Monday, 29 May 2017

…OF A NIGERIAN YOUTH AND THE QUANDARY OF ETERNAL OPTIMISM

This is the month of May, today is the 29th, and the appropriate greeting as a Nigerian is “Happy Democracy Day”, but I guess saying “Happy New Year” is not out of place, since I was here last in the year 2016. Yes, I know, I have promised I will not disappear several times and I actually did disappear, but if you know me very well, you know I usually keep my promises, and it is because I try so hard to keep most of my promises
that I have not been able to keep this one – you know, promises like never let the family lack, never let my day-job suffer, never let stress send me to the hospital, never pass up an opportunity to network in real life, etc.

So, here I am again confused as to what to write about, not as much what to write about, but what to write about it – I want to write about the future of those of us Nigerians forty years and below-  should I join the others and continue to wail and rail against the our present sad situation, or should I, like an eternal optimist that I am, choose to tell people that things are improving and they will continue to improve even when I know in reality we are moving at the pace of a faulty unicycle, when we really need to move with the speed of Virgin’s Booms. Let me make this very clear, I am not laying claim to superior knowledge, but I can boldly say it without any qualms that the youths are definitely not ready for the change we all crave.

The premise of my assertion is my interactions with the youths, they more often than not leave me feeling the situation is irredeemable because the discussions are never logical and the larger part of the time is spent arguing for superiority by tribe, age, religion, education, and political affiliation, rarely display intellect or discuss ideas. They spend most of their time defending those who have put them in this quagmire of existence and I am always confused as to if they do not realise that those who constitute the political elite are the same people who have thrown us all into this abyss of wavering hope.

Societies grow when there are systems and structures which allow ideas to thrive, multiply, and morph into tangible development. Structures such as economic, education, healthcare, judicial, and so on. Those structures exist around here but only in a state of flummox. We have schools but not education; we have hospitals but no healthcare, we have a government structure but no economic development or judicial confidence. I fervently hope the youths realise that most of those who make up the political elite will not be here in fifty years, but most of us under the age of forty today will be here with our children, our grandchildren and possibly grandchildren. What kind of country will we have by then? One where the majority are uneducated, and sick, and uncouth, and unable to contribute meaningfully to the economy.

This is the time for the youths not just to stand up and be counted, or profess eternal optimism, but to get involved in grabbing the reins of leadership from the charlatans we have at the helms now and chart a new course for the country, for our children, and for generations unborn.


NB: Subsequent articles will detail my suggestions on how we take over our destinies.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

RIVERS OF BABYLON

It started out as a song playing in my subconscious, then I started humming it around the house and the office, then I started playing it out loud through my phone, and I had to go post the lyrics on Facebook, and now it is at the top of my “most played” playlist. I am referring to the popular Boney M song “Rivers of Babylon” which has taken over my life in the last two weeks.

As someone who likes looking for Order within Chaos, and someone who considers rationalizing phenomena as important and as necessary as breathing is to continuous existence, I have been trying to understand why this song has suddenly taken over my life at this point in time. Like all Researchers worth the title would do, I decided to start from the beginning.
Boney M, I am sure have rights to the song, but the original writer of the lyrics is King David aka The Psalmist, the man whose favoured instrument was the Harp, and who has one hundred and fifty curated singles to his credit among which are the popular “The Earth Is The Lord’s And The Fullness Thereof”, “He That Dwelleth In The Secret Place Of The Most High”, “I Will Lift Up My Head To The Mountains High” and the seminal “The Lord Is My Shepherd”. The lyrics to the song could be found in the first four verses of Psalms 137 and the last verse of Psalm 90. However, I am still not close to finding an answer to the question - Why does the song keep ringing in my head?

To answer this question, I had to summon my inner Bertrand, Descartes, Nietsche, Kierkegaard, Kant, Freud, Orwell, Marx, and Awolowo; and ask series of questions about Life, Living, Existence, Afterlife, Happiness, Purpose, Fate, Choice, Spirituality, Love, and a whole lot of other concepts. Suffice to say I did a lot of thinking, probably became enlightened a little more, definitely got a bit more confused, but with a better understanding of why the song has been ringing in my head.

I believe the song is a summation of the state of humans in the present world, a world where divisions are being accentuated, where bigotry and hate are being encouraged, where diseases keep finding ways to morph, where wars have become the norm, where poverty and hunger keep growing exponentially, and where humans seem incapable of providing far-reaching and long-lasting solutions.

This world is not our home as we love it, this must be a captive colony of the wicked, this is Babylon, our home is in Zion; but we are here and we are expected to be happy and show love to everyone, but how do we continue to be happy and loving when sadness permeates everywhere? How do we continue to be model human beings when that represents the exception at the moment? As it stands, when we cannot fathom a way out of the pervasive quagmire, we turn to the Most High and offer supplications and hope He will accept and prepare a place for us somewhere else, a place far better, peaceful, and inspiring than this Babylon.

The song represents my conscious cum subconscious view of the state of the world at the moment – disillusionment, shame, and hopelessness.


I am not giving up though. I believe we can still salvage the world. Believing is a start, isn’t it?

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

PSEUDOS AND PHONEYS

They donned Shirts hand-woven by Racism,
Suits designed by Bigotry
Shoes crafted by Xenophobia
And Hats made by Homophobia.
Then they stepped out looking grimy, in their stinking Regalia of Hate,
And called themselves Nationalists.

They all want their Country back
And are willing to trade their Humanity
And Civility
And Consanguinity
To make great again
What had already been collectively made Great.

Self-inflicted Fractures…
Self-induced Dislocations…
Self-performed Dismemberment…
Now the world is sliding
Into an abyss of disenchantment
And those who seemed to represent sanity
Are the Clowns currently Dancing Naked on the Expressway.

Their Actions; and Our Collective Reactions, or Inactions
Will either make the World Great Again
Or make us all scurrying to vote for Earthexit.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi
Google+: Rasheed Adewusi

Sunday, 24 July 2016

THE CONUNDRUM OF BEING A NIGERIAN

Nigeria is one big conundrum, and Nigerians are one lovely nebulous people, we share so many similarities and at the same time so many differences. Nigerians are adept at adapting to situations, especially difficult and unwarranted situations - for instance, Nigerians buy land from some families, lands which they do not own, but only occupy, because the government actually owns all the land and everything therein; then Nigerians build houses; sink boreholes to provide water; erect fences and gates, erect self-contain at the front for the security personnel, thereby providing their own security end-to-end; and then they buy their own generators to provide electricity, or probably go for solar panels on the roof, or go for battery powered inverters, or a combination of all options, thereby becoming their own electricity generating and distributing company. When there are many of such house-owners in the area, they form a Community Development Association (CDA), they contribute funds and tar the roads, they contribute funds and erect electricity poles and cables, they contribute funds and buy transformers and lobby power-company officials to connect them to the electricity grid, then they call on the Local Government Chairperson or the Commissioner or even the Governor to come and commission all the projects. Please, take a moment to reflect and let all these sink in – Nigerians take over the responsibilities of Government, then call on the Government to come and take the glory. We are nice like that. We will rather fight our long-time neighbour who is from another tribe or believes in a different creed in defence of a clueless minister (who is oblivious of our existence by the way), because the Minister speaks the same mother tongue and wields the same Holy Book as us.




Nigerians who work in structured organisations pay income tax in form of PAYE, actually, the Government takes the tax before Nigerians collect their salaries. Those who work in the informal sector pay all forms of levies. We pay VAT on almost everything. We pay stamp duties on almost all bank transactions. We indirectly pay all forms of duties e.g import, excise, etc. We pay for licences to own a vehicle, and to drive the vehicle. In Lagos, we even pay Consumption Tax whenever we have the temerity to go to eateries and hotels rather than bukas. Then we still have to provide basic amenities for ourselves. In Nigeria, the only things we do not provide for ourselves are those things the government do not allow us to provide for ourselves, like fuel and a standing army. Yet, we still find it rational in our minds to continue to fight ourselves on behalf of the same Government



We are capable of expressing righteous indignation at being labelled “a fantastically corrupt nation”, and we are at the same capable of expressing righteous indignation at people who demand government accountability. Ironic, is it not? We are confused like that. Those in Government spend all their time making u-turns on promises, skirting around important issues that affect the most of us, and displaying verbal acrobatic skills on pointless issues like “threatening to impregnate a colleague” or “defending other corrupt colleagues”; yet we only try to match them by labelling ourselves “Hailers” and “Wailers” and ensuring that all our reasoning and positions are determined by those nomenclatures. We spend all our days criticizing smart moves, defending senseless positions, and justifying insanity based on our tribes or political affiliations. Nigerians, I know you love your religion, and your tribe, and your political affiliations; but can you find some space in-between exhibiting all those loves to show some love to the whole humanity too and allow rationality to take precedence over emotions sometimes. See, the problem is that humanity precedes and supercedes every other thing, and if we allow humanity to be wiped off, there will be nothing to defend or criticize again because we would all be gone, as in wiped off, obliterated…



Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Sunday, 11 October 2015

...OF PARADOXES AND MORE PARADOXES

I have mulled over a befitting title for this post over a million times (I kid, maybe just over a thousand times), and I have not been able to settle on one as at the time I am writing this first sentence. I want to write about something very real and ever-present, and I want to write in my style of fluid narration, with in-depth description/exposition when necessary , all conveyed in a vehicle of subtle humor and satire, with the very serious message in there for all to see and appreciate. I want to pass across a very important message, but without boring you to death or scaring you to hell, I want to sound funny and interesting without coming across as a clown, I want to make people simultaneously laugh and think, and then go out to contribute to making a positive change to themselves and the society afterwards. This is the Paradox of trying to be a Conscientious Writer.
Interestingly, President Buhari, who strode into Aso Rock hailed as the “Uprightest President Ever Liveth” kept the nation guessing and anticipating his Ministerial List for four months. He kept moving back the release date like Davido’s sophomore album. We were all anticipating the “Baddest” List, but when the List finally dropped, it felt like Wizkid’s “Ayo” Album - made up of materials we have not just grown accustomed to, but also tired of, because they have been circulated as “Official Singles” or “Leaked Singles” in countless DJ mixtapes.
In fairness to the President, he defended the eternity it took for the List to be released:
In fairness to Nigerians too, it was the President’s handlers, loyalists, and sympathizers who kept inundating us with tales of how the President was scouring the length, breadth and the nethermost parts of Nigeria to unearth untainted and incorruptible androids to work with him in bringing about the much vaunted change; so do not accuse of insatiability when we complain after seeing names like Audu Ogbeh and Rotimi Amaechi on the List. The lesson here is: the APC is now in charge, we need less of propaganda, and more of implementation of policies, this is not hip-hop, so we do not need to roll out the hype-machine and try to sell Wizkid as the new Fela. This is the Paradox of running a Government: it should be less of hip-hop style promotion, and more like whatever else is big, serious, broken, affects a lot of people, and needs fixing... something like Nigeria.
In similar vein, accusations have been leveled against the President that he is running a Gerontocracy. Of course, the accusations are not completely baseless, but we need to look at both sides of the coin here. Nigeria, towards the end of Jonathan’s administration had become rudderless and directionless, we were actually on the verge of an implosion, and most of the ills were brought about by the conscienceless people President Jonathan surrounded himself with. As such, if the new Sheriff in town is only comfortable working with only the people he can vouch for, I think it is understandable, and considering the President is a Septuagenarian, it is only logical most of the people he can personally claim to have close affinity with will be within the age bracket sixty to eighty years. This however presents another conundrum: how will the Youths garner the experience to take over the reins of Leadership in the nearest future? I have heard many “Young Ones” blame the “Old Ones” for how the Youths are today, claiming the erosion of our value system is the fault of those who have been steering the ship of the nation since Independence. I quite agree to a large extent that role models are scarce, but when you look at most of the Youths who have been in positions of authority, you realize they are not different from those they blame. In this blame-game, the “Old Ones” consider the “Young Ones” inexperienced and untrustworthy; while the “Young Ones” believe the “Old Ones” are archaic and immorally-entitled. This is where the Paradox of Leadership in this dispensation emanates: how do the Youths garner experience and enhance their reputation to step up into higher roles if they are not given responsibilities?
Pervasively, there are so many paradoxes around, so many that we have come to fully accept them as normal: we build beautiful cities and then spend more money providing security in the cities than we spend providing education for children in the cities; we have many smart gadgets now, but we cannot say the same about human beings; we drink alcohol both when we are extremely happy and when we are extremely sad, and everytime in-between; we make advances in technology, and we seem to simultaneously take equal giant strides in birthing or unearthing humans who seize the technology to terrorize us all. Maybe this is how our existence is to be: to always pursue happiness but never catch up with it; to always preach love and show apathy or outright hate; to always promise freedom and deliver bondage. I guess this is the Paradox of our Existence which Shakespeare captured succinctly in the first quartet of Sonnet XXXV:


I think I will simply title this piece “Of Paradoxes and more Paradoxes” and sign out till next time.
Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Monday, 20 July 2015

INSPIRATION FROM AN UNLIKELY PLACE


I don’t know if you really know your Bible. No, I do not mean whether you are a Christian, or whether you go to Church, I mean, really know your Bible. Well, you don’t have to feel guilty, you are not alone *winks*. Staying on course, let me quickly take you to that part of the Bible, the New Living Translation Version of the Bible, in the book of Job, Chapter 1 Verse 7, Satan went before God:
God: Where have you come from?
Satan: I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.
Now, don’t start getting funny ideas, you are not God, and I am definitely not Satan, but given that it has been ten months since I last showed myself here, you are totally within your rights to ask me “Where have you come from?”, and I am sure the best answer I can give is “I have been patrolling the Earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

Surprisingly, many things have not changed since I was here. You know the way they say the more things change, the more they remain the same, that is exactly the feeling I have right now. Since the last time I trod this path, the PDP has gone from being the Ruling Party to the Opposition Party, but the size of the Government is still huge, the Naira is still reeling, and Boko Haram is still on rampage; the United States and its allies have bombed more terrorist camps with more advanced drones, but insurgency is dishearteningly still waxing stronger and spreading its tentacles across the globe; a lot of us complain about the depth and essence of music and movies being churned out on daily basis, but the bottom just seems to be coming closer to the surface (you must have heard Ladi); and Arsenal have spent about £150m over two years on players, four of them from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, and Chelsea, and Arsenal have won three trophies in those two years but the media and opposition fans are still convinced Arsenal is a stingy club, there is just no pleasing the haters I guess; and the Company I “work with” has succeeded in sending most of the “expatriates” either back to their country or to a direct competitor, and have successfully replaced them with Nigerians, but the more things change, the more they remain the same, and sometimes, they even get worse.

However, unlike the bear, I did not just curl into a crevice and go into hibernation (How does a bear actually live with itself after coming out of hibernation, knowing it has just slept away a huge chunk of its life? Has it never heard of sagely sayings like “Life is Short” and “YOLO”?), I have actually been very active networking, building, and nurturing. I am really putting in the shift so that very soon, I will not have to introduce myself again because I would have become “Rich and Famous”, to borrow from Praiz. I get inspired everyday by people all over the world working assiduously to actualize their dreams, but nothing inspires more than when those people are close to home, when you know their stories, you experience their struggles and efforts with them, and you partake in the returns first-hand. There are a lot of dudes and dames out there doing a lot of good, and these more than anyone else have made my blogging-hibernation not torturous. There is JayOsbie, a young man full of ideas with an equal dose of energy and steadily climbing the ladder of success; there is Dawan, one of the most versatile people I have ever met gradually carving a niche for herself; there is SphinxPhoto who turned her hobby into a passion and now money is chasing her;  there is Fagro, my guy who is always so productively busy, Lagos with its perennial traffic jams is antithetical to his dreams; there is Dotun, my cosmopolitan friend striving to light up the world and simultaneously save the planet; there are my friends at work who made the days run by fast despite the stress; and then there is Family who always make me feel blessed beyond words and simultaneously encourage me to strive harder because I owe it to them as a life’s duty to always give them the best in life.

Like a pen, I have to at some point run out, and I think I have reached that point. I leave for today, and I promise not to go into hibernation again, and this is a promise I plan to keep.

Lest I forget, thanks Obums for getting me out of dormancy. Your words reinvigorated and prompted me to write this weekend. I really appreciate.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi
Google+: Rasheed Adewusi

Sunday, 14 September 2014

...OF SAGES, ASPIRING SAGES, AND A WHIRLWIND

In a Rat Race, the eventual winner is still a Rat. – SirRash (An aspiring Sage or something like that)

Gone are the days when you hear the word Sage and you think of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Sun Tsu, Lao Tzu, Awo, Zik, Nkrumah, Bob Marley, Baba Fela, and a few others. Today, Sages have become a dime a dozen, and the most annoying are motivational speakers telling everybody that cares to pay to listen that they could be anything they want to be, thus encouraging people who should be busy taking naps for as long as possible to become motivational speakers (continuing the endless vicious cycle) all opening their mouths or punching their keypads terrorising us with their shallow anecdotes, simplistic soundbites,

and one dimensional ideas. The fad right now is to tell people that paid-employment cannot make them wealthy, that they have to float their own start-ups, which is ironical because if these speakers do know the recipe for wealth, why are they not all wealthy yet? I have always been an advocate of diversity, so I will not want to advocate for throwing all motivational speakers in jail, some of them do make sense most of the time, I would rather look on the bright side, they could have been politicians.

Indubitably, only a few things in this world are ever constant: death, but no one knows when or how it will come; and mathematical formulaes, but only a handful of people understand them. One person’s “Road to Redemption” is another’s “Highway to Hell”; some toil to make ends meet whilesome gets things in abundance without even trying. Yes, we must always aspire to improve and increase (not in size or weight), but we have to understand at the same time that we are an ecosystem because of our diversity. And the foregrounding of wealth over everything else puts the human race at risk because it relegates morality/humanity and promotes greed/soullessness. The fact of life is: we all cannot be wealthy, we all cannot be rich, we cannot alleven be comfortable, some people will still be poor. We will all continue to strive to be better, but we do not own all the aces, and no matter what hands we play, we cannot always win. Knowledge and Intelligence are necessary for social mobility, but these are not even readily available to all at the same rate or price. In reality, Fate, Destiny, Grace, and their other metaphysical kins are factors you cannot totally extricate from our lives. Now I think I am in a whirlwind.


The whirlwind is eerily whirling around and forward at a pace faster than the speed of light, but instead of feeling dizzy and puking all over the place I was actually relaxed and I was even penning the next post for my blog (which is now the Number One Blog in the whole world) and mentally composing tweets to troll self-appointed Twitter warlords and narcissistic underscore-abusing Instagram baes. Then an invisible hand gave me a transparent bag which means I did not have to open it to see that it contains all the high-end gadgets in the world - iPhone 10, Samsung S9, Samsung Note 7, Sony Xperia ZX, Blackberry Z100, iPad Invisible, PS8, Xbox5, Google Brain, etc, and they are all my custom-designed complimentary pieces from the manufacturers as a token of their appreciation of my contribution to the design and development. Then, the whirlwind came to a halt and I saw all the rich people in the world, including a senile Birdman and a grotesque Tunechi (they are known as “Old Money Much Money Gazillionaires - OMMMG), sitting at a table and the seat at the head of the table was unoccupied, and immediately they saw me, they all stood and paid obeisance, obviously, I am the richest man on Earth now. Then a contraption which obviously reads mind wheezed me to the head of the table... Actually, I could go on and on, but I think I have reached a point where I need to stop deluding myself and admit that I have come to the end of my writing tethers for today.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash

Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi
Google+: Rasheed Adewusi