One quiet Saturday evening a meeting convened In attendance were my Future and Present being The Past wouldn’t be put aside, came along Thinking with other two, is where I belong! Not wanting to be delayed, Future asked… “Where will you be years from now in certain tasks?” With patterns and paths I follow, with strategies and plans so shallow… “Not far, I fear”, I reckoned “Come, let’s talk”, she beckoned.
It’s not about another’s pace Everyone runs their own race Neither is it about undirected haste You’d go far if in His sufficient grace. Past listened and nodded with concerned gaze. “There’s no part for me to play in this place, off I go to remain quiet in history Till the day comes for her to tell our story”. I had a meeting with Future… I rose, ready for adventure!
Have you ever been in a situation you just wanted
some peace, calm and quiet away from the crazy world outside?
View yourself in a mixed crowd of people with half
of them going nowhere specific, all they do each morning is wake up without so
much as a splash of water on the face, or toothpaste to the teeth, set out to
the corner of the street, with a sachet of alcohol in one hand and a Pepsi
plastic bottle tucked into a pocket behind, walking the length of the junction
or street corner, looking for who to brush past or harass and move on to the
I have to swim through these groups every other morning
to get to the point I can catch a ride to work. Thankfully, I don’t make up
their jurisdiction. Pheww. Imagine surviving that, getting into a bus of
‘seemingly’ sane people, only to meet a young man with beards that need a
barber’s touch be nasty! Actually the beards have been shaven but it seemed
with a blunt instrument. Well, I had no hand in that, so why was he nasty to
He got into the bus before me (you know those
8-seater buses), I call them “Ilesha buses” because that’s where I saw them
first. My Ilesha peeps, have mercy o! Mbok. On getting into the bus, I was
trying to sit beside him and the driver moved, so I sort of slumped into the
chair and ‘Unku’ moved himself to assert ownership of the zone and I said,
“Please, take it easy.” He goes, “Do you want me to go out through the window?”
I’m only asking you to take it easy. Should I leave
this seat, would it make you feel better?
What’s my own?
Am I paying for the seat?
Probably, you want to, so you feel more comfortable.
And he goes on and on about how he didn’t even touch
me and I’m wondering whose elbow was nudging me immediately I sat. When all I
needed was to sit first before he started moving and claiming territories. I
could see he was upset about something and this was purely “transferred
things”. So I say to him, “I’m not the reason you are upset and I can see you
are a nasty fellow.” Yes, I said it. And he responded back to me. Told him, he
was a man (meaning he should have stopped talking by now), but he went on and
on. I did the next best thing, I left him to the seat behind which was
comfortable and free of the nagging man.
The good book says “It is better to stay on the rooftop than to live with a quarrelsome man”. I took the advice o! Did I tell you he had the last say? At this point, I’m sober and wondering who has gotten this young man to this point. What do I know? At least, I achieved that initial peace I was looking for, away for ‘Unku’.
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.
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
(c) 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.
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!
(c) 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.
Excuses according to my Pastor, “are the tools of the incompetent, monuments of nothingness, those who use them are not wise.” The question that begs for answer is, why do people enjoy giving excuses?
Agreed, there are valid reasons why people do not keep their promises to perform or deliver; these sets of people we can overlook. However, there are those that DELIGHT in giving excuses. As a matter of fact, they have readymade answers waiting for every question or enquiry. For me, I view them as a form of escape. It says ‘I can’t think through beyond what I’ve done, there’s no other way round this! This alone portrays you as ‘unserious’, ‘unreliable’, ‘undependable’ and all the other negative ‘uns’.
There are always options, search them out and if it will help, utilize them.
Escaping from Excuses:
1)View the task before you as a personal challenge you MUST succeed in
2)Look for fun ways to achieve your goal so it doesn’t weary or bore you out.
3)Ask someone else for their assistance, they might just know how to make it work.
Having done all, realize that there are some situations you can’t do anything about and just let it be. That way you roll with a conqueror’s mentality and not a defeatist cloak. This is my opinion, what do you think about excuses?