Hans Rosling TED talk is one of those short and powerful talks – washing machine as a metaphor of how time saved from not doing mundane tasks can be used to improve oneself and here – education for women.
I loved this talk. In Nigeria, we are presented with a different challenge. Even if an individual can afford a washing machine, you would need power to operate it and as simple as it sounds, electricity has not been reliable for the most part of three decades.
The only reliable source of electricity is generator,most people have one. Now we have very portable ones as cheap as US$30, maintenance and diesel are variable costs people have to add-on. The cheap type usually would light a couple of lightbulbs, mostly used in the evenings. Attempt to plug anymore household gadget is asking for wahala.
Isn’t that much more expensive, you ask? Yes, it is but this is Nigeria. We are so used to this sort of lifestyle that we probably don’t recognise what ‘normal’ is as my people would say, e go better.
I can just imagine how many women’s lives in my community and indeed Nigeria would change dramatically for better if they don’t have to spend a whole Saturday scrubbing away.
Washing machine sounds fantastic but for now, let’s hope we get stable electricity first.
Nigeria has its way of pushing the citizens to a tight corner – deliberately. A way to force us to choose one out of two evils – Buhari vs. Jonathan is what we get, then a choice, we must make.
Today, it’s not that hard to get a sense of what Nigerians are thinking about these two guys, not hard to see who is doing most of the thinking when multitude blindly follow. A quick glance in the department of Thought Farts aka Twitter would give more than one has bargained for. One person tweets and hundred others retweet without reading the content, if they did, I doubt most of the messages would get a single retweet.
Some people might say we are making use of our labour force, maybe – get them busy with free recharge cards and Blackberry – Bless the Canadians!
Not much to say about Buhari. I know my people, often in time, Nigeria is perceived as a small village whereby the need of a small family unit is more important than that of a bigger community. Buhari is not the change we need and we all know that, he was there in Aso Rock once and far away from being our messiah.
So I asked the Thought Farts department what the deal about Mr Yemi Osibanjo, Buhari’s running mate was. I was not disappointed as a patriot responded as thus:
“He’s a smart lawyer and intellectual with a track record of implementing reform.”
The response was excellent only that it wasn’t good enough to satisfy my curiosity, but I guess with only 140 TF characters, you can only say so much. I do hope the specifics ‘reforms’ is made known to the public so we better get to know what he stands for.
Not much to say about GEJ either. Nigerians say incumbent presidents always win in Nigeria, I say, why can’t we start from GEJ if indeed we are tired of the same old that has not benefitted average person on the road.
Still have not much to say about GEJ but a leader who gave a lavish wedding to his daughter two weeks after#Bringbackourgirlshappened, is not worth my vote – all lives should matter. And yet today not only that the girls are still missing, many more lives regardless of gender have followed suit.
Our ex-president Obasanjodeserved everything GEJ said about him and much more. OBJ imposed him on us so no pity for the old man there, they both deserved each other. Nigerians regardless of the tribe would do well to ignore both GEJ and OBJ as they are distractors that no one deserved. It is boss boy and master case, they’d settle their differences in Switzerland over cocktails.
I must choose – Buhari it is. With Buhari we can start on a clean slate and enough of the praises, must work to deserve it this time.
How refreshing to read about men and women of God telling the truth for a change – teaching citizens how to put on the best show so as to get and retain more church attendance. Like any other profession dedicating ones life into preaching requires knowledge and steadfastness.
Theology school in Kinshasa graduates from Dr Congo will get my business anytime because I know I will be entertained as their customer service is likely to be a lot better than some folks in Nigeria that thought anyone believed they were pastors, evangelist, Daddy, Rev (or all other titles too confusing to mention) because they were ‘called’ and it is their duty to drag us all to ‘heaven.’
Who isn’t called?
I have always loved bible stories, they are incredible. Especially those stories that it is impossible to imagine if you were from my part of the country like the tale of Moses leading Israelites through the Red Sea – that one got me.
To begin with the only open water I could think of was Isasa River that flows through Eiyentanle Village, a tale that there was a Baba Olodo (Father of the river) in it has been around from beginning of time. Tale such as this is one of the reasons most Yoruba don’t swim for the fear we will be gobbled up by the spirits.
Even if you imagined Isasa River in hundreds, you still are not close to what the actual Red Sea was. Visiting the Red Sea several years ago, I laughed a lot at myself and my many pastors of their description of the Red Sea and the Pyramids – God help me!
Say it as it is. The easiest job in Nigeria today is becoming a pastor or something like it. You entertain the public, worked hard to maintain your congregation so you deserved to own all the profit from it – not your fault the nation is messed up on how to tax its citizens appropriately.
You would get more people just sticking to the business part.
Today is Akoraye Day. Every last Saturday of the year is.
The day that all Modakekes home and away celebrate the gift of life and a bit of pat in the back that we are still here.
The event is mostly to reflect on the past, appreciate the present and plan for the future – call it Modakeke Thanksgiving Day.
Plenty of music, dance, food and many more of it. Some folks would get super drunk on Emu (palm wine) and Ogogoro (locally made liquor, that stuff burns throat!) today – it’s all about celebrating.
Although the resistance to lease payment from Modakekes is a century old tale but it has never been consistent, it all depends on who is at the throne in Ife and how much delusional he is.
1981 was the first Akoraye Day – the need for a day of reflection arose out of necessity.
A year prior Oba Adesoji of blessed memory w’aja (passed away). During his time, there was no need for Akoraye Day – relationship was not perfect, but it was manageable. Senior chiefs have never stopped pushing but Aderemi knew better.
The last blood shed was during Oba Sijuade, Olubuse I.
By midyear 1981, the town has witnessed the most brutal killings of our recent time in Yorubaland, it met Modakekes by surprise, they were suspicious but no one knew the extent.
By December 1981, agreement was made, we do need a day – Akoraye Day it is it will be celebrated the by last Saturday of every year. Home and away, physically or spiritually – be there to rejoice and reflect and remember that our town needs us.
This year would have been the 33rd Akoraye Day but because of the last ‘open’ killing spree between 1997 and 2000, we missed two years – The town was too much ‘broken’ to see any reason to celebrate, too many of our brave ones were lost in 1998 especially.
This year is our 31st Akoraye Day.
Today I am grateful for all those guys whose lives were cut short, and others who defended the borders and survived, the youths who didn’t run away but hung around to provide moral supports, the women who pounded locally made gun powder even when their palm of their hands were swollen from so much work and one brave woman (Mama Rush E) in particular who broke the myths of gender bias of women capability. She led several people to the borders – incredible woman she was – without the collective effort, Modakeke would have been heaps of ash.
And to our King – Oba Francis Adedoyin, he stood by throughout, even when the youths had enough of listening to orders, he showed that he understood the frustration.
Last but not the least, not always have we ever had hearing ears from the ‘outsiders’, news don’t get out in a way that human lives being wasted meant anything so for the most part, we are on our own.
The current state administrator, Governor Rauf Aregbesola is different, not because of what he said, but because of what he is doing. Grateful for the new state school system, one of Modakeke ones was completed early this year.
Give me education, I’ll live.
For this and many more I am grateful to Gov. Aregbesola’s admnstration.
You don’t have to be from Modakeke to see the injustices going on, if you must help us, anything in the line of education is a life gift no one can take away from.
This year marks the one hundredth years since the First WW broke out. UK did massive poppy display representing each soldiers killed in the war by planting 888,246 clay poppies themed Blood Swept Lands of Seas of Red – The display was beautiful and moving.
I am grateful too as I have benefited in no small measures from the peace around me.
Then it occurred to me that my gratitude for brave men and women goes beyond British soldiers and the first WW. Mine included a very recent and less publicised one but war nonetheless because people died so others like me could live.
Old NEPA building on Ondo road, Modakeke is a popular landmark in town, not only because it once housed NEPA (National Electric Power authority) but also that in the 80s, NigeriaGuru Maharaj Jionce lived there – One God. Many ways of reaching Him. My people’s madness about One Way and My Way is fascinating. Little wonder #Bringbackourgirls occurred.
I digressed a little there.
Old NEPA’s building has lots of memories that has shaped my view of the world in more than one way. I lived about 300 metres away from it for seven years.
By December 1998, I was beginning to think this will be the end of it all, the killings have been going on for about a year and no end in sight. Nigeria newspapers reported the crisis as if it was foxes and Chickens.
Adegoke retired to his house Old NEPA building, in the heart of town. Behind his house was a swamp, really it was a stream, flows during raining season but stood still most time of the year for the path is clogged of household waste.
One day, Modakeke youths went to Adegoke to ask if he could lend out his garden hose, people have seen him using this on occasions on the compound weeds. Adegoke refused to lend out his machine demanded the youths to leave his compound at once. The guys were not only disappointed, they were furious for his refusal to be of any help.
Adegoke has drunk, eaten on the soil. Even raised his family and Modakeke good enough for him to settle after years in the Nigeria Army. We were not asking him to fight given he is from Ikirun (or somewhere close in Osun State) but only fair that he help in his capacity to support our efforts to defend ourselves and livelihood from the Ifes.
The guys wanted to tell the old guy he was a traitor but must be cautioned as Adegoke has plenty of powerful guns so they left his compound.
Retired Captain Onigbinde assured the aggrieved youths he’ll have words with his old-time friend. Onigbinde walked up the stairs as he had done many times before, only to be carried out in a body bag, all the boys hanging about the building were taken down within minutes that followed.
Aremu Baba Elero Ata at Oke Amola, who has been fighting intensely for the last few weeks and tired was on his way home when he heard the news, made a detour to Old NEPA so as to stop Adegoke – him too was sent to a journey of no return within minutes of arrival.
Within 24 hours, Adegoke killed more people in Modakeke than the total number of people killed by the Ifes at the borders.
Was Adegoke an enemy within? Or was his action triggered by years in the Nigeria Army where killings has become a ‘child’s play’ and not enough psychological help to follow-up with soldiers to be sure they were not danger to their communities after retiring?
Must see what happens to Adegoke, next day I sat among tens of youths at Olanrewaju in a two-storey beside Baba Liadi’s building. There you can see Adegoke’s compound clearly, there was a stray bullet near this building yesterday but if others didn’t get shot, I will be just fine too.
This is history, must see.
Adegoke had resources, had a working landline phone from the then Nitel – his lawyer from Moro came by and whizzed him away.
“Remember Femo, the powerful undefeated Ife man who once rode Oba Sijuade’shorse to events?” A friend asked. I responded in affirmative.
See, my point here – No one benefitted absolutely from Modakeke and Ife crisis, but the bruised egos are still adamant to accept defeat to move to 21st century where it is not acceptable to demand for lease after centuries of ownership on farmlands.
None of the kings and chiefs children were victims. Actually, during this time four of Oba Sijuade’s children were in the USA studying and yet ordered children of his people to grab lands of the Modakekes do or die style.
Listening to American activist such as Vernā Myers always is inspiring. In America black activists relentless efforts for equality in all fronts is enduring – benefits of fight for justice and equality didn’t stop among African-Americans alone, everyone with a little hint of blackness benefit around the world.
Undoubtedly, no one talk will hit all the right notes that people want to hear but this one for me covers a lot of areas in which we all need to improve on. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like you are begging to be recognised as humans who deserved equal treatment as others but if that is what it takes, so be it.
I imagine a world where Africans on the continent pull our weight to call for better reasoning too.
My parents generation today have witnessed at least two different Ile-Ife monarch reigns so sometimes they are best to tell some stories given most of our stories were not written and those that were, are seriously skewed to the benefits of the writer. Not everyone in that generation thought anything would ever change, most complained of being tired of asking for what is right, others feared they’d be at risk.
Either way, I believe we can not keep going the same old way and expected different results. If we want improvement in the way that land ownership is being dealt with, then there must be a change, a defined and fair one.
I get excited about things – new experience, new places to explore so naturally visiting Thailand excited me more so that I have plenty of time to see and learn. For my six weeks there I saw plenty from the beautiful Grand Palace, to riding elephants in the north jungles. Really, you guys have palm trees too? That sort of knowledge filled me with innermost joy.
The biggest surprise of all came two days before leaving. I was in a big market in Bangkok, Chatuchak market, just window shopping but when I spotted a group of African shoppers, the veins in my head popped. I remembered the saying that 1 in every 5 black person you see is likely to be a Nigerian so I thought, I’ll keep walking around to see if I’d see some.
Before long I found myself in a Nigerian restaurant eating eba and egusi – incredible. Spoke to an Osogbo woman who has African prints shop, the type and quality that you don’t get back home, so I stocked up for my parents.
Then comes the biggest surprise of all. Adegoke walked into the restaurant, ordered his food, and sat opposite me. He has been in Bangkok for a while, so decided to settle there, not easy he told me. “Compared to home, what do you say?” Goke chuckled and looked me in the eye saying between us both “Hell is better than home he left behind.”
Nigeria is not that bad, maybe not enough opportunities but really not that bad. so I asked him, tell me “where are you from that is that bad.” He hesitated because he thought I could never understand, but I urged him to trust me. Then he said the most unexpected town ever, “Modakeke” No way, I yelled and gave him the biggest hug ever.
After getting over the shock, then come the familiar stories, we both shared tales of our beloved town, we knew each others primary and secondary schools even knew a few people in common.
It was the 1997 – 2000 crisis, he went to secure the borders for a few days with a gun, the experience was just a bit too much for him so he swore to get away from it all and here he found himself. Goke was in his early 20s at the time.
Meeting Goke gave me hope. He knows the true story of what has happened and continue to happen till today and the aftermaths on people. This negative effects is not just on one side, it affects everyone from both communities.
My village celebrates the best Christmas Eve ever. It is the day that everyone in the village come together to celebrate in the open place – primary school field.
December 24th is the day youths who work and lived in cities and towns across the country are in the village for the holidays.
Over the years, we have saved enough money to acquire a generator to use for the night and when not in use, it is rented out to the neighbouring villages.
A month prior each household is levied to contribute towards the evening party – Club Party. Well off families contribute above what was asked of them and some even donate drinks and other useful items for the night.
Mama Ige is an elderly woman in her 60s when she returned to the village, she had horrible wound to her shin, I don’t know more to the story than that the sore has been there for a long time and is incurable (illness is incurable in Nigeria when no money to take to hospital). The wound smells really bad so Mama Ige is pretty much isolated most of the time.
On December 24th, she belonged so is everyone.
I remember her once contributing fire woods to help with the cooking and later on showed up in the field for a couple of hours – Everyone celebrate the gift of life
The evening is all about eating, drinking (mostly soft drinks) dancing and singing. One of the guys a bit older than me who was a Radionic/DJ (Electrician) would bring all his equipment for the night, and take the lead – we were all proud of Samuel, as he always introduces new town’s slangs and new releases at the party.
The night started at 8pm with parents sat in front row and a group doing traditional dancing in the front to entertain followed by a selected elder to speak on behalf of everyone to thank the lord that we all together again by grace.
From 9pm most elders are back in their homes leaving the youths to dance the night away. Music is all secular pop songs.
My father and a few others don’t go to sleep, they’d hung around in front of their houses to safe guard us. My parents house is directly opposite the field where the party is taking place so my old man sees it all.
For about a week, my village is filled up, lots of visiting and greetings and news from across the country – very lively atmosphere.
By December 30th, it all started to quiet down, folks leaving for town preparing for New Year parties in town – different towns mostly less than ten miles away. I have stayed back with my dad a few times – my village is mostly empty around this time, about one ninth inhabitants gone to celebrate new year but the good news is that my father tends to have big ‘catch’ of bush meat this time – not bad.
Sometimes I wished everyone stayed back but I can’t really blame people for wanting a bit of luxury of electricity and paved roads, not when I am now far away myself.
Isabelle called at a very unusual time, at 9am on a Sunday morning, she is normally at church.
“Guess where I am” she asked.
“Somewhere having fun” I replied as I knew she was supposed to be on holiday.
“I am in the hospital” Izzy said in a low voice.
Now, I thought her low voice was so she didn’t want to disturb patients but bored enough to want to chat for a minute.
“Really, on a Sunday morning, work that busy? I knew she is on call a lot but Sunday is a no-no for a long time but thought maybe contract terms have changed.
Izzy helped me out.
“Not as a doctor, I am here as a patient”
I was taken aback.
Izzy is a friend who is always there for everyone and have two young girls of her own so busy a lot. She is the one to say. ” Hey, sorry am running late as I had to make a detour to drop a patient at her home” and if you ask if that is part of her new role, she’d simply say “Not really, It’s because we can’t get a taxi in time for the lady and I didn’t want to leave her alone with the receptionist at the surgery. That is the kind of person that Izzy is – always have a bit of herself for everyone.
About three weeks ago she noticed a lump in her left breast during normal checks that has become second nature, she felt the lump right away, thought it might be nothing so waited for another week to see if there is any changes. From then on she went to do some checks – mammogram came out confirming the lump, offered CT scan for closer look – both saying same thing. Doctors were very helpful and assured she’s in good hand. They advice to come back in January to do further test.
You only live once
Isabelle freaked out as anyone would, head going in circle, too much to swallow. Her lump is very small, the earliest she could get seen is January. Thank goodness, she has a private health insurance where she is able to deal with the problem now without delay.
Had mastectomy performed on the affected breast. I am over the moon for the speed in which everything has taking.
I was scared a bit. You hear news about women having breast cancer but when it happens to a close friend, the message rings home. Izzy is her mid thirties, healthy, led active lifestyle. No family history of breast cancer she is aware of.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women accounting for 25% of cancer cases worldwide. Men do have breast cancer too, not just as common as women – here we all need to get used to checking!
In Nigeria for example, true cause of death is usually undisclosed, it’s encouraging to see Ms Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu sharing her story.
Now a prompt sticker on my bathroom wall is staying for as long as it takes.
Please take a few seconds to check, it’ll all worth the effort.
Takes two to tango as the saying goes. If a permanent form of birth control is such that egg is prevented from meeting sperm – indicating two people are involved here. In the case that a couple have had enough children or perhaps both were in agreement not to reproduce, so logically either of the two can opt for sterilisation – why is the burden only placed on women especially the poor women around the world?
Each time I read about the female sterilisation gone wrong in India, I wonder how long it will take before people get dragged off the streets of Nigeria so the doctors could perform their duty of saving the planet on them, after all we are the 7th most populous countries in the world.
Educate women on the issue at hand, forcing them will always backfire.
Rose is a 36 years old friend of mine, she is a devout christian, the Nigerian born-again type. She is happily married and at the point of her procedure had four children under six years and works full-time. It was after birth of her fourth child she decided to get on birth control, the one that is not only permanent but have high success rate.
Rose started conversation on the ‘best’ birth control measure one could use. We talked about a range of options from pills, injections, coils to implants, all of which were reliable but require paying some level of attention/renewal. Then, Rose talked about sterilisation as the one she really wanted to do because it is permanent. I am not sure I’d do that, not for any other reason than the fact that it’s just better to have the option open, I opined.
What transpired later was that Rose has collected information on types of female sterilisation tubal occlusion and hysteroscopic sterilisation, she has read all that needed to be known especially the risks involved. The only reason she brought the conversation up with me was to get support. I wasn’t much of help because I have never thought about that form of contraception before.
Educate a woman, she will make the best decision given her specific circumstance to the tune that everyone is happy.
A week later, Rose called to say she has been to her doctor, so she is convinced sterilisation is the best option for her. She is on a year maternity after her last baby and wanted to get the procedure done before she went back to work.
Husband laughed off vasectomy as if it was a curse.
The doctors had three more meetings with Rose one of which I was in attendance as a friend who is picking her up after the surgery. I remember the nurse explaining all that Rose had read just to be sure she understood every details, the likely problems that one could experience the available post-op care.
Thankfully, all went well. It has been two years now, Rose believed she made the right decision.
Rose would probably had different attitude towards sterilisation if it was forced on her. She lives in the UK however, women in any remote part of the world are not so different, give them enough information and a few available options to achieve the same goal, more often than not, they’d oblige.
The Kenyan woman would have perhaps done her sterilisation willingly if she knew it is all for her benefit. “I wasn’t part of the discussion.” She says.
I have come to realisation that unless the converted and the congregation can manage to be at the same level of understanding or close on the subject matter at hand, it is very difficult to enforce any new rules.
My father is a hunter. He is the type we call squirrel hunter, because of my father’s hunting skill, I knew a bit about our local wild animals from squirrel to the poorpangolin that was caught in a trap and still rolled up until my father gets to the village, our co-tenant older than me was as excited to see a life pangolin as much as I was – now pangolins too unsurprisingly are critically endangered.
The first time I saw a life elephant was outside of Nigeria, I am not alone. Actually, my over 70-year-old parents have never set their eyes on life elephants apart from the ones on TV and in books. Although Yoruba would say Ode Aperin – Elephant Hunters to include in narratives of hunters of the past years and their powerful hunting skills that suggests there used to be a time that elephants were not as rear to find as it is today.
It is fascinating learning about our wild animals and because I am aware of how much we eat just about anything with fur/scales, I know too well that hunting for certain endangered animals will continue unless the locals are actively involved. One way of achieving this is through education and presenting facts of the past compared to reality of today to the citizens.
You can imagine my excitement when I came acrossThe Omo-Shasha-Oluwa Forest Elephant Initiative, seems message is trickling down somehow but more need to be done. Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi is another place to spot African elephant in Nigeria only that it is not for shallow-pocketed individuals.
There is a lot of explanation why Africans poach for ivory, common reason is poverty, how can we get locals involved to maximise the efforts being put into preserving elephant future on the continent? For most of these farmers, lets face it, this is their God-given source of income and would only stop if the risks involved outweigh the benefits.
Having said that on the continent now is more pressing issue of terrorism. Even the poor would give up the last piece of their bread if they were shown how ivory trade has contributed to financing unrest in the region.
I think this video would do a lot to support the drive to discourage locals from continued hunting for ivory, the message is too important to disregard, now than any other time. Many thanks to the team at lastdaysofivory.com for creating this video.
Thisarticle is a good read detailing reality of ivory trading around the world.
August 4-6 was African Leaders Summit hosted President Barrack Obama, the gathering was termed ‘historic.’ A lot of issues were discussed among which were and not limited to security problems on the continent and more importantly effort to strengthen trading between Africa and the United States. To help put trading relationship in perspective, currently China’s trade relationship with the continent is $200 billion annually while USA is $85 billion.
The gathering was very important no doubt, and I hope our leaders come out implementing some of the new ideas gained from the summit.
Here I wonder. Fifty African leaders of which 37 were head of state, in Washington? Together at the same event? We didn’t bite one another for the whole three days! So why aren’t African leaders doing the same within Africa discussing how we can improve trading amongst ourselves?
I get it. For a starter, it is far easier to get American visa from Nigeria than say South African visa.
Another leadership training, this time pastors on the continent.
Listening toPastor Rick Warrens’s Tedtalks speech I can tell he has very similar traits to many of Nigeria Pentecostal pastors but he is different because he lives in a different country where to a large extent, fairness in justice existed, with the exception of people who looked like Erik Garner at least and that the line between the church and the state is a lot less blurry in the United States compared to Nigeria.
Already as is in Nigeria, there is no difference between politics and religion. Our president right hand man is apastor with bling blingfollowed by all major Nigeria sensational pastors.
Nigerians don’t usually agree on anything but on religion and the extremity of it, most people are in agreement hence you see cases likethis repeating itself every month despite the risks to citizens and huge amount of complaints from Nigerians. The head of the church by the way, officiated at our president’s daughters wedding less than two weeks after Chibok girls were kidnapped.
Is Rick Warren inviting pastors like Nigerian TB Joshua, well, you haven’t heard from the man since the building of his church collapsed in September leaving at least 115 of church members dead.What happened was as horrible as the event that follows – the man of God is trying really hard to pull supporters so he is not held accountable.
Before anyone gets the idea. I am going to help Katherine and William on this one. I could have suggested the venue to be Nigeria but it wouldn’t be a wise idea given (whispering) let’s just say ours is a bit different as we have way too many Kings and Palaces so to avoid heated debates and likelihood of blood-shedding let’s not go there at all.
Since the King of Swaziland was atKatherine and William’s, they may want to make Mswati III palace as the venue to bring all Monarchs on the continent together for Monarchs Leadership Outreach. If William likes, he could make sure the event coincides with when the King will be choosing his 16th wife among the virgin parade – Not sure Kate would want that, but hey, that would be her call.