Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A CRITICAL CASE OF TANGLE-UP


Thank God for hairdressers. I don’t know what people like me would do if they did not exist.

I keep my hair unrelaxed and it is fairly long. I don’t have any treatment I use on it save that I pamper the edges by watching the kind of hairstyles I make, not allowing hair stylists touch the tiny edge hairs while braiding with extension and taking out the braids at the edges after a week or two of making the hair. No special hair-cream, I use a mixture of sheabutter and some oils, nothing more.

So I was told about how good it is to use onion juice to treat dandruff; mayonnaise mixed with any oil of your choice as a deep conditioner and okra juice for detangling and leave-in conditioning. I decided to add these to my regimen and I was so excited about the thought. It is not that I didn’t know about these treatments before, just that I was not into them. If I remember well, I had used okra juice as a leave-in conditioner before, but that was just once. There was even a season in my life when I applied finely blended avocado and banana to deep condition my hair. The few times I maintained that regimen, I went through some difficult time getting dried bits of banana and avocado off my hair. I ended up losing some hair because no matter how well you wash your hair after such treatments, some minuscule of the fruits will still remain in the hair. Because of the stress from getting out the particles from my hair after it is dried, I stopped that treatment.

Now that I have been reminded of the onion, mayonnaise and okra treatments, I couldn’t wait to apply them after loosening my previous hairstyle. So I loosened the hair, detangled and washed. I then grated the onions (added a piece of ginger) and strained out the juice using a handkerchief. I applied the resulting juice to my hair making sure every strand of hair got soaked and the scalp was well reached. I was told to not wash it away because it is a good leave-in conditioner too and gives more shine to the hair. I let the onion-ginger juice dry out and afterwards rubbed the mayonnaise-oil mix through the hair tips to the scalp. I covered the hair with a plastic bag from 5pm till the next morning, I wanted the best result. When morning came, I washed off the substance and then set to prepare the okra juice. My hair by this time was so tangled up. But I wasn’t bothered because I knew the okra juice would perform magic on the knots.

The okra juice eventually landed on my hair and scalp. But, nah, it wouldn’t unknot the tangles. What! I finished applying and came out of the bathroom, waited for the okra juice to dry out and the see if I could detangle the hair. For where? I couldn’t o. Ha! Thus, I sat down with the hair hoping to be able to finger-comb, but no, that was a Herculean task. I spent hours, not two nor three nor four, to detangle just a tiny portion of hair. It was then I realised the hair needed a professional touch. It was past midnight, however, I had no choice than to send a text message to my natural hair stylist if I could come over to her lounge later in the day to get the hair deknotted. You need to feel the hair, 'o di koko bii yanma', extremely tangled. There was no more remedy from my end. On this note, I went to bed. I recall asking the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom on what to do. It just occurred to me now that contacting my stylist was His idea because it was after I prayed that it occurred to me to send her a text.

This morning, I prayed that the Lord would give my stylist the wisdom needed to demat my hair in such a way that I wouldn’t lose too much hair. Later in the day, I went to her shop and she was afraid when she saw the hair. It was a really critical case of tangling-up. She then told me that my order of applying the treatments was wrong. I should have divided the okra juice into two parts, use a part to ravel out the hair properly before washing and then apply after washing as leave-in conditioner and for final detangling. It is after that step that I ought to add the mayonnaise mix. The purpose of the mayonnaise treatment is for curl definition. That was actually what knotted up the hair. 'Emi o mo o'. I didn’t know. Glory to God anyway, I didn’t lose much hair, just the normal amount of hair you lose when you comb your hair.

Do you now see why I thanked God at the beginning for hairdressers? What can someone like me do without them?

©2016, Ayobami Temitope Kehinde

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

BODA FEMI

 
 
BODA FEMI
Growing up, we had a few kinspersons stay with us. One of them was a paternal cousin, *Boda Femi, who used to come around everytime he was not on campus. He was at the polytechnic then. He had a lot of correspondence Bible courses he was taking in those days. He was always receiving mails for them. Usually, the packages came not only with materials he needed to read to pass the tests, but some extra Christian books and booklets too. It was in one of those materials that I read about how several years back in a certain country that I cannot remember its name, because it was forbidden to have the Bible in your possession, a woman plastered bread dough around her copy and baked it to hide it from authorities that came to check her house. I remember a birthday gift he gave my older sister too. It was the book, ‘The Great Controversy.’
We were obviously fond of Boda Femi and somehow we knew he loved the Lord (he still does). We were also fascinated by his Bible courses and he was just too glad to introduce us to them. We in turn introduced the course to our landlord’s children who were in the same age range with us. Lamp and Light and World Bible School were some of the courses. I was ten or eleven when I started Lamp and Light against the publishers’ rule to not touch the programme if you were under sixteen. But I couldn’t wait till I was sixteen, and the rest of us too, I was so hungry for the Word. I suppose they made the rule like that because they thought a child below sixteen may not understand the course content. But I bet I did, I always paid all the attention in the world to read through my materials and the accompanying Scriptures before taking the tests.
Looking back now, I remember I used to experience the enveloping presence of God anytime I was studying for my tests. I didn’t know it was called God’s presence then, but I knew it was something supercool, something beyond the natural, something from God. Years later, I didn’t have peace about my claiming to be old enough to take the course and I wrote them a letter to apologise. I hope the rule has changed now because it is not all U-16 children that cannot understand spiritual matters. World Bible School course and others did not have such restrictions.
I enjoyed taking those courses and the truth is they were part of the building blocks of my foundation in Christ.
Like I pointed earlier, we were fond of Boda Femi, we loved him and really respected him (we still do, though time and distance have separated us now), we were sometimes naughty to him too. The naughty we here were my younger sister, my younger brother and myself. For example, he was speaking 'too much' English one day, maybe because we angered him or something, I can’t remember, so I quickly made up a *senwele song for him which my younger siblings backed up. We sang, danced and laughed while he shook his head for us:
Call: Boda oloyinbo de
Response: Boda oloyinbo de
Call: O fe foyinbo fo wa lori
Response: O fe foyinbo fo wa lori
All: Nigba to wa n soyinbo nko o
Wa kawa naa loyinbo
Translation
Call: English speaking brother has come
Response: English speaking brother has come
Call: He wants to use English to scatter our heads
Response: He wants to use English to scatter our heads
All: And so what, you are speaking English?
Teach us to speak English too!
And he gave me two nicknames that I didn’t like then. He would call me ‘philosopher’ each time I made my knowing comments and ‘questionnaire’ when I asked him questions. Yes, I was really a questionnaire and I dare to say I am still one. I got that from my day. My dad could ask questions!
This cousin of ours influenced us without him knowing. If only he knew God sent him to our house to be a spur for us children to seek the Lord and not give up at a time when there was little or no encouragement from home to know and love the Lord.
Boda Femi Wuyi Akinlade, today, I have chosen to call you out publicly and celebrate you. Thank you for giving to the Lord. Thank you for being an example of a child of God to us. We were quite young, but you touched us so much without even knowing. Thank you so much. May you be found in the Lord our Father till the end. The Lord will strategically position people that will positively influence your children around them too. He will teach them by Himself.
*Boda is the Yorubalised version of ‘brother’
*Senwele is a traditional Yoruba musical genre

THE GPS AND DIRECTIONS


Some months back, I needed to go to a place I was not sure of the direction to take to get there. So, I punched the address on my GPS and left my garage. But my naughty GPS would not say anything to me about where I was going. I was worried and wondering why it was quiet. I pulled up somewhere to check if I mistakenly set it to mute. No. So what was the problem with that thing? Well, I resumed driving. By this time, I was already out of the community’s gate and just as I approached the end of the driveway and was still worrying my head about whether to make a right or left turn, the GPS spoke up. Really?! “So, why did you keep your mouth shut all this while?” I asked, rolling my eyes. Okay, I can’t remember if I rolled my eyes but I most likely did.J

I was relieved it started talking at last and I continued my journey. I noticed that it was sometimes quiet and sometimes chatty. If I was on a route where there was no need for me to make a turn soon, it would be silent until I was like a half or a quarter mile away from where I had to turn. That went on and on. I therefore learnt to trust my GPS knowing that it would speak up when there was need to.

But you know something, that was a season in my life that I was at a crossroad. I needed direction about a lot of things and I needed it right there and then. I was constantly searching my spirit to see what the Lord would say, but it seemed like nothing was coming forth. Thus, I was in a way frustrated.

“Father You know I need to know what You are saying at this time. You know Your word says this and this and this and that. Please speak Lord.” I’d moan.

As I was driving and ruminating on how the GPS works, I realised God was speaking. He was teaching me about how He leads. The fact that He is silent does not mean He is not guiding. If you are on the right track and you do not need to turn to the right or to the left, He won’t say anything in that line. God’s guidance is one step at a time, one day at a time. We just have to trust Him that He will surely guide us to that beautiful end. Definitely He will speak at every junction, He will tell us where to turn to. He has promised that our teachers will no longer be hidden and that we will hear a voice from them at every crossroad to turn to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:20b). Note that those teachers might be people God has placed around you to guide you aright in a difficult time.

I am learning to trust God one day at a time, to trust that He is guiding me even when it seems like He is silent. I know He is pleased with me and that it delights Him to lead me aright always. But you know, it is sometimes difficult to be still and just trust Him. I sometimes work myself up for nothing.

Image Credit: http://electronics.toptenreviews.com/use-a-gps-to-talk-safely-while-driving.html

Monday, 31 August 2015

WEATHER TALKS


When folks do not know what to say to you and they really want to say something, they talk about the weather.
 

I was returning from my mailbox this evening and met one of my neighbours at the front of his apartment which is beside mine. Head clad with helmet, he was with another guy and they were tending to a bike. I hey-ed at them and they hey-ed back. As I held out my key to open the door, he asked a question about the weather. He asked if I knew whether the bad weather would end soon. In my head, I was thinking that the weather was not bad and that I did not watch the TV today and so had no idea of what the weather would be like the next day. I honestly did not know the right response to give him. Finally, I replied.

I don't really know.... But I do hope it gets better soon."

"I hope so too, I really do." He said, with a chuckle.

As I walked in through my door, I remembered reading in books of how people talk about weather, then the whole scenerio made sense. I simultaneously recollected how another youngman, a worker in a hotel I was once lodged in, always mentioned the weather every morning he greeted me.
 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ogun Ago. Ago War.

I remember. June 16 in 2005. It was a terribly bad day, a day that the devil collected water to drink. We were at the department and were waiting to receive a lecture when we sighted though the window a crowd of students, there was an unrest. Before we knew it, SUG excos were addressing us on the podium. Our lecturers had to send us home.

What happened? A student was reading in a class within the premises of a primary school at the same time some OPC (Odua People's Congress) members were having a meeting. I can't remember exactly what transpired between them and the student, but they started attacking the guy until they killed him. A riot ensued. Students filed to the king's palace in protest, but the king was on his people's side and even mobilised them to attack protesting students.

It was a tough battle between students and indigenes. Indigenes were going from house to house to drag out students to kill. Blood flowed. That Thursday evening, in my own hall, Bobagunwa, we all gathered together, confounded and scared stiff. I think we managed to pray. We heard gunshots from different angles. Later, we concluded we would all escape to the mini campus since indigenes were slaughtering students from house to house. But our landlord, Baba Ile Bobagunwa (pronounce it in Ijebu accent), bless his heart, pleaded with us not to go, that he would not let anyone enter the compound to attack us. The man was crying and praying. A few of my hall mates still went to the mini campus, though, but most of us stayed back at home. All along, we were in Tolulope​'s and Tosin's room. We afterwards dispersed to our different rooms.

That night, I closed my room's window. I usually left it open, but I was not going to take chances. Strangely, I slept peacefully without a single stir throughout the night and woke up at 7 in the morning I even cooked concoction and ate. When I stepped out of my room, some of my house folks were telling me they could neither sleep nor eat. That morning, I called home. It was funny they hadn't heard the news yet. We were three in my hall from our house in Abeokuta, our landlord's daughter and niece and myself. They also called home and their dad came to pick us.

When we were being driven home, we had to take the longer route. It actually was a route you don't usually take when going from Ago Iwoye to Abeokuta, but the usual route was besieged by the indigenes and we heard they were attacking anyone that passed that way. That day, I had an idea of what a war is like. Come and see students trekking enmasse from Ago Iwoye to Ijebu Ode. This is something you would never dream of doing on a normal day, trek from Ago to Ijebu Ode. We saw like four to five students with load on a motor-bike, not exaggerating, it was very bad. We all had to escape for our dear lives.

Several students died. Many parents lost their children to this war, some, all their children. A colleague who was my senior by a year in Geology was hacked to death. The school was closed for like three months before we resumed again.

 In all, I thank God for preserving our lives through the mayhem. Someone else will have a different story, I only shared my own experience.

Monday, 25 May 2015

YESTERDAY MORNING


Yesterday morning when I finished my shift, I had to arrange for an Uber cab online to get back home to the staff house. I normally trek ’cause the house is like 15-20 minutes from the office, but it was dripping and the thunders were raging. My cab arrived and I hopped in.

“Why do you look like my daughter? Are you my daughter?” went the driver.

I was amused; of course I knew he was joking. I replied I was not his daughter. Simultaneously he told his wife who he was on phone with that he had a passenger in his car that looks like Nwakaego. I could hear the woman’s voice from the loudspeaker. The name, Nwakaego, confirmed my suspicion that he was Nigerian. When I saw his name on the cab request page, I couldn’t be sure he was Nigerian because he bears Livinus, but when I entered his car and he spoke the first sentence, I knew he was my Naija broda and on mentioning Nwakaego, every doubt flew off. He asked if I was on night shift to which I replied yes. He asked which part of Nigeria I am from, I told him I’m Yoruba. He asked another question which was ambiguous. I could make from it that he wanted to know what I work as in my company or what I studied. I told him I studied Geology. Dazed, he looked back from the steering wheel.

“You, you don finish Geology?”

I smiled. “Sure. Since 2008, so I am not even a recent graduate.”

“Yeeh, and here I am thinking you’re like 21.” I smiled again. It’s so sweet to get people deceived with this cute baby look. At this point he had missed the turning to the staff house. I let him know and he blamed it on his garrulousness. He promised not to talk again when he drives. Anyway, it wasn’t too late as we found a way to connect back to the house through a parking a lot.

“Ngozi, wonders will never end. See the girl I told you look like Nwakaego, she was just telling me that she is a Geology graduate and I was thinking she is about 21….” Well, I couldn’t hear the rest of the conversation as it was time for me to drop. I bade him farewell and entered the compound. I did enjoy his petty talks, especially his surprised look when he learnt I am not a fresh graduate.

Moments later in the house, I started looking for my second phone. I recalled I dropped it in my bag when I entered the cab. I knew I entered the cab with it and didn’t drop it. I rummaged through my backpack, brought out everything in there, even searched through the wrong places. I went back to the kitchen where I was cooking, searched and searched, searched through the closet, through the bathroom, everywhere, every unlikely place. No phone.

“What happened to my phone? I dropped it in my bag now.” I whimpered.

I searched through all the places I already searched through again. No phone. It’s just like my people will say, ‘Iwakuwa la n wa nnkan to sonu’. It means you look for lost things in the most unlikely places e.g. looking for a full bag under a mattress.

I tried calling it twice from my other phone. It rang. But then I remembered I had it set to silent. The only place I could trace it to was Mr. Livinus’ car, maybe it dropped on the car’s floor when I thought I was putting it in the bag. So, I contacted Uber’s customer care and they supplied me his number. I called him. He oohed and aahed that he had picked a few passengers since he dropped me and hoped no one picked it. He asked the passengers in the car at the time to check the seat and the floor if the there was any phone there. No phone. He promised to get across to me if he found it later. I thanked him and hung up.

I was distraught but kept telling myself it was not lost and I would find it, for even though this phone does ‘skon skon’ occasionally, it is still good, and then I had important stuffs on it. I decided to switch to worship, as if I was not looking for any phone. As I worshipped, I’d stir out of bed once in a while and go back to the places I had searched. Then it occurred to me it might have dropped at the door when I was entering the house. I was by this time in my pajamas, but I couldn’t bother to change. I just criss-crossed my sleep-cover-cloth over it and went to the door. No phone still. I took a step farther to check the gate area. No phone. Then I decided to open the gate and look towards the direction where the car dropped me as the car didn’t enter the compound, I told Mr Livinus it was okay to drop me at the gate. All this while I was wondering how much of a sight I was in my sleeping clothes and cover cloth.

So I glanced towards the direction where I stepped out of the cab, and lo, there was my phone lying faceup. I quickly went over to pick it. It was there, no one had stepped on it, no car had crushed it, it only had drops of rain on it.

“Thank you sweet Holy Spirit. Thank you so much.” I chorused repeatedly. To say I was glad was an understatement. I was (and I am still) grateful.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dear Future Sweetheart

I took this video of myself a few days ago and uploaded it on YouTube. =D =D.
It is a declaration of my persuasions regarding my marriage. Please watch and be blessed.