Monthly Archives: May 2017

In Awe…

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©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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Another Form of Child Abuse?

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I saw something interesting today. My occasional bus ride to work when I want to beat certain traffic and not get stopped on the way for it, yields me delight every time! Today I had mixed feelings and this is why.

After I got into the vehicle, followed by two other ladies, the last occupant was a girl-child with her school bag, carrying her brother with his school bag behind him and they sat by the door! I could hear the mother’s plea to the Conductor not to leave the door open. But we know in Lagos, it is style to leave the door open, hang on the door or behind the vehicle answering calls as the driver speeds on as if chased by a demon! STYLE!

What the Conductor did was to block where the children sat with his body (his head was in and derriere jutting out for stability) as he collected his charge and gave change. Being concerned for the child, I kept asking him to shut the door, he politely ignored me, at some point the lady beside the girl-child took the brother and positioned him in front of her and it felt a little safe. When a passenger got down by the next stop, the Conductor moved her into a better location. Phew!

Before that move, we saw her brother collect money from her and tried bending down from his tight spot but the lady held him up. He tried it again, this time his sister did the same too. We noticed that they were sticking their balance (apparently for lunch or snack or transport back) into their socks, to prevent it from being stolen! Hmmm. LOL. See wisdom.

Why am I saddened?

She fell asleep during this trip after her relocation to a better seat. I started imagining what time she woke up to prepare for school. I imagined the long trip to school. I imagined how she will ‘drag’ aka ‘compete’ with other bus users (who are going home tired and not in a pleasant mood to allow a child get on the bus before them) for a space on the bus home pulling her brother with her (and their bags). I wondered, why they had to travel this distance to attend a public school unaccompanied, when they had other public schools near their home they could attend.

You might argue that this one is cheaper. But by the time you add the cost of transportation to and fro, the different hazards on the road, you will agree their parents should have a re-think.

Guess what, He is 3 years old and she is 9!

ChildAbuse

Pix credit: Child Abuse

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

​#MotivationalMonday – Trade by Barter 

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Many years ago, before paper money and cryptocurrency became vogue, we indulged in Trade by Barter. I’m not sure how many of us where around then, but it simply means, “Trade by Exchange”.

You see, the deal with Trade by Barter is that what is being exchanged must be commensurate with what is traded…at least in the eyes of those making the exchanges. It worked back then and is still working now, though these days the scale is somewhat unbalanced and it depends on who says what the worth of what you have to offer is.

As you begin your day and week, determine by yourself to do the exchange with yourself before you try it on another person. What have you left unattended to that needs your time? Plan, plot, strategize on how to achieve more this week by playing that Candy crush for fewer minutes (though it excites the brain and gets you refreshed) or break free from that fruitless gist early enough. There’s so much to invest your time in and get good rewards for. You’ll thank me for it later.

By the way, in between being busy, I Bend my Brain with puzzles.

Take charge!

@imaniking

© 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Why I love my country…

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I might get stoned for this, but hey, it’s my opinion so you go get yours! I was discussing with Oba the other day and we realized (yet again) that Nigeria is just a sweet place to live in. I tell you no lie.

  • Has the dollar rates come down? No!
  • Is the cost of living better now? On the contrary, harsher.
  • Are our policies being followed through without hitches and endless bureaucracy? Nope
  • With all the plenty churches, prayer centres and mosques around, have all our prayers been answered? Not yet.
  • Seeing we have ample foodstuff, mineral and human resources, are we better off? You know nah

So what is the craze about my country?

It is in the way we make jokes, home-movies and songs out of every situation.

I refuse to mention names, you are chuckling already because you know them.

The intelligent way we discuss national issues on radio and TV (sometimes).

I’m not talking about political discussions o! I mean when forward thinking people proffer solutions.

Sadly, I don’t think that the leadership have people that work with them listening up for creative ways to change and move this country forward. They should.

It is the fun things we do to ease tension.

The bus-conductor and his passengers plus driver.

The Okada with the horn of a trailer.

Nah only for Naija, dis dey happen.

The road marshals (including agberos) and the very creative ways some collect levies from motorists. Hmmm, this one is something else.

It is the beautiful places surrounding us, the many talented people we have here, the many fun activities that are available week in and out.

It is in the different foods she has to offer. The well-dressed guest to a wedding reception that is neither friend nor family to the bride or groom or their friends’ friend!

Was passing by and saw an opportunity to eat free food and collect souvenir, the guy/babe turned in!

It is the ready-to-help-you-with-answer to any question attitude, even the one they know nothing of.

Hyenana indeed! LOL

Nigeria SHA!

Proudly Nigeria

(c) 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Celebrating Life through Loss!

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My dear friend and sister Amb. Unyime-Ivy King lost her dad recently. As I watched her wall, read her initial tribute and the ones written by others, I wondered how many of them told him all these things whilst he was alive. Typical of people to plan to tell you someday how they feel about you and how by being who you are, has made them better people. Sadly, ‘that day’ never comes.

Sometimes, pain brings us the needed awakening to the truth that, moments are fleeting and so also life. As such, we need to embrace it totally and completely as each moment passes. Giving every second a bit or more of us…, letting someone understand in that second that they have our attention that they mean the world and more to us.

Knowing this and having experienced a loss-too-many recently, I have decided to chronicle and celebrate people in my life every other day. It doesn’t cost you anything except looking through the archives in your heart and letting people know that you truly appreciate them for the part they have played in the drama called your “life”.

I must say, our lives would have been boring without them in it. It would have been a drag, a dull shade of blue and no exciting hue. Regrets would have be the sigh on our lips at all the unsaid. Some have gone, others will join soon. But we have today and now. Let’s make it worth every breath we take, be the reason for the spring in our steps, the laughter in voice and ring in our song.

Tell me today the-me you love, appreciate and never want to be without. For all we know, the part of me I dislike and wish to change, is actually what makes your world rocks. But I’ll never know if you don’t say. Let the celebrations begin!

*By the way, my friend loves celebrating people. You should try it too!#CelebratingPeople (1)

(c) 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.