Friday, September 26, 2014

Thank You My Friends

Today I was going through my friend list on Facebook and I came across the name of a classmate of mine back in primary school Tunde Brown, I was about sending him a message when I read through his time line only to discover he died last year, May His soul rest in peace. So this a piece trying to say thank you to friends I have made over the years I have spent on earth, some of whom I have not spoken to or seen in decades. This is dedicated to you all from Sherryville Junior School, Ogba Grammar School, Effective coaching centre, St. Theresa Catholic Church Ifako, Obafemi Awolowo University, and to friends I have made on twitter and everyone out there whom we have met and spent days together.
Looking back over the years I have spent on earth, I have come to realize friends are treasures to keep. They come into your life and leave indelible marks, difficult to overlook or ignore as the months rolls into years, as night becomes day and days gradually give way to night. They became family, counsellors and confidants. Friends who have become brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles. So this is me saying thank you to all my friends, right from my nursery school days, they who made me comfortable and welcomed when I felt like fish out of water; willingly shared their snack with me when my food was thrown into the bin!
Back in primary school (Estate Primary School), I met these great guys who went hunting with me for grasshoppers during the lunch break, we shared our porridge and whatever our money could buy and that coloured sugary water that we called ice cream, we saved our lunch money to buy on our way home! Ekana Gowon, baba dudu and sausage, the cold pito we relished inside the hot sun while walking home.  To many faces and names I cannot remember today, but the days we spent together I have not forgotten. My classmates back in Sherryville when I returned there after a brief stint in a public primary school, Wale, Bukky, Femi, Biola, Tosin and many more to list. Those days when we were interacting we never knew the impact we were having on each other life, today years down the line I remember lessons I learnt from you all, from how to treat a lady (lol) to standing up for myself against bullies.  I am grateful. There was this incident I slid a metal ring unto my finger and I was unable to remove it, I panicked and my cousin came to my rescue, but that finger was bruised kai! I was spanked for getting a metal ring stuck on my finger. Back in secondary school, my first days were interesting. I won’t forget Bukky, she took me around and helped me establish a footing in the school. From learning which part of the school to go fetch my desk that will be carried away whenever it rained, where to buy food during break time and which part of the school to dodge lest I be bullied by the seniors ( thank God I did not attend a boarding school). Friends who gave me their notes to copy, who took their time out to teach me what they had learnt while I was not around. Friends who we walked home together after close of school on a daily basis (Kingsley, Taofeek, Mustapha and Femi). The friends I made in Ablaze for God youth Army, the list is endless but I am glad I met you all, you left me with memories I will forever cherish. Thanks to the Efere family, you guys thought me a lot! The trust your parents expressed in you guys was heart-warming, God bless your mum won’t forget her in a hurry. Happy memories are made when you have friends who accept you with open arms and never stop trying to put a smile on your face. Bernard Oyoyo I wish today I took up the challenge to learn a musical instrument during those days. Thank you room 141 faj guys, you made me appreciate music at another level entirely, Seyi and Bass lines in songs!
Thank you thank you Great Ife Guys, you all too numerous to mention, my classmates (OAU Med school class of 2007) who took time out to watch my back and care for me, I am eternally grateful. I am forever glad to see you guys anytime I have the opportunity. My life is a tapestry of the inputs each and every one of you have had over the course of my life. I have become what I have become because you guys decided to share your life with me. To the friends who have departed this world to the great beyond, my gratitude goes to you. Funke Adegbesan Nee Elusogbon, I cannot forget your friendship, it shaped my life in no small measure. And the friends I have made on twitter, you guys rock!!! I am blessed because I have friends who care, wish I would be a better friend to you all, and wish we will never grow apart with the years, alas we have to, that we may give our friendship to someone out there who needs it.
“True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a deserted island…to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing”- Unknown
“Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives.”- Alexander Dumas
“Friendship is the hardest thing I the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”- Muhammad Ali

Finally, “Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I am glad for that.” Ally Condie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Sometime in July last year during that wet season, when our roads are easily flooded some washed away. I was stopped over in Okene on my way from Abuja were I had gone to bid a friend farewell. A friend who resisted joining the brain-drain bludgeoning this country of mine daily. I logged into my twitter account and there I saw a tweet from Pa Ikhide, he was in Nigeria, not just in Nigeria he was right there in my ‘backyard’ he came to see Papalolo who had taken ill but sadly passed on a year later after fighting every inch of the way, to stay alive. I was happy and immediately sent him a message I will be coming to see him where he was lodged and that was how I came to know Izuma, a woman that represents dedication, hard work and unending faith in the good that can come out of the most impossible of situation. A true representation of the African woman’s dedication to her husband, yes this is about Izuma not about Pa Ikhide who is now Papalolo 2 with then passing of the great Papalolo. Throughout the months of Papalolo’s illness she was by his side all the time, day and night, through thick and thin and sometimes the weariness was written all over her face but never for once complained about her own health. It was all about her husband and doing all she could to see he gets better. The day he was able to stand with some support where days you saw Izuma’s face wrinkled with smile, dispelling the despair of yesterday. The burden she bore during those months cannot not be paid back in monetary terms. The ups and downs, the pains, hunger the fear, that moment of joy, the disappointment and sometimes the anger at the whole situation. It is an emotional roller coaster taking care of people who become dependent on you for activity of daily living, they take over your life so much so you wonder why you are still alive at their demise!

So here is me saying thank you to Izuma for giving all she had in those months, daily fighting every inch of the way. This is a tribute to a woman who represents one of the key things we have going for us in our traditional African culture-family support. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

This contraception palaver sef!

Contraception is the process of stopping a man/woman/couple from achieving pregnancy until he/she/they so desire. It is a really a means to an end not an end in itself. Family planning is the use of contraception to space the children and regulate the number of children while trying to ensure the couple enjoy sex.
In our society the women are the major users of contraceptives, and the permanent forms of contraceptives are majorly done by women. Now before I get ahead of myself there are various types of contraception methods, like condoms -male and female.
The female condoms are not so popular, a discussion for another day- intrauterine device -popularly called coil- daily pills, injectable contraceptives and the permanent one that involves ‘tying’ of the tubes in women and in men.
So during my ward round in the postnatal ward, (a ward where women who just gave birth are admitted) a woman asked me what is the best from of contraception since she had four children before she mistakenly got pregnant again, so I delved into the various types of contraceptives and their merits and demerits, I felt that was an opportunity to educate all the women present there at once so I won’t have to repeat it all over again at each bedside so I stood in the middle of the ward and delivered the lecture.

The interesting part of the whole scenario was when I got to the aspect of male contraceptive, vasectomy and I told the women it is preferable because it’s easier and the woman does not have to have ugly scars on their abdomen, since we don’t do minimal invasive surgeries. Suddenly there was an uproar, I was shocked I wondered what I said that caused such response, a woman said “oh! So the man can be sleeping around abi? No o! na me go do the operation, make I dey sure if he dey play the field at least one day one day the girl do get belle!” I simply asked her if she does not trust her husband. Her response was not any less shocking, “abeg oga doctor you be man, you wan tell me the thing no dey do you like make you do am with another woman sometime if no be say you dey fear she fit get belle?” I laughed and told her that’s why there are condoms to protect against impregnating the woman and contracting other sexually transmitted disease.

 Another woman in the ward responded, “Which condom, una men dey gree use am? Una go complain say the thing no sweet like if you no use am, no be so I take get belle again, abegi talk something else.” Obviously I said, you women don’t trust your husbands, if not you won’t be against them doing a vasectomy since you have completed the family.
I asked them if they feel their husbands don’t get scared when they the women tie their tubes, if their husbands are not afraid of them ‘playing the field’. Another woman retorted, “una men think say na only una the thing dey catch every time to do, e dey catch we women too but if we do the things una men dey do, dem go stone us and drive us out of our husbands home, na because we fit control ourselves.” One of the women who had been quite all this while, asked how she can convince her husband to accept her using contraceptives, she has been to the labour room four (4) times in the last 6 years and she is tired!

And that opened up stories from other women, how they secretly used pills and aborted pregnancies because their husbands were not listening to their cries of being tired of getting pregnant or their need to rest awhile and pursue a career too.
I told the women when they are coming for the postnatal clinic they should come with their husbands so we can discuss the various issues and better educate both of them on contraception and benefit of family planning.
My people the first couple I saw was not funny o! the man said na him wife dey wan do every time so she go fit born plenty pikin so he won’t have enough money to spend on another woman outside!! I looked at the man and asked if he had given his wife any reason to doubt his fidelity?
I await the response to that question till date my people.

Saturday, July 05, 2014


So this morning I stepped out quite early in the city of Lagos and its 5:30 AM, patiently waiting for the bus I was boarding out of town to get filled with passengers. Thirty minutes later I started seeing Nursery/primary school buses plying the road with children already in them. This is disaster waiting to happen! At six in the morning? Where are they going? When will they close from school and arrive home? Do they get to see their parents at all? For them to be out in the school bus by 6:00 AM what time did they wake up? Did they get to eat breakfast? How well rested are their brains? Gradually they lose their childhood in a city that is never slowing down. Dirt and muddy puddle of water on the roads. Everyone doing all to maximize profits, house rent skyrocketing, yet the youths in the villages keep pouring into the cities seeking wealth that’s as elusive as cure for death. Everywhere is choked, noise pollution the fumes of generators that are the perpetual source of electricity hanging in the still air. I feel choked each time I come into Lagos, I flee at the earliest opportunity. Spending productive hours sitting still in a traffic you know not when it will move. Spending two hours for a journey of 20minutes. It’s absurd that people still head to Lagos city to heck out a living.
Lagos is not meant for the frail. Healthcare delivery is warped. Gradually Lagos is becoming more and more hostile to the poor. However I feel sorry for the ‘rich’ their life is as tough and filled with heavy traffic, polluted air and all just like the poor people.
Weary faces stare back at you late in the evening after the drudgery of the day, sleepy eyes with dropping eyelids meet your gaze in the morning, seated slumped in the seats of public transport. You can hear some snoring away too tired to be bothered, while the ladies apply make-ups in the moving vehicle. Fast food thrives, mama-put’s pot is in full swing of activity from the crack of dawn. It’s all a race, a survival of the fittest, while waist lines increase inch by inch and chronic health disorders lurk in the corner waiting to pounce on the oblivious Lagosian. In fact the fittest soon because unfit, the body gradually formulates a letter of resignation which will be acceptable to its owner and when the owner ignore its warning it throws in the towel at an awkward moment.
The Lagos of my childhood is since gone, the Lagos that I see today is hostile to the growing child.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


The human mind is inherently creative, it either creates evil or good, that, the human mind is wicked, devious and at the same time capable of unfathomable compassion is conflicting enough.
I happened upon a gory-comic happening today, my consulting room as a window, that looks out to a main road with a small lot on the side, under a tree in that lot resides a mentally deranged woman. I took note of her about 2 weeks ago, watching her daily routine, of eating talking to herself and amusing herself, in the process amusing passer byes and local residents in the area.
She decided to take her bath in the full glare of all and sundry, with the sun high up, maybe the heat drove her to take her bath or the fact that she had a new set of clothing she wanted to change into- she had been wearing the same cloth for as long as I came to take note of her- whatever it was , there was a full grown woman taking her bath in broad day light.
The gist of this write-up is not the woman taking her bath in broad daylight, nor the fact that she was living under a tree and serves as a source of amusement to many, it is the fact that in the midst of the many ongoing conflicting information coursing through her muddled-up mind, she was still inventive. She was able to utilize the resource within her reach to achieve the goal she set out (did she?) to achieve.
Her new set of clothing, consisted of a pair of trouser and a shirt, the source of this is not known. She had no need for underwear, no need of a pair of eyelashes, mascara, a hairstylist or lip gloss or body cream. All she need was to clothe her nakedness, of which she is not ashamed, alas the trouser was longer and the waist wider than her’s. One would have thought that her muddled up mind would find it difficult to get round this problem, but no, she simply shred the sheet she uses to cover herself into thing strips, picked one of the long strips and thread it through the belt holes, she tied the two ends and eureka! She has a belt and a pair of “fitting” trousers.
Her desultory mind was able to utilize her meager resources. We need, each and everyone of us, to dig deep into our organised mind to see how we can make our society better, how we can better our lot and thereby better the lot of many others around us.
Lets learn from that muddled up mind- I find it difficult to call her mad- we have so much in us to better ourselves and the society.
The woman with the muddled up mind as since relocated to an unknown place. Each day I gaze at the spot where she used to sit, displaying herself for our amusement, with no prior plan of hers to do so.
The tree stands lonely bereft of its occupant of many days, the dry season is slowly creeping in and the water it gets from the benevolence of the woman is since lost. Where has she gone? This question keeps badgering my mind. She was never in my care anyway, she just served as a side attraction, a place to let my wandering eyes settle, tired from staring at the computer screen, a place to let my brain get tickled after so much memorizing done. I forget each time to let you know I was trying to prepare for an examination, so much to read but I had to give myself a break. I’m tired of the Nigerian issue, which is a source of unending amusement in itself. Is it the president or the other politicians and the recently discovered profession of kidnapping among it’s citizens?
Back to the lonely tree, and my lonely self in my darkened enclosure, due to the erratic power supply from our national grid.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It is all About power! Get it?

So we lose our humanity at the expense of grabbing on to power with all desperation available. We will forget the anguish of the families of the slayed school pupils to score cheap political points. The current issues of killings, sacking tainted by missing funds, fuel scarcity and carpet crossing by politicians is really serving to take our eyes off the upcoming elections. Sad tales are easily thrown out of discuss because we hunger for power. Power at all cost means human lives counts for nothing, there is sorrow tears and blood in my land, and we stay aloof as if it does not touch us while we live daily in trepidation. Fear engulfs our hearts, our hearts leap into our mouth we pray daily that our relatives will have no reason to visit parts of my nation, because there is daily shedding of innocent blood for no just cause.
Sad that the desire for power blinded us to the desire to preserve and improve human lives. The drive for more money to feed and live large as made us look at trampling on others as part of normal existence. We gradually loose our humanity, we cannot be caught weeping inconsolable for the death of many innocent lives neither can we return home from international tours at the news of the death of many citizens who cast their votes to see that we are in power. It’s easy to rationalize all sorts of atrocities going on this land because we have not been touched. Throw in religious, political and ethnic issues and watch the people bite and fight each other to a standstill, insults never heard before emanating, long lost abusive words are dug up with parents and grandparents insulted all in a bid to defend a God who needs no defense from mortal human beings that we are and our political benefactors.
It’s not well in my Land the blood of the innocent is crying for justice, weeping that no more lives will be lost wantonly, that the living will not be cut off in their prime like they were.

Can we stop for a second and lay aside our religious, political and ethnic differences, can we realize that the war being fought in the fringes can seep into our backyard while we yet sleep and look on unconcerned. Remember fringes is fringes whether there is a political meaning to it or not, they are human beings that live in those fringes, human beings who have hopes and aspiration who daily strive to make a living hoping tomorrow will be a better day, alas…death comes knocking while we seek for power, power power…gradually it consumes your thinking so much so you do not see anything sacred anymore…every issue is game to score cheap political points. Neither APC nor PDP have shown decorum in their search for power…it’s all about power not we the people of the land it’s about power let’s get it loud and clear! Not serving the nation nor making the nation come out of this quagmire it was pushed into by our leaders with us aiding and abetting them all the way…yes we, you and I! One choice at a time…I just wonder who is more desperate, the incumbent in power or those who seek to oust the incumbent? How much more blood will be shed for no just cause?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

7 years and its Time After

...It’s so easy to imagine that life after medical school would be totally different, that continuing to be friends after medical school would not really be necessary. Friendship itself has no survival value, but you’d find out that it’s one of those things that give value to survival. That is when, and here Im talking about the future, when we can be truly proud of ourselves as a class, as individuals, of a long history of friendship, and look at
ourselves again in fifteen or twenty years time, look at what we’d been able to achieve, and remember that time when… the time when that friendship was born, at that moment when one person said to another, What! You too? I thought I was the only one!”
That time, it would be good to realize, once again, that you are not alone.
Seye Abimbola, Metamorphosis, OAU medical class of 2007 yearbook

Those were his concluding words, words written 7 years ago. I have read this same words over and over again, at various points in  my post graduation days. I realize that we do not need fifteen to twenty years to appreciate the friendships built in the course of our days as medical students, many marriages have been consummated among our classmates, members of our class becoming godparents to children born to our fellow classmates. I have become deeply entrenched in the period of post graduation and seemingly we are all drifting apart, threads holding some of us together, is been strained by distance, family and work, the joys we bask in, and the trying times we fall into at various periods, has made the landscape so variegated for us all. Distance and time, is trying the friendships built, internet and mobile phones, are helping reduce the probability of these friendships from becoming none-existent.
I will remember the time, when we had to leave our friends behind, I will remember the time when those we left behind caught up with us again at the altar, I will remember the time when  we had the opportunity to sit together at the table, laughing together, sending off one of our own informally, filling each other with information we would never have gotten wind off. Patting each other on the back and spurring ourselves up to greater achievements.
We take time out to celebrate each other, to rejoice with each other and mourn with one another. Its is a season that we await, that is yet to come, the season when we shall all gather once again, when the roll call shall be made, aloud, each one answering to our names, with or without partners having little ones bearing our names, when we have made our parents grandparents and our siblings uncles and aunts.
Years keep passing, one day at a time; we hear of each other’s progress which gladdens our heart. Some are totally out of circulation, one person is at least in touch with someone who knows where one person is. The joyful opportunities we have once in a while to see each other, swap stories share a drink and hug and offer each other a bed to lay our tired head once in a while.
Really things have changed, so many things have been rearranged, dreams hopes and aspiration, plans have taken a knock yet we keep going never giving up, goals have been met many yet to be met. None is stagnated we as individuals have come a long way to stand where we stand today, we have stories to tell, times when it became so tough and we asked ourselves if we could still continue, nights we have kept vigil for academics, for family for our children.
Today its 7 years we all parted ways as a class, flung to the farthest part of the earth to take root and flourish. We have sown in tears we shall reap with great joy, our sacrifices for a better tomorrow shall not go unrewarded. The dreams we yet nurture shall bloom and grow and yield fruits in abundance.
I remember specially Bobola one of us who died long before his time. This piece is specifically dedicated to his memory. To you all out there I salute you, male and female alike you guys inspired me in no small measure and still inspire me. I will always be glad I was a once your classmates and I till date cherish those times we may have taken for granted. So to the many more journeys we shall embark upon, to better days ahead, to greater achievements and to good health I say CHEERS!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I know life is short, I see it every day the brevity of life, the sadness that follows the departure of a loved one. I hear stories that bring tears to my eyes, my job is one that entails me listening to the most heart stirring stories. The blind ignored by his local government, the retired teacher in his 80’s whose retirement stipends have not been paid for months. The widow and the widower, the orphan left without any hope for tomorrow. I see the young breath their last the rich and poor lay side by side gasping for their last breath, it’s all a mixed feeling.
Bombarded by sad stories sometimes joyful ones daily, makes me ask myself questions. Questions bothering on health care delivery in my country, who is to blame for the rot in the system, the inefficient system in place. The internal wrangling among the healthcare workers as left a lot of patients dead, the strikes, counter-strikes and more strikes which seem to have no end in sight will cripple and worsen the already sorry state of the health care delivery.
The retired teacher who was around during the Biafra war, who saw the Biafra soldier march peacefully through his village somewhere near Agbor and all they did was to wave at them, the soldier who fought in Nigerian army who asked me, “how can I tell the government I killed anyone? I fought against the enemy and if I am lucky enough and I sight the enemy first, the enemy meets his creator and if the enemy sights me…”
The blind orphan who lost the sight during his final year exams, suddenly the hall went dark and that was the beginning of his travail, he lost his parents one after the other, he has fought never to be a beggar, learnt new skills to put food on his table, learnt to live alone acquired new certificates but he still can’t make ends meet.
The family who were all diagnosed HIV positive, how? What happened? The man who lost a limb, the child who lost one eye.
Daily my clinic consultation is a mixed bag of sorts, patients who went to look for solutions to their medical problem but are back since the problem remains. Your hear stories of them being in churches, traditional medical practitioners places, and various other alternative therapies they were introduced to by friends and families, some come back worse others just there…

I am pained because we have forgotten about each other, our government has been irresponsible at best; whatever tier of the government you want to think of (IMHO).  We die one day at a time because we refuse to lend that helping hand while our family and friends are the victim of a disaster than can be abated.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Live, Fight On!

It’s not the end, it looks like the end and we accepted it is the end. The story of many who gave up before their victory came. I have seen many patients on the ward, they simply lost hope and gave up on life. While some fought till they could hold on no longer, they clutched at every available ray of hope, the love of their family members pushing them on pulling them a day at a time out of the deepest abyss of despondence. All that we hold important and dear pales at the sight of impending death. The quick flash of the various times we should have helped or taken an alternate decision we did not, the help we should have rendered that we refused too. The days we spent away from our family behind the desk at work considering it more important than the people that matter most in our lives. The times spent with friends, cherished moments, the ha-moments, happy times, sad times. The fears anxieties and days of uncertainty, it all comes to one single thing, what is important what is that thing that we cannot do without, what are the things we will give up for that singular thing. The days suddenly disappear one after the other, the hair becomes grey, beards sprout the skin wrinkles, gradually the teeth fallout, walking becomes more tedious, the bones creak with each movement, and the eyes grow dim, hearing becomes difficult and the pills pile up in number daily to ease the pain and make ones existence more bearable.

Before that age comes and the night and day merge into one for eternity love all, waste not, live life imparting others, give hope to the hopeless, wipe the tears of those that are weeping, visit the ones in prison, forget not the widows nor the orphans, feed the hungry cloth the naked. At the end when we give up the last breath, when the death rattle emanating from us is echoed of the walls of that room, we will have a smile creeping across our face because we have lived not merely existed. Don't give up, fight on, fight don't give up!

Friday, January 03, 2014

This is Life

This is life; this is what it’s all about
The fleeting breath
That moment
That smile
The tears, the hugs
Bearing each other’s burden
The fears, hopes and aspirations
The disappointments
The joyful news
The dreams come through
This is what life is all about
The cry of the new born child
The silence in death
The end place of all
Six feet under
To be remembered or forgotten
To die is to live, to live is to die in eventuality
This is life and it all starts and ends with that breathe
This is life, we all have one shot at it