Religious holidays are a time to reflect and reappraise the way we live our lives

Do These Holidays Really Mean Anything To Us?

Nearly 2.5 million Muslims participated in the Hajj (a spiritual exercise that constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam) this year. The figures have risen steadily over the years, and it is safe to presume the next couple of years will follow the same upward trajectory in numbers. The El al-Adha holiday is one both Muslims and Christians can identify with even though it is not officially celebrated by Christians. The story of Ibrahim (Abraham in the Bible) and God’s command to him to sacrifice his son, Ismail is recorded in the two most popular holy books. Eid-el Kabir is tagged, a festival of sacrifice—one that commemorates a test of faith and belief in the supreme being.

The Biggest Fight Of Your Life

“Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your vow” – Godfrey of Ibelin

 

At the basest level, humans go through the same challenges: juggling family and vocation, giving attention to the things that really matter—making and sustaining a living, staying healthy—nurturing relationships. For people in developing countries, poverty is an ever-looming possibility, so there’s a constant battle to stay afloat financially. Add political turmoil and insecurity to the mix, and there’s no doubt that everyone has sufficient burdens to keep them busy. However, there’s a challenge that never ceases to rear its head. One that’s designed to break anyone who isn’t deliberate about self-awareness and authenticity.

A short story about a priest called Father Brown

Father Brown

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

“Amen.” The congregation chorused as Sunday mass came to a close.

Some members of Redemption Evangelical Church thronged forward to pay their respects to Father Brown the presiding priest of the parish.

“God bless you.”

“God bless you.”

“You are blessed.”

Father Brown had a prayer for everyone around him. The 6ft 3 inches bulky man of God was adored by his people. Even though he towered above everybody else, he was soft-spoken and a calm reassurance accompanied his teachings.

The arrogance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

There’s A Zlatan In All Of Us

One of the traits the typical Nigerian (and to a larger extent, Africans) adores is humility. We talk about it—actually, we pontificate about it—a lot. We are obsessed with people who appear to have means or recognition yet are self-effacing. And when we come across those who do not care to be particularly modest, we are gutted by their arrogance. We can never fathom why anyone would not deign to make light of their genius or success. It’s entertaining to watch, really. More so when one remembers that Nigerians aren’t exactly famous for a being docile, meek bunch who are contained in their ways.

Battles We Must Lose To Win

Ayo is an OND holder who now has a thriving business. He is dating Jane, a freshman in the university. Because Jane comes from a penurious background, Ayo has opted to foot all her school bills; and not only that, he takes care of her feeding and general welfare also. The lovers have an agreement to get married as soon as Jane concludes the mandatory National Youth Service Corps. Their parents are also aware of this, and Jane’s parents who live in the village are especially grateful to Ayo for the constant financial support he lends.

Busola Dakolo's Rape Allegation Against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo

Bringing Rape Home For The Thomases

I suffer from shock. Anytime something untoward or unexpected happens to me, I am immobile for a few seconds or minutes before gathering myself and willing myself into a reaction. This also means that I am not the type to shout, burst into tears or wail on receiving unpleasant news. The tears come later…after processing events. My friend, Anna (real name withheld), on the other hand, is highly emotional. The tears are never far away whenever she gets upsetting news; at other times, she would let out a scream or shout of pain. Two friends, two different reactions to bad news.

Everything is an inside job

Everything Is An Inside Job

If there’s a category of people who know a thing or two about rejection, self-doubt and uncertainty, it is writers. One time a police officer asked what I did what for a living and when I simply said “Writer”, I could see the quizzical look on his face. A look that asked, “Is that even a job?”. Toeing a path where you are never sure of the outcome of your efforts can be mind-crippling. For the creative, there’s the constant pressure to create; and not just create, but surpass the success of previous work. 

The Inevitability Of Process

Process can be such a frustrating phenomenon. Think about it: you have to save and invest consistently over a period of time (years or even decades) to build wealth. A woman has to carry a child for three-quarters of a year before she births it. And after this, it takes years and years of raising and nurturing before the child gets a chance to be independent. In these parts, we have to go through 6 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education and at least 4 years of tertiary schooling to become a graduate. An eventuality that in no way guarantees success or wealth.

The Secret

Zita was getting married soon and Nnamdi was not looking forward to the now imminent time when he would be the only child at home.

Her husband, Stanley and his people were due in Mbaise for their traditional wedding in a fortnight.

“I am going to be so bored when Zita leaves this house.” He said

The family was having their Sunday dinner. It was an unwritten rule that they all had their Sunday evening meal together to bond as a family and Nnamdi was worried about he would cope without his only sister.