Friday, 29 April 2016

Village People at work

 Image Credit:

The other day, I got talking to this guy. We happened to be heading towards the same direction. He was a usual suspect in the library and so was I. That is how we became friends.  We had discussed about news trending, education, politics and then sports. He noticed that I didn't know much about sports so he didn't go further. I fell my hands when  I said the only  football clubs I knew were Enyinba and Kano pillars.  That was supposed to be a joke but he didn't take it that way. He decided to stop talking when he saw I was lost and showing little interest. Then the dreaded silence came up. You know when there is nothing to talk about and the next thing would either be to start staring at ones feet or the ceiling  because your mind might start singing one funny annoying song.

 This incidence happened during the Easter festive season. So I asked him a simple question.  His reply threw me off balance. I had asked him whether he would be travelling to his hometown  for Easter. He had replied that he would not go to his hometown until he has finished his PhD program and gotten his certificate. Mind you he was pursuing his PhD currently.

 With my mouth agape,I inquired  "Why now? "
According to him, he would not want to set foot in his hometown because his village people are very diabolical. And that they would ensure he doesn't finish his programme.  I wondered why he gave them so much powers and so I questioned his beliefs. After all he  claimed to be a  christian and served in the prayer department of his church so why the fears. Lo and behold my learned and prayer warrior friend told me that he would not give his village people an inch. He also quoted the bible for me that man had to be  very watchful.  That Jesus Christ admonished us to watch and pray that the devil was lurking around to see whom to devour.  I rested my case but it got me wondering that someone so learned can still believe in harm orchestrated by the so-called "village people".  But I got his point and it made sense.

 It is usual to hear of someone attaching blame to his village people when misfortune strikes. Our beliefs have somehow linked village people to everything and anything misfortune and bad luck. We heard of the story of a very intelligent accounting student of the university( a first class material for that matter), she was in her penultimate year when she got electrocuted by an electric pole. Different explanations arose to explain such a mysterious death and why it happened to her of all people but the one that kept surfacing was that her village people were at work.

Another story of a very beautiful young woman.She had just bagged her second degree. She  got married almost immediately. Basically,  she was very enviable. She had been very friendly and had such a beautiful smile. Everyone virtually knew her and could relate with her. Do you know  that the story of demise was quite shocking? News spread that she had died of hypertension while pregnant. People were quick to attribute it to the work of evil people - village people. The deceased appeared to be someone that had everything good going for her.

These village people might be real.  They represent a set of people particularly old women who don't have things going well for them so they take it upon themselves to make others( their rivals) suffer along with them.  They don't like celebrating other people's achievements.  Good news should be far from them lest they turn it to bad news.

On the flip side, another guy said something. He was like when a woman stays unmarried, she would start attributing it to her village people whereas it could be for reasons such as bad character or appearance or ignorance.

 Do we need to blame every misfortune or any occurrence on our village people? Do this village people exist or it is just some form of speculations??? Please share your thoughts, would love to know your take.

Friday, 22 April 2016

This is why I love Naija

  I think the post came at the wrong time because  Nigerians are not smiling presently. However, I am a proud Nigerian to the core. Would never deny my nationality for anything. Nigeria may be facing issues from corruption to greed to poor leadership and the likes but there are many goods in the midst of the ills.  Do you know we have best brains in this part of the world?  The likes of Philip Emegwali, Chike Obi, Prof. Alele Williams to mention a few need no introduction.

Here are my reasons for rocking my green passport and green white green flag any day anytime:
 Nigeria is strategically positioned in Africa. More so, it is the most populous black nation and the giant of Africa.  This makes it very attractive for business investments.

Nigerians can adapt easily to any situation. Even in the phase of fuel scarcity and epileptic power supply, Nigerians are still keep up and going about their various activities normally. Somehow, we still device strategy on how to charge our phones and laptops, watch T.V and listen to radio. There is always fuel station that we are lucky to get fuel or one neighbour whose inverter can be used for this activity. Someone actually said that he goes to the bank to charge his phone while pretending to be a customer. Others have one way of managing the fuel crisis.

Nigerians make good use of opportunities. Everything and anything is a business venture. Have you been traffic and someone appears and  starts cleaning your windscreen? That's a business for him. What of construction of bridges in flooded areas? Someone literally turns this pseudo bridge to his means of livelihood, collecting toll fee. One day when it rained continuously, someone turned the use of umbrella as a money making venture. He would walk you to the bus-stop with his umbrella for a token?

Nigerians have good sense of humor. These days comedy is making waves. More and more people are going into comedy. After a stressful day, listening to Nigerian comedians using everyday occurrences and happenings as jokes is comic relief to a stressed mind.

Nigerians are industrious. We love doing many things. Jack of all trades, master of all. You would see a banker that is also into shoe trading and makeup business. A man who is the principal of a school has his wife managing the school bookshop. His daughters are in charge of the school cafeteria. Then his sons are the account officers. This same man is also into consulting and import and exports. Sometimes, it is difficult to say what one does because one does many things.

Nigerians are creative. If you doubt google the likes Chinua Achebe( Of blessed memory), Chimamanda Adichie, Cobhams Asuquo, Clarence Peters, Kaffy, and many more. Nollywood is one of our greatest import. It has opened doors. Listened to Tonye Cole speak at a seminar of how he was granted preferential treatment because of Nollywood and his nationality in Mozambique even without a visa.

Do you remember " My Oga at the top" era? Someone turned it into a money making venture and started making shirts with the inscription. Do you also remember "Na only you waka come?" popularised by the former first lady. Heard a song on radio by an artiste who used those words to make a hit song.

Nigerians have rich culture. With over 300 languages, Nigerians are very peculiar. Their native dialects, lifestyle, ceremonies, festivals, dress sense all add up to make Nigeria one of the best lands. The native food would always stand out. Chinese and American cuisine might be very tasty but can not be substituted for local delicacies. Banga and starch, amala and gbegiri , poundo yam and egusi, tuwoshikafa always have their way in my stomach.

Nigerian tourist attractions are well placed globally. No wonder we have tourists from far and wide visiting from time to time to behold their beauty and gift of mother nature. Some of music videos of Nigerian artistes are shot there. Olamide's "abule sowo" video was shot in Olumo rock.  Others too have done so.The likes of Olumo rock in Abeokuta, Zuma rock in Niger state, Erin Ijesha waterfall in Osun state, great walls of Kano, Oban hills in Cross Rivers state to mention a few.....all add up to create a wonderful scenario of  the Nigerian landscape.

Nigerian women are tenacious and prove to be good home managers, mothers and entrepreneurs. The likes of Ibukun Awosika, Prof. Alele Williams,Tara Fela Durotoye, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Olajumoke Adenowo, Joe Okei-Odumakin to mention a few show that you can be a woman and still have and maintain it all- family, career, education, religion, business and looks.  Their stories inspire me. Nigerian women are A-list dressers and this goes for the men too.

This post would have been better on independence day but nevertheless I have the burning desire to stay true to being a proud Nigeria. I just want to let it out! Indeed,Nigeria is the best land....Awooo!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

On Geography Field Trips

On Boat Trip # This is not my real face oooh

 Rural Life
Geography is dynamic. It remains one of the most versatile courses. Reason that it can fit anywhere, it is evident everywhere and applied everywhere.
Geography is tied to the question of what, when, where and why.
As we speak, new geography findings are evolving daily.

As a geographer, my learning is not limited to the classroom alone. I get the chance to explore and go on field trips.On this fateful day, I had gone on field trips with my amiable lecturers and colleagues. We set out very early. As early as 6.30am.Destination was Badagry, one of the coastal areas in Lagos.

Every one of us was delegated to perform different roles. For me, it was the administering of questionnaires. The questionnaires were structured to know about climate trends in the study area,demography, impacts of climate change on land and vegetation and description of the area in time past.
Trust me it came with challenges.First of all, I was not fluent in the native dialect-egun yoruba. Thankfully, I got help and assistance from the team.
 (a) Soil Samples ( b)  Discussing with respondents

Looking at the respondents who form the rural populace, they seemed satisfied with their lifestyle.
There was no traffic.The air was fresh. The area was peaceful and calm. No noise or the usual b laring of. Vehicles horn, rantings from bus conductors And roadside loudspeakers.Not the usual Lagos hustle and bustle. Food was pure-fresh fish and vegetables.  But I ask myself can I live in rural area?*Scratching my head.Women in their teens and early twenties were already mothers.Leaves me wondering which is more important-school or having children??? It was an open show of breastfeeding, they did not send anybody. Farming and breastfeeding, walking and breastfeeding, too.
The field trip was strictly business before pleasure. We had gone to the field with light breakfast of sliced bread and sardine. By the time we were done, hunger entered gear five.
I love adventure. I got to see life from the rural people's lens. Their buildings and livelihood differ from what I was used to.

Entering a boat on the sea, was the height of the field work. It brought so much satisfaction sailing on the sea.
As much as we went to the field for research, we bonded with the people met and took their contacts for future benefits. After working, we stopped at mama put to attend to the hunger pangs.It was amala and egusi for me .Two wraps did the magic. May be others went for more. We could not return to the campus that same day so we spent the night at a guest house close by. I love the fact that the rooms were labelled according to different African countries. Guess where I spent the night-in Nambia.

"Namibia" was tastefully furnished.It also had a frame telling me more about the country. Slept like a log of wood. Had to wake up early next morning to head back to destination. Then it would be for analysis.
At the end of it all, it was a thrilling experience.Geography is life. Life is Geography!