Monday, August 15, 2016

Touch not my Anointed and other Scams: (My Problem With Church (2/x))


A 'man of God' is caught pants down with a female church member, but say nothing because ... touch not my anointed.

A 'man of God' is jailed in a foreign country for a variety of financial offences, but do not comment on newspaper article because ... touch not my anointed.

A 'man of God' is obviously manipulating people, making them eat grass and drink petrol... yet, say nothing, because - touch not my anointed.

Really?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Who large population don epp?


I feel envious when I hear about or research a country that has a manageable population.

Switzerland and Israel, for example, have about 8 million people. The UAE has under 10 million people. Canada and Australia, both of which have taken a decent amount of Nigerian immigrants in recent years, have 36 million and 24 million people respectively. We often point to Singapore as a model for rapid and sustainable economic development; they have just over 5 million people.

On the other hand, Lagos alone has about 20 million people. Kano has somewhere between 15 million and 20 million. Nigeria nets out somewhere between 150 million and 180 million - depending on who you ask. Some projections have it that we will number 400 million people by 2050.

Yes. 400 million people.

*****

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Supporting your Family vs. Investing in your Dreams

Young Padawan,

I received your letter requesting advice on balancing your obligations to your family with funding the pursuit of your goals. It is a difficult one to respond to, as I am in similar shoes and I am adjusting my approach as I go. I will share what I have learnt from others and found out for myself, and I hope it helps you.

Let us start with some common ground: you are partly responsible for your family. Your parents and siblings should not suffer lack of food, clothing, or healthcare if you can do something. They have shared good and bad times with you, loved you in health and nursed you through sickness, and as you mentioned – sacrificed to pay for your education. Yes, you did not ask to be born, and many of these things are parental responsibilities. But, do you ever wonder how things would be different if they hadn’t performed these duties?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Nightlife, Afropolitan Vibes

Promo poster for this month's show
I was writing about free markets and the floating Naira, then I thought - why don't I write about something fun since it's a Friday night?

So I scrapped my previous post.

It's Friday!!!

Cheers to the freaking weekend!!!

**7**

When I travel, I always make time to see the nightlife; I could literally be drooping with a backache from sitting all day, but I would always, always get out in the evenings to see how the people have fun. I have walked nearly an hour in almost zero temperatures in Europe while "following the music", I have gotten lost at 3am in East Africa while finding my way back to the hotel after a night out, and I have bluffed my way into a Middle Eastern club by telling the bouncers I was a Nigerian prince.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

What will you be doing in five years?


If you asked me five years ago what I would be doing today, I would have looked straight into your eyes and given you a confident answer. I would have maintained eye contact all through the conversation and thrown in a few verses from the Bible for good measure. If you were a peer, you may have left thinking something was wrong with you for not having that degree of certainty about your future.

I was absolutely sure what I would be doing in five years.

I was also absolutely wrong.

*****

I recently read my personal mission statement from 2007.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

RIP Stephen Keshi, Death is a Bastard

The Big Boss, how I will remember him.
I saw the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final at a bar in Ogudu. It was not a nice place. It smelled of vomit, the boys were loud, and the waitress was rude. I am generally averse to rough places, but it did not cross my mind to leave. It was the first time in thirteen years that we were in a final and we had a real chance to win. I wanted to witness the making of history.

I screamed when Sunday Mba scored, danced a jig when the referee blew the final whistle, and fist pumped the air all the way back home. It was a big deal. Stephen Keshi had done what many foreign coaches couldn't do - win the Nations Cup. The excitement was palpable, and for a brief period we united as one country behind the win.

Stephen Keshi was good for Nigerian football.

Stephen Keshi was a great Super Eagles player and coach.

Stephen Keshi died last night.

*****

This post chose itself.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Memories from my Childhood

At seven, attending the naming ceremony of my now favourite teenager!
My earliest memory is of being made to kneel in a corner facing the wall for pulling someone's glasses off their face, then falling asleep in the dark corner. That someone must have been one of my parents, more likely to be my dad; my mom would never let me fall asleep in a corner.

It is interesting that this is my earliest memory. Why don't I remember being taken to a park, eating an orange, or getting a toy? What about kneeling in a corner makes for a sticky memory?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Meeting Chimamanda Adichie...


I was having trouble sleeping, so I thought I would write about meeting Chimamanda, world famous author and feminist, at Yellow Chilli two days ago.

We had just sauntered into Yellow Chilli for an easy evening and were heading for our table when Ehis spotted her. We could not quickly decide whether to engage her, particularly because it meant interrupting her conversation with her companion, but she seemed to notice our conundrum and waved us over.
A woman once got nasty when she asked to take a picture with me and I said no, because I was exhausted and I looked terrible. Another person once said to me – “you must always smile no matter what.” I thought: “how absurd. Do YOU always smile?” I’m actually quite the smiler but I certainly will not smile if I am upset about something. Everyone has good days and bad days and I treasure my human right to have good days and bad days.
I think the idea of celebrity is that you are supposed always to be ‘on,’ always in performance mode. And I certainly can’t and won’t do that. - Interview with Olisa.tv.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I miss my parents...


Last night, I had one of those dreams where I was nine years old again. My dad was a hero, my mom was the love of my life, and my siblings were adorable little tots who thought I was a mini-god.

Life was much easier. My biggest worry was probably our old Windows 95 computer that took nearly ten minutes to boot up. I had no clue what terrorism was, what a job entailed, what it meant to make a budget or pay my own bills, what it was to look for fuel like it was an extraterrestrial liquid, or what it meant to save for the 'future'.

This morning I wished I could go back in time, and be a young child again for a few days. My mom would wake me with a hug first thing in the mornings, and my Dad would ring the bell for morning devotion. Simi would sing all sorts of songs that ensured we would be late for school, and Fehintolu would sleep through the entire thing like the rest of us didn't even exist. I can't possibly get started on the noise, the banter, the fights...

Sometimes I think I grew up too fast. Looking back, I was in such a hurry to come into my own, and leave the nest so I could fly. I was obsessed with 'adulting', and now that I'm here - I have these moments where I don't mind giving it up for a few days.

I'm grateful that I still have both my parents around, and I look forward to escaping to Ibadan sometime soon so I can have a few days of pretending to be a child.

I'll leave you with Mary Schmich's words... "Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future."

Have a fab day.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lekki Building Collapse: We Need A Culture of Responsibility


Leaders don't take responsibility for anything around these parts. Their default reaction is to choose one or more from the options below:

  1. Blame a predecessor,
  2. Issue a muted statement attributing whatever it was to God,
  3. Shed a few crocodile tears ala "dia ris God in everything we are doing",
  4. Deny that it happened,
  5. Insist it was the work of their political detractors.

In most cases, they don't do what leaders should do - take responsibility, own their mess!

I am not often excited at someone losing their job, but I am very pleased that Ambode fired the General Manager of the Lagos Building Control Agency, along with other key officers at the agency. 34 people died because the Building Control Agency didn't do their job properly. They had to be held responsible.

I have long argued that we suffer from a dearth of strong institutions, and I believe this is a step towards strengthening our institutions and ensuring they take responsibility for their jurisdiction. People and agencies need to know that they will be held responsible if things go wrong on their watch, and conversely - that they will be celebrated when great things happen.

It should no longer be business as usual, where Civil Servants spend their days watching Africa Magic and selling fabric to each other.

Think what you want about Ambode. He is on to something!

PS: PRESS RELEASE AFTER THE CUT