Speaking first for myself, I apologise for having waited until now to dedicate this space to you. To make matters worse, you won’t be reading this here on earth. And, even the conviction that where you are, you’d read and appreciate this better ameliorates nothing concerning how I feel. Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination steals more than time, though. It steals manhood. Right now, I feel less of a man. A real man would long have written what the spirit had grieved him about for years.
Procrastination also steals one’s brain, one’s being. It gives one a false sense of confidence, that one is in charge; that until one grants one’s say-so everyone and everything shall remain only cued up in forlorn wait. Dear Prophet of the most High, your departure is a bitter lesson because at once it slaps and teaches me that nature is neither my mate nor am I good enough to be his two-i-c. Nature left me no warning.
It is a crying shame, I never got to meet you. I always looked forward to that day. Some friends like Whito did everything to get me to come, to no avail. Alas, now and forever, all I can look forward to is how to go about forgiving myself for that horrendous no-second-chance near-miss.
Really, there were, sorry -no, there are things about you that got me hooked to your person and from time to time to your channel, Emmanuel tv. Your meekness captivated to no end. Your uncanny transformation, a direct result of an incredible personal development ritual, enthralled incredibly. Above all, I always treasured your Christlike generosity and humility as well as how you stayed permanently in the public eye but managed to keep your family so far away yet so near, so intact.
As long as I live, I shall never forget how you would buy, help offload truckloads of rice and sundry food items and toiletries, and join in carrying them on your head to gift the needy. Yet, there were all sorts of stories intended to pull you down even as you kept going up; even as you kept staying up. Interestingly, no matter how much you tried to stay small being ever humble, you grew bigger and bigger in the eyes and hearts of hundreds of millions across the globe. The more those who say they speak for God in Nigeria called you satanic names, the more godly and Christlike you appeared to an alarming majority around the world who know God and Christ.
Not once did you hit back at them, or could I have missed it? That was and still is so Christlike. While they fleeced their members to buy and fly private jets and build monstrous schools that most of those members couldn’t, can’t and may never afford to send their children, you instead did as Christ would -you never tired (locally, nationally and internationally) of doing good, of giving, of helping, of reconciling, and of spreading the gospel.
On all fronts, I feel guilty but I’ve consoled myself it still isn’t too late to thank you profusely for everything. It still isn’t too late as well to seek God’s forgiveness for all of them anti-you hypocrites. You represented love, which is the central message of Christ. While it is strange that you only got hate from most of those who claim to be on first name terms with the Father, it is sweet that you kept your own side of the bargain all the way: you lived and died in peace with them, with all men.
Many thanks, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, for your iconically impactful -even if short- life with us. Christians, Muslims, other faithful including traditionalists and atheists; everyone is unanimous that you added monumental value -the type that our self-canonised living saints can only crave. May your family reap your earthly harvest: just so the tiny minority who hate you even in death might end up in shame. Finally, we vow that for as long as they continue not to forget whatever they think they hold against you we shall in turn always remember to remind them that your life, ministry and your works -far more than theirs- better exemplify Christ.
God bless Nigeria!
The grouse about those who’ve connection
When Nigerians say someone has connection or is connected, they mean that such a one knows the right people in the right places and can at the right or even wrong time extract advantage or self-aggrandisement. Of course, there’s no gainsaying that this person gets things done, with the snap of the finger. All over the country, you hear, you read, you see, you feel and you smell the cynicism against (or outright hate for) people who achieve results per time only because they have connection.
The reasons for the near unanimous discomfiture towards this privileged class are not far-fetched. One, an alarming majority of such people get things done for themselves only because they know the right buttons to press -not because they know what to do. Or how more troubling and frustrating can things get than seeing everyday how rights and privileges and wealth and positions are stolen in broad daylight by people only only strength is connection.
Two, most people who have connection don’t have what I call commensurate quality. Almost always, they are not well educated, not well bred, and not well anything good. Therefore, when they are thrown up by corruption (in the forms of ethnicity, nepotism, favouritism, mediocrity or such other stupidities) only cries of injustice mixed with pride greet them.
The way out is for people who have connection to raise their personal bar. They need to add something else: what I call the sine qua non of success and honour. Grow your connection account but simultaneously nurture your mental and social quality!
In the other direction, those with enviable mental and social quality should be intentional about developing our social capital. We should learn service and loyalty and patience. Experience has shown that most of us who think ourselves bright never want to waste time serving.
That is one tragedy we must change. Furthermore, bosses and leaders and sundry people who are the gatekeepers in the leadership recruitment process must stop being comfortable mostly with mediocrities.
Yes, if you undertook an eye census right now, you would be horrified to see that only a few of the closest aides to most of our big people (in and out of government) have the mental capacity for that role.
Most ‘bedroom aides’ occupy this plum position not because of merit (they are not the best for the job) but because of loyalty (they are thought loyal). Now, you can understand why even brilliant leaders churn out poor results when it comes to delivery, monitoring and public relations. Lastly, those against people whose only strength is their connection must themselves take out time to internalise the trade secret of life: they must learn service, they must learn loyalty, they must learn patience.
Next Monday, please don’t miss Udom’s number 1 fan must be Ita Enang.