Nigeria

Ripples: The Brute, the Bad and the Snitch

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ripples

My absence on the blog has fetched me several names in the past, but none has been more solid than the one I got some weeks ago.

He must have seen me in his dream or something. I’ll bet he woke up and decided to drag out the object of his nightmare. BBM helped him do that. I’ll call him Brutus.

Brutus: You eh? Na wah to you!

I was waiting for my garri to elevate to the benchmark at the time.

Me: Sir, what I do??

Brutus: You have backslid.

Just like that! Read the rest of this entry »

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Hustle Living

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Gingerly, he approached the figure, wrapping his hand around the neckline to loosen the little knot that held the mini-gown in place. I had no idea what a gown like that is called, but I was certain it should be something not so expensive though seemingly fancy, judging from the way it fitted around the firm curves on the feminine shape. Even as it dropped through the slightly protruding waist down to the feet that put an end to the fair long legs, revealing the pesky pair of mounds on the trimmed porcelain skin, he never seemed to be distracted for a second.

I sat, squeezed to the window side of a creaking 18-seater bus finding its way in the traffic congestion, watching the stranger undress the mannequin. It was about 30 minutes to the 20th hour; the end of the day’s work for some and the beginning for others. I belonged to the former category, the road-side cloth merchant and his mannequins gallantly occupied the latter.

The bus dragged briefly towards the 11.82km bridge. I knew it was the beginning of another 2hours–characterized by rough à la distress driving, cusses and attendant spits, honks and bashes–even before the bus came to a halt, the persistent gridlock remaining the factor.

A bucket of many bottled drinks sped by, and I looked out the window to confirm or discard the sorcery I just saw. For a person of really brief height, I didn’t expect the hawker to be so nimble-toed even with the conglomeration of drinks he balanced on his head. Others of his ilk had gala, plantain chips of countless brands, cashew nuts and several other consumables clutched to their sides; all meandering through the congestion trying to sell their wares. I shook my head in pity as I watched one of the hawkers almost get squeezed between two buses while he rushed to get payment for what he just sold a passenger.

“There is a Junior and/or a wife at home, a sister or brother in school, or a mama in the village depending on them… and so they hustle with their every fiber.” An elderly who seemed to have been watching me all the while said. I knew she wasn’t any off from the truth.

A couple of hours, countless hisses and serious body aches later, the third gear of the bus finally became useful. Perhaps from the reprieve brought about by the draught into the moving bus, the occupants of the seat behind me began to discuss what awaited them at their destination, the crux of the discuss being their grievances with the wage they get at work, and how the foreign owners of the factory they work in maltreat them like a flock of quarantined pigs.

I got home a few minutes to 11pm with a smile on my face; PHCN decided to put a little something in our bulbs. I settled in quickly and refreshed to get some sleep, for the alarm would do its job by 4:20AM the following day irrespective of how I feel. I remembered a joke a colleague made about the episode introductions of a movie I was seeing (he thought it would be cool to have the prologue in pidgin) and I decided to indulge myself briefly.

The player came to live as my then recumbent self began the pidgin prologue:

“My name na Oliver Queen

After five years for ogbonge hell

Na so I waka con’ home with only one goal…”

PHCN didn’t allow me save my city. They took the light.

Ironically, I wasn’t pained. They take power more than they give it and we all know. It’s bad, but I’m somehow used to it already. As I rolled over to sleep I flashed to a headline I saw on CNN a few days earlier:

D.C hit by power outage.

I would guess many Americans were in panic throughout the blackout. In some climes, blackout mostly precedes bad things, say terrorism, a headless horseman with a big axe roaming the streets, or simply the beginning of the apocalypse.

The same blackout an average warm-tempered Yoruba/Ibo/Hausa man (trust me, you don’t want to read the hot-tempered man’s version; I don’t want to write it too) would roll his eyes over and say “awon dìndìnrìn”/”mcheew, iti boribo!”/”kai! Shege!” became breaking news in some other place.

And then I did a conscious recap of my day.

Ours is a country of stoic and hard working people; we strive and hurdle regardless of the barriers and hardship, ironically with a smile bearing countenance. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want things to be better.

Maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much time in traffic if there were functioning alternative means of transport or route. Maybe there won’t be a horde of hawkers on the road at the risk of being crushed if power is regular to the point of making some other business ventures profitable. Maybe the factory workers would have ceased being garri-and-groundnut-driven robots in the sight of their bosses–slave masters–if there were other opportunities for them. Lots and tons of several other maybes!

Maybe I wouldn’t have had reasons to write this.

I am @jossef69 on twitter

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Quick Scribble: A Luta Continua . . .

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This was supposed to be a response to a friend’s facebook status when he opined—and asked to be straightened (as if he was crooked ad initio)—that people should, in a way, do less of hashtagging, offer assistance, pray, and give less of adulation and attention to some celebrities who “still don’t get it”.

Somehow between then and now, the supposed comment evolved to this. Too long to be in the box, but enough to relax here comfortably with a glass of mohjito handy.

I’ll start by saying that all these celebrity rants about how their initiation or support—with hashtags—has been helping is nonsense because they’re now making it sound like it’s actually about them. Blame it on the crave for more attention; on death resistant habits; on persistent “village people” at work . . . Blame it on – anything.

I would, however, add that these hashtags have really helped. The campaigns too. Thanks to concerned individual, including celebrities. In a country where the C.-in-C. (be free to name the Cs as you please) danced while the blood of victims of the blood-curdling bomb blast was yet to cease flowing, mass campaigns and barrage of hashtags to keep our concern and rage flooding the media, cyberspace and other spaces, are what I see as wherewithal, inter alia, to communicate that people aren’t sweeping it under the carpet like before. As a friend would say, no be sheré sheré.

It’s really not a joke.

Now the world knows. Open letters and opinions dashing like darts. Aids and helps flying first class. Confessions trailing secrets. Mr President can’t close his two eyes anymore (perhaps out of concern, or the effect of a prior presidential power nap). Many other things happening . . . and yes, thanks to Mama Piece Mama Peace who never carries last, we just confirmed that indeed, #DiaRisGodOo

Prayer is good. Very important. But permit me to submit that we must do more. We’re wont to saying that the wall of Jericho fell with the shouts of the Hallelujahs (which I’m comparing to prayers in this context). Just like that? Was it ever that easy? What happened before the hallelujah-esque death blow? The bearing of the ark? The blowing of trumpets? The steady marches? All repeated for days!

We all don’t need to attend sunday schools to know that the verbs; bearing, blowing, marching and et cetera-ing (remember the initial spying?) are in many ways similar to showing empathy/concern, campaigning, opining, hashtagging and other present day et cetera-ing. All repeated for days!

Why then must we stop?

Perhaps with new twists, but we must stop NOT. Efforts are in full gears, but we must contribute our quotas too.

Writing on #ChibokGirls now is what some would tag “late arrival”, “old news”. . . but that’s just the point! Is it over yet?

Let’s act in unity to #BringBackOurGirls

I vote #Synergy, not #Anarchy

We could do things differently for a start:

Proffer solutions; criticize constructively.

Provide intelligence when you have it.

Offer assistance in any capacity you can.

Support more concerned folks and victims.

Pray more. Act more. Rant less.

By all means necessary, do something productive.

This Jericho must fall

Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69
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For The Love Of Our Country

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The time has come to ponder and reason

Not only on the takings and killings

But also on the class that governs the season

Insensitive to its subject’s sufferings

Pouring promises, doing nothing

“Cluelessness and inaction” its supposed apt theme

Song from tale of yore crawls to fore:

As long as I’m completely full

I care less if everybody dies of hunger . . .

. . . as long as I’m completely full

Doesn’t matter who blows to smithereens

It matters not if “they” all get kidnapped

Even if it happens over and over

So long safety is guaranteed for them and theirs

Eni tó bá máa kú kó kú

Or how do you explain the prolong delays;

A brutal weapon in the arsenal of an insincere

Enough time to device manoeuvres

At the expense of the tears of bereaved families

And the unrest of longing folks and parents

Committee set-up in the place of quick bold steps

Security blueprint of a gloomy hue

While many die en masse

And the rest at the fear of imminent danger

Who knows who’s next?

A waiting committee we will not become

Imprisonment in our own abode we won’t condone

Now’s not the time for politicking

Seek help and ditch the lagging

#EnoughAndEnough

#ChibokGirls are our sisters

#BringBackOurGirls

#StopTheBombings

At the end it won’t be about the blueprints, promises, committees, blame shifts . . . but the successes of the actions in the face of challenges.

Eni tó bá j’oyè àwòdì, ó ye kó le gb’ádìye.

Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69
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Quick scribble: Visit the more important things first, religious sites later

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It’s been a while since I dropped a piece — rant or otherwise. The blame won’t go to erratic power supply or busyness this time, rather I’ll attribute it to my preparations in the previous weeks and my eventual trip to Israel for erm…what’s it called now…a day with christ for my country — since christ is nowhere to be found within our immediate 923,768 sq km anymore. In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t go with Bros Jones and his caustic grammar-laden chéri.

I’ll quit playing around and get straight to the point. I bet you didn’t believe that trip to Israel baloney (please don’t)… but you get the point. I’m right here in my PPA sitting in my room with a pot of beans on fire, and the thoughts of many Nigerians translated into sensations driving me to use my fingers to type a brief one.

Of course, prayer is a very good thing; a key element of progress as a matter of fact. However, I believe in another combination which is undoubtedly a better thing: Ora et labora. Yes, work and pray. I believe in miracles, but praying and hoping for one isn’t just expedient on it’s own…unless we work to get there.

Switching to “sunday school teacher” mode…

Brethren, faith without works is what…? Dead! Yes. Thank you.

The wall of Jericho didn’t just go down by mere shouts. The strategic marching for days plus the carrying of ark and trumpets of rams’ horns, and the eventual blowing and shouts went a long way…and it doesn’t sound like easy tasks to me. Does it? It wasn’t just a silent murmur or monument seeing.

Three weeks ago we celebrated marked Nigeria @53 and of the truth, it was the dullest since I was old enough to notice. Do we still need to unwrap the reasons? Nah. Decaying infrastructure, insecurity of life and property, unemployment…and yes, I won’t forget, legendary ASUU strike exudes from the foil already; bricks of our very own wall of Jericho.

There are (at least) two sides to every story. I’d like to believe that our number one citizen is on a mission towards the right course to discharge his duties as appropriate, with the intention of starting with prayers (I like this version). Thus, I’m saying amen to his prayers, wishing him and everyone else a safe trip back, and expectant of a change soonest…

….just as it is expected that my beans should be done by now.

God bless Nigeria.
Your comments are welcome.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

Nigeria… The Giant Of Africa

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I know a nation that stands tall
The giant of Africa she’s called
Although that sounded like a misnomer
I’m mistaken perhaps
But giants behold short and dwarf from above
I’m yet to see that happen
Except in some areas I’m not proud of

Here’s what I see:

I see a giant african snail
She’s big and popular
Blessed and prolific;
Give her a field and she turns it to a colony
A survivor of limited equals
Even in dearth she thrives
Silently she sleeps when the time is hard
Such flexibility and ingenuity in a calcareous shell
A beautiful sight in a nutshell

Often I choose the beauty
Even if the reality is a pickle that prickles
But for how long?
Not when the tingles persist
Now I see more
I see the giant that voraciously consumes the green till it’s gone
Anything goes for her;
The dirt and the rubbish alike
Then she moves on when there’s none
Truly she’s a survivor
One who doesn’t pick cues from better survivors;
The ants that work and save for the rainy days
Tiny ant prepares for the adverse
But this giant beauty sleeps in the worst
Until nature smiles on her
From birth she grows with haste
To the point where she waits
The shell that protects also limits
She doesn’t really want much
So long she eats and begets more to finish the flush
I see a creature that can sleep for Africa!

Of course she can change
A set of instincts she must drop
Conservatism is not always bliss
It’s time to evolve and ditch the yore
To move beyond the past at a quick pace
Not as the giant that she was or is
But as a giant she should be
The moment is now
Nigeria awake

Happy independence.
God bless Nigeria @53 and beyond.
God bless Nigeria again.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69