ETEMA

Hi guys! How have you all been? Wondering where I’ve been? Well, I did announce that I was going on a sabbatical of some sort, though I might have extended it a little. Pardon me. Before we dive in, we all know that Nigeria (my beloved country) has been under the negative spotlight lately, ( thanks to the terrorist sect that is Boko Haram) with the two Nyanya bombings, the senseless abduction of the over 200 chibok girls and the lackadaisical attitude of our government to these pressing matters. Thank Goodness for the intervention of the International community, I’m sincerely hopeful that the girls would be brought back home soon and that the scourge that is Boko Haram (plus their cohorts) be forever purged from Nigeria. I am not here to blog about the chibok girls today.  I just want to remind you to do whatever you can, whatever is in your power, to help in bringing them back. Thank you and God bless. Well, today, I’d be resuming with a guest post, written by a dear friend of mine, tush curry bobo of life, Edward Adugba. He has a very interesting mind, ever the thinker. Enjoy.
**********************************************************************
He threw himself at me and wept with a loud voice, “Aboje, you won’t understand.” I had to comfort a brother I had always looked up to. For the first time, I was speechless for I had never seen him cry before. He was the epitome of great strength and courage.  I knew Eche had to be hurting seriously, more than words could describe. Sam was leaning against the back of a pickup truck, his eyes deeply erythematous and filled with tears.  “Aboje, I’ll miss mama. Kai! Mama tried for all of us.” Peter was sitting on the ground, completely oblivious of the full weight of the African sun, too broken to speak. I was speechless, unable to fully comprehend what Mama meant to them.

I had always been far from home, away among strange men, pursuing a dream. Home was becoming a faint memory to me.I’d missed the sounds of the crickets’ chorus reaching a crescendo at dusk, just before the start of the rains; the experience of farm work; the company of aunts and uncles, full of kindness; the taste of the fish studded soups;  and yes,  the compassionate voice of Mama. I didn’t stand aloof.  I was just distant.  I cried at mama’s burial. Not just because of her loss, but because I felt disjointed.  I couldn’t connect emotionally with them.  I felt like fish pulled out of water.  Like a bird with clipped wings, denied of the right to the skies. Disjointed.

I couldn’t possibly understand the grief of Eche, Peter and Sam. Just like I can’t understand the grief of a cast away who loses an only friend, the only voice of reason lost forever. It seemed a bright light of hope suddenly went dim to a people unprepared. Eche had the right to be angrier than most of us. He seemed the most saddened and broken and I couldn’t possibly understand why.

How does a frail old illiterate woman do so much when she has so little? How do “insignificant” people do great things in the lives of “significant” people?  What brings giants to their knees?

Money, it seems is the answer to many things.  It gathers kings to a table. It leads us to a stage upon which a bright spot light is shined on us. It gathers strange people to us. However, I have found that love, long suffering, patience, wisdom and kindness often heals the injury that results from the constant contention that characterises our world. These were the things mama had. These might have been why Eche cried.

Rejection is a curse. To be insignificant, cast away, left behind, every man dreads these. Mama loved what was insignificant.  She valued what was cast away. She valued those things that were unknown. These she did even though she attended no school.

It’s time to slow down and learn from the “insignificant rats”, from that dirty old woman who lives past the street or the lunatic who stares blankly at a world that doesn’t accept him. Through them, God can whisper something to us about what it really means to live.
******
We live in a very fast paced world. Indeed, sometimes we have to consciously slow it down and really pay attention, appreciate the small things, reach out to the people around us. Enjoy your week!

Advertisements

DAY 23: THE CHILDREN WHO ARE “OLDER” THAN THEIR PARENTS.

adalia header

While surfing the web one day like that, I stumbled on a video of a little girl called Adalia Rose.  What caught my attention was Adalia’s physical appearance. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure whether what I was looking at was human or extra-terrestrial.    I found it cute though watching several videos of this peculiar looking child having fun, dancing, singing and excitedly chatting away. I still couldn’t figure out what could have been responsible for her odd look. I was quite confused really. In addition to her unique facies and aged appearance, she has a large bald head, a tiny body, and a very nasal voice.  I couldn’t possibly imagine what was responsible for all these.  As they say Google is your friend so I put it to use and found some interesting things. It turns out Adalia was born with a very rare disease, called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (progeria for short). Even with her disease, Adalia is such a beautiful, sweet child. I think she’s pretty sharp for her age too. A victim of constant cyber-bullying,  Adalia has continued to enjoy her life and raise awareness about her condition. She’s quite the little starlet too, just check out her Videos on YouTube.

Asides Adalia, Hayley Okines is another famous child living with HGP syndrome. She has co-written and published her autobiography  titled “Old Before My Time ” in addition to raising  funds for research and awareness about her condition.

She alongside Sam Berns have lived past the usual life expectancy for children with thier condtion, which is 13 years.  At age 14, Hayley had the body of a 105 year old woman and is among 89 children in 32 countries living with progeria. These children are true gladiators! i trully respect them.

Hayley Okines

Hayley Okines

Progeria is one of several progeroid syndromes. The word progeria comes from the Greek words “pro”, meaning “before” or “premature”, and “gēras”, meaning “old age”. The disorder has a very low incident rate, occurring in an estimated 1 per 8 million live births. Those born with progeria typically live to their mid teens to early twenties. It is a genetic condition that occurs as a new mutation, and is rarely inherited. Although the term progeria applies strictly speaking to all diseases characterized by premature aging symptoms, and is often used as such, it is often applied specifically in reference to Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS). (Source : Wikipedia)

No treatments have been proven effective. Most treatment focuses on reducing complications (such as cardiovascular disease) with heart bypass surgery or low-dose aspirin. Children may also benefit from a high-energy diet.  As there is no known cure, few people with progeria exceed 13 years of age. At least 90% of patients die from complications of atherosclerosis, such as heart attack or stroke. (Source : Wikipedia)

Mental development is not adversely affected; in fact, intelligence tends to be above average.  They age at a rate eight to ten times faster than normal. They show no neurodegeneration or cancer predisposition. They also do not develop the so-called “wear and tear” conditions commonly associated with aging, such as cataracts (caused by UV exposure) and osteoarthritis (caused by mechanical wear).  Although there may not be any successful treatments for progeria itself, there are treatments for the problems it causes, such as arthritic, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems.(Source : Wikipedia)

Click here for more info on Progeria.

DAY 15: LESSONS FROM MY FATHER.

JBexclusion-1

A few days before I turned ten, my parents came to me with quite the proposition. They asked me if I would like to have the money budgeted for my birthday party invested in stocks instead. I was nine but I had a little idea of what stocks and shares were; a veeeery vague idea.  I had heard my parents talk about investment and stuff like that.  Initially, I wondered why in the world would they propose this? of course I would want my party, I’ve been looking forward to it, me and all my friends. I thought about it later on and decided that I would make the mature (painful) decision, afterall, I was ten, I was becoming a big girl, and I should do adult stuff like buy shares. So I went to my dad to explain to me why this “shares” of a thing was so important.  He talked to  me a little about the importance of financial investment and saving for the futures. He compared it to planting a seed today, watering it and letting it grow so that tomorrow it would produce more fruit for you to eat and even more seeds to plant. Eventually, I decided that investing in my future was better than having a party, so I reluctantly chose to buy shares ( even though they couldn’t be bought in my  name at that time) . The best part was that I still had my party, which was pretty awesome!

* * * * *v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v* * * * *

The word, precaution, was one of my father’s favorite words, in fact it was almost like a mantra. For example, I would be  in the kitchen using the frying pan, he would notice the position of the handle of the pan, then he would say, “Ize, How many times will I tell you?  precaution, precaaution, precaaaution”. He’d then make me move the handle to a safe position, or move it himself. Taking precaution prevents mishaps and the saves you the cost of attending to those mishaps.

 *  * * * *v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v* * * * * *

I was in primary six and for the first time in my life ,I saw  a pack of colouring pencils.  No, it wasn’t my first time of seeing colouring pencils, it was just that I had never seen a pack of 50 before, oh the things I dreamed of doing ! So I borrowed them from my friend, Banke and immediately I got home I went crazy, drawing and colouring in and making fancy posters and all. My dad came in to see what I was doing  from time to time, and drawing me away sometimes to attend to other things. In the course of my being an amateur Van Gogh, I tore a part of the packaging of the pencils and my when father came in to check on me again, he noticed it. He calmly pointed it out and helped me tape it up nicely then he said, “Always return items borrowed in the same condition you borrowed them or if possible in a better condition.” I never forgot.

 *  * * * *v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v*v* * * * * *

100_8633