Monday, January 26, 2009


Do you know how much different our lives would be if we spent as much time feeling positive about getting older, as we spend trying to stay young. Just the other day my 22 years old classmate after writing his CV declared that he wanted to change his age. “My mum suggested that I should change it…” he said. Do people lie about their age for spiritual, employability or other socio-economic reasons?

Age falsification is a subtle corruption we rarely hear mentioned until victims are brought to book. Prominent people in the past have been associated with such scandal. Many people also remember Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim not only because he once served as a speaker of the House of Representative but also for lying about his age and claiming to have graduated from the University of Toronto that he never attended.

In a research paper by Adeyemi Adegoju titled “Corruption of Language and Nigeria’s Debased value system”, he noted that the falsification of certificates have been synonymous with Nigeria’s moral decadence such that Nigeria was once banned for some years from participating in under-age tournaments organized by The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). But age falsification is not limited to political figures, footballers or celebrities, even in our local communities, people indulge in such appalling act leaving one to wonder what level are the vices more popular.

What is the lasting solution to such social phenomenon, one that will help stop people from looking for an ideal age (age falsification)? “Age aint nothing but a number. But age is other things too” said late Mariam Makeba. “It is wisdom, if one lived one’s life properly. It is experience and knowledge. And it is getting to know all the ways the world turns so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least get out of the way so you won’t get run over.” A Chinese proverb says “Men grow old, pearls grow yellow, there is no cure for it” so why won’t people just accept the fact that it is a natural course for one to grow older?

Monday, January 19, 2009


Skirt is one of the thoughtful things that have ever happened to the female clan since Eve established the first clothing line in the Garden of Eden. I mean, what other way can us girls, ladies and women express our feminine and sensual nature if not to don our skirts and dresses, which are solely designed for us? But the dawn of this twenty-first century has seen more ladies shirking skirts for trousers, thus leaving me wondering if we are approaching an age where trousers, especially Jeans Trouser, will dominate the feminine clothing while skirt and dress will be plunged into obsolescence.

Jeans has become more popular among female youths throughout the world. Perhaps this is because it is one of the quintessential clothing items that bridges through any barrier created by differences in economic or social status. The young lady living in the Ghetto wears Jeans trouser, so does her rich counterpart who lives in a castle. These Jeans comes in different color and designs- straight cut, flare cut, Bell Bottom, skinny Jeans, Pencil Jeans or low-waist/below-the-waist Jeans (the low-waist/below-the-waist Jeans Palaver is a story for another day!).

My attention was drawn to the popularity of Jeans trouser among female youths by a Bus Conductor who after observing the ladies alighting from his Bus sighed aloud and shouted in exasperation “How will Trouser not become expensive when that is the only thing you girls wear these days. Maybe we (men) should just leave it for you.” There is no question that as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed living in Jeans trouser. I shudder to think that I have unconsciously joined the league of ladies who are obsessed to the clothing item, thus becoming strangers to skirt. For months, I have been donning Jeans exclusively and I have even contemplated totally eliminating skirt from my wardrobe.

It is a fact that a lady who wears a skirt is telling the world she is proud of being a woman but what is a woman looking good in skirt without character? Those of us who prefers Jeans Trouser is by default, we are equally proud of our feminism but skirt limits our ability to express ourselves fully. Unlike Jeans Trouser, Skirts are really tough to get right- in terms of length, shape, fabric etc. to suit one’s frame. Jeans looks so practical and perfect for anyone who does a lot of running around. That is one of the top excuse we have for wearing Trouser- it is the only smart item that allows one easily move around, especially in a city like Lagos where running, jumping and walking is indispensable. However, so that we don’t totally extinct Skirt in this generation, let all the Jeans fans consider having a change of heart about being a stranger to skirt and acquire a new skill of recycling all our Jeans Trouser into Skirt!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Youths from the Activista Group in Lagos delivered Hunger free messages and petitions written by concerned Lagosians on the Hunger situation in Lagos State as part of the Action Aid International hungerFREE Campaign to Principal Officers of the Lagos State House of Assembly in December 2008.

Some of the Messages from Lagosians: “The cost of food is very high; please make proper and effective measures to curb this”- Bolaji Olabisi, Orile-Iganmu. “We should please improve on our food reserves and hunger can be treated to a minimal level.” “Empower women and you will feed the world. An empowered woman is the key to a hunger free world.”- Mrs. Blessing Dan-Egua, Surulere. “The society can only be hunger free is we all go back to the land.” “Food talk is a serious talk. The time to act if now.”

The medium: Activista is a global network of young people, students, artists, musicians, filmmakers and friends across rich and poor countries. It began in 2007 and focuses on the campaign for the Right to Food, on the platform of ActionAid’s HungerFREE programme running about forty countries around the world including Nigeria.

The receiver: The Speaker- Rt. Hon Ikuforiji and some of other principal officers of the House, including the Deputy Speaker and majority Leader of the House, received the group. The group lead by Francis Anyaegbu shared some of the views expressed by a cross section of Lagosians and also requested that the House should ensure that they make laws that will help Lagos State and Nigeria as whole meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs), especially Goal 1 which focuses on Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by the year 2015. The group later presented a plaque to the house capturing some of the messages collated from the 20 local government area and 37 LCDAs in Lagos .

The response: The Hon. Speaker appreciated the laudable initiative of the HungerFREE programme and more especially the effort of the Activista youths who are spearheading this effort. He acknowledged that the issue of hunger was a global one and he informed the group that the leadership of the House is a listening one and will continue to make laws that favorable to all and also address the impact of hunger in Lagos . He then promised to have other members look at these messages on resumption of sitting for the next legislative year. The Deputy Speaker- Hon. Funmi Tejuosho also expressed commendation on the activity of the Activistas and also thanked them for bringing the messages to the doorstep of the House.

What type of society will we have if more communication channel between those at the grassroots and the government is encouraged? The youths remain a prominent partner in executing such assignments because of their exuberance and passionate drive, thus this segment of the society must not be neglected by stakeholders at any level.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


One of my friend’s bumper sticker reads “Manifestation, 2009”, predicting what the year holds in store. But nothing will change if we don’t apply an active approach to make them change, Faith without works is dead says the Holy Bible. January is synonymous to the door of the year, a month when hopes are rekindled and most people determine the direction they want their year to turn, thus the importance of planning. According to Alan Lakin (a writer), planning is brining the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. Richard I. Winwood says planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.

What goal do you want to accomplish this year? Are you aiming for a better grade at school? Choosing a career? Getting into university? Or taking a gap year to travel and broaden your horizon? Planning ahead will help shape the way you take decisions in the course of the year. For example, if you flunked JAMB or WAEC exam last year, it means you need to look beyond the embarrassment of failing, anger, excuses or frustration and study harder. Your plan may include dedicating more time to study. A good plan is like a road map that shows how to achieve your goals.

Not everyone believes in the need to plan ahead, yet they are successful. For example, award-winning actor, Heath Ledger once said “I’m not good at future planning. I don’t plan at all. I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow. I don’t have a day planner and I don’t have a diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future.” But in the words of former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, “those who plan do better than those who do not plan.” Thus it is imperative to plan ahead in order to stay ahead.

Most plans fail because of lack of direction, like Alice , we wander with no sense of purpose and expect things to change. Alice ’s Adventures in Wonderland as told by Lewis Carrol: “Would you tell me which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice . “That depends a good deal on where you want to get” said the Cat. “I really don’t care where” replied Alice . “Then it does not matter much which way you go” said the Cat. If it matters where you are going to this year then please draw out a good plan on how to get there. Even the Bible says in Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Planning skills is critical to achieving your goals at all levels. So whatever your Bumper sticker reads this year, stick it to a moving vehicle of good plan, keep an open mind that it may be interrupted, but work hard and have faith.