The problem with Ibadan

The man tapped me, hard, literally smacked me, on the shoulder as I came down from the bike at Sango bus stop. “se mi l’aanu”, he intoned, stretching out a hand. (it transliterates to “show me mercy” or “have mercy on me”, but can simply mean “help me”. I honestly would have liked to say that I was surprised, but even my sense of surprise was surprised. It was like outrage without the outrage. I was literally stunned. I took a moment to look at the man. He didn’t look…

2019 election watch: defection update.  

I am sitting here, in a friend’s office, and somehow, my mind is on the elections that are going to be held next year, instead of what I came here to do, which is to see someone. While I wait for my host, I am going to ruminate on the latest round of defections and cross carpetings that are fast becoming a regular feature of our political landscape in the build-up to the 2019 general elections. Of course, it is no longer news that the Senate president has defected from…

The Folly Act of Nigerian Comedy

comedy

I was on the web last night, and I have a big, happy grin as I write this. It is not every day that as a Nigerian, you get to connect with something that gives you such unbridled joy, so I feel particularly jubilant. I have just finished watching, for the seventh time, South African comedian and talk show host Trevor Noah’s robust response to the letter supposedly sent by the French ambassador, upbraiding him for referring to the recent victory of France at the World cup as a “victory…

The Problem With Lagos

Nigeria is a wonderfully diverse country. Many cities, many states, and, like all such spaces, many troubles and situations. Now, this is a tip-off, but the writers and correspondents here are on a mission to chronicle the country in a way that has probably never been done before, picking on states and cities, their strengths and pleasures, and of course, their troubles and erm, uncomfortable situations. So for this virtual tour, we will be kicking off with a city that is epic in all possible ways, the city of hustlers,…

Of yam, egg, and sundry other medemede.

I have watched with no small measure of sadness, as social media was overrun with comments about yam and egg in the past fortnight or so. For those who, perhaps, are worse than me, and either does not own accounts on those digital platforms, or have thicker cobwebs (a sign of worse neglect, obviously) on their platforms than mine, let me be gracious, and provide a minor refresher, by way of a recap. Scenario A:  the egg matter, and our treatment thereof. Where a girl was allegedly slapped by her…

Election watch 2019 – pdp and the delusions of relevance.

I have, with some level of dismay, watched the dates on my calendar flick by, week by week, leading us inexorably towards the forthcoming general elections to be held next year. Unarguably, Nigeria is in the grip of what is the singularly most corrupt and anti-people government it has ever had, with a profligate disregard for human life that the years of military rule, bad as they were, cannot match. I can honestly not recall when the life of the citizenry counted for so little. With insurgency, communal clashes, and…

The quasi activism of chi baby adichie

The quasi-activism of chi baby Adichie. Some time ago, not too long, I was arguing, no having a discussion with a colleague. Nigerians tend to argue a lot. I am having to consciously remind myself that two people can have a discussion, have opposing viewpoints, and yet not have it degenerate into an argument.  So for the record, it was not an argument. It was a discussion with both of u presenting contrary viewpoints. So what was the topic of our non-argument, you might ask? We were having a nice…

femi adesina, oh how low

It is safe at this point to say that Nigeria, in some sense at least, can be likened to a sinking ship. It is indeed a fair estimation of the situation. Either that, or we need to start subjecting public officials to some sort of psychiatric evaluation. For the second time in as many days, I  have found myself tearing at my hair in shock and disbelief, due to the strange acts and public behaviours/utterances of some of our so-called public officials. A slightly more pessimistic friend than myself has…

On Igbo destiny and Buhari 2019

Historically, the Igbo of southeastern Nigeria has always been noted for their giant strides in the areas of trade and industry. No area has been too inhospitable, no business terrain to hostile, for the Igbo man who is doing business. People have been known to joke that any country on earth where an Igbo man cannot open a shop is not worth staying in. and it is only half a joke. The Igbo man, or better put, the Igbo entrepreneur, is, in all likelihood, Nigeria’s furthest travelled flag-carrier. The business…