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Man know thyself.

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By Chituru Weje.

In my first year in university, going to classrooms to read overnight, popularly called “TDB” (Till Day Break) was the rave. The only time I had done “TDB” prior to then was in my final class in Secondary school when I stayed up all night copying a note by candlelight just so that I could ‘feel among’, as my classmates had been talking about it.

When I entered university everyone around me seemed to be going for “TDB”, so I went too. Every night, we would leave the hostel at 10 pm when Dan Etete hostel gates (name of my hostel) were locked and return at 5 am when the gates were reopened.

We would arrive the lecture rooms at Ofrima hall (a hall in the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria) armed with our chewing gums, biscuits and water (I was not doing coffee yet). Our “TDB” usually entailed spending about an hour settling in, an hour reading, after which we would stroll for about 30 minutes checking out other people whose reading seemed to be going better than ours had been and calling them ‘Jacko’, a term reserved for nerds.

It seemed though, that some people’s “TDB” comprised solely of examining others who came to read without doing any apparent reading themselves. I would then attempt to resume reading after the break, but after about 30 minutes, my body would give in to the fatigue and I would lie down on the hard bench to sleep.

I would sleep from then till 5 am when the hostel gates were re-opened, and would wake up feeling like a truck ran over me. Then myself and the crew would return to the hostel to have a quick bath and return to MBA 1, Ofrima Hall for an early morning lecture.

You had to return quickly, before 6 am else you would either sit on the edge of the podium, or stand on the aisle or outside the window. Yes, the learning conditions were deplorable, but that is not the subject for today. One senior colleague who used to come motivate myself and my classmates academically said that we should not spend too much time sleeping.

Sleeping too much would let your life slip past you and one should not spend more than 4 hours per day on sleep. I began to focus on reducing my body’s sleep ration; more than 6 hours was an abomination, less that 4 hours was the target. Before long, I found myself sleeping during lectures very often.

One time, I woke up at the end of the English lecture to notice that my textbook was missing. I never found it again. One day, during a Physics lecture, the lecturer had only just started speaking when I felt the warm arms of sleep embracing me. I decided to fight him! How could I continue being bodily present in class but spiritually absent? I forced myself to stay awake by sheer willpower, but it did not work.

Then I stepped out to get something to chew on, but the sleep embraced me tighter, as though I were a long-lost lover. Me, sleep? No way I was gonna let that happen. Enough was enough! I remembered a Tom and Jerry episode I had watched as a child where Tom had inserted a matchstick in his eye to keep his eyelids from coming together. There was no matchstick, so I made do with my hands.

One hand to each eye, thumbs beneath the lower lids, index fingers on the upper lids, to keep the both of them from kissing. I had found my solution! Then I woke up. I had slept for about 30 minutes and by the time I woke, the class was almost being rounded up. I just felt so weak. And of course, immediately the lecturer stepped out, my sleep-lover abandoned me and my alertness returned.

I wish I could say that was the last time I did “TDB”, but it probably took a bit longer before I learnt how my body worked and began to stay in my lane. Now if someone tells me ‘If you sleep 8 hours a day, by the time you are 60, you would have spent 20 years of your life sleeping’, I tell them, ‘I would also have spent 40 years awake!

If I cannot achieve something in those 40 years, it is not in the remaining 20 that I will achieve it.’

Summary? Man, know thyself!

Chituru Weje is a physician who, loves to laugh, love, and live life fully.

She also likes to tell stories of the funny commas in her life.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Dionakovie Ikenna Obuh

    January 30, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Story of my life. It took a total stranger trying to fondle my thigh while I was asleep in MBA 1 to make me decide firmly “this is not for me”!
    Told him off real good, but I was embarrassed for a long time.
    I never read at night in class again.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      February 1, 2018 at 5:31 am

      Thank you for your feedback

    • Avatar

      Chitrue Kechi Myrna Weje

      February 10, 2018 at 9:43 am

      OMGoodness! Kovie, I can’t imagine how that must’ve felt. That’s enough to scare anyone away from TDB. I’m glad nothing bad happened to you

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Family Circle

How Expensive are Expensive Weddings?

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By Edisemi Okpokiti

The cost for marriages is another reason for low marriages and also early broken marriages…it brings too much pressure to the equation.
Too much expectations, too much injuries in the process to accomplish, too much division already between new families who ought to be uniting, too much attention of the supposed spouse on an event than on the marriage.

Too much false hood expressed that has to be sustained, but with no basis for maintenance. Too much bad blood between supposed couples before they even start their home.

Many marriages ended on the night or morning after the wedding ceremony.

People regret night after their traditional wedding, and ask if it was worth all the tension, pressure and troubles or are visibly sad all through the wedding realising they have short changed themselves.

Love is stifled by fleshy lust of men and women for rights,privileges and inordinate desires to feel among. Many work for years to blow it one week 😭😭

Once the cost of the price to marry is reduced, the attention will be shifted to what my choice person thinks or feels and not what people think or feel; and that’s how relationships are built.

Preparation for marriage ought to be a good opportunity for people to know and get more acquainted with themselves but the pressure makes them distant from themselves, cursing, fighting and bitter at each other for their difference in priority and the family effect on them.

Father in-laws, mother in-laws , Siblings already become vouched enemies even before they know themselves.

It’s pathetic that poor families are the most expensive ones to marry from, it’s like these marriages is their visa out of poverty.

Elders have become children in their conduct and character just because of a young child’s money collected with the deceit of a priceless adventure.

Churches should adopt like the Orthodox churches now do for burials, giving specific date you must bury after death, thereby forcing hands to bury with what they have and not what they think they want.

Weddings in churches should be encouraged to be done even in midweeks and without receptions.

Young people also should stop talking of dream marriages. The women especially would shout “It is not in my turn, I’ll fall my hands”, but can’t you all see ,the men are not proposing because they are afraid and do not have what your entire village will demand? Ladies have to start discussing with their fathers and uncles and defend their husband to be.

Money spent on Marriages in this country, especially by the middle class and poor if invested could make those couples financially stable.

The steam most times is off before the team comes to field.

Many have lost even before the game starts.

Well for those who are really really well to do and I mean both not that the man is. Those whose families have more than enough to spare, then you are not stopped from your ecstasy.

If you are in relationship, and it’s not taking the next step this is a major cause. Seat with yourselves, seat with your parents and pastors and achieve your desire without destroying your desire. SELAH!

If you are a sibling or parent , please assist and clear all barriers and ensure your children and siblings don’t have this as a barrier preventing their marriage.

The age of unmarried is increasing daily to an average of 30…if this menace is not addressed …we will soon hit 35 yrs as average age of unmarried girls.

Let the wise hear, but the foolish rant…Life is a choice.

A counsel is not forced on anyone.

Edisemi Okpokiti is the Lead Faculty, The Pulpit and Lead Consultant of Rhabonni Consult Limited (A Human Capital Development Consultancy Firm). He is a trained Information Management Consultant and passionate preacher of the gospel.

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Opinions Today, Pinions Tomorrow

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By Perez Tigidam

Nigeria is full of drama and the growing internet penetration and social media usage amplifies this daily. Individuals and even corporations are constantly being sucked into this pool of daily drama.

My thought is simple, if you must be an active and opinionated participant in every raging conversation on the internet, ensure you do so from the place of thought and principles and not an emotional rush, no matter how logical it might sound at the moment.

The internet archives, it never forgets.

Perez Tigidam

If you stand for a wrong today and months after try to go against that wrong because this time, you’re emotional towards one party involved, it means that you lack principle in the first place. Because the internet never forgets, people will call your bluff while referring to precedence.

It is very easy to glide into contradiction and inconsistency when you always have to offer opinion or hard stance not backed by principles.

Before you tweet, think. Before you post, pause to ponder.

perez tigidam

I have a particular friend who knows me so well that, in my absence, he can literally tell you what my position will be on any given issue even without hearing from me. Same for him. This is because -not to sound saintly- we’ve been consistent in our thought pattern over a long period of time. Our positions on things are always not popular but there’s been a pattern and we’ve been consistent.

One last thing,

In a low trust society like Nigeria, it’s important that you’re consistent in character and in principles. It helps when those with less knowledge of you bring up disparaging commentary of your person.

Last year, I had a fall out with a client and someone asked me, “What if this client decides to give a negative feedback on referrals?” My response was simple, my disagreement is not out of bad character but out of principle that binds a contractual relationship. Of every one client relationship that goes wrong, there are 9 others that will stand vehemently for me, because of character and precedence.

You can say I am not cheap when it comes to billing for my services and I’d agree, but I do not know that I am a cheat or dubious in character, for this I am grateful for my upbringing and can raise my shoulder anywhere to this.

If I disagree vehemently with a friend or a client, it’s mostly not out of bad character but out of principle. I rarely do shift from my position, either I just want to let you have your way and move on or I’m deeply convinced that my position is wrong, which doesn’t happen instantaneously either. I have to slowly be convinced on facts and principles that support that position, it’s the reason people say I’m stubborn.

But I am not.

Perez Tigidam is a brand management consultant and media entrepreneur based in Nigeria. He runs one of Nigeria’s foremost brand consultancy and design firms Arden & Newton Ltd and doubles up as the user experience and content strategy team lead at TheNerve Africa.

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Going back to the basics.

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By Nimi Stephanie Ekere.

Last year, we were woken up to the news of a student who tried to poison his colleague because she was doing better than him, academically. This was to say the

least, frightening. That for me, set my mind wondering what the home environment of the said student was. If a child in Secondary school could think of something so terrible, it clearly showed that his family, which is the smallest unit of the society was in a wrong state. The reason is that the family forms most of a person’s values, at least at that tender age.

 

Recently, the suicide rate in the country has become so alarmingly high and particularly scary amongst young people. Young people take their lives for the flimsiest reasons. It’s either you hear that they took their lives because they were heartbroken in their relationship, they failed an exam or someone spoke to them badly.

 

In the past, we were known for our resilience and ability to adapt to even the most unfriendly situations, so what suddenly changed?

 

I would like us to look into the family setting and review our parenting styles and strategies. A lot has changed. Yes, I think a lot has changed so much; and this does not mean that our parents were perfect in the past. They made their mistakes but to a very large extent, they did a lot of things right.

 

Many modern day parents are so concerned about pleasing their children that a lot of areas are left unattended to. There seems to be no standards and values which are the bedrock of effective parenting.

 

The twenty first century parent is caught up in the web of an extremely busy schedule in the pursuit of money and when they make it, throw it at the child and fail to invest quality time with their children and lose the opportunity to discover their children and what they are growing up to become.

 

For many of these children, integrity means little or nothing, and the child having nothing to emulate, seeks help from his peers and the television.

 

Nannies have taken over the place of mothers in the lives of these children. And because parents are not always visible, and even if they are visible, they are unavailable, there lies a wide communication breakdown. And if a child cannot talk

or discuss everything with his parents, there usually are deadly alternatives for them.

 

Parents try to compensate for these deficiencies with wonderful vacations, gifts, expensive clothes and shoes and other luxuries. While these are wonderful, they do not take the place of deliberate, intentional and effective parenting.

 

Also, a lot of children are suffering from low self-esteem because of the unrealistic expectations and pressures from their parents. ‘Have you seen Linda’s results?’

Why can’t you come first place like Jonathan?’ This is all the child hears and gradually, his self-esteem completely gets eroded and he starts seeking for validation from external sources. He begins to have envy, hatred and unhealthy competitions as part of his everyday life.

 

This begins to manifest in his behaviour towards others. An example is the case of the seventeen year old boy that was left to drown by his friends because they were jealous of him. There are multiples of examples to buttress the fact that we must go back to the basics.

Parenting must be done right if we want to see this generation of children do better than us. There is a vacuum that must be filled. We must listen to these young ones. We must try to create time for them. Our values must not be thrown out, they must be instilled in our children. We can love our children without necessarily giving them everything they want. There should be discipline

in parenting. Sometimes, giving them all they want is not to their advantage. We must learn to know when to draw the line.

 

Their strengths should be celebrated while their weaknesses worked on. Unhealthy competitions are really unhealthy for them. We must know that every child is unique and is created differently with a special gift to change her world.

 

Prayer is an inevitable tool in effective parenting. Every word of prayer said on our children’s behalf is a seed that will germinate and yield fruits, good fruits. This said, prayers must go hand in hand with hard work as even the Bible admonishes us to intentionally, train up our children in a way that they should go and when they are old, they would not depart from it.

 

Thank you for reading this, I hope to get your feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Nimi Stephanie Ekere is a wife, mother and Family Physician. She enjoys writing, reading and attending to her patients.  She is a life coach and teacher, who is passionate about children and young people walking in the right course and path to achieve their full potential.

Her Foundation, Ekom Charity Foundation mentors young people and also cares for the less privileged.

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