Honourable ko, Integrity ni

My father has spent a good part of his money and thinking time in the last few years putting up a house in the village. I’ve been dragged along most of the time so “his first son, can have a better idea of what he is doing”. His reasoning; not necessarily mine.

Anyway, as a result, I’ve gotten quite some insight into the house-building process; I know the stages involved, what those stages cost, how even your kinsmen try to rip you off at every turn, how unreliable some contractors can get, what happens if your supply of money finishes (now, that one’s common sense; you simply have provided one more abandoned building for the homeless people and stray animals).

Yet with all this my knowledge, and its quite more extensive than I can describe, I cannot imagine how 628 million naira could have been allocated to the refurbishment of 2 (in words, two) homes or official residences of leaders in the house of reps. See full story here. I know they revised that figure to two hundred and something million but even that is incredible and the cynic in me prefers the larger figure.

I say for the umpteenth time that these our leaders must think we are ignorant and stupid maybe because some of us choose to blog about gurls (my big date hasn’t happened yet, by the way) rather than complain about them(the leaders). Even if they were building new houses. Bear in mind that these houses weren’t formerly abandoned; they were, not too long ago, occupied by Masari and the rest of his crew. Even if Masari in his rage for loosing out politically knocked the place around a bit or maybe he had children like the cousins I stay with currently. Even if he had such poor tastes and the tastes of our current speaker is at par with those of Paris Hilton. 6 or 2 hundred million??? Na wah O! She be arab prince?

I heard this same speaker just threw a bash (or small get-together, depending on who you ask) in the U.S. I barely have enough cash to give my crush a good time talk less of throwing a birthday “get-together”. When’s my birthday, by the way? Its unfortunate that she’s a woman. Just at a time when the footprints left by women in leadership pressed for more women in top positions. Her actions are trying hard to negate that reasoning.

I don’t know which is more annoying; the money involved or the attempted cover-up by the “honourable” members of the house. Reason? To protect the “integrity” of the offices and officers involved. “Honour”? “Integrity”? They must be joking. I don’t know which Nigerian perceives them as such; so where such delusions emanate from, I can’t tell. What I know is that the delusion has eaten so deep they actually believe it; they add such and such titles to their names, ask “honourable” former senators to take bows at ministerial screenings even while “honourable” serving senators face trial for embezzlement of billions of naira and others play hide and seek (their playground? National hospital Abuja) with the authorities for similar reasons. This is the height of self-deceit. Can’t someone talk them out of it?

It’s a heart-breaking development truly and I can’t wait for someone to get the axe very soon. I hope I don’t wait forever.


This 'Blip' on my Radar

This entry may earn me a “jew man” rating but I must still talk my mind. I’ve been dropping hints over my blog about this new “blip” that showed up on my radar. I met her (Yes, her…don’t tell me, did you really think I had a radar device at home? Of course I was referring to a gurl) at SAT lesson back in 2003. She was doubtless one of the “hottest” (I think its pronounced haaaat-est) there and she was brilliant too. Me, I was fresh out of all-boys school, I really couldn’t care less.

But that was then…

Our ways parted after the lesson which didn’t yield fruit for me; I’m still in Naija (and Naija rocks!!! Bosun, Osita, Emeka take note. I still jealous una small sha.) The yankee thing didn’t work for her (the radar-blip, remember?) either but we went to different schools.

I’m on I.T now and somehow we re-established contact on phone, yahoo IM and facebook. But I want more.

I want to “hook up” again, I don’t think she minds either but thinking about it, I’ve come to realise that “hooking up” and “hanging out” when I’m in school which is in the middle of nowhere and when I’m in Lagos are 2 totally different matters. In school, with 1k in your pocket, you could give a friend a great time and still have change.

Not so in Lagos.

For that to happen here, you and the kain friend must jump molue together, eat minimally at a cheap fast food joint and you must be ready you haggle with expertise and everyone. Pause. Let me define “minimally” here so I can be sure we are on the same page:

Meat Pie + Coke,

Doughnut + Icecream,

Fruit Juice (you will both have to share that),

Your friend could have chicken while you sit and watch Channel O (Under the pretext, "I'm not really hungry, you go ahead and have what you want")

I believe y’all get the idea.

My dad might have gotten away with that when he was dating my mum but these days the standards have been raised. Abi no be so?

With the help of a few advisers, I carefully analysed my options and the cinema made a good case for itself.

But even with that settled, the worrisome issue of transportation pops up (back at school, Okada will always suffice). I don’t have a car, my folks stay in faraway Warri and I don’t have enough “liver” to borrow one so I’m left with the cabbing option. All that settled, I played out the scenario in my mind. Here’s what I came out with:

-I bus to that far end of Lagos where she stays one Saturday morning

-By the time I get there, I'm sweating my butt off

-Apocrine glands are complaining (for those of you who stabbed dem biology classes, those are the guys residing in your armpit and other similar highbrow locations that produce your PIO – Personal Identification Odour)

-They can’t tolerate Nivea’s colonial rule anymore and start to rebel (funny smell)

-We both enter a cab to VI (big money)

-Watch a movie (bigger money)

-I might have to tell her to bring ID card for student price (big mess up)

-I buy snacks (small food)

-We watch a movie and she likes it and doesn’t want to be distracted so we can’t talk (so what was the whole point?)

-After that she enters cab

-And goes home

-I forgot to add... I pay

-If I’m lucky (and my bank account, unlucky) she says she had a good time and that we should do this again next week

-Next 2 weeks, a different big boy comes with tight ride and does same

-And he doesn’t ask her to bring school ID.

How u check am?

A friend suggested the beach. I think that’s cool and all but the cost seems unchanged. This cheapskate big head is almost officially at a loss of ideas. What do you think?



The other day, on my way home from work I had my iPod wannabe tightly plugged to my ear to drown out the cacophony that is Lagos… I mean you have car horns (there seem to be new, even more annoying varieties; even the ones that play a tune like a child’s toy or doorbell), then there are the sounds of partying in Lagos Island which I have to pass through everyday; those guys party everyday in some dirty street wearing plenty of glittering uniforms and romping down sumptuous-looking (looking being the operative word) chow amidst a variety of smells (most unpleasant), there are the noisy passengers around me, arguing with the conductor, complaining about something, summary… “Lagos” means noise. BUT I LOVE IT.

This entry is not about Lagos, is it?

Back to the main matter; one of the songs I listened to was Stacie Oricco’s “There’s got to be more to life”. I couldn’t help reflecting on my life… the first line of the chorus goes “there’s got to be more to life than just about every temporary high to satisfy me…”.

I spend 2 months (2 tough, rugged, broke months) looking for a place to do my IT and finally find a very nice place, good pay, friendly colleagues, relaxed dress code, doing something I really enjoy and after barely a month there, the excitement is gone; routine kicks in.

I discover blogging as the next best way to waste time (yahoo messenger, hi5 and, more recently, facebook formerly occupied that exulted position) and with just 9 entries + twice as many unentered skeletons, blogging isn’t so much fun anymore.

I buy a new pair of shoes and after rocking them for a few days, they don’t look so good anymore.

I meet a new gurl who’s one heck of a looker and who could possibly be “the final one”, she gives me face small and I’m no longer interested.

I did a double-flip (actually I'm joking; too fat and old for that) when I saw my first A in university now I'm close to graduating with a 1st class and A's aren't such a big deal anymore.

I once thought I could never get enough of computers and the web, right now, sometimes I’d rather just stay in the toilet.

When MTN started midnight calls, I thought they would block my number for overuse. For where? I only lasted 2 months.

I could go on and on… folks I need a permanent high. Where can I find it?

Drugs? (why are people creating new ones and end users stepping their game up continually?),

Occasions? (don’t even go there, how long can they last?).

Power? (I’m not quite ready to “win with landslide victory” (aka rig) just yet and who doesn’t get impeached, or assassinated, these days). A family friend just got killed the other day, left a young wife and ENOUGH kids.

Clothes? (Didn’t I just talk about my shoes?)

Shopping? (Where the money?)

Sex?(Why haven’t prostitutes gotten an overdose?)

Music?(Heard one, heard all).

TV? (PHCN I use God take beg una o! How person go fit dey high on TV when NEPA abi PHCN no gree)

Books? (Robert Ludlum is dead)

Food? (mama uche’s yam-beans rocks but… please… moreover my current “mama put” has something against me… if you know what I mean)

People where is the permanent high? God???

I think it should be God (at least, I guess that’s what Stacie Oricco was trying to imply) but what about him exactly? Cos the last time I checked we had turned His Word to just another book, His services to routine (and once in a while we call it an occasion), His songs of praise to just another one of the stuff we listen and dance to. These days sef the church is becoming one more social arena.

So what exactly about Him am I supposed to get high on???


What luck!

My roommate and I spent the last 3 months prowling the streets of VI looking for a good place where we could do IT. To the extent that "waffi" boy like me now knows the streets of VI like the back of my hand. I had to buy new shoes afterward. Anyway, we learnt, the hard way, the way things work in Naija. How merit is relegated to the back seat and connections aka "leg" becomes the father of the day.

Eventually, thanks to a little bit "leg" and merit, I got a great place while he got stuck with one government establishment. Now I don't think I need to let you know how doing "government work" is talkless of when you are an IT student. Summary, my guy was itching to leave, he throws a couple of applications around; nothing special, same thing we did during our "terrible" 3 months. All of a sudden, he has 3 invitations; thats not even the shocking part, they are all for today, 2 by 10 am. Is that luck or what?

I'm so glad I already found a good place; ever seen a black man green with envy? The sight aint pretty I assure you.


Here's to O

News flash: rain beat the nonsense out of me this morning soaking everything including my new suede shoes; they are still squelching water and my socks are quite uncomfortable. Thankfully the AC in the office is turned off. I have a good mind to hide the remote control incase anyone is having second thoughts about that.

At a cousin's birthday get-together some months ago, I met O; fine, quirky, and she's in engineering (I like that in female folk). Unfortunately, I don't suffer my head about girls who aren't suffering theirs about me so I let her case drop... at least until my roommate told me she liked me (Ar I still blame you for this). I figured that I might as well take up the case. I got friendly, she responded too. Secretly I hoped this would lead somewhere but all of a sudden, she doesn't call, text or even flash. I believe in persistence so I persisted...

Some sundays ago, I called and after talking for awhile, she puts me on hold to take another call. Tell me, whats a brother to do? I drop and she doesn't even call back. I make up my mind never to call again and a week and a half later, she flashes. Some say girls are confused, I think I'm worse. I wish could just bone them all but a brother's gonna have to get married one day. I don tire. Anyway, I no too send O again, cos like I said a couple of entries ago, something else just popped up on my radar. This bighead is going to get into trouble soon.


Redenomination, Who's losing?

"So when we graduate, we'll be earning like 10bay per month" was the first thing my cousin told me yesterday when I got home. "if you know anybody that has money abroad, better advise them to start bringing it back" was a colleague's reaction to the gist. The gist of Soludo's planned redenomination has spread like wildfire; trust nigerians, any gist that sounds like conspiracy spreads fast. My initial reaction was also one of alarm, what will happen to the few hundred pounds my pops has had in a UK bank since the 80's would they suddenly become valueless? A little thinking and I realise that the redenomination will have no effect on the value of that. Yes, given it won't be equivalent to tens of thousands of naira anymore but it will still have the same purchasing power.
My point exactly? No need for panic. We won't all be millionaires or thousandnaires anymore but nobody is headed for huge losses; not from money abroad, not from stocks, nothing. The effect is largely psychological.
Though my question here is this: why did he bother printing new notes in the first place? also we shouldn't forget that it was under him that 1000 naira notes were released. This reflects short-sightedness on the part of Nigeria's policy makers. Either that or the Government doesn't give enough free-hand to these people to make long-term plans resulting in a new minister, new policy effect. That should be corrected, not just in the monetary sector but all sectors as well cos this redenomination is going to cost nigeria in terms of printing new currencies (i hope you are aware that a new naira for all notes and coins will have to be introduced, sorry to disappoint those who have already started digging holes and stashing 5, 10, and 20 naira notes hoping for a x100 increase come sept next yr).
My second problem is that reasons presented for this redenomination include removal of artificial inflation, better perception and acceptance of the currency across the continent etc, I am of the school of thought that such should be pursued from an economic rather than monetary standpoint; remove corruption, give us uninterrupted power supply and you'll will get all that and more. Monetary value of a currency can never be compared to economic strength of its owning country; the latter always comes out tops. Take Japan for example, the exchange rate of the Yen to the US dollar is above 100 yen to the dollar but the Japanese economy is the second strongest which is what really matters.
Nevertheless, I must congratulate Soludo for shaking the country once more, if the NEPA MD and other folks could actually stand up and surprise Nigerians like him, we get along faster than we have now. For the while, lets see how it goes.


Who is fooling who?

Before i go into the crux of today's matter, let me first ask: if a pair of jeans is "jean" according to yaba boys, what do we call fergie of the black eyed peas? a black eyed pea?

After much hulla-baloo(how do u spell that?), VP jonathan goodluck decides to tell us he has just about twice what the EFCC seized from his wife shortly after he became governor of bayelsa state. (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/09/11/africa/AF_GEN_Nigeria_Corruption.php) tell me, who is fooling who? These nigerian leaders must think we are all stupid and seriously lacking an ability to think. When we were all expecting Jonathan to declare at least 10b. This guy has seriously disappointed awon boiz. Maybe we should start clamouring for his wife to declare too and after that his children, friends, infact the whole village. Nonsense. Imagine him saying he has only 1 car even my father has 2.

Before I round up here, I wish to beg anyone who has been on the receiving end of corruption and i mean the real end when there was no one to pass it on to to visit Chxta's blog http://chxta.blogspot.com and knock some sense into his head. Some folks refuse to see the problem around us; how can we solve it when we refuse to see it, it think that is called denial.


Its rag day again?

I don't get it; whats the fun in wearing your clothes inside out, rubbing some chalk on your face and running around the streets begging for money? Could a serious ragger please explain it to me. At my school in Enugu, you see people travelling as far as Onitsha, Port Harcourt and even Lagos in the name of rag day... and many of them make losses. They come back rejoicing about how some yam seller in the market gave them a piece of yam which another yam roaster roasted for them. Some folks know how not to have fun. Its rag day again at some school around yaba- feed your eyes and irritate your senses, I've seen enough.

Today in the bus, I witnessed for the first time, a driver fire his conductor. His crime: he was "conducting" from inside the bus instead of hanging on the outside as usual and he was rude to a passenger. Everybody don become Oga for naija o!

Talking about ogas, the other day at the office, some guy walks up to me and asks: "what do you do here apart from drink tea?". I need some serious help with that. I mean, wats a brother supposed to do?



Let's establish something today; I'm supposed to be a christian... what am I saying? I am a christian. The problem is that as you must have noticed, I'm becoming less and less convinced of the fact; not that i don't believe in the existence of the Almighty God or that He sent His son to die for the sins of the world; not that I don't believe in rapture or the end of the world but day by day, i notice a dwindling evidence of that in my everyday living, talking, working and what's the point of christianity if others cannot see it mirrored in your life. Just the other day, a friend asked me if I was fasting and it occured to me how long ago I last did that, talkless of preaching.

And I am not alone in this predicament.

A good population of Nigerians are also suffering from this name-only christianity. I mean... how else can we explain the proportional increase in crime with number of churches? Take for example, what happened in the bus last week: some guy enters the bus with a large enough bible, in my mind I'm already seeing this guy as either a "spiritual brother" or "church owner". How else could I justify his bussing with just a bible at a time when most bussers are hurrying to their places of work or business. The next thing, the conductor tells him the price which is obviously not what he budgeted for and the "spirituality" vanishes and "pidginiality" kicks in: I'm hearing phrases like "nothing you fit do", "I go follow you reach anywhere" etc in a tone that lets you know "anywhere" no mean church.

A lot of us are guilty of this name-deep christianity; as for me, I've started work on it. What of you?



Part of the problem with being a big head is that there can be no scarcity of thoughts. yeah, your thinking: and how is that a problem? It is cos I have only two hands with which to put them down resulting in lossy data transfer. Thats the second problem with being a big head: I tend to try to show that I have one; for example, I could have just said "I can't put everything down" or even "resulting in data losses" but I just had to show that I knew the meaning of the word "lossy". Are you seeing some characteristics of yourself here? Better check your head size again. Now back to those thoughts of mine, I won't put everything down today for 2 reasons:
1. Long blogs bore me and I rarely read to the end. Do you?
2. So I'll have something to type tomorrow. (now doesn't that contrast all my yans about big head, many thoughts? na you get your mouth)

Has anyone seen transformers yet? Interesting huh? Worth the hype? or the 300 naira you paid for the pirated DVD? most definitely not on all counts (In my opinion of course). My summary of the movie: transformers used to be a cartoon, you know... kids stuff and all; and who doesn't like those- shrek, lion king, bugs life and even our very own timeless Tom and Jerry. The movie transformers tried rather unsuccessfully to transform kids stuff which even grown-ups enjoy to grown-up stuff and ended up with the my-younger-brother-wore-my-father's-shirt effect. I will say no more about that.

On the other hand, Die Hard IV was "off the chainers". Even though Oga kpatakpata Bruce Willis was conveniently spared from death and disabling injury even when passing through things that even my kpako, never-say-die former laptop would have succumbed to(that last part was supposed to be joke), his extra-ordinary luck and resilience saw him at the end of the movie passing moral encouragement around; remember that just before then he shot himself in the shoulder, fell of America's 3-storey version of carter bridge and jumped out of a speeding car amongst other things. Nevertheless his extra-convenient survival was quite enjoyable and I'm definitely updating my hi5 and facebook profiles to reflect this.

I wrote too much today. Congrats for getting to the end. I wouldn't have if this wasn't my blog. have a great day.


Na wah for naija o!

Men check out the following excerpt from The Economist:

"...In 2006, for instance, the governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, had a budget of $1.33 billion to spend, considerably more than the budgets of some other west African countries, such as Mali and Niger. Moreover, Mr Odili had far fewer people to spend his money on.

Not that much of the money is actually spent on them. An almost total lack of transparency hides where most of the money goes, but a Human Rights Watch report managed to catalogue some items in the Rivers State budget for last year. The governor's office spent $65,000 a day on transport and travel and over 1.5 billion naira ($11.5m) on new cars; two new helicopters cost 5 billion naira, on top of the previous year's new jet; about 1.3 billion naira went on gifts and catering. By contrast, the capital budget for the health sector was 2.8 billion naira, in a state with some of the poorest, least healthy and worst-educated people in Africa." (complete article available at http://www.economist.com/world/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9070922)

Abeg, people tell me what does that make Odili? Abi let's shift the blame to his nameless planners. They must be either wicked or stupid.


Why can't everything be like google

For 3 days now, I've been trying to join an open-source software development forum; tried sourceForge, Apache and sourceForge again and it seems the general idea is that newbies find it hard to get started but they claim thousands in contributors so does that make me dull???

I sure hope not.

I think in life just like predicted by entropy laws everything tends towards disorderliness and complexity unless energy is applied to stop the trend. I mean name it, everything from your last exams to girls(especially the later) is complicated. I think people should try and make themselves and the things around them as simple and easy to use as google. I makes life a lot more easier for me.

On a happier note, I finally started IT at a seemingly ideal place after 3 months of active searching, printing CVs, getting turned down by gatemen, receptionists, HR Officers on the phone, physically and even in my dreams.

Also, a former crush from my recent past turned up again. I hope I don't put myself in trouble with anyone especially God on this one.

Let me stop here before I get fired quicker than I was hired.