AMERICANAH – Overdue Book Review…

Americanah-Cover

Americanah is an interesting read by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a vivid work describing three cultures. We see America and the United Kingdom from the point of view of a realistic Nigerian. Realistic because the main character tells us about these places without the lens of glory which others see it. She humorously tells us certain peculiarities of a Nigerian in these places. She also describes the way Africans are perceived by the Americans and Europeans. Her language is colourful. Issues bordering racism, the clamour for citizenship and even hair are discussed. She also touches the superiority one feels when you return back to your home country. Your taste changes, your accent changes. Also the pedestal on which you are suddenly placed on because you traveled overseas, as if it’s such a huge feat. I love the language. Adichie describes a car in the floody streets of Lagos as ‘a gasping boat’. She uses a lot of intelligent expressions which I can only say you should find out for yourself.

She also explores romance between childhood friends Obinze and Ifemelu, who both had a taste of life outside their own country after their teen years. I recommend this book to those who love language and who enjoy reading most of the time. It’s a book that different kinds of readers can relate to. Whether you have traveled abroad or not, you will be able to relate to her experiences.

I love her writing because she is very descriptive and most times when reading her book, you forget that you are reading fiction. I also enjoyed the originality in depicting Nigeria. You can easily relate to what she is talking about. The main character, Ifemelu is such an opinionated person. She may seem judgmental but sometimes her remarks are rib tickling.

I enjoyed the book to a certain extent. What I actually enjoyed was Adichie’s language and intelligent descriptions. The book, for me, was interesting but quite prolonged and at certain points I got bored. There was a lot of opinionated discussions in the book which were at times intelligent and at times caused a great ‘internal yawn’ (using the words of the author). The book would still have been interesting if it had been cut in half. The love story was quite brief.

Americanah is an intelligently written novel. I have my own opinions. If you have read it, let me hear yours. If you haven’t read it, it’s not a bad idea to get a copy or borrow from a friend.

Contagious Celebrity?!!

Like we hear updates about celebrities everyday, our ears are continually being updated on the havoc Ebola is causing. Its terrible how heartlessly the epidemic has left many mourning and many more in fear. We have all been warned to take precautions to contain it. Nigeria has even been declared “Ebola free”. (I wish we could be declared corruption free or poverty free or…) It’s heart-breaking to see patients so helpless and see loved ones so lost as they watch the corpse of deceased being taken away. Liberia is weary and weighed down with the stench of death. Ebola has walked in and has become a celebrity still struggling to stay in the spotlight.

We can learn a lot from this contagious celebrity. We can be contagious. Contagious in carrying the virus of faith and selflessness. Let’s infect people with a smile, an act of kindness, a word of hope and faith. Think about it. If Ebola was hope or faith or prosperity, would it be quarantined? Well, sorry to say, it might still be quarantined in Nigeria by the greedy ones. But if we could do a good deed with no desire for anything in return, wouldn’t that make a difference?contagious-291x300

Speak a positive word. Spend without thinking of yourself. I challenge you (and myself as well) to consciously do something for someone. Pay the bus fare for the stranger next to you. Help that little child or aged person cross the street. Buy something for your usual meat/chicken/fish customer or whatever person you constantly buy from. Call an old friend. Do something nice for the person who hurt you. Let’s do something contagious and spread kindness, just like our heavenly father.

Have a great week!

Thoughts and Inspiration…

selah

Funny how a simple question can cause you to pause and ponder. It causes you to think again.

Tola (real name withheld) was having problems with her laptop at work so she complained to the IT person. The first thing he asked Tola was “Have you prayed on it? Tola looked at him with a questioning look on her face. “Prayed on it?” she asked. “Yes,” he replied “or do you think prayer can’t solve the problem with your laptop?”

She was speechless for a couple of seconds before she replied that she hadn’t prayed. He shook his head and relied “pity.”

What a reminder for us to commit everything into God’s hands! The IT person was right even though it sounds awkward. Nothing is too small to commit into God’s hands. Even those things that seem irrelevant. God is in control of ALL.

So friends let’s always remember that.

inspire

Well, a couple of people are celebrating their birthday’s today. They have inspired me at one point even though they may not know it.

Shout out to Tosin Akinyemi. We went to the same secondary school (Up CRISSA!). I just knew him by name. I simply loved his younger sister who was quite close to me when she resumed JSS 1. She is a great girl. Anyway, He is a wonderful writer (new blog post soon please, Tosin) a barrister by profession and the humble founder of One Naira Movement (1naira.org or ‘like’ on Facebook!). It’s an NGO that basically adds value to the lives of those who aren’t as privileged. Through this means, they also share the gospel. He has a big caring heart. The first time I heard about this NGO, I was inspired. You really don’t have to be a millionaire before you can help someone. So Happy Birthday Tosin!

Also a good friend from NYSC, David Joseph John who is just so comfortable with wires and cables. He enjoys connecting cables and teaching mathematics, and he does his work with so much passion, it’s inspiring. Friends, you really need to discover what you love doing and go for it. Live your dream. Anyway, David hardly says five sentences without using vocabulary in electricity and electronics. He is a great engineer by profession and gifted teacher.  So Happy birthday David!

Most of all they both love God. Wishing you a spectacular year friends! May God enlarge your coast and may you never disconnect from grace. God bless you. Have a fabulous birthday. And with this, you know you owe me cake!

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Also Happy Independence fellow Nigerians! Let’s keep praying for, and speaking positively into our nation!!

I’m thankful for you!

640_happy friends

The role of friendships can never be overemphasized. Family is important and always comes first. But friendships are blessings. I’m sure we have all had one great friend in our life time. Maybe a classmate, colleague, someone older, someone younger or whoever. Whether the friendship has spanned since childhood till now or shorter. Or maybe we’ve lost contact with such friends. The friendship was amazing while it existed.

Well, a great way to live life is to live it in gratitude. Like I’ve said before, friends can be compared to the parts of a tree.  Some friends are like leaves. They come into your life for a season and after a while they fall off. We don’t need to hold on to them. Let them go.

Some friends are like the branches.  The stay for longer periods and we enjoy their friendships but after a while they break off.

Some friends are like roots. They may have known you for most of your life. They add nourishment to your life, they stick around through thick and thin and they’re with you the longest.

Whatever category they may fall into, we all would have learned a few things from the various relationships we have had.

So let’s take today to appreciate and be thankful for our friends. Those who have been there for us. Those who through them we have learned one lesson or the other. Whether the friendship has made us stronger and better or maybe we’ve learnt life’s lessons the hard way through them. Whatever the reason, we crossed paths for a reason. It’s our choice to make the best of whatever relationships we find ourselves in.

So appreciate the fact that you have met a variety of people in your life time. If they had been all the same, life would be dull. Those who had brought you laughter or otherwise. Be thankful for people because we weren’t meant to walk through life alone.

friend

Well, friends share together. So, you may have heard “Favourite Song” by Toby Mac featuring Jamie Grace. If not, go listen to it. Presently I’m reading “Americana” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I should give a review when I’m done. And the analogy about friends being like parts of a tree, they’re from Tyler Perry’s ‘Madea Goes to Jail’ (the stage play). I think it has also been mentioned in one of his movies but I heard it first from the stage play.

So friends and acquaintances, I’m thankful for you. Whether through school, faith, work, or whatever meeting. I take today to remember you all.  I’m thankful that I had the opportunity. Cheers!!

…Just say YES!

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Sometimes we give the wrong answers to simple questions. Why beat around the bush? If I were to ask you to request just one thing, you may probably ask why I’m asking you. Or you may ignore me and wonder how I ever would make that request a reality. I mean, men will ask, “Will you marry me?” and some ladies will smile and still ask “Really? Are you serious?”

What if Jesus asked you to request one thing? Would you question Him? You may not. You may just give him a long list of reasons why the impossible cannot be made possible that instant. That it takes time. That would be harsh because He invented time.

The impotent man at the pool was asked if he would be made whole. But he explained why his healing could not be possible. He was probably frustrated after trying so many times. But was that question so difficult to answer? Would you be made whole? Yes or No. Well, Jesus, in his abundant mercy healed him all the same because He understood this man’s explanation. Even though He did not answer the question.

He could have just said yes.

Well, God knows our needs before we ask them. He still wants the communication. God will ask us if we want Him to intervene in our challenges through various means. Maybe through the support of a friend or assistance for from a group of people. All we have to say is yes. We say yes when we surrender in faith and yes when we ask in prayer.

Just say yes.Love-Yes-No

I…Love…Poetry

I…love…poetry. That… is… all. Well, I have always loved literature, whether prose, poetry or drama. Some time ago I watched some poetry presentations with my brother on YouTube and I had such a marvelous, inspiring time. He loves poetry too. I mean, how could you not love poetry? Well, this post isn’t to market this genre of literature (well, maybe a little), it’s more about what I gained from the experience.

Most of the poets have had terribly soiled pasts and they told their story through graphic, vivid words. The work of salvation never ceases to amaze me. People who have been through so much they could have wallowed in hopelessness, but salvation found them and the transformation was so beautiful. Life is a story and we are all characters. God is the author and our hero. Only He can make our story beautiful. He is the prince that brings hope. So if you haven’t given the pen of your life back to the author, please do. Your writing will just be scribbles and marks compared to the best seller he can write of you.

Then there is the creativity. It wasn’t a piece of writing that was just rhymed lazily but it was writing birthed from deep thought, open heart and divine inspiration. Anyone who loves the arts would see the beauty in it. Most of all, they used it to glorify God and challenge fellow believers.

So, apart from the fact that their creativity was awesome, I was challenged to reflect on my faith and be sure that I really believed in and am living for Christ.

From a Poem titled Silence is Deadly by Ezekiel A.

  • “Death is the equivalent to life when life is unmentioned”
  • “Most Christians are so eager to open their mouths to bless me, but when I’m struggling with sin, they hold the truth back, pat me on the back and tell me sweet words ‘cause they don’t want to offend me “
  • “Our tongues hold the power of life and death but could we ever use our tongues to bring life to someone else if we just think it but never speak it? then death will volunteer itself.”
  • “In this valley, we are all Ezekiels. Shall they live? If I’m not speaking life into you, I’m killing you”

Well, I could go on and on, but you should check them out. Passion 4 Christ Movement – @P4CM. Poets like Jackie Hill, Preston Perry, Janette…iks, Chris Webb and others.

Most of all, whether you love poetry (I still don’t understand how you could not), or not, whatever you love to do, or whatever means through which you express yourself, make sure it brings glory to God and points others to Him. Col.3:17pic poetry1

3rd Mainland Bliss

 

Yeah, I know. The title of this post was meant to appear ‘3rd Mainland Bridge Bliss’. Happiness  is really your choice and you shouldn’t give anyone that power over your life. One of the things that makes me happy is just absorbing the beauty of nature. Be it in the early hours of the morning, at sunset, or the freshness of the weather after a light rainfall. It’s just so beautiful.

Where would one enjoy such, you ask? Well, I don’t have to be at the beach everyday to enjoy this. Each time I cross the 3rd Mainland bridge, I sit back and absorb it all. I gaze at that point where the cloud meets the water and I’m lost in the immensity of it. The ripples across the water looks more like the water breathing and flexing its muscles. How awesome the creator of such beauty must be. Then there comes the sun gradually sinking in the horizon. Its rays across the sky burst into a breath-taking palette of colours.

So whether I’m stuck in traffic for a little while, I gaze at this and smile because it reminds me that someone so beautiful is holding me in His hand. Someone who controls the immensity of great waters has my life under control. Well, if you love nature like me, you would understand that there is a calmness and peace you feel when you realize how God’s greatness reflects in all that is around us. If you haven’t taken time to gaze into the sky and appreciate how beautiful the white clouds and the blue sky remain an awesome background to all the beauty God had made, then please do. If you cross 3rd mainland bridge daily, don’t fret about the traffic, enjoy the view. Anytime you step out under the umbrella of the clouds, just take a moment, look up, breathe in and smile. Life is too short not to enjoy what God has blessed us with.

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LOVE WELL, LAUGH OFTEN, LIVE FOR CHRIST

Life is full of challenges, its roads with numerous curves and slopes. Sometimes the road leads through a tunnel and darkness overwhelms us. Sometimes everything is bright and our joy is boundless. Life is to be lived one day at a time and there is a need to take three important things into consideration.
We need to love those around us genuinely. Just like my friend, Karen Kingsbury, who is an inspirational author said, ‘God has placed some characters in your life who may be difficult to love, but we should never give up on them.’ They are in our lives for a purpose and we need to appreciate that. Let’s cherish our families and love the seemingly unlovable. Jesus loves us. If we really belong to Him, we need to extend that love to others. Through patience and prayers we can penetrate the pitch darkness with the light of God’s love.
We need not take ourselves too seriously. Everyone needs a good laugh. We make silly mistakes and are clumsy at times. Learn from them and laugh it off. Life is too short not to live it fully, enjoying all God has blessed us with. I learned recently that laughter exercises the liver which is a vital organ. The wisdom of Solomon stands true that laughter is good medicine. Let’s enjoy what God has placed around us. The beautiful sunset, the scenery after a cleansing rain, the big beautiful moon and starlit sky, and diverse kinds of people we can touch with prayers, kindness and love. When situations seems dire, let’s laugh because though it seems over our head, it’s under God’s feet.
Let’s live for Christ. There is really nothing else worth living for. All else will fade but what we do for Christ is eternal. Give Him your life and let all you do reflect Him. Make Him your best friend and companion. He’s right there with you. All you need to do is recognize Him. Let Him be your Hero. He is the only one who can make your life beautiful. Without Christ, life is just like a dull black-and-white painting. He’s the one who adds colour. So be it in word, thought or deed, do all to the Glory of God?
Simple principles, right?