However, MAN-U is still the best team in the world. End of discussion.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
MAN U vs Barcelona
However, MAN-U is still the best team in the world. End of discussion.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Watching this I am shocked at how little I know, as a Nigerian, about the enviromental problems that has and continues to exist due to oil. It is a total disgrace. Now I understand why these young people are so angry.
His voice began to get dimmer and dimmer as another voice rang loudly in my ears, “WHAT DID YOU DO? WHY IS HE HITTING YOU?”I jumped a little at the sound of this voice, and I looked around, turning my head slowly and gently in order to see who was asking that question. Even as I was turning my head I knew that I had heard the voice in my head and that this voice, which sounded vaguely like my grandmother’s, was asking me questions that I would never ask myself.“Umar,” I croaked, “honey! Why?”Umar started as though I had struck him. “Are you asking me why? You are really asking me WHY?” he slapped me at this point and my already weakened body slid to the ground, I was shaking and tired, but not Umar! No! Umar was like a man possessed. He kept shouting at me, he ranted and he raved, and then he acted like he was going to hit me, causing me to cower into the wall as though I could pass through it. As he continued to rant, I started to cough. Deep boisterous sounds that rattled my whole body and put me in even more pain.
... To be continued........
Monday, 25 May 2009
THE BEYONCE EXPERIENCE.......
On saturday I went to see beyonce live in concert and it was FREAKING AMAZING! I am not the biggest beyonce fan but I have seen videos of her perfomances and we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate end of term, and boy was it worth it!! And as usual you know I'll describe it to y'all in excruciating detail!
Firstly we got GREAT seats, which was a big fear as we got the tickets just 4 days before, from one those sites that re-sell it, which meant we paid £10 more than the company price, but it was worth every penny!
Secondly, the crowd was very diverse, for e.g to our left were these gay couple(the guys were too fine ohhh, what a loss for womankind lol), and on our right was a father and his 2 sons(soo cute)! There was also a large number of couples but surprisingly very few black people.
Most importantly, the crowd was liveee, and they definately get you gingered even if you are not her biggest fan. I was at the Thisday show in London, and the people just sat there in silence like they were at a funeral. I dont know how far with Nigerians forming at shows oh. My friend went to the hip-hop awards in Abuja last week and said people just watched and clapped. How dull! When I'm at a show, I sing at the top of my voice, dance, jump, shout, whistle and wild out until I tire myself out! Luckily I went my crazzy friend Alero, and this babe took it to another level. This babe blocked my left ear with screams and she lost her voice the next day!!
The show was meant to start at 7.30 and it started at exactly 7.29 (chai I love British timing). The first act was this lady that looked and sounded like Amy Winehouse who was pretty decent. She sounded like a really good kareoke though, but was quirkey and fun! The second act was Shontelle, the Barbados born pop star with the songs 'T-shirt' and 'Roll it'. This lady seemed to be put there to show how amazing Beyonce is because she was so BORING! OMG she looked like she just woke up from sleep and was just walking from one end of the stage to the other tossing her very very long (*cough*horrible*cough) weave! I just wanted to pass her some of my red bull after she did her 'roll it' dance because she looked exhausted! We showed her love though cause we were super-hyper at this point.
Then there was a 10min break which got people really restless. Just as I was starting to get impatient, the set opened to reveal her all girl band, big mamas back-up singers and the sexyilicious dancers. She walked onto the stage with the song "Diva" and its safe to say people lost it, the screaming was too much! She is wayyy more beautiful and skinny in real life! But her voice sounds exactly like it does over her songs.
Now we came up with 3 theories to explain her brilliant performance:
1)Shes using some sort of jazz
2)She was high on some sort of illegal drugs
3)She has a stunt double
That is the only was I can explain it. It is inhumanly possible for one person to have this much energy. To sing alone is tiring, to dance alone is exhausting, to entertain and co-ordinate a one person show takes calculation, to keep changing outfits and switching up the tempo is complicated, but to do ALL FIVE things at the same time has to be either be a rare gift or due to one of my reasons above(and I am inclined to think its the latter lol). There was no break, and she only left the stage to change outfits.
She performed EVERY SINGLE SONG on her new album, although some were cut short. She also did her major songs from previous albums such as Baby boy, Check up on it, Upgrade you, Deja Vous, Irreplaceble(which she let the crowd sing completely, this is the point we lost our voice and my hand started hurting doing 'to the left to the left' lol). She then did the destiny child classics such as Survivor, Bug a boo, Say my name, Loose my breath, Independent women(which this guy in front of us was yelling the words to......yes very disturbing). It was 3 hours of pure unadultarted entertainment. She has a way of engaging the audience, and you can tell she does this all the time. Her energy is infectious to say the least, because she gives it 100%. The outfits, the sets, the timing, the choreography, the lighting, the story telling, the effects, all come together to give an ecstatic climax(no it is not an exaggeration!).
I would definately recommend it to anyone because its a guranteed good time. And for all Beyonce haters, no matter the issues you have with her, you can never deny that she gives it her all. I just wish that whatever I do in my life, I am as dedicated, hardworking and committed to it as she is!
Miss B xoxo
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Heres a video I took with my camera, if you ignore the inherent screaming, tone deaf singing, shaky hands and crazy waving, you can get the general idea.......lol
NIGERIAN DEMOCRACY ---TEN YEARS ON..........
We have seen 1.5 presidents within this time with one man presiding for eight good years and then handing over to an ailing man. We have witnessed a supposedly successful recapitalisation of our local banks (that was until the stock market turned a cruel hand on them) and our insurance sector..hmmm not sooo… successful recapitalisation . A Nigerian became the most beautiful girl in the world and we have also seen two other Nigerians getting in the highly envied Forbes worlds wealthiest list. In the year 06/07 Nigeria boosted its highest rate of foreign investments due to the world banks declaration of Nigeria becoming an emerging market to watch. Real estate reached its all time high with skyscrapers and luxury flat complexes sprouting up in every corner of the Island. The New York Times did an article on the lavish lifestyles of Nigerians in contrast to the abject poverty within the same country. We hosted the greatest football team in my books…glory glory MAN UNITED!!!! And we are about to host the under seventeen world cup.
The national judiciary now flexes its muscles with a show of authority through election nullifications (as seen in Edo and Ondo state) and ensuring the rightful winners rule the states. Lagosians love for Fashola has not been shown to any other govenor, because he is doing an AMAZING job in lagos. And my personal favourite of all our successes the local content clause, which ensures that all multinationals(aka oil and gas companies) operating within Nigeria, who are awarded local contracts must employ at least 70% of the local citizens within the working teams .Which also led/encouraged to the PPF scholarship fund which grants tuition schlorships in engineering and specialised courses at reputable world class universities.
Democracy has allowed some great minds hold some key positions even though for a short while i.e Ngozi Okonkwo and Mummy re-branding extraordinaire Dora A.
The birth of the telecommunications sector is another democratic success, it has helped to bridge the gap between Nigeria and the west, remember the days when if u travelled abroad u could not call home to let them know you had arrived alright and had to write a letter instead..hmm seems so far back but its really not that far back.
Small and medium scale companies are being birthed everyday as long as the founders are willing to work at it they become successful(ok ok with a bit of egunje here and there also helps). Privatisation is the order of the day with the Nitel deal still on the table. Tourism has improved in our country with big thanks going to Rivers state and the calaber Christmas carnival.
We have hosted major artists from all across the globe, but more importantly, We have restructured our own local music industry and grown to LOVE it, even more than the foreign stuff! This has given hope to the youth that they too can be the next P-Square or D'banj!
These are just a few of the things that democracy has achieved over the years. I think the most important is that the sense of frea has been removed, with military rule, anyone can be killed at any time for toeing the line, speaking thier mind or fighting for change. Now people, the media and other countries can safely criticize and question the government and those in power without fear for thier life(to a certain extent). Democracy has brought with it hope to the Nigerian people. Although it has not been utilized to its maximum, at least it has started on the journey. But can you imagine any of the prior listed occurrences happening under Gen Sani Abacha. NOPE!!!! I don’t think so.
Many Nigerians equate the success of democracy to economic success, but you see democracy is only a political system and not a policy or programme its fundamental nature is that it provides people with choices. I mean a clear case of this are two prominent economies, India and China. India has been a democracy since 1947 but still remains one of the poorest countries albeit an highly staked emerging one, while china which still suffers from communism has become one of the most rapidly expanding even though their people remain without political rights as seen after the Sichuan earthquakes.
We spend so much time complaining about our country and never appreciate our few glory milestones. Yes we still have a really bad reputation and a long way to grow, but it’s a working progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Continuation and further development lies in our hands although I fear for tomorrow as the children of today are way more greedy, lazy, and inpatient than those of yesterday. There is more interest in what they can gain from Nigeria and not what they can add to it, with that sense of hope, hardwork and discipline loosing to the ideology of get rich quick or die trying! But lets not loose hope and stop dreaming cause as we have all learnt from the African Americans there is power in THE DREAM!!
Friday, 22 May 2009
VANGUARD'S LIVING LEGENDS
*Chinua Achebe -Writer
*King Sunny Ade -Musician
*Enoch Adeboye -Pastor
*Dora Akunyili -Minister of Information
*Chief Emeka Anyaoku- Former Commonwealth Secretary General
*David Dafinone -Accountant
*Aliko Dangote -Industrialist
*Philip Emeagwali -Computer scientist
*Anthony Enahoro -Democracy activist
*Gani Fawehinmi -Human rights lawyer
*Yakubu Gowon -Former military head of state
*Nwankwo Kanu -Footballer
*Balarabe Musa -Politician
*Olusegun Obasanjo -Former president
*Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu -Biafran leader
*Anthony Okogie- Cardinal of Mt Carmel of Mostacciano
*Hakeem Olajuwon -Basketballer
*Wole Soyinka -Nobel Laureate
*Pat Utomi -Economist
*Akintola Williams -Accountant
Although this list is not according to populartiy, I agree with most of it, but not all. Firstly, what is Hakeem Olajuwon doing on that list? When was the last time that guy even went to Naija? Now I have nothing against him, he was a legend in his own right, but unlike other Nigerian sports men who have been recognised abroad, he has not been as forthright as he could have. Other sports men like John Fashanu and Kanu have been very prominent in helping youth with sports and other charitable work.
Kanu definately deserves to be on the list, and I consider him to be one of the greatest sportsmen to ever come out of Nigeria. His classic rags to riches story, his humbleness, and battle with heart problems have made him an icon all over the world. But it is inherent love for Nigeria that stands him out from all the other great Nigerian sportsmen.
Another person that I look up to, especially as a lawyer, is Gani Fawehinmi and he definately deserves to be here. As the one of the first lawyers in Nigeria to fight for human rights of people, he set the ball rolling for people like myself that have no interest in commercial and litigation in Nigeria which is where the focus has always been(because thats where the money is). He was also the first to produce Nigeria's weekly law reports amongst various other publications, and it is one of my dreams to work for his chambers!
Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and King Sunny Ade are certainties for the arts.
Mrs Dora Akunyili is another Nigerian Legend, and embodies the saying that what a man can do, a determined woman can do much better! Her feature in Time magazine, also shows that her selfless work has gained her international recognition. Whenever I am arguing with people who believe that as Nigeria is so corrupt, since we cant beat them, we should join them, I use her as example of someone who is willing to show that sometimes, our goals are bigger than ourselves.
I would have preferred that religious leaders were not includes, as thiers is a calling, but if they must then no one is more deserving than Pastor Adeboye. Even though I am not a christain, I believe that he is a man of God, and greatly admire his humitly which is refreshing in this age of the armani and gucci wearing twenty sumthing year old pastors!
The bussiness men -Aliko Dangote is also another man no one can argue should not be here, and whom I greatly admire. This is because growing up in the North, we are not as entrepreneuring as those in the south. It gives a great sense of pride when one of the few northern bussinessmen turns out to be the most successfull in Nigeria, and become a billionaire in dollars, through hard work alone, with no (apparent) meddlings in any politics. It is also his humbleness, simplicity and media shyness that makes him that much more unique.
Akintola Williams was the first African to qualify as a chartered accountant. He founded in 1952, the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa, Akintola Williams & Co in Lagos, which is the largest audit firm in Nigeria and so rightfully deserves to be here.
David Dafione and Philip Emeagwali I did not know well until now. But thanks to the power of the internet(shout out to Nigerianwiki.com lol) I feel quite ahamed as they are prominent people.
David Dafione is apparently an accountant, bussinessman and patriarch of an accounting family listed in the Guinness book of records as having the largest number of accountants in one family. He is also the owner of the Ceddi Plaza in Abuja and was one of the leaders of the movement for the creation of Delta State in the 1980s. I had vaguely heared of him, but not as a Legend.
Pat Uomi is a presidential aspirant that was the former adviser to various presidents, academic and lecturer. He is one of the best economists in Nigeria, with several publications under his belt. In any other country, a mind this sound would be advising us on financial issues, but then its Naija!
Philip Emeagwali is computer scientis/geologist who was one of two winners of the 1989 Gorddon ll Prize, for his use of the Connection Machine supercomputer to help analyze petroleum fields. He supposed to be a genuis and one of the few actual scientists that Nigeria has produced and definately deserves recognition for his work. I never heared of him, but we definately need more people interested in science in Niaj mennn, actually we just need more people interested in fields that do not bring the quickest money!!
Generally, I do not belive that ANY politicans alive should be classified a legend. If Nnamdi Azikwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa or Samuel Akintola were alive then there would be no question. Obasanjo could have been classified as a legend in his earlier days but definately not recently.
However, Yakubu Gowon only makes the cut because he prevented the secession of Biafra during the Nigerian civil war. Which brings us to the question of why Emeka Ojukwu is classified as a legend? His actions/inactions as you may see it, lead to the death of thousands of people, in what has been referred to as genocide. Although I believe he started out with good intentions as a reaction to the mass slaughter of Igbos in the North, we are inevitably always judged by the consequences of our actions and not the intentions we originally had(see Mugabe for reference).
I will classify Anthony Enahoro a legend because my dad loves him, and so I am a bit biased. I remember him as the chairman of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO; a pro-democracy group that fought against Abacha till his death.
Balarabe Musa I do not know much about, just that he was the former govenor of Kaduna and is a radical socialist, which is not commonplace in Nigerian politics.
He described Nigeria as "a drunken giant, still groping in the dark, that seems not able to find her bearing".
It is hard to get an opinion on him, because politicians in Nigeria are always viewed differently by people either supporting or against them.
Personally, I think some of the greatest Nigerians are dead! So heres my list of greatest dead Nigerians:
*Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
*Queen Amina of Zazzau
*Chief MKO Abiola
*Mrs Kudirat Abiola
*Sir Ahmadu Bello
*Samuel Ajai Crowder
*Chief Bola Ige
*Ken Saro Wiwa
*Funmilayo Ransome Kuti
*Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo
I know that people like Murtala Mohammed and Tunde Idiagbon should be on the list, but I tried to avoid military men as much as possible.
There are still a huge number of both recognised and unrecognised Nigerians who are doing great things, and are legends in thier own right.
So heres my list of greatest living Nigerians:
*King Sunny Ade
*Jay jay Okocha
*Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
and finally my dad, M.M Bolarinwa, one of the most hard working Nigerians alive!
What do you guys think of my list? Are there any that should/shouldnt be there and why??
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Race Issues in Naija.....
Second, in a country of more than 140 million people, why should a foreigner be the one that ends up on the cover? At the very most she should be tucked away somewhere in the middle pages. We are Nigerians and we want to see other NIGERIANS on the cover of our magazines thank you very much.
Also, in case you don’t realise, the population of caucasoid people in Nigeria is insignificant when compared to the Nigerians. Therefore, they should also be insignificant as far as our media is concerned.
No, I am not being racist. Think about it. There are really no more than a handful of white and semi-white people in Nigeria. (yes, I know there are at least a few hundred but 1. most are in Nigeria on visas of some sort 2. they can never wield any kind of political power 3. they have no say in any of the affairs of the country.
Now, let’s be logical here. Magazines, advertisers, etc, all want to make money, and so they put whoever they think will sell on the cover. This is where the problem lies. LOGICALLY, a sensible magazine editor, advertising agent, blah blah blah would put an interesting, engaging, enterprising Nigerian with brilliant business acumen on the cover because LOGICALLY this would be attractive to most if not all Nigerians that fall within the range of this magazine’s target market.
Now observe the illogicality of this magazine cover. There is an (Indian?) on the cover along with a half-caste girl (who by the way gets a pass by virtue of her Nigerian DNA).
How many Indians are there in Nigeria?
The Indian population in Nigeria is far too small for it to influence Nigerian media in ANY way. A magazine editor with ANY amount of business sense would know this.
At least in America there is an argument for the use of minorities on magazine covers because those minorities have SIZEABLE, and SIGNIFICANT populations that are actually worth marketing to.
Tell me why should a magazine cater to the miniscule handful of Indians in Nigeria while excluding the rest of the population?
What rubbish! This is bloody Nigeria and it is far more important to see Nigerians on covers than any foreigner.
More importantly, why should an Indian get the cover of a Nigerian magazine sold in Nigeria when there are 29 Nigerians to pick from?Why should Nigerians be forced to relate to an Indian as a role model and celebrity?
I don’t know about you but I think What’s New magazine is trying to sell to 140 million people not 140.
No Indian magazine will EVER put a Nigerian on the cover. Hell will freeze over first and we’ll all go iceskating in the Sahara before that happens.
As far as I am concerned, Nigerians FIRST everyone else LAST. ALL countries put their nationals first and treat them better, why not us?Why do we always have to be the self-sacrificing idiots that offer ourselves up to be used as a footstool for anything that even so much as mouths the word ‘foreign’?
I want my baby cousin to grow up seeing successful, amazing NIGERIANS on magazines and on TV and admiring them and wanting to be like them.
I do not want my baby cousin to grow up wanting to be Indian and hating the fact that he is Nigerian because even though he lives in Nigeria and is surrounded by Nigerians that look just like him, the only celebrated people he ever sees in magazines are Indians and white, and Chinese and God knows what else.
Foreigners have been treated like gods in Nigeria for far too long. They are FOREIGNERS. Technically, they should have limited leeway compared to Nigerians but inexplicably it’s the other way around.
Maybe Nigerians should stop lying to ourselves that we are Christians and Muslims and just admit that we worship the great god ‘Non-Nigerian’.
If you do business in Nigeria, then you MUST make EVERY EFFORT to tailor your business to meet OUR needs and OUR wants, and you MUST ensure that you relate to the NIGERIAN experience.
Why should Nigerians spend their hard earned money on a magazine that won’t even deign to put them on the cover? Tell me. WHY SHOULD WE?
The way Nigerians come and defend these ridiculous behaviour you would think that Indian publications are awash with nothing but Nigerian faces.
Excuse me while I laugh - Kpehe Kpehe.
Blank. Fucking. Stare.
Take your black ass to India and see what happens to you.
Stop defending them. This magazine cover is wrong no matter how you look at it. What’s New is not an Indian magazine, it is a Nigerian magazine that operates in Nigeria. If they cannot represent Nigerians on their covers and give Nigerians their most important features and stories then they should shut down and get the fuck out of my country and move to damn India where they can put all the Indians they want on their covers.
After all if they put a Nigerian on Vogue India it would sell maybe one copy at a steep discount.
Please! Give me a damn break. Nigerians FIRST in Nigeria. Everyone else get in line behind the NIGERIANS."
Sunday, 17 May 2009
The Next Big Thing........Freida Pinto
Her cover on vogue is stunning, showing how versatile she is, but you cannot question her red carpet style with outfit like these......
She loves her floor lenght gowns
I loveee this Chanel chic
D statement belts
Notice her SEXY heels in every one of these pics, plus her hair and simple make-up make her a true hollywood diva in the making.
CASH OR CREDIT 3.........
Nigerians are known for their excellent time keeping skills; well sometimes anyway.
Musa, the front gate man for Holloway Grove sat on the third step watching the drama, in his opinion he had best view this side of the continent.
He was a 55 year old man with wise eyes, thick dark curls for hair and a heavy Hausa drawl. He had been a handsome man in his youth and still was in fairness but he never noticed that. His very northern features-pointed nose, long jaw and high cheekbones showed no wrinkles against his dark complexion and Sandra the receptionist occasionally complained that he looked almost her age, this made Musa laugh. His apparent calm earned him a fan in the young receptionist and most days he ate his lunch for free. Musa had done his fair share of hard labour in the unrelenting pronominal heat of the north during his youth and now he felt ready for semi-retirement which is what he got here. Musa did not mind his job, he received mediocre pay for doing mediocre work and that was fine by him, as long as he earned enough to send his children to school back in Nasarawa State he was content.
Peeling an orange Musa quietly whistled, and fiddled with the volume control, to keep the noise of his portable radio at an acceptable level. His dark curls shone in the bright sun, wet from the ablution of his morning prayers and just as he was about to raise the rind of his fruit to his lips he saw the new “bature" looking girl glide in through the staff entrance. He remembered her from last Thursday, mostly due to her nervous constant finger wringing but today she seemed to glow. Musa recalled Sandra explaining a weird conversation between the new girl and Kabir the Architect. Musa understood; Kabir seemed to have that effect on women, he attributed the bitter tone in Sandra's voice to sour grapes. Although, as he watched the young girl delightfully skip her way towards the glass chrome doors he felt slightly concerned by her giddy disposition. She smiled at him and half-knelt in greeting, Musa nodded back a response and watched her smile broadly and check her reflection in the glass doors, he sighed. He knew Kabir and he worried for the young girl.
9.00am Monday morning and Jen strolled into the grand foyer of Holloway her heels clicking loudly on the marble floor; passing by the empty reception desk- the lycra receptionist was late- she smiled reminiscently at the glass sculpture and made her way straight for the elevator. Everything was wonderful today, nothing could bring her down. She passed the interview last Thursday and looked forward to her job as Junior Auditor for Prada & Co, she had a wonderful boyfriend and she was wearing new Kurt Geigers. Producing her brand new staff card Jen virgin swiped it at the elevator and gave a little dance as she was electronically signed her in and the doors silently slid open. Her manicured cranberry painted finger nail pressed the fifth floor and Jen summoned up Kabirs scent as the elevator rose slowly to her office. It seemed a life-time ago she had stood in this glass box staring at his startling beauty, as her blush began to deepen the doors stopped at her floor.
The floor was just as large as Kabir’s office and five sun windows adorned the white-washed walls. It was a rectangular space and the fifteen square shaped cubicles offered adequate work surface. The cream carpets stretched all around the front area and down the hall to the printing and faxing section. The MAC computers quietly hummed, having been switched on from the mains and the coffee machine bubbled away.
Her boss Mrs. Susan Shaw had her office situated at the centre of the floor. A round glass box, offering no privacy, for better transparency, she had told Jen during her interview. Mrs. Shaw had already arrived and was elbow deep in paper work despite being the only one in the office, Jen admired her commitment. She walked towards her door and knocked quietly against the dark panelled wood
“Morning Mrs. Shaw” she whispered
Her boss looked up startled. In the dull glow of her table lamp her blond hair looked silver. Her face had reached a stage where it had become susceptible to wrinkles but in the quiet of the morning her skin shimmered, her green eyes appeared alert and distracted at the same time and the dark spectacles atop her head gave her a head-mistress look.
Balancing the telephone in the crook of her left shoulder, Mrs. Shaw gestured to one of the empty chairs in her office and apologetically pointed to the telephone. Jen nodded in understanding and took a seat. She listened as her boss brokered a transaction with a mobile service provider, occasionally jotting down numbers and calculating percentages, she seemed to have five arms with the speed at which she operated. Jen knew her boss was Liverpool University alumni and was married to an Ijaw man, although she maintained her maiden name. He worked from home as a landscape architect and she was a high-powered financial force to be reckoned with. Jen saw The Shaw’s life as a future prediction for her and her beloved Kabir.
Jen busied herself by staring at the framed picture of her bosses kids on the mantel piece displayed besides her Trusted Staff award. Taken at the beach, the 10year old identical boy and girl twins beamed brightly at the camera and proudly showed off their red plastic buckets and matching spades, blue sea and the crooked sand castle they had built were in the background. They had arms around each other, curly half-caste hair and light brown coloured skin dripped water and their matching blue swimming trunks were soiled with sand. They were beautiful to look at and the image made you smile. Honestly, the picture looked like a poster for M&S kids’ summer collection
“Nne Kedu" her boss said sweetly into the telephone receiver
Jen’s head jerked up, she knew her boss spoke Yoruba almost as good as she did, she also heard Mrs. Shaw conversing with the security guard in broken Hausa on the day of her interview as she walked Jen out; but Igbo? That was seriously impressive. Jen listened intently to the one-sided conversation.
“Ewu...” Mrs. Shaw said jokingly
“Is it me you want to cheat? You promised u know.”
“So I should expect your boy when?”
“Okay darling. You’re my favourite again"
Mrs. Shaw hung up laughing and turned her full attention to Jen. After niceties were exchanged and coffee offered, she walked Jen to her desk and handed her the tax returns from last month.
“You’ll be dealing with the expenditure aspect and Mariya- Mrs. Shaw tapped the desk besides Jen- will deal with payments.”
She looked at Jen for a while after that and said very slowly
“We don’t offer training wheels here, Jennifer. The minute you feel overwhelmed you let me know. There is no shame in asking for help”
“I understand” Jen said
As her boss walked away, the elevator sounded and deposited eight more of her team-mates. One of whom brought cookies- yep, Jen definitely loved today. Mariya was a tall and slender girl in a chequered high-waist skirt and amazingly beautiful. Her ink-black weave was precision parted down the centre of her forehead and hung down to her breasts with the edges pencil sharp straight. Her very slanted eyes peeked out from amazingly arched eye-brows, a smooth forehead and very high cheekbones polished mocha skin. Her heels and hem line were the highest in the office and it would be easy to hate but for her first-class certificate in Quantitative Finance from Imperial College London mocking you. The Swarovski crystal frame glinted against the dark wood panel of her work desk and Jen felt inadequacy for the first time in a long time.
Mariya nodded in Jen’s direction, grabbed an M&M cookie from the box being passed round and sitting down gracefully on her upholstered chair got to work. Her red nails churning out numbers on her sleek calculator almost as fast as Mrs. Shaw this morning. Great Jen thought, she’s hot and smart, just bloody fantastic.
As the morning progressed Jen wondered why Kabir had not called, she was slightly worried that he might be ill. They had only spoken for a short while on Sunday but she had been so busy with church and the family lunch that she thought she would let him sleep in. it was now Monday and Jen’s conscience was starting to niggle annoyingly. Her blackberry displayed the delivery status of the previous five text messages she had sent to Kabir just this morning. Now she began to panic, she hoped he was alright. It was unlike him not to check-in; maybe he was just swamped with work. Yes, that was it. It wasn't a slow day on the fifth floor either, Jen mused as her colleagues traded Night of a Thousand Laughs jokes across cubicles. The cookie lady performed an amazing imitation of something and Jen tried to laugh with everyone else. Every thirty seconds she glanced at her phone, even switching it off and on again to make sure the radio waves were clear. Nothing. The little voice in her head tried to speak but Jen silenced it with more cookies, three cups of strong coffee and when the afternoon dessert trolley arrived, cupcakes covered in icing sugar.
By mid-morning Jen was wired up, neurotic and bordering on paranoia. She incessantly tapped her heels against the side of her desk ignoring the do-u-mind coughs from Mariya. Three unanswered calls and a further six text messages later she gave up on work and concentrated on staring at her phone and pressing the send button every time the screen went dark. There was a bitter feeling beginning to rise in her throat.
“A watched phone never rings” Mariya said as she gave a pitiful side look
Jen hissed angrily at her, and grabbing her suit jacket from behind her chair decided to brave it all and confront the eight floor. She would merely go and find out that he called in sick, and then she could silence the voice in her head and get back to number crunching. The elevator rose up too soon and Jen stepped out nervously, she immediately locked eyes with the polka-dot lady she had met on her previous visit. Jen walked up to her and said as nonchalantly as she could
“Kabir didn’t come in today?”
The lady appeared to look ashamed for a minute but her features relaxed again before Jen could be sure.
“No he’s in dear” she replied in clipped English and "Im fine, thank you for asking"
Jen didn’t possess the fortitude to be embarrassed at her lack of tact and immediately made a beeline for Kabir’s office. The little voice had to be silenced; maybe he had a horrible accident and lost all use of his fingers….or something, Jen turned the handle of the door without knocking, her vocal chords set to accuse, and her hands balled up in fists but found an empty office. She looked desperately around for a clue, a reason, or an explanation for this silent treatment but found nothing. His Sony Ericsson charger was plugged in at the wall which meant he was with his phone; his desktop screen displayed cutaway drawings in three-dimensional illustration of the new wing of a bank. There was no way around it, he was at work but didn’t want to speak to her.
Jen’s chest closed up and her heart began to thud painfully. What had she done wrong? Kabir was ignoring her and she didn’t know why. Then her brain snapped forcefully into focus, of course she knew why the little voice nagged. What else could he want from her, he had everything already. Jen felt the last dregs of optimism drain from her soul.
Shaking her head disbelievingly Jen half-ran out of the office and took the stairs down to her floor, she raced along rapidly and grabbed her bag from beneath her table, shoving her belongings in as hurriedly as she could, bruising her fingers in the process. Ignoring the stares of Mariya and everyone else she painfully bit her lip as she draped her bag on her shoulders. She just had to get out of here before her eyes began to bleed. Her breathing was already apace, she just had to leave this stupid building right-away. She yanked out the plug of her system and ran to elevator, her head ached, her feet pinched in the tight leather of her shoes and her palms stung from where she’d scraped her skin against the inner zipper in her bag. The lift was taking too long so Jen made for the fire-exit and she began to stumble on the tiled steps, just as she heard a British accent bark out her name.
Jen turned around to face her boss and opened her mouth to say how ill she was feeling, possibly blame it on the cupcakes. Mrs. Shaw rose up a hand stopping Jen before she even begun and ignoring her red face and wet eyes, crooked her index finger beckoning her closer. Jen stepped meekly forward.
“The human resource department needs your records. I have filled out the form sheet but in order to be processed faster it needs to be delivered by hand. The floor secretary is on her lunch break so you should take it down.” Mrs. Shaw ordered
Jen nodded her head once in response and collected the brown filofax envelope with a sweaty hand. Turning around she walked slowly down the stairs, halting once again as her name was sharply called. Jen turned around tiredly and faced her boss again
“Come straight back here. I don’t care how poorly you feel” and with that Mrs. Shaw turned on her heel and disappeared into the office
Jen held down tears of self-pity as she walked briskly down the stairs to the second floor. It was a small room in comparison to her office but was brightly lit with about a dozen fluorescence ceiling lights. A large glass cabinet dominated the centre wall and held heavily bounded files and records, majority in hardback. There were no standing metal cabinets for storage as Jen expected but as defined normality for Holloway the room was air conditioned to a great extent. The heavy floral scent perfumed the air and jolted Jen from her distressed state. She paid attention the burst of colour from the array of floral arrangements that perfumed the air and enlivened the otherwise bare room with their hue; glass vases displayed everything from sunflowers and chrysanthemums and large green tropical leaves.
Marching to the first available cashier, Jen plonked down the filofax and asked for a staff admission form, the fat lady clad in a heavily patterned boubou handed Jen one without even looking up from the Nigerian movie playing on her compact DVD player resting on her lap. She heavily sucked on her lollipop and Jen resisted the urge to shove it down her throat. Jennifer handed back the completed boring questionnaire, collected her stamped letter and was about to leave through the secondary entrance when the floral scent was disturbed by spice. It was strong and intrusive and Jen in her hazy state seemed to watch in slow motion as down the hall Kabir escorted a girl in a purple scarf down the stairs. The fat lady noisily sniffed the air once too and quickly pressed the intercom whispering in a loud voice to her colleague “E don come o”
All three women stared as Kabir held hands with the petite dark girl. Kabir held their joint palms to his chest and as they got to the landing of the stairs bent his head and kissed her lightly, delicately and in an ethereal fashion on her lips. Jen looked on as though in a bad movie. It was the scene from his office last week, but Kabir was the one encapsulated in the beauty of the woman. He stared at her in a way different from how he looked at Jen- not with enraging desire and confusion but with reverence and idolism. Like he literally would worship the ground she walked on, and kiss the hem of her garment if she asked him to. He stroked the side of her face and bowed his head in submission, as though at her mercy. The cashier women oohed and made “God please send me my own” remarks.
Jen winced and gripped the table with white knuckles as her heart tore painfully and the ragged edges scraped against her empty chest. Through eyes pouring rain and blood she watched Kabir and the purple scarf girl kiss tenderly for a short while. Through the haze she heard the two cashiers in a distant conversation: Kabir and Halima were engaged, date not yet set, he has eyes for no one but her, has been coming down here everyday from the day she started work two years ago….
Jen began to tremble, as her bones shook furiously; it was like someone had struck a frozen rod into her very being, her body heat evaporated. The room was cold, too cold. The air conditioners blew Kabir's perfume more into her presence; it diffused within the room completely over-powering the floral scents that had shortly been her refuge. He was taking everything from her; her heat, her sanity, and her tears.
As Jen sobbing grew even louder she begged her weighted feet to move, her lips parted in silent prayer as she begged God to vanquish her from this place, she just wanted to disappear. The ground should open up and swallow her, allow her to live in darkness for awhile. The two women stared at Jen frightened as her sobbing grew worse. Jen tried to ask to be carried away, away from here but her lips made no audible sound and her body remained fixated, watching its own destruction….
Every time Kabir touched the girl, Jen hurt as if cut with a frozen knife; she was in so much pain and so terribly cold even her blood ran chilled. The way Kabir stared at her….wistfully; it was like she was all his blessings come true.
Jen’s conscience forced her lips to utter her name…Halima. Her life was Jen’s destruction, the author of her misery. Halima stared at Kabir in amusement as he pleaded with her to extend her lunch break, shaking her head no even as he kissed her fingers. It was worship, all worship from his part. Jen watched their exchange, asking herself how she could have ever thought she was Kabir’s type. Halima was petite; her strikingly beautiful face was unadorned with makeup apart from the kajal that lined her bright eyes and the long eyelashes that framed them. Her hair was covered in a bright purple scarf but the few strands that escaped were beautiful- long, dark and soft like his, her neck stood elegant and diamonds shone from the double piercings on her ear, her attire plain white shirt and a long black skirt; the heels her feet wore were short. She looked like a princess, effortlessly wonderful. Even through her pain Jen could see that.
Compared to Halima everything about Jen suddenly seemed excessive; her weave, her height, her breasts, her hips and her heels. Standing in the stairwell with Kabir, they struck a beautiful couple; his eyes adoring, her face bashful and their fingers entwined. Jen could never be that way; her head slightly bowed and her demeanour meek, modest and mild. She always stared straight into his eyes, never breaking contact.
It was never even a competition for Jennifer, Halima was exquisite and Kabir was enthralled by her. Just like Jen was with him even now as he stomped on her heart and made a mockery of what they had shared.
Kabir turned around at that moment and noticed Jen, he looked humiliated. Jen let the pain in her eyes show, hoping he would stride up to her, hold her and explain everything. Say she was confused and none of what she witnessed was real, Jen wanted him to hold her. Kabir gave Jen a final glance then and turned his back on her, kissing Halima a final time he climbed up the stairs and out of sight, laughing his husky laugh as she said something funny. Jen couldn’t stay anymore, she didn’t want to look into Halima’s eyes…she bolted from the room, grazing her ankle against the door jamb in the process.
Limping, Jen managed to make her way to the bathroom and crawled on all fours across the cold floor till she could lean her head against a porcelain sink. Jen slumped her shoulders, held on steadfast to the exposed metal piping least she collapse and wept. Jen wept for the framed picture of beautiful children playing on the beach that will never be, for the fantasy she had created that was a lie, for falling in love with the way he said her name, the cold that consumed her chest and clutched at her heart, each breathe squeezed at it till she gritted her teeth in pain, so Jen exhaled in huffs. Above all she wept because she was stupid, very stupid. Jen had been present at enough relationship interventions for girlfriends to know the drill.
It did not matter what had been said, she could hate him all she wanted but the fault would lie before her always. Kabir was a guy and she was the girl. She knew better, oh if her friends could see her now, the same friends she had given advice to, told to be strong, grown impatient with as they moped over forgotten passions. There was nothing different about her situation, she got played. Was she that easy a target? For all her self determination and drive, was she that easy a target?
If they could see her now….
Jennifer didn’t know how long she wept on the floor, scratching her nails against the sink each time a new wave of pain washed over her. Her shredded heart had long ago given up trying to explain what happened downstairs, come up with excuses. Her brain was weary from replaying very kiss she and Kabir shared and comparing it with the one she’d witnessed in HR. Jen shivered, her goose bumps grew more aggressive and her teeth began to shatter. As Jen lay in the foetal position rocking back and forth she heard the bathroom door creak open and heels click in her direction, her eyes were too sore to open and adjust so she kept them closed. Mariya tapped her foot impatiently
“You have work to do” she stated. Jen merely groaned and tried to turn away but Mariya calmly walked into her line of sight again
“We have a deadline and I will not let you mess up my quota” Mariya continued
Jen wished she would go away and leave her be, she didn’t need to be told she was a failure. She was aware of that already; she was a huge dumbass, stupid failure.
“Do u even know how pathetic you look?” Mariya continued unabashed
“Crying and writhing on the bathroom floor like a weakling. I don’t know what medication you are on but if you do not get yourself back to the office you will lose your job”
Jen didn’t care. She had no desire to work three floors below Kabir anyway.
“Listen!” Mariya’s voice rose. Jen jumped up startled
“Shaw is a taskmaster, but she rewards hard work well.” Mariya bent to eye-level with Jen “There is no greater revenge than success” and before Jen could respond, not that she was going to, Mariya walked out muttering “clean yourself up”
Jen wanted to lie on the floor till the pain stopped, till the world ended so she would never have to face Kabir again; then she thought of her mother. She had been full of praise and pride since Jen announced she got the job, to think she would lose it over a boy…..NO! Jen got up as steadily as she could and braved her reflection in the mirror above the sink, even with the attractive soft lighting it was worse than she expected. Her Acuvue one-a-day contact lenses had dried up from the saltiness of her tears; her eyes were red, puffy and itchy. Her mascara had left streak lines all down her face and her foundation caked, the cracks resembling dried riverbeds. Jen took out her contacts and cupping cold water from the tap soaked each eye for as long as she could, she washed her face with the bathroom hand wash and reaching for her bag with bruised fingers, brought out her make-up bag and slowly tried to look human. Once she was done, she dug out her lip-gloss but on finding that it was strawberry scented chucked it in the bin with all the force her limp arms could muster. Vaseline will just have to do then; she applied more of the ointment to her sore red fingertips and the darkened bruise on her slightly swollen ankle. Opening up the bathroom door, Jen monitored her heart rate and climbed the stairs to her office; ignoring the elevator. She was never using that again, ever.
Jen reached the fifth floor and praying reverently walked up to her bosses’ office and knocked. Mrs. Shaw accepted the stamped form without looking up from her computer and Asked Jen if she was feeling better. Jen forced a yes out of her parched throat and on dismissal ran back to her desk. Mariya handed Jen a glass of water without looking at her and a bulging file of receipts. Jen stared at the work and welcomed it, if her head was full of numbers her brain won’t be able to drag up memories, her heart won’t be able to wish, her body will be too fatigued to long for him. Jen faced her computer, grateful for the indifference and immersed herself in Excel.
A month or two passed, Jen paid no attention to time. There was no need as her routine was the same. She arrived each day at 8.45am, greeted Musa at the gate, walked by a vacant reception desk and made her way up to the fifth floor with her boss already present, elbow deep in paper work and two coffees ahead. After the first fortnight, Jen grew accustomed to her co-workers and their various routines; so every morning she would hand Musa an apple or an orange with a “Gashi Mallam” and always he would respond with a surprised “Ah Nagode.” Each lunch break she would go down to the reception desk and exchange gossip with Sandra- who she had grown to love as a result for their mutual fatherly bond with Musa. Except for on Wednesdays when Sandra took acting classes down at National Theatre, leaving Jen with the responsibility of buying Musa lunch. She regularly sourced Nollywood movies from the ladies in HR- Temi and Tolu, avoiding the tiny desk in the corner which belonged to Halima. She had them convinced that her breakdown from her first visit was a result of her boss screaming at her. “Eh Pele” they had said, offering her candy.
She had no luck pretending to Mariya, her co-worker, although Jen had a feeling she knew. Mariya was the type of woman who knew everything but chose not to say, she never indulged Jen in how she had known where to find that day, and Jen never asked. They had not formed a friendship and for that Jen was grateful, she didn’t want the only person that had seen her cower on the toilet floor to make small talk. Jen would constantly wonder if it was pity. They worked in comfortable silence, their numbers ahead of everyone else in the office and Jen liked it that way. The cookie lady- Meg brought a box every Monday because her sister ran a catering business and every Monday Mariya would have the M&M and Jen the chocolate chip. It was all normal, except for the fact that Jen never used the elevator and had to resist the urge to smash the glass sculpture in the foyer into a million pieces with a sledge hammer every time she walked by. Kabir had attempted calling her once since she last saw him and had left a distressed voicemail but nothing since then. She hadn’t bumped into him; they must be doing a good job of avoiding each other.
Harmattan came suddenly; the leaves fell rapidly from the trees and great gusts of wind assaulted Jen’s daily commute. The mornings were freezing with clouds hung low in the sky and the afternoons dry with the sun attempting to break through the dust. Jen put off wearing white till the dusty season passed and made the mallam who sold chap stick in his shed down the road more money than she liked to muse on.
It was on a dusty Friday afternoon as Jen sat on her desk chatting with Meg that she got her big break.
“You have earned yourself the Etisalat account Jennifer” Mrs. Shaw announced loudly to the whole office. Jen broke into a huge grin and jumped up bowing to loud applause from her colleagues.
“You’re on your own on this one. Mariya is chasing down leads for a different account. Now this is important, I’ve been working on this deal for a month and a half” Mrs. Shaw continued and Jen distantly remembered her first morning in the boss’s office and the conversation she had about the mobile company.
At 2.00pm the representative from Etisalat showed up and Jen put on her best Colgate smile. He was about two inches above Jen’s 5ft 7inc and he wore a bright yellow tie, the only colour against his otherwise boring suit. He walked as if in a hurry and made no attempt to shake Jennifer’s outstretched hand.
“We are so glad to have you with us” she beamed
Esosa Oyakilhome rolled his tired eyes and nodded abruptly “sure sure” he said
Oook Jennifer thought but his moodiness won’t dampen her joy, she continued cheerily
‘So here are our plans for your campaign expenditure, here at Prada & Co we believe you could double your profits with this mar-
“Are you always going to be like this” Esosa interrupted staring at Jen dejectedly. “Talking like you are in a commercial.”
Jen made to speak but Esosa hushed her. There is no need for this unnecessary smiling, so you can relax” he added fiddling with the glass swan on her table.
“What does this mean?” he asked
“Nothing” Jen responded curtly grabbing it from him and setting it down on her desk with a thud. Esosa chuckled at her abrupt gear change.
She flipped open the file angrily and noticed that the expenses form was absent from the paperwork.
“I’ll be just a moment” Jen said and without waiting for an answer, jumped up and walked towards the staircase. He didn’t care for niceties so why should she bother, besides he was right, they had already gotten the contract. After all, he was only the “boy” it’s not like he owned the bloody thing
Jen skipped down the stairs, humming determinedly, she was going to keep her spirits high, despite her difficult client. She was thinking of perhaps trying once more by sharing a joke she’d heard when he called her name
“Jennifer” Kabir said
Halting mid-step, Jennifer didn’t turn.
“Please we need to talk” Kabir continued walking towards her slowly. Jen tried to stop herself from looking up but she wanted to see if he was as she remembered. Try as Jen might she couldn’t make the horns and the forked tail fit on the live thing as easily as they had in her thoughts. He was still beautiful. They stared at each other for minutes, coming to the realization that they were alone again, for the first time since that Saturday. Just the two of them standing in the empty stairwell between floors.
“Jennifer…” Kabir smiled widely as they locked eyes. The scent washed over her like a warm waterfall, his voice like honey in her ears; but Jen had ammunition.
Jennifer saw herself on the floor that morning, the way Mariya found her and shook her head vehemently from side to side.
“No, no, no,” she repeatedly whispered. “Stay away from me” Jen backed her steps till her back hit the wall on the landing
“Jennifer please, just let me explain” Kabir said pained as he saw the mistrust in her eyes. It cut him deep that Jen was so hurt; she was moving away from him.
“Married…” was all Jen’s lips could say. As Kabir made to reach out, Jen put up her hands as a defensive wall
“Married” she repeated
“If you just let me explain, Jennifer look at me, you know I will never hurt you. It’s not as you think I swear” Kabir said sincerely
Jen couldn’t believe him, she vowed never to trust. How could he stay here and lie to her face like this. He thought she could be an easy target twice? Jen ran past him and down the stairs to the HR department. Ignoring him as he called her name.
Panting she asked for the expense form and tried to hurry Temi and her incessant lollipop suckling so she could get back to work. Work calmed her; the fifth floor was her oasis. Just then Halima walked in and after smiling politely in Jen’s direction, greeted Tola in that musical voice of hers. Jen needed to get out of here and fast. She cursed Temi’s chubby fingers as she stamped the form sluggishly and in her haste to leave Jennifer bumped into someone coming in. Jen knew it wasn’t Kabir from the moment of impact. Looking up it was Esosa, what was he doing here? Esosa smiled at her obvious annoyance as he steadied her shoulders and was about to make a snide comment when he caught sight of Halima. He stared at her and Jen without turning around said “She’s beautiful isn’t she”
“Yeah” Esosa responded. Then without looking at Jen said “but too much like a doll you know. It’s all good to stare, but I wouldn’t date her. What if she broke? I prefer my women a bit tougher around the edges and bigger too, that way I won’t lose them in a crowd or get mistaken for a paedophile”
Jen looked at Esosa “Thank you” she mouthed honestly
“No problem” he responded confused
“I have to be leaving now but your boss, the white lady, told me to give you this form and get it approved by HR. It’s the permission slip for the trip to Abuja next month; it coincides with an Architect conference or something so it has to be jointly approved.”
Esosa scanned the room confused. “Why are there so many flowers?” he asked
Jen took the paper with slightly shaking fingers and sure enough there was his name- Kabir Tijani- on the slip. They along with twelve others will be accommodated at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers for a weekend. Jen almost laughed, what kind of a cruel joke is this. She paused mid lip-read at that moment and looked up at Esosa; Jen wanted to say thank him for bringing it down and saving her a round trip up and down the stairs. She had caught him off guard, and he was staring at her. Jen remembered the look in his eyes from hazy dreams; she tried to place it and with a falling of a note remembered it as the same one she wore her first day at Holloway, as she and Kabir stood in the elevator. It was a look of utter joy, and it was in Esosa’s eyes….
Hurriedly excusing herself Jen laid the form on Temi’s desk and escaped up the stairs, it wasn’t until she was half-way up that she recalled his name- Esosa Oyakilhome-was on the list too.
It was going to be one hell of a weekend in Abuja…….
By Miss S.B
Friday, 15 May 2009
ALBUM REVIEW-----M.I aka MR INCREDIBLE.......
Now I have been in love with my fair share of Jos boys but M.I has taken me over the legal limit. This dude GBONO FELE FELE, as in he's too MAD! Some people do not feel see the big deal, and I think if you do not see the hype with Lil wayne or Kanye West, you might not see the big deal with him either. He has that same effortless flow, and it feels like he could do this in his sleep.
Before the drop of this album, he released a (free) mix tape called Illegal music which bagged him the best hip-hop artist at the hiphopworld awards in 2008. He rhymed over the beats of Lil Wayne's A milli, Jay-Z's 99 problems, and Kanye's Cant tell me nothing. What stood out was his take on D'banj's Gbono feli feli which he KILLED and which signaled the arrival of the “short black boy” to the Nigerian music scene. This was the track that made me fall in love with him. With lines like-'the boy got gifts like santa', "girls flock to him in twos like Noah"(sickkkk), "these other rappers so last year like celtel", "your flow is basic and mine is acidc" "i solo like isolo", "nobody wanna try m.i like AIDS test". The whole mixtape is just him showing off his lyrically skills, and for the sceptics, you should listen to this and you will convert. He's confidence in his ability is amazingly intoxicating and I knew he was the shit as soon as I heared this! You can download the mixtape for free @ http://timmynaija.com/bestnigerianmusic.html
If you thought that goodie bag was great foreplay then prepare yourself for the Koko, as the amazing album titled "Lets Talk About It" was finally released. This is hip-hop in white tee and jeans, taking off the pinstripe suits of Naeto C and WFA. Fully Nigerian but with no compromises made, no cheating with borrowed beats and fantastic word twisting guided by the L-Boogie crew of the Chocolate City label. MI has arrived.
The album follows strictly the recipe for the Great Nigerian Album.
We have the great first track, the one so good that you heave a sigh of relief that your artist didn’t disappoint. The track that sets the overall tone of the album; see Nfana Ibaga by Tuface (honest story telling) and Trouble Sleep Wanga Wake Am by Fela (serenading saxophone and politically conscious) for illustration.
His first track is called “Anoti” featuring Gabriel meaninig Unbeatable-- MI goes straight for the erogenous zones, repeatedly reciting his name over muted talking drums, this couldn’t be a more fitting prelude to what was to come. He knows he’s good and has no problem with saying so. He has just the right amount of arrogance needed in hip hop. He turns the beat around and to perfection, molding the kick snares to his lyrics. Fast pace changes with twista-esqe tongue twisters such as:
"I got the magic static/ I got the chrome automatic/ so systematic/ erratic/ flow so melodic/ neurotic chronic/ so supersonic/ bionic "
And sweet sounding words that collapse into one another in mellow fade outs like:
"Feel my vocal/ on this local instrumental/focal point to drive you mental"
The second essential ingredient is the socially conscious song. Our leaders are corrupt; no fuel that sort of thing. MI has a special take on this with "Crowd Mentality" featuring Uche encouraging us to “think, dream and fly.” Its wonderfully poetic and encouraging in that sense, and does not feel preachy at all.
"Fast Money Fast Cars" featuring Wizkid has to be the most fun ever poked at runs girls. It is absolutely hilarious with lines like "She doesn’t need a dude whose bank account is very large/ she wants the man that owns the bank/ the head nigga in charge" "What you driving baby boy/Cause an end of discussion will signal end of discussion/7 series if you serious" "Mike Adenuga types, I need a man to make me Glo". It uses real life Nigerians like Dangote, Keke, D1 etc to illustrate the point. Regarldess of the playfull lyricall wordplay, it has an overlying moral message.
The religious song is here too, in the form of "Jehovah". Self-explanatory.
The third ingredient in this great Nigerian Music cookout- our red pepper and maggi- is the party anthem. MI gives us two, "Area" featuring YQ and my fave "Teaser" featuring Pype which is absolutely amazing, no need for big grammar here. Its slow bashment, with the booms in the right places. Ladies will want to be his “diva for sheeza”
The final touches to this music feast cement MI as the lyrical master that he is with versalicious (yes I just made that word up) tracks like '"Short Black Boy". The beat is amazing and low enough for you to understand that the focus is on the lyrics which he ensures you do not detract from.
"Forever" featuring 2 unkown guys(info wanted) is the only romantically inclined song on the album, with a techno/dance beat that flows nicely.
"Talk About It", featuring Leony is the title track, and plays the line between Ajebotta and Ajepakos- an oldie but a goldie. Kukuruku or Cock-a-doodle-do? You decide! Its higly political but manages not to sound like a sermon either.
"Money" which is the “before I got here track”. This has a skit that flows nicely into it and is one of my fave tracks on the album. With lines like-"I looked at my friends/ and got that itch/ to scratch that cash/ and look that flash" This song embodies what I love about the album. There is NO track where he is bragging about the amount of money he likes. Instead he's chorus sings "Money slow to enter, Money fast to go, Where the money go, I no Know". It is like finding an oasis in the money obsessed Nigeria hip hop scene(need I say Big Boy, Arab money, Maga don pay?). It is a humble track just like he is. He brags about his talent, which he rightly should, but never about material things.
"Blaze" boasts a mouthful of featurettes, i.e Jesse Jagz, Ice Price and Blaise with each artist satisfyingly pulling their weight. You are hooked from the moment “put your lighters in the air” is crooned out, and it makes you really want to light up!! Again this song illustrates another thing I love about the album, he features a HUGE number of FRESH talent. They are all increadibly talented and hold thier own next to M.I which cannot be easy, and I cannot wait to see what they will do individually. With how much he has blown, he could have had any of the hottest artists but decided to bring out some underground acts like he was. The female rapper Blaise rhymes tight on this.
"Safe" featuring Djinee is my fav track in the whole album. Winner of the best rap single at the hip hop awards it is the most lyrically explosive thing I’ve heard since the first time I discovered Nigerians actually can rap. It is a one stop shop of hits, as MI mimics all the biggest singles of 2008. You’ve got everything form Wind Am well To Wiskolo Whiska; You Know My P to Yebaribaba. He utilizes the hit line from all these and more to make one fantastic single.
Yebaribaba sanboribobo/ the ladies going loco/ when they hear his vocals/raps in a chokehold/other rappers local/they rap with a flow colder/I'm the Koko!
With lines like:
can tell it's my time, sorta like a clock
You cant see me yet but am there like your eyebrow
you cheap like salt your type is flodded like sand
I could quote M.I all day but I will exercise restraint. ;-))
My only problem with M.I is that I dont think he sounds as hot when he's featured on other people's tracks. His flows in Dangerous by Dipp or Lade by Djinee are average, definately not up to the stuff on his tracks.
Regardless, this album is one of the best I have heared this year, even in comparison with foreign stuff. The number of skits give the feeling that the whole album is telling a story which all the tracks fitting together like a solved puzzle. You must also applaud his bravery to feature unknown artistes on his album- a gamble that paid off.
Taking over from where 9ice was 400 days ago, MI reigns supreme and in his own words:
"If there’s ever been a rap this fly/it had to have been done by another MI"
You can download to M.I's album on itunes at http://www.apple.com/search/ipoditunes/?q=m.i+talk+about+it and check out his blog at http://www.miishiphop.blogspot.com/
By Miss B and S.B xxx