Tuesday, 25 December 2018

A message for Christmas


Let me share my notes from today's Christmas sermon at the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.

Preacher - Pastor Poju Oyemade.

Text: Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1-12, Micah 5:2, Gal 2:20, Psalm 40:1-3, Psalm 139:14-16

The minute you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, a star was born in you.

Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes, meant for the low class, yet the wise men worshipped him as King. They identified Him correctly.

Some of us identify ourselves by what we are wrapped in (social status).
It does not matter what you look like once you have found your star.

He that is born of the Spirit has a star.

Every one in the Spirit has a more sure Word of prophecy. The same way it was said about Jesus that it was written about him.

If the birth of Jesus could shake Herod, you have the same capacity if you properly identify what is in you.

Because some have not identified themselves, they have gone into palaces, expecting advantages.

There is a definite purpose of my existence which is written inside God's book. Outside of which the wonders of God will not be seen. 

Our assignment is to find our true identity inside God's Word and run with it. John found his purpose in the Word. (I am the voice of one crying in the desert) So he did not mind when he was decreasing and Jesus was increasing.

The only time you will find fulfillment is getting into your purpose.

Caesar Augustus called that census to fulfill what was written about Jesus
When Government issues a policy, it is that it shall be fulfilled what has been written concerning you.

The biggest blessing of this life is rejection from men. That's when doors open. (There was no room for him in the inn)

All of my members are written in your book. My assignment is to find out what is written and walk accordingly. 

The people you are trying to meet, if you grow your own house, they will be the ones trying to meet you.

The purpose of you shining bright is to lead other people to the man in swaddling clothes.


Merry Christmas 
Radiant ~ December 2018

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Christmas: Kid’s expectations vs. financial realities


My memories of Christmas period during childhood have always been of new dresses, new shoes, new movies, Christmas decor, harmattan, chin chin, rice and chicken. For many families, this is a season of much spending.

A few days ago, my husband and I had fun eavesdropping on a conversation between a mother and her 3 children at McDonald’s. Actually, we did not need to eavesdrop, the mother was loud enough for everyone close by to hear. They sat adjacent to us munching on their burgers, chips and chicken nuggets. The children were obviously delighted.

Son 1: We should do this more often.

Daughter: And cinema too.

Mom: I had to work 2 hrs for you to eat this and I will have to work a bit more than 2 hrs for y’all to go to the cinema from here.

Son 2: And we will be having popcorn.

Mom: You still want popcorn after eating all these?, she said with so much shock.

Son 1: But these are cheap.

Mom: Everything is cheap when you’re not the one paying for it

Son 2: But Daddy can afford it.

Mom: Yea daddy can ‘cause he works full time. I have to work part time to look after y’all and to pick y’all from school. Daddy will not do that.

Son 1: How many hours do I have to work to make £100?

Mom: 1 week.

After a brief silence,

Son 1: Mom what age do I have to be before I can work? 18?

Mom: I had my first job at 14.

Of course the conversation was longer than I’ve highlighted. However, the interesting thing for us about the conversation was the consciousness of the relationship between work and fun which the mom had started to imbibe in her kids, making them look forward to work when they are able. She was trying to teach them not to take things for granted but to be more considerate in demands and appreciative of the efforts parents put in to make their children happy.

And it seemed to work. Son 1 who should be about 8 to 10 yrs old was already thinking of taking responsibility. He wanted to know how soon and how much he could make. Probably so as to not have to deal with his mom’s money complaints or to help the family or even to get a long-desired toy, whichever way, he is becoming financially responsible.

That day's experience reminded me of those times when I had expected some things from my parents and got denied. Once, our dad refused to release money for any new clothes for Christmas. We were all devastated. We felt it was our right to have new clothes for Christmas and New year days and we didn’t care why we were being denied. Could it have been more bearable if he explained why there was no money for that? Would I have believed him? Are children really considerate about financial constraints? 

I think Christmas is a very special season for kids and it will be good to factor their expectations early in planning. However, there may be other inevitable financial demands that put these expectations lower on the priority list. Should parents explain these to their children?

Please share your thoughts below on how much you think parents should tell their kids about family financial situation. What can this achieve?

Merry Christmas 
Radiant ~ December 2018

Sunday, 16 December 2018

A Night at the Atican Beach Resort Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria



When thinking about where to spend the first few days after our wedding, a few factors came into play. My King and I were going to be back in Nigeria after a while away. We wanted to enjoy it's warmth as much as we could. More so, my flight back to UK was scheduled for November 16, meaning that I had only five honeymoon days before travelling. Furthermore, there were other relevant activities to accomplish, especially my legal change of surname. So we agreed to stay in Lagos. 

The day after the wedding, we searched the Internet for resorts to stay in and the Atican Beach Resort caught our fancy. The pictures we saw online were very attractive. When we called to book a room, we were informed that from 12 to 6pm, there might be no power as the generator only came on from 6pm till 12 noon the following day. We were disappointed but figured we could deal with that, so we went ahead to make our reservation.



We checked into our room at 5:45pm with a torch to light the darkness. Expecting power to come on in 15 minutes as said, we went to the restaurant to have dinner while waiting. However, it took 30 minutes for the generator to come on. All that while, we sat in darkness. The food came even later. They said the chicken was frozen, hence they couldn't warm it until power came. As we were famished from our long journey to Lekki we asked to be served the Eba and soup first and for the chicken to come later. Yet they waited till after power came on to prepare our food. I had Eba and Edikainkong. It was okay, but not fantastic as I would describe my lunch experience the next day at The Place, Lekki. The TV in the restaurant wasn't working. The tap in the sink wasn't running.

On getting back to the room after dinner, the air conditioner stopped after about five minutes. We were perspiring. Opening the door of the room did not help as it just blew in warm air from outside. On getting them to check the problem, they said it had to do with the generator. They were running helter-skelter trying to fix the problem for 10 to15 minutes until they thought to move us to another room with a better working AC. After moving our things, I got into the bathroom for a shower. I was still sponging my body, when the shower stopped running. I asked my husband to send for a bucket of warm water. By the time the water arrived, I was already out of the bathroom with the soap dried to my skin as I could wait no longer. 



I was sad. Not about the poor service we received that night but about the mediocrity we have gotten so used to in Nigeria. The attitude of "manage it like that", our lack of quality control. This adds to what keeps us poor as a country. God help us. We could not believe that a hotel with a tourist attraction could be so laid back about its services. As if they expected us to "understand" that the generator could not carry all ACs or pump water. There was no attempt by a management personnel or supervisor to apologize. There was no compensation. 

Unfortunately, that night's experience is also visible in usual working relationship with artisans or vendors - a tailor who takes your measurements ahead of time but delays delivery or still has major adjustments to make, a mechanic paid to fix a problem in your car but you're forced to return to him the following weekend with the same problem or a vendor paid to render a service who does not pay attention to detail etc. There are many other examples to relate to. In some cases they insist on full payment before service but after the flop, the best you get from them is 'sorry madam' and worst of all, 'abeg manage am like that'. It's pathetic.


Nevertheless, there were some commendable sides to the hotel. The breakfast was on point - toast and fried egg with NescafĂ© 3 in 1. Egg salad and Mayo sandwich or fried yam and eggs. The building was modern and had very nice surroundings. The beach was a good place to get away. After that first night, there was no power problem except for the expected 6-hour 'no gen' period which we spent on the beach or out in town shopping, lunching or in the cinema. 



Rating
If I had spent only the first night in Atican, I would rate it 1/5 (Would have been 0, but let's give it 1 for good looks and nice breakfast). If I had not experienced the Day 1 brouhaha, I would have rated it 3.5/5. So combining the experiences from Day 1 to 4, I would rate it 2.5/5. My husband rates it 1.5/5. He says first impression is key. Unfortunately, we don't look forward to going back.




Have you experienced poor service in Nigerian hotels or with your vendor/artisan? Or perhaps you've been to the Atican Beach Hotel, Lekki. Please tell us your experience in the comments section below. Cheers.

Radiant ~ December 2018

Monday, 3 December 2018

RadiantKing: Preparing for Marriage. Planning a Wedding




Preparing for Marriage
An engagement signifies an intention to get married. Our first project as an engaged couple was to come to an agreement on the date of the wedding. Some of the factors we put into consideration when determining the date of our wedding were:

1. Career stability. We were both in transition at the time of the proposal. My King had just begun his Masters programme, while I had just gotten a licence to work in UK as a doctor and was then job hunting. He didn't want us getting into this major milestone of a life event in our transition phases. At least one of us had to be stable career-wise before we got married.

2. Counselling. My King was very particular about us receiving proper counselling before venturing into the institution of marriage. We couldn't go in unprepared. Hence, we attended an informal and a formal marriage counselling. We got informal but structured counselling from our mentors viz. his former boss and his wife. We had several sessions with them both physically and via video calls. The formal one was organized by our local church in Nigeria and was done through 6 sessions of video conference calls. We were among the first set of diaspora couples for counselling. During these sessions, we learnt about communication, roles and responsibilities, great expectations of marriage, managing in-laws, being united, finances, sex, and so on. Our formal counselling required us to read at least 2 books on marriage. 



Other pre-marital conversations included where we would live after marriage, when we would prefer to have children and how many, our career goals and how they would fit into the family and long-term plans, expectations of each other in the marriage, etc. All these we have committed into God's hands. By His grace, we will face it all together.


Planning a Wedding
Planning the wedding did not stress us much. It feels a bit weird saying this as I have seen people under so much pressure during wedding preps. King maintained a calm demeanor even in the midst of his Masters courseworks, exams and thesis. To him, planning a wedding is not much different from organising one of his community development projects @GenLeaders. Many people get stressed during the planning process when they try to over-impress or go beyond their capability. Not to deny the fact that planning from outside Nigeria helped ease off some physical stress as we engaged a wedding planner. Moreover, we had friends and family who helped do our leg work. I had some concerns about things not going as planned, but we just had to trust God and the people to whom we had committed the work to.


The first thing we did after securing a date was to agree on our budget. I was happy to have a man very good in numbers and Excel sheets. We made a list of everything we thought would be needed or have observed at weddings we had witnessed. After that, we eliminated what we considered unnecessary and then split our budget across all remaining items; we had done a prior investigation on what each item should cost on average. This became our guide in negotiations with vendors and our event planner, most of which were done via Whatsapp. We only met most of our vendors on the wedding day, save for those who were already in our network.



We decided on the number of guests to entertain based on our budget and the quality of wedding we desired. We allotted numbers to both families and ourselves and tried to emphasize strict adherence to the numbers allotted when our families began to send out invites. Since we were not in Nigeria to give all our guests IV cards, we also made e-invites.

Thankfully, our wedding ceremonies were largely hitch-free. Pictures at Instagram #radiantking or visit our wedding website - RadiantKing

The following are some of the vendors we engaged and their Instagram handles and they all did a fantastic job.

Hall decoration - @patakievents
MC - @omootalks
DJ - @emjoelove
Cake - @kairostreats
Make up for white wedding - @lipsnlids
Make up for traditional wedding - @triadasbeautylounge
Photography & Cinematography - @josephentekumefilm


Radiant ~ December 2018
This is the final of the RadiantKing series. Thank you for following our love story. We hope you enjoyed it. Please continue to put us in your prayers. Cheers to a happy & fulfilling married life.
Click here for all episodes of the RadiantKing series and please leave comments. 





Sunday, 18 November 2018

Be Led by the Spirit



Today’s sermon at The King’s Glory Church, King's Lynn was on being led by the Spirit. Here are some take home lessons. Be blessed.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this. 

There is a constant struggle between the spirit, soul and body.

Being led by the soul
The soul consists of intellect, emotions and will.
When people are led by the intellect, everything has to make sense. The things of God do not always make sense. In fact, the wisdom of God is foolish to the world. When people are led by emotions, they go by whatever feels right. Passion is not enough. Many would love to obey God, but lack the will. People with a strong will are very determined. However, the will is not strong enough. An addicted person may have a will to quit, but has no power to achieve it. 

What does it mean to be led by the Spirit?

Romans 8:5
For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.

To obey God's voice despite contrary evidence.
Refuse anything not in keeping with God's Word no matter how good it feels

How to keep our soul healthy

1. In ward check by God's Word and the spirit of man.
The Word of God convicts us. The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord searching the innermost part of the body.

If sinful thoughts aren't dealt with, one day they will manifest as sinful acts. James 1:13-15

2. Stop living a frenzied lifestyle. Create time to feed on God's Word. The parable of the sower tells us the Word of God can be choked by the cares of this world.

Please share in the comment section your understanding of being led by the spirit. Thanks

Radiant ~ November 2018

Saturday, 10 November 2018

RadiantKing: The Proposal


King and I had been in a relationship for a little over one and half years, most of which was LDR. Although we had been talking about marriage and were sure we would like to be with each other for the rest of our lives, I really wanted us to make it official. I longed for him to make the move as soon as possible. I knew he does things at his own pace and cannot be coerced so there was no need to daydream. If he didn't feel ready, he wouldn't do it. So I was not expecting such surprise on my graduation day - the day he chose to pop the question. Funnily, he had his first term exams on same week and was almost going to miss the ceremony but got there somehow. I'll spare the details.

After my graduation ceremony on December 15, 2017, I hosted my guests at Cosmo World Buffet. We were dining, laughing, taking pictures and having fun. When our time was almost up, we were then taking a final round of pictures but I noticed my King was no where to be found. I wanted him to be in the pictures, so I scoured for him with my eyes but I couldn't reach him. I thought he might have stepped out to the loo so I stayed put hoping he'd come back before the picture sessions were over. Next thing, I saw him with some of my male friends. One was carrying a laptop and set it in front of me. I was still asking Kingston where he had been all the while but he asked me to pay attention to the slide show and music playing. 
He had prepared a slideshow of pictures of us together from when we were in Lagos till then and the inscriptions showed our journey, the separation and how we got back to being close together with Ed Sheran's Perfect playing in the background. The penultimate slide read, "Now that we're back together, it's time to take things a step further". Meanwhile all others had gathered to watch the slide show with me. Some were as unsuspecting as I was initially. While the ones he had discussed with had set their phone cameras to record the event. Fortunately, we had a professional camera person amongst us. He had come to film another colleague who was celebrating at the same venue. King had smartly cornered him to take pictures. The last slide on the slideshow read, "So Chidiogo...will you marry me?"

People around were screaming as they brought out their phones for pictures. At this point I was all tears. I was red. He had knelt down beside me and brought out the ring. I was still crying. He asked again while a voice in the background echoed, "We are waiting for an answer". I then said "yes of course", gave my left hand, hugged him and I was engaged.



Radiant ~ November 2018
Please leave comments. By the way, today is my wedding day. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

RadiantKing: Long Distance Relationship

When I was leaving for UK, Kingston had said he would visit me in the summer when he would write the next stage of his professional exam. He could write that in Ghana but since I was going to the UK, it was enough incentive to register for the exam there. The hope of seeing him again sustained me. We talked every day, via Whatsapp, Imo, Skype and regular phone calls. Once I complained that the cold was killing me. A few days after, I received a fluffy warm nightdress sent by him. Another time he sent me a jumper. On Val's day, he sent me a customized card. He read through my course works, he was my alarm clock. I kept him company on his way back from work through Lagos traffic. Sometimes we just kept ourselves company, saying nothing but listening to our breaths or watching me sleep. 


I had been advised by some well-meaning friends to keep my options open before I left for the UK. They thought I would meet a man that would sweep me off my feet and make me forget about Kingston but I was resolute on my decision about him. He was the one I wanted to marry. He had not proposed yet, though we often made remarks about marriage. A few people also queried my relationship status during my time as a student, but I made it clear I had a boyfriend in Nigeria who I was dedicated to. They respected that. 

June 2017 came and passed but my King did not come. He had begun to apply for a Masters programme in UK and needed to manage finances. So he moved his exams to Ghana. He was in his 6th career year and had started getting bored. He longed for something different, either a higher degree or a change of job so he took his shot. He would have pursued a degree in the US or Canada like most young men in Nigeria prefer, but I was a very good attraction to come to the UK. It made sense to deny ourselves the pleasure of seeing briefly that summer for a more fulfilling opportunity of being together in the same country for a longer period. If it failed, then he would visit afterwards. 

My getting a scholarship must have boosted his faith in getting one too. So like me, he spent time searching for scholarships and bursaries. By God's grace, he got awards that covered about 50% of his tuition. This went a very long way. He now had to make up the rest of the tuition and cater to living expenses. Through his savings and generous support from friends, he was able to make up the balance and voila! my King would join me in the UK. I had another date to look up to. When I missed him, I'd remind myself that I'd see my King again. I had so longed for him to apply to the same school I went to, but he knew what he wanted. He went for a school with a better repute for his course. Besides, there was no guarantee I would remain in Nottingham after my programme. I could get a job anywhere.

So in October 2017, King felt the autumn breeze of the UK welcome him along with a smiling familiar face called Radiant. It had been 1 year of waiting, learning of each other, building friendship and a test of our relationship.

Radiant ~ November 2018
Click here to read the previous episode of the RadiantKing series. Please leave a comment.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

RadiantKing: Leaving For Masters



I always tell King that he was the one that made me apply for a Masters programme. When I saw he wasn't ready for a relationship, I decided to busy myself with something. I wanted to achieve something good for myself. So I buried myself in the Internet, day in, day out, searching for scholarships for a Masters programme abroad. My uncle had said to me once, "You have control over your career, but you don't have control over marriage. So pursue the one you have control over and at the right time, the other will come". He didn't want me waiting about for a man who I had no control over when he would find me.

When I was applying for a Masters programme, I had told my then-boyfriend my plan but he was not in support of me going abroad. He wanted me to stay back and find other opportunities locally. On the contrary, Kingston encouraged me, even reviewed and edited my essays. It seemed he wasn't as much concerned about the implication of a long distance relationship if I succeeded; he was more concerned about me furthering my career.

Looking back, it seems God used King's exam to prepare us for the future. I had to learn to tolerate his absence sometimes as he studied. Around mid-year, he left for the UK to write his exams but before boarding, he sent me a song, Wait for me by Johnny Drille. Quite a romantic gesture. I had not heard it before then. I kept playing the song while I waited for his return. He kept in touch regularly.
 Thankfully he passed. I told him my coming into his life made him pass as he was previously unsuccessful. 

Well, I got a scholarship and it was certain I would be away for one year. I was a little disappointed with the news though. I had thought 2016 was my year of marriage, but with the developing events, I would have to wait another year. Besides, how could I survive one full year of being apart from this fine man I had fallen so in love with. I did not doubt his faithfulness. I only doubted my emotional strength to cope. Yet I was excited about the prospects of getting a foreign education, seeing life from a developed world, exploring the public health space and escaping the depression I had from practising clinical medicine in Nigeria.


Before I left for my Masters programme, King made sure I met his parents and he met mine. We wanted both families to be in support of our relationship. I met his mentor. He met mine. So on the 21st of September 2016, I left Nigeria for the University of Nottingham in England, just about 4 months into my relationship with my King.

Radiant ~ November 2018

Sunday, 28 October 2018

RadiantKing: Finally Making His Intentions Known 2



King:
I couldn't believe what I heard that night. Well, she was right since I wasn't ready "...but now I am", I told her. I tried to convince her but didn't achieve much. Normally, I would join the mid-week service online from the office but the following day, I decided to go to church so I could see her. I had left the office early but by the time I arrived, it was like nothing happened there; no thanks to third mainland bridge traffic. I headed straight to her abode hoping she would be back home but she wasn't. I decided to wait but guess what? Her new guy came to drop her off while I was in my car watching. Chai! See my life. In my mind I was thinking: Where did they go? What has he bought for her? I have to reciprocate whatever gesture that guy has shown. So when she eventually came over, I opened the door for her to get in; I was taking her out.

We got to somewhere serene where I told her to order for anything she wanted while I was arranging words in my head. That night, I spoke all the English I knew trying just to get her to see things from my point of view. All she said, in the end, was that she now understood me better and would spare some thought. Well, I had a foot in the door but not quite there yet. I kept up the chase until weeks later, she told me she had let the other guy go and would give me a chance. I wished I could do backflips at that point. My joy was however shortlived as she rang me the following morning to tell me not to call her again. Nawa o! This battle is not yet won. What next? I resorted to text messages, after all, she only said no calls. When she was travelling, I offered to drive her to the park, before I went to work.

Now, here's the interesting part. I was descending the bridge into Obalende on my way to the office one morning. There was slow moving traffic. Chidiogo's call came in and she went straight to the point: "What is your vision for your life?" When she found out I was driving she said I could tell her later but I declined: "I will answer you now", I said. There were many sides to that question. First, I was impressed; no one had challenged me like that in the past. Second, it made me feel, this girl surely has a good head on her shoulder. My level of respect for her shot to the roof. Also, that question could throw any guy off if he was not prepared. But I was. I had an acronym for my goals: AFCRS meaning Academic, Financial, Career, Relationship (which would later become Marriage) and Spiritual. I later found out she recorded as I took my time to explain each of them and how she would fit in. That moment could have passed for a final interview with a multinational. This, I believe, was the deal breaker.

Radiant:
The relationship between me and the other guy died a natural death without communication. However, as King and I had a basic foundation of friendship, we still communicated with regards to editing the blog, helping my Masters application or other things not related to romance. Gradually, and without actually saying yes to a relationship, it was obvious we had a relationship. He had proven his seriousness. But little did we know we had another test just ahead.


Radiant ~ October 2018

Saturday, 27 October 2018

RadiantKing: Finally Making His Intentions Known




Radiant:
I had moved on with my life since my admirer did not reciprocate the affection. At least, he was no more blocking the way for other men. I started seeing someone - a tall, dark and handsome who had asked for a relationship from Day One. It was kind of strange though. My theory of first being friends before a relationship had not quite worked with Kingston. Here I was with someone I only had known from afar asking for a relationship. Well, I damned the rules and agreed to it. How else will I get to know him? After all, there are so many ways to kill a cat. We spent time talking about our lives while strolling or driving. I asked specific questions as I hadn't been given much time to figure out his personality. One day, I asked if he had fought in public before and he narrated an instance when he did. So I asked him if it were now, knowing all he knew, would he react the same way? He replied that sometimes people need to be taught a lesson to take you seriously. That remark rang as a red flag in my head: "Potential for domestic violence". 

Meanwhile, I got a call one night from Kingston. We chatted normally, then I decided to fill him in on what has been going on with me, after all, we were still friends. I told him I was now dating someone else. He was shocked to the marrow. I didn't understand why he was so surprised. Didn't he say he had exams to write? The next day, he left his office very early to beat the traffic. He sent me a text to come out but I had gone to Bible study and was on my way back with my new boyfriend. He waited while I bade my new boyfriend farewell, got out of his car and went into the house. 


Shortly after, I came out to meet Kingston. He asked that we went somewhere private. He poured out his heart that night. Told me that he was very attracted to me and will not want to lose me. He explained why he had said he needed time to focus on the exam, how he thought I had understood, how he was now willing to commit to a relationship in spite of the exam. He was saying all the things I had longed for him to say a few weeks before, but it was rather late. I told him I would think about it.

I was in a strait betwixt two - to go for the man I loved but who was initially uninterested or the man I am just getting to know who knew what he wanted from Day One. At this point, I knew I needed some elderly & spiritual advice. I asked both not to call me again, so as not to cloud my judgement. I travelled home to discuss with my mentor and my mom. Both had the same verdict - that both men were not serious. So I came back and asked both of them to give me some space as I needed to seek the Lord concerning the matter. 


Radiant ~ October 2018
The second part (King’s narration) of this episode is out. Click here to read. Did you miss the last episode? Click here to read about Him Not Saying Anything
Please leave comments below. Thanks

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

RadiantKing: Him Not Saying Anything



Radiant:
Kingston and I had become close friends. He gave me a lift to and fro Sunday service since my house was on his way to church. We had jovial chats and banter and I felt comfortable around him. He was now chief editor of my blog. He gladly did it and that, so excellently. I was in love with him. But I had a problem - he had not mentioned any intention of a relationship. 

I was in an awkward situation. I could not tell other interested parties that I was free to mingle, yet it would be costly to assume I was in a relationship with him as he hadn't said anything to me. I could either wait endlessly or broach him with the topic at the risk of sounding desperate. The problem with the first option was that I stood a risk of losing potential promising young men interested in me, for someone I was in love with who probably only saw me as a friend.

One day, during one of our chats, I seized an opportunity to ask for clarity on the status of our relationship. He dropped a bombshell, that he could not commit to a love relationship yet because he was preparing for an exam. I was very disappointed, yet relieved that I now knew my stance. First, I decided to stop being too much in his face. I told him I would find my way home on Sundays. I moved on with my life, but we kept in touch. He continued editing my write-ups and I didn't stop liking him.

King
I was going to resit a fast approaching professional exam after investing so much time, energy and financial resources into it. Passing it was my top priority that year. This was the main reason I had relocated to Yaba so as to be closer to the office and to channel some of the hours lost in traffic to personal studies. I had also enrolled for weekend tutorial classes, which culminated in taking a break from the choir and having very little time to spare for any other social endeavour. To my mind, anything asides friendship with Chidiogo at that time would present me as being irresponsible before her because I would not have been able to give her as much attention as I should. Moreso, after all my sacrifices for that exam, I wanted to minimise possible distractions to achieving my goal.

Although our communication waned during my academic spree, she was still a distraction even in her absence. I would find my mind wander off studies while thinking about her. I tried to fight these thoughts for a while but they just wouldn't leave. “Lord, what’s all this na? Can't a man simply study in peace?” Apparently, God was setting me up. Even though I had taken my foot off the relationship pedal, He favoured me.

I called her after work one evening. After the usual pleasantries, I asked if I could see her with the intention of arranging a date. But I got a shocker when she said: “Well, all this while you have been busy, I am now dating someone else”. “What? How? Who?” I quizzed with a puzzled look. Now the die was cast. It had officially become a contest between this other guy and me. I wasn’t going to give in without a fight. At this point, my books became secondary; getting the girl was the new priority.

To be continued...


RadiantKing ~ October 2018
Did you miss the last episode - RadiantKing:Becoming Friends? Click here to read.
Please leave your comments below. Thanks

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

RadiantKing - Becoming Friends


After our meeting at the inductions in July 2015, I left for Ghana for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) programme which lasted 5 weeks. As fate would have it, I received only 2 phone calls from Nigeria. 

First, was from my then Chyker, the one of which I had said our relationship was complicated. Yes it was, because I was not attracted to him yet I wanted to get a chance to know him beyond his physical appearance, lest I miss out on God's gift in an uncomely wrapping. Though not Prince Charming, he had a lot of business sense and I learnt a few things from him. Since we had no common platform, we often met over drinks and chips, sharing ideas, trying to know each other better, but I was not comfortable with the idea of a relationship with him partly because he was much older than me. However, his call that day solved my dilemma. I was out late at a YALI business dinner at around 10pm, which was 11pm in Nigeria. As I could not hear him due to the loud music, I asked him to call back later. On getting home I got a stinker text from him, literally calling me a harlot who had gone to Ghana for some runs. That was the end. I began to wonder what I was even doing with someone with such mentality in the first place.

The 2nd call was from Kingston who I was very surprised to hear from, more so surprised at how long our first conversation lasted - over 30mins and the fact that he remembered me all the way from Nigeria. He started by commending me on my contribution to the group project and the discussion gradually moved to questions that would draw out my personality. He knew about the YALI programme, having been involved in community development projects himself, and shared interesting ideas about what he did. That got me thinking that maybe my first impression of him was flawed. I bought him a customized wristband with his name spelled wrongly as "Kingson". Lol. After these events, it became easier to say hellos and his to each other during rehearsals. He also had a way of finding out what I was involved in and bringing a different perspective to make them better. For instance, a lot of his feedback on my blog posts were so constructive that in no time I began to send my write-ups to him before publishing. 

One evening as I walked to the bus stop after work, I saw someone wave at me from a car. A few minutes later I got a phone call from him asking what I was doing in his area. I told him I worked in a hospital around there. Whether by divine providence or mere coincidence, Kingston had relocated to Yaba, close to where I worked and eventually lived. I was surprised when he visited me at the hospital on a particular Sunday I had missed church because I was on call. We had not started dating then; we just talked as friends. In fact, I had begun to date someone else, who I had to make a tough decision to leave because I knew the relationship was not right for me. My head knew what was right to do, but my heart was unwilling. I remember about 2 days after I called to break up the relationship, Kingston dropped by. I was still mourning my loss, though I knew I would never go back. I cannot remember what we talked about. I only know that I was speaking in parables trying to say I just had a sad but good break up. He was a good listener.

Then came West Africa Faith Believers Convention (WAFBEC) in Jan/Feb 2016 during which our friendship grew stronger. Kingston graciously offered a group of us lifts from the church after every night of the conference. Occasionally, another friend of his who couldn't leave his office early enough to attend the conference pleaded with him to take his wife, baby and mother-in-law to their house. I noticed that while Kingston excused other members of the crew, he would reserve a seat for me. After the conference, I often rode with him on Sundays since we lived close to each other. I began to really like him as I observed his character - his patience and gentility. Once, a cyclist bashed his side mirror. He didn't as much as get out of the car or shout on the man. Another day, two of his tires got terribly damaged by a sharp object on the road. He was more interested in how to get me home, but I insisted on staying till he had found a safe place to keep the car. I also noticed he was fond of me. Although I fantasized about a relationship, strangely he never brought it up.

Radiant ~ October 2018

That picture was taken during our Asante music concert in November 2015.
Please remember to leave a comment. 
Watch out for the next post on him not 'saying anything'.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Work



I would love to share with you my sermon notes from today's Sunday service at The Kings Glory Centre, King's Lynn. 

Research shows that we spend about a third of our lives doing work.
Work is not a curse. God called us to do work from the beginning. Adam and Eve were designed to make their environment better.

A Christian's attitude towards work should be to:
Give it your best shot.
Be positive and don't grumble. Have joy in your heart.
Don't waste opportunities.
Take every opportunity to show the glory of God.

Colossians 3
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in every respect, not only when they are watching - like those who are strictly people-pleasers - but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people

Ephesians 5
15 Therefore be very careful how you live - not as unwise but as wise,
16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

God does not condone laziness and idleness.

Common motives for doing work include for money, power, pursuit of a career, belief in a course, envy, wanting to be like another. Ephesians 4:4 Then I considered all the skillful work that is done: Surely it is nothing more than competition between one person and another. This also is profitless - like chasing the wind.

All these will not last. They can't be taken to heaven. Money does not satisfy. 
Contentment is a gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 5
10 The one who loves money will never be satisfied with money, he who loves wealth will never be satisfied with his income. This also is futile.
11 When someone's prosperity increases, those who consume it also increase; so what does its owner gain, except that he gets to see it with his eyes?

A Christian's motive should be that of a calling. 
Colossians 3
1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God

The Kingdom should be our focus.

God does not only care about what we do and how we work, but also about what we do with the proceeds of our work.  God wants us to be able to share with those in need. We should plan for the less fortunate. 

Ephesians 4
28 The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need.


Radiant ~ October 2018
Please share in the comment section, your understanding of work as it applies to Christians. What should our attitude be? What should our motive for work be?

Saturday, 13 October 2018

RadiantKing - The Meeting 2


Kingston narrates:

Finally, I made up my mind to join C4 – the Covenant Christian Centre Choir – after observing from the congregation for about 2 years. A call was made for an audition of new members so I took the chance. Among the many called, I made the cut of the chosen few who began the induction process. At the end of the classes, we were split into 2 groups and asked to compose and perform a song as the final part of our induction process within 2 weeks. It was the kind of challenge I liked but I wasn’t expecting to see fingers pointed at me when it was time to choose a group leader. Gosh! A few people who knew me from my campus fellowship were in my group.

Anyway, we got to work. We decided on a theme for the song we would compose and to present suggestions through our Whatsapp group over the week. I observed there was a certain lady who kept sending voice notes and lyrics of her compositions even during work hours. It was nice to see someone shared such enthusiasm about the project but I felt we could do better as a group. So I would point her in the direction of what to change or to think of something entirely different. This happened several times but she didn’t stop. In the end, we worked on a composition by another member of the group. Having lost out on the song composition, she then suggested we could add a rap verse and sent in her lyrics. “Alright,” I said, “you will perform your rap when next we meet.”

The weekend came and we had to start learning the song due to the tight delivery schedule. I did look out for her to know who this bubbly person was. I eventually saw her and thought to myself, “She’s fine sha...but hey! no distractions; focus on the business at hand.” However, she caught my attention again. Another lady in the group had presented the rap part better than her. First I had rejected her song compositions and now chosen someone else to perform her rap, yet she remained cheerful all through…no drama. This made me think, “There must be something about this girl” but I kept my cool; we had a task to complete.

The day to deliver came, thankfully the Music Director scored us higher than the other group. Afterwards, we were formally inducted to the choir and asked to introduce ourselves, including relationship status. OK! I specifically listened for her turn and when it came, she said “it’s complicated”Hian! What does that mean? Well, her good conduct activated the FBI in me. For starters, I had to make her my friend; I wanted to know more about her. That was the beginning of many dramatic events that have since unfolded.

Stay tuned!

~ King

The picture above is the picture of our new choristers group on the day we were to perform our original song. Next post is on how we became friends and if you want to know why I said my relationship was complicated, make sure to check next week for my next post. Please let's talk below. I like to see comments. 

Radiant ~ October 2018