Saturday 16 June 2012

Pass Out before I Pass Out

I'VE DONE IT! After 345 grueling, demanding and occasionally rewarding days of service, I've finally finished!

My set of Corpers did what we called Passing Out, a closing ceremony of sorts to officially mark the end of our service year. I've learnt so much over the year, met some good people and drawn closer to my native culture. At times I felt like passing out literally but I've gritted, hustled and survived.

Beach Pass Out Party ought to be mad!

Partners in Criminal Activity

Me & Ant

Wednesday 6 June 2012

She Weeps

Evening of Sunday 3 June 2012,  I wake up to a bombardment of missed calls. Prefix all commence with +44 so I have reason to believe something major has taken place. *Phone Rings* It's my younger sister. Her tone unsettled, she enquires about my welfare. I respond positively – she does the same before switching to a dismissive tone as if she was being hurried along. I ask what happened. She informed me a plane crashed in Lagos that afternoon. To make it worse a friend of her friend was scheduled to be on it.  Her concern understandably switched to confirming if her fears were true – she hangs up. At this point any lingering clasps of sleep have fully cleared from my eyes. I had to confirm what I'd just heard.

Fears Confirmed

153 people on board the Dana flight from Abuja lost their lives when the plane crash landed in a residential area in Agege. At least 10 others were killed on the ground and with allegations of faulty gear and engine equipment aboard the ageing liner (22 years) all I can say is why (again?)

For long I've raked on about Nigeria's lacklustre maintenance culture. We seem to believe once we build a new road or acquire a new bus the job is done. I'm accustomed to cussing out the UK's Highway Agency with all their roadworks - tarmacking terrain they serviced only weeks before. But here…pah. It's as if maintenance is a chore, a financial hindrance of sorts to appease the gods. So when I hear said plane was over 20 years old, one shudders. 

Our new roads rivert back to their old state within months - have you wondering if renovation ever took place. Our schools and offices, roads and aviation sectors act as dumping grounds for old, haggard computer equipment, black smog-bellowing Mack trucks and dated, second hand planes from abroad we seem more than happy to accept. Nigeria reminds me of the guy who can just about purchase a Range Rover failing to account for the after sale expenses of fuel, servicing and insurance. 

Now we as a nation sit with forlorn faces asking ourselves why for the um-teen time and we'll continue to do so until we get the fundamentals right. I'm not even pointing at the Government this time – it's becoming a cliched gesture. I'm pointing at the private companies acquiring sub-standard equipment with selfish gain taking priority over the safety and well-being of our people. I'm pointing at the 'we'll manage it' culture where instead of replacing a decrepit machine we opt to cope in order to save or even pocket a little extra Naira. And the saying goes he who points the finger has three pointing back at him - so I'm pointing at myself for sitting back and expecting things to change eventually – and if it doesn't – as long as it doesn't affect me and my immediate folk I'm largely unperturbed.

In fact I'm tired of complaining. My NYSC Community Development group were badgered to raise N550K for our project reconstructing a borehole and 12 toilets for a local school. A valiant endeavour yes but maintenance work that should be carried out by the local government is conveniently shifted over to Corpers who are accused of not serving their country if they murmur. 

But as I said, I'm done complaining, just waiting patiently for someone or something to place that final straw on my nations back - then we'll see - until then she'll continue weeping.

Friday 4 May 2012

A Focus on Friendship: Part II

You've been invited to a birthday dinner. You and the celebrant have no mutual friends so you'll probably be the glum plum who doesn't know anyone; an accomplice is therefore essential! You systematically troll through your phone book & BB contacts trying to find a suitable candidate. You acknowledge the fact the celebrant is rather reserved so inviting Hype-Hype Ken is probably a bad idea. Moaning Mark will probably jar you after 30 minutes, book-in-advance Ben stressed two weeks notice wasn't sufficient and Cheapskate Chris will be asking a million questions about how much the dinner will cost. 

Hopefully your scenario isn't as tasking as this but herein lies the gist of the second entry - looking closer at the assortment of characters that make-up ones complete circle (if of course it is). Which of these are in yours?

The Joker

Needless to say life without this character would be rather dull. Commercially known as the party-starter these individuals are an absolute must at birthday functions and gatherings to break the inevitable icy atmosphere etc. Loud, funny, outlandish, fearless flimflammers - experts in uplifting spirits, practically every circle should have one who possesses these traits. 

Their uncouth nature can make them unpopular figures amongst some as they tend to speak their mind so friendships with these character are usually ones that have spanned a few years – at least until one can handle and accept their crude ways. From experience they're not the best listeners (as they tend to be the ones who want you to listen) or ones you can confide in as their big mouths invariably leak news like a tabloid newspaper.


The Confider

When you need a listening ear and idiosyncratic advice on an issue you don't even need to think about who to call – it's automatically The Confider. Typically the more reserved character in the clique as they use the silence to simply sit and observe but not always. True, some prefer the sweet-talk consultants – those ones who will tell you what you want to hear but the certified Confiders put your feelings aside and tell you what you need to hear. Some even have this insatiable way of noticing when something isn't right even behind the front of 'all smiles, all good'.  

As a guy I've always found the best Confiders to be those of the opposite sex but same sex Confiders are just as prominent. 

Arguments with The Confider are rare but when they do occur it's usually quite serious. I've seen instances where friendships have collapsed after the recipient couldn't handle the Confiders truth but typically speaking these are essential friends for life. The ones who truly have your best interest at heart will always slap you with a dose of reality regardless of how it makes you feel. If you appreciate a true friend you'll appreciate the Confider. 


The Complainer

*Sigh* if they gave you £1 for the number of times you'd want to slap this character you'd be in the Forbes Rich List. If it's not their partner, it's work. If it's not work, it's the rising cost of patties at Bagel King. If it's not…errr...I think you get the gist. These characters are just programmed to see the adverse side of everything. 

As the analogy at the top of this entry would suggest you've probably got into a few scuffs with this one. Spent some time 'not talking to each other' over some pettiness that seems trivial when you both grow up and realise the silent treatment is pointless.

Despite their tiresome ways, you stay friends with these characters because 
1, you would've ditched they're arse a long time ago if you couldn't stomach them and
2, you've probably gone through more fights than Ike and Tina Turner but always seem to make-up so you just assume the idiot is meant to be a permanent fixture in your life.

Best thing about these characters is that on the rare occasion they're not complaining, they can possess traits of the Joker and the Confider – bittersweet I guess.


The Looker

This is the guy or girl in the circle who always gets the attention. Wherever you go in numbers – be it raving, chilling in a bar or at a birthday gathering they're the one your male or female friend will slyly enquire about during the post-event phone call. Not to limit them to just superficial characteristics as they can also be the Confider, Joker or Complainer too but their main contribution dwells in the aesthetics department. 

Ensure you have your jealousy in check around these characters. Many a time I've seen friends in the same circle begrudge The Looker's attendance at a function simply because 'he's gon' take all the chicks'.


The Connect

Not a lot of circles can boast of this character as they usually belong in the outer circle. These are the individuals who seem to know everybody, everywhere. Need gig tickets in LA? They've got a connect for that. Driving Licence in Lagos? They've got a connect for that. Cocaine in Columbia? They've got a connect for that. 

It's as if their links know no boundaries but the offset of this is that they usually don't have time to play the friend which is why relations with these characters rarely go past a phone call every couple months. Very useful but whether they're essential in terms of being a friend is questionable. 


The Excuse

Ah the excuse – the individual whose whole life revolves around blab and waffle. Not to be confused or compared with the Complainer. You need a lot of patience with these characters as their monotonous tendencies can get tedious. They're prone to alienating themselves and are soon left on the periphery of circular activities. 

Ask the Excuse whether they'd like to go out and you may be familiar with the following replies: "It's too hot", "It's too cold", "I'm broke", "It's too far", 'It's too expensive", "I don't have hair cream", "I have one or two things to do", "Who else is coming? *mentions names* Nah 'llow it", "I don’t know anyone", "you didn't give me enough notice". By the time you've heard the 11th excuse you're ready to hang up. 

Most annoying thing about these characters is that when they do come out they can make it entertaining but this is overshadowed by the 99.8% of the time they mutter flimsy excuses not to.


The Conscience

In some ways The Conscience and The Confider are similar with the only difference being The Conscience adds the religious element to proceedings. The Conscience is the character in your circle who frowns at anything remotely secular. The one who advises you to refrain from vices. You probably wouldn't invite them to a bar or gathering where after a few drinks the post-watershed topics start and their spirit gets edgy. 

Well-mannered and well to do, these individuals are a reliable addition. You may feel you can't act yourself around them at times as they can be quite condescending and judgmental from my experience anyway. The Conscience and The Joker (especially a secular one) may clash. If there isn't a like-mindedness between yourself and The Conscience you may find relations remain at surface level.


The Hot Mess

The Hot Mess is the baby of the circle. Living in their second childhood, they're attitude to taking responsibility for themselves, their duties and others leaves a lot to be desired. Unreliable, you'd be a fool to think they'll turn up on time or finally give you the money they've owed you for two years. 

The Hot Mess is the individual who is advised several times not to do something but will go ahead and do it anyway (yeah that!). A highly frustrating character, The Hot Mess will invariably get into altercations with anybody and everybody making promises to change that never materialise.  If this character is in your circle I'm pretty sure you've questioned their presence on several occasions but because they're your friend, you overlook their shortcomings rather than deserting them. Lord knows if you did they're finished. The ironic thing is these characters usually have great potential but they fail to exercise them.


The Organiser

Also known as the circle PA. Similar to The Connect but plays a more intricate role as a friend. The Organiser arranges the trips, nights out and such so when they're not available other circle members seem at a lost at what to do without them. Usually the high-flying type, ace in their academics, probably in a sturdy relationship too. They can get edgy when things don't go according to plan due to their synchronized nature but are usually cool-headed characters.


The All-Rounder

The All Rounder tends to be the utility character – one who can switch from mellow to monster in a minute. Their popularity plays a part in silently ordaining them with the leadership role. They possess a bit of every trait. One can come to them for advice like The Confider, has the ability to entertain like the Joker and generally acts as a link between all the members in the circle. 

I call these character the Iniesta’s (the pint-sized genius in the heart of FC Barca's midfield if you didn't know) of the friendship circle – stringing the passes to makes sure everyone's involved – the cogs of the clique. The first on everyone's list, there's usually a vacuum left when these characters are not present. Every group needs one who possesses these characteristics.


Missed any?

The Atomic Analogy

Proton, Neutrons & Electrons – remember that lesson. Not going into the academics of it but the analogy of the friendship circle bares similarities to the framework of atoms we were taught at school. So picture everyone you know being within an atom…ah forget all this, my brain is starved of oxygen. Let what I've written marinate first * collapses*

Saturday 28 April 2012

Day 300


SPAAARTA! What is your profession?

Flagrant Corper, assessing the state of affairs 300 days since trading my Bus Pass for a wooden Danfo seat.

You know initially when they say it whizzes by, you overlook their observation as mere ignorance but when I glance back (no Lot's wife) it has gone quickly. I recall entering orientation camp as a young, somewhat naïve A je buta boy not knowing what exactly to expect. Area boys, Okada & MOPOL have put me through a baptism of fire with each harrowing encounter being a fresh lesson. I've experienced, learnt and now shine eye better than most - I'm now the aggressor but never the instigator – in my approach and reasoning when dealing with challenges over here.

Surpassing Expectation

A lot of people are in disbelief that I've even managed to stomach Nige for this long. From friends to family members, even strangers applaud my efforts but I continue telling them I was already mentally psyched for this. Just envisioned and prepped myself for the worst. Once you're able to accept this, nothing can shake you. All my A je buttish peers drive lavish cars to their luxurious workplaces whilst I endure the bus conductors unwashed armpit in my face on the way to my industrial container of an office. I've gritted and just got on with it and I'm more accustomed to the more adverse side of Nigeria.

At 300, I stand as a man who feels more Nigerian than at any point in my life. Lodged in Lagos I've discovered a deeper appreciation for Yoruba culture. Despite the aggressive undertones, I love the poetic elements and passionate delivery of indigenous speakers of the Yoruba language. If Nigeria was the world, Yoruba would be the equivalent of English – I picked up small still. 

Unfortunately Igbo culture has failed to make an impact. It's not like there's a shortage because Igbos are plague-like on this axis just that their language, mannerism and behavioural tendencies have dithered behind their outspoken counterparts.

Still woefully trying to acquire a more meaningful understanding of my home tongue. Still find the ‘Pongs’, ‘Tongs’ and ‘Wongs’ more of a comical jibe rather than something I desire to be fluent in but one day I'll get there.

As you were

Some aspects are yet to change or improve. Silly superstition and senseless beliefs still hold my country firmly by the nuts. It's as if we refuse to believe unfortunate incidents are part of life – if anything adverse occurs it's usually passed off as a spiritual undertaking. 

We're still critically short-sighted and this is what prevents us from moving forward. Long-term planning is deemed irrelevant – we're only interested in the here and now and understandably so seeing as today's sacrifice for many, in a poverty stricken nation, probably means dying.

The inequality gap continues to widen, corruption remains absolute and now this new threat of terrorism ravages the chances of Nigeria ever being great. It's through this NYSC service me and my fellow youth aim to learn, grow and engineer change for the better but reality will probably slap me and ask ’what's the point?' 

Wednesday 22 February 2012

A focus on friendship

They say show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are. Not sure about you but the individual claiming such would struggle to do so in my case. It hangs on the premise of dated ideologies – birds of a feather flock together and all that kerfuffle but in my eyes, only long-standing friendships uphold such authority over ones character. 

Under scrutiny

On scrutinising my circle of friends, I observe such a wide spectrum of character traits and personalities it’ll be near impossible to brand the person I am. And it’s needed – a close group of friends should have this balance, this utility aspect to it where there's a friend to turn to in practically every circumstance. I liken it to a toolbox, each friend a tool useful in their own unique way. You wouldn’t call on a spanner to do the work of a hammer but both are present to cater for their particular need when it arises. Every character has a role to play in collectively contributing a unique piece to complete the 'circle'. Due to similar character traits, you tend to find clashes in homogeneous groups which lack the rigour and solidarity of those with a more cosmopolitan make up.

Since sojourning in the motherland, I’ve noticed the over-zealous attempts to befriend. In the nicest way possible I’ve often found myself maintaining a healthy distance probably because the minute inkling of paranoia got me thinking they’re just after a ticket to the UK. As I approach my latter years, I’ve observed this obstinate attitude of mine towards making new friends. Whether this is to do with my antisocial nature I don’t know. I believe one is at their most receptive in their adolescence as you permit and prone the type of characters you can and cannot tolerate within your circle. 

As you meet new people you’re discovering yourself too which is why old school friendships are so intrinsically valuable as they’re a reflection of who you are, and if the friendship still exists, a product of whom you’ve become. Secondary school through University I’m sure you would’ve gone through a list of friends, associates and companions who may or may not have withstood the test of time. Some alliances falling foul to conflicts, others mere distance and these days even death. 

As we age, we wean out the shaft until we’re left with that circle of close knit individuals we can call our true friends. Outer circle ‘know-bies’ will forever remain and they serve their purpose too but for some reason or another will always remain on the outside.

Quota reached

Now, in my mid-20’s I feel I’ve reached my quota. Not that I wouldn’t accept a new friend but simply because I feel I’ve acquired the balanced arsenal I need. Let me put it out there for those of you who’ve graduated and worked for a few years: how many can say you’ve met a new friend you could immediately draft into your inner circle? Not a lot – well I assume not anyway. Most inner circles comprise of friendships that have spanned years, be it right from childhood, school or Uni even. Screening their character traits, likes, dislikes and compatibility with yours is a process that usually takes time to implement, test and conclude. Yes on the odd occasion we meet that individual whose character just fuses and those years of investigative study can be packed into a few months but such is seldom.

What constitutes to a complete circle of friends is held at ones discretion. Experience says around 5 to 6 individuals but this is merely a guesstimate. It’s really depends on how scrupulous one is in their process of elimination. 

In the second and final instalment, I’ll delve a little deeper into what makes for a balanced circle, the atomic analogy and the role of outsiders.

Monday 13 February 2012

Great Commission

Another video entry this time the handiwork of my bruddah from long time, Jojo/legz who really needs to distinguish which moniker he's going under - is it Jojo or Legz fam?

Won't yab you with a blurb, just know that God's using the kid mightily. Kinda makes me reflect on my life.

Listen. Absorb. Reflect.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Reflecting at 200

Rah another milestone in this epic journey of mine. Hard to fathom that 100 days ago I was contemplating my 25th birthday. Now it's 2012 and I'm faced with terrorist threats and a national crisis over the fuel subsidy. I'm grateful though – still trying to stay learned, understand my native tongue and 'shine my eye' for any scam artists scoping me as an easy target.

From the last landmark entry I've been a victim of jazz - twice (I can't find another explanation to decipher what happened), got a new job (those in the know will relate to how much a triumph this is) and united with a bunch of long-lost cousins I never knew I had. Mixed bag in all but variety is the spice of life right even if I'm not a big fan of pepper. Till date I'm still vehemently denying accusations that I've acquired a wifey out here. Peeps back home are of the opinion I've already consumed her love potion, promising her a British passport and a house with a swimming pool and garden. *Sigh* My Life.

Anyhow, deciding to keep this one to a minimum, concise and straight to the point – had a few gripes about the length of my entries so I'll let pictures deputise for textual content. Miss Kennedy always said I waffled too much in my essays and she wasn't wrong. Still got an A in English Lang and Lit though AND WHAT!! See you at 300 – SPAAAARTAN!! 

Life's a Beach: If it was it wouldn't be half as hard - chilling, Eleko Beach, Lekki

Family Affair: One of my long-lost

Sips up: Drinking that fresh Coconol

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!

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!

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).

Tuesday 2 August 2011


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.

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!


Saturday 4 December 2010

Have you seen my white chick?

"I'm looking for my white chick, have you seen her?" – Words of Youngs Teflon. Whether this pays reference to crack cocaine personified as his white chick or indeed a fine ivory specimen is of little importance – I've got a sty in my eye that I need to get out and I'm making it everyone’s business.

White chick prophecy

Speaking recently to a female friend of mine, we got talking about our futures and amongst the euphoria; the topic void of an expiry date - marriage. My girl took exception to my prospective wifey and in no uncertain terms she exclaimed bluntly: "You're gonna settle down with a white chick". At this point I'm 'Doh-ing!' in my mind like a certain Mr Simpson. She continued with her prophecy: "It's the way you come across…you won't be able to handle a black girl". And with that I was left pondering - is it because I'm too nice? (personally not facially). True say this isn't the first time I've heard those collection of words strung together in a malicious sentence of verbal punch and kicks, intended to wound my self-esteem and fracture my ego.
Side thought: My preference for blackberry pie is too strong to see myself revert to the apple variant especially since I've long been a member of the anti-apple association as Mr Legz denotes. Don't get me wrong white and asian chicks are leng as well, I just prefer mi chocolate. I slyly think it's because I'm a lighty – prejudicial?
Now my friend (bless her dry hands) perceives me to be a walkover and completely incapable of handling a 'FOBO' (Female Of Black Origin). Why? Well the modern day deterrent of being "too much of a nice guy" was highlighted when we got into a heated debate about how to approach arguments. Me, being the nonchalant character I am, said I'll simply give my girl air if she try argue any nonsense. Make her feel stupid and hopefully she realises the error of her ways and cooks me a make-up meal (preferably jollof).
On the contrary, my famette (female version of fam) retaliated and made it quite clear a man should argue back, show whose boss and the one in control.

Side thought: And they wonder why domestic violence is on the rise.
She essentially deemed my approach to be that of a pussy'ole and that a black girl would 'finish me' if I tried play the silent treatment strategy hence why she believes a white girl would suit me more (perhaps because they're 'easier', more tolerant and in her eyes, pose a lesser threat to my safety!).
True say I felt like giving her a headbutt – a friendly one (no Chris Breezy), but is this portrayal of the 'FOBO' she refers to, a cliched stereotype or a true reflection? Surely the days of the loud and obnoxious Waverley girls on Bus 63 are long gone – or maybe not.

Black man scorned

I remember the outcry back in 2006 after a Vanessa Feltz radio phone in on 'Black men who hate black women'. Some black breddah (hold tight a certain someones cousin) came on to air his views on why he didn't like black girls. Not gonna lie, he dished the insults differently - if you haven't you need to listen (disclaimer: I am not responsible for this dudes views!). Amongst deeming them 'bitter' and 'repulsive', he went on to say that they were obese, had stinking attitudes and 'weren't as attractive' as white girls. Even in discussion with one black breddah at uni as to why he didn't go for black chicks and he said something similar but added the element of stooshness and being 'too hard to handle' – maybe my girl had a point!

She's stoosh, and what!

Black women have long conveyed an image of strength with little or no tolerance for nonsense (refer to mumzie) and are usually branded 'stoosh' (that's "stuck up" for any white, asian or black folk raised in a NUEES - Non-Urban Environment of Ethnic Scarcity) in comparison to their Caucasian counterparts. I presume in her eyes, to keep a FOBO's exuberance in check, a man needs to exert an equal and opposite approach if he doesn't want to get overpowered. That's street for: If the bitch mouth keeps going, the belt will start showing!

Side thought: Some any Newton's law analogy there – might as well put it to good use as I haven't had use for it since Dr Roshan's classes all them years ago (wonder where she is these days...).
Obviously this blanket doesn't cover every girl with a rich dose of melanin in her skin but I see where my outspoken acquaintance is coming from. If anything, it's exactly what makes FOBO's so appealing (to me anyway). I like a challenge – it's like winning (if I succeed that is). It feels good either way but you obtain greater satisfaction from winning something you've really had to work hard for, than a victory that's been 'given to you on a plate'. I always remember thinking – if a girl is willing to give it up so easy for me, she's probably willing to do the same for another dude - and no guy wants to wifey that kind of girl regardless of skin colour.
You tend to find (but not always) that girls that are harder to crack, acknowledge their worth (cue A Woman's worth by Miss Keys or Mrs Swiss Beatz for those with an eye for detail) in a sense if one is to approach them, what is usually deemed 'stooshness' is simply their way of saying "if you want this, you're gonna have to work for it" (either that or "you ain't on my level Nigga!" – or a man of any other race for that matter). And even after working for it, you're required to maintain it - cue the term 'high maintenance'. A strong woman needs an equally or even stronger man to match her robust characteristics if the man is to keep hold of the 'trouser rights' in the household. However, the assurance you get from knowing your girl is now loyal to you and the likelihood of infidelity is zilch, is a welcomed feeling.

Not so different

Where my girl made it clear that a breddah has to know how to control a black girl by not having it may hold substance to some degree, it's not the be all and end all – after all, any sane female looking for a long term relationship and eventually a husband, is looking for a lover not a master. It's funny because another friend made it quite clear that if she hits her man, she fully expects him to backhand her with interest. I listened with raised eyebrows as she eloquently explained how girls try to hide behind the 'can't hit a woman' façade, regurgitating reckless insults and abuse and basically provoking men to a stage where it becomes embarrassing to tolerate anymore! I digress.
In truth FOBOs are not all that different to white or asian girls in the sense they still demand the fundamentals of a good relationship. I don't believe any guy should need to rule with an iron fist to garner respect from his woman. Simply exhibit the fundamentals; love, care and understanding, add a hint of personality and sprinkle a little ruggedness to show you can handle your own and any self-respecting female let alone FOBO, will respond favourably. A dose of affection melts even the hardest hearts, so if you're a FOBO or any female for that matter still thinking "Nah, you need to show more than love to handle all this", I've got Chris Brown's number for you if Tyson or Ike Turner aren't available.
So in essence, have you seen my white chick? No, well me neither because I weren't really looking for her but I've had hints from individuals suggesting I really should be. To be honest, I've only got chocolate and caramel skin-christened sisters on my radar but such is fate, it wouldn't surprise me if I jinxed myself and Cathy Commons came knocking: "you asked for me?" Hmmm...

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Lifelong Bachelor = Selfish bastard | Part I

Jee wizz, its been over deux-months since I bucked on my blog - I see the mould forming and the content's starting to stink, begging for some new material. Don't worry I'm back with a nu J.O.B, nu money (if not temporarily) and a rather contentious topic to bring to the table of hot Fofo and Okro soup.

As u may not know, I've NEVER had a chick aka never been in a relationship, never had a wifey, no main-squeeze, no sugar dumpling, no stew in my rice (hang tight my AF's for that one). Note to reader: I AM 100% hetero, no homo (or "No Bruno" which seems to b the new one these days). So yeah, I've never been in a relationship - course I've done a little window shopping and in some cases even tried the clothes on, but for one reason or the other I've never made that all important purchase. I can see some of u looking a little puzzled by the odd personification so I'll dissect it into layman's terms for you.

This is a M, I need a L!!!

You know them ones where the garment looks on point but it just don't fit your physique - either too tight or too baggy, too long or too short. This is symbolic of all those females who on outward appearance are doing alot, but their personality ain't in sync with yours - nothing in common, too many differences with no middle-ground, nothing to talk about. This is that "awkward silence" date. My advise is to put her Back On The Rack nicely and continue looking. NEXT

What's that stain?

Now you've seen a jumper that fits perfectly, reasonably priced and looks on point. Then you see one stupid tear or brown smudge that just PARS the whole outfit. These garms refer to pretty chicks with nice enough personalities but suspect track records. You know the one your boy has worn before or others have run through - sloppy seconds I believe the term is. She may be termed as 'loose' or more pleasantly 'everyone's friend'. KMT - Never get involved with these ones, get left in the changing room straight.

But Mum, it looks swag!!

*African accent* "Ah ah, £4 for this sheert, go and try it on". You know them ones where you've followed your marj shopping hoping to get some new kicks and you end up in Peacocks (hang tight those who know) looking for a new shirt for church. These garms fit and all, but they just look frass!!! No prizes for guessing which girls come into this category. Shes usually lovely, her personality on point, she can probably whip up a mean Jollof rice and chicken and your family love her but I'm gonna put it like this - she lacks good facial stylistics when it comes to the aesthetic dept; I ain't physically attracted to them. That initial attraction is important - whoever told you otherwise is trying to shegg you, no long!! And you're there wondering why the cosmetics industry never declines even in recession!! True say if I never find my perfect fit, these type of girls are my alternatives - I guess as u grow older u become less superficial but for now, just make sure you keep the receipt!!

Those with expensive taste

So you're about to try on that new cardigan from that new boutique everyones talking about. It fits to a tee and its just raised your stylistics points by a good 80%. More importantly its got those all important letters inscribed in the crest; G U C C I - then you check the prices tag (£1700) Jeeeeez. Now these are what I like to call the "Gukki chicks". All your friends, companions and family alike rate her no less than a 9 - shes WeeeeennnnnGGGG!! Shes "Fully Comp", "Highly recommended" and "Globally Endorsed". There's almost an inferiority complex that sets in, making you feel shes outta ur league. With the looks, comes the attention (esp. from the champus poppers, celebs etc) and the cost of maintaining her presence in your phone book let alone your arm. These girls would b nice to have (preferably as a trophy on your mantlepiece) but the financial investment reduces the likelihood of anything sustainable. Ill just take a picture of the cardigan - "Maybe one day" and Vamoose!!!

Nike trakky - in grey!

Now you know you're a little too old to be rocking them tracksuit bottoms but they look ill. It might fit fine but you shouldn't b wearing them at your age. This refers to the band of chicks who you're thinking are grown when really you could go pen for getting too adventurous in their playground. Attractive young girls who will be head-turners in future, but I beg you just turn your head - this ain't even a long ting. Put the tracky back on the rack and if you leave JD quietly enough, no one will even know you tried them on.

I should've bought it

You've seen a jacket that fits and looks good but you've decided not to go through with the purchase because you've got something similar at home. You get home and start cursing the day you even left the store without it. These are the "friend-2-lover" girls or the "Brown Sugar" ting - most mandem have or have had one. You know the one where you know you gotta keep it strictly platonic but you start checking her back-off a little too long or look into her eyes a little too meaningfully. She gets a man and you start catching feelings but cant show it. In the end you usually pass up on an opportunity to take things further with these types cause you fear deading the friendship. I don't know where to stand with these ones - huge risk if you try and flop but bun living a lie - no regrets is my policy. Return to make that purchase if u need to.

Check my new purchase

This is one that fits all the right criteria - its looks good, compliments your figure and is within your financial limits. I ain't been looking hard for it but I'm hard pressed for a new wardrobe...will I ever find "my size"? I'm on this journey to find out esp when marriage ain't even looking likely for moi *cue Gasps*
Lifelong Bachelor = Selfish bastard | Part II...The Conclusion. Coming...when I feel like it. SooPz

Thursday 21 May 2009

New Look | New Track | New Improvements

Thought da page needed a revamp so I've enlightened my blog-face....literally. Oh n check my latest track - My Town. A ballad emphasising da way of life in da area of London I reside in. Dnt watch da fact dat im chronically off-beat on several occasions - datz da pressure of tryn 2 finish in 30mins 2 avoid extortionate studio costs n 1-takin errrting. Shheeesh

Da Lyrics (for those who find my nasals inaudible)


Youtz in souf deze dayz


Mandem r breathing

But they aint got no heart (echo)


Dis ones Malfunctional


Just thoughts on mind

2009 [Ha echo]


Once upon a time

In a place we called south

Where youts run around

Put barrels in ur mout


9mm Guns get popped [pause] daily

Rememba school days

were da best days

fight one day

cool da nxt day

deze dayz

if some1 says u chat shit

dey wont hestitate to take ur life quik

evn girls

aint safe

no more

i swear down

if u

get chirped

and say no i swear down

they’ll make u lie down on da ground

send u 2 ur maker (Huh)

for not givin ur number (kmt)

Whats the story

Brixton glory


And shit gets


u Think u aint shook

Betta not to get caught

Get popped in ur brain

So they see your true thoughts

Back in my day

mario was da way

Now youtz play GTA

Literally (Shit)

Give em a bill

And they will

kill at will

Jack u naked

Take ur doe too

Its emoshnal

U can


big money in my ends

when shotting Cocaine starts to pay dividends


u didn’t think shits lucrative

like dat

Dis kid


copped a brand new A3

Who shot larry

They said they shot larry

He Used to jack heads

Now he’s got holes in his

You take from da streets

Da streets gon take u

Dat how shit goes down

In my part of town

My lyric game has always been on point its jus da delivery datz slacking. I am improvin doe...whether dat matters or not is questionable coz I aint takin dis music ting seriously. Maybe I suld ghost-write...Hmmm.
Anyways, my Photoshop game is also hitting player of da year status. I rememba da dayz I wuld ask hedz 2 teach me n dey wuld air me lyk Nikes. Datz y i concur wit da term D.I.Y coz I believe ur da best teacher when u endeavour 2 grasp a concept urself. Anyways, erez one of my latest ones (NB it aint finished)

Went a bit mad wit da colours but bwoi its an experimental ting. Never underestimate ur abilities - Im Talentless not coz I have no talent but bcoz I refuse to place a limit on da talents I possess.


RATN: People r gettin saved n im still ere on a 'nominal' christian tip. I've been saved b4 but backslid & I guess dat "7 Demon theory" applied coz Ive found it hard gettin bak 2 God. I pray 4 God's mercy maaaayn!!!