Category Archives: Rant

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.

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

Help!!! I’ve been pulled back

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I just have to keep going, keep pressing on against the wind, against the sand in my face, through these sea of bodies. It’s a fight for survival. Everyone is doing it, so I might just get to the end of the race regardless of how my bones ache and my body is begging for respite.

Looking back, I’ve made quite some progress, nothing much to write home about, but at least I’ve left the start line and I’m in motion. That’s what it is, right? Everyone is in motion, therefore, I must count in that number. It doesn’t feel like much. As a matter of fact, I feel alone and left to struggle this out on my own.

Thought You said “You loved me?!”
“I’ll never leave you nor forsake you”
Where are You in all this?
“I am with you till the end of the age.”
Then why do I feel so alone?
“You are not alone, child, before you were born I knew you.”
‘Knowing’ shows intimacy, is this how You treat people You love? I heard that “Love gives!”
“I gave you Jesus!”
And where is He right now that I need answers?

I question the Answer as I run on, shooting down every response He gives to me. How can He be unmoved by all I’m going through?

G flies past me, no worries, I’ll catch up with you soon. O waves as he glides away, my heart sinks. Watching Z breeze easily away, was the last straw and then He stops me.

HELP!!!

Somebody help me! I’ve been stopped in the middle of my race.
Help! I’ve been pulled back by One who said He loves me. Don’t be callous, don’t race on as if you can’t see my situation. Does it not look awkward to you as I stand still, while others fly past? Can’t you tell something is wrong? Help! I’ve been pulled back by the Hand that was meant to assist me.

How sad 😦

  • To fire a gun, the trigger is taken back.
  • A bowstring is pulled back and the aim (target) in focus before the archer releases the arrow, so it goes further.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

What If…

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I’d love to box God into a corner if that were possible, put a gun to His head (or something else that my finite mind can conjure) and have Him answer me “When it will happen?”, “Why it hasn’t happened yet?” I’d love to seal every hole He’d want to escape from and have Him tied to the seat or handcuffed to a pole (I must be watching too many action movies lately) and “talked to” till He begs for mercy and gives me the answers willingly. But how do you hold down an Infinite God? How do you capture One whom WORDS (seen) and WINDS (unseen) obey?

Something nudges me on the inside asking me a simple and somewhat innocent question “What if it never happens, what are you going to do?” As I sit listening to Brian Courtney Wilson – I’ll Just Say Yes and sing along, I’m still wondering ‘how long’?

By the way, I had a discussion with Him yesterday, more like a MONOLOGUE and I told Him (as if He didn’t hear it for Himself already) what the heathen said “Where is your God?”

I know where You are, but how do I explain that it is beyond what You have done and I’ve entered into, it is beyond what You have finished and I’m yet to receive or experience. It felt good venting yesterday so today, I’ll just stick to saying “Yes Lord! Yes Lord!! My life is yours!!!”

By the way, I love You <3!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

Stop the ‘bullies’…KE’s way

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There will always be bullies! I had one when I was in primary school and she made my life miserable. I dreaded getting on the school bus daily, I knew she would pick on me and others won’t say a thing. It continued for a long while, until one day I stood up to her and yabbed (taunted) her too and the laughter that erupted, she never forgot in a hurry and that ended the bullying. But did it really end? I don’t think so, as I still remember her name.

I met her years back, after school, I was working and not married. She stopped by my office to check on someone and we met. Guess what, she tried flaunting in front of me, but I was too empowered to be bothered and so calmly and coolly responded to all her antics. I watched as she gushed and went on and on about the man she was about to marry and all I could feel inside for her was pity, as I could see she had a rose-coloured perspective about marriage. I haven’t heard from her since then and truly hope she had settled down.

When people bully others, they leave scars that don’t just go away with the wave of a wand. As the victim remembers every detail and sometimes develops low self-esteem if not properly handled. Well, I build confidence in my Heritage that they can be all they want to be and more and if someone talks them down to my hearing, I don’t permit it and they know better than to believe any junk someone else tells them about themselves.

We had an interesting conversation this morning on our way to work. Who else, if not King-Earl!

KE: Mom! Some boys refused to allow me play with them
Me: (thinking: But you are so adorable, when you are not asking those questions or dropping your one-lines) Why?
KE: I don’t know
ME: Are they in your class?
KE: Nope…they are in grade 5 and grade 3
ME: Okay (thinking: but you are in Nursery 2, Earl!)
King: Next time you go to play and they refuse, tell them “It’s their loss.”
KE: Okay, dad.
ME: Maybe you should draw them instead as they are playing.
KE: (he chuckles and says) I will draw them as old men!

After school, I asked how it went. “I told them what daddy said and they still didn’t allow me to play. It didn’t work! Why they didn’t allow me, is because they are bigger than me!”

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

The Nigerian in me ;)

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I’m Nigerian, proudly AK, I believe in transformation, excellence (thank you Pst Paul of Lagos…LOL), all things leading somewhere to happen, impacting lives and changing statusquo. I’m Nigerian (I repeat) and I’m proud. Corruption has got nothing on me (no thanks Cameron).

People are entitled to their opinion and so I will grant them their due audience, though I made a covenant with my ears (earlier in the year) not to listen to anything negative – visual or audio. I might look at it or listen so as to know how to address it, but I do not entertain it, invite it into my heart and home or give it a dwelling place in my sphere. There is so much negativity trading and showing off already, why would I go a-searching for more?!

That people say we are bad, ill-mannered, fantastically-corrupt, and all dem bad-bad names dem a call we (forgive the fake patwah) does it mean you should wear the tag gladly without making any attempt to work on what needs correcting? Yes, they have pointed all these out, why not take their opinion as a list of things to strike off our pattern of behaviour and form new and better ones worth emulating?

I’m Nigerian, Born-again and Proud of where I drink from spiritually. I am taught to keep my biscuit and chocolate wrap with me till I get to the bin and deposit it nicely. It has gotten so bad that yesterday, when I walked into a mall, I saw a wrap and then a plastic bottle on the floor I almost picked them up before moving on. No I didn’t pick them for many reasons; but the one we do often (my King and I) is we don’t let you get away with dumping your trash on the road whilst driving. If you attempt to or do it, we would drive up to you and inform you to keep it in your car till you are able to do it. I don’t know what it is, but everyone we have told this, always look sober and apologetic. Whether they keep up with the new-found habit is what we cannot tell or confirm.

Last week, someone close to me, absentmindedly dropped something very tiny from the car and before I realised it, the deed had been done. Oh yes, I gave the ‘lecture’ which the person already knows for your information and I also observed on that beautiful day, the response I got innocently was “It’s the Nigerian in me”. I told the person I would write about it, so we all learn to curb that “Nigerian in us” that wants to remain in the not-going-anywhere-to-become-better-arena. Guess what, the tiny particle even refused to drop from the car and got stuck between the window and the door! LOL. We had a good laugh.

We all have “the Nigerian in us” but here is a call to consciously decide daily which Nigerian we allow show wherever we are and whilst you are thinking about it, I hail o! *Twale!

*AK – Akwa Ibom

*Twale – A form of greeting

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#MondayDrama – An Interesting Conversation

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fuel economy uk

“It looks like this filling station will soon start selling fuel.”

“For where?! Dem no get fuel. Fuel only dey for that filling station for express.”

“NorthWest?”

“Yes, I hear say the woman get mouth.”

And I’m wondering “everyone has a mouth on their face” (technically, except in rare medical conditions). But you see, this is Nigeria and when someone is referred to as one with ‘Mouth’ or ‘Leg’, this means that you have CONNECTION and by ‘connection’ I mean, you can get away with anything or you have influence (in a manner of speaking). Now, I will have to agree to an extent with the fellow and his reasoning, as I’m wondering why a gas station would take 92% of the road and prevent other road users from moving freely to their destination, even when we know that moving freely in Ajah axis of Lekki means driving really slow – a step at a time! But to be so hindered that many people couldn’t reach the other part of Lagos yesterday (is something else), and nobody said anything about it, the woman obviously has connection.

Now, ‘we’ have blamed the woman aka owner of the fuel station. But I’m not done, how about you – the motorist?

She had cordoned off a section of the road to cater for her ever-increasing line of gasoline buyers. One line for the long stretch of cars, but motorist/ area-boys/ fuel touts/ enforcement agents in their all-knowing wisdom moved the rope and cone a bit for one car and another and yet another and soon we had four lines of parked cars attempting to enter the station through multiple access with no regard for other road users. Some others came from the opposite side of the road (drove against traffic apparently) and parked on that end in their own multiple queue to buy fuel. Many people didn’t go to church yesterday o! You do well.

I saw a funny write-up thanking the no-light/no-fuel situation for how it has encouraged family times and bonding, as the men can’t go hang out with the boys, children get to read more and one said that even God was happy as churches were full yesterday because a lot of people went there to charge their phones (that have been dead for days) and if I must add enjoy the cooling atmosphere from the air-conditioning units. LOL.

That analysis would work for those that were able to make it to church. For those that didn’t, you don’t want to know what they said in their hearts to everyone connected to this avoidable situation that prevented them from doing so. I went to church o and yes I had to charge the phones very well. But after that, what next? What is the solution to the fuel crisis that we are experiencing? I’m not even sure what is wrong or who to blame, I can only ask that what needs to be done should be done fast before…. I leave the conclusion to you.

By the way, transportation skyrocketed today by 100% increase and I’m wondering if any company did salary increase over the weekend in anticipation of this transport hike. Another thing is that despite all the filling stations maintaining that they are not selling in jerry cans, right beside each station is a trail of boys, men and women with different litres of fuel (from the ones they can carry to the over-sized container) selling black-market at ridiculous prices. Who sold this fuel to them? Just thinking out aloud.

Picture Source: http://www.nextgreencar.com/mpg/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved