The Feast of Saint Valentine, a liturgical celebration of early Christian saints has since evolved into a yearly expression of love among lovers and loved ones. In a couple of hours, it will be yet another Valentine’s Day, celebrated on the 14th of February in many parts of the world. The euphoria heightens as the day draws closer, especially among the younger generation.
“Humility will take nothing from you, it can only add.”- Debola Williams
The first thing that may come to some people’s mind is…”Is she saying she wants to have kids with different men?” Why I wouldn’t owe anyone an explanation if I chose to live my life that way, for the sake of clarity, no, that’s not what I am referring to when I say I want to be like Nigeria’s music legend, Innocent Ujah Idibia, whose stage name is Tuface. I’ll pass on the happenings in Mr Idibia’s private life. But, I’ll also admit any day that this icon of the music industry is one man I have always found intriguing. Unarguably the greatest artiste of this generation not just because of his brand and unique style of music, but because of one attribute he possesses and which has become almost as legendary as his music. Humility.
“It is a crime to remain stagnant in a constantly evolving world.” – Ololade Ajekigbe
In less than 48 hours, the year 2015 will be history, and we will be ushering in a brand new year. As usual, there is plenty of euphoria and optimism about the new year…and rightly too. What better time to start afresh, and anticipate a better fortune than the dawn of a new season. However, it’s always important to look back and take stock of the last 365 days or thereabout in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and chart a better course for the future.
It’s like entering a store that you had always believed sold cookies and candy, only to discover that in actual fact, Bitter Kola is sold there! I don’t know about you, but I struggle with adulthood everyday. This is somewhat paradoxical because I pride myself as one who is quite independent. It’s amazing that as a child, all I wanted to do was grow up as fast as possible, and be able to do all the things (…well not exactly all) that adults do. As a kid, I saw my parents take money out of their pocket/purse at will (or so I thought), and automatically assumed that money was a natural accompaniment to adulthood. At times I felt my parents were only being stingy when they talked about how hard money was to come by, and gave me less than what I requested for. I remember voicing those thoughts on a couple of occasions. I didn’t get spanked for it, but I vividly recall that their response was, “O fee kan e na” which literally means “It would soon be your turn,” Needless to say, now that it is my turn, like they said, I know better.
“I really admire a woman for her intelligence, her personality. Beauty is not enough.” – Roberto Cavalli
In the last couple of weeks, music lovers all around the world have been found themselves serenaded and engulfed in the warm embrace of the British born singer Adele Laurie Blue Adkins’ hit single “Hello” off her third studio album, 25. After a hiatus of three years, the 27 year old returned with more than a “bang,” making her fans all over the world appreciate the long awaited album even more. I haven’t hidden my love for “Hello,” just like many other people. The buzz has been absolutely worth it and one cannot but admire this young lady who has mastered and stayed true to her craft with all the simplicity and elegance anyone could muster since she blessed the world with the sounds from her vocal cords by the release of debut album seven years ago.
In what seemed like a confirmation of all the conspiracy theory surrounding the “ominous” Friday the 13th (which is widely regarded as Black Friday, an unlucky day according to Western superstition), French nationals and the rest of the world witnessed deadly multiple attacks on the Bataclan Music Center, (where incidentally, the band named “Eagles of Death Metal” were performing) as well as the La Belle Equippe restaurant and the Le Carillion bar cafe. It was undoubtedly a weekend that the French would never forget as they were hit with the double tragedy of horrific terror attacks and a high-speed train derailment in Eckwersheim on Saturday too. Friday’s carnage was one attack too many as it was the second time in less than a year that Paris would be rocked by terrorist attacks following the French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo shooting in January.
Last Tuesday, Arsenal football club won the first leg of their Champions League Group F match against German champions and current league leaders Bayern Munich. It was not written in the script. It was not a shabby victory by the way, it was an emphatic two-nil win over a formidable team that were yet to lose a game this season prior to the Arsenal defeat. Then, it occurred to me – Before the match, Arsenal were clearly the underdogs. Not many gave them a fighting chance, but they pulled a rabbit out of a hat by doing the seemingly impossible.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write about this subject matter, because somewhere in my subconscious I hoped and prayed that the scourge of rape would have greatly reduced by now. I have also been reluctant to tackle this issue, because there’s no way to write about rape without feeling a good measure of anger and sadness – emotions I was shying away from. The rape epidemic in Nigeria has been increasing at an alarming rate daily. The virtue of the women folk in particular has become endangered in our society. It is virtually impossible to open the crime section of any newspaper nowadays without reading about one reported case of rape or the other. It is baffling, as it is very worrisome because many non-governmental organisations, groups and individuals have been quite active in the fight against this plague. Yet incidents of rape keep rising.
When I did a piece on “How To Be A Nigerian” here I omitted the fact that Nigerians love noise. It is almost unforgivable and I apologise for that. Our undisputable love for noise should perhaps have come first on the list of the factors to look out for in identifying a typical Nigerian. The average Nigerian thrives in a noisy environment, whether on the streets, in our homes, cars, offices, churches and mosques who perpetually hold vigils and early morning services (are arguably the worst culprits when it comes to propagating noise) or at events. It’s almost as though we are not existing when we don’t make noise.
I don’t consume any of the carbonated malt drinks. I discovered very early on that I didn’t like them. Not for any health or prejudiced reasons, I just didn’t (and still don’t) like the bitter aftertaste. I tried to like them. I felt I was weird because everyone (or at least everyone I knew) loved malt drinks. It is the preference at parties and many other functions as many believe it is a better option to other lower priced carbonated soft drinks. I have been at get-togethers where it was the only drink served and I had to pass on it, but not without escaping the curious stares of fellow attendees some of whom would ask why I wasn’t having it, wondering if it had to do with some weight loss program. My reply has always been the same – ‘No, it has nothing to do with a diet plan. I just don’t like the taste.’ I have come to accept it and have long since stopped trying to force myself to drink it.