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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Poetry: Lines composed shortly after the demise of Nigerian literary icon, Chinua Achebe



..... universal resolution master stroke served:
The abolitionists’ armour frigates scrambled
Hoisting their sails in the waters of imperial Union Jack;
Primary altruistic charge was intercepting merchant ships
Laden of human merchandise bound for the new world;
Swift tactics changed the imperatives of seemed accomplished little;
Attacking the root now is Westminster’s new strategic option;
This, argued, will help nip in the buds the profusion menace;
It belied, however, as history later showed, an impending atavistic ambitions.
Namely: conquest and containment and colonisation or diplomacy;
Dawn of protracted gunboat diplomacy with continental Africa;
Crystallised into invasion 1860, Lagos, and the rest as they say is ……HISTORY.
Alibi, its royal court abounds with slaves;
And trade-missioners poured forth the decks of berthing liners
Into the virgin interior and into Goldie's wide waiting arms.
The future Mastermind of all an empire truly desires
stevedores forth with a mixed bags of imperial cargoes
Check the list-  the barges line's led by holy scrolls,
And books and Guns hidden for the most
Beneath clergies owns' cassocks
Driven by fierce sophistication of racial supremacist legions,
And a hundred years down the line, "There was a country,"
Birthed, arguably, forsooth in the beauty
Of a painless warm incubate struggles.
Nigeria's very promising yet a crudely thoroughbred;
And the gadfly comes, he comes from the east.
He goaded and pilloried gentle and stung prophetic
The slow and unruly and dim witted horse of state.
And for its chaotic excesses and vices and blunders
On all sides through the soft muses of his wondrous art.
The veiled deep activism from his Novels count
Masterfully crafted under ever bright Ogidi moonlight.
And burst forth like flowers with love and concerns
Through such foreboding classics for the obstinate
Beast always gambolling down precipitous cliffs
Where, Things, almost completely, fall apart.   
Post-mortem stalled, thorough or aesthetic, and nothing is learnt;
The clog of all clinical posterity;
And the nation's behind sprawl-draggled choke holds
Still in profusion bends of tragic bubbles
Like an Elephant whale dived too deep at sea.
Though not a hopeless- No longer at ease   
If but his distress calls all and sundry obeyed.
Chinua was an unrepentant nationalist;
An arrow of truth searing the conscience of a straggling nation
Till now forever laid in his sleep of death.
Adieu, the merchant of didactic tales.
Adieu, Chinua Achebe!
  

  
  
   
      
    
  
      
              
          
    

  
  
   
      
    
  
      
              
          

     

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Entertainment : Where is 'Baba Nee'?



Guess he needs no introduction!

Well, if you're still lost as to whom I'm talking about here.

Let me do a brief introduction.

Baba Nee is back in day the hip-hop artiste who had a prolong battle with 9ice, the Gongo Aso crooner, over copyright issues in some of the songs that appeared in hit debut album 'Gongo Ago'.

He alleged then that 9ice used some his songs in his debut album
without due credit to him. And most especially that the style 9ice uses belongs to him.

According to the story, the Omo ghetto crooner insisted that 9ice took his lyrical ideas during a musical competition organized by Kenny St. Brown in 2004, where he performed before him

When he discovered this he was said to have frontally reached out to 9ice for proper acknowledgement but was rebuffed.

This was said to have angered him a lot more so because he had neither the money; nor the clout; nor the record label to fight the battle for him.

After all he isn't asking for financial compensation.

He later resolved to pick the gauntlet by fighting the injustice musically. To this end, he did recorded some songs back then with the intentions to get at 9ice.

I could remember the song: '2ice as 9ice' and the follow up video in which he squared up with a 9ice look alike so that 9ice does not miss the message.

He took the song 'Pete-Pete' from 9ice's follow up album as a response to his allegations which didn't go down well with him also.

At the height of his desperation to settle the score he even called out 9ice to a street musical duel to underscore the fact that he truly owns the proverb laden style now synonymous with 9ice but didn't get as little as 'ear of a camel' for his audacious efforts.

While the beef lasted he indeed had what I’d call snatches of fame. Did I hear you say fortune! I don't know anything about that.

Seriously, I sometime wonder where the guy is now. Not because I sorely missed him. Doubt if any serious musical buff does.

I mean it’s been a long while he did anything of note musically. For someone who lays claim to originality it’s unacceptable.

Could it be that he is after all a flash in the pan.

In contrast, however, you will agree with me that his enemy number one, 9ice, is still very much around and loud too.

It does appear that he's even more mature with an eye for CSR.

Because recently he released an album with eponymous title 'I. D CABASSA' tributary to his pioneering manager with an icing on the cake price that the proceeds from the album will go to him. 


Now the question is who truly owns the tradition or style between the two? 

Is it the ‘Super mother’ singer, Baba Nee or 9ice.

Honestly, it's no hard decision for me comparing the endurance level displayed so far by the two in the game.

While no one will argue about who had had a fickle shine in the firmament of Nigerian music and who is an enduring personality as far as the musicianship game is concerned.

It is very possible they both had an idea of the stylistic concept but Baba Nee I think has the burden of originality on his side but didn’t proof it eventually.

The fact of their differential successes is another sign that one towers above the other. And all fingers point towards 9ice.

For a recap, I don't miss Baba Nee for whatever he's worth musically simply because 9ice cuts it for me and everyone who has got hears for good music.

But those who choose to stick with meaningless ranting of musical losers or cheap popularity seekers if you like like Baba Nee are free.

They can follow him as well into oblivion and we won't miss them either,

Bye and talk soon!




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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Poetry -Stopping by with you on a Nostalgic Midday


Perhaps in death, who would have thought we'll ever be apart!
But that is the way life sometime goes.
You push in one direction,
It pulls you in another.
You hunger for hopes,
It fills you with despair.
You stare defeat in the face,
It surprises you with victory.
You thirst with impatience,
It calms you with waters of humility.
You promised twelve long months a-going,
It stops you dead in your track before the break of next day.

At midday, who would have thought we'll still be alive!
But that is the way life sometime goes.
Imagine the multitude of rainfall
That the earth has drunk up;
The multitude of burnt houses;
The multitude of houses with leaky roofs;
The many kidnapped for ransom;
The many killed for rituals.

Who would have thought you will be married and I would not.
You, who multitude of children
Daily welcome at the door with joyous sing-song
Of papa oyoyo, papa oyoyo till fades.
And I, in an empty home,
A sleepy lonesome bachelor with slimy spit
Running off my mouth at waking time.
Don't tell me it's all for my good
That our musician friend sings that rude advisory song.
When else you see him, tell him I'm looking for him.
He deserves some reprimanding. But the message sinks!

Who would have thought I'll be doing this, not even you!
But that is the way life sometime goes.
Today, I am renewed.
I am refocused.
I am fortified.
And you, I doubt if there is a building so tall
That you cannot climb. And a plank so thick
That you cannot smooth or chop to pieces.
But I trust your carpenter,
You dare not try for food the nails!

                                                For Akeem Adelola.






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Tutorial: How to Find and Use Ideas


I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘ideas rule the world’ more times than you can count.

If this is not a reality with you, it’s most likely you live in some caves underground.

For if you live on this earth, you’d have seen the glory of ideas light up our world per second like moonlight in the nightly skyline

Am I being rude? Of course not, at least, not deliberately.

Now don’t take my word for it. I’m only
joking.

But frankly speaking, everything that’s and will be is a by-product of ideas once held in the mind of men; from your slippers to the flying machine.

Then ideas must be precious and expensive.

Appealing as that thought is, the contrary I can confirm is the truth.

The thing is ideas are cheap and exist everywhere in space and time; and you have to believe me.

The only expensive part, however, to holding an idea is that of EXECUTION.

Despite the staggering evidence all around us both in time past and today, I’ll shock you by saying that the greater number of ideas that have ever been generated are never put to any good use.

It’s either they die as paper tigers or remain dormant in the minds of those who conceive them.

Evidently, countless number of people had died and many more will still die with great ideas; and that I sincerely think is tragic.

This I believe must have trigger panic in some of you. 

Now I’ll insist you don’t worry at all because it won’t help your cause one bit. It never does.

One question that I strongly feel will forever gnaw at the entrails of your evolving lives is ‘are you going to die with your ideas or put differently your dreams,’ unfulfilled? 

My answer to that is a resounding No.

And if you wish you can always achieve your dreams. No matter how frighteningly lofty

It’s only a question how much you want it.

To help you, I’ve think through some methods not just on how to find great ideas but put them to use them and gainfully too.

Which bring us to the question, what is the nature of idea? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1) Idea is a mental picture of solution or innovation to existing problem(s) or solution(s)
Ø    
       2) Idea occurs in a flash.
Ø    
       3)Idea is flighty
       
I      4)Idea is deceptive
Ø        
      5)Idea is a like seed that have unlimited potentials for growth.  
Ø        
I     6)Idea is like a young humming bird that will fly out of sight once it feathered.

The ancient philosopher, Socrates, definitely knew this and he admonishes us ‘To always endeavour to tether the young bird of idea to a stake or else sooner they grow wings and fly away’.
  
 By implication, the basic import of this is to track and record our thoughts on the go by keeping a    notepad or by any devise we     find most convenient.
  
  For me, the traditional tools of pen and paper still do it for me any day.  
  
  But don’t get it twisted; I’ve often submitted to the use of mobile phone when circumstances demand.
  
  Consequently, I’ll conclude by saying ideas are everywhere and flighty.
  
  To own it, you must tie them down in writing. 
  
  Merely holding a mental kernel of it will always give you a regrettable slip.
   
  The four basic ways to find ideas:   
Ø           
       Dig-it-up method:

This involves deliberately finding ideas in books and other forms of printed materials or sheer mental exercises.

Ø    Hand-me-down method:

This comes by way of idea that falls on your laps through generous action of others based on your       insistent solicitations.
Ø         
        Stealing
          
       Now this is unethical. However, that does not make it any less of another way to finding idea. 
       
       Ideas have  been stolen in the past and will always be stolen in the future. 
       
       The only caveat is to be prepared for legal consequences if caught.  
Ø         
       Outright purchase:

I     Ideas can be bought or sold in free marketplace of ideas. There are people and corporations who have well developed and willing    to part with them at a fee.

Testing your ideas:

This is one important if not the most important stage in idea generation and profitability.

It’s equally the most dreadful because it takes a gamut of resources time, money, consistency, sacrifices etc.

It’s like a roaring hungry lion that threatens to devour us. But right inside its belly it bears the treasure. Run for it and you are flimflammed.  

Be sure, however, it’s an endurance fight or race if you like.

And if you have not read of Thomas Edison and his electric wizardry, now is the time to get your hand on it.

You know what, it teaches many fundamental principles about bringing ideas to profitable fruition.

But at the core of it and quite pertinent to our discuss is that you must be prepared to sustainably put your ideas to tests and more tests until you are satisfied the outcome will impact humanity positively.

Putting your idea to use.

There are basically two ways to put an idea to use.

One, an idea can be freely use both in writing and discussion to engage others with view to get more out of their lives.

Two, an idea can be commoditized and taking to the marketplace as products and services.

Readying an idea for the marketplace means it must be taking through the test of fire of refinement and remoulding.

How do I mean?

Let’s take for instance you have a story idea which you wish to put in the public domain.

You must first of all determine in which format it should appear.

And the options available to you include Drama, Novel (short or long) and poetry.
Each formant has its own peculiar characteristics that must be dealt with in detail by the aspiring writer.

As a writer, you’ve gifted with skill sets which naturally dispose you to one or all of these.

Whichever you choose, it must be out of strong conviction that it’s the most suited to the mission parallel to the existence of ability to pull it off.

Like you know story ideas can come from your own experiences or the experiences of other encountered in person or as told by third party narrators.

It can also be close to home or from abroad.

Finally, the thing is you will struggle as Newbie but with time mastery will come through.

Nothing delights than seeing intangible ideas take tangible forms as product and services that change our world for good.

If you ask me, nothing gives me joy than words used to good effects both in speech and in writing especially.

As I welcome you to a new world of idea generation and utilization that promises career self fulfilment and human advancement. 

I say ‘may your road be rough’, in the word of Nigeria’s social crusader and Ecclesiastes Dr. Tai Solarin of blessed memory!    

Even if it makes you painfully squirmed in your genuine strides, you nevertheless will agree with him that the road to success is never smooth. 

Indeed, it’s long, tortuous and contoured.

Talk soon!

Deji.



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Friday, March 17, 2017

Education: National Open University of Nigeria and its Harbinger of Uncertainty.



Although education is of strategic importance to Nigeria’s growth and development; and at the core of her millennium development goals, but still a lot of work is begging for attention in that sector.

Nevertheless a giant stride was some time ago achieved especially in the tertiary level of her education system and that is the resurrection of the National Open University of Nigeria in the year 2002, by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

Established way back in 1983 by the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari
 but became moribund shortly without any cogent reason at least in the public domain.

It revival, however, came at a time when there was a growing need for paradigm shift from conventional campus based university education to a more unconventional open, flexible and long distance mode which is the practice in many countries around the world.

Informed by the country’s growing population and of youths especially, who are year in year out frustrated by their inability to access university education through the existing conventional means with all its systemic inadequacies.  .

The Open University is a unique system which allows students to accumulate credit units based on their intellectual capacity and financial strength; and at the same time gives them the latitude of maximum of eight years to complete their course of studies.

Other attractive waivers include being able to drop course(s) especially around exam time for whatever reason.

Permission to carry a maximum of 24 credit unit load per semester provided the student has the capacity to handle the attendant pressure.

The only caveat being that, if badly flunked, the student will be denied access to similar opportunity in subsequent examinations.

Unlike what is obtain in the conventional set up, the system allows for freedom to retake missed examination papers the following semester or as deem convenient to the student without any negative implication on the student’s CGPA..     

From inception fourteen years ago, it has grown steadily both in fame and fortune in relation to its pioneering mandate of delivering qualitative and cost efficient university education to the country’s teeming youths and adults as well who remain ever thirsty for university education.

From the era of its founding V.C, Professor Olagbemiro Jegede, poached from the Open University of Singapore who steady the ship of this flagship university despite storms of financial constraints, dearth of infrastructure and administrative bottlenecks that are characteristics of public institutions in Nigeria at take off.  

He was succeeded by the equally effective Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe who achieved a milestone of first two semesters per session in the year 2014 and onward.

Before then, it is on record that the school could only do a semester per session and it was due to no fault of his predecessor who operated under a most stifling condition.

Those who are familiar with the school will attest to the seamlessness of its working across faculties and departments in recent years.

Especially for a school that runs largely on information technology, doing anything on-line is usually tear-free and that is kudos to its I.T department and the web operators, Cyberspace Technologies.

For these reasons, the school became quite popular and students enrolments simply sky-rocketed.

Today, the school proudly boast over 120,000 students and counting; it currently runs programmes in the following seven faculties namely:

It's second to none in sub Saharan Africa and followed closely in second spot to the University of South Africa in student's population or enrolment, programmes on offer, and reach.

From the scenario described above, it is clear that the school is having the best of time and there is no stopping it from reaching all enviable mileages.

Then on board came bespectacled Professor Dr. Abdalla Uba Adamu, who holds double professorships in Science Education (1997), and Media and Cultural Communication (2012) from the Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.

An appointment which, many believe is meant to reflect the country’s federal character in principle and practice.  

Though his appointment caused a mix reaction when it was announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on the ground that it did not followed established procedure governing succession of Vice Chancellors in Nigerian university.

It was, however, allowed to pass.

The other snag is that he did not come from the Open University system.

Would that proved his undoing?  You never can tell.  

After a year or so in saddle, things are beginning to unfold which to a large extent are contrary to expectations of consolidation of sterling achievements by his predecessors.

Within a touching distance of the second semester examination of his Vice Chancellorship in 2016, he mulled and experimented with the idea of replacing the school website which practically made it impossible for many students to properly register on their portals.

The question on the lips of many then is what is wrong with the site in operation?

If none, and could not have been because the site has served the school since inception, then this is only an attempt to stamp his visionary footprint on the school’s sand or merely to help himself to some coins.

It’s a common knowledge in Nigeria that appointment of this nature is usually seen as ascendancy fraught with self aggrandising opportunities.  

Affected students had to resort to manual registrations; something long thought to be history in the school.

Additionally, tutor marked assignments (TMA) was equally affected.

During the examination proper, grading was surprisingly done over hundred instead of the customary seventy.

In the current 2017 academic session, it officially became public knowledge that the old sit www.nou.edu.ng has been discarded for a new one with the domain name www.nouonline.com.

And that is fine by stakeholders who neither have a say in the day to day running of the school nor foresee any glitches cropping up with its working.

A transition ran into a hitch.
But who in the 21st century does something like that without adequate arrangements for data movement from the old site to the new one. 

Now uncertainty pervades the air with special regards to senior students.

For no cogent reason many of them were oddly not captured by the new system, and they were still being made to go through manual registration in which particulars like I.D card or anything to identified them as bonafide National Open University of Nigeria’s students were been demanded.  

If that is not ridiculous for a school which long pride itself as forerunner in the digital adaptability where pushing the boundary of education is subject, I wonder what it is.    

After the initial submissions, it does appear that many still cannot be traced on the system, and another round of information was required.

This time states of origin, local council arrears, sex, and date of birth were itemised.

But as members of technology savvy generation, you wonder where the data are simply gone.

Without much ado, it smacks of gross incompetence and visionary gamble on the part of the school management led by Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu to say the least.

Another example of institutional corruption which had long bedevilled the country for which a war is been waged by the current administration.     

In addition to all of these challenges, the school site has always been down due to what insiders claim to be maintenance exercise.

And for a site not up to three months going through routine maintenance nothing can be most unbecoming.

Above all, it has only led to increased sense of anxiety and frustrations in the minds of concern students.

And they can only watch as the drama unfolds while fervently praying for speedy solution.

For indeed, they have no one to whom to appeal except the V.C, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu whose responsibility it is to ensure the smooth running of the school who so far has but proved to be a harbinger of radical changes which only breed uncertainty and frustrations as by-products.    .  
   



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