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Tag: Germany

EuroSpot: It’s (not) the Greeks again!

It’s (not) the Greeks again!

Lets end before we start: Greece is bankrupt! So crystal clear is this truth even a blind man sees the broke-country is finished. Think of the Nigerian Pidgin proverb: Dem no dey tell blind man say rain dey fall! It is raining thunderstorm in Greece!

A backjump. September 2006. Newspaper served. On a KLM cityshopper from Amsterdam. The title on the front-page: Greece Fiscal Misery! Same old topic; a bizarre submission that Greece had lied to the European Union Common Currency Zone (Eurozone) to gain entrance. In short, she was a cheat, the report concluded.

Greece Prime Minister Tsipras

Greece Prime Minister Tsipras

There are reasons for admitting this proverbial broke-vulture into the Eurozone. The least believable is to blame a Greek-manipulated fiscal report. Long before Greece admission, politicians in Europe were acquainted with the truth that Greece is as corrupt as any country in Sub-Sahara Africa, for example Nigeria. The political nepotism and economic irresponsibility of Greece far outweighed anybody’s imagination. So, a claim of being a cheat could not be tenable to have neglected doing the needed if Greece must be admitted into the Eurozone.

At the other end is one of the strongest aims of Greece admission, which is, the ‘Big Fishes’ of the Eurozone were out to make a ‘permanent’ financial-quickie of a country double-killed by her own potpourri of corruptible tendencies. Admission into the common currency market only catapulted a comatose country into her own abyss.

Therapies to bring back Greece to fiscal sanity long before 2008 economic meltdown had not worked; attempts by finance-czars to halt her continual fall after 2008, if it worked at all, amounted to near-killer suffocate-dosage. Greece became to Europe an economic nuisance.

The blame is not solely on the doorstep of the bigger Eurozone countries. Greece had her problems before admission. I need not remind that longthroat is a perfect character of leaders running a corrupt state. These leaders forget most times there is a singular winner in a quickie-affair; except parties involved are clear about their intention from the word-go. Anything aside this is pretense. Greece and her leaders were never smart to have hidden her financial woes because her yansh was never covered. With this action, I could only think of Greece as an ostrich hiding her head in the sand.

Trust politicians, they are always spot-on with all sorts of rhetoric to whip-in maximum gain for themselves. The ensuing fiasco as to (non-)implementation of the austerity plans is a good chance. Think of recent gain by various right-wing parties in the last European parliament election and the picture is complete; Greece’s problem was a good selling point. A comparison of Greece prime minister and his finance minister to a second-hand car dealer from whom no one would want to buy a car is the least of jabs shot at Greece in recent times. When a bigger suffering befalls a man, smaller and hitherto below-status insults will begin to show face. Such is Greece misfortune at the moment.

Prime Minister Tsipras and his Finance Minister Mr. Varoufakis

Prime Minister Tsipras and his Finance Minister Mr. Varoufakis

Hurling insults at Greece will not make the problem leave us, we must discuss issues in ways that construct solutions. To begin with, Eurozone’s insistence on pulling through the hard austerity measures for which successive governments in Greece had been voted out by angry Greeks is an indicator of a failed policy. Latest protest in Athens against Tsipras Leftist-led government is an indication of what shall happen should Greece be pressed further. Reason given thus far that other countries have gone through same and returned cleaner is nothing but a hoax. European politicians know.

Reality check is a confirmation of contrary claims that financial sanity cum structural stability has returned to Italy. Spain’s (youth) unemployment rate is a clearer pointer to a looming problem waiting to explode. The Irish idyll is what it is at the moment: a sham. That Ireland and Portugal were able to payback billions as scheduled does not prove austerity measures are working. Sarah Warenknecht, German Leftist Leader in the Bundestag, said the obvious in a recent debate: The giant/stronger p(l)ayers in the Eurozone have thus far only been paying their own bills. They send money to broke-countries only to disburse/return them in installments as agreed in the austerity plans. The much needed structural reforms are not achievable (and cannot be) within a short period. The imminent collapse of the house of cards only need time to materialize. And we are confronted with the next crisis.

By the way, one cannot cease to wonder if Europe’s strongest woman-politician Germany’s Angela Merkel is this bereaved of ideas to rescue this house from collapsing. Only if in self-denial, the current austerity measures as put together will help only to postpone the next crisis to a later date. Speculation is that she wants to sit out her current/last term as German chancellor managing an European crisis she helped create with far-from-reality policies and disillusioned politics.

Talking about collapsing house of cards, a related Yoruba proverbs sheds light on the next issue. Ile ta ba fi ito ko, eri ni o wo! A house built with saliva is bound to be demolished with the first dew. That the Eurozone has only moved from one financial turbulence to the next confirms a foundation-fault. Think of the Leftist position upon the introduction of the common currency, which is that many countries outside Germany and countries with comparable strong economies and stable structures were not ready to introduce the Euro. Weaker countries may be allowed at a later date but not without having put in place crisis-proven structures and good economies.

Europe failed to listen. Many European countries, particularly the volatile members would not have listened anyway. They were bent on catching-in cheap monies. The immediate benefit of reaping now to sow later was too alluring to be ignored. Either way, Germany will always benefit from the arrangement, she too was interested in the immediate economic gains. This way, the countries with the Euro plunged themselves into spiraling crisis.

Were there intelligent political managers at the helm of affairs in countries like Greece, they would not have agreed to an all-importing economy; beyond farm produce Greece hardly exports anything tangible to/outside Europe. Same goes for Spain and Portugal. They are of course holiday paradise, a booming branch so long people come to their shores. Not to forget, Germany, Holland, France etc are also strongly represented in this branch, so the earnings are not going to the South alone. Add to that was the crazy unsustainable house market-price boom. The crash of the utopia could not have been louder anywhere than in Spain. House worth millions depreciated beyond redemption. Truth is, an economy built on market speculation and abracadabra economic theories cannot survive tomorrow. Germany’s Economy Minister summed-up the woes of these countries when he emphasized in a speech only an economy based on trade, handwork and industry is that which last the test of time, not one established on finance speculation and non-existent money/gains a la hedge-fund trickery etc!

Not only must Greece be enabled to start a new country by canceling a larger portion of her debt. If she must remain in the Eurozone without being caught in the next crisis, she must put structures in place, no doubt, but not under the scrutiny of current austerity measures. Here is the reason: Like Germany would never survive a day with a Greek-led economic package, same way can Greece never survive a Germany/Brussels-led economic package. Think of Germany’s ways and you inch a step closer to understanding the logic. Greece is not Germany, and Germany is not Greece. For instance, Germany’s Wirtschaftswunder was made possible not only for the Marshall Plan but because of Germany’s cultural understanding of the work concept. Greece will rise again within the Eurozone, if allowed to stay, but at Greece’s own pace and as acceptable within the purview of her cultural understanding of the same concept. Forcing them to work on a diet of rationed “dictatorship” from Brussels will not work; it will at best lead to successive Greek government being “toppled” at the polls even before her election!

On a final note, some are of the opinion the much talked-about wrong-footed take-off of the Euro is an issue we ought to be done with. I disagree. The mistake was made because political optimism was prioritized against commonsense economic choices. The current crisis is an opportunity for the Eurozone to correct these foundational faults. The fingers on the wall at the moment, particularly in Greece, point unfortunately to hurry-hurry politics that helped made the crisis possible in the first place. How else does one explain the initial no-renegotiation-stance by the Eurozone upon Tsipras’ election as Greek’s prime minister as if there was a singular correct perspective to resolving Greece fiscal problem. Think of Germany’s chancellor unwarranted meddling in Greek’s internal affairs shortly before election with soft threat that voting a party other than one which follows through on the austerity plans might spell doom for the tiny country. Few weeks after, the Bundestag voted with a resounding majority to temporarily extend Greece credit; an indication for other European countries to follow suit. Desperate moves would have been unnecessary were the package humane/good enough for any country to begin with.

Greece exit is in nobody’s interest. Of course, the Eurozone will survive with(out) Greece, but a stronger Greece in the Eurozone will benefit both Greece and the Eurozone. Like the adage goes, when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. At the moment, we must not forget the worst sufferer of the crisis is the common (wo-)man in Greece. They must be relieved.

!Simply-Dunni-on-Spot !SiDoS: Your Chimamanda! is Not My Adichie!

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

On Facebook a friend’s post about Chimamanda Adichie’s Americannah read thus:

So I finally finished reading Americanah and there is nothing spectacular about the novel. I think Adiche has over flogged some issues. She really should try something new.

We are all entitled to our beliefs and opinions. I refrained from a reaction to this piece of mind because it was *my-keeping-mute-week.*

I was at a book reading in September. An European questioned the authenticity of African diasporic writers, mentioning in passing the exponential increase in diasporic writers in recent times. The opinion of the friend and the question of the European are related. It was time for a response.

In my reaction, I emphasized, the authenticity of writers from the diaspora should not be questioned; on no account should they also be compared to writers at home.

These two writers write from different perspectives and environments which follows that there is a wide contrast in their subject matters. Therefore, a diasporic writer might overstretch particular issue(s) in her novel because she has one more reason to do so, namely her newly added perspective. How she infuses these into her writing is best known to her/him.

In this light, a reader living in Nigeria might identify well with a book written by a live-in-Nigerian-author. The same reader might not with a live-abroad-Nigerian-author. Our perceptions differ based on the environment we live in.

Here a practical example. As a resident in Germany, I can make as subject matter *Mineralwasser* in comparison to *Nigeria-Tablewater*.

The live-in-Germany-Nigeria-readers might have a good read and good laugh. On the other hand, live-in-Nigeria-readers might be vexed when they read my book. Simply put: we have no Mineralwasser in Nigeria. Thus, it will be difficult to imagine the bad taste Mineralwasser leaves in my mouth. I can picture the live-in-Nigeria-readers asking what the hype is about the book.

I read Americannah few months after I arrived in Germany. I finished reading it within hours. It was unputdownable. I bet if I was in Nigeria when I read the novel, I still would have finished reading it because I love reading, but I would not have understood some key words, thematic preoccupations, White-Black dichotomy etc.

Take for instance Ifemelu’s experience, the protagonist who left for America for further studies and what she went through in pursuit of her dreams. Living in Germany and reading this novel remedied that for me. I was Ifemelu in that novel, I could relate Obinze to some friends who live an undocumented life in London and the trauma of using friends’ passports to get jobs that submit 40% income to these friends. Probably, some other diasporic readers could identify with one or two characters in the novel. I have since read the novel three times after my first read.

My desire to write about the black-white dichotomy in my Master thesis also surfaces from living in Germany. I am sure I would never have thought about doing my research on a topic like that living in Nigeria. The reason is this: I was never *Black* in Nigeria. I became *Black* when I stepped on the shores of Europe. So, how can my live-in-Nigeria-readers understand my master thesis and the mumbo-jumbo? This has nothing to do with intelligence but they cannot picture the world from my view.

In a nutshell, lest one think I am over-flogging issues here, diasporic African/Nigerian writers are not less authentic, the presumed issue over-flogging is not necessarily true and their confluence of narratives are clearly different from live-in-Nigeria-writers due to among many other factors the departure from home, thus adding another perspective to them.

World-Situation-Report Personal Perspectives (WoPP): Your Freedom is not My Freedom: A Cultural Problematic

Freedom is good. Undoubtedly, life is currently best lived in the West, i.e. in the United States (US), Central and Western Europe and many other countries that run on fully-adopted Western democratic values. Practical democracy is a cultural form of freedom. She is not without her limitations. Like every other form of freedom, it is good. A justifiable question to ask is this: Is this cultural product good for all, particularly in the Middle East/North Africa? I shall attend to this question in this piece.

As a quick preamble to thoughts on the practicability of democracy in the West and other parts of the world where democracy is largely unwelcome or only a pseudo-form accepted, here is a German saying (in English): The inside is just like the outside, only differently. Considering this wisdom, our ideals of freedom in the West is/can be very subjective.

Here is a fact: The world is divided still into blocs, albeit only thinly talked about and often (implicitly) allured to by world politicians (if they must remind us in their speeches). Else, this thick-wall of separation is invisible, but strongly visible to an astute observer. So also are the ideals of freedom; freedom is BLOC-ed à la your freedom is not necessarily my ideal freedom!

This confirms that we see this inevitable human commodity differently. (Cultural) Freedom to China is apparently not the measurement of (cultural) freedom in Russia and the Eurasian hemisphere. The Western ideals of freedom are certainly a strange phenomenon to/in Saudi Arabia. The African view of freedom is only one of the world’s many perceptions of freedom.

Residents in the West have oftentimes overlooked/brushed aside this salient truth, (un-)willingly. Thus, the forceful desire to force down the throat of all world inhabitants this mainly Western ideal of freedom. When zeroed-in on the Middle East/North Africa, this forceful imposition uncovers the ignorance of the West.

The media hardly helps to abate this ignorance. I have since observed the media consciously feed the desired imaginations of Western residents à la our-BLOC-is-humane-and-thus-the-ideal! This thinking is one-sided and an illusion.

Lets move to Russia. The Western political bigwigs and media finally achieved a goal. Once Mr. Putin is mentioned, a picture of the evil-that-troubles-our-world comes to mind. I doubt if Mr. Putin is the singular problem of today’s world. It is worth mentioning that even the credibility of Russia’s democracy is doubted in the West. Mr. Putin is garbed in the Tsarists robes.

The point is, in the thinking of the West, their cultural freedom, namely democracy, if accepted, must be practiced according to (Western) prescription. Otherwise, it is not valid.

Recently, Dr. Gregor, Member of the Bundestag and a leader of German Leftist Party made a strong statement in the parliament. To sum it up, he had constantly warned that isolating Russia in the name of sanctions and more sanctions is no reasonable approach to tackling anything Russia. Thus, Russia being successfully partly isolated, the West had practically hindered a possible UN resolution on the ISIL crisis even before it broke.

Of course, nobody wished ISIL into existence, but with so much proxy-conflicts partly caused by the West and weaponry supplied by same for the region, ISIL was foreseeable! Absolutely.

On the dynamism of world politics, any country is clearly wrong-advised to isolate Russia. The West partly did that in the series of sanctions imposed. Therefore, there is no gainsaying the fact that the West had conclusively ruled out the possibility of an all-inclusive intervention against the ISIL.

On the announcement of President Obama that an all-inclusive coalition to decimate and eventually defeat ISIL was finally in place, he was clearly talking about the US and their allied partners in NATO. Where is China and Russia? And even IRAN?! Yes, Iran is a strategic partner in this consideration.

Syria may be isolated because she is presently on the wrong course in handling of her internal conflict (external/sectarian-inspired war), but this does/must not rule out the inclusion of the government of the day in Syria, namely Bachar Al-Assad’s government to tackle ISIL! This is a fact. The ability to see (two) different matters dispassionately is a key in world politics. Otherwise, reactions is/can only be irresponsible.

Alongside the US and the United Kingdom, France has also begun airstrikes on ISIL targets. So, France must also shell Iraq to combat ISIL! One can safely conclude that in the opinion of the US-led coalition to battle ISIL, any capable country would do well to help in air-striking or otherwise the ISIL to achieve a defeat of the monster!

Allow me wonder aloud: Since when/how did ISIL come into possession of such powerful weaponry that Iraq must once again be invaded through the air? God help Syria because ISIL finally open a legal gateway for air-striking her territories!

They are doing all in order to help stabilize the region. Democracy is the ultimate goal.

The point is, NATO is not the world! And the world is not only NATO. No doubt, the Middle East is of strategic importance (political and economic) to the US and Europe, but geographically, it is neither Europe nor America! The ideals upon which NATO was founded, namely mutual protection of common interest, self-determination and (cultural) FREEDOM, are worth emulating. (Un-)fortunately, these NATO-ideals are not acceptable world-over.

By the way, one cannot currently respond very positively that NATO still live by her founding creeds. Beyond crude oil and imperial interests, US, UK and France seriously have next to nothing to protect in the Middle East! Sadly enough, Germany is gradually being drawn into these messy interests.

Think of Saddam Hussein and Iraq, Ghadaffi and Libya! These countries were invaded; Iraq was a full-blown war and the coalition air-struck Libya. Summed up, under (sometimes false) pretext by the West to bring about a cultural form of freedom, namely democracy in these countries, all necessary tools must not be spared to achieve this Western ideal in a region clearly cut-out for anything but practical democracy!

So far, Libya is definitely *a million light years* far from being democratic. She is also not peaceful. On uncovering that the Bush/Blair-war in Iraq was inspired by a hoax, the country plunged further and hopelessly into sectarian chaos. No doubt, failure had being pre-programmed. Democracy was/is further out of reach.

Sadam Hussein was definitely not the only person who could unite Iraq. Hanging him via a Western provoked war was neither a credible means to uproot an unwanted dictator. Besides, before Sadam’s overthrow, it was clear that Iraq is not a country mapped-out for practical democracy à la Western thinking. Likewise Libya. In short, many countries of that region would thrive far better with far lesser conflicts or none without the West directly intervening.

Think of Pre- and Post-Mubarak Egypt to understand how the Middle East/North Africa works best. With the successful overthrow of the President Mubarak’s government in Egypt in the Arab Spring, the West seemed to notice their failure shortly upon helping to install President Morsi. Yes, he was popularly voted into office in a presumed free and fair election, but the aftermath of his election was predictable. Egypt threatened to become another crisis-ridden country in that part of the world. Eventually, President Morsi was practically putsch-ed from office and jailed!

I would bet my shirt President/General As-Sisi seized power and consequently imposed himself as winner of a mock-election with the implicit blessing of the West. I swear he would stay longer in power than Mubarak, saving that he offended the West. Egypt would be relatively peaceful. There would be grumblings among dissenting voices, but President As-Sisi would be quick to bribe generously or jail them over to his side. Not that the West would keep her nose out of Egypt, but it would only be implicit.

It boils down to this: Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait among many other (relatively) peaceful countries in the region, function differently. She must not forcefully adopt the cultural freedom of the West (democracy) to survive and stay conflict/war-free. A renewed understanding and different approach to matters of the Middle East is thus an urgent imperative.

!Simply-Dunni-on-Spot !SiDoS: Jailed Because of Pepper!

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

You know I told you guys I would await the 3rd oyinbo guy to come ask for description before requesting my Heimleiter to make me his secretary, and if he refused, then I would have no choice than to start giving these guys the wrong address. I know I’m that bad. I dont need to be told.

Even while growing up, my mother labelled me *wicked* several times because of my unlimited pranks. I won’t tell you about my pranks today sha o.

Oh, my oyinbo friend also told me of recent that he would be unfriend me if i didnt stop playing these my stupid pranks on him, so I’m considering putting an end to it.

Ok. Nobody came knocking today but I had a very exciting day anyway. I woke up late as usual. I’m not very disciplined so I have no alarm like my oyinbo friend who even own a sleeping alarm! Can you imagine?! Alarm telling him it’s time to sleep… Hehehehehe. I no fit laugh o jare.

I sleep when sleep comes knocking and wake up when my eyes deem it fit to open u. Hahahaha. Thank God we are on semester break. I only have this termpaper I have to write. It is easy though. I guess you are itching to know what my topic is. Here it is: Code-mixing and Code-switching between Pidgin and English: A Case Study of the Phenomenon in Contemporary Nigerian Hip-Hop Music. Exciting. Right? I also think so.

Don’t mind the fact that Nigeria keeps rearing its ugly head up in all my stories, but what can I do, I’m a Nigerian. You don’t have to beleive me. I have my green passport to prove it.

Anyway, I have this Spanish friend and we like each other so much, if not for the difference in skin pigmentation, you’d think we were sisters…hmmm… We probably are. You never can tell…

So she informed me on Whatsapp that she’s hungry. I being a good samaritan now, told her to hop on the next bus to my place. I was gonna cook my indomie and eat so I decided to include hers. Ok now. She was so happy; she arrived 15minutes later and I started cooking. I swear, I totally forgot it wasnt just me that would eat it o, aswear I didn’t do it on purpose!

I brought out my pepper that I carried in my luggage all the way from Nigeria the last time I visited. This pepper is so important to me ehn, even more than my Master programme! Hahahahaha.

Ok now. After adding the pepper that came with the Indomie, I added my own Nigerian pepper!

I coughed the usual way before I announced that food is ready.

Hmmm, I am still speechless I swear o…because she was hungry. She started before me, I had to wash the pot I used as a good Nigerian wifetobenow..

So I was at the sink washing when I heard this scream from behind me, I dropped the pot. I turned around immediately. What did I see?

My friend! Lying on the ground! Coughing! Scratching head!

I didnt know what to think. You know we are very close. I know she’s not epileptic. So what can this be?, I seemed to ask myself. I moved close. In my fright I asked what the problem was. Her eyes were tightly shut and she was gurgling WATER! WATER! I immediately ran to the sink. My mind already went blank! Chai, is this how I’m going to be deported? I could already see my picture in the Westfälische Nachrichten – A Black Girl Killed A White Girl Today!

I forced the water into her mouth but I still didnt know what the problem was. There was nobody I could call because it was Sunday. These Germans ehn and their strict routine… my flatmates dont wake until 11am… Can you imagine!

Finally, I remember I’m in Germany and not in Nigeria and I can always call the emergency number. In my disordered state, I called the police instead of calling for an ambulance.

Shit! Another problem was this same language… I think I have to take this language seriously for once and learn it o!

Anyway, I was able to ask in perfect German to be put online with someone who can speak English, they grudgingly did… Na life and death matter now… So I narrated my story to them. My friend is lying on the floor and I don’t know what the problem is. Fortunately for us, my house is just 2minutes from our city hospital so the ambulance arrived in less than 5minutes.

Of course, the police had to take me along, I’ve become an accessory to whatever is wrong with her now. These German machines ehn will never cease to amaze me. Chai! Immediately, they started passing different pipes into her brain and hooked her to one big machine like that!

Egba mi ke! Ko le to yi now!

The doctor who asked to be told the story again finally told us it was my pepper that almost took her life o!

I was surprised! Pepper ginni?! Ehn!!! My Nigerian pepper ke!!!

Iro ni o!

The pepper I brought all the way from Nigeria that my mother spent more than 6000naira nearly killed somebody! I refused to believe the doctor. I told him bluntly my pepper is not poisonous as I have used it several times. I even begged them to allow me go home to bring it and taste a spoon in their presence. They all looked at me like I was an alien. Eat a spoon of pepper?, they seemed to ask. I answered yes.

Anyway, my friend is alive now o and doing well. Finally, I wont be labelled a killer. Thank God!!! You know its our culture to thank God for everything.

Shebi Yoruba people say a soul who doesnt eat pepper will die young. Then why did my pepper almost kill my friend and she’s just 21 o? Its like the reverse is the case here o. Anyway, I tire for this oyinbos o. Why are they very fragile like this sef? I just got in from the hospital o and I’m very tired, so I’m just going to dust my bed and go to sleep.

I couldnt even study today, see what pepper caused. When I woke up, I was seriously awaiting the knock of these cute oyinbo guys so I could gist u about it, maybe he came knocking and met my absence. Who knows jare? I didnt know I was going to spend my day in the hospital o. But why now, God. I prayed to you this morning, but you didnt show me this vision o. Pepper! Hmmm...!

!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…

!Simply-Dunni-on-Spot !SiDoS: Palava-Series-1

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

Lookit me!!! Methink I’m becoming germanized ooo…! Or why should I get pissed because a guy knocked on my door without prior notice through email or whatever that he would come knocking! And that while I was sleeping like i-don’t-care in the afternoon. He wanted me to describe the heimleiter’s (housemaster) house.

Come to think of it, how did I sleep in Nigeria in noonday through the screams from my mum to get her something, which is right in front of her! Then she would be like *oh sorry you are sleeping, but still call again in five minutes thereafter!

And there would be my cousins too on the other hand doing their waka-abouts searching for God-knows-what like in a Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS) on my own side of the room.

By the way, having your own room doesn’t mean it’s yours. Anyway, I had MY OWN BED I could lay claim to. That was enough for me. I no be OLIVER TWIST who’s always asking for more..

There were mum’s spontaneous visitors too knocking on the door and you were expected to leave everything with immediate alacrity, including your *sleep* and attend to them till they leave! Who born you to do otherwise!

I must not forget to mention our dog barking for reasons best known to her. By the way, Yoruba-Nigerians believe dogs bark when they see evil spirits, witches and wizards flying to their afternoon-meeting. So our dog probably always see them flying because she never stopped barking. I wish I knew better, but since I am not a dog, how do I know.

The cocks who have decided to make your window an abode of worship-to-God would be busy making a call and finally the generator making its own kinda noise…

In these times, my patience was never stretched to its breaking point oooo… and oh, if you were pissed, or squeezed a fraction of your face or eyelid…. hehehehehe *smiles aloud*. Pity betide you! You would be making the greatest mistake of your life allowing mum see it on your face, as in you putting on a *poker-face*

If you’ve been wondering why I smile or laugh even when nothing is funny… now you know! The outcome of your *poker-face* is this: slaps that would make you see stars in broad-day light and you’d also feel like you are on a roller-coaster.

If she was not in the mood to dash you free slaps, then you were gonna have to stand for an hour while she tells you stories of all bad and disobedient children in the bible e.g. children of Eli. They ended up in Hell!

Come to think of it; I don’t know why my mum took a fancy to Eli’s children – Opheni and Phineas*Please confirm spelling in the bible and read the detailed story while you do*.

She talked to my brother about Samuel, David and the good children; and when it got to my turn; it was always these same people- Opheni and Phineas, the disobedient Eve who ate the apple, the proud Goliath who got killed by the dwarf David, Absalom who got hung on a tree by his hair!

In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if Absalom had such extremely strong and tough dreads because I still don’t understand how a tree carried someone up from the horse with his hair! I doubt this could happen with this slick oyinbo-hair o. Anyway, that is none of my business o jare! *just saying though while I go back to sleep*

Spoken-Word Artists and Academics In Germany Demand: BringBackOurGirls!



0352 0353 0354 0356 0363 0365 RonAmber

It is obvious that the last is yet to be heard of our lost girls in Nigeria. Apparently, the Federal Government believes the shout and demand to bring back our stolen girls would die-out somehow, but how wrong the Federal Goverment is! The world will not keep quiet until our girls are brought back. The recent Malala visit to Nigeria on the issue of the girls testifies to this determination of world citizens to rescue our girls.

Here is the latest: Recently at the BIGSAS festival of African and African-diasporic literature/photograph Mbuguah Goro, held in Germany, poets, spoken word artists and academics lent their voices to the Bring Back our Girls’ campaign. Some of the  artists and poets that supported the campaign were the American spoken word artist, RonAmber Deloney, German poet, Temye Tesfu, Kenyan writer, Tony Mochama and some lecturers and students at the University of Bayreuth. Photography

Brazil 2014: Personal Perspectives (BPP): Historical Semi-Final Match!

There is no beating about the bush, Germany deserved the hard-fought victory over Brazil. To say the blanket truth, this defeated Brazilian team had not been very impressive since the beginning of this tournament. I knew long before the encounter that Germany would take her opponent asunder. The German team confirmed it with the world-class performance. One thing can be said at the end of this first semi-final match, and that is, football is calculated tactic, football is best-played emotion-free, football has a winning-recipe, football is science!

The truth is, with the first goal the Brazilian conceded, the defense of the loosing side broke-down altogether. Many commentators talked of the first-goal-shock. Apparently, the Brazilians had expected themselves to shoot the first goal! What a joke if this was truly their mindset! Normally, a world-class footballing country like Brazil should not be quickly overtaken by surprise with a first goal against them. In fact, such a goal would have spurned a similar country to a counter-goal and a possible eventual victory. Brazil lost already with the first conceded goal. So much must be said.

As the host-country, the players had alot to bear, so much expectations to realize. Clearly, the boys were not in the best of hands to help them work-out this psychological state/condition. The team would probably have best been set-aside, like quarantined from contact with the emotion-laden Brazilian fans. Of course, every country, most especially the host-country, would want to carry the golden trophy home! The team had probably looked too much farther beyond the German semi-final so that they probably had thought it was going to be a walk-over. A walk-over it was indeed, but against them. It favored the better-side.

Actually, one can say that the mythical god of football was on the German side today, although I would rather submit that this wonderful figure practically died with the unbelievable exit of Spain among other giant footballing countries during this tournament. The German-win tonight is best attributed to the excellent German players and an over-confident Brazilian team.

Moreover, the Germans showed a far superior excellence in tactics. Brazil undoubtedly started and finished the match on the wrong foot; there was no single display of anything worth calling classy football tactic that one would have expected from a team like Brazil.

And that brings me to another very important point. Football is a team game. It is not an individual affair. No doubt, a match can be won by an individual, take for example by the Almighty Messi, but we must not be too quick to forget that such an individualistic rescue operation is often in indirect work-out with other players. The team must have worked so hard, so that the stronger side just had to win.

The tactical failure of Scolari, the Brazil coach became prominent with the Neymar injury. A team built around a particular individual need pray that the Neymar in the team be not injured! To be fair on the winners, Neymar would have been rendered useless even if he was not injured. So, the Neymar-curse can be forgotten in this encounter with Germany. Germany would have won all the same. The Germans knew when and how to convert their chances.

We need also be reminded that these are also world-class players with world-class football skills. A Khedira is anyday a player to fear. His control of balls and accurate passes among other tactical work-outs are such that any opposing team would fear. Özil is in a class of his own! He is world-class. Shall we talk of Lahm and Schweinsteinger or the Ever-goal-and-ball-conscious-Müller! Miroslav Klose broke a world-record by setting up another with his historical goal on Brazilian soil! Even a bencher in the person a Adre Schürle scored in this encounter! At a point, the Brazilian supporters cheered the German side!

In short, Germany won this game because she deserves to win! No more, no less!

With this performance in a semi-final, one can already call the final game on Sunday for Germany. There are times football can be unpredictable, but so far the current world-cup showed that the better side had always won, irrespective of dissenting opinions anyone held.

The Netherlands cannot be overlooked however. I can bet my shirt that Argentina would be beaten to a third-place so that an all European final shall be what to be seen on Sunday, just like it was four years ago in South Africa. The reason is very obvious. Arge Robben of the Oranje Boys has been so far restless and a strong pillar in the royal team. He does not play alone. He has so far played and blended well into the team spirit. An Argentina almost forced to a draw by the Islamic Republic of Iran could as well be said to have survived so far on luck. Luck can unfortunately not bring one beyond certain situation in football. Argentina will meet her waterloo in the Netherlands. Like Brazil, the Almighty Messi is always the joker of the Argentines. He shall not be enough to safe his national side. Netherlands would be sure to give them a very good surprise!

Being a Germany fan, I would call the final for Germany. A Germany versus Netherlands final would be a confrontation of two giant teams with superior tactility and footballing-logic. In a situation like this, one would simply wait for the game to be played! I can only wish the German boys a Brazilian-like experience with their opponents.

See you on Sunday virtually in Maracana stadium!

In Quest for a World not Weakened by Wars

To an individual every problem becomes a nail, when a hammer is the only tool available to him/her. I came by this beautiful quote per chance on one of the info-screens installed at various metro-stations where I live. I could not agree more. This concise proverb sums up alot and gives very deep insight into the state of our world.

I saw a cartoon in the local newspaper recently. In it was a Middle East Sheikh. First he spoke on phone with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He needed arms, guns and more guns to combat insurgence in his country. Right after his conversation, he made another call to the ISIS militia. He referred to them as *brothers-in-faith*. He promised to supply them with more arms, guns and more guns to prosecute their faith-wars on various fronts!
While I had a good smile, the import of the message was not lost on me.

In an article published once by a guest-blogger on my blog, the writer questioned in a conference the motive behind selling arms and more arms to crisis- and war-ridden African countries when it is crystal clear that these weapons are used to fuel and prolong wars and civil unrest in these parts of Africa. The response could not be more diplomatic than evasive. The respondent only wished that these deadly instruments of war do not get into wrong hands. According to him, the EU is doing her best to ensure this wish is achieved.

Meanwhile, international diplomacy and deal-cutting continue in a quest to solving problems caused largely by arms sold/delivered to the troubled regions by various world power.

Lets leave it at that for now. I move to Ukraine. I once submitted in an article that the end and worst looser in the crisis is Ukraine. A look into the devastating civil war ongoing in Syria will give an insight into this. At the end, the country is brought down to its kneels with the aid of bombs, grenades and even deadlier weapons. War is never a joke. Ask survivors. They will confirm the sad truth.

Politically considered, a strong and West-oriented Ukraine can only be to Russia’s disadvantage. Russia would never open-eye see this come true. It is her worst nightmare. Therefore, the destabilization strategy is the singular tool available to Russia. Russia has since adopted this tool like the proverbial hammer, albeit in a far too-overt manner. One would have wished for Russia to be less confrontational.

Anyway, the country of the Tsars has never been known to be a fan of covert-diplomacy. Speaking in direct and clear-terms are her ways. In short, she would call a spade a spade. A reminder of this is a saying allegedly attributed to a former First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, angered by the US spy action on the Soviet Union while both countries sat at table in Washington to dialogue on ways of bridging the widening gaps of mistrust between both world-powers. He gave way to his anger. *You do not shit on the same table where you intend to eat thereafter!*

This directness of approach is what has been seen again in the ongoing crisis in East Ukraine. Even a blind person can see that the separatists are Russia’s own creation to destabilize the region, and indirectly the country. She has denied any direct involvement with or finance of the separatist, but we all know better.

Russia did not mince words either on making it clear that the EU and the US are directly responsible for this forced destabilization of Ukraine. That is to say, if the EU and US would keep their nose off Russia’s backyard, she certainly would have no interest in a proxy war! I am sure Russia is even more angered now than ever before because she just cannot punish Ukraine too openly or more than she is doing so far like she did years back when Georgia *foolishly* angered the sleeping lion!

The quick summary of events in Ukraine is to underline a point, which is, the conflict in Ukraine is a conflict of interests. If the interests were met today, or at least, the wishes of those behind the various masks were largely met, absolute peace would return to Ukraine. In fact, the swiftness with which the calm will descend on Ukraine would surprise even the worst doubter of a possible permanent peace deal in Ukraine.

Moving to the Middle East and particularly to Iraq and Syria. Definitely, the emergence of the terror and militia movement Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) did not happen overnight. Although I must be quick to add that I personally only woke up one day and heard on the news of a new terror group that now trouble the already troubled Iraq and a gradually and systematically dying Syria. I missed a breathe on seeing the cruel execution in cold blood by the ISIS militia, but beyond this, I quickly adjusted to living with the latest nightmare born into our world. No doubt, ISIS is a brain-child of certain interest groups in and outside of Iraq and Syria. One would not be too wrong to talk of proxy wars and mindless/heartless adventure.

Like it would be expected, the US and various allies in the West grabbed the microphone. The airwave is bombarded with calls for the end of the barbarism ongoing in that region of the world. Expectedly, the conflict only got hotter, bigger and more cruel with each passing call for peace and reason. It reminds of a situation of a stubborn child who keeps doing exactly that same thing which angers the mother, with the singular motive of getting the mother to shout even louder!

Of particular interest is this question: Whose weapons are being used to execute the ISIS-wars, which has taken over large part of the war-torn/war-tired country? We need not speculate too far. We know Kalashnikov, bombs, grenades and other even more dangerous weapons are manufactured not in Iraq or Syria! These places are simply too war-troubled to care about manufacturing weapons.

In the light of this simple truth, one is tempted to question the sincerity behind calls to stop the barbarism being perpetrated by ISIS. Such calls are at best hypocritical. The Foreign Minister of Germany declared millions of Euro, clearly a giant sum of money, is being earmarked for the troubled region, as a result of ongoing ISIS-inflicted conflict.

Guns are meant to be used. Even before then, a gun manufacturer would certainly want to sell her market! The manufacturer is not in doubt of the fact that guns are used to snuff out lives and maim mercilessly, and that they must be sold when manufactured! The industry is a multi-billion industry, both for government, private individuals, companies and banks bankrolling the whole scheme. Earmarking *peanuts* of the profits from earning made to *mop-up* the aftermath of conflicts caused by their own making is not a *bad-loss*. Besides, the donated money is being garbed as humanitarian aids among many other brand names.

While ISIS continued its offensive like a theatrical performance full of tragic episodes, the US Secretary of State John Kerry was flown into Iraq. Apparently to show support for the collapsing and crisis-ridden Iraqi government. Unfortunately, the super-suggestion of an all-inclusive government was turned down by the Iraqi President.

Personally, I believe the Iraqi President is acting out a script. One can say he has so far acted his part well. Really, what could have been so difficult in accepting a proposition that suggested a common-sense solution to a crisis that should not have occurred in the first place. That he even waited, first for the suggestion to be made, only to reject it, is laughable. Anyone would think the President ought to have come about the idea all on his own. A country as ethnically divided as Iraq must not be told that a government that cater widely for the interests of all is a plausible and possible way out of a senseless conflict. Well, the President of Iraq opined differently!

There are speculations that going by the recent/latest conflict and what seems to be an ever un-ending state of turmoil in the region, a new map of the Middle East might be about to emerge with new countries birthed. This is not a bad idea, really. The autonomous region of predominantly Iraqis of Kurdish ethnicity has been far more peaceful than other parts of the country since after the Bush war that fell Saddam Hussein dictatorial and draconian government.

By the way, we need to constantly remember that Iraq and Syria are not the only troubled countries in the Middle East. The region is actually in a permanent state of conflict ever since I can remember. One can bet without any fear of loosing that the conflict will go on for a longer time to come. It seems that the the desires/wishes of the various interest groups in and outside the Middle East are so designed that they can never be met. This is one dividing line between Ukraine and the Middle East. Moreover, the Middle East is not in Europe. It is shameful to have to accept this truth, but that is not to be overlooked. It cannot be overlooked!

Lets move to Africa.

The African continent is another potpourri of near-war conflicts, full-blown conflicts, (proxy) wars and more wars. Insurgents are on the rise. Boko Haram, the Islamic terror sect in Northern Nigeria competes very favorably with the likes of Al-Shabbab of Somalia and Al-Qaida on national and international level. In recent times though, there seems to be more conflicts and war in and outside the African continents that conflicts on the African continents, which are only best described in the superlatives, are being over-shadowed/dwarfed by these newer wars and conflicts.

Nobody need be told that Al-Shabbab is a terror group whose threats are worth taking serious. They owned up to attacks in Somalia and Kenya. They terrorize residents in places where they control territories. Boko Haram of Northern Nigeria eventually and finally got more international attention and recognition with the abduction of over 200 girls. Prior to the kidnap, the numbers of bombings attributed to this group of nuisance mad-dogs already won them the much-craved attention. But who need be told that sadists are ever insatiable with in-flinching pain. They only crave for chance to do more damage! Boko Haram still bombed a shopping mall in the capital of Nigeria, very recently claiming over scores of lives!

The ongoing civil war in Central African Republic (CAR) is yet another being run on fuel processed in other parts of the world and with weapons *shipped* directly into the hands of both rebels and government troops alike by their foreign allies/supporters.

South Sudan is an example of a mega-failure even before the country was birthed! One would have thought that their common experience in the hands of the government-supported Janjaweed rebels would have taught them to embrace themselves, eschew self-hate, stay as one and unite even stronger! Hardly was independence declared, the political Orang-Utan who wield power in that new country decided the best place to go for is the opponents throat! The ultimate goal seem to be to already nip in the bud any sign of life/dissent from perceived competing ethnic groups- an all-out war is the way! They found means of execution in weapons of mass destruction they never invented, namely guns and more dangerous weapons! By the way, they used machetes and home-made clubs too.

What more can be said to underline the very obvious that our world is a big mess all because we adopt only the tool(s) of violence to resolving our differences. Any sincere observer of world events so far must be serious enough to accept a basic truth- war is never a way out of any crisis/differences and can never be!

To round up, here is a beautiful quote , whose origin I do not know for sure but in whose words I passionately believe and its practicability too: *It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to resolve problems without using violence.*

Brazil 2014: Personal Preliminary Perspectives (BPPP)

Professor Adesanmi rightfully declared the ongoing World Cup in Brazil as the tournament of the underdogs. I would not have made a different preliminary conclusion. Countries that one would not have reckoned with to come thus far were surprisingly instrumental to the early exit of football powerhouses. Mexico held Brazil to a draw! Even Iran nearly held Argentina to a draw and played out more chances than the Argentine side! Wonder shall never end!

Understandably, the Netherlands Experience the Spanish side were treated to might not be un-instrumental to their eventual woeful loss and extremely shabby display in the match against Chile. However, one cannot assuredly say that the Chilean national team had not in the real sense of the word taken-out/dismantled manual-wise Spain. The better side rightfully deserved to win. The Chileans were dominantly present throughout the match. The Spanish national team was beyond overwhelmed. In short, they were overpowered by a clearly better side.

Even the FIFA induced unprecedented additional time of six minutes could not safe the sinking Spaniards. They eventually sank. Thus, it would be only an attempt at seeking a justifiable excuse to graciously and honorably explain the Spanish woeful losses, first to Netherlands, and then to Chile. I need not remind readers that the era of Tikitaka football as we know it was successfully given a boot-out with the Spanish group stage exit.

Moving on to Portugal, one can attempt an explanation of their defeat in the hands of the German machines to a shameful and un-football-like bodily outburst from Pepe, a man who was expected to be a prickle in the skin of the German machines eventually leveled the ground for a historical defeat suffered by his own national side, namely Portugal.

There need be a name for this man’s unwarranted getting physical with the German striker-Müller; I call it Pepe-Curse or Pepeism. The necessity for a christening is not far-fetched. A similar display by the Cameroonian player, namely Song can by mythically explained as the aftertaste or a wash-off of the Pepe-Curse on the Cameroonians. The god of loose-your-head-when-it-matter-most (Pepe-Curse/Pepeism) transferred its bad air all the way from the Portugal to Cameroon! Song fell for the Pepe-Curse. He was a victim of Pepeism.

Up until the Cameroonian loss, the Indomitable Lions were touted to be one of the teams to watch on the list of African participants. They disappointed beyond words could measure! Did I even need remind that two African brothers finally turned on each other! These two rascals wanted to show the world the Orang-Utan-debris in them! Thank goodness a fellow player was smart enough to separate the two fighting cocks. In short, Cameroon exited the tournament like Spain and England.

The English exit was not much of an unexpected loss. Saving a handful of real-good English players to watch-out for in future tournaments, they did not really come to the World Cup with a quality worthy of going beyond the first round. They lost and I did not as much as felt a team deserving of anything lost! In that group, the deserving national teams came through. Pure and simple.

By the way, the English media is awash with news of roles played by certain players in the team; of particular interest is Rooney. A Player whose role in the English national team was thus far seen as untouchable is no more sacred. The English media is gradually tackling issues rather than beating about the bush in unnecessarily hyping a team that had nothing unusual to offer the football world.

Apropos undeserved and uncritical hype of the English national team, the opposite is the case for the Nigerian counterparts. Nigerians would (and never will!) shy away from bashing a national team that disgrace them. Once the signs of a disastrous outing become visible, Nigerians go all out to tell the players what the English media had only reluctantly begun in the past few weeks- tell them they perform woefully when this is the only truth that can be said. And if they do well, we tell them too! No more, no less.

This was the fate of the Nigerian national teams when they drew against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Less we forget too quickly, the Iranian national team was until then considered an underdog team. In fact, many had questioned their participation in the World Cup. They never would come far anyway. Besides, they are just going to be another undeserved distraction and an under-task for well-prepared teams. The Iranians proved critics wrong. They gave their best. As a matter of defending national honour, the players did Iran proud. They tactically and overall won the game against Argentina. If not for the Almighty Messi! One could only wish for a different outcome, but alas, the Almighty Messi played!

Returning to the perceived poor performance of the Nigerian national team in the match against Iran and the national outrage that came with it, retrospectively speaking, the Nigerian team had not done that badly. The perceived underdog Iran indeed deserved the draw. They were a team much stronger than we all had thought. The match against Argentina was an eye-opener.

Talking about undeserved distraction in the World Cup, a good example is the Honduras national team in the match against their French counterparts. The French won deservingly, but with the un-football-like tackle and play-style of the Hondurans, one could only wish they never qualified for the tournament in the first place.

Clearly, the Hondurans were lanky, well-built and strong, but football is not about these physical features alone. They are necessary, no doubt, but not all. Football is science- it is common-sense and result-oriented tactics too! The Hondurans clearly missed their way. They are best useful in traditional brutal American Football. That is exactly where their place is!

The yesterday win of the Nigerian side was a well-deserved win. The Nigerian side that showed up for yesterday’s match against Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) was a renewed and revitalized side! The true African spirit was resurrected in those Nigerians we saw yesterday on the pitch. They did not disappoint the country.

As it stands now, the Ghanaian and Nigerian national teams are the only hope-bearers for the African continent. Calls from various quarters to reduce the African slot can finally be nibbed in the bud. After all, two out of five is not a poor end result. These two teams justified that the African continent is thus far not poorly represented on the world stage. Really, I personally think the call to cut-down on the African slot is uncalled for and self-derogatory. Coming from Africans made it even a real bitter pill to swallow. It borders on self-crucifixion on the alter of self-hate!

After all, the woeful performance of Spain and the undoubtedly below-par performance of the English national side did not result in a clamour for a cut-down in allocated slot for the Europeans. BH and Croatia lost too. They will go home soon. Greece will likely go home too! These are all European representatives and they obviously represent the European slot very badly, no mincing words!

Thus far, only Germany and Netherlands have done the continent proud. Portugal was terribly beaten and Spain was irredeemably out-ted! I want to assume these callers were merely carried away or understand little of the consequences of self-hate in the politics of world football. Their personal disappointment did not justify their irrational demand.

A quick look at the the French national team will give a glimpse into what the African teams can do if well and better motivated. I still do not understand what the French team trained on and how they trained. This is a team made up largely of French citizens with African-roots- Benzema, Pagbo, Sissoko, Evra among other Africans the team! Referencing Professor Adesanmi, the French should have informed (…) they were coming to play Switzerland with the African Union! This is just the truth. Yet, these French players put up world-class performance and played world-class football. The African national teams have many things to learn from the French team. If they can discover the recipe of French success and motivation, I can bet that the next winner in 2018 is an African national team.

The Ghanaian players displayed yesterday a comparable spirit of a contender who can be taken seriously if they qualify. They forced the German machines to a 2:2 draw! Undoubtedly, the motivation of the Ghanaian players was really at its peak yesterday, even stronger and more prominent than that displayed by the Nigerian players. They equally translated this mountainous inspiration into action. If only the Portuguese would complete their mess, so that USA would qualify top the group, then the second from the group will be left for Germany or Ghana.

Personally, I am torn between two difficult choices. I want Germany to qualify out of the group stages, Ghana is however part of me too. I cannot afford to loose any of both. For now, I can only wait and wish for the best. A possible escape for both Germany and Ghana is when Portugal won the next match and still go ahead to loose woefully against Ghana so that Ghana and Germany can come through in the group. In any case, a Portuguese disastrous follow-up is predictable and desirable. After all, we all could not agree more that this World Cup has thus far favored countries that had hitherto being ruled out even before the competition started- the so-called underdogs. So if Portugal went the way of Spain and England, it would shock only a few.

The day is still young, so that a prediction of a possible winner would be assuming too much than reasonably predictable. I can already tip country like Netherlands. Their strong performance so far with Argen Robben, a machine-like striker, swift as wind, a great footballer, et al is a good pointer to follow. The case of Netherlands is however not a surprise. They were runners-up in South Africa.

The Chilean performance so far is a surprise. The undeniably tactically superior Iranians against Argentina is also a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. The strong come-back of the Nigerians against BH is. Even France is not necessarily a favourite for the trophy going by their shameful exit four year ago in South Africa. Ghana’s display is highly commendable. The Mexicans are on top of their game. The Brazilians are yet to arrive. That much must be said. Lest I forget, Cote d’Ivoire is still very much in the game! Three African hope-bearers! What a good feeling!

Well, so much being said, it can be summed thus: The tournament so far has been an interesting potpourri of (un-)pleasant surprises. One is best advised to stay tuned because there is still more to come. I keep hope alive for the Ghanaian and Nigerian national teams. They are the hope of the African continent at the moment. I wish Ghana all the best and strongly wish that Nigeria defeat Argentina. That will be another achievement worth celebrating on this blog.

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