PRAY LIKE YOU HAVE THE VIRUS

Something happened to me in the early hours of this morning. As I knelt to pray, I was led to review my prayer points (the usual mother’s stuff after kingdom advancement, you know… children, husband, family, of course trust mothers only 3% percent or less of their prayers is really about them.)

Anyway this morning, I went through my prayer points in my mind and I realised that folks the whole world has only one prayer point now. And that is my heart cry today which I am drawing our attention to.

1. Tell me who passes an exam that is not written? So your prayer for that your child to pass WAEC or any examination for that matter is being delayed because you are not yet serious about the issues at hand.

2. Who gets a job and resume in an office that is not opened when there is a nationwide lockdown? As an applicant or new employee, your prayer can only be “let this plague be over”

3. Of What value is your visa when the borders are closed? So even with your ticket, you still cannot fly. All you can do is change dates and pray an end to this pandemic.

4. OK, who is going to give you that Visa when all the embassies remain locked?

5. How can you or your ward graduate even though you are in final year when the universities remain closed?

6. Ok you scored 296 in JAMB. Praise God but where are you going to use it if the universities remain shut?

The list is endless. So many things that cannot happen because the world has been held to ransom.

Its time to wake up and pray. For those of us and nations who are by mercy and grace exempted from this virus pray, Please PRAY, PRAY and PRAY.

I am astonished when I read some arguments on the social media. Yes the prayer houses are closed but our mouths are not, our knees can still bend. We can call on God.

Yes doctors are needed, researchers are busy, all health workers work 24/7, policy makers are reviewing economic impact and trying to find solution, governments of nations are engaged in resolving the crisis. In all of these, we see man’s struggles and helplessness in the face of a calamity that is defying man’s solution.

Recently,Thomas Schaefer, the Finance Minister of Germany’s Hesse state, committed suicide because of the overwhelming impact of Covid-19. Dependency on men and nations have failed woefully. Those the developing nations would have run to for help are even more helpless and confused. Frustration is every where. The superpowers have been humbled.

People are terrified. Many of these may happen, if we do not engage God for intervention. Fear and hopelessness is seen in the eyes of health workers who are risking their lives to help manage the situation. They also need our prayers.

In Nigeria, people even joke and say it is an affliction of the rich? How ridiculous and ironic. So who is the driver of the rich? Who cleans his house? who is the security man of the rich? Guys we cannot continue to joke with these issues.

Folks lets pray like never before. Your religion notwithstanding, Pray. This is not time to crucify any pastor or imam. Its not about them, its about you and I.

It’s about the future of our children who cannot be in school.

It’s about the private sectors who very soon will not be able to pay salaries to people who are not engaged.

It’s about rising prices and food that is running out in the market.

It’s about your neighbours, family members and siblings who will soon be coming to you for help to feed their families.

It’s about our society and increased crime rate as a result of joblessness and hunger

It’s about you, when you will have so much money but nothing to buy in the market. Oh Pray!

PRAY ! PRAY! PRAY!

Pray like you have the virus!

Pray like your family member is affected!

Pray as if your living depends on it!

Pray for the health workers!

Pray for divine wisdom for everyone involved in finding solutions to this virus

Engage your heart, your spirit and your soul.

Please Pray, thats what we all can do and its cheap but priceless and effective.

And very soon!

This shall pass and we shall together celebrate.

– Adenike Babajamu (March 2020)

Depressed? Suicide not an option.

For some, life begins at the very beginning, at birth. For many others, it begins severally with one event shutting down and another starting. Its not about when it begins, it is about identifying the beginning of each beginnings and letting go when it actually comes to an end. So for me, a man has several beginnings. No wonder we can easily shut our eyes to yesterday and start today as if yesterday never happened. can we?

This platform for me is a new beginning. When will it end? Probably today, tomorrow or never. My old friend, Segun Adewara once told me i had stories to tell. He advised me to tell them and I am like where? who would listen? But somehow I started and now I find myself creating this platform hoping that the stories I tell will inspire, motivate and get people back on track to their real purpose.

So let me start with the story of young Bola (not her real name). At age 14, Bola had completed her secondary school and was awaiting the release of her West Africa Examination Result. Well thats probably not the beginning of her story. As the second child from an average home growing up was torturous. She was ugly (so she thought) and was taunted by her classmates in school. She perceived that nothing good would come out of her life like many of our youth today. Her image was battered continually and she could not bear to stand around her classmates. The six years in Secondary school was like six years of torture in hell. So you can imagine how glad it was for Bola to eventually walk out of hell to paradise after her secondary school.

Bola’s WAEC result was released and some how she managed to get 5 credits including English and Mathematics. That was fair, life was finally smiling at her. She would get admission into the university, she thought. But alas, that was not to be because in the process of her miserable life in the college, Bola had failed to register for JAMB and of course was not eligible for admission into any university in Nigeria. This was in spite of the funds that was given her to do so. In a bid to cover-up Bola, came up with several lies that indicted not just her school teachers but got her father to travel over 650 kilometres to process admission using fake documents supplied by Bola.

Wrapped up in the web of lies and deceit, Bola’s life became more miserable. She was depressed. She had cooked up several lies to her innocent parents that there was no way for her to turn back. At the age of 14, Bola began to contemplate suicide. The night before the suicide, Bola summoned enough courage to approach her father. She confessed that she never purchased the JAMB form and that the documents she gave for which her father had been pursuing her admission were fake documents and that was why her name did not feature in the University.

“You mean, you allowed me travel over 650 kilometres with faked documents, to pursue admission in a university that you never applied to?” Bola’s father was too furious for any reaction. He ordered her to go to bed while he thought out a solution in the morning.

That night Bola could not sleep. shame and anger against herself kept her awake. How could she have done this to herself. Well, she could not wait till the morning to face her father who meant the world to her. So silently, she tiptoed to the fridge while others slept and forced dozens of aspirin down her throat. She went back to the room and wrote her suicide note; part of which read “I am sorry daddy, i am too ashamed to face you in the morning. Please forgive me” She then laid down to die.

Three hours after, Bola was still alive. she didn’t die but rather went through excruciating pain that was worse than death. Did she survive? Yes she did, because if she didn’t you wont be reading this story. I survived, yes, I did, to the glory of God. But unfortunately, many do not. Even as I write this, some young folks are still killing themselves.

Today, many of our youths have low self esteem. Many are struggling hard to meet the expectations of their parents. Many suffer peer pressure arising from intimidations from classmates and colleagues. Many are being assaulted and abused daily by family members and bear the shame in silence.

It is time to give attention to our teenagers and young adults who are at the age of confusion and contradictions. For the ladies among them, they are neither girls nor women. They are caught in between and need to be properly guided. Suicide is not only a decision of adults, today young undergraduates are victims. Many people try to explain by saying it is diabolical or what is called edi (spiritual hypnotism) in yoruba. Why for instance will a teenager or young adult suffer depression?

There are many questions begging for answer. When we truly answer them we will be able to help our future generation.

How is success measured by parents and the society? What kind of relationship do you have with your kids? Do you condemn them so badly when they make mistake that they loose their self esteem? Do you compare them with your friend’s children who you perceived as being better than them? Do you discuss your children’s weakness with family and friends? Do you preach fire and brimstone instead of love? Do you listen enough when they are talking to understand what they are not saying?

The future generation is what we are talking about now. Depression is not coloured. It is not gender or race sensitive. It has nothing to with age. It calls always for attention and the signs are always there, if we care to look enough.

Light at last