Please, who is not going to Canada?

It’s an exodus. At least twice in a week, I hear of someone who is either about to travel or is already processing his papers. Everyone is migrating to Canada. People are resigning, whole families uprooting themselves and replanting their homes in Canada.

I am sure your firm has felt the weight too, the weight of Nigeria’s future dragging their talents and skills to Canada. But this is not a rant about ‘brain drain’ and its unfavorable effects. I am not even about to tell you not to move to Canada- no, I don’t have the right. You should go, if you feel the need to go. We are all looking for greener pastures. I can only pray that the journey is favorable for you- like Isaac in Gerar or the sons of Jacob who sought bread in Egypt. May none of us take the kind of trip Elimelech took that made his wife want to change her name from ‘full’ to ‘bitter’.

My real concern is with those of us who are staying behind. If you do not have relocation plans, grab a seat and a drink, let’s talk. The way I see it, this is our opportunity. It looks like Nigeria has nothing to offer but this exodus is offering us plenty. If you look closely, you’ll observe that all these resignations are creating job opportunities for those left behind. This is the perfect time for that career upgrade you have been desiring. Get that extra degree, take that course, finish that programme, repackage that CV, the land is about to turn really green. I believe there is nothing worse than begging God to open new doors only for the doors to meet you unprepared. I see a rain of opportunities for people who understand the times.

This is our chance to improve our lives and our country. It looks like our best skills are boarding the place to Canada, but it means there is room for new experts. This is the time for you to hone your skills till you become the new ‘most sought after’ in your field.

It is also a wakeup call for those of us who do not have the means or desire to leave. Our families and investments are here, we cannot afford to see this country fall. Travail for Nigeria on your knees, but by all means get your PVC too. Don’t just discuss about politics, get involved, do your part.
We can birth the new Nigeria, this exodus can become our turning point- if we choose to. Take a stance, then take some steps, do everything you can.

God bless Nigeria.

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

Help! I’m not mommy enough

I doubt that anyone can be adequately prepared for motherhood and the avalanche of emotions and responsibilities it throws your way. The appellation ‘mommy’ can fill your heart with love to bursting and your mind with apprehension all at once.

Except you are one of those selense mommies I see at the hospital when I take my burrito for immunization. They look like they just stepped out of a style magazine, face beaten to perfection, nails on fleek, smelling like fifth avenue, dresses intensely ironed clinging to their revenge bodies. Melanin or yellow face, everything is popping. The amazing part is their babies are equally gorgeous, rounded cheeks on perfect faces, ‘aww’ worthy any day. Those mommies are many at church too. They have a hang of the whole situation, or at least they appear to. These kind of scenarios just make me tell myself ‘B, see your life outside’.

I love my baby to bits and will choose to be her mommy over and over again but I cannot lie, this mommy thing is hitting me left, right and center, taking everything I have. I am that mommy that always has the ‘I need a bed’ look. It has become normal for me to forget my earrings at home or turn up late almost everywhere. Usually, the only thing commendable about me is my baby.

Recently I had it really bad, I was more tired than alive. People were asking if I was alright and my face was breaking out in pimples- a sure sign of stress. I needed help, a vacation, a break- something. Carrying all my burdens on my shoulders, I dragged myself to church that evening. It was there it hit me, I am supposed to cast my cares not count them. Indeed, nothing had come my way that I could not handle, I had just shifted focus from the source of my strength. Little wonder I was drowning in stress.

An aunt who is a mother to three adorable girls had told me when I just had my baby. Motherhood gets crazy, between your baby and your husband, it’s going to seem like you are always on demand. If you keep giving of yourself without taking back, you will sooner than later burn out. No matter how busy or how urgent it gets, never forget to draw strength from the lord. Listen to a song that helps you connect, find a verse to meditate on, have a message playing on your phone- just somehow make sure you are touching God all through your day. He’ll show you short cuts and hacks that can make it easy. He’ll give you quick solutions and renew your strength. He’ll help you enjoy your baby and your husband. You cannot do it by yourself.

Truer words were never said. A drained woman makes a clumsy mother, a clumsy mother makes a cranky baby, a cranky baby makes a frustrated father and it all comes back to the mother. Looks like my mother is right again- a home is only as happy as the woman.

Dear mommy, young or old, stop trying so hard, stop feeling so empty. Let the lord cover you with his warmth, let him wrap his love around you, let him satisfy you within. When you understand this truth and touch its reality, you will be able to testify- I can do all things through Christ!


Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

Come and carry your fan

I used to be that girl who’s never hot. Like literally, all day every day, December, February, May or August, Girl’s not hot. Girl’s never hot. Until I got pregnant. Then I understood the true meaning of heat and its many stages. From the type that will make you slightly uncomfortable to the type that will make you want to pull off your skin to the ultimate one that makes you feel like you swallowed a hot plate- heat is not merciful. That’s another reason why no one should aspire to go to hell.

So, in my constantly hot state, I was to spend some time with my parents. My mum, having walked the road before knew exactly how I felt and got a fan installed in my room, to complement the AC. Oh, the gloriousness of it- entering that constantly cool room after the insanely hot showers I always craved. That fan was perfect. And even when there was no power, it would work for hours, as if it understood my plight and was committed to keeping me cool.

Long after I had the baby and moved back home to my husband, we needed to replace the fan in our room. There was no thinking necessary, I knew what fan brand and type to buy. It had to be my faithful pregnancy fan. I had even recommended it to another family before, helped them order it and they were enjoying its cooling wonders. So, I didn’t hesitate to order my own from the same source.

Amazingly, my fan arrived and although it looked the same and seemed to work the same, its rechargeable function refused to work. Oh, this should be the part where I mention that when I could not wait for Mr A to find time to couple the fan for me, I did it myself. And I was super proud when it seemed to be working well, except for the charge function. So, I called the suppliers- come and pick your fan, it is not charging. They tried to pick it at least three times, but we could not agree on a convenient time for both parties. I concluded we would have to fix it ourselves.

One hot Saturday, Mr A finally got a chance to look at the fan. He wanted to check the battery, so we could know what type to buy. Amazing what he discovered, the battery had been fine all along, I had just not connected it well. We had endured weeks of heat, disturbed the fan suppliers and all just because I didn’t plug something in properly. If I had only waited for Mr A to couple the fan, or at least double check my super woman work, I could have speared us the whole experience. To think of all the blame I had erroneously piled on the fan and the supplier- when the fan had been perfect all along.

I just couldn’t help but establish a link, to all those times I had complained, lamented, endured things I had no business enduring all because I couldn’t wait a little for the one who knows all to guide me. It’s akin to wondering through VI looking for a street with a Yoruba name among the gazillion streets with cute Yoruba names when you could easily have checked the map on your phone. My mother always said time spent in prayer is never wasted. Historians speak of President Lincoln who prayed longer before starting the busiest days. 10 minutes can save the day. 20 minutes can make the difference. That one hour could be the saving grace. I must never be too busy to pray. It must never be too urgent for prayer.  At my smartest, my wisdom is like filthy rags before him. At my fastest, my day is still like a thousand years before him. He will always be faster, always be better, always be perfect. Very humbling, but very true.

Now I know, I shouldn’t be worried about how long I have to wait for Him to move or speak, I should rather be grateful that no matter how long it takes, He’s always more than worth the wait.


Photo by Jess Watters from Pexels

Letter to my Daughter…

They say pregnancy is the only time you fall in love with someone you’ve not met. Perhaps they are right. Or maybe not. I feel like I met you way before the scrub clad nurse brought you to me, announcing in her happiness laced high pitched voice- madam see your baby.

Yes, it was the first time I would see your pretty face with its little features, the first time I would hear your squeal, but we both know we have known each other long before that moment. From the very first day a tiny piece of paper announced your presence in my tummy, I knew I would not hesitate to give everything to see you be. And it almost took everything. In the months that followed, there were many days when the tiny flutter of your movement was the only reason I survived. The story of your gestation and birth is so long and juicy, I cannot now and here tell it.  Just remember that while I travailed to give you life, you gave me life in more ways than one. You are God’s gift to me, an unmissable proof of His faithfulness to me, evidence that His word is true, an assurance that He is interested in my life. You are my miracle, my sign and wonder and I can’t recover from my amazement that you are here and you are mine.

That is why I cannot take chances where you are concerned.  Whatever it takes, I must see to it that you turn out right. So, on a daily basis I beg God to help me be the mother you deserve. One that is not afraid to let you fly yet keeps you close where it counts. One you can count on to tell you the truth yet feel close enough to talk to about anything. I want to smother you with love without denying you your right to be disciplined. I want your body to be accustomed to my hugs, your ears to my whispers and your butt to my rod of correction. I hope you grow to see home as a place where you always have a place, a place where you are priority but I also hope that the discipline you learn at home will guard your decisions. I want to discover the many flavours of you, the little peculiarities that make you unique, I want to fan the flames of your passion, give wings to your dreams and platform to your talent yet I want to show you the way to walk in.

I want your confidence to be sky high and your humility to be sea deep. I want you to know the value of people but also the beauty of leading an independent life. I want to shield you from harm, yet I want you to know the wisdom that comes from rising after a fall. I want to buy you the best of everything there is but I also want you to understand that things are just things and your self-worth is not dependent on the label on your shirt. I want you to grow up without bounds, free to display your intelligence and draw from your bright mind yet I want you to understand boundaries and the wisdom of obedience. I am certain you will thrive at formal education, standing out like the proverbial gold fish but I also hope you are not defined merely by the degrees under your belt. I hope you discover other abilities, question norms, set new trail without neglecting the ancient land-marks. I hope you do not skip over your childhood, I hope you enjoy every phase there is to growth but I also want your hands to touch your dreams in good time, I want to kick away everything called delay on your path.

Your smile, still toothless, warms my heart, it is so effective it can make the worst day great, the grimmest place heaven. I hope to continually see your smile, be the reason behind the smile but I also know I will sometimes make you cry, disciplining you to ensure you someday shine.

We will learn together, grow together and by God we will triumph. You will exceed my expectations, surpass my dreams. You will take the wisdom we offer and blend it with your essence to produce a flavour too divine for us to imagine. Just know on those days when my voice is stern and face is set that there is nothing you can do that can deplete my love store for you. Your sheer existence is enough to make my day, anyday and I can never run out of love for you.

It’s been five months since you arrived and our journey is only starting. I look forward to the journey ahead.  A life where I am your mother.

For Kikiara, held by the everlasting arms.