Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There's a new blogger in town. A "nuisance" called Blogger-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but he's very good to read. See an excerpt from his post on West African Idols - Are Idols not from West Africa? below:

When i see handsome guys and handsome gal dey chase Idol like say na from village dem dey remote dem, fear catch me for dis generation. Everywhere person turn, na idol. I come confuse. Wetin dey responsible for the emergence of Sango, Eshu, Obatala, etc etc for dis blackberry, ipod age.

De time wey I first hia idol, I dey wonder. Sango don get reality show for DSTV? As I come no get DSTV now (I neva become Blogger-General dat time) I no understan’ de ting. De last time I hia anything about Sango, Amadioha and co na dat time wey Baba ex-presido appoint plane-dropping Borishade as Minister of Culture.
Immediately the appointment enter news naim the gods carry placard go Aso Rock say make Baba comot Borishade from their ministry. Dem dey fear say, as Borishade dey drop plane, naim im go take carry im bad luck come the council of the gods. So dem carry the placard go Aso Villa, but Baba and Atiku dey fight dat time, so baba no get time.
I bin tink say the gods go resign their position. Hope come dey for my jobless soul say I go fit send application:
Application for the Position of god of women and money

Go to his blog

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

by laspapi

as published in the Sunday Guardian of May 27


What happens when a girl finally meets a man she thinks she might settle for, share the future with and very early in the relationship, he is making eyes at all other females who come his way? Her best friends, the girls who serve them in the restaurant and the shoe-shop, her cousins, the domestic help of the neighbours next door, anything in a skirt?
In this instance, you must be careful because what he has might be incurable.

The good King Solomon was reputed to be the wisest in the world but suffered from this disease the Whisperer has named after him; all the wealth in the world, incredible wisdom, and unfortunately for him, the power to command the attention of any woman he sought didn't help his situation. He was liberal, non-discriminating and he took a woman from every land and clime. By the time he stopped, he had a thousand women, all for the same purpose. That singularity in the pursuit of the opposite gender will prove to be one of Solomon’s longest lasting legacies, just like Bill Clinton and that famous blue dress.

Many men will tell you it is the default setting of every male. Yes, so is the urge to knock down every stranger who offends us. Man should not be ruled by his baser instincts, it is why he doesn’t pee on car tyres or mate at street corners like dogs do.
There are some men who look at women like visual artistes do, interested in their art form. Like the Whisperer, these ones see women, the way they look, reason and feel, as intriguing and worthy of study. You must learn to differentiate this sort from those who roam the fields, scavenging.

Once a man tells you, it is a natural instinct to sow his wild oats, (irrespective of whose field he plants his seed on) you know it’s time to move on. This brazen disclosure is a warning of what the future will be like. Some women have the mind-sets that there is no man on earth who is free of this disease. They say “men will be men” and advice is given to younger females to accept a man’s philandering as part and parcel of the total package of a relationship. There are therefore many men worldwide who are eating their cake and still holding on to it, who drink from strange springs during the day and then go home at night to lie next to their own gentle streams.

The opinion of the Whisperer? If a man will go berserk because another man is making eyes at his woman or he suspects there is a liaison between his woman and another, why do women have to accept this behaviour from their men? The problem with females in this regard however is not that they ask for too much but that they are usually willing to settle for too little.

Lay out the rules from the beginning and if he says he can’t eat “rice” every day for the rest of his life, tell him he must learn to garnish it in different ways. It will be less risky for both of you, and give rest of mind. A woman however, who thinks because she has finally gotten the man, has no need to keep him content on the home front is asking for trouble. Other’s will fulfil her duties on her behalf if she is negligent. It’s just the way of the world and a natural progression in the affairs of mankind.

As men and women who are embroiled in relationships with those who suffer from this ailment, we make excuses for them, struggling to keep hope alive. Your continuance in a relationship like that is the self-infliction of pain. Life is too short to add misery to your own circumstances.

Was invited to the grand finale of WEST AFRICAN IDOLS, a straight contest between Omawumi and Timi, by a producer of the competition. Attempting to find parking space was a traumatic experience for everyone and the programme scheduled to start at 5pm didn’t start till upwards of 7pm.

I finally made it in through a row of bouncers at the venue, Planet One, that ensured only people with invitations were allowed in. The bold, the cool and the beautiful were present, perfumed and all with a sprinkling of not-so-cool people who had managed to obtain tickets and proved a nightmare for all those who tried to be seated through the event.

The ambience of the venue was great, lighting arrangement was fantastic, laser beams of different colours tinting the audience, and the sound effects extrardinary. The seating arrangement of Planet One was a flat one unlike the layered seating of many theatres. This ensured that if a lunatic sat in the seat before yours and had uncontrollable urges to hop up every time there was an exciting moment, you would have problems enjoying the show. These strange people were adequately represented in the audience and you could hear people, seething with rage, telling the hoppers, “Sit down. Sit down, please”.

All the top ten finalists were present and performed either as part of a group or as a duet (Uche and Jodie).

At every opportunity, the brainpower-challenged judge, Dede Mabiaku reminded the whole of Africa that the two finalists came from the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, an appeal to tribal sentiments that is the bane of unity in Nigeria and on the continent as a whole.

Both finalists however were charismatic, talented and knew how to work the crowd. Omawumi was sensuous, long legged and used her appeal well while Timi showed he had discovered what was meant by Star appeal. Omawumi's overt (and therefore threatening) sex appeal might have shot her in the foot with female voters who make up the majority in voters for shows like this.

When the result was announced by the anchor, Magic Mike, Timi had become the first winner of the maiden edition. He and Omawumi hugged, he cried, knelt to praise his creator and sang his new song again, “I love you”, heard for the first time yesterday.

Timi will go far.

As the first risers tried to make it through the exit before the huge crush, we met the doors barred with a bouncer standing in the way and telling us we had to wait till the end, as the recording hadn’t finished. The Nigerian factor. My logical explanation that I didn’t sign a contract to stay till the very end didn’t impress the “crowd designer”.

As I stood contemplating the bouncer, a voice next to me said, “The people voted. If it had been up to those three judges, Omawumi would have won”.

It’s good to know some election results get counted properly.

Friday, May 25, 2007

R led me to the 2nd book of Asabagna where I read the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
It's very inspiring.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Read the rest of the text here...
(Read this somewhere years ago)

There was a man who never smoked or drank or even kissed a maid.
When he died, his insurance was denied, for they said, "A man who never lived couldn't have died".

The Crown Troupe, A dance-group based in Lagos performed their monthly bukARTeria at Terra Kulture on Sunday the 20th of May.

In picture, Mike Okorie (in red bandana) leads the "Palace Players", a sub-group of The Crown Troupe while in 2nd picture, Segun Adefila, Founder and Artistic Director of the Troupe, stands backing the audience as core-members of the group do a dance sequence.
7 earthly things (I was tagged by r)

Seven Things (You (probably, most likely) don’t know about me

Thing Number One:
I believe those you call your blood are not those whom you are tied to by birth, but those whom you would give your blood for. (Read that somewhere. I think it’s apt.)

Thing Number Two:
I don’t smoke or drink, never have, never developed a taste for it, which is a good thing seeing how I go mental sometimes. It’d be terrible to add intoxication to the mix.

Thing Number Three:
I’m fascinated by comics and novels. I know the real names of Spiderman, Batman, Superman and their love interests, the stories behind the origins of the Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Wonder Woman, Judge Dredd, Iron man, The Vision, The Silver Surfer…and probably most of the trivia concerning major comic characters. Been reading comics all my life. I’d read MAD, Dandy, Jinty, Mandy, Whoopee, Buster, Crunch, 2000AD, Beano etc as a child. If Bessie Bunter, Billy’s boots, Roy of the Rovers, Darkie’s Mob, D-Day Dawson, “Glory” Hunter, Fuss Pot, Desperate Dan, Chalkie (Quick on the draw), Pongo Snodgrass, The Bumpkin Billionaires, Andy Capp, The Defenders or The Avengers walked past me, I’d recognize them. By the way, Nicholas Cage was a dreadful Ghost Rider. Toby McGuire still can’t convince me he knows whom Spiderman is. And that girlfriend of his in Spiderman 3? That’s Mary Jane Watson?

Thing Number Four:
My friend, Rashboot, and I, would phone the fire brigade as 9 year olds and watch the fire trucks careen past. I’m ashamed of those things now seeing that we don’t even have functioning fire-fighters any longer.

Thing Number Five:
I don’t take medication because I don’t fall ill. I can’t explain that. I hope I don’t jinx myself with this proclamation.

Thing Number Six:
My Genotype’s AA. Blood group’s O+

Thing Number Seven:
I’d like to work on the set of “Saturday Night Live”

I tag Waffy, Chude and Storm

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, former lecturer and writer for the Guardian, former Managing Director- Daily Times Newspapers and now M.D. Tanus Communications is 60. The man instrumental in bringing Professor Wole Soyinka and laspapi together close to a decade ago will be celebrated by CORA at the O'Jez restaurant (The National Stadium)on Sunday May 27 at 5.30pm. The occasion will be the monthly Great Highlife Party featuring Fatai Rolling Dollar, Maliki Showman, Alaba Pedro, Tunde Osofisan and many other Highlife Greats.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


by laspapi

as published in the Sunday Guardian of May 20


For many women (and men), the greatest trial they will ever face is getting involved with or marrying someone under the rule of a mother or other strong women in the family. Is this possible in the modern world, you ask? Can there be people who cannot escape the rule of their mothers, or some great-aunt or god-mother no matter how old they are? It does happen more often than we realise.

Africa, as well as other places worldwide, had some societies which were, until a few hundred years ago, largely matriarchal. Women ruled, were bread winners and even fought in armies. The women-soldiers of Dahomey who continuously raided the kingdoms now known as Western Nigeria in search of bounty and slaves are good examples of these.

Cases abound of potential partners who are first scrutinized by the women in the receiving family before acceptance. And when the incoming partner manages to scrape through this examination, he or she must learn to live with “guidance” through the life-span of the relationship. For those who take the “till death do us part” vow seriously, it might be a good thing to weigh the pros and cons of living in bondage for the rest of one’s natural life. In such families, these amazons never take a back seat and the partner in issue will have many masters.

How can one tell where these closet Amazons make their habitat? There are some characteristics, one of which is that very often, the “Alpha-female” in the Amazonian set-up is usually wealthy. We all have antenna that informs us of scrutiny from the families of those we mean to join, scrutiny which any well-meaning family should do to avoid adding Jack the Ripper as a nuclear-family member. However, when the scrutiny is hostile even if there are no words spoken, care has to be taken.

The In-laws from hell will tell your partner to inform you when you may bear children, what kind of work you should do and if you should take holidays. Your home will no longer be your home but theirs. Watch out for the partner that leaves you alone in the company of his or her family members at the first meeting and disappears on some fool’s errand allowing them to slash and claw at you to their heart’s content. A partner who does not strive to make you comfortable at that most-important first encounter is probably ruled by an Amazon and it is an omen for what the rest of your lives will be like. When they ask you, “So what does your father do?”, be ready for anything. Often, these people weigh success and achievement through accidents of birth and other such meaningless barometers.

There is no redemption or return to normalcy for an off-spring of the Amazonians. The only type you may decide to stay with is the one that has warned you before-hand the way his or her family is, and has promised to shield you from onslaughts by these people.

Some will say, “I don’t care what type of set-up the family is. I’ll go in there and scatter them”. Maybe. It is more likely you will be emasculated, your opinion disregarded, made to feel incompetent on account of not coming from a background as affluent or as closely-knit. It will be a life-sentence and you might regret the day you chose to ignore obvious warning signs. They will seek to break your spirit, permanently, the way some men break those of horses so they may ride them without being thrown. You will no longer count as a person and have as much importance as an expensive piece of furniture or some other household fitting. When you meet the In-laws from hell, don’t mistake the mist for special effects. Those that stand before you are fire-breathing dragons and the smoke is sulphur.

Laide Adewale fondly called "uncle laide" by all theatre practitioners, has passed on. A resident theatre performing artiste at the Dramatic Arts Department of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, his experience spanned more than three decades in acting, singing, dancing, directing and stage management. My earliest remembrance of this widower with children and grandchildren was in Ola Rotimi's "Kurunmi" in my days as an undergraduate at Ife, and my last view, in Wole Soyinka's "Opera Wonyosi" at the 2005 Muson Arts Festival where the then-60-year old scaled a 7-foot fence on stage.
A fit, healthy Laide Adewale was present at Dr Ahmed Yerima's 50th birthday celebration at the National Arts Theatre nine days ago. Yerima at the occasion had the audience laughing so hard they cried, when he gave an anecdote of how Uncle Laide saved his theatre career when he (Yerima)was still "green" on the Ife stage. For Yerima, a villager with a minor part in "The Gods are not to Blame", the line between theatre and reality had blurred and Yerima burst into tears on stage at the fate of "Ojuola", the Queen who had married her son and mothered children by him. The tears, however had not been scheduled and came at an inopportune time. Uncle Laide, it was, who guided Yerima off the set as if Yerima's bitter tears were part of the play.
Uncle Laide who also appeared in Tunde Kelani (Mainframe) films, left many of us with good memories, laspapi inclusive. God bless him.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Jahman Anikulapo, Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, Life Magazine as well as Chair Person-Programmes of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA)will be one of the Editors (and Judges) of the Anthology of Nigerian Bloggers-
Naija Bloggers Vol 1.


This piece cost me three thousand naira to write and a lecture from the street school of experience. My car had displayed a niggling problem for a while, deciding to flat-line in the most unbelievable places for no reason at all, so my mechanic, Martin (in Lagos, they make house calls) and I decided we’d trouble shoot.

We left home early in the morning, laspapi in the driver’s seat, air-conditioner on, Fela Anikulapo Kuti calling the Nigerian Head-of-State, Obasanjo, names on the car-deck... All was well with the world. The car, with a mind of its own, decided not to flat-line, behaving itself impeccably.
Martin, probably lulled into a false sense of security suggested we drive to the island (I live in Surulere and we’d been making large circles in this area). So off to the island we went, climbing the famous eko bridge.

It was 9am.

We were at the centre of the bridge when the car died. I was confident, ignoring the curious stares of other drivers as Martin got out and raised the bonnet, peering under the hood, spanners in hand. The best dressed car-mechanic I know, I was never alarmed if he was around. I got out too and looked around in the heavy traffic as Martin pondered.

I had no idea where they came from. They were about eight men, and they looked as mean as sin. “Give us our own”, they said in vernacular. I explained nicely that the car was experiencing difficulty and how could I do that if it wasn’t moving. The lead guy had blocked my door, leaning on it so I couldn’t enter and the demands continued. They wanted money or there’d be hell. Other drivers cautiously bye-passed us. I didn’t get the full gravity of it, still trying to explain as they snarled and dribbled from the mouth around me. One kept a close eye on the chain around my neck and probably having no idea of white gold, let it be where it lay. It was a few minutes after nine in the morning.

I knew I couldn’t give these marauders money because everything I had was in a wallet (all eleven thousand of it) and to bring out that wallet would have been suicidal. After a while, the lead guy said he wanted to give me advice as we spoke the same language. According to him, it would be better for them to help push the car down the bridge to one of the roads on the side, as even if I paid them, other groups would come and “ask for theirs” then others still would come and “obtain” (street slang for dispossessing me off all my property). I thought it best to yield to good advice to prevent being “obtained”. As I got into the car so they could push, I heard one bray not to let my mechanic back into the car. Effectively, they had a hostage.

They quickly cleared space for me as they pushed, the lead guy seated on the car bonnet as we descended. At this time, I quickly brought out my wallet, removed three thousand naira and stuffed the rest into the back pocket of my jeans. The guy on the bonnet looked at me as I did this, re-assuring me with signs through the windscreen that all was well and I need not fear. When he looked ahead to shout out directions, I removed the money in my back pocket and stuffed it on top of the sun visor just above the windscreen.

Then I used the momentum of the push and tried to start the car, using the second gear, and the “las-mobile” magically roared to life and surged forward. One thing though, my mechanic was firmly ensconced between the other gang members and I couldn‘t leave him behind. As they caught up with me, I heard the original eight snarling and warning off others, more wolves who had smelt easy prey and were running determinedly to join the kill.

I thought to myself, “I’ve been had. This is a quiet spot removed from the eyes of the public. I‘m alone here.”
As more feral members joined, fiercely asking where their share of the loot was, the lead member came to my window to push them away from direct contact with me. I hadn’t seen a single weapon but as I looked at a particular fellow by my window, I knew I was inches away from being slashed. I handed three thousand naira to the alpha-thief who bellowed in primeval tones, “This is not our money, this is not our money. Our money is ten thousand naira”. The others began to jostle, getting more menacing, and I yelled at him, “don’t we speak the same language?” (again that appeal to tribal lunacy), “come into the car, come into the car, let me talk to you”. Without thinking he got into my front passenger seat and the quick-thinking Martin slid into the back seat and locked his own door as members of the gang yelled again in Yoruba, “Don’t get into the car with him”, “Don’t let the mechanic get in, don’t let him get in”. As I turned to plead with the lead guy, engine still running, one put a hand into my side of the car and from nowhere had my wallet in his hands, rifling through it. That caught the attention of the leader who jumped out of the car, racing to the guy with the wallet. I believe the gang leader felt the best way to get all I had was not through brazen force as had already commenced. I yelled, a cross between anger and fear, snatched my wallet back from the guy by the window who had removed all the money in it (about one hundred naira in small notes), still pondering whether he had done well or not and careened off, my foot flat out on the accelerator, willing the car not to die, Martin on the back seat, holding on for dear life.

I hit the main road to Ijora and turned into it at 60km an hour and then took a sharp right to the back entrance of the Arts Theatre where I was stopped by a police check point. Martin and I, adrenalin flowing, got out of the car to tell them what had happened and the policemen commiserated with us. They were far removed from the spot and knew the gang would have dispersed. As we stood by them, Martin again looking into the engine which had decided to fail us afresh by the policemen, one cop in particular told tales of horror. Of a man who had been pursued by robbers on the very road we were on and had been saved by a police patrol van when his car got stuck, of robbers laying in wait for drivers by the theatre’s back entrance at night… Just before we drove off, the policeman tapping a rifle he described as just issued, spoke about their lack of weaponry, the fact they had no stun guns etc to incapacitate hoodlums (what wouldn’t I have done to have had one capable of frying the brains of the gang leader when he was howling, “this is not my money”). And a point I will never forget- the policeman said, “people complain about the police but forget that we sometimes rescue them”.

Well, I can say this, if the under-paid, and ill-equipped motley crew called the Nigerian Police didn’t exist, it would be over for us all, truly. Anarchy would reign in our country. Sometimes it looks like it already does.

Monday, May 14, 2007


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

A book called Naija bloggers Vol 1.

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

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

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

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

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

Royalties will be discussed with selected contributors before publication.

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

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

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

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

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

co-ordinator- laspapi

Kindly link this post on your blog.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

by laspapi

as published in the Sunday Guardian of May 13

Something about Mary

For every girl on the face of the earth, the time will come when her man will ask her that big question. The one about the details of her past life. Whether she is eighteen or eighty, it will drop out of the blue sky on an innocuous day. “Baby…”, he’ll ask casually, “baby, the other men before me? How many were they? You can tell me. I’m asking because I don’t want any secrets to be between us.” If you fall for that, your boat will be going down like the Titanic and there’ll be no hands saved on this particular capsizing.

Don’t be fooled by a sense of security and lovingness to answer that question. No matter how secure you think your man is, you’ll learn a new and probably harsher side to his personality if you answer. So plead the fifth amendment, the right to silence. If you decide to answer in your bid to prevent any secrets being kept in your relationship, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. If you happen to be the sort that has been around more than others, you have put your relationship in jeopardy and it probably, will never recover from the shock tremors.

It doesn’t matter what number you give, or how harmless you make it sound. Many a woman is companionless now because she dared to be “open”. Men are not programmed to process that kind of information; it’s just not in their default setting; and the casual answer of four, or forty, or even four hundred by the more seasoned players will be like someone throwing a scrambler in a man’s mind. It will haunt them in their sleep and in their waking moments and they will be unable to get rid of the nagging feeling that they have been short-changed in some way. During a game of Monopoly, in between a commercial break while watching TV, on the way to church, coming home from the mosque, other questions will come, and this will go on for many years if the relationship does not collapse, a mind-numbing questioning session that will ever end. When you wake this ghost up, it will never go away. It doesn’t matter if the man is a vicar or a the head of a business conglomerate. It will sit on his mind and out of the corner of your eye, you will see him speculating; wondering where, when, how, with whom and other minute details men obsess about.

A woman may ask the Whisperer, “how do we get out of this?” “How do we keep from answering?” When the question comes as it will, be firm from the beginning and make him know it is irrelevant, the past is past and none of the other frogs you have ever kissed in your life can hold a torch to him, your Prince Charming. Prince Charming will sleep well at night after hearing that, and so will you. Do not make the mistake of meeting a tall, dark, handsome stranger with an enigmatic smile at the shopping mall and when asked who that was, reply with a dreamy look, “he was my first boyfriend”.

Always remember, nobody has been hanged yet for keeping silent, and the first rule when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging. Immediately. If you think the shock absorbers of your relationship are strong enough to take the tremors of such a disclosure and you’d feel more comfortable with telling all, please go ahead. The chances are high, though, that you will rue the day you told a man of how it once was with you.

In relation to men, understand that ignorance is bliss even if he persists in questioning you, and he might never forgive you for information that shatters his tranquillity forever.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Stella Damasus, one of Africa's best known movie stars will hit the airwaves with her new television programme, The World Through my Eyes. Through my eyes is a television magazine that will go round Nigeria and the rest of the world, focusing on current affairs, events, people, places and issues. The anchor of the programme will be Stella herself and the producer, laspapi.
It is intended that this programme become the best of its sort in the country with the iconic Stella becoming the first port of call for all television matters concerning the re-engineering of Nigeria's dented image.
It will start airing next month on Silverbird Television.

Ahmed Yerima, C.E.O. of the National Arts Theatre and Director of the National Troupe of Nigeria turned 50 yesterday, May 8. The literatti gathered at the Banquet Hall of the National Arts Theatre to pay homage to a "Don". Yerima won the $20,000 NLNG prize for drama last year, with his book on the Niger Delta crisis, "The Hard Ground".

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

They call it Britain's most watched drama series. It is English Premiership football, followed avidly around the world. I am a fan, watching live matches as they are played in far away England on a regular basis.

Last Monday, I watched as Charlton Athletic Football club was relegated for the first time in 7 years after losing to Tottenham Hotspur. As the game drew to an end, Charlton supporters rose to their feet as one; men, women and children singing the club's anthem, waving scarves that read, "we'll be back", father's wiping the tears off the painted-on-beards of their little boys as their team went down. It showed the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Charlton will lose an automatic income of 16 million pounds payable to each team in the top flight, jobs will be lost by the staff of the club as costs run high without a corresponding increase in income. Still the supporters sang, as boys and young men cried, struggling to clap, supporting their team to the very end.

There were no fair-weather friends at the stadium that night and even if Charlton returns to the top flight in a year, 10 years or never again, I shall always remember in my mind's eye, the pictures of fathers and their sons, shown around the whole stadium, bound in adversity and lending strength, one to another.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The most surreal thing happened to me tonight.

I had driven home from a Committee of Relevant Art (CORA) meeting and was waiting for the security guard at my home simply known as “Baba” to open the gates. It was dark as the Power Company had done the expected. The gates opened and I drove in, I noticed Baba wasn’t alone, which wasn’t extra-ordinary, he sometimes has guests.

As I came to a halt, engine still running and headlamps illuminating the guard-house, I got a better look at his visitor and thought there was something familiar about him. I looked and looked, not getting out of the car, the car still idling. Then I stepped out. And asked Baba in a friendly manner who his friend was. Baba said, “this one na my brother. E no dey hear”.

It was the “deaf and dump” (sic) guy whose picture I had taken on Adeniran Ogunsanya Street a few days before (scroll down blog) and whose haunting look had disturbed me so much. I guessed he might have been Baba’s different relative or someone he knew from his hometown hence the tag, "brother".

I asked to take their photograph and they happily obliged (Baba on the left), the car's headlamps as our "camera flash". He didn’t remember me from the last photo incident. I showed them the photos taken and "our guest" made signs/sounds of pleasure. Surreal.

So my brother and my countryman has come where I live. His name is Mohammed. And I wonder, is there a reason for this? Of all the homes to come to, he came to mine days after I took a photo of him on a busy Lagos road. As Wordsbody asked, what have I done for him? What can I do for him? Does this 2nd meeting mean I am destined to do something for him?
The Girl Whisperer

Kiss and Tell

by laspapi

as published in the Sunday Guardian of May 6

For some reason, men, generally, are unable to keep the fact that they’ve been intimate with a member of the opposite sex, a secret. They have to tell someone else, any body, sometimes even mere acquaintances. Like stolen money, it burns a hole in their pockets so they have to get rid of the information, make it part of the general pool of knowledge.

The man looks at his friend and regales him with tales of this latest exploit and as men are wont to do, embellishes and paints what would probably have been a drab event in the opinion of the female, in richer colours. This trait probably stems from the games men played in their childhood, where it was all about who could ride a bike the fastest or who could race a hundred metres and leave the field behind. Men are always comparing notes, always seeking information about the exploits of other men and many a man has found out in a smoke-filled bar or drinking hole that a potential sister-in-law has ‘played the field’ and is finally seeking a place to roost.

A girl who thinks her past will not come back to haunt her had better be prepared for such an eventuality and pray that her man, like a Whisperer, has the maturity to handle all the information and half-truths that will come his way concerning her. Unfortunately, the hypocrisy of men continues to dominate world affairs and men will not accept from women what is standard practice in their own lives.

Kissing and telling has been around for a long time but men would do well to cultivate the ability of the Girl Whisperer to keep a dead-pan expression where such matters are involved. The rule of the Whisperer is “you can’t hang a man for keeping silent”. It is a very good trait to emulate. As a bonus for “silent” men, women find this an attractive trait.

Men should not be fooled though, that women do not Kiss and Tell. A woman’s kissing and telling is a more sinister type than that practised by males. A man will exaggerate, paint garish pictures of scenarios that happened and those that could never have happened but the woman will, when in the company of those she trusts, break down the event. Let men understand that when a woman’s close friend looks at them, she knows the most intimate parts of every encounter. Ignore your woman’s denials to the contrary. There are no secrets between close women friends and the intimate details women share are fearful.

Some married women will use their married friends as alibis when being searched for by their husbands and the friend will look at her friend’s husband and lie through the teeth without blinking. The Whisperer knows this (not through personal experience as the more suspicious might care to think). Such things are a reality of life with women and this kind of deception is more common than we might care to accept.

Still women must realise that a man who slays his wife and her lover in bed might have a defence in law if he does so in the heat of passion. The best-guarded secrets are liable to become known in places where they should not be once they are told someone, anyone.

The best kept secret of any kind is the one that is never shared, not even to a best friend, because there is something in the human brain that compels the passing of information to others once it is given. Many enterprises have come to nought because of revelations that came too soon.

The Whisperer’s advice? When you kiss, don’t tell. Just close the shutters of your mind.

Friday, May 04, 2007

In a post on his personal blog, Dare Obasanjo, scion of Nigeria's "ruling" family, withdrew his description of a member of his father's domestic staff as "servant". According to him, "This photo and caption caused a bunch of outrage on certain Nigerian blogs leading to posts like A Presidential Servant and OBJ's Cribs as well as an angry comment on Flickr condemning me for calling the person in the picture "a servant".

Read more here.

Dare, on his very unpresidential sounding blog, Dare Obasanjo aka CARNAGE FOR LIFE, went to great lengths to control the damage done by bad press.
Well, if one thinks deeply, Carnage for Life, might be a reflection of the "shock trooper" tactics of the ruling political party in Nigeria, the PDP, led by Dare's father, which would make the young man an astute politician-in-training.

Despite Dare's withdrawal of the offensive statement, it still doesn't explain away the language used in his vitriolic attacks on bloggers who addressed the issue. See comments on imnakoya's blog.
I also suspect Dare returned to imnakoya's blog and deleted his own comments. I stand to be corrected. The gist of his deluge can be seen in the responses of other bloggers.

Another image pasted online by our President's son was one of this cockroach. Dare's words under his image- "A dead Cockroach. It was huge". I assure you, HRH Dare, that I never saw a more befitting description of Nigeria's ruling class.

According to Dare Obasanjo, child of the outgoing President of Nigeria, the person in the picture is “One of the servants sitting down on the bed of his one room apartment. You can see the entire apartment in this shot.”

The occasion was his father's 70th birthday party which he came down to Nigeria for. There were pictures of giraffes, lions, revelling party guests and even one of a dead cockroach. True.
No, the giraffes, cockroach and lions were not guests (well, who knows, really? This is Nigeria) First saw this picture of the servant on imnakoya's blog where HRH, the Prince of Otta, Dare Obasanjo himself came to exchange harsh words in the comments section with some bloggers who dared query the display of opulence.

I trust no crazy comments, anonymous or otherwise, will be placed here sha. This is a tranquil blog and I don't want to call anyone's father, names.

Is Dare's family claiming Wole Soyinka is 3 years older than their father, Aremu? Hehehe.

I don't think I have seen a picture convey as much sadness as this one of "the servant" does. "In the midst of plenty..."

The good looking couple in the other pic- Dare Obasanjo and his sister, Funke. You may see the other 124 photos of the party here. Copyright-Dare Obj.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Is it possible to meet one person and know all your prayers have been answered? Should we pin our hopes, fears and aspirations on this one person? Expect the world of this person, forgetting his or her humanity and susceptibility to errors?

Do our expectations kill the very thing we love?
The Guardian published my "Open letter to our Commander(s)-in-Chief" last Sunday. This should satisfy the bloggers who feel my tirade should have been given more coverage.

By the way, there's an open letter to God (on the Nigerian issue) coming up this week. I wrote this new letter because I was fairly certain our C-in-Cs wouldn't bother with the one I addessed to them. After pouring my venom on paper (I wasn't near my laptop), I couldn't find the strength to type, but that'll be done shortly.