A long line…

I have been so busy of late in school. From resumption after 3 months strike, to lectures, revisions, exams and later my elections. I am glad to be back after a long time and a long line of absence.

My vision can still be captured in the statement by Walter H. Capps: ‘We are strongest as a people when we are directed by that which unites us – rather than giving in to the fears, suspicions, innuendoes and paranoias that divide.’

I CARE!!!

The way you are

the way you are

One among many things I learnt from Dale Carnegie is that we must learn to appreciate our colleagues, friends and subordinates at work but most particularly to me, we must learn to appreciate and commend our spouses to remind them what they mean to us and how much we care about them.

In his book “How to win friends and influence people”, Carnegie told us a story of a member of one of his classes of a request made by his wife. She and a group of other women were involved in a self-improvement program. She asked her husband to help her by listening six things he believed she could do to help her become a better wife. He reported to the class that: ‘I was surprised by such a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list the six things I would like to change about her – my heavens, she could have listed a thousand things she would like to change about me – but I didn’t. I said to her “Let me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.”

The next morning I got up early and called the florist and had them send six red roses to my wife with a note saying ‘I can’t think of six things I would like to change about you. I love you the way you are.’

‘When I arrived at home that evening, who do you think greeted me at the door: That’s right. My wife! She was almost in tears. Needless to say, I was extremely glad I had not criticized her as she had requested.’

‘The following Sunday, after she had reported the result of her assignment, several women with whom she had been studying came to me and said, “That was the most considerate thing I have ever heard.” It was then I realized the power of appreciation.’

Carnegie has reminded us of the importance of showing to people how we appreciate them for being them. All of us do have our flaws because we are imperfect but what we all need are people that would accept us just the way we are. Just as Maya Angelou opined “I am human and nothing human is alien to me.”

From Carnegie I also learnt that flattery is not always the best thing to do but its most preferable to show appreciation to such people. Forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise’ and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten.

As long as we live, as long as we continue to exist, every day we strive to be better than we were yesterday. We learn to make improvements in ourselves for the betterment of ourselves, those close to us and the society general in order for us to better in whatever we want to be –to be a better son, husband, and father and in other spheres of lives as well. I do here by recommend the Dale Carnegie pill to all and sundry.

Finding home

home2

For the over two decades that I’ve lived on this earth,

I have always been homeless.

I have never had a home that I could call mine.

I thought of the idea of finding my home.

The idea of making that home my home and only home

And spend my forever with that home.



So I went all out in search of my home

I travelled all the length and breadth of the earth

Through the Saharas and worst of weathers

Searching for home

And in the process I saw many homes

Some were self-contain, while some a duplex

Some just a room and a parlor

Some were just single rooms

But none of the homes attracted me.



So I learnt that it’s not every house that is a home

Relentlessly I continued searching

Till I finally find home more than three years ago

Home wasn’t just a mansion or a big house

No, Home is a country home

It has all the delectable qualities needed in any great home

Home is exactly like I’ve always dreamt off and even more

More than I’ve always imagined



Don’t get me wrong, home is not perfect

Perfection belongs to the Creator alone

Home is an imperfect home

But I love home’s imperfections

They are the things I love the most in home



I tried everything humanly possible to make home my home

So I approached home

I wrote poems to home

I composed songs to home

I wrote love letters to home

I called and texted home numberless times

But to no avail



So I decided to go spiritual in order to get home

I prayed everyday because of home

I prayed all nights because of home

I fasted every week because of home

I gave more charity because of home

I helped the helpless because of home

All for God to reward me with home

But I’m still waiting and hopeful



After awhile away from home,

I missed home; I hope home misses me as well

I love home and hope home would love me back

Cos I want to spend my forever with and in home

And be the sole occupant of master’s bed room in home

Because no one is like home

Recipes for successful marital life

I-DO-Marriage-SeriesI came across this beautiful piece yesterday on Daily trust and decided to pass the message around. With the increasing number of divorce cases in our society, i humbly think this piece is wonderful, timely and i recommend it to all and sundry.

Written by Sikirat Shehu, Ilorin

In order to have a happy and successful marital life, salient factors are required to establish fruitful relationship between couples.

Imam Mustapha Zayed, an Ilorin based Islamic cleric, explained that the major factor for a successful marriage lies in selecting the right partner; “If a spouse was successful in finding a good husband or wife, then the continued success and fruits of that marriage are simply a matter of tolerance. Couples should rely on tolerance, as there is the likelihood of discovering bad manners in the spouse that is unknown prior to the marriage. For example, the wife may be lazy, proud or hot tempered while the husband may be weak sexually, hard hearted, snores irritably or arrogant. All these can be surmounted if tolerance exists between them,” he said
He said if we understand that everyone makes mistake, then it would be logical to forgive one’s spouse, adding that if either the husband or wife gets irritated rightfully or for an unacceptable reason, he or she must still be the same beloved husband or wife in the end otherwise risking the entire relationship for that moment of anger is as ridiculous as that mother who cries when her own beloved child is also shedding tears of pain.
“Also, positive communication between spouses is vital. Couples ought to communicate their feelings and how to resolve problems between them in a polite way, like ‘don’t you think it is better we do this that way or what is your opinion on this’ as the accumulated residuals of lack of communication can backfire in an irreparable way. “Those who spend in good and bad times, swallow their anger, pardon and forgive people, Allah likes those who excel in their deed,” (Al-Imam 3:159) he said.
The Islamic cleric said a story that symbolizes this fact happened in his family when his aunt finished preparing dinner for her husband, and repeatedly called him to come and eat but the husband was busy reading a newspaper and kept telling her that he was coming.
“After sometime, the wife got angry, walked straight to him, snatched the paper and tore it. In reaction her husband quietly bent down, gathered the newspaper pieces, brought scotch tape and patiently taped them together without blaming his wife. My aunt told me that her husband’s politeness in response to her anger was worse than somebody whipping her mercilessly. She felt so ashamed and respected him more for forgiving and tolerating her in that way,” he narrated.
According to Imam Zayed, the husband in his reaction had not only saved the couple and their marriage from potential disaster, but also opened a guaranteed credit of forgiveness with his wife.
Pastor Ademola Popoola of Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Ilorin said marriage is a call from God and anybody who answers must give marriage back to Him through endurance and squarely facing challenges in marriage.
He said before a couple gets married, they should be well acquainted with what marriage entails and what is expected of them as husband and wife, added with investigations on their compatibility,
“Marriage is only enjoyable after 20 years. The first five to 10 years of marriage is a time of knowing. The spouses cannot know each other until about 10 years and that is when they get acquainted with their weaknesses, incompatibility and other things that are likely to be discordant issues between them. From 10 to 20 years, they begin to really work on their differences and from 20 years upward they enjoy their marriage,” he explained.
The cleric said that due to some inadequacies in marriage, prayer should be given utmost priority by the couples. “They need to pray so that God can help them in relating with each other peacefully and also maintain a happy home,” he advised.
A public analyst, Mr. Aminullahi Danzaki, observed that if a man and a lady of different characters decide to cohabit, it takes a lot for the two to make success out of the union called marriage.
He said socially, the two parties need to be responsible and courtship must exist before marriage follows. “During that time, they should study each other and, be sincere and faithful to their conscience. If courtship lacks sincerity and the union goes on to be consummated, in the future there will be problems. Socializing in marriage is paramount, in that, you have to study the weaknesses of the other party, as well as listening; then, you ask yourself ‘can I cope with this weaknesses’?” he said.
The analyst said the maturity of both parties also means a lot because if one marries at the wrong time there will be crisis. “Parents should give their children early education so that they can finish their first degree between the ages of 21 – 25 and get married. Parents must inculcate the fear of God in their children to guide them through their lives. Inclusively, there should be age gap of 5 -10 years between them. The husband should be the senior in all ramifications so as to have control over his home.”
He added that above all, a woman should be humble and submit herself to the will of her husband, likewise a man whose wife is submissive should fear God by not cheating on her.
A couple, Mr. and Mrs. Salaudeen, who have been married for 32 years, shared their experiences with Home front saying, endurance is the key factor to build a successful marital life.
“We are happily married with six children. My wife is lenient, soft hearted, sharp, caring and jovial. But when she gets angry, you can hardly control her. We love ourselves and I never regret marrying her because she understands, endures, and copes with every situation we face,” explained Mr Salaudeen.
He said they relate with real love and settle issues or misunderstandings themselves. “Both husband and wife should pray at all times for God’s guidance and control over the affairs of their union. The man should be calm and take things lightly with his wife,” he said.
Mrs. Salaudeen on her part described her husband as gentle, humble and God fearing. “He cares for me and the children; he ensures we do not lack anything at home. We share joy, happiness, and at times sad moments. I see nothing I dislike about him. Couples should put their marital affairs in the hands of God. Women should be courteous and speak in polite ways with their husbands, embrace them and take good care of the children,” she said.
She said women should at all times cover up for their husbands, “for instance, when he doesn’t have money, the wife should fill that gap, she should not say after all he did not give me money so, I will not prepare any food. They should not compare their family with others that may be richer and young girls must not go for materialism in marriage,” she advised.

Spare a thought for Zainab

zainab

This life we live is obviously full of trials and tribulations for most human beings. Yet some seem to get more than their share of such travails.

Zainab Aliyu is a 21-year-old lady who suffers from a medical condition known as Non- Hodgkins lymphoma, a kind of blood cancer. Until two years ago, when she came down with the disease, Zainab was a student of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
But since last year she has been receiving treatment at the International Medical Centre in Cairo, Egypt. Zainab had to have a stem-cell transplant in May this year, as part of her treatment, but it failed and as a result she suffered a relapse. Right now Zainab is undergoing a ‘Salvage Intervention chemotherapy’ in preparation for another bone-marrow transplant which she requires.
Unfortunately, all her four brothers who were willing to donate their bone-marrow for the operation have proved to be no match. She is now in search of a donor who will match. Though she has been bedridden for over a year, Zainab is still acting strong and in good spirits. Her family greatly appreciates all those who contributed to enable her to get the stem-cell transplant she had in May. They are truly grateful and wish the donors Almighty Allah’s unending reward.
The latest on Zainab’s situation is that the doctors treating her have disclosed the course of treatment needed to treat her condition.  In the next several weeks she will need to take between six to eight doses of a drug-therapy known as BRENTUXIMAB r.e. ANTI CD 30. Each course of this treatment costs 10 thousand dollars.  After a possible remission, the doctors at the International Medical Centre in Cairo hope to be able to do the bone-marrow transplant at the cost of 50 thousand dollars, because they will need to source a donor for 4O thousand dollars.
Zainab’s family obviously needs help to finance this life-saving treatment for her. We are hereby appealing to well-meaning individuals and organizations to please spare a thought for Zainab and donate whatever they can so she can get the treatment she requires. Whoever wishes to donate can contact Hajiya Sadiya on +20 115 806 1494 or Hajiya Hafsat on +20 112 627 7758.
May Almighty Allah enable you to help and may He SWT reward you abundantly, for your sacrifice.

From my own ends, I’m sparing both prayers and thoughts for Zainab

culled from Weekly Trust newspaper

My life started when I met you

For A…

My life—my real life—started when a lady walked into it, a beautiful stranger in a perfect pink hijab, and, yes, I know how that sounds. My friend Olajide would snort and convey the kind of multi-pronged disgust I rely on him to covey. One prong of disgust at the whole idea of a lady changing a man’s life and the other prong of disgust for the inaccuracy of saying my life began at the age of twenty when I first saw her over two years ago. He would cap it up with “yeye”.

I first saw her one Wednesday afternoon at the campus mosque while performing ablution. She was like something out of a dream. She was in company of her brother. My life changed completely after that encounter. She attacked my whole immune system and took control of every part of my being. I instantly lost my senses of reasoning-my heart, my brain and mind were all at lost. Jack Sparrow’s craziness in “Pirates of the Caribbean” was nothing compared to my own brand of insanity.

She turned me into an emergency poet. I compose poems to her even in a middle of a lecture in class, in a taxi going home, in the night and even in my dreams. She became my addiction, worse than the addiction of a drug addict to drugs. After school every day, I pass through her lecture hall deliberately just to catch a glimpse of her. She truly became my addiction, my anything and everything.

I first spoke to her one beautiful Friday. Her nearness had left me a bit shaken. My Lord, she was “beautiful” in all sense of the word. But it wasn’t that. Beautiful people were everywhere. It was her eyes and the magic they held. Who is this lady and why was I being pulled towards her? Indeed I’ve been charmed by everything about this lady. I need her in my life; I need her in every part of it because she is needful.

There is so lively an image of her imprinted in my mind that I think of her too often. I fear for my peace of mind, and too often fear for my sanity. I want to tell her how I feel and also that she is the main character in the movie I watch every time I see the inside of my eyelids. I feel like a condemned criminal in a prison cell without her in my life every second. Had I better stay here and do nothing, or go down and do less? Inclination tells me to go, receive my sentence and no longer in suspense. But reason says if you do and your attempt proves unsuccessful, you will be ten times more wretched than ever.

She keeps getting better by each day- so better that her beauty, elegance, class, and “effizy” can make any reasonable man confused and lost for words to say. The second time we spoke, I had polished in my mind the words I would say to her, but when the time came, a few broken sentences, uttered in great disorder and interrupted with pauses of uncommon length, were the visible marks of my strange confusion but I love this feeling and every other feeling that has to do with her because she is my universe in ecstatic motion.

Just like Rumi said, from the beginning of my life I have been looking for her face, but now I’ve found it. I see nothing in my eyes but her face. I hear nothing in my ears but her voice. I smell nothing through my nostrils but her beautiful fragrance. She has the best of me now and the rest of the world can share the rest of me. I can close my eyes any day anytime and run to her straight without missing way because she’s my road, compass and destination all at the same time.

If I say she is beautiful, it is a statement of fact- just like a cell is a basic building block of biological organism. I was never good at biology during my secondary school days as such she must teach me anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and other related courses. I promise to be good a student. In every scheme of happiness, she is placed in the fore-front of the picture, as the principal figure. Take that away, and it is not picture for me.

I sat on my reading table some days back reading a book on Thomas Jefferson, former President of the United State of America. As a young man, Jefferson was madly in love with a lady called Belinda. Out of frustration, he told his best friend and confidant that “If Belinda will not accept my service, it shall never be offered to another”. Let me say this in salient whispers, our own story will never reach to this extent because by the will of the Owner of heavens and earth, you will accept my own service. With you by my side, with all that uprightness and sensibility which promises to ensure you the great happiness mortals are capable of enjoying to the best of my ability. Together we are complete like the river where river niger and benue meets or together like a single grain of sand. I care!!!

Inspired by Marisa de los Santos‘s novel “Love walked in”

Zainab Usman: A lady extraordinaire by Muhammad Muntasir Adamu

It’s said that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra. As such Zainab is unarguably and undoubtedly an extraordinary lady and one of the best of her generation. As an undergraduate student, she is among those few young individuals that I look up to because of their remarkable achievements and their zeal in what they’re doing.

Since the commencement of this year’s annual ASUU strike which is just one of the Nigerian factors, I decided that am going to devote the whole of this compulsory break into reading books, essays, articles, some online and while others offline.  In the process, I became a regular visitor of Zainab’s blog site. Her blog and that of other great Nigerians became my dwelling home on the Nigerian cybersphere.

Zainab is someone who I think in my humble view is also full of humility. In one of her post which she titled “Back to school” which was posted on October 5, 2012, she was able to tell her reading audience in short words the plight of many Northern Nigerian ladies when she said “…I am acutely aware of how “lucky” someone of my demographic: black, African, Nigerian (Northern-Muslim in particular) woman is, to have such opportunities to pursue their dream,…”. It is humble prayer that in years to come, there will be many Zainabs in the Northern of the country.

Zainab is among the few graduates who left the university with not just their certificates but also with the comrade struggle (Aluta continua, Victoria accerta) which she has intrepidly deployed in her cascading fulmination against our philistines and political class. She writes articles on issues that are bedeviling the Nigerian society and proffer solutions on different mediums.

Zainab is an Amazon gifted with guts, gumption and iron in her backbone. Unfortunately, her poise, finesse, elegance and mental acuity can only be matched by few. I usually referred to her as Nigeria’s Thatcher because she is strong hearted, firm and resolute also.

Zainab has proved that it is possible for lady to combine beauty with brain and sparkling achievements. By doing this, she has joined the lengthy list of eminent women who are today occupying a sensitive place in the hall of fame not only in Nigeria or Africa but the world at large.

Few times I have wondered whether this greatness is from the name “Zainab” because my god-mother who goes by the name of Prof. Zainab Alkali is in my humble view, one of the greatest women to have ever grace the earth because she has proved herself as a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, god- mother, grandmother, lecturer, writer, University administrator and others numerous to mention. But if my assumption turns out to be true, I will have no option but to marry any lady who bears this name. Fortunately, there is one in my town who is also an undergraduate like yours truly.

Conclusively, Zainab I wish you the best in your entire doings. You are an inspiration especially to young individuals like me. Keep doing what you are doing and may the almighty God guide and protect you all the way. I assure you that as long as ASUU continues to strike; your blog site has not seen the last of me yet.

Zainab blogs at zainabusman.wordpress.com

Muntasir is a student of Univeristy of Jos, Jos, Nigeria.

@muntasirkanam(on twitter)