27 April 2006

Date in Arithmetic Progression

On the first Thursday of May at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 A.M., the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. I am going to try to take a picture.

Its a boy!

My girl Spice had a baby yesterday, her husband just buzzed me with the good news. I had been holding my breath scine she called to tell me she was pregnant. I am so happy (and relieved) for Spice and CAK, they had really been trying for a second baby forever, and Spice had gone through hell in the process, miscarriage upon miscarriage. Thank God for his mercies. 'Adupe, a ku ewu omo (I can't translate this, the general sentiment is congratulations), 'Oluwa a wo o' (God will keep him), 'Ko ni ku mo yin lowo o' (He will not die on you - you will not bury him), 'ko ni pa yin lekun o' (you will not sorrow over him), 'Omo yi a shina ibukun, igberaga, ayo ni inu idile yi' (He will open the doors for more blessing, promotion, joy in your household), 'Inkan ti e ma fi toju e ko ni won yin' (you will not lack the things you will require to take care of him), Oluwa a gbo adura awon ton wo oju re fun omo. Lai pe lai jina ayo yi a kari yin' (For those who are waiting on the Lord for a child, soon and very soon your joy will be complete). 'Fun awon ti o wa ninu oyun, e ni ri ogun abiku, oyun bibaje, were le ma bi omo yin' (For those who are pregnant, you will not suffer a stillbirth, you will not suffer a miscarriage, you will have your baby with no complications whatsoever) 'Loruko Jesu' (in Jesus name) 'Amin' (Amen)

25 April 2006

Book Meme

"Lift it, and judge if I am mistaken."
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

I got this off Pilgrimage to self, I was going to post from the two books I am reading, alas the other one ends on page 44! Instructions are below:

1. Grab the nearest book. (yes, the nearest book, no cheating)
2. Open the book to page 123. (yes, of the same book, no cheating now)
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal/blog along with these instructions. (yes, i know you were reading erotica , but its too late for embarassment now)

DON'T search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

Villarreal 0 0 Arsenal

"We don't live in a Yellow Submarine..."

Sang the rats as they abandoned ship. Yay we are off to the finals!!! Can't believe it, and I can understand Manuel Pellegrini 's confusion. 10 clean sheets, 744 consecutive minutes without letting a goal in and counting, beating van der Sar's 658 consecutive minutes record, Lehman was a real collosus in goal. He has come a long way from all the yawa of last season and I am really happy for him. Move over Herr Kahn!

Is it me, or is this CL champaign for Arsenal similar to the Liverpool champaign of last year? English side against all odds gets to the finals, captain hesitant to renew contract in dire need of including CL winner on his resume?

Lehmann sends Gunners to Paris Soccernet.com

Wenger, Henry hail 'magnificent' Lehmann Soccernet.com

Match Report Arsenal.com

I am so pissed - Update

So my darling colleague brings me a skirt (which fit me perfectly) but no jacket (I didn'task). I am wearing a little T-shirt and the cooling system that has been adding to the heat instead of reducing it for the past couple of days is working overtime today its like I am at the North Pole! I am really cold and everybody in my office can see that! I have to borrow another colleagues jacket before they started charging a gate fee! I send for Oyinbo (our trusty cleaner). Luckily my suit is 100% rubber. I ask him what can be done (I am just interested in removing the stink from the thing pending when I can launder it). He asks for money for Lux soap and says he will take care of it. I am relieved to be finally rid of the smelly suit and try to get back to work. Oyinbo returned a few minutes ago with my suit ... wait for it ... freshly washed (surprise) and ironed! (loud groan) Of course its shining. I thank him for all his effort, trying not to look too upset. I am really not that fond of the suit anyway, (I only wear it when I have absolutely nothing else to wear) unfortunately now I can't give it out, what a waste!

The 'Tokunbo' baby

On my way back from my shopping on saturday, I dropped by (unannounced!) to see some friends who had recently moved house. My 20 min visit stretched into 3 hours, I had that much fun. They had both recently returned from trips abroad, one from SA, the other from the US, and we had enough to talk about, child rearing, house-work sans help, conditions for hiring help in SA, arrangy marriage, living in the US as an illegal, etc etc. I asked if they had heard the latest from Eleke (a.k.a Louis Faraquan) Crescent, I had only recently heard it myself - Mothers of 'Tokunbo' babies are being asked to return in 99 years time to renew their visas. Recalling we had a friend who was hell bent on having a 'Tokunbo' baby and who had already made the safe crossing to the US, I asked if they had heard from her and if she had been delivered of her baby. Yes she was fine, and no the baby had not come. Why are we like this? Oyinbo say make you no come, must you go? This our friend had done extensive research before buying a ticket and going to the US to give birth and everyone told her the same thing, oyinbo will not renew your visa and will blacklist your family. Fashi. Na lie this girl still buy ticket go kack for yankee dey wait to born yankee citizen. When I asked why she felt she had to do this, she reeled of a long list of reasons, the child would be able to file for his siblings and parents, the child can go to Harvard and they will not need to pay international rates, hold up. What if this child doesn't want to go to college? She hadn't obviously thought that far! Oyinbo wey get all your details for database, you think they will really let that child file for you? I quickly change the topic, she is a Christian and I could see she wanted to 'faith' it through, no need me jinxing the whole thing for her. I am a Christian also, but I don't think we should be wasting Gods precious time faithing things like yankee pali for our unborn children, when we are clearly breaking the law.

The undelying reason for the 'Tokunbo' baby is the desire of the parent to surpass his own upbringing. This is good but in giving your children what you never had, shouldn't you give them what you had as well? Home cooked meals, a parent taking you to and picking you up from school, weekend baths that turn into water wars, having a parent tuck you in at night, doing homework with someone who actually went to school, watching tv together, having atleast two meals together as a family on a dining table, being embarrased when your parent takes part in the parents race during inter-house sports and doesn't win, worse they fall down, climbing trees for mango and oranges, playing outside from morning till night on school holidays, playing in the rain, falling and having your mum kiss it better almost immediately, having lessons under a tree at home after a shower, lunch and a nap, washing your plate after meals standing on a stool, filling bottles from the filter. I look at parents my age, killing themselves to be able to afford to have a 'Tokunbo' baby forgetting they were not raised by house-girls/boys, nannies, drivers etc. You see them all over the place parents my age, totting kids decked out in designer wear like they were the latest fashion accessory, these kids covered in all sorts of skin ailments, with teeth rotting all because the parents have entrusted their responsibility to the hired help. We were raised by parents whom we saw during daylight hours on weekdays, who taught us how to ride bicycles, settled quarrels between ourselves and our best friends. We learned so much from our parents who were not 'smart' enough to have ensured we were born abroad so we could carry blue or red pali. It will be a huge pity if we fail to invest as much care and attention into our own kids as we try to give them a 'better' life.

24 April 2006

I am really pissed


Only God knows where this stupid drvier was speeding to this morning! You are at the end of a 'close', whats your hurry? This guy flies down the road and bathes me from head to toe in smelly gutter water! Imagine!!! Now I am waiting for my friend to bring me a skirt so I can at least stop stinking up the office, gosh I am pissed!!!

Yeah it rained this morning.

Weekend shopping

My weekend was fun, I went shopping. I have a wedding which I will be attending first weekend in May. Weddings can be stressful, the trick I have found especially when I am not related to either the bride or groom is to arrive just in time for the thanksgiving (typical wedding lasts 2 hours, so I arrive like 1 and a half hours into the ceremony, making a 10 min allowance for 'African Time') and just join the line of well-wishers, dancing to the altar. I wiggle my fingers at the happy couple and drop an offering in the offering basket. The I hang around for another 20-30 mins till the end of the ceremony, bare my teeth for the 'Couple with Brides friends/Grooms friends/Colleagues' picture, whichever group I fall into then I am free. I got a well priced green lace which I am thinking I will make into Skirt & Blouse as opposed to Iro & Buba but do I have the time to be chasing Musa (my tailor)? The aso-ebi is supposed to be mint green and red, and I am having some reservations about that. I think I will wear my burgundy gele on my green lace, I feel a lot more comfortable with that, plus I really don't need to be buying any items of clothing/accessories that will not add value to my new life (I am of to graduate school and I can smell it remember?)

21 April 2006

ThisDay 'Wrap Around' Wahala

ThisDay newspaper arrived yesterday, wrapped in this advert placed by the 3rd Term champaigners. Everyone was up in arms, PC said he couldn't touch the paper. This was the ultimate betrayal, how could ThisDay do this, sell out its front and back pages, those very pages it used to denounce this 3rd term nonsense? Segun Adeniyi felt he owed the readership and explanation so the paper ran this editorial today.

The renovation of Oyo Road

After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that everyone in Ibadan lives 6 degrees of separation from Oyo Road. Oyo road is a one lane road leading to Oyo town, Ogbomoso, etc. On a visit home late last year, I noticed the commencement of construction work on our great Oyo road. Apparently, the road is to be widened and dualised. I was pleased to hear this, and had visions of an Awolowo road Ikoyi like transformation. Alas, at least 6 months down the road, work seems to have come to a halt. The clearance required to accommodate the reconstruction has been done taking with it the huge tree at Sobande Avenue, the stonework in front of Mokola Market (and the firewood sellers stalls), The fence of the post office at UI, the list goes on. I am happy to report that so far, the UI fence has not taken a hit. Drainage has also been dug up, leaving huge excavations on both sides of the road, which I am worried about with the rainy season long overdue to commence. We are either experiencing the handiwork of the local rainmakers (employed to delay the rains to accommodate the construction work), or the effects of global warming, whichever works for you. If indeed the rainmakers are holding the rains, at the rate the work is progressing, or should I say not progressing, that road will take a really long while to complete; can the rainmakers really hold off nature for that long? My question was answered the very next day as it rained something fierce

Mama na … Picken!

Remember the MTN advert that caused so much brouhaha? Excited father calls his mum/mum-in-law after the birth of his baby and says ‘Mama na boy!’ Everyone was up in arms saying the advert was sexist, and seemed to celebrate the boy child over the girl one. Why didn’t the father announce ‘Mama na girl!’ they asked. Anyways saw the 'pc' version of the advert the other day on tv. ‘Mama she don born!’ was the excited cry of the new father to his mum/mum-in-law. Glad to see that was all that changed in the advert, Mama then proceeds to celebrate, the whole village with her.

Eleru gbe eru re (Let the owner of the load carry the load)

I had earlier blogged about my 'gallant male colleague', the one who was so encumbered with helping a female colleague, he watched helplessly as pickpockets made off with his GSM phone.

So I am at my desk going through my tasks for the day when I over hear this female colleague harassing someone. My 'gbeborun' (busybody) ears quickly tune in to listen. The gist of the matter was that she had as usual a hundred and one bags to take home at the close of work, and the IT student didn’t help her with them. In my mind I am like na only u dem born? Why is it that you dey everly carry load? Sharp girl (IT student) I don’t blame you, make you no go carry load wey no concern you enter yawa.

The other day I was as usual lugging my usual load, i.e. tote bag and hang bag home. I got in the elevator with another IT student who made to carry one of my bags; I quickly stopped her with an appreciative smile and a firm refusal. Don’t get me wrong, I am the first person to offer a helping hand, and I do appreciate it when someone helps me out if I am overwhelmed, I just think it’s irresponsible of anyone to, as a matter of principle, leave their house/office everyday over-burdened and expect to put others out with their parcels. I remember just as I finished secondary school, I attended a youth camp organized by my church ‘Operation Daniel’ it was called. It was a much needed spiritual eye opener. Some time after that my youth pastor came by the house for a visit and I saw him off to the bus-stop. He had a briefcase with him and as we got of our gate, I made to take it from him. He stopped me with an appreciative smile and a firm refusal saying, ‘don’t let this our culture enslave you, I left the house with it, if I felt at some time during the day I would not be able to cope with it I should have not carried it at all’ Many thanks to Pastor S for giving me this information that has set me free.

20 April 2006

My love-hate relationship with cooking

Gollie - Someone who likes food.

I must confess I am a gollie but for Nigerian food, specifically for food from the eastern part of Nigeria. I don't know what it is about eastern food, its just delicious, me thinks its all that sea food, plus the palm oil and all those vegetables cooked just so (orgasmic sigh goes here)! Yellow garri is a staple in my house, indeed I don't recall the last time I drank white/Ijebu garri. Well I think thats more because I keep forgeting to collect from Princess whenever I go home (I forgot again this past weekend!), and if there is a bowl of soup in my freezer, you can be sure it will be ogbono, cooked with ugu (yum)

I haven't cooked this year.

After my aunt (Awunsho) married, I was stuck with the honor of festival cooking. Awunsho is a mean cook, this was a major reason for opting to go do my IT in Port-Harcourt which is where she lives with her family. Ah that egusi soup ... Earth to Funke, Earth to Funke ... where was I, o yes! My first festival was Easter, I made the usual; fried rice, coleslaw, oven-grilled chicken, beef in pepper sauce, plantain and creme caramel. As my family and friends tucked in enthusiastically, I brought out some left over ewedu from the freezer and made myself eba. I was shocked. I couldn't touch that food if they paid me to. I however joined in make our guests no begin think say e pass Knorr and salt wey I take spice the food. I watched as everyone (Princess and Bee inclusive) stuffed themselves till food was coming out of their ears, punctuating their lip smacking with such declarations as 'delicious', 'tender chicken' 'sweet e yi ma dun gan o' (this sweet is delicious).

What was the matter with me? A couple of days later as I discussed this ... 'phenomenon' with Princess she offered some type of explanation - 'onje yen ti run si e ni' (literal translation - the food is smelling to you). I am thinking that is just the weirdest thing when she asks 'Se rice yen si ku sa?' (is there still some rice left over?) I trudged off to the kitchen to reheat the left over. I have 'suffered' through every holiday since. Its not as bad anymore (thankfully). Now I can eat what I cook same day. If I eat it like 3 days later, I can actually taste it. It also helps not to do the whole '12 course meal for 100 people' type cooking, one type of dish at a time, max two.

My love for eastern dishes has made me learn to cook them, so far I can make ogbonna and egusi. I am told my cooking would not be mistaken for an easterners though, too much pepper. This is a family problem originating from my paternal grand-father. I have also secured the recipe for banga which i must cook before going to school. Also fish pepper soup. I am currently on a hunt for eastern recipies. I would appreciate contributions, the more indigeneous the better. I am available to take dictation from aged grand-mothers! I stumbled upon this recipe for 'Fat free' Okra Soup and I had to laugh. Fat free Okra soup? What the heck is that? I quickly look through the list of ingredients, 'fat free canned chicken broth'? How would it look and taste? and not a drop of palm oil to be seen! Thankfully there is some pepper involved, and fresh fish. Okay I see, perhaps the broth will have some fat content, hang on its fat free! I may just try it out, but I will make my own broth, and it will not be fat free! I have some 4 month old snail and smoked chicken, perhaps I will make ogbonna soup this weekend.

19 April 2006

Arsenal 1(2) 0 Villarreal

Slim lead, but we do have the advantage travelling to Spain next week. The attendance was 35,438, I am not sure however if that figure includes the squirrel. I guess not, probably didn't buy a ticket! With possession in our favour, I expected more goals, but 10-0, 1-0, victory na victory.

Match Report Arsenal.com

Match Report Soccernet.com

The Bespectacled I - Another update

I see what y'all mean by glasses give the impression of intelligence. I attended a meeting yesterday and I have never gotten as much respect in a meeting. I am used to being looked at beause of my hair, but yesterday not only where they looking at me, they were actually listening to what I was saying, and I was the most junior officer present. After each item on the agenda, the meeting co-ordinator would summarise and look at me for my nod of understanding and agreement. I initially thought this was happening because the guy was cute and apparently unmarried (naked 4th finger on his left hand), so the next summary he made I looked confused and someone else said 'Funke don't you agree with what has been said?' I am like wow! The ED (Executive Director) of the department hosting the meeting dropped by briefly. On his way out he goes 'okay everyone have a good meeting' then he nods in my direction and says 'Madam' like I was some really big oga then he leaves. Interesting

18 April 2006

This heat na die

'If for no other reason, I must show for heaven'

I admonish myself as I sat sweltering in the heat at the weekend. I didn't even try to venture out of the house, even church on Sunday was early so we would be home before the heated came down. When it eventually rained on sunday evening, I almost went out to frolic! I guess in the past couple of years it has gotten progressively hotter, the problems we have encountered recently in generating power have just highlighted the heat factor. I cannot but wonder, how are my peeps in the Niger Delta coping with all that flaring? I hear tempratures there na die!

I get to work today and the first thing I ask PC as we walk from the car park to our office building is 'what are your thoughts on weather changes in Nigeria and gas flaring in the Niger Delta'? 'Don't talk to me about the Niger Delta' he snaps at me (we had a really heated debate about the Niger Delta a while back, and reflecting on my comments then with what I know now, I was very ignorant) Now I can see why PC snapped at me earlier. Forget Nigeria, think the effects of gas flaring on global warming! The statistics are horrifying to say the least and the likes of Shell and Mobil continue to flare gas in ever increasing proportions as we all fold our arms and look on. Apparently Shell have been ordered by a Nigeria court to stop gas flaring in Iwherekan their response they plan to continue flaring till 2009 and we have a government that is claiming to serve the people o. I wonder if the senators from the Niger Delta also partook of the $1M incentive to support Baba Iyabo's 3rd term bid, seeing all his administration has done with respect to the environment if nothing else!

Judge orders Shell Nigeria MD and Petroleum Minister to appear in court Climatelaw.org

The Bespectacled I - An Update

I just got my glasses. The optician delivered them right to my desk. It feels a little wierd wearing them, my colleagues are making a huge deal about them and I am actually blushing! I told Princess about them over the holidays and she was like 'slight astigmatism ehn'? 'Your father was very astigmatic' she said as she tried to slap my hand away from the colander of fried meat (she missed!) Really? Then I remembered. Of course he wore glasses, I had seen in him in some pictures wearing a pair of Malcom X type spectacles and thinking were they 'ako-mended' as opposed to recommended spectacles? I guess the mystery has been cleared and I hope I remain only slightly astigmatic!

14 April 2006

Nigga = Female Chauvinist Pig

I am home in Ibadan and it’s hot. Although we have power, the fan is just circulating hot air. Left Lagos at 6 and got home just in time for breakfast, moin-moin straight off the fire, yum! Took a 3 hour nap and then ate a third of a really big water melon. Now I am watching an Oprah re-run on Galaxy TV (I wonder what type of arrangement the tv station has with MNET). Actually the show has ended and I am watching Pinky and the Brain (I looove cartoons!)

I had actually seen part of this particular Oprah show last year when it aired originally on MNET, it’s the one where she had the cast of ‘Crash’ on way before Terence Howard and the movie received their respective Oscar nominations. I remember then I was a bit disturbed at Don Cheadle, Terence Howard and Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges all defending the use of the ‘N’ word. According to Terence it’s all in the spelling. ‘Nigga’ is used in the African American community (especially amongst its males) to signify a close relationship, a friendship. ‘Nigger’ on the other hand is the ‘N’ word with a racial undertone. So it’s cool for one black man to call another black man ‘Nigga’ but it’s not cool to call him ‘Nigger’. Afterall the explanation I am still confused. On a totally unrelated note, something smells delicious, Princess is making ‘Gbegiri’ (Gbegriri is a Yoruba soup made from beans and eaten usually with ‘amala’ which is made from yam flour. It’s the main dish from where I come from, Ogbomoso, yum yum!) I side with Oprah when she says whichever way it is spelt and whatever it is supposed to mean, the ‘N’ word should be excommunicated from the English Lexicon. Don in arguing for the retention of the ‘a’ variation of the ‘N’ word said African Americans need to keep using the ‘a’ variation as a sign that we have liberated ourselves from the ‘er’ meaning. I was immediately reminded of the 'Female Chauvinist Pig', the phrase coined by Ariel Levy in her book of the same title published last year. The Female Chauvinist Pig, Levy argues, is 'post-feminist. She is funny. She gets it.' She asks: 'Why worry about disgusting or degrading when you could be giving - or getting - a lap dance yourself? Why try to beat them when you can join them?'

I don’t think White people call themselves ‘honky’ neither do Jews call themselves ‘Himey’ or Mexicans ‘Wetbacks’ whichever way it is spelt, and whatever it has been contorted to mean, why should African Americans insist on calling themselves ‘Nigga’? Whatever communication registers African Americans adopt, they really don’t need to validate the ‘N’ word in any shape or form (spelling or meaning) I am sure there are a host of other words with which to describe a close, 'brother from another mother' relationship. By insisting on using that word or its associates whatever it has been contorted to mean, you keep the original, derogatory meaning alive. You are really not beating anybody, you are joining them.

Oh and Sandra Bullock asked that while the subject was hot could somebody see about removing the word 'bitch' from the English lexicon? The way I see it, the female chauvinist pig will make that a really really hard task.

13 April 2006

Slowly but surely I will get there

Found this picture of former Idol contestant Gedeon McKinney. I am soooo jealous, great hair. My effort is about half as long as his and just as thick so I am confident I can achieve this. He doesn't have red highlights, its the light doing what you see in the picture. I love it though and I think I might just experiment with some color - once I am finaly off to school though, make dem no go sack person!

Portsmouth 1 1 Arsenal

What a bummer! The race for 4th place isn't over yet though (I can't believe I just typed that!).

Gunners fall short again Soccernet.com

12 April 2006


I got an email, from some Christopher guy today. He opens the email by sayin 'Hello, your email address was given to me as someone who loves music' (you got that right!) Apparently there is to be a talent show called StarFactor which will be hosted in Nigeria in association with OBETV, R70.com & DJAMUSIC.com. The winner walks of with N10,000,000 (no mention of a recording contract, but I haven't really looked at the site yet), and auditions will be held in Lagos, Abuja, kaduna, Enugu, Jos, Makurdi, London (why?) and Port Harcourt. Oh and there is a registeration fee of N3,000. I might just register, for the heck of it!


Drat and Double Drat

Right corner of my mouth started itching this morning. I should have known yesterday, all the signs were there; my gums were really tender plus I had a sore on the roof of my mouth. Started shacking Vitamin C, gosh I hate cold sores/fever blisters!

11 April 2006

The 30 year old child

PC and I are at lunch discusing Berlusconi and the Italian elections. The Italians have a dubious reputation when it comes to exit polls, so although it seemed that Prodi was home and dry yesterday, one really can't say that today. So we are discussing 3rd world countries and how portugal and spain both recorded coups in the 70's. PC is gisting me of the coup in Portugal in '75 and how it was actualy precipitated by a coup in Angola (interesting). I am like '75 huh? thats the year of my birth' and he looks at me astonished. The he starts laughing. I am looking at him and wondering whats up. 'You are a child!' he ecxlaims. PC likes to feel ancient, always accusing me of disrespecting my elder (mon yaju si agba) whenever we are arguing, meanwhile he is just 11 older than I am. Hardly qualifies him to be calling me child in my books but hey what do i know!

My latest hobby

MMY took my pictures the other day, although he has refused to let me see them yet. 'They are not ready they are not ready' he keeps insisting. I have warned him not to ‘Photoshop’ my pictures or else!

I have always been interested in art, and also like to think I am creative. I apprenticed with my tailor while in university, the idea for me was to make the most of the ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) strike by gaining some useful knowledge, Princess was just glad that I found something useful to occupy my time with (if only she knew that half of what I got up to after I closed at 4 pm!). I also knit and crochet (I have this sweater I have been knitting since 1997!). I have never taken a picture in my life ... well that isn’t true, I do take pictures while I am on holiday, and I have a camera phone with which I try to capture interesting scenes like the one i witnessed some time ago; two women on an okada (motor bike), dressed to the teeth, obviously going to an owambe clutching their ‘gele’ (head tie) as the okada whizzes through traffic, or the one I saw recently, a lady waiting at the bus-stop in ‘poured on’ jeans with an ass like a ledge (I named that picture ‘bench’). I spent New Year's Day hanging out with family friends. My dad and ‘Uncle S’ where great friends, as evidenced by the ton of photographs of their youth we spent the better part of the afternoon poring over. After making a selection of must have pictures, we went to his study where he scanned them for me (I was too impressed, my uncle is almost 60 and he can scan, heck he knows what a scanner is!) He then asks if I had a flash drive to save the pictures on! (What am I going to do about Princess o!) Over his table he had this self-portrait of him ‘burning the midnight oil’ studying for some exams. I asked how he took the picture, where, etc I was transfixed by it. I added 'learn photography' to my list of 'to-do's' this year and promptly forgot about it.

Writing the essays for my graduate school application (yes o!), I was reminded of my promise to myself and here I am, learning the rules to enable me ‘see’ in photography speak. The main
object of learning these rules is so I can break them later to produce great pictures. Alongside learning the rules, which I will later break, I am also researching different photographers. MMY is a really strict teacher (translation - task master); one wouldn’t know it to look at him. I was supposed to research Diane Arbus, and the rule of thirds with respect to photography and because I defaulted he added Walker Evans to the assignment as well as a long list of definitions of photographic terms! I avoided my teacher all week, and when I finally got around to doing my assignment this weekend, I was pleasantly amazed to find I was familiar with Diane Arbus' work well one of them. The MET held an exhibition of her work last year (Diane Arbus: Revelations), and Time published this picture from her work. I marvelled at how she was able to capture this person 'naked' even though he was fully dressed. Although the subject seemed to portray confidence, perhaps sophistication and freedom, he managed to show that his sophistication and confidence were all a facade, he was just a scared, scarred, trapped person.

Manchester United 2 0 Arsenal

What a bummer!

My only consolation is that with this victory, ManU are only a game and a half away from tying on points with Chelsea.

Match Report Soccernet.com

The TomKat Baby and Silent Birth

I read (again) last week about the TomKat baby and how it would be coming into the world via ‘Silent Birth’ (SB). What the heck is that? Apparently Scientologists believe that the natural birth experience is traumatic not only for the mother (you don’t say), but also for the baby, and what ever it experiences at the time of its birth would affect it for the duration of its stay on earth. By having an ‘SB’ the baby is less traumatized during the birth process and thus has a better chance of having a decent life (or something like that). Kelly Preston (Mrs John Travolta) who is a scientologist and has experienced ‘SB’ says that contrary to what we all believe, ‘SB’ isn’t so much about keeping mum through the whole birth experience but rather watching what you say, and yes and epidural can be administered. Hmmm … note to self: read up on scientology and ‘SB’.

I am interested in the ‘SB’ concept, because it seems Africans have been practicing it for centuries. As Africans we are way ahead of Scientology and its understanding of the power of the spoken word and how they affect a person. As a Yoruba person, I grew up acknowledging (maybe not appreciating) the power of words, specifically words as issued in a curse (Epe). Many a child has been stopped dead in his tracks, wondering if this particular mischief was worth it as he heard his mother state ‘Ma sepe fun e ti o ba kuro ni ibeyen’ (I will curse you if you don’t leave that place at once!) It is a wise child who does not provoke his mother into delivering the maternal curse. This curse is believed to be really potent owing to the fact that it is delivered by the person who gave birth to and nursed you (contrary to all that oyinbo nonsense about breast feeding pre the 80’s, African women have been breast feeding for centuries, usually till the baby was at least a year old). The curse is even more potent if your mother is sufficiently motivated to make it stark naked at the witching hour! That kind of curse will catch you before you can say, ‘I have a masters degree in journalism from Columbia, my boss loves me and if I do it her way for awhile I can write about anything I want’ (I must have seen ‘how to lose a guy in 10 days’ like a gazillion times). As a result of our (superior) understanding of the power of words, African women are encouraged to watch what they say during the birthing process. Its okay to say things like ‘Ye idi mi fe fa ya’ (Gosh my vagina is about to split open – obvious fact), but you really must avoid saying things like ‘Iwo olori buruku okurin yi ko ni da fun e’ (This ill-starred man, it will not be well with you.). It is believed that during the birthing process, a woman is that much closer to the gods and all her requests are fast tracked, regardless of the fact that she is unaware that she is actually requesting anything. So if in the middle of a contraction she yells ‘Ko ni da fun e fun inkan to se fun mi’ (it will not be well with you for what you have done to me) or ‘Ko ni da fun iwo omo yi’ (it will not be well with you this child), your instructions will be executed to the letter. In light of this fact, certain issues are best resolved before a child is born, e.g. paternity. It is believed that if a woman curses the man who impregnated her while giving birth there is no escaping it. Similarly this curse is made even more potent if she curses on the blood, which issues out with the baby or worse on the placenta itself! I have often wondered though if the opposite would be the case, i.e. if a mother’s curse is that potent would a mothers blessing be equally potent? The answer is yes, hence parents especially mothers are encouraged to bless their children at every opportunity.

The introduction of Abrahamic religion has further helped to reinforce our traditional belief in the power of words. In Christianity, we are taught to watch what we say, indeed there are several references to words, and my personal favorite is found in Ecc 5:2. Interestingly, even the Almighty is bound by the words which He has spoken Is 55:11. At the end of the day, I guess because Scientology isn’t your ‘average’ religion, the whole ‘SB’ thing looks a bit weird, the truth of the matter is though that they are really not doing anything new.

Scientology.org - News Room

Giddy romance leading Holmes to silent birth

07 April 2006

My colleague 'who doesn't know face'

Thats a direct translation of a Yoruba phrase - Eni ti o mo oju

I respect an individual’s right to personal space and would (reluctantly) tread there only if invited. The key thought here is that I wait to be invited. Not so some people. I have this colleague, you know the type, she knows the most, can talk the most, can work the most etc. In my opinion she has a much exaggerated opinion of her capabilities.

When I got engaged to my Ex, he gave me a really beautiful (okay I am biased) 3 stone diamond engagement ring. I think a couple of days later I had to go to her office to get some stuff done. From the door she spied the ring and could barely wait for me to make the walk to her table (the person I needed to see sits close to her work area). ‘Congratulations’ she says ‘Let me see’ I gladly obliged her. ‘You are wearing your ring on the wrong finger!’ she exclaims. ‘I am?’ I reply. ‘The engagement ring is worn on the 4th finger of the left hand isn’t it?’ I ask ‘No, it’s worn on the 3rd finger she replies’ and then proceeds to try and remove my ring and place it properly. ‘Hello?!’ I ask as I quickly curl my fingers and actually wrestle my hand out of her grip. ‘Na you put ring there, wetin be your own wey you wan commot am put am somewhere else? Na where my bobo put am na im e go remain, make I no vex o!’ By now everyone in the office is looking at us. I am really angry at this know-all. I take a deep breath and see my Ex’s face smiling at me. I calm down, ‘How is your husband?’ I ask with a smile ‘He is fine she replies’ ‘A beg make I quickly see Mr O’ I say as I walk on. Gosh, if you feel you know better, advice me and let me decide whether or not to heed your advice, don’t go forcing your (very wrong) opinions on me!

One would think this woman would have picked sense o, at least when it comes to me. Yesterday she comes to my office to see another colleague, and I am on the phone. I get off and she comes over, ‘Madam how now?’ she says as she reaches for my handbag ‘Yes, and how may I help you?’ I ask looking pointedly at my handbag which she is carrying. ‘I beg wey your purse, I need money to eat’ ‘Na me give you bele?’ I wonder ‘And you are actually going to begin to go through my bag to get?’ I ask as she starts rifling through my bag imagine! E be like say make I give am flying dropkick! I turn from her and make a show of busying myself at my computer. I am boiling now. She begins to feel foolish, she touches my arm to get my attention (by this time my back is turned to her) and says ‘its not here’ ‘Really?, I wonder where it is’ I say as I pointedly remove my poor bag from her vicious grip and as if on cue my extension rings, its my ED wanting a status report on some work I was doing. She hangs around a bit, and seeing that my call wasn’t going to end, she leaves. Imagine! How can someone commit such an indiscretion? Perhaps she figures we are friends, but even my friends wouldn’t do that at least not without my permission, heck even Princess wouldn’t go in my bag without me asking her to! Well its three strikes you are out for this particular colleague, and by the time I am done with her, I will have another batch of adjectives to add to the growing list that describes me.

06 April 2006

IBB, Baba Iyabo, Atiku and Matters Arising

Okay, IBB who had 'promised' not to run against Baba Iyabo has declared his intention to run, as Baba Iyabo leaves the decision to run in the hands of God, never mind the heavy lobbying for the amendment of the constitution. Now Atiku is openly opposing the 3rd term bid. Interesting.

Nigeria's VP opposes 3rd term. bbc.co.uk

The 'BRT' Mystery Solved - An Update

I am reading comments on my earlier post, and I come across the acronym 'MDG'. Whats this? I wonder. Off I go to google. I find out that MDG actually stands for Millenium Development Goals and that there are 8 of them. They came about as a result of a declaration (The United Nations Millenium Declaration) adopted by the member nations of the UN on the 8th of September 2000.

Truly we need to get our act together as a nation with respect to providing the very basics as defined by the 8 MDG's. Its great that we try to provide functional and hopefully affordable mass transportation in Nigeria (you can be sure Lagos is setting a standard for the rest of the nation), but whats the point if only a small percentage of the country will be able to take advantage of it?

I blogged earlier about
my guard and his hijinks with the daughter of the guard two houses away. I spoke with my neigbour about it who confirmed to me that they are actually having sex. I was shocked. I moved into my flat 4 years ago, and that girl wasn't more than 8 years old. 'Is she using protection?' I wonder. From the little I have been able to pick up from Mohammeds life before he joined our employ, he was a truck driver in the North. He could have picked up any number of STD's from their, HIV perhaps. She doesn't go to school, she lives with her father, mother, 3 brothers and 2 sister in the uncompleted building on the plot her father was hired to guard, and helps her mother out petty trading. Of all her siblings only one goes to school (the second son). The oldest and first son has followed in the steps of his father and is employed elsewhere in the estate. He also drives an Okada part time and uses drugs. My neigbour has had to on occassion seperate a fight between him and his mother while he was on serious trip. Since I moved to the estate, the mother must have been pregnant at least 5 times, she only has two children to show for these pregnancies. It occured to me that she probably gives birth in the uncompleted building perhaps aided by the wives of the other guards. My neigbours wife had tried to discuss birth control with her and her response was 'Na all the pickin wey dey person body na im e suppose born'. Lastyear she asked my neigbour about the family planning clinic which I am suspecting she actually visited. Her stomach has been flat for a year now.

I live in Magodo GRA Lagos, not 'Kutuwenji' (a remote fictional location) on the border of Nigeria and Chad, and these people I have described are but 200 metres from my house. 2015 is not so far away, and at the rate we are going, for us as a nation to meet the MDG's we will be requiring a miracle.

The 'BRT' Mystery Solved

About a month and a half ago, I noticed a thick yellow line going from Alapere all the way over 3rd Mainland to Obalende where it stopped abruptly. At regular intervals 'BRT' was printed also in yellow. Wetin be dis I wondered. I asked PC, who had also wondered about it but didn't know what it meant exactly. Could it be a car pool lane, or perhaps a bus lane? More car pool than bus lane we decided since the yellow line was marking off the inside lane of the road, how will buses stop to drop off and pick up passengers? Lets investigate we agree and promptly forgot about it. This morning PC buzzes me with the news that BRT stands for 'Bus Rapid Transit', and that Lagos state has acquired 200 MarcoPolo buses for $29 Million. Lagos state will also set up a bus assembly plant in Epe supervised by Marcopolo International Corporation and BHL International Technology (overseas), which will turn out 300 buses annually.

Will this herald the era of weekend drivers? I think so. A lot of people I know have said they would take public transport to and from work (myself inclusive) if it could work like the New York MTA for example, and only drive on weekends.
Would our roads be less congested? The link roads (3rd mainland, Ikorodu Rd, etc) yes, the likes of VI, Ikoyi, Ikeja would not necessarily be less congested because corporate Nigerians will still need to move around and will probably use their official cars to go from meeting to meeting, marketing calls, etc.
What will be the fate of the yellow bus and the 'Molue'? Dunno, but it is good that as bus drivers and conductors are being made redundant, they can find employment at the new bus assembly plant, although I reckon they will be needing some form of training.
Taxi's nko? I hope some thought is being given to this, as they will be the key to decongesting the likes of VI, Ikeja, etc. Once corporate Nigeria is confident they can arrive at meetings looking as cool as a cucumber, with all their belongings intact, and they can leave the meetings without having to wait hours on end in the African sun ODing on Vitamin D they will take taki's!

Is the government actually going to allow some foreign company set up a factory to assemble buses in any part of Nigeria, and what is the fate of our 'treasured' PAN? I am actually suprised at this, I know that Honda begged and pleaded to be allowed to set up a plant in Nigeria in the early 90's and the goverment argument then was that they would be stealing market share from PAN (please!). I think PAN needs a complete overhaul, although its a bit late now because Peugeot already set up shop in SA.

Read the
full story here, I have also included the Wikipedia link FYI.

05 April 2006

Juventus 0 0 Arsenal

I can't believe it, my boys are off to the semi's!

I ended up watching the game the decision to watch or not to watch was taken out of my hands; traffic on 3rd mainland, and all my peeps doing the pre-match touch basing.
Anyways it was a good result, we have set a new record - clean sheet in 8 games (good work to Jens and the rest of the defence), and these boys have made history - first Arsenal team to qualify for the semi's.

Gilberto really isn't my favorite player and yesterday he did keep on losing the ball. Eboue is doing very well in his position, although he really should have crossed that ball instead of trying to take it in, he had at least 3 people waiting on that cross. Flamini was very lucky not to have been booked a second time really, and I can feel for Reyes on his booking which rules him out of our first leg semi final match against Villarreal.

I couldn't but compare Arsene to Mourinho yesterday. While Arsene was as cool as a cucumber, Mourinho would have been running up and down the line, harassing the officials. Anyone not looking close would see the figure doing what appears to be jumping jacks along the line and assume he was a player warming up.

I would like to condole with my friend and colleague 'FS' on the demise of the 'Old Lady'. Please accept my sincere sympathy

Match Report Arsenal.com

Match Report Soccernet.com

Wenger bouyant after booking date with Villarreal Soccernet.com

04 April 2006

Me and Murphy's Law

Murphy’s Law states that

If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop

Yesterday I got off work like past 7, as I stepped out of the building, I just felt incomplete, I go through a mental checklist, handbag – check, car keys – check, wallet – check, shoes – check, coffee cup – shoot! … forgot that will have to bring another one tomorrow (I usually take my cup home and wash it, there is no kitchenette on my floor and I feel bad asking the IT students to wash it, plus they usually go wash it in the loo instead of going one floor up, yuck!). As I walked on, I still couldn’t shake off this feeling of having forgotten something, what could it be, what could it be … That’s it, I forget my GSM phone. By this time I am half way to my car, and the thought of going back up is not exactly palatable. I quickly go through my options, I have a total of 3 phones; My VMobile is the one I forgot and its my primary phone line, My GLO (which is my hand bag) is my emergency line for situations such as the time I was barred on VMobile over the Christmas holidays because although I wasn’t owing, I had hit my limit (omo make I no go chop gbese I set a monthly limit on my phone) and My Starcomms (also in my bag) which is technically my home phone (I don’t get service in my office building). I use it for making local landline calls plus I get to call Starcomms numbers free at weekends. I am really not expecting anyone to ring, and if they try my VMobile and they don’t get through they will try my Starcomms, and since I have credit on my GLO and Starcomms lines, I can call in case of an emergency, so I fashi and head off home.

I thought about my phone this morning as I picked up my handbag ready to leave the house, then my phone rings its My Girl ‘Hello’ I say ‘Funke ki lo sele?’ (Funke what happened?) She asks in a very very worried voice, ‘Mo tin pe e lati ano, gsm e kan ring, Starcomms e o de lo!’ (I have been calling you since yesterday, your gsm phone just rang and your Starcomms wouldn’t connect!) ‘I forgot my phone in the office’ I mumble ‘I am so sorry’. ‘Thank God, let me call hubby and let him know you are okay, talk to you later’ she says and we hang up. I felt really bad and I think I would have felt worse (albeit a little loved) if she had showed up at the house last night to see if everything was okay. To think I thought I had everything covered and I would be reachable. When I got to work I had 15 missed calls on my phone! So much for covering all my options last night, I had forgotten about
Murphy’s Laws!!!

Being your brothers keeper

One Wednesday sometime late last year, I decided to play hooky with a colleague of mine, well not hooky like that, we left the office at 5 to go watch 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory;! So here we are armed to the teeth with popcorn, drinks, candy bars and hot dogs sitting in a cinema full of kids. I had a great time.

Not long after the movie starts A lady comes in with a small boy, too small in my opinion to be at the cinema, and on a Wednesday evening no less (school night). Any how I am watching the 'Umpa Lumpa's' perform and don't pay much attention to them. Then the lady leaves the boy and not long after a gentleman comes in with a drink (I have excellent peripheral vision, plus I can really multi-task!) The guy sits with the boy for a bit then as he leaves; then a lady comes in and sits next to the boy. Okay, this boy is accompanied, so I put all my resources into watching the movie.

Just as Charlie and Mr Wonka are traveling all over town in the glass 'elevator' I hear a whimper, I look to my right and it’s the boy. I look in the seat next to him and the lady is still there. The he starts crying really softly, and I look again. Then he starts crying properly and the lady on his right leans towards me and says 'could you please attend to your son' I am in shock! 'Isn't he your son?' 'No' she replied, 'Well he isn't' mine I reply. Then we both look at the crying boy, who by now is actually bawling. I am sitting there thinking 'what to do?' as I try to console the boy. The lady to his left had tactically changed seats and had joined with the rest of the cinema in shooting dark looks my way (everyone assumed the boy belonged to me). My colleague has an amazing capacity for concentration and only became aware of the unaccompanied boy after I put him on my lap and was trying to soothe him. ‘Where did he come from?’ she asked her eyes never leaving the screen. ‘Dunno’ I reply it seems he is here unaccompanied. That got her attention (she has a 5 year old daughter whom she loves and cares for fiercely) ‘What?’ she almost shouts. ‘Calm down’ I beseeched her; we are making enough noise as it is. Now I am angry, 'Na by force?' 'Must this boy watch this movie?' As I said earlier he was way too young to be at the cinema at all (still in diapers), not to mention unaccompanied. I tried to calm him down, we decided to wait till the movie ended, that way we would get to meet his parents/guardian and have a word or two with them. The movie ends and holding firmly to one hand while my colleague held the other one, we led him out (he is still crying oh). We are both vibrating with anger now, and would really like to meet the fool of a parent/guardian who did this.

As we emerge from the theatre, a young man springs forward and says ‘Ayomide’ and the boy looks up and reaches for him. ‘Who are you’ my colleague and I ask in unison. ‘I be im papa driver’ he responds a little startled. ‘He say make I wait for am make e finish make I carry am go wait for moto’ My colleague is soo angry she resembles a fish as she opens and closes her mouth not making any sounds. ‘Let me get this straight, you were supposed to wait for this boy outside while he watches the movie?’ I ask. People had started to gather round. ‘Yes’ he replied. ‘Where are his parents?’ I ask ‘Dem dey inside’ he says as he points nowhere in particular. ‘Where exactly?’ I ask. He really can’t say. ‘Do you know I could have kidnapped this boy?’ I ask He smiles a relieved smile, ‘Madam you no fit’ he assures me. ‘This picken wey still dey wear diapers, na to wrap am inside coat carry am go now’ my colleague shrieks (she is able to talk again). The boy had stopped crying and was looking expectantly at the driver. We let him go and he goes to stand behind the driver, peeping at us from behind his legs. I am convinced the boy knows the driver and all that, but I am also shocked at the conduct of his parents. So this boy had to watch a movie on a school night. He could easily have been kidnapped and then killed or sold. I am wondering why any parent would do this, the child is obviously under 4 years old, and the last time I checked it was free for 4 year olds to watch movies at Silverbird. Since it’s a Wednesday, its half price for adults (750). Couldn’t the parents have just bought a ticket for the driver so he could sit with the kid in the cinema? All this one we are talking sef na grammer, enter market the vcd is just 200 naira and the boy can watch it as many times as he wants in a less spooky environment. I ask the driver to give me his oga’s number, he also volunteers his oga’s wife’s number and tells me where they work, live etc. I get the impression that this particular couple does this kind of stuff all the time and he (the driver) is sick of it. Unfortunately we were unable to reach either parent on their phones (signal jammer, concrete walls, etc), and actually waited with the boy for like 40 mins while we watched him play in the car and they didn’t show up. The way he jumped from chair to chair, making a mess with his biscuits, it was obvious he was familiar in his surroundings and that the driver’s story was true. We left him then and I dropped my colleague off home. As I drove home, I asked myself, supposing that boy had gotten into the wrong hands, what would happen? What would the parents/guardians say/do? For sure the driver would be in deep dodo, never mind that they were careless with their kid. What if the driver, hard up for cash or whatever actually colluded with kidnappers say or child traffickers, and turned the boy over for a fee? A well, there isn't much I can do now, I believe I have done my little bit.

I was reminded of this incident this morning when I received the
following link in an email from a friend. Its so easy to steal a child, I think its even easier here than abroad. For such a communal community, we have managed to learn to look the other way, and I think this is quite sad. On that Wednesday, people just gathered round to look and everyone went about their business. The lady who was sitting on his right in the theatre just vanished! There is a Yoruba proverb that comes to mind ' Eni keni ti wo ba ni pa lati se iranlowo fun o, ohun na leni keji re toju re' which literarily means whomsoever you have the means to help, help them, they are your neigbour.

03 April 2006

Arsenal 5 0 Aston Villa - Injury Update

It seems Fabregas and Eboue will be making the trip to Turin afterall!

Fabregas and Eboue set to travel to Turin for second leg

The bespectacled I

Okay so it’s official, I need glasses.

Yup, been having headaches for awhile, usually starts in my temples then it moves to the front of my head. I started getting these headaches earlier in the year, once it got so bad I had to go see a doctor who prescribed some migraine type medication. I had been relatively headache free since then, but when I resumed from the census holiday I had a headache every day for a week. PC suggested I go get my eyes tested, but I am so lazy, plus I hate walking in the sun. Anyways headache strikes again this weekend and MMY says I should go get an MRI (imagine) because a headache starting in my temples is not a good sign, maybe I have a tumor or something. I have never met a bigger alarmist than MMY. Thank God he isn't a woman! Well he spooked me sufficiently because I got off my lazy butt, got the slip from the doctor in the clinic in my office then trudged down the Marina (in the sun and I was wearing all black) to the opticians. After much testing and reading, I am diagnosed as short-sighted and slightly astigmatic. Apparently I am getting headaches as a result of the short-sightedness. The cute optician (he has pink lips) suggested I go shopping for a pair of frames I would like. He reckons that if I like my frames, I would always be inspired to wear them, thereby minimizing further damage to my eyes. He said my lenses would be ready in a day, max two once I have picked out a pair of frames. I am not all that excited at the thought of wearing glasses, but I would like to get to the bottom of these headaches, so frame shopping I will go.

02 April 2006

Arsenal 5 0 Aston Villa

Great soccer, fantastic result!!! Nothing like an emphatice win such as this to boost morale as we travel to Turin to bury the 'Old Lady'. Arsene and I are however really worried about the injuries sustained by 'Fabulous Fabregas' and Eboue. It seems however that Campell and Ljunberg will make the trip to Turin (See other injury news here)

Match Report

Fabregas, Eboue injury worries for Arsenal