Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tonight Matthew I’ll be the recently indicted despotic ruler of an African nation

Hola peeps. ¿Ahora cuáles son yo que va a hacer con mi tiempo libre?

Okay it’s Sunday the 23rd of August and I am in the office doing goodness knows what. That’s what my life has become since I got done with exams - I aced it by the way…u know just in case y’all are interested. After exams I felt invincible I….wait, I actually started writing a blog entry the day I finished exams but discontinued due to laziness. Hold on, here’s an excerpt:

It’s past 6pm on 7th July 2009 and just woke up from a nap. Over a year of preparation and I got done with exams earlier today. Instead of partying like it’s 1999 I’m writing for y’all, sad, no? No, don’t get me wrong y’all are not that least bit important to me, it’s just that it’s raining the entire zoo - why does it rain like crazy whenever my car returns from the car wash? – and there’s nada to do in Warri. I’d stop complaining though ‘cos though PH may now have a cinema they experience crazy traffic, and besides Warri provides me with what I like to term “human entertainment”. For instance, two weeks ago I saw a black Hummer H2 with the vanity license plate, ‘Na God’, parked in front of a pepper-soup joint called…wait for it…..’Goatleggers’. I kid u not. I mean what sorta unoriginal name is that for a spot? That’s like calling a bakery ‘Loafers’ or a nightclub ‘Clubbers’.

Anyways it’s such a relief to finally be done with the exams. Problem is what else am I gonna do with my time now? Well, I’ve already contacted my golf coach and gonna start lessons on Friday. Yup, gonna take another shot at trying to hang on to Tiger’s coattails. Then what? Well, got books I haven’t read in a while so gonna get entertained and improve my vocabulary at the same time. And then what? I am off to PH next week to entertain some clients so that’d keep me busy. And after that? Er, er, c’mon peeps what do u want from a brother? Gimme a break.

Well, since then nada much of note has happened. I did go to PH for 2 weeks, then returned to Warri for 3 days, then back to PH for a night, then Abuja for 5 days, then PH for a night, then Warri for a night, before flying to Lagos for a week. Yup, clocked so many air miles I’m giving Ban Ki-moon a run for his money. Returned from Lagos last Monday after spending week there catching up with family and being Ayo’s best man. Yup, dude’s now officially trapped. Hee hee. No escaping anymore buddy. Can u spell R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y? I, uh oh, more excerpts from blog entries that ended prematurely:

Had hoped to make it to Lagos after the exams but what can I say, there’s no rest for the talented. Man, been over 6 weeks since I was last in Lagos and badly miss that place. Maybe the 2-week job in PH is coming at the right time ‘cos I hear the rains have made the Apapa-Oshodi express road a death trap. Everyday I hear tales of crazy traffic on that stretch of road that only a masochist would relish. We talking 3-4 hour traffic jams for a trip that would normally take 25 minutes. This has been going on for months yet the guys at the top are unfazed. University lecturers are on strike, same with healthcare workers, power supply’s abysmal, roads are in a sorry state, yet Yar’Adua and his crew are clueless. I know, I know. I said/thought whatever these guys do would no longer bother me, but people this is frustrating. I know complaining ain’t gonna do anything and…arrrggghhhhh!!!! Reckon we’d have MJ’s They Don’t Care About Us as our rallying song for Iran, Honduras, Nigeria, everywhere.

So where was I? Yes, Ayo’s wedding. Man, it was the usual carnival atmosphere, that I have come to know and loathe, associated with family functions. My family knows way too many people! Having 11 siblings will do that to one. Man, I wanted to pull my armpit hair out and I ain’t even the groom. Too much, just way too much. Come to think of it maybe, just maybe that’s why I am scared of getting hitched. It ain’t the lifetime marriage I am scared of, it’s the wedding and engagement ceremonies! (At least that’s the excuse in my head this week.)

The day after the wedding I woke up sorta early, walked downstairs, saw the number of chairs outside and a bandstand, then went back up to bed. Yup, we were supposed to host the bride’s family but I was hoping for the bride’s closest family not another reenactment of the wedding. So instead of spending a week relaxing in Lagos I returned to Warri even more tired.

Didn’t help that Neo and moi had a huge falling out during the 2 weeks I spent in PH so when peeps didn’t see her at the wedding or the family thang the day after they kept asking what the issue was. Got so bad Chief and my mom summoned me to Chief’s room on the eve of Ayo’s wedding to have a ‘talk’. Now most parents would have other things to worry about on the eve of their kid’s wedding, but Chief’s had so many kids get hitched he’d probably play his fatherly role at a wedding in his sleep…with his hands tied behind his back. This was no Good Cop – Bad Cop routine, it was more like Bad Cop – Badder Cop. I will now attempt to reenact the entire scene (*clearing throat*):

Chief (aka Badder Cop): So what’s the problem with u and Neo?
Moi (aka Uncooperative Suspect): Nothing. We just having issues that’s all. I thought we’d be able to resolve it by today, but it appears not.

Mom (aka Bad Cop) shakes her head in disbelief….

Chief: So what exactly is the problem?
Moi: It’s something private I’d rather not talk about…
Mom: Not even with ur parents?
Moi (*becoming bolder with every question*): Nope.
Chief: I mean how bad can the problem be that u cannot share with ur parents?
Moi: It’s just private. Neo and moi decided to resolve it ourselves, that is if we can…

More head shaking from Mom.

They then ask the question in different ways like the veteran cops they are, but I was catching up on ‘The Wire’ just before I left Warri for Lagos so I didn’t budge.

Chief: I expected more from u. Ur mom and I expect more from you. After God we the next people u’d revere, and yet here u are saying u can’t talk to us about a problem in ur relationship.

Like D’Angelo Barksdale in ‘The Wire’ asking to see his lawyer I keep repeating the “It’s private” line.

Mom (*playing the sympathy card*): I don’t know why u can’t reveal stuff, but I thought Badder Cop here, sorry I meant ur dad……I thought u’ve always been freer with him. U know I ain’t feeling too well…
Chief (*quickly latching on*): Yeah, it’s all this worrying about u that’s affecting ur mom’s health. There I am telling everyone we having ur wedding in December and now u come up with this. U can’t even be bothered to tell us what the problem is, so I have an explanation when I am asked why u no longer getting married.
Moi (*feeling cojones grow larger with every sentence*): I never told u I was getting married in December. Never told u to tell anyone either. If Neo and moi don’t work out, as it increasingly seems likely, then it’ll hurt me like crazy, but that’s life. I know u guys like her, so do I, but it’s just the way it is.

Mom shakes head even more I fear she’s gonna have whiplash.

Chief (*hitting below the belt*): I can’t believe this! U sure there’s not anything physical or psychological? Is it a case that u cannot please a woman? Tell us so at least we can seek solutions. Or u don’t want to get married? U not homosexual I hope?

Mom…..well, at Chief’s last question I can feel her say “Not my portion” in her head.

Moi (*trying and almost failing to muffle laughter*): None of the above, sir. I do wanna get married. Definitely not in December, but I know I wanna get married. I am sorry to say this again, but it’s a private matter.

At this point they both rant and rave and threaten – the equivalent of the Lieutenant and co giving Bird a beat down in ‘The Wire’ S1 – but I ain’t budging. Finally, Chief says he’ll not bother me anymore, mom pretends to cry and leaves. I suspect she hides behind the door, eavesdropping. At that point I finally succumb and tell Chief the score.

Chief (*relieved his son ain’t gay*): Now that was foolish of u. Terribly, utterly foolish. U’d not have said that to her. Okay so u want me to talk to her? No? Okay I’ll respect ur wishes.

Respect my wishes? Did he heck! Found out he called Neo and tried to soothe things over but dude made it worse. Right now I ain’t even bothered. Not keen on a relationship so just taking things easy, which is not so difficult to do in Warri. If I was any other place….man, u’da seen me after Neo and moi fell out a month ago. All of a sudden it seemed as if I changed my cologne or something. Every female I said hello to wanted to know me better. It was when the security lady at the PH airport came on to me I had to look around to ensure I wasn’t being filmed. Yes, I still believe there’s a Tunde Show out there where my every move is being documented for y’all’s viewing pleasure. If that indeed is the case here’s a middle finger (covered in rear of the nose boggie) to y’all voyeurs.

Speaking of middle appendages, that’s what I wanted to show everyone at Ayo’s wedding who came up to me telling me I’m next to get married. Ti e no a de o. Oh yeah, well f%$& u! A ma se ti e no o. Well, kiss my blistered left arse cheek!

Don’t get me wrong it ain’t like I don’t appreciate the greetings, but it’s kinda cliche, dontcha think? I wish Hallmark would come up with greeting cards for such occasions so people wouldn’t have to repeat the same tired, worn out phrases again and again. Just like when peeps find out a relationship’s ended they feel it would be outta place if they didn’t enquire as to the reason for the discontinuation of said relationship. What the?

Woosha, woosah. Sorry peeps I didn’t mean to get all Malcolm X-esque. (Geddit? The letter ‘X’ and ‘esque’ sorta rhyming? Aw, forget yous.) It’s just that b4 I tried to emulate Mr. Ki-moon I had two golf lessons after a break of almost a year, and I was good. In fact I was very good. Fast forward to yesterday and my swing’s back to where it was a year ago. Awful, just plain awful. As I am about to embark on another trip to PH and then to the R.I.G. – yup, I am back on that assignment again – the coach and moi agreed I’d wait ‘til I have at least an uninterrupted week b4 we start lessons again. Dude feels the stop-start sessions are doing more harm than good. I wanna practice alone but coach advised against it. Said I’d build some habits that would be difficult to shake, thus making his job harder. So instead of playing golf I am here with y’all conversating about yet another failed relationship. Sad, huh?

Maybe life would be more interesting if I kept a journal – oops I do that already. Er, er, what else do I have to do in Warri to keep me sane? Maybe I’d start a separate blog about my issues with perfecting a golf swing. Nah, who would read it? Besides my entries would be few and far between – sorta like this one, huh? Ha - seeing as I can’t find the time to have lessons on consecutive days.

A more revealing blog on relationships, perhaps? Nah, that’s what my journal is for. Besides what happens in a few years when I have kids old enough to read? How am I gonna explain to them that dad had to date a boat load of women until he came across their mom, and that if one day mommy dearest decides to leave dad they should tell her dad revealed to them his most treasured book is the limited edition of O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It, Here’s How. Ha huh ha huh ha huh. Seriously though, ever wonder how Madonna’s gonna explain the Erotica video or the JPG pointed bra to her kids? I guess that’s where trust funds come in.

While in PH caught Definitely, Maybe, starring Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Breslin, on TV. In it Ryan has to tell his daughter Abigail the story of how he ended up with her mom, who he’s about to divorce. Sweetest movie ever. Also reminded me of my life and relationships I had been in. Movie also had me praying hard that I don’t have a daughter – with my mom having only male grandkids the odds don’t favour my not spawning females – so I won’t have to search for words to explain to her like Ryan did when Abigail tells him, “Dad, I love u, but can’t believe that u once smoked, and drank, and that you were a slut”. Er, if the year is 2030 and u are my daughter reading this while piloting ur flying car, just know that daddy loves u very much and is glad u are a girl, and wouldn’t swap u for a boy – who he’s sure woulda played for Arsenal FC – for all the money lent to nonpaying debtors in the Nigerian banking scandal of 2009.

A lot has happened since last blog entry and maybe it’s best to concentrate on that than the stupid actions that made Neo leave me. Here goes:

The Iranian Election: Kinda ironic that the flawed elections happened on June 12th, no? (*Only Nigerians might get that point*). I was so disappointed I didn’t know what to do. How can u justify treating one’s own people this way? As the violent election fallout occurred while revising for exams, and as I normally go all Spartan - read disheveled appearance, not killing wild animals in the snow - while studying, decided not to shave beard as a way to support the struggle in Iran. I know it’s a weird thang to do, but just like the problems in Nigeria I am at a loss at what other action to take in order to effect change. So for the past 10 weeks I haven’t shaved my goatee – after 4 weeks I decided just to stick to the goatee and shaved rest of facial hair ‘cos when I’d go to church peeps would look at me all weird thinking, “What’s this Muslim brother doing here?”, and kids would run to their parents when they saw me.

All in all I need to find another way to make my voice heard ‘cos this 10-week goatee thang ain’t having the desired impact. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria made a good point at highlighting the hypocrisy of Muslim leaders after the clampdown on Uighurs in China and the post-election violence in Iran. Not a peep was heard, but when the US or Israel or the West is involved riots break out. Taleban been blowing up fellow Muslims, no response from the so-called “leaders”; Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco for yonks, still nada. U know I was gonna start the previous sentence by stating I have nada against Muslims and my best mate is Muslim, and I have Muslim family members, but think that’s what’s wrong with us. We put ethnicity and religion into everything . So if u upset and wanna balance things out in ur brain feel free to peruse previous blog entries and see where I have criticized Xtian leaders as well. Happy now, punk?

Twisted thinking due to post-exam ennui: Speaking of which while driving – read stuck in traffic yet again - around PH was struck by the number of photos of pastors and their partners accompanying billboards of churches. When did church leaders become a product? I am not talking about advertising a new church program or anything, nope, just a billboard describing church location. What gives?

Come to think of it on same day observed a microcosm of what’s wrong with Nigeria, the world even. U see I came across racist goats – saw two black goats chasing away a grey one. Can just imagine them saying (*in goat speak obviously*), “U black wannabe, wigger u. Coming here with ur blinged hoofs and bejeweled horns and ur baggy fur and ur goatee all corn-rowed up. U not from the hood son. Go up to the GRA with ur Caucasian brothers. Looking at our black sisters and all….Shiieeee….”

And like y’all know once my mind starts wandering it doesn’t stop. On same day while listening to Nigerian music thought of what better way to build up patriotic fervor in our kids by organizing a national spelling bee where kids get to spell words like, Ogborikoko or Toyentoyen or Chinekeme or Unugegbumadu, etc.

Also couldn’t help thinking about the dude that first devised the Marmite ad campaign. Dude’s either a genius or the laziest punk ever. Love it or hate it? What the?

Michael Jackson: Was watching The Situation Room on CNN when the news broke about MJ’s death. What a sad way to go. My favorite songs of his are Human Nature, PYT, Who Is It, Man In The Mirror and She’s Out Of My Life. Favorite videos? Probably Liberian Girl and The Making Of Thriller.

Of course after his death MJ’s videos were played ad nauseam and couldn’t help but notice the ff:
a. MJ might have had what Nigerians call the ‘H factor’ (an effect in speech where one consonantises – yup, a new word I invented - words that begin with a vowel by prefixing them with an H, hence ugly is pronounced ‘hugly’, after ‘hafter’, octopus ‘hoctopus’, etc.) Serious. Listen to Give In To Me again. Dude clearly sings, “…But it’s Hokay, And it’s Hokay…”
b. Bad is a really, really crappy song. Video is even worse. I think Michael wrote certain songs so one can’t dance to them without emulating the choreography that accompanied the video to the song. Think of it, how does one dance to Bad or Black Or White? Only li’l kids who don’t know any better or drunk white folk at weddings can successfully dance to those song and feel accomplished.
c. Now I get what the uproar at time was about concerning the panther sequence at the end of Black Or White. All that shirt ripping and nipple rubbing? Hee hee.
d. MJ’s been described as a genius, the king of pop, wacko. One description I feel was left out is the Pepe Le Pew of music. Watch The Way You Make Me Feel again and u’ll get the point.

Had to watch the Michael Jackson memorial – plan was to watch PTI on ESPN - ‘cos it rained heavily that day and only channel showing was BBC News, which broadcast the memorial. While watching the memorial thought to myself, “Guess what initially made me jaded about the whole MJ thang was folk desperately trying to cry on TV. U knew it was fake, it wasn’t ‘til a close friend called and said she cried when she heard about his death – she wouldn’t lie - that I understood what he meant to peeps. Maybe I am not that emotional, maybe…ooh Smokey Robinson’s on TV. Dude’s a cool cat. Tracks Of My Tears is one of my fave songs of all times.”

Saw Rev Al Sharpton at the memorial and couldn’t help but wonder where his church is. Is it beside Jesse Jackson’s as they seem to appear quick on the scene whenever there’s a news story with a ‘black’ undertone. Sharpton made the most poignant point of the night when he said though MJ may have been an icon to us it’s really his kids that have lost a father, his parents a son, his siblings a brother. The hokiest moment of the night? Well, that’d be a tie b/w Usher’s pretentious gaze at the coffin after singing Gone Too Soon, Brooke Shields’ attempt at humor, the rhinestone gloves donned by MJ’s brothers, and the unauthorized declaration by that lady from the U.S. House of Representatives to put forth a motion for MJ to be declared a national icon.

Politics: Sarah Palin might be a quitter, but she’s still hot. In fact she’s so hot the best thang about Eminem’s Relapse was her lookalike in the We Made You video.

Y’all heard about the Mark Sanford scandal? Teaches u once again that dissing Bill Clinton – Stanford was one of those who voted to impeach Clinton during the Lewinski scandal ‘cos “….if lying to the American people wasn’t bad enough he broke his vow to his wife” – can be likened to a player leaving Arsenal: ur career never attains same heights. Sanford sounded like Barry White when talking about his Argentine love. Ha. Oops, maybe I’d stop relishing this if I hope to assume public office someday.

“So why are we Hondurans so blasé? Our weak political memory is a defense mechanism. Too many times we’ve greeted the inauguration of a new president with optimism, only to eventually feel fooled and frustrated by the political incompetence and corruption that followed…..”

The previous paragraph was gleaned from a NY Times Op-Ed piece by a Honduran, Roger Marín Neda. He was commenting on the coup that forced the Honduran president Zelaya into exile. Replace ‘Hondurans’ with ‘Nigerians’ in the paragraph and that pretty much sums up all that ails us.

Mr. Neda went on, “……And Mr. Zelaya, in many ways, is a typical Honduran politician. He began his four-year term in January 2006, and by mid-2008, the idea of a second term was already in the air, even though it is forbidden by the Constitution. Since its independence from Spain in 1821, Honduras has had 16 constitutions, as these documents were vulnerable to leaders’ desire to extend their stay in office. The current constitution, which came into effect in 1982 after many years of military rule, was written to forever protect the country against presidents’ overstaying their welcome.

But over the years, the lust for power has proved too strong. The first president under the 1982 Constitution, Roberto Suazo Córdova, sought to eliminate the constitutional prohibition. Most of his successors have also tried, one way or another, to stay in the presidential palace longer than they were constitutionally allowed.”

Again that could be the sorry tale of Nigeria. I knew I was at my wit’s end when some weeks ago I found myself sympathizing with some of MEND’s policies, even though I am a pacifist – read wuss – and I don’t subscribe to kidnapping of innocents. What else can one do? Generations before have written about the deplorable Nigerian leadership yet nada’s changed. They’ve gone on exile, shouted from the rooftops, given interviews to the foreign media, yet the rot remains the same. My goatee-protest is having no effect, in fact it’s growing so long I have noticed it twisting into locks; I dunno what else to do. Who would have thunk Yar’Adua’s lackadaisical attitude to things would lead to menticide on my part?

Maybe it’s time we employed a different tactic in order to make our leaders listen. Didn’t know they cared until Obama shunned Nigeria, the self-proclaimed giant of Africa, for Ghana. Oh man, it ate at the venal punks. Ha, it ate at them so much the leaders of the Legislature refused to meet Mrs. Clinton when she showed up weeks after. Even then the US Secretary of State lambasted the failure of leadership in Nigeria. That hurt the thieves even more and the EFCC chairperson – what’s up with her and sunglasses anyways; she related to Sani Abacha or something? – tried to defend her actions since taking office. Quite amusing when one thinks about it.

I reckon the tactic we should employ is exposing our dirty linen for the world to mock, maybe then our leaders would have a sense of shame and do something. Forget the whole Good People, Great Nation rebranding schtick, we’d take pics of crap infrastructure and post it on the web. Tried to do this with our airline industry (, but haven’t found the most effective way to expose the rot so please your suggestions are needed. Heck, if have secret documents indicting our rulers post it up.

Wanna know why the militants kidnap oil workers and not past Niger Delta state governors who looted the treasury? It’s ‘cos the former are within easy reach. I reckon we’d use similar tactics to disgrace our leaders; u mightn’t be able to reach ur senator but u’d probably bribe – yeah, I wrote it! – his/her maid to provide u dirt on the senator’s activities. U mightn’t be able to reach a top presidential aide but u’d reach his driver and convince him to ‘mistakenly’ pass a deplorable stretch of road so ‘His Excellency’ encounters what the general populace does. U a concert promoter? The next time a top artiste arrives in the country take them through Apapa-Oshodi express way and implore them to give honest answers the next time they asked about Nigeria. “I loved the Nigerian fans, they real good people. They just gotta do something about their crap roads and erratic power supply.” Now if only I can get R. Kelly to write a hit song like that.

Tot ziens and God bless.

Comments-[ comments.]