Saturday, 28 June 2008


Pic of Rumoukorushi, Port Harcourt showing quite a contrast between the suburban shell camp and the surrounding district.

The idea that we are all,in some way, connected first hit me when I was about 6 or 7. I can remember walking back from school with my mother, who was quick to admonish me, on seeing that I played with a Naira note with my lips.
"Do you know where that money has being" my mother commented that day, with her eyes glaring the way it used to, before she realised that constant mannerisms like that, caused a distancing of her children from her. The comment triggered me into wondering where actually that money had been, right from its origins at the Central bank. I tried to imagine who had handled that particular note right from when I took it as change from the kiosk opposite my primary school. The always indifferent-faced woman at the kiosk might have gotten the note from some other student, who was probably handed the money by his pregnanancy-induced slouched mother, who herself might have gotten the money from her middle-class and thrifty husband, who just got paid his forty thousand monthly salary in two batches of 100, 50 and 20 naira denominations.

That idea of of us being all connected by some material thing or common emotional feeling has even intrigued more, with movies like crash, Babel etc. And it reoccurred to me a while ago on writing a non-linear story that chronicled certain troubled Nigerian individuals of different cultural, financial, academic and introspective differences all heading to Abeokuta city; which is the destination of their journey in search of a common desire and need. And I wondered what this common need or rather missing link, that these characters searched for, was. Then, I got transported into another realm of thought, where the idea of equating what connects all Nigerians together as a people to what connects these searching characters, occured to me. In as much as the inadequacies and annoying bustle of our country connects us all together-whether you are in Nigeria or the diaspora, I wanted some other fact or even idea that was more extrinsic and existential that binds us. And by extrinsic, I do not mean some trait in us that is as a result of our tribe or just being part of a geographical region, rather, I mean something that has being built or arrested in us and is a product of living in Nigeria or just being of Nigerian heritage. All I could come up with was the individual search of every Nigeria for self-fulfilment, regardless of our communal and sometimes repressive culture. But, I wasn't satisfied with my conclusion, as I felt the search for fulfilment and individual happiness is a common and universal one.
So, I put out this question to you bloggers or anyone reading, on what they feel connects us as Nigerians together, apart from the country's inadequacies and instability?

Sunday, 15 June 2008


"Are you happy Afolabi?" Dad asks
"Yeah...Yes Daddy"
"Good, that's...good" dad says with a forced conviction that even leaks through the three perforations of the phone's handset.

This is a poem that is not against success, but questions the kind we strive for and that which is truly ours.

Scribblings for the Trigenarian

That each stage of life is separated by seconds
Is a shame and maiming truth.
Small, yet potent are these changes amidst life’s turns,
That one is thrust from childhood to Youth.
Manhood to Old age, then to
Well, your bible en-lightens that other side to you.

And now, at this stage of my life
I apologize to you, dear Trigenerian;
For not setting a strong foundation,
For that Grand sea-side semi; of your heart’s strife.
Though, I am unsure if you’ll be more forgiving,
I still risk these scribblings as your pardon’s condition.

You crave for the laurelled title; the Ideal man.
And I fear I will not aid in this quest.
Uncertainty spells you response to these words of mine,
Yet, I still offer you words seamed with trust
' In your own differences, I plea
That you find your own ideal.'

FYI: Trigenerian is not in the dictionary!!