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I don’t drop a book once I’ve started it; maybe it’s out of respect for the hard work of the author and the publishers. Perhaps I am just trying to be polite with the book.

(Except if the actions, decisions and dialogues in the book falls below standard. But then I wouldn’t pick up the book in the first place!)

So when a madrileño – Igbo catholic priest advised me to persevere beyond the first 100 pages of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, I did just that. I persevered.

If you are in my shoes, I encourage you to do the same. Keep reading.

By the way, that trilogy is now one of my favourites. In fact, I will be seeing Peter Jackson’s film adaption of LOTR, for my birthday and FOR  the umpteenth time.


High resolution empathy

You are in the humanity sector, a nurse!… What are you doing? There is no compassion.

The lady in black stiletto heels uttered these aggrieved words as she descended the stairs from the ward. Meanwhile, I was downstairs, waiting my turn to see the family physician.

No compassion! Such a harsh accusation. Compassion, even better empathy, is such a necessary requirement especially in these times when people are going through a lot (village people issues as my friend terms it) And yet, many, unwittingly or not, go about without empathy. I am often one of those many.

How many times have we said a rotund no! closing our ears to the reasons why we should consider a yes. So many instances of being rigid and unyielding over an insubstantial point whether at home, work, while driving, or even in church!

2022 is still young, barely 11 days old. Take a look at the times when a lack of empathy has hurt you. But don’t wallow in thoughts of regret, anger, or revenge. Rather, add a tiny, ordinary, but high resolution to your lists for the year.

To add the salt of empathy to each sentence you utter, each thought, each gesture, each action.

Don’t bite too much (my experiences show that this is a straight path to an F in the school of empathy). Just focus on each. And when, despite your efforts, it seems that you are more cruel than empathetic, begin again. We will be walking this road together.

Musings, Uncategorized

It’s been a while

I haven’t written in a while

No, cross that out. I have neither written on nor visited my blog in ages. But I have done other writing styles. As I make my blog comeback, let me gist you of my 2021 in writing.

  1. Tons of reports, suggestions, proposals, etc. at my job as a Facility manager. Some of the proposals were adopted and others no. But all of them were successful. How? Because management knows what I think.
  2. Editing a book on responsible management on the continent. I have worked with Drs. Kemi Ogunyemi and Molly Ogunyemi. Some times the work was gruelling but I take pride that I am doing all the countries of Africa a great service.
  3. Lesson notes for Christology, Natural Philosophy, Philosophy of science and Latin. If you know my latin students, please help me encourage them to take their exams.
  4. The list goes on but I’m writing on my android device and WordPress without the app, on a phone, is stiff.

Have you done any writing?


Pierce away your boredom II

‘Are you bored?’ was the question Ada asked me when I sent her my new look. Ok, she was kind enough to admit that it was beautiful sha. Very beautiful she added.

But, ‘Are you bored’?

I mean, how can I be bored with my hands full of worthwhile things. Full with my family – the Anozie’s and Opus Dei’s; full with friends like Ada, Genny and Felicity; full with work at my school where I am personally responsible for 33 members of staff and 20 students and their parents; full with the undergraduates who frequent the Leadership Centre where I mentor; full with the stories I witness on the streets and roads of Lagos; full with all the stories in my head. I just can’t be bored.

But on second thoughts, Ada’s question is not far-fetched. I saw the movie ‘Divergent’ and I was struck by the connection an actress made between the boredom in their lives and how full the tattoo parlor was.

And I admit that having another piercing does add some spice to your life. I mean, last night, I didn’t sleep well. I turned on this side and I felt a foreign body. I tossed on the other side and it was the same. The foreign body? My new studs. Also, from time to time, I feel some pain. It is my body, my ears to be precise, trying to tell me

‘Look here. We haven’t accepted this new member yet. In fact, we ain’t accepting it without a fight.’

It adds another spice too – this piercing – to my life. I go around, ears jutting out and showing off. I want the whole world to know.
Java has got two more piercings!
Foolish, right? No. When you are somewhat a child at heart, some things are acceptable.
The most amazing reaction I got was when I pulled someone’s leg and told her I was going to get an eyebrow piercing. She was like

‘Is that allowed in Opus Dei?’

Good grief! Opus Dei tries to help form your conscience. With a spirituality healthy conscience, it is you who decide what you allow and what you don’t.
Right now, with the way I am feeling about piercings, I already want to add more to my collection. Because I like to shock people. The only thing holding me back is common sense born of accurate prediction of the reaction of my sweet mother when she sees me. SHE WILL FAINT!

Guys, she hasn’t seen me yet with these ones. And my siblings – Chi, Oge, Osi, Peace, Cha-yo – what do you think? Oge! Please get ready to defend me before the family. If need be, Chinonso, our star in heaven, might need to come to strengthen the defense.
Hold on, you didn’t know I, we, have a star in heaven? My sister, Chinonso, left us for that Place at ten years. How did she go? That is a story too sublime to be mixed with all this talk about piercings.


Pierce away your boredom I

I just got two more piercings. Well, so what?

The thought of more first occurred to me in my final year studying Engineering. I had seen many kinds of piercings and was repulsed by all of them. I was in the admin block when the plump madam who was to attend to us walked in. we were, at worst, upset because we had been waiting for some time for her. But I felt differently. I was fascinated with my gaze on her ears as I waited to be served. The lady had five neatly spaced ear piercings. On each one was an earring that graduated from stud at her helix to a nice round gold ring at her lobule. I wanted to look like her.

This was in 2011. You see, my journey to 2 extra piercings did not start today. What pushed me to finally take the step? Peer pressure. I don’t know about your motivations but for me, people influence me a great deal. I am the number one victim of peer pressure. Somehow, fortunately, most of my pressures have been at best, good; or at least, indifferent. You can put it down to the fact that I was an introvert then [these days, I can’t place what I am]; or to the fact that I had few girl – friends.
I grew up surrounded by girls. 5 sisters, 2 aunties whom we called big aunty and small aunty, and a mother. Add to that 49 classmates every session, etc. But I always felt alone. I wanted more. My sisters were at the same time disgusting and awesome. But I wanted a friend, a confidante, a soul sister.

Feel me. I was a teenager with the looks of a nine-year-old. I was in SS1 when my age mates were in JS 2. I mean, what do you do when your classmates, older than you, think you are a child? That you know nothing about money, about boys or about fun. What do you do when saddled with the sad fact of having age mates too academically behind for your taste? I’m not talking about brain development eh but about coinciding with your mates. You go to a different school, have different assignments, attend higher lesson, higher, higher and always higher than them. And my sisters? They were the same as your sisters. We fought, we made up, we cared for each other but Java’s world was Java’s and they had no permission to enter. Worse, they didn’t know such world existed.

So I wanted a real friend. Finding none among girls, I turned to the boys. There I found some. Older boys who didn’t snub me. Boys who came to visit and whose visits were returned by my faithful sister Oge and I. Boys I could have serious conversations with. Boys who set me on the path to seek, find and try to love God. What a thrill. I send a thank you to you wherever you are. You made my childhood and my ‘teen-hood’.

I also had a few friends in class – classmates my age and day students like me. So, it was 2002 or 2003. Styl – Plus’ song ‘call my name’ was the in – thing. Now I had a friend, Bibi, who was a staunch member of the Deeper Life Church. Hey, Bibi, I hope you are still one eh! It did you a lot of good and that good diffused to me. One day while serving punishment with other classmates, I ‘caught’ my Bibi singing ‘call my name’. can you beat it? Bibi on natchy hair when it was not the craze; Bibi who did not wear earrings; Bibi who in principle does not [well, should not] sing secular songs. This same Bibi was singing Styl Plus. I was stunned. I just felt backward and left out. The following weekend, I turned on the song and learnt the lyrics. Say what?

It is funny how time flies; when you’re waiting for the mega fly girlfriend’s guy to walk by
Champagne that was never my game; I was only gonna get down ‘cos she called my name of which
I never act so damn lame and ditch; my three home boys for aa dame and rich
Glass of a girl’s champagne and switch tables…

Blah, blah, blah.

In 2019, there was a repeat of this. Ifunanya, calm, quiet looking Ifunanya, went to a jewelry shop and got another piercing. When I heard it, I said to myself – ENOUGH! 8 years of ‘gathering liver’, of making up my mind, of asking myself if I could take the pain. 8 years of dreading infection, keloids and what not that may result. Enough. I am getting the piercing done. Not one though because I am crazier than Ifunanya who got one. And the morning went and the evening came and Java had 3 piercings on each ear.