Rhyme and Reason 2014… my take

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On Sunday December 14, 2014 the first Rap and Spoken Word Concert was held in Lagos. It was organized by Storm Ministries in partnership with The Fresh Impressions agency of South Africa. Though I’m not a fan of Rap, but I enjoy Spoken Word a lot. (Does that sound ironical?)  The concert featured renowned P4CM’s poets- Ezekiel Azonwu and Janette…iks who are awesome poets and were my highlights of the evening. It also featured our very own poets like Titilayo and Atilola who are amazing. Lily Million who has been tagged the Tracy Chapman of South Africa was also at the concert. Featured Rap artists were Da T.R.U.T.H, Provabs, Roof Top MC’s and Kruseaphix. These rap artists were great!

The event started with a moving poem by Kruseaphix challenging us about the Christianity we signed up for. Are we only happy to be Christians when it’s easy and get fed up when the going gets tough? Are we ready to endure till the end? Titilayo presented a piece about the need for us to live together in unity, as a nation and as the body of Christ. She mentioned that people focused on themselves, always on their ‘i-phones’, ‘i-pods’, ‘i-pads’ etc. we needed new words in our dictionary like ‘us’ and ‘we’. Lily Million also sang beautifully despite of her cold. A line from her song- “Don’t let my heart resist your truth. May my heart never be separated from you” can also be a prayer. She also sang a Nigerian worship song which I’m not so familiar with and she did really well with the native pronunciation. Her final song was a message that reminded us that it’s God’s love that defines us and nothing else. Atilola presented an awesome piece and a memorable line is – Seeds are planted but never buried. So just keep trusting God in whatever situation you may be passing through.

A major highlight of the evening was Ezekiel. He is a Nigerian. And he proved it. It was awesome the way he was able to still speak with the typical Igbo accent. When he was asked to try fufu, he responded telling them that “Na my food be dat.” He tried teaching us some American slangs, saying all we had to do was not pronounce every last letter in every word.  (LOL!) His poetry was awesome. Please check @P4CM on youtube. Look for his pieces- “Almost” and “Dear Man”. I can assure you that you will be blessed and you will keep looking for more.

Janette…iks also was a highlight of the evening. She gave a dedication to her grandmother who recently went to be with the Lord. Her grandma was the one who taught her God’s word and instilled it in her from a tender age and is a big reason for her ministry. Well, Janette, I know she is extremely proud of who God has made you to be. Her pieces were also fabulous. She is also part of P4CM. Check her pieces- “31 Status”, “Hypochristian” and “I Will Wait For You.“ I don’t need to list the rest, you will look for more.

All in all, it was an awesome night. Spoken word is gradually gaining ground in Nigeria. There should be another concert next year, so you might want to come see for yourself. I enjoy poetry and when it’s inspirational causes you to reflect on your faith, then it’s amazing.

Have an inspiring week friends!

Lessons from a friend…

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Happy new month friends! God has been totally awesome this year. May He give you testimonies as the year runs to an end. Well, this post is by a special guest. She is a Pharmacist, a great writer and a wonderful friend. She is OPEYEMI EDEMA. I hope her story inspires you this week. Enjoy.

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Some years ago, I wanted to undergo a student attachment at particular organization so I walked up to the CEO and put forward my request. She told me she would not be able to pay me because she was not capable at the moment. Well, I agreed to the conditions and started work not long afterwards.

Having started, I discovered that I was not the only person on student attachment. I set my mind to work and I served like I was going to be paid. After about two months, I discovered that the other student was being paid. I felt cheated to say the least. So I decided to discuss the issue with some staff members and they told me to ask the CEO, that she should at least give me some stipend bearing the fact that I worked like every other person.

I braced up myself and walked up to her. She asked about our initial agreement and I told her but I said I thought she would at least give me something. Well, she gave me two options, that it’s either I stay and she sends the other student away and starts to count my work day from that day or I leave. Instantly my brain did a quick thinking.

Well, I caused it myself; I should not have agreed in the first instance or at least voiced my thought. How can another student be told to leave because of me? That would be grossly unfair. So I decided to leave honorably and bear the brunt. I made up my mind and told her that I would leave, thanked her for the privilege of working in her establishment and I bade farewell to the staff members. Many of them were not happy and thought I should have allowed the other person to leave.

Years later, I met one of the staff members who now had his own company. Due to the healthy working relationship we had, he willingly offered me an employment without any formality of interviews and curriculum vitae writing. He is still my present boss and does not give me stress.

Well, the main point of sharing this personal experience is to share the lessons I learned.

First, like the Yoruba folks say, “What you would not accept as a rich man; you start to reject as a poor man”. This is the most important lesson I learned from that experience. So many people accept things out of desperation and later discover that they were worth more than that. People accept jobs with terrible work conditions and low pay. People get married to wrong person out of desperation and later discover that they deserved a better person to share their lives and destinies with. So I am throwing the challenge to you to go for the best and what you truly deserve.

Secondly, I knew I was not going to be paid but I worked like every other person that was paid. It was until I heard that the other student was being paid that I started to feel cheated. We should not let money be our motivating factor at work. Like a friend put it, “purpose is what you would always love to do when everyone is paid the same amount”. That is, irrespective of your pay; whatever it is that you love to do is your purpose in life. I kind of agree.

Lastly, you never know who is watching you. Just be at your best behavior anytime. The healthy relationship I had with a co-staff is what provided me my present job. What if I was not working at my best because I was not paid? Then I must have created a wrong impression. So you may not be getting the best at your present workplace but you never know who is watching you. It may be a fellow colleague or a customer who will put in a word for you at a better place.

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Friends, I hope Opeyemi inspired you this week. For more of her writing, visit her blog – www.edemaopeyemi.blogspot.com and you can also follow her on twitter @Talk2EOD. Have an awesome week!