(Not) Bucket list 

I was thinking today about all the many things I’d love to do, but may not. Then I decided to do this could-have-been-bucketlist-but-its-not bucket list, which is really a list of all the things that would be on my list if I didn’t have certain phobias holding me back.

Skydiving/Bungee jumping

I have a pathetic fear of heights. I still catch my breath when I’m in the elevator (this may also be a combined reaction of claustrophobia and acrophobia). You won’t catch me on a pirates ship, or roller coaster of any kind. I daydream about skydiving or bungee jumping but that’s all it ever is. I’m afraid that by the time I get to the other side my heart would have stopped beating.

Zip lining

This is very much similar to my skydiving ambitions. As long as I don’t look down, this should go well, but what are the odds?

Car-racing

I come from a family of wannabe speedracers. I mean that cartoon was a general favourite for years in the house (♪hums the speed racer theme song♪). In as much as this bit of information is revealing my age bracket, I also recently took driving lessons (yes, finally!) And can now legitimately dream of that wide open space harmless car race. I’m a better passenger than a driver though, so there…another unlikely dream.

Run for office (any office)

I am as uninterested in politics as they come. I hate large crowds. I have stage frights. I don’t suck up to people. I am always intrigued by straitjacket law abiding people (notice how I avoided saying I enjoy breaking rules) but when I’m in that my small sphere of management, I make a good leader (if I do say so myself), and if I was remotely interested in politics running for an office, even if it’s just to piss off the opponent, would be a brilliant idea.

Surfing

After watching 50 first dates, my sisters and I discovered my father’s “Beach Boys” CD…and then I fell in love with the idea of surfing. Only problem with that idea is I can’t swim (I plan to learn eventually) and at the slightest wave while I’m at a beach, I’m scurrying to safety (because I can’t swim, duh!) Good thing Beach Boys only sang about surfing in the USA, as long as I remain in Naija, I’m good.

xxxx

Jem

Black Privilege

The white community a.k.a Wypipo are most often than not bashed for being beneficiaries to “white privilege”.

Especially with the likelihood of them to be absolved or get lighter judgements on the crimes they commit,  there is also the part where they are treated superior to the authorities/owners of the land where they go to serve as Expatriate. This is the stereotype that gets thrown around a lot.

It was only until an incident a couple of days back that I realised that it is not all bad. 

My people have a proverb that translates that

 “It takes a whole village to raise  a child”

I had joined it in the same bracket as their inability to mind their business, but i saw it in a different light when I heard a certain story, totally random and so deep.

A certain teenage girl had become withdrawn and uncommunicative with her parents. As a result, there was no knowing what the matter really was. Another neighbour who had no social relationships per se with the childs parents observed this change in the childs mannerisms as well, bit because there was no formal acquaintanceship, she felt it too forward to go and share her findings. 

She however noticed that everytime the child was on her way to school, a car pulled up and picked her. She didnt pay so much attention to it as she considered it “good samiritan” behaviour. However as it became too often and pick-up-site precise, she was curious as to the safety of the child.

Opportunity for her to make a difference in the life of the child presented itself when she was in the neighbourhood mart, picking random items for herself when she overheard the childs mother lamenting her daughters recent misbehaviour. The minute she heard ‘truancy’ and ‘absent in school’, she apologised and jumped into the conversation. It definitely explained the car pick-ups.

She was able to share it with the mother who confronted the child and learnt that she was being hoodwinked by  an older boy to pursue lofty dreams and aspirations. It was a lesson to the parents to pay attention to their childs interests more but it got me thinking…

Had that been a white community where everyone respects everyones space “till it spoils”, the mother would have never been approached and fed the details of her childs misdemeanour. The child may have even run from the house by this time.

But, Black people being who we are, we are unable to see something around us and keep it to ourselves. 

Sometimes this is bad, but it has most of the time brought comfort because you know no matter how off gear you tether, someone is watching your back for free.

Now thats Black Privilege.

 Peace and Love,

Jemjem.

1st Hand Musings.

One of the characteristics of growing up in a traditional /conventional family in eastern Nigeria is that your faith gets handed over to you.

You grow up professing a faith that you never (hardly) quite got the chance to choose. if like me you were born in an Anglican home, you were baptised as an infant and when older, got confirmed and became able to partake in the Eucharist.

Then maybe, by mingling with a pentecostal crowd you got influenced to do an  adult baptism because somehow, your infancy disqualified the baptism you already got.

In the past months, I have caught myself in conversations that pertain professions of faith and religion . There was the voicenote series by NikNak.Co, that discussed random views on faith and how they came about (or lost) their faith.

There was also Mr Deinbofa at the last TEDxPort Harcourt, who discussed the complexities,or simplicity,  depending on your point of view, of faith.

Among my Christian brethren, there is always this attitude to “poach”(for want of a better description) members of another congregation to another. I don’t particularly find  it offensive but I have my reservations on why you would assume that I am illfit for the congregation I have chosen, and the congregation “you” chose for “yourself” would be a goodfit. Is that not already an encroachment on my freewill and a judgement on my choices (I know it’s not that deep, but it could  be).
So if I feel so strongly of people from a similar faith, “harassing” me with invitations, imagine how non-Christians feel about our badgering. I asked myself for the first time, If I wasn’t born Christian and had to be introduced to the faith, would I adopt it?

Fortunately I answered  yes! 😁

The Christian faith, as I have come to grow in it, and understand is about companionship. The one reason why God created Man, and created Woman.

God didn’t create us for praise and worship, the angels were/are already doing that. But for the communion with man, he made us. He didn’t create woman to fill the earth He had made with offsprings , He could have also done that  without the procreation of man and woman. At Christ’s return and our redemption, we may be yet returned to this masterplan.

The masterplan of loving, accepting and upholding one another.

The Christian faith is not about prospering in adversity, or being more than a conqueror. These are innate characteristics wont to manifest with or without your acknowledgment. The Christian faith is about Love, the very essence of God, and loving only the way God can.

As a Christian, I am not ignorant of the great commission; to speak and spread and share the gospel (which is absolute good news) to every corner of the earth. I also know that the great commision said nothing of enforcing the gospel as law.

When God gave us freewill, He who knows the end from the beginning knew exactly what would play out from events. I have a few “logical” questions that popped up at this point, but faith is not about logical.

Which explains why people’s faith and beliefs are sensitive matters to dabble with. Conversion, Reversion and whatever other verb changes in religion are described with,  we must learn to be more tolerant of other people’s faith.

Live and let live.

Tolerance is not acceptance. Be grateful for peaceful coexistence .

If someone practices a faith different from yours, it us  NOT your place to condemn them to damnation. It is however your place to pray for them and inspire them to adopt your faith as theirs by being a living example of the goodness of your God.
I know a couple of people who grew up Christian and turned to Islam.  They are also much better people than they were as Christians. I am fascinated to no end about this, I want to have long conversations with them (which is mostly because I want to feed my inquistion) but I can hardly engage them so much because we are barely acquainted…lemme not rub someone the wrong way.

This life remains a personal race. selah

Peace  and love,

Jemem.

A Dying but Necessary Occupation. 

I am one of those people who type in retardese for fun.

I am also one of those people who get irked when people type retardese to me when I am writing normal intelligent English.

Let’s just say I like to eat my cake and have it.

Or maybe I’m irked only because I don’t know you well enough to tell if this is how you type for real for real, or you are just having informal conversation.

However, in supposedly formal documents and articles, I find that retardese and other informal lingua is steady making its way to our pages.

There’s also the disaster of misspellings and inappropriate use of tenses (I’m trying to avoid saying bad grammar here).

For example, I once received an invitation to a seminar that read “Your invited…” instead of “You are..” and this is not a solitary case. It’s fast becoming a popular case. And my eyes bleed when I see these things.

Growing up, I once saw a job opening ad on a newspaper for a proofreader. I didnt know what it was or meant at the time, so I asked my Dad to explain what it meant to be a proofreader. I was way younger and unqualified,  but I remember thinking that it would be a fun responsibility to have.

Unfortunately I don’t think that’s a thing anymore. Being addressed as an editor is a more glamorous title. Besides with the rise in freelance journalism, writing and blogging, we seem to have convinced ourselves that passion to get the job done is more important than accurate content.who grammar epp?  The urgency of real time publications and updates hardly leave enough time for “skimming throughs” and “proofreading” so we have error-prone articles to serve.
I’m older and maybe informally qualified,  but I’d really love to proofread your articles for you. Because I know there will be many like me who share in my agony. I am volunteering to be the proofreading martyr. If you ever need help in that regard, I’m your guy.

Send me an email ☺

Peace & Love,

Jemjem. 

Adventures of a Trot.

I took a pill in Ibiza to show Avicii I was cool.
Lies.
Of course I didn’t.
Say No to drugs!
I didn’t even go close to Ibiza.

I went on vacation recently with my friends. One of us got married and had planned a vacation wedding.
The timing was near perfect.
Near perfect because the economic challenges were at an all time high.
Near perfect because the chaos we were having to deal with as a nation were nearing unbearable. we needed the respite.
I spent about 9 days away and after my return, while I sat down waiting for my local transport,  it occurred to me that I didn’t do anything particularly new.
I don’t kid myself to believe that I am adventurous, but I’m not entirely frigid.
I am open to new experiences in a manner of saying.
So, the significant new things I tried was go on the Indian ocean  (which was breathtakingly beautiful) (when I am wealthier I am going to have fellowship in the middle of there, worshipping God for the beauty of his works seems so much realer! ) and drink Swahili tea( which is basically regular English tea with spices , but those spices up its game!!!)
At another time (when I am not waiting in the airport) I will give a detailed animated relay of my journey.
For now, I’ll share this picture with y’all…

image

Thats my gospel for today.
Peace and love,
Jemjem.

I Don’t wanna be a Valentine Grinch no mo’

Every relationship is basically a system that requires the act of giving and receiving.
Primarily you give love and receive love in return.
You give support and receive back uncompromising support. What is a relationship that is not a support system?
its almost Valentine O’ clock,and like clockwork, the bug has been set loose. There is the “tension” to not be left out in the spirit of the season.
There are the fabulous gift ideas, entertainment shows, sales promotions and giveaways to mark the celebration.
image

Personally, i am not a fan of Valentines day. I would even take it up a notch and say i am like the Grinch who stole Valentines day or even the Ebenezer  Scrooge of Valentines day but, giving is my forte, and I love to give every chance i get.
A good number of well meaning people are stuck in a rut of indecisiveness. They are unable to decide what to get their significant other to express their love for them. And because I feel bad for their plight,  I am sharing these few tips that have always helped me in gifting in the past. I am hoping at the end of reading this, it will have helped you come to a decision. So, Here goes –

1, Have a Plan ; Gifting is an art. And like every art, you dont just wake up one day and become exceptional at it. Even talented people like me required a couple of trials to get it right sometimes. Planning in gifting requires you to put a time frame and a number to your gift ideas. if you are like me and you plan on gifting your friends/colleagues/family as well as your significant other, it is wise to put down these names in a list, just so you do not miss out on anyone important. if its just the Boo (Boo and Bae are such catchy slangs,I cant help using them, forgive me) you plan on gifting, then there, your list is done. Now comes the part where you have to put timimg into consideration. If you plan on placing orders, be it an online buy, or a Cake order, you need to consider the time it would take your item to be delivered and give at least two days extra, to avoid dissappointments of any sort. most Bakers require at least three days notice on their orders. Please, dont call them a day before and expect a miracle.unless you will settle for “across the counter goodness”. On the bright side, some of them dont taste so bad, but is that what you would prefer?

2,Have a Budget; Please Valentines Day is not enough reason to break the bank. Your gift ideas should basically be inspired by what you can afford. Dont give in to the whims and cues of the lover, if it is certainly something you cannot afford at the time. Dont give in to the pressures of social media and advertising. As long as you plan on being generous, please ensure that you come up with a budget and that you stick to it.

3,Pay attention to details; This is the chief trick in gifting. people have various interests and things that catch their fancy. In the time that you have known this person, you should pay attention to what they are easily excited about and incorporate it into your gift ideas. it could even save you a buck or two, because some people have really simple tastes. Try to make Purchases in their favourite colours, and in stuff they are interested in. It might be new music, it might be in shows, books, electronic gadgets, whatever. Try to recognise this. Feed their Vanity. Feed their Spirituality. Mostly its the little things that count the most. You might buy them ordinary earphones, but because you got them in their favourite colour, they are absolutely blown away. it might be a collection of music from her best artiste. It could even be in you remembering her flower preference of Lilies to Roses.

4, Dont be Cheap; working with a budget does not mean that you settle for the cheapest thought that crosses your mind and hide under the guise that “its the thought that counts”. Yes Sir! (Sir does not have gender 😒) you are actually right, it is the thought that counts, and you are thinking “this wont cost me much.” thats why that gift is unacceptable. Unless your thoughts are more like “this is what i can really afford.” then , you have my blessings.
Be generous in your gifting. Gifts are actually meant to cost you something, thats the intrinsic value to the gift.

There, I shared my top gifting secret, and now y’all owe me gifts.
Bose earphones.
Wii.
Thats it. Im nice enough to make it simple and not keep you guessing. I’ll be waiting for the delivery.
I hope you have a Happy Valentines day guys!
image
This will most likely be me on Valentine’s 😊😊😊

Peace & L❤ve
Jemjem.

Who needs a Resolution?

Happy new year guys.

At the start of a new year, it’s expedient that one does a commemorative post, aimed at getting ones bubbles frothing and the hopes piling.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year. Same as last year.
But I already know in my subconscious that there are unspoken resolutions which are not seeing the daylight or passing my lips because of fear. The good news though, in spite of the absence of a resolution,  I have goals to meet. I have made goals and I have made plans on how to achieve them.
In spite of last year being a year of lessons for a good number of us, those were lessons that needed to be learnt. And now that they are out of the way, we can go ahead and implement and make good of all those lessons.
I have no demons pending. I left them all in 2015. That year, I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. But this bit bothers me, because it makes like I am dwelling too much in the past.
Ah well, dwell on it much as I may, past it remains.
As much as possible in 2016, make it a point to be an epistle for God. Reflect the God you believe in with your actions. Actions speak louder than words; It makes sense every time I hear those words.
Jesus is coming soon (it doesn’t matter how soon) ,stay ready.

It birthday month too (Yaaay!!!!🎉🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊🎉🎉🎉) and I am proud to say I’m an old woman now (who wants to marry, please?) There are no plans per se, as per it’s a weekday. But it’s a Wednesday…yaaas! And there will be cake. But you have to see me, to eat of it. I will not be mailing any piece to anybody. I’m expecting presents too. Unu adikazi cheap in this country 😧- show up, eat and go…be warned..I’ll bounce you ☺

It’s ok to ignore the previous paragraph. Focus fire guns,we all need somebody to lean on. On being that person you have always admired as a kid. If you are anything near my age, you are now that adult kids admire. Give them something worth their while which is why I block them when I find them following me on any social media😏. Be memorable. Slay. And most importantly have fun in 2016. Haven’t you been morose enough already 😟??

Peace & lolololool…

😆😆😆😆😆

God bless us in 2016!