In Memory Of 2013...

Would it be cliche to start by saying how fast the year flew by? I think it would be. We probably get so carried away that twelve months pass by us and so it usually seems like the year was exceptionally fast. 2013 was a year of many things for many of us. It was a year of lows, disappointments, loss, stagnancy, failures and downs. 2013 was also a year of highs, successes, moves, completions, promotions and joy and just plain peace of mind. Some people experienced both, some people experienced more of one category than the other. Whatever case yours was, 2014 is a new slate, a new beginning and a new season. I learnt a lot in 2013, when 2012 ended, I wrote down a list of the things I learnt. In the middle of 2013, I also wrote down things I had learnt so far and now again, at the end of 2013, I'm reminiscing on the many things I've learnt.
I have learnt that no matter how powerful a storm is, the rain will surely, maybe slowly, but surely stop. I have also learnt, a great deal that God is on my side.

I'm dedicating this post to people who found 2013 extremely challenging; To those who feel like, the whole year passed them by; Those who mourned; The people who failed woefully; The people who tried so hard and struggled so hard, yet have nothing to show for it; The people who demonstrated faith, unwavering faith, yet had their prayers unanswered; The people who felt like if there is a God, he probably hates them; The people who don't even know who God is; The ones that spent every minute of 2013 in hospitals; The people who cried themselves to bed every night...This is for you.

It's okay to fall down, to fall down as many times as possible, it's okay to fail because the problem is not failing or falling down, the problem starts when you fall down and refuse to get up. If 2013 was bad, 2014 is a chance to start afresh. It's a chance to go back to the drawing board and re-strategize. I know you think your situation is the worst or that you have no power over your situation. You see, that's where you are wrong. You should also know that the period before the dawn is the darkest. No, that's not a cliche, that's the reality of things. It's probably this hard because it's almost over. Smile, because it is over. God is NOT a myth. I know this because he has come through for me times and times again, sometimes just after I murmur against him. God has not forgotten you, God does not hate you.

My own worst challenge in 2013 was just fear. I put 'just' because it wasn't a problem till I created it myself. I became scared of every possible thing. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of uncertainty, fear of sickness, fear of everything. I had never been so comfortable, yet so scared. Until God told me that even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he would be with me. Until I started to experience peace of mind, that kind that surpasses human understanding. Until I started to experience joy, the type that I can't describe, because you have to experience it yourself to understand it.

So, count your blessings. I know 2013 may have been so tight that you can't possibly count any blessing but sit down and consciously count them, you'd be surprised. Make a choice in 2014 to be happy. No, 2014 will NOT be challenge free, that's impossible. God didn't promise a challenge free life, he said he will be with you when you walk even through fire. 2014 may even be more challenging, but what's your plan to tackle it? What's your game-plan and rules for 2014? Are you just going to sit on the couch and wallow in self-pity or are you going to actually DO something?

For me, in 2014, I'm going to see the best in people, regardless. I'm going to take each moment as it comes and enjoy each moment. I'm going to just BREATHE. I'm going to LIVE. I'm definitely going to Pray. I will SMILE and of course, I will LOVE. And so, in the words of superstar model, Oluchi Orlandi, "BRING IT ON 2014! MY FAITH REMAINS UNWAVERING...!"

Love,
I

In The Spirit Of Christmas...Something Inspiring.

On Lazy African Intellectuals and Non Intellectuals Who Detest The Truth.

Sometimes ago, there was an article on cyber space by Ann Coulter, an American conservative social and political commentator. She was as honest and brutal as she could when she-whether obnoxiously or with complete ignorance-stated that there was a course on credit card fraud in the University of Lagos. In a nutshell, she called Nigeria corrupt while she was talking about the inadequacies of Obamacare. Nigerians were furious. All over Twitter, Facebook and every social media out there, Nigerians waged war-verbal war of course- against Ann. Trust me, nothing unites Nigerians like a common enemy. If you doubt me, ask the Ghanaian folks on Twitter. I read and listened patiently to what everybody had to say, many people shared the same points of view anyway, and as with other things pertaining to Nigeria, in a matter or days, it died down. It was back to business as usual. Some weeks ago, my brother sent me a link to another article. I have a million and one things to say about it,  but I won't, I will copy it from the original website and paste it here. However, I will highlight parts (bigger and bold fonts) of it that struck strings of chords in my head and heart. The article hits home and it hits HARD. Ladies and gentlemen, in all my years on the internet, I have NEVER read truer words. Come with me on this journey.

*********************************************************************************
Link; http://mindofmalaka.com/2012/01/18/you-lazy-intellectual-african-scum/
Website; www.mindofmalaka.com

So I got this in my email this morning…
 They call the Third World the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored, and impoverished. In this demesne, as they call it, there are hardly any discoveries, inventions, and innovations. Africa is the trailblazer. Some still call it “the dark continent” for the light that flickers under the tunnel is not that of hope, but an approaching train. And because countless keep waiting in the way of the train, millions die and many more remain decapitated by the day.
“It’s amazing how you all sit there and watch yourselves die,” the man next to me said. “Get up and do something about it.”
Brawny, fully bald-headed, with intense, steely eyes, he was as cold as they come. When I first discovered I was going to spend my New Year’s Eve next to him on a non-stop JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Boston I was angst-ridden. I associate marble-shaven Caucasians with iconoclastic skin-heads, most of who are racist.
“My name is Walter,” he extended his hand as soon as I settled in my seat.
I told him mine with a precautious smile.
“Where are you from?” he asked.
“Zambia.”
“Zambia!” he exclaimed, “Kaunda’s country.”
“Yes,” I said, “Now Sata’s.”
“But of course,” he responded. “You just elected King Cobra as your president.”
My face lit up at the mention of Sata’s moniker. Walter smiled, and in those cold eyes I saw an amenable fellow, one of those American highbrows who shuttle between Africa and the U.S.
“I spent three years in Zambia in the 1980s,” he continued. “I wined and dined with Luke Mwananshiku, Willa Mungomba, Dr. Siteke Mwale, and many other highly intelligent Zambians.” He lowered his voice. “I was part of the IMF group that came to rip you guys off.” He smirked. “Your government put me in a million dollar mansion overlooking a shanty called Kalingalinga. From my patio I saw it all—the rich and the poor, the ailing, the dead, and the healthy.”
“Are you still with the IMF?” I asked.
“I have since moved to yet another group with similar intentions. In the next few months my colleagues and I will be in Lusaka to hypnotize the cobra. I work for the broker that has acquired a chunk of your debt. Your government owes not the World Bank, but us millions of dollars. We’ll be in Lusaka to offer your president a couple of millions and fly back with a check twenty times greater.”
“No, you won’t,” I said. “King Cobra is incorruptible. He is …”
He was laughing. “Says who? Give me an African president, just one, who has not fallen for the carrot and stick.”
Quett Masire’s name popped up.
“Oh, him, well, we never got to him because he turned down the IMF and the World Bank. It was perhaps the smartest thing for him to do.”
At midnight we were airborne. The captain wished us a happy 2012 and urged us to watch the fireworks across Los Angeles.
“Isn’t that beautiful,” Walter said looking down.
From my middle seat, I took a glance and nodded admirably.
“That’s white man’s country,” he said. “We came here on Mayflower and turned Indian land into a paradise and now the most powerful nation on earth. We discovered the bulb, and built this aircraft to fly us to pleasure resorts like Lake Zambia.”
I grinned. “There is no Lake Zambia.”
He curled his lips into a smug smile. “That’s what we call your country. You guys are as stagnant as the water in the lake. We come in with our large boats and fish your minerals and your wildlife and leave morsels—crumbs. That’s your staple food, crumbs. That corn-meal you eat, that’s crumbs, the small Tilapia fish you call Kapenta is crumbs. We the Bwanas (whites) take the cat fish. I am the Bwana and you are the Muntu. I get what I want and you get what you deserve, crumbs. That’s what lazy people get—Zambians, Africans, the entire Third World.”
The smile vanished from my face.

“I see you are getting pissed off,” Walter said and lowered his voice. “You are thinking this Bwana is a racist. That’s how most Zambians respond when I tell them the truth. They go ballistic. Okay. Let’s for a moment put our skin pigmentations, this black and white crap, aside. Tell me, my friend, what is the difference between you and me?”

“There’s no difference.”
“Absolutely none,” he exclaimed. “Scientists in the Human Genome Project have proved that. It took them thirteen years to determine the complete sequence of the three billion DNA subunits. After they

were all done it was clear that 99.9% nucleotide bases were exactly the same in you and me. We are the same people. All white, Asian, Latino, and black people on this aircraft are the same.”

I gladly nodded.

“And yet I feel superior,” he smiled fatalistically. “Every white person on this plane feels superior to a black person. The white guy who picks up garbage, the homeless white trash on drugs, feels superior to you no matter his status or education. I can pick up a nincompoop from the New York streets, clean him up, and take him to Lusaka and you all be crowding around him chanting muzungu, muzungu and yet he’s a riffraff. Tell me why my angry friend.”

For a moment I was wordless.
“Please don’t blame it on slavery like the African Americans do, or colonialism, or some psychological impact or some kind of stigmatization. And don’t give me the brainwash poppycock. Give me a better answer.”
I was thinking.
He continued. “Excuse what I am about to say. Please do not take offense.”
I felt a slap of blood rush to my head and prepared for the worst.
“You my friend flying with me and all your kind are lazy,” he said. “When you rest your head on the pillow you don’t dream big. You and other so-called African intellectuals are damn lazy, each one of you. It is you, and not those poor starving people, who is the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.”
“That’s not a nice thing to say,” I protested.

He was implacable. “Oh yes it is and I will say it again, you are lazy. Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals? Are the Zambian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”

I held my breath.
“Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars quaffing. They were at the Lusaka Golf Club, Lusaka Central Club, Lusaka Playhouse, and Lusaka Flying Club. I saw with my own eyes a bunch of alcoholic graduates. Zambian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.”
He looked me in the eye.
And you flying to Boston and all of you Zambians in the Diaspora are just as lazy and apathetic to your country. You don’t care about your country and yet your very own parents, brothers and sisters are in Mtendere, Chawama, and in villages, all of them living in squalor. Many have died or are dying of neglect by you. They are dying of AIDS because you cannot come up with your own cure. You are here calling yourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating your credentials once asked—oh, I have a PhD in this and that—PhD my foot!”
I was deflated.
“Wake up you all!” he exclaimed, attracting the attention of nearby passengers. “You should be busy lifting ideas, formulae, recipes, and diagrams from American manufacturing factories and sending them to your own factories. All those research findings and dissertation papers you compile should be your country’s treasure. Why do you think the Asians are a force to reckon with? They stole our ideas and turned them into their own. Look at Japan, China, India, just look at them.”

He paused. “The Bwana has spoken,” he said and grinned. “As long as you are dependent on my plane, I shall feel superior and you my friend shall remain inferior, how about that? The Chinese, Japanese, Indians, even Latinos are a notch better. You Africans are at the bottom of the totem pole.”

He tempered his voice. “Get over this white skin syndrome and begin to feel confident. Become innovative and make your own stuff for god’s sake.”
At 8 a.m. the plane touched down at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Walter reached for my hand.
“I know I was too strong, but I don’t give it a damn. I have been to Zambia and have seen too much poverty.” He pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something. “Here, read this. It was written by a friend.”
He had written only the title: “Lords of Poverty.”
Thunderstruck, I had a sinking feeling. I watched Walter walk through the airport doors to a waiting car. He had left a huge dust devil twirling in my mind, stirring up sad memories of home. I could see Zambia’s literati—the cognoscente, intelligentsia, academics, highbrows, and scholars in the places he had mentioned guzzling and talking irrelevancies. I remembered some who have since passed—how they got the highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet. They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery. I knew some by name and drunk with them at the Lusaka Playhouse and Central Sports.
Walter is right. It is true that since independence we have failed to nurture creativity and collective orientations. We as a nation lack a workhorse mentality and behave like 13 million civil servants dependent on a government pay cheque. We believe that development is generated 8-to-5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.
But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control. The past governments failed to create an environment of possibility that fosters camaraderie, rewards innovative ideas and encourages resilience. KK, Chiluba, Mwanawasa, and Banda embraced orthodox ideas and therefore failed to offer many opportunities for drawing outside the line.
I believe King Cobra’s reset has been cast in the same faculties as those of his predecessors. If today I told him that we can build our own car, he would throw me out.
“Naupena? Fuma apa.” (Are you mad? Get out of here)
Knowing well that King Cobra will not embody innovation at Walter’s level let’s begin to look for a technologically active-positive leader who can succeed him after a term or two. That way we can make our own stone crushers, water filters, water pumps, razor blades, and harvesters. Let’s dream big and make tractors, cars, and planes, or, like Walter said, forever remain inferior.
A fundamental transformation of our country from what is essentially non-innovative to a strategic superior African country requires a bold risk-taking educated leader with a triumphalist attitude and we have one in YOU. Don’t be highly strung and feel insulted by Walter. Take a moment and think about our country. Our journey from 1964 has been marked by tears. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience. Each one of us has lost a loved one to poverty, hunger, and disease. The number of graves is catching up with the population. It’s time to change our political culture. It’s time for Zambian intellectuals to cultivate an active-positive progressive movement that will change our lives forever. Don’t be afraid or dispirited, rise to the challenge and salvage the remaining few of your beloved ones.
Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner and author. He is a PhD candidate with a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism, and an M.A. in History.
******************************************************************************************

Happy Thanksgiving!

                                                      
                                                                          (source)
I was going to type a long post and then I saw this image, and I felt like all I wanted to say was wrapped up in this one image.

I'm thankful for life. I understand more now that life is really not a right, it is definitely a privilege. More so, it can be taken away in the snap of two fingers. Poof. Just like that. So, basically, the key is enjoying life and living it in abundance.

I'm thankful for a sound mind. The way people randomly wake up and stab their neighbors gruesomely or shoot guns at a bunch of innocent school kids makes you realize that having a sound mind is a gift from God. There's absolutely nothing like peace of mind.

I'm thankful for love in my life.

I'm thankful for salvation. Eek. how do I say this? Okay, here; I'm thankful for the privilege to be called a child of God. And that, in spite of how undeserving I'm sure I am, God still decides to color my life beautifully on a regular basis. Awesome God.

I'm thankful for the people in my life. The ones that fate chose and the ones I chose. The people in both categories are God's greatest gifts to me.

I'm thankful for food. I'm thankful that the availability of food in my life has never been a problem. What a huge blessing!

For roof over my head...For education...For technology...For world peace (because I have a dream)...For every single thing, I should list but can't list, I am more than thankful to Almighty God.

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?

Love,
I.

You Were My Fave, Olu.

I stood quietly that rainy morning by the roadside. I, together with some other random people sought refuge from the rain under some iron roof-sheets which was normally a stall for a boli seller. My mind drifted away from the moment. I thought of you,  Olu and the last time we saw. I assumed you would be somewhere now, wherever. I was still very angry wit you. How could you? After all your promises,  how could you have given in so easily? I thought you were strong. Well, you were. If appearances weren't so deceitful. Your 6"1 frame, your very baritone tone, you hardly missed your gym sessions and it paid off anyway. I always teased you about your looks and how I saw the envy in other women's eyes when they saw me with you, our hands interlocked, probably strolling to the nearest food vendor to grab lunch or dinner or probably to just hang around to kill time. You were my fave, Olu.

It started that Easter Monday when you casually told me about a cough. You seemed to make a big deal out of it when you told me it was an unusual type of cough.

"Ehn, are you the first person to have cough ni?" I laughed out loudly over the phone.

Nobody made me laugh like you did. Your sense of humor was over the top. You disappointed me though, a whole lot. I didn't expect that, certainly not from you. It was all too sudden. In spite of that, you were my fave, Olu.

When, after a whole week, I heard nothing from you, I dashed down to your house to give you a piece of my mind. I had deliberately not pinged you on BBM or called. I was too angry with you for not bothering to call me or text me when you knew so well about my exam in the carry-over course. When I had unexpectedly seen that 'F' on the boards the previous year and wept my eyes out, you begged me and encouraged me to shake it off. You even said you would stand by me all the step of the way, all I had to do was decide to tackle the course heads-on a second time. When on the exam day and even after, I heard nothing from you, I was furious. I had planned to spit fire and insult you for breaking your promise, something you hardly ever did. Imagine my shock when I saw you on the couch at your parents' home about 40kg less than your initial weight. I wanted to walk pass that stranger on the couch to go to your bedroom, when I heard my name from this stranger. I could never miss your voice, even if one thousand persons were screaming at the same time. I knew your distinct voice and much more about you because you were my fave, Olu.

"Oh My God! What happened Olu? Olu, what happened? What?" I screamed at the top of my voice.

I screamed because that person I was seeing couldn't be you. No, it was too terrible to be you. You looked sunken; your eyes were sunken and lifeless, your cheeks were hollow. You looked like something had sucked a huge part of you. Your ribs were so obvious, like they would pop out of your flesh anytime soon. Your skin looked bruised sort of, and you my sunshine and best companion, you were the scariest thing I had ever set my eyes on. Aunty Laide came out. She sighed and said you were too weak to engage in any long discourse. She explained that the cough had taken an unexpected turn. The same cough I had laughed about. The same cough you complained about when I thought you were being petty. Aunty Laide said by the evening of Easter Monday, when you coughed, you felt like a tug of war was going on inside of you. She said you felt like something was burning and even with that, they all didn't take you seriously enough to get you medical attention. My jaw dropped and tears were pouring down from my eyes. It was not what she said that made me cry, no. It was your sight that did. Little did I know that the worst was yet to come.

"But why is he here, why is he home and not in the hospital?"

"We took him to the hospital o on Tuesday, they said it's an infection. He has been given some drugs. He is even much better now. He just needs some rest."

I didn't understand. What was  before me didn't seem like someone who was much better. How could this being before me be much better? There was nothing much to say. Your Mum already explained that you saw a doctor and I couldn't possibly be more concerned than she was, right? I doubt that now, because my instincts told me it could not have been a mere infection. What hurt me the most was that I was helpless. True to what Aunty Laide said though, by evening that day, you were very much better. We talked about my exam and some other things. I teased you about the importance of my presence in your life and how seeing me was really the only drug you needed. You laughed. But it was a different kind of laugh. It lacked vigor and life and the type of humor you always brought to a gathering. It was empty. I told you that evening that you were my fave, Olu.

It was 9pm and you told me to leave because it was getting really late. I bade you goodbye, gave you a hug and left hurriedly. Omolara's call woke me up the next morning. She said you never woke up. It was the most devastating news and phone call of my life.

No way, I saw him last night. He was really better. How can? How? What is his plan and how does he expect me to go on in this cruel life without him, without his calls, without his raucous laughter and without his endless support?

Those were few of the questions I asked myself  the following days. I became angry. Angry with Olu. Angry with God. Angry with this world. How could everything, my whole world just come crashing in the flash of a light. The twenty four years we knew each other was not enough. It could never have been.

"Yaba, Yaba, Jibowu, Yaba." The noise from a bus conductor and the struggle of two men beside me to catch the bus jolted me back to reality. I checked my watch, I had been standing there for 28 minutes. The rain had now stopped and the boli seller needed to get started for the day. It had been a year Olu since you left abruptly. One whole year  had gone by just like that. You were my best cousin ever. You were my best friend ever. You were my best companion ever. You were my fave, Olu.

I walked across the road, to get a bus. I was running late.


Happy Birthday, Adeolu.

For quite a while, I was the youngest child in my small family before my awesome sister later joined us. As a child, I did not have friends, not in school, not in church, not even among family friends. Of course, I had few acquaintances that I seldom spoke with but in the true sense of friendship, I had none. It was not that I was socially awkward or that I had a mental disability or a complex, none of those. I really just came alive in my own space (I still do.) I was comfortable with playing with myself. In fact, some of my family's fondest memories of me as a child were me playing/talking to myself and having all sorts of fun all by myself. Because of this, my older brother played a double role in my life; brother and friend. He was both to me, he still is and will always be.

I did everything my brother did and did many other things for my brother. We played together, talked together, ate together, saved up together. Ah! Our Savings! I used to save up my pocket money with my brother and then we would buy games I never liked. I've never enjoyed playing games but I agreed to buy those games because I knew how much my brother loved them. I did so many stupid things just to please him. But he in return, protected and loved me very much. One incidence stands out in my mind. When we were much younger, our Dad volunteered in the church vestry as the church's Accountant or Financial officer (can't remember which). Anyway, since they did the jobs for free and it always made them wait so long after church service, their kids were entitled to a bottle of drink/soda each. Probably as a compensation for waiting for their folks.  On one of such Sundays, after emptying my bottle of Fanta in my stomach, I broke the bottle. I was terrified. I ran to my brother while he was with his friends who weren't my friends and I told him I needed to tell him something.

"Deolu, I've broken my bottle. What will I tell Daddy?" I asked, terribly shaken.

He paused for a while, realizing the magnitude of what I had done. Thinking back now, I don't know why ordinary breaking of bottle was such a big deal. But, if there's anything my siblings and I know, it is that as cool and fantastic as our Father is, he is also a disciplinarian and maybe even more of that.

"Okay, you know what, take mine. I'll tell Daddy I broke my bottle. Don't worry, go and play." My brother replied me.

I was shocked. He was going to take the blame for what I did. I don't remember the aftermath of that Sunday but my Parents never found out I was the one who actually broke the bottle. Those were the kind of sacrifices Deolu made for me. That must be why whenever he was being scolded, my eyes would well up in tears. (Deolu abeg that was then oh, if they scold you now, O.Y.O lo wa. Lmao). He also played very annoying pranks on me and I always fell for them because I trusted him too much. One day, he had accompanied me to the hairdresser's and on our way back home;

"Ehen, Ife, I wanted to even tell you. You know the thing that kills someone in cars, as in when a car hits someone, the particular thing that kills people has been removed. So now if you stand in front of a moving car, it won't even affect you."

For the sake of my reputation as a smart person, I'd rather not say what my next actions were.  My brother was such a happy child. He was always laughing and smiling. His childhood photo album can actually attest to this. There is not one childhood picture of my brother where he was not grinning. I was the one who put up a faint smile just for the camera, he was the one who had a smile plastered 24/7. From going to birthday parties and dancing to Shina Peters so much that twenty something years later, my mum's friends still remember him as a Shina Peters' fan, even though he swears he can't imagine ever loving the Afro-Juju musician. And when he was a huge fan of the king of pop and made me like Michael Jackson too.

Recently, my brother sent me an IM to ask if our baby sister knows, lets call the person XYZ. XYZ had made a comment on one of my sister's beautiful pictures calling her 'angelic' or 'adorable' or one of those Facebook languages. He wanted to be sure my sister was safe. At first, I was quite irritated because I felt, hey my sister is with me, what wants to happen to her under my nose? Then when I carefully pondered on his statement, "That's how it always starts oh, those weird Facebook people", I realized he was just being what he has always been, a brother who watches over his siblings. Not that alone, but a person who watches out for others.

Dear Deolu,
Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for being very level headed and not being an embarrassment to us. Some people may think you are too gentle/quiet and stern (side eye at them), I prefer that to having an 'agbero' for a brother. Even though, I may not always agree with your methods, your leadership qualities are very outstanding and we appreciate you for your kindness and your very good heart. You are a good man.

I changed to a letter mode because it was beginning to look like an eulogy. God forbid! You see, that is because we never say good things about people until we lose them. Why am I saying all these things anyway? Because my brother is a year older today. Happy Birthday, Adeolu! You have big dreams, dreams so big, they sometimes scare me but that just shows how great you are. May God give you the wisdom and courage to live out those dreams. May God bless you with long life and prosperity and may he bless you with a wife and children of your dreams (Twins, to be specific). All those that have laughed at you WILL come to laugh with you. Wa pe fun wa o, Akanni!

With so much love,
Your sisters.





Thank God It's November; Thank God it's Friday; Thank God I Finally Read Things Fall Apart.

Oh-Em-Gee, it's actually November already. Happy November! And oh, It was Halloween yesterday. I understand that some people don't believe in Halloween because it celebrates the dead or something like that. Is it really weird that I could care less about whether it celebrates dead people or evil spirits, and that what really irks me about Halloween is little children going around begging for candies? I mean, I would certainly not say no to a child asking me for candy but I don't like the idea at all. I was talking about it to my Dad some days prior to Halloween and I think I mentioned that I may never allow my own future kids go around begging for candy from strangers and he said I would never want to hurt my kids so much because its an old tradition and every child wants it.

Well, there were MANY things I wanted as a kid but never got because Daddy and Mummy said no. So erm...

On to the next thing.

Hayyyyy, I hope it doesn't feel like I've abandoned my blog oh, nah I have not. I just never want write when I don't feel like it. No pressure or anything, this is just a place to express myself in anyway I can, to keep my mind busy and to just do something I love to do. So, I usually want it to come naturally.
Now the main reason for today's post *rubs palms* Shall we?

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.

I like it when I start a book and never want to drop it. Hehe. And frankly, this is more likely to happen to me with an African author than with foreign, assorted authors. I got the eBook-eBooks are the new cool-and wasn't sure if what I had  was the complete version. So, of course I asked my Dad if he knew how long or short the book is. You should have seen the look on my father's face when he found out I was reading the book for the first time in my life. Surprisingly, I actually was just reading it for the first time ever. I don't think his expression implied that I was an avid reader as much as it implied that the book was so world famous that it was quite an abomination for a twenty something year old to never have read it. He even asked me how I went through secondary school taking Literature and never read it. Excuse him, but I went to school in the twenty first century. Okay, that doesn't quite cut it since we read Hamlet. But apologies to you Achebe's fans but I think we read even better books in school. Emecheta's 'Joys of Motherhood' is still stuck in my mind. OH! that book.

Anyway, one thing I couldn't get off my mind while reading Things Fall Apart was "WHY?" Why was the book such a hit, so much that some people still think it was the best thing to come out of Africa? I know, I'm sure it is a good read, I just need to know what is so fantastic about it? It did have a huge international acclaim and I just need to know why. I am genuinely asking, not because I'm a literary genius or anything (I'm not), I'm just curious as to what makes that particular Achebe's book different from any other book. Frankly, Achebe portrayed an African man as one who acts, and then thinks later. Okonkwo (main character-I don't want to call him the protagonist)  was so insecure and overly scared of failure that he failed to really appreciate the most important things in life. My Dad thinks that's the exact reason the book was such a hit; that westerners love things that portray bad images of Africans. This WEBISTE described it as " the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within."

For some parts of the book, I (a Nigerian) was distracted and maybe even irritated by some of the so-called cultures that were described. Why do we refuse to accept that CULTURES DO NOT MAKE THE PEOPLE, rather,WE THE PEOPLE MAKE THE CULTURE? We should not go about doing barbaric things and blaming it on 'culture.' If an act is inhumane or point blank stupid, stop it, don't call it culture. I digress. In his lifetime, Chinua Achebe was so proud of that book that when 50 cent wanted to use the same title for a movie, (he was going to pay Achebe) he refused. Ugh.

I was talking to my friend, Ugo yesterday about Chimamanda's Americanah and how desperate I am to read it. He told me how he felt Adichie, just like her role model, Achebe manipulated her characters too much. And, I agreed. I see a lot of Achebe in Adichie. I prefer Adichie's books though. There's an interesting relationship between the two; Chimamanda Adichie's family lived in a house just after Achebe and his own family had lived in the same house in Nsukka. Please don't ask me how I know this. Lol. It's no surprise Adichie was so in love with him. Which leads me to my next question. I should write a disclaimer first; I didn't hate the man ohhh and this isn't racism or tribalism, I didn't even know too much about him anyway. My question is why were people calling him "hero' when he died. It certainly was not only me that saw "R.I.P to a great Nigerian hero." "Another hero has fallen." "Oh Nigeria will feel your impact." and so on and so forth. How was he a hero? Literary hero, maybe but national hero, how?

In the twenty first century (before you say I've not read my history books please note that the 21st century started in year 2001) one of the biggest challenges we faced as a nation started on the first day of 2012 and went on for a little over a week during the subsidy protests and the mini revolution, when for the first time, Nigerians came together against our leaders. There was no Achebe in sight. I don't think I had ever seen him prior to that in matters concerning the affairs of the nation. Besides the literary world, I'm not sure he ever had any impact on the nation. Please educate me if I'm wrong. But I don't think I am. If that is true, so how exactly was he a hero? Instead, he released a book that if taken much more seriously could have had adverse effects on the already volatile Nigeria. I thought the Ibos had outlived Biafra and had moved on? I have not read the book but I heard specific names were mentioned. I should attribute this to the issue of people wanting desperately to say fantastic things about a person when he/she is dead. Ha, I read an article by Wole Soyinka where he said people were furious Achebe never won a Nobel Prize. In fact, several people suggested Soyinka should speak to the organizers of the Nobel Prize and ask them to award Achebe a posthumous Nobel Prize. Loooool.  Jokes apart, Things Fall Apart is arguably a very interesting novel, it just didn't meet up to the high expectations I had of it. Not that my opinions matter anyway. And please, we need to stop with our petty sentiments already.

In a nutshell, that's how I spent my Friday night; reading a book and partially re-watching season 5 of Gossip Girl with my sister. Am I boring or am I boring?
Love,
I.

Stereotyping...

So, I was on my own today. Well, technically I wasn't on my own. I had 30 minutes to spare and my phone's battery was dead and I didn't have a book (I have not read any book since I read Ted Dekker's nonsense) so I resorted to taking a stroll and also decided to people-watch. I love people-watching, very amazing things you discover from people-watching. Anyway, I digress.  I was taking my blissful and peaceful stroll, thinking about my blessed life and envisaging my even better future when I noticed a tiny kiosk right in the middle of the mall. Since, I was window shopping I decided to check out this kiosk that sold colorful phone accessories. While I was surfing, one of the guys approached me and tried to advertise his stuff. I wasn't going to buy so I told him point blank to not stress himself. Anyway, we got talking,  myself and the two guys; we were talking about phones and gadgets and things like that. When all of a sudden the conversation drifted to one of them asking where I am originally from.

Before I continue with what happened today, let me say something. The driver of one of the buses I sometimes take, usually tells me about how his barber is Nigerian and how Nigerians are great people. In fact, I often get irritated when each time he sees me, he starts to 'lament' about how we Nigerians are very wonderful people. I smile and thank him for his kind words.

So, when the young man from today asked where I was from, I put up my award winning, million dollars smile and proudly said;

"I'm from Nigeria."

I was expecting to hear some more accolades and encomiums but our luck had worn out this time around. I was not surprised, I just wasn't expecting it.

"WHAT?!" He screamed.

"You fucking Nigerians, ohhhhhh  you fucking fucking Nigerians."

What Kids Think About Marriage...




"When two people come together before God"

"When two people fall in love with each other, a female and a male..."

"To be together forever." (I think that even a toddler has a better understanding than the adults.)

"When a female and a male get together in the presence of God."


What is Love?

"Love is my Mummy and my Daddy."

"Love is when you love your nana."

"When two people like each other and do good things for each other and they help each other out." (No, seriously, has this young man not said it all?) 

"What Mum and Dad do, that's love."

"I love my Mum."

"Love is when you love your grandpa."

Are you going to get married?


"When I grow up...yes" (Keyword: GROW-UP. These kids are smart!)

"No."

"Yes."

"uhhh...I'm not thinking of about that right now." (This one sounds like me. lol.)

"I guess...yes."

"I'm only 10, like I said I'm only thinking about my life..." (Same as the guy above, still sounding just like me. lmao.) 

The above sentences in italics were the replies of children to the questions. The oldest must have been around 10 or 11. The words in brackets are my thoughts.

Love,
I.

Butterflies or True Friendship?

So, I saw a post on one of my very favorite blogs, www.inthemidstofher.com. You see, in this world that we are in, as young people there are so many 'not normal' things that have been normalized. Especially when it comes to love, dating, relationships, sex and marriage, AH we have been made to believe all sorts. It is why Twitter kind of annoys me these days; people spew utter nonsense with confidence and lead other people astray. Anyway, so blogs like inthemidstofher are there to remind you that no matter how insane the world is, some people albeit few are getting it right. There are many awesome posts that will inspire a young unmarried lady/girl/woman (whatever) in the blog. I like to call myself girl though for some reasons even I don't know.
This particular post that caught my fancy is like a chat segment that she did. I will just put the link below instead of rambling. I'm happy somebody else shares that school of thought though. I mean why do we all think/assume love must be a magical feeling with sparkles here and there. Sometimes, love is really just great friendship. I prefer the latter though. What am I doing with sparks and magic when I can have true and everlasting friendship? To each his own.

 http://www.inthemidstofher.com/2013/10/dear-inthewhat-does-love-look-like.html

That is the link to the great post. Be sure to check it out, you will be happy you did. :D

Love,
I.

Songs Of Sorrow. By Kofi Awoonor.

May the souls of Kofi Awoonor and the other 71 victims of the Westgate Shopping mall attack rest in perfect peace and may God give their families the fortitude to bear  these losses which I know are irreplaceable. Every body is at their tiny corners of the world and even though we empathize, condemn the evil doers and in rare cases pray for the victims, we will never know what it feels like to be blown into billion pieces by a bomb or held hostage with guns to our heads. God forbid we ever do. Will terrorism ever stop or is it a menace that has come to stay? There is this joke about if you are asked to choose between Bill Gate's wealth and world peace, what would be the color of your Bentley? I am not even trying to sound modest here or good. But, if this world peace means no random bomb attacks or no malicious and inhumane killings; if this world peace means children don't become orphans or people don't become childless all of a sudden; if this world peace means no more senseless wars; if this world peace means no more tyrants and dictators; if this world peace means no cancer or any life threatening diseases, Bill Gate's money can rot in hell, I WILL CHOOSE WORLD PEACE. I absolutely mean that, quote me anywhere. I hope I am not alone. To celebrate and honor a prolific poet, I had to go dig up his most popular (This is his most popular that I know) poem and put it up. It reminds me so much of secondary school/high school and how Literature was my best subject, it was my 'safe haven'. Where I got a B without even reading or making attempts. :)))                                                                                                                                                                                              

Songs Of Sorrow. Kofi Awoonor                
Dzogbese Lisa has treated me thus

It has led me among the sharps of the forest

Returning is not possible

And going forward is a great difficulty

The affairs of this world are like the chameleon faeces

Into which I have stepped

When I clean it cannot go.



I am on the world's extreme corner,

I am not sitting in the row with the eminent

But those who are lucky

Sit in the middle and forget

I am on the world's extreme corner

I can only go beyond and forget.



My people, I have been somewhere

If I turn here, the rain beats me

If I turn there the sun burns me

The firewood of this world

Is for only those who can take heart

That is why not all can gather it.

The world is not good for anybody

But you are so happy with your fate;

Alas! the travelers are back

All covered with debt.



Something has happened to me

The things so great that I cannot weep;

I have no sons to fire the gun when I die

And no daughter to wail when I close my mouth

I have wandered on the wilderness

The great wilderness men call life

The rain has beaten me,

And the sharp stumps cut as keen as knives

I shall go beyond and rest.

I have no kin and no brother,

Death has made war upon our house;



And Kpeti's great household is no more,

Only the broken fence stands;

And those who dared not look in his face

Have come out as men.

How well their pride is with them.

Let those gone before take note

They have treated their offspring badly.

What is the wailing for?

Somebody is dead. Agosu himself

Alas! a snake has bitten me

My right arm is broken,

And the tree on which I lean is fallen.



Agosi if you go tell them,

Tell Nyidevu, Kpeti, and Kove

That they have done us evil;

Tell them their house is falling

And the trees in the fence

Have been eaten by termites;

That the martels curse them.

Ask them why they idle there

While we suffer, and eat sand.

And the crow and the vulture

Hover always above our broken fences

And strangers walk over our portion. 



I Really Wanted To Blog.

You know how they say if you want to write, then just write. That's exactly what I am about to do. I just spoke with my lover-girl (I am very straight)  for about forty minutes. We rambled and went on and on about boys/men, some of our old friends from secondary/high school, reminisced just a tiny bit about high school, laughed hard and when I was sure she was safe in a bus (or whatever was driving her home at 12am), I hung up. We talked a lot about men. ha-ha. Why do men cheat? Does anybody know? Why would you buy an expensive ring, propose to a girl with the intention of marrying her and then turn around to cheat on her? Human beings are somehow. It inspired me to tweet tonight after such a long time, I've totally lost my Twitter mojo. Anyway, in the tweet, I asked girls to be wary of womanizers and to not be fooled by 'cute' pictures floating all over cyber space. Bella Naija put up a  picture on Instagram yesterday and a girl commented "Some girls are lucky sha" I sent a voice-note to my other lover-girl  where I said "Bella Naija has been tensioning girls since forever"   These days, girls are usually so mesmerized about anything wedding-ish, relationship-ish and those types of things. If I put up a picture of me right now with an engagement ring, I will be sure to get about a billion likes instantly on Instagram. Lol.  It may be the cynical part of me, but I never go ohh and ahh over a seemingly happy couple's picture. Never. And, oh, I love love too, it's just I know people LIE on social networks a lot and keep up appearances. So, these days I am never fooled. I may of course, appreciate a beautiful picture but that's about it.

Totally Random

My Sister: What is the full meaning of atm?

Me: Automated Teller Machine.

My sister: Not  that one jor, social media abbreviation...

Me: *bursts into laughter* Ohhh...okay, 'at the moment.'

Was I a nerd in my past life? LOL. Because I am certainly not a nerd or anything remotely close to that, for that matter in this life. But sometimes, the way I take things seriously amazes me. I mean, she was right in front of the computer, probably chatting or something and the first thing I could think of was the actual abbreviation ATM. Ugh. I'm somehow. I better stop taking life so seriously, for my own sake and the sake of others.

I Think I May Have 'Beefed' Stella.

I really don't know where it came from, but I had been very angry with Stella Damasus. Actually, I know where it came from; it started from when  I heard rumors that she was now married to Daniel Adenimokan (popular Actor and Director) and that it was a secret wedding they had in the U.S. Same Daniel that was married to Doris Simeon, another actress. Therefore, being an anti-husband snatchers that I AM, I was very furious. I'm still not sure how true or false the gist is because she has refused to say anything at all about it. Besides, I don't know why I am chewing Doris's aspirin for her because, clearly she didn't send me to 'fight' on her behalf. Now, I can be really somehow especially when my mind is made up about someone (look at me sounding like I'm a god. Hiss). With this bias, I just refused to be interested in anything at all that had to do with Stella. In spite of all her noise all over the internet supporting the CHILDNOTBRIDE campaign, I didn't budge. That's something I normally would adore someone for, instead I was even irritated. Why is this one screaming all over the cyber space? I thought.

Pride Or Plain Honesty?

I did my laundry as soon as I woke up yesterday but I didn't get around to sorting it till it was about 1:00am, after I was done with the internet. The Internet though; a blessing and a curse. Believe me, I could write a thesis on that. Anyway, that's not why we are here today. While I was as sorting out my clothes in the closet, a thought occurred to me. I stared at my walk in closet and my vain self thought "I'm not sure I can live in a house without a walk in closet o" I was barely done thinking that when another thought popped up "ah ah? When did that one start, which manner of shakara is that one?" Ladies and gentlemen, those are some of the mind battles I fight on a daily basis. LOL. Now, a year ago, I did not have a room with a walk in closet and life was fine, perfect. So, why on earth was it seeming like such a big deal now that I had one? I couldn't help but think that by indulging us or by giving us some of the comforts of life, are our parents helping us or not helping us? I have heard of strange cases where a very rich man would deliberately deny his children of some luxuries under the guise of discipline. That is absolutely absurd to me though, I mean why would my father have millions/billions sitting duck in his account, and I would be going about living life like a pauper because of discipline? I think that is weird. However, the fact of life is that some people have been thoroughly indulged, such that they can not handle some of life's petty challenges, much more the complexities. And their being very ignorant of the other side of life would be very genuine, even though people around them may think otherwise. I remember one Sunday in church; I sat by my brother and his friend during the service. While the pastor was preaching, he made a reference to a poor person who could not afford five or ten Naira, I can't remember the exact figure but it was something extremely meager. My brother's friend (who is from a wealthy/quite affluent home) turned to him and said:

"Is that possible? How can someone be that poor? I mean is that laziness or something because I pretty much can't understand why someone wouldn't be able to afford five Naira."

Adam's Syndrome.

I'm sure we all know the famous story about Adam and Eve. Because, that's the basis of the title and this entire post. Now, what exactly is this Syndrome? Man falls after eating from forbidden tree, so he hides among the trees in the garden of Eden because he's feeling naked and exposed. God finds out Adam is hiding and proceeds to ask how he knows he is naked and if he ate the forbidden apple.

"The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." 

That is the syndrome. Blaming every other person, except ourselves of course, for all our problems. I often wonder why many people find it so hard to take responsibility for their actions. Every now and then, people feel the need to resort to blackmail when things go sour. Then you begin to hear things like;

"Oh, If only my Parents had my time and weren't too busy"

"Oh, my Parents were too strict and uptight, so when I got a little chance, I was thrown off balance"

S.M.H

Just when I was recovering from the shock of Pastor Biodun of COZA, I stumbled on THIS POST talking about how Martin Luther King was a womanizer; he steadily cheated on his wife. I was SHOCKED.  This is not a post where I go on and on about how disappointed I am. I have learnt, once again that my personal relationship with my God is what matters. I will pray for these people though, that keep spoiling my God's name. I will also pray that my God will not get very angry at how his name is being abused these days. Martin Luther?! That one that has monuments of him all over the world; even in the capitol hill in Washington DC!! My sister and I have a picture standing by his statue. Na wa!
PLEASE IF YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER YOUR OWN SELF, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS LEADING OTHERS. SIT YOUR ASS DOWN AND STOP MESSING WITH GOD'S NAME ABEG.
Have I been living under a rock, why does everybody know, except me?

I Tried To Think Of A Title; Came Up With None.

I spent the entire weekend watching season 2 of the TV show, Scandal. I finally caught the bug, I let my sister influence me. I'd watched season one earlier and going by what I wrote here about my loyalty to my favourite old shows, I lost interest after season 1. But, that was really not the problem or should I say that was less of a problem, the major reason was that I hated, despised the idea behind the show. A man that can hardly manage his own family does not deserve to be the leader of the free world or to run a whole country. However, I realized it was just a show anyway and there was no need to take it so seriously. I'm certain the idea of the show was controversy, so I just ignored my thoughts and went ahead to watch season 2. I enjoyed it, I mean it was not so exciting, it was not the type that would boost your adrenaline but I enjoyed it. Mostly drama, when in fact I love much more than just 'drama' in a show. That's not really the point though.

I'm Starting With The Woman In The Mirror.

This is completely coincidental. I did not even know Michael Jackson would have been fifty-five today until my Dad said it. May his soul rest in peace. The guy made great music though, very great music. More so, he was my brother's icon so he  probably grew on me too. No human being loved that guy the way my brother did, his ultimate dream was to meet Michael, unfortunately that was one dream that couldn't be fulfilled. Anyway, sorry for both of them, I put up the chorus of his song, 'Man In The Mirror' as my Facebook status and I thought about personalizing it. There's too much truth in the song. You want a change kwa? Stare at that mirror and begin the change with the person you see in the mirror.

An Ode...To Food.

                                                   
                                                                            (source)
Life can be really awesome, especially when there's food. May God always make life awesome for me and for you. :) Food really makes life better and bearable, good food, that is. I particularly like Naija food sha. If I have to choose between Naija food and any other, I will proudly choose Nigerian meals. That does not make me more patriotic than the next person, I just love it, mostly because that's what I grew up eating. I also try to eat very healthy foods, the secret to that is moderation.

 I'm thankful for so manyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy (the Y is endless. lol) things and people. Food is somewhere on top of that list. Why am I going on and on writing an ode to food? I had the juiciest watermelons this evening, it was so delicious, I almost went overdose on it. The only reason I controlled myself was because I wanted some left for tomorrow morning. Plus, I wanted my family to taste the awesomeness too. I'm nice like that. About twenty minutes later, I had dinner. I felt like I was in heaven. It wasn't any meal out of the ordinary; just a plate of rice with vegetable stew. But, I totally LOVED it. My Mum made it and she has made meals equally delicious, if not more delicious in the past, but for some reasons unknown to even me, I was very ecstatic to be eating. It was so bad/good, that I literally went on my knees and thanked God as soon as I was done. Now, I'm getting scared oh! Lol. I have never done that before. However, I try as much as possible to make it a habit to always thank God. Nothing is by our rights or privileges or whatever, we get everything we have by grace. That special and amazing grace of God. So, of the many things God has done, tonight I've chosen food to thank him for. I pray I never lack or have to beg for it. What are you thankful for?

Love,
Ifeoluwa.

Overcoming The Fear Of Vested Interest.

 
                                            http://youtu.be/IjViGLJIU9g
The Governor of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi recently spoke at TEDxYouth at Maitama about overcoming the fear of vested interest in the country. I suppose everybody knows about TED or at least have heard something like 'TED talks' from time to time. For the benefit of those who haven't, TED  (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan "ideas worth spreading". More about TED and what it really is can be read here or here. It's a very enlightening platform and I just like to, once in a while listen to brilliant minds. TEDx is a part of the main TED. 

I don't know much about Sanusi, except that he once  fired several Bank CEOs and many people thought he was crazy. I never for once thought he was as straightforward and exceptionally thorough as he was in the video above. Our political system in Nigeria is full of many bad eggs that should be thrown into the thrash. I bring you good news; there are some good eggs albeit a few. Now, when I started to listen to his talk, it sounded like the usual cliche; Nigeria-has-many-corrupt-people-so-lets-just-sit-still-and-watch-them-'chop'-it-all, I had no intention whatsoever of listening to the entire thing. But then, he caught my attention somehow later on. Thinking about it now, I had of course, heard about the things he spoke about before but I'm not sure there was as much clarity as in his TEDx talk. He started by explaining how Nigeria has great potential yada yada, he proceeded to explain how we export things we don't have and import things that we have. I wanted to close the page at that point, when he started to talk about the period he became Chief of Central Bank and how Bank CEOs had personalized the banks. 
"...they had taken away depositors money to buy property all over the world and just like people do in ministries, government agencies or whenever they have opportunities in oil companies, the banks were themselves a..."  

On Hair and Other Random Things...

Yesterday, after six months,  relaxer touched my hair again. WHEW! I felt so liberated. lol. Seriously, it was hell. Don't ask why I waited so long. I've very good hair, thank God. If not... Anyway, so I was basking in the beauty of my hair again when it suddenly occurred to me that relaxed hair is never appreciated these days. Every body celebrates only natural hair and some go out of hand to make a big deal out of it. Sometime ago, Chimamanda Adichie made a statement about how people with relaxed hair were trying so hard to be like white girls with straight hair. I was just confused. Natural hair is good, quite expensive to manage and may take a lot of time, but it is good. But what anybody does with their hair is their business. Personally, I believe the most important thing is healthy hair. Whether relaxed or natural, your hair should be healthy. Simple. I have very good, healthy and beautiful hair. (I'm a tad obsessed with my hair) I like to see ladies with their teeny weeny afros, it is always very cute but the true tests of natural hair comes when it is long. I know this because I had natural hair until I was about 15. IT WAS HELL. Kai, words can't describe. I felt something close to those previous pains again yesterday. I was relieving the memories. I always threaded the hair or put it in very tiny weaves that would make my delicate scalp swell. Why did I not cut my hair then anyway? So, I admire you natural sisters; your hard-work, patience and dedication to your hair is admirable. If I ever cut my hair, the moment it starts to grow well, I will relax it. By the way, being natural is NOT an excuse to look scruffy. On the other hand, there are many ladies with  extremely cute natural hair, it could make you swoon. My own be say when will relaxer become ridiculously cheap, since many people don't use it anymore? I dey wait am abeg. With all these noise, I only relax my hair twice or at most three times a year. Yesterday was my second time this year and I was happy it was done by a professional.

Nigerian Graduate teacher can't read own certificate in Edo state.

The sad part about this situation is that, this woman is probably be one of those that criticize and condemn the government. One of those people who insult government officials. What she doesn't know is that she is basically like them. God forbid that I insult civil servants, because I was mostly taught by civil servants. But, to be honest, civil servants have a history of being lackadaisical with their responsibilities. Many of them are lazy and rude. If you doubt me, take a stroll into a government university's administration office, or take a stroll into a nearby NYSC secretariat or worse still, take a stroll into the nearest government secretariat to you. Just walk in. Ironically, I always believed teachers were different. That they had a better approach towards their duties. 

How can the future of innocent children be placed in the hands of someone who can barely read her own certificate? The fact that she has been a teacher for twenty years makes my stomach rumble. Gosh. It's no wonder you see some Nigerian graduates stuttering at every attempt to speak English. I remember NYSC camp, sad story. I always wondered how they were supposedly graduates. Now, I see. As far as I know, primary school is the foundation. Nobody teaches you how to speak English in Secondary school, you mostly build on what you already have. So, somebody, anybody at all should please tell me how on earth this woman teaches. It can be argued that she merely has a poor eyesight but I disagree. It can also be argued that she was nervous, you know being right beside the governor of your state. But, I disagree. If anything, she was rather over-confident. You should see the way she was talking to him.

Politicians may be wrong. Not may, many of them ARE wrong. But what are you doing in your own little corner of the nation? How effectively do you handle your responsibilities especially when it involves the lives of others? Before we throw stones and remove the specks of wood in other people's eyes, lets examine the planks in ours. I wonder why some people think Gov. Oshiomole was simply trying to humiliate her. That was certainly not the case. In fact, he was calling our attention to problems we normally would never have known. Let's assume she was unfortunate enough to be unable to read when she took the job 20 years ago, what stopped her from developing herself over the course of TWENTY years. Okay so, politicians are looting money that isn't theirs. We know that, but she also has been earning salaries she probably did not work for. Sigh. Nigeria, we hail thee! 

http://youtu.be/6OJDt-8i0Mw

The Gospel, According To Emmy Collins.

My people, how una dey? I hope sey una dey kampe. Please ignore my lame attempt at pidgin. Nigerian Pidgin fascinates me actually, its interesting and very witty. Okay, enough of the Linguistics 101 class. So, my sweetheart, Evuas sent me some links. Let me start by saying I can be incredibly stale when it comes to entertainment or anything for that matter, I tend to always carry last in matters like entertainment or songs. Thank God for my friends who take it upon themselves to once in a while carry me along. These links were from Emmy Collins' website diarybyemmy.com. To start with, I didn't even know who Emmy Collins was *covers face in shame* I am certain I'm not alone. Anyway, my first visit to this man's website was an article were he praised Bez's new video and indirectly insulted Clearance Peters by suggesting that he should take a break from making videos and go on a holiday because folks like Kemi Adetiba are here to stay. My first thought was who is this one? I took temporary job as vol tron for Mr. Peters who of course doesn't even know I exist. Smh. I was tackling my friend that why would Emmy say stuff like that and besides what was the big deal about Bez's video anyway. Hiss. It was shot in New York. Ehen, and so? My friend and I went back and forth on the issue and dropped it.

Yesterday, she was laughing out loud about a post from the same site and sent me more links. So I thought, why not just go through the whole thing. I went to his site and I had the time of my life. My ribs still hurt from laughter of yesterday. The website is not centered around comedy, it is his bluntness mixed with humor that is just so interesting. My guy's (Yes, I've claimed him) bluntness is on another level. As far as I know, no fashion or entertainment blogger says the truth the way he says it. He is arguably the most honest Nigerian fashion/style/entertainment blogger. I take that back.

The Mysterious Anatomies of Grey.

This post is specifically for ranting. I must warn you before you go ahead. I don't know if I'm a TV person. I like TV, that's for sure but it's certainly something I can do without. Thank God for internet. Anyway, so being a very loyal person-I'm loyal to a fault-I always stuck with the two shows I was familiar with and because they were very great shows anyway, it was hard to not love them. Prison Break and 24. I'm a sucker for action thrillers (Prison Break isn't an action thriller though, is it?). I could kill for those shows. Okay, of course not. Point is, I loved those shows and totally ignored the many other shows that sprung up in the aftermath of those. Then I met this young man/woman called Netflix at a time when I happened to be quite jobless. hehe. On meeting Netflix, instead of watching the many new shows that are available, I re-started my favourite old shows (Prison Break and 24), my rigidity and loyalty may be more of weaknesses than strengths. I'm the type of person that will not start new things simply because I'm too in love with an old thing. Ugh. Talk for another day. When I was done revisiting my old shows (every single episodes of at least over 150 episodes), I was left with no choice but to consider new shows. A part of me wanted to go over the old shows over again, which would have been completely sick and disturbing. Grey's Anatomy has been very popular for a while and I was torn between picking Grey's Anatomy or Nikita. And when you're considering between two things, you have to check out the stakes, the pros, the cons and both parties have to present their cases so that when you finally choose, you would be sure the better man wins. Oh yes, it is that serious. I'm not going spend hours of my life watching crap. I know what you're thinking. "Who is forcing this one to watch show?" Ask Shonda Rhimes (sp?) and those other script writers if they don't send me tons of personal emails begging me to review their shows.
                                           
                                                                        (source)
I finally chose Grey's Anatomy. Now, Grey's Anatomy has a great plot. An absolutely great plot of sexy surgeons doing their thing on the human body. More than anything, it makes me appreciate God's creativity and intelligence very much. BUT, the sub plots are so damn stupid and crappy. It can be really twisted and depressing. I understand that life is not a bed of roses and that life doesn't always have sweet, beautiful endings. Maybe, my vantage point of life is extremely limited and I am somehow privileged, but I believe life is not that sad. Every single person in Grey's Anatomy dies. In a particular episode, the Residents call the hospital 'Seattle Grace Mercy Death Hospital'. Not just patients who stroll in with mere hiccups and then end up in the morgue, even the employees of the hospital seem to have death hovering over them. Ugh. One Resident had a car crash and died, another one had cancer, another was shot. Ewww. I know Life can be that messed up, but spending hours of my life watching a show with tissue and drying my eyes, nah I'm not about that life. Patrick Dempsey probably cries in all episodes and sadly, I cry with him too. Sigh. Then Shonda or whoever, had the guts to just fire my favourite character, Preston Burke because of a very flimsy reason (as far as I'm concerned). I really loved the character and his relationship with Christina Yang, another great character. Then all of a sudden, he disappeared. Mehn, Shonda and I have to talk. What nonsense?

I was ready to overlook all these, when all of a sudden in season 7, another Resident had a fatal accident. The accident wasn't the problem, I was getting used to disasters on the show. This babe was rushed to the hospital and while she was being wheeled to an OR, she removes the oxygen mask from her mouth and whispers to her colleagues that her name-Calliope-means music. Okay...cool. Next thing I know, the surgeons were singing in the operating room. Pause. The episode was like a MUSICAL! grrrrrrrrr. Seriously? MUSICAL! I do not like musicals.It's one reason I didn't ever bother with Glee. I'm not even sure the whole of Glee is a musical, but I know they sing, so no I didn't watch. I heard a lot about the movie, Les Miserable and wanted to watch it. Then I saw my brother watching it one day, they were singing in it. End of story. So, when I saw supposed surgeons screaming at the top of their voices in the name of singing, I wanted to dial Shonda's phone straight away but then, I was too busy.

On the plus though, I believe that some of the actors and actresses might actually be able to perform a real surgery now. It's so amazing how much they must have learnt on the show. Being paid to learn such things must be incredibly cool. Ignore my rants, I absolutely enjoy the show and I am currently on season 7 and I am still enjoying it.

By the way, this was not a review. A review wouldn't be this long anyway.

The Flying Bird, The Frog and The Idle Old Man.

I don't understand why many people have rendered the Nigerian movie industry-Nollywood, completely useless. They must have been misled by some out rightly horrid movies. I quite enjoy the Yoruba part of Nollywood-when the movie isn't about a group of aristo babes or when it is not about the woman whose mother in-law is the deputy president of the association of  witches and has decided to donate her son and two of her grandchildren. I digress. The point is, there are still some great movies in Nollywood with lifelong lessons to be learned.  Sometime ago, I stumbled on a movie on Africa Magic Yoruba.
                                              
                                                                           (source)
It was about two jolly friends, who had grown up together. These friends, both men, had been through it all together. One of the duo, Sanya had been the compromising one, always making sacrifices for his friend, Gbite and had in fact on more than one occasion, saved Gbite's life. The camaraderie that existed between them was enough for other people to be envious. However, along the line, Gbite all of a sudden, became very rich. He owned different businesses and was as a matter of fact about the richest man in the neighbourhood, highly respected and very well-known. Sanya, on the other hand was poorer than a church rat. He was so poor, he could hardly afford to eat. He had no job or means of survival. He was wretched. He could hardly even feed his only child, plus he lived in a very terrible condition. As expected, he turned to his friend for help. Unexpectedly, each time he did, Gbite turned him down bluntly. Gbite completely refused to render assistance of any kind to his friend. Sanya pleaded and pleaded and even got people to plead on his behalf. No, Gbite insisted on not helping his friend for no reason whatsoever.

Sanya's condition became worse than it already was. What is worse than being wretched? Anyway, he became really desperate. At that point, he was ready to do anything to make money. And by anything, I mean something as terrible (and stupid) as ritual killing. Or yahoo plus or whatever it is called these days.So he sought help from an Islamic cleric, popularly known as 'Alfa.' It was there he learnt some of the greatest lessons in life.Of course, being a Yoruba movie, the conversations were in Yoruba. However, yours truly would do you non-Yoruba folks the honour of translating in English. You can thank me later.

"Please sir, all I need is for you to tell me how I can make money via rituals. I don't mind the consequences"

Sanya uttered in desperation.

Totally flabbergasted and shocked with what was coming out of his mouth, the cleric replied;

"Rituals?? are you sure about this? Why? Can it be that bad.?"

The cleric did all he could to persuade this man but alas, his mind was made up.

"OK then, go to *Ibupy mountain early in the morning, and sit down there for some hours. Whatever you see there, come back and tell me."

The cleric said.

"Is that all? I even thought you would require my only child or part of my body or something like that."

Sanya replied, with disgust.

"Just do as I have said and make sure you get back to me."

Few days later, Sanya had gone to the said mountain and was back to the cleric. Before then, he had issues with his new landlord (who turned out to be his friend, Gbile) so he was sent packing. Yes, his best friend sent him packing. On getting back to the cleric, the following conversation ensued;

"So, Sanya did you see or notice anything when you were on that mountain"

"No oh, I didn't. I was there for hours and nothing. I saw nothing!"

"How is that possible? You saw nothing? Are you sure?"

The cleric was confused.

"Yes I'm sure. Just a  bird that was flying by. But I was in the bush so a flying bird didn't surprise me. Just after the bird flew by though, a frog was hopping just behind it. And after the frog, was an idle old man with a staff. Look Alfa, none of them is my business. Tell me what else I can do."

"Hmmn...Sanya...hmmn. You see, those three things you saw, those were the reasons you were there. If only God could open your inner eyes to understand fully"

The cleric explained.
He then went further to explain the consequences of what Sanya saw. The flying bird, he likened to everything people want in life; money, clothes, cars, houses, wives, husbands, children, promiscuity, alcohol, parties and the likes. Everything, both the good and bad that people desire. He said these things fly, just like that bird, they fly by hurriedly. They will all pass. Most things people want in life fly by.

The frog hopping behind on the ground; he compared to human beings. A lot of times, no matter how much or how fast people think they can run towards the 'good things' of life, the pace isn't usually more than that of the frog. The distance between the flying bird and the frog is like the distance between human beings and the 'things of life'.Those things are flying away and here we are, hopping behind to get them. Vanity.

The idle old man coming behind, was a metaphor for death. Death is very idle and it does what it likes. How far do you think the frog would go before the idle man catches it? How close to the flying bird will the frog be, before the idle man catches up with the frog.

All these 'things' will pass. Man does not need to bother his head about the pleasures of life. Instead, seek God, pray, do good, be diligent and work hard. If it pleases the almighty, let him bless you. Hold on to the good deeds and try to trust God.
Love,
Ifeoluwa.


*I can't remember the name of the exact mountain. Ibupy is a word that probably doesn't exist. lol
P.s; Sorry, for the rather long post.