This post is dedicated to my Sista. I was going to do a post last year for her birthday but I never got round to doing it. Last year November I was doing daily or almost daily Post on the many things I was Thankful for. I wonder what happened this year. Today is Thanksgiving Day and today my Sister is a year older. Happy Birthday Sista.
My Sista is my best mate. Even though we are several hundreds of thousand miles apart from each other we communicate everyday. Our spouses allow us have our space and try not to figure out the 'fights' and the arguments we seem to have every now and then. I guess they just spice up the relationship. My Sista and I were in Uni together and we lived together for 2 years before she left school. Our roomies also learnt very early to stay clear of our heated arguments on all things from money( I was always borrowing and not returning at agreed terms or time) , clothes, food, boys, friends, or whose turn it was to make hot cocoa for the three blind mice( Shout out to all D43 roomies) for as the arguments started so did it always fizzle out. She has on many occasion said to people, don't forget she is my Sista anyway...
My Sista is a good woman, a loving mother and wife and a WWTBP(Writer Waiting To Be Published)
For as long as I can remember my Sista has been writing. She has nothing published yet but that doesn't mean she is not good at it. She is work in progress and she keeps getting better everyday.She just needs to keep at it. Meeting Christain Writer over summer was a good experience for her. We still keep referring to the meeting and conversations anytime we talk about writing.I have watched her set writing goals for herself. She is more determined to meet those goals and set bigger ones. She is currently doing an internship and constantly seeking experiences that will improve her writing. I just would like to re-affirm my total commitment to reading everything you write. I also will always be there to chat and talk on the phone about competitions and all sorts. I pledge my allegiance to this writing mission and I know there will be a paragraph with my name on the acknowledgement page some day soon.
Enjoy your day and Happy Thanksgiving.
Lets sing that our song again... Always Sisters , Always Friends. Lets Stay real close to the end. Loving each other... Always Sisters , Always Friends.
In a couple of minutes it will be 1st October . Nigeria would have gained independence from the British colonial masters for 48 years. I don't want to begin to go into the details of all that isn't working. What worries me is the way in which we all are part of the problem in tiny aspects of our lives.We are all reflecting the decay in our very fibre as human beings. The fact that we all pretend not to see the log in our eyes while we try to point out the speck in other people's eyes.
Yardua isn't acting fast enough for us all. We all complain about what other people need to be doing differently but never once acknowledge the role we play in all of this.The situation is getting worse by the day and instead of addressing the issues we develop coping mechanisms. When we started having problems with power supply. We pretended it wasn't our issue. We all bought generators. We even had fancy names for them 'I better pass my neighbour'. That very name itself shows how shallow we all are. The noise pollution and the air pollution affects us all not just your neighbour dud!
Sadly we also don't have statistics to show how many lives we have lost to carbon fumes from these generators. I know of a colleague whose cousin, a lawyer in his mid 30s died earlier this year from fumes from his generator which he chained to the balcony of his flat.
The roads are becoming death traps. Pot holes both natural ( due to wear and tear and poor maintenance culture) and man made( these are very popular in Lagos. ) what did we do as Nigerians? We started buying 4wds. We even have hummers in the streets of Lagos. Some households have more than one Jeep.Check out Lekki environs in the rainy season where you need to literally swim out of your house to get to work. I would suggest that we start buying boats and canoes to navigate the murky flood waters of Lekki in the next rainy season instead or DEMANDING that the canals be cleared and those who have built on the waterways be penalised and have their buildings removed. (PS: The flood is not limited to Lekki alone)
The standards of education also started falling. The Universities were mostly on strike in my days ( I spent 10 years from getting in to the university and getting called to Bar . I know what I'm talking about and my Father couldn't afford to send me or any of my siblings to UK or US from his Lecturer job. Why? His take home couldn't take him home. ASUU lol)
We decided to have private schools for all levels. We now have private universities that are run like personal empires with all sort of rules and regulations. All you need to set up a school in Lagos is a fancy building and some name dropping. This brings me to the crux of this post.
The PTA at my son's school was on Saturday. I'm a very new parent in the school, just about 3 weeks old. I had noticed earlier that there were flyers and posters with names of candidates displayed on the Notice Board. It reminded me of my days in Awo Hall. I wondered why all that was necessary for PTA Election at a Primary School. I was reliably informed by an older parent that the PTA Elections were usually a big deal with manifestos and campaigns. I was excited and determined to experience the whole shebang by attending the meeting. I didn't know any of the contestants. I was going to make my mind up based on what they would say to us at the meeting.
I got to the meeting late but thankfully the many agenda of the day was not yet on the table. We had the audited account of the previous administration. That received a lot of comments but all that was neither here nor there. Then the Excos stepped down and the Electoral Committee took stage. They introduced the candidates. Most of the offices were uncontested or one of the other candidates stepped down for the more popular candidate. The only office contested then was that of the Chairman of the PTA. We had the good fortune of having 2 lawyers who claimed to be friends and have worked together in the same Law Office before each going on to other things contesting for the Chairmmanship position. One was a more popular candidate and obviously was tipped to win the election.
We listened to both speak to us for about 3 minutes each. Both had 'good' ideas but they have to focus on improving the PTA and the BOM (Board of Management) relationship so they can achieve all the lofty goals. BOM( Board of Management the school is a trust school) need to trust the PTA. The PTA and the BOM apparently have a strained relationship.
The drama began when it was announced that voting will be by secret ballot instead of open ballot by show of hand as stated in the constitution. In fact on of the candidates said his 1st assignment would be to amend the constitution in retrospect so the election we would be conducting that afternoon would be valid. I found that very strange thankfully I wasn't alone. Objections were raised as to why we should be considering having a secret ballot when the Constitution was clear about the way to vote.
All sort of reason were given the most interesting of them all was ,'so we do not cause bad blood, the contestants are all our friends and we don't want them knowing I voted for one instead of the other. There are people who don't want them to know who they voted for. Its in the interest of our children'
I couldn't believe my eyes or my ears. what bad blood? what gossips? what are these people going on about? Are we not supposed to be voting for the Chairman of PTA at a primary school. Why do we do these things? If at that level in a school hall on a Saturday afternoon people were ready to influence the votes and bend the rules because we can't just be honest and do the right thing? They were going to break the law abuse our constitution at the PTA because of sentimental rubbish. The said things like The Law is made for man and not Man for the Law.
I expressed my views howbeit on top of my voice as it was almost impossible to get a chance to speak if you were not supporting the secret ballot. I also encouraged those around me to speak up and call that we boycott the voting if we were not going to do the right thing. The Lady sitting beside me a new parent also was convinced secret ballot was what the constitution said and not show of hand . I explained to her it was the other way round. She immediately joined in the shout calling for an open ballot as stated in the constitution. Needless to say we got our wish and the election was by show of hand.
After the elections we all stood outside in groups discussing all that transpired. I explained to those who cared to listen that if the General Assembly didn't want open ballot anymore we could as well amend the Constitution. We didn't have to have the election that Saturday. We could call for a referendum ammending the Constitution and have our election on some other day if that is what we wanted.We just need to as a people begin to do the right thing and not what is convenient. We need to realise that our decision all the time affects every other person. If we at our local PTA do not do the right thing what do we expect from other Nigerians in elected offices State or Federal Level after all they are members of some PTA .
My family isn't a very large one. I'm the eldset of 4. I have a sista and 2 brodas. We all love each. We are all unique but there is a common thread that runs in the weave of all of us. We say it as we see it. We are all very stubborn and we all have a very good sense of humour. We also always support each other. Our spouses try not to get involved in our 'fights' cos they all tend to end like it started. The few minutes of anger has so much fury that an outsider would be shocked and marvel at the intensity. Those moments are the opportunities you have to say it as you really feel.
Our parents have always allowed us to speak freely. The Freedom of Speech has always being in use in our home. If you don't one the other person to know what you think just keep quite. If you say anything to my Mum in confidence just know that my Dad will hear and my Sista across the Atlantic will also hear and then they will all had their thoughts and opinions. The revamped version will get back to you either by Yahoo IM or by text message or a phone chat.We are all in each others business.
My post is not about rivalry amongst the four of us but I needed to lay that foundation. This is not to say we don't have our 'fights' and 'arguments' about the most mundae of issues to the more serious ones like who is favoured most by our parents and who seems to have it easy and who is just not doing what they ought to be doing. These hopefully will be subjects of subsequent post in the not to near future.
Our extended family is also a very close knit one. The fact that my Dad is an only child of his Mama does not mean we don't have Uncles and Aunties and all manners of relationship with people that the EnglishLanguage has no word to define. My Mother also comes from a strong family of women who have married mostly within the clan and so our relations span across the length and breath of three or more communities, 2 LGA and 2 States.
My mum called me yesterday to say One of my Uncles lets call him Fineboy ( he is a fine boy by the way) called her at the crack of dawn saying his wife Aunt Virtuous Woman( She is a very good wife and mother) will be arriving in a couple of days . The issue however is he thinks she might be coming to end the Marriage. Now that is strange because I know the 2 of them are completed devoted to each other and they have 2 sons. Uncle Fineboy moved back to Naija full time about a 18 months ago. He is doing quite well and plan have already being set in motion for Aunt VW to relocate back too. The truth is Uncle Fineboy spends more time in UK than in Naija. He has one of his older brothers managing the business and he comes in and out for extended visits to see how things are going and all.
The gist is Uncle Fineboy's younger sistaPlayerhater ( I cant think of a more appropriate name) told Aunt VW that Uncle Fineboy has being philandering ever since he touched down in Naija. She paints a picture of a man with a mission to sow as much wild oats as can cover the fields of Lagos if Lagos was a big farm land. The irony is Playerhater is not in Naija. I wonder who and how she gets her information. Aunt VW seems to believe her and is really very upset. Initially i wondered why will she believe Playerhater who is not in Naija? But then Playerhater is his Sister. Why will she be lying?
What bugs me is even if its true i.eFineboy is hoping around like a bee in a field of lilies should the Sister be the bearer of such news. If she was really concerned about her brother and all is this the best approach? What will be her 'joy' or great achievement if Aunt VW sues for big D on grounds of .... and there is a dissolution of the marriage How does she explain to her nephews I fueled the breakup of your parents. I just don't get it. Is she just a meddlesome interloper, a jealous siblings or a plain old fool who doesn't think before she speaks or acts.
The good news however is all the forces are at work to mediate between the couple and iron out the creases. I pray the both look deep inside them and focus on the good they have together. Uncle Fineboy should also work hard at reassuring Aunt VW so she is not easily swanned by these kinds of talk in the future. I know its hard especially when its the Sista feeding you with information .
I try to imagine what we would do if it was one of my siblings. If one of my broda was Uncle Fineboy and was alleged to be philandering. The spouse will the last to hear and he would really be in for I can just imagine the calls and the arguments and the fights that will go on. I don't think the any of my siblings will talk to the spouse first without having tried to sort out the issue amongst ourselves 1st. That I think is a better approach.
My Mum nicely summed it up with a Yoruba proverbs. Eyinkulelotawa, ilenasenigbe (Loosely translated to mean: The enemy is within)
I just received a 'order' from Christain Writer asking me to update my blog and that is what I will do.
Work Just got back from a 3 day strategicrethreat from the office. It was very fruitful meeting. We had Leke Alderfacilitate the meetings. The man is very deep and we all left the Resort knowing that we have the power within us really to be all that we want to be an more.
On the last day of the retreat we had a poem writing competition and I won the price . Find below my winning entry:
It's a new day, a new beginning Dreams yet unfulfilled bursting out to the brim The heart is full of hope, at what tomorrow will bring The road ahead yet untravelled,with hope we will travail And at the end rejoice, for at least we will join Those who seek and find. Guidance comes from above, to see us through it all If only to him we bow It's a new day, the beginning of new things.
Written by Oludeester September 2008
I was made to read it again at the end of the all the presentation and I felt very good.
We also finally got audited at the beginning of September. We operate under the ISO:15189. The standards are clear and you are either conforming with the SOPs or you are not. It was a gruelling 2 days audit and at the end of the day we passed. We have been recommended for continuedaccreditation. Its a really BIG DEAL cos that is our X-factor.
Needless to say the obvious work is going on well. The part that I would however not like to belabour were the trials before the audit and the grey clouds that almost consumed me. I was so depressed I didn't want to get out of bed. I just wanted to walk away from it all. But then a girls gotta do what a girl's gotta to do. I'm happy with work and all the positive things the future will bring.
School started today.We got in to the school of our choice. The summer holiday was long and seems there was no end in sight. It was hard keeping them busy. They had fun at Terrakulture learning Yoruba. Yes I joined the Facebook Group I want my child to speak my native language.
Senior Boy also started learning French and Oldman just wants to play. Oldman was 3 in August and Senior Boy cant wait to be 5. He wants all his favourite Cartoon Network characters on his Cake. We will see about that.
There is so much I want to write about but I'm chatting with my Sista who has moved back to the US and she needs my undivided attention.