Thursday, December 31, 2009


“Hey, did you watch the news?” father asked me

“No, what’s up, dad”

“Did you see Goodluck wearing a kaftan, he looked so Hausa.” Father exclaimed.

“That’s what I’ve been telling you about packaging, father said.

Okay, father, I get the message.

The way you package yourself goes a long way to creating the image of you in the mind of others, father told me.

“Dress the way you want to be addressed, says the popular quote. Now, it’s more about packaging. Image is something, but not everything. Just like beauty is vain without character and riches hollow without integrity; while packaging is still important. I must remind you that content is still king,” he said.

Wow, I have never heard it like that before. So many thoughts and ideas began to race through my mind like speed cars in a Formula One Grand prix.

I wondered how the two Brits, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, felt about each other, now that Jenson Button has signed a new contract with Hamilton’s Renault team; nationals but competitive rivals on the same F1 team. What was Renault bosses thinking? Are they trying to fashion a Chelsea or Man City out of the Renault team in F1? By the way, Button was recently knighted by the Queen. Hmnn, Sir Jenson.

But, at the moment, one ‘dame’ speeds away for my thoughts' top prize. It’s Edna on my mind.

“Before you say anything more, there is something I need to tell you,” Edna had told me the last time I called her. I wanted us to fix an appointment. I didn’t just want to take her out. I wanted to catch her by surprise with my decision.

Now, I might have to reschedule the surprise with this sneak she just chipped in.

“Can’t you just tell me on phone?” I cajoled.

“No, it’s something I need to tell you face to face,”

She had stressed the need so much that it had got my pulse racing faster than any Braun GP or Renault car could ever do in five seconds. Whatever does she have to say that couldn’t just be said on phone? So many thoughts and ideas were racing through my mind. And this was not about winning a Formula 1 grand prix.

I just wondered.

We have so much history together, but can I handle her past, if it turns out to be what I never imagined or expected?

‘Content’ is still king, I had to remind myself.

“Happy New Year in advance,” was the first thing she said to me when we later met. We hugged and she, finally, revealed the contents of her heart to me. Well, so much for image.

And so it was; yesterday ended at the break of today.

…New Year. New beginnings.


Friday, December 25, 2009


We love.
We hate.
We laugh.
We cry.

We bug.
We date.
We bark.
We bite.

We chop.
We play.
We clap.
We fly.

But, whatever u do this season;
Let this infuse your mind, body, soul and spirit:
People make the world go round,
But LOVE makes the trip worthwhile.

Thank God for the Birth of Christ,
If not, living might just have been
A complete waste of time,
And mankind would have been
Nonentity in the face of eternity.

The 'first' word
Is still... LOVE...

Let the world be a better place
Because you pass thro it.
Remember 'His Amazing Grace...'
Have a Merry Christmas
And a glorious New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Driven by the need to give back to the society, Nigerians, including celebrities, turn out en masse to give Mushin, a densely populated suburb of Lagos, a facelift.

Wande Coal, arguably Nigeria’s hottest R & B sensation at the moment, grew up in Mushin, a densely populated community in the heart of Lagos. But, unlike his bestselling album, Mushin 2 MoHits, Mushin has a general perception of environmental and infrastructural neglect that plays like a broken record.

But, on Saturday, December 12, 2009, the area was not only given a celebrity status, but also a facelift, on the back of a community project tagged the Mushin Makeover, a one-day exercise that involved painting of residential houses, schools, road side curbs and structures along seven strategic areas in Mushin - Agege Motor Road, Olateju, Olanibi/Ojekunle, Ladipo street, Isolo Road, Palm Avenue and Ogunmokun Road. According to the project initiator, Fela Durotoye, renowned motivational speaker and CEO of Visible Impact, it was a call from God to do something for the community; while emphasizing that MUSHIN represents a place for Making Unique Stars and Heroes In Nigeria. Thousands of volunteers from different walks of life, which included hundreds of professional painters and celebrities such as Ali Baba, Sound Sultan, Banky W, Djinee, TY Bello, Frank Edoho, joined hands with Durotoye and his team for an eight-hour non-stop work to paint the selected locations. “I hope our leaders can also do this in other parts. It would make the country better,” said Sukanmi Ajah, one of the volunteers who has lived in Mushin for over twenty years. The so called ‘area boys’, with a fearsome notoriety, were also on hand to volunteer their time and effort.

Abimbola Fashola, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, commended the initiative and noted that the state government is already working hard to continue making the positive changes in Lagos state as a whole. “If we are asking for change so we need to make that change by ourselves,” she said; as she kick-started the initiative with a symbolic stroke of paint on the entrance of the first house to be painted that day, picked because of its historical significance. Located on Agege Motor Road, it was built in 1960, the year of Nigeria’s independence. “We welcome what you people are doing and we really appreciate it,” said Mabel Modupe Amadasum, whose father built the house.

It also proved a good week of business for paint shops in the community who were patronized by many volunteers. “With the rate we are going, we should have used possibly five to ten thousand gallons of paints by the end of the day,” said Durotoye of material donations from individuals as well as corporate organizations such as Berger Paints, DN Meyer Paints, Stanbic IBTC Chartered Bank, Fidelity Bank. “If we had bought everything on our own, the total estimate may have been N61 million,” he noted.

Dulux (CAP Plc) donated 98 drums of Emulsion, 26 gallons of gloss, FREE. 300 drums of paint was bought from Berger Paints, which also supported by training twenty five unemployed Mushin youths and giving them certificates. Stanbic IBTC also paid N2, 500 to each painter - 30 painters on the first day, 100 painters for three days and 120 painters on Saturday. From figures made available by the Visible Impact team, more than two thousand volunteers (including celebrities) participated in the exercise; which saw over two hundred and ninety one houses painted.

“This shows that simple things like getting involved in the community can go a long way and that people can come together for a good cause,” says Okechukwu Okoro, a mechanical engineering graduate of Michigan State University, USA, who is currently undertaking the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. He, together with hundreds of other corps members from Mushin local government, participated in the exercise.

“It is just an iota of what can be done,” noted Kennis Saint-Brown, popular gospel music artiste; inferring that Mushin, as the most central part of Lagos, might just be a microcosm of Nigeria, needing not only a fresh coat of paint, but a pool of willing hands to give it a long, overdue facelift. For a tenant in one of the houses being painted, the project couldn’t have come at a better time. ‘There have been disagreements among tenants and landlords over renovation work before now,” he said. “This shows that change lies in us, if we don’t do it, nothing will be done,” noted Wale Salami, another volunteer painter.

For Durotoye, the project is a call for national action. “We are hoping that this particular project would kick off several other nation-building projects into action, we can’t solve all of Nigeria’s problems in one day. The whole essence of this project is to get individuals to believe that their contributions or effort can come into a bigger collective action to make a difference,” he said, while adding that there are plans to undertake such facelifts in other parts of the city in the near future. “Mushin is a catalyst,” he emphasized.

With eight hour non-stop efforts of a thousand plus volunteers, the Mushin Makeover project might have just started a ripple effect, not only a Lagos but across Nigeria.


Sunday, December 20, 2009


Fellow Nigerians, ladies and gentlemen; after careful consideration from our distinguished, indefatigable panel of judges – me, myself and I; we have safely arrived at the names of the four leading contenders for Royal Rumble Nigeria Man of the Year 2009.

After a grueling contest that lasted for 12 solid rounds of impact, these are the chosen fantastic four (suggestions are welcome).

(Suspense music Interlude…Gan! Gan! the normal Nollywood movie sound)


He exploded into the scene like a hurricane (or maybe a tsunami), and with one massive earth shaking swoop, he swept off five powerful Nigerian bank CEOs, including one that had once been named the CEO’s CEO, from their number one, hitherto untouchable positions. Measuring on a Richter scale of 8.5, Hurricane Sanusi reverberated not only in the 25 banking halls, but also in the hallowed vaults of Nigeria’s richest men and business magnates. The tremors are still felt everywhere in Nigeria’s economy. It took many months for the shock to subside in the banking sector, and maybe longer for the tremors to disappear from giving out loans to big, medium and small scale clients. Some say the impact of Sanusi is a good thing for the economy, especially on this road to recovery from the global financial meltdown. For delivering a financial uppercut to banking mafia, LAMIDO 'HURRICANE' SANUSI makes our cut.

(Wild cheers and jeers from the crowd in the jam packed arena)

Contender Number 2…DIE HARD (Part 1, 2, and 3) A-MOOOOOOOO-DUUU!!!

He ‘wumbled and fumbled’ throughout the duration of the qualifier matches for FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but he still delivered the massive knockout out punch to the dreaded Carthage Eagles from Tunisia with a last minute swerve of timbre, steel and Yaklibre. For most of the rounds, he was written off by many Nigerians as no good for the job, that he couldn’t deliver the ticket….

(He! He! He! But who’s laughing now, the coach at Amodu’s corner sneers)

For literally snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, qualification from the tentacles of world cup elimination, for being resilient and getting results in the face of criticism, for making one hundred and forty million Nigerians happy, for making his fellow home grown local coaches proud…

(You better win the Nations’ Cup, o, Amodu, or else….someone threatened from the VIP corner)

….For qualifying Supper Eagles to South Africa 2010 against all odds, SHAIBU 'DIE-HARD' AMODU qualifies for our final nod.

(We don win o! We don win!.. Amodu’s fan club at the stands sings rapturously)


For many years, he was the lone voice crying in Nigeria’s wilderness, until the cold hands of death snatched him away from mother earth. Gani…oh Gani…..(the announcer sobs, blows his nose into the microphone and wipes a tear. There is silence in the packed arena, in one stroke of bizarre, the whole arena goes on a one minute silence for the late legal luminary)

(Please tell that olofofo presenter to get on with the show, or else we lose our commercial time slots! barked one of the guys at the advertisement corner. Suddenly, someone gets into the rings and motions the announcer to continue)

…the whole nation mourned when he passed onto eternal glory. No Nigerian president, dead or alive, has ever provoked such heartfelt emotions from Nigerians, regardless of tribe and race. He survived the military mafia and its Godfathers, even the feared Don Abachaleone. Gani singlehandedly took on the military and civilian establishments and pummeled them to concede for the sake of Nigerians. For being the dogged fighter for the masses, for being selfless and a true patriot to the end, the IRREPLACEABLE GANI gets our nod.

(The whole arena erupts in a crescendo of applause; our unseen mics could even pick out the ones coming from the viewers watching at home, seriously)


She swerves the national ring like a Mohammed Ali, she delivers uppercuts to fake drug merchants like a Mike Tyson, she has a sugar punch like Sugar Ray Leonard. By sheer willpower and infectious zeal to ‘rebrand’ the battered image of the country, Dora singlehandedly turned rebranding into a national circus. And with one ferocious jab, she delivers a technical knockout to Sony and their PS3 advertisement off the commercial space that they were literally begging on their knees when they came to Nigeria to issue an apology….

(I’m not sure that Mama Dora has seen Matt Damon’s The Informant, all the fire from rebranding drive would have been let loose, one fan whispered to another)

(Announcer continues)….For giving us a Good People, Great Nation tag, rebranded image, for making Nigerians and the world see and know that Nigerians are really good people, despite the yahoo-yahoo boys, their cronies and the corruption in high places, for giving Nigeria a rebranded image in the eyes of the world, through the power of the media, for giving ‘rebranding’ a new swagger, for the ongoing rebranding project that would not be forgotten by posterity ….

(Finish the announcement, you rebranding sh…t, one angry fan, obviously not on Dora’s corner, shouted)

…And so we present to you….the iron lady of the Federal executive council, D-O-R-A ‘REBRANDING FIRE-BRAND’ A-K-U-N-Y-I-L-I, as our fourth contender for the title.

(Can you please just rebrand PHCN, minimum wage, Nigerian Police Force, Refineries, roads, infrastructure, education… another yelled from the stands)

(Shut up, mr olofofo, rebranding has to start from somewhere, whether you like it or not, Dora’s staff shouted from her corner. Dora smiles off the camera) (Somewhere at the stands, a heated argument broke out)

...And now for the big moment you all have been waiting for. Fellow Nigerians, LADIES AND GENTLEMENT, the stage is now set for the Royal Rumble in the Nigerian Jungle 3. We now present to you the Undisputed King of the Ring, Nigeria’s Man of the Year 2009…the one and only….

(Just then, electrical power went off and the whole arena was thrown into darkness…)

(N-E-P-A!!! THE crowd screamed in disappointment).

(Backstage: Oh no, not PHCN again! This broadcast is being beamed live on satellite, man! For Rebranding’s sake, put on the generators Yabaruwa!

(There is no fuel sir).

Then, import it, damnit!)

(Meanwhile, there is an announcement from the JIT, the national broadcaster of the big event.

...Viewers, we are sorry for the break in transmission, it is due to power failure. But we can unequivocally tell you that nationwide and worldwide voting has already begun. And for any contender that has not been mentioned here, please you can send in your nominations and the organizers will consider him or her as a wild card entry. For now, we have to go on a commercial break. As soon as PHCN restores electricity and we receive signal, we would continue with our live transmission. Thank you).

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria


Monday, December 7, 2009


With his new self-titled album, Djinee finally 'un-bottled' himself, after a necessary period of musical hibernation.

When Ego, his hit single, rocked the airwaves in 2007, it seemed that the singer was on his way to instant fame, but his seeming refusal to release a full-length album gave his fans worries. Well, Djinee’s self-titled album has been out for some time now. And it does sound like it was worth the wait after all.

In the 17-track album, Djinee stays true to his voice and his preferred sound, soul; but he reveals deep emotions — love, passion, pain, pleasure, anger — which thrust him up as one of Nigeria’s finest male vocalists. He hugs the listener with tracks like My Pillow, and tears away with others like Overkillin’ as he experimented with different genres (highlife, rock, pop, classical, calypso, opera), getting away with most. Djinee’s voice is distinct, as he evinces on the upbeat likely chart-buster, Overkillin’, where one might initially mistake the vocals for somebody else’s. Niger Delta Blues could have well been the title of that track. In Uruese, meaning "Thank You”, delivered in the Esan language of Edo Sate, he goes traditional with a modern twist.

His other hit singles, Lade and I No Dey Shame also stand out. But, surprisingly, he only does a skit of his claim to fame, Ego, in track six (sure most of his fans might have preferred him doing the full tracker on that one). Track nine, Na My Wife, is likely to become another wedding anthem in the mould of Oruka by Sunny Neji.

With heavyweight collaborations, Dijnee gives his voice free rein in most of the tracks such as Come Rain, Come Shine (featuring Ego) and Thank You, although this and a couple of tracks came off like he was trying to outdo himself vocally. But he generally pulls off a great performance that is full of energy and dexterity. With thought-provoking lyrics, soulful sounds mixed with up-tempo beats, maybe, The Album by Djinee shows an artiste finally comfortable with his musical powers


Sunday, December 6, 2009


Kev-olution. Or is it the Big Brother Africa 4, Revolution?

Well, I am not exactly a fan of Big Brother Africa. But for the sake of information, it's worth mentioning that a Nigerian, Kevin, walked away with the $200,000 prize at the grand finale of the 2009 Big Brother Africa Revolution, which ended tonight in South Africa.

'Swagger pass Swagger', said the inscription on the T-shirt Kevin's father wore at the finale. While D-Banj, 'you don make me fall in love' played in the background as Kevin came out of the house to be officially named winner of Big Brother Africa (Revolution) 2009, presented by a Nigerian, IK Osakodiuwa.

Congratulations, Kevin. He sure represented 'Naija' very well. Of course, more fame, fortune and endorsement deals should follow for the entertaining young man when he gets back to Naija base.

"JOStified"...hmnn, I like that coinage.

And Bow Wow also put up a wow performance at the show finale.

Check out all the news at

Friday, December 4, 2009


‘De ja vu’ was written all over Group B as Nigeria is to play against Argentina, Greece and South Korea in South Africa 2010 World Cup, just like it was in USA 1994 World Cup. The only difference is South Korea. Bulgaria was the other team in the same group with Nigeria, Argentina and Greece.

It looks tough with Argentina (two-time World Cup champions), Greece (2004 European champions) and South Korea (2002 World Cup semi-finalist). But, maybe, just maybe, if the Super Eagles get their acts right, they could qualify from this group.

Trust the English press. They have already labelled England's grouping with USA, Slovenia and Algeria as a 'dream draw'. Well, on paper, Capello's men look like they would walk through Group C into the second round.

Ah oh, South Africa, not only would they face two Latin American countries (Mexico and Uruguay) they have to face 1998 World Cup champions, France, Thierry Henry, and probably another 'Le Hand'. They should seek consultations from Diouf and his Senegal bunch from 1998.

At least they are not in the Group of death containing Brazil, Portugal, Cote D’Ivoire and Korea DPR. Imagine Cristiano Ronaldo versus his Real Madrid teammate Kaka, and Drogba-Kalou versus Alex- Belleti or Deco-Bosingwa.

Final Draw for FIFA 2010 World Cup: South Africa 2010
Group A South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay,France
Group B Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
Group C England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Group D Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
Group E Holland, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
Group F Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
Group GBrazil, Korea DPR, Ivory Coast, Portugal
Group H Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

Thursday, December 3, 2009


While most of the other countries are already putting finishing touches towards preparations for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, which holds between January 10 and 31, 2010 in Angola; the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, seem more preoccupied with finding a replacement for Super Eagles coach, Shaibu Amodu, ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, slated for June of that same year. For the Nations’ Cup, now known as the Orange Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn in Group C, alongside defending champions, Egypt, Benin and Mozambique.

Although recent reports have it that the NFF have given Amodu a breather to continue his job unhindered; if recent history is anything to go by, the extension of his contract as Super Eagles’ coach might largely depend on the team’s performance at the Nations’ Cup.

“It may depend on how he performs at the Nations’ Cup in Angola,” said Toyin Ibitoye, a sports analyst on Amodu’s chances of continuing his job after January, 2010.

Despite qualifying the Eagles for the World Cup for the second time in his career, Amodu’s reign has come under the knife. In 2001, Amodu was at the helms when Nigeria qualified for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, but he was sacked midway after the Eagles finished third at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali. Eventually, Adegboye Onigbinde was brought in to replace him.

This time however, heavyweight names such as Russia’s coach, Guus Hiddink, and former Germany’s coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, had been bandied about as potential candidates for Amodu. Although Amodu seem to have received the blessing of the football house, it would take more than that to ensure a good outing for his team. “If we win the Nations’ Cup, it would be a surprise,” said Ibitoye. The Eagles, he noted, are not exactly “champions’ stuff” at the moment.

However, he noted that, “The Nations cup is a very open competition. It could be anybody’s game, depending on how well you prepare,” he said. Calls for Amodu’s replacement have already created some form of distraction towards a hitch-free preparation for the tournament.

But, just like they did with a last day dramatic qualification for the 2010 World Cup, Amodu and his team might have other tricks up their sleeves.

Nigeria’s most recent success at both the World Cup and the Nation’s Cup came under a foreign coach - Dutchman, Clemens Westerhof - who led the Eagles to win the 1994 Africa Nations’ Cup and an impressive second round finish in their debut World Cup showing later that same year. If given the chance and maximum support by the football authorities, could Amodu match or surpass that record?