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?

Monday 9 October 2017


I love parties for the same reason you do. It's not the clothes, the music, or the people. It's the food. There's something I can't place my finger on that makes party food different (probably the wood smoke). 

Recently, my sister and I had to attend the burial of a secondary school colleague. He wasn't very old but he wasn't a young man. He was in his sixties.  Wanting to be fashionably late in conjunction with other options, when we got there there were no seats left. After looking around, we noticed a table where two children sat on two chairs. So, my sister offered that we carry the two children on our laps and one of the adults at the table said we should ask the children. That was an odd response. Even odder, the children refused. The girl said "I will not be comfortable" and we were told that the boy wouldn't agree. My sister said, "Children of this generation...". My first reaction was that of annoyance. How could a child refuse to get up for an adult who was offering to carry her? But then, I thought it wasn't wrong. She was well within her right despite her age to refuse us. 

The truth is that I have given up on this generation as the future of our nation. We are a generation that accedes and panders to every inane request and because of this, not unlike Esau, we have lost our birthright to older people who came late to the party. 

There's nothing wrong with saying "No". There's nothing wrong with standing up for your own principles in the face of someone older than you. Children should be allowed to know at an early age to know what is good for them and what isn't. They should also be allowed to make choices for their well-being. 

However, the truth is that children learn also by imitation. Our generation of yes-men didn't become that way by default. It was a curious blend of observation, survival and a decision to not rock the boat. As adults or young adults, we have a role to play in allowing the children coming up be the best they can. It might be too late for us to start over but it's not too late to try. The growth of a child is a beautiful thing and stifling it is like crushing a bird before it learns to fly. Curiosity in children should be encouraged and not dampened. 

When we teach our children values, we should stand by them. When we get to queues, don't jump the line while playing the age card. While at home, don't avoid chores or delegate them because you're older. Don't demand that a younger person get up for you because after all you're older. 

Of course, the question now is, shouldn't the elderly be accorded respect? My answer is this, not at the expense of a younger person's own self respect and not merely because he/she is older. The onus is on us to provide guidelines that will help younger generations decide when to give up a seat for the elderly, when to assist an aged woman withdraw money from the Atm. 

Then, if all else fails it wouldn't be because we didn't teach them but because they failed to learn. I look forward to a generation of no-sayers.

***Favour Borokini***

Sunday 8 October 2017


Research has it that Rat poison is 99% food and one percent poison. 
But that 1% can drop a dull fledged man dead.  Funny isn't it,  the little –little sins have great potency to destroy although accompanied with so much pleasure,  they come back to hack us in the back like a serial killers dagger.  Well here's a poem I wrote :

                    Sweet Poison 
Bitter sweet just like rat poison
One single act and you're in prison
Force so compulsive you can even do it with your cousin
Speeding in reckless abandon with no thought or reason

Take a pause , is this a dream?
Sweet just like milk
Silky and greasy the exchange of passion
Lets have fun, cool of the tension they say

You heard the bees buzz
With no hesitation you stretched forth -
Lusty hands for that transient honey comb
Trembling in ecstasy felling like the boss
But your'e just a pitiful rat 
Licking gutters for a sachet of milk- 
rat poison 

I hope you liked it?, the truth is that no matter how delicious rat poison seems to be,  it is only made that delicious to attract the prey. So the devil always throws the trick and ignorantly man catches the hook full of pleasure,  and gulps it in just too quickly before he realizes the hook.  So the next time you see that hot enchanting lady throwing her seductive  charms at you,  the next time you see an opportunity to cheat and another opportunity to extort and yet another opportunity to engage in nasty pleasures remember that 1% can kill.  Only Jesus can save. Say no to sweet poison.

***Raphael Agadama***

Friday 6 October 2017


We were used to living in darkness. None of us had ever seen a streak of light in our lives. We walked in the darkness and wallowed in it. We reveled in it, recreated and procreated in it. The darkness was our normal. Stumbling and slipping were as normal as breathing. Everything was beautiful to us in the darkness.
So, it was a huge surprise when we woke up one morning to see him, the Priest accompanied by an aura we just couldn’t fathom. Anywhere he went, his aura took the darkness away. We were all scared to approach him. The children more so.
He introduced himself as ‘the light’. When we heard him speaking in our native tongue, we were more relaxed and welcoming. We came closer to get a better look at him. And for the first time, we could see each of our faces. Those who walked close to him didn’t stumble because he lit their way. The kids danced and played and followed him around. We took the opportunity to remove the obstacles that made us stumble as we tried to find our way.
However, with the light came a lot of quarrels and conflicts. We could now see the differences in one another. We could see each other’s ugly faces and the disfigured bodies. We could no longer ‘play’ with anybody we wanted because we could now see their faces and it scared us. The oldies started getting frustrated because people abandoned the tradition and walked with the light. The oldies were the angriest because they lost their control over the people. We stopped farming and other activities we enjoyed in the dark. I, most of all preferred walking with the light than toiling on the field because it was an escape from the disappointments and frustration of farm work.
In an attempt to secure their control over the people and capitalize on the frustration of the worried people, the oldies made up a story that the priest was a distraction sent by the gods to test us. He was the great confusion that was prophesied that will come with a lot of promises to test our faith in the gods. This got the people riled up. There was only one way to appease the gods. We had to kill the priest to restore our darkness.
As we marched to the place where the priest was to be killed, those of us who had the light in us masked to blend in with the crowd. We could have objected, but we couldn’t summon the courage to speak because we didn’t want to end up like the priest. We were all made to cast stones at the priest as a show of our denunciation of the light. As the priest breathed his last, the light died with him.
There we were once again, in that all familiar darkness. We partied all night and joked about how gullible we were to believe the priest and his light. By the time we woke up the next morning, a lot had gone wrong. People were falling over each other like in the old days. But this time, they called one another ugly and dirty, and tempers were flaring. The bad ones amongst us had mapped the tracks of their victim and had waited for the light to go out. Now, their nefarious activities were in full swing. The only thing we had ever known was the darkness but now that we had seen the light, we no longer could pretend there wasn’t something better out there. 
By the time the morning drifted to midday, we all wanted to get the light back. We were screaming and wailing and begging the gods to send us another priest. We had been fooled by the oldies who had their own selfish ambitions. Later, we marched to the dwelling of the oldies to seek answers, but we all stumbled upon each other and ended up being scattered in confusion. 
As I lay down waiting for the bad ones to come and end what was left of my miserable life, I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if we had tried to save the priest. But we didn’t talk and now, the light in us had died too.


Thursday 5 October 2017


It was Karl Marx, a venerable gentleman, perhaps the greatest man of the 19th Century who said that the history of humanity can be summarized as the history of class struggle. He was right based on the curvature and ideals of the lenses through which he viewed history. However, everyman has his lenses, lenses which details are defined by the background, bias and convictions of the wearer. When I look through my lenses, all I see are the bound and the free. Thus, my idea of human history is one of an endless search for freedom. Slavery and freedom have alternated at different times in a dynamic balance in defining every detail of not only human history but also the daily life of every man. My bossom friend Timothy Onuzulike considers freedom to be the oldest human institution, and perhaps I will more than echo his sentiments in saying that all efforts of man has been unknowingly geared towards sustaining freedom. 
But what is this freedom? It is not just Catalonia wanting out of Spain or Biafra out of Nigeria. It is not just Mandela leaving Rhode Island prison or Pharaoh letting my people go. It is something more than that. 
The student remains a slave to the school system till he graduates. He remains a slave to his quiz and projects, class works and assignments until he is done with them. And when he prepares for his exam remains a slave to that exam till he has written and passed it. Indentured servitude. 
The farmer remains a slave to his farmland until he hands it over to someone else. From seed time to harvest time, the farmer serves his farmland faithfully, making ridges and mounds, weeding and staking. And at harvest time he is back to serve again, only more happily this time. 
The prison warder, or the jailer is a slave to the jail. I am in jail, he is in jail too, I wear uniforms, he wears uniforms too, I am a prisoner, he is a prisoner too,  Mr jailer. Thank you,  Asa. 
And for the past few minutes I have been a slave to this article. Thinking, digging and scratching different corners of my mind to meet up with the demand of this master. 
Every slave looks forward to when he will be free, he looks forward to when he would scream Eureka. Thomas Edison was a slave to the light bulb 1000 times and so was Michelangelo to the Divine Comedy on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel for 6 years. The unemployed is a slave to unemployment, he is tormented by the shame, by the hunger, by the copies of job applications on his desk and by his pressed shirt and trousers, he looks for freedom. But his freedom is another person's slavery.  Why? The employee is a slave to his job, and you know how. 
Now, here is where Marx agrees with me. We are all slaves but there are different classes of slaves. While some are slaves to pain, others are slaves to pleasure. Yes, there is the  rich man who is a slave to his pride, he buys an Iphone X that he doesn't need, he goes to the bar and washes his hands (Rolex actually) with a wine of some good dollars. And while he smiles without, he is in slavery within as he bows endlessly on the altar of his pride singing Holy Holy Holy is my Lord Almighty. And, yes,  while the Third World is a slave to socioeconomic emptiness, the First World is a slave to national pride, and real politik. 
I know I am a slave to my dreams, to the books I haven't written,  songs I haven't sang, and pictures I haven't painted. I feel the chains of this slavery each passing day. And you know your slavery too. You and I, us and them, all we need is freedom. Yes, remember that line from Akon. All we need is freedom, it didn't come to me in this manner until quite recently. The etymology of words hold secrets that a thousand crypts can't keep. The 'dom' in freedom might as well act in the same capacity as the 'dom' in kingdom. And by this 'freedom' means the dominion of liberty as much as 'kingdom' means the dominion of a king. While we march to freedom let's hope that we will not be the slaves of our freedom. 

Monday 2 October 2017


Memories are feelings that never change even though people change. It is so close you can almost be there; maybe that's because you were there once and while the physical world may change with time, the psychic one maintains. More often than not, the nagging attention that life demands on a daily basis causes us to abandon memories that command as much relevance as our future ambitions. For some persons reminiscing happens rather unconsciously and so why make a fuss about it, but for many of us it goes beyond an unconscious to a deliberate act (more like we reminisce for a living). You want to ransack the house in search of old stuffs and inhale the acrid smell of dusty antique. You want to listen to old music and see childhood movies once again. You want to visit your mum's primary school and see your dad's youthful pictures. You want a decade to flash past in just one minute and etcetera. Suddenly, the recess of your mind can be compared to a box filled with ghosts many of which don't want you dead only that you come back "home" on a rain-drenched moment in time that you might cherish something outside of now and remember that nothing is constant, spooky right?

Well, I still don't know what they call people like us, (I know I belong partly to this group) but I sure know we exist. Many will choose to call us weird but I beg to disagree and here's why.

It is not enough that we remember our pasts either deliberately or not deliberately and in fact settle to rely on experiential knowledge about them but that we must also seek to appreciate them and create stories out of them. Sometimes, I wonder God's intention for depositing inside of us the ability to raise departed times instead of allowing memories pass with the dawning of a new day. The answer is not far fetched as the author of Christianity and Greek Philosophy, B.F (Benjamin Franklin) Cocker rightly posits ; "Is God not only the creator but the conservator of all things?" 

Question is why must I choose to lightly esteem what the creator does not consider 'a waste of precious time'? What then must I do with them?

Here's what you must do. Once in a while, take an unrestricted stroll into your storehouse of memories (with a cup of tea), spot your favourite, pleasant and even unpleasant moments, (The first day you met hubby, times you were once a slave to an addiction, when we were no bodies) dust them, cherish and appreciate them and please don't stop there, create epic memoirs out of them even as you envisage a more pleasant future. Migwor!



The Danger of Good Intentions reads like an Oscar Wildean play. It has been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Good intentions appear to be one of those things which give us the right to say that the end justifies the means. 

Take a look at a scenario where meddling friends set up a girl on a blind date with a rapist. Chaos ensues. The well-meaning friends can only say "We just wanted you to go out more" and "We are so sorry" but evidently what's done is done. But what if the blind date hadn't been a rapist? What if he was Mr. Perfect? What if he was Mr. Right who didn't need to be dragged from the left? These are the rationales behind many a good intention. 

The desire to please people dear to us (and those who aren't sometimes) propels us to make decisions for them on their behalf.  We love them (or we think we do) and we think that our good intentions are reason enough to make our decisions for them. Note the use of our, not their because these decisions are essentially what WE would do in their position and not what THEY would do.  We see people who are in an unfortunate condition - in our opinion - and we take steps to assist them. Whether or not they care about our help or opinion don't really factor into our decision making. 

You see the desire based on good intentions could end up being a slippery slope. Once the idea is hatched, it gains full rein and we are dragged along with our good intentions off the cliff end. Good intentions aren't bad things. What parent wouldn't want the best for their children? What friend wouldn't  want the other to make the most of their lives?  

The key to making good intentions count is taking out time to discover the mechanics behind them. Let's ask ourselves whys and whats. Why do I think this is a good decision for this person? Is it enough that I am older or more mature? Is my intention to help good enough? What do I think I can do to prove to this person that this is the right thing to do? If he/she doesn't agree should I go ahead and do it anyway? 

The answers to these questions will provide a guide as to whether our good intentions count enough to take matters into our hands. Like Albert Camus, "The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding." 

The funny thing is sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some and like it is with a gambler  the high of winning gets us hooked to trying once again. But do we really need to make decisions for others?  Many times our desire to live the lives of others for them or live our lives vicariously through theirs spurs us.  We really should examine our motives thoroughly. 

So the danger of good intentions is revealed in their perpetration. Vikram Seth puts it well, "God save us from people who mean us well". 

***Favour Borokini***