At the year’s end

      Every blog post or write-up I’ve read in the past week all started the exact same way ‘it’s that time of the year again’, but why? It’s almost like there was a general consensus (I obviously didn’t take part in) by everyone to write the exact same way, and about the same thing; New Year resolutions. Funny enough, people have been writing like this every New Year period for the past, only God knows how long; and I’m very pressed about it. I thought there was an unspoken rule to leave that phrase back in 2001? Obviously nobody else got that memo but me. 

Now that that’s out of the way, how are you on this dry and dusty day? Can you believe it’s almost the beginning of a new year? Another 365, just for you. I don’t know where I stand on this whole beginning and end of a decade thing, so please correct me if I’m wrong (of which I most likely am because my math is rubbish), but isn’t the decade supposed to end next year? I thought that was how this thing worked, you count in 10’s.  Whose brilliant idea was it to ‘end the decade’ at 19, instead of 20? When you count, you don’t get to 9 and assume its 10? You follow through. Even CNN is confused about the whole decade thing, as some people believe we may be celebrating the decade one year too early. Either ways, the past couple of years have brought us nothing but memorable moments.  

Who can forget when Lady gaga wore meat to the VMA’s back in 2010, I’m fairly certain the first iPad was released that same year. Then the wedding of life ( Prince Harry and Kate Middleton) that had Nigerians in Nigeria seriously pressed. After that, everyone started planking and pouring ice water on each other because ALS challenge. The 10’s were also the year of the great boom:  Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp exploded, taking social networking to another level.  I feel both Jack and Mark Zuckerberg owe Nigerians thank you notes for making their apps pop all through. Social media influencers left, right and centre. Mazi Ibe and Pamilore can’t even say anything bad about it; the year’s have been outstanding for the likes of them. 

The rise of you-tubers, opening up another stream of income, the successful but not so successful  ‘occupy Nigeria’ protests, the fall of Mo’ hits records, the separation of psquare, the numerous tankers that burnt at different times, Boko haram putting Nigeria in a choke hold, the terrorist attacks in the UK, sex for grades, President Buhari, corkscrewww and so much more. One thing is certain though, the years waved in mixed reactions. That being said, may the New Year be better. Truth is, if you don’t make a conscious effort to change, you’re going to remain exactly the same. Irrespective of how you spend your crossover i.e. church or otherwise or how many resolutions you make to break, you owe it to yourself to do better. Have a glorious 2020. Peace and Love.

Opportunity of inheritance

      For a minute, I almost forgot I had to post today. I’m still caught up in the whole lazy haze that is Boxing Day, and I guess you are too. You’re not active, neither are you lazy: just laid back and chilling. For that reason, I’m going to make this post short. Late last night, I was having a discussion with my guys (over drinks obviously), and I asked a question I had always wanted to ask. “If you as a rich man died right now, how do you feel about giving your child an inheritance”? The question went around, as I wanted each person to answer. 

The business man said as opposed to giving his children money, he would rather provide them with opportunities and leave a trust fund that can only be accessed when certain criteria are met. That seemed to be the consensus, as most of the guys stated their opinions which was in tune with the above statement. They all agreed on never giving actual cash, because if the child wasn’t industrious he would surely squander your money. 

So instead, provide him with opportunities and assist him. I’ve heard this statement echo from so many people, and I couldn’t disagree more. Just like the hustle chief(another friend), I’m going to teach my child the importance and value of money, how it flows and operates. Yes I will provide opportunities, but I will also provide money. If you squander it, that’s your personal business. What you do with the money after I’m gone has absolutely nothing to do with me. 

One thing is sure though, you wouldn’t say I didn’t provide. What you’ll realize is, you mismanaged. To not provide because I want to make you independent, grow and be creative is something I won’t do. I may be wrong, but that’s just how I feel. Peace and Love

How successful are you?

       As you most likely know at this point, I think a lot. A lot of times, that thinking borders on over-thinking: and for a bit, I’ve been re-examining and challenging a couple of my personal beliefs. I’ve seen the quote ‘‘Success is in the mind’’ at one too many places, and even used to Stan. But some incidents that happened during the past week had me thinking ‘is success really in the mind’? Can you separate physical success from mental success? Can there be one without the other, or do you need both to co-exist and survive? I’m thinking, even if you think and behave successfully without any physical connotations of success to back it up, is it possible to tag yourself successful? 

A big question I’m finding hard to answer is, ‘how possible is it to achieve equilibrium between the two without a self esteem deficit i.e. can you be broke with no achievements but still be Charismatic because ‘success is in the mind’. We all know self esteem is directly linked to success, but Success like most constructs has a general definition and a subjective one. In as much as success may be wealth and riches, I also understand that success is whatever you individually define it to be. There’s no uniform benchmark for success. Success might seem like getting a Rolex or achieving a milestone- but, a milestone to one person might be a wasteland to another.  In my opinion, the meaning of success is subjective just as much as it is all encompassing. 

For example, I was somewhere over the weekend, and I saw people dress up and others dress down. There were guys clad in starched shirts, while others wore just t-shirts and slides- but still carried themselves like they had all the money in the world. Now, nobody is attributing dressing to success, but let’s treat this example as if the clothes were successful achievements. What made the people with the seemingly tacky appearance confident? I belong to the school of thought who believes that success in the mind and physical success can and should co-exist. 

You can’t have one without the other. Yes it’s in the mind, but have tangible achievements (money included) to help as back up. I don’t know about you but to me it’s more about show and prove, than show and tell. Having said that, define success for you. Don’t let anyone put you down, use your own yardstick to back up what’s in your mind and own your greatness. Have a wonderful Christmas celebration. Peace and Love.

Things not of God

       How do we even live in this Lagos? The traffic is unbearable like every time. It’s frustrating how a journey that should take about 20 minutes would go on for as long as 2 hours. I stay on the mainland, so I’m privy to some of the worst traffic known to man. I remember I wrote a post from Abuja a while back about opening up the interior, and creating opportunities over there: I think we seriously need to revisit that topic. Nowadays, when people visit Lagos then ask ‘why is there so much traffic or is there something going on’, I just shrug and sob quietly. 

I’ve started dreading the torture known as going out. For starters, it’s usually a struggle getting a bus- then after you get the bus you have to brace yourself for the uncomfortable journey that waits. Nature is taking the piss as the sun is always out to play and ‘harmattan has japa’. It’s the worst when I have to sit on those un-cushioned and uncomfortable bus seats for hours, and the bone in my ass starts to hurt (thank God for Uber). Imagine the person beside you now has vile body odour and is sweating profusely. You find yourself wondering if body odour can be transferred by his sweat touching your skin? Sometimes the traffic is so bad that you get tired of sitting, and decide to walk to your destination:  completely forgoing the money you paid as transport fare. I have a relatively good view of Eko Bridge from my house, and sometimes I would still see traffic on the bridge as late as 1am. There are people inside those cars, right?  After facing that war, majority of them still have to go to work the next day, pass the same route, and face the same traffic. It’s like a never ending cycle. 

In the midst of all that drama, some people still find the strength to ‘Hang out’. I bow for Lagosians. On most days, I just want to be by myself and cry in peace. I don’t even have the power to remove my clothes, talk less of hang out. What can be said of Lagos traffic is that it is caused by witches and wizards, because most times you’ll get to the front of the traffic and see nothing. At other times, we can trace the root of the traffic to one idiotic driver who has decided to use the road selfishly, and make life unbearable for others. The tankers parked on the bridge aren’t even helping matters. Please explain to me how exactly traffic is supposed to move on a two lane road when tankers are parked side by side? 

The effrontery to block the road without fear or worry just shows a general lack of respect for the government or any authority figure. I have always said and still maintain that the only way order can be restored to this country is if the military is poured into the streets. People need to be flogged severely, others need to be told to do frog jump on the road. I say the military: not meaning they should seize power, but if there was a way we could have a democratic governance with the might of the military, things would be better. Either ways, I’m hot and bothered. Peace and Love

The eyes of fulfillment .

       The past couple of years have been an eye opener for me. Met some new people, visited a few new places but most importantly experienced new things.  My time in some of these places made me realize something pretty quickly, something I already knew but somehow forgot. To be happy, money is very important, but fulfillment is importanter. If you keep thinking you’ll be happy when you achieve or get certain things, you might find that at the end of the day you’re still not happy or fulfilled when you get them. Take me for example, a lot of things I said would make me happy if I got them, didn’t actually make me happy when I got them. 
I said “if only I had some money, I’d be happier”, got some money I wasn’t happy.  “If I get a better job I’d be happier”, got the job of my dreams, still wasn’t as ecstatic as I thought I would be.  To me, some of the most important things in life border around happiness and fulfillment.  I realized that in as much as I may have been crossing off things on a list, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel fulfilled. I constantly felt empty inside, and no matter how much money or food I threw at it, I still wasn’t happy. Fam, crying inside a Bentley is real. I know we will all say we want to cry inside a Bentley, but the minute you move up in life: the dynamics change – and if you’re not fulfilled in whatever it is you’re doing, you would keep being empty and looking for the next thing to fill you up.
‘I will be happy when I do this, I’ll be more social when I do that’, be happy now. Satiate yourself, find your fulfillment. Don’t wait anymore, life is really not guaranteed. You don’t want to be 80 and on a bed somewhere thinking about how much time you’ve wasted on unnecessary things, and wondering why and how you feel so empty. Find your happy place in the smallest things you do. The quote “nothing comes easy” is very deceptive. Deceptive in the sense that, it may not be easy doesn’t mean it has to be life threatening. My cousin said something to me that I heard echo from so many people (he’s a successful business man btw), he said “if something is stressing me too much, then I know it’s not for me and I move. Something better or another way would come along”. He’s one of the happiest people I know, and I’m desperately trying to adopt that into my life. 
That theory may or may not work for me, but I’ve heard so many people say it- why not try it. Happiness is the highest key.  If you’re not fulfilled, 10 out of 10 times, you won’t be happy. A person that seemingly has everything but isn’t fulfilled will look at a happy fulfilled man that has less, with pure undiluted envy- wondering “how does he do it”. No matter how much you achieve or whatever, your personal happiness would still not be in check, and you’d just be an empty shell walking around. Don’t be a shell today. Peace and Love.

DRUM ROLL, I’M BACK!!!

Family, what’s going on? It’s been quite a while. Believe me when I say I stayed up on too many late nights, wondering what my opening line would be and how I’d re-interject myself back into your lives. After the long thought, I came up with nothing: so this is as awkward for me as it is for you. But I’m back, and safe to say I missed you all. I can’t believe it’s been what, almost 24 months? (I hate when people say 24months instead of 2 years. Like, don’t make me do math fam). How have you been? Hope life has been treating you fairly, and you’re in good health?  I’m fine, just in case you were wondering- and I’m going to quickly explain the reasons for my absence in 3 brief points.

 Firstly, at some point last year I lost the phone which I use to share and re-post links on Social media (it was stolen). I got another one, but I lost it too (it was stolen). Got another, and lost that as well (sigh, it was also stolen). It was a crazy moment for me. I was caught between thinking I had been cursed with not being able to keep a phone, or I was just a moron. Each time I got a new phone, i vowed to return- but absence makes the heart grow weaker, and I lost steam. I got busy with work, and everything went down-hill from there. Secondly, you may remember I used to post content on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday- until I discovered I couldn’t keep up. Alas, I burned out really quickly and found myself having to scramble and rack my brain for content to post. This is as draining and as exhausting as you can imagine. Thirdly, most people that know me personally would know that I’m a very self-conscious person, so I went through doubts upon doubts, and questions upon questions. Do people like the blog? Why are certain stories doing better than others? Why are majority of my readers in the Americas? Wassup with my views?  Bla bla bla. So, coming back to the blog has been a huge struggle. I mean, monumental. 

I got tired of receiving calls and explaining to people why I don’t blog or write anymore, or running into them and giving a very insincere promise that I will start posting soon. I thought people didn’t like the blog? Hence I found the love and inquiries very confusing. On one hand I didn’t know if to believe their reasons for wanting me back were legit, or if they were just doing Oju Aye aka High service. But after a lot of soul searching, I decided to put fingers to keys.  I said that to say this, a super duper special shout out to Dr (Mrs) Oluchi kanma-Okafor (Doctor of Medicine, University of Lagos) whom I hardly ever speak to, but called me to ask why she hadn’t been seeing my blog posts. Mentioned she was following, and even told me about the last write up I posted, God bless you ma. To close friends and people I met at parties, offices or wherever, and thought to ask about the blog: thank you. You brought me back. I’ve figured to give it a second go round. They could be right or wrong, but who cares? (That’s a lie, i really care). 

This is the era of Shange, and things are definitely going to Shange. First off, all that posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is going to stop. I’ve resigned to make my blog posts on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. Same routine: share on SM, WhatsApp status updates, and broadcast messages (I understand how dicey broadcast messages are, but if you don’t like it and claim to really love my writing, you’re a liar and you can jog on). Also, I figure I might add a picture or two every now and then to spice things up. The problem I have with that is: it negates the culture of reading text, which is kind of like the point. But on the real, I really missed everyone. It’s been a funny 2 years for me, had my fair share of ups and downs, but we move (no bigman, you stay. lool I love that guy). Anyho, now that were together again (as ritualesque as that sounds), things are looking up. Either ways, let the danger see the mouse. Peace and love.