HaPpY nEw YeAr

In advance? Nah!

Oh Yes! This is december 31st. But this is still 2014, don’t yu think? . And for those who cared to notice, I’ve not written anything on this space this year. That basically means, we’ve not met this year. So, a “Happy new year” greeting is still in order.

I would have loved to give you details of how much dust and cobwebs were crawling all over this place. I have a lot of excuses for not doing anything but none of them is concrete. Except for laziness. Also, you know that feeling you get when you start doubting yourself? Yeah! That feeling of not being good enough? That’s another major reason. But I’m trying to overcome it. I’m not a good writer but I love writing so much and I believe “Practice makes Perfection”. Hence, I want to resume this hobby of mine.

There’s a tradition that’s evergreen and we never seem to outgrow. That’s the tradition of making new year resolutions. Some people believe this tradition doesn’t help, but then, some of us still end up making resolutions. Being a new year, I have a couple of those resolutions.

As always, most of these resolutions are quite personal and they are aimed at being better persons. I really can’t share much but I have a couple of them that might affect you, my dear friend. I’ve decided to start implementing most of the information I have. I’ve read a lot over the past 6 years (after my secondary education) and I’ve not made use of them. That would change this year. Did I hear an Amen? Amen, brethren!

I’ve also resolved to write a lot this year. From short posts to long articles, opinions and thoughts and perhaps information materials, a whole lot. And when I can’t, I’ll be publicising nice pieces that are too private for their qualities. I already have some Fantastic pieces (Incidentally,the writer’s name is Mr Fantastic). In fact, I’m thinking of changing this domain name to accommodate posts of such nature. I feel like “alfaruqwrites” makes it too streamlined to cater for external articles. I’m still stuck on names though. Any opinion? I’ll appreciate.

Now, pardon the slight waste of time. I have some new year celebrations to make on my own too. Be on the lookout for this space though, you can drop your e-mail to receive newsletters about new things. Something you like might just come up one day.

Thanks very much. Happy new 2014 and a wonderful 2015 in advance.

Umar al-Faruq

P.S: I’ll appreciate your opinion on nomenclature for this domain and general comments. Every opinion is welcome. Just drop it in the Comment box. Gracias.

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HOUSE OF COMMOTION: Episode 53

Today is the D-day. The day we are forced to celebrate. To celebrate our failure as a nation, celebrate the (un)achievement of our leaders, To celebrate our freedom from colonial masters. Celebrating and acknowledging the fight of our fathers, their struggle and their eventual conquest. Nigerians will partake in the compulsory celebration of our slavery in the hands of the powerful. We’ll adorn the Nigerian colours-green and white; attend rallies, shows, parties and all sorts. We’ll post statuses on every available social media, send broadcast messages to our BBM contacts and edit pictures, all towards the celebration of our in-DEPENDENCE. We are willing to hear whatever rubbish our leaders have to say, whatever pleas they have to make, whatever defense they wish to give themselves, just to explain why they have failed us. We will patiently await them and when they do, we will attentively listen to them, not just because we are willing to criticize, neither is it because we are used to the rants, but because our sole reason for celebrating is that we still exist. We have suddenly gone spiritual on state matters, even though we are not Godly, accepted our fate and pray that till the day we die in peace, we continue to have cause to celebrate our existence. Today is October 1st, Nigeria’s Independence day, and today, we clock 53.
I shake my head in pity as I picture a 53-year old, probably with grey hair and still confused as to why his birth came into play. Quite a while ago, someone once told me about Nigeria being a very funny drama. I never understood the concept, not until I grew a little older. I decided to search for the most appropriate synonym of this Nigerian drama we are acting. I’d not looked far before I found my answer. Dang! “FUJI HOUSE OF COMMOTION”.
I never grew up as a TV kid; we were only given exclusive permission to watch the news. However, I saw some episodes of this popular comic soap opera and I strongly believe the title and story corresponds to our Nigerian drama. To further explain my version of the script, I have decided to highlight 5 issues that seem to be contemporaries and explain how they relate to my commotion drama. These issues are herein regarded as scenes.
SCENE 1: The wife asks the husband for the agreed N40, 000 to buy foodstuffs. Meanwhile, the husband hasn’t been doing his responsibilities for a while and the wife has decided not to take it easy this time. The irresponsible husband tries to explain to his wife that he has just N10, 000 to offer and after so much argument, negotiations and whatever, the wife announces her temporary resignation from her motherly and wifely duties, till her husband becomes responsible. That leaves the children to cater for themselves however they can, till their father decides to forgive their uncommitted sins.
SCENE 2: The condition at home is quite appalling and all the kids are quite disgruntled at the attitude of their father. Kid 1 decides to stay with Uncle Segun while Kid 2 has to stay with a distant relative of their dad. During their long vacation, they meet at home and narrate their experiences. Kid 2 is quite happy with his residence; he doesn’t even know his intelligence and expertise is being exploited. His landlords consider him hardworking and they invested in him, thereby increasing his skills. Of course, he is well-fed, has a lot of toys and is exposed to his landlords’ wealth. Kid 1, who stays with dad’s brother is happy for Kid 2 and feels sorry for Kid 3 who, by the way, is staying with Daddy and Mummy. To her, staying with Uncle is better even though they have to struggle really hard to get food. She prefers it to staying with her parents because even though her parents are rich, only Daddy enjoys the wealth.
SCENE 3: Daddy is a northerner and Mummy is from the South. Due to this, Daddy has decided that everybody is allowed to choose the tribe and religion they want. To him, these are things that shouldn’t cause fight. Musa and Usman are Muslims like their dad; Victor and Lanre are Christians like mummy while Bolu is indifferent and doesn’t even believe God exists. As they grow, Victor and Lanre start getting rebellious towards daddy for not satisfying their wants. Mummy intervenes and after so much persuasion, they are granted fatherly pardon and they still remain part of the family. Later on, Musa realizes that Daddy hasn’t changed and continues his brother’s fights. He has anger issues and along the line, he attacked his brothers too. This made him a stand-alone and he was labeled the black sheep likewise his religion-mate, Usman. Nobody bothered about the fact that Usman never supported Musa, as they were only concerned about the fact that Musa used his religion as cover for his sins.
SCENE 4: Daddy wants to buy a plasma TV, a deep freezer, a new generator, a car and still renovate the house at the same time. Mummy refuses to sign the cheque authorizing him to collect the money from their joint account. Daddy then goes ahead to collect a bank loan, using the house documents as collateral and marital discord erupts. Kunle comes home and discovers that daddy just employed a new cook and that makes his catering certificate useless. He then decided to wait, till the cook gets fired, resigns, retires or dies. Tade is quite surprised at the way Bro. Tunde comes home with plenty gadgets and different cars, he decided to learn the trick too since daddy doesn’t seem to be interested in how they are. Finally, he was taught and he had to sacrifice Bimbo.
SCENE 5: Daddy is sitting outside in his recliner; he’s looking at the stars wondering where help would come from. He calls his domestic worker and asks him to silent the noisy, curious kids. He asks that the dogs be unleashed to show that he’s still in power. After a while, he attempts to have a chat with his family, he stops halfway down the stairs, and starts yelling at the top of his voice. He announces that he’s not broke, presents that all is well, assure his kids of a better future and goes back to his pondering and praying. The kids remain silent and unshaken; they can’t comprehend what they heard and how it was supposed to be soothing. They remember the dogs, and they go back into hiding
Notwithstanding my reluctance, here is a little explanation of the scenes, and their relationship to the Nigerian drama.
SCENE 1 explains the current ASUU situation where the mother has forgotten that even though the kids are truly a product of the father’s sperm, she carried them in her womb for months and delivered them amidst pains. To our uncompromising lecturers, keep fighting for your right. However, remember who owns the students.
SCENE 2 explains the fate of Nigerians at home and abroad (diaspora). The kid with the Uncle represents those in neighboring African countries that aren’t as blessed as Nigeria while the kid with the distant relative is a representative of those in countries located in other continents.
SCENE 3 talks about the southern militants and the northern book haram, and how those that didn’t partake in the fight, also share in the discrimination.
SCENE 4 is quite diverse as it looks into the conflict amidst our “leaders” as regards funds, the preference of government to employ expatriates and the youth’s quest to hustle on their own and resort to blood money. As for
SCENE 5, we all know who the father of Nigeria is and how well he reads the stars. I don’t think any further explanation is necessary at this point.
Given all these, I have decided to join the celebration. I am so much excited about the license to play football on a Tuesday morning. Happy Independence! Coincidentally, the new ball has green and white patches. After that, Karikatalk has decided to organize a comedy show for us. This is how a true Yoruba man thinks. Yorubas will say “when a matter goes beyond crying, it becomes a laughing matter”. Truly, “Kwara must laff” at Queen’s Hall, and the whole Nigeria must “laff” too.
“We are nothing but pens in the hands of the creator” and the Pen is mightier than the sword.
…to be continued

TGIF! HOW ESE, BEV AND SUNTAI MADE MY WEEK

For those of us familiar with Rockcity FM Abeokuta, we’ll accept that the station truly rocks. It happens to be the only private radio station in the ancient town and the state as a whole and it serves the townsmen well. I’m not doing PR nether am I advertising for them, unless they will pay me, and pay me well. However,there’s this thing I like about them though and it is their music playlist and how they seem to have the perfect music for every programme. One that really fascinates me is the Fela song that comes up in the morning when they are about to air the top headlines in Yoruba. I’ve decided to use it as my theme song for today.
#Oni dodo, onimoin moin, nigba ti ko ta to gbe gba ka’le, ewa wo’ja ni lafiaji#… Pardon my bad Yoruba grammar; I’m so poor at Yoruba that I don’t know if there’s a mistake somewhere.
Thank God it’s Friday! Not like I have a reason to be happy though. I mean, I practically did nothing throughout the week and I couldn’t even come up with a post, even with the “back-gists” that my sources gave me about gossips that were going to hit. Also, I’ve noticed that whatever the weekdays have in stock for me, the weekends seem to come with more. I’m going to be happy anyways, a new month is around the corner.
However, amidst my laziness, or energy saving mode, I caught a lot of headlines. Ranging from dirty politics, crime, economic balderdash, celebrity fights and gossips, BBA, to the very ones that leave your mouth wide open, the really crazy ones.
The week started with a story about Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of COZA Abuja branch. An OAP named Ese Walters narrated her ordeal In the hands of the “Man of God” on her blog, one that looks like it was created for that purpose. Moments after, another member of the church, Franca E, came out in support of the claims, alleging she almost had the same experience in the hands of the Pastor. While Franca seemed to have gotten wind of the Pastor’s plan before hand, Ese fell into what she categorized as “abuse” in the man’s hands. My lips must have parted while I was reading the story and I could only manage to bring them back together approximately two minutes after I finished reading the piece. I felt moved and almost reblogged the post, just to break the news before it broke out everywhere. Some writers, like me, like that hype that comes with breaking a big story, especially gossips about top personalities. Since my source sent the link almost immediately the news got out, I felt the urge. However, a friend’s advice stopped me from doing what came to my mind first, and laziness didn’t allow me to write about it afterwards. I really wish I had.
This present day seems to be accompanied by many sex offences, and the cases that involve clerics, who are supposed to be “Men of God”, is just unwelcoming. Unfortunately, I’m not going to criticize anybody, at least not yet, because I still need to unravel the mystery behind why people who are supposed to be models have decided to be modelled.
To politics, Gov. Danbaba Suntai, “the pilot”, of Taraba State, returned back home on Sunday and his people were very happy to receive him. The excitement was cut short as controversy as regards his present state of health sprung out. His people were very angry and calls for his impeachment have been made, describing the Governor as “unfit” to rule the state. Currently, the deputy governor is acting as Governor and lawmakers are said to have started signing an impeachment notice.
Soon as the impeachment went public, the governor’s wife followed suit, appealing that her husband shouldn’t be impeached. In recent times, wives of dignitaries have showed that they prefer their husband’s position to their health. I see no reason why the first lady would make such public outcry other than possible selfish interest. This is the same governor that was said to have not made a comment to reporters and citizens that went to welcome him. It was even rumoured that he couldn’t even recognize those lawmakers that went to pay him a courtesy visit. And the only thing his aides could manage to come up with, was a recorded video where he “addressed” his people. Quite unfortunate!
Hurray! BBA has ended, that means no more videos of the controversial Beverly Osu in “action”. Some people believed it ended in a tragic way since the winner was Dillish, not Melvin. If for nothing, I believe “Delicious” Dillish won, to teach Bev that immorality is against the will of God. Talking about the will of God, Angelo, the boyfriend, has urged Nigerians to show Bev some love because she is a good person and even inspired him to read Bible verses! Eh! Who does this white, dreadlocked dude thinks he’s deceiving? Nigerians are too smart for that kind of “face-saving” comment. The dude even went as far as insulting our intelligence that they never had s*x and that he wasn’t b*tt unclad. Someone is not getting something about the way BBA works. For heaven’s sakes, people saw the videos. While no one can categorically say they had sex, we can say they were in a very compromising position and that is not accepted in the sight of moral conscious Nigerians, people generally, and the Almighty!
To complicate the issue, soft p*rn movie producer, Afrocandy, commended Bev for her courage to appear naked on video and she even offered Bev a role in one of her movies. Stories have it that darling Bev is scared of the really big scenes and has decided to turn down the offer. Time will tell.
On a rather sorry note, the ASUU strike is still on. It is quite “omnishambling” that professional bodies will have to embark on industrial action to pass the message about what they want, to the FG. One thing about the drama is that the students have become the grass in the fight between two elephants. Unfortunately, nothing seems possible to do by the affected students and the end seems not be in sight. Perhaps, our short-sightedness is depriving us of the view.
The entertainment industry witnessed my peek and one that comes with a little bit of humour is the Wizkid-J Martins duel. Like Wizkid said, J-Martins has stayed longer in the industry and I believe there’s no reason why an elder would fight with a youth in the game, especially about the obvious level of success.
Still in the industry, “bad boy” Iyanya has upped his pocked after signing a $350,000 deal with Zinox computers. And Ice Prince too! He just bought a Bentley GT coupe that cost his pocket of N36million. Chei! I think my new ambition is to enter that entertainment industry.
Before I drop my pen here, I heard we have to start learning French to pass UTME starting from 2014. I remember back then in my JSS classes, how students in the public secondary school I attended never failed to define French, “the language that, our fathers and mothers never spoke, that was imposed on us in school”. These students made sure they wrote this definition in their exam answer sheets in the local Yoruba language, just to express their hatred for the language. On the contrary here, the language will not be imposed on anybody as it is going to be available for “only those interested”.
Moving to the lingua franca of our great country, news broke out that new words have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Words like twerking, omnishamble and selfie are now among the contents of the new edition. Miley Cyrus and the whole entertainment industry have to be thanked for making that twerk dance so popular that the word is now regarded as a correct English word. My MS-Word still underlines it though; perhaps I need to feed it the info.
I could keep on writing about every headline and story that really caught my eyes but my laziness is still so much alive. I’m just going to stop here and prepare for the busy weekend ahead. One thing that’s certain, no matter the busy schedule, is that I always get the most sleep during weekends. I’m so looking forward to this weekend’s episode of “sleep opera”.
So, au revoir people, and like Ese said, CHEERS TO THE FREAKING WEEKEND!!!

RAMADAN 43 or Shawwal 15?

               

About 2 weeks ago, the information that a new moon had been sighted was passed. That marked the official end of Ramadan; the 9th month of the Islamic calendar known exclusively for strict observance of fast. Eid was performed to signify it and the commencement of Shawwal. Many, including me, expressed joy at the news and it was obvious that people wanted the month to end, for what can be perceived as wrong reasons. I don’t even think there’s a good reason for faithfuls to look forward to the end of such a beautiful month with all of its benefits which included closing of the gates of Hell.

To show that Shaitan had been released, some of us saw a fight in the mosque premises on the 1st night of Shawwal; the day of eid, and a lot of immoral acts that weren’t experienced during Ramadan especially during the last 10 days. For the youths, it was marked by listening to music which we desisted from. I must say, only those who were conscious enough as Muslims desisted from these acts. There were still some, or many, that were only fasting because they were asked to, without observing the prescribed accompanying deeds. Those are the ones who fasted as if they were supposed to please fellow humans, not Allah.

Eid came, some of us wore new clothes, and some wore what they had from before. Some were looking gorgeous and awesome; some just struggled not to look “as usual”. Most of us were nonchalant about the lessons of Eid, we didn’t even bother about what Eid had for us, we just said the two rakats and anxiety drove us to leave our mats and head back home. We were nonchalant about the Khutbah of the day and acted as if the Imam was supposed to recite it to himself. We didn’t even allow those that wanted to listen, we constituted nuisance, reminding those who cared to notice that Shaytan had been truly released. We carried ourselves back home with less morality, than we took to the eid ground.

15 days into Shawwal, one wonders what has happened to the many lessons Ramadan taught us. How many of those good deeds do we still observe? Haven’t we descended so low that our good deeds during Ramadan can’t take care of our bad deeds after Ramadan? The level of moral decadence in the last 2 weeks is quite appalling and I seem not to understand “WHY?” Perhaps it is because most of us were worshipping Ramadan when we ought to be worshipping the God of Ramadan. Or, maybe because we don’t have the “sponsored” programmes that used to serve as reminders on radios and TVs again. I consider this as an issue and I have decided to remind us of just a few abstracts from the teachings of Ramadan, perhaps some of us will learn.

Ramadan came as a month to teach and discipline. During Ramadan, it was not a rare thing for people to say “I’m fasting” not to serve as an announcement but as an awareness to refrain from whatever “not so good” deed that comes to mind. We became so disciplined during the month of Ramadan that we were very conscious of time, especially at Sahur and Iftar. We were present at mosques for prayers at their due times. We were always considerate of whether our doings align with that of Allah’s. We engaged in our daily activities as usual except that we now infused so much of the fear of God. For any society that saw Ramadan, that society witnessed true peace, which is what Islam dictates and how Muslims are expected to behave. This month showed us that with necessary discipline, we can do away with most of those things (vices) that we hold on to. We learnt a lot about self-control, patience and strong will via our actions.

Ramadan isn’t just about refraining from foods, drinks and lust alone. Ramadan put us in a state that can be termed “forced hunger”. It made us realize that we have far too much than we need and for which we’re not grateful. We became equals with the needy; we felt what they feel as poor fellows since we were in the same state with them. We ultimately, gave charity to those who could not afford to leave that state, because they didn’t have the necessary resources to do so. May Almighty Allah provide for them. We were very cautious of our spending; we were less extravagant, dealt with less luxuries, and thus, became less lavish.

Since we were all equals during this month, we were all fasting, stood toes to toes in mosques, shared Sahurs and iftars, we truly exhibited the characteristics of Muslim as an Ummah during the month of Ramadan. We displayed the true Islamic brotherhood and we showed the characteristic peace which Islam is based upon. We showed the world what the Qur’an meant when it described us as the “best of people”. We exhibited Taqwa, the sum total of Islamic life. It means God’s consciousness and encompasses piety, fear of Allah, consciousness of his existence and subsequent submission to His will. We braced ourselves, through hardships and sacrifices, for Jihad on the path of Allah.

All these seem to have gone, we no longer see the very least of all these and some of us seem to be keeping them till next year. We seem to have forgotten that we know not, when we’ll leave the earth. We seem to act as if we are custodians of ourselves and our future. Shawwal is here, and it is supposed to serve as “the month after Ramadan” and not “the month outside Ramadan”. Perhaps, observing the voluntary 6 fasts in Shawwal will help us to keep the lessons from Ramadan a bit longer.

May Allah forgive us all of our shortcomings. And truly, Allah is the all-knower!

P.S. Since I’ll be publishing this post this same day I’m  writing it, I have decided to make it the official first post and the day, the formal opening of the blog. Kindly drop comments about the article and the blog so far. Thanks.

VAGRANCY: NEXT GENERATION BUSINESS?

 

With the increase in Unemployment rate from 23.6% last year to 40.9% this year, employment seems to be a major concern these days. A look at the increasing population, especially the multitude that parade our so-called tertiary institutions, can give us an idea of why this is so, and explain the relative decrease in job creation. Nigerians, being very creative people, have decided to exploit every possible means of getting money from legal to illegal, easy to stressful, smart to crafty, bogus to genuine , and so on… the list seems endless.  As many as these avenues are, one that catches my attention is what can be termed VAGRANCY!!!

Vagrancy is a very broad concept, which until the 1970s, was considered as a crime. It is a term to describe a state or action of one who has no established home and drifts from one place to another without visible or lawful means of support. Traditionally, a vagrant is known as a beggar. In the United States and Northern Europe, vagrancy becomes a crime when it is accompanied by begging, while in other countries, it refers to a more serious offense than begging. It often applies to a fixed habitation but unlawful means due to immorality e.g. prostitution and gambling.

Whichever definition we want to follow, what is common is that vagrancy involves begging. This has become rampant and appears in many forms.  There are those who are into it full-time, while some others are those Tunde and Wunmi Obe (T.W.O) called “Fine Barra”. The “fine barras” are the ones you see dressed up and would approach you for “Charity.” On the first encounter, you are highly touched by their stories to the extent that you give them the charity unabated and ask if it’ll be enough. These stories are assorted, typically ranging from misplaced wallets, incomplete transport fares to many more emotional sugar-coated stories. Wait till you see them again, and by the third time, you’ll be able to do a recital of their poem(s). The most pathetic of them all, which happens to be predominant among the northern Nigerians, is street begging. This form is the worst of all, as even the appearance of the person sends a message that we have, not just a lot to do, but that we are yet to start working.

Most times, people look for excuses when they act along the negative side of morals. In this case, people’s excuse is that of the economic state of the country. While this is a mirror view of the federal state, I don’t consider it enough reason to degrade one’s self to the abyss of such shameless venture. Unfortunately, like any other illegal means, the profit is sometimes tempting and a reason not to think of self-esteem and whatever value one has. For starters, no equipment is required and the cost of starting is your values and some dispensable clothes to be torn and worn as uniforms.

As always, eradicating this menace lies majorly, NOT solely, on the government. They were elected to lead in the first place. Though it isn’t an important part of their work but it is a dent in their reputation. As such, it becomes necessary. What happened to those physically disabled who decided to clean the overhead bridges in Lagos State? What about the law Kwara state government made about giving beggars anything as crime? That’s our Government for us.

As a last note, having understood that the government can’t do everything, there is a need for contributions from our end as well-meaning citizens. Our religious institutions need to stop operating the method of “making the rich, richer’, as regards disbursements of Zakat and Tithes. They should understand and preach the aim of charity being giving alms to the ’poor” and the “needy”. As individuals  too, considering that these vagrants have close to nothing, we should understand that any little help we can offer can go a long way in their lives.

[OPINION]: WHY WOMEN ARE MORE PERCEPTIVE THAN MEN

    

To many, perception means different things. Unknowingly, perception means the ability to spot the contradiction between someone’s words and their body languages. It is believed that women are generally more perceptive than men. This has given rise to what is now referred to as the “women’s intuition”. Women have the ability to decipher and pick-up non-verbal signals, as well as having an accurate eye for small details. It is inborn and imprinted on the female gene. This is why few husbands can lie to their wives and get away with it and why, conversely, most women can pull the wool over a man’s eyes without his realizing it.

 

The only sets of men who often try to match the men are those in what is referred to as the “nurturing” occupations. This includes those in the acting and nursing occupations. However, female intuition is obvious in women who have raised children. This is so because for the first few years, the mother relies mainly on kinesics(non-verbal communication) to understand the child. They do this so well that they become more perceptive negotiators than their male counterparts.

 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging brain scans (MRI) clearly show why women have far greater capacity for communicating with and evaluating people than men do. Women have between fourteen and sixteen areas of the brain to evaluate others’ behavior versus a man’s four to six areas. This explains how a woman can attend a dinner party and rapidly work out the state of the relationships of other couples at the party – who’s had an argument, who likes who and so on. It also explains why, from a woman’s standpoint, men don’t seem to talk much and, from a man’s standpoint, women never seem to shut up.

The female brain is organized for multitasking — the average woman can juggle between two and four unrelated topics at the same time. She can watch a television programme while talking on the telephone plus listen to a second conversation behind her, while drinking a cup of coffee. She can talk about several unrelated topics in the one conversation and use five vocal tones to change the subject or emphasize points. Unfortunately, most men can only identify three of these tones. As a result, men often lose the plot when women are trying to communicate with them.

Little wonder, most psychics, tarot card readers and palm readers are female, or women. This is so because, as discussed previously, they have the extra brain wiring to allow them to read the body signals of babies and to read others’ emotional conditions.

Culled From “The Definitive Book of Body Language”

“ILLITERATE IS A DISEASE”: Battle between Kettle and Pot

Some days ago, I decided on taking a short trip to the main campus of my school, just to say hi to some fellas (I’m a medical student, so our fate is one campus situated in the bush). Since I had no private car of my own, I had to board a commercial vehicle. The “commercial route” included passing through the front of the Kwara State Government House. On this fateful day, we encountered a “go-slow” which is supposed to be awkward, given the location. We then started discussing possible reasons for this strange go-slow.

When we got to know the cause, it was shocking. There was a cab driver who occupied the middle of the road without the knowledge that there were cars behind him. After so much hooting, “horning” and cursing by fellow cab drivers, the guy shifted to a lane to allow other cars to pass.

Like a true Yoruba man that my driver was, he decided to move nearer to the guy to curse, lament and show his frustration and anger with every possible statement and gesture possible. On getting closer to the dude, we discovered that the man had earphones plugged! *Like seriously…?* This further infuriated my already vexed driver that he sped off in anger while still ranting about the situation. Out of fury and frustration, he DECIDED to let out a bombshell! “Illiterate is a disease”! I agree too…

It probably wouldn’t have been so much of a big deal if a passenger hadn’t reacted saying “abi” (equivalent to saying “exactly”) and the whole car started off on that topic. Typical Nigerians like amebo ehn…*choi*.  One said he should at least have used one ear rather than the two if he was going to use (hehehehe…half bread is better than none) and all sorts of comments passed by concerned and well-meaning Nigerians. From my own tiny little acquired corner in the car, I let out a smile that could be easily misunderstood for consent. Unfortunately, it was a sheepish smile connoting amusement. Amused at the way people dish out “nonsense ideas” thinking there’s a good way of doing a bad thing. Some people even said he was trying to copy students as if earpieces are labeled “For students only”…Mtscheew.

I was less busy, so it didn’t seem out of place to analyze who the illiterate was. Since I wasn’t going to use a standard examination procedure and a laboratory, or clinic as the case may be, I left my fellow passengers out so as not to complicate matters for my brain. But in reality, when did it become logical that road users can plug earphones? Especially when they are driving. I disagree with the passenger who said plugging one ear is enough. That shouldn’t be, he shouldn’t even have any at all. But, we are in a Nigeria where we do anything as we like. Unfortunately, this “illiterate” might believe it’s bad to drink and drive. Or he might insult private car owners who make calls while driving.

After my very short analysis, you can’t understand how short it was, I decided that my driver seem to be better off. The “earphone” taxi driver was obviously way out of line; I wonder how he expects to hear potential passenger’s call. Till today, I still can’t fathom what could have motivated the guy to plug earphones while driving. I would appreciate suggestions in the comment box sha. Maybe he wants to listen to news sha…that’s the highest excuse I can give him.

To complicate issues, my very good friend- the errant driver, didn’t even show any remorse. Rather, he resorted to insulting those who cared about him more than he could for himself. Nigeria, I hail thee! Blessed art thou. I foresee better days though