I call 2019 the mixed bag year. It was a year ladened with a lot of twist and turns; a roller coaster run of days–one minute I would be leading my normal life and minding my business–the next, I would be swooning from yet another dart life throws at me. With the happenings this year, I have become further convinced that life never really gets easier, we just get tougher. And so in that spirit, and in the spirit of my yearly tradition, I’ll be sharing five lessons 2019 taught me. I hope it’s helpful to someone out there.
The feat is reminiscent of the one recorded 18 years ago when Agbani Darego became the first native African to win the Miss World Beauty pageant. The ecstasy and frenzied excitement that followed Zozibini Tunzi’s victory at the 2019 installment of the Miss Universe competition is understandable, This time around, it’s not just a black woman clinching the coveted crown, it’s a black woman with short, natural hair beating more than 90 other women whom society would have considered a better semblance of acceptable beauty in the modern world.
The internet revolution has changed the dynamics of communication forever. That’s a fact that is unarguable. Matters that once had us traveling thousands of miles to see to are now sorted between a few calls and online meetings. Logistics are only put in place where it is absolutely necessary. As expected, many have explored the…
The feelers we get from the new world is to be liberated in the most unconventional way. It’s the new cool; this campaign for unfettered self-expression regardless of how one is perceived or how it affects others. We are the ones without any scintilla of inhibition. We live for ourselves and ourselves only. We can stand up to anyone. We do not believe that balderdash about respecting people because they are older or on the premise of their senior citizen status. Everyone must prove themselves worthy of our regard else they will be denigrated without a second thought. What’s more, all that righteous indignation about eschewing nudity or being circumspect about divulging details of happenings in our lives are borne out of inexposure and insecurity. We will have none of it.
It’s an occurrence that should worry anyone. Five undergraduates of a university assaulting a fellow student in the most distressing manner. They order her to kneel and go further to employ varying instruments to maul her. It’s a sight that leaves one aghast. When I saw clips of the unfortunate incident, what repeatedly came to my mind was, “Who raised these kids?” How was it possible for young people who were barely out of their teens to imagine it’s okay to pummel another student let alone carry out the heinous act? The absurdity and sheer cruelty of the ambush is the stuff of stories we see on the Crime & Investigation channel.
Where do I start?
You would have been 72 years old today, so let me start by wishing you a happy posthumous birthday.
The past few weeks have been like a dream, one in which I have been vacillating between reality and disbelief.
As we concluded the rites of committing you to Mother Earth, I looked to my friend and said, “So now I am fatherless…”
I had always dreaded the day I would lose a parent. I wondered how friends and acquaintances who had lost theirs felt; needless to say, now I know.
I’m not certain I have come to terms with reality; the reality that my siblings and I will never see you in the physical realm again. But I know you would have wanted us to be strong in the face of what has happened.
And we are trying, dad. We are trying, even though it’s undoubtedly the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
But I reckon today’s not the day to slip into melancholy. It’s one to celebrate the exemplary life you lived.
If it were a football match, it’d be regarded as a haul. A return of four statuettes in any awards ceremony is a remarkable feat anywhere in the world. Like a sudden storm on a sunny day, Teni’s sweep of many coveted categories at The Headies came as a surprise. She has had a good year, but not even the bookies envisaged her outstanding success at the event. For someone who chose to jettison the script for female artistes, her wins and continued rise to becoming a force to acknowledge in an ultra competitive industry holds a few lessons for the discerning mind.
For many, social media offers a better opportunity to interact compared to the physical world. This is not unrelated to the reality that most people spend a significant chunk of their time online. Friendships, romantic alliances, and businesses are forged through the different platforms. The flip side to this is a growing unhealthy rivalry and pressure to be seen as successful. A trend that has given rise to the jostle for the “intelligence crown”. And so, everyone wants to come across as the most knowledgeable across every subject matter.
Disgust. Anger. Irritation. Indignation. These are only a few of the emotions that have greeted the BBC Eye expose on randy lecturers in Nigeria and Ghana universities. The demand for sex in exchange is a phenomenon that has become synonymous with our higher institutions of learning for decades; so much so that hip hop artiste, Eedris Abdulkareem shed light on it via a track that went on to become a hit 17 years ago. “Mr Lecturer” condemned the shenanigans of sexual predators cum lecturers in universities and polytechnics. Today, the story is not different, in fact, if feelers from undergraduates are anything to go by, then the situation has worsened considerably.
Na poor I poor, I no crase loosely translates to “I may be poor, but I’m not crazy.” The first time my mum said this to me while recounting an episode that happened—one in which she had refused to entertain a slight on her person; I thought it was a funny but apt expression. In essence, it means that in spite of a man’s penury, he can still muster some dignity. And more often than not, the insatiable appetite for the good life is not an aftermath of poverty, rather, it is a product of avarice along with the absence of dignity.