28 February 2006

And the Oscar goes to - Lynette Scavo!!!

The category for Performance by an Actress in a leading role has been decided, and the Oscar goes to (Carlos Santana guitar intro goes here) Felicity Huffman! (Sonny Okosuns comes on singing 'Wake up from your slumber'!!!)

I am really rooting for Felicity, and I haven't even seen 'TransAmerica'! I am actually praying she wins because she plays the most realistic character on DH in my opinion and she has done a good job of that so far. (I am sure no one is wondering why I am not a member of the Academy!).

Me and my natchy curls!

I can’t believe its been a year already! On a hot Sunday afternoon in February 2005, I walked into my neighborhood barbing salon and shaved of my hair, all 12” of it. My ex-flat mate (aka my girl, OAA) almost stopped talking to me and Princess was furious, so furious infact it took her a whole month to actually say anything about it to me, meanwhile she had talked OOA’s ear off (‘why did u let her cut her hair’) like I was some 2 year old or something.

I had always wondered what it would be like to have close cropped hair; I always looked enviously at Alek Wek. I had actually cut my hair short once before in secondary school. It was in form 3, towards the end of one of the terms (can’t remember which). My hair is of the thick variety, and by Sunday, I couldn’t find anyone brave enough to attempt to plait it (I had loosened the old plaits foolishly on Friday so now it was like a real thick forest!) The head girl (HG) saw me wandering around the dorm area in search of some to plait may hair, and told me I hade better find someone to do it or else! After searching in vain, Ema helped me snip of my hair that evening, the HG was a little surprised to see me at inspection time with my hair cut low, and she said as much ‘I asked you to make your hair neat not cut it’ she stammered. Not to worry, I will not call your name when my mum raises hell. I started losing my nerve soon after that because the term was drawing to a close and I would have to face my mum. Luckily for me, ‘Papa’ (‘skirt and blouse’) invaded my school and I was bitten so badly I was sent home with one eye swollen shut. That kind of took the wind out of Princess’s sail so she didn’t really make to much noise about my hair, just ensured I never went to the barber for a trim! This also meant I got to perm my hair a lot sooner that I would have done if I hadn’t cut it in the first place (at that age that was a really good thing!) But that memory was a blur, and it didn’t serve to quench my desire to wear my hair short (closely croppep). On that fateful day, I had just left church and the air conditioning in my car was on the blink. I was perspiring so badly, at a point I was convinced I must have peed on my self! I had braids and I was still going to the salon to take those out and then retouch my hair. More heat!!! I just couldn’t take it anymore!!! Then I remembered I had my then boyfriends’ clipper in the car. Kia (quickly) I stopped at the barber shop at the entrance to my estate and the rest is nappy hair history!!! My boyfriend loved it, and with hindsight, I guess he was just happy to be killing two birds with one stone! Now we made one trip to the barber and max 30 mins he had got his shve and me my trim. Sure beats waiting around for me for 2-6 hrs, depending on what I was taking out, putting on, etc). And we could spend the whole weekend doing whatever we wanted, just nip into the barber shop at 8:30 pm Sunday on our way home (his place or mine) and we are ready for the week. My colleagues started calling me ‘african queen’ because of the tu face video (the object of his affection had hair as low as mine now was). I enjoyed the freedom! My new hair style defined my overall style – get up and go! Get out of bed, get in the shower, get dressed, and go. I finally started swimming lessons (which I have since abandoned because someone drowned in the pool; no I didn’t witness the drowning). Princess tentatively asked what my plans were for my hair, was this just a phase and would I grow it back. I was like yes I would (I could see relief fill her eyes) but I wouldn’t perm it for now. Whatever just stop scraping it! If only she knew what my plans were! Dreads here I come!

I actually started grooming my dreads October last year, but I didn’t like the results (the stylist didn’t section the hair off so I ended up with really wild dreads) so I just washed and conditioned the hair everyday for a week and got rid of that attempt. Then I just stopped combing my hair. I think I have shocked Princess enough when it comes to my hair because she really hasn’t said too much about my attempts at growing dreads. She made the usual noises but I guess she is tired. I really haven’t seen anyone’s dreads I like so for now I am just sticking with the wash and towel dry routine. I used to wash it every other day, but now I shampoo and oil it twice a week. Luckily I have curly hair which tends to ‘stick’ together when I don’t comb it so right now my hair looks like Jon Michel Obi’s (the other day I was out shopping for curtains for Princess and every shop I entered I was addressed as Obi!).

People always want to know what I did to it to make it the way it is, then they ask where I work. Once I mention I work in the banking industry and mention my particular bank, they are like ‘and they let u carry your hair like this’? The one that gets me is when I go out for meetings with clients. Even after I have been introduced, they always ask me if I work with my bank as in am I sure I am at the right meeting with the right marketing group?! I really don’t blame them for asking, I work with a very conservative bank and I must admit that I am surprised no one has said anything to me about my hair! (knock on wood!)

To be totally honest, I am really enjoying the zero maintainance level of my hair. Its not that there aren’t salons and stylists who can start of and maintain my dreads the way I want, I think it’s the whole going to the salon, devoting 2-4 hours getting my hair done bit that’s not too appealing. I think the solution would be to shave my head again. I think I will wait till I go to graduate school to do that, so Princess won’t make too much of a fuss!

27 February 2006

Henry Swap Shock


Henry Swap Shock

All roads lead to Ibadan

Finally, the great day has come and gone! My girl’s wedding held at the weekend in Ibadan. Apart from a couple of hiccups - the ceremony started 2 hours behind schedule, national environmental exercise and a flat tire on one of the cars in the grooms company being the main culprits; we also suffered a food shortage scare (it was supposed to be a small wedding, at least we must have had like 700 people there! Thank God the bride and her mum made additional provision for food) as well as a seating shortage scare (us young ‘uns’ had to carry chairs and perch around the canopies), all went well. The bride was beautiful in blue, and the groom was a little hung-over from his bachelors’ eve party the day before! Princess looked nice too in her coffee brown lace, and I shouldn’t have worried about the admonitions’ from family and friends – I was so busy running up and down taking care of guests, I think the only comment I got was from a friend who told me to please visit a spa, the spots on my face were getting too much! Everyone liked my jewelry though; this means I will have to give it an appreciable rest period before I wear it again (women!). Unfortunately, I was unable to sit in one place to observe the introduction/engagement; I was occupied with welcoming and seating guests who had arrived in time for the engagement party which couldn’t start because the intro/engagement ceremony was still in progress. It was so hot and sunny and dusty, I have a bit of a sore throat.

After the intro/engagement and engagement party, a small train escorted the new bride to her in-laws in Ijebu. Princess had made me promise I wouldn’t drive to Ijebu so I had a driver from my office meet me in Ibadan on Saturday then drive me to Ijebu and finally back to Lagos on Sunday. I learned that the bride when going to her in-laws after the intro/engagement ceremony is expected to come along with a pot of soup, this pot of soup is referred to as 'obe iyawo' (brides soup) it can be any type of soup I gather, and she is supposed toserve it at her in-laws the next morning for lunch. The brides soup was entrusted it in my care by the mother of the bride, and I panicked all the way to Ijebu because Egusi is a very unreliable soup, any small thing and it goes bad! We left a little late (7:20 pm), and almost ran into thieves as we approached Ijebu-Ode! We got to the in-laws in one piece (brides soup inclusive), and no one was hurt, and no property lost although one of the cars had its windscreen damaged by the butt of the gun of one of the robbers. Prayers of thanks were offered for the new couple, for journey mercies, etc. I looked at my friend and her husband, as her mum-in-law prayed that they conceive twins that night. As it turns out they would conceive their twins another day as we all slept with the bride in her conjugal bed (the groom slept on the couch in the living room). Then came the advice from her mum-in-law and her friends. The bride was told that her husband was not only her husband, but her brother, friend, confidant, lover, father and her first born. She was reminded that whatever he became would be attributed to her influence; if he succeeded she would be a good wife, if he failed she would be a bad wife. She was told to not let the word of God depart from her lips; she should continually lift her husband up in prayer, and commit her home into Gods hands. She was told to treat her husband as her lord, respecting him comprehensively, and she should learn to humble herself, putting all that she was aside in total submission to her husband. She was also told to not include a 3rd party in her relationship, 3rd parties include family and friends. Then some other lady whispered something’s in her ear. In all of this I am thinking it’s all well and good that you are instructing the bride as to her role, but the groom nko? Does he have no role to play in the success of this relationship? As if they read my mind they now started on the groom. He should learn to be patient (I am guessing this is not his forte), and should value his wife’s opinion. Finally it is time to retire. After driving round town looking for a hotel with vacancies, (the two we stopped at were fully booked) we returned to the in-laws and this is why we all slept in the brides conjugal bed! I was up bright and early to make the trip back to Lagos where I spent the whole of Sunday asleep. I am happy for my girl, she has gotten the whole ceremony over and done with and she now Mrs Gudugbe on all fronts (legally and traditionally), but I couldn't help but wonder, is it possible to marry without all the fuss? As a Yoruba girl resident in Nigeria, I don't think so!

Bimbo Akintola - Queen of the spotlight

I picked up the March Edition of True Love and I must say I am a little disappointed at their choice for the cover. Maybe Iman is a better choice commercially, but I think Bimbo Akintola should have made the cover based on the fact that she is 'one of us', she is from around here and I am sure many a budding Nigerian actress can relate with her and her story.

26 February 2006

Nigeria and Avian Flu - An Update

Our chicken is dead!

I got home on Friday and inquired about the chicken, and was informed of its necessary demise. Apparently Princess was sufficiently panicked when she kept hearing about Bird Flu on the news. She put on her kitchen gloves, stuffed the poor bird in a paper bag and threw it on the nearest rubbish heap. She proceeded to use 3 bottles of Izal to disinfect the back yard, and hasn’t been there since (she did this 2 weeks ago). Struggling to keep a straight face, I asked why she didn’t just slaughter the bird and cook it; she gave me a really nasty look was I unaware that by killing and cooking the bird, if it was infected I was increasing the points of failure? I then point out that she ought to have ensured the bird was dead and properly incinerated. She gives me another nasty look and informs me with her best school teacher voice (she is actually a school teacher) that she waited for the bird to die by suffocation before throwing it on to a burning heap of rubbish. I then inquire about the kitchen gloves and she looks ready to explode! I burst into laughter and give her a hug; Princess is very cute when she angry!

I had discussed the whole H5N1 wahala with a friend’s husband who is a vet doctor, and poultry farmer last weekend, you know how far had it spread, were we at risk in the south, etc. First of all he is of the opinion that H5N1 came into Nigeria via the importation of infected birds from probably Asia. He is fairly certain that it didn’t get here via migratory birds. He is also fairly certain it won’t get to the south because poultry moves from the South to the North and not the other way round. Okay so if H5N1 got here via the importation of infected birds, assuming they came by air, wouldn’t that mean they came in through Lagos? I forget there is an international airport in Kano! It could have come by sea though. He is of the opinion that the infected birds where probably of the exotic kind, e.g. Peacocks, and you really don’t want to transport a bird for too long, else it would die. So I am wondering what the people at the points of entry were looking at when avian cargo arrived in Nigeria from Asia, probably their feet. I am also not too sure that H5N1 won’t spread from the North to the South. First off, the government isn’t giving poultry farmers enough of an incentive to report infected birds. To acquire, and rear a bird to maturity will cost about N 650, the government is offering N 250 as compensation per bird. As a poultry farmer, it pays me better to either sell my live chicken for say N500, than report any cases of dead/dying birds to the authorities, that way I don’t make too much of a loss. And you know somebody somewhere is just waiting to profit from this type of ‘awoof’ (freebee).

24 February 2006

Welcome BigBadWolf

Please join me in welcoming BigBadWolf to the blogshere, may your blog existence be long and fruitful.

23 February 2006

To ride or not to ride

It’s been harder than usual getting out of bed this week; I think it has something to do with the fact that I have been going to bed later than usual. I like to sleep, my family members are convinced and have convinced others that if sleeping where an Olympic sport, Nigeria had great potential in me! I usually go to bed like 9 pm, latest 10, but this week, the earliest I clocked in was 11:30 pm! I think the only thing, no two things that got me out of bed early this week was the thought of traffic, and the idea of not getting a parking space. If there is anything I don’t like, its traffic and not getting good parking in the office ranks a close second. So I stumble out of bed into the bath, pull on some clothes and I hop in the car, its 5:35 am. I usually let my engine run till the needle on the temperature gauge is half-way through the scale before I turn on my air-conditioning. I don’t know why I do this, I have just always felt it was a good idea. So my windows are down, that’s how come I hear this … girl/young lady shout ‘VI’. I am still in my estate so I slow down and yell back ‘Marina’ she waves frantically for me to stop so I do and she hops in. I tell her I am going to Marina and asked where would be okay for her to get off she says she will get off at Obalende. So on I go, as we approach Obalende she asked if she could have my number so we could hook up the next day, I am not really sure if I want to be saddled with picking someone every single day, so I happily tell her I am off work (I actually was meant to be, its my girls wedding this weekend in Ibadan, and I had asked for the day off. My direct report would insist that I do a half day though I didn’t know this at the time). She got my number all the same though.

After dropping her off, I thought about the whole thing for the rest of my trip to work. Why would I not want to be saddled with the responsibility of giving a person a ride every day? I had worked for 3 years before buying my car in 2003, and for most of the time I was car-less, I benefited from a lot of free rides. This is how I met Guze and TA, and they have been good friends to me, Guze especially (I would want him at my bridal shower). I remember one time Guze didn’t see me waiting at my usually spot. He drove all the way to my house to find out what the matter was (I had over slept). He then proceeded to wake me up and then waits while I took a shower and get dressed, and then he drops me off at work. I can never forget that day. I was very appreciative of what he did (and no he wasn’t digging on me, he was then dating his very lovely wife Flaky). I guess that’s what further endeared me to him. As a recipient of many free rides why would I not want to give them in return? I can imagine that it wasn’t always convenient for Guze or TA to give me a ride, but they did nonetheless, and even went the extra mile for me on occasion. I guess it all boils down to personal choice. Guze and TA for whatever reason chose to give me a ride that first time and then decided to continue to do so. I always remembered that they were doing me a favor, and I was very appreciative of that fact, so I did my best to not take them for granted or abuse the privilege.

Not many people I have found can do that; not take you for granted/abuse a privilege. My friend Mudi calls it taking the piss. I guess that’s what I really don’t want. I recall sometime last year seeing a KC boy on my street on my way to work at 5:30 AM!. I felt very bad; this young man should still be sleeping at home. Overwhelmed with compassion, I stopped to offer a ride. He said he was actually going to hook up with his friend whose dad takes him to school, but thanks all the same. I wasn’t home for the rest the week, imagine my surprise when my flat mate called me the next day and spent like 20 mins giving me a thorough tongue-lashing! ‘What did I do’? I managed to get in when she stopped for air. ‘How can you be offering a guy a ride’? She bellowed. I had to press pause as I racked my brain hmmm … which guy could this be? I wondered. Then I remembered the KC boy of the day before. ‘A KC boy hardly qualifies as a guy’ I reply. She then gives me a lecture on how it was poor judgment on my part, what if he was a thief? I am like on our street in a carefully pressed KC uniform? I should hope not, not after all the money we spend on security bills in the estate. I asked her how she came to know about this, did our mallam report me? No she snapped, apparently the young man had made a note of the house I drove out from and came by in the evening to ask if he could ride with me in the mornings on a permanent basis. I then ask her why it’s okay for me to accept a ride but not offer one. She rolls her eyes ‘You are a girl’!! Duh!!! I decide it would be wise to just show remorse so we can move on. Eventually it worked out that he started riding with her (he was a senior boy and so was in the VI campus). He paid her back by falling in love with her (these darned hormones!) and even asking her out (he was 17 at the time and she was 33!). Things fell apart between them after that (obviously) and I resolved not to offer anyone who pees standing up a ride again (I have since broken that resolution). My flat mate felt very really insulted and although I was sympathetic I wondered if she shouldn’t feel flattered (I am not okay, I know). I guess the young man wouldn’t have had the liver to just stop her on the road and start toasting her, the fact that he was riding in her car 5 days a week made that possible.

I am very protective of my personal space, and can get very nasty if one ventures too close to its perimeter uninvited. Daily riders would eventually do that, and would not be able to resolve their actions to my reaction. One-off riders however wouldn’t have the opportunity to do that. I think I will stick to helping out my brother/sister when they are in need, but only once! Since I have resolved my issues, I consulted my to-do-list, and checked off ‘do a good deed’.

22 February 2006

Thats what friends are for

As part of the activities leading up to my girls' wedding, Goldie hosted her shower. Is a bridal shower meant to be a surprise for the bride? We initially intended this one to be one I think, but the bride ordinarily has been described ‘difficult to plan with’ and in the weeks building up to her wedding she was beginning to be downright slippery, so we had to tell her in order to consult with her calendar. Nowadays it’s kind of expected to have a bridal shower, I should ask Princess what the practice was back in her day. I must confess I have never really enjoyed the bridal showers I have attended, all two of them. One was at a fast food joint on Allen about 4 years ago and the other was actually at my house about two years ago. I left both with the impression that somehow we all really weren’t being our real selves. I know everyone affects some level of ‘forming’ once the are in the company of others, and the less familiar you are with these people, the greater the level. When planning the shower, Goldie and I decided that to really enjoy ourselves it would be best to have as small a group as possible and we should have it at someone’s place. The guest list (is that what people at a bridal shower are called, guests?) including the bride and organizers was 8. (I have often wondered why it is that only girls attend bridal showers. If it’s the bride’s friends that organize and attend, why leave out her guy friends? I would like my guy friends to attend my shower, all organizers take note!) We didn’t want the conventional Nija shower where participants (!) drop 2k eat, BS each other and leave, we wanted it to be all about the bride. We pooled money to enable us do the following: get a nice wedding gift and organize correct food. I must admit that liver fail me at the thought of hiring a male stripper! We had initially planned that it would be a sleep over with the option to maybe go listen to a live band at Thistle Bar, but the bride couldn’t take out the time(!!!) so we planned to be together for 4 to 6 hours. So what will we do apart from eat and get all up in the bride’s business? Goldie suggested getting a movie and having music. The music for me was a given, but the movie … I wasn’t sure. Then it occurred to me KARAOKE!!! I know someone who has PlayCDG installed on his laptop and I was sure he would loan it to me (he did). Once I mentioned karaoke, everyone was like ‘yeah’! Goldie was a little worried about my plans for providing the music. For her, music is played on your car/house deck, you need to own like a gazillion cd’s, iPods are for ‘personal’ consumption/enjoyment of music and mp3’s are … Martians?!? I told her to relax let the Funkmaster handle the music. The grub. I didn’t know any caterers (I am not really good with that kind of stuff) I wanted to order take-out from Chinaville (best Chinese in Lagos period) Goldie was like ‘lai lai’ (never). Her argument, it’s bad enough we are not cooking the food; if we are having the shower in a home setting we should have home food. Me I was game, seeing that the last time I ate anything cooked was when I was on vacation. She suggested we ask the lady who runs the canteen at Resourcery. Let me make a declaration right here, right now – you haven’t lived till you pay a visit to the Resourcery canteen. Her jollof rice is like party rice (you know the one cooked over a wood fire in a huge iron pot, which will take 5 days of continuous soaking to wash), her moin-moin (steamed bean cake)is just divine, and a friend swears by her ‘asaro’ (yam pottage not porridge). As with all Yoruba cooking I must warn you the food might be just a bit oily, my igbo brothers and sisters (parents, etc) refer to us as ‘Ofe Mmanu’, I am told it means ‘people who cook oily soup’! They also refer to us more often as ‘ngbati ngbati’ people. ‘Ngbati’ means when in Yoruba and it seems our conversation is often punctuated with the word hence the name. Before I forget, I have noticed that people have started using ‘bay leaf’ a lot for making jollof rice. Princess has made a mean spaghetti sauce and for as long as I can remember, it was a treat to find the leaf in your serving (I don’t know why!) She told me it’s a good seasoning for sauces; anyway it also adds a little extra oomph! to jollof rice. So Goldie hooked us up with the Resourcery woman for the food and we got ‘Saheeto’ (small chops king) to bring small chops (snails and prawns). We made no plans for chicken on the menu! We bought drinks and planned to raid Goldie’s husbands bar for the strong stuff.

Saturday is here, I got to Goldie’s place for 2, so I could set up all my gear (na laptop, projector and deck o!) Shower was supposed to start at 4. The bride arrived fashionably late but still got in before everyone, (Nigerians have no sense of time whatsoever). On came the water works when she saw all we had planned. Everything kicked in like 6 and we had a rocking time, the karaoke was the hit of the shower. You know everyone has that little part in them that wants to be singer, and somehow we all just reached in and let that part of us loose. We had good singers (mistaken for the original artists) and awful singers whose appeal was just that – how awful they were. I think it helped that most of us were really good friends, the others just flowed with the vibe. After murdering all the songs on the karaoke list at least 3 times each, I kicked in my carefully prepared mp3 play list. At one point I was concerned for Goldie and how all this noise we were making would affect her relationship with her neighbors. We had to force everyone to the ‘buffet’. I have never seen people eat so fast! Before you could say ‘jack’ someone was screeching in the mic and everyone was getting their groove on.

We had the traditional ‘talk show’ segment of the shower with the bride in the hot seat and us asking all manner of questions - ‘how did ya’ll meet’?, ‘are you a moaner, commentator or silent observer’?The latter question got us talking about orgasms and one of the girls stated she wasn’t ‘orgasmic’. Out came the specs and pipe. All sorts of positions were suggested (I had to take notes at one point, although I am celibate now, yup it’s a long story), oral sex, even solo and mutual pleasuring. She had tried everything, although she said she hadn’t tried having someone pleasure her (you can guess what must be ranking very high on her list of to-do’s!). Would you look at the time, it’s almost 11 pm! Out came the wedding gift, and on came the water works, then we did a finale – That’s what friends are for’. After many hugs and kisses and group hugs, everyone left for home and I stayed to help Goldie get her house in order. I got home way past midnight, tired and just knowing it would ache to move in the morning. I went to bed with a smile on my face, I had finally attended a shower I enjoyed.

21 February 2006

Real Madrid 0 1 Arsenal

I can't believe it, I can hardly sit still!!!!!!

Imagine, I was kinda glad when I had to be at work, I didn't think I could bear the tension of watching the game. Monitoring it on Gamecast (soccernet.com), I was convinced that I had made the right choice; at a point ball possession was 67% to 33% in favor of Real, and all i could see were yellow dots crowding Lehman!!! I guess I should have been reading the transcript but I was too much of a chicken. Feeling dejected (i need silverware) I head off home at the end of the first half. Imagine my delight when I turned on the tv (many thanks to Silverbird TV, who show live Champions league games) and finally had the liver to look at the scores, oh joy oh rapture! Caught the game at the 88th minute and chewed out all my nails by the time the final whistle went! I nearly died when that cross came in from the right for Real, glad to see Ronaldo missed it by 1 or 2 kilometers. I wonder what happened in the second half, they had a whole 5 mins of stoppage time.

We have showed a good record in Europe this season, not having lost any games in our campaign. I hope we continue like this, dare I say it, perhaps we might pull off a 'Liverpool', and maybe finish top 3 in the Premiership. There is a God and He just might be an Arsenal fan.

She works hard for the money!


I have been so busy in the past couple of days, by my last calculations; I have earned the equivalent of two years salary in two days!!! To think I am going to have monitor the Real Madrid Vs Arsenal match on soccernet.com :(

I have been out of touch with everyone, Princess had to ring me (with her very valuable credit) to find out if I was okay!!! Oh but I had a really rocking weekend; it was my girls bridal shower, my body still hurts from all the boogying :)

19 February 2006

Aluta Continua

Yes my meeting at LASU, can u believe the Lagos State Government, they increased school fees for students from N 150 to N30,000!!! Little wonder they have been causing trouble. I didn’t know this when we arrived, and was surprised to see guards at the school gates, carrying AK-47, I asked my colleagues what the guns were about and they told me that there had been unrest on campus. They also assured me that AK-47 totting guards at the gates of a university, and not a maximum security prison was really the way to go. Apparently the students had matched and even exceeded the fire power of the guards!

Hmmm … We actually got in a little early and had to wait for our hosts to get the venue ready, I found that a bit odd, I mean they called the meeting but whatever. So they are ready for us and we go into the venue, it was in the main MBA lecture theater and feelings of nostalgia washed over me, I hadn’t been in a school lecture theater in like 7 years. Yup they had the mandatory dead wall clock! No time for reminiscing, on with the meeting. The meeting was between the schools bankers and the school authorities, and the DVC addressed us, I didn’t hear a word he said, his lisp was just so adorable! We were supposed to go through a powerpoint presentation, but the power was out, infact the DVC had to leave us to go attend to that (I thought that sounded odd, but I guess he must really be into micro-management). We carried on nonetheless, discussing business and all that, then the power came back on, the technical people went about preparing to start the presentation, I guess they where having some problems with the laptop they were using. Then all off a sudden they started packing up the equipment they set up (projector, stand, etc) I figured the location wasn’t really ideal for a presentation, large windows letting in way too much natural light and no blinds or shutters.

Then I heard it, the sound of angry students!!! Yawa! I am on a university campus dressed in a business suit and high heels in the middle of surrounded by high angry students who have latched on to a (worthy) cause!!! Yepa, I am the only child of my parents!!! We were advised to stay calm, one gentleman wisely asked us to put away the bottles of soft drinks in front of us (they had served us with drinks earlier). One of the ladies there took refuge under the jacket of her colleague while he was still in it. What’s the matter I asked, at least lets know what we were in for, we were assured that nothing would happen to us, and that we were safer in the theater. The kids apparently were looking for us and they eventually came to the theater and addressed us from outside. After hailing themselves (greatest lasuites and all that) they addressed us their ‘parents’ (I ain’t your parent. My kids are still in heaven!) and enjoined us not to join forces with the school authorities and the Lagos state government to extort them under the guise of collecting school fees. They went further to say that they believed we were here innocently, going about our normal business, and they believed that we really were not a party to this great injustice. Hence they would give us the grace to leave the premises intact, just as we arrived. They said the grace period would lapse once they had finished counting to 20 after which they would assume we were siding with the school authorities and the Lagos state government and they would be forced to eject us. It is wise to heed the advice of an angry student mob half of whom are high on God knows what. Kia I had stuffed my phones in my bag and was ready to go by the time they had counted to 5, this is not the time to appreciate the fact that university students can count! We had to leave through a tunnel of irate, high students, and the whole time I was thinking about my new earrings and berating myself for not removing them before leaving the theater. My head was filled with visions of one of them grabbing on them and tearing my ears from my head. Thankfully I was able to make it to the car unharmed and so did my colleagues. I must say that the students didn’t harm anyone that day, nor damage any of our cars or anything like that; they succeeded in spooking us out though! It took us about 30 mins to get out of the campus because they had blocked the main gate and all the roads leaving the theater.

We eventually did get out, and on our way back to the office, it occurred to me that the DVC wasn’t into micro-management, the guy was fleeing for his life, likewise there was nothing wrong with the equipment they wanted to use for the presentation, they had to stash them away so as not get them damaged or stolen! I learned from my colleagues that the main reason the students were angry was because during the last academic session, when they where still paying N 150 as school fees, there was wide spread fraud in the bursary as had been the case in previous years. The VC was really annoyed and threatened to get the EFCC involved, that threat alone convinced two professors to return a total of N22 Million to the school! Apparently this was in the papers (this was the first I was hearing about this) I was stunned. No wonder they are angry. If while they were paying such ridiculous fees as N 150 for a whole school session (150 will buy you a meat pie and a doughnut from Mr Biggs) some people could embezzle N 22 Million, there really is no way of explaining the N 30,000 increase to them, it would just not make any sense. I am guessing the government may be removing some or all of the subsidies the school has obviously been enjoying, which is forcing the school to look inwards and try and raise funds. But with the situation on ground fresh in everyone’s memory it’s going to be an up hill battle. Fine the student’s succeeded in breaking up our meeting, but nothing stops us from meeting at a later date outside the school for example, I actually feel that the school put us all in unnecessary danger. As I said earlier, thank God no one was hurt, and no damage was done, but what if they had gotten violent and killed someone? No matter what your justifications might be, the fact that N22 Million was embezzle-able from the allegedly ‘lean’ coffers of the school, students will see red, heck I am seeing red and I am not a student - yet! (I will write that pesky essay, just you wait!). Having the meeting on campus was like waving a red flag in front of a bull, thank God this particular bull didn’t charge hard enough to break the fence. I am curious though as to how the school authorities and the government intend to go about this whole increment thing. It’s a smart move on the part of the authorities to enlist the Banks in the collection drive, the students can just try I don’t see how they will stop people from paying into the schools accounts in the Banks, they might try to picket the Banks, but they would really be crossing the line and you know how much love Mobile Police have for the Nigerian student, it would be like Christmas coming early for them. They would probably continue with the unrest on campus and force the authorities to shut them down for goodness knows how long, while their lectures continue to get paid for work they are not doing. Eventually I see them negotiating the proposed fees downward though, but this one that they have mandated Banks to go ahead and collect monies from students. I really hope they have throught out how they will do this.

16 February 2006

Bag Lady

Normally I carry enough load, between the contents of my hand bag, and the tote bag I carry the stuff that won’t fit in my handbag, I could go a week without needing to get to my house for anything, and I wouldn’t need to visit a shop either. Okay I exaggerate! But really enough load. Once a month, groaning under my own self inflicted burden, I attempt to divest my bag of those things I need. I found that after each round of load shedding, my bags get heavier so I have stopped load shedding! I bought Princess’ lace yesterday, and the thing heavy no be small, coupled with the aso-ebi I had been carrying around to match the lace, plus the tissue my office gives every month to say I was a little encumbered would be putting it lightly! Professor Calculus (PC) is my dear friend and colleague. Please don’t get me wrong he is a real gentleman, he is gallant, but draws the line at carrying anyone’s load. His argument is that you decided to pack the load, no need to inflict your burden on me. I have another colleague who is also a gentleman and a gallant one at that; he draws no line, he will help a lady carry her bags. Sadly this gallant gentleman lost his GSM phone to Lagos area boys because he was so overwhelmed with another female colleagues’ load, he could only watch helplessly as the guy picked his pocket and sprinted off with his ill gotten gain. PC didn’t bring his car to work so it was my pleasure to give him a ride not all the way home, but at least to the mainland where he will now continue his journey by bus (he lives outside Lagos). I was pleasantly surprised when I asked him to please help with my ‘load’ and he agreed. I am not upset he picked the lightest of my bags to carry (his argument was that it was the least female looking of the lot), just glad to have someone help me out. (I was on the lookout for pickpockets all the way to my car!)

The Good Samaritan

Just returned from a trip to LASU, my experience there deserves a whole post on its own. Na, the air conditioning in the new Peugeot 406 na die! My jaw is aching from having to clench it so hard; else my teeth would have been chattering that coupled with the bad state of the road would have severed my tongue for sure! Initially I dey try form ‘binto’, when e be like say no be only my tongue I go lose, my chest sef go congeal na im I hala. Na im dem inform me say na de lowest setting de tin dey!!! Deflecting the flow of freezing air to the windows and all made it a little better sha.

The driver had the radio tuned to a Yoruba station; what’s it with drivers and car decks? The car can be running on bald tyres stuffed with rags, the engine may be smoking as if someone is burning refuse assisted by kerosene, the window are either up or down, and God help you if its sunny or rainy, but the deck would always be working! I was in Benin for a colleagues’ traditional wedding (my first trip driving so far by the way) and I saw the most peculiar sight; this bus was practically tied together with string, it was smoking like my chemistry teacher in secondary school, and it had so many sharp rusty edges, it would be advisable to get a tetanus shot before coming anywhere near it! Check out the speakers in the back, correct Kenwood, and a correct ‘face off’ pioneer deck in the cab!!! Instead of the owner to sell the deck in order to cure the bus! Anyways the show that was on was ‘Ninu iwe Iroyin’ (inside the dailies), and they were narrating the unfortunate incident that happened to one okada driver. Apparently, in the course of going about his secondary business, (every okada’s primary business is to make life difficult for other road users. I learned that away, they are classed alongside cyclists and pedestrians as ‘weak traffic participants’, the reverse however is the case in Nigeria. Okada’s are the only traffic participants, the rest of us are playing ‘Russian Roulette’!) He happened upon a car with its driver apparently dead as a dodo sprawled on the road. Obviously neither the guy nor his passenger watch ‘CSI’ because between the two of them they proceeded to search the car and found an address which belonged to his (the deceased) relative/s. It was then decided that the okada driver would go inform the deceased’s family of his demise. I am not sure if he dropped his passenger off before continuing on this pressing assignment. Enroute to the relatives, he stopped by the nearest police station to report what he had happened upon, I believe he gave the police a good description of where the car was and all that. He now proceeded to the address of the relatives where he broke the bad news. As a Good Samaritan, he left his address and GSM phone number in case they would need him later. Apparently the details he left where valid, because the police where able to pick him up easily when the relatives of the deceased accused him of relieving their dear departed brother of $4,000!!! The guy was picked up on Christmas Eve and has been in detention since then. No doubt he has been putting the time to good use, putting together his book titled ‘How not to be a Good Samaritan in Nigeria’! With all the obvious points of failure, the relatives fingered him as a thief, not the killer o! If he wasn’t the killer, why do they think their brother was killed, because he mad an illegal left turn on the street? I know the police need to close the case and all but please, show a little sense. Why would I steal and give you my valid contact details? If I am sharp enough to rob a dead man, would I bother informing the police or his relatives? Na to fade o! And what about the okada passenger? He could also have robbed the dead guy, how come he isn’t cooling his heels in the cell? The police themselves nko, what’s the guarantee that they didn’t make with the money themselves? And the most obvious question, where is the proof that there really was $4,000? The story didn’t say whether or not the money actually existed, but knowing I want to believe that the police had ascertained the money actually was in the car with the guy when he was killed.

I asked myself, what would I have done differently here. For sure I would have thought to inform the police at the very least I grew up singing the following song – ‘Enikeni ti wo ba ni pa lati se iranlowo fun o, ohun na leni keji re, toju re’. I have a hotline number for the police I got from the Inspector General himself! Actually VMobile donated lines to the police and circulated them to help you and I contact the police in case of an emergency such as this. I would have blocked my number and called in the report. Or better still I would have gone to a call centre, blocked the number and called them. This is just in case they decide to go and get call history from VMobile. I don’t know if they (VMobile) can trace calls from blocked numbers on their network but I will not take any chances (I would rather write my book looking at a beach and sipping red wine thank you). As for informing the relatives, bad idea. As long as their brother is not alive to corroborate any story I tell them, I wouldn’t do that. It’s a sad society we are in sha, see all the lengths one has to go to just to offer genuine help, and not land in trouble. No wonder people are learning to turn a blind eye.

By the way, here is the GSM number I have for the police 08023127350.

15 February 2006

Liverpool 1 - 0 Arsenal

My collegue is a liverpool fan, you can imagine all the noise he has been making.

14 February 2006

The hunt for what to wear

As if it isn’t bad enough that the whole of Lagos is out on the roads today (as if today is the only day you can show u care for your loved one), it has to be raining as well!!! I am looking out of the window of my office building, and it makes sense to just chill in the office till late then go home anytime soon. If I leave at my usual closing time (6, 6:30) I probably will not get home till late anyway.

I am really really pleased. Today I finally got something I like for my girl’s wedding at the end of the month. Actually it’s the engagement ceremony, she did the civil thing on Friday (see ‘You go girl!’). I like to look good, but on this particular ocassion, I have to look wicked. You see my girl and I are flatmates, we have been friends for over 10 years (imagine) and are practically family. So you can imagine that all the older people there will really be on my case especially since I would be showing up sans boyfriend/engagement ring! Looking good I reckon will ensure that each admonishing would end on a nice note ('my dear time nlo o, se kia so gbo ka ba le wa gbeborun ayo. Ma worry oko e mbo so gbo? Lace e yi ma fine o, you look very nice')

I decided to enlist Aunty K in my hunt for the perfect lace. She sells lace fabric and gold jewelry, and I called her last week to see if she had any lace fabrics in the colors I wanted to buy (chocolate/coffee brown). She said she didn’t have, but her friend just got back from Austria and she has good stock, so off we went on Sunday to check it out. The lady sells out of her house in Apapa and she apparently is doing a booming trade. I got to her house like 1, 1:30pm and left at 4 pm! We spent 20 mins picking something that would go with the aso-ebi and the remaining time we spent gisting! Aunty K is a real sweetheart, she is old school o, but she is a ‘pally’, you know the kind you would go and confess all your sins to when you were younger cos she just knows how to calm your parents down and make a bad situation bearable. And she can gist! When I am in the mood I can make a formidable gisting partner myself! Her husband is a real character, but she manages him well and they are really amusing to watch together. These ladies are not my gang, (aunty K has 2 kids in the university) so it was really interesting talking to them. We talked about all sorts, the lace business in Nigeria, Baba Iyabo, bird flu, how not to declare to any oyinbo person that you have malaria when you are in their country (quarantine, straight!!!), the merits of travel health insurance, the proper way to use Betnovate C (it was the bleaching ointment of choice in Nigeria awhile back!) etc. I had fun. I didn’t really like what I picked but it was the best thing she had considering my constraint; the aso-ebi and the fact I am the laziest thing in the world. Foraging in Balogun market for lace is something I would rather not do.

Back home, after spending 2 hours in front of my mirror in the heat (PHCN had struck) trying to convince myself that this was the best combination to wear, I gave up and decided to enlist external convincing. I packed everything up to go show Sis in the office on Monday. Sis took one look at the combination (the aso-ebi is orange, black and gold; the lace is black and golden yellow) and told me what I already know ‘aburo this thing is way to busy’ (so much for the convincing). I explained my issues to her and like a proper fairy godmother, whipped out her phone (the modern magic wand) and rang a friend. Her friend has a shop in VGC, Sis asked her to send what she had in my price range to her house and she said she would bring them to the office to show me the next day (today). She told me she had been shopping in this very shop a couple of weeks back and that she had seen one nice French lace which would go nicely with my aso-ebi, I hold my breath. I saw the lace today and like a true fairy godmother my Sis has read my mind, lovely lace and very much within my budget! And the lady selling the lace said she would let me have a selection of coffee brown lace so I can pick for my mum (I call her princess atimes my mum that is, and she has vehemently told me she will not wear black to a wedding). You cannot imagine the relief I am feeling; now all I have to do is find orange accessories (shoe + bag), but knowing me, I may just wear my everyday black slippers, after all I know I will be running up and down, best to be comfortable doing that, no point suffering away in some exquisite but extremly uncomfortable shoes as I am being admonished on my marital status!

13 February 2006

You go girl

My girl got married on friday! I am really sad to have missed it, but happy nonetheless. Its a huge step marriage I mean, (especially when divorce is not an option for you) and meeting someone to take that step with is really golden.

Here's to Mr and Mrs 'Gudugbe' I wish you guys every happiness.

Matchmaking and my well meaning friends and family

I am 30 going on 31 and in our dear society since I am not married or on my way to the altar (yet) I must require help hooking up with a guy. To all my friends and family, I know you mean well and I love you all, thanks for caring.


Matchmaking is something I try to avoid doing (indeed I have never done it) and it has never worked for me. I think the issue really for me is that in the enthusiasm of the matchmakers they usually tend to forget to ask a pertinent question of themselves - how well do I know both parties? It doesn't help if you know one party very well; the key to success is to know BOTH parties as well as you know yourself! Precisely, you need to know what they want out of a relationship. Seeing that time is going (asiko nlo) and there is such a large pool to sample from, being a matchmaker your job is to like sample the pool as if you were the person looking for a partner; so instead of one person sampling, u have two almost identical people sampling. Let’s assume I am the person who is looking for a partner. Once my concerned friend feels he/she has come upon a good prospect, he/she calls me up and may say 'girl wear that black top that does good things for you and come to my house to watch the Arsenal game'. I will be going over to my friends’ house knowing at the back of my mind this person has been checked out. Of course I will still carry out my own assessment, but you know this person has some kind of advantage (you met through mutual friends). I think it’s this advantage that causes the problem. I find people tend to labor on in relationships they have no business being in either because ‘my well intentioned friend hooked us up and really there must be some gold here, I just need to keep digging’, or ‘I owe it to my well intentioned friend to make this work’ (this usually happens to Yoruba people). Before you start making a relationship work based on the facts that you met through mutual friends and that no one person on this earth is perfect, and that diamonds in the rough are not attractive, etc, also ask yourself an important question – how well does this friend know me? Has this friend interacted with me on all facets of my life? Do we only ever hang out once a month on Fridays? Or do we only see in church on Sunday when I have worn my holiness alongside my hat/scarf/gele? Do they know where I stand on issues – abortion, infidelity, religion, a woman/guys role in a relationship, bringing up children, previous marriages, etc or for that matter do they know those issues which are dear to me? Have they seen me when I am angry, sad, broke, happy?

Sometime last year, I recall it was a Friday, I was headed home dreaming of just taking a warm shower then getting in my bed and just sleeping till noon the next day. Power plays an important role in ensuring the viability of this scenario, so I was on the look out for its availability from the gate of my estate. Okay the main gate has power, if we are on a ‘load shedding’ schedule we might not have power on my street. Imagine my joy when I turned into my street and there was power and a good healthy current to! I honk for my mallam to open the gate and I just see wires hanging almost to the floor! PHCN has struck!!! They have disconnected me for not paying when I have not been presented with a bill!!! Worse it just my house (4 flats) that’s without power!!! Its like 6:30 pm, if I am quick I can still catch the PHCN guys at their office in my estate, so I put the car in reverse and speed down my really bad road ( a friend describes it as a river bed) to the PHCN office. They have power by the way and their air conditioning is on full blast (it’s a really humid night). I politely (you have to be polite, even though they are at fault, they are still doing you a favor) state my case. I met a woman there who had the same compliant and thankfully she lived on my street as well. So we banded together and lobbied to be reconnected. Just as we were sealing the transaction (no we weren’t offering a bribe) a guy walks in also with the same complaint but he lives in another part of my estate. So who will carry the ladder? I drive a 3 series BMW (1992, 6 cylinder, 2 liter engine, manual transmission), the lady had a Rav4 and the guy a 5 series BMW (correct!). The lady says she can’t carry the ladder on her car we all promptly asked her how she thought her power would be reconnected with carrying the ladder. I am like put it on my car; let me get this over and done with. So it’s off to my house. As soon as I got to my place, my mallam made to go call my neighbors I am like ‘omo to ba try e’, let them reconnect me and then you can call whoever, I don’t want anyone coming here and wasting all my effort. Unfortunately my neighbors see the guy on the pole and all come out and one of them in particular took it upon herself to rain curses on the PHCN guy, so that one vexes and just drops my wire and goes off to the next location to reconnect the next person! To say I was mad would be an understatement!!! I was furious after all the work done (drove to their office, drove back with a ladder, toasted and toasted when I wasn’t in error, risked messing up the paint job on my car) I just entered my house and slept. I got them to reconnect me the next day sha and the guy from the night before apologized for not connecting me, he said he just started having a bad feeling with the woman raining curses on him as he held live wires then pictures of his 7 children and 2 wives flashed before him and he just had this feeling he might just get electrocuted on that particular pole! I don’t blame the guy, my Christian neighbor really cursed up a storm that night! Anyway the guy in the 5 series ended up carrying the ladder and I loaned him my foot mats to protect his paint job. He took my number so we could hook up and he could return them the next day. That’s how I met ‘AO’.

Many phone conversations, text conversations, msn/yahoo chat sessions later I like to think we are not just acquaintances. He is very intelligent; we flow on so many levels (arsenal, bmw). He knows I am not seeing anyone, and he has a cousin who is looking to settle so he hooks us up. So now I call him ‘AOM’. Initially I was like sure I’ll come over and watch the Arsenal game at your place (Arsenal/Chelsea, Chelsea beat us, that alone was a sign in itself), but later I thought about it and I was like does this guy really know me? Does he know me enough to be risking his cousin? In the end it didn’t work out (he was a little to quick for me and I felt he probably had something to hide, and I was right; a wife and two kids he was divorced). I am happy this incident doesn’t seem to have affected my relationship with AOM though, I spoke with him the other day and he is extending greetings from his heart broken cousin! And by the way, my bill finally came the following week, as at the end of November, I owed PHCN a grand total of N 538, imagine!!!!

One small Frey

This is very good example of why you should do stuff because you want to do them, not because someone thinks it’s a good idea. And when taking advice/recommendations, etc from anybody, remember they are human like you – prone to making errors. That said I first read about the ‘million little pieces’ wahala in Time magazine. I read Oprah’s argument for supporting James even though it was obvious the guy had embellished, and I thought she could do better i.e. admit she was duped, and move on. She eventually did this, I saw clips of James’ second appearance on Oprah on YouTube.com and what can I tell you, I wouldn’t want to be in Oprah’s bad books!

Oprah is a sharp woman, so I find it hard to believe that her initial reaction when smokinggun.com blew the whistle was to hold on to the ‘chord’ the book struck with her, and the lessons to be learned. The lesson to be learned was no longer the issue in my opinion; rather the scale of duplicity was, given that the lesson or the gravity of it is really hinged on the status of the work in question. I know no one person knows everything, and for a person in her position it would be a little difficult to be reminded of that fact especially in the way and manner this happened. I am happy to see she finally managed to get over that and admit she was duped; eating ‘Humble Pie’ is not easy (or palatable) I guess, but it does wonders for your

Pizza, SNL and Vegetable Soup

Woke up way too early on Saturday, did laundry, read my backlog of Time and Newsweek. Thinking of getting pizza when Egg called, wanting to know if I was available to be played with. I guess he is just respecting himself and me when he asks that question, but that doesn't stop the question sounding 'one kind'. Yes I am available so its off to St Elmo's Opebi for a large meaty deluxe. Since his houseboy had cooked beans for dinner, he also got chicken (!!!) and chips.

I don't have DSTV, but if I did Saturday night would be favorite night you know why? The have re-runs of the follwoing shows scheduled for Saturday night on the series channel - 'The Simpson’s', 'Spin City', 'Cheers', 'Frasier', 'Seinfeld', 'Everyone loves Raymond', and my favorite 'Saturday Night Live'! As usual in his area, PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria, aka NEPA, NEP PLC) are 'holding' on to power. After much drama (between him and his houseboy), the generator came on. The 'L Word' is on series so I watch this Jennifer Aniston movie where she is pregnant by her insensitive boyfriend and in love with her gay roommate (only Jennifer Aniston!). Finally my block of favorites starts! Egg isn't a fan of my block of shows; he says he can't see what’s funny here (!!!). So he is griping about his house boy, you know the usual stuff, won't follow instructions, can't use his initiative (hello if he could he wouldn't be your houseboy!), made beans didn't fry plantains to go with it (this implies that if fried plantain where available he would have eaten the beans at 10 pm! I am marveling at his stomach constitution!), etc. He then asks if I will come by Saturday and make 'Efo Riro' (vegetable soup) for him (!!!) I really couldn't resist; 'I can't cook' I deadpanned. He is like can't or won't, I am like can't. He goes how do I intend to look after him, I am like why would I be looking after you, he rephrases the question – how do I intend to take care of my family if I can’t cook. I am like I can make eggs and I have the handle on making Indomie Noodles, my kids won’t starve. He takes a deep breath then asks ‘so what do you intend to bring to a relationship?’ I reply ‘I speak good English, I have a job and I have no baggage (struggling relatives, baby, etc). He looks at me and then it occurs to him, ‘I know you can cook, you are just messing with me’ and he changes the subject. I can see the cogs churning away in his brain; I really need to call my flatmate to cover for me because I am sure he will call her or her boyfriend to confirm my story!

12 February 2006

DH Episode 213 - 'There's something about war'

I always suspected that Bree's kids are dumb, and Danielle's performance just confirmed it. So now Betty is blackmailing Bree ... hmmm ... I am beginning to feel some of the season 1 magic.

Yippee tomorrow is Saturday!

Drive home on Friday was uneventful, left work via Kakawa Street through Lagos Island proper to join 3rd Mainland Bridge. I recently started taking this route due to the xtensive renovation being done on the major Lagos Island roads (way to go Tinubu). It’s really kind of a gamble; it’s usually always free but if you hit an owambe party, masquerade outing or riot, you are really stuck up the creek without a paddle! And the roads are so narrow and all lead into each other, so detouring can really be traumatic. I once read a definition of the Yoruba people as ‘a fun loving people off the coast of West Africa’; Lagosians have really taken that definition to the next level! They party any day of the week at the slightest excuse, and the party really isn’t on till they block the road opposite their houses! They do this with such audacity, one wonders if the local government is asleep or something, I mean it must be legally wrong to block public thoroughfare and the rate they do it, I doubt its with ‘proper’ permission from the authorities.
A couple of weeks ago I observed Julius Berger equipment at Alapere, today I got to see what they had been up to. I am no civil engineer, but it looks to me like a fly-over is going up here!!! That put so much joy in my heart, I decided to stop at Nando’s (can you believe I am still willing to eat chicken!) but they were closed (apparently closing time is 8 o’clock), so its home for me. I really shouldn’t be eating out yet anyway, after living in the loo for the better part of Tuesday and the whole of Wednesday but you really can have enough of garri and bread. Can you imagine my tummy growled as I approached the suya spot? (The cause of my spending the better part of Tuesday and all of Wednesday in the loo!). This appetite of mine is conspiring with my detractors, but I refuse to be brought down! (I sped by the suya man by the way). Got in on time to catch a ‘Darma and Greg’ re-run (the one where they had a huge car accident, I am definitely tuning in next week). Face washed (I don’t brush my teeth before going to bed, too much wahala), all powdered up and just about to fall asleep my phone rings its ‘Egg’. He wants to know if he can come over and ‘play with me’ (direct translation from Yoruba). I guess he is an ok person, he is really keen on moving our relationship to the next level (intimacy) and I am really not interested in that (he isn’t doing it for me physically, and certainly not mentally). I really don’t see what it is we have that needs to move anywhere anyway. I tell him I am practically asleep which is the truth. Tomorrow is Saturday!

09 February 2006

Six months off for good behaviour

So, Tafa Balogun is a free man.

I guess this is the way to go then, embezzle govt funds (keep a precise a log of the precise amount you are embezzling), put the money to work for you, once EFCC comes calling put up a bit of a struggle, then capitulate and hand over your log, plus you bank account details. Ensure that the sum in the banks will equal the amount in your log. This is very important because you are returning only what you misappropriated, the interest is yours. Serve a short jail term and its off to some exotic location to launder your ill gotten wealth (not to mention checking in to a reputable medical facility for the requisite tummy tuck!) Return in about 5 years, and you are in pole position for the senatorial seat for your district!

Nigeria and Avian Flu

While on vacation, as I luxuriated in bed (by myself at my mum's house!), I heard a cock crow! What joy to be away from the hustle and bustle of Lagos, to be so close to nature, ... wait a minute was that a CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!! I flew out of bed to confirm what I heard and there it was a brown chicken! I went in search of my mother. 'Mummy was that a chicken in the backyard?' She had this 'I need to intensify my prayers for this girl' look in her eyes as she answered in the affirmative. 'What is it doing here?' I inquired? Apparently our former maid was rearing it and she left it when she went home for the holidays (sallah/christmas). This particular maid must be new to the business, either that or she thinks we are not very sharp! Everybody knows that once your maid goes home for the sallah/christmas holidays, they hardly ever come back to you. The minute they leave better do your self a favour and start looking for a replacement. ANYWAY this particular maid leaves behind a chicken!!!! 'Mummy' I said as gently as I could, 'have you heard of bird flu?' 'No' she responded. 'Haba! half of Asia has died as a result of this particular flu over the past 2 years!!!' She shrugs like I am the parent and she is the child. I now proceed to tell her all I knew about the disease, how it will be spread by migratory birds, how its already in Turkey (this was two weeks ago) etc etc. I can see she can hear me physiologically but she can't or is choosing not to hear me! She says there really isn't a need to kill the chicken (insert appropriate french word here) cos its not 'roaming free', she can appreciate my issues but where will this particular chicken get in contact with a migratory bird, or even a fellow infected chicken. Maybe she has a point, I might just take a trip down to Ibadan myself this weekend to be on the safe side and take care of the chicken! Unfortuantly I am not a fan of 'old layer', else it would have been a good accompaniment for rice and dodo!

But I have other fears, my mum teaches in a rural school in Osun state (she retires this year by Gods grace) and she has a primary school in Ibadan (which will be 5 years this year, I am so proud) I am sure you can see the multiple points of failure here, and understand why I am really really getting scared especially since there isn't a vaccine for the flu, and Tamiflu isn't here yet!

Ah but I forget, 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me' Ps 23:4

07 February 2006

Drogba why???

Didier, is it not enough that you have terorised us in the UK Premiership (I am an Arsenal fan, this young man has put the fear of God in Senderos), did you have to also put an end to our Nations Cup campaign?

Losers final again!!! this is like what the 3rd time in a row for us? I really thot we would play the finals after Eto missed his penalty (don't like the cameroonians on a soccer level , they are actually very nice poeple that aside)

Nigeria 0 - 1 Ivory Coast

To cook or not to cook - a womans dilemma

I have just finished reading an article in True Love magazine titled 'Desperate Housewives' (love the show on ABC by the way though the second season is proving to be a bit of a let down. No I don't get ABC in nigeria ;)). Basicaly 3 30-something year old young ladies share their marriage experiences so far. One of them had an interesting account. While dating her husband, he had no qualms about cooking meals for them to eat at his house, once they got marriage, his cooking skills 'just dissappeared'! Back from work, he heads for the bedroom to change then comes out and announces that he is hungry. 'Will you eat bread?' she asks 'no' he says!

First off I wouldn't have offered anything. If you do not have an option of at least two hot meals for an African man back from work (hunting deer, killing snakes, moving boulders the size of Olumo rock, take your pick) the best thing is to feign MP (menstral pain) and go to bed, or the next best thing, ensure he gets home before you! But offering him bread, I think thats worse than not offering him anything at all. His in-laws would have a field day tearing you apart at the family meeting, not to mention providing his friends the next gossip topic at the weekly/daily drink up at the local beer parlor.

Something which strikes me here though is the fact that her husbands' cooking skills deserted him the minute he got married. I am sure he was aware she wasn't 'kitchen friendly' (her words not mine) before they married, whats wrong with him continuing to cook after they got married? I asked this question of a friend (she is a sweetheart, and constantly complaining that i am too 'oyinbo', I also suspect she fears I will never marry at this rate!) and she was like this would work abroad, but not in Nigeria i.e. wake up and smell the coffee! I am asking myself, is this the reason why Nigerian men marry, to have someone cook and clean for them among a host of other things? I believe strongly in the role of a woman as outlined in the bible (basically I am a helpmate), I think my issue with all this its your job to cook, clean etc wahala is that it seems I am expected to do them as opposed to being appreciated that I do them. Another friend says its a culture thing. Hmmm. This precedence you people are hanging on to was set in a completely different environment. Back in the day it was clearly defined - It was the man's job to bring home the (insert your substitute for bacon), it was the womans job to cook it. Nowadays, its a combined job bringing the (insert your substitute for bacon) home, why can't it be a tag-team effort to cook? I really am not asking for a role reversal, I don't mind really working and looking after my family, I just want my partner to appreciate what I am doing and help out, the way I see it a person who wants to help really shouldn't be concerned about whose job it is to do what. And it would be nice if you guys at the beer parlor would not call him 'pussy whipped' just cos you dropped by our place and saw him heating water for coffee (I love Folgers!), or vacuuming the carpet!

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but when it comes to cooking - beep beep!!!

06 February 2006

I am back at work after my vacation. Although the break was two weeks and I didn't go anywhere special, (i did go see my mum in Ibadan), I have to say I enjoyed myself, I got a chance to do all my favorite things - read and sleep! plus I managed to stuff my face now and then!. Oh how could I forget, the highlight of my vacation - I got shot at!!!

Thats right, here I was driving back to Lagos from Ibadan I was almost at Shagamu, the time is between 5 and 5:30 PM. The road is not busy (its a thursday evening) I had serviced my car prior to the trip so we were both up for a 'quick' drive. Anyways I must have been clocking 150-160 when I came upon a police convoy, they must have been doing 100-110 max. The convoy was two cars long, I am suspecting they were probably on a cash movement run. Well (stupidly) I made to overtake and I was cautioned by the passenger in the first car in the convoy not to attempt it. Of course I slowed down and I am thinking am I going to crawl to Lagos like this? My best bet would be to stop and let them get further ahead then I can continue my trip at my pace but hey! this is Lagos-Ibadan expressway and bad things have been known to happen to good people on this particular expressway, what do I do, what do I do? All this while I was decelerating o, next thing 'KAGBOAI' (it seems the standard issue for the Nigerian Police is the 'Dane Gun', aka 'SAKABULA') and plenty plenty white smoke!!! I can't believe it, the police man shot at me!!! Then my car does a little wobble, the police man shot at me and hit my tire!!! I manouver into the outer lane and then stop the car I come out and my back tire has been shot out!!! I am really in shock that guy is one helluva shot!!! Anywas I change my tire, enough drama, tire nuts too tight I had to flag down an okada driver, my spare was flat had to stop another okada who took me to get that pumped up, it seems gentlemen don't ply lagos-ibadan expressway on thursdays!!! Anyways thanks to the two okada drivers who stopped to help me out. I don't want to believe that the policeman was that good a shot, I think him hitting my tire at all was just chance, but he shot in my direction which is what baffles me. I was really lucky as a friend pointed out, he could have hit my fuel tank and the story would have been a completely different one. I was able to continue my journey sans extra tire in about 45 mins, made Lagos in 20 mins ;)