Category Archives: writing

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

CLIMBING THE LADDER (success tips)


 

Don’t Stop There

I watched my eight months old son who is learning to walk as took steps and pulling me along as his support and he the guide, I was amused. As he led me enthusiastically and I sheepishly followed, he came to a point where he halted. On that spot was a sachet of milo which caught his attention and then he sat down leaving me to continue the journey if I so wish. At that moment, this thought I am about to share with you dawned on me.

 

Why Stop There?

How many times have you been distracted by talks, criticism, large cheque, huge pay, good recommendation and you either think you have arrived or you cannot go further?

 

How many times have you let go because you have tried over and again and have failed?

 

How many times have you settled there because you received an award in the office?

 

How many times have you settled there because you have gotten married and can boast of a child?

 

How have you come to settle because you have been able to land a job and you are content already?

 

You only settle in a place you think is the best. You only give up when you think it can’t get better. You only accept crumbs when you think its a favour being done to you.

 

So here is the truth, never stop growing until death snatches you away with its cold hands. Never stop learning until your grey hair falls to the ground. Never accept defeat until it brings out the best in you. Never think you have arrived because that idea only wastes you and destroy your potential. There is more you can achieve if you search within.

Steps to Take to Maintain Balance as You Climb the Ladder

  • Be conscious of every step you take
  • Take note of the number of quality books you read in a year
  • Look at your CV regularly to check what new qualification and skills you have added
  • Take assessment of yourself and let your friends, colleges do same for your so you can find out how well you are doing in your relationship with men and how you are growing
  • Make sure God remains at the helm of affairs in your life
  • Keep a tab on your friends and the qualities they contribute to your life

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.

WHY TOMORROW MAY NEVER COME


Today is

Overwhelmed with

Minding its

Own really

Resilient and

Recurrent

Overbearing

Worries

Tomorrow has never really being a friend of today. Today wishes it could spend more time but its allocated 24hrs after which its term is gone and another government comes to play but when tomorrow comes then it becomes today and today has always hated sharing its name with tomorrow and everyone keeps looking forward to the coming of tomorrow while today becomes yesterday and everyone says forget it, it’s a past.

The great business man looks forward to tomorrow, makes plans and profit for tomorrow using today, the sluggard makes the matter worse by not giving today its dues, looking forward to hand it over to tomorrow but when tomorrow comes its name is today so he keeps waiting for tomorrow to come when it will be answering tomorrow.

The rich man never gets enough because he is storing for tomorrow, the poor man never stops hoping because he is hoping for a good tomorrow and many times they forget to take care of today, live life today, bless someone today, leave a good impact today, they forget that today tells a whole lot of stories too and always likes to share the message abroad after it becomes yesterday.

Then matter also becomes another thing when some live for today only hoping to die tomorrow for they don’t know what tomorrow brings they say but when now tomorrow has become today and they are lost because they forgot that today and tomorrow are already used to changing their names from time immemorial.

Don’t carry tomorrow’s trouble on your head for sufficient is day’s trouble for itself and don’t forget to pray, work, eat, rest, play and put a smile on people’s faces for tomorrow may never come.

HER EARS WERE DEAF


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Loveth stood up from her bed unsure of what it was she was hearing. It can’t be, maybe I’m imagining, she said to herself. She got up from her bed to check on Jasmine in the next room.

Jasmine, what was that I was hearing? We need to talk

Have I not told you not to make close friends with Debby? I told you I don’t feel comfortable with her. So what was the moaning sound I heard and the compromising position I met you both? Loveth asked.

There was no moaning anywhere, Debby and I just laid close to each other and that was all, that was all you saw. Maybe you were dreaming about the moaning sound.

You dear lie to me seeing the position I met you in? I’m your elder sister and I really don’t have problem with Debby but I feel that with you both something will go wrong. Jasmine, you just entered this school and this is my fifth year in school. I will soon be gone and I want you to get it right before I go. I want your foot grounded before I take a bow out.

Now, sister, Jasmine started. You are just paranoid. I told you there was nothing. If you do or don’t mind, excuse me. With that Jasmine went back to Debby.

Loveth and Jasmine were sisters of the same family. Loveth was the first and Jasmine was the last. In-between them were two boys, Lawrence and Joshua. But it began to seem that Jasmine was forgetting her position and really was tasting the depth of the river with both feet.

Loveth couldn’t help feeling insulted and shamed before Debby for it looked like Debby had won this one and turned her sister against her.

Time went on and Jasmine was getting attached to Debby day by day and Loveth was at loss for what to do. She really couldn’t explain why she shouldn’t let her sister be over Debby but, she found no peace within herself over their closeness. Maybe the moaning she heard wasn’t real after all but she thought she has heard it again more than once but never met any indicting situation except meeting a sister in a state of ecstasy and a feeling of pleasure…

Lawrence welcome. It’s good to have you visit with us. Jasmine walked in with Debby who had become more like a roommate than a visitor. Who is that? Lawrence asked Loveth after the both ladies greeted and had gone off to their room.

It’s a friend of Jasmine that she met a few months back. I don’t feel cool about their friendship but Jasmine won’t listen to me. The thing is that I can see that Jasmine is deteriorating morally, she seems to be losing her values. Anytime I call her attention to these things, she literarily walks out on me straight into her arms and tells her what I discussed with her.

Lawrence, a little carried away with Debby’s beauty, said, Loveth cut the girl some slack. I really don’t see any issues with the young lady. Free them. They look to me like a perfect pair. Jasmine will learn to take care of herself when you are gone.

Debby was enjoying all the debate between Jasmine and her sister. At least she has succeeded in making Jasmine turn deaf ears to her sister. Debby was glad she was accomplishing a mission, a mission to make Jasmine like her and was sure Loveth was about to graduate losing this game to her. She should be called the queen of chess, she thought in her heart while smiling to herself. But why she hated Loveth, she couldn’t tell

***

Loveth received a call from her mum on a Monday morning while at work. Her mum needed her to come to the village because of Jasmine. This time Loveth could bet that Jasmine was in a trouble. So she travelled home the next day.

Jasmine was sitting on a stool outside and was looking almost like a hag. Loveth saw Jasmine and couldn’t believe it was her kid sister. Immediately she arrived, her mum had brought her to where Jasmine was sitting outside. She got pregnant, gave birth but the baby died and now she has some complications and it seems she is not very mentally stable, their mum said. Please Loveth, help me with her.

Loveth didn’t know when she lost her calm and flared up. Why should I have to take her and deal with her issues? I sensed it was going to get to this when she was all over Debby. She would shout at me and walk out of me in front of her. She wanted to prove a point that she was a woman of herself and not under the care of anyone to Debby and would rather choose to disrespect me her eldest sister. Now she is to be my problem.

Loveth, help me. No matter what, you are her second mother. You never throw away the bath water with the baby. I am handicapped in this matter.

Ok, mum. I will take her. Help pack her things so we can leave right away. I have to be at work tomorrow. I will go find something for my stomach.

***

Loveth had taken Jasmine to the hospital that morning. She didn’t think anything will bring her to this general hospital and she had hoped nothing personal brings her here but today she found herself here. Loveth asked jasmine to sit in the reception so she could make inquiries and also register her in order to see a doctor.

Jasmine, don’t talk to anyone. Don’t go anywhere. Sit here till I come back. Is that clear? Yes Jasmine said.

There was a man who it seemed was walking out of the hospital and when he saw Jasmine turned back. The truth was that he had studied Jasmine and decided that she was his prey.

Hello, young lady. Good morning.

Good morning. How may I help you? Jasmine replied

Do you want an IV, a free IV for when you decide to get married?

Yes. I will be grateful but is it for real

He handed her a bundle of already designed IV. Just walk down there and tell them to hold it for you. As soon as she turned her back to go, the man was gone. She walked a few steps and then started bleeding from her mouth and then Jasmine was no more. Jasmine was dead.

And then Loveth woke from her dream. Alas it was a dream. Thank God it was a dream. The truth is that it was a warning for both her and Jasmine.

THE LAST SATURDAY IN AUGUST(PART 2)


Oh, that bastard, that son of a.., then she came back to herself. I don’t like to use such foul but that beast, just makes me do that. Oh, God! She said with her hands covering her face, I don’t know how I’m going to manage not to pull the trigger right into his forehead if I see him. Just make me not to sight him because he might just be better off dead.

Oh, my sister, then the tears flowed freely like some pool had just been let loose. How could this have happened to her? She had kept herself all this while with a promise that only her husband will take his rightful due then this wench, comes and snatches it from her and in such a manner that she ends on admission unconscious. He has to pay! I will fight him until he loses all he cherishes most. He thinks he knows how to rob, he has just robbed the wrongest person. For now let me check how Mercy is doing. My shower calls, after answering the call then my pursuit begins.

Simon and two of his friends were in the lounge of his house chatting and gisting. Simon, it was Tade calling on him, you have been distant since we came around. Is all well?

All is well just not really in the mood today. Feel like lying on my bed.

And relishing the fun of yesterday, Sammie said with a teasing smile.

Simon smiled with heaviness in his throat like a big rock was there and he was finding it hard to swallow. Excuse me guys, I will just retire to my bed. You know how to take care of yourselves. My head hurts and I hope a nap will ease the pain. Lock the door with your spare of the key Tade, don’t bother waking me up. He stood and strode away like he might fall from a long time illness that has eating into his bones. Simon laid his bed and for the first time he was really grateful he had this bed, the only friend he could really tell the truth and would not leave him, the only friend he could share his unabated restlessness and guilt. He didn’t think he would feel this way after what happened, it was normal to have sex. If it didn’t happen that way it would have happened another way, all is still sex. But his heart and profession told him no. consent is different from force. And so he couldn’t sleep.

Mercy was awake when Nkem entered. She ran to hug her sister and started crying. I’m sorry for what happened, I’m sorry I didn’t see it coming but I promise you that he will pay for it. His license is what I want to be taking from him. His 7 years of study will be taken from him, his years of practice will be robbed him as he robbed you of what you priced most. You ended many relationships because you won’t give what they were asking and then that beast of an animal, the devil in human skin comes along and snatches it away from you and leaves you in this bed. He is not supposed to be walking on earth but I will fight him with all in me. Mercy sat still looking at her sister blank like she was transported into another realm.

Tosin entered with food and beverage she had gone out shortly to buy for Mercy. Thank you Tosin. Can I see privately? Nkem asked. They stepped out to the hall way. How did it happen, who was this guy? How did they meet? Tosin started to speak with a tone of regret. He is a colleague in the hospital. We all became friends about six months ago. He looked like a good guy and we felt safe around him. His name is Simon Adeyemo. The name stroke a cord in her. She had met him before or so it seemed to her. Do you know where he lives? I want to contact my lawyer.

I know where he lives. But Mercy doesn’t want us to meet him. She believes he has done the havoc, so what can redeem the irredeemable.

Rubbish, arrant rubbish, Nkem retorted. I don’t want to care what she thinks, I’m going to get justice for her no matter what it takes. Just take me to where he lives or give me his address. I will make sure he craws and begs and then ends up losing everything he loves. If he comes back to this world a second time he would never talk to a woman talk more of raping her.

Alright. When do you want us to go to him? Tosin asked.

When I contact my lawyer later in the day, we would conclude when to go…

This was the eight month after the incidence of the rape and it looked like Mercy had moved on but Nkem was still on her vengeance mission and her vengeance motion would not let Mercy forget what she bury under the carpet.

Nkem’s phone rang, it was her lawyer. Nkem, Simon has being calling and said you still refuse picking his calls. He is pleading for an out of court settlement. Nkem, he was silent for a while, Simon is sorry and we should at least give him a chance.

Nkem blurted out. Do you know what it means to be raped? Or is it because it was not your sister that was raped? But Nkem, you sister wants us to let this rest. Does she really know what is good for her? Nkem I believe we should handle this matter in a better way. Bitterness has eaten into you, even the victim is not as victimizing as you. I would like to get over this conversation and continue other things. We would meet in court next week or hopefully before then. Bye for now.

She dropped her phone on the table and was walking towards the refrigerator to pour herself some juice to calm her nerves and then her phone rang. Who is that calling again?

Hello, who is on the line?

Its Stella, Sis Stella from church. Oh! Sis Stella, how are you?

I’m fine. I’m actually calling you in respect to the Christian community worship coming up the last Saturday in August in church. You are supposed to be part of it but we haven’t seen you for all while in church. So please we would love you to make yourself available in church. Do we have an assurance of your presence? She smiled into her phone and said she would be available for the rehearsals and preparation.

THE LAST SATURDAY IN AUGUST (PART 1)


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11:30 PM, 30 minutes to cross over into the new year. A year full of great expectations, so much hope, so many dreams, so many restitution. Nkem’s mind traveled to the lands of possibilities and map of accomplishment the moment she looked at the wall clock in the 700 capacity auditorium of The New Covenant Baptist Church located at Akute. Pastor Philip has mounted the pulpit since 11pm and all Nkem’s heart was waiting to hear was him saying “we have crossed over into the new year, celebrate and congratulate your brother for making it into the new year”. The outgoing one wasn’t so much of a success, she couldn’t afford to call it a total failure even though she wished she could but that would be negative thinking she told herself. By the time we cross over the Pastor will tell us the message and promises God gave him for us or rather me this year. Let me speak for myself.

Simon, you are a badoo, skilled in all your tricks. You are such genius, no girl can ever peep into your house and you will not scatter. His friends were praising him as they five of them sat at bar in Victoria Island popularly called VI which was their usual hanging spots at such time of the year celebrating their conquest for the cross over. Simon, you ended the year well, Tade said to him. Being able to get that girl into your bed is the highlight of the year. Men, being able to convince a 22 year old virgin is no joke but Simon did it. Let’s toast to it. Bar man, Wale called out, give us any drink in the range of 250 to 300 hundred thousand Naira, we’ve got to pop some wine. What Simon didn’t tell his friends was that he turned a rapist to win that conquest. What he didn’t tell his friends, was that the girl was currently in the hospital and it was likely police would soon be on his backs.

It was 11:59, Nkem’s heart was exceptionally heavy and full of anticipation she couldn’t explain. She got wondering if it was because of the eagerness to get out of this year or it was something else but she tried to find peace. Lord if it’s because I haven’t being paying much attention to Pastor’s prayers forgive me and intercede for me. Congratulations, we have crossed over, praise the Lord, celebrate him in the beauty of His Holiness, the Lord is faithful, He is the ultimate good, ever loving, all giving and forgiving, she seemed to hear the pastor’s voice from a faraway land. Congratulations, Mr Nelson, the church secretary took her hand and went by to others bringing her back to the land of reality. She instinctively looked at the time, 12:05am. The time she had monitored for a long time and just less than a minute to her mark she was distracted, God hope this is not what is going to happen this year to me, I can’t stand another distressing, unfulfilled year. Then she remembered greet someone and she started her journey of happy new year round the over packed auditorium…

Nkem woke up by 6am, the time her body was already accustomed to. This year is a year of forgiveness, the sermon pastor Philip gave for the year’s theme greeted her as she woke. I don’t have anyone I haven’t forgiven that I know of. When I have time I will take a walk back and forgive all… then her phone rang. Happy New Year wishes from everyone, they won’t allow me wake up.

Hello,

Yes, it’s Tosin, Mercy’s friend

Tosin, how are you?

I’m fine.

Happy new year, dear

Same to you

I’m calling you because of your sister, Mercy. She is on admission in the hospital.

What happened to her? She asked a little distressed, since Mercy just finished her training as a physiotherapist and she is doing her internship, she would understand her body better. Then she noticed Tosin was hesitant on the other side of the phone and then she really started panicking.

What happened to her? She was raped by someone who was supposed to be a friend and colleague.

When did this happen? Yesterday evening around 6pm. I went out to buy groceries for cooking and by the time I was back by 7:15pm she was on the floor battered and kind of unconscious.

Is she in the hospital where she is doing her internship? Yes. We got here last night. And since then I have been trying to reach you but your number was not reachable.

Has she woken up now? As all she ask amid the thoughts rushing into her. Was that why God sent a message on forgiveness? Why did He let it happen? So He can test my obedience on forgiveness? After I had looked forward to this year and then on the first day this is what greets me good morning. She didn’t even hear the response of Tosin to her question that she had woken earlier but had been put back to sleep by the doctor after giving them the information they required of her and had started treatment on her neither was she aware that Tosin had gone off after shouting so many hellos into her phone.