Friday, October 31, 2014

I DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING! (Memoirs of a Comic Fanatic) (Guest Post)




There was a minute silence. He took a look at my work on his laptop, paused, looked at me, then looked back at the screen of his system. I wondered what was going through his mind.

"Sir, I'm afraid your work won't sell", he shot at me.

"Pardon???". My throat suddenly developed an unusual dryness. I heard him but then it sounded like I didn't.

I had been carrying this comic work about for close to four years now, going from pillar to post, looking for a publisher with no meaningful outcome. The life of an hustler...

"Mr Makinde, you heard me. Your work won't sell. I mean, look around you, who still reads comics in this environment?", he swallowed a lump.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Like A Moth - Sequel (Guest Post)


A year and a few months ago, tears of hurt and pain filled my eyes and sleep was far from me. Today, a lot has changed, but I find the tears gathering again – threatening to spill out and share my joy and happiness with the world.

Who would have thought the source of my pain could bring me so much joy down the line?

I once thought your beautiful brown eyes were cold. Now I long to stare into them and feel their warmth. I hope they look back into mine too, deep into my soul, and see how much you mean to me. How ironic that the same eyes that once sent cold spears stabbing into my heart are the same ones that offer me refuge today?

Across the miles, your smile makes my day brighter. It is funny to me how far you are, yet how near you seem to be.

I am no stranger to love. I have seen stuff and done stuff, but this is new every morning. You show me a new side to love and loving every day, and I love every step we have taken together. You have shown me a new side to life and living, you have changed the way I feel.

The same people who advised me to give up months ago see me now and know why it was never an option, why I was drawn to you like a moth is attracted to naked flames.

Now they understand.

It will be 365 days tomorrow, and even with the ups and downs – it has been more than worth it.

Every moment we have shared together has been better than the moments before.

I just can’t get enough of you.

Now I know all the pain, all the hurt, and all the tears were worth it.

I am drawn to you.

I always will be.

Even though I get burned sometimes, I can’t imagine my world without the brightness you bring.

I love you.

Note: This post was written by my long-time friend and brother, , and is a continuation of his original post here. As with the previous piece, I accepted to edit - as my own 'contribution' to his "1-year" anniversary with his woman! You go bro!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Randoms - What does our top Internet destination say about us?

Baring ubiquitous websites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter - what does the top internet destination for citizens of a country say about their country and their values?

Does it mean anything that Linda's Blog is visited more times than the Wikipedia, Vanguard and Punch websites by Nigerians?

Source: http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries;1/NG

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fiction: What A Shock...


The world slowed to a blur as I ran towards the office building.

I’d kept the Central Executive Committee waiting for fifteen minutes now after awakening an hour late, and I couldn’t bear to think of the impact on my reputation. I wondered if Shereen, a known stickler for punctuality, would overlook my lateness and consider my proposal based on its merits. And I wondered what Yetunde, the young and smart Head of Communications would think.

I lengthened my stride as I reached the Security Guard, blasting past him as he rose from his easy chair – infrared thermometer in hand. The daily checks and attendant small talk were becoming tiresome. Today was not the day.

My bag bounced off the railings as I dashed up the stairs two at a time. One look at my face and people began side-stepping to make way for me. They all knew I would never run like a crazed demon without good reason.

The Security Guard held the door open as I reached the top of the stairs, and I muttered silent thanks as I bounded through. My hands were hard at work with my Bag already, undoing the zipper and powering on my laptop. Thankfully, I never shut it down and it was only ‘asleep’.

I stopped for a few moments outside the Conference Room to catch my breath, then opened the door and stepped into the brightly lit room.The ice hit me like a wave.

All eleven members of the CEC were seated, staring blankly at me. I scanned the room looking for a warm face, but found none. My legs went weak. I grabbed the Multimedia table for support, then mumbled a weak greeting.

No one responded.

My short rehearsed apology about Lagos traffic fell flat. If anyone understood, it didn’t show on their faces. After all, if they could get in before 8.00am – why couldn’t I?

I kept my eyes on their faces as my trembling fingers found the VGA cable and plugged it into my laptop computer.The projector came on, and as if on cue – the blank looks turned into a mixture of disgust, shock, and anger.

Bewildered, I looked down at my Computer screen at the same instant that Shereen spoke, pointing at the Projector Screen – “what the hell is that”?

I couldn’t believe what I saw on my computer, so I turned to look at the Projector Screen, then fainted.

It was a naked couple splayed on the screen.

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tomato Jos - KickStarter Project Has Got Me Raving!



This morning, I have been tempted into making my first KickStarter Pledge.

This Tomato Jos project is absolutely fabulous, and unlike many other projects I've seen people rave about - I think this actually solves a real problem and creates a world of opportunities for Nigerian farmers and their families.

A few questions:
1. Are there Nigerians doing stuff like this with other crops / in other areas? And are there platforms where they're showcasing their work today? (So we can support them too). - Update: yes!!! Evidently there are quite a few young Nigerians (the big boys like Dangote don't count) employing this model with various crops...and I have been so buried in my own little world that I had no idea how much was going on out there!!!
2. Why did it take two Americans to package this like this? (I daresay a few Nigerians must have thought of this first)... Should I (and we) be collectively ashamed - or happy? Update: like the team graciously clarified below, it's one person from America and one person from Ireland.
Watch the video above (lovely layer of Flavor's "Tomato Jos" towards the end), and see details below. Go here to view on KickStarter.

Monday, October 20, 2014

#PrayFirst

Copyright Max Lucado: http://maxlucado.com/read/blog/an-invitation-to-an-online-prayer-gathering/
A few Sundays ago, my heart swelled with love as Pastor Sam (Daystar Christian Center) took an offering to be sent to Liberia, Sierra Leone and other EVD ravaged countries as aid. I was struck by the empathy and 'Christ-likeness' of the move, and it blew my mind that he had set the target to give $1,000,000.

I gave as much as I could to that cause right away, but I've wanted to do more since then. You probably know how I stopped watching CNN temporarily after James Foley was beheaded. There's Ebola ravaging Liberia, and I teared up yesterday while listening to Johnson Sirleaf's letter to "The World". There's Boko Haram, and the 200+ girls that were kidnapped months ago; for the first time yesterday - I couldn't muster the words to pray for their safe release at a Sunday service. There's the upcoming election in 2015, and the attendant uncertainty. There's the rising gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' in Nigeria and indeed around the world. There's the many natural disasters happening right, left, and center.

What then is a brother to do?

PRAY.

Today, I'm grateful for a chance to join Max Lucado's "Pray First", and I ask that you join too; if you can. You do not necessarily have to stream. Just ensure to raise your voice in prayer to God starting 12.00am tonight, for at least 30 minutes.

And then when we're done praying, let's do.

Do. Volunteer. Give. Help out in anyway you can.

Remember, we are the world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Financial Times on Nigeria's handling of the Ebola Crisis


So, truth be told - aren't we all proud how well Nigeria handled the initial Ebola scare? It was great to see the Lagos State Government swing into action immediately Patrick Sawyer's case was reported, and for once - we saw a bit more cooperation between Federal and State Agencies than we are used to.

The Financial Times did a nice piece titled "Nigeria's Hard-Learned Lesson For Quashing Ebola", and I was particularly interested in a paragraph indicating the power of "mind over matter". Here is an excerpt:

The psychology of patients is key. In Nigeria, according to World Health Organisation officials, those victims who believed that only medicine from the west could save them, mostly died. Those who lived, would not have done so without simple H2O combined with the rehydration solution. “All of them decided to survive. Because they wanted to survive they forced themselves to take more oral rehydration solution. The mind has huge power over the body. That’s not talked about enough,” says Dr Eilish Cleary, the Ebola expert.

Go to FT.com to read the full article.

Friday, October 10, 2014

So Linda's Blog is Back... Yaaaaaay!!!


I fully intend this to be my last post about the recent 'take-down' of Linda's Blog. So help me God.

So, Nigeria's most visited personal blog is back up. At her original Google-hosted Blog domain. This is good news, and I'm happy for her. It's not often that life gives people second chances after such 'mistakes', and I'm grateful she has a new chance to do things right (and back-up her blog too).

In my opinion, Linda needs to hire a top-class team to develop a BellaNaija-esque blog for her (and not the crap we were temporarily subjected to at www.lindaikejionline.com yesterday). She also needs to spend more. Quality staff and servers to manage the new site if she does decide to move, an IP Lawyer to consult for her, and proper licenses and rights to third-party content.

Whether or not it was a personal issue with MrAyeDee, fact remains that plagiarism is wrong - and we must learn to respect Intellectual Property as much as we do Physical Property.

And yes, leaking a personal conversation is just as bad as leaking nude pictures. That was so wrong, Linda.

There, that's all. Now let's all go have us great Fridays!

PS:
1. Linda is hiring. Yaaaaaaay!!!
2. Now I can go back to the 'Zone', knowing that there's LIB to look forward to on my Breaks.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

So Linda's Blog is Down...


So Linda's blog has been 'removed' by Google, temporarily I hope. If you try to visit lindaikeji.blogspot.com, you get the "Blog not found" error (screenshot above).

I'm not quite sure what to think or how to feel. On the one hand, I somewhat understand the hurt writers and other artists feel when they are not adequately credited for their work, or in some cases when their work is reproduced without their express permission. After all, I went to great lengths in 2013 to call out a Facebook 'friend' who edited the first paragraph of one of my articles and passed it off as his own. And I spent weeks chasing Seth up and down before doing a 7-day series based on one of his books. In most cases, I, like other writers, am content for now (2014) to be credited - and I'm grateful for the free publicity it brings.

On the other hand, I love Linda Ikeji, inexplicably. Since meeting 'virtually' in 2010, I have grown attached to her persona - and my idea of a break when I'm in the "zone" is to pop into LIB for a dose of the day's gossip. And I suddenly realize - we are all guilty - including me. Name the average Nigerian blogger who hasn't re-used an Image without permission, and I'll show you her/his blog is of the text-only variety.

Was it right to use so many photos, videos, and articles without express permission from the owners? Frankly - the answer is no, except the original creator had granted blanket permission. The Internet is governed by Terms & Conditions, some of which allow Google to yank you off if you break the rules. And outside of the Internet, it's just plain wrong to make a living off other people's work without acknowledging them. It's a pity most graduates of Nigerian Tertiary Institutions have been guilty of plagiarism at one time or the other.

You already know what I think about the post where she showed off her cars. One of my Dad's favorite sayings has to be "ti isu e ni ba ta, ki a fi owo bo je, ki a si se aye jeje" i.e. "If your yam is 'big' - not so sure about this, correct me if I'm wrong - you cover it with both hands while eating it" - presumably not to call attention to yourself. Hindsight is typically 20/20, but I daresay there was a connection between this and that. Surely, it must have hurt the original content creators even more to see her succeeding so much on the back of "their content".

I strongly think Linda will bounce back, and much better. Linda is smart, and under all the bravado - I'm sure she'll learn from this experience and do things better the next time. After all, hundreds of people will pay her to post their content, and she can quickly implement systems to settle aggrieved authors and ensure she is adequately protected for all future posts.

Having said all that, here's rooting for Linda Ikeji, the Queen of the Nigerian Internet, and hoping she weathers this storm.

I'm a fan, Linda, and I'll visit your blog wherever you choose to host it in future and however long the url is. Just like a million other LIB Voltrons.

PS: Go here to read a really nice piece by Ayo Sogunro on this same matter.

:)
Koye.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

For the Love of #Casillas


I'm not all that old, but I daresay a lot of younger Real Madrid fans don't understand why we, the old breed, love Casillas. You see, he's the only remaining link to a glorious past.

When next you see him walk onto the pitch, remember that he played with greats such as Hierro, Salgado, Carlos, Makelele, Figo, Zidane, Raul, Morientes, Beckham, McManaman, the first Ronaldo, Owen, Guti, Robinho, Cannavaro, Nistelrooy, Reyes, Karankar, and a host of others. He's been Madrid number 1 for THIRTEEN years. Think about that for a second.

When next you see him walk onto the pitch, remember the beautiful saves he pulled off in the 2002 Champions League Final after coming on as a substitute for Cesar Sanchez, only 21 years old at the time. No offense meant, but this was before many new-age footie fanatics could even spell 'Chelsea'.

When next you see him walk onto the pitch, remember that he has been voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for six consecutive years, has won ALL major club and national championship titles - (including 3 Champions League Titles -1999, 2002, and 2014), and won the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Award for five consecutive years.

When next you see him walk onto the pitch, remember that even the best of us sometimes falter.

When next you see him walk onto the pitch, take a few moments of silence. And celebrate the beauty, the brilliance, and the courage of Iker Casillas.

Unrepentant ‪#‎CasillasBaby‬ and ‪#‎RealMadridFan‬.

NB: I finally found something non-intellectual I'm absolutely crazy about.
My next goal-keeper love is Courtois. Once Casillas hangs his boots, I shall shift base!

Friday, October 03, 2014

October 1 (The Movie)


I'm starting to do a lot of unpaid adverts these days, but this is yet another one.

October 1, the movie, was a great one! It was absolutely worth every kobo of the N3,000 I and the Boo paid to see it at Silverbird Galleria, and I was somewhat sad when it came to an end after 2 hours and 23 minutes. Movies like that should never end. They should play on endlessly in a ceaseless loop, odes to the brilliance of their creators.

The film explores a variety of issues, such as paedophilia, tribalism, and racism; all weaved into the fabric of a tale about a serial murderer. Two young boys from a village are sexually abused by a Priest promising to help them with Higher Education, and one cuts his pursuit of education short to return to the Village and farm the land - while the other completes his education, but returns to the Village bitter and trying to make the town pay for the sins of the Priest.

Kunle Afolayan is an amazing director, producer, and actor. I first saw him in Saworoide, where he played Aresejabata (I think, correct me if I'm wrong), and his growth over the years has been simply amazing. I love what he stands for, and I love the quality he brings to Nollywood. (Think Figurine, or Phone Swap).

By all means, please see the movie. And preferably - from the right channels if you can, so that Kunle Afolayan and his great team get the due recompense for their work. i.e. let's enable them to make even greater movies in future!

Go to Wikipedia for some background on the movie and a plot summary.

PS: Do not compare this movie to Half of A Yellow Sun. Both are set around the same time, but HOAYS explores a base and deep issue that is nearly sacred as far as I am concerned. Both of them are priceless works of art that should be enjoyed. That's all.

Happy Holidays!
Koye.