Saturday, March 31, 2007

I've got friends in high places. From left:Chris Ihidero- University lecturer and Cultural Activist, Jahman Anikulapo- Editor (The Guardian on Sunday/Life Magazine) and Chairperson-CORA programmes and laspapi, take a break from CORA affairs.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Bold, The Cool & The Beautiful

I cornered Kate Henshaw, Actor and TV presenter, at a rehearsal for my last stage presentation. Kate, always full of life and a personal favourite of mine, sat to answer a few questions.

laspapi: What's your middle name, Kate?
Kate: Offiong

laspapi: Whas tha' mean?
Kate: It means the moon, usually used for first-born children

laspapi: You were born in July, your zodiac sign's Cancer, governed by the moon. Was the moon-name deliberate?
Kate: Nah! It's co-incidental.

laspapi: Which state are you from?
Kate: (with a disdainful look) Cross River. Where'd you think?

laspapi: It could've been Akwa Ibom
Kate: Please.

laspapi: Where in Cross River?
Kate: Henshaw Town. The name came from slave masters.

(laspapi- I think we should go give london and philadelphia our own names)

laspapi: Who do you look up to?
Kate: (Strongly) My mother. She's forgiving, prayerful, supportive and humble.

laspapi: You look like an extrovert...
Kate: EXTROVERT with capital letters. (If you're out with Kate, you'll understand. She's like a live wire, humming, vibrating all the time. One can see Kate is glad to be alive and its beautiful to watch)

laspapi: Your kind of Man?
Kate: I like outgoing types. He must be generous and caring, and a sense of humour is essential.

laspapi: What is love, Kate?
Kate: (pauses) Love is gentle, selfless. It's a warm, warm feeling that should be reciprocal. Love should give more than it receives.

laspapi: perfume?
Kate: I have no favourites. I mix Gucci, Armani, Channel... (I know Kate loves perfumes. She never fails to remark on them when I'm with her)

laspapi: If you had only 5 minutes to make a great escape, what would you take?
Kate: My phones and my bag containing money. I can use money to buy whatever I leave behind.

laspapi: Clothes designer?
Kate: I'm not a designer freak but my Jeans are always from NEXT

laspapi: Shoes?
Kate: Good ones.

(laspapi and Kate freestyled with Words and Associations. Stella Damasus had warned Kate about my 'Free Association')

laspapi: love
Kate: (With a beautiful smile) Nice!

laspapi: Marriage
Kate: Good

laspapi: Money
Kate: Fantastic!

laspapi: Sex
Kate: Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!

laspapi: Nigeria
Kate: Stressful

laspapi: America
Kate: Wow!

laspapi: Nollywood
Kate: Teething

laspapi: Hollywood
Kate: (long pause) The world standard (Kate is the P.R.O. of Nollywood's actors' guild which might account for her pondering how long it'll take us to reach the Hollywood heights)

laspapi: A word for people who want to become like you
Kate: Make sure you finish school. Don't come into it looking for fame or money. You must have a love of the craft because there will be dry seasons.

laspapi: (my favourite question) Can you see your unborn children in my eyes?
Kate: (startled) What? Are you serious, Wole? That can't be part of the questions. It is? No, you're joking. I can't see them there. No, no, no. You're not well.

laspapi: (reluctantly moving on) A word for posterity?
Kate: I want to be remembered as someone who smiled, who made people very happy. It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. I'll be smiling all the way.


Should bloggers seek themselves out? I'm not talking about those who've found love in each other's arms (I know t'ings are happening even if you're all keeping mum) but friendly types now. I'm saying "should laspapi have a show and expect all the bloggers (and regular commentators) in the house to salute one of theirs at the end of it?"

Should I go to the USA and expect to meet with Nilla, Jola and Omosewa because we get on well or attend a show biz jam in England and shout out the vixen's name when she comes in? Should I see Bella Naija, Mona or Noni Moss when on holiday and invite them to a pub or do we keep our distance?

Is anonymity preferable or should we the lift the veil if given the chance? I'm a firm believer in veil-lifting and gradually this community is being welded together. Some people will advance in certain areas simply because they know others. It's the 'old school' thing and like everywhere people congregate, the planet blog is no exception.
But there are some who would keep their identities to themselves, at least for the while, separating day to day lives from the blogscape. Omohemi and 36 inches made me think about it, because they came to my show and after, walked on by. Its everyone's prerogative, really, whether you want to be seen or not.

The question is, "To lift or not to lift"

ps. for those who might not know, molara wood led me to blogging.

pps. 36 inches- I would mentally have measured those legs o, and if they had been an inch shorter than you claim, announced it over the p.a. system.

ppps. omohemi, don't review another play if you don't say hello

pppps. I'm glad I know you all, revealed and otherwise. You've made my world a more colourful place.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Questionnaire on African Women Bloggers

Ore has a questionnaire for African women who blog on issues that are of particular relevance to other women on the continent. She's working on an article on how African women are using blogs to promote gender equity and empower themselves. She promises you'll zoom right through the questions. Go to Ore here

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Omohemi wrote an interesting review of the play.

Points to note-

The play lasted about 75 minutes.

Stella, actually, is a graduate of the Creative Arts.

The play, even though using the tack of marriage, is about gender relations.

Stefan Cramer, Director of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Nigeria saw through our veil. See his quote below-

once we saw and heard the reaction of the audience to your play, it became very, very entertaining and clear to us that this was much more than soap-opera on stage. And we left the show thinking that probably such plays are worth much more in terms of impact in gender relations than lengthy (and sometimes boring) workshops and conferences and gender stereotypes or political correctness in gender relations.

Thank you very much for this enlightening evening. We hope to see more of your work. The cast too was excellent and very commanding. It is pity that it is shown only once, for all the effort which has gone into it. It should be shown to high school kids together with a gender debate at the end, and it should tour the country.

All the very best. I hope the tape came out nicely, it could work very well for gender debates.

Read Omohemi's review here

Storm, whom the play is dedicated to, read the script many times and had some interesting observations too. Maybe she'll want to add something to Omohemi's, sometime.

Thanks, Omohemi.

ps. That pic of the "angry kid" on your blog frightens me. Its a carry-over from childhood, I think.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Stella's Anatomy

laspapi’s stage play at the Muson Centre, “Anatomy of a Woman” went without a hitch. The cast and crew lived up to the director’s expectations and the audience loved the performance. There were two shows, one at 3pm and the other at 6pm.

Rehearsals had been difficult, as Stella, with a work schedule that would have felled lesser people had to reschedule a few times.
During the rehearsals for the show, Stella showed why she (even though under 30) has been one of the biggest actors on the African continent for a while. She interpreted the character accurately and even though rehearsals swung between her place and laspapi’s offices, she stayed on top of things.

There were people from everywhere at the show and remarkably, they all seemed to like it. Stefan Cramer of the Heinrich Boll Foundation and his wife, Erika, had thought it would be soap-opera-ish but underestimated the genius of laspapi (hehe). They liked what they saw.

I met other bloggers, Ore and Jesus' Gurl in particular. Apparently, Omohemi Benson was there as well but we didn’t get to meet. I wish we had.

Now after the tiring, gruelling performance, Stella told me she (and Kate Henshaw) were going across the road to the City Mall to unwind. I went to see her after we'd finished packing our stuff and cast and crew were ready to go home.

And there, she beckoned me to lean closer and told me something I had never heard before.
laspapi is one of the country's most consistent large scale theatre producers. Some say he is the most consistent. In all my performances, I had never heard anything like what Stella said that night.
This A -list actor... (I had seen her during rehearsals refuse cheques of close to a million naira from Nollywood producers because she wasn't satisfied with the quality of work offered), this A-list Actor said she wasn't going to collect payment for the stunning performance she put up. She said her work had been for free. Stella was meant to have collected a sum of six figures from me but she refused to be paid.

She said it was to encourage the theatre, save it from the slump it was in, (She's a graduate of the Creative Arts). She said she'd seen the expenses incurred and this was her contribution. She had shown no inclination of her intent during rehearsals, working as hard as the others did to ensure it went well.

So I sat numb in front of her, kept hugging her without being able to say anything. And now I'm telling the world about this lady with a heart of gold.
I told Agatha Amata who called her to say thank you, and Jahman Anikulapo, editor of the Sunday Guardian will be publishing this unprecedented move by an actor in an industry peopled with those who look after themselves first and with good reason.

Stella did the impossible, worked without pay, and in me she has found an adherent for life. Sometimes, getting up close to people shows the real "them". Stella's just a girl (like "Anna Scott"/Julia Roberts in "Notting Hill") but she's a lovely, lovely girl with class and as a human being, worthy of all respect.

In the picture from left, Stella and her suitors after the show- James(Olarotimi Michaels), The Boss (Kenneth Uphopho) and Mohammed (Bolaji Alonge)

laspapi's "The Girl Whisperer" as published in the Sunday Guardian of March 25

The Girl Whisperer

(In search of El Dorado)

I started this column with the major categories of females- the thorough-bred, the girl-next-door, the free spirit, the material girl and the jerry springer, but there is one more I must add, brought to mind by my friend, noni moss. This is “daddy’s girl”, a girl in search of the perfect man and who unknowingly compares all men who come into her life with her father. She can never forget daddy anticipated all her needs, wiped her tears, was there when she fell to lift and comfort her and would listen to her endless chatter without complaining. As a result of this, Daddy’s girl goes in search of ‘El Dorado’ or the perfect relationship. She seeks a ready-made man, with an expensive car, a great physique and a sense of humour, who earns money faster than she can spend it, is patient, doesn’t drink or smoke, doesn’t snore or fart around the house, listens to her endless chattering etc. When she meets potential mates, she tells them, “my daddy used to…” setting the teeth of the mate on edge and forcing an exit earlier than planned by the mate.

Mummy’s boy who is the reverse of Daddy’s girl, being fixated on his own mother, goes in search of a woman who has great beauty but is submissive, cooks like a five-star hotel’s chef, has the body of Naomi Campbell, a natural body musk headier than any expensive perfume, has the business acumen and intelligence of Oprah Winfrey, is as sexy as Agbani Darego, Nigeria’s former Miss World, and possesses the humour of Ellen De Generes. This is possible… in your dreams.

The dictionary defines El Dorado as being a “fictitious country or city abounding in gold”. Many a man has fallen for this illusion, like a thirsty person sees an oasis in the desert when there is really nothing there. For those who are not prepared to face reality, they can spend their entire lives, searching, looking for the ultimate being until there is no more time and many beautiful possibilities have slipped through their hands. Daddy’s girl and Mummy’s boy must realise that the world isn’t perfect and a great part of life’s wonders rise from the fact that there is no complete package. Perfection lies only in movies and comic books and not every man and woman can look like Denzel Washington or Halle Berry and at the same time possess the wealth of Donald Trump.

When a woman goes in search of a mate, she should have a check-list of the things that are most important to her- A sense of humour, a healthy bank balance, patience, cleanliness, whatever her priorities might be. She may write ten traits or conditions she cannot live without and another ten she might consider bonuses if found in the package. (men do this too for your information).

If she can find eight of the ten things that are fundamental to her well-being, then she should go for the relationship. However, these conditions must be deliberated upon. What things would we not accept from a partner? A lack of hygiene? A tendency to lie? Arrogance? Placing a condition that a man must look like Indiana Jones or a woman like “Lara Croft” in the movie, Tomb Raider, is not advisable. By the way, Angelie Jolie’s bosom was digitally enhanced in the movie, Tomb Raider, which should tell you things are not always what they seem even when beautifully packaged.

Next week, we’ll discuss how to “Pimp your Bride”.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

We were rehearsing "Anatomy..." when in came another Queen of the screen and stage, Kate Henshaw and one of my favourite persons. I made the mistake of betting with Kate as she entered that I had been featured in the edition of True Love Magazine she held in her hand and which she was refusing to let go off.
After a struggle with her for the magazine and a call to Ebun Olatoye, a ‘top somebody’ at True Love, I heard the edition I’ll be in, is the next one.
Kate collected.
Kate who starred in laspapi's stage play, "The Other Side", will be featured next on this blog's interview series, The Bold, The Cool & The Beautiful. Watch this space.
I’m off to Muson to break a leg.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

An anonymous commentator left an enlightening sub-post on my write-up about Pastor Ashimolowo's close encounter with the UK Charity Commission. A former member of the church, she appeared to be objective. Read an excerpt-

I used to be a member for KICC for over 7 years, I started off as a new Christian, became accustomed to the teachings, held the leaders, pastors, laity with such high esteem, until I was broken for want of a better word. The truth is that I left that church more broken than when I arrived, I have never been betrayed more than I have by people of leadership at KICC and have learnt a great lesson from it and from them. I no longer attend that church but realise that we are all responsible for our relationship with Christ. I got my foundation in Christ at KICC, I can not begin to tell you how valuable that it, it is something that I will take with me for ever, but once you grow in Christ, you yourself will be able to discern what is right and what is wrong and no church is perfect.

Read the remainder of her comment (I'm assuming the person's of that gender) under the post

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

During a break in rehearsals for Anatomy of a Woman, Bolaji Alonge decided to serenade Stella Damasus with that famous song that has the lines, "Maybe I didn't love you quite as well as I should have".

Bolaji (who can't play the guitar) has a nasal rendition of that particular song which he patented more than 9 years ago. Needless to say, Stella, a musician herself, looked on in shock as Bolaji restructured the song.

The Bold, The Cool and The Beautiful

laspapi continues his search for subjects for his interview series above and who more fitting than the delectable Stella Damasus?

Laspapi: What does Damasus mean?
Stella: It’s my grand-dad’s first name. It’s Greek. He grew up in a Nigerian community with a heavy Greek presence and these people found local names hard to pronounce. The Greeks gave him a nice name and it stayed with the family.

Laspapi: What State are you from?
Stella: Delta (Asaba)

Laspapi: Your Native name?
Stella: Obiageli. (I’ve come to enjoy)

Laspapi: Does that name reflect your nature?
Stella: (Emphatically) Yes! As a child, my mum called me “omo jaiye” (child of enjoyment). When I met my husband, jaiye (aboderin), one could see it was meant to be.

Laspapi: As a child, what did you aspire to be?
Stella: A psychologist. I like to ponder the workings of the human mind and why it twists and turns as it does. I believe it is humanly possible to reverse wrong turns of the mind. As a child, for some reason, I had a calming effect on people the community had given up on as irreversibly insane. There was a violent girl who steadied whenever I was around and a man (I was 15) who was mentally ill (schizophrenia) but would yell whenever I passed, “Ada Oyibo, (White man‘s child), you will build a hospital for me, you will take care of me”.
In the future, I hope to be able to endow psychiatric homes where those who have mental health issues can be helped.

(Here, Stella pauses to ask herself why she’s answering questions she’s never given answers to anywhere. “Easy”, laspapi answers, “I’m the Girl Whisperer”)

Laspapi: Who do you look up to?
Stella: (pointing two lovely hands in the air) God!

Laspapi: What’s your concept of God?
Stella: A divine, supernatural being who owns the world. He can save us from the world and ourselves. Only God can change the course of my life.

Laspapi: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Stella: A combination. I’m an artiste but the real me loves privacy. I learnt the social side for my husband. I love to do things for myself, go to the market, the movies…

Laspapi: Favourite perfume?
Stella: I’m wearing Bulgari as I speak but my favourites are “Wish”- Choppard and Elizabeth Taylor’s “White Diamonds”

Laspapi: Do you believe in white lies?
Stella: I don’t. You tell one then you need a black lie to cover that. Life is easier when you tell the truth. You gain more respect from being honest.

Laspapi: Favourite Clothes designer?
Stella: Myself. I have a label, Monafrik, which I haven’t launched yet. Soon though.

Laspapi: If you had only 5 minutes to get out of the country, what would you take?
Stella: Apart from my children? My handbag, it’s got lots of stuff in it- my passport, bible, perfume…

Laspapi: Let’s play words and associations.
Stella: I don’t want to play

Laspapi: (Unrelenting and rapidly ) Love
Stella: Hope

Laspapi: Marriage
Stella: Love

Laspapi: Wole
Stella: Soyinka

Laspapi: Nollywood
Stella: Stella

Laspapi: Nigeria
Stella: Problem

Laspapi: Sex
Stella: Not good

Then in her soft voice she said, “Can you imagine? Don’t write that. Why’d I say that? I think I was referring to irresponsible, casual sex, the way some young people do now, not bothered about the consequences and the dangers of STDs.

Laspapi: Can you see your unborn children in my eyes?
Stella: (Staring into my eyes for a few seconds) No, no, no.

Laspapi: A word for people who hope to become big stars
Stella: Love and believe God. Dedication, Hard work and Principles.

Laspapi: A word for posterity?
Stella: I want to be remembered as a woman who stood for the right things- As one who was loved and who gave love, who gave care to those in need. A strong Character who stood.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

(In the lair of the Wolf)

By laspapi (as published in the Sunday Guardian of March the 18th)

“A gentleman is a patient wolf”.

All women must understand the world is a jungle, full of predators. How can a woman tell a wolf apart from the men who seek her favours?
You must realize only the paranoid survive, and every man you meet has the potential to be a wolf.
There are two sets, the old wolves and the young wolves. Being “old” or “young” has nothing to do with the actual chronological age but only serves to show how long the wolf has been active in the jungle. A 23-year old man may be an “old wolf”. He is old on account of his reflexes and his experience.

The young wolf is brash and arrogant, and easily managed by most intelligent females. He tests the depths of water with both feet and his manoeuvres, sometimes clumsy can be predicted by the alert partner. He drools as he watches you eat at a fancy restaurant, looks at you out of the corner of his eye and you can tell when he is speculating how you will taste as his dinner. Unlike little Red Riding Hood who asked the wolf disguised as her grandmother, “Grandma, what big teeth you have”, and got eaten for her troubles, the discerning 21st century female should not ask these questions in an enclosed space with no one else present. The asking should be done in a crowded place where she can flee before the wolf gathers his wits and lunges for the kill.

The old wolf however is the one you must be careful with. The old wolf rarely bares his fangs and smiles so sweetly, you are not aware you are the main course for lunch. He listens attentively to his female prey, looks her deep in the eye and is extremely polite. He says just enough not to be a bore and little enough to remain mysterious. However, every female naturally has an in-built wolf-radar that can alert her to the presence of this predator. She must never allow soft music, good food, laughter and pleasant manners to close her eyes to the warning sounds of her radar. When the warning bells go off, the female should take off too and in the opposite direction from the wolf. Few can recover from the ravaging of an old wolf. He takes no prisoners and broken hearts are strewn all over the path to his lair. This is the law of the jungle.

This catalogue of predators cannot be complete without the mention of another fearful creature, the She-Wolf, who is as dangerous as any male of her specie. There is no old or young She-Wolf. Her mission whether in her early twenties or late fifties is to please herself no matter whose ox is gored. It matters little what pleasure you think she derives from your companionship. To the she-wolf, a man is a playmate to be discarded when he ceases to amuse her. Faint-hearted men and those who seek meaningful long-term relationships are advised not to put their hopes in this one.
Let the simple-minded male be warned- There is no deliverance from her once you wander into her den.


ps. Noni Moss- your 'daddy's girl' definition comes with next week's article

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The beautiful child even though thousands of miles away, found this newspaper interview on laspapi just published today and sent the link to me. Thank you, omosewa, I'll find that paper. Fame at last. Read story here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How Stella got her groove back

Stella Damasus is back to show-business after an absence that lasted a while.
Cast and crew members of laspapi’s upcoming stage play have found the candid Stella a delight to work with. Of course, the fact that she’s so gorgeous doesn’t hurt her case in anyway (hehe).
In the pictures, she relaxes after a rehearsal of “Anatomy of a Woman” in which she’s the main character.

After a meeting of cast members of “Anatomy of a Woman” at the office, Bolaji Alonge (Mohammed in the drama) and laspapi walked to the car park where we met Malik and his mother, Zainab. (in the picture, Bolaji carries Malik in his hands).
Zainab (seated in picture) is a 19 year old Malian who had Malik out of wedlock for her boyfriend (now missing in action) who comes from the Republic of Niger. Her parents live in Togo but she’s now “holidaying” with her Uncle who sells sweets and ’wosi-wosi’ outside my office building.
I wondered at life and how it sets some on one side of the fence and others behind the bars. If Zainab had driven past in a nice car, we’d probably have craned our necks till we ran into a lamp post. I pray for a good future for her and the playful little runt, Malik, a future that’s kind to him and allows him to be all he can be.

In the picture, Kaine Agary (pronounced Kai-ni), writer of the novel, yellow yellow, signs autographs after her book reading on Friday the 9th of March at Quintessence, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The peculiar title refers to the colour of the main character in the book, Zilayefa, a young girl of Greek and Nigerian parentage who from a rustic existence, seeks a "better life" in a Nigerian city. It is a book about life in the Niger Delata region of Nigeria, and Kaine joins the new breed of Nigerian writers who've brought style to the literary landscape.
Kaine holds a bachelor's degree in Socioeconomics from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts and a Master's degree in Public Administration from New York University's Robert F.Wagner School of Public Service.
She lives in Lagos and is Editor-in-Chief of TAKAii magazine.

Three weeks ago, I was Master of Ceremonies at a fund-raising function organized by a non-governmental organization, Sisters United for Children, (mainly female professionals in various fields)in conjunction with Child Life Line, another NGO dedicated to the care of Children in need. CLL is headed by Mrs. Marion Sikuade, an Irish lady who has been in Nigeria for decades and who married a Nigerian.
Wandering, homeless Kids are picked off the street and from their abodes under bridges, from the beaches (Kuramo is a favourite hangout of these children)and given a new life, sent to school, fed and clothed. They have children in University and polytechnics now and many have learnt trades.

An example is the 11 year old holding the microphone in the picture, whose father beat him for sport, threw him down the stairs once (see the gash on his head) and repeatedly threatened to kill him for just being there (no particular offence). He fled from home (Oyo State) to Lagos, thereafter and says he would rather die than return. It's a hard life for some and we all should be grateful for the upbringing taken for granted.

Friday, March 09, 2007

It's a man's world after all-

Your last name stays put.

The garage is all yours.

Wedding plans take care of themselves.

Chocolate is just another snack.

You can be President.

You can never be pregnant.

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.

You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another petrol
station toilet because this one is just too icky.

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.

Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress~£2500. Tuxedo rental~£80.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

A five-day holiday requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is £4.00 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You almost never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

Your belly usually hides your big hips.

One wallet and one pair of shoes in one colour for all seasons.

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You can "do" your nails with a pen knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
I've become a weekly columnist with the Sunday Guardian Newspaper (Life Magazine). The name of the column is "The Girl Whisperer" and it debuts tomorrow, Sunday. Like Oscar Wilde said at a busy airport's customs checkpoint, 'I have nothing to declare but my genius'. hehe. Is there any such thing as a "Girl Whisperer"? Yep, there is.

The Girl Whisperer
(In the mind of Venus)

By laspapi

We’ve heard of specialists in many areas. There is the Horse Whisperer and then the Dog Whisperer, both of whom have made fame and fortune from being able to communicate with all variations of the breeds, having the ability to comprehend their mood swings and temperaments and to unravel secrets of these animals once kept from ordinary eyes. I am still unable to comprehend the usefulness of those animalistic gifts, but to everyone his own as films and books have even been made out of these ‘extra-ordinary’ abilities.

But there is a gift I accidentally discovered in myself, the ability to comprehend and answer the universal question, “What is it that women want?” which is no mean feat considering the fact that no two women can agree to one answer to this question. If you doubt it, pause your reading, and ask any number of women near you, what it is they want. The answers you’ll get are as varied as there are stars in the sky.

But I am the Girl Whisperer. I know the answers to the matters that have troubled women about themselves, about men and about life itself. Before you ask “Can any good thing come out of Jerusalem?”, remember this country produced a Miss World- Agbani Darego, produced a Nobel Peace prize winner- Wole Soyinka and a Pulitzer prize winner- Dele Olojede. Why then, should it be difficult to imagine Nigeria as the origin of “The Girl Whisperer”, a man that holds the key to unlocking the secrets of women from all nations? To every era, a Girl Whisperer is born, just one. This era’s Whisperer is Nigerian, so live with it.

The basics- No matter where a woman is from, there are common denominators that run through each one. Whether big framed, small boned, white or black, old or young, women are of broad types. These types have hundreds of sub-categories but we’ll deal with the major types first.

Type 1 is “The Thorough-Bred”- A girl so well-mannered, it appears as if butter cannot melt in her mouth (and it probably cannot). She is reluctant to cause pain to others, usually has control of her emotions and is a delight to be with. The thorough-bred is found attractive by many men and never lacks for male attention. She is supportive of others and is purposeful.

Type 2- The Girl Next Door- This type is homely and loving, and like the thorough-bred, one of the most appealing when men seek to stop playing the field and need a partner to build a nest with. She is stable and reliable and is fiercely loyal. Mothers-in-law adore the two categories above.

Type 3- The Free Spirit- Life for her is a breeze. She knows how to laugh and is 50 years ahead of the rest of the world. The Free Spirit cannot be shackled to anyone or any cause for long, always wanting to be on her own, to fly free of restraint. Many have tried but her domestication is always only temporary.

Type 4- The Material Girl- The Material Girl decided at any early age that “Good girls go to heaven but bad girls go everywhere”. She will do anything to acquire what she wants and when she does, to keep it. A hard-headed realist and a born-survivor, she believes in using what she has to get what she wants.

Type 5- The Jerry Springer- Foul of Mouth and of heart, This one will pick a fight on a busy road and will win any slanging match irrespective of where it takes place. She can out-curse an area-boy and is unafraid of causing a scene even in a church or mosque. Indeed she lives for moments like these. Chaos brings out the beast… I mean, the best in her.
So, you have the basic types and under these, too many categories to catalogue at the moment.

Next week, we’ll discuss how you can identify a wolf even if he’s wearing a suit, speaks the Queen’s English and brings chocolates and flowers.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

GLOBAL COW ECONOMICS Sent to me a while back

YORUBA ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You kill them both and throw an owambe (mega) party!

IBO ECONOMICS - You have two cows. You make very good counterfeits of them and sell for the price of the real cows!

HAUSA ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You rear them till they are four, make sure your kids rear cows too and just maintain!

TRADITIONAL ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies and the economy grows. You retire on the income.

INDIAN ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You worship them.

AMERICAN ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You sell one and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You profess surprise when the cow drops dead. You put the blame on some nation with cows & who becomes a threat to the world. You wage a war to save the world and grab the cows.

FRENCH ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

GERMAN ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You reengineer them so that they live for 100 years, eat once a month and milk themselves.

BRITISH ECONOMICS -You have two cows. They are both mad cows.

SWISS ECONOMICS -You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.

JAPANESE ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You redesign them so that they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create cute cartoon cow images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

MORE NIGERIAN ECONOMICS -You have two cows. You eat one, claim it was stolen, and call in the Police to investigate. The Police arrest everyone living within 100km and torture them thoroughly until someone admits kidnapping the cow. The police then collect one cow each from everyone they arrested. You have your cow back and the Police now owns a cattle farm.
POINTS TO PONDER (Was sent this ages ago too. I'm still pondering)

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

If olive oil comes from olives, where should baby oil come from?

If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes? hehehe......

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery? Oops...

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

If horrific means to make horrible, should terrific mean to make terrible?

Why is it called building when it is already built?

If a book about failures sells, is it a success ?

If you're not supposed to drink and drive, then why do bars have parking lots?

If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?
Internal Revenue Official to clergyman-

We think you may have miscounted your blessings.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Written and Directed by Wole Oguntokun

Featuring Stella Damasus-Aboderin, Jennifer Osammor, Kenneth Uphopho, Bolaji Alonge, Olarotimi Michaels

Special Pre-show Bonus- The All-Female Music Ensemble, Nefretiti, featuring Adunni

Venue: Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre
Date: Sunday, 25th March 2007
Time: 3pm and 6pm
Gate: N2000/Students with I.D. N1000

For tickets and enquiries, call 0802 301 3778, 01-897 1691, 01-813 6229 or e-mail

Tickets also available at Tastee Fried Chicken, Nu Metro and The Muson Centre

Matthew Ashimolowo earned almost 200,000 pounds more than the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Atkinson, (who earns 66,140 pounds) in one year and 12 times more than parish priests in England (20,460 pounds).

The Charity Comission unearthed serious financial irregularities and two years ago, Ashy was ordered to pay back 200,000 pounds out of which he has returned a little over 20,000 pounds.

Condensed from The Evening Standard, Tuesday Feb 27

Jola dropped this verse she came across in her comment on the previous post.

I'd rather see a Christian than hear one any day
I'd rather see a sermon, than hear one any day;
I'd rather one would walk with me,
Than merely point the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing but example's always clear.
And the best of all the preachers are those who live their creeds;
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs!
I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can see your hands in action but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very fine and true;
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do!
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give;
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I saw a link on Mona's to a story about Matthew Ashimolowo, the 'Nigerian-Born' pastor of KICC, a church in England. Ashy as I'll call him here, is under investigation for receiving 250,000 pounds as his annual salary last year. That's about 60 million naira. The British consider church work a charity thing and not a business as Nigerians tend to see it.

According to the story, he was also given 120,000 pounds to celebrate his birthday by the church. I saw photos of that birthday celebration in some 5-star hotel in a magazine and had been taken aback then by its unbridled gaudy opulence (all this grammar...)
A church worker was quoted as saying he deserved more than that salary.

Here's laspapi's view point-

There are some churches that are worthy of being called that name.

There are other Nigerians who take advantage of 'the laws of God' to ask for "first-fruits, tithes and offerings" etc so as to spend on themselves. Church money is for the church, not for the private consumption of its leaders. The orthodox churches here have the advantage of keeping records of sums that come into their coffers and how these monies are disbursed.

I wrote and staged a play, "Rage of the Pentecost" at the Muson Centre in 2002 in which I lampooned "Men of God" who are in it mainly for material gain. Pastors came (that of my church inclusive), Imams too as well as many others. On Funmi Iyanda's live TV show then, where I was a guest, some church-goers (of suspicious churches) called the telephone lines to "attack" me for daring to question the "Men of God". The level of brainwashing that forbids you from opening your eyes worries me.
A friend told me, "laspapi, we know these things happen, but should we make it public? Unbelievers will say this is what we have always thought of them".
I replied him, "the work of God doesn't need anyone's help to stand. It can do so on it's own".
Then the classic statement they all make, "Judge not...". Yeah, right. I can "judge" politicians, governments, the military and society itself, in my plays, but not these self-appointed thieving church leaders?

Foggerrit. I have just started. I've been "arrested" outside Joshua's "Synagogue" by mobile policemen with guns and "church" workers (was on the way to a rehearsal at Taiwo Ajai-Lycett's in December of 2003 when I saw the building and tried to record its exterior on film), and been called names by other adherents of fraudulent churches.

Note that if someone had, had the sense to query the lunatic called Reverend King, he wouldn't have had the opportunity of pouring petrol on his church workers and setting them alight. Or the incestous Jesu Oyingbo. Or Jim Jones before the Guyana Tragedy. Or the Waco Cult.

Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye said at OBJ's swearing-in for a 2nd term- "I admit we have charlatans in our midst". He was speaking of Church Leadership in Nigeria. Thank you for that boldness, Sir. The business men who pose as M.O.G.s would die rather than say that.

So I have no problem with Ashimolowo, his bejewelled fingers and his out-of-date haircut but I thank the British for having the sense to check activities deemed suspicious. We should have an E.F.C.C. for churches here.

I have since renamed my play, "The Return of Sogidi" so as to get more people seated the next time I stage it.

ps. I'm a Christian. Don't judge me.
I just finished reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
Its about a German-Jewish girl who's family emigrated to Holland from Germany just before the 2nd World War, because of persecution by the Nazis. Her family hid for upwards of two years in a back apartment of an office building till they were given up to the Gestapo by a Dutch informant.
She, her mother and sister as well as another family that hid with them, died in the concentration camps.
It's the duty of all humans to resist such things happening again, whether in the guise of oppression in one's own country or without.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New notes were introduced into the Nigerian economy. I thought I’d show a couple. They’re smaller than the ones we had previously and the Arabic inscriptions on the notes have been removed much to the chagrin of the feudal lords of the North. According to them, Northerners will now be unable to read the Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa words announcing the denominations on the paper money.

Worthy of mention is the N20 bill which feels different from all the others. I saw the N10 and N50 bills as well. The N20 feels like almost like the stuff of film, you know the material used to laminate documents and stuff before it goes through heat. I’m sure you’ll see what I mean soon.

I made my mai-guard (security guard at home) hold the notes. They were borrowed for a quick photo shoot from other security guards on the street.