The Music Issue (Can a Christian Artiste Sing Secular Songs?) by @LekeAlder

A few days ago, there arose a Twitter storm of apocalyptic proportions over news that a young “secular” artiste was invited to sing during a church service. The young artiste is a Christian and the song performed was from his title album, God Win. One must assume that a song titled “God Win” sang in a church setting seemed most appropriate, but these are curious times.

There are many choruses that echo the same sentiment, some using exact same words yet there were a lot of issues raised. The very notion that a non-gospel artiste had been invited to “minister” in church consternated many. And not a few were peeved that the artiste in question performed from the “altar” – a most holy place. And how can an “entertainer” be invited to minister to “the people of God”, some wondered, with righteous and not so righteous indignation. Even the Pastor was not spared. What was his motivation? There was no shortage of opinion, aspersions and castigations. And there was no shortage of exegetes misquoting scriptures. Were Jesus on Earth he would have had to up his signature command of nature to calm the storm. He couldn’t do a reprise. This was no watery issue. But lurking somewhere in the sea was the leviathan of the fundamental challenge as to whether a Christian artiste can even do secular music. It’s not exactly a new issue. The Amy Grants of this world faced that same challenge in the 80s. It’s as if someone somewhere is instigating topical conundrum in generational cycles.

An analytical perusal of the issues however shows a confliction in knowledge on many levels. The idea for example that the “altar” is “sacred” betrays a mix-up in understanding between the concept of the temple in the New Testament and the concept of the temple in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the temple was a building. It was basically partitioned into two parts – the Outer Court and the Tabernacle. The Outer Court contained the Table, Lampstand and Altar of Incense. The congregation could enter here. The Tabernacle was in turn divided into two parts by a heavy hanging curtain – the Holy Place in which only priests from the tribe of Levi could enter; and the Holy of Holies in which resided the Ark of the Covenant. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and he did so once a year, on Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement. The High Priest must make atonement for himself before he entered the Holy of Holies. He would die otherwise. The sacrifice was his life insurance policy. And since no one can enter the Holy of Holies to retrieve his body, tradition says a scarlet rope was tied on his ankle. Small bells were also sewed around the helm of his robe. A priest in the Holy Place tended to the other end of the rope. He would drag him out by the rope in case something went wrong. If the bells stopped jiggling the priest knew something was wrong. You served God with your life as High Priest. Continue reading

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ON A LIGHTER NOTE..Vol 17- AY’s Election result announcement

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TO BE IGBO IN NIGERIA IS CONSTANTLY TO BE A SUSPECT

Dear Readers,

This story has been making rounds for days now and typical of Nigerians, we make a joke out of everything, twitter almost went down the day the news broke and since then we have heard all sorts, well i read from Nigerians super writer Chimamanda Adichie and i could not help but share her piece on my blog. The below is her view on the sad comments from the Oba of Lagos.

A few days ago, the Oba of Lagos threatened Igbo leaders. If they did not vote for his governorship candidate in Lagos, he said, they would be thrown into the lagoon. His entire speech was a flagrant performance of disregard. His words said, in effect: I think so little of you that I don’t have to cajole you but will just threaten you and, by the way, your safety in Lagos is not assured, it is negotiable.

There have been condemnations of the Oba’s words. Sadly, many of the condemnations from non-Igbo people have come with the ugly impatience of expressions like ‘move on,’ and ‘don’t be over-emotional’ and ‘calm down.’ These take away the power, even the sincerity, of the condemnations. It is highhanded and offensive to tell an aggrieved person how to feel, or how quickly to forgive, just as an apology becomes a non-apology when it comes with ‘now get over it.’

Other condemnations of the Oba’s words have been couched in dismissive or diminishing language such as ‘The Oba can’t really do anything, he isn’t actually going to kill anyone. He was joking. He was just being a loudmouth.’

Or – the basest yet – ‘we are all prejudiced.’ It is dishonest to respond to a specific act of prejudice by ignoring that act and instead stressing the generic and the general. It is similar to responding to a specific crime by saying ‘we are all capable of crime.’ Indeed we are. But responses such as these are diversionary tactics. They dismiss the specific act, diminish its importance, and ultimately aim at silencing the legitimate fears of people.

We are indeed all prejudiced, but that is not an appropriate response to an issue this serious. The Oba is not an ordinary citizen. He is a traditional ruler in a part of a country where traditional rulers command considerable influence – the reluctance on the part of many to directly chastise the Oba speaks to his power. The Oba’s words matter. He is not a singular voice; he represents traditional authority. The Oba’s words matter because they are enough to incite violence in a political setting already fraught with uncertainty. The Oba’s words matter even more in the event that Ambode loses the governorship election, because it would then be easy to scapegoat Igbo people and hold them punishable.

Nigerians who consider themselves enlightened might dismiss the Oba’s words as illogical. But the scapegoating of groups – which has a long history all over the world – has never been about logic. The Oba’s words matter because they bring worrying echoes of the early 1960s in Nigeria, when Igbo people were scapegoated for political reasons. Chinua Achebe, when he finally accepted that Lagos, the city he called home, was unsafe for him because he was Igbo, saw crowds at the motor park taunting Igbo people as they boarded buses: ‘Go, Igbo, go so that garri will be cheaper in Lagos!’

Of course Igbo people were not responsible for the cost of garri. But they were perceived as people who were responsible for a coup and who were ‘taking over’ and who, consequently, could be held responsible for everything bad.

Any group of people would understandably be troubled by a threat such as the Oba’s, but the Igbo, because of their history in Nigeria, have been particularly troubled. And it is a recent history. There are people alive today who were publicly attacked in cosmopolitan Lagos in the 1960s because they were Igbo. Even people who were merely light-skinned were at risk of violence in Lagos markets, because to be light-skinned was to be mistaken for Igbo.

Almost every Nigerian ethnic group has a grouse of some sort with the Nigerian state. The Nigerian state has, by turns, been violent, unfair, neglectful, of different parts of the country. Almost every ethnic group has derogatory stereotypes attached to it by other ethnic groups.

But it is disingenuous to suggest that the experience of every ethnic group has been the same. Anti-Igbo violence began under the British colonial government, with complex roots and manifestations. But the end result is a certain psychic difference in the relationship of Igbo people to the Nigerian state. To be Igbo in Nigeria is constantly to be suspect; your national patriotism is never taken as the norm, you are continually expected to prove it.

All groups are conditioned by their specific histories. Perhaps another ethnic group would have reacted with less concern to the Oba’s threat, because that ethnic group would not be conditioned by a history of being targets of violence, as the Igbo have been.

Many responses to the Oba’s threat have mentioned the ‘welcoming’ nature of Lagos, and have made comparisons between Lagos and southeastern towns like Onitsha. It is valid to debate the ethnic diversity of different parts of Nigeria, to compare, for example, Ibadan and Enugu, Ado-Ekiti and Aba, and to debate who moves where, and who feels comfortable living where and why that is. But it is odd to pretend that Lagos is like any other city in Nigeria. It is not. The political history of Lagos and its development as the first national capital set it apart. Lagos is Nigeria’s metropolis. There are ethnic Igbo people whose entire lives have been spent in Lagos, who have little or no ties to the southeast, who speak Yoruba better than Igbo. Should they, too, be reminded to be ‘grateful’ each time an election draws near?

No law-abiding Nigerian should be expected to show gratitude for living peacefully in any part of Nigeria. Landlords in Lagos should not, as still happens too often, be able to refuse to rent their property to Igbo people.

The Oba’s words were disturbing, but its context is even more disturbing:

The anti-Igbo rhetoric that has been part of the political discourse since the presidential election results. Accusatory and derogatory language – using words like ‘brainwashed,’ ‘tribalistic voting’ – has been used to describe President Jonathan’s overwhelming win in the southeast. All democracies have regions that vote in large numbers for one side, and even though parts of Northern Nigeria showed voting patterns similar to the Southeast, the opprobrium has been reserved for the Southeast.

But the rhetoric is about more than mere voting. It is really about citizenship. To be so entitled as to question the legitimacy of a people’s choice in a democratic election is not only a sign of disrespect but is also a questioning of the full citizenship of those people.

What does it mean to be a Nigerian citizen?

When Igbo people are urged to be ‘grateful’ for being in Lagos, do they somehow have less of a right as citizens to live where they live? Every Nigerian should be able to live in any part of Nigeria. The only expectation for a Nigerian citizen living in any part of Nigeria is to be law-abiding. Not to be ‘grateful.’ Not to be expected to pay back some sort of unspoken favour by toeing a particular political line. Nigerian citizens can vote for whomever they choose, and should never be expected to justify or apologize for their choice.

Only by feeling a collective sense of ownership of Nigeria can we start to forge a nation. A nation is an idea. Nigeria is still in progress. To make this a nation, we must collectively agree on what citizenship means: all Nigerians must matter equally.

 

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ZULU

ZuluDear readers,

A lot has happened since I last sent in my last post, apparently I have been upgraded and I am now a father, yes you heard me right, 6 days after my last post, my wife delivered a baby boy, our prince comes to earth, 12 hours of labour and stress, tears and pain and he arrives. After a 3 years wait for a blessing, he comes into our lives like a flash.

His name is Joseph ChiZulum Osodi, we call him Zulu, (Not a south African name of any sort) it means My God is sufficient for me. Our prince, born February 21, 2015. He has brought so much joy to our lives and we have been so grateful to God for an amazing gift to our family, our families have been overwhelmed by the multitude of prayers and gifts to welcome home our baby.

Zulu has given me a different feel to life, I look forward to coming home and meeting him, at one month, I found his ticklish spot surprising his fist. I savour the connect of putting him on my chest to feel my heartbeat and he sleeps off, apparently he hears exactly what we discuss heart to heart before he sleeps off, the screams while grandma gives him a bath and the tears and pain while he takes his all important immunization most times send cold shivers down my spine and gives me goose bumps.  Although it is most stressful and almost inconveniencing to stay up all night while he plays and cries, but once you look at his face, you fall in love all over again.

The joy of fatherhood is simply amazing, and I can’t wait for him to grow up so we would scream the house down when Chelsea (my favourite football club) is playing. Of course he would have a customized jersey to match.

I am now a proud father of the cutest boy on earth. *WINKS*

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FANI KAYODE THE 2 SIDED SWORD

They forget what they have said once money comes into the picture, the story changes and I wonder how can people be so weak and stupid. Hear the passion in his voice and see how much he said, a few years later with a position, money in the bank account, possibly security guards at his disposal the story is a lot different.

 

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LOUD SCREAMS FROM PICTURES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These apt words were attributed to one of the greatest American Presidents in living memory, Abraham Lincoln.

Whilst the words in the quote does not discriminate against anyone, myself inclusive, because, if truth be told, a person without, is different from a person with. This is a FACT!. Many have correctly spoken that one does not really know one’s character until you find yourself with power.

A very successful and influential Nigerian whom I was having a chat with yesterday on the state of affairs of Nigeria reminded me of this quote. He mentioned former President Olusegun Obasanjo may have been trying too hard to make amends for what may now be deemed his mistake of directing the nation to vote in as president, a man who once had no shoes.

When I responded to my ‘Egbon’ (a respected elder) with the words, ‘”sn’t that rather too late”, it was at this point he reminded me of one of Abraham Lincoln’s quote, the one posted above, it drive home his point. And boy, didn’t he just do that.

What my ‘Egbon’ was inferring to was that, Obasanjo may have had good intentions for Nigeria, by nominating and campaigning for the former deputy Governor and Vice President, however, the insight he did’t have was how Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s character will hold up when absolute power was handed over to him.

The rest as they say is’HIs-story’…

….Jide Salu

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ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS

In life, there are two more questions you should constantly ask yourself, for most of you that carry out self-appraisals and personal retreats on how far you have come in life and how far you can go, you need to consciously probe yourselves with these questions:

1) Am I willing to serve others? You say you want to be a leader? Why? Until you answer that question with the right motives, God won’t promote you. Sometimes we just want to be in control. Other times we don’t want to pay the price for success. We just want the perks that come with it: a corner office with a good view, a higher salary, a respected title, status cars with full complements and the admiration of others. Jesus said, ‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’ Leadership puts you in a position to take care of your own needs first–to set yourself up–before helping others. That’s always a temptation and it’s always wrong! You must genuinely care about people and help them to reach their potential. When you do that you’re honouring God and He will honour you.

2) Am I doing what I’m called to do? ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us’ (Romans 12:6 NIV). Samuel Johnson said, ‘Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess… and gain applause which he cannot keep.’ If you’re harbouring a mental image of the qualities talented people are supposed to have and you don’t possess, you’ll have a hard time finding your true strengths. Henry Ford remarked, ‘The question, “Who ought to be the boss?” is like asking, “Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?” Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.’ To succeed in life, you must know what God gifted you to do.

What you stand for is what you would be known for. Set yourself on the pedestal where people would mirror their lives on yours, I drive to work everyday and see posters, flyers, wall drapes and massive large format prints for politicians who are seeking to become public servants but what worries me is “Do they really want to serve? Do they really understand what service is all about?” I worry much about this and pray they get their motives right.

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STOP ALL THESE FAKE BAGA PICTURES ON FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not a big fan of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or his government, I have never thought this my Nigeria would get to where it is now of almost falling off the cliff, well this is where we find ourselves and I believe on #BokoHaram and Security GEJ has failed Nigeria.

I went through Facebook today and saw some annoying pictures, please please let’s stop circulating false pictures with the headline Boko Haram kills 2000 Baga or Muslims Burn Christians in Jos Massacre it weakens our credibility. I mean this picture below that has become the unofficial face of Baga originated from an Oil Tanker explosion in Congo that happened in 2010 but yet every time a tragedy happens someone digs this picture up and starts circulating it and people/media without fact checking just pick it up and spread it. I recall a picture sometime that went viral on Facebook claiming armed robbers kills over 100 passengers and drove buses on their corpses on Benin Ore Expressway. This actually happened somewhere in west Africa and not Nigeria.

Nigeria is in a shitty situation and we need REAL change … but yet we need to ensure that we are sticking to the facts and not helping spread shit! That’s it I am out…

 

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STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX

A respected counsellor says: ‘First you crawled; then you learned to walk and the world grew bigger. Then you rode a bike… drove a car… bought a plane ticket. Suddenly the horizons were limitless. Then doubts crept in: I can’t (you fill in the blank)… and your world shrinks a little. I shouldn’t take that trip… I’ll never find my way around… I’ve too many responsibilities. And it shrinks a little more… [until] you’re sitting in a little box with the lid tightly affixed. No experiences, no lessons, no life. Boxes can be comfortable… but no matter how cosy you make it, it’s still a box. They come in all shapes and sizes.

When we let unrealistic fears hold us back we can be fairly certain we’re climbing inside another box… and sooner or later we’ll run into the walls. Find one small “I can’t” in your life and take the lid off the box… try for a minor impossibility… apply for that dream job… start pursuing your vision… Poke the top off your box. Stick your head out and look around. Find a fear and turn it into a ladder. Get out of the box of doubt and insecurity and into the freedom of courage and belief.’ If you let it, fear will cause your imagination to run riot. But ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). A sound mind restores your perspective and helps you see things from God’s viewpoint, where all things are possible.

Today He wants to give you the courage to climb out of the box and bring you ‘into a large place’, because He ‘delights’ in you. We most times stay in our comfort zone and the failure to launch drives us to mediocre contentment, we usually get too relaxed where we are without a sense of moving on. I was once a victim of this attitude until I woke up someday realizing I was almost left in the past and friends and family members have all moved. The major cause of this is usually over analysis, over processing ideas and not taking decisions on time. I am however not suggesting you should run eyes closed into decisions. I belong to the school of thought that believes that the best way to succeed. Once I get an idea I run it by my wife and my 3rd person, my mind, critically get the pros and cons and what my exit plan plus plan B would be then I hit the ground running.

I am motivated by a quote from Sir Richard Branson….”If your dreams don’t scare you, then they are too small” yes I set them so high that most times I forget that my resources would not come close to starting the project talk more of finishing it, well that drives me as I always want to see the end. The worse thing to do in life is not to take a risk, nature would forgive you for taking a wrong decision but would certainly not forgive you for not taking a decision at all. (this however does not suggest that we indulge in immoral acts) they might not take you to the point where you have an option to recover from natures punishment.

I would like you to consider it, take a leap today, step out of the box, and expand your thinking.

If your mind could stretch to the limits of your thinking, how wide can you think?

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STANDSTILL IN LAGOS AS GOODLUCK JONATHAN KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN

Yes, I know most of you would be so used to this kind of picture, yes as a typical Lagosian, when you come out as early as 5am and by 9am you are still in traffic just because the President is coming to town and he would not even go through this route but officials have started blocking even streets and crescents everywhere. Yes you know its election season here again.

My only thoughts now would be Where are we all actually headed? The destination is so unknown, well not if you have your Permanent Voters Card. We need to vote change (Like we are even sure of that change) we just are all consoled by the saying “The demon you know is better than the angel you don’t know”

I was joking with my friends to say I would hurriedly go process a US visa for myself and my family so we have an easy exit out of Nigeria in the event of any unforeseen, he laughed and said a million and one Nigerians have same plan, and for all you care this is so true. Well this is home and you never run away from home. I would only stay positive and get the best of all.

I only pray the president rounds up on time and leaves LAGOS for us as we continue our hussle.

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