Sunday, October 28, 2007
I just love the guardian's opinion page, please go to this link.
On a lighter note, a few days ago, my brother's colleague, a woman of nearly 70 came up to him whispered something strange and asked if she got it right. My brother looked confused so she said how do you say goodbye in your language?
"what is my language" he asked?
And with all confidence she said "Gambian"
I am Nigerian and not Gambian
Really? Doesnt that mean you speak Gambian? I thought all Africans speak the same language.
My brother has been quite upset but I thought it was quite funny. And I have been wondering why Africa has so many languages anyway? Why does Nigeria with a population of about 140 million have about 250 languages whereas USA with a population of about 301 million, there's only one language?
Posted by For the love of me at 4:36 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful loyal an honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity
And uphold her honour and glory
So help me God
Yesterday at graduate fair, a student said he wanted his project topic to be on how to reduce risks on expatriates’ life in countries like Nigeria case studies-Shell workers in the Niger delta.
I thought, best way to is ask them to leave. Easy. Then I panicked, what if they actually leave, I mean I know there’s a fat chance of that happening but what if it does, what if these militants actually succeed in driving them out or something else does. What exactly would happen? Can we drill our own oil? Would we be able to successfully build and operate our own oil companies? I am sure we know the answer to that. Remember Nigerian airways and more recently Nigeria textile company(forgive me, I am not sure of the exact name of the company but they just folded up at a time that wearing African textiles is hip.)
All day I have been thinking what is it that makes the Nigerian unable to do his own business as well as he should. I know there’s Dangote, Mike Adenuga, the man or people behind Chi foods and so many others but are these enough? Will these keep Nigeria alive if tomorrow all we have is ourselves to cater for ourselves?
Which brings me to an aspect of Nigeria I am hugely interested in. Nollywood. This for me is the next big thing as agriculture is slowly dying if it hasn’t yet died. And I still don’t quite get the banking system, My mind is perhaps like that of a 6 year old, why do they keep raising funds, from one IPO to another, and sending women out as corporate beggars to raise funds, and funds and more funds. Funds that most people can’t borrow because of crazy interest rates. Anyway back to Nollywood, what makes Emem Isong (whom I think may be the best script writer of our times) not take a course in film production or screen writing or anything closely related since she left theatre school in 1990.She tells me she has read all the screen writing books there is to read and perhaps it is enough. Why has Lancelot Imasuen, an immense talent , not thought of furthering his career, to learn a few new tricks. Will talent alone sustain us in 2020? A Canadian film maker recently visited Nigeria, he told Emem about all her films, he had watched every one of them and sought her out when he got here. He told her what he thought was right and what was wrong and is thinking of a collabo. Why does the white man look at something and think of ways to improve it and enrichen himself thereby,cos don’t get it wrong, its not because he wants to make Nigeria or Nollywood better, he has seen the possibility of huge profits here and he is trying to cash in. And all we Nigerians are seeing is how crap Nollywood films are? My biggest fear with Nollywood is that one day we will wake up and we would have lost control of it to expatriates and even if they are telling the same stories, we would embrace it because it’s coming from the colonial masters.
I always say that if Chimamanda had not first gained international recognition, then we would have snubbed her here. “What does she think she is writing” we would have asked, what can she possibly know about the Biafran war, small girl that she is.
I think that Half of a yellow sun gained international acclaim because it is a fantastic book, written by someone I consider a genius but also because of its theme. When you are writing about Africa, you must dwell on war, on corruption etc. and the western world will embrace you, which is why I put up the story below, it won because I portrayed Nigeria as foolish, why would a child give out his 13 year old daughter in marriage and why would a full grown man sleep with one knowing the possible consequences. There’s only one answer, because he is African and that’s how the western world likes to see us. If you attempt to leave the box, then you go nowhere. Try watching CNN for only an hour, and see all the hungry poverty stricken black faces you see there and the 419 scammers.
A Nollywood flick recently showed at Odeon, they spent 40million or so(I am deliberately being vague) to convert the film to 3mm or something like that just to show in the London cinema. I keep asking why? Why is it so important for us to show in London, is the population in Nigeria not enough? I keep thinking what a whooping 40 million would have done to the film industry, it could have started plans for a film village which we badly need.
Nollywood is the one industry that shows glamourous cars, lovely houses and dwells on positive themes, love, career etc. so why are ignoring it, except ECOBANK, God bless them.
I am sad and worried, when push comes to shove, will Leke Alder’s thinking room sustain our economy, will Dangote’s spaghetti feed our nation? Will Tara’s make up beautify even our hearts?
Open our eyes Lord to see opportunities in our nation and grasp them.
Teach us Lord to love one another, seeking only one another’s good.
Let the wise not hoard their wisdom but share it with the not so wise amongst us so that together we can make Nigeria great.
So help us Lord, Amen.
Posted by For the love of me at 2:41 AM