Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Failed State

I started writing this post in September. As I type this, it is 07.38pm, 8th November 2010. yes. I didn't blog at all in October. I am quite lazy like that, but I do appreciate the fact that some of you keep coming back to see what randomness has left my head and is laid bare for the world to see. You know I do this for both of us, you guys, and for my sanity. Sometimes I have so many things I wanna talk about but then I don't have the words. Do you know that feeling? I have recently discovered I do not know how to express myself properly. For a lawyer this is a horrible discovery, thank goodness I do not have to represent any poor person in court. I shudder at the thought of the Judge tossing me out. Let me give you an example, I was trying to explain to my colleague about how NNPC ceded a portion of their rights in certain Oil Mining Leases to a foreign oil company and I kept rolling my hands round and round. I said... "NNPC/ I mean the government, gave a percentage of the.. the .. the thing" She stood there with a blank look on her face. What I wanted to say was "NNPC made company X a co-venturer in the Joint Venture" The words "Joint Venture" eluded me for several minutes. It's sad though. I have decided however, that I need to slow down when
speaking to avoid looking like a bumbling idiot in the work place. I mean, what's the point of knowing what I know and not being able to express myself. Surely I'm no more than he who has no idea. At least his own mouth is closed!


Ok I've told you guys what I've recently discovered about myself. Let me tell you what I originally wanted to tell you in September.. or was it August?

Ok so NEPA (PHCN) Power generating and distribution company in Nigeria. I think that description is a failed one though, because they are neither generating nor distributing any power... Anyway, I digress, So NEPA went on STRIKE!! Yes, delayed I know but really how does a company like NEPA go on strike? Only in Nigeria. I don't think our leaders know how much of a failed nation we are without constant power.
I just got back from holiday somewhere in the North east of England; and as with everytime I'm out of the country, the joy of knowing that there would be no sudden power cut (barring all unforeseen circumstance). So i dashed down to Tesco one beautiful morning to grab muffins, a pack of 4 muffins cost £1.50 which is approximately N360. In Chocolat Royal, a coffee shop / pattiserrie of some sort in Lagos, one muffin... One muffin is 350 naira. i was about to go off on how I was being ripped off in Lagos. Why was I paying the price of 4 muffins, for 1 muffin? Then I remembered that Chocolat Royal had a huge power generating set which it left on for 20 hours in 24. Businesses provide power for themselves, this pushes up operating costs and in order to break even, they have to push up retail prices.. Hence, the end user is inadvertedly paying for the lacuna in the infrastructural development of this 'great' nation.. It's truly sad.
So Nepa went on strike for about 5 days, and a lot of people said they were blissfully unaware of NEPA's strike because they'd not had power or 'light' for weeks anyway, I was scared. I mean, we usually have light at night. It was a sad situation though, because it further demonstrated the fact that Nigeria is a failed State. What business does NEPA have going on strike????

Issue number2.... Nigeria's 50th Anniversary. Nigerians donned the cloak of patrioticism on the 1st of October. They told themselves they had something to celebrate. 50years of Independence from the British Colonial masters. The city was awash with what a friend of mine calles 'Massive DeyDererism' (Dey Dererism is the act of engaging in 'hand falling' behaviour. Loosely translated to mean self delusion). So my people went about on that day, wearing a touch og green and going about with hearty smiles and ready to slay those of us who didn't quite get in the groove of the 'festivities'. i wasn't the only one who was not quite happy. Apparently, millitants were also unhappy with the splurging in Abuja and decided to ensure they were heard. More than 8 lives were lost in explosions which disrupted the celebrations.
You see, I live in a country where there is truly no hope. I hear some of you already trying to close the page, you think I'm being a pessimist? Ok hold on a minute, think about the young people you see around you now in Nigeria. They are after all the 'future' right? They are the 'hope' which some of you see right?? How many young people are honest & hardworking? How many possess the integrity to stand for what they belive? How many people are willing to engage their brains and not be led by 'false prophets' and not allow themselves to be fed garbage?

I'll continue to urge everyone I know to brighten the corner where they are. Do your bit, don't drive like savages, have a little sense of integrity, be honest and hardworking. Be the change you want to see in Nigeria. It sounds like a cliche I know, but really, this country's problems are not going to go away at the rate we're going. We need a change of mentality.

I think I've made you guys sad enough... Lemme stop here. See you when next I'm able to shake off my block. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

He'll 'Progam' Dem

How do you write about someone who has a better way with words than you do? I wanna write about a young man who I honestly believe is a lyrical genius. I've written this article over and over... in my head offcourse and even now as I type I'm not sure i can adequately pass the message across. I lack the words to adequately describe this young man whose wit, humour, savvy and sarcasm caught my attention.

His name is Afolabi Durotoye. Some people know him as Beazy, I just think of him as a breath of fresh air in the cloudy world of music lyrics in Nigeria.

I read about Beazy for the first time in February 2010, I started following him on Twitter 'cos I noticed his comebacks were hilarious. I would read a tweet from Beazy and I would either start laughing crazily, or I'd have a goofy smile on my face.At other times, I'd read something so serious and so in your face "I -Don't-Care-What-You-Think-Of-Me" and I'd just go.. 'oh no.. this boy will get beaten because of Twitter ooo' but you see that's the thing about him.. He is a smart young man who's not afraid to speak the truth as it is.. no bullsh*tting!

With three (3) mixtapes released and over two hundred (200) songs recorded under his belt, i think it's safe to say Beazy is a rapper who knows what he has a passion for and is not afraid to make it work. He is consistent and hardworking. Beazy, eats, drinks and lives his music. He is constantly reinventing himself and is not afraid to take criticism. When you listen to something and you are tempted to place him in a box, you hear something else and say.."that's different!!!!"

I've listened to all 3 mixtapes an uncountable number of times and I can tell you, Afolabi's lyrics make a lot of sense and half the time I'm laughing 'cos I can just imagine what may have inspired some of those lyrics. Time and time again I try to tell myself I have a favorite track on each of the mixtapes and i have failed. Why? because on each mixtape, there is something different. Now this is not to say that he is an unfocused guy who lacks clarity in the quality of his work.. no.. this is clearly an evidence of versatility. His lyrics rhyme and make sense, this is not something we have seen too much of in recent times.

I wondered about how this guy was going to successfully break into the music industry in this country.. I mean if you know Nigerian music, you'd agree with me that we are being dished with a whole lot of crap.. words like "ginger, swagger, sanbaribobo, utunu,f,fff.jgkegfh dsam.fw" ( no that last one was not a typo.. that's my way of saying a hot load of crap) . I wondered, how long it would take him to break even, because while we all go to our day jobs and make money...music is a lot harder to convert into money..especially when you are new in the game. you see, the music 'business' is like oil prospecting, you have to invest a lot of money before you strike a commercially productive/ viable well. It's a lot of hard work and the reason why we have a lot of crappy music out there is primarily because a lot of people think that music is a shortcut to success.. I mean.. you flunking at school? No problem go and sing or go and rap!!! I mean, how else can we explain having so much crap out there?

I respect artistes who make sense, because for me, music is not just about the beat and the hype, it must have meaning, inspire or at least make me laugh.. brighten my mood
I believe that not to long from now, Beazy will become a personification of Good Music that comes out of Nigeria. I also believe that he will be smiling to the bank in due course.. because in the words of Oladele "Music na work o, no be joke oh, my pikin go wear clot, den go go school.. so spray me money".

"Beazy can not only hold his own, but is out to get theirs as well" so I will confidently say in that time.. that "I backed the winning horse" He'll 'program' dem

He has a standard bio online what i'd like to call his "Afolabi Durotoye, born in Jos to Akin and Abake Durotoye bio) so if you'd like to read about him just Google Afolabi 'Beazy' Durotoye.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Truly Madly Deeply in Love

I stared into his eyes, and all I could see was the depth of what he felt for me. I reached out to touch his face, the roughness of the day's worth of hair on felt good to touch. Just knowing he was here, and he was mine was enough to make me smile. I leaned into him to kiss him, and just when I thought I could not love him more, he said, "You bring me joy babes". There was a catching in my breath before I planted my lips soundly on his. It was like I drew all the strength I needed from holding him.

We walked to his car, and he opened the door for me, I smiled as I got in.. my boo, ever the curteous man. Unlike most Nigerian men who took you for granted, he always opened the door for me, held out my seat, and hauled all the heavy things. As we drove to my brother's home for Sunday lunch, I turned on the radio.. news of the Hatian Election and Wyclef's attempt to rule the nation flooded our car. I said.. "na wa oh.. Actors and musicians sha believe they can do this governance thing". I threw my hands up in mock exasperation, the love of my life smiled at me and said.."Ronke, u need to think outside the box" He proceeed to explain the intrigues of politics in relation to poverty ridden countries. I stared in marvel at how God could have blessed lil' ol' me with a man so intellectually stimulating and caring enough to break down the nitty gritty of every topic to me. Beside him, I felt I could take on the world. I smiled and gazed out of the window... the sun was bright, the sky was blue and the world just looked good.


Wake up!!!!!!

Oh guys, did I get ur juices rolling there? aww.. pele.. yours and mine as well! You see I've been wondering how it would feel to be truly madly deeply in love. As I typed the above I kept saying.. "Ah Ronke.. see this dodoyo picture you' re painting" lol .. I've become such a cynic that even picturing myself so 'mumu-ically' in love is hard! lol lol! Offcourse the part where I'm leaning in and kissing the hot intelligient boy doesnt seem so far off.. but all that he gazed into my eyes and he opened the door bit...**shaking my head*** nkn nkn...Even I can't picture it.

So what exactly is wrong with me? Seriously guys.. I want to fall in love before it becomes too late oh! I'm becoming more and more hopeless at these love matters by the day! It seems the only people I'm capable of loving are my family members and my friends....I mean, when will I fall in love with that boy that will make me go "oohh ahh" you know what I mean?


Seriously, I need help! I meet people everyday and I think, yeah nice but I don't just see it happening. I don't imagine that click.. or is that click...only in movies?
The scariest part for me is.. I don't wanna be so jaded, that I start infecting people who are truly in love (choke**)with my Miss Grinch behaviour.. you know? How someone tells me they met this really awesome guy and I go .. "ehn.. does he have a job? I hope he's not with u because u have a blue passpoprt oh, ah.. " why can't I just let people in love be? I mean, I don't actually say it to them .. but I *yimu* ( I don't know what yimu is in English.. ok maybe it means shrug.. ok not shrug..shrug is done with your shoulders... yimu is done with ur nose, you know that thing you do when you twitch ur nose? ehen..)

I wanna fall in love soon.. with a boy/man/guy off course! and I wanna do it soon!

But said man must be intellectually stimulating oh! abeg.. oh and did I mention he must be HAWT as well? see I'm not asking for too much, you see.
I have not gone on and on about wealth, house, car.. Just be smart.. funny and goodlooking.. those three things will oil the wheels of this my falling in love business!

So, dude.. do quick and come.. let's make that my fantasy/dream a reality?

Have a good week people!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bar Finals 170808

My soul is awash
The flood of reality covers me
Im drowning at the thought of being swamped by all this work

In my sleep, the magnitude of it all plagues me,
turbulence in my dreams because of what i left behind in my wakeful world
I see Procedures at night, Rules during the day,
Laws at noon and Orders at dusk

It feels like the only thing i live for
Seven days of fighting a battle which the Sovereign has told me I've won
Yet, the war must be fought and i must be named Victor

This war, this battle, this albatross
It is called THE BAR FINALS
And i am Victoria
The queen of excellence

The title is self explanatory

Broke 180708

I feel as though im such a burden
I have to depend on someone else for sustainance
Every quirk gets to me
Is it because they feed me,
Is it because i lack the freedom to pick and choose
Or am i just being hormonal?
Do these little things not mean the things i think they mean?

Im so depressed, I just dont want to do anything
But i can write
I take solace in the keyboard
I can speak about my feelings and not be reproached.
I can express freely the fact that i hate the fact that i am broke
without sounding like a nag

The weightlessness of my wallet is really getting to me,
The burden of the thought is much more than i can bear
It's making me rememeber things i should ordniarily discountenance
If i were not broke, I would have gone the whole nine yards for her
Is it because things are this way that i have to wait till he is ready?

If i can only get to the cash dispenser,
If i can get a whiff of crisp notes
I'm sure it would go a long way in helping my disposition
Because this state of things is not the way things should be
Broke Broken Brokenness....
Im going to get through this, I know i will
I know i must

I wrote this in Law school as well... I was extremely broke... no cash, no expectation of cash from anywhere. But I had awesome friends... they fed me, the encouraged me, they got me through. So here goes... another blast from the past.

Heartstrings 03.08.08

My Breasts hurt from the need to be suckled
I am in so much pain from inside
it's hard to distinguish which hurts more
The fact that we are not together
or the fact that we have to be apart
I yearn for when we will be together
My dear Son
My child
The product of my womb
The strings of my heart,
not tugging, but yanking real hard
Im hurting so badly
I need u to be nestled in my arms
I need to know that you are safe
The time we have spent together
So short, so valuable, so cherished
It seems like all i can think of is when i can be with u
When will i hold u in my arms my beloved son
I need u, because being away from u hurts
the lacerations i have physically
they are numb compared to the pain i feel inside
Can i shout, Can i scream?
From the injustice of it all
Why do i have to be torn away from my Son
Who was there when i carried him
longer than term, the time shared
The comfort of knowing u were safe within me
If i could I would...
Keep u safe, Safe my love
Safe from the world
Safe from those who tear us apart now

I wrote this in 2008, my friend had just had a baby and had to come to come write her Bar finals. Her husband and her sisters-in-law did not allow her bring her baby! She was extremely miserable and she cried all the time. I felt the burden to write.. and that's what I did... I wrote!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Circle Of Life

Good people, I want to blog. Seriously, I need to write. I feel deprived. My fingers feel betrayed. I have refused to do something I totally enjoy doing... writing.
I have had a lot of "profound moments" lost 'cos i was not near my computer or sometimes, I wanna whine but I'm just so engrossed in the weight of my feelings that I can't seem to find my blog mojo. However, as I started typing this today, I have nothing in particular I wanna write about, but you see i've found that all I need to do is start typing, it'll come to me. I hope it comes soon oh, before i bore y'all!

I became an aunty AGAIN on friday.. Well Friday in Los Angeles, actually 1 am Saturday in Lagos. I'm pretty excited actually, cos this is my first niece. Well my first biological niece 'cos i call my cousin's daughter my niece too)...So she's kinda special. I may not see my niece till October though, 'cos she's in America and may not come to Lagos till September! which seems like eons away right now! You can imagine my excitement. My mum says she looks like my brother, I've seen pictures which show that she looks like a baby.. you know.. all babies look alike to me. I don't really get when people see day-old babies and go.. "oh she looks like her daddy, or she looks like her mummy"... I don't see what they see.. but then I'm short sighted so hey.. blame my poor vision. however, I wanna hold her in my arms, I wanna kiss her, I wanna love her, I wanna hear her cry, I wanna tell her how much I love her.. yes.. i wanna whisper little nothings into her ears... **sigh** I could go on and on really!!So you all get my point shebi? I have a niece, I've not seen her, I wanna love her to pieces, I'm constrained to do same! End of Discussion

This year has been rough for my family oh! In seven months, we have been through hell and back, my brother passed on in March. It rocked us badly.. as in... Seriously. He had this really horrible accident and we were all caught unawares, you know, when you are smooth sailing ans all of a sudden you hit a rock... and bam!!! ur cozy boat capsizes.. it was a shock. You know one of those things life never really prepares you for? I think of my brother EVERY day. I don't cry as much now. The amazing thing about the tragedy that befell us is this, we are so much closer now. It's amazing. It's as if we all got born-AGAIN on the 22nd of March, like we saw ourselves in a whole new light. We however, did not contemplate that we would find this place of love without Sage(that's what we called him). I mean, you should have seen my family before my brother went to meet the Lord, my dad and I were always at lugger heads.. Sage was in a world of his own... thinking we did not like his wife, my mum was always running in circles trying to play mediator between us and her husband.. it was just a war zone... I mean, we loved each other but we all had our pride and our Taiwo sturboness. We were all in a world of our own, but God had his own plans, HE was just looking at us and saying.. see this spoilt people oo.. I have given them all this love, brightness, wealth, comfort.. and see what they are still doing.. fighting and bickering abi? #Slam... tragedy and then more tragedy. It was sad, and it is still a trying period, but we have learnt that we can only do this walk of life with God and with each other. No one has learnt that lesson better than us.

So i go around now preaching the gospel of Love oh.. are u quarelling with anyone? go and make up sharp sharp... are u being sturbon? is your pride standing in the way of love? Let it go mehn..' cos you don't know when life can be cut short.

Love life, listen to good music, appreciate the beautiful things in life, like little babies and family. Look up in the sky and appreciate the darkening clouds, cos after the rains, will definately come the sunshine.

The circle of life... it happens to everyone of us... Life and Death.. happens to us all. It's what we do with it that matters!

Peace Out y'all!!!

** wink**