Category Archives: Personal

My Tomas Rosicky

Christianity is Life but Football is like a religion to me. There are many gods that have graced the sport even to the extent that they are worshipped. One of such gods is Tomas Rosicky – who retired in December 2018.

Last year I had a fellowship with the Gooners at the Emirates when Brighton and Hove Albion visited. It was the sole reason I took a 12 hours road trip from the North crossing through Glasgow and Manchester to have that feeling of the Emirates.

While I sat beside another Gooner who came from Nottingham (Lord Bendtner’s villa), I wished I was watching Tomas Rosicky playing. Although I spent most of my free thoughts making the unfair comparison with the league in Nigeria, I was in awe with the atmosphere at the stadium.

I started watching Arsenal week in and out in higher school and that was when Tomas Rosicky came into my life. A wonderful goal at the 2006 World Cup and those goals against Liverpool started the love.

Although I love jersey #8, I had respect for his jersey #7. Inherited from Robert Pires, seeing that number on the team sheet signifies that there is hope that something electric will happen.

People idolize Messi, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Henry et al but Rosicky is my choice. A professional and a proper football, blessed with pace and wise at feet. Nimble footed, he was an accelerator and could turn everything around in seconds.

While it is sad that he was cut short by injury, his 10+ years at Arsenal ended with 2 FA Cup trophies for his worries.

The way he runs and how his hair bounces on his head was a beauty. His outside foot shot was his trademark and was used against Spurs more than once.

With a smile always, he was influential in the dressing room and was solely missed when he was injured for about 2 years. I want to smile like him even when the storm is on. His sliding tackles were lovely and I enjoy doing that to issues that come my way.

I had hoped to travel to see him play for his boyhood club but I will make do with a handshake with him. Roger Federer and Arsene Wenger are two others I would love to get such treatment. When will I meet all three? Add Nicklas B to make them four. Chuckles.

This is not a sports blog but this shows how much Tomas Rosicky means to me. I will make a big poster of him and my kids will know about the Little Mozart. Can anyone replace him in my heart?

Happy Retirement Tomas Rosicky. Remain in the sport and inspire a generation.

With love.

I have wanted to write this since December 2018.


Tales From FEGO: Rub and Shine

There comes a time in every academic session when the weather is so cold in the morning that your skin loathes the idea of having any contact with water – especially cold ones. This is usually in November, with peaks in December, the Harmattan season. It runs parallel with the Owu Period.

Your fingertips were the thermometer and the conductor that sends messages to the brain about the condition of the water. The brain uses the information to make a judgement as to whether to shower or Rub and Shine. It could be as a result of laziness or scarcity.

While Rub and Shine was optional, the urge was heightened by the strategic unavailability of water. The water table becomes low, the Twelve “borehole” Taps becomes dry and water becomes gold. The reservoirs that used to be filled up at least once in a day could only be serviced once in a week – Saturday mornings. Red Tank was the option like an oasis in the Sahara – but it was far and risky.

Walking down from classes on that dusty uneven red road parallel to the girl’s hostel, my eyes were looking afar towards the borehole, hoping to have an indication of water availability. At this hour, the borehole used to be filled with students especially girls with a lot of buckets like they were never going to fetch water again in their remaining stay in FEGO. But on this day, it was void of any living thing, except the dragon flies trying to do much with the nothingness at the Twelve Taps and Baba Tanker no where to be found.

This period was burdened with scarcity of everything – including Garrium Sulphate. But the scarcity of water was the height. You could do little with no water. Water was gold, only second to freedom from being sent by a senior to do anything. This water scarcity gave a lot of students – especially the junior boys – the opportunity to Rub and Shine. It was the makeshift way to have a bath in order to look alright for the day.

The Rub and Shine “kit” included:

  • Water – quantity varying from two hand scoops to “one bailer“. Anything more than that could be considered a bath. It was essential to clean off dust that comes with the season.
  • Vaseline – very important for the shine. It was the anti-whitening agent required for the Harmattan season. It was worth everything. Legend had it that some students just rubbed Vaseline on their body for the shine without the need to rub or have a proper bath. Woe betide you (in Mr. Balo’s voice) if you fail to rub Vaseline after your bath, you shall look like a ghost passing by, painted in white with skin dry as stale bread.

A quick rub on the visible part of the body – the arm, leg and face – and you are good to go. Your armpit is deprived of the baptism, just like the back and chest. While your odour cannot be vouched for, you can fool a good number of persons that you’ve had a proper bath.

Those exempted from the Rub and Shine were those who were not bothered by water temperature, had alliance with the kitchen women to fetch warm/hot water, had Element or boiling rings to heat up water if there is power, or were excellent in hoarding and storing water fetched from the Red Tank. You remember Red Tank in Abuja?

With Rub and Shine, you know you are incomplete and a trip to the Red Tank was needed to wash your sins away and refresh your soul. Although not encouraged, Rub and Shine  were the only options for some and they survived.

Share your Rub and Shine  story in the comment section.


The Return

*dusting cobwebs*

I walked into the hall and nothing much had changed. The congregation was somewhat the same but they were a good number of spoken and unspoken hellos and his. It was like a mini-reunion. I had not seen a lot of the folks for over 2 months. I have been touring the world in agreement to a contract I signed over 4 years ago.

The reunion was short. I had hoped for a longer one but my return was to be for a little while. Home calls were like bells signing the beginning of the orthodox service. Home I went and she was there – my first.

Two months lost and surely she was excited. Excited and the reunion, stamped by the traditional hug and kisses. How much it feels to be back to the origin and inhale the air of rejuvenation. Little to discuss, plenty smiles to share, the reunion was spent. The return had hope. It beamed from her face.

While input has been reduced to the barest minimum, the love remains unshaken. Family storms continue to be weathered as we sail across the waves of life, irrespective of minor challenges that hit the boat.

The weight is much but the burden has been replaced by His yoke, which is easy. While we toil, he toils, she toils and we win. He takes the glory.

Miss that activity, mum. Thank you, dad. Thank you fam.

Oh September!!!

Tired. That is how I feel after a 13 hours trip from the Granite City down south to the capital via some popular cities. It marked the end of my favourite month of the year – September.

While the trip provided me with an opportunity to strike off one of the items on my bucket list, September had its highs and lows. One of such low took me by surprise and ranks among the greatest surprises I have experienced. Now, I am usually not taken by surprise but I won’t bore you with the details.

Rather, I would share few lessons learnt from the last 30 days.

  • Be positive and work it out. There were times that the odds were against a positive result. By faith, I pulled through with my colleague on that project. The recommendations was a soothing relief to the work done.
  • Flee negativity. Don’t spend your time and consciousness about negativity. Just leave a negative conversation if you can’t turn it around. Don’t be baptised to it.
  • Respect All. Sometimes we look down on some persons either because we believe that we are more knowledgeable or wealthier or wiser or have better jobs than them. Don’t look down on anyone – even the garbage collector.
  • Flesh and blood will disappoint. Times come when our dependency on fellow beings fail woefully and the need to trust in the Lord is emphasized. Anyone can disappoint you but Jesus Christ won’t. When it happens, be cool.
  • Forgive. If we can’t forgive, we shouldn’t expect forgiveness from our father. Just let it go. Vengeance is of the Lord.
  • Apologize. A soft response turns away anger. An apology doesn’t necessary mean one is wrong or right. It is a first step to reconciliation. It opens up opportunities for further dialogue and proper understanding. Don’t cower in the “I can’t apologize for what I didn’t do wrong”. You never can tell.

There are so many others – be patient with people, avoid hasty conclusions, seek to hear people out completely, dialogue, be considerate, be happy, wear a smile, worry less, be selfless, make sacrifices, switch off. Yes, switch off. Go off the grid and catch your breathe.

Ok. That is enough for September. Hello October.

Tales From FEGO: Who Stole The Corridor?

Abruptly, he was woken by the sound of the cane on the metal box at the entrance of the room. He disliked Saturday morning activities. This had made him choose a corner that had a window without louvers or net to ease his passage to the corridor outside the hostel. It was a perfect route out of the troubles of the house officials and captains.

He took his slippers that he laid between his bed and his bunk, with the search light momentarily off his direction, he took a leap – a regular leap. This leap usually takes a fraction of a second but lo and behold he was still in transit falling at the impact of gravity. He was alarmed and he cried with a loud voice “Who Stole The Corridor?!!!!

It dawned on him that he was no more in HCS Block but on the top floor of the two storey building in the hostel – The Main Block. His regular escape plan has backfired and he will most likely be caught and more worrisome is that he may get badly injured. He wept and screamed as he landed for the floor.

That was an example of the kind of shock some of went through whenever we changed hostels. It may not be as extreme as above but the need for quick adaptation is needed in order to achieve any manner of happiness. Moving from one hostel to another is a mark of promotion from one level to another. This is the case at the beginning of every session in FEGO (FGC Odogbolu) and virtually every Unity and boarding house.

This movement requires the movement of your bags, lockers and all that belongs to you to the new hostel. It is usually frantic as everyone tries to be among the early birds to get the best spots in the new hostel. In some cases you may even have to carry your bunk to the new hall. This usually happens within the first week of resumption and most likely on a Friday evening.

The ideal hostel movement in FEGO is such that the older you are in the school, the closer you are to Main Block and the Ground Floor that houses the SS3 students. From Government Block (JSS1) to PTA Block (JSS2) to HSC Block (JSS3) to Top Floor (SS1) to Middle Floor (SS2) and finally Ground Floor (SS3). This routine only differed for those that stayed in Extension and Common Room.

New Block and Government Block are far from the giding activities that happens in the vicinity of Main Block. Sadly it was difficult for SS1 boys who had to pass through the Main Block entrance at the ground floor to reach their rooms at the top floor. Nevertheless, survival was needed and included but not limited to following the back gate, feigning injuries and sickness, telling lies etc.

Who stole the corridor? Please don’t jump.


Picture: Recent picture from the Main Block


Hello 2017!!!

First, Happy New Year!!!

I don’t mean the Chinese New Year, but that can also be implied. It is my first post of the year right here. Accept my apology for leaving blog-webs here. I had to do this before February clocks in. The demands of life is taking its toil but here am I.

So the New Year started like every other new year. Resolutions were made, goals were set, agreement made and the ball is set rolling. Like in physics, the most difficult part of motion is the inertia. You need more energy to start and accelerate until you can steady along.

One major resolve I made was to go through a Bible plan for 2017 targeted at finishing the holy book in a calendar year. Inspired by a colleague at work, being a group is helping me achieve the target. We are using the 2017 plan on Youversion E-Bible and it has been great. Each day brings something new and sharing it with a group can be encouraging. Thank you Cynthia.

In addition to the Bible plan, I got a gift version of Our Daily Bread for 2017. It has been serving as a devotion for me since the beginning of 2016. My workplace fellowship introduced the daily devotional to me and it is a regular for me before I leave my house in the morning. Thank you Barrister Ise.

There are other inspirational that have kept me going in January. Pastor John Piper and his colleagues at DesiringGod.Org is doing a great job. Blunt and realistic Gospel. You have to subscribe to that site. Thank you Favour. Yes, I have not sent you an Experience Post for your blog. Apologies.

Now don’t think everything has been perfect. We had a disjointed start within the house and I am yet to read a book in the New Year. But, we thank God in all things.

As you know I love football but in case you don’t know there is one man I love the most – Roger Federer. He is an inspiration to my love and is the greatest sports person ever. I have loved him since Adam and I used to think the name of the sport was Federer instead of Tennis.

Last Sunday, he won his 18th grandslam despite being seeded as 17th and aged 35, beating Rafal Nadal – the man that has always been on his heels. A strong opponent but Federer overcame. No matter the challenge, this year will be different.

Federer is one of three men I hope to see before my body returns to dust. You can guess the other two – a Frenchman and another from Czech.

Same Sunday, I was at the Agege stadium to witness my first NPFL match of the season in flesh abs blood. MFM FC we’re 1-0 winners over visitors Kano Pillars. But that was not the highlight. I was a guest to an honourable member and the hospitality was out of this world. Homemade juice and lunch was wow.

Ok. That should be it for today. We will work at regular posts here. We still have the FEGO series to continue and another from my NYSC camp experience. I hope it all inspires you to draw nearer to God.

I love you but God loves you more. Happy New Month.



Applying Lessons Learnt

After the test, I walked out of the hall, worried and lost. I was disappointed at my performance and couldn’t believe I was only able to attempt just one out of four questions. It was a disaster and below my expectation. I was devastated. As I took calculated steps towards my hostel, I knew I had to do something to avert the slide. We were heading for an unknown period of school strike no thanks to demands from the National Universities Commission (NUC).

We were taking stocks some weeks ago. I was taking stock of my academic life that fateful day. Have you been able to document your life in different fields? I bet you have taken your time to play back 2016. You smiled at some and frowned at others. You wished for a replay of some events and hoped that some others will never occur again.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -St. Francis of Assisi

There were some highlights you would love to hold on to for the new season. There were some methods that produced so much fruits. There was a reading pattern that helped you pass your exams. There was a bible app that helped you draw closer. There was a routine that made you healthier and happier. There was something that stood exceptionally glorious. There were friends that brought out the best in you. Hold on to them or still look for further improvement.

There were few that held you down and restricted your flight in some fields. There were colleagues that made you feel less of yourself and had a way of talking you away from your divine goal. There were patterns that hindered your activities. There were some activities that drew you away from God. There were some apps that took much of your time. Prune them. End them. Turn around.

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. – Matthew 5:29

Back to my opening experience story, I spent the 2 months NUC strike on that course – Engineering Thermodynamics. For the first time, I bought two past question booklets with answers. One was for Engineering Thermodynamics and the other for Computer Studies. I just didn’t understand the latter. I buried myself in these past question booklets, answering them over and over again. I was still dazed by my performance in that test.

It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act. -The Dalai Lama

These are lessons learnt but they are not just for documentation purposes. They are for your improvement. Wouldn’t you like to be better in the New Year, the new season? There is always room for improvement. You shall have no better yesteryears.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. – Philippians 3:12-15

Cheers. @AmosCP

Originally posted on Exceller Blog