Friday, April 24, 2009

On Spoken Words

I have noticed something about us, Nigerians; and I find it in spoken words.

During conversation with foreigners (someone speaking a different accent of English, most either of the Americans or the British), pronunciation of words change.
The average uncouth Nigerian begins to speak in what he or she assumes is the accent of the other person in the conversation.
Immediately a fellow Nigerian appear, the normal Naija accent for spoken English returns.

But I noticed that the accent of the person the Nigerian is speaking to, is maintained no matter where he/she is (that is at least until he acclimatizes to the environment; by then, the subconscious takes over and he speaks in the accent of the locals).

This has left me pondering:
1. Maybe we think they our versions of English are different languages; “this foreigner doesn’t understand what I said; I must translate to his language”.
2. Or could it be that we believe that our language is Pidgin English? Therefore, we must speak formally (which is the foreign way English is spoken) when a stranger is around.
3. It could be due to the mouthy way we speak English. Subtly we think this is an inferior way of communicating.
Could (3) be the right answer? Could that be why?
· Is this what make some of (obviously less sophisticated) elders sound funny in their effort to incorporate “being there slangs” in their spoken English?
· Maybe that is why the average Nigeria adjust quickly to foreign lands with ease and face a tough challenge re-adjusting back to “hot” Nigeria “after so many years” (2 years; and this dude traveled when he was over 25)”.
· Or why the media retains foreign accent speaking (or "fonee" speaking) presenters?
· Maybe that’s why this “never being there” presenter is trying to ruining my afternoon… (using words like:
> “twenny”(for twenty)
> “innit” (for isn’t it)
> “nigga” (black man)
> “big up” (Sign of respect)
…in the most awful ways?

Before you ruin my day,
just listen.
You can’t forge an accent.
Takes more than just twisting your mouth or saying "cool" words.
It describes where you are coming from,
signaling a history you have experienced
Any effort to belittle it will only be an open mockery of everything you stand for
…and noise to my ear (as you successfully done)

You accent shows generations of individuals interacting with their environment in a particular way.
It reflects how the previous owners of a land viewed the earth,
their socio-economic/ legal struggle,
what they understood by all they sensed,
And how this understanding forced them to silently the pronunciation of certain alphabets (and amplify other) the way they did
Such different use of vocal chords created different accent.
In line with the saying of the holy book that “the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge”

Hey Mister,
Please do you were employed to do;
Develop qualitative & engaging contents.
Use every opportunity to speak justice, the truth and what you truly stand for.
Because, that’s what earns respect.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Second Discovery of Fire

Someday after we have mastered the wind, the waves and gravity, we shall harness for God, the energies of love. And then for the second time, man would have discovered fire.
Pierre Tiehard de Chardin

I still remember the 29th of Feb 2008, when you asked that profound question:
"What would you rather do?"
I was always lost in thoughts pondering about my current state, comparing current realities and the ideas I have of an ideal.

I would love to explore the world. A rolling stone, no strings, no attachment, and all memories of fantasies the average man never saw.
I imagined myself as the modern Viking, conquering territories in search for the golden flees.
The thought being an astronaut would have been great. The vastness of outer space provides exploration with no boundaries.
In all my desires, I find one thing common;
© that desire to be seen;
© that basic human need to feel accepted by humanity
But as always, that question kept lurking in the dark corners of my mind.
Little did I know destiny was beaconing on me.
Not until I stumbled in my life walk and received enlightenment.
That understanding that:
© Experiences are meaningless unless shared and used to shape a version of hope
© Whatever hope held is vanity unless it helps in establishing sustainable future
© The sustainability of a future is based on how much of it the visionary can create
© Creative ability depends on how much of it is unleashed.
And to unleash would mean a freedom of being, soul, and mind. That tri-team is anchored on the simple heartfelt desire to make the world a better place for two (me & you).
So what would I rather do?
I would rather
© explore all possibilities in space reachable by within the depth of your soul
© The look in your eye would reveal to me the beauty of the earth
© Engaging in your internal conversations would quench that thirst for fables & tales of mysteries
© The warmth of your smile would appease more than the approval of all strangers
The answer to your question is clear.
There are many different experiences possible in life. But of all, I think the most fulfilling is that choice with that one capable of unleashing the abilities in the heart; that one capable of enabling the second discovery of fire.
What I would rather do, is take that life walk with you.