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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

MY VALENTINE DREAMS


The day is dark outside my window and there is a land in the dark; a land where happiness is aplenty and the soul soars, where the darkness of the night ends and in it begins the brightness of the land. A land hidden in the coffers of love, hidden in the mysteries of the heart and joy abounds. I shall dream of that land before it is dawn.

For faraway, after this darkness that trails from my window...

There is a land that I dream of
Where red is love and the colour of my heart
Where white is peace and a reason to share
Where I live by love and learn to love
Where I can lay my head and dream of red and white; dream to love and share.

So I dare to dream.
Of the heavens and its cosmic; its rain a champagne.
Of the rainbow giggling in the sky, reassuring its promise.
Of the smiling sun that glimmers and radiates all over me.
Of the moon resting atop in the village square for another folk tale under the huge tree.
I danced with the stars; my tiny legs worked magic in the art and my laughter rocked the earth like a thunder clap.
I sang with the birds and my voice echoed in the thirty-six states, calling it to peace and order.

I dare to dream.
My palace dream; where I'm the queen and the subjects, my children.
Where there is plenty to eat and drink.
Where we dance in circle till the day is tired and ready to rest.
Where we toast to palm wine and reaffirm our love under the village tree.
Where I know there is love, one that we share.

I dare to dream
Of horses as dreams, so I would ride with love.
Of roses as weeds, so I would have a handful and more to share.
Of diamonds as stones, so I would have them replace the death- traps called roads and enchant the night.
Of money as leaves on a tree, so I would have poverty thrown in extinction.
Of death as a vacation, so my loved ones would return from their journey.

I dare to dream
Not of the cakes and wines and the gifts but of love that would last forever!
Of relationships built on trust and nurtured by love.
Of couples looking forward to another celebration of love and not a rite
Of that moment where everything is bliss; life is beauty.

For love is not a commonplace.
Love is not a trade by barter.
Did they not say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?
Yeah, love is in the eyes of the lover and not the gambler.
Love surpasses all odds and like Goliath, every difficulty only needs a feel of its tiny stone.
Love is the music of the soul that mesmerizes the heart with eternal rhymes.
Love is the connection between mother and child and like a chain, they are bound together.
Love is the communication of the heart.
Love is the bliss of life.
At the end of the darkness lies the dawn, the awakening of my dream. The dawn is the land and the land is the love that I dream of.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

IT'S BEEN A WHILE...

I have failed the second time trying to maintain a weekly post on my blog; in between my daily hustles and in the past two weeks being very occupied with ‘occupying’ Nigeria, I tried to jot something because ideas just fly about in my head like commuters jostling for a bus; so I tried to record my thoughts on paper. My failure didn’t occur to me until a faithful follower and friend sent a message to me saying ‘it’s been a while you posted on your blog’… so where did all my jottings go?

After reading her message, I told myself ‘it’s time to work’, so I set forth at dawn with my machete and axe to plough. Although, I wish there is a land, one still flowing with milk and honey. How I wish I could say the land is green; it is Nigeria of course, what other land can I plough? And who else I do intend to weed if not the government who likes to feed us with cruel policies that would choke us so that we would not be able to cry fowl.

After the Christmas bombing at St. Theresa Catholic church, Madalla, the news of the mother of all bombings spread across Nigeria; Boko Haram will attack again on New Year’s Day and we were warned against any form of gathering. On the so called ‘D’ Day’ rather than celebrate, we were security conscious that we avoided gatherings (especially those in the north). And suddenly, as we were about to heave a sight of relief the threats were empty after all, BOOOOOM!!!!!! It was deafening and utterly shocking! So disastrous that this time, not only a few, but practically every Nigerian was caught! Indeed it was the mother of all bombings; the fuel subsidy removal didn’t leave anyone unhurt.

The next day (trust Nigerians!), prices of goods and services doubled; some even tripled. Many people who couldn’t further their journey to work returned home, others went grudgingly and those who travelled during Christmas had to sell some of their belongings to return home. But then I ask which way forward?

The government resolved that fuel subsidy removal is the best way forward but to Nigerians that is the fastest way backward; an unreasonable decision, the polity will suffer and immeasurably too. The second week was massive, Nigerians set out to occupy what is theirs; nobody is saying fuel subsidy removal is wrong but the government is wrong by not cutting down corruption, tightening their belts, providing the basic needs of the people before removing anything. Of the world’s top 10 producers of crude oil, Nigeria’s minimum wage is miserly. At 18,000 naira, we are forced to eat cake crumbs, while government officials binge on the national cake; they collect allowance on everything including the smallest of things that their salaries should cater for and we are expected to carry the burden of fuel subsidy removal on our already burdened backs while the government continue to grow bulgy stomachs!

We had decided to plough on a sterile land, it was the fifth day and not an action from the government, not an action from me either because I had stopped reading articles and blackberry broadcasts about occupy Nigeria, the whole situation was getting to me faster than to the government and I recalled I had wished that this struggle will give birth to a Jerry Rawlings and Nigerians would live happily ever after. On the sixth day, I had hoped that while we rested at home the government would see reason and come to a conclusion but instead I see the government on the podium of unrest-in the name of meetings and negotiations- cracking the ribs of their cohorts at our expense. Well, at that time we still had NLC on our side even when people were beginning to loose hope; we felt they were fighting our course.
On Monday and technically the sixth day of strike, after all said and said and after unleashing the soldiers on us, the strike was suspended at a consensus price of 97 naira per litre. A protest of five days felt the sting of betrayal, all along our enemy was within stirring us to charge yet caressing the back of the government.

Although few Nigerians still think it is the best way forward, development won’t come if fuel subsidy is not removed. But I ask again, on which path are we going to tread? What has been laid that will make the journey traversable? The government making this policy, what exertions- in the very least- have they shown us to make us see reason? (Oh! They actually did, 25per cent of basic salary!) And how well have they prepared us for the journey? If fuel subsidy is removed and the prices of goods and services are increased, how does it improve a dead economy? We all want well for ourselves; a 51 years old woman deserves to reap the fruits from the hardships she had sown all her life. Fuel subsidy removal is not the issue; it is the government and their ways of implementation that is questionable and unreasonable.

Since 2009, 935 people have died in the Boko Haram attacks and nothing has been done except that 100 million naira was paid as compensation to the family of the late Boko Haram leader. On the 20th of January, 162 precious lives were lost in the Kano bombings and barely 24 hours later, 11 people also killed in Bauchi. How people’s lives have turned goat meat; our lives are not secured even in our own land. When we manage to catch a Boko Haram suspect alive, he escapes; if he dies, the government compensates his family while the victims are given a mass burial. For how long are we going to tolerate this insensitivity? How many more deaths before the government realizes that this madness must stop? Citizens now live daily in trepidation; they can’t walk freely on the streets without being blown up by bombs, shot or mobbed.

Thus, I wish to weed the government and its corrupt practices; I wish to weed the continuous trend of ‘chop- I- chop- while- the- masses- suffer’; I wish to weed a government whose judicial edifice has more or less crumbled and in its place a shanty, of glaring corruption and injustice. This is the government I wish to weed… I wish there is a land, one still flowing with milk and honey. How I wish I could say the land is green.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE...

I have failed the second time trying to maintain a weekly post on my blog; in between my daily hustles and in the past two weeks being very occupied with ‘occupying’ Nigeria, I tried to jot something because ideas just fly about in my head like commuters jostling for a bus; so I tried to record my thoughts on paper. My failure didn’t occur to me until a faithful follower and friend sent a message to me saying ‘it’s been a while you posted on your blog’… so where did all my jottings go?

After reading her message, I told myself ‘it’s time to work’, so I set forth at dawn with my machete and axe to plough. Although, I wish there is a land, one still flowing with milk and honey. How I wish I could say the land is green; it is Nigeria of course, what other land can I plough? And who else I do intend to weed if not the government who likes to feed us with cruel policies that would choke us so that we would not be able to cry fowl.

After the Christmas bombing at St. Theresa Catholic church, Madalla, the news of the mother of all bombings spread across Nigeria; Boko Haram will attack again on New Year’s Day and we were warned against any form of gathering. On the so called ‘D’ Day’ rather than celebrate, we were security conscious that we avoided gatherings (especially those in the north). And suddenly, as we were about to heave a sight of relief the threats were empty after all, BOOOOOM!!!!!! It was deafening and utterly shocking! So disastrous that this time, not only a few, but practically every Nigerian was caught! Indeed it was the mother of all bombings; the fuel subsidy removal didn’t leave anyone unhurt.

The next day (trust Nigerians!), prices of goods and services doubled; some even tripled. Many people who couldn’t further their journey to work returned home, others went grudgingly and those who travelled during Christmas had to sell some of their belongings to return home. But then I ask which way forward?

The government resolved that fuel subsidy removal is the best way forward but to Nigerians that is the fastest way backward; an unreasonable decision, the polity will suffer and immeasurably too. The second week was massive, Nigerians set out to occupy what is theirs; nobody is saying fuel subsidy removal is wrong but the government is wrong by not cutting down corruption, tightening their belts, providing the basic needs of the people before removing anything. Of the world’s top 10 producers of crude oil, Nigeria’s minimum wage is miserly. At 18,000 naira, we are forced to eat cake crumbs, while government officials binge on the national cake; they collect allowance on everything including the smallest of things that their salaries should cater for and we are expected to carry the burden of fuel subsidy removal on our already burdened backs while the government continue to grow bulgy stomachs!

We had decided to plough on a sterile land, it was the fifth day and not an action from the government, not an action from me either because I had stopped reading articles and blackberry broadcasts about occupy Nigeria, the whole situation was getting to me faster than to the government and I recalled I had wished that this struggle will give birth to a Jerry Rawlings and Nigerians would live happily ever after. On the sixth day, I had hoped that while we rested at home the government would see reason and come to a conclusion but instead I see the government on the podium of unrest-in the name of meetings and negotiations- cracking the ribs of their cohorts at our expense. Well, at that time we still had NLC on our side even when people were beginning to loose hope; we felt they were fighting our course.
On Monday and technically the sixth day of strike, after all said and said and after unleashing the soldiers on us, the strike was suspended at a consensus price of 97 naira per litre. A protest of five days felt the sting of betrayal, all along our enemy was within stirring us to charge yet caressing the back of the government.

Although few Nigerians still think it is the best way forward, development won’t come if fuel subsidy is not removed. But I ask again, on which path are we going to tread? What has been laid that will make the journey traversable? The government making this policy, what exertions- in the very least- have they shown us to make us see reason? (Oh! They actually did, 25per cent of basic salary!) And how well have they prepared us for the journey? If fuel subsidy is removed and the prices of goods and services are increased, how does it improve a dead economy? We all want well for ourselves; a 51 years old woman deserves to reap the fruits from the hardships she had sown all her life. Fuel subsidy removal is not the issue; it is the government and their ways of implementation that is questionable and unreasonable.

Since 2009, 935 people have died in the Boko Haram attacks and nothing has been done except that 100 million naira was paid as compensation to the family of the late Boko Haram leader. On the 20th of January, 162 precious lives were lost in the Kano bombings and barely 24 hours later, 11 people also killed in Bauchi. How people’s lives have turned goat meat; our lives are not secured even in our own land. When we manage to catch a Boko Haram suspect alive, he escapes; if he dies, the government compensates his family while the victims are given a mass burial. For how long are we going to tolerate this insensitivity? How many more deaths before the government realizes that this madness must stop? Citizens now live daily in trepidation; they can’t walk freely on the streets without being blown up by bombs, shot or mobbed.

Thus, I wish to weed the government and its corrupt practices; I wish to weed the continuous trend of ‘chop- I- chop- while- the- masses- suffer’; I wish to weed a government whose judicial edifice has more or less crumbled and in its place a shanty, of glaring corruption and injustice. This is the government I wish to weed… I wish there is a land, one still flowing with milk and honey. How I wish I could say the land is green.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE...

I have failed the second time trying to maintain a weekly post on my blog; in between my daily hustles and in the past two weeks being very occupied with ‘occupying’ Nigeria, I tried to jot something because ideas just fly about in my head like commuters jostling for a bus; so I tried to record my thoughts on paper. My failure didn’t occur to me until a faithful follower and friend sent a message to me saying ‘it’s been a while you posted on your blog’… so where did all my jottings go?

After reading her message, I told myself ‘it’s time to work’, so I set forth at dawn with my machete and axe to plough. Although, I wish there is a land, one still flowing with milk and honey. How I wish I could say the land is green; it is Nigeria of course, what other land can I plough? And who else I do intend to weed if not the government who likes to feed us with cruel policies that would choke us so that we would not be able to cry fowl.

After the Christmas bombing at St. Theresa Catholic church, Madalla, the news of the mother of all bombings spread across Nigeria; Boko Haram will attack again on New Year’s Day and we were warned against any form of gathering. On the so called ‘D’ Day’ rather than celebrate, we were security conscious that we avoided gatherings (especially those in the north). And suddenly, as we were about to heave a sight of relief the threats were empty after all, BOOOOOM!!!!!! It was deafening and utterly shocking! So disastrous that this time, not only a few, but practically every Nigerian was caught! Indeed it was the mother of all bombings; the fuel subsidy removal didn’t leave anyone unhurt.

The next day (trust Nigerians!), prices of goods and services doubled; some even tripled. Many people who couldn’t further their journey to work returned home, others went grudgingly and those who travelled during Christmas had to sell some of their belongings to return home. But then I ask which way forward?

The government resolved that fuel subsidy removal is the best way forward but to Nigerians that is the fastest way backward; an unreasonable decision, the polity will suffer and immeasurably too. The second week was massive, Nigerians set out to occupy what is theirs; nobody is saying fuel subsidy removal is wrong but the government is wrong by not cutting down corruption, tightening their belts, providing the basic needs of the people before removing anything. Of the world’s top 10 producers of crude oil, Nigeria’s minimum wage is miserly. At 18,000 naira, we are forced to eat cake crumbs, while government officials binge on the national cake; they collect allowance on everything including the smallest of things that their salaries should cater for and we are expected to carry the burden of fuel subsidy removal on our already burdened backs while the government continue to grow bulgy stomachs!

We had decided to plough on a sterile land, it was the fifth day and not an action from the government, not an action from me either because I had stopped reading articles and blackberry broadcasts about occupy Nigeria, the whole situation was getting to me faster than to the government and I recalled I had wished that this struggle will give birth to a Jerry Rawlings and Nigerians would live happily ever after. On the sixth day, I had hoped that while we rested at home the government would see reason and come to a conclusion but instead I see the government on the podium of unrest-in the name of meetings and negotiations- cracking the ribs of their cohorts at our expense. Well, at that time we still had NLC on our side even when people were beginning to loose hope; we felt they were fighting our course.
On Monday and technically the sixth day of strike, after all said and said and after unleashing the soldiers on us, the strike was suspended at a consensus price of 97 naira per litre. A protest of five days felt the sting of betrayal, all along our enemy was within stirring us to charge yet caressing the back of the government.

Although few Nigerians still think it is the best way forward, development won’t come if fuel subsidy is not removed. But I ask again, on which path are we going to tread? What has been laid that will make the journey traversable? The government making this policy, what exertions- in the very least- have they shown us to make us see reason? (Oh! They actually did, 25per cent of basic salary!) And how well have they prepared us for the journey? If fuel subsidy is removed and the prices of goods and services are increased, how does it improve a dead economy? We all want well for ourselves; a 51 years old woman deserves to reap the fruits from the hardships she had sown all her life. Fuel subsidy removal is not the issue; it is the government and their ways of implementation that is questionable and unreasonable.

Since 2009, 935 people have died in the Boko Haram attacks and nothing has been done except that 100 million naira was paid as compensation to the family of the late Boko Haram leader. On the 20th of January, 162 precious lives were lost in the Kano bombings and barely 24 hours later, 11 people also killed in Bauchi. How people’s lives have turned goat meat; our lives are not secured even in our own land. When we manage to catch a Boko Haram suspect alive, he escapes; if he dies, the government compensates his family while the victims are given a mass burial. For how long are we going to tolerate this insensitivity? How many more deaths before the government realizes that this madness must stop? Citizens now live daily in trepidation; they can’t walk freely on the streets without being blown up by bombs, shot or mobbed.

Thus, I wish to weed the government and its corrupt practices; I wish to weed the continuous trend of ‘chop- I- chop- while- the- masses- suffer’; I wish to weed a government whose judicial edifice has more or less crumbled and in its place a shanty, of glaring corruption and injustice. This is the government I wish to weed… I wish there is a land, one still flowing with milk and honey. How I wish I could say the land is green.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

… Attempting poetry again. Inspiration

It doesn’t come from an amazing thought
One that wakes up your mind and conjures wisdom…
A stack of books could do, of people you admire
And hope to be better than
You see their works neatly tucked in the stack
You are charged by the a dying flame
Yet full of awakening smoke
You hope they would come alive
When you fan the embers
There is a will to break even
To find your books neatly tucked, too
And people hover around like bees in a honey comb
Inspiration…
There could be more buried in the array and the many things that your eyes have seen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ONE TURN FOR THE NIGERIAN POLICE


WARNING! You are not about to read the regular facts and popular sayings… I advice you to read on.

It is not a wonder why an average Nigerian will never consider being a police as his future ambition. It is still no wonder that nursing this ambition might sound like an abomination and the God forbid! comes out faster than a spittle —he might be thought of as going crazy. It is a job of circumstance. Even though, truly and realistically, should be the most respectable and successful profession. For the most reason, at least; it is a life-saving job. Who knows? These wonders might be hiding under the minute government irregularities and the bad side that we have always known. Seriously, we really do not want to be poor all our lives and live under the dependence of twenty naira or wait for our reward in heaven. Do we? I warned you, read on!

The Nigerian police force, when mentioned always leaves a bad taste in the mouth. As with the case of the bad eggs in every profession, the case of the Nigerian police is finding the good eggs; they are as rare as the bad eggs in other professions. One wish that I had for Dr. Dora Akunyili’s rebranding was that it should be extended to the Nigerian police force not for the world to see, but for Nigerians to see, to have hope at least, not faith for the Nigerian police. That every Nigeria begin to see the white side of the Nigerian police force, which has always been a wonder to me; why the blackness of their uniform is attached to their image.

I have also wondered why the 20 naira seems like a big deal—mouth watering? Why they always come after and not during robbery operations and riots to catch the thieves and fighters? Why accidental discharge became the best phrase for their irresponsibility; something should be wrong somewhere…
I thought so too, when I read the story of a Police Corporal, Hope Adeleke, who lost his six children and wife in a fire accident and could not afford to pay a bill of 231,000 naira, this is the part of the story that struck me: that his two years salary cannot pay a bill of 231,000 naira! The first question I asked myself was, is his salary one naira or does he mean to say the bill is 2million naira. I came to a realizing conclusion… ‘come to think of it’; the Nigerian police force is suffering and suffering men will do no good, they will always cherish their 20 naira, they will always run for their lives, and will always accidentally discharge.

Again, I thought: there should be one turn for the police, one turn and things might change for them and for us. May be we should ask ourselves one question, the same question that I asked myself and it dawned on me—you know, the traditional way of expressing the extent of how bad things have gone—haba! That question is; will you blame this policeman if he gathers all the twenty naira in the world to pay his bills?

I am not patting them on the back, neither am I giving them a cup of ice cream. All I am saying is that if you pay a man that miserly a month and you expect him to save you? You might as well ask him to kill you first, what is his salary compared to what he is subjected to—to save our lives and protect our properties for that meagre some. Think about it too, yes even if they are recruits, another problem I have with our government, is that why they should be paid miserly? When you see these police recruits, they look like clowns, laughable—shabbily dressed; a sagging faded black drape, worn out shoes, and they lack that confidence you want to see in a policeman. Then you will begin to ask yourself, who will save who?

What of that if they are recruits? They have been enlisted, which means they should be prepared, trained and equipped… and well paid. But the policemen men I see around look like they have been picked not recruited and our lives are entrusted in the hands of picked men, what do we hope to get if not the torture of corruption, bribery (egunje), unnecessary and unwarranted arrests. With these picked men, we will continue to blame and call them names because they will continue to do these things ‘to make ends meet’ and I am afraid their ends will never meet because the meagre that they get will continue to stretch it.

One turn for the police and we might begin to see, and like Nigeria, they should be given a chance—a chance that is—their salary be raised, good benefits and be properly equipped with guns not ‘gun powder’ guns (or do we expect them to protect us, when their ‘competitors’ are carrying AK-47 and more?). Then we might begin to count their scores but until then, I do not wish to curse and swear, or to blame and fight. One turn for the police might just be enough.

Monday, April 11, 2011

THE ON- AIR PERSON!


‘I DON’T DEVELOP A SEPARATE PERSONALITY FOR THE RADIO’
… Wana Wana an interesting radio personality; of Inspiration FM (real name: Wana Udobang) shares an interesting part of her life and living with Wordzbelle…

The first time I listened to her on radio, I was not sure of what to make of Wana Wana, the plus-sized sexy presenter; simply gorgeous and ever smiling. But I was sure of one thing; that the deep rich voice that I listen to between the hours of five and six pm on inspiration fm from Monday to Friday is not just ‘some presenter’…

Wana Udobang is the last of five children; three older brothers and a sister.
she attended St. Leo’s Catholic school Ikeja, then Command Secondary School Ibadan.
she attended the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey in the UK, and she also has a first class degree in Journalism. Talking about herself is quite difficult but she says she is ‘pretty much the same person, I don’t develop a separate personality for the radio. I suppose my hyper side is amplified on air. I am also very simple, don’t like stress. Having a good time mostly entails being in great company and having great conversation. I am obsessed with music, theatre, photography and films. I’m a freelance writer.’

HER RADIO JOURNEY

Oh well, it started with an e-mail from her brother and his colleague who saw the advert in the newspaper and gave her the details. She applied and was told to come for an interview and audition when she decided to move back to Nigeria, which she did and as she puts it “ the rest is history”.

THE BUMPS ARE NOT SO EASY ON THE ROAD

Nothing is easy to come by, also, for a profession like radio; Wana Udobang says you have to constantly suppress your emotions. So even if your family member dies, once you are on air that isn’t allowed to come through, which really isn’t good for anyone’s mental health. One challenge that sucks… the fact that there is no public holiday; you know, having to constantly be on air for your favourite listeners.
Another challenge for Wana Wana is ‘the fact that your work is evaluated by your superiors as well as millions listening to you everyday and if you aren’t think skinned, it can take a toll on your self esteem. you constantly feel like you are being graded every time you open the mic. so yeah those are most of the challenges amongst other things’

And this, too…

‘oh also radio is badly paid and everyone gets the impression you have tones of money
but I always knew that, so I was always geared up for that.’

HER ON-AIR LOVE

This is the best part of her job; the opportunity to enlighten people and also be enlightened by listeners sharing their experiences with her!

ON LIFE AND LIVING

Wana Udobang believes a good attitude will do; treat people the way you would like to be treated and learning to be comfortable in your own skin.

FOR THE PRESENTER OUT THERE

Learn everything. Life doesn’t start and end on the microphone. The more skills you have, the better you get.

FIVE ‘WOWING’ FACTS ABOUT WANA WANA!
I am incredibly obsessive.

I have had the same best friends since I was 10years old!

I am someone that looks for deeper meaning to most things though, which can make me a little intense to hang out with.

I am more introspective though. I spend a lot of time by myself. I am quite moody but I try to hide that from most people.

I am very irritable.