The Nigerian Way; Will things ever change?

I’ll be honest – It’s not going to be easy writing this post without coming across as a pessimist but I need to give you a taste of the attitude of Nigerians I have experienced in recent times. From all indications things seem to be going from bad to worse. Just yesterday I was at a beautiful wedding reception and at a point all guests were asked to stand up for a prayer from one of the wedding couple’s family members. As we were repeatedly saying a resounding ‘Amen’, right in the middle of the prayer I suddenly heard the pop of a champagne bottle.

we no dey pop amI don’t know about you but I think that was just downright rude. What would it cost the stewards to wait a minute or two for a prayer to finish before causing such a distraction. In the presence of God some level of decorum should be expected during prayer – no talking,  no selfie-ing, no walking and most definitely no champagne popping! Of course it wasn’t long before the final Amen that another champagne cork went off with a loud *POP!* At this point the ridiculousness of it all made me giggle and shake my head – Nigerians! Continue reading

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Exclusive promo video to promote the launch of The Crazy Nigerian – a hilarious memoir of mishaps and misadventures, by Tonwa Anthony. Enjoy!

10 Day YOU Challenge: 9 Loves

Day 2 – Now that I’ve got my secrets out-of-the-way (and out in the open) I’ll probably go into some detail as I talk about my loves (I could count 99 but I’ll stick to the rules). Here goes nothing…

  1. He has been there for me in the darkest of times when I felt all hope was lost. More importantly he died for my sins even before I was born and wants me to get to Heaven. I pray in his name whenever I want something from God. I love Jesus.
  2. There’s no surprise that this next love is coming second. From Bran flakes in the morning to yoghurt and fruit, pancakes, bacon, sausages, pasta, cheese, pizza, fried rice, plantain, ice-cream, hotdogs…you guessed it. I love Food.
  3. I’ve got to have the slick portable mp3 players or the Nokia E75 with the fancy slide qwerty keypad. What about camera’s with in-built mp3 and video camera (I lost that after being pickpocketed at a boring wedding – boo hoo). I’m a far cry from 007 but I love Gadgets
  4. When I see the table I get excited like a little kid who was about to ride his first tricycle. Racking up the balls and chalking my cue is the beginning of complete isolation from the outside world. I could sit at home and watch game after game when world tournaments are on. Any girlfriend I’m with at the time has no chance of getting my attention (except with food, of course). I am an absolute sucker for it so much so that I blew 200 pounds sterling on my very own in London and even shipped it back to Nigeria when I relocated! I love Pool/Snooker tables
  5. Ever since I saw ‘monkey suits’ (oversized suits which make the wearer look like he stole them from Pavarotti) I vowed I would NEVER wear such (and that would go into my will too). First impressions count. Style matters. There’s a thin line between SWAG and SAG. I love Fitted Clothes.
  6. Clear white sands. Cool sea-breeze blowing through the palm trees. Barbecue sizzling nicely and the fizz from when I open a can of ice-cold Heineken as I recline on the long sun bed. My Police shades on a 45 degree tilt as I watch the action pass by. I love Beaches.
  7. The thrill of the take-off is the only thing that comes close to a roller coaster ride for me. It’s like an adrenaline rush as the plane thunders down the tarmac. Economy, Business or First class – I don’t care. I love Air travel.
  8. The Moonwalk, Crazy legs, Ballroom, Salsa, Ethnic, Yahooze, Alanta, LMFAO Shuffle, etc you name it. As long as I have to move my feet to the beat you can say that I love Dancing.
  9. This is my passion and I can only thank WordPress for helping me to keep up this increasingly addictive hobby. This is a no-brainer for those who know me. Fact, Fiction, Funny, Freaky…I looooooooooooooooove Writing!

What are YOUR loves?

How to make a Chapman drink

20140110_210724_LLSFor as long as I can remember there has been this fascination with the large red cocktail more commonly pronounced by the average Nigerian as ‘Shapman’. It has become synonymous with the popular orders made at our local Chinese restaurants, Recreational Clubs and more recently, weddings (though our wedding planners are notorious for being extremely selective with Chapman distribution – I‘ve never been offered any to date). Its origin is arguably in Nigeria but no one knows for sure. It isn’t necessarily expensive to buy (between N300 and N1000, i.e. $6 max.) nor is it difficult to make. But I think I know why there’s such a fuss over this bitter-sweet refreshment – it just tastes so damn good!

Today I’m running a small Chapman factory in my apartment (okay, not really but I do make them rather frequently) and I want to share the recipe for you to enjoy. Learn how to make Chapman is 6 easy steps!:

CHAPMAN RECIPE FOR 1 PERSON

  1. Get a large tumbler/glass mug (necessary if you want to make your Chapman-experience last a bit)
  2. Fill the glass halfway with ice cubes
  3. Pour a capful of Grenadine or any blackcurrant cordial into the glass (for that red glow)
  4. Pour in 2shots of Bitters – Any bitters you can find but you can also use Campari (In Lagos, Angostura Bitters is available at Goodies for N3,200).
  5. Pour in equal amounts of…believe it or not…Fanta and Sprite then mix it up
  6. Throw in a slice of lemon, garnish with a cucumber slice and dip-in a bendy straw
  7. Sip slowly and try not to hum too much as your taste-buds go into a frenzy.
  8. If you enjoyed this article show your appreciation by leaving a comment, or clicking on @dcrazynigerian and following me or sending a thank you mail to dcrazynigerian@gmail.com  . Thank you for your support!

Well there you have it. Simple, isn’t it? So the next time you’re sitting by your computer and one of your (anti-social) friends sends you a mouth-watering cocktail…via Facebook, make a Chapman to quench that insatiable thirst your ‘friend‘ created (remember to do point 7 ^^)…and then proceed to delete that friend from your Friend list (optional).

CHAPMAN RECIPE FOR 100 people

You’d need the following (if you are serving in small plastic cups):

– 1.5 litres of Ribena/Blacurrant cordial/Grenadine (about 1 big table spoon poured at the base of each cup)
– 50 cans of Sprite (half of each can poured into a cup)
– 50 cans of Fanta (half of each can poured into a cup)
– 10 medium lemons (each sliced in 10, making 100 slices)
– 10 medium cucumbers (each sliced into 20 and served two pieces per cup)
– 4 bottles of Alomo bitters or 3 bottles of Angosturra bitters (a capful poured into each cup)
– Probably 500 ice cubes equivalent (cheaper if you have ice trays at home. 5 cubes per cup)
– 100 bendy straws.
– Mixers (long plastic stirrers) are optional as you can use the straws to mix the drinks

N.B – If you use large mugs instead of plastic cups then use 100 cans of Sprite and 100 cans of Fanta (1 can of Sprite and Fanta per mug). Everything else remains the same.

Visit my ‘How To’ link and discover one very important tip I added on 5th January 2014 to help make your Chapman stand out from the others (highly recommended for Wedding Planners / Event Planners, Caterers, Hoteliers and Bartenders. Follow my blog and @dcrazynigerian on Twitter for even more crazy articles.

See more cocktail recipes

**Business Opportunity: Are you a caterer or an even planner and want to be listed here to promote your Chapman services? As at January 6, 2016 this article has been viewed over 45,000 times:

how to make chapman - statistics

I have been contacted on numerous occasions to help make Chapman for hundreds of people but sadly my day job won’t allow for it. If you want to advertise your catering or event planning services in line with providing Chapman then please send a mail to dcrazynigerian@gmail.com or call send an SMS to 07032024019.**

Now that you’ve made your delicious Chapman all by yourself you can read my hottest articles which have had thousands of views across the world:

Thanks for visiting for my page and do check back to learn other Chapman secrets your competitors will be dying to know.

To contact The Crazy Nigerian for about the recipe send a mail to dcrazynigerian@gmail.com or tweet at @dcrazynigerian on Twitter. 

Entry #50 – From Con artists to Terrorists?

There’s something about the suffix ‘ist‘ that just really leaves a bad taste in my mouth – words like Racist, Facist, Schauvinist, etc. But just as my country is desperately trying to bleach out the stubborn stain of corruption from its reputation some Nigerian decides to  give America a reason to tag us  ‘terrorists’.

First of all, the American government’s decision gives me cause to tag them ‘extremists’. But that aside history has shown that Nigeria and its indigines have shown more interest in making money. Subdivide that and then you have those who choose to make money legally and those who want to make (quick) money illegally. This second group are  commonly known as fraudsters or con artists. In recent times they have been taking advantage of the technological age and all those who’ve been less fortunate to grasp it in its ever increasing pace. In Nigeria we have just as many victims as there are perpetrators of online fraud alone. Setting one’s pants/trousers on fire to detinate an explosive substance doesn’t quite appeal to the average Nigerian – I mean, what exactly is the pay off?

If I’m to be really objective about how possible it is for Nigerians to be branded ‘terrorists’ then I’d say that in the northern region of Nigeria there have been some acts of terror so to speak. Extremist muslims, or to put it mildly, religious fanatics who’ve taken their belief too far and decided to impose it on the rest of us – refusal to which you could (but not necessarily) expect a Jihad a.k.a certain death to the unbelievers…the sinners…the obstacles that separate them from their eternal paradise. Be it as it may the fact remains that these religious wars take place within Nigeria and may well take place anywhere else in the world. Perhaps all it takes is just one terrorist act committed by a non-citizen of a country and then that citizen’s country gets to be labelled a Terrorist. I didn’t come across that in anywhere in the American constitution or in any constitiution for that matter!

Probably the mere presence of the word ‘Terrorist‘ in this article and the recurrence of the word over 10times (and remember, straight from a computer located in Nigeria) is sending the American Intelligence into a frenzy. All I need to do now is google for cheap flight tickets to Yemen and I bet the CIA will be on red alert. Don’t forget my blog title, Nigerian Interrupted, is not helping matters either!

In ‘other news’, I want to make reference to one of the biggest con artists in Nigeria to have been exposed by the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – a Nigerian Govt organization). She is the former MD of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru, who embezzled bank funds and acquired…wait for it…N399bn worth of assets all around the world (www.thisdayonline.com). She has property, estates and shares mostly in fictitious company names and also in some of her relative’s names. Nigerian con artists have been in the game for as long as I can remember. I personally doubt that we’ll see another Nigerian terrorist plane bomber anytime in the next decade.

…And one final point: if anyone wants to point the dreaded finger of blame at the muslim community, the American Airline, or the radicals in Yemen, then think hard about what role the parents played (or avoided) in nuturing Mullatab (talk about a Nigerian interrupted indeed) and monitoring his behaviour. I blame the parents, period.

Entry #46 – Tea anyone?

tea‘I would like some tea, please. Don’t ask me HOW I would like it. Don’t try to make small talk with me. Up until 2minutes ago we were total strangers. You are not doing this because you want to. You are doing this because you have to. Don’t try to stall me with questions that would only intensify a thirst which, before you came prouncing along, wasn’t initially there. Just pour it and drop it and I’ll try not to sip it and spill it. I don’t care if it’s Iced Tea or Regular hot tea. I don’t care if its Earl Grey, De-Caff, Herbal or Chai Tea. I don’t care if it’s made by Lipton, Twinning’s, PG Tips, Tetley or low-budget teabags made for Economy class passengers. I don’t care if it comes with milk either so don’t ask me if I want full creamed, skimmed, semi-skimmed, evaporated, condensed, powdered, or any other white liquid substance that was supposedly drawn from a cow…or goat for that matter. Don’t assume that I would use the sugar in the sachet. You don’t know if I like to use sweetners. You don’t know if I take my tea with honey. You must be thinking that if I allowed you to ask how I take my tea I could have responded with a single-sentence which would save time and energy for both you and I? Well I would have said something like “I take it in a teacup like everyone else” – not the kind of answer you would like to hear. So now that you’ve probably learnt a thing or two (or not) ask me how I would like take my tea…I dare you’ xD

Entry #45 – If there’s any justice in the world…

names of lockerbie bomb victims…Al Megrahi would still be in jail. Well unless there is any evidence to say that he was not involved in the Lockerbie bombing I think he shouldn’t have been released on ‘compassionate grounds’. Yes I deliberately put that in inverted commas because, let’s face it, that’s a whole lot of bull****! Why else would Seif Al-Islam, the son of Col. Gaddafi (the ridiculously oil-rich Libyan leader) claim that every time British diplomats came over to discuss business in the past he would push forward a written request for the bomber’s release which was constantly refused…until now.

To make matters even worse for Britain, Gaddafi himself makes a public statement to the news media thanking UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew for encouraging the Scottish government to release Megrahi. Of course Britain quickly steps up to the plate in the guise of a creepy Lord Mendelson (Business Secretary) to deny all allegations of a trade deal as ‘implausible’ and ‘offensive’. Have you stopped to ask yourself whether the Scottish government have ever released a prisoner on the grounds of a terminal illness? Is there absolute conclusive evidence to confirm that Megrahi really has only less than 3months to live?

Britain has to be careful that it doesn’t damage its relations with the U.S government. 270 innocent people lost their lives after an explosive was detonated in a passenger plane in Lockerbie, Scotland. About 170 of the victims were American. Al Megrahi was convicted after Scotland Intelligence claimed that he was involved in the bombing but was not willing to cough up the names of his accomplices. Megrahi (more commonly referred to as The Lockerbie Bomber) claims he is not responsible for killing anyone but he doesn’t actually deny being part of the syndicate that masterminded this massacre…hmm.

Americans and other revolting citizens watched as Megrahi returned to Libya…in style – cruising in Gaddafi’s private jet, relaxing at a nifty 2-storey manor and enjoying celebrity-acclaim amongst the Libyan residents. The sickening bit for me is that I have not seen one sign of remorse since he was released. He’s smiling now though, probably thinking, ‘بفضل النفط الليبي أنا على الأراضي الليبية’ ! (Ok, if you’re that curious you can translate this in this pretty cool link…or not)

Senior High – 1st year

As the principal of International School Ibadan announced that the JSCE (Junior Secondary School Examination) results would be posted up in front of her office I felt nauseous. I wasn’t sure if it was bad luck to have already gotten trouser measurements done at my local tailor before the exam results were released. What if I didn’t make it through? My trousers would be bloody useless and I’d have to endure another year in I.S.I wearing a pair of A.H.Is (AssHole Irritants).  Girls had no problem because their blue-white striped dress/uniform didn’t have to look any different from junior to senior year. Thankfully I breathed a sigh of relief as I attained 2A’s and 5C in my 8subjects (I’m not mentioning what I got in Yoruba language). I vaguely remember jumping up and down like a deranged rottweiler that had a piece of meat dangled over its head. I proceeded to run into the nearby open field with fellow classmates who also sailed through the exams. We ran like we were being chased by… Rottweilers. I almost failed to take notice of the few guys whom we left behind moping at their inadequate grades and therefore bore long faces (okay, not like Rottweilers…more like Dobermen!)

Of course this next chapter in my school life called for a celebration. I took it upon myself to have a small get-together for my ‘Class of 1993’. Unfortunately I didn’t have an much more than the Naira equivalent of £10 back then which could just barely cater for about 20-30 guests max (I must have been nuts!). I invited 25 schoolmates to my cousin’s crib where I resided, about 60 eventually showed up and filled up almost every part of the house! I soon quickly realised that 48 bottled drinks (2 crates) would not quite cut the ‘3:1 guzzling ratio’ of my invitees. The 2 small coolers of cooked rice and chicken didn’t go round because I didnt plan for the following: Boarder boys and girls sneakings out of their hostels; Geeks/Nerds/Bookworms/Efikos gate crashing; and schoolmates from the set below mine (JSS3) also taking advantage of the fact that I did not have a bouncer to ‘man the door’. So I had geeks playing video games in the TV room, boarder girl escapees changing clothes in my cousin’s bedroom, boarder boys slow-dancing with girls in the living room whilst my Aunt was within the house. There was no DJ but just one raga tape being put on the loop courtesy of all the horny boys hoping to literally tap some ass from a slowdance. The 5kg cake and 2 tubs of ice-cream I had planned for dessert was not going to be able to feed THIS multitude. This wasn’t a get-together…this was a get-together-everybody-who-heard-about-this-party. I mean some of the guests there didnt even know my name or the fact that I was hosting this fiasco. To make matters worse, the girl I had a crush on was busy slowdancing with some guy I didnt even invite, Meanwhile I was busy trying to feed the hungry, entertain the bored, and save my shaky reputation all at the same time. I was glad when it was all over, to say the least. The house  survived with 2 shattered drinking glasses and a broken window lever. I on the other hand remained intact!

In an amazing twist of fate, I was hailed by the majority of my set for making a noble effort at throwing a shindig (which  I’d rather remember as a ‘shit-dig’). The geeks were even more grateful because they knew that they may never gain such easy access into a party again. I somehow became everybody’s pal…the one who didn’t discriminate…the one who didn’t stop the music and shout “ALL BOYS OUT!” and proceeded to reveal a list of boys who were not given the fake invitation cards…no, I wasn’t seen as cruel…I was Mr.Nice guy Subsequent parties got better and better (no thanks to me). I do remember one guy who threw a party but would have sooner thrown himself over a bridge after only 1 girl turned up amidst a house filled with over 15guys…a case of bad advertising? Well, the grub didn’t go to waste.

Ah yes, those grey trousers really were worth the 3 year-wait. I was ‘toasting’ girls a one class year or two below me and feeling pretty cool with my skinny self. I was later appointed by my principal as the school’s Health Prefect, though for the love of God I never found out what a health prefect was nor did I know what my responsibilities were supposed to be. I just made sure the sick bay was hygenic and wasn’t congested or saturated with students who were feigning illness. I was given a badge which I wore proudly like a sheriff. If only I went guns blazing a little less when it came to asking a girl, ‘Will you go out with me?…’

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 🙂

Interview with the Crazy Nigerian

reporterInterviewer: “Looking back to when Nigerian Interrupted hit WordPress, what has made it worth your while?”

Jollof: “I can’t explain it – That feeling of excitement when I suddenly see a surge in my page views, the reviews, the comments…I guess coupled with the fact that I’m the ‘Author/Moderator/CEO’ around here I know it’s mostly my effort (well, WordPress have to take some credit for the tools). It got me questioning myself, ‘Am I writing what I want or what I think people want to read?’

With me it’s a bit of both. I’m a bit of a control freak so there’s no way I’m letting anyone type for me, first of all. All ideas come from my exposure to the Net, all media, the real world, my experiences and random thoughts. If I don’t have a gut feeling that I should write about something then I don’t. I need to chuckle a bit when I’m typing the material so I know it deserves the CrazyNigerian seal of approval.

However I do listen to feedback. What I gathered before changing my blog design (to incorporate the iconic ‘Photo fun’ redneck lizard) was that I needed more pictures and a better web layout. Surprisingly my page views have since picked up. The comments on my content have mostly been positive. I don’t know if I wrote what they wanted to read or if they were just curious about the utterances of a crazy Nigerian. Either way, it seems I’m doing something right…but not always right. The highest number of page views I ever received in a single day was a measly 96 until 23rd June when I received 103 views (so the 100-mark is not that elusive after all!) Today I average about 10-20 views daily and…HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I’VE NOT FINISHED YET! I’M STILL TALKING TO YOU!!!”

Entry #36 – Gone too soon

mjThis pic is the way I remembered Michael Jackson as a child and will always remember him. He’s the reason why I would sing or hum a tune in the shower every morning. He’s the reason why I still keep pairs of trousers that have outgrown me. He’s the reason why I body-pop whenever I’m in front of a mirror (alone). He’s the reason why I moonwalk whenever I’m on a slippery surface (again, alone). He’s the reason why most of the CDs in my car don’t get as much airplay on a daily basis. He’s the reason I’ve become a fan of Usher, Chris Brown, Ginuwine, Sisco and Justin Timberlake. He’s the reason I have a romantic, imaginative and sensitive side. He’s the reason I’m writing this impromptu post at 6am in the morning even though I should be getting ready for work. He’s probably the reason why it’s been raining non stop since 4am this morning…and perhaps the reason why it still looks dark outside. He’s the reason why the world is in mourning today. His performances were electrifying and his legacy is unprecedented. For this and generations to come he is a music legend, a dancing maestro, a philanthropist, an icon of our time. He is and will always be remembered as the KING OF POP. Michael, I salute you…I miss you…and I’ll see you Neverland… 😦

R.I.P Michael J. Jackson (1958-2009)

Entry #35 – Every second counts

save meI was going to post something else but just 3hrs ago I saw such a powerful video on my cable TV. It was one by the rock band Nickelback entitled ‘Saving Me’. At first you think its just any other video but as the story unfolds you start to see just how clever the concept of the video is. Now, I’m not going to spoil this for those of you who haven’t seen it. But what if life today was similar to how it was depicted in this video? There would be a whole new sense of purpose…A constant search for the truth…A new connection with the people who surround you…A desperation to make every second count…

What I’d give to see one of those ‘Second Counters’ over Robert Mugabe’s head…I’m just curious 🙂

Enjoy the video!

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 #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 #30 – Rumour has it…

bridge2that there was a madman on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos who kept shouting to himself everyday. He was shouting out the number ‘Thirteen!’ repeatedly. Motorists used to drive past him but one curious passenger asked a driver in the bus to stop so he could ask the madman what he was shouting ‘Thirteen’ all day for. The driver obliged and parked to one side of the bridge. The passenger got down and approached the madman with caution but he kept some distance. He asked the madman, ‘Why are you shouting Thirteen?’ The madman stopped shouting and politely answered to the passenger’s surprise, ‘It’s a secret but come and I will tell you.’ The passenger saw no harm in this and was anxious to finally unravel this mystery once and for all.

 

The bus driver and the other passengers looked on in horror as they suddenly saw the madman strugggle with the stray passenger before flinging him over the bridge into the ocean. As soon as he he did that he started shouting ‘Fourteen! Fourteen! Fourteen!’ 🙂

Junior High – 2nd year…

I.S.I (International School, Ibadan) was where I first learnt how someone could be under constant pressure…just about every single day of his/her secondary school life. And I’m not talking about pressure to excel above the pass mark (which, then, was about 40% in all subjects)…no, I’m talking about the pressure to be cool, ‘bam’, ‘hard’…if you were linked to any of these accolades back in the day then your ‘rep’ was off to a good start…supposedly.

 

Now the problem I had was that I didn’t fit the bill particularly. I had a small tennis-ball afro which wasn’t cool enough, overly smart shoes which weren’t ‘bam’ enough, and a group of friends I rolled with who were not ‘hard’ enough. As a ‘day’ student (i.e. a student who doesn’t reside in the school’s hostels during the term) I was already screwed because the ‘boarders’ (those students who do reside in the school’s hostels…) were automatically catapulted into ‘hard’ status. I don’t think I’ll ever know why.

 

Maybe it was because you’d see one guy wear a different pair of ‘pumps’, moccasins and Tims for 2 straight weeks – I was baffled! How could one kid have close to 14 pairs of shoes? But I soon learnt that boarders had a sharing culture – they exchanged just about everything. So of course you could seem to have so many clothes, shoes, schoolbags…oh my God…I just remember I had a hideous schoolbag.

 

It was called a ‘U.S army bag’ – Trust me, it didn’t look as cool as it sounded. It was the size and shape of a 14-inch box TV – perfect for those tons of textbooks which I carried but would hardly have to read. Mine was black with all the different colorful badge prints and miniature flag images. It even had an ID number, yet I didn’t feel anything close to being a boy scout. Instead, as I walked around the school grounds with the crushing weight of my backpack I felt like Quasimodo – the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

My cousin (the eldest of the three, who was in JSS3 at the time) used to make fun of me – at home and at school. We didn’t quite get on initially but during my stay at his mum’s place I started trying to emulate his style as much as I could. He was like the big brother I never had. He would help guide me through this transition from Pee Wee Herman to ‘Cool’, from Inspector Clousseau to ‘Bam’, and from N-Sync to ‘Hard’. First stop – the barbershop.

 

My cuz and I went to the local barbershop and said hello to the natives. I was corrected abruptly. Hello = Not cool. Hi = cool. What’s up = cool. How far! = Razz but way better than Hello. Anyway, I got into my chair and looked up at the charts to see what was on the menu. Skinned (Oh, HELL no!), Bobby Brown slant (not brave enough), The Punk (hmm, now there’s an idea!) It was a kind of square-cut with a puffed top (View pic: Kadeem Hardison a.k.a \’Dwayne Wayne\’ in teen comedy, \’A Different World\’ ). It was one of those I-love-my-mama-but-she-don’t-tell-ME-what-to-do haircuts. It commanded respect. I loved it. I got my first pair of Reebok pumps too. I even started wearing cologne (with a cologne-drenched handkerchief in my top pocket just for good measure).

 

I was ready to re-enter I.S.I with new a found sense of courage. At break time it was ‘cool’ to be seen having lunch with a (pretty) girl. After managing to save up a decent amount of pocket money I asked a girl to lunch, she agreed, and we took a pleasant stroll to the kiosks to get our soft-drinks and snacks. As I sat on a ledge with her I was excited because I could feel eyes on me…not hers, my peers. They were filled with awe and probably a little jealousy. I savoured this moment. But mid-way through my conversation I felt like either I had coughed up a fur ball or Barry White’s ghost was trying to use me as a medium to convey a message. Perfect! Just as I was trying to break my way into the ‘In-crowd’ my voice decided to break its way into Puberty.    

 

..xTx..

Entry #7 – The only time I love the word ‘Traffic’

…It’s not when I’m all exhausted after work miles away from home whilst listening to endless reruns of my Kanye West album (Late Registration) in my car, which by the way is crawling along the road like a caterpillar with arthritis, and the side attractions are a few broke down trailers, ad-hoc police check points and impatient motorists trying to make 3 street lanes into 6 so that nobody moves properly. Is this the traffic I love? Nosireeeee! I love the kind that is electronic, virtually invisible, and keeps you smiling the more it accumulates…

Of course I’m talking about blog-traffic! I have been marvelling at how the number of hits on my website increased from zero on February 21st (when I conceived my blog) to 300 on 1st March! I smile each time I see the figures go up on my Blog stats and I like knowing what articles got the most views/clicks. Comments so far are still few (two, actually) but I’m optimistic about the future. I’ll set myself a goal now – 1000hits before March 31st. Possible? I wonder…

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
>
>
>
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 #6 – Unwanted employment

Yup, its possible to be appointed (unanimously) to do a job you never actually wanted in the first place. Earlier this morning, during our AGM (Annual General Meeting) for my residents’ association, I was voted as the new Secretary to the Chairman – this translates to taking minutes of meetings, reading out past memos, and other minial jobs…As if my 9-5 and this blog wasn’t enough work (moan)

I guess I should look at the bright side…wait a minute, there is no bright side!!! (double moan)

What can N100 buy you in Lagos?

As at Feb 27, 2009 here are a number of things N100/$0.68/₤0.48/ €0.54 could buy you in Lagos:
  1. A 100ml plastic bottle of Coca-cola, Fanta, Sprite (but bottled water can be N60)
  2. 11 medium tomatoes from your local ‘Sunday’ market
  3. 1 Mr.Biggs’ sausage roll (previously N80 at the start of February)
  4. A recharge voucher from Zain telecommunications (talk time may vary)
  5. 10 Puff-Puff balls (like a donut, only without the hole)
  6. Parking space (pretty much anywhere) when an opportunist with space sees you’re desperate
  7. 6 oranges
  8. 1 apple
  9. 5 packs of ‘PK’ chewing gum (the ones with only 4 capsule-like pieces)
  10. 1 hair cut for men or tomboys (costs more if a generator is put on when NEPA/PHCN strikes)
  11. Approximately 1.5litres of petrol (currently sold at N65 per litre)
  12. 6 sheets of brown paper…
  13. 1 music CD (mostly local artists, and some amateur compilations of international artists)
  14. Toll gate ticket to get into Murtala Mohammed airport (getting out will cost you another N100!)
  15. Some selected local newspapers (The PUNCH will cost you an extra N50)
  16. A cashcard from selected banks unto which you can save & withdraw money
  17. Loading cash unto the cashcard each time you deposit money
  18. A copy of Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes (with N20 to spare)
  19. Have at least 3 pairs of your shoes polished or mended by the local mobile cobbler
  20. A medium ‘breakfast bowl’ size full of rice, stew/sauce, meat from street-side caterers (may cause diaorrhea) 

..xTx..

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 😀

Junior High – 1st year…

I was 11 years old when I started Junior Secondary School at The International school, Ibadan. I felt like a prisoner sent to Alcatraz to do time. As I walked through those gates and saw the boys in their turquoise short sleeve shirts with grey shorts, and the girls in their blue/white striped dresses, I couldn’t help feeling that I was just ordinary. How the hell could I stand out in this crowd? I thought.

I started feeling homesick almost immediately. Saying goodbye to my primary school friends of 6yrs was hard enough. I moved to a different state (from Lagos to Oyo) and left my Mum , Dad and 2 sisters behind in order to stay with my Aunt. Her children (i.e. my cousins) made the whole traumatizing experience bearable for me and so I gained 2 brothers I never had, and yet another (sarcastic but lovable) sister. On holidays I would be ‘deported’ to Lagos to see my family.

My uniform didn’t make my first day experience any easier to get through. The shorts were tight – not as high as hot pants but not as long as regular boxer shorts either (so it was a good thing I was still wearing Y-fronts then). I felt I was walking funny – you would if your shorts were climbing up between your buttocks! Speaking of which, and to make matters even worse, I had er…okay my bum was er…not the ‘average’ size for a boy…it was kinda out there…just a bit – not sexy, not cool. The shirt material felt cheap and caused my skin to itch sometimes. I wasn’t accustomed to applying lotion to my legs so my flaky, chapped chopsticks were glistening white for all students to jeer at that day.

I dared to look at some of the beautiful full-breasted girls in the school – they were all my seniors, damn! I made my way to my class after the school assembly and scrambled with my mates to get the ‘best’ seat. A complete nerd would sit right at the front in the first row. I was a partial nerd so I chose a seat in the second front row. I glanced at the girls in my class: a lot of them were pretty…(pretty flat-chested, that is). I couldn’t get it through my thick afro-head that girls of age 11 were meant to look like that. I was going to get my own big surprise in 2years time though.

I made friends quite quickly with a few of the boys but I was still shy talking to girls – not all of them, just the ones I thought were so breathtaking. It was fun at break time when everyone ran out to the food stalls or playing field. The seniors boys in SS1, SS2 and SS3 did not seem to like to see the junior boys having ‘FUN’. It was an abomination for junior boys to smile in their presence or even let your eyes meet. This was hard because they were everywhere. I had to learn to walk with my eyes just glazed – not really focusing on anyone but still making sure I didnt bump into anyone. In an innocent era when 2 junior boys could walk along, holding hands and sharing a joke, senior boys were quick to descend upon them and exercise capital punishment. I guess they knew something we were still oblivious of. 

Breaktime was an uncomfortable period also because you didn’t want a senior to call you and send you on an errand. For instance, I recall one of my best mates being picked from my clique one afternoon on our way to buy lunch:

Senior: HEY YOU come here….I’m talking to YOU! Come here!

Best mate: Yes sir

Senior: Don’t look at me when I’m talking to you!

Best mate: I’m very sorry, sir.

Senior: Why were you ignoring me when I called you?

Best mate: I wasn’t ignoring you.

Senior: Oh, so you’re saying that I’m lying, right?

Best mate: No I didnt say that I…

Senior: Kneel down there!

As my mate surrended to this 6ft bully, one of my other friends suggested that he’d go to the senior to beg for my mate to be released. This was the dumbest idea I had ever heard because it was a sheep prancing its way to the slaughterhouse. But I felt my best mate’s pain as girls in my class walked past him pointing and giggling. We watched as the unsung hero went to negotiate with the senior. It appeared to be going well. The senior reached into his own pocket and even gave the braveheart some money. He walked back to the rest of us but to my surprise my best mate was still left kneeling down on the sandy ground.

Me: What happened?

Him: The senior said he’ll let him go once I buy his lunch for him.

Me: Okay, lets go buy it then.

Him: But he didnt give me enough money.

Me: How much did he give you?

Him: Five Naira.

Me: and what did he ask you to buy?

Him: 2 meatpies, 2donuts, 1 bottle of Coke, 1 Okin biscuit, 1 pack of Sprint chewing gum…and he said I should bring back his change!

I remember trying to stifle an outburst because that absurd senior wasn’t too far off from where we were standing. I refused when I was asked to contribute towards this greed-feast – my pocket money was limited. Let my best mate continue to kneel down there…we only just met anyway…its not like we’re brothers or something, I thought. But just then a teacher walked past and asked what was going on. In the end my best mate was allowed to go and he sluggishly came back to us looking really pissed.  

The following day when we went to enjoy our breaktime, a familiar bully started beckoning us to come to him. I remember how we looked at each other briefly and quickly scurried off in different directions, running for our dear lives. Those were the fun moments. Life in Junior High inevitably became a game of hide and seek with the seniors. We wore the shorts, they sported the trousers. They abused their power, we were at their mercy – a word which was probably omitted from their childhood and English Language tutorials. This was only my first year and I still had a lot to learn about surviving high school. 

 

..xTx..

NYSC completion

If you are 30years old or above then you are exempt from NYSC completion.

 

However, if you are a graduate and under 30years of age then you will be required to complete your National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) before gaining full employment into any private or public company. The government came up with this scheme decades ago to ensure that every Nigerian renders service to the community.

 

The duration is for 1year and registration is done at Abuja. You will need to have your Nigerian passport, Degree certificate(s) and passport photographs in order to register. The state in which you serve depends primarily on where you are from. For example, if you say you are from Lagos state then you will be posted in any of the other 36 states. The idea is that you are not permitted to serve in the same state you are from.  

 

You would need to get a head start by applying to companies that are recruiting Corpers. If you want to work in the banking sector, for example, then apply to a good number of banks so that you are can be supervised by them. In the event that you do not find a company to serve with, the NYSC officials may fix you in any job that is available and not necessarily linked to your degree discipline.

 

Whilst you work you will not be classed as permanent staff and your monthly salary would be very much lower than a graduate who already holds an NYSC certificate. For example, in the banking industry (as at Dec 2008) a graduate who completes his/her NYSC and gains employment at entry level may earn btw N90,000 and N120,000 monthly while a Corper would earn between N20,000 and N25,000 monthly.

 

Once you have completed your service you may wish to remain with the company with which you served. Once you are retained you stand to gain all the employee benefits available to permanent staff.

 

..xTx..

Making your decision

It’s really important that the decision to relocate is wholly yours. As a suggestion, go there on holiday and get a good feel for the environment – that’s what I did. Can you adjust to the change of lifestyle in the long run? Public transport comes in the form of BRT buses (Government-owned, long buses), Public vans/’Danfo’, Public taxi, Car hire, Motorcycle/Okada and Hooded, 3-wheeled scooter/’Keke’. Electricity is not constant yet so alternative sources of power will be required e.g. Generators, Inverters, etc. These days a lot of goods seen abroad are usually available in big supermarkets at home. Lagos is very metropolitan, for those who are used to the busy city life. Abuja, on the other hand, is relatively quieter and has more of a countryside feel to it. Start getting used to the value of Naira and see how much you are likely to spend on average on a normal day. Other people’s decisions to return may influence you but still go with your gut instinct and pray for God’s guidance. 

..xTx..

Entry #3 – Moment of madness

Yesterday I dont know what came over me. I was driving back from work late about 8pm when this massive commercial bus started blaring its horn behind me. There was no room in front of me, I wasn’t slowing down, and I sure as hell wasn’t stopping the driver from overtaking me. This nuisance continued for a good 5mins. I was getting attention I did not want. I felt humiliated. I felt like every other driver was laughing at me. I had enough…

I swerved off the middle lane and stayed on the lefthand side, allowing the impatient bufoon to pass by – and that’s when my MOM (Moment Of Madness) paid an unexpected visit. I swerved back into the middle lane behind the bus and guess what I did next 😀

BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEEP! BEP BEP BEEEEEEEEEEP….BEEP….BEEP….BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The bus driver started attempting to get off the lane. I started chasing him – I don’t know what the hell for though. Other drivers were grinning as I beeped a ‘happy-birthday-to-you’ sounding tune – I had to stop halfway though cos I realized I could have been endangering the passengers on the bus, not to mention, myself!

This isn’t me, I thought. I was a victim of road rage and this time I took it a lil too far. Note to self – no more Red bulls before driving…even if it was intended to stop me from dozing off in traffic.

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..

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..