The Domino Effect!

For Tochi Eze

Thursday afternoon, meeting at the office

Voice 1: When did you schedule the location recce?

Voice 2: Saturday, if everyone is available

Voice 1: Saturday is fine, what time? Anwuli, please call to schedule a time.

Me: Yes sir, am I part of the team? Emm…my Saturday is booked….


I don’t envy that last guy…

Voice 1: You will be there on Saturday, please schedule a time (end of discussion)!

Me: thinking to myself, “these people can spoil runs! Saturday is booked for a friend’s book launch (1 hour max) the bulk of the day with bobo (it’s been a while na) and the evening, carrying out my decoration duties in church” as I give Voice 2 an icy glare for fixing Saturday!

Anyway, Saturday came and well… location recce – check! Friend’s book launch- check! Church décor – check! Time out with bobo – no show! But I do not regret the day one bit!

Though I planned to spend 1hour at my friend’s book launch, I almost did not attend. I do not like attending events alone, my plan for the day changed with the inclusion of work and to make matters worse, it rained! But I really wanted to support her as I also hope to write a book (s) in future so I did an out of body experience and just moved my feet till I was seated in the hall. I listened to two fantastic speakers and then it was time for the book launch. This was my first book launch and it was nice to finally see how a book reading was done, I have always wondered what it was like. It was a great program and I was thoroughly blessed spiritually and physically (we were served refreshments! Was not expecting any *big smile*) but I was blessed mostly by the eyes of Tochi’s family.

In those eyes I saw joy that could not be expressed with words, tears that accompanied such joy, pride that was not haughty and a love so pure, it brought tears to my eyes – nothing could stand against it. In those eyes I also saw, my God I saw DREAMS THAT HAD COME TRUE and so I thought “all this because she wrote a book? You mean if I write a book, I can give my loved ones this experience?” And He said to me “No, Silly! It’s not because she wrote a book, it is because she pleases me”.

You see, when the bible says “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL other things will be added unto you”, it meant every word! If you obey this instruction, like Tochi is doing, ALL other things will be added to you. Things that exist and are yet to exist, tangible and intangible things, expensive and priceless things, much more than you can think or imagine, your dreams will come true! Obeying that instruction is the first domino that causes a domino effect which automatically sets off a chain reaction that defies all science including, honouring your father and mother, loving like God loves, grace to carry your cross, experiencing the joy of salvation and a peace that surpasses all understanding, being light and salt to the world, being blessed beyond measure, being who God has called you to be.


Seek God, trust God.

If Saturday was the last day of Tochi’s parents, they would bless her from their inside and die empty and happy. You should have seen how attentive a friend of Tochi’s father was, the old man took notes and even asked a question. His spirit, soul and body were there; he would not have missed it for the world! Few weddings can evoke such sincere emotions as was present at that book launch. Tochi did not just launch her book that day, she was also honoured.

In all, I spent two and a half hours, and every second was a blessing. Thank you Tochi for pleasing God and granting us that unforgettable experience, may your children give you even more. Maybe it’s time to write my own book, hmm…now what would I call it?



Flag-map of Nigeria

Where are you?

My sister participated in an essay competition which topic was ‘WHAT WILL BE THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR GENERATION OVER THE NEXT DECADE?’ She challenged me over a month ago to write same and yours truly has been stalling because the topic seemed too ‘text booky’ and boring. It just seemed like one of those seminar topics that our leaders talk about but never do anything about, somehow, I was not just interested. Anyway, she gave me the most amazing speech yesterday and it got me thinking…

I think the greatest challenge my generation and our children will face over the next decade is the ignorance of who we are and a loss of identity.

We seem to have lost our humaneness and are focused on ourselves, at most our immediate family. It is what we are accustomed to, what we see around us on the streets and in our neighbourhood, what we read on the internet and in the newspapers, what we watch on network news and satellite TV, what we hear in the music home and abroad, what we grew up to know, learn and now have become. We have replaced humanism with selfishness. Our new language is Me! Me! Me! Everyman for himself, acquire all you can now as you might never get another opportunity, rob Peter to pay Paul, anything goes.

We are no longer a people of ethics and values; I thought that was our pride? Ah! No, our pride now is how much we have, how much property we have, how expensive our cars and clothes are, who we associate with, how many times we travel abroad and our travelling class too. These things are not wrong but when you have the budget of a state in your account because you are in charge; take a bank loan so you can live in Parkview estate, drive a Range Rover Sport and wear a suit by Alexander Amosun; lie, steal, cheat, kill to be in power and remain in power, you are a challenge to my generation.

What happened to contentment? When did we become so insatiable? What happened to honour, integrity and respect? Your honour is still intact as long as no one sees the brown envelope slipped into your hand behind your back; a little alteration of the value of the contract doesn’t harm anybody and won’t diminish your integrity, after all it’s government money; I respect you, that is why I will lay with a stranger on our matrimonial bed only when you are out of town. What happened to compassion? I thought the rest of the world envied us for being one big family? When did we become so hostile?

The older generation somehow missed it and got us in this mess. They were our fore runners, our examples, our guides but sadly they failed us. That established, should we fail ourselves also? We are a generation lacking a sense of belonging; one that looks in the mirror and sees foreigners staring back at them. We are not to blame for where we are but we will not be forgiven for remaining and progressing in the dump we have found ourselves. We need to clean up our mess and the mess of our fathers; and create a healthy environment for our children.

Nigeria children

For their sake, we will rise!


We need to be models for them to look up to, professionals that inspire them, musicians that create words of life for them to dance to, politicians that enact policies and laws that protect them, writers that tell our stories and actors who relive these stories, religious leaders that guide them spiritually, parents that nurture them, friends that will always be beside them, teachers that correct them, government that provides infrastructure that works, neighbours that look out for them, fans that cheer them on to achieving their dreams.

We are a humane people, kind and compassionate. We are strong, physically, spiritually, mentally and in character. We are a people of hope, we believe in ourselves, our brothers, our nation and our tomorrow. We are a proud people, proud because we value respect, honour and integrity. We are a confident people, courageous, fearless. Who is the alien staring back at you in the mirror? Be courageous enough to stare him down and dare him to stop you from rising up from within. This is the only way we will save our generation and our children’s, today, tomorrow, in a decade, a century, till the end of the world – by rising up!

Life is a race that has a start and finish as in every race. However, the race of life is not in finishing first but in finishing well. Isn’t victory sweeter when more than one member of the team crosses the finish line in record time, complete when every member of the team finishes on time? If we run ahead and destroy the road behind us so another cannot cross, when we finally break the breast tape do we then celebrate alone? Who said it’s impossible for all of us to break that breast tape together?

I came, I saw and I stayed.

Prince William at a Polo match in Sandhurst, J...

Oh, my Prince!

How do I begin? Well it all started on a Saturday afternoon, 14th of June to be precise, 4:03pm(earth time). I was riding on my favorite pet (an elephant we named Pluto cos he was just so cool, like d planet exactly!) with my twin sister, God had told us we’d be going to earth pretty soon and we were both ecstatic. We had our lives all planned out, I was going to be born into the Middleton family so that in future I’d be married to a very famous prince and become a princess just as I was back home; my sister on the other hand just wanted to be with some guy in the Dekker family who would become a famous writer, telling the whole of earth about God and our kingdom. God had told us that though we wouldn’t be born in the same family, we would meet on earth, that was good enough for both of us. So when God finally said it was time, we couldn’t wait to get going, so we went or rather came.

The first word I heard was PUSH! then I stuck my head out, yay! earth! I thought. I hadn’t opened my eyes but there was something horribly wrong with the air that greeted me. It was just so hot! and so unbritish!, I knew, even though I had never been to earth. Ah! (the Nigerian version) God why? I suddenly remembered the mischievous grin He had on his face just as we left heaven; it was the look that said “I have a prank up my sleeve” but this wasn’t funny one bit! I was out with another push and prayed immensely that the joke was over.

“Madam, you don born girl”(pidgin english), the nurse said to my mother and I cried out hysterically- “What language is this?, where am I?” no one understood me and I would not be consoled. In the midst of my lamentation I suddenly cried out, AH!(our version again) and the room fell silent; in a second, the nurses were out of the room with lightening speed and I was dumped in my mother’s arms who was screaming something about me being her mother-in-law coming back to live with her son. What? Didn’t these people know that there was nothing like reincarnation? Oh my God! I must have traveled back in time, this must be the dark ages!

The doctor came into the ward to find out what the commotion was about, how could his nurses believe they heard a new born baby speak? My mother hurriedly handed me over to him and it was a miracle I didn’t fall. The doctor took me and scowled, whoever scowls at a new born baby? I wasn’t enjoying this experience at all, no one has been nice to me since I arrived and that wasn’t fair. I managed to get cleaned up and my mother shed tears and mumbled prayers as she fed me; what she was so scared about?, I’m the one in a strange place with strange people acting weird yet I’m calm enough to eat.

My father and the rest of the family came by in the evening and it was just horrible.  With everyone who peered into my blanket it was “hmm”, “na wa o”, “mba”, “ahn ahn” (all Nigerian expressions), some would just shake their head like all hope was lost. My father didn’t say a word, he just paid the bills and left. We were discharged the following the day, when we arrived home, it was like someone had died and the family was mourning. I didn’t understand this strange tradition that mourned a baby’s arrival, why did they have babies then? this didn’t make sense. Once in the bedroom, my parents got into a big fight. My dad wanted to know how come I was so different and didn’t look like any member of the family, not even my mother. I was so relieved that someone had noticed the mix up and I would soon be returned to my British family.

Unfortunately, my relief was expressed as a cry and my mother trying to calm me down, carried me. That’s when it happened… I saw my reflection in the mirror and I understood the sadness and mourning, I was BENJAMIN BURTON! The movie was just an exaggeration to make it seem original but it was really my story. YEH! (9ja) I cried out, as usual, pandemonium again but that was the least of my problems. My real family wouldn’t accept me like this, even if they did, Prince William wouldn’t marry me, what would become of me?. Well nothing became of me, I was just a plague quarantined except when I was to be fed. My only companion aside angels was my three year old brother who was just fascinated by the little creature everyone else claimed was from his mother’s tummy.

The earliest portrait of Saint Augustine in a ...

Saint Augustine - Gran ma's hero

On the eight day as was customary, I was to be named. My siblings had beautiful names like Michelle, Alexander, Anthony, Gloria, etc, at least these people had an amazing taste in names, I thought. After the prayers (which was more of an exorcism) and passing me around, I was finally handed over to my maternal grand mother who looked at me, smiled and said “AUGUSTINA (which is my name) after Saint Augustine!”. At this point, I’m too exhausted to throw a tantrum. My only consolation is that God always has a beautiful end to His pranks, I just pray I’m humoured else He has some explaining to do when I get back to heaven!, I say to myself. I hear Him laughing (He obviously heard me), when I look up, He’s there smiling at me. Who can say no to LOVE Himself?, I smile back , my first smile in eight days, probably my only till God knows when.