Author Archives: thegreengooner

#BringBackOurGirls – Do The Hashtags Really Make a Difference in Nigeria?

WARNING: This post is likely to cause offence.

300x200xBringBackOurGirls-300x200.jpg.pagespeed.ic.J6N1MUZCuoI’m not sure what the protests are really about. Are we trying to get the government to say some thing about the missing girls? Are we asking the government to go looking for the missing girls? Are we asking their captors to set them free? Should we all lend our voices? I think so! Should we castigate those who don’t and coerce them into joining the movement? I’m not sure.

Nigerians love a good bandwagon to join and I reckon that the #BringBackOurGirls movement will be no different from #LightUpNigeria or #OccupyNaija and the #ChildNotBride campaign. Everyone likes to talk but in the end, there never seems to be any positive action of change. It’s ironic that I’m so cynical in light of the fact that I strongly believe that change can come to Nigeria.

I stood in the cold for hours for #OccupyNigeria in the same way many did all over the world and in the end they still did not reduce the pump price of petrol. We spoke up, protested, got interviewed, tweeted, walked and talked about #ChildNotBride and yet young girls are still being married off with no piece of legislation to protect them. I’m not even going to talk about #LightUpNigeria.

Yes it hurts that over 200 girls are missing. Families are in torment living each day with the growing possibility that they may never see their loved ones again. Unconfirmed reports say the girls have been taken into Cameroon and Chad where they are being married off for 2,000. That is essentially modern-day slavery. The thought of it is both sobering and downright disgusting.

What are we going to do about it? Probably nothing in the end. Do you think the President and his cabinet and host of advisers know about it? Most definitely! Do you think they have a clue as to where the girls are or an action plan to bring them home? Most likely not.

This is what Mr President was doing yesterday while the protests were going on.

GEJ Dancing

Let’s play a game here. Tell me how many successful rescue missions you have heard about in Nigeria in the last 25 years. Wake me up when you get your answer.

I don’t think the girls will ever be found. Not because they cannot be located but because our institutions are too weak and politically correct to act in response to a humanitarian crisis such as this. Boko Haram is responsible for the death of over 2000 individuals in the last few years. Do you think the Government is winning the war against terror? How far do you think they will go to find a couple of school girls of little significance to their political agenda? What then are we to do? Are we stuck in a rut with no escape in sight?

Quoting Daenerys Targaryen

Kill all the masters!

Let’s march down in our thousands to the National Assembly and torch the place down. Let’s march to the Villa and jump over the barricades. There will be at least 100 of us to a soldier.

Let’s rough up Mr President and kidnap his children. Let’s hide them far away and insist he ends the northern insurgency and gives us stable electricity and good governance or he will never see them again. No we won’t kill them, we’re not those sort of people. We’ll just make junior a janitor or better still the vulcanizer’s apprentice and marry off his sister to one of our local champions…OK maybe not. That’s gross. Remember, nobody lays a finger on Mr President since he’s our Eminado.

Yes some of us will be shot. :( Some will not get past Aso Drive and they will become martyrs for the sake of our Nation. We may have to hurt the soldiers in our way but that’s just the price of war. They can’t kill us all! If a hundred thousand of us storm the gates at first light, we’ll be in by Noon.

Who’s with me?
*crickets*

Music Plug: Slim T – The Uprising Mixtape

I first heard about Slim T in 2010 when he dropped the remix to Die Representing ft about 200 rappers…OK that was a joke.

I then discovered that he was also a Babcock University alumni like I was and I became interested in seeing how far he would go as an artist. I think he’s struggled between his image of being a conscious indie rapper and his desire to gain mainstream acceptance.

He hasn’t quite scaled the heights he hit when he dropped the smash hit Lagosians but he’s done more than enough to stay relevant as an independent artist in the city.

The Uprising Mixtape is a good listen and I look forward to his album when it comes out. Enjoy this for now!

Till next time…Victoria Concordia Crescit

PS: This is not  an Artist review.

Nespresso of Life!

I love Coffee! I also love a good cappuccino from Starbucks or a nice Mocha from the coffee machine at SOM. Unfortunately, I live in Nigeria and we don’t have a Starbucks, or a Costa Coffee around where I live or at the office so my only options are ideally the boring Nescafé variants you find in most supermarkets or the sorry excuses for beans you find in some upmarket stores. Enter the Nespresso Magimix!

When I started at my present in 2008 I one of the first things I noticed was an unfamiliar grinding noise and the smell of freshly brewed coffee at 8:15 everyday. I would later discover the sound to be an illegal Nespresso machine brewing the best coffee I’d ever tasted on this side of the Atlantic.

As I was new and had no ‘machine’ rights, I had to settle for a boring cup of tea every morning while my colleagues drank their fill of top quality coffee every morning. Occasionally when I arrived early at the office I’d sneak a quick cup before anybody else arrived.

The months rolled by and I became part of the team and would occasionally be offered a cup or two just for tasters. With my mouth I said I was fine with tea but in my head, all I wanted was some Nespresso…and then the move to Port Harcourt happened.

Roles suddenly reversed and I became the chief supplier of Nespresso capsules. Trust me to order 500 capsules of different variants plus my own personal Magimix machine for home use. That’s like one year’s worth of coffee!

About a month ago the machine at the office broke down…after fiddling with it for a while I stuck it under the table and brought my Magimix from home because I could not bear the thought of starting a day at the office without a nice Volluto or Arpeggio. 

When I’m having a bad day, all I need to do is reach for a capsule, drop it in and push the magic button. Voila! All is well with the world again.

Nespresso Magimix machines retail at around £84.52 and you can get 50 capsules of a mixed variety for £26.98. They are really easy to use, cheap to maintain and guarantee you the best quality of coffee in these parts.

Add milk or sugar to taste! :D

Till next time…Victoria Concordia Crescit.

DISLCAIMER: THIS IS NOT AN ADVERT

 

Adult Education

IMG_0335I’m in the second year of a Master’s Degree and frankly speaking, I don’t know what made me think I could pull off part-time studies, a full-time job, being newly married and having some semblance of a life. Something has got to give at some point surely!

At face level it seems pretty exciting to describe it all, but after 7 bi-monthly visits to the UK, thousands of miles flown with countless hours in the air and at airports, unending assignments, syndicate sessions and of course the all important Research Methods module which is a precursor to the thesis, it starts to take it toll on you.

If that wasn’t hard enough, up next is the arduous task of balancing a long distance marriage, Finance System Administration and living in Port Harcourt. Believe me when I say that you don’t want to be doing all three. Port Harcourt you say? Living in that city is a hazard all on its own.

Over the next three weeks I have to turn in two unrelated pieces of coursework, a literature review for my thesis and then study online for five different ITIL courses (oh yes I missed that out  plus I have to attend a two-week course in May) while participating in UATs for two different software modules, cover for two people at the same time while doing my own job…the same job I’ve been doing for the last seven years.

Ok I’ll end my rant here. I’m not sure if I’m annoyed at myself for taking up so much or angry at the world for making it possible.

A wise woman once told me that a successful man is one who can juggle many things. In the last five minutes I’ve been invited to a meeting to discuss how I will cover for a third person. I guess I’ll just have to be Spider-Man today.

Till next time…Victoria Concordia Crescit

FA Cup Final 2014. Got any tickets?

TicketsMy name is Victor Imoukhuede and I live in Nigeria. At the company where I work, I’m surprisingly the go to guy for Arsenal tickets. This is weird given that I don’t live or work in the UK and am not even a season ticket holder. Officially though, I’ve never not got an Arsenal ticket for a game at the Emirates Stadium.

This year’s FA Cup final features my beloved Arsenal pitted against  Hull City in an epic showdown at Wembley Stadium on May 17th and everybody wants tickets. I have received up to five requests alone in the last week with each person stating that they are counting on me.

Sorry to disappoint you guys, but I don’t even think I’m going to get any tickets…officially that is. Arsenal were allocated 49,000 tickets for the semi-final against last season’s winners Wigan and I was able to get one  for £35 which I kindly offered to a friend. For the final however, the FA in their divine wisdom have decided to allocate only 25,000 tickets each to the competing teams. I won’t go on about how ridiculous that is as the issue has already been so over-flogged its unconscious and awaiting transport to the ICU.

I’m due in London on the morning of the 17th (totally unrelated to the football of course) and it would be unthinkable were I to miss this game. However, the unthinkable has happened several times this season. You only need to think David Moyes and Manchester United.

So how am I going to get tickets then? I honestly don’t have a clue at this point. Prices at Hotfootballtickets range from £416 to £706 while official hospitality packages at Sportsworld start at £1,019. What to do? Attend the screening at the Emirates Stadium or hang around Wembley Way on the off-chance that I can scrounge £175 tickets 12 minutes after kick off.

If you do have any tickets please hook a brother up! :p

Till next time…Victoria Concordia Crescit.

My Pet Peeves [Part 1]

Linkedin EndorsementsWhat is it with people that endorse you professionally on LinkedIn without having ever worked with you before?Worse still are the random people you connected with who then proceed to endorse you with competencies you didn’t even know you had!

This is downright Facebook behaviour people are carrying over into LinkedIn. Look, my professional profile isn’t a picture of a camel drinking water from a cup for you to like. I’m trying to look all serious on LinkedIn and don’t need strangers endorsing me for auto-cad and instrumentation.

I really should look into rejecting a lot of these endorsements as I feel it devalues the essence of LinkedIn. Going forward, I will disconnect from anybody that randomly endorses me without cause.

I’m serious…really I am!

Beard Gang? I don’t think so!

IMG_0677

Ok I’m on a roll here. I’ve had a beard on and off for about three years. It was often nicely trimmed and shaped until about a year ago when I decided to just let it grow out as previously I’d end up clean shaven after about a month and start again. I thought nothing about it.Now everywhere I go, all I see is #BeardGang this and #BeardGang that. I never knew having a beard gave you super powers or made you extra special.

I was at an event a few weeks ago and I saw an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while and all she kept saying was #BeardGang  #BeardGang and alluding to the fact that I had joined them. Joined who? Please and please, my mummy said I shouldn’t join any bad friends…Gang nbo?

Here I am trying to look a scruffy on purpose and the rest of the world assumes that I just joined a gang. Let me make one thing clear, I’m not trying to look sophisticated or trendy. I just want some hair on my face and not have to shave all the time. That is all. Y’all can have one big frat party without me. I’ll be fine.

Till next time…Victoria Concordia Crescit