Thursday, January 23, 2014


‘Like it is in the picture’. I would run to my mum bellowing like a wild puppy. Pointing to the Ebony magazine I had in my hands, I would repeat, ‘buy me a Mont Blanc pen like it is in the photo’.
My mum would nod a nod that said something like:
‘why does a 9 year old want such a pen’
and then proceed on her journey. She would not buy the pen like it was in the photo when she returned and I would not ask her about it. My brother would later say to me that she had a budget of four hundred pounds for all of four children and could not afford my six hundred pounds pen from the magazine.
Today’s post would not be about luxury pens and all, it would be about a biro or bic- whichever is more appropriate. One First City Monument Bank had freely given as a New Year ‘thanks for your patronage’ gift to customers. As I received mine, first thing I would think is:
‘Would customers not appreciate improved services even more?’
The biro would go on to mean more than just biro to me. It would prove to me that there still is some good to Nigeria. From it, I would come to sudden realization that even when we say Nigeria is doomed because it lacks good people, this is most often not true.
It was on Friday the 17th January, I had stopped a taxi just up the road from the American Embassy and asked the cab driver to take me to my office, he immediately would demand a four hundred naira fare and I would allow a smile spread generously across my face. Three hundred I’d say and he’d look me in the face and frown that weird frown that ultimately continues until it becomes a smile, he would nod slightly and I would get in. Apart from pleasantries, we would not speak until I got to my office. I paid him in complete change, thanked him and I hurried off. He would mutter something like N300 was inadequate and I’d simply ignore him. Thirty minutes would pass and I’d be busy with the day’s paper when the security guard would interrupt and hand me a biro. He would say the taxi man returned it.
This single act would leave me impressed. Remind me that even in a country where everyone is said to be corrupt or self centered and poor, a taxi man still would expend his time and fuel to return something as basic as a biro to its owner.
I would immediately picture God saying:
‘For as long as you are faithful with little, I would bless you with even more’ and I would wonder what this means.
I’d say a prayer for the taxi man and say ‘thank you’ to the security guard. Seating at her desk across from me, my colleague would look to me and ask:
‘are you sure that taxi man is Nigerian?’
I’d look back at her and smile, knowing exactly what she meant.

Share your stories of exceptional Nigerians here in the comments or send me a mail at 

Adejoh Momoh ( can be followed on twitter @adejoh

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In Gratitude

Adejoh Idoko Momoh

Usually, I think through as I write my blog posts. Checking for inaccuracies, making sure that every statement reads just as I intended it. Today, it will be different. I would write directly as the words come to me, no second thoughts, no corrections.
In the last 5 years, I’ve gotten through the Christmas and New Year holidays with excitement, calm and some sense of accomplishment. Why? Because these past couple years have been some of the best in my life. I have seen myself grow in love, forgiveness, skill and health.
One of my proudest achievements of 2013 must be my blog. For the gift of readers, I am truly grateful. I have seen my blog grow from a site where I mostly write thoughts that are read by a few friends to one that has more international readership than it has national. My readership has grown from a modest 50 persons the first year it started- Yes, I really had only 50 readers read my blog in a 12 month period- to about 2,000 in December 2013 alone and about 45,000 in the year.
I would get e-mails from people genuinely interested in my posts, I fondly remember an e-mail message I got from an anonymous reader on my post ‘Finding Fit’. I had returned from the United States and saw the obesity crisis first hand; it encouraged me to write a post in which I referred to certain people as fat. This is the first time I would hear from the anonymous reader:

Dear Adejoh,
I have read your blog for some time but didn’t feel the need to write in until now. I found your post ‘Finding Fit’ very interesting to read. I enjoy your play with words and the ease there is to your writing. Fascinating. 
However, as an overweight lady myself it is my opinion that you need sensitivity training. You haven’t considered genetics or any other factors which can lead to weight gain in your piece. You somehow manage to generalize and blame it on diet and a lack of healthy choices. The sad thing is the piece in itself was so enjoyable that despite hating its message, I stayed reading it to the end; I guess that’s good writing. 

In all honesty, as I read this mail I smiled. Thankful that a reader would take out time to read my blog and send me an e-mail in response. It is at this point I would conclude that the achievement really is in my readers, not the blog itself. After all, it really is simply personal experience and things as I relate to them. I would realize that one of the down sides to living in a busy society is that we tend to take things for granted. We overlook everyday blessings; the gift of readers, the blessing of people who freely share their opinion and the generosity of all those who offer encouragement however they can.

It is for this reason I have decided to with my first 2014 blog post just say ‘Thank You’. It is my hope that in this year, we all would be more generous with our thankfulness. I have come to realize that one of the reasons why we should be grateful for the seemingly small things is that it helps us appreciate the big things in life when they come. And the other and perhaps ultimate reason is that as we learn to appreciate the small things, we realize that no act of kindness really is small.

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