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Category: General

Our Journey in Life is too short

We are all on a journey on earth. The journey takes us through several phases in life. We fall and rise at each point of our beautiful journey in life. Sometimes we get to meet lovely people who make our transition along the path of life pleasurable.

Several years ago, a beautiful young lady sat on a bus. She was travelling to see her mum in a nearby city. At the next stop, a loud and grumpy old lady came and sat by her. She squeezed into the seat and bumped her with her numerous bags.

The person sitting on the other side of the young lady got upset and asked her why she did not speak up and say something. The young lady responded with a smile: “It is not necessary to be rude or argue over something so insignificant, the journey together is so short. I will be getting off at the next stop”. This response deserves to be written in golden letters: “It is not necessary to argue over something so insignificant, our journey together is so short”

If each one of us realized that our time here on earth is so short; that to darken it with quarrels, futile arguments, not forgiving others, discontentment and a fault-finding attitude would be a waste of time and energy.

Did someone break your heart? Be calm, the journey is so short. Did someone betray, bully, cheat or humiliate you? Be calm and forgive such a one, the journey is so short. Whatever troubles anyone brings us, let us remember that our journey together is so short. No one knows the duration of this beautiful journey. No one knows when their stop will come. Our journey together is so short.

Let us cherish friends and family. Let us be respectful, kind, and forgiving to each other. Let us be filled with gratitude and gladness. Smile,  laugh, dance, play, relax, joke and stop being serious about everything, let go of anger. Failure to do so only hurts you. The other person is moving on with life while you hold grudges.

In Life, we would always come across the good, bad and ugly. In all we do, let us learn to be kind, because everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle. Some may hide theirs with a smile. Others use beautiful makeups to brighten their inner hurt.

Our heart should always be ready to forgive another, for there dwells the secret of true happiness. Leave a lovely footprint in the sand of time. Become a beautiful memory in the heart of those you come across daily. After all, our journey together is so short!

Aneke Courage

Aneke Courage- I admire Kevin De Bruyne and would Love to Play like him

These were the exact words of 18 years old Aneke Courage Chikasiemobi, an attacking midfielder who is on trial with FC Centaur, Russia. The enterprising midfielder who was born in Enugu, southeast Nigeria, has always had the dream of being a footballer from childhood. He started playing while he was 10 and has never stopped loving the round leather game.

Humble beginning

“My parents never supported me in the early stage of my football career. I was beaten several times for coming home late from training and for choosing football rather than academics. It was tough back then”. This is a familiar story with most players back in Africa. The awareness has however changed over the last couple of years, as more parents are now encouraging their kids to pursue their dreams.

Cassi, as he is fondly called, started his footballing journey with Dynamos FC of Enugu, Nigeria, before switching over to Star Plus FC Enugu, Nigeria. The 5 ft 7 in tall midfield maestro who had shared his experience of struggling to find a sponsor to help him pursue his football dreams also had challenges with injuries.

Why football?

Cassi confessed that he had always had a love for the game while growing up. “My desire had always been to get paid for playing the game I love so much. Football gives me Joy and I catch so much fun playing it”

Aneke Courage who can play anywhere in attack except in the left-wing expressed his admiration for Manchester City Attacking Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. “Kevin De Bruyne is one player I look up to and I hope to play like him someday.

Move to Russia

The dream of every football player is to become a professional and move a step higher in his football career. It wasn’t different for Courage Aneke, who had always nursed the ambition of moving his career a step higher. That dream became a reality early this year January when he stumbled on an Instagram post about FC Centaur. He immediately made contact with them and was sent an invitation to come for trial with the Russian 4th Division side. The club which was founded on April 16th, 2009 is the largest private Club in Russia.

When asked about adapting to life in Russia, Aneke Courage was honest about his experience. Hear what he said: “Adapting to life in Russia wasn’t easy. It was tough, battling with the cold and the language, but I am learning the language gradually and am getting used to training in the cold”. The coaches usually train us using the Russian language. Luckily for me, some of my teammates can speak English and Russia fluently. He has so far played 22 games, scored 6 goals and provided 9 assists for the Moscow based team.

Standard of the Russian League

According to Aneke Courage whose favorite team is Borussia Dortmund of Germany, The standard of the Russian League is not too high compared to the Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, and the Italian Serie A. The major reason for the low standard of the League is because the majority of the players in almost all the teams are homegrown players. Foreign nationals are not given much opportunity in the Russian League.

Racism in Russia

Russia has always been in the news when it comes to the issue of racism in sports, especially in football. In 2011, fans of Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow displayed a banner. It was about Nigerian striker Peter Osaze Odemwingie featuring a banana saying ‘Thank you, West Bromwich Albion after the player left to join West Bromwich Albion. Aneke Courage confirmed he had not experienced any form of racism since he’s been on trial with FC Centaur. He however mentioned the attitude of match referees who often made calls against blacks on the field of play.

Aspirations

Aneke Courage who loves listening to music and also praying before crucial games, already has his mind fixed on his next move. “My dream is to move to a professional side in Denmark next year. I believe that with Hard Work, whatsoever you want to achieve in life is possible. Believe in yourself and remember nothing is impossible with God”. When asked if his parents have changed their mind as regards supporting his footballing career? He smiled and answered: “ They support me 100%”.

prayers

Some funny prayers can still receive urgent answers

Prayers are usually our ways of expressing our heart feeling to the creator in times of appreciation or need. And so it was some years ago on a cold windy Saturday night. I joined the youths for a rally within the small sleepy town called Mereje. It was time to go home and we all walked home happily after a successful rally. In the company was my best friend Tonia. An amazing friend she was to me. Black, beautiful and gracious in beauty and character.

As we made our way home, she called me aside and slipped a small parcel into my hands. It was a touch of class and love. I could barely resist the temptation of opening the parcel before I got home, but I had to stop myself from doing that knowing the fact that others were watching. It was the longest 30 minutes of my entire life.

Finally got home and as soon as I got into my room, I tore the parcel open and wrapped within the parcel was a beautifully designed wristwatch and an envelope. I gently tore the envelope and folded inside was a pink hand-made card. It was so beautiful that my heart raced a degree high as I opened it.

Written in the most elegant handwriting were the loving thoughts of my friend Tonia. I sat on my bed and read line after line. It was like she was sitting next to me. The message within the card echoed through my small room.

‘Hi Clement

Treasures are hard to find

But they are worth the pain

True friends are rare to come across

They not only bring joy, happiness, and fulfillment

But also inspire us to greatness

More than a treasure you are to me, and like a true friend, you have been one of the reasons why I wake up daily.

Added sunshine to my life and have shown me through your simple, humble, and loving affection that there are still good people out there.

I love your warm and gentle spirit

Tonia.

It took me a while to get myself together, before looking at the beautiful wristwatch she wrapped inside the package. It was a silver wristwatch that came with a unique alarm system. The alarm sound was that of a rooster crowing.

The following weekend, we had a camp meeting and I took my precious wristwatch along with me. Unfortunately, I set the alarm wrongly. Rather than set it at 6 am, I mistakenly set it at 1 am. We had all fallen asleep when suddenly in the middle of the night, a mysterious sound pierced the serene atmosphere. It was the sound of a rooster crowing, and the sound was coming from a bag in one of the tents.

Rachel, one of the most pious sisters in our midst burst in prayers. She prayed with all her strength against any evil attack and demonic powers. I had woken up and listened quietly to the prayers. I knew what the sound was all about because it was coming from my wristwatch.

Two minutes after Rachel prayers had gathered momentum, the rooster stopped crowing. She started thanking God for answers to her prayers and others around joined her. I was engrossed in secret laughter, as I was wondering how it would sound telling them it was not Rachel’s prayers that stopped the rooster from crowing. It would be a blow to her inspired spirit if I had told her it was my wristwatch alarm system that triggered the strange sound.

All I could remember was that she was happy to see her prayers answered, and I happy to see her funny prayers receive instant answers. It was a lesson I’ll never forget in a hurry. We all look at life differently, depending on which side of the divide we stand. There are things we take for granted, but others hold on to them because their dreams and goals depend largely on them

Reducing carbon footprint in Africa via Solar Energy

The idea of how to reduce the carbon footprint in Africa has been in the news lately. What exactly is the meaning of Carbon footprint? It is the quantity of greenhouse gas (Carbon dioxide) which is released into the environment via conventional or unconventional activities.

Africa unfortunately, relies heavily on fossil fuel-based energy sources, which contributes majorly to carbon footprint in the continent. An amazing fact about Africa is that it has an enormous capacity for Solar Energy potential. This is due to the enormous amount of sunshine across the continent. This huge potential has remained largely untapped. Sadly, an estimated 500 million Africans out of a population of 1.3 billion do not have access to electricity.

In 2011, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a report on renewable energies in Africa. In the report, it was shown clearly how 59.6% of the mostly rural population is still grappling with access to electricity.  The huge energy deficit in Africa is no doubt an opportunity to be utilized by adopting the Solar Energy solution.

Sources of electricity in Africa is Fossil fuel-based and contribute heavily to the increasing quantity of carbon footprint in the continent. Sadly, more than 70% of electricity generated in Africa comes from fossil fuel.

It is important to note, that the burning of coal, oil, and Gas flaring by multinational oil companies, are major causes of Carbon footprint in the continent. The cement production process also contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases which creates this Carbon footprint. Deforestation, which is a common occurrence in most countries in the continent, is also a major contributor to the high quantity of Carbon footprint in the environment.

In the face of these gloomy figures and challenges, the adoption of a Solar Energy solution cannot be overemphasized. It comes with huge benefits, chief among which is the reduction of carbon footprint. Solar-powered street lights, rather than street lights that are powered by heavy Diesel generators, can help curtail the rise in Carbon footprint.

One major benefit that will result from the adoption of Solar energy and its associated products in Africa, is the clean and renewable energy source it provides. It is not only environmentally friendly but also inexpensive when compared to fossil fuel-based energy solutions.

It is common knowledge that greenhouse gases like CO2 are the major cause of respiratory health diseases in the continent. There have also been deaths recorded from inhaling fumes from fossil-fuel driven generators which are very lethal. Solar energy solutions are made up of Photovoltaic solar panels. These are embedded in large solar farms within a mini-grid setup that can generate electricity while emitting Zero greenhouse gases.

For example, it has been discovered by researchers, that adopting solar energy solution can reduce carbon footprint. Every Kilowatt of solar energy installed has been found to reduce carbon footprint by as much as 1.36 tonnes annually.

A warm welcome to my Blog

These are not the best of times considering the amazing strain the
CoronaVirus (COVID-19) has had on our lives. We must, however, remain strong
and resolute to fight till the very end. The strange thing about this pandemic
is that it has defied all medical logic and it cuts across continents leaving
in its wake tears and pain.

As of today (Monday, 20th of April 2020), the total number of
deaths has risen to 167,986 globally (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/).
This is no doubt unprecedented and alarming. So many are still in intensive
care units scattered all over the world battling it out to survive. We must be
united in love and stay strong in our common faith and belief, especially in
these dark moments, where the bold even get engulfed in fear. The fear of the
unknown has virtually gripped everyone, and we can only but hope and pray that
the storms will soon be over.

In these critical times, I wish to share my profound thoughts and warm
condolences to all families affected by this pandemic. Hopefully, I will be
using this platform to bring messages of hope and strength daily, and together
we will all get to the finish line. It would not be easy, but we would give it
our best shot ever. Giving up would make it worse, and staying strong will help
us win.

Once again, I warmly welcome you all to my Blog and extend my warm wishes
and the best in the coming days

Thanks

Clement

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