A NIGHT IN ANENIH

It is a common saying that, some people are born with golden spoon, some people with silver spoon, some people with bronze spoon, some with wooden spoon, some with no spoon while some people were born with neither a mouth nor a hand to hold the spoon. I Oluwadamilola, I was born with a silver spoon, but my silver spoon is now broken and I now live with a wooden spoon. I have sent for the smith to help me fix my broken spoon and very soon he will come, earlier than expected.

On a beautiful perfect morning I woke up on the right side of the bed. Although I had not eaten anything from the previous night, I took my bath and set out for the day job without breaking my long fast. The day was bright and clear, though my last Naira note was dropped to the bus driver as I entered school with nothing left on me.

As I was leaving the school car park going to the lecture hall, my eyes caught a pretty lady dressed in a tight pink dress complemented with an attractive make-up. The shape of this lady robbed my eyes of sight, all I could see were her bursts, hips and pretty face. I stood lustfully till I couldn’t see her again.

I got to the lecture hall so happy with a smiling face. I enjoyed every bit of the day, I played happily and took part in every activity of the day. I was happy like every other day. Though my stomach was empty the expression of joy in my face was strong. I can’t really say why, I was just very happy.

Around 4pm on this very day, I started feeling some cramps in my stomach and the worms in my stomach started praying me for food. My smiling face remembered I had not eaten any food since the previous night and I remembered that I had no money in my pocket to go back to my house after the day work. I was about to think of my ordeal when I saw again the pretty lady I had seen earlier in the morning. This time she was dressed in a blue trousers with a jumper top. Her well carved hips and twisting waist enchanted my eyes that I forgot my worries. She looked at me from afar and walked toward my direction, only for a guy who interrupted and then took her away. I stood agocked wishing she came to me, hugged me and gave me a cool peck.

I am very proud (though I’m working on my pride) and I will never compromise on my stand. I needed money badly, I was hungry and needed to get back to my house but I was not willing to beg. I beat my pride and spoke to three friends who I believed could have helped my situation but I was disappointed, embarrassed and surprised to get ‘NO’ from them all. I guess the joy they saw in me made them not to believe me. The worms in my stomach resumed their lovely song of hunger as I was thinking of how to get back home. Yet I was smiling and happy like a honey eating baby.

The day was almost over, night was drawing near and shadow of the evening filled the sky above, yet my mouth had not tasted anything (not even water) and I didn’t know how to get back home. I wasn’t forming happy, I was indeed happy. When the tunnel got darker and the road seem longer, I concluded on using the opportunity to study over night in school. It was really an opportunity.

Around 8:00pm of this particular day, I entered Anenih Hall1, got a seat at a cool corner of the hall. I laid my head on the desk, and I took a nap in preparation for the over night study. And after thirty minutes, I brought out some book to start read but my eyes wouldn’t see anything for next twenty minutes. My stomach worms resumed their melody of hunger, I laid my head on the desk again for another ten minutes.

On raising my head up, what I saw shocked me and kept my stomach worms mute. The lady I had seen twice during the day walked into the hall like a bride going to her groom. I was startled and dumbfolded, as she entered. Though she was dressed in a simple lemon dress, no make-up and her hair well packed; her beauty travelled fast through the rays of light to my weary eyes. She had in her hands a food flask and a bottle of water, this made me to salivate, something in my heart kept telling me ‘my time has come’. Her beauty captured my heart as she sat on a seat in front of mine(about 5metres away) just beside a young man who was not aware of her presence.

I started out to read my book but my eyes could not go off this beautiful lady. After about 1hour of looking at her (every five minutes), she caught me and our eyes met. I was shocked and happy at the same time, our eyes were fixed for another two minutes, she smiled at me (her lips looked like she was blowing me a kiss) and she later took her eyes off me. I was happier than before as my eyes kept looking at her and the food flask under her desk. I was sure my time had come as we both glare and smile at each other every five minutes. This time, my stomach worms were quiet in respect to the beauty around and probably the sight of the food flask.

Two hours passed, the smiles kept flowing between she and I. I was shocked again when the guy who took her away in the afternoon got to her seat, shook her and took the food as well as the water away. My eyeballs almost popped out of their socket as I opened my eyes wide looking at both of them as they smiled. My whole body felt the disaster, I was disappointed and all I could do was to lay my head on the desk.

The pain of hunger became unbearable for me that I became so uncomfortable. As I lifted my head I saw this lady smiling at me, I wonder what she was thiinking of. My body could not take it any longer, I had not tasted anything for the almost 32hours. I could neither cry nor smile, my eyes could neither see her beauty nor read the books before me. I was hopeless, waiting for the worst to happen, probably I would faint.

In my pain, the beautiful lady stood from her seat and walked straight toward me with a smiling face. This kept me wondering, as the pain in my stomach increased. She stood right in front of me and smiled profoundly. Unknown to me, the guy who had taken the food flask and water from her was seated just behind me. She called his name, smiled and went back to her seat. I was highly disappointed and felt ashamed, I called myself the most foolish man of that day and the worms in my stomach relished their anger on the walls of my stomach.

I could not take the pain in my stomach again, I could not. I stood up, hid my pride and went straight to her seat to ask the guy seated right beside her for twenty Naira to buy biscuit. I was glad when he brought out fifty Naira from his pocket, gave it to me and told me to keep the change. I was so happy as I was eating the biscuit with pure water. It was a christmas party in my stomach.

On several occasions, I have had to go about in school with empty stomach, go for night classes because I don’t have transport fare, take garri for days; yet, I have never given up, I have never been lazy, I have never been sad, I have never compromised, I have never missed a class or church, I have never failed to study hard, I have never lost my faith, I never took the easy and tricky way. ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. I will never give up and I will always be focused and happy.

With the fact that my silver spoon had broken, I am feeding fine. Today I am one of the best among my peers, I am growing bigger and getting better, and my name is waxing stronger. I can see the blacksmith come closer to mend my broken silver spoon, yes, earlier than expected.

“Poverty will make some people poorer and motivate some people to be rich while wealth will make some people so comfortable that they become poor and inspire some people to become richer” S. M. Damilola(2016).

“That, that is, is. That, that is not, is not. That, that is, is not that, that is not. Is that not so?” K. Adebayo (2016).

SHOBANDE MATTHEW DAMILOLA
500L AERD, FUNAAB.
Founder: FUTURE GOAL FOUNDATION
CEO: MATTYDAMMY FOODS
mattydammy@gmail.com
+2347065074221

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Animal-Man Relations

It is said that a Fulani man will rather part with his son than part with his cattle. This I have heard on several occasions, but its validity was not clear to me until I had a personal experience I would like to talk about now.

During my Farm Practical Year programme in Iwoye-Ketu, Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, a yoruba town that has a high percentage of Fulani cattle rearers; I was working alone on the fruit vegetable plot allocated to my group. The plot was located close to a swampy land that holds water whenever it rains, thereby turning the swampy land into a temporary lake. The water in this temporary lake served as irrigation water for our farm and as a source of water to nomadic cattle.

On this faithful day, I stayed longer on the farm to ensure that I completed the preparation of land for the planting of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and fluted Pumpkin (Telfaira occidentalis). While I was busy with my work, a herd of cattle came over to this temporary lake to drink water. The cattle were of large number that I could not count and they were of different sizes.

To my surprise, I saw the fulani man leading the cattle giving water to the fattest cattle of the herd. He would fill a eva bottle with water and put it in the mouth of the fattest cattle. He repeated this for about ten times. He was so passionate doing it.

After the cattle had drank to satisfaction, something that I would never had believed if anybody had told me happened. It was just like a dream, I was unbelievable but ‘oju koro ki n pa oju koro je’ (what you see with your eyes can never be a lie/false). This Fulani man filled the same bottle he had used for the cattle with the dirty water, put it in his own mouth and drank from it. He later resumed giving water to this cattle.

When I saw this, I was highly irritated, I could not fathom what I saw. Then I started worrying, ‘how will I tell people about this?’, ‘will they ever believe?’. I would not have believed if I was told too.

The following day when all other student were on the farm, the Fulani man and his herd of cattle came again and what I had seen the previous day was repeated. Swiftly, I called the attention of everyone to it which made some people surprised, some were not moved while some paid no attention.

I have learnt some things from animals this days that I had to sit back and ask myself, ‘if animals are the human of our world and human the animals, what would we have and how would our world be?’. I learnt a great lesson from my personal experience which I penned in one of my articles: ‘THE CARING DUCK’ (Read: https://mattydammy.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/the-caring-duck/).

The relationship between the cattle and any Fulani man is a bond that is glued by a strong adhesive.

Treat the animals right
Show love to the animals
We all own the world together.
We are inter-related.

SHOBANDE, Matthew Damilola
AERD, FUNAAB.
mattydammy@gmail.com
+2347065074221

CONTENTMENT

Contentment can be defined as the state or degree of being satisfied(fulfilled). In other word, it is an act of appreciating what you have or what comes to you at a particular time. Contentment is the direct opposite of covetousness. It is only when you appreciate what you have that you have room to accommodate more.
I used to have problem of being contented with what I have or what comes my way, I always want something else. But God always give me what I need not my wants, yet I never realise nor appreciate it until it is done on me that God knows what’s best for me. I couldn’t beat this addiction until I finally realised what could happen if I fail to change my way and embrace contentment on Friday 8th May, 2015. Come with me as I tell this teaching story.

After my secondary school education, I gained admission to The Polytechnic, Ibadan in 2010 to study Computer Science, I wasn’t happy because I set out to study Medicine at the University of Ibadan. I chose to enjoy my stay at IBPOLY though with a wrong motive. On the day of my first lecture in school, what caught my attention was not the big hall nor the teaching of the lecturer but a young pretty lady. she’s short and light with an admiring body figure, she uses a small pair of eyeglasses. All I gained that day was the beauty of this young lady. I made plans on talking to this young lady, I decided to start the game when we are through with our registration.

I wasn’t interested in the academic part of the school. Though I had no orientation about good grades and academic excellence, I believe I can never fail, I have never scored below 50 in any examination. I was ignorant of excellence, passion and focus, all I wanted was the pride of being in a higher institution and dating this ‘new found love’.

Because God knows what’s best, one thing led to the other which made me loose interest totally in the school that I forfeited the admission personally. I was hoping for new land which I’d never seen before.

I have great passion for Agriculture, so I chose Agricultural Economics and Farm Management(AEFM) as my prefered course of study when I obtained the post-UTME form of the University of Agriculture Abeokuta. When the admission list was out, I was offered Agricultural Extension and Rural Development(AERD). I was happy but still I wished I was given AEFM. I didn’t know what AERD is all about, but God knows best, He knew I have potentials that will be useful as an extensionist, I love talking, writing, life building, travelling and gathering information, which are very useful as an extension officer. God knows best but I knew none but to complain and want something else.

To my surprise, I loved the course and often tell myself that there could not have been anything better for me to do. As examinations come and go, I battle with my results because I wanted to be the best in my department. Even though I’m among the best 10 of about 120studebts, I still wish I’m the final best. I was never contented.

Soon. It was time for my Farm Practical Year(FPY) Programme, this is a compulsory one year programme for all Agricultural student in the fourth year of study. FUNAAB has four different location for this programme, Isaga-orile, Iwoye-ketu(the farthest), Ode-lemo and Odogbolu. As God would have it, I was posted to the location I never wanted. When people who saw the list told me about it, I didn’t believe them and I rebuked Iwoye-ketu like hell. I was helpless and sad when I saw the list because; one, it was the farthest of the four locations and two, all my close female friends were posted to other locations.

But for God who knows best, Iwoye-ketu is the best of all location, recording the best result. A border town which gave me my first opportunity to travel out of the country (Benin Republic). A town flowing with food, fruits and caring people, with a relatively low cost of living. Of the four locations, Iwoye-ketu farm is the closest to residential area. I wouldn’t have love to miss all this goodies. My male friends make it a place to be for me, I met new friends, life became easy and more free and work was sweet. Now, when I remember that I’m not with my close female friends in school, I give thanks to God. If they were with me, I would have had to love, care and take responsibilities for them. I would have had to work on their plots, spend time and money to make them happy and do so many other things for them. Praise God for having posted me to this location. God knows best, for no other place would have been better than Iwoye-ketu.

My lack of contentment was at play again when we were divided into groups and given vegetable plots. I never like my group, I wanted the other group but now I know my group is the best of all. I was given a vegetable plot under a tree. I never wanted the plot because of how it looked and the leaves of the tree that droped gave me an extra work of picking leaves. It took me time to realise that the plot is easy to access, the tree serve as a shed to conserve water and reduce the intensity of the sun, the leave when decomposed became manure. God really knows best. When the vegetables started to germinate, I was not contented with what I had, I felt other’s were doing better than mine so I wanted theirs. Still God knows best for His ways are not human’s way

As time goes on, my plot became one of the tourist centres on the farm as my vegetables were doing pretty well. When harvest came, I had the best harvest in my group and one of the best overall. God makes everything work altogether for my good. My group’s cucumber plot which I didn’t like before proved to be the best because of its closeness to water.

I learnt my lesson with this latest one, we were preparing to plant maize. This will take a bigger plot allocation of 20m by 20m, thereby scattering student across a large expanse of land. When the plot allocation started, I prayed and wished that I would get a plot along the roadside. As the exercise went on, everything was going fine and it looked as if my wish would be fulfilled, even if I won’t get a plot by the roadside I will definitely get one very close. But when everything was looking perfect, a ‘bad news’ came from a friend who started shouting, Matthew, 6:1(my FPY number), your plot is at the back, the very last plot. I rebuked him immediately, I told him to stop joking but he kept on saying the truth which I never wanted to hear (this guy was one of the first people who told me I was posted to Iwoye-ketu). I had no other choice than to believe the truth and accept my fate. I was not happy, I wanted another plot. Still God know what’s best for me.

NOW I KNOW; I finally realised my lack of contentment, asked for forgiveness and give praises to God who knows best when I got to the plot to start the tillage operations. Firstly, I prayed and named the plot Sokoto State because it was located at the northwestern part of the farm. Secondly, I had a little amount of work to do compared to other plots. Thirdly, I found a path that takes less ten minutes to my house which saves me the stress of walking the normal road which takes close to thirty minutes. I need nothing more to tell me that God knows best. The soil on my plot was highly fertile and my maize crop grew properly.

MY MESSAGE: What a man wants is not what he needs, and what he gets is the best for him, he only need to understand what he gets and then make the best use of it. Thank God for whatever you get, either your wish or not, God really knows what’s best for you. Be contented with everything you get, though it is not a sin to make it better but always remember God knows best. Contentment
(C)DAMILOLA2015

SHOLA PREACHED TO SHOLA

Shola!, leave the darkness and come into light
Preached Shola
Leave the night of evil
and come into the day of love,
Come and fill your soul with joy

This is the story of Shola and Shola
Shola was a church boy, he was serious with the work of God. He participated in church activities and he was the children coordinator.
Shola was a young man (between 18-21 years) who was active and ready to do the work of God. He led evangelism, called people to the things of God. I can ready those days in children class, he told us Bible stories and he sang well. He would compose songs, and teach Bible story in an impactful way. Shola was never happy to see a young person living against the Will of God. Shola was the holy boy, the children teacher and the choir leader.

Shola was another boy (about 5years younger than the first Shola), the trouble maker and street fighter (I can remember times when my tomboy sister fought him). Shola was known for his stubbornness and nonchalant attitude to the things of God.

Shola preached to Shola; because Shola didn’t like Shole’s sinful lifestyle then, he put the task upon himself to bring Shola into the light of God. As young as I was then, I can still remember seeing Shola preach to Shola. Shola did a lot of follow-ups to ensure that Shola leaves his sinful way and follow the path of the Almighty God. All these continued for a long time but…………………….

Time passed and years came and went, today Shola is the complete opposite of Shola. The once upon a time troublesome and sin filled Shola is now popularly known as Pastor Shola while the then Church boy Shola is now living a complete sinful life.

Shola (the older) lost it when he became disobedient at home, dropped out of school, impregnated a lady (now his wife) and drinks a lot. Shola’s then sweet singing voice has now be destroyed by alcohol and his belly is now as round as a globe. I pitied him when I saw him but he doesn’t seem to feel the pain within him (maybe because he now has a wife, two daughters, a car and a growing business).

Pastor Shola got his way with God and latter became an executive in his secondary school fellowship, he organises community fellowships, shares the word of God with everyone he met and he is now fully devoted to the work of the Lord. The last time I saw Pastor Shola, I saw a young man of God who is determined to follow Christ forever.

Shola preached to Shola
Now Sholas’ lives are transformed
Shola please preach to Shola
Maybe he’ll leave the night of evil
And come to the day of light
where he once belong.
Sholas, please hold your hands
and enter the rest of GOD

THE LESSON
Shola preach to Shola is not just another preachment of the clergyman to the chapel heart but also a wisdom word that is meant for the Gentiles and Jews.

Is there something good that you used to be very good at, or something good that you used to like doing but something, somewhere, somehow and sometime has caused you to give up and settle for the less? I am preaching to you today to go back to the road that lead to the salvation of your Life, your Love, your Dream, and your Future, then define and understand your PURPOSE. Build a LIFE, start DREAMing and act with PASSION.

The less you might have settled for may look like the real but it is just a bronze, you can win GOLD if you can trace your way back to the TRUE RIGHT PATH. Though photocopy looks like the original but it will never be the original.

Go back to the LIGHT, IGNITE YOUR PASSION and live the BEST LIFE you can live. Remember, Shola preached to Shola.
(C)DAMILOLA2015