Friday, August 7, 2009

This One Is For You

Yah, this is my 100th Post at last! And it is dedicated to you all. Thank you for your honest rants, serious debates, off-days, goofy days, thankful days, random days, interesting slangs…
Whenever I’m feeling 'somehow' I remember Blogosphere. And the way you express yourselves is so original. (Once upon a time I used to be discouraged about our –Nigeria’s that is- level of creativity; in the papers, I could almost always tell an article that was culled from The Daily Times or bbc because it was always more interesting/stimulating. (I’m not trying to put us down oh! It is what I observed, once upon a time. Newspaper articles are cooler now).

Then I discovered Blogville, so in my itty bitty way I’m saying thank you all (note: for fear of sounding too mushy -or as if I’m about to receive a Grammy- I’m keeping it short):

To our beautiful and strong-spirited Adaeze- I wish to be as kind-hearted; to the level-headed Adrian; to my first blogger friend and very brilliant writer Azuka (who has not updated in a l o n g while :- (); AkaBagucci the interesting and deeeep thinker…

To the funny and friendly scriptwriter(am I right?) Bibi; to poetic Blogoratti who makes weekly planning a pleasant activity; to the passionate, very funny and strong BrownSkinNaijaChic who likes Mortal Kombat(lol); my friend B. Suleiman who vamoosed before I got the opportunity to ‘stalk’ his blog…

To our so lovely, half-Northern sista Cappuccine Baby who has a new blog I don’t know yet; to Chikito, the blogger that introduced me to blogging…

To the encouraging brotha Dan Asabe (Dan Arewa); to the thoughtful and poetic Deola

To the honest, so refreshing ExSchoolNerd Laide, whose rant about her Mumsi I always remember (lol); to the delightful, observant Enkay whom I just discovered, oh me like you!

To the really friendly and pretty Fareeda who goes the extra mile to support Nigerian artistes like Darey; to deluvly, hard working Funmi

Ladidi! level-headed, intellectual and lovely Northern chica; Laspapi, the deep thinker whose Girl Whisperer articles I thoroughly enjoy; Levi & Irene- Levi who speaks so warmly about his beautiful wife Irene; the lovely, encouraging Lolia (who posts amusing cartoon sometimes), whose confidence in Nigeria strengthens mine; Stand Up Comedy’s finest: Lucy! whose mix of humor and Physics always impressed me; the peaceful, beautiful and so talented Lyricist Cathy D; to Miss Leggy and her interesting family, friends & sincere poems…

To the honest, totally deep Milesperhour; the cool talented actress herself Miss FlyHigh; to the pretty Natural Muze who is so good at writing…

NaijaGirl di ndu!! Encouraging, super inspirational, forgiving (don’t ask me how I know, I just do lol), who always makes me appreciate God more(“nobody can do it like He does” in deed); Nice Anon, whose writing style and really deep post about relationships (in May I think) so tripped me…

Observer whose cutting wit I so appreciate; the sweet One (and 1 + The 1 equals Unlimited)…
To the level-headed Pam (lol, I always remember her post on our foreign affairs minister- “kai, Ojo… Ojo… Ojo!”)…

To the kind-hearted, good natured Roc (whose sensual tales doth make one read on and blush :-)…

To the truthful and funny Saved Girl, who taught me to say “mooch”, lol; to the inspiring, encouraging Simeone; to the cool, July baby Smokie; to the awesome don-t-just-sit-there, do-something! activist Stand Tall!; to the amazing Solomon Sydelle, with intense TTTEC issues and lovely tales of TK, TE & Bomboy- a mother and loving it- I usually wonder what is adorable about super-active, noisy, attention-craving little people and I have actually found answers in 2 places- here & my Sis’ kids place)…

To T’s very informative blog and interviews; to the cool, analytical TaireBabs, whose self-confessed love for tv I can so relate with (and whose description of someone smiling like a pussy cat still amuses me); to The Ice Queen herself! Warm, sweet, humorous, and such a Johnny Depp fan; to The Lamp (of Light Her Lamp)… awesome, inspiring…

And to this guy Walkwater! Your sincerity and passion is really something my friend. I’m glad I know you.

In summary, I so appreciate you. You are His very own. I love you I love you I love you! Nmuahh!! (LOL! That I will never receive that grammy does not stop me from channeling the stars! But my appreciation is sincere).


Nigerian Calabash

Bad news for consumers in Naija. By the end of this month, we may no longer have the chance to retrieve quick cash from nearby ATMs, as the Central Bank of Nigeria is serious about getting rid of every ATM situated at non-bank locations -shopping malls, airports, hotels, etc (oh mahn! That’s so wrong).This is because banks have broken CBN’s operational guidelines for ATM placement. More info in the dailies.

Moving along…

This was inspired by Mo Abudu, and I fapped the first three from her show. Name at least 5 things Nigerians are brilliant for:
1. We show people warm hospitality – we know how to cook and accommodate even impromptu guests (it’s funny that in these days of GSM this still happens); we also take care of our elderly folks.
2. We are quite respectful, be it title-wise (Aunty/Brother/Uncle), gesture-wise or tone-wise. (I remember some people saying Hausa folk are so disrespectful because they don’t attach ‘Sista’ or ‘Brotha’ to names, forgetting that each ethnic group is entitled to its own unique way of showing respect).
3. Our energy and resilience is remarkable (this has its downside sha- we tend to accept bad things without much fight)
4. Our food - spicy and diverse. And our colorful attire.
5. When we are truly serious about something, we excel in it

This was post no. 99

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's called 'Western Education' today

Sadly, the North continues to be synonymous with religious crises. Sometimes it is called a political upheaval, but recently it’s supposedly about Western education.

As someone once pointed out, the youths encouraged to carry out these horrific deeds are the uneducated ones who have not reaped the benefits of Western education; the people who believe that “the world is flat and rain is not caused by evaporation…”, as The Times of London quotes.

Right now there’s temporary peace, abi, so it’s time for people to vamoose while they still can. In places like Kano, Kaduna, Plateau State, numerous folks have packed their things and relocated to more peaceful(at this time) states. That September 2001 Jos experience really rocked us, but we still weren’t prepared for a repeat… followed by another… and another. It becomes useless for struggling businessmen to pick up the few pieces they have, only for them to be destroyed again & again.

Those who stay behind are to remain vigilant; their lives depend on it. It’s so bad; when folks have finally managed to relax, hell erupts again- and it doesn’t help that it starts in the early morning hours (the last thing on the mind at 2am is fada (fight) -unless you’re having a vision inspired by God or by excess beans in the belly). So the advice to “check if the elderly beggars are still on the streets” is clearly out (this was the advice I was given when schooling in Minna. The theory behind this is that beggars are warned about impending riots).

But I still thank God; I shudder as I realise that for some countries, life is infinitely more uncertain than this. War is a daily reality. Mass burials, decay, no food to stock up on, no place to hide, agony... things I’d rather not dwell on. But while we thank God that our portion is not as heavy, the fact remains that Nigeria is in trouble and we all know what the problems are. It’s how to move from ‘here’ to ‘there’ on the back of a totally lame government that confounds.

Still on somewhat related news…

I get confused sometimes. ‘Why did I stress myself to go to the university again? Erm, so that I could/can get a good job.’ This answer usually pacified me, until I was faced with a class full (kai, school full) of young ladies who were uninterested in schooling. ‘Is it enough for me to say ‘Yan Mata (young ladies) you need to get to Uni too so that you can get a good job’? Not really. I’m sure I could have attached the you-will-become-an-independent-woman tag, but it wasn’t the correct answer to me. In the end I just shut up and focused more on forcing Chemistry down. If only I had come across this article sooner:

“What is the purpose of education?”
By Luke Onyekakeyah, The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper, 4th August 2009.

“…Though the fundamental philosophy [of education] has always been to impart and acquire knowledge through teaching and learning procedures as is done in school or any similar institutions, the purpose of spending time, energy and resources to impart and acquire the knowledge depends on the society’s needs... The Eastern world has a distinct educational system tailored to solve problems in those countries… I discovered that because Japan is an earthquake prone country, their educational system is tailored to handle this problem. School curriculum is designed to produce experts that would effectively tackle society’s problems. Consequently, Japanese engineers, architects, planners, etc are trained to carry out their profession with the country’s problems in mind. Thus, buildings, bridges, highways are designed and built to withstand earthquakes…

[But Nigeria’s]educational system is blindly tailored to the colonial education system [whose target then was to produce clerks, accounts officers, administrators, managers and other white-collar job oriented manpower]. But the colonial education purpose in Africa is no longer relevant. No country in Africa has been able to develop a homemade education system that is tailored to address local development needs. That partly explains why most countries in Africa are retrogressing…

One of the greatest problems facing this country since independence is energy. At the same time, we have in this country abundant solar energy, gas resources, coal, wind and geothermal energy to name a few. We have abundant solid mineral resources that can’t be exploited because the educational system has failed to produce the needed manpower to exploit these minerals…”

Of course, the universities offer the necessary courses- petroleum engineering, geophysics, environmental science, etc but you know now: output is negligible.
His solution: We need an educational revolution. Mercy Ette says she knows that the solution she profers is likely to vex folks, but sha, the educational system can be revamped only when all the institutions are closed down and re-structured. Ahh! I can imagine not only the President’s face, but undergrads’ too. They certainly won’t be doing this:

Well, we hope a revolution will happen on that elusive “one day”.
Till then.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At last

It has been a while oh; I’ve not had any access to the internet until now (thank you Sis) and I agree with so many bloggers that Blogosphere is experiencing harmattan this summer (hahaha… yeah, some jokes are funny only to the person that cracked them). I have lost track of all the things I’ve been wanting to blog about (lie: I have been having “blogger’s block” for long now). For now, lemme just do a this-n-that post:

Who has read Chimamanda’s book of short stories titled “The Thing Around Your Neck”?
I read one of the short stories in her book from Nairaland and it’s awesome:

Who was once a fan of “tests, tests and more tests” like me?

1.Time you’re spending with an old friend seems less and less enjoyable. The two of you are drifting apart. Your response:
a. stop returning phone calls or IVs and quietly let the relationship die
b. honestly tell your friend it’s just not fun for you anymore
c. express your concerns and work it together

2. Your other half has a habit that is becoming increasingly annoying. Your response:
a. threaten to end the relationship if things don’t change
b. live with it. You have annoying little habits too
c. honestly tell them what annoys you
d. try making a joke about it

When internet access initially got to the country, aside from checking emails, I always frequented (which later became, which later shut down). Nobody loved their “tests, tests and more tests!” like me. I introduced as many people who had spare time to check it out, and we always had a fantastic time sampling alternative ways to react to situations and learn a little more about ourselves (tsuntsaye biyu, dutse zallah –lol- two birds, one stone).So I was just reminiscing when I posted the above questions, fapped from ivillage.

A Soft Rant
I have never ranted in my blog, and I say it’s high time:
I want to be 17 again! I want to be carefree like I (never) was back then. I want to keep having crushes on cute actors of all age-groups without worrying that I’m an agbaya. Oh! Let me get to the point: I wanna have a crush on Zac Efron but now I’m too ooooold! :-/

Hm. As if I want to re-experience WAEC/JAMB/parent/boy troubles. My Kawata Har Abada (BFF) and I had a real good time watching 17 Again though, mostly because Zac Efron is sooooo cute (I’m sure I can get a witness, lol). As I never liked High School Musical et al, I never really noticed him until now. I was seriously unhappy when he morphed back into his older, Matthew Perry self in the movie. Well done, Guy. If only I was 17… :- )

But really, this is how it’s going to be abi? Every year the actors get younger and cuter while you get older but “younger at heart” (I am so taking it personally, sulks).

So, I hope your weekend has been relaxing and interesting. Have a good new week.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Hi! Hope your weekend has been good? "If so, doxology" (heheheh, an over-used phrase one of my English teachers yabbed us for using whenever we were told to write letters during examinations).

Ok, so in case you haven't heard, there's a new 3-D animation coming soon, straight from Naija! It's called Lifespan, and I'll leave Emmanuel Anyifite to tell you all about it:

It’s hardly news to say that Nigeria has not caught up with the worldwide advances in feature length animated films. South Africa beat us to it, and produced the first African 3D animated movie. But now, Mighty Jot Animation Studios are out to change the state of affairs, and have come up with a movie which when it premieres in December, will become Nigeria’s first animated movie.

Written and directed by Stanlee Ohikhuare, the film is titled ‘Lifespan’, and will be released in cinemas locally but will stand up to the best that is out there internationally.
A pioneer in 3D technology in Nigeria, Ohikhuare is well known for his television commercials for various companies and brand names, including Zain, Coca Cola and Chicken Republic. He had to stop two other films in other to concentrate on ‘Lifespan’, a self-funded project which has taken three years to make.

Lifespan is a compelling movie whose central theme is the scourge of malaria. In an imaginative leap, the film is set in the past, about 4,000 years ago in the ancient Benin Kingdom.
A colony of mosquitoes are split, with one group wanting to remain the bloodsucking predators that nature has made; while the other group prefers to tow the line of prudence to ensure their survival by other means and be less menacing to humans. They attempt to get a magical potion for malaria, and so embark on a quest to a cave inhabited by men.

The aim is to get a dose of human blood to perform a purification ritual that will end the spread of malaria forever and lead to a peaceful co-existence with mankind. But all is not what it seems, and there are hidden agendas and selfish interests at play.

In a trailer preview, we glimpse a movie which when released would be comparable to the best that Hollywood has to offer, including blockbusters like ‘Antz’, ‘Happy Feet’, ‘A Shark’s Tale’ and ‘Madagascar’ – all standout works in new technology driven movie making. Ohikhuare hopes giants like Walt Disney will help with the international distribution and marketing of ‘Lifespan’.
South Africa’s first 3D movie, titled ‘Wild Safari’ was released in 2005. It combined real images with animation and special effects, enhancing the stunning visuals in three dimensions. ‘Wild Safari’ was based on an inspirational contemporary tale targeting international viewers of all ages. Many noted its debt to classic American animation like ‘The Little Prince’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ – with the added elements of fantasy, high emotion and entertainment.
Similarly, Lifespan would attempt to capture audiences with its storyline. Its makers say the film will show the scourge of malaria in a captivating style that only 3D movies can. It also promises a wholly Nigerian outlook: characters have Nigerian names; local music is played; and some of the country’s most popular actors are featured.

Characters in Lifespan will be voiced by popular actors and actresses, including: Joke Silva as Queen Shebaz; Kate Henshaw as Queen Shekil; Bola Edwards - Akpor; Ashionye as Ivie, and Femi Sowoolu as Opiah. Others are Idia Imahe as Omon; Ighodaro Umaigba as Waspie; Patrick Edwards as the Ant and ace comedian, Basketmouth as Scout.
3D animation in Nigeria is largely limited to television commercials at present. It is expected that the genre will witness a major turning point with the release of Lifespan.
The estimated cost of the film is N300 million, still a pittance in comparison to the whopping $300 million used by director James Cameron for his own animated movie, slated for release soon.

“Lifespan is not an attempt to become a local champion, neither is it a project for local consumption alone,” says Ohikhure. He insists that the film “will put us in the spotlight for global scrutiny and criticism, to enable us get better and eventually bridge the gap between us and big time production firms like Pixar and Dreamworks.”
-Lifespan and the 3D revolution by Emmanuel Anyifite

To watch the Lifespan trailer, the youtube link is:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You've Bean Served!

I remember the time
You never liked me at all
Though Mama coaxed and Aunty threatened,
Your dislike for me just got more intense
You never thought I made any sense

Then you went to boarding school,
Breathing many a sigh of relief
But to your horror,
There I was, a major part the welcoming committee:
Rice & Beans! Grits & Beans!! Weevils & Beans!!! Pap & Beans!
(Actually, the Kunu & Kosai was nice-
Kunu & Kosai ke? It’s Pap & Bean-Cake, bush girl!” Your School Mummy teased)

For six years, it was-
Beans, Beans, and more Beans
Until one day, you simply stopped fighting-
You fell in love with me
And now your week is so incomplete
Without me as your precious girki-treat

But enough of me and my lame info-
Please allow me to intro
Our very own maestro-
Mabel Segun!
[girki = cooking in Hausa]

-Brief Interlude-
Me: Whew! Beans dear, you are a great dish but a really crappy poet, ok? Just stick to your normal job.
Beans: Whaat?! Do you know how long it took me to create that masterpiece?
Me: Not long enough. Don’t be offended. We are all gifted in different areas; all I’m saying is “akara becomes bone in the mouth of a toothless person”.
Beans: Eh?
Me: A Yoruba proverb, meaning a simple matter becomes a problem to a person of little ability.
Beans: Oook, it’s like that ba! Me too I sabi am- “Medicine that is mixed with food – if it does not cure the disease, it will cure hunger”. A Nupe proverb, meaning nothing is entirely useless. Even though the poem was crappy, it still passed a message across.
Me: Ok o.
Beans: And I have another proverb for you, since you are giving me the patronizing silent treatment- “One should not eat hot food in a hurry”
Me: That’s simple now. Analyse this one: “Where dishes break, the breaking of calabashes is of no consequence” (Urhobo)
Beans: Eh-heh, I get. “Opelenge fell against a dish but the dish did not break. She fell against a mortar and the mortar split”. Figure that one out.
Me: (shakes head). You’ve forgotten that I am the “system” and I know everything ko? It means some people overcome a major disaster, only to be overcome by a minor one. Ok o, I’m tired of this banter, as everyone else is right now.
Beans: (smiles sagely) “He who says ‘we don’t want any more food’ makes himself unpopular” A Yoruba proverb ‘your omniscience’ should have remembered. You should never presume to know other people’s minds. You should only speak for yourself.
Me: Toh. Whatever.
Beans: Yess! I win! The name’s Beans, people… James Beans (poses coolly… in my plate)

Ok, so onto Mabel Segun’s translation of a Yoruba praise song for beans. (Note: I am NOT apologizing for my extremely goofy post. Lol)

O Beans, protector of the soil
Who has spread your tentacles
Over the entire farm
Filling food that staves off hunger,
Whose customer develop
A craving for water
Assuming various forms-
You become *ekuru
Eaten with wraps of *eko;
Assuming various forms-
You become a stew, *gbegiri
Without which people
Simply toy with their bowls of *oka;
But when beans thrive,
They gorge themselves with oka
And burst the seams of their attire;
Not for nothing does tasty *akara-
Put on bold airs in the dish-
Whether it is *llarado,
Fried in medium oil,
Or *towobopo
Wallowing in deep oil,
More delightfully, O Beans,
You become transformed into that delicious food which goes by the name *oole.

Ekuru –steamed, seasoned bean paste eaten in crumbly form
Eko – cooked corn paste wrapped in leaves
Gbegiri – delicious bean stew
Oka – cooked yam flour
Akara – aka kosai (Hausa) or bean-cake; fried bean balls made from bean paste
Oole- short for olele, another name for moyinmoyin
Ilarado & towobopo she didn’t identify, sorry.

NOTE: All non-goofy info fapped from Mabel Segun’s book “Rhapsody: A Celebration of Nigerian Cooking and Food Culture”.
This post was inspired by Roc (in your recent comment) and NaijaGirl (you once said proverbs always make one wiser/authoritative). Thank you v. much!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Space In-Between

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.
An awareness of our freedom and power to choose is affirming because it can excite our sense of possibility and potential. It can also threaten, because now we are accountable.

Any time your emotional life is a function of someone else’s weakness, you disempower yourself.”
Stephen R. Covey, The Eighth Habit.

Makes serious sense, but I also understand that positive change takes some time.
PS: I haven’t been able to think of one solid thing to blog about; the days have been “somehow” (but at least I have now updated, lol).

Also, you might have heard about the danger of putting your car's air conditioner on before allowing fresh air in -it may cause miscarriages and cancer. So many things researchers are finding out these days. (My bro who has been complaining about his dry skin doesn't even want to use glycerin for fear of what future research might reveal :-)

Anyhow, happy weekend.
Huta lafiya! (Rest well!)