A scapegoat.

Merriam-webster dictionary defines the scapegoat as, a goat upon whose head the sins of the people were symbolically placed after which it is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur. It also defines it as one that bears the blame for others or one that is the object of irrational hostility. Based on the first definition any goat could be selected during the feast of Yum Kippur to be the scapegoat. Up till the point when the priest casts the lot in the Jewish tradition either of the two goats could end up being the goat on whose head everyone’s sins were cast. It is important to note that the goat did not commit any sin of its own. It was only culpable in so much as it was a member of the Jewish community, at the time of Yom Kippur. It was unfortunate for whatever arbitrary reason to catch the attention of the priest and thus selected as one of the chosen for the fast .

This unfair fate is not relegated to goats alone. As the second definition above demonstrates man has been known to make a scapegoat of his fellow man. Regardless, of status in life whether noble, serf, leader, follower, innocent, guilty, loner or life of the party. One can quickly find themselves under the confessing tongues of many accusers. In similitude to the biblical scapegoat it would take an act of God to alter the desired outcome set upon by the community in which the accused exists in at the time. For many goats and people, being a scapegoat has never been a threat, nor even something they have ever imagined.

There are two fundamental things required for a scapegoat system to thrive. First, the system must be in place. There must be a need to have someone or something to take the guilty, sins and scruples of the people away. A conduit between man and his conscience, a tool to make a man feel that his deeds are not as gruesome. Or that they have been erased/forgiven thus neither God nor karma can revisit those sins on them. Although we no longer live in the olden days, this system still prevails in society. A good example is the current situation in Nigeria, where the presidential candidate for the labour party Mr Peter Obi has been designated the saviour of the nation. Alas! I fear he is nothing but a scapegoat. Atonement for the many sins of the past and the present.

The system has certain characteristics, one , it excludes anyone that does not fit in with the exisrung modus operandi in place. Two, iy is a rootless as well as ruthless system. Devouring both the fruits (benefits) and seeds (foundation) of the system. It also celebrates results rather than methods. Mr Peter Obi from all indications is a man who does the opposite. He wants systems that outlast a class, a group, a tenure, or a generation. A system that does not want to wash its hands of its guilt or wrongdoing. But learn from it. It is completely impossible to rid the world of guilt or the process of placing guilt on someone else’s shoulder. However, it is possible to create a system where a scapegoat is not a desired option. This can only happen when a system has its resources and demands/expectations evenly paired. For instance, two managers, four general assistants and one receptionist are required to smoothly run a business every day of the week. We will assume that this number of staff is decided to run the business at the peak hours. This means that at a less busy time, less staff might be required. Regardless of this, it must be understood that the office or system would be set up to fail if someone decides to run it with either less staff or with a different mixture of skills. For example hiring one manager, four general assistants and two receptionists, might seem adequate as the number of staff is accurate, but it, unfortunately, leaves certain parts uninsured and others unduly fortified. Creating the perfect opportunity for a scapegoat to arise, should the system not run smoothly.

The above scenario creates room for undue or maladjusted interpersonal skills to thrive. One that has less to do with the overall objective of the system/business or organisation in view and more to do with personal likes, dislikes and opinions. This system would make it easy for cliques to arise and for other variables which should normally stay on the parameters of the system to become the heart of it. Thus, elevating the people above the system. Whilst this is not a bad thing, in so much as “things were made for man and not man for things”, it can, unfortunately, become dangerous if the wrong people are at the core. This sad reality is the sorry state of Nigeria and a lot of organisations around the world. Systems that bear no resemblance to the original sketch on which it was built, as piece by piece people have changed the original with alternatives that are more individual serving than having a wider reach in view. This makes it a different system; its expectations and resources are altered. This is why placing all hope in one man might not be the best approach. For if or when he fails another will replace him. It will remain fallible unless the people refuse to move the structures to suit personal gain. This brings us to the second factor that creates a thriving system for the emergence of scapegoats; people. Whether they are leaders or followers.

In the series ‘The Last Kingdom Cnut answers Ragnar the fearless’s question regarding the worth of Æthelwold’, saying “his worth is in his ability to drip poison into every ear”. As simple or as mindless as it sounds, the aforementioned is the very backbone on which systems are re-engineered, broken or simply destroyed. As earlier mentioned, a system is made for man, but man is the only thing that can determine if the system will stand and endure. According to Winston, B. and Patterson, K. (2006), leadership is a major factor that determines how people fit into a system. But for this to materialise the leader must thoroughly know the system and uphold the system. This perhaps is the bases for which many people herald or advocate for Mr Peter Obi to become president. The hope is that a good leader will spearhead a good system. This is an ideology shared by Winston, B. and Patterson, K. (2006), in their definition of a leader, they assert that not only does a leader know how people should fit into the system, but a leader also deals equitably and supports diversity amongst his followers. This type of leadership also fosters the individual growth of each follower, encouraging them to take risks and innovate, (Winston, B. E. and Patterson, K. 2006). Under such leadership, when properly executed the chances of a scapegoat emerging is slim.

In addition to the above, (a good leader), there must be good followers. People who refute the “dripping of poison into ears”. People who hold the system above the individual. The task is not an easy one, it is often even difficult to identify when one has become caught up in the words that start the rot in the foundation of every system. From the above example regarding the number of staff required to run a business to the example of Æthelwold who exemplifies the spread of rot that destroys the system. Both show that a failure on one side or a gap on one side creates lapses and births a new system in place of what should be. There must first be a lapse in the system, an unbalancing of the scales. This creates the room through which the oil that destroys everything starts to drip, slowly but surely. But to achieve its maximum effect it must have willing vessels; leaders who through direct or indirect means encourage the spread. Followers who revel in the safety provided in the number of shared drips that oil the ear.

In summary, it is my opinion that the scapegoat system was replaced with Christ, to ensure that the corruptible and fallible arms of man do not taint the new system. Each man under Christ is given access to admit his guilt, ensuring that his heart and God alone know the truth of his intent. Similarly, systems need to be built in a way that safeguards the system as much as possible from man’s fallible nature. Every man is much the same as the other, fallible in different ways and through different means. Often, in need of a scapegoat to justify his actions. If he is also allowed to buy the conscience of others over then a new system emerges and the scapegoat system becomes successful. And will often find a head to fit into a noose.

A eulogy for the Nigerian child

A eulogy for the Nigerian child:20160527_175326

Many are the hours a mother bears down to birth her young, the pain of labor searing through her vein as she attempts to bring forth that which she has concealed for months. It is no small task, nothing short of a miracle. And yet with every choice you maim her, that which was born through labor destroyed with a smile and a twinkle.

But she is still here you shout, do not accuse us of such grave injustice. For where have you seen us tear the child from the womb or steal milk from a suckling babe? They demand frothing at the mouth, hoping to erase my understanding with giant bubbles of spittle.

Aye, you haven’t ripped the child from succor, but you have stripped her naked of a dignified life, abandoned to survive by the skin of her teeth. How have we done this, you beseech me, not because you’re penitent, rather your soul desires to have its self-righteous ego pacified.

For each seed you’ve eaten satisfying your selfish desires you swallowed the harvest of children born and yet unborn. You and your cronies of merchants and devious contractors build a wooden bridge; a replica of the golden gate announces your town criers, a passage way to El Dorado for all. Alas! Many fall away into the clouds bearing burdens of gifts undiscovered. Those who survive carry their vehicles rather than drive them. They report to fleabag structures by the way side seeking refreshing only to depart worse than they came; the hospital has more unwell people leaving than entering. And you say we haven’t killed them.

Each throne you ascend obliterates the hope of suckling babes for a new dawn, your gluttons belly hides burying the sun. Your time is far spent, yet you sit like the moons at eclipse except it turns away in due time but you do not. Thus, you obstruct the course of nature turning it against itself. Where from shall the dawn arise if the sun is kept captive by the moon? True the sun will triumph in the end, but many would have gone mad by the confusion.sd

For each time you trumpet personal your horns to welcome a stranger, but send the servants to receive the wee babe, you teach her by deeds to esteem another highly.  You unwittingly set the zenith of her aspiration; she shall aim to be the best copy of an unknown stranger. You devalue her and yet you ask why? You deceived herd of authority, your understanding fails you, for you esteem yourself superior by means of your ill-gotten gain shame as the stranger knows that only knowledge divides the ranks and you know not much except your greed which holds us all to ransom.

I fear to carry on lest the spirit of the child be vexed to hades. Do not despair my beloved, sleep in peace soon we shall unseat the godfathers who know no form of godliness or the responsibility of the father. Stay true to yourself my child, do not let them steal away the beauty of your inner soul.


Two sided

Scene one:

Mr X at the office:

At the office he carries out every task as designated by his boss.

Sitting at the conference table he speaks with great charisma, his enigma exuding through the room, a man of great talent, he dazzles his peers.

“Can you run through these facts again?” demands the equally unquivering voice of his boss.

He missed out a tiny details, a mere oversight.

Yikes! Thankfully the boss was able to overlook it this time, can’t let that happen again.

Mr Y at his business premise:

Screaming obscenties at the costumer, “I don’t want to see you near my stall again, useless person. Go and see if anyone will sell you materials at that price.”

“It is a market place and I am allowed to price things, no need to become abusive.”

“That one is english you’re speaking, don’t carry that your bad juju near my shop again ohh. Stingy human being, poverty will soon catch you.”

Walking away feeling slightly embarassed the customer approached the next shop hoping to get a better deal and less attitude.


Scene Two:

Mr X at home.

“Honey I am home.”

“Welcome darling, how was work today? Hope it wasn’t too bad?”

“No, where is my food?”

“It’s almost done.”

“Almost done, I am really tired and hungry. What have you been doing since you got back from work?”

“You mean since I got back from work and picking the kids?” Laughing “Sweetheart It will soon be ready.”

Thirty minutes later, the meal is served. Taking a few mouthful.

“This food is absolutely rubbish, what did you do, just mix everything up together?”

“Honey it’s not like that, it must be ….”

And that was how the fight started …

Sometime before midnight a jaw bone was broken, a heart raced in anger, another suffered profuse internal flooding as emotions rumbled and roared within, fear lead the losing cause.

He submitted to his boss, but not to the one he loved.

He yielded his emotions to learning and sharing at work, but not to the one he made a vow.

Perhaps his priorities are screwed, perhaps he feels submitting to love weakens him and submitting to money empowers him.

My Y at home:

“My darling wife well done, this meal you made was very tasty.”

“Thank you my husband, how was today? Hope market sold well?”

“Yes oh, the day has gone the way God desired. That reminds me where you able to buy the childrens school books and uniform.”

“Yes I was and I got them for a very good bargain. I priced until the seller almost chased me away.” They both laughed.

“You do well my dear, I can always trust you to be frugal with out resources. That is why you will always be my darling wife, the odozi aku of my life.”

He forgets the lady at his shop was someone’s wife.

He forgets that as he treated one outside, he empowered society to treat those within his household.

Perhaps he feels ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ are worlds apart, perhaps he feels if I don’t siton my own basket no one else would, he forgets  the world isn’t a one man island.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:21

To submit to another is not an indication of irrelevance, submission allows for structure to reign. Your boss doesn’t also know better or act better but the bulk stops at their table; a process of orderliness. We stay with jobs, organistions, bosses and systems that are less than we hope for, submitting to it’s dictates and demands, but at the least challenge we thow in the towel or throw insome punches into our marriage.

Male and female we must learn to submit to each other at home and in public. It’s a mark of respect not weakness. I am still in the process of working out my submission skills.

Note: I don’t not in anyway advocate staying in an abusive relationship.





Outside inwards

I am not afraid to say with a loud voice affliction will not arise a second time.

I am not afraid to condemn every tongue that rises against me.

I am not afraid to decree that if God be for me who shall be against me.

But I am afraid to decree victory is mine as I must fight a battle in order to gain victory. Battles within my own flesh, battles that require discipline. Battles that demand that I concentrate on improving what I have and not envying my neighbors lot.

I am afraid to scream victory is mine for it might come at an expensive price, I price I might be unwilling to pay.

Thus, I will focus on my neighbors, the society, on religion.

I will keep them at bay, I will fight them while the monster within runs amok perhaps no one will notice.

Note: true religion is a lifestyle. A consistent, balanced, not erratic and certainly not a destructive lifestyle.

Chameleon effect

The world must have gone mad.

Or how would you explain

clothes hung on the ceiling to dry.

Lies more appealing than truth.

Kitchenware suspended like ornaments

Social conformity enforced rather than open disagreement.

Desks supporting wares rather than backsides.

Petty battles won (land,money,pride); major battles lost (love, relationships,humanity)

The world must be mad, but who cares.

the hanging clothes remind me of backstage and dressing room glamour

the kitchenware, well I rarely eat, so …

and the desk? Why stress the brain, when my body and absurdity can spin the wheels.

The world is mad, and the hatters are long-gone.

PHOTO PROMPT © Mary Shipman
Copyright Mary Shipman

Written for Friday fictioneers a writing challenge hosted by Rochelle and A to Z challenge. The picture was provided by Madison Woods and the task is to write a 100 words story inspired by it. Thanks Rochelle for hosting the challenge. Thank you for stopping by… do click on the link to read other stories.



In the beholders eye

Word for today – Picturesque

Hues of red and gold with the odd splash of turquoise blue and silver sashayed across the room, draped on different body shapes in different fashion patterns. It was the wedding of the year and the ‘postmenopausal women’sorry mothers of the day aka mother- of-the-brides friends were in full attendance.

Seated at the far, but strategic end of the hall, they were privy to all the comings and goings of the day and when that failed to amuse them, they did what they know best, ‘gossiped’.

“Did you hear, Yemi’s husband bought a house in London.” 

Sighing in exasperation “My dear, since she came back that’s all I’ve been hearing, the house is picturesque this picturesque that. Owning a house in London is not new someone should please tell her.”

“Honestly! What people won’t do to belong, the said picturesque house is surrounded by farms.”

“Ahhh! Farm ke?”

They all laughed.

She envied her lovely figure.

She envied her life.

She envied everyone.

And they all forgot the country was bleeding as they peeled its golden skin for selfish gains.

Copyright TJ Paris

In response to the writing challenge flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by Priceless Joy click on the link to visit the blog. The photograph is from TJ Paris, (interesting photo can’t wait to see all the stories it inspires) and the challenge is to write a 100 – 150 words (+/- 25 words) story inspired by it. Do click on the link for other stories.

Also written for the A to Z challenge.

Thank you for stopping by.


O is for Obseqiuos/ Oleaginous

“Good morning Sir, it’s with great pleasure we welcome you to our humble platform today.You’re a man of laudable esteem and value, your work in the community, the policies you have made since taking up office has indeed given the community a much needed face lift.”

“What policy is Oga refering to please, change ko change ni?” shaking her head in disproval, Yemi sighed.

“My dear does it matter, all we want is the money. You know all these politicians, the larger potions of their back you scratch the more pennys you pick, like scratching dandruff off your scalp.” Sheye whispered standing next to her.

“Oh God that’s just disgusting, couldn’t you find a better analogy? Yuck!” Chinyere chimed in.

“I think our organization is being misrepresented by our oga praising this man as an honourable person.” Yemi continued.

“Miss perfect by the books na you know.”

“Excuse me joor, I am trying to be serious here. We critize, yet we obey them without protest. We castigate them in private but fawn at their  feet at every given opportunity. Honestly sometimes I think we’re worse than the hoodlums at least they’ve an excuse they don’t know better, what’s ours?”





Nwanne i di sharp!” (ibo)

Bros you sharp oh!”(pigin English)

(Translation: Boy you’re sharp)

He’s as sharp as a blade.”

At some point in our evolution we (humans) subconsciously decided to start a character-fashion trend and thus, the sharp species was born. It was no longer acceptable to just be you, to work at your own pace; NO not acceptable. Everyone had to be sociable, witty, quick on their feet, shooting laser retorts ahead of unformed questions. The trend in itself isn’t wrong, but as with everything in life it took a turn round the wrong corner: the Machiavellian corner where anything can be done and applauded as right as long as it gets the results. Thus, the phrase ‘he/she is as sharp as …’ is often echoed by individuals admiring another who by some means has outsmarted the laws, authorities, wriggled out of an emotional or potentially tenuous situation. As stated earlier the means to this supposed victory is totally ignored or made to seem insignificant. Is it wrong to be sharp? No; however, being sharp by compulsion does have certain side effects.

The image is from Pixabay free images.

It places an undue pressure on you to always have speedy retorts and answers. Sometimes forcing you to promise more than you can deliver, this could lead to outright lies which help you wriggle out of seemingly difficult circumstances. This does not mean that every immediate reaction or retort is negative but a common failing of wanting to appear sharp all the time might mean being less than honest, less vulnerable, less honest with yourself and with others.

“When you’re a liar, a person of low moral fortitude, really any explanation you need to be true can be true, especially if you’re smart enough. You can figure out a way to justify anything.” Samuel Witwer

Sharp people overtime get very cocky, at the same time they become very scared of failure and how such an outcome would reflect on them.

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Bill Gates.

While, the above quote refers to smart people I think it also applies to people who dub themselves to be sharp. Being sharp in the sense this article addresses also limits your personality, you end up acting in a particular way all the time.

“Some smart man once said that on the most exalted throne in the world, we are seated on nothing but our own arse.” Wendell Mayes

If your quest to be sharp is driven by a desire to stay one step ahead, it might be worth remembering the above quote. I believe it would help keep you centered, ensuring you don’t stray into the intoxicating land of arrogance and slander. Slander, now that’s another side effect of being sharp; you start to talk down on other people, to view their achievements as second to yours, with a tendency to magnify yours.  

The quote is from Eli Pacheco. The images are from Pixabay free images.

I consider the loss of potential friends or opportunities the most depreciating consequence of being sharp. This attitude makes us treat people and relationships mostly as tools for advancement. It also places a lot of stress on the individual to always being in form, remember words said in haste and being unable to do/ un-say certain things often comes at a price  more expensive than money can replace.

Please don’t get me wrong being sharp isn’t wrong, but when it takes over all your traits and motivates all your actions perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate. Don’t get so sharp you end-up cutting yourself and those around you.

Thank you Eli for letting me share your words.

Both posters were made by me.

Home by the beach

  B is for … Breath-taking

“Stop saying ‘It’s just the circle of life’,that’s just another excuse.”

“It might be, doesn’t deduct form its validity though. Nature depends on social disparities and revolving cycles to balance the scales. Without the twisted circle how would you know to feel empathy? ”

 Hard is the work set before the mind to find happiness in the wake of oppressing views.

“See how happy they are, their confident strides in the midst of such chaotic and far from ideal living conditions, that my dear is amazing, simply breath-taking.”

Hissing “And on the opposite side of the beach we’ve members of the exclusive group complete with obscene houses and speedboats.”

“Hmmm, is it the injustice that angers you or a fear of falling from the middle unto either side of the divide? Is that the root of offence? 

Depressing is the task before the mind to find peace and contentment in the rising of such exclusivity. 

The circle is complete.

Copyright Pixabay 

Written in response to Roger’s writing challenge FFftPP and A to Z challenge day two. 

I already had post penned for the A to Z challenge, but when I saw the photo for FFftPP I just had to merge them. Not sure it worked as I had to move the words around quite a bit, let me know your thoughts. Below are the photos  I planned for the post, the one above was provided by Roger from Pixabay for the FFftPP challenge.

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Both neighborhoods shown in the pictures are located in Lagos, very close to the local beaches. Guess they are all beachfront homes. 

  A house can be breath-taking, but a home is only as breath-taking as the hands that built it.

The bill; women and society

The Nigerian senate a few days ago rejected a bill proposed to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. A bill that would have set the ball rolling, promoting equality for women across the Nigerian society. It comes as no surprise that the said bill was rejected.

Equality: the ​right of different ​groups of ​people to have a ​similar​ social ​position and ​receive the same ​treatment. Cambridge dictionary.

The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities. Oxford dictionary.

“You will never find the real truth among people that are insecure or have egos to protect. Truth over time becomes either guarded or twisted as their perspective changes; it changes with the seasons of their shame, love, hope or pride.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

The above quote is very apt for describing the thought process of the individuals who refuted the bill; standing on the grounds of religion (Christians and Muslims alike) some senators deemed the bill a challenge to deep held beliefs. And to that I say what a load of crap. I can’t speak for Muslims but I know without a doubt that Christianity in no form encourages the subjugation of another human being. It does encourage a wife to submit to her husband: her husband not all men. God in his infinite wisdom knowing how the human mind can misconstrue things equally demanded that the man should love his wife like Christ loved the church (a part of the instruction numerous men choose to overlook) Why? Because love as Christ demanded bears no thoughts of harm towards it’s recipient (neither emotional, psychological or physical harm). Outside the matrimonial relationship the universal  instruction for dealing with people regardless of gender is to live at peace with each other. 

“Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.” ― Khaled Hosseini

And this my friends is the crux of the matter. Everyone knows the guiding rule of the blame game: blame the weaker opponent, the older child accuses the middle child who in turn accuses the last child. The man accuses the woman after all who will come to her defense. They do not want equality because it leaves no room for errors to be swept under the universal carpet ‘it’s a man’s world’. Equality weighs your capacity not your gender; your competence and not your brash ability to intimidate another. Don’t get me wrong the ‘equality bill’ will by no means immediately change our nation, it’s still struggling to do so in more advanced countries. However, passing it into existence sets the stage for progress. But Nigeria recognizes the rights of women : they work, they are educated, they vote. I do not agree, NO. ‘Nigeria’ decided where to re-position women in today’s society, it decided we follow. Pass the bill, set the stage for equitable partnership across board. Set the bar for merit based awards, not sex based awards. (Every pun intended)