NYSC: a debrief

Posted on Updated on

<div class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 330px"end of my nysc career

end of my nysc career

So yesterday I finished my national youth service. For those of you who don’t know what NYSC – National Youth Service Corps is, I ll ellucidate.

The NYSC is a Nigerian scheme for those who have completed college that lasts for about a year. Basically you do an internship for like a year, weekly community development and report monthly to ensure the federal government pays you. Oh yeah I forgot, its starts out with a 3 week boot camp, you march, play sports, drink, dance and have fun if you are the type to enjoy that kind of thing. NYSC is basically required if you want to work or ever hold a political office. Seeing as a nigga wants to rule the country with an iron fist and bring change I figured I should do it.

Its also a good way to be reintroduced to Nigeria and the Nigerian way of doing things at the grassroots. As a foreign graduate or foreign student (I woulda smacked a fool cos I m nigerian bitch) as some people erroneously referred to me at the camp, I had to register in Abuja before camp and prove I actually went to school by presenting my transcripts and college degree. They gave me slack over my degree which unlike some other ivies is in english but reads like terribly translated latin which it is.

So I made it to lagos, went to camp. Made some friends and ish, marched a lil bit. Partied hard like I m supposed to. After camp, work started. Got put at an oil company, faced daunting traffic to and from work everyday. Like for real, I was in New York and rush hour traffic got nothing on lagos “go slow”. Imagine NYC with no subways and almost everyone got cars and they heading in the same direction and of course year round summer in this beach. Anyway I was fortunate to get a staff bus and free lunch.

I learnt that to get anything people basically hustle and push and shove even when in a queue. That’s the nysc experience, you see people skipping the line cos they feel like VIPs. Niggas be trifling. I got some tips for those considering nysc

1) Have money in camp, don’t bring shit you can lose. Take up leadership positions and befriend officials so you don’t get posted to a dump. To be a proper Nigerian you gotta be a good lobbyist that goes for after camp, getting a decent community development and getting a job after nysc.

2) Foreign students don’t be snobbish interact with folks so you get the real experience and the inside track on naija life. Also take the nysc as a big networking event cos amongst you are future ceos, governors, senators, superstars and ish.

3) Explore wherever town or city you are posted to with friends. In my case, I even developped a database of hangout spots in lagos.

4) Goes without saying, get your accomodation on lockdown and the closer to your place of work the better for you. Also if you are going to be alone the first thing you should get is a generator. No power is a bad bitch with herpes.

All in all, I enjoyed and I m glad to be done. Thank Yeshua n ish.

– The Ashy philosopher aka now a jobless nigga aka rationalchaos

Negrodamus predicts the world cup

Posted on

Uncle Nelson Holding the World Cup

The world’s biggest tournament comes to Africa in 9 days!!! Although my broke ass won’t be in South Africa for the World Cup, I am glad to be around football loving people and to be in Nigeria where around every corner there is a bar or viewing centre where you can catch every single game of the world cup and get a refreshing drink, whatever your preference #thenigeriandream. The 2006 World Cup I kind of missed the full experience partly because I was pissed Nigeria didn’t make it. This time we are back with vengeance.

One of the amazing things about my fellow countrymen is their ability to have faith despite the seeming reality starring them in the face. Many of us know that the Nigerian team is not the best it could be and has perhaps outlived its glory days of the ’94 world cup and the following 96’ Olympics. Basically in the 90s, our football team was a force to be reckoned with. We were disrespectful with it and could beat Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain and anyone who dared step to us. Back to my point, many of us are expecting our newly appointed (million dollar oil money paid) technical adviser/coach/manager Lars Lagerback to turn the current plain tasting water of Nigerian football to the sweet tasting wine of victory at the world cup and hence there are incessant prayer sessions for the team and so on and so forth. I like some of my compatriots deep inside know that we might not deserve to go far in the tournament but hope for the team to walk on the sea of galilee like the Christian messiah and reach the knockout stages and with some act of God on the feet of our strikers score goals they didn’t score during the regular football season to possibly put the world cup in our hands.

Enough my patriotism, In anticipation of the world cup I m going to make my predictions on a game to game basis and summarize how I think the world cup will go. I ll go group by group and say who I think would qualify and maybe why.

Group A
South Africa
Mexico
Uruguay
France

For Group A, I see France underperforming as usual. They might draw or lose the opener to South Africa hence turning the group wide open. I tip South Africa and Uruguay to go through.

Group B
Argentina
Nigeria
Korea Republic
Greece

Here I m gonna go with Argentina and of course Nigeria. Korea will provide quite a fight in this group and will struggle with Nigeria for the second place.

Group C
England
USA
Algeria
Slovenia

England and USA for this group. Algeria will struggle for the second spot. England have so much expectation that they will have to pass through the group stage, The USA possesses a fast team with lots of endurance on the field. I also beef Algeria cos I wish Egypt went to the world cup.

Group D
Germany
Australia
Serbia
Ghana

I m gonna shut up on this group. I was tipping Ghana to go far but with no Essien (at 100% fit) might be a hard one. Germany definitely, Serbia and Ghana fight for second place and Austrailia might spring a surprise against either Ghana or Serbia.

Group E
Netherlands
Denmark
Japan
Cameroon

Another tough group in my opinion but I think Japan will lag behind the pack in this group. Cameroun and Netherlands will go through. Denmark will struggle with either team for the second place.

Group F
Italy
Paraguay
New Zealand
Slovakia

Italy and Paraguay are most likely here with Slovakia a team to watch out for to spring surprises

Group G
Brazil
Korea DPR
Côte d’Ivoire
Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo might cry in this group after getting knocked out. I tip Brazil (of course) and Cote D’Ivoire to go through. After hating on Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo, I m going to admit that a possible permutation will see Portugal and Cote D’Ivoire (I know you think I m crazy for thinking Brazil will get knocked out) or Portugal and Brazil (Obvious permutation to non african supporters). Korea will play king maker in this group, if they can draw or beat any of these countries they will halt their progress

Group H
Spain
Switzerland
Honduras
Chile

Spain and Switzerland/Chile will proceed in this group. I think Switzerland given by their showing in youth tournaments might spring a surprise on us.

For the rest of the tournament, I think I ll just make my predictions after the group stages. As for who I think will win the world cup, Brazil, England, Spain (Go Torres!), Nigeria, Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire (if they pass the first stage). I don’t see Argentina winning call me a hater but come on Maradona isnt that good of a coach and the team might suffer from a too many cooks spoil the soup syndronme with the plethora of striking options.

The Track for today comes from a group of artists including Banky W and M.I., two of my favorite Nigerian artistes and shoutout to Bez, was my senior at high school. M.I. Just got nominated for a BET award (I hate on BET but thats a good look). Enjoy maga no need pay in the spirit of a better Nigeria and better Africa.

I m out for presidents to represent me…

Posted on

Dead Presidents

As part of the delusions of grandeur I often posses I have sat down and imagined myself as President of Nigeria (Could apply to a couple third world countries)…the question is what will I do? How will I make a difference? As a result, I decided to sit down and give some random and maybe naïve ideas I would have. Of course, I m not going to consider the logistical hurdles sometimes faced in achieving this goal, I m going to OBAMA it and say yes we can to everything (Got mad love for my homie Barack of course).

One of the first things I will strive to address is the country’s power problem. Nigeria counts itself among the select few where each individual is his/her own power plant. Power is so unstable that almost everybody owns a generator and the average Nigerian is an amateur electrical engineer. So here is my agenda on power

First I will allow private companies to come into play in the power sector. Currently power is only distributed by the Government Power Company, PHCN. (Please Hold your Candles Near). Such companies will be allowed to operate in the country. Solar and Wind companies would be invited to operate in highly sunny and arid areas of the north. Gas, Nuclear as well as Hydro Power will also be utilized with the caveat that power produced does not have to sent to the national grid hence giving states and regions the incentives to advance the initiative quicker. PHCN would be allowed to continue to operate at cheaper prices for those who want their very poor service while the Private and State companies will provide a subsidized per hour initiative. This way if you want to have power for 12 hours a day, accounting for the hours you are home on the weekdays and 24 hours for the weekends you can.

The next thing is health. On that count, I will make health free for children up until 18, pregnant women and people over 50. I will make it a requirement for at least every town/ Local government should have a hospital. Incentives would be given to private hospitals and health providers in terms of subsidies and grants for establishing hospitals in rural areas or for following the government hospital policy of free treatment for the groups mentioned above.

On education, my scheme for the University system is to bolster alumni donations to universities by giving tax breaks and other incentives to donors. I will encourage universities to engage in research by giving grants to develop research ideas into businesses and when the businesses start off the government will buy shares in the companies to ensure returns. I will also make education free up until secondary school and fund the establishments of trade, craft and technical schools. Primary education will be compulsory and to that effect we will ensure the establishment of schools in each town and local government of the federation using the same incentives as used for private hospitals. I will also borrow a page from other countries by inviting world renowned universities to open branch campuses in Nigeria.

In terms of syllabus, at level of education Nigerian and African history will be taught as well as emphasis on home grown literature. Also, from an early age national unity and cultural and religious tolerance will be taught and brainwashed into kids. All Nigerian languages will be an option to be taught in schools with the 3 major ones compulsory.
On the economy, I feel diversification is needed. In that light, I will undertake a national mineral and resources survey and seek development of other minerals such as tin, coal as well as agricultural resources such as cocoa, oil palm, groundnut and cotton. Also the country will make use of the natural gas reserves that are currently not fully utilised. I will also make our country have strict bank secrecy policies in terms of foreign account holders to make it the banking haven of Africa.

Now how would I tackle security problems in the country, I think by diversifying the economy, providing more schools, industries, hospitals etc. There will be more employed people hence less crime. In terms of the police and security agencies, they will be provided with better equipment to fight crime. A quick response team will be put in every part of the country, states will be allowed to have their own security agencies to supplement the work of the police and the web will be used as an instant feedback tool to improve services. A CCTV system will be put in place in all parts of the country to reduce crime. Vigilante groups and security guard groups will be registered and more closely regulated. As for corruption, all suspected money grabbers will be investigated and summarily punished with weighty terms and forfeiture of all wealth (aside living wages to preserve their families).

Development of tourism areas and resorts for both the wealthy and non wealthy will be in full force to encourage a more robust relaxation culture.

So folks here is my manifesto as you soon to be President for life what do you think.
Song by Jigga, It is quite the throwback.

Somehow Nigeria turned to n*, and shit got ugly

Posted on

Just got me Revolutions per minute, A Talib Kweli and Hi Tek album. I m yet to fully listen to it but this one track, “Ballad of the black gold” stands out to me. I simply just heart the following verse,

“Nigeria is celebrating 50 years of independence
They still feel the colonial effects of Great Britain’s presence
Dictators quick to imitate the West
Got in bed with oil companies and now the place a mess
Take a guess, which ones came and violated
They oiled up the soil, the Ogoni people was almost annihilated
Still they never stayed silent
There was activism, poets using non-violent tactics
That was catalyst for soldiers to break into they crib
Take it from the kids and try to break em like a twig
And make examples of the leaders
Executed Saro-Wiwa
Threw Fela’s mom out the window right after they beat her
In an effort to defeat hope
Now the people feed soap to [noir]
So they youth is doing drive-bys through speed boats
They kidnap the workers
They blowing up the pipelines
You see the fires glowing in the nighttime”

Does he summarize Nigeria’s issue well? I m gonna take a stab and say hell yes! I have visited the Niger Delta and boy it is not pretty. Heck the whole country is in crisis, something needs to be done.

Talib has always impressed me with the lyrics and all round conciousness. Damn this guy can be deep. He is also a good performer, Saw him last year at Columbia, I m not the concert addict but dude was definitely hype and lively. Anyway enough of my yappering, Listen to the song for yourself below.

The Second Invasion – The Special One cometh

Posted on

The Special One

Alas Africa has been colonized again! By who you say and why? Were we not foolish enough to let them do it the first time that we yet again open our doors to a second invasion? Elementary my dear Watson, this time not by missionaries/armies from europe coming to loot and plunder but by European club football.

When the first round of colonization occured in Africa, the missionaries, administrators and whatnot brought along with them some of the things that were part of their culture and among these things were sports like football, cricket and rugby (last two are pretty much played by southern africans and they get the side eye). Football or soccer as it is called in my ‘beloved’ America, stuck in many countries. The English, French and so forth brought this sport to Africans and we Africans accepted it as our own.
Because the game needed little or no special equipment to play, technically all you need to play a game of football is something round rolled into a ball like a paper or an orange or fruit to kick around and somewhere to designate as the goalposts the game became wildely popular. The sport flourished amongst the rich and the poor and to this day in any city on the continent if you go to the poor neighbourhoods you will catch the younger children playing a pickup game of football even when some of them havent had a bite to eat all day. There is a certain joy that comes from playing football as part of a team and making meaningful tackles, dribbles, passes and even occasionally scoring a goal.

You play football as soon as you can walk, Hell I remember playing it in primary school as part of the school team and even in secondary school. In college, I kept my football playing to student clubs. The point is that for a people for who it seems football is in our blood, an african country is yet to be the world champion in the sport we call football. This year 2010 Africa is hosting a world cup in South Africa and some say if there ever was a time for an African country to win the world cup it would be now.

What does this all have to do with colonization of Africa by European Club football. Of course European Club football is the Mecca and pinnacle of acheivement for any footballer who wants to play in the best paid and most professional football clubs in the world. Walk around lagos and you will see in the markets, cheap knockoff replics jerseys of almost every european football club especially the English clubs. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool jerseys are rocked everywhere on the streets of lagos by the young and old. When these and other european clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan play, houses are divided and father and son argue. People bet on european football and swear such allegiance that I have been at a bar when a fight between a Chelsea fan and a Manchester fan, fortunately they got seperated before mcuh damage was done. I am personally a liverpool fan, ask me why? I have never lived in liverpool and started following them back in 98, I was impressed with their style of play after watching a documentary on the reds team of the 70s and fell in love with the Reds.
The same flair for the local football clubs is almost absent although it must be said that clubs in countries such as tunisia and Egypt enjoy a wide following. In the case of Nigeria, the local game is still being developed at club level. A full stadium for a meeting between Kano Pillars and Enyimba (two of the best local nigerian clubs) might not find a full stadium but tell anyone Manchester United is playing Arsenal and the TV viewing centre would be packed with people. Some people even know the line-ups and reserve players for european clubs more than they know their own national team.

So to finish my rambling, how do we win independence from european club football? I got no bloody idea, i thought someone else might. I think that winning the world cup in South Africa by an African team would be the first step to gaining independence from the european monarchy of football clubs. The best bet for Africa in my opinion is between Ghana, Cameroun, Nigeria and Ivory Coast (Yes I m West African biased so what its true).

I leave you with this video of Jay-Jay Okocha.

In the beginning

Posted on Updated on

So here I go with this new blog, currently at the office. Its past closing time and I m particularly pissed that my boss kept me here doing work that I was supposedly going to review with him and negro just up and left and locked his office. smh.

On a less pissed off note, I d just like to say in the begining there was Africa and in the dangerous ‘dark’ continent lay a cluster-frag of a country with more density than china called Nigeria.

Apparently we are the happiest people on earth, go figure. In your face capitalist western civilization with all your indoor plumbing and iphones that make you think you are cool.

I am a son of the wind, guardian of the breeze. Never mind that my nation is so corrupt that based on that stupid reputation, you probably think I ll try to scam you and sell you the air for an advance fee. Your loss for thinking such bull.

Born in the most populous black nation on earth, I feel like I m kunta kintes great uncle. My thoughts dont make sense right now but hopefully they someday will.

Until then, i ll leave you with the musical stylings of K’naan – The dusty foot philosopher.