Tag Archives: inspiring

How I tried and failed to be good at sports

I once told the story of how I wanted to play football but that’s not the total story. I have in fact, failed excellently at being very good at any and every sport. I am going to give you the entire, never before heard gist, sport by sport and failure by failure.

Football

To my American readers, its football, not soccer. How will you qualify for the world cup when you keep calling the sport the wrong name? Lets all respect ourselves. You don’t hear us calling the NFL, American Rugby do you?

Football is a very big deal in Nigeria and in my school, you could get really cool social points for being good at it. In primary school, try as I did, I never made the cut for the team. There was even a time that my Dad had told the coach not to include me in the team. It was so perplexing because the coach was never going to select me to begin with. It’s wasn’t like he was having issues with his squad depth.

I was probably bad at football because, I wasn’t fit or particularly active. I have always been a bed bug and back then, I had a mortal fear of getting tackled. You couldn’t really blame me considering the fact that my schools football field was made up of sand and small stones.

In secondary school, I managed to get into the football team for my house. The only reason why that happened is because we weren’t good at football. We came third out of four houses in junior secondary and fourth out of four in senior secondary school. I only recall scoring one goal in six years of playing in secondary school and it was in a very random friendly game in Js 1. That is why I resonate so well with Mikel, I prefer passing back. I will however admit that one goal in six years is really really bad, especially for a winger.

I retired’ in SS3 after assisting my house to last place in the annual inter house sports. I was the head boy and the two head boys before me had seriously injured themselves in SS 3 playing football. I was not ready to test my luck. God forbid bad thing.

Basketball

If there was a game I should never ever have attempted it’s basketball. I was terrible at it. Absolutely terrible. I never understood the rules and I never knew what I was doing. I was like a square peg in a round rim. Don’t even bother giving me a free throw, I missed every free throw I ever took and even threw a number of them out of the field. You could have called me a traveler because that was all I did with the ball.

Handball

My total career playing time for handball is probably 10 minutes, if you include training sessions. I don’t consider my career failure in handball as an actual failure because I always knew that the sport was not for me. Unlike basketball where I was deceiving my generation.

Shout out to our Js 3 handball keeper, Micheal Olorunfemi who helped us win the competition despite dislocating an arm before the game.

Track & Field

For whatever reason I’ve always thought I could run. Maybe because when I’m running the breeze bowing back at me tricks my mind into believing I’m moving mighty fast.  When someone is running beside or behind me, that’s a different story. In fact the only race I think I have confidently won against my age mates is a sack race I won for my house in primary school. A very important victory if I do say so myself. I woke up from a nap and went to win the race. #BOSSLIFE

In secondary school, my closest friends were some of the fastest people in the my  set. My best friend Arinze was (because old age and too much food have ended his career prematurely) one of the fastest people in the set. When he and I would race, for the first 2 seconds, in the race, I would be in front but by the end it would look like an abominable something. Let’s just say, if I was the standard for human speed every one would be on performance enhancing drugs.

My condition became an entirely different matter when my sister started winning medals for discus. As for me the only thing I could throw were wrong answers in Math class.

As for high jump and long jump, I’ve always considered myself as a very law abiding human being and I don’t like to fight with gravity.

Volleyball

My career failure in volleyball is the most painful because its the only game I felt like I really should have been good at. Well that and tennis but I have never actually played tennis. I think with Volleyball there were just better players than me and since it wasn’t a game that people randomly played I never really had a chance to practice.

FIFA

I feel the need to include this because with the rise of E-sports, God knows how long before we start playing FIFA at the Olympics. The truth is, how good I am on FIFA depends on who I am playing against. Let me put it like this, if you play Legendary on FIFA, you will wipe the floor with me. Anything lower than that you will most likely beat me except the gods of our land show up that day.

I want to know, what is the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever had while playing a sport. Tell me all about in the comment section.

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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.

 

Lagos Island for Dummies: An UgoTalksAlot Guide to Life Lagos Island Ocean

The Island. The créme de la créme of Lagos. The title in all fairness should go to Banana Island in particular, but let’s be honest and objective with the goals we set in this life.

A lot of people live and swim work on the Island because a lot of businesses are situated there. Some people live there to be close to work or other necessities, others live there because JJC carried them there but like everywhere else, the Island has its pros and cons, so here’s what you need to know to make your life a little bit easier.

1. Bring Your GeePee Tank

Remember how I wrote  in a previous post, that there is is no water in Lagos and you need to bring your borehole? Well, this doesn’t apply to most places on the Island. There is plenty of water in Lekki and what you need is a Geepee tank to store all that water. The only issue is, the water doesn’t come from the tap, it comes from the sky and the ground. You may want to consider buying bowls and buckets for packing water from the floor. Also, it may be a wise financial investment to buy shares in the company that makes Dettol because it will be your best friend.

2. Buy a Boat

Does this man have two heads?

A boat is an investment really. If you can afford one, you should probably get it. With your boat, you can enter the ocean and row over to the mainland while your mates are growing old on third mainland bridge.

When everyone is destroying their cars, you can just roll out your boat and enjoy your life. Who needs to go on a cruise ship, when you can row your way across Lekki-Epe Expressway?

Jokes aside, let us take a moment to pray for our friends & family in Lekki and VGC. As the bible says, we should also enemies in state house that have refused to fix drainages. 

3. Bring your gutter.

So as you can see, gutters do not exist in on the Island. Especially in Lekki. They are a myth. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to go there, bring your own from the mainland. On second thought, mainland drainages get as dem be too sha. Maybe you can rent some from Ibadan or Osogbo to buy gutter and bring, theirs is not amazing but it’s much better. 

To be fair, even when the government attempts to create gutters, Nigerians in typical Nigerian fashion will turn it into a dustbin. 

4. Invest in insecticides.

Island mosquitoes are mosquitoes that have gone abroad to gym and they have come back. Yes, IJGB mosquitoes are an actual thing.  These mosquitoes have body, they are woke and they can suck all your blood at once. You won’t even see them coming, you will just start feeling your blood disappear from your body.

Because I like you, I will tell you what to do. Just buy one big Raid, one big Baygon and a medium-sized Mortein. When you have bought them all,  just use them all at once. Make sure you finish everything, then mosquitoes will die. Or at least I hope they will.

5. Your Bank Account Should Have Sense Small.

You want to live on the Island and you don’t have money? You think they share houses for free in VGC? Everything here has rent price on top. Even your house rent has another house rent added on top of it. Even if you buy a house or build your own property, the Island will still collect rent from you.

Think of it this way, rent is so comparatively expensive that everyone has to chip in to help. So if you walk into Ebeano Supermarket to buy something; there is the standard price, then there is VAT, then there is Lekki VAT, then there is rent. So at the end of the day, something that costs N1,000 elsewhere will go for N1,500 or N1,700.

There is also the small issue of the toll gate. That small money you will pay every day. At the end of the month, you would have paid someone’s minimum wage salary. With that one alone, you suppose know say Lagos Island no be for small pikin. Well except the pikin is an OBO (Omo Baba Olowo), rich man pikin.

 

If you know this lifestyle is not for your pocket right now, don’t worry we have you covered. You can check out our guide to Lagos and subscribe to get notifications about our upcoming city guides. You know, I care about you and I’m just trying to help your life.

Don’t forget to comment and share. You don’t know who’s life you are saving.

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.

What do President Buhari’s media aides actually do?

I have a question that needs answering, what do Buhari’s media aides actually do?

A while ago one of Buhari’s media aides tweeted this,

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Now I get that they are supposed to hype the government and make the president look good, or at least better than he is, but this is a school boy error. The entire system social media system of the presidency is a school boy error. But chill fess, how in the world is opening 40,000 email addresses an achievement? Like that is the kind of thing you don’t talk about. You mean Nigerian government officials didn’t have official emails till Buhari became president? What a wawuu, what an Hembarrassment on Nigeria.

More to the point, take a look at this

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What exactly does it mean when you are the spokesperson TO the president? Is it that you speak to the president on behalf of the people and if that is what it means I don’t remember anyone voting for Garba Shehu, so how on earth did he become the spokesperson TO the president. It also makes sense that Garba Shehu would be the spokesman to the president, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that Buhari is hardly ever in touch with Nigerians. Mr. Shehu must be telling him something else. Also note how he’s the senior special adviser on media and publicity.

Done that? Now take a look that the picture below, notice anything here?

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I’m guessing he’s the junior special adviser on media and publicity. I know it doesn’t read junior special adviser but think about it, if there is a senior there has to be a what __________? (10 marks).

Although I wonder what happened to him, is it that he hasn’t written junior-government-officials-WAEC or what? Also I wonder, how do these people advise the president? What is a senior matter and what is a junior matter? Or is someone just a glorified assistant or over-titled deputy?

But I’m not done, let me introduce you to,  Bashir Ahmad.b.PNGAt least he’s more humble than our Junior adviser who refused to put junior in his bio. Maybe he should listen to some more Kendrick Lamar.

You would think Mr. Ahmad has been able to distinguish himself from our earlier suspects and in some ways he actually has but the problem here is that Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina keep doing his darn job. Isn’t Bashir Ahmad supposed to be the Official Tweep of The Federal Republic of Nigeria? I think that’s a much cooler title if I do say so myself .

There has to be some type of confusion in Aso Rock if Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina are doing Bashir Ahmad’s job. I wonder if he still gets paid? #FixitJesus.

Last but not the list is my model Official Tweep of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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I’m not a Tolu Ogunlesi stan but the difference is kind of clear, I’m guessing his job of is more of this,

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but it also leaves me with a question. If we have an office that is dedicated to running three twitter accounts for the president why do we still need Official Tweeps of The Federal Republic of Nigeria? Why cant we just interact with the presidency through the official accounts instead of paying people to come and be glorified social media ambassadors? After all if the person behind the EFCC’s twitter account has not gathered mind to come do ambassador work, who are these ones? They don’t even tweet funny stuff to start with.

Why do we love US & UK accents so much?

This is my second in Why is it series, you can catch up on the earlier post here if you missed anyone.

I have a lot of questions about accent, especially how Nigerians treat people with accents. I’m not talking about a persons understanding and use of English, I am talking of a Yoruba persons ability to pronounce that word as HAH-BILI-TY all the while speaking proper English.

I’ve met a ton of people, including friends and family who have told me that wouldn’t even tolerate a friend if he pronounces ‘bread’ as ‘BREEAD,’ meanwhile they’re pronouncing ‘he’ as ‘E‘.  I always ask why and I usually get responses from “why not” to “I just won’t” and asides the fact that I think this all is a little E-PO-CRITI-CAL, it’s just plain confusing to me.

Look at the media and the entertainment industry, a general perception is accent-up and remain jobless and while I can reluctantly stomach it for broadcasters, presenters and journalists, I don’t understand why an actor, acting as a regular Nigerian, will have an accent fit for the Queen of HINGLAND.

After all the Hollywood movies and series you’ve seen, it surely must have dawned on you that a very Australian Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman sound American in American movies or a British Idris Elba, Irish Liam Neeson all sound American when they act as Americans. So why do Nigerians sound like they’re from south side Chicago or Birmingham when acting as Nigerians in Nigerian movies? I’m confused.

Why are we so uncomfortable with the way we sound that the moment someone speaks to us with an extra ‘r’ we instinctively respond with an incomplete, unorganized, castrated and half baked accent to the point that we sometimes sound like idiots.

It’s so bad that in one sentence you will hear a UK, Yoruba and US accent. Jokes asides, there are actually people who went to India and came back sounding like Kim Kardashian.

If accents were so easy to pick why is it that the Nigerians that spend decades in India, Ghana, South African even Ireland  come back with accent in tact, but some blessed person will go on two weeks vacation to New York and come back sounding like Bobrisky. 

Is it because we feel they’re better than us? Do we feel like our Nigerian accents make us sound considerably less educated or less exposed? I’m in a fix and I need you to EPP me HUNDERSTAND this.

Why aren’t there more success stories of Nigerians from poor backgrounds?

This is my first in the why is it series where I want you to help me find answers to mosquito questions, i.e, questions that don’t let me sleep well at night. In case you missed the introductory post, you can find it here. So here we go.

Why is it that the majority of success stories in Nigeria are from people originally of middle class or wealthy backgrounds?

I grew up believing that no matter you were born with, if you worked hard enough you could accomplish anything and it didn’t matter where you went to school, where you lived or who you knew, just put in the work and success would wiggle its way, slowly but surely, to you. I believed that till I found out about polytechnics, networking or should I say connection.

There are millions of Nigerians who go to polytechnics and have a permanent concrete ceiling trolling them harder than the fake news media covering Donald Trump. Their certificates are useless, in the sense that climbing up any cooperate ladder, no matter how hard you work, is next to impossible. If your polytechnic diploma gets you in the interview room of any serious organization, for any well-paying position in Nigeria, that right there is a sign that God called your pastor. The man is praying hard for you and you should seriously consider giving some prophet offering. Either that or your connection, I mean network, is more than Obasanjo’s own.

Speaking of ´connectwork´, let’s not pretend that if you come from poverty in Nigeria, networking is limited to very select places and people, which is my nice way of saying networking is making sure your oga-madam likes you…a lot. Someone might want to say social media and that is true on some level. Social media has made meeting and interacting with new people very easy but the chances are, if you’re living below the poverty line in Nigeria, you either cannot afford internet or a smartphone, or you live in an area where you realized that MTN is not everywhere you go. And if MTN is not there, just forget it. Nigeria runs on connections, everything, post proposal, from winning a contract to securing a bank loan is about having the right phone numbers or email addresses and connected people flow in separate classes. Classes that even Thor’s hammer finds difficult to break.

Then there’s our own form of caste system. Our bad behaviours that say if you and I cannot relate on some brother-sister-aunty-uncle level, you will not enter the kingdom as long as I have the keys, #DJKhaled, and what better way to relate than with money and social class?

Look around you, there aren’t that many rags-to-riches stories. Let Google guide you as you look up your favorite celebrities, politicians, business people, a lot of them didn’t start from ground zero. They may have gotten to that point at some time in their lives and crawled their way back up or as I like to put it many of them have lost money, but still had friends.

Don’t get this wrong, I’m not suggesting that these people had stuff handed to them, they fought and have the battle scars and blood stained clothes to prove but the simple truth is a lot of them and a lot of us started and are starting from a higher pedestal than most Nigerians and while the laws of working hard may apply as black and white to the privileged people, it’s very grey for most Nigerians. Why is that?

 

 

 

New Music: Travis Greene You Waited

There are so many things I love so much about good gospel music. I’m not talking about some half baked, half thought, poorly produced ramblings with bible scriptures used for chorus and verses and a choir singing off key. I’m talking about proper music.

I feel like when you get a gospel song right, you’ve made an instant classic. Gospel songs are inspirational, easy to sing to, relaxing and thought provoking and that is exactly what Travis Greene has done with You Waited. Listen here.

On Spotify

 

On YouTube

 

Find it here for iTunes

Movie Trailer: Banana Island Ghost

Waaaait, before you close your browser, I promise you the trailer is good, hell, its funny and even better, it’s Nigerian. #DopeLife. Did I mention Chigurl is in it!

Now, I’m waiting for the movie to come out. However, I have one small but important critique. In the excitement of cutting this trailer it seems to me that the producers forget to arrange this trailer in a way that actually explains what the movie is about. Just see it for yourself.