Since last year I started to document and do a post on the lessons I have taken away from each year. It’s a form of yearly insight on the events that have shaped my year, and offers some sort of assurance that I am going into a new year wiser. A number of slogans resonated with me during the course of the year because they went from words which were passed down from a sage or generation to experiences I actually went through in my personal or professional life. It’s been a rather interesting and challenging year for me. If I thought 2015 was tough, then it was because I was totally ignorant of what 2016 was preparing to dish out at the beginning of the year. But, with everything that happens to me, I like to take away lessons…lessons which I summarise below;
Bright lights! Gift boxes! Hampers filled with plenty of goodies! New clothes and shoes! The well decorated Christmas trees, and not forgetting the parties! The paraphernalia and pomp and pageantry that were unmissable indicators of the Christmas season once upon a time. Christmas is here once again, and I don’t know if I’m the only one who has observed it, but it really doesn’t feel like it. In the last couple of years the usual celebrations that accompany the yuletide season have seemed forced; a trite attempt at making things happen instead of the fluidity and ease of merrymaking which naturally comes with festive periods.
To say the year 2016 has been a tough one for the average Nigerian would be a gross understatement. This year has been nothing short of brutal, and anyone who still enjoys good health and can afford at least 2 quality meals a day should be thankful that they have made it thus far. It’s also safe to say that the most common word this year has been “Recession.” Even villagers who hardly have an inkling of what city life looks like let alone keep up with its intricacies or the whims and caprices of its inhabitants now have an idea of what that dreaded word connotes. The year has also been an interesting one, and like every interesting story, it hasn’t been without the attendant heroes and villains that make any story tick.
I know the title of this essay is a paradox. I know… it’s borne out of a discovery I made only last week. I wasn’t going to comment on Toke Makinwa and her marital woes; at least not in the way many news sites and blogs have jumped on the story, but I made a discovery which struck me profoundly, and it would be selfish of me not to share, especially with the female folk. Before now I didn’t know, nor would I have ever have imagined that a woman could be legally married to a man, yet wear the toga of the mistress or what we colloquially call the side chick. I was totally unaware of this until I read the much talked about memoir by the Media Personality, On Becoming. Yes, you can be the wife and the side chick all at once.
I am often wary of cliches. For one, they remain an individual’s personal opinion on a subject matter, and as such are subjective. Secondly, there’s a tendency for people to pass them on from generation to generation without giving that extra little thought to their veracity or applicability to their personal lives. That is not to say that cliches or quotable quotes as we like to call them should be discarded. Not at all. They remain vistas of knowledge and insight for not a few people. However, they should not be swallowed hook, line and sinker as many tend to take them, rather they should induce thought and should be open to discourse and debate where necessary. The idea of not burning bridges because one never knows when one might need to use them again is one of the sayings I find debatable…maybe even false.
Guest blogger, Opeyemi Adediran shares his thoughts on the controversy surrounding erudite scholar and Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, and his pre-election statement regarding the possibility of a Trump presidency. Ope is a social critic and occasional writer who holds a Phd in Meat Science and Animal Products from the University of Ibadan. He enjoys reading and tackling trivia questions.
After Donald Trump’s shock win in the recently concluded American Presidential elections, a lot of backlash has been generated. Especially from and about those who didn’t give him any real chance of emerging the next POTUS, and who probably stuck out their necks too far in opposing Trump’s ambition due to his controversial and unconventional campaign style.
Proclaiming it as the latest wonder of world wouldn’t be too far-fetched. Pundits, scholars and the media failed woefully with all of their “big grammar” and permutation on this one. Like the legendary Michael Jackson whose gravity-defying dance moves remained a mystery for a while, the emergence of Donald John Trump as the winner of the recently held presidential elections in the USA has defied the expectations of billions of people around the world. Someone or some force flipped the well written script that had cast current US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton as the preferred candidate. Souvenirs and paraphernalia of different kinds had been made to mark the auspicious occasion of the first time a woman would ever rise to such a position – the position of the first citizen of the most powerful country in the world. In fact, Newsweek had already celebrated Clinton as president-elect in their latest issue. But it was not to be.
Hello everyone! So, today, apart from the regular essays I post here. I decided to share a piece of my fiction. “The Traffic Warden and I” is a flash fiction story I wrote a while ago, and decided to submit as an entry for the 2017 Etisalat Short Story Prize. Do enjoy the read, and…
A young lady is bathed in acid by an unknown assailant on the streets of Lagos. Her sin – the audacity to consent to marry a man who already had a wife. It appears to be a classic case of hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The story boils down to a woman’s alleged attempt to ensure she has no competition for her husband’s heart. Ogochukwu Nwosu underestimated the threats of her married lover’s wife, and literally got burnt in the process. What has bothered me the most in all of this is the reaction of many Nigerians to the issue.
They say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. However, like most cliches or advice, it’s easier said than done. This week I have struggled to write, but that’s a familiar struggle for even the most popular writers. Writing works well when you can just be at peace and articulate your thoughts on the subject matter well enough to pen them down. It can be pretty frustrating when you struggle with writer’s block, especially when it’s due to a horrid week or past couple of weeks. The flip side of this nonetheless is that one of the things that makes this vocation the best in the world is the free therapy it offers.