Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

Early in October 2016 I spent the day with my day one girl, Francesca. It’s always a pleasure to hang out with someone who not only gets it, she gets me completely. She’s gorgeous in and out, and is one of the realest people I know. But this post is not about her, it was about a ‘meeting’ we went to.

We went as a group to see Fela Durotoye and it was one of the best evenings out I’ve had in a long time! Anyone who knows or has interacted closely with Fela Durotoye knows that he’s such a profound and prolific speaker. And when you add that to the fact that he’s a Christian and has the wisdom of God flowing through him, any/every interaction is one that’s sure to be a blessing.

And so it was, that we spent the evening with his beautiful family. One of the first things I said to myself after spending a few minutes was I would work very hard to raise children that would bring God, us, and their societies joy. Pure joy.

When we eventually got to chatting with Mr Durotoye, I started taking notes, and I’ve reproduced them as is, simply because I stumbled on them recently and I was so blessed all over again I wanted to share. Most of the talk was centred around relationships, marriage (in the 21st century), and pleasing God.

Ready?

  • Love (in addition to the many definitions that exist) – genuine desire and pursuit of the best well-being for another person. How do you measure love? Sacrifice
  • Honour – Recognition of the glory of God in another (to the maximum). How do you measure honour? Adoration

The onus of admiration doesn’t lie on the woman but in the man… he must be admirable.

You can decide to love a person, even in spite of themselves. But you cannot honour them in spite of themselves.

How do we build a generation of admirable men? How do we prepare men that women will honour?

Proverbs 12: 4 – A prudent wife is the crown of her husband. It is the man who bejewels his crown.

There are stats to show that the economic, social, and psychological values of a nation are tied to the family unit.

And then we moved away from family, love, and relationships into nation-building.

Any generation must leave three things for the next’

  1. Values
  2. Environment (that allows the values to thrive)
  3. A good name  (that opens doors of opportunity for the values to thrive)

If we’re going to build Nigeria into a desirable place to be and live in, we must fix the next generation of marriages.

The following are very key to passing on our values to the next generation

A. Transcend bias (religious, cultural, etc)

B. Show personal benefit

C. Be communicable (Messaging must be consistent)

D. Demonstrable

How could the devil who was described as perfect have pride in him? He discovered he was perfect, and his focus became in himself. That’s when he decided to ascend to the place where God was. It became about ‘self’, about ‘me’.

The mentality of ‘other centric’ – leadership… ‘self-centric’ – rulership

If you don’t frame and know your values, ou will acquire values as you go, and they could be positive or negative.

Every generation will have to explain why they ‘didn’t’ or ‘how they ‘did’ – which of them will we be?

Finally, Mr Fela talked about the tripartite, triangular relationship between vision/values, a road map, and people/projects, and how a mastery of all three will ensure you never have unfinished projects.

And then it was time to go home, because good things come to an end. Like this post. 🙂

 

 

 

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Yay!!! I’ve got Chuka on today! Whoop! Chuka is special, not because his first name takes half of my father’s first name, not because he’s super cute (cough), but because he’s intelligent, and kind, and caring. And married o, before anyone gets any ideas!

Ah ha. As I was saying, Chuka’s a lawyer, and I remember meeting him on a trip to Lagos in 2013; was it 2013 or 2014 Chuka while I was in a meeting with Chude and Debola in one restaurant somewhere in/on Victoria Island. Don’t think we spoke for more than 15 minutes, but we’ve been friends since then, and I’m thankful he’s graced my blog today.

I agree with the words on friendship, and had to take some difficult bites of those this year myself; thankful however because really, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And wiser.

Rise… Fall… Dominate… Repeat

Lessons for the lucky, are words from the wise and experienced, who were not so lucky. 2015 was an interesting year for me and perhaps I use the word “interesting” loosely but it certainly was. The thrills were unending and the lessons came in torrents (lol…pun unintended).

It started like dawn, with the sun peaking out from beneath the veil of darkness that had earmarked the end of my 2014. It was beautiful and held promise. Looking back at my year, I dare say, it was a good year.

My biggest lesson was most definitely valuing second chances. No other element breathes life into anything than the chance to actually live again and for me, I learned real quick, the importance of starting over. Almost always looks like the longest thing ever, and sometimes it can be the least desirable option. However, through a year that had it’s annoying turns with trust tossed in the year and hard questions asked, I learnt to value the importance of second chances.

Winding down the year, and getting in on the final lap, what I’m most grateful for? Friends. I’ve never been one to have close friends and not so close friends. The dichotomy is tiring. You’re either a friend….or you’re not. There can never be a middle ground with something as incredibly important as friendship.

Through a rather strange storm, I found that sifting through the chaff of acquaintances was incredibly simple and while disappointing, it is something that I’m unendingly grateful for. I found that sacrifice was something I had taken for granted and realised that the act of true friendship must not only be unforgotten but must be repaid without consideration of measure. Friendship is rare and one must sail seas to ensure that a warm connection with a friend so true is salvaged and protected at all times.

Many a time, in my lifetime… I’ve been asked about what I would undo if I had the chance. The answer was “absolutely nothing”…until quite recently. The one thing I’d like to change is something that can never be undone. Death will be a part of us as keenly as life and I have no desire to dwell on what is beyond my control (regardless of how ecclesiastical I consider myself…lol).

So, there it is. I actually enjoyed writing this. Now the arduous task of avoiding the gaps of food poisoning while making Christmas lunch for my family awaits me.

Merry Christmas

Chukwukaelo Ajuluchukwu
Nigerian
Lekki Phase 1

image1

 

Merry Christmas to you my dear, and to your Mrs; shame I missed the turn up on the 26th! Here’s to a fabulous 2016, stripped of every form of bullshit. 

Another one bites the dust…

Posted: February 9, 2014 in DAY 2 DAY
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Cory Monteith. Michael Jackson. Whitney Houston. What two things do these names have in common? Fame/wealth. Undisputed access to tons and tons of money, acclaim, all that good stuff.

The second thing is illicit drugs/death. Whatever it is they snorted, smoked, injected or inhaled, it led to their death, and very early too. Cory Monteith was 31, Michael Jackson was 50. Talk about lives being cut short.

Exactly one week ago, when I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead on the 2nd of February with a needle still stuck in his arm and heroin (a special type called ‘Ace of Spades’) in packets around him, I was sad, then angry, then sad, and angry all over again.

Sad – he died young, he was just 46. He was very popular too, an Oscar award winner, and recently starred in Hunger Games (which by the way I have never watched and don’t think I will ever see because I don’t like fight fight).

Angry – are there not enough examples to prove that drugs are a sure way to die early?

Sad – heartbroken for his family, his wife/partner and their three young children. His parents, and the stigma of being related to the person ‘who died with a needle in his arm’.

Angry – what on earth made him go back to drugs after 23 years of being drug free? Whatever could have entered him all over again? They say his drugs could have been laced with something else. Ok, but why take them in the first place? Why?

I’m sure I could go the sad and angry route a few more times, but I won’t.

Psychologists say anything you do for 30 days becomes a habit – this man had been drug free for at least 8280 days! Then according to a report I read, he started abusing prescription pills, graduated to heroin, and then on to this substance that took his life.

I chatted with someone recently, and he told me the amount of thanks and gratitude he got because he gave him a $5 tip. 5 dollars. Reports say just weeks ago the now late Seymour withdrew $1200 from an ATM to pay for these drugs. $1200 on drugs when the next man is almost throwing a party because he was gifted 5 bucks.

Here’s another reason why I am angry – a child is attracted by the flickering light of a candle, and they want to touch it. Most times we let them because we know once it hurts them that first time, they most likely will not go back to it again. ‘Most likely’ because children have the attention span of a goldfish! Bless them.

23 years after, did he forget? Did he become so wealthy that he felt that the drugs would ‘fear/respect his money’ and not harm him? What was he thinking? The Bible says that the things that are written are unto us for examples.

Just like I wrote the ‘learn from it, don’t be it‘ post when Cory Monteith died, I’m writing again  – say NO to drugs. Say No, and mean it so much that whoever asked you before will be convinced you are not interested. You shouldn’t even be friends with such people in the first place!

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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I met Mr Ekpo in May 2012, when I worked as the social media consultant for NERC as they implemented the MYTO 2 (price increase in simple English abeg). It was my second ever interaction with bureaucracy as personified by government, sigh. I remember having to explain what exactly social media could/would achieve for the organization so many times I could recite it in my sleep, but it was worth it when things started to change!

I infected some of the principal officers at the commission with the social media bug, and it is a thing of personal pride that Elecoblogs exists.

When I first toyed with the idea of asking Mr Ekpo to grace my blog for this #31days31writers project, I worried it would mete a ‘familiarity breeding contempt’ kind of reply. So you can imagine my excitement when between an introduction to another young person to provide a service, I mentioned it, and he replied, ‘sure, what is it about’? And voila!

It is my honor to present Mr Eyo Ekpo’s submission for my #31days31writers project!

My name is Eyo O. Ekpo, Nigerian, working with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja. There, I lead the Market Competition and Rates (MCR) Division. I’m also a newbie blogger, on electricity (of all things), at Elecoblogs. I’m planning to be 48 in June (can’t wait to be 50 and see what the fuss is all about) and have fended for myself since I became a lawyer on 22nd October 1987.

My Lessons Learned (or, Perhaps, Re-Learned)

I sit here in the garden at home in Calabar and ask: “What do I say to readers whose average age is less than 35? I have no common ground with them. I dislike their music, their loud voices, their hurry-hurry, their dressing. I dislike everything about them!!” Then, I say to myself: “But you do know quite a few fantastic young people o”. The list runs through my head and…it just keeps growing. From my two out-of-this-world daughters, 20 and 16, to the bright young guys and girls of NERC, to @ChiomaChuka, my Media Adviser, who opened up for me a new world, social media, of which I was blissfully ignorant, on to the irrepressible people I’ve met and conversed with in that youthful, vibrant and colourful world.

I’ve re-learnt a lesson as old as time. I am you and you are me and the river just keeps flowing. Time is timeless. It stands still. In order to be alive in it, we are the ones who must keep moving. Stand still and die. Looks indeed are deceptive. During the year, I looked more closely and saw that the youth of today are me of yesterday, not even as good. The same all-embracing fire of idealism, expectation and desire for progress that I had in October 1987. Now, my biggest desire is not to become one of those masquerades that have dedicated themselves to killing that fire.

My Gratitude

Kahlil Gibran, for whom my 8-year old boy is named, said about Friendship in his timeless magnum opus, ‘The Prophet’: “Your friend is your need answered.” I am eternally grateful for the blessing of friendship; and grateful to my friends who have provided all I have ever needed. Three of them, two female and one male. Don’t ask and I won’t tell, except to say that one of them is my dearly beloved wifey, Oluranti.

2013, in spite of its daily anxieties and worries, was signposted along the way with a few happy events that served, at just the right moments, to boost a flagging momentum. It has also proved to be a year in which were validated, reinforced and sometimes learnt anew, many of the lessons from 26 years of a multifaceted professional career. Lessons of life. Hard work, character, ethics, paying what is due, the constant striving to learn, perfection never having upper limits, leadership and people management. Above all, lessons about responsibility, a word deep with meaning.

And…My Futile Quest for A Time Machine

If I could go back, what would I do differently. I hurt two people I love dearly. We live in the present and I can’t go back but I can make amends, which, thankfully, they have allowed me to do.

I am most certainly a very fortunate pilgrim. I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences that life has brought me in 2013. As the year ends, I look forward to 2014 with eagerness for a year that would be filled with activity, even more beneficial to all around me than in 2013.

Thank you Sir!

Thank you Sir!

Whoop!!!

It’s my bestie up on my blog today!! Whoop whoop! I met Wumi late in 2010 but we didn’t quite kick it off till the next year and it’s been magical ever since! I feel like I’ve known her for like forever, and she’s made up for all the childhood buddies I didn’t quite have!

Wumi is known by my family (Boo Boo loves her), and I love hers. She’s the definition of ‘what you see is what you get’; no airs, no pretence, nothing added on (except a random Peruvian extension or the other, lol)! 

Raji (as I call her, much to her chagrin – but I can’t stop, lol), is a gift from God to me, and I am more than proud that she’s my bestie. Even though she forces me to buy asoebi for people I haven’t met (I love you Bimbo), and has promised me we’ll sleep in whatever church I’ll get married in the day before the wedding so I’m not late for the service (lmao), I love her to pieces!

And I pray for her today, that all her dreams and wishes come true early in 2014, because she’s super, and I’m honored she picked up a pen to put this together.

For Boxing Day special, and the 26th day of the #31days31writers project, here’s my home girl, Miss Wumi Raji!

Life has taught me to expect the good, the bad and the ugly but also, to be hopeful at all times. My name is Omowunmi Raji, I work for Coventry University as the International Officer for West and Central Africa, a job that entails quite a bit of traveling, talking, and meeting different kinds of people. For someone who talks very quickly, stutters sometimes and was once asked if it’s a generational problem because and I quote “I don’t want grandkids that stammer”, getting the job was indeed God’s grace.

I’m thankful for His grace that has brought me this far, grateful for family and real friends (trust me I have few fake friends) and to the one who walked out on me 2 years ago after 8 years of being together just because he thought I wasn’t worth fighting for. I’m stronger, wiser, and his sudden realization that all that glitters isn’t gold but gold-plated is instructive. Life has taught me despite my numerous wants, needs, fears and anxiety, everything will come together in God’s perfect time. Therefore, I’m done worrying!

I have come to love and accept myself for who I am. I might not be there yet but the journey is less tense now especially with my confidence in the God factor which is at work for me. I rest assured in that.

For 2014, I  want to learn more, to give more without expecting anything in return. Also, I hear love is a beautiful thing. Till my Captain America finds me (and he best be getting directions from my Father in heaven and stop wasting time jor), I will keep working on myself, growing in His grace, furthering my career, and being a better daughter, sister, friend, confidant, lover, wife, and mother.

My girl, Miss Raji!!

My girl, Miss Raji!!

2012-12-27 11.31.52

Wumi and I in Calabar Christmas last year for the carnival! Yes we were in a band!

2012-12-27 14.45.50

Us again!! Wearing shades because I had started cooking, literally from the heat! Love you babe!

That's us in Essex sometime in 2011, waiting for our hosts at the train station. Memories!

That’s us in Essex sometime in 2011, waiting for our hosts at the train station. Memories! Pouts of life and destiny!

Chris! Chris! Chris! My sparring partner, CEO of 23rd century creative agency Kwirkly, and someone who I win e-v-e-r-y-t-i-m-e we play Ruzzle.

When I asked him to write, for some reason he said I was giving him tension, please ignore him. But he sent this in, and for that I am grateful. He also knows that there is no way his last paragraph is going to happen!

Come to think of it, we’ve done well with this #31days31writers project haven’t we? It’s day 23 and we haven’t missed a day!

Dear Chioma,

Here’s the thing about New Year resolutions: they are wishful thinking that rarely get fulfilled. We all know this, yet we continue in this ritual. Only weeks into a new year, reality slaps you in the face and replaces your wishful thoughts, hands you a memo about being practical with your head. And then, you look into the three-hundred-and-something days ahead and see a stretch of days waiting to be marked by victories and failures, elations and tensions, certainties and uncertainties, heart breaks and happiness.

On this stretch, 2013 has been one heck of a terrific and amazing year for me. It came with its own twists and dramas that have f***d with my head in extraordinary ways. (Don’t edit my word, Chioma! Don’t look for my trouble). I’m glad about the experiences. Above all, I’m grateful for the lessons.

The company I founded (Kwirkly) marked its first year. When I look back about the journey, I’m humbled and proud of the few victories recorded. I’m grateful for what we’ve achieved and especially to those who were there when things got tougher. (Why did you limit the words to 600, ehn? I feel like listing names). With this came the lesson that you don’t need all the resources you wished for to get going. With an idea, a strong will to execute it and a crop of believers, you can keep going. And the results have been impressive. It feels rather insignificant but the lesson is necessary for other areas of life.

There are always lessons to be learnt. I’ve learnt to be careful with people. I’ve been told that I’m too trusting and have a tendency to ‘overindulge’ people, and that has landed me in trouble. I found out too late that it’s out of fashion to trust people too much and be nice. I’m still not sure about it but, yeah, one has got to be careful. Also, there have been lessons around friendship, business, family and forgiveness.

I’m glad that I followed my intuition and took plenty risks. I have no regrets about them.

There’s a lesson in knowing that, despite the pursuit of greatness, success or whatever, the best moments are those little times shared with people who matter and with people who deserve your best. I’m grateful for old and new friends and rekindled friendships, and those that I bully on Ruzzle. *wink*

What I would I do differently? If that relates to the experience of the year, I guess I would take more time to reflect on decisions before making them. If it relates to the future, then I’ve got to take more giant risks, invest more in meaningful relationships and have more fun.

Oh, about me? I’m Chris Ogunlowo, the Founder and resident prankster of a small advertising agency called Kwirkly. I carry a Nigerian passport.

Just so you know – to pressure me to do stuff is a guarantee that I won’t do it. It works best when you hold me, find those words to tickle my ears, get goofy and in the middle of it, slot in your request and rapidly, I will answer you. Shikena. It will be like magic. But you didn’t know that before so I will let it pass.

Can I rest now, Chioma?

www.chrisogunlowo.com

@AlooFar

chris-ogunlowo

Wahala Chris… Wahala wahala wahala!

I met Bisi at the funeral wake for Remi Lagos somewhere in London, and apart from immediately getting drawn in by his warmth and cheer, it was nice to just cheer each other up. He’s been my friend ever since, and I am proud of him, the work he does, and I admire the way he effortlessly lights up any room he enters.

Did I mention Bisi introduced me to someone I hope to be doing a lot of work with next year? Thank you Bisi!!

For for the 10th day of my #31days31writers project, I give you Bisi Alimi!

My name is Bisi Alimi; I am a citizen of Nigeria and resident of UK. I  am a very busy person, I run The Bisi Alimi Consultancy; a consulting and advocacy outfit providing training on LGBT and HIV support in  educational institutions and workplaces. I also run the Rainbow Intersection; A platform aimed at discussing, debating and dissecting the various intersections across Race, Culture and Sexuality in Modern Britain with a very good friend of mine.

2013 has been the most amazing and yet challenging year in my life. I have learnt that dreams can actually come true if only we follow it with a pure heart.

I have learnt that as much as planning for the future matters, the spontaneity of life is what makes us think we have a miracle. I love to plan but I have learnt that life’s surprises are equally as beautiful and worth looking forward to as well as a planned life.

I have learnt to take time to relax, listen to me and take care of me. I started yoga this year, which has helped my breathing. It has also helped me to name my thoughts, and that in turn has helped me to be able to deal with them. I am normally a hyperactive person but yoga has slowed me down greatly and has helped my concentration.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people in my life. These people have helped me to appreciate the silence of friendship and the loudness of care. They showed me love when I needed it, picked me when I was down and scolded me when I needed to be told off.

I have two wonderful god-daughters that I have started to get to know; they are special and I will be putting my 2014 into knowing these two wonderful ladies.

I am grateful for all my fans; they showed me what being loved is all about. I am thankful for every little and big thing in life. For love, for peace, for challenges, for failures and for success, for tears and for laughter, for sleep and for sleepless nights too.

One thing I would do differently is to learn from past but never allow it to run my present and my future. I learnt that a very hard way in 2013 and as I look forward to 2014, I hope to start the year on a new slate, take chances, fall in love, travel, climb mountains, learn how to swim, take to gardening, push boundaries and finally finish that book everyone is waiting for.

Bisi.

Bisi Alimi

Yesterday made it exactly two months since my darling aunty passed, and it still feels like one day she’ll knock on the door and all of this would have been a huge, cruel joke.

I miss her like crazy, everything still screams her, but I’m learning to be grateful for the times we had, the things she taught me, and the fact that she’s resting in the bosom of the Lord, far above any type of pain at this time.

I thought about her all day yesterday, and when I got tired of listening to Michael Kiwanuka‘s ‘I’ll get along’, I thought I’d write a bit, say a big thank you to people who have been there for me in this period; this time of great grief and sorrow. People in whose arms I’ve cried, in whose words i have comfort and solace, in whose prayers I’ve found strength – people whose friendship I don’t deserve, but I have been fortunate to have been blessed with.

To Olamide Craig who missed a day of school that Monday morning, came over, stayed with me (spent literally the entire day) and only left after I had slept, God bless you. This our friendship sha! Made in heaven ke nan!

To Ace, rockstar! You have been there through all of this, up to when you had to scold me to get it together, I saw your love (and worry) right through. Thank you!

To  my bestie of life and destiny, Miss Wumi Raji! Even though you were dealing with a tragedy of your own, you still found time to check on me, worry about me, tease me, even insult me sef! Love you to the moon and back babe!

To Nike Coker, a friend who is closer than a sister, I love you!!! I won’t ever forget you showing up on the day of the funeral, straight from the airport sef! Whatever did I do to deserve your friendship? God bless you for me o! Massive hugs to Bukky and Tony who showed up to be there for me because you asked them to. God bless you guys loads and loads.

To a friend and boss, Chude, thank you. Who else gives their staff two months off work? When we were in hospital, when she passed, I didn’t have to worry about my work suffering, because you let me off anyway. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. How many times can I say that really?

To Zoey, of the tapestry treasures blog, whoop! What would I have done without you? We’ve never met but at some point I could hear you talking to me just by the comments you were leaving on my posts! God bless you for all the words of encouragement, the prayers, the personal stories you shared, I’m more than grateful! Thank you Zoey…

To Matilda (daughter of Zion ke nan), Anino (whatever would I do without you), my iBlend family, buddies on social media, people everywhere who showered love and affection, who called, who prayed, who sent messages, who still check to see that we’re all holding up ok.

God bless you.

Thank you.