the holidays

November 29, 2007

It’s December (in two days) – just go to Rockefeller center or the Cartier on 5th avenue and see for yourselves. Christmas decorations are everywhere; the New York Stock Exchange has had its American Flag Christmas lights up for a while now and everywhere is absolutely lovely. This is the season for Christmas parties at places like the Waldorf, Ciprianis, Chelsea Piers and Bridgewater.  It’s the time for year end evaluations and the revelation of whether you will be receiving a fat bonus (Up Goldmorgan Stanlehman) – and considering the state of the market I highly doubt that I will (do I ever?). 

All that aside, New York is one of my best places to be during the season – second to Lagos and coupled by the fact that I gat no blue passport. As much as I love to be in NY and stand by the skating rink and laugh out hysterically when people fall flat on their asses, November/December can be really annoying. Just the other day I went to Macys to see if I could find me a pair of boots and it was a complete mayhem. Seriously, it is annoying; why? TOURISTS!!!! It’s bad enough on any regular season but from Black Friday (Friday after thanksgiving) to Christmas is a mess. This is when the Europeans splurge their Euros and Pounds in excitement and rejoice over the weak state of Dollar. So I decided that I make my life easy by shopping online –it is so hassle free. Just click, add to your shopping cart and you are good to go. The most beautiful part of it all is that your package comes to you in the comfort of your house (or my sister’s ‘cause she has a door man who can sign for her when she isn’t home and I don’t). 

So being that we are in a generous season, I want to be generous to y’all and share a few sites with you. They have great stuff at good prices and they make great gifts too….you don’t have to thank me but you can pick me something if you so insist ;). Caution – These sites can be highly addictive. Edede is not responsible for any loses you might incur as a result of excessive splurging. Do not ‘OD’ your purchases. One more thing, you can go to www.dealnews.com to get the scoop on discounts that your fave stores might have. Enjoy!

www.redenvelope.com; www.ice.com; www.uncommongoods.com; www.endless.com


music vs music

November 26, 2007

I have a wonderful relationship with music. Lock me up in a room and I’d be fine as long as I have a collection of songs to keep my company. Songs are beautiful…it is therapy. It really is – I am talking about some fall out boy, switch foot, carrie underwood, ingrid michaelson to some lauren hill, camron, lupe fiasco, fabulous to some naija tunes, old school and new school – they are all so beautiful. BUT, not all music is good and when music isn’t good I get a little vexed. Case in point, Ashionye* – as in what-da-hell, seriously dude! My apologies to Ashionye music lovers but c’mon for goodness sakes what the frig are y’all on (and where did you get it)? 

I think the Nigerian music industry needs critiques that would rate new releases on a scale of 1 to 5 (no bribery involved sha). Hopefully, this would deter some people from singing…I am sure they have other skills that they just need to explore and exploit. BTW, Omotola, Genevieve and other actor-turned-singers are not off the hook either( most of them are horrible singers).  Let’s face it: Tuface made it big because he can sing (remember omode meta shere?). Tribesmen made it big because they could rap (remember shake body?). Maintain are known today because they are creative (ni bo la n wa gbe lo, mi o male ti moto). It should be clear that this game isn’t meant for every Tom, Dick and Maria!  

I hate the be the hater here but if any publicity is good publicity, then I’m probably doing her a favor and who knows, her next album might just be a banger. But for now o, if respect should be given where it’s due then we all need to reevaluate how we evaluate – unless we want another “stylist” as our house speaker.  

www.ashionye.com (I strongly recommend that you do not visit this website at work…and if you do make sure your volume is set to low)


the deally

November 21, 2007

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The train conductor on the downtown bound 3 train said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the price of crude oil is over $99 per barrel. Please continue to use the New York mass transit system”. People smiled, some chuckled, and I was like “really!!?” Yes, really. Oil has gone up to over $99 per barrel. Analysts are even projecting that it would hit a $100 and beyond. I bet execs at Southwest Airlines are doing the Macarena right about now.  

But seriously though, isn’t this crazy? According to Forbes, Crude oil prices rose to a new record above $99 a barrel and it was catalyzed by two major reasons; 1) worries about inadequate supplies as the Northern Hemisphere enters winter 2) news of refinery problems. Gas prices have already gone up as a result and I only expect that would apply to heating oil prices as well. Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil has signed a deal to explore for oil and natural gas in Libya. O well, o well, o well – I’m beginning to question the possibility of untapped oil out there.


the run down

November 20, 2007

As you may or may not know, President Yar’Adua has directed security agencies to investigate allegations that four former Nigerian ministers received bribes from Siemens AG. He also assured that anyone found guilty will punished (damn skippy). I’m just glad that some action is being taken. I’m even more excited because he didn’t ignore the issue. Did you all see the list of names released by Seimens….those suckers kept a LIST – a typical example of  if I’m going down, I’m taking you with me (don’t mess with the Germans). On a chirpy or not so chirpy note, the Ex-Im Bank of the United States has reduced the exposure fee for Nigerian transactions in efforts to expand support for Nigerian purchases of US goods (HOLD UP! repete encore.) Wait o, these people are making it easier for us to buy their goods? Hmmm, why does this raise a flag? Is there something I’m not getting? How does this really help us? Show me the cost-benefit analysis. Help! 

Moving on, there has been talks about micro financing and how micro finance can remediate poverty in the world’s poorest countries – how it can help close the gap between the rich and poor and what not. I urge the go- getters and type A personalities to look into this. I have some links below with good information. Research on your spare time and see if it is something worth considering. I personally recommend that you read about Acumen Fund . According to Acumen Fund; “Poor people seek dignity, not dependence. Traditional charity often meets immediate needs but too often fails to enable people to solve their own problems over the long term. Market-based approaches have the potential to grow when charitable dollars run out, and they must be a part of the solution to the big problem of poverty.” – FYI a woman runs this fund (Pwnd!) 

Okay, smart peeps. I’m out. Cheers. 

edede says checktheseout: Microfinance is the big idea that can help end poverty ; African banks: On the frontier of finance; Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access


notes from self inflicted exile (vol 2)

November 20, 2007

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I try to exercise my mind with thoughts whilst trying to avoid thinking too much about the important stuff. I have been able to calm myself and I’m closely realizing my center. I wonder if he remembers what he told me a couple of years ago. A pact; it was the weirdest idea but I smiled and never acknowledged it. I never thought of that; I always figured that if I had no prospects of ever getting married I’d pack my bags and move to a foreign land where I’d adopt twins and breed cows. I might be broken if he doesn’t remember the pact; that would mean that it was all fluff and this might cause me to reevaluate our friendship. So secretly, I hope he remembers more so for the sake of my ego than his – I am not too sure if I care much about his.

My thoughts roam a bit further and I emerge myself fully in space. I think about doing somersaults on the same field that happy cows reside. Have you ever since the happy cow commercial? Well, it revolves around the premise that happy cows live in California. I wonder if happy people leave the California too – I wonder if my life would be in slow motion if I ever moved there (I usually see myself somersaulting in slow motion abound blue skies and green grass with some 20s blues playing in the background). I tried somersaulting out of impulse the other day and fell on the wrong side of my head. I was alone and cracked a smile that revealed my rabbit teeth.  I wished I had a huge room floored with feather soft mattress or a land full of grass and soft soil so I could somersault with less harzards. My neighbors grass would be no greener than mine so I wouldn’t consider trespassing. Is grass really greener on the other side? Someone said we think the grass is always greener on the other side but ultimately it is all grass. This might be true, but I bet the true lovers of grass would beg to differ. Grass pass grass which ever way you flip it, how else would grass be appreciated? Isn’t it the grass that makes the cows happy? Some even say you hear the songs clearer thanks to grass. I often wish I had a sound track reflecting episodes of my life that I could hear clearer. Like in the cafeteria, there was something about the song that captured the essence of my lunch– more in the melody than the lyrics. As I walked out the cafeteria the music faded and I lost my swagger – and I felt less like Muyiwa. It was like the movie was over and I was back to real life – not MTV’s but mine.

The printer makes a noise and brings me back. I get my phone from my bag to see if I have any text messages.


news worthy

November 19, 2007

On November 16 2007, an article on the Wall Street Journal stated that Siemens AG paid millions of euros in bribes to cabinet ministers and dozens of other officials in Nigeria, Russia and Libya as it sought to win lucrative contracts for telecommunications equipment.  An Oct. 4 ruling by a Munich court names four former Nigerian telecommunications ministers as well as other officials in Nigeria, Libya and Russia as recipients of 77 bribes (33 of which were given to Nigerian Officials) totaling about €12 million, or about $17.5 million. For more detail on this article; www.wsj.com Siemens Ruling Details Bribery Across the Globe By David Crawford and Mike Esterl.  If you are having trouble locating the article let me know. Have a lovely week ahead.


ideas

November 15, 2007

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I happen to be an avid reader/skimmer of AM New York and Metro newspapers and this is mainly because they are free. These papers are small; typically less than 50 pages and like any other newspaper they provide news in and around NY and the world at large. Like all kinds of media paper they make profit from ads and ads thrive on the circulation power of the medium. Granted the information might not be detailed compared to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal or as gossipy as Page 6 of the New York Post; these free papers manage to provide valuable information. I believe information used well can drive innovation and so I started thinking – as usual – of ways to capitalize on this brilliant idea. 

Let’s face it; the reason why most Nigerians don’t read the papers is because they can come up with a million and one other things to do with the money it takes to buy one. Most, if not all, newspapers are available online, but correct me if I am wrong when I say that a majority of people back home do not have convenient access to the internet. So, how can one go about establishing an equivalent Morning Lagos in Nigeria? The first obstacle that precluded any further thought into this initiative was boli and suya sellers – among others. If they found out that Morning Lagos was giving away newspapers for free, they would quickly pack plenty so they can use to wrap their goods. This is clearly a problem, right? So, how can this be prevented?  

Here’s an idea; what about if big banks cut back on huge TV and Bill Board Ad campaigns and provide petty traders with paper bags that have ads printed on them? Would this work? What about if Morning Lagos starts the trend by providing traders with such paper bags? Ideas, ideas, ideas….you all have to help me out here….take a minute to think about this and get back to me via comments, emails, phone calls (after 9pm J), anything