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.
The news of the death of the “Governor-General of the Ijaw Nation,” Diepreye Alamieyeseigha came out of the blue considering the fact that there was no fore knowledge or prior information of his illness from the media. The 62-year old former governor of Bayelsa State reportedly died after a protracted battle with kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure at the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital after slipping into a coma two days before. Like almost every other subject in Nigeria, the news of his death has resulted in controversy as Nigerians have continued to elicit varying reactions to it. The revelation that the British Government had requested to have the ex-governor extradited to the UK in a bid to resurrect the inconclusive case of money laundering against him certainly added fuel to the ongoing debate.
It is no longer news that the self-proclaimed “Special One” has been having some not-so-special moments as the coach of the defending champions, Chelsea since the beginning of the 2015/16 English Premier League season. The blues have won two, drawn two, and lost four of the eight games they have played so far this season. A shock to many and their worst start to a premier league season in 37 years! Jose Mourinho’s seven-minute rambling to one question was reminiscent of a man clutching at straws out of desperation. He cut the figure of one afraid of getting the boot after his second coming to a club he clearly loves so much. It looked almost likely that the Chelsea boss would be on his way out of Stamford bridge, and effectively become the third manager to bite the dust after the sacking of Dick Advocaat of Sunderland and Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write about this subject matter, because somewhere in my subconscious I hoped and prayed that the scourge of rape would have greatly reduced by now. I have also been reluctant to tackle this issue, because there’s no way to write about rape without feeling a good measure of anger and sadness – emotions I was shying away from. The rape epidemic in Nigeria has been increasing at an alarming rate daily. The virtue of the women folk in particular has become endangered in our society. It is virtually impossible to open the crime section of any newspaper nowadays without reading about one reported case of rape or the other. It is baffling, as it is very worrisome because many non-governmental organisations, groups and individuals have been quite active in the fight against this plague. Yet incidents of rape keep rising.