Posted in FUNNY, LIFE

THE EVER-GREEN EVOLUTION OF OBASANJO by Immanuel Ibe-Anyanwu

Rather than simply renounce his membership of the PDP, he had to enact a dramatic environment for that expression, Obasanjo. If you strip Aremu of his political personage, what you’ll have left is a mischievous entertainer addicted to the telling of ribald jokes. Watchers may disagree on Okikiola’s political relevance, but perhaps all may agree that he is Nigeria’s most dramatic national politician, if not the funniest, one who leaves a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth.

My love for Mathew began in 1999, when rumour evangelists spread the news of his death. First, he lurked in the wings, censoring his own public circulation, perhaps to let the rumour reach thorough penetration, thereby driving it to its wild, logical conclusion. As his detractors began to enjoy a secretive excitation, having been persuaded on the fiction of his final dispatch, a mischievous Segun appeared on NTA, beaming in what seemed like sadistic delight. “I dey kampe!”, he boasted, triumphant!

I fell in love with the street credibility in the wording of that Kampe triumphalism, happy with a president who could call the bluff of officialdom, to embrace the social relief in occasional unruliness.

When rumour got busy on Yar-Adua’s death during his electioneering period, the Ebora-Owu again played the dramatist. “Helloooo, Umoru!”, he roared into a phone whose speaker was bared to a microphone, at a campaign rally, “Are you dead?” Now, look at how that question sounds hilarious in its deliberate foolishness! To which a faceless Yar’Adua, unmistakable in his gentle voice, replied from the other end, “I’m alive!” – and that marked the end of that rumour’s career in Yar’Adua’s life, such that when the wish of that speculation finally became reality, it was treated with reasonable doubt.

Did he not badge into President Jonathan’s niece’s wedding recently, after attacking the latter viciously? A mischievous visit, that one. He would attack IBB, only to attend his event later.

Obasanjo
The changing faces…Obasanjo

At the expiration of his tenure as President, bubbly Obasanjo enrolled for study at the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, in Victoria Island, Lagos, where his frequent journeys to class became a source of traffic torture to Lagos motorists trapped in the threads of his adult scholarship. Soon, pictures began flying around, of an Obasanjo who had come to class armed to his teeth, with classroom paraphernalia and specifically, a Maths Set bursting with sharpened pencils and other writing fripperies, as displayed on his desk. I do not know how that quasi-seminarian pursuit fared but, when asked why he chose to study Theology, he cocked his head up and down, up and down, and then: “He saaaaaved me from detention! He saaaaaved my life on several occasions! He leeeeed me to lead this nation three times. I want to know this God!”

All of these, and many other episodes of geriatric exuberance, reflect Obasanjo’s capacity for mischief and drama. What is curious, is how he still maintains relevance even with his loss of political capital. His haters are quick to dismiss his importance, yet they just can’t stop talking about him – and therein lies his mystique! He has been the arrowhead of myriad controversies in the last couple of months and, rather than become a monotonous repetition, he continues to make headlines, setting the agenda for national discussions – from his public letters to President Jonathan, to his subsequent unsavoury critiques of the man’s administration; to his release of a controversial autobiography; to his endorsement of Mohammadu Buhari’s candidacy; to his public tearing of his PDP membership card – (now, that unwholesome act holds some kind of artistic value: I hope someone was able to piece the shreds of that card together for creative or archival use, but that’s besides the point).

The Otta farmer is now in the evening of his life, but whether we like him or not, Chief Mathew Okikiola Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo has lived a life to the full – a life spanning errors, highlights, intrigues, truth, cunning, wisdom, high-handedness, arrogance, and greatness. One of Nigeria’s most popular players on the African scene, Baba Iyabo is one brand so unique – his persona is entirely his own: he resembles no one, and no one resembles him!

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Posted in FLASH FICTION, FUNNY, LIFE

SHADOW KISSED (‘Flash Life’) by Yvonne Onyinye

4:10pm, Lekki-Ajah Expressway, opp. Ikota Shopping complex.
‘What’s this stupid girl doing?’ Bus driver Y is yelling. ‘She’s about to get herself killed’, that’s a passenger talking. ‘She has no earphones on, is this a suicidal attempt?’, another passenger.
‘Get out of the way, omo ale’, a thug grabs the stupid girl’s arm and drags her to the paved sidewalk.

My arm did hurt, but that jerked me back to reality.

Was I about to get myself killed? On Valentine’s Day?

My palms were dry and cold and very pale. I looked like death warmed up, as a matter of fact, in just 10 seconds of my life, I got kissed by death. What would the headlines have said? Would my story have appeared on Linda Ikeji’s blog? And I haven’t even gotten to my golden age yet. I didn’t even get to wish Ikhide R. Ikheloa a happy birthday or ask Chris Ogunlowo out for dinner. No, I wasn’t ready to die.

Six hours later, I was sitting in a fancy restaurant, excited about the soup I was having with someone I had just met.
Barely an hour later, I was receiving a gift of Macy Gray’s album.
And this morning I’m not doing the walk of shame.

What can I say, it was a good Valentine after all.

Posted in FICTION, FUNNY

Diary of a Dead African (Short Story) – Chuma Nwokolo

Name: Meme Jumai. Occupation: Farmer. Residence: Ikerre-Oti, Delta State, Nigeria. Date of Birth: 5 June 1950. Date of Death: 15 June 2000. Cause of Death: Awaiting Inquest.

1 June 2000. When I woke, I was sweating as if I were on the farm. Yet it wasn’t the sweat of hard work that wet my bed-sheet so. It was the sweat of fear. I was feeling as if a witch had poured fear inside me. If you saw how my chest was doing!

As I opened my door onto the compound and hung my bed-sheet where it became my curtain, I tried to remember my exact and particular dread. I couldn’t; and I’m not surprised. My problems aren’t the sort you confide to a native doctor and he laughs before starting treatment. My problems are the sort that the bravest witchdoctor will hear halfway and flee. Isn’t that how I met Catechist before Easter and he said he won’t waste our time by praying, that my problems had surpassed the kind that prayer and fasting solve. It’s just that adversity isn’t something people boast about; otherwise, in this Ikerre-Oti, I’ve no rival.

What I didn’t know then was that a bigger crisis was coming from Warri.

It wasn’t quite dawn, but as Ikerre people say, only a ne’er-do-well needs sunlight to gather his farm-gear. I got dressed. Nobody can call my house a mud-hut any more, ever since I plastered it with sand and cement. (Except those who have jealousy running in their veins and they think it’s blood. Those witches can never forget what’s under the plaster.) On the harvest poles opposite my clay bed were the remnants of my 1999 harvest … only three yam tubers? As soon as those tubers filled my eyes, the silence also filled my ears. Ma’Abel was not cursing her stove from her kitchen. My two sons Abel and Calamatus were not quarrelling over who forgot to tether the goat yesterday. I was alone in my compound with only three yam tubers!

That was when I remembered my exact and particular fear, and my chest kept quiet. Because Ikerre people also say that when you recognise the sickness that will kill you, doctors will stop eating your money. I remembered the name of the fear that filled me like the urine of a witch; and when a disease has a name, at least one can salute him politely.

His name was Starvation.

It was two weeks until harvest and tradition decrees that not a root may be disturbed in the fields before the day of the new yam festival. The situation was serious.

I released my pregnant goat to graze. Another week and the lazy thing should bear. As I feared, young idiots with empty pails were already loitering by my gate. They were sent to the stream but here they were, singing their silly songs. Nonsense and tenpence! I went to the kitchen. I cooked a pottage with six inches of yam and an armful of ‘vegetables’ from the hedge between my compound and Ma’Caro’s.

I didn’t go to farm today.

Later I watched the black and white TV I inherited from my father. To keep the pictures from flickering like the thoughts of a lunatic, I have to tap it every now and again. That’s how I spent my first day away from the farm this year: slapping a thirty-year-old television in a mud-hut pretending to be sandcrete, watching programmes from the other side of the universe.

I should hate Meme Jumai, if I were not Meme Jumai.

2 June. Nwozuai’s voice woke me. The shameless forty-year-old gossip was wheedling akara from Ma’Caro. I stared at my yams. Fourteen days before the village harvest and only two tubers and 13 inches left! Just two days ago my harvest wall had poles strung with yams. Then my calamity occurred, threatening me with starvation: Ma’Abel, my wife for twenty-five years, left me for a vulcaniser at Warri. She took ten yams for every son she gave me. Me, I quarrelled with her arithmetic. Three of the sons for whom she claimed compensation died before they started farming. The others, Abel and Calamatus, often gave me cause to wish them dead as well.

It was Ma’Abel’s shamelessness, not her arithmetic, that won the argument. Come and see her screaming the day before yesterday, when I woke up with three tubers of yam. The whole Ikerre-Oti gathered! Her fellow women circled me like vultures. The men came, too, but where the women supported Ma’Abel with abuses, the men stayed silent, like a lunatic’s embarrassed relations. Come and see her yanking my loin-cloth around, with me inside, crying that instead of making her Mrs Jumai, I made her Mrs Suffer-Head.

Yes I’m poor; but I hate disgrace. I had to yield my yams. That very evening, while I was at a village meeting pretending that I wasn’t shaken at all, Abel took my transistor and electric fan and followed his mother. Calamatus had left a week earlier on another of his get-rich scams. Idiots!

Had that witch left me fifteen years ago, by the next weekend, I swear, I’d have married again. I swear. But, considering today’s bride-price, there are certain things that shouldn’t happen to a 49-year-old man whose nostril-hairs have started to whiten.

I chewed chewing-stick, wondering whether Meme Jumai had died years ago and forgot his body in Ikerre by mistake. I crept into the compound to untie the goat. Nwozuai had succeeded. Pretending not to see me, he swallowed his bean cakes, moving his neck like a boa constrictor doing in a rabbit. I squatted in Ma’Abel’s kitchen, warming the leftover pottage. I ate some and returned to my bed, missing my transistor badly and studying my yams the way witchdoctors study the position of kola nuts on their divining mats. Kai! How would I manage to make them last the remaining two weeks until harvest? The young day matured and aged before my eyes. I lay on my bed. I sat up. I lay down and sat up. That’s how I spent this shameful day at home; without my radio I couldn’t shut out the mockery of the giggling girls who changed their route to the stream to pass under my window. Witches. In the evening I ate the last of the pottage and tied up the goat.

I didn’t leave my compound all day.

What face was I supposed to put on to look at the villagers on the day after the day after the day my family left me for a vulcaniser? Tomorrow should be better; a village as useless as Ikerre-Oti should have found fresher gossip. Later I tried to find something worth watching on television. As all the dials were broken, I used my pliers to hunt for a station, but they had all agreed to be idiots today. I slept early.

3 June. At 2 a.m. my goat began to bleat and my useless chest started again. There are two short and cogent reasons why thieves shouldn’t go near my goat. First, it’s my only one; second, it’s extremely pregnant. If they wait another week they can steal her without destroying me completely.

Yet if Penis would listen to reason, would they have named him Penis? It was pitch-dark outside. None of those reasons were good enough for me to risk my life over an animal, so I took down my late father’s double-barrel and aimed at the moon. I broke that night into pieces. If I can’t sleep, why should anyone else? Afterwards, even my goat fell silent, yet my heart was knacking as if the bullet had entered my body. I swear, if by morning that goat is no longer tethered to my onugbu, I’ll take the gun and my last four cartridges to the Village Square and let what happens happen. People should realise that a small penis is no reason to seize a man’s wife.

By morning, flies from the pit latrine had taken over my goat’s nostrils. Witchcraft and black magic! On one leg were the marks of a snakebite. The sight of that huge, dead pregnancy hit me more than my wife’s desertion. I hurried into the latrine and considered the suffering in my life. Nonsense and tenpence! If they want to bury me with all my problems, they would need a very big coffin! It was months since I last ate meat of any kind and here was this small mountain of meat, for which I had great plans. God has plenty cases to judge in heaven! Why couldn’t a snake wait for my goat to bear and swallow a whole kid if it wants?

Yet, if the devil leaves wickedness, who else will employ him? Come and see all the saliva I swallowed as I cut up that goat. Serpents and demons! If I tell you there were four kids inside it, you won’t believe me. Four. Part of the carcass I buried in the compound, by evening the rest went down the pit latrine. What has happened has happened and if Reverend Father preaches everything in his mouth, Mass will never finish.

I went to farm today. They’re still looking at me funny-funny, but that’s their business. I’m not the first man to lose his wife and I won’t be the last. If only my wife had had the decency to follow a landlord or something. A roadside vulcaniser!

4 June. I’ve never studied yams like this before. Two tubers and eight inches. I cut and boiled four inches. Is it not the scarcity of venison that made deer the delicacy that she is? To think the day would come when Meme Jumai would boil yam by the inch!

The local government clerk arrived as I was leaving for the farm. He wanted his council tax. I told him that money was something my pockets haven’t seen for months and he said that maybe there was a conspiracy afoot because everyone in the village was saying the same thing. The moon everyone had seen, I replied, was not a mirage. He said he wasn’t leaving my house without his tax. I took my implements and told him to look after my house. Then he said he would seize my yams! I looked at the two tubers and four inches and my chest began to knack again.

Source: London Review of Books

‘Meme’s Diary’ is a condensed form of Diaries of a Dead African by Chuma Nwokolo. You can see the review here or get more reviews of the book via Google. For more Chuma, read his blog or yes, Google 🙂

Chuma Nwokolo Jnr

Posted in FUNNY, LIFE

BEFORE YOU PRANK OR CONFESS… (short interruption)…

Lady: Hi, good morning
Radio Station: Good morning, what can we do for u?
Lady: Please I would like two tickets to the A.Y[1] show holding this weekend
Radio Station: Well, you can have the tickets only if you can play a prank on someone on air and make them believe it
Lady: That’s okay.
Radio Station: Are you married? Do you have kids?
Lady: Yes, and I have a son. The tickets are for me and my lovely husband.
Radio Station: Good. You would call your husband n tell him he is not the father of your son.
Lady: Wow, that’s a big one.
Radio Station: Well, depends on how bad you want the tickets, and anyway we will be live on air
listening and step in 2 tell him it’s all a prank.
Lady: Ok. Let’s do this because I really want the tickets
Radio Station: Ok. Where is he right now?
Woman: He is in d office. His number is…
(Radio Station calls d husband)
Lady: Hello love.
Husband: Hi baby
Lady: How is work?
Husband: Good! Can’t wait to get back home to you!

Lady: Me too love. But em… there’s something I need to tell you.
Husband: Ok, I’m all ears dear
Lady: You know I love you?
Husband: Yes I do
Lady: And we promised to always be sincere to each other?
Husband: Yes we did. You are starting to scare me dear, please, what’s this about?
Lady: Something happened in my office nine years ago.
Husband: What happened?
Lady: D annual Xmas party we have in the office, 9 yrs ago I got so drunk and had sex with a co-worker…em, you are not the father of our son.
Husband: WHAT?!!!
Lady: I just felt you should know.
Husband: Are u crazy?
Lady: Am sorry love; I just needed to get it off my chest.
Husband: I can’t believe this.
Lady: I’m sorry love, please forgive me.
Husband: You want forgivness? Ok, you too forgive this, I have been sleeping with your sister for the past five years!
Radio Station: Oh God!
Lady: What did you say?!!
Husband: U heard me; we just confessed our sins to each other. Is there someone there with you?
Radio Station: (Shaky voice) Sir, this is Pranks FM and eh… you are on air. We asked your wife to
play a prank on you so you guys can get tickets to go watch the AY live show this weekend…Hello?

 

 

Say what?!! (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world-hilarious-mug-shots-gallery-1.14220)
Say what?!! Source 

 

Culled from an anonymous author…Okay…Hmm


[1] The AY Show is a Nigerian stand up comedy show featuring ace comedian AY.

 

 

 

(Reworked a bit from a joke I read somewhere)….

 

Good morning people… May this day smile for us all. Amen.

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, FUNNY, LITERARY MISSIONARY

HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN WRITER by Elnathan John

Writer's Stop
Writer’s Stop (Photo credit: Stephh922)

 

 

You know the value of books. The process of making them intrigues you. You want your name on the front cover of a book and, like an earthworm inches through dirt into the ground, you want to make your way into people’s homes, heads and hearts. I am here to help you achieve that.

 

First, you must look the part. It is important to look like an African writer. Find multi-coloured kampala fabric and use it to sew shirts which you’ll wear to all writers’ events. Or an old t-shirt. You shouldn’t look like a model or banker. Your precious time is spent thinking of plot and theme and words, not on dress and grooming. Your hair needs to be unkempt. However, nothing says authentic-tortured-African-writer like dreadlocks. Please, note that in Nigeria there is a difference between dreadlocks and ‘dada’. Dada is less refined, naturally matted coils of hair due to superstitious neglect. Dada is uncool. Dreadlocks are deliberate. They are cool. They make you look wildly creative. If someone asks; no, you are not a Rastafarian. You are an African writer.

 

As a writer, you must flaunt your vices. You need to show that you are a flawed character. If you drink, drink too much. If you smoke, do it at inappropriate times. Show up at an event reeking of booze. People will understand. Vices are a tool of the trade.

 

Now, you have the basic tools: a multi-coloured kampala shirt, cool dreadlocks, and vices. You must set about the business of writing.

 

You do not need to read a lot to be a Nigerian writer. In fact, as a Nigerian writer you can make shameless statements like “I don’t really read much”, in public. All you need is a burning desire to write. It is sufficient to have read Shakespeare and Achebe, and maybe a little of Chimamanda Adichie for contemporary reading. The only thing you need to really study is a dictionary or thesaurus.

 

Please, note that all Nigerian characters are Africans who act the same: children are respectful of elders; parents are always responsible, wise individuals teaching children valuable lessons of life. Characters do not use cuss words or talk about sex, even when in the company of peers. Nobody’s mother smokes and we have no homosexuals in Nigeria.

 

Use big words instead of small words; ‘Discombobulate’ instead of ‘confuse’. How can you write like a layman when you are an African writer? It doesn’t matter how many people read or understand you. What matters is that you impress those who do.

 

Use many words. It is always better to err on the side of verbosity than to err on the side of brevity.

 

Protect your work fiercely and always insist that people give you constructive criticism. Anyone who points out, rightly or otherwise, that your writing isn’t quite there yet, is evil and an enemy of your hustle. You must believe that there is nothing like bad writing. After all, you were inspired by the spirits before you began writing – what do critics know?

 

Do not waste your time or money on editors. Editors are failed writers whose life ambition is to frustrate the hustle of real writers like you. Show your friends your work. But only the ones who are not jealous of your hustle, and who remind you that your writing is the best thing since point-and-kill. Find some popular person from your village who will write you a foreword without actually reading your book. Then, go to press.

 

Go to Ibadan or Lagos. Find a cheap printer who can print 1,000 copies without ink smearing on the pages coming out lopsided. Arrange for a transporter to bring your book home.

 

A book is not complete without a book launch. In Nigeria, a book launch is a fund-raising ceremony. It is not important to have writers at this event. Well, maybe the book reviewer. You need your state governor (who may not come but will send a representative with a cheque or a pledge); your Local Government chairman; your Pastor or Imam to bless the event; and any minister, senator or rich person that you know. It is important to find a Chief Launcher who will encourage others to donate to your hustle. Do not leave it to chance or the discretion of the Chief Launcher, unless you are sure of his capabilities. In Nigeria, nobody is allowed to embarrass the Chief Launcher by giving more money. So, if you can, gently hint that you know he will set the bar high for others to follow. That is the job of the Chief Launcher – setting the bar as high as possible.

 

You do not need a marketer, publicist or publisher. These people eat into your profit margin. If you have a car, carry a few hundred copies in the trunk at all times. Be your own marketer. Steer conversation toward your book and tell them you have written this really cool book. Someone will ask for it and you will tell them to hold on for a minute while you get it from your car. If you don’t have a car, have a big bag that can carry at least 10 copies. Do not be ashamed to carry your books to public gatherings. Book by book, God blessing your hustle, you may end up selling off the 1,000 copies your printer produced, and maybe even go for a reprint.

 

Get an award. It doesn’t matter what. It may be from your church bulletin which you have been writing for since you were in secondary school or your old boy’s association newsletter. You can even have friends get together to organise and award you the ‘Roforofo Prize for African Fiction’. Then, you can have on your book, ‘Award Winning Author’. No need to state what award it is. An award-winning writer is a good writer.

 

It is my hope that you make it as a writer and have many successful books in the market. And with well organised book launchings, you can be sure that God will bless your hustle.

 

 

ElNathan John blogs at http://elnathanjohn.blogspot.com/ … Follow his tweets at @elnathan

el jo

He is the creator of the Nigerian ‘How to series…’ Google it! You might also want to check:

How to worship the Nigerian God

Damn You – Letter to Nigerian Literature and all involved

How to show Nigerian love

http://dailytimes.com.ng/opinion/how-be-nigerian-mechanic

 

 

 

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, FUNNY, POL TALKS

HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN MECHANIC BY ElNathan John

Life is nothing without you. People may run away from you, despise you, but in their hearts they know, they need you. You are the one who saves the day: the woman stranded with an overheated car in a hold up, the lover whose car threatens to truncate his hustle, the transporter who needs his cars back on the road to make money. You get the desperate calls, you see their worried faces. You arrive and gaze like a prophet into the engine. You spend more time than it actually takes, but you get it done. Like magic, the car comes back to life. People don’t think about you unless they are in trouble. I am here to give you the prominence you deserve and teach those who intend to learn the trade just what they must do.

from http://www.eisodos.com/images/mechanic.jpg
from http://www.eisodos.com/images/mechanic.jpg

You need to appear dirty. A mechanic gains nothing by having presentable work clothes. How else will the car owner know you have worked on his car if he doesn’t have grease stains on his seats, steering wheel, dashboard, everywhere?

As a mechanic, you must prefer women. Not the restless, jobless ones who pretend to be men and try to truncate your hustle by coming to sit with you in the workshop and ask, “this one, na wetin; that one na wetin; show me wetin you change”. Not the ones who want to follow you to where you bought the spare parts. Those ones are bad market. You must avoid them like a debtor avoids his creditor. When they come tell them you are busy. The women you must prefer are good trusting women who call you to take their car. Those ones call to monitor progress only asking: “dat one na how much?” And that is all you need to hear, “how much?”  That is what puts a smile on your greasy face. That is when you invent parts and problems that do not exist and inflate the prices of the ones that do. This is not wrong; your conscience must not judge you. She is only paying for the ease with which she does business with you. After all do people not go to hotels and buy a bottle of beer for as much as 1,000? Why don’t they complain? God will judge those who sit in their offices and say bad things about you.

The people who come for regular checks or servicing, these ones are not your main target. You do not make much from the engine oil and oil filter. People who are very careful about their cars like that are usually stingy. But you need that steady flow of money, so keep them. However there is a way to deal with the really stingy ones. Just notice a problem. Tell them that, it is not so serious, but in the near future it will need to be worked on. Even though you have told him that it is OK for now, you have already planted the seeds in his heart. Forget to tie some bolt or tie it loosely. In about a week it will come off and his car will stop on the way. He will call you and describe the problem to you. This is when you will remind him that you had mentioned it before. He will feel guilty and foolish. And when a stingy man feels guilty, he temporarily stops being stingy.

If you finish fixing a car in the evening, never call the owner. Try all you can to make the car stay overnight. Especially on a Saturday. Especially when Sikirat, the daughter of the woman selling agbo, who is your new girlfriend has told you of this gbedu she needs to attend. You need a car for this. The customer will understand when you tell him that you do not like to rush your work. The problems of the car were so much that you had to ‘drop engine’. He may grumble, but Sikirat will get driven to her gbedu and will show her gratitude afterwards. Try not to bash the car or forget Sikirat’s things in the back.

Spare parts are where to make a killing. Nnamdi your favourite spare parts dealer knows how this works. He knows that you have certain customers who always demand to see receipts. He knows to ask you how much to write, or even give you a blank receipt. Nnamdi and his boy Emeka don’t care as long as they get paid. You laugh when the receipt-demanding customers stare hard into the paper to make sure they have not been cheated.

When a customer complains about how expensive the spare parts are, tell them, if they like they can go buy it themselves. Tell them where they can get it, all you want is to fix the car. Say that in fact if he buys the spare parts he will lighten your burden.  Most people will be satisfied that you are not trying to cheat and just give you the money. But some are stubborn and will visit the spare parts dealer. Don’t panic. Nnamdi and Emeka know how to deal with those ones. They will have so much problems that eventually they will realize that they were kobo wise Naira foolish. You don’t like Nnamdi and Emeka, but they understand the business and you get along fine.

To keep a new customer, especially the ones you think will not be stingy, you must impress them. Fix their problem quickly and tell them that in fact you noticed that three bolts were missing which you replaced. Tell them the implication of those missing bolts. It is God who made them come because it might have caused bigger damage. But you are not charging for the bolts, just being a good mechanic. As they struggle to count the cash, tell them how some mechanics are shoddy like that, forgetting to put back bolts and all. You are not like that. You take your time and solve both seen and unseen problems.

When a customer comes the first time and you want to keep them, never tell them how much your ‘labour’ or ‘workmanship’ is. Tell them, “Oga, just gimme anything”. He is bound to be grateful for all the extra things which you emphasize you did for free; for saving him from his last evil mechanic. He is bound to be generous. Even if he isn’t, you have already made a killing from the spare parts.

As you work, I pray that God will intervene in your greasy hustle and bless it, immensely.

el jo

 

ElNathan John blogs at http://elnathanjohn.blogspot.com/ … Follow his tweets at @elnathan

He is the creator of the Nigerian ‘How to series…’ Google it! You might also want to check:

How to worship the Nigerian God

Damn You – Letter to Nigerian Literature and all involved

How to show Nigerian love

http://dailytimes.com.ng/opinion/how-be-nigerian-mechanic

 

 

 

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, FUNNY, POL TALKS

How to worship the Nigerian god – ElNathan John

How to worship the Nigerian god | Daily Times Nigeria.

The Nigerian god is one. It may have many different manifestations, but it is essentially different sides of the same coin. Sometimes, adherents of the different sides may fight and kill each other. But Nigerians essentially follow the Nigerian god.

This article is for all those who want to become better worshippers. If you are a new or prospective convert, God will bless you for choosing the Nigerian god. This is just how you must worship him.

First, you must understand that being a worshipper has nothing to do with character, good works or righteousness. So the fact that you choose to open every meeting with multiple prayers does not mean that you intend to do what is right. The opening prayer is important. Nothing can work without it. If you are gathered to discuss how to inflate contracts, begin with an opening prayer or two. If you are gathered to discuss how to rig elections, begin with a prayer. The Nigerian god appreciates communication.

When you sneak away from your wife to call your girlfriend in the bathroom, and she asks if you will come this weekend, you must say—in addition to “Yes”—“By God’s grace” or “God willing”. It doesn’t matter the language you use. Just add it. The Nigerian god likes to be consulted before you do anything, including a trip to Obudu to see your lover.

When worshipping the Nigerian god, be loud. No, the Nigerian god is not hard of hearing. It is just that he appreciates your loud fervour, like he appreciates loud raucous music. The Nigerian god doesn’t care if you have neighbours and neither should you. When you are worshipping in your house, make sure the neighbours can’t sleep. Use loud speakers even if you are only two in the building. Anyone who complains must be evil. God will judge such a person.

Attribute everything to the Nigerian god. So, if you diverted funds from public projects and are able to afford that Phantom, when people say you have a nice car, say, “Na God”. If someone asks what the secret of all your wealth is, say, “God has been good to me”. By this you mean the Nigerian god who gave you the uncommon wisdom to re-appropriate public funds.

Consult the Nigerian god when you don’t feel like working. The Nigerian god understands that we live in a harsh climate where it is hard to do any real work. So, if you have no clue how to be in charge and things start collapsing, ask people to pray to God and ask for his intervention.

The Nigerian god loves elections and politics. When you have bribed people to get the Party nomination, used thugs to steal and stuff ballot boxes, intimidated people into either sitting at home or voting for you, lied about everything from your assets to your age, and you eventually, (through God’s grace), win the elections, you must begin by declaring that your success is the wish of God and that the other candidate should accept this will of God. It is not your fault whom theNigerian god chooses to reward with political success. How can mere mortals complain?

The Nigerian god does not tolerate disrespect. If someone insults your religion, you must look for anyone like them and kill them. Doesn’t matter what you use—sticks, machetes, grenade launchers, IED’s, AK47’s.

The Nigerian god performs signs and wonders. He does everything from cure HIV to High BP. And the Nigerian god is creative: he can teach a person who was born blind the difference between blue and green when the man of god asks, and he can teach a person born deaf instant English. As a worshipper you must let him deliver you because every case of sickness is caused by evil demons and not infections. Every case of barrenness is caused by witches and has no scientific explanation. So instead of hospital, visit agents of the Nigerian god. But the Nigerian god does not cure corruption. Do not attempt to mock him.

If you worship the Nigerian god, you are under no obligation to be nice or kind to people who are not worshippers. They deserve no courtesy.

The Nigerian god is also online. As a worshipper, you are not obliged to be good or decent on Facebook or twitter all week except on Friday and Sunday, both of which the Nigerian god marks as holy. So you may forward obscene photos, insult people, forward lewd jokes on all days except the holy days. On those holy days, whichever applies to you, put up statuses saying how much you are crazy about God.

These days, the Nigerian god also permits tweets and Facebook updates like: “Now in Church” or “This guy in front of me needs to stop dozing” when performing acts of worship.

In all, the Nigerian god is very kind and accommodating. He gives glory and riches and private jets. And if you worship him well, he will immensely bless your hustle.

ElNathan John is a Nigerian writer, advocate and social activist. Find him here or simply Google him 🙂

(First seen on Atumercy)

Posted in CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, FUNNY

BEST JOKE COMPETITION: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Do you have a funny experience that can make one laugh and fall over? Okay, maybe not to fall over – but if you have some great joke, why not send it tocraftyogo@yahoo.com in not more than 100 words for a chance to win an exquisite handmade item.

Closing Date: Midnight 31st of July 2012. GMT.

Voting: 1st of August 2012 at 9.00am GMT. All the stories received will be published on this site.

Result: 2nd of August 2012 at 9.00 pm. GMT.

Rules for Voting: The stories  will be numbered so to vote, leave the number of your  favorite story as a comment or send it to craftyogo@yahoo.com
You can only vote once.

One more thing, it doesn’t matter where you are located, if you win, you get your prize.

P.S. Just make sure you live on planet earth for the sake of posting ;-)

Lets have fun!

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, BOOKS, FUNNY, LITERARY MISSIONARY, POL TALKS, SEVHAGE, TALES

DAMN YOU (LETTER TO NIGERIAN LITERATURE AND ALL INVOLVED)

(SMALL NOTE TO NIGERIAN LITERATURE AND ALL INVOLVED: DAMN YOU!)

__________________________________________________________________________

Yup, damn you!

I am usually conservative but even for that, damn me!

Nigerian writers and its literature is largely uncelebrated in the country – for most of that, damn Nigeria!

Nigerians prefer to read foreign books – damn Nigerians!

Readers would rather read a book by a known author than a least known one – well, I can’t blame them but damn both the readers and the unknown writer!

DAMN YOU WRITERS!

We all want to be taken seriously by the society and even government but are we even serious with ourselves?

Many times we rush off to print – without getting several things right

No proper editors or editing

Shabby production with lots of typos and grammatical blunders plus the tense

inconsistencies! Grrrr….

Should we forget the horrible covers that adorn most of our books?

What about those stories that should rather be in a text book?

Furthering, we keep doing the same thing and expect something to get results that are different… Kai!

Damn us!

You don’t read at all or pay the price for writing and you expect to have something good? Hee hee hee – Damn you jor!

Other times, you don’t do anything to help other writers – no reviews, no good comments, and you expect that the reverse would be yours… this is more hilarious than the price issue! Yes, yes, damn you!

You put some exorbitant price on your book and would rather have them under your bed than sell affordably – damn you!

You refuse to buy a book by another writer – no matter how good and expect yours to be bought – haba, if you keep expecting to be dashed or don’t even buy, you should respect karma now… but still, damn you!

A book launch is called (and this is often) and if you do the mistake of going, you go only to drink the free mineral, buns or meat pie – faya your head!

Here now you find some others – yes, you who set up some awards just for the glory and then end up giving your cronies – damn you!

What about you who is selected as a judge and decide that it is time to give the favour to some pal… O! I guess I forgot to mention that other person who decided that only the one with a big name should get the prize to increase your prestige… Whether you are a judge, whether you are the organiser… hmm, need I say more? No, not damn you, have your head examined!

More, you as a literary association or its members are more political than literary – choi, go and join PDP, CPC, ACN or one of them parties! Literary associations should be L I T E R A R Y !! Shikena! Damn you!

You are in a literary association and your only aim is POSITION – nothing else… damn you!

Okay, you get the position and you can’t effect any change – damn you still.

You claim to be a publisher while you only print and get your full payment for the copies, at best collecting payments for the print job…The same you refuses to market the writers or pay royalties when you sell their work – whether it is one of these or all, Oga/Madam Printer, damn you!

In your academic circles, scorning any writing not from your literary circles, or flowing only those sent from high towers – keep those noses in the air, may mighty flies dance alanta inside! See your head – damn you!

Now, here we go with all these and we have to start to think about why this rant has come about but not to worry… It takes time and a lot of damns to get us into doing the right thing… It takes time to ignore the big names, it takes time to get to discover that we can make those small people to be big…it takes time to ensure that we make ourselves – polish ourselves right and give ourselves the utmost shine… it takes time to make people know our worth… It takes time to take time…and while we are taking all this time, why don’t we simply just damn time itself! Damn time! (If you agreed to this, damn you!) As the times grow, we have to give it its respect and let it slowly flow… After all, isn’t it with the passage of time that wine gets better? Well, you might be lucky and not need to go through all the wahala to get there… On behalf of us all who really do not have the luxury of that miracle, damn luck! Damn the luck that would make others to really suffer to make a name… Damn the pirates who help us spread our work but don’t give us pay… Come to think of it, maybe we should give them some commission for marketing … What happens to our hard work and labour? Damn you pirates! Damn! Damn! Damn! Double and double and quadruple damns to it all till it comes to a time when we have to even damn damn itself…

At that damning time, we would have to find a way to undamn ourselves in one or several ways…and if we don’t find a way to remove the damns…well, what more do I say?

Ouch! There’s a damning headache in my head and I just discovered that someone still hasn’t got this whole message – phew! Damn! Okay, here’s what I am saying and if you don’t get it still (do I need to say it? Damn you!)

IT takes one and all to bring all the change we want and we can do it…if we don’t, damn us all!

(First published in Conflate Magazine, June 2012)

Posted in FICTION, FUNNY, LIFE, TALES

GRADUATE TALES: GARAGE BLUES (1)

The day was extremely hot as was usual in Belye. I went to the garage to resume duty. I was hungry but who cared? I had to go to my job. Wow! Sometimes I wonder if my degree was worth it after all. After having spent five academic years that were equivalent to ten years in the regular strike written dates of the Naijarian calendar. So high were my hopes then. A degree and the sky would not just be the limit but the starting point. Ten solid years of headaches and five years of academic frustrations! Four specified and mandatory years for my course and an extra jara dashed by my lecturers – haba! What had they called it then, again? Yes, spill over, that was it. I had spent a lot of money on that course. Forget my school fees; forget all the dues and the various levies imposed on us then. Forget the money for all those compulsory hand-outs (even though they had been banned). Did I just say hand-outs? Forgive me, I meant lecture notes. Strangely, they look, feel and are exactly like the hand-outs and what is more, people still buy them. Baptism was always a quick route and easy resort in this country. It reminds one of the famous story of the Reverend Father who caught his butler (abi na house boy?) eating meat on Good Friday. The Priest asked his boy why he was eating meat on that day (of all days).

“It is fish.” The accused quickly defended.

“Are you trying to say that I am blind?”

“No, Father. You see, the time wey I came here, they bin de call me Obinna. You pour water for my head and I turn to John. Na so me maself, I pour soup on top the meat head change am to fish.”

Oh yes, and so goes the story of the lecture notes. But like I said, let us forget my finances. Let us also forget the suffer-head and midnight oil burnt to pass papers and get marks which scarcely came.

I finally found my way out of school with a gentle man’s degree; a two-two or second class lower. I was very happy because as I said before, it was the beginning of a hope where I would reach beyond the stars. Naturally, after that came the job hunting saga. What boundless opportunities awaited me over there, wow! It was smiles all through for me. I guess one could see my ‘ear to ear’. The general saying I got accustomed to soon enough was “In Naijaria, everyone is a graduate”. This was an indirect way of telling me that I was one of thousands with education and no job, stranded in the job market. “Notin’ for you!” That pointed out to me that the whole cramming and learning just to pass in the university was for nothing.

Oh well, I thank the Almighty for my upbringing. Growing in Warri, the most notorious acclaimed agbero town of my country had taught me a lot. The street gospel had blessed me. I am a worthy ambassador of Warri so I decided to become self employed. This did not come spontaneously though. No, did it? If you think it did, you are wrong. I chanced upon a friend who had a master’s degree and yet was a bike man, an okada man. I was shocked, thinking that the sad plight of joblessness was only for the mere degree graduates like me. He gave me his version of this ‘national anthem’. He did some preaching and I was changed. I saw the gains of self employment and that is where I am now – a conductor, a bus conductor in Belye.

*  * * * *

Hunger changes even the best of us. Now, who would blame the prodigal son for wanting to eat pig food? But work calls above the stomach now. Presently, the bus is filled. The usual people and types; the same expressions and talks, only some different faces carry them today. It is so each time. One woman however catches my attention, she is Fulani and she has a tin with her. I wonder what might be inside. The Fulanis (their women at least) are always with cow milk or nono as they call it. For sure, I know that tin contains nono. To think that I have not eaten since yesterday… it is going to be an hour’s journey so there will be enough time.

As if I knew it, the Fulani woman’s face looks sickened. I guess it is the journey. Most of them get sick after we drive a while. She still holds unto the tin but I must take my focus from her lest she becomes suspicious. She is however soon asleep and since all the passengers seem to be the ‘I don’t care’ sort, I quietly carry the tin. No one is even giving me any attention. I open the lid quietly and soon the contents go down my throat in one long greedy gulp.

The journey ends soon, money is collected and as the Fulani woman gets ready to alight, she notices that her special tin is missing. There is a look of worry written on her face or is it concern?

Wai ya doka rago na?” Probably “Who took my tin?”

Ni ne na doka. Na sha nonon ki.” I know a bit of Hausa too and smilingly confess my crime in a little charged voice to cover the deep shame of my heart. Someone notes I am rude and taking advantage of the old woman. The lady does not seem to note my rudeness and in a very silent voice says something close to:

Aya, da na! Abunde kan sha ba nono ba ne – amei na ne!” My face goes pale as all smiles leave my being. In her simple terms; “Oh my son. What you drank was not nono –it was my vomit!

 

Belye!!

 

 

© Su’eddie Agema (2008) An early version of this was posted on this blog 2010, 30th August