ajagunna

I discuss Nigeria and the world at large because I strongly believe MyOpinionCounts!

Month: August, 2014

!Simply-Dunni-on-Spot !SiDoS: Guys, This is (no) Shit-Storm!- A Serious Play In Six Scenes

Ms. Oladunni Talabi is a beautiful and wonderful addition to the AhjotNaija!BlogFamily. She is a Master student resident in Germany, young and very-full-of-life. She experiments with different forms of writing; this is one of them: Entertaining while strongly pushing for deep self-discovery/identification and cross-cultural dialogues among other interesting themes

Ms. Oladunni Talabi is a beautiful and wonderful addition to the AhjotNaija!BlogFamily. She is a Master student resident in Germany, young and very-full-of-life. She experiments with different forms of writing; this is one of them: Entertaining while strongly pushing for deep self-discovery/identification and cross-cultural dialogues among other interesting themes

Act One, Scene One

Young and old Nigerians alike know so much about the politics of their country. You’d be amazed at how much a 5year old Nigerian can tell about Nigeria politics. You don’t have to be educated/very intelligent to narrate the ordeal Nigeria has gone through in the hands of her corrupt leaders. You would conclude with the usual question: Is there hope for this country? Even diaspora-born Nigerians can give you a precise and concise history of Nigeria, from independence till date; that’s history lessons at work. Their parents did a good job.

Nigerians can never stop talking about Nigeria. It overwhelms us to the point of suffocation. Whenever I and other Nigerian friends decide to meet for a get-together with some Non-Nigerians, we end up monopolizing the gathering and talking about our woes. It’s even worse for diasporic Nigerian-born Nigerians. You’d actually think we’d get to Europe and at least have peace of mind! Hell NO! Nigeria becomes an un-buried corpse whose ghost haunts us everywhere!

Last week, we had another Nigerian Friends’ meeting. We almost ended up punching one another. That’s actually how aggressive we are when we argue. I must tell you, there’s no difference between a female and a male when it boils down to this menace called Nigeria. We actually had the get-together to eat Egusi soup with Griess, listen to some Nigerian hip-hop music on YouTube and maybe accompany it with some Nigerian dance-steps. Alas, it never came to be!

We ended up talking about NIGERIA; the recent tragedies and some changes we could effect from our convenient fort. An option could be to simply turn a blind eye. That way, we might just not use our internet again. It turned into an aggressive session with insults hurled at one another. It was with pain in our heart, tears running down our face, convulsive anger wracking our body.

 Act One, Scene Two

I am very angry, I am actually very very angry as I write this piece. I am tired of logging into Facebook to see beautiful young Nigerian women with bodies exposed to the world. They seem not to care a bit about their future. I have no problem with their bare flesh, overly beautiful dresses and faces wrecked with make-up! Looking at pictures on Facebook reminds me of this joke “the paint (makeup) on a typical Nigerian girl is enough to paint a duplex and a half”.

An attempt to see through their perspective is bedeviled with huge sums of money spent on makeups and Brazilian hairs. Three hours before a mirror is an outrageous time to justify! Imagine this might even be in the morning! Well, how else would they attract rich guys who shall guarantee financial security in an insecure Nigeria!? They care less where these guys get money.

*Seriously, who started this idea of wearing wigs and when did it become ugly to leave one’s natural hair on the natural head? Hmmm…I have to calm down. My anger is at boiling point now.*

You see, that’s my problem, I always try to view a topic from different perspectives. I hope I don’t go crazy one day from all these sociological analyses.

 Act One, Scene Three

Sincerely, I want a better Nigeria. I feel pity for those who hardly can afford three meals daily. Hawkers who have to sell their wares in the scorching sun everyday. I am so sad for kids who didn’t ask to be born into Nigeria but were born all the same to suffer and are still being born. I am sad for thousands of graduates who do- and cannot get a job.

I am sad for religious fetishism, which has taken over Nigeria. We ask God for the slightest things, even those we are entitled to. We have to pray to God before we embark on a journey. A father has to hug his wife and kids in the morning because he’s not sure he will see them in the evening. We have to confess all our sins before bed, for who knows a Nigerian aeroplane might just mistakenly veer off its route and decide to make a fatal stop-over on our roof. Another horrible way to die is this: a petrol tanker might just overturn its content behind our house, catching fire big enough to kill everybody who run too late!

You see, I get scared when a Nigerian number calls me. Why should I not be scared? Who knows what bad news to spoil my beautiful day the person is about feed me with?

Just three days ago, mother told me of an accident on our street. A car veered off the road into a house killing 2 kids and injured the other 2 kids in the process. What if it was my home, and our prison-like fence was not strong enough to safe us. I am so sad.

I once saw a comic picture. A Nigerian boy held a Nigerian flag. He said waving the flag, if on judgment day God denied me entry into heaven, then I would tell God he simply can’t do that! I have been to hell already, I deserve to make heaven!

On my bed, I burst into a very sad laughter. Nigerians are sure to find a reason to laugh even in a very sad situation. The comic relief was effective.

 Act One Scene Four

I was born without a silver spoon; I am from an average Nigerian family; educated and we could afford what we wanted, sometimes with little stress. The little stress went up by a notch when father died in a car accident. That senseless accident! The bad road! The trailer! The sorry driver! To avoid potholes, he swerved to kill father! When father died, the sad driver was sorry! Yeah, you heard me right! He was SORRY.

The word SORRY is genetically Nigerian. When you want the law of the land to work, the custodian of the law are swift to remind that “the driver was SORRY! What else would you want from this remorseful poor man?” Then this: “Thousands die everyday! Your case is not the first. It is not the last! Get over it!”

Gbam! That was the judgment! We were helped to get it over with by that shameful fiat declaration from the law. It was time to move on, Nigerian-ly!

 Act One, Scene Five

Talking of back-up plans, the Nigerian girl has enough to survive a Tsunami. One is to marry a well-to-do/rich husband. I guess that explains the senseless and suffocating things we adorn ourselves with. I know you ask: Why should we not over-dress? How does that connect or cause Nigeria’s woes and predicaments? Exactly these questions remind me of Legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti- *Shuffering and Shmiling*.

Ask these questions and your connection/cause to/of Nigeria’s insurmountable problems becomes crystal clear: (a) When did we become so obsessed with clothes, fake hairs and makeups that make absolutely impossible to tell what colour of lips is typical of a Nigerian girl. I guess we beat a chameleon in this regard. From one fake-hair to the next, hopping from one rich man alias *aristo* to the next who would foot the bill of the latest Brazilian hair if not the latter? (b) When did it become ugly to grow your natural hair? (c) When and how did we sink so deep we define ourselves only by these things? I can go on and on, but I will spare us the stress.

Take it or leave it, the Nigerian guy grades a big girl on the kind of hair she buys/wear on her head. To him, a young woman must act stupid to be intelligent. The intelligent girls do not help matter either. They would gladly be stupid because the society want them to be. The maxim- if you cannot win them, join them- becomes the order of the day. Every intelligent young woman wants *a crown* for her head- they call it home- as if they must be stupidly humble to get a good/blessed home/marriage. By the way, did I tell you marriage is the greatest height of achievement a Nigerian woman can boast of?

Seriously, the Nigerian society is so immersed in shit, one doesn’t know which shit to clean-up first. We all talk change. We all advocate for change. We all castigate our leaders. We want them to emulate the West, at least the good sides of the West, but we forget very quickly the people are the government and the government is the people.

Our wants and desires are direct consequences of the society we live in. Here is a side to it: Why would you do *all* to buy a wig you never can afford? Your financier of expensive Brazilian hair would definitely have to get that money *at-all-cost* to foot the bill of your excesses! Remember, money does not grow on trees. Most times, he got the money corruptly to pay for your lusts! Voila! No wonder we all must be married! By fire! By thunder! In Jesus Name! I’m so stupefied! There is a label to match this desperation: *Street-wisdom!*. How we so arrogantly parade this wisdom!

 I Am Not Done Yet…

Here is another in-thing- two to five boyfriends for a girl because she is best advised not to egg all her hopes in one basket! Chai! How deep have we sunk! A friend once wanted me to *link-her-up* so far the link is rich! She wanted a *chop-part-of-his-money*. I wasn’t surprised actually. This is not an uncommon request in Nigeria. Ladies, bear me witness here for once!

I only laughed and consequently ignored her.

Fact is this- money is our singular measurement of love and friendship in our world. Lobatan!

In Nigeria, I am a weirdo. My *scary* ideas and thought-provoking discussions are simply impractical. Living in Nigeria, scarcely would anyone be seriously interested in me because I simply become *the-impossible-type*.

I weep for Nigeria.

 Act One Scene Six

Here in Europe, one can easily identify a Nigerian. We love to brag about that so much. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m actually happy whenever someone asks me if I’m a Nigerian. I don’t feel insulted when a stranger wants to confirm if I’m a Nigerian due to my restless body carriage, boisterous confident laughter, discussions accompanied with interesting exclamation marks and biting sarcasm; all these always in a loud voice. I feel real insult though when you tell my Nigerian-ness because I dress and live so flamboyantly/lavishly. By the way, the person with the most expensive car in my city is Nigerian.

Yes, Nigeria is a migraine no medicine can cure, for now. However, until we straighten our bow-legged desires, myopic thoughts and ideas, we simply should and cannot claim a genuine interest in the Nigeria debate. We remain part and cause of this unfortunate migraine. Action speaks louder than voice!

I want to hit my bed now. It would be helpful to keep the migraine at bay, at least temporarily…

SundayStarter (SS): Personal Thoughts In Quest for Self-Discovery! by Oladapo Ajayi

Mr. Oladapo Ajayi is Nigerian and Master student resident in Germany. He is the initiator of the TACTProject, a NGO practically committed to giving poor children a fair chance at education in Nigeria. He is an activist and a grassroot political and community organiser

Mr. Oladapo Ajayi is Nigerian and Master student resident in Germany. He is the initiator of the TACTProject, a NGO practically committed to giving poor children a fair chance at education in Nigeria. He is an activist and a grassroot political and community organiser

I have come to realize that one difficult matter to write about is oneself, especially if it must be in a bad light. The idea comes readily available but the point of admittance is just too tedious. For long, I always had reservations talking about me.

Caution! Do not excite too soon to read part of my secret! Keep calm and read on!

Actually, it is still not time to *divulge* myself for even the self in myself is bigger than me. I may not be capable of divulging it!

This bigger self houses personal history, the self that brings relationships to the forefront; I mean that self that travels through ethnic leanings to the country of birth, daring even to the continent itself. Behold, it is this complex self I am ashamed to write about!

Earlier this year, there was a wave of controversy on the African continent- Homosexuality was criminalized! It is needless to remind I strongly felt it was a shame for us to have convinced ourselves we had done the right thing. Yes, even when we justify it by the God of Abraham, whom I serve too. Even when we use our colonial science mind to define gender. We simplified it with a tag; it became *That Western Phenomenon!* In our mind, we un-african it!

In following divergent views, what was shockingly consistent was the manner with which we were quick to repudiate the act of homosexuality as a Western import and imposition on our pure culture. We therefore thought that criminalizing it would be a perfect cure to the Western ideological disease we dared to be healed from. In short, many say why do we need the West in the first place? So simple right? This is a question I wish I could ask.

Unfortunately, the truth is different. The slave-master relationship cannot be wished away by unknotting the neck-tie with the leg placed on sofa and hands on the iPad-machine! Africa need realize/accept it is *not yet uhuru*.

To help you get into my small thoughts, I will use my fears and realities as example.

First, let us imagine what we have so far read about Ebola virus and its manifestation; the fatality and the incurable state of the epidemic. Will it be smart of us to imagine the virus manifestation as something very tech-like, experimental, which is created or deliberately designed by some freaky scientists? A response in the affirmative is not impossible.

For me really, I suspect the Ebola virus could be manmade, planted for a purpose. I know of hypertension and stroke, I know of many stages of cancer, I know of malaria fever, I know of cholera,even typhoid. The symptoms seem familiar. Has anyone ever wondered how and why even a corpse becomes more contagious than the living? As suspicious as HIV/AIDS could be, it does not spread like gasoline fire! My un-scientific picture of Ebola virus sees a complete hybrid virus with very high toxic nature, potentially explosive and extremely difficult to contain.

A good/plausible question is this: why should/would a master use a dangerous medium to teach the slaves a lesson of their lives? At his point, it would be helpful to demarcate established hierarchy in the relationship of master and slave; this is paramount particularly when a forgetful slave is involved. A master enjoys a god-like nature. He has exclusive right to life and death of his slaves. Once the master is angry, a slave must be prepared to pay the utmost price for any act of disobedience.

In economic sense, I will unashamedly admit that people from my part of the world are permanently in an imbalanced state. Our labor and resources are best at creating a generational wealth that outgrows the first slave-owners to the modern day corporations. Fact is, corporation dictates the direction of every government. For Nigerian readers, this is what this translates into: the Aliko Dangotes, the Otedolas and the Adenugas dictate government policies to the president and his cabinets. It is never a mistake to see these business tycoons in economic management committees. Corporations exist even in our small slave world.

Now, connect the picture to a Western corporation and its operation? Yes, you will be helping me if you imagine a corporation that will be able to provide Ebola treatment drugs, the vaccine, the gloves, the sanitizers, the protective gloves etc. The truth is, (un-)knowingly the Ebola crisis is a business blessing for some people/nation. Like the saying goes, one man’s loss is another man’s gain!

America and the West are not called super-power for nothing. They watched while we rebuffed them during the anti-gay marriage bill. They knew we would soon come begging, cap in hands asking for a help or the other – and voila here we are. We need them to help find our girls or as we have it not, fight Ebola.

So, it is shocking to notice how *godly* Nigerians, who were arms up against the *ungodly* West following the signing into law of the homophobic bill, have a tongue-check, racing back to the West for help! We probably need be reminded some of these scientists are gays and lesbians. We can only hope very earnestly that these *ungodly* scientists quickly come to our aid by providing ZMAPP or just any vaccine.

I sometimes tell myself that we are sick as Africans. Unfortunately, I cannot diagnose our sickness. Many would always trace our sickness to the trauma of slavery, colonialism and imperialism. Should we probably accept that we have disappointingly under-performed and did not take the bull by the horn in areas of development?

Talking about elections in Nigeria and Kenya for example, the citizens managed to successfully elect some wanted politicians as president and vice-president respectively. Of course, these are independent and sovereign countries, so why would USA interfere? I believe in this light, Mrs. Clinton announced to Kenyans before elections that choices come with consequences. Mrs. Clinton, an American who has been consistent in her messages to Africans and African leaders recently talked again of “hard choices and convenient choices”.

Personally, when people warn about choices and consequences, one must beware they are likely privy to some exclusive information; they have what you don’t have, they wield that which you lack! If this is the case, then a Whitechapel-relationship is inevitable. Whitechapel is a character in the novel The Longest Memory by Fred D’Aguiar. This character is a slave with an unfortunate maneuvering skill. He has a fair share of his privilege from the master.

My fragmented thought points at a big offense African leaders have committed against the master in recent times, namely our re-engineered focus towards Great China. Africa wants China’s form of development. We are however less diplomatic about it though. We think it is our destiny after all, so we want it our way! Big and small loans, soft and hard loans…so long it is Chinese, we take it! Do I need to remind us that our new Tower of Babel, i.e. The New African Union Secretariat was built from Chinese loan? In fact, our leaders took their beautiful jets to the Assembly of China Economic Summit!

Now, the master seem to say, *Thou ambitious slave, have your Chinese funded Tower of Babel, have Ebola, have Terrorism and even Religious Crisis and Remain in Perpetual Confusion!

Beyond the homosexual war, the master’s corporations are technically running out of business. The business of the master and his corporations are threatened because the slave is getting too ambitious. The apparently too ambitious slave seemed to have thrown all caution to the wind.

I have always written about the fact that we lack leadership. Equally, the followers are docile. Africa must re-evaluate her decisions and manner of approach and realization of goals and objectives on many issues and fronts. Take for instance, sexuality is a private matter, and so should it remain. This thought is a difficult one to pencil down for me, but that does not change the fact about the truth. There is a link between Africa’s relationships with the outside world and her daily realities. If Africa learn and work with this fact, she will survive and rise. The world is divided, the world is separated, and the world is entangled. The world is a global project anchored on former and current masters. Africa will only be able to sail successfully the stormy terrain by seeking knowledge and discover herself.

Half of a Yellow Sun – The movie

Pa Ikhide

Once upon a time, beautiful men and women rose as leaders to embrace the awesome promise of an emerging nation, Nigeria. They were poets and soldiers, intellectuals and doers who mesmerized the world with beautiful words and crisp uniforms – and proceeded to take the promise apart brick by brick with graft, incompetence and civil strife. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s epic novel Half of a Yellow Sun about Nigeria’s anxieties and the ensuing civil war spoke to the heart of that broken promise in a unique and mesmerizing way. Half of a Yellow Sun is a beautiful book that should be required reading in every classroom, so that we may never forget. Many years ago, I was so taken by it, I wrote a cringe-worthy review in which I gushed aloud my hope that the book would be turned into a movie.

My prayers were answered, there is a movie and…

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Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM): There is (no) Hope!

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

You got tired of your country’s politics and newspaper sites. You had been reading stories upon stories of the thieving politicians and their cronies. It’s sadenning, you thought to yourself. You moved on to Linda Ikeji’s blog. You liked her blog. Her reporting is succinct and many times funny. You like everything about her though you pretend not to like the lewd stories. You are a Christian; a born-again Christian.

So you closed the many tabs you had opened and typed in your favorite blogger’s blog. You simply read on. Then you saw a post about an actor, Chidi. A Nollywood actor, popular but not popular enough to get into the Alist. Gabriel, your friend called him a Bplus actor. You got interested in the post and clicked to enlarge it. There he was! Your Bplus actor had sworn to waste any escaped Ebola victim!

You shook head and asked what about empathy and sympathy. It could have been him! In fact, you wished it was him who had the virus! Yes! Chidi the mottled face tall actor who the screen has a way of making handsome. You had seen him before. His face is not light and not dark. You thought of the vicissitude of a face that day you saw him on the island in a lounge. You knew there was a problem with your country. He was supposed to be a rolemodel and an inspiration not one who swore in twits to snatch life out of victims of the ravaging Ebola virus!

You read on. Then you saw the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, in black dress and a hat to fit, smiling away at the camera. The Vice-President was a grinning from ear to ear. They were at a movie premiere; the movie premiere of one of the actresses you like. That actress who studied French. She was good, not very popular but popular.

You had no problems with her. She had to premiere her movie, Ebola or no Ebola, but you were disappointed at your President. *Wine babbler!*, you screamed. You were tired. You picked your bag and left for school. There were term-papers to write and deadlines to keep.

That evening. A friend invited you to a buffet in company of more friends. All guests were your country-people so it was normal to talk about your country. Discussion started.

The President was a bad man, a wreckless hedonistic fellow.

Then he countered. A Professor of Music that came visiting. He raised his voice an actave higher. He was all that we heard now. He sang the praises of the President to high heavens. YOu were sure even the President would have cautioned: Prof, please be careful with these many good things you say about me. I know they are not all true!

You kept quiet and watched. You laughed as the argument intensified. You were not going to get involved in this conversation. A friend countered the Prof.

You watched and listened as your friend took it *personal* You knew the anger was not about him. It was about the innocent children he would birth into Nigeria; children who would willingly never choose to be born Nigerian if given the option!

They argued on. By now, you knew the positions of the discussants. Did I even mention that the Prof was A Man of God? You had actually lost faith in many religious leaders of your country because they kept taking an easy side to issues.

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You read a post. Another professor. You like this professor. He is not the professor of Music; he studied French. His voice hadn’t changed. He still spoke sense. He still loathed corruption. You read wallposts of mentors and rolemodels. Their posts still had the encouraging valve. You read posts of other good friends. They were still coherently sensible. Ade’s post was your favorite; he called it *Ngozinomics*. His position was clear: *Western economic programmes wouldn’t work for Nigeria! There is hope, you concluded.

Bare Barrels bear Laurels by Emmanuel Oritseweyinmi

Emmanuel Oritseweyinmi is a writer and an inspirational speaker. He is the author of "I Dare to be a Nigerian: A collection of inspiring stories, plays and anecdotes" available on Amazon We at AhjotNaija are honoured to have him guestblog for us. This is first of many inpsirational series soon to be published.

Emmanuel Oritseweyinmi is a writer and an inspirational speaker. He is the author of “I Dare to be a Nigerian: A collection of inspiring stories, plays and anecdotes” available on Amazon
We at AhjotNaija are honoured to have him guestblog for us. This is first of many inpsirational series soon to be published.

What do you put in a barrel to make it lighter?

In a world as complex as ours, where processes overlap processes and countless procedures drown the common man, it is quite safe to say posterity will surely plead some simplicity. Simplicity at home, at work, in schools, at the mall, in religious places and of course in people and their outlook of life.

In my village, there once was a man who thought it right to only speak in parables, so he seldom said a sentence without dropping a wise saying. At first he was a wonder to everyone, but soon they wandered far from his abode. For they feared he was insane.

I, much like my people, am always wary of people who try to make every little thing as complex as they possibly can. They tell you there are ten things you must do to go through an open door, when even lame dogs slink through.

Life is a mystery solved in simplicity.

I can imagine life is a free flowing stream and we are all barrels and our common goal is to make it through to the other side of this strange stream where good things lay plenty. And no, contrary to popular belief I’d like to think the stream doesn’t flow against us, but for us. So we gear up and ready ourselves to float to the other side.

But due to the surges of the stream, some actually believe adding excess baggage keeps them afloat and so they go on, in an attempt to fully equip themselves, they wind up clogging themselves with complex complexities. The helter-skelter their lives turn into leaves them worked up and always on standby to throw a fit. To such a paranoid one a Sage once quipped:

Life is easy, stop trying to make it hard

Life is hard, that’s why you need to take it easy

You see, heavy barrels don’t float. They either do the exact opposite or they crash against a rock. There are a lot of things we put in our barrels daily (anger, hate and worries), please realize that no one is worth your eternal resentment, so forgive and move right on. Bitterness only imprisons its keepers. I fancy the epicurean ideology a tad, but only in the sense that life should be attacked serenely.

Empty your barrel. Take out the trash and take in only the right stuffs.

I knew a man who went through life like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. He seldom smiled and was constantly suspicious of everything. His superstitions were literally out of this world.

You see, this man believed the walls had ears. He appeased animal spirits, drank and sprinkled holy water on himself. You would often find him wearing a rosary on his neck and a talisman around his waist. Needless to say, his ending was rather miserable, as his wife and kids couldn’t keep up with his routine and his fears caught up with him soon after.

That’s not to say one shouldn’t practice religion and caution, but please don’t overkill. Quit making ominous mountains out of little molehills. Life is too short to live with a chip on your shoulders. I have always believed staying depressed is a choice. We all have our ups and downs, but it’s never been a smart move to stay down. Get back up on your feet, find the spring in your steps once again, stick your chest out and keep your head high.

Approach life not only with stealth but also leisure, for as the good book puts it:

There is a time for everything…even …a time to laugh

And when faced with problems, ask simple questions. Simple questions often bear answers to hard problems. And one last thought, if you are actually offended by this article, then you are most definitely the one it was written for So smile. You see friend, worry never solved a problem. Quit clogging your barrel with worries of life’s bare necessities. Stay positive along your journey. Stay Inspired.

AhjotNaija in ThreeTalk

 

 

 

AhjotNaija in ThreeTalk with Oluwaseun Tanimomo and Abiola Oladimeji. We discussed the recently concluded Osun Gubernatorial Election and the ravaging Ebola Virus.

Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM): So? What About The Good Ol’ Days?

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

A nation must be willing to look dispassionately at its own history – Willy Brandt (1913 – 1992).

You just can’t get enough of the *when-Nigeria-was-good discourse*. From the teenager who just completed his secondary school education to the retired civil servant, most Nigerians revel in the stories of how Nigeria was once a great country. Yes, we were once great with splashes of greatness, here and there. Nigerian Airways was once the greatest in Africa, it provided employment to Kenyans, South Africans and many others. Yes, there was the Awolowo free basic education, the Jakande affordable housing scheme, the ‘good’ Murtala years. And yes, Herbert Macauley, Aminu Kano, Nnamdi Azikwe, Samuel Ajayi Crowther all strutted the same soil we tread on today!

However, despite the numerous stories of greatness of the past, I believe that our present predicament takes its root from the faulty foundation set in those years: the 1950s to the 1970 actually.

 In the late fifties, for example “(t)he nationalists, the first generation of elected leaders and legislators of our semi-independent nation had begun to visit Great Britain in droves. We watched their self-preening, their ostentatious spending, their cultivated condescension, even disdain towards the people they were supposed to represent. There were exceptions but in the main, they did not appear to have emerged from the land and people we left behind when we journeyed to acquire some skills and learning. While we dreamt of marching south to liberate Southern Africa, they saw the nation as a prostrate victim to be ravished… This strange breed was a complete contrast to the nationalistist stalwarts in whose hands we had imagined that the country could be safely consigned while we went on our romantic liberation march to Southern Africa”  writes Professor Wole Soyinka in his memoir, We Must Set Forth At Dawn.

 “What other faulty way is there to set an independent nation than to have leaders who were less concerned about the populace take over from the oppressive colonial masters. For one, I believe Nigeria’s problems started at birth. Our first elections which were supposed to set us on the right part were alleged to have been rigged, according to Harold Smith, a colonial officer, “it was the British who taught Nigerians the art of rigging”.

By 1965 when Professor Chinua Achebe published A Man Of The People, Nigeria was all but what our founding fathers thought it would be. Because of this wrong start, by 1966, Nigeria was already like an Augean Stable where corruption and misrule reigned supreme – elections were rigged, coups were plotted, treasuries were looted, riots prevailed, government establishment and civil servants began to demonstrate traces of corruption, and worst still, the military took over. With the military came a new set of societal ills, we had rulers in place of leaders, because the military did not have a training in government matters, their modus operandi differed, by then Nigeria had become an ‘unsteerable’ ship with no knowledgeable sailor in view.

The late 60s saw a civil war that claimed at least one million lives, the 70s, years of the oil boom were not better, we had an outward posture of a prosperous nation; so well we thought we were that the then Head of State declared that we had so much money to know what to do with it. The 70s soon ran into its shell and saw the emergence of a democracy in its twilight, the democracy crawled into the 80s; with news of corruption of government officials an everyday occurrence, the military soon took over again this time they were going to wield power for as long as they could, as soldier go, soldier come for the next 16 years. Towards the turn of the new millennium, Nigeria became democracy-compliant hence the emergence of the fourth republic, soldiers soon changed their stage costumes from khaki to Agbada, who else could out-act those who have tasted and kept a large chunk of the National cake, so like a vicious cycle, the same soldiers and their cronies who had looted us dry came to power.

 I went through this tortuous history so as to explain the reason we have found ourselves where we are. It is however saddening that this part of our history are not always told, we are made to believe that things have been well all along forgetting the fact that every living thing must grow, the untamed corruption that seemed benign at the inception has now grown to be a monster threatening our great nation. By the way, when will they really teach about the civil war in our schools, this event that now seems distant and benign is more emotional and evaluated than one thinks.

 However, all hope is not lost as we can retrace our steps and make things better, as a way of retracing our steps, deliberations from the National Conference should be monitored and taken seriously. Already, as of yesterday, August 12, 2014, drafts of a new constitution were distributed. We should not just scream hurray because a new constitution is on the way, but instead we should explore means through which the content of the proposed constitution is the true yearning of Nigerians.

 On a final note, for Nigeria to progress we also have to develop a patriotic zeal in Nigerians, not just one on television stations or radio stations and newspapers but a true awareness that will permeate all sphere of our lives. Citizens of many developed countries are not patriotic because their government pay TV stations millions to launder the government’s image and coerce the citizenry to loving the country nor is it because they go on a mandatory national service scheme. These citizens are patriotic because their governments have given them reasons to, the US government won’t mind sending a battalion of Army to help a distressed citizen in any part of the world, this intense concern by the government has built a sense of patriotism in Americans such that an American president had the moral right to demand his citizens not ask what their government could do for them but what they could do for their country.

To move forward, we must know where we are coming from, where we are going to and what we want.

Patrick Sawyer’s Plague and the Panic-Marabouts’ Solution

At least, now we know that some Nigerians actually bathed with saltwater solution in an attempt to save/rescue their skin from the fast and wide spreading killer Ebola virus. In a country where ignorance is strongly present, things like this are come place. Besides, it is a known fact that the epidemic has presently no known cure. Thus, any rumored solution or near-efficacious medication shall be a welcome idea, news of which would run faster than wildfire would in a terribly hot summer. Panicking would then become the order of the day. The people are desperately in search of a viable savior in the face of a deadlier than HIV infection. One has no choice than to resort to the most-called-on being in Africa, namely God to come to the rescue of his faithful children. I hope he would.

In what seemed to be a coordinating effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to combat this terrible virus, the President put together a research team and earmarked over a billion naira for research purpose. Truth be told, this effort is as good as medicine after death. The FGN is known for this lazy and near-populistic approach to matters of high importance. Definitely, the virus was not discovered yesterday nor since the recent outbreak. It has been in the West African subregion since the 1970s. It needs no telling that the decision of the FGN is a move too late. Lest I forget, the renowned Professor Maurice Iwu is on the team of appointed researchers! On reading the breaking news, I could only scream: God save your people!

It need no reminding that Professor Maurice Iwu is a political tool in the hands of the People Democratic Party (PDP). Nigeria is yet to fully recover from the elections conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Professor Iwu’s supervision as chairman. Just like the presence of a he-goat cannot be unnoticed, hardly was the research team announced that we heard of a possible kolanut-therapy for the raging Ebola virus. Professor Iwu was credited with this therapeutic abracadabra. It is very sad that anyone would be ready to con his own people as always! It needs no soothe-telling that the fund allocated is a booty already shared among the faithful researchers!

I read on a Facebook wall where it was jovially asked if the so-called wonder serum, which *healed* the two US-Americans and which is probably being applied on the infected Spanish priest is not good for *Negroes*! Can anyone blame USA or Spain for caring for their citizens? As usual, the only place Africa, and particularly the West Africa subregion look to right now is the West- the developed world for solution to a virus that is said to have originated from Africa!

Well, I understand the panic caused by the terrifyingly dangerous Ebola virus as it kills almost assuredly once contacted. With no cure in sight, anybody would panic just as bad. Allow me to ask though, if Africa is not already being hit by a more catastrophic epidemic and crisis of catastrophic heights. Talk of malaria and tuberculosis. They kill in millions! Talk of child mortality and women death during childbirth! The numbers are alarming! Talk of lack of edible water and food for starving children! Talk of anything bad, it can be found on that continent!

I must be swift to add at this point that this is not self-hate or wanting to show only the bad-side of Africa. This is the naked truth. Besides, if there is any good-side to show, then certainly not good enough so long there are hungry children with no shelter over their head. Mind you, hungry children are even the least Africa’s problems. The list of our woes is endless!

African leaders have always abandoned the continent to her fate. The people suffer thus very greatly when there is a health crisis of this capacity. Beyond usual rhetorics, announcements and setting-up of research teams, there is no serious moves from the African continent to finding a solution. I oftentimes wonder when Africans shall turn on their true-oppressors- the African leaders! If not now, then probably when there is a plague as terrible as the Black Death! One can only hope the USA or any other country in the West finds a viable cure on time. Of course, a cure shall never be found by the research teams put together by various African countries.

Talking about saltwater solution again, only anyone who is un-sincere would be surprised that there are those who fell for it. There are posts making round on Facebook on how stupid any educated person is, who actually bathed with the farce of a cure. To say the truth, it is not shocking that the farcical cure was proposed and believed by many Nigerians (West Africans). After all, we must not forget too quickly we live on a continent where people were told to eat grass and they did. I recently watched a television report where people bathed in a dirty and muddy river because it is believed it can cure them of their infirmities! Really, the saltwater solution is the least of terribly unfathomable fables that we fell for as Africans. We might have fallen too far to be saved! I terribly hope it is not too late though!

About Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian who successfully transported the virus to Nigeria. For once, I would agree with President Jonathan. He called it madness and pure craziness on the part of Patrick Sawyer to have chosen to fly to Nigeria of all places! The Liberian President was sorry he escaped surveillance. Of course, according to her, Liberia would never have wanted him to escape! There are those who believe Sawyer was an agent of evil. I do not subscribe to this opinion, but the people who hold it, might not be absolutely wrong in their belief. So many questions begged for answers, really. Anyway, I think it is best left at that. It makes no sense crying over spilled milk. Either way, the virus would still have reached Nigeria, by flight, by foot or any other means. Our borders and various control posts are as good as non-existent in the eye of corruption! Even death-in-person himself would have found a way through them if it can pay!

The issue is now this: a reasonable government would have, for precautionary purpose, wanted all those on that particular flight from Liberia be tested and quarantined until certified they are Ebola-free. I doubt it if the passengers’ list can be provided. Beyond a passengers’ list that will not surface, in a saner society, those on the flight would have turned-up willingly for a check-up. This is a matter of life and death and the possibility of killing more people with infection! Come to think of it, the poor nurse who attended to the Liberian is long dead! To run into hiding is the stupidest thing to do. Yet, I am almost sure none of these passengers have shown up, whereas they are not unaware that it is already too late once Ebola symptoms are visible. One cannot but ask this troubling question: what exactly is wrong with us Africans?

In the news, a 51-year old Romanian turned himself in when he suspected on returning from West Africa he might have contacted the dreaded virus. He was tested and placed under observation. That would have been a major case on the European continent after the Spanish priest who was moved home. The case of a West African who was suspected in Hamburg has been cleared. He is not infected. Canada and Hong-Kong tested two suspected cases of Ebola, both negative. Many countries are now very alert. This is a good thing to do pending the discovery of a viable anti-Ebola drug. We await the result of a German student in Rwanda who is being quarantined on suspicion he might have contacted the virus. Until his blood-test result is received, fingers are still crossed. If confirmed, that would be the first case in the East African subregion. We hope it is not. Tonight at the Lagos Airport in Nigeria, panic almost took over when a passenger slumped and died. Of course, the first suspicion was Ebola. According to report, those around the passenger fled. Thank Goodness he tested negative.

With reports like this in and around the world, it clearly shows that the deadly virus might be mainly present for now in Africa, it takes no time however for its effects to be felt around the world with dire consequences. It is no more an African problem, it is an international problem. The world will certainly win the battle against this deadly virus, but at what cost. This cost implication remains presently uncertain.

True that so far, people in the West African subregion live in constant fear and near-resignation, but it must be said that if the heaven must fall, then it is no more the problem of a single person; therefore the whole world must prevent this heaven from collapsing on us all!

In the meantime, West Africans and certainly the wider world keep hope alive that an effective cure/therapy is found soon enough.

on a final note, I must not but salute the many doctors, nurses, aid-workers and many volunteers, who are diligently committed in their chosen field of saving lives even at risk of loosing their own lives! Respect! Many thanks to them for doing a real great job in this trying period particularly for West Africa and the world at large. Your selfless service makes the world a better place with each passing day. We love you!

A Phenomenal Ajibola Adeoya (Dr. Jeeebz)

Ajibola Adeoya (Dr. Jeebz)

Ajibola Adeoya (Dr. Jeebz)

Ajibola Adeoya (Dr. Jeebz) is one beautiful singer; a lover of good music would fall for his lyrics immediately; all that is needed to get hooked to the goodly loaded song is to simply listen. One good characteristic of an excellent song is this: every single word counts! Dr. Jeebz achieved this unique feature in his latest piece.

Titled *Ife Yen*, a sequel to Oro (another beautiful musical piece) confirms my opinion of Dr Jeebz as a first-class lyricist, singer and soul-knower. The song has a mellow flow, which comes through effortlessly. There is an originality to it that makes the song really cool. Every item blended therein seems to gel so well, thereby creating an appropriate atmosphere to wing the message over to the receiver/listener.

The lyrics blend so well with the beat, combined with the right vocal force, which is best described in the superlatives, brings the unique message of the song to bear. The effect is simply therapeutic; a good food for the soul. Really, the song has a soft effect. It brings to the fore a feeling that magically thrills the soul. With this musical piece, Dr. Jeebz successfully established himself as a force that is truly arrived to enrich and entertain knowers of good music.

Ife Yen is a lyrical ballad which samples elements of folk music, soul and African rhythms. It is delivered in an emotion laden voice. Dr. Jeebz tells a love story, he engages the listener throughout the duration of the song. There is hardly anyone who does not want love. This makes the song a good deal for all. The song is a balm for lovebirds. It can be very comforting for any soul in search of love. The lovesick would certainly found a connecting point in the song. I am very sure the God of Love is thankful for this beautiful piece from the phenomenal singer.

Dr. Jeebz is best looked at as an individually unique singer, which he is indeed. Listening to the song, he strikes as one potpourri of so many musical sides. Imagine a blend of voices as uniquely beautiful as those of Asa and a Dr. Victor Olaiya in an entity, combined with the lyrical excellence of a Tunji Oyelana; now insert this entity in a Tuface Idibia’s art of bringing out the musical best in any song, this time around soul-fully African. I believe Dr. Jeebz rightly fits this description with his latest musical piece.

AhjotNaija will feature shortly an interview with this phenomenal singer.

Ajibola Adeoya (Dr. Jeebz)

Ajibola Adeoya (Dr. Jeebz)

Happy listening here:

http://h-wing.net/dr-jeebz-ife-yen/

!Simply-Dunni-on-Spot !SiDoS: Palava-Series-2

Ms. Oladunni Talabi is a beautiful and wonderful addition to the AhjotNaija!BlogFamily. She is a Master student resident in Germany, young and very-full-of-life. She experiments with different forms of writing; this is one of them: Entertaining while strongly pushing for deep self-discovery/identification and cross-cultural dialogues among other interesting themes

Ms. Oladunni Talabi is a beautiful and wonderful addition to the AhjotNaija!BlogFamily. She is a Master student resident in Germany, young and very-full-of-life. She experiments with different forms of writing; this is one of them: Entertaining while strongly pushing for deep self-discovery/identification and cross-cultural dialogues among other interesting themes

See me see wahala! Finally it seems I’m gonna have to ask my heimleiter (housemaster) to make me his secretary o. Abi why do guys keep knocking on my door asking for the direction to their rooms jare- their rooms are not even in my building for crying out loud! Ok. It’s just two guys who has knocked so far, I probably needn’t make a mountain out of a molehill sha.

Ok, listen to my predicament o. So, this guy knocked on my door while I observed my usual idiotic siesta. Did I tell u guys I can sleep through a storm? I can even sleep standing, even with my eyes wide open sef! Being born in Nigeria taught me this.

It’s not an easy feat, I must tell you; especially when you have to sit on the dinning table to read for four hours everyday after school, and your mum sits down like Boko-Haram with koboko watching you! You have to be very smart now to evade her sharp eyes o!

I guess you wanna know what I did back then. I’d just hold my pen tightly in my palm, balance my hand on my book and act like I was writing, rest my face on the table like I was concentrating real-hard. In this position I would be far gone already to say hi to Angel Gabriel in Heaven. Mind you, my Number 6 would be very alert and wired to my mum’s footstep because she checked on us every 20 minutes! Hehehehe *smiles aloud*.

My mum too is one smart woman o chai, I love her die.

My recalcitrant cousins were always sent at least once in their life to live with us. God punish them if their parents made the mistake of calling my mum, chai! chai! chai! Even before they got to our house with their baggages, they started peeing in their pants! The only thing of interest in my house was reading anything in print and ink; and the only SPORTING ACTIVITY we engaged-in was *mum-kid-chasing* us round the compound with her koboko…! Chai! Diaris God o!

So, immediately I heard mum’s footstep, I would open eyes sharply and start writing the first thing that came to mind. God help you if you were not quick enough or if she saw this saliva-mark on the side of your mouth! The neighbours wont be able to rescue you from her grasp that day!

Ok, back to my story jare. I was in this dreamland when suddenly I heard this knock. Like being prompted, the knock got an automatic *come-in* response. I practically screamed the response. By the way, if you don’t know, we Africans are very quick to invite everybody into our home, even goats and cows!

I took a look through my duvet. *Don’t be surprised I use duvet in this hot weather o!* I sized the guy up… Hmm not bad though, I seemed to tell myself. I asked him in ENGLISH which ultimate search brought him to my room.

Then he began… Hallo, Ich möchte…
I went berserk!
Oh jeez, this one can’t even speak English o!
Mo gbe, temi ti bami. Am I not finished today?
Eni leni n je. Today na today.
Then, I calmed my nerves and listened to him speak my self-imposed fourth Language – German. Fortunately, I must have been God-inspired from the dreamland, because on a normal day, even when all my senses were alert, you’d have to say something uncountable times before I could decipher the meaning. When I eventually did, I would code-mix English, Yoruba, Pidgin and German in a response. I’m that bad with language. You know I lived in Ondo town for 14 good years and could not speak the local language saving the f**kya-words. Excuse me please.

But this particular time was a good day. I understood everything he said! So excited! Now, the next problem was quick to show head: How do I give him the description?

Ok now, shebi I know that right is recht and left is link. So I allowed him into my room because its description-in-German we are talking about here o. The heimleiter’s house is actually behind my building, but too bad for me, I don’t know the German word for behind. I did what I had to do sha. I improvised! I inserted *zuruck* and *wieder* which I knew was absolutely wrong, but shebi it’s me, I’m no respecter of rules as long as the receiver understands me. Life can be real good with lesser rules, I swear.

I took him to the window. In my pidginized German, I showed him the heimleiter’s house. Surprisingly, this guy could not see it. And that was after I described for ten minutes with saliva running down my mouth! mucus dripping down my nose! tears gushing outta my eyes! and my head bobbing up and down like agama lizard! Mehn!!! speaking German is not easy o!

Mind you, through my description, I noticed this guy stared at me with a placated smile on his face. He did not even look where I pointed. The holy chant became my dagger! *NO WEAPON FASHIONED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER! THOUSANDS SHALL FALL AT MY RIGHT AND TEN THOUSANDS AT MY LEFT BUT NONE SHALL COME NIGH UNTO ME!*

I was worried at this juncture. The reason being this: you know I still don’t understand white people o! If it were a black person, I’d easily give a name to the smile: good! Bad! or sick! But he’s white, so how do I tell jare?

Anyway, I’m a strong black girl and nothing scares me except two things: falling in love and a roller coaster ride. That na story for another day sha. In short, I had to forgo my siesta. I took him to the heimleiter’s house. On the way, he did not relent from staring. Now, I did not care anymore. I was already at my wits end.

I needed to use the toilet when I returned. Guess what I saw in the mirror! Me, of course! And particularly, my NO-LONGER-AT-EASE-HAIR- It stood on tiptoes praising God…! My hair *coup-d’etat-ed* me! It took over my whole face. No be World War III we dey so? i could not even see my eye-brow. My nose was buried! Now, I knew the reason for the (strange???) smile on the white guy’s face. He must’a been wondering all through the vivid explanation what went wrong with the hair! It is not as slick as his!

Oh no! This is why I don’t like to see oyinbo o when I wake up in the morning I would want to tame this wild, untamable raggae-hair. Abi how could he see the house with my hair in his face? He probably was even scared of me sef! Did he even wonder from where I hailed? I don’t blame him.

Oh, did I tell you I have these two crazy oyinbo friends. They would not have glanced at me twice. My white friend would actually have shrugged the hair off my face or his face He does that often. The hair is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. LOL.
They are so used to my black theatrics- the wild hair, the make-up, full lips, white teeth, and particularly my murderous sarcasm and dark sense of humour.

My other white friend even likes me to paint her face with my black make-up…*real cool, I think. How we always clashed over the colour of my skin! She calls me brown. I call myself black. I retaliate by calling her red or yellow. Hehehehe *smies aloud* She so hates it when I call her yellow. She says Asians are yellow! This colour-thing ehn dey tire me at times jare. The good(bad)-thing is but you cannot live in Europe without being aware of your skin-colour.

Aha, you know what? I remember going to watch a football match with my oyinbo-friend. I had to worry for five minutes if the people behind me could see the screen above me. Why? – Its my hair again o, and you know Germans are very nice ehn, they’d never tell you your hair obstructs their view.
I trust Nigerians now with their lack of decorum and courtesy. They’d say something like this… *Ehn ehn ehn, abeg comot your head or hair jare or go sit for back with this your kain-hair!* Nigerians! Ehn! They never cease to amaze me!
But how can Germans say that? Good ones never would even dare; the fact that the hair looks weird and add to that I’m also black- if they tell me to remove my hair or go sit at the back, they’d think I’d mind because everything always have this racial undertone in Germany.

But seriously, if they had done so, I would not have minded though. I am a happy-go-jolly-fellow 🙂

Ok, I must stop my story here.. I have to study.. I’m on this deadline. I really hate deadlines, but who am I to complain when German machines are at the helm of affairs!

I’ve been counting my blessings for some days now. I will certainly get some work done with these oyinbo-guys who keep barging into siesta. I await the third knock tomorrow but first I must look real cool for him o so he does not run outta my room in fright. I’ll have to tie my hair in a scarf before observing my usual siesta! I always look on the bright side of things…

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