Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meet Fatima

I see them everyday…stroll gracefully and make that call…my friends told me to try and do the same thing, but I feel shy! I am a lady…there more appropriate ways to inform your customers of your ware…besides, I dey school na!

I know there is the internet, but in this trade, that will get you nowhere. So I decided I will follow the crowd. I see Simi gallantly announce her presence without shame an
d customers flock her. I asked Simi how she does it, and she told me the secret: “Remember what you are doing this for”.
So, I propped myself early in the morning while having a bath. I recited my script all over and over again.

It was rush hour. Just like everywhere in Lagos, the cars moved swiftly, shifting from lanes to lanes during traffic. Something about walking on the road looking like me is the feeling of stage fright; and it did hit me. I couldn’t help having that feeling that everyone was looking at me. Tunde could be sitting in one of those cars. And what is most scary is- I might not get to see him when he sees me.

With the thought of Tunde, the words could not come out of my mouth. I thought about the social stigma. What about my friends laughing at me?

An hour passed: And the words did not come.
I tried again after two hours …I still couldn’t say those words.

After 4 hours, I had barely made any money. So I stopped moving to rest, watching as the city’s hustle and bustle and my ‘competitors’ beat me to it.

The traffic was heavy…this is Ojuelegba. Just then a bus conductor highlighted from a bus looking strikingly like my brother Abiodun, speaking with harsh voice and swearing profanely, with words I cannot even repeat….and I thought about my brother.
I thought about him not making it to school…because daddy decided he doesn’t want us anymore after he started seeing Aunty Carol.
I thought about mummy….all she has done to get me this far, final year in secondary school.

I imagined my brother being this bus conductor and the disappointment on my mother’s face and in an instance, the words came flowing out from me, as it did with Simi and everyone on the street with me in the same trade struggling for the next meal…….

My name is Fatima. I hawk bread. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Do things fall apart when they leave?

Think of a life & think of a poem,
Where everyone is a word.

A poem where a word is the thought that we bring,
The thought behind our work,
as we till the earth for substance,
It is the thought found in our essence,
the idea transmitted during interactions.

That word is who we are,
All look similar,
Yet perfect in our own ways,
And unique in our own expressions.

All part of that poem,
That poem that has been weaved up since creation,
Capturing the misery of the human experience,
An experience filled with love, hate, ambition, the quest to protect personal possession and a halfhearted desire to provide for the next generation.

Though every word released destines out to accomplish a personal purpose,
It is not aware that it's ways are being orchestrated by a Divine Being to flow in harmony with the rhythm of the times.

With this Icon passing, the tempo changes,
The poem has lost an essence,and even when replaced, the new never flows like the old.

With these departures,
the new words that are born ushers in a new era which is a new verse,
Changing the tempo of the poem, in the rhyme of life.

Dedicated to Professor Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, 16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Let this be the last Kim Kardiashian post you ever read

I believe encrypted within the DNA of the Kardiashian family is the phrase "any news is good news"...and their publicists know it. From sex video with Ray J to a 72 days wedding to Kris Humphries, Kim Kardiashian has provoked media attention with tales more daring/weird/annoying that the last. Each tale generates media hits as people curse and mock her pimp of a mum, plastic faced step dad, her not so Kardiashian sister, and the last girl (I really cannot be bothered to research her name)....while the family and publicists smile to the bank.

Behind the scenes, I believe there is a team of strategist looking for the most shocking story to push forward yet....I imagine a brain storming session in which someone raised his hand and said "I know what we do next....let her get pregnant for Kanye".
The story is announced and 50,000 people comment: some cursing, some defending, some saying they prefer her to her sister and other saying she is just unfortunate.... but all reinforcing the brand and ensuring that somewhere within our subconscious, that family remains alive (a trick that of course provides a platform for advertisement).

I personally think the family is an insult to anything decent....but it is amazing that even with my stance, I am somehow always informed of events in their lives (how I know of Kim's recent trip to Cote D'Ivoire &Bahrain to the firing of Khole from Xfactor beats me)and the public tension it generates...and this has remained the situation for the last couple of years.

Whenever you hear that she gets paid $10k for every tweet, was paid $500k for a 45minutes cameo appearance on a show in Nigeria, or even read posts like this one, be sure of one thing: the brand is further reinforced.

So next time, instead of clicking on that link and scrolling to the comments section to read the abuses when you see a headline you find damn right catching ("Bruce Jenner (the plastic faced step dad) has finally admitted he is from the planet Neptune"), just close your browsers, take a deep breath, reopen and look for the next unrelated Kardiashian topic available.

That is the only way to shut down the #Kardashian_industrial_complex.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

September 29, 2009.....

... was the date this picture was taken. Nothing special about the picture, but the emotions they hold..

We had been dating for 6 months and were on our way back to Nigeria after a two week vacation in the UK. Our flight to Nigeria was departing in an hour. We were unknowingly searching for something to everlastingly tie us to this moment...and there is was: a picture booth. 

'Click' said the camera my mind raced through the past 14 days. I remembered the dinner with friends, and time with family.
'Click' said the camera.....and realized I hope to feel like this forever.

For decisions making, I had always trusted my analysis. As an analyst I make decision based on criteria, evaluations, ranking and a range of models I was schooled on. The reason for a choice were always based on cost benefit analysis/SWOT analysis as they provide justification, to that which can be justifiedBut this moment was different. What can completely justify the choice of the right partner? Where will I source for information that will tell me the right questions to ask? How do I know what will happen to next, if we decide to take our relationship to the next level?

Just as the camera flashed, I was convinced that instance, she is the one. I didn't need my analysis....All thoughts on marriage I penned down in this article were of no relevance, neither concerns about my age, or financial instability. Like in a trance, all that mattered was..... that feeling
That feeling over time has opened up dimensions within that weren't previously possible. It enabled the creation of inner stability despite negative vibrations in my environment. And these are crucial things in life I never knew existed. If I had followed my model, I might never have realized this level of self-satisfaction existed.

In hind sight, calculations are effective at handling trivial issues. They work best when deployed within controlled environments. But as there a few environments in recent times were things remain constant ceteris paribus, something more concrete is essential. A higher level of reasoning and logic, is required to provide recommendations with much more certainty than from any analysis. A conviction with a clearer sense of logic capable of debunking doubts and concerns that may arise. From this encounter I discovered "it is only in the mysterious equation of love that any truly logical reason can be found"*.
# I_found_a_reason.

*Source of quote: John Nash from the movie "A Beautiful Mind (2001)"