When you are born, bred and have lived all your life in this country called Nigeria, there’s always a tendency to assume or even believe beyond any reasonable doubt that you have seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. And one can hardly blame you. In a country where we have seen all sorts, especially among the political class; ranging from a former military Head of State who allegedly died in the hands of prostitutes to a former civilian Governor disguising himself as a woman in order to flee from the long arms of the law in the United Kingdom to another former Governor and Senator who staunchly defended his decision to find marital bliss in the arms of a yet-to-be-fully-physically-developed 13 year old to an entire Senate that makes a show of suggestion boxes in the 21st century and appears to be in love with setting up committees for the flimsiest of reasons. Yes, it is difficult to argue with the one who believes they have seen it all in Nigeria.
The demolition of Owonifari market in the popular Oshodi metropolis of Lagos State on Wednesday has understandably resulted in plenty of uproar among Lagos residents and observers alike. The market which has been in existence for over 40 years undoubtedly holds some form of attachment to it by residents and the traders who have plied their trade there for decades. Many of those affected by the pulling down of the market have accused the Ambode led government of being insensitive, elitist and further trampling on the already down trodden of the society by depriving them of their daily bread.
We are almost a week into 2016 already. What are you doing differently?
Happy new year people! Here’s hoping everyone had a good start to the year. So, one of the major challenges I faced last year was in the area of personal finance. Like the average person out there, I get cash strapped from time to time. However, the year just gone by was particularly financially challenging for me for many reasons. And so, one of the things I have resolved to do this year is to ensure that I reduce the chances of that happening again to the barest minimum. I intend to achieve this by going back to something my siblings and I were encouraged to do as kids – save the traditional way in a money box!
“It is a crime to remain stagnant in a constantly evolving world.” – Ololade Ajekigbe
In less than 48 hours, the year 2015 will be history, and we will be ushering in a brand new year. As usual, there is plenty of euphoria and optimism about the new year…and rightly too. What better time to start afresh, and anticipate a better fortune than the dawn of a new season. However, it’s always important to look back and take stock of the last 365 days or thereabout in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and chart a better course for the future.
A fall reminiscent of “Humpty Dumpty,” the character in the old English nursery rhyme. An ignominious exit. That was the sad and abrupt end of the erstwhile enviable love affair between maverick Portuguese football manager, Jose Mourinho and West London football club, Chelsea. For many Chelsea fans and football enthusiasts, the news that the Mr Controversial of the beautiful game had been given the boot came as a bit of shock regardless of the clear handwriting on the wall. It was still hard to believe, even though virtually everyone knew he had had it coming for a couple of months now. Simply because it was Jose Mourinho! Arguably the best coach in the world, and unarguably one of the top three coaches in world football. Alas, it was true. The footballing world’s non-conformist had been fired for the second time by the same club, making history as the first manager to suffer such a misfortune.
It’s like entering a store that you had always believed sold cookies and candy, only to discover that in actual fact, Bitter Kola is sold there! I don’t know about you, but I struggle with adulthood everyday. This is somewhat paradoxical because I pride myself as one who is quite independent. It’s amazing that as a child, all I wanted to do was grow up as fast as possible, and be able to do all the things (…well not exactly all) that adults do. As a kid, I saw my parents take money out of their pocket/purse at will (or so I thought), and automatically assumed that money was a natural accompaniment to adulthood. At times I felt my parents were only being stingy when they talked about how hard money was to come by, and gave me less than what I requested for. I remember voicing those thoughts on a couple of occasions. I didn’t get spanked for it, but I vividly recall that their response was, “O fee kan e na” which literally means “It would soon be your turn,” Needless to say, now that it is my turn, like they said, I know better.
First, it was the controversial N8.64 billion wardrobe allowance for the then newly sworn in legislators. Then the most incredulous and shocking one so far…in what was described by the Senate President, as “a watershed moment in our vision to take lawmaking back to the people,” the Senate President’s Suggestion box was launched. Just in case you haven’t been in tune with happenings in Nigeria’s political space; Yes, you read right. Suggestion boxes were launched in the chambers of the nation’s highest law making body. In the 21st century. In this digital/technological age. Ribbons were used for decoration and a tape was cut (you get the drift…all the works were in place) to launch suggestion boxes by our senators. Then, the latest may just be the final straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back- the proposed clampdown on social media critics who “falsely” criticize public officials or institutions.
Last Friday was “Black Friday.” It was hard to miss, what with the hype from retail stores about the massive discounts and promo sales that would be enjoyed on various household items, cloths and electronics which had been on for a while. I wondered what all the euphoria was all about until I googled it and discovered that it was yet another “American imported idea.” Black Friday is the day after thanksgiving, which is marked on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. The Friday following that highly significant day is seen as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season, hence, the day is sort of set aside to mark the beginning of the shopping season towards Christmas. And so, I wondered – since we don’t celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday over here, why were we identifying with Black Friday? I couldn’t really think of any answer, save for our usual penchant for copying the Western world in almost everything regardless of its practicality over here or not.
“I really admire a woman for her intelligence, her personality. Beauty is not enough.” – Roberto Cavalli
In the last couple of weeks, music lovers all around the world have been found themselves serenaded and engulfed in the warm embrace of the British born singer Adele Laurie Blue Adkins’ hit single “Hello” off her third studio album, 25. After a hiatus of three years, the 27 year old returned with more than a “bang,” making her fans all over the world appreciate the long awaited album even more. I haven’t hidden my love for “Hello,” just like many other people. The buzz has been absolutely worth it and one cannot but admire this young lady who has mastered and stayed true to her craft with all the simplicity and elegance anyone could muster since she blessed the world with the sounds from her vocal cords by the release of debut album seven years ago.
In what seemed like a confirmation of all the conspiracy theory surrounding the “ominous” Friday the 13th (which is widely regarded as Black Friday, an unlucky day according to Western superstition), French nationals and the rest of the world witnessed deadly multiple attacks on the Bataclan Music Center, (where incidentally, the band named “Eagles of Death Metal” were performing) as well as the La Belle Equippe restaurant and the Le Carillion bar cafe. It was undoubtedly a weekend that the French would never forget as they were hit with the double tragedy of horrific terror attacks and a high-speed train derailment in Eckwersheim on Saturday too. Friday’s carnage was one attack too many as it was the second time in less than a year that Paris would be rocked by terrorist attacks following the French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo shooting in January.