Monday, 1 October 2012

HOPE 2000 - MY JAMB STORY


Hope 2000 will be hazy, like watching only Part 7 of a 10-Part Nollywood movie (watching the whole Parts from 1 – 10 wouldn’t clear the haze anyway), unless I take you down memory lane. Strap yourself up and let’s get ready to roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Without trying to sound like a Naija artiste, I have always been brilliant from time immemorial; my mum actually told me I used to practically explain to her things that transpired when I was still in the womb. But like Kryptonite to Superman, Mathematics was my one weakness. I cannot remember when the problem actually started but it must have been sometime in JSS2 when Mr Komolafe, that confusionist of a Mathematics teacher, started combining letters and figures and asking us to repeatedly “find x” without telling us what he did with the one we found the day before. How can people spend their whole life “finding x and y” when there is a whole lot of real life waiting to be explored? Sadly, that sums up my problem with Mathematics – I could not relate it to real life! Add that to having to cram Elements and their Symbols, and the realization that I would have to read, understand, and remember textbooks such as Ababio, Harwood Clarke and Modern Biology, and I conveniently dodged the Science Class to the chagrin of the school Principal who believed any student who scored 10As and 2Cs (Mathematics and Integrated Science of course) like I did in JSCE had no business in any other class except Science.

Fast forward three years and I finished secondary school as one of the best students in Methodist High School which also happened to be one of the best schools in Ogun State, so we can say all was well that ended well. But, I had P7 in Mathematics. And here I was with the hope of being a Chartered Accountant (my rich Chartered Accountant uncle was my role-model). My dad, collaborated with some of my uncles and they came up with a song titled “Go and Read Law”… another bout of cramming??? Olorun maje!!! I quickly devised a plan: I would choose a UME combination that would qualify for any course but Law. I eventually chose CRK, Literature-in-English, and Yoruba. Yes, you read right – Yoruba. I prepared for the exam the way I used to prepare to go toast a babe. I read the whole Bible, read the recommended eight texts each for both Yoruba and Literature even though I had the option of choosing only four each, and I read all the poems too.

D-Day came and I left home feeling as confident as an agbero after an early morning dose of jogodo and paraga. I was fully prepared and I was not afraid, why would I be afraid of UME? The fact that I even knew I had prepared for UME unlike others who had prepared for JAMB was a strong conviction that my name and photo would be on the back page of the next brochure. I got to my Centre in Akoka, located my seat, placed my 3 pencils, 2 erasers, and 2 razors on the table awaiting the invigilators with the question papers. The papers eventually came and it should not come as a surprise to you that my combination was not available, I am sure JAMB had never had to deal with such a combination before. But they looked for them in pieces and provided my meal which I had been salivating to devour. But the real surprise was seeing the answer script and having to shade the type of question paper, that was when everybody realized they had different types of question papers ranging from S to A, L, I and M in honour of SALIM Ahmed Salim, the then JAMB Registrar. Come see Kasala! That was when I knew preparation was of two kinds, while I was doing last minute reading from Keypoints, others were doing last minute expo-sourcing. Proximity to UNILAG had made the centre to be a haven for “machineries” who came, collected money from most of the candidates and sold them confirmed expo. Everybody had come in with the same expo, but here are different questions grinning at them. That was how the whole centre scattered with people shouting, chasing and dragging, the invigilators were not spared because they already got their shares to look away. Police had to come in before the examination could continue. Despite the unscripted drama, I was still able to pour everything I had swallowed and went home feeling sanguine.

The results were released about two months later and I am still sad to inform you my result was CANCELLED along with the whole centre’s result. HOPE 2000, just like MKO’s Hope’93!!!

Thank You!

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


Twitter: SirRash

NB: This is an entry I submitted for a competition last month.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

CRITIQUE, DON’T CRITICIZE!!!



Obviously, one of the latest fads is “The Art of Critiquing.” As usual, everybody is claiming to be masters at it, and all thanks to the new media, we are able to show our abilities off to a lot of people. Without sounding like a whiner, I can say this is the same the world over, at least the part of the world I have been able to have access to, most thanks to the new media also. Naturally, we all have different talents, some can write, some can sing, some can critique, and some can criticize. It would be nice if an individual focuses on their area of strength, but if I decided to sing (you will never catch me singing though, not even at a Karaoke) would it be right for anyone to analyse my performance using Asa as a benchmark? It is this blanket criticizing, disguised as critiquing, that is the crux of this post, and I am going to limit the discourse to the art of music in the land called Nigeria.



First and foremost, in critiquing an artiste’s work, while I agree the obtainable standard for what is deemed as music should be the benchmark, I strongly believe the artiste’s should also be compared to their personal self to fully do justice to the critique. An artiste who has been evolving over the course of his career should be appreciated even if they cannot rub shoulders with the industry leaders. A fitting example here is P-Square. From the Album “Last Nite” from nine years ago down to “The Invasion” which hasn’t really invaded every mind, we can actually trace an upward trajectory in what P-Square does best: sampling expansively, churning out party jams and inundating with superficial love songs. P-Square has decided that is where there strengths lie, and they have decided to stick to it and to always improve in those areas. Moreso, P-Square normally follows their audios with classy videos, and there has to be a huge connect between the audio, the video, and consequent live performances. They are more of all-round entertainers, and this has to be taken cognizance of. To critique P-Square’s album by benchmarking against the likes of TuFace, Darey and Sound Sultan who usually focus more on content, rather than expression, will be tantamount to sheer criticizing. Another artiste in this scenario is 9ice. From “Gongo Aso” which was 9ice’s peak through “Tradition” down to “Versus” and “Bashorun Gaa”, the depth in message, versatility in beats, wit in lyrics, and strength in voice that brought 9ice so much affection and commendation have been on the wane. But if I have to rate “Invasion” against “Bashorun Gaa” both in isolation, I will pick “Bashorun Gaa” as a better album, but if I trace the history of the two artistes, I will commend P-Square for a better work done because while Paul and Peter have been improving their games, 9ice has been wallowing in mediocrity.




Contextually, music as a form of art is so ubiquitous to the point where you cannot put a definite form to it. There are different genres to it and at different times, an avant-garde form might crop up serving some particular purposes. First to the mind here is TerryG who has totally disregarded coherence and logicality in lyrics thereby turning madness to an art. But the universality of music which made Nigerians, in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, to embrace Awilo Longomba’s “Coupe Bibamba” and Magic System’s “Lepa Gaou” without understanding a word of what they say also excuses TerryG’s antics in the name of music. TerryG does not pretend he is into making music, he is only into enunciating sounds, thus it will be unjust for anyone to critique his works based on the necessary parameters of good music. Thus, to critique such work, just consider acceptability from the target audience and let us move on. This actually applies to most of the artistes out there who are victims of self-delusion calling themselves musicians while they are more or less clowns without the costumes.

In synopsis, inasmuch as we call ourselves music connoisseurs because we have a large collection of music and we have an ear for beats and a brain to dissect the lyrics, the bitter truth is there is just so much music, there is so much to music and there is so little we can do about streamlining everything into discrete and distinct categories. The more we try to see through the eyes of the artiste, and consider as many factors as possible, the better we are at critiquing. 


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




Monday, 20 August 2012

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: A PATRIOT’S VIEW


The London 2012 Logo and the Medals at Stake
The Olympics have come and gone, at least until 2016, but Nigeria’s dismal showing is one that has called to question once again the thorny issue of patriotism. The Olympics is a quadrennial event that serves as a meeting point for elite athletes (for most sports) to compete and aspire to win. Realistically, with about 11,000 sportsmen and sportswomen competing in 302 events, not all athletes will make it to the podiums, but for most that do not, it would still have been a good show. Let us be honest with ourselves, we did not deserve a medal at the Olympics, and getting one would have been a travesty and a rape on hard work and preparation. But in dissecting this woeful performance, everyone involved must not be lumped together, the wheat and the chaff needs to be separated so to each we give its own.  The roles of Administrators, Sportsmen and Sportswomen, and Sponsors in this national disgrace have to be assessed individually.

The Joy of Great Female Olympians who did themselves and their countries proud at London 2012

The Nigerian athletes must be commended for having the patriotism and courage to line up and compete against those athletes from USA, China, GB, Russia, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Hungary and Australia who had been preparing for the London 2012 Games from earlier than Beijing 2008; who had prompt and sufficient funding from their respective governments and corporate sponsors alike; who benefited from public sports institutions where they could train with the best equipment and facilities; who had access to the best trainers, physiotherapists, doctors, nutritionists and sports psychologists; who were highly motivated for personal and national pride; who were treated like ambassadors/envoy of their countries which they were in reality. Little wonder they were always happy to flaunt their national flags upon achieving success. Of course, we have all heard about the N2.3 Billion spent on the Olympics by the NOC, but we heard about the N1 Trillion spent on Fuel Subsidy too, didn’t we?
The Joy of Great Male Olympians who did themselves and their countries proud at London 2012

With speed that will challenge Usain Bolt’s, the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi called a Press Conference and solemnly informed us all that “TEAM NIGERIA HAS FAILED” - as if that was breaking news. He raved, rambled, and ranted, but in the midst of the entire rabble, I was able to unearth these action plans:
1. Identify five sports that give us competitive opportunities.
2. Restructure the Federations of these Sports to make them more democratic, accountable and efficient.
3. Develop a Sports Calendar that will ensure year-round sports activities both within and outside the schools.
4. Initiate strategic engagement with the private sector with the aim to improve funding for sports.
5. Strengthen our coaching and training capabilities by developing strategic partnership with national and international bodies.
These action plans are laudable and commendable, in all honesty we couldn’t have asked for more, but it will not draw any applause from me because this is year 2012, and this is not what we should be discussing. This is what, like in other countries, should have been done ages ago, and the result we should have been reaping for some time now. Another reason I am not filled with optimism is because this is a well-worn path after every sporting failure, we are fond of coming back to the “drawing board”, reviewing the performance and coming up with “blueprints” and “white papers” to forestall a recurrence, only to repeat the cycle after the next avoidable disappointment.



The only time the Nigerian flag was held aloft
Naturally, just as we are late bloomers in almost everything, we are also slow to realize that sports goes beyond recreation. Sports is not just about winning medals and setting records, it is an avenue for national glorification and global recognition. The global media will always stick to the norm of "bad news is good news" and "if it bleeds, it leads", but with commendable performances on the tracks, fields, and pools, each country can tell its own story in its own words. The battle for supremacy among the USA, China, GB and Russia was there to see and that should tell us sports goes beyond mere running and jumping. Excelling in sports will surely put a country in the spotlight with everybody to see in real-time the positives that comes out of the country - Sports is an avenue to flaunt Patriotism and Nationalism. Now that the Minister of Sports have realized that, we can only hope it is not just lip service but a real intention and determination to propel Nigerian sports forward. 

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


Facebook: rasheed.adewusi

Saturday, 11 August 2012

PROJECT SHAME… WHAT A CRINGING!!!


Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.  ~ Albert Einstein

Nowadays, verifying the authenticity of the origin of quotes on the internet it is akin to passing a donkey through the eye of a needle, but the above quotation looks like a statement Einstein might say, just like all those gbagauns sound like something Dame might utter, so let us agree for the purpose of this discourse that the great Physicist actually said those “words on the marble”. Suffice to say I absolutely agree with Einstein (of course we all always agree with Einstein), but Einstein totally ignored a scenario where the fish actually sees itself as having the ability to climb a tree, didn’t he? And that was the exact scenario that became a recurring decimal at the auditions for the reality-tv-show “Project Fame”. There are only two explanations for the flotsam and jetsam that swarm up on the auditions:
  1. They have auditory impairments so they heard the word “shame” instead of “fame”, and that impairment also explains their being absolutely tone-deaf too.
  2. They have visual impairments thus they read “shame” instead of “fame”, and that impairment also account for missing out the phrase “singing talents” while reading the basic requirements.

What I saw repeatedly during the one month audition was an array of clowns who came onto the stages at different venues to entertain us with their glaring lack of singing talents. Many were so terrible they could not even recall the lyrics of songs they had come to perform, and some had voices that would any day rival a mating frog. In synopsis, the Project Fame Auditions needs to be entered for the next Academy Awards, and it will scoop all the awards in the category of Comedy.

In retrospect, I do not simply think most of the buffoonery we witnessed was the fault of the buffoons; rather it was really a candid reflection of what is considered the acceptable standard nowadays -mediocrity. Look at the so-called artistes we are tortured with on daily basis by the television and radio stations, how many of them should actually lay claim to the name musician? The only studio the likes of K-Switch and D’Prince should have been allowed into is a photography studio for their pre-wedding pictures, and Orezi and Hakym The Dream should not sing in any other place other than their respective bathrooms, but all these guys have gone on to record songs and shoot videos; they are enjoying airplay and are gracing the different colours of carpets that celebrities walk on nowadays. If those guys can be on TV, why can anyone else not be on TV? Such realities must have motivated those clowns who should be in school studying or in a vocational institute learning a craft, or anywhere else apart from those stages, to go climb the podium to audition for Project Fame.

Deeply depressing also is the realisation that those auditions boldly highlight the ills in our society. Our ethos is hinged on cutting corners while pursuing the unending thirst for glitz and glamour. Necessarily, a society must have entertainers, but what does the future hold for a society which most of its people want to be entertainers? Youths nowadays do not consider it natural to go through the test of the fire to become golden, rather they are hoping to wake up in the morning and find a gigantic box full of gold beside their beds.  Most of the girls are fixated on being actresses, models, and dancers; while the guys all want to be musicians and comedians. They all want to be under the spotlight, smile for the flashlight, but are not ready to strive under the sunlight. The proliferation of Reality TV Shows further fuels this belief that anyone can hit the jackpot and become an overnight celebrity. I am for Reality TV Shows if people actually go there to exhibit some forms of talent e.g Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Project Fame, Nigerian Idol, Naija Sings, Box Office, Nigeria Has Got Talents, and some others; but the essence of Big Brother still eludes me till today, and I think it should have suffered the same fate as Koko Mansion and House 5, but such is its popularity magnitude that despite its inane pointlessness it is only available on DSTV Premium Bouquet. Isn’t that dishearteningly scary?

And the scare continues…

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


Facebook: rasheed.adewusi

Sunday, 29 July 2012

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, AND MORE QUESTIONS



 Last week, a guy posted this picture on a BBM Group, I picked it up and decided to dissect it arriving at the conclusion that the only way to follow those Seven Logics is when you live in a cave eating only berries and drinking from a spring, but when you live in a human society you just cannot apply them. Suffice to say I was alone at my corner on this with about 5 other guys pummeling me through their keyboards and the 24 other members providing mute spectatorship. A day later, I got into another discussion (not argument) with my friend and the point of divergence centred on the hallowed issue of “mind” with him positing that the mind (being an intangible entity) cannot and do not grow, but only reacts to accommodate memory and experience, and me postulating that memory, experience and mind are three inextricable elements thus whatever attribute is applicable to one must be applicable to others. Needless to say we could not reach an agreement despite having expended the better part of two hour on the discussion.

Consequently, my inquisitive nature pushed me to start researching the concept of “mind” and I have to confess although I have added to my body of knowledge, I am still as confused if not even more confused on the concept. But in the midst of my research, I discovered something which answered both questions that were raised last week. I discovered that even the Buddha was asked 14 questions which he could not answer. The questions when considered by their subject matters can be grouped in four categories:

Questions concerning the existence of the world in time:
1. Is the world eternal?
2. ...or not?
3. ...or both?
4. ...or neither?

Questions concerning the existence of the world in space:
5. Is the world finite?
6. ...or not?
7. ...or both?
8. ...or neither?

Questions referring to personal experience:
9. Is the self identical with the body?
10. ...or is it different from the body?

Questions referring to life after death:
11. Does the Tathagata (Buddha) exist after death?
12. ...or not?
13. ...or both?
14. ...or neither?

According to verifiable history, The Buddha initially remained silent when asked these fourteen questions; he then proceeded to explain himself thus “these questions are a net and I refuse to be drawn into such a net of theories, speculations, and dogmas. It was because I was free of bondage to all theories and dogmas that I had attained liberation; such speculations, are attended by fever, unease, bewilderment, and suffering, and it is by freeing oneself of them that one achieves liberation.” Puzzling, isn’t it? That even the Buddha for whatever reasons chose not to answer some questions. That is the essence of LIFE. Life is such a complex notion/entity/idea/reality/concept…just choose one. With every passing moment, life presents questions which lead to further questions in the process of answering them - a child is a bundle of joy, why does childbirth have to be so painful then?

Interestingly, we are better off today than 800 years ago, today when we see an apple drop from a tree we just pick it up and eat it without bothering to ask why it fell down, Isaac Newton already did that for us. Just look at technology and imagine how people survived 500 years ago, or to even bring it closer, 100 years ago. Ironically, the easier life gets, the easier it has become to also make life hell. For every Boeing 747 Jet, there is an F-4 Phantom; for the discovery of Penicillin, we have the discovery of SARS; for Albert Einstein, we have Ghengis Khan; for Murtala Mohammed, we have Goodluck Jonathan; for every good progress we make, we are capable of making an evil progress that surpasses that, and that is where my perplexity stands at the moment.

Resignedly, I have come to accept that Life will continue to be incomprehensible, a labyrinth that no one can get out of alive, a mixture of good and bad, a puzzle that no one can really solve... But this gloomy picture of life does not preclude the fact that life could be enjoyed still and the sojourn here could be made to be worth its while. Just live simply, put in your best and hope for the best.


Reminiscing with nostalgia about Philosophy lectures back then, after the lecturer had confused us to a state of Aporia, he usually put the icing on the cake by giving an assignment, let me sign off today by toeing that line:
1) Is the Zebra a black animal with white stripes; or is it a white animal with black stripes?
2) Did the egg come before the hen or the hen before the egg?

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

Twitter: SirRash
Facebook: rasheed.adewusi





Thursday, 19 July 2012

...OF FEUDS AND THIRD-PARTY WARLORDS


Last Saturday, there was an election in Edo State and PDP lost despite Mr Fix-It coming from that state. It was an interesting drama that played itself out at “The Heartbeat of the Nation” what with Comrade Adams Oshiomole coming out to lambast INEC, accuse PDP, and denounce the result, all before 12 noon. Yes, you heard right, 12 noon!!! But then INEC declared him the outright winner, PDP conceded defeat, and the Comrade accepted the victory like he wasn’t comparing the whole process to a madman’s jig just 12 hours before. You have to marvel at our democracy. Personally, when it comes to Nigerian Politics, the difference between The Ruling Party and The Opposition is just like “Twenty” and “One Score”… same Difference.

Interestingly, the essence of this post is not to dissect Nigerian politics and depress you the more but to actually impress or depress you, depending on where your allegiance lies, by analysing people’s perception of D’Banj since his messy split from his long-term partner, Don Jazzy. The reactions to D’Banj from #TeamDonJazzy sympathizers have ranged from hatred, dislike, indifference, to outright hope that he will fail in his quest for international stardom. Suffice to say #TeamDBanj is not short of volunteers either who are at their loudest to label the Mavin Crew, the phoenix which has risen out of the ashes of the MoHits Crew,  a bunch of losers shorn of their undisputed Numero Uno - Kokomaster-Entertainer-D’Banj.

Naturally, when anything happens, people react and most of the reaction is based on the perception of the parties involved: D’Banj has always been considered as loud, arrogant, and hyperactive; while Don Jazzy is considered quiet, humble and self-effacing, more like the “good cop” in a Good-Cop-Bad-Cop Partnership with D’Banj being the “bad cop”. Considering the fact that D’Banj is the entertainer who is in front of the cameras every day and Don Jazzy the producer who sits behind the keyboard/console most days, this is not out of place, but trust people to read meanings into everything whenever there is a slight opportunity to do so, and not forgetting that D’Banj voluntarily sacrificed himself as GEJ’s Scapegoat on the altar of politics. Silly politics again!!! Nonetheless, I have to confess you will struggle to find instances for which to criticize Don Jazzy, he comes across as that talented, bubbly, likeable kid who everybody loves to love and no one dares hate; therefore he has to be the victim in the split-saga and unfortunately for D’Banj-the-Entertainer, he has to literally be the Scapegoat.

At this point, I have a question for those in either #TeamDBanj or #TeamDonJazzy - Is it possible to have a third team called #TeamNeutrality or #TeamObjectivity? I mean let us ask ourselves – what has D’Banj done wrong in aspiring to International Superstardom? Yes, he could have handled it in a more mature way avoiding the indecent washing of dirty linens in public, but that is an aftermath, according to the story, Don Jazzy did not see that as a necessity at that moment. DBanj has conquered the Nigerian market - #Fact. D’Banj has conquered the African market - #Fact. DBanj can conquer the Global market - #Fact. Before you snigger and ask “how?” I answer - we might never know if he does not try. Let us not get confused here, I am not holding brief for D’Banj, I don’t even consider him a good musician in the real sense of what music ought to be, but just like no other person I have no right to deny him or mock his ambition to become a global music force. Cut the dude some slack please, he might suck at the artistic side of music, but he is savvy at the business side of it. The way he has built the albeit meaningless “Koko” into a formidable brand is worthy of respect. He is aware of his vocal and artistic shortcomings which he compensates for with his hyperactive on-stage performances, he even admitted that he is not a vocalist but an “Entertainer”. After all is said and done what matters is how much you are able to better your life with your God-given talents, and if a mediocre can harness his limited talents to become a force to reckon with in Africa, why can he not dream of taking up the whole world? And if his partner does not share that dream, does that mean he should jettison the idea? NO, each goes his own way and life goes on.

Human Relationships are usually built on mutualism and the parties involved have to be willing to make it work, in the instance of one or more parties not willing to be a part of the relationship, a split is usually the conclusion. We always expect Respect and Loyalty from humans, and that is not too much to ask, actually that is a necessity; but just take a look around and show me where that obtains - politics, sports, workplace, helloooooo, can u point at any single one? That is the reality of the world that we live in, loyalty and respect are only words in our dictionaries, they are not alive in our realities, and we are not spectators of this macabre drama, we are willing thespians who made ourselves available for casting.



Humorously, D’Banj released a Single titled “Oyato” and the internet music iconoclasts have been out with their axes and machetes butchering the song and labelling it “an earsore” but I listened to the song and I was impressed simply because it was classic D’Banj – racy beats, mundane message, infantile lyrics. If you have always loved D’banj’s music I mean when he was an integral part of MoHits, you cannot just say anything negative about “Oyato” because it is just like his an archetypal D’Banj’s music - no tangible message and superficial lyrics at best. If you have at any time loved any of “Tongolo, Socor, Why Me, Kimon, Mogbona Felifefi, Suddenly, Entertainer, Scapegoat, or Oliver Twist” you have no rights whatsoever to complain about the aesthetic/artistic aspect of “Oyato.” Just accept the fact that D’Banj is no longer part of MoHits, continue to fawn over the Mavin Crew, and find a place in your heart to wish D’Banj ALL THE BEST.



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





Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Saturday, 7 July 2012

VANITY FAIR: MULTINATIONAL COMPANY EDITION


I work with a Multinational company whose Global Head-Office is in India and Africa Head-Office is in Kenya. If you like, snort and laugh in derision at the two countries I mentioned above, I know I work with a truly multinational company. There are so many perks in working with a truly multinational company in case you do not know: for instance, Guinness full-employees attaching a photocopy of their official identity card makes securing a UK visa something akin to Lionel Messi scoring a goal, too easy; and I bet they don’t detain Multichoice full-employees at Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, asking for one nonsense yellow card.

Interestingly, what I consider as the major perk in this multinational company is the opportunity it affords me to observe at close range – women and their over-reaching vanities. You see women at different stages of struggles to best not only others but their personal self. You do not need any copyright permission to rename my company’s Head Office “Vanity Fair Building”, and I am sure the name will be more than apt. Name it: kids/issues, vacations, shoes, wears, accents, cars, anything, is an opportunity for my colleagues to display vanity.



The perfect place to start this exposѐ is in the morning and in the convenience, because that is when and where the day starts, isn’t it? The usual time that you have traffic in the female conveniences is early in the morning. You might be wondering: Don’t they have toilets at home? Don’t they keep their toilets at home clean? Don’t bother yourselves, the reason why they go into the toilet has nothing to do with answering the call of nature, but answering the call of make-up. Facilities managers are actually employed to manage my multinational company’s conveniences, so it is always spic and span; and have I mentioned the conveniences have a lobby that is fitted with mirrors covering 75% of the walls? The lobby provides a stage to display the art of make-up application: touch-up the eyeliner, dab some blush, rearrange the Brazilian/Indonesian/Indian hair, rub some hand-lotion, and do whatever you can imagine women doing when they make up. Don’t start asking me how I get to know what they do in there, and don’t allow your mind run riot, please chase the devil away before it possesses your soul, I don’t go into the female conveniences,  but I know what they do there, I have LadyRash don’t ever forget that please. But the funniest part of the whole thing is what they do on coming out of the convenience compartment, the first person they see, they greet in so loud a voice it can wake the dead up, the mission is to make sure they get your attention and you see the fantastic results of all the minutes in the convenience.




Next we move to the small matter of VACATIONS. Note that word “vacation”, we do not call it “leave” in my multinational company, we call it “vacation” and when it is just a few days, we just refer to it as “taking some time off”. If you go on vacation, the day before you resume, just travel to Shoprite and get all those London chocolates and bring along to the office as you resume; that way you would have fit in very well, and if you can add a little accent to it, then you would have fit in perfectly. What I am saying is none of the women in my office has ever spent her vacation in Nigeria, unless she is planning to resume in another company.

Hush please!!! I want to reveal a secret to you; I hope you are reading alone? Check behind you to make sure no one is reading this over your shoulder because what I am about to tell you is a very important top secret that the SSS are not even aware of. ALL THE WOMEN IN MY OFFICE ARE TERRORISTS, NOT JUST TERRORISTS, THEY ACTUALLY COME TO THE OFFICE WITH WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTIONS!!! They come to the office every day in these high heels that make this ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko sound that whatever you are doing and however deeply you are immersed in it, that ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko sound will terrorise you into submitting to being aware of its annoying presence. I mean you will expect these ladies to sit down in one place, but I bet you that is the last thing they do, they keep strutting up and down and all over the place, and driving you mad like Terry-G’s music. That ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko sound will become imprinted on your consciousness, etched on your subsconscious, embossed on your imagination and carved into your memory; if you do not hallucinate about it afterwards, just rest assured you cannot die by any accident, only by natural causes. And none of my female colleagues wear anything made in Nigeria, I cannot verify, but every one claims so.



Seriously, I mean seriously, as in no jokes, the next time you see a caring man, whether married, engaged, or just in a relationship , his wife, fiancee or girlfriend works in my multinational company’s Head Office. And the next time you come across an uber-smart kid, find out from him/her, the mum must definitely work in my multinational company’s Head-Office.

Thank You!
God Bless!!
See You Later!!!


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Monday, 2 July 2012

LA ROJA FURIA - LOS CONQUISTADORES

The Stage was the Olympic Stadium in Kiev; the Duel was between Spain’s La Furia Roja and Italy’s La Azzuris; the Occasion was the Final Match of Euro 2012; the Prize was the Henri Delauney Trophy, and the opportunity to write their names into European football folklore. More than 64,000 people crammed into the stadium to watch the spectacle; thousands more trooped into the streets to watch on Giant Screens; and millions more sat in front of television sets worldwide to savour the delicious dish of football that was about to be served by the top two National Teams in European Football.

For the better part of four years, the Spanish Conquistadors have lived up to the appellation by winning both the “2008 Euro Cup” and the “2010 FIFA World Cup.” La Furia Roja did not just win those tournaments, they imposed a playing style which more less make the opponents to chase the game from the beginning to the end. The core of the team is from Barcelona and Real Madrid, two of the most successful and formidable clubs in European Football. So, they are not an unknown quantity. Spain came into the Tournament as one of the Favourites, alongside Germany, Holland, France and Portugal. In the 5 matches they played in the tournament prior to the Final, they had won 4 and drew 1, scoring 8 goals and conceding 1. Many pundits have labeled them boring and predictable, thus reducing their invincibility in the eyes of many fans who rely on the Media for information and analysis.
The Azzuris are not an unknown quantity in World football either, but in recent times, have not been seen as a major force in world football, thanks to the Media also. The last major trophy the Italians have won was the 2006 FIFA world Cup. They came into the Competition as an outsider, won 3 out of the 5 matches played before the Final, including a Penalty shoot-out defeat of England in the Quarter-Final, and a defeat of Prime Favourite Germany in the Semis. The performances against England and Germany made them the new-found Love of the Media who needed a new topic because they were tired of telling us how boring Spain was. They swooned on Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli, and nearly convinced all of us that Spain are not much better than the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The D-Day came and Spain provided a footballing display which borders on Rape. The match was a display of footballing masterclass by the Red Armada from the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish Conquistadors conjured a Furious Mist of Red around the Italian Azzuris who found themselves chasing shadows for the most part of the 93 minutes that the duel lasted. Italy’s cause was not helped by injuries though, but nothing could diminish the Iberians deserved victory. All the statistics spoke for themselves and at the end of the game, Italy’s goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon summed it all up:
"Tonight, there was no contest, they were too superior - so the bitterness at losing this final is only relative. It was a great adventure."
You cannot but say thumbs up to Buffon for being classy in defeat, anyway, that comes with experience.
Reflectively, any time I look at Spain’s success, I always see the same strain that is applicable in all walks of life – strategy, talent, ambition, dedication, belief, improvement, camaraderie and humility. Quoting Andrew Carnegie:
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”








Spain has always been known to favour the football strategy which is based on actually playing football, not running like headless chickens, or lumping it around like a watered-down rugby. It was based on skills and efficiency. It was based on possession football, and let us be honest, how can you use the football on the pitch if you don’t have it? These ambitions have been transferred to the clubs who incorporate them into their footballing philosophies. They scout for exceptional talents who they then develop into technically gifted footballers who make the football their slave – they send it on any errand they want to. Yet, they still always seek to improve. Compare England to this.
Someone might ask: how come they have not been successful all these while, why now? The answer is: they have brought camaraderie and humility into the fray; they have dropped their egos at home and brought a team mindset to the national team. The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona extends beyond the football pitch, it is deeply rooted in socio-political realities and these divisions are usually transported into the national team thus allowing discord and enmity to militate against their common goal. Spain has never been short of talented footballers, only short of necessary camaraderie and relevant humility. And with these players at the top of their games, and winning laurels, trophies, and accolades, not forgetting hefty paychecks on weekly basis, as easy as breathing, they are still able to keep their heads and pursue their common goal the way a Medical Doctor normally goes about their work. They do not shout at each other, they cover for each other, and each gives his all for the team. Juxtapose Spain with Holland and/or France and you will begin to understand the importance of camaraderie.
Belief is another very important factor in striving towards success. Yoruba people have a saying that can be loosely translated as “you do not go to the market and start paying undue attention to the noise in the market, you instead focus on what you have gone to the market to do.” Teams realising their own shortcomings against the Spaniards always decide to employ Mourinho’s popularised “parking the bus” approach thus forcing Spain to continuously keep hold of the ball passing it among themselves, taking tiki-taka to another level of monotonous domination. The Media hound-dogs jumped at them calling them boring and labelling them kill-joys. The Ukrainian crowds in Donetsk were barracking them in their semi-final clash with Portugal at the Donbass Arena. Even Arsene Wenger joined the bandwagon:
“They have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative. Originally they wanted possession in order to attack and win the game; now it seems to be first and foremost a way not to lose”
But like true professionals with clarity of purpose, they stuck to their guns and got on with their games. It is worthy of note that Spain is a dynamic team that can adapt their play to meet the formation the opposition plays. The ruthless trouncing of Italy in the Final Match proved all doubters wrong. Funny and enjoyable how Spain made them eat their humble pie.
Interestingly, this group of players have written their names into European Football Folklore by doing the basics and giving their all. And we have not seen the end of these Spanish domination in football, just look at their bench before you raise an eyebrow; and a whole lot of other players are still left at home nearing their peak. As they savour their moment in the sun, amidst the shouts of “oles” coming from the crowd, I am sure they are already thinking of 2014 in Brazil and asking “why not?”
Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

THINKING (NOT STANDING) OUTSIDE THE BOX

A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.  ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
The expression “change is the most constant thing in life” ranks up there as one of those expressions that do not have any effect on me whatsoever any longer. Don’t get me wrong, the statement has an indubitable intrinsic value, but the statement has been so much overused in different situations and in varying contexts to the point where you cannot fathom what it actually preaches:

A man dumps his wife for no tangible reason      - Change is the most constant thing in life
A preacher tries to proselytize to a sinner              - Change is the most constant thing in life
A wife wants to change her skin colour                  - Change is the most constant thing in life
A company wants to lay-off 1000 employees        - Change is the most constant thing in life
A footballer wants to leave a club for another       - Change is the most constant thing in life
US decides to drop bombs in Iraq                           - Change is the most constant thing in life

From the laughable, to the innocuous, to the mundane, to the tragic, the expression comes in handy. It has been used to the point of becoming a cliché. Because we constantly use the expression in contexts which are in direct opposition to each other, it has become trite and doesn’t achieve the desired effect any longer. And you can directly link this fact to the reality that Nigeria keeps changing, but in effect, Nigeria keeps fixating on a spot.

Unfortunately, this is also happening to an expression which is relevant and cogent to our progress as a nation – “thinking out of the box.” That expression is as popular nowadays as Osas is as popular in Benin City. From Boardrooms, to Classrooms, to the Mass Media, even to Football Viewing Centres, what you hear nowadays is “… think outside the box.” Connotatively, this means approaching problems in new, innovative ways; conceptualizing problems differently; and understanding one’s position in relation to any particular situation in a way one would never have thought of before; it is to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. This expression, in summary, refers to novel or creative thinking. But here we are – are we really thinking out of the box?

Smiling in nostalgia, I vividly remember another expression I have grown accustomed to over my years of skipping from one Multi-national company to another – No one measures efforts, only results. Unfortunately, this holds true in almost all facets of life, and if we have to apply this maxim to “thinking out of the box”, we can all admit we have only been putting the efforts, because the results cannot justify our having turned the expression into a mantra. Just take a look around and do a reality-check – are there really any products that you can pin-point as products of people thinking out of the box? Are we really thinking out of the box or are we just moving around in circles?

Alarmingly, I fear for the future of the country when I interact with the youths who have been bequeathed the unenviable task of leading the nation in the nearest future. Take Twitter for instance, youths are more interested in “setting P”, “famzing celebrities”, “subbing each other” and “twitfighting”; only a few employ Twitter for the purpose of networking with like minds’ sharing knowledge, and promoting growth. Is it not ironic that Mark Zuckerberg did not splash his wedding picture on Facebook? And Badoo is an on-the-go whorehouse. I read somewhere that “as phones become smarter, humans seem to become stupider”, and I somehow agree. Such is the direness of our situation. People can think fast but that is to come up with a weirder response to a dirty curse. The world has become a global village, and we are here exuding pseudo-happiness and exporting what? Nothing tangible. Shame!!! Of course, I am not moralizing here, I am only pointing out a trend which has erroneously made the whole world to consistently label Nigerians the happiest on Earth; we are not the happiest, but we usually forget that we have a cankerworm eating deep into the flesh of our nation every day. Are we really thinking outside the box, or just standing outside the box, or  just jumping on a spot? Honestly, there are a lot of people trying and justifying their efforts, but the oddity is they are just filling gaps, not focusing on the nation’s necessary areas of development. But who are we to blame them?
After doing a lot of thinking (outside the box) about this trend, I have come up with a scenario and a solution. At the moment we are all claiming to think outside the box because we consider that to be the in-thing, I already envisage a time when everybody will be outside the box and no one will be left in the box; the box will be empty and the outside will be filled and valueless because we are all there standing (not necessarily thinking); but we cannot all “sleep and face the same direction”, thus some group of like-minded individuals who still see progress as a necessity will come together and form small circles, and evolve theories and ideas which will be the basis for finding solutions to the nation’s problems.

Nigeria needs ideas. These ideas will come from Nigerians. But not Nigerians who just stand outside the box, claiming to be thinking outside the box; but the aggregate of Nigerians who think “in small circles” while also standing outside the box like every other Nigerian.


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



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