Categories
Articles Freedom Fridays The Word

Don’t Enter The Village!๐Ÿ˜ฒ


I was shocked also when I saw that command. I thought of my father’s really beautiful house and the lush grass in front with several mango tress, and the backyard which boast of African Pear (Safou), Udara (African Star Apple) and Palm trees, not to mention the pineapples that are spread in the bush. I left out the Pawpaw trees and the native Apple (Rose Apple) tree amongst others; Daddy loves his farm and fruits!

I remembered the streams, the long path that leads to my maternal Uncle’s house, whom we call Captain. My 2nd daddy’s home, Uncle Richard and the rest of my family members that are in the village. The generational church (The Lutheran Church) we attended as children and still visit when we go for Carols and prayers. I looked at the statement again and I shuddered.

I have read Mark 8:23-26 in the King James Version (KJV) many times and my focus is always on the man and his failing sight; a sight so bad to the extent that even when the Sight-Giver touched him and he still didn’t see! My focus has also been on the need to see men for who they truly are, not metaphorically (I see men as trees, walking), but what and who they are, what they represent and who they represent.
Mind you, trees don’t walk, they can sway from side to side, be uprooted, but walking isn’t their thing. It has always been about clear vision that ends all deceit.

But this time when I read it in The Message (MSG), it hit me! That the man had already been healed, but his faith didn’t pull hard enough to see through the maze. In fact verse 25 (KJV) says “After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” Jesus made him, encouraged him, redirected his focus from the mundane to the supreme (above) and when he obeyed, he saw clearly! MSG collaborates this by saying, The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus.”ย Otherwise, we would be saying that Jesus was unable to heal him and that’s not true. The next thing Jesus did shocked me…ย Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, โ€œDonโ€™t enter the village.โ€

What is a village?
What happens there?
Why was the man who had just been healed given that instruction?
I wondered…

A village is a small community or group of houses in a rural area. Jesus, the all-knowing Saviour of the world, knew the source of his trouble. He knew the man had a community he loved hanging out with, whose company he enjoyed, a group whose advice he took – hook, line and sinker without doubts, the familiar, the place he lets his guard down, the place his vision is downplayed on and he is robbed of his purpose to the point that he can no longer differentiate right from wrong, a zone he walks in greys – an astigmatic zone. Jesus says, “Don’t enter, don’t go there, go straight home!” Return to base, your vision, the place you have root, the place of certainty, where your heart is at peace. Stop the vacillation! Take a stand!

How many times have we been caught in this place of deceit where we keep thinking that a particular place or person holds the answer to the clarity of purpose we seek? I’m not sure if I have cleared your doubts, but one command I’ll leave you with is, whenever it has to do with your sight or purpose, go back to the Word, don’t enter the village!

What is your village?

@imanikel 11032022 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

I Manifest Adonai’s Nature
#UnapologeticallyMe
Categories
Articles Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos Nigeria

#MyLagos – *E Bi Like Sey…


I’m wondering if to go full pidgin English on you today or do a mix on this aspect of #MyLagos people. Well, a mix would be delicious, but the core will definitely come as it was said. I maintain, Lagos offers you countless stories daily, if you have seeing eyes and a listening ear, I’m sure where you are does the same too.

So one of those mornings, on my way to work. Our ‘seeming’ peace was rudely interrupted by some actions on the walk-way and of course accompanied by loud noise and spectators.
Note to readers: If the action doesn’t have spectators, then it’s not worthy of taking notice of it, spectators just keep moving.

Back to my story:
The spectators were finding it hard to contain him from causing bodily harm to his opponent (who is apparently, an annoying bus conductor, who after collecting full bus fare, decides to off-load his passengers half-way) and the next thing we heard from the conductor as he bent and picked up a weapon (a discarded piece of plastic) was, *“e bi like sey you wan wound…” and everyone in the vehicle went “ahhaa” signaling a case of “we have heard this before, all pump and no action”. Funnily enough, the one without the weapon (the passenger) was the one being detained because truth be told, the conductor was all hot air and if the spectators had let go of the passenger, someone would have had a bloodied nose and definitely not the passenger! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ

Daily, on our way round #MyLagos, we encounter the ‘E bi like sey’ WhatsApp group people, always spoiling for a fight and never having the strength to actually go for the jugular. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not campaigning that anyone be violent, I’m just saying wouldn’t it have been better, if we had a dialogue on whatever the issue was? It’s the same whether the person is learned or an illiterate, there’s this “I-can’t-be-seen-as-a-weakling-syndrome” going around and many have lost their lives or limbs engaging in this conquest, on the highway, I must add!
If it is not ‘E bi like sey’, it is ‘Do you know who I am?’ ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ˜‹ for this particular set, I think the best response should be, “do kindly introduce yourself, I’d love to make your acquaintance” hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜…

Well, my charge to you today, is a call to have a rethink about our behaviour in public. Every time that lout or another ‘sane’ thinking person pushes your upset button, stop, count and calm down and ask yourself; Which WhatsApp group am I about to join?
How beneficial is what they are offering?
Will it do my rep or BP any good?
Which brand am I representing right now?

I think the answers to these and some other unasked questions, will put you in check. Or what do you think?

By the way, what is it with people (drivers), immediately you indicate that you want to make a turn or change lanes, they quickly close up the space that was in front of them caused by their playing with their phones on a highway – traffic jam or not! Mtschewwwwwwww ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ก

Glossary:
*E bi like sey – it seems
*E bi like sey you wan wound – it seems you want to be injured

@imanikel 04022022 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos People I've met

#MyLagos – The Comical Driver


One thing I’d miss when I stop my daily commute with commercial vehicles, will be the stories from drivers/passengers and their different perspectives to life. Everyone has an opinion and in my Lagos, the one with the loudest voice and knowledge (whether it’s true or false) gets an audience. But, the beautiful thing is, people are aware, so you’d want to be careful with the information you trade or you will be ridiculed even in my Lagos and amongst the agberos (area boys) sef.

I happened to be in this vehicle with a very comical driver. He said so many things that had me in stitches:
1) He picked a guy along the way, gave him a price for his destination and the guy beat down the price. The driver asked him if it was his first time in Lekki, because the price he was negotiating for didn’t sound like someone who had been to Lekki before. ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜ณ

2) My comical driver, received a call and from the tone of the conversation, he was supposed to remit money to the caller. The driver explained that he had lost his phone and had been praying that the caller would contact him. He promised to pay him at the end of the month (this was 26th January o). The caller was confused and asked him, “this month or next month?” The driver replied, “when is month-end?” The passengers erupted with laughter, as the conversation was not a silent one (though peaceful). It then occurred to the driver that the month had ended already.

3) I happened to sit in front with a young-lady between us. Apparently, the driver had been teasing her throughout the journey, he even bought water for her and they were in a conversation of some sort. I noticed someone kept interrupting their conversation with his call and she would say “I’m almost there”. During one of the calls, she told the guy who had been waiting, that she was near to his location. But this was about 5 bus-stops away ๐Ÿ˜ฎ(she was at Igbuefon, but told him she was almost near Mega Chicken).
At this the driver stopped teasing her and said to her, “God said I should tell you, if you change your ways, He will bless you this year!”
She scoffed at him and his declaration, but he continued, “If I was a General Overseer or Pastor, you would believe me and shout ‘amen!’ don’t ignore me because I’m a Danfo driver”.
Her ‘man’ called again (by this time we were at Chevron and the traffic was not smiling) and she said she could almost see Mega Chicken ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. At this point, the driver shook his head, and informed her that it would take another hour + to get there. I was bemused at such bold lies and suggested she better get down and fly a bike rather than tell lies. She got off and that ended her chapter.

4) Still in traffic, as we drove past the Chevron tollgate, into a sea of slowly-driven cars, one of the lady passengers enquired about his conductor and the driver asked if she wanted to leave a message for him, she responded that he was owing her a balance for her fare.
Uncle driver, told her that she could alight from the bus, that he will pass on the message to the conductor, when he picked him up down the road. after a while, Uncle driver asked her where her destination was and it was the last stop, to which he responded, “so why are you disturbing us?”

5) Further down the road, he picked someone he had been looking for and couldn’t reach. Another tale of missing phones and contact came from the fellow. Also, he recounted the drama that led to his abandoning his place of work. He mentioned how his employer accused him of stealing a client’s phone, only for the phone to be found in his employer’s brother’s bag; and the matter was killed without any drama.
According to him, that his name had been tarnished and until his former employer corrected this misdeed to his name, he wouldn’t have anything to do with him. The driver asked him if he wanted his employer to write his name in crayon.

This is just an evening on my way home. How has your day been in #MyLagos or your city? Do share.

@imanikel 280122 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Life

#HNY – Step in…


๐Ÿ™ˆ I know you are wondering, it’s 21st January in the 21st Century, did she just wake up! Actually, yes…when you wake up I hear is your morning. I started out writing this on the 21st and today is 27th…Lord, have mercy! The year is already so busy.

Well, we made it into the year, which I keep reiterating – it’s just another day that turned over. Use your positive eyes to look at it and stop fretting!

Actually, when I was thinking about the new year, having been ill at the ending of last year, what I heard in my spirit was STEP IN! So you can only imagine my joy, when I listened to my Pastor’s end of year/New Year message and He said to “March In!” for me that was a confirmation.

When Oba (hubby) was praying for it, he said so many things that resonated with this word, so I’m stepping into God’s rest for me.

How about you!?

@imanikel 27012022 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Daily Prompt Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos Nigeria Rant

#MyLagos – A pot-pourri of their lifestyle.


Early one morning on my way to work, we passed by a healthy black goat (she looked pregnant, that’s how I knew it was a ‘she’ ๐Ÿ˜Œ), who fled from our path as a car approached and I mused to myself, that even the goat was wise and loved her life better than whatever it is she was attempting to pick up from the road.

So, how come, when you are walking or speeding down the road, grown-up men stand casually and intentionally in your path, expecting you, the car, bike or *Keke to manoeuvre around them rather than them stepping off harm’s path. You get to hear things like, nah “Omo ni le” meaning โ€œthe child of the landownerโ€. The last time I checked a vehicle with failed brakes or one driven by a drunk doesn’t recognise titles or anything in it’s path that won’t step aside.

#MyLagos people not only stand in the way to assert ownership, the *louts, do worse. For that driver trying to make ends meet, who probably ran away from school because he didn’t understand the signs and symbols or whose parents couldn’t afford to pay his basic fees, he found himself a new ‘teacher’ complete with marker on the road, to score the number of times he has settled his logistics bill. It’s amazing how they (the taskmasters) recall if you had paid the morning, afternoon or evening’s charge or you had a balance to complete.

The really funny one is that every day the marker or sign for the day is different.
Did it end there? For where?!
After the driver has survived the ‘usual’ suspects, the next day he meets a new group who are collecting money for their own branch and guess who suffers this “teacher’s” fees? The passengers, of course!

You asked what they do with the money? If only I knew, but it has been said that the owners wait patiently to receive as donated.
Suffice to say that the teachers are global, by this I mean, they come from neighbouring towns and states. I know we have a lot of Ibadan and Abeokuta “teachers”. I’m wondering if they don’t have vehicles in their vicinity to obtain. It is surprising what the “teacher” uses his own ‘salary’ to do at the beginning and end of the day – drink sachet gin, eat small rice or beans with plenty huge pomo (cow-hide) and beef and more sachet gin and water in between.

Permit me at this point to say that if you are loud enough and have the coarsest of voice! You will make a good teacher and your marker makes you ready for work. Did I mention the flip-side of not submitting your windscreen for the marks and your money for the course manual? You either lose your fuel tank cover, the rubber that protects your window or door, your wiper (if you have one) or your side mirror if it is convertible. Talk about convertible side-mirrors ๐Ÿ˜‚ others lose their Keke foot mat.

For what it is worth, Lagos has a mix that I love sometimes. How about you?

Glossary
*Tricycle or Auto rickshaw
*Lout – an uncouth and aggressive man or boy.

@imanikel 121121 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Daily Prompt Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos Nigeria Rant

#MyLagos: Action People ๐Ÿ˜ณ


My buddy, Dee seems to think I should continue writing about My Lagos till I end the series. But can you ever really run out of drama in Lagos?! The City thrives on the noise and the excess drama and when I say “excess”, I mean excess. Their parties are loud, music loud ๐Ÿ™‰, meat inside the food loud…sorry BIG๐Ÿ˜‚, the bikes don’t have side mirrors but some definitely have boomboxes blasting away, their greeting, loud…across your afro or wig! ๐Ÿ˜… Their fight? Legendary! Hmmm

Speaking of which, on my way to work yesterday as I attempted crossing over to the other side of the road to catch a vehicle, I heard someone walking really fast behind, as if to catch up with me and sounded very angry as he was talking. I quickly turned, so I’ll know if to step out of the way or something. Thank God I did – phew ๐Ÿ˜… because from the corner of my eyes, I say his hands fling past my hairline literally, as he described whatever to the other listening party in the phone! So, here am I feeling like a bulldozer was behind, meanwhile someone was just having a descriptive conversation with another and his hands spoke more than his speech.

Another thing about My Lagos is their ‘Eye-witness’ nature. To get home from my estate gate, you either drive, walk down or take a bike. I was on a bike in and I saw someone running away. He had good reasons to, because the next fellow was shirtless, but clothed himself with “you go hear am today” and had a big stick in his hand, chasing after him. Of course, the street and the house they came out of, had enough spectators to form a *wakapass crowd for a movie. Who knows, maybe they were playing a movie role. But I didn’t allow my bikeman to wait and watch, which would have been natural for him because the fear I noticed in the first man’s strides and face were real. It is better to be safe than sorry.

“Na which person *gra-gra loud pass, nah him dey win argument”. That’s what they are trying to turn me into, but God pass dem. Last night, I had to walk a distance towards the bridge before getting to another bus-stop. An unknown ‘pally’ who doesn’t live in my side of Lagos walked with me, as I tried helping him with directions to where he was headed last night. From the corners, some boys came out and tried surrounding him to get money ‘for the boys’ and he told them he didn’t have any.
So this is the new pattern now, not only do they harass bikemen and buses, they harass pedestrians too – mostly guys. So, I continued our conversation and told him to keep moving (stopping is an error he would have regretted). The first lad left apparently because he saw me and the genuineness my unknown pally spoke.

Were we in the clear? For where?! A taller bully showed up and demanded for money, I told him there was none and he said to me, “you dey like person wey dey give person money?” I told him if the first person who had asked initially came back, I’d give him money. But no money for this bully. He was upset and talked about how I would cry if my bag was snatched, I offered him the bag, but he kept saying “you get money?” All the while looking around. I wonder if he was checking to know the source of my boldness or an escape route should he snatch his grand-mother’s bag ๐Ÿ˜‰

Glossary:
*wakapass – extras
*gra-gra – uncoordinated opinion

@imanikel 051121 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles My Lagos Nigeria Rant Tuesday Thoughts

#ThoughtfulTuesday


Where are my thoughts this warm Tuesday afternoon…on my Lagos of course! Someone would think I hold shares in the way wealth is distributed in Lagos by my claims, “My Lagos!” But you see, I used to live in the Garden City aka Port-Harcourt and ever since I relocated by force abi nah choice (I don’t know again), I tried adjusting to Lagos speed-life and couldn’t (or so I thought). But by the time I went to visit Port-Harcourt, the City felt too slow for me. I just couldn’t cope! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Now, I can comfortably say I’m a Lasgidi person but there are things that I still don’t get that put me off. Here goes some of the complains:

  1. The always wet street, because Iya (somebody) is cooking rice or ewa (beans) for her numerous clients by the corner and it’s only natural to pour the pepper-water on the tar or sand in front of the shop, but definitely in the middle of the road. So, the LG chairman ensured the road was patched with interlocking stones, but Iya Somebody still pours her pepper-water faithfully like libation. Mtschewwww ๐Ÿ˜‹
  2. The ‘normal’ habit of conductors, market women, a passer-by speaking to you in Yoruba, because you are in Lagos and therefore must speak Yoruba. For these sets, when they do, I respond in English to enquire what they are talking about and trust a typical Yoruba person to bad-mouth me because I don’t understand, that’s when I go FBI (Full Blooded Ibibio) babe and respond in my language, “Abo di e?” So both of us are stuck in a field of no-experience. Unlike the ‘Field of Experience’ in Communication, where interaction is achieved. ๐Ÿ˜Œ
  3. Why do bus drivers or bikes always have the desire to buy fuel, when you are rushing to work, or stop to gauge their tires.
    Speaking of which I’m reminded of an incident yesterday. So, we managed to secure occupancy in a bus headed our way and the ‘Uncle’ decided to pump his tires. He passed a vulcanizer who was relatively free and went to his ‘customer’ who was patching another vehicle’s tire, with a trailer waiting in line (to do who-knows-what) and our bus was number 3 – on a Monday morning in Lagos (Ajah) traffic ๐Ÿ˜ณ One of the occupants in our bus, ‘Aunty’, dared to complain about this stopping, which would make her go late. The ‘Uncle’ responded in a very angry and rude manner, that if she doesn’t like, she should come down and collect her money. Trust ‘Aunty’, she subsequently demanded for her refund. As if drawn by some unseen spirits 8 persons joined ‘Aunty’ to drop. The conductor returned their monies to them, but used ‘Aunty’ to do ring-a-ring-a-roses (she didn’t stop following him and demanding for her money because the driver didn’t know how to speak to someone). The conductor kept at it, till the vulcanizer seeing our forlorn faces skipped the trailer and attended to us! Pheww ๐Ÿ˜… Just as we drove out of that spot, ‘Aunty’ was still by the bus-stop yet to find another vehicle. Remember, I told you it was a Monday morning and you swallow your pride on Mondays, as bus no dey dey! I don’t buy into the rudeness arena but when it comes to a Monday morning and I’m carrying an extra bag which is heavy because of content, I’m humble o! Did I also mention that the driver was initially nasty to me too, I ignored.

Well, my Lagos isn’t so bad (sometimes) but that’s where the life is. Share a bit of your ‘Lagos’ or world with me. I’m keen on discovering it with you!

@imanikel 021121 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Life My Lagos Nigeria Rant

A Year After…๐Ÿ˜Ÿ


Last year, a normal day which began with a planned protest against certain ills in society, didn’t end well. Several stories went viral, but truth be told, we lost a lot that day. Some may say those losses were seeds sown to the cause. Some may say, those losses could have been prevented. Hmmm. Truly a sad one which leaves a bad bitter taste in our mouth and in the fabric of our history if you ask me.

A year after…we remember the pain of the losses and all the trouble that came from the day we call the #BlackTuesday. As I think back in retrospect and desire to celebrate the changes that may have occurred, I am held back in my expressions, as I still see those ills replay themselves on an another level…lets say in a subtle brazen way. I sense an unspoken “speak and I squash you” in the atmosphere. I sense a “we are not saying don’t protest o, but I dare you to show your face.” If not, how else do you interpret the flood of security manpower all over our access routes this morning in my Lagos especially around the site of earlier protest? How else do you explain why people are scared to come out and go about their usual business today because of a perceived attack. What do you call the ORDER to not gather at the location.

Why is a protest that will bring change, often considered dangerous and yet killings of innocent citizens in different parts of the country goes unchecked, because we don’t have the resources to handle such. My mind has so many questions, are you able to answer them?

Well, we have a proverb in Nigeria, “If hunters have learnt to shoot without missing, birds have learnt to fly without perching”. Hence, the drive-through protest. What do I mean by this, remain in your car, drive past the Lekki-toll and say whatever (but you know you can’t say some things sha), but keep moving. Trust Nigerian youth, they are maximizing it to the fullest.

The tear gas has begun to spread, some persons have been arrested whatever for, I don’t know, the men in black look on waiting for a call – perhaps, the youths refused to be gagged, as they sing ๐ŸŽผHow many people government go kill o! (2x) eee dem go kill us tire (3x) How many people government go kill.
The others chant ๐ŸŽผNo Justice, No Peace!

Truth be told when people get tired to being tossed about, they take a stand and that reaction never sits well with anyone because it is coming from a place of ‘we have endured this for too long, been silent for too long, we are done being passive because this is a time for action.’

I just passed by today to remind you that we didn’t forget this day last year and whilst that seed is yet to bear the fruits we desire, we will keep watering it, till it buds positively in our land and nation.

@imanikel 201021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Freedom Fridays Letters Relationships

When Lovers Fight… ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ


Dear Heart,

I have a question for you.

*“Go ahead, I’m listening”

Why do you hurt so much when I’m offended and upset at him? (Let me add a second)
Why does he go about smiling and grinning as if what happened didn’t do a number on him or pluck a nerve in him!
Is it that I never meant anything to him? ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ณ
If you feel sad in me about what has happened and want to reconcile, how come your twin in him, is cocky and won’t bow to please you and make me feel better?

Iman?”

Yes, Heart? ๐Ÿ˜” and don’t give me the he’s-a-man card, you’ve played that card for too long!

“Yes, he has a heart like you have me, but he is wired differently. By this I mean, some of them don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves like you do! And just so you know, when you are hurt, he hurts too, because you are connected by love (Soulmates), woven in emotions, bonded in spirit. He may not show it, he may even call your bluff, but trust me on this, the pain is real for him as well. When you ‘fight’, he acts out in different ways that says, I-don’t-care-you-didn’t-affect-me-that-much.”

“Let me ask you Iman, would you rather do battle or do love?!”

But you know I love Love and there’s no beating about the bush on that. So does that give him the right to hurt me by acting tough rather than say sorry?, not like the sorry would really matter, but I’m a babe and the sorry would mean, “I acknowledge I was wrong here and I miss our companionship”, I miss our time together, let’s make up, my world has been not-it without you and so much more, if you get what I mean.

“O yeah sure I get your pointโ€ฆ but let’s try something out. Since you know you love Love, why not talk about what he did that you don’t like in a loving and friendly manner and see if he will come to you. If that doesn’t workโ€ฆ.”

I give him the silent treatment, right?! ๐Ÿ’ƒ

” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Iman???
Why do you love pulling the silent treatment card always? But you claim to love love; love keeps no records of wrongs, but seeks to breed peace at all times”

“If you search within you, you will realise you know how to reach him more smoothlyโ€ฆ like you say in Nigeria, you hold his **mumu-button, simply activate it with a smile,…trust me he will come panting after you.”

Go no further, Heart. You’ve just hit the nail on the head. But please have a word with your twin in him and tell him to soften up his master, we can’t keep activating the mumu-button over ‘fights’, it’s for special times, if you get what I mean.

“But Iman, you know you don’t have to be religious with your “Special Moments”, besides you need that button the most in times of conflicts. You know Iman, it’s wearisome trying to reach the one you love when both of you are being driven apart by your ego.”

Hello Heart, For the life of me, I’m wondering, when did we join the opponent’s team, we ought to be on the same team for Christ’s sake. I am not the enemy! and there’s no trophy to win in fighting each other, can’t you see!?

“I understand you clearly Iman, but you see, when we talk about loving and giving, respect is also a gift as compassion is a gift. “A gentle answer turns away wrath” as the Bible says.”

โ€ฆbut some people have interpreted it to mean a gentle answer by a woman, turns away the wrath of a manโ€ฆ isn’t it?

“It is both ways o! So let’s be intentional in loving, You and I, together we can do better. Let’s be mindful of our lines and ways of communication when we are angry with him, because there are some words you’d say in that moment of rage that when the battle is over and we feel right about pushing the mumu-button, we may push for so long and run the battery out, because of hanging memories of the things said in anger.”

“Wash your mouthโ€ฆoops, I meant to say WATCH your mouth. You don’t want to live your life in regrets because you wouldn’t let go of your title on the EGO belt.”

Hmmmmmm Heart?? ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ you are so right you know?

“O sure Iman, that is why I am your partner in this love relationship. You know you can’t always rely on your head, but on me; I help you make the best decisions girl”

Thanks Heart. I truly appreciate your honesty with me, I’ll keep these words really close to you, and follow through on them. Once again, thank you for being a sweetheart for real.

Heart??

“Yes Iman?”

You know? He actually said sorry, and that he wasn’t okay when I wasn’t; and I’m glad it’s all sorted now. But don’t forget to talk to his heart too ok?

One more thing Heart, “I don’t know his mumu-button, because I am his mumu-button!๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

Yours in love,
#UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 060821 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

*Words in bold and italics are my heart’s responses

**mumu-button simply means the different methods you can easily reach a loved one and get them to ease up or succumb to you.

Categories
Project Laughter Relationships

She left Jesus behind… ๐Ÿ˜Œ


Oh she did!
Simply ran out and left Jesus! He was meant to go with her, ‘kill’ her fear, be the Light in the darkness she was walking into, hold her hand through the journey, but when they got to her destination, she left Him and RAN!

My baby girl, Arielle came visiting and during her stay, PHCN (our power distribution company) did their thing. Actually, they have been behaving these days, they ration it and we have decoded their timetable and are okay with it. Meaning, at a certain time in the night we will have power till morning. I’m cool with that because they have been consistent…but if it moves to another level of power throughout, as long as you have paid, then God be praised! ๐Ÿ’ƒ

So Arielle came visiting and the house was dark. I didn’t want to bother with the generator as I knew power would come at a certain time and besides, I was ok. But she felt, she needed to fan me. Even when there’s power, she loves playing with the hand-fan and I let her enjoy her moments. Minutes before, we had been in the children’s room with my cousin and she grabbed the hand-fan from the dark sitting room, ran back to the bedroom and began fanning me. As we migrated to the sitting room, she forgot the hand-fan there.

Did I mention that Arielle is a very busy 4-year old, the can’t-be-held-down-by-anything-very-bright-and-active one? Oh yes, she is!
On realizing that she left the hand-fan in the room and she needed to be busy, she went to my cousin, “Aunty Queen, please can I have your phone, I need the light.”
“No, Arielle, I’m using my phone.”
“Aunty a-baby (that’s me by the way), please can I have your phone?”
“Why?”
“I want to bring the fan from the room and fan you.”
I pretended to ponder upon her request and then said, “you’ll have to get the fan without my phone”
“But it’s dark!”
“You can see with the light from my iPad or better still, don’t worry about the fan, I’m ok.”
“But I want to fan you!”
“Then, you’ll have to go with Jesus!” having said that I continued watching my series on Netflix, whilst watching her from the corners to see what she’d do. Knowing that Arielle won’t give up till she’s gotten the hand-fan.

She snuck into the room, felt the bed and grab the fan from where she left it, ran out and screamed triumphantly, “I got the fan (showing it to me with pride and an accomplished smile)!”
“Good job, Arielle, I’m proud of you! And where is Jesus?” I queried.
“I left Jesus in the room!”
“You what?!” Trying to suppress my laughter and act surprised.
“I left Jesus in the room,” she repeated. At this point, Queen burst out laughing.
Maintaining my seriousness, I continued, “Arielle, how could you leave Someone I asked to lead you into the room and run out, please go back and bring Jesus.”

She walked to the doorpost, put her head into the semi-dark room and shouted, “Jesus, come out o!” and ran back to the sitting room. We couldn’t stop that laugh in a hurry.

On a serious note, many of us have gone into stuff with Jesus as our Driver, but when it comes to negotiating, strategizing, we think to ourselves, Jesus doesn’t understand the times we are in, after all He’s not a Millennial or computer literate, He doesn’t have a twitter account. But let me stop here to acknowledge the One that hasn’t stop trending, the One without whom there is no net! You are the partner, drawing on Him for inspiration, so don’t you ever forget that!

Little Arielle left Jesus in the room, because she knew He could take care of Himself and her and the rest of us in the house. But just to be her caring self, she beckoned on Him to join us in the living room.

Where have you left Him?
I heard you, “He is in me.”
When last did you allow Him have a say in anything you did?
“I think He’s been part of it all along.”
*Arielle, at least knew where and when she left Him. She even recognized that she left Himโ€ฆ. Some of us behave like Samson and ‘wist not that the LORD has departed’ and we continue flexing

I’m done with the questions, I’ll let you ponder on the answers and if you’d like to share, I’d be listening. For now, I’m off to check on Arielle and her adventures.

@imanikel 260721 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

*Thank you for the addition, CN ๐Ÿ˜Š

Categories
Articles Freedom Fridays Life

#FreedomFriday – Flight Fright


I read my cousin’s first flight experience, a beautifully written article that got me in stitches, but also in fright as I was catapulted back into that airplane to relive my first one. Boy! There’s no shame in telling the truth. I never did understand why something that heavy will be in the air and not drop, before you go preaching about Newton’s Law of Gravity and four forces of flight, spare a first-timer the speech! ๐Ÿ˜‹

The first time I consciously remember going on a flight was just after marriage and we needed to be in Lagos as a matter of urgency. Being my first time, I was walking forward with steps backward, Oba was practically pulling me towards the departure lounge. Many crazy thought flew past me and none of them I could cling onto except the arms of the ‘crazy fellow’ I had gotten married to who was doubly excited about this particular flight for reasons best known to him. He has always been a daring one and seeing him like this was no surprise to me but that even with my voiced concerns, he didn’t say, “because I love you and don’t want you to jump off the plane because of your phobia, let’s go back!”

No o!

The ‘Uncle’ joyfully nudged me on all the while saying “there’s nothing to worry about baby, it will be a smooth ride.”

Okay o!

We got to the lounge and the voice says, we are delaying *** Flight because of … (can’t remember what she said) and I turned to him as if to say in my silence, ‘shebi, you see that even the planes don’t want to be flown’, he noticed and responded, “baby, they are working on it.”

Why was I afraid, apart from my original fear of flights?
You see, hubby had just returned from Abuja and that plane he used, carried others who never made it to their destination.

So, I watched this plane land from Abuja and about to go to Lagos from Calabar, but needed to be repaired. See fear o! Hmmm.

After the repairs, the flight was called, NOBODY moved, there was a crowd of protesters at the airport, calling for the necks of that particular airline, for keeping them waiting and then proceeding to load them into a plane that was repaired in front of them?! No way, I no dey enter this plane.

The airline boss (an expatriate) came and spoke with us and decided to do the flight with us, so as to assure us, still nobody moved. The next thing I knew, Oba was pulling me up with wide brimmed smiles as he bounced towards the plane. All the while, assuring me that it will be okay.

I learnt to unstop my ears when it filled up with sound and hold on to him whilst praying in the Spirit under my breath as I climbed those steps. Wondering why my first flight had to be so frightful.

Do you know from take off, the flight to landing, that was my best flight ever! The crew were extra nice and we even did a standing ovation for the Boss and his team when we landed. As for those that refused to join the repaired aircraft, those who arrived late at the airport simply took their place and you can’t blame them, they didn’t know what had happened before their arrival.

It may sound funny to you, but I still engage myself in 30 minutes or an hour plus of prayers whenever I’m flying so that I don’t start wondering why something so heavy is in the air. Another thing I do, is programme my mind that in so so and so time, I’ll be at this destination and if I look at my watch I’m still in the air, panic attempts to set in, but I try (I dey manage) to overcome it.

On one of those flights, I was with my senior sister and the turbulence was crazy and no matter how I reminded myself that these were liken to road bumps, the Holy Spirit heard our groanings which were not uttered. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Pray tell, how was your first flight experience?

@imanikel 180621 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Freedom Fridays Life Project Laughter

#FreedomFridays โ€“ Commanding the Elements



King-Earl had returned earlier from school that day than his sister and as he waited for her return, he noticed the clouds changing. He remembered that he had seen his father โ€˜decree and declareโ€™ severally when the elements changed and the rain stopped in his favour. He recalls his mum walking casually by across the dark room and saying โ€œLight beโ€ and power returned to his amazement. He decided to try his faith. He spoke to the heavens to hold their peace till Imani got home. He prayed that she will not be wet and then continued with his business. An hour or so later, Imani is home and grandma promptly informs her, your brother had held the rain on your behalf, to which Imani responds, โ€œSo, how come Iโ€™m drenched!โ€

I had a good laugh behind-the-scene when I heard the story, but I โ€˜warnedโ€™ Imani about โ€˜killingโ€™ my sonโ€™s faith in prayers. I was pleased he was considerate and also thought of praying for his sister, I was glad he believed in its efficacy and I encouraged him not to give up. Like I said to him, just maybe if he hadnโ€™t singled out only Imani as the one the rain shouldnโ€™t touch, maybe it wouldnโ€™t have rained because she was probably walking with a friend back home and it would have been selfish for Imani to be dry and the friend beside her, wet.

Do you believe in the words that you speak or in the prayers you release? I do!

Photo by Sourav Mishra on Pexels.com

So the other day I was dressed for work, but I couldn’t leave because the rains where pouring as if on a mission that must be fulfilled early in the morning, whilst singing the song, ๐ŸŽผAin’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move!๐ŸŽผ to a beat that only thunder could give and lighting added hers for stage effects.

“Defeated”, I sat back on my bed and remembered some song we used to sing as children when the rains began…don’t tell anyone, but I sang it ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‹
๐ŸŽผRain, Rain, Go away
Come again another day ๐ŸŽผ
…and when I got to the part that says “Little Johnny, wants to play”, I stopped because I wasn’t ‘little’ and my name is definitely not “Johnny!” The rains didn’t stop immediately, but stop they did and to work I headed out.

I am IMAN – I Manifest Adonai’s Nature, #UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 210521 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Poems The Word

Hung on the Word


Love is the strings I hear that held You bound to the Cross
Falling down a cliff, but like Mary, I hung on Your every Word
Lost, seeking to find my path through life
I dive in, struggling through the battles I strive.
Do I have the strength to carry me through?
Or the nerve to testify that Youโ€™re good?
Falling, I held on

Blood is the flood that washed me from every stains of death
Blinded with tears, I used grace to wipe my eyes of earth
Discovery! The blood didnโ€™t stain, it made free of pain
How do I explain the great worth of death and its gain?
Does this sound wise or itโ€™s just in my own eyes?
That grace bought what was redeemed from the many lies
Falling to my knees, I stayed

Hung up on the cross and down to the grave
Purpose You made, was to make me no slave
Freed! The Word is indeed real and complete
Let me be! In Him, Iโ€™m beyond defeat
Spoken, full of light and power to deliver
A token, on which to trust as I believe
โ€œFallenโ€, the Word was my stay.

@imanikel 080421 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Project Laughter

Lullabies


Getting Earl to sleep can be such a tedious job as he rolls and rolls on the floor the bed and into your arms. He makes you sing all the bedtime lullabies and just when you thought youโ€™ve got him covered, he pops his head up again and the cycle begins afresh.

One of those nights, being tired myself, I tried to get him to sleep and when I didnโ€™t succeed, I handed him over to his dad.

King began singingโ€ฆย  โ€œSleep baby sleep, do not cry (2x),ย  do not cry (2x)โ€ โ€ฆ โ€ฆrepeatedly and Earlโ€™s eyes started dropping and before long when King thought he could breathe a sigh of relief, we heard Earlโ€™s voice โ€œsleep daddy sleep, do not cry. Sleep daddy sleep, do not cry, do not cry, do not cry!โ€

Of course, King allowed him go back to play knowing that when he gets tired, he just falls down on that spot and dozes off.

Categories
Articles Daily Prompt People I've met Rant Thankful Thursday

#ThankfulThursday – People


Listening to my friend and colleague Vaso talk about people on his podcast this morning, I could totally relate. But I won’t ask like McReynolds to be delivered from people, but that I will be able to help people recognise their best selves daily as much as I can. Sometimes, it’s truly difficult to do that, but the power of the tongue doesn’t permit me to say some things my tongue desires to, cause I’m afraid I’ll just birth or bring into existence what I don’t want to see. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Well, the trick lately is to look at me and see, what part of me still needs working on, and I work it. So it seems my patience has been pulled in all directions lately, my mind attacked, my self-esteem tugged out…but the funny thing about my self-esteem is I had dealt with this one when I was a lot younger. So the attacks don’t reach there, they simply reinforce me!

How?
Since you asked, let me share…
So at an early age, I heard things like, “you are too chubby, too fat (for heaven’s sake I was a fat baby and fat babies are cute ๐Ÿ˜Œ, though heavy to carry and I didn’t like been carried while sitting, do the maths! LOL), your head is big, your …is big, your …is flat, are you Chinese – no disrespect, my people, but I heard a lot? Once, I took a tape and measured someone’s head and his was bigger than mine and yet he said I had a big head!
So whenever, someone mentioned my head, I told them that’s why I was wiser than them.๐Ÿ˜‹
As for the big …, I see most of them now doing surgery to enlarge theirs…rolling my painted eyes at those memories. ๐Ÿ‘€

Well, people will always be people, but you have to determine the access you give them, the access into your space and mind to the point that they begin to matter or not.

When I wake in the morning, it’s refreshing to see people, even those who are outright annoying, at least they bring you back to reality that you are not yet a Spirit and there are still more for you to work on in this side of eternity. Beyond that, they form my daily interesting characters for #MyLagos Series.

Whatever you are thankful for today, be thankful for people!

@imanikel 041121 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Daily Prompt Impact Lyrical Mondays

#MondayMatters


Sometimes, the beginning of your week gives you the feeling that weekend should already be back here. But that is because you are allowing another decide for you how your day should be.

Whilst most people are usually thankful it’s Friday. I’m grateful for all days, because these are opportunities.

#MakeYourMondayCount

@imanikel 181021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung