Category Archives: Freedom Fridays

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.

#FreedomFriday ~ Poolside Musings

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Last week I was thinking about the man at the poolside in John 5:2-9 and I thought to myself…yes, this is the situation I’ve found myself and I can’t help me, but how do I maximize this lame-going-nowhere opportunity for the greater good? These are what I came up with, I’m sure there’s more!

1) Begin a talk-show at the poolside, with the families that have come and gone, have them tell the world about their stories (human interest angle) – Reporter.
2) Sell affordable, on-the-go necessary stuffs for people whilst they wait for the stirring of the water – Entrepreneur
3) Chronicle exceptional cases and healing, mine is one by the way – Writer
4) Cultivate and improve my communication/motivational skill – Motivational speaker
5) Arrange a pick-up/drop-off for who is willing – Uber services
6) Preach Jesus as the Way to receiving healing, rather than waiting for the angel because I got mine that way – Minister

What opportunities have you allowed slipped by you because you felt incapacitated? Behold and grab them.

@imaniking

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Dollars and Sharing thingz

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I don’t get it! When will you change your method of operation? Has it not occurred to you that we are in the 21st Century and if your Voodoo priest is still giving you the same story lines, then maybe you need a new priest or one that is on the internet, at least educated with the times we are in.

These were the same lines he gave to Mr. P and it didn’t work. Maybe it did, if not you wouldn’t have joined the bandwagon. But if you ask me, I think it’s lame, you are lame too for believing it and more lame is the greedy fellow that keeps falling for your very poorly scripted story played by 3 actors only.

Okay! I’m done with the steam now. So what happened?

Many years ago in Port-Harcourt (3 instances) and 1 in Lagos, 3 different cabs picked me up and the following discussion ensued immediately I was picked.

1st Instance:
I got into a cab with my ear-piece on, listening to my discman. I was headed to Artillery Junction from Rumukwurushi, the other occupants were busy having discussion in the car and we got before Shell Camp, the driver parked and his partner-in-crime got down with him and they returned complaining about a carton of Dollars behind, where did he get the money from and they wanted to share it. I ignored them and continued listening to the discman and when they noticed I didn’t buy into their game, the driver tapped me at about Rumuibekwe and said he wasn’t going my way anymore, that I should get down. LOL. Ole!

2nd Instance:
Same scenario, but this time I was going to work, so I began praying in tongues and I prayed out loud. And they quickly told me to get down, I refused, that they must drop me at our negotiated destination (of course I was looking for their trouble, so they could enter the traffic jam and burn a bit of petrol) but they had obviously calculated that they won’t get anything from me, so it was better I got down fast and they chased another victim.

3rd Instance:
Oga, I wan drop for “Our Men of Power Ministries”

I was seated behind with a female Youth Corper (new-to-town apparently). Immediately I looked up and saw a sign board that had the name above (can’t remember the exact name, but it was some church signboard by the road side) and for some reason I felt he just read it off the board, because it didn’t roll off his tongue.

Driver parks and says “pay me my money”, and this creep continues, “I wan go call my brother to come help me carry the load for back”. Driver gets down to help him and returns looking ‘upset’, “You sey you no get money, who get all the money for boot?”.

Immediately I heard that, I tapped on the Corper and said “Sweetheart, let’s get down here. Driver, we want to drop.” I didn’t know her name, so ‘Sweetheart’ was good enough. The driver insisted that he was headed our way, I insisted we were not going again and got down. The passenger aka Mr Creep, didn’t drop again, but zoomed off with the driver.

All these happened many years ago, but last week in Lagos, they picked a friend’s maid and she made them look more stupid than they already are.

She told them she wasn’t interested in their Dollars, as she doesn’t have where to hide it.

They asked about her employees, their kind of jobs, if she had an account with up to N50,000 in it. You want to give her $500, why are you asking her for N50,000? They said they needed a place to pray for the money before sharing, she advised them that her Aunty worked for a church, maybe they can go there and have them pray for the money. But she needs to drop off because her wards will soon be home from school. Eventually, as the owner of the money made to drop and check something behind, she quickly got out and slammed their door and they hurried away.

They probably would have hurt her, but God save the day. My point is, why do they keep using the same storylines? Get a new script-writer to work on your lines, maybe it will work on the greedy ones but for me and the rest of us not interested in your cheap dollar, go get a real job!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – From my heart ♥

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Hurrying up to go to work, I move from room to room and back again trying to ensure everything is in place. King Earl walks up to me:

KE: Mum!!! Please can I use your green pen?
Me: No, sweetie. I need to go to work with it.
KE: (protesting) but I need to use it, I want to write something from my heart!
Me: (shocked, but I did the adult face) you can use a pencil or a black pen to write it.
KE: Yes…but I need the green pen because I want to write something from my heart (he insisted)

I’m not given to joking with ‘heart matters’, so I hand over the green pen and continue with my concerns. Time to leave and I ask for my pen.

KE: I’m not through, Mum
Me: I need my pen, baby.

KE hands over the pen with a very sad face 😦 and I put it in my pocket. Picking up the ‘thing from my heart’, I realised it was a really beautiful drawing he had started. “Wow! It’s beautiful baby. I love it!” His face lights up at my words. “Please, draw it well ok. Mummy loves the picture”.

We are not done with the heart matter, but here is what he has done so far. What do you think?

Earl's Heart Drawing

 

#FreedomFriday – Happy Innocence Day

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When I was a child, Innocence used to live in my community

Yes, they were bullies, but also mothers that stood up to resist

And fathers that sent you back to school to return with a trophy

There were mothers who could leave their children for the market

And return to meet them alive and in one piece.

Fathers who taught boys how to be men and not celebrate the beast in them

Fathers who knew to be proud of their legacy, wealthy or not!

Back then, it felt good to be a child, as my short baby dress wasn’t an invitation

But a girl beautifully dressed with ribbons and matching socks…

Trusting fingers clinging to out-stretched adult hands

Giggling as my feet left the ground; above an uncle’s shoulder…

When Innocence was a child like me!

Now Innocence is grown in more ways than she should

The quick movement of retreating eyes tell sordid tales

Of several forms of abuse, unspoken and unreached hurts

Innocence wears a gown not her size, trying desperately to hide

Yet searching ‘Hawks’ snatch her fresh before Momma turns to defend

Making a woman of her, laden with a child. Yet, she herself is one!

I don’t know if Innocence will return…

But I seek all who will her cause defend and Hawks prevent

Will you join me? So we truly have a Happy Children’s day.

*Both male and female gender suffer different forms of abuse and need to be cared for, defended, loved and made to enjoy their innocence. Let’s be the voice of the new-born,  3-month baby who can’t form words yet or the one whose truth is disbelieved.
**We still have parents that believe in family values and uphold them at every given opportunity.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#Abraham’s POV

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Going through Abram’s time and his situation(s), I viewed his world through his eyes, but in our times. It’s #FreedomFriday and I get to do what I want – with freedom. Yippee!

I remember minding my own business and helping daddy out with his Cattle business with my brothers Nahor and Haran in Ur of the Chaldees, hopeful that when he passed on, the inheritance will become mine or at least most of it, as the eldest. I recall the many father-son conversations and bonding time we usually had in the cool of the evening sipping on coconut water, whilst waiting for food to be ready; strategizing on the best location for grazing the animals. Oh! How I truly loved those time, until Haran died and left Lot without a father. I remember them now with sadness.

You see, daddy had to relocate from Ur of the Chaldees heading towards Canaan (I’m not sure what the real reasons were though) but when he got to the city of Haran, he pitched his tent there and died there. Despite our bonding time, I couldn’t bring myself to tell daddy that God had spoken to me and told me to leave Ur of the Chaldees, my siblings and parents and follow Him blindly on promises of a great nation, blessing, a great name and the rest! Who would believe me? Surely they would think me crazy. So I played along and though I am sad he died in Haran, I’m sure you can connect with my feeling of relief that I didn’t have to break daddy’s heart after he lost Haran. Hmmm.

I obeyed God and left Haran, got into famine, left for Egypt, had to ‘battle’ with Pharaoh for Sarai, my fair-to-look-upon-drop-dead-gorgeous wife. Thank God they didn’t kill me there. And did I just thank Him? Yes o! He had a hand in my deliverance. From enemies without, to enemies within – my herdsmen and my nephew’s herdsmen having a scuffle amongst themselves. Over what? Grass and space! My own brother’s son, whom I allowed to join me. Shebi, God had said to leave them behind, but I couldn’t let him waste in the village and become a bum. Well, no issue, we parted.

Did I mention to you that Sarai was barren? Yes, God gave me silver, gold and cattle; you would say I became famous in a way. But I wasn’t satisfied. Who will I leave all these wealth for? Definitely not Lot! After changing our names from Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah, God blessed us with Isaac. In-between, there was Ishmael, but I really didn’t have a hand in that matter, Sarah arranged it and I simply obeyed, (smiling at the thought).

God has come again o! (becomes pensive again) After all these years of listening to Sarah endure mockery from Nahor’s wife, then Hagar (her maid). After all these years that He had blessed us with Isaac and our home was filled with laughter, he says to me, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” – Gen 22:2 What will people say to me? That I left my inheritance for an unknown land, made blood money and used my son as sacrifice to appease the gods. They will not understand that God spoke to me. Why would God give me a son after all these years of waiting and then take him away from me by my own hand? *God, abeg if nah joke, I no dey laugh. If you wan kill am, use Your own hand. But then, Abraham says resignedly “I had no hope of ever having a son until He promised me one, so if He wants the son back, I will give him.” What will I say to Isaac? How will I convince Sarah? When did I become a mad man? I left family and friends, tired to deceive a King who had the power to take my head off because of my wife and now I want to kill my son, my long-awaited son, whom I planned on reliving the times Terah (my father) and I had. “When you are faced with this type of dilemma, who do you pray to?!” Abraham pondered as he gathered his bags for the journey of sacrifice.

#SpiritOfFaith #CrazyFaith

Words in Pidgin English:
*God if it is a joke, I’m not laughing with You. If you want to kill Isaac, do it yourself!

Picture Source: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2014/02/21/commentary-on-genesis-11-12-abraham/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

#Peter’s POV

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Peter’s Point of View – my paraphrase

This Bros Jay sef!

I had been telling Him when He came to meet me and asked me to join Him in His movement that we had a no-nonsense government in place already – one that didn’t even let our own leaders rule directly, but He wouldn’t listen (as usual!). He went from picking me to those two ‘confused’ boys James and John, Zebedees sons, who are forever fighting over each other and they are not even twins. Bros, chose Matthew – a much hated Tax-collector and a mix of some not-so-upwardly-mobile boys and to top it up, He added that guy with dubious past Judas. Shebi, He has seen where it led Him to – the death, and in the most ignoble manner of all – hung like a common thief. *Dis people get mind sha.

Come on! Let me ask you dear readers, what did Jesus really expect me to do in that situation? When those soldiers were everywhere and that little girl tried to expose me. Mehn! My people say, *‘to find way no be run, nah wisdom!’ I had to deliver myself from every accusation before they will hang not just one, but both of us. Who will continue the movement when He dies? I was only being wise for His sake.

After they hung Bros, things became tough, really hard and I needed to survive. At least when He was around, He used to do miracles, we will have bread and fish and leftovers sef. *The other time, nah fish bring us money! Bros Jay, if not for anything sha, I miss your miracles! You bin too much, abeg collect salute for where you dey. Twale!!!

https://inspiredfountainpen.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/fishermen.jpg?w=652

As I was saying, I went back to Fishing. If it were you, what would you do? My CV was already tainted with the tagged ‘Activist, Instigating trouble wherever he goes’, how will I get any job (decent or not) with that? I went back to the seas, it didn’t ask for CV or for Referees, it just accepted me back like that. As for the others, they scattered in different directions. Tomorrow now, Jesus will ask “if I loved Him?” Should I used rope to tie the other ten disciples together? That dubious fellow whom I warned Jesus about had hung himself too and he didn’t even enjoy the money he betrayed Jesus for!

Hmmm, it is well.

Words in Pidgin English:
1) These people are really bold
2) To find a way of escape is wisdom
3) The other time, a fish brought us money. Brother Jay, if not for anything, I miss the miracles you did. You were on point! My respects are in order for you.

Picture Source: http://inspiredfountain.com/2007/06/27/get-out-of-that-boat/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved