WHO AM I?


It’s a question I always ask myself, not because I am not sure of who I am but because I need to keep me in check. Directing that question at you, I know some of you might probably answer: I am an Accountant, I am a Photographer, etc. Of course I know you are, also that is not the answer I am looking for. The expected answer goes deeper than that; it’s leads to more of questions like what do you stand for & why are you here.

What do you stand for?
“A man that stands for nothing will most likely fall for anything”…. Are you the type that is known to always compromise at the mention of naira bills, or are you the type that says no when what you actually meant to day was Yes. As an individual, your value system must be upright. Not to allow you worry your head too much, Value systems are set of ideals that guide your behaviour. It gives your life purpose and structure (which I think most of us lack as an individual and ultimately as a nation) to determine what are important to you.

Value system can be divided into four main subordinate; personal values, spiritual values, family values and career values but there some characteristics a person with good value system must exhibit which I will like to talk about.

Integrity:
Integrity is how trustworthy and honest you are. People have to know what to expect from you; that whatever you say will be as said except of course an act of God derail it. You are
expected to act right under any circumstances. These are people we want in leadership positions in our country.

Loyalty:
Loyalty is commitment to a cause or person. Whatever the times are, (good or bad) you have to be someone that can be counted on for necessary support needed. When the going gets tough, you are there to walk it out and when its celebration time too, you
are there to dig it.

Responsibility:
Someone who is responsible will definitely be dependable and reliable and will readily be accountable for who he is and what he does. They believe they have a heavenly obligation to help others and make the world a better place.

Respect:
Respect is regard for the feelings or rights of
others. When you respect others, you will treat them with all fairness
and courtesy required. You will do to them, what you want done to you.
All these mentioned above leads me to the other part; why are you here?

Why are you here?
No matter what value you and I choose to live by, it is very important we take a look at the big picture. (The big picture being God’s plan for our life) You see for me I don’t think we are just created to have weight and occupy space like matter. I don’t think all we are created for is being an Accountant or a Photographer but in addition to whatever our title is, we have a message from heaven to deliver here. Each and every one of us is a piece in God’s main agenda. We all have to find our purpose in that plan and fulfill it.

You might be wondering what inspired this article, it was the fact that everywhere I go in this country, nothing seem to be working the way its suppose to. But I feel if we all could be purpose driven and ask what we can do to make our country better and not what our country can do for us, only then will the change we so desire come upon us.

P.S: Nigeria will be built by Nigerians for Nigerians, so STAND UP and
be counted as someone who has done his part. May GOD RENEW & REFORM
NIGERIA!!!

Yours truly Nigerian,
Babalola Michael Tayo.

YORUBA MEN ARE COWARDS


I recently photographed a wedding in Warri, Delta State. It was a union of two different ethnic groups: Yoruba (Groom) & Delta (Bride). The church service started an hour later than planned and seemed like we were going to be in the service forever; perhaps I felt uneasy because I had not eaten breakfast.

It happened when the pastor was preaching his sermon to the new couple. I was so tired and hungry that I didn’t know when I slept off. Perhaps because I was confident that my two assistants would still cover what I miss. Suddenly, I awoke to a loud affirmative revelation uttered by the pastor of the church: YORUBA MEN ARE COWARDS!!! I was shocked. Did he just say what I think he said. He was “encouraging” the husband to learn to stand and protect his new wife in troubled times. The example of a challenging time he gave is “when armed robbers come visiting”. He mentioned that a Yoruba man will flee in the presence of armed robbers and forget his wife. I’m not too sure I got the point he was trying to make. Perhaps the new wife understood what the Pastor meant.

I’m not sure he remembered that the groom he was uniting in holy matrimony was a Yoruba man. I wondered if Yoruba men attend such a church. But then I was quick to remember that there were multitudes of churches to choose from in the oil-rich state. I was able to take pictures of over 2 dozen churches while sitted in a fast-moving bus on my way to the traditional wedding; a 20-minute journey.

I felt that was too derogatory a statement to be uttered on the altar of a church. I wondered what the mindset of the members of the church would be like. I wonder what their perspective of Yoruba men will be. More importantly, I wondered how a city filled with so many churches (almost 1 in every 6 buildings…on average) hadn’t experienced a level of development you would associate with a city where God abides. I wondered within….and felt sorry for people who think that they are better than others.

I didn’t know when I left the church auditorium (before the end of his sermon) to go get myself something to eat. Perhaps if I ate some food, my backward thinking Yoruba mindset will make good meaning of what the Pastor just declared in church. Maybe I was just upset because I was (& still am) a Yoruba man.

And we are supposed to be the Light of the World…the Salt of the earth. May God help me not to be a coward. May God help us all.

UPDATE: November 10, 2013
Some people (especially members of the church) are probably mad at me for posting such about their pastor. My goal isnt to bring down anyone. I write because I feel its one way I can address issues I feel we need to address. Its easy to be quick to defend someone for behaving or thinking in a particular way but my appeal is for us to be conscious of the fact that what we say or do affects ultimately how people behave or think. My goal isnt just to defend the Yorubas; my goal is to address the same similar mindsets that some Yorubas have towards the Igbo or Hausas. Especially if we call ourselves “Christians”, we should be conscious of the derogatory statements we make towards other tribes (whether or not we’re joking). Some Yoruba Christians I know consider themselves of a higher caliber of Human Specie when compared to a Hausa “Mallam” or a Black American. Buttom line is for us to review how/what we think about other people through the microscope of God’s eyes. So be it if I make enemies for discussing such a sensitive issue. For anyone getting angry at the pastor, just stop and ask yourself if the way you behave (or think) towards a set of people is the way Jesus will treat them (e.g. house helps, gatemen/security guards, cooks, drivers, mallams, Ijebu people, Americans, etc).