Saturday, 10 December 2011

Abuja to Introdce Parking Fares ... Why na?!

I was driving in the vehicle along side my father in the city of Abuja when I given a pamphlet ‘PROMOTING ORDERLY PARKING IN ABUJA’ by some young man wearing a t-shirt. I spotted several other men doing the exact same thing and all wearing the exact same t-shirt.

The pamphlet wasn’t bringing any good news to us, it simply stated that the FCT was about to introduce parking fares, I looked at my dad and started going into this long tale about how and why Nigerians like to copy only the bad things from the west and never the good stuff.

My argument is very simple; some nations in the west do not have anything coming out of their ground like large deposit of natural minerals or crude oil. They depend heavily on taxes from there people, so they will tax anything that is taxable. This is a different story in some countries in the Middle East and amongst some oil rich nations where there is no need to over tax their people. Nigeria is an oil rich country there are little things the government can afford to pay for its people, public parking is one of them. I am trying in my little way to sound this alarm now before this government starts to request for television tax, yes, don’t laugh, anything can happen in this country, 9ja.

The excuse on the pamphlet was to Number 1: stop wrong parking, (as in how?!) … and number 2: help with youth unemployment, which has got to be one of my top ten most ridiculous excuses ever given by a government body to do a wrong deed. Ranking tops with the failed indecent dressing bill.

Number 1 doesn’t make sense because if anyone parks wrongly I’m sure there’s some rule somewhere which tells you what to do, but this is not the case, because even if such a rule exists do our authorities implement it? … I hope you realise I will not be answering that question.

Number 2, please, please, please, how many times did I say ‘please’, can we stop this very failed attempt of trying to convince the general public that inflicting economic hardship on motorists in the name of paying parking fares will alleviate the problem of youth unemployment in 9ja. It will not! End of that!

Phew, I don’t like doing all this over serious political type blog posts but I am hoping that I can add my own little voice to this drama as it unfolds. We have not even finished the fuel subsidy removal debate... or is that an already finished matter?

In all seriousness I hope this parking fare is one big mistake and it doesn’t happen for reasons I have given above and finally let’s not do anything that makes Nigerians take more money out of their pockets. It’s just not nice!

Merry X-mas y’all

Update: Today I saw what was unmistakeably a park, pay and display sign post

Friday, 29 April 2011

Darey’s Ba Ni Kidi video & What Favours it Hasn’t Done a Growing Anti-Northern Nigerian Sentiment

The 29th of April was a beautiful day for the media, as all eyes were watching Catherine and Williams’s royal wedding in West Minister Abbey, London. This also translated to one thing, that new media along with all other media outlets such as traditional news broadcast stations would be having an outright buzz. I knew that for certain so I made a trip to some of my good old websites and blogs. There was a lot of coverage on the new royal weds, and Bella Naija wasn’t left out of the excitement but on this same day there was a plea, an explanation, a call to action and the announcement of a petition/campaign which had been set up in honour of Ukeoma AikFavour and Obinna Okpokiri who lost their lives, along with other Nigerian Youth Corp members in the wake of another brutal post-election violence in some northern states in Nigeria.

‘...The government has promised compensation for the families of those like but this is not enough. Their deaths should not be in vain – it should lead a fundamental change in the way that the youth corps scheme is implemented… please read the rest of this call HERE

In as little words as possible, this is a heart wrenching story of southern ‘coppers’ who had been killed in the wake of the northern crisis that erupted as a northern favourite presidential candidate Buhari lost the elections. You can get all the full gist of this very sad story here, here and here.

After reading this story I thought to myself to continue having a look around the website, and this brought me to Dare Alade’s new video, below:

This was posted just the day before but I was just getting to see it. I looked through the comments section of the post and there was the general feeling that some people liked it and others didn’t but one comment struck a nerve in my body:

Faith: “not feeling it at alll….with wat is happenin in d north now….anyway great video with yee song….”

As light hearted as this person tried to sound it was a painful but brutally honest wake up call to the frailty of our southerner and northern Nigerian unity. It mirrors a sentiment expressed by the Igbos’ from eastern Nigeria about sentiments of northern Nigeria pre-the 1970’s Nigerian civil war. And now again we have an unknown, possibly Nigerian, person (faith) echoing how the language and outfit in a pop song reignited a sadness now associated with an entire geo- political zone. To get a fairer perspective there were others who on this same blog responded with the exact opposite sentiments that ‘faith’ expressed, however I am not concerned about these lot in this piece of writing, I am worried about the hundreds and thousands of ‘faith’ who are out there harbouring such underlining feelings.

I cannot avoid writing about the release of Darey’s music video for Ba Ni Kidi, during this sensitive period when southerners have been murdered in a crisis that was tied to location been the Islamic north, with the common language spoken there been Hausa. I do not know if I will be taking it a step too far when I say that Darey’s video was released at a very wrong time, at least to ‘southerns’ who haven’t healed from the news of such brutal deaths.

I do not claim to understand the sentiment of what that person was trying to say about the connection with the language of Darey’s video and their own hurting feelings but I can see a pattern breeding, one that Nigeria needs to stop now before it leads to another crisis. The pattern is hatred and it’s on my face book, different blogs and social network sites where people are not even hiding the fact that they dislike an entire region of their country. I’m sorry Dare if your video arouses a sentiment of dislike amongst some individuals but your PR team should have been more vigilant before the release.

When the American movie Confessions of a Shopaholic was released in 2009 during the height of the global recession, it wasn’t your box office success story. Not because it wasn’t a good scripted movie but the timing was just wrong and people refused to identify with the trailer let alone watch the movie. Several asked why the movie producers were insensitive to the financial difficulties for families and individuals at the time of this movie coming out.

It is not my intention to flaw Darey’s creativity in his new video, it is my intention to explain why certain individuals will feel hurt enough to state that Darey’s use of the Hausa language, his insinuations and parts of his outfit in his new video was very offensive at a time where people are been butchered in the region that Darey choose to represent in this video.

I hope in future the Nigeria music scene will be more sensitive to the atmosphere in which it appeals to and we all realise that as the industry grows the arts and social issues will always cross parts and this may not always be the friendliest meeting.

Finally and most importantly my pray goes out to the families of all who lost a love one in the crisis or were displaced or injured as a result of the violence.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Who is the celebrity without a job?

Happy new year everyone!   

As hopeless as my frequency in putting up a blog post has been I am glad to be writing very close to the beginning of the year. I am fresh from the holidays and I had a really nice one. So I am going to do a post about ‘famous people’ often referred to as celebrities in modern day language. Why am I doing this post?  A lot of that answer would have to do ‘with I’m still fresh from the break’ so like most holidays there would be small talk and light hearted chat, amongst the very heavy and serious issues, such as bomb blasts in northern Nigeria and general unrest globally. 

For the purposes of this post a celebrity is a famous person who has celebrity status but does not hold a distinct occupation. For example the supposed celebrity is not a musician, like I wouldn’t be referring to American popstar, BeyoncĂ© Knowles, as a celebrity in this post. Also the word celebrity would not be used to describe an actor, such as George Clooney (and Bless him for the global attention that his brought to the Sudan referendum). I   would also not be referring to any professional sports person such as Beckham (sorry he immediately came to mind) as a celebrity in this post. Now that we have that simple logic out of the way I will tell you what sort of famous person I would be tagging a ‘celebrity’ in this post. 

A celebrity is simply a famous person, who could have been famous for holding any of the roles usually accustomed to famous people, such as music, acting, sports, fashion, just good old riches amongst several and now the emerging reality TV. Please notice my use of ‘could have’ and may I emphasise that the phrase ‘could have’ would not apply to riches as that could also include royalty and usually the riches of celebrities’ are generational.  

 There are many celebrities around the world for example in England you have Kerry Katona, who used to be a musician in the girl band group Atomic Kitten but now has no profession but celebrity status and her own reality programme and magazine column she writes. Exactly, do you now see where this whole thing is going? Good! Kim Kardashian is another example of a celebrity in the USA, no one knows what she does but she is famous for her big bum and yes she stars in her family’s reality series. I think to top this celebrity chart would be Paris Hilton. You get the gist now? Celebrity is just plain old famous people.  

        Why am I doing this post, simply, I have a thing about reality television and by reality I mean all things non-fiction such has documentary and series about real lives of people, famous or not. From watching content on TV, I knew there was something awkward and I came to this understanding about celebrity status with no real job. I watched bits of the final of the ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here 2010’ and 2009’s x-factor semi-finalist, Stacey Solomon won. I asked my lil sister, ‘so after x-factor what does she do now?’ and the answer was  ‘ she’s a celerity, that’s her work’. Now you may flaw me for writing this post altogether or for not taking the time to do my own research rather than depend on my lil sister for pop culture knowledge. Whatever your verdict, point is Stacey ain’t gat no known role but she is a celebrity.  

        When that happened I also remembered something I read   on Bella niaja, where Ebuka (bigbrother Nigeria 2006) was posed in one of those Fab pictures Bella puts up about events. And someone left a comment asking ‘What does this Ebuka guy do?’ several other comments later and the same question was been asked. This was the topic  I raised with my girlfriends over the holidays as a light hearted discussion. I therefore present to you a draft list of Nigerian’s own celebrity and potential individuals who will make that list. 

        1. Caroline Ekanem 
        Caroline as we all knew her was once a sweet little angel who had a budding acting career who famously stared in a Nollywood movie Deadly Kiss where she was French kissing our very own super star Tu face Idibia. Many girls envied her then as she was very close to man that very few women would ever have the opportunity to come close to.... (Sudden brake!)....can I please take that last statement back about few women and Tu face. As we can see his current reputation and breeding techniques would place my claims contrary to many. Back to this one time starlet, but now she only appears in events and is married to, as put it ‘billionaire hubby, Musa Danjuma’. Did I mention she has retired from acting? Caroline is your iconic celebrity. Before I continue with my list I’ll like to give you more attributes of a celebrity. They are usually very good looking or physically attractive. It’s one of the reasons they will never leave the lime light 'cause looks is one of the attributes that modern world survives on now.  Hence 
        2. Omowunmi Akinnifesi.  Ex-Beauty Queen and even Lagos State Environment Ambassador.  
        3. Adaeze Yobo. Beauty queen marries footballer...I will say no more.  
        4. Muncahi Abii. 2007 Nigerian beauty queen  and aspiring rapper.

        Yet another quality of celebrities when and if they do decide to hold a job it always has to be another profession in the limelight. So it’s never a case of I was a beauty queen and now I am a charted account!  No it’s beauty queen, then I own my own fashion label or glamour model turn singer want to turn actor. That’s the pattern. Can I add that Munachi is one of my ultra-fab looking people so she can remain celebrity for her whole life and it sooths me just fine.  Celebrities are not bad people they just use their popularity to an advantage, even though that’s not sounding how I meant it to... (Puzzled expression). 

       5. Ebuka, (famous from Nigeria’s only bigbrother series  to date), whom I already mentioned but didn’t put him on the proper list but am doing so now.  

There are other individuals who are closely approaching been on this list and others who I think celebrity status would fit them really well. 

Stella Damasus she is getting closer and closer to I used to act, am pretty and famous, I always have one scandal or another associated with my name, therefore I’m a celebrity put me on that Obitalker list.
Yinka Davis, famous singer, never dropped an album, okay so she’s on Nigerian idol...yet another thing about this celebrity people. They are always on one type of reality TV or the other. Example Idols, I’m a celebrity, Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend, Celebrity Big Brother, Gulder Ultimate Search, one game show or chart show. The list is endless and the pattern is based on the premise that they have to be visible to maintain the title. Can I just add that celebrities are not bad people, as often times they can use their status for good causes such as been ambassador for a charity or helping to raise charitable funds. They can also draw good attention to campaign such as a regional crisis or climate change. Back to my ‘potentials’’ list
Naeto C, Celebrity status will be sweet for this guy. He is ticking all the boxes of fine boy and too much swag. And that his song ‘successful’ has surely got to be a prophetic utterance of his every intentions of been on Nigeria’s celebrity list.  Of cause all this is when he decides to retire from rap.

I have run out of names individually, I know there are a couple of retired actors on that list and several Ex-beauty queens. Who knows some other blogger could have a longer more comprehensive list.