Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The African All-Female Musical Ensemble, Nefretiti, turned One today, the 28th of February. They chose to use laspapi’s offices to celebrate. Also rehearsing at about the same time were the Cast and Crew of Anatomy of A Woman, laspapi’s stage play featuring Stella Damasus on Sunday the 25th of March at the Muson Centre.
There was an artistes’ jam immediately after the rehearsal minus the presence of the Diva, Stella, who did not make this rehearsal.. The uniformly dressed females are some of the members of Nefretiti led by Adunni.

KIND invites you to a V-Day 2007 benefit performance of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play to raise money and awareness for local organizations that work to stop violence against women and girls.
This year’s performance includes top female actresses like Joke Silva, Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic, Iretiola Doyle, Teniola Aofiyebi, Omonor Imobhio and a lot more. Performances would be from 6:30pm at the Agip Hall, Muson (14th & 21st Of March), and Planet One (17th March). Light refreshments will be provided

Proceeds from this performance would be donated to a Rape Crisis Center in Lagos and a VVF Rehabilitation Centre in Kano. Tickets cost 3,000 naira each and can be procured from 5th March at Quintessence and Planet One. For Advance Group bookings and ticket delivery services call KIND on 08033652200, or 01-8902970, 8179398.
We look forward to seeing you at the V-Day event.

Amy Oyekunle
Programme Manager (KIND)
Organizer, V-Day Lagos 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Ghanerian Idol

The producers of West African Idol have lost the plot.

Firstly, this competition that was meant to be open to participants from all over West Africa took place in only two countries, Nigeria and Ghana.

Secondly, the auditions in Ghana had, at least for a part of the event, only two judges, Nana and Dede. Dan Foster was missing in action. How two judges agreed on who was to be taken to the next stage and who was not, was beyond myself and other viewers. Previously, it had been sufficient that two out of the three judges said “Yes”. What they did in the event of a deadlock between the two judges in Ghana wasn’t explained to us.

Furthermore, it became apparent that because the producers sought a wider representation of West African citizens for their ambitiously-named reality show, totally mediocre singers claiming to be from Liberia or some other unrepresented nation were allowed to go through to the next stage while stronger voices were dropped. I saw this happen.

So truthfully, this maiden edition should be tagged “The Ghanerian Idol”.

For those who rise to the defence of all that is African, no matter how shoddy the presentation is, it’s time to tell ourselves the truth. The producers of American Idol wouldn’t have dared film an episode with only two judges, but here, it went on, for some unfathomable reason. It would have taken nothing to have an auxiliary judge, or to just have waited for Foster’s eventual appearance.

There are 24 contestants left now but I’m tired of the lack of intelligence the producers seem to think runs amongst the programme’s viewers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Vagina Monologues will be back on the Nigerian Stage on the 14th and 21st of March at Muson and at Planet One on the 17th of March.
The play will feature Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Zara Udofia, Marie Epkere and Teni Aofiyebi amongst several others. The picture shows from bottom left and clockwise, Joke Silva, Omonor Imobhio, Iretiola Doyle and Iyabo Amoke who were all part of the first Nigerian presentation last year and are in the forthcoming production as well.
This production will be directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa.
Below is an anonymous comment left under my post on mental health titled "Broken Walls". I thought it better to post it. The consequences of a breakdown in mental health are far-reaching and the strain on the family of the afflicted is a heavy one.

I grew up in a happy large middle class family.
When I was a child,I remember that I would ask my mother why God allowed some people to be mentally unwell.

I had never had any close contact with a mental breakdown until I turned 28 and my older brother turned 30 and began to act strange.

It started with him suspecting that his girlfriend and siblings were attacking him spiritually. Then he sough solace in church.

Atthis point I thought he was being spiritual, and that he had found God but I learnt later that spiritual fanatism is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

My brother had his first breakdown in 2004 and had two other break downs intermittently over the next 18months.

I come from a middle class, very enviable family. And in my worst nightmare I would never have forseen such a trial for my brother and for our family.

I have not been faced with anything more frightening. In fact in the face of life threatening circumstances, I laugh because I feel that nothing is worse than seeing a loved one in torment and not being able to do very much about it.

My brother is stable now, but I find myself worrying. What if he decided to stop taking his medication? What if we fail to watch him closely enough.What if?

I have no other anxieties, no other needs than to be assured that my brother will continue to be well.

Unfortunately pshychiatric treatment is not an exact science. And even the medication he is taking have unpleasant side effects.

Wole, what you did with your neighbour is very commendable. But you must take to heart that God made us all with different strengths. The burden you have for people is a gift and a curse. It is what drives you and what gives you fulfillment. Not everyone has this gift, this burden and you must understand that.
This was sent me by Jahman, Editor of the Guardian on Sunday


Dier Senior Gerente Jotel:

Now I am tell yu di story jau I was treated at yor jotel.
I cum from miami florida as touris to orlando and estay at yor jotel.
When I cum in my room I see der is no shit in my bed.
How can I sleep with no shit in my bed?
Ay col down de ricepchon and tell dem: -"I wanna shit".
Dey tell me "Go to the toilet".. I sey "No, no, I wanna shit in my

Dey sey "You betta not shit in yor bed, you sonnawabitch".

What is that of sonnawabitch?.
I go down for di restoran for breikfast.
I order beicon and eggs and two pisses of toast, I getta only one
piss of toast. I tell di waitress and I points to toast.
"I wanna piss". She tella me Go to the toilet"...
I say "No, No, I wanna piss on my plate".
She den say to me: "You piss on yor plate, I col da cops, you

Secon person who don even know me, and chi col me sonnawabitch!
What is that of sonnawabitch?

So I go to di ricepchon and ask for di bil.
I no wanna stay in dis jotel no more. When I have pay di bil, the
porter say to me: "Thank you and piss be with you".
I say "piss on you too, you sonnawabitch!
"If I go back to orlando , I'll never more comma stay in your jotel,
you sonnawabitch.

John Towers
(Juan Torres Delano)

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I sat open-mouthed for about half an hour tonight and watched as sado-masochists ran at full pelt before the judges of West African Idol , our version of the American Idol and the British Pop Idol, and asked to be humiliated. The judges- a good looking female simply known as Nana with a striking head of dreads, Dede- Fela Anikulapo Kuti's apprentice, clone etc and Dan "The Cool Breeze" Foster, the African-American presenter on Cool FM.

Nana played the part of Paula Abdul, usually pleasant but firm when the need arose, Foster played Randy Jackson, the nice Music Producer and Dede played Simon Cowell to a fault.

A lot of those contestants certainly deserved to be cussed out like they were and I had truly never seen a more deluded crowd than those who came to audition. There was a guy who couldn't have been a day under 45 but claimed to be 30 (the age limit). When asked to sing, what he crooned and tried to dance to, in the most ghastly voice was Michael Jackson's "Dance, Come on...", confirming how old he was, really. He looked his age, and the judges made it obvious they didn't believe his "official" age.

Another girl came on to sing R.Kelly's "I believe I can fry...". Yeah, she said "fry". They came repeatedly, smashed aside time after time by the judges, one evidently psychotic and looking around the set as if he was looking for a heart to plunge a knife in and I saw Dede, the most street-wise of the judges, furtively searching for an escape route. Others just talentless and without enough sense to realize this, were immune to the insults of the judges. There were a few great singers but the great majority couldn't sing to save their lives. It is every man's inalienable right, the right to deceive yourself. No one can take it from you.

I winced repeatedly, yelled, ranted and then switched channels.

I do not like pain.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another sign on laspapi's office wall.

According to Aero-nautical tests, a Bumble Bee cannot fly because of the shape and weight of its body in relation to its total wing area. The Bumble Bee does not know this however, so it goes ahead and flies anyway

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Today I went to the National Arts Theatre to see the stage play, Oya, (The Goddess of the Whirlwind) written by Lekan Balogun and directed by Steve James. It had Kenneth Uphopho as Ogun, Toyin Olokodana James as Oya and Olarotimi Michaels as Sango.

Even though based on the legends of old, the story is one that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. According to the playwright, Oya and Ogun are married, but Ogun the god of war, has little time for anything else apart from warring. Oya, desperate to have a child and tired of Ogun spurning her pleas for him to tarry awhile at home and make her pregnant, willingly falls into the hands of the seducing Sango. There is an epic battle between Sango and Ogun over Oya, their armies standing by as the fight goes on.

In the end, Ogun gives up Oya, refusing to fight any longer. It could have been a 21st century tale, well told and acted as it was.

I’m writing a stage play on mental illness, a phenomenon more common than many realise. According to statistics, more than one in 10 of us will be the subject of a mental breakdown at some point in our lives. That doesn’t always translate to one roaming the streets half naked as the psychotic vagrants do, but sometimes regular people lose it.

I grew up off Adeniran Ogunsanya in Surulere, before it became a business zone, a group of 4 interlocking streets, a middle-class set -up where we all knew each other, parents, children, all had age-groups and we all rolled together.

I had a friend on my street, I’ll call him ‘Femi’. He was part of the football team I played for as a child, our secret weapon, because when he hit a football, everyone cleared out of the way. Very fashionable as I recall, went partying with his own particular nucleus of friends, did all the usual things boys did. He was better looking than most of us, bigger too. He was a well taken-care of kid.

He got into the Obafemi Awolowo University a year before I did and when I was admitted, green from the streets of Surulere, he was a “squatter” in my Angola Hall room.

One night in Ife, I came in late and met all my other room-mates gathered. “You’ve known Femi since you were a child”, they said. “Yeah”, I replied. “We think he has a problem”. Apparently, they had witnessed epileptic seizures that lifted him several feet off the bed each time they hit. The day I witnessed these fits myself, I went into shock. The seizures would lift him as if he was a toy and toss him down. Repeatedly.

I spoke to him about it, after. He said he’d been to fellowship, they’d prayed, he was on medication too. His father drove down from Lagos to thank me for letting him stay with me. When I’d allowed him to, it wasn’t because I knew he had a ‘condition’. Femi went on to graduate three years later.

One day after my graduation, and as I took a drive in Surulere, I saw a dishevelled Femi in buba and sokoto walking along a busy road. As I parked next to him and he came closer, I could smell him. He couldn’t have had a bath in weeks.
He spoke softly as he usually did but I knew something was wrong. Apparently, the seizures had caused a mental disorder of sorts.

I drove away that day and didn’t see him for a while. After a while, I began to hear reports of Femi standing shirtless in front of a popular Fast-Food place in Surulere. He’d beg for scraps of food and just loiter.

His father had died, he had two other brothers, one older ,who had disappeared into England leaving no trace a while back, and a younger, who had inherited the house and promptly sold it. Don’t ask me to question the father’s wisdom in giving only one son his property. The younger brother on his way to play football, (we all still play the game), would drive past Femi who was begging for food and money, and go hang out with friends. Younger brother started off a new business etc.

I went to see the guys in the neighbourhood who had been in Femi’s “nuclear-friendship” group, those who had stolen out at night with him, pushing his parent’s car silently into the streets to go partying with him as teenagers. One of them said they had tried to help femi but femi was “not ready to help himself”. That was said of a mentally-ill person. The mothers in the neighbourhood and particularly on my street who knew femi as a toddler would all walk past him too, minding their business.

There were reports of strange things. He would stand muttering to himself on the main road and turn 360° on a tight axis continuously without any obvious reason. His hair was coming out in tufts. In his lucid moments, he would ask after his old friends.

I wasn’t staying in Surulere any longer but news of femi filtered to me. One day, while being driven past femi’s house by a female friend after a date, she told me, “they say a mad man whose father used to own this house now stands outside it, just looking”. It was femi she spoke of, femi’s father’s house she pointed to, a house I had played in as a child and had many great memories of. She had no idea I knew him well.

At that time, I had made concrete plans to go abroad on a “sabbatical”, but I knew if I left without stretching my hand to a brother, things would never be the same. I parked by the roadside beside femi the next day, to tell him I’d come to take him to a hospital He understood, expressed his appreciation. I heard people on Adeniran Ogunsanya whisper as I crouched that "he knows him...they're talking". For a few days, I couldn’t go back but my younger siblings who still stayed in our home on the street said he’d sometimes ask if I was still coming.

The day I took him off the streets, I came armed with old, clean clothes and money gotten from people who had never known him but who stretched out their hands to help. I took him to the house I grew up in and made him take his bath at the back with soap, a sponge and a towel I’d just bought. All he had was the pair of tattered shorts he wore which he held up by the use of a rope. After the bath, he put on a buba and sokoto that I had brought along as well as a pair of slippers. As we turned to leave, he tried to take along the shorts he’d taken off but I stopped him and threw the rope and the shorts away. I drove him down to the Yaba Psychiatric hospital and with the money I’d raided off friends, paid for his medication and admission. While we waited for him to be taken into his new home, he sat quietly, appearing clean and rested.
Before I left on my sabbatical, a “mother” on the street came to thank me and pray, telling me how God would bless me for taking care of femi. I looked at her as she spoke. She who had watched him on the streets daily till he became a permanent fixture. The heart of man is desperately wicked.

I had people close to me pay him visits in hospital in my absence. Many did, who had never known him before he was admitted.
During the ‘sabbatical’ , I got a call from femi’s younger brother who said they were refusing him access to femi at the psychiatric hospital because his name wasn’t on my list of visitors. I called him every name imaginable and when I returned to the country, almost came to blows with him.

Maybe it’s easy for me to judge this younger brother. Maybe he’d tried in his own way, many times, and it didn’t work for femi. There are great obstacles in looking after the mentally ill. Maybe. When femi was discharged from the hospital, he went to live with his older half-sister. I never knew he had one. She was married, had her own family and must have been faced with her own challenges. Last time I heard of femi, he was fine. I hope he still is.

Mental illness is not the preserve of drug addicts alone. It can happen to anyone from any background. When we see a broken wall, let’s help rebuild the breach quickly. There are terrible things that happen in life to people, things I have no explanation for... but like the Marines say, “Leave no man behind”.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My candle burns at both ends,
It shall not last the night.
But ah! My foes...
and oh! My friends,
It gives a perfect light.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Often, people, family inclusive, demand that we meet their expectations of us. The way they'd like us to be, the compartments they had ready-made for us. A refusal to comply often causes friction. I'd like to think my life is mine. This is difficult atimes but I continually try to walk the path of personal expression.
As Frank Sinatra sang, I'd like my elegy to be "I did it my way".

As I drove into my office's car lot yesterday, I was accosted by 2 females in branded t-shirts and caps. They were selling condoms, a new type- Xcite by a leading health care company, Fidson Pharmaceuticals.

What was special about this? The girls said the condom had a twist on top for extra pleasure, and that twist had an additional purpose, it served as a receptacle for the...ahem... specimen so that unlike condoms of the past, no longer would you have to get up and wash a condom so as to reuse it. The space on top would let you use the same condom on and on forever. Those were their exact words. Honest. So yesterday, I met with the ultimate product- A condom that never dies.

The sales pitch was the most outrageous and dangerous I ever heard. It might be wise for this company to re-train its sales girls. Nigeria has enough STD problems as is, without some girls advocating the re-use of prophylactics.

Friday, February 16, 2007

5 more

After consideration and due thought, I felt it was right for me to add another 5 of the world's most attractive women. This is according to laspapi. Those who disagree should take no offence but I personally think these are lovely women.

As in the previous post, laspapi's friends are not part of the list. (Well, I cheated the last time, Peju Alatishe is a friend)

Essence Atkins (Actor-Deliver us from Eva) (See picture)

Lauryn Hill (Singer)

Julia Roberts (Actor- Pretty Woman, Ocean's 12)

Portia De Rossi (Actor- Ally McBeal) (She's also gay)

Uma Thurman (Actor- Kill Bill, Be Cool)
laspapi's way

Warning- The post below contains strong language and sentiments. It also displays an utter lack of modesty by this blogger.

An anonymous sort came on here saying, under my the bold, the cool and the beautiful post featuring funmi iyanda, that "I really like your blog laspapi, but the sucking up big time is really beginning to get to me now."

I thought to myself, "what was the matter with asking funmi iyanda questions?" She's a very good friend, she's a Class A Celebrity in Nigeria, I call her Moses because of the ground-breaking work she does and she considers me her official "joshua" in that work, I've been a guest on her show more than a dozen times, she attends my stage shows... too many reasons, many personal I'd rather not go into for the sake of anonymous comments.

Funmi gave me TV exposure years ago when I needed people to know of my genius (they know now, who ever said laspapi was modest ;-D )

So when I talk to/about my friends, I'm considered a suck-up by anonymous commentators.

I have a trait. I stand by my friends, I extol their values, little and large, celebrity and street boys (I'm friends with all sorts). I won't stop this for anyone, if anonymous would like to reach the bold, the cool and the beautiful, I'll do a hook-up. I know them in droves, they are good friends, not people I pass by in restaurants and whisper, "that's ....". There might be a problem though. People usually know when you don't really like them, so no amount of intros will give you friends.

I also know that comment wasn't really about Funmi, anybody who knows me in real life knows the way I am with her. When they organize "girls-only" surprise parties for her, I'm one of the only two or three males invited (and I'm not gay).

Now to the matter. That comment even though placed several posts down was really about my post on jahman anikulapo of the Guardian. I know these things. I love all my friends and I consider loyalty as one of my greatest strengths. If these friends happen to be powerful, that's a plus. Sometimes I write as things come to me and as I ponder issues.
Jahman and his literary twin, Toyin Akinosho, stood by me in the initial days of writing and staging plays, as I meandered through ferocious criticism. I was trained as a lawyer, and obtained two post-graduate degrees that had nothing to do with theatre. People spoke, felt I had no business there. I stayed the course. And today, everyone's gonna laugh at you if you say laspapi's training is just in the law. I'm a Class A dramatist. Drama's taken me everywhere... And jahman's support was a major part of it.
He and I have had our spats as all people have, "when two people agree all the time, it means only one is doing the thinking". But he is, in my opinion, the most powerful man in the Nigerian Arts and Cultural circuit and you ignore him at your own peril.

By the way, this is my blog. I'll speak highly of whomsoever I want and write in the exact style I want. I'll also kindly ask you, "anonymous-really-liking-my-blog" to get the #$%^&* off and go study why pluto's no longer a planet.
And just as a parting shot, remember, "it's not who you know, it's who knows you".

Thursday, February 15, 2007

After a meeting a short while back, I raised the issue with two friends, Deji Toye and Ayo Arigbabu- Is Jahman Anikulapo the most powerful person in the Arts and Cultural circuit in Nigeria? Jahman is the Editor of the Guardian on Sunday and Life Magazine. He is also the Programmes Chair Person of the Committee of Relevant Art (CORA), the country's leading Arts Advocacy group.
Why does this interest me? These are the waters I swim in. It's like the world of playwrights- The King is Wole Soyinka, Breakfast TV is Funmi Iyanda, Ahmed Yerima is the country's number 1 Arts Officer, Bolanle Austyn-Peters is C.E.O. of one of the most respected Arts Centres in the country etc, Ali Baba rules the comedians, The Bruce Family Dynasty (Silverbird) has shackled the Entertainment Empire. One should know those of influence in one's circle.

So Jahman, whose middle name is Oladejo... Is he the most influential person in the Arts and Cultural circuit?
The premise- The Guardian does the most work on Arts and Culture in the country. The Guardian on Sunday especially. That is his portfolio. CORA is also the most relevant of the Arts advocacy groups. Jahman's proteges litter the Arts landscape- I have met many of them and I hear them say how they got where they now are because Jahman stood by them. They are many.
By the way, if I recall properly, my fellow discussants that day leaned that way too.

This post is for those who write, have literary leanings and seek exposure- mack, jola, vera etc. It might be good to know Jahman.

Went to Mona's who directed visitors to snazzy's "10 signs you've been away from naija too long". I found it funny and I thought up some more so here are-

laspapi's signs you've been away from Naija too long.

1) You stay in hotels when you come home because you suspect your welcome has worn thin with friends and your distant relatives.

2) You come on holiday and walk down the street you grew up on. No one recognizes you apart from the neighbourhood freeloader who spends an hour telling a sob-story so he can sponge off you. You finally give him some money and he asks whether he can get it in dollars.

3) After he’s gone, you find your wallet is missing.

4) You call your Nigerian ‘home-boy’ and his P.A. always picks the phone. You use a number he does not know and home boy picks up the phone himself. You suspect he’s tired of your 58-minute thrice-a-week marathon conversations.

5) You wear a fanny pack everywhere when on holiday.

6) You don’t know the bus-stops.

7) You don’t know the black spots. You attempt to take a stroll down the Marina at 8pm- fanny pack, camera and gold wristwatch in full view.

8) A policeman slaps some poor chap around. You interfere saying “Nigeria is for all of us”.

9) The policeman points his gun at you. You laugh at him with your ‘janded/yankee’ accent, saying “you’re joking, of course”. When he slaps you too, you shout, “I want to speak to your superior”.

10) Every time you see beggars at the beginning of the street, you throw a wad of notes at them. You are surprised when a band of amputees trail you home and wave guns and knives in your face yelling, “where is d dollas, where is d U-ros?”

11) You think ‘Silverbird Galleria’ is a place where they keep exotic birds.

12) You think “Ben Bruce” is a new perfume.

13) You think MBGN stands for a new type of machine gun

14) You tell strangers you catch in conversation on the streets, “your vote counts”.

15) You trustingly tell taxi drivers and all who enquire-“I’m here on holiday”

16) You attempt to look out of the window when you hear gunfire raging on the streets.

17) When you see cars ahead of you doing U-turns on the 3rd Mainland Bridge, tyres screeching and their drivers yelling warnings of “Ole” (thieves), you tell your driver to “…go on. One must never run without knowing what is pursuing one”.
You are surprised when he jumps out of the car and takes off in the opposite direction. You are even more surprised that he has taken the car keys with him. Your jaw drops in astonishment when the robbing posse saunters over to where you sit petrified in the car and say- “We are international armed robbers. Co-operate with us and there’ll be no trouble”. You wonder why the lead man gives you a black eye when you say “we are one”.
I had this handwritten and pinned to my offfice wall. It makes me think.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than the unsuccessful man with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge
Former President of the USA.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

laspapi's new play, Anatomy of a Woman, starring Stella Damasus-Aboderin will be presented at the Muson Centre on Sunday the 25th of March 2007.

The theme: What does an African woman really want?

Since I'm starting a new career as "The Girl Whisperer", I thought I'd look closely at this issue.

Looking forward to working with Stella.

ps. This play is dedicated to Storm who once dedicated the song, "Save me from myself", to me. Now's the time to read the script, Storm.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

3's Tag

I was tagged by Nilla

Three things that scare me:
1. The indiscriminate violence in Iraq
2. The Nigerian Economy
3. The death of loved ones

Three people who make me laugh:
1. The Cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’
2. Martin Lawrence
3. Baba Suwe (I'm sorry)

Three Things I love:
1. Films
2. Books
3. Football Video games

Three Things I hate:
1. The Nigerian Police
2. NEPA/PHCN officials
3. Clueless customer service units

Three Things I don't understand:
1. Algebra
2. Why the grass always looks greener on the other side
3. Greek

Three things on my desk:
1. A lamp
2. A CD player
3. My Wallet

Three things I’m doing right now:
1. Listening to Dido’s ‘Hunter’
2. Moving my head in time to the music
3. Singing where I remember the lines

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Own a 20th Century Fox type of company
2. Go round the world with Wole Soyinka
3. Improve the lives of many others

Three things I can do:
1. Non-Linear Editing
2. Handle a Camera for TV
3. Play a mean game of football

Three things you should listen to:
1. Your instincts
2. Common Sense
3. A Nigerian Policeman with a gun

Three things you should never listen to:
1. People who tell you it can’t be done
2. Advice about gold from blacksmiths
3. Those who lay the blame for their misfortunes on others

Three things I’d like to learn:
1. French
2. The Guitar
3. Patience

Three favourite foods:
1. Rice
2. Apples
3. Plantain

Three beverages I drink regularly:
1. Water
2. Orange juice
3. More Water

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
1. The Hardy Boys (Read)
2. Felix the Cat (watched)
3. Skippy the bush kangaroo (watched)

Three people I'm tagging (that's if you've not already done this)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I caught up with the movie, Notting Hill, again last night after 8 years(a re-run on Cable TV). Starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, it struck me how this could be one of the greatest love stories ever made(along with 'Pretty Woman', of course).
A very good-looking female who makes $15 million per movie meets the regular Joe who owns a not-too flourishing bookshop, but has a good network of family and friends and seems content. Then they fall in love. He strives to show her normalcy, she is drawn away by the pressures and stress of being a household showbiz name.

At the end of this tale, she follows her heart, comes pleading and tells him, "I'm just a girl asking a boy to love me".

Incredible. It made me feel very good. It also made me realize how far my life had drifted from what was my target when I was a child. I just wanted to be happy, have great endings like this in life. And so you might say, it's just a movie- Isn't Julia Roberts the quintessential 'Runaway Bride' in reality? And wasn't Mr Grant, in reality, caught with the prostitute, Divine Brown in his car a few years ago, while he was still engaged to Elizabeth Hurley?

Ok, if those thoughts have crossed your mind, you're as jaded as I am and you need to sit and strive for beauty again. Really.
I think we allow something to be taken from us as we grow 'older and wiser'. We allow life to tell us what direction we ought to be heading, what manner we ought to love others. In reality, I do not have the supportive family network that supported H. Grant in his time of need; I do not have the patience to suffer rejection, anyone that says no to me cant be good for me, "I've grown older and wiser".

I'd like to leave this earth having experienced the purity of emotions like those that propelled the two lead actors in Notting Hill, again. Last time I felt like that, I was 14 or 15 years old and the skies were blue then. I believed in innocence and didn't realise bad things happen to good people and that only the strong survive.

But like in 'desiderata', we should stop to smell the roses. "What is this world if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?"

So this street-wise Lagosian was made to sit and think yesterday. There is beauty out there in all areas, and not just in love. May our eyes be open to see.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Ozzidi king will be 65. Venue for the Great Highlife Party organized by CORA is the O'Jez restaurant, National Stadium, Surulere on Sunday the 25th of February at 6pm.
Sorry about the non-functioning link I put up previously to the new zone for hosting the Nigerian Discussion Series. Our host is Solo'delle and you can join all the others here as we march on for an answer to the Nigerian question.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yesterday, I went to see the magnificent film, Blood Diamond. An extra-ordinary piece of work. Leonardo Di Caprio who has never been my favourite actor marched strongly up my polls after the movie. He has this thing for giving his life for others in movies, however, which is why I never wanted to see him after 'The Titanic'. Africans like laspapi are fond of nice endings, not dying after going through so much. It's one of the reasons I'm crazy about Shawshank Redemption.

It was my baby, Storm's birthday, yesterday. She turned 21. You may see the poem I wrote for her in Verses in the Storm.

Stella Damasus-Aboderin will be featuring/starring in my next Stage Play, Anatomy of a Woman, at the Muson Centre. Date is Sunday the 25th of March, Times are 3pm and 6pm. There'll be more details and a flier of this available on this blog shortly. The play is dedicated to Storm.
ps. Stella's name isn't 'Damascus' as I've heard some say.

The discussion on the NIGERIAN SERIES will from today move to Solomonsydelle's after spending a week here. Let's keep it going. Solo'delle might just have found a way to circumvent the 'Nigerian' problem. She dropped very interesting suggestions here and will probably elaborate on her blog.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Bold, the Cool and the Beautiful.

Went to the recording of Funmi Iyanda’s “New Dawn” today and cornered Funmi after, to appear in my new ‘blog-column’(See picture-funmi & laspapi). Funmi who had resolved not to do interviews this year couldn’t resist laspapi’s charms.

Middle name?

Where will you be in 10 years?
I’d like to have built a platform to powerfully tell the Nigerian story; stories out of Africa, told professionally and creatively. I’d also like to raise a platform to train girls in different parts of the media. I’d like to build a platform to engage a whole new generation and to develop practical strategy for a new society. It’s a long term goal.

Political ambition?
It becomes clearer as the days go by that you must be in a position (politically) to make actual change. I don’t know how that will happen.

Have you ever loved?
Oh yeah

Do you believe in true love?
There’s no such thing. There are no absolutes in life so why do we expect it in love? I think two people can meet at a particular time and deeply connect. If they wish to nurture the relationship, then it goes on.

Funmi and I played Words and Associations:

Love………(She laughs)

Sex………Ha! A bigger laugh.

Marriage……(She sneers)

Laspapi……………Aah. A big hug.


Who do you look up to?
I don’t look up to people, I have people I deeply respect and admire. I’d say my friend, Bose Afolabi (N.B. by laspapi- Bose is a gynaecologist, a lecturer at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and one of the best read people I know)

Your concept of God?
It’s very hard to imagine all I see in the universe has no design. There must be a superior intellect.

Favourite perfume?
Agent Provocateur

Favourite Clothes maker?
It depends on the look I’m trying to achieve.

A word for posterity?
My deepest desire is to exist in an environment where each and every person has a good chance if he or she wills, to become the best of their design-What they were uniquely created to be.

Can you see your unborn children in my eyes?
(She shakes her head in a firm “no”)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Please scroll down to participate in the Nigeria Discussion Series. The topic is Nigeria-A Lost Cause (The Politics...The Politicians)

For those interested in walking down Nigerian Television's memory lane, jola's done great work in digging up material on those TV programmes that kept us up till late hours in yesteryears, the good and the ...not so good. In my mind, after reading her post, I could recall a black and white sony tv we had, it had legs and a slide to cover the screen.

Up till this day, I'm bewildered when I hear Colour Television has been around since almost forever. For some reason I thought it only came into existence a few days before my father purchased it. It didn't help matters that our family was one of the first to purchase one in the neighbourhood. Ah, ignorance...

Met up with Agatha of the TV Talk Show, Inside Out, at her office and after the matter she asked us to meet on was sorted, decided to start off with her as the first subject of a new series on my blog titled the bold, the cool & the beautiful. In the series, I'll be talking to the literatti, the glitteratti and all the other rattis I come across from time to time.

Inside Out with Agatha.

Your middle name?
Uyor (means joy in Ebu Language, Delta State)

Where will you be in 10 years?
I have no idea. (thinks) Richer, happier, Inside Out will be international, my son will be out of University, my daughter will be in University, I’ll be content with life, hopefully where ever I find myself is where I’ll want to be.

Do you believe in true love?
(laughs) It's very difficult to find but it’s there. Once in a green moon, people find their soul mates.

Your hope for Nigeria?
I believe in Nigeria. I can’t live anywhere else, this is home. I pray for leaders that love Nigeria more than themselves, that put service above self.

Laspapi asked Agatha to play words and associations:



Marriage?……………Wahala! (Trouble)

Laspapi?…………….Eccentric, rubbish, stubborn.

If you weren’t into TV, what would you be doing?
Banking or some other serious profession

Favourite Perfume?
Beautiful-Estee Lauder

Who do you look up to?

Favourite Holiday Destination?
The Seychelles, even though I haven’t been there yet. Saw pictures of my sister’s visit.

Favourite Musician?
I have a wide range.

Last book read?
“Yellow, Yellow” by Kaine Agary (pronounced (kaini)

A word for posterity?
Life is short, death is short. Its not how long but how well.

Peju Alatishe at the Lagos Book and Arts Festival 2006

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The Nigerian Series was originated by Nilla to take on topical issues about and in the country. From week to week, it will be hosted by different bloggers, allowing as wide a range as possible of participation.

My view of the problems that beset Nigeria is one not obscured by idealism. I lay all blame at the doorstep of the rulers of this country, the politicians who have with single-mindedness looted the country at the expense of development. In my eyes also, the soldiers who have ruled are no different from the mis-managing pols. As Araceli once pointed out, those responsible for the decades-old crippling of the country should be labelled rulers and not leaders.
Some regard Nigeria as a failed state, some as a seriously ailing one, but apart from those in denial, all agree the country has serious problems.

A point one should note is that faces might have changed in Nigerian governments over the years but the guiding spirit has remained the same. It is not a spirit that looks to the well-being of its people.
Can any deny that the ideals of the Northern People's Congress (NPC) of the 60s was not continued by the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the 70s and 80s and into the present century by the People's Democratic Party (PDP)? Or that the tribal Western Nigeria party, the Action Group (AG) did not evolve into the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and then into the now incapacitated Alliance for Democracy (AD)?
The same people, fulfilling the same programmes, looking out mainly for themselves, regarding the country as chattel suitable only for looting.

My position on the country is this- Shameless politicians have almost without exception gutted the country with no sense of decency and as a people, we no longer expect those in authority to serve us or better our collective lot.

General Elections in Nigeria will take place in March of this year and already voters card machines have been found in the Ibadan home of the thug-lord, Adedibu, the self acclaimed king maker of Oyo State. There shall be no prosecution of this blood-thirsty geriatric who is protected by the Presidency as there was no prosecution of the simpleton, Chris Uba who abducted the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chris Uba on behalf of himself and his brother, Andrew, an aspiring governor of that state and aide to the President of Nigeria . The examples are too many to be placed on one post: The President and Vice President accusing and counter-accusing each other of claims of corruption, claim after claim, going on and on... The dreamers, 'Upstarts' like Pat Utomi with radical and life-changing positive ideas will never be allowd to take the throne, let us not deceive ourselves.

The question: Where do we, as a people, take it from here? What do we do about the thieving politicians who would rather die than give up the goose that lays their golden eggs? Already we hear of the amassing of guns and ammunition by men who would rather die than yield power
Is Nigeria a lost cause? Do we get off this sinking ship or can we save this land?
I went in search of 8 of the world's most attractive women. Here's where I do one man's meat is another's poison. I'm not including any of my friends here because friends of laspapi are not eligible for this grading. I'm going into the world of celebrities and making choices. I was told by a female my list wasn't complete without Angelina Jolie; well, I don't think so. She's not on this list. Neither is Halle Berry, now I think of it. It'd be interesting to know what female readers of this post think.
They are listed in no particular order.

Vanessa Williams (Actor, Former Miss World, Singer)

Maria Sharapova (Lawn Tennis Professional)

Shakira (Singer)

Vivica A. Fox (Actor- Kill Bill, Booty Call)

Peju Alatishe (Author: Crossroads-"Oritameta", Architect)

Gabrielle Union (Actor- The Honeymooners)

Nicole Kidman (Actor- Moulin Rouge, The Others)

Sophie Okonedo (Actor- Hotel Rwanda)
A Dictionary of Male Phrases!

Translated: "I'm going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and
stand by a stream with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete

Translated: "There is no rational thought pattern connected with
it and you have no chance at all of making it logical."

Translated: "Why isn't it already on the table?"

Translated: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.

Translated: "I have no idea how it works."

Translated: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."

Translated: "Are you still talking?"

Translated: "I remember the theme song to "C.I.5-The Professionals", the address
of the first girl I ever kissed and the vehicle identification numbers of
every car I've ever owned, but I forgot your birthday."

Translated: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."

Translated: "I have actually severed a limb, but will bleed to
death before I admit that I'm hurt."

Translated: "And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon."

Translated: "It didn't fall into my outstretched hands, so I'm
completely clueless."

Translated: "What did you catch me at?"

Translated: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and
am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend
the next three days yelling at me."

Translated: "Oh, please don't try on one more outfit, I'm

Translated: "No one will ever see us alive again."
The new 419. Below is a scam letter. How do the citizens of the most 'developed' nations of the world fall for this?


I am Senator Jubril Aminu, the senate committee chairman on foreign affairs with the upper legislative council in my country, please I am interested in purchasing a good helicopter from your company needed for my family crusing during their stay in your country as we are making plans to relocate to your country due to political threats, please let me know if you can do this for me.

Thank you and looking forward to your responds.

Senator Jubril Aminu.
72 Asu Drive way.Senatorial Quaters,Apo.Federal Capital Territory,(FCT)Abuja. Nigeria.
+234 80 512 17 2

Whatever happened to Nigeria Airways? Is the airline ever coming back? Still, one good way of knowing N.A.'s operating again is if...

1. You get to the airport before the ticket counter staff...

2. Everybody is checking in suitcases the size of a refrigerator....

3. The person beside you taps you on your shoulder and says .." I beg yu, checkeen dis piece of luggage fah mi nau... "

4. Everybody makes a bolt for the gate when the announcer on the p.a.system says that "..this is NOT a boarding announcement."...

5. You can't get on board because somebody in front of you is trying to get a Toyota engine block into the overhead compartment....

6. At least one passenger is accompanied by an armed Federal Agent (body guard or escort)....

7. No magazine or news paper to read unless you bring your own.......

8. Everybody is trying to figure out what the hell "Port of Embarkation" means...

9. The passenger next to you slowly leans away from you while raising one leg and mutters .. "Yes bwoy, DAT is gas!!!"

10. Somebody hands a flight attendant a paper bag and asks her to "heat up dis fufu soup fi mi nau deariee".....

11. The overhead compartment smells like fish and rum.... then it starts to drip on you....

12. Most of the passengers clap and clap when the pilot lands the plane gentleeee.....

13. Everybody who has a 48" Plasma TV, a boom-box and a microwave goes straight to the "Nothing to Declare" line

14. The steward serves you a hard bread bun and tells you "ol boy, no Tea oh"
14 Biblical Ways of finding a Wife.

1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. - (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)

2. Find a prostitute and marry her. - (Hosea 1:1-3)

3. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. - Moses (Ex 2:16-21)

4. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. --Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)

5. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. - Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)

6. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep.
Note: this will cost you. -Adam (Gen 2:19-24)

7. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for a wife. - Jacob (Genesis 29:15-30)

8. Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife - David (I Samuel 18:27)

9. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative, of course.) - Cain (Genesis 4:16-17)

10. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. - Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)

11. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a ... woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." - Samson (Judges 14:1)

12. Kill any husband and take HIS wife (Prepare to lose four sons, though). - David (2 Samuel 11)

13. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea; it's the law.) - Onan and Boaz (Deuteronomy or Leviticus, an example in Ruth)

14. Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. - Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

1) At lunch time, sit in your parked car put sunglasses on and point a
hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

2) Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

3) Insist that your e mail address is: or This is especially effective if you
use the name of the gender opposite to your own.

4) Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries
with that.

5) Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronised chair

6) Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "IN."

7) Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.

8) Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten
over their caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.

9) In the memo field of all your cheques, write 'for sexual favours.'

10) Reply to everything someone says with, "That's what you think!"

11) Finish all your sentences with "... in accordance with the prophecy."

12) Adjust the tint on your monitor to green and set the brightness level
so as to light up the entire work area. Insist to others that you "like it
that way."

13) dont use any punctuation or capitalization at all wait until someone
mentions it to you and then tell him that your ideas are radically
innovative and can stand on their own without need of embellishment
punctuation is really a lot of squiggles and scrapes whose origin is in
the cave paintings of france and that weve progressed beyond that as a species

14) As often as possible, skip rather than walk.

15) Ask people what sex they are and laugh hysterically after they answer.

16) Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."

17) Sing along at the opera.

18) Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.

19) Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Wear
them one day after your boss does. (This is especially effective if your
boss is of the opposite gender.

20) send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what you're doing.
For example, "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom, in Stall #3."

21) Put mosquito netting around your office cubicle. Play a tape of jungle
sounds all day.

22) Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party
because you're "not in the mood."

23) Call 911 and tell them you need to know right away if 911 is for

24) Call the psychic hot line and don't say anything at all. Tell the
person at the other end that you want to see if they can "sense" what it is you
want to ask about.

25) Insist that your coworkers address you by your professional wrestling
name, like Rock Hard or King Kong.

26) When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I won! I won! That's the
3rd time this week!!!"

27) When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling
"Run for your lives, they're loose!"

28) Tell your boss, "It's not the voices in my head that bother me, its
the voices in your head that do."

29) Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to
have to let one of you go."

30) Every time you see a broom, yell, "Honey, your mother is here!"
Blogger's gone crazy. I was cornered into upgrading to the new-look blogger yesterday (the buttons just appear to be placed elsewhere) and names vanished to be replaced as 'anonymous'. Some of those who 'disappeared' are Storm, nilla, mack and noni moss.

I can hear the sound track of the X-files playing.