GOODBYE SEPTEMBER: A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER

This is not just a rhyme but this September has indeed been a September to remember. A season I will not forget in a while. So it is with nostalgia that I bid September 2022 goodbye. Adieu to a great month.

Life’s challenges are sometimes like trying to chew up an elephant. It’s so enormous that starting is always a problem. But somehow we start anyhow. I learnt early from a great man; W.F Kumuyi that rich people save before they spend while the poor will spend before saving. Ultimately poor people never get to save anything because, if you are from a country like Nigeria where you are your own “government”, you will not have anything left to save. So I always put aside some savings when I have a project to carry out. However from experience I have realized that even your savings cannot be enough. There is a Master Builder.

For [of course] every house is built and furnished by someone, but the Builder of all things and the Furnisher [of the entire equipment of all things] is God
(Hebrew 3:4 AMPC)

Once upon a time I had wanted to change my car to what we call “tear leather”a Nigeria parlance for brand new automobile instead of the fairly used Tokunbo cars we are used to. I spent over two years saving for it but I never could save 50% of what was required. As the savings grew, so also did the unforeseen challenges of life reared up from time to time until my 50% became 20% and my dream of owning a tear leather car was almost a mirage. However, just when I was about to give up, the Master Builder of all things showed up and arranged a brand new (tear leather) car for me (story for another day). He showed up, made a “mess” of my savings and replaced it with His favor. This was over a decade ago.

So this September, He showed up again and upturned a near embarrassing situation in a most miraculous way. He made a “mess” of all my efforts and replaced it with His favor. He had said to me earlier in the year that Five Loaves two fishes was more than enough…. That became my best song since the year evolved and the truth is that it became a reality in September.

So guys, I have said all of these to remind someone that no matter how tough or rough the road is, keep going because the Master Builder is at work and His time remains the best time. Play your part of building and furnishing and watch Him place the icing on the cake of your life. Remember that the darkest night always usher in a bright new morning.

If you survived Covid 19, Monkeypox, violence and insecurity of different dimensions, climate changes and many other challenges too numerous to list at a time like this, then be assured it’s not over until you win.

This October shall be yours to remember and many more.

Goodbye September.
Welcome October, another month to remember.

EXIT OF AN ICON: SHE’S GONE…..

Tribute to my colleague, my friend and my dearest sister
BOLA ONAOLAPO SIDIKAT ALAYA (NEE OLUMOH)

Bola Olumoh Alaya: Poised with grace

How do you ever learn to say a final goodbye to a loved one?
How is the best way to show how hurt you are?
Sometimes you groan, you cry, you weep tremble and moans.
Yet, everything seems inadequate to express your grief and pain.
The pain is stuck in your chest … almost choking, yet not going away

Often if you are like me, your bowels move like a case of diarrhea
And your frequency to the restroom to excrete and pee increases
You are tensed, your heart beats faster and then when the night comes
All you feel is emptiness and a deep wish to have spent more time together

All of these, I and many who loved you have felt in the last two days
HAJIA BOLA ONAOLAPO, SIDIKAT ALAYA
You were my senior in the college, Queen Elizabeth Secondary School
Though I hardly knew you then
Then our path crossed again when you joined Afribank Nig Plc
Where we became colleagues and were divinely connected.

BOLA ONAOLAPO SIDIKAT ALAYA (NEE OLUMOH)
You were a seasoned banker, unassuming and very thorough
As a marketer and Head of Retail, you gave it all it took
Even though I knew the stress on your tender self
You kept at it, pursuing diligently and never giving up
I remember with nostalgia the many MPRs
The backlash when targets are not met

You were my office gist partner, when you returned from marketing
We would gist and talk about how tasking the target was
But we kept at it
Your simplicity and humility humbled me
You never looked down on anyone
Despite your privileged background, you had room for everyone.
You were a giver to the core and often empathize with junior colleagues

We had a great time as colleagues and it wasn’t long before you became my friend
We shared concerns together and your wisdom was unmatched
Then one day you dropped the bombshell,
You were leaving the bank.
Nothing we said mattered, your mind was made up.
I remember your exact word “okele gbigbe pelu Alafia…..”
You chose peace and serenity and opted for government work
With very much less pay.

It was a blow to me and others who loved you.
Why would you leave a better paying job?
I watched with mixed feelings as you exited the bank in style,
Like all you do, resplendently and gloriously you resigned to join the Kwara State Government
It was a courageous move, one we all thought was too much a sacrifice
But you thought differently; your reasons were apt and your humility made it acceptable
You left a vacuum in my heart and in the bank
For me, it began my own desire to exit as well

BOLA ONAOLAPO SIDIKAT ALAYA (NEE OLUMOH)
My Woman Crush Everyday (WCE),
You had class and you wore it gracefully
You were stylish, elegant, beautiful inside and out
You turned out often at our ceremonies,
Children graduation, birthdays, marriages, burials etc
You would attend with Nike Olumoh, your loving sister-in-love
Who is currently crushed by your exit.

BOLA ONAOLAPO SIDIKAT ALAYA (NEE OLUMOH)
My dear friend, my sister from anothether mother
So much to say about you, but words are just inadequate right now
My heart bleed, my thoughts about you cant go away
As I drove down to town for Janaza Prayer in your honour today,
All I kept whispering to myself was:
She’s Gone, She’s Gone, Just like that. Opari niyen
I still whisper it to myself even now; She’s Gone, Oti tan Just like that.

So today you were finally laid to rest
And like all you do, it was glorious and with great grandeur
Your gentle soul in life and in death finally back to your maker

My dearest sister, BOLA ONAOLAPO SIDIKAT ALAYA (NEE OLUMOH)
Even in death you remain noble, graceful and stylish
The world stood still, Kwara stood still today as you were laid to rest
The greats and the small, the haves and the have-nots
The many lives you touched and impacted
Your colleagues, family and friends
Stood in awe, though with so much pain
Yet thanking God on your behalf
For a life of impact, influence and affluence

Adieu Sister, Adieu friend,
Adieu to a loving and caring mother, sister, wife and friends of many
Those we love, live endlessly in our hearts
Even though our hearts bleed now, we are comforted by your sweet memories
And the wonderful times we shared together
May all you left behind particularly your immediate family be truly comforted
And as for you:
May Almighty Allah accept your return
And grant you a most peaceful Aljanah (Amin)

Adieu my dearest friend, I love you greatly and wished I said it more often.

ADENIKE BABAJAMU (28TH AUGUST 2022)

HOW NOT TO BE 95, @ 55.

“I can’t be growing old… Haba! I am only 55 not 95″

Did you ever get up from your couch in the sitting room, walked up into your bedroom to get an item and then suddenly find yourself lost in the center of your bedroom trying hard to remember what you actually came to pick?

Or maybe you are in the habit of searching everywhere for your reading glasses and after a lot of effort, you returned to pick the spare pair of glasses and as you mount it on your face you realized that you had your glasses on all the while?

Then the shocking one, you are in the bathroom, getting ready for a bath but you went out to answer a call or pick a new bath gel. You returned to the bathroom a few minutes later and as you picked your toothbrush, you are wondering if you hadn’t brush your teeth earlier.

Another shocking one is this;  you have just taken your doctor’s prescription, and then you suddenly felt that you had taken the drugs earlier and you are actually trying hard to remember if you did. Now, this one happened to me just yesterday. I had a doctor’s prescription to be taken once daily to clear an allergy. I usually take it with my meal, so yesterday after my lunch, I took the drug but just after I swallowed it, my sixth sense said to me “Omo (child) you have taken this drug before”.  I counted what was left and it was true. Wow, I said to myself “I can’t be growing old… Haba! I am only 55 not 95 and I am very young at heart”.

By the way, I was just 55 years “young” a few days ago, 17th June to be precise. And I remember my daughter saying; Mom, you are growing old and asking how I felt. I told her I am a spirit  and spirit do not age but only gets renewed and matured. How convenient to turn spiritual. Well, so at the Communion table yesterday night, I asked God to reverse my aging process by the Blood. I do need it.

Irrespective of your age, I bet you have experienced some of these or similar occurrence at one point in your life or maybe not? But I guess that as one grows older, you actually tend to forget very simple things. Please don’t tell me it’s amnesia otherwise over 50% of Nigerians are sick  especially our politicians and government officials who am sure are expert at forgetting stuff.  

So I asked Google what to do so as not to forget very simple things. Trust me I was not the only one talking to Google on this. The result from Google is a research for anyone interested. It ranges from simple things as having a to do list, setting alarms, repeating stuff to yourself, using calendar to schedule activities, exercising regularly, writing stuff down, keeping notepads around the house or office, good nutrition etc.  I agree that all of these plus prayers and maybe medical help will help one not to forget stuff. I however recommend in addition to these reading.

Our brain is like a storehouse and somehow not doing anything with it will get it rusted and old and that is when we actually grow old. So I am going to read some more and I encourage us all to do so. I also like those simply simple stuff that I am told will help the brain to be health. They are my favorites.

While, I know that my Jergens Age defying lotion ( I love Jergens) can only help my body and not my brain, here is a list of some stuff, I am told could help;

  1. Crossword puzzles,
  2. Dance some more
  3. Listening  to music,
  4. Learn a new skill
  5. S*x (relationship thing legitimately)
  6. Reduce sugar
  7. Video games
  8. Less TV
  9. Exercise
  10. Learn some new skill
  11. Swimming
  12. Singing

I intend to try a few of those stuff except number 5 (don’t tell my husband). In any case, I agree that age is set in our minds if you are determined you can be a Kardashian at 80 (just kidding). You are built actually to be better.

MY FRIDAY JOURNAL

As an employee. Don’t wait until you are shown the door or pressured to exit. If it is not your own, then it’s not your own. The secret is always to start from where you are, doing what you know to do best and turning your passion to your job. Follow my Friday journal and let’s journey to freedom together. 👉👉👉

www.linkedin.com/posts/adenike-omolara-babajamu-a1745132_breakthebox-careerdevelopment-startfromwhereyouare-activity-6928273398984810496-P7Dk

Is it just me or has “April Fool’s day” gone extinct?

I mean when I was much younger it was legitimate to tell a lie on April 1st and be forgiven. That was the only day you could prank your elders and get away with it. We looked forward to the day and actually would spend the night thinking of who to prank and what pranks to play. But everything seems too calm like April Fool is gone for good or could I have missed it?

So will it be Ok to say Happy April Fool’s day? Sounds awkward but I guess it is a happy day. One reason I can give for the unusual calmness is that with so many tik tok video pranks on the social media, the whole idea of April Fool has become underrated. For instance, I don’t need to wait till first of April anymore to pull a prank. This kind of kills the excitement associated with today in history.

Happy April Fool’s Day folks and welcome to April our most amazing month yet

What won’t a woman’s eye see?

A few days ago I had to travel to Ilorin in Kwara State from Lagos, Nigeria. Because of the unexpectedness of the journey and the challenge of aviation fuel coupled with frequency of flight cancellations, I opted to go by road. So I boarded a commercial car for a journey of about 4 hours. I was the first to arrive at the car park and by their law I get to sit at the front seat with the driver. I was happy to have the seat considering the distance and the heat.

Unknown to me the driver was not too happy to carry a lady on the front seat. Everything I did was wrong. If I moved my legs or adjusted the seat he would look at me from under his eyelids like I was some kind of mosquito or fly. I thought I was being over sensitive so I tried to make a conversation. At first, he pretended not to hear me.  I was not one to give up easily. So I kept pushing for conversation until he gave me the “eye” that meant keep quiet. Notwithstanding I needed to know what was wrong with this driver. By the way the guy was probably around 30 years or a little more but he was quite young and I guess if I had kids earlier, I could have had him (smiles).

We continued the journey peacefully for a while. Those who are familiar with the Lagos-Ibadan through Ogbomosho-Oyo road would know that driving on this part of the road in Nigeria goes beyond the driving skills acquired from driving schools and experience gathered over several years of driving. Guys, you need real guts to drive from Lagos through Ogbomosho- Oyo Road. It’s a story for another day.

Anyways, half way down the trip and traversing  in between the long queue of trailers, I noticed that almost all the other passengers in the car had slept and I was worried by the reckless driving of the driver. I cautioned him on this recklessness and gbam!, he exploded in native dialect and with a very derogatory tone “nkan ti mo fi so pe mi ole gbe obirin si waju moto mi ni yi o” Meaning; “this is why I said I would never carry a lady on the front seat of my car”. It got on my bad side and of course I responded badly. What on earth won’t women suffer? What has cautioning a driver against reckless driving got to do with me being a woman?

The above incident also reminded me of another one where I was badly treated simply because of my gender. As the Branch Manager in my banking days way back, a major and very prominent personality walked into the bank with a complaint. He wasn’t a customer of the bank but he was the chairman of an association that had an account in the bank. The account was abandoned and almost all the signatories had died and they needed access to the funds in the account. So because of his personality, he was brought to my office. Immediately I saw him, I rose up out of respect and courtesy to welcome him. But guess what? As soon as I was introduced to him as the Branch Manager, his countenance changed and he exclaimed “Ki leleyi? odo obinrin le mu mi wa” Meaning; “what is the meaning of this? You brought me to come and meet an ordinary woman?” Well all explanations by my staff that I was the Manager and most senior and they brought him to me out of respect for him, not wanting him to sit in the banking hall, blah blah blah.. fell on deaf ears. Well I assigned one young account officer to assist resolve his challenge and left them alone. What won’t women see?

Fortunately many of us learnt early to be unapologetically female and I have never really felt intimidated by outbursts of these kinds and trust me I have had severals working mostly among men. Sometimes I feel angry but more often I am amused and all I feel is outright pity at their levels of ignorance.

You probably are wondering where this conversation is going; not too far. I am not a feminist in the sense of feeling cheated or requiring emancipation but I just feel really sorry for our menfolk because sincerely from what is happening in the world today, they are and will be needing emancipation more than the women.

Today there are so many female CEOs, captains of great industries and leaders of organizations. Even when you attend a university or high school graduation ceremony, the ladies come out tops. Take a statistics of high performance in your organisation, you will be shocked to see that there are more females than males. And now to worsen the matter, professions that were previously exclusive reserve of the male folks are now being taken over by women.  If you check out these outstanding specie (women), you would discover that many of them had to do double whatever a man would do to get to the top and rather than getting credit for it all they get are derogatory comments from the insecure man.  

Well, I don’t intend to make this conversation long as I can not write all that is in my mind on this subject. But whether we like it or not, the new world is not about sex or gender. It is about what you have to offer irrespective of your gender. It is about excellence, efficiency and ability to deliver solutions to life’s problems. It’s not just equality, it is simply who ever the cap fits let her or him wear it without reservation. So like that my driver, if you don’t drive well and you end up in an accident, it wouldn’t matter if you had carried a woman or a man at the front seat of your car. This is life.

#breakthebias

Finding Valentine.

Love is in the air. It’s being like a buildup since after the new year celebration. But  really? As in seriously? Are you breathing in the love oxygen right now?

Trust me if it was not there yesterday, it won’t be here today. And if it is only here today, then tomorrow may still be empty and all of today’s valentine excitement may not just be  a fruitless effort, but one with grievous consequences such as a broken heart, unwanted pregnancies, anger, bitterness, frustration suicidal tendencies or in extreme cases, death.

So what must I do about this day?

Be all intentional about today. Be rational about your decisions. Love adventurously but intelligently and within your boundaries. Don’t kill yourself over today, it’s still 24 hours and almost over.

In my search for how to spend my valentine day, I consulted google and realized that there were others who had searched for the same thing and guess what I Found?

Google search

So guys how do you intend to spend your today? With friends, family, lover? However, you choose to, by all means be intentional and don’t cast down your pearls before swine for momentary pleasure. For the married and engaged, my subtle counsel is to spend it legitimately; not all adventures end like Cinderella’s.

I don’t know how I will spend mine but I sure woke up with so much excitement and without sounding overly religious I got my first valentine gift from the most reliable Lover and Valentine ever, Jesus. After a few minutes of worship, He said to me “Today I will take from you a heart of stone and will replace it with a heart of flesh that you may Love me all your life” I have never heard it like that so I meditated on it because God only speaks by His words. It must be somewhere and then it popped into my heart, It’s in Ezekiel 36:25-27

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Guys if your valentine has that kind of heart (fleshy not stony) he will give you the best of valentines today and not just for today but for every day of your life. May you find that valentine today and may your valentine 2022 celebration be your best ever and the beginning of greater valentines. Happy Valentine’s Day to all who read this. I love you.

PS: Shout-out to my friend and very own sister from another mother Bukola Omilabu (Nee Olaoye) whose birthday is today. Happy birthday girl, you are still in my heart as much as ever. I look forward to being a beautiful grandma as you.

Bukola Omilabu

And to my daughter Esther Simeon Anande-Kur. You are always in my heart babe. Happy Birthday from my soul to you. Our times together in Zaria, remain most memorable and your heavenly voice as you worship rings in my ear like yesterday.

Esther Simeon Anande-Kur

And to Dr Muideen Akorede my runaway brother, a very happy birthday to you please come back home. We miss your trouble. You know I remember those little things you did that made me shine.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2022-02-14-at-8.28.51-am.png
Muideen Akorede (PhD)

And to every other persons born on this great day. Happy birthday to you guys. For you it’s valentine no doubt.

And I got my very first Valentine alert from a very special person, my Son, Oluwadamilola. I love you son. You are my Hero today.

Oluwadamilola, my hero.

JANUARY 2022… DONE AND DUSTED

Even though we bade 2021 farewell in December and we all danced in the euphoria of the new year on the first of January, yet everything went blank and the world seemed to be on a pause as if reminiscing over the previous year or so it seemed.

January is that month where nearly everything seems to drag as if, not wanting the previous year to go, the month goes into mourning. It is ironic the year doesn’t really pick up until the end of January or early February long after we had wished ourselves “happy new year”.

Of course we had budget for the new year and secured approvals but many of such approvals including personal budgets are mere budget on paper with no cash back up.

The weather also added to the slumber of January with the icy harmattan here in Nigeria and winter across the many nations of the world. Yes, January is winter without Christmas, cold without festivities. We wake up feeling really cold and reluctantly drag out of bed into cold and dry days.

The excessive spending towards the end of last year, over-the-budget purchases for Christmas and New Year shopping in December had drained many people’s cash flow, put a deep hole in pockets  and made January like 62 days instead of the 31 days of the month. Pay day seemed like a million miles away

The lull in business generally made the month a very serious one in which nearly everyone became  humble. Yes, humility and gentility are the key characteristics of the month of January.

It is therefore not surprising that in more recent times people have resulted to fasting and praying more in January. This surely align with the humility of the month characterized by paucity of funds and the feeling of regrets over the excessive spending of Christmas. 

Many of the large churches in Nigeria declared corporate fasting ranging from 14 days to 21 days and even more in the month. The reason often given is spiritual. I agree with many people that to maximize the new year, a spiritual approach is of essence at the beginning. But I also know that fasting helps to reduce your expenses for the month.

So now that January is ended, it’s time to accelerate the momentum of the year 2022. There is no more tenable excuse to miss out on schedule, delay in project execution and pursuit of our year 2022 vision. Notwithstanding the seemly lull in activities in January, I can assure you that some very major events both positive and negative have taken place like the African Cup of Nations, coup in Burkina Faso and the unfortunate incident of a Lagos house wife (Motunrayo) who murdered her husband.

Those who will win this year are people who are ready to take personal responsibility for their lives. Stop the blame game and be in control of your life. Remember you are absolutely responsible for the outcome of your life. Be like water; channel your path notwithstanding any barrier on your way, by all means keep moving.

Be intentional about your life in all facets; at work, business, governance, home and community. Do not hand over the control of your life to anyone to determine your mood, your reaction and your general emotion.

Let’s go guys, time is of essence. The race has started, the clock is ticking. And in the words of Martin Luther king Junior; If you can’t fly, run. if you can’t run, walk. if you can’t walk,  crawl, but by all means, keep moving.

On your marks…. Set … Go: Adventure 2022

Happy new year guys. Hope you had a lovely holiday? I welcome you to this amazing year that I have tagged Adventure 2022. By now you must have reset and are back to your default mode ready for a takeoff. Or are you still undecided on new year resolutions?

Guess what? You may not be the only one especially when you review your last year resolutions and see how little you were able to accomplish.

The truth is that we take life too seriously and in the process miss out of the fun of living. This is the reason why we punish ourselves for failing. This year, I have resolved to make it an adventure and enjoy each moment.

Does this mean I do not have resolutions? No! It means I am not going to be over ambitious in setting my targets. It also means that while I am willing to push a little harder, I am determined to enjoy every moment and be very realistic in setting my goals. If for instance my target was to read six books monthly last year and I only succeeded in reading 3, I am not going to increase to 10. I will probably go back to 4 or 5 books monthly.

What I am offering is that we should be very intentional about our resolutions and stop building castles in the air. Let us be content with taking baby steps and grow them into giant strides with great joy. While it is important to set SMART resolutions, we must be careful not to be overzealous. This way, we would not end up by June, 2022 with an unachievable goal that would be ultimately jettisoned for “no plan” or a free style that gets one to nowhere by December, 2022 .

So get set guys for year 2022 adventure. Don’t be afraid if you are not audacious enough. Be content with your baby steps and watch how they grow into giant strides. My mum always says, “the sky is wide enough”. You are your competition and not anyone else. When you beat your previous record then you are set to win.

Here are a few steps you can take to advance in this adventurous year; start a blog, go back to school, get online certification, learn a new skill, get a side hustle, travel, get out of your comfort zone, change your job if you are not happy, get vaccinated and stop living in fear, improve your life by introducing technology, start healthy relationship and don’t be afraid to quit unhealthy ones. Oh yes, get married or better still have a baby if you so desire. You have procrastinated enough. It is time to go for it.

Do something different and differently too. Don’t be afraid to fail. Try again and again until failure is ashamed to be around you. So guys, are you ready for the adventure? Set Goooooo……. Cheers to adventure 2022.

Guilty or not Guilty?

Staying on a diet requires discipline, self control and a great determination to fight the alluring temptations of sweet foods that keep staring at you.

Sometimes you break the rules and it feels like you have committed a grievous offense almost equal to robbery against yourself. This was just how I felt yesterday.

I woke up with a craving for yoghurt and fruit parfait. I fought it with shawarma and told myself it was just for one day. And then I was offered fried rice with a big chunk of tempting fried chicken for lunch. I couldn’t resist any longer

Guys, I fell… broke all the rules. By night I felt really guilty. I wished I had resisted just a little more. Unfortunately I added more unhealthy calories and felt so guilty.

This is the summary of stuffs we do to ourselves and often end up doing things we really wouldn’t want done.

Discipline and self control are virtues of great men. It works in all cases such as maintaining a diet, keeping fit, exercises, work ethics, dealing with habits and addictions. It takes a lot of determination to deal with unhealthy habits and ADDICTION IS WARFARE: HOW TO WIN

Not to worry though, life gives us opportunity to start again each day. So if you failed like me yesterday, and felt guilty about it, it’s the reason God made today and offers another opportunity to try again.

Failing in its self is not failure until you completely give up and refuse to try again.

Light at last