Finally, *** takes a break from blogsville. Oops did I just use my real name? Or just post my picture below? I must be a big blunderer.
P.S. (04-03-2010): I'm considering repenting and returning to blogsville so I've removed my real name and picture. Time for yu guys to forget what you may have seen earlier. Oya start forgetting.
Have you ever heard of an NDE-Near Death Experience.
About 2 weeks ago I had my first NJE – Near-Jand Experience.
Before I continue, I must warn that a lot of people have lost the capacity for NJEs mostly due to the fact that they have been to jand (or watched too much DSTV). Alternatively, depending on the kind of schools you attended, you may also risk losing the NJE capability.
Me, I have never stepped outside naija- not even Niger or Togo and my schools have never really had that many white people. In fact, I remember when some Asians – must’ve been Bangladeshi or something- joined my primary school, we were taking turns to feel their hair. I follow touch O! If I remember correctly, the hair felt like plastic straws… or ragged pure water sachets.
So how do I define an NJE?
The most important factor is the people around. They must be predominantly foreign – not just foreign O! Togolese and Ghanaians no follow. They must be Caucasian; a sprinkling of chinks is permissible. This factor definitely rules out certain locations for NJEs – No hope for an NJE in Oshodi bus stop, the creeks of the Niger Delta and, of recent, the US oval office. (By the way sef, one of my very good friends thinks Obama might be the antichrist but that’s gist for another day).
The next most important factor is the environment – the architecture of the buildings, the uncommonness of the furnishings and even the landscaping.
Other minor factors also help identify an NJE. Smell for example. I imagined previously that an NJE would smell like garlic. Thankfully my first NJE didn’t cos the experience lasted 20 mins and I’ve returned there 9 more times. Speak of a nasal health hazard.
Dressing too matters – Men in skirts and women in outerwear that you previously thought was inner wear would be inarguable indicators but then more subtle pointers like the clothes looking more like they originated from Wranglers and Woolsworth rather than Tejuosho and Akpombo are indicative of the fact that you are on to something. Other stuff like language, accent and games played by the children should also be looked out for.
Now where did I experience my first NJE? No, not at MMIA or The palms but at a school – Lycee Francais Louis Pasteur du Lagos. Oya start pulling out your Harper’s French dictionaries. Its somewhere in V.I., for the rich, not-so-famous and predominantly light-skinned. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been tagging along with a cousin to drop off her daughter every morning and to be honest, I have never been around that many white people before. I try hard not to stare. I now know how the early white missionaries must’ve felt. I wont take credit away from the school though, I have only been in the kindergarten class and its kinda cool – my nursery school was not almost like that. They keep the kids very occupied with fun stuff, sometimes I feel like joining them to play with plasticine. And the older students seem to get plenty of homework considering the travelling bags they bring to school in the name of school bags. So if yu have money, send your child there so they can get used to oyibo and not stare like us.
NJEs provoke brilliant introspecting and the very first question that hit me was:
If this school were in Port Harcourt City where the light-skinned (including albinos) are an endangered specie, what will be used to guard the school???
I don't wear shorts on weekdays before I earn an asinine comment from one of my lecturers so I just stick to wearing them on weekends.
Today is saturday. Weekend. I was wearing my shorts, T-shirt and ACG sandals. I taught some folks Java programming, hosted my radio show, taught some more Java and went to eat in the company of one of my students. On our way back, this guy attacked my dressing. Said I looked boyish. I didn't take offense but then he started adding other annoying things. See me see wahala o! I started defending myself o! (My mistake;I should have just shut up). He obviously had a problem with short-wearing but why will someone try to enforce his standards and principles on me considering we have different backgrounds. Meanwhile I don't try to make his leather pam slippers sound like a capital crime considering I'm sworn off them. And for goodness sake, what is wrong with wearing shorts on a saturday. Not like I was going anywhere special with them. Infact, before I went for fellowship later that afternoon, I characteristically changed into a button-down, long sleeved shirt and plain trousers. People ehn.
Tomorrow, I'll be teaching him and others Java again. I'm really considering wearing the same shorts and t-shirt with up-turned collar...I wish I could also grow an afro overnight. What do yu think?
The first time I visited the school, I hadn't really gotten in. My sister was there already and informed my overjoyed parents that I gained admission but I had to bring some documents to solidify things. Anyways when I arrived with the kain documents, I had to perch with a cousin, Cigar who was living in a boys' quarter in the staff residential areas.
That night me and Cigar took a stroll but before we started out, he branched a neighbour's house and picked up some company; someone I'll continually refer to as mo. Mo eventually became my current roommate, closest friend and cousin to almost-girlfriend.
But I didn't move into mo's family BQ with him in my first year; Since my 3rd year, I would spend half the semester in my hostel room and half in mo's BQ. In most cases, I would start with sleepovers, then sleep- and bath-overs, then I'll bring in a shirt, then another and before long, I would basically be living there. Now, I'm no parasitic squatter; mo asked for all this so we could work together, I just never moved in permanently cos my parents didn't agree.
I forgot to mention that sometime in my 3rd year, mo's father became a deputy vice-chancellor of the university. The relevance of this? You'll see. In my final year, I informed (as opposed to asked) my parents that I was moving in permanently with mo and I didn't bother paying for hostel accommodation...at first; because before long mo's mum called me and told me to get my hostel room so one of their young in-laws that wanted to focus for his JAMB preparations could stay there. I obeyed. If na yu, yu go disobey your landlady? I paid for the accommodation with money she provided, did all the appropriate signing in procedures and the young lad started staying there.
Shortly after the boy came to complain to me that someone else had been assigned to the exact same space. Me, I carried my two legs and went to ask the hall supervisor why. The kain hall supervisor said I had been bounced. Of course, I didn't find that very funny and insisted on knowing why. The next thing I knew was a hot slap. Yes yu heard me - SLAP. Not slap (abi pat) on the back, not friendly slap on the knee, not tap, pap or crap but SLAP. I was shocked, shaken and saw stars.
Now yu my readers are probably thinking:
"Bighead deserved this, why did he tear the man's shirt". I did not touch him, much less his shirt
"Bighead deserved this, why did he curse the man mother with the worst kind of Igbo yabs". I spoke plain english addressing my current problem and none other
"Bighead deserved this, why did he raise his voice". Before the slap, my voice was loud enough for just the two of us to hear.
My crime according to him, "...disturbing...". I got slapped for disturbing. As far as I was concerned, I was slapped cos he was taller and some folks think I have a baby-face (a cute baby-face actually *wink*).
After the slap, I raked...oh my...I didn't even know I had that much rake in me cos I had to be physically restrained to stop me from shouting the roof of the hall down. Afterwards, I reported the incident straight to my landlord and landlady (DVC and DVC's wife, remember).
Have yu ever heard the term drinking someone else's panadol. My landlady drank my panadol in this case. We started at the dean of student's affairs who gave me a new room and gave my landlady permission to do whatever she wanted to the hall supervisor that "...he has been giving too much trouble...". From there we went to the university's chief security officer and were about moving on to the Police to get some policemen to arrest and lock up the hall supervisor for unprovoked assault when the CSO asked that we let him handle the case. All the while, I was feeling like a don getting my wounded ego healed. The rest of the story, you can predict.
In my school, the non-academic staff like this fellow are a huge part of the school's problem. I hope they keep slapping people so they keep getting put in their place. My cheek still hurts though. Do yu know any cheek massage therapist?
I'll leave old gist behind and start with wats new (except if one of the "topics" above is too juicy for you to resist asking).
Thats for my next post. For now, I'm having a raging headache, neckache, elbowache and heartache (I know, I don come again). Don't mind me on the last ache.
For this post, I was just ensuring I could still type in English (C, Java and MATLAB have been linqua franca of recent).I think I did pretty well; even Engr Anyaka cannot give me a 'B' on this post. Did I ever mention how Engr Anyaka denied me and the rest of the class A's on a THREE UNIT LOAD? and gave me worries for most of my final yr? Gist for another day.
For now, have a lovely day; breathe sparingly (there is an ongoing oxygen scarcity), don't stare at the hot girl...or guy that passes by (or stares at you), live...ok, I accept I'm blabbing.
Naija schools don dey beta small-small o! Thanks to the little improvements here and there, two of my lecturers were fortunate to be sent to
Since Mr N came back a lot of things changed about him. He now wears sneakers and jeans to lectures, with his well-starched, short-sleeved shirt firmly tucked in and a definite new bounce that gives me the impression that his sneaker soles are filled with helium. He also brings only type-written notes to class now as opposed to the hand-written notes (that look like they were written at least 2 decades ago) that is typical of most other lecturers. He is constantly on his computer every time you visit his office which he refuses to stay in whenever there is no light cos according to him, he can’t do without his air-conditioner. Before you start imagining one janded lecturer like this, Mr N is none of that o! He’s a typical Igbo man with “razor blade” = lazor brade syndrome and all.
Anyways, in the course of his lectures last semester, he gave us gist about
Everlasting life may be found there
According to him, everything needed for life is there, good food, good healthcare, even the weather supposedly contributes. He finds absolutely no reason why anyone should die there. It makes me then wonder why they have a population less than all the area boys from Igbosere to Okokomaiko despite ALL the things that contribute to death here.
Their prime minister moves around in a two-car convoy
This is definitely the main evidence that they don't have an ounce of naija blood in them (forget de white skin) because even wheel barrow pushers here hope to move around in convoys. Infact its my major regret for choosing not to go into politics.
If you don't close your legs while walking, you will be blown away
He was almost blown away himself O! In fact, we thank God for his life… He claims wind speeds are very high there; that he constantly had difficulty getting into his office and the dutch generaate all their electricity via wind power. Maybe Naija should adapt that so we can see wat new excuses the PHCN boss will invent (Militants?)
They worship the sun
No, I'm not referring to ancient
Every prostitute is good enough to take home for a wife...or contest for Miss Universe
Hear him, “My brother, if you go to
Mr N. must've had loads of fun in
Recently, I helped one gurl write a poem she read out at our fellowship’s fresher’s day. The audience liked it so I decided to post it here.
A quiet wind blows
Rustling bushes covered in brown dust
Sweeping over abandoned vehicles eaten by rust
Announcing our arrival
We have arrived
From another planet
Near yet so distant
Similar yet so different
Likened to a mustard seed yet large enough to contain all earthlings
Pristine and untainted by the blood and acrimony that flows through earth’s street
We have arrived
We are welcomed by raging wars
Greeted by the rumbling of earthquakes
Viewed with suspicion and disdain through half-closed shutters as we march through trash-lined avenues
Disease and death is commonplace
Sadness and frustration is the order of the day
We have arrived
We have come to put an end to all this nonsense
To beat swords into plowshares
And AK-47s into garden rakes
To heal the sick and raise the dead
To make everyone be like us
We have arrived
We are up to the task
We are bold
We are brave
We are driven by the Spirit
We are Alien Youth and We have arrived.
(The freshers called themselves “Alien Youth”)