Category: Articles

You first impression can be a total turn off

Irrespective of the field of endeavour that you find yourself, you need to take this very seriously.

That is why I want to share this right here with you guys.

Sorry fam, but can we talk about those guys who go on dates and end up disgracing both themselves and their family people as a result of their very atrocious table manners?

How do you expect to have a repeat date with a someone when you eat like a dog, slopping food down your throat with the most annoying sound ever?

How do you expect to be taken seriously when you use the toothpick to extricate pieces of meat from your teeth and still chew it back?

I was in a restaurant this morning, and from the way the man I met at one of the tables with a lady was eating, I can safely say he lacked serious home training.

Dude be chewing with mouth open, all the while talking, splattering both spittle and other projectiles everywhere. Even when the babe tried to register her inconvenience by shifting uncomfortably on her seat, my guy no code.

See, as a guy, it’s not about making money and believing, like the biblical admonition, that all other things will be added unto you.

Sometimes, people look past your supposed financial status and try to see the real you. And it manifests in little things like civilised table manners.

Cultivating a healthy table manner is the hallmark of a fine gentleman. You can’t be on a date and be eating like a pig; it tells badly on the kind of human that you are.

Little things like this matter. The person you are on a date with might not say anything, but you have already created a bad impression.

What do you make of this?

You can also share your thoughts.

A list of “dos” and “don’ts” for women’s appearance

Yesterday, my good friend, came up with a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for men’s appearance. After going through the list, and the accompanying reactions, I had to admit she and the majority of mostly women folks had some valid point about male personal hygiene.

However, in a bid to balance out the equation and account for both gender inclusiveness, I’ve decided to draft out our own list as to what we expect from the women folk when it comes to personal hygiene:

1) it would greatly help if you ladies periodically change your hairdo and thus eliminate the stench that comes from carrying a single hairdo for 3 months and counting. The odour, especially when mixed with sweat, can give serious migraine to those around you.

2) be aware of when those synthetic eyelashes have outlived their usefully, and take them off accordingly. We can’t be looking at your face while your lashes are drooping all over your eyes. Creepy!

3) if you’re coming over for a visit and a headgame is in the offing, ensure each time you visit the convenience for a pee session, you not only use the tissue to clean off after, but also use water beforehand. Tissue alone doesn’t do the work perfectly, please.

4) We know you love your black bra(s), but can you help us and our unborn generation and soak it in warm, soapy water after every other day? Just as you advise us to not repeat our boxers, we’ll appreciate if you do same to that strappy underwear, too. Same applies to hair nets.

5) finally, always ensure your made-up face complexion matches your neck and the surrounding areas. It’s sometimes a turn off when we have to deal with a fairer than fair face with a chocolate torso. Keep it light and even, please.

Thank you for your understanding.

“How far” Isn’t a form of greeting

See, except we’re close buddies or within the same age bracket or you’re way older than I am, that up quoted phrase there isn’t a form of greeting I’ll entertain from you.

Now, this isn’t me being too intoxicated with respect and the like. Rather, it just isn’t cool with me. Period.

Understandably, social media and instant messaging has led to a breakdown of a lot of traditional social structures, including our attitudes and approach to interaction and greetings.

However, that should not mean we totally throw away our traditional values and manners to the dogs, simply because we want to appear hip and trendy.

I personally usually find it awkward and a bit clumsy replying to a younger person’s “how far”, especially when it’s followed with a handshake he initiates. “How far” what?

The other day, social media was awash with an ugly incident between Wizkid’s manager, an older man, and Tekno.

Turns out Tekno, among other infelicities, actually swaggaliciously initiated a handshake with the older gentleman, something he found extremely off-putting.

Now, this is someone who grew up in the west (of Nigeria), in a generation where younger people naturally prostrated to greet their elders, and wait for the elder to initiate a handshake before they follow through.

Now, imagine him having to suffer the indignity of exchanging perfunctory pleasantries with a much younger person, where the younger person bounces around treating him like some homie . No respect.

It’s all about showing a little bit of decorum. If the older party needs a handshake, they will initiate it, and you follow through. If they don’t, shove it in, please.

Same applies to verbal greetings. Even among age grades, there’s a certain level of belittling “how far” usually connotes, especially if said with reckless abandon, and without any mutual affinity between the two parties.

How much more if there’s a significant age difference between both parties, and you, the younger fellow, always makes it a point of duty to greet them with “how far” each time you meet them. Don’t be surprised if the older party looks at you with disdain, or even make it a duty to avoid having to meet you.

Living in an increasingly liberal society doesn’t mean we completely abandon some values that have helped ensure a more sane society.

Simply because you’ve come of age is no licence to view older folks through your pubescence lens, and treat them as equals. Show some respect.

Except we are age mates or you’re older than I am, or we share some close mutual affinity with each other, just don’t “how far” me , or else I’ll have to start reviewing just how far our relationship has gone.

How do you, basically, deal with mementos?

This evening, a friend got me mentioned in a post that immediately set me off on a nostalgic path. It was about the song “Umqombothi” by that South African music legend, Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

That song, from the “Thank you Mr D.J” album released in 1988, shaped the childhood of most of us born in the 80s, and came to be identified as the quintessential African anthem the world over.

Back then, when this song was the hit, I remember my dad booming it out from his old school turntable every evening, setting the stage for a flurry of dervish dance moves and stunts by us.

That turntable, together with his old black-and-white television, was the centrepiece of our entertainment system back in the days. Even when technology replaced both with the colour TV and VCD player (later to be replaced by the DVD player), dad stubbornly refused to let go his beloved turntable and TV.

Even when those relics of ancient technology got faulty and unserviceable, dad still refused to let them go. Instead, he prepared a special place for them in a section of the living room, and, together with the records, covered them up with table cloths, embalmed for posterity.

Turns out he had a deeply nostalgic connection with, not just these ancient technologies, but the era they represented. And letting them go seemed to him to be letting a vital part of his life history disappear.

We all feel that same sense of rueful despondency letting go some possessions that we’ve come to develop very deep connection with.

I remember when I was a little boy and mum got me this very fancy army camouflage T-shirt. It became more like a second skin on my back. Mum literally had to tear that T-shirt off my back before I even thought of washing it.

Even when it finally turned to rags, I still couldn’t imagine myself ever parting ways with that beloved T-shirt. Mum, out of exasperation, had to burn it in my absence one day. Needless to say, I wept uncontrollably when I discovered my beloved army ranger camouflage T-shirt was gone for good.

Most of us have a deeply emotional connection with something we own. Either because we’ve had those things for too long, we hardly can ever imagine meaningful life without them, or they’ve come to occupy a special place in our hearts. It could be something as simple as a spoon, a shoe or even a pair of jean trousers.

Mine, as it were, is a battery-powered, cassette player dad “dashed” me back in the days. That radio, a Toshiba masterpiece of Japanese technology gifted to him years back by his Japanese bosses as part of his long service awards, has come to symbolise my connection with the era when radio, and not the Internet, was the first source of news and other information.

It fuelled my addiction to the BBC World service and the Voice of America (on shortwave radio) back in the days, playing a significant part in how I came to fall in love with the English language.

Even though it’s been decommissioned for some years now, having developed some unidentified faults, I still find it hard to throw away. It’s gained a special place in my life history, so much so that parting ways with it will almost amount to a sacrilege.

From the look of things, it’s likely I’ll keep it archived and show it off to my children as a relic of a bygone era; a memento in memory of an ancient civilisation.

Now, do you feel the same way about letting go something that you’ve owned for a while? Something that has developed a special place in your life history? Do you feel a part of you dies the day you burn that old jacket that has come to form part of your identity?

So how do you, basically, deal with mementos?

Doing the unusual – I feel used right now

So, it happened that over the weekend, I unmounted my 32 inches TV and took it for repairs after it developed what turned out to be a backlight fault: a problem engendered by our recent power fluctuations.

The technician at the LG showroom I visited checked it and told me it will cost me 25k. I didn’t know when my jaws dropped in shock. I mean, this was against the 10k price they fixed same issue for my neighbour two months ago at the same place.

He went on to explain that the new price regime was as a result of HQ’s new policy of installing new backlights for customers that had similar issues, instead of the previous policy where they simply repaired the faulty one.

I accepted the explanation and proceeded to bargain the price down a bit. We finally arrived at a 15k deal and he told me to make payment. I told him I had to use the POS as I wasn’t with cash. He said the repairs and servicing section doesn’t accept other means of payment apart from cash or transfers. I opted for the transfer method and he gave me an account number, thereafter which I made a 10k transfer to.

He told me to come pick it up on Monday (today). However, later in the evening of same Saturday, he called me and announced he’d been done with my work same day and that he tried calling me, but my number wasn’t going through.

I replied it could have been a network issue and that I wish he got through to me then, as I was eager to have the telly back over the weekend. Since they don’t open on Sundays (the following day [yesterday, that is]), he told me to come this morning.

Then, he insisted over the phone that I send the balance of payment (5k) to him before coming on Monday to pick the telly. I told him I can’t complete payment without assessing the job done. He hung up.

This morning, as early as 6am, he called me again and told me they will be opening by 9am, and that I should come and get it as early as then. I told him no problem. He further insisted I make the transfer before coming. I still told him again I can’t complete payment without checking the quality of job done. This time, i hung up on him.

At this point, I was getting a bit worried about his insistence on my completing payment before coming. Something just didn’t seem right.

When I got to the showroom this morning, he grudgingly brought out the telly and tested it for me to see it’s working fine. After confirmation, I proceeded to ask him for the details of the account to enable me make the transfer. He said he can’t discuss anything with me there as there were cameras everywhere, saying that’s why he wanted me to complete the transaction before coming.

That’s when it dawned on me that this guy just did this work for me illegally, bypassing the company’s accounting system.

Now, I’m not saying he shouldn’t have found a way to make a side hustle, augmenting his pay with his skills in this crazy economy. All I’m worried about is that he should have at least informed me he was gonna use a backdoor channel to work out my issues.

He should have allowed me decide if I wanted to follow his side deal or work with official company protocols. The problem in all this is that if there’s an issue with this repairs tomorrow, I can’t make a formal complaint to the showroom if he wouldn’t/couldn’t sort out the issues.

Now, I feel used and extorted from since he’s basically overcharged me for a service that the company isn’t aware of. And now that he said he can’t deal with me now as there are cameras everywhere, I’m contemplating two things: either I wait him out until we both can sort this out quietly as gentlemen, or I activate my street sense and simply walk back in there and grab my telly and bounce.

Something tells me he would be wise enough not to create a scene by challenging me to balance him his illicit payment if i choose the latter option.

Or what do you think?

Voter apathy during Nigeria general elections

There is a problem in the south. And it is the problem of voter apathy during general elections. The malaise is so deeply ingrained and endemic, especially amongst the womenfolk, that it calls for an emergency response.

For the past two weeks, I have been engaged in a vigorous campaign to encourage people to go out and exercise their franchise in the upcoming general elections.

While the menfolk are malleable and easier to convince into carrying out this all-important civic duty, the womenfolk, for the large part, has repeatedly shown a sheer nonchalance to the whole exercise.

I spoke with a couple of ladies this morning about their choices in tomorrow’s election, and while a majority aligned with a particular candidate, most of them insisted they won’t go out to vote.

When I pressed further, the response was either because they thought the votes won’t count or they feared the threats of violence.

It took me considerable effort to convince them that mere expression of interest in a particular candidate does not suffice if they end up not casting their ballots for the said candidate. And that they needed to vote if they desired actual change in the current situation of things.

This apathy to election matters is what, in part, cost Goodluck Jonathan the elections in 2015. While the majority in the north, including their cows, camels and what have you, were mobilised to join the voting queues, our brothers and sisters in the south were either sitting starry-eyed in front of their TV sets or tuning in to different radio stations in their homes, awaiting the final results.

Some were fixated with their mobile phones, running commentaries online about the outcomes instead of going out to cast their votes. And when the results did come in, it resulted in the enthronement of the worst government in this country since 1984.

See, this time around, we need to take our destinies into our hands. And it starts with us going out en masse, both men and women, to cast our votes tomorrow for a better future.

Don’t sit in the comforts of your homes, arms akimbo, and declare in exasperation that your votes won’t count.

They will, but only if you cast them. Election permutations on social media or internet discussion forums don’t translate to actual votes; they remain simple idle talks.

We have an opportunity to reclaim this country from the grip of an evil cabal that has impoverished, subjugated, and bastardised our collective humanity. We are faced with a battle for the soul of this very nation. And we cannot win that war if we do not engage it with the ultimate weapon at our disposal, our PVCs.

As the man of the house, you owe this nation a duty to mobilise your household, including your wives, concubines, girlfriends, and whatnot to cast their votes for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar tomorrow.

Now, make no mistake about it; Atiku is not the promised Messiah, but cast side by side with the main opposition candidate in this election, he is the best deal we have got.

A vote for any other candidate outside Atiku Abubakar is a vote for the continuation of Buhari’s incompetent maladministration that has, in just four years, resulted in the decimation of every bit of the unifying substances that bound us together as a nation.

We owe not just ourselves but our unborn generation a duty to set the course of history straight and amend a historic mistake that was made in 2015. Let’s not let this opportunity slide by. A vote for the Atiku/Obi ticket is a vote for progressiveness, emancipation from poverty, reclamation of our collective humanity, and a vote for continued nationhood.

Let’s not allow this encroaching darkness envelop us all. Let’s come out en masse tomorrow and reclaim this nation. Let’s vote in Atiku to make this country work again.

How technology has changed over the years

Rarely did we have a technology that got invented and is as versatile. It came around and displaced (or hastened the displacement of) a plethora of other technologies before it. Just name them:
the camera;
the video recorder/camcorder;
the audio recorder;
the calendar;
the ( bedside) alarm clock;
the traditional notepad;
the stop watch;
the torch;
the traditional pen and paper letter writing;
the postal services;
the radio;
the traditional book;
traditional maps;
cyber cafes;
and a host of other technological relics too numerous to mention here.

While it usefully has been indisputable, if anything, as evidenced from the horde of stand-alone technological devices/services it has supplanted, it also means more people have suddenly woken up to the realisation that their source of living has been taken over (or greatly eroded) by a single device.

Do you still remember which antediluvian locker that prized Sony camera of yours is now abandoned? Pray, when last did you visit that cyber cafe where you opened your first Facebook account back in 2009? What happened to all those post office employees at NITEL? What happened to those guys who made a living selling four-battery radio players and torch by the corner shop in your part of town? When last did you visit a bookshop to purchase a traditional paperback?

Except those people segued into other areas to make a living or upgraded their skills to fit into the new information technology environment, it’s likely they fell back either into the labour market or the spiralling poverty cycle.

Skills acquisition and constant knowledge updating is the way of the future. Don’t be too secure and comfy in your current position. Be prepared for the constant change that is part of human existence.

Your current comfortable job may be taken over by a robot tomorrow. What are you doing to prepare for when that change eventually comes?

Be prepared now. Learn a new skill today. Whatever new skill isn’t a waste. Improve and expand upon your current knowledge base. Be better prepped for tomorrow.

The world isn’t static. Don’t be.

Christmas gift exchange for all our readers

It’s Christmas time and what better way to celebrate the season and end of the year than exchange gifts with friends you’ve met here and who have helped shape your life in one way or the other this year.

Now, the rules are simple: comment a gift item you’ll like to gift out. Not necessarily something expensive. Could range from something as small as a tie, recharge card (mention amount), book, or shirt to something as big as a car or landed property.

The first person to indicate interest under your comment gets the gift. Now, If the first person that indicates interest can’t get it due to logistical issues like distance and the cost of way billing, then the next commenter who’s closer to the gifter gets it and you move on to another comment thread.

PLEASE, ONLY SERIOUS INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL DELIVER ON GIFTS SHOULD JOIN.

Everybody that participates MUST be a giver and not just a receiver. If you’ve been slated down to receive a gift and after going through the comments, I discover you didn’t offer any gift to anyone in return, I’ll personally instruct your benefactor to withhold your gift until you do the needful.

Pledging of gift items ends by 6pm, thereafter beneficiaries can go ahead to claim their gifts. The time is to allow me to go through the comments and fish out those who only want to receive without gifting in return. Thus, no one should gift out any item to any beneficiary until after 6pm when pledging ends.

My gift item will be buried somewhere in the comments.

NB: You can only get one single gift item from an individual. No need jumping from one comment thread to another. However, those who gift more than one item are free to receive from others each time they make a fresh donation.

The culture of Nigeria popularized by Falz

This culture of ‘this is Nigeria’, popularized by Falz in his recent single, will be our greatest undoing in this country, and this is me putting it mildly.

For those alien to the lingo, it means a culture of dystopian bliss, where things and systems are deliberately made to fail and people normalize, even rationalize, it because, well, this is Nigeria.
You see, that culture of inherent mediocrity seeps through everything we get in this country, making us come to believe we aren’t cut out for finesse and expertise in doing things.

You pay a painter to do a painting job for you, and the result is a sloppy job, with very bad finishing. When you complain, he mutters under his breath that it doesn’t matter. After all, this is Nigeria.

You take your generator to be serviced by the technician. He dismantles it, fixes the issue, but ends up screwing in four nuts and bolts instead of the five he unscrewed. When you complain, he swears it doesn’t matter and that it will work just as fine. When you insist he should do the right thing as done in saner climes, he tells you, ‘Oga, this is Nigeria”.

You hire an electrician to fix a faulty wire connection in your home. He opens the junction box, locates and fixes the issue, but while covering the junction box (if he even manages to cover it afterwards), he leaves a couple of wires hanging loose. When you task him to leave it as he found it, he informs you it doesn’t matter, because, well, this is Nigeria.

I recently was at a barbershop where the barber attempted a DIY on his standing fan. He prised open the blade cover, located the issue, managed to fix it, but never covering the blade cover before putting the fan back to work. When I complained that those exposed fan blades were a potential safety risk, he nonchalantly replied, “oga, notin go apen. Dis is Nigeria!”

You see, this culture of ‘this is Nigeria’ has, over time, made us believe we can never get even the simplest of things right in this country. We have come to believe things should simply not work the way they work in other places, reinforcing a mediocre and subpar work culture in the process.

No nation ever grew on the back of a culture built on sloppiness and inefficiency. It’s a mentality we need to ditch if we are to make headway as a people and nation. Else, we’ll keep wallowing in mediocrity while the rest of the world advances ahead.

Meghan’s “simple” wedding funding

You’re there forming motivational speaker on top Meghan’s “simple” wedding, forgetting it was HUGELY funded by both the Royal family and British Government.

How does that compare to some of you who’ll go out of you way to extort money from your friends and well-wishers in the name of aso-ebi, force the man to spend on different nonsense pre-wedding and bridal parties, wash scarce resources down the drain in the name of facial makeover, and demand all kinds of marriages (traditional, church, court etc) from that struggling guy who was unfortunate enough to ask your hand in marriage?

Did they tell you people that Meghan was stuck in some face-me-I-face-you yard waiting for a Prince to come rescue her so that she transfers her generational burden onto him? Haven’t you heard she’s worth over 10 million dollars and was an established actress before becoming a Duchess? How much are you worth beside your heavily filtered Snapchat pictures and faux lifestyle?

When y’all are done drooling over this particular royal wedding, better come back to reality and know that not everyone will get married to a Prince, and that you can make any man your own Prince if you work towards it.

Let’s know what you’re bringing to the table first before you start having unrealistic expectations from anyone about a fairytale wedding.

You can’t expect a Meghan kind of wedding when all you can offer is a dolled up face and attitude. Be humble.