I joined the lightupnigeria movementon Twitter for the first time today and I enjoyed. It so happened that there was a march to the state house as well and we were able to get updates as well as pictures on how it went.

I must say that I am proud of us. I was once told that this movement wouldn't make any progress maily for the fact that all we Nigerians do is complain and do nothing to seek a change. Today, those people were proven wrong. They will see that not only do we want change, we want it now.

I saw thousands clad in their lightupnigeria branded tshirts both in green and White colours and I felt elated that we are not sitting behind the comforts of out desks and pasting lightupnigeria in our every tweet
Now that this step has been taken, it is not for us to become complacent and do nothing anymore neither shall we sit back and wait for God knows how long for a response to be given to us. It is our right and we demand it. It has become ridiculous and too long accepted. We have to do something about it. We need to get to the bottom of it.

I know I don't have any solutions, not anything that fellow blogger Solomonsydelle has not mentioned nor the many other people. But I know that I'm ready to be a part of change.

Are you?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A single story

A friend of mine just sent me a link to a talk given by our very own Chimamanda Adichie, the author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a yellow sun. The talk revolves around the thoughts of us as people on others, particularly when these thougts are formed when we have incomplete information, basically "a single story".

She speaks about the "single stories" that she has heard mostly about "Africans". These include the surprise a lot of people feel, that Nigerians can speak English, or the fact that we do listen Mariah Carey and not our "tribal music".

From my point of view, I don't think it's got anything to do with racism, as naive as that sounds. Because Chimamanda confesses to the fact that she also held single stories about certain people, such as mexicans who are portrayed by Americans as "abject immigrants" as opposed to the learned, hard working people she saw mexicans to be when she visited their country. That goes to show that no one is beyond formulating single stories. Not necessarily in respect to countries, but also individuals. Forming impressions about someones entire lineage or family background based on one person, as Chimamanda did their house-boy's family whom she was made to understand were poor. She then saw a raffia basket that his brother had woven and realised that the only thing she had attached to his boy and his family was "poverty" and nothing else.

This got me thinking. If she speaks about it this way, it means everyone out there does it in one way or the other. When we form these stories about individuals, then it's probably our faults for narrowly assessing people. Then if it's done to larger groups such as countries or a tribe, is it then our fault for not being thoroughly enlightened or the fault of the informant who most likely make sure to omit important information and constantly reiterate that single story that they want you to be aware of.

How then do we solve the situation? Simple! Others may say. "just look for more information". But is it that easy? I don't think it is. Even with the ease that information technology has brought in providing information, our generation does not seem to have thirst for this knowledge. We want to be spoon fed! Then we complain when Africa is named along with countries when it's a continent housing over 40 countries or when an american thinks Kofi Anaan is a coffee derivative (and probably quite expensive too). All in this 21st century, or more recently this year 2009. Meanwhile the average African knows that Utah is an American state and not a fellow African's surname.

But then it's all well and good to point fingers. The question is, what's the way forward?

I do it, you do it too, we all do, but how do we stop it? Both as the receiving end of a single story and the creators of single stories.

Below is the link to the video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Say you're one of them

So I've just recently completed the book "Say you're one of them", written by Uwem Akpan.

Got to know about it from Sugarbelly, who says the author used to be her teacher.

For me, I try very hard to read Nigerian authors as I feel that it's what I need to jolt me back into my love for reading, especially when i've gone a long stretch without a good book. I did so with both Chimamanda's books and I never regretted it.

So I was rather excited about this new catch. The day after I read sugarbelly's post about "Say you're one of them", I went into waterstones and paid full price for it. Something I daresay Ive never really done, thanks to charity shops' cheap prices, WhSmith vouchers/offers and a sister who lives and breathes Amazon. So trust me, I felt very proud of myself and looked forward to more achievements like this.
I started the book on a train journey, which is a far cry from what my train journeys have been like in the last few months. Basically, I sleep on the train. I live quite far out in London and I love a little snooze in either a car or train. This is one thing I will miss when I get to naija. My eyes need to be wide open when I'm on public or non public transport. I don't want my bag or even my very self disappearing before my own eyes.

Anyways I started the book, with all excitement and anticipation of an exceptional journey.
It's a collection of short stories, each narrated by a different child, as each story is from a different country, all in Africa.
It tells of the struggles of children and their people in these troubled countries, Nigeria inclusive. The Nigerian story (the longest) revolved around the killings that took place when the Sharia laws were introduced in the north, whilst another story looks at Rwanda and the unrest between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Having seen Hotel Rwanda, I read that story like someone who has a fair knowledge of what that was all about. Plus being Nigerian and Muslim, I knew what the Nigerian story was all about as well.
For someone who was once a literature student, I embraced the book beyond it's theme and viewed it in respect to it's narrative style and structure.
I must say that it does an excellent job in giving the public a deeper view into the happenings in these countries, beyond what we see on the news or read on the Internet. It especially does so from the point of view of the most vulnerable parts of a nation's demographic; the children. When we see these things on the news, we never understand the intricacies of these occurrences, let alone their resulting effect on this part of the population.
On the other hand though, the book did drag a little, for me and took me almost 3 weeks to finish and that, doesnt happen very often. I found myself starting to skim read and when I do that, it means I'm bored. It was in no way boredom from the story, but more of style and a lot of things I considered to be irrelevant, especially in the Nigerian story, which unsurprisingly was the longest.
However, i will say that it's a good read, not great but good. It's pluses as I said are in regards to the theme that it chose, and the voices used. Its lows are mostly in consistency, fluidity, transition and relevance. These to some may not be considered important, but for me these play a huge role in my overall enjoyment of the book.
But still, I must say well done Mr Akpan. The book has been short and longlisted for prizes and that, is a great achievement.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


I seem to have lost my flare for blogging..

Maybe because nothing happens in my life. I literally, wake up, help get the kids ready for school, go to work, get back, get them to bed, eat, go to my room and talk to a few people on messenger, fall asleep in the middle of the conversation and the cycle begins all over again.

Or maybe its that things, do happen but Ive lost that connection with my blog. I think its because Ive met a few bloggers and plainly cos I dont want to discuss anything I've published with anyone. For some who dont know, I dont discuss my blog outside of blogger, even with other bloggers.

Or maybe because my brain is not functioning right at the moment. Ive never been one to creatively write up something. My posts are usually spurred by occurrences around me and now, I cant be bothered to process anything in my head right now.

Or maybe because I am bored out of my brains with the monotony that my life seems to be holed up in at the moment. I dont find things interesting anymore. I think one person is full if shit, whilst the other is full of even more shit and the last one is burried in the shit. Some people just need to eff off like seriously. I've lost all interest in people. Both girls and guys. Me thinks Ive taken to much nonsense from a lot of people, even after thinking I was smart enough to deal with the good, the bad and the fugly!

Life and the people in it have lost all relevant meaning to me right now. One would thing something major has happened recently that has caused me to feel this way. Thats not the case. I actually dont know what the case is. I think its like watching a movie and halfway through, you just hiss and change the channel.

Lets see what channel can lift my spirits


Now we are getting there!

Happy birthday darling!

Now lets perfect this icing dammit!

I need this thing to fetch me good money.

A long way to go abi?