Around Nigeria in eight days



This Okada (motor cycle) rider will probably make it from the school to the house (or vice versa) in eight minutes.

Around the world in eighty/80 days…I love the phrase, the cartoon and the movie. But for this blog post it’s more like around Nigeria in eight days. As you can guess I’ve been on the move a lot in the past few days, crisscrossing different places in North Central and South eastern Nigeria (six states in all in addition to the F.C.T.) that I’m almost beginning to liken myself to the PDP presidential campaign team in last month’s general elections.

These are the places I’ve touched: Abuja, Nassarawa (passed through Keffi, Akwanga and Lafia), Benue (Markurdi, Katsina-Ala, Zaki-Biam, Gboko), Enugu (Enugu, Obollo Afor, Nsukka), Anambra (Awka, Aguata L.G.A.), Ebonyi (Abakaliki) and Kogi (passed through Ayangba, Ajaokuta and Lokoja).

So what was the reason for my travels? Uhm…to attend to important matters of personal interest. Anyways here’s stuff I’ll rather talk about: contemplations from the travels.

From the much I’ve taken-in in the last eight days I think writing a book on the living, farming and public transport habits of people in North Central and South Eastern Nigeria is in line. Right now I’m a mobile uber store of knowledge that it’ll be a shame if I don’t bequeath some of my knowledge to humanity…I’m just kidding…partially.

The provision of good (tarred) roads…and social amenities in general to the citizenry by the government makes a big difference to the psyche of the people. It determines how happy, patriotic and cooperative they’ll be, how well they’ll get along with each other and how crude or morally upright they’ll become. It’s no wonder then that a lot of Nigerians don’t wear their national team’s jerseys or bathe themselves in national colours during Super Eagles games. They instead prefer to drool over European soccer because that’s a more mutually benefiting investment (top quality football in return for getting high off the passion and fun of the most beautiful sport on earth).

Abakaliki the capital of Ebonyi State surely is one of the neatest towns in the South East! Yes where I visited was around the Government/State House environs (situated in the heart of town) but intuition leads me to believe that places far off wouldn’t probably be different. Having grown up in Abuja and being used to impeccable surroundings I’ll choose to set up shop from scratch in Abakaliki any day over taking a free house in Enugu, Awka, Nsukka or Onitsha (those places are crowded and dirty!).

Forget the fact that we’ve got new, crisp and clean Naira notes; they’ll all eventually get soiled because of the inherent "dirt" in our monetary exchange system. From the drivers, conductors, bus stop and motor park hustlers living from hand to mouth, to the youth corper working for peanuts and still having to fight before giving his rightly due peanuts and the benefits attached therein, and on to the project manager having to deal with the issue of productivity on one hand and the major expense of paying staff salaries on the other hand. Despite all of that there’s still a feel good feeling attached to being hailed and respected as a big boy because you’ve got money to spend on others.

Last point, a cardinal rule to follow when setting up a cyber cafĂ© is to make sure your business quarters is spacious. Surfing is like working, it’s best done in a conducive environment, and if you want to stand the test of time such an environment must not only be good enough for the average chat-freak teenager but also for a top business executive. Avoid too many system restrictions and do carry out maintenance work on your systems on a regular basis. And off course customer service must be top notch and very professional.

Job hunting state of mind



One’s state of mind = one’s mental or emotional attitude or mood. In his song "I dey feel like" because he’s found love 2face Idibia feels like Obasanjo (feels as powerful as a Head of State because his girl loves him), George Akume, Jolly Nyame, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela (because his girl fights for him), Jay-Z (because his girl’s as fine as Beyonce), Bola Tinubu, Bob Marley (because his girl makes him high), Abubakar Atiku and Donald Duke all in one. For me, I’m in a job hunting state of mind and this is how I’ve been feeling.

Bank PHB's The Intern Reality TV Show is closely related with my Job hunting state of mind

I’ve just paid yet again another exorbitant taxi “drop” fare. And in my mind I curse Nasir El-Rufai for banning the use of motorcycles “okadas” as public transport in Abuja. It’s meant that non car owners like me whose (everyday) movement involves going to places with no bus routes have to pay through their nose to transport themselves around the FCT’s municipal area.

After the grueling job aptitude tests and the days of waiting the boss man breaks my heart at the interview. Hear him: “Youngman you’re my number one candidate and all but we needing batch A corpers serving in Abuja and you being a batch B corper serving in Benue it won’t just work. Don’t worry I’ll let you know when we have other openings”. At that moment I felt like a girl who’s just been treated to a wonderful night out by her boyfriend only for him to announce he’s dumping her and then give her a good night kiss.

An hour has passed since bumping into Ifeanyi an old acquaintance of mine when I was in the university. Looking exhausted he told me: “Nna Tochi, e no easy oh, na after service life really start”. In my mind I’m like “tufiakwa! God forbid! No be so my own portion go be”. I don’t really think he had taken this advice to heart: “as a job seeker you’re a product with steady competition and so to sell you’ve got to make yourself marketable by continuous self improvement”.

I just saw my friend Chi Babe off and on my way back I’m thinking to myself that it’s a shame how the pressures of life make people stoop low to kiss major ass. I can’t believe she’s the same chick I had a major crush on when we were in the uni. The job and marriage search thing has all of a sudden made her embarrassingly churchous!

I’ve realized that the same way marriage often dissolves friendship between very good girlfriends is the same way finances can put guys out of the league with their long time buddies. That’s really shitty…pitiful.

Yet another change: my I-don’t-give-a-fuck mode is now major. I’ve cut out a lot of stuff that’s not important to me in achieving my immediate and future life goals and in their places I’ve added those which are. I no more identify with (I don’t give a fuck about) a lot of the IQ decreasing content on TV, gossip and low substance blog reads and people who’re not adding anything of positive value to my life. That’s to name a few, on the addition side I’ve taken up a new humble lifestyle.

Lastly my conscience has been telling me to wake up and cut out on the surfing of the internet for interesting things and instead start getting with my GMAT books, NIM-NYSC studies and other nerdy ish and career bound moves.

Yes that’s my state of mind…how I’ve been feeling in brief. But what ever your state of mind, never forget that no matter how the struggles of life might be eating your heart away through the week, you’ll always have the Nigerian Sunday afternoon rice to look forward to. Peace!