fight to win
if dem want to hear o
we go tell dem plenty t'ings
if dem want to see o
we go show dem many t'ings
why di african man
and di african woman
find it very difficult to succeed
see these african leaders
dem don kill all their people finish...
yeparipa e hee
femi kuti - "if them want to hear" from the "live at the afrikan shrine" CD
Monday, February 27, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
today i had one of those experiences that leave a bad taste in your mouth. no, today i had one of those experiences that make a rational man mad enough to kill. i got into london late last night so that i could catch my flight to lagos tonight (friday). stepped out to do some last minute shopping at the west end, and i stopped at the oxford street branch of my bank with friend to collect some cash for spending at home.
at the counter, the cashier told me that she couldn't let me withdraw the money because i didn't have my chequebook with me. i explained that i had forgotten it in manchester, and was due to catch a flight out to nigeria that night, could she please help? she left to ask the manager, and then returned to say that he had refused to let her give me the money. naturally upset, but confident that i could resolve the matter myself, i asked to speak with the manager in person. she told me to grab a seat, and he'd stop by to see me.
while we were waiting, my friend and i witnessed a conversation in the booth right beside where we were sitting, where it seemed another customer had found himself in the same situation. we overheard a member of staff telling him that while they usually would not provide large cash withdrawals without the customer's chequebook, they would make an exception in his case. naturally, i was encouraged by this exchange, because it meant that they would be willing to make the same allowance for me.
the manager came out to see me after a few minutes, and as it turned out to be the same man i had observed talking to the previous customer, i felt even better about my chances, afterall, he had just made the same allowance not quite 5 minutes previously. anyway i explained my situation to him: i was due to catch a flight to lagos in a matter of hours, i had forgotten my chequebook in manchester, but i had my UK driver's license and bankcards for ID purposes; would he allow me to withdraw £1,200 from my account?
And that was when my nightmare began.
HIM: "we don't usually provide this sort of service, except in emergencies and exceptional circumstances"
ME: yes i understand that, but i'm catching a flight to nigeria tonight, and as i cannot use my ATM card in nigeria, this is clearly an emergency. i will be going for three weeks and i will not have any money to spend if you do not allow me to withdraw this cash.
again, i showed him my cards and license which were all i needed to verify that i was truly the owner of the account.
HIM: "but this is obviously not an emergency because you had known about your flight for a while"
ME: yes, but i had not planned to forget my chequebook, and besides, i have withdrawn large sums on my previous trips to nigeria without having to present a chequebook.
HIM: perhaps you had been allowed to withdraw money in the past, but it is a policy of this bank that large withdrawals are to be made via a cheque. this is not an emergency and so there is nothing i can do.
ME: why do you keep saying this is not an emergency, when it clearly is as i have no realistic options?
i was quite upset now, as this pencil-pushing bureaucrat seemed to regard my predicament with amusement and sarcasm, not to mention a very obvious cynicism that he wasn't making any attempt to conceal. the whole time that he was talking to me, he had adopted this condescending attitude and tone that was clear proof that he had no intention of providing this service. and then he started to show this by making really stupid suggestions, all with a little smile on his face.
HIM: why don't you take the money from your credit card?
ME: surely you don't mean borrowing when i have money of my own in my account?
HIM: or take out as much cash as you can take from the ATM?
ME: what, £250 for three weeks? No! i need every cent of the £1,200 i'm trying to withdraw, and besides, some of the money i am taking home is not mine.
i explained that some of my friends were sending money to their relatives through me, and they would not have a good christmas holiday without that money. still he refused. and then i reminded him that i had overheard him making the same allowance for the person he saw just before me, and he had not seemed so reluctant then (this person was white).
ME: i saw you make an exception for someone else just before you saw me, so why is my case any different?
i am always reluctant to play the race card, always preferring a more rational way to resolve disputes, even when the only explanation just happens to be my skin, or the fact that i am nigerian in a world where being nigerian is synonymous with being a fraudster; so i played it cool, figuring that i could still reason with him like a rational adult man with a good case. he heaved a deep sigh and took another look at my documents; realising that he had been caught out, but clearly looking for another excuse not to allow the withdrawal, he then said, "look, i can't even help you, because the signature at the back of your card is faded, and i cannot read it."
now i almost lost it; this idiot, this stupid ass-kissing patronising idiot was talking about a signature when he clearly didn't want to help me. well, i wasn't going to let him get away with it, so i called him out. i told him that obviously he had been looking for an excuse not to render any assistance to me, when he had provided the same service to someone else just 2 minutes before seeing me. i accused him of refusing to help, but i still tried to reason with him. still he refused. so i said i'd transfer the money to another account in the same bank, the signature on my ATM card for this account was crystal clear, and he could not object to that.
probably realising that his options were even more limited where refusing my request was concerned, idiot-man asked to see my passport, which i didn't have with me, because i didn't need it. as long as i had my driver's license with me for identification, the passport was never needed. since i passed the driving test (whew, finally - on the second attempt, but don't tell anyone) and got that license 3 years ago, i had not needed to show my passport anywhere (apart from the airport obviously). in fact, it had even come to light that some financial institutions had stopped accepting nigerian passports as ID, preferring the UK License which was easier to verify for authenticity. a number of friends had experiences where their nigerian passports were not accepted as ID, so i didn't bother with it anymore. besides, how many people routinely walk around town with their passports? probably only terrosists and nigerian governors on the run from the EFCC and the british government. (abi i lie?)
anyway, the banker-fool said that he couldn't let me withdraw money if i didn't have the passport, and nothing i said to him would change his mind. i had withdrawn money on the strength of my license and ATM cards in the past, and no one had ever asked for my passport or chequebook. the bank had special forms that were used for these situations, so it was perfectly legal. Obviously hell-bent on his continuing his stupid stance, he then asked me, with the most cynical patronising look on his face:
"i thought you said you were travelling tonight, how can you not have your passport with you?"
ME: (trying not to lose my rag and fling the computer monitor at his head) excuse me, but do you see my luggage with me? if i'm going back home for my luggage, why should i carry my passport around?"
anyway, he finally suggested that i went back home to get my passport, despite the fact that it was almost the end of the working day, and the bank was almost certain to be closed by the time i got back. at this point my friend just lost it (trust my fiesty naija babes) and started going off on him, calling him out; i almost had to pull her off him as she demanded that he do his job with some intelligence. ever one to avoid a scene (i know, what kind of Nigerian am i?), i managed to calm her down and we walked out of the bank, but not before i got an assurance from him that he would be allow the withdrawal if i returned with my passport. then began this mad dash across london so that i could get my passport from my london apartment and then travel back to the bank before closing time. luckily, i found an old chequebook in a drawer which i took along, that was to be my ace if he refused to honour his assurances regarding the passport.
back at the bank, i asked to see him again, and after a 10-minute wait he came out to the waiting area, and needless to say he was quite shocked to see me back so fast (thank God the underground was on point that day). i reminded him of his promise, and then he brought out the necessary forms for me to fill. but this man, this gimp, this stupid initiative-lacking, rule-following, discriminating turd who had made me run half-way across london barely even glanced at the passport! now you know this this got me mad as hell, and i was picturing all the different ways that i could hurt his pedantic bigotted face, but I waited until we had completed his little charade before i told him off squarely.
First I accused him of being unfriendly and condescending to my friend and i. he went red and started to stutter. Then told him that i was better educated than his pencil-pushing self, and that it saddened me to see him exhibit the textbook traits of small-minded unintelligent people who found themselves in positions of small power. more stuttering. i reminded him that his conduct could only be construed as discriminatory. plenty stammering now. Finally I said that I was sure that his superiors would not be proud to learn of his version of HSBC’s customer service charter.
you should have seen his face, he got REDder than crimson roses as he struggled to explain himself. noone likes to be called a bigot, and probably aware of his precarious position if i chose to report him, he started to explain his actions. the lawyer in me was out in full swing, and i took perverse pleasure in knocking down his feeble explanations one by one. the best part was when he started to apologise, over and over again as i pointed out his obvious bigotry to him.
i am not ashamed to say that i enjoyed watching him squirm. nor am i ashamed to say that i eventually showed him my chequebook after he had filed out all those forms that were no longer necessary. when he saw the chequebook he became visibly angry, and he wanted to know why i had made him go through the unnecessary procedure. Sensing my chance to get a little satisfaction of my own, i took a great pleasure in telling him why.
ME: "for the same reason why i didn't go to an HSBC branch nearer to my house; i wanted the satisfaction of watching you Mr Bank Manager filling out the forms yourself. i wanted to see you eat your words. and i wanted to see your face as you apologised to me. Now I want you to order a new card for me, to replace the one with the faded signature. And do it quickly, I have a plane to catch, and no, your apologies are worth nothing to me.”
some people might suggest that this incident wasn’t really racially motivated, but I was there, and I saw how he responded to my friend and i. why would he treat me differently from the previous customer? What criteria would he have used to distinguish between us? I was upset to the point of tears, and only my rational mind kept me from screaming and shouting at him in the middle of the banking hall. Noone should have to fight for their dignity like that. i thank my parents for teaching me to control my temper, but that day i wanted to get mad as a thug nigger and smash shit up. i wanted to unlearn the self-control that those two wise people taught me, and throw my education out the window to boot. i wanted to slap somebody and stomp on their hands. damn, i wanted to bodyslam the man and practice the wrestling moves i had not seen since i stopped watching that charade 10 years ago. i wanted to go african and chant war cries. i wanted to be shaka zulu dammit!!!
I got my own back on him that day, I scored one for the side. He will be more careful in future, unless he wants to lose his plush job. And I will not stand for anyone condescending to me for whatever reason.
From my notebook, December 16th 2005.
(c) olawunmi awosedo
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Time is a pretty inconsistent thing: it flies when you’re having fun, so that everytime you blink your eyes an hour has passed, and then another hour, rapidly taking you closer to the moment when you have to stop what it is that you’re doing and enjoying so much. But it just waddles along at a pace that would make a tortoise feel like a supersonic jet when you’re having one of those days that you would not like to remember.
What the hell is wrong with bloody time, can the damn thing not be bloody consistent, or at least reverse the way it bloody rolls, so that I can maximise the times I spend having fun, and rush through the bad days.
Just imagine if time could crawl along on weekends and holidays, and those special times that you want to cherish. Like when you get back from work and want to chill in front of the tv. Yup. Time can crawl along then, so that I can get a whole 6 hours chill time out of the 3 or so hours I actually spend. And imagine that the weekend could go on for days. Bliss. Clubbing could go on for longer. Whew!
And time would do the reverse when you’re not having a good time. It would fly. Long flights to the end of the world would be dispatched in what would appear to be less time, visiting your in-laws wouldn’t be such a pain because ethe time would go past in the blink of an eye (I’ve never been married, but I hear it can be like passing kidney stones if y’all don’t get along). The working day would go faster, while allowing us to achieve the same amount of work.
But I reckon the best time trick of all would be if you could somehow stretch the time that you spent having sex. Now this would have to be a very clever trick, because you don’t really want the experience to go on forever, I’m not sure many hearts could handle that. Peeps would be dropping dead while handling their biz daily! Nah, I’m saying that if you could make every minute just stretch for another 3 minutes or so, then you could have drawn out bouts of passion without bursting the vessels in your heart like over-inflated tires.
So the weak game brothers could make their 2 minutes feel like a more respectable 6-7 and the real athletes would be hanging on for hours!!! I reckon there would be less road rage, less political stress. Heck, the world would be more peaceful if all the Viagra-popping dictators were regularly getting more joy out of their amorous adventures. Imagine that, more time in the saddle, without putting in extra work, more joy without the pain, wives would be happier, husbands would feel more manly and I would buy tons of shares in all the companies that sell lube.
I’m having one of those days. I’m tied, my eyes are heavy and I’m mad bored. Time crawls along…
Posted by Olawunmi at 2:25:00 pm
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
and it continues: the news reports that mobs in the eastern nigerian city of onitsha have taken to the streets to protest the killings of their fellow christians at the hands of northern mobs in the muslim city of bauchi.
more murder, more trouble, more sorrow.
Posted by Olawunmi at 7:52:00 pm
We're just ordinary people
We don't know which way to go
Cuz we're ordinary people
Maybe we should take it slow
This time we'll take it slow
This time we'll take it slow
Take it slow
Maybe we'll live and learn
Maybe we'll crash and burn
Maybe you'll stay, maybe you'll leave,
maybe you'll return
Maybe another fight
Maybe we won't survive
But maybe we'll grow
We never know baby you and I
... we're just ordinary people....
John Legend - Ordinary People.
Posted by Olawunmi at 3:47:00 pm
Monday, February 20, 2006
the world has stopped protesting. people have died: damascus, beirut, pakistan. people have protested. buildings have been burned. that was weeks ago, in far away places. now somebody in nigeria wants to join the cause. somebody needs to prove his devotion to his God by demonstrating that he can also take up arms to defend the faith. fine. talk about delayed reactions. but why? does he intend to get on God's good side? or is he trying to store up some favours to be used up on judgement day?
some people have manned roadblocks, thousands of miles away from denmark. to what end? if you protest in nigeria, how does that affect the danish magazine and its editors? burn up a few buildings. whose buildings? not the danish embassy, because that's heavily guarded, plus its located miles away. too far. burn up some buildings in your own communities. yes. that's how to prove the point. kill a few neighbours. yes. any danes among the dead? no. just some innocent people whose only crime is not being muslim. you're poor, and hungry, but you burn up your own markets, your own schools and your own places of work. close up offices. no business. no pay for people who earn their living daily. no money. smart.
where are the danes in all this? safe. in denmark. nice.
let's kill a few christians and burn a few churches. yes. that will win points with God. yes it will. kill His children in His name, so that we can win favour with Him. yes, that's the smart thing to do. what do the Holy Books say about murder again?
thou shalt not kill?
ignore that, it's not important, God won't mind, even though He expressly forbade us to do what we're doing. does the Book not say, that if a man kills one man, it is as though he had killed all of mankind? well, yes it does, but it doesn't matter. let's shed the blood of the innocent while the "guilty parties" dine on pastry and sleep in their comfortable beds thousands of miles away.
never mind that we're not devoted to God as we should be. don't pray. disobey His laws and do as we please. we can appease Him by doing more of the things that He expressly forbids. He won't mind.
who are we fooling?
question: why do people need to defend the honour of God? is He not all-powerful and all-knowing? does He need our help to defend His name? where are the religious leaders in all this? publicly appealing for calm while privately imploring people to visit violence upon the heathens? there. that's the way to lead. never mind that the world largely considers your religion a murderous violent creed now. no, just keep encouraging the stereotypes by killing innocent christians to satisfy a perverse bloodlust.
yet religions are almost universally peaceful, so where is the corruption coming from? who leads the flock astray? where are the leaders of faith, to tell the sheep to drop their torches and sticks so that they can go home, and we can all co-exist in peace. was an apology not enough to relieve the damage done, and is God not merciful? if He is, and we are acting in His name, why should we not embrace peace as He would?
i heard the news and it broke my heart. people are stupid. stupid. killing their neighbours and destroying their own shit. while hunger perpetuates itself amid the hunger, anger and stupidity. blind faith, hypocrisy and murder are the fruits of this stupidity. we self-destruct at heaven's gate, we choose the burning fires of hell over the gates of heaven. the row over the danish cartoons should never have got this big, and people should be too busy, too intelligent to be fighting themselves on the streets of the poorest places in the world, on a different continent from the place where the "offense" was given. have they not apologised?
stupid. stupid. nigerians.
Posted by Olawunmi at 5:48:00 pm
back at my desk. trying to get some work done. haven't been here in a week, while i was tending to friendship and family issues.
have to focus, there's so much to do. i have tons to catch up on. where was i? oh, there.
distracted. work's not going too well.
daydreaming. i want that thing.
back to working. computer's misbehaving.
no sweat, i saved my work.
check my email.
back to that work. what was i trying to say? yes, the convergence of banking regulation in the european single market after the passing of the second banking directive.
basle committee? oy yes. what do they do again? oh i remember....
distracted. reading nikki's blog. nothing new. hope she's okay.
hmm. worrying about the bank balance.
back to work. banking directive. oh, ive passed that.
tired. hungry again
almost time to go home
distracted from being distracted. train of thought derailed yet again.
reading the bruthacode. that man is mad. true genius.
back to work.
fuck it. i'm going home.
who am i kidding? back to work!!
Posted by Olawunmi at 5:39:00 pm
i count my blessings and it amazes me how much the Father has given me. to start with, that i am alive, healthy and aware is a blessing like no other, because dead men have no consciousness of the beauty that sorrounds them; they have no oppurtunies and no ability to become more than they already are. these eyes have seen so much, and my hands have felt much that is truly wondrous, and breath-taking, and inspiring; as a man, i have so much to be thankful for. yet i often forget.
if i stand here as an individual who has scaled the heights that i have, and done the things that i have, surely those are some of the ways that Jehovah has blessed me, becuase could things not have been completely different for me? and when my mind considers the family that sorrounds me, where people freely say, "i love you" and then travel hours to spend special moments with you, just so that you are not alone at thetimes that matter the most, i am reminded what is the greatest blessing of all.
sometimes the haze of doubt and the fog of unpleasant realities obscure the view of the tomorrows that we expect to be more promising. sometimes i get caught up in what is wrong, and i forget that the balance is weighed heavily in favour of good. it pays to enumerate my blessings because it reminds me of the greatest blessing of all. the love of God is the reason why i have any blessings to count at all, and it pays to remember this at all times, though i do not. when i count my blessings, i am reminded how much my Father loves me; even more than the love i have for myself, that is the greatest love, and the greatest blessing of all.
He loves me, and so i have my blessings to count.
Posted by Olawunmi at 3:45:00 am
Thursday, February 16, 2006
She sounded tired and old when she first started to talk; her voice had a depth to it that I had never heard before. She sounded like she had lived every one of her 75-odd years, I heard every moment of them in the first few words that she spoke. I heard some of her past and present pains, her joys and sorrows, I heard the echoes of the places that she had been; in her voice I heard her anxieties as she lived through the twilight of her years. She said, “hello”, and she spoke to my heart.
I just spoke to my grandmother for the first time in months. Hadn’t realised how much I’ve missed the little old woman until I heard her shaky voice say “hello?” on the other end of the phone. What made it sweeter was the fact that she had not been expecting to hear my voice at all, because my little brother played a joke on her: the little prankster told her that one of his friends wanted to talk to her. So my granny picked up the phone expecting to speak to a 12-or 13-year old child and ended up talking to a grown man.
I heard my brother hand her the phone; my granny said hello, and then she asked how I was. Initially, I just said that I was fine, and listened while she asked after my parents, and school. But when I finally said, “Mama, this is Olawunmi” our whole conversation changed.
She said, “Olawunmi?” and then there was this transformation in her voice. “Olawunmi? Olawunmi! Olawunmi!! my son” she said over and over again, repeating my name in a spontaneous outburst of joy and excitement. All the years were stripped away from her in that instant when she first said my name and realised which particular “Olawunmi” she was speaking with. Suddenly she didn’t sound so tired anymore, her voice had energy and life and I could picture her tiny form (she’s just over 5-feet tall) dancing and throwing her hands up in the living room of my dad’s house in Lagos.
“Olawunmi, ba wo ni?”* - my granny doesn’t speak a word of English, so all our conversations are in Yoruba. She was talking faster than I had ever heard her talk, praying for me this minute, asking about my sisters the next, telling me she missed us all, asking about school – she was trying to cram the last 4 months into a few short sentences. She was happy, and for the first time in my life I could honestly say that I understood her, and I missed her.
Mama is old, the years that she has left before her will not be as many as those that she has lived. She knows this, and she has learned to appreciate the little moments that she spends with her family. She has just the one child, and her grandchildren live thousands of miles away, but she dotes on us and tries her best to show her love when she sees us. She famously tries to pick me up when she sees me, even though I’m far taller than she is.
I wonder what its like to be old, to have all the memories of your long years to go over in the quiet moments. I wonder if she still agonises about her mistakes, or if she simply dwells on the triumphs and highpoints. Is she happy? Could we make her final years easier in any way? I wonder what she’s doing right now?
* “Ba wo ni” – means literally “how are things?” it is a standard greeting in yoruba-speaking parts of Nigeria.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The first threat is from the virus itself: because it can be fatal to human beings, only heaven knows how many lives it would claim if it is not checked quickly. In a country where millions of people keep chickens in their backyards, the potential for an epidemic is too frightening to even contemplate, and if an epidemic ensues, how many lives would we lose? How many families would lose their loved ones, how many fathers, mothers, wives, husbands and children would know the sorrow of losing someone they love very much?
The news reports that tens of thousands of chickens have been culled in a bid to control the spread of the deadly virus. Well, that’s a tragedy because every chicken that’s destroyed is precious precious food lost to the bellies of the needy. In a nation where thousands of people are starving and barely existing, it is a real shame for any food to go to waste, thus reading about this (highly necessary) measure being applied is truly heartbreaking. How do we replace the lost poultry when so many people are already too poor to feed properly? Some people would suggest that the government might do something, but this being Nigeria where government exists mostly for the personal aggrandisement of the elected, I have no hope that any compensation or other cogent measure to minimise the damage will ever be instituted.
This is also a crisis in economic terms. The poultry being destroyed all belong to people: from families who keep small numbers of chickens to large-scale farmers with birds running into the thousands. A lot of these people will lose their chickens, either through the cull or through infection by the virus. Every bird that dies on a commercial farm represents an economic loss to the owners who would otherwise have profited from the sale of the chickens and their eggs. My aunt has a large commercial poultry, and I have seen first hand how the loss of a few thousand birds can affect her financially, if a poultry farmer had to lose all of their stock it would practically cripple their businesses. And I doubt that many of the farmers in Nigeria have insurance for this sort of thing.
I wonder what effect a panic avoidance on poultry will have on the price of beef in the market? Damn! Every way I look at this, the picture looks bleak, unless there’s a miracle; people will hurt and people will starve, people will mourn unless something dramatic happens to change the course of a future that Nigeria’s people are headed for with this bird-flu thing. It saddens my heart and weighs heavily upon my mind. We need to pray…
Posted by Olawunmi at 3:47:00 pm
Saturday, February 11, 2006
I don’t know what Mr Foxx was on when he wrote Three Letter Word, but that ish must have been potent. Let me say that again, P-O-to the power of a million-TENT!!!!
Bless that man for expressing my number one addiction so eloquently (please read this part quickly, and you’d better not comment on it), so powerfully.
(from the intro)
I think I want some more, yeah…, I know we just got through, but its… its… its just so good. I just can’t help it….
See I was thinking there was something wrong with me, but I listened to this song and I knew I wasn’t alone. Not Alone!!! I have company, COMPANIEEEEEEEEE!! All those days and nights just thinking about them three letters and that act, and knowing for sure I must be warped in some way because-no-way-on-earth-is-anyone-else-thinking-about-this-more. Well I was wrong. Jamie wrote a song about it, he feels it too.
It’s not all I think about.
I mean, I think about other stuff too, when I’m not thinking about it. But every other thing somehow comes back to it, somehow, you understand? In a roundabout way school and law and life and music and clothes and cars and watches and sports and money and all those other random things this man has to deal with everyday come back to that three-letter-word that dominates a brother’s thoughts till he’s about to drop dead from mental exhaustion.
If I were American, and Jamie was running for office today I would vote for him. Jamie Fox For President. Actually, he can come and be president in
Stronger than any drug.
Hell yeah, that ish has been known to keep a brother up all night, working. Working that ish like it’s a j-o-b.
Can make you crazy, can make you strong.
Seriously, that song is beyond good, it’s just off the scale. It’s a sublime profound poetic expression inspired by long hours of reflection upon a weighty, heart-felt issue in all its ramifications and motivated by the need to confess and profess this undeniable human compulsion to propagate the specie in this powerful musical composition!!!
Fo’ shizzle (forgive me, but I couldn’t resist).
Some call it bad, some call it good,
Some do it bourgeoisie, some do it hood,
I do it hood,
Can I say that one more time girl?
I do it hood,
Some like it slow,
some like it fast,
it don’t matter the tempo
long as it last,
I make it last
can I say that one more time,
girl I make it last. Uh-hooooooooooo
LMBAOROTF. That one had me in stitches.
But I confess, I do it hood too!
All this while I was thinking I was twisted, or defective in some way that was making my hormones crazy but I was just feeling the same thing that some other chap was feeling too. I think I need to announce my addiction now. I’m Addicted!!!
So I played this album on the train, and I was laughing so hard that the people next to me were giving me funny looks, like I was losing my mind or something. Well, I was - Jamie Foxx was driving me crazy.
I love this album, contrary to my every expectation. Heaven knows I thought it would be a cynical attempt to capitalise on his role in Ray and his guest appearance on Kanye West’s album, but I was wrong.
Damn, they should have named this album The Babymaker ‘cause tons of people are going to get knocked up to this ish, for real. In fact, by the third quarter of this year Jamie Foxx is going to have mad cases from all the unplanned pregnancies he would have instigated. This one stirs up your hormones it invites you to go home and light some candles and lay out some silk sheets. No, it makes me want to do it hoo-hoooooooood!!!
This is killing me. Damn. Don’t ask me what I’m thinking, it’s none of your business. Three-letter-word y’all.
(But please don’t tell my pastor, I’m not quite ready for deliverance yet)
(c) olawunmi awosedo
Posted by Olawunmi at 8:37:00 am
Thursday, February 09, 2006
i was too upset to say last night, but freaking MS Word died on me yesterday while i was working on a paper, right at the end of the day. now normally this wouldn't be a problem, because i save my work every few seconds like a maniac, but some dark alien force that was determined to shag me up the butt with no lube decided to make my WORD crash AS I HIT THE SAVE BUTTON!!!
so i sat there, watching my computer tell me MS Word had encountered some random bitch problem or the other and couldn't (or wouldn't) save properly because the Hard disk was f'ed in some-way-or-the-other. hehn? hehn? (thats "huh" in yoruba by the way).
i got religious. i was crossing myself and praying that it was hunger that was causing my tired mind to see things, ad not my damned stupid computer going crazy at 8pm after a loooong day..
the computer turned itself off.
i turned it back on.
it booted up. slowly.
i restarted Word. it wouldn't start. then i got the BS "report a fault to microsoft" message.
finally Word opened. it had not recovered my work, despite the fact that the Word was set up to autosave every 2 minutes AND save a backup. for some bizarre reason my computer hadn't saved properly in hours, despite the number of times i told it to.
so i lost my work. the rescued file is corrupted.
do computers get psychotic? do they need to see a shrink or a support group from time to time?
and by the way, the USB stick i was backing up to got corrupted as well. bitch!!
Posted by Olawunmi at 1:56:00 pm
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
my boy Kunle (aka biggie) got married in december. for me it was a special time, because we go wayyyyyyy back. we had started university together, graduated together and we were even called to the Bar on the same day. somewhere between the day we met and this moment we managed to share a lifetime's worth of experiences; we shared a flat during university, and we were in the same damn class, so homie and i done went thru mad ish together. we failed the same courses, passed the same ones, played far too much together and almost didn't graduate at the same damn time.
he was there, and he was there for me as we grew into men, and i appreciate that. did i mention all the fun we had? anyway, in so many ways he's like my brother so it meant a lot to me to see him married, especially as his wife is very close to my heart as well.
here are some of the pictures from the traditional wedding ceremony, when i get my act together i'll find the pictures from the church.
the groom arrives (my boy's looking all dignified and grown in his native attire, is he not?)
he's sitting with his new parents-in-law in this picture.
during the traditional marriage ceremonies, being accepted to sit between his wife's parents signifies their acceptance of him as their son.
mother and son.
in this picture he's sitting with his mom and his uncle; here he's supposed to be showing his appreciation to his parents for all that they did to raise him. sadly his dad passed on many years ago, so he could not be there to see his son get married. that woman had been through so much raising her children, and she was so happy to see her baby boy all grown; she might have been happier when we were called to the Bar, but i'm not sure...
i was playing with the software, this picture looked good, so i thought i'd include it.
the bride, Tosin, I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST Y'ALL!!!
Posted by Olawunmi at 2:02:00 am
Posted by Olawunmi at 12:57:00 am
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
to be honest the result was fair, the ivoriens just seemed to want the victory more, and they played just a little bit better because of it. nigeria seemed so confident in our own ability that we didn't work hard enough to create that much-needed oppurtunity to score the goal needed to initially take the lead, and when that was relinquished, to get back on level terms and therefor take the game into extra-time.
so the better side won, or at least the more determined side won. can't really complain because we didn't have what it took to win.
we lost. shame. but life goes on...
Posted by Olawunmi at 5:34:00 pm
Friday, February 03, 2006
THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY!!!!!
Posted by Olawunmi at 2:28:00 pm
Thursday February 2nd 2006
Refund Nigeria’s $3bn, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu tells UK
By Mojeed Jamiu, Finance Editor, Lagos (with agency reports)
South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu has accused the United Kingdom of "meanness of spirit" in a letter to its Finance Minister, Gordon Brown, asking him to return $3 billion (N390 billion) the UK will get from a deal by rich countries to write off much of Nigeria's debt. In October last year, Nigeria agreed to immediately pay $12.4 billion to members of the Paris Club in return for them writing off $18 billion. Early last month, £811 million (N194 billion), the first tranche of the repayment, arrived the UK treasury. The balance £900 million (N216 billion) is expected in March.
In his letter dated 27 January, Tutu said: "While it is to be welcomed that much of the debt has been wiped off the books, it is unacceptable that 40 per cent ($12.4 billion) must be paid in a one-off payment.
"For rich creditors to be claiming such a vast amount of Nigeria's savings at this time smacks of a meanness of spirit which stands in stark contrast with so many of the sentiments expressed in 2005”.
It is of note that the UK is Nigeria’s biggest creditor with $8 billion and has supported debt cancellation and justice for Africa in 2005. It must now make a stand by returning Nigeria’s money for it to spend on fighting poverty. UK organisations which are members of the Jubilee Debt Campaign for poor countries, have noted that “$12 billion in Nigeria would have gone a long way towards saving children immunisation, healthcare, all kinds of things. But the donors got greedy. They said, ‘Take the oil revenue that you have responsibly been saving up, and instead of investing it in your needs, give it to us.’ To the donors (we) say, ‘Return that money. Where is it needed? Not in our coffers.’”
Jeffrey Sachs, one of the Jubilee group’s spokespersons, observed that at the end of 2005, Nigeria’s total external debt was $35.9 billion, the largest debt burden in Africa. The vast majority of it (over $30 billion) is owed 14 rich countries which are part of the Paris Club. This debt ballooned from the original loan of less than $17 billion, despite Nigeria having repaid around $20 billion.
Nigeria has been paying approximately $1.8 billion each year to service these debts: Three times its education budget and nine times its health budget. Around $1 billion was being paid to the Paris Club. The total service due was even higher, around $3 billion a year. The unpaid amounts have continued to accrue interest and build Nigeria’s debts even as it was paying them off.
In the past, Nigeria was excluded from debt cancellation schemes such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative despite both its staggering debts and dire poverty. It had had four previous ‘rescheduling’ agreements with the Paris Club. Through these, huge sums in fines and late interest imposed by creditors over the years were consolidated into Nigeria’s ever-growing debt. In the 2005 deal, the whole of Nigeria’s debt to the Paris Club is to be cleared through both cancellation and pre-payment.
Tutu in his letter to Brown wrote: "I urge you to show leadership by returning your country's share of this money, and so save and enhance the quality of life of millions of my fellow Africans.
"Progress has been made in 2005 towards the noble cause of ending extreme poverty in our world. Let this unacceptable deal not be black mark on an historic year”.
Last December, the directors of 12 UK charities and campaigning organisations wrote to British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Brown demanding that the UK refuse to accept its share of the debt deal which amounts to almost twice the entire UK aid budget for Africa – and instead return it to Nigeria where it could be used to reduce poverty.
Blair replied on January 23, 2006 to say that the UK does not intend to return the money.
Posted by Olawunmi at 12:42:00 pm
Thursday, February 02, 2006
The King, started this, and I saw Nikki’s mass-tag (girl you need to stop tagging ALL of your loyal readers. lol) came up with this one, and it was so hard to do. I don’t know why that brother had to make this one hard as a bloody exam though!!!
1) A favorite political track.
Freedom Now – Tracy Chapman (you know I love this sister right?)
AKA the Mandela song, AKA the Tibet freedom song, this song is a powerful symbol of the fight to bring racial equality to south Africa, and one man’s sacrifice in that struggle. Tracy is my favourite artist, and she is mad deep, so go figure. Read the lyrics and see what I mean.
2) One of those tracks that make you dance on the dancefloor no matter what.
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
let’s ignore the fact that this man is a weirdo, he’s still one of the greatest musical geniuses out there. Nothing beats this oldschool song for getting people on the dancefloor and busting moves!!!
3) The song you’d use to tell someone you love them.
The Only One for Me – Brian McKnight
This is a song about a man laying himself bare without any reservations. I’m very guarded in real life, so this song resonates within me because in it there’s no holding back. She’s been hurt, he’s done his fair of looking around, and now its time for him to settle down with someone he’s probably not treated too good in the past because he had yet to come to the realisation of what she really meant to him. lyrics
4) A song that has made you sit down and analyze its lyrics.
I analyse every single song I hear. I derive joy in finding the little messages in the words.
5) A song that you like, that a two year old would like as well.
Where the Party At – Jagged Edge
When my little niece was about two she would insist that we play this song over and over whether we were in the house or the car, wherever. I think it was the “uh oh, “uh oh oh” that she really liked, because she would go around the house repeating it over and over. She wasn’t old enough to understand the lyrics, so I didn’t have to worry about the negative imagery growing on her.
I like the song because it excites me to get up and dance, I always associate it with having fun.
6) A song that gives you an energy boost.
Gold Digger – Kanye West
Makes me laugh, makes me dance, makes me scream, “she take my moneeeeeeeeeeeeey!!!!!!
7) A song that you and your grandparents (would probably) like.
E Kilo Fomo Ode – King Sunny Ade
king sunny ade is one of the biggest musicians to come out of Africa. This album was released before I was born, but I have grown to love the songs on it very much. my music tastes are eclectic, but this is traditional Juju music that most people of my generation have all but forgotten about in favour of hip hop and other music influenced by our exposure to European and American cultures.
The music is not in English, KSA sings in Yoruba most of the time, and it is usually heavy on the traditional proverbs, folklore and wisdoms that mark the Yoruba culture. Most people I know have trouble reconciling my personality and other tastes with this stuff, but I really do enjoy it. Heck, even my parents have trouble understanding how I can like this old traditional music so much, but it’s so refreshing. Its in my own language, it teaches me about the wealth of my own culture and it enables me to bond with 2 older generations of my family. What’s not to like? My grandmother still gets up to dance when you play this song, and it makes me happy to play it for her.
8) A song that you really liked when you were 14-16, and still really like now.
Poison – Bell Biv Devoe
Reminds me of the first girl I ever had a crush on. She just got married last December, and that was when I finally realised that I wasn’t going to marry my childhood sweetheart.
9) A sad song that would be in the soundtrack of the movie about your life.
Leave Right Now – Will Young
This has been my story for so long, and the sad thing is that I’m still fighting the urge to leave. lyrics
10) A peppy song that would start the opening credits of the movie about your life.
The Storm is Over Now – R. Kelly
Because I recognise that life is not always perfect, but in the end God always makes the situation better for me.
11) A good song from a genre of music that no one would guess that you liked.
When You Come Back To Me Again – Garth Brooks
But then, as I always say, I really do love all kinds of music.
12) A song that you think should have been playing when you were born.
The World’s Greatest – R. Kelly
I’m sure no one who knows me would surprised at this choice.
13) A favorite artist duo collaboration.
I Hate You Then I Love You - Celine Dion and Luciano Pavarotti
“… for whatever you do, I never never want to be in love with anyone but you….”
Her voice, his voice, their divergent styles converge so beautifully….
14) A favorite song that you completely disagree with (politically, morally,commonsenically, religiously etc.)
Hit ‘Em Up – 2Pac Shakur
I really do love this song, when I hear it I just can’t help but stand up and get to rapping with the rest of the club, especially when he’s talking about Fuck-this-person, fuck-that-person; but it’s a song I don’t agree with because of all the negativity and personal business the he was putting out on the street. Did he sleep with Faith? Whether he did or not, that kind of information should never have been put out there like that. Did he really have to write a song about it?
15) The song that you like despite the fact your IQ level drops several pointsevery time you listen to it.
Barbie Girl - Aqua
16) Your smooth song, for relaxing.
Matters of the heart - Tracy Chapman
The song is long, and has the deepest lyrics, it always makes me chill when I hear it.
17) A song you would send to someone you hate or are mad at.
Shit, Damn, Mothafucka - D'Angelo
Damn Nikki, you stole my song!!! (But then, angry minds think alike. Lol)
18) A favorite track from an outfit considered a “super-group.”
Killing me Softly – The Fugees
For me these guys are still the ultimate musical group. They way they fused hip-hop, reggae, R & B and those other musical styles together made them a wonder to listen to.
19) A song that makes you reminisce about good times with a family member.
Daddy Cool – Boney M
Reminds me of my childhood and the family trips that we would take together: my dad driving, and my mom stiining in the front seat. It was so beautiful to be a child, blissfully unaware of the ups and downs that life would expose me to. This was also way before I realised that my dad wasn’t superman, and he wouldn’t magically appear whenever I had a problem.
20) Your favorite song at this moment in time.
Attentat – Koffi Olomide
I don’t understand the language, but it’s really good and it’s making my daily walk to school through this cold bearable. It’s Makossa time!!! Heaven knows how many times I’ve caught myself dancing at traffic lights!!
his verdict? well, he thinks my work is "solid", although he has a few reservations/comments/suggestions (surprise surprise). now thats good news, because it means that i have not exactly been wasting my time. now i have some much needed encouragement to work on this chapter i'm writing, thats due very soon.
Thank You Father!!
aluta continua... (the struggle continues); i walk taller and my glasses sit higher on my face....
Posted by Olawunmi at 12:59:00 pm
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Some people say that the cemetery is the richest place on earth, because it is packed full of unfulfilled potential. This has got to be true, because only heaven knows how many people have gone to their graves without realising their dreams, having failed to make the best use of their talents and abilities, or simply failed to be all that they could have been. How many?
Yesterday I was reading the biography of james blunt, the musician who was one of the great revelations of last year. If you’ve ever listened to any of his songs, you’ll appreciate the immense talent of this man who grew up in a house where there was hardly any music, but who learned to play at least 5 instruments, in addition to that falsetto that’s too good to be legal.
Well, james might never have made it, and the world might never have had the pleasure of listening to his music. You see, james blunt used to be a soldier: he joined the british army right after school; he must have been at his job, because he rose to the rank of captain. Apparently, he was following the long military tradition in his family, but his destiny could so easily have been different. James served on UN peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, and could have been killed several times in the course of his military service – according to reports, he says he has been shot at more times than 50 Cent. Now his career in the military is done, and he’s embarked on an even greater (and more financially rewarding. lol) career as a musician.
Now just imagine that he had died back then, in Kosovo; his life tragically cut short, his talents buried in a grave like so many others. And then imagine the other people who have gone on to do great things after surviving horrific accidents and untold hardships that could have easily taken their lives and dreams. Imagine if 50 Cent had succumbed to one of those bullets.
The cemetery is a wealthy place indeed, because it is the resting place of many hopes and dreams. How many of us have dreams that we are afraid to pursue? How many people have talents that they have buried because they just couldn’t get the breaks they needed to make something of them? Surely this must be one of the greatest tragedies of all, to leave this world without having done all you could, without having done the most with the gifts that the Creator freely endowed us?
(c) olawunmi awosedo
Posted by Olawunmi at 3:36:00 pm
something my (over-educated) boy said: "gay people should be allowed to marry, why deny them a chance to experience the misery for themselves?" (equal oppurtunity misery)
(lol) boy is mad, is he not?
Posted by Olawunmi at 2:59:00 pm
Nigeria 2 - Senegal 1.
thats the way to win, watch us school the rest of the continent y'all!!!
Posted by Olawunmi at 2:23:00 pm
damn, i'm cold. i miss my home...
Posted by Olawunmi at 1:43:00 pm