Handsets

I was over a mile away before realising my phone had slipped through the cracks between the front basket of my bike, it was placed with a bottle of water in a cloth pouch, I thought I had tightened the end but somehow through the road bumps the phone slipped out to the sidewalk.

It was time to call upon God, “Please, let my phone be picked up by a Good Samaritan.”

Find iPhone says my phone is about 250 meters away from home. I tried calling the phone but calls went unanswered so I locked and left a number to call – pretty cool to be able to do this remotely.

 

My Good Samaritan, turns out to be a 13 year old boy, after picking up the phone, he gave it to his teacher at school, the teacher in turn called the number on the screen to give specifics of her office – beautiful world!

This is the time to know God so I thanked Him plenty for this miracle, the lady was kind to be flexible with when I could collect so I decided to let my phone rest a bit thinking all those very important calls from the royal family can wait until lunch time.

My sister shared her own story of lost and found from the other side – God’s own land, Nigeria. She found a phone lying by the side of a well (borehole without the engine), she called a number from the phone saved under ‘Mummy’, the lady on the other side sounds a bit panicky and asked many questions about her son that my sister had no answer for.

Turns out that Mummy lives in Lagos and the boy whose phone was found is at our local university, OAU so she gave the boy’s friend number to call, which she did only to be asked many more questions.

Sister had to convince the boy (I’ll can him Ade) that he is safe to collect his phone or if he likes, he could give her address of somewhere to drop the phone – by this time my sister said she regretted picking that phone in the first place as it turned out to be taking too much energy to convince the boy that she was not a kidnapper.

As it turned out, three weeks prior bad students on campus had raided Ade’s hostel room, they stole his laptop and mobile phone. His parents were worried for his safety but this sort of nasty theft happens a lot on campus, it continues to happen because first the thieves are amongst the students, secondly, they often get away with it.

The only time justice is served is when students unleash jungle justice on their mates.

Ade’s new phone is a relatively cheap smart phone so when that was stolen barely three weeks from the last one, he was really worried someone was on his case hence my sister’s Good Samaritan was in doubt. His phone was left in view as the thieves realised the effort to resell that particular phone isn’t worth it for them.

CBCIU and the prince

Finally. I am pleased with Prof. Soyinka speaking out on this issue. Each time his name is tagged with ex-governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, it is a sure signal to just move along. Silently, I have been hoping WS must speak out to distance himself from the politics of title hungry prince in the land.

It is a simple case that needed no debate but as far as ex-governor Oyinlola is concerned he is a Lifetime Chairman of a public funded centre.

The important part of this story goes that Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU) Osogbo was built during Oyinlola’s time as the governor of Osun State in 2007. This was with collaboration of well-known international bodies such as UNESCO Paris, Ulli Beiers,  Osun State government and some others.

The state contributed significant amount of money to collate and display important artefacts about Yoruba and culture from the archives of Ulli Beiers. Also, there is a report that federal government too, is contributing to this ongoing project.

To Nigerians thirsty of reading about our history from home, this is terrific. I have visited the place twice, it is inspiring.

The only problem here is that Prince Oyinlola in the document signed with all collaborators made himself a Lifetime Chairman of the centre.

Who does that?

Power changed hands and the new governor, Ogbeni Aregbesola sees the Lifetime Chairmanship of such an important cultural centre built and maintained with public funding to be inappropriate so Governor Aregbesola with the state legislators made amendment that allows sitting governor to serve as the chair and if they so wished can choose a trusted member of the public to serve in their place.

On this note, Prof Soyinka was invited to be the chairman.

One of the first things Prof Wole Soyinka did was to ask for our dear Baba Isale aka ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo Library to be removed from the list of collaborators – those two can never be left alone in a room. One is a pathological liar, the other knows his wine. It is a special treat reading about our elders!

But seriously, I’d put my money on the one who knows origin of his wine just by the sniff of it – that will be the Prof.

Why is it so hard for Prince Oyinlola to understand this is a losing battle? Why would anyone wants to be a Lifetime Chair of a publicly funded project, especially given his history in public office?

As a good omo Osun, this is what I remember Oyinlola for. Few months after he assumed office as our governor in 2003, his first big spending was 18 brand new cars for selected kings in the state. That didn’t go well with many people given the state of education etc and also that all of these kings already have more than enough for the state potholes.

After his re-election for second term in 2007, Prince Oyinlola signed paperwork that allows the state to have additional 55 kings, thirty of which were from Ile Ife. This happened for many reasons but the obvious one is the share of national cake amongst the few.

Sorry Prince, there is a reason re-election was annulled in 2010.

None of our leaders is perfect but some aren’t really meant for public office.

I don’t always agree with any of Oyinlola’s policies but I do admire his command of Yoruba language. That’s got to count for something.

I was pleased to see Prof. Soyinka’s name as the Chairman of CBCIU as he does bring lights to the room. His resignation from being CBCIU chairman at the weekend, though sad, but is expected and a nice step in my book.

The power tussle is really between the state and the title-mad prince. In as much as Prof is still the chairman, people will always drag his name into this case.

It is the state responsibility to set the record straight once and for all for this and future generations.

Prince wouldn’t go easy, that’s for certain, but eventually he’ll just have to live with the fact that this is not Oye abinibi (birth right title).

Becoming royalty

So a little birdy told me about Emir of Kano’s 18 year old new bride – not too bad, its only 36 years old age difference.

My people argue tirelessly on whether or not 18 years lady is old enough to make decision on marriage especially a royal bride where one’s life is pre determined.

I know getting out of secondary school at 18, the last thing on my mind was to be someone’s wife, let alone ‘baba ban gbesi’ Well, that was me.

I also know that when Kate and William got married a few years ago, the reason they were able to change history of British royal succession was because they were both adults who knew the damaging impacts of gender inequality in society, because of decision they made before having children, now their daughter Princess Charlotte will be a Queen before Prince Harry had chance to the crown.

I hear my people saying, that was the British. We are Nigerians and different – yea, of course we are!

18 years old who has spent all her years being catered for have no idea what she is entering to so very likely to nod her way into many things that are not in her best interest

I heard Emir’s decision to take on a 4th wife is in line with his Islamic faith – all good, I can also hear my royal families in the south saying their decision is because of tradition – yeah right.

Oh well, one of Oba Okunade Sijuade’s three surviving wives is in her 40’s, and according to the tradition she is not allowed to re marry, however she can be ‘inherited’ by the new Ooni (this is if all the ruling houses ever agree and choose one person).

My all time favourite Yoruba royal father with a swagger is Alaafin – likely that the age difference between the new wife and the king is well over 40, the king turning 77 in October and word on the street was that the young woman was 17 at the time of marriage last year.

Unlike many of our royal families, Alaafin carries all his wives whereever he goes with the attitude of ‘let them say‘. Here he was enjoying the British chill, in front of Buckingham Palace, perhaps waiting to see the Changing of the Guards – if that wasn’t fun, what is?

Now back to the Emir of Kano – Something that keeps coming to my mind – if this is about keeping in line with the faith, why not marry one of the divorcees that we all know are plentiful in Kano? Less than 2 years ago over a thousand women were married off  in a state sponsored mass wedding – just saying.

Now I wonder how the Emir who is educated and has been preaching importance of education since his coronation going to keep up with this important message given his recent nuptial.

 

Diaspora and excess baggage

This guy cracked me up big time! It is a situation that lots of Nigerians and indeed Africans in diaspora is familiar with.

The more one helps, the more is expected.

The talk about sending money to help family back home is very common among diasporas especially for the first generation to live and work abroad. Yawning to help more is unanimous regardless of age.

To put it in perspective, diaspora contribution to African economy is well documented, in 2013 Nigeria diaspora remitted $21 billion, that is financial help alone. Many go further by contributing time, energy and expertise towards community development projects.

However, sometimes the requests get a bit too much, here’s a perfect example of how diaspora vent:

Many people can relate to this, however after the vent, we are more likely to still help as many family members do genuinely need assistance.

PS: The video is in Yoruba, the narrator has just been called to help yet another family member who has been admitted to the hospital due to typhoid (typhoid is very common in Nigeria due to poor hygiene), the same lady was knocked over three weeks earlier by a car – so this time brother has had enough of Nigeria palaver! Very calm on the phone but made up his mind to stay away for a while for sanity sake.

Duck eggs

If I had a kobo for every myth I was fed growing up, I’d have plenty of it by now.

Debating with adults with reasons makes them nervous as it is often mistaken for questioning authority.

There is a tale of vultures (Igun) as forbidden for anyone to kill, eat or use for any form of sacrifice. If anyone disobeys (d’eja), the repercussion is violent death.

This same myth has been included in many popular songs so not many people doubted the myth.

The story goes that there was a village vulture deemed untouchable, it grew bigger and getting in the way of meat loving folks, villagers were not happy but were told to let the vulture be.

One day the vulture disappeared so the whole village were called for a meeting to see if anyone is aware of its whereabout – nobody knew where the vulture went.

A day later a villager cried out that he was the one who captured the vulture and that he had eaten it, he boasted he was still alive and well so the myth of ‘all powerful’ vulture should be put to rest.

The man mysteriously died a few days later.

As it turned out, the man who told the village that he ate vulture did not eat it, he only wanted the village chief to realise that vulture myth should be tested and if indeed they shouldn’t eat vulture, other plausible reasons should be given – scaring people into believing a dead vulture is capable of killing someone isn’t the best way of instilling moral standard.

The man who captured, killed and ate the vulture but kept his mouth shut survived.

This is the tale I have heard so many times in the past, it means when tales of Eewo (forbidden) is told, one must not try apply any reason – just believe.

Continue reading “Duck eggs”

Minister of Common Sense

It is hard to ignore Senator Ben Murray-Bruce speeches, not because he was saying anything  new but because public officials in his position seldom talk about fundamental issues.

I think his proposal of Minister of Common Sense to be incorporated in all of our ministries is spot on. Someone brings in an idea, everyone looked at the logistics around it and the final stage would be for the Minister of Common Sense to say the final word, that’ll be so cool!

Many of our initiatives just do not make any sense – Senator in this speech broke it down from lack of access to sound education to all to lack of population control.

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce is not alone in saying that in order for the very rich to survive in Nigeria, there must be adequate provision of opportunities for the poor to survive as well.

In the absence of pulling everyone along, the country has created what we now have in the north-east.

One other aspect of the Senator’s speech that I enjoy is not shifting blames to different party )at least not in this one).

11:58 is where his Minister of Common Sense suggestion came in.

 

 

Mrs Marcus Bulk

Such a nice feeling to receive an email from the ‘bank,’ an assurance that means my inheritance is protected from corrupt bank managers.

………………..

I am Mrs Marcus Bulk, .

“In accordance to my religious persuasion, I felt expedient to write and inform you on the wicked conspiracy hatched by the duo of Prof.Sanusi Lamido and Barrister Kiamu of the Ministry of Finance to divert your money to their designated account in Europe .

From my position as a lowly clerk in this office, I discovered that they moved the fund from Africa to Spain and then moved it last week to Banco Italiano in ITALY . Today I found out through the Central computer database that they are about to reroute your fund to a security company in London . With this, I felt that it is important for me to alert you on this development.

They are still using your name and contract/inheritance identification number as the beneficiary but they have changed the account co-ordinate and this is the reason they are frustrating you by asking for endless fees in order to buy time pending on when they will transfer your funds to their designated account in cayman islands. I have the reference number of the transaction and also I have the number of the official who is directly in charge at the SECURITY COMPANY in LONDON .

Your payment is supposed to go through the London credit control financial clearing house before finally Lodge in the security company there in London . All the data about your claim profile are within my reach.

I do not need gratification from you either in cash or kind. I can never be a part of evil because the bible said YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.

Please respect my discretion in this matter, you can send an email to me so that I can give you the reference number and the name and contact information of the officials of the security company in London .  I repeat, please do not expose my person, it is not easy to get jobs around here and I cannot contend with these powerful individuals because they can eliminate me just like that.

God bless you

Mrs Marcus Bulk
mrsmarcus34@yahoo.com, <admin@packermedical.com>”

Nigeria decides: Change or Progress

About a month ago, I learnt Nigerians are expected to use either ‘change or progress’ cautiously in  conversations depending on the event present otherwise one might get in trouble for supporting the ‘wrong’ person.

‘Change’ included in politics conversations usually means one is a supporter of ex military head of state Muhammadu Buhari while ‘progress’ in the same context means support for incumbent President Jonathan Goodluck.

Very kind of President Obama for his youtube moral support messageI do hope my people would take time out to listen to the message and reflect on it.

Below is a clip of our President Jonathan that I love to watch. This was his first time meeting President Obama and long before the Chibok girls were kidnapped.

I just so much love hearing GEJ talking especially when there is no script.  The juicy bits start from 5:30. Enjoy.

Two strangers: Who would you trust your teenage girl with?

A priest and a school teacher both are not known in personal capacity with the family – who to trust with a fifteen year old girl for an overnight trip?

My 15 years old niece was excited about her upcoming trip to Lagos, it will be her first time on her own with no family, she was going from the church to an event whereby selected members meet to see who could recite bible verses the most.

“Fantastic” I told her. So I asked “how many of you are going from your church”, “Just me” she replied.

She must be very good at cramming, I did my part of commending her efforts, I used to be like that so great to be part of something.

I only started getting concerned when Sola said she was the only one going from my town and this is the church with at least a hundred branches, she is going with a 35-year-old church evangelist, he is a nice man, has a family. Sola and the evangelist will be in Lagos for two nights then return home the third day.

Really?

Sighed and said polite goodbye wondering if Sola realised how ridiculous the whole trip sounded.

God, why do I have to be told about this trip, it has nothing to do with me. Sola did not need my approval for the trip, which is a good thing as I was free to share my thoughts – she is under no obligation to listen to me.

Sola lives with her grandparents, Sola’s mother is easy-going and seldom question any decision made about Sola – she trusted my parents’ judgement.

After back and forth talking about Mr Ade, the only reference to trusting this guy was that he was a church goer who earned his living teaching bibles to people. No surprise there.

The only person I was concerned about was my niece.

Sola is a perfect bait – lives with grandparents, stubborn which I admire because one needs to have own mind active in Nigeria otherwise easy to be swept away when the tide is high.

However, she is still a child, she has no idea how manipulative adults can be when they are desperate. I did not question the event but have issue with her going on her own with the guy nobody knew well.

So I told Sola of my friend in secondary school – the talented Rachel – envy of all her mates.  On our valedictory service day, Rachel collected the prizes for all of our subjects. She is known throughout my school as bright.

Sometimes a year or so before we graduated, Rachel’s father who was the sole provider of the family was involved in a fatal auto accident in Lagos, leaving the family shattered. Rachel became very reclusive, so poured all her energies in to her studies, not that she needed to try but this time everyone was trailing behind her academically.

A few months before we graduated, she stopped going to her parents’ church to join a new church everyone was raving about in town that focuses on saving youths from worldly influence.

Apparently, Brother K was sacked from a church where he used to work because he was overwhelmed by the number of secondary school girls needing ‘deliverance’ in my town – his ‘actions’ was putting the church in serious jeopardy.

It was Brother K that took Rachel along with another girl to found a new church. At this time Rachel was 17 years old. Brother K rented a room near my best friend’s house so I heard about late night praying, delivering monsters from the young girls’ minds and bodies.

Long story short, Rachel got pregnant. Drama all over the place mostly among those who wished they had half of Rachel’s brain.

Getting pregnant at 17 need not be the end of one’s ambition, but for Rachel it was. And for most girls in my area, this is the reality.

My mother asked why I was excited for Sola when she was going on a school trip crossing the borders to Accra a year earlier – Well, simple – teachers likely to deviate from doing things that can cost them their jobs, especially those in a good private school.

Teachers for the most part would not be bold enough to request for an overnight trip with a minor because he is sensible, pastor on the other hand will exhaust the trust people have for the church hence Mr Ade made the request thinking being a ‘man of God’ is enough to earn trust.

So I asked my mother, “Jungle justice aside, have you ever seen a ‘man of God’ being punished for any wrong doing by the state, in Nigeria? In her almost eight decades, she could not recall of one instance.

Real Buhari and GEJ: One hardcore, the other clueless, take your pick

The Real Buhari video clip on youtube is expected especially for the flimsy minded who only want quick fix for all of our issues.

In 53:34 narrator posed a question:

“Does Buhari posses the temperament to be Nigeria’s President in a globalised 21st century?”

And for GEJ being seen as a saint in comparison to Buhari, very typical of Nigerians, being completely off the track asking helpless citizens daft question like:

” Would you like to be beheaded in public or choked to death in your room?”

Why do we have to choose between two terrible people. Well, if we must then we will.

Buhari is hardcore no doubt and well deserved the video highlighting his human rights violations, plenty of them.

Now, I would love to see one thing that GEJ has done since his time in office that makes him any better than Buhari in terms of human rights protection. His daughter’s wedding was two weeks after Chibok girls were kidnapped, before and after that thousands have been slaughtered.

48:39 talked about gender equality and the fact Buhari didn’t allow his wife on campaign trail. Yea, the old man is what he is, you are not going to change him today.

It would be nice to hear from Nigerians, if there has ever been one instance that Madam Patience Jonathan has shown any example worth emulating in public? The last straw for me was when she sat at the Aso Rock calling the parents of the abducted girls for a meeting? Who does that? Subjecting grieving mothers to yet another torture – power drunk took humanity from her.

So if Madam P was locked up for the remainder of GEJ in office, would anyone genuinely miss her?

We need women, more women to represent us so as to become better people, better neighbours, better Nigerians – we don’t need power-drunk women, we don’t need women who are busy demonstrating everything wrong that only confirm women are less of.

I believe the most dangerous aspirant of the two is the one with no ideal, hiding behind others so he takes no responsibility. GEJ does this a lot, he is busy going from one religious leader to another basically playing on the ignorance the populace.

Any leader licking boots of celebrity pastors as GEJ is doing can not successfully lead such a diverse nation as Nigeria because he will sure blame all on God and devil when in fact we are all on earth.

Looking behind Buhari, I see Fashola of Lagos, Ameachi of Rivers, Aregbesola of Osun, and hopefully El-Rufai in Kaduna and a few others – we have seen what these guys can do.

Looking at Jonathan – I see someone who will continue to be indifference to everything, a leader who nominated main murder suspect of federal ex Finance minister, Bola Ige to be Osun governor. I see a president who pardoned a criminal days after he was convicted of money laundering, that was GEJ buddy Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

I see Nigeria being in much more terrible situation for the next four years because  there really is no red button to press so our issues can be evaporated. I see a president wasting our limited resources on useless yearly pilgrimage – Mecca + Jerusalem, to show that we are religious when our attitude is anything but.

“Does Jonathan Goodluck posses the temperament to be Nigeria’s President in a globalised 21st century?”

Temperament? Plenty of it as he had 8 year of practice to be indifference and religious puppet, with extra daily dosage of Valium added – yes, he will lead us right to the ditch.

Overlooked but simple way Nigerians will miss heaven

It all started as a simple conversation, the same old one that Nigerians home and in diaspora loved to have – the state of our love-hate country.

I shared my resent experience with a family member, about a muslim woman at a conference. The woman was articulate, she talked about how our school children must be protected from the evil of the world. This was last year when Osun state merged schools together into a new and better purpose-built one to promote conducive learning environment for students irrespective of their religious background – that was a big deal because traditional Christian and muslim schools were merged.

My concern was that I can not seem to remember why everyone must be seen as a potential threat just because they belonged to a different religion, and here we are creating monsters in the minds of the future of the nation – it was all big drama, but thankfully, good people stepped in to uphold the decision to keep school children together for the purpose of receiving quality education.

So I shared the story with my uncle, we both felt concerned for how religion is used to further divide us when we have so much in common to celebrate. Then I must have said something on the line of what will happen on the ‘last day’ if there’s one so he cuts in “You are not counting yourself amongst us, are you?”

“What?” I asked. “That you are going to heaven” he responded. Whao, I thought. Egbon Kola knew me from when I was a baby, so he must be right that hell is my home so I told him, “shut the gate in my face if I followed you!”

Now, he laughed so much on the other side, that I thought he had collapsed from a cardiac arrest. “I miss you” he later said. I told him I was not joking.

Here is why my uncle thought I belonged in hell –  purely for my church attendance or the lack of it. Last time I was in church was with my mother. I love and enjoy immensely the singing and dancing of Pentecostal church, sermon is a different ball game. I can’t remember how the sermon got to the part of American health system but the pastor stumbled on it and went on and on. American health system? Why, upon all the subjects we can talk about? Then he spoke about him spending the whole night digging into it and the US plan to implant codes under the skin so it’s easier to get help in case of emergency. The preacher later relate that to treble six sign – it all got really messy. I felt like dragging him off the pulpit to get some cold drinks, he was in a completely different world, nothing made sense.

My poor aged mother was worried after the service. I told her not to worry that the pastor was on crack otherwise he would have focussed his preachings on the state of Nigeria that people can easily relate to. He wanted to sound ‘out there’ but chose subject he had no clue about. “is he really on drugs” my mother asked. “Moomi, please give it a rest.”

Given uncle Kola is a senior pastor – I told him not to worry about me as he will not make it to heaven neither. “How?” he asked.

“Stuck in traffic at Ibadan-Lagos expressway during Redeemed Church monthly prayer meeting”

That’s how.

Reincarnation of a Yoruba girl

It’s fun to dream. Being raised in a society where the belief that humans would be given a second chance to come back to life was huge, gives room for imagination to go wild.

The usual tale goes that by the second time around one would have a choice to tweak certain things they’d prefer to be different from the previous live.

So here goes how I would love to come back.

Most tales I heard was about coming through the same parents, since I love my parents, that is easy part. Also, I would stick to my gender too but this time I will be sure careful about location.

Let’s see… if I had to give being Hausa/Fulani a go. This wouldn’t be far fetched given my father can easily pass for a Fulani and mother Hausa. I know having the same parents, they wouldn’t be from a royal family so no princess-y treats for me.

Thinking more of ME now as this is what it’s all about – I wouldn’t want to have blood of anyone in my hand like the case of 14 year old Wasila Tasi’u who became the 3rd wife of 35 year old Umar Sani of Kano. Wasila had it all about being on sex time table at a tender age, she gave up so poisoned Umar – sad indeed. Now, Wasila faces death penalty as the request to move her case to a juvenile court was rejected, case adjourned to February.

I can’t trust myself not to be another Wasila if I were in her shoe. So, no thank you to the north.

Now, as I wait with he creator, I would give southwest a good thought – been there, done that. I will have to think deeply here as the pull likely to be strong. Then, I’d remind myself of an event of years ago when my father was having his very own mid-life crisis and said to me that he’s sorry he can’t buy Christmas clothes (wearing new cloths is important to children as it is their only festive gift) so instead he bought my two cousins new outfits. My father’s explanation then was that, they were boys and may turn out to be his only hope in old age. Cousins were both a few years younger than me and lived with my family at the time.

So, I’d say, I know things were different now – all jolly, but why must one had to deal with that nonsense – so no thank you.

That leaves me with Igbo. I still will not be an Ada. My older sister is well-suited for that role as she is calm. My mother would have been Ada, so great, in present life, she plays Ada role but none of the credits. I loved the ripple effect of Ada tradition. So ripple effect that trickles down will be enough. 

As we say – B’ori kan ba sunwon a ran’gba – One ‘good’ head effects two hundred.

Seeing things differently from what they are is fun, allows for creative energy to flow.