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Don’t Stop the Dream!

I realized that there is practically no cause for anything without dreams, either to sleep or to wake, talk of living or even dying. I came to a conclusion that to dream is so far a basic right and no one should be denied that privilege.

They say every struggle has an end but somehow the end of one, opens the door to another.
In fact, they said I will rest but I am still waiting for that time of rest. Maybe I’ll find it someday.


I have barely grown and I am already tired of the different aspects of life. In my opinion, I thought life had just three stages but apparently, embedded in those three stages are phases unending. So what exactly is the reason for all these struggles?


I envy people when I see things falling in place naturally for them, I would always wonder what they did differently. The only response I got was, everyone has a different map here in this world. But then again, I’ll ask, who charted my own map? Why can’t my own map also be very easy and let things fall smoothly without much stress and hustle? Why does everything have to be struggled for?


I have always been a dreamer but suddenly, I was told to stop dreaming and start living out the ones I have dreamt. So, I was told to stop dreaming but then,was still forced to sleep every now and then. So, I wonder, how is it possible for me to sleep and not dream?

I became locked up in my thought and asked one day if anyone has ever thought about why we wake every morning. Well, maybe I’d leave you to also find answers to the question.


They said I dream so much that I became so weird and unpredictable. It was even concluded that I no longer live in this world but in the world of my dreams. Please, where else should I live? I discovered that even though I haven’t achieved much of my dreams, I have started working towards them. These dreams gave me a new direction to look through.


It’s funny today whenever I look at the chart of my journey and see how a trained mathematics educator became a media professional and thrives in the world of contents. So, was mathematics a wrong option? No.

I could remember I had personally wanted to study mathematics because I wanted to correct the mentality of young minds about mathematics. So many people today run from mathematics because they feel it is for a specific group of people and it is difficult. A big thanks to some teachers who nurtured such beliefs.

Frankly speaking, I still work towards that dream but along realizing that dream, another one was birth forth. Then, I ask this question endlessly; what is the essence of dream?

So then, does the birth of another dream implies the suspension of the first dream of impacting young minds? Never!
The former keeps pushing me and gives me so much joy whenever I work towards it, the latter helps me find expression and it passes my messages across, what do I do?

I realized that there is practically no cause for anything without dreams, either to sleep or to wake, talk of living or even dying. I came to a conclusion that to dream is so far a basic right and no one should be denied that privilege.

Abigael Ibikunle, 2017
Don’t stop the dream!

They are both dreams and even though they are almost parallel somehow, they can be knitted together depending on the way we view them.


No dream is impossible to achieve regardless of the situation surrounding the realization of such dream.

Abigael Ibikunle, 2017

Whether to live out a dream becoming extremely difficult due to resources or bumping into another dream that tends to snatch the first away, every dream has to be realized regardless. And yes, you need to keep the focus and surround yourself with the right atmosphere that allows you work towards it.


You do everything humanly possible rightly to achieve your dreams even if it means temporary denial of some benefits that comes along with the dreams just to keep the focus. If it seems as if forces or vices won’t allow you realize your dreams, change the path!Only you know your dream, others may only have an idea of what your dream looks like.


Let me take time to answer the previous question I asked about why we wake up every morning. Well, it is very simple! It is because there is no point to anything without dreams. The dreams you dream while sleeping(birthing stage) needs to be realized when you wake up.

What it simply means is that, you don’t have to change your destination because of anyone. It is your basic right to dream, the worst you can do is to change your route!

So, here’s the point,
I know so many people out there are tired of dreaming or even working to achieve their dreams. Of course, being a girl child or a boy child is a whole lot to absorb already. However, it could be because it’s not coming forth or because there are so many forces against the realization.

But your dream is the only thing you have that keeps you going even in the midst of hard times. So, why stop dreaming because of barriers? Don’t give up your dreams because of anyone or anything!

It’s your basic right and you owe it to yourself to achieve that much as you dream. I get tired of wanting to try sometimes too but I have never stopped trying and I think you shouldn’t as well.

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Abbyz World

This is the post excerpt.

Communication has over the years become an art. Everyone communicates. The burden to express my thoughts without necessarily clamouring for just ears to share them with became so strong.

I wanted to talk, my immediate audience suddenly became small to accommodate my everyday tale. I have an untold story that I want to share with the world.

I want to help fellows who have untold story to tell by digging deep into their thoughts, drawing inspiration and reaching out to the mass.

What is your story?

post

Children are natural talkers, don’t shun them!

You see, children are natural great talkers. The interesting but funny thing however is, they do not know whether you’re in the mood to listen or not. As far as they’re concerned, they just want to talk, express themselves at the moment.

Children are natural talkers, don’t shun them- AT

Recently, I had cause to keep some children in my house when they got back from school because their mothers were not home while they were dropped from school. As a neutral person, I didn’t think it was an issue helping them, at least that would keep them from staying in the sun.

However, few minutes in my house, I realized the gravity of my thoughtlessness in rendering such assistance. As a virtual assistant, I work mostly from home and so I was always home, busy with my system or doing one thing or the other. I cherish my privacy, serenity and most importantly quietness like no man’s business. But, how can I even enjoy all these with two playful children and one who wouldn’t even stop crying. Gosh! I felt like screaming my mind out.

Suddenly, I remembered the times I visited my sister and had to stay with my niblings whenever my sister and her husband went out. Ah, ah! The reality hit differently. Of course, it was uncomfortable at first but I soon got used to them. Their endless talks bored me but for my sanity, I would keep my cool and give listening ears. Later, it started becoming interesting and enjoyable because I started relating with their talks, in their levels. In simple words, I also became a small child to understand how they felt. And in no time, we were buddies. Whenever I made to leave, their questions would be, when are you coming back? I would smile and say, very soon!

Why all these tales? You see, children are natural great talkers. The interesting but funny thing however is, they do not know whether you’re in the mood to listen or not. As far as they’re concerned, they just want to talk, express themselves at the moment. Will they end up boring you with their talks? Of course! Do you then shun them? Of course, not. So, what should you do? Good question!

You see, every adult was once a child and so you must understand that children are wired like that. It’s an exciting phase for them and how you manage that phase determines what they turn out to be. If a child would remain outspoken, it is dependent on how you manage their curiosity. Shunning an excited child who is trying to explore curiosity, openness or even confidence is teaching s/he to withdraw and keep to himself or herself.

Someone would probably say, you do not know how my normal day is. My child always wants to talk at the wrong time. Well, there is never a wrong time to talk or give a listening ear to a child no matter how irrelevant you think the talks are. What can you do instead? You can start by showing interest in the talk and then try to persuade such child for further discussion later when you’re less busy. That way, you have given the child a listening impression even in your very busy situation. Children understand signals and they read your non-verbal cues as well.

You also have to ensure it’s not a usual escape route. Sometimes, be patient till the end and nod even when you can’t comprehend what they’re saying. That way, you make them feel welcomed to discuss anything with you. Do you have an inquisitive child? Is your child bugging you with endless talks? Try the listening method instead of the shunning method. You will discover that with time, you will enjoy their talks. And, you will be the one to miss them when they’re not talking.

Children are natural talkers, don’t shut them out by shunning them. Give them a listening ear.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Dear Woman

You see, while the original plan is to see that both complete the other, it does not mean that the whole life of one should revolve around the other. At least, before the coming together, there was life and coming together should not stop life individually but strengthen it.

Dear woman, it is such a pleasure to write to you. Women are such a wonderful godly creature empowered to make exploits but often times, limited even by themselves because they tend to build their world around a wrong source. One of my big sisters would always say that most problem a woman go through is connected to one man somewhere. A man that was in her life, presently in her life or would soon walk into her life. It then becomes a pity because somehow, as strong and empowered as most women are, they still believe that a man makes their world complete. Needless to say, that, even some of the very strong independent ones also start building their world around men when they finally let their guards down.

Then, the questions would be; is it wrong to let a man into your space? Since when does loving a man and selflessly supporting a man becomes a crime? What does relationship (whatever type) with a man translate to, for a man, and for a woman? Women and men are wired differently, hence the thought and process method differs. While a woman can almost loose herself in the process of trying to be there for him, thus, sacrificing so many things in the process just to ensure that her man is very much okay, a man doesn’t even see much of that because that his brain processes things differently.

I know you’re probably wondering if I am trying to say that men are insensitive or unloving, not at all. They are very loving but you see, they interpret their love in a different way. Unlike women, men are not wired to do so many things or process so many things at the same time. So, their energy is focused on one thing at a time. And if you are lucky to find yourself a very hardworking man, then you’re in for it. Then, the next question would be, has it become a crime to love a very hardworking man? On the contrary, it is the best as long as you can make the best of the situation.

A hardworking man is mostly a workaholic and builds his world around his job/work as the case may be.  So, for most of his time, he dedicates it to his job. Whenever he can, he makes time for his family and tries to make up. Often times, his woman may not even understand this process. Hence, she will keep complaining of lack of attention, especially if unconsciously she has built her world around him. The woman on the other hand, would be just fine if she focused less on him in terms of dependence and got actively engaged with other aspects of her life.

You see, while the original plan is to see that both complete the other, it does not mean that the whole life of one should revolve around the other. At least, before the coming together, there was life and coming together should not stop life individually but strengthen it. Let me say that doing nothing before getting entangled to a man would only make your life more miserable than it was before your coming together. Your man before marriage does not owe you any fulfilment of obligation or responsibilities. He may choose to do it, but he is not obligated to do it. Understand this, and you’re one step happier.

Also, that you’re married does not automatically mean he becomes your burden bearer. What truly makes a man happy is not even marriage but sense of fulfilment and placement in his place of work or job. Primarily, a hardworking man’s life revolves around his job. So, even marriage cannot change that over the night. Depending on the nature of his job/work, if he’ll be able to balance both, as a woman you have a role to play. Remember, the thought process differs so complaints won’t even do it. So, get yourself together and get involved both in his job/work and also something that makes you happy.

Getting busy will not only help you but it will keep your mind of several thoughts that may not even be true in the first place. Remember, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. First, with full understanding that a woman is a home builder, you know that the destiny of the home rests on your shoulder. Can you carry it alone and not get weary? Big question if you ask me. But in reality, you can’t. No woman can and that’s because despite the abilities and strong will you may possess; you will definitely get weary at some point. The weight on your shoulder determines how early you get weary. So, you need help! In fact, every woman needs help. I am not talking about physical help now because physical helps can get exhausted too.

You see, whoever will go far in life needs a divine backing. Every successful person in the world has some sort of a spiritual backing. It could either be from God or from the devil. And most times, you can always tell the difference. So, I’m guessing you already can tell which help is of greater good for you. I don’t know about you but if I’ll advise you, I’d say you should extend a hand of invitation to God. He is the surest help you can get.

When it gets dicey, rough, rosy, and even clumsy, with this help, you know what exactly to do at every point in time. You have the right response to every situation; you know the right reaction for every action. You know when to pray instead of a dialogue, you know when to smile instead of a response. As a matter of fact, you become a mystery your man wants to unravel because you balance it all and make the home a safe haven.

Would you rather seek this help? Or would you keep trying to figure things out yourself? Well, if you have made up your mind to seek this help, congratulations to you! Just say these words of faith and watch what happens next to your life and home.

Dear Jesus, I accept that I am helpless and I need the surest help. Please, come and be my guide from now henceforth. I don’t want to struggle to figure out anything. Please, come be my backup so I can function in the capacity of a home builder as you have called me. So, help me Lord.

Well, there you go! Your help is here! I’d love to read your thoughts on this in the comment section.

Life As It Appears to You!

Often times, we wonder why we live the kind of life we live. Many times, we challenge the status quo and put in effort to live better than the moment but it often does not always last. if you ask me why, I’d say it is because the decision to put more effort mostly primarily stems up from comparison. Now, comparison in itself is not bad, provided it is self assessment of where you were and where you ought to be. It becomes an issue when you start engaging in peer comparison.

The truth is, life is different with everyone and it comes as various shades to every individual. While to some, it is a light shade and every process is clear and simple, to some others, it is a cloudy shade and requires a great deal of patience to see through the process.

Regardless of your kind of shade, it is a blessing that you can read through this because you come to understand that your situation is not entirely strange but only peculiar. Thus, peculiar situation requires special attention and effort before it is appreciated. While you can navigate through on your own, the manual for easy navigation is the Creator’s written words to everyone.

Who understands a product better than the manufacturer? I guessed your response as much. So, whatever form life appears to you, remember it appears to several others in different forms. Enjoying and navigating life smoothly starts with accepting the peculiarity of your life, identifying the best ways to navigate it and seeking for help from the manufacturer and the ones he’s placed ahead of you.

Hope this helps someone today!

My Life, My Words- The Emergence!

When your motivation comes from within and not from people, then you would not want to feel less of yourself.

MY LIFE, MY WORDS

Everyone has a story to tell. We all have at some point in time wished we could air our experiences. But the question remains: Is there someone out there, who is really interested in listening to the one who has not been made, one who is not a celebrity, though full of potentials but still fighting the battle of survival? My middle name is Oluwatobi and I will be taking you on a smooth ride of my life experience.

Growing up was not much of a fun for me. I never had the opportunity to do things most children did. Going to the beach, malls were out of my league. Life became meaningful to me when my family relocated to another environment. I became more accountable for the things I did. Being an intelligent, honest and respectful girl, I earned the respect and trust of both young and old. Blessed with very good oratory skills, people enjoyed conversing with me.

I was often referred to as a counselor by my mates, a very good listener by older mates. To be honest, I do not know how it usually happen but somehow, I always have a solution to any issue brought before me. I became a lantern that sees into other people’s darkness but could barely light up its own space.

I became a lantern that sees into other people’s darkness but could barely light up its own space.

How can I not have at least one person I can appear to as weak and not always be the strong shelter and solace that people look up to? How can I be happy for people and not with myself? The worst thing that can happen to you is not to be able to help yourself. I am smart but not too fortunate in terms of abundance of possessions and so life became a competition. I had to earn whatever I need whether material, position or even attention.

I could remember vividly my very good friend. Her life was opposite. She was beautiful, also intelligent, lovable and was from not wealthy but very comfortable home. She practically gets whatever she wanted without having to compete for it or earn it. We were very good friends, we loved each other, she tells me so many things and viceversa. All the while, she saw me as a strong person because I was full of life. What she never knew was that I had a weakness I was struggling with and sometimes wished I could appear weak in front of her.

To her, I was a best friend. She would tell me how her Dad got her so many things, how boys would crave for her attention and of course happy for her, I would wonder why my case was different.

My belief: “life is a competition” made me have standards which was to always be among the top three wherever I found myself. I always did not stop until I’ve achieved that standard. With this, many wanted to be friends and be associated with me because of who I am and not what I am. Despite this, it still did not dawn on me that what I had was intangible resources and not the tangible ones I craved for.

So all the while, I struggled with low self esteem and my friend although she did not, know made matters worse. I died within daily. I envied girls who didn’t measure up to me in excellence but had people flock around them still. I wished I was them not knowing they wished they were me.

“Different strokes for different folks”.

I lived on for years like that. How I broke free completely from low self esteem was a miracle, a deal breaker. Actually, I had attended a seminar and the whole message was “You are unique just the way you are”.

Getting back home, I told myself “Oluwatobi, you are God’s best creature”. I never stopped saying beautiful things about myself. When anyone says anything to make me feel bad, I tell the person, “that’s your own opinion”. I built a strong wall around my heart and decided what would and would not get there.

Gradually, I started discovering my uniqueness, my eyes began to open to more strengths and with time, I took an inner selfie of myself. It was at this time I understood why everyone had weaknesses and strengths and their importance. I got to know that while our strengths are there to make, build and announce us, our weaknesses are there to remind us that we are humans.

I realised that the best abilities of a man is discovered in his most fragile state. It made me appreciate my intangible resources.

Abigael Ibikunle 2017

I had always thought that it is only talking I could do since I am a very good orator, I never knew I could write as well. Now my writeups have announced me even more. Today, I am a proud educator, writer and a role model to so many young minds. Writing pays my bills. Friends and even colleagues reach out for one contents work related or the other.

When your motivation comes from within and not from people, then you would not want to feel less of yourself.

Abigael Ibikunle 2017

So here’s the point:

Life is a free gift of nature and everyone is created for a specific purpose with an allocation to fulfil that purpose. We all have strengths and weaknesses which is what reminds us that we are are humans and are far from being perfect.

Abigael Ibikunle 2017

Breaking free from low self esteem starts with accepting and loving yourself for who you are regardless of what you may be at the moment.

The moment you realise that you are an express image of God (the best of your kind), you will be free from low self esteem.

You will understand and realise that low self esteem was never part of the plan of your life, it just crept in because you did not know who you are.

So, please do me a favour, look inward and find that special thing about you. Develop it to turn your world around because you are different, you are special and you are great.

Please, talk to me in the comment section. I want to know how this has inspired, encouraged or even motivated you.

Abigael Ibikunle is a lover of people and life.. Anything and everything can trigger her writing. She is a passionate Teacher, enjoys Public Speaking and Writing is her sense of expression. She can be reached via: abigaelibikunle@gmail.com

Relating with People

As we get older in life, we network with people from different socio-cultural background and that comes with various beliefs, principles, lifestyles…

Many of us have lived our lives based on our background and upbringing. This has however, influenced our mentality and perspective so much that adjusting becomes an issue. Perhaps, I should stress the issue, like say a very big issue. Transition in life is expedient and it comes in many ways. So, what happens when things that naturally won’t be an issue becomes one? We have become so addicted to the norm that we fail to observe the new environment, circumstances, situations, people, etc., around us. We just keep living our lives as if nothing has changed.


Everyone knows that change, a variable, yet a major constant in our world today. Don’t mind me, my mathematics background will always want to show itself. Smile. Every stage comes with a new package that we are supposed to be conversant with. Still, majority still live in the shadow of their past and complain of not progressing.

As we get older in life, we network with people from different socio-cultural background and that comes with various beliefs, principles, lifestyles. Thus, if you must get along well, you must let go of SELF. Okay, by SELF, I innocently mean to become more flexible in your thinking.

Abigael Ibikunle 2018


It, therefore, becomes apposite for you to ignore some things in order to welcome certain things which will give you the ability to forbear other things. Forbearing doesn’t mean loss or foolishness but it opens your eyes and build you collaborative spirit. And this in turns sets you in a place where nothing comes back to you as a surprise.

Moreover, every adjustment cum transition comes in with loads of pleasant and unpleasant surprises. These surprises can however not be overemphasised.

While I continue my lecture, let me ask you this question.

Are you attentive to these signs when relating with people?

When we talk of attentiveness, it is not only needful in work. It is usable in everything that concerns us. Talk of paying the slightest attention to feelings, reactions, the silent but very loud words, loud but extremely silent responses. Name them. Try not to be blind to gestures and reactions when relating with people.

As an individual, you should know when you’re wanted and when you’re needed. You should be attentive to know when you are welcomed when you visit.

Be very observant to know when you are not welcomed in a place. This may not often be because you did something bad. It could simply be because, at that point, the atmosphere staring at you depicts an invasion or disruption of privacy.

The signs and signals are always evident in countenance and reactions. Still, some people will just deliberately be the humans that they are. And this in turn causes discomfort to others.

How well do you know when your talks disturb a person than please them? You should know these things. Learn to observe!

When your presence bores someone, you shouldn’t need anyone to tell you to excuse yourself. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you, it only tells you that they appreciate your absence at that time more than your presence. It’s basic logic.

If we all understood basic communication tips, life would be a better place to live. But then, that would also make the world a very boring place to live. Hahahaha!

So, here’s the point,

You would probably be wondering why this lecture. Some can read the signs, some can’t. A number of people can draw the line, some cannot. It goes a long way to show our uniqueness and differences as individuals. Some will become deliberate in their effort to be attentive to feelings, countenances, reactions, silence and many more things there is to be attentive to. But guess what, those that will still remain blind will still be. My free advice, speak out when their excesses becomes intolerable for you.

It is not a crime not to know that you’re doing something that causes discomfort or invasion. The crime is when you are made to realise and you do nothing about it. A very big kudos to those who understand these major aspects of communication. Thumbs up to those who are making effort to be better at it, even in terms of expression.

Play when there is need to and refrain yourselves when the need arises. Know when to play, visit, talk carelessly, loosen up in another person’s domicile and space.

Pay attention to know when to excuse yourself even if you just stepped in, when to drop a call even if you just made the call.

Abigael Ibikunle 2018

Be sensitive to know when to reject an attractive offer and when to accept an unpresentable offer. Know when to smile and when to be uptight. Excuse me, know when your presence is needed and appreciated and when it discomforts people.

Finally, my people, we are all humans and lasslass, we will all be alright.
Thank you for journeying with me on this lecture. Smile! Hope it made sense? Please, share your thoughts on this piece.

Oh, My Father’s Chicks!

Oh my Father’s Chicks😢😢

My father has chicks that he takes care of. Very lovely set of chicks that has attracted the attention of every neighbor that saw them.

They have gotten so fond of each other that my father sees these chicks even in his dream🤣🤣🤣
I am not the type that plays with pets. I can’t even touch the chicks not to talk of the hen or cock.😅😅

So, all I do is to watch and admire my father and his chicks. And trust me, the sight is always so adorable.
My father and these chicks have become so familiar that he senses their needs from his dream.

Interestingly, when he wakes up to go see them, the chicks are already at our doorpost🤣🤣🤣🤣. What a love! Since I can’t play with them like he does, I would tease him that his pets are calling him o😅😅.

My Father sits with these chicks when they’re eating to shield them from the bigger ones that may want to disturb them. Simply put, my father was their saviour.


Fast forward to today, It was about to rain😢😢. My father was however, enjoying his sleep in his room and the chicks were helpless. Usually, when it was about to rain like that, he would lead them to their own apartment and ensure the rain didn’t touch them.


Unfortunately, my father, who was their shield was fast asleep and no one to cater for them🌚🌚. Please don’t blame me, I can’t go near them at all🙄🙄.

They toured the whole house looking for my Father but he was nowhere in sight😢😢😢 Poor chicks!


Although, I couldn’t help them, I would ocasionally go sneak a peep at my Father, just maybe he would at least wake up from his sleep and come save his chicks. But every time, I found him sleeping peacefully.🤣🤣🤣🤣 I’d simply say, if only, he could just wake up to help these chicks.


After a while, I couldn’t help the tears as they rolled down my cheeks😢😢😢 watching the helpless cheeks. Their saviour was sleeping and they’re helpless🤣🤣🤣. What a pity! After a while, I had to call my mum to come help them. At least, she could carry them🌚🌚


I had been closely monitoring the chicks so I knew where they were at each point. I called my mother to help out. They were already getting drenched alil by the time I took my mum to where they were. Surprisingly, they were already headed to their own house, but the door was locked.😅😅😅


My mum and I made effort to carry them inside their house😅😅. It was while we were there that my father woke up🤣🤣🤣🤣 What a sleep!
All the while, he didn’t know it was raining. My father said he was really sleepy.


I said, “of course, you needed it.”


Only then, did he remember his chicks🤣🤣🤣🤣

As much as he loved this chicks, he couldn’t help them when they needed him because his body also needed him to sleep. Then, it means he has failed those chicks at that time.


On what is your trust laid? What foundation do you rest on?

When the chicks needed my Father, who always looked out for them, he was sleeping😅😅


There is a Father, who neither sleeps nor slumber. He wouldn’t allow any harm to come near you. Do you know this Father? Do you have him in your life?


Men will get tired and sleep when their body demands it. If you doubt me, go ask security men🌚🌚

You can, however, have a Father who will never sleep and will always look out for you. A father who will always put you first. His name is Jesus and His arms are wide open🤗🤗🤗 waiting for you to run into his arms.


Basically, I have an earthly Father who caters to my needs according to his capacity. But you see, I have an heavenly Father,🤗🤗🤗. He caters to all the needs that my earthly Father cannot meet. And guess what, when my earthly Father gets tired and he’s sleeping, My heavenly Father neither sleeps nor slumber.


How does it feel having two Fathers looking out for you?😅😅😅. I am Abigael Ibikunle. And I’m pleased to inform you that Jesus is my Heavenly Father🥰🥰🥰


Don’t be like my father’s chicks whose trust is in man. Man will always fail but you see that Father in heaven, He never fails.

And he has so much rooms to accommodate the whole world regardless of what you have been.


Oh My father’s chicks!!!

Hope you enjoyed my story though?😅😅

My NYSC Chronicles- Episode 2

The Long Trip

So, I got to the office and said goodbye to my boss and then my colleagues. Goodbyes could be very hard to say at times. Minutes turned into hours and hours into days and it was finally Wednesday. Camp officially opens on Thursday so I had to travel on Wednesday since I was going by road.

 

I had met some guys on a virtual platform and we were supposed to move together on Wednesday. So, we booked our ticket for 3pm to enable us get to kano by Thursday morning. I finally packed my things and headed for the park. Getting to the park, I got to meet the virtual friends we have been planning our trip together.
One-two! I bought my ticket and got my seat number. Other commuters came and bought their tickets. However, the bus scheduled to leave by 3pm didn’t leave until 6:10pm. My friend had already informed me that he arrived his own camp that same Wednesday. And that he got a place to sleep over till Thursday when camp would be officially opened for registration. What a trip! The bus was dominated by more of prospective Corp members (PCM) going to Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina etc. There also some Hausas who were either returning to their place or going to buy things.

 
The bus had barely got moving when the PCMs in the bus got everyone cracking. There were the crazy ones, the calm ones, the notice me ones and the too-know types. It was obviously my first time travelling such long distance and boarding a luxurious bus. I had mixed feelings and just went to my solo-mode, which was observing. After travelling for about 5 hours, people started keeping quiet. Those who had their phones fully charged, had their earphones plugged to their ears. They were either listening or watching one thing or the other.

 
Yeah! I remember this particular lady who was so pressed and wouldn’t let anyone rest. She kept pleading with the driver to stop, but then who stops a bus just in the middle of nowhere in the night? She paced about and had everyone pitying her and as sweet as it sounded, all she got was pity-share pity! If you have boarded a luxurious bus before, you would know what I am talking about.

 
The driver and his assistant were literarily in a different world of their own. Worst still, he was listening to very loud ‘gbedu’ and was in cloud 9. So, the woman who was pressed tried to knock to get the driver’s attention.

 

Unfortunately, all she got was a sorry statement that the driver cannot just stop at just any place. She was told that it would amount to endangering the lives of other passengers. Finally, we got to Akure shortly after we passed FUTA, the driver halted at a filling station.
Everyone who needed to do one thing or the other did what they wanted to do.

 

Those who needed to ease themselves did; those who wanted to buy some things bought; those who needed to stretch their feet did and everyone felt good all over again. I didn’t waste time to ease myself, bought one or two things and stretched my feet. In 30 mins, the driver commenced the journey and everyone was back to their seats.
As a free being that I am, I particularly told the driver that he was the only one enjoying his music. He apologized and increased the volume so that as the journey continued, everyone was enjoying the music. By now, I had accepted my seat partner and we conversed once in a while.

 

He obviously didn’t understand English at all. Unfortunately for me, all my friends were at the back. So, I stuck to my phone and when I couldn’t use my phone for lack of battery, I decided to just meditate on the life ahead.
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It was now past 1am in the middle of the night and I was not even thinking of sleeping at all. Let’s just say I was scared to death and crazy thoughts were creeping in. Lol! I had thoughts like; what if the driver slept off while driving and he entered the bush? What if armed robbers stopped the bus and collected our stuffs? What if there was an accident? So many what ifs and as soon as any crazy thoughts crept in, I would immediately pray against it. Still, I couldn’t sleep.
The part that worsened the scenario the most was the fact that I couldn’t even see outside clearly. The times I saw outside, it was just bushes and I couldn’t help but wonder how the driver wasn’t scared or didn’t feel sleepy. Ah! Now, I remember why he wasn’t feeling sleep at all. I had wondered why anyone would sleep so carelessly.

 

Earlier that day I boarded, I entered the bus and met a fat man sleeping and sweating profusely yet enjoying his sleep. He was so engrossed in his sleep so much that he didn’t take cognizance of his immediate environment. I figured why when he stood up about an hour to departure and went to the steering- oh! He was the driver.
The journey continued for another 3 hours and then the tire got punctured and in fact, tore. Mo gbe! In the early hours of the morning? I thought they checked this bus well before we left. Sebi I saw them servicing and checking the bus? Besides, didn’t they say that Ezenwata don’t always have issues on the road? Lobatan! I just hope they fix this as soon as possible so we can leave this deadly zone. Me and my crazy thoughts!

 

Okay, you need to know that I am really very spiritual, I pray, I kabash.
I even fast as well but somehow, these thoughts crept in because it was my first time travelling on a night journey. I was scared but still went out to stretch my feet, eased myself and quickly got in before the tire was replaced. So, the journey continued and those who wanted to sleep continued their sleep.

 

It was now morning and so, I could also sleep. I enjoyed my sleep now because all through the night I couldn’t sleep since I wasn’t used to sleeping in the bus even at night. We finally got to Kaduna where the first set of PCMs amongst us alighted.

 
Another driver took over the wheels. I was already fully awake despite the very short sleep I had. Everyone had stretched their feet and those who needed to ease themselves and also buy things ensured they did. And by now, my friend had already messaged me that he was through with his registration. In fact, he was the first. In my mind, I was just saying lucky him!
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Immediately the new driver took over the wheels, I went to meet him and told him we were Corp members and that we were going to the nysc camp ground. He immediately said he would notify us when it was time for us to alight. After another 3 hours drive, we finally alighted and the taxi drivers were waiting to take us to wherever we were going.

To be continued…

Memories

Memories are beautiful, it brings to mind so many things. While mouths can be used to express innate feelings, there is yet another instrument that captures the feelings best. For the shy lovers; it is a shield, for distant relatives; it is a help, for the scholars; it is a bank, and for the new generation youths; it is gold. The PEN- the Powerful Energetic Neuron

….

Teachers are Builders!

As a teacher, it’s not news that there are several students with individual differences in our classes. In fact, as a speaker, the feeling is mutual. Whether as a teacher or a speaker, you are faced with audiences with different levels of cognition.

And sometimes, you can’t help but wonder why some students are exceptionally brilliant and some are exceptionally unresponsive. This goes a very long way to explain the role of individual differences of students and audience. But further more to buttress how it affects teaching and learning.

I met a young champ some seven years ago and it was at the lowest point of his life. He was in basic 2 and couldn’t read at all, even words as low as two-lettered words. The whole pupils in the school knew him and called him names.

It was my first time in the school and fortunately, I was being recruited to teach basic two. The boy was obviously a very stubborn boy. So, it was easy for the whole school to know him. A dull but troublesome boy, who dares him? Smiles!

The proprietress expressed her concern over the boy and all I could do was assure her that I would do my best. It wasn’t the first time I would handle such situation. So somehow, I knew what to do to help the boy. Although, the previous situation was a nursery two boy, their case seemed similar.

I smiled and accepted the offer. One-two! I entered my new class and greeted the pupils. All of them were excited and I smiled and gave them a quick assessment. I normally do this to understand their level and know where I would start.

With the assessment,

I noticed the ‘‘fast but forgetful learners’’, which some teachers call ‘‘crammers’’. I noticed the ‘‘slow but brilliant learners’’, which some would call ‘‘dull’’. And I also noticed the ‘‘indifferent unamused learners’’, which some will call ‘‘bench warmers’’.

So, I smiled and cheered everyone up for a job well done. They all looked at me with a puzzled look but I smiled and once again beckoned on them to relax.

Of course, I was interested in the young boy because every member of the class mattered. Since I was able to categorize them based on my brief assessment, I immediately knew that the boy was a slow learner. The school closed for the day and I called him aside.

Although he was tagged stubborn, he was calm and respectful. I engaged him in a conversation and he responded really well. Interesting! So, what could be wrong? I muttered as I continued my interrogation.

After few rounds of questions, I discovered he was a brilliant boy but a very slow learner. In fact, he had his areas of strength in mathematics. And I got to know that he resulted into bullying and stubbornness as a form of self defense mechanism. But my approach was calm and entirely different from what he was used to. So, he was broken.

Would you like to try merging your letter sounds? I asked.

Yes ma’am!! He responded!

Great then! You will get an exercise book and meet me after your meal at each break.

Is that fine? I asked after giving a warm instruction.

That’s okay with me ma’am! He said.

We both maintained this routine for two weeks. One day, while in class, during a comprehension passage. I asked everyone to read a paragraph each. When it got to my boy’s turn, everyone was expecting him to dodge the process as usual. I smiled and winked at him and silently hoped he would read it well.
Alas! He started reading.

Of course, he was a bit slow and steady but he read every word without mistake. My class was the closest to the proprietress’s office and so she had to come inside to witness what just happened. I had mixed feelings inside me. I am quite emotional and I couldn’t help the tears that flowed. The proprietress gave me a surprised look and then slowly walked back to her office.

Whoever said that good news doesn’t fly. Before I knew it, the whole school heard about it. Ah! I became the topic of discussion in the school. Of course, I didn’t do anything outside the norm. But I turned around the life of a ‘‘supposed stubborn dull boy’’ around.

My boy didn’t just learn how to read, he became very calm and mature. He also became a curious learner and got friendlier as against his bully nature. It was soon time for open day and I got the largest gifts from parents. Every of my pupils had one different touch and it reflected in their composure. My boy is now in senior secondary school and he is doing very fine.

There is no dull pupil, they all just have different capacity to learn. And until you understand your pupil, students, you may never realize the potentials you can make of them. It is one thing to be competent, it is another thing to perform passionately.

Teachers are builders. And as a builder, you have the power to choose the design that best suit a structure. You understand the location and know the best materials to use for each project.

Years later, you either look back and smile because of the successes, words cannot express or you look back and cry because of the damages that can’t be repaired. Why don’t you make up your mind today, to be intentional about your students’ success? No child is dull. Every child deserves your best!