MEMOIRS OF A MUSHIN GIRL.

PS: This post was inspired by Nedoux’s I LIVE HERE.

Photo credit: WEB

Disclaimer: I no be Lagos pikin o (i.e. I was neither “born” nor “bred” there). Infact I’ve never really been a fan of Lagos, and I don’t think I’m ready to change my mind yet😁. So y’all should take my observations/conclusions with a pinch of salt (and pepper😜). Tenkiu!


Story-behind-the-Story:
Like some of you know, yours sincerely was a short-term guest (and tourist) in the famous city of Lagos for about 3 months, because of the MDCN remedial program for FTDs which took place at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). While my stay wasn’t an entirely rosy one, it sure had its perks.
Since LUTH provided limited accommodation for those who registered for the program, I had to make alternative arrangement. For the first few weeks, I stayed with my cousin’s family in Ebutte-Meta, but the commute (especially after closing hours) took its toll on me. So I was all determined to find a place to rent around LUTH (i.e. Surulere-Idiaraba-Mushin axis) which proved even more challenging than I expected.

House hunting
anywhere is not an easy task, but unlike my SVG experience, the Naija house agents I came across were quite “mouthed” (i.e. smooth talkers with little integrity, unfortunately).
I didn’t even know there was such a thing as viewing fee- where you paid the agent a certain amount just for showing you an apartment (whether you want to rent the place or not. Like seriously?!). One guy requested for a whole 5K as viewing fee and I was like, “Mba, I think I’ll pass.” 

I had to make calls upon calls, visited a couple of places (including stuffy wannabe guest houses, *rolls eyes*) before finding an apartment (thanks to a contact from an old friend), that was remotely affordable and suitable for the purpose of my stay. Thus began my sojourn in the neighborhood called M-U-S-H-I-N

And looking back, I have no regrets (except that I didn’t really get to explore other areas in Lagos, because “no time” and “no money”).

***

Living in Mushin.

Mushin
, a closely-knit community, largely known for its history of violence ranging from local gang clashes to political uproars, is one of the few neighborhoods in Lagos, that the average (educated, upper middle-class) Lagosian, wouldn’t consider living in (as a first choice, anyway).
When compared to its immediate neighbors like Surulere and Yaba, Mushin is but a REFINED (or should I say, GLORIFIED) slum. One of the things I admire about the community though, is that the streets if narrow, are relatively well-planned and the roads are fairly accessible.
A friend of mine who has lived in Lagos for a while, expressed his concerns about my safety in that neighborhood. Thankfully, throughout my stay I did not have an unfortunate experience.

Mushin is quite densely populated, with buildings literally filling up every inch of land in the community. My street, Kosobameji (which is a 3-minute walking distance by the way), apart from the residential buildings, had at least 5 Churches, 2 Mosques, 4 Schools and 10 Shops; and is just a mere fraction of the Mushin Community. Other streets were interconnected to ours in such a way, that there were multiple routes to get to the Main Street (LUTH road), which eventually joined the dual-carriage Mushin main road.
My roommate and I shared a storey building (that sits on about half a plot) with 5 other families. That’s the smallest compound I’ve ever lived in. Thankfully, we had a cordial relationship with our neighbors, most of the time. We simply had to contribute to paying for the prepaid card for electricity, as well as the waste disposal fee, and took turns washing the gutter. 
Mushin is everything from hilarious to sometimes utterly ridiculous. There were days I enjoyed the bustling LIFE, and other days I wondered how I found myself in such a place in the first place.

Highlights of my stay in MUSHIN:

LAGOS, Nigeria.

Call-To-Prayer:
The early morning call-to-prayer by Muslim clerics that unfailingly usher you into the day (doesn’t help that there are multiple mosques in the area), plus the subsequent calls till late evening. The good thing though, was that I learnt the specific times Muslims pray every day (5 a.m, 6 a.m, 1 p.m,  4 p.m, 7 p.m, and 8 p.m) and tried to adjust accordingly.

Street Football:

Photo credit: WEB

Sunday afternoon in Mushin, is a time for anyone and everyone to participate in a local game of football whether as players, fans or mere observers. The annoying thing though, is that the entire street is converted into a playing field; so pedestrians and motorists have to maneuver their way through, to avoid getting hit.

Owambe:


Owambe
(a slang for Partying) in Mushin, is on a different level. It basically consists of late evening drinking, dining and dancing, that extends from the host’s compound to the front of his neighbor’s compound (for lack of space), often rendering the street inaccessible to motorists and passers by. And I don’t think anyone needs to obtain their neighbors’ permission before doing such.
I recall how surprised I was the first time, when I met people partying right in front of our gate, only to discover that the celebrant wasn’t even from the compound.

Photo credit: WEB

Street Food:
On moving to Mushin, fried yam/sweet potatoes, fried plantain and akara, became my favorite things to snack on, because there were food stalls on every street corner. It’s perhaps the only thing I really miss about Mushin.

Photo credit: WEB

 

Street food in Naija is a MUST for any foreigner to experience. 

Water Vendors/Borehole Madam:

Photo credit: WEB
On days when there was no electricity to pump water into the house, we hired Water Vendors (locally called Abokis) to supply us with water and although the unit cost was cheap (N25 per fetch), it quickly added up to about N1000 at the end of a week, which was expensive.
A number of times, I had to go to the neighborhood borehole (less than 2-minute walking distance from my apartment) to buy water from this thick, black, never-smiling Madam (whose name I didn’t know). I was always intrigued by the number of people, both young and old, who were her daily customers and wondered how much sales she actually made every day.

“Akape” Story:
This is still the funniest experience as regards my stay in Mushin. One early morning (around past six), I had to go in search of painkillers, so an Okada guy took me to an open drugstore, where I found one sleepy Baba seated.
After telling him what I wanted, he offered me a clear plastic bag containing about 10 tablets, of different colors, shapes and sizes; popularly called “Akape” by the locals. This was from someone with little or no medical knowledge about the drug interactions of what he had prescribed.
When I asked what the pills were for, he said they could work for all kinds of pain (and in my mind I was like 😱😱😱). I quickly asked for known drugs like Diclofenac and Ibuprofen. Thankfully he had the former, so I double-checked its expiring date, paid for it and left. My mistake according to another Doctor-friend, was not buying the “Akape” for a proper analysis of the drug mix. I’ve heard that some local chemists would sometimes prescribe everything from anti-hypertensive meds to anti-thyroid meds for simple cases of Malaria.

Lights out:
Perhaps the most challenging issue with my stay in Mushin was the initial absence of electricity in the neighborhood, when my friend and I moved in. For a whole week, the light barely blinked and there were nights I cried myself to sleep.
Most nights we had to keep the window and door to our apartment wide-open to allow for proper ventilation, and there were nights we actually slept off…like that! Thankfully, we did not experience any incidence of theft.

Mosquitos, Rats and Cockroaches
were our regular companions in the apartment. The first two I could tolerate, the last I absolutely detested. Cockroaches are just plain irritating…ugh!

Kids at Play:
One of the families living in my compound had four kids, all boys! And these lads loved to play (sing and shout) all day, everyday, sometimes right up to our window/doorstep. A number of times, I actually had to step out of the apartment to reprimand them because I was either trying to sleep or to study. It took an extra caution on my part not to actually SPANK one of the kids, which would have been terrible because my hands ain’t exactly “Child-Friendly.” 😂😂😂

***

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy THIS IS LAGOS!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

*FTDs- Foreign Trained Doctors.

I RELEASE YOU!

Credit: BoldSky.com
From the prison of my heart
And clutches of my thoughts,

I release you..

From what should have been
And what cannot be,

I release you..

From my unmet needs
And endless expectations,

I release you..

From my deepest longings
And saddest sighs,

I release you..

From what you don’t see, what you don’t hear
And what you don’t know,

I release you..

I know you don’t want to be here,
you’re free to fly as a bird,

I release you.

(Requine2015, “Therapeutic Tears“)

MONDAYS ARE FOR MOTIVATION!

A MEMO to me and everyone who needs some motivation…

Because life sometimes happens to all of us, and we need a boost every now and then

Here are 5 tips to inspire you: 

1. Dear Sister (brother or friend), why wait for another to validate you?

2. Be Confident, Stay Attractive.

ImageCredit: WEB

3. You’re BEAUTIFUL, act like it!


4. If you can dream it, you can live it



5.  You’re strong enough to do all you’ve been called to do


:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

ALLELUIA APRIL!!!

I’m so glad to be back and I know APRIL is halfway gone, but I’ll do my customary new month post anyway…I hope it’s been an adventurous ride for y’all.
I’m so glad to have crossed into the second quarter of the year. God in his faithfulness brought me through:

a Judicious January

a Fervent February

a Melodious March…

And now it’s an Alleluia April 💃💃💃


So Let somebody shout Alleluia!

Alleluia (also spelt Hallelujah) means “Praise Ye Jehovah”
The word PRAISE is synonymous with words like bless, celebrate, compliment, exalt, glorify, hail, hallow, honor, reverence, and worship among others.

And that’s what April is about. For the many victories in the past three months…my heart desire is for God’s praises to rise from the inside of me

An insight into what the month looks like for me:

❤️WORSHIP:

I rejoice in him (SINACH)

❤️WORD:

Jeremiah 17:7-8


❤️ WHAT I’M READING (plus a few lessons):

1. The book of John


So Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave this place and go to Judea, so that your followers will see the things that you are doing. No one hides what he is doing if he wants to be well known. Since you are doing these things, let the whole world know about you!” (Not even his brothers believed in him.) Jesus said to them, “The right time for me has not yet come. Any time is right for you. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I keep telling it that its ways are bad.
John 7:3-7 GNB

2. Unstoppable (Christine Caine)

In the divine relay, every believer is called to run, and the only spectators are those already in heaven’s grand stand.

3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Peter F. Drucker)

It is not enough for a need to be felt, it also must be understood. Without understanding a problem, we may never be able to find a lasting solution.


4. Lioness Arising (Lisa Bevere)

A lioness knows her beauty is revealed in her strength. It is captured in what her body can actually do, not merely how it looks. Her attractiveness is undeniable because her power is unquestionable.


5. Passing it on (Myles Munroe)

The only way you can share power is to be confident in yourself. You are unique, no one can steal you. So learn to give yourself away.

6. It’s not about Me (Max Lucado)

Players who seek their own glory at the sacrifice of the team’s glory drive the team away from success. So it is with life. The goal is not our own glory– David Robinson.

❤️STILL LEARNING:
Spanish and Igbo languages
❤️TO-DO-LIST:
Complete writing project- 26 Blessings and Counting!


❤️ANTICIPATING:

Ify’s Weddingall roads lead to Nnewi 28/29th of this Month…and yes to Aso Ebi things🙌😄

GLORY!!!

 
– My MDCN Induction Ceremony

Finally, yours sincerely gets to practice this Medicine thing😅🤓

#LicensedToPractice
– Other Goals for 2017

Hello vision board
❤️THANKFUL FOR:

Ty and Lord B’s visit, for the awesome gifts I received from the abroad😉



and also the very crunchy, yummy, kilishi, all the way from KD.

Family.Fun.Freetime



​Our belated Easter outing was yesterday, and we saw the movie OMUGWO…believe me,  it was worth every penny we paid😉


❤️CURRENT TRENDS

1. bookzz.org: An e-library of over a million free books of several genres. Well, for the periods I was indisposed, and unable to blog, I must have consumed at least half a dozen of Agatha Christie’s books. She writes great detective stories.

2. Flo app (for ladies): provides a smart and simple way to track your cycle by making accurate and reliable predictions of your menstruation and ovulation.
Available for free on Android and Apple devices.

3.  Musixmatch: an app which projects lyrics of songs played on your device directly onto the screen, so you can sing along.
Also available for free on Android and Apple devices.

So that’s it for now folks…

Wishing you all a lovely rest of the month,

And don’t stop Praising God.

:::requ1ne:::

HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE…

It’s been a very loooooooong hiatus (pls grab your dictionary) and I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to be here. 

*covers face*

Lo siento.


Maybe some of you have been wondering why I’d gone AWOL in the last couple of weeks….
Special shoutout to my personal person, Dr. T of Tamie’s alcove, who was kind enough to ask me in particular. ☺️😘

Ahhh…life has been happening. And just when I think the drama is about to end, a new one begins.

What can I say? God is FAITHFUL.

So my theme song for Melodious March was “I TESTIFY” by Ada. Of course at the time, I had no idea of the challenges that awaited me during the month but I could sense the mighty hand of God working quietly behind the scenes…my testimony therefore is in three folds:

1. A Narrow Escape:
A couple of days to the end of March, the enemy made a very cheap, but unsuccessful attempt on my life, via a motorcycle accident.
Like I never expected it…

It was a lovely and gay Monday morning, and I was feeling especially elated that day. You see, the evening before, my sister (who was on a short visit to Lagos) and I, had attended an awesome worship service at JoshuaVille (Mainland) and I was yet to recover from the experience.
It was in that jolly mood that I wished my sister a safe trip and I left for LUTH.
A few minutes down the road the accident occurred, one moment I was walking, the next moment I was flat on my face. The shock of it all…it felt like an out-of-body experience. In fact, at some point, I wanted to laugh…by then sympathizers had gathered and I found myself being taken to the Emergency room. It was on getting there that I had a release from my trance-like state, and soon enough the tears flowed.

2. Through Pain and Tears:
Thankfully the injuries I sustained from the accident were mostly superficial…chiefly skin lacerations. It was an irony to find myself- a doctor in the role of a rather helpless patient.
The weeks that followed were spent in significant physical and psychological distress. I consumed lots of medications, had a good number of wound dressings and found myself in the dental centre more times than I cared about. To further complicate matters, I was sleeping poorly, eating and drinking shabbily, and suffering from mood swings.



What had initially appeared to be a transient phase was fast becoming a frustrating experience for me. I felt (permit me to say) quite angry with God for bringing such distress my way at such an inconvenient time…the MDCN exams were just around the corner.
If only I knew…

3. Way-Maker, Miracle-Worker and Promise-Keeper:
So it was that at some point, I considered not taking the exams, because my situation seemed hopeless. There were days when I had neither the energy nor the willpower to even study. I also missed a couple of revision classes and there was so much to cover.
Thank God for the support of good friends, like Dr. Ify (Chief of PQs) and Dr. Bunmi (my OSCE tutor)…

(These ladies MUST make Heaven😘😘😘)
Along with the encouragement of other well wishers and my ever-praying parents, I was able to move from a state of despondence to a state of dependence on God.

Needless to say, I passed the exams. And all I can say is…
BABA NA YOU BIKO!

“[I] thank the LORD, who has not let [My] enemies destroy [Me]. [I] have escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap; the trap is broken, and [I am] free! [My] help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭124:6-8‬ ‭GNB‬‬

(Emphasis mine)

The next part of the story is how I transited from being a patient to becoming a caregiver for another, and so my Easter break was practically spent within the four walls of a hospital (Naija hospitals are just one kind), but I won’t bore you with the details sha.


Thank God for victory.

Again, I testify.

:::requ1ne:::

“STUCK”

Jan 19, 2016. 1:57 PM….

Yaaay! Happy new year folks.

Glad we all made it. God is good. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about you. Yes, you my dearest readers! 

And, I know it’s mutual. Come on, isn’t it true that you have wondered what I’ve been upto since the year began?

I know it’s true, cos one of you was kind enough to ask me directly. 

It’s awesome to know that some persons really care so much about your passion that they always want to know what’s up.

I recall sometime ago, when I mentioned to a particular friend that I was bored, and he told me to go and write on my blog. And I did. That particular post wasn’t sensational or anything close, but it was better than just sitting out like a duck, lazing around with my thoughts. I’m happy that he didn’t suggest easier options like seeing a movie or going out or listening to a sermon…lol. Ofcourse, there’s a place for all that. But channeling your energy to whatever you’re passionate about, is probably always the BEST option. So when next you are bored, you know what to do.

Yours sincerely has been kinda busy in a way, since the year began. Just completed a significant phase of my medical school journey, and though it wasn’t easy, I made it. It’s a huge relief and I’m super-grateful to God.

So why am I here anyway?

Well, today is one of those days that I have no other choice but to blog because, I have so much time to spare, that if I don’t use it wisely, I’ll waste it foolishly. And I’m serious.

If you’ve been conversant enough with my blog, you’ll notice that I try to be as organized as possible. I’m hardly a spontaneous person. Yeah, I know that’s boring. I wrote about it here already.

The WIFI in my apartment has been down since last evening, I returned from work to meet it the same way. Well since I’m so Internet-dependent, every sane thing I could possibly think of doing seems impossible. Including studying. You know right, in case I need to look up the meaning of a medical term, blah, blah. (And no, I don’t have a medical dictionary. Sorry). So I can’t really study the way I love to.

  
I can’t chat with anyone either, whether friend, foe or family. 

  

Well, there’s always TV to watch, food to eat and a good bed to sleep in. But of what advantage would that be to myself and the society at large? Hardly any I guess.

  
The bottomline is, I’m here because I’m stuck. I count it as a blessing really cos I was hoping to blog this weekend, but it’s better now than later.

I have an outstanding update for the SISTERHOOD OF THE BLOGGERS AWARD. It should be out UNFAILINGLY soon and I have my nominees already.

Then to the big one, this coming month (February), God-willing, I’ll be working on another project: “DEAR 2016: 21 LESSONS”. 

  
Many of you are familiar with the drill already, it will be a post per day from the 1st of February to the 21st. I’ll be sharing significant lessons from the past year. And I hope those lessons would inspire everyone that reads them. 

PS: When you see this post, know that the WIFI has been restored  I shared this from my friend’s apartment…🙄😉.

And I finally studied a bit, I had no choice…😑😕.

Till I come your way again.

Thank you for reading!

~requ1ne~

OPTION B.

 

This is very RANDOM. I know it’s been a while.

I’m not supposed to be blogging this evening. Instead, I’m meant to be studying like the serious medical student I aspire to be someday. I have a presentation in 2 days and it requires as much commitment in time, as possible. In between, I have to study and attend to lots of other things too.

But right now, permit me to rant for a while. I promise it won’t take too long.


Yours sincerely is hungry. And I mean really hungry, like food-hungry, not something a cup of tea with biscuits can fix. It’s not for lack of money or food. [Thankfully, I have enough cooked meals in my fridge, and some foodstuffs as well.] And NO, I’m not being lazy to find something to eat either.

My situation is just weird. Pathetic may be a better word, not in the tragic, pitiable kind of way though. I really don’t know how best to communicate it to you, so let’s leave it at that.

I alone know why I’m hungry. And this is not the first time. For those that know me well enough, I try to plan everything that relates to me in advance. And I mean detailed planning, especially what to eat or wear for days, weeks or months ahead. (Ok, so I wrote something about that some time last month, HERE). I’m not so used to the spur-of-the-moment thing anymore. I didn’t know how weird that was until I started hearing from some of my folks. Well, it’s okay to be weird sometimes.

Back to my situation. I’ve had my two “planned” meals for the day already, so I don’t understand exactly why my body wants more food (maybe that wasn’t enough, well I’m trying to watch my weight… 😑😟). Now I know what to eat for breakfast tomorrow, and then lunch/dinner too (depending on when I eat). But for now, it’s sad because even though I’m acutely hungry, I’ve made no provision for anything extra to eat for today. That’s one of the setbacks of me trying to be as organized as possible. There is hardly room for what-ifs. You see why my situation is pathetic. Just opening the fridge to get the next available meal is not that simple, since that would affect my meal-plan for subsequent days.

I know according to Matthew 6:34, I should take no thought of tomorrow (what to eat, drink or wear), because tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself. 
But how else can I be efficient and effective with my resources? I’m not a chronic worrier per se. At least I’m learning not to be. I guess I’m missing something significant, how to draw the line between being ORGANIZED and staying SANE. My mind tries to convince my body that I shouldn’t be hungry, but I know I am. And instead of getting something to eat, I’ve been here, thinking for over an hour on what options I have: Should I eat tomorrow’s dinner? Should I go out for some KFC? Should I find something random to cook? Should I ask my neighbor for food? Or should I just go to bed?

The problem is that the more time I spend thinking about it, the more likely I am to go for the last OPTION.

Anyway, who knows? Perhaps, I might be a bit SPONTANEOUS tonight. I really need some Food to Function.

Enough of my ranting, I’m done.

Thanks for reading.

:::Requ1ne:::

The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award.

So this is the first time I’ll be doing this kind of stuff, or receiving a blogger’s award for that matter. Thanks to the admirable Omooba who is such a natural at writing, for this awesome opportunity. She’s an inspiration to me. Pls check her blog here.


I’ll go straight to the point. Here are the 10 questions she asked:

1. What are the top 5 songs on your playlist?

This is kinda tough, cos I’m not a playlist kind of person, I just listen to songs as the occasion demands. Permit me to share some of my favorite songs (not necessarily the most frequently played):

1. GRACE (Michael W. Smith)

2. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL (Anne Marie Boskovich)

3. IBA FELEDUA (Deyemi Olorin)

4. YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE (Point of Grace)

5. YAHWEH, YAHWEH (Chris Morgan)

***

2. What are your top 5 reads?

Hmmmn..can I count up to 5? Let’s see.

1. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING (Keith Harrell)

2. WHY YOU ACT THE WAY YOU DO (Tim LaHaye)

3. IF CATERPILLARS CAN FLY SO CAN I (Alvin Day)

PS: The first two are legit, and I’d readily recommend them. The 3rd is the most recent, and I’m yet to fully digest its contents.

***

3. What would you say is the best quality in a Person?

The ability to be true to oneself.

***

4. What unnerves you?

At the moment, Cockroaches. I can’t stand them. 

***

5. What keeps you motivated? 

God’s word, good books and any inspiring write-up I come across. 

***

6. Why do you blog?

So that I can inspire others. 

Why did I start blogging? Because a good friend inspired me to. He blogs here

***

7. What’s the best thing anyone has ever said to you?

You mean the BEST thing ever? I can’t readily think of it…probably wasn’t paying attention. 😑😕🤔

***

8. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Ofcourse, I open my eyes…😉🙃

Then I check the time. 

Some days, I have my QUIET TIME first. Other days, I go and use the bathroom if it’s urgent. 

***

9. Do you like being female? Why?

Yes. 

Being female is AWESOME because despite the many challenges we face (within and without), we always try to stay STRONG. 

Plus it’s not easy to be a Man, as per the responsibilities demanded.

***

10. Is happiness the ultimate point of living? Why if you agree? and if not, what is it?

Happiness is a choice. There is however more to life than being happy all the time. It’s important to trade momentary happiness for more lasting Joy, which can only be found through a relationship with Christ. Living for God is the ultimate point of living. 

***

PS: I hope I answered the questions appropriately. I don’t have a lot of female bloggers I can nominate at the moment, but I’ll follow up with update(s) via the comment section ASAP.
Thanks again, Omooba.

It was fun.

:::Requ1ne:::