“SHE STOLE MY HEART”

The following is a textual representation of a true-life conversation between a man and his God-knows-what. Whatever you do, you must not take the event which follows with a pinch of salt.

Sens O’ Humour (SOH): Knock Knock.

Man: Who’s there?

SOH: Sens O’ Humour.

Man: Sense of whom?

SOH: You heard me the first time but for emphasis, I shall repeat myself. It is your bosom companion, Sens O’ Humour.

Man: (slightly irritated) Whatever. Thanks for dropping by. You can go away now.

SOH: Oh wait, what happened? You failed an exam?

Man: I am not writing any exams currently.

SOH: Oh shit. I offer my condolences. You suffered bereavement, didn’t you? Was it your dog? Poor sod.

Man: No, I didn’t suffer bereavement.

SOH: Why won’t you let me in then?

Man: (grudgingly) Woman trouble.

SOH: Woman trouble? Woman trouble? Are you nuts?

Man: What kind of nuts do you have in mind?

SOH: I see you are nuts.

Man: I’m quite partial to chestnuts… and groundnuts too.

SOH: I was merely asking if you are crazy, nothing to do with chestnuts and/or groundnuts.

Man: (smirks self-satisfactorily) Oh, you should just have said so then.

SOH: Let me get this straight. You do not want me, your bosom companion, cos of a woman? Did she steal your money?

Man: No, she stole my heart.

SOH: She stole your heart? Oh I get it. Open heart surgery huh? Doctors are a dastardly lot; why in this world would you want to date a doc, especially a foreign-trained one?

Man: Don’t be silly.

SOH: That’s about my default setting.

Man: (looks into the distance) I loved her.

SOH: That’s an unnecessary outburst because I see no mentions of “heart” in that statement.

Man: You do know you love with your heart right?

SOH: It’d be really difficult for me to know that.

Man: Shame I didn’t notice earlier.

SOH: Still doesn’t explain how a woman can steal your heart.

Man: Okay, what is it you do not understand?

SOH: Correct me if I’m wrong, but your heart is inside your body, no?

Man: If you want, I can furnish you with a more technical description.

SOH: Save it for your next foreign doc consort, but I’m still puzzled as to how your heart could be stolen without your knowledge. Are you alright?

Man: Are you familiar with the term “figuratively”?

SOH: That’s a bit rich.

Man: Why is that?

SOH: I’m a “sense” too.

Man: Ok. You win. What’s your point?

SOH: That’s a fair compromise to begin with.

Man: Do you know she broke my heart too?

SOH: This keeps getting better.

Man:  (exasperated) Can you be serious for once?

SOH: That’s ironic, surely?

Man: (sighs deeply)

SOH: She stole your heart and now she’s broken it.

Man: Yes

SOH: I should sing a prehumous requiem for us both then.

Man: (angrily) You know what? Fuck off!

SOH: No need to get testy or be vulgar.

Man: I’ll bloody well swear when I please!

SOH: Suit yourself. Oh and try to swell while you’re at it. Your ribs could do with a little more flesh over them.

Man: What?

SOH: Don’t get a heart attack. Oh wait…

Man: Fuck you! I’m only talking to you because there’s no else.

SOH: I think you’re actually talking to yourself. You’ll look really swanky in one of those straitjackets.

Man: (menacingly) I know what exactly I’m gonna do to you.

SOH: What – find some other flighty bimbo who’ll steal me too?

Man: I give up

SOH: Not the ghost hopefully…

Man: Arrrggggghhh! (slumps)

Curtains.

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RAPING OUR SENSIBILITIES

I wonder how the men of precolonial Africa would have managed. If the dressing I see in movies about our past, or the dressing I see at the enactments of cultural dancing is anything to go by, it must have been a hell of a time for menfolk. Simply put, the indecent dressing angle some of us are so keen to read into rape in absolute hogwash. Our ancestors dressed so indecently that they sometimes forgot to cover anything at all! A few years ago, there was talk of a tribe up North where boobs are bared for all to see! If GEJ’s administration had any sense, it would find that location and make it a tourist attraction. Never would talk of foreign reserves frittered away arise. Never!

So what exactly is indecent dressing? Even if one could somehow manage – and the emphasis is on “manage” here – to define indecent dressing as baring body parts that should otherwise be left to wild imaginations, how would one frame this around the context of rape? Apart from places where Sharia Law has been implemented, in which book of laws is indecent dressing a crime punishable by forceful violation? If every last woman in the world wore boxes for clothes, some men would still rape; what then is the justification for indecent dressing as a cause for rape? It is as much an excuse for rape as “it is the work of the devil” is an excuse for crime. Blame anybody and anything but the perpetrator. Such fatuity.

And lest I be called a male chauvinist pig, here are proper African men too

However, we must also not throw reason to the dogs when reacting. A young man wrote a genuinely sickening op-ed that was granted webtime and webspace on YNaija. The debate rumbled on and moved from the state of the writer’s psyche to the right of the writer to express held opinions to the right-to-publish of YNaija.

This is my submission: We must not discourage people from identifying positions such as his on hotly contested issues. There are many men (and would you believe it, women) who hold this erroneous belief. Expression is the first step in rehabilitation. If we discourage people from expressing their views on issues like half the world has done to this guy, then we have an even bigger problem.

WHO SAYS A POVERTY PERVADES THE LAND?

…for all the snivelling two-faced jokers who populate Twitterverse and more; you are but banish-worthy bane to progress.

Who says a poverty pervades the land
With these many blue-beaked birds
Singing these many shrill tweets
Who says a drought is here?

Captains of virtual empires
steering the rudder of state
by thumb
Bobbing drifting tugboats guiding
massive sea vessels through to
treacherous berth

Who says a drought is here
With these many blue-beaked birds
Singing these many shrill tweets
Who says a poverty pervades the land?

Jurassic-era monstrosities
wielding tiny space age
devices
Globular brains stomping
pounding dated opinions down
modern throats

Who says a poverty is here
With these many blue-beaked birds
Singing these many shrill tweets
Who says a drought pervades the land?

Ògbójú Òdè, who dog buffalo
blind in the thick of
fearsome night
Ògbójú Òdè, who only light path
with sizzling crackling fire of
inflamed passion

Who says a drought sweeps through
With these many blue-beaked birds
Singing these many shrill tweets
Who says poverty reigns supreme?

In this neck of wood.

EL RUFAI’S NADIR

I love Nigeria. Our problems are debilitating to the point of paralysis, but I still love my country because it always manages to bring smiles to my face, despite this unenviable burden. And the wide smiles morphed into maniacal howls of laughter when the good fellows behind Twitter decided to give us Twitter, where opinions make it faster to the air than thoughts make the journey to wherever it is that thoughts go to be resolved in the brain. I’ll look like an idiot if I say Nigerians have taken to Twitter like a baby takes to its mother’s teats, because it is bleeding obvious.

Only recently, the nation was engulfed in hoopla over what ordinarily should be (hoop)laughed off. Even the gentlemen of the cloth gave their two cents – a widow’s mite in all ramifications – and in so doing soiled their expensively tailored divine vestments with watery poo. I try to picture what Mary Magdalene looked like and all I see is Monica Belluci, who played Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson’s Passions of the Christ. I’m not sure how much of coincidence is going on there. Apparently, kasala burst after someone famous on “Nigerian Twitter” accused the PDP of laying its hands on a time machine and going back in time to impress upon Jesus the importance of getting jiggy with Mary Magdalene whom gist had it was very much enamoured with Christ!

When issues (or non-issues in this case) require that we ruminate mentally, I admire our simple-mindedness. Reason suddenly sheds its chains and escapes from where it normally should be tethered. Red becomes a lighter shade of black and white becomes bleached black. A humorous take on the Jesus-Mary Magdalene relationship and its use to lampoon the treachery of the President’s men becomes fodder for a fire of misguided passions. We are probably more Christian than each other but I did not take offence at the tweet that so enraged passions and I am a Christian, who in fairness, possesses a handy sense of humour.

Of course, the PDP and its stooges capitalized on what must be seen as a gaffe by Nasir El-Rufai to start banging in the nails on the coffin of the government critic’s political career. We are a nation divided and I trust the good and enraged Christians of Nigeria will not forgive this slight in a while. If Mallam Nasir secretly nursed any ambitions for the highest political office in the land, he must realize that, apology or not, he has committed political near-harakiri – he has cocked a shotgun and blown his own foot to oblivion by himself. As we are an impatient people too, the headlines, just the sick and click-hungry headlines, that sprung forth from the debacle have done the maximum damage, in my opinion. And even those who hoped and still hope to leverage on his clout must now think twice. In villages, towns and cities all across Southern Nigeria, millions of minds have been made up – you mess with Jesus, you mess with metaphorical death. It should not be so.

In Nigeria today, the practice is to shout when discussing matters that affect the polity, because the ability to shout over and above all others is the gold standard. The ones who have made it to the top have become very skilled demagogues, able to inflame passions and incinerate reason and reasonable arguments with several depressions of the button “Tweet”. Demagoguery has now claimed the scalp of one of its more famous practitioners, and it will still claim many more careless people.

What would El Rufai have done were the shoes to be on the other feet; if the Prophet-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Else… were to be employed in creating that joke?

Twitter sucks and I do not say that because it is the clothesline where we dry our stupidity in the sun. Twitter sucks because you cannot dig deep into its annals to fish out tweets that may serve to highlight your points. How did Mallam Nasir react to the Innocence of The-Religion-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named video that caused widespread destruction? I LWKMDed when I saw that video and I LWKMDed when I saw the Jesus tweet. To take umbrage at one and laugh at the other is hypocrisy at Pacific Ocean depths, another one of the amusements Nigerians tickle my belly with. And this inanity of fighting the Lord’s battle – original or merely perceived – is as irrational as it was previously inane. Jesus Christ once went gung-ho with a whip in His father’s house; if he needs to stand up for himself, he knows exactly how to!

THE VERSIFIED POINT OF VALENTINE ALL

 
Boy girl holding hands
swinging skipping nursing
secret desire tugging
feelings thumping frenzied chests
                    Boy girl finding sprawling green
             pasture by streaming waters
                    flowing earnest tributary feeding
             yearning river body
Boy girl palms tingling
passing secret coded message
manhood limping nipple swelling
longing for suckling lips
                    Boy girl quickly stripping
             darting eyes locking clashing
                    trembling lips voicing nothing
             breathing shallow desperate clinging
Sexes merging longing
loins pelvis thrusting
breaking hymen eyes
welling tearing rapidly
                    Oh-ahs consummating
             loving or simply fucking
                    shuddering stuttering yammering nonsense
             quivering climaxing violently

KESHI’S BIAFRA AND SUNDRY OTHER FALSEHOODS

We are Musa. We just RUN fields.

Win or no win, Ahmed Musa must now be removed from that team like a parasitic jigger from the leg. It’s fashionable to diss Osaze Odemwingie now but I’d rather have an Osaze in my team than a Musa whose only redeeming quality is the ability to run fast. And then stumble over. It was refreshing to see an Eagles team being able to string passes together, close down opponents quickly and battle for each other. I have been very critical of Mikel Obi because previously he would let the game pass him by without one care in the world. He has excised that nonchalance from his game and we all are very pleased with him, Chelsea player or not.

From yesterday, it would have been the in-thing to turn on ourselves. We would have berated ourselves no end for ever daring to criticize the Super Eagles, exhibiting that baffling Nigerian brand of short-term amnesia. Truth is the performances at the time were dire and deserved all the vociferous criticisms and denouncements. And guess what happened: Yesterday. (more…)

GUNS, INTIMIDATING GOONS AND KILLER SQUADS

Weeks ago, as 2012 climaxed, the airwaves and socialways were agog with pictures and words about the fatal shooting of over 20 kids (proper kids like the ones in nursery and primary schools here) in the heretofore peaceful Connecticut neighbourhood of Sandy Hook. Passions ran high in the USA as the layers of circumstances surrounding the event were peeled back like a chef toying with an onion bulb. The debate still rages till this moment – to introduce stiffer gun control measures or not. Some – no less than the National Rifle Association with its 4 million members – argue it is a Second Amendment-given right that will only be taken away over their dead bodies – no to tyranny or sniffs of it in the air! Many people, I suspect, shocked by the shootings of those Sandy Hook children especially (there have been other shootings e.g the Aurora shootings where another crazed human being opened fire on cinema-goers causing President Obama to cut short an engagement to visit the area), began a campaign of “never again”. If guns cannot be banned outright, something has to be done about who gets or does not get their hands of them; something has to be done about the types of guns available; something has to be done about the kind of ammunition available. Piers Morgan hung on to the issue like a hungry baby hangs on to his mother’s tits and is still sucking the life out of them as we speak. Understandably and as per usual, a good number of Nigerians also gave their two cents about America’s gun troubles. It’s no use discussing the crazily high gun death rates in the USA here, neither is it really necessary to discuss the very low gun death rates in the UK, where you, Citizen Joe and Jane, may not possess a gun.

Nothing further, Your Honour.

Guns do a number of things, the most important and final of them killing. I was with friends (elder brothers really) on the way to work on one of Lagos’ good mornings when we spotted a strapping chap in a uniform carrying the insignia of the Nigerian Airforce stride menacingly out of his barracks AK-47 in tow. I wondered aloud why an Airforce man would be carrying such a gun – an automatic weapon capable of shooting 600 rounds per minute – in public. I broadened the scope of my loud musings by wondering why the men and women of the Nigerian Police Force carry automatic weapons in public. An argument immediately ensued. I was admonished to not think of Nigeria in terms of the UK, where men and women of the police do not carry guns unless absolutely necessary, or the USA, where the policemen and policewomen only carry sidearms in public. I was accused of naïveté, of ignorance of the special Nigerian situation, and of being one of those guys who insist on the slavish imitation of all things white and foreign. But the question remained unanswered: why do our men in black and our men in the military enjoy gun-toting in public so much?

Hammerson: Do you know why Americans love guns, Mr. Hertz? And it’s got nothing to do with all that phallic mumbo-jumbo, “cockin’ your gun.” No, Hertz, people love guns because America is a land of opportunity, where a poor man can become rich, and a pussy can become a tough guy, if he’s got a gun in his hand. Now, I’m hopin’ you’re not just a pussy with a gun in your hand.

Thus said Mr Hammerson, top honcho of a gun manufacturing company, to Hertz, reckless goon hired to generally tie up a few loose ends, in the 2007 movie called Shoot ‘Em Up. Now, I am not one to face a soldierman or an olopa in a fistfight. I’d almost definitely get beat up every single time. Whatever rationale behind a military punk carrying an automatic weapon in public is defeated this way: we, the public, are not the outside threats to the sovereignty of Nigeria you are charged to protect. What does a band of soldiers on a busy road in Ikeja achieve by carrying weapons of mass destruction (do the math: 600 rounds per minute)? Sometimes I look around to see if any Cameroonian gendarmes have infiltrated our border and have somehow managed to creep up to Ikeja or wherever and all I find are timid Lagosians.

The answer is simple: That gun is there as a means of terrorizing and intimidating defenseless citizens. Dear Defenseless Citizen, do you for a moment think that the policeman along your route carries that gun to protect you? Most times, he couldn’t give two shits about what happens to you; you can jump up and die for all he cares. The automatic weapon is there to strike the fear of God into your heart and the fear of death into your pocket so that whenever he feels like riding roughshod over you, he’ll do exactly that – ride roughshod over your quivering ass. Truth be told, those guys in various shades of black have the power to visit death upon you if they so wish and blame it on the devil or things like accidental discharges. And in Nigeria, you are never sure what is right: a purportedly dismissed man of the uniform may have just been transferred, to spare him the indignity of answering to those feckless muthafuckas of the press and public. They tell us he has been dismissed and we swallow the amala they have concocted for us with the abula they have concocted for us like gospel, shout our halleluyahs and move on with life.

“Una? Una never see anything.”

To the best of my knowledge (which probably isn’t saying much) we do not cater to the mental welfare of our policemen. Imagine the many psychos with fancy guns who could be walking our streets claiming to keep ‘em safe! The Nigerian mentality itself is suspect. We love to flaunt power and tread on the backs of others whilst they lay flat on their faces just to make a statement. We flaunt affluence and influence to intimidate and impress. My father has more money, cars and houses than yours; my car is newer and better than yours and I know the DPO of this area personally. If I am a policeman with an automatic weapon (and a mandate to use it) issued by the state, I know I wield power over you and you had better bloody realize it. Or be shot.

Off the top of my head, I can recall that during the Occupy Nigeria palaver of January 2012, a young man who is immortalized with a cement bust at Ogba was shot dead by a DPO with fidgety fingers. In October 2012, a young attendant at a photography place in Abuja bid farewell to Mother Earth courtesy of bullets from the guns of goons who were supervising demolitions; three others were wounded. In November 2012, a banker and a guard were shot for the crime of not being the robbers who had done what they had to do and vanished an hour earlier. Early this year, as early as the year is itself, 35-year old Olusola Adegbeha was dreaming of a union with his no doubt very beautiful (eyes of the beholder and all) fiancée. A police man had other ideas and instead united him with his maker in heaven, only weeks from his wedding. Many other examples abound online and many more examples lie dead with the victims of the shootings, because this is Nigeria, where precious little indeed gets reported. Let us also hang it somewhere in our minds that many of the “criminals” the Police claims it has neutralized may not even be criminals at all and if they are criminals, they may not even be the sort that should be killed with guns, or even killed at all.

One of the sights that baffle me in Lagos are those of policemen all clad in black plastic, helmets and armor astride huge motorcycles zooming off to respond to no emergency per se. Another one is policemen standing behind a police van, legs apart like Cristiano Ronaldo about to take a freekick, guns aimed forward atop the vans in all seriousness like Cristiano Ronaldo in search of goals. Who exactly are these awesome displays of force designed to intimidate? The daring robber? Boko Haram? You? Me? Who?

You’re killing me with these lectures. We have guns for Chrissakes!.

And to top it off, sometimes in June last year, the President armed still more pussies with guns – the gentlemen and ladies of the National Civil Defence Corps. Guess what those gentlemen and ladies with do with their newfound prowess. Never mind; don’t guess.

Am I suggesting a radical departure from the ways we have understood and seek to promote and ensure safety? By all means yes. Will I elaborate here? No, because that’s corn for another mill for another production run but I am sick and tired of being intimidated because some prick with a menacing belly spilling over his belt with an even more menacing weapon has been converted from pussy to tough guy.

Seriously, how many of these pussies would you beat without their guns?