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




“It’s so easy to commit suicide”, these were the words Timi heard as he answered Bidemi’s call. “Hello, Bidemi hello” but the line goes dead. A frantic Timi dashes out of the office to find Bidemi, his mind racing and praying earnestly that there is an explanation for the seeming obvious.  Poor Timi to receive such an unsettling call, the psychological trauma is best imagined. And Bidemi, what in the world would make a young woman willing to end her own life? What? Nigerians don’t commit suicide? Truth is, it is easy to commit suicide and a lot of us are dead already, even you.

We die when we fall for the temptation to give up – on God, life, love, hope, people. We refuse to fight and assume a posture of indifference. We think it’s safer not to get involved, to sit on the fence so we are not hurt. At first, we give the barest minimum because we want convenience, never stretching ourselves but after a while we become grey and numb, we cease to live and just exist so life spits us out. That’s the rule my dear, even God wants you to take a stand, either hot or cold but lukewarm is unacceptable – dead man walking!

Scary right? This is what the Satan sells to us!

Scary right? This is what the Satan sells to us!

We die when we fall for the temptation to be angry at God. So life has beaten you black and blue from the moment you took your first breath and God has never heard any prayer you made. You have been the victim and are angry and rightly so too! But seriously, be mad at God? You think Christ being nailed to the cross was wickedness? No, it was the purest form of Love. Do you realize that no matter what you go through, unless God okays it or you ask Him to leave you alone, Satan can’t touch your life? Ask Job. Someone said, if you think it’s your alarm that wakes you every morning, try placing it beside a corpse. I thought trials were meant to make you stronger and most importantly wiser yet you do the most foolish thing – be angry at God! Dead man walking!

We die when we fall into the temptation to believe we do not deserved to be cared for. We accept the lie that we are to live for others only and not ourselves. Boy meets girl, boy somehow doesn’t treat girl with much respect and value but sparks are flying all over the place so they get married and start a family. Somewhere along the way woman believes her sole purpose is to make hubby and children happy. Twenty – five years after with the most adorable family portrait; hubby is an accomplished man, a successful icon; children are stable with promising futures and mum? Dead and bitter woman walking!

We die when we fall into the temptation to compromise. You know that awkward feeling where you are the odd one out and obviously so, no one really wants to be in that position. So gradually we loosen up, lower the standard, tell ourselves that nearly is ‘close’ to the real deal and finally, we settle for too little. Good bye excellence, hello mediocre. We won’t stand for anything so we will fall for everything – dead people walking!

We die when we fall into the temptation to make excuses, to blame everyone and everything other than ourselves. It wasn’t me, the government didn’t do this, my father did that, it’s because I’m not American, more blame and excuses till we wake up and can’t account for 40 years of our lives! We suddenly realize we never got that degree, sweetheart moved on when we refused to ditch the nappy, our neighbour’s toddler is now running for governor and our classmates are enjoying retirement – dead and old man walking!

We die when we fall into the temptation to not number our days so we just live life as it comes, with no vision or plan. The bible says write the vision down and make it plain that he might run that reads it. A life without vision lacks passion, flavour, is typically bland. We even back it up with scripture sometimes “give us this day our daily bread”, “do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself”, not in this context o! Everyone is born with a purpose so find purpose! Live for something else 15years as a receptionist, no salary increase, no promotion, no bonuses and definitely no retirement plan may just be around the corner after all, let tomorrow take care of itself – dead man walking!

Life or death? Choose Life!

Life or death? Choose Life!

The difference between us and Bidemi is that her body is on it’s way to 6 feet under where there is probably no redemption. We fall for the temptation to choose death over life because Satan hides from us what is really at stake so we think it is worth it. Death before our purpose is accomplished is NOT worth it! If only we could see through the eyes of Jehovah to see how special we are, important we are, incomplete the world is without us especially when we do not fulfill purpose. As 2012 wraps up, you might realize that you have been dead. Will you stay dead or will you rise and take another shot at living?