*This post is dedicated to Dr Stella Adadevoh and the thousands of African health workers who have died and those who risk their lives on a daily basis to treat victims of Ebola. You are unsung heroes of this crisis, your sacrifices has saved millions and will never be forgotten.
Most who have been following my blog can probably tell that I am an amiable chap. I try to be impartial and objective in my view points, but this is some bull sh*t…yes I said it and I will say it again…THIS IS SOME BULL SH*T!!!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, it about that time again, another “Crisis in Africa”, and here comes Sir Bob Geldof and his Celebrity Avengers assemble to save Africans yet AGAIN. The cynic in me is forced to ask “How come this guy only seems to turn up when there is some sh*t going on in Africa”. There have been countless disasters across the worlds since the last live aid, haven’t there? (There is a school of thought which argues that shit has been happening in and to Africa since the Europeans landed hundreds of years ago). I am not one to question their intentions, only God knows what’s in a man’s heart. But for me personally I find Live Aid 30 patronising and I question its effectiveness in the long term. Do they really have to make a record? Why don’t these artists just come together, each donate just 1% of their astronomical total wealth anonymously and be on your way.
Let us play devil’s advocate, let’s just say I am in total in support of recording this new single to help raise money to fight Ebola in Africa, I find it a little disconcerting that there was just one African singer in this “stellar” cast of musicians. (Please correct me if I am wrong)
Now, this not to say that I am against charity fund raising and providing Aid where and when it is necessary. I have good things about the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The British public have been generous on numerous occasions, they have dug deep when they were called upon and I am sure that their donations have saved millions of lives. All our hearts and prayers goes out to victims of the Ebola epidemic, but what I wonder what the Live Aid 30 single can do that charities such as Medecin San Frontieres and Red Cross, World Health Organisation, and World Leaders cannot. (The later duo messed up royally). In this social media age, the Ebola crisis has dropped down the list in term of news. I suggest that more people care more about Kim Kardashians revealing her booty than Ebola. I am not the first to question the impact of Live Aid. I am sure that that it has had an impact in saving many lives since its inception. Since the first live aid event in 1985 for starving Africa, the world has created more billionaires and but millions are still are still hungry.
I propose that Live Aid 30 is not the answer. Africa should stop being seen as a victim that needs rescuing. With the right resources, effective leadership, dedication, sacrifice and little a luck, Africans can do for themselves. Case in point; Nigeria. I propose that we look beyond Live Aid and Aid in general. There are deeper issues which keeps so many countries in perpetual poverty. If WE (humanity) stand together and confront these root causes, there will no longer be a need for Live Aid in the future- ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
I am forced to ask the question that nobody else seems to be asking, what is going to happen after Ebola has been eradicated? The root causes which enabled this disease to take hold and kill thousands will still be in place: abject poverty, lack of education, poor governance, poor infrastructure, poor health care, astronomical national debts etc etc. What’s to stop another killer disease from devastating another poor nation in 2 or 20 years? Ebola has killed many of the bread winners from countless families and orphaned thousands more in the affected countries. What will happen in the aftermath of Live AID 30 reaching the Christmas #1 spot in the UK singles chart? What is going to happen if (or when) another disease strikes again and poverty is the cause of thousands more deaths?
With all that being said, I am sure the money raised from this single will go towards fighting this killer disease and help thousands, for that we must give kudos and be grateful. For those who purchase the single, I urge you not to forget the victims of this particular tragedy but also remember other victims who have diseases that don’t have the world’s attention. I just want us to look beyond……….
“In each individual is the ability to change the world for the better, all that is required now is the Collective WILL.
Till next week; KKB OUT.
*KKB acknowledges and salutes ALL the aid workers who are saving lives and helping to fight this disease.
#Going beyond October, Slavery, School, Icons, Heroes, Inventors, Civil Rights, Race……….!!!!!
A person who does not have a clue to his or her history stands a very poor chance of mapping out a future. Dr Maya Angelou
Kilonshele my people
This week’s post is the 2nd in the Quest for Identity Series which will henceforth be referred to Q4IS. I trust you have all had a wonderful October which as some may be aware was Black History Month (BHM) in UK. Honestly, I had no idea. I have not really been one to “celebrate” this event for reasons which I am still trying to decipher. The subject of “history” and “black history” has been marinating in my mind for a few months now, it coincides with my own personal quest for meaning. The catalyst for this particular post is a viral video called “#what I wasn’t taught at school” made by a young man named Samuel King. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNfH41-LI4w) Kudos to Samuel and his team for this courageous undertaking. I have had similar views for quite a while now and I agree with a number of points he highlighted. Unfortunately I will not be able to provide a full debrief of the video message but I will attempt to go allude to some of the points made.
He made a number of valid arguments, the most critical of which being that “We” are taught the same thing every year during BHM e.g. Aparthied, Slavery and the Civil Rights movement. Nothing new is ever taught. Based on this, he feels that he is not able to take BHM seriously and I am sure many people feel that way too, especially the young. One of the core issues highlighted is that there is so much that “We” are not told. He poetically goes on to name a number black Icons/Heroes I had never heard of, for example the black men who invented the light switch and the traffic light, the richest man to ever live was King Musa of Mali and the first Black Roman emperor was Septimius Severus. For me, the most poignant point he made was “there is so much to learn in one month”. I say therein is where the problem lays. I will attempt to take philosophical approach the question I have posed above. I must confess, my knowledge of BHM is limited at best and I am not exactly a Rhode Scholar when it comes to African History. A number of questions should be asked before assessing the relevance of BHM but I will focus on two.
I write this post with the utmost humility and unintended ignorance. I am thinking from the perspective of the brand “Black History Month”. I understand that the original objectives of this concept was to create a “facility” for black people in the West (America and UK) to learn and celebrate their history. The first question I would like to ask is “what is Black History”? Personally, I find this term restrictive. I suggest that it puts every black person into one category without acknowledging individuals or group’s country, tradition, culture, tribe, language, religion etc. When I was in secondary school (1992-1996), during BHM, I learnt about the Civil Rights Movement, Aparthied, Marcus Garvey, and Martin Luther King amongst others. Thinking back now, as a young Nigerian-British boy, and without diminishing their significance or contributions, I am forced to ask myself; what the hell did the civil rights movement in America have to do me as a young Nigerian in diaspora? Ironically, I didn’t know I was black until I arrived on these shores. Learning about Olaudah Equiano would probably have made a greater impact on me and many others. Now in 2014 Nigerian-British man in his early thirties, what impact will knowing about Septimius Severus or King Musa have on my quest for identity or fit into my personal history. Looking at it from a different perspective, how pertinent are these men to my 14 year old nephew? Born in England, his father is from the Benin tribe and mother is from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. This is not to say that learning about Olaudah Equiano would be more beneficial to him. Like others, he has to find his own “starting point”. But on the flipside, learning about King Musa and Septimius Severus could serve as an inspiration to an individual or groups in a society where perception matters a great deal. Learning about these individuals may not only inform about the past but could also serve to empower and liberate the present generation. For too many years, there has been a negative perception of Africa and the origins of the black race. So if just one person is inspired by the Civil Rights Movement or King Musa, who am I or anyone else to determine its significance. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king!
It would be impossible to learn about “black history” in one month or in one lifetime. The wealth & diversity of black history, and the differences within the black community (another term I have a problem with) in the UK should to seriously acknowledged. I noticed that Stephen used the pronouns “WE” and “OUR” with all good intentions, (I cannot testify of his meaning) I suggest that it may be counterproductive to his argument. These are unifying words but may also mask the issues which I personally don’t feel has been acknowledged or fully discussed. For example, I have seen many fights break out when a black person has been called an “African”. On the other side, many black “Africans” who arrive on these shores straight from (and on) the continent do not consider black Americans’ or West Indians Africans. I suggest that the transatlantic slave trade is not a subject most “Africans” are aware of or can connect with. Although all black people share the same source, each one of us has a different starting point and will take different paths when it comes to charting his or her history. The starting point and paths for the British, Jamaican or American’s history will be very different from that of Nigerian or Senegalese. For example, the starting point for every Nigerian would be the amalgamation in 1914. But the path to learning about my own history would be based on the tribal history of the Yoruba’s.
The second question I would I like us to consider is: who is responsible to teaching “black history”? A few months ago, I received an e-mail from a friend asking me to sign a petition calling for more black history to be taught in his child’s school. After much pondering, I opted not to sign the petition. The reason being, I am an advocate of the philosophy of developing a pluralistic society. I remember when I arrived in 1992; one of the most fascinating things about my primary school was the array of different races and cultures which I came into contact with. What would happen if every race or ethnic minority requested/demanded more was taught regarding their relevant history? Even more significantly where would the school begin? Going back to the point of vast differences and richness in diversity! Ladies and gentlemen I put it to you, KNOWLEDGE IS INFINITE; TIME IS LIMITED (KKB ©). It could be unproductive to rely on one or few sources to gain knowledge. Ultimately I believe that the quest for understanding one’s history should start within oneself but the foundations for this journey should begin at home. BHM, schools, parents, etc should not be taken as a holistic source of information, there are limits to the type and level of information they can provide. They can be the “starting points” but then it up to the individual to determine the paths taken.
We also have to take into account the impact of Globalisation vs Tradition. In the globalisation age, the easy access to information has probably diminished the desire or ability to take an interest in history. There is a general consensus that traditionally, African history was passed down orally. I may be wrong but I believe this art is in decline or has been lost as a result of globalisation. (Google is god post) In another twist of irony, in comparison to the young Africans on the African Continent and West Indies, young Africans in the diaspora like my nephew and Stephen are at a far more advantageous position if they want to learn about their history.
In conclusion, I would say that BHM as an entity is still relevant but I would suggest that it may need a change of strategy to acknowledge changes in society. The gradient must constantly be on upwards trajectory, if you are standing still you are regressing. I would suggest going beyond History, and begin to encompass topics such Philosophy, Art, Sociology, Politics, Language, and Science. I propose that BHM can be used as a “starting point” for individuals and groups to learn about their own history and that of others. I strongly advocate that individuals take responsibility for learning their own history with the objective of sharing their knowledge to gain an understanding of the other’s history. I am in favour of the ethos QUID PRO QOU: “I learn about mine, you tell me about yours”. The desire to understand one’s history should be relevant to each individual’s quest for identity. (I acknowledge that not everybody has a desire to learn about their history). Before embarking on the journey, I would urge you to reflect on the quote below by Confucius “Learning about history can easily produce nothing but a list of details and facts. One needs a comprehensive framework that gives coherence to everything one has learned”. My take on this is: “one who embarks on a journey into history will probably have a more productive experience if they define the purpose. Catalysts, reasons and desires will be different for each individual but ultimately it should have meaning. The objective of learning history is to get an understanding about past traditions and cultures that could change individuals and society for the better. What is learnt about the past can be applied today with the objective of creating a better tomorrow for future generations”.
Ultimately ladies and gentlemen, Black History is part of World History.
Where is your starting point and what path will you take?
Thank you for your time, I hope you found the post illuminating. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below or challenge any of my arguments.
Till next week…….
*A small addendum I would like to make is that “WE” should not romanticise “Black History”, “WE” don’t all come from Kings and Queens. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Kilonshele my people
Hope you are well. I trust you have enjoyed my recent posts and I am grateful for your support.
I would like to invite you all to take a journey with me over the next few months. This is the first of many post which aims to focus on a subject which has been on my mind for the past few months, the concept of Identity. The world has gotten smaller over the past few years with the advent of air travel and advancements in global communication. One of the effects of the creation of the global village is that the methodology of defining one’s self or the “other” has become more complex. Identity now transcends boarders; we now live in multiracial, multicultural, and multi-faith communities. (And any other multi- you can think of). There are so many “labels” which we can use define ourselves as individuals and/or as part of a group.
For example, I can be described black man, but does that go far enough to define who I am. How far does race go in defining one’s identity? Do I have to act a certain way because I am “black”? What about my culture, tradition and nationality. I am of dual citizenship, British by culture and Yoruba by tradition- which one best describes me? How does one define oneself with so many labels to choose from? What does it mean to be African? Do Africans have superiority complex about being “real” Africans? Do African Caribbean’s and Americans romanticise what it means to be African? Can a person with Indian origin born in Uganda be considered African? There are a million questions I could pose but this is just the beginning of the journey. Identity can divide and can also bring people together. Over the next few months, I will be inviting guest writers to share their perspectives and personal views on what it means to be……
I will post the views of one or two guest writers a month on this blog site, there will be no restrictions on what each writer presents, no discrimination based on age, race, sex, nationality, faith, etc etc etc…all views are welcome. This is a very important subject which I believe requires frank discussions and open dialogue. I hope to use this blog as forum for people to share their views and get answers to some of the questions they may have. The objective is the get the perspective of a wide range of individuals and groups which will culminate in an anthology of thoughts and ideas which we would all benefit from. It would also go a long way to form the basis for the documentary I am currently working on currently tiled: The Search for Meaning.
For a personal perspective, my quest for identity began when I left Nigeria as an 11 year old in 1992 although I didn’t know it. I was standing 173 meters above sea level when I realised that I had continued a journey which I thought I had completed. I will reveal more over the next few months, if you would like to join me on my quest…..stay tuned.
Till next week
Oba drove me to Lagos today, I had no exact plans but I was hoping to discuss my report with Zmirage COO but the staff are so busy I was not able to talk to anyone for more than five minutes. So I decided to jam with my uncle TJ and his family in the office, as usual it was an enlightening experience.
I spent the night at my dad’s house and I can’t say I had a great night’s sleep. I am waiting on some news which I am hoping goes my way…. that’s a discussion for another day. Oba arrived to pick me up around 9:30, he was feeling a little unwell so he wasn’t his usual chatty self during the journey, I had a lot on my mind so I didn’t talk much either, additionally the third member of my entourage Muyiwa had returned to work after his long annual leave, so there was that void. The journey to Lagos was not okay in terms of traffic, but I felt so sorry for Oba when I saw the level of traffic jam he would face on the way back to Ibadan. We entered Lagos around 11:30am and on the way to the hotel, we decided to stop at a buka we had visited before for a spot of lunch, alas it had moved to another location. Oba decided it would be best to drop me off at the hotel and begin his long journey back to Ibadan asap. We dropped my back and I immediately jumped back into the car so that I could be dropped somewhere I could catch a bus to Zmirage offices. At my required destination, I jumped out of the car while it was still moving because there was a risk of being fined heavily if caught by the traffic police. I took an okada (motorcycle) to the office and the surprised look on my Aunty’s (Iya Ife’s) when she saw me was worth the petrol money alone. my cousin Fola was also there, the last time I saw her in Nigeria was as 10 year old in her school uniform, now she was a confident young lady studying law in Abuja. After exchanging pleasantries with family and co-workers, I had a brief discussion with the COO and I chilled with my extended family. As I said, spending time with my uncle is never dull, and he gave me provided me with some insight into the challenges Small to Medium sized enterprises faced in Nigeria.
Zmirage are currently building the stage and theatre set for play/musical called SARO and the family said they were making their way to the location so I decided to join them. I had only planned to stay in Lagos for the night but I extended to 2 nights at the last minute………this will become relevant later. We all piled into my Uncle KIA and made out way to the Continental Hotel in Victioria Island (VI)- this is where my day became interesting. On the way to the hotel, Uncle detoured to another hotel to have a brief meeting with some technical people. While waiting, I became thirsty so decided to purchase a bottle of water. Being the chivalrous gentleman that I am, I asked the ladies I was with if they would like a drink. My aunt and cousin declined but my colleague Haneefat accepted my offer. I walked into the hotel bar and asked for two bottles of water, the barman went to the back and came out holding a bottle of water. Before he could tell me the price, I said “I wanted two please”. “You wanted two, ok sorry”. With that he got me another bottle as I had requested. I opened my wallet as I asked how much I owed “=N=600” came the reply. My knees damn near bucked under me, I became so disorientated that I was not able to tell the difference between the =N=200 and =N=500 notes in my wallet. I knew I would have to pay a premium in VI but this was daylight robbery. I sipped that water slowly to make sure I enjoyed the every single drop, but I know I am gonna lose sleep over this incident.
When we reached the hotel, I saw the hall where SARO was going to be shown, I made the spontaneous decision to stay to watch how the stage was set instead of going back to the hotel on the main land. It was an interesting night, the technical crew were due to begin setting the up the stage at 12am, so the boss told some of us to relax at the hotel that had been booked, you don’t know how pissed I was when I found out it was the same hotel which burned me earlier to the tune of =N=600. The hotel must have been a bad omen for me because I slept on and broke my glasses. We made our way back to venue at around 12am; to say I was less than useless would be an understatement. Everyone there had a job to do, electricians, carpenters, sound engineers; I just stood watching them create this amazing set. I slept for about an hour in my uncle’s car and I continued my job as a spectator. I am writing this post and one hours sleep. I left the venue at approximately 3:30 pm today but I am too tire to write about my journey home, but I promise that if you are patient you won’t be disappointed with tomorrow’s post….
Till tomorrow KKB out………………………
My mum’s side of the family, the Adewummi have a tradition of meeting at the family house in Abeokuta the day after ileya. After the exertion of the day before, everyone was a little tired in the morning. I had heard stories about this meeting in Abeokuta so I was really looking forward to it, additionally I had never visited the family house in Ijaye. After much shouting of ejekalo (common lets go), and I don’t want to be late o, we all piled into the people carrier. I asked my mum what time the meeting was due to start, “10am” she replied. I looked at my watch, it was 10am and we were just driving out of our front gate….. typical!!!!
The drive to Abeokuta was uneventful, the first 20 mins was lively with chatter but everyone was pretty exhausted so there was minimal chatter for the rest of the journey. The road from Ibadan to Abeokuta was a lot smoother than the Ibadan to Lagos express which can be officially deemed a death trap. We arrived at the family house in Ijaye at approximately 12pm, surprise surprise, the event had not yet started. After greeting and hugging family, we were told that some of the other VIP’s (my uncles) were still on their way from Lagos. My aunty took me to pay my respect by my grandfather’s grave at the back of the house, it was a special moment. After that, my entourage and I sat under the canopy for about 30 mins, after which we decided to go and sit in the car until the event began out of sheet boredom. When we reached the car, we saw a beer parlour across the road and we made our way there. We ordered drinks and just jammed. I enjoyed sitting just watching the world go by, I enjoy going to Abeokuta because the houses allowed it to retain its sense of history. I met an absolute angel, (cant upload pic yet) in the form of a little girl, the innocence in her eyes warmed my heart. I called my Uncle Alhaji Moshood who was coincidentally in Abeokuta and he joined us within 20 mins. We stayed at the joint jamming till about 3pm before making our way down back to the house. Surprise, surprise, the event still had not started the Imam and some other VIP’s had still not arrived. I was introduced to uncles I had never met, distant cousins, in depth explanations of how everyone there was somehow related.
The VIP’s arrived around 3:30pm and the event began, the event was a special prayer to comererate the life of my grandfather Alhaji Bolaji Adewummi (RIP). It went well, although it didn’t go according to plan. We took pictures, ate and met a few more family members, around 6pm, the party began. Around 8pm, we moved to another family holding Eid celebrations for the neighbourhood, we ate and drank some more. My entourage dropped my mum, aunt and myself at the hotel we would be spending the night around 11pm, after dropping us they promptly went back to the party to continue the partying.
This was when I realised that I was having problems with my internet dongle, I assumed that it was because of the location and would be able to begin posting upon my return to Ibadan…………….how wrong I was…….
Till later……………..KKB out.
(Currently having problems uploading pics, will do it later
Kilonshele everyone. I know I have not posted in nearly a week and I am very sorry. It was a combination of things namely not being able to access the internet using my dongle. I was very busy so I was not able to go to the cyber café, in addition I was suffering from a bout of exhaustion which meant I had to rest over the weekend, no travel no writing, nothing. I hope you can all forgive me. It’s a real shame because so many interesting things happened between Tuesday and Friday, I will combine it all into this one post.
As I finished my last full post, I felt uneasy because I didn’t feel the same level of excitement the night before Salah/Eid Kabir as I did as a child. One of the core reasons for this was because my siblings were not with me, it was just me in the same house without all the energy and company of my best friends. I have missed them a lot on this trip but I did not realize how much until the night before Salah. I realized that I was trying to re-create some of the happiest memories of my childhood- this is impossible. The reasons those times were so memorable were because it happened as it was supposed to, it was not planned. It wasn’t until the morning of Salah that I realized how much my siblings were instrumental in creating my happy childhood; I missed them that morning more than any other time.
I was ready by 7:30 am, I put on my aso odun (festival outfit) which my dad had ordered from his tailor, I spent the next 15 minutes looking for a hat that would fit my enormous head, after trying 4 or 5 I finally found one that fitted me. My father, stepmom and Mr Manager left for salah prayers around 8:30am. On the way to the praying ground, the memories came flooding back when I saw families wearing their finest matching aso odun, people buying their sacrificial rams at the last minute, even the policemen were in a jolly mood. We drove into University of Ibadan mosque as we had done all those years ago and it seemed that nothing had changed. People and cars were making their way to the mosque to meet the 9am prayer time. We found a parking spot and my dad and I made our way to the prayer site which was outside the main mosque building. I followed behind my dad as I had always done a child, but the only difference this time was that I was taller than him and he was not holding my hand. The praying ground was packed to the brim, we found a couple spots just in time and we sat down. The Imam led the prayers, it was a beautiful sight as thousands of my fellow Muslims and I performed the required two rakat prayers. Upon completion of the prayers, the Imam delivered a sermon which I couldn’t hear properly because of the open space and the loudspeakers were not great. While attempting to listen to the sermon, I heard some call out Kabir, I instinctively turned to the direction where my name was being called and noticed that 4 or 5 other people did the same thing. The sense of belonging I felt at that moment is indescribable, here Kabir is a common name, it like John or Charles in the UK.
The sight I had waited almost 25 years to see was moments away, the slaughter of the ram by the chief Imam. Everybody was staring in the same direction, there was a sudden commotion and all in unison hundreds of worshippers cried out Alhau Akbar. I looked and saw the Imam holding a bloodied knife in the air, this to signal that the first sacrificial ram had been slaughtered so everybody can go home to slaughter their own rams. I had always wanted to see this but before we left for the UK, but I was always too short to witness the spectacle- mission accomplished. Everything seemed to have remained the same, the hawkers, beggars, and traders were still around, the only significant change was that 20 years ago, only the privileged few had cameras, – today a lot of people were taking pictures on their smart phones.
We arrived home around 10am and the preparations for the day began, I changed into my `work clothes` and prepared for the slaughter of my father’s ram. Mr Manager and a couple of my father’s employee prepped the ram for slaughter by tying three legs together as it lay on its side on the concrete floor; I assisted by covering the animal’s eyes with its ears. Under the watchful eyes of my father who was watching from the balcony, Mr. Manager put a sharp knife to animals throats and cut……I watched in silence as death came swiftly. After my minimal contribution, I was a spectator for the rest of the day’s events. I watched as the employees put the carcass on the fire to burn off the hair, it was then chopped into pieces and given to the women to cook. The whole process took about 4 hours and by 3pm , I was eating fried rice and three piece of fresh meat. It was nice spending Eid Kabir with my dad in my own house in Akobo- but truthfully it was not like I remembered it.
Oba arrived to pick me up around 4pm and we made our to my mum’s house in agara which was more livelier than my dad’s house in Akobo. They had slaughtered two rams for the occasion and the party was in full swing. As customary, during Eid celebration, food was packed and delivered to my mum’s neighbors. Muyiwa and Oba had invited their friends round which made it a more festive atmosphere, I got some food joined them, I enjoyed their company but at a certain point I felt I didn’t really fit in- it made me miss my friends back in London a little bit. My childhood friend Titi came round and I spent most of the evening with her. I escorted Aunty Sheri to another Eid party her friend was hosting in another part of town which was fun. We returned home around 10pm and continued the party till around midnight.
As I went to sleep that night, I suddenly realized something which had eluded me for nearly 33 years: the reason they call Eid Kabir “Odun ile ya” in Yoruba. Ile ya means going\ coming home in Yoruba but I did not understand the significance of that title till I drifted off to sleep. Over the past couple of days, when people where talking about their preparations for Salah, most of them talked about going to their home towns or villages to celebrate the festival. Others , when making their travel plans would consider the best times to travel because of heavy traffic due to people going home of eid. Ile ya is called that because people literally go home.
Although the day did not turn out as I had remembered, it was a wonderful day and I am grateful I was able to spend Eid Kabir at “home”.
(sorry cant post any pics yet, dicey network connection!!!!!!!!)
I know i have not posted in 4 days, its not fault. my internet dongle has stopped working and i have not been able to access the internet. i am currently writing this quick note to you all in a gruby internet cafe in Challenge.
I promise you you patience will be rewarded.
Till…………..I dont know KKB OUT…………
Salam everybody. Apologies for this very late post, I have been very very busy over the past couple of days preparing for Eid Kabir celebrations. It is just like I remember it before I left 22 years ago, the atmosphere if filled with a celebratory mood, and I currently smell of ram. My siblings and I bought our dad’s celebratory ram this year, may Allah continue to bless us with this gratitude for many more years to come.
It’s been an exhausting couple of days, the drive from Lagos to Ibadan was long and tiring. I saw a young street hawker who gave me inspiration for my new book, I have never seen anybody work so hard for =N=100 (less than 50p). There was a lot of traffic and he was trying to sell a bottle of apple juice a Hausa man who was travelling on top of a trailer. He threw the bottle to the man who was not able to catch and it fell back to the group. The hawker had to run after the bottle while making sure that he did not get hit by the now fast moving traffic. He picked up the bottle and sprinted 200 meters towards the trailer which was now further down the high way. He threw the bottle up to the man and he missed again, any normal human being would have given up but this guy picked up the bottle and sprinted again towards trailer, the third attempt was successful and the Hausa man dropped a =N=100 bill onto the road. As a boy picked it, he was inches away from being hit by a commercial vehicle but he skilfully served his hips at the last minute. He was sweating like a race horse and as he went past our car, I rolled down the window to say “Ku I se” (well done) “Thank you sir”, he responded.
I was suffering from a slight cold which had become worse by Sunday morning. I was meant to follow Muyi to church but I was too exhausted so I gave it a miss. There are many great feeling in the world, such as making love to a woman, carrying a new born baby or watching Arsenal beat Spurs in the North London derby. One of the greatest feelings in the world comes curtsey of NEPA (Nigerian Electricity Power Authority or Never Expect Power Always). Yes you are reading correctly, NEPA although this feeling would not be possible if they were efficient. (I am currently writing this post in pitch darkness) Anyway I had difficulty sleeping on Saturday night; in addition to my cold, I was very hot because it was humid night. By 3am, it felt like I was the gates of hell, that’s how hot and uncomfortable I felt. Suddenly I felt a cool breeze come over me, NEPA and returned the power and the standing fan I had left on began spinning. This cool breeze is not something I can describe; you have to experience it to understand. My whole body just feels coooooooooool. If I was given a choice between this particular cool breeze and a million pounds, I would choose the cool breeze. It comes a close second to watching Arsenal beat Spurs in the North London derby. !!!!!
I did not have the energy to write a post yesterday, I was just too tired. Sorry!!!!! People been blowing my phone asking for their daily fix of KKB. Muyi and I went to my dad’s house to pick up the ram he had bought my mum for Eid Kabir. I told my dad about my experience in Lagos and he looked very proud of me. My mum returned from her trip to Lagos with my Aunty Sheri, I love when my aunt is around; there is never a dull moment. The preparation for Eid Kabir celebrations is tangible; everywhere you turn people are purchasing rams or are making their way to their family home in other states to celebrate. Traffic in Ibadan today is ridiculous. Early this morning we went to Bodiga market pick up a ram that my aunt’s friend had bought for her. This is one of the reasons I smell of ram. I can wait for Eid tomorrow. I will spend half the day at my dad’s house and the rest at my mum’s house.
I have come to the realisation that this Eid won’t be like I remembered because my sibling Morufat, Moruf and Karimot won’t be here with me……………………………… till tomorrow KKB out
KKB- RAM WRANGLER
I have spent two full weeks in Lagos and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time here. I spent most of my time working so I didn’t get to explore as much as I wanted to. I am grateful for the time I spent, it was a real eye opener, I learnt a lot about myself and I have a better idea of my path in life. I have met some truly amazing people and have had a wonderful experience.
It’s a bit of a bitter-sweet moment for me today, I am going back to Ibadan which I am looking forward to because I need to rest but also I feel that there is still so much I need to experience in Lagos. Eid is next Tuesday and I am really looking forward to it. Even before the big day itself, I can feel the difference between here and London. Everybody here is looking forward to the big day, some people are making plans to go and buy their rams, looking forward to going back to their hometowns etc. when I say everybody, I mean Christians and Muslims equally. After work yesterday I took my work colleagues (two of whom are also my cousin Tunde and Abeeb) out to say thank you. It was a very interesting evening, we bonded more yesterday than over the past two weeks, I learnt a lot about the Kareem family history and I have made it a personal project to draw out the Kareem family, it is going to take a while, there are a lot, a lot of us.
For the past three weeks, I have felt a sense of freedom that one can only feel when one is at home. Not that I don’t feel at home in London, but that freedom is tangible/organic/regulated, the total freedom I feel in Nigeria can’t be described, it is unique and same feeling cannot be felt by two people. (Sorry, I don’t mean to insult your intelligence, I know you know what unique means).
I was meant to go out last night with my boy G, but this dude fell asleep so I went out with Peter, one of new friends from the “People you meet……” post. My entourage are on their way to pick me up from my hotel, I am currently chilling with my aunty Alhaja Kareem at the hotel. I am about to chop some yam.
I had plans to make this post a lot more interesting but I slept with the air-conditioner on all night yesterday and I have come down with a cold so I am not in the zone- apologies. Hopefully I will feel better by the time I get down to Ibadan and be inspired to write something better……… till this evening or tomorrow….KKB out.