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.
“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”- Martin Luther King Jnr
If like me you live in Lagos, or any other city in the world that is characterized by the kind of fast paced life and madness that is synonymous with metropolitan cities, then I can hardly blame you if all you desire to do at times is crawl into bed and do absolutely nothing. One of my best moments is time spent in the solace of my room and on the comfort of my bed, away from all the commotion and pressures of our crazy world. Sometimes, one really wonders what all the hustle is all about since life is short and we aren’t going to take anything out of it anyway. All the degrees, material acquisitions, relationships and achievements will end one day, so why don’t we just pack it all up and go to sleep? It is a valid argument I suppose. Even the good book says everything is vanity. But then again, the same good book warns that a love for sleep guarantees poverty.
Monday saw me at one of the new generation banks to perform some transactions. While being attended to, I observed the teller who was attending to the lady next to me asking her why she had not done her Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration, and subsequently informing her that she was not allowed to withdraw from her account as a restriction had been placed on it following the directive from the CBN. I was waiting for the lady whose account had been restricted to offer some form of explanation as to why she was yet to get the registration done up till that moment, but she offered none. She just stood there, staring at the teller with that guilty-as-charged look. Then I thought…why are we like this? Why do Nigerians always take things for granted?
Last Tuesday, Arsenal football club won the first leg of their Champions League Group F match against German champions and current league leaders Bayern Munich. It was not written in the script. It was not a shabby victory by the way, it was an emphatic two-nil win over a formidable team that were yet to lose a game this season prior to the Arsenal defeat. Then, it occurred to me – Before the match, Arsenal were clearly the underdogs. Not many gave them a fighting chance, but they pulled a rabbit out of a hat by doing the seemingly impossible.
Hello guys! The video above was a project I had to do as part of the requirements for a speaking course I took recently. I decided to share it with you, my readers hoping it serves as some form of inspiration. I chose to speak on this topic because it was definitely something I could relate to. The words below were what I tried to encapsulate in the recording, but I’m not quite sure I did justice to it (…the nerves I guess), hence the decision to also publish the transcribed version. Please note that this video was recorded on only one take, so forgive any inadequacies you may observe. I must confess that I have been quite shy and hesitant to put this out, but I truly hope it inspires someone to pursue their passion. Enjoy the video and read.