Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Today's blog is actually on another blog. Cute. This week Bella Naija is featuring other bloggers. Check my post out today on Celebrating Nigerian Women Writers. From Zulu Sofola, Flora Nwapa to Chimamanda Adichie and Sefi Atta women are penning their thoughts and giving us great literature. Check it out, leave a comment there and if you would also like to continue the dialogue here you are more than welcome to do so. Again remember to get someone a book this Christmas along with whatever gadgets you get them. Books are priceless and most of all highly valuable because they contain knowledge. And when you do get one don't just let it be a block and decorate your house, share the knowledge and pass it around (all you borrowers sef u need to return books and not stain it with soup o. I am still looking for who has my Purple Hibiscus)
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
It is that time of the year again when we give thanks to God, family and friends for all the things they have done. I have to say that 2006 has truly been a year of unlimited progress for me and I give all thanks and glory to God for that. Funny how this time last year I was singing a different tune in my Thanksgiving 2005 post. Looking back on that and laughing, I must say that I have truly come a long way. I don't even know where to begin my Thanksgiving this year because there's so much to be thankful about, some that I am not yet even privy to speak about. First let me start with the grand testimony of the year that is evidence that God has truly been good to me in spite of my backsliding (you know we all deal with that). I had been holding this one back because I wanted it to be my Thanksgiving Testimony. Again I don't write to brag but rather that you might read and be encouraged to pursue your own blessings, never take NO for an answer and trust in God. Before I continue read this Prayer of Thanks and A Prayer by MLK that I found very moving.
Living One-Tenth of My Dream
Except for this past weekend, I have been working straight and going like an energizer bunny for the past two months. Yes I had to even work today and Friday as TV does not take vacation. I have been waking up at 4 am early Saturday morning to drive to LA from Santa Maria and sleeping on floors and couches. Do you remember the 'Immigration Matter' and the 'Praise Report'? Well that was really about an internship at CNN LA bureau. Yes... I am officially a CNN'er and this weekend is my last weekend on the internship. I almost gave it away with all the hints that I threw in. I was bursting so badly to spill the beans but I had to be principled and save the gist. It was short and only for two months, might not be a big deal to some of you but to me it is huge and massive for my resume. Do you know how long I had been applying for this internship. Since the year 2000. God is good and no about of discomfort will deter me from keeping my eyes on the prize. Basically He made me move out to California to fulfil this destiny. And it does not end there. The devil (yes oh him)tried and failed but when God has said it is yours, it is yours no questions asked. Upon all the requirements that I did not meet due to man-made error (in the nature of wrong information from the UNC dean's office) CNN overrode all that because they liked my resume. I was floored when they said you can start. As in I came close to returning the key-card they had given me on the spot because I didn't know how I was going to come out of this one. Prayers do indeed work and you guys were part of it. THANK YOU!!! So far the internship has been great. I have not met Larry King yet, but they used Addy to test his light on the Sunday before the election.. ha ha ha. I was like 'Na me be this' as I was sitting in Larry King's chair. I met Chris Lawrence, Kareen Wynter and my supervisor Sarah Weisfeldt whom I work closely with is just the best. I'll have an exit meeting hopefully next week. As normal I had been planning and strategizing how to hustle to get a gig there but God prepareth a table before me and my cup runneth over, so CNN will have to wait its turn. It is not time for me and CNN to get married, we are still doing our romancing the stone plus I am still fresh and unseasoned. The time is still coming and believe it will. When I told my friend JG he was shocked and thought I was lying because he remembered me telling him as far back as 1998 when we met that that CNN....I go make am. Even if it is to be serving coffee. This internship is just one step towards the bigger picture and thank God for opening the doors so that I can breeze in without having to do house girl. Like my brother said to me once, "Instead of serving him coffee, aim to have lunch and drink coffee with Larry King". Seeing as he is scarce and I have just one week left, I dunno if that is possible this time around, but God dey and we shall have a date. Program that into your PDA Mr. King.
Truly moving to California was a great move, even though it was bad for my social and mental life. As in my MOJO is gone, out the window and in need of a jumpstart. I don't even have energy to scope blokes talkless of hitting on one. I have only been out clubbing like 3 times this whole year. Chai!!! Anyways I thank God for giving me this job at KCOY, a great boss who is like a teacher, the wisdom and especially the courage to be able to pack and go to strange places. California was truly strange for me. Being here has allowed me to make the biggest and best decision for me and opportunities have come in ways I cannot imagine. The moving ain't over yet and I know there's more in stock and I thank God in advance for that.
Family and Friends
It is normal to thank family and friends but my thanks is not a cliche at all. My family has been great to me this year. Helping me with moving out here and calling and checking up on me all the time. They know I don't like it that much out here being by myself and all so they have been making the extra effort to call me this year. I thank God for all of them and for giving them good health. Yes we lost a few family members but I thank God for their lives and the the lives of those that have been spared. On the flip side we gained a whole lot more family members. Of the top of my head, I recall 5 babies. Wow!!
I am also very thankful to my friends who have been there for me. At first I was not going to make a list but I just have to give a shout to a few special people.
Ndidi--I can't remember the last time I did not spend thanksgiving day at your house. But we are not joined at the hips so I guess I'm on my own today. This will be short because there's Sunday, but I just want to say thank God for you and I love you.
Singto-- My darling, I know I made you mad yesterday but it was out of love and I tried :). Thank you for being yet another sister. How does the saying go... 'misery loves company'... You hate New Haven, I hate Santa Maria. I guess we can thank each other for all the phone calls and instant messaging that we did this year. It was very necessary.
Desmina-- You hardly call unless you are bombarded and harassed. But when you do we talk for hours. About what I just am not too sure but you are also special and that's what counts.
Beedee-- I cannot even start to say how much I appreciate you...you've been like an invisible co-worker. If I could have my way I'll move to ATL because of you but seeing as I cannot be in three places at the same time, we have to make do with IM. Sometimes all one needs is someone to be available to listen (in our case read) and offer advice or encouragement. Thanks for doing just that. You are loved.
UYI-- You get my Addy's friend of the year award. I cannot thank you enough because no amount of Thank you can be sufficient. True friends are selfless and noble. You are truly a friend in deed. I pray that God will bless you in immeasurable manners for you magnanimity and keep his light shining upon you. You just wait and see. When you see me on the tube please gleefully tell your children how you had a hand in getting me there. You are greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
Mo-ho-- Hmh.. what can I say. You are just special like that and I am sure you know it. I thank you for all the calls, concerns and consultations. I got nothing but 'Agape love' for ya.
Mati, Ayi, Adaeze, Maj, Enuka-- I carry you guys in my heart and though distance sometimes is a hindrance I still love you guys no less than I always have. Thanks for being my dearest and oldest friends.
To everyone else who has served a purpose in my life this year, ya'll know your selves; THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY.
To those for whom I have served a purpose, I humbly say 'you are very welcome' to your 'Thank yous' :)
2006 has been a WONDERFUL year for me. I dunno about you. I am looking forward to 2007 because it can only get better. I am very very excited about what it holds and I am so ready for whatever challenges that will definitely come up. To those challenges, let me just warn you now now, if you love yourself you better go and find one gutter to chill because Addy of 2007 is going to be twice the Ninja that she was in 2005. In this 2007 be ready to find an Indiana Jones + Rambo + Terminator if you think you can try Addy. Believe when I say I have a very big God who is on my side and He shall not suffer my foot to be moved. Word Up and hallelujah to the Saints!!!
Monday, November 20, 2006
It is 2.15am pacific and I just drove in from LAX after returning to CA from the biggest 'Owanbe' to grace NC in all the nearly 9 years that I had been there. As someone put it, parties/weddings like this only occur once in 4 years in North Carolina so you can imagine how high we were on the 'faaji & miliki'. Anyways I wish I could stay up and give you the full report but I have to try to catch some 3 and a half hours of sleep so I can be at work at 7am. But I shall be back with the report and my pictures by Monday night so keep watching this space. Meanwhile, I am sure there are enough Kodak Galleries being created today so please feel free to post your photo links (or commentary) in the comment section. Have good start to the week. Later.
Here's the first set of pictures courtesy of Singto and Oyinkan
Here's My Gallery... I didn't take a lot.
WEDDING REPORT UPDATE
For those of you who were doing shakara and waiting for invitation to come before you showed up...lets' just say you missed. HA HA HA!!! As you have heard by now and seen from all the pictures, this weekend was more than just bananas in NC. It was PLANTAINS. MEEEEENNNNN....BONE!!! Ya'll must be wondering whether NC is this bush to be hype about one party. Yes oh believe. NC is the boondocks when it comes to Nigerian festivities but we are finally on the MAP. Yes O we have finally arrived oh. So ATL and MD ya'll berra watch out, we are climbing the social ladder with a vengeance. Anyways let me too come and give you my full blow by blow coverage from the perspective of a guest. Bring out your guguru and epa because no amount of popcorn can help you enjoy this gist. Let's first breeze through the boring part (for ya'll at least)So I landed on Thursday morning at the ungodly hour of 6.30am. Ndidi came and picked me up from the airport. I was so excited to be back in NC and to see my girl. We analyzed our baffs and I can tell you that I started having my aso-ebi complex right there and then, especially when Ndidi told me she was going in trad not English wear . DAMN. This is just earth shattering. Ndidi agreeing to wear traditional without me begging and convincing her. I think I left my girl with these darned Nigerians for far too long. They are turning her into another creature. My outfit as you can see was still lace sha so it's all good. Anyways we went to the salon and then to the tailor to go pick up her outfit. After that we branched into SRI to see if there was any last minute shopping. No need. I came prepared. Went home had dinner. Ndidi made her special Lasagna. The girl can cook o. Ok.. fast forward to Friday evening. Singto lands and meets us at the mall where I am trying out those skinny jeans once again. I am trying to convince myself that I need a pair but I am just not feeling them at all. We go to my cousin's house to see my new nephew. My cousin had just come back from the engagement ceremony. After she finished giving us her own version of the engagement ceremony we were like 'hmh... this one go be helele'. We left and went to Ndidi's to go get ready for the Denim and White singles bash. Desmina would meet us there. We were all excited to be together once again.
So around 10.30pm we headed out to Cary where the singles bash was being held. It was supposed to start at 8pm but trust now. I actually wanted to get there at 8pm considering I came 'from far'. I needed to maximize my time. Lol. Folks started trickling in in their denim and white and all manners of 'abortion belts'...dunno how many future generations were choked. Anyways the party started shortly after. Omo, i didn't know we NC peeps sabi how to 'ROCK' sha. The place was packed and rowdy. After a little gallivanting and butterflying, you know looking cute for the pictures and all and saying hi to a number of people , I jejely found a clean spot on the fire place to take of my high heels and do my own dancing. I brought flip flops but I forgot them in the car. Anyways Ndidi, Des, Singto and I were just having a blast. I was even moon walking to Michael Jackson. Let's not even mention how wild it was when Shina Peters came on. Honestly I was not paying attention to anybody at the party, I was just in my own world dancing the night away. So was every body else. It was too crunk. I also met my twin, Audrey. Love her already. She takes off her shoes too when she dances. Imagine I leave NC and what do they do, they find a copy of Adaure, down to even the name. Left for me I would have stayed a bit longer just to get up to no good and be mischievous by being razz and looking for trouble. By that I mean harassing men folk...easy target. Unfortunately we had to go home and sleep so that we can have power for the next day... the D-DAY.
The Wedding Day
So on Saturday we woke up. Ndidi being the perfect hostess made us pancake and eggs and was just serving us. The girl is just wifey-material and I am sure we shall soon dash her away. After that we went to pick up some pins to tie the gele and pick up my pancake powder from the MAC counter. I sha used style to tell the girl to organized my face abeg. Considering the fact that I was not going to be wearing trad I just had to 'make-up', no pun intended, in other areas and enhance my beauty biko. The wedding was scheduled for 1.30pm but Singto was still washing her hair at 1pm. They said pastor already gave warning so the bride and groom guaranteed would be on time. We managed to leave the house soon after and on the drive I engaged everyone in a very interesting conversation that I shall not get into. I sat in between Ndidi and a friend of her's who came from out of town. I bet he must have been like this girl can talk sha. We got to the church and true true sha, like say na magic, it seemed as if every thing started with little delay because we got there at 2.30pm and one of the other preachers was already delivering the message. Damn it... I always miss the wedding solemnization. As we walked into the church, meeennn, the array of red and brown geles and aso-okes was quite intimidating. I was not sure whether I was at United Methodist in Cary or Arch Bishop Vining in Ikeja. But me and Singto were holding it down for the 'white-people-wey-their-papa-black' aka Americanas. I was just scoping out the get ups. I am not a fan of brown but the bridesmaids dresses were tres fab and the girls looked gorgeous in them and so did the bride. Then the suit that the groomsmen were wearing made us go 'hmh... that sure as heck ain't no David's Bridal suit'. Turns out it was from a pricey specialty store (we don't have Zara in NC, so it is specialty o). Speaking of the groomsmen, my homie Mo-ho was representing well and looking bunz as usual. Big G too represented at the traditional engagement with the groom and his boys as they 'dobaled' for the elders
I mean people, I am not about flamboyance and flashy flashy stuff but men I will make exceptions for weddings anysay anytime. GO ALL OUT IF YOU CAN AND WANT TO....it happens only once in a lifetime. Enjoy it and make it memorable while you are at it. That was my disclaimer. Bros and Sis, if I tell you that I have been to a party like this in this America before, I would be lying. Even in Nigeria sef, I can't recall which party it was that I attended that was blazing like this. The last thing of the sort to grace NC happened in 2003 at the Durham Millennium Hotel when some dude was throwing a party to celebrate his acquisition of a Phd (till today I swear I don't know from which school or which degree the man received, but we still went to celebrate it sha). That one was just because there were a lot of people with Mercedes Benzes. Even that medical doctor guy that appeared in Ovation, that has that massive house in Charlotte is yet to throw a party like this. Once in a while it is good to indulge oneself o, but I don't know if anyone in NC should attempt to top this one. Let's just go back to birthday parties at Chuckee Cheese and Maggianos and naming ceremonies in balconies men. Just let's marinate on this one for the next 4 years. So as we landed the Hilton, there was no parking at all. We had to go and park in some open field because all the spots were taken. Word was that there were supposed to be 800 guests. I was like where will 800 people come from, when it is not Nigeria. Omo after a while seats ran out because there were 800 people if not more there. On my table alone, there were different people taking turns at some of the chairs. The place was packed and there was soooo much grub. The menu included, Fried fish, Asaro, Puff-puff, Shish-Kebob, Ewa Agoyin, Fried rice Jollof Rice, 'designer stew' (I wanted to ask which designer, if it was Louis Vuitton or Calvin Klein but they say all that means is 'assorted' meat). I was on the look out for Iyan but by the time I went through my goat meat from the designer stew that I collected from Dare and Des's plates I was full. I couldn't even go for a second round because I was too full.
Do you recall my wedding trip of the summer in New Jersey. That wedding to was hot and in a class of its own. Everybody was rocking BCBG and other manners of designers. That was fitting of the crowd because that was an original Aje-butter wedding and all of us too that were attending were on the aje-butter level, with the exception of myself. I just happen to be able to infiltrate. But men this one was on the other extreme because BCBG would not feel welcomed at all. It would mean Biko Come Begin Go because of the aso-oke oppression and depression. No joke, this was a serious Ijebu wedding all the way...no fronting neccessary and I mean that as flattery. If you couldn't go to Isale Eko to get the lace, it was brought to you LIVE and accompanied with a juju band. The assortment of styles and geles floored me completely. Let's not even talk about the bridal aso-okes and stuff. Ahn Ahn....Where the hell did they bring that from. May be it is because I am igbo and I am not used to seeing that kind of aso-oke and lace. I mean when it comes to George , Abada and Akwete I can yarn, but aso-oke and lace is on a whole 'nother level. As we were eating we were scoping out the get-ups, these two girls had this red outfit that were made from ankara. It was very very nice and they wore it very well. They got my vote for best outfit. Ndidi and another lady had the same lace and of course we took a picture of them together. I was just taking notes of the ladies in the cream and brown lace, ya'll will soon see me rocking the knock-off version. Too dope. Let me not even start about the professionally tied geles that were just every where courtesy of Mr. Segun of the Bride's" Escort. I have heard of this guy in the past and seen his website before but I didn't know he had MAD talent until I saw for my eyes. I mean I can tie gele but this dude is the King of Gele and me I am the house girl. I mean Lagbaja should have had him in his Sketele Skontolo video because that song was made for him. I am not one to promote added expenses to wedding budget but BABES if you can you need to employ this dude to tie your gele for your wedding day. It is well worth it. The gele can do a million things for your outfit and wedding pictures. Just check this spread out.
MUSIC and DANCE
I have to admit that I am an undercover yoruba girl because I was actually rocking to juju music like no man's business. The last real Owambe that I had been to was in like 1989 or so at the one year anniversary of my landlord's death. My landlord was Igbo so you can imagine the surprise when Shina Peters and his band came to our house. We were tripping like mad (We were actually expecting Osondu Owendi because they are from the same area). We watched him play from the balcony while all the 'agbalagbas' were dancing. We too we were dancing on the balcony and trying to hide from our parents by turning off all the lights. Anyways the MC at the reception meant business when he started at exactly 5.25pm. It is like he knew what was in store. The live juju band came from Maryland as I am told and they really brought the house down. I didn't even get to see the first dance or cutting of the cake because there was just too much 'Owambeing' going on. From calling one family or group to the dance floor. Then come and seee spraying. I have never seen so many one-one dollar bills in trash bags. Even the common guests sef that were not a part of the wedding or any group were being sprayed like it was going out of style. I swear I made enough to pay for one of my excess luggage to Nigeria. Oyinkan too made so much money. Random guests at the Hilton were gazing from the door to see what all the festivity and commotion was about. Then we danced and dance and danced till we could dance no more. There was one Chinese man that was just really digging it and keying it down. All manners of Konko below, Komole, and all the ko-ko's you can think about. It was really serious. Some times I think I was born to the wrong tribe because I just cannot see an Igbo wedding being like this one. The only option we have is to bring Bright Chimezie and Oliver De' Coque out of retirement or find a knock off highlife band to play renditions of Rex Lawson and Joe Nez if at all (Ndi men we have to discuss this one with Aunty Amaks o...we have to represent for the Eastside). Kai...oh God.. this means I may need to seriously consider weighing the options based on what kind of wedding I'll end up with. The matter is perplexing. Hmh.... we'll have to get back to that on another date. But back to the dancing, once again I took off my shoes and tied my pashmina around my waist, I was not going to be out done by the mamas o. Speaking of taking off shoes and Chinese men, the only freebie that was missing were chinese slippers. You know, the mesh ones with sequins because I am sure some people's feet were hurting from all the gbedu gbedu dancing. As in what wedding freebies/favors did we not get. Coasters, cup, plate, plastic bowls, fan, gift bag with the couples picture so you can carry the stuff, name it... even SALT. WOW...that's deep. Taking it straight to the root men. It was just too authentically Nigerian. And yes we did take two containers of salt. As in enough ideas and that's just the stuff that I saw. We had to wait till the end because Ndidi's friend was playing the saxophone that accompanied the band. Singto was very tired and jejely found a chair, wrapped herself up and slept. She must have slept for a good 2 hours. The party was finally over at like 2am but by the time we got to the car it was knocking 3am. We were so freaking tired. And we were expected to go to church for the Thanksgiving service. Omo I just don't know how we made it to church, and on time too. But we were there and ready for praise and worship.
Church service was the bomb as usual, everybody should try to attend Jubilee Church in Durham when they visit NC. You will truly be blessed. It was truly GREAT seeing everybody, meeting new people and being a part of the celebration. I had a blast and a fabulous time and I miss all the familiar faces so much. My trip was well worth it. Not sure when next I will be back in NC (may be summer) but as Arnold says' I'll be back'. To the newly weds, the wedding was the absolute best so here's to wishing you guys the best blissful marriage ever, one full of love, happiness, compassion and plenty of kids. Speaking of kids, any chance you can throw another slamming bash for the naming ceremony....he he he...I kid I kid.
(I know this was kinda rough, but I have to go and pack a bit more and then go to sleep so abeg manage this write up.)
Friday, November 17, 2006
I want to bitch a little bit. How about I got my FIRST ticket on Wednesday night in Santa Barbara as I was driving from Santa Maria to the LA airport. DAMN THE C-H-P!!! Funny thing was I thought the guy was following me because I was talking on my cell phone without a hands-free set. Isn't it funny how when you are driving and you see a cop or highway patrol vehicle one starts to recite the Nicene creed, The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 123....Ye, though I drive through the valley of the lights of the CHP officers, I shall get no ticket. Anyways this officer ( looked like such a rookie too) decided to follow me a little bit without his lights and I was just praying that he would not turn his blue light on. He did, I cursed under my breathe and stopped my car. Good thing I sent in my registration for renewal when I did because that stuff is so like expired man. To cut the long story short 'chippy' claims I was doing 87 on 65. Is he on drugs. I swear I was doing 70. He started to explain to me how the radar clocked me at 87 and I was like speaking English, in an English accent, and was like 'I dunno what ur talking about 'oi' wus only doin' 65'. He was now like would you like to see the radar. I was like 'yeah'. He went and brought the thing and it read the I was clocked at 87 from 100 feet away. Whatever! That computer must have had a glitch or something. Anyways I guess I have to go to traffic school or some crap like that. There's always a first. Anyways I stopped over in Santa Barbara to meet writers Chris Abani and Ngugi Wa Thiongo at the Upham Restaurant. They were about to go on stage at UCSB.
Then I got to the airport. Another story. Ok America let me just stay this now. ZIPLOC will not deter Al Qaeda. As in I so totally forgot about the whole bring ziploc bag thing. All I knew was that you could bring your make up in small quantity. Anyways I got there and they told me they would throw away my MAC lip glosses because it was not in Ziploc. Na crase. Omo sweat wan begin fall form my face. I was not about to let that happen. I spotted a janitor and asked him for one of his clear trash bags. Ok the purpose of Ziploc is so that you can see the items..right? A clear bag does the same thing....right? Why did they tell me that Ziploc and a tied clear plastic bag was not teh same thing. O-K? I am stumped on this one. Anyways after they had told me they do not provide ziploc why did they finally go and bring one. Anyways travelling is such a hassle, it feels like you are going through screening at a concentration/boot camp. As in why don't they just tell us we can only travel in bra and panties. Why don't we just go ahead and do that. I mean who is to say that some knuckle head will not come up with a weapon of mass destruction that's embedded in the fiber of our clothing. What makes anyone think putting my lip gloss or deodorant in ziploc will save America from whatever may be contained in that lip gloss assuming it was some biological agent. Didn't these guys freaking watch the 'Transporter'. Like Dude let's get real here!!! We need to be fighting and winning the war in Afghanistan, protecting the borders and the ports not harassing travelers.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Ok so I am running around like a headless 'Okuko-Agric' (the black and white chicken) trying to get organized and stuff. No I am absolutely not shopping, rather I am sorting what I know I can part with. I have a huge family and once I land everybody will come around to shop and obtain and seeing as I am a very kind happy go lucky person it will be hard to say no as that one t-shirt, shoe or bar of soap can mean a world to the person asking. That's just how it is. I have already put money aside to buy 'Ncha na Nnu' (Soap and Salt) and 'Akpa Rice' (bag of rice) for the Mamas in the village that will come to see their daughter. It ain't like they can rock my high heels. Giving during 'Yuletide' is something we've always done in our family, just like many others do. Back then we traveled to the village in two station wagons. One packed with all of us and the other packed with food stuff. Bags of Rice and Beans, gallons of groundnut Oil we purchased from Oyingbo Market, Garri from 'Aunty Mary' at Agbor Hill, Dozens of Ejidike and Our Ladies bread from Onitsha, Palm Oil at some blue colored factory just past Benin. It was easier then because we were kids, there was abundance, things had not gotten bad then, but now that my father has 'men and women' to feed and train in university, everything I am sure is on ration. With that in mind, I decided against being foolish with the whole 'going to Nigeria for Christmas thing'. Which brings me to the topic. I had been planning to blog about this before I saw this NE forum post by BGT which captures half of what this entry is about. That bit about taking diet pills just because you are visiting Nigeria is a bit extreme, I hope that friend was just being funny. Anyways I am basically going to add the other aspect of the equation before the yarn becomes stale.
So last night I was talking with a 'wise-adviser-slash-consultant-type' friend of mine in Nigeria (not Ayi, Mati or Nunu; as if you know all my friends...lol) and I was going on about how I would like to accomplish somethings other than just club hopping and visiting all the joints that Bella Naija raves about. As man pikin dey grow old meeeen priorities have to change. Just imagine seeing your friends' kid brothers and sisters, or the ones that called you 'Senior Adaure' backing up their booty to a dude that used to toast you when you were a spring chick, is reason enough for you to boycott the dance floor and become an official wall flower. Anyways as we continued this conversation somehow we ended up talking about how the social circle of Lagos has still not changed and how intimidating it can be. It is about how rich you are, which school you went to, which car you drive, 'who is your fada', where you live, what you wear, who you hang with. People judging and snubbing based on 'stupid and irrelevant stuff'. This is common knowledge, life style of the Rich and Famous on the Island, speak only when spoken to, just like in Beverly Hills. God forbid that you don't know the 'movers' and 'shakers' of town, the ones that make City People on a weekly basis, and I am not talking about the ones that just happen to be there when 'Mr. Onye-Foto' was testing his lens. I remember my last trip how I so broke that rule and one of my girls wanted to beat me up when I gisted her. One 'hot and fine popular banker dude' and his equally tall and handsome brother tapped me on the shoulder and was trying to start up a conversation. He was like 'Hey Sexy Mama'. On a normal day Addy would have been like 'Hey Cutey, buy me a Sprite and I'm your cheap date,' batted my eyes and shined my teeth, after all me too I can be a playa-from-Himalaya ;). But on this day I was a bit reserved and apprehensive, feeling just a teeny wee bit too 'americana-feminist-slash-Shaniqua' for my own good. I almost chopped the man whole for calling me 'sexy mama'. I snapped my neck, crinkled my brow, flipped my hair and was like 'Pssh....Who the hell is your Mama... Talk to the hand'(ok so i didn't really say that but it crossed my mind). How about I went home and was flipping through Ovation and saw this dude in his wedding and was like 'Oh isn't this the guy that was cat calling me?" My friend and my sister were like, 'Ehn... izzzz a lie...did you get his number?". I was like "For what?". My friend grabbed the magazine and thwacked my head and my sister was like 'you be idiot sha'. Lol. They proceeded to give me this dudes background and history, and I was more disappointed because that was a network connection lost than anything else. So from the exchanged I gathered that it was a criminal offence not to have known the gentleman-banker and worst of all not getting his number. That moment in Mr. Banker dude's life is probably non existent to him, but for me that was Lesson 1 of '101'.
Having lived outside Nigeria so long, the whole Lagos social life can get highly irritating, especially in December, when you know that half the people aren't really like that but just have to conform, because that's just the way it it. The only way to avoid it is if you lock your self up at home or at some church.
Addy is not one to shy away from the public and I don't know how to 'shut up and just be looking'. So what then is the problem, well from the conversation it appears the unspoken rules include 'Speak only when spoken to', 'No Dancing Ajasco', 'save the no make up face for your hubby', 'bring out American accent proper', 'None of that happy hippiness', 'learn how to snub if it is not natural' and 'never hit on the guy first'. I think Addy is in a little situation here, especially with the hitting on a guy, talking and dancing part. Some of the ones that are already in our blood as Nigerian women include 'coming correct with the baffs', 'never repeating in a place where you'll be seen' and 'never compliment another chick, she wont appreciate it'. Me when I see a chick in a nice dress I always go a step further and ask where she got the dress because I want one too. I am told that is an abominable action. I think I might be spending 2 weeks in my Village and skipping all the drama abeg.
So the question is how do you guys manage to survive the social circle of Lagos, especially past January 7th when the Christmas 'red carpet', assuming you got one, is rolled up an dthe hospitality turns to 'you are on your own'. How do people function with the silliness. How do you network and build contacts without seeming like a kiss ass social climber, tagged a wannabe (that word in the Nigeria circuit is as bad as being labeled Liberal from 2000 to 2005 and Conservative or Evangelical Republican last week), a hater with 'bad-belle' when you rebel against the norm or worse yet RAZZ when you are just a non conforming oddity and don't fit into the bubble. I am sure there are people who do not subscribe to the above characterization but in general what is so bad about Lagosian being down to earth and keeping it real or am I just exaggerating, over analyzing and pulling shit outta my you know what.
By the way I am disabling the comment moderation temporarily as I won't be able to publish the comments due to my trip. I am off to North Carolina on Wednesday night to see my 'daaalins' including Oyinkan:) and to attend a wedding. I can't wait....so excited. I have missed Bojangles too. Anyways in the spirit of weddings, here are some new links that were sent to me by an 'anonymouster'. They've been floating around so you may or may not have seen them. If you have any more you are welcome to post it in the comment section.
Friday, November 10, 2006
CBS News Family/Journalism Profession: The news of Ed Bradley's death today has not just CBS news but the entire journalism profession.
Republican Party: American's spoke and the GOP lost quite a number of seats in the House and Senate in the November 7th primaries. The Democrats now have control of Congress after 12 years and it's going to be a rough and tough next two years for the Bush administration. It is so tough that the Republican Committee chair Ken Melhman is stepping down. And where is Karl Rove, the ultimate super campaign strategist that the GOP boasted so braggadaciously about in the past? I wonder.
President George Bush: No disrespect meant to Mr. President but is he shaking in his cowboy boots or what? He's certainly not a happy camper due to the out come of the election. He gave some speeches yesterday and today and you could hear the tension in his voice. Hopefully now he will understand the need for a change in his administrations policies and rhetoric. Only in America sha... but I see Nigeria is learning little by little.
Donald Rumsfeld: You're Fired!! Old Rummy got the 'snake hand' from 'Dubyah'. The major casualty of the power of Voting. I am sure there'll be more. Gosh Darn it!!! Now I wish I had gone to vote though.
FOX NEWS & Bill O'reilly: Oooohhhh are they licking their wounds right now. How about this afternoon they had a commentator talking about how the media is to blame for the Democrats win. OK? Why does the media get blamed all the time even by fellow media. Crazy innit?
Saddam Hussein: Perhaps the only thing that has gone well in the War in Iraq. Ironically it is the only thing that the Iraqi insurgents agree with the US on. He deserves whatever is served to him. However I do not support capital punishment and I believe he is worse off if he is locked up in jail so that he can think about how bad he has been. All in favor of a 'time-out' for Saddam say I.
Andy Uba: Former aide-de-presidente to Obasanjo is regretting he stole from the national cake. His alleged girl friend Loretta Mabinton is also implicated for collecting money to purchase a Mercedes Benz for Mr. Uba.
K-Fed-Ex: Mr Britney Spears also known as Kevin Federline, the rapper, got kicked to the curb by a 'K-Fed-Up' Britney Spears. Ok ya'll it is so sad that everybody cheered and was happy about this divorce. As pathetic a couple as they were, since when did we start rooting for people's marriage to fail. Is that what America has come to. I think in the next election there should be a measure or proposition to Ban marriage for Celebrities/Public figures andmake them have at least a 5 year commitment before they can be allowed to diverce. Lol. Anyways K-Fed was wacker than crack, I just hope he can find a job. I call on Fed-EX to 'pick-him-up' for an ad or something so that his last claim to fame will be beneficial. Other's not having such a good week in the marriage arena include Chris Rock and his wife, Reese and Ryan and according to one of those grocery store tabloid headlines, George and Laura (whatever Enquirer)
Democrats: Those flaming liberals now have a hold of Congress. Let just pray they don't go crazy on their marijuana and approve every leftist bill. Ok that's me being cynical. YEA!!!!! the Democrats have come to deliver America from the clutch of the Rrepublican maladministration. It's about time we have some fresh meat on the hill. Let's just pray the don't 'F-up' before 2008 and kill all homes of having Obama or Hillary running for President in 2008. They also nee dto find a solution to the War in Iraq. The ball is in their court.
Nancy Pelosi: Of all the liberals to put in charge of Congress, America chose one form San Francisco. Wow!!! Am I on another planet or what? The new Mrs. Speaker is not only the first woman speaker of the house, but also the third in line to the presidency. This means that if someone does something really stupid like may be go hunting with Dick Cheney or lets Dick Cheney pilot Airforce One and he has a heart attack, Nancy Pelosi could become president. Never has a woman been that close. The past two years has been producing a lot of first for women. The Spice Girls were way ahead of their time. This now is Girl Power!!!!
Nigeria: We are no longer the most corrupt country in the world. We not even the Top Ten neither are we the top in Africa. This week we fell woefully from 6th last year to clinch the 18th spot on Transparency Iternationals list of corrupt countries this year. WOW!!! A whole 12 point jump. Amazing. We can't even boast of being curropt anymore can we. That's RAD!!. Thanks to EFFC and Mr. Ribadu, also OBJ and Madam Okonjo-Iweala. Lets just pray we keep falling and falling further down the list. Nigeria is also in talks witha British company to launch our 2nd satellite. I still don't understand that one but OK.
China: Beijing welcomed with open arms to come and colonize Africa. This time they promise to do it better than the West did in the past.
Borat: He is definitely laughing all the way to the bank.
Ok I can't think of anything else.. did i miss anything
ADD: Today was the 11th Anniversary of the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa. Do this weekend Remember Saro-Wiwa , the others that made up the Ogoni 9, the Ogoni people and those in the Niger Delta whose land and resources continue to be pilliaged by major oil companies without recompense.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
So this almighty election day has arrived oh. If you have been following the news you would think that this November 7 some divine miracle is being expected. This year has been very interesting though, particularly with all the wahala that the Republican party is swimming in. This year I decided to boycott the polls. Yeah I know, I am a bad American. The worst of the kind, especially when I know that people in other countries, particularly Nigeria, die and hustle just so that they can vote. Actually, I take that back, Nigerians hate elections. I remember the last election that I witnessed on June 12 1993. I know enough people who complained about how they know their votes would be wasted because 'Maradona' would annul it of course. I also always wondered whether it was by choice that my mom and aunt were always working as poll workers on election day. My mom would be gone for days because she was training poll workers. She even appeared in one of the local newspapers, in a picture with her showing some elderly woman how to vote. We were tripped in our house meeen. I used to be like, yeah my mom is doing her civic duties and blah blah blah. Which is true, but she hated it. Lol. She always came back with sore throat and raspy voice from shouting at Nigerians. Once there was a little fracas at the polling center and they were tear-gassed. I am sure she wished not to be a poll supervisor again, but I am sure she was probably assigned to it again. I digressed.
So back to being a bad American. I decided not to vote. I can give you so many reasons, but I don't care to get into it all now. Ok so I was just being lazy and didn't bother. The one disappointment was that I was hoping this would be the year for me to break into the Republican party, but lately the word Democrat doesn't sound like a curse word. I had been contemplating the switch for the most mundane reason. Black Republicans seem to get ahead in life. Shallow? I know, but the Republican party has begun to look attractive for minorities and if you align yourself right, whether locally or even at college level, there are some gains. Anyways I will save my 'Uncle Tom' aspirations for when I am a soccer mom, right now all the only election I care about is November 2008. I don't care where I would be but I shall be doing the absentee or even flying back just to come and vote. Lol. It is that serious. Anyways I am going to work at 9am today because of election coverage. That's one part I cannot avoid, I can't even feign being sick sef. Lol. I know there are some angry people out there who will tear me apart for not voting. Guilty as charged, don't crucify me please. I will make up for it next time. All I can do is pray that the rest of you went to vote. If you didn't what were your reasons. For those of you who are unable to vote, do you wish you could have voted today and why.
Some Other Randomness
So I sent my passport to be renewed last week. I had a bad feeling something would go wrong so I was calling them at the Embassy in DC all through last week. I kept leaving messages but nobody cared to return my call to say they received the packet. I kept getting the receptionists and in my frustration this was the exchange I had with them;
ADDY: Hi, I have been trying to reach someone in the passport section. I have left several messages all week and no one has called me back.
WOMAN: (in a rich igbo flavored accent) Lemme send you back there. (sent twice)
ADDY: Sorry to bother you again but it went straight to voice mail. Is there someone I can talk to.
WOMAN: I can(t) see dem in de office so I don(t) know wuz goin' on in d'yeh ( t in parenthesis represents unvoiced)
ADDY: (trying hard not to laugh) Oh ok.. I will call back later then.
Just before 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
ADDY: (Same thing as above)
MAN:(this time in a thick yoruba laced accent) Call back at 2 o'clock
ADDY: Isn't there anyone in the office that I can talk to?
MAN: Iz it 2 0'clock?
ADDY: (looking at the time and rather puzzled by the man answering my question with yet another question) Err.... you tell me, I am on the West Coast and it's 10.58, so I imagine it is also 2 minutes to 2.
MAN: But iz not 2 o'clock yet.
ADDY: (puzzled a bit more and trying to keep a straight face and not laugh)Err... it is only 2 minutes to 2 o'clock... Are they on break or something.
MAN: Ehn .. dey are on break
ADDY: So are you saying everybody in the office went on break at the same time or that the office closed and reopens at 2pm.
MAN: I say dey are on break .... call back in 10 minits.
ADDY: But you said they will be back at 2....it is 2 o'clock now.
MAN: You want toe go to voicemail?
ADDY: No.. I would like to get somebody
MAN: Ok call back in 10 minits den
ADDY: Ok.. Thanks. (hangs up phones and has a good little chuckle...Only when Nigerians are involved that one can have a rather colorful conversation)
(MORE RANDOMNESS IN WAY OF PHOTOS COMING LATER)
Ps. My blogging will be very very sporadic and probably on a weekly basis for the next month due to being too busy and then i'll try to send dispatches from Nigeria through much of December, NEPA permitting. So watch out for that by the Grace of God.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Thanks Bella for the heads up on Obasanjo Reappointing his friend Borishade as the Minister of Culture and Tourism instead of firing him for the poor job he did as Minister of Aviation. In the words of Queen B and as Oyin put it, all I can say is WARAMESS!!!! We better watch out for an epidemic to hit and kill all the animals in the zoo and resrves because it appears this guy carries some bad luck with him from ministry to ministry. I am told he was once the Minister of Education too. I'll be back to misyarn about this one soon.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Alright, I know, I have be slacking on the blogs lately but it is not my fault. Things are crazy where I am sitting. So much to do and so little time on earth to do it. I have not spent a weekend at home since September. No, not parties, just more work and more work. But I aint complaining. Anyways, as Andy said to Merit in Living In Bondage, 'Rapu, n'ife adigo nma'.... things are better. Omo, that is one movie I want to watch again. I always wanted to act an Igbo film because of that movie. The Igbo dialect they used was just too romantic. As in can a hot looking brother rap to me in such a beautiful manner. Can I get an 'Nne ogini bu afa gi' not 'Nne What is ya name?'
Anyways November will be an interesting month. Especially for you wedding fans. Yes Addy has a wedding to go to. Yippie. I got my plane ticket to NC to attend Remi and Babs wedding and see my darling friends Ndidi, Singto and Des as well as folks from church. I miss all ya'll. One problem though, I hope it is not too cold there. I am allergic to cold weather. Anyways I'll bring you some coverage of this one. Also look out for my dispatch on Funmi and Tunde by the grace of God barring any interruptions in the nature of Village trips. Will probably crash a few weddings in the East in December. I also hear they are doing them on Thursdays now.
On a random note, why is it that every time I want to enter my house I have this 'duh' moment. On several occasions I have attended to open my house door with my car's 'keyless entry'. As in I am standing in front of my door and clicking and wondering why the door hasn't popped open. Sometimes I surprise myself.
Anyways not much else is happening. I am trying to do a garage/ house/wardrobe cleaning sale. I am having hair-esteem issues. Considering getting a perm even more seriously. I washed my car, made spaghetti. The last time I cooked was when I made 'Lasagna' almost two months ago. Did I tell you guy's about that. Hmh... I am too embarrassed to show you the pictures. I tossed it after eating it the third time. It just came out wrong. And it is getting COLD.
Ok let me not bore you with rubbish gist. There are pressing matters at hand, such as who will take the blame for this plane crash. Oh yeah Mr. Borishade is blaming the dead pilot. Imagine that. I shan't even comment further. President Obasanjo needs to fire Borishade immediately. Or is he waiting for the 'angry muslims of the north' to go on a rampage before he does. Because it appears that's the only time when 'gofment' acts. I am surprised there's not been an uproar yet considering the magnitude of the loss or have I spoken to soon yet again. Meanwhile the nepotism only continues as the Battle for Sokoto begins. It will be a shame if the Nigerians and the media allow themselves to be distracted by that rather than focus on the critical issues. Hopefully the 6 months left in Obasanjo's regime will not see any more victims of Borishade's tenure. And they say they want to boost tourism...more like boosting terrorism. That is, the terror of flying Nigerian skies.
But bros, how we go do for Christmas. Nowadays, riding a donkey or camel seems to be the safest means of transportation in Nigeria. You say you wan enter CANOE, Delta hoodlums and kidnappers no go gree make you pass. You say you wan swim, na so alligator and crocodile go use pesin chop yanfu yanfu. You say make you enter Bicycle or Okada or just bone for you leg-edes benz, na so one bloody 19 guy for Mercedes go wan jam you enter bush or splash 'poyopoto' for white brocade. You say make you kukuma drive ya own Car, na so armed-robber go bust ya tire car the moto go. You say make you enter Molue or luxurious, na for inside lagoon pesin go meet God. Nna na wetin? Abi na 'broom' we go wan begin dey use comot like 'winch'. The thing don pass me o.
ADDENDUM:) Here is a link to a petition calling for Borishade's firing. Don't know if it will make a difference even considering there's just about 6 months left in the administration. It will take longer than six months to fix the industry. But if it will saves some lives by putting someone competent in that role for only 6 months, I say fire away.
Then I have been reading that people are saying 'don't blame Mr. Minister, he is not God,' it is 'Allah's Will' and 'God allowed it to happen' blah blah blah. I am in no position to put together a well written argument on the issue but here's what i have to say. I guess the real culprit then is God not Borishade right. So we should fire start a petition to fire God and Allah if that is the case then. COME THE 'F' ON PEOPLE..... ARE WE REALLY SERIOUSLY GOING TO LEAVE IT AT THAT. 5 PLANE CRASHES IN ONE ADMINISTRATION IS TOO MUCH TO BE THE WORK OF GOD. MAN HAS RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS WORLD TOO. (The devil must be celebrating because he hasn't be blamed yet) See the comment section for more and please fire away your comments.