Don’t throw the stone!

You can tell from his look that a fight is brewing...

You can tell from his look that a fight is brewing…

Standing with my eyes on the screen of my camcorder, all I see is hate, cynicism, complex (inferior and superior), confusion, minds that are made up, two opposite paradigms! I’m participating in a human rights workshop in Geneva organized by Gmedia Center and the Swiss FDFA. The overall objective of the workshop is to empower media to
further civil society goals on human rights and democracy. On day 2 of the workshop (yesterday), an organization promoting LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) rights came to speak to us journalists. Participating journalists are from Chad,Nigeria and Senegal; though we have a language barrier (French vs English), our emotions were united.

The delegation from this LGBT rights organization included a white man and three Nigerian men. Perhaps my Nigerian colleagues were more angered by the fact that three of our people were championing this cause, they just could not understand any other sane reason they would do this except that they were gay and had received a lot of money! Arguments ranged from “Why should I bother with LGBT rights when there is poverty, corruption, unemployment, insecurity that is ravaging our people and economy?” to “whether you like it or not, we contribute to the economy as well. Our organization provides employment to lots of people who are not even gay!”.

Aha! I told you! Not sure who is winning the fight though.

Aha! I told you! Not sure who is winning the fight though.

Back and forth we went until one of the delegates from the LGBT rights organization mentioned he had two children to which my colleague cut him mid-sentence and asked ” how did you have your children? are they yours?, who helped you give birth to them?”. Awkward silence for two seconds after which the delegate responded “They are my children and it’s my private life”, the meeting ended few minutes after this.

I understand the feelings of my colleagues, for us LGBT is cultural. It is against our values, faith, it is unnatural to us. Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon from the western world, it existed way back in the old testament, even before Christ came. However, we have been sheltered from this reality and are just not ready to face it, no not yet. I understand the feelings of my father when my brother came to inform him that my sister had had a child at twenty, she was in the university. He disowned her immediately, how could she bring him so much disgrace! I understand the feelings of people who avoid you once you are HIV positive, it has no cure remember?. In all these and countless others, only three things matter – us, our feelings and the choices made.

When almost everyone left the room another LGBT delegate came and asked to speak to my colleague who had asked the question. He said her questions were inappropriate, he could see her disgust in her face but nevertheless she shouldn’t have spoken in that manner. Out of curiosity I said “excuse me, can I ask you a question? Are you gay?”. He lost his composure for a second and replied “I’m sorry, I can’t answer that question, it’s personal”. I concluded he was gay and as he spoke to me, trying to get me to understand the need for their rights, I fought the disgust I was feeling and failed miserably.

Then it hit me! I was no different from the religious scholars and the pharisees who brought the adulterous woman before Jesus to be stoned. I had judged and condemned my neighbour even while he spoke to me. I didn’t even want him to touch me, like my dad, I disowned him. Here I was playing God! We set standards and anyone who falls short is categorized. Even the UN and the global human rights council has categorized LGBT! They fight for human rights and then fight for LGBT rights. In the eyes of the world, they are not men, women or children; they are not humans at all, they are Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual with separate rights from us humans.

See people not labels.

See people not labels and choices.

We might never be able to understand the feelings of LGBT persons, but we must understand that they are humans! We all have a right to life, love, freedom and of course choice! We might be unhappy with their choices but it was never ours in the first instance – it’s THEIRS! Like Jesus said “The sinless one among you, go first: throw the stone!” and I paraphrase “The one who has never made a choice that displeased another person, go first: decide who is human and who is not!”.

In the end, I saw my neighbour for the first time and shook his hand. I wonder if he saw me too.



Beneath I’m beautiful is a child badly scarred. Try as she may, the stains won’t leave no matter how hard she scrubs. The little she has left she protects with all her strength and will. The world is intimidated and judged by her purity; not her intention, she is just living her purpose – being good, but by whose certification? One simple test threw the cold truth in her face – she is not perfect, all she strived for crumbled in a moment of realization. Can she recover; is this the beginning of her journey to healing?

girlBeneath I’m beautiful is a woman who cared and was hurt every time. Barely twenty and with a child in a strange land, it didn’t take long to grow a thick skin. She managed to care for herself and even convinced everyone that she needed nothing. She is in control of her life and all who are a part of it. She built a wall so tall no one could climb it; sadly she’s trapped in too. She wants out but she’s too proud to ask for help and no one dares to reach out. So she suffers along with those she’s kept with her but they plan to escape and keep her locked in!

Beneath I’m beautiful is one who broke free from the bondage of poverty but remained caged in his mind. No amount of money is enough because to him wealth is acquiring and not creating. He is a giver but only to impress people and brag about it. He is intimidated by people rich in their minds and is constantly spending to reassure himself that he is isn’t poor forgetting that as a man thinketh so he is. The fear of being perceived as poor fuels his passion to acquire more and also live a meaningless life – vanity upon vanity!

Beneath I’m beautiful is a man who does not believe he is good enough. The next achievement is supposed to bring that satisfaction and sense of fulfillment but alas, he is overwhelmed with the feeling of inadequacy so the quest starts all over again. Dad and Mum have raised the bar so high and as firstborn, he must scale it! Lay a perfect example for those after him. An unending cycle that leaves his heart shattered from too many false disappointments. He is his virus and his antidote but all that’s on his mind is the next feat.

manBeneath I’m beautiful is a boy who loved once and was heartbroken. How could daddy die without a warning? Hence, he has learnt to trust no one; love from a distance, never give your heart. He has carried on for so long, he can’t stop even if he tried – this is what he believes. Now that he is a daddy, he knows that daddy didn’t betray him but loved him till death. It’s time to make right his wrong for himself, honey and baby. Love in such a manner that if he didn’t get a chance to say good bye, his memory would keep them not kill them.

Have you found you? Can i find you?

Have you found you? Can i find you?

Beneath I’m beautiful is me without covering. No degree, no family, no bank account, no career, no success, no Jesus, just plain me. Beneath I’m beautiful is me taking it all off and letting you see inside. It’s me accepting I got it all wrong and letting go of my philosophies. Beneath I’m beautiful I’m not perfect but I’m a work in progress. My land was ready in stripping all my layers till I found me, plain me. My foundation is Jesus; now I’m laying my blocks and building my tower. Beneath I’m beautiful, I AM BEAUTIFUL.

Can I see beneath you are beautiful?

Omo wa’se, o r’ise!


We struggle without grace.

Last year, I was working with a fantastic organization and even though I was employed, I had no work to do. It was not like there was no work to do, it was just that management did not trust you enough to let you handle any responsibility unless of course menial errands like turning on the generator when PHCN did what they were paid to do, serving refreshments during board meetings, representing the company in association meetings where issues being discussed happened at least a decade before you were born. Naturally, I became bored, so bored I would spend hours: sleeping (what? Fine, I admit it’s shameful), on the phone with my sister (this I really miss), on Facebook (this one was ordained o) and that’s how I started writing seriously and enjoying writing. So I wrote, Face booked, met amazing people, read life changing notes and wrote some more until I said to myself ‘I’m going to die mentally and spiritually here’. Though I had ample time on my hands doing nothing, I still got paid at the end of the month, but not without management reminding you with screaming and snide remarks how you were being paid for doing nothing. I was frustrated, very bored and I wanted more; so I made up my mind to resign at the end of the year and go back to school.

My plan was simple – start school May/September 2012 and get a job before school starts. I resumed a new job in January as planned and life could not be better. I was happy, I loved my job, the work environment was better and I could proudly say I earned every penny I got! Did I mention I got a black berry as an official phone with monthly subscription and weekly credit? Yea, I know, sticking out my tongue to my brother who promised me one taya! My life was perfect or so I thought until management started…well, managing. Here, management practically hovers around you and everything that is the company’s which you work with to ensure that you work much more than you are paid! Before I knew it, I was heading two departments, attending every meeting, managing three websites, two Facebook pages and three twitter handles! Gone was my idle time; sometimes I’d feel so tired and sleepy, I practically have to hold my eyelids to stay awake! I’d be in meetings from the start of work and the next thing I know, it’s past break time but that’s not all, –  it’s time for another meeting and then it’s 5 O’ clock but hey, it gets even better because my body is now starting to shake due to lack of food when management says “Anwuli, is the document ready?”. Sincerely, in my head, I’m thinking “If I was attending meetings all day, WHEN WOULD I HAVE TIME TO PREPARE THE DOCUMENT??? Without saying, I lost weight with the speed of lightning and writing?  Hmm, that one was got with the wind; I mean this is my second note in five months! Anyway, all that I could cope with. What almost drove me crazy though was when management started making comments like “Anwuli, I think you need to prioritize your duties, you are not meeting up to your deadlines. Your predecessor for example used to stay overnight at the office just so she could meet up with her deadlines and she always did, I’m not saying you should do same but just think about it”, or just after I change my display picture or update my status “I think we need to use this black berry to publicize the company, you know the phone is not just there for nothing”, for everyone: who has complained about never seeing my picture or was hurt because I did not put up their picture on their birthday, now you know why. Me, I am not complaining sha… ok, at least not anymore (big smile on my face). One day, when I used to complain, I went lamenting to a former colleague and he said to me “Omo wa’se, o r’ise!” And that really is my story, and the story of every child of God.


With grace this is a piece of cake! Well, maybe not as sweet.

We want eternal life and the bonuses attached but we want no cross on our journey to that destination.  Jesus’ destination when He left heaven for earth was not to die on the cross but it was to the place of honour at the right hand of the throne of God, Heb 12: 2. Hun? You mean it was not to die for me?  Friend, it was much more than that! Jesus knew that after salvation comes the cross so he went the extra mile to live a life we could follow to help us attain glory like He did. He endured the shame, the pain, the betrayal, unbelief of His disciples, and death on the cross for the glory He saw.

A cross is not pretty neither is it pleasant, it is that seeming negative in your life though you are a disciple. It cannot be hidden; it is heavy and visible, something shameful that people identify you with for the period which it lastsbecause it aint forever – even if you die carrying it, it ends with your mortal body. It is an experience capable of making you renounce your faith. It is when you can’t see God yet you are asked to believe. It is what makes you question God. It is what makes you abandon the affection of God and embrace the seduction of the devil.

What is your cross and what glory do you see? If you see an invention, your cross might be being misunderstood by the world; If you see ruling a kingdom, your cross might be being hated by the ones you love; If you see ministry, your cross might be being sexually and verbally abused by the ones you trusted; If you see a financially secure future, your cross might be the loss of the source of that security. If you see happily ever after, your cross might be marrying a monster.

The cross is not to be understood, it is to be carried and unless you see and continue seeing a glory, your cross won’t be worth carrying to you. In carrying your cross; Know that God does not waste resources and everything He allows to happen is for a reason.  Know that God’s thoughts towards you are of good and not of evil, Jer 29: 11. Know that He will not give you much more than you can bear 1 Cor 10: 13. If indeed you are carrying your cross and not someone else’s, He will compel a Simon to help you Matt 15: 21. Finally, know also that the cross is discipline; God will not give His glory to unruly children, Heb 12: 7-17


What you see will keep you. What do you see?

No matter your cross, one thing is sure, carrying your cross never leaves you worse than it met you – it always brings you glory and in attaining that glory, you help others do same!

P.s if all I have written makes no sense to you, all this cross talk as your life is and has always been prefect; sweetheart start ‘gyming’ because your cross is on its way and no I don’t mean dumb bells but God’s word, silly!

When I die…


God is indeed wonderful! Breathtaking!

This was inspired by the service of songs for my Pastor’s mum.

When I die…

I want to be celebrated and not mourned because by His grace, my work here will be completed. I would have run the race, fought the good fight of faith and finished strong! I know that I go home to a proud Father who can’t wait to show me off to other saints. Just as I have read about Moses, Elijah, David, Paul, Peter and other saints; my Father will play my lifetime and say proudly, ‘my daughter delivered people from oppression, cared for the motherless, clothed the naked, fed the hungry, mentored people to discovering and fulfilling their passions and purposes, revolutionized the media industry. She lived a balanced life; she was a wife, help meet and best friend of her husband, she loved, cared and raised my children in my ways, was committed to establishing my kingdom on earth’. He would go on and on, then finally say (with the widest grin ever), ‘Welcome home daughter’.

I want to be celebrated and not mourned because every seed I have planted by the enablement of father will bring forth a bountiful harvest and will be sustained. Generations to come will reap of this harvest because these seeds have not been sown on land which can be washed away by floods or stocks which have crashed or on the economy which could experience a meltdown; but on minds which have and can have the mind of Christ, lives which have and can have God’s own spirit. That is the reason my father sent me and all of His children; to glorify Him with the gifts and power He has given us. Gifts are to be given, why should I take them back home?

I want to be celebrated and not mourned because you understand that I am not dead but have just begun living eternal life. My transition will strengthen you to keep running this race and encourage you to finish strong as I have been encouraged by other saints, besides who is going to occupy your mansion if you never come home? I want to be celebrated for the unsaved, by the mercies of my Father, to see that Heaven is home if they will only believe. Imagine the joy in heaven – my welcome party and the salvation of a soul!

I want to be celebrated and not mourned because I am but a foreigner on earth and heaven is my home. No one mourns when a tourist departs for his home land; on the

Fireworks at Disneyworld.

Certainly more colourful than this!

contrary, a party is thrown on his behalf to ensure he goes home with a memorable experience of his host land. I want to be celebrated because Heaven also celebrates my home coming; so yes, I want a send forth on earth! I want praise, worship, thanksgiving, dance, laughter, jokes and of course, fireworks!

With pearly gates, wings of angels and streets of gold.

Who run the world – Words! (2)

I did not think my original note needed a sequel but a call from a friend got me thinking. My friend did not quite agree with my piece so I reasoned an explanation was in order which I mailed to my friend about an hour after our conversation. Somehow I woke up really early Sunday morning – 6am (which is weird as I am not an early bird and I love my sleep which I believe is a gift, you know,” He gives His beloved REST”), pondering on my note and my conversation with my friend. The initial note was not something I gave much thought to, I just wrote it because I have to write something for a friend every week as a way to improve my writing. I was not in the “inspired writing mood”, that was just my way of sulking at the time. Anyway, this is what I thought of that early Sunday morning…

Every action is preceeded by words spoken or unspoken (thoughts) and your reflex action (you know the one where someone suddenly slaps you and just as you feel the hot air that preceeds the sting, your reflexes, on your behalf return the favour with lightening speed and did I mention with both hands so much so that the sender receives a double portion of his message before his is even delivered, Lord have mercy!), yes your reflex action is a reflection of who you really are.

Let’s take a walk through history….

In the beginning the earth was without form and void, God made everything by speaking, calling them forth with words.

Then God thought ‘let us make man in our own image and likeness’ and voila! Man first and right behind him, Woman (trust us, to ensure peace God made sure we were the most specially made – words, dust, Man’s rib and God’s breath!)

Everything was fine until the serpent said to Eve ‘you will not surely die; God knows that when you eat of the fruit, your eyes will be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’. Immediately, light bulb came on in Eve’s head; she ate and who was Adam to say no.

Wait a minute; let’s go back to the serpent (Satan). Now he was not always evil because everything God created is good and beautiful including Satan. Satan was created as an angel by God, God forbid?  That is the truth! In fact, he was the most beautiful of the angels, the music director of heaven. So why are 90% of our prayers binding him to the bottomless pit? Because he thought ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will be like the most high’ that’s all it took to go from Lucifer to Satan.

The seed ‘God respects Abel’s offering and despises mine’ was sown in Cain; it yielded sadness, envy, anger, then the ultimate fruit – murder.

The woman with the issue of blood thought ‘if I could but touch the hem of his garment, I will be whole’, the result? Twelve years of bleeding dried up instantly!

When Satan was to tempt Jesus, he understood that words are life and life is a battle of words. So he tempted Jesus with words and Jesus resisted and won with words. When Satan foolishly reasoned that crucifying Christ would thwart God’s plan to redeem man, he accomplished that mission with a single seed – ’this man blasphemes against God! Saying he is the son of God and will pull down the temple and rebuild it in 3 days!’ which he planted in the Pharisees.

Words (good or bad) are arrows fired at a target; the strength of your shield and your alertness determine how badly you will be hit because like in every battle, you could be caught off guard.

Words spoken to and by you determine who are and who you will become. Often times we are oblivious to who we really are or maybe we have a faint idea but live in denial until the unexpected happens! We are caught off guard and our reflex is activated! This reflex sometimes surprises, scares, even impresses us but it always confirms who we really are.

So who are you? You are who you believe and accept you are.

What forms your belief and acceptance?

The subtle words you proclaim with your mouth –‘anybody can just die anyhow’, so a drunken driver veers of the road and hits only you, even the driver survives; ‘I am finished’ – so in a day you lose your job and your house burns down; ‘I must be cursed because nothing I do prospers’ – I think that is self explanatory; ‘I am beautiful’ – the whole world is wondering how you landed yourself the finest bloke; ‘ I will lend to nations’ – enemies naturally start to spread rumours about you when Forbes names you the richest in the world; ‘my children are blessed and will serve the Lord’ – your friends can’t understand how all your children turned out right even though theirs were more privileged.


The words spoken by others that you accept – ‘it is well with you’ or ‘May you never know peace’; ‘I love you’ or ‘I hate you’; ‘You have no future’ or ‘your future is promising’.

This battle of words and of life is not about physical strength, speed or skill. It’s about decision and choice. God has given all men equal weapons –our mouth and the power to choose. You choose either to serve God or Satan (you can’t be in between); you choose either to shield or shoot yourself (words you proclaim with your mouth); you choose either to fortify yourself so even when you are caught unaware you are still unharmed or go into war without your armour and be hit by even the impact of the enemy’s grenade to another (sharpening your reflexes, who you really are).

It’s all up to you, the question is, what do you choose – life or death?

With love, mayo-chop dressing and a brand new 4*4.


I have heard this expression before but it never meant more than a cliché to me until Sunday Morning, two Sundays ago. It was my final class of Foundation school (yes, I just dey do foundation school o!) and my Pastor’s wife taught the class that morning. She was teaching on “STEWARDSHIP AND SERVICE” when she mentioned that we are saved to serve else we ought to have ascended to heaven the moment we got born-again. For some reason, that phrase just kept ringing in my head – saved to serve, saved to serve, saved to serve,…Well my exam was on Sunday, last week and as I studied (I dey aim to collect prize), the different parts of the bible, the phrase gradually came to life.

To serve is to wait on someone, to take the back seat, to work for, to labor in behalf of, to exert one’s self continuously or statedly for the benefit of, to do service for; to slave, to be subordinate to, to appear as the inferior of, to minister to, to obey and worship, to profess love to,…

To serve is to be humble. It takes extreme humility to take the posture of service. Jesus is our perfect example, leaving all His glory in heaven to come dwell with us mortals and not as Ceaser but as a carpenter who was killed like a thief.

humility: 99 of 365

We are saved to serve.

 Jesus came to restore man back to God and to achieve that He had to serve us, even to death. In serving us; Jesus healed many of sickness and disease, raised the dead, fed the hungry (thousands), saved a prostitute from being stoned to death, saved a couple from disgrace at their wedding, cast out demons from the possessed and oppressed, forgave sins, taught God’s word and ways. In Mark 16:15-18, He gave the great commission and His disciples operated in that might. Jesus and the earliest saints had enormous faith in God amidst all the tribulation in their time. They were bold, powerful and miracles was their culture. But was Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and the gift of salvation all a show of God’s power?-No, it was and is all about Love, the power of Love. The power of the Love for God, Jesus and fellow men enabled the saints of old to live ‘supernaturally’.

Today, we are saved for miracles, prosperity, breakthroughs, to surpass our enemies – not to serve and not to love.

We want miracles but we fail to realize that a blind regaining sight, a lame walking, a dumb speaking, a dead living, is not a miracle. The miracle is loving in this world. The devil (the prince and father of the world) is not capable of loving and so the children of the world cannot love. That’s why Jesus came, to restore us to Love (God) and teach us to love through service. What we call miracles is the nature of love and is borne out of genuine compassion and mercy. No miracle is possible without Love.

We want prosperity, breakthroughs, to be the head and not the tail but refusing to serve is pride.You wonder why things are difficult, stagnant, how you have enough but never abundance – do you not know that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble? How will you prosper when God is against you? Even the gospel that you preach will not be heard.


He gives grace to the humble.

In the beginning, God made man and put him in the Garden of Eden to serve – Gen 2:15. When Jesus came, He gave the same instruction, this time explicitly – John 21:15-17. This is how we are to serve. When was the last time you visited those in prison, went to the motherless or even the Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria (that’s if you have ever heard of them)? Let me guess – your birthday, Valentine’s Day (as no one valed you) or children’s day (that’s when the orphanages are most crowded). Assuming everyone had the same birthday as you and in all we have 10 national celebrations, what happens to these people during the remaining 354 days? Who feeds them, clothes them, cares for them? ‘But I am busy; in school, trying to make ends meet, God understands’. God does understand so he won’t ask you about those in institutions, he would probably ask – how about that time in the bus, did you help the mother with 3 children carry one child even if you couldn’t pay for an extra seat?, why did you start avoiding your Muslim friend once you became born again?, why are so unforgiving and unmerciful?

Look, service is hard and requires grace but that grace will only be given to the willing. Remember, Jesus prayed so much so his sweat was as thick as blood, just for our cup to be taken away from Him yet He received grace and strength only because He was willing. We are all servants of our Master, He has set the example and we cannot be greater than He – John 13:5-17 and in the end we will answer to Him – Matt 25:31-45. God is bound by His words but when we are faithful in service even when we do not meet His requirements, He will personally send help to make us qualified to receive His promises just as He did with Cornelius – Acts 10:1-end.


It's all about LOVE!

I leave you with these words by Bill Bright and Ted Dekker – ‘whoever said a straightened hand is more spectacular than a healed heart?’

The eight before me !

Jesus had a forerunner, I have 8!

Tiger, Code name – Tacky

First born and first son! He came first to ensure earth was okay for the rest of us, then he gave thumbs up and we all came tumbling after. His position comes with enormous responsibility (terrorism inclusive) which hardly diminishes throughout a lifetime. Growing up, the fear of Tiger was the beginning of wisdom; unlike the rest of my siblings, I was lucky to look skinny, fragile and kind of pale (my family believes I would have been an albino if I had spent 2 more weeks in mum’s womb). Anyway, I was lucky because my appearance saved me from a lot of spanking. My brother probably thought I would not survive a good spanking and so resorted to lifting me off the ground with my ears. About two decades after, I have baby soft skin (with all humility) except my ears which of course I have been working out before I was five! My ears even ruined a romantic moment once (gist for another day). Aside terrorizing the rest of us and even my parents, we all agree he did a fantastic job of protecting, providing and most importantly loving us.  As for the code name, let’s just say there was once a time when everything was ‘tacky’ to my brother.

Venus, Code name – Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Seriously, this is Margaret? I expected a picture of Cruela!

She was right behind Tiger and she knew she had seven more behind her so she assumed her role almost immediately. I don’t remember seeing her until Ojugo (my niece) came. She was close and yet so distant. Close because she took care of my every need from millions of miles away. I was like her first child (well, it’s just 5years between Ojugo and I). How can I ever forget that black permanent marker that writes my name on the tags of clothes, school bags, and on the packs of toothpastes, toothbrushes, body creams, underwear, socks, hair relaxer, pencils, erasers, hair ribbons, vitamins, bathing soaps, soles of shoes, nylons containing perfumes, jewellery (mine being gold as I have ‘very expensive skin’ that reacts to inferior metals), etc. Often times I would trace the letters inscribed by that marker and try to imagine her walking through those huge malls and picking out all these things for me, did I mention they were always a perfect fit too? I remember the first time I went to the market to shop for myself, I was seventeen. Who, except your mother would not make you realize you needed anything till you were seventeen? It wasn’t like I needed anything at the time, an uncle of mine had just returned from SA and he gave us money to go shopping. I had money for shopping but was clueless as to where to go because my sister had always taken care of me, thank you sister. Distant because we had few phrases beyond the usual pleasantries to say to each other whenever we saw. I was always baffled by how little I knew about someone who knows so much about me at least physically and cared so much for me. As for the code name, I only heard gist, I never experienced it until recently – thanks to Cherry (hmm, no be small thing o)!  

Cherry, Code name – Container

GNU-FDL, selbst fotografiert

Waiting patiently...

Our very own model! Shakara from belle! So I am the Einstein of the family (Cherry go kill me o, well at least I no talk say na me fine pass) and she delighted in showing off her smart baby sister. I remember how we would take a cab from the taxi park at Ewutuntun (no money for pocket o) and who ever we were going to see would pay for the cab. Who bought me my first sharwarma, maltesers chocolate, took me to big treat and la campagne Tropicana where I swam in hot swimming pool with bubbles and ate salted pop corn for the first time? Who would take me to World Fred photo studio and teach me how to pose like a model? Who came to school and slapped my headmaster when I got lost (well technically…) in primary 3? Who, immediately I gained admission to the university sent me twenty tops of which I could only wear two as the rest were halternecks, boob tubes and sphaghetti straps? Wondering what happened to the rest?Trust igbo girl now, I market them shap shap. Who dressed me up in a dress by Vera Wang’s brother and was willing to send a make-up artist from Lagos to school, all for my final year dinner?, Who dressed me up again for my convocation ceremony and had to wake up at 3am to cook and get drinks ready so I could entertain friends and well wishers?, Who forgot my birthday and bullied Andy to bring a humongous cake to my office? – No one else but Cherry. Code name? let’s just say my sister has a knack for shipping things in containers instead of just travelling with luggage.


She suits the term ‘mother in Israel’ at first glance but if you really look for her trouble, be prepared to collect double.  My father’s favorite as she was very hard working (wash, scrub, clean, fetch water, cook, iron, name it), never complaining. She’s the only one I look like in the family, physically that is.  She is the first fire brimming born-again in the family, I think Cherry was actually the first one to give her life to Christ but Charlize picked up the baton and just ran, is still running by God’s grace. The only time I think I ever heard Cherry speak in tongues was when armed robbers came to raid the neighbourhood the night before she was to travel out of the country for the first time, mehn, the tongues no get part 2 ! (Omo lo omo, make them no con use their reggae spoil her blues). Charlize discovered and took me to the church where I gave my life to Christ and had countless life rededications; God is indeed a merciful God. She’s the one who never forgets birthdays, is constantly praying for everyone and who steadily supplies MAC powders. She is the one who will send you that $100 when you need it the most, need I say more?


The only one who spoke/speaks all three Nigerian languages (WAZOBIA) at a point in her life. When she assumed responsibility for the rest of us after Charlize travelled to Canada, she was strict and no nonsense. I remember the first time she gave me bucket to go fetch water, 20litres president paint bucket! God! I couldn’t turn my neck for a long time. She was a child who had to take care of children and we were a bunch of troublesome children! She taught me to cook spicy indomie noodles, concoction rice, egusi soup, moi-moi, beans, yam pottage, stew, etc. She’s the one who would come visit during visiting day, pick you up from school at the end of the term, take you back to school at the beginning of the term, shop for your provision, travel to Ife to see you when you were sick, would willing follow you to kafanchan to ensure you were fine. We became friends, played pranks, snuck out to eat meshai (bread and egg), fasted and prayed (not like I had a choice), gisted, talked about the future, shared secrets and advice. She has a great influence on the woman I am today of which I am proud. She’s one who leads not just by instruction but by example. Only one thing still baffles me about her – how she got so soft after having children! Now I am the mean aunty, whatever!


Whoever named Monique was definitely in the spirit; her Igbo name means safe journey, trust me Monique was always on the move! Monique would be in the same country as you but you would be more in touch with siblings outside the country than you would be with her. I always looked forward to her being at home. She brought the most friends home and they had phases too, so yes, I looked forward to having Monique and her latest friend(s) at home. Monique is the most physically ‘endowed’ and so she had a lot of suitors. I remember one time a cross-eyed albino came to look for Monique and unfortunately met my dad (an ex biafran soldier), Monique denied knowing the boy and he too took to his heels once he realized things were going to get ugly. How about the time when armed robbers attacked the compound and I was taken hostage, Monique passed out while her friend locked the door and asked me to go back to where I was coming from! Let’s just say Monique is the drama queen of the family. In all, she’s the one who made me stop walking through muddy/dirty rain water after she told me tape worms would live in my feet! I have a history with worms, just so you know. She’s the one who bought me a bottle of coke to celebrate my womanhood when I started menstruating. Most of all, I will always remember Monique’s heroic act during mum’s funeral. Love you girl.


The calmest in the family, the one girls will fight for, buy gifts for, do anything for. I often wondered what they saw in him or rather what he said to them because he never said much. I don’t remember him buying a card talk less of a gift for any girl but they swarmed the house with cards, food, gifts, recharge cards, money, name it; my brother would accept it all with a smile. He was so quiet, my dad was afraid of him. Dad was uncomfortable with the fact that he hardly reacted; he would accept whatever was given to him. One time we all went out and ‘forgot’ Andy at home, we got back late at night and met him sitting on a chair in the dark because there was no power. He actually startled us because we didn’t realize that we ‘forgot’ him until we turned on the light and saw him. Andy fooled all of us for a long time, he was not quiet at all. He is probably not as expressive as the rest of us but he is far from quiet. When he started to talk, he shut all of us up! One time Andy made me believe I was hallucinating, almost did same for Nicole but fortunately she had four witnesses. He has the nicest handwriting, eats the most and laughs the hardest. Did I mention he wet the bed till he was in JSS 3 (grade 9)? Yeh! I’m in soup!


Our energizer bunny, full of life and never afraid! He is stubborn, naughty, adventurous and hardly serious. I idolized Leo as a child, I think I out grew it when I became a teenager. He was the dullest academic wise but still got a lot of gifts, I was amazed at how he was able to get away with a lot of things and even when he got punished; he was up and about his business in minutes like nothing happened. He had me wrapped round his finger, I would believe whatever he told me and do anything for him. I remember one time Tiger beat Leo to a point where he was bleeding; with every lash of the wire and as I heard him scream, my heart kept pounding and I would wince like I was the one being beaten. When I eventually saw him bleeding, I was so scared I think I started crying and the following conversation ensued:

Me: Leo sorry, are you ok?

Leo: Ah! Austin, look at me, I’m bleeding. Tiger wants to kill me

Me: yes, sorry, what can I do?

(At this point I’m ready to hate Tiger for the rest of my life all Leo has to do is give the directive)

Meanwhile, Tiger had dropped some twenty naira notes on the floor for Leo to go treat himself

Leo: (picking up two notes) please, help me (pants), help me go to Mr. Patrick and (pants)…

Me: (almost hysterical now) buy what? What do you want?

Leo: Please help me go to Mr. Patrick and buy, buy… CHILLED COKE!

Andy bursts into laughter and I can’t help but laugh too, imagine in that much pain and all he can think about is a bottle of chilled coke. It still doesn’t stop me from sprinting to Mr. Patrick to get his chilled coke though, if that’s what it takes for him to be fine then so be it. Leo is the one I fought with the most, the one I hugged when we were told mum had gone home, the one who woke me up to tell me the caretaker was here to evict us (that’s the one time I actually saw Leo scared, with tears in his eyes). Now Leo is a big man with Rick Ross beard, we hardly see these days except for family functions and I admit I miss those days.

Austin, Code name – bush baby, stainless

Yea, that’s me, yours truly. The family was incomplete without me, I brought the most important ingredient after God’s love – Joy, my name exactly! Just like Jesus, I have been baptized by everyone of my forerunners and my ministry begins. Are you ready for my manifestation?

Life Ain’t Always Emm – Fair!

About four years ago, I was a part 2 student of Obafemi Awolowo University. A friend of mine (just a hi hi friend at the time) shared with me a project that God had laid on his heart and I agreed to be a partner as I believed in the vision. So against all odds – studio designs, models, scary BLD lectures and impromptu tests, fellowship meetings, weight loss (I looked like a scare crow at the time) and oversize project shirt we had to wear twice a week as part of our publicity; I did all that was required of me as a partner.

As the programme drew nearer, our posters got ready and we had to paste them. The plan was to paste them during the early hours of the morning say 12am so that students (they are all never asleep anyway) would wake up to our posters, you know, get their attention at its sharpest! We had a prayer meeting till about a few minutes to the hour, and then we were paired, given posters and allocated pasting areas. I was paired with a course mate and we were assigned to PG Hall as it was close to Archy studio, I think we had some drawings to return to that night. My course mate is a clown, a member of (a comedy drama group) so pasting posters with him was actually fun and we were through in about two hours.

Archy Studio

Department of Archtecture

Now PG Hall has a very slopy terrain and it was designed to suit the topography, as such hostels have basement floors before the actual ground level. Aside that, over time, the ground due to erosion and all is rough, uneven and with a lot of depressions so much so that you can only wear your stilettos on the car park and walkways (those are the only smooth surfaces). As we were descending J block, gisting past kings and Queens (PG restaurant); there was a sudden change in ground level, like a step. It was dark and as my feet hit the ground, I hear ‘pprrruuu’ (a loud fart sound) then silence. It takes almost 10 seconds for me to realize that THAT SOUND JUST ESCAPED FROM MY ANUS! I recover from the shock and say a weak ‘sorry’, shouldn’t I be saying ‘excuse me’ instead?



Ah! God! My rep (reputation)! I have never wanted to disappear so bad, why won’t Jesus just come now? I wasn’t looking my best that semester but yours truly is still a babe anytime *wink*, which kind embararlzment (oops! embarrassment) be this now? There was no denying, pretending or forming kpa kpa (yoruba exclamation); you know how you can be in a public place and want to fart so bad you just release the gas, fuke (yoruba term) style – noiseless version, then bone like nothing happened. Well it was just the two of us and the noise was so loud, it shut us up leaving an awkward silence. My course mate handled it pretty well, just brushing it aside like nothing happened, thank God it wasn’t one of my ‘toasters’ (admirers)! I don’t remember going back to the studio that night; I was too embarrassed to walk with him any further so I just fled to my hostel.  Lord have mercy!

Shared a similar experience? crack me up please.