Monday, March 30, 2009

Some Like It Hot ....

So much for hot sex.

A recent study purports there are fewer births nine months after a heat wave. It found that an increase of about 21.60 degrees Fahrenheit in summer temperatures reduces births the following spring by up to 6 percent.

Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research concluded that high temperatures could reduce people’s sense of well-being, which could result in a reduction in sexual interest.

Another study found lower sperm counts during hot weather.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Do You Know Your Brand?

If someobody calls your father a thief, what will you do?

I am usually appalled by the level of naivety displayed by Nigerians when this issue of Scam or 419 is mentioned. I will advise us all to do a search (Google/Yahoo/MSN etc) for the top 200 scammers in the world today and I can assure you there is not a single Nigerian in the lot. In fact, MSN brought out a list of scammers recently with their pictures and profiles and there was not a single Nigerian in the top 20! In fact, the top American in the list agreed to pay back taxes on his loot to avoid going to jail. There were Russians, Serbians, Turks -mostly Eastern Europeans on the list.

I will not try to absolve some of our countrymen who still indulge in this nefarious pastime (we are 140 million for God's sake) but with the efforts of the past and the level of awareness amongst the populace, it is a largely passing/passed fad. It is not as it used to be. Mugu don wise. Guyman sef don born again. We do know that most of those emails and letters still circulating on the web do not originate from Nigeria anymore. From the way the English is structured, you can guess where they are from.

Besides, anyone who still believes that there is a 'HRH Miriam Abacha' with a $20 billion stash looking for a foreign account to keep it must need serious help or might even be beyond help. Where have you been living for the past 15 years? Under a rock?

We need to understand that those who use the number '419' to describe fraud are usually Nigerians themselves. The number is actually the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with Advanced Fee Fraud. Now, that law was meant to protect Nigerians from foreigners who were all over us particularly in the 70s during the Oil Boom when we had so much money, our problem was how to spend it.

When people -like Oprah- call Nigerians scammers or call Nigeria the land of scams, it is meant to be an insult! DO NOT CONDONE IT. Take it as an insult and deal with it as such. Demand an apology.

I have no apologies for being a Nigerian. It is difficult enough being one without you telling me how stupid you were to fall for an anonymous email. Do you want me to tell you how my Uncle was swindled in 1974 by a white boy who said he was the son of John F. Kennedy?


Exactly. Gerrout of my face!

Last time I checked, Bernie Maddoff is not a Nigerian.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nigeria: Rebuild Not Rebrand

Deoluakinyemi wrote that he wanted me to 'pirate' what he wrote, so I did.

What I want to write today is an article I will love you to pirate. I’ll like you to dub it, and put it on your blog post. Modify it if you like, give me credit if you want, or give me none at all. They say we’ll achieve a lot more if we don’t care who gets the credit.

I have refrained deliberately for a long time to make any comments about our National Re-branding exercise. I hope I will be able to say what boils in my throat and wrists tonight, without making too much reference to it. For all it’s worth though,... the fundamental error I can see is that Nigerians have not been allowed to own it, and hence rather than having people championing it, and helping others buy in, what we have is criticism and condemnation by the same people ....

Having said that however, I have a proposition of an exercise that we can own as Nigerians. It’s a simple idea and it came as a fallout of a discussion that ensued in my office yesterday. It’s an answer of what we can do to focus our leaders on the problems that we have ... and to assist them in giving it the attention it deserves. We no longer need any assistance from any source to know that our most crucial problem in Nigeria is Leadership! If we are all on the same page in this realization, then our efforts towards a better Nigeria must be channeled to support, focus and direct our leaders.

I remember shortly before the elections last year I wrote an article I titled, “Power is all we need!” I pleaded with our would be leaders not to promise us roads or education, but to promise us just one thing - Power! That if in any leaders 4yrs we can celebrate 1yr of uninterrupted power supply, then we should immortalize that president. Haven been to Egypt now to watch tombs, I say we must do the same, but before they die however.

First for the nation, then the states, then our local governments. Once we have a new president for example, we should as a nation analyze our most significant problem that we want solved in his or her tenure. After we have agreed on this problem, we should then go ahead and give that problem the same name with our president. We should substitute the name of our leader with this problem in our conversations, in our articles in newspapers, in our slang’s, in our music and drama. We should do this per state and per local government as well.

Let’s say for example that we have discovered that our biggest problem in Nigeria is Electricity, and for example that our president’s name for the tenure was Yaradua. Then every time power goes, every time we are in darkness, every time we have any issues, our conversations should be like this.

When it is bad as it is - “Chei, Yaradua has gone again”,
“Ah, we have not had Yaradua for the last 2 days”,
“This Yaradua is so unstable”,
“Ah what did we do today oh, we have half Yaradua today”,
” What’s wrong with you, you are complaining that you haven’t seen Yaradua for 3 days, what about people that haven’t seen Yaradua for one year! or ever!”,
“I wasn’t able to do it overnight, because Yaradua kept fainting”,
“We have been using Yaradua as backup to our Generator”,
“Iron your shirts, Yaradua may soon go oh”, ”

When this start becoming good - ” Up Yaradua!”,
“Yaradua is really trying oh, we are not where we want to be, but we are far from where we were”,
“Yaradua has been consistent for the past 24hrs”,
“Ah, we need to celebrate 1yr of uninterrupted Yaradua”,
“Yaradua is so much better these days”,
“With Yaradua so constant, Nigeria is really becoming the most desirable nation to live in on earth”.
“Yaradua is constant in all the states of Nigeria and the structures are in place to get Yaradua into all the local governments.”

Can you form your own new ones?

If we keep speaking this way, our leaders will know that we mean business with our desire for solutions. The next president will also know that one critical unsolved problem will bear his name until it’s solved. I recommend, that whichever president fixes electric power be given the opportunity to forever bear the same name with electricity in Nigeria and be forever immortalized in the lips and minds of Nigerians.

The same for every future identified problem. A similar approach should be taken to the state levels. Whatever problem we align and identify must be instantly changed to the name of the Governor. If the issue in Lagos for example was Transportation and assuming the Governor was Fashola, then by now, people should be saying
“Fashola is getting better in Lagos now”, or
” I entered one wrong fashola and they collected my phone and laptop.” or
“Big Fashola (BRT) is actually making life easy for Lagosians”.

We can identify the states one by one and identify the problems that need to be solved and replaced with their name.

My people say that whatever hurts one, must be primary in one’s conversation -

“Oun to ba duni lo n po loro eni”

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fasting Fridays: Be Cause

Why do we fast?

There are several benefits to the practice of fasting particularly those of health and physical well being but most of the people who fast do it for 'spiritual' reasons.

On Ash Wednesday, there was an interesting discussion in my office about Lent with three different denominations of Christians having different views about it. The Catholics celebrate Lent while some others participate but there were those who do not see it as 'scriptural'.

They say that there was nowhere in the New Testament where fasting was recommended to Christians. Jesus fasted for 40 days but he didn't say anybody else should. Paul did not recommend it though there was reason to believe that he fasted himself.

I really do not know about this so I will just ask for your views or opinions. As Wikipedia will say [citations needed]

I believe every religion has one form of fast or the other. Islam recommends - nay, mandates- all faithfuls to observe the thirty days of Ramadan in a fast of holiness.

Why do we fast?

Francis, who is a member of ECKANKAR answers the question like a typical African. He asks another question:

'Why do we eat?' - to which he answers thus:

'We eat to keep body and soul together'

So, why do you fast?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Naija 4 Life!

NIGERIA: Good People, Great Nation

For the last few years, there had been a palpable positive movement in Nigeria's image indicators and it was not started by the Nigerian government. In fact the Nigerian government came into it and derailed the efforts with its infamous 'Heart of Africa' shtick.

I really dont know how it started or who started it (though some people credit JJC & the 419 Squad crew) but the 'NAIJA-4-LIFE' slogan was/is still the most successful effort at nation rebirth and national pride.

To me, it was so successful when my cousins who were born in Scotland and had never been to Nigeria before actually started calling themselves '9JA-4-LAIF'. They finally came to Lagos and in spite of all our deprivations, (NEPA, Water, Roads etc) they still enjoyed themselves and would not stop talking about Nigeria.

There were so many variations of the slogan but in all, there was this palpable pride in Nigeria and things Nigerian. Even on Blogville, more and more bloggers identified with Nigeria and were proud to share their stories, even the not-so-palatable ones. Yes, all the problems were still there but we ARE Nigerians and we WILL solve our problems. No be today yansh dey back.

Along the line, the Nigerian government tried to take over the driver's seat of the movement rather than just ride the wave. The result was the disaster called 'Heart of Africa'. I believe that in itself, the 'Heart of Africa' Project was a good idea but the moment it was passed to the clueless bootlickers at the MoI, it was doomed to failure.

Ironically, several African countries have successfully carried out some image laundering in the last few years in efforts that included Nigerians. Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa have ran successful campaigns in the past and it even appears South Africa is on a perpetual campaign but its messages change depending on their challenges. You would probably have seen their 'This is my South Africa, tell me about yours' campaign featuring Yvone Chaka Chaka and others on CNN.

Their efforts are geared towards hosting a successful World Cup come 2010. I doubt if they are thinking of winning the cup. They know they can win in many more ways than on the field. They obviously know how to run a good campaign.

I am not one to predict doom but for this Akuyili's campaign, I am just wondering; how long will one million dollars last?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fasting Fridays

AJANI: Shukudi! Shukudi! Ore mi to da! How now? This one that your face is squeezing so, I hope all is well o.

CHUKWUDI: Ajani-jani! my friend. All is well. Its just that I am fasting.

AJANI: Ah! Fasting. I forgot its Lent period. Pele o. Sorry.

CHUKWUDI: What is kpele in this one now? Simply because I'm fasting. Did I say anything is wrong with me?

AJANI: OK then. E ku oungbe o. E ku ise emi. Olorun a san wa l'esan rere.

CHUKWUDI: (laughs). Better. E ku fasting. I know Yoruba has a greeting for every situation but what is all these ngbati-ngbati you just poured on me now?

AJANI: So somebody cannot greet you again. When you were carrying your face like masquerade who wan shit what would somebody say?

CHUKWUDI: Bia, Ajani if you don't have anything else to say, come and be going before you spoil my fasting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I can't believe its already one whole month since I'd been here!

Let me clean up all the cobwebs that have accumulated and I will be back to blogging.

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