Archive for October, 2012

Stubborn Youth

The living room’s quiet was only broken by Toba’s intermittent sip of his beverage, sitting on the sofa, while Bolu contributed to breaking the silence each time he finished a page of the novel he was reading.

Bolu had those headphones on as he read “The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger Born” but didn’t seem to be listening to the music it served him, assuming there was any music being listened to Toba thought.

There was power, along with the home entertainment system that should have livened the room up. But it was rare that they were indoors for a stretch of time, together.

It had been four days since Bolu drove out of the Palingenesis with a badly injured Toba. Mere getting the bonnet open that night had taken a bit from Toba, who was barely conscious when Bolu got home.

Now the shoulder was healing well, though still heavily strapped from the ‘procedure’ Bolu carried out on it, slightly awkwardly yet necessarily, in the reflector.

“You want to know who Jade is?” Toba asked softly, gazing involuntarily into his mug. He sipped a bit of his beverage when he got no response from Bolu, who had just turned to a new page.

Blinds of the windows, either side of the house’s entrance where shut. The living room was well lit from the flourescent bulbs at the corners and two more right at the middle of the room, some steps from the entrance.

It would have been nearly suicidal looking up in there, which was the duo’s intent from the onset. Toba stood, mug in hand, and made for the dining area on the inside left of the entrance.

He stopped on his way as a loud thud resonated from the door. Bolu dropped the novel, picked a controller to dim the lights and had his gun in hand already. “Could only be some boy’s ball kicked onto the door” Toba said, when what he really meant was there was no need for the gun.

Bolu was having none of it and approached the blinds facing the living room. Toba went to that facing the dining area, mug still in hand. He had a fair idea who it was but needed to be sure it was the person.

“Probably here to apologise” Toba said when there were three knocks on the door. Bolu’s eyes went Japanese on Toba, narrowing as that of a blood thirsty Samurai’s would.

Toba ignored his partner’s countenance and looked out. It was her. “Okay, nevermind me Bolu.” Toba began as he made to open the door, “But you really won’t be needing that”.

Bolu got the message. Neither of them was expecting anyone but Toba knew who this person was. He relaxed his stance and put his gun hand behind him, finger ready on the trigger however.

“Jade!” Toba greeted as the fair skinned, slim, tall woman in her late twenties smiled at Toba and Bolu. The latter didn’t notice as he was still perplexed at the knife stabbed into the oakwood door.

Jade would’ve apologised if Toba wasn’t there but since he was, there was no need for that. “Well come on in” Toba invited. She removed the knife with a bit of effort and made her way to the living room.

“How did you know we were here?” Bolu asked even before she sat. Jade raised an are-you-for-real brow at Toba, who could only chuckle at the unfolding episode.

A bit flustered, she told Bolu of the house being in the midst of trees, with the blinds closed and the type of door at the entrance being the marker for her.

Toba laughed. Bolu sighed. “You knew she was coming… ” he said. There was no need for an answer. “I’ll have to be brief here” Jade said after the lighthearted mood had fade away.

“At the hotel, we didn’t think someone that good would be sent there but… ” she was cut short, “Hold that thought!” by Bolu, “what’s this about?” he asked, facing Toba with a finger pointed at Jade.

“Good? No. Stubborn youth? Definitely.” Toba responded, to Jade. Bolu hated when Toba was like this but if he wanted to be in the know, he would have to be patient.

“Anyway,” Jade began, putting her knife on the table, “she was one of a new group and… ” she looked over at the dining table, sniffing, “… it appears this group of young ones really want in.”

Before Toba could respond, “What’s that?” she asked, sniffing one more time. “A beverage, with ginger tea, powdered milk, two shots of vodka and honey.” replied Toba, before adding “Yes, THAT beverage.” as Jade was about to ask.

Jade shook her head, as did Bolu, before proceeding. “You realise we have to know who they are?”

Toba said nothing but knew what was coming. “The COO of the sugar conglomerate’s been marked” she said, producing an envelope from her sling. “All you need to know’s in there and… ” she brought out another envelope “… this is for the last job and total for the coming one.”

“Why will you pay all in advance?” asked Bolu, to Toba’s little but welcome surprise. “If they send another, and I reckon they will, she will be much more… a ‘stubborn youth'” Jade said.

A moment’s silence ensued. Jade smiled at the novel Bolu was reading. Toba made to get his mug and Bolu broke the silence, “You two were partners.”

Jade picked her knife, smiling at Bolu as she stood to leave. “Have a good day gentlemen” she said, “and sorry about the door, bad habit.”

Toba smiled as he sat to have his beverage at the dining area. She’d apologised to Bolu, that was a good sign.

Bolu meanwhile watched her go, without a car. He was thinking, the next job was his to do and he considered what stubborn youth he would face.

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From Kunta Kinte to the Ferdinands and co

Kunta Kinte, Chicken Slayer, Roots. I was very young when the trio; a name, a nickname and the title of a show, were part of my daily life via the type of television screen which had its own ‘curtain’ employed when it wasn’t being stared at by us either being entertained, enlightened or – well before its demise – being informed by news from the NTA.

Roots was a show that portrayed the racial oppression of generations of slaves (initially) and black folks (over time) in the new world, where the white skinned was master and the dark skinned were plebeians (again, thank you headphones91 -_-).

In the end, generations after the aluta began, the dark skinned ones, in a general sense, achieved what had been fought for for long… to be treated as equal in everything (good) with the white skinned ones.

That struggle for equality was based on the slave trade bit of history, which I won’t bore you about, and has trickled down into the present day, subtly as the letter “b” there in some places and bare and bold as the letter “b” there in other places.

In football, where dark skinned players such as Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli earn quite an amount weekly, more so Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka at the other end of the world as well as Samuel Eto’o just off chilly Siberia, surely a thing as racism shouldn’t rare its colourless self.

Alas! It turns out that despite achieving equal status long fought for per se, racism now comes mostly in the form of verbal abuse from a person of one race to another of another race. Thus, overlooking status and getting right at the heart of the matter… and taking us right back to the mindstate we thought was dead and buried with Kunta Kinte generations.

In a world where a black man is the leader of the nation that wields its power the most, where a black man was the immediate past figure-head of the United Nations, where a black man is the fastest in the world followed by another and where a black woman; who had Tom up on her couch on her show, is regarded as one of the most influential people in the world… why would racism still exist?

John Terry recently apologised for being racist, despite playing alongside Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Ramires, Daniel Sturridge and for a while, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.

But did he apologise because he was racist to Anton Ferdinand or did he apologise just so that the protracted matter; in which a court found him not guilty only for the FA to basically find him guilty, could go away at the expense of his ‘integrity’?

Now, Terry will be known ever more as the man who went after your ex-girlfriends, shared what’s on his mind in a racist manner when the ‘need’ arose and still captained a Premier League club.

It’s a good thing Terry isn’t on twitter, Anton’s brother Rio Ferdinand woud have had a good go; most likely subliminally, at Terry, with Terry responding likewise, Ashley Cole feigning ignorance on the matter and Piers Morgan being… Piers Morgan.

On second thought, that would have made quite an entertaining display having those. Unfortunately, the matter is much more serious and delicate than what it seems to me.

With talk of a black players association supposedly being muled upon in the aftermath of Anton Ferdinand’s, Patrice Evra’s and the England U21’s cases, football could well be on the brink of being split.

And as Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay reckons, and which I agree with, it is the racists that will be delighted with how the matter is being handled by all parties involved.

And while one would hope a solid resolution is reached on the matter, the FIFA president Sepp Blatter, deeply saddened by the matter, will hope such resolution is reached without punishment (pretty much) to any offenders and those offenders and the victims letting bygones be bygones with a handshake.

Not sure Evra will be cool with that though…

Bygones Evra? No?

Bygones Evra? No?

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Lazio vs. AC Milan Preview

S. S. Lazio have the chance (again) to make a bit of a statement in the Serie A, with a match against AC Milan coming up for l’Aquile at the Stadio Olimpico.

Having lost woefully at Napoli just a month ago, third placed Lazio will see Milan’s visit not only as a chance to keep pace with the league’s pacesetters, but also as an opportunity to show that it can get the points against the big teams.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side will also be motivated by the fact that a win over Milan will see Biancocelesti reduce the four point gap between it and one or both of league leaders Juventus and second placed Napoli, as both clash at Turin in Saturday’s evening kick-off.

Saturday’s late kick-off in Rome remains a high profile match despite Milan’s misfortunes this season. The Rossoneri finds itself down in 11th place, with just seven points from as many matches.

Milan have also had to deal with head coach Massimo Allegri in a reported heated exchange with youth coach Filippo Inzaghi, continuously backing Allegri’s position as coach inspite of a poor start to the season as well as fending off rumours of a sale of the club to Qatari investors.

On the flip side, the Rossoneri played well for large spells in the loss to Inter Milan last time out. Days before that loss, Milan held their nerves to gain a crucial 3-2 Champions League at Zenit St. Petersburg after throwing a two-goal lead away.

The biggest boost for Allegri’s side however will be the return to fitness of Brazilian forward Alexander Pato from an injury sustained on international duty at the Olympics.

Milan’s main threat however will be Italian youngster Stephen El-Shaarawy. With four league goals so far, the 19 year old has proved an unlikely pillar for Milan in the absence of Pato and lack of form from the likes of Robinho, who is out injured, or Ricardo Montolivo.

With a difficult trip to face Champions League Group C leaders Malaga coming after Saturday’s trip to Rome, the next five days are crucial to Milan’s season.

Likewise to Lazio’s season, though coach Petkovic believes Lazio should only be considered contenders for the Scudetto or otherwise by Christmas while urging his players to be at their best in the league and in Europe.

The Bosnian tactician also believes Lazio at the moment can beat Milan, a view echoed by midfielder Cristian Brocchi who stated Milan is “wounded” at the moment.

And indeed Lazio, hardly ever so, is favourite going into the encounter and will be banking on Hernanes and Miroslav Klose to deliver the goods upfront, with Klose in a rich scoring streak having hit home five league goals so far; including a brace last time out at Pescara.

Lazio players celebrating a goal recently.

Lazio players celebrating a goal recently.

He also scored a brace for Germany in Tuesday’s thrilling 4-4 draw against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier to come within two goals of Gerd Muller’s record of 68 goals for the German national team.

Petkovic will hope he maintains his form on Saturday and ensure Lazio secure a result similar to last season’s corresponding fixture. A win for Milan however will help ease the pressure weighing on Allegri.


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Random Yarns, Cold Stuff

This was going to start with “I’ve lost interest in the internet… ” but all nine alter egos sniggered inside, at the same damn time. My mind took the cue and implored my fingers to behave, so they did… sort of.

They (the fingers) had just logged me off facebook, where I’d stumbled on someone I know oh so very well yet isn’t on my friend list. Blimey!

So I had gone to her/his page (I’d rather not reveal the gender), and you know it’s the “info” page that opens when you visit a ‘stranger’s’ wall/timeline/page.

Writing was the only “activities” entered, a good thing. “men & women” were among his/her interests, queer person maybe but certainly an open-minded person I thought.

The music got my attention. “Juju, Fuji, Apala music and JUJU” it read. Must’ve been two alter egos with a poker face when I lost hold of my laugh. ‘whatever is cracking this being?’ they thought. ‘Blame the emphasis on a genre’ retorted my mind.

This person’s gender should be obvious now. Meanwhile, aura within became frozen and led to the fingers, on the mind’s instruction, logging me off. Before they did; and they always do this, they clicked ‘home’ so I could have one last look at updates and friend suggestions from the blue and white interface.

One of the suggestions was a young woman I know not from Noah’s ark, yet she and I had about two dozen mutual friends. It gets better, these mutual friends were males. Going through the mutual friends’ list and I realised ‘she must be QCOB’, seeing as the list only had KCOBs on it. Those randy, good old clowns.

Logged out afterwards, wrote this (and PHCN restored power at the start of this bracket), went to the living room, made to play FM12 and watch movies into Saturday morning while mulling over certain drafts in my mind, including how to begin the third paragraph in the next episode of Toba and Bolu’s… existence.

There. I’ve always wanted to write a ‘cool story’.

P.S.: Then I remembered the ‘send friend request’ bit to the juju lover was left untended. And a problem with a number of us on facebook is being found in searches because we don’t use our names as it is spelt and so on.

Then there’s also being too lazy to look through the browsing history, which would take me back to the page and let me tend to the matter.



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Random Yarns

Twitter can be a lot of fun when observing, such as yesterday evening till this morning when tweeters went on about people sending broadcasts ‘warning’ people to stop sending broadcasts.

The general consensus on Nigerian twitter is wishing people “happy new month” is basically a lame thing to do, more so when done in a broadcast.

Happy new month by the way. Worse still though, the day that ushers this new month in happens to be Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary.

Happy independence anniversary Nigerians.

Cue in the reminders of leftovers from bad governance, current and past, to go along with the prevailent “be patriotic!” vs. “Nigeria is a failure” undercurrent verbal battles that ever rages, with a number of indifferent ones observing the raucous nearby while a few others are busy enriching themselves far away at the echelons.

Then when the next general elections come, and a few voices of hope begin to beg the electorate to exercise their franchise wisely, cold feet sets in and irrational decisions are made.

Well I hope that won’t be the case when it comes to that time. There was power to watch the man in power give his speech but I didn’t watch. I’m just waiting for when I can vote and end the nightmare that is this PDP government.

I believe our young ones will have it much better, well I hope so personally. Saw all my nieces and nephew together at one place for the first time since their births and, maybe that spirit of ‘responsibility’ is still far from me, but I know I believe they and their coming siblings will live a much better life than us.

That said, I was busy at a wedding reception this time last year. The aftermath of that wedding and its reception is a two month old princess, one of my nieces.

B and J

BuBu and JayJay

So here’s wishing the Oyebanjis a happy first wedding anniversary! God bless them.

And God bless Nigeria and Nigerians.

While on the subject of anniversaries, happy 16th anniversary as Arsenal manager to Arsène Wenger. God bless him. And God bless Arsenal, regardless of the drought and whatever it was that must have happened on Saturday… but Jesus Koscielny, focus man, focus!

E go better.

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