Sunday, 30 August 2015


I don't understand many things. I don't understand smoking, I think it is unintelligent and obtuse. Intelligent people do unintelligent stuff.
I don't understand hide and seek, it makes no sense, there's no point to hiding because eventually, no matter how long it takes, you will 'un hide'.
I don't understand screaming. In my mind, there are only two valid reasons why anyone should scream, 1. You're dying. 2. You're being born.
I don't understand fashion, fashionableness, as far as I'm concerned, is relative. No one can possibly tell me what looks good on me.
I don't understand being cool. There's something not very smart about the idea of being cool. Cool, like fashion, is relative. Cool is something that appeals to kids, teenagers. If you are over 20 and you still go about hustling to be cool, please accept my condolences.
I don't understand Kim Kardashian, I don't understand people who sit in front of a television screen and watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians and actually enjoy it; then go on Facebook and add it to list of shows they like. I imagine that people like that are very likely to have issues with trust, weight, food and life.
I don't understand Rugby, overweight men jumping on each other so that, at the end, another overweight man can run with an oval ball and slide, like 5 year olds trying WWE moves 'at home'.
I don't understand gift wrapping, it just does not add up. I mean, what's the point of wrapping gifts when the singular purpose of gifting is to tear up the wrappings. I think it is unfair to 1. The gift 2. The wrappings 3. The unfortunate individual whose job it is to do the wrapping 4. The unfortunate individual whose job it is to do the unwrapping 5. The environment 6. Whatever it is that gift wrappings are made from.
And finally, I don't understand Instagram, and of all the things I don't understand, Instagram is the one I intend to talk of a little today.

I have never really 'gotten' selfies. I mean the 247 ones, when the only times you're not taking selfies are the times you are thinking of taking selfies. I understand how our minds need memories, and selfies, sometimes, some places, are fantastic ignition for memories, but still I don't get it. It is one thing that my mind has not been able to fully wrap itself around. I haven't been able to, on my own, figure out why people love selfies so much. I suspect, although I am not sure, that it is for purposes of self gratification more than anything else. I mean, there's probably nothing as self gratifying as one taking flattering pictures of one's self, lips pouted towards the heavens, for reasons best known to God, hips outstretched apart from the body, as if it is a separate entity and has a separate existence from the body. Narcissism, in my mind, is the mother of the selfie.
Now, Instagram takes selfie taking to a-whole-nother level. I joined Instagram at some point during the last year, I deactivated the account a little over a month later. Apart from the immense, absolutely unapologetic level of fakery that the Instagram app basks in the glory of, I feel it is also harming us, gradually but steadily.
These days an act of kindness is incomplete until it has found its way to Instagram. You are not yet a good person until you have taken a photo or a short video of you being a good person and have posted it on  Instagram and have embellished it with thousands of hash tags and have gotten a hundred oohs and aahs and 'you're such a kind heart' and 'it's so beautiful what you are doing for these poor children who can't do anything for themselves.' in the comments section. The danger in this trend is that the children who are being born into this Instagram and generally, social media generation will grow up imagining that kindness and thoughtfulness is incomplete without pictures on Instagram, without pictures on Facebook, without announcements. The moment one announces one's kindness, it stops being kindness, it becomes something different.
The next reason I don't understand Instagram is noise. Do you remember how in Primary School there was always this boy or girl who, during the holidays, had travelled outside the country and would not shut up about it? The constant waylaying of your eardrums with absolute nonsense about Shanghai's sunset and the people who do not speak a single word of the English language, remember them? Remember how they made you feel like tearing out your ears and keeping them in a safe place until you got home? That's exactly how it feels when Instagram users post a million pictures of arrant nonsense a day, each bedraggled in a million hash tags that have nothing to do with the stupid pictures anyway.

Fakery is important. It is important because the filters that remove all the blemishes on your face and in your life only exists on Instagram. If you are a shitty person, you are a shitty person. Instagram would only be able to change that on its app, not in real life.
Finally, therefore, more important is what you do in real life, what you are in real life than the make believe life that Instagram enables you have, that Instagram has created for your egoistic pleasure.

N.B. If this write offends you, if it upsets you, good. It's probably directed at your ego anyway.

Friday, 14 August 2015

The World Is For Rich People

The truth is, as bitter a pill as it is to swallow, one cannot blame the poverty of the poor on the wealth of the rich. Except in the rare cases where the politicians get rich at the expenses of the citizens of a nation, but that's a separate conversation.

The hash tag, #NigeriaIsForRichPeople, trended on Twitter this morning. I was interested in it because I have spoken/written a lot, on this blog and everywhere else I have gotten a chance to, about Social and Societal stratifications, the immense disadvantages of the rich people being so extremely rich and poor ones being so extremely poor, and both existing within the same space, and breathing the same air, and walking/driving the same roads.

In Abuja, where I have spent a lot of time in the last year or so, I find that the only sets of people that social stratifications occur to, that are conscious about 'classism', are the poor ones. The rich people do not pay attention to the fact that such a thing even exists. They mostly just drive in their exotic cars with their windows raised and honk their horns so the boys hawking air fresheners and handkerchiefs and breath enhancers or mints could get out of their way.

It is not actually intentional, this nonchalance, this unawareness of the rich. It is not something they wake up in the morning and decide. No millionaire wakes up at 6 in the morning and goes, 'You know what, today, the woman in the market who sells a bunch of bananas to me at 100 naira, will sell them to me at 80 naira even though I can afford the extra 20 naira and I am very much aware that she needs the 20 naira a lot more than I do.' No one wakes up in the middle of the night and says 'In the morning, I will not slow down where there is a puddle of water because I intentionally want to splash muddy water on the unemployed young man by the side of the road, who is looking to flag down a taxi because he has a job interview with a multinational company in thirty minutes; a job interview that I know he will not be successful in because my son also applied for same job and I'm friend's with the company's Director.'
Do you understand?
It is not intentional, this nonchalance. It is not intentional that a woman wearing a newly made fashionable, female agbada and too much make up, and who has car keys dangling from her over-bedazzled hands, and who is on the phone commanding someone to be at a certain place at a certain time, would walk right past the long queue in the banking hall, straight to the cashier; and the cashier, who has been ordering people not to break queue all day, would smile dumbly, like she has been tranced by some exotic potion from the fifteenth century, and do everything for this woman and have that miserable smile plastered on her face throughout the transaction. It is one of those things that exist because it is the way it is, because it is what it is. I am not defending over exuberance, I am not defending the wealthy, but the world is setup in a way that allows money to speak much more than the mouth ever can. Where there's money, the mouth becomes useless. We have setup society so that the poor are condemned, not reckoned with in any instance.

Solutions? Of course, there are always solutions, but the solutions to this immense degrees of inequality would mean tearing down everything we have built, would mean unlearning everything we have learnt. Would literally mean 'CTRL Zing' the world as we know it. Nigeria is not for rich people, the world is for rich people.
This is why I keep hammering on the next generation. We cannot afford to have them think the same way as us. It would be a travesty for social inequality, in such brazen manner, to continue up until the generation that comes after ours, it would be a disaster of giant proportions. We have to change things. We must.