Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blogging Bloggers Blog About Blogging About Bloggers

Doesn't make sense does it?

Its like saying 'Plantain planters planting plantain in plantain plantation'. But that makes sense. In a way.

This is about blogging. And bloggers. And bloggers blogging. [Or blogging bloggers]. And blogging about bloggers. [Or blogging bloggers blogging about blogging bloggers.]. Anyway, you get the point.

Besides, I needed to update my blog before Bumight comes to remind me again.

Sometime last week, I was in conversation with a friend over lunch and suddenly he switched our gist to blogging. My first thought was that I had been outed and I was thinking of just denying it. It turns out though that our friend did not know about this blog but his peeve was with the Naija bloggers in general. He had been going round blogs and he finds it disturbing that most of the Naija bloggers actually write negative stuff about Nigeria.

I reminded him about the right of anyone to write as he/she will, a right enshrined in the constitution and also of the right of 'Nigeria' to respond if she feels any write-up is not positively reflecting upon her. [NOTE: Re-brand Nigeria still does not have a website/ web-presence. Are those guys thinking at all?].

His response actually shocked me; they had been 'reliably' informed that these Naija bloggers are actually the children/ agents of former Nigerian politicians or rulers who have fallen out of favour with the 'government' and are using the Internet to spread negative reports about Nigeria and the government in a 'campaign of calumny'.
.
Sincerely, my jaw was on the ground. Na so I dey look am

He then launched into a tirade of expletives to describe in unsalutary terms, the 'unpatriotic' acts of these so-called Nigerian bloggers. He even gave some names of those he called 'discredited politicians and agents of destabilization'.

Now, I am not so naive. I am old enough to know enough that some people can put up blogs to push an agenda. I also know that some bloggers are children of or related to some Nigerian politicians or former military rulers but I do not think/ never thought that constituted any reason to deny them their right to write as they will.

I do not know if anyone else has got this info but I seriously wonder at its intentions. It may probably be to introduce a sort of paranoia among Naija bloggers. I just can imagine reading Afrobabe, Badderchic, Deolu Akinyemi, Baroque, Solomonsydelle, Bumight, Vera Ezimora, Jide Salu, Woomie O, Roc Naija, Chari & Buttercup and wondering how much of their posts are 'subversive'. It is a worrisome thought.

Maybe this will eventually shut us all up. I must tell you that since that conversation, I have been thinking about blogging and whether its worth it after all. Several times I had logged on to Blogger but was too 'afraid' to blog about anything. Not that anyone might 'catch' me or anything as I have done nothing to be ashamed of. I am rather proud of my blog and have directed not a few people to it. Surreptitiously though.

I believe that bloggers are readers and readers are leaders and I have expressed that severally. I believe that out of this crop of Naija bloggers will come a crop of leaders in this country. A blogger is affecting minds with his/her writing. Yea, including Afrobabe and her 'total fuckery'. If all Nigerian youth were bloggers, they won't have time to send yahoo mails. That is a fact.

When Obama started out as a community organizer, I doubt if anyone believed that he would someday become President of the US.

Blogging is like community organizing but though the community is largely invisible or virtual, real minds are being affected by our posts and stories. Our personal failings and triumphs as shared on our blogs are read by millions of our countrymen and women who share our pains and laugh at our foolishness.

It is also their story. That's why they keep coming back.

That is why we write.

18 comments:

Omo Oba said...

Great post! It is why I also write! And yes, true talk about those yahooze boys - we should all come together and publish "Naija Blogging for dummies."

So yea, apparently, I have been getting some hints that we bloggers are perceived as some force to reckon with...but wharreva the case is, we will (or rather I shall) continue to unveil the evils that permeate our world, and we will never stop crying out for more! because we deserve more, we deserve better, and we refuse to be complacent about Nigeria, and Africa. If our thoughts and words are now a threat to the Nigerian government, then, they must be seriously bored from idleness...I can fill their days with some creative ideas and give them work to do sharp sharp because there is much work to be done in 9j. ok, I rest my case here.

My World said...

Why do people expect blogville citizens to just applaud only without saying it as it really is???
The problem is definately not with what we write/post on our blogs..

Artsville said...

What's he talking about? I think there's a whole lot more positivity on Nigerian blogs than the opposite. Besides most Nigerians blogs are personal and people are relating their real life experiences, if that paints the country in a bad way, then the country should fix its problems and give its citizens a better experience.

Bridget Elesin said...

Great post my bro!I love the header! like you said..readers are leaders..i am happy alot of Nigerians are blogging and making a difference by putting their thoughts out for others to share and benefit!..It was this blogging awareness that made me and some of my blogging pals to create a group on facebook called Nigeria Inspirational bloggers and speakers (N.I.B.A.S) where we have different bloggers posting their blog link, so others can visit, follow and learn one or two things that can move them forward. Right now on Nigerian issue, i have reached my wits end but God am sure is just laughing..Nigeria, i pray will be great, no matter what, and no amount of subtle intimidation will stop us from blogging about Nigeria..whether good or bad! na wall when he fall..make lizard climb am! they should repair the walls!..

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

" If all Nigerian youth were bloggers, they won't have time to send yahoo mails. That is a fact."

Amen. Send that to Waziri and her crew.

Just as colonialists and slave owners discouraged education in their subjects, so also do the modern day African masters seek to subvert intelligence and discourage intellectual thinking and writing. Particularly that which is annoying/threatening to them.

As for your 'friend', he has a right to feel the way he does. I can only wonder if he believes that things have to change in Nigeria. If he does not, then to me, that is classic PPP. But, I don't judge. Not everyone has to think the way I do.

I thank God for the opportunity to dialogue with others, even those who strongly disagree with my opinion because I learn from their ideas and because even though I don't 'know' a whole bunch of bloggers, I can rely on Afrobabe and Vera for a good laugh, Standtall for some good knowledge and inspiration, Sokari for the strength that comes from knowing others are trying to make things better and the list goes on.

Abeg, let me end my speech here. This Ekiti thing has had me worked up for days. Say hi to your 'friend' and recommend my Nigerian Curiosity site to him. I would love to engage 'him' personally in some 'radical' thinking, lol!

babajidesalu said...

I must congratulate you on this post. Seriously. Very well written.

"I believe that bloggers are readers and readers are leaders and I have expressed that severally..... If all Nigerian youth were bloggers, they won't have time to send yahoo mails. That is a fact".

The statement above is very poignant in a positive way in the sense that many readers have had a change of views as a result of one blogger or the other.

I would say, continue to do what you do best and do not let anyone hold you back.

Vera Ezimora said...

LOL

Well, seeing as I've hardly blogged about the state of Naija, maybe I don't count. Besides, I'm too broke to be related to a politician. LOL.

But here's something to think of though (uh oh! She's about to talk about the state of Naija): If Naija were in such a good state, maybe bloggers won't have a lot of bad things to say about Naija.

Let's face it: our country is BROKEN!!! Tell me why we cannot have light 24/7? As if that isn't bad enough, there is no gas to run the generator. Internet sucks. Cell networks suck. The politicians suck MAJOR. Don't get me started ooo! LOL

N.I.M.M.O said...

@OmoOba: If only they will listen. If only. Rather they want to shut bloggers up using some backhand tactics. Its already failed though. Many thanx.
@Spesh: The problem is not what we write since we only write what happens. We dont make it happen, we just write when it happens. I think they know that already though. Many thanx.
@Artsville: I agree that there's a lot more positive than negative on Naija Blogville. Many thanx.
@Bridget: In fact a smart government would have harnessed the skills of Naija bloggers for free rather than the millions being spent on a campaign of re-branding. Bloggers are to a large extent the Brand Ambassador for Nigeria without being too obvious about it and not being paid for it. Many thanx for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Solomonsydelle: I think we should start introducing blogging to children at a very early age, that way they will be too busy for most of the other pranks on the Internet. At the same time, they will be improving on their writing and literary skills.

If nothing else, at least we will see an improvement in the WASC/SSCE results in English. Thinking about it that will a desirable objective. Its all positive.

On Ekiti, sincerely, I have stopped thinking about it. Many thanx for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@jidesalu: Now we have one more thing to introduce to the youth; one that can take their minds of negativity and also help in their academics. The more i think about it the more convinced I am that this may just be the way forward. Many thanks for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Verastic: Told them! LOL! They'd better not call your name inside this matter unless they want an earfull (abi na eyefull?). How can one keep quiet when there is so much to say? Many thanx for your comments.

bumight said...

how did i miss this? esp since i got a mention, lol

Nigerian bloggers are not YET a force to be reckoned with, and when we get to that stage, i wonder what your friend would say.
during the US presidential elections, some of the things that couldnt be said in mainstream were pushed by bloggers- which gave birth to SP's peeve with bloggers.
Real change comes when people start talking, and we are talking- its just that our voices arent loud enough, but we'll get there!

ibiluv said...

awwwwwwwwwwww

yea

that is why we write.......

Shubby Doo said...

great post...hmmm...about who some might be i agree with your friend but about why they do what they do...i strongly disagree...freedom of speech is necessary in this day and age... conscious thought should not be denied but expressed and if needs be challenged… besides I’m not so stupid as to not to recognised a person's agenda after a couple of posts......if i see that theirs doesn’t suit my own i simply stop stopping by

Shubby Doo said...

i also agree with artsville...i tend to be very postively about nigeria...maybe i've become complacent about the norms in nigeria compared to those in the uk but in truth i prefer to think that i kinda tell it as it is...

that is why i write

guerreiranigeriana said...

...beautifully written n.i.m.m.o. and well said...

aeedeeaee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aeedeeaee said...

Yes sir! We've become "complaisant and docile" regarding our rights, what's acceptable and what's not....Naija's entire mien says "anything goes!" That's a recipe for disaster, pure and simple...We've totally lost sight of our right to freely express ourselves...especially on issues of national importance...the military mentality has eroded most our minds...pray tell, if we don't talk/write about our challenges, who will? We can't just sit around and go about our daily chores as if everything's A-okay...Why should our thoughts and grievances be a source of wahala to the government? We should be worried about the Zilch-point agendas; Dora and her rebranding Farce; Waziri and other bozos...certainly not what Naija Bloggers are blogging about...It's our right to blog...ABOUT ANYTHING. There's FAAAR too much work to be done, jare...Lighting up Nigeria WILL be a Damn good start!

@ Solomonsydelle
PPP is sooooooo APT!

Great Post N.I.M.M.O...

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