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Coronavirus

Coronavirus Vaccine

Last week, some French doctors drew outrage when they suggested that a Coronavirus vaccine should be tested in Africa first.

For a rebuttal, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto would speak up. Therein lies the problem with the entire issue.

Africans are always the ones who go into a gunfight with a knife. We choose feelings over intellect and then complain rather than reflect when we lose.

The rest of the world focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) while Africans are focussed on Religion, Entertainment, Sports and Tradition (REST).

As a result of this, the whole world keeps making progress while we Africans remain behind but demand to be treated with respect.

If anyone should have answered, it should have been an African doctor, not men whose only contribution to the universe was the chasing of a round ball for 90 minutes.

Since we are all going to fool around, please let me present my own vaccine.

Banga Soup and Pounded Yam
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Coronavirus

What Did Your Church Do For You During the Lockdown?

If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.

Proverbs 24:10
New Living Translation

My parents founded a church in 1988. Then it was called First Baptist Church Ipaja and was under the J.T Ayorinde association.

When the church would gain independence from its mother church, it would then be called Faith Foundation Baptist Church. Today, it has been renamed to Berachah Baptist Church.

Today is Palm Sunday. It is also Day 6 of the Lagos Lockdown. The church body would distribute foodstuffs to all the members of the church in the Iyana, Ipaja vicinity.

The tomatoes and pepper were separated into two baskets as shown below:

Tomatoes and Pepper

The foodstuffs were not much compared to what my family had already stocked up for the lockdown. However, the church has won a place in my heart for this action.

In times of crisis, words fail and only action remains. When the crisis passes, the memory of what was done lingers.

The Lagos Lockdown will change the face of religion in Nigeria. No one knows how the whole scenario will play out but when it is all said and done, people will remember who did what.

Tell your Pastor this.

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Coronavirus

COVID Tales from Kano State

Today marks Day 5 of the Lagos Lockdown. Today would be the first time I would step out of the house. I needed to buy data.

On entering the area, the security man was greeted by an “Aboki”. The “Aboki” was entering the estate to buy scrap metal. When asked by the security guard why he wasn’t observing the lockdown, he would provide insight into the perception of the average Nigerian on the Coronavirus.

The man I met is from Kano State. He told me that although the governor gave a directive in the state, prayers are still ongoing. As a result of this, people come from Kaduna state where prayers have stopped to pray in Kano state.

The Imam of Kano state argued that he was yet to meet anyone who had been infected by the Coronavirus. With the reputation of the average Northerner for violence, any attempt to disrupt the prayers would end in violence.

The “Aboki” believes that the Coronavirus is just a way to steal money. He mentioned all the donations made and the fact that they had already been stolen.

Then he dropped the bomb: “What does the government do for me?” At that point, I was flabbergasted. I didn’t have a response. I just shook his hand and walked away.

At that moment, I realised that the average Nigerian sees hunger, poverty, and Malaria as a bigger threat to his life than the Coronavirus.

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Coronavirus

COVID Pledge

Today marks Day 4 of the Lagos Lockdown. As I write this, the noise from the generator at home is intruding. There has been no light since yesterday when we had a blackout.

In my part of Lagos, Nigeria we are on “One Day On, One Day Off”. A polite term for load-shedding.

I am tired of the noise and would love to leave the house. Sadly I cannot. In a country where youths are harassed by the police on normal days of the week, violation of the lockdown would be suicide.

With the lockdown in place, the security services have been given a license to kill. 3 people have already lost their lives due to the enforcement of the lockdown. Only 1 person has died from the virus.

Yesterday, Nigerians realised that there are no ventilators in the country. The incidence exposed the underbelly of the Nigerian elite.

On all front, the current administration is a failure. The entire situation is being handled poorly.

I am in a shithole of a nation with the realisation that I am at risk. I feel like a passenger on a plane that the engines have gone out.

On April 1st, I was morbid. I had given up hope for living. On the second, I was looking for words to help me die well.

Today, I have a vision for the future. Without a vision beyond the current events, it is possible to be overwhelmed by them.

The Federal government of Nigeria would be begging Elon Musk after getting N44 Billion in donations.

The dilapidated hospitals in the country have no equipment. Unlike other nations where every citizen can get government aid, Nigerians will have to rebuild their lives when all this is over.

I have decided that I will live through this period. These are dark times but I have decided that come what may, I will survive.

A verse in the Holy Quran says: “The death from which you flee will truly overtake you”.

In my life, I testify to the truth of those words. Everything I have been afraid of has happened to me. It’s as if by being afraid of something, I attract it to myself.

But not this time. This time I have chosen a vision for the future. I got the inspiration to create a framework for the COVID-19 Pandemic which I call the COVID Pledge.

C – Change

Once the skies clear, I will go back to making. I used to be a maker until I had an accident in 2015, then I gave up on living.

Once the lockdown is over, I will go back to making stuff. The first thing I would want to make is an Antisoud device of some sort.

O – Optimise

I teach virtual classes. It is my sincere belief that the classes could be done better. At the moment I am working with the second batch of students for the Learn to Code Monthly Series.

I intend to continue working on making the classes better until I am satisfied with my results.

Once I am sure that I have a system in place, I will look at how to automate as much of the process as possible.

V – Visit

My favourite country on earth is Ghana. It would be there that I would learn that my “Nigerian” mentality was depravity.

Once the pandemic is over and it is possible to travel again, I will visit Ghana. My plan is to go as far as Ivory Coast. I have been working on a series to draw Adinkra symbols using the Python programming language.

Being able to visit Ghana then Ivory Coast will help me complete the book I intend to write about the Adinkra symbols.

I – Initiate

This year marks 10 years since I created my first game. It was a J2ME game written in the Java programming language.

Fuelled by youthful exuberance, I would try to build a game studio in Nigeria.

Inexperience, a lack of capital, the absence of payment infrastructure and hubris would turn a dream into a nightmare.

The accident in 2015 ended that dream. As soon as it is possible, I will reopen the company. The goal would be to create products that I feel are needed in this world. I will work on it part time.

D – Destroy

I will use this platform to speak up against the wrongs in my country. I have always said that “Bad governance will kill everyone”. The Coronavirus debacle is proof of that.

For far too long Nigerians have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to governance. Enough is enough.

You Have a Choice to Make

Without aspiration for the future, all is lost. By having a vision beyond the headlines of today, you increase your chances of coming out of the pandemic.

The COVID Pledge is a framework for thinking positively about the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you have read this far, I urge you to create one for yourself. There is no need to share it with anyone.

For the most part, the headlines in the remaining part of the year will not be positive. Even if the pandemic ends today, the world faces the task of rebuilding.

A key piece of advice to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus is to maintain social distancing.

However, nowhere are we told to protect our minds. News flies fast and furious as news agencies compete to outdo each other on negativity.

As at today, 1 million people have been infected. It’s hard to insulate yourself from that news.

However, this battle will be won or lost in your mind. By controlling your thoughts you increase your odds of survival.

By making your own COVID Pledge, you affirm your will to survive and your faith in the future.

Take this period to renew yourself. Learn a new skill. There are a lot of free courses available right now. A lot of paid courses are being given away for free.

I will end this post with a verse from the Holy Bible: “I am giving you a choice between life and death. Choose life”.

Categories
Coronavirus

Lockdown

It’s taken a while but at last, Lagos is on Lockdown. There was no other route to take. The pandemic would have decimated the state.

So all non-essential markets have been shut down. Only markets selling food and medicine will remain open during this period.

For a lot of entrepreneurs, this time will be especially challenging. Given the reality of living in Nigeria, it is sad to note another year of losses.

This time last year, some businesses would incur losses due to the elections. A year later, due to the Coronavirus, businesses will be taking a hit.

How people will pick up the pieces of their lives when this is over is beyond me.