Sunday, October 24, 2021

Life Lately: Winter Blues, Finding & Working with a Mentor

Today is a great day for football. At 15.15 BST, there’s El Clásico, the first of the post-Messi era. Then at 16.30 BST there’s Liverpool vs. Manchester United. Both will be great games for neutral fans, but I am rooting for Real Madrid and Manchester United (for Ronaldo). Fingers crossed at least one of the two carry the day.


Lovely blue skies at the Victoria Park

The past week was tough on my energy levels. It was grey and wet from Monday through Thursday, and I missed the sun very badly. I am a child of Ibadan, where the sun never misses its daily rendezvous with the earth. Four autumns down the line, I still find it difficult to go days without seeing the sun. By Thursday I had taken to praying for some blue in the sky, and when I saw that it would be sunny on Friday – I knew I had to take the day off and get outside. I hope that sustains me through the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Life Lately: On Black Taxes

I was recently speaking to someone who is indebted to the tune of 7x their monthly income. Now, not all debt is bad debt. This wouldn’t be noteworthy if they had taken out all those loans to invest in their future: say to buy a house, move to Canada, or pay for a well-chosen master’s program. But in this case, they were concerned – and I was concerned, because they had borrowed the money over many months to meet family obligations.

My last Twitter thread about black tax, financial support young black people are expected to provide their families and extended families, elicited a deluge of comments. People argued about its definition, whether young people should “pay” it, and how it perpetuates poverty. I’m not getting into matters of definition or propriety. I’m instead focusing on how to manage financial support to one’s family so that it does not result in debt or create lasting resentment.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Life Lately: Virtual bible study and three tips for working more deeply

With part of the crew. Some of my favourite people in the world

One of the things I miss the most about living in Lagos is the spontaneous discussions my group of friends, affectionately known as The Crew, often have. I met the first members of The Crew when I started at OAU and joined the Student Christian Movement in 2006. I took an instant liking to Joseph, Kemi, and Wale. I met Ope through Wale in 2007, and then Detola, Bunmi, and Busola in 2008. A lot has happened in those 15 years, and we’ve stayed together for most of it, so everyone has a lot of context on everyone else. We’re often able to build on that constructively in our conversations and I missed that so intensely this past week.

So, when the idea came to me to suggest a virtual Bible Study plan, I leapt at it. Thankfully, they were up for it and we’re now on Day 6 of this lovely 7-day plan: Wisdom for Right Living. We all read the same devotional and bible passages, and then comment on WhatsApp or using the discussion space in the Bible app. It’s not the same as getting together in someone’s living room to discuss passionately, but it’s close enough, and I’m thankful we can use technology to bridge the gaps in geography.