For the married and those in the queue……An aged father asked his grown-up daughter a simple question:

“What is the most important thing in your life, beti?

She replied, “Daddy, it is the kids !!! They mean everything to me”..

He then turned and asked his son-in-law the same question, he also (beaming with pride) said : “It is the kids of course; they are the reason why I work so hard to ensure they have a better life”

“Well said, my children. I don’t mean to intrude on how to run your family life, but I believe there is a fundamental error you will need to correct. I have observed how much you both love your kids and dedicate all your time to them…

“I have observed that almost all your conversation borders mostly on the kids.”

The couple nodded in admission to the assertion.

He continued, “I am a poultry farmer and the biggest egg supplier in my district. I make my money by the quantity of eggs sold. That said, my priority has always been providing optimal care for the chicken. Because, I know that when the chicken is healthy and productive, the eggs will automatically be bountiful.

If I start to ignore the chicken, the eggs will also suffer.”

He pointed to his son-in-law and said, “as a husband, the most important person in your life should be your wife and vice versa. It can not be the kids. They are just products of the marriage”.

If you learn to take care of each other very well, your kids will grow up healthy, happy and well-adjusted, but if you ignore each other, brace yourself up for dysfunctional kids in the future.

”The two of you are the foundation of this family. If you suffer any crack, the whole house will go down. So please make time for yourself and treat each other as *PRIORITY, and the kids will be just fine.”

“This has been the secret of the fruitful union between your Mother and Myself for over 50 years till death took her from me.”

The old man’s eyes welled up with tears at this stage. He thanked the couple for their time and excused himself.

If care is not taken, this magical connection gets weakened, thereby opening up a marriage to all sorts of strange elements !!

Let kids observe that your spouse means the world to you, and if you are to choose between them and your spouse, it will always be your spouse.

Give the kids the love and attention they deserve but not at the cost of neglecting each other.

It is your marriage that will sustain your kids, not vice versa. The kids are just the bonus.

So true, even if un-African!

Talking Helps… Talking Heals


I came accross the above in a post to one of my whatsApp groups and could not help sharing it here. The words spoken are certainly words of wisdom and we too often have the sequence reversed. That is probably the reason for so many discontent and unhappy youth in our environment today. Let us work at reversing the trend. Doing it right helps our mental health as well as those around us. May the Lord help us.




Have you observed that a lot more women are living decent lives with cancer than previously? A couple of months ago I was opportune to visit a reputable privately-owned Cancer Centre in the city and held fascinating conversations with patients, four of which are showcased in today’s write-up.

Ebhaide is a 53-year-old Investment banker who has access to Free Medicals courtesy of her employer. As a result, she never slacked on her annual check-up and had cultivated a habit of self-examining her breasts monthly over the past twenty years. However, her last mammogram during her annual check-up had thrown up certain irregularities which called for further tests. At the end of the tests, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was devastated but with the right counseling, she was placed on a combination treatment of Hormone Therapy and radiotherapy, which was well tolerated by her, given that the cancer cells had not spread beyond the breast tissue. She was being managed and had visited for her quarterly follow-up. In her own words, “I am still active at work and socially, boosting my health with dietary supplements and exercise”.

Belinda on her part is a 35-year-old entrepreneur who runs a beauty parlor and lost her mother to cervical cancer about four years ago. She explained “Immediately after her passing, I did my first pap smear to test for cervical cancer. The second was done last year and some irregular cells were found. Further tests revealed the presence of cancer cells in my cervix and a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy was recommended by the Oncologist. I have since commenced treatment and I am currently undergoing my last week of radiotherapy. Although I experienced some reactions to the treatment, these were well managed by medication”.

Amina’s is a case of Stage 3 breast cancer discovered at age 61. She is a homemaker and grandmother. She had never done breast examinations and mammograms, or other tests were never done. She realised that the soreness in her breasts had become worse over the years with smelly discharge from the nipples. By the time she was examined by the family doctor and after a series of tests, she was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread into her lymph nodes. Consequently, she had to have a mastectomy coupled with chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. She continues to give Allah thanks for sparing her life and believes she will be preserved until it is His will to call her to him.

For 24-year-old Duro, recently diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, she is thankful to God and the facility for saving her life. Her story…” I had done regular self breast-examination and was conscious of breast and cervical cancer but had never heard of ovarian cancer. I realised something was wrong when I was consistently losing weight, feeling bloated and noticed a difference in the pattern and intensity of my monthly periods. After a series of tests, an  MRI, and a bone scan, I was queried for ovarian cancer. Surgery was scheduled to remove one of my ovaries and the fallopian tube. The biopsy done on the ovary revealed cancer cells which luckily, had not spread, and I was placed on a regimen of radiotherapy.”

It is heartwarming to know that the Big C is no longer a death sentence but the key to overcoming it is early detection. Like any other disease, it can be managed and controlled making for a fruitful life. There are however some important takeaways to learn from this:

  1. Education regarding Cancers is important for all classes of women particularly those over 21 years.
  2. Self Breast examination and periodic screening through mammograms and pap smears help in no small measure in the early diagnosis of cancers and proper cancer containment/management.
  3. Of the three cancers common to women above described, Ovarian cancer cannot be caught through screening, therefore making it the deadliest. You must watch out for strange signs and symptoms and as women, anything that disrupts or changes the menstrual flow requires medical attention.
  4. HIV-positive persons are susceptible to cervical cancers but are subject to the same screening and treatment procedures with relative success.
  5. Thermoscans have been touted as an alternative to mammograms in the detection of breast cancer, however, it would appear that mammograms are more effective in early detection.

It is important to note also that this write-up has considered ONLY Conventional treatment. There are however three types of treatment available:

  1. Conventional
  2. Alternative
  3. Integrative (a combined approach)




CHEMOTHERAPY – The use of cytotoxic, chemical substances and other drugs to treat diseases, especially cancer.

HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus which damages the body’s immune system to fight diseases.

HORMONE THERAPY – Suppression or blockage of the hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, in the treatment of cancer.

HYSTERECTOMY – Removal of all or part of the uterus.

MAMMOGRAM – A set of x-rays done on each breast to detect and evaluate breast tumours that cannot be detected by feel.

MASTECTOMY – Surgery to remove parts or the whole breast.

THERMOSCAN – Using digital infrared thermal imaging to detect breast cancer.


Abi and Sefi bumped into each other while enrolling their children in the kindergarten at King Cross Boulevard, five years after leaving college. Abi crept stealthily behind Sefi and whispered into her ears…” guess who is behind you Sefi”. Sefi turned her head abruptly in the direction of the whisper and had a head-to-head collision with Abi, and they both erupted in laughter. They chattered throughout the enrolment process and decided to catch up over coffee and pastries. Abi (who had always been the more conservative one) kickstarted the conversation with the comment – “Imagine running into you like this after five years. I learnt you got married immediately after university and thought you relocated. Marriage sure looks good on you; you look so radiant and happy. In fact, you are positively glowing.” Sefi responded with an affirmatory nod. “Yes indeed, I am enjoying my marriage. I got married the same year as you. You do not look bad yourself Abi.” As if on cue, Abi replied with a deep sigh “Make no mistakes about it, marriage was the worst decision I ever took and my son Cyril here, is the ONLY good thing I got from it”.

“You’ve got to be kidding me” Sefi responded.” What do you mean? My view is that marriage can be lovely and enjoyed. It depends on the mindset with which you approach it and the effort you are prepared to put into it.” Abi was quick to reply “Not when you have a husband with irritating and disgusting habits like mine. Over the years I have complained and tried to correct him over things like cleaning up with water after using the toilet as against toilet roll which I prefer. His clean-up method leaves the toilet seat wet which is unfair to the next user. He presses the toothpaste from the middle rather than bottom-up, he strews his used clothes all over the floor and likes to sleep to loud music. All attempts to correct him and teach him “civil” ways have proved abortive. I can’t continue with such a self-centered uncaring individual who will not consider my discomfiture regarding his mannerisms”. In response Sefi advised “But have you ever considered that he views your own habits in a similar manner? For instance, he may consider the use of water for cleaning up as more hygienic. Don’t forget that you grew up in different homes with different upbringings and value systems. Even siblings brought up under the same roof may have different preferences and that doesn’t make one necessarily superior to the other. You must learn to be accommodating and gentle in correction. Nagging and bickering has never and will never be a solution. Marriage requires that you condition your mind to do the following:

  1. To put in the effort to make it work.
  2. To Love unconditionally.
  3. To seek God’s assistance in getting him to change some of his habits.
  4. To seek God’s help in accepting what cannot change.

When you have the right mindset, it gives peace of mind at all times. Mind you. I am not saying it is easy, but the right attitude can be cultivated. When I first got married, I discovered that my husband was a “couch potato” who would rather sit all day in front of the television, with hardly a word to me but the usual pleasantries. You know me. That I live for conversations and while courting he made the effort to engage me in active discourse. I was wilting within and one day, I could no longer help myself, I burst into tears while seated with him in the living room. The silence had been deafening. Upon his inquiry as to the reason for my distress, I told him that his refusal to communicate with me was eating me. He assured me that there was nothing wrong with the relationship and he was happy with me. I later reasoned that while I came from a background where verbal engagement and mutual communication among all members of the family was the norm, the converse was the case in his family and so he saw nothing wrong with keeping silent. Having identified the problem, it was easier to understand his challenge and assist him to overcome it prayerfully. I started by discussing and analysing his favorite programs with him and gradually our communication progressed. The change was gradual, but God effected it and before I knew it, he craved our conversations. If for any reason I am silent now, he is not at peace. This was just one of several things we needed to work on and we are still work – in- progress but with each passing day, it gets easier to love him for who he is. Please Abi, do not allow petty differences to get in the way of your happiness. Remember no one is perfect and it takes time and patience to unlearn what has been learnt. Turn it over to God and remember, nagging and bickering has never been and will never be a solution. Ask God earnestly for patience and he who hears our prayers will certainly imbue you with the needed patience”.




Nelly and Feyi met for the first time on the University Campus when moving their things into the hostel. They discovered they were to occupy adjoining rooms and they immediately clicked. The next morning, they were surprised to find out that they were course mates and instinctively, they sat beside each other. This was the beginning of a remarkably close friendship that was running its third year. It was vacation time and Nelly decided to spend some time with Feyi at her parents’ home in a neighbouring town – Ibadan. This would further cement their bond and provide Nelly with the opportunity to attend Bode’s birthday party. Bode, a classmate of theirs, also lived in Ibadan and had invited them to his 21st birthday party.

To Nelly’s shock, a couple of days before the party, Feyi informed Nelly that she should be silent about the party in any discussions with her parents. Nelly was astounded and asked “How do you mean? Surely, we cannot attend the party without informing them and carrying them along!” Feyi replied “You do not know my parents, especially my mother. Trust me, once she gets a whiff of it, we are going nowhere. Her mindset is that parties are for unserious people, and she believes only negative things happen at parties e.g., drinking alcohol, smoking, doing drugs, drugging girls, rape, etc. Any invitation to a party meets with a definite “No” and her word on anything is final. There is no room for discussion. She is very authoritarian and draconian in approach.” Nelly reminded her by saying “Girl, you seem to have forgotten that you always gist me about some of the nice parties you attend during holidays. Have you been fibbing to me”?

 Feyi responded with a laugh saying “Attending parties involves espionage and planning for me. My parents are extremely regimented and stick to their routines. After the family evening prayer at 9 pm, you will have noticed, everyone retires to their rooms, and we reconvene at 6 am for morning prayers. I lock the gate before retiring to my room and by 10 pm most days my parents are fast asleep. Sometimes they check that everyone is fine when they wake up to use the toilet, somewhere between 2 am and 3 am. If I have a party to attend, I deliberately leave the gate unlocked so that I can tiptoe out, shoes in hand, and call for a ride once I am out of sight. I make sure I am back before 2 am and that is fine.”

Nelly shook her head and replied “Feyi that is so wrong and dangerous for several reasons –

  1. It is deceptive.
  2. You expose the entire family by undermining the security arrangement.
  3. If anything, unexpected were to happen to you…hmm, the family will be thrown into confusion by not knowing where to start searching and trying to fathom what could have transpired”.

She continued -“If you don’t mind, I would rather inform them about the party and try to convince them about it”. Feyi then ended the conversation with a shrug of the shoulders and a quiet “You might as well say goodbye to attending, I know my parents”. True to Feyi’s prediction, permission was denied, and the two girls missed attending Bode’s party.

Undoubtedly our parenting styles are as different in approach as parents themselves. It is however important to note that in bringing up balanced children we must modulate parenting to allow the children some input. Two-way communication in any relationship is key in ensuring a balanced view of the subject matter being discussed or contemplated. There are pros and cons to every issue and all parameters should be carefully weighed in coming to a decision. Where a parent insists on having his/her way, the reasons should be logical and explained to the child so that it is understood. The consequences of such action or inaction should be made clear so that the consequences of the offending action or inaction are expected. When parents are overbearing, this could lead to stifling the children and preventing them from rational thinking in making decisions and in some cases, rebellion. On the other hand, permissive or uninvolved parenting can also lead to unbalanced children. Parents must therefore strike a balance in guiding and nurturing the children without being overbearing or draconian, neither should the approach be laissez-faire. May the Lord grant wisdom to all parents in this regard.