Chudi's hustle

RAINBOW MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER EDITION

FAITH VERSUS FEAR

 The rate of progress in a society be it in a family sense or communal sense is hinged on two major human emotions: Faith, or Fear. We can aptly say that societies that boast an advanced infrastructure, state of the art facilities, modern technology, a better quality way of living, and a search for happiness is one in which certain individuals or group of individuals dedicate themselves to bringing their dreams into reality. This is no ordinary feat as they have to battle their fears and insecurities, drawing belief and faith from the inside, and setting out goals which they meet up with. The end result, is in the satisfaction that a goal can be achieved, thereby promoting self-confidence.

If the path to achieve this level of success is fraught with obstacles so gargantuan they leave us shivering in their wake; how much more now during this Covid-19 era? A lot of the human population stepped into the year 2020 with a feeling of positivity and an unquenchable desire to meet strategic goals in leaps and bounds. Nine months down the line, we are enshrouded in a cloud of uncertainty, anxiety over how to meet our needs, and the surety of survivor instincts taking over us. Survivor instincts in theory is helpful because it keeps you on your toes as you navigate your activities on a day-to-day basis, thereby providing you much needed stability in these hair-spinning times.

However, on a practical term, it keeps you on a leash because the desire to move beyond your comfort zone is stemmed, and you find yourself moving around in the same cycle; not making a tangible headway. Unbeknownst to many of us, we are trapped here. Our dreams and goals are trapped. For some of us who are susceptible to our sensitivities, it could very well leave lasting impressions on us, thereby making it extra difficult to overcome our fears. Our lives are invariably hanging in the balance.

The world has had its ups and downs. From the times of the BC, AD civilizations, to the twenty-first century that is right now in play; the world has survived and so has its inhabitants. The Covid 19 scourge will come and go; or better still be managed and controlled, but if we do not take care, our lives viz-a-viz our dreams and aspirations would never see the light of day. And we would remain cocooned in our shells. Only the bravest and most courageous would stand tall. Are you one of them?

Those who stand tall are those who during the darkest periods of their lives find opportunities, fight the good fight of faith by reaching out for what they can’t see yet but hope for, overcome their fears, and take action in order to fulfill their dreams. Certainly, winners and heroes would be born during this time! Even the greatest inventions and life stories could be birthed. There are those who have chosen to see the light in all of this and are forging a pathway for themselves. The onus rests on you to fight to overcome your fear – that natural, powerful, primitive human emotion; and focus your attention on that which you dream of. It could be a business idea, the desire to start up a relationship or solemnize that marriage, the need to travel, write a book, or start off that education. Whatever it is, shrug off that feeling of negativity. Focus your attention once again on what you desire and hope to achieve. Then you would feel a sense of belief and confidence wash over you again. Your faith would be triggered, things would begin to fall into place again bit-by-bit, and you would feel your life return back to you.It is time to get our lives back and find happiness. What do we choose? Faith or Fear? Remember, there is always light at the end of a tunnel.

RAINBOW MAGAZINE NOVEMBER EDITION

FAITH VERSUS FEAR

The days are long, the nights a cycle of restlessness and anxiety, the direct opposite of what it should be – restfulness. The year 2020 has turned out to be a year quite different from our expectations. From it being a leap year, to the scourge of Covid 19, to the subsequent lockdown with inevitable economic challenges, to the #EndSarsprotests which rocked major states in the country, with the consequent loss of lives, looting of shops, and loss of livelihoods, to the glaring fact that the year is coming to an end in a matter of days, trying to figure a way out is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Most of us began the year with To-do lists and plans to move on to the next level in several areas of our lives, but now, it seems far-fetched.
I am here to let you know that those dreams of yours can still come through. Note that I wrote ‘come through’, and not ‘come true’.
Are you aware that even with the dire situation and economic imbalance all over the world, new billionaires have emerged? New businesses have come to play? Existing billionaires have recorded an increase in their income? Yes, these are facts, all taking place, with the dark clouds that seems to be hanging over the world, why? Because of what they have chosen to see!
So I ask you, why lose hope? When you come to an understanding that there is always light at the end of a tunnel; that you can find opportunity in every bad situation; your mindset and outlook on life will change. I put it across to you that you don’t need to wait for the market indices to change, or the political commentators to tell you that it’s time to throw your net into the sea, before you take that action.
Let’s take a trip down the memory lane to ancient Rome. There was a practice then called ‘gladiator fights’. Each gladiator trained from childhood through adulthood in the act of warfare, was taught to endure pain to the extreme. He developed a resilient character and sense of purpose, with a single-mindedness, as he awaited coming into his glory on the day he fights at the public arena.
When a gladiator is pitted against his foe, it is a fight to the death. The gladiator gives his all, with the battleground laced with his blood and sweat. All the trainings and preparations is for this day, and when the last man is left standing, he stands tall and proud, even though bloodied and injured, because he has fulfilled his purpose, and can now embrace his glory.
The world we live in today is our battleground. We are all gladiators, with our individual sense of purpose. Have you given it your all? Have you sweated blood to see your dream come through? Have you felt your foe – economic hardship, societal pressures et ce tera – trying to crush you to the extent you can’t breathe, yet you stare him in the face, flip him over, and overcome?
You can still make one more push before the end of the year. You can never know the outcome until you try. You can become your gladiator and come into your glory, after fighting to the death to have your dreams come through.
The decision lies with you: to give up, or fight to the death!

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: AYE OR NAY?

FAITH VERSUS FEAR

Welcome to the year, 2021; a year we have eagerly waited for, with the hope and belief that we can have much needed reprieve from the harsh circumstances thrown at us in the year, 2020. May the new year bring us new tidings.
Synonymous with the coming of a new year, is the tendency to want a fresh start and new beginnings in our relationships, businesses, and even in our individual lives, et ce tera, hence the application of what is known as “New year resolutions”. A lot of us engage in this, either by spoken or written word, with a resolve to make much needed changes in our lives. And the following year, it goes on and on. However, the meat of this article is this: Are new year resolutions really effective? Do they work?
The answer is pretty much evident. Ninety percent of those who engage in this practice don’t always see those new changes that they envisaged. Why? Because “New Year Resolutions” belongs to the bandwagon of practices that are over- hyped, over-celebrated, with little or no effect or result. Thus, the practice is inefficient and ineffective.
I believe that we all want to see positive changes in our lifestyle. A new year resolution can’t give us that. Only discipline can give us what we need. Writing down what we need to see changed is one thing, but the discipline to bring it to play is another. What we need is discipline, and not a new year resolution.
What are the changes you need to see this year? The picture is in your head, the list is written down. Now what you need, is discipline on a day-to-day basis, to bring it to fruition. Discipline yourself to be a better spouse, discipline yourself to be a better parent, child, or brother or sister. Discipline yourself to be a better colleague at the office, or neighbour, or friend, or in the various religious institutions you are a part of.
It will involve making and taking conscious efforts, been sensitive, and not letting your guard down to ensure you effect that change. When you fail, don’t be too hard on yourself. Pick yourself up once more, and continue from where you stopped. Don’t just say the words or write them, work on them, give it all you have got, unlearn to relearn, painfully let go of what needs to go, and only then, will you see the changes you desire.
So, I ask, Aye or Nay to New Year Resolutions? For me, it is an unapologetic Nay!

 The rate of progress in a society be it in a family sense or communal sense is hinged on two major human emotions: Faith, or Fear. We can aptly say that societies that boast an advanced infrastructure, state of the art facilities, modern technology, a better quality way of living, and a search for happiness is one in which certain individuals or group of individuals dedicate themselves to bringing their dreams into reality. This is no ordinary feat as they have to battle their fears and insecurities, drawing belief and faith from the inside, and setting out goals which they meet up with. The end result, is in the satisfaction that a goal can be achieved, thereby promoting self-confidence.

If the path to achieve this level of success is fraught with obstacles so gargantuan they leave us shivering in their wake; how much more now during this Covid-19 era? A lot of the human population stepped into the year 2020 with a feeling of positivity and an unquenchable desire to meet strategic goals in leaps and bounds. Nine months down the line, we are enshrouded in a cloud of uncertainty, anxiety over how to meet our needs, and the surety of survivor instincts taking over us. Survivor instincts in theory is helpful because it keeps you on your toes as you navigate your activities on a day-to-day basis, thereby providing you much needed stability in these hair-spinning times.

However, on a practical term, it keeps you on a leash because the desire to move beyond your comfort zone is stemmed, and you find yourself moving around in the same cycle; not making a tangible headway. Unbeknownst to many of us, we are trapped here. Our dreams and goals are trapped. For some of us who are susceptible to our sensitivities, it could very well leave lasting impressions on us, thereby making it extra difficult to overcome our fears. Our lives are invariably hanging in the balance.

The world has had its ups and downs. From the times of the BC, AD civilizations, to the twenty-first century that is right now in play; the world has survived and so has its inhabitants. The Covid 19 scourge will come and go; or better still be managed and controlled, but if we do not take care, our lives viz-a-viz our dreams and aspirations would never see the light of day. And we would remain cocooned in our shells. Only the bravest and most courageous would stand tall. Are you one of them?

Those who stand tall are those who during the darkest periods of their lives find opportunities, fight the good fight of faith by reaching out for what they can’t see yet but hope for, overcome their fears, and take action in order to fulfill their dreams. Certainly, winners and heroes would be born during this time! Even the greatest inventions and life stories could be birthed. There are those who have chosen to see the light in all of this and are forging a pathway for themselves. The onus rests on you to fight to overcome your fear – that natural, powerful, primitive human emotion; and focus your attention on that which you dream of. It could be a business idea, the desire to start up a relationship or solemnize that marriage, the need to travel, write a book, or start off that education. Whatever it is, shrug off that feeling of negativity. Focus your attention once again on what you desire and hope to achieve. Then you would feel a sense of belief and confidence wash over you again. Your faith would be triggered, things would begin to fall into place again bit-by-bit, and you would feel your life return back to you.It is time to get our lives back and find happiness. What do we choose? Faith or Fear? Remember, there is always light at the end of a tunnel.

The days are long, the nights a cycle of restlessness and anxiety, the direct opposite of what it should be – restfulness. The year 2020 has turned out to be a year quite different from our expectations. From it being a leap year, to the scourge of Covid 19, to the subsequent lockdown with inevitable economic challenges, to the #EndSarsprotests which rocked major states in the country, with the consequent loss of lives, looting of shops, and loss of livelihoods, to the glaring fact that the year is coming to an end in a matter of days, trying to figure a way out is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Most of us began the year with To-do lists and plans to move on to the next level in several areas of our lives, but now, it seems far-fetched.
I am here to let you know that those dreams of yours can still come through. Note that I wrote ‘come through’, and not ‘come true’.
Are you aware that even with the dire situation and economic imbalance all over the world, new billionaires have emerged? New businesses have come to play? Existing billionaires have recorded an increase in their income? Yes, these are facts, all taking place, with the dark clouds that seems to be hanging over the world, why? Because of what they have chosen to see!
So I ask you, why lose hope? When you come to an understanding that there is always light at the end of a tunnel; that you can find opportunity in every bad situation; your mindset and outlook on life will change. I put it across to you that you don’t need to wait for the market indices to change, or the political commentators to tell you that it’s time to throw your net into the sea, before you take that action.
Let’s take a trip down the memory lane to ancient Rome. There was a practice then called ‘gladiator fights’. Each gladiator trained from childhood through adulthood in the act of warfare, was taught to endure pain to the extreme. He developed a resilient character and sense of purpose, with a single-mindedness, as he awaited coming into his glory on the day he fights at the public arena.
When a gladiator is pitted against his foe, it is a fight to the death. The gladiator gives his all, with the battleground laced with his blood and sweat. All the trainings and preparations is for this day, and when the last man is left standing, he stands tall and proud, even though bloodied and injured, because he has fulfilled his purpose, and can now embrace his glory.
The world we live in today is our battleground. We are all gladiators, with our individual sense of purpose. Have you given it your all? Have you sweated blood to see your dream come through? Have you felt your foe – economic hardship, societal pressures et ce tera – trying to crush you to the extent you can’t breathe, yet you stare him in the face, flip him over, and overcome?
You can still make one more push before the end of the year. You can never know the outcome until you try. You can become your gladiator and come into your glory, after fighting to the death to have your dreams come through.
The decision lies with you: to give up, or fight to the death!

Phew! What a year! We have seen moments of joy and laughter, shed tears copiusly, nodded our heads in sorrow, come together to act as one, felt the camaraderie of friendship and brotherliness, clamored for change together, lost friends and loved ones, and renewed our sense of direction. Yet, one thing hasn’t changed – we are still standing here.
With the daily cycle of life and it’s attendant challenges, it’s pretty difficult to shed the garment of complaints and put on the garment of thanksgiving; but remember, there is a time and season for everything. This is the last month of the year; for the Christians, a time to celebrate Christmas, and to non-christians, a period to wrap things up and look up to the new year, 2021.
However, we shouldn’t forget to be thankful and grateful. Only those who have breath can get up each morning to face another day. Be thankful for been alive, be thankful for your family, be thankful for your friends and neighbors, be thankful for that job or business. Remember, whatever it is you feel you are trying to manage, someone else out there is in a desperate need to have it. Be thankful for what you have been able to achieve, no matter how infinitesimal. What matters is that you made the effort.
Never forget that as long there is life, there is hope for tomorrow. So, why waste this period meant for festivity and bonding to mope and groan? Be soaked in the atmosphere of thanksgiving. Let that smile break out on your face. Show love to your friends and neighbors. Send gifts no matter how small. Make those calls, send those messages, have a good hearty laugh, share and enjoy your meals. Appreciate those who stood with you through each challenge.
It’s the season of thanksgiving. Give thanks.
 
Welcome to the year, 2021; a year we have eagerly waited for, with the hope and belief that we can have much needed reprieve from the harsh circumstances thrown at us in the year, 2020. May the new year bring us new tidings.
Synonymous with the coming of a new year, is the tendency to want a fresh start and new beginnings in our relationships, businesses, and even in our individual lives, et ce tera, hence the application of what is known as “New year resolutions”. A lot of us engage in this, either by spoken or written word, with a resolve to make much needed changes in our lives. And the following year, it goes on and on. However, the meat of this article is this: Are new year resolutions really effective? Do they work?
The answer is pretty much evident. Ninety percent of those who engage in this practice don’t always see those new changes that they envisaged. Why? Because “New Year Resolutions” belongs to the bandwagon of practices that are over- hyped, over-celebrated, with little or no effect or result. Thus, the practice is inefficient and ineffective.
I believe that we all want to see positive changes in our lifestyle. A new year resolution can’t give us that. Only discipline can give us what we need. Writing down what we need to see changed is one thing, but the discipline to bring it to play is another. What we need is discipline, and not a new year resolution.
What are the changes you need to see this year? The picture is in your head, the list is written down. Now what you need, is discipline on a day-to-day basis, to bring it to fruition. Discipline yourself to be a better spouse, discipline yourself to be a better parent, child, or brother or sister. Discipline yourself to be a better colleague at the office, or neighbour, or friend, or in the various religious institutions you are a part of.
It will involve making and taking conscious efforts, been sensitive, and not letting your guard down to ensure you effect that change. When you fail, don’t be too hard on yourself. Pick yourself up once more, and continue from where you stopped. Don’t just say the words or write them, work on them, give it all you have got, unlearn to relearn, painfully let go of what needs to go, and only then, will you see the changes you desire.
So, I ask, Aye or Nay to New Year Resolutions? For me, it is an unapologetic Nay!
“I don’t want to see you.”
Six words that finally hit the nail on the head, a coffin that was now sealed on all ends and ready to be buried. Words that made me feel like I needed the earth to open up and swallow me, because surely what I had tried to manage, this rocky relationship with my father, couldn’t be salvaged after these words that he just threw at me, looking at me squarely in the eye, emotions and sensitivity out the door.
I was 21-years-old, but I wanted to cry out like a baby deprived of food. It wasn’t like we had ever had a rosy relationship. My father had never paid either myself, younger siblings, or my mother attention. He bragged to people that we were abandoned. My mother left him when I was 15, because she couldn’t take the violence, beatings, and drunken fights anymore. Besides, he wasn’t taking care of our needs. What was the point staying married? We gladly left with her, as we hadn’t been spared either. We had equally received our share of beatings and abusive words thrown at us. He didn’t bother to look for us or ask how we were, but when I found out where he was, I foolishly decided to pay him a visit. Things were rough. In my imagination, he would stare at me in surprise as a slow smile spread across his face, open the door, and hug his daughter whom he hadn’t seen in a very long time. We would probably shed tears as we held each other tightly, while he wailed loudly about the lost time. Then, we would sit down and have a beautiful conversation, and then, he would go home with me to see my mum who had never remarried and my siblings. What a beautiful reunion! What silly imagination I had! 
This was instead my reality. The reception I got was the words thrown at me. As I walked out of the building, I angrily wiped the tears away. I blamed myself for the self-delusion. Secretly, I needed to see him, the man who was my father. I had hoped that he had changed. He was supposed to be my knight in shining armor, but once more, he had turned me away. I compartmentalized my emotions, and placed it in a box never to be opened again. I simply had no father. I wouldn’t hurt myself with this, no matter how much I longed for a relationship and acknowledgement from him. It wasn’t worth it.
Nine years later, I was on my way home on a Friday evening after close of work, sitting  in a tightly cramped bus, a cold bottle of coke in my hands, my sight fixed disinterestedly on the images that flitted past, when my phone rang in my bag. I lethargically pulled it out and pressed the accept button. “Why haven’t you come to see me? I can’t walk,” a voice said.
The beat of my heart increased. I couldn’t speak. I knew that voice. The passage of time hadn’t erased it from my mind. The rough timbre of the voice lashed out at him, causing me to blink intermittently. It was him! He ended the call a few seconds later, after I had spoken some gibberish which I couldn’t remember for the life of me.
And just like that, my world was turned upside down, as the questions whipped across my mind in quick succession. Why couldn’t he walk? What had happened to him? So now he knew how to call me, right? I remembered writing my number down on an old newspaper lying face down on a table in his room, before I walked away years ago, in the hope that he would one day call. So, was this THE CALL? A cry for help? I recalled times when I was sick and called, yet he ignored me. I recalled when I was hungry for food, for his love and attention, but he turned his back on me. Now that he was in trouble, did he think I would come running to help him?
Even though I chose to ignore him, my peace was lost. I was plagued with thoughts of how he was coping and what was happening to him. I was hurt and angry with him, but at the same time, concerned for his well-being. How could I have all these conflicting emotions? How could I feel any semblance of care towards him? Where had the feelings come from? Had they being buried somewhere deep inside me, waiting for a situation like this, so they could manifest? I was afraid to say it. It hurt to believe it. But I cared!
A week later when he called me again, I found myself telling him that I would come visit him. On my way to his place, I refused to think, lest I turn back. I would work with how I felt now, and leave the past where it had always been; in a box. I got to his home and opened the door he had shut in my face without flinching. I saw him helpless on his bed, his eyes red-rimmed, and the aura of hopeless around him. I choked on a sob, held my emotions in check, and went to him.
I took care of him for five months. It was a painful journey that I still can’t find the right words to express what went down. Suffice it to say that, it was heart wrenching. He said very few words, and depended on me for everything. The man who had harassed and abused us was now at my mercy. Sometimes I was filled with so much anger. What right did he have over me to pull me to his side like ants crawling towards a sugar cube? What hold did he have over me? I couldn’t explain it, couldn’t pay him back in his coin. 
A week before he passed away, I spoon fed him and prayed with him. I called him a good boy and he laughed loudly with glee. He called me his daughter, and I still can’t find the words to express how I felt. It is a moment I would never forget. 
When he died, I cried my eyes out. I couldn’t eat. I mourned for him; the man who was my father for so short a time. Whatever properties he had left I couldn’t throw away. That was what I had left of him. When his corpse was laid down into the ground, I stared numbly. The phase was over. He was finally gone. But was the pain gone? The neediness? The longing? No! It was like a permanent fixture. I took care of him because I needed some semblance of connection with him, yet I was near him but far away. I never said I love you and neither did he. I never hugged him or kissed him, yet I gave him my time. 
In the end, I was still raw, needy, unsatisfied, and filled with an ache that couldn’t be quenched for my father’s love which was totally lost to me. All I had done was for my FATHER’S TOUCH, yet I hadn’t held it long enough. I would continue to remain that little girl innocently waiting at the door for her father, her knight in shining armor to make his way towards her, so she could scream “Daddy”, and run towards him. 
All, I had done was for a FATHER’S TOUCH.
 

THE BRAVE HEROES WHO STAND OUT

From the creation of Mankind, there have been individuals who against all odds, have identified their gifts, maximized their talents, found purpose, and stood out from the crowd, in their respective fields of endeavour. From generation to generation, their names ring a bell and keep been mentioned, while their bravery and outstanding exploits, are celebrated.
Nigeria, as a nation, has been blessed with its own share of countless heroes and heroines, who have strived hard to achieve success, inevitably leading to the greater good and progress of this country, both politically, economically, health-wise, etc.
This trend has led to several organizations taking up the mantle to blow the trumpet of these great men and women, who have had to act either in the spotlight, or behind closed doors. Rainbowlights Production is one of these organizations. Rainbow Awards for Excellence was founded seven years ago, with a successive line up of recepients. Rainbow Hall of Fame Awards, simply known as RAHFA, was founded two years ago. Awards have been handed out to illustrious men and women of this great country, and in the diaspora, for their philanthropic deeds, humanitarian gestures, and ground-breaking feats, in their businesses and career.
On the 14th of March, 2021, this yearly event – RAHFA – will take place at Golden Gate Event Hall, Ikoyi. As we gather to celebrate these great heroes, who even in a time of economic meltdown and a new way of living, due to the Covid-19 menace, have raised their heads up, and taken great strides to achieve their goals; let this be a means to motivate us to believe in ourselves and our dreams, and work hard and smart to achieve them. It may be your turn to be celebrated tomorrow.