#IWD2017 – I Have Loved Only One Woman

There’s a woman in my life who has been there all through and she’s the only one I have loved completely.

When I was six years old, she had to stay away from me. The six months while she was away was hell, I kept seeing her shadow everywhere. I couldn’t stay without having her around the house, I’d go to bed crying, I’d head to the dining table with teary eyes as I munch my food. It was worse in school, I couldn’t concentrate. Before that term, my worst end-of-term result had been 3rd position (which happened just once), this particular term when she was not around I came 16th. It was a total disaster.

The theme for the 2017 International Women’s Day was “Be Bold For Change” and this particular woman has exemplified boldness all through my life.

Her first act of courage and boldness was housing me in her stomach for 11 months, you know she went against prevailing medical advice to have me shunted out of her womb dead and persevered to house me no matter how long it took. More than two decades later, the significance of that singular decision continues to be on the rise. It set the tone for countless daunting acts she undertook.

Been raised singlehandedly by one woman is no small feat. This woman did a great job raising me, she gave me the freedom I needed at an early age to express my exuberance and grow on all fours. Countless times, I’ve seen her put her hand on the plough and not look back against all odds.

If there’s anyone who has been bold enough to effect change, it is this woman. I’ve learnt perseverance from her. At a time when the calls for equality and women rights are becoming mainstream, it is worth noting that the woman I have known and loved is one who has never allowed the misguided construct of society to stop her from getting what she wanted.

You know why this is profound? Never for once did I see her fight for something that wasn’t to my benefit. When she was buying her first car, she kept looking for a car that would be easy for me to drive. When she was getting her first mobile phone, she let me make the decision, as she wanted something I’d like. When it was time to make a new hair, she always made sure it was something I’d be comfortable with (in all honesty, I had no clues about female hairstyles either ways).

If society must improve perception towards women, then we must go back to individual experiences and first contact with women. I didn’t grow up seeing women as the weaker gender, on the contrary, I grew up seeing the Woman as the brain and engine. It is that image that has stuck with me on the way up.

If women are to be championed for change, then we must allow them do what they are capable of. I didn’t grow up seeing a woman waiting on society to offer a convenient environment for her to go after her aspirations; I grew up looking up to a woman who took the bull by the horn. Not once, not twice.

At the slightest hint of discomfort for her six-year-old boy, she left all she was doing and came to get me, and believe me, this was not a convenient decision. She knew I couldn’t live without her and she was prepared to offer me that security and assurance of thought.

I have come to know a woman who has never failed to put me at the crux of all the major decisions she’s had to make in life. She is the first woman I have loved; if there’d be a second, she’d have to take lessons from the first to even come close.

This is a tribute to my mother; my best friend.

I love you.

Son,

Miracle Roch.

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The Book doesn’t end in Malachi

…and doesn’t stop in Revelation neither

People don’t like to long read stuff over the internet. They’d rather you keep it short and simple. This is why sites that post long essays – Wait But Why, Aeon, etc – have some sort of holy grail following. The reason is because the few who actually remain dedicated to those sites don’t stumble on them by accident; they are intentional.

I want to limit my posts to 500 words. Previously, I had set the range of my posts to between 700 and 1000 words, not like I set this range intentionally but I realized that somehow my posts always fell between this range. I’m not doing this because I want to conform to the short reading time of this generation.

There’s a great advantage to being concise. It gives you objectivity and purpose, this is why Twitter has become so popular among a generation so ridden with distractions yet yearning for objectivity. This is why unusual artists like Beyonce, Lecrae, Chance The Rapper, etc have such a huge following behind them. They know how to be concise and not beat around the bush.

Conciseness gives you power; the power to dictate flow. However, one of the limitations of concision is the inability to let you get into the head of the reader. This is why most Oscar winning movies are unusually too long – The Revenant, Titanic, Theory of Everything, all prove this point. Concision does not give you ample opportunities to get into the head of the reader (or judge).

There are compelling cases for both sides of the coin but there are no middle grounds. You can’t be concise and get into people’s heads. This is why minds who have been able to achieve the two deserve a great deal of mention. Being intentional is such a great deal in a world ridden with “fake news”, fake love and fake people.

Over the last few weeks I’ve read extensive works on the history of Jacob Fugger and Arthur Guinness, and there’s a striking similarity between these two men who lived in two different periods in history. From creating a thriving Banking system in Medieval Europe to creating a Brewery still standing the test of centuries, I’m convinced that these two were intentional from the start. If they weren’t, Arthur wouldn’t have moved to Dublin nor Jacob remain in Augsburg.

I am looking for intentional people, I want to be intentional. To be intentional means to be concise, to be succinct, to create social palindromes that drive home the point long after you’re gone and derailed. To be intentional is to always have your eyes on the prize at all times. Napoleon met his waterloo at Waterloo because he let his eyes slip off the prize for just a second. To be intentional is to be a visionary.

Most importantly, to be intentional is to realize that the book doesn’t end in Malachi.

I did this in exactly 500 words.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Starting Early: Emails

This is the first installment in a new series I started called “Starting Early”. It’s going to be a chronicle of my early and first interaction with some of the things that come to define me today and how they have influenced me greatly. I would share stories of my first contact with Emails, Books, Music, Girls, Internet, Computers, etc. Enjoy!

Source: checkupnewsroom.com

I created my first ever email address in 2002, I was only 8 years old then. The email was “imo4real98@yahoo.com”. The first email I tried was “miracle@yahoo.com” but it was already taken, I had tried several variations of my first name before I decided to use my initials. “imo” are the initials of my first name arranged in no particular order. The first email exchange I had was with an Uncle who lived in “America”, and then subsequent email exchanges with people I met in chat rooms (more on that later)

The actual word “imo4real98” was suggested by the cybercafé receptionist where I sat. I didn’t think too much about it, I was just happy to finally get an email that was not taken, and I wasn’t born in 1998 neither, but maybe she felt I was; I was definitely so small as an eight year old, I must have passed as a four year old in her sight, or maybe it was just random. “for real” sounded like the mark of authenticity in those days (akin to “official” and “real” these days). It’s fifteen years now and I still have that email (although not really really active, prefer Gmail these days). There was a period when it became redundant for over three years, but I was able to recover it. After being used to the world of emails, I switched to “kenspaco@yahoo.com”, the inspiration came from my obsession with the name “Kenneth” as a kid, I loved the name “Kenneth”, I’m struggling to remember the source of my obsession right now.

I also created an AOL account and a Hotmail account but I used Yahoo! more than the rest because of Yahoo! Messenger. I also used Hotmail often too because I loved their light blue background, and because of one other feature that I can’t remember now. Oh, and I also had to falsify my eight on numerous occasions because I could find my year of birth on the dropdown list.

I’ve lost “kenspaco”, and it didn’t fly as a nickname neither because my classmates as at that time were either dunces who knew nothing about emails or they were just being annoying and would rather stick to calling me “mmiri oku” (an Igbo variation of my name meaning hot water).

Because I didn’t have a computer then, I was always at the Cybercafé. I would always rush to the cyber café after school and stay there till dawn. One of my early obsession was Yahoo Messenger. I was told there was a chat room where you could chat with people from other countries, and because the person I watched using Yahoo Messenger always went to the “Romance” Chat room, that was where I always went. Back then, I didn’t know it was odd for an eight-year-old to be in a romance chatroom, neither did I understand what “Romance” really meant. I had thought that was just the only chat room, in hindsight I now understand how and why everyone was always shocked whenever they came to my computer screen. I did meet so many people from that Chat Room, most of them would send me vulgar and explicit private messages which I didn’t understand but I would play along with them in a bid to sound smart. Most of those friends are nowhere to be found now anyways.

That early introduction led me into a decade old obsession with Yahoo! The Yahoo homepage was an invaluable news source for me as it covered every segment and category. It would be another thirteen years before I would create a Gmail account. Even as a full-fledged adult now, I cringe from time to time whenever I remember Yahoo!’s demise, really sad stuff.

I shared the story of my early introduction to emails because my initiation into the world of emails has had a great influence on how I like to conduct my businesses these days. I love emails, I’d prefer you send me an email even if it’s a one liner. I also love closing my emails with a remark. My strong affinity for emails certainly has roots in my being introduced to it at an early age. That was the first thing I knew I could do with the internet — send emails, before the other things. It also tells a great lesson in loyalty and efficiency, I remained with Yahoo! despite the mass exodus to Gmail, but the minute I used Gmail and saw how effective it was, I didn’t think twice.

In a nutshell, most of the things we have become strongly attached to these days all have roots in our mode of initial contact with them.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

A Little Love

Everything that goes on around you depend on one factor. You can control the outcome of your actions if you get this one factor right. Most of the struggles you go through right now will evaporate into thin air in one flash if you get this factor right.

I am talking about the state of your heart. The state of your heart determines how the other things pan out. The heart is telepathic and magnetic; it wants what it wants but will only get what is it. Tit for tat.

I am going to share some stories to show you examples of how the state of your heart really is the most important thing.

Many years ago, on Christmas day, we didn’t have so much in the house but we were happy. Our hearts were in sync. So we cooked the little rice we had and made stew with tin tomato pastes. While other households used chicken and whatnot, the only luxury we could afford was fish.

My friend came around the house that day and he was served our rice and stew with fried tilapia fish with a sachet of water, pretty mundane for a Christmas day buffet. But remember, we were happy and served that food with joy without any remorse of feeling of being short-changed.

My friend ate that food, finished it and was very happy. We both left the house after he was done to go round and visit folks. Everywhere we went to, we were served delicacies much better than what we had at home in face value. But my friend continually made a statement everywhere we visited that day, and that particular statement stuck ever since.

He kept telling folks we visited how I wanted to kill him with food in my house, how he ate and enjoyed the food in my house. Guys, I know he was blabbing, don’t be deceived. It was normal everyday white rice and tin tomato with just water. We were offered (and ate) awesome delicacies at the different places we visited, so there was no way what he ate at my place could have resonated.

Alas! He wasn’t blabbing. He did enjoy that food. The things that matter in life are not ephemeral, they are not even tangible. The most important things in life aren’t physical, they cut beyond the physical five senses and logic.

Looking back to the events of that day, it’s easy to see why he was proud of what he ate at my place; it was served in love. Like we were so happy and proud of what we had, we shared it in love. Nothing beats that, love. The state of our heart was so right that it became infectious. Once the state of your heart is right, it’s so easy to get things going in your favour.

It doesn’t take the whole world to get your act right, so many of you have gotten your heart deeply interwoven in the fabrics of deceit and hate. Everything that goes on around set on autopilot, there’s no realness anymore. It may not even be your fault, as you’ve been so deep into it that you can’t change nada anymore. I mean, I remember so many years ago when I unintentionally used to tell a lie, I had told that lie for so long that subconsciously I began to saw it as truth. I told the lie with the confidence and dexterity that would normally accompany a truth. Not until I realised one day that it was really a lie did it stop.

So I understand how you can get deeply woven into things without knowing. For some of you, it could be deep seated hatred towards someone for something that happened years ago, granted you might have outgrown the event but somewhere in your heart, it still rings a bell. These things don’t go off without intentional effort. For some other person, it could be something really trivial, I mean, we all have people who smile and laugh with you but go behind your back and say all sorts. It may not be intentional, actually, sometimes it’s never intentional, it’s just something that has to do with the state of their heart.

The only way to correct an ill state of heart is by throwing tiny flashes of love into your heart. It’s akin to darkness, you never chase away darkness by “shuuing” it, you chase darkness by bringing an anti-darkness – you bring in a tiny bit of light. When light comes, darkness goes missing, it gets superimposed, once light goes off, darkness needs no invitation to come back. So throwing tiny bits of love here and there isn’t enough, make it consistent.

I’ll leave you with a verse from Glen Campbell’s song Try a Little Kindness;

You go to try a little kindness

Yes show a little kindness

Just shine your light for everyone to see

And if you try a little kindess

Then you’ll overlook the blindness

Of narrow minded people in the narrow minded streets

 

Stay True!

 

Miracle Roch.

 

Sweet Sixteen

Twenty Sixteen was my best year ever. When I crossed over to this year, I asked God to make it a memorable year for me and He sure did. There were so many memorable moments, so many “firsts”. When I see people complain about how bad 2016 was for them, I feel bad really, because I had a blast this year. I can’t share it all in one post, but I will share a few.

I got a new job this year, got a new house, made giant strides professionally and socially. Oh, I also got a live radio show gig. Bonkers! Above all, I met really nice people. God really used people to pull me through. There was never a time when my future looked blurry, God always had a plan waiting for me. One of the scriptures I always use to describe growth is Luke 2:52.

I grew in Wisdom, like when I go through some of the professional work I did this year, I’m amazed. A year ago I knew nothing about Financial Models and some really deep strategic stuff but look at me now. Wisdom comes from a deep-seated place in the Spirit. It is the Spirit in you that births original insights, concepts and ideas. I had so many “this is it” moment after many brainstorming sessions. It didn’t come from thin air, it came from a deep-seated pool within. I read about 10 books this year, which was quite below my numbers. I have an excuse for this but it’s not a valid excuse so I’d just keep it to myself.

I grew in stature, I grew taller but there’s yet more work to be done. I was too lazy and complacent this year to gym, I really hope to change that next year. But asides the eternal longing for broad shoulders and abs, it’s all good. Stature is only physical. There’s also the mental stature. You see this year, I became very staunch in my paradigms and actions, I was proud of my actions and stood by them, I was not easily swayed by the tides. That’s stature you know. It helped me evaluate my actions better and make changes where applicable.

I grew socially, I really met some cool people this year. One thing I learn this year was to carefully sift my audience, and throw out any form of negativity. I realized how powerful people and their words carry, so I decided to only stay around people whose words edify and grow me. I did throw a few people out, but I let in even amazing people. It’s just so amazing when you have conversations with people who are on the same pedestal with you. I also learnt to love people irrespective of their beliefs and actions. I learnt to see people from a neutral lens, it really helped me get close and learn a whole lot form different people.

I really met some awesome people, people were unusually kind to me even when I was undeserving. Like I was so shocked, I tried to reciprocate the kindness I got but it was increasingly difficult. God used my interactions with people this year to show me that He really does stuff on earth through people. I’m working on being a good friend, you know, the thing with being as carefree as I am is that nothing really bothers you or keeps you awake at night. So it means I lost pace with so many people, in twenty seventeen, I will try to really become a better friend and keep in touch.

I grew spiritually. There was some level of spiritual maturity I attained this year. This part is was laid before this year, you see, every path I trod this year was carefully orchestrated by God, this year was just me walking on His blueprint. I couldn’t have even made it without him. There were numerous times of course when I felt so lazy that we didn’t even spend time together, but the few intimate times we spent always made up. This year, I fell in love like romantically with the Holy Spirit. You have no idea. The Holy Spirit is such a darling, I could literally feel him making my pulse race. If you really want to have a good twenty seventeen, you have to ignite your relationship with God.

See, it’s not about God, it’s about the fact that there’s some level of connection that enables you operate outside the realm of the physical world of five senses. It’s not about a religion and set of laws, it’s a relationship. This year, we had so many dates, it was lit!

Learn to love your presence and self, I learnt to retreat from groups or conversations that didn’t add value to my life. I loved staying alone, dancing in front of my mirror and praising God. You don’t always need to go out, sometimes just stay home and sleep if you don’t have anything else to do. Learn to keep quiet. Mary kept God’s words to her heart. Can God tell you something and be confident it won’t end up as public gist? In the multitude of words, sin abounds. Sometimes delete your Twitter and Instagram, stay off Social Media for some time and get your act together. Don’t be locked into this fast paced environment that you end up losing touch of the very thing that counts – your humane soul.

So that was how my year went. You can bet twenty seventeen would better. Oh and yes! I did not fall in love with anybody, I remained single and celibate, and guess what? It felt so good that I think I would continue the trend in the new year too. Don’t let society trick you into thinking you must be in a relationship to become somebody (more on this later in the new year).

From my heart to all of you who read all the things I post on this blog, thank you for staying with me through my intellectual sinusoid, I really do love you all. Let’s do this again (and more) in the coming year.

To read about my 2015 review click here, for 2014, click here

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Thoughts on Old Age

I admit, I am such a baby boy. I am too soft and kind hearted. I don’t understand how some people do the stuff they do, I can’t even hurt a fly with my hands; I let my Insecticide do the job. Recently, I’ve craved spending time with very old people, I just enjoy watching them talk and move. Whenever I see one in a BRT standing, I quickly give up my seat and watch them seat, if I see anyone on the streets carrying something heavy, I quickly offer to help. No I’m not trying to be a good boy, I just love coming closer to them, even if words aren’t exchanged. There’s something about their aura that heightens my humaneness.

Image result for world's oldest person

World’s Oldest Woman; Misao Okawa | Credit: Daily Mail

 

Most times I try to wonder what goes through their minds as they navigate through their day. How different is the world now from what it used to be forty years ago. Do they wish they did something different? When I look at their wrinkled faces, I try to imagine the spotless beauty that covered this face during their youth. When I see them frantically holding on to pillars for support, I try to reimagine the swagger with which they moved around in their pomposity.

I’ve noticed quite a whole lot of striking similarities between old people. One of them is that, nothing seems to matter anymore, none of the things we hurriedly worry about. An old man once insisted I gave him the broom to sweep, I didn’t understand why at such old age you would want to bend down and sweep. It got me thinking; as young humans, we demand so much respect, we want to feel important and respected, but these guys have seen it all and they realise all that counts for nothing.

Old people also don’t like to admit they are old. Isn’t it funny? Because as young people, we try so hard to convince people that we are old enough, we never want to revel in the innocence and exuberance of our youth. We always want to speak like King Solomon and dress like Benjamin Button, just so we’d convince people that we aren’t young. But here’s an old man frantically trying to do things to convince those who care to listen that they’ve still got fire in their bones.

Old age is exciting, little wonder most of them tell you they have no regrets. It’s a blessing to live long. I can bet there’s no way they would have lived this long if all they did was regret the decisions they took or didn’t take years ago. Another crazy juxtaposition because we young people are so fond of living in regrets. You cry everyday about the actions you didn’t take that you end up missing out on the present opportunity starring you in the face all because you’ve got your eyes still fixated on the past. No one moves forward with their gaze behind. No one.

Old people smile a lot when they see us young people strut our stuff. I haven’t been able to ask them what fuels that smile. I like to see that smile as an approval; an approval to enjoy life and make all the mistakes you possibly can while you are young. An approval that no matter how careful you are, you still need to fail a little so you can succeed plenty.

Old people understand the power of words. Once they send a “God bless you my son” your way, they nudge you to say “Amen”. They understand how powerful words are. Another wonder about old age is if there’s a knowledge bank where old people just go to freely to access nuggets. I haven’t met an old man who didn’t have some real truths to spill. Is it something that comes from experience?

When next you see an old person, take a pause, if you notice, they are never in a hurry, so where are you always rushing to? There’s really never a missed opportunity that doesn’t come back. Take a pause and appreciate the beauty of old age, bask in the euphoria of your youth and visualise yourself one day with grey hairs and weak bones and an ever cheerful smile. Take time to appreciate the soothing air and landscape around you for in less than no time, they would be your greatest companions.

What are you currently doing to ensure your old age is blissful? Old age really is the annuity returns you get from your investments as a youth. Have you started investing towards your old age?

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

There’s this daily prompt thing by WordPress where they give you topic suggestions. I decided to have a look at it today and this topic suggestion got me interested. This was just top of my head, fictionalized of course. I tried to find a real Muse, but couldn’t.

Will we ever live happily ever after?We’ve fought too many fights for a beginning as tender as ours

There’s no denying you bring out the creativity in me

The relief from your lips can’t compare to the Falls at Lake Victoria
In my head we are done

I don’t see a future with our vast differences

But I also didn’t see Donald Trump winning

Unlike the Election, I’d be happy to be proved wrong

We bicker too much, even without talking

Only human to wonder the hell that will be let loose

When we get deep thronged into our bodies on a regular

But I also said the explosive Kimye wouldn’t last six months

I really want us to work forever

Like banish our demons and glow

But the facts are not in our favour and the projections are dim

Well, they were in Hillary’s but we know how that ended

I don’t like how you give others priority more than me

Nor how you waste your time on people you have no business with

I hate that you are not firm in your decisions

I’m bewildered at how you live life without intelligence

More shocked at how beautiful you are

How your smile radiates better than the sun

How you do these so effortlessly

And still call yourself ordinary

This is probably a lost cause

‘Cause you are so set in your ways

You wouldn’t bat an eyelid for a change

But I’d still give it one last shot

And another one.

And yet another shot

I’d hold on to any slight chance for us to live

Happily ever after.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

My Visit to a Yoruba Village Church

First thing to note was that church was designated to start by 7.30am, we got there by 7.45am and there was no body there except an old woman and her son. They were cleaning the chairs.

The church was a shocker to me, nothing similar to the plush environs I’d become used to in Lekki churches. There was no window, no plastered wall, no elevated alter. Just some old rickety rusty plastic chairs and some local drums, no microphone or speaker, no lights, no plush decorations, just the sand filled building not more than 15m in width and 40m in length with a zinc over our heads.

Apparently, the church was still under construction. The gist was that they erected that structure in less than two months, which is impressive given the location and demography of the church.

By 8am, one person joined us, we were five in number now. Church started with prayers said in Yoruba. I didn’t understand one bit of what was uttered. By this time the pastor came in with his family, when I looked outside to the entrance, I was shocked at how his family of five had fit onto the one motorcycle he drove in. It was also unusual for me seeing a Pastor stride in late to service.

I was seated in front because I came rather early, so I was quite shocked at one point to look back and see the whole church filled up. There were not more than 30 chairs in church, I think over 20 was filled up by my estimate.

I was the only one in church who didn’t understand Yoruba, the Pastor was kind enough to realise and called a young boy from the congregation to interpret in English for me while he spoke. The young boy tried so hard, you could literally see him struggle as he tried to mumble the right words in English for me. I was secretly hoping someone would put him out of his misery. The pastor noticed on more than one occasion and tried to help him out, it wasn’t any better, he too got stuck and ended up in Yoruba in less than no time.

The pastor had given what he termed “Morning Tonic”, apparently it’s part of their Sunday programme. He spoke about the Red Sea and how God performed a Miracle using Moses. He also didn’t miss the opportunity to congregation by saying there was a Miracle in church today (obviously referring to me). He told me to stand up on more than one occasion while he gave an example, he was elated to see me attend his church. After he spoke, there was an offering, I gave. Only for the usher who must have been shocked at the denomination I dropped, to come meet me and ask me how much change I wanted, I scoffed, and told her I didn’t need any change. Immediately the Pastor heard me say that, he mumbled somethings in Yoruba which I made out to be “Praise God for this blessing”. On the different occasions when an offering call was made, I gave the highest denomination, so you expect he doled out more personal blessings on my behalf.

There were many funny and strange moments. During Sunday School, the moderator’s phone rang while he was teaching in front of the church, I was shocked to see him pick the call in front of the congregation. He was smiling and exchanging pleasantries with his caller. They had spoken for quite some time before the Pastor said something in Yoruba which I guess was “end the call and continue”. I was amazed that no one found this strange except me. One time during his sermon, a woman made to leave, he called her back and told her to give her offering before leaving.

There were so many funny stories during the different sermons. I counted three different sermons. One time the Sunday school moderator told the church about a young boy who could bypass DSTv subscriptions and make people watch DSTv for free without paying, and he lauded it as an example of using your God given talent and the whole church screamed in affirmation. That was funny to me, I didn’t know when I started laughing out loud. Or the time when the Pastor narrated how he lent money to a church member who refused to pay him pack and the whole church hissed in dismay at the borrower who I guess was definitely not in church.

Oh, my first interpreter was finally put out of his misery by the time the Pastor was ready for his sermon. He called another young chap from the congregation, I liked this one. He was smart enough to not try interpreting sentence for sentence, he gave me summaries. He didn’t try too hard. That was smart of him. I gave him a tip after service, I also gave the first interpreter a tip too. They both went through stress, stood in front of a 30 man congregation which looked like a big deal to them, the least I could do was offer them a tip.

Did I forget the mention the incessant tears that regularly interrupted service? The kids always took turns to cry, and there was this semi-nude kid who ran round the church. For some reason I think he was the Pastor’s child, he kept running to him during the sermon.

There were four different offerings in church, and according to my interpreter, the Pastor was admonishing the church not to get tired of giving at the fourth time. I was more than happy to give during the different occasions because I was actually enjoying myself. The prayer section as you’d expect with a village church was filled with so many “kill your enemies” line and my Interpreter was caught up in the hype most times leaving me to make out what the prayer point was myself. I spoke in tongues almost all through, I guess I was equally covered.

This church was makeshift but her members were definitely ready. The Pastor talked about how he was eager to finish the church before his impending transfer came. He talked about how they needed nothing less than five hundred thousand naira to tile the whole church and how he was envisaging an even bigger land. I loved his enthusiasm especially after hearing the story of how they built that church up to this level. This is real ministry, I mean, it’s not his personal house, it’s the Lord’s house, but he was going about it like his personal business. I liked that about him.

The members were cheerful and happy. They were content too. They all tried to give during their offerings during the different occasions, they even gave their tithes too. They were friendly with me too – the stranger. Someone was eager to give me the English version of their hymn book when it was time, another volunteered to give me their Sunday school manual, they never missed an opportunity to throw a smile. I had to give the little kid beside me some money to drop into the offering pan, he was so happy to drop it in.

After service, I noticed church members both old and young packing sand from outside and filling the alter area inside the church. I defied my post clothes and joined them in packing sand and filling up the alter area. They were all shocked and resisted my efforts but I wasn’t having it. I was so impressed at how everyone was determined to build their church, I joined and enjoyed it. The passion showed by members was heart-warming. I sowed a seed to support the building of the church, it was so awesome being amongst these people and seeing their undiluted love for God translated into action. Apologies for not showing you guys pictures, I had a flat battery. There was no light in the whole village!

I spoke with my second interpreter after church, and I found out he was preparing to write JAMB, when I asked him if he was reading, he told me he wasn’t because he was learning how to make Almacos or something like that at a nearby shop hence he had no time. I encouraged him to make out time. He took my number, I hope he gives me a call sometime; I’d be more than willing to help!

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

The Principle of Digging

Image Source: thelibrary.org

Image Source: thelibrary.org


I have been so busy lately; however, neglecting this blog because of how busy I have been lately will be purely cruel to the beautiful soul that is this blog. Most of the opportunities I have gotten came because of this blog, and this is what I want to talk about today. A principle I have termed “The Principle of Digging”.

I was never sure of how good I was as a writer, five years ago when I mused starting a blog, it wasn’t because I was a good writer, and it wasn’t even because people pushed me to open one. I will share that story with you. Circa five years ago, I used to spend most of my time on the internet reading other people’s blogs, at some point back then, I had read every single post ever posted on naijastories.com, I was that deep into reading stuff on the internet.

I became awed at some of the awesome things I read and kept wondering how a human could craft such gold. Then I began to ask myself; if a human like you wrote this, there’s no way you can’t write stuff like this, and considering the fact that I had enough ammunition (back then, I read a book every two weeks), I felt I could give it a try.

For most people, that is where they stop; “feeling like trying”, but they never ever get to try. I mulled over starting this blog, but I never doubted myself one bit. I knew once I carved my own niche and defined my parameters, I will be same from the executioner. I also knew about the Principle of Digging

The Principle of Digging states that “so long as you keep digging, the wells shall eventually burst albeit it after a long time”.

I knew that so long as I kept trying to write and post, I will eventually come good. If you scroll through my archives to my first set of posts, you’d see how brutally honest I was with my thoughts without trying to mince words; that was me in my niche. Look through, I’d never gone more than two months at a stretch without posting something, because I knew I couldn’t afford to lose momentum. The more I kept posting, the better I would become albeit after a long time.

Look at me now, I have made money and gotten connections as a result of the crappy things I post on this blog. Who would have thought that five years ago when I started this blog, I would become better today considering I was no Wole Soyinka incarnate?

You can then begin to imagine the numerous things in your life you’ve passed on because you didn’t feel up to it, or because you felt you needed to practice more? I didn’t need practice, my practice was on this blog (the posts are there for you to see), I was proud of my mistakes.

When I decided to change states and become independent, I didn’t get a hang of it, had no clue what my tomorrow was going to look like. But I knew life obeyed the Principle of Digging, I knew so long as I kept getting at it, I’d eventually come good. It has also kept me at work, so many times I get disappointed at myself for the quality of work I produce, but I don’t get worried or discouraged at all, I know so long as I keep getting at it, I will eventually come through, it would only take time.

Looking back at my life, I laugh now seeing how frightened I became at the Goliath of those days (they always took different forms those days), I remember going to bed most nights terrified about what the next day would bring, but I knew I’d come good if I keep getting at it.

Look at me now…I’m better off. Start digging, it definitely won’t be easy but the wells shall eventually burst.

Stay True!

– Miracle Roch

Inadequaphobia

The first time I came across the word “inadequate” was in my Primary 5. I still vividly remember the events surrounding that epiphany. I had been preparing for the final round of my school debate – I had made it to the final round and was due to face the other guy in Primary 6. I always won – as a result of my good preparations.
Oh! As I typed that, I just remembered the one time when I came second at the state level, but it wasn’t due to my performance. It was due to my composure, the thing is, as I made my way to the stage that day, my shorts tore at the back, in a bid to hide it, I couldn’t move around freely and it cost me my fluency and ultimately the State
Debating title. I felt so bad at losing, I never thought I’d have experienced things worse than the feeling I felt
that day. I was barely 9 years old then.

So as I prepared for that final debate the night before. I had gone to my older cousin to show him the points I had, waiting to be unleashed the next day. I think the topic of the debate was “Doctors and Teachers, who was more important to Nation Building”, something like that. I can’t exactly remember which side of the debate I was on, I’ve been struggling to remember, keeps eluding me. My elder cousin came back late at night, so it meant I slept off already before he could make his corrections.

I woke up the next morning to see he had made some edits on my point. He said so many things but the one that stuck was this – he said there were too many “lack of…” in my points. All my points started with “Lack of”, and so he changed some of them to “Inadequate”. I remember asking him what “inadequate” meant with all curiosity and tension. I mean, the debate was that morning, and you’d expect me to be jittery over using a word I hadn’t come across before. He carefully explained the word “inadequate” to me, I think I was satisfied with his definition because I remember using it throughout that debate. Of course, as you’d expect; I won! I had won the primary six guy – my senior! I think I still remember the guy’s name, of course I won’t write it here!

That was my introduction to the word Inadequate. It has lived me with ever since. I have grown to hate that word. For what it stands for, I hate being inadequate. I never ever want to come across as being inadequate and as a result, it has reduced my circle. Rather than appear inadequate, I’d retreat to my shell.

What inspired this post? In some quarters, I’m perceived as proud. I’ve always been befuddled by this tag, because the real me is nowhere near being proud. Like I’m the most down to earth guy you’d ever meet – wait let me finish before you counter that. But in trying to hide my inadequacy, I had sent the wrong vibes unintentionally.

A common example is when I don’t return people’s calls, they’d tag me proud. When I don’t reply your messages; you’d tag me proud. But I wish I could tell you the real reason behind me ignoring you. I fear that my replies won’t be appreciated, I fear that my calls won’t be the best phone call you’ve answered in a while, so rather than call and show my inadequacy, I was better off staying put. I fear that my messages won’t get your maximum attention, I fear that you’d classify them amongst the others. I hate being classified alongside the chasing pack.
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Miracle Roch and I suffer from Inadequaphobia – the fear of appearing inadequate.

This fear has helped me overcome challenges, make no mistake about that. For one, it has made me consciously strive to become better, just so I’d not appear inadequate and as a result, I’ve come to learn a whole lot of stuff.
It’s not a bad phobia to have. I mean, I still return some calls and reply some messages, only when I’m sure of maximum attention, or some other time, because your opinion doesn’t matter to me. The challenge with this kind of phobia is that I cannot stress myself too much; so I’m always retreating to my shell or not giving a hoot about what people say in some cases. This is probably the greatest fear I have, I mean, times when I should suffer from what people term “depression” in this part of the world, I have found myself frantically searching for knowledge. I’d rather be miserable than not know anything. Times when I’d be faced with a challenge, I’d find myself trying to bulk up mentally, because I love my knowledge bank so much more than anything.

I always want to know stuff, I always want to read, and most importantly, I never ever care about impressing people, because the more they see me as ordinary, the lesser the shoe size I have to fill hence nothing to NOT feel adequate about. Thanks to Inadequaphobia.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.