Wednesday, May 30, 2007

7 earthly things (was tagged by Laspapi)

Seven Things (You (probably, most likely) don’t know about me

Thing Number One:
I speak 4 european languages, I am not telling you which, hehehehehhee

Thing Number Two:
I can't lie to save my life, everytime I lie, I start laughing, people that are close to me are aware of this, If I laugh, I lie.

Thing Number Three:
I love dry humour. Can't get enough of "Frasier" and "Seinfield", when I watch Frasier, his brother Niles cracks me up so badly, and yes, I laugh out loud.


Thing Number Four:
I did not watch "saturday night fever" with John Travolta untill about two years ago because as a child, my parents told me it was a very "bad" film.


Thing Number Five:
In secondary school, my dream was to become an "extension worker", you know, agriculture, the person that goes to rural area and teaches farmers the latest agric practices (ehhhh, how to use fertilizer)

Thing Number Six:
I have astigmatism, I can't draw a straight line, I constantly stumble on escalators, stairs, etc. I have hit myself so many times against tables, I have a permanent bruise on my hip.


Thing Number Seven:
I read extremely fast.If I may say so myself, I should enter one of those competitions, I think I have a shot!


I tag Ziariz, Idemiliand Uknaija

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

THE NIGERIAN PROCLAMATION

THE NIGERIAN PROCLAMATION


IN RECENT HISTORY, NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY BETRAYED BY THOSE CHARGED WITH ADDRESSING THEIR NEEDS. INSTEAD OF SERVING THE PEOPLE, PUBLIC SERVANTS HAVE SERVED THEMSELVES TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE MASSES. THE RESULT IS A NATION LACKING ADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION AND SECURITY.

THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF NIGERIAN LEADERS INDICATES A LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE CONSTITUENTS. NIGERIANS ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT TO THE LEADERS, THUS, LEADERS DO NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE TO THEM.

THE RECENT FAILURE TO CONDUCT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTORAL PROCESS WAS YET ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION THAT THE NEEDS OF THE MANY ARE SECONDARY TO THE WANTS OF THE IMPORTANT FEW.

FROM THIS DAY, ALL NIGERIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS GREAT & POWERFUL COUNTRY. CONSEQUENTLY, ALL NIGERIANS MUST COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THE FOLLOWING:



WE MUST DEMAND THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND IN-ACTIONS.

WE MUST EXPECT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES TO BE HONORED, RESPECTED AND MAINTAINED.

WE MUST BELIEVE THAT ALL NIGERIANS ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.

WE MUST APPLY OURSELVES TO IMPROVING THE LOT OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL NIGERIAN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, TRIBE OR SOCIAL STATUS.

WE MUST STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A UNITED REPUBLIC DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES.


ONLY UPON ACHIEVING THESE PRINCIPLES CAN WE AS A PEOPLE FULLY LIVE UP TO OUR POTENTIAL AS A LAND OF GREATNESS. FOR OURS IS A COUNTRY RENOWNED FOR ITS ILLUSTRIOUS PEOPLE, AMPLE RESOURCES AND SHEER PHYSICAL BEAUTY.

Friday, May 25, 2007

THE NIGERIAN PROCLAMATION

Dear friends and readers, here is a wonderful project I think we should all be part of! Solomonsydelle has taken the time and effort to draft a document called "The Nigerian proclamation",, in her own words, she writes:

As you probably know, May 29th will be the first time Nigeria has witnessed the transition of power from one democratic administration to another. If you know that, then you also know that the recent elections were severely criticized for not being fair and free. Bloggers can post The Nigerian Proclamation on their blogs on May 29th to show that Nigerian and other interested bloggers are unified in our disgust and disappointment with recent and ongoing political events. By using the same document with the same title on May 29th, we could attract some attention by making The Nigerian Proclamation 'rise' to attention on Google and various other search engines when anyone uses 'Nigeria' as a search term. I believe that with a little effort, bloggers could make the world take notice.

I think this is a very good idea and we should all rise on May 29th and tell it like it is. Please put up the proclamation on your blogs on May 29th. Lets make this happen. Well done Solomonsydelle!

My Warri

I'll be going home in a few weeks and I am bracing myself for my homeland. I have always had a bittersweet relationship with Nigeria. As a child of the eighties, I guess I was fortunate to have a childhood when Nigeria was at its best, especially Warri, which was booming with N.N.P.C, D.S.C, SHELL, CHEVRON, JULIUS BERGER, TEXACO, DUMEZ, I can't remember them all, but life was sweet. Thus, I have that wonderful memory, coupled with village headmaster, new masquerade, cock crow at dawn, ahhhhhh, I am sure you all know what I mean. Life was sweet. Then, I have Nigeria of my teenage years, the nineties, I remember the matron of my boarding school, ringing the bell for a special announcement:"Let us all pray for our country, we don't know what this means, or what will happen in the next few days... there is going to be a change of government".The first thing I thought of was Warri, what did that mean? more curfews? You see, by the time I left Warri, our lives had become limited by "curfews", if it was not urhobo and Itsekiri fighting over land then it was Ijaw and Urhobo or all three of them, then, lets go over to the armed robberies in broad daylight. One of the most frightening time in my life was after secondary school, you know, that "house-girl" year, when you waited for JAMB and SSCE results. I decided to do GCE just because I wanted to cut my house girl duties, unfortunately my center was in "inside inside Warri" as we say. A real rough neighbourhood. One day, as I and my friend left our center, we saw a pick up truck of police men shoot all over the place, there was chaos, everybody fled, behind them, another pick-up truck of armed robbers chasing after the police men. I kid you not. Bullets wheezing over my head, I sought shelter in a nearby house, the doors were open, I went in and hid in a wardrobe. Yes, a stranger's house. Thats how bad it was, I stood there shaking and thinking "I have got to get the hell out of this hell hole". I had lost my friend in the chaos that ensued but later found her behind a rubbish dump crying. I hated my life, I hated Warri, I hated Nigeria. Over the years, Warri and the whole of Niger Delta is now "at your own risk". It is not the place of my childhood, it is something else. Thus, on one hand, I love Warri for giving me the best childhood ever, but on the other hand, I hate it for giving me the worst teenage years ever.

Monday, May 21, 2007

... and I let it go...

I rush down the escalator.....my train is coming, I get in, just on time, narrowly escaping the doors. I look around,the train is full, there's one seat left at the very end.I sit down, look absent mindedly around me, there are people talking, we just stopped at the technical university, lots of students, talking about grades, exams, its a full train.I close my eyes.....I can't dream away, something is bothering me, I saw something....I look around again, what is it waffy? what did you see? and.....there they were......two young kids, staring ahead, not talking, hands tightly clasped together. Something is wrong. They can not be more than 14 years old, the two of them, they have such forlorn looks. Something is wrong.

Say something Waffy, do something, say something Waffy.

My mouth does not open, I am at a loss for words...I keep looking at them, what is wrong? Is she pregnant? are they on their way to do an abortion? Is that it? what is wrong? Are they running away? from their parents? are they siblings? children of drug addicts sent to live in foster homes? or...are they going to commit suicide together, two lovers, misunderstood by the world, destined to die on this beautiful day? what is wrong?

Say something Waffy, do something, say something Waffy.

I can see the tips of their fingers, white, white from the tightness of their grip. I look at her, she is so young, her hair unkept, wild, down to her shoulders, she does not have a bag, she looks so sad. I look at him, he is not trying to be brave, he has a bag, a green bag. They do not look at each other through out the journey, but two people could never be closer.

Say something Waffy, do something, say something Waffy.

We are getting to the end of the journey, they look at each other, that look, that furtive smile as if to say "there's no going back now", I get off the train, stand aside, I need to know, need to see. She gets off first, he is still sitting down, staring at the floor, she does not say a word, he looks at her and bravely steps off the train.

Say something Waffy, do something, say something.

They link arms again, this time, their bodies pressed closely together, side by side, they can not almost walk. What are they planning to do? Kill themselves? I have to know, I have to know, I follow closely behind.

Let it go, Waffy, let it go.

They are walking faster now, strong purposeful steps, I hurry after them, perhaps I can stop them? Its not too late, I can save them, its not too late.

Let it go, Waffy, let it go.

Soon, we are coming to a junction, I know they are going to turn right, I am trying to keep up, at the same time trying to be inconspicuous.

Let it go, Waffy, let it go

They turn right, and I stop. I take a deep breath and let it go.

As I walked home, it suddenly came to me, I knew exactly what I should have said, I should have said "Are you guys okay? you both seem so sad".

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Surreal times......

The past couple of days have been........surreal. I have been floating, a bit lost, in and out of the world, present but not almost. I have done the things I am supposed to, been where I was supposeed to be, yet.......I have been away, in my world for quite a while now. Yesterday, I was sitting by the bus stop, waiting for my bus, the sun was shining, a gentle breeze blowing, I got up from the bench, started walking, ever so slowly, I could feel my soul, I could feel my heart beats, I could see myself in the world, me, at the bus stop, the trees and leaves bending to the wind, my life so strong and yet so weak.........I felt like singing or crying.....I could not make up my mind, I went back to the bench......lost. There was nobody on the street,no cars, it was peaceful........I closed my eyes, tried to get myself back.....I couldn't, I was drifting away again, my soul, my heartbeats, the breeze, the world.....all of a sudden, I heard laughter.....a child's laughter.....I looked in the direction it was coming from, and there they were.....mother and child, the oldest picture in the world, coming towards me. The child was on her mother's shoulders bouncing up and down with joy, the mother had one hand firmly across the child's knees, the other hand pushing a pram.....the child was laughing hard, the mother smiling......I started smiling at them as they walked towards me.......the mother smiled back....she knew I knew......she knew I knew that she loved this child so much! Yes, I knew.......I knew that at that moment their lives were in perfect harmony.....I sat staring in their direction long after they left........the feeling they left behind was strong....so beautiful, yet so surreal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

NAIJA BLOGGERS- THE BOOK

This is a call to all Nigerian bloggers worldwide to become a part of An anthology of the greatest works of Nigerian Bloggers-

A book called Naija bloggers Vol 1.

Nigerian Bloggers around the globe are requested to send in their stories or recommend great posts for the publication of a physical anthology, the first of its kind by any group of bloggers on any continent.

The categories are anecdotes, short stories, poetry, prose, drama and essays but there is room for as many sub-categories as are sent in as the book will also serve as a platform where artistes can showcase architectural/interior/exterior designs, photography, paintings as well as fashion and textile designs. Submissions are therefore welcome on any topic whether covered here or not.

There is only one condition- All submissions must have been blogged on or before Monday the 14th of May 2007.

Bloggers may submit up to 5 entries on any topic or issue but no blogger may have more than 3 works published. The Copyright of Articles remains the possession of the original writers.

The profiles of writers will be added to the anthology (those who wish to remain anonymous may do so, however)

Royalties will be discussed with selected contributors before publication.

The intention is to publish worldwide in stages, first stage being Nigeria and to make the book available all over the world.

Talks are on with publishers in Nigeria including Spectrum, Farafina and Khalam Editions.

It is expected that a compilation of the best of Nigerian minds on the internet will make fantastic reading, show a new and much needed side of Nigerians to the entire world, as well as give access to those who are not internet-inclined.

Submissions should be sent to nigerianbloggers@yahoo.com not later than Friday, June the 15th 2007 stating date of blogging and blogname/address.

Please note that submission does not automatically guarantee the publication of all or any of the works. The final selection will be made by respected Nigerian writers.

co-ordinator- laspapi

Kindly link this post on your blog.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mr Okolo and I

" Waffy!,Mr. Okolo is coming, hide quickly!"
Who did not have that one uncle who would practically break his neck to inform your parents of anything you did? Good or bad? Mr. Okolo tormented my childhood and till today, I still wake up with beads of sweat rolling down my back when I think of him and all the different scrapes I had with him.The nightmares never went away, I was traumatised for life.Mr Okolo was the "amebo/aproko/oversabi/ITK" and a list of other names too cruel to mention, that was his sole purpose in life. I do not know if he had a job but one thing was for sure, he managed to pop up wherever we were not supposed to be. Mr Okolo was an expert at appearing and disappearing and as a child, I was convinced he had magic powers.

One day, after my father left to buy his Sunday newspapers and my mother had her usual lie in, I decided to leave the house in my pyjamas and stroll around the neighbourhood, just for fun. It was seven o'clock in the morning and I thought it would be fun to arrive later at home and inform my brothers and sisters that I had sneaked out of the house without my parents knowledge.This would have given me a lot of respect at the age 7 yrs and the plan was full proof! I took off as soon as I heard my fathers worn out 504 and was enjoying a peaceful stroll around the block untill I heard
"Ah, ah? Is that not Waffy?"

I tried to hide but it was too late, Mr. Okolo had caught me.

"Ah ah? Where are you coming from? Are your parents at home? Why are you still in your pyjamas? Has something happened? Am I not talking to you? Are you deaf? See this girl oh!!! Heeeeeeeeeey! Answer me! Where are your slippers? Heeeeeeeeeeey! Look at you! Look at your hair! Eeeehhhhhn so you now walk around disgracing your parents in broad daylight, I thank God I caught you! This is how you children disgrace your father left right and centre,I know your father,he is a strict man! It is your mother that is spoiling you with all those her ideas! Ehen! I told your father a long time ago,I can see it in your eyes,you the stubborn one! In fact, I think you should start attending cathecism, my daughter ifeoma is attending, both of you will go together! come on, move, I am taking you home!ehhhhhhhn! Nonsense! So you are now a vagabond? At least you should have worn slippers! So you don't know your father is an important man? Ehhhhhhhh? I know you don't know that's why you are disgracing him. If you knew, you wouldn't go around looking like a vagabond! Do you know the meaning of vagabond? Ehen! You don't know now, in fact you will attend English lessons with JJ, your father and I can pay, it will even make it cheaper self! Oya, alele! Move my friend! I wonder where you were going self, I hope you have not stolen money to go and buy acara? abi is it pap? because your mother told me you prefer that one to custard! Me myself I like custard……………….....and on and on it went untill any punishment was better than listening to Mr. Okolo but ofcourse it never ended there. The decision for me to attend cathecism was decided by Mr Okolo not my parents and this was one of the nuisances of being caught by the man. It was his "various" suggestions that was the problem, which ofcourse involved his family as well. My summer that year was ruined by a harmless adventure to stroll around the block. Who would have guessed that Mr Okolo would be on his James Bond duty so early in the morning? Today, I remembered Mr Okolo, wondering, where is he? Does he still chase after the neighbourhood children? I wish I knew........

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Obasanjo can not afford beds


Here is something I think you should all see. A healthy debate is going on right now between Dare Obasanjo, who posted the pictures on internet and fellow bloggers, feel free to join in. Laspapi has an interesting take on this ongoing drama. Also, take a tour round Obj's set of "coming to America" .Please, put this on your blogs, lets share Naija's zoo with our fellow Nigerians, especially my waffy people, we never see this kain thing before! That's Dare, posing with one of the many animals that gives visitors a solid African feeling.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Trains and thoughts

I have 3 minutes to make the train, I am running, why does this always happen to me? This circle of running, trains, running, trains......I love taking the train, it is cheaper to take the bus, but there is something about trains.....that takes me far away...... In trains, I have had thoughts that go on forever, memories long forgotten are remembered, dreams once dreamt, are dreamt again, peoples' faces, smiles, their words, are remembered on trains. I always have a book with me but I never seem to open it. As the train rushes past landscapes,I see small houses, I wonder, who lives there? a family? mother, father, two children, a dog? all sitting around a fireplace, doing puzzles and having cocoa? What kind of life do they live? Are they farmers? with lots of animals, cows, sheep, horses, just living in the simplest form? They must be grounded, solid ground on their feet, unlike me, the traveller........I have no home.....I could live anywhere....Japan, Tanzania, Iceland, anywhere, I am a citizen of the world.....forever travelling. I envy those families, they would never move far away, never think of living outside their beloved country, never think of not having their families beside them forever. I envy them, I want a home too, but deep in my heart, I know that has been lost a long time ago, the moment I started questioning,"Is this all there is? there has to be more", the moment I started searching, a journey that is yet to be finished. I sit on trains and let my thoughts wonder, of times when I had a home, times when I did not question, times when I did not search.