Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Review: Working On a Dream by Gbolahan Fagbure


I met Gbolahan Fagbure in 2012. During my week at Jumia, he was the guy who got to work first and left last. If he wasn’t bent over his computer, he was walking purposefully around the warehouse. He had the intelligent look of a builder. Although we didn’t work together, he left a strong impression.

I began receiving invitations to Speaker Series Africa after leaving Jumia. I thought it was interesting and was vaguely aware Gbolahan organized it, but never attended; I went to Ibadan more frequently then. Next I heard of him, he was co-founding Supermart.ng with Raphael. I loved the idea and played around the website.

Therefore, when I saw Working On a Dream with Kemi Onabanjo (this phrase is only here so you know Kemi is my G ), I had to read it! Finally, a chance to ‘know’ Gbolahan. I bought it the next day, and I am glad I did!

*****

Working On a Dream was a good read, worth every kobo of the N2,500 I paid for it; I could hardly put it down. The book is consistent with the image of Gbolahan I formed in 2012: concise, direct, focused, and fast. While it was obviously well edited, you could tell the original writing was incisive. If I may exaggerate a bit, no words were wasted.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

#TheKBWedding: On Becoming Busola’s Husband


I have married Busola many times; more times in fact than I can count.

I first married her on a rainy day in 2010 when she asked my opinion on which one of two guys to date (I wasn’t one of the two). I married her again during a final year exam where I began listing pros and cons of being with her after I ran out of answers (I still managed an A). I married her in the mirror many times before I first asked her to date me in 2011. And I married her many more times since then – even when I was ranting to Oggie, my big sister, about our latest spat.

Those dreams come true for the second time today. When you read this, I will have married Busola traditionally and religiously – in addition to the legal marriage in February.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

President Osinbajo?

Picture from Governor Amosun’s visit to President Buhari in London
I campaigned for Buhari, and rejoiced when he won the 2015 Presidential elections. I wrote this celebratory post, where I outlined my reasons for believing he would turn Nigeria around:
“I have supported Buhari since 2011 because I believe he will combat corruption, re-unite Nigeria, appoint competent aides and Ministers versus rent-seekers, create an enabling environment for our economy and institutions to flourish, and restore our pride before Africa and the world. I now add ‘defeat Boko Haram’ to that list.” — Me, 2015.
Things haven’t turned out as I hoped. Except for gains against Boko Haram and the intervention in The Gambia, not much has changed. The fight against corruption has mostly been conducted in the media, with just one noteworthy conviction to speak of. Court orders to release people like El-Zakzaky have been ignored. There have been no coordinated efforts to re-unite Nigeria, and there are reports that the armed forces shot at protesters agitating for the Biafran state.

Monday, January 23, 2017

On Jammeh: Africa missed a chance to set Dictators straight

[AFP] Jammeh waving to supporters as he leaves for the beaches of Equatorial Guinea, obviously in high spirits

I was thinking about the situation with Jammeh in the Gambia, and while I am happy that the situation was resolved without military action and any loss of life, I don’t like how it ended.

Jammeh reportedly secured immunity for himself and members of his cabinet, left the country with at least 13 vehicles, and seems set up for this life and the next going by some accounts of the money he has ‘stolen’...

I am experimenting with writing on Medium, so I apologize but you have to go here to read the concluding part of the post. Please be a good sport - click through!

Cheers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

On Governor Ajimobi, Respect, and funding Public Education in Nigeria


You may have seen the video of Governor Ajimobi of Oyo State addressing protesting students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). I watched it twice, and I think what follows is a good summary of what the governor displayed and said:
  1. He displayed no sense of responsibility to address the underlying issues that have kept LAUTECH closed for the past eight months.  While he later said Oyo and Osun State would chip in N250million each towards reopening the school, this does not solve the underlying problems.
  2. He DEMANDED respect based on his office and (implied) age, to the point where he told the students they should have addressed him as “Oga… Governor…”.
  3. He dared the students to be violent and threatened them with violence in return. He cowed them into submission by asking the Police to apprehend one of them, then called the Police off after a few moments.
  4. He believed he was doing the protesting students a favor by exiting his Exco meeting to attend to them.
“This is the constituted authority for Oyo State. Even if I don’t pay salary, and I don’t pay this… The fact is that I am the constituted authority; it does not remove that authority.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The NCC's directive to raise Data Prices makes NO sense!

My text message to the Minister of Communication

Imagine for a moment that NAFDAC requested Coca Cola and the 7Up Bottling Company to price Coke and Pepsi at N150 per 50cl bottle so that Big Cola can stay in business and gain share. Would you think it made any sense?

Probably not.

I exaggerate a little for emphasis, but that is exactly what the NCC has tried to do with their recent re-introduction of price floors for data. In the absence of a press release from the NCC explaining their reasons, we turn to excerpts from a post on The Cable, the writer of which claims to have seen NCC’s letter to the Telecom Companies.
“In order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry, small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted for the price floor (0.9k/MB) for data services,” it said. 
“For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 percent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market.
“Also, note that effective date for the interim price floor is December 1, 2016.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

For Hillary Clinton; Heartbreak...

I have exerted great effort to avoid all news media, spending far less time than usual on Facebook, Twitter, and Quora. I scroll past furiously when news related to Trump appears in my newsfeed, and I am uncharacteristically missing CNN's Quest means Business for the second night in a row.



When I made this post yesterday, I thought it was because I was weary of all the news about America's election. It had crept into my life and dominated my thoughts and conversations for weeks. I thought I was grateful it was over, so I hastened to document my thoughts in a bid to quickly move on.

I was wrong.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

President Trump; Now - What Next?


When President Obama ended this skit by saying "At least I will go down as a President", I wanted desperately to believe his implied statement that Mr. Trump would never be President - although I had my doubts already. Now it is confirmed: Donald Trump will also go down - at least - as a President.

I am no political pundit, and I am not American. I am a concerned Nigerian who describes myself as a citizen of the world, and I am invested in living happily and helping other people rise above poverty and live happily too.

I had a cornucopia of thoughts on the way to work this morning, and I wanted to document them so I can come back (hopefully) in four years and see how my expectations turned out versus reality.
Trump won in more counties where most adults did not have Bachelor's degrees
1. Globalization is slowing rapidly, and nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise. My theory is that us (educated) folks from developing countries like globalization because it affords us the opportunity to move to and live in developed countries where systems work. (Educated) folks in developed countries believe in globalization due to a variety of reasons - including the exposure afforded them by education. Big businesses like globalization because they can leverage global supply chains to maximize gross margins. On the other hand - I also theorize that the (uneducated) natives in these developed countries who lose their jobs to immigrants are fed up with this situation - and are voting for that to change. Closely linked, people are tired of seeing their jobs move to Mexico and China, or go to Poles, Nigerians, or other immigrants who will do the same job for less money or benefits. Net - I think it's a new world order, one that is less "global".

Friday, September 30, 2016

MMM: Mokú Mogbé Mòdáràn!


Today was crazy. (Thank you, Shereen). Scratch that – the past few weeks have been crazy. I have been wanting to write about the MMM rave for a while, but couldn’t find the time – so I have had to be content with liking other people’s posts and dropping sarcastic comments here and there on Facebook. Right now I need a break from writing recommendations and thinking about foreign exchange, so I have decided to finally write this.

First some context for the uninitiated. MMM is a Ponzi an investment scheme that offers 30% returns on a monthly basis. Yes. You read that right. 30% monthly. To help put that in perspective, if you invest provide help of N100,000, you can expect returns to get help of N130,000 in thirty days. If you leave this N100,000 in for twelve thirty-day cycles, it becomes N2.3 million at the end of the period. That is a 2330% annual rate of return!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Looking forward to when next I'll have these many cakes! :)
I can’t believe it’s already one year since my last birthday… Like really. Just like that? It feels like I was posing for pictures with my record number of cakes only yesterday. And wasn’t it last week or the week before that I was 18? Or 21? I am now confused. Where are all the years rushing to?

Can the 2000s come back here already?

Wasn't this exam only last month?