For this warmth 

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There are many things to be grateful about in life, especially life itself and health. It’s really hard to understand the value of the everyday ability to stand up, eat, play and do whatever you feel like doing because it is something habitual, an ordinary routine. But when you fall really sick and all you want to do is cry because every part of you hurts and you can’t do anything, you realize how wonderful it is you’ve been well all through the year and you’re grateful for little blessings.

Tonight I’m thankful for having a home and a family. There’s this violent breeze and the doors are swinging open and close. It is the type that accompanies the heaviest of rainfalls and you run to shut the windows because you know the  wind would convey rainwater.

There is also a newly discovered leaking roof in my house that affects one of the rooms. Though you can’t see the opening and the drops come in slowly, it still feels really weird knowing your house actually has a leaking roof. I’ve read in newspapers about houses getting flooded and the roof carried away by powerful winds. There was the scene in the chess movie Queen of Katwe where her mom’s house got flooded and her little brother was almost carried away by the water. I shiver at this thoughts even as the rain becomes stormier outside. I’m warm and grateful I don’t live in a flooded house.

Tonight I remember some years back when I felt firsthand what it meant to be homeless and alone, or at least that’s how I felt. I had gone to see one of my best friends and when it was time to leave, the clouds showed signs it was going to rain. I however wanted to buy popcorn on the street and I insisted we stopped to get it. She had to go back inside to get the money for the popcorn and by the time she was back and we purchased the popcorn, the rain had already started drizzling. I figured I could make it home in time as my house was about 15 minutes away. I was halfway home when the rain became really heavy and fierce. I could either continue running home under the rain or just wait for it to stop, so I decided to wait under  the covering of a locked shop. While I waited, the rain got more intense and I realized I was alone, cold and abandoned under the rain with popcorn and a wet phone. Then came the lightning and thunder, I hugged myself really tight.My skirt and shirt were wet to my underwear and all I wanted to do was cry.  Now that I look back, it would have been really comforting having someone else around. It felt like the world planned a party and left me out. There was that disappointed part of me asking God why he’d leave me alone in such terror and I think at that moment I figured I was alone in life and in the end I’ll fight my battles on my own.
After what felt like years, the rain subsided a little and I went home in it, through the already flooded streets. I remember getting to my room, stripping off my heavy wet dress and eating soaked popcorn while crying. Being home was warm, but I couldn’t forget how it felt to be cold.

Even now I shiver. As much as I love the rain, I don’t ever want to be deserted, soaked and homeless. I’m thankful for having a home and a family. I’m thankful for this warmth and everyday blessings.

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Family

 

Family ❤

 

PreshyLaLa

 

Environmental Change Is Everyone’s Responsibility

 

Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters – Kyodo Williams.

While we differ in tribe, language, religion and beliefs in Nigeria, the one thing that binds the people in their diversity is the environment. The environment is the collective home of every man and thus the structure that makes a global family. The interaction of man with the environment is a natural necessity borne out of his biological makeup of psychological curiosity as well as his innate need to define, discover and develop his surroundings. Man, in a bid to survive and thrive has however left indelible consequences on the landscape and his home has now begun to fall apart with the outcome; environmental denigration, depreciation and possible destruction.

With the rapid urbanization and industrialization in Nigeria, we are now faced with various environmental problems like desertification, deforestation, overpopulation, oil spills, loss of natural habitat and especially, pollution. While we might think these problems does and will not affect us personally, the fact is that the preservation of the environment is the preservation of us all and its destruction, our destruction.

As reported by the Nations Encyclopedia, Nigeria lost 20% of its forest and woodland areas between 1983 and 1993 alone while Oil spills, the burning of toxic wastes, and urban air pollution are environmental problems in more developed areas of the nation. In fact, the United Nations Environmental Program in 2011 reported that the benzene level of the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta is nine hundred times higher than the World Health Organization recommendation.

These reports are not the proverbial smoke without fire as they have led to deaths and health hazards in the country. In two news report by the World Health Organization, 1.7 million under five children die each year from diseases that are caused by air pollution and Nigeria has the largest number of most polluted cities in the world. In 2016, four Nigerian cities were further named as four of the world ‘s most populated cities – Onitsha, Kaduna, Umuahia and Aba.

The fact is that environmental degradation is as serious a problem as corruption in the nation but while the latter enjoys loud public outcry and attention, the existence of the former is hardly attested to. It is apparent that though the average uneducated Nigerian understands that the reason why the price of a cup of rice rose from thirty naira to seventy naira is because of economic recession caused by looted funds of corrupt leaders, they are however hardly aware that the trees they cut for firewood and the waste they burn every morning outside their compound is environmentally dangerous. It is therefore apparent that urgent steps need to be taken to preserve the Nigerian environment.

To start with, there is the need to create awareness as to environmental problems and their causes. Life is valued by men and this is why with a gun pointed to their head when asked to choose between their life and money, they unhesitantly choose to save their life. People need to be made conscious of the effect of their actions and inactions as environmental destruction is a collection of individual decisions. More so, creating awareness has helped to fight menace in the past such as the outbreak of the Ebola in 2014 and Lassa virus in 2016 wherein different organizations and institutions took it upon themselves to create awareness of the menace and people took positive steps to prevent their spread. With proper education of the public on the effects of environmental denigration and pollution, as well as its incorporation in the curricula of primary and secondary schools, we’re definitely moving towards a vehement social change of mindset and attitude towards the environment.

Second, proper implementation of environmental laws is key in preserving the environment. Laws are important tools for guiding human behavior and ameliorating social order. There is no doubt as to the plethora of legislations regulating environment ranging from the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act 2007 replacing the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act to the Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act CAP H1 LFN 2004, the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act CAP N138, LFN 2004, Oil in Navigable Waters Act CAP 06 LFN 2004, Section 20 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, amongst numerous others. Notable is the fact that pre-1988, there was no policy aimed at preserving the environment in Nigeria as the government had no concern about it. The Koko incidence in 1988 was however a waking call to the government when an Italian man approached a Nigerian to dump 3880 tons of toxic and hazardous waste principally made up of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs)whose discovery led to the creation of the Harmful Waste Decree and Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Thus, further legislations were made on environmental laws, protection and development over the years.

Yet, an unimplemented law is of little use. Due to ineffective enforcement strategies and inadequate operating policies the laws are mere disregarded words on paper. The judicial system has also been a disappointment with delay in the court cases relating to upholding one’s right as a person to life and dignity and ability to implement decisions. The extra-judicial killing of Ken Saro Wiwa and other eight activists on November 10 1995 for daring to challenge Shell is one that remains inerasable in the history of the nation and raises the uncertainty of the ability of the courts to protect rights provided for in the law. Further disappointing is the case of Oronto Douglas V Shell Development Company Ltd & 5 ors (1999) 2 NWLR Pt 591 where the plaintiff sought a compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Act and the court held that the plaintiff could not institute the action since he was unable to prove direct injury caused to him. In the important case of Jonah Mpere V Shell Production Development Company & 2 Ors, where the court upheld that gas flaring was a violation of human rights, illegal and should be stopped, till date neither the oil companies nor the government have complied with the court ruling. This is a proof of the present unreliability of the Nigerian Judicial system thus necessitating a better structure for law execution and the need for just decisions. It is further proposed that there is stricter fines and punishment for violators of environmental laws. This is because injustice to the environment is injustice to all.

Finally, there is also need for immediate societal proactivity. The society is the juxtaposition of the government, institutions and the people. A rise in action by these three forces is the collectivity that can control environmental degeneration. Most of the environmental problems in Nigeria are occasioned by the nonchalance of these trio. The agencies created by the environmental laws lack the finance to meet their obligations and perform their functions effectively as posited by Hakeem Ijaiya in his article,” Rethinking Environmental Law Application in Nigeria”. Policies such as Environmental regeneration, solid waste management, flood abatement, enforcement of pollution control for industries need to be put by the various levels of government into place in order to redeem the environment and enhance its value Thus, the need for the Nigerian government to allocate more funds for proper implementation of environmental policies and training of these agencies. It is also expected that they perform their function of equal and easy access to justice as provided for in the Legal Aids Act and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for persons whose rights have been violated by pollution and misuse of the environment. Institutions, especially waste producing institution, should also take it upon themselves to promote advertisement and awareness of the dangers of pollution to the environment as was done during epidemic outbreaks. The fact is that we need to take responsibility and work together to create the difference we want to see. The people also can take the proactive step of whistleblowing and monitoring agencies as well as speaking up for their rights by instituting legal actions against corporations or government agencies in breach.

As a national environmental family, we all need to take part in environmental actions and become agents of change for positive impacts on the planet. The combined initiative of creating awareness, proper implementation of environmental laws and proactivity of the society comprising the government, institutions and the people are strong instruments of preserving our environment, saving lives and making a difference for the generation to come. The regeneration of the environment is the collective responsibility of all Nigerians and it is high time we accept that individually we can make a difference and together, a change.

©Precious  Akinkuolie 

Under the Sycamore tree 

Tonight, we sit under the sycamore tree beside the Faculty of Pharmacy. It is a one hour walk from my hostel and how we managed to wander so far alone I cannot comprehend. It however didn’t matter, the solitude warmed the night. We gaze at the moon in silence, this night I do not want to talk about how confident and powerful she is. Instead we remember our mistakes, the yesterday that made our today and determines our tomorrow. There is an evocation of nostalgia in the air, under the sycamore tree in the Faculty of pharmacy. 

My voice shaky, I whisper the unsaid words sitting heavily in our bellies, “Ugo, I’m scared of what we will become. I’m scared I’d disappoint everyone, fail school and fail life”.

I cannot control the tears. 

Ugo, my best friend in the world holds my hands tight. It feels right, it feels like home. 

I remember the nights in Senior High when we sneaked out of our hostels to share my chocolates and sweets while laughing and dreaming in front of the dining hall. The university was supposed to be the stage where we played our script and ran our show ourselves. There, we conjured up the perfect tomorrow and the nights silently concurred. 

Seven years later, four carryovers later, a third class grade later, two abortions later, one lifetime later; we sit and wonder whether someone else wrote the script that ran our stage. 

The leaves sway as the breeze silently passes by, as if to say Yes, we were just actors in another man’s play. 

I hear Ugo confidently say, as his hands clasps mine tighter, under the sycamore tree with the stars silently listening, “Ada let the worst come to the worst, we’d just teach in a primary school jare”. 

From within my soul, I hear a crack and a deep hollow laughter begins to rise from my belly. 

Everything was fine at home, under the sycamore tree with your best friend holding your hands. 

For David Bestfriend, together we conquer life, conquer dreams, conquer tomorrow


PreshyLaLa 

You have now become proud 

It was the early hours of this Monday morning. This time, I wasn’t interested in mesmerizing in the dawn, pondering on how the Morning remembers to wake up every single day and wondering what will happen if he oversleeps and resumes late one day. 

Yes, I overslept and was late today. 

I saw the young woman as I raced on with the bike man trying to beat time. Head tightly covered with a scarf, skirt almost to her knees and speaker in hands, I did not have to listen, she was trying to fulfill the “Great commission”, her major purpose on the earth as a Christian. I did not have to check my phone either for the time, it was 5:30am.

All I wanted to do was scream:

Aunty, people are sleeping. Someone stayed up till 2am doing something last night – working, loving, living, surviving. If you really cared about their salvation, you could wait till day or evening to condemn th

em and remind them about how they lied last night and would have gone to hell if they hadn’t woken up. Oh sorry, you wanted to tell them about Jesus’ love? Hell! Why make it an alarm? 

Then I realized I wasn’t who I used to be. Precious has changed and it seems this girl is now proud. A year ago I’d have shivered at speaking against the preaching Christian. Even if they were speaking nonsense in the bus, it was more important that they were preaching in public about God. Now, it seems I’m losing my salvation, criticizing the actions of the speaker of the “truth”. 

Few months back, a friend had to inbox me. He says, A, B, C have gone mad. They do not believe in God, I do not want our friends to go to hell fire. 

The who I used be would have panicked, immediately opened the scriptures, selected the verses of fear and damnatiom and passionately “converted” these mad men into the light. 

However, Precious is now proud, so she says:

A speaks about history of the Church, how they murdered so many people in the name of the gospel, altered truths and covered up certain things. He wants to know how to believe in such shady foundation of a supposed “truth” 

B speaks about logic, discrepancies, faults in the Bible 

C doesn’t have any tight religious background, so he’s a free thinker and believes in all religions and the existence of various deities and wants to know why your own belief should be supreme to the rest. 

You cannot tell people not to ask questions, not to try to discover, because that’s why we’re human and have a mind. If you cannot answer their questions, leave them and let them believe in what they want to believe in. 

He wonders, “Has Precious now gone mad too?”. No, she’s now proud. 

Then last night, Dumz talks about the video of a woman who went to hell and came back to warn people. She says so many things are forbidden and we’re going to be tormented forever for every little sneeze, stolen match stick, slight blunder. 

But Precious is now proud, so she hisses and says she doesn’t believe in these things. She can no longer live in fear of these things that held her bound for so many years wondering if she’d ever make heaven or would forever burn in flames. 

I sit at the window of this faulty bus, staring at the passing vehicles. Different people on different journeys. Some with speed, some slow. Some learners, some experts. One with certainty of his destination, another asking for direction. 

I sit here and remember the days where I shivered in confusion, breathed in the fear of eternal damnation and prayed so hard for a mercy I already had. 

I’ve certainly not reached the stage where I can ask too many questions and try to discover too much. I sit in my little box of shaped beliefs, yet I would never again try to stop people from questioning what is seen as untouchable and I do not give evasive, hazy answers anymore. I do not fear speaking against acts I know isn’t logical because I fear hell. Hell, I now tell people to shut the hell up without calculating how many curse words I used altogether today. 

Point is, I’m growing in this journey. Yesterday, I used to fear asking questions speaking out and thinking hard because I wanted to make heaven. Today, I’m no longer a slave to fear. I ask whatever I want to ask, say whatever I feel like saying and question whatever I want to question. 



Because I’m Precious and I’ve become proud. 


Tomorrow, I do not know for sure who I’d be. But yeah, I’m evolving and I see a stronger, prouder woman ahead. 


PreshyLaLa


01.03.17

You gaze at the stars for hours in silence and solitude. Someone passes by and thinks, “deep thinker”.

But only you knows how blank your mind is, with little fragments of scattered thoughts like the stars in the sky.

The first day of every new month is like a checkpoint where you look back at where you started, look in at where you are now and forward at where you’re going.

You do not understand how exactly two months crawled, walked, ran and then flew but you know for sure the year’s on a swift race and you have to choose whether you’re on the track or at the sideline.

The long list of goals undone over the months stare at you, shaking their heads in the fashion of a Yoruba mother. O ma se o. It’s a pity.

Your excuses smile sleekly at you with content, the expression on their faces similar to that which a rat gives you after helping itself to the bread you planned as your breakfast.

2016 was rigid, I want 2017 to be more spontaneous, you say.

But the thing about spontaneity and waiting for the right moment is that you’d wait forever for that divine push for motivation. There’s no check on your laziness to complete those half-written drafts or your nonchalance about opportunities slowly dancing past you.

Let’s Review. 

Basically, February was a great month for me. I decided to take certain risks, go the extra mile to remind myself about who I really am and what I seemed to be forgetting, tried to check up on old friends though I couldn’t keep up and I worked hard at ensuring I went for whatever I really wanted. However, I feel extremely under-achieved and rightly so. February was a bundle of half-written drafts, procrastination, making excuses and time-wasting. Positively, it turned out to be a month of love for me where I decided to let my butterflies flutter.

Here’s what I discovered so far. 

FriendshipI realized that I basically had no real deep friendship and all my relationships were superficial to an extent. I was at a point where I needed to talk to someone about so many things and I realized I really didn’t have anyone in particular I could comfortably let it all out too.  What if I was suicidal and on the verge of taking drugs, what friend would I call who would actually take me serious? I figured nobody. Isn’t it funny how we can be surrounded by so many people and yet nobody?

FaithAt this point in my life, I’ve decided to block my ears totally to any form of arguments on faith, logic or what the scripture says. It’s mentally tiring to have people try to mess up your belief system and because you’re not so mature you almost begin to sway and the confusion starts all over. I’ve decided I would believe what I would believe in and draw a thick fat round line around it with me growing on my own. Whoever wants to join me is definitely allowed in but no one’s pulling me out of my own faith zone.

DreamsTo be honest, I think I’m scared and too proud Continue reading

​The Stranger in the Rain

As she lay on the bed, surrounded by flowers, cards, and magazines, she remembered that Monday morning. No, she remembered right from Sunday night – the unendurable heat and her inability to sleep. She was so spoilt by the regular power supply in her street, she forgot what it was to have sweat running down your back and the air conditioner turned off. Sunday night slowly became morning and it never ceased to be a mystery, the swiftness of a night while asleep, and it’s dallying while you’re awake. 

She remembered hearing the slow tap of the rain on the roof and the awareness of the cool breeze that accompanied it. Checking the time, she realized it was 4am and for once, she wished she took the self-employment pep talk of her secondary school Vice Principal seriously. 

He was an old man who had his trousers almost at his chest and a cane that served as both a walking stick and a I-would-not-spare-the-rod-and-spoil-the-child weapon. His bitterness at life was unforgettable as he constantly extended his frustrations on the available backs and buttocks of the students at every little offence. Rumour had it that he used to be a popular sportsman until the accident that caused his limp, and he lost his career, fame and fortune. He never ceased to remind the students of the folly of laziness and the need for self employment as he spared not the rod. No one was ever bold enough to question his personal refusal to take his own advice. 

All she wanted however was a good job which paid well. Dare to dream and seize the world at her finger tips, she never did. 

She remembered not what she spent her days doing nor how she ended up a well-paid secretary, but she recalled being satisfied with her quiet little position until that Monday morning.

The slow chill breeze from the rain made her wish she could stay in bed all day and sleep. Yet, the rhythmic music caused by the march of the rain on her aluminum roof reminded her of her obligation at work that morning and how important it was for her to be present at exactly 7am for the important visit of the new head from the merger. With all the willpower any man could have, she pulled herself and went about the business of preparing for her day ahead. 

Her frustration from the refusal of her car to start, she recalled clearly, and recollected throwing her heels in a bag, and rushing into the rain with an umbrella to catch a bus to work at the bus stop. 

How she loved the cold and the wetness and wanted so much to just stand soaked by the downfall, neither dreaming nor thinking. She wanted to shiver in the cold, wet to her bones and maybe remember what living felt like. Yet, real life had responsibilities and off she hurried to the distant stop. 

What she wore, the colour of her nails and even her own name eluded her, but how he looked that morning remained engraved in her mind, never to be forgotten. He wore a red and white shirt which was slightly wet from the rain and had with him a black briefcase. He rushed up to her and motioning at her umbrella said, “May I join you please”. 

His smile felt like Christmas morning and she recalled smiling back and offering him her umbrella. 
There was something in his voice and the way he laughed afterwards that made a mark somewhere in her soul. He had something she was missing in her life, she could see it from his enthusiasm and aura. 

He told her his name. 

Ken

It turned out they were going to different destinations and they had to separate at the bus stop. 

She remembered him turning as he was about to enter his ride saying, “Thanks for the umbrella. You saved my life”.  

The stranger in the rain left with something important she knew her life would never be complete without, and him she forgot not. All she wanted was to run to him, to understand how one person could have so much life in him

This was all she recollected on her death bed as she laid surrounded by a sad looking old man holding her tight, two beautiful women, and three little children. She wondered who they were but couldn’t find her voice to ask.

The stranger who came back with his dreams, laughter, life and passion and taught her what really mattered, she remembered not. 

The light he brought to her life alongside their two beautiful daughters, she remembered not.

Her grandchildren who wanted to paint, sing and play the piano, she remembered not. 

But as her demented mind and soul slowly seeped out of her body, she saw the old man with tears in his eyes, tightly clasping her fingers transform to Ken. With a smile on her face, she died with just one name on her lips, remembering only the stranger, and that rainy Monday morning. 

ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą



For Kenny, never to be seen again 

Gallery

Real life questions I need answers to

Hello beautiful people of LaLa Land. Who else noticed we’ve been in January for like three months now and it’s still just the twenty-seventh?. 2017 will be a really long year after all.

It’s my third week interning and it has been amazingly tiring. Getting to suit up and wear court heels, having my own office and an internet connected company laptop is nice, as well as getting to talk to lawyers and law school interns with dozens of advice and research work to help the undergraduate baby in the field. I even got to see Fani Kayode and the court proceeding against him by the EFCC and Senior Advocates collide in a Federal High Court with so much confidence in their knowledge of the Law and respect accorded to them by other lawyers, it was awesome.

Yet, I’m super exhausted and glad I’m going to be done next week. It feels like I don’t know enough, might never know enough when it comes to law. After my first week working, I called my dad and said, “It must have been really hard. Coming home 10-11pm and leaving for work before 6am. Driving to the Island every single day, having responsibilities”. He laughed.

Lagos traffic is crazy, the heat in the white cramped buses is crazier and not being able to just take a day off work is craziest.

Being an adult means obligations, and I’m definitely not ready now. Can I go back to sleeping all day and watching TV during the holidays?

Now to my real life questions!!! 

  • First question: does using the internet rather than the library make you a lazy worker?

So this lawyer asked me to find legal authorities on a particular aspect of Law that I wouldn’t even get to study till year 4. I was so excited and I ran to the library enthusiastically. Yaay, my first legal research

Naturally, I’d just go to the internet to find the legal position and statutory authorities on the matter but I was bothered it was the wrong way of working and I might come off as being lazy. So to the library I went; Land law, Commercial law, Landlord and Tenant law, Property and Conveyancing law, I basically read more law than I have throughout my two-year law experience

I learnt being frustrated isn’t merely about Joshua being a pain in the neck or your little brother using all your data to download movies while you’re asleep. Knowing you know nothing and being unable to do anything about the nothing you know you don’t know is exasperating! 

I decided to check google anyway and I was directed to a particular Lagos State law which had the provision I needed. I ran off happily to the associate (maybe using google is what it means to work smart after all). However he already specified that the Law must apply to Ikoyi, Lagos and I only read the applicable section without reading the whole Law. Turns out there was an exception in Section 2 which made the law inapplicable to Ikoyi.

I was terribly embarrassed, a reasonable person would read Section 1 and 2 of a law at least and I knew for sure if I had not used google and stumbled on the law myself, I would have seen the exception.

Anyway, I went back to the library and read every foreign textbook I could find including Halsbury’s Laws of England and cases in the Queen’s Bench report, Court of Chancery etc, something I’m sure most year 5 Law students have never done sef. Hours later, I decided to admit my failure and went back to the associate.

I knew the law was there somewhere, I could feel I was searching all wrong and it made me feel stupid. 

The associate asked whether I checked Nigerian weekly law reports, I actually did check some less bulky law reports I saw. How exactly am I supposed to check the thousands of parts of the Nigerian weekly law report anyway? He looks up and says, “that’s why there’s an index. Check the index”.

I remembered the library visitation in Year 1 during Law102 where the lecturer took us in batches to teach us how to use Law reports. I remembered not listening and playing with my phone at the back. I felt stupider.

Back to the library I went and for hours I sat with the hefty indexes of the law reports, checked so many cases and I eventually almost started crying. There’s this popular law quote by Lord Denning, a prominent master of law about a good lawyer being one who knows not all the law but where to find the Law.

Even Lord Denning was trying to tell me I made the wrong career decision.

With eyes swollen from reading more law than I’ve ever read in my life, I went back to  google and found nothing either. With frustration and shame, I admitted to the lawyer that I didn’t find anything. Turns out he had already checked and with his better knowledge of finding the law, got nothing. A youth corp law intern finally did though, through the library. I’m still not sure if it’s more professional and hardworking to use Google to find answers.

  • Second question: how do people live the everyday stress of having a job?

One of the reasons I decided to intern was to see real law in practice and decide what I really want to do. There’s always the quote about going for your passion, doing what you love doing best etc. Believe me, they’re not mere motivational pictures you keep on your phone.

I have a friend that studied Food Technology but works as a journalist, doing what I believe he loves. I’m however perturbed as to how the system expects us to decide what we love when we’re only taught the books and not the realities. Real practice of law isn’t “Contract can be defined as…”.

Anyway, I’ve discovered that if you let someone else dictate what you ought to do with your life, what career path you ought to take, you’ll probably wither away and lose yourself.

Real life, having a job, taking responsibilities and building a career is actually not a joke. It’s not like school where you can wake up one morning and take the day off because you don’t feel like going to class. You can’t decide you want to come late today or leave early tomorrow if you’re employed by someone. In fact, even if you’re the boss, you’re expected to be dedicated and work harder than you employees if you want respect. And with the high rate of unemployment, you might end up having to stick to the career you detest or you were forced to go for and believe me, everyday your soul will die, every single day.

  • Third question: what if you’re naturally lazy, how do you survive real life responsibilities?

Haha! this might seem really funny but it is a real life thing. My friends and I make jokes about how lazy we are and how we’ve never actually finished reading up all topics before any exam. I’d always select topics and take exam risks and if it turns out negative, I most times don’t regret my laziness but promise myself to be more serious the next time (this is the difference between real lazy people and those who claim to be, we are too lazy to regret the outcome of our laziness).
Now more seriously, there’s actually a thin line between laziness and lack of inspiration. Being asked to read up on a convention concerning biodiversity when you don’t even know what biodiversity is hard especially when every few minutes you have to checkup the dictionary for the meaning of a word. Then you begin to skim through instead of actually reading the convention and you remember this is what you actually do without your academic, skimming through textbooks and using common sense to bulldoze your way through. Then you drop the convention you’re supposed to research on altogether, check-in whatsapp, instagram, twitter, then you get to LinkedIn and see the “seven characters of successful people” article written by a billionaire and hard work, passion and creativity is listed top in bold. You know you’re never patient enough to read any law or book or article without reflexly skimming through when you lack motivation. You know get bored real fast and you’re easily distracted. You know you’re too lazy to even try to be creative and half the time to time never push yourself out to do your best. You know there’s this big void bereft of motivation in Law for you. And most of all, you know being successful isn’t an option, It’s mandatory. Then you realize you really have a big real life problem and you need to solve it real fast. 

img_20170126_170708

 I couldn’t help but take this with my phone. Remember last year I wanted to learn photography? That was one unrealized dream. Anyway, this reminds me of how vast our dreams can be, etched in an ocean of uncertainty. How wide the concept of God can be and we know we cannot comprehend it ever. How deep our emotions are and how we know we might never really really know ourselves or anyone after all. RIP Buchi, you touched something in all of us. RIP Damilare, you never got to see the world. RIP Timilehin, I don’t know you personally but you deserved to swim in the tide of life. 

ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą

Never Too Late 

Hi 2017, 

They say a new year stands for new beginnings, new resolutions, new goals and aspirations. A time to start afresh, fix mistakes and settle to be better. 
Why then don’t I feel this rave? Why is yesterday the same as today, today as tomorrow. It’s like 2016 never ended and 2017 isn’t here yet. You really should have waited you know. Waited for me to get on my feet, overcome the helplessness and uncertainty, start to live. 

Am I a hypocrite for always telling people, “Live life to the fullest, Life’s short and living is a choice” when in actual fact all I do is stare at time hoping it’d pass while I drown in emptiness.
Hey, I thought a new year would be the solution but it turns out that nothing really changes, except we make it so. 
The  truth is, if I keep waiting to feel different and for life to force me to live, then it’d be 2018 and I’d still be waiting. 
I’ve decided to make out my own fresh start and begin to breath again. 

So here’s a happy new year to me, though 14 days late. I don’t know what fate has in store for me this time but I’ve decided this year’s going to be about figuring out what I want to be. 
I want to be certain of my life’s direction, my career choice, my spiritual stand, my personal beliefs and most especially myself. 

Do I really want to practice Law and if yes, what aspect of Law anyway? After a week of interning, I noticed Litigation Lawyers are really sober, strict looking and hardly smiles and Lawyers in the Commercial department are in fact the opposite. Well, I sure know I don’t want wrinkles pretty early. 
 When I was younger, I’d tell myself to wait patiently to see where life leads. I even finally decided to study Law a day to the submission of my form. It didn’t really matter then, things always worked out in the end. 



Truth is, I don’t want to be the biblical description of a person tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine anymore. 
I’m tired of not being totally certain of what the Bible actually says. Do we all go to heaven no matter what, as long as we believe, or do we have to work hard for it? Is God all love and kind and sweet or is he wicked and punishes every bad sneeze? 

Does evil really exist in my family and do I really have to join in prayers fighting forces and demons and mountains I don’t see anywhere? 
I’m tired of different Pastors with different doctrines, trying to plant fear in people’s hearts. I really need to know for myself what I believe in and what I do not. Some months back, someone stole from me during a church service and what really hurt was the fact that the Preacher was talking about free salvation without fear and it didn’t mean anything to the person. So I wonder even till now, does anyone actually listen to the gospel? Does it really change anyone or are we all deceiving ourselves? 

Anyway, it’s time to live, love and laugh. To return those calls from old friends I refused to answer, make new friends and notice the little beauties of life. I can’t remember when last I sat under the stars singing to heavenly bodies about how I’m going to make it big and impact many lives. When last I stayed under the rain getting myself all wet to make me feel new. Hell! What happened to me?.

Positivity  and confidence is what defines me and I’d let it guide me this new year as I shut my ears to the noise that has blocked my reasoning. Happiness is actually something you take for yourself not wait for it to be given to you, and it’s actually FREE!!! 
Welcome to MAP, 2017. Let’s make it awesome. 

ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą

Motivation Credit: Mayowa, for the push and for being there. 

Year 3!!! 


“Thus, Development psychology is of no doubt important in bla bla bla…” Last paper done. Yet I can’t stand up to submit in front. The much awaited Tuesday is here and my heart cringes with mixed emotions – happiness, fear, regrets, mostly regrets. 

Year 2 was many many things but I would not say perfect. It started with that terrible determination to push yourself out and try new things. In my school at least, it meant politics, leadership, joining new organizations, winning debates, dropping off worthless relationships or friendships, and CGPA patching.

Newly admitted students would start asking questions on what they need to know to do well in Year 1. You feel the enthusiasm, even from a phone call or chat, and the passion to learn the Law. 

Heyyyy! chill, you’re not even a Faculty of Law Student yet, welcome to Arts. You know they spent the holidays watching Suits and How To Get Away With Murder; they can’t wait to wear the black suit, perform wonders in court, and finish a court case in three days. (I still argued with my roommate in English department about How to get away with murder being totally different from real life Law. Sighs! She still doesn’t believe me, and when I try to settle it by saying someday you’d have a court case and find out for yourself, as a true Nigerian, the  “God forbid” resounded so loud, you’d think I placed a curse on her). 

So first, lawyers in Nigeria do not wear suits but a wig, gown, beep and I don’t know the rest yet. Second, lawyers don’t argue so much in court. They read out the Law and apply it to the facts, waiting patiently for the Judge to write it all on paper. Yes, I’m serious. He writes it all on paper!! Let’s call it “dictating your arguments”. Third, court cases actually never ever finish in a week. Maybe two, three years or fifteen or more. You’d file a summon or whatever, wait thirty days for a reply, then file something else and wait seven days and it goes on like that. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I asked a lawyer and he says it’s fun. If I remember well (thanks to my crashed phone, I can’t dig the chat), he says the beauty of advocacy is trying to find the lacuna in the other party’s argument, and manipulating it to your own advantage or something like that. 
Eventually, the enthusiastic freshmen would discover Law wasn’t what they pictured in their head. Some would transfer to other departments like CLA, others would only care to pass, some wouldn’t care at all and attend classes only during tests, while the passionate at heart will remain passionate. 
In year 2, you’d realize Law lecturers are divided into three: the “give-me-back-my-material” lecturers, the “check-this-case-and-that-textbook-and-this-article” lecturer, and the “I don’t even know what this one wants” lecturer. 
The first type are those who feel they’ve done the research you need, and you reading up new things is arrogant and uncalled for. The passionate Law students are bitter towards this type of lecturers. How else would they show off their newly learnt Muhammed v Abubakar?.  The second type are passionate scholars who would force you to research and read up cases even after you’ve sworn to only use textbook cases. Personally, I think this is what passionate Law students eventually turn out to be (beware Izu, Ij). Well, the third are the unpredictable lecturers. You don’t know exactly what topics they’ve taught you and what they haven’t, and they basically spend the class combining stories about their school days, Nysc days and court appearances. It’s difficult to predict what impresses them during the exams, and you just move with the flow hoping to impress them with whatever gets them impressed. 
Oh! Law exams are as depressing as the colour black. Even after quoting all the cases and dictums in Iluyomade and Eka (detestable is too kind a word to describe that textbook), there’s this feeling of I should have written more and fear of not pleasing the lecturer. 

In my two years of studying Law, I’ve never seen a Law student walk boldly to the notice board to check their exam results. Hands clasped tight, lips silently praying, and hearts beating hard, we pray for a miracle of 70 (believe me, never 71). That’s how unpredictable a  Law examination result is in contrast to the mostly predictable questions.

And when you get a 69, 64, 59, 54 or 39, there’s this bitter taste that wouldn’t leave your mouth. Of course, a salty liquid might try to force it’s way from the side of your eyes, but you just pretend to be a boss, shrug and give a bright I-don’t-care smile. That’s the Lawtitude.

Gazing at Year 3 in 3G,  what I see is Criminal Law and Tort lovingly beckoning to me. Family law sounds boring; I predict cases about a man who married a wife under English law and the other customary law,  and the children fighting over inheritance. Triple yawn. 
Commercial transactions?? All I see are Contract and Sagay-cious tears. 
A few weeks to the start of Year 2, a friend in Year 4 was telling me about the Almighty Law of Contract, and I remember vividly being pissed at the hullabaloo and hype. 

Hello!! What’s so hard about this Law of Contract anyway? 

 Oh! Carlil, Carbolic, Hyundai construction, and the rest of you who would never complete your contractual agreements, thus giving Lord Denning the freedom to develop hundreds of Law principles, rules and exceptions, I say a beautiful goodbye. I repeat never again.
And to unnecessary courses like Computer Science and Psychology we were forced to learn, I really hope someday I’d actually need to apply Python or Forensic psychology in a court case. 
So here’s two years down and it’s been really great with my LLB’19 set. Really amazing people who make the five year journey worth it afterall, notwithstanding the hansards, Adiguns, Anifalajes, Contract I slyings, fake AOCs et al. 
However, the truth is that I really do not know what next yet.

When people ask,”So what aspect of Law do you want to go into?”, I usually want to scream “Hey! I’m just in Year 2. I basically just started studying Law”. 

But now, I really do not have an excuse. It’s time to find who I am in LAW. 

ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą

To me and to you 

For Cannon, who taught me I can never be anyone else

Dear Tee,

Isn’t it funny how time’s so fast, yet so slow? Those nights under the moon with Aunt A where we argued what we wanted to be. 

You’d say, “I want to be a scientist. Then I’d cure HIV AIDS”  

I’d say, “I want to be a doctor” … Because I already used Nurse and Lawyer the week before. 

Those nights where we dreamt little dreams of a future so far, it felt it’d never come. 
Tee, the future is here and I’m dead tired, exhausted… Pretending I’m stronger than the demons around me. I planned to write this on my birthday tomorrow, I’d finally be an adult – not Common Law standards. Yet, I’m scared if I wait I’d remain lost then and if I’m lost as an adult, I’d probably be lost forever. 
I’m scared it’d be like my sixteenth birthday, I waited for a difference there was none. She wasn’t taller, fatter, smarter. It was like she was still fifteen. 
I think I’ve finally figured who I want to be. After years of following your dreams and living your goals, I think I’m now me, who I’m supposed to be. 

Truth is, you were the “Taiwo” and I, the “Kehinde”. Testing the waters with both legs was your job and mine to follow your steps after. 

Now I know I’d never be able to sing as good as you do and I’d be kicked out of any band, replaced with that cute Mary y’all wanted to date. 

Dancing and drawing, they’re not for me. So I’d quit mimicking your dance moves and tracing out your artwork, blaming God for creating me talentless. 

Rapping, creative writing, extrovertism, adult conversation – you did them all flawlessly. You were even a mini god at breaking rules while I never had the confidence to do same. 

Truth is, you were my real role model – not mum, dad or Dora Akinyuli. I’d believe your theory over Albert Einstein’s, were you ever wrong? 

That first class in LLT Law where Mrs Olomola asked, “Why did you choose to study Law?” 

Eyes tightly closed, heart raised to the highest of the heavens, I prayed she called me not. 

How would I explain that I’m studying Law because Tee chose to study Law and his steps, I follow. 

Now ‘Mamami’  is a little adult with her own goals, dreams and aspirations. 

I’ve decided I would no longer wait for you test the waters anymore. I’d make my own decisions and pay my own consequences. I’m ready to take risks, make sacrifices and rebel life standards, though many years late. 

Yet, I want to run to your room in tears screaming, “I can’t take it anymore, Law is hard and life’s harder!!”

Then in my head I see that look on your face saying silently, 

“Hey, don’t get mushy on me that’s the number 1 rule. Stay strong, only weak people cry. Fight those battles while I seat and wait. I’d only come in when it gets too hard but the number 2 rule remains that nothing must be too hard for you”

So I turn back in feigned braggadocio, pretending I have a plan to overcome life’s uncertainties. 

 I’d pretend I’m fine and close my eyes shut when that throbbing headache drives me dizzy and tries to force out those forbidden salty liquid from my eyelids. 

I’d pretend I’m ready for my exams in the next three weeks when all I see is blurred images. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared that after starting so well, I might not give mom and dad their big first class Lawyer dream. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared of the Law school grading system. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared that after seven years of studying Law, I’d just end up as one of the Law graduates without a name to be remembered. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared I’m getting old too fast and yet too slow. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared about yesterday, today and tomorrow. 

So I’d just pretend I can fight my demons alone and on my own. 


Presh, the tired and scared dreamChaser 

About to begin a new phase; still the same, yet changed.