NOTHING IS FREE

A sunny afternoon, I was going to a friend’s place, then I heard a man shouting “play raffle draw for free and get a chance to win yourself a brand new car” I was moved by the man’s sweet words and the thought of winning a car ‘gingered’ me and I moved closer to get the raffle ticket. After about three hours of waiting in line, it got to my turn and I played the game. Well, against my luck I lost but I didn’t feel much pain, After all it was free in the first place. I checked my time and discovered I’ve been in queue for the past four hours! Therefore wouldn’t be able to visit my friend again. Then I remembered the saying “there’s no free lunch in free town” or even anywhere in the world.

We’ve all had an illusion of one free thing or the other at different times in our life. Like in the case of building a reputation, we all feel it’s free but then what about the things you loved doing but would otherwise not do in order to build the reputation. Now, let’s talk about breathing. It is absolutely free, ain’t it? Well, breathing is actually not free as you have to give up carbon dioxide which is very vital for plant’s growth in order to breathe in oxygen. Therefore breathing is actually the exchange of air between plants and animals needed by man, and this will automatically lead to the end of either or both.

Salvation is another item on the free-items list. Everybody believes that salvation is free. Quite alright it is free but I’m just thinking about those things I have to stop doing in order to get the “free salvation” like lying, drinking, fornication, and all those things that make life interesting. Then I conclude that salvation is not actually free!

The fact that something doesn’t have a monetary value doesn’t mean it is free. And also, the fact that one doesn’t pay the price for a thing doesn’t mean it is free because the price might have been paid by someone else. A good example of this is the good family name that has been paid and worked for by one’s parent or forefathers. The truth is Nothing-not even rainfall and sunshine-is free. And as economist, we believe that there is nothing such as free lunch and that explains the real cost of an item as against the money cost.

Some price tags are physical while some are emotional. So, before doing anything, consider the price you will have to pay and think to yourself “can I afford it?”

BEFORE THE TABLE TURNS

A song by Beautiful Nubia titled Tables Turn has said it all. No matter the situation today, the table would surely turn. But what happens (will happen) before the table turns?

That reminds me of a story I was told long ago of a man who was born into a very rich family. He had a lot (almost everything he wanted) to himself, growing up for him was very fun until the day his unsuspecting parents were duped of their money (a very large um that affected the family drastically) by a something cold blooded and innocent looking con artist. This incidence brought a lot of changes into the life of this man. Life became tough; eating three square meals a day became very hard for him. He lost his parents and had to take care of his younger sibling. He toiled day and night just to make ends meet. To cut the long story short, he encountered a turn around after long years of suffering and tribulations. Finally the table turned in his favour and he became rich once again. But then before he became rich a lot of ingredients went into the soup.

So, before the table turns, a lot of things would have happened. There would be ups and downs, there would be the “I almost made it” moment, There would be the “if I had done it this way or that way” moment, there would be the “I’m fed up with this life” moment, There would be the moment where everything would appear to be taking form only to be dismantled or beclouded by “God knows what”, there would be that frustrating moment where you’d even contemplate taking your life by your own self but after overcoming these moments, the Table will finally be turned.

A child that lost his parents gets solace from family member who promised to take good care of him after his parents’ demise. But he found out that they had actually deceived him, he was rid of all that was left behind for him by his parents and he was totally neglected by the whole family. He, being the resolute one was not going to let the incident end his life and was prepared to turn the tables, ready to face that which must be overcome before the table turns, and after a lot of tribulations and trials and a lot of “before the table turns” event, the family that was neglected him were now coming back to him, trying to win his heart because the table has turned in his favour and he has created a future for himself.

The great writer of today had his first written piece rejected by different print houses and scorned upon because “This book will never make it to the market, it wouldn’t even sell 5 copies”. But he would not let dissuade him, he knows his works worth a lot and he kept his dream alive and burning hot in his heart. He knew and was ready for the pain that comes before the gain and the struggle before the table will turn. After continuous trials, he finally overcame his obstacles and gradually made it to the top that he is today.

Life is full of happenings. Tables can either turn in your favour or against you. If you want the table to turn in your favour, it will. BUT “are you ready for the struggle before the table turns?”

VOICE OF HOPE

Listen to the voice from a distance

Or is it coming from the stars?

So clear in the dead of the night

So soothing to the heart and the mind

Years ago, we camped on this land

Adamu, Aremu, Eze and all the clan

Years ago we camped on this land

Oh! How sweet they were; the fruits of the land

As we bask in the euphoria of the land

We merried and joyed; we wined and dined

Then there was the flood; that took our heart

And we set to work, to save our land

Women lamenting, even the men and the lads

Agony and anguish now so visible in the land

The flood in its gory has overtaken our land

Oh! What a life! When will this be over?

Then came a voice from a distance

Or is it from the stars?

So clear it is in the death of the night

So soothing to the earth and the mind

Oh! What hope it heralds

The voice, what joy it brings to our heart

The voice that calls out in the dark

Oh! What hope it brings to our land!

COMMUNICATION

Dictionary online gives the meaning of communication to be the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. I’ll define communication to be a two-way process of connecting people.

To be successful in whatever venture you pursue, you need effective communication. Communication is highly essential to any and every part of our life and day-to-day activities. Your communication skills can either build or ruin your reputation. As important as it is to breath, eat and drink to survive, so is communication essential to the social life of every man/woman.

If communication is now essential, then we have to give it special and core attention. In order to get things right and communicate effectively. Effective communication is like glue that tightens your connections with others in order to improve team work, productivity, decision making and problem solving without creating conflict or distrust.

Let’s take a look at some barriers to effective personal communication:

  1. Stress and Emotional distress: Stress will likely make you misread other people, send confusing signals and lapse into healthy patterns of behavior. Lack of emotional control makes you pass wrong information and also make you pass information that you never intended to pass in the first place.
  2. Inconsistent body language: When your body language does not correspond with your spoken (which it should), this could and actually does create a barrier to effective communication. A lot more abounds as barriers to effective communications but for the sake of space, we shall stop here and learn how to communicate more effectively.

RULES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:

  • Become an engaged listener: Effective communication requires more of listening than talking as against a lot of people’s view. A good listener makes an effective communicator and to become a good listener, you have to focus fully on the speaker, avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns; show your interest in what’s being said, try to set aside judgement and provide feedback.
  • Pay attention to non-verbal signals: Communications involving non-verbal signals is common when we are communicating things we care about. Facial expression, body movement and gestures, eye contact, posture, tone of voice and muscle tension, the way you look, listen, move and react to another person actually reveals your feeling more than words. So in order to communicate more effectively, cognizance must be given to non-verbal signals.
  • Keep emotions in check: Never make the mistake of letting your emotions take over or be too visible in your communication. When you are emotionally tuned, you tend to misread people, send confusing signals and say things you don’t want to say. So, communicating effectively requires you to be in total control of your emotion and learn to manage stress effectively.
  • Be confident: Another vital ingredient in the meal of effective communication is confidence. Confidence will make you sound more truthful and assertive thereby winning the trust of the majority while the person that lacks confidence ends up in a pool of distrust and watery communication. Confidence is a very vital part of effective communication as it passes an information to people that you are sure of that which you are saying,

So, what are you waiting for, get on your feet and work on your confidence fir effective communication. Effective communication is very vital and highly indispensable. So, will you work on your communication skill or will you just read and forget this piece?

ADUNNI

Adunni Iko, omo eleni ewele
You are the lovely daughter of Apeke
The central beauty of the town of Eke
You beauty has travelled even to Jeje
The home of that rich man called Agbede
Every young man of this village
Their eyes on you is laid
wishing theirs you could be for days
Adunni Iko; omo eleni ewele
Ma ma f’ayo fo; like the proverbial Akoko bird
Akoko! The great pecker
Became proud for her uncommon ability
And promising to do what she can not do
Akoko the great woodpecker
Wanted to peck a tomb out of a rock
Only to fall into a very deep remorse
stronger than the wood surely is the rock
Adunni Iko; omo eleni ewele
A beautiful woman is the pride of the man
You are loved Adunni; ma f’ayo fo o.

A WIND IS BLOWING

A wind is blowing

Birds from place to place are flitting

Swaying to and fro of trees

The wind a flutist

The music it sings

To my ears; sounds creepy

I think it is in a fury

Fruits falling, I can see their piths

I have a pique

To know the cause of the flurry

To know the reason

For the pique of the wind

I’ve piped the wind

I have seen the pith

The evil in the city

To clear has come the wind

Welcome oh ye flutist

Thy song to the ears how pleasing

Thy course to the city how unerring

AMAZING FACTS ABOUT NIGERIA

I probably know some things about my dear country Nigeria- like the name Nigeria was coined out of river Niger. I might also know about its immediate neighbor. I mean those countries Nigeria shared its borders with like the republic of Benin to the west, Chad and Cameroon to the East, Niger to the North and the Gulf of guinea in the Atlantic to the south. But there are other things I surely have not heard about and I’m going to learn some new things about Nigeria today.

In 1945, Cameroon was an administrative part of Nigeria. This was accounted for by the NCNC (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon). Towards independence, former German territory, South Cameroon opted to join French Cameroon in place of Nigeria.

Ile-Ife in Osun state was paved as early as 1000AD, with decorations that originated from ancient America thereby suggesting that there might have been contact between the Yorubas and ancient America for about half a millennium before Columbus ‘discovered’ America.

The Jos-Plateau Indigo bird, a small reddish-brown bird is found nowhere else on the planet but Plateau state, Nigeria.

The Anambra waxbill, a small Bird of many beautiful colours is found only in southern Nigeria and nowhere else in the world.

According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of planet species, and over 550 species of birds and mammals making it one of the most ecological vibrant places in the world.

Africa’s oldest boat and the third oldest boat in the world is the dufuna canoe which was discovered in Dufuna by a Fulani herdsman while digging a well. Test carried out has shown that the canoe is over 8000 years old.

Nigeria is home to 7% of the total languages on earth. Taraba alone has more languages than 30 African countries.

A study of more than 65 countries published I the UK’s NEW SCIENTIST magazine suggests that the happiest people on earth lives in Nigeria followed by Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador and Puerto Rico while Russia, Armenia and Romania have the fewest.

Nigeria has the richest pastor in the world in the person of Bishop David Oyedepo who was named the wealthiest preacher in 2014, with a networth of $150 million.

Nigerian women lead in skin bleaching. Has shown by a WHO study, 77% of Nigerian women use skin lightening products on a regular basis. Others on this list are Togo 59%, South Africa35%, and Mali 25%.

The Yoruba people of Nigeria have the highest twinning rate in the world with 4.4% of all maternities. They boast of 45-50 twin sets per 1000 live births. Igbo-Ora is known as the twin capital of the world.

Nigeria is one of the oldest locations of human existence. Archaeological evidences indicate that humans lived in Nigeria as far back as 9000 B.C. The Nok civilisation (500B.C – 200A.D) is the oldest civilisation in Nigeria.

The walls of Benin (800-1400 A.D), in present day Edo state are the longest ancient artworks in the world and probably the largest man-made structure on earth. They cover 6,500sq.km of lands that connected 500 communities. The 16,000km long structure was thought to be twice the length of the Great Wall of China until 2012 (after about 5years of meticulous measurements by Chinese surveyors) that the Great Wall was discovered to be actually 21,000km long.

The 11.8 (5 miles) long Third Mainland Bridge that connects Lagos Island to the Mainland is the longest bridge in Africa. It starts at Oworonshoki on the Mainland and ends at Adeniji-Adele interchange on the Island. It also has a link midway that leads to Hubert Macaulay way, Yaba and was built by Julius Berger.

The Niger Delta is the second largest Delta in the world. It has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world, and it is home to 60% of Nigeria’s mangrove forest. Also worthy of note is the fact that Nigeria’s mangrove forest is the largest in Africa and 3rd largest in the world.

Woow! Amazing facts indeed, Thousands of other facts abounds about Nigeria and I’m going to be learning about those as time goes on. Do you really know about your country?

AGAINST MOTHER’S WORD

Silent I’ve been all these while

‘Cos I would cause no fight

Silent I’ve been all these while

‘Cos the forming words are bad

The golden rule of life

My mother to me once read out

Why would you say it if it’s bad

Say nothing if your words are harsh

So, I’ve been an ever obedient lad

Keeping a closed mouth all these while

 

Now, it sees I need must talk

And make the greedy mouths tight shut

And save the country from crashing aboard

Looters and stealers, in abundance they abound

But my silence, strength has given to them all

Now I need must talk

And seal the cracked hole, and save the delicate wall

Mother today, maybe tomorrow, against your word

I need to seal their mouth, I open mine to talk

I need must talk mother; against your word

 

LAMENTATIONS OF A JOBLESS MAN

I silently walked the length
And the breadth of my place of rest
I keep pondering and asking myself
Am I really the head?
Do I have a birthright to protect?

I’ve loved a woman for years
She’s the breadwinner but I’m the head
Or; so I’ve always thought. Well!
But suddenly she became a pest
Always picking up fights; calling me a jerk!

But do I actually have a choice?
When was the last time I put food in the pot?
When was the last time I bought things for the boys?
When last did I take the girls out for lunch?
When last did I put money into her purse?

I think, oh! I’m sure she’s the head
No birthright at all for me to protect
A jobless man is bound to be useless
And she’s right! I’m very much a Jerk
And I don’t have a say for now
My voice comes when I’m back on track!
My voice

ILL JOURNEY

Tunde dropped the phone and quickly packed his baggages. He had just finished calling his mother to inform her that he’s written his final paper for the semester and that he is coming home immediately. At the bus stand, Tunde met other students going home in different destinations. He boarded a bus which filled up in no time and left the bus park. As the bus started on the journey the students started interacting and relishing their experiences in school when the driver suddenly changed direction due to a blockade ahead and announced that there will be an increase in the fare due to the change of route. At this the students began arguing with the driver and ordered him to stop the bus. Not long another bus full of angry students joined them and fuel the argument making it more tense. The students were not ready to pay any extra charges while the drivers were bent on collecting additional fares to make up for the change in direction. In the heat of the argument, the driver of the bus which Tunde boarded silently sneaked into his bus and drove off at top speed. He made away with the student’s load and this made his passenger disheartened. When Tunde got home, he narrated the story to his mother who consoled him but Tunde made it clear to her that his clothes, books and credentials were in the runaway bus and could create a problem for him.
For days, Tunde was in deep thought imagining different things that could arise as a result of the incidence. Two weeks after the incidence, Tunde’s mother suddenly called him to the sitting room. He ran into the sitting room wondering what made his mother call him with such alarm to meet his mother sitting before the TV set listening to the news. Then he heard the news and discovered the reason for the excitement in his mother’s tone. The driver was intecepted by the police and he confessed after serious probing and narrated the incidence between him and his student passenger on the day. A happy smile spread accross Tunde’s face, There is hope a least, he could still recover his luggages