The #HallelujahChallenge

I’m big on challenges.

Anything that makes me want to conciously do something is a welcome occurrence. I’d do a writing challenge,  a drawing challenge, a fasting challenge  sef,  if the end product includes an improved me.

It’s been 15 days since the #HallelujahChallenge began. 15 more days to go and I am certain my midnights will never be the same. I have never spent my midnights in a more productive way. Halfway through and I feel the need to document this special occurrence, that its memory may be more vivid.

I have always liked Nathaniel Bassey. I can’t tell you exactly what it is that drew me to him; his deep resonating worded songs, which reflected his love for God, or the way they are expressed in the most calming melodies in praise and worship. Or maybe because he somehow reminded me of my uncle Chidiegwu, who shared similar qualities with him ranging from their disarming smile to their disciplined servitude to God. I don’t know Nathaniel personally, but I know my uncle, and some how I am convinced that they are genuine and goals.

Now is a good time to appreciate everyone who shared a post, publicising the #Hallelujahchallenge. It was enough to encourage me to join in and I have loved the experience entirely.

I understand that there have been misreadings of what the Hallelujah Challenge is, and I believe now is also a good time to explain in my own words what it is to me. The convener, Nathaniel Bassey,  by inspiration scheduled June as a month of praise and worship to God. For one hour every day in June, between midnight and 1am, Christians are joined in praise and worship via an Instagram and Facebook Live feed (pros of technology). The guiding Bible text  is from the book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 16 verse 25 and 26, with additional readings from the book of Psalms (Psalm 150, Psalm 147,Psalm 149) It was originally a local bred assembly but with the ubiquitous nature of social media, Christians all over the world have keyed into this exercise and you know what they say about where two or more gather in the name of God- The blessings and the testimonies have been profound.

As a christian, I have always been fascinated with praise and worship to God. Not because I am fantastic at it but because it is the one thing and only thing God requires from me. He said if i wont praise him, he is able to raise rocks and stones to sing in my place, and never will I let a rock cry out in my place. He is more than worthy of whatever praise I can muster and so I shall go over and beyond any chance I get to render my praise. I have been enthralled by the Olowogbogboro, the God whose hands are mighty to save, the one who is able to turn situations suddenly, just like that! And I have been acquainted with the soothing melodies and the fulfillment of Kaestring‘s “He is here”(That’s Lowkey an anthem now, can’t explain the pump in my spirit when it comes on!)

Of course like all good things, there have been criticisms  on why we (hello every one of the 70k plus streaming and praising!) are doing what we are doing, so it is important to educate these naysayers a little. They say subscribing to the Hallelujah challenge is not the solution to the problems in our country, Nigeria, nor a cure for our collective hypocrisy. I’d like to inform the people of such school of thought that It is not a revival to bring about any change in the country, or a miracle wreaking crusade of any such. It’s like when I do a writing challenge or a drawing challenge, I want to consciously rise up at midnight for 30 days to sing praises, and worship my God whom I think is deserving of even more. It’s not my job to fix Nigeria with my praise and worship. It’s our collective responsibility to do so (with that hardwork you people prescribe) at a time which has not been set apart for something greater. After all, prior to this challenge, I either spent my midnights fast asleep or chugging down alcohol or something even more unproductive. It’s not like I am expending anybodys mahour.

If miracles happen and prayers are answered along the way, it’s only as a by-product of my exercise..and not the core reason why I do what I am doing.

I don’t even get why anyone would have a reservation to the #HallelujahChallenge.

Is it really a bad thing that people, who share a common faith are rising to praise without the barrier of denomination and “my pastor said”??

If you have not been joining the exercise and praise is what you do,i.e you are interested, trust me, it’s a refreshing way to spend an hour. If for nothing, I have become a brighter morning person (I have always been a morning person but it definitely has become cheerier!)

The instagram handle is @Nathanielblow, and the Facebook page is Nathaniel Bassey. Remember what I said about Nathaniel being disciplined, his live feeds are set in such a way that at exactly an hour it ends. So you don’t have to worry about losing too much sleep. I usually catch an hour or two before midnight and the rest after. If you would like to join but have difficulties waking, you can send me a message, I’d love to be your alarm.

Let us give thanks and praises to the Lord, for he is good and his mercies endures forever!

Jemjem.

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One Nigeria.

Before I went to bed last night, my friends uncovered something that may have been evident to even more people. It was clearly beyond speculations.

Nigeria’s celebrated artiste Innocent Idibia aka 2 baba, formerly 2face, had spread word about organising a peaceful protest/march in the metro cities of Lagos and Abuja,Nigeria on Monday 6th of February, 2017(today). The aim of this protest was/is to demand good governance, Accountability and efficiency from our leaders.

However, on the morning of Sunday 05th February, 2017, 2face (my preferred of his names) released a video retreating from anchoring the march. In his words “… the intent of the march is not worth the life of any Nigerian…”

He was evidently looking harassed and upset, but I assumed it was because of the lack of support and interference of ignorant  (if I do say so myself) Nigerians and law enforcement agencies.

It was until a picture from a wedding he performed at the day before (saturday) that it became clear, obvious that he was bullied into backing down.

And na there I come vex.
There are so many things wrong with Nigeria, and I am tired of blaming it on the leaders alone. It is stark evident that the issue with this country is more about the people than the anything else.

How does someone stand up to do what is right, and long overdue and you applaud his efforts but undermine his suitability as a frontman because of his personal life decisions which affect his sense of social and political  judgement in no way?

My (Our) theory is that he was picked up by the law enforcers (hence the non-outfit change) and threatened some more.

If Nigerians weren’t feeble and feckless, maybe he would have called their BS and still championed on today. Alas,we are who we are. If not that I haven’t lived anywhere else to base my judgement on fact, I’d have said that we were made up of a bunch of Judases in this country.

I am glad people still showed up in those cities and made their voice heard.

He who has ears, let them hear.

Shame on all the police men who were in the way of expression. Denying democratic citizens of their right.

Shame on all the sleazy politicians who had a thing or two against the protest to say. If it is not pinching you, Sir, IT IS PINCHING US! if you don’t know what we are talking about, we made a list for example;

And you know how back in school, the example was always the easy stuff. Same here o! Same theory applies to this our little list.

A revolution cannot happen until we change our lipservice ways as citizens of Nigeria. A revolutionary also is not signing up to be a saint, there is no need to condemn his flaws and disrespect his mission on that account.

I’m tired of being Nigerian, can you tell?

And even worse, those IPOB jokers are brewing fantasies. Ugh!

Aluta Continua.Pro Unitate!

Jemjem