The passages below, from the Bible, have always intrigued me, but they became more meaningful to me after some observations and meditations.
Text: Mark 11:12-14, 20
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
There are some key lessons to be gleaned from this story.
1. Visibility and noticeability without productivity.
Jesus noticed the fig tree from a distance. Apparently, it appeared bigger than every other tree around for it to attract attention. Jesus got to the fig tree and was disappointed.
Sometimes, we like to create impressions that cannot be matched with the reality on ground. The leafy lifestyle is a lifestyle of simulation, instead of reality.
I see young yahoo-yahoo boys (scammers) with flashy cars and fake looks, residing in hotels without any solid investments. I was in a hotel in my city and I saw many young boys with funny hairstyles, bling bling, with bottles of very expensive wines, surrounded by skimpily dressed girls clinging to them on the boots and bonnets of their cars. With close observation, you will notice that they are semi-illiterate with very empty brains. Most of them can’t express themselves well, and many of them are from very poor homes with dirty environments.
This desire to live this leafy lifestyle is what is leading a lot of our stupid young people into prostitution, ritual killings, and all kinds of criminality.
Nigerians like to show off and intimidate others. We make loud phone calls and play loud music. In fact, we are stupidly excited in the midst of absurdity and gross deprivation. The more empty the brains of the average young Nigerian lady is, the more the length of false hair she attaches to her empty head. Her false eyelashes are usually more terrifying the more stupid she is. The illiterate ones are usually the loudest in public places; they announce their presence by dragging their feet.
If Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, or Oby Ezekwesili, or even Kemi Adeosun enters an arena, you might not know who they are unless they are introduced to you. They pretend to be ordinary. They usually take the approach of dissimulation. Poor people pretend to be rich while really rich people pretend to be poor.
2. Failure to meet expectations.
The fig tree had no fruits; it could not satisfy the hunger Jesus had. Leaves are potentially meant for photosynthesis and eventually fruitfulness. The displayed potentials were not commensurate with productivity. The leafy lifestyle is advertorial, loud, with conspicuous consumption, but mostly with no (or little) productivity; it is unlike a progressive lifestyle like in my post on The Caterpillar, The Pupa, And The Butterfly. I have seen politicians, businessmen, artistes, and civil servants who lived as if they were rich and wealthy, but later turned out to be leafy. They are like clouds without rain. Like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing—Shakespeare.
Pentecostalism has become a very leafy affair. Many of the young ‘prophets’ and even older preachers who you see on many social media sites with powerful suits and big cars don’t have any serious investments; they live from offering to offering to sustain the leafy lifestyle; hence there are so many programs and fundraising in church.
Our worship, most times, are fake emotional displays without worth-ship or relationship with Jesus or God. Those boys and girls you saw falling prostrate, singing “l want more of you, Jesus” will soon be in bed fornicating and demanding more of each other.
Many of these our overflow churches have members and pastors who are baked on one side. They can’t stand to discuss and share ideas with even an illiterate Jehovah’s Witness member. Many of them are just echoes of the slogans of their general overseers.
There is nothing that manifests the leafy lifestyle more than the craze for titles and honorary degrees by our pastors. The craze for military titles and uniforms by our so-called chaplaincy is very embarrassing to reasonable people.
Social media platforms have become the vegetable market for Pentecostal leafy lifestyles. I know a young bishop who dresses and poses on one of these sites as if he has arrived, but I was embarrassed when I got to his church, which was a temporary structure that did not match the fake image created on social media.
We now create imaginary love on social media. Must you spend so much money to take very childish pre-wedding pictures when you don’t have much funds. A very rich Australian star recently wedded; it was only him, his bride, and the priest, who were there with a photographer. The carried their food in a box and went for their private reception. The stress of weddings, funerals, and children dedications in Nigeria are too leafy. George Bush, US President 43, had only 200 guests invited for the daughter’s wedding. It would have been declared a public holiday if it was the daughter of a poor African president doing her wedding. Remember Emperor Bokassa of Central African Republic and his coronation.
3. Premature advertorial lifestyle.
It was not yet the season of fruiting for figs. The leaves of figs usually appear with the fruits. This leafy plant manifested leafy nature too early.
Even if you are wealthy, let your children first learn to be children. Let them learn how wealth is created before displaying wealth. My brother, Charles Awuzie, said rightly that “Don’t make friends with the children of the rich, but make friends with their fathers”. True, because the fathers know the secret of how the wealth was created; most times, the children know how to spend it and show it off. It has been observed that a lot of such children don’t measure up to expectations with all the potentials they had at their disposal.
I see young girls who display the features of womanhood in their dressing and attitudes. I see them with bum shorts. Parents will allow their 16-year-old daughters to expose their breasts and amplify their hips. These girls are not mentally mature to handle the stress of sexual harassment and advances. I know several beautiful young ladies who prematurely started marketing their features before manufacturing their destinies; many of them withered with time.
Nigeria is mostly a very leafy nation. We have great potentials, but most have failed to rise up to expectations. We have several refineries but we import fuel; several steel mills but we import steel; so many airports but no national airline; so many universities but we spend so much training children overseas; so many churches and rich pastors, with so much poverty with all our prayers and prosperity messages.
We travel to Jerusalem and Mecca several times in our lifetimes, but we are one of the most corrupt nations on earth. We have so many teaching hospitals but we travel overseas for medical treatment. We send soldiers to maintain peace in other nations but we can’t have peace. We have the largest number of political parties in the world but we are not truly democratic. The giant of Africa has suddenly become the poverty capital of the world with some of the highest paid politicians in the world
We spend so much money and efforts to bury dead parents we hardly visited or took care of. We build tombs that are more beautiful than the dirty rooms our parents lived in. We wear the same uniforms (Asoebi) with so much family disunity and jealousy. If the dead received the attention and care they receive during burials they would have lived much longer. I get so angry when I see these selfish children, who hardly visited their parents, fanning the corpse of their parents in a coffin. What an irony! Fanning a corpse.
We change 2,000 Naira for 2,600 Naira to get new notes to spray in a wedding. Why not add 400 Naira to it and make it 3,000 maria. Put it in an envelope, give it to the couple and walk away. It saves the time and efforts of counting multiple 20 Naira notes.
God Bless You.
The reason people goes to Church but they are not Christians.
The sing Hymn but they don’t Him!!
Dr Apoki, you are brutally frank. Let him that have ears hear. We are in the end time.
My bishop my brother, thanks so much for always encouraging me.
God bless you sir. I hope they will hear and amend their ways.
Dr Charles, you are always on point. I am working on my self before now but your message has even increased my hunger to impact my world positively. More grace to you Sir.
Leafy life style. What a great insight.
Thanks to Dr Charles.
I’m glad you were blessed.
Be a friend to the rich man not his children because he knows how difficult it is to make the money while children just knows how to spend it. Thanks How i wish that our children will grow to also understand what it takes there father to be rich.
So true, Sir.
Nawa! What a journey of the mind I had going through this. I found myself raising questions about myself! Very revealing and educative. Sufficient to create the much needed paradigm shift in the minds of both youth and adult alike. I doff my hat to a great thinker!
Great material. Thanks for the fantastic read.
Welcome. Please share it with others.