One birth and two funerals

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The anniversary of Jesus’ birth has just been celebrated, someone I knew recently answered God’s call and my mum’s funeral is been organized. The burial ceremony has been fixed for mid-January in the villa.

Last contact with mums was on the phone two days to her demise and in the flesh about seven weeks before d-day. I cried when I saw the body…all swollen with the face hardly recognizable. It’s excruciating thinking of how her final moments were. My mum always was an extremely careful driver and a conservative vehicle owner; it’s ironical that she died in a car crash. The experience sure has made me extra aware of the losing a parent/your parents reality.

I’m some how tired of all the talk that I have to do…or that is done during condolence visits. I wonder how the village talk is going to be like…you know speaking Igbo and ish. The condolence visits can be quite inconveniencing when they're long. At times I wish people would just tone down on the outward expression of sorrow, give gifts and be gone. But I don’t blame them though, I understand that they’re just trying to show that they’re touched by our loss and their hearts are with us.

I hate the fact that a lot of money is about to be spent. Why can’t we just keep ish simple? It still would be befitting. Damn the flamboyant African ceremony culture…it’s quite annoying considering the fact that I’m a young man still trying to find his feet and in need of money to get started independently. Them ceremonies (weddings, title takings, burials, festivals) are really nice though…especially when you ain’t footing the bill unwillingly.

I’ve discovered that I’m not in love with events planning (especially the financial aspect) as much as I thought I was. Managing people ain’t as easy as it appears. Responsibility is an eye opener…Amodu, Onigbinde, Chukwu, Eguavoen and Siasia are waste pipes. Ok, talk is cheap; go get management baptism with a high school football team first. It’s a humbler. Also organizing on an unfamiliar terrain will pose some challenges. I mean, me organizing ish in a village I’m not too familiar with...uhm. God dey, I’ve got a requiem speech/poem to write; be safe!

Black Jesus…Birth, death et al

Album review: “don't hate” by OD

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“Don’t hate” is the sophomore effort of Kaduna born, Abuja based rapper OD (Overdose), who without doubt is one of the illess punch line emcees this side of the Niger. With the folding up of Paybacktyme records where his debut album was released, dude pitched tent with KD World Records to release his first album in five years.

Album Details

Original Release Date: 2006

Number of Discs: 1

Format: Explicit Lyrics

Label: KD World Records

Production: Mostly by Jamix, with Mista Seth, G-Lynx, Callen (Jeremiah Gyang) and OD himself contributing.

Guest appearances: Sasha, Terry Tha Rapman, KB of The Trybesmen, El Dot, Modenine, Black Solo, AT and Sound Sultan.

Track list:
1. Intro
2. Don’t hate featuring AT
3. Take it all
4. Groupie luv featuring Terry Tha Rapman
5. No be today featuring Sound Sultan and Pherowshuz
6. Get down
7. Here wiv me featuring Sasha
8. Run far away featuring Black Solo
9. FCDA radio (skit)
10. Tha hottest in tha building’ featuring KB
11. Don’t hate (remix) featuring Modenine and El Dot
12. Skit
13. Every day featuring Terry Tha Rapman
14. Tha game featuring G-Lynx
15. Go Slow featuring Black Solo

Favourite tracks: On every listen “don’t hate” (the lead single and album title) invokes some really gritty hardcore hip hop feeling in me. On the dark sounding track OD tells his critics that despite what they may think he’s comfortable with his foreign like rap style. It’s got a nice rhyme-along chorus featuring a one-two with AT, his pal from way back. “Every day” gets continuous repeats on my deck. It’s a satirical song depicting the party, materialistic and womanizing like theme of many contemporary songs by Nigerian hip hop artists. While on “tha game” OD lets out some steam on the current state of hip hop in Nigeria, ably complemented by G-Lynx (the producer) on the chorus who gives the song a nice soft rock feeling.

Criticism: The songs that did it for me are “don’t hate”, “every day” and “tha game”. While most of the others follow the tight-punch-lines-on-an-uninspiring-beat-with-a-lackluster-chorus pattern. The FCDA skit was completely unnecessary. After several listens I’m of the opinion that OD didn’t do enough to shut up his critics because despite having full artistic control of the album most of the songs still turned out bland. On a different artistic level the CD’s jacket design wasn’t too bad.

Rating: My rating for the LP on a scale of 5 is 2.5.

Sample: Listen to “don’t hate” featuring AT

Links: More info on the album available at http://www.africanhiphop.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=78885#78885

Contact info: +2348050370746, dukeargon@yahoo.com and http://www.myspace.com/dukeargon

Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musician. It is more of a promotional tool rather than an illegal file sharing means. However, if you are an artist or a label represented here and you would like your music removed let me know and it will come down immediately.

I'll miss you ma

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Just came back from Benue…hoping to get back into ABJ life, the election fever and blogging (got loads on my mind). But I guess stuff is going to be different now. Lost my mum yesterday…car accident…just finding out…God knows best. I’ll miss you ma…

Edit (20th December, 2006)

I just want to say thanks and God bless to all (online and offline) who commiserated with me on the death of my mum; It sure did mean a lot to me. Her passing away came as a shock to me and I’m still grieving but life ain’t over and I still have to air out this little blog bits which have been in mind for long.

You know how some people think that when you’re born your destiny is already mapped out by God, well I object to that. I think God creates us and gives us the freewill to do as we please. Right or wrong it’s our choice, determined by whom or what influences us. God just sits back and watches the show and intervenes when he wants to or is called upon too. God finishing homework on our fate before hand, I don’t subscribe too…that would probably bore him out.

Still on destiny, I don’t subscribe to the thought that we have only one true life partner and thus won’t get the best out of life except it’s with that person. That’s small mindedness. I believe God gives us the freedom to choose from a range of people who are compatible with us, and all things being equal we can blossom with any of them. This is evident from your past really great relationships; it’s just a pity that they didn’t work. There’s always hope of another for the widow, widower or broken-hearted.

Talk about displeasures and men who give all the attention to the girl (ogle) when both sexes are before them comes to mind. The scene in the Mayor’s office in the film: Barbershop 2 is a good example of this. Yeah I know of the opposite attraction thing but hey this is a meeting of three not a dinner date of two. Such men probably had it tough growing up and thus can’t win girls fair and square without the use of the executive shine.

Ironic instances: lepa (slim) girls who fuss over food. "TRAE you’re lazy, you ain’t doing enough work…TRAE all you do is eat…TRAE don’t finish the food oh…TRAE I’m hungry stop disturbing me". Funny thing is unlike Eldee of the Trybesmen I eat well but I ain’t fat, I work hard and enjoy my meal hard; but they work loads yet have little appetites. Quite unfair don’t you think? Anyways there were always wonders in life.




Last word: many “mum” and “missing you” songs exist; the lyrics are often too theatrical but no doubt about it I sure do miss my mum…she went too soon.

Job is done, raising ghetto kids in the hood/
You was my strength to carry on and now I'm good/
Job well done, you live through your sons and your grandchildren/
Jesus finally got his bride, mummy dance with him/
… (From the song “dance” by Nas)

To Sir with Love

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I confess that I had serious fears about teaching because save for minor tutoring of friends and relations on different occasions I’m seriously inexperienced in the field. But now I’m more confident, and sadly it’s partly due to the fact that the students I’ll be working with ain’t educationally sound (it won’t be an intellectually challenging job). The general standard of schools where I’m at is low. The students are so knowledge hungry yet so slow on the uptake. They were never given a solid educational foundation; the second-rate training repeats itself in the primary and secondary schools so they end up being merely “learned on paper”. I guess lack of finance is to blame and when one grows up in a community of non eggheads one can never reach his full intelligence potential.

Teaching as I see it is basically explaining what one knows to others. What you give your students they imbibe; you become the Alpha and Omega...students are so manipulatable! Anyways looking back at things now I feel that I could have done a much better job than some of the people who taught me when I was in school.

But talking about the present you should see the way I’m respected here. Good morning sir this, excuse me sir that. It’s all new to me and it’s a really pleasant surprise. Another pleasantry is going to be having a room to myself for the first time in my life! On the unpleasant side is the fact that there’s no strong FM radio or TV signal here! I never taught I’d find myself in such an information poor situation :(. Anyways thank God for compact discs. Hip hop album check: Modenine’s “Pentium ix”, check; Freestyle’s “free at last”, check; OD’s “don’t hate”, check and Pherowshuz’ “House of raps (rap-representaTIVs)”, check. I sure do hope to have a “SOUND” service year :). Nice play on words huh ;)?

And for the really unpleasant: we’re “loosing” a lot of quality bloggers in the Nigerian blogosphere; it pains me a lot. Back in the day it was Teju Cole, Obifromsouthlondon followed suit weeks back and now it’s Sir Aihammed Delot. Because of that let me put you up on some (if you're down with the blog thing). Your blog is meant to complement you and not to stress you. What I’m saying is blog easy and on your own terms. And please don’t put stuff that’s too personal online or stuff that you’ll regret later…especially when you’re not blogging anonymously. The internet has a very good memory you know...Ok class dismissed, i'm out.

To Sir with Love; great book, great film.

And time stood still

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My state of mind as I type this is like it is when listening to a goddamn beautiful song from the past. You go back in time to a period so wonderful and unforgettable that you feel like savouring or seizing the moment and putting it in a timeless jar. You shed a tear when you realise that time can never stand still.

Date: 26th September 2006, afternoon hours in Gboko. Benue State Batch B, NYSC Orientation camp closing day. The impressive passing out parade graced by the deputy Governor just ended. Photographers anxious to de-stack are working on the double trying to convince corpers to collect their unclaimed pictures for half the price. All types of buses and taxis with their destination written on cardboard papers and smartly stuck on their windscreens litter the camp ground waiting to convey corpers to their place of primary assignment. Corpers themselves are doing a last minute property check. Bags now stored in a safe place temporarily or strapped on the shoulders everyone proceeds to fall in by number (form lines) one last time to collect primary assignment posting letters.

Excitement is in the air and Jokes on possible postings are sprayed back and forth. Finally the unknown becomes known. There are screams and shouts of joy, unhappy faces and indifferent ones in equal measure. Phone numbers are exchanged and question and answer sessions start all over the place. Suddenly everywhere starts to look like one noisy Jankara market scene. Ironically as I valuably gathered in the next three hours here is to turn into a graveyard. A total contrast to the activity ground it has been for the last three weeks.

The mammy market people and the locals watch us in amazement. Wide eyed like kids deeply engrossed in ant colony observation. Business is effectively over for them, they’ll miss the money but they’ll miss our company more. I find a seat at one of the joints, away from all the madness and I notice the Madam in charge is at the point of tears. Her facial expression is a mixture of fascination and sadness. Fascinated like a student just put through on how to solve a hitherto hard and time consuming maths question and saddened like a newly wedded bride whose husband has just being carted away to join the army.

The saying goes that on this day all three week romances end and all contracts are effectively terminated at the camp gates. I observe a love or lust struck girl following her hunky boyfriend about like a small kid does his mother as he makes his moves to leave the camp. And I shake my head and ponder the wonders of the human hormones. I got involved in a three week old…or two week old relationship as well and later on I’d have a rather formal parting with B. A poor ass one compared to the parting kiss of Chinedu and Joan of Big Brother Nigeria on eviction day.

Corpers bid farewell to each other, friendship crews are dissolved and everyone, the popular and unpopular on camp alike, goes scampering about looking for a ride to help them kick start the next stage of their service year. I munch my buns and gulp down the last bit of my Fanta Orange drink and then I bounce…or literarily hop on the bus. Vex not that it wasn’t the traditional parting whisky shot, I’m drink shy.

The Matrix’s “bullet time” move is the perfect example of time standing still. Brilliant!

The “in memory of the money” song

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I’m sure some of you are familiar with songs and memories. As in when ever you hear some songs it reminds you of certain periods, people or event in your life good and bad. It makes you want to shed a tear or smile. The songs I’m working with now on that level are “obodo” the remix by Nigga Raw, “imagine that” by Styl-Plus and “jogodo” by Professor Linkin. I heard those songs over and over again, like a hundred times each day at the various joints in the Gboko NYSC orientation camp. And I equally bumped my head, tapped my feet, sang along or danced to them like a hundred times (the thing about this kind of scenario is that at times you either get sick of the songs or you grow to like them by force). That says so much about the Gboko DJs’ taste and the variety of jamz they have in stock.

The Nigerian job market is one big fear and challenge for graduates; it fucks with you big time. For the guys as a graduate you’re seen as “promising” so you have it some what easier with the ladies, but it’s not the case when you ain’t earning. You loose taste in chicks because at this stage they’re more of an unwanted expense than a lover/friend/f*ck buddy/friend with benefits. Job wise yours truly has been condemned to teach in Benue. It’ll be good as I’ll get the chance to make an impact in the lives of teenagers and it’ll be a nice life lesson/experience (but I never was low on experience and I believe I’m an all rounder who does a good job of adapting to the posh or hard life extremes). But career wise it ain’t shit and it’s more like a one year waste.

In that light self-employment really is the way to go. It’s all about having a winning idea and adequate funding. But it’ll require patience, intelligence and hard work. Me I want to be on that ish, the “your own boss” levels. With that mindset it bothers me when I see people my age or slightly older than me still in school (early college years), still content to be largely dependent on their parents, and flaunting about living the extravagant life when they didn’t personally work for most of what they’re enjoying…E don do, pens down. Right about now the “in memory of the money” song will start playing. Can you hear it?

A September to remember

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I spent the better part of September in Benue state and as others before me (one of whom was Uche Nworah, he served in the same state thirteen years ago) I’m glad to say it was one of the best three weeks of my life. Some of you guys were all AIDS and HIV before I left but all I can say is I had me some good pounded yam…but over there they do produce an awful lot of coffins though.

The orientation exercise held at the Government Secondary School Gboko and I won’t be far from the truth if I said I enjoyed every single moment. Yep: the drills (jogging, marching, field exercise, endurance trek and military lifestyle), the snapping of random pictures, the social events (cooking, dancing, shows, football, volleyball, cultural dance and drama), the lectures, the mammy market chillings, the registration and allawee line hustles, the early morning wakes, the Gboko youth business sense; damn that was the life. I participated actively in camp and in my platoon activities. In fact I was sort of a busybody…in a good sort of way though. I read my platoon’s morning meditation (if you consider the fact that we had ten platoons of about one hundred and sixty five corpers each it’s something to be proud of) and I acted in my second drama ever, getting what you could call a standing ovation. Dude my platoon rocked, it’s a pity that the divisions for the rest of the service year is all about LGAs (Local Government Areas) and zones.

In the past three years I’ve never gone more than five days without accessing the internet but in Gboko I spent three weeks offline with only occasional newspaper reads for info and I didn’t feel like I was missing much! Mixture wise for every two female corpers there were three male corpers; the Yorubas dominated and some Muslim chicks with their hijab on 24-7 was something else. But we all had fun, shit felt like one Nigeria. I’ve never made so many friends or met so many “correct chicks” in such a small space of time like I did in my Gboko stay. And it was easy because every one was in a friendly state of mind. For the guys if you couldn’t step your game up during that period than believe you me you’ll never be able to do so anytime or anywhere else!

Upon leaving the camp the Batch A corpers in Ukum LGA (where I was posted to for my primary assignment) transported, housed, fed and guided us on our next moves. That was pure love right there, especially as we were no better than illegal immigrants who just came into new land at that time. It’s a favour I’ll never forget. Now that the camp is over I wonder how I’ll spend the next eleven months in Zaki-Biam (the town made headlines in 2001 for its massacre by the Nigerian army). Anyways if Mandela is still breathing after twenty seven years in prison then I guess all will be well with me.

Holding the NYSC flag on Mount Mkar (destination of our endurance trek), 21st September, 2006

trae_z has left the building

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Technically I’ve not yet made my exit but by Tuesday September 5th I should be off to the Benue State orientation camp for my one year youth service (National Youth Service Corp-NYSC 2006 Batch B).

A while back I used to be excited about the service thing. I had done my home work on what to expect and I was more than ready to go. But now I’m kind of far from enthusiastic. Minus the three weeks orientation camp fun, the shakara you get to do with your khaki and the little privilege and respect bestowed on you as a corper the scheme is basically a continuation of your suffering while in the university. (NYSC = Now Your Suffering Continues). Especially for us guys. We’re to spend one year working our butts off while collecting peanuts as salaries. The word “cheap labour” comes to mind right?

Anyways I’ve learnt that it’s all in the mind so I’ll try and proceed with a positive spirit. Hope to get to know more about the country, contribute my own part to nation building, make some new friends, grab some happy hours and make that money. I don’t know how the cyber situation will be in camp so I can’t say if I’ll still be regular online. But while i'm away you know the drill: say your prayers, brush your teeth and keep the peace ;). By the way where’re the good people of Benue State at? You know the number, holla at your boy.

My bro who'll also be serving designed this website www.nyscbida.5u.com for NYSC Bida zone (Niger state). Check, check, check it out. I don waka, peace!

Hey Beyoncé, wanna sleep in my T-shirt? My dad owns Nasir Yakubu Shipping Company you know :)

Julius Aghahowa and victimized Nigeria

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When life fails you be sure that your football team will follow suit. Famous words made known to me by Mr Soccer for Suckers. But now I’m experiencing a pain of another kind; the pain of seeing your favourite player being gradually phased out from your national team. In my case Julius Aghahowa being the player and the Super Eagles of Nigeria being the team. Aghahowa’s name wasn’t included in the team list for the Nigeria-Niger Ghana2008 Nations Cup qualifier to be played in Abuja on September 2nd. Coach Eguavoen doesn’t seem to like him or to be political correct thinks his time is up. But this is made all the more painful by the fact that Obafemi Martins has been getting an undeserved starting shirt in the last few games the Eagles have played. I know that it’s the normal sequence for most players (You know there’s always a time to rise and shine and a time to bow out. At your peak you’re boy-wonder but than months or years down the line you’re doing a lot of training but no playing and it goes down hill from there) but I just can’t seem to get over it. I’ve loved Aghahowa since his Nigeria’99 days; he grew on me probably because he dons my favourite number: 17. But no doubt about it the guy delivers. No other Eagle since let’s say 2000 has made a career out of scoring when it matters and scoring really crucial goals! Evidence abounds: the Nigeria-Senegal game in 2000, the Nigeria-Sweden game in 2002, and the Nigeria-Gabon game in 2005 to name but a few. That’s why he’ll be remembered for years to come.

By the way big ups to our Under-20 girls doing us proud at the ongoing FIFA tournament in Russia. The last minute win against Canada was sweet! Beautiful goals, beautiful and feminine girls for a change, plaited hair which allowed ease of play, “youthful looks”…what else can I say? Bring the damn cup home girls!

This article by Aba Boy and the comment flow in it between Chxta and Errata motivated me to go on this roll. Minus the fact that we speak the same language with the US and England (thus we’re more in each others business) our large population of over 120 million people is the other major reason that adds to our being easily victimised (given a bad name) as a nation.

Let me break it down for you. A large population = a greater chance of a richer economy = more importance on a global scale = foreign influx and citizen out flux = more international media local headquarters = more news time = more bad press. I mean when last did you hear a story about Equatorial Guinea? There’s more: as a parent when are you more likely to get a call to report to the station that your child is in police custody; when you have two kids or when you have seven kids? When you have seven. You guess correctly.

But it’s a pity that as Nigerians ourselves we’ve allowed the negativity to possess us. I saw a C-class celebrity, a guy from the Star Trek Talent Hunt Show performing on TV with a live band. I was naturally happy for him but I was gob smacked when I realised he was a Fela wannabe doing some Nigeria-bad-this-our-leaders-corrupt-that rhymeless, uninspiring singing. Don’t get me wrong he’s free to do that and he’s speaking the truth to an extent but when it reaches a level that you hit out at the nation solely to blow up and to score cheap points as being a conscious artist then something’s wrong. In the same vein when one makes a career out of seeing only the negative than something must also be wrong. A bad story, oh goody-goody something to blog about, a good story oh boring not blog worthy. I know a few bloggers like that. They’re good but too damn one-sided. I eat up their shit light heartedly and balance it with other info if not I’ll end up a pessimist.

Nigerian Presidential election/candidates 2007: my two kobos

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We’re nearing election time in Nigeria. And so in the spirit of the season I’ve drawn up a list, made up of people who to the best of my knowledge have declared for the presidency, those I think are serious contenders for the presidency and those who in my opinion are worthy to hold the highest office in the land. The analysis and opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone and are based on what I know about the people in my list. The criteria I used in ranking are 1) charisma, 2) eloquence, 3) intellect, 4) accomplishment, 5) political experience, and 6) election success possibilities. The ranking is in descending order of worthiness and voting possibilities. By voting possibilities I mean the chances of me casting a vote for them at the polls. Yep I voted in the 2003 elections. On that note let’s rumble!

D = Declared. Those who have declared their intention to run for the presidency
ND = Not Declared. Those who have not declared their intention to run for the presidency
WVF = Won’t Vote For. Those that you won’t catch me voting for

1 – Nasir El Rufai (ND)
Presently the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, El Rufai has done very well in office and has made Abuja a much better and orderly place to live in. Although in the course of his work he has also rendered thousands homeless and jobless, something his opponents are quick to point out. But in a place like Nigeria an attempt to restore order unavoidable means you’ll step on toes and make some unfortunate people suffer. All in all the man is intelligent, hardworking and eloquent and would make a really good president. Besides he’s familiar in political circles and in the media so he’s good to go.

2 - Dora Akunyili (ND)
Presently the Director General of NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) Dora Akunyili is a blessing to the nation and a wonderful worker indeed. Rendering the magic she did in NAFDAC to the whole nation would be fantastic. No doubt about it she’s presently the most popular female in the country; she’s brave, bold, upright, intelligent, a feminist’ dream come true and indeed a great material for the presidency.

3- Donald Duke (ND)
Presently the Governor of Cross River State the Youngman is charming but more importantly has done an excellent job in his state environmentally and tourism wise. Donald Duke has a sort of clean slate and has not involved himself in the religious or North-South bullshit that possesses a lot of Nigerian politicians. Of the thirty six governors in the country he’s most suited to the presidency in my opinion.

4 – Orji Uzor Kalu (D)
For reasons best known to President Obasanjo, Governor of Abia State: Orji Uzor Kalu has been seriously victimized in the life of this administration and I’m really bought over by his courage. In these days of EFCC swoop if he’s really bad why then has he not being brought down. Take nothing away from him the man has done well in office scoring major points in sports (football) promotion and has good business acumen. He’s one of the major Ndigbo leaders and the most realistic option for Igbo presidency. But unfortunately outside of the South East he might struggle for votes.

5 - Peter Odili (D)
If you’re talking of Governors in the good books of the president, Peter Odili Governor of Rivers state will be amongst the first names. He’s in the media a lot and seems to have done well in office. But some other people will tell you that the phrase “all that glitters is not gold” aptly applies to him. Nonetheless in these days of pro South-South presidency he’s the forefront contender.

6 – Buba Marwa (D)
Retired Brigadier-General Buba Marwa who hails from the North but did very well as Military Administrator (in the military years. Equivalent to Governor) of Lagos State is one to be taken serious with in the presidential race. Presently an astute businessman (although it seems he benefited from the years of military financial misrule) he’ll make a really good consensus candidate. If he gets the blessings of the kingmakers he could really sweep the polls.

7 - Jerry Gana (D)
Before Femi Fani-kayode and Frank Nweke Junior there was Jerry Gana. The man who people say is a Chameleon has survived many administrations as a high political office holder. Presently he proclaims he’s born again and uses it as one of the core points of his campaign. Personally i'd say he’s not such a bad choice for president and as a Northern Christian who is popular in the media he stands quite a good chance at the polls.

8 - Pat Utomi (D)
Pat Utomi is the Director of the Lagos business school and one of the heads in Nigerian economic circles. But me thinks he’s dull, lacks charisma and is the greatest enemy to his own current affairs TV program: Patito’s Gang. He shouldn’t dream politics and is better off continuing in his present career. But if you go by opinions in the other school of thought he’s a gem whose brains is needed in the administration of the country.

9- Chris Okotie (D)
The greatest if not only quality of Reverend Chris Okotie is that he’s a man of God and so will rule the country in a God fearing and upright way. But his opponents say he’s more of a businessman then a pastor. Currently and in the near future he has no realistic hope (especially in the Muslim North who might be uncomfortable with him) of being president but he relentlessly pursues his goal (he stood for the elections in 2003).

10 - Rochas Okorocha (D)
The only thing that can be said about Rochas Okorocha is that he’s a Youngman with money to spend. His campaign strategy is centered on the fact that he’s a philanthropist (which is in no doubt). Maybe if elected the national cake will be distributed more evenly and the poor would get a better share.

11 – Abubakar Atiku (D, WVF)
Abubakar Atiku is the current Vice President but unfortunately is not in good terms with the President. Thus he faces an uphill task in his quest to step into his boss’ shoes. He’s also receiving heat from some section of the public who seem to hate him. In my opinion much of the hate is unjustifiable. But on his part he made little use of his opportunity as Vice President achievement-wise. His only notable accomplishment to date is that he was anti-third term and thus gave a lot of people courage to oppose Obasanjo’s sinister moves. He won’t likely run on the platform of the PDP and he won’t likely win on the platform of any other party.

12- Ahmed Sani Yerima (D, WVF)
Ahmed Sani Yerima is the Governor of Zamfara State and the foremost crusader for the Sharia legal system in Nigeria. An attribute which has made him the most Popular (popular as in everyone knows him) Governor from the North. There’s little else to say about him except that his presidential ambition will not be fruitful because he’ll get little or no support from the South.

13 – Bashir Tofa (D, WVF)
Bashir Tofa was M.K.O. Abiola’s opponent in the June 12 1993 presidential elections. Not much has been heard from him since then. And I don’t know where he suddenly woke up from but I think it’s in his best interest (financially) if he goes back to sleep.

14 – Muhammadu Buhari (WVF)
Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari is a former Head of State whose years in power were not at all wonderful. He’s also a known hardcore Muslim, an aspect which will work seriously against him in the South. He contested against the incumbent President in the 2003 elections, using the late Chuba Okadigbo (his running mate) as back up to see to his dreams. Personally I think he should quit bitching about his defeat and do something else with his life. He’s not worthy to be president at all

15 – Ibrahim Babangida (WVF)
Retired General Ibrahim Babangida a.k.a Maradona or The Evil Genius is a former head of state that’s famous for annulling the results of the June 12 1993 presidential elections. To this day he has refused to apologize or explain his actions and is thus unforgivable. A man who calls off a widely free and fair electoral process has no moral right to stand for elections in another one. Besides when he was in power he didn’t do much. His only friends in the media and in the public are the sycophants and the easily gullible and I don’t think he’ll declare for the presidency as a lot of people say he will.

Who rules the country come 2007? Your guess is as good as mine.

Extra: An animation inspired by this post.

Cocoyam Republic

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You must have heard about The Vatican, Neverland and the Kalakuta Republic. But it’s time to forget them all. Today I present to you the Cassava Republic…sorry I mean the Cocoyam Republic. It’s the land of the Wondering Wanderers nonetheless it’s not a place; it’s a state of mind. On this maiden tour of the Cocoyam Republic we’ll be exploring the issues of Orientation, Power shift and what to do when your company sucks.

I’ve always wanted to talk about this issue but the time was never right, but now it is. I’m really annoyed that no one ever took time out to orientate a brother, teach a kid a few things. In primary school quiet as I was I was always drafted into the debate team or one group or another. Little man as at then didn’t wholly grasp the relevance of a debate. Torturous as it was I went through all them stuff to make people happy. In my senior secondary years the words on people’s lips were JAMB UME and priesthood. Didn’t know what the heck JAMB UME was about nor did I understand the next line of action in the other lane: priesthood. How then did they expect a Youngman to have a purpose in life? I got to know the koko about JAMB UME in my final year and I’m still learning about the priesthood path. On to the university nobody properly schooled me on the course registration system or the result computation bureaucratic dynamics. Had to learn from my mistakes and some of them sure were costly. Sex education; forget it. The first time I heard the word sex from my parents was after secondary school when my Pops told me that I should be careful, because now if I "touched" a girl I could get her pregnant. Looking at all this someone might say I should not have been shy, that I should have asked questions and that way people would not have made assumptions. But my brother in this country children are to be seen and not heard. It’s not as easy as it seems. Presently most of the stuff I know is because I’m naturally inquisitive. The Internet has done a lot to feed my brain. People please take two and pass (teach someone). Life’s too short already; don’t make it worse for someone by letting them live in ignorance (ignorance which they’ll grow up to regret).

In these sharing of the national cake and rotational presidency days I wonder what’s up with hardcore power shift people. Don’t get me wrong power shift is a good thing; it lets a country get the best of both worlds at different times and it makes everyone happy. If fighting for South East presidency or for governorship to come to the North Central zone of a state it’s ok with me if you’re fighting because you know you’ve got a suitable leader to lead the country/state. But in reality most people are not fighting because they feel they’ve got the right leader, they’re fighting because they want a share of the national cake. Well politics is a dirty game so I guess it’s all good. But the part that really sucks is when I see a common man who has no links with any politician (Such that if an Hausa man, or a man from his town or Fidel Castro comes into power life will still be the same for him, he’ll still collect the same old poor salary) raising his voice and arguing loudly for power to come to a man from his place. Well what can I say, Nigerians love to talk politics.

Have you ever been in a situation where you know that the company you work for sucks? And to make it successful some staff would have to be done away with and fresh minds recruited. But the thing is that you’re in good terms with those that you think should be sacked and you wouldn’t want to see them out of their jobs. Plus when you go out and your company is being talked about on reflex you defend it/prop it. But in your heart you know the company sucks and that your competitors are way ahead of the game. Worse still you wish you were working elsewhere but you can’t leave because you’ve got no where to go. Ever been in such a situation? What did you do or what would you do?

The Cocoyam Republic...it’s all in the mind baby, it’s all in the mind.

Calling on Northern perfectionist

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Where are the Northern Nigerian intellectuals? The question came to mind after reading two articles from The Nigerian Village Square; which by the way is an excellent site. Someone might argue that the south controls the press and so the North is suppressed but what about the internet? It’s supposed to be no mans land but surprisingly of the blogs, forums and Nigerian portals I read input from people of Northern extraction is often minimal. Even a look at the Nigerian diaspora in Europe and Northern America suggest that numbers from the north are but a handful. Or could it be that since the North is predominantly Muslim they prefer the Arab countries? Or maybe it’s the simple mathematics that since they’re less literate there are subsequently less intellectuals? I might be going up North in a few weeks’ times so maybe I’ll find out for myself.

In light of the fact that a number of the Nigerian bloggers I read recently spoke on religion I’m seizing the opportunity to say my own religious bit. If one was born a Christian he’d love Christianity and think it’s the one true religion. If born a Muslim he’d love Islam and think it’s only way to go. Likewise if born a pagan like in the days of our forefathers he’d love his gods and think that’s the shit. Crazy ain’t it? But bro the fact is that religion is like college fraternities. You join and subsequently follow the rules of whichever you choose. All have unity in mind, all worship the same God and all have their various highs and lows. In fact the biggest bad of religion is that all claim to be un-contradictory and perfect as a way of life when in fact none is perfect. Don’t get me started on the imperfections, Google is your friend. The funny thing is as much as they have contradictions we still need ‘em. So do your thing people; for me I’ll most likely be found in the Catholic Church.

When it comes to male-female stuff it’s often the guy that initiates the topic for discussion and then both get chatting (especially when they’re at the getting to know each other stage). But there’s room for exception, we love a girl who keeps us captivated, listening, laughing and going with her flow. In fact I really hate it when a girl calls me and has nothing to say; you know expecting me to dictate the flow. Bitch you called, speak to me, stop making me look like a jerk, I’m not Dave Chapelle you know, I don’t get paid to talk. Wallahi such stuff makes me want to decree that if you ain’t calling me about money (money coming to me, if you’re a guy) or sex (if you’re a girl) then don’t bother calling me.

Perfection can only be found in football, music, pictures…things of that sort ;)

Children of the corn

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So I’ve been nine to fiving at a radio station for a week now. How’s it been? Ok…yeah ok. The highs: for a starter the free fast steady Internet access...yeah definitely that. Funny thing is that in Naija it’s the exception rather than the norm. The experience and knowledge being gained…priceless. It’s really a good way to set going in the industry. The music…music-library, damn! Songs I’ve being dying for are now suddenly all at my feet. God bless me! As for the lows…my friend you don’t wanna know.

During the week Chxta came through; second time meeting up with him. Along with his buddy funny-pimping Oria had fun moving round the city center. Something I hardly do, not that I ain’t outgoing but I’ve got other shit to deal with so I often don’t bother. See the pic below…cool!

Children of the corn: Oria, Chxta and TRAE

A man’s giving a speech at an occasion and he wants to talk about his wife and all that comes out is “and to my beautiful/lovely wife…”. Might not bother you but me thinks giving props to your wife with the only or first compliment being that she’s beautiful is kinda dumb…worldly. I know when it comes to marriage/relationships I’ve got my priorities in ladies well ordered. But for every other runs the dick/eye does the ordering. You know as men the first thing we see in a girl is beauty. If that’s covered then we look at other things…intelligence, humour, manners etc. Poor girls, gots to look their best 24-7 and touch their toes for pot-bellied guys. Talking about beauty fuck all the guys who say that Kemistry is ugly. For me she’s the best female Nigerian rapper I’ve ever heard. A listen to her song “shake ft Terry G” confirms that.

Stereotyping and tribalism is a bitch. We might not want to admit it but we’ve all got it in us to some extent. Hate it when Nigerians go into the tribalism debate. It’s all childish and unproductive cos in essence no one tribe is better than the other. It’s like arguing which are better, red or green apples. Blame the stereotypes in us on our parents, the society and the media that brings us up. Somebody tell me what the fuck you feel when you read this from a teenager on Nairaland in a thread where the aim is to declare your tribe:

uhhh?? Me Igbo?? Tufiakwa! (no offence to the igbo’s oo). But i am not Igbo.

Tufiakwa = “God forbid” in Igbo.

The future is now the present

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Two extra years in UNN, partially my fault/
But fuck it I’ve now got my statement of result/
Enough lessons learnt, give all praises to Jah/
NYSC next level, come September I ja/…one!


Interpretation: I’ve now OFFICIALLY joined the prestigious group of people with a first degree from UNN. I sent the above sms to some friends. Here’s my favourite reply; it’s from Stanclef:

Your next target, the labour market/
You’ve got your statement, the future is now the present/
Get a job, get married and raise rugrats/
Finally hommie congrats/…go get high


So I’ve got two months before service, seems I’ll be interning at one of the radio stations in Abuja. Let’s see how it goes.


Catherine: What do we do now, Nick?
Nick: Fuck like minks, raise rugrats and live happily ever after.
Catherine: Hate rugrats.
Nick: Fuck like minks, forget the rugrats, and live happily ever after


One of the classic movie quotes/last lines. It’s from Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas’ Basic Instinct. Talk about being pussy whipped.

WorldCup ’06…it’s almost over; just had to put in some of my observations. Have you noticed the alarming number of early goals scored in this tournament; particularly in the group stages and in the second round? By early goals I mean goals scored in the first ten minutes, and to be precise in the fourth minute! It almost became a ritual, game kicks off and I’m looking at my watch. Four minutes later, pronto! The net is shaketh. It’s really that easy…or is it?

Have you also noticed the glaring similarity of team jerseys? I swear it’s annoying; uniqueness has been thrown to the winds, as except for colour teams now wear virtually the same jerseys! There was no difference between the white jersey of the Swiss and that of the Tunisians. Both teams were kitted by Puma (the main offenders in this case) who kitted a total of twelve teams at this finals, all with the same design template. What ever happened to the good old France ’98 days when each team had a completely different jersey design from the other even if kitted by the same sports company? Uniqueness is a much cherished human value…what more when it comes to national pride it goes without saying.

Johan Djourou of Switzerland and David Jemmali of Tunisia

Has anyone resident in Nigeria being having GSM voicemail issues? Well I have, but this article really put me through. You might want to check it out. Just know that the default voicemail number for Globacom is 0805111 and that of VMobile is 08020100155.

Album review: “from me 2 u” by Dare Art Alade

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Dare Art Alade!

To be real with you I used to playa hate on the guy. I was like dude wants to use his charm and fame to sell records. Saw his well attended album launch on TV and I was like fuck it, he doesn’t deserve it. Yeah I’d heard a few of his songs but still wasn’t tripped, it’s until I saw his stage performance at the African Movie Academy Awards in Bayelsa State that I was won over. Excellent stage presence/performance and the songs weren’t bad either. After that I didn’t need much persuasion, I copped son’s album like it was drugs. After enough listens I can say the boy definitely has talent...plus a wonderful voice.

Being the son of one of Nigeria’s late musical greats Dare had a solid music foundation. Sang in the choir, started performing at shows early, worked on the radio and participated in an African reality-TV talent show: Project Fame. Finally some months back he came out with his 17-track debut from the stable of his Storm Records family. One thing to note about Dare is that although he sings he does so through a variety of genres. Rhythm and Blues, Hip hop, Fuji, Jazz etc nevertheless the album has a general theme of love, inspiration and dance. Production wise the tracks were laced mainly in Nigeria and South Africa.

Personally the tracks that appeal to me are (in no particular order): escalade, original Naija 1, fuji 1, sijioni, escalade part 2 and Youngman 1. “Escalade” is a soulful ballad that talks of a young man's desire to have a meaningful relationship with a lady regardless of his small cash flow. On “Original Naija” he’s simply saying he’s proudly Nigerian till the grave. “Fuji” is a certified party track expectedly with some fuji flavour. “Sijioni” is a love song to that special girl; the chorus is taken in some South African language and the verses in Yoruba and English. On “escalade part 2” along with some featured artists he’s saying something like this: “if you don’t like me because of my low cash flow, then to hell with you”. “Youngman” which was recorded years ago basically says yes I’m young and I’m African but best believe that I’m musically skilled.

On the down side, the album had a little too much variety. Reggae, Jazz, Hip Hop, Rhythm and Blues etc. it’ll really benefit him if on his next album he tries to be the master of one trade and not the jack of all. Also he seems to have been bitten by the Nigerian remix craze. Having two versions of Fuji with the only difference being the featured rapper is kind of dumb. The same thing applies to “Youngman”. Why remix it a second time with just a new set of rappers? What’s the point? The first version with El Dee and KB was just ok. The “original Naija” remix without the rap was to fill up space abi? But the thing that really ticks me off about the album is that it isn’t well mastered. Some of the songs are of different volumes and adjusting your radio while playing the CD can be annoying. After all said and done I give the album three and a half stars out of five.

Listen to “escalade”. More info on the artist and album available at www.dareartalade.com

Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musician. It is more of a promotional tool rather than an illegal file sharing means. However, if you are an artist or a label represented here and you would like your music removed let me know and it will come down immediately.

Album review: “hitsville” by Paul Play Dairo

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Paul Play on one of his former album covers.

After learning from Laide of the exschoolnerd's Xanga fame that “forever” by Paul Play Dairo was her and her boyfriend’s official song I kept my ears on alert. I finally heard the song on radio, fell in love with it, consulted with the gods and before you knew it Paul Play Dairo’s third offering since he blew up in 1999 was mine.

The songwriter, producer cum musician and son of the late Nigerian music legend I.K. Dairo must have been up to two things prior to recording the album. Firstly he must have been listening to a lot of Brian Mcknight, Carl Thomas and some old school Hip hop joints from the early nineties. And secondly he must have been like “to hell with the critics who said you can’t score unless you come in a traditional genre while singing in vernacular or pidgin”. That’s because unlike his former albums which had a fair share of Highlife, Juju, Ragga and Nigerian flavour on this album he was strictly Rhythm and Blues with one Hip hop track for effect. What more if not for the guest raps and the accent you probably wouldn’t know the album was Nigerian. Dude just did what was on his mind, the end product of which is a nine tracker released under the playgroundentertainment label (which includes two remixes) with a general theme on love.

Propelled by the smash hits “angel of my life” and “forever” (both of which have remixed versions) which are sure to send any listener into a love frenzy Paul Play shows with this album the depth of his talent in song writing and production. The voice is also great and couples are warned that after a night of hitsville, babyville often follows. As can be expected a few of the songs contain rap verses, Paul Play even dropping some himself in “crying in the rain”. The track “playground anthem” is the exception. It’s a rap song with Playground Entertainment’s own artists: Ruff Rugged and Raw having the rap honours and being on point while Paul takes the chorus. It’s a perfect Hip Hop song and along with “forever” it’s my favourite on the album. This ain’t really a biggie but for Nigerian standards the album design was tight.

Talking about the cons of the album I must say that for a producer an album with just seven tracks is quite pitiful. The two remixes on the album also sucked. They weren’t much different than the originals, just a minor instrumentals adjustment (to make it party worthy) and a change of rap verses. Seems it’s the latest Nigerian fad…oh dear. On the whole though the album rocks for me, on a scale of five I’m giving it four stars.

Listen to “forever” featuring Alibu and B Rite. More info on the artist and album available at www.playgroundentertainmentng.com

Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musician. It is more of a promotional tool rather than an illegal file sharing means. However, if you are an artist or a label represented here and you would like your music removed let me know and it will come down immediately.

Omo no think am!

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I’ve been being shuffling/reediting my posts of recent. The first two comments of this post are testament to that. But any which ways no think am, just enjoy the writing.

Dey don mark am say we go make am
Papa God don sign am say we do am
Na my destiny, so make you no think am


Have you heard that song? It might be rhymeless and might be the latest hit by a fluke-one hit wonder-Lagos ghetto boy but I sure am feeling it.

Translation:
It has been declared that we’ll make it in life
God himself has signed It that we’ll succeed
It’s my destiny so don’t even think about stopping my progress


Was feeling iree yesterday so I copped four albums. Dare Art Alade’s “from me 2 u”, Paul Play Dairo’s “hitsville”, Sound Sultan’s “the compulsory text-book” and Rymzo de Gusto’s “mysterious”. Oophs, they’re all Lagos based artist, anyways good music is good music. But I’m still waiting on a tight “rap” Nigerian album, I’ve seen no one worth coping yet (I’ve been meaning to buy El Dee of the Trybesmen’s album, but I can’t seem to find it). So is it a case of no one keeping it real rap-wise again, poor marketing or maybe I’m not checking the right music stores? By the way I recorded a song last week with a bunch of guys. But I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy. When I do I’ll upload it. Watch this space for follow ups.

The WorldCup starts today! But the problem is that the power situation in Abuja is at its all time worst. PHCN are so fucking unpredictable, they seize the power almost every day for at least five hours. Some years back we were really living it up in AMAC (Abuja Municipal Area Council) but now I’m sorry to say I enjoy more power at UNN than I do here. Kai! Anyways make I no think am, match viewing center na de very place to hit.

I know say you get issues and worse still Naija no go dey WorldCup but no think am, just enjoy the football

Obasanjo: An exit strategy

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Third term, tenure elongation…omo I don tire for the issue, dwelling on it just leaves me angry. So I’ve taken the siddon look approach. Part of which included watching the live transmission of its debate in the House of Reps on Wednesday (May 10th). I must say it’s been very interesting and entertaining. In my opinion laugh, fun and health wise being a legislator is far better than holding an executive post e.g. governor. Experiencing the communal feeling in the house is a thing to die for, it’s like you’re back in the university lecture hall with your course mates, this time your honourable colleagues from different parts of the country kicking convo back and forth on issues of common importance. Each rep is given about five minutes to state his stand on the constitutional amendment. Most of the speeches have been powerful, sensible and in some cases funny. There’ve have been a few boring ones. During and after each speech there are cheers, claps and boos depending on the camp of the speaker. I must say the better arguments have been from the anti-third term camp. From my calculations they’re also in the majority, so there’s hope.

Obasanjo: An exit strategy By Reuben Abati

We say it's third term agenda, they say its tenure elongation/
Naija we know is tender, it could have grave implications/
But when you’re power drunk you could do anything for an extension/
A double dose of funk and you’re indispensable to the nation/
The sycophants will hail you, go for three not just a pale two/
A close look at the AU, Museveni is the way to (way to go)/
But wise men still will tell you, leave when ovation is the loudest/
Cos when the shit don fell through, history’ll say that you lacked soundness/

How do i get this third term now, how?

Mister nice guy

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Two days back Ore was talking about information overload well for me I think it’s definitely music overload. I mean everybody’s dropping dope tracks. Dare Art-Alade (I can so relate with his “escalade” song…the things we do for girls. On the other hand my friend told me: “o boy kill the love shit, make your money first, the girls will always be there. It’s kind of true considering the fact that there’s no romance without finance), El Dee, Sound Sultan, Paul Play Dairo etc. So who are we going to listen to? The funny thing is that despite all this popularity most of our artists barely manage to survive. It's hard out here for a pimp...I mean for Nigerian musicians. And it’s all because we ain’t got the super rich and powerful record companies over here. In the States if you’ve got talent you’re signed (or if it’s mass appeal you’re still signed but provided with ghost writers). They’ll hit you with more money than you can spend; all you now have to do is concentrate on the music. They’ll take care of the rest: promotion, sales, welfare etc. but in Naija in most cases one person is the artist, manager, promoter, distributor at the same time. You’re survival depends on the number of shows you can rock. The ones who make it big have tight schedules: Lagos today, Abuja tomorrow, Port Harcourt at the weekend and a tour of the States or Europe to perform at that big Nigerian function next week. You’re seeing 2face, Styl Plus and PSquare everywhere abi? They’re the privileged few.

Since it’s all about me/I just bought me a V/this is TRAE to the zee/phone number number three/. That’s the text I sent out to some of my peeps to tell em I just got a V-Mobile line. Glo hooked me with their sms, V-Mobile with their voicemail, MTN with their...i don't know. It was the only option as at the time I bought it. It's gone now though. Least I forget our favourite GSM e-zine is back! More power to Sagai J. Adam.

It’s really kind of funny the hatred some people can have for you. If I was a Nigerian politician I’d say my life is in danger as the dynamic duo of Nubiansoul and Sokari want to assassinate me :) ... assassinate my character. In another way it’s kind of shocking. It's like an evil dictator versus activist scenario, where the activist goes to any length to see to the evil dictator’s downfall. Damn ma, agreed I have my short comings (but who doesn’t) but if you really get to know me you'll see that in truth I’m the harmless simple version of the mister nice guy brand (not to be confused with nice guy syndrome oh). Abeg live and let live jare. Thanks.

A letter to my younger self

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Many Nigerian bloggers have been on this “A letter to my younger self” stuff and I must admit, I like it! The basic idea is like this: "If you could write a note of advice to the girl or boy you were back then, with all the benefits of wisdom and experience you have now…what would you say?”. Well here’s what I would say.

Dear younger self,

It’s a beautiful thing to be alive, congrats. But the thing is that it passes by fast and you only get one chance at it; thus you have to make the most out of it. I write to help you out, to help you correct parts of our history which when you grow up to be me you just might not like.

1) Be studious, read your books, be a book worm. Read, read, read and read till you drop dead. Accept nothing less than a B in your courses. If you don’t understand something don’t be shy to ask for help from more knowledgeable people. Avoid procrastination and laziness; it’s good to be intelligent; in the long run it will really benefit you.

2) You'll be growing up in a temptatious world and it could be hard for you to overcome. If you must fall, know that there are chicks and there are chicks. Some ain’t worth it. Be like a lethal center forward; take all your chances with the classy chicks. Remember that a guy who can’t get some “real koko" is a lonely mo'fucker and can be prone to serious fuck ups. The only other option is to find God and forget bout “gettin’ some” till you’re married.

3) Try and have less embarrassing moments that you'd hate looking back at when you become me. You can do that by trying to be cool always. Learn from older folks and anybody/stuff with experience to share.

4) Stop being selfish and self centered. Be sociable, make more friends and be team player. That way you’ll really enjoy your school life plus it’ll make you an all round better person.

5) Don’t joke with your football. Make sure you are as good on the field as you are with Play Station soccer. That way you’ll live to reap the joys of playing football with the boys when you're older.

6) Make effort to be able to speak Igbo fluently so that you won’t get the chills when you’re amongst your kinsfolk. There is power in being multilingual.

Good luck little man
Your older self

What blogging and surfing of forums has taught me

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When it comes to laying out thoughts, Ayo Akinfe of the cybereagles forum does it in style. He’s a ten-pointer specialist! You might want to call me a copycat because for the second time in a row I’m dropping three-pointers in a blog post. This time on what I’ve learnt from my months of blogging and surfing of Internet forums.

1) I’ve become an all round better writer and (a faster) reader. No be lie man. Being all words you can’t be heavily into this blogging and forum stuff and not have improved literarily. It makes me want to beat the shit out of the TRAE of 2003. God know say I don dey blow grammer/vocab small small. Words like hackneyed, pontificate, condescending etc have now become commonplace to me. Chei! Illiteracy na bad thing.

2) My conversation skills have been polished. If there's one thing I’ve learnt in my years of Internet chit-chat/dialogue it’s that violence begets violence. You can't correct a person by abusing him. Your advice might be right but not going about it nicely only creates room for more acrimony. You hit, he hits back, you strike, he strikes back; it all goes on in one childish vicious cycle. Thus the only means of better interpersonal relations is to be civil always.

3) I’ve learnt to respect women. It’s not that I was misogynistic before oh! It’s just that you can’t be reading all this female stuff and seeing life from their point of view and not feel a thing for them. You know sexual harassment stuff, domestic chores stuff, employment opportunities stuff, childbirth and parenting stuff etc. But I’ll be truthful; my newfound respect is partially because of the many “feminist” on prowl. Stick to the script most of the time and just fall out of line for a second and they’ll give your ass a mighty public whooping. At times they just love taking it to the extreme. Now who said force wasn’t a good way of instilling fear and respect into people. And so the females have made a perfect gentleman out of me…but I ain’t without flaws though.

Blogging and surfing of forums sure has schooled my ass…I’m like the happy schoolboy

Third term observations

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So it’s my birthday today, I’m 23. Yeah yeah who cares; OBJ is 79 and is gunning for another four years. Ok I kid, I kid; dude is 69 and wants to be life President. Yep, we all got the third term blues. At times I wish I wasn’t so interested in politics and could just take the passive/siddon look approach. Anyways being that I am interested I’m going to roll out some of my observations on the third term issue.

1) Asking OBJ to continue for a third term in office is like asking Austin Jay Jay Okocha to continue playing and captaining the Super Eagles (defying age and despite all the bright young talent out there) for another four years. Agreed, Okocha is one of the best Nigerian players ever but without him we ended our WorldCup/Cup of Nations campaign on an excellent note and still went on to win bronze at Egypt 2006. Word is born Okocha is not indispensable to the national team. In the same vein in a country of over 120million people OBJ is not the only person who can run things well. And please don’t come with that stuff that the devil you know is better than the angel you do not know. What we’re fighting for is to get it into the Nigerian psyche that no matter how well (you think) you’ve done you should never overstay your welcome.

2) The NTA we’re seeing these days is slowly turning into the NTA of the 1998 era. Then everything was pro-Abacha. Abacha for president this, Nigeria needs Abacha that. Nowadays if the NTA is your only source of news you’d be fooled to think the nation overwhelmingly supports OBJ third term bid. But after thinking the issue over being that the NTA is the government’s baby it’s to be expected. Compare the NTA-OBJ situation to a large household. If something really bad happens within the household like a scuffle between sibling A and B and sibling B is left critically injured you don’t expect the household’s spokesman to come out publicly and rubbish siblings A’s image. Surely he’ll be admonished but being that blood is thicker than water it won’t be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The case would be acknowledged as an unfortunate incident but the dirty incidents won’t be washed in public, everything would be dealt with on the low low. Nonetheless NTA still owes it to the public to always portray both sides of the story.

3) The NTA issue can make you want to cry, but thank God for little mercies like the independent press. Yes kudos to AIT, Channels television and co for correctly feeling the pulse of the people. Political discourse phone-in programs on the stations lets us know that unlike the claims of Mantu and co Nigerians as a whole are anti-third term. There are other news outlets like the radio, newspapers and the internet but being that television is king it’s good that our leaders some of who don’t know better can at least know what the word on the streets is by simply switching channels.

Picture originally available at foolscap

Here comes the 23rd traeday

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I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: “The average human being has Mondays to Sundays, but for me...everyday is a traeday”. But when you talk of traedays April 17 is prime. Yes I’m turning 23 in ten days time. Kinda early to announce it but hey I don’t post that frequently so better early than never :). But this year I’m indifferent about my birthday. I’m not brooding about getting old and my failures thus far nor am I hyper excited about it. I’m taking it in my stride, its going be like any other day….well sort of sha. And being that there are so many tagging games going on in the Nigerian blogosphere I’m getting with the trend. Yes I’m tagging myself :). TRAE name seven things you’d love to achieve in your 23rd year.

1) Win the lottery and get myself a pimped out handset with all the works (camera, radio, MP3 player, GPRS etc), a laptop to die for and…a nice little car.
2) Be on the come up for real…i.e. commanding a steady monthly income of at least 100k for starters.
3) Get myself a down ass chick. i.e. a girlfriend who’ll always be there whether we’re flying okada (motorcycle) together to the park for a picnic or we’re on the plane together heading to Calabar for the weekend. Yes Rihanna, I’m ready to make you my girl. Holla at your boi!
4) Serve Nigeria and then move on with my life. I.e. undergo the NYSC stuff definitely in the September 2006 batch but if I miss that and end up not killing myself then in the March 2007 batch.
5) Live to see OBJ abort his third term plans and then have worthy presidential aspirants step up to the challenge in the April 2007 elections. You know really sharp and smart people with positive attributes. E.g. NAFDAC’s Director General Dora Akunyili.
6) Be at the stadium for at least one of Nigeria’s qualifying matches for Ghana 2008 dressed in full green white green regalia. If possibly an away match, Uganda versus Nigeria in Kampala would be lovely.
7) Get a verse on one of the hit Nigerian singles in the near future (i.e. being featured or being a guest artist on a song). Or alternatively cutting my teeth in the events management business. Specifically by taking part in organizing a tour, concert or show in Nigeria.

I know all in all I might be dreaming as if I’m to achieve any of my targets it’ll most likely be when I’m past 23, but it never hurt anyone to dream once in a while.

Now back to reality. I’ve being reading Chidi Afulezi’s diary. He’s a US born; Naija bred guy repping Owerri in the USA. Nwannem a nam ekele gi (forgive my written Igbo). The entries in it were made between 1999 and 2000. By today’s standard that was a damn good blog, probably the first ever Nigerian one! He should be like 34 now, possibly with wife and kids and earning them big bucks from his engineering stuff. On the real does anyone know what the brother is up to these days? Is he now writing else where? Anyways I’ll shoot him an email, hopefully he’ll get it.

Sorry to spoil the lovvy dovvy stuff with politics. But it was the best picture available to me as at press time :). Anyways I’m anti-third term. Why? Read the placard. One!

Man must wack!

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The phrase for today is “man must wack!” It’s Nigerian Pidgin English and it means the same thing as “person no go chop again?”, “man no go chop?”, “I suppose eat now”, “I gotta get paid” and “man must survive”. Now here are some examples of the use of these phrases in everyday human speech.

Some many wack guys dey this game of hip hop/
If you ask dem dey go be like: “ah ah man no go chop?”/

Massai in “onye kwulu oto…”

You gotta operate the easy way/
"I made a G today" but you made it in a sleazy way/
Selling crack to the kids. "I gotta get paid,"/
Well hey…well that's the way it is/

Tupac Shakur in “changes”

For real in Nigeria we’re using these phrases more and more everyday. We knowingly go ahead to do what we’re not supposed to do all because of the material gain that can come out of such actions. At times we’re pushed to do so by poverty, at other times it’s plain laziness and not wanting to follow the long but right way. I got thinking about this phenomenon because unlike before we’re now watching Nigerian films in my house like crazy. Ever since my younger sister started studying Theater Arts at the university it’s been all borrow this film this, attend this audition that. I must confess some Nigerian films are really good but the majority are crap, crap, crap (anyways, somebody please tell Stephanie Okereke that I think she’s sexy). But the fact remains that despite all the mediocrity, day after day auditions are being held, scenes are being shot and films are being marketed. Why is this so? The answer is “man must wack!” Let me spell out the “man must wack” scenario in Nigeria for you starting from Nigerian films.

-Yes the film industry is in a mess but it’s better to get a waka pass roll (be an extra in a film) and collect your #2,000 while waiting for your big break, then to keep on writing job applications. Or if you’re lucky get a minor roll and be paid #20,000. And knowing that Nigerian films are shot in one week you could actually collect that salary four times in a month. Now that’s something ain’t it? For the established actors they know most of the films they act are repeats but “man must wack”. And so they keep acting, bumping out a film every fortnight and smiling home with their 2 million Naira check every month. For the producers and marketers they keep putting out the below par films knowing that they can make a fortune by selling them in African where people are Nigerian film crazy or to Nigerians in Diaspora in North America and Europe where Nigerian films helps to kill the home sickness.

-Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu is also a fan of the “man must wack” phrase. As the chairman of the sub committee on the review of the 1999 constitution he went ahead to recommend three terms of four years for Presidents and Governors. And by what means? By a dubious voice vote. He backed up his actions with the claim that as a representative of the people he is only doing their wish. Crazy ain’t it? Because we all know that if a survey is conducted today, the result will overwhelmingly recommend that OBJ retires come 2007 and heads back to his Ota farm. But alas “man must wack”. Mantu and his colleagues in power must continue to collect their fat salaries, get the juicy contracts, move about the corridors of power, have people bow down to them and see their faces on TV and in the papers.

-Obasanjo’s mouth piece, Fani Kayode is another lover of the man must wack phrase. Before his appointment he never wasted time to point out the errors of the government. But now that he’s in the presidency he’s kissing major ass and regards OBJ as a god that can do no wrong. To justify his salary he’s ready to verbally harass anyone that questions OBJ’s actions or words. He very much reminds me of Daniel Kanu of the YEAA (Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha) fame.

-Chris Uba the self acclaimed God father in Anambra politics also knows what the “man must wack” phrase implies and uses it to his full advantage. For all his evil deeds to the people of Anambra and to Nigeria as a whole he deserves to be imprisoned. But instead he was readmitted into the PDP while Ngige was expelled and as being forced to leave the country after being dethroned as Governor. All this is because he’s financially useful to Anambra politicians, to the PDP and to the presidency.

-Also in this league are Nigerian girls, ladies or women. Right from their childhood their mothers have schooled them on what the “man must wack” (woman must wack) phrase means. Thus young girls forget about guys their age who really love them but ain’t yet made and go ahead to marry much older men who they hardly know, talk less of love but who are made. And in some cases marry such men as the second, third or fourth wife. Others become groupies. Yes we know it’s cool to fuck a celebrity but more importantly, it pays.

-And finally men of God in Nigeria. Particularly those of the non-Catholic, Anglican or Methodist type. Being that competition is high in the field, opening of their own churches is something that must be done to perfection. Not just because they love God and genuinely want to partake in evangelism but because “man must wack”. The more people you’re able to bring into your flock, the more money for you. As for me, I no go lie. E get as e go be man pikin go…. You know every now, “man must wack!”

“Man must wack” and so the rich keep enjoying the best of the harvest, while the poor keep doing all sorts of menial jobs to keep body and soul together

Album reviews: Marvellous Benjy, Resonance, Massai, Bouqui

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My man zero from africanhiphop.com said in one of his threads that a lot of us don’t do enough to support our local artists by buying their albums. I admit I’m guilty of that, so to set things straight I’ve copped some albums. Marvellous Benjy’s “take control”, Resonance’s “Chinwe Ike”, Massai’s “last man standing” and Bouqui’s self titled album. And now I think it’s only right that I drop little reviews.

Marvellous Benjy (take control)

Take control by Kennismusic’s latest signing Marvellous Benjy is a dance hall/ragga album. Liking some of his past and present stuff I bought it, but after feeling it I admit I’m quite disappointed. Minus the two great songs “swo” and “just a little” featuring Luccy along with their remixes (in both cases I prefer the originals) the other songs in the album didn’t really appeal to me. And for a producer/artist releasing a mere seven tracker (minus skits, intro, outro and remixes) is really poor. In a scale of 5 I’m giving it 3.5 stars. I wonder why Black Face wasn’t on the album, in the past they’ve done some good things together.

Play “just a little”

Resonance (Chinwe Ike)

Resonance is a rhythm and blues/hip hop gospel duo made up of a half-caste girl and a guy (a couple perhaps). The chick does the singing while the guy does the rapping. They’re very popular in the South East where their hit song “chinwe ike” is receiving massive air play. And for real that song is the shiznit, it belongs to the class of great Igbo gospel song’s like “ibu Chineke” by Kennismusic’s Slam. It’s the kind of song that makes lukewarm guys like me love gospel music. And did I mention they are (or were) UNN (University of Nigeria, Nsukka) and UNEC (University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus) representing. On to the criticism: an eight tracker album is really poor. And I think the CD would have been a whole lot better if it was filled mainly with her singing. She’s got a soft, sweet, angelic voice. The raps by the guy and other guest artist were just of the banal type...unimpressive. Truly she’s the active partner (makes Resonance what it is) while he’s the sleeping one. That said, in a scale of 5 the album gets a 3.5 rating from me.

Play "chinwe ike"

Massai (last man standing)

Massai a fourth year Law student is another UNEC guy. And like most albums by Nigerian youths “last man standing” his debut album is all hip hop. If you like 2shots and Biglo you’ll definitely like Massai, who with a thick Igbo accent raps mainly in Pidgin English with heavy use of Igbo vocabulary. The album is generally comical, has got party tracks (“onye kwulu oto…” and “hey hey hey”), social-conscious tracks (“in ten years”, “dance 4 mama”, “rite attitude”), a really good breakup song (“you left me”) and an overdose of girl-themed songs (“story to tell”, “oyi m”, “landlord pikin” and “this na UNEC”). By the way my boy Kenieflex is featured on “in ten years”. It gets a 4 star (out of five) rating and it's definately worth the price.

Play “you left me”

Bouqui (album is self titled. Bouqui is pronounced Bukky)

Nigeria lacks really good female rappers. A lot of those in the lime light don’t really deserve to be there. If they were guys they’d be in the wack or infant league (also true for female footballers). But after seeing so much Bouqui buzz online I decided to cop the album in hope of a miracle. To be honest I was quite impressed but someone should have told me that she’s a gospel artist! Unlike a lot of other debut artist it seems Bouqui had a lot of studio time (female artist always have a lot of benefactors), because minus the skits et al the album Is a 14 tracker! The down side is that there are one too many beat and chorus samples and the skits et al weren’t really worth it. My favourite tracks are “roll like that”, “major problems” (the beat reminds me Mase's "i really like it") and “dead man walking” (has a Dr Dre like beat which the Xzibit of the “restless” era would have done good justice to). Minus this three the other tracks are about average to me. On the whole the album gets a three star (out of a possible 5) rating.

Play "major problems"

All this listening and reviewing makes we want to go record. But I’m not motivated to write these days and in my present state I’m not ready for studio sessions.

Bouqui. Voice...nice, songs..not bad, looks...definately a knock out

Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musicians. It is more of a promotional tool rather than an illegal file sharing means. However, if you are an artist or a label represented here and you would like your music removed let me know and it will come down immediately.

Anonymous people

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I’m getting really addicted to reading blogs, especially those with a lot of personal stories to tell. It feels good seeing life through other people’s eyes and learning a new thing or two. But it’s a shame that I can’t be that personal on my own blog; I ain’t got it in boldness like some other bloggers. Worse still I’m not blogging anonymously so my ranting license is limited; how sad. I started blogging un-anonymously so I gots to keep to the status quo. It reminds me of the hint that one has to be careful about what you put online. Because after your stuff has been indexed a zillion times by Google and co; getting it erased off cyber space at a latter date is as hard as erasing the trauma of rape from an abused child’s mind.

That was some sad shit. But on the happy side I recently put face to another of my anonymous peoples’ name…Chxta. As is common in these cases what you conjure up in your mind is often not what you see. I thought he’ll be all big bros and shit and be a little too mature/serious minded for my liking but the Chxta I finally met was one chubby, cool and down to earth guy.

For those who don’t know, Big Brother Nigeria is finally on. I hardly ever follow reality shows or more correctly I hardly ever get the chance to follow reality shows. Things might change this time around though because I know two of the contestants (Maureen and Ebuka)! Maureen and I were mates at UNN. Matriculated the same year, were in the same faculty and even took a few courses together. But back then I was really on the low socially so up until the last time I saw her (late last year) it was basically all light chit chat. As for Ebuka he’s an old boy of CKC Gwagwalada, same as my bro and I. They still got a little under 90 days to keep doing their thing; I wonder how far they’ll both go. ***Shakes head, TRAE which day you join groupies them? ***.

Also we got “a first” coming up tomorrow. It’s the Hip Hop World Awards. It's the first ever awards dedicated solely to Nigerian Hip hop. Too bad that my ass won’t be in Lagos to witness the whole shit.

Maureen and Ebuka. My peoples: when I shine, you shine; when you shine, I shine. It’s all love.

The imperfect world

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Nah nigga I don't know, I don't know who got you/
I don't know who stabbed you, I don't know who shot you/
I don't know who cut you, I don't know who robbed you/
But you think I know cause you know how my squad do/


That’s 50 Cent on “I don't know officer”. You dumb fucks out there ain’t got nothing on me.

You might have recognized that I’ve been firing from all cylinders in the past few hours; forgive me. It’s just that a recent post on naijablog got me all angry. Dude a.k.a. Mr. Nigeria is at it again. He’s straight misinterpreting and dissing a chick, same thing he did to me some weeks back. Such stuff makes me want to ask him to hold his peace and leave the country if he hates it so much. In my case he started the whole falsities and then his good friend Black Looks took over. And man it hurt so bad. Black Looks a.k.a. Mrs. Activist (In reality she sucks at it. Her whole blog is a joke. Straight copying, pasting and summarizing. You’re a news editor now huh? Mam if you have nothing original to say I suggest you stop blogging) went ahead to brand me as being homophobic (for your info I do dislike homosexuality but I’m not exactly like “kill all homosexuals”) and misogynistic…one who’s canvassing for the raping of lesbians. She did the branding in posts and comments on her blog and on her beloved Global Voices Online. It just wasn’t fair at all. An apology would be a good way to start setting things straight.

Away from that now. I was going through my blog news aggregator like I love to do and stumbled upon this “soul on ice” post. Obi I’m totally with you. It reminds me of one of them Christian pamphlets I read recently. Story goes like this. There once lived a pastor and his son. They usually made the evangelism rounds together distributing pamphlets and preaching the word. Then came this very cold winter morning; dad opted out of the walk but son volunteered to do the rounds alone. As he was on his rounds he came to the house of an old widow. Son knocked, knocked and knocked until she finally opened her door. Son does his delivery and leaves immediately. Next Sunday widow goes to church to give a testimony. Says she was heartbroken over her hubby’s death, after which no one cared for her. Thus she was about committing suicide until son’s persistent knocks made her to go attend to the door. Son’s cheerful smile and the pamphlet he gave her with the bold title “God loves you” made her change her mind and give her life to Christ. Bullshit if you ask me. Very unrealistic to say the least. Can you imagine someone who’s really depressed suddenly change her mind for three words and a smile (most likely a fake one at that). Christians should stop spreading this “God loves you” stuff and instead start spreading the word “we/I love you”. What does a depressed person care about God? God that he/she cannot see. As is said: "God lives in us", therefore if we really care for her we would tell her that we love her and really try showing it to her in our words and actions. Also the habit of trying to make converts with "the world is coming to and end and damnation stuff" is straight bullshit. that’s intimidation. The main message should be that one should be good because it’s good to be good and not because one could otherwise perish in some eternal fire.

Enough said, I’m out

Bird pictures

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A lot of bad stuff has happened in the past months: Katrina, Tsunami, London bombings, Bellview-Sosoliso crash etc. And being that they didn’t directly affect me I’ll be like: “nna na wah oh, which levels na. Nothing do me sha, so no le le”. In line with that the bird flu stuff came and I didn’t really pay attention to it. Then all of a sudden I heard it has spread to Kaduna and even down to Abuja. The news finally hit me in the face when the FCDA (Federal Capital Development Authority) Development Control Department visited our street on Thursday 16th February. You see our Neighbours rear chickens, turkeys and goats in their backyard…while we (my mom to be specific) have a garden in ours. Who ask you sef? Ajayi work, no payment. Ok back to the story. Because of the bird flu scare, rearing of birds has been banned in residential areas in Abuja. Thus our neighbours are by law in the wrong and the FCDA guys came to set things right. Like joke like joke they raided our neighbours chicken coop dry! They took the chickens, dipped them into some chemical (most definitely poisonous) and then stuffed them in a bag. I felt our neighbours pain; another source of income gone in these hard times. And according to madam, she devoted a very large part of her salary into the poultry project. Now all her labour amounts to nought. I’m sorry if this is dumb. I know we gots to be careful and all, but them birds sure did look very healthy. It makes little sense to just kill them all like that. Me thinks they should have been taken alive, tested for flu and those healthy be returned to their owners or killed and stored in some government abattoir. The government’s say is final sha so I guess no more chicken meals for us. Oh well, who cares. I’m too broke to be a fast food addict (Biggs, Tantalizers and the likes). Ha-ha. The chickens were counted though, so there could be some compensation (maybe monetary or in form of chicks) in the offing.



I’ve always wanted to have a customized T-shirt/jersey. I’ve finally done so, thanks to the artistic brain of my main man Kenieflex. Picture taken February 15th.

Shorty calls me TRAE baby, the ABJ representer/
You know I love the ladies, give me chance and I go enter/
Brought up in the eighties, a real intercontinental/
Restless like I’ve got rabies, man I’ve seen both heat and winter/
Super Eagles shriner, I love Agha and Utaka/
I’ll turn down a Pathfinder for a chance to get onliner/
I hear music my head scatter, like hip hop, rock or even samba/
Rugged like an okada, fuck with me, o boy your father!/