The Police Special Anti Robbery Squad, popularly called SARS has come under heavy criticism for a couple of days now. What started as a few complaints from one or two people has quickly morphed into a social media campaign that is expected to culminate in a street protest. Nigerians are calling for the section of the Nigeria Police Force to be scrapped. Numbers don’t lie, and the hundreds of thousands of people employing the power of the virtual community to register their dissatisfaction with the operating unit of the police force are enough proof that we just might have another “Occupy Nigeria” looming if the government of the day does not take appropriate steps to ensure the issue is adequately addressed.
I like people who do things their own way. People who are not afraid to be themselves or air their opinion regardless of what others think. I like them because I know that one of the hardest things to do, especially in these parts is go against popular opinion. Everyone wants to belong, everyone sees the need to jump on the next pop culture bandwagon. It’s safer to do so. You don’t stand out, you don’t stand the risk of being insulted, mocked, subjected to snide remarks, and sometimes, public criticism. You blend in nicely, and all is well with you and world around you.
I don’t trust people who are friends with everybody. Might sound judgemental, but I hold the belief that one who’s friends with everyone can’t be loyal to a particular person or group of people. As humans, we have our individual values, standards, personal code of conduct, and principles regarding how we live our lives and the kind of people we would like to associate with. Now, there’s no way every single person we come across can fit into our idea of who a close friend should be.
“Awon wa’ye wa gbadun ni,” he had said in Yoruba. The spectator’s remarks translate literally to “They came to the world to have fun.” His comments were in response to the auto electrician who had expressed his empathy in that exaggerated manner artisans are known for as he fixed my vehicle. The subject of their small talk? Women. The electric mechanic was also quick to announce that he didn’t like to subject women (compared to men) to any stress when it came to haggling about his charges.
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.
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.
“My motto is: I’m alive, so that means I can do anything” – Venus Williams
It was a fairy tale that failed to happen. With millions rooting for her in her bid to become the oldest woman in the Open era to win a Grand Slam at the age of 37, Venus Williams came up short. It was painful for many. Understandably. If she had won, it would have been the perfect come-back story, a spectacular statement and the perfect way to fill in for Serena’s absence at Wimbledon.
Don’t sabotage yourself. Don’t be the clog in the wheel of your own progress. In this age of social media, it’s the easiest thing to do. Seeing that the world is now a global village, and it has become increasingly easier to make friends with people many miles away, and stay in touch with loved ones we have not seen in a long time, everyone feels close to everyone. These days, you just might tweet at Donald Trump and get a personal response from him. It’s why it is easy to be deluded into thinking the next person on Twitter or Facebook is family or a pal whom we can throw jibes at without the nursing the fear of consequences.
Something interesting happened while I was catching up on the second episode of the Voice Nigeria Season 2 on Monday. I had missed the first showing the previous night, no thanks to PHCN and a generator that wouldn’t budge when it was called upon. So, I was lucky to stumble on the repeat show not long after the repair man fixed the faulty machine. I settled down to watch the show and as usual there were music hopefuls who had their dreams fulfilled when one or more of the four judges turned their chair(s) – an indication that they would like to work with the contestant, while others who were unable to arouse the same gesture from them had their hopes dashed momentarily. The show had been going on well without any incident until something interesting happened. Something I knew I absolutely had to share with you.