Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014


I am starting my year with a twenty one day fast and asking God for strength to see it through.
I know the things that I need God to do for me and my family! I also know that I need answers and direction from God. Most importantly I know that it is time to stop wasting my time and face my calling regardless of what people will say or think.
 

I know That I want to build my relationship with God and advertise him to the world with all that he has given me. I also know that it is time for you all to step out in faith and live the best life you were called to live. As the world draws closer to its end, we all need to be mindful of what we absorb from this world and society.
 

- We all need to know where we stand and who we stand for
- We all need to know for a fact, what we are doing and when we are supposed to do it

- We all need to know where we are heading and not be guided by the expectations of people 

- I am not going to waste my time in 2014 
- I am not going to look the way people expect me to look but the way i know I should look
- I am not going to spend money on irrelevant things when there are hungry and uneducated children out there who need help




- I am not going to attend an event because people expect me to, but because I am supposed to
- I am not going to comment on something because the world is expecting a reaction from me but speak as the Holy Spirit leads me
- I am not going to be afraid to do the things God has asked me to do because of the impression some people have of me
- I am not going to please man and offend God
- I am not going to keep friends who are not willing to follow the will of God and encourage me to love him
- I am not going to beg or seek for validation from man but from God who has already validated and endorsed me
- I am not going to say I am not good enough or I am not qualified because God created me for such a time as this
- I am not going to run away from the real me just because I want to retain fans and friends
- I will be happy and joyful
- I will live my life to the fullest
- I will love and praise God who is the creator of all things
- I will stand by the truth I know, no matter what
- I will love and pray for my enemies no matter how difficult it is
- I will run away from evil and its people
- I will tell those who care to listen about the God I have come to know
- I will sing the songs that I have always wanted to sing whether my voice is wonderful or not



- I will spend my time on important things

 

- I will not follow unnecessary trend when I know it is not good for me
- I will be content with what I have and where I am
- I will encourage and teach all those who are in my life
 



These are not new year resolutions but decisions I know I should have made long ago.
 

- 2014 is the year that we should all sit back and find out from God who we are, what our purpose is and how to go about it
- 2014 is the year we should all be free to do the work that we would enjoy and be paid for doing it


- 2014 is the year of our financial freedom and breakthrough
- 2014 is the year that we will all realize the Most important things in life
- 2014 is the year that jealousy, envy and gossip will no longer hold us back from our blessings and favor
- 2014 is the year we will stand for what is right and just



- 2014 is the year we stop thinking about ourselves alone but about every child created by God
 

I declare freedom to everyone
 

- Freedom to be the you whom God has created
- Freedom to do what you have been called to do
- Freedom to love and live freely
- Freedom from hiding behind society
- Freedom to explore the things you have always wanted
- Freedom to live regardless of what the world might say
- Freedom to be happy without any apologies
- Freedom to love and praise God in public regardless of your mistakes 

- It's not too late to say I am sorry
- It's not too late to say I love you
- It's not too late to say forgive me
- It's not too late to show kindness
- It's not too late to give
- It's not too late to pray
- It's not too late to change 


In fact, the time is now.

Happy New Year and God bless you all.

Love ya loads.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

What is your truth?


Satan is the father of lies. We all say this but do we really understand the meaning of it?
 

A LIE is as effective as the TRUTH if you believe it and act on it.
We all need to be careful about the things we decide to act on.
Sometimes if you look within yourself and evaluate your life's journey, you might just be shocked that your whole life has been ruled by the lies you acted on. As far as you were concerned, they were the truths that you knew, but what if what you believed to be true turned out to be lies.
 

- What if that person you resent so much is actually the friend you should have had?
- What if the best friend you have is actually the one telling you all the lies in the world just to get you to be close to him or her?
- What if all the warnings and prophecies you received from that man who always asked for money to pray for you were all false?
- What if some so called friends and loved ones decided to hide some vital truths from you just so that you are not hurt?
- What if the media has sold lies to you about people they know nothing about?
- What if people around you have made you give up on your dreams that would lead to your fulfilling the destiny you were called to fulfill, by telling you that you were not good enough, or intelligent enough, or the idea would fail?
 

What is your TRUTH?


Do you believe that there is a God who gave his son Jesus to die for us or do you believe in the great BIG BANG that science is teaching?
 

I ask again, what is your truth?
 

How do you know what is real?
How do you define your own truth?
Do you draw truth based on mere words from others?
Have you ever asked God to reveal your truth to you?
Do you prefer to act on the truth of others or your own truth?
What if the truth of another person is the LIE to you because of who you are?
 

Find your truth and you will know who you are.
 

God be with you now and always.
Stella Damasus

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

To Jay



Wow! It's amazing how time flies. It's been nine years since you left us and it still feels like yesterday. I guess it's because I remember too many things and feel all the emotions like they just happened. I woke up this morning with thoughts and visions of you, wondering what you could be doing right now and the number of new friends and angels you would be chatting with now.
You were always the man of the people; who loved to put smiles on faces, especially mine.


I also wondered what and who you would expect me to be now. I wondered if I have done justice to at least a huge portion of all the plans we had together.
Before I got out of bed I wanted to make sure that wherever you are, there would still be a smile on your face when you see how far I have gone. I nodded my head, smiled and got up because I knew that God heard us those nights we held hands and prayed together, asking for his help in accomplishing what we set out to do, especially in the lives of our children Isabel and Angelica. He has done great things in our lives and has continued to be there for us.

Jaiye, your girls miss you so much and I have made sure that whenever they hear any of your songs, they know it's you because that voice has remained in their hearts. Isabel still tells me how she knows that her shoe size came from you and Angelica insists that her height has nothing to do with me but owes it to you. Above all they know and will always know what a wonderful and loving father you were. Nothing will ever change that no matter what.
As I always say "time does not heal wounds, it only makes the load and pain lighter. Only God can heal wounds".

Today I am writing this letter to you and I am not crying, instead I am smiling because in my heart I know you are in the best place ever, where your laughter will resonate.
I miss you so much my love and I know that when the time comes I will see you again.
 

Okay, let me go and face the world now. You are so lucky because you no longer have to deal with all the hate, gossip, backbiting, deception, oppression, sickness, war, accidents, disasters, robbery and all the other things the rest of us have to deal with.

Rest in the arms of The Lord JAY.
 

Let me go and continue with all the negativity the world brings. My happiness is that I am not going alone, my God is with me all the way.

Rest in peace.

Friday, 29 November 2013

NO MORE TEARS ... STOP THE VIOLENCE!


No more tears


I feel shame when I look into the mirror;

I feel bitter to see what I’ve become.

I can’t tell my friends or family; who would believe me?

I can’t tell the police, they will only mock me.



I am that girl who people describe as little;

But you really don’t have a clue what I’ve been through.

The ones who are supposed to protect me;

End up taking advantage of me.



At sixteen I was called a pretty teen;

But daily I deal with low self-esteem.

Used and abused by the ones I look up to;

I being pushed, and might take my life if it comes to.



Marriage was supposed to be my sweet haven;

Nothing else to compare except God’s Holy Heaven.

But in the arms of the one I truly  loved;

I suffer the pain of his fist as thick as gloves.

And when he is not hitting me;

He speaks uncaring cold hearted words, stinging me.

For better fore worse was the vow I took;

But better remains oblivious,

As this journey keeps growing worse.



I am that woman next door;

We even go to the same market, in the same bus;



I am that girl in your classroom;

Who you think is being pompous in your point of view;



I am the little girl in the playground;

All by myself, ensuring no boy is around.



I yearn to tell my story

That justice would take the glory

But will you accept back in society

And not point your fingers back at me….



I beckon on you;

Come to my rescue.



Help tell my story;

That justice would take the glory.



Else I'll cry; till I have no more tears in my eyes.



by

Daniel Ikekhuah



http://wordup411.blogspot.com/2013/10/no-more-tears-by-daniel-ikekhuah.html
 

video


 This is the link of the full video of the STOP THE VIOLENCE - A Spoken Word Poetry Video:

http://youtu.be/XADTjYmJ5-Y

Thursday, 21 November 2013

SAY NO & UNITE AGIANST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

On the 25th of November 2013, the Say No Unite Team will kick off their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign. This is an opportunity for us all to unite and say no to Domestic violence and general violence against women and young girls.

In honour of the #16DaysCampaign I want you to send me pictures or videos of you wearing, holding or standing beside something ORANGE and don't forget to say why you are supporting the cause; start with 'I wear orange because ... ' or 'I support the 16 Days Campaign with the colour orange because ...'

I will put up the pictures you send on my Twitter, Facebook, Blog and I will also send them to the Say No Unite UN Team as a show of support for the cause.

Send your pictures and videos to diaries@stelladamasus.com


I also decided to re-post a blog I had written about Domestic Violence a while ago.

Remember, you're not doing this for Stella but for those women and young girls out there that are living in pain and can't speak up about it.  




WHEN IS IT ENOUGH?


WATCH THE TRAILER HERE -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3jJzBp2eX8
" It was 8a.m that morning and i was already dressed in my black dress, black shoes, no make up, my brushed hair in a pony tail. I was heading to yaba for a friend's funeral. She was 35 and beautiful, a mother of two beautiful children. Really did not want to go because I was not sure of how i was going to react. I was not sure if I could pull myself together. Anyway, I got to the church and it was packed full with people who knew her and who had heard of her. As I approached the church I was already battling with the huge lump in my throat, making sure that i could at least sit through the service. I managed to go inside, then the ushers took me upfront to sit with the family. I saw her mother and siblings who were crying uncontrollably, so I tried to console them while battling with that same lump. I did all I could until the kids walked into the church with the nanny. Oh my goodness, now that lump has melted into liquid so the flood gates flung open and the tears started gushing out. It was not a very pleasant sight as the choir leader could not continue the song.  This is to give you an insight to the kind of person my friend was and the life she lived. She was extremely intelligent, kind, simple and most of all, was so in love with God and His word. Well as I tried to calm down, he walked in. THE HUSBAND. 

I am sure by now you are thinking I would run to console him since I was very close to her and he knew me. Instead of that I stood up and walked to the other side of the church And sat down. That was  when i knew how much respect I had for the church and the dead.  If I could, I would lock him up in the coffin so he could go with her, after all he put her there in the first place. We had all begged, prayed, complained, reported, and fought, just to get him to stop beating her. I  was tired of seeing the black eye, the swollen face, the bruised arms and the constant headaches. It was so bad that  I had  to tell him that one day he would do something really bad to his wife and end up behind bars. Little did I know that the day in question was fast approaching.  He had beaten her so much for sending  her own money to her mum without telling him, and when she tried to protect herself by pushing him off her, he got infuriated and hit her head on the wall. This time no black eye, no bruise to worry about, she just did not wake up.  When her sister called me in the middle of the night I was not sure whether to cry or get angry or scream. My whole body was shaking and all I could say was " no no no please God no no no please".  I started to feel guilty, "maybe I should have moved her out of there" but then again who am i to move her out of her husband's house when she herself refused to move. 

It really hurt so much that even as I am writing this I am still crying.  The case was taken to court and was dismissed because according to the courts the evidence was not enough, and so he was discharged and acquitted. In a country where an accurate autopsy cannot be carried out, let alone crime investigation, What do you expect?  She Is dead and gone but the killer is walking freely and as usual he has custody of the children whom he has passed on to his new wife. My heart has been bleeding ever since because I know that this is happening to so many women. Some are still alive today to tell their stories, some are afraid to cry out for help, some cover up when they are asked questions about their black eye, some believe that there is no justice for the abused woman because other cases they have heard of, have always favored the man and lastly some are not alive anymore to speak up. As sad as this is, it is still happening even as I write.   

Now it has progressed to acid baths, body mutilation,  and other unthinkable things. In anger, I stormed to the church we all attended and demanded to see the head pastor. When he came out I screamed and yelled and people came into the church to hold me down. Please do not think I disrespect men of God. Oh far from it, infact I respect them so much because without some of them who have mentored me, i would not be the person i am today. Truth of the matter is, my late friend's sister told me that a few days before she died, she had gone to meet the pastor in fear because she had another fight with her husband who told her that he was ready to kill her and nothing would happen to him. He kept saying "na naija we dey o and when you die your dead body no go come prove to the court say na me kill you". My late friend then called her sister to tell her what had happened and that she was going to see the pastor. I asked her sister why pastor? Why not police? The sister laughed and said do you know how many times she tried that? The policeman she met on duty laughed and said "madam na domestic matter be dis abeg, husband and wife must fight, go beg your husband". When her husband found out he laughed and asked if she thought she was in America, then he beat her some more for even attempting. So she went to the pastor and told him everything again because that was not the first time she went  to him to complain and ask for help. As usual the pastor said " my daughter, there is nothing God cannot do, please prayer is what you need. Keep praying to God to touch his heart, he will not kill you and he will not harm you. Go back home and maintain peace please, remember that God hates divorce so you cannot leave your home and children". She left there feeling so dejected and scared, and so she called her sister and told her all the pastor had said. I tried to think about what could have been going on in her head everyday of her life thinking that there is no SAFE HAVEN. 
The man who swore to love and protect you is the one who is killing you, the parents who gave you to him in marriage will tell you not to leave your home because it is not a family trait and it will bring shame upon the family, you are too ashamed to even let people know you are going through domestic violence for fear of being stigmatized, you are not protected by law enforcement agents nor the law because some of them do the same thing to their wives, then the only place which is the house of God also tells you to go back to the place where you are being destroyed. My heart broke and that was when I cried the most because no one knows what she could have gone through alone. So I looked at this pastor and said I hope you are happy now, I hope you are satisfied that she listened to you and got killed in the process.  I am not saying I support separation or women running out of their homes, but I insist that there must be temporary measures to take the woman to a safe place until things can be resolved. She has to at least be alive first before any reconciliation or anything can even take place. 

My question today is, what does the church do in cases like this? Is it saying that because of doctrines women should remain there and die? Is it saying that apart from prayer there is no other way to help? I poured out my heart to the pastor and asked him a question directly without any apologies, "if your daughter came to you, bruised everyday, threatened and battered, would you tell her to go back there and pray? What if she does and gets killed? What would your reaction be? Will you be able to live with yourself?  Then I calmed down and said God bless you pastor and thank you, I hope this means she will go to heaven. He could not say a word to me so I walked out. Call this ranting, lamenting, disrespectful, but one thing is for sure. We need answers, we need to shout it out loud, we need to educate women and let them know they can cry out for help. I can't stress this enough,  if you are going through any form of violence especially domestic violence, you can get help. Please don't die for nothing. Make that call to project alert now  01 4737270, 08052004698 or send an email to projectalert@projectalertnig.org, log on to their website www.projectalertnig.org Enough is enough,  the time to act is now. Say no to Domestic violence. Dedicated to all the women who have lost their lives through domestic violence. 

 May their souls rest in perfect peace."

Monday, 28 October 2013

Tobacco Control Celebrity Cause Champion


June 2006
I was the Nigerian Project Coordinator for an international HIV/AIDS project, Dance4Life. The project
was based on using music and other forms of entertainment to teach young people about sexual and reproductive health. One major aspect of the project was the staging of a musical concert on the Saturday before World HIV/AIDS Day (every December, 1) for all young people across the country that had participated in workshops in the course of the year.

At the time, Dance4Life was present in about seven countries and every country worked hard to stage the best show. This was particularly because of the satellite connection element of the event where for a period of 15minutes during the show, all the countries are linked up and participants at each show are shown a live transmission of what is happening in other countries.

For us in Nigeria, my bosses, colleagues and I worked tirelessly to get together the best in Nigeria’s entertainment industry in order to give the participants a show of a lifetime. We were able to secure 2Shotz and Guitarman to perform, Gideon (Big brother) and Titi Adelakun as anchors and Maureen (Big Brother) as an ambassador. Also Kaffy and her dance crew agreed to work with our Peer Educators to perform the special Dance4Life drill.

After we had put together all these amazing acts, we were still missing something; there was no top notch Nollywood representative. So one of my colleagues picked up the phone and dialed the official number of one of the very popular actresses but the reception she got was appalling. So, she reached for the phone again and called another very popular actress and till date, I still remember my colleague’s words from her end of the phone as she discussed with this actress –“Xxx Yyyy(Name withheld for now), I love you, we love you. This is why people love you. You are so simple and real. Please keep it up.”

True to her promise, Xxx Yyy was ‘powerfully’ present at our event and she didn’t come alone, she came with another very popular actress friend of hers and the school children who came from different parts of the country truly had a show of a lifetime.

June 2013
The organisation I work with, Social Responsibility Managers (SRM) is part of a social media-driven
Tobacco Control project and we are focused on managing a web blog for the purpose of sensitizing and educating the general public on Tobacco Control issues with the ultimate goal of inspiring them to support the passage and signing of the National Tobacco Control bill into law.

We knew that in order to get buy-in from the general public, we needed trail blazers. So we sought out to decide on Celebrities that we believed their personalities and values would best project the Tobacco Control message. Finally, we came up with four celebrities and Xxx Yyy’s name made this list.

Interestingly, I had completely forgotten about my initial relation with Xxx Yyy when I went online to try to search out her contact details. I stumbled on her blog, read through it and then searched for her on Twitter and Facebook. On June 25, 2013, I sent her a tweet and before the end of the day, she had replied my tweet. When I saw an email from Twitter stating that Xxx Yyy had sent me a reply, my mind went back to the 2006 episode and with a melted heart, I wrote back - “@Xxxx Yyy This is the 2nd time in d course of my career that I'm relating with you n you have consistently proven to be sweet at heart.”

To cut the long story short, we exchanged emails and she agreed to be a Tobacco Control Celebrity Cause Champion. Kindly permit me to present to you a diva who needs no introduction –


STELLA DAMASUS



You can join Stella and the Tobacco Control campaign by signing up to become a Cause Champion. Simply send your 1) Name, 2) Email address, 3) Telephone number and 4) Location to info (at) socialresponsibilitymanagers.org. You’ll get a chance to have a specially designed Facebook, Twitter and G+ profile banner graced with Stella Damasus’ picture.



As a Cause Champion, you would participate in civic activities specifically Petition Signing, Occupy Day (‘occupying’ official phone numbers, email addresses of public officials through calls, text messages and emails) and sharing blog posts on your social media profiles.

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINATED FROM: http://titilayoobishineshine.blogspot.co.uk 

Friday, 11 October 2013

DAY OF THE GIRL: SHAME TO THE GREEDY


Today marks the DAY OF THE GIRL and as we get through the day I want to plead with you all to remember the little girls out there who are crying and suffering in silence.


They are forced into a life that they cannot understand, a life that takes away their innocence and childhood, a life that takes away their education and good health, a life that takes away their human rights and freedom, a life that turns them into me statistics, a life that takes away their life.

It is amazing how we fight against those who take our oil, or increase the price of fuel, or our money to enrich themselves, or our teachers salary, or our electricity, but we cannot stand up and fight for the survival and human rights of our little girls. 
To think that a country like Nigeria would rather focus their attention on court battles between  political parties because all they are interested in is the next group of greedy people who want to Rule us, who  will continue to take everything we have for themselves so the vicious cycle can continue.
We see how our leaders and lawmakers shamelessly fight physically for very silly and greedy reasons with the whole world watching on YouTube. 

How I wish these fights were about issues like protecting the girl child and persecuting those who are violating them.
When things don't concern us or affect us directly we tend to feel some form of emotion for a few minutes and after that we move on with our day. But when a pressing issue concerns us or our families we start to call the press to come and help us put our fights and campaign out there.
These little girls are helpless and depending on us the adults to speak for them and fight for them. Not everyone can be a NUJOOD ALI or a MALALA. 
"Nujood Ali"
"Malala"

Today I am challenging you to do something, go on your twitter, Facebook, instagram, linked in, blogs whatever social media you have and start talking about these issues. Post pictures, send emails to people you know are close to the government, look around a rural area near you and discover some of these girls and if you are afraid to tell their story or identify them, you can let us know. There are people who can get to these girls and find ways to help them. Even if all you can do is tweet about it then please do. If you can hold small conferences or awareness programs around you and speak to the uneducated people who do these things then you would have given the little  girls the voice they do not have.

To say that I am ashamed that the Nigerian senate have decided to let the deletion of the clause in the constitution die a natural death, is an understatement. One would think that by now we would have heard a thing or two about the efforts or the meetings to try and resolve this. Instead we here about the fights and how over two hundred people accompanied the federal government  officials to the united nations summit in the united states of America.
These people were flown and accommodated in expensive hotels, given their " per diem" (which is usually more than you can imagine)  for each of them and of course the usual thank you for coming package. Check the Internet for details of the summit and find out how many people came from other countries. 

Pray for these girls if that is all you can do, or wear pink and take a picture of yourself with the caption "save the girls".

Save our little girls today and please watch the YouTube video I created for this. 

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLet1Nd-47Q

God bless you all.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Naija, smell the coffee



I have been reading all sorts and different versions of congratulatory messages to celebrate Nigeria. Even from people who just a few days ago wrote negative and derogatory things about our dear country. These same folks have been pissed off about the Asuu strike, the almost six hundred people who came into America as entourage with the presidency for the United Nations conference and how much was spent, the unresolved Boko haram issue, the underage marriage and the deliberate silence from the senate and so many other things they are unhappy about. But as the hypocrites we all are, we find the need to go on social media just to be seen as relevant. We start to use different apps to create beautiful pictures of Nigeria including our pictures to say happy independence. If it ended there I will not mind because we cannot change the event nor the date. But when some people who want to sound intelligent start to say things like Nigeria is the most industrious, courageous and safest country, NIGERIA is an example to the whole world because we are the giants and so many other things I personally consider to be eye service, it baffles me.
 Instead of siting and lying about the country you claim you love why don't you say happy independence and then go ahead to proffer solutions that you believe will help the country to be the place we all believe it can and should be, the place our parents described to us, the place blessed with so much that other countries will do anything to be us.
Let us be honest here, are these things the truths about what is going on?

Do not be like those whose answers will always be "it is well" even when you are dying and need help then when it gets extremely bad it becomes an embarrassing situation where everyone will know and then have no choice but to help.

Let us call a spade a spade.
Let today be a day of reflections,
Let today be a day where we all sit and think of what we can do to help our nation as opposed to what our nation can do for us.

These little teenage boys who are school dropouts are all trying to run away and they are being caught everyday at the airport.  Instead of laughing at the situation let today be a day were we can decide to set up a football team and give them activities that will give them hope of someday becoming the next Kanu Nwakwo or Jay Jay Okocha, find a small space were you can take free weekends to teach classes with the help of friends and family of mathematic and English possibly social studies, you can make t-shirts and engage them in crafts or technical activities that boys love, if you cannot handle that what about the young girls who don't know who they are apart from what society has called them, you can mentor them and teach them to read and write. What about your community and the people around you who have never been to school? Do they know about the new banking policies? If you understand it why not teach them. What about creating small workshops to teach and groom people into becoming great entrepreneurs. Teach them how to use technology to get ahead. How about the simplest one, PRAY for our country and not deceive its people. We are not under any pressure or obligation to look for sweet lies to tweet about or put out on Facebook.

Nigeria was created to be the greatest country but the usual suspects have decided to make it their own limited liability company, making the rest of us their coffee boys and toilet cleaners who don't have a voice or proper representation and who did not even get a contract that can protect us when we got employment. How can we talk when we never got a chance to sit inside any office, all we do is come in clean the place, get coffee for them, hear all the conversations and see all the money exchanging hands. All we get is the promise of prompt basic salary, which never happens, but we are too afraid to quit because we know we cannot find work anywhere else. Some people are too old to start over, some are too afraid, some just like to be were the action is but never take part, some are still deceiving themselves, believing that by saying nothing the greedy boss will make them managers from being coffee boys, some are just too dumb to know they are being reaped off their father's company. While some of us who know that the company belongs to everyone, have come out to tell the world the truth and are working everyday to take back what belongs to us. Not by fighting but by changing the Minds of the ones who will have the strength and determination to stand for what they believe in and take it back.
 
As a Nigerian I will still say happy 53rd anniversary to Nigeria.
That is as far as I am willing to go.

God Bless Nigeria. 


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Type A


This was one of my favorite articles from last year and its back by popular demand. I think this should make some people sit down, analyze their lives and where they place themselves. Then make the necessary adjustments or changes if they are not happy with who they have become.
Life is just too short and unpredictable to waste it on irrelevant and unproductive things.
I pray that this article inspires more people who will not see this as a negative thing but one that will help them dream again and chase the dream. Good luck. 


TYPE A





Sometimes I sit down and try to take stock of my life and it's numerous stages. It amazes me to see how far I have come even in the midst of the storm. God is indeed faithful to those who love and serve him.
 
Growing up was a bit funny for me outside the walls of my home. I grew up in a wonderfully balanced family with a lot of love and care from both my parents who were bankers, my older sisters who taught me so much and even my late kid brother even though his time was short. For some reason I thought there was something wrong with me and I will tell you why. I realized that, in school my name always came up whether or not I was a part of the issue. People just loved to talk about me, most of the time it was more negative than positive. Even if I was not guilty of whatever they accused me of, they would still go on and on. This was such a huge problem to me as a young girl, to the point that I was not able to enjoy boarding school. I thought the world hated me and i did not fit in, and that was when I heard that people called me an "OSU", which means OUTCAST, just because of my surname. That actually made me laugh at the end of the day seeing that most people did not even know the origin or history of my name.

As funny as this might sound I started avoiding people, I did not want to make friends so I had only two of them. Deep inside my heart I would think hard and try to trace the source of these issues. It made me believe the saying "there is no smoke without fire", so for people to say all this about me there must have been things I did that triggered the talk and the hatred. Now I know better because the world has changed so much that all you need to do to attract so much hatred and jealousy, is to EXIST. After thinking so for so long I arrived at the same answer as before which was "I am not a bad person and I have not done anything to deserve this". No matter how hard I tried to believe my truth, people just had a way of putting me in a box. This was entirely my fault because now I know for sure that no one can put you in a box unless you let them.

After so many years of being paranoid about what people were saying about me, I finally opened up to my parents. My mother laughed so hard that I wondered if she heard a word of what I said. That was when my father (God rest his soul) looked at me and said "have you taken a good look at yourself in the mirror? Have you not noticed how beautiful you are, or are you saying you do not know you are intelligent"? At that point I just felt it was a normal encouragement line that a parent would give his child to make them feel better, but I soon realized it was far from it. Then he said "can't you see that you are different because you are special? Do you need anyone to tell you how blessed you are?
I looked at him and said "but daddy if I am all these things, how come people say all these bad things about me? At this point I was almost crying, but in his usual way he looked at me and said "my friend! Will you stand firm and listen to me? You and your sisters are special, in fact very rare in a good way. You are like further mathematics". "Ah ah daddy what is further mathematics doing in this matter?" I had to ask that question to know we were on the same page.
My dad went ahead to explain, he said "further mathematics is a subject just like every other one, there is nothing evil or bad about it but people hate it so much. They hate it because they believe it is very difficult. Now it is difficult for them because they don't understand it. People hate what they don't understand and the truth is that only very few patient and intelligent people will diligently study and understand it. When they do, they become geniuses and professors. So if people don't understand you and can't place a tag on you, they will see you as a difficult thing. Most people might not know how to handle your intimidating presence even when you don't say a word. As a result they will end up saying negative things about you since they can't stand the strength of your existence. “So my dear why don't you focus your energy on the few who understand you and the positive things your existence should bring?"
    That day changed my whole life so much, I was so grateful to my father for what he taught me.
As I was about to leave, my mother called me and said "there are three types of people in this world
A: those who were born to be talked about because of who they are
B: those who were born to talk about others because that is all they are
C: those who were born to observe because they don't know who they are

Which one would you rather be my dear?"

I smiled because I knew that I was a TYPE A.

After that day I promised myself that I would never allow people who don't even know me, make me feel like I was not worth it. It is very easy to sit down and talk about others, judge them and try to destroy their reputation. In actual fact your problems are much bigger than you can carry, so you use idle talk to run away from your own issues. Guess what, after you are done talking about others, your problem that has been chilling on your bed will be waiting for you to come back and give it a big hug.
When you think about life, you might have a different analogy about God, the world and man.
This is how I see it; God the creator sets a mini clock on every human being, he opens his big shopping mall which is the earth. Then he gives us all a shopping list to go into the shopping mall and buy everything on our list. He also sets the clock to a time which he knows should be enough for us to finish our shoppingBear in mind that everybody has a different list, and from the moment he hands you the money (talent, skills, health, wisdom, brain, etc) and your list, your own clock starts to count.
So imagine that we have all come to this shopping mall, you see Stella walking in and out of shops buying the things on her list. Then you stop and start to laugh at her ugly shoes, you call your friends and start to talk about the old fashioned chair she bought. Stella walks past you again and you start to laugh at her cheap weavon and the fact that there is too much blue in her eye shadow. In all of this you are so caught up in your psycho analysis and gossip about Stella, that you forget that your clock is still ticking away. Meanwhile the person you are talking about is trying her possible best to buy everything on her shopping list, and make it back home early before she runs out of time.
This is what will happen; Stella will finish buying the items in her list, and go home right on time. On the flip side, you who have wasted more than half your own time following someone around, so eventually, you will not be able to finish buying the things on your list before the shop closes and your time is up. A lot of people have filled up the graves with DEAD DREAMS and VISIONS. They spend the life Span and energy God has given them for their own purpose on others and waste time minding other people's business.
It is so sad and painful but most importantly it does not make sense to me especially for adults.
Some people say it is as a result of joblessness but I disagree. I insist that if you have time to talk about others, then you should have time to try and discover yourself, spend time knowing who you are.
What is your purpose on earth?
What are you supposed to be doing at this point in your life?
Are you Satisfied with where you are right now?
Are you doing what you have always wanted to do?
Are you adding value to people around you?
Are you ready to take your situation to the next level?
What do you want to be remembered for?
What are your ambitions?
Have you accomplished up to half the things you set for yourself?

Trust me  if you spend your time trying to answer all these questions and work on them, you will find that you won't have time for idle talk, you Will also realize that you don't have enough hours in a day to do the things you really want to do especially the things that you love.

My question to you is "what type of person are you"?

TYPE A, B or C

I know who I am and I have no apologies for it. So I hope you will make it out of the shopping mall at the right time with your items complete.

 
Stella’s Quote of the day :
 Don't waste your life on others with idle talk, spend it on you because you are worth your own time.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

I Have a Dream


WARNING

Before you start to read this rather long article, let me advice that if you are not very patient or you are not such a good reader, you are better off not reading it. If you live in denial and can't handle the truth then this article is not for you.


  I was following the story of the 50 year anniversary of the march on the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC by Martin Luther King Jnr. where he gave one of the world's most popular speech.
Before the day of the anniversary I saw a documentary of a guy who was with Martin Luther king on that day, standing right behind him as he made the speech.  The man talked about their determination as young men, how bold and courageous they were even with the knowledge that they were not safe. They knew they would be stepping on the toes of very influential people and the state security but did not care about their safety. They went ahead to carry the weight of the black race on their shoulders knowing that there will be consequences for their revolt and protests against injustice and inequality.
 They did not know what the Outcome of their struggles would be at that time and did not know how the black race would turn out fifty years from that day. They were not sure about the future at that time but they knew they had a responsibility, they knew they were born to lead; they knew that it was a part of their purpose and destiny to fight for the rights of the black race. They wanted to fight for the rights of the people of color who were also citizens of the country through no fault of theirs. They did not ask for their forefathers to be dragged to America through slavery and now that they are here, you want them to remain as slaves from generation to generation even when the slave trade ended? Why?
 So now that they are here and have had all their children here and no one to start tracing their roots to know where they originally came from, where are they supposed to go when America is the only home they know?


I started thinking about the kind of fearlessness, boldness and determination to make a difference. To stand in front of hundreds of thousands to declare that even as a minority you still have rights and you are not afraid to stand for what you believe in.
That popular "I have a dream "speech is something that even our children are made to memorize and recite. But I wonder how many people have ever actually sat down to read that speech and really understand everything he was saying and preaching about. How many of us have thought about it as not just an inspirational speech but as a speech of revelation and evolution. How many of us even know what he said in the full speech? Most people start to read it from I HAVE A DREAM, not realizing that there were lots more. For the benefit of those who do not even know the speech or who do not know all that he said, I took the liberty of writing it out for you so you can understand where I am going.


Martin Luther King, Jr.

I Have a Dream

delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

“ I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand’s of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquillity in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last



These were not just wishes from a man who wanted to be noticed, they were visions and revelations that would cause evolution's and changes that would benefit the black race. He did not read the speech on paper anymore, he spoke from his heart.
He used the speech to also empower the people to continue the fight regardless of the opposition.
I saw some comments from some heavily retarded people who said he wasted his life for nothing because the black race is still struggling for equality and desegregation. How tremendously stupid can they be?
Do they not realize that it is not magic? Fights like this continue for years unto generations but the most important thing is that someone decided to start somehow for there to be something to continue. He did not start the fight on that podium; he didn't start the fight on the 28th of August 1963. He started in his home, as a person with a vision planted deeply in his heart, he started with a small group of people who believed in his vision and who were also tired of the injustice, he started in small venues even though they were disrupted and beaten by the police and other people, he continued even after they were humiliated, spat on, disgraced, and threatened. He kept pushing and going everywhere he could get to, television, radio, print, non violent rallies. As a result of this people could not help but pay attention to this black clergyman who was determined to give hope to the future of his kind.

He knew his life would be in danger, he had a wife and four children whom he knew were not safe as well but he believed that his existence was not about him but for the emancipation of the black race.
This reminded me so much of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for us to be free from sin. Jesus gave us our freedom and the more I thought about it the more I was convinced that God sent Martin Luther King Jnr. to stand up for the black race alongside other human rights activists.
This was not the only thing that caught my attention. There was something else that I never paid attention to before now which we all already knew. I sat down on the floor and started thinking about my own life and wondering if I had been playing my part as regards the purpose for which I was created. He was 34 years old when he went on the march and made the public speech.
Most people today who are at that age will not even come out to help a neighbour crying for help, most people at that age will not even come out of the car when they see two boys beating up a little girl on the side of the road, they will not even call the police for fear of questioning. Most of us will turn away and say "I try to mind my business please I don't want any trouble". When it comes to helping people, standing up for others, speaking the truth regardless, we are quick to MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS. But when it comes to gossip, scandal, controversy, envy, backbiting and the others, then we FORGET to MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS.

50 
years after, blacks can go to schools of their choice, they can eat in restaurants of their choice, they can be the biggest star on television and own the biggest studios, they can be the highest paid musician in the world, they can make Forbes list of the wealthiest and most influential, they can win the highest awards ever and they can now be THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We must remember that someone sacrificed himself not just for his children but for every black man, woman and child to have a chance. Nobody can get up and say America is the same way it was 50 years ago. The battle is not over yet but the changes are as result of the struggles of these people who sacrificed everything for others to live free. He did this at 34.


For the rest of us, what are we standing up for if not our personal achievements? We fight for our families, career, our own children, our own houses, our own everything, SELF SELF SELF.
Here we are claiming we are better than those that lived before us, we are more intelligent, better technology, freedom, education. Yet at that age how many of us today can boldly say we are courageous enough to fight for the rights of our people. When somebody tries to do that, the person is immediately condemned and labelled an ATTENTION SEEKER.



So when we condemn everyone who tries, who will do the work? Who speak and who will stand? Who speak for the young girls given out for early marriage, who speak against communities who send their daughters out willingly for prostitution, who speak against a people that will  beat and burn four young men who had their future ahead of them, who will speak against those who are looting our money and cleaning out the nation's account while we stand and get distracted by who is driving who out of Lagos, who will speak against the high cost of petroleum products in an oil producing nation while we are blindly following the shameless fights between members of the national assembly? I can go on but what's the point?

My prayer for Nigeria is that one day we will open our eyes and see what we have allowed a few men to do to our children and their future, one day we will open our eyes and see that our nation is about to be sold of all in the name of agricultural and infrastructural development. One day we will be bold enough to say we have had enough and this time put our hearts into it TOGETHER.
Until then, good luck to you all.


May the soul of Martin Luther King Jnr. and the souls of all the human rights activists all over the world who were killed, rest in perfect peace.
Amen!