Ready to blow

    For some reason, when I tell people there are so many things going on in my head: they always think I’m joking or exaggerating. I’m not surprised though, as the word ‘I have a lot on my mind’ is now a cliché. Usually, there’s like a million and one things going on in my head at any given time. My brain is always trying to do too much, even when my body begs to rest. I could be speaking to you right now and while that’s going on, my mind has trailed off to like 5 other things. It’s easy to think I’m uninterested with whatever is being said, as most times I appear blasé: but on the real- I’m not, that’s just how I am. 
It’s like my mind is attentive, but not at the same time. It’s so crazy that if you actually ask me to tell you what I’m thinking of, I might be able to name a few shallow topics, but I probably won’t be able to constructively tell you about 3 . Because, they’re so much I can hardly remember. It’s like a computer that has too many tabs open at once, thing is: I’m not really that kind of computer.  I’m aware this sounds bad, but I have a system of keeping track- and I remember everything. I may simply form activity like I don’t know or can’t remember at the time, but don’t get it twisted: I never forget. I’m a complex person that finds organisation in disorganisation, and there’s a huge filing system in my head that is able to log all the entries going in. 
Sometimes I wake up and don’t even feel refreshed. Have you ever had that kind of sleep where you’re sleeping but you’re still conscious? You can feel yourself thinking and your mind working, despite you ‘sleeping’. It’s like being continually stuck in the REM stage of sleep, or being on a time loop in purgatory without moving on. Sometimes, life is like a dream to me. Everything appears all foggy and blurry, and I can’t make out anything. It’s almost like being in a dull grey silent movie; this time not starring Charlie Chaplin, but me. At other times, it’s like I’m having an out of body experience, where I’m watching myself move around and function. 
By a show of hands, who else feels like a toy soldier on a factory production line, no one? For all I know I might be over thinking things, as I’ve been told one too many times. Or maybe I’m the one doing the right amount of thinking, and most people are just getting by on the barest minimum? Just a thought. I used to and still love the sitcom ‘How I met your mother’, and I was watching it a couple of minutes before I started typing this post. And I’m thinking: I’m I Ted on a violent streak? A happy-go, optimistic, eccentric, down on his luck kind of guy, whose head (depending on you), can either be in the gutter or in the clouds? I don’t know if you understand me, or maybe I’m just talking to myself? Don’t matter. Peace and love
BLOGPOST SOUNDTRACK: Bugzy Malone- Ready to blow

I see you

    We honestly need to start appreciating and complimenting people a little bit more. At any given time, something said could just be that ray of sunshine needed to help get through the day. Although money speaks volumes; some of us are really driven by acclaim too, and getting positive feedback over something we’ve done is like jet engine fuel that propels us to the next level. A quick thank you or simple acknowledgement could go a long way. When I’m in a place I know I’m welcome and appreciated, I always live up to or exceed expectation, and I’m assuming the same can be said for any normal human being.
Interestingly, we spend a lot of time at the barbers and hair dressers, or hours in front of the mirror:  trying to pick the perfect outfit- to look our best or at least presentable. Then when people ask you who you’re looking pretty for since you don’t have a ‘significant other’, you snappily reply something to the tune of you’re doing it for yourself. In as much as you might not have a spouse, and contrary to popular opinion that paying attention to yourself is unnecessary, we would still love it if someone acknowledged the result of all the effort we put in to look good. 
Tell a woman you like her new hair and see her shine like a new penny. Watch that guy beam with joy when you tell him his haircut makes him look fresh, and all through the day- that one complement could be the make or mar factor that drives his productivity. Growing up, my mum used to place so much emphasis on compliments, and I never understood why.  She would meet a random stranger and tell her she looked very good, and then they would proceed to have a brief conversation which usually ended with smiles- and one person bouncing off like a bubble head. 
The word thank you can go a long way in changing someone’s mood. I remember back when I used to work at Unilag FM- and after many months of being unnoticed, someone phoned into the program I was on: called me out specifically and said I was doing a good job. I was over the moon. I was so grateful and excited: I could have anchored 4 other shows that day without breaking to eat or closing from work. No money or compensation was offered, all the person said was I was doing a very good job and my day was made. I blushed from the station all the way to my house- you couldn’t tell me nothing. Someone you’re supervising is doing an excellent job; make sure you let them know. Never let anyone feel like their hard work is going unnoticed and unappreciated. Peace and love

Small mercies

    After all these years, I can finally say I fully understand the words ‘more money more problems’. Right now, it shouldn’t be news to anyone that I love taking strolls: and it’s always amazing when I stroll past houses in low income areas, I just marvel at how they appear happy and content with the little they have. Sometimes, you find them sitting outside their flats when there’s no light: taking in the fresh air. I guess the phrase ‘beauty in simplicity’ doesn’t apply to fashion alone. After achieving success and getting to a certain stage, as much as you may feel there’s no life without trivial and seemingly basic necessities like generators, expensive clothes or phones, I’ve found that you can be alive, comfortable and content without these things. 
I remember years ago in the late 90s/early 2000s when we used to stay in Surulere/ Aguda, and generators weren’t as common as they are now. Whenever NEPA took light: my mum, sister and I would simply put on the rechargeable lamp, bring out the mat, sit in the dark, telling stories and enjoying our own company. I realise our definitions of the word fun might be a bit different, but to me: those were fun times.  I’m not saying we’re not happy right now or we’re particularly rich, but in some regards, you can say we’ve moved up- and certain things are expected of you when you move up. Nowadays, whenever people complain about the heat because there’s no light and there’s no fuel in their generator: I’m reminded of those days with lanterns. If we survived then, we’ll survive now. 
You may misconstrue my words by thinking I’m complaining or alluding we aren’t happy, that’s totally not the case: we are, ecstatic actually. But I’m only using this instance to buttress the point my narrative is trying to pass across. There are problems associated with every phase of life you progress to. You consider yourself a small man? Issues are right there waiting to be solved. At no point are you going to be problem free, so to speak. Even when you glo up and become made, you will still experience problems; the only thing is that the nature of the problems would change. The amount of fuel needed to power a Toyota Corolla is not the same amount used to power a Range Rover. All na fuel, but they’re different. The price needed to service a Camry can’t be compared to the monthly payments on a G-wagon. So if you think moving up, or having a particular amount would solve all your problems or make you immune to them, you’re tripping. 
It would surely go a long way in solving your immediate needs, but more problems will crop up that need solving too. What we should focus on and pray for is the contentment to be happy in whatever space we find ourselves, and also pray to God for the provision of resources needed to tackle any problem that comes up. Not too long ago, my mum missed an international flight, so she had to buy another ticket that was twice the amount of the original which cost far less, as it was a promo ticket. We were all pissed about it, but reluctantly bought a new one. In as much as it was a very costly error in judgement, we thank God that at that point we had the money needed to replace the ticket that was missed. God provided the resources needed to overcome that problem. In life, even the bible says we can never be immune to trials, what we should pray for is the strength to climb that hurdle, tackle our problems and fight our demons. Peace and love

Too Bait

    Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a rich man. For some weird reason, I thought being rich was like a clan or something, and I was obsessed with becoming a member of that clan. So obsessed, I would study people of affluence for hours: how they talked, greeted themselves, crossed their legs when they sat down, how they dressed, and how they comported themselves around other people. As a kid, I attended Cathedral Church of Christ; you know that big beautiful white church at marina? Yes that one, so there was no shortage of rich specimens to study. At some point I started hating going to children’s church; simply because I wanted to take more notes on someone in the big church I was watching. 
From time, I’ve always been a looker: and they could tell when I was watching. In response, they would sometimes smile and gave me a curt nod, or at others: just stare blankly ahead. When I say I used to attend that church as a kid, it doesn’t mean I don’t go there anymore, I still do- but we can all agree that as you grow older, religion becomes a bit fluid in the sense that you start attending other churches, and the line demarcating guest and regular worshiper becomes blurred. Even from an early age, I used to dress funny. As young as 4/5 years old, I stopped wearing white socks because I noticed rich businessmen usually wore black, so whenever someone in the family was traveling; all I would request were black socks, suspenders, and things children of my age had no business with. 
Not just anyhow black socks, plain black socks: almost knee-length- the way a true gentleman is supposed to wear his. Everly and deliberately crossing my legs to show the slightest hint of black, letting you know that I wasn’t your mate. I’m sure you’re now getting an idea of how the nickname shoboi came about. As the years passed, those things stuck with me and became the norm. I also noticed that most sensible rich people are subtle in their ways, inconspicuous, and always wish to slip under the radar. But classless and pretentious people actually make the most noise. My mum was gisting with me and my sister some days ago when she mentioned that she saw a Gold plated suitcase at the airport. Not knowing my sister was thinking the same thing: I replied by saying it was the most obnoxious thing ever.
Most likely done by a ‘notice me’ first-time traveler, or a c-list celebrity looking for attention. Those sorts of tacky things are too obvious and get more people to notice you. Ironically, a lot of smart rich people don’t even want to be noticed, so you won’t know they’re rich and ask them for money or advice. But the people in the other category make the loudest noise. There’s nothing as fresh as being refined. You don’t have to make noise to let everybody know you’ve got it, if you really do- time will tell. Peace and love

Note to self: Don’t get mouthy

    A lot of us don’t realise that the things we say consciously or unconsciously, take effect in our lives and in the lives of others- so I would advise everyone to watch what they say. There are people that say things, and have it come to pass almost exactly how they said it would. While I was growing up, I knew a couple of Cele people who ‘COULD SEE’ and I used to wonder why most of them didn’t use their gift to attract wealth into their lives.  But I realised much later that that’s not how it works, and their utterances happen at random. 
In my head, I always divide the seers into two categories. The first category are people that actually have a direct link to God and see things like in a trance, and the second category is almost everybody else: the people who say things that may or may not come to pass. I’m reminded of the Yoruba saying Iwofa Lenu, meaning: words are like messengers, they could go to any length so be careful how you use them. Besides, the Yoruba boy in me is on a roll today, so I’m feeling all son of the soil-ish. I’m also reminded of a Yoruba movie (I can’t remember the name), where a couple who were sat under a tree, made statements under the influence of love. Statements like ‘I can’t live without you, I will die if I’m with anybody else’ and other things in that direction. Unknown to them, a spirit was around at the time, and put a seal on their statements. Long story short, they broke up and experienced hell on earth- due to the fact that they were separated, and only got better when they were told why, and the link eventually broken. 
Yet again, I don’t mean to be a typical Yoruba boy, but as my mum always says- ‘you never know what spirits are around, so be careful’. I’m not negating the effect of the words other people profess into our lives, but I don’t need to tell you it’s almost like seeing into the future when someone says you’re mad and you justify them by acting like a mad person, very counterproductive. That being said, people always overlook the effect their words have on their own lives as opposed to the words of other.  Somehow, we feel other people’s words carry more weight than ours. People are steady blaming others for something they said, that may or may not have taken effect in their life. He/she cursed me and that’s why I’m this way bla bla bla. Not really, you’re this way maybe because of something you said about yourself, or the way you acted towards someone at some point. 
This is a side note that is totally unrelated and related at the same time, but there’s a certain man staying a couple of houses away from one of my guys. He has no job, no wife, no kids and dresses funny, basically he’s a Bum, and the story going around is that his mum cursed him to be that way. Apparently something happened a while back, they got into an argument and things were said, so she said some things to him and that was that. I’m just wondering, is that possible? Ironically, his mum is still alive as well, and If the stories are true: I wonder how she must feel knowing she’s the cause of all her sons problems? Or maybe she’s not, and the poor guy is just having a rough go at life. Either way, watch your mouth. Peace and love.

Fair Weather

    In as much as we shouldn’t be defined by what people think, we must always keep in mind that whatever we do will be used as a determinant in judging us. I’m naturally a nice dude, but I’m extra nice whenever I have that thought at the back of my mind: because, what I can’t stand is leaving someone with a bad impression of me. I joke around quite a bit, and my sense of humour is very much unlike that of most people, so I always like to clarify things I say to make sure it’s understood properly. But when I’m playing- I’m playing, and when I’m serious- I’m serious like a heart attack. 
I went to a wedding a couple of weeks back where the groomsmen were called to say one or two things about the groom, and they all said the weirdest things. For starters, he didn’t have a cohesive unit of groomsmen, at best they were the grooms friends (yes there’s a difference between the two), and they looked liked he just called them up that morning and told them he was getting married, so they decided to show up. Though it was meant to be a joke, I noticed they all kept hammering on the fact that ‘he’s a problem’. Not that he’s troublesome, he’s a problem. First off, it was pretty obvious the ‘groomsmen’ didn’t know each other, and from their stories: we gathered they met the groom at different times and in different places. But one thing they all had in common was saying the groom was a problem. I was livid.
 On the real, I dare any useless friend of mine to come to my wedding and say I’m a problem; I can assure you both of us will have serious problems after that. That’s not a good reputation to have, nor is it a good thing to have said about you on your wedding day- but since the grooms friends felt they needed to stress it out, there must be some truth to it. It’s not rocket science, if you do well: most people will actually testify to the fact that you’re a good person. A woman I know officially retired on Thursday last week. I saw a video, and it was like a big party at her office. There was dancing and singing. As in, one of her colleagues lifted her up on his shoulders, then people took turns to tell stories about her, and they were mostly good ones. Even when it got to her bosses, they all said the nicest things- which just re-enforced the fact that she was actually loved. My ultimate aim is to have people say good things about me, even at my back. They already do, but I’m looking at a larger scale something: because, a good reputation goes a very long way. 
I remember back when I was a teenager in vacation bible school at Ikoyi Baptist church, the reigning slang then was ‘my rep’. Any small thing, we would all scream ‘ahh my rep’. If I could travel back in time, big me would first of all tell little me the meaning of rep. At that time, I had no clue what rep meant, or that is was short for reputation: but I somehow understood the context it was used in. Secondly, I would tell young sho that he was on the right track, and also to protect his rep at all cost. These days when I hear guys chat about a guy that steals, or one girl that is a shalams, in my head I just go ‘that’s someone’s child, a human being- rep tarnished’ all over some silly stuff like stealing a phone or hopping beds. Never directly put yourself in a position where people would have negative things to say about you: because at any given opportunity, they will say them. We can’t help if someone decides to take things out of context; all we can do is hope to God for an impartial jury. Peace and love.

Don’t play yourself

    I’ve come to understand that in relationships, a lot of people are unrealistic with their expectations: leading them to foolishly demand for exaggerated effects- which is one of the reasons why (in my opinion), many relationships are on the rocks. For guys, they want the babes on Instagram or the type of girls they see on social media with the enhanced features: a rich girl with low standards, someone that isn’t high maintainance with a spectacularly fresh face and thick hips that would be the envy of all mankind. Not so hot that she would make your friends want to smash too, but just hot enough. 
In the same breathe; they want the girl to be the right balance of outgoing and homely, quirky but not clumsy, smart and employed. Not forgetting that she still has to be both a home maker and a party animal. The girls on the other hand want a guy with a piercing jaw line that sits beneath gorgeous dimples, abs to die for, plenty money, someone that is a Kamasutra guru, tall and an active member of beard gang. It’s no wonder they start complaining when their boyfriend doesn’t meet all these funny criteria, and that’s when they’ll remember he’s only 5ft 8inches tall and earns only 70 thousand naira monthly. Some people should even be happy to just find someone that likes them back. 
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Instagram slay Queens; I think they deserve numerous Nobel peace awards. Because, some men actually use their image to console themselves while dealing with the reality of whatever kind of spouse they are faced with. In as much as we know some of the ones abroad got that way through surgeries, we still trip. At least our Nigerian sisters that we know can’t afford surgery are killing themselves in the gym doing squats and wearing fake butt pads up and down. What I really can’t stand are the girls that wear excessive makeup, leaving you with a less than normal expectation. In as much as I’m the same person that believes we should all be dreamers- aim high and all, but let’s all be realistic with our expectations and stop placing undue pressure on people to be what we want them to be as opposed to being themselves and living out their own true potential. 
I also would like to urge that we stop comparing people to each other; you’re hurting yourself and hurting the other person too. In the bid to create our own perfect human being, we tend to unknowingly compare people: which could be deathly annoying. ‘Do this like this, this person wears her hair like this so… don’t do this, don’t do that, see how she/he did it’ and the whole 9 yards. Let people live, or you will lose them. I once frustrated the life of an ex-girlfriend because I kept comparing her to another person, I don’t need to explain how that story ended because as you can see, I said ex. Always leave room for reality in your expectations, you might have a good guy or girl, so don’t play yourself. Peace and Love

Knowing your truth

CAUTION: The opinions expressed here are solely that of the writer, and are in no way binding. Contrary to how it looks, pride wasn’t an undertone in the writing of this piece. Statements made come from a place of humility.
    For real, it’s alright to not be friends with everybody: not everyone is going to get along with you and you with them, no need to stress yourself. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re proud, it just means there are certain people (for whatever reason), you don’t want to associate yourself with. When you say you don’t mess with someone, it’s naturally assumed you’re antisocial and full of pride. Nope. Then we like to console ourselves with the ‘nobody is bigger than anybody and everybody is the same’ motto- but that is so far from the truth.
We might all be the same in the eyes of God; but news flash, this is earth and we are humans here, you need to realise to us humans- not all of us are the same. People are different, cut from different sleeves. Your values and ideals may not be the same with the next person. We need to face the reality that education, wealth and social status are actually deciding factors in forming relationships. This is coming from the most humble place, but some people are actually above or beneath you, and it’s always best to be aware of your place in the scheme of things. 
The statement above isn’t implying you can’t move up or down, or you should keep away from certain people: I’m just saying before you do- know your place, be aware. I always love it when people band together and form solidarity: like the whole world is one big ECOWAS peace keeping mission; the rate at which some people are in denial amuses me every time. The phrase ‘we are all the same’ applies to humans as a race, the human race. But when we unravel at an individual level, you will realise we are all not the same. The perks and privileges associated with a certain standard of living should never be overlooked. The worst kind of man is a man that doesn’t know his place and how to play his role. He is a detriment to everybody, because he runs a risk of pulling others down while trying to know himself. 
I personally think the word ‘friend’ is used too loosely these days. At the smallest incident, people start shouting ‘friend, friend, friend’. G, we just know each other, at best we are acquaintances: so friend is a bit deep. I’m not saying the rich can’t be friends with the poor, or the haves can’t mix with the have not’s- you can, if you are let into that circle or you earn your way into it. Don’t just go around thinking everybody is naturally going to get along or play with you. Knowing your place doesn’t mean you should kneel with head bowed before speaking to, or be rude when spoken to. It just means you’re aware of where you stand and because you’re aware, you’re going to act accordingly. Peace and love

Acrimony- No happy endings

    For some time now, I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about Tyler Perry’s new movie acrimony, and I was convinced I was the only one in the world that hadn’t seen it. For the most part, everybody had something to say about the movie: which side they were on, and what they felt should have happened. The reviews were great- it seemed like a truly lovely movie, and I was fuming I hadn’t seen it yet. Well, I finally did and it lived up to its hype. It was so good; I must have watched it about 5 times. For those that haven’t, I’m not going to gloat: but here’s a quick rundown before I give my two cents. 
The movie is about a university couple who despite a rocky relationship, decide to get married against better judgement and the wishes of the girls family. Over the years, the young wife watches her husband’s dream of selling an environment friendly battery fizzle out, and she becomes frustrated with his inability to get a job. Money runs dry, and with no children: they become distant; eventually getting a divorce because of the husbands perceived cheating. After the divorce, his energy saving battery becomes a hit, and he starts swimming in money pools. He gives his ex-wife 10 million dollars, and the keys to her mother’s house which she sold to finance his battery needs, then re-marries. The ex- wife feels slighted, and sees the new wife as an opportunist. She then proceeds to torment the new couple, eventually confronting them on their honeymoon boat. Shooting the man, but in the process loses her life. 
I’m quite divided on this. On one hand, I feel she was wrong for tormenting both of them. She wanted the divorce, he begged her not to go ahead with it but she still did. He was even appreciative by giving her a whooping 10 million dollars, but she wanted more: after greed and entitlement set in. She thought she could eat her cake and have it. On the other hand I felt she was also justified. She spent her youth with that man, lost her womb in the process, sacrificed all her inheritance: even had to sell off her mother’s house for him. Everyone gets to a breaking point, and when she got to hers she asked for the divorce. People would say she should have held on a bit longer and the divorce was too early, but remember she already put up with 20 years. Any sane person, after giving that amount of years- would feel entitled liked they worked for it too, and be upset when they see another person coming to reap the benefits, someone that has no idea of the hard work that went into securing it.
Lastly, she obviously took her reaction very far though: but that should also be expected after showing us early in the movie that she isn’t afraid to risk her own life when trying to get even. Hurt is a normal reaction for anybody, but we shouldn’t let the hurt blind us from the goodness that is coming our way. She was willing to forgo the 10 million, so her ex wouldn’t be happy.  The Chinese have shown us that in getting revenge, you indirectly hurt yourself: a theme that is abundant in this movie. Greed, haste and entitlement are also things we should be careful of, or run away from. Never feel entitled to something someone else has because you’re privy to how they got it. In tackling greed, I have a very brilliant friend that says if you check the downfall of most bank robbers or bank heist in history, most fell when they became greedy and wanted more. Not justifying theft, just using one evil to shed light on another evil. Peace and love

Slow metabolism

    At times, I really wonder where Nigeria is going. Are we moving forward or back? Change is a by-product of years spent, but Nigeria seems to be making the smallest amount of progress it possibly can. I’m still a fan of the country though, but I’m also a realist that likes to call a spade a spade. This lack of development can be felt across all sectors. In schools, whatever happened to meaningful excursions? Back then, I remember going to places like the national museum and national theater. But now, all I see kids go on is on excursion to the cinemas. When exactly did going to the cinemas constitute as growth for a child, and what educational value does watching a bunch of cartoons impact? 
From all those excursions, I can say I had fun while learning a thing or two about Nigeria’s history. I remember how excited my whole class was to see the bullet riddled car the former head of state was assassinated in. I just kept thinking to myself ‘wow, Murtala Mohammed actually sat back here’. Now I finally understand why people are so pained about the declining educational system in the country. Maybe because I wasn’t looking at it through the glass of child care or maybe because back when I passed through a government owned university, it was still a bit sensible- something just made the whole education is bad mantra foggy to me. 
Lately, I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time with people that have kids, and I keep hearing them talk about Roman numerals. Yes, the same Roman numerals. You know, IV, X and co. And my first thought is ‘they still teach this in school’? Then I got home to hear my sister telling me her 3 year old daughter was also given lessons on Roman numerals in her summer school, and my jaw dropped. Asides the fact that Roman numerals are outdated, how is that the appropriate thing to teach a child in nursery school? My jaw dropped because, I have a thing for tattoos: and earlier in the year I was trying to get a Roman numerals based tattoo (because they are obviously pretty). So I figured to call up my uncle in Italy for help. 
Who better to assist than someone that resides in the origin country? To cut the long story short, he proceeds to tell me they are outdated even in Italy, and there’s a new number system they use. He then goes ahead to chuckle and ask ‘who still thinks about Roman numerals?’ My point is, so this is what they are packing us with in schools. When I heard one pained woman on NTA shouting they give us expired products everywhere in Nigeria, at the time I didn’t understand- but I do now. Even summer holidays seem so bleak. Where did all the summer camps go? Let’s not talk about how tourism is uber dead in the country. I recently saw a picture of a Lion at the Port Harcourt zoo, and the picture was begging for food and smelling of malnourishment. This isn’t a rant; these are legit thoughts and questions that plague the mind. Think about it. Peace and love