Wednesday, March 28, 2007

'Pure Water' or Bottled Water?

Confirmed news: one of Nollywood’s lesser known but long standing stars, Uche Odoputa, was arrested with cocaine some days ago while trying to board a flight to the States.

It’s uncanny. Now, I don’t know him, just like I don’t know a lot of Nollywood stars, but of course I have watched his movies so I recognize him. The thing is, I was actually standing beside him at BOB TV and he was having this conversation with another quite popular actor where he was tacitly justifying fraud. This other person was trying to argue with him the merits of integrity no matter what, but he was having none of that.

He threw in words like frustration and income etc that let you know this was a young man who had had it up to here with an unfair world. Sadly ours is our society where stardom comes with empty promises, and your image never conforms to your pocket. According to the young man in justifying his support of shadiness: “The difference between ‘pure water’ and ‘bottled water’ is packaging."

That’s why it’s uncanny; it’s almost scary. He just said this two weeks ago; I didn’t hear it from a third party – I heard it myself. I feel like God was sending a message.

It’s sad though what Nigeria can push its citizens into. Nollywood for instance has refused to grow: if Uche were earning in a year what Tom Cruise earns per movie, there would be no need after almost a decade of professionalism to stoop so low.

But it’s no excuse for crime anyway: because no matter what, the difference between ‘pure water’ and ‘bottled water’ is not just packaging – it’s about substance.

What can I say? I wish him leniency in his encounter with the law.

17 comments:

chidi said...

y do nigerians have to resort to such crude wayz to get money? Isn't it enough that there is a lot of ritual killing in nigeria because of money & then we are already givng ourselves more bad names outside of our country. isn't enough that abroad we are known as 419ers?? Do they want to add drug pushers to the list?? I do not know the guy u mentioned but i feel sorry for him. There was a time i think early this yr, wen a nigerian footballer (not popular) was hanged in singapore for taking drugs into the country. He was just 23. God have mercy on us. Loving your blog!

36 INCHES OF BROWN LEGS said...

u know how it is, the worst that would happen to this dude is that he'd be sentenced to 3 years in prison or asked to pay a N1m fine. someone that should be locked away forever. nonsense.

Wole's Girl said...

Oh Lord have mercy!!!!!
Please have mercy.....
I happen to know Uche...i went to yabatech with him.....
this is no time to give a dog a bad name and hang him....but Uche always had the predilection somehow to be in the wrong crowd...
And your eerie encounter at BOBTV goes to show you how much regret(?) he has for this....
chude...there is no basis for the limp wrist slap that you attempted to give uche for this......money (or lack of).... is not a determinant of values
Lets take your analogy of Hollywood literarily....in the midst of gazzillion earning stars...there are some who try to be good models...and there is...Bobby Brown....
So uche was not driving a "Mez-dis"..or perhaps he didnt even have a car....is that enough to allow your person to be used to ferret killer substances?
Nigeria is tough, i hear you.....lets see how much tougher its going to get internationally with another uprising in our prominent ones joining the drug trade....
What Im really looking forward to? how the Nigerian judicial system will be able to deal with this, tottering on the fine line of not looking overly indulgent of crimes committed by our "stars", and playing no favorites, after the "actress wunmi" fiasco...
I think Ill rest now..there is just too much bile rising in my mouth......

Chude! said...

@ Chidi
Sadly it will soon be so. Actually, Nigeria was high up on the drug pushers list until Abacha (yes o, Abacha!) and then OBJ intensified efforts. Its a real shame. Thanks for loving my blog!!

@36 inches
Sadly the courts seem to have laid a precedence in leniency with the Wunmi case

@Peju,
I know I should be upset. But these days I try not to be certain in my ideas of morality. Yes, I just said it that his sense of morality is warped, and the substance is as and more important than packaging.

BUt the fact is, we are all human, and we really can't understand the pressure and conditions that put people in certain shoes to do certain things. Some offences like murder and rape are unforgivable im my opinion, but there is a wide range of other things that I am ready to try and 'understand'.

Its a cliche, but these these days I prefer to think no one is perfect, many people get up to a lot of stuff and clink champagne glasses with us; some of them even win the Thisday Awards. I also these days try to walk a mile in the other's shoes.

Who knows? Maybe I am growing old? Maybe Nigeria is twisting my notions of good and evil? Oh maybe it is the scriptwriter of Desperate Housewives which entire 2 seasons I have been watching for the past few days? All of them are perhaps conspiring to soften me up.

I dont know. But I am just not really that angry. I am just sad for him.

Omodudu said...

Interesting!

Chude! said...

@ omodudu,

Indeed! By the way I visited yoru blog yesterds; tried and tried ans tried unsuccessfully to post a comment. How you dey? I see you've changed your profile photo. Cheers!

omohemi Benson said...

I have folloewd suit,lol.
Email me, honestly what do you think of my review of Wole's play?

Hmm, another drug&actor cruise?
I dey siddon look to see how this thing go play.
The only thing is innocent Nigerians will be searched like crazy when flying.

Chxta said...

I hope he gets 99 years.

Lack of contentment with what one has (AKA greed) is the second biggest problem in today's Naija, second only to NEPA...

Bébé's History said...

Hey there Chude, thanks for your comments on my blog :), life's been crAAZy.
It's sad that people, even working people, resort to illegal activity in Nigeria to keep head above water.
It's so depressing. What's being done to create more jobs for university grads by the way? since I hear more and more grads are turning to all kinds of shysty things.
It's wrong, yes, and maybe he had 'tendencies', but what's a person to do when they have no connections or means to migrate elsewhere for better opportunities? Nigeria can turn a freakin saint into a thief.

Chude! said...

@Omohemi
actually I read it in a hurry, and said to myself I would read it again. I can say though that I like the way it started. WIll get back to you on that asap. lol@ drug&actor cruise

@chxta
Now that's what I'm talking about! Let's get angry at the real problems too - NEPA, NITEL, PDP etc. Thanks for dropping by again

@ bebe
EXACTLY the point! Nigeria does all kinds of things to its people. Of course, his action is inexcusable since many people still resist the pressures and live clean lives, but it is not so easy to just say 'hang them'! Life's crazy? Tell me about it! But you still need to come out more!Lol

Wole's Girl said...

Chude...mba...I no gree....
As we said earlier, if you are trying to say you are so burnt out by the amount of misdeeds in our country, that you cannot even will yourself to drum up enough "righteous" anger when someone has behaved foolishly...then we might as well stop the world and get off!
For me sha, may that day never come.
Let me leave your ambivalence for morality alone for now, it will make for interseting chew-chew another day
These days it has become so politically incorrect to stand for anything, for fear of the risk of looking narrow minded (or gasp! ....that endangered specie called the christian republican) that all of us have mastered the art of double-speak...the private arguement and beliefs, and the one reserved for public discourse;intellectual discourse, beer parlours, perhaps even blogs.....
Kudos to all those that could still manage to be PUBLICLY disgusted through and through.......
I think the problem might be that we are mixing up the morality index and anti-social behaviour.
For me, crime is not really a question of morals.....
Morally, I vote we are all inclined, by genetic inheritance, the religious inheritance of sin, infantile fixation of pleasure seeking behaviour, self-serving animal behaviour ( pick the grammar that you like the best) to do as we please at the expense of others....
in other words, morally we are all eternally screwed.
But the concept of crime and punishment is like an estimation to measure how much we, as citizens of a society can reign in our primal instinct to mis-behave, and remove those who prove that they cannot "hear word"
This one is less about how circumstances can kill the moraility in you, and this is speaking from someone who has fallen many times on the morality train (yes...me), but you see, we dont shift the goal post because times are hard, or that Nigeria is hard. I slap myself when i fall, so therefore, I MUST slap Uche too..abi now?
I have dreams of living a better life in Nigeria too, and sure I want to drink courvoisier (shay that is how they spell it), buy my own island and soak in original goats milk bath while im chatting on my diamond encrusted cell phone with my homie p-diddy...but when im done with that fantasy...i blink twice and return to typing dead-end stuff and filing dead-end papers in my window-less office, catch the bus and go home. (e go better, can i hear an amen!)
Im not going to be stupid enough to commit a crime because of those fantasies...not because im moral o, but because im not stupid.....because i know the crime is dangerous, the punishment is stiff, .....because i know that drugs WILL destroy the lives of people somewhere,.....because i want to look my daughter in the eye and tell her to do her best for the world like her mother did.....because i believe there is a God out there (and i think somewhere inside), he is still capable of striking people with thunder a la old testament.......


Is it easy to say hang them? Chude..its not so hard for me
You know the irony, its not people who have NOTHING to eat that are to be found at the bottom of heinous crimes...you can find mama boli at the street corner, 66 and has raised 4 children from green plantain, seyi who is waiting for JAMB and selling recharge card, not in the cyber cafe yahoo-ing, Pa john...32 years at security guard, still will take a bullet for the job...those are the people who might not contribute immensely to the GDP, dont know what a bank account is..but give me faith
Money is not what will rescue Nigeria, Integrity will.


Meanwhile, I think one of two things should happen in the judiciary o, if they dont hand over the similar kind of sentence aunty wunmi got , or at least review her own judgement before they beat Uche with a bigger stick, I shall personally stir up the hornets nest at AGN o.......
Tribalism! Sexism! Bigger fame-ism!
Oga EJIKE! OGA EJIKE!!!!!!!! OGA EJIKE OOOO!!!!!!!

ijeoma obu iheoma said...

wow..“The difference between ‘pure water’ and ‘bottled water’ is packaging."

that line got me.. theres a lot of meaning in that statement

Bella Naija said...

Well well, this is truly unfortunate.
Usually, I would be satisfied with someone in this situation getting a slap on the wrist because of one of the many justifications we make for such behaviour..

'its not easy',
'the situation in the country drove him to it',
'he was probably frustrated'
'maybe his mum was ill and he was trying to get some cash to pay her hospital bills'

but nooooo!

I guess with maturity comes insight. There is no excuse for attempting to smuggle drugs...We all have struggles in life. If we all decided to turn to crime in those sitautions, the world would be in an even worse state. he totally deserves a tough sentence.
I'm not buying the 'pure water vs. bottled water' thing...

Nice one Chude..

Chude! said...

@peju,
You wont believe what happened? I typed an equally loooong response to yours (its fire for fire since you're keeping to your promise to make this hard for me to wiggle out of!) and then the connection just went off ... and kpoof! I need to regroup - and i'm coming back!!

@ijeoma,
Indeed there is meaning in the statement; just not what he thought. thanks for visiting

@bella,
I feel you. We all have struggles: it's true; if he's done the crime he should do the time - he knew it was a crime afterall. We are all agreed on that subject. Thanks!

racquelle-cutie said...

I blame obasanjo and his government for everything that happens in Nigeria because a hungry man will do anything to feed himself

WOLE'S GIRL MEN YOU DEY BLOW GRAMMAR

Chude said...

@racquelle
Se you sef see?! I still det write my repy to am for over a week o. Na this kin reply dey expose person lazy pseudo-intellectual nyash, but she no go succeed!

Omodudu said...

You do not have an email address in your profile. I have a question for you Sir. Thanks in advance. Omodudu@gmail.com