Dusk: Tobi

​So, it is December 2016 already, and I have looked forward to writing my review for this year since January, because I have been eager to see how the year will turn out to be.

Like, the previous year started at the beginning of December, with the reviews on stories.ng. As at that time I had no plans whatsoever for the year and was a bit reluctant on making any, considering how 2015 turned out to be. However, on the 31st I received a sort of an epiphany…

“ghan ghan”…

Well, not really ad epiphany sha; what am I even saying, sef? It was just a question of some sorts based on Ephesians 3:20.

“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]”— AMPC

And the question for me was, “What are you asking for? What are you thinking or imagining? What your prayers, desires, hopes and dreams are with regards 2016?”

So I began writing them all down, like, no-holds-barred kind of writing…

January to May:

Submitted my final assignment to complete my MA, and then graduated with a distinction in Early childhood Studies (yay me!!). Moved to another city; more like ran back to the comfort of mama’s arms (mummy’s girl alert). I was so relieved to leave city A after the chaos that 2015 had been and the memories there…

Then, the question of what to do next came glaring at my face, though I thought I had all these figured out. And then came the heavy bouts of fear that led to decision paralysis… crazy, mehn!! The “what ifs” were just too much. On the brighter side however, I joined a free coaching class by Remi Roy to start off my writing gig. Then, I got a friend to design my website for Nigerian early childhood teachers, though it took me about four months to make the website public (that fear thingy).

Decided on moving back to Nigeria to start “something” (actually a couple of things), and I was at peace with the decision, thanks to God and the amazing people in my life.  Shopped my life out and emptied my bank account, because I was advised to buy everything I will ever need before coming back home (I laugh in debit alert and exchange rates).

Came back to Nigeria just in time for my birthday and had an amazing birthday party to mark a New Year and new start of some sorts.

May to August:

No job!!! Too many near misses… apathy… sigh.

Nevertheless, I started my consultancy firm which brought in some money here and there, and I kept writing (thank God), but there was no job and that was becoming a bit frustrating. I mean, my parents did not send me to school to come and go and be sleeping in the house… and what’s with all the questions of “what are you doing now” from everyone? I started second-guessing my decisions and wishing I had stayed back (visa allowing uno) to pursue a PhD or something or whatever. I had amazing people in my corner who kept on encouraging me, though.

And then the worst happened; I lost my grandpa; my kaka; the patriarch of the Mbaya family. You know I never did understand why people went on and on when they lose their grandparents, but now I do. Kaka was strong, he drove to church the week before; he preached; he kept on writing; he knew it was his time; he was ready but we weren’t. I still hear his voice and see him when I close my eyes. His death made me realize that this life is ephemeral; like my Hausa people will say “duniya fonkon ashana ne”. But he left an amazing legacy for us.

August – December:

I got the call!! One Thursday afternoon, asking me to come for an interview for a job I applied for a couple of months ago. I was excited. I mean it was in line with my passion; almost everything I ever wanted to do. Then the interview came and I got the job!

I have spent 3 months on the job; I have been stretched, I have had my crying moments (because water board works very well). I have had moments of imposter syndrome, but Sheryl Sandberg through her book, Lean in, came through,yo. I have learnt a lot and I am still learning. I am so thankful to be working in the line of my passion and what I believe to be my calling.

Lessons learnt (my attempt at being deep):

– Every blessing comes with a set of its curses, but perspective matters.

– Procrastination is a thief yo!! I never believed it until this year; so many missed opportunities cos I said I will do it later… chai!!! In the words of my boss though , “Tobi, you need to do what you say you will do; write it and talk about it”.

– Fear, fear, fear is shit!! What you are afraid of is only in your head, and even if it exists, something better exists just behind it.

– If you don’t believe in yourself eh, no matter how good you are you can’t do nada… even if everyone keeps applauding or encouraging you. Last last you need to get up and do what you need to do.

I am thankful for my family; this year was a hell of a ride eh; sickness, loss, brokenness, heartbreaks.. lol. But then again, we’ve had great moments, joys and victories, new jobs, NYSC POP, love and all promotions. I have also made new friends, strengthened old ones and reconnected with a few.

So cheers to 2017!!

I’ll just let my pen flow, my imagination run wild and just dream on!!

The end.

Tobi Mbaya

is an early years teacher with the dreams of changing the world one nursery rhyme and lego block at a time.. Currently dabbling into the field of educational research and loving it. Learning to take a step at a time in this journey called life.


  • Obinna says:

    I wish you all the best for 2017!

  • Grace Austina Okpo says:

    Go girl! 2017 holds more promises and fulfilment, for sure! And remember, you are loved!

  • Ib Hena says:

    Nice one there, make i kuku start my own… 😉

  • Congratulations Tobi. Your “attempt at being deep” resonated strongly. That’s how profound it was. I’m going to live in 2017.

    Bless your heart. I like your path. I really do. Child development is a low key passion of mine.

    I’m thankful for your victories and burdens as well this year.
    God’s got you and He can do exceedingly more.


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