Posts Tagged Nigeria

Retrospects & Prospects


“Some that were with us last year are no more and some that weren’t with us last year live among us now” is pretty much how the year went from my viewpoint, paraphrased from what who-I-can’t-remember-his-name-now said at a public function recently.

Oldest brother got married in February to a nice hybrid of nerd and covergirl and set alight a trail of weddings held during the year with one in June to a beauty, another in September to a fair maiden, two to start and end October, attractive and endowed… and one more in November to a stunner, to round off what became a year of nuptuals.

The children can all like to take semblance of their respective mothers and what do you know, February’s union has been blessed with a child just as the second one that held in October has been blessed too… think of the latter as the result of shots on target from pre-season. These men are no Fernando, so Persic with their execution I tell you.

Obviously the prayer is for the other unions to be just as blessed next year hence, the urge to tag 2012 as the year of the toddlers… leaving me to be uncle to more tots than the two I am one to at the moment… tots? Hmmm…

While we’re nurturing a next generation of the family, it is only appropriate to take a moment and remember the ones who now rest in peace; the aged, the gone too soons/sunset at dawn and even some that lived only a few days or months on earth… bless your souls.

“It never hits until you watch the casket go under” and boy did it hit when her’s went down… rest in peace ‘layo, with your baby. Yours was a most painful loss, coming just days after a wedding from the above for which you played a key part of. Surely you’re in an immeasurably better place.

A place I pray also for those that were taken from life in a most gruesome manner to be, especially through the spate of bombings from you know who over God knows what exactly. And there at the Aso Villa is a figurehead satisfied with reaping the dividends (legitimate until proven otherwise 😦 only to then be let go after the Court’s received its ‘cut’) of presidential life while taking the attacks as just “a burden we would have to bear with”…

I’d rather not delve into how disappointed I am at those who voted olowo ori Patience into office and more so at others who failed to vote because the other candidates “would not win anyway so why bother”, a shallow statement to make from same people that won’t let me hear word when yarns about fuel subsidy, budget and government officials let off the hook after posting ‘farcical’ bails come up… keep deceiving yourselves o.

Writing of deceit, MTN stays ever cursed and probably has taken second place from the Nigeria Police Fu**s as the most cursed organisation in the country, PHCN maintaining top spot as Barcelona currently is when it comes to world football, with or without the spite… *beats palm on Arsenal badge anyway*. There must be a figurine at Peter Hill-Wood’s office seeing as seven years would have passed since a captain lifted a trophy to the heavens 😦

As e bad reach it’s just three Arsenal matches I’ve seen this season, the visits to Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City… all lost. My bp’s improved thereafter though, God knows best *sigh*.

And only God knows why I’ve not seen the movie Inception either *ducks in time to dodge thrown rotten tomatoes*. Wonder what’ll happen when I say I’ll make sure I know how to drive a car in 2012… *makes to scamper off cyberspace*

Compliments of the season as I pray your 2012 is devoid of the Mayans’ theory but full of successes like your life was a box office chart topper as I’m expecting the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ to be. God bless you.

Love, Punkenstein… along with the introvertive Mikho, self explanatory Alcohorlick, d_oA the dual ego -__-, OmoAfonja the razz one, the ever misconstrued Illuminatish, the indifferent one ‘Num, Leksyd the cheerful… and PaGe the new born… okbye!

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EPL Players of the Season 2010/11


Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez, the little pea in the big league

Snapped up from Chivas Guadalajara just before a commendable World Cup campaign in South Africa for Mexico, ‘Chicharito’ arrived Old Trafford, scored 13 goals in 21 league appearances and made such an impact at the Theatre of Dreams that Dimitar Berbatov’s long overdue return on goals for the money spent on him could not save him from losing his first team place to the diminutive Mexican.

Peter Osaze Odemwingie
Mostly condemned for moving to a club of Westbromwich-Albion’s stature by fans back in Nigeria and abused racially for leaving Lokomotiv Moscow by fans of the Russian club, Osaze went about his business and his sterling performances for the Baggies through the season; bagging 15 goals along the way, was more than enough to silence his critics and announce his talents to the English game. Being named PFA Player of the Month twice added good icing to his cake.

Robin van Persie
This Dutchman’s form for Arsenal, laden as always with time on the sidelines due to injury, deserved a trophy but just like his goal in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City, it simply didn’t prove enough. Van Persie however should be proud of his individual performances this season having finished with 18 league goals this season; the first of those scored on New Year’s Day, equalling the record held by Cristiano Ronaldo and former teammate Thierry Henry for most goals scored between January and season’s end. He also shot his way to breaking Didier Drogba’s record of scoring in six consecutive away league matches by scoring in nine consecutive away league matches.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Luka Modric (Spurs' engine) would be the player in the background with both arms raised, with Van der Vaart (Spurs' sleek exterior) celebrating in the fore

Where Rafael van Der Vaart was the sleek outer design of the Tottenham Hotspur team, Croatian playmaker Modric was the engine under the hood that truly ran the show with space-opening passes, playing self and team out of trouble and providing the occasional assist. Modric indeed is the unsung star of Tottenham this season and you just feel a far less calamitous goalkeeper and more consistent forwards will see the top echelon of the Premier League be even more competitive.

Darren Bent

After leaving Sunderland in January the dearth in goal became obvious at the Stadium of Light, much to the benefit of Aston Villa where between the New Year and March he became top scorer of the Villans with 10 goals in 16 league appearances; including two in a memorable win at Arsenal at on the penultimate weekend of the season

Wayne Rooney
All he needs is a moment to show why every opposition defender is ever unsettled when Rooney appears on the starting sheet of Manchester United on any given weekend and weekday. Every season his game improves steady and his scoring touch has remained at a good level for a forward, his team play has improved tremendously and it’s when the team performs that managers are happy; individual performances come as added bonus really.

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines played in all of Everton's league matches this season, scoring five while at it

Everton would be better off in the league had the club attained same level of consistency as Baines. His occasional goals and high return on assists only bettered by Cesc Fabregas and Didier Drogba (according to Opta Sports) along with assured performances week after week for all 38 league matches amazingly, deservedly earned him the club’s Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season as well as Goal of the Season.

Jack Wilshere
Bolton Wanderers had a request to have the teenage English midfielder back on loan at the Reebok Stadium rejected few days to the start of the season and it proved to an invaluable decision by Arsène Wenger as evident by a consistent return of stellar individual performances for Arsenal all through the 49 matches he played in all competitions; one that deserved a trophy as reward… one that eluded the team.

Gareth Bale
Most unfortunately for the Three Lions of England, Bale is Welsh. A fact that made his explosive form for Tottenham Hotspur one worthy of much praise and enough for him to win the PFA Player of the Year although… winning that accolade was perhaps a bit of a hasty decision from the Queens’ men.

Edwin van Der Sar

Edwin van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar saving Anelka's spot kick in the 2008 Champions League final

This here is a Dutchman that has tasted the highs (Ajax) and endured the lows (Juventus and at Fulham; no offence to the Cottagers) of football hence retiring on a high at Manchester United after a top quality season of performances in all competitions is just what van Der Sar derseves. Van Der Save earned that nickname with string of saves that belied his 41 years and hopefully the Red Devils won’t go through the conundrum of finding a replacement like it did after Peter Scheimichel retired.

Rafael Van Der Vaart

Rafael van Der Vaart

Rafael van Der Vaart applauding Spurs' fans after a match

Following in the individual steps of countrymen Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder… out of Real Madrid, van der Vaart added a bit more flair to the game of Tottenham Hotspur, culminated in his 13 goals in 28 league appearances for the Lilywhites and a commendable campaign for the club; one that saw Spurs reach the Champions League quarterfinals in its maiden appearance in the competition.

Ryan Giggs

Ageless Welshman has now won one less league trophies than Arsenal has in its history. If that does not hit you enough in the face, think of it this way; only three clubs in all of England has won more league titles than he has… and the picture should be settling in now. Even at the ripe age of 37 when it is goalkeepers that attain their peak, Giggs proved very instrumental in Manchester United’s title winning campaign with his experience coming in handy and the evidence of speed in him still that belies his age. This here is a Welshman that has got better with age.

And others worthy of making this list fall below:

Didier Drogba

Samir Nasri

Charlie Adam

Antonio Valencia

Dirk Kuyt

Nemanja Vidic

Brede Hangeland

Nani

Charles N’Zogbia

Carlos Tevez

Yaya Toure

Dimitar Berbatov

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Random Yarns: Groomed Pet or Bloomed Flirt? A Day it May End in May & Voices


In the bustle of getting to school early one day; a futile effort most times for a lot of us, a discourse on marriage material arose among four students and to my surprise, they argued for the point that having a wife betroth for you seems the option to fall back on in order to get a ‘clean girl’.

Their paramount reason for this thought was that by the time one was ready to settle down for marriage after having ‘sampled’ across board, won’t one’s wife-to-be then also have been ‘sampled’ by someone else or a good number of young men; old ones as well, all in the search of who to settle down with.

Hence, they felt the process of old in which it was the parents that went about finding a girl they felt would be most suitable for their son should return to being the norm in this modern day…

But whether sampling before commitment or commitment by manner of betrothing is the way to go, time apparently is fast running out on making the decision (for those who haven’t made one) seeing as by popular consensus May 21 will see the world come to an end.

People just like to take the fun out of things really. So now that you’ve let the cat out of the bag, the price of crude oil has crashed and it so happens to be when most of us here in my school will finish with exams…

Seriously though, even Jesus Christ knows not what hour the Father will decide it is time but no no, some people are just in much of a haste for the end of days that from December 21, 2012 it’s become just over a fortnight from when this got posted? Make una no make God do us strong thing toh Gomorrah o!

Still with God (always will be anyway), when He speaks to people or what He actually asks of individuals we cannot say except be recipients of what a given individual says or does as directed by God. I ask however, was the message fully grasped by the given individual when received? In this post-jet age we live in, it only will be natural that individuals God speaks to; and I believe He speaks to us every day, are susceptible to being impatient in hearing the whole message or chilling to understand what the message is trying to impart.

Imagine Abraham, told by God that he would be made ‘father of many nations’ yet never became the king of Israel, Canaan or wherever but rather is revered today as a man of unwavering faith in God among men across religions; has that not fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham?

Then now, take Chris Okotie for another instance… told he would become President of Nigeria. Perhaps he mistook the timing of the message’s manifestation or altogether mistook the message itself. Hence I pray that each of us will through the infinite and abundant grace of God not be misled from our true destiny, amen!

©d.òÁ

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Random Yarns


I don’t know why I feel so but I hope the pity I have towards former Miss Kate Middleton is not vindicated in the coming years following her union to Prince William; a union that was placed right in our faces whether we were interested in witnessing it or not… and one would think the British are overly conservative type.

What arouses this thought is the memory of late ‘queen of hearts’, Princess Diana who became part of the royal family in pomp and all only to exit this sphere of life shrouded in dark clouds of deceit, betrayal, mistrust and rebellion, in short she passed away in a manner most un-British and devoid of the happy ever after such union promised when it was consummated in 1981.

Then in ’81 it was millions that watched the “Royal Wedding”, her son’s got some two billion people watching on worldwide via every media available; including tweets, and it all came to the “you may now kiss the bride” part… not sure that’s how the Dean of Westminster Abbey put it or Willie Willie decided to be most appropriate but a peck? Took a bit out of the Wedding’s shine but notwithstanding, a happy married life to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In Nigeria meanwhile, a good million of us hoped there would be a new leader occupying the throne at Aso Rock come May 29 but alas Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe remains the favoured personnel of a majority of Nigerians with franchise and hence, the Bayelsa man will remain President of Nigeria till 2015 or Dame Patience’s famous greeting to her “fellow widows” comes to pass… whichever comes first.

Nonetheless, Jonathan made optimum use of the good luck that’s been with him since being Governor Dimipriye Alamieyeseigha’s deputy a little while ago but give Arsenal FC half the good luck and the Gunners still won’t ride it through to the end as can be seen by the trail of another trophy less campaign gone by… perhaps the most ludicrous since the drought began after the 2005 FA Cup win.

Definitely winning meanwhile is Karol Józef Wojtyła who was beatified earlier today in a glorious ceremony at the Vatican and from now on will be known as Blessed John Paul II. And so I pray to him, and all the angels and saints of Heaven… can Arsenal end the drought already!!!

©ð.òÁ

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Distant Relatives Album Review


The idea of a hip hop icon and his reggae counterpart doing an album collaboration held quite an attraction to me and I had such anticipation for the album based on previous kind of collaborations as the Best of Both Worlds by Jay-Z and R. Kelly as well as the mash-up series by Mtv that was highlighted by the Collision Course album by Linkin Park and Jay-Z.

Distant Relatives by Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones and Damien ‘Junior Gong’ Marley; offspring reggae legend of Bob Marley, is a fusion of hip hop and reggae as never done before and the first single off it; As We Enter did a world of good for the album with its rhythmic beat that successfully complemented the seamless exchange of verses between the two artistes.

But if you thought the rest of the album would follow suit…the album would be a total flop; and that’s just being nice. That said, it’s safe to state that the duo do their best to lace their respective bars with not your average material and I’m especially impressed with Junior Gong’s contribution to the album – that’s apart from being the album’s co-producer – as highlighted in his flow on ‘Nah Mean’, Gong did to the track what Eminem did to Jay-Z’s ‘Renagade’ with all due respect to Nas.

Damien Marley maintains that tempo well enough in the following track ‘My Generation’ which featured Joss Stone and Lil’ Wayne who does his bit, as always “so when u finish reading Revelations/thank God for my generation”.

Flag Wavin’ K’Naan is also featured on the album in the track Africa Must Wake Up, a very slow tempo song I must warn that requires your attention for twenty seconds short of seven minutes and you’ll have to be patient before hearing K’Naan; he comes in just after the third minute and frankly I thought he’d do more but alas, he was just passing by I guess. The beat goes up a notch in tempo though from the fourth minute before going back to status quo in the final minute. Why I’ve gone through that trouble is to say, it’s a groovy song actually.

My qualms with the album is why it couldn’t live up to its title and get some distant relatives on the album as well with names like South African rapper HHP and maybe a 9ice from Nigeria coming to mind, it would’ve helped capture the whole idea of the album in my view.

Another down of the album for me is expecting a little bit more on the album – tasking two or more producers to lace their beats on, Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis for starters – especially seeing as the album took two years to produce.

Rating: 6/10

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Youth Empowerment


It is nearly satisfying to see that more Nigerian youth are starting to take keener interest in the polity of the nation, voicing their discontent at what is wrong with the system and why unacceptable actions such as corruption, kidnapping et al continue to persist.

However, until the feeling is fully satisfying and not just nearly; since almost does not kill a bird, the Nigerian youth still have a plenty lot to do in order to realise the better Nigeria we yearn for.

For years we’ve voiced against a regressive Nigeria and the recycling of leaders to the point where fresh, progressive ideas to move the nation forward has become impossible but in reality, it is action that speaks louder and better than words.

It is where the House of Succour comes in, giving opportunity to motivated youth to brainstorm on ideas capable of impacting positively on themselves and their immediate environment initially with the ultimate goal being to have a halo of development that will steadily and surely have its positive effect on the country.

So rather than sit back in expectation of those in power to have a sudden awakening and run things in the manner we deem proper, letting our resentment of the poor state of the system withhold the true potential of greatness that lies in us youth, let us more than stand up for a better future, let’s conceive and work towards a better future ourselves.

This we can achieve by simply channeling our energy to developing our talents, whatever they may be, through consistent training either by self or more advisably from professionals. One needs not try being in a profession because it is the widely accepted one, we can only impact on our nation by giving our nation the best of what we naturally are good at, not what we’ve learnt to be good at.

Take a look at the recently released movie Ijé that stars Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde among others, the script of the film production was done by Chineze Anyaene, a Nigerian student at the prestigious New York Film Academy, as a thesis. And if she was not determined to see her work come to reality; having gone to length in convincing Omotola and Genevieve in particular to be a part of the project, the impact the film Ijé is destined to have on the Nigerian film industry as evident in the rave reviews it has received so far would not have come to fruition had she not decided to “conceive and work towards a better Nigeria”. For all we know, she could well have executed the film over at the US and not involve any Nigerian artistes on it, then it would be her personal glory. But here, it’s a win situation for her, the Nigerian film industry and the country as a whole; which is what we should strive to achieve.

Discover what you’re very good at; something you’ve found capable of doing well with ease and even under pressure, and then set about improving yourself at it. You will do yourself a great good by that and our dear Nigeria by extension…yes we can!

©δ.õÁ 06/08/2010 ™

Contact: deleke.afolayan@yahoo.co.uk

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A Nations Cup to Remember…Africa and her pleasant shocks


The 2010 Cup of African Nations couldn’t have asked for a better start; about a week to hostilities actually kicking-off. Speaking of, the Togo national team got shot at recklessly by rebels (perhaps a “welcome to Angola” misinterpreted), forcing the Hawks to withdraw participation on the insistence of the Government from back home…our hearts go out to the lives lost and thanks to God (or whatever name you give the Higher being you believe in) for the lives spared, Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor included.

The first match of the tourney however brought the focus back on football and kudos to the striking feet of the Angolan and Malian players (Keita’s goal….classic!) and thumps not-up to both defenses…a 4-4 draw you gotta admit though, really helped the cause of the tournament.

But boy were we in for even more. Nigeria imploding in the second half against Egypt, Cameroun barely qualifying after losing to Gabon in the first game. Gabon and Tunisia dramatically not qualifying, Algeria qualifying after losing her first match 3-0 to Malawi (who????), overwhelming favourites Cote D’Ivoire falling short once again in a dramatic five-goal thriller against Algeria and Ghana making the semi-finals despite a depleted squad and a woeful outing against Cote D’Ivoire in her opening match.

It certainly has been a Cup full of twists and as Egypt face Cameroun with Nigeria up against Zambia in the remaining quarterfinal matches, a pundit like myself can only hope there’s one or two more cats in the bag…perhaps a Zambian victory at the end? (nah, not really in my view).

So who do I think will lift the Cup? Egypt are overwhelming favourites, Algeria and Zambia have been surprising, Nigeria and Ghana have issues to sort out…..it’s a very open Cup this one and a good advertisement for African football especially in lieu of a maiden World Cup on African soil just months away (South Africa stand up…soon!).

In all, it’s sad Michael Essien’s out for six weeks because of his attempted tackle on Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba…a situation that leaves me with mixed feelings; being an Arsenal fan *early February Premier League fixtures should explain my point better but in a nutshell, Chelsea vs. Arsenal*

So here’s to Africa and it’s talent. A continent where you give a man half a chance, and he’ll take it…and amaze you with what he can do!

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