Saturday, April 28, 2007

One week in Lagos ...

Ookay people,

When I get to Lagos, it is very hard to think or to be 'deep' - one just has to stay afloat dealing with surviving from day to day. FOr those who wonder, I am in Lagos for a couple of weeks for my Law Office attachment. God always had my back, and so He has once again blessed ne with a 'progressive' firm whose young lawyers have no need for sadism, so for the past three days, I've hardly spent more than 8 hours on the whole at the office (for a good cause, for a good cause!). One thing I must say though: their internet is fast! For Nigeria! Though sadly, I now know what other bloggers who work in offices feel since I have to keep watching my back so they dont know that the only 'research' I am doing is to find out whether Idemmili or Bella Naija have updated!!

Have had a bit of fun though doing what I love: talking to interesting people! Had an interview with Genevieve Nnaji last sunday at her very cosy home in Lekki. Homegirl has evolved into something so selfassured and wholesome that it is really, really, really sexy. And with a new size 8 figure to boot - she was smoking! Her interview was also refreshingly mature ... she has become a real star; someone who now knows what she's about - such a contrast to Omosexy (my big mouth!) I have to say - and I did ask her about the Omotola and her responses were explosive! Sadly, I cannot give you any details cos its for a new magazine that flew me into town for the interview - and these are guys I want to continue working with; so you have to wait till it comes out!!

On wednesday, I interviewed another really engaging character: Obi Asika, who's chairman of Storm (for the clueless, that guys that released Dare's album and the guys that did Big Brother Nigeria). This is the second time I am interviewing Obi, and so I knew to gird my loins cos Obi can taaaaaaalllllllkkkkkkkk! But it's always so much fun to talk with him cos he's so easy to talk to. Obi's humility just ... humbles me. His ability to connect with all and sundry and to respect the craft of every person he meets is truly amazing. He re-affirms that one doesnt have to be a shark to swim with the sharks and to get ahead of them. He's also one of the truest hip hop heads I know, so as usual he let me into some of the new songs and videos from Ikechukwu, Sasha, Naeto C and Jimmy Jatt ... meeeennn, there's a new guy he's bringing out that's MASSIVE and there's a new song from Naeto which will ROCK Lagos. Again can't tell any of what we discussed, but you will see it when it comes out, trust me!

Anyways, talking with him finally made me feel back AT HOME, with the Lagos crowd. Even though that doesnt mean I still dont hate Lagos.

So, you might want to ask, why did I decide to do my attachment in Lagos? 3 reasons: two silly (to you) and one very serious.

Number 1: A girl.
Number 2: Food
Number 3: I was getting so bored and depressed I WAS heading towards a nervous breakdown, and I'm not kidding.

Dont ask! Lemme just say, it's great to be in familiar turf.

Don't ask me about the elections. All I will say is that the only results that really SHOCKED me was that of Oshiomhole. And INEC Chairman, IWUruwuru is the most SHAMELESS and AUDACIOUS failure Nigeria has ever been cursed with, scoring himself 80 percent! The miserable f...! (I apologise to those who feel offended, but this is actually an euphemism for what I really think of that man) Is there anyone close to him who could please give him a smack for me?!

Anyway, I refuse to be upset about Nigeria. The elections have come and gone. Today's elections were basically a non-event, Yar'adua is President-Elect. Let's now begin to work on strenghtening democratic structures ... what do you think?

On to fluffy and irrelevant stuff (hey but this is MY web-log OKAY?!), have something of an all-night date this night, even though the real date I wish isn't happening yet but I'm keeping the fingers crossed!!

How was your week?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

So sorry o...


I am so sorry I havent responded to the comments.

As those who follow the blog know, this always happens when I am back in Lagos! I've spent my whole life driving! I can't even breathe! Okay I won't lie, in the midst of all the madness, i was almost losing my mind, and so me and my pals, Emilia and Bola, took out time yesterday to see a movie at the galleria yesterday, but that's the only pause I've had since I came, and even that was sha because we wanted to avoid the hold-up back to the mainland! Na wayas

Will be able to catch my breath tomorrow to reply mails, post something new and respond to comments.

Oh and in related matters, it appears BabaAlaye is back on the block!!!!(lol)

Cheers all!

And all hail the new President-elect, 'Umoru'!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What is WRONG with these people!

Right now, I am SO pissed off at these lame policticians masquerading as Presidential Aspirants. I am SO sorry, but they are pissing me off with all this whining and complaining ... I cannot believe that NONE of them can see beyond their noses. I guess this is why they say role models shouldnt go into politics, because even the ones I hold in such high esteem are PISSING me off!!!

They are asking for postponement of elections? What utter rubbish! The only person who has the moral ground, if at all, to ask for any of that is Atiku Abubakar, because of the late start he's had!

The others are just failures looking for somewhere to hinge blame for their woes. I respect politicians who are able, like Tokunbo Afikuyomi in Lagos, to acknowledge thier own limitations - but it would seem that when people get into politics they lose all sense of proportion. They refuse to accept that success in business and industry does not translate into success in winning votes!

The truth is, as it stands, NONE of the Presidential candidates can beat Musa Yar'adua. The PDP has worked HARDER than any of them in mobilisation, it has more structures (i.e. people, loyalists, patronage) in more states. Without rigging, the PDP will win this presidential election. Listen to that again: without rigging, PDP WILL win these elections. Just as without rigging they won in Delta, just as without rigging, they won in Ogun. Just as without rigging, Fashola won in Lagos, even though his principal Tinubu mis-governed the state.

Newspaper posturing, great ideas and grand oratory don't win people over; if they did Al Gore should have swept the polls without needing to wriggle his waist over Florida. If bad governance made people vote out incumbents, then George Bush would be back to ruining the family businesses by now!

Politics is about SELLING your ideas to the people. It's not enough that PDP has failed. People still stick with the devil they know. I know what I'm saying: I worked during the elections 2003, and I know that - sadly - Obasanjo won that election free and square. People voted for him cos he was the only popular alternative.

It is a silly, silly arrogance to expect that because you are a 'good' person or you have a 'blueprint' or a 'masterplan', then people should run to the polling booths and vote for you without marketing yourself or communicating this fact to them. If it was all a matter of being the best candidate then we could as well go and sit down and allow people select the 'best candidates' for us every four years. But this is democracy, dammit. You have to go out there and sell yourself to the people: they must buy into your plans, you must be able to convince, to persuade, to connect.

What I expected these candidtates to have done by now is forge a friggin alliance - and time is going people! I had thought by now they would have reaslised that none of them is force enough YET to defeat PDP, and humble themselves if truly they want change rather than fooling around with over-sized, misguided egos!

In the US, even a manic liberal like Michael Moore led a liberal coalition to vote for John Kerry instead of their first choice, Ralph Nader, because it didnt make sense to stick to your selfish guns and then lose the bigger war.

That is practical! As it is, of course Pat Utomi is one of my favourite candidates. The other being Atiku (many people want to cut my head off anytime i say that, but if you are open-minded enough to listen to me, you will understand, some other time though).
However, sadly, Pat Utomi hasnt gathered enough wind even though he has worked extrahard, and Atiku is viewed unfairly as a corrupt politician. People have sympathy for his cause but they are not voting for him nader. It is the sad truth I thought that Atiku new, smart strategist that he is. Sadly, his ego is about to do him in. It is so sad!

It is STUPID for instance that just because Atiku and Buhari for instance don't trust each other, they are ready to march separately into an election they are sure to lose. It is stupid for Ojukwu to cling on to Igbo votes just to show that he is still relevant when he can protect the Igbo cause better by attaching himself to either Atiku or Buhari, both of whom have Igbo deputies - since he claims he is all about the interest of Igbos.

If all these candidates really did care about Nigeria or about 'their people', and keep saying PDP is the evil to be removed, then they should be ready to put biases aside and then work together for this 'common good' of dislodging the PDP. It is extremely, abundantly, completely, utterly stupid to match into these elections, after all the money spent, doomed to fail - when together they (and us) stand to benefit more.

If Atiku, Ojukwu, Pat Utomi, and Kalu align with Buhari, THEN they well win this election. Kalu will come with Abia votes, Ojukwu will bring all the Igbo votes, Pat Utomi will bring that of all educated youth (operative word: educated) especially students, and Atiku will bring Lagos, Adamawa and Edo at least. Joined to Buhari's ANPP states, the core north, and those here and there who love his sound policies and clean record, he will beat Yar'adua. Any other way, these suckers lose!

Excuse my language people, but this election - our lives! - is just days away, and these people refuse to smell the roses!!!!! What is WRONG with them?!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Little Mercies ...

As gratitude and joy and faith conspired to overwhelm me with their combined warmth and glow yesterday, I sent this text message to tens of my friends and family yesterday:

"Fellow Nigerian, at this moment in our national life, let us take a moment and thank God for the gift he has given Nigeria in the form of our Supreme Court Justices ... Chude."

We thank God for these small, small mercies. Democracy, somehow somehow, is on course ...

(In case you don't know what I'm talking about - read today's papers on the Supreme Court judgement yesterday on Atiku's candidacy and INEC's powers to disqualify vis a vis the constitution)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

2Day is D-DAY!!

For instance ...
Say I be the one wey dem give chance ...
Say I be the one wey dey make plans ...
FOr aall man to benefit abi? To make we disagree
to agree to creat chance ...
But now I am not as important ...
Cos now I am looking from a distance ...

2face Idibia

The Federal government declared two public holidays' to frustrate Atiku's cases in the courts ... the police has arrested Chris Uba over his threats to frustrate his brother's plans to rig, sorry win, the elections in Anambra ... three House of Assembly politicians killed in Bayelsa ... PDP expelled Ararume to undermine the Supreme Court's decision in his case ... Oshiomhole threatens brimstone if the PDP carries out its plans to rig in today's elections ...

As Nigerians go to vote today ... I have no faith in the elections, I have no faith in President Obasanjo's commitment to free and fair elections, I have no faith in Professor IWUruwuru, the INEC Chairman ... but I have faith in Nigerians ... I have faith in Jimi Agbaje ... I have faith in Adams Oshiomhole ... I have faith in Martin Agbaso .... I have faith in Kayode Fayemi ... Is that enough though?

Let us pray for our country ...

This might just be our last chance ...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No 'Igbo Kwenu' for Uche Odoputa!

Something funny is happening that once again (in my opinion) mirrors the both differences in behavioural pattern of societies, and how people live out stereotypes.

When Wunmi, the Yoruba ‘star’ (depending on who’s watching the galaxy) actress, was caught with drugs, before you could say ‘Yoruba parapo’, the Yoruba acting community had formed a big circle around her: they attended court sittings every day, they watered down the offence, they held series of meetings, and they worked the press so hard the judge caved in. And Wunmi found her way out.

Uche Odoputa is caught; and immediately, while people were expecting that Ndigbo (who own Nollywood anyway) would rise up in one accord and scream 'Tribalism' if he isn’t given the Wunmi-style rub on the head, the Igbo actors and directors and producers rise up in one accord yes, but only to drive the nail deeper into the young man’s coffin! ‘He hasn’t acted in five years!’ they declaim, ‘He is now a taxi driver in London’ ‘He hasn’t paid his dues’ etc etc etc.

All of these denials mind you are simply because, according to one of them in a warped interview with thisday, this might smear them and deny them little ‘perks’ like visas and grants.

If I hadn’t seen this young man cavorting at BOB TV with these same characters (sadly, I can’t mention names) that now deny him with so much poetry, I might have been taken in by their grandstanding. Or not. Because if perhaps their argument is, ‘We cannot align ourselves with crime’ or ‘Ours is not an organization that will cover up a crime with stardom’, then it would make sense: but their argument is ‘He hasn’t acted any movies!’ And I ask, when last did Ejike Asiegbu (the Actor’s Guild president) act any movie?

And you wonder: what has the fact that he hasn’t paid his dues got to do with his propensity for crime? Does it mean that if perhaps he had paid his dues, they would have rallied round him, or perhaps they would have been more lenient towards the crime?

Or should we just throw away all political correctness and admit that this says something about the ‘republican, egalitarian, above-board’ character (some will say get rid of all the hyperboles and call it by its name: irritating selfishness) of the Igbos that saw the West rally round Obasanjo in 1999, but sees the East rallying round … oh nobody … in 2007?

P.S: I am Igbo as well, so let no one even begin to spray any ‘anti-Semitic’ chant near me.

Night out with the Minister!

On Tuesday evening, the organisers and winners of “The Future…” Awards spent an absolutely amazing two and half hours with the present Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, who this month will be leaving for the World Bank as Vice President for Africa.

It was two hours of incredible fun: so much laughter, so much knowledge, so much passion, and an interactive session where we were allowed to ask any questions - and oh we did! But she didn’t budge. It was amazing! It was so, so, so, so, so much fun. We broke so much protocol … in fact, we effectively forgot we were in a federal Minister’s office!

Those in attendance: Adebola Williams, Emilia Asim-Ita (directors of RedSTRAT), Modupe Adefeso (Professional of the Year), Doyin Haastrup (Model of the Year) who came in straight from the Calabar Fashion Festival, Lanre Lawal (Best Use of Technology), Shina Oyetayo (Journalist of the Year), Ini Mbang (Team of the Year), Omote Dimoko (Magazine of the Year), Denrele Edun (Producer of the Year), and Omono Imobhio (Actor of the Year) who just finished with the Vagina Monologues. The others couldn’t make it, sadly, cos of work, pregnancy and LASTMA!!!!!

The fun continued at the not-the-Hilton-but-close-enough hotel where we were lodged that evening as all these achieving young Nigerians let themselves go and just had fun bonding with each other all over again. I also discovered that when you mix an extensive menu with room service and a blank food-cheque that I am not the only one who turns out a glutton!!!

I am writing an article about it that will be published in the papers next week, which will have all the details, and then I will post here. This much I will tell you now though: Oby Ezekwesili rocks!