Friday, September 29, 2006

I was at my daughter’s school yesterday for their Independence Day celebration. The whole week has generally been a buzz of activities with them doing cultural things like tie and dye, viewing artifacts and Nigerian coins and such. Yesterday, all parents were asked to dress their kids up in their respective cultural attires and also bring a local Nigerian dish which would be tasted by all the kids. The parents were also invited to the school for a fashion parade, food-tasting and also a presentation by the children.

I dressed my daughter up in her (I’m not from her state) traditional attire of a wrapper with beads on her neck and head. Not enough beads, she’d have worn some more on her wrists. My, did she look like a princess! I decided to go my way a bit and cook something from my locality. I made Boiled unripe plantains and a vegetable sauce to go with it and off we went to school!
Boy was I glad when our efforts were applauded with cheers from her teachers who called her a princess and all on seeing her! Anyway, the festivities began with the food tasting where all meals were opened, described by the teacher, and tasted by the kids, and a presentation of “greetings” by the children in the 3 major languages.

The people we see and their languages too, are different you know, are different you know (2x) Ekaro ma, Ekaro Sir…… you know the drill!

What followed was a fashion parade and our little ones paraded out with the moderator announcing the state each kid represented amidst a lot of applause from the parents, picture taking and hugs and kisses for the kids! It was all so sweet! It ended with the presentation of a brief history of Nigeria, the singing of our National Anthem and the pledge.

Pity I can’t put up a pix of my princess, I wouldn’t want to violate her privacy! Anyway, I salute my fellow country men as our nation Turns 46. May we grow from strength to strength, and may our Leaders lead us aright!

The Nigerian National Anthem

Arise, O compatriots,
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

Oh God of creation,
direct our noble cause;
Guide our leaders right;
Help our Youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is going to be the first post about ME!

I turned Twenty something last week (I've been Twenty something for over 5 years now, mind you), and I wondered about my life’s very essence. I mean most of us l have various things lined up in our 'Things I'll do before I hit 30' (or 40 or 50) list, and I worry that I've not been a super-achiever these past few years! My birthday was fraught with worries for some hours, until I decided to make myself happy and turn to the blessings I've got.....

Sometimes we feel so down because we feel we have not attained whatever goal we set for ourselves and we forget all the blessings God has given us in those moments. Rationalizing this thought more closely shows that we measure ourselves against phoney standards, mostly because of where our peers are at.

I want to use this post to remind myself of my success, rather than my failures; my capabilities rather than my inabilities and my blessings rather than my 'hard-luck'. I also want to thank God for being faithful to me against all odds. I may not be the queen of the pack, but I know I’m richly blessed.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone who reads this post and is a believer in Christ no matter how sinful you are: "God always answers your prayers, but sometimes the answer is NO"

I also want to thank God for Manchester United's win against Benfica yesterday... We may not be at the top of the English Premier League, but we may just make it No. 9 this year!

All you United haters, get a life!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Intro…..
I have so much on my mind yet so little to blog about. I am guilty of reading other blogs rather that writing in mine, but I have no apologies. I guess I’m still young at this blogging thing but I promise to do my utmost henceforth. Now back to today’s entry.

The Entry
I have often pondered about Nigeria's future, and what the tide will bring come 2007. We all know that a change of power usually leads to Violence, Riots, Kidnap, Political rallies, Debates, manifestos and all-what-nots, but the most mind boggling thing is the big Question: “Who will be our next president?” Besides watching the progress to the elections 2007 on local TV and forming my own opinion about who the likely President may be, I've asked people around me the question time and again, and the answers I get vary from “Dunno”, “Don't care anyhow”, “Na them know”, and some other lousy answers which make me wonder if we really care about our country's leadership? Have the future leaders of Nigeria lost all care?

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are also the other1/2 who are interested in the “So who’s next?” They have come up with names like:
Donald Duke, Dr. Peter Odili, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, I.B.B, Pastor Chris Okotie, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Professor Jerry Gana, Professor Pat Utomi, Abubakar Atiku, Dora Akunyili, etc. Mind you, some people name candidates according to their geo-political zones rather on their conviction that he/she will do a good job!

I can’t tell whether the next President is even on this list, or if he (that’s the one thing that’s definite!) has come out to declare his intentions even, but I hope and pray that our next leader will be one who will conscientiously try to move Nigeria ahead and appoint like minded people in his cabinet regardless of gender, tribe or religion.

I got this in a mail I received today and it’s going to be The Outro….
“Never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Do tell me what you think about who the next Pres will be. I appreciate feedbacks!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The first time I heard Tupac’s “Brenda’s got a baby” I was blown away by the lyrics of the song and I wondered who’s song it was…. Then I watched the movie “Juice” shortly after and didn’t know whether to love Tupac or to hate him, because the role he played in the movie Juice was so intense, it left such an impact in my young mind.

From then on, I began to follow his career, and he wowed me more and more with songs like, “I get around”, “Bury Me a G”, “Pour Out a Little Liquor”, “How Long Will They Mourn Me?”, “Cradle to the Grave”, “Me Against The World”, “Lord Knows”, “Dear Mama”, “Life Goes On”, “California Love”, “I Ain't Mad at Cha”, “Picture Me Rollin”, “Ratha Be Ya N____”, “All Eyez on Me”, “Just Like Daddy”, “To live and die in L.A”, “Krazy”, “Against all Odds”, “White man’s world”, “Me and my girlfriend” and lots more from the albums “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”, “Thug Life Vol. 1”, “Me Against the World”, “All Eyez on Me”, “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory”

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks on June 16th 1971 in Brooklyn, New York to Afeni Shakur, a member of the Black Panther Party. His mother changed his name from Lesane Parish Crooks to Tupac Shakur. The name is from an Inca Indian tribe and means ‘shining serpent’, and his last name, Shakur, means ‘thankful to God’. While a young child, Tupac discovered his love for dance and music. His mother encouraged him and as a teenager, his family moved to Baltimore, MD.

While living there, Tupac started attending the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts, studying acting and ballet. He began his career in 1991 as a member of the group Digital Underground and in the same year he received individual recognition for his album “2Pacalypse Now”.

Tupac always shared his life experiences through his music. Every song was about his journey through life, and to me, he was a poet. I also saw him as a regular kinda guy, and he seemed rather like someone I could hang with. He was very out-spoken and his music reflected his many sides, some lyrics were motivated by love, some sought self-understanding and others were angry responses to the cruel injustices of life. He was also an actor having acted in movies like Juice, Poetic Justice, Above the Rim, Gang Related, Gridlock'd and Bullet.

His life was filled with a lot of drama and he has been romanticized to the level of a martyr. During his lifetime, he was seldom out of the spotlight with a 15-day jail term in 1994 for assault and battery, a conviction in 1995 for sexual assault of a female fan, his influence in promoting gangsta rap, his war of words with the Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie smalls/East coast rappers/Bad Boy Records and his constant talk about his death and funeral.

There are mixed views from people regarding Tupac, with people seeing him as Inspirational, a thug, a poet, a gangsta, and a realist. To me, Tupac was the Ultimate. His lyrics, beats and poetry are second to none and it was sad when he died exactly 10 years ago today, following a drive- by shooting after a boxing match in Las Vegas 6 days earlier, from which he suffered severe gun shot wounds. He was only 25.

I remember him today and hope that his music positively affects all those who listen to him.

……..Rest in Peace Pac!............

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Saw this on a blog and decided to do mine! Here goes!

A. Alanis Morisette

B. Boyz 11 Men, Beyonce

C. Coldplay

D. Donnie McClurkin, Des'ree

E. Enya

F. Floetry, Five for fighting

G. Gavin DeGraw, Goo goo Dolls

H. Hoobastank

I. India. Arie

J. John Legend, Jill Scott, Jodeci, Jason Mraz

K. Kanye West

L. Lauryn Hill

M. Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey

N. Nelly Furtado

O. Outcast

P. Pharell

Q. Q-Tip

R. Robbie Williams, R.E.M

S. Steele Pulse, Sound Sultan

T. The Cranberries, Tupac Shakur

U. Usher, U2

V. Vanessa Carlton

W. Whitney Houston

X. Xhibit (Just cos there's no one else)

Y. Yolanda Adams

Z. Zhane (same reason as X above)

Anyone who reads this has been tagged! That's it! I'm out :-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Today is the sad anniversary of 9/11 2001. It’s been 5 years since the world was thrown into Terror after the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon by nihilistic radicals.

On that unparalleled day of sorrow, 19 suicide bombers hijacked 4 American jetliners American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93, five on each, except for United Airlines Flight 93, which had four hijackers and then flew the jets into the aforementioned locations as well as into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania (which is believed to have resulted from the hijackers deliberate either crashing of the aircraft or by losing control of it as they fought with the passengers)causing the death of over 2,900 people and damage to public property worth Billions of USD.

The United States claims that Osama bin laden and al-Qaeda are to be held accountable for the attacks. It is claimed also that he has declared a Jihad (holy war) against the US, and a Fatwa calling for the killing of American civilians, their motives being U.S. support of Israel, U.S. military occupation of the Arabian Peninsula and U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people.

Over the past five years, the fight against terror has become increasingly desperate, with the raging war in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global fever of the “War on Terror” as well as the fear of Islam. Intelligence has improved and much of al- Qaeda’s command has been destroyed, but the al-Qaeda franchise or should I say, brand-name has gained a lot of publicity. We have had the introduction of desperate measures by the authorities to reduce the risk factor as well as educating the public about the threat we face by the over usage of words like nine eleven, burqa, jihad, Taliban, ground zero, Let's roll, Homeland security and Weapons of Mass Destruction aka WMD. Whatever name we call it will not change the face of terror. Let me summarize it by stating this well known fact- Intelligence and security measures alone will never close the gap on terror.

I want to use this medium to pray that God protects us all from terror, and may He give the families and friends of the people whose lives were lost in this heart-breaking episode the fortitude to bear the loss. Amen.

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