I beg comot jo…

What’s really good all..

After the immensity of the content of last week’s post, I thought I should go with something lighter this week.

I was at making my way home last night and I went to catch train from Kenington tube underground station. This station is equipped with lifts instead of elevators and there are three barriers, one for entry and the two for exiting. When I got to the barriers, one of the lifts had arrived and their was a woman standing in front of the one entry barrier. She touched her oyster card to the reader, it beeped and read, “seek assistance”, she touched it a second time “it beeped and read “seek assistance”. I am by a nature a patient person, but I was eager to get home to watch the highlights of Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester City. My patience was wearing thin after the third failed attempt and I expected her to take heed of the message and seek assistance, No? I was conscious that the lift doors would close any second. She touched the card for a fourth time, and it was unsuccessful. This woman had the audacity to go for a 5th attempt….those who know me best probably wont be surprised by what happened next.

I said, “excuse me”; as soon as she turned around I touched my own card and went through the barrier. I entered the lift and a few seconds later, she followed me in, suffice to say she was not best pleased. If looks could kill, I would be in a mortuary right now instead of writing this post.

The incident has played on my mind since it happened, i don’t think I did anything wrong but what do you think?

Was I right or was I incredibly rude?

 

Till next time- KKB Out

I will not Apologise…

 

#I  WILL NOT APPLOGISE

#I WILL NOT APPLOGISE

At 10:30pm on Sunday, I put my popcorn in the microwave as part of my preparation to watch MoTD. When the Arsenal players came out of the tunnel, I saw that they were all wearing black armbands. The commentator acknowledged that they were worn in tribute to the victims of the recent French terror attacks. This bothered me greatly but I didn’t know why. I put it out of my mind and enjoyed watching my team cruise to a 3-0 victory. This post will not be about freedom of speech, nor defending my faith by saying that the Paris killers were not “true Muslims” or “Islam is a religion of peace”. It rings hollow to many people’s ears. I do find it deeply troubling that people will use the same words that gives me peace and comfort to terrorise others. I am Muslim and I will not apologise.

I woke up Monday morning with a heavy heart. The reason the black armbands bothered me so much was what it exposed-the value/dignity given to human life. The players wore that black armband with good intentions, but I say that if they are going to wear the black armbands for the victims of terrorism in Paris, they should wear the black armbands for the victims of terrorism in the towns of Potiskum and Baga in Nigeria; towns and cities across Iraq and Syria just to name a few. If premiership clubs decided to acknowledge the victims of terror all over the world, every game would begin with a minute’s silence and the black armband would be as much part of the shirt as the club crest. It’s the reality of the world we now live.

After the September 11 attacks, George Bush made speeches pertaining to the terrorist wanting to destroy the American way of life “democracy, free speech” etc. Western leaders have also alluded that the carnage in Paris were an attack on democracy and free speech. I am however of the opinion that it is not that simple.I find it highly disconcerting that the Western Governments including my government “fight” to defend my right to freedom; but support regimes who blatantly suppress the rights of their citizens to the same freedoms I enjoy in all its forms, free speech, the right to vote, civil liberties, human rights etc. “World leaders” show solidarity to the citizens of France but keep eerily silent when the citizens under regimes they call “allies and economic partners” are denied the same rights for which the staff of Charlie Hebdoe lost their lives. My government enacts new Parliamentary bills to fight terror on these shores to keep me safe; but sell weapons of terror to autocratic regimes who deny freedom to millions. I am a British citizen and I will not apologise.

I fear that the world is slowly but surely falling into the abyss of emotions and apathy. On the one hand, the “World” Commiserates with Parisians but on the other we are indifferent to the other victims of terror who died the same day/week. News of terror attacks in other parts of the world are taken with less interest to news of a footballer’s extra marital affair. Sadly, we are now conditioned to have different levels of emotions depending on the location and identity of the victims of terror attacks. Is the blood of a European more valuable than the blood of a Nigerian or an Arab? We all bleed red regardless of the colour of our passport.

Terrorism is the epitome of the inequality and injustice reigning in the world. I say that there is no difference between terrors reigned on the innocent based on foreign policy or religious ideology. There is no difference between an explosion that kills innocents as a result of bombs fired from a military drone or detonated by a suicide bomber;  there is no difference between the terror created by the bullets fired from guns on the streets of Paris; than those from an Apache helicopter over the streets of Baghdad or Gaza.

Human beings are by their very nature violent- power, greed, envy, ego all feed this nature. I am a human being and I will not apologise. I will stand for freedom and justice for all regardless of the colour of your passport. I will pray and mourn for all victims of terror regardless of race, creed or nationality.

#IWILLNOTAPOLOGISE

#IWILLNOTAPOLOGISE

“The very essence of inequality and injustice is the oppression of some; for the sake of freedom for others”. Kabir Kareem-Bello

Till next time

KKB Out

One day it will all make sense- I hope!!!!!!

Happy New Year ladies and gentlemen

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Greetings and Salutations

First and foremost, I thank all my followers for their support over the past few months; I hope to continue the relationship into 2015. Secondly I must apologise from the bottom of my heart for being inconsistent with my posts over the past few weeks. I suffered a severe case of writer’s block, brought on by events, which I alluded to in the preceding post. I have made the decision not to elaborate on some the events for now- but I promise one day it will all make sense. It is with sadness that I have to report that my visit to Nigeria in December 2014 did not yield the results I was hoping for or expecting. It was financially and emotionally taxing but as they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The trip wasn’t all bad though, I had a nice but uneventful Christmas. There are so many stories, which I wish I could have written (if you get the chance, ask me about my nightmare experience at the bank) but I will share two conversations, which gave me serious food for thought. While working in Port Harcourt, I had a rare evening off so I went with my colleagues to the local nightspot. After everybody had drank approximately two bottles of Guinness, Star and Gulder, conversations inevitably turned to the state of our great nation-Nigeria. Sadly, we were having the same conversations I used to listen to my parents have with their friends over 25 years ago; endemic corruption, poor leadership, inequality, substandard education etc. etc. etc. Each one of us imagined what Nigeria could be like with good leadership and unselfish leaders. Then somebody made a statement, which made me fear for the future of our country.

“If I get there, I go chop my own o”

I was expecting my fellow drinkers to rebuke the utterer of this statement but each one of agreed.

“Confirmed”

“Of course”.

I listened with disbelief. What made the statement even graver was that it was made by a 21 year old? 22 years after my parents left Nigeria because of endemic corruption, poor leadership, inequality, substandard education; it was with sadness to hear these words from a representative of Nigeria’s future generation. This round of conversation unfortunately demonstrated the depths of apathy for corruption had embedded into the all aspects of society. My friends cursed the causes of their circumstance but if they had the opportunity to be a position of leadership, they would act in the very same way. Based on this, what hope do we have as a nation?

Some of the stories these guys shared with me about life in Nigeria would best be described as harrowing. They had lost all belief of a better a Nigeria and each one of them (10 of them) were actively searching for ways to leave the country. A couple of them said that if they ever got the opportunity to get out of the country, they would never return. I listened to them intently, and with all the humility I could muster I explained to them that in many ways I was jealous of them and in many ways, they were the envy of many of us in the diaspora. They looked baffled until I explained my reasoning. I shared my personal experiences and struggles with quest for belonging & identity in a foreign land. They all listened keenly as I explained that one cannot monetise the feeling of freedom and belonging. In one respect, we in the diaspora are in a “better position”, but they had access to the language, culture, traditions and heritage of our forefathers- a priceless position. I also shared some of the experiences of others, I enlightened them on the life as an illegal immigrant. “Although things are hard here, you are free; believe me, it’s better to live a life of hardship amongst your friends and family rather than watching your back all time in a land full of strangers”. They all listened in silence as I counselled them on some of the realities of life in diaspora. “There are people who have been in UK for 15, 20 years who have not been able to come home to bury the mothers and fathers because they don’t have papers”. I told them that I would not wish for them to experience the indignation of being treated differently because of their skin colour. “You can live in the UK for 100 years, you will never fully belong. I have been there for over 20 years but I am still asked where are you from originally”.

IMG_4086For at least fifteen minutes, I made them forget all the hardship they faced and enabled them to value the benefit of having access to their language, culture and heritage. As I watched the sun go down over the horizon, I had to face the reality that the effects of the stories I imparted that evening would only be temporary. I would have been naive to think that these gentlemen would remember my words when hunger seizes them and they would have to sell their mobile phones to buy food.

Do not despair, I saw one thing that cannot be vanquished in the hearts of all Nigerians- the hope of a better tomorrow. Despite all the hardships and the pain-hope still reigns strong.

IMG_4066  IMG_4074

Till next KKB Out