Monday, April 30, 2012

Hey, Did You Know?

Like I said in some earlier post on this blog, very soon - we might have a food problem on our hands. Not enough food is being grown for the rapidly expanding population - and this will get worse with time - except we do something to stem the tide. Google 'famine in somalia' if you think this is not a big deal.

There are three sides to this: control population growth rate, grow more food, and reduce wastage of the current food output. My population series talks about the first; but equal emphasis needs to be laid on the second and the third also.

My friend, Adenike Alade, has articulated an excellent idea to create awareness about the impending food shortages. However, she needs our votes to take it from an idea to an actionable plan...

Follow the link, watch the video and learn, and MOST IMPORTANTLY - vote for her idea!

Oya gaaan vote o!!!

Theatre of The Absurd VI: Of Bomb Blasts, Policemen and Presidents

I wrote the post below after the bomb blast at the UN office in Abuja (August 2011). Words failed me after news of the BUK bombings yesterday, so I have decided to re-post this in its original form. (The picture below is from the Thisday bombing).

Originally published 6.29pm, August 26, 2011.

I just saw a picture of one of the victims of the bomb blast at the UN office in Abuja. It's gory (too gory to share here)! To think that the man was somebody's father / husband... :(

My thoughts are in no way coherent (and this is in no way a comprehensive post), but I feel a need to put them down for a review sometimes later, and I guess you'd like to share in 'em too...

1. Our Police 'Force' is in need of an urgent overhaul, a complete one. We must not forget the attack on the Police HQ itself. The Police is by ALL means a toothless bulldog, better suited to harassing innocent citizens and extorting law-abiding motorists than keeping Nigerian citizens safe.

Of course, this is by no means the fault of the policemen on the roads... This corruption started at the top and simply ate its way down! I make bold to say that a better-paid and well-motivated Police 'Force' living in a Nigeria where public health, education and other infrastructure actually worked wouldn't have as many bad eggs.

2. I can not say for sure that this was Boko Haram's work, but as they have been responsible for other bomb blasts in the past - they must be viewed as a terrorist organization, and treated as such! It is high time we stopped treating such issues as this with 'kids gloves'! Organizations that do not respect the sanctity of human life do not deserve dialogue.

3. I cannot understand how terrorist organizations around the world who claim to represent the interests of the 'common man' strike at the 'common man' in a bid to prove their points! The logic behind it beats my reasoning!!!

Finally for now, if there was any doubt about it before - we elected a weak President, one totally bereft of ideas! A problem-plagued country such as Nigeria requires a strong President, one whose very presence inspires confidence and hope for the future. Split across deep fault lines of ethnicity and religion as we are, we require a decisive President, one who will act tough and talk tough.

Sadly, I must also say that we really did not have many options. I honestly do not see how Buhari or Ribadu would have acted any better than GEJ has this past few hours.

I don't know if all this makes much sense, sounds like me, or even has a tone fit for my Theatre of The Absurd series... I honestly hope it does sha... Share any thoughts, comments...

Nigeria shall arise, someday... :(

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Covenant University admission requirements

Please o, which one is 'Pastoral reference letter' again? To enter a University in this age and time... O ga o!

I tire for Nigeria.

Please read my earlier article on Nigerian Universities here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why do they hate us (women)?

Examples abound of men maltreating their wives and boyfriends beating their girlfriends. In fact, hardly a week passes that the newspapers don't carry news of a woman beaten to death by her husband, disfigured by acid by a jealous boyfriend, or hit and maltreated on suspicion of adultery.

I used to think I knew how bad it was, until I read this article. See first paragraph below:

"In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to deprive her." Just as her husband denies her an orgasm, the call to prayer interrupts his, and the man leaves. After washing up, she loses herself in prayer -- so much more satisfying that she can't wait until the next prayer -- and looks out onto the street from her balcony. She interrupts her reverie to make coffee dutifully for her husband to drink after his nap. Taking it to their bedroom to pour it in front of him as he prefers, she notices he is dead. She instructs their son to go and get a doctor. "She returned to the living room and poured out the coffee for herself. She was surprised at how calm she was," Rifaat writes.

Follow the link to read the full article.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Are you eating your savings?

Lately, I have been doing some thinking and reading about financial freedom and passive income. I cannot guarantee a steady stream of posts, but I will share interesting discoveries here on a one-off basis.

Today, I would like to explore the use of Savings accounts.

In its truest form, a Savings account is an account that contains your 'savings' - a percentage deduction from your monthly income that is set aside for rainy days. However, I have found - by asking others and from personal experience - that people seldom use Savings accounts for this purpose.

The average person keeps their monthly income in Savings accounts, and withdraws from the account on a need-to-use basis during the month. Many times, these withdrawals are not even backed by a budget. This is made even more convenient by the use of ATM cards  and the ability to withdraw in most banks without a conventional 'passbook'. In the end, however, this flexibility contributes greatly to the vicious cycle of month-month spending and total dependence on salaries.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

National Youth Movement for the Removal of Fuel Subsidy???

What nonsense is this? Or doesn't that banner say 'National Youth Movement for the Removal of Fuel Subsidy'?

Who are these stupid people that have decided to rollick in bondage???

And to think that they had police support protection!!! If these were honest Nigerians who were tired of the status quo and marching to show solidarity with the Farouk Lawan committee reports, I daresay they would be under police attack surveillance right now.

Read all about it on Omojuwa's blog. (He took the pictures himself)

Fuel Subsidy Reforms

I hear an interesting debate is going on right now about the Farouk Lawan fuel subsidy report. Excellent. If you are home, or don't have to work - you can watch live on Channels TV.

I hope someone is watching, and will hold the house accountable for executing all the motions they are carrying today.

Read all 61 recommendations from the Farouk Lawan fuel subsidy report here.

A few excerpts though:

I choose to excel, not compete

I discovered this on a friend's display picture, and it has got me thinking since. I thought I would share it with you.

I choose to excel, not compete.

This way, I do not measure myself against someone else. I strive to be the best that I can be, and I will revel in the satisfaction that comes from knowing I put my best foot forward - even when I don't win. I will not stop 'pushing' when the world ranks me better than all others; no, only a competitor would stop at this point.

I will continue to 'push' until I have given all that I can.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pull a Seat; Let's Talk About Sex 2

Temitayo Olofinlua's post is continued here...

Almost every weekend in Nigeria, there are weddings. People spend so much to plan for these weddings. My average observation is that after the wedding, the multiplication aka breeding aka breeding aka childbirth starts, as if on auto-tune, without much planning for the children. It's like misplaced priorities. We sit down to plan for marriages, spend hours before marriage counsellors; spend months with event planners; yet when the children come there is no plan for them? It baffles me. You know people joke about it how obviously struggling families spend so much in my area in Sango Ota on baby naming ceremonies; I say something like "They spend so much, even borrow sometimes, then, the next day the child starts drinking garri." Is there something wrong with us? With that part of us that thinks that we have a point to prove to others, that everything is about that point? Poor, middle class and rich seem to be guilty of this.

Pull a Seat; Let's Talk About Sex 1

This is the first part of our guest posts by Temitayo Olofinlua of the Bookaholic Blog. Excellent writing! Makes for excellent reading too!

In a piece written on NY Times recently, there is a postulation that in the quarter of a century, Nigeria's population would reach a 300million mark, with the rate that we are growing. What does this mean to you? Would this skyrocketing population growth be a blessing or a curse? Pull a seat; let's talk.

Every morning most of us leave our homes in some face-me-I-face-you; tug, push and pull at the bus-stops to reach our offices. We breathe into our nostrils and are forced to inhale the stench of our stale sweats. Some others still leave their palatial abodes; father and mother goes to work in separate cars; children go to school in another car; maid goes to market in another car; cushioning the smell of the filled gutters with the cool air from our ACs. Yet, poor and rich, we are all in this gridlock of a traffic for hours. Poor and rich, stuck in the gridlock of the population increase. Imagine Lagos in 25 years if the population growth continues like this; someone shall create flying cars; then, there shall be traffic, above and below.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Linda Ikeji: A Story of Beginnings 2

Secondly, I thought I would treat you to a snapshot of what Linda's blog looked like back in 2007 (July 5, 2007 to be precise). It is interesting to know Linda too had posts that had '0 comments' back in the days... There is hope for me! *covers face*

Click here to see the snapshot of what her blog looked like exactly on July 5, 2007 - complete with posts.

Linda Ikeji: A Story of Beginnings

Linda Ikeji is one of the greatest bloggers of our time. At least, in this side of the world.

She is a classic example of achieving financial freedom while working at a job you absolutely love. In fact, the word 'job' is largely inappropriate in her own context. She loves to write, and she makes millions - from writing her own words, "more money than she knows what to do with it". Linda Ikeji is by all means an example of someone who has made money and found meaning by following her passion.

When I think Linda, I think influence. When I think of cases like the SaveOke campaign, I think of Linda - and I am grateful that 'blogaria' has people like her... Examples abound.

I am sure many people out there, just like me, want to make millions and find meaning doing what they love. So, I have decided to do a few posts on Linda Ikeji, delving deep into her earliest posts (and hopefully, interviewing her) to come up with a picture of the woman Linda, and insights into what has driven her success in 'blogaria' and other areas of her life.

As a first step to that, please follow the link to read the very first post on Linda's blog - written on November 26, 2006. It is not particularly an outstanding 'first post', and in fact - the following is all that hints at the many successes that she would eventually go on to achieve:
"today sunday 26 2006 marks the beginning of lots of fun for us..i promise to give you the best..make sure u visit this blog atleast everyday..God bless you all..linda"


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Being a Mom is the Best Job in the World!

You guys absolutely have to see this video! I challenge you not to cry!!!

I love my mom! I love my mom! I love my mom!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

World Earth Day 2012

This year, the World Earth Day is next Sunday, April 22. The World Earth Day is a yearly event held to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment.

I have decided to do a short list of things we can all do on Sunday to participate in the World Earth Day celebrations:

1. Unplug chargers (mobile phones, laptops, tech gadgets) when they are not in use.
2. Run down your batteries more frequently. i.e. do not charge your device until your battery is pretty low. This way, you exercise your battery - and reduce electricity usage.
3. Bath with cold water unless absolutely necessary. Electric heaters are some of the most power guzzling devices in any household.
4. Drop trash and rubbish in proper waste-bins, rather than on roads, streets, and in gutters.
5. Recycle plastic bottles. Many plastic bottles can find second lives in kitchens and as water-bottles, rather than end up clogging drainage systems.
6. Send e-mails and text messages rather than actual letters in corporate environments. Reduce paper usage.
7. Recycle used (and under-sized) clothing rather than burn or dispose of in rubbish heaps.

These things are actually sustainable. There is nothing stopping us from doing these on a daily basis. There are a great many ways in which we can join hands together - and transmit this earth to coming generations greener and more beautiful than it is now.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


In a short but welcome break from our discussion on the population issue, see below a post for a friend:

TEDx events are created to share ideas that change our world and that is what TEDxIfe is all about - bringing geniuses and intellectuals who through experience, vast knowledge and skill have gathered ideas worth telling the world. This is so exciting! The biggest ideas conference in the world is coming to Ile-Ife, Osun state in Nigeria!

In the light of this, we want to engage young people in participating in this event and they would get rewarded for that!

From wherever you are, in Nigeria or outside Nigeria, all you have to do is send in your own original idea and stand the chance of winning $50! Our focus is on the youth and our theme is CREATE/REDEFINE/CHANGE.

How can the government and the people of Nigeria help our country's youth, the emerging leaders of tomorrow? What changes do you think should be made? What new areas are unexplored? There are so many questions we need answers to.

Nigeria has a sea of brilliant minds yet undiscovered! Send in your piece and let Nigeria hear your voice. You are the change we are waiting for! One short piece of writeup can cause a revolution and bring about a change.

Post your ideas on our facebook page. Note: Your piece shouldn't be more than 250 words. You can send in as many entries as you want. The person with the best idea who also has the highest number of comments would get rewarded. Participants should endeavour that they are fans of the facebook page. Entries close 30th May, 2012.

TED began in 1984 as a conference devoted to the converging fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design (hence its name). Over the years, the scope has broadened. The Conference now brings together the world’s leading thinkers and doers. Past speakers include Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, evangelist Billy Graham, Chimamanda Adichie, Chris Abani, finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala etc.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED instituted TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At TEDxIfe, we wish to add a local flavour to a global event. Our focus is on webtechnology, arts and creativity. The speaker line-up for TEDxIfe has been specially selected to reflect our vision. They are: co-founder of Nigeria’s hottest job website,Opeyemi Awoyemi; the founder of an art collective, Emeka Okereke; a top radio show host, Tosyn Bucknor; acclaimed political cartoonist, Mike Asukwo, among many others like Victor Ehikhamenor, Qudus Onikeku, Gbenga Sesan, Nkemdilim Uwaje, Tolu Ogunlesi, Segun Adefila, Eghosa Imasuen and Omotola Fawunmi.

This is more than a penny for your thoughts - we are offering $50 as a reward! Just drop your idea on our facebook page, interact with other Nigerian youth and most importantly, be part of the wind of change set to take over Nigeria!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Upcoming: Guest Post by Temitayo Olofinlua

Still on the matter of rising family sizes in Nigeria and indeed sub-Saharan Africa - we will be having a guest post by Temitayo Olofinlua of the Bookaholic Blog tomorrow. An excellent writer and role model, Tayo will be hosting us to a feast of words... Need I say more? Make it a priority to watch out for her post tomorrow.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Too Much Sex?

Today, we get down to trying to identify why the poorest people in Nigeria often have the most children.

I have had a number of interesting conversations on BBM and in my email, with ALL my respondents pointing to the same thing: The poorest people have the most sex! For someone coming home (to a hot room with no electricity) after a hot day of slaving in the sun, what better way to relax than have sex with your wife? Remember that sex with your wife is free, and on average - the African woman does not turn down her husband's requests for sex. I am tempted to explore the stories I have heard of husbands raping their wives (yes, husbands do rape their wives!) - but that is outside the scope of this post.

I once spent two weeks working with a technician, Patrick, while I learnt to operate lathe and drilling machines. Patrick, with an income of about N20,000 a month had a stay-at-home wife and SIX children. When I asked him why he would not let his wife take a job and contribute to the family income, he told me point blank that he wanted her at home 24/7 so she could satisfy his sexual urges anytime he got tired of working. In his words (I recorded the conversation): "she gats dey house 24/7 o. After beating all this iron, you no think say person go need correct exercise make you massage your bones and stretch your muscle? You be small boy sha. I sure say you never taste am. Na the best form of exercise wey dey this world be that. Go try am make you come tell me."

I am tempted to be lazy and attribute the phenomenon to sex, but I think the reason is to be found in something deeper: education. It appears as though attributing every problem to an education deficiency is cliched this days, but the truth remains that education does change the game.

Better educated people are more likely to:

  • better understand the implications of having too many children (therefore having fewer themselves),
  • earn higher incomes and be more responsible for their children's education and quality of life,
  • seek out (very importantly) other methods of recreation apart from sex,
  • creatively use contraceptives if they must have regular sex.
Bottom-line is: there needs to be pro-active education of people in the mid to low-income category about the effects of too much children on the overall quality of life. We need to help everyone see that fewer children with better education and quality of life is the way to go... Yes, and we need to help people see that condoms and other contraceptives are sold for a reason.

I need to get interviews with two or three homeless mothers for my next post... I'll be back soon as I can make that happen. We'll also explore the use of contraceptives and any negative associations with contraceptives in another post.

In the interim, you might want to ask your neighbors how much sex they've been having... :)... or maybe buy them some condoms!

See the first post in this series here: Why do the poorest people (on average) have the most children?
And the second here: Why you should be interested in how many children your neighbor has

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why you should be interested in how many children your neighbor has

I watched the TED talk by Melinda Gates yesterday, and I have decided to spend the rest of the week blogging about the correlation between family size and the quality of life. At the end of the week, I will collect my thoughts into one coherent post. However, before I launch my rant, I thought I should give a few reasons why you SHOULD be interested in how many children your next door neighbor has. :)

1. Imminent food shortages. Before you laugh out loud at another doomsday prophecy, consider the following statistic from 'Inside Watch Africa': Africa's population has continued to increase annually by 3 to 5% while food production only increased by 2.5% over the last year. On the face of it, this gives two options: reduce the rate of population growth, or increase food production. The more people there are buying (or stealing) food, the less food there is for EVERYone.

2. Increased insecurity. It goes without saying that it is easier for a low-income family to properly raise (and educate) one, or two kids than five or six. A lot of the time, children from VERY large families are not properly educated, well-fed, or well-clothed. If you doubt that, then visit the many overhead bridges and slums that dot the Lagos landscape. Apart from the rich kids who resort to Yahoo and theft in a bid to support their ostentatious lifestyles, many 'poor' kids resort to robbery to support their families - a justifiable reason in their opinion. Summary: the fewer kids a low-income family has, the higher the chances that the kids will be better raised and will become responsible adults.

3. Increased pressure on social amenities. Many parks in Lagos today have been taken over by the homeless. I spoke to two women on an overhead bridge today who openly said they hadn't slept on proper beds in months. To make matters worse, both of them had children (one had three, and the other had a new set of twins) - all of them sleeping around the bridges. In the short term, there will be more pressure on public facilities such as parks, schools, toilets, bridges, and the welfare scheme (if Nigeria ever gets round to having one). Summary: more taxpayer money will go towards catering for the needs of a population increase that could have been avoided with a little more wisdom.

Any other reasons I have left out? You disagree with any of the above? Drop a comment below...

1. Next, we will attempt to explain why the poorest people in Nigeria oftentimes have the most children.

2. For my first post in this series, see 'Why do the poorest people (on average) have the most children?'

3. If you have time, check out the comments on Melinda Gates' talk at the TED website.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let's put birth control back on the agenda

Purely by coincidence, the TED Talk of the day (on facebook) is about Birth Control!!! Just when I was asking why the poorest people had the most children!

"... Contraception. The topic has become controversial in recent years. But should it be? Melinda Gates believes that many of the world's social change issues depend on ensuring that women are able to control their rate of having kids. In this significant talk, she makes the case for the world to re-examine an issue she intends to lend her voice to for the next decade. Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation..."

Follow the link, if you can, to see (and hear) Melinda Gates talk about putting Birth Control back on the front burner.

The Problem With the North

Salisu Suleiman is at it again.

If you do not know him, then by way of introduction - I daresay Suleiman is one of the most intelligent bloggers in Nigeria presently. His posts, often with a bent for discussing issues in the North, are very intelligently crafted. I cannot say for sure if he reads Malcolm Gladwell, but his writing attains the depth of Gladwell's works on many occasions.

Find below an excerpt from his latest post, 'The Problem With the North'.

"... The callous nature of the north’s leadership is the heart of the problems; agriculture remains largely subsistence, industries have folded up, businesses are dying and poverty is pervasive. Worst still, education is neglected, and so the region’s potential future leaders are left to rot. Apart from comparatively few graduates and professionals, most northern youth have few practical skills or know-how to earn a living, so they troop to towns and cities where they end up as beggars, itinerant manicurists, shoe shiners, commercial motorcyclists, roaming tailors, barbers, waste bin scavengers – and fertile recruiting grounds for terrorist groups.

What can be done?

Clearly, a multi-pronged approach is needed. While the political space must be leveled to reflect voters’ choices, long term measures like free compulsory and quality education must be introduced. However, the more immediate challenge is economic development, particularly job creation. Economic development can be propelled by stimulating the private sector which is better suited for sustaining growth. Growth is the most powerful weapon in the fight against poverty because it creates jobs that use labor, the main asset of the poor. As growth proceeds, employment becomes the major source of economic support for most workers and their families..."

Follow the link to read the full article.

KOYE-LADELE Mogbekeloluwa, +2348062543654, koyegbeke at gmail (dot) com

Why do the poorest people (on average) have the most children?

On my way to work today, I saw a woman on the overhead bridge around Ikeja Along. She was shabbily dressed, and it was evident she had not slept on a proper bed in weeks. To make matters worse, she was carrying two identical twins - shabbily dressed as she was, obviously in need of urgent medical attention. She displayed the twins in an entreating manner, begging people for alms.

In that instant, I was again struck by a question that has plagued me for years. Why do the poorest people have the most children (at least on average)? And alongside that question, two others that derive from it: what fate singled out those children to be born to that woman in particular? This woman in particular knew she could not take care of herself, why then did she add two children? Are they not disadvantaged from the start?

I know bank managers who have only two kids, and I know a mechanic who has EIGHT from two women! I know big-time entrepreneurs with three children, and I know bus drivers (at least three of them) with FIVE kids!!! Why? Why should you have five children if you cannot guarantee even one a good life? Why marry two wives when you cannot guarantee one a good life? Why should you give birth to children you know you have no means to fend for? Why?

21 questions, right?

1. This definitely does not apply to the Duggars. They seem to have turned their 19-children-strong family into a money making machine. :)

2. This would also not apply to Tu Face Idibia...who has all of 6 children. However, my mom once taught me that ladies could be quite skilled at tying down men they want with children - and I think that was the case in this matter.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Comments That Keep Me Going

"I had never read that text from Jer. 29. Very profound. I've always thought so but never had the scripture to back it up.  God is calling us to be nation builders, and that does not mean that we declare ourselves blessed and do nothing about it. I am not Nigerian but the principle of what you write about still holds true. God gave man dominion over the earth and we are to work.  So yes, I will not eat grass, but I better not just be saying that and doing nothing to help 'my Babylon' as it were."

I write for various reasons: to share my perspective, express my feelings, express my emotion. I write out of anger, joy, depression, melancholy, even fear.

Various things inspire my writing: falling leaves, the smell of rain, accidents, seeming coincidence, smells, noises... Ordinarily, I write for myself. I refuse to be bound by rules from a book, or some established author's opinion... I refuse to monetize my blog - increasing the frequency of my posts so I can make a profit, or tailor my writing to align with the perspective of the multitude.

However, I have come to find that the bad thing about writing for yourself - is that you often never post anything. Only God (and my computer) know how many posts I have spent hours writing over the years - only to consign them to oblivion in the many folders that dot my desktop. So, lately - I decided to do 'more' writing for an audience...

What I share up there is a  comment by an anonymous reader. One of those few, and rare, comments that tell you your work is appreciated, that make you keep writing...

Thank you, anonymous.

If you want to read the post that gave rise to this comment, please go here.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Question and Answer Session with NOI on her World Bank Presidency Aspirations

Nice question and answer session with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on why she wants to head the World Bank:

"... We need to move faster. The bank has to be quick, nimble and responsive in this global environment. I would like it to be much faster to get aid on the ground, and faster giving policy advice and help to ministers looking for it. I'd look to do things in days and weeks rather than months and years, and I have the bureacratic knowledge, the knowledge of the institution, to make that happen.

But the premier goal should be helping developing countries with the problem of job creation.  In country after country, the single most important challenge is how to create good jobs - in developing countries as well as developed countries.  And a big challenge is youth unemployment, which I want to tackle very fast because of the other problems it creates..."

Read the full article here.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

On Falling Out of Love... Sequel.

A week ago, I wrote a short blog about the Ogochukwu Onuchukwu story. Even though I felt quite emotional at the moment, and was determined to turn the sad story into a learning experience - it did not entirely sound quite right.

Turns out my second thoughts about the story are, well, not without basis. There appears to be a second side to the story, and some other person (supposedly a PhD holding Barrister) has taken time to write a LONG rejoinder to the first version.

At this point, I choose to become disinterested in the facts of the case - and to hold on to the key learning I have identified:

  • There is a balance between a man's family and his father's family; wives and mothers will always lay claim to men. Men must find the slim line that denotes 'balance', and walk it.
These people should let the dead woman rest in peace.

Se fini.