“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…”
The above are the opening words of the American declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. The original manuscript written by Jefferson had the words “we hold these truths to be sacred and un-deniable” Benjamin Franklin would later change it to “…self evident” Truer words have never been spoken or written.
I know you can probably tell where i’m going with this piece considering the state of things in our nation but just stroll along with me, will ya? Actually, when i started writing this, i didn’t know where i was going; I just felt the urge to write. I’m not about to give my own take or analyse the whole situation of things in the country, lots of people have done that and are still doing that. I’m the guy that sits back and picks out the ‘lessons’ from stuff like this. Yeah, that’s why i’m here.
First of all, allow me point out the shame at knowing that there is not one quote of a Nigerian president, living or dead that causes any sort of inspiration to well up on my insides. As a matter of fact, i cannot for the life of me remember any speech that caused any emotion other than a hiss when it was done. Depending on the speech or speech-maker, i’ll either be generous with a short hiss or be expressive and give a long one. Our leaders cannot inspire you to even pretend to be inspired. Don’t they watch TV? Don’t they listen to the Obama’s of this world? The only chant that will ever elicit a response is the “GREATEST NIGERIAN PEOPLE!!!” Who says protest speeches have to start this way?
#LESSON ONE: Our leaders need to learn communication skills and FAST!
A lot of us watched Mr President read-recite his “after effect fuel subsidy” speech. The dude looked like he just came out of the toilet, was hypnotized and warned to keep a straight face. The teleprompter or whatever he was reading from was even wrongly placed making it all the more obvious that he was reading. And what was that rubbish ribbon he was wearing? Sigh…The speeches are never live so why doesn’t the negro take time to rehearse his pauses, pitches and body language? And if he is going to look so clueless, he might as well adopt our goggle wearing ex head of state’s style and spare us the torture..and why does he always have to look like an Easter egg wearing a cap? I should stop now.
After the protests and all broke out, notice the two Govt officials that flooded your Tv screens? Yup. NOI and SLS. Masters of the garb, Articulate and Intelligent people who can without effort bamboozle you into their corner. Haven’t you noticed that after listening to them, you end up thinking “they have a point o!” Those guys can convince an Eskimo to buy ice from them. Yup. Cool story. Even your president knows that he cannot face an audience so he has to send his best hands.
Moving on sha, the events of the new year have also somewhat shown the character of us Nigerians. Mehn, i didn’t know y’all knew so much politics and stuff! OMG! You guys are so intelligent! The sudden outburst of opinions got me wondering where all this knowledge was previously stored. Could it be in the same brains or did the New Year come with a new brain upgrade. Oh! Or was that on your Xmas list? Its note worthy too that some words have all of a sudden being added to our vocabulary. Even those of us who have a non-existent relationship with the English Language today know or at least use the words “Palliative, Cabal, Cartel, Subsidy, Deregulation” etc. Don’t lie, you didn’t know what some or all of these meant up until recently. Some of you still don’t know, its ok, ask someone close to you..done that? Good Good.
#LESSON TWO: Its never too late to learn a new word and improve vocabulary.
The strike of course brought about the daily protests and if you reside in Nigeria, you automatically belonged to one center or the other depending on what state you reside in. For those of us in Lagos, two centers exist: the Ojota center and the Falomo center. You see, those people were not wrong when they said “Nigerians are the happiest people in the world.” How else would you explain a nation going through hard policy changes and terrorist threats still dancing to the music of Ras Kimono? I mean WHO still dances to Ras Kimono? I was present at Ojota and was shocked to the marrows when i heard Mr Kimono perform. I’m like where the heck did they resurrect him from? Of course you’ve gotta respect the genius of the organisers of “OjotaUnplugged” They realised that a way of keeping the crowd entertained was to provide music, LIVE MUSIC! Trust me, it wasn’t fun listening to some of the speakers (refer to lesson one) so the music was a welcome development. Heck! You don’t get to listen to Femi Kuti and eldee perform free everyday.
On the other side of town, across the Third mainland bridge, residents there who couldn’t make it to Ojota quickly organised their own “FalomoPlugged” This had in attendance BankyW, Waje, Omawunmi etc…
See, you think this strike isn’t a good thing? Go and ask Eedris how he felt performing in front of thousands of people. When last did Eedris have a 20 man audience (apart from his Kennis people), Niegro put all he had into his performance and even took a swipe at D’banj. I get confused nowadays if Eedris isn’t in the wrong profession. He had always looked like a boxer to me (with the towel thing), he proved it when he squared up with 50 cents back in the day and he erased all my doubts when he reportedly knocked Jaywon into a coma…Eedris might just be the one to send Bash Ali into final retirement and take his place (its never too late)
#LESSON 3: emm…i don’t really know what the lesson here is. It could be: seize the opportunity, make the most of bad situations, i don’t know jare!
In conclusion though, this strike is a basterd sha. As i type this, i have more money in my phone than in my pocket, wallet and drawers combined. I think i have N175 credit and N10 cash. Where’s that N10 sef? GEJ and his cohorts need to get their shit together cos this isn’t even funny no more. I’m seriously resisting the urge to go all political and philosophical cos i intend for this to be a relaxing post. You don’t even want to know how he’s creating bad blood between me and my hitherto love; Indomie. Let me not even mention the fact that thanks to the oponu, i haven’t *cough* *cough* this year. My people, it is well. I leave you with a quote that should stir up something (not hunger or a hard on) within you…
“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and this, meeting million other ripples of energy and daring build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Robert F. Kennedy