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!!!



Twitter: @SirRash

Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Monday, 25 June 2012

FUNNY, THEN HEAVENLY

Good day and welcome to the next time I promised you the last time I was here. Yes, I know, I did not make it sound like the next time was going to be such a long time; but I actually have this time-tested philosophy about time which goes thus: any time you get to enjoy something good is actually the right time to enjoy it. Sounds like a crappy outlook? Adopt it and let us see if it will not stand the test of time.

Seriously, funny things happen all the time. I am talking about really funny things here: like needing one “cooler” and getting twenty “coolers” as wedding presents, but needing a car and not even getting one toy-car as wedding present; like saying you haven’t heard that crappy song “Sister Caro” by the Hopeless K-Switch featuring the Hopeful D’Banj and then all the radio stations decide to put it on repeat, but you have not seen the video of Tinie Tempah’s “Written in the Stars” and for one month, you have not been able to catch it, not even once, on any music channel, on DSTV; like getting to hear a word for the first time in the morning and before the day runs out, you get to hear the word a gazillion times again, but there is a word you have known all your life and then you want to use it, you just cannot remember only to see it on the next billboard after leaving where you were; like seeing a particular model of a car for the first time in the morning, and all through the day it turns out that half of the population of the cars on the roads are just that same particular model; do those funny things happen to you?  You talk about something, and then you get it in excess, or you just do not get it at all, isn’t that funny? But the real funny thing is: those things that usually happen repeatedly or happen non-existently are those things that have no bearing whatsoever on what you have in mind, or if you are unlucky, those  that derail all the plans you have in mind. That was exactly what happened the last time I was here. You might explain that as “Top of the Mind Awareness”; “Sustained Focus”; “Increased Recognition”; or whatever psychological jargon which might eventually lead us to making some Freudian slips; but I know that the Enormous Work Pressure that came immediately after I complained of lack of Work Pressure the last time I was here had nothing to do with the my complain of lack of Work Pressure. But on came the Work Pressure, and it was Enormous. But the purpose of this post is not to bore you with the minute details of the “Enormous Pressure”, but to do among the so many other things you want it to do – gist you about the heavenly weekend that I had.

The Enormous Work Pressure (sorry I had to go back to it) was such that I was looking forward to the weekend as a well-behaved prisoner is looking forward to parole, or the way a runz-girl is looking forward to parol. And the weekend when it came was simply Heavenly. LadyRash was around which meant the food was always punctual and delicious; Abraham decided to up our speed by “Wimaxing the whole house onto SWIFT network; and of course tthree mouth-watering matches in Euro2012 to look-forward to and eventually enjoy. With some juice still in the refrigerator, I could actually up my spirit by downing some Spirits, with the self-deception that dilution will cancel or delay the dreaded liver collapse. In synopsis, the weekend was just as I would love all my days to be, with the gracious addition of money in the bank anyways, because money is the reason why the weekend was heavenly in the first place, and if that finishes, where will we get the money to make the subsequent weekends heavenly?

With LadyRash emerging as the undisputed champion and the eternal winner without even needing to participate in the competition; football won the race among the other peers. For guys who do not love football, I have been looking for words and expressions to describe them, but I have not found any, but I will not give up, when I do find the words and expressions, you will be the first to know. How could anyone not admire the dynamic efficiency of the German Manschaft? How could anyone not adore the artistry of the Spanish La Furia Roja? How could anyone not appreciate the ruthless efficiency of the Italian Azzuris? How could anyone not enjoy the flair and pompousity of Portugal? There were great lessons to be learnt from the matches at the weekend. Germany whitewashed Greece, Greece was too defensive, sometimes you just have to dare. Spain sailed past France like there was no team there, which was true because France wasn’t a team, just a bunch of egotistical individuals like the Samir “Golddigger” Nasri and Patrice “Loudmouth” Evra. For England, there is a level to which mediocrity cloaked in astronomical-hype can take you, and that is as an underdog to an organized and inspired Azurris. The Italians showed that they are not just the dons of organized crime; they are also the dons of organized football. They murdered England dreams and buried the hopes. The British Media are still looking for the remains of the two though.

Thanks also to Abraham’s SWIFT WiMAX, I had unlimited access to the internet, but before you ask me why I could not post anything over the weekend, let me quickly ask you: Did you not get the memo? LadyRash was around. *winks*

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

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

MONOTONOUSLY BORING

Good morning and welcome to a brand new day. Yes, I know it is already afternoon, but I have decided to call it morning because I have not really done anything today, so to me, the day is still as fresh as new. That is the truth! I woke up (thanks to the alarm); had a poo; took my bath; put some clothes on; put on a matching pair of shoe; went to join the staff-bus; got to work; sat at my desk;  put my PC on; checked mails; surfed the net; and that was how this came about. Tell me in all sincerity, could I have broken any part of that chain of events? Like I could say I did not feel like putting some clothes on, what other option do I have, go to work naked? Or like I could say I got to work and I did not feel like sitting at my desk, would I have gone to sit on the CEO’s chair? Or like I don’t feel like putting my PC on, could I just sit and stare into empty space, or maybe put my head on my desk to take a nap and hope my snore will not disturb the whole office? Nothing that I have done today, that I did not have to do. The short thing I am trying to say, but which requires a lot of words to say is: ROUTINE, MONOTONY AND BOREDOM are the hallmarks of my job. My Job Title should read - Manager: Boredom and Monotony.
Imagine if you live your life just going through the motions every day! The only times I get some form of excitement is when it is cascaded from the Top. Let us say there was a network interruption during the weekend, and the company lost some Revenues through that; of course, that would negatively impact Revenue Projections and distort AOP; which invariably means the Top-Line will reflect a Negative Variance versus Target; and the Bottom Line will not be spared because OpEx  was constant all through the interruption; and the Africa Group is not ready to listen to any excuse from the OpCo Heads; and the OpCo Heads believe the Revenue was only missed and not lost, and it is somewhere waiting for us to come and recoup it, and we only have to come up with a plan to go and recoup it, and while recouping it, nothing must happen to the other streams of Revenue, as in this is not even additional, it is our birthright that we have misplaced and we have to go and reclaim, and while reclaiming it, the main Revenue must also be fully maximized, if not surpassed. Now you are beginning to understand what I mean by excitement. In reality, it is PRESSURE. You have to come up with a short-term-strategy that will achieve what a long-term-strategy failed to achieve. But when you deliver the strategy and the execution and the result comes in positive, you have that sense of fulfillment that I can only liken to an orgasm. Apologies for my choice of analogy, it is just that like those fantastic strategies, orgasm is something that I have personally achieved, repeatedly. Unfortunately, Indians are extra-ordinarily meticulous, finicky, fastidious, fuss-budgety, and persnickety such that mistakes are few and far in-between; thus excitement comes once-in-a-while; and in-between the “whiles” lies a very long sequence of hours that have to be filled-up by being busy doing nothing. And SirRash finds that MONOTONOUS, BORING.
I can see some people grimacing already: thinking this dude must be an ungrateful lad *heavy frown*…. He has a job and he still complains *heavier frown*… The work is even simple, imagine, he even blogs at work *WTF*… Actually, I am not complaining, the only other job I can trade this job for is the JOB with a BIGGER ORGANISATION, that offers DOUBLE THE MONEY, and BETTER OPPORTUNITIES which must include working from home so I can blog from home and stop blogging at work, because sometimes my conscience pricks me. Jah (clasps both hands, put them just under my chin with the two thumbs stroking my beards, and lift my face up to the ceiling), please forgive me, You and I know I would not be doing this if there were some other Word,  Excel and/or Powerpoint sheets to occupy my time.
I think I have tried for now. Let me go and pay attention to the 22 Tracks of Banky W and his EME Sidekicks Empire Mates State Of Mind (The Album); who knows, I might even review the album later. For now, let me go and listen and enjoy or or probably endure, who knows.

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

Monday, 18 June 2012

TEARY MUSINGS

No one is an island
From Yorubaland to Kiwiland

Yet we live cat and mouse
And emulate the louse

Our prerogatives- Selfish
Our attitudes- Fiendish

I'm abysmally Claustrophobic
And concurrently Agoraphobic

Are we irredeemaby Machiavellian?
Can't we prove Hobbes a liar?

NIGERIA: REINFORCING “LUDICROUS” SINCE 1960

Never mistake motion for action.  ~Ernest Hemingway
With the benefits of hindsight, we can absolutely say the marriage that birthed NIGERIA was not built on love or affection. Though the courtship lasted all of 46 years, not much of interaction and integration took place to create an amalgamation in the real sense of the world. The amalgamation, in its conception and in its execution, was just a paper union that made it easier for the Colonial masters to carry out their plunder; it was not to make the ethnic groups a unified major group with a sense and feel of National Identity. In essence, the emergence of Nigeria as a Nation-State in 1960 was a mismatch in its crudest form.
Alas, that was just the extent to which we could blame Britain for our woes. For the deplorable state where we are today and for the ignominious history we have been able to pen for our nation since 1960, Nigeria and Nigerians must take full and absolute RESPONSIBILITY. For the history, I will not dwell on that, smarter brains and sharper minds than mine have put all that in textbooks, in magazines, in newspapers, in journals, on tapes, on websites, and on so many other other means of storing information for the sole purpose of posterity. The past cannot be changed, neither can it be re-written, we can only learn from it, something we have not done up to this moment. I am concerned about the present and what it reflects and portends for the continuous existence and the desired prosperity of Nigeria.
Nigerians, individually, are industrious and hardworking. Nigerians have always learnt to ignore their government and depend on themselves and their neighbours to find solutions to their problems and forge ahead together. Nigerians, through Community Development Associations (CDAs) contribute funds to buy transformers, poles, cables and meters from PHCN, they even pay for the workmanship to get everything fixed, fitted and erected. Then, PHCN refuses to supply electricity, and Nigerians will still go and get power generating sets and start generating their own power. Nigerians have grown accustomed to not asking questions and not demanding for their rights. Typical Nigerians build their own houses which has its own bore-hole or well; its own power generating set in form of Mikano/Lister/Honda; its own security in form of private guards/maigurads; and every other thing needed. This on the back of huge and multiple taxes they pay at source, especially when they work in the private sector, and most especially when they reside in Lagos state. Nothing works in Nigeria. The Hospitals become death traps, Nigerians patronize private hospitals and pay through their noses. The schools are closed, Nigerians send their children to private schools and pay through their noses also. Nothing works and no questions are asked.
Disheartening the more, those were not the only traits Nigerians share. Majority, and I am talking about a very large majority, of Nigerians are the archetypal specimens of bigotry, tribalism, and religiousness. These are etched into the consciousness of Nigerians to the point where nothing gets done because Federal Character will not make it work. Every interaction is conceived in Tribalism, executed in Bigotry, and sustained in Religion. Little wonder nothing gets done.
It is well-known and amply documented that the myriads of problems that drove Nigeria to this “Precipice of Hopelessness” where we hover at the moment can be traced to Institutionalized Corruption; but the final push that will plunge Nigeria into the “Abyss of Disillusionment” is Institutionalized Inaction.  Do not get me wrong, there is action everywhere: corruption in high places is still sewn into the fabrics of our daily lives, and terrorism has become the order of the day to the point where I believe there is a template on the desktop of the President aide’s PC which only requires them to change the date and the location whenever a man-made disaster strikes, because what we hear every time is the same mumbo jumbo. The President has recently even gone to the point of saying he is powerless, quoting Psalm 91, but the last time I checked, we do not run a Theocracy. Mr President, like the Jews say: do not be wise in words - be wise in deeds. When the government borders on non-existent, through its inaction, that is a huge tinderbox waiting to explode.
Nigerians are capable of protecting themselves, but if they have to stand up and do it by themselves, that is the end of Nigeria as we know it. It will lead to Anarchy, probably Military Intervention, and worst case scenario a Civil war with its attendant horror of wanton destruction and genocide. I am not a doom-monger, I am only pointing us to the past in a bid to point us to a future which should not be allowed to become a reality. What happened yesterday in Kaduna is reminiscent of the two coups of 1966, and it is as simple as Newton’s First Law of Motion. If the President allows Nigerians to take actions into their own hands, that might be the end of Nigeria as we know it. The President came to power on the back of a campaign of hope, themed with the popular “I had no shoes” slogan, and promising a better future through his “Transformational Agenda”… Like the Italians would say “Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.” …A year has rolled by, but the only things that have transformed are: government ineptitude, institutionalized corruption, and terrorism; they have transformed into gigantic multi-fanged monsters gearing to consume the whole nation.
Nigeria, now is the time to ask questions; request answers; and demand actions.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

WWW: The Genesis

This is a start which I hope will be looked back upon as a pivotal moment in my life; and by extension, the lives of everyone and anyone that gets to read this.

I had decided long ago that I had to open a blog, but I had been too busy on the streets making people happy. Someone, somewhere, somehow decided that people on the streets had had enough of me and decided to put me on a swivelling chair, at the end of a long desk, in front of an HP PC, in an open office. You would think "Voila, here begets a Blogger!!!" So, I thought too, until I tried to get online and realised that even google is INACCESSIBLE. My PC is always connected to the internet, but I cannot go online. Hello?! I could understand if you block those porn sites (who would want to watch porn in an open office anyway), I would understand if you blocked Facebook and Twitter (those are considered Gossip sites anyway, and we should not encourage gossipping in the office, even if it cannot qualify as office gossips), I should understand if you blocked all those sites where credit card information can be retrieved (that is assuming you know them); but how in the world could you block LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and the almighty Google??? I believe the thought would have been: with Microsoft Office installed on Official HP PC in an open Office, what else would a Civilian Officer need? What I have been trying to say is: my laptop was just like a typical manilla file sold for N20 in a typical bookshop on Ojuelegba Road, when you are coming from Yaba; anything you did not put there, do not expect to find it there.

That was how the idea remained an idea, because like a weak spermatozoon, millions of other ideas, from other people's heads (not from my head), and moving in opposite direction, were alive and strong enough to make sure it remained an idea. Until our cries went around and finally got to the geeks in the IT Department, who pressed some letters and numbers that we also normally press, and achieved results that we cannot ever achieve whether normally, abnormally, or paranormally. The length and breadth of it is that, life finally came into the Official HP PC, and with CTRL+ENTER, after some some letter-combinations (geeky, isn't  it?), I can be transported to anywhere in the world. It was such a journey that finally brought me here to bring my "blognancy" into the Labour Room (do they still call it that name? that sounds kinda scary), and the baby is "Wise Wide and Wild".

I aptly name this Blog "Wise Wide and Wild" simply because that is what you will get from here. The topic willl come as the spirit leads, as the occassion demands, or sometimes as you demand. They will range from the serious to the mundanne to the outlandish. Sometimes they will educate, sometimes they will inform, sometimes they will entertain, most times they will do the three together; I pray a time never comes when they will bore.

This is the just the Genesis. Expect an Exodus of Posts from Me to You... A Chronicle of Wise Wide and Wild posts that will keep you always running back. The gracious Act of spreading the messsage about this Blog will be appreciated, please be my Apostles. And I also need Revelations from you in form of comments and criticisms so I can always meet your lofty standards.

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