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

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





Cure’s Robert Smith Humble Response at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1 04 2019

 

English rock band the Cure have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but that news has been overshadowed by an interview on the red carpet, according to the guardian.uk. Lead singer Robert Smith’s humble response to a very excitable American interviewer has been viewed more than eight million times. It becomes glaringly apparent that the band was a lot less enthusiastic about their induction into the rock hall of fame than their interviewer Carrie Keagan.

“Hi, guys, so nice to meet you, I am Keagan, congratulations  to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” she goes almost jumping out of her shoes as the rock band approached

“Are you as excited as I am?” Keagan asked the Cure’s Robert Smith

“No”

“But no? What are we going to do?”

“I am sure we will get there, it’s a bit early isn’t it? ”

Maybe we just need a few drinks” Keagan suggested.

“God forbid” Smith chirped to applause from a much delighted audience.

Cure’s Robert Smith humble unenthusiastic response to fame calls to mind a brilliant commentary by Professor Donald Demarco on humility, reproduced below for your enjoyment:

The humble person makes a realistic assessment of who he is and puts that unillusioned judgment into practice. He does not judge himself to be smaller or larger than he really is. In so doing he avoids despair as well as pride. Consequently, the humble person enjoys the freedom to be who he is. He is not troubled by accidentals, such as reputation, self-interest, or failure. He takes joy in the importance or excellence of what is done rather than in the incidental fact that he happened to be the one who did it. As for illusions, which often consume huge amounts of time and energy, he has none to defend. He is not troubled by feeling obliged to defend an imaginary self to people who do not know who he really is. Nor does he expect others to be who they are not. He has no concern for trading in unrealities. He is not a candidate for being victimized by self-pity. He is not likely to be saddened by not being who he cannot be. Because of the priceless freedom to be who a person truly is, Thomas Merton can say that “the beginning of humility is the beginning of blessedness and the consummation of humility is the perfection of all joy.[5] For Confucius, “Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.”

The great mathematician-physicist Albert Einstein confessed that he was troubled by the adulation he received. He felt it was grossly disproportionate to his own more humble and realistic estimate of himself. “There are plenty of the well-endowed, thank God”, wrote the author of the theory of relativity. “It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few of them for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my fate, and the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque.”

A philosopher, who understood the fundamental importance of humility in the broad scheme of things, was once asked what the great God was doing. He replied: “His whole employment is to lift up the humble and cast down the proud.” Since humility is fruitful and pride self-destructive, such an employment would be perfectly consistent with God’s love for his creatures.

Jascha Heifetz and Mischa Elman, both preeminent violinists, were dining together in a restaurant when a waiter presented them with an envelope addressed to “the World’s Greatest Violinist”. Since the two were good friends and held each other’s artistry in the highest esteem, neither wanted to assume the letter was addressed to himself. When Heifetz begged Elman to open the envelope, the latter bowed and deferred to the former. When Elman insisted the letter must be for his companion, Heifetz, likewise demurred to his partner. Finally, Elman’s persistence was persuasive, and Heifetz reluctantly opened the letter and read the salutation: “Dear Fritz” (their illustrious colleague Fritz Kreisler).[6]

It is easy to imagine the two violinists being humbled by the incident. By contrast, Socrates interpreted the oracle’s statement, “No man is wiser than Socrates”, with rare humility. The “gadfly” of Athens correctly took it to mean that no man is wise. “Humility”, as Cardinal Newman once explained, “is one of the most difficult of virtues both to attain and to ascertain. It lies close upon the heart itself, and its tests are exceedingly delicate and subtle.”[7]

Among philosophers, Socrates is perhaps best associated with the virtue of humility. Because he knew he did not possess wisdom, he was constantly in pursuit of it. Hence, his life-long search for a master-teacher. Yet his humility proved to be a great asset inasmuch as it freed him from the distorting influence of pride. He saw the human condition with exceptional clarity, so much so that he earned the distinction of being the “Father of Moral Philosophy”.

“Humility”, states Henry David Thoreau, “like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.”[8] All genuine appreciation of things requires seeing them against a boundary of nonexistence. From the perspective of nonbeing, all light seems lightning, every sensation becomes sensational, and each phenomenon appears to be phenomenal. The attitude of humility, because it expects nothing, is ready to appreciate everything. The person who empties himself is best prepared to fill himself with the wonders of the universe. As G.K. Chesterton has pointed out, “It is one of the million wild jests of truth that we know nothing until we know nothing.”[9]

On a more theological level, Saint Augustine maintains that humility is the first, second, and third most important factor in religion. It is, in his judgment, the foundation of all other virtues. Consequently, there can be no virtue in the soul in which humility is lacking, only the appearance of virtue.

Even the devil may clothe himself in the appearance of virtue. When Saint Macarius once returned to his cell, he met the devil, who tried to cut him in half with a sickle. The devil failed in repeated attempts, because when he drew near the saint, he lost his energy. Then, full of anger, he said: “I suffer great violence from you, Macarius, because though I greatly desire to harm you, I cannot. I do all that you do and more. You fast once in a while, I never eat. You sleep little, I never close my eyes. You are chaste, and so am I. In one thing only do you surpass me.” “And what is this thing?” asked Macarius. He answered: “It is your great humility.” And with that, the devil disappeared.[10]

Canadian artist Michael O’Brien dedicated a year of his work to illustrating the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. When he came to the “Assumption of Mary into Heaven”, he found himself devoid of any inner suggestion as to how he might depict this particular mystery. In fact, he was so barren of artistic ideas that he even thought of omitting it from the series. It was at that time that he happened to read a passage in Thomas Aquinas that stated that God sends an angel to assist people in completing a work that glorifies God. Encouraged by this passage, O’Brien prayed for an assisting angel. Then it all came to him. He suddenly knew, without any accompanying emotion, exactly what colors, shapes, figures, and design he must use in executing the painting. As he himself readily admits, “What was to have been my most difficult painting was the easiest one I ever painted in my life.”[11] The painting is actually the most captivating of the series and adorns the cover of the published edition of these illustrated mysteries.[12]

Humility is the mother of many virtues, because from it knowledge, realism, honesty, strength, and dedication are born. “Humility, that low, sweet root,” writes the poet Thomas Moore, “From which all heavenly virtues shoot.”[13]

THE AUTHOR

Donald DeMarco is adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut and Professor Emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo Ontario. He also continues to work as a corresponding member of the Pontifical Acadmy for Life. Donald DeMarco has written hundreds of articles for various scholarly and popular journals, and is the author of twenty books, including The Heart of Virtue, The Many Faces of Virtue, Virtue’s Alphabet: From Amiability to Zeal and Architects Of The Culture Of Death. Donald DeMarco is on the Advisory Board of The Catholic Education Resource Center.





How to Shield Your Children from Corruption

24 03 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Robtel Neajai Pailey
Robtel Neajai Pailey

Rife in every section of Nigerian society, corruption is more visible in the armed forces who clog highways with sandbags and drums, and openly extort money from motorist.

I was driving with my 7 yrs nephew, Jonathan, by my side. It was a hot afternoon. We came to a police check.

“Do you want to be a policeman? “ I asked mischievously.

 “No,” the boy answered, without hesitation.

“Why?”

I was curious to know the reason for such categorical rejection. A police job is honored work in many countries.

“They are corrupt!” he quipped without blinking.

The policeman by the car in front crumpled something into his pocket waved him on. We were next.

 I wound down and greeted him cheerfully.

“Anything for your boys?” drawled the officer.

“Nothing today, sir” I said, sheepishly. “May be tomorrow.”

He waved us on.

We drove on in silence. I was wondering how much harm was done to children by witnessing daily daylight graft on our roads by men in uniform.

It reminded me of another story a woman told me, some time ago, about her 7 yr old son, Hamza. He had just joined the boy scouts, the uniform and badges gave him such a trill, he felt like an officer, and like officers do, he wanted money. The next day, on his way to a scouting activity, he stepped into the middle of a busy road and faced a fast approaching taxi. He had seen policemen do all the time. As the car raced towards him, horn blaring, he raised an authoritative hand. Stop!

 The car swerved at the last minute to avoid running him over, the driver spat at him, passengers cursed and showed him their five fingers. Passersby screamed as they hauled him by the ear out of the road and someone whisked him back to his shocked and grateful mother. That was the end of his scouting career.

The difference between Jonathan and Hamza, it occurred to me, was that Jonathan goes to a private school where Christian ethical codes were taught every week. During classes, teachers emphasize the difference between good and evil, and how lying, cheating–in a word corruption, harms. They help them discover good and do it, they help them uncover evil and avoid it; they learn that they can make mistakes and how to be quick in correcting themselves.

Hamza, on the other hand, attends a public school ill equipped to teach him Math’s and English, but very efficiently creates an environment that makes it hard for him to be virtuous.  He learns from older pupils how to steal, smoke, drink and climb school fences at night to visit brothels. He has never been furnished any argument against the corruption he sees.

Yet more Nigerian children attend public schools than private schools, and we cannot have it both ways. Either we teach these children about the evil of corruption now or we have corrupt citizens later.

This troubled Robtel Neajai Pailey, a Liberian academic, activist and author until she decided to do something revolutionary.

 In 2012, frustrated with all the rhetoric about fighting corruption in Liberia she wrote anti-corruption books for kids. The first one, Gbagba loosely translated, means ‘trickery’ or, ‘corruption’

 “I realized that integrity must be strengthened at the earliest stages in a child’s life in order to mitigate the practice of corruption in the next generation” she said.

Gbagba is the story of young twins, who leave the countryside to visit their aunt in the capital, Monrovia. The intrigues of adults in everyday corrupt practices—robbery, bribery, fraud, vigilantism—collide with the children’s strong moral sense of right and wrong.

Immediately after the children arrive in the city, a thief “in dirty clothes” snatches their suitcases in broad daylight. The description of the robber tells us that that the man is poor and desperate. But the idea that it is greed rather than dehumanizing poverty triggers the man’s thievery incites the threat of mob justice

And in no time, the twins later observe their aunt’s driver bribing a police officer. Their aunt’s indifference during this encounter stands in stark contrast to the twins’ sharp perception of the unfair advantage that takes place after the transaction.

You can watch the video adaptation of the book below and please share with your children

Pailey was inspired to write the book in order to give children the verbal tools to question the ethical and moral values of adults around them. The book received critical acclaim and has been adopted as compulsory reading by Liberian Ministry of Education

“Eight to 10-year-old children are the perfect targets because it is at this stage that they begin to form an ethical core,” Pailey continued.

 “In writing Gbagba, I imagined myself a proverbial anti-corruption pied piper, without the instrument of doom…. Even though Gbagba‘s setting is Liberia, it remains a universal tale about children’s emancipation from the confusing ethical codes of the adults around them”

As Pailey says, children are the moral compass of Liberia if not the world. When they start publicly exposing corruption for what it truly is, my hope is that adults will be shamed into living more honestly, with integrity.

The book has been turned into a play and the play was well received by parents, teachers, and school administrators in Liberian and other African countries.  It has also been converted to a play, and 200 theatre-goers enjoyed the performance in the audience on debut day.

A parent of one of the cast members informed Pailey her daughter is now the integrity police in their household, pointing out when her parents and siblings are being dishonest.

This is a worthy investment Nigerian government should consider making, inviting Pailey with her project and give children like Hamza the knowledge they need to fight corruption in themselves and later in the Nigerian society . Pailey has since written a sequel to Gbagba called Jaadeh.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba








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