Somewhere in all days;
witnessed as is always,
in the mornings blue skies
as in the nights goodbyes.
It stops the singing,
matches the hatching.
In its crawling time,
it bettered the wine.
With nothing to give,
it gives and yet deceive.
Wizen the ripened old;
consumed and still sold.
Young the years grew
and gathered all anew.
Stealth gets its way
as age steals all away.
What a waste will be all this
if all this life is all there is.
What will all the good breed,
or all the wickedness feed?
What thoughts set out to achieve,
the deeds done set out to receive.
Men are born to die all alone,
as they always lived all alone.
It goes without much comment,
that now is always the moment,
to do and be done with all doing,
for life is forever for the living.
At birth the bloom will say
what piece in the pair stay,
a plus for lives coupled play.
In structure all living may
grow, roam and breed away,
as only possible since day.
Alas, I fear the body did sway,
hearts and minds too stray,
to please nothing else they gay.
Not this push’s cure to be read,
Bought or however with all science.
Sought over but never had,
Thought never bore its conscience.
Brought ever near and sad,
Doubt never the lurking consequence.
Fought only to severe till mad,
Naught all to sever its laid sequence.
Caught ever, history has said.
Though ever pinches, it is all nonsense.
Cruel, cruel death
We have never met.
I only just heard
Of the fear in tears you said.
You’ve been about the herd
And oh the wonder you fed.
Who tells if you’re sent
When you only just left?
You are only young once,
Blossomed to take your chance;
To scent the worlds spring
With the fruit kinds you bring.
Sorry bro, if you haven’t guessed it yet,
and if you doubt it you’ll lose this bet.
There is an ongoing assault on your senses,
and it mainly targets your viewing lenses.
Ladies make sure you see their goods,
those curvy naughty goody foods.
They test your resolve to be normal,
teasing to resist their mean abnormal.
The other day a lady teased me,
saying I’ve got huge man boobs.
Smiled and tried to make her see,
creation has one reoccurring oops.
Just like everything that is male,
My boobs are for my pleasure;
Not the upliftment of others’ tale,
For God’s a man in all His nature.
Earth has been all angry again,
Man did upset hers again;
Like he does again and again.
His efforts in controlling has been
Fixed as to betray his weakness seen;
She’s polite, not rash as harsh in between.
But you wonder how long for,
This sea-saw ride will further go?
Calmly, then hard ends a crescendo.
Spend me! You miserable clot,
So I can travel, visit and just be.
Have I not uplifted all your lot
With my coming and swelling sea?
Ha! See what is talking here;
Another creation grown astray.
Has making you collect near
Lost its purpose as any way?
I have existed so long before,
Making many, long before you.
Hadn’t my might sown more
Fright in you than you’ll rue?
My fear of you doesn’t keep,
That is why you I do amass.
How trivial your might heap
Just like any furniture was?
I taste the air men breathe,
Inhaled in its life and gasped.
Hasn’t the ease I could knit
Warm skeletons all trapped?
I don’t lodge or host guests
And don’t burden any to host.
Haven’t I seen your requests
Send errands until they’re lost?
I plunge in a lake all humble,
Help will come and does drown.
Had not man’s urge so trouble
His lust for his own crown?
Then I’ve unraveled your plot,
So with me you’re ever sunk.
I’ll keep man’s own twin clot.
After all, arent you precious junk?
The spouse is the chosen partner;
either by craft, design or choice.
Becoming indeed a legal partner,
regardless of thought or noise.
No other legal relative is such,
not even the adopted children.
For they never share that much,
not in bodily or geno brethren.
Spouses come to a disadvantage,
one that timelessly edges it on.
Success makes it an advantage,
failure casts it good in rusty iron.
Spouse is a lengthy subscription,
one that needs constant renewal.
Spouse is one true legal relation,
in danger of instant withdrawal.
Every bit of knowledge is new,
at the instant it came into light.
The boldest fact as we all knew,
is time at hand is truest might.
The captain that has his crew,
has his craft in steady flight.
Time spent well is never few,
when it’s gains speaks right.
Thank all the heavens for night time,
where will all mankind be without it?
Clarity praises all the days’ fine,
as all these many beautiful it lit.
Darkness had made procreation this bold,
aiding the naughtiness in all the shy.
Night makes ugliness the child of old;
daylight sculptures the beautiful sky.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?
While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.
After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!
This isn’t the story of our wives;
With each and all we share life,
Parting and bridging as we leave.
Each and all of us is this thief.
We lead with all emotions canal,
Lustily wanting all just temporal.
For we only tell from the external;
Wishing, hoping it is so internal.
Rolled in next is the nature,
The feelings growing to mature.
We regard or discard a culture
To marry dreams, make a future.
The investments yield their sanity,
Our character tests its immunity.
The lucky are in blissful humility,
Off springing, living, fostering humanity.
Measurement elude even more less,
For all other lust is meaningless.
Finally, love rules all the featureless,
Together we die till eternity endless.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint,
one excelled with dedicate grit.
Commenced without good hint
of who can stand through or sit.
Place of the woman is spent;
through timely cratered vent.
She’s raging in her eruptions;
in her hair raising formations.
Still her place further reduces;
within every gain she chooses.
She’s the lesser man as before,
her sex ever breeds a new woe.
Picture from @msniffe
Hell will burn in a loving heart;
Abyss will once camp in there.
In pained loss looms one fact,
Life is war we will all lose here.
Picture from @Poem_Rumour
To avoid being quite sorry,
it’s always prudent to worry.
Not just for the tiny bit thing,
but to also laugh, cry or sing.
Good are also ugly and bad;
and can turn fair moods sad.
Most friends’re opportunistic,
indeed their needs are mystic.
Indeed one lie feeds off another;
birthed as a circumstantial primary
and waltz to formidable secondary.
Like tiny bites follow one another,
simple lies reduce sources worth;
deminish their integrity to nought.
Skeletons still in the cupboard,
are still new, across the board.
Just a step into the near past,
reveals old habits always last.
Tombstones mark old cruelties;
hidden, mean, untold mysteries.
Looks are most deceptive tools, lying to the most gullible fools.
We walk in steps, fits and starts,
Come and go like beatin’ hearts,
Pacing back, forth, yet onwards;
Winning battles, losing all wars.
Life drills all as an erring soldier,
Demands as needs never older,
For the future soldiers on bolder.
Trust is an egg, floating in the air,
Happy in delightful honest fair.
Safest feeling is only in the hand,
When it’s down to earth and land.
Picture from @MrsZanga
Can’t wait to be felt and noticed. Can’t wait to be seen and heard;
To be right here acknowledged.
When not if, a certain constant,
As I stand out in this moment.
For what is now is my current.
Picture from @oj_deji
Happy Mothers’ Day, mothers
Mother comes along life’s miles,
Bringing time’s baggages along.
All her scars earn proud smiles,
As her priorities pile and age on
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
These are Wagyu cattle from which the most expensive beef in world comes from in Japan.
They are arguably the most pampered of domesticated animals, because their daily routine consists of regular massages, beer drinking, baths and listening to relaxing music.
It is believed by herdsmen over there, such delicate care helps to keep the highly priced beef known as “Kobe” so tender.
Meanwhile, other cattle, in you know where, are raised against the backdrop of Rat-ta-ta music of AK 47 gunfire.
With more civilized herdsmen, Denmark is not left out as
a group of students of the Scandinavian School of Cello dropped by to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Pezzo Capriccioso” to the delight of a herd of classical music loving cows.
Do not ask me if the following day milk production reached all time high. It did!
Meanwhile, over here the Rat-ta-ta…..Kwantinues.
Simply put –
Garbage in, Garbage out!
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ᴀғʀᴀɪᴅ ᴏғ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴇᴀsʏ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ɪᴛ ɪs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ɪs sᴏ ᴇᴀsʏ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴡᴇ ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴛᴏ ᴏᴜʀ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴠɪʟʟᴀɢᴇʀs ᴡᴇʀᴇ ғʟᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪᴛʏ ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴊᴏʙs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴏᴡɴ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ғʟᴇᴇɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ CITY ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғᴀᴛ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴅɪᴇᴛs ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ʀɪᴄʜ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ ᴀʀᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʀɪᴄʜ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ᴡᴏʀᴋᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡʜᴏʟᴇ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴏɴᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴜᴅʏ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ʙᴏᴏᴋs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ғᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡʜᴀᴛsᴀᴘᴘ ᴍᴇssᴀɢᴇs.
40 YEARS AGO WAS 1980,
WHICH SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!
Hard ғᴀᴄᴛs of ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ’s ʟɪғᴇ.
Six years on & the hurt still feels fresh…. Rest in peace my dearest friend.
Dear Almighty God,
Take into your most gracious embrace my dear friend and sister. Keep her in your divine presence and rest her gentle soul in your most perfect peace, for all eternity.
I miss her already, beyond words. My tears have dried out, my throat is raw.
The rest of my world will not be the same again without our years long endless chats. Sitting across from each other we talked and argued, debated and planned. Hundreds of miles apart, you were ever helpful and ever there to lend a hand, give some advice and edit. Just as we still talked on, mindless of the incredible phone billings, be assured that we talk on still. In my thoughts and in my mind, we talk on.
This act of cruelty is meaningless, beyond comprehension and reasoning.
Who will want to spoil such beauty and decency, or remove from amongst us?
WHO and WHY?!
Righteous God in our comforter.
Who will understand my peculiarities like she did? Who will be my unconditional friend like she was? A part of me died with you, Ameena.
You were my most special friend, you always brought the best out of me.
I became a better person by just being your friend, a privilege you allowed me.
REST IN PIECE
Ameena, you died terribly, yet you live on beautifully in our thoughts.
“Their trip back progressed quietly mostly and was rather quite uneventful until they came upon the scene of an accident that blocked the entire road, so they had to stop.
“Kengua had strolled over to the crash spot to have a closer look. He wished he hadn’t. There was a victim lying on the unpaved roadside being attended to by a number of over-enthusiastic people. These untrained first responders just kept fumbling with the man as he laid flat on his back on the dusty ground, face up and breathing unevenly heavy.
“He was foaming profusely in the mouth, with the dark part of his eyes sneaking upwards, into his upper eyelids, as if he was trying to see something overhead without trying to arc his neck backwards to look up.
“Soon his hands left his sides and started lifting upwards slightly, then falling back into place swiftly, with only his elbows bending at each time. Within the second minute, the victims legs joined in, his shoeless bare feet stabbed away from his body in a continuous stretching motion.
“Kengua was transfixed, too scared to keep looking but yet he kept his eyes on the obviously dying man, as if watching the poor chap death was an act of charity.
“Later on Kengua remembered thinking that maybe if the mans legs had found something vertically stationary to rest on, the agonized departing spirit of the dying man just might not leave when it did. Maybe it is because he didn’t strike at anything with his leg activity that his departure from the realm of the living was completed. Maybe people wouldnt die at such moments if they stood up defiantly.
“Though Kengua wasn’t alone there, he sort of felt he was the only spectator who could actually claim to have seen the man die, but he doubts if he really did see him die. He only saw a pained man briefly struggling to live on endlessly and then the same man, against all his desire to live on, became quite still and motionless. He didn’t see life leave the man. If that was ever humanly possible, the privilege wasn’t granted him that warm humid afternoon.
“So Kengua strangely romanticized that gross occurrence by curtly summarizing that the brevity of death is like an orgasm. That is if what he saw is indeed the moment of dying, which is arguably death.
“They recommenced their rudely paused journey an hour later. Kengua made a comparative analysis in his mind on what he had just witnessed and what he read some living sage wrote to win the world over into believing and accepting his listed five stages of death. Kengua was now certain that the writer has not seen these stages exhibited.
“The five stages were made easy to remember by sequencing them to DEATH as an acronym, as;
Denial, Enraged, Appropriating, Tension and Healing.
Or more aptly:
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Kengua saw none of those that afternoon as he watched the man kick the air to his death. The least of all to be exhibited is Acceptance.
“Death simply damned the mans Desires, nullified his Energy, shrugged off his Activity, Terminated his life and Held him eternally Hostage. Kengua concluded that for want of a more suitable break down of the DEATH acronym;
Desired Energized Activity Terminated and Held Hostage
….would be a whole lot more befitting.”
*Copied from Manchester United Website
13 December 2020 15:30
There are moments in your life when people say things to you that spur you on.
They are saying things that they believe, and that they think will help you, but their words also stoke this desire in you where you want to prove them wrong.
I still remember the time my Mum picked me up from school and I told her about my best friend, Deena, being picked for England Under-18s. Deena was a ridiculously good footballer. She was one of those naturally talented types, and mum just said: “Yeah, she’s good at sports, but you’re good at academic studies. That’s just how it is.” At the time that is how it was. I was good at school and she was good at football. But at the same time, it set something off in me.
I wasn’t like Deena. I was never one of those kids with natural talent and gifts; the ones you can spot a mile off. I liked taking part in lots of different sports – I loved gymnastics and trampolining from the age of three or four – but I wasn’t outstanding in one field. When you don’t have those gifts, your mentality becomes key because you need that hard work, that determination to prove people wrong. I didn’t even really have any interest in football until I was 10. My Dad and brothers kept going off to play, so I was jealous, I wanted to show I could play with them, so I joined in.
I loved it and played in all different outfield positions. I was in the girls’ football team at secondary school when my PE teacher, who also happened to be the England Women’s Rugby captain, took our team and entered us into a full-size, full-contact rugby tournament. None of us had ever played the sport before; we didn’t know what we were doing. She taught us the rules on the bus on the way there. We won the tournament without conceding any points. We were all quite athletic and coordinated, but I’m still not sure how we did it.
Siobhan Chamberlain says
“Her giving me that ultimatum really reinforced the desire to play football at the highest possible level.”Siobhan Chamberlain
After that rugby tournament, I remember my teacher asking me: “Would you rather play international level rugby or mediocre level football?” I remember thinking: international level football. There wasn’t the option of having a career in football at that time, but her giving me that ultimatum really reinforced the desire to play football at the highest possible level.
It was around that time that I volunteered to go in goal in my first ever hockey game (just because you got to wear all the cool padding), and that was that. Next time I played football, we were short of a goalkeeper and I volunteered. The rest is history. As a gymnast you’ve got to have an awareness of how your body moves through the air, you’ve got to have good flexibility and range of movement, all of which help you as a goalkeeper.
I was in year 12, first year of sixth form, when Fulham launched a professional women’s team. The Women’s League was a fully amateur league apart from Fulham. Deena signed professionally with them. I was already playing with Fulham and I don’t know if I would have been offered a contract, but I decided I wanted to finish my A-levels either way because that was important for me. I firmly believe that you should do your education regardless, even these days.
When I was 18 I was offered a scholarship at Stanford University over in America, but at the same time I’d just got into the England Under-18s setup and they wanted you to be visible and playing in England. I signed with Chelsea instead, and a centre opened at Loughborough University where you could combine full-time football training with your studies. That was perfect for me because I was able to do my degree in Sport and Exercise Science, do my Masters in Sports and Exercise Nutrition and I was able to do my football training there. I was at Loughborough for seven years in total. Everyone joked that I’d get married on the football pitches there, with the rubber crumb being thrown as confetti! Thankfully that wasn’t the case in the end.
During my studies, I changed clubs more than once. I left Chelsea for Fulham, moved on to Bristol Academy and ended up back at Chelsea, by which point I’d made my full England debut. That didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have liked – I ruptured the capsule around the top of my foot and had to come off at half-time – and then I wasn’t involved in the 2005 European Championships, which were held in England, but I went to our opening game against Sweden at the Etihad Stadium. We won 3-2 in injury-time and that was another moment when I just thought: Yeah, this is what I want.
After that tournament, I was in every single senior squad from the end of 2005 through to the end of 2017. I was second or third choice at times, and that was 15 years of your life committed to being away once a month and being part of a team without ever really playing. In 2007, after finally leaving Loughborough, I was picked for the second World Cup England had ever qualified for. It was huge. The finals were in China, and I never expected to play at that point. The first-choice goalkeeper, Rachel Brown, had been around forever. I was just there for the journey and to enjoy being at the World Cup.
The commitment you had to make as a female player, at that point when the game wasn’t fully professional, was huge. You’re working full-time, committing to training full-time, and you need a job that’ll let you take a week off once a month and have the flexibility to work around evening kick-offs, changed training schedules and so on. It’s very, very difficult.
I started teaching Sports Science in 2011 while I was in my second spell at Bristol and did a post-graduate course in that while also training, so it was a bit of a tight schedule. Some days I’d finish working at 4.30pm, do a goalkeeper training session for two hours and then immediately join in with a two-hour outfield session. I’d need a massive bag of Haribo between them to get me through. Teaching wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it fitted in and paid the bills.
On the pitch, things went really well. Bristol got to the FA Cup final, got to the Champions League and lost to a Russian team later caught up in the Russian doping scandal. On that note, I actually played for England against Russia a couple of days after the documentary Icarus came out, and I watched that on the day of the game. It left me asking a lot of questions in my head while I was lining up beforehand. That was a strange experience. We won 6-0 anyway, so if there were any drugs involved, they didn’t work!
Siobhan Chamberlain says
“United was, by a million miles, the best organised, best run and most integrated club I’ve played for.”Siobhan Chamberlain
I played every minute of every Bristol game for the first three years of the WSL, was named in the PFA team of the year and came third in the voting for the POTY. Then I left for a new challenge at Arsenal, where I became professional for the first time. The problem was, I barely played, so it wasn’t a great time for me. I played every game of the FA Cup run until I was replaced for the final. We won it for the first time in my career, having lost the final twice with Bristol – both to Arsenal – but I value those loser’s medals more than the winner’s medal because I felt we’d really achieved something by getting to the final with Bristol.
The following year was the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Again, I was on the bench. I went to the World Cup in 2007, Euros in 2009, World Cup in 2011, Euros in 2013 and I didn’t set foot on the pitch in any of them.
Then it happened. Finally.
We were playing Canada in the quarter-final. It was at BC Place in Vancouver. I’d played in Canada for a while a few years earlier, when the women’s league in England had been rescheduled and I went out there to get some playing time during the lull in fixtures. While I was there, I’d played in Vancouver with quite a few of the Canadian team, and now I was back. Karen Bardsley, our first-choice goalkeeper, came in at half-time with a puffy eye. She’d gotten some of the 3G crumb in her eye and it had reacted badly. She went back out for the second half but it quickly became clear she couldn’t see and, after 51 minutes, she had to come off.
There was no way I was going to rush. I sorted my hair out, put my shinpads on, my pre-wraps, my gloves, and by this time the Canadian fans were fuming. It was sold out. They were booing and I was enjoying that. The moment was in my hands. I wanted to be ready, perfectly set. I was getting booed by 55,000 fans for time-wasting, but as a goalkeeper you don’t have to rush. That’s the one position where they can’t start without you, so everyone’s there trying to rush my gloves on, but I was just like: “Don’t stress. It’s fine.”
Siobhan Chamberlain says
“I’m someone that constantly needs a challenge, and that’s certainly what I’ve got right now… being a professional footballer was the easy part!”Siobhan Chamberlain
I was the calmest person in the world as I walked on the pitch with the biggest smile on my face. Everyone at home said to me afterwards: “Were you not nervous? You looked like you were having the best day of your life!” I’d done all the preparation I needed. If I didn’t go out there, enjoy it and trust what I’d done previously, there was no point. It was 2-1 when I went on and it finished 2-1, so we qualified for our first ever semi-final of a World Cup. That was a huge moment in my career – the kind of moment that nobody had ever thought was possible when I was a kid – and it was a sweet experience. In that tournament every outfield member of the squad had already played some part, so it was nice to feel properly involved.
Also, throughout that tournament, every time I’d done media interviews it had been about my wedding, because I’d gone off to play football and left my now-husband Leigh at home to plan the wedding, so I was waiting for any chance to talk about football. Finally I could talk about something other than the wedding!
Two years later, at the European Championships, I was no.2 to Karen again. Playing France in the quarter-final, she went down injured with a broken leg, so I came on at the same stage of the tournament for the same player. It was 1-0 when I came on, it finished 1-0, we qualified for the semi-finals of the Euros and for that to happen two tournaments in succession, Karen must have wondered what I’d done to her!
By that time I’d signed for Liverpool, but when the opportunity came in 2018 to join United, it also gave me the chance to play for Casey Stoney, who had been my England room-mate for a decade. It was perfect timing for me because I needed that move. It couldn’t have gone better. United was, by a million miles, the best organised, best run and most integrated club I’ve played for. You feel like you’re part of the club, which is huge. It feels fully like one club.
It was an interesting season because as a person and footballer, I fell back in love with football at United. After my time at Arsenal and Liverpool, football was just football. I loved the international side of it but had lost my love for the club game. I was just doing my job, but being at United, being part of something new with a great bunch of players and staff, with Casey, I fell back in love with football.
I was by far the senior figure in the squad. I mean, by far. There were a lot of kids in that team, so it was quite nice to have that role of trying to lead and guide and help them. It was a hard season as a goalkeeper barely touching the ball because we were winning so heavily, but to be part of the first ever Manchester United Women’s team to win a trophy is something that nobody can ever take away from us. Personally, being the first ever professional no.1 in the club’s history has great historic value. It’s big. It’s not a record that can be beaten. It’s just a fact and I’m so proud of it.
Then, at the end of that first season, things changed. For most women who have kids, life changes drastically when they give birth. For me, it changed drastically when I announced that I was pregnant because my whole career changed in an instant. My football had always dictated where we moved, my husband had always based his company wherever he’s needed to. Suddenly I was no longer the priority. It wasn’t just about what I wanted. It became all about Emilia, who was born in January 2020.
I left United a few months later and announced my retirement not long afterwards, and it was by far the hardest decision I’d ever taken in my life. United are, like I say, brilliantly run and every single player will tell you that Casey is fantastic. She’s honest, she’s ruthless when she needs to be, but she’s a good manager of people, so the club is in very safe hands. For me, life has changed dramatically. I absolutely love being a mum. I also enjoy watching the team now, quite often as a co-commentator with MUTV, and it’s great to see them doing so well at the top of the league. Personally, for me, as well as media work with MUTV, I’m currently studying for a Masters in Sports Directorship. I’ve learnt and experienced so much within the game that I’d love to be able to give back and help the game grow in the right direction. I’m someone that constantly needs a challenge, and that’s certainly what I’ve got right now… being a professional footballer was the easy part!
That’s just me, it’s how I’ve always been – especially if someone tells me I can’t do something!
The logical conception behind the pleasure in proper sex is to encourage procreation. It is not the act, it is the motivation. The pro-gay ideology misses that point entirely because it makes motivation a reason for the act.
Typically, child bearing would have been quite something else if it was painful and fatal. Both extreme ends of the debate hold this view. Someone had once argued that if people had to make life-ending sacrifices for sexual gratification, their views wouldn’t be the same as it has luxuriously evolved to be.
If like certain insects, people had to eat up their sexual partners or end their own existence as soon as their sequence of procreation has been put in its early paces, they will see less of the need to experiment as much as they do.
No doubt conventional sexual intercourse was designed to be quite pleasurable because it both preludes the excruciating physical experience of the act of procreation and also the emotionally tasking responsibility of parenthood and guardianship.
That initial gratification is merely a sort of enticement meted out with the intention to lure in willing candidates. It draws them into a set trap and woos them into the duties of procreation.
Then it bribes them with this unconscious knowledge that has to be tasted to be sweet. Humans are primarily built as sexual beings foremost. As such their behavioural patterns suit this very nature of theirs principally.
Female homo sapiens exhibits this trait more than their male counterparts. In all her troubles, the woman predominantly stresses herself to appeal to her man, while the man not only respond as he is styled mainly, and actually reacts accordingly to foster the living enterprise.
The thought is not about rekindling a debate they has not yet ended, or ever will, about Gay individuals being simply put, unfortunately abnormal and not of normal creations. Neither is it grand standing on the issue to make a case for or against LGBT states, when laboriously explained.
Many sorts argue that LGBT persons are ill-formed and ought to be managed or treated if they so desire and not enabled into thinking they are normal or a sort of branded 3rd or 4th or 5th sex.
Maintaining that they shouldn’t be treated like outcasts but more like psychological retards, needing guidance and treatment, like addicts that are attached to a sexual drug or freaks of nature.
Load of others say Gay persons across the board are clearly not normal and screaming that they are, will not make them any normal. They may have developed a sexual preference over time, but that is their prerogative, no different from that of every other person with a conventional or unconventional sexual preference he/she chooses to express in a ‘kinky’ manner.
Protection of the law will not make them less different either, it only further enslaves them as they try to justify their state, choice or personalities as persons who want legal protection for how they choose to have sex or to whom.
Others would differ slightly in opinion and insist that a unique physical ‘abnormal’ nature is the basis for this ‘difference’. Though agreed it is appears rather abnormal for anyone to be Gay, the Gay individual’s sexual preference is developed, it is instead an original natural psychological adjustment to a physiological state, not a flaw.
It is a debate not to be concluded and settled with a holistic consensus either way.
It is at best agreed that these are sexual preferences and there is nothing abnormal about how it is physically or biologically or psychologically reflected.
Then obviously there can only be one conclusion that can be arrived at. It is a just a physical, biological and psychological expression, not a deformity or an ailment that must be diagnosed, managed, treated and remedied as such.
Deal with it. I have!!
“God did not make all men in his image. He made just one couple in his likeness and gave them the ability to procreate. It is this couple that brought forth other people and all sorts of people tend to mess up a good thing.
“I’m making a case for why good Christian folks turn out to be mean to people in need of assistance at their door steps.”
“The garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit in the middle of it, in the story of Adam and Eve, is really just the bushy forest between Eve’s legs and her vagina right at the center of it.
“Satan told Eve about her vagina, which she had no clue existed before he told her about it. Then Eve revealed its bounties to Adam, who naturally allowed her to lead him against the wishes of the almighty.
“All that talk of fruit and trees is quite nonsensical and was crafted to hide the true identity of the very first crime of sexual intercourse.
“That may sound like the most absurd interpretation you have ever heard. It will like feel you with rage or amusement with the crafty twist in the interpretation of the tale of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.
“On the contrary, it is quite logical. How else would anyone explain the sudden need for the first couple to cover their nakedness?”
On CHRISTMAS MORNING
CHICKEN woke GASPING
Do I PROCEED to SLAUGHTER,
Carry on FEEDING MURDER?
Or helplessly WATCH ON,
TEARED up, sadly MOURN?
Which in clearly MEAN,
What is indeed HUMANE?
Do pls help add an ADVICE
I’m PAINED, feeling not nice!
By Dr Spencer Johnson
This a review of “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson
The forewords by Dr Kenneth Blanchard reads:
It’s…An AMazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about
change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.
Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry. And two are little people’ – beings the size of mice who look and act a lot like people. Their names are Hem and Haw.
‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it’s a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, good health, or spiritual peace of mind. And ‘The Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the organization
you work in, or the family or community you live in.
In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually, one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his
experience on the maze walls.
When you come to see ‘The Handwriting on the Wal ‘, you can discover for yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more
success (however you define it) in your work and in your life.
Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.
The four imaginary characters
depicted in this story
– The mice: “Sniff” & “Scurry;’
– Little people: “Hem” & “Haw”
It is a simple yet, complex book.
It is an exposé on all of us & indeed, “Parts of All of Us!” –
The Simple and The Complex
They’re intended to represent the simple and the complex parts of ourselves, regardless of our age, gender, race or nationality.
Sometimes we may act like
SNIFF out change early
SCURRY into action
HEM ourselves in, deny & resist change as we fears it will lead to something worse
HAW in paused hesitation to study, learn to adapt in time when we see changing can lead to something better!
Whatever parts of us we choose to use, we all share something in common: a need to find our way in the Maze and succeed in changing times.
In the Gathering, old school classmates eating together after a reunion all realized that although they had gone off in different directions—from working at home to managing companies they were
experiencing the similar thing. Everyone was trying to cope with the unexpected changes that were happening to them in recent years. And most admitted that they did not know a good way to handle them.
Micheal, One of the gathering then told them how he learned to cope, with lessons from this story.
I must say here:
THIS A STORY BEST READ IN FULL. IT IS QUITE SHORT & TAKES LESS THAN AN HOUR TO READ!
Sniff & Scurry; the mice, run around in a labyrinth of maze chasing for cheese to eat daily.
Hem & Haw; the little people, did the same daily.
Both pairs put on their running shoes & do the same thing everyday.
They return daily with helpings of cheese for the day’s meal.
Then they hit Cheese Station C. It had large storage of cheese.
Hem & Haw moved their home closer to Station C & decorated their cozy home’s walls to enjoy a simple life of plenty.
Sniff & Scurry however didn’t change much. They hung their running shoes around their necks & simply came from further off like before to enjoy the moment while it lasted.
Then the cheese finished suddenly one day.
White Hem & Haw in their arrogance, which they had developed, blamed the system for the abruptness of the loss of their cheese paradise, Sniff & Scurry on the other hand simply took it in their strides, put on their running shoes once more & hit the road, running through the nooks of the maze in search for more cheese.
Hem & Haw kept returning daily to their now empty paradise, in the hope for a miracle but it remained empty of cheese & they were the worse off for it.
Sniff & Scurry hit the jackpot soon enough with their discovery of Station N, which has the largest storage of cheese they have ever seen.
Hem kept asking the air “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?” as Haw started having doubts if their complex approach of rationalizing & analysing will pay any dividend for they remained hungry still.
Soon enough, Haw got tired of trying to persuade Hem to leave Station C & come away in search of food rather than sit around complaining.
Haw left some inspirational quotes on the wall & left Hem to his misery too.
Haw finds tiny bits of a new type of cheese in the maze, which he brings back to Hem, but Hem refuses to eat it because he only wants the old type of cheese. He has grown accustomed to what he’s used to.
Haw keeps exploring since these tiny bits aren’t enough to sustain him. As he journeys to new areas of the maze, he pushes past his fears and learns many life lessons.
He writes a few lessons on the wall from time to time to encourage himself to move forward and for Hem if he ever decides to follow him.
Haw finally finds a new place deep in the maze that has a ton of cheese, including all sorts of new types.
Haw meets Sniff and Scurry again, who arrived here long before he did.
Haw writes all the lessons he wrote earlier on a big wall, the lessons are:
1. Change Happens. They Keep Moving The Cheese.
2. Anticipate Change Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
3. Monitor Change Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
4. Adapt To Change Quickly The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
5. Change Move With The Cheese
6. Enjoy Change! Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
7. Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again.
They Keep Moving The Cheese.
Haw now regularly explores new parts of the maze and monitors the cheese supply so the same thing doesn’t happen again.
He decides it’s best to let Hem find his own way to him; he realizes Hem has to change on his own.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Nigeria’s collective national security and military establishment started in 1863. It was well financed by the Royal Niger Company. The gradual separation came with the Niger River Constabulary in 1888 at Lokoja. Then came the Niger Coast Constabulary in 1894 at Calabar and eventually the Lagos Police in 1896.
Sir John Hawley Glover was an officer under the command of Dr. William Balfour Baikie both of the Royal Navy. Glover was the Lagos governor from 1863 to 1874 and Baikie the British consul of what became the colonial contours of what eventually became Nigeria under Lord Lugard from 1857 to 1859;
“Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigerian Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”
Dr. Baikie introduced the use of Quinine for the treatment of Malaria in our clime, authored; Observations on the Hausa and Fuifuide Languages printed in 1861 and previously in 1856; Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwora and Binue. He collected vocabularies of nearly fifty languages, and translated portions of the Holy Bible and prayer-book into Hausa and Arabic. His translation of the Psalms into Hausa was published by the Bible Society in 1881. More importantly he established Lokoja;
“After purchasing the site, and concluding a treaty with the Fula emir of Nupe, he proceeded to clear the ground, build houses, form enclosures and pave the way for a future city. In less than five years he had opened up the navigation of the Niger, made roads, and established a market to which the native produce was brought for sale and barter. His settlement grew to include representatives of almost all the tribes of West-Central Africa, and more than 2,000 traders visited the town in its first three years.”
Lest we forget as Ghanaian authorities harass and intimidate Nigerian traders;
“Glover was employed to repel incursions of the Ashantis. When the Third Anglo-Ashanti War broke out in September 1873 he landed at Cape Coast, and, after forming a small trustworthy force of Hausa, marched to Accra. His influence sufficed to gather a numerous native force.
In January 1874 Captain Glover was able to render some assistance in the taking of Kumasi, but it was at the head of a Hausa force.”
The Nigerian Police Force has always been segmented along regional lines each headed by a Commissioner reporting to an Inspector-General in Lagos. Chief Louis Orok Edet (1914-1979) became the first Nigerian IGP between 1964 and 1966. Back then every Commissioner had a network of Native Authority Police formations. The Nigerian Immigration Service, Correctional Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and Civil Defense were all carved out of police duties.
By 1966, onwards the Police became more centralized at the federal level. Under IBB it became Nigerian Police when Force was removed. The reason was obvious. If IGP Sunday Adewusi had had his way under President Shehu Shagari the military coup of December 31, 1983 would not have taken place. The rest as they say is now history as the Nigeria Police became systematically underfunded. During the era of President Shagari the monthly pay of a Constable was increased to N400 and personnel strength reached 152, 000. Now it is 375,000 with a huge chunk outsourced to VIPs, financial institutions, government assets, private company premises, traditional rulers and even celebrities.
The Glover’s Hausas were at the vanguard of dismantling slavery and the notorious slave trade across Nigeria particularly in defeating the Sokoto caliphate. It consisted of martial oriented tribes from all nooks and crannies of what later became Nigeria including from parts of present day Niger, Tchad, Cameroon to as far as the Darfur region of Sudan. Hausa therefore in Glover’s context was not an ethnicity but a Lingua Franca that is why an Ibadan Signals officer like Raji Rasaki would more than a hundred years later with ease ask in Lagos; “Who build dis gada?”
For the Nigerian Police to become more effective it has to be more decentralized and modernized. With a population of over 200 million our police apparatus has to be increasingly technological based. Crime prevention and solving value added with forensic and IT capacities. Patrols have to include drones. Increased CCTV coverage is also imperative. All these are capital intensive. This means the cost of governance must drastically reduce in Nigeria. The Nigerian political class have become a major burden on the rest of the polity at expense of our collective security.
Warts and all, the police is your friend. If not call a thug when next you are in trouble! Every society gets the kind of police it deserves. If we want better policing we must better ourselves first!
Does General Gowon look like somebody who moved to London with half of Nigeria’s Central Bank?
We, the undersigned call upon Hon. Member of Parliament representing Tonbridge and Malling of the United Kingdom, Ted Tugendhat to withdraw his recent statement at Westminster;
“Some people would remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the central bank, or so it was said, and moved to London,”
Mr. Tugendhat, had spoken when E-petition 554150 was being considered at the British Parliament on Monday, November 23, 2020 over a petition seeking sanction against the Nigerian government for alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.
We are not unmindful that the MP had added “so it was said” to his presumptuous claim. That notwithstanding, Mr. Tugendhat would have availed himself with some basic historical overview on the exact circumstances of how General Gowon ended up dining at the student cafeteria at Warwick University after his overthrow on July 29, 1975 while in Kampala attending a summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU now African Union)
Even after 45 years, General Gowon’s statement thereafter remains instructive;
“From all indications a new government had been established in Nigeria. I wish to state that I, on my part, have also accepted the change and pledged my full loyalty to my nation, my country and the new government. Therefore, in the overall interest of the nation and our beloved country, I appeal to all concerned to cooperate fully with the new government and ensure the preservation of peace, unity and stability of our dear motherland.
As a Nigerian, I am prepared to serve my country in any capacity, which my country may consider appropriate. I am a professional soldier and I can do any duty that I am called upon to do.
May I take this opportunity to thank all the people of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria for the support and cooperation that you all gave me during my tenure of office and call upon all of you to give the new government of our nation the same support and cooperation in the interest of our beloved country.
Long live one united, happy and prosperous Nigeria. Long live the Organisation of African Unity.”
The attached images are of General Gowon after he had enrolled as a student at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Where eventually his Ph.D Thesis focused on The Economic Community of West African States: A study in Political and Economic integration.
It would be recalled after his overthrow from government several investigations were made into corrupt enrichment. The General was neither found complicit nor indicted in any. More ever;
“Many offers of residence came to him in Kampala from various African countries. He notified the new regime in Lagos that he would leave Kampala for Lome in Togo. Since he was financially broke, teary-eyed members of the Nigerian delegation along with staffers at the Nigerian High Commission in Kampala donated 3000 pounds sterling to enable him begin a new life. He was flown to Lome – via Garoua in Cameroon – aboard President Idi Amin’s executive jet.
Part of the flight passed through Nigerian airspace and Gowon took the opportunity to transmit a radio message reaffirming loyalty to and support for Brigadier Muhammed’s new regime. Although offered permanent domicile in Togo he chose to join his family in the United Kingdom. He received an additional 10,000 pounds sterling donation from General Eyadema. Following a telephone call to Brigadier Muhammed, during which he made requests for elementary federal assistance, he left for London.”
“When he got to London, he was offered official accommodation by the Nigerian government which he, however, turned down for a variety of reasons. After some weeks at the Portman Hotel, he moved into the house of an old friend – Mr. Emmanuel Otti – at 472 Finchley Road, London. The delay was to enable the house to be redecorated by Mr. and Mrs. Otti and Brigadier Sam Ogbemudia (who had been in the UK when the coup took place in Nigeria). Other friends came to the assistance of the family. It was not until September 1975 that he began to get his pension and gratuities as a retired Four-Star General. In the nine years he had been Nigeria’s ruler he had not built himself a single house, inside or outside the country, nor did he expropriate one kobo of government money.
Unlike some of those who served under him, his TOTAL savings throughout his service years as well as his years as Nigeria’s leader was N75,000 – all of which was inside Nigeria. In time to come this would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of and personal fortunes of most of those who conspired to remove him from office – or benefited from it.
Once settled in with his family, the General, who was offered several Masters Degree programs, signed up for undergraduate studies in Political Science at Warwick University. Newspapers in Nigeria later carried news items and photographs depicting the former Nigerian leader carrying trays in a student cafeteria in the UK.
The Muhammed regime was embarrassed and therefore dispatched Brigadier TY Danjuma (who, took Kano born Col. Wali along) to ask Gowon adopt a supposedly more dignified stance. Gowon rejected the overture and reassured his “embarrassed sympathizers” that he was comfortable with his situation. (Conceivably nothing could have been more embarrassing than to be overthrown while attending an OAU summit). He made friends among the Nigerian students at Warwick, including a family friend of mine, Desmond Guobadia, now a legal practitioner in Lagos. Meanwhile his spouse, the former First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon (who was a nurse) registered as a catering student at a University College in London.”
See details in; Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975 – Epilogue: From Kampala to Lome to London and back to Nigeria by Nowa Omoigui
Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all Nigerians of goodwill and indeed the members of the international community at large to ignore the insinuations of Mr. Tugendhat. In turn, by this signed clarification we call upon the MP to be appropriately corrected and to do the needful by withdrawing his statement on General Gowon.
Ahmed Yahaya Joe.
After succumbing to a fever of some sort in 1705, Irish woman Margorie McCall was hastily buried to prevent the spread of whatever had done her in. Margorie was buried with a valuable ring, which her husband had been unable to remove due to swelling. This made her an even better target for body snatchers, who could cash in on both the corpse and the ring.
The evening after Margorie was buried, before the soil had even settled, the grave-robbers showed up and started digging. Unable to pry the ring off the finger, they decided to cut the finger off. As soon as blood was drawn, Margorie awoke from her coma, sat straight up and screamed.
The fate of the grave-robbers remains unknown. One story says the men dropped dead on the spot, while another claims they fled and never returned to their chosen profession.
Margorie climbed out of the hole and made her way back to her home.
Her husband John, a doctor, was at home with the children when he heard a knock at the door. He told the children, “If your mother were still alive, I’d swear that was her knock.”
When he opened the door to find his wife standing there, dressed in her burial clothes, blood dripping from her finger but very much alive, he dropped dead to the floor. He was buried in the plot Margorie had vacated.
Margorie went on to re-marry and have several children. When she did finally die, she was returned to Shankill Cemetery in Lurgan, Ireland, where her gravestone still stands. It bears the inscription “Lived Once, Buried Twice.”
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Adieu to a patriot and tyrant
Agreed Kwame Nkrumah was the father of modern Ghana. John Jerry Rawlings is however the facilitator of contemporary Ghana. I doubt if that country would have got to where it is today without the intervention of Rawlings. As they say; “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”
JJ was a consummate patriot and benevolent tyrant. As a military dictator and civilian president, Rawlings always stooped low for the underprivileged like in the attached throwback picture at an official engagement in the Upper-West Region on September 28, 1987 when he spotted whom he described as the “most important guest around” The Head of State stopped mid speech and walked down the dais. It was quintessential JJ for you!
Interestingly, the maverick pilot and Flight Lieutenant never promoted himself beyond his designated rank from 1981 to 1992 that he served as Commander in Chief. He might be accused of many things. Official corruption is not one of them. He was integrity personified. While he had a common touch with the masses of Ghana he was bloodily vindictive to his perceived enemies. He nevertheless had vision and was massively charismatic.
Straight as an arrow, he shunned luxury, conspicuous consumption and the primitive accumulation of wealth. He was not an openly religious man He believed; “The test of religious belief is not in pious platitudes and cautious charity, but in positive and creative action.” Thanks but no thanks to Rawlings, unlike Nigerians, Ghanaians don’t engage in any form of what can best be described as the “apropos of doubtful religiosity”
As soon as he seized power he lined up 3 previous Military Heads of State, Generals Akwasi Afrifa, Ignatius Acheampong, and Fred Akuffo executing them by firing squad. He did not spare anyone with unexplained income. In his own words he described his actions as; “a housecleaning exercise that seeks to purge the country of corrupt political and business leaders and recalibrate Ghana’s national moral compass.”
He purged the then political class in Ghana describing them as; “a pack of criminals who bled Ghana to the bone” JJ Rawlings vehemently vowed to “organize this country (Ghana) in such a way that nothing will be done, whether by God or the devil, without the consent and the authority of the people.”
Rawlings no doubt restored dignity to an impoverished Ghana. He was referred to as “Junior Jesus” by old timers and “Papa J” by the youth who were not even born when he was a military leader. How did he pull it off with neither oil wealth nor Chinese loans? He built an inclusive nation by personal example. Under him and beyond the citizens of that country are always Ghanaian first.
Last year or so, viral videos of him directing traffic in a gridlock surfaced. He looked awesome. Hate him or admire him he was one those personalities that can never be ignored. Was his tyrannical proclivity justified for the common good of Ghana? I think so because it laid the foundation of the relative peace and prosperity Ghana now enjoys compared to the insecurity wrecking Nigeria.
JJ Rawlings had an impeccable public service career. Bullets could not take him down – Coronavirus did, aged 73. He shall always be fondly remembered as the inspirational icon. He was truly a phenomenal leader. Bold, assertive, confident and bushwhacking. He never hid behind the façade of Media Aides. His razor sharp mind radiated in press interviews and impromptu engagements. He never left doubts about where he stood on any issue. Nigeria might be the giant of Africa but Rawlings has made Ghana the pride of Africa. His compatriots trusted and believed in him. He never disappointed them for the 21 years he was in power.
I have so many friends, too numerous to mention here from Ghana that we have over the decades enjoyed endless Kelewele, Red-red, Banku and Kenkey dishes together in various joints of Sabongari, Kano. Kindly accept my condolences on the recent demise of your beloved political hero.
Howaazat sir? As long as you fellow cricketers admit Nigerian Jollof is better and that you actually stole Waakye, Tuo Zaafi and Fufu from us. Nigeria-Ghana relations has always had its ups and downs but we shall be always be friends and neighbors. Akwaaba!
May JJ rest in peace!
It is more than a shade easier for a girl to be corrupted sexually, than it is for a boy. A girl is naturally more endowed with the implements to lean back on and conveniently make a living off in the dark, more than her male counterpart.
Besides, her clients are naturally conditioned to pour in, in droves. Most times, the girls are culturally pressured to play along when economically tasked. It is a merry go round legacy they inherit and grow up to bequeath to their successors.
When they are hounded out by circumstances, covered and wrapped up in the uncertainty’s mist, they avert the gaze of morality and succumb, expectantly. The spurious infallible laws of most customs appear to be in one long corroboration mode with nature to shortchange the woman.
While the woman cannot fathom the unending impertinence to the legality of her fight, she recognizes them easily. To some degree, this dependency of hers is harnessed for her, such that she perceives them as right. She feels as virtuous as compelled.
On the other hand, the mans indignant antecedents are never realigning their reliability. Even when the woman excels and is allowed to glut, she endlessly feels more of a consultant than a senior employee in this living enterprise. It isn’t an issue of semantics or shades, it is purely double standards by nature. It is as simplistic as that. It never ceases, even when possibilities are marginally upped or proclaimed.
Even when the possibilities that abound for her are marginally upped or proclaimed and redeemed, they continually humiliate her painstaking efforts still. But the woman is nevertheless passionate in her continuous efforts, never abandoning her tedious trials.
Yet at the peak of her fiercely gotten triumphs, her rich tapestry would still feel like her man’s discarded rags. It feels destined that men will manage to mount the wild cow of the woman’s fears and boldly grab her swaying horns into submission.
The irony of it all is, at the right time for her to make a decision to split open his dominance, she never actually does. Instead, obsessed by her peculiarity, she omits to be steadfast, prune her potentials, squint naturally, not wink pretentiously. His sun shines on as her eclipsed moon and leaves no traces again.
As far as life is concerned, the sole weapon nature endowed her with is submerged within her and confined to her thoughts only. The very core of her difficulty is a theorem nature had solved long ago, which time and man hadn’t yet changed, though they never don’t stop trying.
The man cannot ever emotionally harm himself with pictures of the woman he conjures up his mind. It is only this folly he might choose to try to cringe from, he is either hooked up or not. His broken heart is misinterpreted to atone nothing and to wrestle away from his dominance, the undercut tactics the woman can resort to and rely on; tends to neglect the fact that it cant quench the thirst it slakes.
The woman remains the smelling monstrous carcass in the mans dreams. He only needs to wake up every morning and go on with his life. She is only an eye witness to his dreams and cannot step into his living world, unless he decides to enroll her. The turbulence that is her apprehension for some control gathers momentum to be slighted.
The key central delight the woman enjoys the most for all time is her procreation grant, and only because the natural trepidation of time uses her with it. Even then the consternation involved in bringing forth a physical marvel someone else had sired inside her, is apathetic. It is like a badly crippled spider delighting on the spoils provided by another spiders cobwebs. She endlessly baffles at how easily her active role is truncated. The passive contribution of the man hinders the glory of her pain.
Unclouded by the impersonation of her man, in the flurried act of birth, the fierce heat of subtle neglect by tradition always insults her ultimately. The man ever lives on, strutting along in accepted honour for just being a cameo of sorts. While the woman can merely dramatize her emotions, still only skeptical whether she is honoured or not, abhorred or exalted. She never really knows and can tell quite little.
The diatribe lingers, intruding incessantly on her real position as the harbinger of life and love. She has to rely on this bias acceptance which she is infinitely chastised and castigated for. It is perplexing how the eccentricity of the situation belittles her, when it should celebrate her. But there is an eternal good in all this, granted that this portrayal seduced her. It understandably ought to make her deficient of undying love. It would make anyone else inescapably furious. Being so indulged in this solitary abstraction is quite punitively irritable. Dot on the spot, it scotches logic with tentative and doubtless ease. Still well acquainted with not just insinuated, outrageous accusation of it being a mere tool and not the worker, she remains doggedly devoted.
She exhibits an earnest and distilled shine of love and extraordinary dedication. Trembling with genuine affection she actually reinforces her floundering faith in her man, lavish him with some more of her branded selfless love. The spontaneity of which is not tarnished with any misplaced aggression on her part. The calculated belittling of her is conspicuous. But the conviction of all this natural, as well as artificially crafted cruelty notwithstanding, it triggers off what become a bloom of mild beautiful eruption.
Regardless of whether the woman is treasured and receives a big bequest, she is fascinated by her masculine distractor. Her dedication may stumble and still it deepens into an overall vital part of the mans wellbeing. She delved into living this way fully, only hesitating to sparingly investigate a partner. Whether she unearths a chunk of coal or a gold nugget, is inconsequential to her. She gives the man his ratcheting room, to make up his mind if he would harm or protect her and her interests. Rather than dawdle about, wondering which kind of person he will be, she decides which kind of person she is.
By Taiwo Sanni
Tell my mother I was unarmed.
Tell my father I had the flag in my hands when I was shot.
Tell the unborn Generation that I died singing the national anthem.
Tell the cowards who shot me that my spirit lives on in the life of every good Nigerian youth.
Tell the government that they shot my body but not my spirit.
Tell the world I died for freedom like many good people before me.
I regret nothing, for I have done what my father’s, mother’s, uncle’s and aunt’s couldn’t do out of fear. Let God judge me, I am only sorry for the pain of leaving you this early.
My prints will forever remain in the sands of history for I have done my time based on the path I chose freely & willingly.
Now that my torment in Nigeria is over, please lay me to rest on mother earth where you all will join me in due time, take my voice and hand it over to the next good youth whom I hope by Gods Almighty grace will benefit a better Nation.
For I know that freedom is coming, yes freedom will come tomorrow.
By Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas
A REVIEW OF CHAPTER 9:
LEARNING TO FORGIVE
Here we move to accepting apologies.
It is established that the need for forgiveness always begins with an offense.
One Professor Robert Enright,
pioneering forgiveness research, sees forgiveness as a moral issue & defines Forgiveness as a “response to an injustice (a moral wrong),” and “turning to the ‘good’ in the face of wrongdoing.”
If no offense, then forgiveness is absent.
Apologies all have same two goals: 1) offender be forgiven
2) relationship be reconciled
Forgiveness is still a choice. You & I can choose to forgive or not.
Offense destroys the
tranquility of the relationship. There’s hurt, anger, disappointment, disbelief, betrayal & rejection.
Your sense of justice has been violated.
Offense would sit as an emotional barrier between two people. Often the situation gets compounded by response, especially when show of disrespect is reciprocated.
People are all imperfect & sometimes fail to treat each other with love, dignity & respect. Apologies and forgiveness are thus essential elements to healthy relationships.
First is apology is unimportant. Apologies are important. An apology reaches out for
The art of forgiving
Three Hebrew words & four Greek words translated into ‘forgive’ in English. They’re synonyms with varying shades of
meaning. Key ideas are “to cover; to take away; to pardon; and to be gracious to.”
If you’re the offended party, forgiveness means that you will not seek revenge, that you will not demand justice, that you will not let the offense stand between & anyone or anything.
Forgiveness results in reconciliation.
The Forgiveness Cycle
An apology is an important part of the forgiveness cycle. An offense is committed; an apology is made; and forgiveness is given.
Here the author goes a biblical journey, which I will spare you most it but he concludes that the divine model is a wise and prudent model for making an apology in today’s world because it has two essential elements:
(1) confession and repentance on the part of the offender
(2) forgiveness on the part of the one sinned against.
To forgive opens the door to reconciliation. Not to forgive leads to further deterioration of the relationship.
Jesus declared to His followers, “Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Since most of us would like to have forgiveness when we fail. Therefore, we are encouraged to extend
forgiveness to those who offend us. The ideal scenario is that when we offend others, we take the initiative to apologize.
If the person apologizes, then you forgive. There is to be no limit to our forgiveness so long as the offender returns to apologize.
What if the offender refuses to apologize—even when confronted with his/her wrong behavior? We are to approach the person a second time, telling them of the offense & giving them opportunity to apologize.
Moral failures always stand as a barrier that can be removed only by apologizing and forgiveness.
Therefore, if a person refuses to apologize for a moral failure after being confronted several times, we are to release the person who has sinned against us to God, letting God take care of the person rather than insisting.
THE DANGER OF FORGIVING TOO EASILY
Since childhood loads of people learned to forgive quickly & freely. In so doing, we may end
up encouraging destructive behavior.
Earlier it was indicated that there are two common responses to an apology:forgive or not to forgive.
But in reality, there is a third possible response: Sometimes we have been hurt so deeply or so often that we cannot bring
ourselves emotionally, spiritually, or physically to the point of genuinely extending forgiveness. We need time for inner healing, lor the restoration of emotional balance, or sometimes physical health that will give us the capacity to forgive.
Simply put, the 3rd option is to wait.
This brings us to the issue of rebuilding trust. Forgiveness and trust are not to be equated because forgiveness is a decision, it can be extended immediately when one perceives he has heard a sincere apology.
However, trust is not a decision —it is rather an emotion . Trust is that gut-level confidence that you will do what you say you will do.
COMPLETING THE CYCLE
Forgiveness holds the power to give renewed life to the relationship. Without forgiveness, relationships die. With forgiveness, relationships have the potential for becoming vibrant and enriching the lives of the people involved.
WHAT FORGIVENESS CAN’T DO
Forgiveness does not remove all the results of failure.
For example, If a man is given to fits of anger and strikes out at his wife, hitting her on the chin and breaking her jaw, he may sincerely confess and she may genuinely forgive. But her jaw is still broken and may cause her difficulty for years to come.
It is one of the fundamental realities of life: When we commit actions or speak words that are detrimental to another, the consequences stay on.
The Chapter ends with tips on Statements of forgiveness:
– I am deeply hurt by what you said.
– I think you realize that.
– I appreciate your apology, because without it, I don’t think I could forgive you. But because I think you are sincere, I want you to know that I forgive you.
– What can I say? I’m touched by your apology. I value our relationship greatly. Therefore, I’m choosing to forgive you.
– I didn’t know if I would ever be able to say this sincerely. I was devastated by what you did. I would never have imagined you capable of doing such a thing. But I love you, and I choose to believe that your apology is sincere. So I am offering you my forgiveness.
– Your work error has cost me both time and money. I want to forgive you for causing this problem. Yes, I believe that with your correction plan in place, I can forgive you.
– I know how hard it is for you to swallow your pride and say, “I was wrong.” You’ve grown in my eyes, and I do forgive you.
Learning to Forgive
The Five Languages of Apology
1. EXPRESSING REGRET – “I am sorry.”
2. ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY – “I was wrong.”
3. MAKING RESTITUTION – “What can I do to make it right?”
4. GENUINELY REPENTING – “Try not to do that again.”
5. REQUESTING FORGIVENESS – “Will you please forgive me?”
IF YOU ARE ABOVE 40 YRS OF AGE OR APPROACHING THE MARK, HEALTH HINTS FOR YOU
A. Two things to check as often as you can:
(1) Your blood pressure
(2) Your blood sugar
B. Four things to reduce to the minimum on your foods:
(3) dairy products
(4) starchy products
C. Four things to increase in your foods:
D. Three things you need to forget:
(1) Your age
(2) your past
(3) your grievances
E. Four things you must have, no matter how weak or how strong you are:
(1) Friends who truly love you
(2) caring family
(3) positive thoughts
(4) a warm home.
F. Five things you need to do to stay healthy:
(2) smiling / laughing
(3) trek / exercise
(4) reduce your weight.
G. Six things you don’t have to do:
(1) Don’t wait till you are hungry to eat
(2) don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink
(3) don’t wait till you are sleepy to sleep
(4) don’t wait till you feel tired to rest
(5) don’t wait till you get sick to go for medical check-ups otherwise you will only regret later in life
(6) don’t wait till you have problem before you pray to your God.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF !!!
IQ , EQ , SQ , AQ
…..According to psychologists, there are four types of intelligence:
1) Intelligence Quotient 0(IQ)
2) Emotional Quotient (EQ)
3) Social Quotient (SQ)
4) Adversity Quotient (AQ)
1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ): This is the measure of your comprehension ability”, solve maths; memorize things and recall subject matters.
2. Emotional Quotient (EQ): This is the measure of your ability to maintain peace with others; keep to time; be responsible; be honest; respect boundaries; be humble, genuine and considerate.
3. Social Quotient (SQ):
This is the measure of your ability to build a network of friends and maintain it over a long period of time.
People that have higher EQ and SQ tend to go farther in life than those with high IQ but low EQ and SQ. Most schools capitalize in improving IQ level while EQ and SQ are played down.
A man of high IQ can end up being employed by a man of high EQ and SQ even though he has an average IQ.
Your EQ represents your character; your SQ represents your charisma. Give in to habits that will improve these three Qs but more especially your EQ and SQ.
EQ and SQ make one manage better than the other.
Pls don’t teach children only to have higher IQ , but also to have higher EQ and SQ.
Now there is a 4th one:
A new paradigm
4. The Adversity Quotient (AQ):
The measure of your ability to go through a rough patch in life and come out without losing your mind. AQ determines who will give up in face of troubles and may abandon their families.
Expose children to other areas of life than academic. They should adore manual work (never use work as a form of punishment), sport and art .
Develop their EQ, SQ and AQ. They should become multifaceted human beings able to do things independently of the parents.
Finally, do not prepare the road for the children. Prepare the children for the road.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Can a Biden/Harris ticket beat President Donald Trump?
On the surface this is a winning team. However, in America democracy it is all about the Deep State. That is why during the 2016 presidential elections despite her 65.8 million votes, Hilary Clinton could not enter the White House. Rather Donald J. Trump and his 62.9 million votes is now the current chief tenant.
So what happened? The United States Electoral College voted him in that is what. Trump got 304 votes of college electors while Clinton got 227 – end of story.
“The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, which forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election……The number of each state’s electors is equal to the sum of the state’s membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.”
Interestingly, there are “Faithless electors” who switch sides or are compelled to do so by the Deep State and its allies and interested parties. But who are these electors in general? The answer to this question is why Kamala Devi Harris is very crucial to Joe Biden’s candidacy. The state of California where she comes from has the highest number of 55. Besides Harris is biracial, her father is from Jamaica and her mother from India. Gender also plays a prominent part in the permutation as women voters are the most consistent in American politics. American men are good in arguing and debating politics but it is women that actually turn out to vote in more numbers per capita.
Deep State is defined as; “A hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process”
There is also what is known as American Exceptionalism which; “is the theory that the history of the United States is inherently different from that of other nations.” The idea that America has a unique mission to transform the world. Therefore to achieve that only those that can preserve and keep the American national interest should be allowed to occupy the White House. For instance, Obama came into office with the repeated promise to shut down the illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay but for 8 years he couldn’t. And by negotiating a nuclear peace treaty with Iran he openly defied the Deep State making Mrs. Clinton take the fall.
In the United States no president can go to war with the Deep State and win. Ask John F Kennedy and his brother and Attorney General, Robert F Kennedy who wanted to run for president – they were both assassinated. The Deep State is an extended cabal that cuts across party lines.
It is very important to note that very deeply embedded in the American psyche is the role of the Sheriff that constantly fights off bad guys. That is why Hollywood endlessly promotes the protagonist/antagonist dynamic – always between an “actor” and the “boss” The oxygen of the US economy is the military-industrial complex which cannot survive without conflicts and wars all around the world; “Without war human beings stagnate in comfort and affluence and lose the capacity for great thoughts and feelings, they become cynical and subside into barbarism” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821- 1881)
My take on the forthcoming US elections is solely based on stone cold analysis of the 2000 polls “won” by George W Bush by a complete outsider through the pages of; Stupid White Men of Michael Moore (2002) If I had been resident there I am sure I would have felt different and opined otherwise. I am merely a detached student of the dynamics of power. I say this out of respect for my numerous friends and even some relatives in the US. I respect their choices.
Now back to the question; can the Biden-Harris ticket beat that of Trump-Pence? I have my doubts for the following reasons;
1. The opinion polls that Biden is currently leading Trump by 10 points is no different from that of Clinton over Trump in 2016 yet see what played out.
2. America is a deeply racist country and will always remain so because there is an umbilical link between racism and capitalism – one cannot exist without the other. Biden is already 75 years old this means he has no second term ambition. Harris is however 55 which means another Black presidential against the background of all these Black Lives Matter protests in 2024. Even liberal WASPs might gravitate back to White supremacy by default.
3. Joe Biden is not a war monger and he will tax the rich more to pay the poor like bring back Obama Care.
4. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant segment of America prefer Trump’s sabre rattling on Immigration. Biden will open up the flow. Trump has shut the tap!
5. Biden is a supporter of strict Gun Laws. Trump is not!
6. Masses are masses anywhere in the world – the inability to see the big picture is always the same. The American masses vote in popular elections but it is just a few hundred “electors” that always determine who wins.
7. The ace in every US elections is Israel. Biden has always rooted for Palestine. He will also return to the conference table with Iran and negotiate with China. Trump will not because; “Leaders have always found it useful to have an enemy at their gates distracting the public from their difficulties. Use the rhetoric of war to heighten the stakes” – page 12 of 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene (2006)
By Carolyn Forster on Facebook
Everything in life is taken in perspective…
Imagine you were born in 1900.
When you’re 14, World War I begins and ends when you’re 18 with 22 million dead.
Soon after a global pandemic, the Spanish Flu, appears, killing 50 million people. And you’re alive and 20 years old.
When you’re 29 you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment and famine.
When you’re 33 years old the nazis come to power.
When you’re 39, World War II begins and ends when you’re 45 years old with a 60 million dead.
In the Holocaust 6 million Jews die.
When you’re 52, the Korean War begins.
When you’re 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends when you’re 75.
A child born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and catastrophes.
Today we have all the comforts in a new world, amid a new pandemic.
But we complain because we need to wear masks.
We complain because we must stay confined to our homes where we have food, electricity, running water, wifi, even Netflix!
None of that existed back in the day.
But humanity survived those circumstances and never lost their joy of living.
A small change in our perspective can generate miracles.
We should be thankful that we are alive.
We should do everything we need to do to protect and help each other.
Now that really puts all we are going through into perspective.
Remember today and everyday…
2 Love – 2 Dream – 2 Serve
A short first 3 chapters review:
I’m mightily fond of biographies but I’m the first to admit there is a major demerit of Biographies/Autobiographies of notable persons, fact that we know how the book concludes. So if you’re all about extended suspense & sudden dramatic endings, you won’t enjoy Biographies of notable persons. Biographies are more about information & content.
CHAPTER 1- The Beginning
I will be more elabourate in this chapter because of its foundational place in the story.
ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF starts by telling of the old sage that visited soon after her birth to reveal her title: “This Child will be Great”. It was prophetic as it turns out but living through educational difficulties, marital problems, economical turmoil etc, Ellen & her mother couldn’t possibly see this laughable prediction coming true.
Her initial challenge in campaigning for the presidency was in establishing her indegenious credentials, and not the elitist Americo-liberian that she was labeled with. Her popularity didn’t just hold her in good stead.
Her Grandfather (Jahmale) was a local chief who emerged as a popular negotiator between settlers & indegenious tribes because of his command of local dialects. His abilities was sought after by even the 7th President of Liberia (Hilary Johnson), the first President born in Liberia. Though he was the son of one of the Liberia’s elitist first settlers, Elijah Johnson.
Ellen’s father was sent to the city as a ward, which is a guardianship system that still flourishes in most part parts of Africa. It entails sending grown children/young adults to assist in meeting up with the crucial need for cheap labor. These youth are transplanted into better off families to work at
hauling water, collecting firewood and coal, cooking, cleaning, tending crops & other domestic work. It was also a means by which colonists spread religion & civilization to indegenious folks.
Not all the wards had an easy go at it, but majority of families, regardless of how discriminating or unjust, gave the wards in their care some opportunity for education & in some cases had their names changed to suit their new status. Ellen’s father, who was taken in by a family named McGrity, was given the last name of Johnson, after the president & his first name, Karnley, westernized to Carney. Thus becoming Carney Johnson at 15, a rebirth she called it. He became a ‘poor man’s lawyer’ (an apprenticeship lawyer), started a career in politics, met a befitting lady & married.
Ellen’s mother, had a more thrilling tale. She was half German. Her grandfather being a German who left after German traders were expelled from Liberia at the commencement of WWI. He never returned & Ellen’s mum put it off as a past she never wants to recall. She was almost white & was marveled at for a that reason. After a brief time of bad treatment as a mere servant with a family, she was taken in by a prominent childless woman from an influential family, where she got the best local education, even studying abroad for a year.
Five years after seeing Martha, Ellen’s father; Carney, divorced his first wife, won the affections of Martha & her guardian & married the pretty half-caste. The young family blossomed in Monrovia until they fell down the success ladder. Here Ellen gives us a brief glimpse of old simple Monrovia & the historical background of how separate states & cities in the USA had settled their freed slaves in separate colonies in Liberia. A huge death rate from the malaria that killed alot of the settlers. Some came willingly, most joined unwillingly, as conditions for freedom or as cargo from enforced seizures of slave trading ships. Thus captured ships with rescued slaves were sent to Monrovia. Persons of the most diverse tribes in present day West African countries & beyond were simply dumped as ‘liberated’ slaves in ‘Liberia’.
Ellen’s family settled in one of the posh areas, with a modestly grand house. She is the third of four children( two boys & girls each). She was named after her mother’s friend. She was a tomboy of sorts, climbing trees & playing ball with the boys with discarded tennis balls.
She fell in a pit toilet hole once. She was so tiny, left alone she slipped through the boarded pit toilet. (If you’ve seen ‘slum-dog millionaire’… Well, you get the gist.) She was rescued by a bypasser after calling out for help & washed up by her mum. 🤣
Theirs was an illustrious home, with her father keeping good company & aspiring to be the first indegenious speaker of the parliamentary. A sitting President visited their home. Her father was a socialite & womanizer, which was common place then, with polygamy accepted. Even Christian white folks kept concubines & had ‘out-children.’ with their spare women. Her mother was religious & ran the primary school they all went to.
She writes of her childhood trips to the villages for vacation, where she learned to swim. There’s her proud indegenious roots which her father never let them lose, even though they easily could. She is proud to flaunt this credential of being an indegenious child of Liberia, a clarity she made to distractors during her presidential campaign. Her respect for the unique biodiversity of the Liberian Flora and fauna, is all highlighted in this opening chapter.
CHAPTER 2 – Childhood Ends
Ellen’s sweet Childhood took a tumble with the sudden stroke of her dad in his forties. He was still trying out to be the first indegenious speaker of the parliament. The then President was encouraging & supportive in this regard. The ‘growth with development’ in the nation was being challenged with this drive. The national economic growth was concentrated in the hand of the few American repatriated elite. On the down side, President Tubman was Tyrannical, building a strong security force to fend off dissent. Ellen’s father saw Tubman as the man who ‘opened the door’ to progress for the indegenes but his sudden illness brought an end to his family’s cosiness. In those days (1950s) medicine was still basic. Her dad felt he was bewitched. As he blamed juju, family adjusted to care for his handicapped needs.
Ellen’s sister left for London to become a nurse so she could help, Ellen was in highschool. She was active in sports. Only downside was being teased for her fair complexion by the indegenious people, as they construe her to be of the elitist group of settlers.
She met her to-be husband in her last year in high school. James Sirleaf was of a Mandingo father & an elitist mother. He was also discriminated against for this. As an added pressure, his Mandingo clan are mainly Muslims & they tend not to assimilate into the conventional Liberian community, till date they are perceived as outcasts. Ellen & Doc, as James was known, met via a friend; Clave. The jealous irresistible Doc swept Ellen off her feet.
He was seven years older than Ellen. Without her handicapped dad’s enablement, Ellen opted to marry early, since college wasn’t affordable. 1956 she was married, January ’57 got her first son, Jes & incredibly, by December ’57 she got her second son Charles, while her mates were off in college.
Doc had returned from Alabama with a degree in agriculture before they got married. It was a big deal then because agriculture was the bedrock of Liberia’s economy then, as it is now. Iron ore, timber & Cocoa were the major export, before the civil war impaired these economic trend. Still it took Doc a while to get a footing at the ministry of agriculture. To make ends meet Ellen took Secretarial work with expatriate firms.
This was her first venture into finance. She borrowed trucks from work to lift the sand they built their first house with. They farmed & lived in rural settings. Doc had to work at a teaching job long before he finally got a ministry Job. Ellen’s sister had returned, married & had 3 kids of her own. Ellen believed in herself & her potential.
Doc got a government scholarship for his masters & Ellen jumped at the chance but it wasn’t easy, without her father’s connection like her sisters had it back then. Ellen’s father had passed on, neglected by his political buddies. Finally she got the scholarship, she got in to study business at Madison business college. They left their four kids behind, splitting them among their grand parents. Here she lingers on the support virtues of the African extended family.
America wasn’t all rosy. Doc’s jealousy had not quite abated. He also always had a drinking problem. Ellen worked at a posh store alongside her studies, a job Doc considered demeaning. After a single scene at her work place, he grumbled but back down because they need the money.
She was working the day US President JFK was assasinated. Doc’s jealousy moved dangerously to the physical, with gun threats. There wasn’t much she could do but bear it. Doc finished his course and returned a year before Ellen, who stayed back to finish up. When she returned and started work at the debt office of the ministry of finance, she felt her ambitious streak let lose as she played catch up. Doc grew more jealous of her progress. She threw herself into work.
They quarreled increasing. After an incident with his gun, when their first born sprayed insecticide at the father when he threatened Ellen with the gun, it dawned on her she had to leave him. When they agreed to separate, he kept the boys & she moved in with her mum. She secured a divorce when Doc was out of town. He made a number of scenes at her office later on. They ended up as friends at long last when he remarried. He migrated to Florida & she gave the keynote address at his funeral. He was cremated. Her youngest son stayed with Doc’s brother, a medical doctor. That son is now an MD himself. The third boy; Rob, was returned to her because he was unsettled without her.
CHAPTER 3 – America Again
Don’t blame the man in me, but I like the way she started this chapter.
“Divorce is difficult, even when it is absolutely necessary.” This goes both ways, believe me. I’ve seen it play out countless of times, on both ends severally, to know well. The guilt & adjustment is common.
Ellen’s was more of fitting in with the disrespect & suspicions that female divorcees experience. Her placing in the finance ministry gave her holistic view of the dire economic situation of the country. From the onset, the economy of Liberia wasn’t particularly well off as a colony of sorts before independence. As late as the 1930s, some leaders were still counting on a mass exodus of black Americans to shore up the country and its economy but instead the black Americans moved to industrial northern U.S. cities. Then came World War I—and Liberia couldn’t compete with the more established trade affairs of the British empire or French in the late 1800s & earliest 1900s.
Here I beg to quote a section:
“One cannot talk long about Liberia without discussing the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. It is our largest private employer and runs what is considered the largest rubber plantation in the world within
our borders. For better or worse, no other single company has had a more significant impact on the history and development of our land. Firestone arrived in Liberia, excited about the country’s perfect conditions for growing rubber as an alternative to its single Asia source and intrigued by the small, defunct British commercial operation at Mount Barclay, a lowland coastal plantation of about two thousand acres situated on a former mangrove swamp and jungle about twenty miles east of Monrovia. Firestone and the Liberian government easily reached an agreement for Firestone to take over that plantation; the company was granted a long-term lease for $1 an acre the first year and a flat $6,000 per year thereafter. But Firestone had larger plans. After much negotiation, Firestone was granted the right to lease up to 1 million acres of “suitable” Liberian land for 6 cents an acre and 1 percent of the tax value of
the rubber exported—and to do so until the year 2025.
“By any measure, it was a sweetheart deal for Firestone.
According to the Dutch economist and historian Fred P. M. van der Kraaij. After the draft concession agreement was approved by the national legislature, Firestone suddenly introduced a new clause. This
so-called Clause K made the agreement dependent on a $1 million loan from Firestone to the Liberian government. At the time of Firestone’s establishment in Liberia, the nation’s economy was stagnant and bankrupt. Although the loan proposal and ensuing negotiations raised fierce protests both outside and inside the country—where some Liberians feared the influence such a loan would create on the Liberia government—under pressure from the U.S. State Department and eager for the cash to repay a $1 million debt to
British bankers, Liberian officials eventually agreed to the deal.
Thus Firestone gained—for nearly a hundred years—almost unlimited control over an area equal to 4 percent of Liberian land and nearly 10 percent of land considered arable. And, by virtue of the loan the company’s entry into Liberia served mainly to reinforce Liberia’s financial dependency. For the next eighty years Firestone amassed huge profits and had a strong and decisive say in Liberian politics.”
End of quote.
Firestone had it’s foot on Liberia’s throat. The army of workers suffered & not much was done to ease the burden on them. Firestone didn’t establish industries but carted away resources & paid next to nothing in revenue.
When 1944 Tubman’s reforms took root & foreign investment flowed in, few Liberians outside the settlers’ elite clique truly benefited from the influx of foreign businesses. Thousands of Liberians were given jobs, but almost always lower-level, manual-labor positions, with
little effort made to train indigenous workers so they might move up to technical or managerial slots. Hospitals and schools were built only for workers of the investors.
By 1960s the economy was in another slum. Tubman lost favor & beefed up his security. There was an assassination attempt on him in 1955. He got a scapegoat in Fahnbulleh, a diplomat serving as ambassador to Kenya & Tanzania. He was arrested, charged & convicted for trying to overthrow the government. Not part of any activism, Ellen had simply accidentally started off in that direction when she stood on the edge of disloyalty with a speech she delivered criticizing the Liberian government’s economic policies. Representing the Treasury Department at a conferece by Harvard Institute for International Development. (HIID initiative). Harvard man, the economist Gustav Papanek, later president of the Boston Institute for Development, was concerned for her safety after that blatant criticism of the Liberian authorities. Professor Papanek gained Ellen admission to Edward S. Mason Fellows, Harvard’s oldest and largest international program. Ellen sat for & passed the U.S. Agency for International Development scholarship exam, scoring the highest marks recorded then. While she shores up her undergraduate credentials, Rob went to live with American friends.
A year later another speech got her into serious trouble. She then plunged into the study of the history of West Africa, learning more about Liberia in Harvard. Returning to Liberia alongside her sister on a ship, Ellen smoked her last cigarette ever. They both learned of the death of President Tubman while eating a meal on the ship. He was 71 & had ruled for 27 years. It was 1971 (& I was just a year old then 😊).
She ends the 3rd chapter with this;
“Jennie and I sat together in that dining room, praying for the soul
of our departed president and praying even harder for our families & our land. We were anxious but not frightened, not really. Like most Liberians, I suppose, we felt in some way shielded from the worst
manifestations of evolutionary struggle and change.
“We always felt that if anything really terrible began to happen, if ever things went seriously awry, America would come to our aid. America was our great father, our patron saint. It would never let us suffer. That’s what so many of us in Liberia thought. But then we found out that EVERYONE HAS TO STAND ON HIS OWN!”
I just wish some of the multitude of violently protesting Black Americans will learn from these words that they are just wasting away in the streets, shouting themselves crazy. At the end of the day, they can only make the white man respect them with what they achieve, not what the white man gives them.
Finally something practical and honest from the :
Head of the Infectious Disease Clinic, University of Maryland,
1. We may have to live with C19 for months or years. Let’s not deny it or panic. Let’s not make our lives useless. Let’s learn to live with this fact.
2. You can’t destroy C19 viruses that have penetrated cell walls, drinking gallons of hot water – you’ll just go to the bathroom more often.
3. Washing hands and maintaining a
two-metre physical distance is the best method for your protection.
4. If you don’t have a C19 patient at home, there’s no need to disinfect the surfaces at your house.
5. Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection.
Wash your hands, live your life as usual.
6. C19 is not a food infection. It is associated with drops of infection like the ‘flu. There is no demonstrated risk that C19 is transmitted by ordering food.
7. You can lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections. This is only a non-specific symptom of C19.
8. Once at home, you don’t need to change your clothes urgently and go shower!
Purity is a virtue, paranoia is not!
9. The C19 virus doesn’t hang in the air. This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.
10. The air is clean, you can walk through the gardens (just keeping your physical protection distance), through parks.
11. It is sufficient to use normal soap against C19, not antibacterial soap. This is a virus, not a bacteria.
12. You don’t have to worry about your food orders. But you can heat it all up in the microwave, if you wish.
13. The chances of bringing C19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day. I’ve been working against viruses for 20 years – drop infections don’t spread like that!
14. You can’t be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger! These are for immunity not a cure.
15. Wearing a mask for long periods interferes with your breathing and oxygen levels. Wear it only in crowds.
16. Wearing gloves is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face. Better just to wash your hands regularly.
17. Immunity is greatly weakened by always staying in a sterile environment. Even if you eat immunity boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach.
Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS, not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary food and aerated drinks.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
The earliest handshake in recorded history is on an antique mural stored at the British Museum dated the 9th century BC. It depicts the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III sealing an agreement with a Babylonian monarch. Are handshakes really necessary? A firm one looking at the other party eyeball to eyeball conveys fidelity and even when necessary signifies apology. A handshake formalizes a relationship either business, casual or even political.
A handshake is a form of non verbal communication; that says this is whom I am.
“The handshake has existed in some form or another for thousands of years, but its origins are somewhat murky. One popular theory is that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions. By extending their empty right hands, strangers could show that they were not holding weapons and bore no ill will toward one another.
Some even suggest that the up-and-down motion of the handshake was supposed to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden up a sleeve. Yet another explanation is that the handshake was a symbol of good faith when making an oath or promise. When they clasped hands, people showed that their word was a sacred bond.”
In medieval Japan they didn’t shake hands. Rather they “pissed together” by simultaneously urinating into a bowl.
Meanwhile, Indians taught the world the type of gesture with which Donald Trump welcomed the Irish Prime Minister to the White House on March 12, 2020. Israel’s Netenyahu, Canada’s Trudeau and the Prince of Wales are also acolytes of that hand shake equivalent called Namatse “derived from the Sanskrit language, formed by joining two words – ‘Namas’ which means ‘bow’, ‘adorations’, ‘obeisance’ and ‘salutation’; and ‘te’ means ‘to you’. Therefore, meaning ‘bowing to you’.”
Did we shake hands before the coming of the European conquest? I have my doubts because the Arabs that arrived long before Oyibo through the Trans Saharan Trade, kiss on both cheeks as a form of greeting. The use of handshaking was made a religious ritual during the celebration of the Eucharist by the Roman Catholic Church known as the “exchange of peace”
Nigeria’s most famous handshake was between General Yakubu Gowon and the erstwhile Head of State of Biafra, Col Phillip Effiong that took place in the council chambers at Dodan Barracks on January 15, 1970. Their handshake ended a bitter 30 month unneccesary war between brothers which genuinely ended with “No victor, no vanquished” Little wonder the 70s were Nigeria’s most prosperous years. No Nigerian leader has replicated the unusual candor of the Gowonian days with the notable exemption of the architect of the Niger Delta Amnesty – Umar Musa Yar’adua of blessed memory.
I particularly find the handshake between Israeli leader Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat iconic. It was to formalize the Camp David agreement after 30 years of hostility between the Arab world and Jews which returned Egypt’s Suez region and part of the Golan Heights to Syria that took place at the Rose Garden of White House in 1977 during the adminstration of Jimmy Carter. Another unforgettable handshake was between Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk signifying the end of the atrocious era of Apartheid and the beginning of Black majority rule in South Africa.
Interestingly, in the traditional core North you don’t shake hands with your seniors or women. However, when Lt Col Hassan Usman Katsina became the military governor of the North (now 19 states) he embarked on a region wide tour. On getting to Katsina where his polo playing dad, Usman Nagogo MBE was emir he was compelled to shake hands as protocol dictated. Reportedly, the governor’s twin brother Hussein, then a ranking title holder went viral on the “sacrilege” During the IBB era, Margaret Thatcher touched down in Kano during her state visit before proceeding to Lagos. Her handshake with Emir Ado Bayero caused no small consternation back then.
To whom it may concern; with the Covid-19 pandemic please do not be offended if I refuse to shake hands with you when next we meet. No offence intended as I don’t carry any knife up my sleeve. Doing a Namatse doesn’t make you Hindu nor Buddhist. The world is now a global village. Besides keeping safe in a time of Covid-19 is paramount!
Author Unknown …
I heard that we are in the same boat. But it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some, quarantine is optimal: moment of reflection, of re-connection. Easy, in flip flops, with a whiskey or tea.
For others, this is a desperate crisis. For others it is facing loneliness. For some, a peace, rest time, vacation.
Yet for others, Torture: How am I going to pay my bills?
Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates).
Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days.
Some were in their “home office” .
Others are looking through trash to survive.
Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money.
Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks. Others to escape. Others criticize the government for the lines.
Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their loved ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal. Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020.
Others say the worse is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm.
Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul (for invisible reasons). It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, more than looking, seeing.
See beyond the political party, beyond religion, beyond the nose on your face.
Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it.
Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other. Don’t be a judge. Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him.
We are on different ships looking to survive. Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.
Be safe and Help others to be safe…LIFE is Important.
Many Nigerians; including this writer, embark on self medication because our health care delivery system is grossly inadequate and therefore not economically convenient. And since a generality of Nigerians are not covered by form of Health Insurance, water will always find its level with precarious alternative of Bush Doctors in neighborhood “chemists” and on commercial buses. Others parade markets and other public places some with loudspeakers hawking various concoctions.
The WHO considers 1 doctor per 1000 persons “insufficient” but in Nigeria it is 1 doctor per 4222 persons according to the National Population Commission.
I do not know which part of the moon Dr Chris Ngige lives on because according to him;
“We have more than enough doctors. You can quote me. We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here.”
This was the Labour minister’s response that was broadcast by Channels TV on April 24, 2019 when he was queried about the mass exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria. Ngige’s position clearly contradicts that of his erstwhile colleague on the Federal Executive Council, former Health minister, Prof Isaac Adewole who had previously in May 2018 declared at a conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) that they were 88,692 registered doctors in Nigeria out which only 45,000 were practicing in Nigeria – the rest abroad. This simply means in reality there is about 1 doctor per 8000 persons in Nigeria. I nevertheless humbly stand to be corrected.
According to the register of General Medical Council there were 5250 Nigerian doctors practicing in UK as at 2017. However, in 2018 the number had risen to 6289. An increase of more than 1000 in just one year! Interestingly, that represents a third of a total of 3230 doctors graduated by the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria out of a total of 174 NUC approved universities in Nigeria.
Nigerian doctors and other medical professionals understandably flee abroad for more renumeration and better working conditions. Let us not talk about lack of patriotism because we all know how impossible it is to get admission to either read medicine or pharmacy in Nigeria.
The topic of conversation should be why is our nation not investing in medical education. For instance, in the North West geopolitical zone only ABU, BUK and Sokoto have the capacity to produce 120,100 and 100 doctors respectively based on the approved quota for 2018 by the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria. In the entire North East only UniMaid has the quota to produce 150 doctors. The highest quota in Nigeria of 180 is allocated to University of Ibadan. The lowest of 50 is allocated to the 5 partially accredited medical schools that include that of Benue State University headed by my good friend Prof Linus Saalu. In overall context out of the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria only 8 are in the North out of which 6 are federal owned (Unijos, Unilorin, Unimaid, UDUS, ABU, BUK) then that of Benue state as earlier mentioned and the ECWA owned Bingham University, Karu in Nasarawa state.
How has the preponderance of political appointments to the North alleviated health care delivery for the Talakawa in Nigeria’s must densely population region that produces only 15 dental surgeons annually out of a national turnout of 175?
What is the way forward? But before answering let us look at the number of pharmacists of which the following report speaks volumes;
“The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has expressed fear on the rising number of pharmacists who are emigrating from Nigeria to seek for a “better life abroad.”
Speaking with press men at the commencement ceremony of the Pharmacy Week 2019, Chairman of PSN, Oyo State chapter, Abiodun Ajibade, said: “Pharmacists population in Nigeria is very low, this is in spite of the great potentials for growth occasioned by continuous emigration of Pharmacists whom Nigeria has spent heavily to train as a result of poor practice environment.” According to Ajibade, “Out of less than 30,000 total population of practicing Pharmacists in Nigerian, over five thousand of them have gone outside the country.”
According to a post on Bloomberg.com entitled Trapped by Coronavirus, Nigerian Elite Faces Squalid Hospitals dated April 2, 2020 there are 180,709 registered nurses and 0.5% hospital beds per 1000 persons in Nigeria. But more disturbing than this is the report by Inspire Nurses Network Africa, an NGO, that “90 per cent of Nigerian Nurses lacked basic life support skills on emergency care.”
The way forward is obvious; the cost of running our democracy must be reduced starting with the National Assembly. As long as state governors and LG chair persons are not held accountable on “security votes” Nigerians will continue to be at the mercy of (Quacks) Bush Doctors!