One of the concerns expressed by family, friends and even acquaintances since I began to write actively is that I would write about them, especially if they did something wrong or out of character. I have had it said to me as a joke and sometimes in a more serious tone. And many times, I would laugh it off and simply tell them to relax and not be afraid to be themselves around me. A couple of times, I have written stuff about my general observations of happenings around me only to be subtly accused of referring to a particular person who coincidentally bears some form of resemblance to a character or issue I addressed.
He sped past us on that cold rainy Saturday night. He couldn’t have been going at less than 160km/hr. And just as I was still wondering why anyone would endanger their life and those of others, especially when weather conditions were less than ideal for the semblance of a Michael Schumacher spin, my worst fears came to pass. Less than 100 metres down the highway lay what was left of what had been a beautiful Volkswagen Jetta. Burst airbags, mangled aluminium and a car that had spun to a precarious halt. A ghastly crash, a drunk driver, passengers scrambling to get out of the wreck. A senseless accident.
In the socio-economic landscape of present day Nigeria, there’s hardly any other issue as pertinent and crucial as the sudden increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit popularly called petrol. The plethora of negative effects of the new pump price of N145 per litre has been the song on everyone’s lips. Vehicle owners, commuters, artisans, white and blue collar job holders, market women…you name it seem to be in a battle of who-can-lament-the-most. And who can blame anyone complaining? The N58.50k difference (especially with no palliative measures in place to cushion the effect) between what used to obtain and what we have now came as a shock to many.
As a writer and social commentator, some subjects take more out of you than others. Some topics drain you of emotion and makes you both reluctant and eager to discuss them. You are reluctant because you are afraid you just might let your emotions get the better of you, and end up not passing your message across the way you had planned to. It’s like writing about rape. I dare say there’s no way to discuss the proliferation of rape incidents without being angry. The mere thought has me scowling as I write this. On the other hand, you are eager to lend your voice in the midst of the cacophony of voices addressing the same subject because you feel you owe it to at least one person out there to speak your truth concerning the matter. Some issues are just naturally touchy and domestic violence is one of them.
In undoubtedly the greatest triumph in the history of the English Premier League, little known Leicester City Football Club won the 2015/2016 Premier League season. The Foxes won the title with two games to spare on Monday night courtesy of the 2-2 draw played between last season’s champions, Chelsea and this season’s relentless runners-up Tottenham Hotspur.
The high profile wedding of perhaps the biggest female pop artist in Nigeria at the moment which was contracted less than three years ago has been rocked to its very foundations within the past week. I have read many accounts of what happened and watched the video of Tiwa Savage’s interview concerning the matter. I have also read varying comments from different quarters- from celebrities and regular folks alike; from the amusing to the ridiculous to the downright insensitive.
I am not a life coach. As a matter of fact, I have a problem with that title, as I find it hard to accept that anyone person has all the answers to the issues of life. I also believe what makes the journey of life intriguing are the uncertainties that lurk at every twist and turn. Nevertheless, it’s amazing how we come to better understanding of ourselves (and our environment) as we grow older. As we ought to. The idea behind growing older should not just be about advancing in age, but the ability to harness all our experiences, observations and knowledge into making our lives a wholesome one. As we try to make sense of the conundrum called life, I believe we must reach certain points on our journey, some of which I’ll elucidate below:
“There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do – and I believe that”- Derek Jeter
The possession of a natural ability, unique skill or set of skills which sets one apart from the crowd is often regarded as talent. The good thing is that everyone is blessed with it. Whether they have discovered it or not is another matter entirely. It doesn’t matter if it is something as seemingly mundane as has having magical hands as a masseuse, being a naturally good street sweeper or the more highly exalted talent of being a great computer programmer or rocket scientist. Every single person on the planet is talented at one or more things. And that is awesome!
One is the Senate President of the most populous black nation in the world. The other is the current Prime Minister of the world’s sixth largest economy – The United Kingdom. Both are well read, seasoned politicians who had served in various capacities in government before attaining the (current) peak of their political careers. While Bukola Saraki was elected as the Senate President of Nigeria in 2015, David Cameron was re-elected as Prime Minister in the 2015 general elections in the UK. However, what the two men have in common at the moment is their indictment in the Panama Papers scandal which has earned them the unenviable tag of being two of the most controversial public officers in the world.
In a unanimous ruling that defied the business-as-usual characteristic that has been synonymous with many countries in the African continent, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa was ordered to pay back a part of the $15m he spent in renovating his Nkandla private residence by the supreme court. It came as a pleasant surprise to see a court rule against a sitting president (a clear indication of an independent judiciary), a plot that would have struck as unrealistic if it had been cast in an African movie.