August 18th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Before I begin this story, can someone please explain to me like to a 6-years-old what on earth NATO is doing bombing and killing innocent Libyan citizens? And who is NATO?
Click here for the main story.
Who died and made America the liberator of all nations? I am not going into the details of the whys and wherefores of the war but if NATO is truly there to protect the Libyan citizen like they say, why destroy their source of water supply? As if that is not enough you go ahead and destroy the ONLY factory in Libya that has the capacity to repair and rebuild it. How is that protecting the citizens?
Don’t even get me started on the toothless barking DOG‘ that is the African Union. They are a disgrace to our continent. I was privileged to have a chat with Romano Prodi, former Italian prime minister and former president of the EU commission a few months ago in Paris and he literally urged us to go back home and free our continent. He said and I quote
“the African Union is a joke, they have no power even over their continent. How much more over the West?” Save your continent,” he continued. I was left open-mouthed and so ashamed.
Does Africa belong to the West? Why can’t our leaders come together and protect us? This is just so pathetic. The West probably think we are not aware of what they are up to. Not all of us are sheeple! Our day of reckoning will surely come!
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
December 28th, 2010 § § permalink
“…I am infuriated by the assumption that to be youngish and female means you are unable to earn your own living without a man” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A humid night two years ago, sitting beside a male friend in his car, and I roll down my window to tip a young man, one of the thousands of unemployed young men in Lagos who hang around, humorous and resourceful, and help you park your car with the expectation of a tip. I brought the money from my bag. He took it with a grateful smile. Then he looked at my friend and said, “Thank you, sir!”
The Nigerian writer, 33, won major literary awards in 2005 and 2007
This is what it is to be youngish (early thirties) and female in urban Nigeria. You are driving and a policeman stops you and either he is leering and saying “fine aunty, I will marry you,” or he is sneering, with a taunt in his demeanour and the question so heavy in the air that it need not be asked: “which man bought this car for you and what did you have to do to get him to?” You are reduced to two options; to play angry and tough and to thereby offend his masculinity and have him keep you parked by the roadside, demanding document after document. Or to play the Young Simpering Female and massage his masculinity, a masculinity already fragile from poor pay and various other indignities of the Nigerian state. I am infuriated by these options. I am infuriated by the assumption that to be youngish and female means you are unable to earn your own living without a man. And yet. Sometimes I have taken on the simpering and smiling, because I am late or I am hot or I am simply not dedicated enough to my feminist principle.
I have a friend who is, on the surface, a cliché. An aspirational cliché. She has a beautiful face, two degrees from an American Ivy League college, a handsome husband with a similar educational pedigree and two children who started to read at the age of two; she is always at the top of Nigerian women achievers lists in magazines; has worked, in the past 10 years, in consulting, hedge funds and non-governmental organisations; mentors young girls on how to succeed in a male-dominated world; recites statistics about anything from trade deficits to export revenue. And yet.
One day she told me she had stopped giving interviews because her husband did not like her photo in the newspaper, and she had also decided to take her husband’s surname because it upset him that she continued to use hers professionally. Expressions such as “honour him” and “for peace in my marriage” tumbled out of her mouth, forming what I thought of as a smouldering log of self-conquest.
Another friend is very attractive, very educated, sits on boards of companies and does the sort of management work that is Greek to me. She is single. She is a few years older than I am but looks much younger. The first board meeting she attended, a man asked her, after being introduced, “So whose wife or daughter are you?” Because to him, it was the only way she would be on that board. She was, it turned out, a chief executive. And yet. She lives in a city where her friends dream not of becoming the CEO but of marrying the CEO, a city where her singleness is seen as an affront, where marriage carries more social and political cachet than it should.
Another friend is a talented writer, a forthright woman who makes people nervous when she speaks bluntly about sex, a woman who describes herself as a feminist, and who talks a lot about gender equality and changing the system. And yet. She earns more than her husband does but once told me that he had to pay the rent, always, because it was the man’s duty to do so. “Even if he is broke and I have money, he will have to go and borrow and pay the rent.” She paused, rolling this contradiction around her tongue, and then she added, “Maybe it is because of our culture. It is what they taught us.”
There is, of course, always that “they”. Two years ago, we were slumped on sofas in his Lagos living room, my brother-in-law and I, talking about politics as we usually did.
“I think I’ll run for governor in a few years,” I said in the musing manner of a person who only half-means what they say.
“You would never be governor,” he said promptly. “You could be a senator but not governor. They won’t let a woman be governor.”
What he meant was that a governor had too much power, and was in control of too much money, none of which could be left to a woman by that invisible “they”. And yet. I realise that 15 years ago he would not have said, “you could be a senator.” Civilian rule brought greater participation of women in politics and the most popular and most effective ministers in the past 10 years have been women. In the next decade, my brother-in-law could be proved wrong. In the next three decades, he will certainly be proved wrong. But she would have to be married, the woman who would be governor.
My first novel is on the West African secondary school curriculum. My second novel is taught in universities. One question I am almost always certain of getting during media interviews is a variation of this: we appreciate the work you are doing and your novels are important but when are you getting married? I refuse to accept that the institution of marriage is what gives me my true value, and I refuse to come across as silly or coy or both. The balance is a precarious one.
“Would you ask that question to a male writer my age?” I once asked a journalist in Lagos.
“No,” he said, looking at me as though I were foolish. “But you are not a man.”
December 6th, 2010 § § permalink
So tis the season of Christmas and every one seems to be in a jolly good mood. With phrases like ‘kiss under the mistletoe’ where hopeful lovers will attempt to steal a kiss to the very familiar plump old man with a long pearly white beard and RED outfit (Santa Claus), we will have every reason to be merry. But apart from the Biblical meaning of Christmas, do you ever wonder about the origin of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) as we know him and what those phrases really mean?
A friend and I had this discussion lately and it got me thinking…
What’s the story behind Santa Claus?
Every year, children are encouraged to write letters to Santa Claus asking him for their favourite gifts and if they have been good, on Christmas eve, Santa Claus will come down the chimney (in the Western world) or just through the back door (in Africa- I think) and deliver those gifts.
Saint Nicholas is said to be the patron saint of many groups of people including children, orphans, thieves, sailors, students, pawnbrokers and countries like Russia and Greece. He did a lot of work to spread Christianity and its values, among the people of Rome. People in many parts of the world revere him, and his feast day is commemorated in many places. His stories grew in popularity and even after his death; the concept of Santa Claus developed, and grew even more popular. The name Santa Claus is derived from the Sinter Klass, which is the Dutch pronunciation for St. Nicholas.
The Legend goes on to say that He lives in the North Pole in a land of snow with his little helpers, the elves.
and he rides down from the North pole on a sleigh held by a flying reindeer. For more information on Santa, Click here
Why does Santa wear Red?: It is assumed that St. Nicholas was a bishop and so he traditionally wore Red, while cynics would say that in 1931 when Coca-Cola decided to draw the modern Santa, they chose colours that were suited to their brand colours.
Truth is as an African child, I only read about Santa Claus in story books and I don’t think I ever doubted his existence, I must have thought he like all the other characters I read in story books only lived in the western world. Cos I knew who bought my new Christmas dress and doll, my darling mama.
What was your childhood idea of Santa CLaus?
December 6th, 2010 § § permalink
I never like to talk about Politics but some news just makes you wonder… sometimes very sad, angry and downright evil thoughts. Still Mr. Paul Biya will not be the reason I turn away from my God. Vengeance is of the Lord, the Bible says… otherwise!!!
Read the extract below from Australian Whistleblower – Julian Assage in his recent edition of Wikileaks (a whistleblowing website where sensitive Government information is made public).
The UK Guardian Newspaper recently published a report from Wikileaks, quoting sources in the report on our presdent, PAul Biya’s spending of the national buget like a ‘PETTY CASH FUND”.
, according to a report of the 2008 Conservative party conference by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of mission at the US embassy in London.Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, described as running government finances “like a petty cash fund”, booked himself and his entourage a $1.2m three week holiday by chartered jet to the French resort of La Baule. They took 43 rooms in two luxury hotels costing $60,000 a night, went on shopping sprees and splashed cash on casino nights.
“We have received first-hand accounts of Biya’s entourage paying to refuel his airplane with suitcases filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash,” reported the US embassy in Cameroon. “When Biya traveled to the United Nations general assembly in September 2008, a member of his entourage was caught as he tried to escape from Biya’s Geneva hotel with a bag filled with 3.4m Swiss francs (about $6.8 million) in cash
Can you be deaf to your own conscience? I wonder…
November 29th, 2010 § § permalink
The video below is by Yinka Williams, a Nigerian investigative reporter. This video is truly sad and touching but I fear the reality of such situations do not only occur in Lagos – but also in Douala. If you take a drive around our beloved Douala, you will see people living in abject poverty and total squalor. So sad that people live their hometowns in the hinterlands of Cameroon where at least they had three square meals a day to come to Douala hoping to make a better life for themselves. Oh Africa!
A chilling tale of a lady named Queen who lived under a bridge behind Sheraton hotel Lagos for 15 years! enslaved, constantly raped, infected with HIV and eventually died of the virus but her four children were stolen.For 3 years, investigate the whereabouts of the children—and in the process learnt about the children sale and racketeering in orphanage homes in Nigeria. I found her last baby ALIVE! ! !
November 29th, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink
I listened to the words of this song and they ring so true. Africa needs to wake up – Cameroon in particular. We need to stop blaming our parents and the government for our ish and get our acts together to make our beloved Cameroon a better place for our Children.