Monday, December 31, 2007
Meanwhile, Has anyone heard about the Welcome2Nigeria Project? I'm sure quite a few or none at all. That's a project I'm involved in as one of the media consultants. I will be using this channel to elucidate more on what Welcome2Nigeria Project is all about in due course.
I started a series on Nigeria which i intend to be one avenue to project Nigeria of now and of our dreams. This new year 2008, I'm going to be doing a lot on the Nigerian Image.
Here is the continuation of Nigeria: Infinite Potential
In Abuja, a city founded in the centre of the country in 1974 and made into its capital in 1991, the population is growing ceaselessly. Besides the activity generated by the Transcorp Hilton, Sheraton and Chelsea and other Hotels, the government is also making efforts to entertain foreign visitors and residents in the city. Last November, the capital celebrated its second carnival, which grouped together several of the country's most famous tourist attraction. Among the most spectacular events were a traditional Atilogwu dance and the scintilating gallop of over eight hundred Durbar Horsemen.
The Durbar festival is traditionally held in the cities of Kano and Katsina twice a year - once after the month of Ramadan, and again during the muslim celebration of Ide-el-Kabir (which commemorates Abraham's sacrifice to God of an animal in place of his own son). During the festival, the Emir receives the tribute of his subjects, who fire their rifles as they let out the reins of their embellished steeds for the gallop.
Nigeria also has several nature reserves, though tourist facilites are yet to approaching top-class. One that stands out is Yankari, in Bauchi. The best time to see wild animals is between November and May, when the dry season parches the vegetation. Another interesting reserve with a lovely landscape of green mountains, radically different from the rest of the country, is Mambilla Plateau on the frontier with Cameroon. It offers relaxing vistas of green tea plantations spreading over gently undulating hills. The neighbouring Gashaka-Gumti reserve contains the highest peak in Nigeria, the 2409-metre Chapal Waddi. This region is inhabited by buffalos, monkeys, hippopotami and even gorillas.
Nigeria is a great country of huge potential, and it is sure to leave an indelible mark on anyone who manages to overcome their fear of the unknown, allowing themselves to be drawn along by the hospitality and enormous cultural variety of its people.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Now being a Nigerian and living in Nigeria, my perception of the impact Nigeria would have on a foreigner cannot be rightly placed or imagine. As i read through an article by Carlos A. Dominguez on Nigeria, I realized that the best way to paint the Nigerian Picture is to allow a foreigner give a first experience account of his encounter as he arrived Nigeria. He writes:
Nigeria is a place that boosts the adrenalin. If you are on your way to Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, get ready for a full immersion in what they call 'culture shock'. Its population of more than 120 million will make us forget the very notion of solitude. And there are other things we will quickly have to jettison. While you are staying in Nigeria, any thoughts of anonymity will be pure fantasy. It will prove impossible to go unnoticed, walk along a pavement or look in a shop window. Such things do not exist here.
For most of the expatriate colony, life in Lagos consistsd of going from one air conditioned space to another in the shortest time possible, rather like a game of snakes and ladders. The western community lives mainly on the two of the city's islands, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, where there are large numbers of shopping centres, cinemas, European and American restaurants, clubs and discotheques packed with while people. Without leaving the islands, visitors can attend functions at the French Institute, the Goethe Institute, the Polo Club and other institutions which recall Nigeria's colonial past. The pool at the Federal Palace Hotel and the tennic courts of the EKO Meridien are other popular meeting places where Europeans can find a home from home.
Of course, there are many other things to do, see and fee if there is a whill. A good way to begin a submersion in the local culture is to visit Glendora Bookshop in the Falomo Shopping Centre, located on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi. There, shoppers will find books by Nigeria's most famous authors, such as Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka (the winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature) and Ken Saro Wiwa, or can learn about publications by new writers.
Also on sale are discs by Fela Kuti, the political activist and mythical creator of Afrobeat, as well as by his son Femi (live performances every Sunday at The Shrine in Ikeja) or the masked singer Lagbaja (appearances on the last Friday or every month at Motherlan in Ikeja). Besides Afrobeat, other styles like Juju (King Sunny Ade), High Life and Fuji are sure to delight music lovers. Widespread too are new forms of urban music such as hip-hop and rap.
Nigeria has been consolidating itself in recent years as a great film production centre. Nollywood, as the country's film industry has come to be called, is following the Indian pattern closely, and now produces more than 500 films a year. All are low-budget, but their endlessly twisting plots keep audiences captivated all over the continent.
Nigeria's cultural wealth comes from way back. The country's current territory once lay at the centre of the great African empires, as the terracotta remains of the Nok culture testify. There are 2500-year-old heads to be admired at the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos. The Yoruba bronzes of Ile-Ife, which date from the 7th to 18th centuries, caused stupor and awe when first shown in Europe owing to their superb workmanship, unique in the whole continent.
To be continued...
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Make I cool down yarn una as I take see am.
As usual, I went to check on my friend and check out what was happening at the National Assembly Abuja today. As I was approaching the entrance to the new set of buildings (Senate Wing), I saw what I could only interpret as a 100 metre dash. Only that this time the runners are definitely not dress or prepared for the race and they were made up of distinguished Senators, Honourables and other unidentified persons.
In utter confusion, I breaked and watched as herds of men and women were struggling to outrun each other out of the only entrance and exit doors. See as dem dey tear race. Then it occurred to me that these highly placed movers and shakers of Nigeria could only be running for their dear lives. My instincts kicked in, ah! abi na last weeks fight at the House of Reps 624m contract scam don degenerate to a bigger skirmish!
Now I decided to just keep my distance and observe what is up. After a while I noticed they all stopped outside the building and were looking back into the building, bewildered.
To cut a long story short, there was an emergency alarm that went off. Apparently, as the building is new, the Julius Berger technicians were rounding up their work and carrying out some routine tests on the Emergency, and Fire Alarm Systems which is connected to the Public Announcement system. As they tested the automated emergency announcement, all hell let loose. The automated emergency system with a computerized voice triggered: "Attention, this is announcing a code red emergency, evacuate the building. I repeat, evacuate the building"
As they had ran to safety, One Distinguished Senator asked another what it was. I overheard him answer "I think it was a bomb" then another person said: "no i think that was fire". Then over the P.A. system I heard: "Ladies and Gentlemen, Sorry for the inconvenience. That was a false alarm and the fault has been ratified"
Immediately I realised that I was freely moving around and standing beside these mighty men that on a good day, their aides do not allow anyone approach 5 yards closer to them. But now in the midst of fear and uncertainty everyman is equal. Even in a 100metre dash, agbada no be hinderance! That is Naija for U. Honestly am impressed with this state of the art emergency system.
Friday, September 21, 2007
The President's Son and Microsoft Employee - The son of Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is a Program Manager at Windows
You want a private one on one with Bill Gates? Well, you have to be the son of a president to get a 15 minutes meeting. This is the case of Dare Obasanjo, Program Manager at Windows Live. As Microsoft accounts for in excess of 70,000 employees worldwide, its bound that there should be some diversity within the workforce. Well, here is a link pointing to a Wikipedia entry on the current Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo (foto), and the father of Dare. Dare got to chat with Bill Gates as Microsoft's co-founder was preparing for a visit in Nigeria. "BillG asked a couple of questions about me and my family such as how long I'd been at Microsoft, where I want to school, if my mom was Stella Obasanjo (she isn't), what my mom did, if I had any siblings back home and so on. I appreciated talking about myself and was put at ease before being asked about Nigeria or my dad," confessed Dare. Dare additionally revealed that Gates' visit to Nigeria was related to the involvement of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation into Africa and efforts to eradicate polio in Nigeria through vaccination. "We did talk about Microsoft a little. When I mentioned I work for the Windows Live platform group he mentioned that this would be an interesting area to be in over the next few years and commented on a number of Windows Live services such as Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail. He also talked about some of the leadership changes we've had across Windows and Windows Live," also revealed Dare. After the 15 minutes talk was done, while exiting the building, Dare Obasanjo witnessed a conversation the Receptionist was having with a visitor. For your amusement and consideration,
here it is:
Visitor: Where is Bill Gates' office?
Receptionist: I'm not at
liberty to divulge that information.
Visitor: I need to see him, I just
downloaded Windows Vista and I have a number of complaints.
Thought I should share this. Im particularly impressed with Dare Obasanjo's Achievement. He couldn't have gotten the Job because he is the President's Son. Imagine sef, Bill Gates only had fifteen minutes for
him. Try that in Naija. If you fit employ President son na board of director's position Im go get, nothing short.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
My friend did not have much to do, so we gisted about opportunities and other things that could emanate from his work place (you know the usual opportunies - contracts, connections, employments, etc. Just comparing notes to see how we can run things.
After business as usual he informed me that today is the hearing for the over (N600m) six hundred million Naira contract scam against the Honourable Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Hon (Mrs.) Patricia Ette. We decided to head to the Hearing Room 1.
We got there and to my amazement, the whole place is packed full to the brim. Come and see Naija in shapes, sizes even classes too. Interestingly these people all came to this hearing for different reasons. Some came to see that justice is done. Some are sympathisers who think the Lady is being victimized because she is a woman (the first female Speaker in the Federal House of Rep.). There were a load of journalists, cameramen, name it every media house is represented. I think I belong to the category of people that came to witness the hogwash called the legislative arm of the Government pretend as usual.
Just as we got in. We heard the chairman of the panel call up Madam Speaker to come and give her testimony. Immediately one of the honourable members in her group (She came with a group of supporters) Started hailing her with so much alacrity that I wondered if the ocassion was a chieftaincy or turbaning ceremony. Just at the same time the oposition from the other side of the room retorted with Ole! Ole! Ole! meaning thief! thief! theif! And so I watched as was mean't to be a panel of enquiries into the 634 million Naira contract scam against the Honourable Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives that has been a buzz for a while took a different turn when the two factions (supporters of the speaker & the opposing side) engaged in fist fights right in front of the cameras and whoever cares to watch.
The dishonourable acts showcased by the Honourable Members is nothing compared to the much anticipated October 6th Heavyweight Boxing encounter.
I enjoyed the fight! had I known, I could have placed a bet on one of the factions before it all started. Maybe bet on (with) Madam Speaker, I sure say she go remain after the whole tin don blow over. The hearing has been adjourned to a later date.
Like Nollywood would say at the end of every first movie "Watch out for Part II" "Grab Your Copy Now" "To God be the Glory"
But anyway, what I saw today was not funny at all. I had to take a second look and not convinced about what I am seeing I switched on my room light to illuminate my face in case shadows are playing some tricks on me. Men was I disappointed?
I spent the whole day looking and feeling so moody about my discovery. My friend kept asking me what is wrong and that I should cool down if its all about the usual moody causing suspects like money and woman palavar. I couldn't tell him. I couldn't tell anyone. Even now am telling you, I guess you dont know me so you wont have to laught or look at me with pity.
Later in the day I decided taken up the challenge of finding out what went wrong. I am just turning 31 years old but I think the image I saw was a 40-45 year old. (Hey don't go throwing suggestions at me because I am not sick from any terminal disease and yes i went for a check up and test recently and e no dey show for face!).
So what went wrong. Just this evening the answer to my ponderings came through. I was on the phone with my cousin of about the same age as moi who lives in Germany and he said he sent me his and wife's pictures to my e-mail. When I checked my mail I was stunned at how much better he looks since I saw him 1 year ago.
Men! Just one year that he left Naija for greener pastures.
- Surviving Naija requires a lot of sacrifice and loss (Is it worth it)
- I am a reflection of Naija (my beloved country)
- Just like a lot other Nigerians I am caught up in the poverty trap Chasing Money instead of opportunities.
- If I continue this way. My grave is not far away?
- Regain every loss by staying positive
- Become not a reflection of Naija's situation but a reflection of Naija's Bright future
- Chase opportunities (step out of the vicious circle)
- If I continue this way. My gain is not far away?
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Madonna: "No Yar'Adua cannot change Nigeria, it is only a miracle and intervention of God that can change this country, and i also think if we were in the military regime it might bring a little change, but not with this democratic regime.That people do whatever they like and get away it."
Here is my reply to him on that answer:
Sorry to pick on you Madonna! But let me remind you of something interesting you are forgetting. The miracle and intervention of God has already started. You may have a timetable of 4 years of a presidential term as your criteria for democratic actualization and dividends to become evidence, and you may have also been one of the people that "benefitted" well from the military style of leadership. God's timetable is surprisingly not the way we expect things to happen and can never be. So when you say Yar'adua cannot change Nigeria, I am tempted to ask you: "from God's perspective or from man's perspective?". Just like in the Bible when God was chosing Judges and Kings for the isrealites, some of them got chosen, disobeyed God, ran off course, sinned, lead selfishly, but yet God still used them to achieve His ultimate plans for the children of Isreal. Abacha did his bit, Shonekan did his, Gen. Abubakar, then Obasanjo and even if you say: "obasanjo privatized everything to become his own", Just wait and see what happens at the long run, When God will require the monies stolen to be injected back into the economy. He will make it happen. Nigeria belongs to God and if Yar'adua refuses to follow through with God's plans, God will still make him do it or use somebody else. As He has always done according to His plans. And do please remove your military uniform cos it is a new era and It is not our portion in Jesus Name! Our Democracy was born, we have just attended the naming ceremony chaired by obasanjo, The baby still dey suck breast. Yar'adua's Leadership is like the baby's first day at school (Yar'adua as the Principal). We all need to put our hands on deck to make sure that we bring up our democracy. You know that bringing up a child is not an easy thing. So until we meet at the graduating ceremony after which we expect the child to get a job and fend for himself only then would we ever think back to compare military dictatorship and democracy. And am sure by then it will be more of a academy discussion topic than an option for leadership. God bless Nigeria!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Just thought I should share this with ya fellas! ciao!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
We as Nigerians cannot be quick to compare ourselves with others but not quick to identify the shortcomings in this fast-paced modern world we dwell in. In identifying the shortcomings, only then would we be able to incline our minds to positively directed changes. Lets approach development and change with a different attitude. An attitude of honest disposition to the long thrust of making Nigeria the Nigeria of our dreams; embedded in our hearts; seen in our faces especially when we come together on rare ocassions like a football match. It is an attitude of love for one another. The effect can only be imagined.
Talking about imaginations, I look at a new born child and imagine how the choices I make today will affect the child's tomorrow (destiny). I look at a labourer out in the sun and imagine what happens to him and his many children when the sinews of his bone become weak. For a meagre N700 daily pay he toils and toils, goes back to a home you cant really call a home, manages to feed his wife and kids and setting out the next morning for the same routine for the sake of his love for his wife and children. I look at the Nigeria of today and imagine what i would be like if we all operate in love for the Nigeria of tomorrow i.e. if we can see that through the eyes of the unborn.
Think about it. When modernization, civilization, imported culture and every other thing fail, can we draw strength from love. We can if we create our own modernity, civilization and have a strong sense of cultural belonging. Not destroy, but preserve and create.
I'll leave you with this portion of the Bible:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,  but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
While the response of the emergency fire service equipped with leaking water hosesdelayed, other villagers assisted in using water collected in buckets, to subduethe fire that lasted four hours.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The action is on already! Loads of different personalities. Each one unique as they were ushered into the house. Allowed to say quick farewell to family, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife before the door is closed behind him/her for 98 days. Phew! thats a long time of not really being yourself in your real environment and familiar people instead of stark strangers that are out for the same 100k goal.
My fingers are crossed!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
This particular message came into my phone and got my attention immediately. It read like this:
"Congratulations! you have won N150,000.00. Your No. is among the 42 lucky winners of Lacasera Drink Bonanza, Ticket No. V020. Call 07031093502 or 08066859617 to claim your prize."
For a few seconds I was excited! I've never won any bonanza before or anything like it. But wait a minute! I never entered for any Lacasera Bonanza? O-yeah! na wah! for this Naija sef! .
Ok. I decided to play along and see how far it all goes. So I've got a few units on my phone to spare. I called the Number and a guy answered.
Now I dont know how or why this guy had to be sounding like he is from Jand (you know how a deep yoruba accent combiness with a wannabe american accent. His entire A and H are interchanged).
Here is our conversation:
Mr. 419: 'ello. Aow ha you ma frend!'
Mr. 419: 'Oh! Congratlasions! I shee you ha wan hof the Lacasera lucky winners.'
I said: Yes, Really? ...Ok.
Mr. 419: Ok. The Celebrations is hon now. We will like for you to follow our instructions so has to redeem your prize. So call me back in five minutes.
Click!... and he went off the line.
After like 15 minutes I called him back and he went through the same rehearsed 'ello! aow ha you ma frend. So I told him I was asked to call back.
Mr. 419: 'Congratlations once again! Now lisen carefully to this instruction on aw to redeem your prize of N150,000.00
I said: Am listening.
Mr. 419: We need you to send your name, age, mobile phone no and account No. as text message to this particular no. hand hin hoda for Zenith Bank to process your prize money, you will scratch N3000 Globacom resharge cards and send to this no. By the way Zenith Bank his the official bank that pays the prize money. This hiss to enable Zenith Bank sell the resharge cards and use the money to process your prize money to send to your account.
In my mind, am like: Ekwe! Sweet melody! Sing on broda! Since when did Zenith Bank start stooping so low, abi all na recapitalization techniques?
So I said: Abeg! call me back ma credit do finish so we go fit round up.
He called back!
So I said: Wait a minute Oga! I believe that Zenith Bank as "small a bank"as they are would not want to be collecting recharge cards instead of money as payment for services.
(Even Dundees Do 419. Naija don scatter finish)
Mr. 419: (Full of confidence) Ma frend, you can some over to hour hoffice in No.(somewhere in Lagos) So you can join your fellow celebrants to celebrate.
And I said: I dont Live in lagos (in my mind i said: "Oh! so recharge card no do you, you also wan cut my head and private part wey you go take do juju for money. your fada").
Mr. 419/Ritualist: It will be nice for you to come over so the money will be handed over to you in person. But anyway as you are not in Lagos. Just send the resharge card. No problem.
So I said: Can we do it this way (my naija sense kicking in). I will send my account No. Pay in N147,000 and pay Zenith Bank the remaining N3000. That way its a lot easier for both of us. Better still, just give me N100,000. Take N47,000.00 and give Zenith Bank their 3k. If you no gree for that one, make we split the money 50/50 just give me ma own share i no dey greedy.
Man did I get a click? The loudest for that matter. The line went dead!
Monday, July 2, 2007
That same period i just registered this blog and put up my first post. I stopped everything i was doing and started a 2-week long research that took every spare time i had.
In all my research i found out that:
1. Yes there are so many avenues one can make money online
2. There are a lot of people making unbelievable amounts of money
3. It is possible to make it just like they are (the gurus)
4. You dont have to pay anybody to get materials to learn with. There are a lot of articles and reviews that talk about the good and bad internet money programs. You just need to take out time doing some reading and research before you ever take a step to getting involved.
The Bad News
1. For some of you who think you just sit there and money comes, its easier said but some hard work would have to go before you reap.
2. There are a lot of scammers that promise you heaven on earth only to leave you with loads of materials that wouldnt be as useful as you doing the research yourself.
3. Most of the "Work at Home" Online jobs are true but are country or region specific. So you will find out that as you are located in Nigeria, you will not be relevant to a Paid Survey that is sponsored by an american firm, for american audience or customer base (Paid Survey is one out of the work at home jobs).
In a nutshell, no matter how we see it, our counterparts out there put in a lot of work and planning towards everythings they do. One very import thing i will leave with you is you might have to spend some money also but make sure you spend some time studying every lead before you spend your money.
I know one out of many ways of making money online that works and that is blogging! So am back to my blog and i intend to make it rich and interesting.
Monday, June 11, 2007
In my quest to seek out one Giant at a time, I found this giant. Though in a far away country, he has his motherland so dear to his heart as he constantly shows in his blog. Omodudu is a Nigerian Economist living in NY. Read his informal take on the world at Omodudu.com.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
How do I wake a sleeping gaint when it is apparent that it will take much more than a jolt to make it happen.
It takes enormous strength to perform enormous acts. In a nutshell, It takes a Giant to wake a Giant not a dwarf.
If you are proudly Nigerian and you are not one of the dwarf bastard children that claim sonship of the Giant. Drop Giant words in this blog. Take Giant strides. Create Giant ideas. Make Giant Contributions. Acquire Giant Knowledge. And Watch The Giant AWAKE! Lets Make Nigeria Great!