Sunday, 11 October 2015

...OF PARADOXES AND MORE PARADOXES

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


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


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Monday, 20 July 2015

INSPIRATION FROM AN UNLIKELY PLACE


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

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

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

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

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

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


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