FOR EVERY WOMAN

THIS IS TO CELEBRATE MY WIFE, EVERY WOMAN TODAY, AND SAY A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YEJIDE OSIBERU, THE BRAIN BEHIND ‘WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE’.

Today is International Women’s Day; the day of our mamas, sisis and omoges – all different appellations for the womenfolk in my country. The day to hug our Eves and acknowledge their awesomeness.

I like women, I indeed love them and I celebrate them today, just like I always do. Without women, we will not be here. Of what use is Adam’s emission without the egg Eve sheds? It is the woman whose egg accepts his ‘liquid’ and provides the fertile ground on which the seed germinates to yield the nine-month fruit.  Little wonder the tag ‘womb-man’ was coined for them. They are the ones who keep life going.

I am not really a music person but Sola Allyson’s ‘Obinrin ni mi which translates as ‘I am a Woman’ resonates and is perfect for a day like this.

Now, this is not actually about paying lip service to the whole stuff. It’s time to actually change a lot of things pertaining to our Eves. Every woman is a girl and deserves to be treated as such. Every girl is a woman and should be treated just that way. We should show them more respect.

Lagbaja, the masked one, asked rhetorically in one of his songs “who is man without woman?” and answered, “Nothing, nothing at all.” Already, there is talk of the womenfolk breaking out of the cocoon and refusing to be tagged ‘weaker vessels.’

Can we as men begin to make conscious efforts to be better to this gender that though looks fragile, is nothing of such? Can we stop any form of humiliation and discrimination based on their anatomy and physiology? Can we again take the stand to treat them as fellow humans who are not in any way different? We can, we should!!!

Omo Baba mukomuko added in Who Man? “You cannot do without her, yet you disrespect her. The day she gets her due, mankind would discover justice long elusive.”

Women have a special place in humanity. Tend them like a garden that is dear to the heart, rid them of pains like you remove weeds and thorns. Let her blossom; don’t hold her back! Let her thrive, have her back! Let her bloom, take away her gloom!

Remember, Lagbaja said : “She bears with dignity, the stress of pregnancy. How dare you complain, it’s a daughter not a son? Would you have existed, were your mother never born? If you call yourself the stronger sex, let me see your hands in the air. Maybe you could bear the baby. What a sight it would be, to see man in labour.”

He then asked, “How would life be, a world without woman?” before answering “Empty as a ghost town…eerie as a graveyard.” I think the masked one has answered it all.

On a concluding note, I’ll still quote my favourite musician, Lagbaja, the masked one. He said, “Mankind shall never find justice, until first, we ensure justice between the sexes. For as the so-called stronger nations oppress the weaker nations, the stronger sex oppresses the weaker sex. May it not come to pass that someday, the extra-terrestrial cometh to oppress mankind.”

One point I will not fail to scratch however, is that women also have to quit being their own enemies. Women should help women thrive and climb to the peak. Humanity binds us all together. The genders should quit bickering. WE ALL ARE ONE! And so to my mother, my mothers, my wife, my friends and every woman in my life and the whole world, HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. This post is for you!

MUSINGS: PHOTOGRAPHY, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ME

Today’s post is dedicated to my friend who is as amazing and troublesome as they come. Happy birthday Tabitha Olafare. The good Lord preserve you to keep celebrating happy moments.

WHEN earlier this year I posted on one of my social media accounts that one of my 2021 resolutions is to take more pictures, I myself laughed. I was not alone in the laughter, my wife laughed along, and she laughed at, not with me. Some of my other friends also smiled or laughed.

How would I blame any of them for their reactions? I am notorious for being camera-shy or intentionally ‘spoiling’ pictures that would have otherwise turned out great. My penchant for this naughtiness has earned me different jibes from my friends and crew, but do I care?

The last time I surrendered myself to any form of ‘photographic scrutiny’ must have been some days before my 2019 birthday when Bukky dragged me to The Botanical Garden inside the famed University of Ibadan. There my amiable friend and brother of ApplePlus Photography, Akinrinlola Adeola Steven, did the honours. It was a wonderful collection of pictures that got me loving how I looked then.

“Villager” by ApplePlus Photography, circa 2019

Most of my activities that required the used of my photographic images in 2019 and 2020 had me calling on ‘the most anointed ones’ of the lot who lived up to the hype. By the way, ApplePlus Photography has been my person for more than half a decade now. We hit it off quite easily and I am grateful to The Almighty for the gift of a wonderful person like Mr. Adeola, an Akure Prince.

ApplePlus was at my wedding ceremony alongside Labi Pictures. Labi was our main guy because I wanted Mr. Adeola to do other things for me (Shalaye FC) but I ended up having to make him use his camera, and it was totally worth it. Because women wheedle their way into our hearts (story for another day), Bukky had Dear Boss Labi’s photo services for her pre-Church shots.

“Bukky” by Labi Pictures

With that, I made a multitasking don out of Mr. ApplePlus who was driver, logistics man, supporter and of course the groom’s photographer, all at once. This man clicked the shutter and delivered top notch pictures notwithstanding my other ‘unofficial’ roles for him.

Subsequently, ApplePlus more or less became our official family photographer as he covered our children’s christening ceremonies, our birthday shoots, random pictures and indeed freestyles because of proximity to our locale.

Fast forward and I have the pleasure of introducing a person whose work behind the shutter is equally as amazing. Magnus Ogunseyin was one of my buddies back in Wesley College of Science in Ibadan, Nigeria.

“Oloye” by Magmahut Photography

Interestingly, we lost contact immediately we graduated but found one another through another of our classmates and as expected, talk went in the direction of what we do. It is how I got to know about Magmahut Photography.

If you see any of my pictures these days, be most assured that it was done by one of these three wonderful gentlemen, each of whom is good at what he does. Should you decide to try them out, I am sure you will have quality at the very best – human relations, work quality, and pricing.

My experience working with these people has only strengthened my resolve to take more pictures and chronicle more of my memories. Hopefully you’ll see some more of my pictures as we expect next week to come quickly.

MUSINGS: ICE CREAM PALAVER

“Don’t you want to go to Church today?”

“My Daddy, it is ice cream I want.”

That was the first conversation between my son and I last Sunday. Sunday morning!

Right now, my wife and I could easily liken him to Samuel because of his love for Church. And isn’t it rather interesting that we named him after the Jewish king who had said, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Photo by Pixabay

Anyway, I managed to pacify him, asking him to let Church service end before we would make the trip to his ice cream place. I mean, it made no sense to me to drive straight to a place I was certain to still pass through later that day.

When service ended, the chorus resumed – “Daddy, I want ice cream.”Again, I explained that we needed to return home to prepare for our Sunday post-service outing, assuring him that he would have his ice cream on our way. Little friend tried playing a fast one when he asked me to at least buy him small Fan Ice yoghurt since the place for the ice cream he wanted was not near. Errmm, I denied him that luxury too and told him he needed to learn patience.

Fast forward to the time to leave home when my phone rang. The result of this call meant we had to reach our destination by another route, meaning the ice cream dream vanished into thin air, for some more time. By now, David was visibly vexed and grumbled till sleep eventually stole on him.

Arriving our destination, I woke him and resumed trying to pacify him with something apart from ice cream but he would not have anything apart from Shoprite ice cream. Yikes.

Somehow, I had my way at some point and ‘bribed’ him with ‘something else.’ We agreed that this was a temporary fix and that he would still have his ice cream later.

The return journey home started and the boy who would normally sleep off before we get home was wide awake and alert.

“Should I buy you suya?”

“I want suya…and ice cream too.”

His insistence on having what he wanted impressed me. It was a way of saying, “I do not mind what you are offering but my eyes are firmly locked on what I actually want.”

Eventually, we got to the mall and he started towards his desired ice cream vendor’s shop, ever so happily. Here’s what my boy did not know: I had better plans than what he had wanted for himself. So I stopped abruptly. As you can expect from a loving four-year-old, the looked at me, clearly worried. That alone moved my heart so deeply, wondering if he thought I would delay or evade, yet again.

“What is it, Daddy?”

Smiling, I let him know that I would get him ice cream in a place that had something better and costlier than what he had originally wanted. As I have won his trust over time, he waited and watched on as the attendant served his creamy goodness with toppings. He couldn’t have been happier as he received the well-packaged ice cream. As a bonus, I made sure to gift him with the one he had wanted initially.

Photo by Unsplash

Many times, we keep crying out to God for something while He is quietly planning ‘something else’ that is much better for us. David wanted something, but I wanted something better for him and because he was patient, he eventually got both what I knew was better for him and the initial one that he thought so good that he desired it.

Far too often, we reach out for things all by ourselves. But we need to learn to trust God 100% because at no time does He not have ‘something’ much better than we desire for ourselves. You want something immediately but God might seem to be ‘delaying it’ because he has something much better for you.

By striving to claim what we want, we tell God to hands off from the assumption that we can do it. I imagine that at such times, this Supreme Person who knows our hearts shakes his head as we pursue the substandard desires of our hearts. Only if we would realise that so much comes easy and things fall in place by trusting God and doing the specific things that communicates that faith, which God will plant firmly within our hearts.

What do we need? Patience and absolute trust in The Almighty, as the One who delivers cheaply what our desires when we would rather slave and sweat for. Never forget too, that it is this genuine attitude of being assured of his goodness that delivers to us, life’s best toppings.

Be like little King David and watch the best quality of goodness delivered to you.

Peace and Blessings!!! Wish me the same with just a comment below.

MUSINGS: OF DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS

The past few days have dragged along a deluge of goodbyes and hellos, which although not special, have had a personal feel to them.

My WhatsApp, where I spend quite some reasonable online time has buzzed with both phenomena at a slightly higher rate than before.

It can be argued that the COVID-19 pandemic (how I hate to refer to that thing) is responsible for both extremes. Even today, my Pastor jokingly called them ‘our lockdown babies’ while announcing some new births. He was obviously referring to the fact that there were increased conjugal ‘meetings’ occasioned by the COVID induced lockdown. Talk about coping mechanisms.

Brethren who based their conjugal exertions on time-table had the luxury of marathon genital meetings, many of which went beyond pleasure to producing bouncing results. Well, that is not what my piece today is about. That is the second amebo for some other time. I owe you one – The Story of Ìyá káàbọ̀, ọmọ kú ilé from the previous post, remember?

So I was letting you in on how my WhatsApp delivered messages of the grim reaper doing its thing while many innocent new humans strolled into the world. In one of the groups I belong, a member announced the departure of his dear mother, a fighter, who peacefully heeded the call of her creator after living a life of impact. About the same time, another old school mate announced that his family was blessed with the arrival of a baby, same gender as the amazon who had transited.

The following day was even more interesting. Someone announced the death of his father and then a while after, another announced that his wife had just been delivered of a cute baby boy. The information flow took on a unique life with people congratulating the father of the new born same time as they commiserated with the son of the departed.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

As usual, my head was tasking itself into thinking round situations again. This time, it got busy and the end result is this musing – this post.

Deaths and births are inevitable. Life must start for it to end. You have to be born so as to die sometime later: maybe after a minute or a year, after a decade or several decades. One thing is sure however, it has been a while since chariots of fire appeared in this earth space carried to carry anyone home as it was with the Biblical Elijah or Enoch, the one referred to as a very righteous man who simply disappeared.

Without the ‘death’ of some associations, we will not look inward for solution to issues they have always sorted for us.

The main thrust of my musings today is the fact that people will die and people will be born, life will end and life will start. In fact, a proverb in my part of Nigeria is translated as thus:

A dead banana/plantain tree is replaced by its offspring.

However, some life has to end for some life to start. To really fulfil potential, some things have to die in us, some habits have to die, and some relationships have to die! Without the ‘death’ of some associations in our lives, we will not look inward for solution to issues they have always sorted for us.

It is the same way that ‘death’ has to be given to some parts of our lives so that life can be given. Let what should die DIE!

We even hold on to dead/dying situations: jobs, education, relationships, alliances, continue the list. But today, start letting go of what should DIE so that new, better ones can be BIRTHED!

Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash

When the dead ones are gone, we can start to concentrate on the ones that should be birthed or have even been birthed unbeknownst to us. Right then, we can begin to nurture these and have them walk side by side on our way to realising our potential.

Nor be say na like dis my head dey work evritaim so, but I be say mek I serve am as e take drop.

Kindly share a thought or two before you go right on to enjoy a very beautiful week. Blessings!!!

MUSINGS OF AN ÀGBÁLÙMỌ́ EATER


*Clears cobwebs one again*

*drum roll*

Happy to celebrate another calendar year as we open 2021. 2020 was indeed a mixed grill in different areas but all thanks to the Creator that we are here again.


So, my first activity has been to remove the cobwebs once again. Much as I would have wanted to start with something else, I am left with no choice as I have been unavoidably absent in this space, which used to be my hiding place.


2021 will hopefully be kind enough to allow me more reason to be here as often as I would like to. That is me praying and errmm, planning.


To celebrate the weekend, my wife brought àgbálùmọ́ as ‘ìyá káàbọ̀ ọmọ kú ilé’ – it’s a little difficult to translate this but let us just call it something to reward us for patiently awaiting her return home from wherever she had gone.

The actual story of Ìyá káàbọ̀, ọmọ kú ilé’ is one for another day. Anyway, this àgbálùmọ́ was my reward for minding our energetic kids on Friday morning while she went to get some things done.

Let us do a small introduction of this fruit. Sometimes called Cherry, it is actually known as African Star Apple (Chrysophyllum africanum).

Another variety of this fruit which I enjoyed in my days in Olivet Heights Oyo is the Purple Star Apple (Chrysophyllum cainito). In South East Nigeria, it is known as udara while the Yorubas and people up north call it àgbálùmọ́ and agbaluma respectively.(Talk of the closeness in relation to how onions are called àlùbọ́sà or albasa among and Hausas). Forgive my digression; it’s a weakness a culture lover like me struggles with.


Back from our short lecture, let’s get to the gist. As I slowly licked the surrounding goodness of one of the àgbálùmọ́ fruits that sunny Friday, a few things crept into my mind and I allowed an interesting convo between myself and my mind, like I get to do many times.

Mind: The taste of this àgbálùmọ́ beats that of many you’ve had in a while.
Me: Yes o. God bless Bukky for this surprise despite my not really being friends with àgbálùmọ́. Why bring àgbálùmọ́ when there’s apple or water melon?

Mind: You’re an ingrate. She for just buy you iced lolly you used to buy back in the day.
Me: No be laidat jor. Eating àgbálùmọ́ after so long a time is refreshing. It’s the last thing I expected she would bring from the market.
                     
                                            

The conversation went on and touched on the fact that it was someone who planted the seed that has grown to serve many of us who do not know him or her. A little probing as per the importance of that information made me understand that leaving a mark is highly important as we journey through life.

The person who planted the seed that grew into the big tree which presently serves many, might have done that even without that intention. S/He might have passed on or grown too aged to even care again but the works of her/his hand lives on.

The point there is to strive and leave lasting legacies; to ‘plant’ many trees that would outlive us which would be points of reference to us while we are gone. Simply put, to build memorials.

Another point is the need for delayed gratification. Our àgbálùmọ́ farmer could have cultivated maize, harvested within three months and moved on. S/He however chose the fruit that did not promise immediate yield but would surely outlast the maize that would produce quick results.

In life sometimes, we need to think far beyond the quick results and aim a bit further. This will most likely generate results over and over rather than the quick result we want many times.

As we open the year 2021, let us ponder on the two points my àgbálùmọ́ taught me and aim to imbibe the lessons in our daily lives and living.

Fine, I got only two lessons from my weekend àgbálùmọ́ romance. Did you think of any other(s) while reading through? Then, please share them in the comments section.

Have a fantastic 2021, folks, and please expect to read regularly from me again: serials, downright meaningless stuff, and some interesting things when my mind works perfectly.

Again, it’s sweeter when àgbálùmọ́ lessons are plenty, so share them in the comments section now. Cheers!!!