Who is in your circle?

‘Molade checked herself for the “God know knows how many times’’, in the mirror, each time was harder than the previous. She needed to appear ‘up to standard’ enough for the seminar presentation. This wasn’t her first nor second but ever since the twenty second of January, two thousand and seven, she has known better to always dress attractively and conduct herself perfectly or else it would be bad episodes after that.


Her shoes were polished till it sparked, makeup and hair was just perfect like a picture, and the dress had no other definition but cute. Nails had been manicured a day ago, and certainly no food twenty four hours before today, though she felt hunger pangs but that won’t be compared to the accolades if she did appear on her best. She didn’t have the time to rehearse her lines of introduction, main points and conclusion, all she concentrated on was her appearance. When time ran out on her, she stepped out of the house and into the car where the company’s driver had been waiting two hours ago.

She couldn’t get the right words out of her mouth when the driver complimented her looks for fear that something might go wrong with everything she had invested so much to put together. The driver in a way tried to chat her up, he could speak good English and was smiling all the way as if driving her gave him pleasure but she couldn’t just bring herself to talk, they will never understand why she did it and that might affect the way the rest of the day will go.

She heaved a sigh of relief when she saw the bravura Adelaja Williams hall, protocols were everywhere directing people and participants were trooping in, she smiled slightly, these people were waiting for her as the main speaker of the event. Her years of experience, expertise, poise and charm  earned her the position of the public relations executive of the nation’s first class mobile communications company- Xiantel communications and today she will tell the gross section of participants how a product can sustain a long lasting reputation in the competitive market.

“Well this is not all there is to me, In case you needed reminding, my name is ‘Molade Akolade, age thirty one, and engaged to be married to Adefemi Williams, regional manager and son to the CEO Xiantel communications.”

(to be continued)


Four months later


Sitting alone in the bus while waiting for other passengers to fill in, her reflection in the side mirror made Dammy recall the look on Biola’s face some months ago while she had unintentionally revealed that she was in love with Harris, she needn’t say it though, it was clearly written on her face. She would do anything to have that kind of peaceful and love-struck look in exchange with the pain surging through her body and face right now. Biola had pleaded with her before then to give Harris a chance and forget Timi but true, she had been very blind, from all indications Timi had used her and dumped her like a banana peel. She had agreed to go out with him after offering her the future she had desired with a ticket to Dubai but he had been so cunning to keep her going out with him without fulfilling any of the promises and yet there was Harris who was so faithful and true.

After all she made him go through, he still had the kindness to come and rescue her from Timi three nights ago when it became obvious that Timi might kill her and get away with it. That day she had gone to where Timi sent her: the worst assignment she had ever done, to kidnap a young child for one of his friends who was into child trafficking, she had done so many others like that all because of the love she had for him and the assurance of the super beautiful future she longed for because Timi was richer than any man she had ever met.

The kidnap was unsuccessful and she barely escaped being caught, only to find Timi in the arms of another whore on their bed, she was so furious that she nearly broke a bottle on the girl’s head but she managed to escape, “how could you be sleeping with another girl while I was out there risking my life for us”, she thought Timi would come to his senses and plead guilty but she knew that day she needn’t look elsewhere for another devil, he beat the life out of her and sounded a warning that he was going to kill her. Dammy thought she must have angered him so she began to placate him like she had always done anytime he beats her like that, kissing his feet with arms tied around his legs thinking that would soften him but he used his right hand to lift her face up as if he wanted to kiss her and bit into her lips so hard she had to punch him in the stomach and another fight ensued. That was all she could remember until she woke up around 11pm, she must have passed out from the beating because she couldn’t lift her body she just stayed glued to the floor waiting for death which she was sure was coming soon. Faintly she saw a small light beeping afar off consistently; it was the only light in the room because the room was very dark. She rolled in pain and moved towards it with all the strength in her and she saw it was her phone, she couldn’t hear its ringing but saw the beeping light, it was Harris, she could only say little before passing out again.

The next time she woke up she was in the hospital with her head, arms and legs bandaged, it must have been a miracle for her to still be alive she remembered everything now, how Timi had vowed he was going to kill her for assuming she owns him and challenging him of sleeping with another girl, though she knew he keeps other girls but she was content knowing she was his constant girl and future wife, but she had only assumed because he never told her any of his future plans. She could lift her head now and even her hands but she was still in so much pain, just then her friends and Harris entered carrying food and flowers.

“Hey you” came His deep rich voice, his eyes were so full of care; he held her hands and quickly said a short prayer and said he had to go back to work. All eyes were on him as he made his way out and then the chatter and gossip began, the girls started talking at the same time as if Harris’s presence made them dumb. Tonia recounted the episode so fast, that Dammy needed time to take it all in “God! you are so lucky to be alive, he saved your life, he had come rushing to our apartment in the middle of the night, panting, he said you picked his call after so many rings and you mentioned inaudibly that you were with Timi. We all came there that night and Timi was nowhere, the whole house was empty and I am sure he left you to die.” While Tonia talked, Biola was just sitting at the edge of the bed, smiling sadly; finally she looked at Dammy straight in the eyes and said “you are so lucky”

Picking her hospital bag, Dammy highlighted from the bus and surprised her friends because she didn’t tell them she would be discharged soon. Many weeks later when she had fully recovered mostly with the help of Harris, he came back again professing his ceaseless love for her.

“You are the one whom my soul seeks”

“You must be crazy? How could you live all the good people around and seek for a wretched soul like me”

“Those who are well need no physician but I have come to seek and save those who are lost”

“And what are you? A saviour?”

“I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”

“I am not someone you should even look upon let alone love for I am so dirty and unworthy” as if that was the answer he needed to hear, he touched her arm and said

“Come and let us reason together, though your sins are as scarlet it shall be white as snow…..”

His face was the perfect definition of a peace she could not describe, she wanted to turn away from him and run as far as her legs could carry her but his gaze held hers with his hands outstretched, she couldn’t just say no, but how could he? How could he love her after what she had done with her life, she was so unworthy to receive the love of a kind and righteous man like him, but she feared for the likes of Timi who are still out there hunting for the greedy and vulnerable ones like her, so she went willingly into his hands determined not to ever look back again for his love was beyond logic!.

“Your argument is more superior and I don’t know what to say again, but I can see the truth in you”

With her hands in his, he said, “ye have known the truth and the truth has set you free, this truth cannot appeal to commonsense so then cast the whole of your care, your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on me for I care for you affectionately and care about you watchfully”


Hugging herself so tightly on the bed, Dammy woke up looking around for her love, Tonia and Biola gave her the mischievous look and she knew she had been sleeping for it was all a dream. She couldn’t understand such a long and vivid dream but she knew it was more than the ordinary. So she got dressed and went straight to the house of a colleague who had been preaching to her to give her life to Christ. Her colleague couldn’t understand the dream either but she said it was a revelation so they went to meet her pastor and he explained to her by the revelation of the Holy Spirit just as if he was part of the dream.

God (Harris) had shown her a revelation of his love to him, she had been dining with the devil (Timi) and now God has personally invited her to become a daughter in his kingdom. The pastor further explained that people like Biola are Christians who do not know what their benefits are in Christ, they do not pray but complain about their problems and then they try to work things out on their own but fail because they are neither fully in the kingdom nor fully in the world. The pastor led her to Christ and offered to follow her up in faith. When she got home she took out her journal and began to write the immeasurable love story revelation, SHE HAD BEEN DINING WITH THE ENEMY but now she was going to continue sharing her love story till her king calls her home. Firstly she started with her roommates especially Biola who was an important part of the dream without her knowing.



“Can someone please answer that phone “

“The owner doesn’t want to pick it”

“Then do something about it, I am trying to sleep, please!” came Tonia’s irritating and authoritative voice, she was always like that anytime she was sleeping, but it wasn’t her fault either, if not for Dammy who left her phone and left for work. Biola took the phone and pressed the red button, only to throw it carelessly on the bed, angered by the fact that her one and only phone had not rang for three days now and here was Dammy’s third handset ringing non stop. She knew it was that guy who was so crazily in love with her, he is so much in love with her as if his life depended on it, though it wasn’t that kind of obsessed love found In novels or movies, even a never-fall-in-love person could see that it was for real but Dammy would not want to hear of it, she hated the guy as much as he loved her. He hadn’t showed up for days now probably because of what happened the last time but he has been trying to reach her, calling the only number she gave him just to know how she is doing  and hear her talk to him. “Poor guy!” he didn’t even know she had two other lines she could be reached on. The last he was here, Dammy had done the unpardonable, after standing him up for three hours, she strolled in with her never-do-well boyfriend while they chatted and did stuff, the guy just sat there waiting for his time. Biola had been furious seeing him that way and she couldn’t help but shouted after him as he left that day that he was a fool!

Biola had been there for him that day, making him feel comfortable and keeping his company, he returned her smiles and welcomed her friendliness, he even shared jokes with her and both of them had laughed out loud but it didn’t go beyond that. Biola had tried something else and had secretly hoped that he would open his eyes and see her and finally stop chasing after shadows but he was very firm, turning her down politely though he didn’t treat her that way but she felt worse than trash, she felt like crawling into the plastic waste bag to be thrown away because she hadn’t tried to encourage a man before but who wouldn’t want to have something to do with Harris? He was so cute, so kind, so gentle, it wasn’t about his beautiful face, because if a man was above the handsome category, you could tag him ‘beautiful’ he has it all going for him, everything so pieced together as if life was just a straight line. He was everything to any right thinking girl but he had eyes for the only girl who wouldn’t want to be seen with him. He wasn’t like that Timi guy who in the least could not even hold a smooth conversation with a girl, the chauvinist was so rude and above himself, “who in the world would want to go out with him?” except Dammy of course who is always playing the goat with him.

She wondered why some men could be so blind; whatever Harris saw in Dammy could not be compared to what she had been building in her self. She has always been as good as gold, Mum and Dad’s good girl, she doesn’t have a heart for trouble or guts to party like Tonia or date dangerous men like Dammy. She couldn’t even explain where the courage to seduce Harris came from, perhaps it was her naivety that Harris recognised and pleaded with her to behave herself well. But Harris was so wrong, he was wrong! To behave well was something she was birthed into, she grew in it and now she can boldly describe herself as the future virtuous woman in the book of proverbs. He was one who needed to behave himself for being so much in love with someone who has the least regard for him.

She checked her handset for the imagined missed call she thought she had a while ago but there was none, her phone battery was full as usual, she wouldn’t be charging it for the next three days, she wanted to switch it off but thought of Mum or Dad, they might want to reach her, to encourage her or pray, all they knew was to pray and encourage her, she didn’t even want to hear the ‘patient’ talks anymore, they wearied her the more, how can they tell her to be patient and wait for God’s time when she had done everything right and now that she is supposed to be engaged and  get married to a responsible man, no guy seems to be interested. She closed her eyes and tried to shut it all out but she couldn’t sleep like Tonia slept. Her face was free of worries, sleeping so soundly, she wished she could do what the girls did or better still be like the girls in the movies who could do things to make a man fall no matter how strong he claims. Her mother had told her to be careful with her roommates that the children of this world are wiser in their own eyes, “but that works for them anyway” and her life is the exact opposite of being a good Christian girl.

“Life is so unfair!” she whispered as she wept silently into her pillow, how long will she have to wait before God answers her prayers? If not for her sake but for that of mum and dad. She couldn’t fathom how some people could be so lucky which is not as a result of their deeds because Dammy do not deserve Harris, no logic could explain why the morally upstanding guy could be in love with Dammy who lacked any moral values. “Hey babes! Sugar is home” Dammy’s beautiful voice interrupted her thoughts and she quickly switched back to the “happy friend, no worries mode”, “welcome dear, and how was work today” Biola asked.

“Please don’t ask me, my boss finally got the signed divorced papers she had been waiting to receive from her husband and all hell was let loose today, she made our day miserable because she didn’t want anyone to be happy, what baffles me however is that she sent those divorce papers, she was the one who wanted to get divorced, now that she has it, she is so down in the dumps, transferring her aggression on our poor souls! I wonder what women really want from men?”

“Whao! That is not coming from you Dammy, is it?”

“Why? What’s with me?”

“Don’t even go pretending like you don’t know what I am talking about” Biola had sat up straight now obviously defensive and prepared to fight, Dammy looked at Tonia for some support but she was still fast asleep. “So what are you talking about dear?”


uninterested as ever, Dammy played with the ruffles at the hem of her brown knickers, silently enjoying the look on Biola’s face, thinking if Biola was a white she would have turned red or pink by now, she wondered where she was going with the conversation. Biola finally found her voice, she was going to stand in for Harris, she wouldn’t allow her to treat him like a no-good anymore “He has called you for God-knows-how-many-times today”

“So why don’t you let me deal with that, he is calling me not you”

“Its not fair how you treat him, he loves you yet you treat him with contempt,”

That was the height Dammy could take, she initially thought this was the usual girl talk, but this coming from Biola was novel. She wasn’t the type of girl who meddles in other’s businesses especially one that has to do with men, and the only reason she would do this is if she was falling in love with Harris.

“Are you in love with him?”Asked Dammy

“Yes! ehr…….m… I mean no.”

Biola tried to hide the real reasons but Dammy already saw through her, Dammy threw her shoes in the air and laughed out loud, she shook energetically and laughed hard until Tonia woke, she was still laughing while she changed back into her denim and boldly inscribed “want me more” tight body revealing top and finally left, she finally stopped laughing when Timi came and took her out for the weekend. Crushed beyond words, Biola crawled back into her bed and shut her eyes tightly whether sleep came or not she decided to remain that way for a long time

Build Wisely….


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire, he told his employer contractor of his plans to leave the house building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the pay check each week but he wanted to retire, they could get by.


The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the work then he handed the front door key to the carpenter and said “This is your house………. my gift to you”

The carpenter was shocked.

What a shame if he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us, we build our lives, a day at a time often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back, you are the carpenter and every day you hammer a nail, place a board or erect a wall. Someone once said “Life is a do-it yourself project.” Your attitude and the choices you make today help build the house you will live in tomorrow. Therefore BUILD WISELY.



Oginnni? It is as if Mother has refused to get well, and she knows we cannot afford this at all, mba” blurted Onyinye immediately we left the hospital to get food for our mother who has been hospitalized for the past one month, the sickness has been diagnosed to be malaria parasite but she hasn’t improved a bit ever since. when she threw up the concocted rice Onyinye bought this morning, again it occurred to me that we might be losing her but Onyinye shares a different opinion, she believes mother is just not trying to be well, according to her, she is not trying enough to get out of that hospital bed and go home to take up responsibilities, she says “mother knows we can’t afford to spend the little we have on hospital alone when there is no food in the house, the rent is there, debts have been incurred and she is just lying there accepting all the sympathies, I don’t know of anything she is doing to get well” when I explained that people don’t pretend to be sick at least not for so long and when people get sick, they just don’t determine to get well and miraculously get well but she won’t hear any of this. Don’t judge her yet, Onyinye is not heartless, she is just frustrated.


My name is Nonso, you just met my sister and my mother and now me, I still have three other siblings and we are the family of Nwokwuku. First thing you should know about us is that we are very Poor, if you know all the definitions of being poor then ascribe it to us because I wouldn’t want to go into all those horrible details of being a host of poverty. My father is alive but dead to us because we don’t even know where he is, ever since madam “syntheleta” vyed for the post of councilor in my community and lost my father disappeared with her for the past ten years but news reaching us says they got married and are now living in Port Harcourt while some claim Madam took him out of the country. As you could guess he wasn’t the responsible type before his disappearance, he was unemployed though he had a motorcycle he uses for commuting passengers but his proceeds never get to be used for our welfare, he always made sure he had no money on him when he returns home late into the night, some days he would not even show up. before he disappeared we had already concluded that he was dead to us except Mother who still nursed the hope of him returning someday to come beg for forgiveness as she would sometimes say” I don’t want your father returning and see you suffering, he would not appreciate me”. My mother and sometimes my elder sister who had married earlier shouldered the family’s responsibility of feeding and the payment of our two-room apartment, anyone who desired to be educated would have to see him/herself through with no help from home.


So my journey began, I had a small farm I was managing for one of my uncles as soon as I was eleven. So I planted all manner of crops and with so much hard work and many other menial jobs like bricklaying, block making, painting I saw myself through university and finished with a strong  2-1. I am the first and only graduate of the family. My elder sister was in her first year in the polytechnic when she got pregnant for a member of staff of the school, luckily, the man married her and she managed to get her OND but she has not been able to go back to school because of family obligations but she is averagely okay. Onyinye enrolled in Government empowered program to learn sewing and ever since she finished, she has not been able to get money to buy a sewing machine and get a shop. She works with a woman who over works her with such a meager pay but it’s either that or marriage to some never-do-well. My immediate younger sister left with one of my mother’s sisters to Ibadan with a promise to send her to school but Nena has been engaged in food selling in my aunt’s restaurant, now my aunty has sent word that she is pregnant for a riff-raff and has refused to come home and all we do is to hope she would be fine.


Nedu is still in secondary school and with the way he is going I only hope he doesn’t turn out to be like Father, he behaves so irresponsibly in spite of all that I have done to mentor him. He sings in a club house claiming he wants to use that to support himself as it is with all of us but it turned out that he has been badly influenced. The other day I found him in an uncompromising position with a young girl of his age and he started swearing when I corrected him. When he threatened to leave the house and run away Mother begged me to let him be. I can say that I have done well for myself by going to a university, I have even done the compulsory NYSC service but unfortunately for me as it is with many youths in the country I have nothing to show for the struggled years of hard labour. when I look back to my university days, I look back with regret of all the things I could have done, groups I could have joined, friends and connections I could have made but I couldn’t because I had to see myself through, working all the time sometimes I even miss lectures but I made sure I had time to read enough to cover up. I did my best to finish with a very good result so as to change my family story. As the first male child, a lot is expected of me, yet, I can’t make any difference. For the past two years that I have finished serving with the NYSC; I have not been able to get a job. When I got frustrated, I went back to my uncle to see if I could continue to manage his farm but he was very indifferent saying “since you knew you would be coming back to the farm why go to school”


Though my family was not responsible for my education asides moral support and prayers, but I see expectations from all of them, they all without saying it see me as a saviour to deliver them from the claws of poverty that had gripped us ever since we knew our names. Right now I feel like a failure, my mother is dying and there is not so much I can do to help her, the community health centre we had taken her, do not really have the basic facilities to take care of one as sick as my mother and in situations like this extended families rarely help because they all claim to be in problem too, well who can blame them anyway? In spite of all these, my family is a good Christian. My mother made sure she educated us on the person of Jesus Christ and how he would help us in due time but I have not really seen him help us in any way, even mother is dying but since mother says it’s the only reasonable thing to do in a world like ours, I took her word for it and believed her. So I kept praying that if there is actually a God somewhere he should save my mother who believed so much in him.


Onyinye left for her work as soon as we got Mother another plate of Eba and vegetables, we had to  buy egg because meat cost more and besides we thought that would be more nutritious. On our way coming the man I help with his photocopying machine had sent word that if I didn’t come tomorrow I would lose my job and I am just so depressed, even though the man paid me peanuts I can’t afford to leave the place and here is mother with no one to stay with her. Onyinye’s boss would not allow her stay away for long because she is the only designer she has, all others had left because of her ill- temper. Nedu had only been here once since mother got sick, we don’t even know if he sleeps at home anymore. As I came out to get some fresh air from the foul smell in the ward, a thought came to me and I decided to see the doctor,


“Good morning sir, I was thinking if……..

“Are you in sane, Can’t you see I have a visitor here, please get out of my office” barked the doctor

I insisted and kept on saying that its urgent but he stood up, wanting to get me out of the way and the visitor looked at me as if to say young man respect yourself and wait your turn but the eyes turned out to be the eyes of my boss in warri, where I served.

“Good afternoon sir” I quickly say before the doctor threw me out and he didn’t get the chance to reply because I was already out the door. I stood there for five minutes rehearsing what I would tell the doctor, it was a matter of life and death, my mother was dying, perhaps she needed blood transfusion or drips or whatever they can do to make her get well, I wanted to offer to work in the hospital for no pay in as much as they would do something to make her get better because they lacked hands. Suddenly the door cracked open and the doctor invited me saying his visitor wanted to see me, I apologized to him that it was because of my mother’s health but he dismissed my apology telling his visitor how irresponsible I and my siblings are. I wonder where he got that from but I also know that when you are from a poor background people just treat you like a piece of trash like you willed to be poor.


“Nonso where in God’s name have you been?”

“I came back to my family when I didn’t get a job in Warri sir”

“To do what?” Well, that does not matter anymore, I have so much to tell you and I don’t have the time so just go get your bags and let’s get going”

“Sir….i rrrrr…….”

“Now what?”

“My mother is dying sir and I have to be with her”

“Your mother needs a doctor and not you, what have you been able to do for her since you ‘ve been with her?”

“Look, I will wait for you for fifteen minutes to go get a relative of yours whom I can hand over money to take your mother to the state hospital where she can be properly attended to, this is just a basic health centre not a fully equipped hospital.” The doctor nodded with a devilish grin on his face. it was later my boss told me that the doctor was a brother of his who had run away from home since he was fifteen.


Then I ran, how I ran


I ran the wildest run of my life, first to grab my bag, didn’t have much though, just  a few rugged shirts and a pair of trousers, then I ran to grab Onyinye, I didn’t even get her madam’s permission, they were both scared, thinking Mother had passed out.

And that was it, I travelled with my boss that day who made me understand he had been looking for me for the past one year. I had to sell the phone I was using then to settle some of our incurred debts and the one I bought had battery issues; it’s off today and on tomorrow. Immediately there was a vacancy in the office where I served my boss recommended me to the Manager and started looking for me to take up the position but I could not be reached. Now, He said I should not worry that he just had to fix me up somewhere. He said it with so much certainty as if he was under obligation to help me. His reason being that I was a faithful Corp member who did his work, minded his business and would not refuse to take up assignments anytime he was called upon. He said he had reports from the members of staff that I worked with that I was diligent in all I did. Imagine! We didn’t even have a relationship back then, he took interest in me after I had left the place. He said the company needed young minds who would work and be honest with it.


Today, ten months after, I have been transferred to Enugu, not very far from my state because it’s a federal owned establishment and I can go see Mother on weekends. She has fully recovered from the illness and now pestering me to set her up with a small business but I told her to be patient, we would get there. I am a comfortable young man now, didn’t even know ladies can even be interested in me until I started working well and my complexion began to glow, I am not a womanizer and would never be, they come around me now that I am beginning to look like a fine young man, where were they when I had just a pair of trouser and drank Garri all day long. but I would like to settle down with one beautiful lady I met some months back, I hope to propose to her soon., God help me.


Don’t get me wrong, I am not paid in hundreds of thousands but I have never held the amount of my one month salary in hand before. When I took out my journal tonight to write on my experience for the past one year I see that even though I don’t really have a relationship with God like my mother, he has been good to me, I can’t believe my luck, mother says is God’s favour and I want to have that kind of relationship she has with God, knowing that, even if the world crumbles, everything would still be alright, I wish I had believed that long ago. The only conclusion I can make from all these is that IT’S NOT ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM, WHAT MATTERS IS THAT WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL DILIGENCE, WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT AND GIVE IT YOUR BEST, WITH GOD ON YOUR SIDE, YOU WILL OVERCOME ALL THE LIMITATIONS.