Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mob justice in the soul of a nation

The solution to all crisis lies in its roots. It is from the root one can fully understand the interplay of value systems that compels a particular trait and inevitably, a course of action.

And this applies to all things, including the mob killings like the publicised one in Aluu, Rivers States. A petition for the mob Justice Prohibition Bill recently went viral. As much I expressed my support by appending my signature, I am pretty much convinced that the Bill will do little to tackle mob justice in Nigeria. Reason: mob justice is a symptom of a bigger crisis within the Nigerian socio-political space.

What supports the full adoption of a Bill into law is an enabling culture that views an action as a departure from the established way of doing things within a society...and mob killing is a practice we pretty much subscribe to at least on a subliminal level. Think of this: what influences what we subscribe to? Our perception, right? 
Then what influences what we perceive? WHAT WE SEE…

So, what do we see?
- spouses proudly tell tales of their extra-marital escapades and are hailed (it is culturally accepted to cheat; as long as you don’t get caught);
- a car jumps the traffic light, pays out a N100 bribe and goes unpunished; 
- an armed robber turns out to be a police officer and is discharged with honors.

Or on a national scale, no one was punished after:
- a disagreement between two friends led to a 3 year civil war that killed over a million people; 
- a president cancelled the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s history (and yet the man walks free. The then president elect was allegedly assassinated);
- or in recent times, it turns out that the high cost of PMS in Nigeria is influenced by the greedy desires of a ‘cabal’.

This constant sense of injustice triggers a behavioural pattern that promotes the total annihilation of those that we disagree with. On a smaller scale, it is revealed in our vehement outburst and how we ‘descend’ on those that come against our stance. These traits are evident in our relationships, on our roads and pretty much anywhere more than one Nigerian is involved in a transaction. Perpetrators of car accidents are beaten to stupor, cheating wives are stripped naked or their nude pictures made available over the internet. Two weeks after the Aluu killings, the video of a young lady stripped naked and molested in a high brow shopping district of posh Lagos Nigeria went viral. Her crime: shoplifting. We have slowly accepted that this harsh and somewhat brutal acts should be used in reinforcing an accepted code of conduct, despite what common logic tells us.

And it is everywhere; we see tortured criminals paraded on National TV; we also hear of interrogation proceedings in Area F. How common is ‘accidental discharges’? Have we forgotten the ‘unknown soldiers’ who attacked Fela house, or those that perpetrated the Odi massacre? And somewhere in our minds, we don’t consider these acts ‘abnormal’ even though they are one and the same thing. 

So what fuels this brand of justice? I think it is the ‘high’ we get from it; a ‘high’ that in a strange kind of way, affirms the adage that "every day is for the thief and one day for the owner". It is the rush for that ‘high’ that ignites the whole atmosphere and make a moment participating in this barbaric act, somewhat relishing

At the root of mob justice lies a feeling that there are breed of people above the law…a feeling of injustice. Addressing that feeling is what reforms…not just a Legal Bill.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A sluggish Revolution

January 2012 started on a sour note with the sudden increase in pump price from N65 to N141 Nigeria. That act gave birth of the Occupy Nigeria movement, a name coined up in 2011 on the streets of New York as the "99%" moved against the "1%" by "occupying" the financial centre of the United States, Wall Street. The energy generated from the Occupy Nigeria movement morphed in the social media activism mentality that has taken over the minds of middle class Nigerians. The platform to share and articulate our inability as a nation to rise up to what is expected of us. Every week we are prompted with stories of misfortunes and tales of woes. Everyone is commenting, topics are trending on Twitter/facebook. Intellectuals are debating and condemning the acts, our celebrities and Nigerians in the diaspora are organising walks and marches against "all that is bad", tee-shirts are getting printed saying "NO", but the question remains to what ends?
Just after the subsidy protests failed, the movement changed focus to the mess made of the subsidy probe. In the same breath, the Lawan and Otedola bribery scandal became the burning issue of that moment.

The bombings by Boko Haram's in the Northern cities that resulted in the death of over a thousand people (and counting) "trended" at some point in time. GEJ's response (or lack of one) failed to inspire the right vote of confidence from the movement that an appropriate course of action will be taken by the executive to this unfamiliar behaviour.

Then there was the Pension Fund scandals, Oteh and S.E.C. showdown, Nigeria Vs South African over deportation of Nigerians with "fake" yellow fever card (that raised questions on how Nigerians are treated all over the world). Our compliance with fundamental human rights was brought under scrutiny as citizens of Makoko were forcefully evicted from their homes to make way for what is most likely (at least according to twittersphere)a new housing project.

The bickering shifted to other sectors. Poor state of the planes and absence of adequate emergency planning crashed a Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos. Lokoja got flooded (despite warning from weather agencies) raising concerns about our government's disaster response strategy. There was the ABSU rape, the Mubi and Aluu killings raising concerns safety of people in higher institutions and also the quality churned out of university.

None of these event are new in our national space. What is new is the social media and its ability to consume the interest of Nigeria's middle class. Our combined sensationalization through un-edited comment/assessment and analysis of each event has turned these overlooked aspect of our reality into shocking and very disturbing episodes. But the question remains, after all the media activism and awareness, after performing our civic duty by highlighting flaws in the way we organize ourselves, beyond the fire-fighting template adopted by our successive government (setup committees, panels and invite foreign experts), what concrete step has been taken to address ANY of the issues raised?
In the absence of any credible response by the government, is there a brewing plan rumbling within us to disrupt the status quo and change the state of things? I am talking about a revolution.

If this "collective anger" does not eventually ignite the audacity to demand and change all that is wrong with our society, then all social media might have achieved is to provide us with a platform for sharing our opinions, entertaining one another and escaping the reality of our miserable way of living. #Nothing_is_as_powerful_as_an_idea_that_its_time_has_come.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mob killings and the way we live

Images from the clip showing the jungle justice dished out on the ALUU 4 still haunts me. The evil men that men do!! But face it, the victims are not those that died, but those that live to witness such. The deceased have encountered the worse of all human experiences; death. But those that live, still have life to contend with and even worse, the unnecessary exposure of their minds to such disturbing methods of execution which might lead them to wonder "will I go like this?" (at least on a subconscious level). When a mind is unleashed to conjour up such thoughts, things change; people become jittery and weary of one another.

To protect from that which they fear, they change patterns of behaviour, become more smothering of their children, and after a long enough timeline, their lifestyle becomes a shadow of its original frame as every element of trust for the next man disappears leaving a dent within the fabric that holds the society together.

Maybe that is the only way I can understand how a nation of cashcrop farmers, with rich traditions and healthy appreciation of life, can morph into assassins, lynch mobs, rapists, and armed robbers.

Whether the boys are criminals or they are cultist is not what's most worrying. What's most worries me is that as a result of the complete lack of trust and continuous oppression within the society,there are very few Nigerians that could have been in that gathering of mob and stood against their act as the voice of reason.

Maybe Chinua Achebe had a point in his recent boy 'There was a Country'; maybe Nigeria does need to appease the Spirit of Biafra.

Monday, October 1, 2012


January 20, 2009
Minutes before his madien address, no one observed that he was lost in thought....
 “Is this really all I have worked hard to achieve? Am I prepared for this? Is this all there is to it? So every minute I will be in the spotlight!! Naa.. this isn't really what I want… Stay focused. This is your moment to shine…Just repeat this to yourself “I cannot fail. I cannot fail ”. Besides, you have a lot to offer... A lot to offer? Everyone knows this is all there is to me. I am all mouth.. ok I am lanky with big ears and I have a smoking problem. Talk about an exciting life… You forgot to mention " and I adore my wife" Oh yeah that too. But seriously, how does that count? If we go by my father's origin alone, I am not fit for this because..... Is this what you choose to believe? Things have changed and you better get used to it. Every minute of the last 47 years has been spent preparing for this moment. This goes beyond your ego; this is destiny boy… Destiny…hmm..so am I destined. I might be the 1st, but what does that count for? Being the 1st, I might stammer and make a fool of myself. Somebody might ask a question I am not prepared for. Or they might throw eggs at me with the whole world watching. Did you rehearse for this speech? Well…yeah. I have done that over 20 times, every day for the past three weeks… Then why are you worried? Remember it was the same you that brought the Jeremiah incident under control...... This is a lot more complex than that… We all know that. But that was preparation for the type of challenges you will encounter. Really, there is nothing to be jittery about ..... I can't help but be afraid. This is major. Does that mean I can no longer do something as simple and regular as work on a blackberry? I can’t even wish Genevieve a happy birthday without causing a stir. What if I become like Bill and find my secretary attractive? That will be a disaster for my ladies... Calm down. Here they come…You are about to speak. stay in character. OK. I cannot fail. I cannot fail”

His heartbeat raced faster as he was introduced…….. 
“To give his inaugural speech, I will like to introduce the President Elect of the United State of America. Mr Barack Obama.....”

Matthew, Clement & Justin

About Matthew
‎"It was 12pm mid-day on Falomo bridge. I walked up to his car, a golden Toyota Camry. 
The reflection of the sunlight almost prevented me from seeing his face. But I saw it; he looked well-fed and humane; probably 35 years old cladded in white native. It looked like he was on the phone. That was my cue. I emptied my eva bottle of water and soap on his windscreen before he could turn on his wiper in defence; I earned N100 for that act. 
My name is Matthew. I run a traffic mobile cash-wash!!

About Clement
OK. I am checking out the man as he walks up to the swing door and entrance to the eatery where I am. He is with wife and their son. He is wearing white linen pants with a blue teeshirt. He is holding a blackberry phone (Chei- Bold5, bigz boi- I think to myself). 

His wife has this expensive weave-on and is looking chic in her long flowing Ankara dress with flowery patterns. Their son seems lost in his ipad viewed through thick almost binoculars-like eye glasses. 
“What are you having Tomiwa” says the man, as he opens the door.

“I am ok. I think it is noteworthy to state that I am really concerned about your cholesterol level, dad. Your choice of food these day is, for the lack of a better word, unbecoming” replied the 11 year old Tomiwa.
(“Butter” I thought “that is N1million a term plus bi-annual tour round Europe speaking”). 
Good afternoon”.
“Don’t worry son. Daddy will have a six-pack, soon”.
“It is not about looking healthy; it is about feeling healthy. There is a discipline to everything. And knowing this is the secret to longevity” he continues.
“Tomiwa, this internet has started turning your head again. Bimbo, listen to your son”. She wasn’t interested in their conversation. She chatted away on her phone slowly moving from their company. 
“Can I be excused? David, just get me a bottle of water” replied Bimbo.
“ Can I have two meat pies, one fanta and a donut . Oh and for Bimbo, a bottle of water, please”. 
120+120 that is N240. N240+N100+N100+N70 that is emmm N510” I thought to myself looking towards his hand as he pulled out a N1000 note.
“Sir for change,do you have N10 so I can give you N500”said the server. 
“Ah! And I just used it” he exclaimed. 
The server gave him the change in the denominations:
* 1 two hundred naira note, 
*2 one hundred naira notes, 
*1 fifty naira note, 
* and 2 twenty naira notes. 

I lit up, knowing I might still have a chance. As he walked to the where I was, I gladly opened the door. 

My response wasn’t with my initial tone; there wasn’t that blandness of the “Good afternoon” I had welcomed them with. 
Instead, my response had a glow to it and an expression of my desire-
“Oga, Happy Weekend, sir” I said with a salute and a smile.

My name is Clement. I am the security officer at the new MasterBiggs restaurant in Akute.

About Monday
Today the streets are clear. With this, I can’t help but wonder, how will I pay my rent, which is due today? The Easter holidays made this Monday quite uneventful. We sat for hours and waited for a miracle; for something. I remember yesterday’s inspirational message: I remember the pastor speak about hope because “our God works in mysterious ways”. 
Just then, Rasidi's call came through my mobile ph


“E don happen” was the 1st thing he said.
A tanker had collided with a luxurious bus along the narrow Akute Road. The luxurious bus was carrying passengers on their way to Benin from the just concluded Israelites in Nigeria Mission’s Church annual convention titled “Condemn all your enemies to God’s judgment” which, according to reliable sources, attracted over 20,000 people from across the globe. Nobody was hurt; but the accidents caused a serious gridlock around the area.

I approached an Okada to take me to the scene. Imagine the okada man tried to charge me N80 instead of N50; the guy was trying to make money over what just happened, because of what I do. I showed him, that I myself, sabi Lagos. As I hopped on the okada towards the scene, I couldn't help but feel a little less tensed about my rent:
-Rasidi had settled the area boys for the three of us (to include Tolu) to operate freely around the Water Corporation side of the road;
-And what made it even better for Rasidi and I was Tolu was opting out as he was chatting up a girl from his village called Bisi …. and things were looking really “positive” for him; “going down tonight” positive.

“MY GUY the hammer of today no go get part 2. All of the people never break dem fast”-was Rasidi last statement before I headed off to meet him.
Truly our God works in mysterious ways- I thought.

My name is Justin. I sell pure water along the Pen Cinema traffic in Agege, Lagos State.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Something about moment is they are units of times that when combined, create an impression,
They are like sparks, like ideas, capable of gathering and evolving into a formidable entity,
Specific moments of joys, laugher, the mundane and hostilities may never be remembered,
But their sum total create strongholds within our minds, shaping our versions of one another
Concerns: will it be strongholds that unite father and son?
Or will it just be fleeting moments with no significance?

In recent times you began to throw tantrums,
“My boy is beginning to assert his authority and understand his choices” are my thoughts,
You want me to know you are not just my bundle of joy,
but you have a soul, and you wants to be heard,
Your crying when demanding to be carried or to roam about freely….
Are moments…..

As you place your fingers on everything that catches your attention,
And put it all in your mouth,
As you make attempts to say “mumma” and “dada”,
And use your rich vocabulary of words and cues that sometimes mean nothing to no one but you,
You are creating moments…..

As you stroll around with anything thing that looks like a phone glued to your ear,
Mimicking a real telephone conversation,
[I marvel with at the accuracy of your intermittent pauses,
Even though all you repeat are series of “da da” and “ta ta”]
As you create gestures to convince me there is someone at the other end of the line,
You are creating moments…….

Very soon all will change,
8 years from now, it will be bicycles and the outdoors,
Trees and sports will dominate your world.

You will grow to the teenage years, the age of rebellions,
you will develop a desire in the opposite sex as your mind wonders what lies between those hips and why the sight of a female’s under garment makes you quiver,
Your body will begin to change and the image of the man you are will become visible,
You will get your first car; earn your first kiss,
Get your 1st heartbreak and think the world will end,
When, it is only beginning.

These formative years of yours will be the moment through which our similarities and differences will be revealed,
It will also present opportunities for both of us to fully appreciate not just one another, but also, our individual selves,
Our battles will be temporary and a reflection of how our different, generation fared amidst the challenges of our time.
We will condemn each other peers citing inability to rise up to expectation.

As I watch you grow from a boy to a man,
And share defining moments together,
My mind will still drift to current memory of my boy banging my room-door to play with his father.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

They still matter....

to the early departed...

To all men and women who truly cherish their lives 
Some single, some husbands, some wives

Some never made centre stage
They were cut off in the prime of their age

In last moments some faced the worse of all they feared
An empty gathering or one lacking of friends that cared

Even though your stories may never be told
know one thing; your life has left message that will duly unfold.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When the middle class fails to speak...

If you didn’t know, now you know: The revolution has started in Nigeria.

The information explosion has gotten everyone aware of the government machinery and their excesses... and that's the problem. Every segment of society is informed.

The truth about societies is ALL government always have its excesses is always corrupted. But
the ability to continually exert authority amidst these illegalities is tied to the four institutions that supports the government.

On one end, we have the ruling class. The presence of this class provides hope to those that are at the lower end of the food chain, of a light exists at the end of the tunnel. They inspire with words and actions and are role models to all.

The legal institution exists to provide a framework upon which the idea of justice can be delivered in the society using the armed forces as the executioners. 

Then we have family, and clan leaders. These authority figures ensure their subjects act in line with certain traditional precepts and expectation.

On the final extreme end, the religious units have a part to play too; by educating all on moral laws and order, and guaranteeing success in life and the after-life.

The media, through its choice of words, captures the interplay of activities of these institutions and subconsciously communicates to the middle and lower classes the way to live in which individual benefit is maximized. It keeps this groups (that constitutes about 95% of the population) in check and consistently doses them with examples of how the principles were observed by the ruling class and worked.

The right time for a revolution comes when the media is unable to communicate a way to live that aligns with embedded principles of what is required for the society to work. Then, a general sense of disillusionment fills the air. The lower class (the less educated/most volatile group) looks to the middle class (a class equally as educated as the ruling class, but not as opportuned) for direction. From the middle class, an enigma (usually) emerges that defines what should be and tries to work out a revolution WITHIN the confines of the legal/family & religious organization, even if it means ousting the rulers that be.

But when the middle class is unable to provide that leadership, when every middle class that ascends forgets his/her roots and joins the status quo, when the middle class is unable to direct and answer the concerns of the lower class, cracks within the society becomes visible and villains take charge.

Do you see the similarities? We have lost all form of respect for our leaders and the middle class isn't engineering a formidable team capable of restoring order. Our lower class is becoming the weapon of choice for executing some of the most daring feats ever known in Nigeria and are controlled by these villains. All action they conduct, usually start off startling the immediate society.
“Nigerians can never kill themselves”;
“That bank robbery was a one-off”;
“The kidnappers are most likely from neighboring war torn countries”?
But look within; these stories are familiar…
In describing “them” you will hear us mutter:

"Don't you remember that boy? Is he a stranger? Isn’t he the neighbours son, whose father died in a car accident and mother could not feed the family? Wasn’t his family kicked out of their own family house when they were young? Didn’t they watch their mother transform from a beautiful and homely wife to a desperate plantain seller? Weren’t they victims of KAI Lagos beautification team who removed her stand (because a church was extending its car park)? They invested all their money in an okada. He continued riding till his bike was seized by the police force for night driving.

Don't you remember the girl? She came with her friend to learn a trade in Lagos but was abandoned in the motor park. She slept with every man around, to make ends meet and was outrazied by our people. They call her Ashewo-Ghana. The police, knowing her trade, take rounds on her for free. She lets them have it to continue that singular thing she does to make ends meet.”

In our quest to look after our own, we abandon the less privileged (the volatile amongst us) to their devices and the hand of men with wild ideas. These "children" have metamorphosed into Boko Haram terrorist in the North, Militants in the Niger Delta, faceless kidnappers in the East, and scam artists /armed robbers the West.

A revolution has started in Nigeria but it isn't one engineered by men of wisdom... instead it is one nourished on the streets of desperation!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Those whispers...(Lucifer Response)

This fiction is a rejoinder to the article titled "Puberty complaint"(url: http://bit.ly/IcKKE2 ) written by  .  
The original article was about a fourteen years old boy "Emeka Ohameze" who wrote to God, complaining about developing sexual desires. This  act (in his own opinion) goes against his faith in God. The story ended with a letter response from God.
I couldn't resist the temptation of thinking about a possible statement from Satan in a bid to secure his presence in the mind of the boy.
Please enjoy.....

Emeka Ohameze,
No 19b Adebola Street,
Opposite Tope Falomo Gardens,
Lagos Nigeria.

Dear Emeka,
I came across your letter, and couldn’t help feeling you would require my assistance. Your sexual desires running wild? That is my department.

As you get of age, I think you and I should get better acquainted.  I know you might have heard a lot of negative reviews about me, but you know better than to believe everything you hear. This is the real world, outside the confines of Pastor Francis church.  Be prepared for false doctrines ; be prepared for backbiters and those evil bearer whose only intention is to steal from you. I know there would be times you will condemn me because the world paints me as bad; yet I will wait patiently, knowing we will one day make up.
Pardon me, I haven’t formal introduced myself. Yes, history has labelled me evil because I led the 1st revolution, but I have other name those close know me by. Because of my radiance and beauty, I am called the Morning Star. Latin speakers have a rather derogatory translation when they say my name; they call me “Lucifer”.

But there is more to me that just a name. I always stay close, willing to provide assistance in times of need. Your antiques are not new to me; I am always lurking somewhere in the background waiting for that right moment. Do you remember when Ifeoma attempted bullying you in Primary 3 and you stood up for yourself?  I was somewhere around, whispering...
(OK, maybe you went a little bit too far by stabbing her in the eye with your pencil; but there is no need to feel guilty about that.You got her off your back for good. Imagine if you hadn't; imagine how that would have destroyed your self-esteem ).

I have been around for long before your time, and seen many just like you. I have encountered staunch fanatics with strange beliefs backslide years after (when it became evident that their path had a different destination) then blame me for their misfortune. Haven’t your people read the Holy Book where it says that “God doesn’t dwell in buildings made by man”? Think about it, what have I got to do with everyone’s misfortune? I have problems of my own. My creator hasn't said a pleasant word to me centuries before your race was even conceptualized.

Make no mistake, I don’t think you should consider fornication; you are too young for that, and it is a sin just as Pastor Francis said. I think you should be ready to explore what this change is about; just as God said: “be curious”.
I think the best way to prepare yourself for what your body truly has to offer is to familiarise yourself with the female anatomy. You can start by doing something awkward; something that I will consider almost innocent: peeping at a nude Ibele tonight (remember, you overheard Ibele saying she takes her bath every night.. the toilet of her window is next to your room. I don’t think a peep is breaking any of the 10 commandments).
My young man, getting used to this body and its wild sexual drive is going to be tough, and I can assure you, most times out of control. It is a natural human instinct. Don't fight. I won't pre-empt you but I think if you should do as I said, you will be just fine.

This is the easy part. As life gets more complicated, you will get lost in discerning right from wrong. As you struggle to make sense of the world to produce that thought that can liberate you,  as you work to attain freedom to live right and be happy at the same time, take comfort is this knowledge; I will always be somewhere around, whispering...

Your’s sincerely,

The Light-Bearer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let's Remain Strangers

…So he walks up to where she sits,
He smiles and request he sits with her,
She wonders his motives, as she eats her meal,
She is sitting on a table by the wall,
She agrees and wriggles inward towards the wall,
                He looks like a nice guy-She thinks
He wriggles in, and sits by the edge.

He asks for her name and she replies,
He makes a joke about her fingers,
She thinks the joke is funny,
She couldn’t resist,
She smiles in response to his comment,
She lets go of her guard and encourages him to speak more,
They speak for hours and explore topics of mutual interest,
Her smile was captivating,
His sense of humour was intoxicating.

Their conversation dig deep into personal issues,
She feels she is letting go,
She feels she is opening up too much,
She feels they are getting too comfortable,
She looks at his face and wonders if she would see this face forever.
Her mind goes to work …

They talk about forever and ever..is that really possible?
How would you look at me when all is said and done?
When you figure the formula behind me?
Would I need to constantly re-invent myself to get your attention?

Your eyes are blank,
Without words,
I am looking deep in and wondering, what could you be trying to say?
Would you appreciate my deepest needs?
Would you understand I need encouragement?

I really don’t want to get hurt,
One encounter of James is enough for a lifetime,
And this blank stare takes me back to that moment,
He told me he loved me (but I don’t remember: did he say he would stay?)
I remember our last days together,
I would desire he stared at me the way he once did, like I moved his world,
I would hope he would hold my hands in public,
Or write me love letters; you know that mushy stuff.

I remember when we strolled together in the rain,
He said something profound, justifying the walk,
About how the human body is 70% water,
About how we need to synchronize our internal waters with the rhythm of the rain,
Because that’s what makes us truly one.
“White gowns and religious houses were coined up by men. 
What unites is rhythm; Rhythm of our waters”.
Nkechi thought I was mad when I showed up at her door dripping wet and smiling,
But there is only so much words can express.

Back to the blank stare.
“There is more to this than your eyes can decipher” was his reason.
“I always had words and expressions bottled in; the problem was expressing it” he continued.
“But what about our rhythm; but James, I still feel that rhythm?”
“Water, flows darling and my water flowed away...”
He left my life, no reasons given, never to return.

I shouldn’t be thinking of this,
I bind such evil thoughts from my mind,
This guy seems different,
Maybe he is the ONE.

 “Let all conversations & interaction be superficial” was a thought.
“ (But he sounds so sweet and I want to tell him more)”.
 “Hold up girl, you have to play it safe. Lets follow the Cosmopolitan 12 step guide to falling in love”.
“(But what if the guide is wrong?)”.
“It can’t be. It was written by Cosmopolitan”.
“(So does it mean I cannot take care of myself, does it mean I require the advice of some writers miles away to know what to do?)”
“What about your experience with James?”
“(James was a one-off. Let me let this guy into my life. I can take care of myself).
“If you can take care of yourself, would you be having a conversation with yourself?”

The waiter brings the bill and puts it on the table,
Almost immediately, she asks if she could be excused,
He rises to let her out and looks at her,
She looks at him and smiles,
As she moves to the toilet, her body brushes past his and he wonders if he would feel her  this close every night, forever.
His mind goes to work...

If I give in to you, can you handle my history?
Would you stay knowing I have baggage like, memories of my ex?
I still remember how she used her index finger to trace lines across my face…
I still remember her black underwear…
I still remember how she sleepwalks to the fridge…
I still remember her eyes...
Mariam, we had secrets, and defined the world based on it.

These secrets have evolved into strongholds buried deep within me,
Shaping my world view and how I interact with all around me.
 Sometimes they show up at awkward moment;
Like when you spoke about your desire to learn music, I had a flashback:
My mind drifted to when I met her little sister who loved Mariah Carey and I did a small comparison;
“what are the similarities between you and my Mariam?
What are the differences?”

That is me. 
It will take you a lifetime to discover all that lies underneath,
to appreciate all the experiences of mine and those of my peers,
all the various permutations & synthesizing of thoughts and how they shaped my version of reality…
I am young man with a young heart who has met and loved,
Many don’t understand my motives,
As a man, it is about the experience and the thrills of the journey.

I have no desires for hurt- to hurt others or be hurt,
But my greatest clamour is for a moment in time when I would share ALL with her,
That bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,
That one with whom I totally connect.

And I thought it would be Mariam,
I told her all and she swallowed my words,
 I shared my deepest fear,
And in moments of strife, she used my words as weapons,
Exposing me and letting all know I am weak.

Let us remain strangers…
Let us draw from what we already know and from experiences we have had in life to build our assumptions of one another,
It will save us the stress of real discovery,
A process that requires deep emotional haggle;
One that requires the personal touch, exposing habits,
In that process we might encounter our greatest fear,
I might hurt you or you might hurt me.

We could satisfy our lustful desire,
And we could even stay together for years,
We could go on to see the world together,
We could establish a connection but it would be superficial,
There would be territories we would not explore,
Our relationship would have boundaries, invisible to all our physical senses,
We would  fully open up and reveal all except that one thing that truly makes us who we are.

She strolls back to her seat and he stands up to leave.
“I had a nice evening” He says as he pays the waiter off.
‘Me too” was her response.
“We should do this another time” He says.
“Yes, we should".
“What about...tonight?”
They both smile.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guy-Man-no-dey-come-Last finishing College, Igando, Lagos State

Do you have a good upbringing? Are you well trained & well schooled? Do you live in Lagos (or intend to live in Lagos State)?

If your answer is “Yes” to all the above questions, my response is “Really”? Reason why I asked that question is because settling into Lagos would be a major challenge for you.

But help is here!! Guy-Man-no-dey-come-Last finishing College, Igando, Lagos State is where you want to be.

Since time immemorial, living in Lagos has never been for the faint hearted. Researchers have stumbled upon documents of Lagosian using false bottoms in barrels of palm oil for sale to the white-man, as far back as the 15th Century. Can you imagine what these people would have evolved to? The modern Lagosian is a madman!!

And that is where we come in. We assist you adjust to the Lagos scene. Be you a professional, a medical practitioner, an okada driver, a bus driver, a government official, a law enforcement agent and even a religious leader.

We have experts from all over the world trained in the act of irresponsible behaviours from some of the most unliveable cities in the world. From Harare, Dhaka, and even Baghdad, seasoned specialists are available to provide you with case studies and 1st hand examples of tactics you can adopt to ensure your adjustment to living in Lagos is seamless.  

Our facilities are well equipped with state of the art gadgets capable of providing simulation of life in Lagos. After four to sixteen weeks of extensive training, you will learn how to:
  1. Deal with police officer;
  2. Earn a living doing nothing;
  3. Show off an attitude that can piss your customers off;
  4. Jump queues;
  5. How to fart in public (without making a sound);
  6. The best way to shakara (special courses on telling them “do know who I am”);
  7. Brag (even when there is nothing to brag about);
  8. Silence you conscience and do what benefits you (and only you).
We also conduct specialized training for professionals to include:

  1. Effectively collect bribe (for law enforcement agents: we teach all the secrets things they don’t teach you in training school. Like how to collect eguje and make the “accused” think you are doing your job);
  2.  Inflate prices (and use strange accents to backup the reasons for the exorbitant prices);
  3. Bad time keeping (for artisans, we go further in perfecting the art cheating your clients well with fake parts and substandard goods);
  4. Public transportation- the art of being an okada man, conductor and a danfo driver- [Due to the sensitivity of this sector, we also have voice coaching centres for the conductors and reckless driving techniques (for okada men and bus drivers)];
  5. Health is wealth, indeed (Providing health with no compassion).
And a many more other trainings bound to make you perfectly Anyhow, thereby fit for Lagos.

Here is a comment from one of our satisfied customers:

“Hello all, My name is Peter Busayo-McPhillips. I am 39 years old. My secondary education was at Atlantic Hall, Lagos State, A-levels in Eton College, after which I attended the prestigious St Andrews University, United Kingdom and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Classic. I come from a family of distinguished lawyers & professors.

After twenty years living in the United Kingdom and  France, I had to move back to Nigeria to join my sibling control the family's business (we mange a chain of hotel in 
Lagos, Port Harcourt & Abuja). 
It was tough integrating into the chaotic Nigerian system. People took advantage of my good behaviour and ethics. Not until I came to the Guy- man- no- dey- come- Last Finishing College Lagos.

Now I know how to shout “your father” in traffic.
I once bashed a danfo driver, gave him a slap and even screamed “do you know who I am” (when I was the one at fault). 
I now know how to stylishly switch on my hazard lights  & join the convoy of siren vehicles (to beat the traffic) . 
And even though I am married, I still provide Aristo services to two girls currently in the University.

Whilst living the United Kingdom, my dream was to change Nigeria. I hoped for the day Nigeria would rise to its rightful position as the Giant of Africa. That is no longer the case. All the money I make, is going towards the house I am building in Bishop’s Avenue- London. I support all the politicians (even when I am sure they don’t have a clue what they are doing) as long as they give me deals. I owe my employees six month wages. But who cares; it is all about the money for me!

Thank you Guy-man-no-dey- come-Last Finishing College Lagos; for saving my life”.

So there you have it.
Next time you meet a friends based abroad intending on relocating,  anytime you visit those butter children who attend those private (sort of boarding school) Universities who just got a job on the Island and wants your advice, when you encounter someone who wants to move to Lagos from other states within Nigeria, but hasn’t got a clue of how messed up this city is, spread the word:
With Guy-man-no-dey-come-Last Finishing College, YOU CAN’T COME LAST IN LAGOS”.

Guy-man-no-dey-come-Last Finish College -Eko oni baje o!