Paris! The city of romance! You are the only one I know who would be asked to come to Paris for free and would be concerned about being in the meeting rooms with the Presidents!”. Eventually Doki “convinced” me (Did I mention Doki specializes in messing with people’s minds, Psychiatry?), truth is Doki was attending and did not want to go alone. So few days later, I was seated in Economy class and no Doki was not sitting beside me, he was sipping champagne in Business class! See friendship o, at least you won’t be surprised that Doki lodged with all the dignitaries at Paris Le Grand (Lekki, Ikoyi equivalent) and I was at Cambronne (Agege, Abule egba environs), anyway God dey.

After the summit, I planned to go shopping at an affordable commercial centre in my district – Rue de Commerce, but first Doki and I decided to take a tour bus round Paris. The tour bus took us through popular landmarks in Paris, Paris le Grand, but did not even smell my area! Doki and I joked that Cambronne was not Paris; so the next time someone says “I vacationed in Paris”, be sure to ask them where, lol! Paris Le Grand (Doki’s area) is indeed a beautiful city! I can’t explain it but it is just gorgeous, I mean they even wash the streets! Most of the restaurants there are pretty high end and sell mostly beautifully designed and decorated finger food; and the presentation is just out of this world! I mean you see it and are more than happy to spend your euro, lol, unlike my hood where you can get two bowls of pasta bolognese and orange juice all for 20 euros and you would still raise an eyebrow. Anytime I insisted we ate in Cambronne (which Doki resisted alot), Doki would tease me saying “Lagos girl, wey come Paris dey find rice and stew”, lol, like I care!

Louis Vuitton, Champs-Elysées Paris 2006. Auth...

Not this year Doki, can’t rule out next year though! *big grin*

Tour over, it was now time for some shopping, yay! Doki suggested we shop in his area but who born me? I had a budget and a list and there was no way I was spending all my money on one item in a Louis Vuitton shop for example. We decided to go to Rue de Commerce as originally planned and the most amazing thing happened. After spending time in Paris Le Grand, I couldn’t recognize Rue de Commerce! The same place I had been to twice to window shop now looked so ordinary, ugly, the whole street changed in an instant! I walked back and forth looking for the nice, classy shops I had seen a day before and they had disappeared or rather, I saw them differently. It was like scales had fallen off my eyes,I just couldn’t believe it. In the end, I did my shopping but with less excitement and enthusiasm as I had before the tour. Later that evening, Doki and I went window shopping in his area and guess what? The prices were the same as my area, only slightly higher in some instances and there were more options obviously!

You know, that’s exactly what wisdom, insight, revelation does – it opens your eyes to really see and when you do, life is so much easier. When Thomas Gray coined the phrase ‘Ignorance is bliss’, perhaps he was truly ignorant at the time. Ignorance is anything but blissful, the bible says my people perish for lack of knowledge and guess what, ignorance is not an excuse for living a life lesser than what God wants for you. Ignorance is darkness, wisdom is light! Your prosperity can be progressive, your walk with God can be on auto cruise, your life can genuinely move forward on every level if you will only seek the wisdom of God and who better to reveal God’s wisdom than His word and Spirit!

In 2014, let your steps be deliberate; be guided by the wisdom of God; fall in love with the Holy Spirit all over again. Speak less and listen to God more. Be spiritual, God is a spirit and those that worship him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Being Spiritual means listening to God and obeying what He says to you. Be honest, just do whatever He tells you. Go to that driving school, learn the excel, pray when you get that nudge, register that company, build that ark even when there’s no rain, wait even though you are itching to make that call, just do whatever He says. You may feel your dreams slipping through your fingers or perhaps you can’t even remember them anymore but can you trust God this new year, doing things His way this time? And if every of your dream is now a reality, God is still not done with you; stay connected and let the creator give you a 1st Cor2:9-10 experience!

Light

Your life can be this colourful!

Compliments of the season, may the new year be a promise fulfilled. Have a grand year!