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Olujimi Jiboye
I am a realist...I am an individual...I have team spirit...I am a fortress...I am a bastion of hope...I view life from two clear and bright eyes...I think Africans are great and silly. So I try to be Great...and NOT silly! I AM DANGEROUSLY SIMPLE...EASY TO GET ALONG WITH. ALSO TOO TOUGH! I DISLIKE CHEATS AND THOSE WHO THINK THE SUN RISES AND FALLS ON THEM ALONE. I LOVE A GOOD GIST...AND I CHERISH TRUE/ ABIDING FRIENDSHIP AND LOYALTY.
I am a realist...I am an individual...I have team spirit...I am a fortress...I am a bastion of hope...I view life from two clear and bright eyes...I think Africans are great and silly. So I try to be Great...and NOT silly! I AM DANGEROUSLY SIMPLE...EASY TO GET ALONG WITH. ALSO TOO TOUGH! I DISLIKE CHEATS AND THOSE WHO THINK THE SUN RISES AND FALLS ON THEM ALONE. I LOVE A GOOD GIST...AND I CHERISH TRUE/ ABIDING FRIENDSHIP AND LOYALTY.

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It is well with my soul tonight!

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“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:1 – 5).

From this event in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Disciples, we can learn some important lessons:

(1.) If a person is handicapped, diseased or going through some seemingly solution-defying life problems or challenges, it does not always mean that he or she is a sinner, a bad person or an evil person. It does not mean that he comes from an accursed lineage. It does not mean that his or her parents are bad or terrible people. Neither does it mean that his or her family is accursed or that their parents have sinned. Although, there are people who are afflicted for these reasons mentioned above; but we cannot judge them (indeed we have no right to, for what do we know?) because for all we know, it could actually be “that the works of GOD should be made manifest through him or her!” Even when they have really sinned or if they are truly accursed, it is still for the purpose that the works of GOD should be made manifest through them! No problem defies GOD’s Power – such people would be saved and delivered if they could but sincerely and wholeheartedly surrender their lives to Christ. People usually assume that anyone who is going through an inexplicable challenge must be accursed by man or that such a person is being punished by GOD for one reason or the other! 

“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1 – 5)

It is easy to point fingers and to forget that the whole of the human race was accursed by the error of disobedience and rebellion perpetrated by our foremost parents, Adam and Eve; but for Christ Jesus, of whom it was recorded:

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:13 – 17)

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

(2.) When people are afflicted in any way, it is an opportunity for them to draw closer to GOD. It is a fact that most people would never even give GOD the time of the day in their minds, not to talk of lives if He does not allow them to be afflicted one way or the other! However, we have to know two things clearly:

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:12 – 17) 

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” (I Corinthians 10:12 – 14)

So, are you one of those people who always mock, scorn, disdain, deride, condemn or criticise other people when you see them passing through their lives’ challenges? Some people have one opinion or the other about what other people are passing through; always ready to imagine the worst and jump to the most seemingly obvious conclusions which are often wrong! They even do worse: they gossip same to other people, thereby tarnishing the image of such people and destroying their reputations (or what is left of its tatters!) before other people! Please stop doing so! 

“Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! When thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.” (Isaiah 33:1)

The root cause of some people’s problems in life is their mouth! They cannot mind their business; they cannot desist from giving their opinions or advice when they are not sought. They take unholy delight in running down other people and they get a weird satisfaction in murdering people with the blades and tip of their tongue-sword! Later, they would start wondering where their own challenges emanated from! 

Please take time to read 2 Samuel 1:1 – 17. You will find there, the story of a man who went to tell David that he had killed King Saul, who had been seeking to take David’s life for a long time. The man thought David would reward him if he claimed he had killed Saul when actually 
he had not! The reward he got was the loss of his own life because David believed him, and he accused him of not being afraid to lay his hands on the Lord’s anointed?

Mind your life; face your own business and challenges! Do not utter profane or evil words that would bring swift judgement upon you or your children! Your own life’s issues and challenges should be sufficient for you without you adding those of other people to it!
For instance, when some people see a lady who is advanced in years yet unmarried, they would instantly say: “Oh, she has spurned all the suitors who approached her when she was younger!” When some see a woman who has been married for many years without children, they would conclude: “Oh, she has aborted all the children in her womb!” Some people, when they see an old man or woman, labouring in old age when they should be resting or enjoying the care of their 
descendants, they would say: “Ah, when his mates were working, he was busy playing in his younger years!” How did you know? Were you there? “Enu re o ni ko ba o!” Your mouth nor go put you for trouble!

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” (Matthew 7:1 – 5)


I have observed keenly over the years, and with rising alarm, as parents gradually but consistently and decisively compel their children to totally imbibe the legacies of our unwelcome colonial overlords of yesteryears - especially as regards jettisoning their own native tongues for English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German - they make us speak in foreign tongues which are not ratified by the Holy Spirit (funny but serious!). Now, I speak from an informed and enlightened pedestal because of my own experience growing up at home, the nature of my academic pursuits, research and profession which revolves around Linguistics and of course my years of experience as a teacher of English and Yoruba languages and literatures in various academic institutions and homes. I cannot also neglect to mention the fact of my experience as a writer and editor of all genres of writing in both English and Yoruba.

I love the English language so much! (Although I love my native Yoruba better) I speak it and write it excellently (not bragging!) and I have taught it at various levels of the academia - you mention it, I've been there! Moreover, I can find my way around the French language too. However, I want you to know that during my formative years, I can never remember a time when my parents spoke anything but Yoruba to me and my siblings at home! Now take note that my parents are well-educated and cultured people who have a very sound command of the English language too, yet they chose to communicate with us in our beautiful and melodious Yoruba language. My siblings and I speak Yoruba beautifully and we all have a good command of the English language too.

Many parents worry too much that if their children speak their native tongues (vernacular, as they derogatorily and shamelessly call it – legacy of the colonial masters), they probably will never have a good command of the lingua franca, English, as we have it in the Nigerian context. The reverse is the case because their fears are totally unfounded, and I will prove it to you!

In Linguistics (an academic field of study concerned with the scientific study of language), we have the Mother Tongue or Native Tongue also known as your First Language or L1. We also have the Acquired Language which is your Second Language or L2. Your parent’s language or the predominant language of the environment in which you were brought up, and which you spoke from childhood, is your L1. Any other language you acquired later is your L2.

Unfortunately, many modern Africans, especially in Nigeria have lost their pride in their God-given heritage. – their native tongues. The humiliating and dehumanising effects of slavery over the centuries, and years of association or assimilation (or both in the case of French-colonised Africa) with the European powers who callously partitioned Africa amongst themselves, in their economic greed, in the great Scramble for Africa of the late nineteen hundreds at the Berlin Conference (of 1884), can be blamed for this.
Since the primary cause for the Europeans incursion into Africa was to politically and economically exploit us, they needed to break the strong hold of tradition upon the people. What better way to do it than to render all the valuable aspects of their culture as heathenish, valueless and vernacular? My people have an adage: “You say - Papa is sick, Papa is sick; yet innumerable wraps of ‘eko’ (corn mealie) are going into his bedchamber while many empty leaves are returning!“ That is the case with the Western powers who disparaged everything about our culture and values, yet they deceptively carted our priceless artefacts away to their jealously guarded museums in London! 

Where are the Ife and Benin masks, pottery and a host of other inestimable artefacts?
Their influence is so negative and long-lasting that many Africans cannot be seen to put on their colourful and beautiful native attires – they see it as “dressing down” and “rather too informal” while dressing in Western attire is “dressing up/formal dressing and smart dressing”. Moreover, many of the youth – the future of Africa – believe that dressing in native attire is outdated, and would rather dress in Western clothes like tee shirts, jeans, etc.

It is pertinent at this juncture to say language has a great influence on cultural acquisition, and without the former, the latter will go entirely extinct. Little wonder, many of the youth today have lost touch with the values and salient aspects of our great culture because their parents refused to propagate the language of their forebears.
In England, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal – the former colonial masters of Africa – they speak their languages and teach their children at school using them. The same goes for so many other countries in Europe and Asia. The late former Minister for Education, Professor Babatunde Aliyu Fafunwa advocated the use of the mother tongue to teach children all their subjects in school, and this involved developing the syllabi of all the subjects in the native tongue, (I learnt that this project was embarked upon at the Faculty of Education of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife – but I do not know what level of completion the project has attained).
The development of the school syllabi in the native tongue will enhance children’s understanding of their native tongue and at the same time help them perform better academically since they have a deep understanding of the language of instruction. Many people do not realize that language is the vehicle of thought and that, when you think, you will naturally think in your L1, unless you consciously think in your Acquired Language (L2). Hence, instructing students in their mother tongue at school will definitely enhance their performance.
Many children who find themselves in Europe, America and other parts of the world feel stripped naked and cheated when they now realize the importance of the mother tongue as a potent cultural identity and unifying force for them and their people abroad. They often blame their parents and wished they could learn – but it is usually too late: acquiring a language in adulthood is not a feat for the feeble-minded!
In the past, I have had the opportunity of instructing some Americans in my native Yoruba tongue, and I have felt the thrill and native pride in me at the exuberance and joy with which they sought to acquire that which we have lost. You should not be shocked if you were to meet Caucasians or African-Americans speaking Yoruba or other African languages fluently on your trips to Europe and America. In Brazil, Cuba and in the West Indies, a lot of the descendants of slaves taken away from Africa still jealously guard their native languages, especially Yoruba – or a form of it – and the African culture too! Some of them worship such deities as Ogoun Feraille, Papa Damballa, Osun, Papa Xango, Ifa, Obatala, etc. Although I am not an advocate of that aspect of African culture! 
Oftentimes, Europeans and people from other parts of the world wonder if we do not have our own native languages that we hardly ever speak them, yet we speak English every where all the time as if it were our Mother Tongue.
The irony of the whole phony show is that many children who seem to have a good pronunciation of English diction are poor writers of the language! As a teacher, I found out that a good number of them were actually below average in English! Why? Because they do not have a good platform upon which to build their knowledge of their L2, Englsih! Professor Wole Soyinka, the late revered Professor Chinua Achebe and a host of other great African writers were successful in writing masterfully in English and French languages because of their deep understanding of their native tongues. If not, how would Soyinka have found it easy to translate the Yoruba classical novel by the late D.O. Fagunwa, “Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale” into English so beautifully, yet retaining its original tang and literary essence in “The Forest of a Thousand Daemons”?
Many adults who speak their native tongues today do not even have a good command of it ( I am talking about even some of those adults above forty years of age!) How then will they impart these languages to their children? I have carried out a little research, and I have seen the grave erosion of the African language by the European languages, especially English. I observed that the average Nigerian can hardly speak ten words of his native tongue without inserting at least three to six words of English! 

That is horrible and disgraceful! This phenomenon is called code mixing in Communication studies. Over the years, whenever I discussed this problem of language erosion and extinction with some of my students and participants, who were of Yoruba extraction, some of them who boasted that they had a good command of the language had to hastily revise their opinion when I put them to the test, using about three simple words from the Yoruba vocabulary of which many Yoruba people could not give me the real Yoruba words for! And these are the adults, not the children!
What then is the fate of the children if the many of the adults are not even more than average in their own native tongue?

I see many Nigerian languages going extinct in the next fifty years except an urgent reorientation project is instituted to halt the worrisome trend which has grown to alarming proportions.

How did my family manage to overcome this problem?
My parents, as I said earlier, never spoke English to us at home yet all of us are well above average (to be conservative) in speaking and writing both English and Yoruba languages. The key is to give your children good educational foundation right from their formative years by sending them to qualitative schools (this does not necessarily mean expensive schools as many parents erroneously think!).
My parents did this for us. If the child misses that qualitative foundational education, picking up the tattered threads of the formative education in later years might not be too easy. Another thing that helped me was that since my parents loved reading – in both English and Yoruba languages, we had ample access to all the classical Yoruba and English books of various genres. This greatly enhanced our linguistic development and performance. 

Finally, I need to advise parents to inculcate in their children, that deep appreciation for the Fatherland called Patriotism, the valuable and laudable aspects of our cultural heritage and of course, our native tongues. They must also imbue in them, the values that made us people of integrity and maturity – “Omoluabi” as it is understood in Yoruba; so that they can stand out as positive agents of change in the midst of a modern crooked and perverse generation.

"Ma fi nu mi, mo mo on je!" - "Don't force-feed me, I can feed (take care of) myself!" (Yoruba adage)

Some people are natural manipulators. You can find them everywhere and anywhere; under any guise and at any level. You must know them when you see them or they will take over your thoughts, your speech, your behaviour, your reasoning, your choices, your actions, your relationships, your family, your career and your spiritual life.

Sometimes, they do it because you are weak and cannot make up your own mind. Sometimes, it is because you feel insecure, lack moral conviction or suffer from inferiority complex. You may become a victim of manipulation if you are not learned or exposed. Most Christians are also manipulated because they do not know what the Word of GOD says about certain things in life. Almost anyone will manipulate you in this life if you give them the chance.

Manipulation sometimes looks positive, well-meaning, but beneath it all, it is negative. Don't be moved or deceived by people's seeming good intentions; seek out the motive for their actions. What do they want to achieve? Why would someone come to you to gossip about another person? Why did the Serpent persuade Eve to eat the delicious fruit? Manipulators are so common that one needs to be aware and prayerful, although one should not be paranoid. There are people who try to help with genuine intentions to do good.

Satan and his cohorts are the number one manipulators in this world; they come in many guises and under different pretexts, ostensibly to get you to trust them so that they can hurt you. These are some of the ways they go about it:

1. They will try to convince you to do something bad because everyone (?) else is doing it.

2. They will make you feel like a fool for not doing what they want you to do.

3. Satan and his cohorts will promise you good times by feeding you falsehoods and semi-truths, but they will not tell you the dire consequences or repercussions of doing them.

4. They will alienate you and make you feel rejected, dejected and inadequate, still to get you to do their evil will.

5. They will deny you help in order to compel you to do their evil will.

6. They will render you assistance, whether solicited or not in order to seduce you into thinking that their evil way is good.

7. They will deny you promotion or your desired goal in order to manipulate you to join their confederacy of evil.

8. They will flaunt their ill-gotten gains before you in order to seduce you into their evil way.

9. They will distort the Word of GOD, question the validity of the Word of GOD in order to shake the solidity of your faith's foundation.

10. They will deny the very existence of GOD.

11. They will try to convince you that the end justifies the means, meaning that the way you achieve your goal does not matter as long as you can achieve it!

12. They will make you feel that there is no way you can make right choices or decisions unless you follow their own way.

13. They will resort to emotional blackmail.

14. They will blacklist you and try to get other people to reject you and dislike you.

15. They will label you arrogant or proud if they observe that you know what you are about.


Be swift to hear and slow to reply; keep your own counsel; have few confidants; trust GOD totally and pray always; be versed in the Word of GOD; be learned and knowledgeable.

Manipulate the Manipulators!


Nigeria's problem is not the absence of GOD or lack of service to Him;
Nigeria's problem is not lack of human capital or material resources;
Nigeria's problem is not poverty or ignorance.

Nigeria's problem is born of devaluation of our National psyche
And the celebration of Avarice, Self-god and inordinate Corruption 
In place of Integrity, Patriotism and Excellence.

Hence, we find ourselves at this sorry juncture, at a time
When the whole world is straining for the star of Progress
We are still grappling with mediocrity born of Avarice at the same point
Where Frederick, Lord Lugard amalgamated us a century ago!

"O Nigeria, Nigeria!
Which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee...!"


It might not be a popular stance, but it is the stance that I have taken! I am uncompromisingly against any form of Gay Rights!

I have been so disgusted to hear people who should know better saying government is not tackling corruption and other things worse than homosexuality, yet they are busy legislating against Anti-Gay Rights. What is worse than homosexuality - poverty? Poverty is as natural as the world. Jesus said "You have the poor with you always." Is homosexuality not a form of corruption of that which GOD made perfect when He made us male and female? Is it not an outright rebellion against GOD's Excellent and Perfect Wisdom? What else could bring swift wrath from above on a nation than that the government of the nation approves of such wickedness? Whether the government legislates against homosexuality or not, those who will practise it will practise it! At least it is recorded that the Nigerian Government is one of those who rejected Gay Rights. The fact that there are other forms of corruption does not mean that we should add more to the ones on ground. We can proudly say: "One down, which is the next to go?" Rather than crucifying the government, we should acknowledge their efforts and urge them to show such dexterity in legislating for the betterment and progress of the land. 

People nowadays prefer darkness to light because the work of their hands are evil!

"Ah, eyin eniyan adulawo! A ni e je a pa owo po, k'a pa enu po, k'a bu enu ate lu iwa buruku, iwa obaluje, iwa obayeje ti awon ti won pa asa omoluabi ati ise Olorun da wonyi n hu, e n soro nipa eto awon onisekuse, oniwakuwa, onirinkurin! Aye maa n re'bi ana! Paga!"

What horrifies me most is that most of those who are even speaking in support of Gay Rights are themselves straight people and not the "crooked" kind with crooked minds! It makes me wonder how they would feel [WHEN] their precious son and their daughter would come home in the not too distant future with his or her Gay Partner for Daddy and Mummy's approval. I hope they remember that the evil they approved and condoned today will surely haunt them tomorrow! It is not a curse; whatever a man sows, he will reap. Ntchewwww!


I stood befuddled before the looking glass and …and beheld Mankind
PainFULL. Gracelessly, Artlessly, Needlessly -
Doing eternal penance for Adam’s fleeting feebleness.

(What feebleness do you relish today,
For which your children will do penance tomorrow?)

Every man bears his private purgatory beneath his tensile nerves,
Twanged by Time and Chance at Life’s sadistic pleasure.
The babe is reluctantly persuaded, furiously squalling, 
Out of the womb-man, keenly conscious of the penance that 
Only another womb – a cold callous womb
Will propitiate in that much dreaded final sleep.

I look beyond face-fences into face-mirrors, and I see 
Fear. I see Lies. I see Delusion. That abominable carnal front!
It was too poignant, the way mankind
Hugged the darkness so tightly to himself; 
Seeking sweet solace, ever so elusive
In famished splendours,
When the Light was so refreshing and restful!

They say we are all hypocrites 
But I say we are stout defenders of our feeble fortresses
On many fearful, feeble fronts; failing fallaciously: feeling and falling!
Yes, falling as many others fell, who felt rather than focused:
Millennia beyond count ago:

Lucifer and his Ego-god
Bedazzled Eve and the Forbidden Fruit
Besotted Adam and his darling Eve
Abraham and the Egyptian maid
Esau and the aromatic Pottage
David and alluring Bathsheba
Solomon and his hunger for more
Nebuchadnezzar and his Great Statue
Judas of Iskar and the 30 glittering pieces of silver …

…I lost count until I arrived at You and Me
Oh, what Achilles’ heel we nurse, 
Bruised, Battered, Embarrassed and Embittered
When we lost focus of Focus:

“Father, if thou be willing, 
Remove this cup from me: 
Nevertheless not my will, 
But Thine, be done.”

The Lamb bore Hell in Himself, who had no tensile nerves
That we through His private purgatory might be at Rest.
He paid the price till it was finished.
What needless penance we pay, 
When we do not focus on His urgent, patient voice!

© jimi jiboye, january 2014
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