Category Archives: Inspiring

The Loose talk podcast: My biggest takeaway from the interview with MI

 

Image from Pulse

This episode of loose talk podcast is a defining moment in music history, where an artist with the antecedents and status of MI, stepped into the verbal ring with two of the greatest entertainment journalists in Nigerian history. A lot of jabs were thrown, a lot of knock downs and comebacks, there were a lot of calculated punches and spontaneous outbursts of passion. There was also a lot of ego, enough to have a healthy conversation but a bit over the top at times. The episode is a nearly 3 hour podcast that is definitely not going to be fun to watch, or listen to on mobile data but if you love music, especially, African music or African hip-hop in particular, you need to listen to or watch this episode of the loose talk podcast.

The single most important moment for me, in the podcast’s entire three hours was when MI, Osagie, Loose Kanyon and AOT2 went back and forth over an alternative music platform to iTunes for MI to base the numbers of his Chairman Album. Osagie said that over 90% of Nigerians do not have access to iTunes and majority of Nigerian iTunes users are not even in Nigeria. Remember last November when Nigerian banks positioned themselves as enemies of the music industry and all but eliminated the only platforms for Nigerian artistes to make money off album sales. It is sad and in some ways infuriating that, when Nigerian music is once again pushing continental boundaries our artistes are barely making any money off it directly.

MI’s Chairman album is one of the highest selling albums, if not the highest, since it’s release in 2014, it has made about $120,000 (over N43 million) according to MI over three years. There were a lot features on that album, so all the collaborators have to get paid, producers, sound engineers, marketing and PR teams, the record label has to get paid. By the time all the due diligence is done, MI is taking home a lot less than that and remember, this is money made over three years on what is arguably the highest selling album, in that period. Now, imagine how much up and comers take home. A lot have given up and release entire albums for free on Soundcloud hoping to parlay whatever successes into getting an endorsement and high profile gigs.

It takes an unbelievable amount of time, energy and human resources to make an album. Even musicians with near zero talent hire writers, producers and engineers that know the work and all those people have mouths to feed. So it is extremely important that if you can, pay for your music. A number of Nigerian ATM cards work on Deezer, and UAE iTunes store and Apple music, although most Nigerian songs are not on that store. If you have a dollar card you should be able to access Apple music. You can also try barter cards where you can fund a dollar card in your Naira account.

I also think Nigerian artistes, record labels or at least record label backers and entrepreneurs need to talk to themselves and see how they can parlay their influence and resources into either bringing a foreign player like Pandora, Amazon music, Spotify or Google play music to come in, or improve and expand an indigenous platform like MTN music plus, cloud 9, iRoking or Spinlet. The market is ripe, the music is ready and if we play our cards right this will be the dawn of a new age. What we cannot do is sit here and allow this opportunity go to waste.

 

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Lagos for Dummies: An Ugotalksalot City Guide

Lagos. Home to between 12 and 21 million people -depending on who you ask. The land of opportunities, wealth and traffic from hell.  Lagos is what Nigeria wants to be when it grows up, what almost every other state in the country can only dream about. If you blow in Lagos, you have blown in Africa. But with all of it’s glamour, Lagos can be very overwhelming. So let me help you break it down, so you don’t get confused.

  1. There are many smaller Lagoses

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Lagos is divided into 5 parts:

Lagos Mainland; where most of the regular folks stay,

Lagos Island; for the rich big boys and girls, high life lovers and some longer throats.

Banana Island; for those whose fathers are close friends with Dangote, or people who are just mad.

What I like to call ‘the Ogun state annex’; all those people living in Ogun state but claiming they’re in Lagos

And finally, there is Ikorodu; because that place is so far it should be a state on its own. The beautiful thing about Lagos is that she does not discriminate. Whether you live in Ogun state, inside water or on sinking sand, we are all Lagosians.

  1.  We  are Lagos and we are plenty

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Let me give you some perspective, if you ask the New York Times, there are roughly 21 million people in Lagos. The UN says that Ghana’s population is about 27 million, New York has 8.4 million people, London has a little more with 8.7 million people, Berlin has 3.5 million people or that Paris has a little over 2 million people, you get my point? So, if you think you’re just going to walk inside Lagos with one Ghana-must-go bag or Louis Vuitton suitcase (I don’t discriminate), and come and out hustle the hustlers that have been here since, you are very silly. But not wrong, it’s still possible.

  1. Bring your own water. Lagos has none for you.
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Image from Nairaland

If you are thinking about moving to Lagos, make sure you come with your pumping machine. If you can bring your borehole, that is even better. I’m not kidding, bring your borehole with you. You will just create a small space in your compound, or estate and drop it there.

Why? Because Lagos State, unlike other states, does not supply water to its residents. Well, technically, the Lagos State Water Corporation says it supplies water to maybe 30% of Lagos residents, but, I personally have not seen any house that doesn’t have a GeePee tank pretending to be a DSTV dish.

  1. The most important word is BUS

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You may also know it as danfo or molue or whatever you like. But you know what? Bus na bus.. If you come to lagos thinking you can taxi your way around town, oh my God, you’re not even ready. Also if you think that a big boy like Lagos would have a train system that could get you to most places, you are also not ready. It’s not like Lagos doesn’t have money, I mean this is the biggest boy in all the 37 lands (Abuja included), Lagos just has more important things to do. Things like finishing the $6bn Eko Atlantic and Banana Island.

  1. Where will you base?

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Finally and most important thing you need to know, where will you live? If you’re expecting me to answer that question, you’re not serious at all, you can stay there and keep waiting. I should leave my blog and start finding accommodation for you? Are you okay at all?

With all that being said, welcome to Lagos. Bring your patience, your GeePee tank and your hustle; don’t say I didn’t warn you. Have a nice stay.

All Images unless otherwise stated are from  Rotimi Okungbaye check him out!

Stay; A short film

Watch the teaser for Stay, a short film by Ayomide Adeleke. A terrible incident leaves Femi, played by Baaj Adebule haunted and he will do anything to get his life back. The film also stars Diana Eguwatu and Shalewa Ashafa. Stay was written by Ayomide Adeleke and it is also his directorial debut.

My Illogical Fear of The Planet of The Apes Movies

I’m an action and sci-fi movie buff. If there are guns fight scenes, knives, crazy stunts and mad explosions I am your guy. But I wasn’t always like that, in fact as a kid I was terrified of Nollywood and action movies. It’s so bad thatfour of my top five greatest traumas as a child were from movies and one of them was the 2001 Planet of The Apes. You can watch the trailer below if you can’t remember the movie.

So there I was as a child watching this movie and getting the life scared out of me. I could not understand how apes were dominating and tormenting humans and although I must confess that at the time I didn’t understand the difference between apes and monkeys, I was still scared senseless. I knew it wasn’t real because I didn’t develop a mortal fear of apes or monkeys but I developed a fear for the entire franchise, I’m afraid of those words put together in the same sentence. As I write this my chest is beating faster because it still scares me.

I know this is ridiculous, after all, I can watch horror movies without flinching, I have also watched some of the most gruesome movie scenes while eating, appetite unaffected, #BossLife, but the moment you put ANY planet of the apes movies in front of me I’m like

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Anyway for those of you that care for the franchise here’s the brand new trailer for War For The Planet of The Apes out in July 2017.

 

Annnnnnnnnd, this is me right now.

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In case you’re having a bad day

In case you’re having a bad day, here are some videos that are guaranteed to cheer you up!
Here is Patrice Evra sharing some joy.

 

 

 

 

Just follow him already.

If that’s not enough here is CNN’s Anderson Cooper with the best laughter on the entire internet.

I hope it put a few smiles on your faces. Please share with as many people as you can.

Failing Math Like A Boss

At some point in my life, I was pretty sure I had dyscalculia or as I like to call it, dyslexia for numbers  or better yet, the reason why I failed maths like a boss. See ehn, you just don’t fail math as many times as I did and not think you don’t have problems. 

Throughout school, my relationship with math was very abusive, it didn’t like me and it beat me very hard and very regularly. In fact the only time I was good at math was when I was solving an example someone else just finished solving. It’s not like I didn’t want to be good at it, I did, I just never was. 

In primary three my parents got me private math teachers, that didn’t end well. I remember one day, it was time for the lessons and I really wasn’t in the mood for it. So I locked the doors, went to my room and refused to open for the teacher. He knocked and knocked and knocked and I wouldn’t be bothered. Eventually he left, told my parents, who of course were livid. The only downside is that I had two lessons that week instead of one. It’s not like it helped my life anyway. 

In primary four I had to stay back two or three times a week to get private lessons from some of the teachers, which was fun because there was a male and female teacher, the female was my math teacher by the way. They were always flirting with themselves, eventually they married, had a kid and moved to US. The Nigerian dream. 

In secondary school it was not a different ball game, I was in a boarding school so I had a guardian who conincidentally was a math teacher at some point, my class teacher. She would eventually teach me math in Js 2 or Js 3, I can’t really recall, but it doesn’t matter I failed it anyway. 

The thing is, in my secondary school if you got below a certain score in math you’d have to take the entire year again. I almost always got the barest minimum score eligible for promotion, other times I’d fail it totally, but because my grades in other subjects were good enough, I’d qualify based on let my people go. And that’s how I struggled and travailed in the place of failure till I wrote WAEC. 
PS. If you’re wondering what happened in my JAMB math, well, so am I, because I passed it. 

My WAEC math exam is the most memorable exam of my life because it was literally in Chinese. I don’t care, I saw questions dealing with angles of elevations and depressions that told me to construct triangles.  My French teacher, Mrs Azubogu who knew I had problems with math was invigilating that day, she would walk up to me and see the confusion on my face, then she would try and cheer me on. That obviously didn’t help because my brain was dead to it and what is dead may never die. I failed it and only made it into University that year because my school mandated we wrote NECO, where I got a C in math. 

I actually thought WAEC was like a final break up between me and math, little did I know that rebound is a ****. First year, first semester we did statistics and what we did that year was basic further math, which meant it was quantum physics. 

That year the tech department in school made a mistake, they briefly uploaded our detailed scores on our school portals instead of just our grades. So I found out that out of a needed say, 45 marks to do let my people go I had 44. I went to file a complaint, Greek for I went to beg for my life. Carry over wasn’t my portion. As God would have it they added one more mark and I was a people let go. Downsidemy CGPA was like that team in a 4×1 relay race that started late. 

Post-school, my calculator has become a very important part of my life. I usually try to do the math in my head, but that’s not reliable. Funny enough even when we were allowed to use calculators in exams in secondary school, I was still failing. Sigh…this life is not my own. 

The Post About A Lot Of Things

I want to write something that’s deep or funny, thought provoking or at least just, something that will make you pause. but the economy wont allow. Don’t ask me how the economy is affecting inspiration, just know it is.

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I also want to go on vacation. I just want to spend maybe a week or two in some fancy hotel with some fancy room service, but who am I kidding. This economy said

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I once came home from work and told my mum I want to be rich. Instead of her to give me some words of encouragement, love and affection she glances at me with a raised pitch and says “Work Hard!” I wonder did she think I didn’t know that before? The economy most definitely is affecting how we show love and affection.

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Speaking of love and affection, what a time to be single. I mean with 18% inflation, tax deductions and a fixed minimum-wage like salary  I can only afford a relationship with myself. As much as I want to be in a relationship,my bank account is looking at me like

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I do have to apologsie at this post is about nothing in particular. If you think you’ve wasted your time, I do agree. If you’re angry about let me just tell you now

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The Small Boy & The Shop

His tiny slippers slap against the sand covered concrete floor. He quickens his pace and burst into a sprint, his loose shorts billow in the wind and the polythene bag in his hands dance to the beats of his footsteps.

The muscles at the back of his tiny legs contract and expand like those of a seasoned athlete. He does this a lot but not for the fun. He does it out of necessity. He slows down and brings himself to a halt as he arrives his mother’s shop.

She is not around and he must watch it for her, it is their meal ticket, his next school fees. He looks around as people his age waltz around in their school bags and uniforms, what fun they must be having he thinks to himself.

He puts his polythene bag in between his legs and continues watch over his mother’s shop. He hopes passers-by stop today to buy his mother’s Gala. Although he is hungry, possession is different from ownership.

He takes a good look around his mother’s shop. The bridge overhead provides shade from the sun, the bus stop bench provides a place to seat and to put his mother’s tray of Gala. This is his mother’s shop, an under the bridge bus stop. It’s not all bad, at least the drama of the passenger’s and bus conductors is entertaining.

“Give me 2 Gala” a man demands, shaking a hundred naira note. The boy gets excited, he’s one small step closer to his school fees despite it being so far away.

Useless Is A Country Determined To Destroy It’s Future

June 24, 2016,

 

I had been chasing the date for the past four years. It was the day I would finally finish school, have my own BSc and have all the tools needed to become my own person. I could now get a job and earn some money.  I was finally through with school (if you’re thinking masters, stop being a buzzkill)

 

So, I graduated and sat and waited, now I have to take it to the point of prayer because NYSC is broke. The dollar is biting them hard and although they serve no legitimate national purpose, and you technically can’t get employed without it, we still run the scheme, because that’s what we do in Nigeria, we run irrelevant things and bicker needlessly over the important.

 

NYSC, they say (we don’t know for sure because some numbskull decided history was not important enough to be taught in schools) was set up to promote national unity, after the civil war. Today, Nigeria still operates a federal character system because our unity is so fragile that if one ethnic group is perceived to even try and dominate the rest bombs will be going off everywhere.

 

Never mind that NYSC takes about 60%-80% (Once again I don’t know for certain since a collection of elderly people called the government decided not all gist is for the young) of our annual budget on youth development which is daft because NYSC doesn’t cover anything close to half of Nigeria’s youth on an annual basis.

 

But I digress.

 

The world economic forum says we have the worst primary education system in the world, we don’t even have half the quality of university education of Ghana. Yes, I said Ghana and it’s not okay. In case you have forgotten we sent Ghanaians packing and named cheap multipurpose bags after them just for the fun of it and now we’re the ones going to school in Ghana. We should all be crying and eating shawarma and then next year we go and set new records for mass failure but dollar is too high for that.

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So, let’s talk solutions. I wondered if the Federal Ministry of Education has a plan to fix our educational system and I checked. To my surprise, the last time the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education had any plan for our system was when Oby Ezekwesili was minister in 2006. That was 10 years ago in case you misplaced your calendar and Obasanjo was still in power.

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Should you go through that 2006 education roadmap, you would notice where it was noted that prior to 2006, there was no plan for the primary education sector whether on paper or in someone’s imagination. As for the secondary and tertiary whatever plans that had been drafted prior to that time were still drafts. Nothing was being implemented, except the UBE.

 

To put things in perspective between 1960 and 2016, there has never been an even partially implemented long term plan for our educational sector in its entirety except for Obasanjo’s UBE scheme. What happened to Oby Ezekwesili’s plan you ask, well it went with her when she left office because we hate continuity.

 

At this point I’d like to say that if you’ve been head of state, president or prime minister of Nigeria, whether you are dead or alive, kneel down, close your eyes and raise your hands.

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This is so important because in a few decades we will be the 3rd largest population in the world, which means we would have the 3rd largest youth population and the 3rd highest school age demographic. This in turn means we would need the 3rd largest school system in the world.

 

Factor in today’s reality where we spend 60%-80% of our youth development budget on NYSC, and absolutely 0% on our education (just look at our schools do they look like they get money from government) how are we going to survive in the face of diminishing resources?

 

As it stands we already hold the Guinness book of records for the country with the highest number of out of school children with 10.5 million children also 40% of Nigerian children aged 6-11 do not attend any primary school. (I know this because foreign stats exist)

 

Essentially, the only active plan we have for our entire education system is Obasnjo’s 2004 UBE that was supposed to grant free education to primary and secondary school students. Problem is more than a decade later, It’s never been reviewed or improved but we’re content with using unqualified and untrained NYSC corpers to instruct the future of this country in the classrooms. This is the future 3rd most populous country in the world.

 

By the time we hit population overload, oil will be a lot less valuable than it is now, and if you think oil isn’t even valuable now, just wait till companies like Tesla starts mass producing, Uber starts using electric cars and everyone’s clean energy industries are up and running.

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And this is the really fun part, in an even fewer number of decades, the bulk of Nigeria’s political class that has been leading us since 1960, will all be gone. So they would have ruined our country while we fought over them and gave them grandiose burials.

 

Sometimes, I want to rewire my vocal cords to my chest so I can literally shout with my chest that we are sinking into deep shit, and because it’s not yet near our noses doesn’t mean it’s not going to smell.