Friday, January 25, 2008

No woman, no cry

N’Assembly may promulgate law against indecent dressing

The above is a newspiece on punch newspaper. I cannot believe it. Is Eme Ekaette drunk or on drugs? How on earth will this take our country foward, will it put food on the tables of the millions of Nigerians that can't afford even akara, will it provide healthcare for the indigenes of Okokomaiko, Bariga and other highly populated areas in Lagos. Has she ever gone there to see eight people living in one room with little or no ventilation? And this is all she can think about? This is the legacy that she wants to leave behind?

Some weeks ago, I wrote about women being women's worst enemies.I didn't expect that so soon, I would have to do a 'part two'.I just want to know how this will improve the lot of the average Nigerian. And what is indecent anyway? Are there bills to protect the woman from a violent husband? or bills on child abuse? on rape, on victimization of women at work?
Ekaette is hoping that women will rise up to support her, and yes several women will, women who feel that their husbands will stop cheating if they are no longer exposed to semi dressed women because I can't imagine what other reason there is for this crazy idea.
I am so upset that words fail me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The first part of this post was inspired by a post on in my head's blog .Other issues are just me ranting on.

I do not like Western media, so when I saw the piece on Jeremy's blog on child witches in Akwa Ibom, I thought these people have come againooo. But I did not think much of it until head and around blogged on it. I have two issues with it; one, what is the authenticity of this story? For all I know, the video was shot in Botswana. Secondly, what is the purpose of the documentary? Was it because the writer wanted someone to read it and do something about it?or was it to show the world how savage Africans are? Does it make them feel better when they continue to show only strictly terrible sides of the continent. Even on completely unrelated news pieces on BBC for instance,as a footnote, they must add some crazy records from UN or show some videos about Africa's suffering children.The idea is to represent Nigeria so why don't they ever show Abuja, Lekki, Calabar, etc?

I have lived in the village, I have had times of lack even as a child but I was NEVER unhappy. What I remember now is running through my gradfather's orchard plucking away his fruits in abandon, riding bicycles through untarred roads without any fear of being hit down, and my grandmother's unbeatable meals. I do not remember mosquito bites even as we sat under the moonlight listening to folk tales and there were no trips to the hospital. I was healthy, we all were. I spent a weekend at Ikogosi warm water springs, it was a beautiful time, even without electricity, network connection etc.

I am grateful for civilization and everyone deserves a chance at it but it does not neccessary mean happiness. Some times it can do us more harm than good as we have seen in the Niger delta, the people were probably happy that oil companies were coming to them, they had no idea that their source of livelihood would be taken from them without a replacement. I, like Paul, have learnt to be content in whatever situation I find my self.

I am very passionate about Nigeria. I have no regrets that I was brought up and educated in Nigeria.I do not say that I am Nigerian and proud because I do not see the need to. And I know that a lot of Nigerians are proud of their citizenship but lately I've been getting worried about Nigerian's comment about Nigeria. Particular over here, it's not just Western media that is giving out bad vibes, we all are. I do not apologise for being Nigerian, if some of my people have chosen to be 419 scammers, then it's a pity, the same way it's a pity that our leaders are corrupt and have sold their souls. NO one can make me feel bad about it cos it ain't my fault in anyway. The same way it's not the average Briton's fault that their teenagers are finding stabbing and teenage pregnancy a fun game. We have our issues, they have theirs.

Nigeria has issues, I would be a fool not to admit that but most of my memories are fond ones and these are the ones I share often. Twice my car overheat at Lagos Island and Ebutte metta,and it was the area boys, the same ones whom I expected to rob me who gave me water. We may not have emergency lines that we can ring in emergency situations, but there'll always be a neighbor, sometimes a total stranger to help. If there's a fire outbreak, fire service is unlikely to have water but neigbors will give up their last buckets to lend a helping hand. One day hopefully, we will have more to celebrate but for now this is what we have. This love that we all share as Nigerians living in dire conditions.

On a lighter note, the soweto choir comes to leicester next month so while you guys are stuck in Lagos traffic or standing in jampacked trains, I will be putting my feet up and enjoying pure unadulterated music.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just Ranting

I remember once, I was talking to a renowned Nigerian publisher, a man whose opinion I respect, I mentioned that I live in a compound with four flats and all inhabitants are Igbo. I joked that if a tribal war broke out, we would be first target but he assured me there would be no tribal war in Nigeria and I should worry about other likely things. I believed him but watching Kenya's drama unfold, my mind goes back to our conversation and I wonder. Who would have thought that brothers will rise up against brothers in the once stable Kenya.

I am Ibibio but grew up in a small town-Ikot Ekpene, the people there are Anangs. We differ in dialect, in dance but that's all I can think of and I can't imagine that one day the same people I danced with naked under the rain would one day hold knives to my throat because they say 'a-nyong' while I say 'ameyong' both meaning welcome.

I dont understand why people give wrong information, the bank debited my account some amount and I wanted it explained, the banker I met, who looked more like a school boy, told me it cldn't be handled there and I should call some number, the guy at the number ended up confusing me even more, so I went back to my branch and demanded to see the manager who sorted it all out and gave me a refund. These kind of things puzzle me, why didnt he simply say, I'm not sure about it,let me get someone who can help! While I was working in Naija, the key point of our training was if in doubt, ASK. Once my brother-in-law went to cash a cheque for his mum, and the cashier said her name wasn't in the system, my mother in-law went there panicking only to discover the lady had mispelt the name.

School resumes on Monday. Much as I find most lectures boring, I am actually looking forward to it. I always feel like I am in China with so many chineese students and boy do they have gadgets, laptops of all shapes and sizes, and the phones, they just blow my mind. My next holiday is likely to be in China.

Happy new year everyone. May all good things be yours this year.