Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama is hip hop’s first president

Barack Obama embodies the dream of a lot of people. On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, he accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party as presidential candidate in November’s elections. For many, the fact that Obama, an African American is able to aspire to the highest office in America is a fulfillment of King’s “dream”.

Like many young people, candidate Obama loves rap music and on his top 10 list are songs like the Fugees’ Ready or not and Kanye West’s Touch the sky, big rap hits. It is not farfetched why he has a strong connection with young people.

But for the hip hop generation, Obama’s coming might be the fulfillment of the visions of the prophets of Hip Hop. Rap legend Tupac Shakur asked the question in his song Changes: “And although it seems heaven sent; We ain't ready, to see a black President; It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact; the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks”.

In Shakur’s vision of the condition of the black man in America, it was easy to dismiss that a black man could ever become president considering the fact that the bulk of them were in jail. But the clock has turned full circle with Obama becoming the first black man with the best realistic shot at the White House. Obama's optimistic message of "change" finally answers Shakur's pessimistic "I see no changes; all i see is racist faces".

Obama's might be the hip hop dream come true.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nigeria Represented at Obama Rally in Berlin!

Photo taken by Charles Ommanney for Newsweek.

I was browsing through a back copy of Newsweek (August 4 edition) a couple of moments ago and saw the picture of Barack Obama's speech in Berlin Germany, last month.

When I looked closer, to my amazement, I saw the Nigerian flag and a Nigerian lady standing behind it. The green-white held a pride of place as Obama trotted the aisle towards the dais where he delivered his world unity speech to 200, 000 Berliners.

And ensconced in that huge crowd was a proud Nigerian flying our flag thousands of kilometres across the world. She was clapping alongside Europeans who were savouring the beauty of the moment.

Does anybody know this lady who is very proud of her 9janess even while looking forward to a better world, that which Obama represents?

I couldn't but share the picture with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hotel room blues

I stayed in a hotel called Asempa Hotel in Takoradi, Ghana during my recent sojourn there. On their house rules list were some expressions I felt l couldn’t but share with you guys.

House rule No 6: customers are advised not to entertain too many visitors in their rooms as this may DISTURD fellow lodgers.
House rule No 8: kindly refrain from TEMPERING with electrical installations. All problems must be reported to the front desk.

Never mind the typos, it's a great place to stay if you ever find yourself in Takoradi. It's relatively new and affordable. Single room goes for $35. With free breakfast.

And it is in the centre of town along the city's Liberation Road close to the Market Circle where you can find the cheapest fish in the world as the city is bordered by the Atlantic.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Out for a while

Dear readers,

I'm out of town for a couple of days and would not be blogging as I'm undertaking some research. Hope you don't miss me too much.

See you soon.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ribaduism and Ribadu blues

The nation is suffering from Ribaduism at the moment. What is Ribaduism? It is the feeling you get when you've stepped on a lot of toes on your way up and those toes come to crush you when you are at your most vulnerable point. Yesterday the papers reported that Nuhu Ribadu, erstwhile EFCC chairman has been demoted from the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, to that of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP.

As if that was not grave enough, today reports have it that Ribadu has been sent packing from the executive refresher course he was attending at NIPSS, Jos because his new rank cannot allow him to continue with the pprogramme. I guess you cannot make omelette without breaking eggs, huh?

My heart goes out to Ribadu even though I think he might have deserved some of the flak he is receiving at the moment. He did step on some toes while trying to please his political godfather OBJ in his anti-corruption fight. For most of the campaign against corruption in Nigeria, many people believed that Ribadu was just hounding the enemies of OBJ and not really stamping out corruption. But it cannot be said that he didn't make any meaningful impact. So it begs the question; who will ever stand up to fight against corruption in this country knowing that he will suffer the consequences when he is no longer in office?

Is it possible that Dora Akunyili who, like Ribadu, has fought against importers of fake killer drugs through NAFDAC will suffer the same fate? It seems we have a short memory span in this country. Hosannah! today, crucify him! tomorrow.

There are obviously more questions than there are answers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Paris-ian response to McCain

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

What more could one have expected from Paris Hilton but such coy words and an attack against McCain; "that wrinkly, white-haired guy". Hahahaha

More power to Paris. I think she's not just a dumb blonde, she's also smart in her own way. ANd she makes use of it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Northern Friends of the South South

(Left:Dr Shabba Umar and Alhaji Suleiman AB Yerima, president of the group)

Attended a press briefing today by the Northern Friends of the South South, a pressure group that wants the government to pay more attention to the issues affecting the Niger Delta.

They want among other things:

-that the federal government reverse the derivation formula to 50% for the producing region to what it was back before the Civil War in 1967.
-that the fed govt pay all the funds accruing to the Delta region
-that the fed govt not relinquish the Bakassi region to Cameroun.
-that the fed govt refuse the help of the British and Americans in sending their military to the Niger Delta region knowing that force would only aggravate the situation like it has been in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-that the militants in the Niger Delta sheath their swords and embrace dialogue.
-that the Friends of the South South will continue to pursue the idea of one Nigeria and peace and unity for all.

It is interesting to note that a northern group would stand up for the people of the Niger Delta considering the fact that the North has always enjoyed the money from the Delta without feeling the pinch of environmental degradation that has almost destroyed the people there.

May we have many more groups like this that will be selfless enough to stand for other parts and ethnicities of the country other than theirs. I feel there's still hope for this country after all.

Supporting our boys

The Olympic Games commence on Friday and Nigeria will be participating in about 9 disciplines. The country's favourite sport is football and our lads and ladies will both be playing tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday. The Falcons will play the ladies from Korea tomorrow while the Dream Team will square up against the Netherlands on Thursday.

This is wishing the Samson Siasia lads a successful outing in Beijing. Hope they bring us the gold again like the premier Dream Team did in 1996.

Go Nigeria. Go for gold!!!

See my complete analysis of the Games in this week's edition of TELL Magazine.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Do we have a government?

I went to my brother's wedding last Saturday at Sango Otta. I made my journey through Ifako Ijaiye and encountered a sight that made me question if we really have a government in place in Lagos. There's this crater lake in the middle of the road and people and cars got stuck in it. It was like a scene from CNN except that I was one of the live witnesses. Buses and cars failed as they tried to drive through with several ebgines becoming flooded and loosing power. See photos here. It is sad if our government cannot do anything to help its citizens while it makes to collect taxes, even increasing, it all the time.