Love is for Learners

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“Simply Together” by Alina Malykhina

First, you love someone,
then you learn how to.

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No Presidential Elections in 2019?

ElectionThis is what will happen if you do so, Nigerians- if you don’t exercise your democratic voting rights and elect one of the candidates in 2019:

Someone else or a group of elites will seize the power anyway. Someone has to run things and the military will very quickly take over. They would not need to assassinate anyone or seize power from any democratic leader; it’d be the easiest military takeover yet. It would not even be a coup d’état since they won’t be seizing power from any functioning government, or it will, if the state governors’ positions get dissolved/overthrown.

If the military doesn’t, if they decide to grab their popcorn and sippy cup and watch the events go by, it’s going to be a bloody mess, emphasis on the “bloody”.

An Ibibio man is now the new unelected president?

Over my dead body! Who put him there?

Let a Yoruba man be the new president.

You lie! A Hausa man or an Igbo woman would be more efficient.

Yen yen yen blah blah blah.

“People” will graduate from throwing chairs to knives; it’d be a distasteful sight.

Nigeria is a beautiful, sexy woman. If she decides not to choose who to sleep with, and she lies at the middle of the road for all to see, different riffraff would exert force and rape her. Even the US would be there in no time to suck on her oily breasts for free or next to nothing. The US likes rich, “presidentless” countries with large, oily breasts. It’d be a terrible, painful fuck fest, or gang bang, and no, it would not be fun. It sure as hell would not be fun.

So, assess all manifestos properly, do your own research on who the candidates really are, and prepare to vote. 

Religion and Politics

WazoBia

Pastors, imams, and other religious leaders, in Nigeria to be exact, must learn the importance of being non-partisan, to begin with. No pastor/imam should be telling you what their favourite political party is, and the side of the spectrum they tend to lean on, asking you to vote for them or anyone they recommend because God has chosen them, or telling you to use your democratic rights in a certain way.

It’d be interesting to see a thesis on politics in Nigeria and how much power and influence the religious leaders have on politics, although it’s very far from being a theocracy. Nigerians generally don’t take things that they are told in the name of religion with a grain of salt; we tend to not be skeptical when words that begin or end with “the Lord said” are said. 

No pastor should tell you what to invest in, what to do with your time, money and body, who to buy foodstuff from, what kind of perfume to use because it’s the kind that they use, whenever they are on or off the pulpit. People shouldn’t state a piece of the Bible or Quran to manipulate you. What they should advise you to do is pray, or pray on your behalf, asking God to lead you to the right answer, and advising you to tap into your own inner intuition and clairvoyance abilities. You are a person of God too, whether or not you were ordained to lead in the affairs of the church, and God can ‘speak’ to you directly. When they however report that God told them certain things, you must be willing to separate the wheat from the tares and engage in critical thinking.

The mediums of any spirit are not a hundred percent infallible. Don’t be fooled or coaxed or scared into doing anything who wouldn’t very willingly do, left to you, in the name of whatever deity you trust your life with.

The World’s Only Problem

Today, I proposed the theory that having a wrong sense of entitlement is the main and only problem in the world, and that all the things we refer to as problems are mere consequences of that one problem. If there is a second problem, it would the world’s ignorance on what the main and only problem is.

Having a sense of entitlement is good, but the line between a wrong sense of entitlement and a right sense of entitlement is quite thin. If the wrong sense of entitlement was not present, the slavery of the Africans (and other instances of oppression and violence) would not have occurred. If there was no right sense of entitlement (thank you, the King of Love- Martin Luther King- and everyone who was by his side), oppression would not have been largely fought against in America.

I focused on Nigeria in my proposal, and gave day-to-day instances of situations where people have a wrong sense of entitlement, and how it all leads to a huge mess.

Afrofuturism
I proposed the reorientation solution, but I did not go into full details on methods for effective reorientation, and how it could be organized. I recognize that substantial positive results would take a while.
However, I mentioned the bottom-up approach.

Beginning from the children, we could cultivate the spirit of volunteerism and selflessness in people. Greed is a consequence of a wrong sense of entitlement; it like maggots from a decomposing body.

As an afrofuturist, I recognize that technology would go a long way to shape our future, and its up to us, Nigerians, Africans, humans, to hold the scepter and decide what the future would be. I don’t know how it would all work, but it will. We can make it happen.

READ IT HERE.

Nigeria’s Only Problem

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“Old Oshodi in Lagos” (600×600)  by Ayeola Ayodeji 

What is Nigeria’s Problem?

When you invite a Nigerian to describe what the country’s problem is, get ready to die of boredom, because they’ll go on for too long, in an attempt to describe things that aren’t close to being problems. “Bad roads, bad classrooms, corrupt governments and greedy officials, bad power supply, bad this and bad that, ba—” It’s okay, my brother. Let’s breathe.

Most of us Nigerians don’t even know what Nigeria’s problem is, and that itself is a problem.

Bad roads, bad classrooms, corrupt governments and officials, bad power supply, and whatnot, are not problems. There are bad roads in Northern Canada, and poorly-built houses and classrooms in Flint, Michigan, and bad power supply in Cameroon, and corrupt governments and officials in Russia, Israel and North Korea. Well, they are everywhere, even in the United States- the “most democratic” of them all. The secret handshake deals that take place between and among public and private interests would take more than a fortnight to analyze.

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“Procession” (20 x 16 x 2 inches) by Tunde Afolayan Famous

Bad facilities and all that are mere consequences of Nigeria’s only problem, or second problem, the first being the one aforementioned- Nigeria doesn’t know what its problem is, and that’s a problem.

Nigeria’s only problem is that we Nigerians have a wrong sense of entitlement, and we can be quite aggressive and close-minded, even to change and development. It is not that we sometimes do not set our priorities right, or something else that you probably anticipated, if you did.

By a “wrong sense of entitlement”, what do I mean?

From the mechanic that is willing to beat you up or yell “ashewooooo!” [prostitute!] at you if you refuse to give him your number, to the policemen and soldiers who expect you to treat them like demigods when your paths cross, and offer your sacrifices in naira notes when applicable, to the local and state government officials who find it okay to steal from the people (after all they’re in charge) instead of getting things done with the resources available, to the pastor who deems huge offerings his right, regardless of the means of survival of the donors, because he is God’s mouthpiece, to Alhaji, who doesn’t really care if his car is packed in your driveway or the sound from his speakers is giving you a migraine- you must be Beelzebub’s girlfriend for not liking noise pollution- to Mummy ‘Dekola who deems your business her business and will die of high blood pressure if you don’t kneel before her properly, to our street men and roadside NURTW tax collectors who do not mind breaking windows and removing doors if they do not get a chance to extort drivers, even when the union dues have already been paid, to the drivers who think it’s okay not to pay their union dues, to Yahoo boys and men who think its okay, and even necessary, to make someone else wallow in depression, for their own survival and well-being- the interesting thing is, the rich almost never fall into their traps; it’s people like their own mothers or other members of the working class who do, to everything and anything else you can think of.

Whew! Yes, it really is that stressful- all of it.

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“Fulani Ladies” by Ayeola Ayodeji 

Inadequate infrastructure and corruption and whatnot all lead to the devil itself- having a wrong sense of entitlement. The bloody Nigerian Assembly is a mess for the same reason. Climbing fences. Throwing chairs. A mess.

The interesting this is, a wrong sense of entitlement might develop in someone because someone else has it: “You think it’s your right to block my driveway with your car, and I will show you that I have a right to break your glass.” What does it all result in? A mess.

Unfortunately, a wrong sense of entitlement and the “me first” approach to things is not just a Nigerian problem. It’s the problem of the world. However, in places where it is less dominant in the culture of the society, there have been lots of infrastructural, economic and social success. They are the “better” societies.

Let everyone, that would include me, and you, stop thinking they own or deserve to own the things, or the extra things, that they haven’t worked for and/or simply don’t deserve, and watch the nation, and the world, heal and grow.

It’s okay if my wife doesn’t want to cook today. As the “head of the house”, if the title matters so much to my ego and self-esteem, I should be able to fix something for myself and my family. I am not automatically superior to anyone because I belong to a certain ethnic group. When I use words like “aboki” and “mola” [mallam] or “omo nna” in derogatory ways, I must know that I am wrong. It’s okay if I don’t win someone’s soul to Christ or to Allah; why am I so obsessed with winning it, like a trophy? It’s okay if I don’t get your number; you don’t need to be insulted or disgraced for it. The money in the public purse is not mine, and I don’t deserve more than what my allocated salaries and benefits are.

A reorientation is needed, and I am fully aware that a reorientation is easier said that done, but we can try, at least. We can start from the elementary schools. There should be subjects/courses like Ethics, for instance. I don’t know how algebra has contributed to my existence, in the way that I interact with the world. The schools barely prepare us for the real world; I’ll discuss this some other time.

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These are some of the things that should be considered:

The spirit of volunteerism has to be encouraged among Nigerians, and in the world, to begin with. Also, I don’t know what has happened us-  sympathy and mutual respect melt in online communities and spaces. The wrong sense of entitlement gets worse when you give people Internet privileges.

1. Throw your thrash away properly. It’s not your street, you only live there.

2. Driving is a privilege, not a right. A little patience could save your own life.

3. I don’t deserve every woman and everything because I have a penis. My masculinity is not an egg; it shouldn’t be so fragile.

I’ll leave 4 and 5 and 200 to you to come up with.

Let me know what you think. 

K-her-ma

She said
“…and may your daughters be treated
the same way you treat women and girls…”,
and no one in the audience could say “amen”.

When Life Gives You Melons…

When life gives you melons,
don’t confuse them for lemons:

Melons Painting

Ovanes Berberian (American, born in 1951)- “Still Life Saturday with Melons”

It’s for your good. Melons are juicy and yummy, although they don’t look like they are on the outside. When you cut them in half? Hmmn…

Not everything is planned to give you a sour life. God/the universe will always find a way to put you in the right place, whether you think it’s the right place at first or not.

Life gives you/lets you keep lemons when it lets you have the things you don’t need anymore, whether it be people or properties or positions of comfort or a kind of peace that might lead to sorrow eventually.

Persevere and endure the painful process of cutting things in half, and into different shapes, when life gives you melons. They are not lemons. You’ll see.

Changing the World

You cannot change the world but
you can change someone’s world.
Give to people in need,
with intentions as pure as can be,
and a day would finally come when
a better world would be ours to see.

We Walk Different Paths

Roses are red;
violets are blue.
I mind my business,
and so should you.

Don’t compare anyone’s life to yours. You either get an ego boost or you get your ego deflated. Neither is good.

Let Your Compliments Complement

“Classical Study No. 37,” from 1979. Credit Eldzier Cortor, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York

“Classical Study No. 37,” from 1979. Eldzier Cortor, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York

You don’t have to belittle yourself to successfully offer a compliment to someone:

One person screams “dahuuumm, girl! This your highlight is brighter than my future. You’re so peng”. The other girl laughs.

Ah! Jesu Oyingbo must hear of this.

I’m sitting there, looking at the highlight, looking at the girl that offered the compliment, looking back at the highlight, not knowing whether to laugh [because I laugh at weird things that don’t make other people laugh; I make my own jokes and scenarios in my head] or cry because Sade’s future is so bleak, according to her, and there’s nothing I can do for her.