Quote

Make the Countdown Count!

Seasons do change and the tides, yeah they do turn.

This moment is all you have, the past is done and gone

The game is still much in play, you sure don’t want to lose

So, don’t reach for that button that always sends you back to snooze

No matter how luring, it really cuts you out of the loop

Each breath reminds the clock is ticking, only the agile rips through the hoop

Awake from your slumber, the party is not yet over

Gird your loins and hold fast, there are yet more hurdles to go over

Project Twenty fourteen is still ongoing, newsflash – we’re now in phase two

We can’t start counting losses when there’s still so much to do.

Adapt if you must cause the course is on full throttle, no chance of it stopping

Crawl, limp, walk, hop, run, better things are still ahead so you’ve got to keep on moving!

I hope you got the memo, you’re now in charge of “me, myself & I” as team leader .

So,in this new phase, you can’t but be your own greatest cheerleader!

#2014

Peace & love,

– NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved.

Day Seventeen: The Fright of Fear

Oh! Why would you ever ask of me such?

Another plot to put me on the spot?

I don’t think I really wanna talk about it much!

Just thinking about it now gives me a clot!

 

Sometimes I do valiantly escape it

Other times I’m just darn right low on credit!

And if by now you still don’t get it

Telling you about it, you really wouldn’t merit!

 

Somewhere right beneath the perfected façade

After all the man in the mirror psych and incite

Slyly waiting it creeps in with the squad

Gradually deflating the resolve deep inside.

 

But ever so surely I’m reminded of it daily

Three sixty-five times the scribes duly recorded

Though time and tide may threaten her greatly

‘Be not afraid’ He already instructed.

 

-NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved.

 

Writing 101: Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

“What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.”

Day Fourteen: To Whom it May Concern

Dear Life,

Today, I was reminded of the irrefutable truth that I’d only get one go at you and no more. Today, I was reminded  I am already expending that chance and the countdown started long before now.

Today, I was reminded no matter how long I relish each moment, I will reach that limit and then no more. Today, I was reminded there is more beyond this plain though at times I forget and I’m consumed by your bane.

Today, while at the service of songs, I listened to tributes commending him on the time he spent with you. Today, I feared I’d be a hot mess but alas those words they did really bless. Today, they reiterated the sail with you is short though no one knows when they will reach their own port.

Today, I was reminded about what’s most important; how most things I do with you may be cool but yet unimportant. Today, I was reminded to spend you investing in things that would only matter after my passing.

In thoughts,

NW.

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved

(In memory of the dearly departed, Oluwatoyin Salako 1969 – 2014)

Writing 101: Day Fourteen: To Whom it May Concern

“Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. 

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.”

Mr and Mrs Series: No.9 Commotion Street

As I stood fast endlessly staring through the old French sash windows that separated  me from the billowing storm outside, watching as each June raindrop hit whatever was in its way without mercy, I couldn’t help but ponder on the vivid imaginations rioting through my brains. The time on the old grandfather’s clock leaning against the awkward middle pillar in our little one-bedroom apartment said 9.45pm. Oh how I so detest the hideous-looking monster of a clock, Deolu’s prized possession. It’s been in his lineage three generations and counting! I dare not say one more uncomplimentary comment about it to his hearing, the vigour and passion with which he’d vent; you’d think I just disrespected his mother!
 
 It was way past Deolu’s estimated time of arrival from yet another intervention mission at the Okafors. The incessant savagely fierce thunderbolts rattling outside denied me hearing what was really going at our next door neighbour’s house. The houses in our neighbourhood were close enough to turn an intimate private conversation into a community town hall meeting usually. Phew! Overwhelmed by an uneasy calm, I pressed my ears harder against the windows, straining to find out if per chance I would hear anything at all…alas, nothing! He’s been gone for a little over two hours now. I don’t trust those Okafors, they could be pretty volatile during their altercations.
 

I said a quiet prayer for the safety of my dear husband as I started pacing, making use of what was left of our tiny floor space. Everywhere was packed with our worldly possessions, the apartment was no longer practical for our family of four. There wasn’t an immediate need to move into a bigger space though, seeing that Deolu worked out-of-town and he was only in every fortnight – for two days. Even if we wanted to, money was likely to play tricks on us. *Sigh* Describing our family as affluent would only be appropriate when compared to the average family in my neighbourhood. The poverty around here ran skin-deep with most of the people already resigned to fate, living from hand to mouth.

I quickly made my way back to the window when I heard what sounded like war cries. In my hurry, I stumbled into Deolu’s prized possession, sending it tumbling down to its final sojourn, its grave.E gba mi, mo daran”  was all I could mutter! Deolu was going to have my head on a platter! In that moment, that was the least of my worries for the noise was growing louder. What I saw through the windows left me bewildered! What is this I am beholding?! Commotion rendezvous!!!

Source: Google Images

In circular motions, running like a headless chicken in the rain was my dear husband with Mrs Okafor right behind him with wrapper tied high above her breasts.  Mr Okafor stood afar yelling, “Prisi, Prisi, no wound person o!” In her right hand was the 24-inch long pestle she grabbed from her kitchen, raised high in the air. From her mouth came words I couldn’t understand; she was speaking in her dialect, cursing more like. The neighbours began pouring out of their homes in droves, the unscrupulous ones amongst them chanting for more drama as I watched my Deolu leap over puddles of muddy waters, dodging every swing of Mrs Okafor’s pestle. His shirt was in tatters already. Only heaven knows what transpired in that house!

He could have made his way into our home for shelter and safety but knowing him for who he is, he wouldn’t want to bring harm his family’s way. The children were fast asleep in all of these and I was unsure of what to do. Stepping out to join the ongoing madness was not an option. It could leave both Deolu and I injured or bring about the untimely death of either of us – Mrs Okafor was vicious like that! We also stood the chances of being looted. I know the area too well so I stayed put, watching helplessly.

Mrs Okafor’s reign of terror on Deolu continued with no end in sight. This left me exasperated and all I could pray for was a divine intervention of some sort. From nowhere appeared Morufu, the neighbourhood tyrant, and for the first time, I loved Morufu, for I could see an imminent end. Morufu nicknamed himself “Voltron” because he was of the belief that he defends the helpless in the neighbourhood irrespective of their gender. Deolu was the obvious helpless in this case and Morufu’s venom was about to be unleashed on Mrs Okafor. Thank goodness!

The chase was steep; Deolu was now within her reach. As she gathered herself to launch her deadly attack, she did not notice Morufu nor his outstretched leg in her way. Her very next stride landed her in the awaiting pool of muddy water nearby. She was covered in mud like an apple on a stick dipped in melted dark chocolate at Carlos’ Bakery. Talk about divinely answered prayers. On seeing what had just happened, Deolu stopped for a moment, looked at Morufu with the eyes of gratitude, gave a nod and resumed his running. This time he was headed in my direction.

I immediately undid the door locks and let him in; marking the floor of the apartment with heavy muddy impressions from the sole of his bare feet as he crumbled into the nearest seat to him. He was a total mess.  I had never seen Deolu this disconcerted. I dare not try Mrs. Okafor’s stunt with him, not with the way he prances around the house like Achilles from the movie ‘Troy’. Seriously, I really do not have any reason to disrespect him, he is a good man.  I made my way into the kitchen to get the kettle boiling while I gathered old towels and the small tub of Aboniki balm to soothe him with.

Apparently, it was Deolu who triggered the pandemonium when he reprimanded Mrs Okafor for slapping her husband in his presence. I warned him severally to stay out of  Mr & Mrs Okafor’s business but the peacemaker in him wouldn’t let him. Now he’s learnt his lesson the hard and shameful way.

As I emerged from the kitchen armed with all I needed to bring him relief, he asked quietly, “What happened to the clock?” Taking a deep breath, I narrated how the accident occurred, stammering along the way. He listened without interrupting which made me fidget. I had just succeeded in ruining a family heirloom. Soon after, he started to laugh. By this time, I was mopping his body with a hot towel; I stopped for a minute and took a long look at him, he was laughing real hard. I couldn’t help but chuckle along though dismayed. He eventually calmed down and said to me with all seriousness, “Thank you for helping me rid that menace of a clock from my life. It wasn’t worth anything much anyway! I only held on to it as a result of Uncle Bayo’s sentimental blackmail.”  What a relief!

As we retreated into bed at almost midnight, Deolu made the announcement I’d been fantasizing about for many years. “We have to leave this neighbourhood. It is unfair to raise the children in an environment such as this. What’s the point in saving all the money if we cannot invest it in creating a better life for the kids?” “Deolu, you know we don’t have that kind of money to rent  a new place in a decent neighbourhood?”, I interjected. He then revealed, “I have some money saved apart from that in the joint account. I will make use of it to secure a new place. We are moving out by the weekend and that is final.”

I snuggled into my dear Deolu with a satisfactory grin on my face, knowing our days in the neighbourhood were numbered. The curious woman in me wanted to make a fuss about his hidden savings; I thought we were operating the ‘open book’ policy with everything but at this point, it was best to let that slide. After all, we all would be benefiting from his hidden treasures now. My fantasy was finally becoming a reality all thanks to Mrs Okafor. I began rehearsing my farewell speeches to all and sundry in my head till into coo-coo land I faded.

Live Laugh Love

Top of the morning!

Last Friday evening, I was with close friends, Bim and Lola, at an event which took place at the Lagos Oriental Hotel. It wasn’t a fun fest rather, an assembly of aching hearts and hurting souls. As I met up with Lola in the lobby area, I couldn’t but notice her plain face – devoid of all make-up. Her day’s activities included attending 3 different funerals…all as a result of the June 3rd plane crash in Lagos. Bim joined us a little later with eyes as deep as scarlet. We barely spoke. The atmosphere was intense.

The last speaker for the night started by reiterating two words – “3 minutes”. He dwelt on that for at least half a minute and I kept wondering where he was going with this. He then said, “all they needed was 3 minutes to make it to the runway where emergency services were awaiting the plane after making the distress call, all they never got was 3 minutes!” Heavy sighs rippled through the room simultaneously like an orchestrated symphony. He then proposed a series of mind-boggling questions; questions that have filled my thoughts the better part of this weekend.

“If you had only 3 minutes left before you meet with your maker, what would you do with them? Would you at that point be considering the shoes you bought and never wore? Would you be considering your achievements? Would the monies in your bank accounts or the house(s) be your priority at that point or the piece of your mind you forgot to give Freddy last week be your focus? Would you be regretting life un-lived,  love un-expressed or kindness un-shown?

Source: Google Images


Sometimes in life we get so caught up in all sorts and somewhere at the back of our minds there is this vague assumption that we have time. For this reason, we procrastinate. We plan and live our lives like we control time. But really, how many of us deeply understand that we don’t have time?

I read a tribute written by a bereaved husband to his late wife who was a victim of the crash. He detailed the chronicles of his late wife’s life which I found absolutely inspiring. Then I thought, someone on that flight probably left their partner that fateful afternoon without mending fences over a little, trivial misunderstanding and now, the grieving partner, faced with the reality of living with such deep and painful regret.

Tragedies do have a way of re-focusing us as humans. For some, this change in perception lasts a lifetime while for others, no sooner do they slip back into old habits.

Source: Google Images

Life is fickle, life is short. A moment in time is all we are sure of, it’s all we truly have. Do good while you can. Treat people right even when they seem undeserving of  your acts of graciousness and benevolence. Love the “unlovable” especially when what they seem to deserve is a cold shoulder or better still, abandonment. Try not to withhold good when it is in your capacity to do it. Cut yourself  and others some slack. Show appreciation for every kind gesture. Don’t be a user, that sucks! Apologize and mean it. Forgive and move on… 🙂 Lead a less complicated life. Seriously, you don’t need the dramas! Live everyday to the fullest…make it count. Be thankful!

2012 has been a very eventful year for me so far; life keeps happening, leaving me with new realities, hmmm…*deep sigh* In these, one thing I do remember is; my life is not mine and for everyday I get the privilege to see, it’s a gift not a right!

I learn daily and stay thankful for the gift of life!

Source: Google Images

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Black Sunday 2 – Action time!

Now, it is more than 72 hours since the devastating Dana Airline plane crash which claimed all 153 lives on board and more at the crash vicinity. Quite a number of people were affected by this unfortunate occurrence. Families and friends of the dead are still in the Sheol of grief, some still in denial, some still in a state of shock and a great chunk still very angry about the senseless mishap.  The harsh reality is – life goes on!

The degree of our proximity to fatality such as this often determines how we respond. For some, the Sunday crash has already been compartmentalized and locked up in their archival memories; some didn’t even process it at all-seeing they did not lose any family member, close relative or friend to the disaster. However, beyond our creed, belief, principles & values, we are essentially human and at the core of our existence is the undeniable desire to preserve mankind. Sadly, our experiences over the years often becloud our judgement of this.

Where am I going with all of these?

It is insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. A lot of Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora have ranted and  expressed displeasure at the state of affairs in the nation and have, without mincing words, expressed the need for change. A lot have even identified that the needed change ought and must start with us as individuals just as I clearly stated in my last post, Black Sunday. So, if we want change, we must make deliberate efforts to effect it starting from our immediate circle of influence.

A lot of lives will never be the same again since last Sunday. A lot of people are now displaced from their homes as a result of this. It is injustice to self and humanity to have expressed displeasure without seeing it through with at least an act of kindness towards the affected. We cannot wait on the  government alone. We, the people, are the government and we have a  duty and responsibility to this nation. This is not the time to get buried in self-absorption nor alienate ourselves from the ills of the land. I humbly ask that you remember in your high estate, no one is self-sufficient…we all need one another at some point!

My soul remains restless since Sunday and it’s impossible getting the thought of the multiplier effect caused by this crash out of my mind. People need help, they need it fast, they need it now!

This is why I have decided to associate with the Dana Crash Action Relief Programme.

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Following the Dana crash, a group of people formed the #DanaCrashAction team to respond to the national disaster. The request for clothes, shoes, diapers, toiletries, basic necessities and relief items  is a fallout of this response programme.

We have been to the crash site, spoken to the victims and ascertained their needs. They need more than clothes and shoes. Tuesday night, we ensured they got shelter by building some makeshift place covered with iron roofs. It is not the best but they slept in the rain Monday night and we thought “never again”. We would also be providing for their feeding for a while till they get back on their feet.

The victims in the affected community have refused to be relocated which is understandable as this community is what most of them have known as home for many years. We have received a number of calls from interested citizen at home and abroad wanting to be a part of this.

#DanaCrashAction  (Click link for twitter updates)

If you are resident in Lagos, you can pack a relief bundle and drop off at designated points nearest to you. Please click on the link below to view the various locations in and around Lagos, Ota, Ife, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Kaduna, Abuja. There is also a drop-off point in the United Kingdom.

Phase 1: Relief AID (Immediate) Relief Materials Drop-Off Points In Lagos

If you want to help, you can now make donations to

GTBANK –  DANA CRASH RELIEF FUND  0116631906  – NAIRA

0116662382 – DOLLAR  ( Click on link for full correspondent banking details and funds transfer instruction)

I have been informed that all monies going into these accounts are to build a Trust Fund. At the moment, there are no signatories to the account, GTBank  remains the sole custodian of  all donations. The plan is to eventually use the generous donations help the families of the dead,  re-establish the displaced, provide scholarships to affected children etc. This means we do not have access to the donations for now. For the purpose of accountability, we are not receiving cash donations at any Relief Materials Drop-Off Point. If you intend to help with money, please make all payments into the accounts above only.

We need relief materials asap! Kindly make Relief Material Drop-offs as much as you can offer.

We still need volunteers to support these people at these trying times.

To volunteer, please send a tweet to  @dupekilla @seunfakze @rosanwo

Telephone: + 234 (0) 704 501 2906 (Text preferred)

Of course the relief efforts would be nothing without your prayers. #GodHealNigeria

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So, let us make a difference and stop preaching rhetorics. It is not enough to just be a social media activist, there’s more to be done. There is a time for everything; a time to speak, a time to act! Now is the time to act. I beseech you, I beg to crave your indulgence, for posterity’s sake, please, let’s make a difference! Please spread the word!

Thank you and God bless!

**Picture updates coming soon**

Let it breathe…

We were welcomed by the regular chaos on the high street as Linda and I stepped out of the office for lunch. The sun was out in all its glory, scorching us bitterly as we made a brisk five-minute walk to our regular café. The unrelenting smack on her face gave her away, I knew she had something up her sleeves. Quickly, we ordered some sinful delights without caution nor consideration for the possible side effects. Let the scales deal with that!

The first bite barely made it into my mouth before she launched her attack. Like Russian missiles on a deadly mission, her questions, observations, suggestions and brilliant hook-up idea kept pouring in. The thought of an impending hook-up thrilled me. I must confess, a hopeless romantic I am! The greasy meal that laid before me was barely touched and fast running cold as I mopped every juicy detail of Ken with eager anticipation. In my usual self, I was already standing next to a faceless Ken at the altar. Hopeless “desperado” I hear you say. Whatever!!!

Come friday same week, my status update read “TGIF”, right across all my social media platforms. I mean, my tweet, Facebook update, bbm update…name it. It meant much more than the last work day of the week for me this time around. I was super crazy excited. Linda had arranged “the Ken and I” hook-up for the day, yay! Concentration at work was a lost battle with spasms of day-dreaming filling most of my unproductive hours. The plan was, to be picked up by Ken from my workplace at half six in the evening. He was right on time.

My heart raced faster than Hamilton’s car on Formula 1 track as my phone rang and his name stared right back at me. Trembling as I picked his call, I managed to comport my vocals as he announced his arrival. Hurriedly, I dashed out of the office and with every strength I could muster, slowed down and walked gracefully toward him. His smile was endearing, that melted my heart permanently. The evening was fast spent with every second invested in knowing more about each other. Every single evening of the subsequent days became our haven, our ritual, our private tradition. Asking me to write a mini biography about him wouldn’t be a tall order.

It’s now three weeks and two days since I met Ken and it feels like the “relationship” is stuck in a blurry spot. I need to know what we are doing. We are getting too invested in this or is it just me. I boldly asked Ken the next evening where exactly is the destination of all these. He communicates with precision but his response on this occasion was incoherent. He developed an instant case of chronic stammer. This has now left me apprehensive.

I ran my thoughts by Linda the next day at work and I was taken aback with her response. “Dora, I think it’s rather too soon to query such”, she said. In my defense, I told her how much time we have been spending together and how he ticks a lot of my boxes and how open he is in communicating. “What if he has said all he wants to say to you already?” , she asked. This gave me rude jolts.

I spared her the details of the wedding plans I was already making for “us” and how his stalling is frustrating progress. Linda’s response basically threw the spanner in the works. Needless to say, the daily hang-outs after work is fast on a decline.

I think I might have blown it again! *sigh*

Source: Google Images

Nubian’s thoughts:

I am of the opinion it is imperative to inculcate a habit of taking matters of the heart slow and steady. It is an innate nature of humans to get thrilled and excited about the prospect of meeting or hanging out with a new person. However, it is not uncommon to get carried away in the euphoria of that moment which in most cases cloud our sense of reason and judgment. Yes, there is always an exception to the rule but I do not believe it happens in everyone’s situation as a lot of people would like to claim. It is possible to comprehensively understand the principles of a business theory, an application, a craft, a script, a storyline in three weeks but not an individual! Man as a specie (not just the male gender) is far too complex for absolute comprehension within such time-line.The most we can get are impressions which could be easily flawed with time.

The passage of time reveals a whole lot and there is no gimmick we can play to fast-track that. We are  pretty much disposed to  putting our best foot forward at the beginning, for every man serves the best wine first. However, with the passage of time, guards would be let down eventually. It is only a matter of time before the walls of pretense come tumbling down (if any).

Naturally, fondness is bred through consistent association with a particular person but the fact remains, you cannot base crucial life altering decisions on three weeks of fraternizing. There are many hurdles to  leap over before getting to that final one. I am yet to see an athlete being rewarded for not completing his leaps in a typical 110m hurdle race. It is understandable that pressures from various quarters can involuntarily force people to go over these hurdles haphazardly or boycott it altogether but it is a gamble that is yet to pay off for most.

I see and hear from so many “Doras” on a regular basis. One common denominator I have observed about them is the deliberate act of loosing all sense of reasoning, forcefully willing a serious relationship out of every potential hook-up. We all tend to give the impression as people with set rules,values and standards when discussing what we want in a partner but quite a number of us quickly compromise the same set rules, values and standards in real-life scenarios. It is absolutely impossible to acquire a reasonable overview of another for the purpose of critical analysis within such short period of time. Talk is cheap, anybody can say anything to you but only time would allow you sift the wheat from the chaff. Choosing to be under-analytical is detrimental to say the least.

I could go on and on but at this point, I’d rather drop my final two cents for the many “Doras” out there while I await yours as well:

Let it breathe…

Allow the passage of time to guide your sense of judgment and reason through the process. We all at some point compromise but it really should be done for the right reasons, with the right kind of person for you.Do not be quick to make blind justifications nor get caught in the web of clichéd expressions. You need to keep your wits about you even as your heart flutters and imagination accelerates. Constantly take cautious steps back for the sole purpose of re-analyzing and evaluating the ongoing dynamics of your alliance with that person. Set standards if you’ve got none, get better ones if you’ve got some. Be less driven by the motivation to get to the altar at all costs without putting into consideration the quality of the yarns you are gathering to create your marriage tapestry.

I say again, Talk is cheap! Do not get carried away by that which is vocalized, for with practice, anyone can perfect the art of speaking without intent. Actions speak tons and it is only with time can you, almost without effort, create the opportunities for various scenarios wherein you can see one another react without inhibitions. Only then can you draw reasonable conclusions.

Let it breathe!