Friday, April 27, 2012
The morning sun came uninvited into her window. The brightness was harsh and had little mildness to suggest that it was a sun of dawn. She was late, for she was scheduled to visit the family of her to-be husband. But, there she was, the hands of time racing against her, just as her age hurried pass her. Nkechi had been unlucky with time. In a forthnight, she will be 35, yet, hopes of walking the isle in white flowing gown with a man in suit cuddling her hands, has remained a mirage. Her ill fate often puzzled her, for her beauty was prodigal and her family name was written in gold. There are nights she will pounder on her nadir, and hurtful tears of how all her younger sisters had all gotten married will flood her eyes. She will cry her eyes out into her teddy bear that also doubles as her pillow. She will gaze into the thick darkness of the night, in hope that it will explain her ordeal. First, it was Nkem, then Abubakar, and now it's Kunle. She was determined not to let this chance slip from her hands again. As Nkechi entered into Kunle's family home, she stood in awe of the exquisite building. Though she was not born into squallor, her eyes had never beheld such luxury. The Agbajes were already sitted. Kunle's father was engrossed with the documentary on 'The ills of the World Bank' that was ongoing on Aljazeera TV. His mum was swiftly going through a national daily newspaper. The pace at which she turned the pages made one wonder if she was reading for the stories, or glancing at the pictures. Kunle's kid sister was rooted to the sofa, dangling her head in different positions, as she listened to songs from her ipod. Nkechi walked in and a deafening silence invaded the atmosphere...
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Revenge they say is a dish best served cold, and this was a true case of Karma at it's best. Few gave them a chance, but in a world of unpredictable wits, Chelsea have pulled up a result that can only be described as the stuff of dreams. Though Chelsea's wait for the holy grail lingers, the victory over Barcelona was a major stride in the quest. No doubt, over the two legs, Chelsea rode their luck, but luck had every reason to smile at them. A sixth semi final appearance in nine years, is no mere feat. And when one considers the hurtful manner that the Blues had always been knocked out, it does not require a magic wand to see that Abramovic's massives, are due a stroke of luck. However, the question of if they will eventually lift the trophy on May 19, remains a mystery, but there is something about the doggedness and the crass dexterity embedded in the Catalan's defeat. For Pep Guardiola and his exceptionally talented side, they can only reminesce on what might have been. A season that held a string of promises for them has suddenly degenerated into a charade and a can of worms. Having said that, it is apt to unequivocally dismiss the inflated and exaggerated punditry that believes that Barcelona's sublimity has come to a halt. The Catalans remains a great force in the round leather game. For Di Meatto, he has only given his resumé a major booast. No one gave him a chance, but his mindas touch has been unbelievable. It was a night that most Chelsea faithfuls will savour for a long time, but it was also a night that had it's villians. John Terry's idiocy was a moment of sheer disgrace, and should Chelsea go on and lift the trophy, he might forever nurse a brokenness inside of him. It is not yet uhuru for Chelsea, but something suggests that it is written in the stars and fate wants to smile on them!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I won’t zero in on Ibori, for he is, after all, a small effect of a vast, pervasive cause. I realize that to make him, this day, the core of one’s disdain is to forget a little the way in which he is but a speck in a universe of venal grubbers and bloody thieves. To fix on Ibori is to leave the impression that he is somehow exceptional in Nigeria’s political planet. We all know that there aremany Iboris out there. What’s worse, the Nigerian system daily manufactures and graduates many more Iboris. These new Iboris daily enter the leeching enterprise. They take to that despicable business of a few dispossessing the many, tiny cohorts aggrandizing themselves by seizing the public harvest and doing with it as they please. To fix on Ibori today is to risk falling into a foolish temptation. That temptation is to celebrate the comeuppance of a man who reaped where the people sowed, a man who reduced the sacred business of governance to the art, and act, of personal greed. One must by all means run away from the celebratory temptation. There is no cause for celebration in Mr. Ibori’s downfall today. I will go as far as declaring that there’sno victory for the people of Delta, for Nigerians. There is for all of usonly defeat and shame.
Friday, April 13, 2012
It was the formlessness in her eyes that endeared her to Ikem. The tedious flight from London to Lagos had not taken a toll on her elegant frame. The complexity of her attire was a bait that attracted any one around her. This was what caught Ikem's fancy. He had beenaway from Nigeria for ten years, but even a decade in an alien country had not infiltrated his sense of morals. He gazed at the girl again, to be sure it wasn'ta toy that sat next to him in the plane. But, she was human. Her face exudes a beauty that had been raped; raped by the quest to make it better. Ikem mustered the courage and began the conversation. 'Hi', he said in a voice that wasn't sure of itself. In response, she raised a part of hereye brow, adjusted her dress andblinked her eye lid swiftly. After much hesistation, 'Hello' formed in her mouth. 'I am Ikem Ezeji'. He said. She smiled, as if there was something hilarious about his name. 'Well, I am Paula Dixon, my parents are from Nigerian, but I consider myself a British...afterall I have lived in Britain for four years', she concluded. A sudden silence beclouded Ikem's thought. He took a hard look at Paula. 'Four years and you are now a Briton'. he whisper to himself in sheer wonder. As they arrived at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikem waved her farewell as he left with his hoovering thoughts.
Friday, April 6, 2012
From the word go, it was obvious that the Barclays English Premier League trophy was a tussle between Manchester United and City. Since the coming of Sheikh Mansour's petrodollars, the rivarly began to grow in temerity. City began to dream again. However, for all it's unpredictabilities, this season has been a mixed grail. Football has a mischievious way of defying our predictions. At the commencement of the season, City seemed like a class act. They destroyed teams with ruthlessness and minimum fuss. They banged in goals as if it were going out of fashion. And who could forget that 6-1 massacre they meted out to Man United at Old Trafford. A win that the bookmakers made us believe was a watershed and the beginning of a power shift. However, all that looks like a distant past now. As the season reaches home strech, City appears to have been gone with the wind. From five points clear, City are now five points behind their vastly successful neighbours. Few envisaged that Mancini's team will fall like a pack of cards at this stage, but as United have often displayed, they are the boss of Manchester. When push comes to shove, it is Sir Alex Ferguson and his red devils team that have endured the marathon with panache. This is not to say that the league is over for City, but anyone that memory serves right, will know that United are not a team to give away a five points lead with less than seven games to savour. It won't be an exaggeration to unequivocally say that only Manchester United stands on Manchester United's path to winning an unprecedented twenty league titles.
The structure of the building said it all. It was an architectural work that dates back to scores of years ago, yet the simplicity of the palace was it's strength. A visit to the Sultan's palace is obviously not a routine trip. Thus, I was determined to make the most of the opportunity. Fleet of cars graced the vicinity. However, it is apt to mention that none of the cars portrayed a life of luxury. In truism, they were your everyday cars. Remarkably, the enviornment was a busy one. Men dressed in the Hausa attire moved to and fro. Their swiftness and sense of duty underlies the fact that the palace is a company of some sorts. While it will be stating the obvious to say that women were not seen around the palace, one is reminded of the reality in Islam, that the female folks are reduced to articles of procreation. As we entered the exquisite hall, my thoughts hovered carelessly. The edifice was a spell in itself. Unlike, the typical Nigerian politician who takes pride in arriving late for an occasion, the Sultan kept to time. With an entourage of about six, some chanting songs I couldn't decipher, Saad Abubakar 111 arrived. He looked young and full of life. Age was yet to take it's toll. There was a clamness about him that oozes through him, and when he eventually spoke, it was the stuff of dreams. 'Your behaviour is a reflection of the society you live in'. Those were his first few words. He stressed on the need for self employment and the imperatives of reviving the reading culture among youths. His words spilled out like that of a sage. He bemoaned the dearth in vaules that is evident in our society. However, in his moment of oratory prowess, he couldn't shy away from the obvious. The Sultan decried the spate of insecurity in the country. He began to choose his words, careful not to sound too critical of the menace that is Boko Haram. He concluded by expressing optimism that despite the condurum Nigeria finds itself, she will flourish again. I wished this moment will never end, but the Sultan had to go for his prayers. The meal that followed was a treat. We ate to not just satisfy our hunger, but mainly to help our greed. Penultimately, the visit gave me the rare opportunity to understand the Sultanate beyound the gimmicks and sensationalism of the Nigerian press .