Sunday, 27 November 2011

As I Age

NOTE: Before I start, I'd just like to shout out the anonymous reader who messaged me to say she finally understands the message behind my post entitled Have you seen my white chick?' Some readers still don't get it but long-live assumption.

Ok so this sojourn outside the realms of London Zones 1-6 for the past four months has plunked me into a state of nostalgia and retrospective thought. Perhaps I'm missing the endearing frolics of life in the Big L ever so slightly.

Side Note: There's technically 1-9 Zones but what business do I have doing in Moor Park? As for me London stops after Wood Green - the rest is village. Cue boos from the Arnos Grove/Cockfosters lot.

So to remedy the burden I've been going through archives of pics and vids ranging from the Amsterdam Weekender of '07 (salute all who attended - big trip) to birthday parties in '92. Looking back at the good times like some old veteran reminiscing about the war and their long-lost sweetheart. Longing after the care-free escapades of my youth again like knock-down ginger, kiss chase and typing 'ASL' when you added a new chick on MSN Messenger. Sign of getting old I guess. Confirmation of this saddening fact was no more resounding than when I got into a 'back in my day' discussion with this five year old kid who hadn't a clue as to what a cassette was - MAAAATEEE!

Like generations before, I'm adamant 'my day' was infinitely better than any other: music, fashion & lifestyle wise - we did it best but I'm sure the 60 and 70's babies would beg to differ. I recall a debate raging on about if Lionel Messi was the best ever to grace the pitch. Panel members of a youthful disposition were in no doubt. This however pinched the nipples of the older participants who cited Maradonna as a far superior player. DM was probably the footballing hero of their day so for 'inexperienced' fans to overlook an all-time legend for one of the modern greats was a disservice to them. Same with music. Few would argue the Cash/Young Money movement are running tings in the Hip-Hop arena right now. However dare you say Drake or Weezy are better rappers than Slick Rick or Big Daddy Kane to a veteran Hip-Hop fan, and they'll scold you with their walking stick.

Truth is, these things are all relative. The days of our youth are usually a period of discovering our world, our experiences and ourselves. The avid 50's baby story would differ from that of the 90's babies of Generation-X but it doesn't make our likes, dislikes, culture and upbringing any less credible. Instead we should embrace trend differences in that when 12 year old Maxwell stops your Heartless Crew record to play a track from MC Killer MacKill's mixtape, endure the ordeal with a smile if only for two minutes; he'll appreciate it.

So being an 80's baby I leave you a visual token of my juvenile delinquent days. Happy Sunday and all that jazz. Tick.

Stick-up Kid: I played TopBoy back in '89 and I weren't even acting. I moved to this girl at church for her packet of Skips with just my flab and intimidating forehead. She boyd me and only gave me five but I was OK with that. Unfortunately CCTV caught me - got 22 years of mockery for my troubles KMT.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Petition


I was escorted by friends to one of Lagos' most prestigious chill-out zones recently. Attractive girls flock to this location like flies to a fresh lump of dog shit but one particular female grabbed my attention amongst the rest. Her smooth, caramel-kissed skin was flawless. She had that au naturel flex going on with minimal make-up and freshly manicured nails to complement the slender blue dress she had on but she was far from a devil. Even her Brazilian (or was it Peruvian?) was on point but it was her bop not her beauty that had me rapt.

The Problem

This chick was staggering like Bambi on five shots of Tequila with interpolations of The Crip Walk added to the tedious routine for the simple fact she chose to wear six-inch Louboutins she clearly couldn't walk in.

It was a hot mess and Nigerians being Nigerians were unreserved in their comments: "See Ashewo wearing shoe like mu-mu, Olodo!"

But she isn't the only one. At Church, in the office and on road, ladies worldwide are falling foul to the misnomer of No Pain, No Gain! No fool, it's all pain and no gain when you end up in A&E for brucking up your ankles.

I don't take pleasure in seeing such…wait…maybe I do purely for comical purposes but that aside it really isn't lady-like strutting like you're being possessed by demons all in the name of looking sexy (well trying to anyway).

The Proposal

So I've taken it upon myself to file a petition for a High-Heel licence. YEAH, YEAH you read it correctly no typo, a LICENCE to rock HIGH-HEELS just like you require a driving licence to drive. See it as a labour of love as I'm tired of amateurs trying to pull off the killer look by rocking killer heels and doing nothing other than killing themselves (or their ankles at least).

Side Thought: I'm slightly high off Supermalt so I may be a tad delusional as I type this but it's making a lot of sense as I do so I'll proceed *burbs* Excuse me.

Rocking heels like driving is a skill (at least I think it is) so I intend putting these measures in place. Ladies intending to rock heels longer than 3inches will be required to take a strut test at the various levels before being awarded a licence:
  • STUDENT LEV TEST: 3-4inches
  • DIVA LEV TEST: 5inches
  • MODEL LEV TEST: 6+inches
Candidates will be required to climb up/down stairs, navigate uneven terrain, dance, run and finally walk down a 50m x 1m runway. Any swaying or wobbling will count as minors (10 Max) with full-on drops, trips, stumbles and staggers seen as major faults and instant failure.

If you pass, well done - tell the foxes and celebrate by painting your bunions with your favourite nail polish. If you fail, its Key Stage Two heels (no more than 2inches) and Primark pumps for you. It's either this or getting stabilizers fitted. The fashion police have also endorsed the initiative tentatively so tell me, have I warranted a signature or just a cheeky slap?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Street Call by AB 9TRO

This is slowly becoming a music blog but I always seek to fulfill my promises. Nigerian artist going by the name AB 9TRO sent me this track in camp. Kid has mad ambition of making it big like most artists and requested I increase his online appeal by uploading his track so here it is.

*Album art is in no way endorsed by the artist. Design by AKIB Creative


Street Call by pnduoyo

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Kuchi Kuchi (Oh Baby)

Now I'm not really one for sappy sentimental songs but this one slyly got me. Needless to say the endless calls of 'Oh Baby, Oh Baby' make it annoyingly catchy and if you're like me you'll find yourself harmonising the melody subconsciously. I'm feeling this.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pride in Perception

They say first impressions count and appearance is the salesman to perception, so why do I look so darn trampish?

I intended to blend into Lagos life by looking like a pauper and boy I'm doing a good job. Several people have made reference to my dreary style, lack of branded apparel and unwillingness to splash cash. One even doubted my oversea credentials. Take my hair for example. Back in London I dare not go three weeks without getting a trim or at least a shape-up. Now that brazen Lil Wayne lyric regarding Nigerian hair couldn't be more precise as a Wahl has failed to stroke my scalp for 11-weeks now! My follicles are looking lock-like (salute the Rasta's still, JAH!).

Guess in London we're engrossed in keeping up with the Jones' by regurgitating recycled fashion trends to make statements to our scrutinizing peers. Trying to keep hair trim and garms fresh to avoid that 'Oh shit' moment where you decide to pop to the store with pepper-grains and no shape-up only to bump into that female from college who went from anyting to peng ting – yeah that!

Realisation

I really couldn't be asked with all the palaver over here until something my uncle said to my cousin resounded with me. She was in that natural hair-to-weave transitional state and wanted to branch to the shops quickly. On departure, my uncle caught a glimpse of her unflattering appearance and commented: "Why are you going out like you don’t know where you come from?". She paused to think briefly before scuttling back to her room to make the necessary adjustments. I thought about it and his words held weight. By dressing like a pauper I'm misrepresenting my family, friends, upbringing and ultimately God.

All the grafting my parents did to shelter and provide for me is being undone by sub-standard attempts to reflect the educated, sort of well-groomed man I've become (I hope anyway). Evidence of western upbringing unfounded. Perceptions of friends misconstrued. The glory of God concealed. So with that no more pauperish behaviour – I'll leave that to the pros (and trust me there's plenty out here) and start revealing the London in me AWRIGHT MATE!

Naija Quotables

Due to all the mad lines I hear coming out of the mouths of some people, I've included this section to pay homage to their truly unique use of the English language.

Scene:

My driver enters the room watching me speak to a friend on my Laptop via Skype and exclaims:

"So you nah speak to screen and screen dey talk back? Kai, Oyinbo nah Witch!"

Sunday, 16 October 2011

25

1 individual

Born of 2 people

The first of 4 children

In the space of 9 months

on the 16th day of October

25 long years ago.

The law can no longer square me up - I'm at that fully legitimate age - I should be given a licence or something!

Truly grateful to GOD for sparing my life. Friends and fam that have dipped in and out and dipped in and stuck with me - I appreciate you all.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Day 100


So it's been 100 days since I left the sunny shores of England (it was actually hot that day) and I'm feeling apathetic whilst slumped in a pensive frame of mind. In this century of days, my mentality has changed, perceptions transformed and opinions reverted.

On arrival, I recall failing to understand why the people around me could overlook the limbless beggar crying out for a little change - now I do!

As ashamed as I am to admit it, I've become accustomed to the endless pleas for money so much so I'm fully desensitized to it. The other day a blind woman was giving a pitch in the bus garage as to why she needed money and I didn't even flinch. Seeing it every day slowly kills the Samaritan in you until you snap at one for being overzealous in their approach. At that point you know sympathy is well and truly dead; I need forgiveness boy.

On a brighter note I have acquired some favourable attributes and made some telling observations in my maiden 100:


  • My pidgin's improving as in locals need to strain really hard to tell I'm not from round here.

  • My immune system has strengthened with all the mosquito bites I've endured and questionable foods I’ve consumed. I strongly believe I could back a mouldy, raw meat sandwich and salmonella wouldn't touch me.

  • That tale about Calabar women is untrue – it really applies to Igbo ladies!

  • I can confirm Yoruba's are the reason foreigners associate Nigerians with the terms loud and obnoxious – you lots mouths are too big!

  • 404 (in reference to people that eat wild Dog) is a term that applies to ALL Nigerians not just Akwa-Ibomites. The Igbo's and Yoruba's enjoy choping the doggy delicacy as much as my people do (I'm still a 404 virgin – RSCPA and all that).

  • I'm convinced I have Bat vision with all the improvising I do when NEPA takes light

  • Roadside service are sure to cater for practically anything from shoe repairs to toe-clipping services

  • There's a stigma attached to eating and drinking whilst on road. DON'T DO IT! Someone said it's to avoid dust mingling with whatever you're consuming but I'm sure there's some other spiritual ramification somewhere in that theory. Oh and if you hold bread in your hand on road without Nylon (or just a bag), it's assumed you're a mad man/woman.

  • I'm yet to find anything Lagosians hate more than 'hold up' (that's traffic to you Westerners). It's like a curse to them.

  • Haggling is a way of life – accepting the initial price is for suckers from jumping on Okada to getting a set of keys cut – NEVER accept the first price (except on public transportation or restaurants – they don't budge but you can specify your portion i.e. Jollof N50 or N100 portion).

  • The old adage 'patience is a virtue' clearly never reached these parts – waiting your turn is a myth! Push-in where you can, only mugu's wait to be served. That conservative Brit malarkey won't work out here. Etiquette and patience get no ratings so you have no other option but to emulate such behaviour to get by.

  • Ignorance (especially about Nigerian's from overseas) is rife. Non-exposed locals tend to believe we’re all stinking rich bastards being fed fish and chips by our Caucasian spouses.

  • UK-bred Nigerians are the stingiest, apparently.

  • In Lagos you can't move around for more than five minutes without seeing someone sporting football merchandise be it a jersey, window sticker or belt buckle.

  • Poverty has a short-term memory

  • Everyone's a suspect (including family members)

  • ALWAYS count your change

  • We have an unerring obsession with acronymic titles

  • The belief that Sachet water informally (and ironically) known as pure water is dangerous and anything but pure is a misnomer. It isn't that bad and with NAFDAC ensuring produce passes basic safety checks, the extra N45 you pay for 'safer' bottle water is to cover packaging costs.

  • Someone said Akwa-Ibom and Chinese people are related citing our similar intonation (i.e. The 'pong') and the fact most Akwa-Ibom men are vertically challenged – just like their Oriental counterparts. I’m slyly starting to see it *sigh*

Sure there's more but that's all I can think of at present - hopefully I'll grasp even more about Nigerian culture as time progresses. God spearing my life my double centenary will be on Thursday 19 January 2012. Let's go deya!

R.A.T.N (that's Relax And Take Note if you don't know): Just a big shout out to Aunty B and my Singing Soul Sistah who came over for hols. Good to see my peeps again even if it was only for a mere 14mins. Safe journey back!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Nigeria @ 51


Nigeria we hail thee!

51 years after breaking the chains of foreign occupation, we stand as a nation that still needs to make drastic changes to reach the heights we're fully capable of reaching. Some have even gone as far as saying they'd prefer if we weren't an independent nation - that foreign rule would've placed us in better stead. A questionable yet weighty perspective I'm in no position to treat at the present time. I simply want to experience Naija independence without being given a flyer for a rave at Rex or Coronet.

Well, ironically I broke my raving virginity (in Naija) yesterday night (30 Sept 2011) after being dragged out to AutoLounge. I was quietly impressed. Not as if it was anything special in terms of entertainment - same old jazz - secular music with females in seductive 'look but don't touch' apparel and dudes trying to find a cool slouching position on the wall whilst speculating on what they can or cannot touch.

It's the neatness of the place that took me by surprise; the decor, the service, the clientele - all very Mayfair-esque even though I'm not a fan of the upper class facade. What Donaeo and Egypt (someone do research on if she has Nigerian blood somewhere in her lineage) were doing there was beyond me but it contributed to a rather enjoyable evening. Also saw Mr Jay-Jay Okocha - The Super Eagles legendary #10, once of Bolton Wanderers. A midget of a man but still one of my favourite players to ever grace the pitch!

Anyway this Rice and mixed-meat stew is getting cold - Happy Independence.

Friday, 30 September 2011

What's in a name?

What's in a name beside references to Roses and sweet aromas? Beauty apparently.

I don't know what it is but girls named Tolani have the tendency of being certified stunners! I challenge you to find one who isn't at least a 7.1. A so-called 'cute girl name' - it's as if naming your daughter Tolani condemns her to a life of aesthetic compliments. Met another yesterday who stayed true to my largely normative statement; boy if I weren't in a situation right now…sigh!

No implications, just observations – this is A Posteriori Perspective –so it's all in the name.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Introducing...Mr Lemar

Being out here has literally deprived me of anything current affairs from football transfers to the latest in Libya. It's like Nigeria performed an info vasectomy on me. For example last week I woke up to find out that Owen Hargreaves moved to Man City - Next ting. And with that the discovery of an up and coming artist from the notorious Westcoast comes as a surprise to say the least. How I did is fabled jibber-jabber...err...wait no it isn't - lend your ears to The City on The Game's latest album R.E.D (skip to around 4:25); yeah that was my reaction too - FIRE! What we have here is a young artist with a refreshing outlook on life so vividly expressed through a rapid yet concise interchangable flow of crescendos and diminuendos. Very much reminiscent of Bone Thugs but with far more substance (there's only so much weed and gun talk [yes Kendrick does conform on Poe Man's Dreams] you can disseminate through your music one can take before it becomes repugnant).

Kendrick Lemar is his name and he's definitely got my ear. From the time he spits his first bar you know the kid has differentiated himself from 70% of the talent out there. His retail mixtape Section 80 dropped a day before I left for Nigeria so technically I should've known about him earlier but boy, better late than never. It's available on digital download so when you get a spare millisecond, give it a listen. He explores a variety of music styles whilst being sure to interpolate elements of his Westcoast roots arguably through vivid depictions of violence and the liberal dispensation of expletive indicative of rap music. Look beyond this and you can appreciate his ability to switch convincingly between the mellow undertones on No Make Up (the way I wanna sing this to some females I know) to the gritty Ronald Reagan era then back to the pensive aura on Kush and Corinthians; quite admirable I must say.

So despite tepid affections towards US Hip-Hop in recent times, I'm willing to spare the genre for the sake of this kids idiosyncrasy.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Count me in

So after amassing SAT, GCSE, A LEVEL and BSc qualifications, the art of counting money still alludes me, slowly becoming a major thorn in my yellow flesh. Not as in one-two-three you neek but administering the hand-to-note co-ordination without looking retarded. I mean even these so-called illiterates that drive Ocada's can count notes effortlessly. This can't be life so I had to learn, NA BY FORCE!

Mastering the technique

So after observing and being the subject of abuse, I've mastered the art of counting notes:

1. Straighten out notes and assemble neatly portrait-side up

2. Hold the stack in the middle as if you're holding a spliff between the index and middle fingers

3. Then using your other hand, support the back of the stack whilst using your thumb to stroke the notes so they fold over the index finger supporting the middle of the stack, counting that lovely currency as you do so. Hopefully you're not so broke as to have less than three notes in the stack!

Simples! This is the African way apparently. Europe, Far East amongst others have their respective versions too as seen in this How people count cash vid on YouTube. Personally I'm feeling the middle-east and eastern European variations they look mad! The vid pars off the African variation though - I can confirm with confidence we DO NOT count like that or I'm yet to see anyone count like that in these parts anyway.

You'll never understand how happy I am to have finally learnt how to do this. I can add it too swimming, riding a bike and driving a car. Feels like my first *smirks*

Now to find someone who can teach me Long Division (again)…

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Pen Tales

No intro!

I've just been apprehended, interrogated, arrested and imprisoned for *clears throat* crossing the road! KMRCT (no yardie!)

Mugshot: Posing in pen
The fact my stint of notoriety barely lasted 45 minutes (film footage and all) is a reflection of how farcical the whole charade was. There's armed robbers and fraudulent government officials frolicking around the cuffs of law enforcement, yet it’s the meek road crosser that finds himself behind bars. *Sigh*

My Sins

Apparently I crossed the road despite the clear notice (which was actually hidden behind a ship container) that read:

"Do not cross here, use the bridge. Violators will be prosecuted!" 

So I was duly arrested and locked up.

Side Thought: For those thinking I deserved imprisonment for violating (without knowledge) a makeshift law, graciously receive three hefty konks from me to you via Bluetooth. Kind Regards.

I was asked by one of the officers if I wanted an early release. I kindly told him to piss off with the kindly insinuating I didn't actually utilise the terms piss and off consecutively (the guy was kinda hefty still). Rather "Ah oga, I beg, mi no get that kinda money oh" in a shameless attempt to mimic the locals (which he saw right through by the way). It's nuts if not discreetly reassuring to know N5,000 will buy your freedom in this country –  N500 follow do the job sef! They eventually released me on agreeing to partake in some menial labour raking the streets which were littered with some colourful specimens i.e. condoms, piss in pure water bags etc. Lovlaay!
video

Worthy deterrants

Laughable init! The nature of the predicament I found myself in was inherently Nigerian; it could only happen here. Imagine such unfolding in the UK? What would you say if an inmate asked you what you were in for – murder, armed robbery, fraud? "Nah fam, crossing the road init". You'll get raped for your troubles!

As ludicrous as it all seemed, such a forceful reprimand has acted as a healthy deterrant instilling a little fear in me. People seem convinced I'm hating Naija and the way I talk about her at times, it's not hard to see why. But truthfully I feel like the chick of a cheating and abusive boyfriend who bares the brunt of it all despite the plea's of others to leave. No matter how much she (as in Nigeria) offends me, I'll continue to firm it (or at least I hope I do). 

"I ain't mad, I don't wanna sound mad, I feel marvellous" (Phillips, J; 2004).

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Age no sabi anyting!

Age ain’t nothing but a number - unforgivingly synonymous with Aaliyah’s timeless classic, you’ll be excused for assuming I’m about to detail a declaration of love for a female 15 years my junior, blinded by the prospect of appealing to a far older man. Rather on the contrary, this has nothing to do with love. If anything it’s an account of how loveless life in Lagos is for the average destitute street kid. Every working day I hop on my bus witnessing deprivation on unprecedented levels but this is Nigeria isn't it so nothing new there right?

Side thoughts: I will never in my life make a mockery of London Transport again. If you see the CAT-Z, MOT-defying, tin cans they call buses around here, Kai! Majority of them are so corroded, they have panoramic views of the ground below but the policy here is if it still moves, it’s good to go – literally.

Harsh realities

What really tugs at the heartstrings are the visuals of kids no older than four or five, forced to hustle anyway possible to survive. This isn’t some monotonous rappers rags-to-riches story about the need to run trap houses to "survive in the hood". This is the genuine article, the real hustle in the dictionary-defined ghetto where the consequences of slacking could be fatal. 

A growing number of youths back in the UK are being siphoned into the benefit trap culture their parents fell foul to – many of whom have never seen their parents work a day in their lives. I mean, they don’t work and the government still cares enough to provide amicable benefit packages – some earning more than people’s working wages so what incentive is there to work? You see out here though, no one gives a shit. There’s no excuses not to try and earn a living be it age, health or physical ability. One guy, blind and without an arm came begging for money. Me being me kindly obliged only to be urged by a fellow commuter not to as in his words "he should hustle for the money like everyone else". Like a child being reprimanded I obeyed and watched helplessly as he moved on. 

It’s just funny how back home we complain of hard times when we're broke or working tiresome hours when really the reality of hard, impoverished times are so explicitly depicted in the young lives of kids on these unforgiving streets. The UK government, as reviled as they are provide more than enough support for those less fortunate. Would you ever see a five year old on his jacks in Westminster hocking Snicker bars and Evian water? Probably not but that’s the reality here and truth be told, I can’t see the situation changing. The cancerous nature of the Nigerian hierarchy will ensure the inequality gap that continues to plague the economy will continue growing for the foreseeable future. Harrowing times indeed, Omo, Naija sick oh but hopefully she'll get that dose of chemotherapy she needs to recover and fulfill the potential she clearly possesses.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

CORPASHUN!

So it’s been a week since I left camp and I'm still buzzing. Not gonna lie on arrival I felt like leaving. The toilets (no flush) housed huge clumps of shit for the best part of three days and the mosquitoes were having KFC courtesy of my arms and legs, the culmination of which wasn’t helped by a tedious registration process. Needless to say the whole thing had me feeling indifferent about serving my country.

video
I'm a fighter though and I've spent too much time and effort trying to make this happen just to turn back at the first hurdle so I gritted my teeth and soldiered the full 21 days – exiat free (some indigenous Nigerian graduates I know can't say the same – I say no names).

Once I got passed the grimy toilets (the first mandatory dump always breaks the ice between batty and cubicle), the mosquitoes and 4.30am wake ups, I started to enjoy myself. Camp reminded me of my halcyon uni days; eat, sleep and slack when I felt like (speaking exclusively on behalf of Lagos Camp – can't vouch for the rest as I hear Corpers in other states were getting flogged for not cooperating).

Effervescent highlights include the infamous Mami (abbreviation for mini market apparently) – call it the student union of camp; food, drink, tailoring, salon, clothing. Most things you wanted, Mami had it. Camp wouldn't be camp without the imposing soldiers barking orders, the drills, camp commandant, 4am parade ground bugle and off course the new people I met.

Any UK Nigerians considering serving, I employ you to answer the clarion call (if but only for the 3-week orientation experience…you can 419 the rest).

If you feel it’s a waste of time YOU ARE WRONG! And with that I’ll end with the anthem:


Youths obey the Clarion call
Let us lift our nation high
Under the sun or in rain
With dedication, and selflessness
Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we serve!


CORPERS  AJUWAYAH!

Friday, 15 April 2011

To Beat or not to Beat?


So after a pretty dismal result at football, a couple of us went to help out at a friends Barbershop (Johnny's - 632 Old Kent Road, SE15 1LA – freshest trims in South!). 
After working we started discussing, how I can't recall but a heated debate ensued about beating kids.

Side thought: On second thought after the merciless beating* we received earlier in the day, we were probably looking for whom to take out our frustration on!

Out of five, three (including myself) were for whilst the other two against

The argument at hand

The Anti-Smack Party (ASP) argued that:
  • beating was acceptable in our early years (80's/early 90's) because of the social environment then - less stigmatized than today - it's now against the law 
  • beating is unnecessary and archaic - the heritage of primitive norms that have no place in today's society
  • beating jeopardizes the bond between parent and child - once a parent hits their child, the bond is scarred – confusion ensues as the child believes the same person that is perceived to be their protector still has the ability to cause them harm 'out of love'.
  • beating doesn't garner respect, it accrues fear. A parent should be a friend not a master
  • sanctioning without reason – not letting the child know why they're being punished – unnecessary 'beating' in their respective upbringings hampered the potential for closer bonds with their parents
  • smacking was always taught to be a means of correction but they insisted it only penned up frustration and in some cases rebellion and even resentment. One member in particular drew comparisons to a few people who felt the rod liberally, rebelled and are now worse off (crime, jail, etc).
In their estimations, explaining to a child why what they did was wrong had deeper intrinsic value and viable long term benefits. One said the most effective means of punishment was to deny the child of what they cherished most i.e. their favourite game as opposed to giving them a choke-slam for stealing chicken from the pot.

My party, the opposition SRSC (Spare Rod Spoil Child) believed:
  • "If you spare the rod, you spoil the child" – citing the lack of physical discipline for the wayward behaviour of peers
  • there's only so much talking and 'time-outs' one can do - instances of petulance should be 'punished' by hand when words fail
  • it acts as a deterrent – once bitten, twice shy. If the first time the child did it and they received a nice backhand, the child would think twice second time round. Smacking in their upbringing kept them on the straight and narrow
  • smacking is a more effective way of setting the boundaries making clear what is and what isn't acceptable
  • the child should know their role - the concept of parent and child being 'friends' potentially brings the relationship into contempt - respect is compromised if the child gets too 'comfortable' addressing their parents as friends. 
They condemned the Tyson-type beating their (and my) parents dished out when our offence was of a heinous nature, but felt a smack on the bum was a sufficient reprimand.

After an explosive rally of spit and emotion flying back and forth, I deferred my affiliation with either party and made myself comfortable on the fence. I was eager to stress that nature would play a pivotal role in determining if my child hears my voice or feels my cane. I feel there are kids who are receptive to vocal scolding – a ticking off or even that 'look' is enough for them to get the message. For others it's more of a battle – the hard-headed child whose sound-proof cranium won't heed vocal warnings. In these cases I endorse the use of physical force because as they say they that don't hear will feel.

The outcome

Needless to say both parties maintained their stance after a three hour stand-off. Each side accepted trying to convince the other was as fruitful as a woman post-menopause and rested their respective cases. Hopefully when these young men become the fathers of their homes, their method of upbringing will achieve the same desirable outcome despite their bi-polar approaches.

So to beat or not to beat? That's the indelible question. There is no right and wrong answer here, just preference similar to how one adores or detests Marmite. If you feel beating is necessary you're no sinner neither are you a soft touch should you chose not to go down the smacking route. I think the crux of the matter here is striking a balance and understanding what means of correction your child responds to and sticking to it. Every child is different. My parents felt they needed to administer "Doctor Do-Me-Good" (better known as the belt) when I did something wrong and I'm the better for it even though the thought of calling Child-line flashed into my mind on the odd occasion. My rents set boundaries from early (teaching me to respect my elders, stopping me from going raves or playing out after 7 or 'On lock' as some would say) so that left me in good stead not that going raving from a young age made you a delinquent or anything. They just let me know there was a time and place for everything – guess to protect me from a potentially volatile environment. By nature I'm a laid back, non-argumentative individual so I think even if the belt buckle didn't lick my left bum cheek more time, I would've stayed in check. But not everyone is like me and those (naturally) with a higher propensity to find trouble, may require the use of such methods to correct if the subtle approach isn't effective. If you chose to employ the assistance of the iron stick, know your boundaries, remember why you're doing it; to correct, not to cripple.

What most non-indigenous 'Brits' have to recognise is that we were raised by foreign migrants with near perverse ideologies on how to discipline. This 'hands-off' approach was simply seen as 'oyinbo nonsense' and as harsh as some may see it, this is what they knew best and for most, it worked. Perhaps clashes in mentality instigated the need for drastic measures of correction. I remember one of my siblings chatting-back (or so it was perceived to be) and my mother rambling on about how she would never do such to her parents. She felt modern society has given our generation the authority to challenge authority and if anything goes awry 'they will favor the schild as well NONSENSE!'. I don't condone answering back but in their generation, the parent played master and the child played servant. Their word was law and you dare not breach them. These days, we're less inclined to simply take a word as law especially in an age where we're encouraged to excercise our 'free rights'. Our parents generation simply don't relate which explains why there is such a clash between our and their ways of thinking. Now us born and raised Brits with distorted mentalities to that of our parents, are given the mantle to raise our own kids how we see fit whether that's with or without the belt. Raising kids in a similar environment to our own upbringing will undeniably lay a stronger foundation between parent and child as we'll be more empathetic to the challenges they face growing up. With understanding comes less conflict of interest and will probably mean our generation refrain or needn't call upon the services of Mr Cane as much as our parents did. Whatever we chose, the reality remains some of us will give rise to the next generation of Einstein's and Obama's and others to the next Charlie Manson's, Freeway Rick's and Bin Laden's.

Being a parent probably carries the greatest burden of responsibility and commitment known to man, yet the biggest myth is believing it's suitable for all. 

* We lost 12-2 *hangs head in shame*

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

It's all relative

I was having lunch recently with a few colleagues and we were discussing the tragic story of Claudia Aderotimi who died after getting arse injections. Now this young lady of Cypriot heritage couldn't understand why a woman would want to obtain a larger posterior when and I quote "I'm trying to get rid of mine".

Her comment jooked my spirit into thinking I'd missed something. So at the next opportunity, I took a platonic glance and I can conclude that even with 3D glasses, she was still as flat as a Ghanaian's headshape! Then again these things are all relative!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A dedication


I recently discovered Petroleum Jelly, generically known as Vaseline, (or Vaz-zi-leen as my mum would pronounce it) turned a monumental 139 years this year. Yeah I know I probably should have waited for a rounder number like 140 but I felt the need to now!

Side thought: Like a lot of people, I didn't realise Vaseline was just the brand and not the product. Had the same misconception of Sellotape as well! Learning process...

If you're of Afro-Carribean heritage you can relate when I say this stuff is like goldust. Besides God and money, parents believe it's the solution to all menial problems. If you cut your arm - "Put Vaz-zi-leen on it!". Muscle pain - "Put Vaz-zi-leen on it!". Got rashes? Yep you guessed it - "Vaz-zi-leen!". Even trivial predicaments like stiff rings would prompt the use of the yellow stuff. If it was even remotely edible they'll probably use it to cook and encourage us to yam it as well (trust me, I've tried – it really isn't). A testament to how versatile the stuff is without which we'd be walking around with crusty lips, ashy knuckles and dye-stained skin. Surely you've trekked to school in the winter with the classic 'lightbulb' face look or possibly witnessed girls limbering up for a fight by splashing their faces with it for protection. Vaseline really deserves it's anytime, any place, anywhere moniker.

A protector, a moisturiser, a remover – the ultimate utility product. Truly the greatest, if not one of the greatest cosmetic formulations ever. I therefore salute British inventor Robert Chesebrough and dedicate this to his product and our inheritance – our superficial features are forever grateful!

I bid you well.

RATN: I see the euphoria rising again for one of the most fickle dates on the calender. I'll just quote one of these MC's: "I was born on September the 19th/So I don't care about February 14th/pay me for my 16/before I start going on like it's Friday the 13th".

Pretty much encapsulate my thoughts. For those involved, ignore me - don't let my grinch-ness sap your enthusiasm - I'm just being a bitter bunkum!!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Back to the Old School Social


Bill Gates said: "The Internet? We are not interested in it" - that was ’93; two years later he creates Internet Explorer giving birth to the monumental entity we utilise today. Few would function a week without it so you can imagine my discernment when I discover around a million people in the UK alone are yet to experience it. 

Side thought: I liken such to the discovery of the last uncivilised Indian tribe found in Brazil. Mind boggling!

The concept - a global system of interconnected computer networks. The purpose - to provide a means of sharing information; simple really. Email was as complex as it got back then but it has since evolved to enable on-line shopping and Google mapping. Amongst the plethora of capabilities the world wide web has provided in recent times, we've seen the emergence of a dark horse that has covertly weaved its way into the very fabric of society - its name The Network, The Social Network.

Revoking my social status

I made a conscious decision to leave the frivolous and invasive realm of social networking (besides blogging off course), made a lot easier after watching The Social Network (I refuse to be part of Suckerberg's narcissistic '500million friend' statistic). I also had a stint on Twitter but that romance didn't last long (irreconcilable differences, oh well it happens!). Without a doubt, social networking has created a revolutionary platform to communicate on a plateau better than ever before. Heck I've even met good friends through it (ah those halcyon Hi5 days).

But with almost all good things comes the bad and amongst the bad comes the circulation of rumours, being susceptible to divulging too much information, the degradation of 'slipping' footage and the bombardment of event notifications (my personal Hindenburg). What Facebook has become is a large costume party where people can dress up as anything other than themselves, depicting a lifestyle so dissimilar to their actual lives it's comical. Take the 'friend' with the 1000+ friend list – the hoarder; we all had one guilty of doing such in our respective lists. In retrospect, 96 percent of those so-called friends comprised of rave promoters, eye-candy and celebrities that were non-the-wiser to their existence. From the remaining 4 percent, about 2 percent could be considered genuine and all this e-camaraderie for what? E-popularity? Hmmm...even I left on 397 and half of those were questionable.

I can't speak for Twitter, but the appeal of Facebook stemmed from restricting access to only University and College personnel. Like a secret society that demanded exclusivity which guaranteed you wouldn't get poked by your mum or receive a friend request from that 10-year-old Sunday school kid you high-fived at church one time. It was practically a Veblen good without the monetary aspect (Eyysh look at me getting all economical!). Now the floodgates are open to all, the Facebook community has become so saturated, it's lost its original attraction. Similar to what we call the Bandwagon effect in economics (I'm getting excited with these comparisons to economic theories). And the benefactors from this reform - organisations and businesses!

Side Thought: Looking around at all these ads on Billboards lately and I notice companies don't even promote their own websites anymore, simply 'Join us on Facebook' *sigh*. It's become a beast, that I cannot deny.

Similar to how all these rappers talk about popping Ace or driving Bugatti's. There's a prestigious element (mainly due to their hefty price tags) attached to these goods that automatically convey an image of high-esteem and status. If everyone started rolling in Bugatti's, the allure would dwindle and Rick Rosay would find an alternative to brag about. Hence why I'm reverting back to life before the social network phenomena.

I'm old school like that!

Remember the days when you could memorise the house numbers e.g. 0207 and even 0171 of your close friends? (You had to, mobiles were a privilege then and even if you had one no one could afford contracts) No? Well what about the days when you didn't have to create an event to organise a shindig, you just spoke on the house phone and promised the other party you'd be "by the McD's" by 3pm sharp! I'm taking it back to the days where the art of conversation didn't involve a tweet or DM. If we wanted to converse remotely we'd exchange phone numbers (remember those) not pins.

Side Thought: It's mad how people don't even ask for your number anymore, it's a straight BB ting. The looks of disgust I've got for not having one...ha ha bloody monkinies!!

I'm reverting to the era where having a social life didn't involve spending hours on FB checking whose commented on last nights pics. A real social life - old school style! Things were better then but then again I'm of the persuasion of an old boy who thinks everything was.

Whilst I appreciate the benefits of neoteric social communication tools like BlackBerry Messenger, I find it baffling when folks make it the primary means of social communication especially with people they're supposedly close to (except long distance relations). I'm old school, if my people need me, pick up the phone and call/text me. There's something eerily intimate about telephone conversations. In most cases, discussions stay between two individuals so you don't get the 'did you see what he said on Facebook' or 'look what she tweeted'. You're able to perceive emotions be it anxiety, anger or boredom – more than a BBM *not interested face* could ever reveal. That's why I prefer speaking to people than messaging - it's so easy to front behind a message as it's so distant and void of any emotional input. I just feel the whole BBM/social networking movement has flattered to deceive by appearing to bring people closer when really it's quite the opposite.
Take birthdays for example. Social media made it sufficient to post a flimsy 'happy birthday fam' on the wall of someone who a couple years back would've received at least a text or even a call (I'm guilty of this!). Cheaper maybe, but if we fail to recognise the importance of building and maintaining tangible friend/relationships by making the effort, we risk distancing ourselves without coming to the realisation that we are. Guess it's simply a case of being more convenient, almost like the 'fast food' of the social world and we all know the dangers of fast food after a while.

I feel it's time to personalise our relations again. Reserve generic communication for acquaintances on the periphery - messaging if anything, should be aimed at these characters but for those we hold closer, more should be done to show that we value their input in our lives. Good friends are like heartbeats, you may not hear them frequently, but they silently support your life. So less of the pinging and more of the ringing!

If you need me, 079 me (it's 078 really but ANYWAY! [uncle Ola voice!])

R.A.T.N I haven't included a RATN (Relax And Take Note) section in a blog entry in time so I'll take this opportunity to shout out a few newbies to the blog-wagon. Firstly my co-defendant and fellow introverted Dr DA (not a real Doc, yet) aka 'Sick Note' and his refreshing account entitled Thoughts of an Introvert - cast your vision over his thoughts. Lastly one of my entrepreneurial whiz kids, Lil T. A girl with a very bright future and if it sounds like I'm hyping, it's probably because I am but with good reason. Her blog, Confessions of an Apple Junkie is now available to scrutinise and muse over. Embrace them both with open keyboards.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Naija > OMO SEXY!!

Mi dunn return with that inimitable Naija aroma of dust, nuts and a hint of body odour. Back to the cold weather and being an ethnic minority again *sigh*. It’s hammer-tan season over there so my cousin was complaining about wearing socks and sweaters because it was too cold. Oh and the temperature when I asked – a freezing 28 degrees Celsius! I guess it’s all relative.
Shish, it feels good to be back though after an epic sojourn in the motherland. Probably comes as a surprise to most as

  1. I kept intelligence of my trip on hush status and
  2. some people felt I wouldn’t have the endurance to go through with what I set out to do or alternatively believed I was just chatting S.
Side Note: I'm liking this sly movement thing - it makes my endeavours appear twice as important and intriguing than they really are. Conceited I know - don't judge me.

I’ve gone and come back and the diagnosis is – a beautifully mad experience. From the kamikaze driving (DVLA can’t prepare you for that kind of driving) to the frenetic commotion of Lagos market – it’s simply something you’ve got to subject yourself to in order to comprehend it and you know what - I effing LOVE IT!

I used to be one of those nominal Nigerians - totting gun fingers when the DJ would salute the Nigerians in the raves but in truth I was only Nigerian by naturalisation as I couldn't even understand a word of my native tongue. Repping from a safe distance so to say. Now I’ve got an infallible love affair with my cultural heritage from the lingo to the ‘AF’ mentality in doing things.

I used to think people were gassing when they said Nigeria was a beautiful country – all I saw was tattered vehicles and smelly gutters. Now it seems the veil has been lifted and those MOT-failing vans and roadside shit pits now look like X6’s and luxury mansions.
Naija is truly a beautiful nation with all its shortcomings. Don’t ever get it twisted, the prominent corruption, poverty and lack of light (NEPA still haven’t fixed up) don’t rank highly in the opinion polls, but I see much more than that now – the culture; the opportunities; the potential. It’s all there waiting in a calabash to be cooked into something tangible if one sees fit to put the work in.

One of the objectives going out there is to finally learn my language which is Oron NOT Efik – which is a spin-off to Efik, kind of what slang is to proper English. Didn’t grasp an awful lot this time round but I picked up some broken lingo:

JAND England/London
BUNKOM Fool, idiot (the way I plan to fire this at some people - bafflement!)
BABYLON Silly individual, someone lacking sense
BUTTROW Alcoholic beverage
GO-SLOW Heavy traffic
PHONAY A foreign accent usu. British or American

Man I’m gonna stop there, starting to sound like a tourist. Nigeria baby - we need to do this again sooner rather than later but for now, Jand boy needs to catch Zzz for bureau tomorrow *raises imaginary glass of palm wine*

Mi Offski, ESIERE!!!

Tracks of the trip - Action Film and One Naira from MI2: The Movie by M.I and Thief My Kele by Banke W. Miss Bunkom can witness to how we audibly abused these tracks whilst cruising in the Camry! Its alot of things.