All posts by Olajide Oluwafemi

A Locus Classicus for My Love

A tingling sensation you give me without stop,

as Goose bumps Gander pumps,
Retaining in me a never ending reflex action of joy,
Detaining in me your unapologetic passion that cannot rut.

How circumstances have dealt with me!
How without the courage to move on I’ve sometimes been!
And not even in man’s best smile did I find anything real!

But then you come!
To them like a thief in the night but not to me.
No. You come as the rightful owner of the house!
Oh I love the way you make love!
I love your romantic modus operandi!
You make it refreshing, and renewing!
You
expose me to your presence,
extricate me from my defense,
emancipate me from the watchful eyes of time’s expense.
It intoxicates,
invigorates,
and
installs in me a Blessed Assurance,
that no one can take away!
Haha!
Oh how terrible you’re in love!
So terrifying that nothing can separate or take me from your hand!
How audacious I am!
To call you darling!
The darling of heaven yet crucified!
Not for once will your majesty decline,
Not for once will your crush for me expire,
Not for once on me will you sleep nor slumber.
Hence,
Why would I struggle to dissolve in you, trust in you, and rest from my work?
Why would I stand opposing you with doubts you’ve saved me regardless?
Why would I relentlessly try to permeate your strong, impenetrable love with weak weapons of my weaknesses?
I do not.
No. Instead with all I’ve got I’ll celebrate your love! Yea!

The mention of your name erupts my nerves like wildfire,
Beautiful beyond words,
Embellishing my _top-of-the-mountain_ times,
And reviving my down-in-the-valley moments.

Call my name, my Beloved, enlarge my heart with expression.
Cuddle me, Prince of Peace, and saturate me with your aura.
Still me, Calm me, oh El-Gibbor, and rejoice over me with singing.
Touch me, pull me close, and set fire to my bones!
Oh baptise me! With living words that renders me speechless.
Play with me, oh King; dismiss the maid and men servants of your courts.
Chase me, my Love, and make me laugh till I am weak,
for days, even weeks.
Carry me on your shoulders, off the ground of my fears,
and take me off grid to where there are no more tears.
Look into my eyes,
that I may gaze into and feed on your countenance.
For behold,
I see, and our faces look alike.
I hear, and our hearts beats the same.
I speak, and our words rhyme.
For as you are, so am I;
and where you are, there I am.

This is so because your love for me is not for a moment,
It is for life. Abundant life. Unsieved life.
Thus I’m not Moment-thrilled,
but
Life-thrilled.

Jesus,
Because of you, By you, and With you,
I am, in the presence and Kingdom of the Father,
unsentimentally acceptable,
irreversibly bloodlined,
immeasurably loved.
Ha! Thank you!

Oh I wish my hands could pen down all that the eyes of my heart sees!
But in you there are no wishes,
Speculations are done away with,
For you’re all Revealing,
Navigating me till I get to the locus of your love,
With righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost,
Till there’s no more left,
No dream to chase,
No fear to reckon with,
No excitement to look forward to,
No enjoyment to savour,

for,
I am yours.
You are mine.
Forever.

This is a locus classicus of you,
My love.

© Oladapo Olutayo
July 2, 2017

TRUE PROSPERITY COMES FROM KNOWING WHO YOU ARE

This is a guest writer post

Whether you acknowledge it or not, everything you do in life is determined by your beliefs. The way you see life is predicated on the silent scripts that are running in your mind. For instance, if you are always thinking that life is tough, it is because that is the way life has been presented to you. Continue reading TRUE PROSPERITY COMES FROM KNOWING WHO YOU ARE

Politics as a tool for both destruction and re-building

Politicis is known as an activity associated or related with the running of government or an organization. Wikipedia defines it as the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Continue reading Politics as a tool for both destruction and re-building

Religion as a destructive tool in the society

This is a guest writer post. Insightful.

 

Religion is uniquely armored against anything that might stop it from spinning into extreme absurdity.

So what is it about religion that is so harmful? I could make a long case about its destructive elements of plenty institutions, education, medicine.
Why is religion special and troubling?
What makes it different from any other ideology system of morality, community. Continue reading Religion as a destructive tool in the society

Can you detach yourself from your past mistakes and move on?

A young man my age recounted his ordeal. “I made some terrible mistakes in the past that I wish I never made them. I look back in time and I hate myself for some of the mistakes. I cannot even let people know some of it.” He lamented. Continue reading Can you detach yourself from your past mistakes and move on?

Four cardinal ways to achieve one’s goal

A goal is a result or a set objective that one is attempting to achieve. It is something all of us have decided to set for ourselves to achieve. The goal of a football match is to win the match for the attainment of a trophy or a glory. To most of us, the goal we set is not the end in itself but a means to an end. Continue reading Four cardinal ways to achieve one’s goal

Four ingredients of a fulfilled life

The purposes of life are many but they can be summed up in a phrase; a fulfilled life.

No one should live this life without leaving a mark behind for posterity to benefit from, we should not live our life like a snake on the rock that leaves no mark behind. It just passes by and whoever passes the same route wouldn’t have known that a snake just plied the route. The same thing the way we must live our life. Continue reading Four ingredients of a fulfilled life

Indecision: a key element to a thwarted future

Indecision is the opposite of decision. And indecision is a decision. When one decided to be indecisive in making up his or her mind on a particular matter, it is a decision. It means the person has decided to be indecisive. There is no such thing as indecision in the real sense of it but for the sake of highlighting its danger, I’ve given it a life in order to strip it of the very life. Continue reading Indecision: a key element to a thwarted future

The culture of savings

Saving is something, usually money that is being set aside for a future purpose. The future is the time many people plan to retire and are already making plans not to be financially stranded then. And one of the ways known to many people to make plans for the future is saving. It is a tradition that we all need to adopt to avoid financial embarrassment. Continue reading The culture of savings

Vanity

Committed to mother earth

An unfathomable saga in people’s heart

No one knows what I’m driving at

Nothing seems irrelevant again including your choicest hat

It’s a precis of our sojourn here on earth

A chronicle of our short-lived life

It either leaves an imprint behind

Or a secret beside

It becomes a crossroad of automatic indecision

And a bye-pass of reflexive teleguide

To little details, pay attention

For your mistakes, make corrections

For your sins, adopt confession

To double standard, a quick separation

To our responsibility, appropriation

Nothing lasts longer

Nothing grows stronger

Boxers may grow bigger

Ritualists may grow richer

Junk eaters may grow fatter

And contempt and malice may further linger

Only God’s grace lasts longer and forever.

Crass indifference to people’s plight

Our wealth subjected to capital flight

Atrocious disposition to people’s heart-borne agitation

Enactment of unfavorable and diabolical laws to downplay the people’s psyche

Without a recourse, however swift, to posterity

Except their own prosperity.

But it’s an unknown and disguised invitation to uncoveted adversity.

A cankerworm of animosity has crept into the people’s heart

Wishing the author of their adversity an untold hardship

Their lives have been stripped of their sanctity

And this causes great annoyance

All the people need is an assurance

Not a fake insurance

But the display of supercilious affectation of superiority

And their condescending disposition as well as mania for fleeting wealth have blinded their foresight

And beclouded their sense of reasoning

A sheer advertisement of incurable monomania – of rapacity has left thousands dejected and despondent

A wave of insecurity is blowing every glimmer of hope away

Seated in the dark recesses of the heart of the privileged few is an unjustified, unjustifiable and unfounded animosity and rivalry with no opposition

They flex their muscles against imaginary opposition

They adopt the instrumentality of wealth

To deprive others of their peace and health

Oh! Alas! Overnight, away it went and melts

It melts and went away to the land of no return

It took a flight to the kingdom of permanence

A mask of shame

A guise of ignominy

A load of comeuppance

A truckload of Waterloo

A wave of untold nemesis

A pang of pain and migraine

Came upon them and took abode with them

Broke their hearts

Scaled over their walls of defense

Invaded their security apparatchik

Rendered their conspiracies useless

Voided inimical deliberations to mankind’s existence

A multiple fold of reaped consequences like these

Who can bear?

And why would they resort to suicidal thoughts?

And why would the thoughts be turned to practicals?

Committed to mother earth

And the people shouted for joy

And their kinsmen and cronies deserted them.

 

COMPROMISE

We may have had to, during the course of life, compromise.

Like the dwindling fortune of a mouse.

But we don’t further have to compound the vice

By more and seemingly undetected lies

But by resorting to deep-seated and repentant cries.

There are things we do that break our hearts

But definitely not the things we’re adept at.

But the unthinkable practices of the flesh

That are fashioned for self-gratification.

They appear to us devoid of imminent destruction

But the cause depression and repression.

Our flesh also makes its contribution

And our undiscernment also makes its donations.

Anytime we’re found compromising

That causes personal and emotional uprising,

What do we do to avoid further clanger?

Especially a vertical and divine anger

That causes an explosion like a Xmas banger.

Do we continue in it not minding the danger?

Or what practices do we present to a stranger

Who holds us in very high esteem

When we know ourselves that we’re redeemed?

Is compromising a minus or a plus?

Compromise can be projected in two ways.

For a noble cause and a negative purpose.

Compromise is a shift in one’s standard

The negative part is adopted by a bastard.

It’s negative when in one’s life it causes a retard

Like a tasteless and creamless salad.

On the marital pedestal, it’s incumbent on both parties.

The woman and man’s ego must be compromised.

It’s needed to make the marriage work.

At your workplace, you need not be bamboozled to compromise.

WISDOM

Wisdom, they say is the principal thing.

Wisdom, as advised must be acquired at the expense of life luxury.

Wisdom, as publicly touted, cannot be substituted.

Wisdom then must form the basis of mankind’s acquisition.

 

I have seen the same wisdom in scant supply.

I’ve heard of low interest in the acquisition of wisdom.

I’ve witnessed mankind pay lip-service to acquiring wisdom.

Reckless abandon has been the dictator of the pace.

 

Top on the list of man’s to-do list is money.

Money is believed to have the purchasing power for anything

And there’s been huge transaction to get wisdom

Truthfully, wisdom was acquired but not the one that addresses life’s situations.

 

Academic wisdom is one,

It’s one that makes you learned.

It ingratiates one into the caucus of scholars.

It helps with our lexicon to hobnob with foreigners

It also forms the basis to contribute, be it meaningfully or otherwise to subjects on a particular symposium.

But how applicable is such wisdom to addressing man’s various forms of problems and challenges?

 

Another type of wisdom is wisdom by proxy

It’s one that’s transferable, related by other people’s life experiences

It imbues one with fresh motivation to strive on

It provides a limited scope of broad subjects for discussion and dissection.

It’s a microscopic appendage of a comprehensive subject.

 

Sagacity can be a sagacious man’s albatross.

It becomes an albatross when he takes so much solace in his wisdom.

It becomes and graduates into an affront when he relaxes so much in his own wisdom.

That’s when he relates his achievements and successes to his self-acquired sagacity.

Wisdom in his life becomes misappropriated when he misapplies it.

 

Another brand of wisdom is intellectualism.

An intellect believes no man’s problems is beyond empirical improvisation for solution.

He buries his wisdom in any available intellectual property to get solutions.

He’s not concerned about the one that comes from above

And he tries to feign superiority over academicians

He argues there’s a gap between an intellect and an academician

To him, an academician is restricted to his field of specialization

While an intellect has a little knowledge in all subjects of life

As against an academician who has all knowledge in just one subject.

 

Another brand of wisdom is one coined from our experiences

Exposures can come in varying degrees.

It comes raw and it appears embellished

It’s nice, expository, informing in one aspect.

The other can be brutish, nasty, discouraging and eliminates all glitters of hope.

But the two are interdependent in their applications to subsequent life happenstances.

It usefulness comes to bear when a recurring situation surfaces.

 

Wisdom, they say is the principal thing.

Unfortunately, no one has been able to provide a substitute.

An enforce substitute is when man resorts to his own exclusive knowledge

And his exclusive knowledge metamorphoses into foolishness

And foolishness is the bane of development in many African countries

The total or near non-existence of infrastructures in many African countries is a by-product of foolishness

A wise man bubbling with wisdom invariably seeks development

In one word, wisdom has no substitute.

 

An academic wisdom is welcomed

Wisdom by proxy is accommodated

Intellectualism has no problem accepting it

Wisdom that comes by exposure and experience is appreciated

Everything congealed is still limited

If it’s not limited, why do we still grapple with challenges?

Why do we still deal in imperfection?

Why do we still not find solution to economic recession?

Why do we still embroil in an unending war against terrorism?

Why is everyone not influential and opulent?

Why are Professors not the richest in the world if truly our prosperity is a direct function of our academic excellence and certificate acquisition?

Why are economists not able to balance our economy?

Why are accountants not able to provide a fiscal report on a balanced scale?

Why are drop-outs the ones getting things done?

Then, what is the usefulness of this so-called wisdom?

 

 

 

 

 

Confrontation

Confrontation is not equal to expression. In fact, it can cripple one’s expression if it’s not properly channeled and especially when we are not fully prepared for retaliation or the facts we have at hand are baseless. Being too verbose and garrulous can make the object of our confrontation ambiguous and therefore make it lose its main thrust. Lack of full confidence despite having our full facts and other factors in place can mar a successful confrontation.

As much as the purpose of our confrontation belies the seeming harshness and hostility it seems to present, it is not to be directed at causing chaos or breach of internal relationship between family members, friends, workers and boss-employees relationship. It must not be engineered towards causing an imbroglio of even the slightest magnitude.

The peculiarity and sensitivity of each confrontation is dependent upon the context of both the aggrieved and the ‘aggrievee’. The way you confront your boss when something goes amiss and he or she seems to be feigning crass ignorance or wants to lord it over or feels he or she can’t be looked up in the face is different from the way you confront your friend.

As much as the object thereof maintains its nobility of purpose and credibility of unambiguity, it must not have an indelible footprint of emotional hangover let alone an infinitesimal trace of bitterness that can fan the ember of disunity among an organization or in a family setting. The tactics to deploy so as not to offend each other depends on an individual.

The aftermath of a confrontation must be at our purview and foresight. The mismanagement of it can plunge one’s cordial relationship painstakingly incubated over a precious and long period of time into an abyss of irreparableness, the consequences of which may be a tag of regret for a very long time.

Let us dissect four ways by which we can stage a confrontation.

  1. Verbal confrontation. This is the use of words to right a palpable wrong implicit in an operation or way of life that we are not favorably disposed to. Verbal confrontation avails one the opportunity to get an instant feedback. It is a method most people who are as bold as a lion like to use.

  2. Action-packed confrontation. Some of us are not confident to confront others face-to-face whether due to an undue fear or owing to a weak tendency to be bamboozled into capitulation by a well-prepared recipient to an extent that we lose sight of the trajectory while the person continues the alleged misdemeanor. So instead of talking, a suitable and appropriate action is deployed, well-conceived that one notices it easily. It may tend towards stopping doing some things as against the normal routine of having to do that thing and vice versa. This is in lieu of verbal confrontation, not the best method though.

  3. Confrontation by proxy. This is the use of a delegate to confront an individual when the person seems to be irrationally recalcitrant and irrefutably condescending particularly when the person is an high-powered individual. There’s possibility he or she will not listen to your rhetoric, so you choose to send the people whom you know he revers so highly and cannot but listen to them in order to foster a continued relationship. We shouldn’t forget the main reason for confronting others; to right the wrongs inherent while the relationship stands strong.

  4. Electronics. I’m culpable of being hoodwinked by the slightest excuse that I lose sight of my purpose. What I do is to adopt the instrumentality of text messages where I will be unequivocal and unprevaricative without being strident thereby not hurting the person but nailing at precision simultaneously. And thanks to the advent of many social networks that you can use to get across to the person in question. Your message sent and delivered. You focus on the thrust of your message without losing focus of your relationship with the person.

Having given an outline on the different machineries of a successful confrontation, let us examine the ways to confront the people that surround us, using the above mechanisms bearing in mind their peculiarity and sensitivity.

Our bosses

How do we confront our bosses? How do we talk to them as their employees? They must know we are not being arrogant and disrespectful. There are 75% bosses who have the traits of an obvious supercilious affectation of superiority that they seem unapproachable. 15% are approachable and revere human dignity so high while 10% dangle between being a serpent and a dove. Whichever category your boss falls, we must know which of the above mechanisms to use. The unapproachable ones can be made to become broken and repentant by e-mailing them devoid of crudity but with an undertone of total humility and subservience to his or her authority. We can also use proxy confrontation to tackle them. If it were an organization where his or her action adversely affects everybody, proxy confrontation will be appropriate. Study your boss and know which one to use. The approachable ones may be confronted verbally while those ones who dangle can also be verbally confronted if and when he or she seems to be in a good mood.

Our parents

We confront our parents in such a way as not to lose the pocket money accruing into our account while we are still answerable to them. Having lived with them for so long a time, we know how and when to talk with them with total humility possessive of one who is unworthy to correct them. The influence of parents-children relationship can be used to let our parents know where they have erred and to know the corrective measures to adopt. I agree with the fact that some of us lived apart from our parents right from time, so we might not know what they are doing wrong. But if we begin to cultivate an intimate relationship with them, forgetting what might have transpired between you in the past that caused the separation, we will know how to intervene in their lives. It’s right about time to give back to them whether they have given to you or not. The Scriptures teaches forgiveness and returning good for evil. There are some parents who are mean, harsh and are disconnected from their children, though under the same roof, and cannot be approached. Some are so concerned about making money that they forget about their children, proxy confrontation will do. Note one thing that it takes a sane and right-minded fellow to see where others have erred bearing it in mind that we also default at times. The same way we would like others to heed our corrective moves; we also must be malleable and receptive to others’ move of correction. Don’t think you can correct someone else if you cannot be corrected and are found culpable of the same inadequacy.

Our spouses

The most sensitive relationship one will ever cultivate is the one we cultivate with our partner via marriage. This person is from a different background totally. His or her ideals and philosophy about life in general will be different from the ones you hold dear to your heart. What you discountenance, the person considers and vice versa. You sleep early in the night, she sleeps late. People tell you that you don’t snore (because you cannot know by yourself) but you found out that this person whom you are going to live with for the rest of your life (for better for worse) snores. Oh my God! You exclaimed the first time you noticed. This person is allergic to anger and rage and not short of being recalcitrant. You don’t know yourself whether you are choleric, sanguine, melancholic and the rest (though these don’t really define who you are, personal opinion). She doesn’t worry about a thing and gives no damn about anything and this gives you concern as a man. The different things that define your divergent backgrounds are inexhaustible and for you to live happily ever after there must be a reconciliation and compromise point where you fuse things together. This is when you start correcting each other using the appropriate mechanism of confrontation highlighted earlier. There’s no way you wouldn’t step on each other’s toes but how you handle the pains the toes suffer will define your co-existence. By the time you step on each other’s toes many times, you will learn how to place your steps so as not to step on the toes and how the owner of the toes will place the toes to avoid being trampled upon. It means you now understand each other better to know how to adjust for the good of both of you and you are ready for compromise.

Our employees

If it were possible to run your business all alone, you would have done so I suppose. But unfortunately, you can’t run it alone, hence the reason for you to employ labor. And you will have it at the back of your mind that the operations of the employees are not ‘Eldorado’. They can only get better in the course of honing their skills everyday. They are prone and can be predisposed to human errors by our imperfection. In the face of a grave mistake from anyone of them, how do you confront him or her so that

  • He or she will not feel repudiated and humiliated?

  • He or she will not feel to be the worse among his or her colleagues and losing his or her sense of worth?

  • He or she will clearly see where the error had occurred with a view to rectifying it with a promise not to repeat the same mistake in the future?

  • And so that you will not be dispossessed of the goodwill and dignity you have been enjoying as a boss?

  • And ultimately that the growth of your business will not be impeded?

If you don’t take the first three into consideration, kindly consider the last two. But you can’t take the last two leaving out the first three because of their interdependence. The growth and the exponential development of any business is dependent or pivoted on the workforce. Whether your business will grow or not is a function of your relationship with your staff. If the bad ones are not reciprocating your good gestures, they can be retrenched so as to avoid a contagious syndrome.

Our friends and colleagues

I nearly inadvertently ended a relationship with a friend of mine due to an enraged fury sometimes back. He is my closest friend. We had planned to attend a seminar which would be of great benefit to us both in that it will open us to an endless world of possibilities. I had gotten to his house on the appointed day and I met him unprepared. I was furious. He said he was no longer interested. On hearing that statement I started uttering all kinds of foul languages and hurling them at him. I left his house and headed in another direction instead of towards the seminar venue. But something happened to me along the road, I felt uneasy. A pang of regret engulfed my heart. I’d said what I shouldn’t. I began to palpitate and perspire so profusely. I felt I needed to apologize to him immediately. In fact, I detested myself to have claimed being a child of God and uttering repudiating remarks against a fellow human being. Then I went to a phone booth and put a call through to him. I started apologizing to him and at the same time made him realize that he predisposed me to such an extreme rage. (Though it’s not an excuse). He accepted my apology and he also apologized to have disappointed me and till today, our friendship is still as solid as the rock. We are both inextricable and not mutually exclusive. We are all imbued with a pride of not caving in to our colleagues’ advice because we think he or she cannot know better than we do. But it’s a lie. The confrontation is to make you a better person and not to make you feel less than you are worth. Your colleagues reprimand you because they love you.

(f). Our siblings. Our siblings are another category and component part of our lives that need to be confronted constructively, correctively and out of love. Compassion doesn’t really exist here. I had to call my younger brother’s attention to a misdemeanor he was gradually involving himself in. He’d stopped it before but all of a sudden he reverted to it. Somebody reported him to me but he became enraged when I confronted him with a seemingly impeccable fact. He was actually angry at the person for reporting him. Another report came in to me and I couldn’t contain it this time around. I confronted him through a text message despite the fact that we live together. The content of the message pierced into the very core of his heart like a dagger that he couldn’t sleep. I threatened to indict him for failure of compliance with my warning. He was so troubled in his spirit that he replied me expressing his dismay. When we got together, ( I’d actually called him back immediately I saw his message to iron things out bordering on what actually made me send the message but he tactically didn’t admit it in his message). I still told him the same thing. I was elated that the message touched his heart and he became penitent. We disagreed but I prevailed and our relationship as biological brothers became more cemented and communicative.

An unjustifiable fracas is bound to play out but the person will definitely peruse it over and time again and he or she will heed correction. Remember one thing; confrontation is corrective in nature.

The most dreadful rock

I had just taken my delicious  delicacy so dear to my heart on this evening with a feeling of contentment when the going was hard, rough, tough and hopeless. It was actually soaked garri. I was not used to garnishing it with milk but on this day, I added milk. I was waiting for the fall of the night to go to sleep with a high expectation for the next day.

There are different sources of inspiration known to man. Many people are inspired by a lot of things. Some draw theirs from their environment, some from the happenings around them. Some people get inspired by what happens in their private lives and others draw theirs from their spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends etc. Whatever the source of inspiration for an individual, it had worked for them. The greatest source of inspiration for mankind is God Almighty. That is what you come across when you flip open a story book or any book that teaches other subjects.

At about 12:15am, I ate eba and efo riro rich in content and context and a perfect match for my hollow belly. No sooner had I finished eating that I lied down on my carton that had been shaped into a bed form to sleep than a strange thought popped up in my head. The content of the thought was that there are many rocks in Nigeria that serve different functions and purposes and their peculiarity cannot be undermined. All of those rocks are fixed in a stationary position but their influence and fame are ubiquitous. The eba and efo riro inspired me here.

If you have been to Abeokuta before, you will probably know Olumo Rock of ancient pedigree and history. The rock served as a refuge for many displaced persons during the war-torn era in the annals of that ancient city. The rock is some 137 metres above the sea level and it takes some several minutes before one can get to its summit. It has an imposing height that overlooks the length and breadth of Abeokuta with rusty and brownish appearance of many roofing sheets of many family houses and compounds begging unrelentingly for renovation or probably total demolition to give way to new houses. Living right in the crevices of this ancient artifact are some craggy-looking and fragile old men and women who dish out unending tales about the rock and Abeokuta city to visiting tourists with curious and inquisitive minds. To ease ascension to the top of the rock, elevators had been provided with other beautification. There’s now a restaurant that quenches tourists’ hunger.  A waterfall is located near the entrance and parking space. The whole environment provides serenity and tranquility to make everybody feel at home. It serves as a revenue generation channel to the government of the State and tourism for Nigerians and foreigners.

Another rock is the Zuma rock. But the Olumo rock is not the dreadful rock that scares people away, not even the people with phobia for height. The Zuma rock is at Suleja in Niger State, close to the capital city, Abuja. People say that it has the face of a human being carved into it by nature. People that are seeing that for the first time will probably be scared to their pants because of that carved human face. Speculations have it that water gushes out of the mouth both in rainy and dry season. I don’t know how true it is. The last time I was in Minna, I tried to visit the rock but I couldn’t. This rock is neither the dreadful rock despite these many strange features.

The next rock is incontrovertibly and irrefutably the dreaded and dreadful rock that agitates many people. It ensnares the psychology of the whole populace due to what emanates from inside the rock. The sword of Damocles invented from inside the commodious and exquisitely furnished and expensively decorated rock has contrived to dangle on Nigerians since 1992. The fate of over 170 million Nigerians are deliberated upon and debated in it with no comprehensive and an all-encompassing survey of the needs and grievances of the populace. The microscopic and supercilious affectation of condescending disposition of the few and their rapacity had rendered us incommunicado and incoherent because no one is listening from their.

The commonwealth of the masses are shared and conveyed in Ghana-must-go bags to the disaffection of the impoverished many. And why wouldn’t Ghanaians go? They will go and are already going because the basic amenities of human comfort are springing up here and there. Infrastructural development are fast appearing. The incessant bloodletting on the rampage in the country, not necessarily by brandishing physical weapons and descending them on human lives but the massacre, maiming, annihilation, killing, murder and obliteration predetermined and premeditated by a single stroke of the pen to add more zeros to the existing figures on the broadsheet within 56 years are more than the bloodletting ever committed by all the countries in the world over during wars and other periods. The rock is none other than Aso Rock where the seat of Nigeria’s power is. This is the most dreadful and dreaded rock.

But thank goodness, there’s a higher rock that we can run to for permanent refuge. The rock is the Rock of Ages. Run to it now Nigerians.

Our democracy and lack of continuity in governance

One of the major problems bedeviling Nigeria and which is inimical to her growth is the lack of continuity in governance. It has been an integral bane of our development as a country. The successive government we have had had taken hold of the mantle of governance with its own policy to be implemented thereby rubbishing the achievement of its predecessors. Why should a government not consolidate on the progress and strides recorded by the preceding government? The answer is that the leaders always come on board with conceited mindsets and a vengeful heart albeit competitive and rivalry-oriented ostensibly to outshine the preceding leaders in performance on the scoreboard.

If there had been continuity while personal grudges had been put aside, our dear country would have gone beyond her present state. If there’d been a policy in place yet to be implemented or it’s been implemented but with some seeming inevitable lapses and inadequacies, what could have been done by the succeeding leaders is to creatively and ingeniously rectify and make it fit into their own policies that will liberate the suffering of the masses. It shouldn’t be rejected in totality. No matter how bad such program might be, there will still be some elements of favorable ones. What should be considered is the reason and the economic situation during which such programs were drafted. If the programs were drafted as at the time they were drafted, the eyes of the new government should be wide open enough to see that it’s subject to correction, withdrawal, consolidation, reversion, explanation and other factors of changes except of course such was made for self-aggrandizement and pleasure.

One great discovery I made is that personal grievance has been responsible for this. Even if the plan the past government had was lofty and the succeeding ones saw its credibility, they refused to implement it owing to personal grievances. The policy was not implemented due to the constraint of time and the lapse of tenure or it was not yet time for it. But what did the successive ones do? They rather stripped it of its credibility and loftiness and gave a false report either during a media chat or stakeholders meeting. I always wish a representative from one of such government will be present at such forum to dispute such claim. That is only if there was anyone at all and he/she is ready to defend its nobility and potential. But our environment is such a funny one where the voice of the minority and the powerless is inaudible to effect any change let alone enjoy some public belief in what it voices out.

Some white papers were not even found in the archives at all when a new government comes in. Many things are responsible for it, too crude to believe. One, when the last leader of whatever portfolio was moving out of the government house albeit ingloriously, unceremoniously or ignominiously because of his sudden and unexpected ouster at the polls, he will order his aides to pack the white papers along so that the new one will not take the glory if it’s eventually implemented. It still borders on political grudges but this time around, against the people. Owing to the kind of environment we all hailed from, such glory will not be attributed to the government that drafted it. Personal gratification and glory overriding good governance.

Another case is that some persons were asked to do the packing without specific directives. (In the case of the Federal legislators, I think the NYSC members were engaged to do the packing. Since they have no knowledge about the “officiality” of some documents including those that studied Political Science in the university, they just adhered to the “unspecificity” of the directives). The politicians never expected they will be rejected so soon at the polls, so the relocation of their belongings became subject to unpreparedness.

Another crude factor for the lack of continuity in governance is when the succeeding political office holder doesn’t want to see the footprint of his predecessor. He will start erasing his predecessor’s footprint by first removing his portraits from the wall. How does that disturb his discharge of duty? Maybe it stares at him too much. He will then evacuate everything that bears his signature and writings. He also changed the outlook of the office and a new set of furniture was ordered. Such money could have gone into paying for some students’ school fees. He also stylishly evacuates his fine plans unknowingly.

Some people might say the leaders who owe allegiance to the same political leanings are bound to abide with the tradition of continuity. It is not true. Due to the fracas that ensues during such party’s primaries and a consensus candidate emerged to the chagrin of others who equally have the right to contest, discontinuity will play out if eventually the ones that stepped down under duress get to the government house. The pain he bears will still be brought to the fore. If this can happen within the same political party, how much more when it involves other parties? The only thing that guarantees continuity is when everybody is burdened with the task of delivering dividends of life to others irrespective of personal clashes and individual’s divergent philosophies.

The only place where I’ve seen continuity in governance in effect is Lagos State which has taken her pride of place among the States of the Federation. That is why it has become the reference point to other States including the FCT. If the same gesture can be replicated in the rest of the States,  our development will be so rapid. Many unfinished projects litter the length and breadth of the nation because of this problem. All the sectors of the economy are direct victims of lack of continuity. The only thing that cannot and must not be continued let alone be implemented are policies that will take a heavy toll on the citizenry.

Movies, family values and the society

A movie is the product of a creative work of art brought out of a deep thought based on the reality of the environment and the society at large. Its underlying motive and intention is to create another channel of relaxation in the various entertainment media with a view to enhancing cultural integration and values.

A quality movie is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted in function. It educates, motivates, inspires, entertains, analyzes and provides a chain of connection between the viewers/audience and the society. Since the society is the amalgamation of different cultures, values and traditions attributable to different set of people, then the films being produced must be devoid of ethnic coloration and discrimination. It must provide a melting point where the different beliefs, opinions and perspectives  of people will be melted to give room to a whole entity of national unity irrespective of our tribal divides. Such a thing is needed in our country Nigeria where ethnicity and tribalism thrive.

The film industry in Nigeria particularly had gone through many stages of evolving and reformation. It had gone beyond the use of crude instruments to the adoption of sophisticated technology in production but we are still not at it. The main thrust why we produce movies is still not achieved. Many families converge in their various homes in the evening after the hustle and bustle for survival that had gulped a larger chunk of the day to relax and cool their heels. They opt always for movies most of which last for two hours or less. The values the family is trying to protect and integrate further must not be derided. Nothing must also override it. But we see a situation whereby the kids or toddlers in various homes begin to imbibe the wrong things. These children have magnetic brains that attract anything at the disposal of their reach and beck and call.

The injection and introduction of foreign culture and traditions into our movies had done more harm than good to us. And this is where the issue of moderation and probity was not put in the right perspective. There must be an extent to which we can go and a guiding principle that will regulate the message the movies carry. This is the point where the functions of the various regulatory bodies we have in the film industry lie fallow. The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the other bodies bodies must rise to the occasion for which they were set up. Besides fighting piracy, there are other burning issues that are begging for urgent attention. Chief among them is what the various movies are teaching the society.

We all are claiming to be championing the cause of sanitizing and advancing the movie industry. The production of many sub-standard movies within a week is not a tool for sanitizing the system. The overriding ambition to become the number one country in the world that produces movies is neither an instrument of advancing the industry. When we begin to have a blend of culture with modernization for the purpose of exposing the richness of what makes us Nigerians, it becomes the right step in the right direction.

The problem began when many actors and actresses took a flight to the comfort of home videos at the expense of stage plays or theater. There’s a distinction between stage plays and home videos. But it’s unfortunate that home videos are more rampant and mostly in vogue now compared to theater.

I appreciate the depth of research that goes into operation before staging any play. It reminds the audience the what, why and how of the play. The directing sagacity of the producer or director makes it to be rich in content and context. It actually does not require A-list actors and actresses to be paraded. It only needs the person that can re-enact the features of the original character on the stage. One thing such play teaches which the audience appreciates is what it teaches and the projection of our culture in a modern light.

Self-esteem

Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent,” “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. Smith and Mackie defined it by saying “The self-concept is what we think about the self. Self-esteem is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it. Self-esteem is also known as the evaluative dimension of the self that includes feelings of worthiness, pride and discouragement. One’s self-esteem is also closely associated with self-consciousness.

Self-esteem is a disposition that a person has which represents their judgments of their own worthiness. In the mid-1960s, Morris Rosenberg and social-learning theorists defined self-esteem as a personal worth or worthiness. Nathaniel Branden in 1969 defined self-esteem as “the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.” According to Branden, self-esteem is the sum of self-confidence (a feeling of personal capacity) and self-respect (a feeling of personal worth). It exists as a consequence of the implicit judgment that every person has of their ability to face life’s challenges, to understand and solve problems, and their right to achieve happiness, and be given respect.

Experiences in a person’s life are a major source of self-esteem development. The positive or negative life experiences one has, creates attitudes toward the self which can be favorable and develop positive feelings of self-worth, or can be unfavorable and develop negative feelings of self-worth. In the early years of a child’s life, parents are the most significant influence on self-esteem and the main source of positive and/or negative experiences a child will have. The emphasis of unconditional love, in parenting how-to books, represents the importance of a child developing a stable sense of being cared for and respected. These feelings translate into later effects of self-esteem as the child grows older.

During the school years, academic achievement is a significant contributor to self-esteem development. A student consistently achieving success or consistently failing strongly affects their individual self-esteem. Social experiences are another important contributor. As children go through school they begin to understand and recognize differences between themselves and their classmates. Using social comparisons, children assess whether they did better or worse than classmates in different activities. These comparisons play an important role in shaping the child’s self-esteem and influence the positive or negative feelings they have about themselves. As children go through adolescence, peer influence becomes much more important, as adolescents make appraisals of themselves based on their relationships with close friends. Successful relationships among friends are very important to the development of high self-esteem for children. Social acceptance brings about confidence and produces high self-esteem, whereas rejection from peers and loneliness brings about self-doubts and produces low self-esteem.

Parenting style can also play a crucial role in self-esteem development. Students in elementary school who have high self-esteem tend to have parents who are caring, supportive adults who set clear standards for their children and allow them to voice their opinion in decision making. Although studies thus far have reported only a correlation of warm, supportive parenting styles and children having high self-esteem. It could easily be thought of as having some causal effect in self-esteem development.

Childhood experiences that contribute to healthy self-esteem include being listened to, being spoken to respectfully, receiving appropriate attention and affection and having accomplishments recognized and mistakes or failures acknowledged and accepted. Experiences that contribute to low self-esteem include being harshly criticized, being physically, sexually or emotionally abused, being ignored, ridiculed or teased or being expected to be “perfect” all the time.

Having a high self-esteem is distinguishing yourself from the common. But it shouldn’t be rated higher than you ought to so that it wouldn’t become a malaise. Your self-esteem makes you abhor what is bad and it will always lead you away from doing something that might degrade your reputation. It is standing your ground not to engage in what others are doing. It might be pleasurable and pleasant though, but you know deep down within you that the end thereof is devastating. You might look foolish before others and you may be seen as an outcast due to your resolutions, but your reasons lie within you. Only God understands.

WHAT IS SELF-ESTEEM?

The term self-esteem comes from a Greek word meaning “reverence for self.” The “self” part of self-esteem pertains to the values, beliefs and attitudes that we hold about ourselves. The “esteem” part of self-esteem describes the value and worth that one gives oneself. Simplistically self-esteem is the acceptance of ourselves for who and what we are at any given time in our lives.

ASSESS YOUR OWN SELF-ESTEEM

Answer each question true or false

I have trouble accepting myself as I am.

I desperately want to change the way I look.

I think more about my failures than my successes.

I worry a lot that people would not like me if they really knew me.

I feel that everyone is much more competent and confident than me.

I almost always avoid taking on new challenges.

I am uncomfortable around successful people.

I avoid making mistakes at all costs.

I worry a lot that I am ineffective and incompetent.

I feel worthless.

If you are honest with yourself with the above questions in accepting that you are always feeling less than you are worth, you are on the right path to make a drastic change. It starts first of all from your thinking pattern. Your thoughts must as a matter of necessity change from dwelling on inferiority which attracts low self-esteem to dwelling on the sterling qualities about you even when the obvious says otherwise.

It gives us many posers that we only can answer. “How do I feel about myself?” What do others feel about me? “Is what others feel about me enough to dictate the pace for me?” What others feel about you is always perceived from a microscopic view based on their immediate deduction without taking your invisible features into consideration. So when they let you in into their conclusion about you, you may feel depressed by the weight of the conclusion. But you need to ask yourself whether what they feel about you is true. That two people make the same remark about you is not necessarily true as it’s believed in some quarters. The trajectory of their comment is ostensibly to make you feel less than you are worth. That is why no matter how brilliant and exceptional you are at work; your boss will never commend you. If he has to, it will be behind you. He rather scolds you in front of others and commends you behind them. You feel you are not putting in your best. If you feel you are doing your best, don’t rest on your oars, put in more. Your high self-esteem must remain intact.

PRACTICAL STEPS

*Don’t be complacent. Complacency is feeling comfortable with the status quo. It’s a feeling of contentment and satisfaction especially associated with unawareness and danger. Complacency invariably leads to stagnancy in life stemming out of being too comfortable with where you, who you are without a basic challenge for improvement. This means if you are a victim of low self-esteem, you must not be complacent about it. Aside the external influence that originates low self-esteem, though avoidable, we are also an architect of low self-esteem by allowing those external influences to get at us. A realization of this cause is a good step forward. Don’t let complacency set in. Turn around the ‘misfortune’ into the wealth of high self-esteem. When the way you see yourself forms the basis of your approach to the things of life, handling them will appear less tedious and assuage unnecessary hard work.

* Uphold the tenets of morality. But don’t be a bigot. You are not totally a perfect person because there’s no such thing as a perfect person. Moral values must form the basis of our lives. Draw the line between morality and culture. Let morality be so sacrosanct to you that no monetary equivalence will measure up to it. The force and the pull of peer pressure and the globalization of the subject in question is so strong and irresistible and has pulled many people down because of weak resolve and resistance to it. But we can rise up again and give a challenge by sponsoring a crusade against it. The issue of the legalization of gay-marriage in the world has incited the American government to start issuing sanctions to nations enacting laws against it. This is an immorality and aberration of the highest order. Since we found ourselves in a world where aberration seems to be the order of the day, what do we do so that we won’t be plunged into its depth? We must let the tenets and etiquettes of morality be our guiding mirror everyday.

* Be a person of your word. That is what we call fidelity. Be known by what you say because that is what you will be judged by. If you say something and you staunchly stand on it but you are found doing the opposite, you are putting your integrity to question. When it becomes incessant, it is turning into an habit and habit metamorphoses into a character. And you know character is 99% of who you are. When you make a promise, fulfill it. If you cannot fulfill a promise, don’t make it at all in the first place. There is a formula for this; under-promise and over-deliver. When you need two weeks to get something done for somebody, communicate to the person you will need one month to get the job done and the person will fix his or her mind to one month. Eventually under three weeks, you deliver the job to the person. He or she will be so impressed and happy that you get recommended to other people and you are growing by the day, a growing network of connection. That is under-promising and over-delivering, not the other way round when you over-promise and under-deliver. You know the implication of that, your self-esteem suffering a decline and a hit and it is affecting business.

* Exemplify good leadership. Bring out the inborn traits of leadership quality in you and tread softly. Don’t be puffed up with it. Bring it out among your siblings, among your friends and at your place of work. It is not necessarily until you are pronounced as a leader before you start exhibiting it or until you become the oldest in a place. Have you noticed that the people at the places of authority are not the oldest? But they are there by virtue of their leadership qualities. Whether they put it to good use is not a topic here.

* Pride is not in the game. Pride goes before perdition is the popular maxim. It hurts and rubbishes your self-esteem irreparably. There is a difference between self-esteem and pride. Self-esteem gives you the knowledge of right and wrong while pride gives destruction.