Sunday, September 28, 2008

God’s time is the best

Sometimes it is hard to accept time and its numerous forces. I am very patient with things I know I really can not affect. For example, natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, erosions, volcanoes (which my economics teacher taught us was needed to check “overpopulation”, without such disasters, human beings will take over the planet earth and resources will never be enough ). Those kinds of situations, yes, I do have patience because I know I cannot do anything to change it. However, there are many other things in life that we can affect. We can affect the environment we live in, we can affect the people we choose to lead us and we can affect the kind of citizens we want to be. We can choose to be active or passive in our society. We have all these choices to make in life, yet so many people choose to live their lives dragging themselves through it as if they have no voice and no stake in it.

There are many times I have seen people shrug away decisions. For every question, their answer is the inevitable “I don’t care” or “whatever” or “wetin concern me? I am a very impatient human being, I want things to happen and I want them to happen now. That is why I am often impatient with people who drag their feet. There is nothing more irritating than hearing those sounds against the floor. It is a disease in Nigeria....the dragging of slippers across the floor, people walking as if they have all the time in the world. Everybody waiting and waiting…waiting for something to happen but nobody doing anything about it.

I guess that’s why I can’t stand people that sleep a lot too. Why are you sleeping? Is there really nothing better for you to be doing? Yes, you need it for your health, but surely, twelve hours must be enough? There's a certain "decadence" that I can't really explain…men sleeping...while others are hard at work...of course people can sleep when they want to... but think about it...there is nothing uglier than arriving at a place of employment and seeing someone scrawled fast asleep on a bench or mat.

I am so sick and tired of waiting for "God's time is the best"...that's why we are all in the same mess we were yesterday. I cannot stand this "time " thing, it just keeps going and going, it never can people just sit at the side lines and watch it continue? Please don't tell me to stop and enjoy the fresh air, flowers, etc. I do that all the time, there is no one that appreciates life and death more that I do. I am a fan.

People always say "there is a time for everything", yeah, that’s why things never change right? I believe if you want things to happen in your life, you have to make a move, you have to start something, anything.

Wake up, people!

P.S: Make I use style salute one of my brothers wey get birthday. Happy birthday oh, chop my own remain. God bless you quadruple times! Amen.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The rule of law and all that Jazz!

So, finally, this “rule of law” business has been revealed for what it is, another fraud, a fake, and a 419. Rule of law indeed! You know, I have always been suspicious of this “rule of law” business, it seemed too good be true, especially with our history of military bullies and harassment. Well, it seems I was right to be suspicious, the SSS’s decision to shut down Channels television shows that the “rule of law” is obviously just another phrase in the dictionary of our government that carries no weight. I hope we can now all stop fooling ourselves believing that our country is “democratic”. The fact that journalists were also arrested and others “invited” for interviews should make the citizens of this country very wary of our government. However, it is not only citizens of this country that are being bullied and harassed under the name of “national security”. Recently, an American journalist was arrested and ultimately deported for daring to enter the Niger Delta. It seems any news that does not paint our country in a “beautiful” light is now deemed a breach of security, treason, causing unrest, etc. Is our government that paranoid? Are things so unstable and delicate in the government? I don’t know why everybody is so nervous and jumpy. Or is it a case of “the guiltieth runneth when no man chaseth”?

Whilst I do not support the spreading of false information, yet, the use of the word “might” should not cause a country and government to go crazy with fear. I remember watching with fascination as the whole world waited for Clinton to “resign” during his trying term in office. Everybody thought he would, correspondents all over the world said he “might”.....nobody ended up getting locked up because of such speculations. In fact, our government should be thankful that our media houses are not as nosy as their western counterparts where even the President’s underwear would be subject to speculation. Does he wear boxers or white pants? T-shirts or singlets?
If only they would put as much effort into rounding up those militants as they put into the arrest of editors and journalists. Of course, journalists are easier to harass and bully, after all, their weapon of choice is nothing but a miserable pen. The government it seems is more afraid of the power of the pen than our Niger Delta militants. Speaking of our ever faithful brothers of the swamps, it seems they are determined to draw this government into a confrontation.

Funny enough, we get more news from Jomo Gbomo about what is happening down there than from our own government. This Jomo Gbomo guy seems to be very dedicated in sending out detailed information about their operations. This just goes to show that talent can be discovered even under unfortunate circumstances. Imagine if this man was in charge of information for the government, I am sure we would be informed of every last detail. What a pity! Such talent wasted on violence!

P.S:If anybody ask of me, make una tell dem say una no find me oh! Make una cast dem back from where dem dey come from! Tufiakwa! I return to sender!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A youthful ministry

Another week has gone by, we are still alive, the president is still alive and we have a brand new ministry! Yippy! I wonder what will happen with the NDDC? Perhaps they will go into the soothsayer business? Who knows? Maybe a kind of “cash and carry” kind of service….or if they get really ambitious, one would even be able to pay online and all, really high tech. After all, they all seem to be so knowledgeable in the art of magic, portions, juju, wizards, and other funny business. Anyway, I am sure they will all find something to do, no need to worry about them, they all seem to be a very creative lot!

However, before this ministry is formed, I would like to appeal to the president not to make the same mistakes like our past president has done with this issue. The main reason why we keep failing with the Niger Delta is that we keep engaging the wrong people in the matter. Unless we have become blind and deaf in this country, it is obvious that the main participants in this boiling mess are the youths. We have to engage the youths of the Niger Delta in this ministry. We have tried to engage the elders, the older men of our society and where has it led? It has led to more problems, more bribes, more disappearing funds, more hocus-pocus! Why do we keep engaging people that have shown us time and time again that they are not capable? When are we going to learn our lesson?

The youths of the Niger Delta are the ones complaining. They are the ones kidnapping, killing and causing unrest in the region. Now is the time for them to actively help in solving all the problems they have spent many days in the swamps fighting for. Now is the time for them to actively help rebuild their society. How can this be done? Is this possible, you may ask? Yes it is! Have you not heard of the child that stole from the cupboard of goodies yet when given the job to look after this cupboard, nothing went missing? The Niger Delta is this great cupboard, full of uncountable wonderful goodies and the little child that keeps stealing from this cupboard are the youths. We need to give them back responsibility and discipline.

How can we get them excited again about their futures? How can we get them away from the lure of the machine guns and easy money? How can you instill in these lost youths, the pride of hard work, discipline and commitment? I dare say, this will be the most important job for the new ministry. I think these are questions that the president needs to answer first and foremost before giving away posts in this new ministry.

The truth of the matter is, our elders have lets us down. Time and time again, they have deceived us. How long shall we let that happen? Let us not form another ministry for the greedy and pot bellied monsters. Let us form a youthful and energetic ministry, a ministry that is capable of coming up with new ideas and ready to face the challenges of a most volatile region.
This time around, we cannot afford to fail.

P.S: I no wan laugh, but una read that speech wey Kinigbe give for im hand over? Chei! Laugh be wan kill me…eya…well, as im talk, God’s time is the best. Everything must to end one day. I wish am good luck oh!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And that is how I met Wole Soyinka....

I swear it was a mistake. There was only one bed left...beside the old black gentleman with a laptop. The pool was empty but the beds were filled with red bodies, grilling themselves in the sun but there was one bed left.The man did not even notice me, he was busy staring at something on the grass..I thought he was asleep with his eyes know how old people sleep funny. Anyway, so I was adjusting my bikini, the one I bought at some strange shop where they had nothing my size except for the bikini...all brown with some coloured dots here and there...childish I know...but it looked good on me...and my ass. Anyway, I am wondering if he is asleep when he suddenly looks up and still, I don't even know that it is him. He smiles at me, like he is giving me permission to sleep on the bed beside him...and it is then he says...

"Yes, you can stop staring, it is me"

I swear I thought he had gone nuts...maybe he thought I was a long lost grand child or something, so I just smile at him and relax on my sun bed or whatever it is called. Just at that moment, when I was finally getting comfortable on my bed, I hear...

"Would you like anything else Mr. Soyinka?"

Somebody shoot me! It is Wole Soyinka, so I sit up of course, you how you've always had so many questions for certain people? So of course, I could not miss this opportunity so I sit up and say...

"Are you going to swim later on?"

He looks at me like the lost grand daughter and says "No,I am not"

"Oh, Of course not...I understand...your hair"

"My hair?"

"Yes, I understand it must be such hard work taking care of your must always be so careful...seeing that its your trade know there's a hair style called "wole soyinka"? okay, I am not sure if there is, but I call anybody who has an afro "wole soyinka". I used to call a friend of mine that but then I realised her afro was not really like was more like Kramer' I called her "Kramer". Anyway, but most artists want your kind of Afro...I have a friend...he looks terrible, I can't imagine why he won't cut the damn hair...he looks like a vagabond...a delinquent...he just looks terrible...and he won't cut his hair. He says he is growing his hair....he wants it to be like "wole soyinka". Imagine how many parents all over the world are going crazy over this hair business...anyway, that's not your what are you writing? Your next sequel?"

"Sequel to what?"

"Oh you know...that book, You must set forth at dawn your memoir?

"Have you read it?"

"I am sad to say I have not...I don't know, I have a peculiar’s like Chimanda's novel...Half of a yellow sun...I got it, free from a friend, did not pay a dime, guess how long it sat on my shelf? Over six months! Imagine! And it’s not like when I read it, I did not like it, no sir! quite the opposite. I did enjoy it...but I don't know...certain books...the sheer size of it...I am an impatient person, I read a book in a day...I don't have time for reading the same book two days in a row...or you know some people take weeks? even months? I could never do that...but you see, the problem is there are too many books to read...I don't want one book holding me back from reading others you know...not enough time in the world...but I will get around to reading’s just why read only one book when you can read two or even three...but I will read it."

"So how long has my book been sitting on your shelf?"

"Oh, over a year now"

He goes back to staring at the grass and I look at him closely...his skin still looks good, not so much pigmentation...I wonder if he noticed my own skin...young...and smooth...if he worries about his skin at all...

"So do you use sun screen?"

"No, I don't"

"So how do you maintain it?"


"Your hair. I bet you use those nice American products...something that ends with a "sheen" but not like our kessingsheen...something more must be hard though...for the other hair on your body...imagine just the hair on your head being famous...that must be hard for the rest"

"Well, it was nice to meet you...have fun swimming"

"Oh, it was nice to meet you too. I’ll try to read your soon as possible"

And that is how I met Wole Soyinka.

Note: I will take it for a given that we all know that there is a Wole Soyinka in the world and that he did write a book called You Must Set Forth At Dawn, however the character in this story is a complete fiction. I have never met Wole Soyinka or any other person who bears that name.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Charity begins at home

My dear readers, I have figured it out! I have finally figured out why our country is in such a mess. Before I disclose this new found secret, I‘d like to ask, how many of you have come home from work only to find your home in disarray? Things here and there, dirty plates in the kitchen, your children running amok in dirty clothes, everything upside down. Do you remember how you felt then? Was it a feeling of annoyance, irritation, frustration, anger? (all which leads to high blood pressure of course).Now, compare that feeling to when you came home and your house was clean, all the plates washed and dried in the kitchen, your children looking clean and smart, like little angels, everything in its place. How did you feel then? I am sure you felt happy or satisfied or even grateful. It felt good to be home, right?

Now, all you have to do is imagine that Nigeria is this home you have to see every single day. The roads are full of pot holes, over flowing gutters everywhere, mountains of rubbish by the road sides (Aba, take note), the unbearable noise from the generators…even I am already frustrated just writing all this. You see, my dear people, many problems we are facing today would be solved if only we could keep this country clean. I know many people would think that this is not important at all, but once again, I ask, have you ever been able to cook food in a dirty pot?

There is nothing that can be done properly in a messy environment and that is what Nigeria is, very messy indeed. How do we even think we can sort out the issue of corruption when we cannot tackle a simple matter (which should be common sense, by the way) like environmental sanitation? The reason Nigeria is in the mess it is in, is because we think we can solve the big issues without sorting first, the obvious ones. It is obvious that this country is dirty and it is obvious that we all need to do our part in cleaning up this mess we are all in. Lets us start with the little things and this leads me to the challenge I have for my dear readers this week.

1.Always carry a small “nylon” or “paper bag” in your bag (for the men, you can have it in your briefcase, for those that do not have either; I guess you’ll just have to carry it like that). Put all remnants of your snacks in it instead of throwing out the window. Banana peels, orange peels, pure water sachets, mango seeds, gala wrappings, i.e., anything that is considered as refuse. Throw this bag in the nearest refuse bin at home or at your office. Please do not leave it by the roadsides.

2.Implore your employers to make sure that all offices have refuse bins. Even the rubber ones will do.

3.Talk to your neighbors about your environment. What can you all do collectively to make your street cleaner? I am sure there are many people that would willingly contribute something, in cash or kind to have a cleaner street.

4.For those that have children, encourage them to use the refuse bin at home and perhaps even get them to pick up papers when they see them in public places.

5.When you see someone else polluting the environment, make sure you bring his /her attention to it.

Are these small things too much for us to do? Before we begin to reach for the big goals, perhaps we can all start with the small things that we, as citizens ought to do. Nigeria is our home, let’s keep it clean.