The Reckoning

The day comes to a close,

The Sun has gone to rest

The hen has gone to roost

Her chicks are less one

But she does not know, or

Couldn’t care less about it

What good is care to the weak

When might prevail still

The hawk grows fat on the young fowl’s essence

Perched atop the northern mountains

Out of reach from man and beast

The great flood is come again

Their wings bear them away

Ends there are, but means are not

Hopes and dreams is all we’ve got

Their arks, they build with planks of blood

But safe they sail even in storm

Where lies the face of the gods, or

The God we choose to set above

Is he asleep, blind or dumb, or

Has the devil we made usurped or God?

The chosen few take it all

The cake for all, swallowed by one

Tomorrow’s yam is roasted tonight

Omodedere yet starves on

Still we bow and scrape

Applauding every crumb that drops from the great oaken table.

Shouts of joy rent the air

A chunk of half-rotten mutton has dropped into our laps

The gods truly bless us.

Blinded by crumbs in our eyes

We sings praise songs for the flavour we perceive

Feeding on blood-stained crumbs

We fight to survive

The gods will liberate us someday

So we say, when nothing spills

We fail to grasp the simple truth

Ògún only favours the quick sitter

The Olympians will not meddle with men as long as Zeus lives

He who desires liberation gains it by force

The boot that wears the boot of oppression

Does not move till it is struck

God is asleep, blind or deaf

And the gods do battle only by the might of men

If we live on crumbs by faith

The gods look on in silence

By rousing from our tepid state are the gods agitated

Arise, ye that seek liberation

And wrest it by force.

Culled from olofinaikublog

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Fiat Lux

Oh bringer of light hear we

Who seek to bask in thy light

Grant us the strenght to slay he

That seek to bind us with dogma and fright

 

‘Tis man’s nature to fear or revere

The things that awe his senses

Thunder and lightning, floods most severe

Famine , drought, plagues, diseases

 

These are gods or aspects of God

The evil that men do

Is to the Devil’s shame, but God

Takes glory for all things right and true

 

Is it possible without the almighty’s consent

That evil should occur

Whence cometh all that is dark, gloomy and pungent

Are they not for his perverted pleasure

 

By the Lord’s words do I crucify him

Fitting punishment at par with trespass

Am I a fool bashing a creature of whim

Have they been fools who worship what they ought harness

 

Are the deeds of our hands not our making

Ought we blame the Devil when

The scalding pottage we stow in

Our hats burn our heads red then

 

Our ingenuity, is that the sadists gift

Is that why its beauty never lasts

Is the devil in us, nature’s gift

or the one we made, Lord of bats

 

We must seek the son of the morning

That we may tame the wild and the mild

To unleash by pragma that which suits the evening

Hear ye, that heart that would take Lucifer’s side

 

He is made fallen, like the bright morning star

That man who braves popular belief

She burns burgundy and sapphire

Who seeks to shun mass opioid relief

 

Strenghten us oh Christ, who was cast down

Be the light guiding our path, oh risen one

Fortify us to stand like thee, now

As we forsake mass opium, oh glorious risen one.

Culled from olofinaikublog

Dreams: Imagination or subtle messages. 

You were being chased through the woods by a wolf, suddenly you develop wings and start to fly. You get too close to trees whose branches slap you thoroughly. Just as inexplicably, your wings recceed and you crash to the ground. Just as you begin to rise to ur feet, the ground quakes and you fall. Almost immediately, as if on cue the wolf strolls up to you, glaring down menacingly. Just as you feel the quake again, you open your eyes and there is momma shaking you awake with that same glare pasted on her face. You know you’re in trouble.

How did the brain know to start the dream before the external stimuli, How did you feel the looks as to be able to see it in your dream, how about the back story with the wolf and wings? The stuff dreams are made of make me wonder, Just as it had astounded and still baffles many.

Apart from the one above, which mirrors your immediate reality, there appears to be two other groups.

Sometimes it’s just your brain playing out your greatest fears or desires. Being served food, finding money in the street, developing superhuman abilities, even receiving wisdom or a divine mandate,  these are dreams that could be placed under this funny category. Imagination running wild. 

Another group would be those that preempt future happenings. These I’ve heard in passing a number of times. The Bible tells the story of a particular Pharaoh who had such a dream. My mother also had a similar experience a couple of years ago. One thing about this group is that If/When they do come to pass you find that consciously or inadvertently, the dreamer had been putting things in place to attain that end, either before or after they had the dream.

It then appears that all dreams originate in the minds of humans and their fulfillment lies also in their hand. It all begins and ends on this plane.

Education, Literacy and “Educated Illiterates”, clarifying the terms

Often I’ve heard the reference to “educated illiterates”, a term used in referring to people who’ve acquired western education with no resultant expected broadening of horizon… While literacy is obviously acquired in schools, education is in no way limited to schools. Just as formal education doesn’t even end in the classroom, with classwork being coupled with extra-curricular activities.

The idea of “educated illiteracy” basically implies “educational” achievement to be the basic measure of intelligence, a notion that makes me cringe and one which is totally wrong, as I, just like most of us have met and known people who could be rightly described as educated illiterates, people who have never spent a second in a classroom but who are highly intelligent.

It appears most of us go to school to get qualifications, so we could get that dream job, and that’s it. Even while in school most people only read what the have to. If it’s not course material, it’s not worth any effort, but as it is said our station in life is a function of things we learnt when we did not have to learn them.

We never take the time to truly educate ourselves, to learn the workings of the world. We need to actually expand our horizons. learn more than is required for exams, learn more than what school has taught you about your job, learn more about finances than the norm, learn more about your religion than the basics, go deeper than popular opinion and hackneyed knowledge, learn more about life than you need to just survive.

You could be an educated illiterate, but NEVER be literate without acquiring education.

The Voice of the People

Pastor Adeboye(L) seated on the chair meant for the Ooni of Ilé Ifè: Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (R)

Kabiyesi, may your days be long. K’ádé ó pé lórí, kí bàtá pé lésè. May Olódùmarè continue to guide and direct you.

Since you assumed office, I, just like everyone who has eyes — and even the blind —have observed your efforts at seeking peace among, as well as progress for all Yoruba, and by extension Nigeria and the black race in general. I pray at the end your sincere efforts shall bear bountiful fruits.

A few days ago, I happened upon the news of you offering your chair to pastor adeboye as a show of your humility toward God. I must say the news really shocked me, as it must have done a great many Yoruba men and women. I was going to say something about it immediately, just like everyone else, but then decided to consider the issue from all sides. At the end, I must say your majesty I see no reason for that act. While I see nothing bad in humbling oneself before the almighty, I also understand that the almighty has created order in all things, so that things may always be done properly.

Your majesty was reported to have made a statement to the effect that no one is greater than the Almighty, and pastor Adeboye was representing the Almighty at that particular time. Regardless of my personal opinion(s) on the latter point, and assuming it to be true, may I be permitted to remind your majesty that every other spiritual leader — from anywhere in the world, and representing any religious organization — also has a right to the claim of representing the Almighty, and I believe your majesty would not take it upon yourself to judge who might have a true claim or otherwise. Does your majesty then plan to repeat this act everytime a religious leader visits the palace (and I mean any one from any religious organization)?    If not, why not?

I am also constrained to remind your majesty that by virtue of being the Ooni of Ile Ife — a post which you have attained only by the will of the Almighty — you are supposed to be second to the Almighty as well as the sole spiritual head and paramount representative of Olódùmarè here on this plane. By virtue of this fact, I daresay that your majesty has no business bowing or scraping to any religious leader regardless of said person’s apparent status.

Keep striving for good Kábíèsí. At the end, you cannot but be rewarded with success.
From a concerned Yoruba man. 

Do What Thou Wilt

I was listening to an entertainment programme on radio this morning. The talk touched on hyperosmia — acute smell perception— then turned to nose shapes and sizes. The one presenter talking about his preference for the African — wide open — nose, while the other said she preferred the Caucasian — “pointy pen” as she called it— nose type. Then on whether she would get herself a pointy pen nose via surgery and she was like HELL NO, no surgery, with the hacking and hammering and all… 

A lot of people, I know would share this same sensibilities. Why put myself through such pain just to have a type of nose, just for the sake of fashion. While I agree with this assessment myself, we must all realize we’re not nearly as practical as we make ourselves out to be. Though we might not be willing to put ourselves through a short period of direct physical pain for the sake of cosmetics/fashion, we do a lot of little things for which we bear little — sometimes imperceptible — long term pain, just for the sake of fashion. Even, a lot of us bear varying degrees of direct physical pain just for the sake of fashion.

Would it not be well for all to be as they would be? 

State of the Nation

For more than a year now, Over 50% of the states in Nigeria have defaulted to some extent — great or small — in the payment of salaries to civil servants.

One of such states currently owes a backlog of about eleven months, which has prompted an almost incessant strike action in one of the state’s institutions of higher learning. Lecturers stay away from work, and students — a great majority being products of mediocre primary and secondary education — suffer the brunt of this action.

Whereas a normal academic Semeter is supposed to last about four months, the semester’s academic work is crammed into a period of about six weeks interrupted intermittently by months-long strikes.

Another problem is the near lack of facilities to provide the students an environment conducive for learning. The only lecture theatre available is an eight hundred seater auditorium without a public address (P.A) system or fans. Imagine the strain on a lecturer having to teach a class of 800 — usually more than 1000 students are crammed into the hall — without a P.A system, or that on students who have to stand under a shed or in a poorly ventilated, over crowded hall to learn mathematics or mechanical drawing…

If at the end of the day, the students, after being subjected to so much strain, are unable to perform up to expectation, can they be blamed?

If the lecturers don’t give their best — as even those who try still can’t make the most of their efforts, due to the prevailing limiting factors — under the prevailing conditions, can they be blamed?

Who’s responsible for rectifying these problems, Can anyone explain their failure to remedy the situation, Is there any way we can aid the solution of these problems??? 

P.S This problem is not limited to just one sector nor one state of the country.

Unusual Wisdom from the Kitchen

“The most important part of my personality as far as determining my success, has been my questioning conventional wisdom, doubting experts and questioning authority. While that can be painful in your relationships with your parents and teachers, it’s enormously useful in life.”

~Larry Ellison

Image source: siliconbeachtraining.co.uk
Growing up in a middle class family in a developing country, especially in the community where I spent my childhood, one of those things you had a regular encounter with was the kerosene stove. Those wick-ed little monsters that almost always left your pot’s underside caked with soot. After each cooking, you had two options: scrub off the soot immediately or — if it’s not much — leave it till later. Whichever option you choose, your nails are sure to turn black at the end of the day. 

Over the years, different types of sponges have been developed to make the task easier and more enjoyable — as much as something terrible can be enjoyed. The best one on the market at the moment — mum prefers it and it’s efficient too — is a fibrous mass of thin metallic threads. The only problem it has is it’s inability to remain usable after coming in contact with water once, how ironical for a cleaning material employed in the kitchen.

One way mum sought to fix this problem was to leave it in water. This method worked, retarding the rate of rusting but not as much as I believed could be, although I understood the method to be counter-intuitive — knowing water to be one of the principal elements required to initiate rust and would have liked to try some other means, but mum would not be swayed, seeing as her method was working and me not being able to do any better. I no longer gave much thought to the matter myself, I mean what’s a little piece of sponge compared with all the more important issues I’ve had on my mind, ryt?

A few weeks ago, I decided to not carelessly drop the sponge on the sink as I’d always done, but dry it out carefully instead and…you guessed it, the life span has extended exponentially. By questioning what was popularly held to be right, I achieved more. Had I simply gone along with the status quo, sponge would still keep getting wasted.

This seems a trifle issue, this is not a piece about sponges or growing up in developing countries, it is about the human condition, our need for development and improvement by means of constant questioning and reappraisal: of values, ideals, beliefs, methods, norms and all else. In order to progress, we must not be content with what works or appears to work, we must do this with such gusto as if to ascribe to it some essence of a divine injunction.

 At the same time, we must ensure that we not only seek for the sake of it, but put what we find to good use, regardless of whether or not it turns out palatable or otherwise…

Imagine Fela was never a musician (Some things parents could do better)

I was listening listening to the radio last night and a popular Nigerian juju musician was being interviewed. His parents had decided he studied medicine but four years into university he left to join an established juju musician’s band.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti

This story is akin to that of Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti who studied music instead of medicine which parents desired. At my convocation about a fortnight ago, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, an agricultural economist per excellence also relayed his own experience on a path that led him away from his father’s desire to see him become a medical doctor to one of becoming a very viable figure in  Africa’s development as well as global economic and agricultural growth.
I myself was had a similar experience as my parents -both nurses- tried all they could to convince to study medicine and all to no avail -ambition projection? 

I’ve imagined a lot of times myself how such musical genius as Fela’s, the economic brilliance of an Akinwumi Adesina or the good works of a lot of others who’d veered off path could have been lost to us had they walked the path their parents or guardians desired, unthinkable you say?

Well, that seemingly dreadful occurrence is commonplace in our society today as it has been for centuries. It appears most parents have foundered dreams which they cost on their off springs in order to attain some level of closure-however inadequate.

Just as it is with career, a whole lot of us find that all aspects of our lives have been mapped out at least to some extent by family and society. The parents’life choices are foisted on the children without any thought of giving even a cursory notice to the children’s points of view(s). The child is automatically associated with the parent(s) religious creed, are expected to develop an interest in the parent(s) occupation and so on.

I understand parents do all they do with the prime aim of heroin their children get the best out of life, but I am also of the opinion that it would bode well for the family as well as society at large if individuals are enjoined to develop as individuals and carve their own niches instead of being raised with the expectation of growing into a pre-formed mould. Life is sometimes best considered with the simple minds of a child, no?

One problem I have with most religions in Africa

I was in church the other day with my parents when the pastor (prophet actually), fired up with the spirit of Nigerian Pentecostal Christianity started to give instances of miracles and wonders that had come to be as a result of his prayers. He relayed the story of a young lady who had been diagnosed with “schizophrenia or something like that” a condition that made her see things that weren’t there and how he cured her with the power of prayers, and personally I have no problem with him or his claims until he mentioned that sickness -physical and mental- are all caused by evil spirits and looking around, I saw healthcare practitioners (doctors and nurses who have witnessed the efficacy of physical treatment and drugs in improving health) nodding in agreement.

Now, I know there are ailments caused or worsened by an unhealthy state of mind, but to claim that ALL AILMENTS are caused spiritually and such a claim be accepted by supposed experts shows one of the major problems we have in this part of the world, which is undue appeal to inexpert (mostly religious authority)…