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Monday, 28 April 2014

WHO NO GO, NO KNOW. WHO NO KNOW, NO GO

WHO NO GO, NO KNOW. WHO NO KNOW, NO GO 

Sometime in 2009, I think, (because we had just moved into IKOYI) I posted a status message that talked about how it was becoming increasingly important to do a pre employment medical test on all my domestic staff. I even recommended it to many people. Especially to those who had children, and the children and would be in constant contact with these domestic staff.

The people who cry more than the bereaved jumped on me. It is the abuse of the fundamental right of the domestic staff.  One person even offered free legal services to the domestic staff. And boasted he or she, ( DONT remember if male or female) will sue me for all I got. Adding that because it want to give someone a job, DOESNT permit me to dehumanize the person.

A lady, socialite, who I often ran into at events, also joined them. (Though I must say, a lot more agreed with me.) the said lady, met me at a diagnostic center on Kofo Abayomi, on 2012, 3 years after we had had that test or no test argument. She was there to test her new HOUSEGIRL!!! You Kuku know me. I took my pound of flesh back. Gleefully too. Oh no. It's not like that. Between then (2009) and now (2012) she had had a baby and it was necessary to protect the child. You know you can't be too careful.

Really?!! Seriously? 

That was another time that I realize how fake many people are on social network. They come on these platforms, "activist" whatever they like and when the reality hits them in the face, they capitulate to the truth. 

The first time, I realized the two faced nature of people, was also interesting. Many years ago, I also talked about a lady who sent me an inbox message of how she got pregnant for a married man. And wanted me to post the "dilemma" on my status to let her have different opinion on how to go about it. One lady, carried the matter on her head. Called her home breaker, prostitute, sinner, gold digger... I know you already guessed it... The same lady, who called the lady who I inboxed me names,... got pregnant for a married Senator. And she was trying to tell me, "Ali, you won't understand. This one is different."

All of these things I am saying, is because of these girls that were kidnapped. When all these killings were going on in different parts of North East, my uncle withdrew his only son from North Central, to a school in the south. I posted it, and some dimwits had the effrontery to call me divisive. That my tweets were anti GEJ and were not nationalistic. Nationalistic my foot!!! How many parents in Lagos, will not stop their kids from going to school, if they hear there is a riot? Not BOKO Haram o! Just riot. And some people will open their stinking mouth to say, people should not take their kids from some places they think will be exposing their kids to danger of being killed or kidnapped. After federal govt denounce the act, e-never finish? You will be one child less. And if that is all you have...

Now some of those same people are now campaigning for the Government to do something to secure the releAse of the abducted girls. LOBATAN. I had a chat with one of them. I asked her, SHEBI you called me names, back then in February when I tweeted that people should not send their kids to schools in the north, What has changed?

"This is different", she said. 

Haven't I heard that before? Yes I have. Bet some of you have too. This is different. What is different? The children need to be protected. All these kids that are being killed, I hope none of them carried the potential to find the cure for AIDS. Because, that would be it!

But just in case you missed my point, I will state it again. DONT LET YOUR WARDS GO TO SCHOOLS ON THE NORTH, UNTIL YOU ARE SURE THEY ARE SAFE OR CAN BE PROTECTED IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.


PERIOD!!!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

VALUE HAS LOST ITS VALUE

PLS READ THIS ENCOUNTER WITH A LADY THAT CONVINCED ME THAT WE HAVE LOST OUR VALUES IN EDUCATION AND THE THINGS THAT DEFINE US... 

2 weeks ago I was at an event when a lady came in and soon as she was introduced as DR. Yemi, I initially thought she was a medical doctor. Turned out she was (is) not a medical doctor. She is an Academic Doctor. Not honorary. She earned this one. And At the age of 27, she was now back home to work as consultant in a South West state government economic project. We got talking and she later told me she was a friend of mine on Twitter, but DOESNT comment or retweet. She only reads my thoughts

About 20 minutes later, she and I were the only ones that had an engaging conversation going. Once in a while the celebrant jumped into our conversation and headed off again to mingle with other guests. We were actually talking of how people hardly consider education as a means of making it in life, When a lady with all the assets, that God had given her, in the right places, nearly too much sef, stepped in. All eyes moved to her. I noticed many guys were taking pictures with her. She must have more than the beauty to have all these men dancing around her. She was in demand

Anyhow, our conversation continued and I drew DR. Yemi's attention to the fact that that she had a PHD did not even attract the men. But see how the guys are all over the "Yallo babe". That was when she hit me with it. She pulled up a photo from Linda Ikeji's Blog, from her phone and I recognized it as the picture of my ties and belts. Do you know how many comments this generated? She asked me. I didn't read the story. (I had heard the Instagram had been lifted). Well, she continued, many commentators thought it showed how uneducated, timid, crude, classless and unexpected of you, posting that picture. A few saw your point and thought posting it did not define you as a person. It just showed you had taste and had love for ties. Just like some people collect cars, wrist watches, shoes...

She then connected all of this by showing me a picture of me standing in my library. So I asked, EHEN? What's the library got to do with the ties and belt? 

That's where we lost it. She said, as a matter of fact. Before now, a picture of a library would have made some people very proud of how you love reading. They would have given you more props for having that kind of library and challenged themselves to own one just like that. But no... It's the ties and belts that they decided had defined you. It was posting the wardrobe that showed you had a small mind. The wardrobe eroded the respect some had for you. But on the contrary, if five hip hop artiste posed with a large ice bucket filled with 8 bottles of champagne and Rosè, that's the life.... But the picture of a library is nothing. In fact it is not a show off, (the library) the show off is the ties and belts. 

So to bring what just happened between the other lady and I, (I already got the gist but she continued) I am your library, she said touching her chest. She is your collection of ties and belts. Many people will get attracted to that. In fact that is why your ties and belts was a blog-gable item. As you have seen since you posted the library, not many people have commented on how it shows you are well read, educated, great man... No blogging of such ordinarily and trend-less picture of books. Boobs yes. Books, naaaaa! But posting a picture of the ties and belts was enough to draw their attention.....

That's all. Back to me.

That's the society that we live in. Today as I saw the people who turned out for the OUT ON A LIMB WALK... it hit me again. Not much noise has been made about it. Not many celebrities came out to support it. But if Kate Henshaw and I had promoted a party, many would have taken offense that we did not invite them. My point is we have misplaced our priorities and devalued the things that should have had value, and placed value on things that had no need being valued .

Until we begin to reposition our priorities and not even get bitter at other people's successes, we will continue to be the way we are.

And while I will say thank you to DR YEMI, I must apologies because I know I must have missed out on some of the things you talked about. Especially when you said, "its people with deep complex that feel threatened by what other people have, because they have allowed themselves to believe that a collection of what someone else has (ties and belts) can be of more value than a well stocked library. 


Hmmmm... Lesson learnt!


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

SHEPOCRITE

The Holy Book says let your NO be NO and your YES, YES. It is the bid to modify the NOs and the YESes that we end up complicating matters. Then NO becomes that annoying “maybe not” and YES takes on the character of “well maybe”. In this mode, no matter who you are, you are in the lying zone.

Just so I don’t lose you… I will explain what I am rambling about. If you have related, or even observed from a distance, some of the ladies of our time, they are in the habit of saying one thing and meaning another. They may not even say it but expect you to figure out what they did not say. As if men have become mind readers overnight! One of such annoying thing is when you as a gentleman, if you ask me it is still a very tough thing to be in the current clime, ask a lady “if” she wants a drink and she says no but would want a sip from your Chapman. Mbanu! You said no, abi? What suddenly led to your change of mind?

What? Why? How?

Why do ladies not inform us when they changed their minds? Especially, when the impression given, the last time we checked, is still sitting pretty in our heads. How do we now marry the last impression with this new position? These position swings, which are related to mood swings, are even more common amongst the women and their kind, than with the opposite sex.

Take for instance, Bukky is a jeweler, you know now, that Dubai kind of jeweler that goes to the UAE, buys at X and sells at XXXX. So on one of those trips, she runs into a Nigerian guy, who has done well in Dubai and cruised around in an Infiniti QX 56. She fell in love with the guy and the jeep. Or maybe in love with the jeep (any SUV is jeep in Nigeria take it or leave it) and then the guy… she sha fell in love… en o!  Oh!

Upon return, Bukky bombarded her friend Kemi with the romantic stories of how she fallen in love with this guy in Dubai and a jeep, called Infiniti QX 56. It had style, class, strength, comfort, functionality and presence. It was hard to tell whether she was describing the guy or the Infiniti. Kemi hissed. What kind of useless jeep is that? Its people who want to show off that drive it. The thing is even shapeless, too big and has no feminine qualities. Kemi even swore if a man toasting her owns one, he should forget it. Being a trusted friend, Bukky opted for the more “feminine” FX 45.

Two months later, guess who was driving QX 56 with special number plate “KEMI”? Upon all the bad mouth you had for this car? How can you?  You even got a personalized plate. Em… You know… blah blah blah.

The second story is of ladies who yab other ladies’ boyfriends. I can never go out with a married man… I will never be seen with a younger boyfriend... Date someone over 60? Lai lai! What about ladies who deny a guy when a friend asks if she is dating him. Me? That fake guy? Am I mad? He is not in my class… He cannot speak good English… Unknown to them the lady is asking because the guy had asked her out and she had said no, believing that he already was dating her friend or someone she knows. Now that she had denied and even swore. If our “askor” lady goes ahead to date the fake guy, you will not hear the end of the boyfriend snatching.

Could it be a case of counting your eggs before they are hatched?

Ordinarily, the word hypocrisy has no gender affiliations but if you have followed my ramblings so far, you would agree by now that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. So, if there is a he-goat, there must be a she-goat.
Do you know a Shepocrite? 

Friday, 20 July 2012

LOVE KO... LOFF NI!!!

I wanna take a little time and review a song that brings love under scrutiny and gives anyone who wants to be sincere, some perspective on the phenomenon called love. Love as we now know it is a foreign import. The way love is practised in Africa has changed greatly. Thanks to the different influences that have "helped" to beat it out or into shape depending on what you define love to be. Even the Oyibos that we burrowed all the love nwantiti from, confess they equally are at a loss as to what love truly is.

Just so you don't bother yourself with trying to see my point, I will explain.

Did you know that some people in the Western world, have ended a marriage of 2 months or less because their partners snored? And they could not take it anymore. Doesn't that make you want to ask if they did not spend nights together before they got married? And even if they did not, isn't the marriage a reason to tolerate the midnight orchestra? And is a snore not too small a reason to pack it in? Do they know what Nigerians tolerate? Snore? Pulliiiiiiiiiizzzzzzzzz!

I can just imagine the case coming up in a court. Let's say the Judge instructs the clerk to call the next case and it is the case of Adekoya vs Adekoya. The wife is seeking divorce on no other grounds but that the husband snores. If its Justice Vivor, I bet he will smile, lean back and ask the wife seeking that the marriage be set aside...

JUSTICE VIVOR: "Seriously? You are in my court to ask for your marriage to be dissolved because your husband snores?"

WIFE: "Yes my Lord."

JUSTICE VIVOR: "Are you ok?"

WIFE'S COUNSEL: "Me Lord, my client has suffered so many sleepless nights...?"

JUSTICE VIVOR: "This case has been thrown out for gross waste of time. Next matter!"

How on earth do some people come up with the crazy reasons we are hearing as cause for filling for divorce? Sometime back, a lady, who had been married for only 6 months, moved out of her matrimonial home because one of her husband's ex girlfriends called to ask how he was doing. He did not know she had moved to the UK(who knows, maybe to cool of and let the marriage thing blow over)so he picked the call, found out who it was and exchanged greetings. How is your wife? How is marriage? Work? Friends? Trying to be polite, he said he was fine and that he appreciated the call. And for him, it was an unexpected call since she was the semi finalist. Soon as he hung up, wifey asked who it was and he told her. She got up from his lap and went upstairs. All his explanations came to nought. 2 days later, she moved out.

Guess what? They both have moved on. If our parents moved out like that would some of us have been born? Our parents and even friends these days, have issues that are greater that what some of us count as irreconcilable differences.

Let me further shock you, an AUNTY told a niece not to take any crap from any man. Don't let them use you as foot mat. Stand your ground. Speak up. Don't be intimidated. And she did just that. Spoke up. Stood her ground. Was bold and did not take crap. She moved out of her 1 year old marriage. And moved on. The guy begged for 1 year and moved on. Guy now has 3 kids with his new wife. THIS IS NOT TO SAY LADIES SHOULD TAKE CRAP BUT WHEN THE REASON FOR BREAKING IT UP IS SOMETHING LIKE "BECAUSE HE DOESN'T DROP THE TOILET SEAT"... there is a problem.

I was shocked the other day that a man said he was no longer interested in a marriage because his wife insulted his elder sister. Much as I find that unacceptable, it is not enough grounds to say, shikena! I have seen wives who got into a physical fights with their sisters in law and the wive thoroughly beat and nearly drained the blood that bound the husbands to their sisters out of their body. Heavens did not fall. But it nearly did. But it didn't.

So before I move on with the matter at hand, let me share the lyrics of Foreigner's song with you.

Foreigner I Want To Know What Love Is Lyrics

Songwriters: PARKS, ALEX / TZUKE, JUDIE / KEARNS, GRAHAM PATRICK

I gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I'm older
Aaaah woah-ah-aah

Now this mountain I must climb
Feels like a world upon my shoulders
And through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
Can't stop now, I've traveled so far
To change this lonely life

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
Aaaah woah-oh-ooh

I'm gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me, oooh ooh-ooh ooh-ooh oooh
I've got nowhere left to hide
It looks like love has finally found me

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
I can't stop now, I've traveled so far
To change this lonely life

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
And I wanna feel, I want to feel what love is
And I know, I know you can show me

Let's talk about love
(I wanna know what love is) the love that you feel inside
(I want you to show me) I'm feeling so much love
(I wanna feel what love is) no, you just cannot hide
(I know you can show me) yeah, woah-oh-ooh
I wanna know what love is, let's talk about love
(I want you to show me) I wanna feel it too
(I wanna feel what love is) I wanna feel it too
And I know, and I know, I know you can show me
Show me what is real, woah (woah), yeah I know
(I wanna know what love is) hey I wanna know what love
(I want you to show me), I wanna know, I wanna know, want know
(I wanna feel what love is), hey I wanna feel, love
I know you can show me, yeah

What is the role of love in all of the things going on in our relationships these days? Why has love not been able to hold marriages together anymore? Why are people falling in love but many can't even feel the love they so desire?

Guess what? LOVE WAS NOT THE ANSWER. We all got fooled. I have talked with so many people, people who have been married for much longer than I have been alive. And they have been kind enough to share with me that it's the combination of a lot of things that make up love. That back then they liked a person and gradually they found out that all the things the person did for them was because

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

DEAR GOD,...

God Almighty
C/o Jesus Christ
Heaven
Above.

Dear God,

RE: MATTERS ARISING

MINGWE... In capital letters. Ikira for you... Heeyyyy... heyyyy.. Heeyyyy... Hey!!!!

It's me your son, Atuyonta Alleluya Akporobomemerere, I also go by the name Ali Baba. That's my guy name. I have had some matters that have been pressing hard on my heart. So I thought to let you know.

I hope this letter meets you in perfect condition. If so, doxology. I know you are ok, just checking noni. How is everyone in heaven? Jesus, Holy Spirit, Holy Mary, Angel Gabriel, Saints Peter, Paul and Micheal, ehen Ajayi Crowther nko? Shay dada ni everybodi? A dupe.

First of all, God, I take God beg you... Do something about Nigeria naaaa. Shuo! Don't leave us in the hands of this politicians o! Some of them are soooo... See me telling you. You know na. They have finished us in this country o! The good people SEF are not many again. Just when we have one good person that gives us hope ad we think you will just take him. We offend you ni? God ABEG na... Forgive and forget. You kukuma know us. Just tamper justice with mercy. Ok if you want to take anybody, because of our sins, why don't you just take from those who we chose to represent us at the National Assembly. How you see am? It's not like I am reminding you o! Before you now tell them to write it down in the book of life. I am just making small talk with you oooo

Anyway,God, between you and I, who killed Dele Giwa? Tell me. Because I know you know. Ok let me make it easy for you. Who sent people to kill him? What of Bola Ige? Funsho Williams? Chineke, lemme tell you something don't you think enough is enough? Ok look now, BOKO Haram is killing people anyhow and making life unliveable in the north. Yet they claim it's you that they are fighting for. The senseless killing in your name has gotten out of hand. What can I say. Today, 30 people died. Tomorrow it would be 60 in another place. 'Next tomorrow' now it will be 43 people. And all we hear is 'we condemn this' and 'we are saddened by this shocking development and atrocities'... God ABEG naaa.

On a non related matter, God how do you monitor the tithe that we pay in church? I know it doesn't get to you. But the amount sometimes can be tempting for the pastor and the people who work in church and help in collecting the offering.

On a lighter note, Abasi, mbog, what football club do you support? It's important I know now, before the season starts so that when we, ARSENAL FC, play against your team we know who to pray to. I know you can influence the match. But if there is anything we can do to help you as our guy, it's to go easy on your club... Before you call it blasphemy. Because the beating we will be dishing out this season will be painful on all levels. Whether the devil is red, blue, orange green or colour bar... Them go hear wen!

Talking of sports, God please protect all the athletes going for the London Games. With all these many flights going into London. Help us win one or two gold medals. That's all we ask. Oh yes, God while at it, do something about Sepp Blatter or is bladder gon SEF. And also help our people to develop our grassroot sports. All those boys wasting their talents in pursuit of pipeline dough... Grant them a change of heart. Not amnesty.

God is it possible to remove lust from the sub-section of sin? Not because of anything, but you gave us eyes to see, and you may think I am trying to flatter you, but these girls are beautiful. Not for any bad reason o... Just admiring them. Can you? Or should I go through Jesus Christ? I have a feeling that some prayers we send to you through him... He will just look at the prayer and yimu. Because I strongly believe that if he brings some kind prayer request to you, you will ask him "what is that supposed to mean?" I am that I am, don't be offended o, why don't you just finish Devil ones and for all? If we're you that's what I will do. End of discussion!!!!

One more thing, God, and be honest, this is very important for all of us, your sons who like to have meat on our bones... Is it wrong to watch SERENA Williams playing tennis? I'm asking on be half of a lot of guys... And I am sure you already know that that oyinbo lady that presents a programme called Ellen on DStv also likes what we like. EHEN back to my question? Is it a sin? It's not ABI? Oho! I told them its not a sin and some were calling us perverts. God have you seen how the back of that... Ok sorry. I got carried away. But youse of know what you created naaaa. Sorry sir... where is Holy Mary when you need her? Our Father, did you know, some women actually like what we like? Was that part of your plan?... Oho! I thought so too. It's unfair.

Anyway, hope those over zealous angels didn't write that last mistake down o.

Ehen, as I was saying Kabio'osi, why dont you take them, those bad ones like you took that one that ate apple in the villa? Em... Em... Em.. What his name again ooooo... That one that wears dark glasses at night... Ennn oooo! Yes that one. I know he is not there with you. But one can not be too sure with that SON of yours that came to die for our sins. He fit don go forgive am now. Just like he did that thifithifi jankoriko that was crucified with him. What am I saying sef? You know him better that me sef. But if he did, overrule him o! Don't let him get away with this one. He can't be entering plea bargain with people as if he is EFCC. Please talk to him in your own way. Dont make it look like I suggested it o. See me telling you what to do. I am just pushing my luck sha... Shebi it's you that said ask and it shall be given unto the asker?

Before I come and go and forget, Osonobua, where is Fela? Because I know he did some things that may not have augured well with your laid down Christian principles, like when you said "Thou shall not weed"... Not that you said it hoha like that but our pastors said you said that that vegetable smoking thing is not good. So I want to ask again, where is he? Is he born again? What is the situation report from the other side? Or is he with you? You know we don't get gist from your side like that. Except we go to Camp and Your son Adeboye will just stop in the middle of telling us about you and say you told him something. So what is the Koko?

By the way, God do you know if you use all these your men of God to send message to us, some of the messages don't get to us like you sent it. I know you know what I am talking about, but then again, what can I say, you said she should not speak ill of your annoited and do them no harm... But Oritse, did you call some of this people we see around or did they call themselves? I am not doing them any harm now, just you and me, talk true, you call them? Because, some of them are beginning to look like they called themselves o. I will leave you to think about it. Some sef, are worse than... No need to even say it, shebi it's you, you already know where I am going even before I started writing this letter.

Can you imagine? I nearly forgot to ask about the flooding in Lagos State. Are you not taking the title a city of aquatic splendour a bit too far? Or is Pastor Enoch Adeboye or Pastor Kumuyi building an ark somewhere secretly? Is is possible to channel this water to those dry places in Sudan and Somalia? I hope I have not crossed my boundary? Ok scratch that. I was just asking based on the promise that you said you will not destroy the earth again using water. Because when these rains start, even the rainbow doesnt give the people affected any assurance o!

On a serious note, Allah, things rough die! The only thing that seems to be in season now is corruption. That's the only business booming. Even opportunity now send a text. And with the way the networks are thesedays, the opportunity will pass sef because the networks are upgrading, before the text will deliver. NEPA is doing their own on one side. God you sometimes make me feel like you are selective in the prayers you answer. Because if not, "all the whole" people who have looted monies meant for developing this country, would have all died! I know you are doing your best, but there are still many of them around.

See, Eledumare, let me tell you something, you can then use your mind, don't be sending Your son and his mother to handle the issues in Nigeria... Send the other guy, the one you said we should not sin against, EHEN oooo. Send him. Let him just come and handle these looting thieving and corrupt politicians once and for all. You know the guy I am talking about abi? Better know because I am not ready to call his name o. I heard he was the one going from house to house killing all the first borns in Egypt when they refused to let your people go.

El-Shaddai, I have a strange feeling that you and your Angels are always tuned to the Earth Channel of BIG BROTHER... Just watching all of us make a fool of ourselves. I bet that Angel Gabriel bends over laughing just watching the things you all already knew, unfold themselves to us. Bet you saw Chris OKOTIE's stuff coming... And you no talk? I suspect you. In fact, I suspect you and Jesus. God, you will notice I have always avoided the third part of the Trinity... Yes it's a wise thing to do. Ehennnnnnn. Did you guys see Goldie's eviction before the eviction? What am I asking SEF? Of course you guys saw it. How come you didn't inform TB Joshua to warn her? Wait o! God did you even recognise her? You know the hair can change a person. Like when Wayne Rooney tried to grow hair where you already said "NO HAIR! NO HAIR! NO HAIR!

Arugbo'ojo, wait o, it's not like I am teaching you your job o, but don't you think, you have let people get away with too many things? Not like my own things I get away with o! You know I have begged and you have said old things are passed away. I am talking of all those terrible sinners. Those kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists, Adam and Steve, bad belle people, murderers, pedophile, corrupt politicians, people who don't give me shows... All them wicked people... What are you waiting for naaa? God if I were you en! Their own don finish. Did you hear of someone who collected $620,000 to cover the truth? Is a lie that expensive thesedays? Did he even pay tithe out of the money?

By the way, God, thank you for everything you have done for me. House, career, beautiful wife, lovely children, my family and friends, creativity, safety in the air, bet you heard about how many people died over a month ago... Thank you for journey mercies. Thank you for life and for provision. Bless all you have used to bless me. Let their joy be full. Those looking onto for the fruit of the womb, father bless them with plenty children. I know you promised me all will be well. And I am banking on your promise. Thank you thank you thank you. You rock!!!! But don't forget the things I asked for in prayers always. Let them come to pass. I don't have to mention them again. Besides I think some people are eavesdropping on our conversation.

I have plenty questions to ask you but I know you are busy with Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Israel. But I will ask them anyway. Anyway you find time, just read them.

Jehovah, you are my all and all. And on you only I will for ever depend.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

GUESTS LIST.

No beating around the bush. Straight to the point.

Anyone who grabs hold of a guests list in Nigeria can tell a lot from the list. The class of people, the venue, the food and drinks that would be served there, the kind of circles the host can be found in or wants to be associated with, what kind of party to expect and if the event would be a must attend. Hustlers are always spot on with this type of thing. They will tell you who, what, when, where, why, how and which Of the event. No lele.

Nigerians were not called the happiest people for nothing. We know how to party. And we party hard!!! No matter the occasion, we are ready. Be it a burial or naming. In other words, whether the person is incoming or outgoing... We party. I have even heard of where some guy who was a Deputy Managing Director in a bank, got home to meet his house all done up and redecorated with new furniture and a new coat of paint, just as he returned from depositing the body at the morgue. He was about protesting, but he was cut short by his friends who told him to stop protesting. "Don't say the one that will make God vex for you. Do you know if this is his way of saying 'Its your time to shine?'"

What elements are necessary for a party to be held? Like I said, anything can occasion a celebration. Birthdays, retirement, appointment, marriage anniversary, promotion, graduation, Phd in an unstudied course, reunion, conferment with a Chieftaincy title... The position you hold at the time of the celebration determines the weight of the party and the guests list. If you just got into an office,... ok for clearer understanding, say the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, you will be amazed at how many friends you have. Friends who may not as much as have sent you a text message, not call o! just a text when you celebrated the year before the appointment. A call would even be a miracle. They pop up from no where.

In some cases kpakpa, the people who disappeared all these while when you had no appointment begin to blame you for losing their numbers or for not staying in touch. The one I like to hear is... "Ol boy, where you go hide? I lost all my phone contacts and I have been trying to reach you." "Did you change numbers?" Or the attack is the best form of defence method... "Did you delete me from your phone or blocked me? Everytime I try calling my call never goes through. I just said ok oh! One of these days I go see you face to face!" Some employ the service of a decoy who contacts you and asks if you and Mr So so and so are quarrelling. Me? Why? "He said he has tried reaching you and you always don't pick his calls. He even said he sent a text and you did not even bother to reply"... These decoys wet the ground for that run away friend whose call you never got when you became irrelevant 4 years ago. But now..

Guess what? Your new appointment is the reason for the total recall and renewed familiarity. They are all a bunch of fair weather friends. Wonsheboti tan... Ona ti OLUWA gbegba owa je ona iyannu... Ewooooo etun wo!

In other words, people who wrote you off their own guests list, always find excuses for what took you off their list. Shift the blame to look good is their return to favour plan. But some people who have been abandoned see beyond all that crap. Especially these days that the pictures of all who attended any event get splashed in weekly papers, Ovation and several other Ovation wannabes. I have overheard the current SGF say the last time a particular business man called him was when he was Senate President. All of a sudden, the guy was now trying to use attack as the best form of defence. That he thought SGF was quarrelling with him.

Some people take it for granted that they are a permanent fixture and feature on you guests list. Fafafaaaaa foul! If your friendship was not strong in the first place absence from or failure to nurture the friend status just simply means our friendship has run out of validity period. Don't pretend you still have connection. Visit a friendship centre or else... You are so off the guests list. Coming around and hailing me in 2012 when the last time I smelled your stinking breath was 2001. If you were a TOKUNBO car you would have had to be smuggled into my guests list.

Friends? There are some friends that are worse than enemies. They may mean well. But be rest assure you may fall into that well. These same friends form the main people on the guests list of every event in Nigeria. That is if they, the friends, are not the ones who draw up the list in the first place. They usually come with the tag, COMMITTEE OF FRIENDS! This committees have been know to remove names of people from a list. People who they unanimously agree do not qualify to be invited. Leaving the chief host with a host of people to apologise to. Sometimes, by the time the chief host gets around to sending an invite, the excluded friend may feel too slighted to attend.

Which brings me to the next question. Who makes the guests list and how are those on the list selected?

Plainly and simply put, people who add value. However, some are invited for that "just so you know I am still standing" feel. Especially when people wrote you off and you come back bigger and badder. You invite them to come see that "them no reach". In fact, you make sure you mention it during the vote of thanks. Or even get KSA to add it to the praise singing.

Sorry, I had to go there.

The guests list is drawn up from family and friends, business associates, Spouse's friends, old school mates, captains of industry, colleagues at present and past places of work, political affiliations, acquaintances, in-laws, neighbours and so on and so forth. Sometimes, ironically though, the guests list might just include one or two of those the host would not even want at his/her funeral. When the event is under the direct supervision of Madam, chances are some of Oga's friends who madam suspect to be the reason for those late night Oga keeps, may be left out of the guests list BY MISTAKE. Woe betide the person who reminds Oga such persons were mistakenly left out. That person's name gets on a list madam updates every now and then (called black book by some) for future references.

Tit for tat is another yardstick used by Nigerians for knocking out a guests list. This happens when an event host decides to get a pound of flesh back. "What is Yetunde's name and her husband's doing on this list?"... I thought we should extend them an olive... "extend them a bottle of olive oil all you can, they can take it and rub it where the sun don't shine for all I care!!" But Yetunde is a nice woman... "What part of her informed that opinion in your head? Nice my foot! Let them read about it just like we saw theirs in the magazine. I no send!" Now it is payback time.

Bet you already know contractors, hustlers and political apologists are the greatest prostitutes when it comes to drawing up a guests list. To the ordinary eye, the list may appear to be a mix of all kinds of strange bed fellows. But to the people who put that list together, it's all part of a greater puzzle, when properly managed, could lead to a multi billion naira contract, a back to life appointment or even ticket to a government house. A good guests list can sometimes do more than a HAVARD degree. Trust me, I know.

Event planners, (and there are many of them who will corroborate this fact)... Will tell you that the guests list is also a major factor in the choice of the kinds of drinks, food, venue, band and MC contracted for the event. There are some people on certain lists who take nothing but Crystal. Some will only take something if that something is Blue Label JOHNNY WALKER. It is non negotiable. In fact, often, some guests will say never mind, I will bring my own cooler.

There are no guests list that do not have a ghost list. Some people will be invited specially, that can never be on the list especially if madam is privy to the final list. These are the ghost workers that the Oga may not want to have to justify their names being on the list. They just show up at the event in the chosen colours and life is good. I also have it on good authority that, some of such people dont need invites. Oga's P.A. Or a designated usher is assigned to see to it that they are well taken care of. Interestingly, it's only in Nigeria, that a guest will receive an invitation, not confirm receipt or attendance, yet show up at the event... With a gang of 3 more guests, even when the card says CARD ADMITS ONE.

This piece will be incomplete if I fail to mention the friends of people on the guests list who are not on the guests list but generally conclude it was an error of omission, the invite got lost in transit, could have been been stolen, or maybe the host probably thought it had been sent, and show up at the vent anyway! Come and bounce the man who has blended into the colours of the Aso Ebi and is strolling in, hand in hand with Otunba Sunbomi Balogun and Oba Otudeko... Come and bounce your father na!

In fact, some names, may not make the guests list, when they show up at the event, a white lie is all that you see jumping out of the mout of the host. "Oh, sorry chief, we sent it." "Excellency, we heard you would not be in town" "We thought you will not have time to attend."

Some people never fail to amaze me. Nearly 4 years ago, my wife left her bank job. The number of hello ma', just said to call and say hi reduced. Even birthday calls, text and visits reduced to a single or low double digits. Now that it looks like things are not like they thought the things would be permanently and that she is now vindicated and back on the block, I have started receiving calls and strange hellos from people who I last spoke to 3 years ago.

I just feel like asking some of them, where is your guests list for the past nearly 4 years, DEAR FRIEND?

MSCHEEEEW!!!!!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

OIL STAND!!!!!!

It was sometime in 1995, that it first hit me that we, as Nigerians, had lost our educational values and expectedly, our future. I had observed it and tried to put it in perspectives, but the more I tried, the clearer it became: THAT WE LOST OR FUTURE FROM THE WORD SCHOOL. I encountered people who at the time were never do wells and had no plans to. Legitimately, that is. They had chosen the path and are going to hell with it.

If you allow me a few paragraphs( ok, truth be told, many paragraphs) you may see my point.

In the beginning, our people were basically farmers. Farmers in what ever way you defined it. We planted. We harvested. Sold the produce. Planted more. Harvested more. Sold more... Then came religion and along side it education. Like a wise writer once said the white men came with a bible in their hand and we had the land. The white men now told us to close our eyes for prayers. When the prayer was over and we had said AMEN!... we opened our eyes, they had the land and we had the bible. This parable goes beyond the exchange of bible and land. It's a matter of lost birthright. It's a matter of lost values and misplaced priorities.

Stay with me on this. I'm getting somewhere.

In those days before the bible for land exchange, the people of worth, were the hard working lot. The hunter, the farmer, palmwine tapper, the blacksmith, the herberlist, the towncrier, the warriors, the palace jester/the storyteller, the trader,... These and many more were the professionals at the time. They knew their jobs. Their jobs defined them. Some even became known and called by the work of their hands. They were dignified professionals in their chosen careers. In fact, people offered them their sons to train as understudy or apprentice if you may, just so that the professional knowledge can be passed on to their families as well.

Expectedly too, some families will gave their daughters' hand in marriage to such professionals because of the respect he commanded and his industry. This to the family giving the daughter is an investment in that family, tapping into the anointing if you may and extending their network of influence. After all, the children from the loins of the professionals will become professionals too.

These were the simple dynamics of economics, social structure, security, prosperity, integrity and human relations at the time. They were the basis upon which a lot of decisions were taken. People's worth were rated on the contributions you made on the community as a whole. The professional was considered a more important person to the community based on the dependence on the services he rendered. In fact, these were plus or minus enough reasons to go war.

Now, throw in religion and education in all that mix. Aha!

This man with a bible, comes into the picture and is now telling us 'blessed are the poor', 'prayer is the key' 'one man one wife' 'forgive' 'thou shall not...' there is no need to go into the different resistances and culture shock that followed. If anyone needs to be retold and reminded of what happened, I recommend the novel, THINGS FALL APART by Prof Chinua Achebe.

Education and religion, came hand in hand. They both started to win people over and before "not too long" able bodied men, who ordinarily would have been gainfully employed, were changing occupations. Some became teachers of Sunday School, Cathecist, Altar boys, interpreters, court clerks, messengers, etc. It was then sold to our society that hard work as it was known back then, was not the only way to earn respect or be a person of worth.

Somewhere in between all of that, was the irony of slave trade. Because if truly, that crap of hard work was not all important, why were all the able bodied men the ones that were harvested and taken into slavery? Why were the weaklings left behind and the strong taken to the land of no return?

In spite of the slave trade and it's catastrophic consequences, some people still managed to keep providing those professional services that provided the oil that kept the wheels of the community going.

Going through history, it became clear to me that, our occupational and educational values, as defined by the things we hold dear and sacrosanct to the growth and development of our society, were determined by the kind of aspirations and expectations that are found in that society. Meaning, what we get is based on the value we place on occupational and educational dynamics. When values are placed on wrong dynamics... You can not plant yam to harvest crude oil naaaa HABA! Trust me, we have not done well. So when I look around me and see what is happening, only one song comes to mind. No, actually two songs. The first is Sound Sultan's JAGBAJANTIS and the second one is JAGAJAGA by Eedris Abdulkarim.

Sound sultan, has over the years impressed me with his lyrics. And continues to do so. Jagbajantis stripped to the basics the problems of this country. Yet, did anyone take notice? No. It was just a song. Then JAGAJAGA came. Now, did anyone take notice? Of course yes. Why? They took notice because it was too in their face. It pointed fingers. Unlike the subtle but more important diagnosis of the matter in Jagbajantis.

One day sha... bushmeat go catch the hunter.

We have gradually become a society that celebrates mediocrity and treat excellence as show off or an unattainable goal. We have become a country where asking for the right thing to be done is considered ramblings of the opposition. Where praising or defending the wrong is loyalty and a prerequisite for prosperity. Where did we go wrong? How did we come to this point where someone who was not properly taught is teaching people? Who would have thought that hard working people will lose their integrity and that head lifting dignity that comes with being a professional... that contributes to the advancement of society will be trashed on the platform of selfish political patriotism?

Let me take you through the occupational degeneration or occupational trend, depending on your understanding. Stay with me... I would soon be done.

Once upon a time the respect for hard work, dignity of labour, prosperity and sustenance was the reason for people choosing to be farmers. And expectedly, the products of the farmers needed to be sold and that provided job opportunities for traders. Then came religion and education and some people saw the importance of acquiring this new education and the possibilities of being like the white men who brought them. However, after acquiring the education, some became missionaries while the rest became teachers in the schools established by white men to propagate the new religion. Back then, Teachers were the most important catalysts in the new society that was growing out of the mix of the new religion and education.

The products of these teachers were driven to acquire more knowledge. And some got it. Those who did became the hot cakes of employers. They not only got jobs before leaving schools, they got jobs, cars, houses, allowances and of course opportunities to be all they want to be. Those not so cerebrally endowed opted for the military or jobs that didn't require "certain set cerebral process of employment" beyond brawn.

The educated who joined civil service quickly rose to become the new crop of people that were treated with the respect reserved for the farmers who were the ish at the time. They became leaders of thought who joined forces for nationalist struggles. Others became writers, lawyers, journalists, business owners...

The new occupational respect and profile of the educated elite were so high that the teachers who made it possible, naturally, became demi gods. So when the struggle for independence started brewing, the leaders of thought were these same teachers who had shaped the lives of the elites.

Side by side, in the occupational curve, like the educated civil servants, were those who opted to work in private companies or joined the family business or just floated their own firms. These last group, that went on to own their own businesses would later be responsible for the greatest number of employment opportunities after the civil or public service. The people in private businesses were so successful that they started to lure away good hands from government employ.

The game changer was politics, which came with the struggle for independence. And with the independence came political Parties, campaigns, alignments of different people in parties to actualise their different political aspirations, elections and the eventual elections of those who became leaders. But we all know how corruption, tribalism, bribery and embezzlement.... Which would later be cited as the reasons for the military coups.

A profession like the military that shouldn't do anything but protect the country now took over the controls of government and determined the future of NIGERIA. At this point, it is proper to mention again, that a lot of those who joined the military back then were those who did not quite have basic qualifications to go ahead to acquire further education. Those who became the catalyst for change and entrusted our public purses were those who became military apologists. These were the select groups whose businesses were favoured. Some even got appointed into public office as ministers or chairmen of corporations etc...

Just to save time, let me run through the occupational value trends again. We had the basically agrarian professionals ( farmers, herdsmen, rubber tappers, fishermen and the likes), the missionaries (who set up schools, mosques and churches), teachers ( who had been taught by he missionaries and were now transferring the education), civil servants ( those trained by the teachers and are now employed), the oil workers ( thanks o the oil boom), the politicians ( elective offices had to be filled... Oh sorry, they had to serve, I keep forgetting that's why politicians offer themselves to be elected), the military ( you know who), businessmen, bankers, drug pushers and 419s ( if you did not know that this became a full time occupation for some you must be one of the beneficiaries if not one of them), politicians ( second time around), telecoms ( mtn, glo, econet, intercellular... They were the ish), banking ( you didn't think all those 419 monies and stolen public funds had to be banked? By who else?), do or die Party politics and now it's just man know man.

So if you want to know how we got to where we are standing today, then you need to begin to take a serious look at what we have placed on our priority list and ask why we stopped placing values on the things that mattered. We MUST MUST MUST go back to our classrooms to start re-engineering our educational system and placing values on education. Because everything in government is done now based on what we get from oil. (which by the way is running out or on its last leg with alternative source of power moving from oil) And if our future is standing on oil... It's a slippery future if you ask me.

Oil stand!!!!

Class dismiss!