An inspiration from Shawarma

Over the years I’ve become a fan of Shawarma. My first taste of it was in Owerri; Channel O was the place to be for a good bite, interestingly it went for as little as N300 then. Although there were other outlets but Channel O was the yardstick for patronizing them. I moved to Abuja and went on a search for a tasty Shawarma and found it in Shawarma King; although theirs was wrapped in paper it didn’t deter me from enjoying it, I had gotten so used to taking off each layer of foil (Channel O) to reveal the large chunks of meat, chicken or sausage mixed with shredded vegetables and a good dose of chili, hmmm the thought of it right now.

First day out.

I’m currently on leave and spending a part of it in Accra; sure needed some rest. I stepped out yesterday to get a local SIM because my lovely MTN did some magic with my airtime, guess my period of basking in the euphoria of using my Nigerian line on BlackBerry without any extra cost was over. Headed for the Accra Mall, got the new SIM and thank God for my guide/cousin who whispered to me that airtime was called Tap Up *Ghanaian accent* (Top up Nigerian Accent), wish you could see the look on the Sales girl’s face when I pronounced it lol. Looked around and decided I could try my hands on some of their food. Got to one of the eateries; didn’t have to waste so much time when I saw Shawarma. Placed an order for a Chicken Shawarma with chips and even requested for additional chili. I was pretty excited to have my teeth feast on it but… the joy was caught short when it arrived. I will let you figure out what exactly I was served.

My supposed shawarma
I gave up at this point, even the fork couldn’t stand it anymore….

I was too disappointed to talk, my cousin kept on laughing at me while she enjoyed her meal; in fact she called it Unleavened Bread. Seriously it wasn’t funny at all, but I chose to abandon the make-believe Shawarma (there were no chunks of chicken inside for compensation) *smh* vigorously; laughed over it, shared my cousin’s meal with her and got a large size of Pepperoni Pizza.

The excitement was in top gear…

How often have we desired something, in fact you already have the mental picture in your head. It may not be a meal maybe a job, partner, project etc. and for some reason when you finally get it, it falls beyond your expectation. What’s your reaction when it happens? Do you go creating a scene with the waiters or management (that’s if you were served unleavened bread instead of Shawarma)? Will it make you stop eating Shawarma? Truth is, we often let one incidence determine the rest of our lives. You set out to start a project and you failed at it, dust yourself up and go back to the drawing board; your last relationship didn’t work, move on and improve yourself in whatever capacity you find, you decided to quit smoking for 30 days , you were successful until the 25th day when you took a few drags and now you’re beating yourself and gradually drowning in low self-worth, a little advice you’re human and if you could stay without it for 24 days you can start again and remember your self-will won’t do the magic look to God to step into your weakness and watch the transformation.
Maybe I didn’t mention your own case, but you can relate it to the others mentioned. Don’t stop desiring and dreaming. An American author James Van Praagh said “He’d rather look forward and dream, rather than look backwards and regret”. My love for Shawarma hasn’t died, Oh Yea I’m going still eat it but I’ll be more careful with where I’m buying it from.


Stripped at midday


Time-check 1.30 a.m.; the sound of the footsteps I’ve grown accustomed to for over 3 years. The first time I heard it, I thought he wanted me to get something for madam since she was pregnant but it turned out oga needed my back-side. He opens my door and I immediately grab my wrapper above my chest with a sleepy eye, I murmur good morning Sir; with a stern face grabs my hand and says if I utter a word he’ll strangle me, I was totally confused. My mind flashed through the day’s activities, I couldn’t remember breaking oga’s favourite drinking glass; I ironed his shirts well and placed the hanger in the exact position madam instructed me. While I was still lost in thought, he drags me up, switches off the light, with my back against him his hands went for my pants and while I tried to struggle he hits me hard on my face; his right hand grabs my mouth and with his left hand he holds my fragile waist and I feel something enter my anus.
This was the beginning of my nightmare. I couldn’t tell anyone; after all they were my “Messiahs”, my father is late and my mother lives in the village, I’m supposed to be the child living in the “city”. I eventually summoned up courage and told (mama) madam’s mother, she warned me never to mention it again.
This isn’t just another make believe story. This is a true life experience by a house help I’ll call UC. My friend and I sought professional help from an agency handling such cases. Investigations revealed two other relatives of the men were sexually molesting her too. Oh!!! We cried; thought our battle had ended only to hear the charges against the men were dropped; the men said she’s an adult and it was consensual.
My dear UC has been stripped of her panties in the dark but on this day SHE WAS STRIPPED NAKED AT MIDDAY by the lies of these men.
Today is celebrated as the United Nations International Youth Day with the theme “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”. The youths are recognised as one of the most mobile social groups in the context of migration. UC is one of such migrants; moved from her village to the city with the hope/promise of a better future. Did I mention, she was neither enrolled in school nor empowered with any skill acquisition all the time she lived with the family.
I have a few questions: –
• Is there no law for such cases i.e. house helps?
• Are we saying those men should be walking the streets free without justice?
• If a young lady above 18 is raped, can the law address it?
• Do we have homes where ladies especially house helps, who have been sexually abused and are above 18 can be rehabilitated?
The house helps are a minority group and they are voiceless. They can’t go on Twitter and tweet #househelpnotsextoy, publish a post on a blog or share a video on YouTube. Plans are underway by the agency to unite her with her family in the village.
These are my fears: –
• What seed are we sowing into the society, if she doesn’t go through some form of rehab?
• What lesson is she taking with her, when the society through the law couldn’t defend her?
• Who do we blame tomorrow, if she becomes a sex-worker?
Let us all remember “The woman is the only source of life to the world, once she’s defiled, everything coming from her is defiled too.”

A certain rich man I know


There’s this man I came in contact with; the kind of guy every lady will want to bear his name, thriving business, lives in a mansion, cost of cleaning the entire house puts food, clothes and shelter over people, his dogs are what we call a cross-breed of lions and German Shepherds. I can’t forget his fleet of cars; his car park looks like a car exhibition gallery. The man exudes so much wealth, he needs no introduction when you meet him but on the other hand there was a poor man who lived on the streets and I mean literally. He converted the rich man’s gate to his home, I’m pretty sure they had tried to drive him out but he had some affinity for the gate, at least if he couldn’t afford a car, he could just stare at the ones that passed through the gate even if it meant letting the dogs lick his sores (wondering why they never beat him).

Beggar with sores
Guess you already know the man I’m referring to but for the benefit of everyone let’s look at the story again. Luke 16 vs 19 – 21 “There once was a rich man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. A poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, had been dumped on his doorstep. All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores”. Lazarus eventually died as well as the rich man. Here’s the interesting part “Then he died, this poor man, and was taken up by the angels to the lap of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried”. The story doesn’t end there He called out, “Father Abraham, mercy! Have mercy! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool my tongue. I’m in agony in this fire…..there is a huge chasm set between us so that no one can go from us to you even if he wanted to, nor can anyone cross over from you to us….. The rich man said, Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment….Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them…Abraham replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead
I found the last sentence intriguing. Someone actually rose from the dead; Jesus Christ and some still doubt it Matthew 28 vs 11 – 15 “They called a meeting of the religious leaders and came up with a plan: They took a large sum of money and gave it to the soldiers, bribing them to say, “His disciples came in the night and stole the body while we were sleeping.” They assured them, “If the governor hears about your sleeping on duty, we will make sure you don’t get blamed.” The soldiers took the bribe and did as they were told. That story, cooked up in the Jewish High Council, is still going around” The Bible is really complete.
You know, I love the good life; I want to go on vacations, have fun with my family, become the Secretary General of the United Nations, be a voice to be reckoned with, build schools and homes etc. Mehn!!! These are all great achievements, pretty sure you have your own aspirations but there’s something greater and I wonder, how often we think about it. There’s a hereafter. No matter how much we try to live in denial of it, someday we’ll exit this world and we’ll be faced with just two options and our choices would have been made by us while we walked this earth.

Just in case you haven’t thought of it lately, I’ll remind you. There’s an awesome place, beyond description known as HEAVEN and there’s HELL that burns continuously with fire but there’s still utter darkness. My dear friend this isn’t written to scare you rather to remind you, in our quest for relevance and fulfilment let us not forget the greatest fulfilment of all time lies in where we will spend eternity. We all wish we knew the exact time, but it’s too bad we don’t. All we are left with is the instruction to live our lives in expectancy of Jesus Christ’s return. There have been prophesies of natural disasters and we’ve all witnessed it.
Please hear me; this isn’t about religion or denomination. Don’t go thinking, well this isn’t about me; I tithe, fast, receive Holy Communion, Lead singer in the choir, church worker or even a pastor. Take heed! You who think you stand. Who’s Lord over your life? Have you made Jesus Lord in your life? Have you accepted the salvation He brought through His death? Have you let go of yourself at the cross and allowed the Holy Spirit help with your weakness? We are living in hard and trying times. Standing for the truth has become archaic, evil has been painted grey, our lives are governed by popular opinion, you can’t really say what’s right or wrong anymore. In the midst of all this chaos we desperately need the help of the Holy Spirit.
I may never get to meet you physically but the Spirit of God is boundless and limitless. You may be unsure of where you’ll spend eternity if you take your last breath. Here’s a guide from God through His Word Romans 10 vs 9 “For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation”
We can say this short prayer together “Dear Father, I come before You through Your Son Jesus Christ and I admit I’ve tried to run the affairs of my life without Your direction and I still find it empty. I’m tired of leading and I look to You for direction. Please come into my life and be my Lord and Saviour. I pray You mould me into a Masterpiece and may my life point the world to You. This I’ve prayed through Jesus Christ. Amen”
Welcome to the family. One of the ways you can maintain a relationship and know God more is by studying His Word (Bible); you can never have enough of it and get attached to a company of believers (Church). I pray whenever it’s our time to leave this world we’ll all be welcomed into God’s kingdom. See you on the other side.