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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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The Parable of the Forgotten Shoes

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By Benjamin Dike

So this was how I was dressed in church today!

Forgot my shoes? No. My wife did. Before you think my wife practically slaves for me, she doesn’t. She is actually the boss; I live in her house. So here is what happened.

We had got set for church and I was carrying things to the car. As I stooped to pick my shoes (I don’t like driving with my shoes on if I can help it), she offered to help me bring the shoes to the car.


I pulled out the car and we drive to church. Then I asked her for my shoes. Now you already know the response. She had forgotten the shoes at home. First, I ‘froze’. This was quite serious. I can’t go home to get the shoes. Home is on the Island; Church is on the mainland. Then I was about saying, But I wanted to pick the shoes and you … (Yeah, at least I should blame her). But one look at her stopped me in my tracks. She looked so subdued and beaten like a little child.

This woman is one of the most meticulous persons I know. I can keep something somewhere in her absence and will later forget where I kept it. My only hope is my wife or the Holy Spirit (when she is not available). I will just tell her that I am looking for so and so and she will either tell me where it is or she will go find it. So, one look at Madam Meticulous, I felt enormous pity (or was it compassion) well up inside me. She obviously had no bad intentions. Things just happen sometimes.


I chuckled and told her not to worry. My mood shifted immediately. It was now a sense of excitement to dress up in my nice suit – with a slipper on! I will look different, I told myself. And I will leave people guessing – that is if they even notice! (Often we forget that people are busy focusing on themselves that they may not even notice the shoes you are wearing).

I started looking forward to it. Then I asked myself, what has my dressing got to do with my worship after all? Wow! It felt so liberating. It was a powerful deliverance from human expectations and convention. It was a refocusing on what really matters. Perhaps, it’s really my heart that matters, my heart that God cares about, not merely the outer trappings. Don’t get me wrong, proper dressing is proper – when you can help it! But now, I couldn’t help it. And I wasn’t about to ruin my day and my worship on the altar of a ‘forgotten shoes’.

Meanwhile, my wife was still deeply beaten and looking for how to fix the ‘mess’. She got one of my young men to go home and get me his shoes. But I flatly refused. I was just fine. Sometimes a little bit of mischief can spice up life. And I was loving the mischief of a suit with some marching slippers!

So here are 4 quick lessons that came to mind


1) How you live your day is a choice – joy or ruin.


2) Sometimes, people don’t wrong you because they are bad. It’s just because they are people – they can fail.


3) What if we were to judge people by their true intentions and not their actions. Maybe we will have better relationships. The reality is that we often judge people by their actions while we judge ourselves by our intentions.


4) What you see as a problem is what becomes a problem. A messy situation is really a matter of interpretation.

My friends, trust me, I had a very beautiful time in church today – shoes or no shoes. So, focus on what’s important and free yourself from the needless clutter than ruin your fun in life.

Choose to enjoy your life, mbok!



Benjamin C. Dike, PhD

Benjamin is the executive Chairman of Joshua Leadership Project. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom and a Doctorate degree in Credit Management from the  International University of Panama. Benjamin is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and a Fellow of both the Institute of Credit Administration and the Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria. A prolific and insightful writer, he has several published works, including God of My Right Hand and EveryDay Leadership.

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Hearts Without Thorns…

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The Christian Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria – Students’ arm, Abia State University Teaching Hospital (CMDA Nigeria – Students ABSUTH) presents her healing balm newsletter for the year 2020 titled “HEARTS WITHOUT THORNS”.

It’s a book culled to enable it’s reader to understand the concept of living a life free from thorns and toxins which make our love for God unstable and wavering.

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You know we happen to live in a world where everyone is doing it the way they seem fit, some feel they’re doing it right, some know they’re not on track but they’re just doing it anyways.

It’s expedient for us to understand that not everyone who is a Christian is actually one. You know Judas was a follower of Jesus for 3yrs yet the scriptures recorded that he loved money so much, which was the legal premise by which the devil found expression in him to betray JESUS.

This book will enable us to understand some deep facts about staying in alignment with Christ and his Business.

School Editor-in-Chief.

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Features

Is rape preventable?

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Rape is a violent crime, and a very sensitive subject, that creates all kinds of emotions when talked about. Recently I wanted to do a talk on rape and needed a lawyer’s input, I wanted the lawyer to be part of the discussion, but her response was in the negative. In her words “I may be too emotional because I have had three near-rape incidents.”

Rape is caused by the rapist/s, but how do we protect our boys, girls, and ourselves from rape? I asked this question on my Facebook account and got some responses, which I would love to share here and I would also wish you can respond as well, as we learn and play our part to have a rape free society.

Ichechi Wokeh Esq; ‘Give the girl child good martial arts training to afford her a fighting chance in case of any eventuality... Truth is: rape, like many other vices, cannot be totally wiped off the face of the earth. We just have to find ways to avoid being victims. We can’t just sit back and wait it out. They should also be taught not to be with the wrong people at the wrong places, about the possibility of being drugged, about opening up, etc. Rape is a capital offence. They should beat the shame, report, and save the next girl from that particular rapist. Rape suspects hardly meet their bail conditions given the nature of the crime. I just can’t comprehend it when I hear people shy away from reporting rape cases. It’s not the shaming, but the resources to follow up your complaint. If you try that one with a family having the resources, that suspect is dead meat. It’s just the money to pursue case. Na money matter. Who born rapist??? If you see their physical condition in court, you’ll even forgive them.’

Dr. Charles Okpani; ‘Ovundah Nyeche we have to start instituting Christian family upbringing again. The men who rape were raised in homes, bro it will continue. Christian school education with well thought out sex education for every age group. Churches need to start organizing parenting classes for couples to learn.’

Dr. Comfort Ogidi; ‘There is no easy way to protect our children, God’s protection is all. I have heard of people who have ‘followed all protocols’ to prevent situations that can lead to rape and still got raped. Rape can happen anywhere, not mainly males but also females, friends, family, fathers, robbers, strangers are all culprits. Homes, boyfriends houses, streets, alleyways, buses, clubs and now churches have all been implicated. So I cannot tell my child don’t dress indecently( so you don’t get raped. I might have other reasons to tell them so but not that. Also a place you think is secluded today might be the only passageway tomorrow, and a regular route today might be secluded tomorrow. So basically, I would only ask parents to teach their children consent, and also ask our government to make rape punishment stiffer, and the culture of victim blaming reduced. Finally, having weapons such as pepper spray and such might not be a bad idea. Although one prays our children never meet a situation where they would have to use it.‘ When quizzed further about a comment she made about dressing, she added ‘I will tell them this…dress the way you want to be addressed….In this part of the world (Nigeria) if you dress with too much skin exposed, you would be seen as fickle, someone who has nothing much to bring to the conversation and that’s why you are calling attention to your body unnecessarily. In fact, to simpletons you are a slut. So dress the way you want to be seen as. Dress smart, dress to the occasion, dress to the place. Be smart, be emotionally intelligent. I don’t use the word ‘indecent dressing’ at all, as decency of dressing is relative to the place.What is seen as a decent dressing in Port Harcourt is indecent in Borno, and what is seen as decent in Essex is indecent in Lagos.

Emmanuel Nwakanma a Sociologist; ‘Dr. There may be no direct way of stopping or protecting people from rape, however putting some things in place can discourage it to a large extent. For instance:1. Perfecting forensic investigation. When people know that if they commit a crime, no matter how perfect, the justice system will always catch them, less crimes will be committed.2. Improve on our security system. We don’t really take security serious in Nigeria. No CCTVs on our streets alleys. Even on main roads, you can drive for hours and you won’t see one security personnel on the road. 3. Ensure perpetrators are dealt with in order to discourage others from such behaviour. 4. Teaching boys and girls self defence. 5. Improving on rapid response to SOS. Do we have a ‘911’? What’s the response rate? 6. Street lights, regular electricity. 7. Regularly educating boys and girls on risk factors, triggers and dynamics of rape. They look like irrelevant things but they can go a long way.

Dr. Boma Nyananyo; ‘Tell the boys… rape is wrong… teach them how to take no for an answer…Also protect the boys, many have been molested by women when they were younger.If all fails,don’t cover up.. don’t blame a girl who was raped… it hurts.’

Pst. Judah Olorunmaiye; ‘My thoughts are very scattered, please pardon me. I’ll also like to emphasize a few other things that may not have been echoed previously. Sir, Sex has been redefined by modern society. The first step is to be loud on the sacredness of sex. When we speak of Chastity, people believe it’s just another sexual orientation of someone who is low on libido, but as long as sex is just a body gift that can be received casually or stolen(Rape) we cannot even deal with the fundamental issues.It’s honestly difficult to give counsel on protecting yourself from rape because I’ve never been close to such situations, but I believe I can give general suggestions that may help us. Let’s start with the value of every human. While this may seem like an inconsequential point, it determines a lot in terms of how others are treated. Sexual, emotional and physical abuse, ranging from police brutality to domestic violence is founded on the premise of a lack of value for another human being’s emotions and feelings. There has been a systematic erasing of our conscience on the last decade, so much so that the hurts and pains of others doesn’t seem to bother us again. Our minds are constantly being trained to see pain and brutality as the norm among humans, we watch it in our favorite movies and hear of constant blood shed from activities of terrorism and kidnappers, and so slowly and surely we’ve added the trauma, pain and cruelty of rape as part of human society that can be endured and tolerated. There are already numerous counsels written here about how toxic the media can be to the young generation but let me buttress that point again. Our generation has been sexually pumped up. This is primarily because the average celebrity is a loose cannon who engages in all kind of pervert pleasure and gives an impression that this is how to live successfully. From Politicians buying sex toys to Religious leaders accused severally of sexual misconduct, we have deceived the next generation, that sexual pleasure inevitably comes with being at the Top.While we can acknowledge that some of these people have succeeded know their personal endeavors, we must refuse the temptation to paint them as heroes just because they are rich and famous.We are quick to label them as role models irrespective of their pervert views on sacred subjects and so our children may imitate their drive and tenacity towards success but they will also imbibe their values and reflect their principles.I also believe we have given too much respect to “Elders and Erring Leaders”The average rape case often involves a young lady and an older man, This older man believes his sins will be pardoned because he has grey hairs. No one will report him because they will respect his age and respect the tradition that protects an erring leader. I am a firm believer in honouring the aged, but it’s more priority to punish evil than to respect age and tradition. If the western world are more decisive with dealing with rape crimes, this is where they differ from Africa.The Pastor must know that he won’t be spared if his church finds out his evil, the political leaders must know they won’t be re elected if their constituency is told of their sex crimes. Finally, let’s scrap to a large degree the facilitators of a massive loss of self control. Our society preached about condoms and abortion pills in the name of safe sex but sold a message captioned.. “We must have sex, we can’t control our bodies, but just make it safe”, We should be preaching self control and not safe sex. Alcohol abstinence is now being mocked as being religious, meanwhile the consumption of that substance makes people lose their senses and think ugly thoughts.Everything that encourages the weakening of self control should be deemphasized no matter how logical they sound. If we can control our hormones and preach to others that it is not hard at all, we can save the next generation from the beast of sexual misconduct.’

Pst. Austine Oviawe; ‘We live in a very sexualized society, whose constant exposure homosexual innuendos and overtures is unparalleled. Sex is glamourized on every hand, entertainment, social media, arts, sports and even religion has become sexualized. Feminists have ignored the sexual gravity of men towards the woman’s nakedness, and defend every woman right to dress half naked, one has seen all sorts as women now dress sexy, not to cover nakedness. A naked woman does something to any sexually active male. Every man will respond sexually to a naked woman!As society is plunging into a sexual abyss, there is little or no knowledge to the young teens on handling and dealing with the sexual pressure that barrages them daily. Society through the internet is breeding all sorts of sexual perverts. The musical videos on even government television channels are for the most part x-rated. Little children as young as 2 years old can twerk and dance seductively like crazed adult whores. Sadly, most parent work, thus leaving an entire generation to school systems, the street, and TV programs after school, and these children are seeded with perverse sights and sounds.Kids have been caught kissing passionately in school toilets, and anywhere they have privacy, even our kids church are not spared, we spend more time monitoring interactions between kids who seem to have only had a week of innocence as babies. I don’t allow my kids attend other kids birthday parties anymore, what goes on in kids birthday party is worrisome. We need to declare an emergency in our schools, churches, homes, and society at large to tackle the sex lies, pressure, and perversion that seeks to overthrow an entire generation of young people. The need is for healthy and holistic sex education for teens and pre-teens, legislation to protect our young from defiling entertainment and creating boundaries where these have become trampled, and training both sexes how to possess their vessels in honour and sanctification. We must become proactive, and not reactive only when young girls are violated. We must do better that trend hashtags and take responsibility to raise youths who are sexually informed, and responsible. Parents must do their jobs and not delegate the responsibility of raising their kids to schools and churches. The entertainment outlets available to the kids must be properly vetted and controlled. It high time we have books for 3 and 4 year old on sexual exploitation and how to prevent and resist such. Exposing abuse at such early age of innocence by encouraging them to speak up and expose any one and everyone that violates their body. Parents must pay attention to kids mood and limit who and what their kids is exposed to, including kids their age too.

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