Saturday, December 29, 2007

Leaving the city.

Lagos. Saturday Dec 29, 2007.

Where is Jerome?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ lang syne!

Should we forget our former friends
By whom we set great store?
Should we forget the friends we've met
And the brave days of yore?

This year’s gone. I shall never see it again and I write this for myself and for you who are given to thinking…to introspection.

Today, I sit, creator of this and that and with a reputation for good things and maybe some bad ones, and still in search of my first one million dollars. And I remember.

I remember the friends of my childhood, who walked the dusty streets of Surulere with me and are now gone to other realms. Today, I remember Femi Sadiq who smiled through our early years, Rashidi ‘Rash Boots’ Thanni who played football like a dream and shared childhood dreams with me, Segun Idowu with a sense of humour that could make you laugh at anything, Etekamba ‘wow and whadoo, ya know’, gone now, fallen asleep in a place where I will not follow yet. When it is time to meet with you again, will I recognize you?
I remember Dokun, and I think about how life can be unfair.

I remember Ayo-wole who visited for three days and taught me lessons I never knew my heart could accept.

And my big brothers Olusola and Oluyinka who looked out for me as I grew and taught me many lessons, by word and deed. And my older sisters, Olufunmilayo and Olubande, who were proud of me as a dusty-footed urchin, and whom I have since given reason for this pride. All four of whom read as if books and comics were going out of fashion and placed a desire in me I have not lost since.

And I remember my father, Supremo. And I am silent. And thankful. And very sad.

And I remember some of the boys from the street who’ve done good- kole banjo, femi adepitan, etop esen, bola and tope ogunseye, boma iruene, niyi oluwole, bobby ‘don soleonzo’ adeshipo…spread around the world for many, many years, and those cold harmattan mornings will never come again, where we all huddled and dreamed Aladdin’s dreams and played cowboys and Indians and police and t‘ief. Twenty children cannot stay together for twenty years

And I remember Jerome who would join the Shell Club boys as we played our daily football from 4pm to 6pm at Shell Club (now Eagle club), at the NPA sports ground, at Jalupon, at the Union Bank Sports Ground.
Jerome, who would drop the tray full of bread he had been sent out to sell and play football with us till nightfall. He was our friend. We never bought the bread, seeing we were just kids who would have supper waiting at home, but we would place the tray carefully some distance from the goal posts and play… and play. I do not think his parents ever profited from that bread. He would go to school in the morning and detour in the early evening sun of Shell Club, to play. Well done, Jerome, for not allowing your childhood to be stolen. And I remember soji wey and kelechi ejiogwu whose fences we would climb to get to the field. And suraju, who would take the football if he was displeased with any decision and run. Out of the pitch, out of the sports ground, through strange streets, ball under arm, ten of us in pursuit. I do not know if I will recognize you now, Jerome, if we pass by each other on the streets but you are my friend.

And I am grateful for many good memories and dreams that have come true and those still continuing to. They are important to me.

May the future be all we want it to be.

(photo- Jaekel House in the Railway Compound at Ebute-Metta now preserved for historical purposes)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Before The Rain.


Filming for The Stella Damasus Show continued at the singer, D'banj's home last Wednesday. D'Banj whose ability to entertain on stage (apart from his singing) is his greatest strength, proved to be as entertaining in person and revealed the most incredible things about himself during the recording. He revealed the reason for his song "Mobolowo won" (I escaped from their hands), the extent of his wealth (he's wealthy even by Western World standards, believe me), his relationship with his producer/manager- Don Jazzy, with Tu face, what he thought of old time singers like Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obe and many other things.

D Banj is the Vice President of Mo' Hits Records of which Don Jazzy is the President. Throughout the interview, Don Jazzy stayed in the studio, a recluse of sorts and content to let D' Banj have the lime-light. D'Banj however firmly believes Don Jazzy has been responsible for the successful direction of the Koko/No Long Thing phenomenon that has swept the nation and can say no wrong of him.

Group Picture shows artistes with Mo' Hits Records. Fron left, the rapper S.I.D. who used to be a member of da Trybe- d Trybes Men collective, Wande Coal who is regarded as one of Nigeria's best voices at the moment, Stella herself, and D'Banj's younger brother, also a singer. Seated on the floor playing his trademark harmonica is D'Banj after the interview.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I was at the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital yesterday, waiting for Stella Damasus (whose TV show I am producing) and the camera crew, so we could commence the recording of an episode.

As I stood waiting by my car and talking on the phone, I saw a woman in her 30s screaming at a slight-framed old man in his 80s. She, with a baby strapped to her back, said she was tired of taking care of him. She had done enough in her life for him and was tired of eneslavement. He had maltreated her all her life, made her childhood a misery. She said he would have to deal with his mental health problems himself, he and his fat shapeless wife. Her words in Yoruba.

The old man was pathetic and kept on trying to stand by her side but she would have none of it. Once, she slammed him in the chest and he almost broke in two. Karma, I thought. As my more retributive-minded friends who think I'm going to pay for every woman I've run away from would say, "life will bite you in the a*^e in the end. You just wait". For this old man, I thought, "he's getting payback in this world." As they circled my car, she now in possession of the old man's slippers and attempting to maim him with it, she showed me a small wound on her head which she said he had inflicted.

It was apparent she had had enough and called him unprintable names at the top of her voice. A member of staff of the hospital joined me in trying to appease her and that was when we found out from the old man, that she was the person who needed treatment. They had brought her from the Mountin Of Fire Church and she was having none of it. Some statistics say one in ten peiple will suffer some kind of mental health issue in their lifeime. Things are not always as they seem.

As security guards escorted the belligerent woman with the baby still strapped to her back into the deep recesses of the hospital, I watched the old man's wife as she approached and stood in misery looking at her ill daughter, and the old man himself, a little to one side, racked with grief.

I thought of how I had prejudged the old man based on how things looked. As I write this, I can almost hear the old man singing to me- "Walk a mile in my shoes, before you abuse, criticise and accuse, Walk a mile in my shoes"

Photo from left shows the Chief Clinical Psychologist of the hospital- Marcellinus Nwaogwu, laspapi and Stella after the recording.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I was driving by the local airport in the morning, yesterday, when I saw a little beggar girl aged about 7 run frantically to her mother, who was sitting by the road-side. I watched through the wind-screen as she frantically slapped her mother on the knees and signalled the older woman to run too. Then the child took off in fear, leaving her mother behind. I craned to see what/who was in pursuit of the child but it was hard to make out. Then I looked back at the old woman, she had goitre, and stood unsure,not knowing whether to fold her mat, grab her slippers etc She just sort of hopped from foot to foot then stood still as others fled around and past her.

Then I saw the pursuers. They were officials of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development and they'd brought a mighty vehicle to pick vagrants off the streets. I saw one of the officials grab the hand of a dwarf and drag him towards the bus. When I finally drew level with the bus, there were beggars and destitutes seated and standing everywhere in it. Blind beggars of both sexes and their child-guides too.

The woman whose child had warned her was left alone for some reason (maybe the bus was full) but as I drove past the bus, I saw a blind female beggar crying inside it. I couldnt get that image out of my head. There was no dignity in the tears, and the scene was soundless as she was in the bus, and I, in my car, but I could see her fear. She looked half-crazed with it.

They were probably taking them to Majidun, a camp to rehabilitate destitutes somewhere around ikorodu. I don't know if it will be a lasting solution however as begging pays much more than basket weaving ever can.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Men of all ages interested in being part of a group of Professionals and Students in weekly friday night 5-a-side football on Artificial Turf in relaxed surroundings somewhere in Ikoyi.

Spectators stands and comfortable lounge available for guests.

Game starts at 8pm every Friday under floodlights.

Limited spaces available.



Theatre@Terra presents the world premiere of the Stage Drama, 'The Wives', written by Dr Ahmed Parker Yerima, Director General Of The National Arts Theatre and Artistic Director of the Nigerian National Troupe.

THE WIVES: Everyone has something to hide. A wealthy man dies and many hidden things about the dearly beloved dead patriarch are brought to light as his wives converge, unearthing family secrets and broken taboos.

The play will be directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Date: Sunday the 16th, December
Venue: Terra Kulture
Time: 3pm & 6pm.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An African Christmas

Why sing we songs of mistletoe?
Why exalt we the pure white snow?
What meaning, tell, Rudolph's nose?
What romance bears fireside repose?
In an African Christmas.

Why not dream of harmattan air?
Why not laud bluest atmosphere?
Extol the smell of burning grass.
Sing you of dust not frost on glass
In an African Christmas.

It's not the seasons of the year
That tinge the wondrous Christmas air.
But Mary's infant meek and mild,
Praise then, all men, the Holy Child
In an African Christmas.

Oladejo Fabolude

Copyright ©2003 Oladejo Adebola Fabolude

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life is short,
Break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly,
Laugh uncontrollably,
Never regret anything that made you smile.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I've been locked away in a hotel since the night of Sunday the 2nd Of December and not due for release till Thursday the 6th.

The occasion? A writers' workshop for the adaptation of the Vagina Monologues, 'localizing' it and making it even more suitable for our environment.

The project is sponsored by the Dutch-based CORDAID and spear-headed in Nigeria by the Kudirat Initiative For Democracy (KIND), supported by Project Alert, Media COncern Initiative, The Ajegunle Community (ACP) Project and the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO).
laspapi will be directing the performances in March of next year.

Top photo shows laspapi and Tunde Aladese. Tunde also writes for True Love Magazine and is an Associate Producer on the talk show, "Moments with Mo".

3rd photo shows all the writers-(2nd from left) Ijeoma Ogwuegbu who also writes for the Sun Newspaper and is a regular on Funmi Iyanda's 'New Dawn' Talk show as a member of the Monday Women's Panel and extreme right, Princess Olufemi Kayode, who is Executive Director of Media Concern.

Bottom photo shows (from left) Josephine Effah-Chukwuma- Executive Director of Project Alert, Princess Olufemi-Kayode and Amy Oyekunle-Executive Director Of KIND.

As you can see, laspapi is the only male in a project made up of women. The 'Girl Whisperer' tag is not for nothing.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You're invited to Chika Unigwe's THE PHOENIX book reading.

Sunday Dec 8
Jazzhole, 168 Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi.

Fri Dec 14
Quintessence, Falomo Shopping Centre,
Time- 5pm

Saturday Dec 15
Bookworm, Eko Hotel Shopping Complex
Ajose Adeogun St, Victoria Island
Time 2pm.

Finally watched the 1978 movie, "I spit on your grave" a few days ago. Woman gets raped by 4 guys and proceeds to wipe out all the guys who participated in the heinous act.

As children, we all wanted to see this movie because it showed "skin" and I remember my best friend then telling me how great it was. I finally got to see it and was appalled at the bad acting and the terrible "film tricks".

I was glad when she killed them all off, their acting was that bad. She should have killed herself at the end too.

At one point, she buried an axe in the back of a guy swimming in a river. 2007 technology allowed me to slow down the dvd frames and what I first thought was the smooth white back of a swimming man was actually an expanse of yellow sand smoothened with fingers (you could see the finger marks and small puddles of water), In the days the film was made, you might have gotten away with it but today? Yet, Casablanca, a much older movie starring Humphrey Boggart and his catchphrase "Here's looking at you, kid", remains a classic because it is well thought out.

I spit on the grave of all those incompetent actors, their director and producers. Hmmpff.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Got tagged by Tayo

7 Weird things about me

1. Often, I prefer my own company. I'm silent in the mornings

2. I like to watch movies alone sometimes

3. I start fighting when the other person's tired.

3. No matter how complicated, people try to make an issue/discussion/argument, I can tell what the core is in a couple of minutes. "Complicated" types hate that.

4. I never get ill. After University, it just stopped.

5. Too many ex-girlfriends.

6. A tendency to totally keep away from situations/people I find disturbing.

7. I can read comics walking down a busy road.

Here are the rules
1) Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
2) Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
4) Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I tag Uzo, Funmi Iyanda, Prousette, Shola Pacheco, Sherri, Omosewa & 2ndCorin5:17