Shout Out (5)

GCI, OUR GCI!

Shortly after I finished my first year in the Higher School, I found myself unbearably idle and bored, so, I made up my mind to secure at least a vacation job to keep myself busy. Unfortunately, I got none, even though I applied for many. It was as if the employers of labor at that moment were uninterested in my class of applicants. After a while, I gave up and waited patiently to go back to school for another session later in the year.

One morning, as I was chatting with a friend in front of our house, Broda Dare, one of my uncles, emerged from nowhere. In general, I did not fancy him much, and that day, I struggled really hard not to snub him.

But, I noticed that Broda was unusually excited to see me; he was also in a hurry to talk to me. In the end, I said ‘OK Broda, ki ni’ (Okay brother, what is it? ‘Dayo, I am here to see you O’! He replied. ‘I see, what for’? I asked him, barely concealing my impatience. ‘I have arranged a Research Assistant vacation job interview for you in the History Department of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (U.I), he answered in adulterated Yoruba language. Broda Dare was then a gardener in the same University!

‘Broda, you see yourself? Why should you arrange a History job for me without my consent? For your information, I hate History, so please go away with your job ja re’! ‘Bo’mi, mo bi nu si mi, wa se’se un ni o, mo d’oju ti mi, dabo’ (my brother, don’t be angry with me, you have to do this job; please don’t disgrace me).

My father soon intervened and urged me to attend the interview, if only to show a measure of gratitude to my uncle, and I agreed, grudgingly. And for the first time since my uncle arrived at our house that day, he smiled, and his well-known contorted face relaxed a little bit. He was full of joy!

I later found out that he had gone everywhere in his workplace, boasting that I, his nephew, an HSC student of the famous Government College, Ibadan (GCI), Nigeria, would be given the job. To him, GCI boys are extraordinary people, who are primed to outshine others, in all things always. I tried to convince him that we are like other people out there, but he did not agree with me, so, I let him be.

To cut a long story short, I attended the interview as planned, only to discover that eleven other applicants, all grown men, also came for it. I was the youngest, smallest, and least qualified of all of us. The others were university and polytechnic undergraduates, and I noticed that a couple of them felt insulted that I, a mere higher schoolboy, was in their midst. It was as if I purposely came there to spoil their little private party, but I ignored them.

After waiting for what looked like an eternity to me, a young stylish looking, pipe in mouth lecturer came out of an inner office, cleared his throat, and said, ‘who is the GCI man here’. I raised up my hands, and he looked at me from head to toe, obviously surprised to see me, a moderate stature boy.  Honestly, I expected him to order me out of his presence, and I was prepared for him. After all, what would I be doing in a History Department, in the midst of ‘old men’, if not for Broda Dare, who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Guess what? He just smiled, and said, ‘Mister Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, the job is yours, others should please go away’. I was stunned; others were too!

Later, when we were alone, I asked him why he chose me over and above the other guys who were much older, and better qualified than me. Again, he smiled and said ‘since you are a GCI boy, I just believe you are better than the other applicants, their ages and qualifications notwistanding’. He was not even an old boy of GCI!

By the time I got to where Broda Dare was mowing a lawn, he had already heard that I got the job, and I met him dancing and bragging, saying “You see, I told you that my nephew would get the job because he is a GCI boy, and his own GCI is ‘ojulowo’ (original). Before long, Broda’s joy infected me, and I found myself dancing with him. I did not join him to brag though! He later bought me a bottle of Pepsi Cola, and a loaf of ‘Senega’ bread, a spindle-shaped bread in vogue at that time, to thank me for not disappointing him.

That was the type of school we attended by the grace of God. The school that made people prefer us above others. The school that gave us the confidence and skills we need to do well in life beyond its confinement. The school of our pride built on the rocks. Like most famous institutions in Nigeria, GCI is no more what it used to be, due to the irresponsible disposition of our political leaders, but, it lives in us, and it will live in us forever.

I love my school! God bless ‘GCI, our GCI’ forever. Amen.

Dr Adedayo Adegbulu (Dr Stoney),

Medical Practioner, Author, and Speaker

Shout Out (4)

THANK YOU NEPA; UP YOU!

The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), the Nigerian electricity company, is notorious for its sickening inefficiency and massive corruption. And most times, it attracts opprobrium upon itself from Nigerians, for obvious reasons. However, this same NEPA saved me at some point when I was a student of the prestigious Government College Ibadan, Nigeria (GCI). Please permit me to narrate what happened to you today.

Majority of my classmates in Carr House were not known to be great in the GCI social circle. I believe we just didn’t know how to be social. But, a very few of us easily rubbed shoulders with the numerous ‘social gurus’ in Swanston House. Swanston House boys were our standard at that time.

As an individual, I wanted to be a ‘raré’ (super cool guy) like the aforementioned boys, and I concluded that one of the fastest ways I could achieve my aim was to attend a school social function, and at least be seen talking to, or dancing with a girl, preferably from Queen’s School, Ibadan, Nigeria (QSI), St. Anne’s Girls School, Ibadan, Nigeria (ANZEA), St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan, Nigeria (TÈRÉ), or Our Lady of Apostle, Ibadan, Nigeria (OLA).

One Saturday evening, when I was in class two going to class three, I strayed into a school party in the assembly hall. It was attended by loads of girls from various girls’ schools in Ibadan, and environs. A small number of boys from a few secondary schools were in attendance too.

On seeing the bevvy of girls, my confidence began to wane, but the appeal to become a ‘raré’ deterred me from changing my mind at that point. So, I approached a QSI girl, and the following conversation, paraphrased, ensued between us.

Adedayo Adegbulu: Hello, please floor.

QSI girl: What do you mean by ‘please floor’.

Adedayo Adegbulu: I mean please dance.

QSI girl: You must be joking. You and who? Who do you think you are, and what do you take me for?

Adedayo Adegbulu: Please, don’t say no to me.

QSI girl: And if I say no, what will you do?

Adedayo Adegbulu: I will be very sad, and when I grow up, and become your boss, I will sack you. Remember, no condition is permanent. Please dance with me, I am begging you in the name of God.

QSI girl: (looking at me with surprise, clapped her hands, hissed, and began to laugh) You really disgust me you know, please just leave me alone, and go away with your Èkìtì English. Èkìtì is a big section of the Yoruba tribe found in the South-Western part of Nigeria, and Èkìtì English is generally believed to sound funny.

A nearby QSI girl interjected: Why don’t you give this small boy a chance? Why don’t you make his day by dancing with him?

QSI girl: Okay o Èkìtì boy, let’s go and dance, but please behave yourself, you hear?

Adedayo Adegbulu: I will behave myself, but I am not an Èkìtì boy, I am from Àkúré. Àkúré is a Yoruba town in Nigeria!

QSI girl: Please, just shut up and follow me.

Next, she held my hand and led me to the floor. That was too much for me to handle because back home, we were told that only bad children hold hands with people of the opposite sex.

Anyway, we got to the floor, and I started to sweat profusely. I also felt dizzy and saw flashes of light orbiting around my head. There and then, I knew I was in serious trouble; I knew I could pass out at any time. Therefore, I began to panic, just because of ‘this rude’ QSI girl, and my desire to become a ‘raré’ at all cost.

Suddenly, NEPA struck; there was a power outage! So, I quickly abandoned her on the floor, mustered the remaining energy in me, and ran all the way back to Carr House (quite a distance for a small boy), panting and sweating profusely, but full of joy that I survived the ordeal I needlessly brought upon myself. That was how NEPA saved me from imminent shame and indelibly horrific history.

In the end, I still got the veneration I craved for in Carr house, because some boys saw the girl holding my hand, and concluded that I was ‘raré’ enough. Of course, I did not argue with them; I felt really super cool afterwards. Thank you NEPA, up you!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney)

Medical Practitioner, Author, Speaker

GOD WILL SURPRISE YOU BIG TIME!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

My family and I once lived in one of three apartments in a compound, in our hometown, Akure, Nigeria. The second apartment was occupied by our Pastor friend, while the third was occupied by our landlady.

Initially, we all lived together happily, until our landlady became uncomfortable with our Christian faith. After a while, she asked us, plus the Pastor, to quit her compound, within one month. I will like to state here that we never disturbed her in any way, and at any time. Meanwhile, our hometown was notorious for its serious accommodation problem.

Of course, we pleaded with her to give us more time to look for another accommodation, but, she stuck to her guns. In the end, we quickly went out, and combed every nook and cranny of our town, for another accommodation, every day, for many days, all to no avail.

However, in the middle of our house hunt, my wife and I attended a Christian crusade, during which, the ministering Pastor told the congregation that God wanted each of us present to ask Him for something of importance to us, for prompt settlement. We quickly asked Him for a good accommodation and the money to pay for it! We were low on funds at that time!

Guess what? We found four good apartments within 24 hours after the crusade. We eventually settled for one of them. Shortly afterwards, God led a friend I hadn’t seen for ages to me. One thing led to another, and we ended up in an office where a government-funded, interest-free loan, was on offer. I applied for it like other people, but, to my surprise, my application was singled out for approval that day, and I was given a fat cheque accordingly.

Usually, such approval takes a long time to come through in our place. Well, I took the cheque to my bank for lodgement immediately. There again, God led a staff of the bank to cash it for me there and then. I didn’t lobby her to help me! So, with cash in hand, I went to pay my rent for two years straight away.

Friends, we asked God for an apartment; He gave us four. He then arranged money for two years rent for us, instead of one, and we moved into it within three weeks, thus beating the one month quit notice given to us by our landlady. Without a shred of doubt, God surprised us big time!

I recommend this same God to you today. Please, approach Him with all your concerns without delay, and He will surprise you, big time, as well. For example, He will deal with your ill health and give you sound health instead (Jeremiah 33:6). He will also bless the work of your hands (Deuteronomy 28:12), and whatever you do henceforth, will prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).

Besides, God will defeat your enemies right before your face (Deuteronomy 28:7) and have your back always (Genesis 12:3). Not only that, He will teach your children Himself, and they will enjoy robust peace all around (Isaiah 54:13). On top of everything, you will not be put to shame (Isaiah 54:4), and His name will be glorified in your life, in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr Stoney)

Medical Practitioner, Author, and Speaker

EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE HARD-PRESSED, YOU WILL NOT BE CRUSHED!

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed…” (2 Corinthians 4: 8).

Alan, not his real name, is someone I admire and continually thank God that I met, while I was at the University. We were quite close!

His father died when he was very young, and his mum, a petty trader, had to take care of him and his siblings, all by herself, with much difficulty. Alan had very little by way of possessions, and he could not feed or clothe himself well.

Also, he found it extremely difficult to buy the educational materials prescribed for his course. As a result, he relied on the University library and his classmates for them, most of the time. Of course, his social life was nil!

Additionally, because Alan was hard-pressed financially, he trekked several kilometres to the University and back to where he was a squatter, each day. And to compound his problems, he was involved in a road crash from which he got a head injury that troubled him for a long time.

But, despite his predicaments, Alan behaved well all the time. He was always very calm, neat, friendly, cheerful, and ever willing to help others, even though he needed help himself. Besides, he studied as much as his health permitted him, attended his clinics in the hospital regularly, prayed to God each day and believed He would intervene in his condition someday, and He did.

Suddenly, his health began to improve, and he began to study better and longer. In the end, he graduated, on time, with his classmates, barely missing first-class honours by a few points. Today, he is a University Professor, turning out future champions, and serving the Lord with his amazing talents. Alan was hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed!

Friends, are you hard-pressed on every side like my friend, Alan? If you are, I pray you will not be crushed, in Jesus name. Amen. Specifically, what challenge(s) are you facing right now? Is your business in ruins? Is your family fractured? Are your children wayward? Are you ill?

Or, are you in debt and the hope of settling it is becoming a mirage, day by day? Are you involved in a tough lawsuit? As a student, is someone or something obstructing your education? And as a Christian, are you struggling with your salvation these days? Etc.

Friends, if your answer to any of the questions above is yes, then, I have good news for you. First, what you are going through is not unusual, and it will not crush you, for God will surely help you out of it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Moreover, it is temporary, and it will do you a lot of good, and make you a better person, in the long run (2 Corinthians 4:17, James 1:2-4).

But, you must be prepared to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and you may have to fast too (Matthew 17:21). From now on, pray to Jesus Christ to give you rest from your condition, and He will (Matthew 11:28), using every possible means (Isaiah 45:2-3), and His name will be glorified in your life when all’s said and done, in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!
 
Dr. Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney)
 
Medical Practitioner, Author, and Speaker

DO NOT GIVE UP; PLEASE PRESS ON!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12 (NIV))

Recently, I remembered a man who towards the end of his training in the Medical School, suffered a serious spiritual attack, which left him effectively helpless. As expected, his family took him everywhere for care, all to no avail. Soon, his academic performance began to nosedive, and he faced the danger of being asked to withdraw from the University.

One day, he appraised his situation carefully and concluded that he could no longer cope. He, therefore, opted to abandon his studies altogether. But, before he left school, he went to the ward where he was posted to say goodbye to his patients. And along the line, he narrated his troubles and decisions to one of them who advised him ‘not to give up, but, to press on’ regardless.

She also assured him that his battles (troubles) were the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:15) and that He would help him come what may (Isaiah 41:13). The man was so stunned by her comments that he reversed his decision to abandon his studies immediately. After that, he worked very hard on his studies, stepped up his prayer life, and trusted God to deliver him.

Before long, God delivered him, and he went on to enjoy good health, passed all his examinations, and graduated on time with his classmates. Today, he is a Senior Medical Doctor and a minister of God, preaching Jesus Christ everywhere. He did not ‘give up; he pressed on’!

Friends, are you on the verge of giving up on a situation? If you are, please press on! For instance, do not give up on your rebellious child; just press on with your prayers concerning his or her situation, and the Lord will save him or her (Isaiah 49:25). Likewise, do not give up on your failing health, instead, press on with your prayer to God to heal you, and He will (Psalm 41:3).

Are you stagnant at work and promotion seems out of your reach? If you are, please do not give up on praying to God about your situation; He will engineer your promotion at the most appropriate time (Psalm 75:6). Is your business doing badly lately? If it is, please do not give up; press on doing your best and praying to God about it. He will bless it someday (Deuteronomy 28:12)!

Please do not give up on your reputation, which seems to be in ruins at the moment. Rather, press on with your prayer to God to fix it for you, and He will shortly (Isaiah 62:2). Also, do not give up on your salvation, despite all your failed efforts to become born again. Just press on confessing the Lordship of Jesus Christ with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

In a nutshell, please don’t give up on any situation that is troubling you presently, on the other hand, press on with your prayer to God concerning it (Philippians 4:6), and believe that He will reward your diligence at some point (Hebrews 11:6). In the meantime, keep doing whatever you can to ease your situation (James 2:17), and you will have good reasons to rejoice in the end, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!
 
Dr. Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney)
 
Medical Practitioner, Author, and Speaker

DARE TO DO SOMETHING GOOD TODAY!

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so” (Proverb 3:27).

Shortly after I started working as a newly qualified medical doctor, an unemployed male nurse approached and begged me to get him a job in the government hospital.  A few vacant positions were up for grabs at that time, and several thousands of nurses all over applied for it. He was one of them!

Meanwhile, in our setting, things are generally not done on merit, but on a connection. The nurse felt I had an enormous connection to fix him up, being a medical doctor.  I told him I had no such connection since I was very green in the system. He did not believe me, and he continued to beg me ad-infinitum, till I caved in.  I did not know what step I should take next!

The following day, I went to the office responsible for hiring health workers, and I pleaded with an elderly man I saw there to help me out.  I wasn’t close to him, but, he told me 95% of the advertised vacancies had been grabbed by the few greedy politicians in charge, leaving just 5% for the rest of the populace.  Nonetheless, he promised to put in a good word for my candidate if he did well at the interview.

Immediately, I started to coach my candidate for several hours daily till he went for the interview.  In addition, I worked hard on his mind, assuring him each time that he would get the job if he remained positive. I prayed with him too, though I was not a Christian then.

The interview went well, and my candidate performed brilliantly in it, and the kind man lived up to his promise of putting in a good word for him, and he was given one of the few positions left.  Today, he is doing great to the glory of God.  I dared to do something good for him!

Friends, today, you too can dare do something good for someone out there. Put in a good word for him or her, do something on his or her bill or school fees within the limits of your resources.  Visit that lonely old man or woman down your street. Moreover, rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).

Please, call or write to congratulate someone on his or her new appointment, birthday, promotion, success at school, etc. Your smile and warmth can equally make somebody’s day, so, use them liberally. It is okay to pray for people as well; remember, prayer is a very potent Christian weapon (James 5:16).

Yes, some people might have taken advantage of you in the past, kindly don’t stop doing good for that reason, and you will reap good rewards someday (Galatians 6:9). Remember, you will reap whatever you sow (Galatians 6:7), and whatever you do for anyone now, you do for God also, and He will reward you lavishly in the end (Matthew 25:31-40), in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!
 
Dr. Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney)
 
Medical Practitioner, Author, and Speaker