THE NIGHT IN MOROCCO

 

The journey from London to Casablanca was smooth. No problems whatsoever.  Every necessary procedure was followed – from the take-off instructions to the landing instructions. We were supposed to have a 1hour stopover at Casablanca before leaving for Lagos, but that wasn’t the case as we were already told to start boarding the plane few minutes after landing.  At least I won’t have to worry about sleeping off and leaving my bag unprotected within the 1 hour at the airport, I thought.

While on the queue to enter the plane, a staff member asked some people to drop their hand luggage – a form of unorthodox luggage check-in, it seemed. I was curious as to why that was done, and hoped not to be called aside to do the same, so I held my bag closely and unlooked. At the entrance was a female passenger with a baby seemingly trying to plead her case with a flight attendant. I tried as much as possible to mind my business so I didn’t know what her case was. As I tried to find my seat, I figured out the reason for the unorthodox luggage check-in we witnessed outside was either due to the flight being overbooked or my fellow Nigerians’ decision to use the luggage that could have been checked in as their 10kg hand luggage, which led to little or no space in the luggage compartment for everyone’s  hand luggage.

I got settled in what I believed was my seat with my bag placed in between my legs. You could immediately guess the destination of the plane as the atmosphere was completely different from the earlier flight. Pidgin English here, Yoruba and Igbo there.  Three guys were still trying to locate their seat. The first one found his, but it had been occupied by someone’s box, so he began to complain to the flight attendants. None of the attendants offered any reasonable help as they were busy walking up and down. Then it happened; the craziest thing I have ever experienced on a plane happened. While these guys were still standing and trying to get their seat and a majority of the luggage compartments still opened, the plane began to move. Everyone was alarmed. The guys that were standing rushed to sit down in Business Class to save their lives, while some passengers got up and closed the luggage compartments. I was confused. I found the situation funny and scary. It felt like I had seen it before or like I had arrived in Lagos and was already inside a Danfo bus. I knew, at this point, that we were in for a long flight so I quickly asked Baba God to take control (as if the control I had initially asked Him to take wasn’t enough).

Man-Praying

The plane stopped a few minutes later, and after much persuasion by the flight attendants, the guys came back to the Economy Class to get seated. Apparently, I had been unknowingly sitting on the seat that belonged to one of the guys standing. Thank God everyone was too angry at the pilot and flight attendants to have a go at me. So I quickly apologized and moved to my seat while the other guys got seated. We were all still shocked by what we had experienced so we earnestly waited for a sort of explanation or apology. The pilot finally spoke. He spoke in what seemed like an angry tone. He said, ‘Due to certain factors, we are going to experience a form of delay. And it is going to be a long one.’ We all looked at one another with great shock, like ‘What the actual heck?!  Where is our apology?!’  Then a few minutes later, another announcement was made. The pilot said certain people had to disembark the flight for the journey to continue. The certain people being the guys that rushed to sit in Business Class. We were livid! ‘Don’t go anywhere!’  ‘Complete rubbish! They are the ones at fault and they are telling you to disembark. Nonsense! ’ It was really nice to see Nigerians unite for justice. Anyway, before we could say Nebuchadnezzar, the police arrived.  Then the pilot instructed the guys to leave the plane again. But the insubordination was maintained so some higher officials came on board to talk and walk them out. The guys remained intransigent on staying on board (with everyone’s full support).  The next thing we heard was that everyone had to leave the plane for ‘security reasons.’  The man beside me went to talk to one of the officials. He came back and told me that the guys were apparently aggressive to the flight attendant in Business Class, hence the ‘security reasons’.   We grudgingly came down from the plane thinking we just needed to come down for a few minutes then go back in afterwards. We thought wrong. On getting down from the plane, some buses arrived. I was confused and thought the Royal Air Maroc airline officials were just overdoing it. We got inside the buses and got dropped in a departure section.  It was at this point that we knew we were really in for a long night.

Portrait of a mixed race man scratching his head in confusion

‘It is because we are blacks! They can’t try this with a white man!’ a man began to rant, as we all sat down and waited to be attended to.

‘Oh yes!  It is true, nwannem.  Very true.  And we are all Africans so this shouldn’t be the case,’ another man said.

‘I don’t blame the Moroccans. I blame the Nigerian government. If people don’t respect your government, they won’t respect you. Our country is a joke, so the Moroccans believe they can treat us like clowns’, the first man replied.

‘This one that they brought us here, we might be leaving here in the next three hours or so,’ a woman said.

The time was 9:30pm, and we were to get to Lagos around 3am the next morning. At least I came prepared, I thought. My Americanah book by Chimamanda Adichie would finally become useful, I thought. Two hours went and I had struggled to read a page. Slight hunger, thirst and frustration couldn’t let me concentrate. We were kept in a place with no Internet and no refreshments. Actually, refreshments were available for sale but no salesperson was available. So here we were – stuck, unattended to, hungry and thirsty but allowed to look at refreshments we couldn’t have.  People began to withdraw their support for the guys. The guys that we all stood by and insisted they continued in their defiance. Certain circumstances truly test the authenticity and durability of people’s opinions in life.  ‘These guys should stop being stubborn and just wait behind so others can go home na. They should consider these babies at least na,’ a woman said.   As for me, I just wanted to eat, drink and go home.

frustration

They finally attended to us. First, some officials came in and requested to talk to the infamous guys then asked for their passports. They initially refused but later gave in and went with the officials. On seeing this, we hoped that our waiting was over so we stood up from our seats and formed a queue. Unknown to us, this was to be the first of many hopeless queues. We’d get up and form queues as soon as we saw officials at the entrance, but still no movement. The guys got back and told the people at the front what was discussed. I could barely hear what they said and I wasn’t ready to stand up hopelessly again. The little I could gather was that a new pilot and attendants had arrived, and the pilot wanted to talk to the infamous guys. This was good news, so we got up and queued again. An official came in and said they would read out six people’s names and those called out won’t be flying with everyone. They would be put in a hotel until the next day when they could fly.  The names were called out, the infamous guys were among – of course – but the shocking thing was that 3 -4 other names were added at random. So you could have been sleeping throughout the whole incident on the plane and your name could be among this group – just like that. The random people that were involved were absolutely livid. This people were among those in support of the defiance of the infamous guys, but here they were, not ready to be associated with them. The time was 1am.

I got word that there was free WiFi upstairs so I quickly went up to inform my mum of the situation before she would start worrying if I didn’t arrive on time. I then went on Twitter to escape from the frustration. It felt good, but I had to be on the lookout for people’s movement before I would be left behind because of WiFi. Wetin I go tell my people for house? I bin de browse when plane bin take off? I went down and there was another queue. I didn’t even bother to join it until I saw it move. The mentioned people and the flight managers had reached a compromise so they queued separately, while the other queue began to move. We were finally free to leave. We boarded the plane at 3am. The plane took off and all I had on my mind was food and sleep. The food wasn’t my type, but at this point my stomach wasn’t a respecter of type. I slept as soon as I finished eating.

I thank God we landed in Nigeria safely.  What a wonderful  ‘Welcome back to Nigeria’ it was for me, after 20 months of being away. Now tell me, who do you think was at fault here? The airline?  The guys?  We, the supporters’ club?  Me (for sitting in the wrong seat initially)?

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DEJA VU

‘Nosa, it’s not what you think, I don’t actually like you,’ Amaka said.

“Damn, why so blunt?” Nosa asked.

“Men are scum. All of you…scum!  Yoruba demons, Igbo wizards and Hausa beasts. You men can’t be trusted.”

Speechless but determined to prove a point, Nosa glanced through the bus. To his left was a seemingly happy family – a father and mother laughing while their kids played games on an iPad. To his right was the window, he looked through it as he thought hard about the best way to convey his feelings to Amaka.

Turning back to Amaka, he said, “Well thank God I am an Edo boy, so I’m safe and can be given a chance to prove myself.”

Leave story. You are all the same. You all specialize in breaking hearts. PhD holders of the act in fact,” She replied.

“But that’s an unfair judgment. You haven’t even dated every man in the world to arrive at such conclusions.  At least allow me to prove myself and don’t let me suffer for the mistakes of previous men in your life.”

“Mistakes? No way. He knew what he was doing abeg! I am done with men.”

“What? He? So it was just one man? Haba Amaka.”

The thought of what happened flashed across her mind. Then she contemplated if it was worth sharing. If it was necessary to replay the hurtful scenes of her ex-fiancé in bed with another woman. She really loved Ebuka and had given up a lot for him and their relationship. She invested so much – her time, money and trust – into what they had. How she had skipped lectures in order to spend time with him. How she had saved some of her money to help support his music career. He was initially so loving and trustworthy. She wasn’t planning on being so vulnerable again.

“Yes, one man…and the others I read about on Twitter. Just forget about it, Nosa. We will remain friends and nothing more, okay?”

“Okay,” Nosa said, in a depressed tone.

The journey ended and they both went their separate ways.

Two weeks later after the launch of her hair cream product, she was at the salon getting her hair done. One gossip led to another. From talking about the absence of the President to how their kids are doing in school to their husbands’ latest accomplishments and then to their hair problems. Amaka had been silent throughout, but she couldn’t let this discussion elude her without maximizing it.

“Ehen my people, I have the solution to your hair problems o. My new hair cream product can – “

“Wait, made in where?” a woman asked.

“Nigeria, of course,” Amaka replied.

They all laughed. “Don’t you know that Nigerian products can’t be trusted? Didn’t you hear about what happened to Abike’s scalp when she tried that Nigerian-made product last year?”

“Yes, but this one is different. You haven’t even tried mine and you are already jumping to conclusions.”

They laughed again. “Our sister, they are all the same. Forget it; we are okay with the products we are using.”

Saddened by their response but still eager to market her product, a déjà vu feeling hit her. She remembered the bus journey two weeks ago. She remembered Nosa.

 

The Ripple Effect

‘Gala! Gala! Buy your fresh Gala!’

It was just another day in a long Lagos(Nigeria) traffic where there was no clear reason for the ‘hold-up’ and owners of sophisticated and not too sophisticated cars shared the space on the road. No levels or preferential treatments involved, everyone being united (or sometimes understandably selfish) with the same aim — to get the heck out of the exhausting traffic after a long day at work.

On the other hand, the ‘traffic traders’ have an opposite wish. The longer the traffic, the more their chances of having great sales for the day.

Gala and a cold soft drink + Lagos traffic go together like Starbucks and train stations. So Gala and drink sellers usually go home the most productive in such a day like this.

Lucas hadn’t been as productive as expected all day so he was determined to take full advantage of the traffic.

‘Gala! Gala! Buy your fresh Gala!’ Lucas marketed, with his wide smile trademark.

‘You sure sey e fresh so? Or it’s all packaging?’ Mr Tijani asked.

‘Ah yes sir. Trust your boy. Enough fresh Gala de for the family, sir,’ Lucas replied, as he glanced through Mr. Tijani’s sophisticated Toyota Camry to do a quick calculation of the good money he was about to make.

‘Okay then, bring ten. Only God knows when we would get out of this traffic so two for everyone,’ Mr. Tijani said, as he gestured the peace sign to his family in the car.

As Lucas finished handing them over to him, the traffic suddenly began to evaporate as cars started moving fast. You have to be very sharp in such a moment if you really want to get out of it, so Mr. Tijani collected the ten pieces of Gala and quickly zoomed off before he could pay for them.

Lucas began to chase the Toyota Camry like his life was on the line. He thought Mr Tijani was like the man that played a fast one on him the week before. Almost the same thing happened — the man requested for multiple pieces of Gala and zoomed off (coincidentally, in his Toyota Camry) without paying. Oh, Lucas was ready. With anger and revenge on his mind, he wasn’t thinking straight. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted the money or just wanted Mr. Tijani to pay for the other man’s wicked act. But Mr. Tijani didn’t have such intention, he hoped Lucas would catch up so he could pay him. He even had it in mind to give him a good tip for the stress.

Thankfully, Lucas was able to catch up with the car as another traffic began to develop (for no reason, again — typical Lagos). Still full of anger, the first thing he did as he approached the car was to smash the windscreen of Mr. Tijani’s car with a large stone he picked up along the roadside.

Filled with shock, confusion and anger, Mr. Tijani came out of his car with 2,000 Naira in his hand that he planned to give Lucas. Then he asked, ‘Why on earth did you do this?! Did you think I was going to run away from paying you? See, I even wanted to give you an extra 1, 000 Naira + for the stress you had to go through. Now you are in a very big mess.’

‘I thought you were like the man that ran away from me last week. He was also in a Toyota Camry. I am sorry s — ’ Lucas said, with tears in his eyes.

‘Sorry for yourself! Next time you will calm down. Next time you will give the benefit of doubt and not jump into unnecessary conclusions just because someone hurt you in a similar circumstance in the past. We are all not the same. As for now, you better find a way to get me another windscreen!’ Mr. Tijani said.


 

The Moment of Epiphany

For the major part of his life, Tomi had desired to own an iPhone. Quite weird, you might say. But I can’t blame him. I can’t blame him at all, because he wasn’t born with a silver spoon and he has had to endure sharing classrooms with a bunch of spoilt kids from rich homes flashing their smartphones in his presence as they would pose for various selfies after each class, while he managed his Nokia ‘torchlight’ phone.

Tomi had been understanding all this while. He understood that he came from a different home and should learn to be content with what he has. But on a certain Tuesday evening, back from school, he couldn’t help it anymore so he confronted his mom — Funke.

‘Mom, when would all this enduring stop?’ he asked.

‘Enduring? Boy you better tell me if someone has been bullying you in school so I can treat the person right!’ Funke said.

‘Lol. Relax, mom. I am talking about my phone. My mates in class are using sophisticated smartphones and I’m stuck with this thing. It’s embarrassing,’ Tomi said.

‘Emba what?! Wait. Just wait. If the phone can allow you make calls, send texts and help you see the road when the power is out, then you shouldn’t be embarrassed because it’s doing what it was made to do,’ she replied.

‘No, mom. Phones do more than all that these days. You know, send instant messages, snapchat great moments, tweet your thoughts and take high quality selfies,’ he said.

Hissing and shaking her head, she replied, ‘It’s clear to me that you are not serious and have your priorities mixed up. When I was your age, we didn’t even have mobile phones not to talk of smartphones. So you better keep on enduring it because I can’t afford an iPhone or a Samsung, or better still, you can call your uncle who should be coming back from the US next week to get you a smartphone for your upcoming birthday.’

And that’s what he did. Fortunately for him, he called his uncle at the right time while he was in an Apple shop, so he was able to get him an iPhone 5s.

Tomi finally owned the phone of his dreams. He was now able to ‘feel among’ during the selfie sessions after classes and tweet his thoughts — from what he was presently doing to how someone driving just splashed mud on his uniform with their car tyres. He immediately got so attached to and reliant on his phone. He hardly had a decent face-face conversation with his loved ones because he just had to quickly reply the instant messages. He began to live in his phone…and the thought of ever losing it scared him so much.

Two weeks later, on his way to a wedding ceremony in which he had to use a bus to get to, he took about 50 selfies.

Suddenly, there was a gun on the neck of the driver, the robber commanded the bus driver to stop the bus, and of course he obeyed.

‘Everyone get down and bring out all the valuables you have on you right now before I blow your brains out!’ the robber said.

Everyone did exactly as he commanded. Everyone, except Tomi. His heart had began a 1oom race the moment he first saw the gun so he quickly hid his iPhone. The robber began to take possession of all the valuables that were brought out. When he got to Tomi, all he brought out was the money he had on him.

‘Young man, you must think this is a toy gun, abi?’ the robber, terribly angry, asked then made sure he cleared Tomi’s doubt (or ‘smartness’), ‘POW! POW!!’ He shot into the sky.

Tomi began to shake uncontrollably with the gun now pointed to his head.

‘My friend, will you bring out that lovely iPhone you were taking selfies with throughout the journey, before I literally burst your head! Your iPhone or your life?!’ the robber said.

After hearing this, various thoughts flashed in his mind. The thought of losing his phone was a very scary one that he never thought could be overcome by the present thoughts — the thought of losing his life and not getting to see and spend quality time with his loved ones again, the thought of not achieving his dreams, and the thought of not being sure of his destination if he died at that moment as he had been postponing giving God a chance in his life by surrendering to Jesus. It was a moment of epiphany. He realized that all this while, his mum was right about what she said the other day — he had misplaced priorities.

What a week!


The week started off quite well. I seemed to have moved on from my stolen wallet that had my bank card and student ID card in it. I remember the night it happened. It was two weeks ago, I was on my way home from the library, having had a superb day — Man United won the EFL cup earlier and a productive day in the library. So I was listening to music, earplugs in, on maximum volume. Then the wallet fell off while trying to put it in my back pocket after withdrawing some money. I was so engrossed in my happy mood to have heard the sound of it drop. After realising what had happened, I had to try so hard to forgive myself for being so careless.

How did I move on?

Well, I thank God I didn’t fully invest in the idea of putting most of my important stuff in my wallet. One of the reasons for this is exactly because of what happened — losing the wallet = losing everything inside. It’s just too much investment for me. Anyway, so I blocked the stolen card and requested for a new one, found a way around withdrawing, got a new student ID, and tried to live like nothing happened. Yes, ‘tried’, because I kept getting emails concerning failed renewal of monthly subscriptions. The emails kept reminding me of my loss.


I was hoping to get called for a shift more than once during the week. The days kept passing by but no call came through. By Thursday night, I already gave up on getting called. Thankfully, I was called the next morning to work somewhere that required using the train. I was so excited, like finally, a shift at last! The thought of not having enough cash in hand for the journey didn’t bother me too much because I planned to ask my friends on my flat for help. So I got ready on time. Next thing was to get the money. I called my friends in the building but none could come through due to being absent.

Then I began to panic. What the heck?! Of all days to leave home early, y’all picked today? Like, Lord please I need this shift. I need this money. Let me just find help from somewhere, someone… anyone!

So I stepped out and walked towards the train station. The plan was to keep walking and hopefully meet someone I know on the way that could be of help. It’s funny now because I actually listened to a sermon on Functional Faith before living home. At the time though, it didn’t exactly seem like functional faith, it was more of desperation and frustration. I began to miss having a bank card. Oh, the agony of having money you seriously need but can’t get access to — Absolutely annoying. The loss I thought I had moved on from started haunting me.

On getting close to the train station and running out of time, I called the agency to tell them about the situation. To be honest, at this point, I wasn’t sure of what to expect from whoever I spoke to — The worst that could have happened would be to cancel my shift or miraculously get financial help from the agency. I think somehow hoped to get the latter.

And that, my friends, was what I got! I was told someone would be waiting to give me the required money at the train station and that was what happened. I ended up getting to my destination on time and having a great day.

I thank God for the favour I experienced. I thank God for sending help. I thank God I didn’t give up but decided to be hopeful against all odds.

I got my new bank card today so I think I can safely say I have moved on from the loss.

Dear Story

images

First I would like to apologize to you.

I am sorry. I am sorry I have been sleeping on you for years. I have terribly underrated your power to have great effects on my mind and emotions. In fact, I don’t think I ever gave you a chance in my thoughts to even fathom your greatness.

In the past, my hatred for reading hindered me from giving you a chance. I mean, I was compelled to read Mother’s Choice back in Junior Secondary school because I didn’t want to fail literature. Trust me, if I could rewind time, I would choose literature over geography.

In the past few months, I have been enlightened on your abilities. I have been enlightened on how you are everywhere — TV shows, movies, novels, newspapers, magazines, video games and even ads! I have realized your ubiquity is based on how much of an effective bridge you are to the human mind and emotions.

I remember how I used TV shows to escape from the stressful/overwhelming feeling of assessment deadlines of last semester. After watching episodes of Chuck and Prison Break, I would find myself feeling almost engrossed in the lives of some of my favorite characters. This made me worry less about school work.

Story, it’s amazing how you are able to this!

After such an epiphany of your greatness, I have decided to read and learn more about you and your superpowers. I have started reading and learning from the perspectives of Lisa Cron (Wired for Story) and Jonathan Gottschall ( The Storytelling Animal). Now I don’t even watch a movie or TV show or read a book without taking time out to reflect on, analyse and appreciate your power and how you have been used in each context.

I hope it’s not too late for you to become my friend. I hope you would forgive me and reveal more of yourself to me as I learn about you. I hope you would let me use you to reach out to and connect with men, women, boys, and girls that need to be reached out to for salvation and life transforming experiences. I hope you can help me inspire people to be better.

Story, I really hope you give me a chance.

Your latest fan,

Ayo.

WORDS

 

I strongly believe in the power of words. I believe words are like bullets. I believe words have the power to change lives for good — this is primarily the reason why I write. One beautiful thing about words is that they have the power to outlive their owners or users, so your words — said or typed — can either speak well of you or bad of you.

As a writer, I am determined to make good use of this power of words to positively inspire everyone (or someone) that reads any piece written by me. I have realized it is not going to be as easy as I thought because everyone writes these days so I need to constantly overcome the temptation of trying to be like someone else or the temptation of giving up when the inspiration is absent.

I must confess, the inspiration to be an inspiration via my words has been lacking for days or weeks. Sometimes I feel like writing fiction but these story ideas are hard to come by. I have started investing in some storytelling books anyway. I am hoping this investment won’t be in vain. Sometimes I feel like dropping off the weights on my shoulders by simply writing how I feel. But here’s the thing, writing about such things seem inappropriate to me because I’d basically be putting my whole life out here.

Maybe I shouldn’t care about being vulnerable and just express myself based on my feelings.

Maybe I need to pray more story ideas.

Maybe I shouldn’t bother too much about inspiring you as you read and just write anyway.

LackOfInspiration, you have lost.

 

 

Letter to my teenage self

Dear Awizzle4shizzle,

Before I get into the main purpose of writing this letter to you, why on earth did you choose such a nickname? I know the ‘zzle’ thing is what is in vogue over there but at least, can’t you just be unique? Must you follow the crowd?

I hear you are now a science student. Is that really what you want? I ask because back in primary school, you used to draw a lot and make your own comic books. Where did all that go? Something tells me your decision to opt for science class was greatly influenced by your closest friends making such decision. I know your parents do not force you to make important decisions so I am sure this has nothing to do with them. I just hope you don’t regret it at the end.

I also hear there is a girl you are presently chasing. I was told you are trying your best to win her heart with all your romantic moves — getting her the very best of valentine gifts you could ever come up with it, calling or texting her everyday etc. You must be feeling like a man right now. How old are you again? 14? 15? Lol smh. I hate to burst your bubble but this is not the time for all that. I know it’s hard because that is what is reigning now over there — being in relationships and trying all kinds of stuff. But believe me when I say I have been there and it’s just a waste of time at your age.

How are your grades these days? The last time I checked, you seemed to be comfortable with your average scores, telling me how you are afraid of the top because you are not sure if you would be able to maintain top grades. I hope you’ve been able to overcome this fear because you can never know how much potential you have if you don’t give it a shot and maximize the abilities in you. Create time to study. God didn’t create you to be average. Remember He created you in His image and we both know He is the embodiment of excellence.

Talking of God, how is your relationship with Him now? I hope you are now closer to Him as a result of accepting His offer of love, salvation and eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus. I hope you have stopped hating church. I hope you have stopped dodging Sunday school classes. If only you knew what you are missing. The world is turning upside down over here. Technology is something else; making life easier and making it easy to fall for the tricks of the devil all wrapped up as fun. Only the strong shall survive so the earlier the better.

Awizzle4shizzle, I will end with this: Get right with and close to God. Do not follow the crowd. Spend time, at this young age of yours, discovering your true self, your talents and your abilities (with God’s help, because hey, He was the One that put them there initially). Be you and do you. Make more plans and write them down. Imagine more. Dream more. Live beyond now. Live beyond your PlayStation console. All this may seem too serious for you but remember, there is time for everything. And time waits for no man. Your life is not an action/adventure video game, you don’t get to ‘Restart at your last checkpoint’.

Peace and Love,

Your future self,

Ayo Wright.

Been there, done that.

Image result for image of bigger picture

I was in between trying to forgive myself for not heeding to the intuition I had earlier about making that turn and trying not to respond angrily to my wife, who, at this point, had become a bitter victim of the consequences of my bad decision.

“Eric, you never listen to me!” Rachel said. “Always claiming to be a legend of these Lagos streets, now we are stuck in this stagnant traffic”

It was my brother’s wedding and we needed to be at the venue 2 hours before to ensure everything was in place. Rachel and I were on course to achieving this objective just before I decided to make a turn in order to avoid unnecessary traffic. Myself and my brother, John, made use of this route to avoid traffic and it never disappointed us. I could swear I heard a voice telling me not to take that route on this very day, but nah, I overdosed on the road’s past glory. So we were there, stuck in a traffic that had the potential of turning into where we might be spending the night.

“Darling, I am sorry. I tho-” I said, before being interrupted.

“Sorry for yourself! Now how are we going to get to the venue to put things in place? Ehn! How?! And you know how organised this needs to be.”

“Yes, I do. But sadly I can’t do anything about the present situation. I am sorry for taking this ro-” Again I was interrupted, this time by an incoming call from John.

“Hello, Big bro! Thanks for your help, I hope everything is all set for my fantastic wedding?” John asked, filled with enthusiasm.

“I wish I could say so, bro.” I replied, not knowing how to break the deadly traffic news to him.

“What do you mean, big bro?” He asked, with panic setting in. “I am already on my way to the venue, in fact, I am about to make that our never-disappointing road in Ikorodu because I foresee heavy traffic on the other side”

“Ah! John, please don’t pass there! Pass the other side. Don’t make the same mistake I made” I said. “Myself and Rachel are presently stuck in a crazy traffic on that Ikorodu road and it doesn’t look like we would be out of it in the next 3 hours or so.”

“Wow. So you would be coming in towards the end of the wedding?” John asked, sadly.

“Yeah, bro. I am so sorry. But on the bright side, as a result of my mistake, you can avoid going late to your own wedding” I said, still full of regret.

“It is well, big bro. Everything happens for a reason. Thanks for the heads up. See you soon, hopefully. ” John replied.


At the end of the day, John was able to get there on time to put things in place and get married on time. Eric and Rachel spent 3 hours in the traffic before finally getting to the wedding. At least, they didn’t miss most of the reception.

Sometimes, we go through some bad situations as a result of bad decisions. But for those that love God, He always has a way of making everything work out together for their good, everything including bad decisions (Rom 8:28). Although we might face the consequences of such decisions, the good news is that we get to help others to avoid making such decisions and facing the painful consequences. We can say, “Been there, done that but this is the way..or this is better”.

We are helped to help others. We are blessed to bless others. We are allowed to go through and overcome some tough situations so as to help others to overcome similar situations in a better way.

Look beyond you, there is a bigger picture.

Stay On It

Image result for cartoon images of Person worker digging and mining for gold in an underground tunnel

No one wants to be poor or broke. Everybody wants to be successful. Everybody wants to achieve greatness. I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of achievement; the feeling of fulfillment. It is so soothing. How about the little guy within me that jumps for excitement when I give a set goal that Nike-esque accomplishment tick? Priceless.

I have not always been the type that sets goals. Ayo has always been the Take each day as it comes and just run with it type of guy. And even when I manage to set goals, I do it in my head. I have heard about the importance of writing them down so as to be focused and all, but nahh, I never really bought the idea until the concluding part of last year when the whole idea and importance of writing down goals kept coming from every angle — even from the angle of innocently watching my beloved Prison Break all over again.

How?

Well I am a huge fan of Michael Scofield and the way he gets things done. As I re-watched the series, I could see the importance of strategic planning in the each of Michael’s achievements. From tattooing his entire body with plans to how he and his teammates got Scylla by strategically copying each Scylla card from its holder. Mind-blowing stuff. Yeah I know he’s a fictional character, but damn it I have started considering him as a role model.

We all want success, but Joshua Selman once said (and I have also experienced it) that the process of achieving success is more important than the success itself. The process is never easy. Consistency is not easy. But if we want to successfully grow to the level of greatness in any area, we would need to stay on the things we know (from books, teachings, and sermons). A plant knows that if it stays strong in its rightful place, even in the midst of harsh weather conditions, its season for growth and flourishing would eventually come. The plant knows this and consistently applies this, hence it experiences fruitfulness. If it gives up and moves away from where it ought to be, it might just miss out on eventual greatness and fruitfulness.

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. It is the truth that we know, and consistently stick to and apply that will indeed set us free in every area.

Anyway, as for me, I have started making more plans now, not just in my head but also on paper (or my phone). The result of finally applying the idea of writing plans and goals down has been fantastic. And if not for anything, I intend to stay on it for the sake of that little guy that always jumps for joy when I give a set goal the Nike-esque accomplishment tick. I will keep doing it for the little guy.

So help me, God.

Amen.