Saturday 14 April 2007

An evening of charity

I have done one of the things i never thought i would in my life...
I went to one of the charities that are tailor made for know one of theose ones that advertise the starving children with the thin dry thighs, flies in their mouths and eyes, famine-cracked dry soil, robust vultures and the like of that, charities concerned wiith hunger in africa, aids in africa, war in the continent.
The reason for that thinking?.......that none of those events that are stemmed in western patronising attitudes had any kind of effect on the many african issues that they were not entirely innocent of their causes in the first place.
I would imagine a bunch of western imperialist tut-tutting in their straw hats and mini sandwiches over how "cute", "innocent looking", "really loving life " the African children a way that suggests that they are surprised that african children might be similar to white offsprings in the first place.
It takes a bit sometimes to take a look at how bigotted one does not realise one is.....
But I digress....anyways I went to the charity event of the
Food for hunger, a New York collaboration between bourgeoise resturants and international designers to host a food tasting event, with fashion show and auction at the end of it to raise money, in addition to the ticketing takings.....
So when someone had offered me free tickets to a fund raising charity event, shamlessly i went anyway, to do my part for the continent.....
LOADS of people showed up, cold april weather or not....awoof apparently knows no colour or gender...
In a huge TV screen, greeting me right after the coat check were those same old images of Africa as defined unoriginally as ....flies, kids, and more flies...tried and everytime
I get in there aand everything is spiffy, art types and lovers of them, models, photographers..all in the room swilring around once again high culture...
The food is amazing and plentiful, red wine is in the house and im happy.
In spite of this I cant help but feel out of sorts, here we are in a cool swanky hall, food, music and even potential couplings...and the skeptic in me wants to keep asking......
Are we doing anything? making the potential difference to the problems of Africa?
Im on the other side now...that part of the fence that had the people who were formerly the targets of my scorn...we wined and dined and made ourselves believe that by merely putting our dollars in a pot for some trite memento, we would be able to sleep easy. (I got an orginal rolled havana cigar, rolled apparently by a famous afficionado who flew in to attend from Cuba. Its still on my dresser, it gives me pleasure just to even LOOK at it)
But there was one thing that i didnt prepare for learning that night, a lesson in spite of myself.
Do-gooders alwayd get bad rap right? and that is because we, the others never are able to see beyond their awkward attempts to do what they consider is the right thing, frankly because its more fun really to laugh at those fumblings than give credit.
sure there were those people who came for the food, photo-op opportunities and shmalzing with the quasi-famous.
But there were other people who came with the fabled heart of gold, who just were looking for the right place to fulfil their calling.
They came to the people like me in the audience, asked questions , wanted to know beyond whats was superficially served as the definition of the circumstances of Africa.
I felt my myself, in spite of myself, thawing to gestures like that, and deciding not to look their gift horse in the mouth any more.
The real charity of the evening, was not in the money, but the giving of the spirit that some of the participants showed that evening.
So the next time there is a charity ball, i shall put that cynical imp inside me to sleep, wear a dress, shave my legs and go and have over-priced food, and hope one of the miracles of the evening will be that a heart that is ready, will meet a cause that is true.
The cause for which we were gathered can be seen here....

Monday 2 April 2007

It's still there, my people

The 200 year celebration of the slavery abolition was celebrated about last week everywhere, England held a memorial mass, everywhere else we shed tears....
I was unmoved..who still cares about stuff like that? we have moved from that point as a people, as a world, i said..... we should look at the entire episode as a huge mistake, a blot in the tapestry of our collective experience of the world and only those who had a problem with moving on should remain there....
Well, I was wrong..... I guess the biggest suprise for me shouldnt be that people still have racist views, which naturally can be traced directly to prevalent ideology that allowed the slavery to persist on that scale, for that long anyway....
The terse public stand on views that promote racism still is frowned at in, in official quaters anyway, so I guess that was why I was shocked while watching the TV one night, that a channel as professional as the C-SPAN would allow a hair-ball like a Brian Lamb..otherwise a competent host to display such shameless patrronising when talking to author Ishmeal Beah.
more about him can be found here........
For anyone to have lived the kind of life that Ishameal has, and to still be here, all bones and otherwise in place to still tell the tale is something that any human should consider nothing less than absolutely miraculous and nearly surreal....
But not to Mr Lamb, no sir...he pummelled into the incredibly intelligent, astute, present best-selling author Ishamel with kindergaten-like questions....
"what will you do with the money from the book" buy bananas..plenty...and eat them all..
"How did you remember all the things that happened to you in the war?" my kodak digital camera,..... and thank good ness for mobile blogging in the sierra-leone jungle in the '90s....
"how many people would you say you killed?" well after the two thousandth notch on the tree, I gave up counting.....
When he learns that an African school boy discovered and developed a love for shakespeare, and american hip-hop......his suprise is not from a nice place of healthy wonder.....
And the incredible, even for a inpet interviwer like Lamb...coup-de-resistance :" where is your country, sierra-leone?" just off dont need a visa there if you are american...
When will people like this learn, get over it Brian....and the likes of him...its people are free now...thinking they are less intelligent so that it made it easier to sell them, is a defese mechanism that is no longer necessary.....
Im hoping mad..but you know what...dont take my word for it...see for yourself

Wednesday 28 March 2007

Law and ORDER!!!!!!!!

Are we looking for trouble if we allow the murder of Oluwatoyin Oluwaseesin to go unprosecuted?
I think we are......
That is the oluwatoyin that does the unpopular going to work in another state that is far away form her home, family and constituency? ( im still trying to dodge any kind of NYSC that is farther than 200 naira bus fare to my mummy's laps)
Who as a teacher rightly should, refused to allow examination malpractice, and then was stabbed, stripped and burnt, by her students?
Im so looking forward to the day when the government or judicary will be able to make decisions in Nigeria without nervously biting nails over not wanting to look sectarian, tribal, or favoring some politico-religious grouping over the other.......
This woman is a citizen of Nigeria, and no one has been investigated, charged, invited, queried or called to any kind of order over her?.... But what am i saying? this is naija now?
If this is what it has come to... stop the world..i want to get off

Tuesday 20 March 2007

maybe next time ill try venus

ok, so i know i was being cheap....
but since I have not received any gladdening phone call from my family just yet this week, I can only speculate about the state/ or existence of my allowance, and in the mean time, watch my purse strings....
So they say spring is officially here and we have to have smooth legs....being that there was no way i was going to splurge for a manhattan leg wax, i attacked my pins in the bathroom, with BIC disposable shaver and olay body wash....
It was okay for 2 days and I was still "feeling cool" with myself, i got this spring nicked (without nicking myself in the process)....
Well. this morning woke up to find the entire front of my thighs covered in itchy bumps....(not cool at all).
I took a picture, and was going to put it up (for only the un-squeamish)......
but on second thoughts....naahhhhh......ill figure out how to air-brush cellulite, and get back to you on that one

ill huff, and puff, a la Mr Mabiakwu.....

Ok, this is very late, I know...but has anyone out there watching the M-net Idols laughed at Dede Madiaku- "Cowell"?
At the village square again was a recent atricle by someone who said that, more or less, we should delight in our nature as Nigerians, those attributes of loudness, verbosity, and belligerence, even when in simple conversations or honest discourse...this he said, is what makes us Nigerians, and to ice the fruit-cake (yes, you Mr author..I mean all my puns), this is what he misses most about being in the west, the west of colourless arguements and pale modulated tones.
Im starting this way because I anticipate a lot of people would riposte that the comparison of a "westerner" to a "Nigerian" judge is flawed, so lets kill that one right there, shall we?
Firstly, of all the judges on the panel, Dede's credentials are the ones that I personally would hold to least examination as anyone would rightly surmise, award-winning brother has been around for quite a bit...stage, TV, writer, performer etc.
I have no idea who the Nana Lady is, (probaby my own ommision, mind)and apart from the fact that a radio personality would have a huge catalogue of trends in commercial music, I would not have voted Mr. Foster to be the best picks of musical talent appraisal either...but moving on from this point.....Let pick on some well refined high-points of Mr. Mabiakwu so far....
"West-life? west-life did the song "I have a dream? I put it to you that you are a liar!" "that song was done by ABBA!" the harangued contestant, obviously confused, now questioning her sanity, and began imagining that the boot legged compilation she mimed to practise to, exists in her bedroom drawer, only in a parallel universe.
The shoe, however, was on the other foot when it was whispered to Dede that Westlife had indeed done a cover on the ABBA song of contention.
"How tall are you? I can tell you that your height is exactly the height of your stupidity!" to a rather gangly hopeful who did lack singing talent, leaving poor Dan and Nana, to cringe uncomfortably, and try to dilute tensions with palliatives aimed at both parties
His golden, (even if I can understand since I am mad too) outburst at the poor kid who thought he could catapualt himself, sans trousers, into the stratosphere of fame, via Fela's underpants...,
and his shameful mockery of the contestants by taunting them to render "I believe I can fly"..although I nearly forgave him when I burst my seams as one of the contestants told us that "I believe I can FRY......",
It has been more entertaining to watch Dede's puerile attempts at impersonal, standard crticisms than the intended unravelling of the contestants themselves.
In fact I think its a good thing he has a big mouth, because how else would be be able to judge a show like Mnet Idols with both of his feet firmly tucked in it?

Tuesday 13 March 2007

Ori-ade mi Ayinke

At a recent post on the Nigeria Village Square website, I saw an article called "letter to my son, age minus six months", and It thought to's a thought.....I have always wished If I could to be able to talk to my children unborn too...What would be the first thing I would tell them? well...her, since Im convinced that I shall first "bring forth a girl"?
Ok...anyway, here goes......
Ayinke mi, welcome....there must be a reason why God chose of all people, this woman for you to have come through, ....Did you peep over the clouds, chubby and gurgling innocent, given the option to pick from a couple of people who were walking about in the lagos sun, and you had gurgled..that one..? how did you decide to pick me? Is that how it went?
Ayinke, the reason why I talking to you today is that i have been thinking and im worried.
To contemplete what a huge responsibilty it will be to nurture your mind and attempt give you the first couple of pages of your beliefs, is a job that has been fazing me for quite a bit now.
what an enormous responsibility it shall be to raise you, to know your own mind.
It has become a harder world to live in, and not just becasue of wars and pestilences, the biggest problem for me as a citizen of the world pro-apoclaypse has been the ability to decide, once and for all, who I am, and what I stand for, and Im afraid Ayinke, that the way things are going, you might very well inherit, hooks and all, all the facets of my ambivalence...
i shall always bite my nails, with tears in my eyes, as i watch you walk the fine line, hesitant between bigotry and belief, turn back to me and ask....
" Mummy, If Im taught that homosexuality is a sin, how come its the only one that we are now saying the people dont have to judge? We dont leave it to God to judge stealing right?, or isnt it a sin?" well the thing comes to a matter of self-will and choice, and besides, you know you have to keep this kind of argument only inside this house, right?
It will remind me of my own the left, and then to the right......
"How come all the money being given by foreigners to African countries is not working?" economics and dynamics, trade-pull power.....emmm...they will teach you in school
"How come the Isrealites were allowed to kill their enemies in the bible, but complain when it is done to them?" Isrealites killed enemies of GOD, remember that..they didnt do it for themselves, they possessed their lands because God told them to, grudgingly, they accepted...
"How come the Pastor uses genocides in the bible to preach like it was good" It was good then because God allowed it to happen, for the ones that he didnt sanction, there eventually has to be a signed global recognition and apology for... "
What does the pastor mean when he says that we should be end-time Isrealites? I thought we were yoruba, why would God choose only only race to be his people, how can we still be all His children?....Ok, keep talking, and its going to be the back-seats of the church for you. young lady?
How can I be a christian mummy and still belive that God allows pro-choice?" Gasp....God does not allow pro-choice, he only allows choice.....the only people that are allowed to change their positions like that are christian politicians, never forget that point!
"How can you give me contraceptives, and say you hope i will not use it outside marriage, and that Im not having sex yet?" Im covering all angles, while hoping that you are covering EVERYTHING........and
"How can you tell me to abstain, when you didnt" I see you have been reading mummy's high-school scrap book again...its not nice to pry into people's private stuff
"Why do people say it not that simple, when I say that countries that produce a lot of food, should simple GIVE the surplus to others that dont have so much?" It makes it easier for them to sleep at night
"Is it true that you are supposed to love me no matter what" yes....thats the general job description, but you'll be a dear and make my job less difficult wont you? there's a dear

P.S: If you have any inside information on who your father will be , could you be so kind to send me an UNEQUIVOCAL sign when I meet him, ...thank you dear...

Tuesday 27 February 2007


I have to talk about the art exhibtion I went to on saturday.
Lets take this same saturday to be the first day that I started this blog. ...........garrghh!!!!!
I had wanted not to make any big deal about starting it my blog finaaaaally...hence you might notice the first post did not have any introductory knowing-me-knowing-you's ,
Didnt want to jinx anything by drawing attention to THE BEGINNING.....anyways, much too late now.....
This exhibition being my first deliberate attempts at experiencing the metropolitan angle of the art scene, I blackmailed my poor cousin out of her obviously stretched-to-the-limit schedule to "take me out for fun" or else........
so she found this art show, whose only appeal at the time was the half price fee for students....It sounded better than nothing, so we bundled up and went.
Now there are two things I hate:
1. I hate walking fast
2. I hate the cold
naturally, I should hate walking fast in the cold.....which I did...possibly twice as much as the vector of the two combined.
when we got to the place, the scowl on my face was geniuine, but I suppose it rivalled the one on the faces of the various artists that had already littered the place...probably theirs was just the pained effort of having to inhabit the same atmosphere with other beings that didn't quite "grasp the underpinings of the subliminal message" who didnt know, much less know how "to challenge the status quo in neo-modernism" etc. etc.....
Once upon a time, i thought the tortured souls and dark circles under the eyes of any creative artist to be the sexiest thing in the world....(perhaps part of me still does)...but im a grown girl now...."the world does not understand me" is no longer a pick up line that would work on me...
No, no, Van-gogh,......aint buying, Lord Byron.....
The exhibtion proper? If you imagine that New York is one of the most cutting edge cities in the world, and this exhibtion advertised New Art, you can only imagine how avant garde the combination take that your imgination, and multiply it by two, and you are nearing what was presented at THE ARMORY SHOW.
First of all, it was HUGE......there was art in its various forms, photography, audio-visual medium, painting, scupture, collage, and some mediums that most of us could not a dishevelled white female mannequin wearing a battered european work-house dress of the great depression, also singing some kind deep-south blues, you wonder to what is on display here? the mannequinn? Le dress? , blues music, or even the depression itself?
The trick is to make you wonder I suppose........
Nudity, naturally was also top dollar, with the ubiquitous female form having some stiff( no pun intended, I swear) competiton from the male bodies......
Politics was popular too...there was an interesting collage made up of quite a bit of the flags of the world...I dont want to bet that ALL the flags were there.....and what was suprisingly brought to the fore, is that GREEN occcurs quite a bit in the colour schemes of most the world's flags......hmmm....Unity or a brewing conspiracy theory? can see that picture here.
It gets to you after a while I tell you, your brain buzzes, and then practically shuts down with the overload of action of the AMORY SHOW, it was certainly an intense stimulation of sensory neurones...
Just when I was about turn around and re-boot my RAM at home, I caught sight of them.....actually him a photograph by VANESSA BEECROFT.....six-feet plus, carrying a naked baby, with a skin color so dark he was nearly navy blue, he looked like Midnight come alive.......and right next to him, but juxtaposed in context, was the most pristine looking caucasian woman I have ever seen, in pink, holding a clutch of delicate flowers, in mortal trepidation of....something sha...(see the picture in the upload, Im sorry Im a bad photographer, I shall improve...or get a better picture link, so you can understand me....).
There was something absolutely shocking in that picture, in a way that is indescribable as simply good or bad......I was stuck..for several seconds....literarily frozen to the spot where I stood, with my jaw unhinged....
This in fact caused an absolutely gorgeous fair-skinned woman to walk up to me, and ask me what I thought about the picture?...... what immediately struck me about it?
No, she wasnt the artist, but she worked on the project, it was shot in Sudan see, and there were several more from the collection (I have uploaded those ones too)....
Her name is Lehni Lamide Davies, and it turns out that she is Nigerian, like me, part Lagosian, like me....and quite intelligent and radical....well, you get the picture...
I shall save the story of Lamide my new friend for another day...., and leave you with pictures from AMORY for now.......
*All works the copyright of Vannessa Beecroft, and of the various artists whose names I dont know.....

Half Celibate is better than none

So I’m sitting here o, minding my own business, have lied about having the flu to my preceptor so I can get out of going to school today je-je, and have stayed home instead to spend the day innocently surfing the internet.
I think for all of 2 seconds that if only my preceptor knows what my chat ID is, and manages to see me permanently signed on in the yahoo chat engine, instead of sniffing, coughing and feeling down right suicidal under the sheets that having the flu should rightly do to me…..then again, I think that he already sort of knows….I don’t think I did the cough-cough, sniff-sniff impersonation over the phone too well….
Anyway, see me see trouble o…I had thought that at 9.30 on a Monday morning and signed in ready to chat, only a few people would be around to see you, being that the greater population of the world’s other wise employed would be at work/school/garage/….
”Ping” goes my computer…someone wants me to know they are online, and has buzzed me.
Its my friend, …now me and this woman had lost touch for about 15 years, since like primary school basically…and had only by chance hooked up again last year…God Save the Internet…even though our paths had been in close tandem a couple of times, it just didn’t happen till she googled me. (by the way, until someone tells you that…Oh…I didn’t know where to look anymore, than I hit google and found a couple of stuff you had done, accessed those sites and sent them an email, and then found your address….you haven’t lived….)
Anyway we arranged to meet in person about Christmas, and we did, and it was nice. Fun, laughter, no awkward-ities……we both agreed that : being elitist-posh is SO out, throwing disdain in the direction of the elitist-posh is IN, we were unmarried because all men were dumb/blind/wolves/just-too-stupid, cheaters. etc.. and generally promised not to let the silence of 15 years repeat itself again.
When she headed back to her base in America, we promised that this time we would never part.
Well, it didn’t quite happen like that, instead of jumping on a plane, train, bus, whatever to see each other the minute I got there, our earlier enthusiasm for each other’s “hilarious company” and “sparkling conversation” had cooled somewhat.
I wasn’t in blazing hurry to spend money go see her, and the way she kept on pulling exams, schedules and impromptu weddings out of a hat, I’m guessing ditto for her too…However, we still managed to keep up general jists on the phone and do some thirty minute senseless online natter sometimes.
So it was this morning when she pinged me, after we had done the usual kabuki-like ritual dance around each other….
”you…you fashied me…”….
”me?…ah-ha it was you that has jaboo-ed me now…” etc.
out of that molar-grinding nonsense came a jocular jab…(to me)
In fact the whole thing went thus
Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: what is wrong with you sef? I think you are stressed

Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: my dear, don’t mind me jare

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: I think you need sex*

(Huh?.......), *Note: allegation of no…or only spurious relation to prior subject matter, I promise….

Oh well in the spirit of the turn of the conversation
Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: hahahah! That wont be bad o, shay you will borrow me your man for a bit?

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: well,…..( frostily, the screen went cold I swear) I’m sorry, if you want to know, I have been celibate for 7 years now……waiting for my honeymoon night, I only said YOU need sex…..


Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: oh really, that’s great, for religious purposes?

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: Yes, that and the fact that it helps keep the wolves away…..

Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: You are right, that’s a honourable thing to do

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: Besides, God loves me more

Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: God couldn’t possibly love you more, He loves you the same. Sin only makes us unable to accept that love

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: Well I feel his love more, so I guess we are saying the same thing

Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: I suppose you are right…but wait o, me I always have to ask when people tell me they have been celibate,…so you mean celibate as in celibate… kissing not touching, nothing, nothing

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: Ah! No-o, I kiss, even make out once in awhile when I feel like…in fact that was the reason why I was uncomfortable with (…lagbaja) he always liked to make out, that’s why we broke up…..

Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: errr….Ohhhhh-ok…..em…I have to get to work

Iminnthemoodfordisclosure99: Oh yeah, I was just on my way out myself, talk to you later

Chattingsenselesslyonmondaymorning1: Ok sweets, bye…

Right! Another one of those…just when I think I had met one of the true genuine ones, (to inspire me, mind) turns out to be just like the rest of them of the quasi-celibate creed.
Me I have never understood it. The good book is very clear on what it states about pre-marital sex, and its reasons for that doctrine are easy to understand….basically, lust for each other’s flesh and acting on it will bring dis-honour to the marital bed, that which is sacred, and undefiled.
But a worse evil than not following this law, is not follow it under the false impression that you are compliant, and to take the cake, further trick yourself into looking at other “full-time” offenders as graven sinners, complete with that slow shake of the head.
With the amount of my vitriolic in this post, it’s a little easy to see how much I, personally have defaulted the law, (and that’s all I’m saying about my sexual history present, past AND future on this blog), but I have never for once not realised that on those grounds: I’m a sinner, and in big trouble, and I better find my way back if I know what’s good for me
But this self-righteous half-and-half behaviour makes it easy for me to do my own (self-righteous by way of conscious sinner) head shaking of my own.
In fact , that healthy dose of moral superiority I got on Monday morning, was strong enough to make me get dressed, call my preceptor, re-cant my lie (well, not quite, I told him I was feeling much better, which I was, thanks to coming tops in a moral war the poor, unfortunate other half didnt even know they were fighting) and headed off to school.
Another day……..