Tuesday 26 December 2017


Keeping in touch and reconnecting with childhood friends and acquaintances has not always been a sweet venture for me. Asides the fact that the conversation might at some point end up being awkward, it is also the possibility of one party sensing the other's preconceived notion about him playing out subtly while the conversation lasts.

A few months ago, I got in touch with a dear friend of mine from way back in primary school who currently resides in the United States. Back then, she used to be every teachers darling and from all indications, life was all nice and rosy for her. There, while we rebounded via Facebook chat, I couldn't help but think about what she thought of me. Not what life had come to be, but what kind of lens I was viewed with amidst the pretty smile that hung on my profile picture. Was I still that kid who loved to talk faster than a parrot or did I still come across to her as that failure who didn't stand a chance of getting promoted into sixth grade? How much of the old me had she willingly let go of?

It was Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher that said that "Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards." Not many persons are ready to do away with the old you yet. Family would always want to remind you of how you budded before their very eyes and acquaintances want to suppress your growth with horrible relics from your past. Although, they really want to have a good look at you, they do that through broken lenses. 

However, gradually, one would begin to realize that this behaviour is nothing but man's natural tendency. A tendency that is very repellent to change.

I had dialouged with a sweet lady over the week who mentioned remarkably that life had a way of producing 'different editions of us.' My heart did a thousand suplexes when I heard that! Yes, life is very progressive with each progression birthing a different version of us better than we were yesterday. Although, I was not much of a wearisome kid growing up, but I sure knew I took some shameful decisions based on my plain of understanding then and with time, I have evolved and still am evolving. 

Life has taught us that we don't get to see the end of people and so there is really no gain in strolling occasionally into the archives of their pasts to read-out-loud outdated editions of them or viewing them from blurred perspectives, lest you run the risk of damaging your eye sight with myopia.

Thanks for reading and have a Merry Christmas

Tuesday 5 December 2017


She was not one of those that prayed for the war to end soon. She wanted it prolonged. Her tweets and Facebook posts said so for they were ladened with various shades of satirical remarks against the government. Her sarcasms also never lacked grace. They were always nicely baked and smoking hot, straight from Hate's oven. Her intention was to start an online war. To make her words fight battles her hands could not. Her name was Hadiza.

She was not your everyday girl and for a twenty five year old, she had ridiculous choices of pleasures. Her triangular day would often begin in the mosque beside the children's playground, continue in the community library and end at home. On cold nights, she would be caught hanging around cemeteries, under a full moon with a torch in hand, reading epitaphs and making memoirs by the graveside. Her collection of horror movies gave her a sense of sweet satisfaction and she admired them every morning as she would a shelf full of trophies. They were priceless. She was nobody's 'buddy', but kept a pet rodent in her living room so she wouldn't have to stink of solitude. 

The librarian took note of 'the Lady with flowing hijab' and her awkward demands. She was the damsel who didn't always read the latest because her requests were usually out of stock; almost 'extinct'. She was the belle who rarely talked but was sure to always reply a compliment with a radiant smile, revealing the space between her upper incisors. It was her way of saying to concerned folks that she was fine, still sane, still hanging in there. Her crazy mystique had people loving and dreading her at the same time. It was unexplainable.

As the war sustained, so did her hate. She knew she loved the rebels and so stood with them, for they were the real heroes. They hated what she hated- the government, the 21st century, the unbeliever, and injustice. When the rebels finally invaded the community and razed the library, she began to use the mosque and there she studied the Intifadas, Aristotelian logic and Jannah.

Yesterday, while the sun scourched the hell out of men, she drove a rickety car towards the community market where humans outnumbered the pigeons that littered the area. There, she laid to rest her grievances. For some minutes, the earth stood still when she punched that button with sweaty palms. The birds flew and so did her ligaments.


Friday 1 December 2017


I was told of a man who called himself God. He had lived for what seemed like forever. Folks claim he made and controlled everything. So, seeing that everything and everyone were out of control, I set out on a quest to find the man and ask questions of Him. Why had He left His creation to suffer and wade in troubled waters? Maybe He was taking a break. Maybe He had died and left the yard under the supervision of incompetent caretakers. I was going to find out.
I got His address from a friend who believed in Him with every fibre of his being. Then, I went to His house to look for Him. I saw people talking to His pictures and statues as if He was present in the house. Some were singing His praises. Others were speaking in different languages. It was a whole circus. It was no surprise He was not there in their midst. The people had driven Him out of His house with all that noise. He hovered over the house and watched in disappointment at the caretakers who had taken advantage of His absence to make good livings for themselves. 
Apart from the racket coming from within the house, the fumes from the SUVs driven by the caretakers and the deafening sound of their private jets intensified the noise and distracted the guests who came to see Him in His house. And after their shenanigans, these people leave His house just to realize that they had been scammed. Their lives had actually gotten worse because they had spent all their capital on the caretakers and beautifying His house instead of investing in themselves. Then out of frustration, they take to the streets.
In the streets, the angry guests target the real caretakers. This is because folk tend to look for whom to blame for their poor choices. They attack the caretakers and haul insults at them just to see if they will react and give them a reason to justify their mischief. In an attempt to push the caretakers to the wall, people go to different extremes even beyond their own imaginations. They challenge Him to show himself but He doesn’t show himself to them. So, they get angry and hurl stones at His house. They write fake stories about Him and hope He responds or reacts. But all this time He remains out of sight and wouldn’t intervene. 
Even when the guests finally run out of caretakers to torment and turn against each other, He still stays in His hiding place. It then gets so bad that He decides it is too much for Him and He leaves them alone. The guests start uncovering the answers to the questions the caretakers dismissed as mysteries, and all of a sudden, they think they are now equals with Him. In His absence, they have found a replacement – themselves. They do not need Him anymore and then they go out on one last attempt to completely eliminate Him so that they will exonerate themselves of all personal responsibility to one another. In the process, they kill the idea of Him. To kill a man, you just need to kill him in the minds of people who know him. That is what the guests did to God since they couldn’t find Him.
 But the problem is, God is no man and so cannot be killed. I finally found Him in the places where the guests had relegated him to – the heart of a few folks is where He still dwells. Many of the guests will still try to kill the folks who harbor Him in their hearts. But they are too many of them to kill all at once. 
By the time I completed my search, I found out that some people had never even heard of this man. Some people have become too arrogant and narcissistic that they think they are actually worth more than their actual value. Now they grow bigger and their egos start to collide, but since they have killed the man who unified them all under one umbrella of mutual love and respect, there is no one to make sense of the debacle in which they found themselves. Since they have destroyed his mansion, there is no more beacon of light to show the way. The house used to be a safe haven but now that the angry men have been left to roam, there was nowhere to run to.
Now they are screaming for Him to come back. But how do you resurrect a dead man whom you killed because you didn’t believe he could resurrect his own son? 


Friday 24 November 2017


I looked out through the window to the classes in the West, I saw people crying and weeping that they had it bad. They were angry at the chaperones for giving them half-filled cups of Gatorade. They wanted the old chaperones back. The same chaperones they all wanted to leave just a few months back. They were used to full bottles of wine whenever they were thirsty. It was strange to me but I was not in the position to say anything. I just shook my head and looked away.
In the East, the people were wailing. They killed the chaperones and got themselves new ones. The new ones were too weak and irresponsible that they were overpowered by the noisy back-seaters who were now running the class and trying to take over the whole school. They were not content with the fact that their cups were half-empty. Everything was depressing and they were used to it already by now. They wanted the old chaperones whom they had ousted in the first place. How had they been mistaken to think these new chaperones could stand up to the back-seaters. I turned away in disappointment.
Now I am looking at the place I am standing, as the ground slowly transforms into a lake so familiar – a lake in the Niger Area. We were in the worst situation possible. Our former chaperone was so incompetent that he almost emptied our stainless cups. We could almost see our reflections in the bottom of the cup. At least others had clean water but we had to manage vinegar. And it was so bad that even before the vinegar got to our intestines they had evaporated. So, it was safe to say we had no options. We needed a new chaperone. It couldn’t get any worse. . .right?
The new chaperone was really great at first. He brought discipline which lasted for what seems now like a split second. He only paid attention to his favorites in the class. The people who looked like him and spoke the same language as he did. We did not care much as far as he did his job. Then all of a sudden, he started missing school. Then he disappeared for a long time and left the class to his dwarf friend whom no one respected in the entire school. The back-seaters then took over and ran riot on the school unchecked. His favorites made excuses for him while the rest of the class raved and ranted. Bedlam was the normal we had to get used to. So much for the discipline we were promised
After some time, some rumored he would never return. Some even thought he had died in the land so far away. Some of the students wanted to take over but his favorites threatened to fight the whole class if they did. Then the other students wanted to leave but weren’t taken seriously because they didn’t have a united front.
The chaperone is back from the land so far away and he is unapologetic. Now here we are sat, heads in bandages, holes in pockets and hearts in cracks, wondering what we were thinking when we chose him as our chaperone. And to make matters worse, we now had no cups.


Tuesday 21 November 2017


Its been one month since our break up and I must commend my heart for adjusting quite rapidly to the realities of life without Rudolf. On countless occasions, I had patiently waited for the hovering bird called 'heart break' to finally perch on my roof but God helped its miserable soul. It must have known that I was armed to the teeth with my spear of dignity and a shield made of stiff ego.

Not only that, the 'gang' advised that I drew up a roster with each day stuffed with "ecstasy that excites and glee that tickles", just in case thoughts about him try to stray beyond their boundaries.

So on Mondays, I learnt to walk with a majestic sense of feminine gracefulness and straighten my crown once again. On Tuesdays, I spoilt myself with surprise treats in exotic sites around town. I slid a bar of chocolate into my own bag (in my absence) on Wednesdays and spelt his name backwards on Thursdays. Fridays were most remarkable as I would curse the days I ever shed a single tear for that brute!

Yes! Rudolf was worse than a brute. His style of break up made my stomach purge. I mean, who would ever end a relationship two days into Valentine? -Rudolf!

For days, the break up left me wide awake in the wee hours of the night, standing by my mirror, checking if my own head had suddenly begun to develope horns. It caused me to take my breath in my own hands and perceive just to be sure it was nothing odoriferous that stood between us. I began to query the dictionary for hiding the correct meaning of the word "OVER", for Rudolf had succeeded in making me less of a complete woman and so forgetting him shouldn't be this difficult but nostalgia is such a cruel thing. It would lure you to forbidden corridors and make poisoned apples become pleasing to the eye once and again.

Quite frankly, Rudolf was every real woman's fantasy- every woman's necessary evil. If the way my name sounds on his lips were music, I would definitely put that track on replay. I can't help but smile over the uncultured way he let's out his boyish laughter when he gets really excited. Suddenly, all the love songs I hear say something about him; especially J'odie's "Sugar Coconut" and these days I fear for my armour. Some days back, I had unconsciously given out his digits to a client in place of my own and I realized I was gradually getting trapped.

Last night was a Tuesday night. I tried out Sheraton's Chinese for the first time. I got home exhausted, turned on my data for Whatsapp messages and it was him!

"Sending a blanket of luv and pillows of affection to you darl. U looked gorgeous at d restaurant 2day. Can we hang out 2morrow?"



Saturday 18 November 2017


As I sat in that dimly lit room with hands cuffed in front of me, I couldn’t help but try to distract myself from the cruel reality that awaited me. I looked around the room at the faces of the other occupants. There were scary faces, innocent faces and blanks faces – those whose faces were dead and devoid of any form of emotion. I wondered what they saw in my face. Would I last long in this sea of faces? Would my face become dead by the time I got out? Thoughts flashed across my mind and most of them were horrifying.
My attention was shifted all of a sudden to the metal bucket that lay in the corner of the room. The bucket was kept there to keep the drop of water from the leaking roof from filling the room. I laughed in my mind when two of the occupants started arguing if the droplets of water could fill up the room if left to continue. The first lad claimed that if the water was left to drop like that forever, the bucket will fill and then the whole room and it will continue forever. His friend countered his point claiming that the water will continue evaporating and that even if the bucket got full, the room will never be filled up with water. This continued for a while until a guard came to shut them up. Every other person in the room didn’t even as much as look in their direction. As for me, my eyes were fixed on the bucket as I tried to make sense of the argument. What if the leak is not fixed? Will the room actually get filled up?
My mind drifted back to my childhood. My first drop was when I slapped my aunt back at the family reunion. A quick slap and spanking would have fixed the leak in my roof. The slap was replaced by excuses instead. It was no big deal. The other massive drop was when I stole my classmate’s pen. Again, it was no big deal. Young boys will always do what young boys do. It was no big deal. Then I moved on to bigger things unchecked. Then followed more unchecked drops and the bucket was filled to the brim. The next thing I know, I am in a chokehold in the arms of a cop in plain clothes who used his knowledge of taekwondo to disarm me during a failed attempt to rob a grocery store.
As soon as I felt my head enter the lock, I knew that was the last drop and my bucket was now overflowing. I didn’t even struggle much, and slowly, I faded into unconsciousness. I woke up in this sea of faces and here I am gazing at a metal bucket slowly filling up and having flashbacks of my slow but steady rise to infamy. 
If only my dad or my teacher had mended that roof when the leak was not profound. Maybe I would have become a doctor or something more useful. But now, while my mates are defending their projects, I am in here with strange people trying very hard to determine which one of them would come at me if I mistakenly dropped the soap. What I would do now to get a chance to roll back the years and fix the leaky roof. Maybe I should start by fixing this particular leak in this room.
As I climbed the table and tried to reach for the leak, a guard rushed into the room, baton in hand. He grabbed me from where I was standing and slammed me into the concrete floor. He then kicked me multiple times in the head, the groin and the solar plexus. I lay there writhing in pain after he left. The occupants completely ignored the incident. . .like it was no big deal. When I finally struggled back to my feet and sat back up, someone pierced the cloak of silence that had descended upon the room. It was one of the two arguing friends. 
“You see. I told you the leak couldn’t possibly continue forever. One idiot must surely try to fix it”.


Wednesday 15 November 2017


Life presents itself with a variety of options coupled up in different conditions, sometimes it could be your pay day, and others may just be your "may day". But at every interval in the course of life we are faced with only two options; either to move forward or stay down, both having the inherent ability to envelope us and become our atmosphere. Every day we are faced with challenges of different sorts, but how we attend to them will shape our decisions and help us move to another stage either in victory or defeat. In the mind of every man is an ever brewing battle of good and evil, so at every point we have a decision to make to stay on the right course of stability and serenity if not we get demoralized and it evidently becomes a sequence of distress that keeps us down in the pool of self-pity and resentment. Each decision is a map to success or demotion in our lives, so in everything the decision you make determines the next phase you venture into. In the heated moment of an argument, in the face of opposition and failures, in the moment of despair; decide to move forward despite your present status. There is a saying that “when you hit rock  bottom the only way left to go is UP”. Make the decision to do what is right, just and commendable. In no way should you cheat yourself out of the right decision by pressure, just know that every good turn deserves another; the right decision paves the way for the next one which produces a chain reaction of good decisions. So whats your decision? 
The rumbling sound of indecision surmounts us every now and then leaving us with options, but how we know the more excellent option is another pressing issue. Options have a variety, possess strength and most importantly there are very conflicting, similar case of being caught between a rock and a hard place; bewildered on what to do. Ours is a life full of options, and right from the day we were born it was a battle of decisions both for our parents and ourselves when we attained unto knowledge and consciousness of our reality. The school we attend, the food we eat, the road path we take, the friends we make, all are a result of options. So then options are the genetic makeup of our decision, because there is no decision without preceding options surrounding it. Before every decision are options, and our pick determines the course of our decisions; the options are not easy to select between, they usually conflict our personality and flood us with disparity for one singular reason; our desires.
Humans are a consolidation of desires, every little bit of our actions are a function of what we desire, there is always an expected end to a desire; self-satisfaction and fulfilment. We acquire our desires based on what we see and hear, information cemented into knowledge and embedded in the seat of our minds fuels what we desire. Looking at the set of options we choose, it becomes evidently cleat the channels of our desires because the conflicting part of decision making and option selection is fighting what we want and what we are meant to do. A man once said, The things I am meant to do I find myself not doing them and the things I dont want to do I find myself doing them. Desires have the propensity to override our will and bring us into subjection to its tyrannical demands. Therefore I am convinced and move for the theory of Influence, there are several influences in the world today and of different sorts, but one thing is certain, there is nothing that is without influence. In Physics we learnt about the law of gravity and many other laws that govern literally the course of life as we know it, but now I want us to address a more or less conspicuous influence desire. Desires are all so consuming once they get a grip of our heart, they exercise their rule in a bid to get a quota of satisfaction from our slavery and keep demanding from us to pay taxes of indulgence.

Ever seen a dictator who cuts you some slack and says hey, you guys have worked so hard, have two months of holiday as a reward.? I doubt that because its an unending cycle of homage and no dictator wants to lose his slave-ridden subjects. Desires are dictators that will keep you under their reign until the cry of freedom rises in your heart and an ardent search for liberation from the abject state of slavery. But how does someone know he or she needs freedom unless he sees it, the advantage of the dictator is his viewpoint of his gain from the slavery. So therefore what we need is a new vantage point in other to see the peaks and terrain of freedom if not we remain there and stay there. The issue of sight is what grants a man the advantage of choice, when he sees and can measure his pros and cons; then he will be able to choose to his betterment, at least every sane person will make a choice to benefit himself. I believe that the way we go is the way we know, so every decision we make is as a result of our present sight and our sight does not go beyond our desires 

The decision is a very vital and determining factor in the life of every human, it plots a graph of our very existence and makes us into who we are. Over and over again we have to make a decision to move ahead in life, so we have no other choice but to do all diligence to make the right decision by cross-checking our desires and adjusting our sight.

***Emeka Acquaye Precious***

Tuesday 14 November 2017


If there is one unique personality trait I totally admire about persons born in the month of March, it is how much of a silly observer we can be at times. Its silly because of this natural mastery we posses in being able to read peoples minds and possibly predict their next thought, move or reaction with only a 'Hello' or an 'Hi'. In most cases, we are never wrong with our predictions, except, of course, we fall (headlong) in love. However, many of my 'colleagues' don't find this gift rather helpful and seldom put it to good use but certainly not me. This is why lately, one would realize that many, with the hopeless intention of leaving some of us groping in the dark like confused rodents as to the content of their discussions, resort to communicating in codes. 

So you walk right into your hostel after a fabulously hectic day one fine evening to catch your seven 'roomies' so engrossed in 'dirty' ladies talk that they begin to refer to certain unmentionables in coded languages just because "Sister Christiana is around, we must not corrupt her" and you're like: "Somebody help me with a rifle". At that point you do not need a prophet to tell you that the intention was to make a jackass out of you but you stand there wearing a lazy smile just wandering who the bigger fool was.

You know, its funny how some persons think that wearing the badge of Christianity can also be equated with bearing a medal of foolishness and naivety around.

I got talking with some dear friends sometime ago and in between our random discussions, I could notice that they had begun to transcend practically from my realm. I mean, this time, it became a conversation not suitable for listeners under the age of eighteen. My presence made terms like Tramadol censored and replaced with the letter 'T' and I could only shake my head in disgust.

Truth is, many persons don't just have an idea of what we have been, who we have been and where we have been at some points in our lives. A good number of us lived under the ferocious Babylonian system where we didn't forget to learn their patterns, behaviours, mannerisms and language!

So, if we tell you we spent sleepless nights on pornographic sites and busied our lives with Mills and Boon; that we watched all that reality TV shows and Channel O had to offer and always kept up with the Kardashians; that we were survivors of some sorts: masturbation, lesbianism, pornography, drugs, atheism, whoredom and everything secular, maybe you would realize that we have not always been like this and so censoring your language does not protect us. 

We had enough of Babylon that we left the residues to fix our gaze on Zion and going back is not an option.

So, the next time you attempt to talk in codes and we happen to smile off, be sure to know that it has absolutely nothing to do with being naïve. It is only what dangerous people do.

Monday 13 November 2017


I am not a very expressive person. At least, not vocally or even through actions. For me, knowing that I love you is enough - I need never say it. That's very silly isn't it? But that's how I tick. A friend of mine was very concerned about what she considered to be my callous attitude towards a family member who had suffered a loss. What she said was along the lines of showing love through actions. In my case, that meant saying "Sorry for your loss" or "How did it happen?" and other inanities. 

It has often been said that there is love in giving. The saying is apt and easy to understand. Love essentially is expressed in giving. When we love people, we let them in and give them parts of ourselves. We give them our secrets, our feelings, our opinions because giving these things show our love for them. 

 Gary Chapman outlines five languages of love and they are gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. These languages show that there is love in giving or rather giving in love whether what we give is tangible or not. 

Now I am of the belief that giving is not only a way to show but rather that we show our love for people by receiving what they give us. I know this sounds strange but how can there be a successful giving without a receiving? Usually, when we have a friend who accepts money, food, clothing, honor, praise etc. we view them as being indiscriminate. Perhaps it's the fear that some harm will come to them. Who knows really? 

I think many times it is harder to receive than to give. Receiving shows love and trust. It shows an absence of fear; a belief that the giver can do no harm. 

Humans are generally selfish and ego driven, receiving from another therefore reflects a need. The fear of showing our need makes it hard to accept favours lest we be seen as needy or worse, weak. 

It all boils down to this; what is love? Is it complete upon expression or is it complete when it has been received? What use is music if it can't be heard or food if it can't be tasted? What use is love if it can't be received?


Sunday 12 November 2017


The sunset was unusually blinding this evening as the shanties and old market stalls that had provided shade before now had been pulled down a day before. There had been a feisty effort by the petty traders to stop the demolition, but what could sticks and broken bottles do against the might of caterpillars and wrecking balls powerfully flanked by trigger-happy policemen with an avid lust for extrajudicial killing? That day had ended with tears and ashes, but the morning after a phoenix had to rise: on the rubble of their former stalls the traders mounted canopies and umbrellas and continued with business. Rukewe could not afford such luxury so on this evening she sold under the shelter of the open air. The noise and plot of the market was no less typical, cars hooting and wheezing pass, women gossiping and dragging bargains,  and babies tucked at their mothers' backs painfully turning their heads this way and that.
"One-twenty last, you fit take two rubber two hundred." Rukewe would no longer shift grounds. 
"Okay, make you sell me well o" her customer, a young lady, finally acquiesced, albeit with grudge.
There was a shout as a tomato fruit rolled off the table. In one blink Akpos, Rukewe's little boy, had started a chase. Mission: stop the tomato from rolling into the gutter. His effort was successful but at the price of dirt. He handed the dingy vegetable over to his mother who thanked him with a tap on the head,  and threw the vegetable into a bowl which contained tomatoes of similar conditions 'Awalawa' which could still be sold at great discount. 
Four hundred meters away from Akalaka market, is a supermarket. There are no bargains here, just price tags, 99.99s and 199.99s. Madam Ntecha is at the counter ready to leave with two branded yellow bags. 
"Why the surge in prices?" Madam Ntecha asks the salesman. 
"Ma'am, we have a new manager."
"A greedy new manager you should say." 
"Well, I do not know about that, Ma."
"Monopoly," Madam Ntecha sighs, " Tell your manager that the government demolished that market because they want to build a shopping mall there. Soon competition will demolish this establishment."
As the door slides shut behind her, Madam Ntecha gets into her car and drives off into our world, the world of half-men and demi-gods. For thousands of years we have lived with our host, and the question of our relationship with her, mother Earth, has remained complicated. Previous generations have wondered if our relationship with Earth is parasitic, symbiotic or commensal, but now we need not wonder: we know. Take a look at the Tsunamis, Typhoons, and landslides, and all of the trappings of climate change and all you will see is the Earth fighting back,  and picking off as much of we parasites as she can per strike. However, this war is more complicated than we think because it is the battle of three kings, a triple threat match. Before Akalaka market existed, there was Akalaka forest populated neither by gods nor men but by wildlife. Then it was man fighting nature as trees were cut down to situate a market with their planks and on their land. Soon Akalaka market will be replaced by Akalaka shopping mall, and the battle continues, now with a third entrant: demigods. 
Wealth and the lack of it has divided men into two, demigods and half-men, and while demigods try to build a more comfortable world for themselves they seem to forget that half-men still exist and would not afford the convenience talk more of luxury of the demigods' new world. The demi gods eat on the table, crumbs fall off for half-men. Madam Ntecha is a commissioner's wife, she operates cashless, debit cards and mobile transfers have been her thing. She makes her purchases, and the pay is enough to settle the salesman's wage for the month. Tomorrow is Sunday, and the salesman gives his wife some cash with which to buy 'stew things'. The young lady goes to Akalaka market to buy one rubber of fresh tomato. Madam Ntecha (a demigod)'s money has trickled down to Rukewe, a half-man. But soon Akalaka market will cease to exist, and more half-men markets will be demolished to build more malls for demigods. Sophia the robot and her yet-to-be-made cousins are expected to take over the salesman's job. Trends will continue in this war such that one day half-men will wake up to bright sunshine as their homes are being demolished to accommodate more demigods' designs, they will watch their children cry of hunger that morning and while they contemplate the fact that there is nothing left to eat but the demigods, the demigods will contemplate the fact that the biggest and most convenient stake in arriving at a truce on the nature front of this war would be to reduce the population of the half-men. How convenient it would be, after all overpopulation is perhaps the single biggest cause of the war between man and nature, the Earth is fighting back because the parasites are getting too many, and why shouldn't the minority demigods help bring peace to the Earth by reducing the swarming numbers of the majority half-men? And so will formally start the biggest war known to man, the war of demigods and half-men. It would be in Pounds and Dollars, guns and bombs, inflation and recession, civil wars, terrorist attacks, and bio-terrorism. Surely the Earth wouldn't stand by and watch.

***Okwuchukwu Ndulue***

Friday 10 November 2017


I know a man who used to own a mansion on my street. His house was surrounded by a massive fence and a gate made of reinforced steel. He was a very benevolent and humble man despite being affluent beyond comprehension. This man was also very patient with people. You could see him talking to homeless folk and addicts in the evenings on his way back from work. They would all rush to meet him in front of his compound whenever they heard the sound of his car returning from work. He always stopped to hand them a dollar each before driving into his compound.
 One evening, as I was leaning on the railings on my verandah, I witnessed something very interesting. The man came in at a very high speed. Instead of winding down his glass, as usual, to talk with the homeless folk as was the tradition, he just drove into his compound and the gate locked behind him. You could see the dejection on the faces of the homeless folk. They all dispersed slowly in various directions into the darkness, muttering words to each other as they left. I tried to understand why the man decided to ignore them that evening. Maybe he had a bad day at work. Maybe he was just too tired to hang around. It might be possible he had lost his job and was in a foul mood. But these were speculations and we would never know for sure.
I went back to my living room and turned on the News. After what seemed like an hour or maybe even more, I was awoken by a cacophony of voices screaming and wailing in the street. I rushed to the verandah to see what was happening. A crowd had gathered in front of the man’s gate, and from the body language of those in the crowd, something terrible had happened.
When I got downstairs, one of my neighbors told me what had happened. One of the addicts had mugged a young girl on her way back from extra lessons. The lad was one of the victims of the massive layoff by the man’s companies. He had been so depressed that he decided to use drugs as his escape from reality. Eventually, he became homeless and had to feed off scraps in order to get his daily ‘fix’ and some food to eat. He finally became a proper addict and could no longer function without the drugs. His only hope was the dollar the man gave them every evening. So, when the man had come back today and ignored them, most of them went out into the streets and started mugging people in desperation. It was during one of these altercations that the homeless lad mistakenly stabbed a girl who wouldn’t let go of her bag. The girl was the man’s daughter.
As soon as I heard the sirens, I knew it was time to flee the scene because, in this town, first responders always ended up in jail as the main suspects. On my way back to my flat, I couldn’t help but ponder, “A dollar is not much, but how much is it really worth?”
The extra dollar you don’t want to give to someone might actually turn out to be the penny for which you are mindlessly killed. We go about every day doing good for people or treating them badly without realizing the impact we have on their lives and they on ours. A dollar not given is remembered more than a million given. Life is like a sea. It comes around and flows away in waves. 

Monday 6 November 2017


I dislike Nigerian movies with a passion. What's to like? The corny acting, the predictable plots or the atrocious grammar? Worse than this is the manner society is portrayed in these movies. I think Yoruba movies are even worse than their English counterparts and I can say this boldly because I am Yoruba. We really need a change.

If you're wondering when I'll hit the nail on the head about the matter at hand, I'll tell you now. I once saw this movie where a guy's parents refused to accept his choice of a bride. We'll call this guy "A". The lady in question was HIV positive so you can understand why the concerned but not very enlightened parents had an issue with the whole arrangement. So A had to take his lady friend to stay with a friend overnight. Why not a hotel, you may wonder? I really don't know. Maybe the guy was cheap. Anyway, the friend didn't know the lady in question was HIV positive and as night fell, he felt a strong overpowering desire to rape his friend's bride to be come upon him. Did I mention she was a virgin? Not very shocking as these plots go. Anyway, when A found out he was betrayed and blurted out to his friend that she was HIV positive. Long story short, his friend tested negative for HIV. The lady also got tested and was found negative. Now it's not what you think, she wasn't cured by the rape. It turns out that a doctor long ago falsified the test results yada yada yada. Now the point I'm trying to bring out is that when it was discovered that she was negative, this rapist was declared a hero. They said if it wasn't because he raped her, the truth wouldn't have come out. The guy went from zero to hero in a split second. The dastardly effect of the rape on this lady wasn't shown. She was shown as appreciative, ecstatic really.

Nollywood movies, no matter how moribund often reflect the true state of society. Sadly, this is no exception when it comes to rape. Rape, whether male or marital is a crime of invasion. A crime against the very person of an individual. We all value ourselves, the things that make us who we are. Things that shouldn't be taken away from us except with our consent. Our sexuality is bound to our personalities. Even a harlot refuses a client once in a while but a rape victim is treated as less than a whore. This is clear when armed robbers after robbing rape members of the family because it is seen as yet another commodity to be stolen.

It's a crime of opportunity really and no one is really safe from a rapists appetite. No one! Not a heavily shrouded Muslim girl, nor a elderly woman nor a 6-month old infant. We all fall prey to the depraved appetites of people who literally can't keep it in their pants. The fact that most rapes are committed by family and friends makes it all the more sordid.

It doesn't have to be this way though. Rape is rarely reported because the family of the victim want to keep their prestige at the expense of another. Even when they get to the police station, they're counseled by police men to forgive and forget (emphasis on forget).

It's really sad that we shame rape victims. We tell them, "You were indecently dressed", "You were walking alone at night", "You led him on", "I told you so" etc. Clearly, short skirts don't rape, rapists do.

It's reprehensible that we don't take a firmer stance on rape and rapists. We grant an enabling environment to not only strange men but strange women to molest our sons and daughters.

I believe we can turn the tide. I believe we can speak out more against rape. I believe we can reduce the amount of silent rape victims. I believe that innocence is more important than family pride. As Joy Isi Bewaji said, dignity is more important than pride. I believe we can preserve the dignity of our society. I believe we can eradicate the shadows that rape flourishes in. I believe we can make a change.

***Favour Borokini***

Friday 3 November 2017


2016 was a year of very surprising world events and achievements that left some hearts aching and mouths gaping. The Leicester and Feyenoord championship, Icelandic miracle, Trump and Brexit, Phelps and Biles. But for me, the moment that stood out most was Portugal’s victory against France in the finals of Euro 2016. 
Portugal had literally stumbled to the finals and were overwhelming underdogs on the night. The game had a very cagy start with France doing most of the attacking. Then something happened; Payet lounged in on Ronaldo who then fell and couldn’t continue. Then followed the image of Ronaldo sitting in the middle of the pitch in tears and then the moth landed on his face.
The moth is representative of all that is gloom. The symbolism of the animal and the undeniable impact of Ronaldo on the team and their overall gameplay immediately struck a chord on the minds of all concerned neutral football fans. Everybody expected France to walk all over Portugal considering the fact that Ronaldo was almost irreplaceable in the squad. On came Eder. You could hear the whole fan zone of the Portuguese sigh in despair. Heads were hanging low and Portuguese faces lost their glow. The moth had landed on the faces of the whole country.
Towards the end of the game, Eder, the black sheep, struck a weak shot in the direction of the goalie. . . and scored. The entire football world stood still. Another miracle of 2016 was unfolding before our very eyes. All the experts were flipping through their pages trying to make sense of this. There was bedlam in pubs where Portugal’s supporters gathered in hope of a miracle.
It was then that it dawned on me in a painful way. I came to the realization that sometimes in an attempt to make sense of the human predicament and in an attempt to answer the ultimate question of existence, we mistake different symbolism for what they are not. This is usually as a result of the high propensity of the human mind to cling on to the various superstitions as a means to an end, which in this case might be interpreting the present or possibly predicting the future.
As soon as I saw the moth, I opened a bracket of gloom, added the strength of the French players, subtracted the impact of Ronaldo, multiplied the home advantage for France and divided the chances of Portugal by the impact of Eder. The result was complete football annihilation waiting to happen. But I was proved wrong once again as these things often turn out.
The fact that you are stranded in the desert does not necessary mean you will die of thirst tomorrow. The fact that you saw a bottle of water or an oasis in the desert does not mean that you will survive the desert. A sign might be a coincidence or an excluded event without any relation to the prevalent chain of events. A moth to one is a butterfly to some. You have to continue moving even when the signs and the times are against you. The truth, as they say, is in the okro soup.


Monday 30 October 2017



Dear black brothers,

Gallant as the wild antelope, raised in the ravishing brilliance of the ever green savanna with thick black leather for skin; we bring greetings from the brotherhood. Rumour has it that in no distant time, you will be journeying far beyond our borders to seek greener pastures in the white man's land. We also hear that you have chosen the way of the Mediterranean, whose anger our incantations cannot appease nor can our voices pacify. We hear that your conscience is sealed unto death and for these reasons our tears flow in torrents.

Fellow kinsmen, warriors of no meager honour, our ageing hearts trust your bloodline and ancestral roots but definitely not your route. We do not trust the death traps that spread from Agades to Duruku and the grilling sahelian weather through to Tripoli. We do not trust the compasses of your desert guides whose north turn south and east point west. We also know that you are not given to much starvation and thirst. We do not trust our light skinned Libyan cousins who might abduct, rob, rape and main you for sport; talk more of the dingy boats you board with panting hearts, kidneys, livers and even lungs.

But brothers, who taught you these? Who taught you to use the back door like dignified cowards and when did eating through the anus begin to feel good? How seductive was the waistline of the sea goddess to lure you into her bosom? Did not your mothers ever warn you about the deserts; the burial place of taboos? Who told you the journey would last only a few days and who taught you to be suicidal?

Tomorrow, we will hear again the ghosts of departed brothers wailing by our windows. They say they never had a good wash during their odysseys till they were forcefully washed ashore on the Island of Lampedusa. They dared to dine with the devil and it turned out to be nothing but a sup full of horrors.

Men of my kindred, for many days, our shrines have oozed of sacrifices and whenever we toss our cowries for you on this matter, it reads danger. Only know that the gods have cursed your journey with countless perils for there is no sweetness in sufferings, much more if it is not for a noble cause.  

Where we come from, we only say 'Hakuna Matata' when the chips are down because indeed, there is never a place like home.


Friday 27 October 2017


The first day I saw the Occupy Wall Street protests, I was inspired. I know I was not the only one who felt this way. A cluster of young people, overflowing hormones, arguing with cops who had no guns. That was the ideal teenage dream right there. ‘We are the young the reckless and the restless. We want to change the world’. I really wanted to be part of that movement. So, I watched them on CNN every day and learned all their slogans and chants. 
One day I was watching the protests on a Saturday afternoon when my mom entered the parlor and told me to go and clean my room. I begged her to clean the room later but she objected and turned off the TV. I sulked all the way back to my room. I almost slammed the door before I remembered I was not in a Hollywood movie and so I gently closed the door and set out to work.
Just like any other teenage boy’s room, my room was a mess. Clothes resting on the armchair laid out in some strata starting from the dirtiest at the bottom to the ‘can still be rocked’ at the top. Shoes were all over the place and my books were scattered on the reading table. Everything was out of order and I had been procrastinating the date of the so-called clean up.
As I was folding the clothes and sorting the dirty ones from my clean ones, I found a piece of paper in one of my shirt pockets and from what was written on it, I realized that I had not been doing a lot of things I had set out to do over the year. I could barely recall what my New Year’s revolution was. I sat down back on the bed and peering into the paper, I drifted into faraway Thoughtsville.
Here I was, clamoring to become a part of revolution that will change the world for the better while I was yet to get my own room in order. My affairs were in total disarray and I was thinking of how to make things better for 7 billion other people who could care any less about my existence or non-existence. I was demanding change and yet, I couldn’t even clean my own room.
It dawned on me that the reason why most revolutions fail is that people let emotions control them. And as is all-evident, emotions speak louder than sense, and most of the time, whoever shouts the loudest wins the argument. Not because they know what they are talking about, but because sense does not like noise. My head was a jungle, my affairs were in jumbles, my room was in shambles and the whole world trembled.
This is why in the southern part of a sub-Saharan country, some group of people who are in constant search of whom to blame for their poor decisions and misfortune have decided to fight against tanks with sticks and stones. Emotions over common sense. These people are yet to clean their own rooms but they want the power to run an entire house. In the end, they will ask for help to get rid of the bug infested house and the rooms will seek to break free from the house leading to the eventual collapse of the house itself.
The revolution is a farce because your mindset is false. Tame your demons. Clean out your rooms. The revolution will complete itself.


Monday 23 October 2017


Even though I was too young to make sense of it, the image of that New Year’s Eve remains ever vivid in my brain. I mean, it is not every day that you run to the backyard to get a ball that you accidently kicked over the fence, just to run into your grandad standing in the forest and muttering words into the ‘blank space’. I was shocked to the bone. He was standing over what looked like a parcel bound by palm fronds. There were tubers of yam, and that cockerel that terrorized me and my cousins was struggling to break free from the bondage. 
As soon as grandad made eye-contact with me, I ran away without getting my ball. I went straight to my dad to tell him what had happened. He first scolded me for going to the backyard despite stern warnings not to go beyond the walls of the compound. He told me that grandad would be really pissed at me because I had disturbed his prayer. What kind of prayer is that? In the bush? Something is wrong somewhere.
Later that evening, grandad called me to his Obi. I was shell-shocked and shaking in my boots. My mind was made up that he was going to shout and possibly beat me. But to my surprise, he offered me a kolanut and told me to sit down. He asked me what I saw. I wanted to lie but I knew better than to do that. I always felt the oldies in my family had a knack for detecting when someone was lying. So, I told him everything and apologized just like my father had taught me. Grandad then told me to pull up a stool.
He told me that he was praying to his Chi for a good year ahead and thanking him for the outgoing year. He explained that his Chi was the same as the one in my dad’s church apart from the fact that they lived in different houses. You have to offer something to him in exchange for a good harvest and overall success during the following year. I asked him why he had to sacrifice his only living cockerel instead of any of the hen. He explained that the gift you offer to your Chi must be ‘painful’ and meaningful to you.
Coincidentally, the sermon at the service that day had been about the woman that gave all she had. The importance of sacrifices. The pastors call it ‘sowing of seeds’ and make reference to Cain and Abel. The businessmen claim that if you invest your time and effort then you will reap the seed in the form of money. The teachers try to convince us that if you invest in developing your brain, you will get good grades and good jobs subsequently. The Bible claims that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. Plants have to die so that others will grow and multiply in order to sustain the ever-important circle (cycle) of life. In order words, to get what you want, something has to give.
Sometimes when I see an athlete underperform, I fall into the trap of calling them ‘useless’ or ‘trash’ not considering the amount of effort they have put in themselves to get to where they are. Hard work might not always payoff but there is satisfaction in knowing that you have done all you could: that you have sacrificed your last cockerel and are now leaving everything to fate. This is why whenever something doesn’t work out as you thought it would, you look back and wish you had done more or that you had read those pages I skipped.
As I left the Obi, I took a bite off the kolanut and realized I had just sacrificed my taste buds.


Tuesday 17 October 2017


I pressed the frame gently to my bosom with my eyes closed, rocking it from left to right as I let the goose bumps that had begun to form on my skin settle. I lifted up the frame to let the moonlight of the new year's eve illuminate the squared object. And there it was, the smile that could sweep one off her feet. The striking pose I had rarely seen except on O.C Ukeje. The ebony tone that ravaged his skin. Some have teased and called it excess melanin. I made it milder by calling him a "burnt offering" and he would let that smile escape his lips and in between a childish chuckle, caressing his over grown beards in the process, he would say "I sacrificed my skin on the altar of your love. You let me roast, cruel lover..."

I let the tears already forming in my eyes lose. I had avoided the cross over service today at the Winners Cathedral right in the neighborhood just to do this. To force myself to hallucinate, to talk to Ochuko my betrothed into the new year. To tell him my ordeals during his absence, to reassure him of my undying love for him, to prepare his favourite Ukodo and plan our engagement. 

But all I had left of him was this square frame I held.

Sunday 15 October 2017


Who is God to you?  How do you relate with him behind the pulpit and outside the pew.  He is the *I am that I am*(Exodus 3:14)  meaning whatever you say *I am*,   that's what I am.  If you say he's helper he becomes helper to you , if you see him as teacher he begins to unravel the depths of scriptures to you, if you see him as a friend,  he walks with you all the way,  if you call him healer,  he  stretches his right hand of power to heal.

Every man in scripture who encountered God showed us that God had dimensions by which he revealed himself.
 Unto Joshua he showed up with the sword and presented himself as the captain of the Army of Israel. But unto Moses he showed up as consuming fire.... Unto Gideon he came as the mighty bread that was rolling in the camp .
 And for everytime he revealed himself in a different regalia it was to perform a different function....   Often times God will reveal himself to you in proportion to your dynamic situation. 
       There was a time I needed real help,  issues , debts etc and he revealed himself to me as *PREVAILER* I checked the dictionary and it meant (one who always prevails)  I had peace and came out of the trial without hurt  So stop limiting him, don't make it look like he's a revealer but not a deliverer,  don't make him look like a teacher and not a shepherd.  He might have been the helper to you for so long ,  it's time to explore the other facets of his multidimensional being.  Let him be your everything. So it's easy to see some believers who see visions but are still struggling with sickness,  others prophesy but are still oppressed in the dream. Such persons need a new revelation as to who God is in that area of their need,  because revelation brings emancipation.  God bless you. 

Dear Lord,  please reveal your self to me in a new dimension that will effect my runaround in Jesus name. 

*_Raphael Agadama*

Saturday 14 October 2017


Let’s get up close and personal, Is love really enough? Interesting topic, right? My best friend who was really in love with this guy had to force stop a potential marriage from taking place because they found out that they were both of the AS genotype. They had kick started their relationship on positive vibes, both down for really spontaneous adventures; they were the perfect couple, fell in love too easily and practically didn’t bother about asking about each other’s genotypes because they felt that God wouldn’t bring such a person to cross their paths if he hadn’t planned the whole process. But they were wrong, one fine evening, they got to know they shared similar genotypes and would run a risk of giving birth to a child with the SS genotype, if they chose to ignore the risks involved and follow through with taking their relationships a step further; I ask again, is love really enough?  I know of a couple who were and are still madly in love with each other, but they had to go their separate ways because class and conventions forbade them from getting married. Is love really enough? 
Love in its right meaning should be unconditional and impartial, it should supersede all things, even the holy bible mentions that love is the principal thing. However, factors like the human rationale, conventions, class structures, religious differences, among others has acted as impediments to the true meaning of love. Is love really enough? I have been opportune to be at the heart of  the formation of various relationships, and while most of them have met their end, one or two has lasted for a period , the question will be, what triggered the longevity of these relationships? Is it love? Or are they just trying to survive? Does true love exist? The truth is when two people who are in love with each other decide to go into a relationship, the factor that will be responsible for its longevity during the first few months or years could be and should be love. Subsequently, as they grow deeper together, what will determine its longevity, aside the love factor will include, commitment, and the will to make the relationship work by both parties. Is love really enough? Hell no! despite the fact that there are external factors that could hinder the bloom of love, internal factors play a major role for any relationship to work. There will be need for a great deal of patience, commitment, trust, respect, mental and emotional will to make the relationship work by putting in conscious and sub- conscious effort(s) to its growth and development. So, my advice to the young ones out there who are quick to fall in love (I’m totally feeling like an old woman right now), do not go into a relationship if you are not willing to put conscious effort(s) towards its growth and development, because, the truth of the matter is, love really isn’t enough. 
*Don’t be a stranger, do well to make use of the comment box below .*

**ID Atakpa**

Friday 13 October 2017


Just like most lads in my neighborhood, I went to the public secondary school which was located just down the street. Most of us came from low-income families but were blessed to have parents that cared about our upbringing. We all played in the streets together. We went to school together and did things in groups. Sometimes in school, we ended up in fights in defense of someone from our street. We were really close and almost inseparable. When chicken pox came, I didn’t feel the brunt of it because most of my friends also came out to play with bodies covered in ‘calamine lotion’.
So, it was really a surprise to us when we came to school at the beginning of a new term to see a Jeep parked in front of the school and a student dressed in our uniform sitting in the passenger’s seat. I knew from that moment that I was not going to be fond of that young lad. He was an oddball and representative of all that our parents taught us to despise – the rich and the pampered. I looked at Jack with scorn and disdain as well as a little touch of envy. The teacher introduced the boy as Jack and someone shouted ‘Jeep Boy’ to the amusement of everybody. After school, the Jeep came to pick him up and we never saw him again until the next morning. 
When the second wave of chicken pox came along, it passed without almost any notice. All of my friends had already developed an immunity to the disease. But Jack came to school with spots on his body. We were all surprised and confused all at once. How is it that they could afford a Jeep but couldn’t protect their son from chicken pox? Nobody wanted to play with Jack, and his recent predicament didn’t help in changing the attitude of people toward him.  Since he wanted to be a snub and act all high and mighty, then we weren’t going to be by his side now that he needed it.
Ten years later, I remembered Jack and his chicken pox and realized what happened then. The young lad was born into a rich family and his father didn’t want him to mingle with ‘ordinary folk’. He never came outside the mansion for any reason. He never played any games with us. There was no contact with lads his age. He was not contaminated by the environment, therefore, he never developed an immunity to diseases. At this moment, everything made sense.
If he had mingled with us, he would have had a tougher mental fortitude and his immune system would have grown stronger. In a bid to protect him from the harsh reality of the surrounding environment, he was exposed to more dangerous situations which lads his age had dealt with at a much younger age. He could have done better if he had mingled with us. His father, in a bid to protect him, ended up putting him in much graver danger than he would have been.
I have encountered many Jack-like scenarios over the short time I have been a wanderer on this wonderful planet. Finally, I subconsciously came to the realization that when the government or parents or other organized institutions try to keep the harsh truth from the younger generation, they end up bringing up a generation of Jeep Boys. 
You get shut down when you oppose a popular belief. When you ask questions, you get answers like ‘just leave it like that’ or ‘that is just the way things are’. We grow up knowing nothing about anything and when a strong wind blows toward us, we abandon ship instead of fortifying our sails and riding out the storm. This cycle goes on and on until it gets to a point of no return where nobody has a clue of what is going on or how to deal with it.
Let the truth hurt us now when the marks can heal easily so that we do not have to grow up with nasty scars on our faces.

Thursday 12 October 2017


On the maiden episode of Eagle’s Eyes we will be attempting a historical inquiry into the development of the humanities in Africa: its development and relevance to the answered question to the unanswered question of “Under-development” in Africa. The skyrocketing rates of underdevelopment and moral decadence in African societies and polities have spurred several debates over the importance of the “humanities” in African societies. Several scholars, politicians, and socio-economic analysts will be eager to point to one or two problems evident among African societies and their role as a continuous impediment to development: this they often do by highlighting factors such as corruption, mass apathy, negative impacts of colonial legacies, just to mention a few. However, it is worth mentioning that it’s been over 50years since most African States attained independence from erstwhile colonial powers. Yet, these new freedoms from colonial shackles have been unable to translate into sociopolitical and economic development. Several works of research in the fields of economics, political science, history and philosophy have been anchored on developing clear-cut policy oriented research that will aid in ameliorating the malaise of underdevelopment that the continent currently faces in all spheres of society. Nevertheless, an important point is often overlooked: that is, the relevance of the humanities in the fostering of development in society. This is because the humanities aids man in developing the right attitudes and thought that will bring about positive changes in society. It could be argued therefore that development itself is attitudinal. The term “humanities” simply refers to the study of man, his constructs and relationship between man and man, and between man and the society at large. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary of Learning 5th Edition: the humanities connote “the branch of learning (philosophy, arts, history, or languages) that investigates human constructs and concerns as opposed to natural processes”. In other words, the field of the humanities is preoccupied with how man could develop himself to achieve his full potentials. It is scarcely surprising that such a field of learning should be indispensable for development, because man has to undergo internal development of some sorts before projecting it outward to the society at large. In fact, development in any society is mainly propelled by an aggregate of developed men interacting (socio-politically and economically) with one another consciously or unconsciously through societal relations. History has shown that this remains the most popular path towards development. The civilizations of the river valleys of Egypt (The Nile River), Mesopotamia (Tigris and Euphrates), India (Indus River), and China (Yangtze River) prove this to be true. Although the importance of geographical features must not be downplayed, it would have been an unused asset if the people had not attained some form of internal development as to be able to utilize the provisions made by nature, and afterwards make sure that their society maintains much needed cohesion. Since there exists a striking correlation between the adept learning of the humanities and development, it therefore means that an attempt to investigate the problem of underdevelopment in the continent will inevitably be also an attempt to a considerable extent, the evaluation of the nature of the humanities and its relevance in the continent. The humanities as a field of learning in the modern era owes its origins to the ear of the “Renaissance or rebirth” in European history. Following several centuries of stagnation in art and learning, and the control of man’s contemplations by the Church: the Europeans in the sunny states of the Italian peninsula began to pursue new thoughts processes that were relatively divergent from the teachings of the Catholic Church. This triggered several developments subsequently in Europe that saw European states leapfrog their counterparts in Africa and Asia who relatively, had been at par or even ahead of them in terms of development. The consequent political, economic and social developments that occurred in Europe during this period have been aptly referred to as the “Great Divergence” by economic historians. The Renaissance saw rebirth in the learning of the classical texts of the ancient Romans and Greeks. It was in such context that the scholars of 15th century coined the term “the humanities”. This is because unlike the conventional studies of the time which had been characterized by the dominance of a transcendental being (God) who had sovereign authority over man. All attempts to explain human phenomena during the era before the Renaissance (the Dark Ages) were largely influenced by the interpretations of the Church (the Catholic Church). The Renaissance Scholars focused more on the mundane interpretations of things. As Pico often opined “man had the ability, if he be willing, to ascend to a level same as that of angels or descend to a status worse than pigs”. For them, man was the center of all things. He had been given the planet and it was up to him to explore and give answers to the somewhat problematic questions thrown at him by nature itself. Thus began the awakening of a new spirit in the European man that was to lead him to achieve unimaginable heights. Subsequent developments in European history: the Reformation (16th century), the Scientific Revolution (17th century), the Industrial Revolution (mid-18th century and matured by the 19th century), the era of Nationalism and Realpolitik (the 19th century) and the so called “Age of Extremes”- so graphically captioned by Eric Hobswann- (the 20th century); both the good and bad turns of these event as shown by historical developments in Europe can be regarded to have been precipitated to a large extent by the awakening of a new consciousness among Europeans during the Renaissance. By and large, the Renaissance was a seminal development that laid solid foundations for subsequent events. The aim of this historical inquiry is not to dwell on the historical experience of the implications of the humanities on continental Europe but to draw a connection between its origins in Europe and its emergence in Africa. The 15th century saw Europeans draw Africa into a new trans-Atlantic (as opposed to the trans-Mediterranean relationship that had been going on between both continents before the era of exploration and discovery) relationship by way of the several voyages of exploration which also led to the discovery of the American continent. In economic theory, Karl Marx asserted that the most striking development of the modern era was the opening of the Cape (in present day South Africa) in 1488 and the discovery of the Americas by Europeans. This new relationship led to the exportation of European culture to new areas hitherto unknown by Europeans. This relationship was to change subsequently as it went from cordial relationship between partners to an acrimonious one between two unequal partners. The nadir of this relationship was marked by colonialism. Colonialism lasted roughly sixty to seventy years in Africa, after the erstwhile colonial powers pulled out of the continent; they had left several imprints of their rule on African societies that were both positive and negative. An important legacy of colonialism was Western education. It will be inaccurate to hold the view that education was introduced to the continent by Europeans. However, it was the western type of education that was introduced and popularized by Europeans during colonial rule as Africans had developed indigenous forms of education during pre-colonial times. This had the consequence of further integrating some sections of African societies into European culture (no wonder one major problem that post independent African states had had to grapple with was the issue of Identity Crises). With the absence of European rule of over half a century, Africans have struggled to carve out a new identity for themselves. Europeans rule no doubt, exterminated the previous identities that had existed on the continent and created new artificial boundaries and identities. The Massai people were now bounded with Kikuyus and Luos in a new state of Kenya, the Hutus and Tutsis were brought under the umbrella of Rwanda, same was for the Ovimbindu and Bakongo peoples in Angola, or the Igbos, Yorubas, Tivs, Hausas, Fulanis, and Jukuns in Nigeria. This unholy union of many tribes in one state clearly explains that the political landscape of post-independence Africa was to be chaotic and filled with strife. Nevertheless, intellectuals, politicians, and society leaders now had a daunting and sensitive task on their hands: how do they manage the mess that had been made by erstwhile colonial powers? What steps would they take to ensure stability and cohesion in their new states? The immediate years of post-independence Africa saw developments that set the continent back in its quest for development. It can be argued that even in more contemporary times African polities are still reeling from the mistakes of the early post-independence years. At this juncture, the inquisitive mind might ask: how did the humanities develop in modern African since its learning in modern times began in Europe? What has been its role in the quest for development? And what are its prospects and problems in the no distant future? These questions will be attended to in the subsequent episodes of Eagle’s Eyes……….. Stay tuned.

Tuesday 10 October 2017


It is true that the yellow and black stripped Danfos (Volkswagen Vanagon 1987 model) flying on the Lagos highways and the red and yellow Nissan Vennette commonly used for public transport in Benin city bear no obvious similarities with each other. However, conductors and drivers in these two cities have quite proven over the past few years that they might just have indeed been lost brothers. (I say this with reference to behavioural patterns) Any Lagosian who had had reasons to migrate to the red soiled plains of Benin City would unarguably admit that bus conductors and drivers in these two states share some common visible attributes.

You'll find a typical Lagos conductor who is no more blessed with the gift of sacarsm and savagery than his counterpart and so try not to enter their buses without the exact fare or else, my friend, you just got unlucky. Don't even bother about their body odur, its normal. Just give them their money and get the heck out of their bus! That's not all, as a JJC, (how newbies are fondly called) you don't want to get caught in a quagmire due to the ridiculous way bus conductors call out bustops especially during rush hours. In Edo state, Ring Road either becomes "Rigro", "Ringload" or "Winglo"; Sapele Road becomes "Saple Ro"; Ajip becomes "A-jape" while in Lagos state, the names are said in the fastest way possible and are compressed till you have something like: "Isolomushincelemiletwoosholoshod". (Just enter laidat, no time)

However, many of my colleagues still partially agree with the idea of relative similarity between the two. They think our Lagos conductors are hot blooded, very dramatic and just no match for the Benin conductors. 

"Lagos drivers are too loud, very impatient and Rash" Alex pointed out

"Lagos is a busy place filled with different people of different class" Justice began "I have entered a bus that the conductor called out the bustop that I would alight and I paid, everyone paid. At the end of the day; they didn't drop us at the bustop and the driver ended up saying 'emabinu'. Also I was in a bus one day and the driver asked me to put on my seat belt because of police. I tried telling him that seat belts were not meant for the police but for the safety of the passengers. I attempted to use the belt and realized it was broken and he said 'just wear am make we pass check point, you go fit remove am'"

"Although Benin drivers have bad mouths" Peace confirmed, "but at least, you don't need to run after their buses. They would always move backwards to pick you up compared to Lagos drivers"

"Public transport prices change and it actually depends on the bus driver" Joy remarked. "Someone can take Yaba for #50 in the morning and it can become #100 by afternoon. If you don't enter, it'll be full right in front of you and you'll get delayed before another bus arrives.

Joshua firmly opined that Lagos drivers were noise makers while Benin drivers were action oriented.

Apparently, the interview had favoured Eko drivers but I still had this funny assumption that my interviewees might have been biased probably because of Lagos' popularity or maybe my sour experience in the hands of Benin bus conductors during the first few weeks of my fresher man days in Uniben was the veil that blinded.

After suffering from the physical and psychological exhaustion that would usually come with clearance, I decided to settle my ATM issues with my bank which was just along the road. I had successfully crossed the first lane of the Benin-Lagos road and was about to take a second crossing when I was greeted by the open arms of 'passenger hungry' Benin conductors. I was dragged from left, right, back and forth by faces I could not recognize and all I could say was 'I no dey go o'. Finally, after almost two minutes of drama, the remains of my tired frame was led into a bus. I later realized they had damaged my newly acquired back pack.

Interestingly, many would say I was lucky this didn't happen in Lagos because I would have been much more humiliated and left on the road at the mercy of staring commuters.

When I asked my good friend, Emmanuel, why this was the case, he had this to say: "I've seen nothing compared to the Lagos rush. The Lagos driver has to deal with the maybe 80% of its 21 million population that are public transport users hence his behaviour". I could agree with him no less.

Lagos is the 5th most populous city in the world and that's more than Moscow, London and Mumbai which explains the reason why life is always on the fast lane. 
But on a second thought, I feel if our Benin drivers find themselves in a Lagos setting, they just might be worse, or what do you think? How well can you answer the metonymical Ring Road or Orile question?