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Monday, 31 October 2016

Where I Was...




I certainly wasn't on the blog and haven't been for days. 

The past week was a whirlwind of this and that. 

In September I finally succumbed and listened to those who said I'd be good at events planning/management. I'd had a few stints here and there that revealed to me I had some interest and aptitude for such. So.. I decided that rather than wing it I'd get some actual training. I then searched and found myself a good school in Nairobi (where I'd planned to vacation this month anyways) and set out. 
        Under the advisement of the owner of the school, I also decided to take a course in flowers, decor and draping. It wasn't my initial plan but I saw how that could create another source, an independent stream of income. Moreover I've been planning to learn more skills in like forever so I decided to go for it. 

During my Orientation, the Business & Entreprenuership trainer walked in so say hi to us and three minutes after hearing Paddy speak, I knew I had to take his class. You don't meet someone who sits on the board of seven large organizations (including the University of Nairobi), created and owns five successful companies and is a consultant of some of the biggest businesses in Kenya and England and not want to learn business from him. If I'd had any doubt, googling him cleared it all up. It also didn't hurt that he's young and cute and quite sexy ☺️☺️☺️. And that's how I signed up for that program. 

Last week was a whirlwind of events that had me doing things I hadn't done in a minute. I had not expected the Events Management class to be so technical, vast and tasking and I'd certainly not prepared myself for the amount of work I'd be doing. Between carrying out online and field researches, studying late into the night, planning an event, drawing up several budgets and cashflow sheets (I've always hated excel but I've had to make it my besto), PowerPoint presentations, drawing up business plans and proposals for fundraising and sponsorships, I barely had the time to catch my breath. 

And then I had exams on Friday. I must say I'm so proud of myself. I didn't know I still had it in me to study, assimilate and remember like this, even the flower course too. Yeah, I'd thought that that would be purely practical but apparently there's some theoretical aspect that requires a lot of reading and sometimes cramming. In any case I studied like my life depended on it and wrote my papers, they got marked immediately after the exams and I'm proud to say I made myself and my trainers proud!

The next day I was asked to come pick up my certificates. Mine were rushed because they knew I had to leave the country, the Entrepreneurship cert unfortunately wasn't read when I left, but that's ok, I didn't go there for the certificates...

I got into Lagos on Sunday and I hit the ground with my feet running, as I intended. Although I'm presently looking to work with a notable events company, I already got myself some clients for flowers. This morning I went to drop three arrangements off at two offices and one hospital and I couldn't be happier. 

I'd love to work weddings; brides, bridesmaids, groomsmen et al, but I'm also looking to supply at offices, homes, churches and even funerals. 


I'm sorry I've been off the blog but it's only because I've been overwhelmed with activities. I also had other things waiting on my "desk" which I had/have to tend to. 


"Field research", Events Management. 


Class; my arrangements. Flower, Decor & Draping. 

Draping a tent, outdoor practice. 

My arrangements. 


Study time. 




So if you've got any job for me, you know how to reach me. 😉


Now you. How have you been?




.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Photo Of The Day: Omoni & Nnamdi Oboli.




Aww, isn't this the cutest. 

Read what she wrote below. 




LOL @ you asked for another child yesterday. I think they should give it a shot, it just might be a girl this time. Their boys are so adorable. I can only imagine what their daughter would look like if they have one...


Who else is suddenly feel mushy besides me? 


Viv: In Lagos, Rat Killing To Become a Profession.




Lagos residents will now be paid for killing rats, according to a new
programme inaugurated by the state government.

The Commissioner for The Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, during the
official flag-off of the Lagos State Market Deratisation Programme,
aimed at ridding the state of the Lassa Fever vector at Obalende
market on Thursday, said the government will not relent in its efforts
to make the state the safest place to live in.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the government is
collaborating with Phosguard Fumigants, an NGO, to promote the
programme through “Kill rats, make more money in Lagos’’.

Under the programme, the residents are encouraged to kill rats in
their environs which the programme implementers, Phosguard will buy at
a yet-to-be determined price for proper disposal.

The commissioner said the government was resolved to make Lagos State
one of the safest places in spite of its increasing population.


***

Pls they should hurry up and determine the price, let's know which way forward. LOL. 




 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

#WriteRight. Aramide: I Do... I Did.




Saying I do
As we wed
We exchanged wedding bands 
Which symbolize continuous fidelity
For better for worse 
After She showed me Her love 
The worse is here
And better never was near
With Her infidelity rocking every year
She allowed different men into her arms
Still, I continued my yearnings
Waiting for my worse to improve 
She brought down the roof
With insults that came as greetings
From the love of my life
My wedded wife

With the same mouth She professed love
With the same mouth She cursed
Her vows
The words that made me joyous
Her cusses
The words that made me curious
In sickness and in health
Till death do us part 
Then death came with its cart
She was killing me slowly
Now departing
I'll kill me completely
Finishing what She started
With both hands
That exchanged wedding bands

****************



Beautifully written Aramide. 

Emotional and verbal abuse sometimes cuts deeper than physical abuse. Scars left on the body always has a remedy, the pain dulls and then fades away, sometimes leaving no mark at all. Not so easy for a scarred mind... 







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Maryam: No One Told Me...





Hey, 
Been a visitor since genesis although I don't comment. From the days when you'd post stories about being a bigger girl. You're doing a fine job and good luck on the courses you're taking. Mehn you're trying oo, isn't it weird that I'm a perfect stranger to you, but to me you aren't ( not in a stalkerish way oo). Used to write short stories when I was 18, but I stopped. Found one of my old stories and thought I should share. This is the first time someone else aside from family and my boyfriend is reading my work...please be gentle ☺️



I watched as they arrived. Actually I heard them first. Sounds thundering through the air with each step sending vibrations through the ground. My heart dropped and I considered taking to my heels. I summoned all the courage I had in me and stood on the spot thinking maybe if I show a brave face I would eventually start to feel brave. But I had no courage, I was far too cowardly.  

I turned around to run but I was stuck. I was surrounded by a crowd that would not move no matter how hard I tried to push through. I began to scream 'Move! , I beg you in the name of God please move!'. But they all started to roar with laughter. 

I saw my mother amidst the crowd, laughing with them. I was too late. They had approached me and I was truly trapped. I slowly turned around to face them, but the veil across my face combined with the blazing sun of the afternoon hindered my vision. I stood in silence with my head down as the now combined crowd rejoiced. I stood there for what seemed like forever, then finally a foot adorned with exquisite male footwear appeared in my vision. With each step he took, I felt a big part of me die. The first step took away my pride. The second step took away my opinions. The last step took away my freedom. 

As he took my hand and led me to the carriage that caused what felt like an earth tremor through the ground a couple of minutes ago, he was unaware that what he held was just a shell. Nothing more.

I sat beside the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with and all I knew about him is that he had nice shoes. I felt nothing. I was told how lucky I was to be the bride of the richest man in all 4 territories. I was told how I would never lack for anything. I was told a lot of things, but no one told me how alone I would feel.



***

Good read Maryam. Please keep writing. I really enjoyed your piece although I'd have loved to know what led to that moment. 

Oh my darling btw, please "from when I was a bigger girl?" Do you mean this figuratively or literally? I hope you mean it literally o! I hope you mean I was bigger than and I've lost weight now ☺️☺️☺️... 

LOL. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

#FranklySpeaking: The Audacity Of Eye Service.





So it was friday night in Kigali and my best friend Jekwu was taking me out after several business meetings. Jekwu is one of those guys who can actually walk and chew gum. After remotely picking up my team and I from the airport and setting up meetings with the Rwanda Development Board and several business groups , it wasn't until evening when we met and decided to unwind. 

So, my guy is driving this SUV, a big man car on a pot hole free well asphalted road and he is almost annoyingly crawling with no vehicle in front of him. What is going on ? Is this guy trying to reduce my PPB time or what? 

So I asked him, Bros, does this car not move faster than this ? He burst out laughing and told me Rwanda has speed limit. But I can't see any check point on the road I insisted, then he explained that the police are often on the sides of the road with speed lasers and they'd measure your speed even before you get to them. Haba! Speed laser? In Rwanda kwa. Even though I've noticed kigali was a very organized city, extremely clean with a capital C, called the safest city in Africa , but these are stories for another day. So I asked Jekwu what happens if they stop you and you find them something . "Haba, Bros, they go show you for national TV oo" was his reply . 

This event brought to my mind the news about fighting corruption quietly. It's obvious that GEJ fought corruption systematically .The IPPS and the e-wallet system removed ghost workers from MDAs and rent seekers from the fertilizer supply chain. But I still think he made a mistake by fighting corruption quitely. 

Love him or hate him, PMB is getting international recognition as a fighter against corruption. Irrespective of the impunity of disobeying court orders, he is gradually building on that reputation. Imagine the arch-bishop of Canterbury defending him in a private discussion and the AU nominating him to lead the fight against corruption in Africa. The man has actually built a brand no matter what we think . 

Last year I asked a friend who works with ICPC what they've been doing. He argued they've been fighting corruption 'quietly'. I told him that corruption doesn't need to be fought alone, but must also be seen to be fought. He said that was eye service. I said it's not eye service but a deterrence strategy. Deterrence is the easiest strategy in crime fighting . 

With this small eye service done on judges, I can bet you that if you approach any judge with bribe this period, he'd either run four-forty or set up a camera to record you if you tell him Oga is angry. 

But all this will wear out if those judges are not arraigned in court and prosecuted. If that is not done ASAP, we might return to status quo. 

Today news reports that the director of ICPC has been sent on compulsory leave. I wasn't surprised because they've been fighting corruption quietly.

I wish the President finds a passionate Nigerian that can fight corruption in the civil service, MDAs and make so much noise about it. 

We want to see sting operations on Police officers who take bribe along the road and in their offices . 

How can your major law enforcement agency be collecting bribe openly and brazenly yet you want to fight corruption? At least NTA news should show police officers who were caught taking bribe on the road. 

We want to see senior customs officers and senior civil servants busted in the night and shown on national TV. We want the search light on FIRS where I learnt they have suspended auditing . We want see a new bill calling for the independence of the efcc and ICPC . We want to see more eye service . This is what deters corruption in the first instance so that even if you and I want to discuss corruption, we'd discuss it in hush tunes in the dark of the night. 

Corruption might begin by fighting your opposition members ,but a king might come who knows no Joseph and the tables will turn. So I think everyone should shape up and gird their loins.



***

#FranklySpeaking is a friend of the blog who occasionally contributes to the blog under the pseudonym, #FranklySpeaking. 



.

Viv: All Corpers Are Horny?





This is a  comment from one of my writeups here .



Last Friday night I was at home jeje on my bed fondling with my phone when I heard a nock on my door. It was my corper friend. "Hey Kay let's go out, the others are waiting outside, let's go grab a drink" he said. It was a while I went out for a drink so I obliged. I quickly changed into something comfy, sprayed a nice perfume and we hit the road in my friends Benz. We drove down town till we found a cool bar. We ordered our first set of beer and suya while started to talk of so much gist on how our week went. Of course we had to listen to our fellow corper lawyer colleague tell us about his experiences in Court and how he slayed a senior lawyer in argument to a motion moved in Court. The guy is a rookie lawyer and can lie for Africa. We already knew him and his arsenal of lies (Note: Not all lawyers are liars. Like me, I'm a lousy liar and I'm a lawyer.) While the show was going on, these set of young beautiful ladies swayed into the bar. Good enough they sat opposite our table, so we had a good view of them. Automatically, the subject of discussion changed. Our oga liar said he can go over and convince the ladies to join our table. We were already on our third bottles of beer so obviously the alcohol was already kicking. "Oya, go now, we need female company at least. " We waited patiently for our oga liar to make a move but my guy just changed the topic and told us how he was tired of a girl who has been bothering him with calls. We reminded him that we are waiting for him to go get the girls but he stylishy said he needed to use the restroom. Some of the girls were already giving us encouraging glances. While our oga liar was still trying to change the subject as he walked out to the restroom. Two fine well dressed hefty guys approached the ladies's table beaming with smiles urging the ladies they would like join their table. The girls agreed. Obviously the guys offered to buy the ladies drinks. What our oga liar could only say when he got back was "Oboi see those guys don come carry our girls." We all busted out laughing and continuing in our drinking. We left the bar shortly. I secretly winked at one of the ladies in our way out. I only told myself that next Friday I'll come back. So no dulling next Friday. After all corper is horny. Lol.



Image; Google images. 


**
LOL. Thanks Viv. 

But I kinda think the poster was referring to himself and not all corpers ...? 😊

Sunday, 23 October 2016

My People!





So being outside the country, especially visiting other African countries can be very disheartening for a Nigerian. A few times I've been tempted to claim another nationality, or hang my head in shame when my classmates begin to talk about the huge mess the giant of Africa actually is. A particular classmate of mine keeps taking jabs trying to stir me but I thank God for maturity, I never give in. 

It's actually much worse when you hear Nigerians talk about Nigeria. You'd wonder, what place is this? Tell me so that i never have the misfortune of finding myself there, either by mistake or by design. 

A couple of weeks back in Kigali with the boys, they couldn't stop talking about the many travails of Nigeria, to the point where our driver, Peter, began to shake his head in pity. I could actually get where they were coming from. Rwanda, even after the war, the genocide, the setbacks and plain evil that plagued that country and left if bereft, is actually now such a beautiful place with systems in place that actually work, like, really work! I remember when we drove back from the club at 4 in the morning, I saw couples taking romantic strolls on the roads, I saw people jogging, I saw some just hanging around and gisting leisurely. At 4o'clock in the morning. Yes the country is that safe! One of the safest in Africa. It's also said to be the cleanest in Africa. It might be a small country but Kagame is a strong, decisive, visionary leader. So yes, it certainly boggles one's mind that Nigeria is in the state it is, while Rwanda has gone ahead to go far ahead. 

So these darling men of mine continued in this path. Back in Kenya, one evening we were out drinking some Kenyan wine, they resumed what had become their new favourite pastime; Nigeria-bashing. I noticed that those at the surrounding tables, Kenyans and Caucasians alike, had stopped their own conversations to listen to ours. And so I listened to our conversations through their ears and I was suddenly flooded with shame. Then, I had to ask; So are you guys telling me there's nothing good you can say about Nigeria? Nothing at all?

And Bassey began, surprisingly heartily...

"Ha! Nigerians are industrious o!", he said. "Very Industrious!" Someone else echoed for emphasis.
Yes we Nigerians are very industrious, very hardworking people. We are not content to sit and eat crumbs, many of us are not afraid to work hard for a better life.

We are very Enterprising. Nigerians are resourceful individuals that somehow find a way even where there seems to be none. Look just about anywhere in this world and you would find a Nigerian, even in the most remote, most unexpected places. We are there, and we are thriving!

We Are Creative: We have creative thinkers, small and large. Even when we copy we put our own unique spin on things. We are creative in so many ways but can we take the time to applaud our creative thinkers and writers, I just had a conversation with some Kenyan friends of mine who couldn't stop gushing about Chimamanda Adichie, made me remember the saying "a prophet is never welcome in his own home". It took foreigners to remind me of the literary greatness of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi and many others whom they mentioned by name. 

Our Entertainment Industry is bad-ass! There's rarely ever a day here in Nairobi that someone doesn't ask me about Tuface or Patience Ozokwor or Chacha Eke or Wizkid or Davido. Our industry is so extraordinary that even some Kenyans think their sole popular artistes; Sauti Sol are Nigerians! At the lobby at my school what's always playing; Nollywood movies. At the cafeteria at my lodge; Nollywood on replay. At the clubs; Naija jams. Even local radio stations, Nigerian songs. We bad! 😉

Our industries are more evolved, probably the most evolved in Africa besides South Africa. It's not just our entertainment industry, our fashion and beauty industries too! I have a friend here who wants to be a fashion designer but can't because that's not considered a real job around here, in fact it's looked down on. The fashion industry in Nigeria is actually capable of boosting the country's economy. Our beauty sector is doing great too. Some of our makeup artists are seriously cashing out at the banks every month, something you won't see in many other African countries. 

We are friendly and accommodating. You wouldn't appreciate this until you're outside the country and every "Good Morning" you offer is met with a scowl, or everytime someone notices that your accent is different from theirs, their first instinct is to either scam, shortchange or overcharge you. 
       You think our Lagos drivers are bad but you haven't seen bad until you meet some mean drivers here that won't even let simple okada overtake them. Days ago I wanted to catch a flight out of Nairobi and I was running very late for the flight because of my classes. I rushed home, packed a small bag and then realized that my only chance of making my flight was either by chopper or by bike. So, errr, bike it was! I rushed to the road and flagged down the first bike I saw and sensing the urgency, he assured me that I'd made the right decision by going with a motorbike instead of a taxi as we'd avoid the hectic Friday traffic. He was wrong. Normally I should have gone through a long stretch of road in less than 10 minutes with a bike, but it took me almost 30 because each car we approached, on sighting us, would immediately move closer to the car in front of them until they're only a hair's breadth away, just so my bike won't go through. Crab mentality at its worst! I wondered, how is my bike stopping you from getting to where you're going, or even delaying you? But this is what I've seen happen here nearly everyday. 

Also. Us Nigerians have a super ability to be Happy despite the circumstances. Nigerians have a cheerful spirit, a mysterious ability to laugh no matter the circumstances and find good cheer even in dire situations. 

We have Swag. I've been to a few African countries and all I can say is MY PEOPLE HAVE SWAG! I cannot expound on this without sounding offensive or incendiary and since I'm still in Nairobi, lemme just keep my lips sealed and keep walking before I enter yawa 😊😝. 

Survivors. Nigerians are survivors. That person's mother whose husband left with nothing, sits down and fries Akara on the roadside and sends her five children to school on the proceeds, even "trains" them in the university. We see this happen everyday in Nigeria; people making something out of nothing and getting by somehow...

We are Ambitious. After mass this morning I got approached by a young guy from a West African country. He came to chat me up and afterwards my friend asked if I could marry someone from that country. I shook my head. "Why?" She asked. "They lack ambition" was my sincere response. 
      Many people say we're greedy, they say we're not content with what we have. But why should we be when we can always have more, do more, be more? These people in some of these other countries, many of them are indeed very laidback and content with the little or average that they have. And that's ok. But "OK" is not the Nigerian spirit. We are risk takers, explorers, we are driven to be more. We push boundaries and explore possibilities. We do not wait for opportunities, we CREATE opportunities! And it's this spirit that has made us the Giant of Africa! We indeed are. Look not on the temporary economic setback of this nation but on the great potential and remarkable human resources this nation possesses and you'd sense that Nigeria is truly GREAT. 

One day soon you will not only sense it, but see it. I strongly believe. 



I'm sure you guys also have a lot of positive things you've noticed about Nigeria and Nigerians. Do share! ☺️😌😉
***




.

Viv : Mama Awards 2016!










Full list of winners at the MTV MAMA 2016


Best Live Act – Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)

Best Lusophone –C4 Pedro (Angola)

Legend Award –Hugh Masekela (South Africa)

Best Female Award – Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Best Francophone Award – Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)
Best Group – Sauti Sol (Kenya)

Best Pop & Alternative – Kyle Deutsch& Shekhinah (South Africa)

Best International Act – Drake (United State of America)

Best Male Act – Wizkid (Nigeria)

Listeners Choice – Jah Prayzah (Zimbabwe)

Video of the Year – Youssoupha Niguer Ma Vie (Congo)

Best Collaboration – DJ Maphorisa ft, Wizkid & DJ Bucks (South Africa & Nigeria)

Personality of the Year– Caster Semenya (South Africa)

Best Hip Hop – Emtee (South Africa)

Best New Act – Tekno (Nigeria)

Song of the Year – Patoranking ft, Wande Coal (Nigeria)

Artiste of the Year – Wizkid (Nigeria)



***

Thank you loads Vivian!

I'd really hoped Kon's bae, Linda Ikeji would win personality of the year. 

I'm so so so happy for Wizkid. I'm not really a fan but you've just got to be proud of that young man. 

Meanwhile please when is Phyno going to win an award? 😡😰😢

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Weapons Of Mass Obstruction; Wole Soyinka.





It is time to call a spade a spade or, in this instance, name the Nigerian media camera a weapon of mass obstruction. What used to be mere occasional infraction, soon corrected, is fast becoming a Bill of Rights – for a minuscule sector of the professional community. We are galloping towards an order of social fascism of which – it must also be stressed – that same society is the prime facilitator of its doom. There are times when tolerance becomes acceptance, then tacit and even overt encouragement. Otherwise, why does it take so long to make the media photographer understand that he or she has no fundamental viewing right that overrides those of the lowest member of any gathering, anywhere and under any circumstance. Let us not beat around the bush – mobsters have taken over community, armed with nothing more lethal than the camera and a monstrous will to capture and monopolize space that belongs to the totality. The media camera has become a pest, an aggressive voyeur. Its wielders imagine that they own the world and its contents, that they have a divinely endowed right over the rights of all others, be they paying audience, invited guests, families, participating others, and indeed – most insolent of all – even the event initiators and rightful proprietors.

They snarl, they hiss, they deliver what they consider looks of withering contempt when they are politely requested to move a little to this or that side, just so that the rest of inferior humanity can share in the event.  When successfully dislodged, they merely turn recurring decimal.  They shove their variegated bottoms right against the faces of others in some warped notion that that this is what the rest of humanity has gathered to see – their backsides – rather than the unfolding event. Never content to melt into the rest of the gathering, they preen themselves at ridiculous angles, stroll up and down sizing up guests like predators looking for their next meal, then – pounce! But do they depart, having obtained their scoop? Do they observe the camera courtesy norm of – Shoot and scoot? Not they! They pause, linger, block audience view while they look inside their lens as if to ensure that whatever prey has been captured within the ‘magic box’ has not escaped, survey the rest of the gathering like zoo keepers presiding over caged mammals, even when those mammals are virtually frothing at the mouth in frustration, then resume the same process with the uttermost condescension. To summarize:  today’s media cameraman or woman, genus Nigerianensis, believes that the sun shines through their buttocks, and that their mission is to shed light on the rest of humanity from that lower orifice.

On Saturday, June 11, 2016, I attended one of the most nauseating of such unsolicited, substitute presentations. The event was the installation of the new Iyalode of Sagamu, successor to the late illustrious Iyalode, Madame Dideolu Awolowo. I had re-organized my calendar months ahead to ensure that I could share the occasion. So, I am certain, had hundreds from all walks of life, then converged on that historic city. The day was ruined, the climactic moment stolidly obscured by the ungovernable, egotistical and abusive performance of media cameramen. They desecrated – I repeat – desecrated that event with their thuggish performance, one that saw off one hapless interventionist after another. The sacral moment was degraded. None of the audience was able to share in that solemn heart of the investiture, when the sacred akoko leaves are placed on the head of the celebrant. Not one of the friends, family, relations, colleagues and circle whom Chief Mrs. Folasade Ogunbiyi had invited was able to witness the ceremony for which a sizable number  had even traveled across the Atlantic. Is that just? Equitable? Civilized? Or simply plain rude, unfeeling and insensitive? One half of the semi-circle of Chiefs and royal retinue seated on the dais itself were totally blocked from sight – what with the backsides of the photographers pressed against their faces! These disrespectful, uncouth cameramen clambered over one another, expanding their opaque zone until any remaining viewing apertures were lost in a general congealment. I counted them – perhaps no more than fifteen – but then they were joined by a handful of typical Nigerian copycat delinquents wielding their pathetic little phone cameras – i-pod, i-pad, i-do-as-i-please, and other ego feeding contraptions. After all, they were also armed with a camera, so they had a right to mount the royal dais and contest media thuggery with citizen thuggery.

Were we witnessing a solemn but joyous occasion, I asked myself, or a rugby scrum in the wilds of Australia?  In vain did the Master of Ceremonies, one chief after another, relations and even frustrated ‘viewers’ approach to plead with them to ‘break it up.’  In desperation, I even sent the granddaughter of the celebrant to them, hoping that the sight of a child would shame them, make them understand that they were setting a vile example for children, that they, in their homes would not tolerate such unruly conduct from their own children, wards, or home staff. It made no difference; they nearly trampled my poor emissary beneath their flailing legs. She threw up her hands in despair and I quickly recalled her to safety.

My rights were violated that Saturday. I swear it will not be repeated, not at any event at which my presence is an undertaking of my own free will! There will be citizen action, and If all fails, the two legs that brought me there know how to find their way out. Unlike what appears to be the condition of today’s average Nigerian public, I am no masochist, cannot tolerate cheats – even of space attribution – and insist on my fundamental viewing rights.

What exactly is the problem with these aggressors? Is this an evolving shape of status consciousness, or could it be that they are simply too arthritic to kneel or stoop so others can see over their heads – that is, if they are incapable of finding other effective but unobtrusive positions. Are these closet sadists who delight in frustrating their fellow humanity? Is it a kind of professional arrogance conferred by some mystic Super-Lens up in the skies? The older hands, who should know better, are the most culpable. If they set the right example, their rookies will learn early that the camera is not supreme – and so will the thoughtless public eager riders of this runaway bandwagon, totally out of control. The camera is supposed to augment, not supplant. “Shoot and Scoot” – that is how their colleagues operate in other lands – Sit. Kneel. Stoop. Shoot and Scoot! That is the professional media camera culture in most parts of the world, Everything else is a travesty. There is something known as manners, and basic to any code of manners is simply: consideration for others! Nigerian media camera believe that they are above manners. Maybe they’ve never heard the word. Well, it is time that their faces are rubbed in that word, and its opposite – boorishness! These photographers must go back to school and learn the basics of their trade before angry audiences react as befits their basic entitlement as paying audiences or guests. The trend is escalating. It is time to terminate the long, demeaning posture of supine toleration.

There was apparently worse to follow the marred investiture. After the traditional rites, a Thanksgiving service followed. I did not attend. The outraged report was that the media camera once again behaved true to form.  In church, not only did they tramp up and down the aisles and invade the nave and altar space, they proceeded to hawk their pictures right within the church. Who was guiltier – traders or clientele? Both are indecently culpable. Apparently – thank goodness – not all remained complaisant. Unable to endure it any longer, one lady stood up, went after the malefactors, stuck her fingers in their shirt-collars and dragged them out one after the other. That lady should be canonized for humanist action against the demonism of camera fiends. Isn’t there an exhortation somewhere in the bible that reads: “Go and do thou likewise”?

Photography, an art form with a long pedigree of innovations in technique and expertise, is being turned into an affliction, an ‘anything- goes’ occupation that nonchalantly transgresses the borders of equity. To repeat what has already been noted, the public itself is to blame, what with its lethargic shrugging of the shoulder, its grumbling formula of ‘what can one do?’ and – in Fela’s phrasing – a “shuffering and shmiling”  disposition in the face of aggression. So here, in conclusion, is what qualifies for perhaps the most overpowering experience of camera obscenity I have ever undergone.

It took place in the United States, about three years ago, where I had presented myself, all spruced up, to fulfill a granddaughter’ wish that I attend her wedding.  Right from the beginning, I smelt trouble. It was impossible to miss who was the self-designated star of the day.  I endured the exhibitionist, intrusive antics of the camera-festooned young woman who managed to be everywhere at once, turning herself into THE EVENT, at the expense of every other member of that gathering. She was probably armed with only three or four cameras, but she wore them like ponderous necklaces, and they were manipulated like a battery of NASA telescopic lenses beamed at the solar system. Each camera appeared loaded, not with digital technology, but with gamma rays, ready to subdue and convert any image into her own self-augmentation, or perhaps detect and pulverize any dissenting frown or gesture. Short and stocky, a sigidi presence in stolidity, she ensured that her presence dominated the environment in inverse proportion to her height and girth.

Her crowning performance took place at the core moment – the equivalent of the akoko ritual.  Having subdued the main body of worshippers, it was time to take on the altar itself. I watched her – disbelievingly – as she built up towards the assault, timed to hoist the victory flag at the climactic moment.  She had already demolished the peripheries of the church’s own “territorial imperative” in masterful strides, obliterated those invisible parameters which you and I, believers or non-believers alike, respect as off-limits for the laity. She positioned herself for the final assault, awaited the moment when bride and bridegroom pledged their troth by placing both rings on the bible for blessing before the exchange of rings. Then, wait for this – and may I interject here that, in my theology, Bible leaves or akoko leaves, all are mere vehicles of progression along spiritual invocation, and that trampling on either is an act of desecration. Not being Boko Haram or any of that demonic throng however, we shall leave the deities to fight their own battles and concentrate on ours – which is the right to view without profane obtrusiveness. However, let us get back to the wedding…

Assault camera leading, Ms Sigidi thrust herself between bride and bridegroom, edging aside one of the two officiating priests to make room for herself. I gasped, but thought to myself, now it’s going to happen. That priest is going to shut that heavy tome, turn it into a corrective rod, and biff her in the midriff. Or simply switch his lines to the Book of Imprecations but – no – this was, after all, a camera on divinely appointed visitation – and so, that insipid man of God meekly side-stepped to allow her more room! Elated at this cheaply bought, victim assisted victory, she pointed her metallic snout downwards, and dived hungrily to ingest the bible leaves, took several shots – and then, swaggered away – back to her reconnaissance tour of the altar zone. From there she took her time to survey the congregation before switching to her lordly repertory of slow, self-adoration strides to bestow her lens benediction on the next selected target.

I am no Christian, but I did undergo my regulation abuse of religious conscription, so I still recall what we learnt was the shortest, yet the most trenchant verse in the bible: “Jesus wept”. That day, it was I who wept for Jesus!

Afterwards, between still gritted teeth of superhuman restraint, I said to my daughter – I now believe in the devil, and today it came in the shape of a social photographer. If that was not a fiend from hell, then she is an ambassador plenipotentiary of that domain. I came to see my granddaughter’s wedding but who was the officiating priest? That Afro-American she-devil!

Which American? she corrected. She’s Nigerian.

 

photo source: flickr

***


This article was published in June of this year but I only just got the privilege of reading it. Baba spoke only the truth, I knew I couldn't be the only one who noticed the God-complex that Nigerian photographers acquired all of a sudden! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 😊




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#TTBHotSeat. Chrisyinks Tells ALL! (& Responds To Kon).





First, let me apologize for the extra-long post below (I believe this would make thelongest post on TTB you’ve read, and likely to stay so for a while)When (or better put, if) you get to finish this article, you’d probably know half as much as I know myself; the other half would be in the comment sectionI guess when I get in my comfort zone, it’s a challenge to restrain myself from being expressive. Also, since I balked from featuring on TTB’s hot seat earlier, I decided to go the extra mile….. 

 

What's your real name, first and last?
Olufela Christopher Odusegun is my first, middle and last name. Yinka is one of my many names, although it is a relatively unknown appellation of addressing me, hence chrisyinks as my moniker isn’t farfetched.

 

Is Chrisyinks a name? No? How did you come up with it? It's quite a mystery.

It is a mix of two names: Christopher and Yinka, both of which are my birth names. No mystery behind the name.

 

How old r u?

26. I was born on Saturday, February 17, 1990.

 

How many siblings do you have?

I have three siblings: Two sisters and a brother.

 

What did you study?

At undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering; at graduate level, Petroleum Engineering; currently, Engineering Management – hopefully, on completion of this course, I would have come to the end of my sojourn with degree courses.

 

What do you do for a living?

I currently work as a Lab Technician in the computing facility of my school.

 

Are you single, married or in a complicated relationship?

I’m single.

 

What's your best food?

I have an unsophisticated taste in food generally distinguishing between edible and non-edible foods (In essence, any and almost every food goes). If I had a best food, it would be Jollof Rice – it’s probably the only food that I am reluctant to share even when it is clear I have more than enough.


What's your favorite thing to do?

Be in the company of people/friends doing anything or everything. I very much enjoy the relational aspect of life.

 

Why do you hate taking pictures?!!!!!!!! 

I don’t know why I don’t like taking pictures, but I’m not the greatest fan of pictures. Let’s make a deal Kabuoy: when next we meet, we’d take as many pictures as you want. Deal?

 

Why didnt you take that pic wiv Kabuoy that day?

I am not the greatest fan of pictures. Let’s see if Kabuoy would accept my offer.

 

Everyone has that thing/situation that jolts them out of their reverie and sets them on the right path...What was that situation for you?

When I commit a wrong – and I have committed several. My conscience is probably the biggest reason why I try to be on my best behavior.

 

What is your perception about life? 

Life is my opportunity to serve others  for in so doing, I serve self.Unsophisticated perception right! strongly feel the import of God’s commandment in the New Testament was others – precisely, He and humanity. I believe keeping simple the seemingly complex issues of life greatly enhances the quality of one’s life.

 

At what stage did you discover yourself?

Self-discovery for me is a life-long process with the decisive parts of the discovery happening in my early twenties. I feel that experiencing life (being open to as many opportunities that I had interest in) helped with the process. I believe from one’s late teenage years through one’s twenties, one would have certain inclinations, reservations and aspirations that serve as a pointer or rough guide to what one’s life purpose should beFor some this could happen much earlier orlater. Discovering self to a substantial part, you’d be able to see how the pieces of the puzzle of life fits – how your childhood, past experiences, desires, fantasies, passions, competencies, interests and the whole range of living comes together for that purpose (kind of what Romans 8:28 tries to pass across). I should add, it isn’t unusual for one to continually re-discover self in the later part of life, although thisdiscovery would be to a lesser degree. I try not to restrict myself to certain areas, career paths or industries but aspire to achieve certain ideals that may make my life comfortable. I believe I’d be comfortable, if at the ebb of my life, the totality of my life could reflect these five priorities/values: Christian, husband, father, money earner (I’d admit this has to be worked upon), and global citizen. You may have noticed that I tend to be a generalist and therefore, adopt a broad view to life. If so, you are right – this tendency permeates the most important aspects of my life.

 

What inspires you?
A lot inspires me – The Bible (not just because it is a religious book but for its pearls of wisdom). I feel The Bible is a magnificent piece of book, quite fascinating, intriguing and very relevant to our daily living in more ways than we think; Lives of Influential people – Chimamanda Adichie, George Washington, Ibukun Awosika, William Clinton, Pat Utomi; historical events; noble and courageous deeds; movies; books; friends. Also, I get inspired by the essence of now and by extension today, understanding that time is a finite resource and life oftentimes is fleeting for many. Perhaps, what inspires me the most is that jaded look on that hawker who has to eke out a living in the scorching Lagos sun; the market woman who has to brave the elements and unfavorable living conditions to earn some monies to feed her children; the pauper who feels because of a physical challenge, he can’t make a dignified life for himself; these and many more inspire me because I feel I owe it to others in the society and the coming generation to make this world a better one and maybe by doing so, we all could make this world a better place to live.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5years? What do you see yourself doing?

Strictly, I don’t plan my life within certain timeframe. There are certain activities I do now that I had initially thought to be best suited for my twilight years. Increased knowledge resulting in better decisions have consequently revised these ‘plans.’ I prefer to plan my life on certain values/ideals that I hope the totality of my life would espouse; hence, when opportunities that dovetail on any of those values/ideals become available, I grasp it – I feel ‘living’ those values would create a desirable future that arguably would be better than that created by the best-laid plans.  Also, I have learnt that no matter how one plans, you can’t plan all things, therefore one must rely on favorable externalities. These ‘externalities’ may not be available during a desired period if one uses a strict time-defined planning approach. Thus, I feel that my improved ‘planning’ approach factors this concern. I believe it is as much the prevailing environment, as one’s personal resolve, that makes the man (woman).  Hence, the desirable opportunities that gets presented to one every day is an opportunity to understand and fulfill self better. The book ‘The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell gives some insight on this. 

That said, If there’s any one thing that I’d love to be in 5 years’ time, that’d be a father. I love the responsibility of molding another life (I’d primarily be doing this with my wife and God).

 

 

If you had the opportunity of investing 1million dollars, what will be the first thing that comes to your mind?

If I had a million dollars…. I’d contact Forbes to add my name to their millionaire’s list (if they keep one)hehehe. I’d pay my tithe to keep God’s commandment and also to tell Him thank you. Initially, I’d keep my winnings in a relatively low-yield but safe and secure investment like the money market to be able to clear my thoughts about how to invest such money – this waiting period would last about six months. Then look at what market instrument I could invest in stocks/securities, bonds, treasuries, venture capital, hedge/mutual fund, real estate, a promising startup or less likely, start a business. Thinking about your question made me resolve to keep a friend savvy in financial matters close by for windfalls like this. Hopefully, such friend’s expertise would be a guiding light to my next step. Who knows, you just might have one million dollars for me…

 

What won't you do for money?

Asides anything illegal and unchristian, I’d be less inclined to engage in any activity that doesn’t interest me. Money is time and I try to be careful with how I spend it.


What was/is your most embarrassing situation? 
This happened when I was in Senior Secondary School two or three (SS 2 or SS 3) on a day of one of my final exams for the session. Growing up, I was very impressionable and could easily be coerced by friends so when I was seated not far off from two friends (for ease of understanding the story, let me call them Femi and Bunmi) for my Chemistry paper, my teachers and the invigilator warned me that cheating in any form wasn’t going to be tolerated. During the exam, I yielded to my friends and answered a full theory question and passed it on to them – I tore one of the sheets on my question paper (with the answer on it) and exchanged it for the corresponding sheet of question paper from Bunmi. It was a supposed to be a smooth exchange but…fate had a different plan. About submitting my answer script, I noticed on the page I had collected from Bunmi that his calculation to one of the questions was wrong due to a simple error. I notified Bunmi of his error and went to submit my script. Bunmi requested his calculator from Femi to correct the error and this is where the story takes a downward turn….

 

The calculator fell down and upon falling; it revealed a sheet of paper – containing my written response to a full theory question. The invigilator also noticed this. She was ready to forgive Bunmi and Femi with a stern warning…but the chief invigilator stepped into the exam hall and noticing the sheet of paper and the written response firmly stated that she was certain (possibly with her life) that the handwriting was mine and I was going to be disciplined’. (The chief invigilator was my biology teacher and I had taken a strong dislike to biology which hadreflected in my poor grades, so I guess she was generally unpleased with me). Then the unthinkable happened…both Bunmi and Femi denied that they knew about the incriminating page. Bunmi mentioned that he had simply requested a calculator from Femi without him knowing about the paper in the calculator; Femi replied that the calculator was Bunmi and he didn’t know it contained any incriminating page…but it was certain that I was already guilty with my writing providing sufficient evidence for my sin…so much for friends right. Because I had a good academic reputation, many teachers that knew about the incidence were willing to waive the punishment, but precedence had already been laid. That morning, a student had been flogged – the ascribed punishment - during morning assembly for exam malpractice, thus it would have been unfair if my case had been given a pass. This incidence happened on Friday. 

 

So over the weekend, I took out time to pray and beg God to forgive me of my sins and touch the heart of the school authorities to extend a level of undeserved grace to me. To prove my faith in God and my prayers to him, I decided to wear the lightest of underwear on Monday. Alas! I was called to the assembly front in company of my accomplices, Bunmi and Femi, booed and flogged. I wasn’t popular in school and I relished to a great extent whatever privacy I thought I had, so it was really embarrassing when the ‘stellar’ reputation I had built was tarnished with one mistake. Thankfully, my chemistry exam wasn’t cancelled which would have resulted in me failing the subject and having to repeat the class.

 

Imagine my surprise, when on the same Monday, after being flogged during assembly, my friends still wanted me to engage in exam malpractice for the Physics exam we were having for that day

 

Can you try to be 99.9% honest with each question asked?

I try to be honest always. If I can’t be honest, I answer the part of a question that I can and evade answering the part that I wouldn’t or can’t answer – essentially reverting to being truthful. Lies are probably my biggest turnoffs.

Have you at some point faked your personality just to do away with judgmental folks on this blog?
No. I feel doing so would be a disservice to me and my life thus far. I wouldn’t dispute that it’s been a modest life – in many measures, it still is – so far, though it is one I am proud of, and one I’m certain holds great possibilities. Small things often matter to me. Most times, when it comes to contentious issues, I try to state my points and try to back it up with as much convincing and logical reasons for my stance. This strategy often has the advantage of evolving the debate/argument to being a matured argument that can be objectively decided in favor of who has the most persuasive stance. If folks keep being irrationally judgmental against you, you’d evoke the sympathy of others – another potential tool for winning an argument. I should add, a great deal of my estimated self-worth is intrinsic, thus, the opinions of others serve either to elate my confidence or to achieve next to nothing. The opinions of others either contain useful advice that I learn from or are otherwise classified as uninformed stance of one who doesn’t know me enough.

 

Do you have a crush on any TTBV? If yes... Who? If no... Why 

Yes I do have a crush. Though, the better question would be how many TTBV’s do I have a crush on? I have answered this question in a previous post: F, J, Mallamaand many others are my blog crushes – Yes, I am African, why should I have only one blog crush?

 

Have you ever been in a friends-with-benefit situation?

No, I don’t look forward to it either.

 

Have you ever dated a friends ex?

No, though, I have almost dated a friend’s ex and I would have wanted to date her.I only got to know she was a friend’s ex after I met her. Still, it wouldn’t have made much impact on the decision to date or not date her… I guess a valuable prize attracts many. If I feel a lady meets what I desire in a companion, why not? There is a reason she is not with my friend – they did not fit. It would be unfair to hold that against her.


Are you celibate?

Yes, I am celibate: pre-marital sex complicates pre-marital relationship matters for me.

 

Why didn't you ask if he is a virgin?

Kabuoy, that’s a personal question now – one best left for the knowledge of involved couples and whoever their discretion trusts. 


What quality do you see before been friends with someone?
Just being friendly - I feel enjoying the treasures of life should really be a simple undertaking. The quality of the friendship would be determined by our perspectives on issues about life, opportunities for mutual benefit, humor, shared values etc.

 

What's your favourite movie?

I have several movies that rank high in my assessment – too numerous to recount. Generally movies that catch my fancy and genre that interests me the most are: action, suspense-filled movies, espionage, didactic, animations, romance, law, biographies and movies that recount notable historical events or the lives of people and their courageous deeds. It’s easier for me to recount my favourite series: 24, Prison Break, the Good Wife, the Newsroom, Black Sails, Hunted (UK), Gotham.


What do you do for fun?
For fun, I enjoy hanging out with friends and family and; visiting places. Also, I enjoy playing table tennis, volley ball, Sudoku, scrabble, monopoly, lending a helping hand to friends and relatively unknown people (the smile on their faces/thank you is fulfilling), socializing and meeting new people, travelling, movies: preferably Hollywood, dancing, problem solving and logical analysis – brain teasers, games, puzzles.

 

Are you trying to join the beard gang or you just let it grow for 2days and then you shave?

I was trying to join the beard gang but it seems my beards had other plans. 

 

Books or Movies? Black or white? Morning or Night?

I loved movies for most of my growing years. In fact, during undergraduateschooling, one early morning, while preparing for lecture, I suddenly had a guest in my hostel room requesting for who I was, as he had being directed by another person to look for me for any inquiries he had about movies/series. It wasn’t the best thing to bring me a semblance of fame, but that was how much I loved movies. Currently, I do more of books. Movies nowadays, tend to be a repetition of similar sequences, with only a few doing much to preserve the suspense and make it worthwhile. 

Well I do not have much taste in color. Since I’m dark, lighter clothes work best for me, so white.

I love my mornings – the dawning of a new day and the breath of fresh air presents an opportunity to correct errors and improve on yesterday. 

What do you love about TTB?

Thelma’s write-ups, personal stories, and rare ability to contextualize a situation in infinite words – essentially create a lasting impression. The people that the blog attracts – often times I’m amazed by the quality of comments and the personality behind those comments.

 

Do you have a celebrity crush? If yes, who?

Don’t really have a celebrity crush, If I did it’d be Chimamanda Adichie – I love her views on life.

 

What's conversation with your gf/wife like??is she as much an intellectual as u? Sapiosexual or nah?

 If I were in a relationship, it’s just going to be a normal conversation between two people – discuss about likes, dislikes, my or her offence, the day so far, perspectives about work, family, trending issues, aspirations, funny happenings,etc. Well, I don’t consider myself as an intellectual but this I know: I’m the lucky person in the relationship. I feel being ‘gifted’ in some certain areas doesn’t mean that one’s choice of a partner has to be equally gifted in that area. My best relationships are oftentimes those I admire a certain skill or trait in the other party,possibly because of my deficiency in that identified skill or trait. Life and thriving as a family unit requires a vast number of varied competencies and unnecessary duplication of ‘expertise’ in spouses/parents-to-be may mean a deficiency in some other equally important area. I reason that the best relationships are those in which couples function as a team complementing and not competing against each other. I do have my deficiencies/weakness so a partner that complements this aspect with or without being an ‘intellectual’ should be a good match. I like being eclectic hence spice is a desire for me.  Basic knowledge about general happenings is desirable, improved knowledge doesn’t necessarily confer any additional benefits. It’s knowledge – it can easily be acquired. Wisdom and understanding would be the prize.


What's peoples' general perception of the way u speak?
don’t speak as convincingly as I express myself when writing. Many of my previous interviews and public speaking forays have been disastrous with almost no correlation with how I write. However, I do exceptionally well in one-on-one and informal discussions though. I wish I spued facts and commanded greatness from those I converse with, but that’s not the case with me. My seeming persuasiveness in arguments has being derived from many failures in past arguments. I believe my greatest strength is my ability to improve. Perhaps one of my greatest recipe is that I cogitate over previous argument and how I could have been better persuasive – I tend to be my own worst critic. In the past, I was an icon of being argumentative with a lot of lost arguments to my credit. The good side with my failures means I better understand the futility of many arguments and the need for better constructive arguments. Oftentimes I nod in humor to discussion, but mostly, it is because they have strong arguments and hence it is a learning opportunity for me – my friends and network have being highly influential in themany positives in my life.

How often do you read?
Loosely speaking, I read every day, largely due to the internet and courtesy of Thelma’s blog and other blogs I follow. Strictly speaking, frequently – as soon as it is convenient for me to read a book that interests me; sometimes a book a week, other times a book a quarter. More importantly, I place emphasis on how often I learn – I learn through interactions with persons, movies, introspection and many other opportunities. So essentially, I try to learn every day.

If you are in a group, would you like to act the leader?
Yes, very much yes. I like leading and strongly feel holding a challengingleadership position would be a life’s dream come true. Ultimately, I would have preferred a life in public service to my country, Nigeria, because I strongly believe Nigeria sorely needs capable and visionary leadership, but that doesn’t seem like how things would turn out for me. A life in the private sector managing and leading organizations doesn’t seem to be a bad compromise.

 

I perceive you serious from your writeups, are you that serious?

I’m never that ‘serious’. If you met me the first time in an informal setting, you’d most likely never ascribe to me, the level of seriousness you currently do. The few times my close friends have often confirmed me serious is when I play Sudoku. Other times I’m just the easy going fellow that I truly am. In fact, in my younger days, I needed to wash my school uniform twice before my next use: once during school hours in the school premises because I wanted to avoid the harsh criticism from my mother if I appeared muddy coming back from school and secondly, back at home to restore it to good use for subsequent use – I was that playful; in many ways, I still am. Even during undergraduate, most people knew me for three things: food, sleep and movies, only a handful of friends knew me a little more than this. Many of my previous work colleagues would attest to me being many things – playful being one of them. I surmise my life holds true the maxim that ‘whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.’ When I am serious, I do it well, when I’m not, I do it also well. I think when I decide to get serious, I tend to get too serious – usually to compensate for how relaxed I usually am. 

 

Would you say your life is comfortable?

No, it definitely isn’t comfortable. When I have achieved a substantial part of my goals in life, I just may be able to ascribe ‘comfortable’ to my life. Being ‘comfortable’ in my life isn’t so much about affording life’s luxuries as it is about achieving what matters most to me and that is a pursuit that hasn’t fully crystallized. Right now, I’m more concerned about achieving my life goals rather than securing comfort.

 

Are u pdp or apcLol
I’m for the development of Nigeria and recently I feel both political parties don’t seem to have my primary concern as a priority. I supported APC in the last elections and it is a choice that I have come to regret. PDP wasn’t a better option. I think the electoral process and leadership selection process in Nigeria has been carefully rigged to sustainably produce ineffective leaders.

 

What are/is your view(s) on feminism and the gender equality bill?

I proudly support feminism for I strongly feel that women should not be hindered,based on gender, in their quest for self-determination. Sadly, those who lack an understanding of its proper foundation and those using the platform of feminism fight for self-serving purposes have corrupted the legitimate and virtuous aspect of the feminism fight. Per the gender-equality bill, I feel much could have been done in the background to make for a more persuasive presentation. In the end, I felt parties to the bill seemed to be more interested in the publicity (and accolade) the bill will generate rather than the worthwhile fight of gender equality. There was little known in the media about the senator’s personal/individual fight for such cause or a turning point in her individual life that made her see reasons to take up such a crucial fight. Buttressing my previous statement, there wasn’t a well-researched recommendation on how the legislature can bridge the existing inequality between both genders. So far, there hasn’t been another try at presenting the bill for passage – if the senator was really passionate about the gender equality bill, she would have tried again. The recent senate memo on gender-equality reeked more of an appearance of working for gender equality rather than working itself.There is a very incisive article that shows with evidence how the Nigerian constitution discriminates between genders (the author doesn’t come to mind now)

 

To Kon’s out-of-the-box questions (I’d like to know your assessment of my answers):


1) Compare the Abacha regime with GEJ's time focusing on economic growth and conclude based on your points if Nigeria would do better under military or democratic leadership (10 marks)

Sadly, I was only eight years when Abacha’s regime ended and to the best of my knowledge, there aren’t easily accessible, credible and comprehensive records on his administration (needless to say, upon his death, in my neighborhood, there were exclamations of joy – a puzzling occurrence seeing as my neighborhood was predominantly Yoruba and it is customary to appear sober upon the news of the loss of life). GEJ did make some impact on the power sector and some agricultural reforms but I feel that he didn’t achieve much with the amount of resources (time and especially money) he had at his disposal and the portion of monies he committed to such reforms. Additionally, his tenure was marred by the prevalence of corruption, which he didn’t do much to stem. Economic growth in Nigeria, in recent years, has largely been driven by the private sector despite the government’s actions or inactions. Much of the sustainable economic growth we have witnessed in the past two decades has been due to the brave and courageous deeds of notable entrepreneurs and investors who have the unattractive fortune of still having tonavigate a complex bureaucratic governance process that doesn’t encourage enterprise. The government’s role in achieving economic growth for its nation is in the creation of laws and enacting of the right fiscal policies that would create an optimal environment for business. Both administrations (and many others) did not understand this and thus made a mockery of their responsibilities. For example, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) hasn’t been passed after several administrations, infrastructure is in tatters, oversight of the financial industry to ensure it works in the best interest of enterprise is poor. It is really difficult to select between two items when neither meets expectations on many accounts. 

I feel Nigeria is too sophisticated to realize her potentials under a military dispensation. The world and by deductive reasoning, Nigeria, in this twenty firstcentury, thrives best with a flat structure. The biggest asset any society and its leadership can have is the goodwill of her citizens – an asset that most democratic leaders easily squander. Military leadership, by definition doesn’t lend itself to benefitting from this asset.


2) Kindly explain to us the economic impact of the Zika virus to South America (4 marks)

Well the economic impact has both its downsides and upsides. The downsides are obvious including lost revenues to the deaths and deformity associated with the Zika virus. Increased provision for welfare and social cushion for those adversely infected with the virus. This has the immediate consequence of draining capital that could have been put to use for other developmental efforts in the nation.

The positives, although not too obvious, include the rare opportunity to invent a drug and vaccine for a potentially worldwide pandemic. Necessity is often the mother of invention. Considering that the disease ‘debuted’ in South America, it presents South America the opportunity to contribute to the world’s fight against infectious viruses with the added benefit of revenues derived from sales of developed drugs and vaccines. Also, the opportunity to present findings at international conferences and build international relationships presents opportunities that can be converted for other self-serving and locally relatedpurposes in South America. The inflow of personnel from concerned groups including WHO, World Bank, G8 nations and more would open opportunities for the flow of trade, persons and capital and the forging of relationships present almost infinite possibilities that can be used for the economic benefit of South America.


3) If you were president, how would you handle the Herdsmen issue? (7 marks)

Treat it as the law would - the offences of trespass, murder, and other related offences should be prosecuted. It would be unwise to play the ethnicity card in any form as this presents a delicate and nebulous situation that may not be amenable to an easy solution. After a swift, fair and effective trial of the perpetrators, instruct the National Orientation Agency to create programs that engender and promoteunity of all ethnic groups through subtle jingles across media platforms, and other related media. Also, take a unifying sector that its value chain permeates many ethnic groups, for example agriculture; educate Nigerians on the total range of the food chain of agriculture in the nation; how food is majorly sourced in the north by Hausas/Fulani, transported via road and rails, marketed majorly by Yorubas and Igbos and consumed by you and I, thus, the need to value one another and preserve our life sustenance. If need be, establish a unit to attend to ethnic divergences. Mostly the job of this unit is to educate Nigerians and foster a sense of unity.Additionally, this unit, through targeted educational approach, should enlighten the Fulani herdsmen and ethnic group on the need to value life – human life – appropriately. I feel it is wiser to incur lesser cost upfront than the larger costs much later – cost of educating with the attendant benefits of less killings and aunified society is a far cheaper option than costs associated with effectively prosecuting cases of ethnic related killings and living in fragmented society. This unit shouldn’t be concerned or have any interest in ethnic crimes for any crimes of ethnic nature are foremost crimes and should be treated as such – as crimes.


4) Should prostitution be legalized? Discuss. (5 marks)

Yes, although with certain restrictions to prevent a corruption of the moral fabric of the societyAlso, these ‘restrictions’ should cater to the protection of sex workers from exploitation from their employers and also prevent the spread of sexual related diseases. It is difficult to successfully abolish the world’s oldest profession, and given the prevalence of sexual related themes today, it’d be a Sisyphean effort to stage a head-on fight against prostitution.

To subtly fight prostitution, encourage women to go to school, support the girl-child in education, provide a form of social security/safety nets for those most susceptible to prostitution. Also, sponsor educational programs across media platforms that strengthen the family unit, and the need for citizens to be responsible players in the family structure. Encourage religious groups to play their part in shaping their audience to encourage chastity or fidelity. And, provide viable dignified economic opportunities for women - no person engages in a business when there isn’t much profit especially when there are available and rewarding alternatives to a more fulfilling life.


5) Legalize marijuana. Discuss (4 marks)

Nigeria isn’t much of a sophisticated nation with respect to hard drugs, hence do not legalize marijuana. I’d further advice not to bring this issue up for media attention, just work on identified strategies to combat the drug. Employ analogoussubtle methods as expounded in the previous question. Thankfully, Nigeria is not located beside any adjoining nation that boasts of high production of marijuana so one can easily block inflow of this product from any foreign nation. It should be relatively easier to fight against local producers.


Please note that all responses that touch on issues outside my personal life are my perspectives about those issues and not facts. Seeing as I had delayed my response, I’d be more than glad to answer any further inquiries about me in the comment section. 

And yes, I’d be pleased to make your acquaintance; chrisoutrules@yahoo.com

 

 




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