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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lets Arise - Tola Grillo

  Last week, suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked a Federal Government college in the north-east and gruesomely killed the students. This isn’t the first attack on young people. Sometime last year another school was attacked and scores of children killed.
It’s typical for us to blame the government for the unabated attacks. If only it were Obasanjo in power, we say, he would have totally annihilated the sect! And Jonathan’s administration had the effrontery to continue with the centenary celebrations – despite all the chaos and anarchy in the land!
Today, it’s not about the government, even though their sins are manifold and unforgivable. It’s about you and I. Long story short, we’ve become a callous people. I first heard the news of last week’s massacre on CNN; after the initial shock and sadness of about 2 minutes, I completely forgot about it. I went about my very busy but normal life. I’m not you but I can bet you did the same thing too. Oh well, we had group discussions in the office during which we lamented and cussed government but we each went home to our normal lives: we had a home and family to go to and work or whatever to come back to the following day.
In this same country, this very country, life hasn’t been normal for a good majority in years! Mothers have lost their children and husbands; children have lost their parent(s); homes and enterprises have been destroyed leaving a lot of pain, anguish, despair, fear and anger. I was speaking with my friend earlier today and she mentioned that at a point in her family three children were in secondary school together at one time. Imagine that there was such a family in the secondary school that was attacked last week, how would life be like for them now???
And we go about our daily lives unflustered! We are callous! And that’s partly because we neither possess any sense of belonging nor responsibility to this entity called Nigeria. Our allegiance lies with self and family. Truly, the Yoruba’s are right when they say, ‘E ni to kan, l’omo’! There is so much to life than ME! ME! ME!          We are so pre-occupied with our lives that we forget what is truly important. Proverbs 17:17 says, ‘A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity’. The transformation we seek for this country can only come about if we are first transformed – as I write I recall the Boston marathon bombing in the US. As amoral as the country is the citizens stood, united in anguish and shock, to help the injured, comfort the bereaved and fish out the perpetrators. Same thing during the 9/11 attacks. When are we ever going to stand as one in Nigeria, stand up for myself, my father, my mother, my sister, my brother, my friend? WHEN????
Maybe we are getting there… Old students of federal government colleges met last Saturday to brainstorm on the state of the nation. Thankfully, one of the issues raised at the Town-hall meeting has been dealt with by FG, that is, the closure of unity schools in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Question is, why did it take this long??? Peaceful, non-political, non-tribal and non-religious walks also held at various locations today to mourn the killing of the students and to advocate for more decisive government action.
Let’s arise and do something meaningful and selfless – pray, fast, donate to the affected, volunteer in the affected areas, join a civil or faith-based organization, expose the perpetrators (for sure they aren’t ghosts!), advocate via social media (instead of putting up a selfie use your bb as a forum for advocacy!), nag your father or uncle who is in the National Assembly or Ministry to take action – LET’S DO SOMETHING! AND KEEP AT IT! AND NOT GROW WEARY UNTIL WE SUCCEED!
Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all, it is dead and useless
(James 3:16).

By Tola Grillo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ASABE Episode 6

 Asabe met Dotun where he was packed ( adjacent her hostel), he offeredto take Asabe to some nice places not too far from her school but she declined, the last offer he made was to take Asabe to ‘Coldstone Creamery” this Asabe found difficult to decline, at this point she imagined how difficult it was for Adam to decline the apple offered to him by  sexy curvy Eve, for whatever reason Asabe has always had this idea that Eve was a ‘hawt’ lady .Asabe loves Coldstone ice cream especially their ‘strawberry blonde signature’.
Dotun sat directly opposite Asabe and watched her devour the ice cream before her and said;
Dotun: Tell me about yourself
Asabe : naaah,Let’s start with you
Dotun: we would get to me, you first!
Asabe: You already know my dad, Madam Lydia is my step mum, my mother died when I was much younger ,ever since then, it’s been crazy putting up with Madam Lydia and her vicious drama, coming to the hostel was a huge relief, like I don’t have to see her until weekends, that’s if I decide to go home weekends, most times I stay back in the hostel for some breath of fresh air…so! That’s basically my story.
Dotun: Interesting! Well unlike you I don’t have anything to say, you know everyone in my family * tongue out*
Asabe: Yes I do, except you though ,probably because you don’t stay in Nigeria
Dotun :LOL….Ok let me give you a proper introduction; ( adjusts the collar of his polo shirt in a funny  way)My name is Dotun, a medical doctor based in Atlanta, I’m single and hopelessly in love with the lady sitting right opposite me
Asabe:*covers face*hahahahaha omG! Are you kidding me?
Dotun: awwww she is shy, lol….don’t make me change your name to ‘Aisha” Lmao! Were you the one who did all the cooking the other day?
Asabe: Yes, hope you liked it?
Dotun: Not sure yet, but I believe when you cook that same food in my house in Atlanta, then I would be sure!
Asabe: (was so happy and couldn’t hide her joy) Well I’ve never been out of this country , so how do you intend to achieve that?
Dotun: Don’t bother your pretty head, I just need you to be on the same page with me, the rest will be handled by our fathers.
Asabe while listening to Dotun tried adjusting her hair, and in the process of turning back, she saw Madam Lydia and Ladidi getting out of the car, Ladidi  loves Coldstone ice cream so much,so she knew Madam Lydia must have come to get Ladidi some Ice cream, she immediately alerted Dotun who tried to shield her so they won’t see her and then they left through the alternative exit.
As soon as they got got into the car, Dotun drove off immediately, Asabe still wasn’t herself , she was panting and said;
OmG that was close!
Dotun: Don’t worry ,very soon there will be no Madam Lydia to run away from, only if out of the love you have for her invite her to Atlanta,( he was being sarcastic)…hahahah
Asabe: Yea right!

Dotun got home that day an excited  man, his smile was so broad you could see his beautiful dentition, his shoulders were high like a warrior from Arochukwu who has conquered his opponent, Otunba noticed Dotun’s joy and asked if he could share in his joy
Dotun: Daddy, I am just coming from Asabe’s hostel.
Otunba: no wonder you are smiling like an 18year old who just met his first girlfriend, so , lets hear the good news, have you asked her to marry you yet?
Dotun: Ahn! Ahn!! Daddy!!! Why are you old folks always so forward in things like this?
Otunba:beeeniii* (in Yoruba) because these days we have learnt that the patient dog doesn’t get to see the plate used in eating the bone let alone the fattest bone, so my son ,be fast about it, Asabe is a very good girl, I personally don’t want you to miss out on this, yes ke!
Dotun: Well she was very pleased to see me, and happy about all I said , she hopefully understands where I am heading to, but was forming , you know girls now daddy,she was acting like she wasn’t carried away by my sweet mouth, but she didn’t quite do well at hiding her joy,because it was written all over her
Otunba: but you have to be smart about it my dear son!

Shortly after Asabe got to the hostel, she got a call from Madam Lydia;
Madam Lydia: hello
Asabe:  good day ma
Madam Lydia: did I just see you at Coldstone Creamery with a tall dark guy on dark shades at the parking lot?
Asabe: No ma<
Madam Lydia : I could swear it was you, wearing a short yellow gown
Asabe: Something is wrong somewhere ma, I am just coming out of a tutorial class, so it couldn’t have been me.
Madam Lydia:Ok ! Next time I know what to do. Because if that’s how you go about with men wasting my husband’s money that you are in school, then…..*stammers* ok no problem.
Madam Lydia drops the call.
Asabe: As if that your husband wasn’t my father first before he became your husband.

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Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, his greatness is unsearchable!                             – Psalm 145:3