Entry #42 – One man’s trash…

prism…is another man’s treasure? Well I’ve got a Nokia 7900 Prism that says ‘NO!’ – thats if you want to keep beating the life out of it everytime it freezes when a message comes through it. I can vaguely remember how I strolled into the Nokia shop barely a year ago, coughed out N70,000 (which is over £200 or over $300) and was one of the ‘privileged’ few to be pouncing around town with a phone which got quite a lot of  ‘Ooh! Nice phone!’, ‘It’s unique!’, ‘I haven’t seen this before!’, (Hindsight – thanks to you gawkers I didnt return the phone sooner to get a refund).

It was as slim as kate moss, black as Whoopi’s lips, had more colour theme choices than Amy Winehouse’s make-up artist (oops, I forgot she does it herself), and boasted more tricks than Harry Potter’s wand. Well I was tricked alright.  I was tricked into thinking an engraved Aluminium casing was mega cool. For N70,000 I should be getting at least Titanium, shouldn’t I? For N70,000 I should be getting not just 1GB of built-in memory but 3GB! For 70,000 bleeping Naira I should be getting more than a 2 mega-pixel camera, FM radio and bluetooth – bluetooth! What genius came up with THAT term? The next pushy salesperson that offers me a ‘BLUETOOTH’ will get a ‘BLACKEYE’.

I will not be ripped off again (Aaaaargh!!!) I shall not succumb to the…oh my…could it be? Could Nokia be entrancing me yet again with a nonsenical technological blunder utterly unworthy to be categorized as a cutting-edge mobile phone? Its so slick…stylish…kinky…qwerty…look at it slide…the screen is huge…how much is it? How much? I think I’m falling for the E75…shh, I just can’t help it. I hate you Nokia…making me spend my money…and in 8months I know this’ll be trash too…but for 11years now when has that ever stopped me 🙂

Entry #38 – Feeling peckish

Earlier today I was just craving for a bit of toast, which I dont eat regularly. And I suddenly had a flashback to the early 80s when I heard this peculiar song by Streetband (A UK group). The song is kinda irritating now when I hear it but as a kid it made me laugh for whatever reason beknown to me. Was it the way the lead singer, Paul Young, was just chatting away throughout the song, the cheesy chorus, the crunching sounds of someone biting through toast or was it just the monologue-rap with the corny beat and the silly sound effects…wait, I think I hear the kettle boiling! Well, I’m going to share this excruciating audio experience with you, my inquisitive readers. Get your butter knives out and lets make…

Entry #37 – My affair with 4 women

lipsWomen – a mystery to some, a weakness to many (men and lesbians, that is). I too have fallen prey to the clutches of the female species. I vaguely remember one particular woman who locked me down for about 9months. I felt trapped. I wanted to break free but at the same time I wanted to stay. I was so confused that I had to have a third party separate us. I actually cried my eyes out but today we’re still in touch and on good terms.

The second woman whose birthday was on 27th June (so if you’re reading this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) was one whom I shared a Mr. & Mrs. Smith relationship with…literally. On one occasion she chased me round the house with an 8-inch kitchen knife – she couldn’t catch me though (phew!). We have an understanding now and we’ve learned to keep our distance – I’m in Nigeria, she’s in Great Britain…

The third woman who messed with my mind was like a brother to me…the brother I never had…actually, I wished she was a boy…okay I know how that can confuse you right now. You probably wondering, ‘…but I thought he liked women!’ I do…and I’m not bisexual either. Let me break it down: 1st woman – My mother; 2nd woman – my junior sister; 3rd woman – my baby sister.

Yes, my ‘affairs’ with all these women still continues and I’m not done yet. I mentioned ‘4 women’ in my post title. Well in 2010 the fourth woman I deeply love will be the one I’ll spend the rest of my life with…God willing 🙂

Entry #34 – Homewreckers

fingerLadies and Gentlemen, an invasion is upon us! In the 21st century a new evil has befallen planet earth. The shape-shifting creatures of the damned lurk into your very households whilst you watch the news, sip your tea, and  pick your nose. These venemous scum leach unto the married couples of our time and cause havoc and destruction in a systemmatic manner. They are more commonly known as… Homewreckers

So how do you know if you’ve been stung by a homewrecker? When she notices a hotel receipt in his jacket and she hasn’t been to one with him…ever. When he stumbles across his wife’s missing earring by the couch in his best friend’s apartment. When she looks through his mobile phone and she reads the text/SMS, ‘I can’t wait to see you again.Same time tomorrow?’ 

Maybe that’s all a bit too obvious. What about bad drinking habits, gambling, drug addiction, Job loss, Ponzi schemes and hard earned stocks & investments taking a nose dive? What about family ties? Blood is thicker than water, right? What if your mother-in-law (who’s a pain-in-the-neck) comes to live with you? ‘NO WAY!’ I hear you say? What if your partner doesn’t want you to put her in an old people’s home? What then?

But I guess the most deceptive and destructive of all the Homewreckers is the Internet…and the blogworld plays a massive part alongside Facebook, Ebay and Free Porn. Guys who spend more time clicking the mouse than kissing the spouse soon become victims of a home about to be bulldozed, metaphorically speaking.

CrazyNigerian’s Final Thought: Fellow bloggers, if you have a partner then spend less time blogging. And if you don’t have a partner…spend less time blogging 🙂

Entry #33 – Mystery Myths

pandaGrowing up (with a relatively unhealthy addiction to TV) I was under the strange impression that ALL chinese men could fight martial arts – I mean right from toddlers the moment they could walk, all the way to old timers right before they needed hip replacements. Even a fat China man who couldn’t bend over to touch his toes could still claim to have a black belt in Karate, Judo, Taekwundo and (after his  nightshifts as a club bouncer) is a part-time Ninja assassin…and you wouldn’t want to stick around to find out. Well actually who am I kidding – a fat China man doesn’t need martial arts knowledge…there’s always the Sumo option i.e. can’t fight ’em, sit on ’em.

I’ve wised up since then. I don’t believe the myth about the boogie man living underneath my bed. Who invented that crap name anyway? The Boogie man sounds like a mythological creature that comes out from under your bed alright when the lights are out and starts strutting like John Travolta to ‘Night Fever’ – whats there to be scared of? I’d like to see him dance me to death (er, I’d rather not actually).

What about the myth that all black guys are well-endowed? I’m an average black man but if I’m the only one getting those ‘enlargement’ emails in my junk box then there’ll be cause for concern. There’s the myth that blondes get the most attention – but is that with or without the silicon? How about aliens? Has anyone actually been to Area 51? I escaped from there years back and the U.S government has probably relocated the other aliens to avoid a case where I come back to infiltrate and expose the conditions ‘we’ were subjected to…you have no idea – what I went through would make captives in Guatanamo Bay look like they were on a fun-filled holiday retreat 😀

Entry #32 – Mouth to mouth

mouth2mouthWhat’s in a kiss? Saliva? Sure! That’s if it’s a wet kiss. But if your partner has gum problems or uses a very soft toothbrush then there’s probably some blood to go with that saliva (Urgh!). If you’ve just had dinner before that kiss then there’s probably a whole bunch of food particles swimming through a bloody saliva stream all the way down your oesophagus (okay, stay with me here). If your partner has protruding teeth then there are probably some braces to go with that slimy blood pool. Thinking about dry-kissing instead, eh? I don’t blame you.

I for one like to think that I’m a smooth kisser…you know, those sedative-type kisses that leave lips numbed to sleep. I believe a perfect kiss should be timed, literally. A kiss that lasts for 2 seconds is way too short and a kiss that lasts for 20secs can quickly become a drooling grueling task of endurance (c’mon, that’s a lot of bloody plaque saliva/exchange).

Anything between 10 and 15secs is ideal. With practice anyone can time a kiss…kinda like knowing your body-clock – you just instinctively know when to wake up sometimes. Tongue kissing should ALWAYS be avoided in the morning…yes, even if you’ve brushed the night before, downed a bottle of Listerine, chewed a pack of Wrigleys Extra and recently became the face of Macleans ads.

If your mouth is closed for over 5hrs after all that I’m willing to bet that your breath isn’t exactly a trip to the Alps (unless you sleep with your mouth open…but I’d be worried about what could crawl in). And the next time you save someone from drowning and you need to give him or her mouth-to-mouth please don’t stick your tongue in…that’s a tongue-in-cheek moment if I’ve ever heard of one 😉

Entry #19 – Special treatment

I went to a wedding in another state in Nigeria – Oyo state. It was supposed to be a 3 hr drive from Lagos but ended up being 4hrs with all potholes we had to dodge. The wedding was quite grand and I was served the best dishes, wine and got exceptional service…or at least I thought so. I looked to the table beside me and they were getting everything I didnt – they got big succulent fish…I got small pieces of tough beef, they got alcohol wine from South Africa…I got grape juic in a wine bottle both made in Nigeria, they got chilled soft drinks, but though I was served mine first, they were warm – obviously their’s was stored close to ice.

I didn’t want this experience to spoil my road trip but I must admit it hurt a bit. As if to compensate me and those at my table, we all got gift items/souvenirs of the wedding to take home – a dish and a couple-name engraved tea mug all in a recyclable nylon bag(not bad eh?). On leaving the shindig, getting into my car, I noticed a gentleman no more well-dressed than myself but carrying a luxurious branded shopping bag of premium goodies. Life is not fair at all…

But on the upside, My blog will soon have more than 1000 views, yay!!!

DPS – Daily Problem…Solved

Here at DPS we believe that problems can be solved. Not all of them! Just the daily ones. 
 
Life is too short to be lumbered with problems that constantly eat at you day in day out. If you went for a check up with your doctor they would almost certainly check your BP (Blood Pressure). Well at DPS we believe it’s just as important to check your DP (Daily Problem).
 
For the past 2 years we have conducted extensive research on common daily problems (DP) and have come up with solutions which have been tried and tested. We also give you alternative solutions which may vary in usage, depending on how daring (or insane) you are. Our advice comes with a No Money-Back Guarantee. Don’t be alarmed though. DPS doesn’t charge anything. The solutions we tirelessly slave to develop are handed to you on a platter for free!
 
We have been flooded with requests for solutions to their DPs from the highly technical to the downright bizzare but we don’t discriminate. Everyone and I mean Everyone will get a workable solution which we at DPS aren’t afraid to test on your behalf. Here are just a few DPs that we’ve highlighted…

I’m always late to work. No matter how hard I try to wake up I never seem to leave on time. I’m so sluggish when my alarm rings and I can even sleep through it. Please help me!…R.K (Leeds)

^^Don’t worry, you are not alone. Tip: Put your alarm clock at one end of your bedroom so that you’re forced to get up to put it off. This method will only be effective if your alarm tone is loud and annoying. You’ll soon be up and about in no time!

Quick solutions:
> Sleep early = Leave early
> Get a friend, who wakes up early, to call you Mon – Fri
> Watch a good horror movie the night before but have an Energy drink ready by day
> Have a shower the night before and dryclean in the morning (not to be done regularly!)

Everytime I buy chewing gum my colleagues at work exhaust my week’s supply in one day. They don’t usually return the favour but just wait like vultures for the moment a stray chewing gum packet is playing dead on my desk. How can I combat this daily problem?)…N.N (London)

^^ Hmm…you go out & buy, they come & say Hi. You chew the gum, they ask for some…yes, a popular DP. Tip: Without having to lie, observe this scenario – ‘Ooh, can I have some gum?’ You say, ‘Mmm, I want some too. Let me see who might have some’. But if the pest already knows you have gum and he/she is a persistent offender, you say ‘I think its high time you get some this time, don’t you think?’. The act of sharing is not to be discouraged but there are people in the world who are ready to take advantage of you on a daily basis so take action!   

Quick solutions:
> As the ‘chewor’, ask the ‘chewee’ what gum flavor he/she hates, then buy that one
> Stop chewing everytime the chewee wanders by.
> If caught chewing and approached for gum, just say ‘I’ll buy some more later’
> Offer an alternative you know they’ll refuse e.g. chewable vitamin C, (yuk!)

I am getting sick and tired of having long power supply shortages. I can’t plan my inhouse activities the way I want e.g. setting recording times on my DSTV cable, Ironing my clothes, Freezing my leftovers, etc. Apart from noisy generators, what else can I do to get constant electricity?…O.U (Nigeria)

^^ I can imagine what you must be going through and I’m happy to inform you that there is an answer.Tip: Buy an inverter. It isn’t noisy and it is a good investment if you like constant electricity. When public power supply returns then it charges your inverter for you. You can buy as many as you need depending on your budget and how much you want to power up. Unlike gens, these can be kept neatly indoors. Go on, live a little!

Quick solutions:
> Move to Ghana…It isn’t quick but it’s your closest source for 99.9% power supply

Some of my friends keep flashing me. I’m always having to call them back and then they start to talk on my credit talktime. I don’t flash people because I think its irritating. If I don’t call back they flash again and again till my battery starts running down. How can I put a stop to this madness?…F.E (France)

^^For the benefit of first-timers, the term ‘Flashing’ describes when you get a phone call from someone who cuts the line/connection just as you answer it. A professional flasher can disconnect your call in under 2 seconds. The aim – to let YOU call them back and save them THEIR money. Telecom giants also face a dilemma whereby they don’t know how to make money from such break-neck speed calls. Tip: DPS recommends you sacrifice the cost of 1 text and send a simple message as follows: ‘CALL ME WHEN YOU HAVE CREDIT’. This is most effective because they’ll call back and  speak to you for at least 1 quick minute. Try it for yourself!

Quick solutions:
> Switch your phone off for 5mins, put it on and Eureka! 1 new message
> Flash them back to acknowledge their flash (not highly recommended as it may go on for a while)
 

**In the next edition we shall tackle more DPs and also accept solutions from the public to help others. We respond every (other) week with a fresh edition of DP solutions for your benefit so feel free to subscribe for subsequent updates. Check your DP today and lets solve it 4 u!**

For more information or if you want to send in your DP, leave a comment below
 
OR
 
call him on 0800-1-DPSOLVED
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DPS…Daily problem? Solved.

 

 
Disclaimer: In the event of defamation, physical harm or financial loss, DPS will not be held liable for paying any damages or other form of compensation. All solutions to DPs are to be used (or not) at your own risk. If you are unhappy with any of the solutions provided after your first trial, then do not expect a refund – you did not pay for the advice in the first place!

All rights reserved 2009.

Entry #5 – Jokes at the office

A colleague of mine got me in stitches yesterday when she narrated an incident that took place at her church. Her aunty had been nodding during the sermon…I beg your pardon…nodding off to sleep during the sermon, when the preacher decided to switch the topic. He asked the congregation that if they knew they had been involved in witchcraft, charms or an occult then they should ‘STAND UP’ for prayer. Unfortunately my colleague’s innocent aunty suddenly snapped out of her slumber, hoping she would not be caught out for not rising to her feet – Problem was…she was the ONLY ONE on her feet and she didn’t even know why she was standing up, nor did she understand why she got the most shocking looks from members of the congregation, especially her niece and kids with her!

Apparently she still regrets the events of that Sunday service – she feels compelled to keep explaining to people at her church that she is not a witch 😀

Live @ The MADAwards 2008 (Oscar spoof)

Good evening ladies & gentlemen and welcome to the MAD Awards where one celebrity will be honoured for being the Most Annoying Dude(tte) to infuriate ‘ T ‘. I am your host T.P reporting to you live from Oceanview, V/I, Lagos where the stars have started arriving.

Over here the paparazzi & mamarazzi are in a frenzy as the big names in the industry walk the red carpet. Coming unto the scene is the Chief Operator of PHCN (NEPA) with his beautiful wife, both their clothes fully ironed unlike most of the other guests. I can also see Ramsey Noah whose due to release his latest movie The Princess & the Pauper. The entire LASTMA crew just went in and I just missed T’s boss. Wow! This promises to be a star-studded event. Just before we go into the auditorium lets hear from last year’s winner…Hey, Aboki!

Okada man – ‘Salam Walekum’

T.P – ‘Er..yeah, hi! Please tell us how you won last year’s award.’

Okada man – ‘Oh, is very easy. You see, when T go to work in the morning I drive bike in front of him and slow down. Then I do not use my trafficator, not even my hand so he no know if I want to turn left or right.’

‘T.P – ‘Really? So what do you do when you want to turn left or right?’

Okada man – ‘I just turn my head left if I wan go left and right if i wan go right, hehehe. T is always horning for me to greet me, hehe.’

T.P – ‘Wow, that would make T really mad. Do you think you will win this year?’

Okada man – ‘Yes, yes. I win it no problem. Wa lie ta lie.’

T.P – ‘Thank you. Enjoy the show.’

This glamourous event is about to start and we’ve got special performances from Konga, Majek Fashek, Blackky and Charlie Boy. As they get ready to tantalize our eardrums, lets go behind the scenes and examine clips from the nominees for this year’s MAD Award:

Kelly D

‘Hi! I’m the caterer that cooks and delivers food to T while he is at work. I think I should win this award because I have upset him on numerous occasions when he has asked for pounded yam and I tell him there’s none left. You know what they say, A hungry man is an angry man. Anyway I’ve tried to remember reserving some for him like he once requested but I keep forgetting. Maybe one day, just one day… (sigh)’

Emmanuel Adebayor

‘Hey, whats up? T is an Arsenal supporter and he has not been particularly pleased with the way we played last season. He is not a die-hard fan but he gets irritated when his co-workers (mostly Chelsea & Man U fans) taunt him after each loss. I personally think I should win the MAD award because I have given him more tantrums than anyone else in the Gunners squad. Ever since I shaved off my dreads I don’t know what happened to my game. Kinda like the Samson story. It’s a new season tho so lets wait and see.’

Anonymous Candy Bandit

‘How far my guy! Don’t mind me jare. I’m rocking this Lagbaja-look because I don’t want T to know who I am. I work in his office so I can’t tell you my name. If you want to see T lose the plot just let me take the chocolate he keeps in the branch manager’s fridge. I wait for T to go out and then I strike! I don’t even take one or two – I take it all and leave no trace. This is why I think I will be the undisputed winner of the MAD award. And if they don’t give me the award na wahala be that o!’

T’s Company driver

‘Good afternoon sir. I dey drive T to im clients anytime he wan go out. But I wan win this award tru tru. So far I don disobey dress code and resumption policy. When I suppose wear white shirt to work on Wednesday I come wear white traditional – na Friday I suppose wear that one. Another time I come wear pink shirt which the bank no dey allow but I come wear am. Oga query me small but nutin dey happen, hehe. In fact, I no come work last Friday sef. Chei! I suppose win this award sha.’

<back to you T.P>

What a shocker! The Okada rider didn’t make the shortlist. It’s now up to the public to decide who will be the new MAD award winner. The results have already been collated and the voting lines are officially closed. The lady going unto the stage to present the award is a previous winner17 years ago. In fact, she won 3 years in a row between 1991 and 1993 whilst T was in Junior Secondary School. She is T’s high-school Yoruba Teacher. The crowd is giving her a warm reception and the Security officials are keeping their eyes peeled for any foul play. The Yoruba Teacher is holding the envelope and she is about to address the audience:

‘Ah E ka san! Se dada ni?…Oh se o gbo? Pele, let me speak in English. The nominees for this year’s MAD award are – Emmanuel Adebayor (applause), T’s company driver (applause), Kelly D (applause) and the Candy Bandit (applause). But before we announce the winner of this award, a quick word from our sponsors…
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“There’s a rumble in my tummy going boom-bata boom-bata boom. It means that I am hungry and Mimi-time is near! I am so excited that I can hardly wait! My mouth is getting ready to sing the Mimi song – Take me, Make me, anyway you like me, mimi NOODLES mimi NOODLES boom sha sha MIMI!…Any way you want me, any way you like me, mimi NOODLES mimi NOODLES mimi NOODLES MIMEEEE!…Boom sha sha!!!”
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Ahem, and the winner is… (drum roll)
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…T’S COMPANY DRIVER!!! <unprecedented uproar and applause>
Oh my God!!! It’s complete pandemonium here! Never before has a new comer caused such a stir in MAD history. The ecstatic driver is going up to the stage to collect the beautiful golden award in all its glory. He has given T’s Yoruba teacher two pecks and he is smiling from ear to ear. He is punching up in the air with the award in his hand. No one can contain this man’s joy right now. Oh oh! here comes the thank you speech…

Company driver – ‘Tenk you, tenk you, tenk you. First of all I would like to thank God for making this possible. It was not easy at all to win this award. I don suffer, no be small. I want to thank my papa and my mama wey born me. All the other drivers wey support me I tenk you. And last but not least I want to thank my Oga, T. All this wahala I don cos for am he never sack me commot. Na good oga…very good oga. Tenk you again.’  

And there you have it, a night of entertainment, bewilderment and a new MAD winner – T’s company driver is the Most Annoying Dude for 2008! Special thanks to the guest performers and to Mimee Noodles for the light refreshments. Till next year’s award ceremony, this is T.P signing out and saying Goodnight and God bless.
Copyright © Anger Inc. 2008  All Rights Reserved

Letter to the Nigerian President

Dear Mr. President,

I know you are bogged down with a lot of political and socio-economic issues at the moment, the least of which you are yet to find solutions for or even attempt to show any interest in solving (e.g. Lack of constant power supply, daily traffic congestion, armed robbery, etc). However, I have some questions that need answering and though they may seem trivial to you they mean a lot to me…

What happened to Green Sands shandy? And what happened to Fanta Chapman? Could you bring back Tandi Guarana and Dr Pepper? Could you also tell the brewers of ’33’ export lager beer to change the freaking name to something other than a number? It would make ordering at the bar a whole lot easier when I’m pissed (half drunk). In fact, could you also put an embargo on any further name changes made by ‘Zain’ telecommunications? They’ve gone from Econet-VMobile-Celtel-Zain in less than 5 years and its getting confusing.

Is Ajinomoto really not good for my cooking? Could you intervene in the Mob wars between the rival Noodle gangs on my car radio? Indomie, Mimi and O-noodles have 1 ad every other 10 minutes 24/7 and it’s driving me insane! Is Agege bread really that soft and if so would you endorse it? I ‘form’ (pose, act-up) a lot so when I eat Agege bread sometimes at work I need assurance that I’m not going below a certain standard of class.

Could you ban unsolicited motorcyclists aka OKADA riders? They have swarmed our roads and have become a public nuisance with their complete disregard for the highway code. And while you’re at it, could you please abolish Saturday banking? I cherish my weekends and I strongly believe that 7.30am to 5.30pm from Mon-Fri is sufficient punishment in this present economy.

I know this is a long shot but would you consider giving tax-rebates and/or relief like they do in the UK? I see a lot of taking going on but giving back something to me for my blood and sweat would be nice. This is not ‘awoof’, just look at it more like a discount on my taxes.

While I’m on the subject of giving back to the community, could you allow the national budget to include training art schools for our terribly amateur actors? The Nigerian movie industry, unlike our developing economy, is under-developed. We are yet to see home-grown movies worthy to be called blockbusters e.g. movies like Lord of The Rings, Titanic, T2 and even The Dark Knight could one day be done over here if you invest accordingly – After all, like the saying goes ‘3rd mainland bridge wasn’t built in a day’.

I hope you will find time to answer these pressing issues. I do not mind if you let the VP handle some of these questions as I strongly believe he is equally capable. I look forward to hearing from you fairly soon.
Yours sincerely,

 

..xTx..

Lost In Translation

The English language is not as complicated as some of us think it is – of course HUMANS make it complicated just like everything else; relationships, gender, sexuality, etc. But getting your point across (in English) to an English speaker couldn’t be that difficult, could it?

I remember once when I was travelling on London’s underground I encountered a loud-mouth sitting opposite me. She was screaming down her mobile phone whilst the train was still overground. She was trying to get an alpha-numeric code (excuse me, letters and numbers) across to the recipient but she may as well have been a Scottish stammerer stuttering through a mouthful of hot potatoes…

‘…t! t! I said T not D…T! T! T! Can you hear me? I said T o! I DIDN’T SAY D…No! we are not saying the same thing! T for Tayo…Eh heh…yes…Wait o, did you say Dayo?…NOT D! T-T-T- HELLO…HELLO?…’ – She lost reception just as I was beginning to lose my mind.

Anyway I’m sure most of us who’ve booked airline/railway tickets are not bemused by the coded lingo the sales reps smack unto our eardrums i.e. R for Romeo, G for Golf, T for Tango, S for Sugar, F for Freddie, etc. You could save yourself a whole lot of saliva if you tried. After all, isn’t the important thing to be heard and understood?

The Internet has captured the shorthand generation of SMS pundits who now marade chatrooms with their lol, lmao, rotf, rotflmao, brb, gtg, ttyl, wtf, tgif, l8r, gn8 and the ‘not so popular’ myob. These codes have transpired into everyday use and MUST be understood by all.

I only have one instance in my life where the English Language did not prove useful – my JSCE…in Yoruba. I still remember the way my paper remained blank whilst I stared at the Essay question which said something about writing on my first day at secondary school (I think). I looked to my left and I looked to my right but no one was ready to let me sneak a peak. I did the only thing I could think of at that point…do a written plea (in English) and hope that the examiner would be sympathetic enough to let me sail through. It was way back in 1993 when I was 13 but it went a lil something like this…

‘Dear Sir,

I am from Rivers State and I speak Ijaw. You can even look at my name. I do not understand Yoruba at all and the teachers always taught us in Yoruba and I did not understand what they were saying. Please I am begging you to please take pity on me and let me pass this exam. I would be so grateful and I am sure you have a kind heart. Thank you so much. God bless.’

I still laugh about the whole thing and even now in Lagos I’m speaking Yoruba at a very basic conversational level. Even when I struggle to speak some people choose not to hear – I’ve been referred to as Tanwa and Tomiwa and I deliberately chose not to respond. If you were born ‘Kehinde’ and you allow people in Jand to refer to you as ‘Kenny’ then dont complain!

In conclusion, the English Language is still evolving and a good grasp of it could make all the difference in nailing that job interview, courting your future partner, getting picked to be the Best Man, receiving a standing ovation for a speech, and not to mention, writing a damn good persuasive letter…which reminds me – I almost forgot to state my Yoruba JSCE result…

 

I got an F9.

 

…yes, you guessed it! I failed.

 

..xTx..

My addiction

I was only 17. Finished high school and got my mind set for the next phase – A Levels.Wanted my parents to spend less so I vowed to do a 9-month intensive study programme at home. A 2-year programme abroad would have been the wiser option. Would have been less stressful, better paced and more likely to yield outstanding results. But why spend N2m when you could spend N250,000?

Others before me had done it. Some with straight A’s and some with B’s. We’ve all got brains, I thought. If I equally studied just as hard then I could pull it off. I was going to dedicate myself 25 hrs a day, 8 days a week, I thought. I chose Economics, Business Studies and English Literature. Nothing and no one was going to distract me. My entry into a UK university was within my reach. It was that or risk spending 6years amidst strikes doing a 3year-course in Lag.

3months into the course I realize that I’m achieving only 6hrs of private study aside from lectures and lunch breaks. Some of my peers were doing 10-12 hrs and were topping the class. I got the result of my Mock exam and my heart sunk: nothing but D’s – not usually enough to make the cut. I knew what I had to do. I needed to know the secret behind keeping up late and becoming a human hardrive of study notes.

Thats when my Economics tutor introduced me to an uncontrolled substance, readily available in most supermarkets and very affordable. In my case it was already a household drug…right there under my nose the whole time. I took a small dose, and managed to stay up for longer, retain information better…i didnt have to wedge matchsticks between my eyelids anymore. I had the edge.

I was getting better with my exam writing techniques, I was analysing questions of Cambridge standard, I was getting commendations from my tutors for my rapid improvement. My family were 101% behind me and the big exam was bearly 2 months away. God and my drug would get me through this, I thought.

And then it happened. Just when I least suspected. It wasn’t a hault in the production of my drug, nor was it a depletion of the supply I kept at home. I was struck with Typhoid. I lost 5kg and along with it all my apetite, my concentration and willpower to complete my sworn task. I had no energy and for 1 month I had undergone intensive treatment. I kicked myself for ignoring my immune system. I let my guard down and my white blood cells were facing the music. It took 1 month to get back on my feet.

With only 1 month left to revise I resumed my drug intake.I stepped it up to a more concentrated level and also doubled my intake. I became a shaky leaf and I had extreme highs and suicidal lows. I was a walking zombie.  No longer eye candy but an eye sore for the girls in class. My secret was out. I was desperate and I got hooked. After the exam I would never touch this substance again. I wanted my life back.

God was probably teaching me a lesson. I passed with the exact minimum no. of points to gain entry into the Business School of my choice. I walked tall with my head held up high once I arrived at Heathrow airport. As I walked through the duty free section, past Starbucks, I got a hint of the aroma that haunted me for 9 months. My heartbeat accelerated at the prospect of just getting a quick fix. I reminisced about those long nights when I’d sneak to the kitchen cabinet, set up my chemistry lab and begin to experiment with the brown crumbly substance…How the sound of the of the kettle boiling got me excited…How the feel of a teaspoon made me weak in the knees…How that first sip was no different from the warmth of a woman you couldn’t get enough of.

I reminisced long and hard until I saw a little boy smile at me as he sipped on an ice-cold Frappucino. You’re starting pretty early, I thought. Just you wait till you’re 17 and you’ll be sorry, I thought. My hands started shaking. I dipped into my pockets and felt some loose pound coins. I struggled to make a stand, to abstain and conquer my addiction. I took a deep breath and took a bold step forward…or was it back…I can’t remember…

But what I do remember is that it was the first 3pounds I’d ever spent…and I enjoyed every f***ing penny of it.

F.E.A.R (contd.)

…Maybe it was the Bad cop’s AC that was malfunctioning or the prospect of having to (effectively) sign my life away. But whatever it was, that heat was hotter than N1000 Suya consumed at 12noon inside a jam-packed Moluwe…in stand-still traffic.

Where’s a lawyer when you need one? I had practised all damn night for this interview and even went online to study common interview questions. I was now in a 1-2-1 situation with a guy who invariably wanted to do a 1-8-7 on my 4-1-9, lying ass. There was no way I was going to commit to bringing N200m during my 6 month-probation! Even armed robbers were not making that kind of salary, were they?

In those last few seconds, as I stared at the contract and the BIC biro lying next to the dotted lines, I imagined what my life would be like on a daily basis – it sure beat any scary movie I’VE ever seen! You wake up in the morning…stressed. Drive to work…stressed. Sit at your desk…mega-stressed because you sure aint going to get N200m just by staring at your laptop. You shudder at the mere sight of your boss because you know what’s coming next: ‘T’! How much have you brought??? – Thats how your boss responds each time you say ‘Good morning’, ‘Good afternoon’, ‘Good evening’ or just when he sees you in the office and not outside begging marketing. I snapped out of my daydream. This is not how my life would end, I thought. What would the conman in Thomas Crown Affair do? I had to think and think sharpish. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks (EUREKA!)

Me: Wait, I still have another interview with your Regional Director so maybe after…
BC: It doesn’t matter. Just sign.
Me: But what if… he gives me a higher target? (giving my ‘I told you so’ facial expression)
BC (Ponders) Ok, when you finish come back and see me.
Me: Phew! (I think I’m going to be sick…)

I went across to the RD’s office and to my surprise the interview, just like the AC, was pretty cool. He didn’t mention anything about ridiculous financial targets or death warrants commitment agreements. We had a nice chat about the responsibilities in the new role and how I was expected to drive my end of the business – consumer products of the electronic variety. At the end of the interview I timidly asked if I had to see anyone else (knowing full well that Bad cop said I should see him when I’m done).

RD: No, our HR will get in touch with you soon.
Me: (In my mind, yaaay!) Thank you.

Now it was time for the hard part – my getaway. You see, there was only one staircase that led downstairs but it was right by the Bad cop’s office. The office had large windows so I knew he would see me if I tried to bypass him. I wish I could say that I summoned about 20 other guys who dressed like me and had agreed for us to all wear bowler hats to confuse Bad cop (Thomas Crown Affair) but sadly, I’m not that well connected. Instead, I waited in a corner and took a deep breath…then I walked past…head down, really fast.

BC: (Door opens) Wait! …Hey-ssssssss! …wait! ….Oga! Abeg, help me call that man…Wait! …ssssssss!!!

As I exited the building with supposedly deaf ears I looked across to my dad’s driver who was parked near the bank’s gate. As I began to jog to the car I prompted him to start the engine (just in case Bad cop was making his way behind me). The driver must have been thinking 1 of 2 things when I jumped in shouting, ‘GO-GO-GO-GO!’ – Either I had come to the wrong bank and was late for my interview elsewhere OR I had just stolen millions (ahead of my intended target). We fled the scene and like Sodom & Gomorrah I didn’t dare look back.

About 2 weeks later I received a letter from that bank. I opened it, prayerfully, hoping it wasn’t one of those ‘Unfortunately…’ letters. I breezed through the first paragraph which was purely introductory. By the time I skipped to the second paragraph and read just 4 words, ‘We are happy to…’ I went ballistic. I vaguely remember popping open a bottle of wine after going through my remuneration package and jubilating with my family. Everything conveyed in my offer letter was more than satisfactory. I still did about 3 detailed searches on the letter for any dotted lines linked to the dreaded ‘commitment agreements’ until I was absolutely certain that there was no hidden catch.

Consequently I accepted the offer. I was to resume in March 2007, allowing me enough time to get myself together with regards freighting my stuff, evading gym and internet subscription payments, applying for last minute UK loans, a last glance at the Red Light District, etc. I was looking forward to grabbing this unique job opportunity by the neck and asking it ‘Who’s your daddy, b**ch?’ I had faced my fear and God rewarded me with my F.E.A.R.
…In 2009, however, I have come to terms with a new fear…

 

F.E.A.R.S – Finding Eligible And Religious Spouse

The saga continues… 

..xTx…

F.E.A.R

Of all the fears in the world there’s only one I dreaded the most. It was not bankruptcy, failure, death, a terrorist attack or even the future invasion of flying cockroaches. The only thing I really feared when I left London and arrived in Lagos (Dec, 2006) was my F.E.A.R (First Employment After Return).

On boarding the Emirate flight from Heathrow I experienced worrisome levels of anxiety. I was fidgeting and twitching like a drug addict looking for his last Ecstasy pill – I was a nervous wreck. As I fastened my seatbelt I only watched the air steward’s safety demo so that I could pinpoint the location of the nearest emergency exit…and make a desperate run for it.

It was a long shot, I thought: Quitting my banking job, abandoning my friends, clubs, bars, restaurants, gym, constant electricity supply, and all for what? A chance to settle down in my motherland and make my own little impact, that’s what. I guess the initial panic I encountered stemmed from the subconscious comparisons I was making – McDonald’s…Mr. Biggs, Quaker’s Oat-So-Simple…Golden Morn, Oxford Street…Shoprite, London Energy…Bi-monthly electricity supply, British Gas…Half-empty Gas cylinder, Starbucks…Nescafe + Three Crowns milk, HMV…Street Hawkers, …etc. Some passengers around me were praying so I prayed too. Sadly my prayer wasn’t answered – the plane still took off.

‘There goes my emergency escape plan’, I thought. I sat back and meditated during the long flight, trying to reassure myself that everything would work out for the best. Once I landed it seemed peculiar that I initially boarded alone but on getting off there was 3 of us: The Optimist, Me and the Pessimist. It was a struggle, bumping into each other amidst the luggage. But soon after checking out of Murtala Muhammed Airport I felt really positive with my return. The Optimist and I got into a car-hire and drove to the family home (I had earlier handed over the Pessimist to Immigrations…no bribe required).

Back at home, my dad had arranged a couple of meetings through some of his clients in the banking world. He had handed the baton over to me and the rest of the race was mine to win. Damn those bank interviews! One of them was actually an Endurance test – at least that was all I stuck around for. After an exhausting bench-warming marathon, despite being told to come for interview at 10am, I got up and just walked out. I gained nothing. Instead I lost 3 strands of scalp hair, 5hrs of Nintendo gaming time, and both my ego and my ‘yansh’ were deflated. That bank called 1.10pm to tell me that ‘the panel’ was ready to see me. I remember hissing though it wasn’t meant out loud.

The other bank I went to for interview gave me a more interesting experience. It was the ol’ Good cop-Bad cop routine (with a Naija twist of course). I walked into the good cop’s office, suited and booted, only to be asked 2 questions: ‘What do you have to offer?’ (Pretty normal question) and ‘Why on earth would you want to come back and work in Nigeria?’ (Wetin consign you sef!). Notwithstanding, I answered. He scribbled. I gave him my best smile. He gave me a squinted look then he scribbled some more. Note to self – No more Eddie Murphy smiles.

The Bad cop held true to the title. He made me wait 30mins in his (Prison cell-sized) office. Well if your office was half the size of the Good cop’s then you’d be mean too. Anyway, being mean is still better. This guy was brutal:

BC: What is your CABAL size?
Me: I beg your pardon sir?
BC: Ah-ah! Your CABAL in your last banking job?
Me: Sorry sir but could you please explain what you mean by ‘CABAL’?
BC: Ah-ah!?…(looks at my cv) Oh ok, you worked in LONDON, I see. So, what was the volume on the accounts you managed? Give me the naira equivalent.
Me: I don’t have the exact figure…but it was a lot.
BC: How won’t you know? You should know! It is your responsibility!
Me: Okaaay…?!@#
BC: So how much are you committing to bring to this bank?
Me: ‘Committing’ sir?
BC: Eh-now…give me a figure.
Me: (2-minute silence) what figure is reasonable sir?
BC: (Laughs) you should be the one to tell me. What level are you applying for?
Me: SBO (Senior Banking Officer)
BC: So you should be able to do at least N200m…that’s even too small, but you just arrived, abi?
Me: (Gulp followed by adjusting my neck-tie for air supply) Y…….es.
BC: So how are you going to achieve this N200m target?
Me: Er…I…have…connections…
BC: eEEehn! Like who? (Gets out his pen and opens his diary/notepad)
Me: I have like 5 top clients, Nigerians, whom are planning to move their accounts to Nigeria (bullshit). They have thousands of pounds (more bullshit). They also know contacts that I can speak to in order to get more funds for the bank (…bullshit overload).
BC: Mm-hmm. (Scribbles) So you should be able to bring N100m within 3months, eh?
Me: I…should be able…to do that, sir.
BC: Whats the problem? Are you okay?
Me: Nothing…Is it hot in here?
BC: No. You’re just not used to Nigerian heat yet. Sign here…
Me: Er…Sign what?
BC: Your commitment agreement.
Me: (In my mind, ‘F**********K!!!’)

To be continued…

..xTx..