Monday, April 30, 2007


laspapi- O Progeny Miraculous Particular Spectaculous....

I don't know what it is with me and the past these past few days (excuse the bad pun).

This is for the Waffarian whose post on her blog took me to better, better times- when cares were few and the air was cleaner, when smiles had no sinister motives and one did not fear one's neighbour.

More this, more that.

As I drove on Adeniran Ogunsanya Street a few weeks back, this fellow came to my car. "I am deaf and dump (sic), his placard read, and I thought, "this will make a good picture". As I reached for the camera and pointed, he stepped back and away from the camera, and I wasn't sure if he had struck a pose for the camera or was an antelope caught in the lights of a speeding truck late at night. It was his expression that struck me.

I couldn't get him off my mind as I drove off. He's my brother, my countryman. Time and Chance happen to us all.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Ebun Olatoye of True Love Magazine interviewed me on spirituality in the May Edition.. The column is called Soul Food.
Double click on picture to read interview.

Thursday, April 26, 2007






THE BOLD, THE COOL, THE BEAUTIFUL

Met up with a princess of the Ibru Dynasty, Elvina, today. After discussing the project she had in mind, I picked up a pen to interview her for these series.

Laspapi: What does your name, ‘Elvina’, mean?
El: “Friend of the Elf”.

Laspapi: Friend of…?
El: Why my mum named me that is beyond comprehension. Maybe she thought I’d like short people. (She laughs) Seriously though, my mum thought of naming me after her father ‘Edvin’ but didn’t like ‘Edvina’ so she chose ‘Elvina’. We found out later, it meant ‘friend of the elf’.

Laspapi: The meaning of Ibru?
El: That name has history. It was originally “Igburu”. It means wrestler. It also means shelter. My great-grand dad was a warrior, a wrestler, a protector of people. He was the Olotu (a field marshal) and he acted as a cover or protector for his people.

Laspapi: Your native name?
El: Ese-wure (Kindness lasts forever) I was born 2 months early (May 22), exactly a week after my grand-dad died. He had told my grand-mum, “I’m coming back now, as a girl”. He said the girl would have his heart…

Laspapi: Have you ever been in love?
El: (laughs) I think so…

Laspapi: Define love then
El: Love is God and vice-versa. Love is also when it doesn’t matter how many people are in the room, if he’s not there, the party doesn’t function for you. Love is kindness, reaching out. Love isn’t blind. That’s B^&l S*&t. It sees very clearly.

Laspapi: You have a company called 2ce as nice… Why?
El: My size...

Laspapi: What does the company do?
El: It’s a production company. We’re partnering with Freemantle and Pan African Entertainment to produce West African Idol.

Laspapi: Is that profitable?
El: Quite so.

Laspapi: Who do you look up to?
El: My late mother. She was beautiful, intelligent and hardworking. But it never distracted her from looking after 7 children. She taught me humility. She was half German, half Cameroonian, which is why I’m so fair-complexioned .

Laspapi: If you had only 5 minutes to leave the country, what would you take?
El: My nieces and nephews and my 10 god-children. As many kids as I can gather.

Laspapi played free association with Elvina. She’d give the first word she could think of when a word is mentioned.

Love….Hate
Marriage…Scary
Money…Plenty
Sex…Pleasurable
God…Everything
Nigeria…Potential
Nollywood…Growing
Hollywood…Madness

Laspapi: Clothes maker?
El: Anything African and comfortable. No favourite designer because they don’t do clothes for big people.

Lapapi: Perfume?
El: DKNY, Princess by Vera Wang

Laspapi: Where will you be 10 years from now?
El: I’ll be married with 2 kids and start an orphanage (It’s a big project. An orphanage that’s really the size of a village). I’d like to be a well-respected and powerful entertainment power house like an African Oprah Winfrey.

Laspapi: Why Tattoos? (I counted 3 on Elvina, one on the bicep, one on the leg and a fresh one on her right forearm)
El: They’re pretty (Laspapi agrees)

Laspapi: A word for young people who strive to be like you?
El: 1)Put God in all you do
2) Never compromise your sexuality as a woman because you think it’ll get you somewhere
3) Being stubborn is a good asset. If people say you can’t because- you’re too ugly, you’re fat, Nigeria has no infrastructure so you can’t do “West African Idol”-press on. Being obstinate has advantages.

She adds, I come from a wealthy background and was privileged to have a good education so I don’t want to say “work hard” and run the risk of sounding patronizing, but being able to say, I CAN and I WILL, goes a long way. Look at Oprah’s background and where she is now. One needs a positive spirit.

Laspapi: What would you like to be remembered for?
El: Changing the life of at least one child for the better.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


No Victor, No Vanquished. Action Congress Supporters tie their symbol, the broom, to the image of Musiliu Obanikoro, flag bearer of the PDP in the Lagos State Governorship Race. Musiliu lost to Fashola of the Action Congress.

OPEN LETTER TO OUR COMMANDER(S)-IN-CHIEF

Tonight, as I was returning from the island, after a hectic day, I linked Eko Bridge via Adeniji Adele/Ijora Olopa. The Man United v AC Milan 'Champions League' match was on and I was hoping to make part of the second half. As I drove down the bridge, the National Arts Theatre to my left, I saw traffic further down. Thinking to myself, "Oh, no!" (I don't do traffic), I advanced closer and... Chaos!!!

People were sprinting from their cars and from buses, screaming "ole!!!" (Thieves), "armed robbers" etc. Cars had parked daigonally on the bridge, headlights on, engines running, their drivers and passengers racing towards me.

I got out of my car and thought furiously as confusion enveloped a dark bridge only illuminated by headlights at 9pm (there are no working street-lamps on Eko bridge.
"Leave the car?" There was no way the car could move. Cars had parked behind me, their drivers long gone. The Meridian was too high to climb with a car. Being on foot was as dangerous if not more. Drivers coming down the opposite lane to the island screamed, "armed robbers!!"

I thought, "laspapi, you have disobeyed your own cardinal rule of Lagos driving. Never get caught in traffic at night time in "black spots".

I backed away from my car and stood on the meridian that separated the lanes. A taxi driver exclaimed that if there were no robbers ahead, they'd probably been attracted by the long queue and commotion and would be coming from the back. Not very reassuring. I noticed an open manhole by the place where I stood, and peered into it. It seemed to have a ledge and I knew that would be one of the places these people sprung from in times when they sought victims in traffic, or those trying to repair disabled cars.

After a while, the vehicles began to move and some finally returning to their cars said there hadn't really been robbers there, and it had just been a car accident. Others said the robbers had descended through the Costain end.
I noticed 3 northern types seated beside a car that was facing the wrong way and had a smashed window at the side. One of them had blood on his knee while another made a call on his phone.

Now was the accident caused by the driver, or by the threat of the robbers if there had been any?

However it is, the Nigerian government is a long way from where it should be. Can one imagine armed robbers 'operating' on London Bridge 8 or 9 times a month? Or on Route 66? So do we have a government? Is a country where people abandon their cars regualarly to urban bandits and take to their heels, a successful state? The Lagos State government said it couldn't handle security because the police are on the federal government's exclusive list and the federal government jealously guards its inept enforcement machinery. The Odu'a Peoples Congress (OPC) known for its vigilante activities enjoyed more confidence from the populace than the police did. It lessened its security activities because of repeated brushes with the government.

If you (Obasanjo/Yar' Adua) do not provide street and security lights to encourage commerce and security, does it not mean you're totally oblivious of the needs of the people and are not fit to rule? If at age 47, Nigeria cannot have constant electricity to power the few lights there are, do we not have a problem of leadership?

If you do not arm the police force and provide incentives for them to face the #$%^&$% called "daredevil armed robbers", does it not mean you're playing Russian Roulette with the lives of your people and the said people should refuse to listen to you? I'm tired of railing against the police (my friend Ayo Arigbabu says I "rant" where the police are concerned). If they had proper and modern arms and not the WWII "Tommy Guns" they carry around, then maybe we could hold them responsible for not controlling the ills of the society. At the moment, they are in as much danger as we are.

If the lives of the people mean so little to you, should we not take matters in our own hands? Are we saying there weren't people aged above 70 and 75 in some of the vehicles on that bridge? Were they forced to run too, do you think, Honourable Sirs? In other countries, citizens above 60 are given free transport passes. Here we kill them on pension queues. Let this government note the words of Bertolt Brecht- "When the present is intolerable, the unknown habours no risks".

Just in case you ever lose your immunity and soldiered motorcades, and are forced to crawl out from beneath the Rock, here are a few of the blackspots in Lagos your excellencies should avoid:

The Mile 2 to Okokomaiko Road- Commuters here run a gauntlet of death every night. Armed Robbers join buses and dispossess passengers regularly. Bus-stops are not safe either, on this route. The Iyana Iba/Iba-Igando Road is as dangerous.

Apongbon- Rush Hour has become dangerous. Car windows are smashed in "grab and runs". A few months ago, a young female had her lung pierced as her car window was smashed in. She died from the injury.

Ijora Olopa/Adeniji Adele- Often known for hoodlums grabbing handbags and necklaces off drivers. Stories abound (I have witnessed one myself and another near miss)

Lekki-Ajah Express way- A relative was pursued in his car by robbers from the law school area. They didn't stop till he rammed a bill board. The car was beyond salvage.

Eko Bridge- Towards the Costain end (Notorious and recognized as such by the "closing from work" Lagos crowd

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Cele-Ijesha bus-stops- Terrible places to be at night for the unwary. Gangs march up and down these roads looking for stragglers and cars with problems

Osbourne Road Ikoyi/Under the Dolphin Estate Bridge- Robbers create their own checkpoints and cause havoc there.

Now if I know so much, how about the police? More guns, more equipment, more incentive, better pay and better governance. As I wrote earlier, I have decided not to blame the Police for any ills hereinafter. This deaf government is responsible for the carnage on our streets,for the accidents that are caused by the lack of lighting, for the ones Clifford Orji killed, ate and sold because they could not see the hidden manholes at "Toyota", for the many skeletons of unwary passersby found in the ditch just after the National Arts Theatre (at the Ijora-7up end) .

Hopefully, when there are no longer any motorcades to ferry you around, you'll fall into the hands of the boys-the boys at iyana iba. Wouldn't that be a thing of joy? Now, that would be leadership by example.

Monday, April 23, 2007

THIS AND THAT

Yar'Adua, flag bearer of the PDP has been selected, ahem, elected to be the next President of Nigeria.

Maudeline All-Bright, the ex-Secretary of State of the USA, was on air in Nigeria as an observer, to state that the elections went well,despite a few short-comings. Last time an American Official, "Pickering", spoke publicly on our politics, the President-Elect (MKO) died, which should tell us something.

I submitted last Sunday's 'Whisperer' column late so it didn't make the papers. It's actually the coming Sunday's (29th), 'The Domestic Boxer', publication you've read here.

Nilla is back in Nigeria.

Adedibu, the Ibadan strongman has made his son, god-son and son-in-law, senators in Oyo State. Of course, his protege, Alao-Akala is also governor-elect.

Broken Walls, my stage play on Mental Health and its attendant complications, will be presented in collaboration with the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba (Yaba Psychiatric Hospital)at the Muson Centre on Sunday May 13. Admission is free. Cocktail at 6pm. Show begins at 7pm. The Host of the proceedings will be Dr. H.T.O. Ladapo, Medical Director of the establishment

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

The Domestic Boxer

as published in the Sunday Guardian of 22 April 2007

My father liked to say he went to school on a boxing scholarship. He had an ‘Oxford Blue’ and that fact formed an important part of his C.V.

What happens when the ‘boxer’ is one-part of a relationship meant to be romantic and loving? What happens when the man in the relationship knocks his partner about from time to time as he passes through the door, the same way some people kick their cats and dogs? Domestic violence is more rife than we care to acknowledge and ‘friendly fire’ that loosens a tooth here, breaks a rib or two, damages an eye socket or gives a black eye is more common place than we publicly accept. Still wide-spread practice does not make the act acceptable. Some women do not help matters either. Displaying the “Stockholm Syndrome” where a victim sympathises with, and ‘understands the abuser’, she says, “he’s really a kind man, I was the one who caused this”, “His only vice is that he hits me…a bit”.

Ladies, it’s time to wake up and smell the morning dew. No matter what a woman does, it can never be enough to warrant physical abuse, or be enough to justify a kick in the face.. It doesn’t matter what the prevailing influence is, whether drink, uncontrollable anger or a combination of both... if he’s hit you before, chances are, he’ll hit you again, and much harder. A man who gets his highs from feeling the soft flesh of a woman yield under his pummelling is too base to ever change. He’ll be back with a kick, a punch, a blow that will cause the loss of a pregnancy, internal bleeding, snap human bones like twigs or even worse, the loss of the life of the victim.
It’s not for nothing that studies show the police often hold the male figure in a relationship as the chief suspect when the woman dies. In the case of the death of a man, it’s his friends the police look at first.

What does a woman do if she’s the victim of battery? She runs hard and very fast, away from the pursuer as soon as she can. It doesn’t matter what physical benefits you leave behind. Just run. The chances are high that a man who has hit you before will do so again and again and again, no matter what he tells you. He’ll hit your head against a brick wall, try to break the bones of your legs by slamming a door into them as you lie prostrate on the floor, too weak to move. Run, Baby, Run.

Let the ladies understand this, there is no cure for a man troubled by this ailment, and the relationship is not punishment from God for your wrongdoings when you were younger. If you feel you can change him, make the change from outside, not while still bearing the brunt of his blows from day to day. Don’t say leaving a man is not in our culture. Burying you young isn’t part of the culture either

For the men who do this, I’ll speak as a man. “Bro, you need help”. The man needs to sit and think and figure out how he became the very object he despised as a child. If a woman annoys you, walk away from her. Walk very far. If she continually wears you down and you feel your very soul will crumble into dust, leave the relationship. It is better to be alone than be on death row with other women-killers awaiting the hangman’s noose. It can’t happen? Wait and see.

It’s better to be known as Miss or Ms. than have a full page obituary dedicated to you in the papers saying, “Call to Glory”.

Run, Baby, Run.

Saturday, April 21, 2007



'Do you know who made you?' 'Nobody as I knows on,' said the child, with a short laugh...'I 'spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me.'

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Elizabeth Beecher
U.S. authoress
14 June 1811 - 1 July, 1896


Today I went down memory lane, searching through dusty old records that belonged to my father, quite a number dating back from the 60s.
A lot of those Nigerian musicians had cult status,sang with great voices and had wonderful melodies. But they had such horrible band names...

Here are some:

Sir Victor Uwiaifo and his Melody Maestroes
Orlando Julius and his Modern Aces
I.K. Dairo and his Blue Spots MBE
(This was Paul Dairo's father and the MBE is an honour he got from England that he made part of his band name)
King Kennytone and his Western Toppers band (later to become Top Toppers. The band leader was Kenneth Otone)
Roy Chicago and his "Abalabi Rhythm" Dandies
Dele Ojo and his Star Brothers Band
Tunde Osofisan and his Rhythm Fadakas
Tunde Western Nightingale and his band
Charles Iwegbue and his Archibogs
Ayinde Bakare and his Inner Circle Orchestra
King Josy Friday and his National Toppers Band
I.B.Oriowo and his Niger Star Dandies
Victor Olaiya and his All Stars
Booby Benson and his combo


I wonder what the names today will sound like in 50 years...D'Banj, Tony Tetuila, Rugged Man, Father U-Turn, Daddy Showkey, Daddy Fresh, Tony One-week... I don't wonder, really. I know.

I found a gem though... Connie Francis (Non-Nigerian) with a song titled "Do you love me like you kiss me?" (MGM Records 1959)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007




I wandered into the popular 'mama-put', White House, at Sabo-Yaba today along with two of the fair ladies that work with me, Toyin Alli-Hakeem and Linda Okoro. As we sat eating, the actor, Bolaji Alonge came in accompanied by Kayode Peters- TV and Stage Director as well as Teju Babyface, one of Nigeria's foremost stand-up comedians.
So I grabbed Babyface and made him part of the Bold, Cool and Beautiful Series. Babyface is the first male featured as part of the BCB.


L: State of Origin?
BF: Oyo

L: Oriki (Traditional Praise name)?
BF: Ajao Ogun (means warrior or strong man)

L: Why did you choose Stand-Up comedy?
BF: At that time as a student, it paid the bills and gave me more than fellow students. Comedy is a platform. I'm really an enterpreneur.

L: Mentors?
BF: Basorge Tariah, Ali Baba

L: You like clothes. Any favourite designers?
BF: I'm disenchanted. I'll soon start making my own. It's all about the fit, though.

L: What would you take if you had 5 minutes to get out of the country?
BF: My Bible and "Our Daily Bread". (Our daily bread is a Christian motivational book)

L: Your concept of God?
BF: He's patient, He's faithful

L: What has he done for you lately?
BF: He has given me "My Word". I have received God's plans for me. (BF quotes the Bible-Isaiah 55 v.10-11)

Hearing so much of God, laspapi felt babyface had to be abstaining from...ahem...the pleasures of the world hence the next question.

L: Getting married soon?
BF: I really hope so

L: To whom?
BF: (smilingly) Wouldn't I love to know that?

L: You were in films once...
BF: Just one. Diamond Ring, starring Richard Mofe-Damijo and Liz Benson. It was exciting but the film industry was unwilling to accept me.

L: Why not?
BF: I had a pecuiar look that didn't fit into the "rituals" films being churned out at that time.

We played Words and Associations. I'd give a word and Babyface would say the first thing to enter his mind.

Nigeria....Confusion

Obasanjo...Misdirected

Love....Over-rated

Marriage...Brilliant (I asked Babyface, if love is over-rated, why is marriage brilliant? He replied- "the love in marriage is not the one with butterflies in your stomach"

Sex....After Marriage

Kayode Peters, standing by asked BF: "How about those things you've done before?"
BF: God has forgiven me. (Teju is abstaining from pre-marital sex.


The Comedy Industry...Limitless

I continued the interview-

L: Where will you be in 10 years?
BF: Doing God's work

L: Something for those who seek to be like you?
BF: Seek God

L: What would you want to be remembered by?
BF: That I helped people and they came to know God through me.

Broken Walls, my next play is in collaboration with the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital. Date is Sunday the 13th of May.

Monday, April 16, 2007


(From left) laspapi, beautiful nubia and chude, after an interview on New Dawn with Funmi Iyanda. Yeah, I've been on the show many times. At that time, Chude was one of funmi's producers.

baby 'papi
The Girl Whisperer

by laspapi

as published in the Guardian of April the 15th

Whispering in the Dark

A few years ago, I was leaving a well-attended church on the island after a mid-week service. It was the place to be, with a vivacious preacher and young upwardly mobile professionals of both sexes as the majority of the congregation. As I got into my car that night, a friend called out my name. We had been at the University together and he asked for a lift. I willingly assented. There were also a few people around who also asked if they could join us. They crammed into the car and we chatted in the darkness of the vehicle until I dropped all off in the heart of the mainland.

Months later, as I stood at a tyre repairer’s near my home, a young lady approached and asked if I attended that church. I said I did and asked how she knew. She told me it was my voice. She had been listening to me speak to the tyre man and although she couldn’t recognize me from looking, knew I was the one who gave her and others a ride home months before (yes, when you hear the whisperer, you never forget).
We re-introduced ourselves and I showed her where I lived. Thereafter, she became a regular visitor at my place. We’d stay in a room by ourselves for hours and instinct strongly told me she was not averse to romantic advances but I never proceeded down that path. She told me how she was fending for herself and her siblings and how she strove for a better life. not being actually one of the upwardly mobile types.

After a while, I got tired of her repeated visits and began to avoid her.
At dusk one day, she came round, (I was next door) but she was told I wasn’t in. She could see my car where it was parked, however, and said she’d wait, so she sat on a low fence and watched the people in the neighbourhood pass by.

I didn’t come out of my place of refuge till she left, though, but after she went away, two female friends in the neighbourhood who had seen her as they passed, came to meet me at separate times unaware that the other had done so. They said the same thing laughingly, “Whisperer, are you the owner of that girl’s pregnancy?”

My blood ran cold and I understood that I had almost been outplayed. This ‘church’ girl had hoped I would take advantage of her on one of those many visits so she could claim I made her pregnant. If I’d refused saying, “Only once can’t make a baby”, she would have reported me to the head of the church and that church leader would probably have announced to his church full of people who knew me that I had made a church member pregnant and I was refusing to accept responsibility. I could see it all, a full sermon on my case and if I still refused, removal from the church and national disgrace. Years after, people would still point to me and say “he has a child he refuses to take care of”.

So, restraint saved me, and an odd reflex for survival. Yet, when I reflect, I think of how many men wander the streets of this world, playing father to children that are not theirs. “Only the female knows” is the adage, so be warned about whispering in the dark.

Even a “Whisperer” would have fallen but for divine intervention.

Sunday, April 15, 2007



KORO-DED

Fashola ‘sweeps’ Lagos.

Elections have been concluded for the Governorship position in Lagos with Babatunde Raji Fashola , the Action Congress candidate and Governor Tinubu’s heir apparent running amok at the polls, trouncing all comers including the feared Musiliu Obanikoro.

Fashola scored 828, 484 votes with his arch rival, ‘Koro’ polling 389, 088.

Others were less fortunate at the polls. Jimmy Agbaje polled 114, 557 (a distant 3rd), Tokunbo Afikuyomi (ANPP), once a favourite of Tinubu scoring a little over 6,000, Gbajabiamila (AD)- a little over 2,000, Owolabi Salis- 2,565, Uche Omihai (Fresh)- 12, 719 and the deputy governor of Lagos, Femi Pedro (Labour Party)- 29, 836 .

The losing aspirants with Pedro as spokesman immediately called for a cancellation and termination of collations in Lagos because of ‘irregularities’.

In a related story, the Ondo State Deputy Governor made off with electoral boxes ending the collation of votes in that state. He must have seen the writing on the wall.

There can only be one winner. And for some, their day in the sun is finally over.

(In the picture, Lagosians celebrate news of the victory of Fashola. They climbed my car, and swamped me as I took pictures through the vehicle's sunroof).

Saturday, April 14, 2007



Went for my weekly friday night football at Astro-Turf's artificial pitch in Ikoyi. Well, I didn't play this week because I had injured a heel a few weeks ago and am still recuperating, so I spent my time running a commentary with Bolaji Alonge and Kayode Krakue. The commentary part is as important to this weekly ritual as the game. A few months ago, the management of Indomie Noodles playing after our game, decided a 'bribe' of their products would make us say nice things as we yelled from the stands. I've still got the stuff in my fridge.
But among the players this friday were Frank, host of the Nigerian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and Charles Anosodo, TV Sports Show Host.
Also present were the musician, Rugged Man, who showed he had more skills than rapping, and a number of regular spectators and players.
In the picture, front row, 2nd from left, is Rugged Man, making the V-sign. Seated next to him in yellow is Kayode Peters, the TV and Stage Director. Seated in the row behind is Kayode Krakue (1st right)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jola Naibi owns a new blog which features fictional stories. The blog is called La Racontrice (The Story Teller). She says any similarities to people or sets of events are coincidental. I wish I could say that of my works but half the time, I'm deliberately "cussing" someone out. Jola's stories are all her copyrighted material and 'borrowing' without permission is prohibited.
The first story I read there had me hooked.

Go to La Racontrice


Ko S'oro (No Comment)
BEFORE THE RAIN

My older bro, Jinta's home on holiday from the land of Queen Elizabeth and staying with me. Today, we stood and chatted about our childhood.
Parents separated when I was 14 months and divorced shortly after.

We didn't think our father, 'Supremo' left so many good memories behind, until today. Together, we begin to dredge up anecdotes, trying to put the pain of the past behind us, at least for the while. We remembered funny things, the times when he overlooked crimes 'punishable by death' and for a few minutes we were at rest.

There were many times as children, we felt he wasn't there for us. Where he watched things he could have steered away from us, happen. But today, my brother and I rested the pain, and laughed and smiled wry smiles and hoped that our futures would be better than what we were given.

Everyday, after Supremo and our Step-Mother would have gone to work, Jinta, Bros. Folly (my cousin who grew up with us) and myself would come out of our room to play a Jazz song, "Before the Rain" on the cassette player. At the end of the song, one would hear the sound of rain falling, through the speakers.

Years have gone past now, Supremo's long gone to better places than this earth but I remember "Before the Rain". And I hope all parents will learn to trust their children and be there for them. So that when they are remembered, the smiles will be bright and the memories, good ones.



As Lagos girds itself for elections into the position of Governor in two days, its citizens prepare for an onslaught unlike any ever seen in the country.
People claim its a do-or-die affair with the incumbent Governor, Bola Tinubu,(once of the A.D. or Alliance for Democracy and now of the Action Congress or AC) swearing not to hand over to Musiliu Obanikoro (PDP), a former favourite of his and now a sworn enemy, if "Koro-ssive" wins.
B. Raji Fashola (Action Congress) a lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria who has been part of Tinubu's government is the chosen heir-apparent of Tinubu.
Jimmy Agbaje is the outsider in the race but is favoured by many on account of his intelligence and far reaching policies. There's Gbajabiamila (AD or Alliance for Democracy) who's campaign buses have "Olu Omo" (Commander of Girls) written on them. This round-faced fellow must be talking of his sisters.
There's Femi Pedro (Labour Party) who is currently the Deputy Governor of Lagos State but who lacks the support of his boss which says a lot about his situation. No one seriously expects him to win.

There's also the fresh-faced Uche Ibukun Omihai of the Fresh Democratic Party, a female and one of the better known underdogs, Ladipo Johnson (NAP), whose Party Chairman, Tunji Braithwaite publicly said at a press briefing that he was supporting Fashola, a member of another party, while Ladipo was still busy campaigning. (Some detractors claim Braithwaite, once Fela Anikulapo Kuti's lawyer is now senile, but you can see their point). Braithwaite thereafter did a full turn and again pledged his loyalty to his party member, Ladipo. Ladipo's Deputy Governorship aspirant is Ladipo Dickson aka "Lado Dickson" according to the fliers. That nickname might not help his cause. Tokunbo Afikuyomi, ex-senator and ex-friend of Tinubu was in the thick of Tinubu's University of Toronto scandal supporting the Governor in his moment of trial. They soon fell apart and Afikuyomi, a relic of the times when the Yoruba race dumbly allowed some doddering old fellows choose representatives for them, left the A.D. for the ANPP. He has since reconciled with Tinubu and by implication supports Fashola's bid. There are many other irrelevant contestants in this race.

Obanikoro and Fashola are reputed to have stocked their supporters with guns and ammo and Lagosians are on their part stocking their homes with food to survive the siege. Already, there have been repeated clashes between party supporters of the top two, Fashola and 'Koro'. Agbaje claims violence is wrong and has posters that say so, but there are those who swear that some men who left carnage in their wake at Bariga are Agbaje supporters.
The Police?- Forget the Nigerian Police Farce (sic)

By the way, there are few Nigerian politicians who don't use "The Boys-The Boys" to intimidate the opposition. Even the gentleman Donald Duke, governor of Cross Rivers State, is reputed to have a private army.
I can imagine Tony Blair and David Cameron with their own party thugs clashing at Victoria Station, using guns and knives, on themselves, by-standers and anything that moves. Nigeria is still a long way from civilization. Let no one annoy me by picking up on that.

When Nigerians have elections, all the churches and mosques on the West Coast of Africa pray for peace so that there might be no chaos in Nigeria. That would cause a human flood of tens of millions all over West Africa. If you consider that Lagos alone is almost half of the population of the UK, you get the point of the prayers.

The big guns, Atiku, Yaradua, Buhari, Utomi etc haven't even done their bit and already there's so much fear in the land. My home's private security guard, Mustapha, has returned to Borno state where he is sure he will not be killed for speaking the wrong language-

As the day draws closer, let's bow our heads and pray...

Monday, April 09, 2007

A call for manners in the world of nasty blogs

Is it too late to bring civility to the web?

The New York Times considers the conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere as a prickly and unpleasant place, sometimes.

It continues by saying menacing behavior is certainly not unique to the Internet. But since the Web offers the option of anonymity with no accountability, online conversations are often more prone to decay into ugliness than those in other media.

Read the rest of the story here

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Guardian today published my interview of Kate Henshaw (The Bold, The Cool and The Beautiful).
When the Guardian first hit the Nigerian Scene, it advertised itself saying, "Sooner or Later, you'll read the Guardian". That has come to pass.
The Guardian and I have come a long way since then.
The Girl Whisperer

by laspapi

as published in the Sunday Guardian of Sunday April 8

The Share-Holders

If you ask a man which he’d prefer- his woman to “be intimate with” another man or fall in love with another- the man will reply, “She may fall in love but she mustn’t do anything physical with another man”. The answer of the woman is radically different. Women say, “I can forgive my man the lapse of “being intimate” with another woman but he mustn’t fall in love”. No one can explain this radical difference between the outlook of the man and the woman but it is as true as the moon controls the ocean tides and the monthly cycles of women.

How can a woman know when other women have stakes in her man or if he’s been with his secretary or his receptionist, the cook, housemaid or even the girl next door? It’s easy, as generally, men kiss and tell. This weakness in some way, is a manner of keeping score, of marking how many trees have been felled and where, and conquests are often exaggerated and blown out of proportion. Let no one be under the impression that women do not swap notes. They do too, even if not as unguardedly as men do. The man’s misdeeds can be discovered through his driver or junior colleagues. Men are not very good at subterfuge and a few gifts from the woman to a driver envious of the boss’s suavity and “successes” will throw up the most amazing details.

The erring man himself forgets to cover his own tracks after a while, and the usual clich├ęs of finding lipstick on his collar or underwear, will come to pass. There’ll be the phone number on the scrap of paper in his pocket, the protective rubber forgotten in his wallet and similar clues. Men are just not very good at concentrating over long periods of time when it comes to undercover work. The stake of the share holder can be discovered in the body language of the erring man and his “concubine”. People who have been intimate cannot hide their body language from the trained eye. A person you have not been intimate with, can only come so close till you become visibly uncomfortable from the unwanted proximity and the intrusion in your private space. For those who have shared closeness of a certain sort though, the touch on the elbow or the knee in a crowded room, the long looks into each other’s eyes and the brushing past of each other as they go opposite ways through a door, reveal what they’ve been at. In their case, there is no discomfort in the invasion of each other’s private spaces.

The erring woman on the other hand is born intense and even if caught in the most compromising situation gasping for breath, will go to her death refusing to admit anything ever happened. When she stands on her ground long enough, the man begins to wonder whether to believe the evidence of his own eyes. It’s a strength women possess and which is not always used for good.
Except in a few cases, it is much more difficult to apprehend a woman who is “playing the field”. The man who will discover the erring woman must listen to his gut instincts and remember only the paranoid survive. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Bolanle Austyn-Peters, C.E.O. of Terra Kulture, venue for A Season of Soyinka, stopped by as some of the directors of the plays met at Terra to discuss issues.


Among the directors of "A Season of Soyinka" are the Stage & Television Director Kayode Peters (in picture) who first directed laspapi's "Who's Afraid of Wole Soyinka?" at it's premiere in 1998. He'll be directing it again during "The Season..." in July.
Najite Dede directed the first production of The Vagina Monologues in Nigeria, in 2006. She'll be handling "The Lion & The Jewel".
Segun Adefila, (picture not included) will direct Death & The King's Horseman

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


As the Legend turns 73, Jasonvision in collaboration with The British Council and Terra Kulture, presents "A Season of Soyinka" featuring his plays under different directors.
The Plays are The Road, The Jero Plays, Death and The Kings Horseman, Who's Afraid of Wole Soyinka (written by Wole Oguntokun) and The Lion and The Jewel.

Venue- Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Dates- 1 play/2 shows (3pm and 6pm) every Sunday in July- 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th

For sponsorship, participation and enquiries, please e-mail laspapi@yahoo.com or call 234-(0)802 301 3778 or 234-1-897 1691

The "Season" is produced by Wole Oguntokun.
Anatomy of a Woman again

Ore, who came to see the play had cause to reflect on the matter of women and societal pressures. Below is a part of what she thought.

I went to see the play Anatomy of a Woman by Wole Oguntokun. I wasn't sure what to expect, because my friend who invited me didn't tell me what it was about.

Lord! A play by a man who thinks he knows what women want, I thought.

Well, as it turned out, Wole Oguntokun does believe he knows what women want. He writes a column in the arts supplement of the Sunday Guardian called The Girl Whisperer. So, does he?

According to the play, women want to be whatever they choose to be! I liked that. Yes, I truly want to be whatever I choose to be.


See the rest of Ore's musings here.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The Girl Whisperer

Pimp my Bride

by laspapi

as published in the Sunday Guardian of April 1

For those men willing to hold on to their true loves even though the shortcomings of these partners are beginning to drive them crazy, its time to "pimp your bride". For the females willing to avoid gridlocks in their relationships, they must be willing to be pimped too.

Let us start with an overview of the situation as it appears the female partner has the odds stacked against her. She must make breakfast, take care of the home, go shopping, appear nice, smell wonderful, have lunch ready, and even supper.

Often, the female is too tired after work or school to bother with looking good, she just wants to slump into a chair, hair limp from the pespiration of cooking, sip a drink and gaze in quiet and peace on an episode of "Desperate Housewives".

Unfortunately for her, the man is coming in from having passed the seductive vixen at the office in a miniskirt that would be illegal in most Arabic countries, a vixen with legs to die for. He has just sniffed the expensive and heady perfume of his colleague at work and is totally unprepared and unwilling to forgive his partner at home who has forgotten to wash the stench of the fish she made for supper, of her body. A man coming in once or twice to meet his partner reeking of tripe and animal entrails used in the preparation of the lunch stew can be gracious, but when it becomes a steady pattern, he's going to look out for women who smell nice and not like abbatoirs.

Life is unkind, you may say, as all the trouble the woman at home goes through, is mainly for the man, yet he asks for a superwoman. A homely, clean, house keeping, career minded, beautiful type is what he wants. Its the way the odds are stacked and the woman at home or who intends to become the woman there, must be willing to take the extra step, must be willing to match the woman outside, and take care of the details. The key is in the little details...the stringy hair, food between the teeth, dirt under the nails...the little things. A woman who can take care of the little details as well as the large ones secures herself and her home.

The overweight man with a paunch and beer breath should not assume that the woman is content with him the way he is. She goes out daily too and sees the clones of D'banj strolling the streets with firm bodies, toned muscles and six packs for stomachs. He must remember the woman has desires too and being the bride of michelin man is not top of her list.

"Pimping" is a two way issue and both sexes must try to be the best they can be for each other. A long time ago, Ray Parker Jnr sang, "A woman needs love just like you do...she can fool around just like you do". Except for partners in denial, the way we add value to ourselves at work is the same way we must add value to relationships.

Next week, we'll talk about how to know when your partner's sharing himself/herself with others apart from you.