Thursday, March 28, 2013
It was dubbed as 'the celebrity wedding of the year.' And at some point, it looked like the glamorous matrimony will never come to an end. But, as the dust settle upon what was truly an exquisite event, it will suffice to discuss the fallout, glitz and issues surrounding the Dubai fiesta. No doubt, 2face is one of the few who can attract such calibre of men together at one sitting. The industry's kingpins and VIP's were very well in attendance. 2face rise and rise over the past decade has indeed been mercurial, and at times, unbelievable. From the humble beginnings of the plantashun boiz, to the un-imagined success of African Queen, the Benue born artist has refused to look back. One should also state that his humility all through those transition period has been worthy of emulation. Thus, it was expected that his wedding will pull such razzmatazz. However, without attempting to stir the hornet's nest, it leaves a lot to be asked about some missing men at the event. While Faze absence at the actual wedding was said to be as a result of a missed flight (he was at the after party), Blackface overall absence was a wonder. Though 2face and Blackface relationship since the break up has not been the best, one will expect that for such a moment, the pair will bury the hatchet and move on. Blackface insisted 2face never invited him. If that was truly the case, then 2face should take some knocks. However, it was also a wonder that the duo of Kenny Ogunbe and Dayo (D1) were missing. Irrespective of the perspective you take, the duo were pivotal to 2face rise to stardom. Moving on to other issues, some Nigerians have since taken to social media to register their displeasure over why 2face will decide to have his wedding at Dubai; hence shutting out the myriads of ordinary Nigerians that would have wanted to be there. The argument is pioneered on the premise that these ordinary Nigerians made him who he is today, and he should have paid them back by holding his wedding within 'attending reach.' At first glance, the diatribe looks to be a logical argument, but on second glance, it loses it's viability. Anyone has a right to make personal decisions such as this, and holds no one an explanation. If 2face had chosen to have it in the moon, no one should still bat an eyelid. In the final analysis, it was his call to make. Perhaps, it is the burden of being a 'mere fan' that such blitz will always elude us. The fans make the star, but the star is never equal with the fans. It will be an intentional oversight if one fails to mention the avalanche of gifts that were doled out. Word in town is that the cars and other ostentatious gifts were numerous. It is true that giving 2face a car as a wedding gift is like pouring a gallon of water to a river. However, it is also a truism that in the world we live in, the rich will continue to be rich, and the poor will continue to grapple with their poverty. Pen ultimately, it was interesting that 2face finally settled for Annie, after his escapades with Pero and Sumbo, to keep the list modest. Only 2face can get away with such nonsense. He makes babies with different ladies, yet a handful of ladies will still kill to have him. A word for Annie (his love for the past 13 years), you have dealt with a lot in the past, be ready for more in the future. Or which wife would not anticipate trouble when her husband has about five well known children out of wedlock. The plot thickens, but we all wish 2face and Annie a blissful wedding, devoid of the travesty of 'singlehood.'
Friday, March 22, 2013
Some men simply never die. Their immunity outwit the cold and greedy hands of death. Their works scorn the sting of death, and they linger in the hearts of many, imprinted in the souls of men, indelible in the sands of time. As Achebe goes home at eighty two, an Iroko has fallen down. He wasn't just a colossus of words, he was the conscience of our land. Twice the carrot of National Honour was dangled before him. And twice, he vehemently refused it on the premise that things have continued to fallen apart in the land. We simply can never forget him, for he stirred our minds and stretched our imaginations. He threw our minds in sweet captivity, and assaulted our conscience to be forged aright. On such a man, death can never win it's war. From the historical writings of THINGS FALL APART, we beheld the polarised character of Okonkwo. We saw the shenanigans of the colonial infusion. We can never forget the political ills he expounded in THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE. The filthiness of Chief Nanga, the charade of political manoeuvres and the fight for a change as portrayed by Odili Samalu. I will also never forget the impact ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNAH had on me. Words cannot gainsay how the cult figure of the journalist, Ikem Osodi in that boo,k richly inspired me. Or can anyone forget the pre colonial ills he showed in the ARROW OF GOD. In same vein, his use of allegory, imagery and symbolism in telling the story NO LONGER AT EASE through it's protagonist, Obi, will never be forgotten. It will be futile to waste too many ink in describing a man who was the master of ink himself. No tribute will be too much, no epitaph will suffice, no posthumous awards will ever be adequate. He was simply peerless. In thoughts, he triumphed. In culture and history, he was our custodian, and in integrity, he was never soiled. His death is a rude reminder that we have lost a sage. At 82, we should be thankful for a long life well spent, but we all know we wanted more. We simply had not had enough of him. As he embarks on this elongated journey, we will always remember that THERE WAS A COUNTRY. A country not just in the physical, but a country that was forged by blood, by the conviction of a people. A country whose walls will always stand erect in our hearts. And for all these, Achebe's legacies can never be adequately rehashed in any book, never!
The thing about being unemployed in our country is that it will leave a label of failure on your forehead, and that was the case for Emeka. He then decided to salvage the situation. Male prostitution was the modus operandi at the time, and the prospect of making swift and abundant fortune, albeit ill gotten, was one he couldn't resist. At least, he was going to prove a point to his parents and siblings, that his first class brain is still potent. However, his choice of prostitution, borders on sheer wonder. He had always had about the homosexual activities in Nigeria, and how you can sleep with a man to make 'good cash,' as one his contemporaries puts it. And so it was, Emeka became fully involved in homosexuality. He slept with all calibres of men. He will hook up with them on social media, and they will schedule a place to carry out this awkward act. This became the trend, and to be fair to Emeka, sales wasn't bad. The spoils of his business were beginning to flow in. He made a lot of customers. And perhaps, because of the expertise with which he ply his trade, his fame in the business grew without restrain. He finally rented an apartment for himself, and as is the case in our society, he began to earn the respect of both his family and friends, so much so that his father will jokingly say to him, mimicking the popular Peak Milk TV advert, 'My son, one day, I know say you go make us proud.' Even Emeka was astonished by the gains of the trade. Indeed, his first class brain he earned on his certificate, was beginning to pay off in real life. Having said that, his tragic end was merely lurking around. He had this customer, a very rich commissioner (as if to say all commissioners by virtue of their 'office' were not already rich). They met at the most expensive hotel in the city, and he had sex with him. However, he was paid a fortune for his services, but on his way back home, he noticed he couldn't feel his manhood any longer. As if to be sure, he checked and confirmed his fear. Suddenly, he noticed he had become both deaf and dumb. And just as his fortune were swift in arrival, his destruction was equally quick in taking it's toll. One thing led to another, and as a last resort, Emeka found himself in his village prayer house, and this became his penultimate home. The prayer warriors would pray and loose, bind and cast, destroy and uproot, but Emeka's case remained the same. One day, the pastor of the church where he was abandoned came to him and wrote a note on a piece of paper to him 'God is not asleep, it will soon be over.' Emeka read the note, gazed at him and smiled. He now began to laugh as if the words were ridiculous. He laughed so hard that he choked, and he choked so hard that he finally gave up the ghost instantly. The pastor sighed in grief. As he prepared to take him to the mortuary, he mumbled 'God is still alive though. And this boy was intelligent o. This country sef.'
'This country sef,' Emeka mumbled to himself, in a voice that sounds broken. He sat down on a piece of wood that was at the exterior of their one room apartment. And by 'their', it should be noted with a smack of resentment that Emeka harboured the apartment with his parents and two siblings. As he leaned on the seat, responding to greetings from children arriving from school, he gazed into thin air. Life had not played a fair game with Emeka. Seven years after the burdensome NYSC, his search for a job has proved abortive at best, and futile at the least. Broken promises has been his lot, and the trouble of having a sublime talent, without an adequate connection with the 'privileged', has been his albatross. The past half a decade has seen the first class Emeka attended beyond twenty interviews, but at every trail, hard luck has always attended to him. The indignity of still sleeping in that one room apartment often ached his heart. His frustration flowed lavishly at all times, causing him to weep a gallon-full of tears. He was not lazy in any sense of the word, but his nation, with all her bickerings has rescinded him to ill luck. As he continued to gaze into nothingness, his thoughts were returned by the walking steps of his siblings, Nkechi and Kelechi, who were both returning from school. They were walking into the compound, that for want of a better word should be described as an epicentre of a market place. 'So you can't greet?' Emeka angrily asked Nkechi. 'Or didn't you see me?' He queried as if the first question was not enough to elicit an answer. 'Is not by force na,' Nkechi angrily and bravely responded. 'Abi o,' Kelechi added and snarled in support as they both walked into the house. It was at this point that Emeka's anguish knew no bounds. As if the trauma of idleness was not enough, the spite of dishonour had know set in. His ration of meal at the house significantly reduced. His parents scorned him persistently, and his siblings will disrespect him at will. The debacle had now approached a crescendo, that he was force to do the unthinkable.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
1. Being an adult can be fun when you are acting like a child. 2. Love has nothing to do with looks, but everything to do with time, trust, and interest. 3. Laughing, crying, joy and anger… All are a vital. All make us human. 4. The greatest truths in life are uncovered with simple, steady awareness. 5. Greed will bury even the lucky eventually. 6. Bad things do happen to good people. 7. Paving your own road is intelligent only if nobody has gone exactly where you are going. 8. Uncertainty is caused by a lack of knowledge. Hesitation is the product of fear. 9. Time heals all wounds… regardless of how you feel right now. 10. Most of the time what you are looking for is right in front of you. 11. Your health is your life. 12. Chance is a gift, so act on chance when given the opportunity. 13. Kindness and hard work will take you further than intelligence. 14. People deserve a second chance, but not a third. 15. Marry your best friend. 16. Take lots of pictures. Someday you’ll be really glad you did. 17. Money makes life easier only when the money is yours free and clear. 18. Carelessness is the root of failure 19. Your actions now create memories you will reminisce and talk about in your elder years. 20. Stepping outside of your comfort zone will put things into perspective from an angle you can’t grasp now. 21. Motivation comes in short bursts. Act whileit’s hot. 22. Purposely ignoring the obvious is like walking backwards toward the enemy. 23. Taking ownership of failure builds the foundation for success. 24. First impressions are completely worthless 50% of the time. 25. Personal glory lasts forever. 26. If you never act, you will never know for sure.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
It appears that the current administration under President Goodluck Jonathan is never shy to stir the hornet's nest, instigate public criticisms and stoke the fire on the roof top of sanity. It was a notch above incredulous to fully realize that the Federal Government with the approval of the Council of State, has granted State Pardon to former Bayelsa state governor and ex-convict, Dipreye Alamieyeisegha, alongside some six others. As if the insolence and wreckage were not enough to bury our face in perennial shame, the Presidency in a desperate attempt to justify their shenanigans opined that Alamieyeisegha deserves the pardon on the premise that he has suffered for too long. So much for fighting corruption! It should be said here that this was the same Alamieyeisegha whose corrupt instincts and fraudulent stunts knew no bounds. As a matter of truism, he is one of those politicians that has contributed to our dirty image home and abroad. This is the latest portrayal by the current administration that it's fight against corruption is one that starts and ends with lip service. Such decision will only fan the embers of sheer lottery, and it is a big pat on the back for corrupt politicians. While it is the privilege of the Presidency to dole out such pardons, plausible reasons should at least be given, and it is not too much to ask that common sense be applied. It is believed in some quarters that the pardon was mainly for Alamieyeisegha, and the rest of the bunch were mere facades. It should be remembered that Alamieyeisegha and Jonathan were former acquaintances at the State House in Bayelsa state, where the latter was the deputy of the former. Now, Alamieyeisegha is free to hold any political office in the future. Do the decision makers ever take a second thought before they make crucial decisions as this? Or are we simply seeing evidences of a soiled presidency? The odds favours both. The lessons this will have on the nation as a whole is inimical. Corruption has been exalted, and justice has been raped without reprieve. If Alamieyeisegha deserves such 'fresh air', then it beggars belief why any other armed robber does not. Except it is a case of double standards. This is not good for the our fledging democracy, neither does it help the battered image of the Jonathan presidency. Whoever it was that hatched such decision, is an enemy of a better Nigeria. It is a verdict that deserves all the knocks it is currently getting, and one that lends credence to the saying that we are truly transforming as a nation, all be it, in a downward progression.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
1. Time spent on personal growth and goals. The wisest and happiest are those who are respectful of their time, annoyed at the needless loss of it, and use it dutifully to grow as they age. Sadly, too many of us age much faster than we grow. We spend so much of ourlives going through the external motions of what society tells us ‘maturity’ is – getting married, buying houses, working our way up the corporate latter, etc. – that we fail to concentrate on our own inner growth and goals. We never allocate enough time just for us. Part of the problem is that we’re always waiting for some condition to resolve itself at some point in the future. We believe that the right time to take the next step is somehow going to magically happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, etc. But one daywe wake up and realize we’re no closer than we were long ago. We find ourselves asking, “How did it get so late, and why haven’t I moved?” In other words, we’ve aged, but we never grew to our potential. We never fulfilledourselves. Let this be your wake-up call. This is life. Right now. Indulge in it. Make it count. Because it’s happening. Read 1,000 Little Things . 2. Living your truth every day. The world can easily be a tragedy if all you do is feel without ever acting. To feel something and believe in it, and not to live it, is lying to yourself. If you do this for too long you will never do more than exist meekly from one robotic motion to the next. You will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night. You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next. If any of this hits too close to home, take a stand right now. Stop sipping the denial cocktail and take a shot of the delightful truth. Wherever your heart is, there you will find thereality that brings YOU to life. The time to act on your truth is now. 3. The joy and freedom of an open mind. Your perspective on things is important; it enables you to make sense of the life you lead. Always keep in mind, though, that different people have different perspectives, and yours isn’t the only one that makes sense. There arefew black and white facts in this world. Most facts are simply interpretations. You begin to learn wisely when you’re willing to see life from other people’s perspectives too. Even as you grow wiser and wiser with age youmust remind yourself that an understanding isnever absolutely final. What’s currently right could easily be wrong later. Thus, the most destructive illusion is a settled point of view. Since life is continuous growth and movement,choosing a fixed point of view is essentially a declaration of death. Success in life does not depend on always being or proving that you’re right. To make real progress you must let go of the assumption that you already have all the answers. You can listen to others, learn from them, and successfully work with them even though you may not agree with every opinion they have. When people respectfully agree to disagree, everyone benefits from the diversity of perspective. Read Buddha’s Brain . 4. Relationships that improve you. It’s not about finding someone to lose yourself in, it’s about meeting someone to find yourselfin. When you connect with someone special – a friend or lover – this person helps you find the best in yourself. In this way, neither of youactually meet the best in the each other; you both grow into your best selves by spending time together and nurturing each other’s growth. When you honestly ask yourself who these special people are in your life , you will often find that it’s those who, instead of giving you things or taking things from you (advice, answers, material possessions, etc.), have chosen rather to share in your joy and pain, and experience life along with you through good times and bad. 5. The story you tell yourself every day. Forget what everyone else thinks of you; chances are, they aren’t thinking about you anyway. If you feel like they always are, understand that this perception of them watching you and critiquing your every move is a complete figment of your imagination. It’syour own inner fears and insecurities that are creating this illusion. It’s you judging yourself that’s the problem. You judge yourself by telling yourself a story inside of your head. Every moment of every day you’re telling yourself this story. You are building your future around this story, so tell itright. Create a positive narrative about your dreams and goals that include only the circumstances that matter. What you think others are thinking about you is not part of this narrative, and neither are your negative self-judgments. Read Uncertainty . 6. The positive spin of life’s surprises. You are never at the total mercy of life’s surprises. No matter what life throws at you, you can decide what these events mean to you in the short term, the long term, and how you will integrate them into your life. Everything that happens is subject to your interpretation of it. Thus, far more important than what happens, is what you choose to do with what happens, and your options are abundant. The life you live is ultimately the life you choose. Choose to focus on the negative, and negativity will indeed surround you. Turn your focus to the positive possibilities , and these possibilities gradually become realities in yourlife. M&G!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
While CNN, BBC, and other news websites were awash with the depressing news that Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, had passed on, Manchester United gaffer, Sir Alex Ferguson had more devastating pains to attend to. It was a night when controversy returned to football, and instead of action on the pitch being the deliberation of pundits, officiating once again took centre stage. Whether Nani' challenge was a deserving red card is a debate that will outrun Usain Bolt. However, if the rules are to followed to the latter, the referee could be slightly vindicated. However, given the magnitude of the spectacle, you expect officials to be more 'certain' before opting for pivotal decisions. However, one should mention that referees, unlike the millions of arm chair critics around the world, does not have the luxury of hindsight or replays. Perhaps, conspiracy theorist will remember that this was the same referee that sent off John Terry against Barca last season. Whatever the analysis, United fell too easily after the red card. We know that Madrid is not just any team, but we have seen teams win big matches with a man down. Especially, when one considers that they were one nil up. Having said that, United should take solace in the fighting spirit they displayed at the closing stages. It is interesting to state here that there is something ironic about United moaning about officials. Even Fergie won't deny that they have been benefactors of officiating shenanigans in the past. In all, kudos should go to Jose Mourinho and his Real Madrid side. Despite the red card, they still had a job to do, and they did in clinical fashion. They will now be fancied as firm favourite for the trophy. Finally, it is a night Sir Alex will always ruin. A night that was decided in split seconds. Many believed he shouldn't have dropped Wayne Rooney out of the starting line up, but all those punditry will count for nothing. This could well be the Scot's last chance of tasting European glory. Maybe, a missed opportunity he will never forget. He now has to look to the League and FA Cup for some domestic success reprieve. Again, Jose has the last laugh in what has been an incredible ten days for him. A double win against Barca followed by a Champions league triumph against Man U at Old Trafford is pure footballing fantasy. It is a night he reminded us all, that he was still special!
Friday, March 1, 2013
1. What would make you proud of yourself? When you follow your heart and intuition, people won’t always agree with you. When you find something that makes you happy, not everyone will be happy for you. When you show unwavering kindness to others, some people will question your motives. When you are honest to the core, some folks will attempt to use your honesty against you. When you look for the best in everyone you meet, a few of them will take advantage of it. Don’t let any of these people stop you from doing these things. These people don’t matter. In the end, what does matter is how you feel about yourself and the life you have led. You will ask yourself one question: “Am I proud of how I lived?” Make the answer: “Yes!” Read 1,000 Little Things. 2. How can you make a positive difference? Even when it seems like a hopeless effort, do the right thing. Always live firmly by the forces of love and truth. The bullies and cheats who seem unstoppable in the short term always fall from power in the end. Love and truth always rise to the top. Keep injecting your goodness into the world, one small act at a time. It’s these small acts of goodness stacked together that eventually change the world. You may never see the full result of your positive actions, but they will be accounted for and realized in time. If you do nothing, there will be no result – no positive change ever. 3. What are you trying to accomplish and why? Know the answer to this simple question and remind yourself of it every single day. You must identify, without any doubt, the specific reason you do the work you do. Success can only occur when there is a target and a reason to hit it. When you have a reason to do something, you have a legitimate purpose behind your efforts. When you connect this reason to a desired result, you’re able to summon the discipline and persistence necessary to get the job done. Give yourself a good reason and you will find a way to succeed. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 4. What are the roadblocks standing in your way? A roadblock is only a roadblock if you don’t know about it. If you know about it, it’s just a challenge. Look around and evaluate the challenges you face; within them lie the opportunities to make lasting progress. You are in the best position to make the most of these opportunities, because you know exactly where you are, where you want to go, and what resources you have at your disposal. Remember that the roughest roads often lead to the top, and the best way to get over a roadblock is to go through it. Thus, you must run toward your challenges with all your might, because the easiest way through them is to trample them beneath your feet. You have what it takes right now. You know what you must do and you know why. Step confidently into your challenges until you reach the road on the other side. 5. What’s the next step? Remember, you will never make a bigger mistake than sitting back and doing nothing simply because you can only do a little. So go head and start small. Take a small step, and if you can’t take a small step, take a tiny one. Do what you can with the resources you have right now. Get yourself moving in a positive, productive direction. The best thing about big success is that it comes one step at a time. A flash of success, no matter how small, creates the momentum necessary to create even more success. Every positive step forward puts you in position to take the next one. 6. What are your flaws and faults? You will never be flawless. You will never be faultless. Acknowledge your flaws and faults and accept them. Let the difference between your flaws and the flaws of others be that you have accepted their existence and moved past them, while others are hopelessly trying to hide them. Let the difference between your faults and the faults of others be that you have addressed them and learned from them, while others are still living in denial. Don’t fall victim to fabricated illusions. Don’t hide from reality. Face your deficiencies and use them to bask in the glory of your personal growth. Read The Untethered Soul. 7. What issues do you need to resolve with yourself? When you feel lonely you look around for someone to fill the void in your life. You assume that your loneliness stems exclusively from being alone. But once you find company, it doesn’t take long before you realize that there’s still a void in your life. You still feel lonely and unfulfilled, so you blame it on your company and you move on to someone else… and then someone else. This cycle perpetuates for months, or even years, until you are eventually ready to face the truth. The truth is, a partner, or even just a friend, can add lots of beauty to your life, but they can’t fill a void that exists within you. You alone are responsible for you own fulfillment. If you feel desperately lonely when you’re alone, it means you’re in bad company. It means you need to work on your relationship with yourself first. To believe otherwise is to delude your mind and perpetuate your loneliness as you hop from one failed relationship to the next. 8. How are you burdening yourself? If you feel like your back is breaking from the weight your mind is carrying, perhaps it’s time to lighten the load you carry. There are many burdens you can easily let go of if you’re willing. Start by leaving your worries behind you; worries only fill your mind with negativity. Instead take constructive action – get involved in something worthwhile that takes your mind off of things. Next, drop your grudges. Grudges and resentments simply suck energy and time away from you without any positive return. Once you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to stop pretending like you know everything. Rather than attempting to prove yourself, open your mind, eyes and ears to new and real possibilities. And before you wrap things up, let go of your impatience. Two of the most vital virtues of your personal growth will be your patience to wait for the right moment and your courage to make the best of it. As you can see, dropping burdensome negativity from your life is fairly easy once you realize how much of it you’re carrying around with you. Do yourself a favor today and lighten your load. 9. How have you celebrated your progress lately? Focus on the progress you’ve made, on the next positive step, on the silver lining between where you once were, where you are now, and where you’re headed. Do not think of yesterday’s failures, but of the success that is possible today. Be proud of yourself. The fact that you’re trying is immensely impressive. You have conquered complacency. You are crushing your fears with every new effort you put forth. You aren’t where you want to be yet, but you’re making progress. Step by step will get you there. Even if you feel like you’re running in place, you aren’t. No effort that you make to attain something worthwhile is ever lost. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t give up. Read The Success Principles. 10. What do you love about your life? Life is a series of highs and lows. There will be times when bad things happen. When these times strike, it’s important to keep things in perspective. How you respond to life’s inevitable difficulties defines the strength and growth of your character, as well as the quality of your life. The idea that you are a victim of any particular circumstance is simply inaccurate. The fleeting ups and downs that occur on a daily basis are tiny threads in the overall fabric of your life. Each one adds to your personal growth. The quality of your life is ultimately your choice. You can choose to be immobilized by the gravity of your disappointments, or you can choose to rise from the suffering and treasure the most precious gift you have – life itself.