The past week was an interesting one. And while an event such as the 50th anniversary of the Asaba Massacre could have dampened the mood of some section of people, it’s safe to conclude it was a largely happy week for most Nigerians. We often find ourselves lamenting one situation or the other, and it’s not because we are a people who are naturally wont to dwell on the unpleasant. No. It’s a function of the myriad of problems we are plagued with. But sometimes…sometimes, the stars just appear to align to our favour, and in those instances, we must never fail to celebrate our little victories.
I have never considered myself rich, in monetary terms. But in the last couple of weeks, my “acute” financial limitations ha,ve become more apparent. Apart from the generally reduced purchasing power caused by inflation and the prevailing economic circumstances, the pervading poverty in the land and my helplessness in the face of it all has me feeling frustrated. And then it dawned on me – many of us are deluded that we are comfortable when we are in actual fact poor.
I was having a conversation with some friends when the topic drifted to the issue of cheating. It was no surprise; just recently the news got out that another celebrity marriage had hit the rocks. Before this revelation, cheating had been a hot topic. Famous comedian, Kevin Hart had been enmeshed in a cheating scandal, and social media had gone wild with the news and how men, (in particular), could hardly be faithful in relationships. One of my friends had expressed her concern about the spate of cheating, especially among married couples and had asked me what my thoughts were on the disturbing trend.
This article was inspired by a football match I watched last weekend – The Manchester United vs Everton English Premier League game. Belgian and Manchester United striker, Romelu Lakaku scored a goal against his former club, Everton. What had me intrigued was how Lukaku didn’t hold back in celebrating the goal against a side he was still a part of a few months ago.
“We can all do with some level of praise and criticism. The key is not to get carried away by either” – Ololade Ajekigbe
Before I click the publish button every Wednesday, I experience some trepidation. A range of thoughts run through my mind. What if people don’t like the article? What if a section of my readers find it offensive? What if they don’t get the message or simply find it bland, off-point, uninspiring…? Every single time, I consider these possibilities (it’s a potpourri of emotions every writer deals with, no matter how long they’ve been writing, by the way), but I put out the post anyway.
Smart, street savvy, boisterous and impatient are all adjectives that come to mind when describing the Lagosian. That special breed of people who define the pace and set the trend for other Nigerians to follow. The good, the bad, and the “extra”- Lagos boasts of them all without trying too hard. The DNA of the Lagosian seems to be hardwired from the point of conception. One look, and you can tell that if a person is cut from the Lagos fabric or not. You can’t fake it, it’s either inborn or not.
The tropical storm Harvey that hit the Gulf Coast of the United States has wreaked plenty of havoc and displaced thousands from their home. In Houston, Texas many have lost property, been cut off from power supply and worst still, left stranded as flood waters continue to rise. It’s the typical time when people come together to seek ways to make life easier for those directly affected by a disaster. Apart from rescue operatives, law enforcement agents and non-governmental organisations who by the demands of their jobs unarguably have a responsibility to alleviate the effects of such unfortunate occurrences, it’s a time where religious bodies and ordinary citizens have the chance to demonstrate love for their neighbour.
Mr President has returned home after being away on medical vacation for 104 days. His arrival and subsequent nationwide address have been a controversial subject of discourse between his staunch supporters and those who feel his extended stay away and state of health should have been handled a lot better; and possibly prodded him to resign on account of ill-health. It’s a debate that has been ongoing since the first time he was away for medical treatment. The whole controversy stems from a loss of faith by a section of the populace that the current administration has the capacity to lead Nigeria to the promise land.
Scenario 1: The president of the most populous black nation in the world jets off to the United Kingdom to receive treatment for an unknown ailment. His second absent spell. It’s been 100 days now, and his people have no clue when their president will return. To add insult to injury, his party and cabinet members have been jetting off on tax payers’ funds to see him one after the other, yet no one has deemed it fit to address the people on what exactly is the nature of the first citizen’s illness. Protesters were tear-gassed for daring to demand answers. Shameless is the new cool.
The average single woman in her late twenties and above is tagged “Strong and Independent,” while the man whose wife is doing well in her career or as an entrepreneur is always “Loving and Supportive.” “High Flying,” “Strong Black Women” “Big, Bold and Beautiful.” These are all labels that have become permanent features in our daily narratives. They are clichés I often find myself rolling my eyes at whenever I come across them in essays, interviews, discussions or commentaries of any kind. And most times it’s not even a question of whether these assertions are true or false; they have become tiresome simply because they have been regurgitated again and again by society to the extent that semantic satiation has set in.