The Sunday Evening That Changed My Life…

My life will never be the same again. This evening, I was privileged to watch the Watoto Children Choir minister and it has changed my outlook on life entirely. These are children between the ages of 0-17 who have been orphanedUnity way too early courtesy of  war, HIV/AIDS and poverty.
A good number of them were child soldiers who were trained to kill but have all been rescued and saved thanks to the loving, restorative power of Jesus, and the valiant efforts of the Watoto family in Uganda. Before this evening, I was not aware that over 14 million children in Africa were orphans! Little children with no one to care for and love them. It’s a heart breaking fact and it has greatly weighed me down.

The amazing thing about these kids is the sheer joy visible in them. While they sang and danced and worshiped, you could see that they genuinely believed in the Father’s love for them, and it showed in their stances. They are no longer broken and I firmly believe that they are the generation that Africa has been waiting for. These children have made me realize how ungrateful I have been to God for the life that I have. All the things I take for granted, a roof over my head, a warm bed and blanket, a family that loves me and even shoes for my feet. A lot of these kids go without all these and more everyday.

All through the service, a lot of us broke down and cried, because our minds couldn’t begin to comprehend the suffering these children, and other children all over the world have had to endure. Their stories were so heartbreaking and all I could do was weep.

Crying isn’t enough though and that’s why we have to help. You can find out how here: http://www.watotochurch.com/content/view/32/65/

14 million is an overwhelming number, but you can start with one child, I plan to!

Photo credit: http://www.watotochurch.com

 

Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea..

In a couple of days the fate of Nigeria my beloved country, will be sealed for the next four or possibly eight years to come. I have religiously followed the news and all the current happenings in Nigeria as much as I can and of all the feelings I have felt about the happenings, the prevalent of them is fear. Fear because of the two top contenders, I think that we are indeed trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea.

GEJ and GMB as they are fondly referred to, instill fear and uncertainty in me because left in their hands I know not where my beloved country is headed. Sadly there is a dearth of worthy contenders that can come forth, take this monstrosity that is corruption in Nigeria and decimate it for good. Where are our “future leaders” ??? since I was a child I have always been told that we were the leaders of tomorrow. Will tomorrow ever come? might the future leaders be lost in Nollywood? or the music industry? I know not.

Nigeria has robbed me of so many things, too numerous to mention. The joke that is our health system has robbed me of my father’s health. A simple surgery that would have helped him walk again was botched hence he cannot walk like he should, my grandma, two of my aunts, my pregnant friend and a couple of my close friends have been sent to their early graves because there is no such thing as speedy help in time of health emergencies/ accidents. Growing up, Nigeria robbed me and many other children both in my time and today of so many basic amenities that no child should be denied of. If the roads had been fixed like they ought to have been, I would not have had to waddle in still waters and often times mud on my way to school because it rained a day before.

I could go on and on about all the things that Nigeria has robbed me of, but can I really blame Nigeria? Nigeria is rich, really rich, wealthy in fact  she is just poorly led, poorly managed and so its no wonder she is what she is today. While its easy to blame our leaders and bemoan the fate that has befallen us, let us and by us I mean you and I, kindly accept our portion of the blame because we are Nigeria. You who sits on the BRT bus and decorates the floor of the buses  with gala and pure water packs, you who flings banana peels and used recharge cards from your moving car, you that sends off your under age child to go and hawk on major express ways, shall I remind those of you that haven’t paid your PHCN bills in years, and have no qualms with joining wires and tapping electric currents from street to street, or you that makes it a daily habit to dispose of oil and all sorts of garbage into the drainage? We are all to blame in one way or another. The change we so desperately seek can only start from our own little corners, the government cannot do everything for us.

Having said my piece, I sincerely feel that we are trapped between the two Gs, literally between the devil and the deep blue sea,  and all I can say at this point is let the best man win, as long as the girls come home, Naira becomes less of a joke that it is as of now, and the senseless killings stop, I will make my peace with who ever gets elected or reelected as the case may be.

“You must be the change that you wish to see in the world”.- Mahatma Gandhi

The Little Plantain Boy…

Heading home from work this evening, I was stuck in traffic. My phone batteries were down hence there was nothing to fiddle with so I settled for one of my hobbies; people watching.

That’s when I saw him, a little boy not more than nine or ten years old. Clothes worn thin, bare footed, and he looked so exhausted. His skinny neck strained under the weight of the heavy tray filled with huge plantains which he struggled to balance atop his head.

Sweat beaded his top lip and brows as he made his way towards the car I was in. I beckoned to him and he walked over. I asked him how he was but he was too busy  telling me how much the plantains cost that he didn’t hear my question.

I had no intention of buying plantain, but I just wanted to talk to him. So I asked him what his name was and he told me. I also asked him if he went to school today and he slowly shook his head, “No, I didn’t go to school today” he said in a voice so tiny that I could barely hear.

Horns blared and a bus driver spoke to him rudely, asking him to move away  from the road. Quickly, I rummaged through my bag and handed him some money and our car moved forward.

From the side mirror, I watched him chase our car till he got to me. He was out of breath and barely coherent but he managed to ask me why I gave him the money since I didn’t buy anything from him. I smiled at him and asked him to buy himself a pair of slippers. He smiled back at me and told me he had a pair but he took them off so he could chase after his customers more effectively, I told him to keep the money anyway, he thanked me and told me he was grateful he might have said more but again our car sped off. He looked so little as we drove further away from him, and I wished so hard that I could take him home, feed him, run him a hot bath and tuck him into bed where he should be fast asleep at this time.

Soon I lost sight of him and I broke down and cried because our system is broken. In what world will a little boy hawking on a major express way by this time of the night be OK?

I am  home now, tired but deeply upset, because every time I close my eyes, I see the little plantain boy.