Random Thoughts 4: Abusgar’s

Good morning and compliments of the season. Today, we delve into @Abusgar mind.

I wish to die before my wife. What’s with the frown? Shouldn’t it logically be so considering my pre-existence of her? I’m talking about having her enjoy the fruit of her – even though ours – labour with twenty years added to the about sixty years I pray we spend together as man and wife. Add that to our ages at marriage and you’ll agree with iyawo Jay-Z about who runs the world. The available statistics of landladies is enough an evidence to show who lives longer. But I’m not about to discuss who gets what. I’m more particular about raising my family.

There’s a man living my dream of a father. He’s a friend, a brother, an uncle, a friend’s father, and indeed my father. I forgot to add he’s my counsellor and mentor. Have you read “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray? I got it first from him. He’s a chartered accountant and author of “Marriage Preparation: Key Issues To Consider. In a time when child-rearing is considered by many to be the sole responsibility of the mother, this man has taught me how a man can easily compete with his wife to parent their children.

Parenting, I believe, isn’t a favour done to our spouse nor our kids, it is an obligation that must be fulfilled. A brother puts it succinctly here “We did not inherit the world from our parents; we borrowed it from our children. We should live in readiness to return the world in good condition, at least”. It is in the spirit of this readiness that I read books on relationship as though I’m preparing for ICAN and ACCA. Women don’t know what they want. They want everything. No apologies. I once attended a seminar where relationship was heavily discussed. The speaker recommended “The Muslim Marriage Guide” by Ruqaiyya Waris Maqsood. Of course I got and read the book. Smh for myself. I have suffered. From my readings, the best way to handle a woman is to be a mumu! That is my judgement from my engagement in some pre-marital preliminary relationships.

The mumu I plan to be is that father who’d be so responsible as to be described as obsessed with the success of his family. Kitchen work won’t be for my wife alone.(*you just yimu-ed,didn’t you?) I already know how to change diaper for our kids. There shall be time to assist with assignments. I shall nag when I have to.(yeske,I said nag.Atleast what sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander) Truth is, no matter what one reads from relationship books, no single solution is all encompassing of women’s peculiarities. Even with reading the same things and sharing same values, we have our individual differences. To each its own. And this is why she would also have to be patient with me. The realisation of our children’s full potential is our paramount objective.

So, no forming of yeye boss to my wife and kids. It’s one family; one nation. Charity begins at home. Those good things I’ve read are not beyond the wit of man; we’re going to live them. For the love of humanity, it is my reckoning that I must pay my dues without necessarily anticipating what I get in return from my people. It is in the light of this, that I’d like to, after living a fulfilled life, die before my wife. *cycles away slowly*

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To bE a sHaiD.

Nigerian children are superheroes. We are. The things we go through, the pain. Don’t you wonder why yoruba mothers say “ti n ba wa igbaju kan fun e” which, transliterated, means “if I should look for AN igbaju for you”. Yes, I wrote “igbaju”, scientists and linguists, after seeing the act and after-effect of an igbaju, haven’t come up with an English substitute yet. The closest they have is bomb. I digress.

Now, I asked a question. You see the article “an” is a signifier of singularity. Meaning, that item being qualified by “an” has plural forms. As regards “igbaju”, this plurality is related to quantity and type.

Based on quantity, could be one but never more than two (one for each cheek; or when you get the forehand and backhand consecutively…*sigh*). Based on style:
1. Igbaju: this is the generic one. The most used type.
2. Igbaju oloyi: pronounced e-gba-ju oh-lo-yi. Only brought out on special occassions like when you break that chinaware plate that was passed down from your mom’s great-grandmother to her, or you wear your christmas clorth to goan play ball in the rain.

Then the koboko, or if you have kind parents like mine, the pankere(cane). Those tools of great manual reset capabilities. You know, it gets to a point, you see a koboko and you self-reset. Even when you are doing the right thing. Thinking back, when you were a secondary school student and you get caned, six lashes, you do the “dusting” and go all “ohrbii, it dinor pain me.” (That just triggered a memory. Had a classmate, nicca hated being beaten but was a talkative so was a regular on the “noisemakers” list. Now when the beating starts, nicca would take the first lash and run outta the class, come back, take another lash and run. So funny, those crying earlier forget their pain.) However, when you get home, you’re shivering before the first stroke lands.

Only a Nigerian child understands the result of “spare the rod and spoil the child”.

Let’s leave the beatings.

Bullies. Those shidren that are not happy so think you should be unhappy too. The ones that sing Ebenezer Obey for you when you don’t share your bicycle: “ma gbe keke e lo, a o ba e sere mo”. One set of young niccas tried that song on me, a very lol-ious moment. I didn’t plan sharing the bicycle before na. Mofos oshi. *mschew*.

Or when you are watching Power Rangers (watched that thing again and was wondering what I saw in it) and you are called to run an errand and you make the mistake of looking like you don’t want to go and then your mother gives you the side-eye.

*sigh* *insert your pains here*

We are superheroes.

Slainte.

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crossroad

Is there anything new anymore? No. There is nothing new. A loop continuous. Variations of the old made to seem new. That girl crying after the break-up; that dude who feels incomplete because he lost his love; death of loved ones; the joy of making your first monies; might being right; similarity in the rise of the Mamuleke and the Ibadan.

This is known.

Why then does each repetition feel new? Some would say the personal touch of it is what makes it new. Really? That personal touch is a function of who you are; who you are is a product of your worldview and this worldview is a by-product of all the aforementioned events. What I’m saying is, you already are conditioned to react so to these occurences. Only to the first beings were these things novel.

Much as I believe all these, still doesn’t provide an answer to the ache I feel. This feeling of loss; this desire to go back in time; the feeling that I’m on a long travelled road, one I have journeyed before but I have missed a turn I should have taken. Things strange look familiar and in people’s faces I see those long gone. The road isn’t famished. It isn’t the road not taken. It is a boulevard of broken dreams.

There is a junction ahead. I would wait there for my companions. They have gone to search for meaning. Maybe they will have answers for me.

Slainte.

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sex

Sex.

Yes, sex.

sex (s ks)
n.
1.
a. The property or quality by which organisms are classified as female or male on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions.
b. Either of the two divisions, designated female and male, of this classification.

2. Females or males considered as a group.

3. The condition or character of being female or male; the physiological, functional, and psychological differences that distinguish the female and the male.

4. The sexual urge or instinct as it manifests itself in behavior.

5. Sexual intercourse.

The above are definitions of sex, only definitions “4” and “5” are germane to this article. Sex and its importance to our survival.

There is an ambivalence as to the issue of sex. Its rightness as regards when to do it -pre-marital or not-, with some going as far as questioning HOW it should be done (like seriously? What happened to variety being the spice of life? Where is the place for inventiveness?*mischievious smile**wink*).

“…shall cleave unto his wife and both shall become one flesh…” That cleaving is in body and mind. The body part is sex. Sex is important. Now, don’t go thinking I am on #TeamNoSexBeforeMarriage. I am not. At least, I think I am not. To each his/her own. I don’t subscribe to the guilt-ladden sex is wrong pre-marriage that is the position of organised religion especially the mono-theistic ones.(Those who know me know I abhor organised religion). If it is wrong, why was the clitoris created as it has no other function apart from sexual gratification.

The argument that it is solely for reproduction is just crayy. A spoon was made to be used for eating, does that mean you are wrong for using it to open all those ovaltine and milo tins?

Sex is so germane, everything is sexual. At least, almost everything. Slotting keys in keyholes, making a “O” with our hands to open doorknobs, etc. Even Freud, that cigar-loving oedipal nicca totally agrees.

Don’t be ashamed of it. When you are told in places of worship not to sleep around, nod and agree. However, when you process it, think of it thus: Religion is based on morality and common sense; the warning is based on a doctrine of moderation, as nothing, not even sex should be abused. Added to this, when/if you contract an STD, you bear the pain alone. And that teeny-weeny guilt you feel after orgasm, it is a natural response. A biochemical thing. Not psychological at all (except of course when you sleep with your helpless housegirl, or your friend’s girlfriend/boyfriend, in which case, just die).

As to the how, be inventive abeg. If your body can’t contort, it won’t. If it can, there is definitely no reason wasting the opportunity.

Now, now, a caveat. This is a point of view. I, myself, might not totally agree with it (my mind and its workings sometimes are beyond me).

Slainte.

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Dream

I just came back from, well, can’t tell you. I would have to kill you if I do. Went to this place-that-must-not-be-named for a conference of The Association of the Awesome and Superheroes. I am the current president. Met Supes (superman to you), Wonder Woman (still going around in her underwear), you know,everyone of them. Batty didn’t come though, something assassins or so, y’all know how paranoid he is.

So, we discussed the state of things in our countries of residence. Things got heated at a point when Supes went all black housewife on me, nagging about how I have being derelict in my duties. I had to bitchslap the nicca. Hit him so hard, he picked up a new language, yoruba. Kept repeating “e ma binu”.*straight face*. Things cooled down and we decided to wipe out Nigeria. We were discussing the how when history was made. A mortal made an appearance in the meeting. We all turned and of course, Batty was culpable. Now we know why he really didn’t arrive early. So this mortal made a case for Nigeria which is why you are still alive reading this piece. This is what he said:

Beautiful. Ugly. Painful. Pleasurable. Orgasmic. Draining. Adjectives all and all describe just one thing. Life (that’s not what you were thinking,yeah?your mind needs bleaching). Like the story of the blind men who went on a trip, met an elephant and described it. Though they were all right, they were also all wrong. Life, whatever way it is described, is a function of perspective and experience. Therefore, it can not, by the above definition, be described or seen in just one way.

Vox populi, vox dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. I’m not about to go religious on you, you have your churches, mosques and *insert OAU uber-christian folks here;awon ero “sport”* for that. My using that quote is to buttress a point. The point is that the mob, the majority, the people are the ones who really know as it is. When the generality of these people agree, see things the same way, we can safely believe that thing to be true. Forgive the fallacy, but sometimes the bandwagon effect isn’t wrong.

Lagos. It is October 1, 1960. The D-day. The day Nigeria becomes a sovereign state, at least in name. Like all socieities, there were the rich and the poor. One thing there wasn’t was the wretched. A country blessed, more agrarian than most, Nigeria was called the Giant of Africa and touted to be a superpower in no time. It had potential. There was balance. If these people were asked what they thought of the world, the questioner would have got a multiplicity and diverse answers.

Two coups after, a bloody civil war, Oloibiri. Black gold is discovered in commercial quantity. Blessed curse? Cursed blessing? Anyways, the GDP skyrocketed. Money everywhere. The people still had different views of the world. There was the rich, the educated middle class and then the poor. Still, the wretched were so infinitesssimal as to be non-existent.

However, creepingly, slowly, the middle class was phased out. The rich got richer and the poor, poorer. And then, the poor became the majority. The vox populi effect: the world lost all beauty. The world is seen in just one way: pain-filled with little doses of pleasure.

That is where we are now. Revolution!! Viva Nigeria!! Aluta Continua!! I disagree. We can’t revolt. Not anymore. Not at this stage. We are a potpourri of at least 250 tribes with about 410 languages; centuries old grudges between the so-termed minor tribes and the major tribes and even with other minor tribes. Biafra won’t mind a second try at secession, in my opinion. Don’t point to the American Revolution because they fought a common enemy. Not themselves.

Reformation, maybe. Do the little things. Ask your councillor/local government chairman where the allocated money went. If your local govt councillor can’t be made to be accountable by you, then what’s the noise about the presidency’s profligacy. The Arab Spring was a product of the butterfly effect. The little things added up to become a big thing.

Life and being alive is painful in this part of the world. We can try make it beautiful again.

Slainte.

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of gay rights, religion and evolution.

The world is an environment defined by its dynamism; change is the only constant. Thomas Hobbes, in his treatise “Leviathan”, among other things, posited that man was in the beginning a brutish, savage being who lived a short and brutish life. After a while, he slowly became aware of himself, his environment and fellow man; upon this awareness, civilization was born. This, to me, was the start of the evolution process.

This awareness that birthed civilisation started man on the path of governance. The domination of the weak by the strong though remained a constant as, according to Darwinism, survival is a function of being the fittest(put “strongest” here). Rules were made.

One thing, however, that man had, even at the start, was the belief in the existence of a Being more powerful than he; a being which he believed was stronger than him therefore without directly saying so, demanded of him total obedience. The question wasn’t about the existence but the how. The how that is the way this Being is to be given its due, what sex, if any it should have, how should it look etc. Do you not wonder why the gods bear human traits. Do you not think maybe we created this/these Being(s) and not the other way around. Nature abhors vacuum, and man is a product of nature; could it be that godhood is man’s attempt to explain those phenomena he has no grasp of?

I digress.

Time moved. Man evolved. Change occurred. From being an hunter-gatherer to being a farmer to domesticating animals. Evolution touched religion too; from the polytheic nature of religion to the monotheism that is now pervasive(christianity and islam).

In old English, being gay connoted happiness. It evolved and as used now, it denotes a sexual preference.

Preambles done with, to Nigeria and the recently-passed Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill which is basically as homophobic as a law can be. Now being called the anti-gay law, this law had being in the works for quite a while. Of course, majority of us, yours sincerely inclusive, thought it was a joke. Tweeted jokes about it etc. Imagine the shock when it came to fruition.

It is of note that it is being lauded mainly by the religious bodies. Why? They gave reasons. Reasons I intend questioning herein.

Firstly, is the fact it is an abomination. That it is against nature. A visit to google would show these people that homosexualism is not un-natural. It is a given. Diverse examples abound of other animals doing it. Note my use of “other animals” as the nature argument isn’t religious, it is scientific.

Then the procreation argument which really is given with that look like oya-let-me-see-how-you-will-circumvent this. If we say it is wrong based on this, then all forms of monkhood and other celibacy-based ideals are wrong. Moreover, sex isn’t partook in solely for procreation, is it? In my opinion, it sure as hell isn’t.

At the start of this article, I mentioned evolution. Man has evolved. Have this people not heard of artificial insemination? or the cloning of Dolly the sheep? These things could not be conceptualised when religion as we know it was born. Dogma is the purview of religion and man has had advancements due to his leaving dogma behind and giving free rein to his inquisitive mind. The tabula was rasa for a reason. It is so it can be filled.

Marslow said human needs are basically three: food, shelter and self-actualisation. Being gay doesn’t stop others from fulfilling these.

Prison is built to house deviants whose very existence is harmful to the society, how does being gay hurt society.

The idea behind punishment is commensuration, that is, the punishment equals or is almost equal to the crime. Does being gay justify taking 14 years of a person’s life?

I am a graduate. Through with service. Job hunting. No luck yet. All sectors, including the golden goose’s, petroleum, are in shambles. I don’t think any of the above is the gay’s fault nor do I see those overpaid fat cats passing any law to alleviate the situation. GEJ is ripe for an impeachment but they do that not. The Aviation Minister gave them fake certs during her interview and they are quiet. Or tell us to pray.

I do not hate gay people. I just feel they are missing out (of course they think the same of me). Plus it means a bettering of my chances of landing me a chick (do they still use that word?). Choice of who to love is not supposed to be criminalised. We love who we love, whether they love us back is secondary.

Slainte.

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Jigi

Iya ni wura; Mother is gold. That is something always said. It is an incomplete saying though. The rest, the usually unsaid part, is “…baba ni jigi” meaning father is jigi. Really though, transliterated it means “father is the mirror”.

Many a song has been written, many a poem waxed extolling the goddess that is one’s mother. I did too. Few ever discuss that man who goes to bed last, wakes up early (at 4am to beat Lagos traffic), gets to work, swallows dents to his pride, gives everything and asks for just little in return; few extol the father. Today, I will try do my bit.

Father is a mirror. Have you ever thought of the fragility which they place on the father and the near-immortality the mother is given. However, maybe that’s not the point. I would like to think the point made is the father’s penchant for telling who and what you really are without mincing words. I’m a boy, first born too. So, forgive me if my opinion is skewed.

The male of most specie have one thing in common; pride. This pride, in humans, gives birth to ego, self-importance, selfishness, love, kindness etc depending on life choices made; but it is always there. Knowing this, can you imagine the amount of patience and swallowing that would allow a man work for another for years so as to provide the three basics: food, shelter and clothings for those who look up to him. Because if you notice, our fathers generation are mainly accountants, technicians, lawyers with sprinklings of the self-employed because then, unlike now, starting up on your own wasn’t a pervasive mindset.

In the midst of all the harshness that is life, they still rememer the little things, (sometimes they forget too though. Like a man with about 8 children asking the fifth born what year he/she was born. That’s forgivable). A year, my dad was outside the state on official business. About 10 hours away from Ibadan. Meetings and all finished on the night of May 11. My dad, as a rule, doesn’t travel at night. Also as a rule, he doesn’t miss birthdays. 7 am the next day, I was dressed and leaving for school,and guess who walks in through the gate: my dad. He drove through the night so he would see me before I leave for school. He is def tired, he could have just called, but he came.

Fathers die before our mothers. It isn’t staying power; they just have worked for so long, they get early leave.

I say my mother is a superwoman. My father isn’t superman. No. He is the sun from which my own superwoman(mom) draws her strength; he is the watchman in the night; the launching pad of his kids.

Hailings to those fathers out there who own just few clothings so the children can have a closetfull; who starve so we may eat; who don’t say “I love you” but let you know they will catch a grenade for you. They are superheroes.

Slainte.

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Random Thoughts 7: Oladapo’s

Are you not afraid? Can you not see it coming? You. Yes,you. You are walking when everyone is running. Do you not have a grasp of the situation?

I am afraid and I can see it coming. Worse, it is looking inescapable by the day. It actually is inevitable. Every second and moment that goes, never to be got back, leads to it. Life is itself defined by it. Already, you know I am talking about death. It is so final.

It is year end and in the midst of the “compliment(s) o”, “same to you”, debauchery, partying, new year resolutions(lol), gluttony, laughter, people died. In Asa’s words, peace for the people who have gone. Every laugh with a corresponding wail, every chuckle with a corresponding sigh. The ying-yanginess that is life as we know it.

Seated here and asking myself,”Am I ready?”. The answer is a shrug because really, is anyone ever ready. Makes me think of where I am at this stage of life. Bleh. Giving me a headache. Alea iacta est because, in the end, Que sera would sera.

Madiba did die this year. Much as it was celebrated, it is saddening at a level that has nought to do with the Mandelas’ pain. It is one closer to home. When would Nigeria be that lucky? Would we ever be that lucky sef. On the same thought train, can my own generation have a man so vaunted. I don’t think so. We are much too lost. We make the trivial important and vice versa.

I fear for my unborn child.

Having got that out of my system (I have always wanted to do the alarmist-end-time is coming thingy.*grins*), welcome to “here”, you are about to go on a journey into my mind. Do drop your sanity at the door, it isn’t necessary here. Just come along.

What or who defines right or wrong? Me?You?Family?Society? Definitely not you nor me. Family is a microcosm of society so, I would go with society. But then, society has a way of being wrong. Of recent, more wrong than right. You see, society is naught but a collection of individuals of like minds. So, when society says this is as it should be, it is just a situation where the majority have come to a singular conclusion which doesn’t necessarily make it right. Galileo paid with his life for society’s idiocy. Society breeds complacency,breeds individuals so rigid in their ways they destroy chances of change; they give as their excuse “that is how it always has been”. That’s just borderline stupid. Because it has always being so doesn’t mean it is SUPPOSED to be so. There always must be an allowance for change; factor in the dynamism that is a defining character of humans and humanity. This rigidity is common to organised religion. I won’t go there. Not today. Ok, why am I thinking of this? Erm…I have no idea.

They say I am not serious. Say I have a devil-may-care attitude. Maybe they are right. Maybe I just select that which to worry myself about. Maybe.

Sigh.

Arsenal is playing Newcastle today. Wish I could see that game. That reminds me. The decoder needs fixing. #7500. Need another #11000 to subscribe. Why do the government allow us be exploited so. What’s wrong with pay-per-view as is done in other countries. Why can’t dstv have plans where I choose exactly what I want to watch and pay for it. Not like I watch CCTV, *insert all the Afmag and afmag clones(telemundo et al) here*etc anyways. If it isn’t dstv, it is MTN. Those thieves. What the hell is “fair usage”. I pay for blackberry subscription,check data and I am told “fair usage”. Why? Itumo?

Fun isn’t fun anymore. Too much worries. Too much to do, but finite time to do it in. Everyone is in a rush. Looking at the big picture while neglecting to create their own kodak moments. Seeing the millions. We forget to appreciate the little things like a mother’s hug, a father’s presence, the adoration of siblings, the fellowship of friends who have become kin.

Sometimes, one just needs to stop,take whatever brand of chill pill works for you,and ask, “what is the endgame?”

I am dapo and thank you.

Slainte.

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