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Articles Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos Nigeria

#FreedomFriday – My Grouse!


I have noticed that most bikes in Lagos if not all, are without their side mirrors. This got me wondering why the manufacturers would risk lives in such a manner. Poor manufacturer, getting blamed for what its user re-invented. How did I discover this? A young fellow I spoke with this morning, when I asked why his bike was without the mirrors, responded in his defense that “Nah only Baba dem dey use bike with side mirror!” 😳 Meaning it is only the elderly who ride bikes with side mirrors. In other words, it is uncool and if you did that, you are old!

I watched him as he kept turning back to see if there was an on-coming vehicle, something he could have easily seen if his mirror was in place.

My second grouse, is with a certain presentable young lady whom we shared a ride with, who didn’t use a face mask and as if that wasn’t bad enough, kept putting her finger into her nose, dug around a bit, bought up ‘gold’ and effortlessly flipped the ‘gold’ from her fingers into the surrounding space. The first time I said to myself, probably I didn’t see that well, maybe she just touched the tip of her nose which was tingly. But when the digging continued for a while, I shook my trousers and sweater lying across my bag to ensure that nothing was left on them. Such things I think should be done in the privacy of your home and your ‘tools’ or fingers washed properly. If it must happen anywhere else, please use Kleenex.

Nothing annoys me more than people who get into a vehicle and the next thing you hear is ‘shift or adjust’ even when they have enough space to fit their structure, and the next thing is, they are shooting daggers at the one whom they think has consumed all the space. Mtchewwwwwwwwwww. Like one wise man said, we are only together for a few hours or less, so just endure me till I get off the bus!

Last line, but not the end of things people do that is annoying:
I had just crossed over a semi-busy road about to board another vehicle towards home and I heard someone say by my side “I love your boobs!” I was livid, bemused and wondering why a grown up man would look at another man’s wife and say that. Of course, you’ll say he’s appreciating God’s handiwork and who asked him to? I was a tad concerned if he was normal and genuinely asked him, “are you okay or is there something intrinsically wrong with you?” He looked somewhat unkempt, but I’m sure he was okay. I quickly crossed over and carried it back to the owner to avoid-stories-that-touch.

What do people do that gets you thinking, where are we headed? Please share.

@imanikel 151021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Food Life Relationships Tuesday Thoughts

I’m In Love With A Cook!


You see, I usually don’t get hungry or eat before 11am and any day I do that, then something unusual had happened. I’ll leave the reasons for another day. Before, you begin your sermon on “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, can I be excused briefly from this Master class? Thank you.

To make matters worse, I don’t love bread (just like my dad 😌) except it is toasted and has some messages inside that I have to decode, then you’ve got me! By the way, those ‘coded messages’ should not make my bread soggy or else, I won’t eat it.

Imagine my shock and much to my delight this morning when I asked Oba to help me with eggs and sausage and the helping took a while as I dressed up, only to see toasted bread in my food pack 😳. I lifted the bread to be sure the eggs were there…after all that’s the request.
Eggs? ✅
Sausage? ✅
And I dropped back the bread with a mild protest of “I may likely not eat this because it will get soggy!”
Oba responds, “It’s toasted bread, baby!”
I can see that, but it’s still hot and by the time I get to the office, it will be. I protested.

Fast forward to office scenario:
The bread started calling my name just before work began, I still had time on my hands, I simply ignored it. After all, I don’t get hungry before 11am. Next thing, I knew, I brought the pack out to keep it close so I can delve into it when it’s time but alas, the sounds grew stronger and stronger and with each cry to be redeemed, my defenses fell apart. I hate to admit.

I began thinking about giving you this gist with half a piece gone, but by the time I got to typing the title, the whole slice had disappeared.
Boy! That was delicious!
After adding some messages inside, he pan-toasted the bread. So I didn’t get a hard-crust toasted bread, but a succulent, soft and now decoded bread with my eggs and sausage till awaiting demolition at a later hour.

So you see why I’m in love with the cook, because he knew my button and he pressed it well, till I broke my own law!

It’s #ThankfulTuesday and I have someone to thank God for and he is all mine!

PS: When I told Oba “I’m in love with a cook”, he asked me which one? And I asked him how many he knew. He listed Udy of @foodtopiaud and Idong of @idy_lacremecakes, but left himself out.
This is just you babes! And it’s a double!

#UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 051021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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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! 😋

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. 😊

Pray tell, how was your first flight experience?

@imanikel 180621 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Life Thankful Thursday

#ThankfulThursdays – Just because I Am!


Dear God,

It’s so easy to complain about the traffic I have to endure every morning and every evening on my way to and from work. The many hours I get to wait before I get a vehicle. But someone, has been praying to get a job, and no response yet; “If only, they’ll take me, I’m tired of sitting at home!” they pray daily.

It’s easy to complain about the rising cost of foodstuff, yet someone threw away food yesterday, because it had stayed too long in the fridge to the point that it got bad because of PHCN and their magic called light.

How about the complaints of having to repeat dresses, shirts, trousers? By the way, the mad man on the street is still wearing the same barely-covering-anywhere clothes for months now and he keeps trudging the streets, having serious conversations with all the unseen and I’m not sure where he sleeps.

The list in endless…but these paint the picture.

Did I remember to greet You and ask how You are doing with the affairs of keeping us in line? I don’t think so, You are God and it’s so easy for You to coordinate that. I guess! 🙈

Well, I just popped in to say thank You for all those really beautiful miracles this week from total strangers. Just when I was feeling like, why do You let me go through all this, You send someone to tap me out of the thoughts and offer me help. Twice, this week. I know it’s You, because it’s got Your prints all over it.

Thank You especially for beautiful songs that spring up too and make me dance without realizing where I am. It makes me lost in the amazement of Your deep love for me. Indeed, nothing and no one can separate me from Your love and like You used Gochii to point out again, this JOY You’ve given to me, if I keep connecting to it, nothing or no one can STILL it.

Just a note to say, I love it that You love me more…*wink*

Iman – I Manifest Adonai’s Nature #UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 200521 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Change Life Relationships

#MotivationalMonday – Missed calls


So, what’s the phenomenon behind “missed calls”?

Will something happen to me if I have a missed call, whether genuinely missed or intentionally ignored?

A businessman would calculate the value of that call, and so would the operator at the Lighthouse or Control Tower who warns of the danger of missing a call etc.; I’m sure you get the picture now.

One of my friends, (name withheld, but with a sound of ‘war’ in it), used to give me the heat for not picking her call, few minutes after we last spoke. Being about two minutes away from picking me up, I would deliberately ignore her call. Upon querying her as to why this was important, she responded; “what if something happened soon after we got off the phone and I needed to alert you on it”? So, I learnt not to ignore calls, even when I think I know what will be discussed.

So, yours truly is back from work, very tired and have to make food to eat (usually something unusual), with the satisfied look of finally-life-has-new-meaning-to-me and then Oba comes calling! I don’t have a problem with his calling, just so you know, but there are times that though you miss someone, you’d rather just fall into the bed and be watched by a movie (my usual), than pick a call, pretending to be listening and sometimes sleep off on the person as he or she is talking.

Thinking over on this now, there are some voices so soothing, they’d easily send you to sleep.

When you find a missed call on your phone, what do you do? Call back, or thank God you missed it, or blame it on the network.

Well, you did miss a call or two today.

How did I know?

What did you do with that prompting to pray for someone; Check up on someone and or leaving a message (which sometimes may sound silly, but by the time you get a response from that person, you recognize that you had just responded to a call that was divinely dialed), or simply having a conversation with God your Father?

What else did you do after the worship alarm went off, snoozed and continued sleeping till the bath alarm sounded?

It would be mischievous of me to put you on the spot, making you feel funny and sad about your missed calls…

So this is what we will do, return those calls; that’s one of the ways you get to build a stronger bond with Him, don’t you know He loves hearing your voice, be it in prayer, praise or worship or even gisting. I even write Him notes! That’s been a while, but I’m repenting and resuming my duties. I need to fill up His post bin.

How are you going to make up?

It’s a dicey situation, but whatever you decide that makes you happy, may the call you miss not be the one you had been waiting for for a while, to propel you into the next best and big thing!

@imanikel 260421 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Relationships

Into Me See aka #Intimacy


For some reason, all the songs I’ve listened to today, is a call to be intimate and be satisfied – knowing Who you seek and desire. Lately, Oba has been on my matter, on another level I must say, and before your mind starts racing round the globe, he’s not with me right now, but within the Community…LOL. 😌 He’s working on our communication (non-verbal), gist (verbal) and we laugh about the silliest of things. It’s like being rediscovered newly. 🙈

I reckon, there’s an outcry for depth in relationships (whatever type of relationship you are involved in) and really see everything about the person (warts and all) and staying there regardless of the sides you discover. Speaking of sides, the other day, my sister (from another mother) posted something about having three sides and I told her (and the other of my sister) that I know four or more of their sides and we are still laughing about the matter, because there’s so much to discover if only we look deeper.

I’m taking a new path down the intimacy lane and it involves Communication, Observation and Intentionality to Discover or Rediscover what is underneath the one(s) you are crazy about! It’s been deliberate and sometimes annoying, like “didn’t I just talk with you?!” 😳and he goes, “Did you see me?!” meaning let’s do a video-call. To which I respond, “my battery is low”, of course he didn’t hear that part because by the next second, my phone is ringing, and guess what, I’m in the dark, because PHCN has done their rationing thingy and I can’t find someone to help with the generator. But Oba is satisfied seeing my silhouette even with the slowly dying-out torch I have in the living room, whilst waiting for power to return or the gen-helper to show up.

Intimacy is a call to drop your guard, let go of the mask and just BE! That’s risky you say and I have to agree with you. What’s life without risk and spice? What’s life that is regimented to a T! I don’t mind the mix at all, the colours make the world a better place, so why should anyone seek to remain on the surface?

A call to discover has gone out, and it is seeking takers to come into depth with the Father in the place of worship. Calling on others to go beyond the seen and love like never before. It is a call for MORE.

Into me see the things I’d rather hide
Discover stuff that take away pride
Peel away layers upon layers
And bring to fore my deep desires
Into me see the tears behind my eyes
And the pain that pierces my sides
Search through piles and piles
Of truths I keep away in unmarked files
Into me see the me that is bare
Bold and sometimes without a care
Pulling away brick after brick
Till I’m like one without a grip
Into me see I’m done with the tales
Cos in You, falsehood pales…
When glory unveils the veiled
This intimacy has me revealed

You know your varying areas of need, get intimate with it, discover the other angles to your life, family, business, ministry and whatever makes your heart glad. I’ll be here smiling as I anticipate the next move in my #Intimacy journey.

@imanikel 290321 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Relationships Tuesday Thoughts

Meditation helps


Oba is away for a while to address work and settle family matters. This means we get to relate mostly via phone. The question begs, when someone you relate with everyday, like almost every other hour is not in proximity with and to you, how do you keep the fire burning, their touch close or their voices within ear shot?

You think about them!
Yes, have your mind full of their thoughts, voices and everything that reminds you of them. To the point that, if you had a question you would have asked them for their opinions, you can easily tell what their responses would be because you have your mind full of them. Therefore, you will hear a voice say “this is the way, walk in it!”

Little wonder, the Bible enjoins us “to mediate on it day and night and observe to do according to all that is written”, to “think on these things”, and to be “as the man thinks in his heart”

The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study, and to practice. It is the act of remaining in a silent and calm state for a period of time, as part of a religious training, or so that you are more able to deal with the problems of everyday life. It is also the act of thinking about something very carefully and deeply for a long time.

I’m not dealing with the yoga-kind of meditation here, just a simple clearing or better put decluttering your mind of unnecessary thoughts that are not progressive to your health, well-being, relationships with their spouses or others, work, family, dreams/aspirations and focusing on those thoughts that are!

The fact that people most and generally do not give time to “thinking” (meditating) on each aspect of their lives as they ought to. Thinking on (investing thoughts) these parts of our lives actually means fuelling life into them, and breathing on them to live.

If we can commit to thinking deeply (meditate), on everything we hope to see life happen on another level just as we want it to, I’m sure they will come alive just the way we see them in the place of meditation.

Meditation implies investing thoughts, it is a SEED planted, you can plant, then nurture daily by thinking a step deeper and deeper, until the desired end is achieved.

I love this aspect, it does not have to happen immediately, but being consistent in adding a thought on the positives side, and deepening every passing day, births the positive giant we wish to see

Let’s do right by peace, joy and love today, create that atmosphere around you, carry it wherever you are! Let your meditation be on that which is lovely, true, honest, has virtue and is of a good report. Who agrees to this mind change? Let’s see it in your action!😘

@imanikel 27102020 Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles

My Melting Point


You melt the coldest of heart with your love
with the ease of one that comes from above.
By deeds so little, yet mean so much to me
you leave me in awe of how sweet life can be!
Hmmm, they say, “there she goes again,
strutting her stuff without bargain!”
But how do I state or explain
the little things you do, though plain
How do I capture in clear terms
that you are soft, yet very firm.
By your touch my defenses fall
and in silence, I hear you call.
Far or near, your words are so dear
their meanings, I hold with much care.

Today, I remember my days
when thoughts of you came out to play
I just said to stop by and say…
“You are my ‘go-to’ any day!”

@imanikel 18092020 Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Change Life

This ain’t me…


I know you’ll say it’s law, obey. Harken, no need to delay. But this ain’t me, I’m above the law!

You put stop signs 🚫 in place. Try to turn love to hate. This ain’t me😲 I love too much to have distaste.

With words you explain away affection, calling no-hug a way to prevention. This ain’t me, I’m a hugger🤗, not a leaver. 🚶

I cleave, I don’t leave when it’s hot.
I stay, not as a “been there before”
I stand sure in a world on tours.
I lean on your support for sure!

Don’t ask me to be someone else. Finding my replacement may take a while or never have placement.

Don’t teach me ‘values’ that create vacuums or force me to choose between faith and accepting fate!

Leave me unique, untainted. Leave me free, untamed. Leave me inflamed. Or you’ll have a me that ain’t me.

@imanikel 18082020 Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Freedom Fridays

#FreedomFriday – Calm down


I’m not sure how many of us have seen the “calm down” video online that went viral. It’s about a little boy who probably disobeyed his mum and she threatened to punish him. What we saw was a weeping boy negotiating his case with his mum and unlike most motivational speakers today, his emotions were real, he wasn’t negotiating from a “I-heard-it-somewhere” point of view, but from an experiential one.

In my words, ‘Mum, I know you are upset about my bad behaviour. I admit I’ve done this severally and gotten away with it because it’s you nah (in Nigerian pidgin we’d say, ‘nah we we’). But I also know that if you relax, you won’t want to punish me, after all, I’m your loving son. Have you forgotten that you love me? That’s why you pardoned me the previous ones.”

In my words, Mum goes, ‘That’s why I need to carry out the punishment this time because you know my weakness of love towards you and you have been using it as an escape. Not anymore.’

‘I can see this first skill didn’t work, mum. How about you relax on the chair, not in the usual style, try out my method (and he demonstrates what he means, all the while sobbing), you will feel a lot better.’

I had a wonderful time enjoying his conversation even in the midst of his tears with his mum. The part that almost annoyed me, was when I heard that certain people were planning to take the mother up for saying she will punish her child. These persons or groups seem to have forgotten the many serious issues of child rape, abuse, kidnaps etc going on, the domestic battery and violence, the problem of depression from loss of work and no money or lack of proper health care that has allowed many treatable patients pass on to the other side untimely.

With the mighty logs in their eyes, they have left the more important things needing activist attention to disturb the net over a mother that recorded her private negotiation session with her son and put online. If she wanted to punish him, she would have done so without recording it and none of us would know what took place in her home. Apparently, he always makes her these kinds of promises and doesn’t keep them and if she shares the story outside, we won’t believe the young-man is good with negotiation, so she decided to play her home video outside.

If you don’t have anything to do, come I’ll point you in the right direction. Children of these days don’t need to be taught certain skills but encouraged to use it for greater good.

When I told my son to cut our video call, he refused and asked me to do it, I refused too. When his grandmother offered to cut it from his end, my one-liner 8-year son said to her, “that’s inappropriate!” Grandma, went her way o!

It’s #FreedomFriday, what are you on about? Like my mum used to say, “cool ya heart temper!” LOL

@imanikel 07082020 Frances Kelvin Otung