Wednesday, September 26

Inside Lagos Traffic

For those of us living in Lagos, we know anything can happen in traffic; and evil does abound  especially at night, but then so does creativity!

Able-bodied young men and women (where they have not been banned) spend their prime running up and down,  hawking anything from pure water,  gala, drinks, recharge cards, newspapers, car accessories, DVDs, watches, tomatoes, cell phones, electrical appliances, fruits, cutlasses (yes, that!), garden tools etc etc. Name it, and you can almost find it in traffic! In fact,  we sometimes joke that you can totally prepare a meal while in traffic in Lagos!

But through the great throng of hawkers, and the nuisance we sometimes think they present (even though we all encourage them by making purchases, I mean, they do make life easier!) I acknowledged for the first time yesterday the utter ingenuity of these people! Over time, they have perfected the art of making a sale with minimum or no fuss. They carry their wares in such a way as not to be impeded during a sale, and where that is not readily possible, they think nothing of abandoning such wares and making the 100 meters dash after the vehicle wishing to make a purchase!
Those who sell drink now have them well-packaged, complete with ice and a tiny tube that drains the melted ice, the newspaper vendors now insert their papers/magazines in transparent bags to keep them from getting wet, the (illegal) DVD sellers now arrange them on a flat wood or cardboard  such that you can easily see/pick out  what you want to buy, the tomato/potatoes/pepper sellers now pack them  in transparent bags so all you have to do is pull what you want off their fingers! The fruit sellers now have transparent bowls on which they punch holes so the grapes are allowed to breathe,  the bowls are then strung together so all you have to do is grab one or two. Is necessity the mother of invention or what?!

Much as I am tickled by this, I wish there was a way this creativity and ingenuity could be harnessed, and that while these young men and women are still so full of life and energy. Are we making these opportunities available? Can we? Do they have a chance? I doubt these ones are lazy. How about the handicapped guy who sells handkerchiefs and stationary in traffic?....of a truth, a majority of our human resources  are on the streets, making much less than the trouble they go through each day. I can imagine them collapsing in bed at the end of the day, thoroughly exhausted, and thinking they certainly couldn't do this anymore, but getting up the next day anyway and doing it all over; talk about a vicious circle. That really saddens me.
God Bless Nigeria.


Be Free oh.

Tuesday, September 18

Done!



A few pictures for your viewing pleasure!
Thank you all for donating, in one way or the other, and especially for bearing with us (wink wink) as we harassed you with the publicity of this Sale. Please join us to thank God for a great day, notwithstanding the out pour of rain in the early hours of the day. We were not discouraged, in fact, we didn't acknowledge its presence! We persevered and moved  and arranged stuff  while it poured...well, the sun eventually shone and all in all, we had a wonderful outing!!
Please look out for details of the next Sale, it shall not be long in coming.
As one of our precious pastors prayed on Face Book, we intend to keep giving life to lost dreams...

God bless you all, and 


Be Free oh!

God bless Nigeria.

Friday, September 14

It is Here!


Here I come again.

I hope I am not boring you with this never-ending gist about the Garage Sale, if I am, my apologies, but honestly you cannot dampen my spirit. you cant. I am soooo super excited!!! it is supposed to feel this good when you are doing a good (and very satisfying, I must say) cause!! Takes the cake over any time-wasting self-serving projects. :-)

So, it is happening tomorrow in Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos, Nigeria and trust me to return with a report first thing (ok, maybe not first first) thing on Monday!

Donations are still welcome, from any part of the world. May I let you know that someone all the way in Rio de Janeiro arranged for and actually gave a refrigerator to the cause?? Wherever you are, you can be a part of this, it starts from the willingness to do.
I expect comments and personal emails to that effect!

In the mean time, get into a cause. Do something. Seriously.

Have a fab weekend and...

BE FREE OH!

God Bless Nigeria

PS/ I honestly mulled and mulled over what to title this post. 'Garage Sale' would have had me tearing at my (non-existent) hair!! Abi?

Friday, September 7

'God Bless Nigeria'

Today, I am fully convinced that we need to borrow that phrase ‘God Bless America’ if we truly want our Nigeria to change and if we really desire to be a part of that change.

That we only just came out of what seem like a drunken sleep to suddenly realize that things have degenerated to such a point that it seem there is no hope has not helped us have much of a positive outlook and hope, real hope for Nigeria! We are mostly all talk and no action; everyone is waiting for someone to do something. Have you noticed how we never personalise Nigeria? We always refer to her in the third person. And that is even for the very few of us who are not thinking of running away by relocating!

This is not a long post, I believe that the sooner we start speaking positive words into the fabric of our country, the quicker a better Nigeria will emerge, and what a legacy we will leave for our children and the generation after them! And the idea is to start with me.

However, before we rush headlong into borrowing the phrase, I thought it would be best to even know where they got it from!
I read that it is a song written by Irvin Berlin in 1918, while he was serving the U.S Army, but he didn’t perform it until about 20 years later, which will still be decades after America became an independent State, right? If that is so, I say there is hope for Nigeria, who is only just in her 50s. I am not saying that America became the nation that she is today because of these words, but I am positive that it has helped, and in no small way. I am advocating its adoption because it is a prayer and a confession, and it is a fact that the words we speak shape our lives and circumstances.

I ask those who are passionate about our country to come along with me as we start in this small way to speak a better Nigeria into existence, by inculcating these three words into everything that we do. Have you noticed how 'Eko o ni baje' is part of the Lagos State signature? Aha! Who says Nigeria can't pull it off?

There is so much we could say about this post, and this subject, but let me leave you to do that...in the meantime, consider:

The lyrics of the ‘God Bless America’ song...

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home
God bless America, My home sweet home.

I covet this prayer for Nigeria!!!

GOD BLESS NIGERIA!

Be free oh.
PS/It just dawned on me that the font is green. LOL! I honestly didnt plan it!

Wednesday, September 5

Michelle Obama's Speech

I don't know how many of you watched (I say 'watched', as opposed to 'read' because you have to have seen the woman go!) Michelle's speech on behalf of her husband?? She signed, sealed, and (we will leave the Americans to decide) delivered Obama to the Americans and the world today.

Talk about an impassioned speech! Talk about speaking from deep within your heart! Talk about selling 'your product!' No advert could have done more justice than how Michelle passionately sold the virtues of the President, her husband today. The woman wisely wove their personal family story into the speech to reflect the lives of the average man in order to create a sense of togetherness and oneness, a sense of 'we are with you, we feel you, we are you!' Before I watched it I was wondering who we would have to credit the speech to as it had begin to make waves on the net...but alas, Michelle's may well be responsible for every word she uttered. I believe that if he does win, it would be, more than in part, due to her speech. 

The delivery was so moving and so electric my friend and I said to ourselves that we really, really want to vote for Obama! In short, I told my sisters that I wished she could have given that speech on the morning of elections in America, more than half of the populace will unerringly divert to the box marked 'Barack Obama.' Lol.
I read a tweet of his off the CNN handle where he said, 'Michelle's speech may make him cry.'  Actually, more than a few people were moved to tears listening to her.

The point of this post is not to quote what she said, but more about the way she said it. The camera tiled in such a way that we could see a folder of papers on the podium, however, watching her speak all  through, there wasn't a time she looked down to read anything (I may be wrong).

What I took away from Michelle today is that no matter my beliefs, I should be able to 'sell them' with passion. And passion is never deceptive, it is born out of something you truly believe, something or someone you are intensely passionate about. 
What do you need to sell? Yourself (in terms of your capabilities and gifts), your business, your beliefs....key word? Passion. It will always leave an impression and your listeners will not but be covered in...yes! goose-bumps. *Grin*
I cannot but also comment on the simplicity of MO's dress and the matching shoes...yes, I looked out for the shoes!

Be (passionately) free oh!