Dec 2, 2011

The Entire Stupidity that is the Gay Marriage Debate

 I'm pissed off that I even have to do this post. Because if the damn Legislators we have in Nigeria actually focused on their real job, which is addressing the concerns of Nigerians, I wouldn't be here talking shit about gay people. You and I know that in the whole of Nigeria, NO ONE is concerned about gay people. Even gay people don't give a shit about other gay people. No lie, I asked my gay cousin and he confirmed. Like if one gay person catches another gay person giving him 'the eye' in a public place, he/she looks away FAST. Nigerian gay people are citizens of the closet. Like their closets got 12 bedrooms and a basement and they dont like sunlight too much. They stay hidden. They gotta get a passport and visa to go visit another gay person in his own closet. I don't even know how they manage to remain gay cos I can tell you, you probably need to be CIA to find another gay person to hook up with. Unless they have a secret gay telepathy network that yours truly does not know about cos honestly I can count the number of gay people I knew in all the years I spent in Nigeria. So the talk of even getting married to another gay person is out of the picture and the picture frame. It is the last thing a gay person wants to do, like right after he has crossed off getting old as shit, buying a coffin and entering the ground. Getting married to the same sex comes right under 'DIE' in a gay person's to do list. So why do our legislators feel that the best way to spend their idle national assembly chat time is to gather round and re-prohibit what the whole society has already prohibited? I dont know. Like its so unnecessary, its like the fishes elders council forbidding any fish from using blow dryer on their hair. Yea fish dont have hair, they cant get dry inside get the point. You can't ban people from doing what they weren't doing anyway. Except in Nigeria. You can do anything in Nigeria. Like, rewrite history for instance.

Which is what some people have done with this gay debate.Am talking about those folks saying that homosexuality/same sex marriage was condoned in Igbo land in the past. Thats that bull. Its one thing to be against a bill that clearly comes from an unnecessary place. No one needs to be making laws in Abuja regulating the in and outs of another man's anus. True. And we have a million and fifty two other more pressing things. But can you stop telling me that in traditional Igbo society, they allowed homosexual couples to marry. That is what you start saying when your head has got stuck in a Columbus cloud and you start studying your own history like you are Indiana Jones. Same sex marriage in Igbo society does not in any way, form, context and meaning resemble the same sex marriage that this half-assed bill was made to criminalize. Im not even going to go through all the details of how different they are, cos that's a whole other post entirely. Do some research, and by that I don't mean someone's blog. You're better off axing your father.
    I don't doubt that Nigerians are homophobic. I grew up in Nigeria and I was very homophobic, like I thought gay people were weirdos and shit. It took America to humanize them a bit for me, so now even though I don't still condone it, I let them be. But let's be real, it took a lot for the West to get where they are as far as being tolerant of gays are concerned. Like I read a bit of its history, its like 'blame game' come alive. Apparently, the Brits say the Normans brought it to the British Isles and it wasnt part of their society.Normans say the French started it, the French said it was the Italians, Bulgarians and North Africans, the Italians say it was the last two, the Bulgarians said it was a Sudanese thing, the Sudanese said it was from the Bantus, and i dont know who the Bantus blamed it on, I think Nubians. By the way, most of all the last three were black African ethnicities.
What am saying is that we have been in denial as a whole race about where this gay thing started from. Obviously its a natural thing, but God forbid we accept that. It gotta be the 'other' folks who started it. So when Nigerians lawmakers try to prevent nature from taking its course and instead cast homosexuality as something the 'West' brought, they are only continuing the legacy. And if you want to call them out on it, dont use some 'it was accepted in the past' defense. It was not. Igbo society in the past would kill you dead with a matchet if you were caught having homo sex, and thats the Jesus truth. So if we want to change that, let's tell them that we have, in our times, realized that nature is nature, people are naturally gay, and we need to let them be.
Thats all I'm saying.

Oct 20, 2011

Has Africa Learned Nothing?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Africa has been fooled once. Liberators have come before, Bibles in hand but dirty money and sword in the other hand. With false promises of freedom from local tyranny, and self rule and civilisation, and like fish that knew no better, we swallowed and lay docile while our lands were plundered of people and resources.

I do not blame our fathers for that. They knew no better. But we do.

We live with the effects of the first advent of Western excursionism into Africa to this day. The racism, the institutionalized marginalization of African Americans, the impoverishment of the African continent, the corruption born out of the instinct to save as much for oneself as you can out of a barely-there pie, all of those issues are with us today*.

So when the West, faced with economic tension suddenly developes a thirst for liberating people all over again, why do my fellow Africans welcome them with open arms? Why do they not tell the West to stay its hand and let us handle our issues ourselves? Why are we so eager to accept the same lies, knowing fully well what the first time cost us?

Why are we so ready to play the fools again? For what dirty ideology?

Oct 5, 2011

Steve Jobs: The Best Things

"Your time is Limited So Don't Waste It Living Someone Else's Life"-Jobs

A lot has been and will be said about the revolutionary technologist, artist, leader and businessman who was known as Steve Jobs. The philosophy he lived by, and the powerful products and lifestlyes he created are acts of spectacular genius. But more than all these, what is most memorable about him to me is the convinction of his principles, and the way he communicated them.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose"

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

"We're here to put a dent in the universe."

Look at the words he believed in. Look how aggressively he lived for them, spoke out about them, stuck to them, imbibed them into every single thing he did. And tell me why his life was not destined for legend. Imagine if we had a Steve Jobs in every sector, healthcare, education, politics, finance. How would the world be?

As we reflect on his life, just know this. In an age where every belief is welcome, its still important to believe in the right things. But more important than believing in them, connect them to a higher purpose. Design, build, sing, act, write, inspire as if it was the only thing you came to this earth to do. Perfection is not possible, but like the Promised Land, we can come close enough to catch a glimpse of it. Thats what Jobs taught me. And that, is worth more than a million iPhones.

So don't live your life to build the next Facebook, or Apple, or do some grand gesture that will put you in the realm of greatness. Instead, do every single thing as if it was the greatest, like Jobs did. He said it best when he said:
"Things don’t have to change the world to be important."

And with that I say

Steve Paul Jobs

Sep 17, 2011

This Blog and I: When Words Aint Enough

So each time I come to this blog I get a reminder that the last time I wrote anything on it was in June. And its not like I dont have things to say, but I think I've come to that point in my life when the kind of blog I had in mind, a place for me to explore my experiences and put them in context, is no longer what I need.
   No experience moves me to passionate angst, or puts me in a contemplative mood anymore. I don't know if I'm growing beyond a lot of things or just becoming jaded. Don't get me wrong, I still feel passionate about a lot of things, but these days I only tackle the things I can do something about, and forget those that are beyond my ability. Like many other Nigerians, the situation at home bothers me day and night. As an African, the things happening on the continent really really break me down. But everytime I open this blog to talk about it, the question I ask myself is "What difference will this post make?" And because the answer is almost always "None" I close this page and...pick up a textbook or something. I'm tired of words that serve for nothing.
Action is much more attractive to me right now. I have joined three organisations since the summer. One of them is the World Youth Alliance which I had the opportunity to attend the United Nations Global Youth Summit with, but so far I have not really done much work with them. I also have joined Bono's organisation One.Org which has a chapter in my school and finally, I have taken up the responsibility of coordinating the International Students in my school as President of our association to tackle some humanitarian projects. I'm hoping somewhere, somehow, something I do makes a difference. Or at least that I gain the ability to do more. Because, like I said, words alone are no longer doing anything for me.
I will still write on here, from time to time because I still need an outlet. Just for myself and my thoughts, I don't really intend to direct people here anymore. I need my space.

(If I sound depressed, I may well be. Because just because am no longer talking about things, doesnt mean Im no longer sensitive to them. The world is going to hell, right before our eyes. Anyone who is not depressed by that, should thank God every day.)
Signing out time.
El Divine.

Jun 16, 2011


I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. A very short-lived smile.
The first news I ran into on twitter was that unknown people had detonated a bomb in the parking lot of the police headquarters in Abuja.
And people died.
Not to rehash all the plans GEJ has extolled about how he was going to tackle the security situation, but this is clearly not what we were promised. We were promised increased security, a dedicated anti-terrorism team, a hands-on approach.  We need not be told that no real results have been seen. Its getting worse, and we all know it.
What worries me is that we know it, yet we sit with it. and do nothing. We are letting things get progressively worse, and we keep making half hearted efforts until all these issues accumulate and then demand attention all at once. A stitch in time saves nine, they say, but when the first cracks appeared in our national garments, our leaders refused to stitch it. Then more appeared, and more, and now we are clothed in rags, and still No one is stitching. I feel scared to think about it, but we may be nearing the tipping point and I shudder to think of what will be on the other side.
GEJ if at all he is concerned about this country, about the well being of 150 million Nigerians he was sworn to protect, then he should act now and act decisively. I have not heard that he even made a reaction to this event. But I know, and most Nigerians know it, that this is not business as usual. If this is not met with the kind of leadership that a country in crisis demands, then a lot of people will lose faith in Nigeria. And most importantly, many lives will be put at even greater risk. And if we really are committed to building a nation, that is something we cannot afford. GEJ, all eyes are on you. Make us proud. Please.

Jun 6, 2011

A Billion Madness

So GEJ was inaugurated, and the ceremony cost a billion naira.
That isn't as half assed as the initial budget estimated at a little over 4billion, but shit damn, thats one billion naira spent on ONE day's event.
What did they spend it on? New spray paint for our national cake perhaps, cos you know no matter what happens outside, in the corridors of power, there must be cake.
But for real, shouldn't we at least pretend to care that Nigerians are suffering? Wasn't that the basis of GEJs election? I still am worried about the tendency I see in Jonathan towards overspending, and underperforming. If we spend a billion naira for Presidential inauguration, imagine what we will spend on Independence day, then deomcracy day, then Mrs. Jonathan's umblerra parties and what not.
I worry oh.
Granted, a special group of Nigerians called Naija Hacktivists, took it very personal and did their thing, taking down some sites. So even though more Nigerians should have reacted to this, at least we're not all complacent and used to it. We still have questions.
As Chude succintly told the President during their lunch, I too will be watching. He's made some good moves, and not so good moves in his appointments. I chose to say nothing. All my comments for now, are for him to have the best of luck. Not for his sake at all. But for Nigeria's. Cos if he messes up, it may be catastrophic. But if he does even moderately well, it will be the catalyst we need. Nigerians are watching. Let the billion be justified.

May 2, 2011

It takes an Obama, to get an Osama

The views expressed here do not necessarily constitute statements of my political ideology. Take them serious at your own risk.

Hey world..BREAKING NEWS: Osama is dead!!! Okay, thats really not breaking news, since its been spinning around the media machine since 12 hours ago. The breaking news now would be: OSAMA IS STILL ALIVE! Now, wouldn't that be a sight?
Its been a helluva weekend for Obama though, all considered. Last week, we were collectively smarting from The Donald's attempts to discredit his Americanness, and his gaping absence from the Royal Wedding! We all were like, where is the respect Obama commands as P.O.T.U.S. Then of course, he releases his long form birth certificate, which is here:
Then during the White House Correspondents Dinner, he roasted Trump so bad, the only thing remaining of the Donald's presidential ambitions is a smoking toupee. Now, with the latest news of the ten year search for Bin Laden ending successfully under his watch, Obama must be flashing Michelle his signature grin until it becomes annoying. Way to top the Royal Wedding, Bama-Man! Congrats!! Maybe he's on his way to a second Nobel Peace Prize. Possible? No? Oh well...all I know is right now, its one sweet time for Obama to be President.
Im amused at certain reactions people have to this news and am gonna attempt to address them in my own little way:
1. This does not mean World Peace is finally here!
 I hear people shouting how relieved they are that Osama has been caught killed. To them, this means Al-Queda is dead too, and more ridiculous, World peace is here!! Brainless pageant girls are weeping, because now, they have to find another answer for the judges' inevitable "what is your greatest wish/dream/desire?" Since world peace is here, they cant say that anymore right? Wrong. World peace is about as close as the nearest alien. Yea, that close. Osama is dead. That is it. Al Queda is not. Countries are still gonna be messing with each other, and settling it with big money and big guns. Nothings changed. After all, within all the ten years we've been searching, can you count how many little Osama's been raised?? Yea. Osama has 19 children. NINETEEN. Thats his own spawned personal terrorist cell. And they all just lost a father. And are ANGRY. And have a Mob of supporters. And have bombs. And know how to use it. Instead of celebrating, folks, how about we all try praying that further bloodshed does not ensue. We do have highly efficient military intelligence and personell watching our backs. Which I thank God for. But thats more reason we should pray, cos those personnel are in enemy territory. And the enemy got guns. And guns kill people. And no matter how hard it is to believe, SEAL, CIA, MARINES, are populated by people. You cut them, they bleed. You shoot them, they die. So much for world peace. (Side note: who wants to catch the look on Osama's face during the #awkwardmoment when he gets to heaven and doesn't find 70 virgins waiting. Maybe he'll bomb the pearly gates. )

2. This does Not Affect the Price of Pepper in Lagos Market. Or the Price of Burger in Mc'Dees. Or the Price of Gas Anywhere.
People are like Osama is dead, great, now gas prices can come down. Naaah son! Osama and gas are two different categories of American concerns. Osama aint the Middle East. Osama aint OPEC. Osama aint the king of Saudi Arabia, though they both have long beards and wear turbans. Any correlation in the behavior of one to the other is purely coincidence. And being that theres a massive load of angry Arab people, I hope the price of gas doesn't actually go further UP.

There's a special class of people...the Conspiracy theorists. Now, this is where it gets interesting. Some say he's been dead and they only let us know now. Others say he isnt dead at all, and this is just a set up. Others say Obama and Osama arranged this to help his 2012 ambitions.
I say, its a whole lot of active imaginations out there, which gives me hope for humanity.
At the end of the day, its different strokes for different folks. For me, I do believe that this is a commendable achievement for Obama. He did it, and am happy for his success. But issues are still out there. The economy, the violence across Africa, and my own overwhelming struggle with my finals this week. So Osama, deuces! Obama, congrats. Now, can we move on please?

Apr 19, 2011

Africa, Go Ahead and Grow the Fuck Up

DISCLAIMER: This is a Rant. Curse words were not deleted!
Today I feel like talking a little bit about Africa. Okay, not a lil bit. A lot bit, with all the shenanigans going on there right now. With the recent upheavals in Egypt, Algerian, Tunisia, Libya, Ivory Coast, Sudan and so on, it seems Africa is the in-thing for news agencies. Not like we ever stopped being that anyways. But recently it just seems like everyone and their fucking mothers suddenly have a fucking opinion about where Africa got it right or wrong. I mean, just a year ago, my own professor had asked me "Africa is right next to Saudi Arabia, right?".I told her in anger, "Ma'am, its a fucking CONTINENT."  I kid you not, in this time and age, the second biggest continent in the world was that much of a mystery to an English professor. So now that everyone is talking about us, that means more people are googling Africa, no? Which means that in the midst of all the fucked up shit they'
re checking out, they're bound to run into one or two positive stuff. Which is good enough for me anyways. Worst kind of publicity is 'none at all' and if it takes Gaddafi to finally make people know where Africa is on the map, maybe thats what the purpose is.
Well, lets leave that for now. My main grouse is the resurgence of this bad mouthing of Western powers. African countries are whining about how 'the West' doesn't involve them in decisions concerning Africa, the West treats them paternally, like children, the West likes telling them what to do, the West is always meddling, the West this, the West that. Bullshit. I know better than most how fucked up the West can get and what they can do to extend their fucked-updom to the entire inhabited world. But shit, mouthing off like they got nothing to do with it is some stupid shit. I just listened to the press release made by the Gambia over the Ivory Coat issue. And several complaints people have about what 'the West' is doing in Libya. True, the West is buttfucking the black shit out of the whole continent. But its not rape, like this countries would like you to believe. No one is tying the continent and plundering her people and resources. Maybe that happened in the past, but now, its straight up whoring. Prostitution. African countries whine about it, but truth is, they willfully present butt for fucking. How, you may ask?
If you want to be treated like an adult by your parents and other adults, do you get that by whining, or do you get it by taking responsibility and doing what it demands of you? So why do African countries wanna be treated seriously and consulted when they won't take action when it is needed, won't come up with viable ideas, won't take the time to even meet even when things are getting all messed up. Check how long it took for AU to make a statement about Ghaddafi. More than a month. And that was their President! Consult my ass.
Then, if African countries want the West to stop meddling into their national affairs, how about they stop collecting money from the fucking West. After complaining about Western influence, neocolonialism, yadda yadda yadda, if any Western country says  "Heres a billion dollars!" the same African countries will trample over themselves to get at the money. Isn't it common sense that anyone spending money deserves to get a return on their investment as well as protect that investment by all means possible? He who pays the piper writes the sound track. Finis. End of fucking story. So if they wanna be taken seriously, they need to quit going for the easy money, and take the time to grow some money of their own. Now, I dont mean humanitarian aid, that often comes from NGOs or agencies that have little political motivations and just want to help needy people. Those ones are necessary, every country needs them, they save lives and make a difference so they shouldnt really be messed with. The ones I mean are all those developmental loans, and government aid, and all the phony money bestowed directly on government. That needs to stop. Since history, there has never been a time when a foreign country pays to develop your own country, unless in doing that they are getting major returns. Let the development in your country be driven by your own economic activity. If you want money, supply a demand. Don't take the easy option the West dangles in your face. That way, you may actually earn something called respect. Dignity is sometimes found in a half filled stomach. Plus, there will be less free money to hyper inflate your economy without increasing people's wages. And there will be less money to steal.
All in all, Im just asking African countries to grow up. Dont expect to be treated like a grown up until you actually grow up. We've grown a little more in the recent years. I like to think we are hitting puberty which means soon, there will be accelerated growth. But please, if Africa is not ready to make the hard choices to wean itself off the Western teats, it shouldnt be mad when the West makes decisions for it. When we are ready to be treated fairly, we won't whine. We will act, and act boldly. The first country to reject a Western government aid becomes the next King of Africa in my books. Rant over. Peace out.

Apr 1, 2011

Vote Or Quench

All our #RSVP, #whataboutus, #enoughisenough, NN24 debates, BON, Save Nigeria Rallies, and other initiatives designed to make sure that the elections this year finally give a semblance of democratic operations to the Nigerian political environment are currently at the crux of their relevance. These are the days when we will find out if our hope for 2011 elections will be fulfilled. Starting from this weekend, people will be trooping out en masse to cast their vote for whichever candidate they are convinced has the vision and competence we need. Nigerians are no longer even looking for the leader that will take us to El Dorado. No, we are slowly but gradually coming to terms with the fact that what we need is that little but consistent baby steps towards more lasting credibility and accountability in government. I hold my breath in expectation anxiously waiting for the results.
I do not delude myself that there isn't anyone who will wake up tomorrow, and decide that what is going on at the polls isn't worth their time: there certainly is. No matter how acute the need for citizens' participation is, there will always be those who do not feel the same urgency for change as we do, or those who feel the same urgency, but have lived with disillusion for so long that one more abstinence from voting, one more turning away of the eyes, one more lack of concern and participation does not count as too much betrayal to them. Some of them have looked at the slew of candidates, and saw no man of promise. Some of them have felt that their participation has not shown any results in the past. All of them are justified in their reasons. But they are not justified in their actions. The most important part of this exercise is not if who you chose wins, or loses. That is certainly a welcome bonus. But coming out to vote is first and foremost and acknowledgement that you too are Nigeria's champion. It is a debt you owe your conscience that you too have not remained silent while this house burns. That you are involved. And no matter what the outcome is, your participation will signal to the horde of thieves that occupy our corridors of power that they are not insulated from your observation, that you are watching keenly, and ready to wield your weapon: choice. All the testimonies riggers have laid have shown that they have rigged more easily when voters refuse to turn out, creating a gap they are more than willing to fill. By affording them this opportunity, you make yourself complicit  in the fraud that has marred our polity and held us back for so long.
Change is in the air in Nigeria, you know it, I know it. But the enemy of change is apathy, and sometimes, we do not have more than one opportunity to take advantage of change. The choice you refuse to wield today may lay the ground for the vile winds of repressive governance to take over the air again. That will be too costly a price to pay for one morning spent doing nothing indoors except what you have always done and will always do. Nigeria's fate depends on the actions of single individuals who come together to do what is right. Because evil men are voted in when the good people refuse to vote. Lets not do the same.Vote or Quench. Thanks.

Mar 25, 2011

Sarah Kay

Anyone can tell how beautiful words are and honestly, Sarah Kay has some beautiful words. And its not just the words she chooses to say, its the ones she leaves unsaid. The ones filled in with her laughter and the swish of her hair.
For someone who began at fourteen, she is still growing at an amazing rate. Someone I will keep watching. I suggest you do that too!

To see some of her works, search Sarah Kay's Mum on youtube or go to

NollyWood Gifs Tumblr

Hahahaha...great discovery! Nollywood Gifs on tumblr
10/10 shikena!!

Conversations with Her

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
 I hope its the same thing I see when I look at you? A woman with a heart of gold, who longs to love with all her soul. A smile that is warm enough to melt away the darkness and cold that engulfs me; a mind that wants to trust but looks for trust among a pack of wolves. 
Its more than just your beauty, its beyond what eyes can see. Its what hearts can feel and spirits can believe. Waiting gently while souls are revealed, who wants to hold your heart while the scars are healed? Love rains in the air until hearts are filled, and the flood washes the fake away and leaves only the real. Im settling for nothing but the best of deals, so next time you're tempted to think less of me, know I am the best, no one can replace me. If you want we can put it to the test, and I'll still be here, closer and longer than the rest. 

Mar 9, 2011

What Our Fixation On Charlie Sheen Says About Us?

Why do we all pay attention when Charlie Sheen speaks? Of course, if you've not heard of him then that statement doesnt apply to you. But for the general population, while under your breath you deride Sheen as hallucinatory and borderline crazy, truth remains that every time he does something, the world pays attention. He came on twitter and had 60,000 followers before he said even ONE thing. In 24hours, he had a million followers, earning him a place in the Guiness Book of World Records. In less than a week he broke another record by getting over 100million viewers in one ustream broadcast. As Kanye would say, No one man should have all that power. But no matter what we think, truth is, he does have it. And the question is, why?
I have a theory. You are welcome to disagree with it, but the fact is that Charlie Sheen represents and acts out our universal urge to be invincible, to be larger than life. What he does is what we wish we could do: He gets high on his own damn self. You really cant tell him Nothing. Now, people may say he is mentally ill, and a junkie and what not, which may or may not be correct. He certainly does drugs, chief among them the one he calls 'Charlie Sheen' duh. His lifestlye may not be spectacularly awesome, and many of us don't want to emulate him (I hope). But his bad boy aura, his rock solid confidence and his total belief in himself and his total scorn of society is something we all sometimes crave. I know this cos I see blogs, posts, comments by people and what not all screaming how they are impossible to define, and how they dont care what everyone thinks, and fuck society and all. Yet at the end of the day, society bends them into an accepted path, no matter how hard they fight until all they can do to proclaim their so called independence is to blog, or join organisations, or get high. So in the end, we all become that thing we claim we are not, average, normal smart or not so smart people milling around trying to make a living. And to recapture that dopamine high that makes us feel like our lives have some meaning at all, we go to church, or follow sports, or celebrities, or buy flashy cars and have sex. That is, we look for our high externally. By watching people like Sheen be superhuman on our behalf. Having submitted, we gather around the ones who still live like we wish. And when we cannot understand them, we call them jerks. Or crazy. Or evil. Or Sheen.

Mar 8, 2011

In Honor of The Women: A Guest Piece

This Story Is Not Mine. I Put it Here to Celebrate the Women Who Eternally Influence and Drive Us Forward.

              One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the president’s secret service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner. Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle, “Why was he so interested in talking to you.” She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”


Mar 6, 2011

Oops..Fancy Don Get Belle

So today I decided to not be so serious and think about a funny incident that happened to me. There was this girl in my school who I kinda fancied.I'll call her 
So I and Fancy had met in a class we took together. We got talking, I got to helping her with stuff and from time to time, we went out to do any random stuff together. Just on a friendship levels. You see, she knew well enough that I was feeling her the whole time, I minced  no words about that. She just 'wasn't ready'. So I stopped going around with her for the time being, but we definitely kept in touch, and on the occasional weekend, she'll pay me a visit. I was hoping that eventually she would be ready, but I didnt push it cos I wasnt in too much of a hurry either. 
I believe its not even necessary to mention that she was both beautiful and smart. I naturally could never be attracted to a dumb broad so that much was a given. She also had a depth about her, and an air of level headedness. She was no innocent, she had told me all about her past as I had told her mine. Both of us knew we had both done stuff. She seemed like the perfect person for me, when she was ready of course. 
One semester though, Fancy left school just after midterms and didnt come back for a week. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she was sick with stomach flu. If this is your first time hearing of such a thing as stomach flu, dont be alarmed, it was my first time too. It painted a picture in my head of something green and slimy swirling around in ur belly. Turns out that in Fancy's case, I wasnt too far from the truth, only that this virus was red and slimy, not green. Fancy didnt come back to school that semester. The next semester when she came back, she was rocking nwa obele pot belly. Ah...Fancy don carry belle oh. 
After a few more weeks of school, her flu was a full blown, pouchy cheeked, fat legged case of maternity-syndrome. Stomach flu turned out to be a new tenant in her tummy. 
I stopped speaking to her after that, and only gave her a cordial "hello" when we walked past each other in school. As far as I was concerned, Fancy was gone. I do not take joy in being any woman's male best friend or stuff like that, unless of course we started out as friends in the first place. So now, am saving up so that when she has the baby shower, I will shower the baby with some flu medication. Just to make sure a part 2 doesnt happen. Peace n Love. :DD

Jan 31, 2011

Im writing a book

Hey world,
I just began a new project that attempts to tell the story of the Nigerian political environment through the life of one man. Yaay!! A book. 
I've been told that I do write well, and on the rare occasion, I actually believe it. So now am going to put all that gift into what will hopefully be a great book. I am trying not to over analyse my intentions in telling this story, because I know sometimes my ideologies get me all impassioned and get in the way of the tale I want to share. So Im going to just write as my mind speaks, and think about it later. Im still thinking of a solid name, and Ive begun a bunch of scribblings. Please you great writers of blogsville, like mynewhitman @verastic, @egodujour and @niceanon to name a few, help out here. Give a brother a few rules of thumb for fiction writing. This one has gone beyond essay, which is where my comfort zone is. Now, this is a real story, that should draw in the reader, and engage them and force them to think while providing them pleasure at one time. Im more than a little scared *shivers*. 
Anyways, I believe I can do it. I have no doubt about that. I also dont have any doubt that if I do not ask for help when I should, to the right people, then no matter how high my confidence is, I will do a bad job. And that will mean that I may NEVER pick up a pen again. *shivers once more* (rubs goosebumps). Please, I can't not write. I would go mad. Which means, I cant mess this project up. Which means I need some help. Which means I need yall. Thanks as you come. :D

Jan 23, 2011

Crime Pays In Naij. Big time.

    Pls Dont take this Too Seriously. Some truths are not so healthy unless we pepper them with sarcasm
You know one thing I have discovered is that in Nigeria crime does not pay. Yes, it does pay. Now before you rush off and say that I said that we make crime lucrative (which we kinda do anyway) just hear me out.
Why is it that when you are hustling, slinging rock and stone to make an honest living, no type of assistance comes ur way. Nothing seems to be there as an aid to your ambition, unless you are relatively well off. But just attempt and be one brand of criminal!! Omo, all sorts of windows of opportunity open up you will think u migrated to Greenland.
For instance, see how many amnesty programs are being offered to people who were militants in the Niger-Delta?  not that Im calling militants criminals or anything, cos to be honest, I feel where they are coming from. I understand the anger from watching ur land raped and getting nothing for it. But you and I know that the people who really understand these issues and the ones fighting the real fight will not be the ones taking the amnesty. Cos all that the government is offering is self-serving bullshit, so the only ones that will really take it are those ones who are just in the fight for the money. so yea, *kanye shrug*. Guess what Im saying is that many of those militants are just glorified and khakified criminals (no be me talk am oh).

Another one is this program that involved training and aid for people who used to engage in cyber-crime. Now, if I in my own right had been doing all sorts of legal work from my computer, I am disqualified. No one will offer to train you to do better. See why I said we reward the wrong things? is there a reason why those of us who have been good resisted the spirit of "Yahoo-Yahoo" cannot get things like this?  cos it seems crime is paying right now oh..they will enjoy the proceeds from their crime, and when it runs out, they will delcare amnesty, turn in their weapons and get a N50,000+ severance pay and a direct line to a new career.  Its kinda ironic, cos either way, the criminal is better off than Mr. Honest. I mean, i get how we need to get them off the streets and away from crime, but my point is for every bad guy turned amnestee (correct grammar abi?) there are a thousand good boys turned bad to expand the criminal labor force. so why not tackle d problem BEFORE it begins. Oh, i forget. Its #onlyinNigeria that cure is better than prevention.
Now, they are blaming boys for changing career paths. As my friend Laolu will say: Dem don dey madt abi?

Jan 18, 2011

Can African Countries Compete Globally?

Most times, Nigerians when pointing out that things are not all that bad with our country, point to facts like these and these as encouraging signs. Okay, granted, we may be the third biggest economy in Africa after South Africa and Egypt. But what exactly does that mean? First, is it enough to be third in a continent of, honestly, really mediocre economies? Becuase, when you look at it critically, there is really nothing so sustainable about the economies of most African states. The whole Nigerian economy is worth from several estimates, around $350 billion. In other words, the  state of Texas in the United States makes around a third of that in trade with other countries alone. And their total economy is worth over a trillion. And that is just one state among 50 that make up one nation. Some would think about this and dismiss it as the US factor. But we are all in this world together, and while we can never all be equal, we all have potentials and we in Africa are not maximising ours.
So if you ask me if African countries can compete globally, my answer would be a realistic, no. When the biggest African economy, South Africa has a worth of about half that of the state of Texas, the competition becomes clear. We do not have the size.
We do not have the population either. Only Nigeria has a population above a 100 million in the continent. And the cases of India, China, Brazil and even Russia has proven that it helps to have a sizable population. The way countries are structured in Africa makes them little more than counties.We cannot sustain a decent amount of economic activity in a countries with populations of around 20-40 million poor people. You need size to stimulate activity, and size to grow. Most of the countries who grew despite their small size were mostly homogenous, uni-national states. African countries are comprised of thousands of little tribes with their own sense of history. If growth is to be even sustainable, it would serve us better to merge the 52 countries we have now into 4 super states. These would confer on us the advantages of size, population, level of economic activity, economies of scale and the growth potential we need. For instance, imagine if all the countries of Western/Central Africa combined into one state. Angola, Nigeria and Ghana combined would make it the third biggest producer of petroleum in the world, behind only Saudi and Russia. Plus, the combined cultural influences and tourism potential would make the whole region a top cultural center. The imagine if the countries of Eastern Africa and the East central region merged into one country. With the combination of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and all the others, that country would have the highest tourist activity of all countries except US and Europe. and it certainly would command the most expansive and exotic destinations. All the southern African countries joined together would become by far the top mining economy and the biggest diamond exporting country in history. And the northen African countries pooled together will have more than the economies  of Carlifonia and Texas combined at over 4 billion dollars.By combining only, we will have effectively increased our competitiveness over 200 fold. This of course doesnt count the fact that almost all the regions will be sporting populations of over 300 million and especially in the western part at least 500 million people. That would put us on the map of the biggest countries, and of course launch a power house of economic potential that will eventually spur growth and activity.  And then and only then can we even dream of being remotely competitive on the global scale. And since there is little chance of that happening anytime soon, we have to accept that at the moment, African countries just cannot compete globally. Who, if I may ask, are we going to compete against? I rest my case. Think about it.

Jan 12, 2011

What American Moms could Learn From African Mothers

People wonder how American kids are falling so backwards academically compared to students from other parts of the world. And every time they talk about this in the news, they blame the educational system. Granted, the school system here has its problems, but those are actually secondary to the child's academic performance. I just feel that the more you look at it, the more you realize that parenting and family life is what develops a child's performance.
For instance, its almost a stereotype now that African immigrants outperform native born Americans by a wide margin in a lot of areas. And while we do not have access to anything remotely close to the kind of educational system Americans enjoy, we're not doing so bad. In fact, we're actually doing pretty good. So whats the secret?? and mum, most especially mum. Here are some things an African mother rarely allows her child to do:

* attend a sleepover
* have play dates
the boy is reading animatedly.
* stay  late bcos of a school play
* always sit in from of a TV
* complain about the parent's decisions
* choose their own extracurriculars
* get any grade less than A
* not be the top kid in every subject except Physical Education and Drama

I'm using the term African mother loosely cos I know some Jamaican, Irish, Indian mums who raise their kids like this too. And I know a lot of African mums who spoil their kids as silly as any American kid. And there are lots of American mums who are strict, I acknowledge that. But even when American mums want to be strict, they rarely ever come close to Afro-mums. For example, American mums usually make their kids practice their instrument for 30 mins a day. And while African parents r not large on instruments (I mean, you gats chop belle ful b4 u buy piano na) the few that do will tell you that the first hour is the easy part. Hours 2 n 3 r the clinchers.
This is not a matter of stereotype, its a true and tested fact that the parental model in Africa and the US are largely different. For instance, studies show that African kids spend 10 times more of their home and free time drilling academic exercises. American kids spend roughly the same amount of time participating in sports teams. Also, in a study of 50 American parents, a whooping 70% said it was not too healthy to 'stress academic success' to their kids and that 'parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun'. By contrast, less than 2% of African parents believe the same thing in a similar survey. What African parents realize is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. And to get good at anything, you have to work hard at it consistently and constantly over time. Also, children on their own (and even adults, to think about it) hardly have the motivation to do that work on their own. So parents have to override their preferences with all fortitude because the child will resist. And this is where American parents often give up, at the beginning, when it is hardest. Americans overrate innate prodigy and underrate the power of simple repetition. Thing is, once the child breaks through that hard part and begins to excel at something, be it math, music or reading, the praise he gets often is enough motivation to keep him working. The trick is to persevere until he gets there. That is when confidence comes in, and the once not-fun activity becomes fun.
African parents can get away with things American parents can never dare to do. Once, when I was young I was very disrespectful to my older sister. My mum scolded me bitterly and called me "animal shit" in our Ibo language. It worked well, because I felt dumb and terrible. But it didn't damage my self esteem. I knew I wasn't what she called me. I certainly didn't feel worthless. I just knew I fucked up. If an American parent tries that, hmm..suffice it to say that social services may pay a visit. Fact is, many thing African parents can get away with, are even legally actionable here in the US. African parents routinely tell their kids "het fatty-ma go lose some wieght" or "quit eating so much, soon our doors will be too narrow for u!". Not so with Americans. They will tip toe around the issue and talk about calories and health and things the average kid barely understands, still their kids end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self image. I actually had a friend who is overweight now. She used to be really obese as a kid, and her dad would always say "ur competent and incredibly beautiful in your own way". she told me that made her feel like garbage.
African parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents often tell their kids, "its okay, you tried your best."
There are several reasons I think the American parents raise kids the way they do.  For instance, if a child comes home with an A- on a test, American parent will almost always praise the child. If he comes home with a B, he is still likely to be praised, though with a little 'you can try harder' appended on it. Some will sit the child down and express disapproval, but they will always try not to make the child feel insecure or inadequate.  And if the grades don't improve, the concerned ones will often go to the school, and try to question the teacher's competence. Others will just decide that maybe the kids strong suit is not academics and try to find the child's talents. An African child though that comes home with a B will hide and avoid his parents for a while. And when that fails and his parents finally see his result, there will be yelling and fit-throwing first. Ears will be pulled, and the child will be forced to engage in what I call 'head-counting' which involves parents asking "how many heads do those kids that made A have?". and if u dare go below a B, u already know u are in for some good old child abuse cos u will get beat. Finally, the mum sits with the child going over practice tests, books and notes until the grade gets up to an A. Most African parents demand a perfect grade from their kids because they believe they can achieve it. Also, African parents often feel that they know what is best for their kids, and often painstakingly make sure the kids realize that. Not a perfect world, but sometimes helpful. Especially in the long term.

Sometimes African parents are stereotyped as overbearing, callous and some times abusive, and there is no denying that sometimes that is the case. But most of the time, its not. African parents often make deep personal sacrifices for their children, and feel the need not to let that sacrifice go to waste. This makes them a lot more insistent on the direction they want their childrens lives to take, while many American parents surprisingly seem perfectly content to let their child turn out as bad as he dares to be. Not that they dont have good intentions for parents, biologically and instinctively, parents want the best for their children. Just that American parents give up too easily. And the worst thing you can do to a child's confidence and ability to compete is to give up when raising him is hard. Because when you give up on them, yur letting them give up on themselves too..making them resign to whatever the environment or their own poor choices foists on them. Many a bad child wishes his parents had been more coercive. And when American parents finally learn to stick to rules and bend their children in those formative years to follow them, thats when American kids will have the skills, inner confidence and competitive spirit to take on a world that is increasingly global.

Jan 8, 2011

Nigeria is not Sudan

The recent news that Sudan has finally ended its long years of war and is about to usher in a new referendum that will separate the Christian south of the country from the Muslim North has sent a collective sigh of relief across the continent and half way around the world. It has also sparked discussions among several of the well meaning Nigerians I happen to know.
Their position is that Nigeria may benefit from towing a similar path, i.e. issuing a referendum to split the country along the North-South divide. A very nice sentiment, one that i can understand a person having in view of what Nigeria's been through. There is one little problem however. There is no 'North-South' divide in Nigeria. Our problem is far messier than that. There is the North-South distrust and disagreements, the East/West rivalry, the South East/South South grudge, the Middle Belt/ Deep North in-fighting, the Midwest/West exclusionary tactics. No, there is no easy way to divide the country. To the man in Jos, the 'Northerner' is as much an outsider to him as it is to a southerner. We live in a country where the tribe, the place of origin, is king. With over 200 of them, which tribe commands enough of the Nigerian space to go off on its own? None.
If they want us to fix our problem, lets figure out a way to do it that will encompass our reality. Lets not just say things because its been said over and over. Nigeria is not Sudan. I wish them the best, God knows, Im glad the killing is over. I hope their arrangement works out. But please, let no one try to apply the same logic to Nigeria. The last time it happened, it left us with the bitter taste of war in our mouths. no one swallows a bitter pill twice, unless they are really sick. And I like to think we're not. Peace out.

Jan 6, 2011

New Year Thoughts

I remember around this time, every year, when I would be like, "where did the year go?". Not this time. I was perfectly aware of the passage of 2010. Mostly because I was earnestly waiting on 2011. And when it came in, it came in with a bang.
But now that the festivities are over, I can come quietly to my blog once more and think with my fingers. What do i want out of this year? 
I particularly dislike the assumption most people make about how one single day is d first day of the rest of ur life, every day is d first day bcos today will become yesterday, and then tomorrow will become today. I prefer to bliv that new year is a time to take stock--of the previous year.
However, there is one thing I do believe is a worthwile thing to do. Make a list of the 10 things you want to achieve this year. It may be as simple as, I wanna get a new girlfriend/boyfriend or as complex as I want to learn a new language. Or as basic as, I want to go to Vegas, or make an A in astrophysics *insert evil grin*

All I believe is that if u make that list, and believe it in faith and do what you can to achieve it, you may not get all, but you'll have a lot of testimonies. Take it from someone who did the same in 2010. Have a wonderful 2011...may the best years be the ones ahead.