Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Half Man, Half Transformer..

Has finally transformed...
This extremely long (and slightly boring) post of mine was the tipping point.
In that post, I expressed every strong opinion I had regarding Nigeria. It was an attempt (not sure how successful it was) at linking every single aspect of our lives together in order to come up with a unified conclusion on how things completely fell apart.With these words, every idea of mine was fused to voice my present thoughts (at that time) on this shared inheritance (the space called Nigeria).
My conclusion is our future lies in the hands of God.
Projections and forecast hold no ground during this current global economic turmoil, so it is a waste of precious brain cells trying to figure out a way using these techniques. But one thing remains for sure: Nigerians are a resilient bunch. Our environment has made us ready to push on, even if with all the obstacles in our way. Our weakness in management and greed may hold us, but in time, all will be perfect. We (Nigerians hustling and bustling all around the world) are just part of a process that will usher in a new generational order. It is the speed at the thoroughness at which we take decisions will determine when our evolution will commence. But it definitely will. And that realization implies many things.
  1. The role I play in the mind of my readers is now vacant (whew!! I don't have to worry about what I am going to post next month.lol. Yeah I know I was slow to update, but you gats to admit, this blog dealt with some pretty fundamental issues; at least these issues were deep to me at the time of writing).
  2. I can now explore the direction of my transformation.
This transformation is geared towards a wavelength where my state of mind determines my experience (Good or bad, nice or sad). With the realization that you are simply part of a pre-defined process comes the understanding that life is what you make of it. And with that, the thinker transforms to become another being; a being that appreciates the beauty in life and the fullness of it.
That in mind made a paradigm shift in content of my post, from the traditional change Nigeria blog to a new horizon that exploring the mysteries in all things/issues I encounter. I have noticed a shift in my post since the beginning of the year and concluded that the focus of this blog is not deep enough to accomodate this new ideal and re-branding will just not work; thus Mr C evolves to become the
aspiring poet (Yes, I know, I should have used wordpress abi?)
I enjoyed the ride thinking about Nigeria. The efforts put into my 38 posts, was rewarded with 121 comments, approximately 3,430 captured hits, some form of recognition (here), and a mental experience unmatched.
I may still drop some line here. But as I bow out, I will be looking forward to my next 'role'. The objective is unknown but with God's guidiance, that experience would be the reward; which would be priceless.

Looking forward to sharing my experiences and I thank your time spent reading. I remain faithfully yours truly,
Seyi Osinowo - Mr C (Half Man, Half Transformer)

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Mating Call

“There are three things which are wonderful; the fourth which I cannot understand.
  1. The way of an eagle in the air
  2. The way of a serpent upon the rocks
  3. The way of a ship in the midst of a sea
  4. The ways of a man & his maid”
-----------------Proverb 30: 18-19

She noticed as he pass by. Pin strip suit, shirt, tie with even the scent to match. He's got it all. But she wasn't noticed. And it was not in her to make the first move.

Bisi sought for age old tactics to get his attention from her friends, as it is known that amidst the chatter and gossip, the gathering of women (usually in salons; that is possibly why they spend so much time doing their hair) contains the way. Yemi suggestion lacked substance “Just walk up to him and say you like him. Dress seductively-Let something show; he will drop after that day". Too cheap, she thought. I will speak to the elder (Her manicurist). The strategies of old had this subtle strike to it. She knew it would work.

Six month later, somewhere in Gbagada, there was Fred lying in bed next to Bisi trying to figure out what he had just done. He knows how office relationships end in scandals. And that could be his job!!

But this attraction was more than he could resist; it was like ants to sugar. This Bisi….
Fred recently joined the branch in Ketu. This was a man in his mid thirties could be classified as charismatic, a highflyer and quite well to do. He was received warmly and enjoyed the admiration and side comments even from Branch beauty queen, pretty Miss Ronke. But he stuck to his principle. At least for the first two weeks….
He was casually introduced to Bisi during his induction. He never considered her as attractive (at least from his standards and that of the bank).
He felt her stare anytime he passes by. When he looked back, she turned away. He thought it was innocent. Maybe, there was a stain or something like his tie not matching with his colour scheme, or body odour. His continual effort to redress or clean up led him deeper into the trap, by causing more stares. This seemingly innocent game of 'look' only made him gaze back for more. As days passed, Fred began to look forward to the time he could play 'look' with Bisi. He noticed her different outfits, her sway and grace. Her dimples were admirable. He began to notice what could make her attractive. This led him to ask “would she think me the same way?” His wonders lured him to spend more time around her desk carrying files (just trying to look busy) with the hope that the opportunity would arise when he can talk to her informally. She played her own part by consistently making mistakes anytime he is around with the hope that he would play ‘the knight in shinning armor’ and rescues her (which he did). At first, all effort to take her out was met with resistance.
Not until last night; all on his bill…

There is sophistication in the ways of a lady; methods that took years of nurturing to develop and handed down through generation. By these subtle gestures, body movement, women have been known to make men act without full understanding of their primary intention; taking decision that goes against their core beliefs.….

And all this starts with a mating call.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Top 100 blog for learning about Africa

I got informed via some email sent to my inbox. Apparently,this article commends yours truly for providing posts that "offer a very real sense of what it’s like to live as a Nigerian with topics including politics, life, culture, and economy" (see no 37).

Agreed this is no Oscar award but it does feel good to get some form of recognition/commendation. I truly appreciate that someone thinks that my internal conversations (conversations to decide between natural or nutural responses) provides material on the Nigerian experience. I must be doing something worthwhile.

I am still a bit curious on the criteria used in evaluating and arriving at the conclusions stated.

Lagos Na wa!

Lagos is the craziest place I have ever been to.

A video that explores the Lagos experience.
I must admit, her analysis of Lagos was thorough and unbiased but there are some two minor details that weren't quite true.
  1. Lagos definitely has a population and housing problem but people identified that live in shackles over swamp are rural poor that originate from Riverine areas. The lack of adequate housing is not the reason why those structure exist. The settlers are used to that kind of living.
  2. Environmental sanitation was not introduced 3 years ago. It has always being a form of unspoken policy as long as I can remember (was taught about it in primary school and groomed to do it throughout my life). Maybe it was re-introduced 3 years ago, but the fact remains that it has always been there.

This blogger's desire

One desire I have is to be renowned as a provider of art. The medium or the type of art is not clear but the focus remain; that message must come forth. A message that preaches fairness with equality and gets people to act in truth with one another.
But such message does not come out of thin air. It must be embodied in our understanding of individual daily rituals packaged in an artistic form; a form that capture imagination whilst allowing the message retain its purity. Thus, I am taking up the tasks of the medieval craftsman with the use of words:

* By capturing thoughts and giving insight into ideas people have overlooked.
* By preserving rare moments like the first kiss of a lady, or jokes shared by age old friends and merging it with the logic of a tale.

Such goes beyond the simple use of words and music but also it comes by the creator thinking in a realm where words are refined and become life. The creator must work as a craftsman, refining his thoughts, digesting specific moments and then searching for a medium that can adequately express the message in a way that can be appreciated.

It is something I desire to do. Making the tears flow, charging the atmosphere to release that euphoric feeling through the spines of my audience, and creating lasting moments that they can always identify with.
This might be my most noble act to humanity. Changing myself, to change the world.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Myths about Them

I saw it happen!!
It was about four second viewing but the context in which it happened, made the images stick.Just getting off the bridge that links the Ojota end of Ikorodu Road to Lagos Ibadan expressway. It was about 10pm at night and there was me, driving listening to music. Music playing was "Shooters" by Lil Wayne ft Robin Thicke. Just as the lyrics go "mama, hey mama, I think they want me to surrender" I see something lurking in the dark. When it becomes clearer, there were images of a man struggling with two young boys (ages between 21 and 23). As he struggled, they kept on unrelenting as they carried him to the other side of the road (the side where you have Motorways and Seven Up). A big tussle took place in the middle of the road and I think the one carrying his legs dragged off his trouser, slung it on his shoulders, and got back to carrying their victim to the destination, wherever that maybe.

In one way the scenario was like a modern interpretation of natives carrying their victim for ritual sacrifice. But also, it seemed like a choreographic imitation of vultures as they attack their prey.Of all things that blew my mind about the situation, and I think also made it stick, was the fact that I could not understand what I saw as there was no way the motives of the attackers made sense. Their antics had no similarities to anything I understood as human and this was the first time I came face to face with such encounters.It is easy to believe that my concern is in vain but that inability to relate to their experiences echoes a flaw in how our society is organized especially when these breed of people are pushing for the majority. High unemployment and incomprehensible growth in the economy has lead to an "unevolution" of the society's lower class as the weak, strong and wise, quest for ways to survive within harsh economic conditions that benefits only a few.

But what does it mean to unevolve? For context, unevolution would take place when there is a decline in the use of civil means expected in people's interaction and negotiation ethics with one another or strangers. The result would be everyone being suspicion on every encounter with every other person, as the former unconsciously make inquiries on indicators the describes their current realities of the latter.
Without insight, both parties are defensive and would hold no common/friendship grounds in negotiations unless some ice breaker is successful in brokering a peaceful union.All these results from lack of understanding who we are. Unlocking that requires detailed day to day narration of our lives in our environment the way it is, and communication that image in ways people can assimilate and get the information right. Art (in form of music, paintings, documentaries and drama) usually attempts to do that by providing us with a mirror from where we can look at ourselves and make adjustments where necessary. Such medium provide the platform where belief systems can be updated and people can now engage in more intimate conversations.Our arts and all information we collate about our society appear to exclude a growing aggressive attitude we have one with another. Though Nigerian music, art and Nollywood are getting increase global recognition, no one seems to be drawing any picture of the real issues.

  • No one is speaking on the university graduate driving Okada for a living
  • I have never come across a story on young Nigerians as they migrate Lagos in search of greener pastures
  • There is nothing done (even loosely) around how people rent apartment on shift basis
  • We don't see any intelligently constructed play that show how criminal operations are planned from scratch to finish.
  • Or do we see dramas narrating the life of doctors in a Nigerian teaching hospital?

With art that fails to describe, people are left with no other choice than to ascribe flawed characteristics on the next man. Without any assurance of the capability of the other person, there are limits to how much plans can be made that will truly be meaningful. In a society where everyone is skeptical about the next man there will always be higher than average need for caution and suspicion in basic dealings. Aggression will reign during transactions and violence will be more fatal.

Myths will guide as most people will never clearly get the true picture of the person in question.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

About You

“Speech and action… are the modes in which human beings appear to each other, not indeed as physical objects, but qua men. This appearance, are distinguished by mere bodily existence, rests on initiative, but it is an initiative from which no human being can refrain and still be human”..........“The Human Condition” Hannah Arendt

Have you ever heard a story about you? Have you ever stumbled upon people having that discussion? You will be startled as you observe the perception other people hold.

Let me first say one thing. Everybody talks. One form of entertainment we all engage in. Most actions we take spurs from that singular act as it is a primary source of individual information on what's happening. The medium of expression is a person, with a different perception of life and what it all entails. That perception, mixed with a sense of humor, style of speech, behavioral patterns, and the petty things unique to that individual (those things that he/she considers important) leaves an impression on the descriptions, the final output, the story and invariably the concept of that person called YOU .

So when someone says that story, the person being described will not be who you perceive yourself to be. And what’s amusing is another person's story might be a completely different version depending on how distant the story tellers are mentally.

Amazing isn’t it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cult of Amateurs

(This title was dubbed from the book by Andrew Keen with the same name)
It is official! 

Nigeria is the safest economy to invest in. Using some ratings, the experts at Merrill Lynch have come to that conclusion. 
I take this news with mixed feeling.                                               

On the bright side, it shows that all our shrewd, trust lacking, cash & carry business principles is the way to go. Knowing we are at the fore front of this "cutting edge" management practice, we are better positioned to establish our self as a force to reckon with in the emerging new world order. 

But on another note, is this report saying that the actions by modern economies are not in tuned to what's in? Another interpretation of this article implies that the step by step, meticulous approach applied by developing countries (like Malaysia or Singapore) in making their economy a foreign direct investment attraction does not exactly do what is says on the tin. On a lighter note, if this interpretation is the way society responds to this report, then one can say that mob mentality and chaos as business strategies would be principles the London Business School of Economics must adopted as it trains the next world thinkers (Maybe they would be better trained in Nigeria).
What we are reading is stating that the responsibility of safeguarding the world's future should be left to the hands of quacks, depth-lacking policy makers & rent seeking professionals; in other words I refer to the component of our amateur managed economy. 

This world economy downturn is worst than I thought.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Career Quandary

This article (by Phyllis Moen), is a must read for anyone interested in how traditional career path templates are not aligned with the ongoing economic change.

In simple term, the present career path is "a lock-step, full-time march to a one-way, one-time retirement" based on the idea that the man is the breadwinner of the household. The pressure of the new economy requires both men and women to work hand in hand to provide for the household. 

But expectations and the way organizations are structured different. Older women are working longer in societies that are stuck in the stereotype idea that they should be homemakers (thus having higher expectations that they can deliver). The result a one size fit all career path that subjects the working force to a life vulnerable to overload and burnout, and places his/her productivity, family life, and the next generation being groom risk. 

Mind blowing analysis. Just wish Nigeria companies would start taking environment factors into consideration (like time spent in traffic, epileptic utility supply, work-life balance and the harsh social condition experience when conduction transactions) when planning the career of the staff they would employ. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How do things fall apart?

"Let us start going oh!" That was Buky's call. We walked to the junction to take a bus. Our house at that time was on Agbaoku Street (opposite the Chrisland School in Opebi).
"Ikeja, Ikeja. Enter with you =N=10 change! No change oh!" The bus conductor shouted.
The bus picked us up and moved in the direction of Allen Avenue. As we approached the junction that linked Allen Avenue to Obafemi Awolowo road, a police officer stopped the vehicle. He complained about the overload and was serious about impounding the vehicle. The conductor stylishly handed the officer =N=20. You could see the fright in his (the police officers) face as he collected the money off the hand of the conductor. People in the vehicle could not believe what they saw. As we moved, they hissed, were swearing in pidgin, complained bitterly about Nigeria and the remaining reminisced about the good old days. You could see the officer stare at the van as it moved, wondering what he had done and trying to figure out how to manage the situation.

That was 1993.

Fast forward, to the 21st of August 2008. Around Surulere, my driver takes an "illegal" turning (All turnings are both legal and illegal depending on the negotiating skills of the parties involved, knowledge of rights, time of day and access to guns). The police stopped our vehicle. Knowing the time it would cost me (I was on my way to a meeting and lets not even deliberate about the madness of Lagos traffic here), I assumed the role. Came out of my car, they spoke about how serious the "offense" I had committed is (there are options for my next action: interrupt, keep quiet or fight back. For this crucial time, I knew to keep quiet and apologize was the best option). They went on and talked about impounding the vehicle and taking it to the police station (Now, my next action is to negotiate and give them a reasonable offer where we can negotiate from; which I did.). With my offer proposed, I turned round to talk to my driver (I could hear whispers "this na Akata. He fit drop more").5 minutes of negotiation, I was in my car =N=3,000 poorer, on the way to my meeting; an average day in the life of a Lagosian.
A lot has changed in Nigerian within the past 15 years.

I recently saw the play on Chinua Achebe's masterpiece on Okonkwo. The story (from my interpretation) focuses on a society with laws and order and its own ways of doing things. The missionaries came and their introduction was instrumental in the crumble of every value the society held dear to its existence; an action personified with Okonkwo hanging himself. This is when "things began to fall apart".

This takes me back to the police case. What could remove decency from becoming a watch word? How did a seemingly contented set of people become rent seekers with no regard for how the society runs? I don't think I am on to anything new here.

I cannot attribute the Nigerian case to the "resource curse"; if I did then I must explain the case of the rich economies of the middle east whose status have been fueled by oil earning.
Nor will I attribute it to the activities of the military; if the military can overthrow a president at will, then why didn't they (for example in America) plot a coup to topple George Bush as he experimented with policies that have no basis and created a worldwide recession? The fundamental problem is we lack policies useful in upholding our ways of life and ensuring a saner Nigerian experience. In simple terms, what we need to run our society is simple not there. I will explain.

Let me run through my ideology on how a society function and what can spark up a change within it.

Every society evolves because individual citizens cannot provide all he/she requires. This mass collaboration of people require a mix of people with different skills to support it existence. These skills could be banded into professionals that are social, economic and legal agents.

  1. Unit individual take simple actions towards improving the quality and quantity of their lives. This could be in the form of till the land, or cleaning their house. With increase in specialism on a specific task, they build capacity to add value and therefore become suitably positioned to request earning from people requiring such services (because those people have to focus on doing something else). Slowly economic agents emerge that create structures, policies and framework to ensure the work is done while optimizing resource use.
  2. In order for people to invest and continue what they are doing in a sustainable manner, some sort of legal agents are required to prevent the strong from inflicting harsh experiences on those not capable of protecting themselves.
  3. All the above agents require a platform to interact; a platform upon which people can be sensitized; a platform that social priorities are established; one which enables an ecosystem where the balance of production is distributed amongst economic & public goods. These social agents are manned by the roles of politicians, lobbyist, socialites and other professionals who earn "based on association". The value they add to a system can not be undermined. Their presences provide character to the economic activities of the other agents and also act as cohesion to of all roles in that environment. In developed societies, these roles are usually left for the old and (or) the wise.

Now how can a change occur and influence the order of things?
The simplest benchmark for measuring a civilization is a place where the children rebel against the norm. A child will revolt against the establishment that supports the cultural fabric of the society because the instruction pass down does not sit well with his/her evolving personal belief. If there was no civilization, then any stance against authority will simple trickle into the mainstream (as no establishment has been empowered to uphold the values that has been passed down for generation). If the general way proposed does not agree with a significant number of the younger generation, a revolution might take place. The impact of that revolution can go in three ways.

  1. If the revolution actually tackles a growing concern emerging from changing circumstances, the establishment might accommodate the ideologies and slowly the proposed way will trickle into the main stream. (Example: The founding fathers of Nigeria (Awolowo, Azikiwe & Tafa Balewa) were youth that joined forcing in pushing for the independence of the Federal republic of Nigeria. The establishment at that time stood against such act. But as they were at the "tipping point', such act of unity was strong enough to create a order and make way for an entirely new ways in which people within our land space are organized).
  2. The revolution might have no impact on anything if the legal agents are strong enough to cripple any uprising (example: Student riot in 1986 was not able to change the status quo at that time that upheld General Babangida in the seat of power).
  3. The revolution might not be strong enough to unseat the establishment, but it can instill new orders and patterns. (Example: The Nigeria Civil war was able to mentally create a division between the three main Nigerian tribes. Though the vision of the Biafran state did not materialize, the impact of that war was able to create a sort of Biafran mentality; one that created room for the marginalization of the Ibos the beginning of tribal politics).This new order puts a crack in the hold of the establishment on the people, influences their perception; here things begin to fall apart.

What makes the Nigerian institutions weak?
This article of William Lynch Let's make a slave provides strategies to make and manage slaves. It simple states that the basic way of creating a slave involves destroying every image of strength in the mind of the future generation, then going further to destroy the concept of identity. Such action will eventually create a self propelling slave producing race of people; which every subsequent generation more confused that the other.
My mission is not to spark up ideas of a black movement calling for reparations (
To be very honest, with the right conditions, any of us could have been William Lynch if such action would guarantee survival). I am just trying to provide answers to these questions.

  • Why is the black race (Nigeria as the point of reference) at the bottom of the food chain?
  • What insight can we get that will enable us know how to run our civilization, especially at a time when it looks like African is the only way out of the world's financial crisis ?

Nigeria is in this situation because we found ourselves in positions we could not handle. Slavery has always being a normal part of human civilization; but not as a part of some business process that promotes the free market ideologies and preaches expansion and sustainability. The black traders of those days did not know what they were dealing with. In an environment where everything is traded (and slaves are made), this act of slave trading was able to change the perception of a black man (as one with physical strength, high libido and a race always in continual struggle) to everyone that he/she came across.
That initial crack in the societal culture was transferred to the mainland Africans by colonization. The general code of conduct that had being established during Lynch's time (on how to make and manage slaves) was the guide used in defining the ways and manners of Nigeria's colonial master related to us, designed our schools (and trained our youths), and created our socio-political industrial complex. This subtle act led to:

  • A destruction of our core values and cultural ways of life (an act perpetrated by setting up schools that removed the speaking of our mother tongue, branded the behaviours of our ancestors as primitive and institutionalized ways that are uphold the constitution of the United Kingdom)
  • Creating transport networks that focus on the movement of raw materials out of Nigeria of processing (that underlying structure encourages heavy importation of finished goods to the detriment of local industries)
  • Establishing an economic system that is completely dependent on the "mental" capacity of the Western economies and the physical strength of Africa

The result was a race of Nigerians with no identity and a people that lacked the core skills required to compete in an economic system alien to them. Thus, even though the founding father gathered to build, the people they built for had no allegiance to the land. The reality is evident as millions of Nigerians fled immediately the military came to power because there was nothing in the land that reminded them that Nigeria is their.(If you look at individual nations as family unit, the whole picture will look different to you. Nobody will leave his fathers house because his brothers are misbehaving).
The slave mentality (embedded in our post colonial human systems) awoke and drones of us flocked into the same countries our fore fathers sold slaves to, to become servants, students and trainees. The quest remains the same, to get a better life. This option of traveling is mostly not out of choice, but lack of alternatives; out of the fact that our nation is not capable of making the best use of our its own resources.

This weak government institutions are not assisted by the family institutions as both genders in actualizing the Nigeria dream or adding to its cause. The dream is one of "freedom, peace and unity"; what we recite in the national anthem. The words are not strong enough to send down euphoric feelings in the hearts of those that sing the anthem (as the mere man cannot relate any of the words to his condition). Besides, the environment and personal experiences do not equip the average person with what is needed to make choices that would move reality closer to the already abstract dream.

  • The Nigerian dream is managed within a rent-seeking culture (it is customary for all subordinate to expect "something" for trivial occasions like weekend, traveling, purchase of new vehicle, or just simply because of that time. This "something" is the most significant motivating factor used to encourage staff to "work", even if they generally don’t pro actively do much). It is one where the people barely have time to stop to reflect. This over pressured life forces them to take solitude in religious engagement and quest for pleasure that excludes mental engagement. Their self-improvement strategy is more often than not is a product of the crowd's wisdom (example: his decision to invest in stocks or real estate or travel abroad to study petroleum engineering is because everyone says "there is money to be made there"). The "crowd" advice usually tends to skew the distribution of supply of services; as services they reckon with are skewed towards brokering or roles that returns on investment with minimum effort(thus you have period of over supply of diesel merchants or real estate brokers).
  • The average man within the culture is one with a slight drinking problem with a minimum of two extra marital affairs. He works hard to furnish his life with the "good thing" (imported branded items like cars, expensive suits, watches and electronic gadgets). The issue he monitors daily encompasses every aspect of his life (crime, housing, utilities, and unhealthy work-life balance).
  • The average woman is one that consistently works towards fitting her life into the stereotypical ideology of who she should be (in terms of weight, marital & financial status). She also is interested in the good things (traveling, imported dressing accessories).Of the two sexes, she is the one most likely to be found neck deep into religious rituals; an act she holds on to dearly for protection of everything she holds on to.
  • The average youth just wishes he was somewhere/someone else (as far away from anything Nigeria)

Considering our weak family units and incapable government, our quality of life can only deteriorate. The weakness of these institutions exposes the young ones opened to contamination from alien behaviours (as they have no one to rebel against, they instantly take up all ideals available online and transfer on to the mainstream); ways that can further dilute our culture and cripple our capabilities to function as a people. In this state, things will continually crumble and the younger ones will have tougher challenges to deal with. With such trends and decreasing capacity to function, the future Nigeria might be a refugee state as the virtual growth (created by booming prices of raw materials) and stability fade away. By that time, culling from Chinua Achebe's masterpiece, Okonkwo would have hung himself.

I think the time as come for the youth to begin to take things into their hands. Our present ways are wasteful and counterproductive in itself. The young must evolve its own agents of change (social, economic and legal agents) using religious organization as platforms where ideologies are converted from visions to personal next step and transferred into our own homegrown techniques. Techniques that focuses on how we, Nigerians can build Nigeria, for Nigerians, together.
The historian must develop for us an identity that we can be proud of; one that we believe in, and one that is true (
we can start by changing that national anthem. It holds no depth capable of steering people to act in oneness). The tipping point is near. We need is that collective spark. We have the resources and the human capacity. Then we steering all these resources to the right direction.
Our government has failed us; not because they are wanted to but because they are not equipped to deal with the falling Nigeria. If nothing changes, our children will may never forgive us.

It is our duty to prevent it all from falling apart. That is what we were born to do.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What are they up to?

The American congress responded with a $700 billion rescue package that will prevent the total collapse of their financial system. This is definitely the beginning of the end of capitalism. It is becoming more evident that the forces of demand and supply are not enough in optimal allocation of resources amongst people in a confined space. Collective action, embodied as a government must participate or else....
I see a new world order is emerging.

Somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, just above the equator in a land referred to as Nigeria, though its the Security and Exchange Commission is not in full support of the move because they believe the market has strong fundamental, Nigerian banks are hustling to join in the =N=600 billion stock market bail out plan. The NSE backs this move to create market makers as it could help draw back foreign investors and boost liquidity in the stock market.

I will not claim to be a financial expert but I don't necessarily see what they are driving at with the bail out plan. It might just be end up creating power brokers and enable a few dictate prices and earn off the market at will.

There is little emphasis on how that money would be injected and the implication (one has to be careful of this altruistic act with bankers; they always have the small print).

Yes America needs it but, NO, I don't see what a bail out plan is needed for in the Nigerian stock market. The wiping out of over 30% from stock value resulted from excess liquidity over supply of stock (over valuation of share prices) and the market trying to regulate itself (who can justify the impact of a $85 billion market capitalisation on our real economy? Or am I asking the wrong questions?). The continual bearish nature reflects the drop in confidence, which could be restored by the floated companies ACTUALLY doing something significant that reflects the value of their share prices. In the American case, such action can be barely executed as there is limited flow of credit finance within their eco-system; thus the government must inject value if any steps are to be considered.

Market makers might just be successful in creating artificial boom that can attract investors but is not sustainable.
That is my opinion and I stand to be corrected.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A call to all Diasporans: Nigeria is changing

This post tells me something; there is still hope for Nigeria.

The normal expectation of society is that a government will develop policies and platforms upon which the business opportunities will emerge, jobs opportunities will be created, needs will be met, and everybody will live happily ever after. But when you consider that our government is one of kidney failures (I know, my what you're thinking "very funny, Mr. C" (in a sarcastic way) !!), nepotism, quick win and a baseless vison 2020, you begin to wonder, will things get better? My own opinion is our evolution will be different.Nigeria might evolve under the ideolgies of Wikinomics; mass collaboration changing everything.

The initial flow of these foreign based Nigeria (Nigeria expatriates or whatever you want to call them) will target the established institutions of commerce (banks, oil firms and telecoms companies). Presently, (in my opinion) the roles in these institutions are filled up by HR policies with 'connection' undertone and warped methods of determining remuneration. In simple term, salaries and positions are a reflection of who you know, and what or where you studied as opposed to what you can do. Obvious the industry has not developed yet to a stage where a more complex system of human capital management is required. But that evolution is on the way.

Individual response to that will be to enroll for courses they think the industries would demand for. This would make, for example, people to rush into petroleum engineering, project management, ACCA and other cliché degrees and certifications that they believe will look attractive to the employing institution.

The remuneration will start looking less attractive as the staff get promoted, the supply begin to exceed the demand for foreign trained Nigerian graduates, and employers begin to see the need to critically look at their internal onboarding & recruitment policies. Also, those employed in the established institution, who are traditional not passionate about their present role and are frustrated about their work/life balance (fueled by crazy traffic, outrageously expensive cost of goods and service and high crime rate), would start exploring self employment opportunities that would align with their self-actualization plans. This could lead to growth in other sectors of the economy and slowly changes the scheme of things when you take into account the entrepreneurial Nigerian spirit (think of the Nigerian entertainment industry, how it was (and is still being) revolutionized by the influx of adequate human capital. The industry has so far been successful in developing awareness of its existence amongst the global community, and a platform upon which those who have some form of passion for entertainment can showcase their skills. There is now the need to develop more interactive content, cause in my opinion the output on average is wack).

Even with the crisis faced, the option of moving back abroad will start losing it allure as most will have their lives completely ingrained in the Nigerian system and the thought of starting all over again will look less like a good idea. This critical mass of Nigerians educated at home and abroad engaged in legitimate sources of employment, will begin to question every policy that govern their lives and create platforms upon which they can influence things for the good of their business. They would begin to push for better public policies and transparency in government. All these could lead to more jobs, more needs met, and everyone living happily every after.

The next couple of years in going to be exciting. There will be winners and losers, successes and failures. But the fact remains, NIGERIA WILL CHANGE.

Never have I been so glad that I moved back!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I thought this was funny.....

Before the marriage:

He: Yes. At last! It was so hard to wait.
She: Do you want me to leave?
He: NO! Don't even think about it.
She: Do you love me?
He: Of course!
She: Have you ever cheated on me?
He: NO! Why are you even asking?
She: Will you kiss me?
He: Yes!
She: Will you hit me?
He: No way! I'm not such kind of person!
She: Can I trust you?
He: Yes.
She: Dear!!

Now, after the marriage - you can read it from the bottom upwards!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reflections of a one year Old Blogger!!

It only starts with a match and fire. Before you know it , everything will burn.

One of the greatest changes to my thinking resulted from a discussion with the boys last weekend.What we chatted about could be summarized into this sentence: If my reality is a product of the blood and dreams of those that came before me, what can I do for those that will come after? Of all the ideas discussed, none was as captivating as the belief that some difference would not be possible unless we say so..
Thinking further about that statement made me aware of how much impact I can make to the world around me, without even knowing it. But why a change? Our experiences are metamorphosing at a rate faster than our society's capabilities. To prevent chaos we must transfer these changes to the world around us (a catalyst that makes this vicious cycle continues, until we evolve to a point where our collective mental state is at par with the environment around us).
I question my position in the grand scheme of things, and I realize how insignificant I am; I am referring to me, a product of the net generation. This is reflected in how different my perspectives is to those that dictate the harmony of my life. And I am not alone in this internal crisis.
Most Western economies,for example were built on a foundation of racial hatred ("our leaders must be protestant, white, heterosexual males"). African on the other hand, has a foundation where economic policies are influenced by politics and selfish interest. But we, the emerging product of a new world order, are different. There is something similar in how we speak; a similarity reflected in our writings. Passion, and a desire for something we cannot see, yet.

I didn't know what a blog was until June 2007. My first conscious encounter with one was with that of Jeremy. (Before then, I had probably seen some very disjointed stories and wondered what magazine the person worked for; I thought all writers were either established journalists or freelance writers) .A friend sent me an article that we found interesting. I read it and took no serious thoughts about who the dude was (till we met at a friend's place and struck me I had seen his face before). My clicking on the long forgotten bookmark is how my journey started. I observed the content of the articles and after a few days, I noticed a link called 'comments'. From this I came across the blogs of the in my head and around me lady and a weird bloke who named his blog Unaked Soul. Through this network, I also came across the writings of Good Nigerian Girl and the blogs of Vera (that babe don kolo since....LOL ).

To be honest, this type of writing is something I am new to; the art of 'expressive' writing. I termed it such because, the writer is required to use words as a medium in describing his opinion and personal conviction on an issue. My profession as a Management Analyst has put in place the discipline of unbiased opinion on external issues, business report writing style, and a step by step approach to reporting; thus makes this very hard to write in a fluid manner (I sometimes can be found demonstrating my idea with hand movements as I try to write sentences that makes cognate sense and is aligned with my personal compass, at the same time goes along with the story). Article of this kind could take me two straight hours of uninterrupted thinking (a rare instance for me in these "dark" NEPA days) to write and express something that will engage reader.
Arriving at present state was the result of continual transformation. The name, for example, has been changing. Previously, this blog was called:
  • The world as I see it (burrowed from Albert Einstein book of the same name)
  • Blogging my mind (from the previous url name which was www.bloggingmymind.blogspot.com)
  • Thinking Far>>>>
The concept and style of writing kept changing also. Since I don't have the time to do my own research, I use people's blog to determine my benchmark. I am super at look at things from a first principle basis then linking that idea with a critical issue under review; thus most of my post will try to relate the issues to fundamental units that everyone can relate with. Units that identifies cost/benefits. I have used other blogs to help refine the medium through which my concept is expressed
  • Jeremy's blog was helpful in pointing me out to contemporary Nigerian issues, as he effortless dug out articles from archives that I am still baffled how he found them out
  • I use the style of 'in my head and around me' to test how fluid my sentences are. I still haven't got her style yet but I am now falling in love with that of Vera.
  • Naked Soul's use of quote at the beginning of every new post is brilliant (which I adopted)
  • I am using GNG's rambles to develop my "Internal conversations**" (statements labeled in red) (**Internal conversations are meant to uphold my opinion of the idea with a comment that doesn't fit into the structure of the sentence in consideration. This word should be in Wikipedia if it doesn't exist as something else already.lol)
As I try to redefine better ways to express myself, I cannot help but notice that although all blogs seem to explain personal stories, there is always something this undertone that questions the norm. There is like this silent revolt against all that the establishment stand for. Institution that are not evolving rapidly enough to deal with our changing ideals and perceptions of the world around us.
It have been tolling with the idea of a wiki-blog, after I came across this blog. If a mega blog is built that any registered blogger can edit, how powerful would that idea be if all our skills are channeled towards one single idea? The impact of that can be so overwhelming that it could set the right energy in motion capable of engaging policy makers and project managers towards implementing the issues being deliberated about. This could be a thesis more powerful than what is present being pushed out of the ivory towers today. An idea backed with a passion, loads of humour, well-researched articles and a proposed practical solution can be a platform upon which academic ideologies can be transfered to the way our society runs. With passion, people in the corridors of power,NGO will discover practical ways to manage ideas they believe in (and edited) to develop and execute work plans. As people see the impact of their work in action, they get motivated to work more and with more peer to peer softwares available, the idea will spread like wildfire with everyone contributing their own conclusions and suggestions; no one can ignore the power to a concept something as little as a 'comma' can do.

We are all striving to achieve something. It might be on a very subliminal level but being every article, blog, comment writeup, there is this drive to change something no matter how mundane. It might be the mood of a reader, someone perception of us or an issue, or to draw our support a particular notion.
Once we know our capabilities and strength and focus on it, we would be capable of making the change that replicate our vision. With an idea, the right skills and passion, the mind of the world remains the conquest we must dominate.

Friday, September 12, 2008


She studied History in university.
Bright student, I must say. Intended on studying law, but ended up with something else.
Never did I realize how important her profession was until we had that heart to heart conversation.
Historians do change the world also. They interpret the world that came before us, which helps us shape our perception of things.

Think of this; do you see facebook (and other social network sites) playing any role in communicating our ways of living to other generations? With the present trend of things, facebook will possible contain pictures of all your life experiences and expressions. It might even contain the day of death (enabled by some application an MIT nerd comes up with). The profile will be archived for public domain viewing (or maybe the deceased’s next of kin will determine how much of the profile is sharable).

We are making history.

Strange innit?