30 May 2006


I stood squinting in the hot sun as my beloved ju 192 kja was driven off. I had tried all sorts of tactics to delay our parting, but alas!

I sit now smiling as I recall the past 2 and a half years, I remember buying her and driving from Ikeja to the house with the fuel guage on red, driving to work the next day at 5:30 am without plates with MG fretting away (I got the plates at 6:30pm), my first trip to Ibadan, the first box of tissues I got (MG and I have a 'tradition' of buying the first box of tissue for our cars), meeting my mechanic, my fuel pump going kaput on 3rd mainland, the yeye woman that backed into my side at Ogba retail market (I chased and cornered her, gave her the fright of her life!), my swimming incident at Lekki in 2005 (drove into one of those misleading pools of water), buying my manual, buying the clutch assembly (lugged that all the way from the UK), whizzing everywhere and the looks of shock when people pulled up and realised I was a woman, my shooting incident on Lagos-Ibadan, my trip to Benin, my OBC and all the fun I had calculating fuel efficiency, all the friends I made through her ... my eyes are welling up, I MISS MY CAR!!!!!!!!

26 May 2006

Whats in the water?

I stayed late in the office again still trying to do the Smith Interview, omo I tire, I wonder how CMU managed to reach me on the dot of the hour for our interview.  Anyhow, I got a ride from the office to the toll gate from a colleague and then took a bike from there to the estate gate.  It’s a nice cool evening and I am thinking a little walk wouldn’t kill me so I walk.  I am ‘jejely’ strolling along, my jacket in one hand and a very light hand bag in the other (by the way I have discovered the key to decongesting my handbag, take PT!) I walk past this parked Altima and from the corner of my eye I see the driver is following my progress with his eyes.  I slowly count to 5 and I am not disappointed, first his headlights come on, then  a short while after that, the engine.  He does that slow driving thing that guys do then I hear him say something as he pulls alongside me.  I was a member of my house marching team in secondary school, and I can do a mean ‘eye’s forward’!  I was expecting him to drive off, but then he actually stops, I am guessing he decides to stop and call someone he knows for sure would not ignore him like I did.  I carry on with my stroll home.  A couple of feet down the road, another car slows down and the driver says something, like the Johnnie Walker ad, I just keep on stepping.  Yet another couple of feet, a car drives by me and then stops and reverses, what is in the water in this neighborhood?  I am wondering what effect this mysterious substance has on the women, going but what I have observed tonight, I guess it is safe to say we know the effect it has on the guys!  As usual the passenger window comes down and the guy says ‘my neighbor’.  I recognize the voice immediately, it’s the guy who lives above my flat.  ‘Hi’ I say a little upset that I would not get to finish my stroll.  He gives me a ride home and asks why I am not driving my car, am I having some trouble with it?  No I assure him, I have practically sold it, and yes I am planning to buy a new one (liar!)

25 May 2006

Robert Pires - Arsenal Midfielder (2000-2006)

Its official, Pires has signed for Villarreal FC after 6 wonderful years at Highbury. It was great seeing him comeback after that horrific knee injury he sustained in 2002.

So we will not be seeing the ‘Penguin Shuffle’ at Emirates next season, eya! Anyhow, here’s wishing Bobby all the best in Spain.

(Pires celebrating his last goal for Arsenal)

Pires joins Villarreal arsenal.com
Pires signs on at Villarreal soccernet.com
Balanced, twinkle-toed and beautiful to watch arsenal.com
Pires at Arsenal (in pictures) arsenal.com

In related news, Sol Campbell will decide on his future at Arsenal after the World cup, while Ashley Cole has hinted that he might be staying on.

Blogger for MS Word!

I am loving this add-in!  I usually type my posts up in word first, and have often wished I could just publish straight from it once I am done.  Thank you Blogger!

Get the Blogger add-in for MS Word

24 May 2006

Can you imagine?

I stayed at work late yesterday for two reasons, one I had a phone interview with Smith (which didn't hold by the way because the connection was bad) and two I am not to keen on sitting in traffic. I leave the office past 8, only to spend like 30 mins in the very traffic I was avoiding in the first place! And as is typical of Lagos traffic, you just get to a point and everything is free flowing, what caused the build-up? No one knows!!!

I get home (pissed but in one piece) and go about my chores (iron my shirt, fold some laundry, etc.) I think I will have a cup of 'MilFee' (Milo+Nescafe), where is my copy of 'True Love'? Its in the car so I go out and get it. Then I see it - a flat tire! I say a prayer of thanks that first of all the tire made it home, and second I am seeing the flat now as opposed to tomorrow morning when I am all dressed and ready to go. Okay let me get the spare out, yawa, that is flat to! I pick up my mag, go inside the house and settle in for the night I will just take the bus to work in the morning.

Its morning, I am dressed and its off to work via PT, haven't done this in ... can't remember. I take a stroll to my estate gate, from there a bike to 7-Up and then a bus to CMS. From CMS I take another stroll to the office. The ride was quick, the driver had a gospel cd on, and I actually dozed on the way, of course I had a firm grip on my bag. I am thankful that it didn't rain last night or this morning, else the trip would have been hell, I didn't get the seat behind the driver though and my knees hurt a bit after I got off, the walk did me good sha. Now I have to request permission from 'Samanja' so I can leave early and sort out my tire wahala.

I actually think this is a sign to quickly sell the car and move on. I must admit, I am really attached to it. TAM said if I am so in love with it perhaps I should carry it with me when I go, shipping will cost as much as buying a new Honda Accord!

23 May 2006

Latest addition to the Arsenal Family

Interesting, never heard of this guy. He looks good on paper though, will certainly look out for him at the World Cup. Is it me or does he look like Macaulay Culkin?

Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky signs for Arsenal arsenal.com

Czech report: Rosicky set to be a Gunner soccernet.com

I just read this on arsenalnewsreview.com, and incidentally, the first thing that struck me as I read about the signing this morning was his age and how it would be increasing the median age of the current Arsenal team significantly!

Nationalism, Nija Dishes and Parenting

I just got the June edition of True love, and Asa is on the cover (rocking her locks, you go girl!) I haven't read it, all the 'browsers' in my office didn't allow me more than a quick peek before they started sharing tally numbers! However I was able to ascertain that the food section is all Nigerian! Although its been fun reading and cooking (in my head) all the dishes previously highlighted from all over the continent, my nationalistic side reared its head in pride when I saw this months offering. And what gems to feature, puff-puff (my breakfast staple fashy the oil, something will kill you!), Moin-Moin (cooked in leaves), goat meat pepper soup, edikang ikong, okazi and banga yum yum!

This must be the 'Music' issue as they have featured not only Asa, but Lagbaja and they have thrown in Femi Kuti for good measure - he is featured in an article along with two other men on single male parenting. There is a picture of the two of then (Femi and Made) sharing a mic playing the sax. I can bet my car that Made will not grow up habouring resentment against Femi for sending him to his band master to learn to play the sax! But you know the kid might just grow up habouring resentment against Femi for teaching him the sax instead of letting him learn from the band master!! Parenting can be a real slippery slope!!! On the subject of Femi, has anyone heard him talk recently? The other day I was watching MTV Base and an advert came up featuring him talking with a really pronounced yoruba accent. It sounded very strange to me since I have often heard Femi talk and he didn't really have an accent although like his dad he spoke plett of pidgin. Perhaps he is growing into his accent with visibility as Kofi Annan has been doing since he became the SG of the UN.

17 May 2006

Arsenal 1 - 2(3) Barcelona

The thing pain me no be small, not just the loss o, plus all the lunch wey I don bet with my colleagues!!!

My phone has been buzzing since yesterday, I have received all sorts of messages/calls form the sympathetic, to the down right nasty, and the condolence visits? A colleague just left here, he cam all the way from one of our nearby branches to 'ensure that I was able to come to work' Imagine!

I guess we will have better luck next time, I am very proud of the whole team even Almunia. Although with this champaign we lose the cover of being underdogs, we have so many things going for us, next season we might just make it to the finals again and lift the cup.

Match Report soccernet.com

15 May 2006

I love my friends

My phone rings, it’s MG (my girl) checking in, we hadn’t spoken for a couple of days. We chat a bit then she asks me to hold on for MGH (her husband). ‘So you are going to school, I hope you are going with a husband from here?’ Oh no, I haven’t had lunch, please God give me strength! After whats seems like a very long time MG manages to cut in when he has to take another call and she quickly hangs up (bless her sweet heart!) I checked the call timer, my eternity was only 30 min. Alas my torment was not over. I am at the shop in my estate buying Butterfield bread, (it tastes great with mayo.) My phone beeps, its MG ‘There must be some hot gist’ I think as I check the time (its past 6 so calls are free) and pick the call. ‘Are you home?’ (MG is legendary for her promises to drop by!) ‘Yes I am’ ‘Okay we will be with you shortly.’ As I had earlier mentioned I didn’t take her seriously. Lo and behold there she is outside my door, with MGH! Wahala!

So many questions (what is wrong with Egg, why did you split with your ex? How are you paying for school?), threats (you better not marry oyinbo/ireke, you better come back), and worries (all this ‘oyinbo’ thinking is really screwing you up.) A lot of the conversation was devoted to Egg (MGH hooked us up). At some point I wanted to point out that his work as matchmaker was done and he really needn’t bother sweating Egg and I. I suspect he is taking the failure of the hook up personally (I wonder why?) As I watch him pontificating I asked myself is this how my dad would have been? MG spent half the time in her old room looking for stuff that wasn’t missing; I am suspecting she is saving herself for the earful she is sure to endure on the way home! I tried and I hope I succeeded in being a good sport about the whole visit. While I might not think coming to my house and berating me on my single status is in good taste, I guess concern and care will make a person throw perceived etiquette to the wind. LM the nocturnal shows up on Sunday at like 10 pm, also concerned about the timing of my lifestyle sabbatical (graduate school.) You haven’t had luck fishing in the Atlantic, how the heck do you think you will succeed in the little algae filled pond out back?

I love my friends, every single one of them.

12 May 2006

About 100 dead in Lagos pipeline blast

To think PC thought it was a rain cloud!

On the walk in to the office this morning, PC called my attention to a dark portion of the sky. 'looks like rain' he said. It looked more like smoke from a fire to me and I said as much. We walked into our office building and that was that. I found
this on Reuters not to long ago. There has been some sort of fuel shortage in Lagos, and one really can't say if the shortage was created by these vandals or if they tapped into the pipeline as a result of the shortage to make a quick buck. Anyhow people are dead, again!

About 100 dead in Lagos pipeline blast - Red Cross reuters.com

10 May 2006

Lekki Free Trade Zone

It seems the Lagos State Government, probably inspired by Tinapa are finally getting a move on the Lekki FTZ.

It seems the Lagos State Government, probably inspired by Tinapa are finally getting a move on the Lekki FTZ.

First phase of Lekki Free Trade Zone to gulp $267 upi.com

Tinubu Vows to Turn Lekki into Business Paradise thisdayonline.com

Lagos to start work on Free Trade Zone project punchng.com

Yeye MoPol

I was in the elevator going down to the ground floor, let me mention that its almost full. We stop on one of the floors and this MoPol made to enter the elevator. The operator stops him and the MoPol shouts at him 'why can't enter, standing room still dey now?' 'The lift is already carrying its maximum load' the operator replies. The elevator decides it doesn't want to carry such an uncouth man and the doors close. As I am thinking 'where does he think he is, an illegal checkpoint on Lagos/Ibadan expressway', someone in the lift remarks 'he must have forgotten that he is not in the barracks shouting like the animal that he is' we all had a good laugh as we alighted.

The con artist and HIV

We have all heard it before, the sad sob story that always ends with an urgent need for some sum of money.

OD and I are friends. Although we live in the same estate, we became friends by virtue of the fact that we worked on a project together (I made his life hell!) Anyhow in the course of working together, I got to know his office boy who bears a striking resemblance to him (I suspect they are siblings). Sometime last year he came to me with some story of how he owed some call centre guy money for making calls and how that one had now seized his phone pending settlement of the debt. His hot breath is killing me, ‘how much are we talking here’ I gasp ‘N500’ he replies. I give him; it’s a small price to pay to get fresh air. I knew he would be back with a bigger story and I wasn’t disappointed yesterday.

The gist is his ‘small’ girlfriend was pregnant, got an abortion for 3k then a week later she is still bleeding (why am I not surprised), badly enough that she has to tie a towel like a nappy. He takes her to another hospital where he is told that she wasn’t properly evacuated. For 4k they would have done a better job, but now that the shit has hit the fan they will be charging 8k. The doctor refused to treat the girl till he sees cash, and he had to do some heavy toasting (like he is doing now). The long and short of the matter he needs 8k. I am thinking if you can bottle your hot breath and sell it as insect repellant you will make a lot more than 8k. ‘How the hell do you get off having unprotected sex in this day and age?’ I ask, ‘AIDS is real o, no be joke.’ He is obviously not expecting me to say this. ‘Unfortunately I don’t have N8k to give you, I am well and truly broke’ (truly) He looks crestfallen as he asks if I can help him borrow from someone against his salary which comes in on the 25th even if it’s a loan shark. Perhaps this young man isn’t lying afterall. Well it’s a risk I am not really willing to take; I don’t want to mess up my ‘credit history’, and I really don’t have 8k to dash anybody. Besides what if yawa gasses, I think he should face up to his mistakes and tell his bro. ‘You will have to tell you brother’ I tell him. ‘No I can’t, he will never let me live it down’ he replies. Well you should have thought about that when you were ‘singing in the rain’ without a coat! ‘So what are you going to do?’ I ask. ‘The doctor has given me a deadline of Friday to pay, if I can’t get the funds by then I will tell my brother’ good boy. ‘Meanwhile make sure you go see the girl in hospital today, so the doctor knows you are serious and will continue treating the girl’ ‘Thank you’ he says.

Only yesterday, I was chatting with one of the guys in HR on our way up in the elevator. Unfortunately in Nigeria, employers can decide to not offer employment based on your HIV status. Usually the last stage in the recruitment process is a medical test, the results of which you will never know. Of course you are screened for HIV. If you come back negative, that’s it, X them employing you. And they never reveal the result of that particular test to you. If you find out somewhere else, good for you, if not, … you just go on living your life in ignorance, after all what you don’t know won’t hurt you. But it can and will if you don’t take action ASAP. I don't know what I am expecting Nigerian employers to do. Its not like you can force an HIV positive person to adopt a responsible lifestyle, indeed while in secondary school, the sentiment was if a person found out their HIV status was positive ‘Won ma mu town ni’ (hit town and take as many people as they can with them) I wonder what the sentiment is now among the 12-17 age bracket. I mean with the proper education, medication and lifestyle you don’t have to die immediately, you can live a normal life, attain life expectancy age even and help contain this disease and keep it from spreading.

I am told ARV’s are free in Nigeria, and there are an abundance of NGO’s who have collected foreign funding to carry out counseling, screen and distribution of AVR’s, so why are young people in particular in this country still doing stupid things like having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and having abortions in questionable facilities? I really don’t know. A lot of adverts are on TV and radio now about AIDS/HIV awareness, targeting the youth. I have seen/heard ads featuring RuggedMan, Stella Damasus Aboderin, Sound Sultan, and Richard Mofe-Damijo. On MTV Base, every other advert is about HIV/AIDS. HIV screening is a big deal here. When I did my medical tests pursuant to being employed at my bank, I tipped the lab technician who took my blood sample and gave him my phone number so he could inform me on my HIV status once the results were in. He was very nice (even if he did prove to be a bit of a pest), he actually made a copy of the whole medical test for me to peruse. In the case of HIV/AIDS, what you don't know will hurt your HIV status I beleive is your concern and that of your community. While I don't expect a person to carry a banner saying they are HIV positive, I do expect them to be responsible enough to know their status and help contain the spread of HIV

09 May 2006

Hair Issues

The last time I combed my hair was 26th of Nov 2005, yesterday was the 9th of May so that’s 6 months and 20 days. I guess I tried, that’s the length of time I got away with my natchy curls. Today I was asked to either comb my hair or get a wig by one of the ED’s. I kept an emotionless face as I listened to him tell me he could say this because 'we are in Nigeria not the UK or US' (where I could have sued his ass). 'This is a corporate environment, and we need to be conservative in our dress' he said. f you were a musician now that is a different case.' I am not a banker I wanted to scream I am an IT geek, you should be happy I take a bath and I don't have wild animals poking out of my hair! Of course I am not combing my hair, as a sharp girl though I will be going wig hunting this weekend!

I was really thinking I was going to get away with it. I start vacation in about 3 weeks hopefully; I will just try to survive till then. But you know how it is, Murphy’s law will always kick in and now everywhere I go I am sure to bump into that guy even though his office is 5 floors above mine. The funny thing is the day before yesterday; I bumped into two very senior officers in my bank as I left the staff canteen with my colleague. AGF hadn’t seen me in a very long time (6 months), while TIO sees me like once a day. AGF commented on my hair, and whispered to TIO that I looked like a mad person. Of course I heard him and he and asked that I not be offended. I wasn’t and told him of the time I was walking to work from the car park and met a real mad man who looked at me and seemed to think crossing the road was a good idea!
I saw TIO today like 30 mins before seeing the ED and he was actually apologizing for AGF the day before. We had a long talk about the conservative people in the bank and all of that and ended on the note that we would go out for drinks with him in a polyester suit and a wig to complement my hair!

Note:This has got to be a sign, India.Arie just came up on MTVBase with ‘I am not my hair’

08 May 2006

3rd Term Issues and an Obasanjo Exclusive

I am wondering if there is a copy anywhere of the proposed amendments to the constitution for civilians like us to read. I am suspecting that there is more to the whole constitutional amendment thing than the 3rd Term issue. I was on the phone with a friend over the weekend and he was like we seem to be more concerned with treating the symptoms rather than the disease. While I agree with him on the fact that we really need to pay more attention to the amendment to the constitution as whole, I think I agree with PC when he says the whole amendment thing can’t happen. For the proposed amendments to pass as law, a 2/3rds majority is required in both senate and house of reps as well as in the state houses.

Embroiled in a discussion on the 3rd term thing on Friday with two of my colleagues I could understand the argument of one of them, an Ijaw guy who says leave the Houses to amend the constitution and let the voters decide. Unfortunately this is Nigeria, not the US; the voters are yet to decide anything in a poll in this country and I don’t think that is about to change now. My concerns are about the very bad precedent this will set, a sitting administration amending the constitution without following due process. What will stop some future president appointing his/her favorite dog (four legged animal as opposed to best human friend) as Minister of Finance like Caligula was reported to have done with his favorite stallion? My other colleague praises me on my insight (), he is Hausa and is thinking along the tribal lines having mistaken the PDP policy for rotational presidency as a constitutional stipulation. Me I don’t give a damn if Carly Fioriani was president of Nigeria, as long as she gets the job done, and I really don’t see what any of the visible Hausa presidential candidates have to offer us. I think the worst of the lot though is Atiku who is like the python who has as swallowed an elephant and is now sitting duck for anyone who comes across him (notably Baba Iyabo if he gets to serve a 3rd term)
The other day I saw a senator on TV foaming at the mouth on the 3rd term issue. This display came a day after I watched the legislators slug it out in the house on the first reading of the bill to allow governors seek a 3rd term in office. I am unimpressed. The Nigerian politician is of a rare breed. Ideally the politician is in office to serve the electorate. The Nigerian politician obviously operates on a totally different mandate, using the electorate to get in pole position to serve his own needs. If he accomplishes anything that serves the public good, be sure it was by accident not design. Most of the anti 3rd term campaigners are against the 3rd term (not the amendment as a whole) because term extension will distort their carefully laid out plans. The public office holders in the group are against it more because it will delay their probable arrival at the government house (or Aso Rock Villa as the case may be) than any mandate they might have received from their constituencies. Civilians in the group are against it because term extension will delay the installment of their ‘person’ in the government house/Aso Rock Villa thereby prolonging their enrollment in the ‘wealth creation’ program for at least another 4 years. We are such a selfless people!

According to the papers this morning, the 3rd term campaigners might need to put plan B into action this is assuming that like good boy scouts they are prepared for all scenarios. People don chop, clean mouth. According to the Vanguard Newspaper, N50M was offered to each senator to facilitate a smooth passing of the amendment bill. The paper didn’t say if the senators took up the offer and even if they did I can bet nobody signed a receipt form! I had heard last week that some party was held by a 3rd campaigner and money was shared. However those who collected money still voted against the bill. You have got to love the Nigerian politician!

N50m bribe rocks anti-third term camp * Bugaje fingers SSA from S-East as point man vanguardngr.com

On a related note, there is this gem of an interview by 'Obasanjo' on the back page of ThisDay.

Exclusive: Why I Want Third Term thisdayonline.com

Time 100 is here again.

The Time 100 special issue is here again, and I find myself asking the same question as Joel Stein asked himself; how did this 100 people affect my life in the past year? Like him I am thinking of putting together my own list of 100 influential people for the past year. Perhaps I should just stick with the Time list, I barely know 100 people and I am thinking finding 100 people who influenced me in the last year would be difficult heck the last 30 years!

I see Archbishop Peter Akinola made the list for his stance against ordaining gay bishops in the Episcopal Church in the US, Chen Guangcheng (whose whereabouts are currently unknown) for helping the women of Shandong province fight against the forced abortion and sterilization campaign against them, Mukhtaran Bibi for insisting on getting justice for the crime of violence and gender apartheid against women in Pakistan, Ian Fishback for whistle blowing (Coleen Rowley another famous whistle blower wrote about him), Jimmy Wales ‘Mr Wikipedia’, John Jones, for delivering the verdict in favour of Darwin in the Intelligent Design case, Jim Hansen and Al Gore, the ‘Weather Men’, as well as Jim Yong Kim for his work in trying to bring affordable treatment to AIDS victims in developing countries. Of course there are the usual suspects, George W Bush (guess what he is in there for), Bill Clinton (with Bush Snr) on the fund raising for Tsunami and Katrina victims, Bill Gates (with Mrs Gates) for giving back so much (they are currently providing a 3rd of the capital required to fund malaria research) I think this is really ‘big’ of them, considering that malaria is prevalent in the very places where they are being robbed blind (show me someone who buys original Microsoft products in Nigeria for example), Condoleeza Rice for reinvigorating US policy although her husbands’ (oops!) boss’ war in Iraq seems to be messing up the good job she has done. I was impressed to see that two bloggers also made the list, Arianna Huffington (
huffingtonpost.com) and Matt Drudge (drudgereport.com). Among the contributors I was surprised to find Tom Cruise who wrote about J.J. Abrams. Like the Editor, I am wondering when he found the time to write it. I am thinking his inspiration came from the fact that like him the love of JJ’s life is named Katie.

Time 100 (2006 Edition)

Meet the Other 100 by Joel Stein

Weekend Runs - The after wedding party

I am really proud of myself, I tied my Haze type gele in a record 5 mins, in the dark okay by candle light! My Girl and her husband pick me up about 8:30 pm and I am thinking so what exactly are the hours for a night party these days? When I was younger, night parties didn’t end till 4-5 AM, and they typically started late, say 10 PM. I guess with the increased audacity of robbers (they have been known to hold up a whole party, making off with a fortune in jewelry and crisp Naira notes), night parties don’t hold overnight anymore, this one was supposed to start for 7 PM so I am guessing by 1 AM max 2 AM everything should be over.

We get to the venue and the parking lot is packed to the brim. There where policemen everywhere you looked and I tried to be comforted by their presence. We wait to hook up with Goldie and her husband, and then we all go in to the party. The band is playing and we get great seats; one of the tables lining the dance floor. It is afterall a show, one must ensure one can see! Our table is opposite an intricate stack of speakers, and I could feel my gele (headtie) vibrating. I am confident it wouldn’t unravel though, I had pinned all ‘pinables’. No sooner are we seated that the ‘paparazzi’ arrive. I use the word do describe the photographers that are at every party taking ‘wait and get’ pictures. They take your picture and then a couple of hours later you get your print. Of course these guys are shooting with film. The trend now apparently is to shoot with digital. With a digital shot, the wait to get your print is minutes as opposed to hours. Also you are spared having to pay for nasty pictures because you can view the picture before they actually print it. I cover my face to avoid being photographed; I have enough party shots of myself at home. I look around and there are beautifully dressed women everywhere. The ‘aso-ebi’ was a nice cream-colored organza lace with chocolate brown and gold gele (not damask or aso-oke, Haze type gele). For a jewelry enthusiast such as my self this place was overflowing with eye candy, all kinds of lovely pieces. From a security point of view, I am thinking a lot of what was on display must be costume jewelry, then I remind myself, this is Lagos, it might all be real. A lot of what was on display was metal, a lot of which was yellow. I am guessing this is to facilitate maximum dazzle effect, since it was nighttime. I had asked My Girl who was playing and she had assured me it was not Sunny. As I wondered whom the performer was, she appeared on stage bearing a strong resemblance to Eucharia something or the other (Nollywood actress with flawless complection and chinese eyes). She is standing as still as a rock as she sings in an alto voice. I am like na wa for this very lively performer o. As if she heard me she sprang into action with her backup singers. She is shaking her waist with a lot of enthusiasm while her buttocks are moving like they have a life of their own. I am transfixed as I wonder if this isn’t a little too vulgar. The floorshow goes on for another 15 mins and then the couple arrives and takes the floor.

Everyone springs forth to spray them with crisp currency notes (Naira, Pounds, Euro, Dollars, etc) as they dance. After about 15 mins of dancing, the couple breaks to go round and say hello to everyone who had come out to honor them with their presence. The MC takes the stand, thanks everyone for coming and then announces that the groom’s parents will now dance. Apparently this is what happens, the dances are called, so you know at anytime who is on the dance floor. I was touched as I watched the grooms father spray his very lovely wife. I noticed that with each group the couple also danced with them. Poor things. All of a sudden I see something. It’s a bird it’s a plane its its ... Jane having a bad day!? I blink repeatedly I had been drinking wine, and I wasn’t convinced I had consumed enough for me to be seeing things. I nudge My Girl and judging from the grunt she gave as she looked in the direction I nudged her I could tell I wasn’t seeing things. First off I must commend the woman on her ingenuity with the fabric she chose to make her outfit with. That said it appeared her sense of style was on terminal vacation. She had on an outfit made from chocolate brown/blue Ankara. The blouse was a bell-sleeved tunic made from some black material and unto which was sewed petal/leaves cut out of the Ankara material. The petals/leaves weren’t sewed on like appliqué, it was more like the petals/leaves where growing out of the tunic. The skirt was of the fishtail variety and made completely from the Ankara fabric. I think the petal/leaves growing out of the fabric theme continued here, I am not really sure. She had on a white and yellow metal chocker, in a design I had seen before. I say metal because I am not sure if it was real or costume. To top of her outfit she has on a chocolate brown and gold gele. She looked like she swung into the party on a vine; I wished I had a camera with me to capture this … apparition for posterity’s sake. I had to applaud her though; she walked around the party like she was hosting it, dancing away with reckless abandon on the dance floor. I was thoroughly entertained watching her, looking around a lot of the people at the party shared the same sentiment. Perhaps I should suggest to the hostess of the party that she be paid for the time she put in. She provided entertainment for a large majority of us. At about 1 AM I look behind me and the hall is half full, people are leaving. My party and I decide to leave also and it is a quick dash down 3rd mainland for us while Goldie heads off to Lekki. As My Girl drives into the estate to drop me off (her husband was feeling sleepy so she drove) power comes back on, perfect timing. I get home admire myself one more time in the mirror and then I get ready for bed. As I struggle to keep my eyes open (I am that tired) I call My Girl and Goldie and I am glad to hear everyone got home okay. Lights out!

Weekend Runs

So the Suns beat the Lakers. I don’t normally follow basketball, but STV have left me no choice. I have got the NBA playoffs coming out of my ears!

I attended a night party this weekend; I can’t remember the last time I attended one, possibly 2002! It was the after party for the wedding I had earlier mentioned. My initial plan was to get to the church just as the pictures were being taken, say hello to everyone and leave. Alas there was some traffic getting to Yaba, and as I arrived at the church, I saw people driving off. It was a real circus and I am thinking I am all decked up, somebody has to see me so I head of to the reception. I get in early (which is a good thing) and reserve a whole table for myself and my peeps (Me, My Girl and her husband, Goldie and her husband and any other hangers on). I look around and its like the pages of City People and Ovation had come alive, everybody who was anybody was there, atleast the women. I whiled away the time waiting on my party to arrive playing ‘spot the celebrity’. I spot Uncle S coming in and go over to say hello. We joke about always seeming to meet at weddings. My peeps where really taking their time arriving for the reception and inevitably I lost 3 of the seats I was keeping. Finally I see my party, My Girl looks great, I haven’t seen her since her wedding in February. It’s a nice reception, although the chairman’s toast or whatever its called was a bit long-winded. I am gossiping with My Girl when I here someone say ‘Hello Miss Alaja’ I look behind me and its good looking elderly man ‘this man must be friends with my mum’ I think as I respond like the well brought up Yoruba girl that I am. ‘I was in school with your dad’ he said. Hmmm… I like meeting friends of my dad. I have since given up trying to like create a realistic picture of him, you know how people have nothing but good things to say about the departed and I am like no way this guy could have been this perfect. Anyhow, we chat a little and he asks after my mum and all that. As he is about to leave, he takes a long look at me and shakes his head. I know why he did that; I bear a strong resemblance to my dad. People who knew him have addressed me straight away as Miss Alaja as they literarily stopped me in the street. I smile as I take my seat. Apparently one of the 3 people whom I lost the seats to knew my Grand-dad, (eavesdropper) she worked with him in Ibadan (thank God I wasn’t rude about the whole commandeering of the seats thing) and we spend sometime chatting.

‘O de wa fun night party ti awon oko fe she?’ (Why don’t you come for the night party the groom’s family will be throwing?) asks My Girl. Hmmm… My area is now on a new PHCN load shedding schedule. This means that I don’t have power in the late evening. Plus I have some grey/silver accessories I have been dying to wear out at night. So I am like sure, clear with your oga first if its okay to give me a ride to the party. It’s okay so we are good to go.

07 May 2006

Farewell to Highbury

With a 4-2 victory over Wigan Athletic, Arsenal bids farewell to Highbury. Henry scored his last hat trick at Highbury, hopefully not his last hat trick for Arsenal.

I had blogged earlier about the race for a 4th place finish in the Premiership, and in a strange turn of events (food poisoning which floored practically all the first team players), Spurs lost 2-1 to West Ham ensuring a 5th place finish for them and a 4th place finsh for us.

I saw my boy TAM on saturday and he was too happy to inform me that he was making the trip out to Stade de France for the CL final. I am as green as a bottle of Heineken! He has promised to bring back pictures like that is supposed to make me feel better. I must remember to call and tell him to please go do some spiritual consultation, check on his mojo. His presence at the match had better not jinx us o!

Highbury Farewell Arsenal.com

Match Report Arsenal 4 - 2 Wigan Athletic Arsenal.com

Match Report Arsenal 4 - 2 Wigan Athletic Soccernet.com

Spurs Sickened at the last Soccernet.com

05 May 2006

Song of the week

For some reason, this song has been on replay on my Mp3 player. Its by The Brand New Heavies and its called 'You are the Universe'. Unfortunately I can't post the song, but enjoy the lyrics

You're the future, and you've come for what is yours
The hidden treasure, locked behind the hidden doors
And the promise of a day that's shiny new
Only a dreamer, could afford this point of view
But you're a driver, not a passenger in life
And if you're ready, you won't have to try 'cause

You are the Universe
And there ain't nothin' you can't doI
f you conceive it, you can achieve it
That's why, I believe in you, yes I do

You're a winner, so do what you came here for
The secret weapon, isn't secret anymore
You're a driver, never passenger in life
And when you're ready, you won't have to try 'cause

You are the Universe
And there ain't nothin' you can't do
If you conceive it, you can achieve it
That's why, I believe in you, yes I do

You are the Universe
And there ain't nothin' you can't be
If you conceive it, you can achieve it
That's why, I believe in you, and I believe in me
(Yes I do

Believe in you
I do)

You're a driver, not a passenger in life
And when you're ready, you won't have to try 'cause

You are the Universe...

02 May 2006

Losses and Germany 2006

Seeing a copy of ‘Complete Sports’ Saturday got me wondering – What is the monetary cost of our not going to the world cup for sports journalists, publishers, radio stations, TV stations, corporate sponsors, etc. We are surprisingly very coherent, patriotic and united as a nation once soccer is involved. For that reason I guess in the build up towards any competition we just can’t seem to get enough of the sport (our enthusiasm in 1994 helped launch Larry Izamuche/Echijele (spelling!!!)) Any business man worthy of the name cannot but capitalize on our enthusiasm. By now we would be suffering information overload, the sports papers would be going to press 3 times a day at least, radio and TV stations would be hosting all sorts of programs, every sports person worth their onions would be featured at least once a day on the different media spewing forth on why they think a particular player should make camp, why another shouldn’t, why we need a foreign coach, an indigenous coach, etc. Of course all our matches would have been played again and again even before the competition starts, with results hotly debated in the beer palour, pepper soup joint, during lunch break, in the bus, during church service, on the way to jumat, on the phone via email, everywhere! Companies would be having all kinds of promos, everyone will be guarding jealously their Coke/Fanta/Sprite bottle caps (Coca-Cola does have a promo on), Milo/Bournvita foil seals, etc.

The spouses will also miss out, how wives and girlfriends love football season. Never has it been so easy to monitor a guy, no need to waste your precious credit trying to track him down. One look at the World Cup time-table and you can confidently tell anyone where exactly he will be – home, sports bar, best mates place, or office canteen. Of course the generator would be in perfect working order and there will be a regular supply of diesel/petrol so you don’t need to miss any of your favorite programs on DSTV, (to ensure nothing disturbs his viewing pleasure he has upgraded to the dual-view decoder!)

My Bus Ride

I was really looking forward to a three day weekend, then I had to receive summons to a meeting 10 AM on Monday!!! Why are people like this?

So its Saturday and I am looking forward to not leaving the house. Okay coffee? Check. Crackers? Check. Work files? Drat! Left the of work files I burned in my machine in the office!!! I feel like a real genius. So I have to go out after all, the project is due first thing on Tuesday. Gosh I don’t feel much like driving today (that’s really weird) Why not take the bus? All of a sudden I can’t wait to leave the house. I don’t think I have been on a bus in two years! Okay I cheat a little by calling my boy E who I was sure would be coming in my direction today. He was and promised to come give me a lift out to 7-Up bus-stop.

The bus-stop is not as crowded as I thought it would be and soon enough a bus rolls up, the conductor shouting out ‘obalende-cms’ I hop in as he shouts ‘wole pelu change e’ (enter with your change). I have a N500 bill but I am not worried, they always profess not to have change. I wonder how much the fare is from 7-Up to CMS (its really been that long!) Although the bus was empty when it rolled up, I was unable to secure one of the two seats up front with the driver (I am hustle rusty), I was able to get the next best one though; in the row immediately behind the driver. It is advisable to avoid the seat right next to the window because depending on the bus you might have to spend the whole journey leaning towards the right in order to accommodate your head! To my right is a tall slim man and my left another slim man. Good, we will not have to endure the trip cramped like sardines. As the conductor continues to stress the need to get on with exact change, I observe the guy on my right bring out a book and start reading. Gosh I envy him. I can’t read in a moving vehicle, which I think is a shame, what a waste of all that time! PC can and he actually does take the bus to and from work atimes so he can catch extra ‘zzz’s’ on his way in in the morning and catch up on his reading on his way home in the evenings. As we prepare to pull out of the ‘park’ the guy to my right buys ‘Complete Sports’ I sneak a peak at the headlines and it says Mikel Obi’s name is on the Chelsea FC list for the 2006/07 campaign. ‘Is there no one in this boy’s family who can advice this young man?’ I realized I must have spoken out loud (really loud to be audible over the ‘quiet rumblings’ of the bus’ engine) when the buyer of the paper replied ‘I wonder o’ and so Chris and I started talking. I learned his name as he was about to get off at his stop which was just at the foot of 3rd mainland) He is obviously a Mourinho fan (not a good sign) and he is rooting for Barca to win the CL (‘X’ this guy!). As he introduced himself in preparation to get off at his stop he asked for my name and number. ‘My name is Funke and you won’t believe this I don’t carry a mobile phone!’ Of course he doesn’t believe me but he can hardly argue, the conductor is giving him the ‘I can’t believe you are toasting a babe on my time’ look. The rest of the trip was uneventful. As we get to Onikan roundabout, I wished I had brought a bowl so I could buy breakfast (rice, plantain, beans and moin-moin) at ‘Ghana High’. I get to CMS and I know the conductor owes me change, but I am not sure how much. He had given me N400 not long after we left the bus-stop and I am not sure if the trip was N60 or N80. ‘Change me da?’ I ask him as he pretends not to know he still owes me change. ‘Se e ni N10?’ (DO you have N10?) he asks me. I give him the N10 and he hands over a N50 note. Okay so the trip costs N60.

Once at the office I decide to complete my task and leave the office say for say 3. The trip back was on a Toyota Coaster bus and I got the seat up front with the driver (Yay!). Thankfully it was an uneventful trip although I couldn’t help but notice all the cars overtaking us, at one point I was afraid we were driving in reverse! Two okada rides later I was home. It wasn’t such a bad day after all.