Tuesday, July 31, 2012

That Man Scent

by Jonas Dogara
For the past few posts, I done dey yarn about our national wahala and things wey I believe say suppose dey different. Today, I go leave that yarn small and enter a different kind of wahala wey I dey encounter sometimes.

Last week, I dey hurry go somewhere, to go see somebody wey wan do something for some…  Anyway, I run come out of the office wey I dey and luckily I just see one empty taxi. I open the taxi door, jump in, tell the driver where I dey go and him tell me price. Then the ‘scent’ hit me! I try to open mouth talk, but e no gree me open, so I just dey look the guy. E be like say the guy feel say na the price wey e tell me na him make me dey look am like that, because e reduce am immediately from N1000 to N750. I still dey look am! E just dey like say make I drop from the taxi immediately, but when I look outside and see the multitude wey dey wait for transport too, I strong mind, tell the guy to move. 

The guy ‘aroma’ na die! And no, I no mean say the guy na amala and okro soup o. I dey talk of the type we dey come out when person dey get beef with bathroom. You know that type wey, when you enter church and siddon near person, the scent go just reach u sharply and you go know say e no go be good Sunday service, abi? Then small time pastor go begin talk something about ‘lifting up holy hands’. All you go dey think na ‘Pastor, no try am! No try am o!’ Yes, na that one! E dey make you no fit breathe and make tears wan comot for your eyes.

 As we begin move, the guy begin gist me how traffic dey very bad, and how the strike wey tanker drivers been go dey make fuel scarce for town, and him just spend plenty money buy fuel, and him wife just…. Plenty plenty yarns! The guy no gree stop. The ‘scent’ wey dey come out from him mouth make me dey wonder if e drink garlic juice before e leave house or whether na garlic-flavour toothpaste e use wash mouth that morning. I no just know how to take tell the guy to shut up and just drive quick before I quench inside him taxi. I close my mouth, put nose for window and just dey look outside until we reach where I dey go. I pay am sharply, look him face well well, so that wetin happen that day no go repeat itself, and I waka. 

I yarn about the matter for Facebook that day and many people just dey laugh about am and some girls take am dey yab guys. Dem just dey yab us as if we no know say dem... nevermind, that one na another tori. But e get some comments wey make me begin wonder. One guy yarn say to use deodorants and antiperspirants no dey ‘manly’. Another person talk say even if man no feel say him body dey smell bad, then no need to use deodorant. The guy no finish there o. E also say him own body na special one; and if e no baff for some days sef, him ‘scent’ na still perfume!

Guys, I no fit believe wetin I dey read. Seriously, for this century wey we dey so, people still dey think like this? Young and educated people o! E no dey make sense to me. So, according to the first guy, e good for women to dey walkabout dey smell fine, but for men na different matter. If you be man, and you take action to make sure say you no smell like soured something, then you no be proper man again. The second guy make me begin wonder if some people no dey actually smell themselves. Maybe some people nose done get immunity from their own odour. I sure say this particular guy no dey smell himself. Because, if e dey smell himself, e go know say after some days wey water no touch him body, e go dey ooze!

See as I understand am. The way a person dey smell dey na matter of how ‘clean’ the person dey. If you be durty person, you go ooze! If you brush your teeth and clean your mouth well, ‘baff’ well and use wetin you suppose use on your body, then you suppose dey fine. You no go ‘mistakenly’ kill somebody for road or for public transport with your aroma. E no matter whether you be man or woman. If you do all those things and you still dey walkabout with ‘scent’ wey no correct, maybe na hospital or prayer house or babalawo matter be that.

These people wey dey carry their body wahala come dey worry us for public no dey fear God? We get plenty wahala for this country wey we dey face everyday and we no really need their own. As for that my guy wey dey yarn say e be everlasting perfume, I get plans for am. The next time I dey go see am I go carry Air Freshener for bag, just in case… I no fit shout.

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Friday, July 27, 2012

Like Oliver Twist

by Jonas Dogara
About two weeks ago, I dey one airport for Africa with my Asian colleague and we just dey discuss travelling and other things. Then the guy say,

‘This airport is alright but too disorganised. If they organise it better it’ll be nice.’

For one moment, I surprise small and just dey about to answer ‘This airport? Are you kidding me?’ but I think am again and just nod my head and smile. Wetin the guy talk na true. No need to argue.

This airport wey we dey talk about so na correct one. No be like Murtala Mohammed Airport wey when Police search you bag finish, dem pass am to Army; Army finish dem pass am to Navy; Navy finish dem… you get the picture. Things dey work well, and you no fit waste time for there. The only issue be say e get plenty airports for Europe and Asia wey correct pass am for organisation.  And that na wetin my colleague dey talk about. The airport good, but e still need improvement.

The thing wey happen to me, na wetin dey happen to most of us for our country. We done live for country where things no dey work at all, so that every small thing wey work, na blessing. For example, a Governor go give contract make dem repair bad road and all of us go dey happy, dey praise God and the Governor. We dey forget say na this same Governor give the contract wey dem take construct this road two years before. And if to say dem do better work, the road no go need patching. Or you go to enter flight scheduled for 7am and the flight leave at 8am. People go say ‘Thank God o! Na only 1 hour delay. Normally, e dey pass like that.’

Oliver Twist courtesy Jake Parker
Even some of us wey done travel to places where things dey work well sef dey do the same thing. Somehow we no dey feel say we fit get those same excellent standards for our country. So, we no dey expect good service, infrastructure, leaders, etc. Because we no dey expect those things, we no dey complain when we no get them. We no dey demand for them. When we get pass wetin we dey expect, we go give thanks like say we done get the whole world. But deep down, we know say wetin we get no reach standard.

We know say to thank somebody for something (even when na him job e dey do) na good thing o. But after we say ‘thank you’, nothing stop us from being like Oliver Twist and to say ‘I want more’. We deserve more. We know say we fit get more. Governments and businesses for other countries dey provide more for their people, so why not our own?

We need to change this culture of not demanding. We need to demand things from our politicians, leaders and our government. We need to demand things from the people wey dey provide us services – telecoms, transportation, media, etc. We need to demand things from each other. If we no demand, maybe some people no go realise say dem dey misbehave. Dem no go know say dem performance no reach. And some people wey know say dem no dey perform, no go get any reason to improve.

As D’banj talk ‘I wanna have them all…’ we fit ‘have them all’. Not the ‘them’ wey D’Banj wan have o! But we fit get those things wey we need for our country.

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Want The Opium

by Jonas Dogara
Na Karl Max wey talk say religion na the opium of the masses. Meaning say na wetin we dey use ‘high’ ourselves so that we no go face reality. I agree with am completely on the issue. But I also know say opium no be for dulling alone. E get other very good uses wey make am important. Na so religion be too. And before you begin ready to call down the anger of God for my head, this yarn no be about religion, so make we move on.

Courtesy cutesexyfunnyawful
Like most Nigerian guys, I love football. I no really know why I love am. I just love am. I believe say e dey my blood. I say e dey my blood because I know say my grandpapa been love am too. I fit remember as me and him dey siddon with him old ghetto blaster dey listen to Radio Nigeria football commentary. When Naija dey play ball and light no dey to watch am for TV, na the style be that. The way commentary been dey those days, we go done shout ‘goal!’ like 5 times before dem actually score one! We no mind sha. We dey enjoy am.

I also remember say when Enyimba win the CAF Champions League final with penalties, I no fit watch the match where I dey. So, I use my phone to listen to commentary of the shoot out! And I jump and jump when dem win. Yes, I love Naija football reach like that, and I know say I no dey alone for that situation.

In fact we plenty wey be like that. Just check out the way people dey stand in front of any building wey get TV wey dey show football on weekends and you go understand. I look back now to the period between the late 80s and mid 90s, when Naija football been solid and I wonder. Though we been never begin watch the Premiership or Champions League as we dey watch am today, we been like our local league and our national teams. And e look to me like say instead of just religion then, na religion and football been be our opium.

If you no believe say we use football dey ‘high’ ourselves, then you no remember Japan ’93, Tunisia ‘94 and Atlanta ’96. The kind of attention wey we give those competitions and the kind of joy wey we get when we finally win, no get mate. For ’96, at a time wey Sani Abacha done turn our country to wetin-I-no-fit-describe, I remember women dey run for street with happiness and wrapper dey fall from their waist! People dey carry wooden Olympic Torch, beat drum and sing for street for 2am! Somehow, for the period wey we go talk about and watch the football, we dey forget all our problems. That na unless NEPA take light o! Because, we done hear stories of how people go beat NEPA officials because light go during football.

These days, things done change. Our football dey add to our many problems. Countries wey been dey fear when dem hear our name before, now dem dey make noise. And no be just noise o. Some of dem done stop us make we no go World Cup and African Nations Cup. Our teams no dey fit qualify for Olympics again and even the age-grade and female competitions, where we dey shine before, done dey hard us. Which way Nigeria?!

So, now we get a situation where Naija people dey pretend say dem no get interest for Naija football again. We know say na pretend dem dey pretend, because e dey inside blood. You go ask somebody whether him watch the last Nations Cup Qualifier and if Naija been play well, e go say e watch am. If we no play well, e go say e no been know say match dey sef. But I understand say dem dey try to protect themselves from the heartbreak wey dey follow Naija football. People dey soak demselves inside European football and try not to remember our own.

But no matter how European football sweet, e still no sweet reach when we win the Nations Cup in ’94 or the Olympic gold in ’96. That collective feeling of highness na the very one. That joy wey dey cut across all the boundaries of tribe, religion and status for our country, na something wey we no fit measure. E unite us pass the Fuel Subsidy removal wahala for January 2012 sef. Na that joy we done dey miss for years now.

I agree say we get very serious problems for our country. Problems wey big pass football or any other sport. I know say if we begin win football matches again and other countries begin fear us like before, e no go really change our suffer for this country. The suffer go be the same. But then, if we begin win football matches again, na bad thing? True true, to get back to the time when we been dey do well for football go take plenty hard work from different people. The world done change well well and we need to do something to catch up. I know say we fit do am, but whether we go actually do am na another matter.

But, like the person wey done take opium before and we know the sweetness, I know how e dey be when Naija win football competition and I no go mind to ‘high’ myself again. Because now, more than before, we need something to (once in a while) comot our minds from the way our country be. We need something to give us joy, even if na for a short time.

If you say I be addict, I go agree with you. If you say my head no correct, maybe I fit argue small. If you say I need rehab, I no go gree. I no need cure. For our country, this football drug good for us. E dey work magic. So, somebody… anybody… abeg give us the opium!

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Friday, July 20, 2012

You No From Here

by Jonas Dogara
I be Port Harcourt boy. Wetin I mean be say, dem born me for PH, I grow up for PH and I done live a big part of my life for PH. So, if somebody from anywhere in the world ask me where be my hometown, I go say Port Harcourt. And that answer go tell them where dem born me or where I grow up. E simple like that.

Naija map with the 36 states and FCT
The interesting thing na when Nigerians ask me where be my hometown. I no go fit say PH. Because, according to our own definition of hometown, PH no go be the correct answer. Nigeria say I no be indigene. She say PH no be my hometown because my forefathers no come from there. Dem come from another town for Rivers State. A town where I never spend more than two weeks at one time. I fit count the people wey know me there. When I go there, I dey spend plenty of my time to explain to people which person pikin I be. Na Christmas and New Year and burials dey carry me reach there most times. But officially, na my hometown.

I get cousins wey dem born for Lagos, grow up for Lagos, go school for Lagos and now dey work for Lagos. Their own even bad pass my own, because dem dey reach our hometown like once every five years! But officially Lagos no be their hometown. Dem no be indigenes.

This way of seeing things done result in plenty problems wey we no suppose to get for our country. The first part be say e done turn millions of us to second-class citizens for our country. If you no dey live for your State of Origin, na automatic wahala you get so. In fact, for some parts of our country we done get some bloody wahala dem between aborigines and settlers, even though all of dem na Nigerians. Most of us know the stories. But that na matter for another time.

As I dey so, I no fit contest for Local Government Chairman for Port Harcourt LGA. Most of my friends wey be PH people like me too no fit contest. We no be indigenes. But na there wey everybody know us. Na there people fit say who we be and wetin our character be and if we fit lead well. The funny part be say, I fit contest for Councillorship! I no understand where that rule come from, but na so I see am. Now, I qualify to contest for Chairman for my LGA. But, who know me for there? Think of my Lagos cousins and how their own go be. Their own wahala chop winch!

A few years ago, before Maiduguri become part of Afghanistan, one of my friends wey from Delta State dey live there. For him to collect PTDF Scholarship forms, the guy get to travel to Asaba, because the forms for Maiduguri na for Borno State indigenes alone. I dey sure say na the same thing go done happen to the Bornu people wey dey Delta State.

Some of the people wey I grow up with for PH from the north. Their States no fall into the ‘Catchment Area’ of the University of Port Harcourt. And we know say sometimes the difference between person getting and not getting admission na Catchment Area. Some of dem been get that wahala. So government dey tell us say make e better to go school where we from. If we say we want national integration (wey make we dey do NYSC), why we need Catchment Areas to enter university? Why people no fit go whichever part of the country dem like and get the same opportunities? Now wey fear done enter our body, people no wan go NYSC for some parts of the country again. Dem go like stay for their Catchment Area. Government no gree. Dem dey quote law and constitution for us. The minister wey dey responsible say na ‘sacrifice’. The question na ‘to which juju’? If this no be confusion, abeg tell me wetin confusion be.

Courtesy Mike Asukwo
 Work for State Civil Service na another important wahala. For people wey no dey live for their State of Origin e hard to get. For those wey manage get the work too, wahala still dey. Because, Governor fit wake up one day, and tell dem ‘Ghana must go!’ or in this case ‘All other Naija must go!’ Recently, Abia State Government decide say e go good to pursue all the Nigerians wey no from Abia comot for their civil service. On any level wey you look am, e no make any sense at all and you no go wan believe say our law dey allow this kind madness. But na so we see am. I thank God say Him cure their craze before e pass ‘be careful’.

I grow up to hear say in the years after Independence, Igbo men dey legislature for Lagos and Hausa men dey government for Enugu, all because na where dem dey live be that. E hard to imagine now! I get to mention say some state Governors done do well because dem put people wey no from their states for their cabinets. That na something wey we suppose clap for. 

But that alone no do. We need more. We need to make am a constitutional matter. The laws need to change so that all of us go equal, no matter where we from and where we dey. We need to get the right to live somewhere and say ‘here na my home’ and nobody go tell us say na lie. We need to move to an era when we get all the rights, priviledges and responsibilities for where we dey live; when Naija person no go be second-class citizen for him country. We need to redefine ‘home’.

If we do that, then we go dey one step closer to that Naija wey we dey dream of.

For me, law or not, I know my hometown. Na Port Harcourt. Where be your own?

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mama, You For Tell Me

by Jonas Dogara
‘When you finish secondary school and get your school cert, you go go university. After university, you go get government work.’ She tell me.

‘Why government work, Mama?’ I ask her.

‘Because, the work dey steady and you go get pension when you retire. Dem no dey sack people there, no matter wetin dem do. Government fit give you scholarship too, if you sabi book. And when you come back to work you go get promotion.’ She explain.

To my small pikin mind at that time, e no sound like something wey I go like to do. Pension ke? I just dey 10 years old! I go finish school, join oil company, get plenty money, build big house, buy plenty big motor and marry fine woman wey sabi cook okro soup like my grandma!

As I dey grow up dey understand things, I realize say my grandma been dey talk based on how the country been dey when she be young woman. Those days, the civil service na the ultimate job, and civil servants get respect. A lot of brilliant Nigerians been work for the civil service too. Once you finish whatever level of education and you manage enter there, life done set. I done understand all those things now plus more, and I dey vex.

I dey vex because if to say my grandma been explain well all the plenty benefits wey I fit get for civil service, I for pursue the job like Nackson dey pursue woman!

One big thing wey my grandma forget to tell me na say if you be civil servant, you fit even decide not to go work sef. Just wait till month end and go collect your salary. That’s all. For most people wey done do NYSC for some corners of our country, this dey always be the first shock. You go reach there with plenty ginger to work and learn, only to find out say no be so e dey be. During the month, you no dey see anybody for office. Make month end and you go wonder where all the people dey come out from! In fact, anytime I waka reach office then, the welcome I dey get from colleagues na ‘Corper, any problem?’ I no fit understand how I need to get problem before I reach my office! That is dem no dey expect to see me for office unless I dey come do my clearance. All my neighbours been be civil servants and full time students at the same time. You wonder how dem dey manage am. These days, with bank transfer, I no sure if some people go even dey near the office. Which work sweet pass this type?

My grandma been no remember to tell me say if you dey work for government, you fit go work at any time of the day and wahala no dey. Work dey resume at 8am but you fit reach there at 10am and nobody go yarn. For our area, when I dey primary school e been get one woman wey dey work for one of the ministries for Rivers State. Anytime I hear my grandma say ‘Mama Akachi, you dey go work early today o’ then I know say na 9am be that. 4pm sharp, she done return from work! Abeg wetin be civil service closing time?

My grandma also forget to tell me say no matter the position wey you dey for civil service, you fit make money for side through magumagu way. E no matter how bad the name of the ministry dey sound. When you enter there, the people wey already dey there go show you the way. The higher you go, the more money you fit make. In fact, if you come enter somewhere wey you fit control Police Pensions or any other money like that, e mean say your fowl done born cow! The sweetest part be say the government agencies wey suppose dey pursue thief people, no dey look civil servants side. Na just some politicians and people wey thief small money dem dey look for. So, nothing do you. Ehm... just remember say if na police people money you thief, your case fit different o.

She no tell me say if you be teacher, you fit take money from your students and let dem do expo for WAEC. And even if dem no wan do expo, you go frustrate dem. Or if you dey supervise contractors, you go just collect small bribe and remove eye when dem dey do yeye work. Or if you dey Ministry of Finance, you fit dey collect money from pensioners before you process their retirement benefits.

The one wey dey pain me pass na wetin I just find out some days days ago. Say you fit actually leave the civil service for over 10 years and any time e hungry you, you just come back. And when you come back, you go get promotion to the highest civil service post for ministry. E get anywhere wey work better pass this one? Abeg somebody tell me.

As I dey so, I done begin plan how I go take get that government work o. I must try my best. Because, who know wetin fit happen for the future. Even if I leave the work for some time, and my man enter political office, I fit just show back and get mad promotion! So, I go yarn with somebody wey know somebody wey know somebody wey fit know somebody wey know one of the new Permanent Secretaries for Bayelsa State. Dem say she sabi speak my language well. Maybe she fit help…

But, Mama I still no too happy with you o. You for tell me well na.

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Friday, July 13, 2012

No Be All Calabar Girls...

by Jonas Dogara
E dey always dey interesting to see how Nigerians dey react anytime foreigners talk bad about us as a group of people. If dem say dem arrest a Nigerian wey dey try to smuggle drugs into the UK or dupe people for Germany, e no dey really bother you. The worst thing wey you go say na ‘See how our country done bad? Na poverty dey make our people dey go do this kind thing o. God help us.’ Depending on wetin the name of the arrested Nigerian be, you fit add ‘Chei, Igbo men and money!’ or ‘Yoruba people!’ or something else wey involve tribe. Then we move on to another thing. 

But if you dey travel outside Naija and when dem see your green passport, dem take you go corner and search craze comot for your body, na different story. You go wan mad! But you no go rake for there o, make strong thing no come happen. You go wait until you comot for airport before you begin holler and the holler dey always be for Queen’s English.

‘Imagine these idiots! Because you see my green passport you think I must be a criminal. This is stereotyping and profiling! It is wrong! How can you think that all Nigerians are bad? How? They even searched me up to my pants! Imagine the rubbish! Am I Abdulmutallab? If not for…’ You go rake belleful and you go repeat the story to your friends and family plenty times.

The thing wey we dey all forget be say no be only oyibo dey stereotype. If leagues dey for stereotyping, we go dey the premier league and we go dey challenge for the title every season. We no dey see any wahala with that ‘fallacy of hasty generalisation’ (as my Philosophy lecturer been call am) until e affect us as individuals. Even the most educated and enlightened among us dey buy some of these yeye stereotypes.

Yes, I sure say you done hear say ‘Calabar girls’ dey very good in bed and in taking care of their men. And if a ‘Calabar girl’ catch your boyfriend or husband, just waka because na the end be that. This stereotype go done start long ago, so I suppose say ‘Calabar girls’ actually mean any females from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. If this na true, then you go think say anybody wey marry these women go live happily ever after - no broken marriages or infidelity on the part of the husband. Na so e actually be? You know the answer.

Also, all Igbo people like money pass anything. Is that so? So na dem be the only Nigerians wey like money? The rest of us no really send about money abi? How we dey take measure ‘love for money’? The people wey dey spread this kind talk never hear of Father Cyprian Tansi. Na the only Naija man wey the Roman Catholic Church done call ‘Blessed’. That man take vow of poverty and been like God pass everything. Igbo men like that still dey.

Dem say if you go visit somebody for Benue State, the man wey you go visit fit give you him wi… Never mind. I go get back to una on that issue after a thorough personal investigation.

These na just examples of stereotypes wey the whole country know about. Others dey too. Depending on which part of the country you from or live, you also get your local stereotypes and prejudices. Most of us never personally experience these behaviours from people, but we just believe dem, act on dem and spread dem too. 

People in South West Naija get their own about Ijebu people and money. I no know if e get any person wey done actually meet all Ijebu people and then conclude say every one of dem dey behave in a particular way for money matter.

I know of a family from Onitsha wey fight tooth and nail so that their son no go marry a girl from Umuahia. Dem say Umuahia women no good. In fact their eyes too open (I no sure wetin that one mean) and dem fit drive man to early grave. Nobody bother to actually know the girl or the girl family. Just knowing say she from Umuahia dey enough. The interesting thing say both families na Igbo. If to say their son been bring Fulani girl, how e for be?

In Rivers State where I grow up, stereotypes plenty. The fact say the state get so many groups of people with different languages and culture no dey help too. The most prominent one na say ‘Kalabari men like women’. The first thing wey dey come to my mind na ‘Ehen, dem for like men? Show me another tribe wey the men prefer men to women.’ Most times the girls wey dey yarn this thing never even date a Kalabari guy before and dem no know anybody wey done date Kalabari guy. But dem just sure say the guys always dey unfaithful. But sometimes na Kalabari girls dey talk am too. Then I dey remind dem of the other stereotype wey be say ‘Kalabari girls too waka and no dey stay for their husband house’. Dem go begin defend demselves instantly and I go begin laugh.

And that na the way I dey take get people to rethink these things. E dey irritate me when I meet somebody wey begin act like say e know everything about me and my character because I tell am where I from. So if a Yoruba girl tell me say PH girls dey wild, I go remind her say dem say Yoruba girls dey very dirty and only sabi cook oily food. If an Edo girl tell me say Igbo girls dey all about the Naira, I go remind her say dem say Edo girls dey all about the Euros. If an Ijaw man tell me say Ikwerre men no dey like do anything other than to sell land, I go remind am say dem say Ijaw men dey siddon for house dey drink kaikai while their wives dey slave to feed dem. When you tell people the bad stereotypes about demselves, then dem go begin reason say if that stereotype no correct, maybe some of the ones dem believe no correct too. 

Personally, I believe say we suppose dey judge people as individuals, based on our experience with dem. No be from wetin we done hear about their tribe or wetin we done experience with others from their tribe. We be all different people. Even though we know say some of the stereotypes get tiny truth in dem, we still no fit generalize am to everybody from a tribe. That na big jump. As I been talk for Of Tribe, Politics and Religion, every tribe get he own share of correct and wrong people. E no get a rule wey say because you get pastor for your family, you no fit get ashewo and thief too. So, the presence of thief and ashewo for the family done make the pastor bad person? No need to dey make judgements on people wey you never really know, and maybe spoil a relationship wey for good because you believe something wey no actually dey.

The time to dump these stereotypes and prejudices and move forward na now. Make that change.

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why You No Suppose Marry

by Jonas Dogara
As children, everybody wan grow up fast, become adult and marry. Everybody for him own different reasons. But generally, na about how we see adults dey ‘enjoy’ and how we go like to enjoy like that. Maybe na the extra meat wey you dey see for your papa soup plate or the film wey dem no dey gree you watch after 9 pm or the discovery mama-and-papa play…. Make we leave that one. 

Courtesy: www.bikebug.us
When we grow up and become young adults, attitudes dey change small. When we realise say the world no be as we been dey see am. That ‘enjoyment’ wey we been dey look for, dey come with plenty wahala. At some point, everybody done think ‘I wish say I still be small pikin’. Also, attitudes to marriage dey change, especially for guys. Most girls go still want to marry sharply. For the boys, e dey change. Why e dey be like this? I sure say you get you own theories. That na another day yarns.

The question wey I done ask myself and wey some other people done ask too na, why I need to marry sef? I done yarn with a lot of my friends and family over the issue.  Most of the reasons no dey really make sense to me. Most times people no even sound like say dem dey sure... Others dey sound like say when dem marry, all the wahala wey dey for life go disappear. For my mind, all of dem their head dey touch. But I sure say for their mind, my own head get problem too!

For this piece, I go talk each of the reasons wey people done give me and then tell you why I think say dem no follow. Some, I actually tell the people straight. Others, I just think and no talk. E no go good for man mama to just tear am slap am at this age….

(a)  To be taken care of – Seriously? So as you big reach, you think say you still be baby wey somebody suppose look after eh? Abi you no well? Then you need to go hospital. If you well, then grow up! You fit take care of yourself. You no need to marry for that one.

(b)  For financial security – This na mainly from the women and some men wey their own no good. So una dey look for bank or ATM abi? So while he/she dey secure you financially, who go dey secure am? You see your life? Something do your hands and legs? Lazy thing! Go find work do! You no need to marry to dey financially secure.

(c)    Society expects it – I hear you. Yes, everybody dey marry and e be like say na wetin dey reign now. Every Saturday you dey wear a different aso-ebi and you done be Chief Bridesmaid or Best Man like 5 times! You no wan carry last. So now e be you like say marriage na Mary Kay abi na Indian Hair? Those things dey comot for fashion, you know…. Afterall, Indian done move to Brazilian/Peruvian and nobody dey really hear as much about Mary Kay again as we been dey hear. Marriage no be fashion and if na because of society and wetin e be like say everybody dey do, then you no need to marry.

(d)  To settle down and be responsible – This na one of the yeye reasons. You be dirty water? Why you wan settle? So, for your mind, when you talk ‘I do’ you go change from irresponsible person to responsible one eh? We go forget say you dey thief like nkapi rat, talk lie for no reason, your legs no dey enter house, smoke anything wey you fit wrap inside paper and drink anything wey fit enter cup, abi? Na lie. Bad man na bad man. Same for bad woman. True true you need to change. But no be ‘I do’ go change you. Forget am. 

(e)  For respect – Really? So if dem no dey respect you now, dem go respect you when you marry eh? You done ask yourself why dem no dey respect you now? If you do, you go find out say maybe you never do anything wey go give you respect. Marriage no be really one of those things o. You need to earn that respect.

(f)   Family wants it – Yes I know. But you and me know say no be today you begin dey do things wey your family no want you to do. Yes, your mama no like the cigar wey you dey smoke but you still dey smoke. Your papa no wan take eye see those bum shorts but anytime he no dey, you still dey wear am. So when e suit you, you dey bone family and do wetin you wan do. No need to use family as excuse. Dem never kill you yet for your rebellion. Dem no go start now.

(g)  Parents want grandchildren – Is that so? Grandpikin sweet like that na him dem no born dem by demselves? Abeg move! Life na really your own and not their own.

Courtesy: Funny Marriage Comics
(h)  For children and for your ‘name’ to continue when you are gone – Children eh? I dey laugh you. Dem need to flog your Integrated Science teacher, if wetin him teach you na say pikin dey come as a result of marriage. If na only for pikin, then you no need to marry. For pikin alone, refer to that Integrated Science book wey you no been gree read that time. As for carrying your name, I no think say na children you need. You done hear of Herbert Macaulay? Albert Einstein? Diego Maradona? You know about their children? In short who care whether dem get children or dem no get? If you no do wetin you suppose do, so the world go remember you, no be children go help you. 

(i)    For companionship – So when people no marry, dem dey lonely abi? Na wetin you dey try talk? So from your childhood till now you dey lonely. Sorry, you hear? And when you marry, all that loneliness go disappear? What about the people wey dey come spend every weekend for your place, cook and clean and arrange you well? You, what about that place you dey go like 3 days every week, while you tell your people say na your youth group meeting? You, no lonely now. You get enough companionship. Also, you fit live with anybody wey you want. People dey do am all the time. In fact, after some time, when people come the house to come look for your woman dem go say ‘Oga, abeg I dey look for your wife?’ Na exactly the same companionship without ceremony. You no need to marry for that one.

(j)    It’s the Godly thing to do – Yes we be religious people. I know say you dey go mosque well on Fridays or church on Sundays. But all that religion no prevent you from all the plenty plenty sins you done dey commit. In fact, if you just die now, you done go hell straight! You no dey really do wetin you suppose do, as e concern your religion. You know say na true yarns be that. So, na when e reach marriage you wan form good Christian or good Muslim eh? Ok, na because of the pastor eh? So that the thing wey you dey hide dey chop no go come out for open now. Hypocrite! Bone that thing. Just dey freestyle dey go. E no go make any difference. Whether you hide dey chop something or you do am or open, na the same hell you dey go. Exactly, the same hell. Marriage for church or mosque no go save you from that hell.

If I remember any other excuse wey dem give me I go let you know. But I believe say these ones and my argument dey make enough sense.  E make sense to you too, I sure. If that girl begin worry you, just tell her wetin I done tell you so. If she begin do anyhow, just…. Hold on, somebody dey knock for my door. Ah, my mum.

‘Jonas! Jonas! Jonas! How many times I call you? The thing wey I discuss with you, you been think say I dey joke? I done dey old and I need to take care of my grandchildren before I dey too weak to carry dem. You no want make I see…’

‘Mummy, na before the end of the year. I dey plan for una to go see her people next…’

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Friday, July 6, 2012

One For The Price Of Three

by Jonas Dogara
‘Oya tell me.’ One of the girls for my back whisper.

‘My colours go be green and gold for the main trad. For the engagement I never know yet. I done already see the dress I wan wear go the court for that bridal mag wey you give me. For the church, I done tell John make we order our things from London.’ The other girl answer her.

I turn look dem with strong face. Na church we dey and pastor dey pray, na him these girls siddon for my back dey yarn rust!
‘Thank God say Him be God and not Egbemudede. Thunder for done fire una now!’ I no talk am o. I just think am. But e be like say dem hear am, because dem no talk again.

Actually, my vex no be just because dem dey disturb. Na the gist wey dem dey gist dey vex me. I no know John o, but I done dey pity am already. John done enter ‘one chance’! The sad thing be say, no be only John get that problem. Na our society problem. 

See how many ceremonies the girl dey count. Person wey no know go think say na three different women dem wan marry! No be say I get wahala with plenty ceremony o. Wahala no dey, provided na for television I dey watch am! Gimme Prince William and Kate Middleton any day on BBC World and I no go yarn at all! 

Seriously sha, for a man to ‘fully’ marry a woman for Naija now, e mean say e done marry her like three times! Dem go do traditional, court and church/mosque and dem go invite a million people. For a couple wey no get money full everywhere, to marry now na WAEC. And if dem do only two out of the three, once in a while, dem go dey get questions like ‘When is the white wedding?’

When I hear those kind questions, I dey reply ‘Una dey craze! Na black wedding dem been do before?’ As usual, I no dey talk am out. I dey just think am. 

Friends and family dey also feel the heat, because of aso-ebi and ‘Committee of Friends’. Some go miss the wedding instead of dem not to wear the correct ‘colours’ go the wedding. And dem no dey be normal colours like yellow or blue o. Dem dey always sound like something wey person fit lick. Wetin be lilac and mauve? No be sweets be that?

For we society where people like to show off and prove say dem pass their neighbour, things done pass be careful. E dey put young people and families under pressure to spend money wey dem no suppose spend. Some dey spend everything dem get. Others dey even borrow. For what? To marry the same person three times and invite the whole world? 

E done reach time wey we suppose begin use some common sense for this issue. Nothing stop us from finding correct ways to merge our ceremonies and remove things wey we no need. We need to know say to marry one person plenty times and blow cash no dey guarantee successful marriage. Also, the wedding ceremony no be investment and e no dey bring ‘profit’. Na new life just dey start. And for this new life, couples go still need to chop, pay bills and take care of many other responsibilities.

Somebody just ask me now ‘Do you really think we can change?’

I answer am ‘I do.’

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Of Tribe, Religion & Politics

by Jonas Dogara
Generally, most people fit try make sensible arguments about most of the things wey dem dey do. Even if you no agree with dem, you no go fit talk say dem head no correct. When the issue enter politics and religion sha, e dey change o. Politics and religion na topics wey dey make even those people wey sharp well well begin to craze. For Naija you fit add ‘tribe’ and to that list.

Before the General Elections of 2011, I been dey yarn with some family and friends about the presidential race. Wetin shock me be say, these people wey I dey yarn with so, na people wey you go consider smart in every area. Dem go school, dem done see things, dem dey successful and dem fit contribute well to any discussion. But in this issue of politics, dem no dey make any sense. I ask somebody who e go vote? E say na Jonathan. I ask am why. E say na because the man na one of us (na Niger Deltan). 
‘E done reach time wey we suppose rule o. E done too much for the Northerners sef. Abi na only dem dey?’ E tell me.

I look am and I smile. ‘So na just for that reason?’ I ask am.

‘Yes, na our time. Make Christian rule too.’ E answer.

We argue plenty after that, until e vex say ‘Carry your oyibo ideas comot here abeg!’

But before e vex, I tell am three things.

(a)   We know say most of us no dey see steady light for this country at all. If today, you begin receive steady light for Port Harcourt, you go test the light to see whether na Hausa or Yoruba light? You go reject the light because na Hausa man be president? Or if dem finally construct road come reach your house for village, you go say you no fit use the road because no be Ikwerre man construct am?

(b) Wetin be the benefit wey we dey get if somebody from our part of the country become president? Afterall, our state governors from ‘our part’ of the country. Ibori no be Delta man? How far? Corruption no get tribe or religion. E dey everywhere. Just as Southern Christian politicians dey thief, na so Northern Muslim ones dey thief too. But the more important thing be say just as every part dey produce thieves na so dem dey produce excellent Nigerians too. Why we no go forget where people come from or wetin dem dey worship and look whether dem fit do the work?

(c)  Our people say ‘Na from mess smell you go know shit smell’. Jonathan done be Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice President, Acting President and President. And honestly, I no really see wetin e done do for all these positions. And e never even promise us anything apart from fresh air. For my mind, that na smelling mess. So why you think say him shit go be perfume?

Courtesy: genealogyreligion.net
After over one year of Jonathan, e dey clear say wetin I been dey talk that time no be ‘oyibo idea’ as dem been accuse me. The suffer wey we dey suffer now no dey discriminate between tribes or religion.
All over the country now petrol na at least N97 per litre. For some places e pass that amount. Both for Northern Nigeria and the Niger Delta, our pockets dey cry out. E dey cost more now whether na church or mosque or babalawo house you wan drive go. 

Light still no dey o, but our light bill done go up sharply. That increase of light bill na for every Naija person wey dey use light. Somehow, our wonderful government done get something wey go tell dem who get money and who no get. That way NEPA (or PHCN) go bill people wey get money more. Somebody been tell me quietly say dem dey advertise for dibias. Ehm… no talk say na me tell you about the dibia dem o. I go deny you!

And we go soon begin chop cassava bread, by the way. I no know how e go dey, but any day wey I chop bread and e smell like fufu…

Try remember say people wey dey make us suffer like this from every part of Naija and dem dey worship anything dem like. Christians dey, muslims dey and jazz men dey too. Their religion no help us one way or another. The suffer no be Christian or Muslim type of suffer. Na Naija suffer!
Normally, I suppose believe say when the time come to do something about our present problems, we go do the correct thing o. Like every ‘good’ Naija man, I dey ‘pray’ say e go be like that too. But as I done learn, with ‘smart’ Naija people person no dey know dey know finish…. 

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter