Category Archives: writing, poetry and blogging

ENIGMA


ENIGMA

My eyes hold frozen tears

My heart bleeds from injuries inflicted on it

My lips are sore

My sole is covered with blisters

 

My skin peels away

Aged from the heat of the savannah

Thirst grips my throat

Rips it off like an enemy

 

I am crying out

But my words have become solid

So sublime is my voice

Nobody hears it

 

Fading into the night

I am but a silhouette

Christened with a form

Living without an identity

 

Perused through and through

But unable to find my definition

Dubbed a miniature by guilty culprits

I could only move stealthily not to awaken the lie

 

Oh! That tears would wash the pain in my soul

Bringing me out of my incognito

If only my smiles is no alias

Then I could start my journey to self-discovery

SUCCESS TIPS FOR GRADUATES


Every year, tonnes of students graduate from colleges, universities, colleges of education and other higher schools of learning. All of these graduates are released into the labour market, all looking for a good paying job. It certainly becomes paramount to find qualities that stand you out. One can’t just bank on the first class honours or second class upper because these days, many have such qualification. So how do you compete with others and win? This leads us to bring success tips that stand you out from the crowd.
1. Decide Your Fate
Map out a plan of action of what you want to do with your life and your certificate. Don’t be the person that just goes with the wind. Ask yourself what kind of work you enjoy doing, what do you enjoy doing without being paid, what are the things you have done successfully in the past and have added to your success story?

2. Seek Information
Before you go for an interview, research about the company and the industry in which company operates as much as you can. This information will help you ask questions and help you control the interview.
You seek information on the company and its culture, the duties of the position you are applying for and the major competitors in the industries. This enables you to tell your interviewers how you will be of benefit to them. Don’t be more bothered about passing the test.

3. Seek Ideas and Counsel
Ask questions from the right sources and the right people. When confused about the next step to take, ask a knowledgeable person in the field. Many graduates make the wrong choices because they don’t have the right information. Many times, our Nigerian graduates rush for their Masters degree without having any work experience, and this is not suitable for the Nigerian markets. Most employers would prefer professional certifications with your first degree or relevant work experience which can be gotten from volunteer work.

4. Never Stop Learning
Education never stops. Be open to learning new things. Read new books in your field and where you hope to be. Never be content with just getting a job, seek more fulfilling and achievable goals. For example, you are interested in investment then read books on great investors like Warren Buffet. You want to excel at your job, then read books written by Brian Tracy.

5. Use Your Social Media for Networking
Social media has become a vital tool for everyday life. You can take advantage of it to sell your skills and abilities and get relevant. Social media like LinkedIn are available for job searches and other networking advantages to help you land the right opportunity. It works because many have gotten jobs through social media. Follow people and trends that matter on Twitter and Instagram because some companies advertise vacancies on their social media handle.

6. Stay positive
You will achieve whatever it is you set your heart to do, and everything is possible to him who believes. Stay positive in every circumstance. Even in an interview, keep a positive outlook, when doing a job be positive and you can always conquer.

The listed points are just but a few which is necessary. For further consultation, reach out To SALTLAND CONSULTING through email: aromeabikiaje@yahoo.com

 

Our Nigerian Heritage


There has been so much talk of late about bringing back our heritage as a nation and as a group of people. Cultural reforms are being agitated for by many of our governors, youth forums, and social agitation group. These have led to re-establishing our pagan worship of deities and consulting shrines which only end up demanding a blood sacrifice whether human or animal; it has brought back some of our annual festivals like oro and the likes which draw on a curfew for indigenes.
It is interesting to know that we want to go back to our roots which without divine intervention will go into extension because even those in the villages and suburbs are losing it quickly, it will be wise to ask ourselves what is our heritage. Because when I hear about bringing back our culture, all I see and understand is bringing back our ancestral worship.
What is our heritage?
Family
Gone are the days where every community was a family; where everyone looked out for another. When every child was trained by everybody and every married man or woman was every child’s father and mother. It is popularly said that in Africa, the whole community raises a child but that is no more. Children can even come out of their house to play for fear of kidnapping for child trafficking or money ritual.

Honesty
My parents told me of times when sellers could leave their goods outside and go out. When a buyer comes by, he picks his products and drops money. That only looks like a mirage now. Doors today are under iron books with security doors. Even the economy of our nation is in jeopardy today because corruption has eaten into the depth of our system. Everyone only thinks of himself, of how to eat his share of the national cake and leave nothing for posterity.

Modesty
Where are the days when women got married before getting pregnant? Where are the days where a man is punished for putting a lady for which he hasn’t paid her dues in the family way? It was an honor to keep the marriage bed undefiled. The married woman is modest and faithful. The single girl is chaste. The young men are gainfully employed, and the government is working hard at maintaining the bond of unity.

Attire
If we are going on cultural reforms and have not our cultural attire a formal dress that can be worn to meetings and offices then what culture are we promoting? The western or the homeland culture. When my V.C came one time while I was in the university and mandated that Ankara cannot be worn again, I was left aghast. It couldn’t get worse when some churches made mandated all their workers to wear “corporate”. Who defines the word corporate in our land? The westerner who is stuck with his style? If we are talking about our heritage, then we should bring back our cultural wears. Even governors talking about going back to the roots are caught in this web.

Our heritage is not idol worship. We are more than that. We used to be a skillful and talented nation leading the frontiers of Africa. Nigeria was united even in her diversity for that only added to her color but what is it today? Innovations are killed by wanton politicians. Children caged and limited by their fathers. Parents are handing no value to their children. Elders are eaten all today and not leaving anything in store for posterity.

RECESSION AND WHAT IT TAUGHT US


THE PEAK! IT’S IN YOU 
The recession was one of the most sung words in the mouth of the old and young generation of our great nation, Nigeria. There is no telling of its effects on the lives of Nigerians. Working conditions got worse, pay got cut, budgets increased, demand reduced, quality reduced, and there seemed to be nothing good. We had to start wearing coats less than our size. Many other nations like Russia, Japan, USA, Canada, Germany had gone this way ahead of us and while some came out some are still struggling with it.
We could blame all our woes on anybody, but the truth is that while we were in the rainy days, we didn’t prepare for the dry season. The strength of every nation is the youth, the future of every organization or group of people are the young ones, and from my view, the younger ones suffered the heat more. If the younger generation is not empowered then self-destruct is inevitable So why this time ate into some people’s skin is because:
They were not prepared
They didn’t know how to use the resources in their hands
They didn’t ask the right question or didn’t ask at all
They didn’t have the right attitude
They didn’t surround themselves with the right people and correct information
PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY
While some people were losing their jobs, some were gaining better employment. While other people’s pay was being halved, others were being bided for by big companies. It’s about what you have in you.
Get those professional certifications when you are supposed to get it and stop procrastinating. Don’t relax in that comfort zone. Proverbs 6:6 says the sluggard should learn from the ants, consider its ways and be wise. It’s wisdom to be prepared for any eventuality when they finally come
Spending and gifting all your money without multiplying it through savings and investment in called money error. Stay with us, and we will enlighten you of some investment and job opportunities.
USE THE RESOURCES IN YOUR HANDS
The world is a global village, and we are in the age of smartphones. Unfortunately, many don’t utilize the full potential of their gadgets. Even the social media platforms are underused for beneficial purposes. YouTube is available for educational and instructional videos, google, yahoo, Bing is search engines to answer crucial questions. Several groups of people and firm hold Business and consulting classes WhatsApp, twitter, yet many find themselves outside this valuable loop.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION
Instead of complaining and nagging and blame shifting; ask questions like, what next? Where do I go from here? What do I do? Matthew 7 says, “ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find.” Ask those who have gone ahead and who have wisdom. The social media and search engines also play a role in this.
SOME INVESTMENT TIPS:
1. Money market (mutual funds) you can start with as little as five thousand naira
2. Farm online on sites like http://www.farmcropsonline.com, http://www.farmcrowdy.com
3. Invest in people’s business ideas
For further information and instruction on investment, contact SALT LAND CONSULTING on +234-8127989899
To be continued.

Academic Excellence is Overrated!


​Academic excellence is overrated, please correct me if I’m wrong. Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life. You could graduate as the best student in Finance but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else. The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyer. The fact is life requires more than the ability to understand a concept, memorise it and reproduce it in an exam. School rewards people for their memory. Life rewards people for their imagination.

School rewards caution, life rewards daring. School hails those who live by the rules. Life exalts those who break the rules and set new ones. So do I mean people shouldn’t study hard in school? Oh, no, you should. But don’t sacrifice every other thing on the altar of First Class.

Don’t limit yourself to the classroom. Do something practical. Take a leadership position. Start a business and fail. That’s a better Entrepreneurship 101.Join or start a club. Contest an election and lose. It will teach you something Political Science 101 will not teach you. Attend a seminar. Read books outside the scope of your course. Go on missions and win a soul for eternal rewards… Do something you believe in! Think less of becoming an excellent student but think more of becoming an excellent person. Make the world your classroom…your certificate gives you prestige, but what pays the bill is your sabificate, the world doesn’t reward potentials but performance!!!             #EmeritusDesk

THE LIE (Series 12)


Segun was bubbling this morning. He had grown stronger and healthier in the last three months after the horrible attack even though his attackers had left a scar across his face precisely on his forehead but fortunately it made him look more macho and handsome. Tade, Segun’s mum watched her soon as he ate his breakfast.

It looks like this Bisola girl has a lot to do with your recovery, you up and excited about going out. If I had my way you would still be staying in for a while. The POP just came of your arm.

“Mum! I am fine. I have not gone anywhere except the hospital”.

 And I want to go out to see what is happening and really I want to see Bisola and really Rose, he said inside himself. I want to see how she looks now after dumping me in such a cruel manner and even that, I can’t help my growing attraction for her. Bisola has been a great friend in this time and I want to greet her.

“I want you to be careful. We don’t know the angers locking around you even though your father says he has taken care of it”, Tade said.

“Yes Ma!” Segun got up from the dining table and headed for the door.

********

“Are you going somewhere this morning?” Helen asked Bisola after watching her daughter’s demeanour. She was excited and did all her choirs heartily but most notably, she looked very beautiful this morning. Her braids were packed up in a ponytail; she took time to apply her makeup and wore a sweet scent.

Bisola smiled. “Let’s just say I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning and felt like looking good.”

Helen looked at her daughter and did not feel comfortable with her answer but decided not to push. Some puzzle was missing, while Bisola grew happier everyday Rose was withdrawn and quiet and she was locking everyone else out and hidden the key somewhere possibly with her father’s ghost. Since Samson died, all she wanted to do was fill that vacuum in Rose’s life but she had never really succeeded and just then Segun came along. Segun! It struck a cord in her. Could all this withdrawal of one and excitement of the other have anything to do with Segun? But she couldn’t fathom why until there was a knock on the door.

*************

Johnson sat on his chair wondering how to get out of this mess he found himself.

 Everybody is greedy, and tell me where greediness ever gets anyone to. I gave these boys what I had in mind for them but now they are saying they want it shared 55/45. If I give in to their demand what would have been the point of the deal? Moreover they killed my friend when all I asked them to do was get the documents needed to access the deal. They gave the lame excuse that he was stubborn and in the process saw one of their faces. How was that his fault? Now they are threatening to implicate me in the death of Alade. Treacherous is what they are. If they would agree to 70/30, then I could manage.

A text message entered his phone. “Your wife is on her way out and this time be grateful if lives to tell you the story” was the message on his phone.

Immediately, everywhere was so cold and he started shivering, he dialled his wife’s number but she wasn’t answering her phone.

He sent a message back to them, “I would meet you demand, proceed to my office immediately”.

“No! Meet us at our usual joint”. They responded.

 

Tade pick up her phone to see that her husband had called her several times. She had kept her phone inside her purse and put it in the inner space in her handbag and zipped it up before she entered the shopping mall to get groceries. Today that Segun was out, she decided to go out and buy all what was needed herself rather than send the new maid they got only recently.

Why did her husband call her several times, what could he have wanted? He hasn’t called her while he was at work for years unless there was something he urgently needed and that only happens once in a red moon. But she couldn’t remember when last she saw up to ten missed calls from him.

She wanted to call him back but decided against it in order not to secure his wrath and have him make today a bad day for her.

She entered her car and drove off.

THE LIE (Series 7)


John chapter 2 verses 12 to 17 was where the Pastor that preached at the program a classmate of hers invited her to read from. After the pastor finished reading she found herself reading further to verse 24. 23 to 25 struck a strong cord in her.

Rose had finished her exams four days earlier but waited to attend a program organized by one of the fellowships in school a close colleague had invited her to. She called her mum to tell her that she would be staying back for the program and won’t be coming home as the day she had wanted to and her mum had told her that her coming will be a day after Bisola’s return.

 The program lasted for three days and this night was the last night.

She didn’t listen to much of what the preacher was saying.  What she had read caught her attention so much she couldn’t free herself of it. Why won’t Jesus commit Himself to this people even though they believed on Him? What made them different from His disciples that he committed Himself to even though they were also humans? How do I know when not to commit myself to people? How would I know a person can be trusted? Rose thought within her.

Rose returned to the hostel a little troubled and she couldn’t place her finger on what it was exactly, whether it was what she read or something more.

 

                                                                                ******

 

Rose was happy to be done with her first year and it ended better than she imagined. But she was having mixed feelings on her way home, maybe it is nostalgia, she told herself.

 A passenger behind her tapped her on the back, “Sisi” I want to come down.

She came back suddenly from her thought island and realised she was at her bus stop. Rose got down and went for her luggage at the trunk of the bus. She turned to see if she could ask anyone around to help her move it to the road side till she could flag down a taxi when a 5 feet 9 inches tall dark guy who looked like he was in his mid-twenties walked up to her.

Can I help you with your luggage? He asked her

Yes. You came just in time. Thank you!

When they were safely away from the road, he asked her where she was going? Omole estate, she answered.

You live there? He asked

Yes I do. Rose answered.

What street?

Adedoyin Street.

After a while of silence, she thought it wise to ask him where he was headed. Omole estate he answered.

She gave him the look of surprise, what street?

Two streets before yours, he answered expressionless.

I guess that means we would be boarding same taxi then.

If you are ok with it, he answered and smiled.

Just then she noticed a taxi coming which she flagged down before others waiting along the road got a hold on it.

 

                                                                                ******

Johnson! Johnson! Wake up! What is it?

Johnson woke up to see his wife on the bed and was grateful for that. Thank God it was his wife and not the monster running after him.

What was it that is making you shake so violently? Johnson’s wife asked.

It was a bad dream. Some people were trying to kill me but they didn’t succeed before you woke me up.

Nobody can kill you my husband, you know that. Is anything troubling your mind, because you have been having nightmares for the last week?  Is there anything you want me to know before we pray?

Women! He said angrily and got up from the bed. You can go ahead and pray for both us, I want some time alone. And he was out of the room.

What have I said now to elicit such response, she asked the almost empty room left with only one human form? She heaved and knelt down to pray.

 

                                                                                                *****

 

Rose felt at peace in the company of this stranger she that met only a while ago.

You seem far, a penny for your thought. He looked at her direction

We don’t spend penny in Nigeria so it won’t be of use, Rose said smiling

Ok! Smart one! What of its equivalent in naira?

My thoughts are too expensive for you to price them that low and why should a stranger care?

I’m sorry, forgive my manners. I am Adekola Cole, a student of Bowen University. I just finished my 300 level exams so I can say I’m a final year student now.  

I would say so much information for a stranger. I’m Rose Alade and my thoughts still remain in my custody.  Anyway, we are on your street now. I hope you enjoy your holiday.

 I know I would, just make sure you do the same. Am I permitted to visit when I can?

You are welcome except at odd hours.

It was nice to meet you Rose.

Rose smiled, “same here”. Bye

Adekola got off the taxi in front of his gate and Rose was grateful for the company.

She was home but something was not feeling right. Her unrest soon disappeared when she saw all her siblings being followed closely by her mum running to give her a warm welcome. She was home and she was also grateful for that.

Help! I’m Behind Bars II


image

I’m happy I have this time to continue my letter and please ignore what seems like a bad habit of not following protocols. A man in my shoes will definitely forget manners, a man behind bars that need urgent rescue. Please just know that your help is my biggest bait for I really am in dire need of help.

In my earlier letter, I mentioned that my second master is FEAR. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of making friends, fear of being hurt, fear of hating someone, fear of darkness, fear of not being loved in return, fear of being wrong and finally fear of FEAR. This I think has held me down so long I haven’t taken any major step in my life. It was fear that made me go to school and so my parents had to choose my course of study and now that I’m grown and they can’t make my decisions for me, I’m stuck. I’m afraid to take risk because I think I’m more of a pessimistic person even though when faced with the situation, I think I am being realistic, looking at my pros and cons and doing my analysis. I ask myself, “what if at the end of the day I am wrong?” since I never want to be wrong, I don’t even try. Not that I like it but I am stuck in this hole.

The thing is that I know fear has a limiting power, actually, a great limiting power. But I can’t stop myself. Its more like a head knowledge thing that hasn’t got a hold at my heart. Did I remember to tell you that I don’t have a job? I don’t and I think it’s partly due to the fact that when I go for interviews and I don’t want to be wrong because I’m afraid to fail it ends up that way. I show my fear but could it be some force actually working against me? Forces that don’t want my progress, or could it be fear of acknowledging my faults that I quickly want to attribute my problems to some forces?

Help me find answers for I am running back into my hole before I am found out. I will find time to tell you about the other part. I need independence, but I am even afraid to fight for it so come and take me out. And please remember not to give me the motivational talk that it’s only me that can help me because if it was so, I would have done that.



                   Still me,

                   Lawrence