20 Facts to a Score


I pray five times a day.

Prayer is the second pillar in Islam. It is more appropriately called Salat. There is a distinction between this and supplication. The latter involves putting forward requests to Allah (S.W.T.) and can be done at any time. The rest of this post is about the former.

Salat is observed at fixed times. Muslims pray in the same way at the same period all around the world.The rak’at (units) of each  prayer are universal

At daybreak, I observe Fajr (2 rak’at)

Noon is the time for Dhuhr (4 rak’at)

Asr comes along in the afternoon (4 rak’at)

Maghrib is at sunset (3 rak’at)

I end the day with Isha’ at night (4 rak’at)

Daily, we are preoccupied with worldly pursuits but Salat provides a direct means of communicating with our Creator. It is really a test of faith as only a sincere believer will leave daily activities to observe Salat at the right time.

Muslims pray in congregation in the mosque. It is wonderful to watch this unique form of devotion in which hearts worship in unity.

Before Muslims pray, they must fulfill some conditions. These are :

~ablution which entails washing the hands, mouth, nostrils, face, forearms and feet in addition to wiping the head with wt hands and cleaning the ears (with clean water)

~wearing clean and modest clothes

~praying in a clean mosque or praying area

~humility and concentration

Salat starts by the Adhaan (call to prayer). This is followed by recitation from the Qur’an, bowing and prostrating; all the while glorifying Allah. The intricacies of Salat are well-known by Muslims irrespective of geographical location. Thus, if I travel to a country where my language is not spoken, I can join the Muslims in prayer without missing out any part.

It is amazing that Muslims pray in exactly the same way that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) prayed more than fourteen hundred years ago. They face the same direction that he faced then- the Ka’aba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Personally, I plan my day around each prayer. This has made me time-conscious. Salat makes me remember my Lord constantly and reminds me to be thankful to Him always. It fosters brotherhood and equality. It also ensures cleanliness, concentration and humility.

Finally, it is of utmost importance in the life of a Muslim for it is the way to attaining peace.

20 Facts to a Score

I can be bossy at times.

Don’t be surprised , Oumissa is not perfect. She’s got flaws just like every other person.

She’s used to taking responsibility . This is because she grew up with many younger siblings. She ordered them to do things like tidying up the house, doing their assignments and made sure they behaved well. She also had to take care of them whenever their parents were away.

I guess being in a position of authority from a tender age has made her used to calling the shots. Or maybe it’s just a streak from one of her ancestors. The thing is Oumissa naturally assumes she’s the leader in every group. She gives orders that must be followed to the letter.

She therefore likes things being done her way. This of course makes other people angry. How awful!

She loves giving advice and offering solutions. But she’s not satisfied until you take her advice. This is not a good thing as other people have a right to put forward their own ideas. Thus I think she needs to listen more to the opinion of others.

To her credit though, she realizes this fault of hers and is working on improving this aspect of her character. For in the real
world, leaders are listeners while bosses are bullies.

20 Facts to a Score

To all the wonderful people that take time out to read this blog, I say thank you. For some reason, the facts were held up for a while. I sincerely apologise for the uneasy suspense.

I enjoy reading.

I became fascinated with books early on in life. At first, I couldn’t make out the big words but I still read them anyway.
It was a normal thing for me to exhaust all the school books in my English Literature list before the term began. At the sound of Father’s car horn, we all would rush outside screaming excitedly,”Daddy! Oyoyo!” in anticipation of goodies. I always found a way to outsmart the others and run off with the newspaper. Then I would spend the next two hours poring over each page. My favourites were the articles about politics and science.
Schoolbooks were not my forte. I studied them just enough to earn good grades. However, I read novels long into the night by the light reflecting from the hallway. This opened the doors to an enchanting world where I shared adventures with the numerous characters in my novels.
It was kind of weird reading ‘big books with no pictures’ while others read illustrated children books.What many of my peers didn’t know was that Father discouraged me from watching too much television. When I was eight, he gave me a present – Collins’ Children’s Encyclopaedia. I learnt a lot about the world and was imbued with so much information. Thus at a young age I could reason along with adults.
Often, my teachers would catch me reading novels in class. I only found more clever ways to read them in class. There was this informal book club in school. You get to borrow a book only if you read fast. It didn’t take long for me to get any book I wanted.
Any time I came across a good book, I wished I could write like the author.
Reading became a form of relaxation and a source of comfort. It widened the horizon of my imagination and made me think a lot about things around me.This made schoolwork less boring and easy to understand. The books, articles and magazines I read were about art, culture, science, adventure,religion, politics,romance, business,detective stories, geography and many other topics. As I grew older, I lost interest in romance novels and read more of religious literature.

At breakfast, I would peruse the tin of Milo and milk or the packets of cereal. Till today, all the vitamins and minerals are stuck in my head along with their metabolic functions.

The first part of the Qur’an revealed was, ” Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). {Q96v1}. There is an Hadith(saying of the Prophet {S.A.W.}) that goes thus, ” Seeking knowledge is mandatory upon every Muslim male and female.”
Sadly, almost nobody reads anymore.I think more leaders should read books with children. Let’s learn to love reading . It is the key to national development. The government should budget a lot more for education and revamp our libraries. Parents should make their children see that reading can be fun. This is essential as the literacy level of a people determines their level of development.
Readers become leaders, writers and thinkers. As Father rightly said, ‘The mind that reads retains the sharpness of youth’. Let’s join hands to revive the reading culture. We’d be better for it as a nation.

20 Fact to a Score

I am particular about cleanliness.

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so spooked by filth. I’m utterly convinced it must be an allergy of some sort.
It hasn’t always been this way though.

As a child, I didn’t understand why my folks were so neat. They always forced me to tidy up and I wasn’t happy about this. Mother especially was always saying, “Haba! o ti rough ju”.

Having to do the chores in her presence was the worst form of punishment. She never was satisfied until the whole house gleamed. Since there was no escape from this back-breaking routine, I accepted my fate.

Till today I do not know if this obsession with cleanliness is as a result of my genes or Mother’s influence. 

From my appearance to my handwriting, everything had to be clean and neatly arranged. This has saved me a lot of trouble. In time, I tried to change people’s attitude towards being tidy.

What peeves me is the common notion that poverty makes people unclean. One might be tempted to believe this but that’s before this comes to mind, ‘Filth cuts across all social classes’. That someone is rich doesn’t mean they can’t be scruffy. Yet there are poor people that are really tidy. It is a thing of the mind and not the number of zeros in a bank account.

Hygiene as a topic is included in the school curriculum and is taught in Home Economics, Health Education, Physical Education, Integrated Science and Biology. How we end up with a dirty society makes me doubt the efficacy of the classroom in ensuring proper sanitation.

A Yoruba adage says, ‘Imototo lo le segun arun gbogbo’. It means, ‘Cleanliness defends against all diseases’ RadioLagos aired this line on a kiddies programme sponsored by USAID. How on earth did we forget that cleanliness is next to godliness?   

I was glad the day I learnt that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was spick- and-span. He said in one Hadith,’Cleanliness is half of faith’. This means a Muslim must be hygienic. Back in the Middle Ages during the reign of Harun Rashid, the streets of Baghdad were washed with soap and water. This was at a time when much of the world was did not realize the value of sanitation.

From all the if-i-don’t-take-care-of-him-who-will adverts many of us know that proper hygiene is key to healthy living. It is good to be clean. Wash your hands    before eating, after using the toilet and immediately we get home. This reduces the spread of germs and exposure to infections.

Lagosians are a bit lucky. Every last Saturday of the month, there is restriction of movement  from 6-10a.m so we have to clean our homes and surroundings. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. Markets are closed till 10 a.m on. Thursdays for the same reason. I wish we took the sanitation exercise more seriously.
On my part, I prevent my friends from littering. I sometimes throw their waste into the nearest dustbin. For this, one of them named me ‘Medical LAWMA’. 

If we all contribute in our own little way, our streets can stand side by side with those in London, New York or Dubai.’

20 Facts to a Score


I eat potatoes.

My first try at solid food was mashed potatoes and eggs. Soon it became a favourite. As I grew older however, I ditched the Irish variety for  the sweet. I  later learnt  it is the main cash crop in my hometown where it is called ‘anamo’. I eat potatoes with almost anything and I really don’t mind if it is boiled, baked or fried into chips. I like it best with chicken and ketchup.

Potatoes are grown all over the world and constitute a staple in many countries. They are served in a wide variety of delicacies. One advantage is that they are  cheap and easy to come by. Sadly, many do not appreciate the health benefits inherent in potatoes. Others smother it in a lot of butter and cream.

Without all the fat and deep frying,  a baked potato is a low-calorie,  high fibre food that can provide significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is a good source of antioxidants.

It is the best  most affordable source of potassium.It is also  rich in dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, copper  and manganese. Other nutrients that can be derived from it include, iron,calcium, magnesium,sodium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, beta carotene, Vitamin B6,E and K.  It is the new wonder food. To get much of its nutrients it is better to bake or boil with the skin.

After reading this I hope you  look at potatoes in a brighter light.

P.S  Medilag students, when ordering your nightly ‘skaries’ remember to ask for a generous helping of potato.

Sources: WHFoods,Wikipedia



20 Facts to a Score


I’m bespectacled.

It all started in primary school when I had to move my seat to the front because I couldn’t see the blackboard clearly. I snuggled up close to the TV at home else I wouldn’t enjoy whatever series was ongoing.

All through secondary school,I copied my notes from my friends as the eye problem got worse.You know how it is with Nigerian parents, thinking glasses are meant for old people.

Yet no one understood that I didn’t greet my neighbours when they were too far away for me to recognize them (they all thought I was rude) or when I couldn’t see what was written on a signboard.

My friends gave me nicknames like ‘sick-in-the-eyes’ and ‘blind’. Then I gained admission into the university and had to go through health registration.At the eye test centre, I could barely see beyond the second line.The ophthalmologist told me in a grave tone, “You need a pair of glasses”.

When I got home and informed my parents,there  was nothing else they could say. I got a pair of black-rimmed glasses with blue-tinted lenses that made everything seem like it was morning.

One would think I should have been happy but the glasses destroyed my look. I always seemed serious. Oh and of course I earned a new set of nicknames- ‘FourEyes’, ‘Ojugo’, ‘Geek’, and ‘Nerd’.

Now I wear them only when I have to. So I’ve got two looks – with and without my glasses. Most people don’t even know I can see without them.

I’ve learnt something though, ‘Having myopia doesn’t make me myopic’.

20 Facts to a Score

I wear Hijab.

This is simply because I’m in love with it and not because someone forced me to. 
The hijab is the prescribed form of dressing for Muslim women. It involves wearing clothing that expose only her face and her hands.
This is to ensure modesty. Muslim women choose to wear it as a sign of devotion and piety. It should not be misconstrued as a sign of oppression.
Personally, I feel that wearing it has earned me a lot of respect and honour.