Tag Archives: Series

01Nov/16

Rev’d Sister Helena Boland #SHEROES

By Joshua LordJosh Olanrewaju

It was the year 1995, I was a primary two student of Our Lady’s Nursery and Primary School and my life was about to change forever. What I was about to get wasn’t totally legal yet, I wasn’t qualified for it but the end justifies the means, right? School was over for the week. My classmates were rushing out of the class, the weekend was here. But I waited. And I didn’t wait for long.

“Here is the book, make sure you bring it back next week.” Mrs Musa, the school librarian, said to me.

I looked at the book she had just handed me; it was titled ‘The King’s New Clothes’. I was ecstatic. Taking the book home meant the world to me. It was my first but it was soon followed by several others. From the classic fairytale story books to the ultimate children’s series ‘The Famous Five’, I read my way through primary school.

This was made possible by one woman; Reverend Sister Helena Boland.

She was a British missionary who was the head mistress of my primary school. Her colour was definitely different, but it didn’t matter much after a while. Her accent was sometimes too difficult to understand but she always got her message through. She was different from the Nigerian reverend sisters, she didn’t wear a scarf all the time and we didn’t fear her. I never had any personal interaction with her, I wasn’t one of the very brilliant students who got to shake her hand every prize-giving day but she influenced me greatly.

She chose a life of celibacy and sacrifice as a missionary to Nigeria even though she didn’t have to.

She didn’t have to come to Nigeria, she could have been a Reverend Sister singing ‘Oh happy day’ in a convent in her own country.

She could have stayed in more convenient cities like Lagos or Port Harcourt, but she came to Ilorin, to a small primary school in a community even I hated.

This was more than a job for her, it was her life. She had time for the students. I wasn’t so lucky but my sister and a few friends got to interact with her personally. She had time for parents too.

I don’t know how this worked but whenever she came back from a trip to Britain, our library will get a batch of fresh books. More material to fuel our curiosity.

I got the best foundational education available at the time because she and other reverend sisters of Notre Dame (at the time) cared not about money but about making an impact on kids like me.

The story books I read in Our Lady’s opened my eyes, ignited my creativity, broadened my knowledge. She brought several British men and women to interact with us. One of my fondest memories from primary school is seeing these oyibo women try and fail horribly to join in our cultural dances.

Several women have influenced me greatly, my mother, the very first of them and they are all my sheroes. But today, I celebrate a woman who came from her home, several miles away to make my life better.

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Sister Helena with Sister Audu (2016)

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03Jun/16

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife

By Adekunle

Should I, a professed Christian, called to be a saint, a child of God, a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, should I be covetous, sensual, proud, or envious? Should I yield to impatience, discontent, or anger? Should I be slothful, unbelieving, or unmerciful? What effects will such conduct have upon others? All that God has done for us, or by us, or given to us, should lead us to watchfulness, self-denial, and diligence. Next to the sinfulness of sin, we should dread the scandal
– Matthew Henry.

I earned N5000 per month for six months as an Industrial Training (IT) Student attached to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Headquarters Abuja. There was a Strike in the period by the Radio Workers Union and because I showed up to assist the management, I was paid an extra N7000. That is a total of N37,000.00

Before I resumed school for my final year, I decided I was going to buy a new phone. The NOKIA E63 (You probably don’t remember what it looks like now but it was a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIG deal then); So on this beautiful Saturday, I drove to Emab Plaza in Abuja -popular place for several phone shops and unloaded a total of N36,000 for my new phone.

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NOTE: N36000.00 is just One Thousand naira less than the entire income I received from my workplace throughout IT.

 

I could interest you with the reactions to my new phone (mostly excited with me feeling super cool) or bore you with details of how I got my accommodation for first semester 500 level but I shan’t. I will just go to the point where my life changed.

 

Minna was hot. You know how the heat wave of this year was across the country? Well, that was the norm in Minna. So on this fateful night, I elected to sleep in the living room of the house, keeping my phone among other ‘prized’ possessions safely (?) in the bedroom and the best part of it? I decided not to lock the main entrance to the house. (I don’t think it was the first time)

 

I woke up in the morning for a new day and I saw my roommate, Sogo. He said and I quote “We’ve been robbed”. Now, Sogo typically reacts to bad stuff by laughing- He was NOT laughing that day. By now you have probably very successfully guessed E63 was no longer present within the premises, custody or handle of either of us. In English, N36k was gone!

Those of you who know me know that I don’t collect plenty money from people in any way neither do I “do Yahoo Yahoo” or so, as Sogo rightly reacted, it was not a FUNNY Something.

 

As we all react to issue of stolen/missing items, I went out, looked around [as though the phone merely went out for an early morning jog and collapsed just outside the door] and asked. There was this young guy who seemed helpful (which is probably why I suspect he had something to do with the theft) and suggested that I go meet a “Baba” around some corner of the house that could miraculously do something about the situation and I did something I would NEVER imagined I would do. I looked at Sogo like “what do you think?”, His look like “What are you talking about?” helped bring my brain back home. Now let me be clear, I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN I would NOT have gone to any Baba, whether or not I got that reset but the fact that I didn’t dismiss it IMMEDIATELY it came was a personal disappointment for me but #ItChangedMyLife

 

From that moment on till now, I am not aware of ANY material possession that I have/would value so much as to CONSIDER such error. I have God to thank for that, and perhaps the thief. It was a lesson well learnt. There is nothing that I have received that I shouldn’t be able to give back. Nothing!

 

Now before you get all “touched” by this, Know that sometimes [I SAID SOMETIMES O!!!], I get stuff of value, and while I am immensely grateful for the gifts and show my gratitude, I..errr…don’t treat the stuff with the ‘prestige’ people expect so maybe that is a by-product of my lesson. But I’m certain that the Person (GOD) that taught me not to ‘grab’ anything will also teach me to hold some of those things more dearly than I ordinarily do.


Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife: I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife By Nissi Inspiration

Read Previous Episodes here

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

01Jun/16

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife

By LordJosh

It was the year 2013, I’d gotten a new TV series from a friend, and it was supposed to be very interesting. I was skeptical, it was not my type. I preferred shows like Pysch, The Mentalist, The Big Bang Theory; they were heavily loaded with comedy. But hey, I had nothing else to watch so I opened the ‘Season 1’ folder, opened the first episode and like that I was thrust into the world of ‘Scandal’.

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Now for those of you who haven’t had the privilege to watch Scandal, here’s a short rundown of the Series. It is the story of a crisis manager, Olivia Pope. When she is not helping rich people get rid of bodies or manipulate the press, she is sleeping with the married President of the United States. As you can imagine, being the concubine of the president can’t be easy especially with the cunning and conniving woman that is the first lady. I know this goes without saying but Olivia’s life was a roller coaster.

Still waiting for the moment my life changed?

Hold on.

After watching a few episodes of Scandal I couldn’t help but admire the work of the writer of the story. The way Olivia’s life was tossed up and down interested me. I loved the fact that the writer of this story controlled this powerful woman and even the most powerful man in the world; President Fitzgerald Grant. The writer made a mess of their love affair, exposed them, broke them up then when she saw fit brought them back together. I was fascinated.

This was the point when the bulb lit up; I wanted to do this!

I wanted to make people fall in love. I wanted to make people hurt people (I’m all good inside, I promise). I wanted to create annoying heroes who saved lives. I wanted to discover new cities and countries. I wanted to create drugs worse than cocaine. I want to break lives and I wanted to mend them.

I wanted to write.

And so that night, I wrote the first episode of Nicholas.

The morning was cold, the leaves were wet; it wasn’t a pleasant time to run…

I wrote that episode and sent it to a friend (shout out to Dolapo) and the rest as they say is history. Since that night I have written seven full length stories and I’m working on publishing my first novel. Watching Scandal at the time triggered something in me, it brought out something that was buried deep, a desire I was yet to know I had; it changed my life!

So maybe a movie isn’t what will change your life, Scandal wasn’t exactly what changed my life, Shoda Rhimes, the creator and head writer of Scandal did. She was a person doing what I wanted to do, I saw her and it challenged me to finally get off my butt and do something with my talent.

Who are your heroes? Who are the people whose work you admire? Maybe it is time you stop admiring and applauding and get to emulating. I’m not Shoda Rhimes yet but the fact that you are reading this is evidence that I’m moving in that direction. You love LordJosh? Thank you. But maybe you should get out there and do something I can love about you too.

The best time to start? Today!

Watching Scandal changed my life only because I took a challenge from what I was watching. Take a challenge from what you just read and maybe, just maybe it will change your life too.

 

Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife
Day 2: I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife by Tomi Adesina.