Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bookshelf Series - When She Was White by Judith Stone

What I'm reading now. I'm about through a quarter of it thus far. Not as difficult and traumatic a read as I expected, but heavyhearted . A book like this compells you to try to imagine the sort of lives some people have lived through and in eras of unfathomable sentiments. This book is about the lonely world of a South African girl that was biologically born to white apartheid-supporting Afrikaans parents, but who's skin was significantly darker than those of her white parents and siblings. It tells of the trauma she suffered throughout her life as a result where she was bounced back and forth, being classified and re-classified as "colored" vs. white, etc. Some tough shtuff I tell you.
I'll post a proper review when I'm almost through. But so far I recommend. Get a copy and let's have a banter about it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Genevieve Magazine: April Cover

Loving this cover. Go Lanre and Lisa! Genevieve is having a good month. Its covers usually tend to be boring with the color palettes used and uninspiring photogrphy. They do have the occasional hits, which makes you just wanna buy it before knowing what's inside, like this edition. I'm really big on magazine covers and I do believe in such cases you must "judge by its cover". A great cover is already 90% of the sale. It's a shame that more of this magazine isn't online for people who don't have access to a hard copy like Essence or Lucky. I never really cared or appreciated that until now that I find myself unable to wind down my window in traffic on Ozumba Mbadiwe and buying my latest copy from the running salesman (*smile*). These are some of the things that I trully miss when I'm out of Nigeria. It's only been a couple months, but it feels like a couple years :-(. How homesick am I........
Check out teaser-bites @ Genevieve or better yet get your copy in traffic if you can :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Births and Babies - *Sigh*

OMG*. One of my best friends, A.K.* just sent me a text message today that she had just given birth to a bouncing baby boy. I stopped dead in my tracks when I got the text. A myriad of thoughts went through my mind. First off, I called her back right away, although I thought she would be crazy to be picking up her phone on the same day she gave birth! So I left her this garbled message, sounding all excited and not knowing even knowing what say. The journey of the last nine months with A.K.*, talking every other day or week through it all, still didn’t prepare me for the reality that hit home today when I got her text. Don’t get me wrong, this is not my first friend to have a baby. I have a godson whom I love very much; son of another dear childhood and long time friend. But for some reason, this does feel like the first time that this phase of life – marriage, motherhood, and compromise – is really settling in and seemingly here to stay. Being almost 30, or being 30 and over (the general age demographics of my friends and I), this is the likely reality for some of us. But of course, right? Another reality that makes me nostalgic (and this may sound selfish, though I don’t intend this to be) is that with the onset of this phase of life is the loss of a certain element of a once carefree friendship, where time and the spontaneity to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted existed. Each time I send a good friend off down this road I’m going to call ‘reality’, I feel like a certain part of them which I had indefinite access to, is lost to me forever. I’m left feeling like I have less of a right to my friend – it’s a bittersweet feeling. Crazy sounding isn’t it? More than half the time, this is the sort of reality – the happily ever after type, a great husband or wife, cute fat children, the house on the hill – that we fantasize about, secretly long for even. And then some of it happens and you’re happy, but you’re left with this nostalgic feeling of loss. Contradictory, no?
But there’s nothing like the joy of watching someone give life and spend the rest of her life nurturing it, often at the expense of her own. It’s a beautiful blessing. *Sigh*………….

O Jesu, Take The Wheel

Predictable outcome. But I’m still in denial. Where on earth did they get the skewed high numbers in favor of the Mr. President-elect come from, pray tell? 24 million votes to PDP? Ah, ah? Who are we kidding here?
I’ve had a couple friends tell me to get over it and move on. Another friend said to me that in ‘his’ opinion, “the elections went well, commends Baba for a job well done, the foreign observers should go fly a kite and let them get their own houses in order before judging ours” [end quote]. I had to pick my jaw up from the floor. So after mulling over this for the past two days, I’ve decided, that I’m going to reject these results “and” I’m going to move on. In moving on, I will continue to be optimistic for my country in hopes that people can heal from this and let’s just see what the future holds in store. Baba had his way in the end? Or is the end not quite here yet? O Jesu take the wheel o!
More analysis in days to come.
Read this from Reuters Africa:

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Latest Obsession

I watched Dirty Pretty Things earlier today, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. I’d noticed him before in Inside Man and had read a couple of indie reviews about him. Back then his name caught my attention for obvious reasons (he’s Nigerian) and because of that I always give him silent props. But he caught my attention today with this movie. Yes, I know it came out 5 years ago and I’m only just catching on, but it was a “very” good performance. The story line felt very real and he was convincing in that role. So what can I say? I’m hooked on the dude. I wish him the sort of success that would earn him an Oscar in the near future. I believe he’s that good, and heck; I’m proud of the affiliation we share. Go Naija :-)

P.S. If you haven't seen the flick, go get the DVD.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

MTS Crisis

I was reading about this again yesterday. MTS under new management again? Fresh ideas again? Abeg. Who are we kidding here. The wise thing for the PTB (*powers that be*) in this company would be to sell off its assets, everybody split the money, go their different ways and maybe even start new ventures to renew an ego or two. Anyone following the telecoms industry in Nigeria over the last 6 years, and that of MTS’ most especially, know that this company has been hemorrhaging almost since its inception. Almost 2 years ago they hired an experienced squad to turn things around, which would have been a miracle by all accounts, taking the insurmountable level of debt, bad blood and checkered history involved. They came in and tried and obviously were stifled by even more red tape and anti-progress factions. The “entire” upper management team resigned! Doesn’t that tell you something? But the papers quoted the situations as
“industry players described yesterday as curious why an entire senior management team should resign in droves and for the board to accept such resignation may have been "a clear vote of no confidence on the senior team."
Sources were silent on what led to the resignation but insider sources explained that the team may have been asked to go "because the company was wobbling and if not checked now may not be able to compete fully in the emerging market and capitalisation process."

Pleasssse!! Give me a break. If the Dem and his team couldn't turn it around, I doubt that this new 'management' can! All I have to say us take a cue from the folks that sold out or 'recapitalized' at Intercellular. $258 Million. Enough to make any PTB in Naija happy I'll bet. Call me biased. I am infact.

Read for more info here:

Virginia Tech

This is just depressing. I can’t even begin to imagine the reality of this. You’re minding your business one fine Monday morning, going to school, trying to get a life. Then boom. A guy comes into your class outta the blue and starts spraying y’all with bullets. Ah ah? Na fight? Obviously! I think it’ll be insensitive of me to comment further on this, but my heart and prayers – truly – goes out to the families of the extinguished souls from this grossly unfortunate incident. But you know, life – literally – is so short, so unpredictable. God help us and also help the family of the poor disturbed kid who did this.

Nigeria Votes

What can I say. I’m nervous. Nervous about the elections tomorrow. How is it going to go, what’s going to happen? Has the fate for Nigeria already been decided or do those that vote actually stand a chance to decide that on their own? Regardless of those possibilities, we Nigerians owe it to ourselves to vote, it’s a civic duty that shouldn’t be wasted.

The list of contenders leaves much to be desired, but I’ll admit, I have been most intrigued by Atiku and all the drama that has trailed him to date. It’s also intriguing to me to see, that in a complex justice system that is often subject to manipulation by the powers that be, Atiku, still came out of the quagmire of tangled thorns; blemished and bruised, but still with a pulse. Take away Atiku’s checkered genesis for a moment, one cannot help but marvel, ever so mildly, at his relentless pursuit for justice and standing up to his boss and his powerful political machinery. And sure enough, justice was served and respected. That INEC would respect the last minute ruling without tossing it into tangled debate again, was a pleasant shock to me. That the judge did not disappear mysteriously as a result; even one of the toughest critics of the situation, Gani Fawehinmi, also said that though he disagreed with the outcome of the verdict, it nonetheless has to be respected and upheld. Hence Atiku’s name being added to the ballot of contenders to rule the rough but brilliant gem of Africa, yours truly, Nigeria.

Drum roll now for elections tomorrow…what is it going to be? I was on the phone a few hours ago talking to my mother, assessing and speculating on the situation and how the elections might turn out. I asked her who she was going to vote for and after a long sigh, she said “Nigeria needs new blood, new hope, and new direction.” Obviously, I thought. Then she said, ‘Pat Utomi I’m sure will be good for Nigeria, so maybe he’ll get my vote’. I was gobsmacked! I argued with her that why would she waste her vote on a guy that, yes, has an interesting ‘economic’ agenda, but doesn’t stand a chance. She retorted back that if enough people thought like her, the guy might actually stand a chance! There I was thinking, Pat Utomi’s complex English and Economics grammar does not sway me off my feet, how much more the average Nigerian in the interiors of Jigawa or Gombe? Is he speaking a language that they can understand or identify with? I knew that Pat Utomi was running; I’ve seen his posters on walls of bridges in Lagos, I even get spam mail from his website, but I never thought I actually knew anyone personally, who was taking him seriously! Let alone my own mother! I took it for granted that she would be pro-Atiku, sympathetic to his “cause” and all the fire-ringed hoops that he has scaled through (NINE COURT RULINGS), but such is not the case. Interesting huh?
I’m still not pro-Utomi or Okotie (*cough*), because I’m not sure of the sincerity of their agendas or feel that they have the necessary political muscle and fuel to really get across to ALL Nigerians. I personally find Mr Utomi to be brilliant, but bland and uncharismatic. But I have to say, mom’s got me thinking.

I know this may all sound contradictory, and somewhat controversial, but Nigeria is very complex and needs a person with simplicity to rule it. In my personal view, I think that Nigeria has too many different facets to it to even be under one umbrella of a country. Too many languages, too many ideologies, too different traditional beliefs, so it makes sense that we all find it very hard to get along and live as “one” nation. I’ve always said that when you force a large group of people with different backgrounds, issues and lifestyles to live under the same roof, how can strife and animosity not be the obvious end result? I’m of the controversial opinion that the ideal situation would be for Nigeria to be split into 3 or 4 smaller zones or countries, where everyone goes their way. Then trade treaties should be set up with each zone and everyone lives happily ever after. Or attempts to. Those who have oil sell it to those who don’t. Those who have gas sell it to those who don’t. Those who have yams and peanuts sell it to those who don’t, etc. So for example, if a Fulani girl decides she’s in love with and wants to marry an Ijaw man, then they do so ‘voluntarily’ and then choose to live under the same roof and raise their children as a ‘choice’. But this is just my fantasy. It’s not going to happen, so back down to reality. Here we are and we are stuck with it. So which way to go from here, my brothers and sisters?

Please vote. And we’ll take it from there.