Gimme my horns……it has been a long time since I heard them.
So I was having a conversation with a 16 year old Igbo girl on thursday night. The conversation started with me asking about her admission into OAU and if she passed the entrance examination to her future, occupation and the inevitable marriage which was when she got agitated.
Okay, this girl is the last of 6 children born to parents both of who are from Imo state. The first 2 are male so she has had a lot of Nigerian culture in her system. I was being diplomatic and I asked her if she had a Boyfriend (sorry but I never pass off a chance to spread the word about STIs and unwanted pregnancy) after we had that conversation about condoms are zipping up, she said something curious. Continue reading “Sensible Speck in Senselessness”→
Six Nigerian professionals are embarking on a 6-day hike to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. This is happening as part of a fundraising drive for the Lagos based Down Syndrome Foundation. The Charity climb tagged Climb for Down syndrome, the brain child of Inspired by Charity, a social enterprise, is scheduled to take place 16th-23rd August, 2014 in Tanzania.
The hiking party hopes to use the climb to raise awareness about Down syndrome and help to raise 10,000,000 naira (Ten Million Naira) for the Down Syndrome Foundation (DSF). DSF is a renowned charity that works to provide leadership, support and advocacy in all areas of concern as it relates to persons with Down syndrome in Nigeria.
Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding Mountain at 5,895m high, attracts over 40,000 people every year who seek to climb the mountain. Continue reading “Nigerians Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Down Syndrome”→
Okays. Valentine has come and gone…with a lot of mushy feelings, empty wallets and promises. However, as an incurable romantic and someone who loves music, the period got me thinking about the best love songs…in my native tongue, Yoruba, ever recorded (The one in English language (foreign) is supposed to be written by Lilian (@lilysville) and she has refused to…pester her!). Here is my top ten Yoruba love songs…hope you get and grok them like I do. Continue reading “Top Ten Yoruba Love Songs”→
I did not vote for Dr Goodluck Jonathan and will not vote for him again because I do not believe that he is what Nigeria needs as a ruler/leader in the 21st century (if you care to know, my choice then was Gen. Buhari and my choice now is Colonel Gwadabe). I do not like the volte-face done by his spokesperson Dr. Reuben Abati when he took up the appointment and turned into an attack dog of the president (I’m one of the twittering “collective children of anger”) and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth to see what a leading “Patito-ganger” has become.
However I think I can understand why Abati became a turncoat in one word: SURVIVAL. Ask biologist and natural historians and they will tell you that the organism that survives is not the smartest, strongest or the most beautiful. It is the most adaptable organism that survives. Adaptation is the principal thing; in all your getting, get adaptation.
How does this affect Abati you may ask? Well, in Nigeria, for you to live and not just exist, you need money and connections. For you to get that, you need to be corrupt (in varying shades). What do you do if you understand rationally and morally that this is wrong yet your survival depends on it? You adapt. Dr Reuben Abati is evidently a brilliant man and must have thought very well that he couldn’t continue to subsist at the edge of REAL money so he did what he needed to do to survive: he adapted. He (and the rest of us) may rationalize it one way or the other but that, I think, is the stark truth. It is the system that corrupts us all with its constant droning of the message: Adapt or die. How many Nigerians, activists and non-activists alike have failed to yield this lesson to their own regret?
Before you point fingers at Abati, ask yourself: How often during the day do I “Do an Abati”? By this, I mean to go against what you know is logically and morally right simply because you need to get something done, in order to survive? How many times during each day do you have to compromise on your social media/church/mosque/activist image when you are caught between the rock and a hard place? You see, our system is so mad in this country that one is always forced to adapt to survive. On these streets, everyone is a hustler and we all need new level of grace to survive the daily pull corruption exerts on us. If you still don’t understand, pay a visit to Ajegunle, Ijora-Badia, Mushin or any sprawling slum in Nigeria and just observe how people survive and what they do to achieve that. Or sit down with Taxi drivers and have a long chat with them about their experiences.
All this came to me in a flash, the other Friday when I was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Some friends and I were rushing to one of us wedding engagement in two cars, one driven by the groom and the other by another person (the car I was in). The groom was in the front and sped into what I knew was a one-way street in Ikeja GRA. Once I saw this, I asked my friend to enter the one-way street with him and we eventually overtook him, but it was too late: the police caught us and the groom managed to escape. A police man deported me to the back seat and entered the front, asking us to proceed to the place where the sign indicating what the street was a one-way street was. Admittedly, the sign was there, though vague with a “DO NOT ENTER”. All this while, I was being spoken to in the phone by the groom, a bible-believing Christian and staunch Nuhu Ribadu supporter in the last general election, to find something for the policeman and for us to catch up with him. Several moments and pleadings later, I gave the policeman a bribe: My own Abati-cal moment. That was when the Nigerian situation and working moral dawned on me: DON’T HATE THE PLAYER, HATE THE GAME!
A word for Dr Abati in our native tongue “Ti a ba ran ni ni ise eru, a a fi ti omo je”.
I, Yemi Ajala, having read, observed and understood the nature of men, nations and countries and taking full cognisance of the histories of men, Nigeria and the black race hereby conclude the following:
The ‘Divine Rights of Kings’ is a travesty instituted by men to perpetuate themselves in power.
Slavery is the worst crime that can be committed by Man. All free men must always collude was to stamp it out. Slavery and laziness of the mind is the most potent and an unending war must be waged against it
The black man has always played the dregs of the planet and must pull his own weight and contribute actively its own quota to its development or would be stamped out.
That the black man is his greatest enemy, always working against himself in collusion with other races
A lot of tension, accusation and counter-accusations have been flying around Nigeria, my country, about the scheduled 2015 general elections. I have been watching these with amusement and sometimes join in the debates about the permutations and combinations that would deliver the next set of political leaders. However, I have decided not to vote in the elections and here are three of the reasons why:-
There is no difference in the political parties and they all lack clear-cut ideologies and blueprints on how to move this nation forward. More importantly for me, they all share a lack of vision. How many of them can paint a picture of Nigeria and Nigerians they envision in the next fifty years and how they intend to achieve that? The answer is: NONE. Not to talk of the ever-changing membership of the parties themselves (I didn’t mention a former foreign affairs minister to Gen. Abacha and a certain former aviation minister turned conspiracy-theorist)
No country has ever fought two Civil wars and stayed intact (I stand to be corrected on this assertion). Nigeria is fighting a civil war of multi-faceted dimensions, yet the citizenry and the ruling elite have refused to acknowledge it, as if the refusal of a truth will make it seize existing. I have given up on Nigeria. I’m patiently waiting for Post-Nigeria. Will the United States of America’s prophecy of the end of Nigeria by 2015 come true? Who knows?
Now for the main reason: I have lost faith in democracy as the best system of governance for blacks. Don’t get me wrong: I still believe in universal suffrage. However, one critical omission by the foreigners when they were shoving democracy down our throat was the ingraining in us that for democracy to work, the most critical aspect of it is a conscious and engaging followership. Now where can you find that in black Africa can you find a conscious and engaging followership? A potpourri of reasons ranging from colonisation, bad policies and deliberate subjugation by the elites have made blacks one of the most uneducated (and illiterate) and superstitious set of humans in the world. In Nigeria, you see them all around: the marijuana seller at your junction, the food-seller in the motor park and the cleaner in your favourite buka. These are the hoi-polloi who all have a single vote as you (yes, you. In case you don’t know, you are the exception, not the norm: You have internet access and can use it) and can be swayed easily by emotions of quick monetary gains, ethnicity and religion. How can such a set of people break away from the vicious cycle of inept governance unless another system of governance is instituted?
Now I must state that I do not advocate for a military government as they are part of our present predicament. I believe that blacks needs to find a system of governance that works for us; rather than take the system forced down our throats. What we need is for the African intellectuals to get out of the beer-parlours and the buttocks of politicians and think of a new system of governance that will work for blacks. This may involve borrowing different ideas from different cultures in different eras (personally, I would like indirect universal suffrage). Peppersouping and small-stouting will not save us from ourselves.