Wandu&Andy by Bravura Communications Ltd
Wandu&Andy, a photo by Bravura Communications Ltd on Flickr.

Posted by Daring

Theatre Art Department, University of Ibadan initiates new intakes...

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This is not Collin Firth playing Prince Albert, Duke of York, rather it is the story of Goodluck Jonathan's effort of trying to get 'misled youths not to disturb public peace.' Whether the Nigerian president needs a speech therapist to take him on breath control, muscle relaxation or how not to stutter especially on a day when even a child could read fears written in block letters on his face... is really none of our business, we have bigger things to worry about e.g price of petrol. As it is, Martin Luther King Jr, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and other great orators of this world would hate to be in his shoes right now (emphasis on shoes).

The broadcast was on the evening of a Saturday which most people I know had their minds #occupied already with the New Year's gift and bracing up for the coming week. "Who are we to stop the president from having his special broadcast...don't they always have it even when we don't care to listen" A friend said while trying to convince me to watch for the fun of it. We started an argument on whether he was going to use the teleprompter or not - we chose not to waste our time guessing what the address could be about.

Please permit me to digress a little bit while I paint this scenario, Let's assume the teleprompter goes off during the live special transmission of Mr President. I'm sure he'd give an unconscious Mogbe! (a Yoruba exclamation remark meaning "I'm in trouble") before the NTA guy in the control room slams the flattest and ugliest logo in the world on our faces.

I'll skip the intro and other parts of the speech to go straight to what could have been the selling point of the entire broadcast IF it had come before January 1st.

"To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared to make sacrifices. On the part of Government, we are taking several measures aimed at cutting the size and cost of governance, including on-going and continuous effort to reduce the size of our recurrent expenditure and increase capital spending. In this regard, I have directed that overseas travels by all political office holders, including the President, should be reduced to the barest minimum. The size of delegations on foreign trips will also be drastically reduced; only trips that are absolutely necessary will be approved. For the year 2012, the basic salaries of all political office holders in the Executive arm of government will be reduced by 25%. Government is also currently reviewing the number of committees, commissions and parastatals with overlapping responsibilities. The Report on this will be submitted shortly and the recommendations will be promptly implemented. In the meantime, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies must reduce their overhead expenses."

Here's my very concise take on the statement. I have a strong phobia for the word "sacrifice" from time immemorial, Don't get me wrong, I make sacrifices, but I'd rather people suggest it to me using a thesaurus to check for similar words. By and large, I think it's unfair for the Nigerian government to ask for more sacrifices from us. Being a Nigerian comes with enormous sacrifices:

We provide our own security       http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16458743
We fix our own road                     http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/levy-yourselves-repair-roads
We are our own NEPA                        http://trendyafrica.com/?p=1581

Fortunately, GEJ has agreed (at least in a way) that removing fuel subsidy is not as important as slashing the cost of governance, genuinely fighting the image-denting issue of corruption and finding a fast and effective solution to the sectarian violence in the country. Therefore, my attempt to analyze the entire speech of Mr president will amount to a big waste of time, I already tweeted my opinions on that.

 Beyond the speech, the controversies and the apprehension of all things to expect as Nigeria remainsTh on the spotlight in the coming days, there is a common theme of struggle-for-control that both the George VI and  GEJ shared. Both also gained power owing to the misfortune of their predecessors. The monarch being the protagonist of the historical drama won the battle against stuttering, let's see how it goes around here.
Posted by Daring

 I couldn’t join tuesday's anti-subsidy removal protest in Lagos, now I hope I can make up with this. By the time the dailies hit newsstands in the morning, my article should be on social network sites and my blog. First, let me sympathize with the family of the protester identified as Muyideen Mustafa, who was allegedly killed by members of the Nigerian Police in Ilorin, Kwara state.

A quick recap 

It was the first day of the year; the venue was a friend's place, the celebratory atmosphere - even without GEJ’s New Year gift - had been accompanied with plans, calculations and targets. There were enough to eat and so much to talk about but little did we know Mr President through the (not so popular until now) Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency had greater plans that changed a whole lot already. 

The BREAKING NEWS:  “PPPRA officially announces the removal of fuel subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit a.k.a Petro…” was an expected attack that still had the same effect as if it was unexpected. My friends and I ran hysterically from one local station to the other, to God be the glory, we were not disappointed, Nollywood, Church programmes, Reality shows and other interesting programmes took precedence while the breaking news maintained its spot on the scroll bar for hours. Bills must be paid, right?! 

$8billion subsidy payout is expected to be spent on critical infrastructure, one of the many reasons the federal government gave for removing the subsidy on fuel, like we haven’t heard similar stories from regimes to administrations. OK! I’m sorry, that was a loud thought.

While we await updates, we started dissecting the issue. The summary:  Nigerians would adjust their lifestyles and laugh about it. We are good at relying on comic relief – the funny viral pictures; the cartoons, the dame ‘gbagaun’ jokes etc would come in handy on social network sites and smart phones, and it will only take days or weeks, max! till all is buried and cemented. That doesn't mean there wont be complains and arguments in danfos- where usually I find award-winning analysts, offices and schools - where people can tell the story of the shoeless GEJ better than his TV ad. 

One other thing that sells more like bread in this part of the world is hope and optimism. One good reason why religion is…hmm…not today’s topic.  So let’s look at hope as a government tool; some 20 years ago, a government assured my parents that certain policies were for the future generations...and that should be me and many of my friends who took to the streets yesterday. But no they would not stop there, they'd want me to entrust the future of my yet-to-be-born children on the same shaky pedestal.

Back in the room with my friends, usually human related stories such as the one that concerns the standard of living of the people would develop and generate swift reactions, we couldn’t hide our thirst for more, ‘let’s check twitter’ someone suggested...and that’s how and where a phase began.

WARNING: The tweets you are about to read are excerpts of stance and opinions of a small percentage of thousands of young and old Nigerians who started the virtual protest that transits to the streets. Meanwhile, I chose these tweets based on information available to me as at when i was writing, don’t take offense if your handle or tweets are not mentioned. My tweets are not even there.lol

The news 

@toluogunlesi See how the ‘Happy  New Years’ just vanished from lips and TLs. Thank you Goodluck #Nigeria #fuelsubsidyremoval

@seunokin GEJ has 1 unique trait amongst all Nigerian leaders& that is cluelessness! The man knows how best to annoy Nigerians #fuelsubsidy  1 Jan 5:08pm

@idlove48 @desyst: Fuel is now being sold at a pump price of N138 1 Jan 6:04pm

@GbengaGOLD No leader has ever disrespected Nigerians on this scale in a singular move. He didn’t even have the courtesy to announce it himself.WTF Jan 2 8:48am

@toluOgunlesi “Remove Boko Haram, not fuel subsidy” -- @sansa2324 Jan 1 10:03pm

As an aside…
@hanneymusawa  As a muslim Northerner, the forces calling themselves Boko Haram DO NOT speak for me. Blumming annoying Bozo’s 2 Jan 4:17pm

The mobilization
@Ogundamisi BREAKING NEWS! LAGOS PROTEST! Begins Wed 3RD JAN 8.am at NLC Secretariat 29, Olujuwon Street opposite Tejuosho market yaba Lagos. 2 Jan 7:22pm 

No going back!
@Omojuwa I will protest! Not for anyone but because a people have been wronged and I will fight injustice all my life!

@ged I know many of us maybe arrested before we get to our meeting points…but we’ve to be ready for the task ahead. #subsidyremoval #Nigeria 2 Jan 2:36pm

@elrufai  just leaving the police SARS office & seen Dino Melaye + a dozen youth leaders being detained for ‘attempting to overthrow GEJ’S govt.!  2 Jan 9:23pm

@ransanwo If you are protesting in #kaduna pls be on the watch out for thugs who may hijack the protest #occupyNigeria 3 Jan 9am

@akinduro We should stop calling this #OccupyNigeria, pls. this is #SubsidyProtests ‘occupy’ is all about encampment. We all home now.  3 Jan 6pm

Still on the matter
@xeenarh official #OccupyNigeria contacts still needed in ABIA, AKWA-IBOM, ANAMBRA, BAUCH, BAYEL, BENUE,C-RIV, EBON, EKITI, JIG, KEB, NIG, SOK, ZAMF 4 Jan 3am

@yetmohO UK protest at Nigeria House London, Friday 6th jan, 1pm.  3 jan 5pm

As at the time I posted this on my blog, here are major stories on Nigerian national dailies...

http://www.punchng.com/news/reps-make-u-turn-on-subsidy-removal/ - 


watch this space

Posted by Daring

“You wan move or you wan make I move you.” The dark, lanky man in black uniform said in a harsh tone as he ordered me out of the seat. Already the Dj had stopped playing yet the hall seemed noisier, there was a new song on the lips of everyone in the hall…oga I beg. So I decided to sound differently.You can’t keep treating people like animals,” the man hissed and ‘barked’ “move you imbecile” – he held me in the waist and pulled me towards a queue of other culprits or should I say, their other victims. I couldn’t control flashes of dangling and scary thoughts in my head. “Don’t manhandle me mister, do you know who I am?” My trembling voice did not make me sound assertive so I decided to say more hoping that my pitch would find its feet along the line. I looked straight up into the man’s sweltering eye balls, he looked back with a malign smile and said “shebi na you dey inside one thousand naira abi? You go hear am today.” Then I knew it was time for me to keep quiet.
12 hours earlier…
It had rained ceaselessly for weeks, and that particular day was no exception, the hazy sky disguised 4:00pm like 8:00pm; that hurried my anxiety the more, I wandered aimlessly in my apartment staring at my wristwatch every now and then; the watch seemed to have been stuck on a minute for the past one hour. Julius my former colleague did not help matters; he promised he was going to call before 6:00pm. The suspense and the mental picture of a new experience made my adrenaline pumped assertively like the mission was to fly a plane.
Two days ago, my assignment editor had summoned me to her office to explain my new task in the lifestyle beat. “…you need to ask your friends, if you don’t know how to find one, that would be all for now” She said, looking into my eyes with a daunting gesture.  As I was about to shut the door, She tilted her head at a snail’s pace. “By the way, your last one was…hmm nice but your writing needs more depth …and remember as a writer you are like a tailor, getting the right fabric is not enough, you must sew well. I am allegic to badly punctuated write-ups, that's my point." She pasted her eyes back on a piece of paper she held with her two hands like a mirror. I gave an audible thank you and a silent 'Mscheew'.
Doing an investigative report on strip clubs in Lagos was an escape route from doing a (boring) piece on how social changes that took place at the beginning of the industrial revolution in the mid-18th century shaped science fiction. Neither are events around World War II sexy enough to deserve my time.
So I chose Julius from a list of defiant friends for his unrivalled CV in waywardness. My other friends and I consult Julius on issues relating to women and wine …We call him ‘Julius the evil genius’ and nothing makes him happier so he’d respond “order is for idiots, genius can handle chaos.”
At exactly 9:47 pm, Julius showed up with his gray Toyota Carina ‘89 model. The vehicle’s bad shocker absorber made the countless potholes on my street more obvious as we bumped up and down with the car.
 “Guy, what took you so long?” I asked. Julius paid me no mind; he had his upper lip gummed to the lower and his neck stretched towards the steering, trying to maneuver his way out of the bad road. He did eventually. Twenty minutes later we were already on Third Mainland Bridge. The bulk air movement from the car’s speed created a whistling and distorted sound on the car stereo – so when 50cent started sounding like Jim Reeves I dozed off. “Maybe you want to put it in the first paragraph of your article that no sane person goes to a strip club in day time.” Julius said keeping a straight face. Always cynical, he never gave a direct answer to any question. “So that justifies why you came late, right?” I asked and looked away like something more important caught my attention on the other side of the road.
A slightly long queue of mainly men stood patiently outside the gate in the most concealed location I have ever been. Three abnormally large men who share the same height – okay, maybe almost the same height – with the gate, stood with no looks or gestures to suggest they work with the customer-service unit of the club. We paid two thousand naira each to the first bouncer, the second ‘massaged’ each of us, the third swept our body with a metal detector.
Finally we got in.
Thumping beats – earsplitting but pleasurable sounds. Everyone in the dark cold hall was silhouetted except for the rotating blue luminous light that gave sparkling radiance to everything in white every time it travelled through it. Three 42” television sets hung on the wall, with uncensored music video clips taking turns. Obviously, showing a champions league game here will not only be grotesquely odd but questionable. At the centre of the hall stood a raised platform with two shiny poles where girls of different ages and sizes performed one after the other. They crawled alluringly, caressed and swung on the poles and making eye contacts simultaneously to connect with potential clients.
A man who shared the same cubicle with the DJ introduced each dancer at regular intervals and gave details of their readiness for private dance. “…and there are special dancers, strictly for the Very Indecent People… VIP.” The man announced in a deep voice.
The bar stood on the right hand corner of the hall with strangely tall chairs and tables. There were also lounge chairs filled with expectant men who sat like they were waiting for a doctor to prescribe medication for their ailments. As for me, staying at a spot was difficult  because my ‘tour guide’ is as popular as the club manager so we had to pay homage to the lap dancers, the DJ, the bartenders, yes the bartenders in sexy, buy-more drinks-lingerie.
As time ran uncontrollably, We retired to the lounge chairs where a dancer’s extra effort caught my attention, she put so much dedication and dexterity to what she does in a way that questions the commitment to what I do, we exchanged smiles and at this point not only time was running too fast my heart beat followed suite and just like the proverbial fly that went on a mission to take a sip from a glass of beer, got drunk and ended up floating on frothy drink. It was 4:15am and I was still trying to get the last paragraph of my story. I got it – the police came knocking, and that definitely cannot fit in a paragraph.

Posted by Daring

I figured that I have been away from this neighbourhood for too long...I can't say my love for money is bullying my blogging or writing interest. Neither can i say I wouldn't want it to, the truth is, a whole lot has happened within the period I was away and now, unfortunately i don't have enough words to capture the reality...and talking about happenings, I wrote this poem on one of my birthdays, just thought i should share it...quite crazy though.


I woke up to the groaning tune of my I-beta-pass-my-neighbour
Followed by streaming thoughts of my cold and cloudy labour
Out there, the sun I see is sewn in sequins
Glittering and all-out like queens

I took a revenge on two sachet of pure water
No doubt, the weather is temperamental
So while I await her next move
I’m calling my personal people, oya let’s groove

I’m paying homage to this day that has come
I killed words and buried them in each line of this poem                   
No, no, no you are committing an intellectual taboo
Yes, yes, yes that’s what people in the fourth realm of royalty do

I write that you can grin waywardly to this arty orgasm
Or find reasons to curse my gut, say I hate this sarcasm
Don’t worry, it’s a one night stand
Yet the beginning of an end
Posted by Daring
I broke a 10-year jinx yesterday, I went to church. The beliefs and the usual hearty excitement remain strong on and off the pulpit – there are a couple of side attractions here and there though, our pastor has acquired more goliath-like bodyguards with full armor. The congregation has more women with full -flaunted-option, and the men are now more ostentatious by default. So keeping my stray mind focused for more than 30 seconds was like a miracle.

Just before the sermon was the testimony time. Bra Jacob opened the floor without delay.

“I want to bless God for what he’s done in my life, yesterday I wanted to iron my clothes but there was no light in my neighborhood. I prayed and NEPA brought light. Praise the lord!”

In my mind, I wished someone could shoot ‘bra Jacob’ from the congregation, maybe that would give him a better testimony. The only reasonable thing about the testimony is that it is unreasonably brief. I hope the next testimony is not about NITEL not taking care of their loose cables after winding up; because I’ll be so pissed!

It was bra Michael’s turn, He looked more matured and cool, he mounted the pulpit meticulously and reached for the microphone, unlike bra Jacob who practically ran from his seat with so much glee like he was called for Oscar and still ended up ‘falling our hands’.

Coy bra Michael’s eyes travelled round the four walls of the church auditorium full of we-can’t- wait audience। He swept his baldhead with his left hand as he ‘strangled’ the microphone with his right. Somehow, he found the courage to start.

“Well if you asked me if I was a sinner I would say yes – he who’s without sin cast the first stone! As you all know I got married 2 years ago.” Many smiled back at him to affirm his statement. He continued. “Before I got married, my appetite for adventure needed not just a meal but a feast. If I were to convert my sexual urge to a political ambition, it will match perfectly with Babangida’s gluttonous drive for power. I over- indulged myself in pornography, I had almost all the collections you can think of - Asian, ebony, naughty nurses, I even had some Nigerian ones before now…”

At this minute, I could see many infuriated faces suing bra Michael for too much information already. As for me, I couldn’t be bothered; anything but bra Jacob’s testimony is good. Moreover, It was the best time to put my sift-silver -from -the -dross technique to use.

Unapologetic bra Michael continued with his testimony. “But now God has given me my missing rib, someone who understands my flaws, she does not nail me rather she appreciates and encourages me. I don’t have all those collections again.” Pastor’s countenance at this point was not explicit but I could see him taking a deep breath.
“But the few ones I kept, we watch and enjoy practicing them.” Bra Michael exclaimed.

Our Pastor and some other church members jumped out of their seats, it looked like they were going to give bra Michael a standing ovation but no, shock and disappointment pushed pastor out of his seat and the other people were trying to vacate a 10-seater for Bra Michael to rest his porn self.

It was time for the day’s sermon, I had to depend on my bible’s table of content to find the book of Mathew and Exodus and Luke, and …I mean it was as if someone had reshuffled the whole content. I roamed my eyes stealthily around the auditorium to see if I was the only one in this go-slow situation only to find out how archaic I was – While I struggled with my encyclopedia’s identical twin bible, others had iPads and smart phones to check scriptures and take notes. I turned to the dude on my left and asked: “scuse me, I know the book of first chronicles is in the old testament, where is second chronicles.” The guy replied “Oh, you don’t know where second chronicles is, I don’t know either, you might have to google it!” My sincere response: Okay I get the point I know I’ve been away for too long but I have a question for you, how much did you sell your brain to google? But for political correctness I buried my sincerity and said – alright thank you.

My mind travelled back to what led to my long sabbatical from every Sunday church. I could not figure it out so easily but I could remember collating my thoughts at some point and making a stunning presentation to my parents on why I wanted to stop going to school; to my surprise, I got a ‘Yes’ on the spot. So, the following Month the Oliver twist in me asked for more gruel - I told my parents I was going to quit going to church too. My excuse was that I had allergic sensitivity to the sheer hypocrisy in church. Unfortunately, for me this is what they heard: “Dad, Mom Al-Qaeda and Al-shabaab have been talking to me for some time now; they want me to lace my underwear with an explosive device on Christmas day. Although I’ve agreed to do it, I just thought I should let you know.” The next morning all those pesky Uncles and Aunties (who attend family meetings for a living) had come to discuss my issue.
I drifted back to the sermon and before I knew it, it was THE GRACE. Yes the grace, the same I thought bra Michael would enjoy from church members who already stoned him to death in their minds. At the church gate bra smart (bra michael’s old friend) was trying to teach him how not to say everything.

“What was that about mister? How familiar are these words to you; open your mouth and wallet cautiously cause my friend once the meal is served fetching the salt is difficult. You brought whatever shame you get on yourself. By the way, you said you have some Nigerian ones, I never knew there was something like that ; I wouldn’t mind if you can spare one.”
Posted by Daring
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