Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

Website at www.abiadegboye.com

Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/abiadegboyeauthor

Blog at http://www.abiadegboye.com/blog

And Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/abiadegboye

 

 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 07:30

I Sabi Am: A Parable

For those of you who like to Facebook, Twit, blog or Youtube what you did, what you said, read, smelled, saw, OR heard, let me tell you now – I didn’t tell you what I am about to not tell you.

There I was, a cockroach on the wall of Bandy Enterprises, when…

Every morning a cleaning crew from Shiny Cleaning Service will come in, dust the shelves, wipe the tables, and sweep the floors.  They left nothing uncleaned, not even the wall.  If not that I use camouflage, I would have been history.

And I wasn’t the only one watching them.  Madam Sabi was admiring their green uniforms, their efficiency, and their work patterns.  She watched them do their work all week then on Friday, she saw their boss come to collect money.  So she thought to herself, “ah, ah, what does it take to put people together and make them work for you?  They do the work, you collect the money.  Even sef, I sabi am.  The following Monday, she had a plan.

“Good morning, my good people,” she addressed the cleaners.

“Good Morning, Madam,” they responded.

“I have been watching you work like slaves and I must say, I think you deserve to be treated better?” she continued.

“Better?!” they questioned, “what do you mean?”

“Do you like your dirty green uniforms?” she inquired.

“No, Ma” one worker replied, “we told the boss it attracts dirt too much.”

“Of course,” Madam Sabi agreed, “How much does she pay you sef?”

“N15,000 per month, Ma,” they responded.

“Only N15,000?! For all the work you do?  What a shame,” she sympathized.  Then she continued, “why do you people have to follow one another around to clean?

“Oh, we must work in pairs to check on each other or we will get sacked,” they informed her.

“ My people, let me cut a long story short.  I have started my own cleaning company, “Madam Sabi’s Cleaners.  If you join me, you will get blue uniforms not dirty green ones, I will pay you N16,000 per month.  And forget about rules, you are all adults and you shouldn’t be ordered around like children,” she paused and added, “But first, don’t come to work tomorrow.”

And so, the next morning, the cleaning crew didn’t show up.  So Madam Sabi went to the office of the company manager.

“Mr. Bandy Enterprises, did I not tell you that that yeye Shiny Service madam was useless?  Her cleaners didn’t even show up and she didn’t even call, text, Facebook, or blog you.  Is that the way to run a business?  Sack her and get a better cleaner,” Madam Sabi advised.  Mr. Bandy Enterprises thought this was sound advice and so he hired Madam Sabi’s Cleaners.

The very next day, Madam Sabi’s Cleaners went into action.  When Mr. Bandy and his workers came to work, the whole place was spotless.  They had not only cleaned the place, they had cleaned it out!  Even me, if not for my camouflage, they would have taken me too.

When Mr. Bandy Enterprises arrived at his business and saw what had happened, he called the Popo who carried Madam Sabi to prison.

You see, what the workers hadn’t told Madam Sabi was that the Shiny Cleaners rule they hated most was #5 – Do not take anything from the office you clean.  But like I said, I don’t know what you heard but I didn’t tell you what you read o.

Saturday, 17 December 2011 06:09

Only God can Save Nigeria

The phrase, “only God can save Nigeria” is a common refrain used to punctuate any discussion of crisis in Nigeria.  Talk about the lack of electricity despite a myriad of power generating options, and someone will say, “only God can save Nigeria.” Or discuss the high crime rate fueled by youth unemployment, immoral leadership, and maladministration of bountiful resources, and you will hear a sigh of despair followed by “only God can help Nigeria.”  Downward spiral of the country? – “only God can deliver Nigeria.”  Hyper-corruption? – “only God can help Nigeria.”  Destructive leadership? – “Ehh…only God can save Nigeria o.”

Now, when we say, “only God can save Nigeria,” what do we really mean?  Do we mean that God is responsible for the chaos in Nigeria and therefore only He should clean it up such as when you tell a child to clean up after him/herself?  Or do we mean God is the only entity big enough to ‘save’ Nigeria.  Either way, we are putting the onus on God to “save Nigeria.”  Given this line of thinking, let us select a method from one of plenty God has used in the past to ‘save’ countries:

Option 1: God could save Nigeria as he saved Noah’s generation.  He could send a hurricane or two to clear out the country except for a chosen family.  Hmmm….who would that be?

Option 2: God could save Nigeria as He saved Sodom and Gomorrah from themselves by incinerating them.  If we choose this option, we must begin to say our goodbyes to our West African neighbors.

Option 3: God could save Nigeria as He did the children of Israel when he brought them out of Egypt.  If we choose this method, God would take the current crop of Nigerians out past Niger, way into the Sahara, burn their brains out, let everyone above 40 die, and then resettle the rest somewhere in reclaimed desert land.

Option 4:  God sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world.  Any volunteers for Nigeria?

It is said, “heaven helps those who help themselves.” God does not ‘save’ without requiring some action such as repentance, transformation, or challenging enemies of righteousness.  Likewise, there is no way, God will ‘save Nigeria’ while we sit back and point out the problems to Him.  As such, we can do better than mutter the apathetic phrase, “only God can save Nigeria.” As Tunde Bakare of Save Nigeria Group stated: “British people fixed Britain, Americans fixed America, Italians fixed Italy, Spanish people fixed Spain.  It is the responsibility of Nigerians to fix their own country.”  Too many sectors need revamping – education, industry, micro and macro enterprise, banking, tourism, natural industries such as fisheries and farming, cultural artifacts, not to talk of government.  Indeed the list is long.  So, instead of looking up to God, look around and work faithfully; join hands with others to make the country better because only Nigerians can save Nigeria…with God’s help.

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