Monday, November 30, 2015

IN LOVING MEMORY: PAUL WALKER REMEMBERED



Two years ago today, the world received a terrible shock at the news of Paul Walker's death from a ghastly car crash. The American actor who was 40 at the time of his death was notable for appearing alongside Vin Diesel and then later Tyrese Gibson as the character Brian Conner in The Fast & The Furious and  its sequels (except for The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift).
Walker also appeared  in the 1999 teen movie- She's All That- and several other movies including The Skulls, Flags of Our Fathers, The Lazarus Project and Vehicle 19. Furious 7 was his final movie.



Paul Walker is greatly missed; not only for his versatile acting skills on the big screen but  for his charity work; he was the founder of the charity organisation "Reach Out World Wide" (ROWW) which provides relief  efforts for areas struck by natural disasters. His family, past colleagues and fans of course will always remember him at his best.
May he continue to rest in peace.

ADELE DOES IT AGAIN!



Again English pop singer  Adele has proven she's a  force to be reckoned with as her new album  reaches Number 1. '25' was released on the 20th of this month, 2015; hence for it to make reach the very top within just a week of its release is an astounding achievement.
And why not, from the moment 25's first track 'Hello' flows from the speakers, the listeners are no doubt spellbound by her powerful, soulful  voice,the soft piano chords  and words of the song which has a deeply moving nostalgic tone.
I've always felt that Adele sings from the heart and her music definitely speaks to me. From the moment I first heard her version of Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love from her debut album '19'  and later, the James Bond movie soundtrack, Skyfall- I became an Adele fan.  'Set Fire To The Rain' from her previous album '21' (which won 6 Grammy Awards in 2012) is constantly played in my smartphone because she's simply a very talented singer, her songs besides aforementioned beautiful and filled with meaning.
Will there be another album after this one? If there's going to be, I've no doubt Adele will again shine even more than she's done with 19, 21 and now 25.
 So to Adele, a very hearty and well deserved congratulations!

Friday, November 27, 2015

NIGERIA PLUS SIZE BEAUTIES PROJECT: PLUS SIZE STILL IN!!!

Speaking with Adebowale Victor Ojo a.k.a Mr G’Clef d Impresario; Model, Wardrobe Adviser, Poise Coach and football analyst- he discussed his current venture, The Nigeria Plus Size Beauties Project.


“The project entails creating job opportunities for plus size women, organising a booth camp, creating a tourist club and a thousand march for plus size females. I want plus size females to get their groove, job, marriage, etc. back and appreciate who they are more ‘cause beauty doesn’t have a particular shape. African women are blessed with amazing curvy shape which is globally envied.”  He explained.

 With this venture, plus size ladies out there should emerge self-confident and assured that they are beautiful after all and say, ‘I’m curvy and I love myself!’ 
To see more details of G' Clef's project, "like" his page on Facebook. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

REVIEW: THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES





Lola Shoneyin’s (daughter in law of Nigerian Nobel Laurete, Professor Wole Soyinka) debut novel is an example of social realism and I was taken in by the story from page one. I’ve read enough novels that depict polygamy but this one was different; like the writer was an invisible, silent observer of the rather dysfunctional household of Baba Segi; which consists of his four wives and several children. Baba Segi was not a man I liked at all, actually I despised him. Marrying three more wives and siring children from them was to prove he was a virile “all man” male; most of the time in the novel, he couldn’t stop talking about it or them, like it was a real achievement. The wives are his property and they cook and clean and of course carry out their matrimonial duties when it gets to their turn. They are proud to be his wives and mothers of his children.
We find out that the household was thrown into disarray when Baba Segi suddenly took a fourth wife. The wives are immediately angry and jealous because the fourth wife- Bolanle- unlike them is a University graduate; a young woman Baba Segi met through a customer at his building store. The reader will immediately wonder why an educated girl like Bolanle would throw her life away by marrying a middle aged pompous illiterate like Baba Segi; and who already has three wives and several kids already. It appeared later that the enigmatic Bolanle was harbouring a secret and got the misguided idea that she would find refuge in Baba Segi’s household. Which in fact she didn’t, the wives are hostile and unfriendly towards her.  Mama Tope- the second wife- however was friendly towards her, but she was in the minority and rather weak spirited. The children are instructed not to have much to do with her and Baba Segi- seemly oblivious to Bolanle’s problem- treats her like a trophy. Worse still, it’s obvious that Bolanle married Baba Segi for the wrong reasons and the reader is eager to know what exactly she’s hiding.
After two years of marriage and no child from Bolanle, Baba Segi’s ‘trophy wife’ is suddenly tarnished in his eyes and he feels she’s not so perfect after all. When he proposed they get to the root of the matter, the wives- well at least the first and third, seem even more hostile towards Bolanle until we realise their behaviour towards Bolanle isn’t just mere jealousy but a secret they were terrified would come out.
Shoneyin paints a very grim and unglamourous picture of polygamy; where the new wife is treated like an outsider. Also, she depicts the emphasis of having children since in African society; a woman’s crowning moment is when she becomes a mother- the more children she has for her husband, the higher her status. As the reader turns each page, they see the story through the eyes of several characters; their back stories and their point of view of the present situation and slowly the readers learn Bolanle’s secret and what the wives don’t want their husband to find out. In the end Bolanle finds herself reconciling with her estranged family and reevaluating her life after revealing her painful secret and the wives find themselves at a very tight corner after theirs is exposed.
“The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” wasn’t the least bit disappointing. I wasn’t fond of some of the characters but it was filled with intrigue and emotion and rich in African tradition. I’ve read it several times over now and it’s still as gripping as when I first opened it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CHILDREN FOREVER: NIGERIAN PARENTS' INABILITY TO LET GO OF THEIR CHILDREN





This subject was addressed by a very good friend of mine on Facebook. In her post, she indignantly expressed her view on how African parents' keep such a tight rein on their children that even when they are past 18; they still feel they have the right to tell them what to do and constantly interfere with their lives.
So true, especially here in Nigeria. Culture dictates that children should respect, listen and obey their parents because being their parents; they are older and wiser. Children are brought up to take their parents' guidance and as the years go by, they find themselves continually doing as they are told and decisions made for them... after their own decisions are tossed aside and ignored.
"Mummy and Daddy" are always right and we are the ignorant children who must listen to them because Culture (which is held over our heads like a gun) dictates it. If in the situation where the grown child stands up to them, they are dubbed 'disrespectful', 'stubborn, and sometimes even 'ungrateful'.
 "After all," so goes the usual tirade meant to manipulate and guilt, "we are your parents, we raised you, clothed you, sent you to school and you think you know better?" In the eyes of Nigerian parents, children are still children and don’t seem to notice they’ve grown at all.
 In more developed countries, children go off to begin their lives away from their parents when they get to 18 or 21. Here, such a thing is pretty much impossible.
One reason is economy, with the staggering cost of rents and hard-to-find jobs; what 18 or 21 year olds will be able to get their own place?
The other is  parents; who adamantly refuse to let their children move out of the safety of the family house, either  in a misguided sense of over protectiveness or they simply want to keep their children under their control.
When my friend talked about how a young woman she knew was forced to quit her job and move to the village because her tyrannical father ‘said so’; I felt very sorry for her, especially since she had her life planned out only to be ignored and shoved aside because Daddy for some reason wanted her to move to the village. It’s more about control, than knowing what’s best for her.
That’s all we hear in Nigeria; ‘Mummy and Daddy knows what’s best for us’; in almost every aspect of our lives; from what we were to what course to study in the University. They do all they can to guide us, except on  how to be independent and they are seldom given the chance to stand on their own. In the end, the children’s lives are ruined because they cannot stand on their own, after such a long period of dominance and dependence.
I know a woman in her thirties who still lives with her mother.  Even if she had enough money to rent a place of her own, her mother has already warned her she will not allowed it. 
Her reason? “Letting you live on your own will be like putting a curse on you.” I’ve gone over that weird sentence and till now, I still don’t know what that means.
Nigerian parents would say that parents in the Western world spoil their children and don’t discipline their children enough and spoil them. But it’s not like Nigerian children are better off under their parents’ dominating control either. How do they expect their children to grow if they won’t let them grow?
There’s a major emphasis of having children in this country, if you don’t have children, you’re nothing. Yet children most times are treated like property, not human beings. Their needs are met yes, but what about their emotional needs?   
They say they know what’s best. I say they are  being damn selfish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS GOLDEN EAGLETS!!!


I'm breaking my new rule of not posting on a Tuesday to congratulate our Golden Eaglets for winning the U-17 World Cup tournament in Chile; after defeating Mali 2-0. With this victory, the Golden Eaglets have made history by winning the U-17 World Cup for the 5th time. It was a great outing for Nigeria and no doubt, the Golden Eaglets are coming home to a well deserved heroes' welcome. No doubt the Eaglets were spurred on by determination and true team spirit, hence made Nigeria proud with this wonderful achievement.
So congratulations Golden Eaglets for bringing the Cup home and to the team captain, Kelechi Nwali for his Adidas Golden Ball and Bronze Boot award and to Victor Osimhen (the highest goal scorer) for winning the Adidas Golden Boot award. Well done guys!
Up Naija, UP NIGERIA! 

Monday, November 09, 2015

WILL SMITH PLAYS A NIGERIAN DOCTOR IN “CONCUSSION”



 
Image: notyetrated.net
I happened to come across the trailer of this upcoming biopic , ‘Concussion’ ; about a  forensic neuropathologist  - Bennet Omalu- who discovered a severe football related brain aliment known  as CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and his efforts to make it public. This will be Will Smith's  third biopic; his previous ones being Ali in 2001 where he played boxing legend Muhammad Ali and later on played entrepreneur Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness, the 2006 movie also starred his son, Jaden. The movie will be released this Christmas.
While I’m really interested in seeing the movie, I wanted to know more about the man Smith is portraying; especially since the last name of the same doctor sounds African. Imagine my delighted surprise to find out Bennet Omalu is not only an African but a Nigerian. Doing some research (partly from Wikipedia), I found out more about this Dr. Bennet Omalu. 
Image: Twitter.com


 Dr.  Bennet Omalu; M.D., MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP, CP, MBA was born (not in America like I initially thought) in Enugu, Anambara state during a very rough period in the country’s history- The Biafran War- in 1968. He attended the Federal Government College, Enugu and at age sixteen studied medicine at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; earning a Bachelor Degree in Medicine and Surgery. He left Nigeria for the States in 1994; first going to Seattle  to complete an epidemiology fellowship at the University of Washington. In 1995, he moved to New York City, where he joined Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital Center for a residency training program in anatomic and clinical pathology.
 He has earned eight degrees and is currently Chief Medical Adviser at San Joaquin County, California and is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Omalu discovered CTE in 2002 after doing an autopsy on a football player and thus began his crusade to make the dangerous brain disease public- the main plot of  CONCUSSION.
Dr. Omalu is one of the Nigerians who has made a positive mark in America and I applaud him for what he’s achieved and still achieving today. Keep up the good work sir, you've made Nigeria very proud! 
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