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!!!