Stones would cry out: Kanye praises Jesus

31 10 2019

I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out!” Confound me if I am wrong, but are not these prophetic words of Jesus being fulfilled before our eyes. When so many Christians have denied their love for Jesus and embraced adulterous paganism; when christian celebrities shriek with horror when someone tries to associate them with Jesus in public for the sake of the worldly glamour, stones, men you least to expect are praising Jesus, in public and at the top of their voices. A lesson for all to see. Watch notorious Kanye West, rapper and songwriter and Chicago bad boy praising Jesus





Nigerian Teens Create Sci-Fi Movies With Smartphone

21 08 2019
Critic company

The saying that if you give a hungry man a fish, you will feed him for a day but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life is so true for 8 teens from northern Nigeria who are making science- fiction movies using a broken smart phone.

No doubt, they love watching Sci-Fi movies but unlike other teens their age, the Critics company, as they call themselves, are determined to make their own. They came together 2016, started creating short film with special effects they learnt from YouTube videos.

Using a broken tripod stand to hold up a smart phone with a cracked screen, they shot a ten minute film called ‘Redemption’.

This film caught the eye of international media organization like Reuters, Aljazeera and others who celebrated them for making history by successfully making first Nigerian sci-fi movie. According to one of the young filmmakers, Godwin Josiah, their aim was to show that kids in the north are doing something different.

Support has since started pouring in. Veteran film maker Kemi Adetiba, tweeted enthusiastically about them in June and helped them raise $5,800 to upgrade their equipment.

Imagine what they could do with a formal training in sci-fi movie production.

Ironically, this same youtube medium that can create porn addictions that wrecks the lives of other teens is empowering and enabling these 8 youngsters to acquire skills in movie production. This shows that it is not the media as such that is to blame when youths get hooked on internet porn but the lack of focus and motivation among young people.

Serious minded teens can sift out the best and useful things in social media and use them to advance themselves without necessarily falling prey to harmful contents as these 8 teen have aptly demonstrated.

Still, it takes guts and drive and thinking out of the box. It demands  finding a dream, pushing forward and following that dream to its logical consequences.

In life, honest and productive work is usually rewarded with fame and success, and Godwin Josiah and his cousins are making themselves useful with a broken smart phone

Nigeria has over 70million are teenagers, but still teen productivity is so low. Experts say that this is due to skill deficiency Nigerian educational curriculum, which is shockingly theoretical rather than practical, and many teen leave school ill equipped to earn a living. Hence the high rate of youth jobless, resulting in political unrest, economic instability, drug abuse, crime, prostitution, human trafficking, terrorism and kidnapping..

The Critics Company have alerted people to the possibilities of digital media like YouTube to tutor themselves in skills that can fetch money or jobs or even help them start their own businesses. 

Many handy skills can be learned via YouTube: from air-conditioning repairs to fashion designing and computer programming and countless free online tutorials on software development. Furthermore, an average low-end smart phone is chockfull of useful apps, such that an average user cannot exhaust 1% of its capability.  There are apps that can transform a smartphone  into a math lab, reader, and multimedia learning platform and many other things, and most are available free.

The triumph of these teen is good news for a region considered by most as educationally backward and where teens are often school shy. The Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai has praised their creativity, invited them to statehouse for special visit and is generally making a fuss of them. He has also offered the government’s support and constituted a team of senior officials to work on the details with their family.

Josiah and his cousin are blazing a path for African teens to follow, and confirming that with courage and determination, any African teen will not only survive, but actually thrive in these polluted waters through through hard work, unrelenting focus.

  Their fame and success has even wider relevance. Teens the world over should cease being passive consumers of social media content and become innovators, leveraging on these platforms to create and market their own ideas and become creators, and contributors to human progress.

They are an indictment of those who engage in online scams popularly known in Nigeria as “419”, a scam that has given millions of Nigerians a very bad name.

They are also showing up the so called Nollywood industry, still stuck in their abysmally low quality films, rife with poorly written scripts and stale story lines  revolving around time worn themes of sex, money and power.

They may yet give the Nollywood oligarchs a run for their money and possibly break their  strangle hold on the industry.

With sci-fi movies like Star Wars and Avengers grossing over $900Million and $800Million respectively, a sci-fi skill set is not a bad investment and the Critics company could be pioneers in a business that could bring much needed foreign exchange flowing back into African pockets. Time will tell.





Inspiring Story of “Iron Lady” Muniba Mazari

19 07 2019

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. 20 yro Muniba Masari’s life was shattered by a car accident when her husband who was driving fell asleep and the car fell into the ditch. Though he managed to jump out and save himself, she sustained lots of injuries:  fractured wrist, collar bone and rib cage; because of the rib cage injury, her lungs and liver where badly injured. She couldn’t breath, she had lost urine and bowel control. To add to that, her backbone where completely crushed. She was paralyzed for the rest of her life.

Two and half months in hospital and multiple surgeries later, the doctor said she will never walk or have a child again.

She was devastated and asked her mother, “Why me. Why am I even alive?”

Her mother said to her, “This too shall pass. God has a plan for you; I don’t know what it is.”

Those magical words set Muniba’s heart afire. She had always wanted to be an artist, and though the doctors said she could no longer use her hands, she asked her brothers to bring her canvas, and when they brought them, she did her first painting inside the hospital and that began her process of recovery.

When she was discharged, her doctors told her to lie down straight on her bed for 2 yrs.

“That was when”, she said, “I realized how lucky people were who could walk around, go outside, and they don’t even know it” She decided she was going to help others to know how lucky they were.

Her first step was to liberate herself from her fears. So she took a paper and jotted down all her fears.

Her biggest fear was losing her husband, divorce. She was 18yro when she got married to the man her father chose. It was never a happy marriage. Her husband had survived the accident unscathed and scorned her because of her condition and was having an affair with another woman.

 “I was clinging on to this person who didn’t want me, Muniba said, and from that day, I decided to liberate him, to set him free.”

But in so doing, she set herself free also, from worries.

Perhaps, this was what St. Josemaria meant when he wrote “Is it not true that as soon as you cease to be afraid of the Cross, of what people call the cross, when you set your will to accept the Will of God, then you find happiness, and all your worries, all your sufferings, physical or moral, pass away?”

 “In fact”, Muniba continued, “I was so free that on the day that I heard that he was getting married again, I sent him a text saying congratulations, I am happy for you, and he knows that I pray for him today.”

Unawares, she had followed the teaching of Jesus who said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Mt 5:43-48 

Again, her fear of never having a child of her own evaporated when she realized that there were thousands of children in Pakistan who had no one to love them. So she decided to help them, by adopting one as her own, and a cool stream of happiness flowed back into her bruised heart. Today Muniba has a healthy young son whom she loves and who loves her, more, she goes around giving talks and helping people see the good side of life, and appreciate what they have.

Every great athlete will tell you that they are at their best when they are not self focused or self conscious, but rather when they are totally focused on the outside, on the game, likewise, people who have suffered some disaster are best able to overcome when they resist the urge to bitter self pity, focus on helping others.

Muniba’s pain and suffering opened her eyes and made her more understanding with the sufferings of others and thus made her a better person.

“There are incidents that happen, that deform you, yet they mold you into the best version of you,” Muniba said, thus affirming the truth that behind the dark clouds of pain lies the silver lining of realizing a better, more beautiful version ourselves, like gold purified by fire, like rough diamond made valuable by knocks and chisels blows.

Understanding God

“God has a purpose you,” her mother had said to her and those magic words had set her heart into a search mode, looking outside of self. It awoken her curiosity to discover what she can do to help others, for to suffer need is something that can happen to anybody, but knowing how to endure it belongs to great souls, to souls who have loved much.

It is understandable that most people avoid suffering like a bat avoids fire, but if the suffering has come to stay, then rejection would be futile and harmful because the hand of the clock no matter how we wish cannot be turned back.

The wise thing is acceptance. And making the best of the bad situation

This is why the Christian message is so powerful and is called the good news.  God emptied himself, became man, and humbled himself to die on the Cross, so that people like Muniba will know that God loves them since he himself choose to suffer similar affliction, but not just her, but indeed all men and women of all times

Prior to Jesus message, suffering was insufferable, and those who suffered had no hope. Then worldly power and wealth was everything and a man’s worth was largely measured by what he had.

Christ turned all that upside down. He, being rich, became become poor, born in a Manger, the dwelling place of animals, lived poor and preach that the poor are blessed, and that all the things that men cringe and fly from are the true treasures, hunger, thirst for Righteous, meekness. Further, He not only preached, His death and resurrection sealed His teachings as authentic and indeed divine.

Though Muniba isn’t a Christian, she has grasped the tenants Christianity, and just like in the Passion, the Cross ceased to be a symbol of punishment and became instead a sign of victory, so Muniba’s wheel cheer and urine bag is a sign hope and victory for all. At 42, she has won so many international award as an artist, motivational speaker, activist, TV Host, and Pakistan’s First Goodwill Ambassador to UNWomen Pakistan.

“I always go around with a big smile on my face,” Muniba says, an iron woman whose example is urging everyone to make up their minds to follow the way of self-surrender even when the Cross is on their shoulders, she urges us to have a smile on our lips, so that light can enter our souls.

Munabi Mazari inspirational talk

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





No Excuses says 22yro youth born without legs.

17 06 2019

ZION

From the start, the odds were heavy against Zion Clark. His mother, a prostitute, gave birth to him while in prison for drugs. He literally hit the ground running with both hands because he had no legs, rare medical condition known as caudal regression syndrome, a consequence of his mother’s drug addiction.
He was whisked off to a foster home, where he was often beaten, hungry and unloved, yet he was determined to survive.
Had no time to brood over his misfortunes, had no on to gripe to how life has dealt him a bad hand. Rather he thankfully grabbed whatever life offered with two hands and ran with it.
One day someone offered to teach him wrestling, but how do you wrestle when you have no legs? Undaunted, he took up the challenge, began training day and night to be a wrestling champ. He wanted to be the best wrestler in the world, who could beat anyone, and he knew that without legs, he needed to work extra hard.
Daily workouts, iron pushups, he soon became a formidable opponent for his bigger two-legged contestants
He had plenty of help from his friends, especially his high school Couch Gil Donahue who guided him through thick and thin till he mastered the art of the throw
“He pushed me to the point past exhaustion,” Zion said. “And when I had mental breakdowns, he just talked me up, really got me going.”
He first heard that word “No Excuses” on the lips of his couch during a match in which his opponent jumped over him and collided with his head.
“I took a hard hit to the face,” he explained. “My nose was bleeding, my eye was cut. I had to be taped up to keep going. I said to my coach, ‘I can’t do this.’ Coach Donahue said, ‘you made it this far, you have to keep doing your job. Don’t give me any excuses.’”
“I went back on the mat, and when he jumped over me again, I caught him in midair and put him down on the mat,” Zion said. He went on to win the match – one of the most memorable of his high school career. He has since tattooed the word on his back.


As the old saying goes, “Men learn when they teach.” Coach Donahue himself learnt new ways of couching thanks to Zion.
“I’ve never seen anybody like Zion” said Donahue, “it made me look at coaching in whole new perspective. How do you coach a kid with no legs?” He said that he and his couching team tried different techniques, trying to take advantage of Zion’s strong point until the figured out a technique that worked for him.
Zion loves others.
There were many things Zion could have been mad at life about. He could have chosen the path of hate, raging at the life’s apparent unfairness, why this or that should happen to him, why people have to look at him funny the first time they see him. Why the first thing that comes up when his name is put on Google is “How does Zion Clark pee.”
But Zion chose not to walk down that path, rather his chose the path of love. He loves his present foster mom, Kimberly Hawkins, and is motivated to keep going because he wants to succeed, make enough money and by her a car.
He loves his Couch because he gets him to push himself harder to get the outcome he wanted in his matches. “Zion is one of the most coachable wrestlers I have ever coached, said his Coach, “He is a remarkable team player that is willing to do anything needed to help the team succeed.”
Coach Schlarb described Zion as a team motivator who always wears a smile and never says “I can’
So that is how he is able to take it all, how come he hasn’t come down with some major depression and wishing to kill himself big time.
Quick to point out the secret to his happiness, he said, “You want to be happy you have a challenge,” he said. “Things shouldn’t always be easy. Keep it simple, just have fun, work hard and be happy. And of course, make no excuses.” He is presently hoping to be part of the team USA at the Olympics games, and is determined to win a gold medal.
Like Zion, many African youths have great challenges. With both hands and feet tied by the economic hardships brought on them by their corrupt leaders. Studies show that 6 million Nigerians have slipped into extreme poverty recently. Sudan is on the verge of another civil war, Liberia is economically ruined, these chains threaten and submerge the African youth, many have taking to begging in the streets, and others are wallowing in idleness, contemplating crime or suicide.

Some may scoff at the fact that Zion lives in America, a land of opportunities, and hence can’t possibly be compared with their situation here in Africa, but they should remember that there are plenty of people living in the US who have both hands and legs, yet live in misery, feeling sorry for themselves and failing to make any success out of their lives. Worse, in America today some people argue that someone like Zion should be killed via abortion in their mother’s womb with their mothers consent, because their quality of life will be too low. Zion Clark has proved them wrong, and his story has inspired others to pull themselves out of whatever shackles holding them down and to fight, never settling for what has been achieved, but pushing ahead for that which is still out of sight.

So it doesn’t matter where you are, or what your challenges Zion says, “There are no excuses for those who refuse to push themselves and work at it till they get it right.”
Money cannot buy courage, but with mentorship and nature, many young Africans can triumph over the chains imposed on them by their purposeless and thieving leaders.

.Chinwuba Iyizoba





Why Tears Flowed as 20yro Josh Daniel Sang For his True Friend

6 05 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

josh daniel

As fire consumes a forest, as flames set a mountain ablaze, so does yearning devour a heart for a friend, a true friend. Judges and audience shed rivers of tears as 20 yr old Josh Daniel sang for his best friend who died at 18 at the 2015 X Factor audition.

The song was Labrinth’s “Jealous” and when Simon Crowell, one of the judges, asked him why he picked the song, he said that it meant a lot to him for a different reason and a shadows fleeted briefly across his handsome face as he paused to recollect himself before saying, “I lost my best friend a couple of years ago, and I interpret the lyrics in a completely different way. The lyrics say that I am jealous that you are happy without me, and I kind of see it in the sense that I am jealous that he moved on to a better place (Heaven) without me.”

As Josh began singing, the air trembled with emotions and his pain, like an arrow, pieced hearts, and tears ran like river down the faces of all as though they felt the searing wound in his heart, wounds that the past years hadn’t heal. His death shattered his heart but this song put it together again, he died, yet lives in his heart, and alone on that stage, he was with him as he sang for him.

judge

When he finished the hall erupted, a standing prolonged ovation. As silence returned, a speechless female judge who wasn’t ugly at all tried to say something but faltered and with tears streaking down her face said, “Wow! That was the most captivated I have been in the whole audition, and I believed every word you said and …I kind of want to hug you.”

Josh readily accepted and she gave him a bear hug before a cheering audience. The video has been seen by more than 200million people and it is still breaking hearts.

No one will choose to live if he has no friends says Aristotle.

True friendship is something probably unknown to many people. Who wouldn’t want to have such a friend?  We all crave it, we all desire it, yet the harsh truth is that it isn’t easy to get.

Finding a true friend is harder than finding blue diamond in the dump heap of today’s ephemeral social-media friends. A true friend loves another, not because of what he can provide, but because of who he is. He helps the other to develop, to go further, to become good.

A true friend differs from a pleasure friend as silver differs from tin foil.  Pleasure friendship ends when pleasure ends, but true friends are forever.  Pleasure is perhaps the weakest of all glues that hold people together, and if that is all there is, it prevents true friendship. Little wonder sex friendships don’t last, they often crash on the jagged rock of selfishness, shattering in a million pieces leaving nothing but bitter memories.  Josh and his friend shared a clean fulfilled-love that transcended death. Sex had nothing to do with it; it would have brought misery.

They might have fought, or driven each other crazy at times, yet their love was true and unbreakable. They might have faced and conquered dragons, or gambled and lost their last buck, yet all they had they shared.

We can all have true friends but only a few since it takes time and a lot of work to build such friendships. Is a great Cathedral built in a day? Is a great song written in one sitting? Yet with constant work, day by day, the Cathedral will stand, and the song will delight million in generations to come.

Chinwuba Iyizoba

 

 





Kardashian Redemption

15 04 2019

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere says Martin Luther King Jr, and Kim Kardashian, reality TV star and glamour girl, seems to have taken it to heart. She announced recently that she is studying to become a lawyer to better help prisoners. She told Vogue magazine that her decision was inspired by her recent success in persuading President Trump to commute the life sentence handed out to a 63 yr old woman in Tennessee for a first drug offense.

She has also helped to win clemency for another woman was convicted as a teenager of murdering a man who paid to have sex with her.

“I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society. I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more,” she said.
Kardashian, dropped out of school, started the reality TV show with her sisters, called “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” and developed a line of fashion and beauty products worth millions of dollars. Now she wants to go back and for good reasons too.

Gold is buried deep in slug, and a prostitute washed Jesus’ feet.

Kim Kardashian is hardly a saint. Yet, no matter what you think of her, her sex tapes, her nudes pictures that often break the internet and jar the senses, whether you love her or hate her, this good she is doing stands tall, and that’s the truth.

Even though her heart hungers for fame and fortune as wildly as a starving lion hungers for game, yet, having eaten to her heart’s content, she has left some affection for the incarcerated poor of America. They now have a voice and an advocate willing to undertake an inconvenient adult education to serve them better.
Let us hope that many super rich will toe her line and look beyond themselves at others who have nothing and sometime less than nothing.

The world isn’t black or white, but different shades of gray

We may not endorse everything in the world, but we must endorse every good in the world. In a world where an average person hears a million bad news daily, and believes he will go deaf if he hears anymore, any good news is as refreshing as clear cold water to a thirsty deer.

Yes, she sometime represents the worst of our time; other times, the best of our times. A diamond in the rough, her actions sometimes reflects foolishness; at other times reflects light and wisdom from distant stars.
Her love for prisoners must come as a refreshing call to action for her fellow rich and famous, to extend their helping hands to the less miserables of their time,
Perhap, her Catholic high school background has a hand in it, for care for prisoners is indeed a work of mercy cherished by the Church
Prison reform, is so noble, so worthy, and is needed everywhere. In Nigeria, many in prison are held without charge for many years, thanks to the reckless actions of the police, who are quick to arrest on mere suspicion and quick imprison without relevant paper work.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere and it is up to everyone to fight it. Anyone who barricades himself in the citadel of his own selfishness will never come down onto this battlefield.
As is expected, at 38, she isn’t finding study easy.
“The reading is what really gets me. It’s so time-consuming,” she said.
But then, she has her late father’s spirit, Robert Kardashian, a great lawyer who helped OJ Simpson in1995 to win acquittal for double murder. She is sure to ace her bar exam come 2023 when she will sit for it.
Best of luck.

No doubt, the time she devotes to this worthy cause may set her back a few bucks, but she is financially secure, and wouldn’t miss the bucks. But she will miss the train ride to redemption at the twilight of her life if she misses this great opportunity to give her life to something higher than her ego or her fame.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





Tears to Joy (Ekundayo)

4 04 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Tybello

Photo journalist, TY Bellow, who discovered the bread seller model also discovered an unsung hero, Ms Ekundayo, a woman who had single handedly cared for near 500 orphaned children without any public or private applause.

An economist graduate, who had a brief stint in Government, Bello is a passionate Christian who has an amazing eye out for underdogs. Transforming the life of an illiterate bread seller caught in her camera by accident to a supermodel. But she wasn’t done yet.

In 2003, on a whim of philanthropic spirit, she decided to go visiting orphanages round the country to see which was in dire straight and how she could help, to her great surprise, she discovered an unknown and unsung heroine, who had quietly fed and sheltered close to 500 children in the backwaters of Kogi state.

In 1959, Mama Ekundayo, a married woman with five biological children of her own, decided to take care of orphans and abandoned children as well. Without money or power, she set about her goal and by 2003, she had taken care of well nearly 500 children without any government or international aid.

mama ekundayo

Mama Ekundayo

“Ekundayo,” which translates, “(my) tears have turned to joy,” captured Bello’s sentiments the days she met this woman.

“After talking to her about 10 minutes, I just started to cry,” TY Bello said.

“I felt so empty, you know there is something about her that is very peaceful, very wholesome. You can tell that she was happy but I felt that my whole life was just about me and my project and the things that I wanted.”

Greatly edified by sheer munificence of the woman and the gloriousness of this hidden sacrifice and the contrast of her own life Bello wrote a song for her which she turned to a music video called “Ekundayo.”

ekunday ophanage

Just like many things in life, there are many unsung heroes, people who do good quietly while the world largely remains unaware. Men and women who spend their lives serving others selflessly, at the cost fortune and family. They are so noble, inspiring and out of the ordinary.

It is like catching a glimpse of that image of God we bear in our souls, so obscure and difficult to see in a world marked by unchecked greed and selfish ambition for power, lust and personal gratification.

Using one’s talents or money to serve the greatest number of people is obviously more rewarding and effective, yet it is strangely not common in Africa, and in Nigeria especially. The truth is that it requires degree of spiritual awareness rare and hard to acquire, and even more, it requires willpower and self mastery over the animal instincts of self preservation that only very few can achieve in society rife with insecurity and poverty.

Yet, the Ekundayos of this world aren’t superhuman. They are people with deep convictions who choose to live out the consequences no matter the odds.

ty bello with mama

TY Bello with Mama Ekundayo

But they are the truly free. Those who understand freedom as the radically arbitrary license to do just what they want and to have their own way are living in a lie, for by his very nature man is part of a shared existence and his freedom is shared freedom. His very nature contains direction and norm, and becoming inwardly one with this direction and norm is what freedom is all about.

It is this radical shift in thoughts and philosophy that distinguish Ms Ekundayo from many. Yet, all Nigerians retain the capacity to walk the footstep of this giant.

Admittedly this is no easy task from start to finish in Nigeria. From scarcity of adoption agency to fraudulent agencies that run orphanages with a mind of achieving a clandestine agenda, to lack of proper documentation, to legal challenges to bureaucratic bottle necks ensure that only the truly convinced can walk this course on scathe.

“Mama Ekundayo has shown us how you can do so much with so little. There are countless examples of people like her out there,” said Bello,   “I hope the videos inspire us to help make their work easier or at least spread the word as much as we can.”

EKUNDAYO – TY BELLO (video)

LYRICS: EKUNDAYO – TY BELLO

Ekundayo sugbon E mi ko

Ise Oluwa ni

Her words resound over and again

Undoubtedly I’ve been changed

Madam your life your heart touched mine

And finally I realized

Even I can give a life

Ekundayo sugbon emi ko oluwa lo fun mi se

Mo dele ever before open my door

Jojolo

 

Life was all about me

My life was all about me

Did not see nothing wrong

The life that I lived

Was far from her reality

Don’t know how empty I was

Madam your life your heart touched mine

I was struck by the purity of your smile

Now I know

Realize the change I can bring (Change I can be)

To suffering children who’ve got no home

Pray for me so I can see

Through your eyes

Repeat Do you know beautiful you become

When you make way

For the all little ones

Who otherwise would not have made it through their day

You become a part of their tale

Oh how beautiful are the feet of every man

Who brings tidings of hope to children broken

Blessings from heaven gate

Will shower you every day

Everytime you open the door to link a child

Open my door

Eje ko mode ko wa

Eje kan wa oh oh

 

Open up my door (Say yeah)

Open my door

Eje ko mode ko wa

Ki won wa oh oh

 

By Chinwuba Iyizoba








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