Sunday, May 27, 2007

So Timi Won ... Hiss!!!!!

Such a shame that Omawunmi lost the WA Idol show!!! Yes, I deliberately did not add a spoiler warning because I am upset! Afterall you all went and voted for Timi who has a lot of personality yes but not half as much talent as Omawunmi!!!

Of course when I was sending texts to all my friends and family over the week up until yesterday to vote for Omawunmi I knew I was fighting a lost battle but then what did my soul sister, Dido say? "No White flags! I will go down with this ship!"

But seriously do you know that people rooted for Timi without even watching the shows?!?! Seriously. In fact I was in that camp until I went for a live show last week and saw all Oma's performances ... and was blown away. Sadly not everybody was able to see the light!

It's a sad day for Nigerian music when talent fails to win souls!!! Let's have a moment of silence ... Okay so i'm being melodramatic, shoot me!

Disclaimer: I do not know Omawunmi; have never met her, and do NOT have crush on her ... well, that is apart from her great legs!!!! Yes, shoot me!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Of Great Parties and Great Men

Of Great Men and Great Parties
By Chude Jideonwo, THISDAY, 05.18.2007

I have agonized week after week on the good sense of critiquing ads produced by heavyweights (depending on who’s wielding the scales), but after reading two articles on the following two ads in this paper and The Guardian in the past month, I think someone should say what some of us think. That would be me, thank you very much. The Star (Lager Beer) ad which runs on television every night should have run its full course by now I thought, but obviously not. Which is why each time it plays, its k-leg becomes even more glaring. Let me remind you of the basic plot: a guy calls his friends and says he has ‘run out of fuel’ and they bring the party to him.

Now let’s leave out the pseudo-American accent and the ‘slow learner’ look on the main character’s face, let me detail the problems with this plot: first, was this young man going to or coming from the party? No one thought to tell us. Now if we answer for ourselves and say he was going to the party, then how come his ‘friends’ came from the same direction as him? How come he was going in a different direction from the one where they came? And if he was coming from the party (i.e. he had left the party), then why are they bringing the party to him? Thirdly, how come his friend got the brainwave so fast it felt like he had been expecting his friends car to ‘kaput’ all along, and why were the girls around him (suspiciously looking like ladies of the night) smiling inanely like it was a telepathic brain wave?

Other sundry layman issues: why is the commercial shot around a hill - what is the essence of that big gesture? Why couldn’t they use models who looked more like Nigerians of any social class? Where did the open field suddenly appear from? And where exactly did the Deejay plug his equipment to produce music knowing as we did that this was an open field for which they were unprepared? I hate to make the comparison, but you will remember that when Michael Power pulled this kind of stunt, it was plausible because he had called his radio DJ friend and the music came from car stereos. So where is the plausibility in this ad?

Since I have mentioned Guinness, I might as well now pose certain questions to my friend, Udeme. The Guinness Greatness TVC is actually one I really like – especially for the tone and voice of the narrator. There is a cool, soothing feel to him that I always look forward to – and the opening and closing ‘My friend Udeme is a great man’ are winners any day.

However, it is the space between the beginning and the end that I have a problem with. The script is fantastic, but the message is wobbly. Too much wuruwuru to the answer. Why is Udeme a great man? Because he wanted to be a pilot? And what is so great about that? The answer obviously lies in ‘there is a drop of greatness in every man’, but in that case, this ad didn’t do that message justice (and for that matter, neither did the Guinness road and TV shows), because it means then that the narrator himself is a ‘great man’. So why would he stand beside a door and tell me that his friend is a great man – if he also is a ‘great man’ like every other average Joe? Conflict, conflict, conflict.

Or is Udeme a great man because he is a pilot? Big deal. What about lawyers, and surgeons and for that matter, journalists? If this ad tells me Udeme is a great man because he is a pilot, then we might as well assume that Guinness is for pilots. Or maybe he’s a great man because he dreamt of being a pilot and eventually became one? Fantastic message, but that defeats the entire effect of the ‘greatness in every man’ copy. Let me not ask how comforting it is to see a pilot who obviously loves his bottle, and demonstrates that love on a daily basis, what is the more important issue is the fact that this ad contradicts its own message all the way: is Udeme a great man because he drinks beer or because he is a pilot? And what makes either of that good enough for his friend to wax so poetic about him?

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Bloggers Book ... Well Done Laspapi!!!!


This is a call to all Nigerian bloggers worldwide to become a part of An anthology of the greatest works of Nigerian Bloggers-

A book called Naija bloggers Vol 1.

Nigerian Bloggers around the globe are requested to send in their stories or recommend great posts for the publication of a physical anthology, the first of its kind by any group of bloggers on any continent.

The categories are anecdotes, short stories, poetry, prose, drama and essays but there is room for as many sub-categories as are sent in as the book will also serve as a platform where artistes can showcase architectural/interior/exterior designs, photography, paintings as well as fashion and textile designs. Submissions are therefore welcome on any topic whether covered here or not.

There is only one condition- All submissions must have been blogged on or before Monday the 14th of May 2007.

Bloggers may submit up to 5 entries on any topic or issue but no blogger may have more than 3 works published. The Copyright of Articles remains the possession of the original writers.

The profiles of writers will be added to the anthology (those who wish to remain anonymous may do so, however)

Royalties will be discussed with selected contributors before publication.

The intention is to publish worldwide in stages, first stage being Nigeria and to make the book available all over the world.

Talks are on with publishers in Nigeria including Spectrum, Farafina and Khalam Editions.

It is expected that a compilation of the best of Nigerian minds on the internet will make fantastic reading, show a new and much needed side of Nigerians to the entire world, as well as give access to those who are not internet-inclined.

Submissions should be sent to not later than Friday, June the 15th 2007 stating date of blogging and blogname/address.

Please note that submission does not automatically guarantee the publication of all or any of the works. The final selection will be made by respected Nigerian writers.


P.S: For whatever it's worth, I am part of this project, but really Wole Oguntokun is the BRAIN - and the PUSH!! I am grateful to him for taking it seriously.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Seeing is Believing (Convoluted, But I Can't Help It ...)

I know I sound all upbeat in my previous post, but that is far from how I really feel. Yesterday, I had an experience that is not monumentally scary but left me really shaken.

I went to see a friend of mine at the scene of a music video shoot yesterday. This is a guy we all know. First let me say that I thought I knew the entertainment industry very well, but yesterday I entered a completely differenty sibculture that really shook me - woke me up.

You read about all the MTV hos, and it seems so far away. But we have them here. I saw them! And it was ... ugly. The girl whose video was being shot (by one our best directors nonetheless) had no talent, looked sweaty (in a bad way) and lacked taste.

The people in the video? The guys looked wasted and clueless. No there were no drugs (we're not yet that far gone), but it still didnt stop that wasted, no-ambition glow in their eyes. This is what these young members of my generation are about - they live for a minute around pseudo-stars who might never break out into mainstream, they would do anything for a glint of stardom.

The girls? They were quite pretty girls some, and I caught myself ogling more than once - but these are not the kind of girls that you think anything of apart from a wide bed in a swanky hotel, no matter how pretty. There was the strong sense of no self-worth - no ambitions beyond this point, or perhaps beyond getting a man to get them out of that crowd maybe. The girls were rubbing all over my friend (he's a fine boy) and throwing themselves all over him, grabbing his butt and grinding into him - some looking to arouse him , others perhaps to make sure they are invited to the 'next party'.

Plus they all evidently hated the singer, and bitched and bitched and bitched - everyone was sizing everyone up - and all for what? To shake booty for a few minutes for a video that might not last more than three weeks on Music Africa and probably never make it to any Top Ten chart?

That wasn't even the tragedy. The tragedy was my friend. Hugely popular, incredibly talented and one of the people with genuinely great hearts I have ever meet. Also very disorganised sadly. I genuinely like him. He is a year or so older than me, but I tend to 'Elder Brother' him.

We are supposed to be working on a project with him, which he has frustrated because of his 'scatteredness' - yesterday i finally pinned him down for a talk: "I can't understand why you are doing this to yourself? I dont want you to be like XYZ in a few years time - plenty of talent, but nothing has been done with it cos you've been busy running high on your own supply." And he tells me, "I know, but really I dont think my brand is that big... I always wonder, what do people see in me?'

I was crushed. Not because I was surprised - I had always known this was his problem, but to hear him confirm it crushed me. You see, one gift I have always had is self-awareness. It is a curse sometimes, but mostly it is a blessing. A keen awareness of what I am about and a clear vision of where I am going. It used to always shock me that the most talented people didnt have this - and it us3ed to annoy me to pieces. But age and experience always conspire to temper you, and now I know everyoone is not like that. So I always knew that my friend's problem was he didnt see what we could see. He couldnt. Can't.

This my friend is a superstar. He doesnt have a lot of money, but he is a superstar. He is a huge brand, and everyone knows it. Everyone except him. He calls it humility, and I used to think it was. Yesterday, I realised it wasnt humility. Humility is one thing; inferiority is another. Everyone has the RIGHT to a little amount of self pride - a strong sense of worth. When one moves moves forward in life, there are some things you have to leave behind. The bible says 'When I was a child, I behaved like a child, but now that I have grown ...'

My friend is no more the needy, desperate for attention nobody he was five years ago as a student. He is now a brand, a star, he is now relevant - he has moved up, he has built substance - but still he doesnt believe that. He looks at himself and sees that nobody student from the slums that he was. When he tells me 'Ah, X wants me to come to his party' or 'B called me' i smile sadly: of course they should call him - he's as much a star as them! But he doesnt see that - he can't believe his luck, that he is now surrounded by the kind of life he has always dreamed of, and he keeps trying to convince himself it is all true. He doesnt think he deserves it, and instead of building a stro ng foundation and moving to the next level, he is still busy trying to take it all in, still trying to believe it all. Still limited by a complex.

I understand it because I used to have the same problem serious, until one of my 'big sisters' shook it out of me. He thinks he is a phony - he is afraid that people will look at him one day and realise that he is just a nobody, that people will see through him someday and find out he doesnt have rich parents or lots of money in his account, or a 'fat crib'. That he is just ... another guy from the streets. But he is not! He is a star created by talent and hardwork. But he doesnt know!

What we want to do for him is a HUGE project that we KNOW will sell; and that will place his brand on a huge pedestal not to talk of make him money he has never seen in his life - and every one we have spoken to knows it will work. Everyone except him. And so he is excited about him, but he is frustrating it because he doesnt think he is good enough. People woth half his brand strenght are already flying with th little they have, and my friend lets his own waste away, preferring to jump from this Big Boy's Party to that Big Girl's party. Because he thinks that is all he is good for. He thinks without that, he wouldnt be who he is - no one would want him.

At that shoot, my friend tried to connect with everyone and to be everyone's friend and the life of the party, and would come to me and tell me excitedly that the girl whose video was being shot was learning his dance steps and I felt so sorry for him -it's incredulous; he is FAR beyond that!

But he doesnt know. He thinks he needs to continyue to be this footmat so that he can be loved. He deprives himself to make other people 'happy' - gives all of himself and nothing to himself. Anyone who needs to have people around him to feel useful or relevant is not healthy. You should be enough for yourself.

He will burn out very soon. He will be used and dumped. People will suck him dry of his relevance and leave him with nothing. I have seen it happen before. I can see it happeneing to him. I have tried to tell him over and over. yesterday I told him again, and he agreed with me - but minutes later he was sucked again into the abyss of seeking love from people who dont really love him, - people who dont love the real him, who only love the hype of him. And who will have no qualms moving on to the next hype.

Thing is, he shouldnt even have been at that place at that time of the night. That's what moving up in life should earn you: he should have done what he needed to do and left to go and live his own life ... but he couldn't. He was high on thepeople who were egging him on, making him feel good. They were his Ecstasy, his Cocaine. They continued to butt into my conversation with him no matter how he tried to hide us away, calling him for irrelevant things, when what we were talking about was his life!

He tried to run from them, but eventually he was sucked in again, and I didnt even bother anymore. I just sat and watched him. It was soon 10pm. I had to leave.

I have the gift of seeing, I have come to know. Of seeing where it is all going, where it will all end, and I see my friend burnimg out very soon. I see him wasting his talent away - I see him ruining himself, but I didnt know how to communicate this to him so he could take a step back and reassess. I couldnt. He couldnt see what I saw.

I really like this guy - he's one of the few good people around - and I wished I could have stayed longer to conclude myt talk with him - but that was no environment for me. Even I - the anti-snob - had to turn up my nose lest I throw up at some point. I know what's good for me. I had to leave. I had to leave him behind. With the MTV Hos and the singer with no talent in a sawnky studio populated with the sweaty and the clueless. And that made me so sad.

What use is a gift if you cannot use it to save those you care about?

What's Up? What's Hot? (You'll Like This one!)

Olaiya Update!
People, you need to be VERY scared of laspapi. Be VERY, VERY scared. He just posted a comment on my last (one of my friends called it 'everlasting'!) post warning me for the second time that Amala Olaiya is 'armed and dangerous' - and guess you what? It turns out that it is!

Just last week, robbers stormed the hideout (I hear this is the umpteenth time - no one ever told me that or I would NEVER have gone there!) and killed someone. Businesswoman that she is, the next day, the owner opened her restaurant and the family members of the deceased (reportedly) went haywire and got armed men (the police, this time) to close down the place!

So Olaiya is closed now ... and I didnt even know because I have been hooked on Mr. Bigg's Asaro instead and 'cause White House is the closest hangout to my office ... Armed and dangerous Amala ... let's have a moment of silence people ...

I went with the gang to watch a movie on thursday (it is becoming a weekly ritual!) -and it was Spider-Man 3, against my better judgement.

It makes me sad to confess but I shamefully allowed myself become a victim of branding. The truth is, the only reason I went to see Spiderman is because that is the 'cool' movie to watch now. Everyone who's hip and cool has seen the movie or is about to, and I - mere mortal me! - fell headlong for the hype.

Cut long story short, the movie was a huge disappointement. Cheesy, cliched, lazy, an insult on my intelligence ... and of all things for a sci-fi (well, well) movie - it was badly edited! There was no believablity, the characters were incredulous, the comedy was flat ... sadly when I am very upset I tend towards incoherence so you have to forgive me (You can read an efficient and interesting review on In a bid to create a 'new side' for spiderman, the scriptwriters completely turned the essence of the character upside down - and it wasn't for the best.

Then no one even thought to pay attention to continuity so that we could at least believe what they were saying. Then all those ridicuoous villains who were rebelling without a cause? The whole thing about the black crawling suit and the evolution of the sandman was STUPID. How it turns out that the ex-convict who becomes the Sandman becomes the guy who killed Spidey's precious Uncle Ben? And the pole officer's daughter is also the girl who was saved by Spidey is also his lab colleague and is also supposed to be dating his arch-enemy? Oh please give me a break!

Unfortunately, it is still a watchable movie - there's all the boom and the bam that technology brings to save poor quality movies. Except of course for the editing with its very poor transitions from scene to scene. Spiderman 3 basically runs on the Spiderman format and nothing else. It is a big anticlimax from Spiderman 2 - and based on scripting and characterisation, Nollywood films have done much better.

Myself and Emilia left the cinema about 10 minutes to the end of the movie in protest. And immediately we stood up, about 5 other people followed suit.

I know that Toby Mcguire wants to be able to have enough money to make more million-dollar donations to political campaigns (and even I wish the same for him seeing as he is channeling the movie towards my dear, dear Hillary Bill-Clinton) but really, he should have passed on this one. And oh dont get me started on the ageing Kirsten Durst or whatever her name is.

Irapada Instead
One of the reasons I am even the more upset with myself for going against type and falling for the Spidey hype is the fact I know I SHOULD HAVE gone to see Nigeria's new offering at the cinemas - Irapada.

Irapada is an excellent movie, into which a lot of hard work I went: actually the same production suite that moulded the movie produced the future awards promo at about the same time and so I knew it was going to be fantastic. Kunle Afolayan, who I am not particularly fond on sha, did a lot of hard work for that film. And everyone who has seen it agrees that all the work paid off. I am proud of him.

I should have gone to see that movie! I shouldnt have been shallow and gone for the hype! What moral right do I have to charge others with cultural hypocrisy when I just fell for it myself?

Anyways, since my mum has been bugging and bugging that she wants to see Irapada (even her!), anyone looking to give me a million dollars can deliver it to me by hand at the Silverbird Galleria on Tuesday evening. Just look for which hall is showing Irapada!

The Law Office
Okay, I must apologise for not posting all these days. The internet in the office that I had praised earlier (oh dear Nigeria!) has gone bonkers! And so it seems have the ogas at the Law Office. Putting up an attendance register at the office ... and then one of them comes up the other day and starts threatening fire and brimstone because someone didnt come to work: "I will start being wicked with you people," he says. Oh purlease! I last heard that from my class captain at K. Kotun Memorial Nusery and Primary School!!

Add that to the 2-hour traffic to and from home; and you will pity me. So - here's thanking my friend whose internet I am sending this from on a fantastic Sunday afternoon!!!

A New Toy (Old for many I know, But this is Chude's Blog, Remember)
FINALLY, I had the guts to walk into the Nu Metro store at The Palms and get myself an i-pod after years and years of agonising!!!!!! This time, I rushed into the bank, cashed the money and ran off immediately to get it before my courage failed me one again!!!

It's funny, because i-pods were most certainly was made for me. I am a music junkie; I live on and for music, and had always wondered how one could get music on the go - music per mood.

But you know those thoughts you think only you are having?! Until about half of a decade ago (I am one of those slow to catch up on new technology thank you very much) I was submitted to the 'indignity' of my former boss, yapping me once again for being 'old in the head' when I asked what an ipod was. I couldnt beleive someone had actually done it!

She ended up buying me an mp3 player, which I later lost - but the i-pod had to be the final destination. Still I couldnt bring myself to go beyond my usual sensibleness to spend on this luxury! Yes, the cost of a 20-gig i-pod is the amount of money some people spend at Saga VII in one night I know, but not for me, thank you very much.

So each time I had 'free money', I had to think of something more urgent, more sensible. But I hjavbe finally been defeated by the spirit of music! And ever since I liberatyed my senses with the pod - which I have already filled halfway - it has been a rollercoaster, I tell you. An ipod isnt a luxury ... it's a NECESSITY! A NECESSITY!

Lunch Here, Lunch There
Emilia tells me I will soon be broke (I reject it in Jesus' Name!) because I have been spending so much money on lucnh with my friends since I came back, but it is money worth spending! Over the past two weeks, I have graced Barcelos, Nandos and Robert's Cafe with my presence having lunch with all the people I havent seen with my eyes since Abuja, and it is straining my pocket yes, but it is worth it!

One or two of course have been dates, and I am happy to inform you that I finally got the date I prayed for two posts ago!!!! It was all I wished for and more, since a mutual friend also joined us. I had a rollicking time just listening to the two ladies out-talk me ... I couldnt get a word in! (Which reminds me, dear 'Mutual Friend' otherwise called my 'Sparring Partner' - I am holding you to your promise!!!!!!)

Another lunch that was fun - twas with my my one sure source for Island gossip, my super-ED friend who I have blogged about before. It was fun, fun lunch gisting on all and sundry (oh and this time, someone else paid for lunch!). Plus I have INSIDE Scoop on Ms. Osinowo/Mrs. Soleye's 'happily married life' - but sadly can't share!lol

What else?
'Aunty Stella' as I fondly called her, and the enfant terrible of Nigherian gossip, has opened her blog. Its stelladimoko-korkus.blogspot I think and it has all the juicy gist from Lagos. She has called me names on the blog I hear, and I will check it out - but she can yab me all she wants; Stella has been good to me that I can forgive her bad mouth!

When Stella plugs anything on her column, people hear about it! And not just anybody, i mean THE people who you want to talk to! And this she has done for me continuously without asking a kobo at anytime! I will blog about her properly sometime soon, but meanwhile check her out for yourself. And just ignore all the bravado - that young lady (not so young!) is all mush inside!

Well that's it people ... I have more than made up for the past week havent I?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Fantastic Day, Amala Olaiya et al

Today was a FANTASTIC day ... Oh I'm LOVING Lagos!!! I'm saying this so that I will be committed to blogging about it. (lol)

Did I tell you guys that I was sent away from thh office yesterday because I wasn't putting on a tie?!?! If only they knew that the tucked in shirt and shoes actually took all the effort in the world ... me aladire activist?! It seems like the battle between me and the legal establishment has just begun!!!

By the way, I am officially an addict of Olaiya's Amala. I have been going there EVERYDAY since I came back, yeeee!!

Hope those in Nigeria had a nice worker's day?