The Brilliance

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I arrived on the threshold of glory, not by design, but because the ship of circumstance ferried me there. Standing in the shine of greatness that loomed overhead like a star far more illuminating than the one which has occupied the day sky since the birth of time, the place of mediocrity could not be found neither was there the slightest trace of the haunting darkness of ignorance. Nary a shadow was present, all damned to some netherworld so far removed from the here that they could very well be nonexistent.

I wasn’t dreaming, of that I was sure no thanks to the self-inflicted cut on my throbbing upper lip, but wakefulness felt like a lie if only for the sheer surreality of the space I occupied, and the way I occupied it: standing when I should have been flattened by the magnificence of it all. It all whispered of the divine while being less than heavenly, spoke of things celestial even though terrestrial, and I flew with both feet firmly on the ground.

But as if oblivious to the astonishing wonder around the body that houses it, my soul uttered one word: more. That was when I saw the brilliance.

Love.

Like a million suns in a million worlds all luminescent at once, no setting. Sacrifice as an orb of life-giving light; grace and mercy, rays from that orb. All of the beauty from Calvary, all of the kindness of a God who forgives and doesn’t remember, peace like a river flowing without end.

Love.

The sin-effacing Blood of a Saviour with a human heart, shed when nothing else would do. A Life given for lives which, summed up, can never compare in worth. An explosion of grace marking the path to the Father for eons. The ageless beacon guiding whosoever would choose to take one step in His direction (He will meet all with everlasting arms outstretched).

Love is more. Love is the brilliance.

The Morning After

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The heat has finally abated. You can exhale without feeling steam rising from the core of your insides, burning its way out of your nostrils and warming the air in front of your face to bakery level temperatures. Last night was a tropical freak storm in a small space; catastrophic, with a delicious malevolence that would have made Satan proud. You flashback, goosebumps popping up on both arms as shivers draw maps of nowhere across your back. Cork the bottle of memories or risk being incapacitated. Obedience is sacrifice, you shed blood and contemplate resurrection.

It’s hard to stand. Incredibly hard. The wall is a helping hand. Violated and ravaged, your body has many words for you and all of them are expletives. You join in the swearing, giving an audible voice to the pains that head, torso and legs cannot express. What happened in the dark left messages for the light to reveal. Read between the lines, no decryption required.

Hands under bleeding faucet, water to eyes. Again and again without gain. It is impossible to wash away what’s been imprinted on your retinas and burned onto your brain cells. You’re an invaded country, private spaces made public and occupied with contemptible disregard for propriety. Ruin has come to your defenses, destruction to your morality and decay to your watersheds. Welcome to the desertification of your soul.

Everyday Miracles: Marco Lapenna’s ‘Story Telling’ Photos Of Lagos

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Barbed wire-topped fences, moss-covered walls, human porterage and everyday people. Itinerant Italian photographer Marco Lapenna’s stills of Lagos may seem quite ordinary at first glance, but look closer and you’ll be drawn into the remarkable visual story of the bustling Nigerian metropolis that’s more living organism than inanimate geographic entity.

Photos via Marco Lapenna

 

I Lied to My Wife, Flew to Lagos, and Got the Sh*t Beaten Out of Me Because of a Nigerian Email Scam

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By Laurent Moucate (as told to Felix Macherez)

By now, everyone is well aware of “419” scams, also known as advance-fee fraud or Nigerian-email fraud. These are cons in which anonymous hustlers pose as corrupt African officials or exiled refugees looking to transfer Scrooge McDuck-ian heaps of cash into foreign accounts. They blanket thousands of email addresses with invitations, and the occasional gullible victim is tricked into forking over private banking information. There are a handful of variations, but most people with eyeballs and keyboards know to hit mark spam whenever they see anything of the sort sliming around their inbox.

In 2003, however, the con was less well known, and a friend of my father’s got seriously duped. When Laurent (his name has been changed at his request), then a 42-year-old salesman at a pharmaceutical company living on Réunion Island (a French territory in the Indian Ocean), received an offer to launder $1 million from a frozen Nigerian bank account into his own, it seemed to solve all of his money problems.

Instead, he wound up battered, bruised, and abandoned in a strange country. I spoke with him recently to find out what the hell happened.

About ten years ago, I was at home playing chess on my computer when an email from someone claiming to be the governor of Lagos, Nigeria, landed in my inbox. The subject line was URGENT, so I read it right away—actually, I read it a few times in a row. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I don’t recall the exact wording of the email, but the gist of it was that the governor of Lagos West constituency, Bola Tinubu, had hidden around $1 million in a secret bank account to avoid taxes. The money had been stolen from public funds, the email continued, and the Tinubu family couldn’t use it because they were being closely monitored by the government.

They needed a foreigner to come to Lagos, take the money out of the account, and put it into a Swiss bank. That’s where I came in. Supposedly, if I sent $1,300 in cash to a Lagos address, they would get me a room in a luxury hotel, and I could come over and sign some documents that would be prepared by a lawyer, whose fees would run me another $1,300. I’d wind up with 5 percent of that $1 million, which sounded pretty fair to me.

Don’t stop, keep reading.

Image, text via VICE

 

 

Email Scams: “URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED PLEASE!!!”

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I don’t know why, but my spam folder is overflowing with unbelievable emails from oddball characters who are either stranded, dying or both, and I’m only too excited to share these messages, beginning with one Elliot Gamba’s tall tale (below).

URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED PLEASE!!!

Dear Friend,
I decided to write you this proposal in good faith, believing that you will not betray me.

I have been in search of someone with the same last name of our late customer and close friend of mine ( Mr.Richard ),hence I contacted you because both of you bear the same surname and coincidentally from the same country, and I was pushed to contact you and see how best we can assist each other. Meanwhile I am , Mr Eliot Gamba , a reputable banker here in Accra Ghana.

On the 15 March 2007, the young millionaire ( Mr.Richard)a citizen of your country and Crude Oil dealer made a fixed deposit with my bank for 36 calendar months, valued at US$19,000,000.00 (Nineteen Million, US Dollars) and the mature date for this deposit contract was on 31st of January, 2011. But sadly he was among the death victims in the 12 May 2008, Earthquake disaster in China that killed over 5,000 people. Because he was in China on a business trip and that was how he met his end.

My bank management is yet to know about his death, but I knew about it because he was my friend and I am his Account Relationship Officer, and he did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was opened, because he was not married and no children. Last week my Bank Management requested that Richard should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract or not.

I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation, because if my Bank Directors happens to know that he is dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their personal use, so I don’t want such to happen. That is why I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you bear same last name with the deceased customer.

There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank Directors to take it, they are rich already. I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds in the ratio of 50%50 equal.

Let me know your mind on this and please do treat this information highly confidential.

I will reveal further information / details to you as soon as I receive your positive reply in my private email address (elliotgamba@yahoo.co.jp) Have a nice day and I Anticipating your communication.
You can contact me for further information on this Mobile :+233232053992
Regards,
Mr Elliot Gamba.

P.S. If you have similar emails to share, send them to me via ore@orefakorede.com and I’ll publish them here. Just make sure it’s clear that you’re not the scammer.

Video: 60 Hours After He Went Down With A Chevron Tugboat, Harrison Okene Was Found Alive

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Ship cook Harrison Okene survived in an air pocket in the capsized Chevron tugboat, in pitch black and without any food, while surviving on sips of Coca-Cola.

He was the only survivor of 12 crew members on the ship, which capsized about 20 miles off the Nigerian coast in heavy swells in May.

A South African scuba diving team thought they were conducting a dead body recovery effort before Mr Oken saw a torch light and swam towards them.

via Metro