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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Poetry: Song of the Fat Girl

It is true the media confers status, set agenda among others. 

And the people every right to their opinions.

In our next poem, you'd see how I conveyed a girl's disapproval of what people think of her which gives me a good laughs at the end of the day.

Hope you'd love it too.

Song of the Fat Girl:

I am the fat girl next door;
And I am fat as fat can possibly be;
My stomach protrudes like that of an Elephant;
My legs are like the mortar’s each;
My arms each too is like a pestle;
In any contest of comparison, if you care to know,
The manifold of flesh on my neck
Will put any lion’s mane to shame;

Wherever I go,
I see disapproving looks on the faces of people
Whom the media has conditioned
To think in certain ways of my type;
While the bold ones would walk up to me and ask aloud:
“Ella, what are you eating?
Can’t you see your weight is getting out of hand!
They would intensify;”

But beneath the breath of others hanging around,
I can tell they are wondering too:
'How did it all come to this?'
They must think of me as being socially nerdish;
Think it’s all down to my unhealthy eating habits;
In short, they must think I am awkward, lazy and ugly;
They even have a name for my condition;
And they called it Obese;
Whatever that means, I don’t keep it a memory verse;
Going through this judgement every day,
It’s little wonder then what many plus side ladies
Daily put themselves through trying to conform
With the media's definition of a beautiful lady;
They could stay off food for insane hours;
Take slim teas at recommended intervals;
Spend whole day at the gym or doing roadwork;
And all they get in return is a fraction of the intended result;
And a truckload of embarrassment from their hubbies or man-friends;
Who would not have them accompany them to social outings;
But since it has become so difficult keeping up
With the tide of their ungodly rule
That only the slim, tall and blonde lady is beautiful;
I think I better set my own rules
And played by them come rain or sunshine;
That I am fat and short
Could not make me any less cute than the rest;
And I am no less endowed on the inside
Than your so called miss universes;
I have heard also within earshot
Of many expressing amazement I could move around at all;
They imagine my body must be way too ponderous
For ease of any mobility:
But that of course is completely nonsensical;
Because a body can't be way too heavy
Its owner would simply be unable to swing it around!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tutorial: How to grasp the Meaning of Printed Page: Study the selection to know its Thought-Groups (5)

In grasping the meaning of printed page, another important step the reader must take is in the direction of determining it thought-groups which are the souls of printed page.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Poetry: Invocation to the Children of My Fathers

To the sudden-blown seeds of ripened fruits
Either washed up along the parched plains
Or fertile soil by the rivers of many waters;
And the ashes remnant
Of a dead old fire,
Which once sing gold like a lyre;
And the dead banana-trunk succeeded
Yet by new tender saplings;
And the deep felt losses and transitional grief
Which are but for a time brief,
Till new a dawn comes with sweet happenings;

Children of my fathers,
What should I say, but first?
Undeniable your good blood and ancestry is nestled so high
Far beyond the reach of world's stores of wealth;
You are indeed as seeds of full grown pomegranates;
The enduring spice of all tasty puddings;

In the heady days of our beginning:
Born on the plain,
           Bred on the rock,
Washed clean in the clear Ogun waters, 
Gently flowing through the city founded on freedom.

I remember the sweltering world of our starry blast
In breathless higgledy-piggledy motions
Like the molecules of glassy substance, love-compact,
Speeding down the future's hall with lustrous appeals;
And then I saw the storm arose within your hearth,
With a sullen looks beating its furious wings,
Against our pleading nakedness as scattered weightless grains;
Orphaned and lonely chasing elusive vows and pledges
Of family and friends.

I saw hot tears from your sorrow gouged soul
Trickle down your eyes;
I saw the day disappeared from the Tree of time
Like a fearful bird on sighting the Fowler's shadow.
And the night heavily descended,
Thicken with uncertainties and fears,
But hanged we to that last popped substance
From that famed Pandora jar;
Who borne equally the brunt more gallantly but all;
Down unfeigned by the sense of loss and deep scar
Gashed on the torturous journey in the lonely deep
Of the valleys and hills of life;

I saw a daring numbers wrestled above the ivory towers;
And another numbers pulled the chestnut
Of vocational instruction out of climbing fire;
And more down proud filial cortege unfazed
By the treacherous roar of trouble waters ahead;
Which always hid from lazy views its innate bridges;
Gazing on the lead of heaven anchored lights,
And seeing with clear vision the walls
Of glorious cities with its Golden Gates ajar rising in the sun;

Children of my Fathers:

Aitete ji inu ota ndun.

Because we tarry asleep small enemies are elated.

Aji tan inu mbi baba won.

Now that we are awake big ones are angry duly.

Children of my fathers:

Aji loni aji sowo.

We are awake today into riches.

Aji loni aji somo .

We are awake today into encirclement of loving children.

Aji loni aji saiku baale oro.

We are awake today into good health the chief of all blessings.

Children of my fathers:

Agbe ko gbere pade olokun wa loni.

Let Agbe brings blessings our way today.

Aluko ko gbere pade olosa loni.

Let Aluko brings blessings our way today.

Odidere ko gbere jije munmun pade wa loni.

Let Odidere brings foods and drinks our ways today.

Children of my Fathers:

Throw your faces some perfumed talc;
And wear your brightly banquet garments;
And fitting ornaments for your necks and wrists;
And your hearts make cheery,
And be merry;
For the time of our mourning is gone,
And the days of our struggles over;

Sons and daughters of my Fathers:
Go to the sea,
     Go to the land,
           Go on air,
 Go among the people,
And write with a pen dipped in the sunlight of courage;
Your fathers’ and my fathers’ names in clear Gold;

You have come a long way,
And so deserve this panegyric ray.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tutorial: How to grasp the meaning of Printed Page: Knowing when the Climax Comes (4)

Hi everyone,

I'm deji, and in this fourth leg of the running tutorial, I'll be exploring as the sub-heading indicated 'knowing when the climax comes' especially in relation to 'Understanding the Unseen' among others.

So, come along with me.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Poetry: He Walks In Glory.

He walks in glory like the sun,
Sweeping the ward of universe with its light;
And cannot be stopped;
He walks in glory like the moon,
Bright and beautiful always upon the night;
He walks in glory like the breaking day,
Tall and famous and cannot be undone;
He walks in glory like the star,
Shinning and whizzing through the midnight sky.
He walks in glory like the expertly beaten gong,
Rumbling forth it mournful trill;
And cannot be gagged.

Let a thousand flowers sprout
Of 'who is who in the Pantheon
Of Yoruba traditional Bards'
To ever grace the stage?
Only a few names can contend
The top stop with him;
Only a few!

With a musical gift so rare,
Simplicity so enduring,
And a voice so mellifluous;
He took the stage by storm,
Pouring out his soul in the praises
Of Presidents and Kings and Chiefs alike;
And of the lowly nondescript,
Whoever comes whoever may.
To this end, he was indeed true to his craft
And to all was fair.

He walks in glory even to the very end;
And to this befitting day, he walks in glory.
Beside the colorful musical feather on his cap,
He had, as it so happened,
Another from his kingdom walk,
That we've come to cherish even more;
So, shall we all rise up on our feet!
That our mouths may speak all the fair orations;
But our hands may choose to give one

Of shrewd applause or generous offering.

*For Juju music legend Commander Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi as he turns 75

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Opinion: Is Supremacy War Any Imminent Between Open and Conventional Universities in Nigeria?

When in 2002, the Open University was revived by the Federal Government of Nigeria after being in the doldrums for 19 years, it was definitely a long overdue move meant to address two key grey arrears in our educational system.

First, it was primarily meant to widen the options available to growing population of students now seeking higher education in the country in view of the perceptibly endemic infrastructural deficiencies in the existing conventional environment.

Second, it was aimed also at achieving a long overdue paradigm shift in the delivery of tertiary based education in line with global best templates.

Global best templates in the sense that educational experts world-over have unanimously agreed that Open University is the way to go if countries of the world are to significantly cut down on the number of students who currently are unable to gain admission into conventional universities.

Close to 15 years on, it’s however surprising to note a lot of misconceptions still surround its activities which has led some people including those who should know into wrongfully imagine it a platform where nothing good can come from.   

But in what ways do Open University really differs from the conventional University, the curious readers might want to ask?

And I’ll say it differs in so many respects.

Let’s look at a few before continuing.

Number one, just as the name denotes, it is an Open, Flexible and Long Distance mode of delivering qualitative university education to all who seek it with special emphasis on greater use of the IT.

Two, instead of classroom lectures, the Open University delivers its instructional materials in module formats and they come in both soft and hard copies.

The student on the other hand is expected to follow through by scheduling his or her time accordingly to be able to derive maximum benefits from them preparatory for the examination.

Three, degree programs in the Open University run for a minimum of four years and a maximum of eight years.

This is so because those conceived the system took into consideration the undeniably varied academic capacities of the students; and by extension the financial wherewithal of their parents or sponsors as the case may be.

Like this, the student is under no strict compulsion to carry more credit load than he or she could possibly carry.

Where a student is financially constrained, as it sometimes happens, the system permits that he or she adds or removes courses to the limits of available financial resources.

In total, however, maximum of twenty four credit unit is allowed to every student per semester.

Four, even if a student registered courses and for unforeseen reasons could not take some in the exam, the system will not unjustly penalised the student.

Instead, it allows him or her to retake the papers in subsequent semester or when it is deemed convenient to the student.

The only conditionality the concerned student must meet is retaking the quiz's based Tutor Marked Assignment {TMA].

Failure to do this, the student stands a risk of missing out on the 30 marks which assignment constitutes. 

Fifth, exams in year one and two at the school are computer based while subsequent ones are written or Pen-On-Paper.
Sixth, while you have lecturers at the conventional University, at the Open University what you have are tutors and facilitators.

It is this high level of unparallelled openness, flexibility and barrier breaking reach that stands the system out and help sell it to anyone aspiring for university education.

The next question should be has the school been able to meet its high-end mandate?

Available evidence as at today indicates that the school has very functional study centres across the thirty six states of the federation and the FCT.

Thereby bringing the school into close proximity of the people it intends to serve.

It is also on record that National Open University of Nigeria graduated it first set of students in 2009; and in the roll call of graduating students was Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria who bagged a post graduate diploma in Christian Theology.

Ever since, both its success story and popularity has been on the upward rise.

And today, it has become a destination of choice for both young and old who seek arguably affordable but dependably qualitative university education that’s relatively free of systemic abuse and officials’ high-handedness known with conventional universities in Nigeria.

History and experience has it that conventional universities in Nigeria are a mad house of academic sadism, cultism, 
protracted industrial disputes, sexual abuse of vulnerable students by randy lecturers and other forms of intolerable excesses that shouldn’t be found in the Ivory Towers of all places.

Presently, its student population is over one hundred thousand and second only to University of South Africa which is the biggest Open, Flexible and Long distance citadel of higher learning on the continent of Africa.

Next are the discriminatory narratives and other matters arising?

It is on record that that which challenges established order, Status Quo, and norm in Nigeria will not go without opposition in one way or the other.

So, the first true test of institutional character for the National Open University of Nigeria came from the Nigeria Council of Legal Education which refused admission to its law graduates on various grounds.

The two which particularly sticks out were what the council called non-availability of lecture or lecturers and deficiencies in the course materials.

As we speak, negotiations are on-going between the management of the school and the council to iron out what the issues are and a lasting solution proffered.

More of recent, the feelers we’re getting are that of discrimination towards undergraduates of the school who go out for their IT/SIWES as it were.

Narratives abound of incidents of discrimination and deliberate exclusion from industrial activities where the students were duly admitted to undertake their IT.

Student after student who came for the mandatory oral defence of their IT intern-ship recently at the Lagos office of the 
Open University gave disturbing insights into how they were treated like intellectual pariahs by workers who obviously were graduates of conventional universities.

The students equally recalled how they put it upon themselves to do anything to prove these doubters wrong. 

In most cases, afterwards, they take solace seeing amazement come to the doubters’ faces after doing what was thought they weren’t equipped to do initially.

They cast doubts over the quality of their learning simply because they did not go through conventional university system like them.

These set of people wrongfully believe going to the Open University is both a waste of precious time and monies on the part of students and their parents.

And nothing in this jet age can be more laughable.

While there’s nothing wrong with people having a near violent affections or esteem for their so called prestigious Alma Mata, a lot is however wrong with anyone holding graduates of other universities in contempt for reasons of surmise academic inferiority.

Every university in Nigeria no matter how poorly funded certainly has its fair share of geniuses or academic greats.

So, it amounts to sheer ignorance on the part of anyone to suggest that only their Alma Mata produces the best.   

By acting in this manner, clearly, many of them are still living in the past in an era where boundaries of not only learning are being aggressively pushed in search of excellence and in many cases too barriers broken.

This is coming also at a time the country is yet to fully overcome the problem of Bsc/HND dichotomy in both private and public workplaces.

Though Open University ideas might look novel or something out of the blues even to the educated; for the record, it is universal and comes with rich history and examples.

Today, societies of the west and the east proudly boast Open Universities without any discriminatory insinuations or talks of superiority of conventional university whatsoever.

Lest some mischief makers think Nigeria is walking an uncharted course, some of the notable Open University models 
Nigeria and Nigerians can look forward to match are The Indira Gandhi National Open University of India, The Open 
University of Singapore and The Open University of England to mention a few.

I think it would be of interest to the readers to know that the founding V.C of National Open University of Nigeria was poached from the Open University of Singapore in the person of Prof.  Olugbemiro Jegede.         

It is my belief that when people take time to inform themselves on new concept such as this, it helps in eliminating possible incidents of unwarranted hostility, ignorance and contemptuous overlook.

The Open University from all indications is a quickened step into the future for Nigeria education system; and urgent steps must be taken to consolidate on its many gains.

And it clearly has its fair share of academic geniuses and growing just as any of the so called prestigious conventional universities whether in Nigeria or overseas.


Tutorial: How to Grasp the Meaning of Printed Page;: Determining the Dominant and Varying Emotions of the Author (3)

In today's post which by now I'm sure you all know is the third in the series; I'll be dwelling on how to determine the dominant and varying emotions of the author just as highlighted above.

OK. So, let's go straight into the nitty-gritty.

Authors, writers and poets like every one of us have emotions or attitudes or feelings which as a necessity they manifest especially in their work as much as in their everyday life.

They simply cannot help it.

Let’s imaging for a second the sight of a mother whose beloved child has just died if she’s nothing but grieving.

Or the sight of a man plodding home from work after losing his job if he’s nothing but melancholy.

Or the animated countenances of kids gazing at a flock of egrets either calmly perched on the backs of the grazing cattle or simply hovering around them.

Or even the sight of school children who are deservedly anxious to but couldn't just access their examination results if they’re nothing but frustrated.

All these are varying emotional whose meaning can never be lost on the perceptible members of the human community.

This is much more so because authors are like stars of the big screen that put their souls in their assigned roles.

And by so doing, they bring fully into the fore without leaving anyone in doubt as to the true essence of the theme(s) or ideas being projected.

Every day, we betray emotions of all kinds depending on how life happens to us; and the emotions could either be dominant or varied as occasions may demand.

An emotion is dominant if the author devotes greater part of his time to it above several others which occurred in the printed page.

While on the other hand, if more than one mood pervades the selection we say the author emotions are varied.

As a rule, hardly is there an author who is not governed by certain attitudes to, a feeling for or conviction towards the ideas or themes behind their writings especially in imaginative realms.

There's hardly an author also who sustain one emotion throughout a written work except the subject or scope covered is narrow.

For instance, an author may sound hopeful in one stanza and in the next appears to despair or show a lack of faith.

But in almost all cases, an author is like an eagle in flight poised to gain necessary heights, for effect, must rides on thermal of varying columns of winds.

The sort of reverential feeling you get when you read Wole Soyinka's 'Mohammed Ali by the Ring Side in 1985'
Readers on the other hand who wish to grasp the poet's emotional meaning must first of all feel what he felt to be able to adequately share with others the beauty of his communicative emotions.

Among the various emotions known to human kind are: joy, sadness, awe, grief, excitement, anger, apathy, sympathy, empathy, envy, jealousy, reverence, humility, hate, love, soberness, fear, courage and confidence and so on and so forth.

Most written pieces from the Bible and other classics of old and contemporary time are bunk with exercises in elements of emotional beauty which the reader as interpreter must grasp if he is to fully appreciate the author's noble endeavor.

In no other poetic selection is varied emotions are made more evident by an author than in this long poem of mine titled: The Business Register.

You'll clearly see how disapproving I was of widow Shoboe, the dramatic personae who I model exactly after the real life personality; most especially for her ingratitude, the disrespect shown to her late husband and her poor sense of business.

After all, we're all admonished never to speak ill of the dead; and in this case a loving dead husband at that.

The Business Register

They were your ideas of a dignified old couple,
Perfect perceptible to eyes,
Index by conservative piety.
There’s a matrimony in heaven consummated you would say.
Its needles the overstated narratives the sail was long
And arduous and many the futile storm
That swift arises to wreck their marital ship. Survived,
Now they proudly berthed at life nocturnal shores.
And subsequent a household name the community wide.

They were your standard torchbearers of the cross;
Mouthpieces of the good news;
They worshipped faithfully as the clock:
Many at the marble-porch parishes;
Many at their humble home;
And not a little nags or fights
Or bedlam was heard from their pious floor.
Except perhaps omniscient nature does record some
Behind closed door, of hearts bruising unseen, untold.
They were proud parents of lovely sons and daughters;
The perfumed emissaries to our stuffy-aired world;
And how as morning stars they brightly shone through
Firmaments of social and religious engagements;
Like they use to say, to know a good family,
Into the children all must look.
The husband is a perfect gentleman widely likable,
Who kept an open door to children not even his from far and near;
Even wayward nondescript were welcome;
And at his table he fetes them equal all;
Quick with rod at his right hand
To prove justice is love to their aberrations;
And with the left draws them close for soothing sermons;
A good man known also gospel by inheritance: His dwelling,
Though a small home with walls un-built;
And bath and kitchen and detached crude convenience unroof;
And ventured borehole and chairs and canopies now on threshold disrepair;
Like they use to say,
A man who raised himself a room apartment,
Has proved an achievers’ grade,
Ceases to be a member of the renters' club!
But sudden died, first, Lord of the house as is often the case;
When from vigil an ailment struck to cast in haste;
And tributary wailing and mourning rend the chamber's air;

Next entered widow Shoboe as heir apparent to estates bequeathed;
A dame hearty and lightly built to sail with all winds;
For whatever they were worth, she has her honours too:
She is a dancing Ikoto as sings the Sunday's Mass choristers;
A leading light among the class of good women;
And ever charming a sight for her years advanced;
Her gifts munificent she bestows more on the haves
Than the haves not; while a typical widow would have her failings blame
On a dear deceased, wax lyrical his multitude of virtues,
Lineage; such alive rarely acknowledge; shrewdly appreciate.
Accentuating the truism: "Till gone don’t know what you have got".
But Shoboe is an atypical widow who by the day more disgruntled became.
Piping to ears unsolicited her vexed notes of ascending murmurs:
Of how meagre the patrimonies, empty the vault;
Of how little accomplished her suggestions profound never took;
Of how once he brought a strange woman, their matrimonial bed defiled;
Of how she could have been history, save God and man;
Of how the union really was a patchwork through the years;
And of how-this how-that poorly fixed never fixed;
Often all these spit fired faced down the narrow balcony
Where beloved Kith and Kin hollowed the dead a marbled rest home;
Not even once did his paean sublime from her mouth freely flowed;
His fate sealed a worst mortal of all, unworthy a husband;
Now five years the thriftless dowager reigned;
Stewardship's to none but self alone rendered;
As ever a working bee save the hive's empty;
Pouched the year's round rents and rates collected;
And in defaulters ears the reminder she crooned
On the go dusk or dawn; in trade all rivalling,
Even tenants struggling starters;
Every known article, she vowed to trade in not too distant future;
Enquire one not on her wooden-stall,
And with lightning speed she ordered it,
Bungling yet the arithmetic of the gains;
At threescore and more life seemed just began
And in it she simply revels; a party freak her ears everywhere
Went for the breaking news; denied invitation the concerned
Mantle sooner arrived with her grievances. Their plea accepted;
Her avail next time she vouched. So consumed to splurge on
Things mundane that not a line or circle or square drawn.
Nor a shade of colour splashed;
Nor a brick added as improved re-inventions to the wheel-heirloom
She's been so critical, mauled denigrate all these years.