January 21, 2009
A young mother in Kenya named her new born son Senator Barack Obama. Let’s say the child grows up to become a Senator, he would be known as Senator Senator? Allow me to steal one of pure fiyah’s phrases, PURE HILARITY. Anyhow, today’s topic isn’t about Obama or the ball or Michelle’s dress – sorry to disappoint you. Today’s topic; or perhaps discussion (feel free to pitch in) is on Love. Yes, Love. Bear with me because I have a lot on my mind. Let’s see how much of it hits cyberspace.
So a couple of years ago I had a serious accident and pretty much junked the car that I was driving…I was a bad driver at the time and lets say that my nerves took control of the wheels. After my accident, it took me a while to summon up the courage to get behind the wheels but it took most of my compadres longer to trust me with their cars. Why? Trust of course and honestly, I didn’t want to be responsible for any damage to their cars. This analogy may be a little shabby, but the point I am trying to make here is that as people it is always difficult to trust someone if they have done something in the past that questions the capacity of the intended trustee; and so people don’t trust easily, because we don’t want to be fooled, or hurt, or tricked or suaved, or played, or damaged, or cheated on. It’s our way of protecting ourselves from the possibility of risk – not risk itself because to love is to risk and to be at risk.
Amidst the uncertainties of my capacity and the capacity of others, I look to God and try to see how he does it. How does He manage to love me despite my faults? How does He answer my prayers despite all I have done that is displeasing? I don’t know, and I won’t even try to understand. But because he has been so good and continues to be so good, I know enough to trust him and I believe in HIM. So if God is Love, I guess its only logic that I believe and trust in Love – not man, not woman, not boyfriend, not girlfriend, not husband, not wife; but in the power of the divine that I am blessed to manifest.
In essence, just LOVE.
January 20, 2009
I work in a service industry and I am a firm believer in providing great service to a client and this philosophy should transcend cultures…east and west…non Africans and Africans alike. So what’s my beef? It seems like this philosophy of service; this very simple philosophy; is not practiced in Nigerian Banks. How can I open an account with MY money, deal with some not so courteous employees (like they are doing me a favor), fill out the appropriate forms to track my account online and STILL don’t have access track my account online? It’s been 2 weeks and I am tired! Even more frustrating, I CALLED the call center – mind you, the online helpdesk feature is “broke” – and I was still not able to speak with someone who could help me with my issue. Then to ADD insult to INJURY, I sent an email, the cheapest and probably easiest means of communication but got NO response. If GTB were a person, I would slap, pinch and kick him…yes HIM ‘cause it is my opinion that great service has no EGO.
Enough of the excuses! “Why are you angry? That is just how it is…You forget that its Nigeria you are talking about…Welcome to lagos!”; the more we continue to make excuses for Bank’s stupidity the deeper the stupidity goes. If a Bank isn’t able to provide top notch e-banking service then why provide the service at all? Why most we be subject to Half-Assed efforts and Half-Assed results? This is UNACCEPTABLE and I revolt! If I don’t hear from GTB soon, I promise to bad mouth them and spoil their business. RUBBISH!
Ps: as you can tell, I am pissed and it’s irritating because all I ask for is to track my account…it’s not rocket science abi? GTB, you gan sef…eyin na, ke da mi loun jare.
January 14, 2009
Hello and Happy New Year! I have been MIA for a while now as you might have noticed but I’m back and I’m grateful to God for his goodness. I was out of the country for about 2 weeks. I went to motherland and as expected, motherland is same ol’ motherland. I got suaved $500 while changing currencies and for a while I was ashamed of myself but I remembered the Benin adage; “if you don’t want people to laugh at you, people will cry for you”, and in the spirit of good laughs I have shared my story of been mumu*ed* in Lagos. The story ends here.
Besides my sad ordeal, I actually had fun. Not because I went out to the baddest parties in town and hung out with the coolest crowd but more so because I met wonderful people, had meaningful conversations and was reminded again of how lovely it is to be home despite all socio and economic issues. Take for instance Linda Ikeji’s conviction and sincerity when she talked about pursuing a dream and Femi Adekola’s optimism and resolution that anything is possible, no buts. These conversations and others continue to stay with me.
For those who care to know Lagos state has actually moved in some positive directions since my last visit. The first is the BRT line. I’m not sure what it stands for but its pretty much a refined transit system that runs to and fro Ikorodu road to the Island. Although I can’t speak to the details of this bus line I can always share my experience on it. I took the BRT from Maryland to CMS and it was actually quite pleasant. The ticket cost my #100 and most times everyone is seated comfortably with decent air blowing from the wide windows. The cool thing about the BRT is that it has its own lane on Ikorodu road so if there is any traffic at all on that road, those on the BRT are able to avoid the hold up. Cool right?
The second is the rule that was passed mandating all okada riders and passengers to wear helmets. I know it’s a bit hilarious at first but it was amazing to see that okada riders actually complied with this rule; although some used construction helmets as opposed to the real bike helmets, the fact is that they made an attempt and I commend them for that. Trust Lagosians to grumble…I heard some people say, “laye laye, I’m not wearing that helmet o…what if the other person had something on their head…” Truth is, there is nothing wrong in taking precautions to safety. Case in point, I witnessed an accident on Awolowo road where the okada driver was knocked down from his bike. Only God knows the injury he might have sustained on his head if he didn’t have a helmet on. Haven said, there were ridiculous cases of some people wearing firemen helmets and little buckets over there heads…I’m not sure what to say to that.
As usual I was yapped and teased for not representing as a NY chic because I did “rago” things like taking a bike and using the BRT. The truth; I enjoyed every bit of it and would do it again. I dream of a Lagos where someday “old money”, “new money” and “no money” can enjoy the comfort of a superb transit system. Then it won’t matter if you leave on the Island, Mainland or *Aja-land* as the daily commute will be less of an issue.