LIFE HAPPENS



Grind and toil on still,
work through anyway,
regardless of the feel,
simply make the way.

All fails are still wins;
breaks and remakes.
Life will happen still;
like winning stakes.

WHEN HATE RESEMBLES LOVE


When Hate resembles love, it doesn’t.
Especially if Terror claims to come in peace.

Is it possible, loving anything you mustn’t,
Abhorring the whole but not it’s piece?


Then that peace you want wouldn’t; Not ever be yours, even on short lease.

DARK, TAMED & BRIDLED



From whence were you birthed?
The very bowels of ships berthed.

And who had anchored your pains?
Same he that adorned me in chains.

Who housed and fed your pride?
Same he that took away my side.

Who sat you in hard carved wood?
This same master who eats my food.

What lessons were fed to you?
That’s written on my scars too.

What journey have you come from?
One that make up my physical form.

Were you aided and groomed?
Indeed, burdened and tooled.

Where you shaped to a good fit?
Truly, trained to be as yet unfit.

How were you held in place?
Planted, till I lost all my trace.

Surely you tried to branch out?
Rooted trees only get to sprout.

But you grew on and had aged?
Certainly, I’m still not as caged.

So break away and come home.
I’m home in the cage I’m borne.

But all your gains is not evident?
Yet I am surely and truly present.

But you are a readied crucifix?
Yet my time lost I did not miss.

RICH BAD STEW



When daily Life is Too Hot,
Who cares if home is a Pot?

We’re born to make Breath.
We are all groomed to Fight,
Schooled, cooked to Adapt

Nigeria is a pot of Rich Stew
Badly cooked by the rich Few.

HEADS OR TAILS


Toss the coin all your life,
Balance on edges of a knife.
Whither roam your own course
If life to you is just a lone farce.

Are you not lost in thought;
Like the canine who fought
His own tail round and round,
With its very head not sound?

EVERY WAR IS JUST A BATTLE



Old men always dream up wars,
To send more young men to die.
It’s been one of their flaws,
Will always be for it’s no lie.

The young always follow them;
For it’s their forte to be gullible.
Today’s young men,
Tomorrow’s old men

SLUG


As we moan in our far watch;
Nagging our peopled conscience,
We miss out entirely that the catch
Is made up of all our overt nonsense.

A large rich island just drags on,
Not for the size it must always hug.
The bulk of it lost the very reason
Why rich minds will make it a slug.

FRIEND OF FOE


After taking stock of our relationships
And how we all manage to practice them,
With the thorough scan of stewardships
Serving or waiting on this our system.

I come to the stunningly true conclusion
That there is always a thin line between
A foe or a friend in this summation
And it is there for all to lose or win.

It is as thin as is the common thread
Or as is any selfish or selfless whim
That guides man’s search for bread
Or his thoughts, his actions or him.

TALE OF TWO PEOPLE


Up on the plateau they reigned,
Their own old clans so formed.
Hidden on the heights plain,
Living in plentys much rain.

They welcome guests well,
As prosperous strangers tell.
Soon dominance is so evident
And for the sold they want rent.

Wherever time is so kept,
Such a place has it since left.
Two is never again one unless
One is expunged and no less.

Identity established so firm,
Fights a war not for their farm.
Bullying their co-farmers yield
With poised spears and a shield.

PRESENTLY OLD


The buds blossom is past glossy,
time passing has folded its shiver.
Age wither and dry up the rosy
in certain preparation for shivah.

The past left without all of its,
as the present live any place else.
And now, always alone like this;
How then can the old ever bless?

Dryness of thirst spoke its waste
as all bare feet thorns had hurt.
Peacefully alone, wait for fate
with memories in a bodily hut.

When time has consumed its old
as water passes under the bridge;
This route for all, floods any hold,
water must pass under the bridge.

OUR HOMES


It was always dark in all it lack;
All living again, though to us all,
Today it still lingers far off back
In that long night we still do fall.

These cultures that speak the person
Say an Abiku again is everyone of us.
For common reason proves a season,
That only event ended and started us.

When the cries over sharia had settled,
We ran and scattered the towns streets.
Homeless, dead and alive all kettled;
Schemed and steamed out of fair streets.

After all, a rope always starts and ends,
Then it is just after all rope in between.
All of man is birth and the dead ends,
In between is life; man is in between.

After dusk, all return to their own home.
The swines streets of our homes will then
Not be as good again to even just roam,
For the transit pen is now a lions den.

In dedication to the old residents of Rigasa, in Agabi LGA of Kaduna, who were forcibly displaced of the Sharia Riots of Kaduna; February 20th, 2000

WOUNDS OF THE WORLD


Visible cuts we saw,
Deep set and so raw.
It had the pretty torn
And the beholder run.

Worn with its pride
As any true bride.
A scar from a war
Is like a lions roar.

Not on Everests peak
Must anyone do seek,
For even on all hills
Are these worlds ills.

The baby that cries,
Steals away and tries;
To be his own parent,
Where he is only sent.

That spouse out back;
Behind one Holy Ark,
Leaves the same vow
Yet remains, some how.

They; as many, are
So near and not far.
Wounds made bold
In this very world.

DATE


Silly days made our teens,
sorting out our teething genes.
Over those moons, new till old,
our hormones shiver their cold.

Tasting all those many dishes;
many we met with their witches,
Others we borrowed and mended.
But lots we created and trended.

The sting of disappointments sore,
betrayal and pain and much more.
Ageing fear is sour but it is caught;
yet still we trove amidst same death.

To all morrows we cherished
that date we shared perished,
and thank it so for that spice
it puts into this new date so nice.

MASSES


Where the eagles dare
the vulture does fear.
With weaklings there,
Patience stole our lair.

Anthills grew where
colonies learns to bear.
That beach is so near
when a lost ship cheer.

PIGGIES


When I go to market, another stays at home.
If you had roast beef, another had the bone.
Funny how all cry (we); and still end with none.

CLOUDS OF SALT (Hadarin gishiri)


Skies are drumming,
The body joins in too.
Clouds are partying,
Invited winds are too.

The body is hurrying,
All corpses are met.
Real hot or chilling,
Salty must be wet.

Sama na kidi,
Jiki ya dauka.
Hadari na biki,
Ya gaiyache iska.

Jiki na sauri,
Kowa na mushe.
Ko zafi, ko dari,
Gishiri sai ya jike.

AVANDE GARDE, CAUSE CÉLÈBRE


(A very famous trial ahead of fashion)


“Wake up, you’re dead.
What says your plea?”
“Pray, I am in bed.
You come and flee.”

“Arise, you sleep not.
Your dreams all end.”
“Pardon, my reason is rot.
I am no fiend.”

“I ask not for I know.
State your stewardship?”
“To those above I, I bow.
For those beneath I, I reap.”

“Did they smile above,
Were they glad beneath?”
“With every pain I solve,
With every single breath.”

“What of all the lands
And all that is of it?”
“With my mind and hands
I cared for every bit.”

“What of I, thy Lord?
Did thee walk My path?”
“I knew not only one word,
Couldn’t tell lie from fact.”

JUDAS, PETER


In faith I betray.
My faith I fail to say.
I put cost to my trust.
Mine in fear I just lost.

Silver pieces I sowed.
An ear my dagger mowed.
Son of man amidst us I show.
Son of God amongst us grow.

The master I so truly know.
To His end I didn’t follow.
One of the dozen chosen.
A special place I was given.

I failed myself not He.
It was as it was to be.
And my life I chose to kill.
After tears, I humbled my will.

IDOLS


The patience of man
Had over many ages
Given to his own land
Births of many images.

It has made gods
Of so many symbols;
Earthly made rods,
Also celestial balls.

In his long wait
His patience creates
Answers that relate
Only to his state.

The clouds of reason
Cover his horizons;
Make a sky season,
Or mystic masons.

Sight is so deceptive
That it can tilt a view,
Halo any perspective
With inspired preview.

Man looks around
And sees such beauty,
Beyond any he found
Or his own humanity.

In his natural urge
He pays respects to
Visions and courage,
Where honour isnt due.

In his all human way,
He puts faith in those
He comprehendsll stay;
Idolizing his very nose.

SHOWN OFF



Sorry bro, if you haven’t guessed it yet,
and if you doubt it you’ll lose this bet.
There is an ongoing assault on your senses,
and it mainly targets your viewing lenses.

Ladies make sure you see their goods,
those curvy naughty goody foods.
They test your resolve to be normal,
teasing to resist their mean abnormal.

SINGLED OUT


Found out amidst the threshing stones,
sort out of the cupboard of bones.
Where the situation was doctored
fell out that one not to be mastered.

Revenge consumes like any fire
and depends on sentimental air.
An action sought to set any aside
is vengeful if reason and sense coincide.

When anybody is singled out
the stone-casters dance about,
exposing ignorance and malice;
ironically with the drummers piece.

MONEY AND THE MISER


Spend me! You miserable clot,
So I can travel, visit and just be.
Have I not uplifted all your lot
With my coming and swelling sea?

Ha! See what is talking here;
Another creation grown astray.
Has making you collect near
Lost its purpose as any way?

I have existed so long before,
Making many, long before you.
Hadn’t my might sown more
Fright in you than you’ll rue?

My fear of you doesn’t keep,
That is why you I do amass.
How trivial your might heap
Just like any furniture was?

I taste the air men breathe,
Inhaled in its life and gasped.
Hasn’t the ease I could knit
Warm skeletons all trapped?

I don’t lodge or host guests
And don’t burden any to host.
Haven’t I seen your requests
Send errands until they’re lost?

I plunge in a lake all humble,
Help will come and does drown.
Had not man’s urge so trouble
His lust for his own crown?

Then I’ve unraveled your plot,
So with me you’re ever sunk.
I’ll keep man’s own twin clot.
After all, arent you precious junk?

THE SPOUSE

The spouse is the chosen partner;
either by craft, design or choice.
Becoming indeed a legal partner,
regardless of thought or noise.


No other legal relative is such,
not even the adopted children.
For they never share that much,
not in bodily or geno brethren.

Spouses come to a disadvantage,
one that timelessly edges it on.
Success makes it an advantage,
failure casts it good in rusty iron.

Spouse is a lengthy subscription,
one that needs constant renewal.
Spouse is one true legal relation,
in danger of instant withdrawal.


JUST THIS ONCE


Truthfully none lives all alone,
But dead as alive all has none.

The words we are saying now, found us somewhere we know.

Our thoughts are always near, holding us captive right here.

REBIRTH

Everything is chaos
that comes to a head.
Like life is not yours,
if it owns you instead.

The parent of logic
is simply knowledge.
What’s certainly tragic,
is all life is in bondage.

IMMORALITY

Time is a precious commodity,


one we cannot create but waste.

How we use every opportunity,

determines our enduring taste.

The fabric of every community,

makes up it’s content and state.

When a people lose their sanity,

old men rule like boys in haste.

THE 411 IS 404

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?

While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.

After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!

LIVING

Living is a trip that keeps going.
Daily it comes, always it’s going.

It is peopled, hectic, never cozy;
Fares as pests all quite naughty,
Only it’s tiny stops are a bit rosy.

Picture from @xinorino

January 15, 1966

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The last official public function of Nigeria’s first and only elected Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the commissioning of the River Niger Bridge linking Asaba with Onitsha. After which;
“On December 19, 1965 he (Balewa) went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe’s “Palace of the People” Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs. Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before.

Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave.”

The Prime Minister was briefly in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 4, 1966 before returning to Lagos.Despite the fact that Sir Balewa was a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, he was a modest person who had throughout his life led a Spartan and ascetic lifestyle. He owned only 2 private residences in Bauchi and Kaduna and a 50 acre farm near his hometown of Tafawa Balewa.

His personal integrity was unassailable, yet in Lagos as Prime Minister he headed a government that glossed over the proven corrupt practices of its apparatchiks for the sake of political expediency;
“The NCNC parliamentary leader and Minister of Trade, Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe was caught using his office to divert a government land at Ijora Causeway to his private company Afro Properties and Investment Company since 1961. He then assigned the land lease to Nigerpool in return for a hefty annual profit. The discovery generated another media-exposed corruption scandal.

The Prime Minister met privately with Babatunde Jose, the editor of the powerful Daily Times spearheading the intense campaign to remove the corruption extremist if he declined to resign. Mbadiwe never bothered. Sir Balewa told the editor: “You want me to remove this man? What he did fell below what is proper. Under British standards, he would go, but the NCNC who put him in my original coalition are solidly for him. Its central working committee had just passed a unanimous vote of confidence in him. If they withdraw, since Awolowo can’t join, the [coalition] government will collapse.’”No doubt during the First Republic there were numerous signs and symptoms of rapid democratic decay against the background of massive political corruption.

The bloody events of January 15, 1966 did not just happen in some vacuum. By January 15, 1966 our nation was a disaster waiting to happen as there was a noticeable buildup towards chaos as noted by declassified US diplomatic cables which clearly stated how our nation had got to a level of; “Very complicated African politics, in which tribes, religions and economics all play a part, are involved in the situation. The Northern Premier is at odds with the Eastern Premier in whose region large oil deposits have been discovered. In the heat of the election campaign, there have been threats of secession by the East; threats of violence that would make Congo look like child’s play.”The American cables were about the intense political rivalry at the highest echelons of government;
“Following the controversial Federal Election of December 1964, ceremonial President Azikiwe of the NCNC, refused to invite Prime Minister Balewa of the NPC to form a government and issued orders mobilizing the Army to enforce his authority to suspend the government, annul the elections and appoint a temporary interim administrator to conduct elections.

However, the oath of allegiance of the officer corps was not only to the Commander in Chief but also to the government of Nigeria. The Army Act (#26 of 1960) and the Navy Act (#9 of 1960) were also clear on lines of authority and control.While the Army and Navy were “under the general authority” of the Defence Minister in matters of “command, discipline and administration”, the authority for operational use and control was vested in the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. President Azikiwe and the service chiefs were so advised by the Chief Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Thus the Navy Commander, Commodore Wey politely told the President that the Navy (under him), the Army (under Major General Welby-Everard) and the Police (under Louis Edet) had decided to refuse his orders. After a week of cliff hanging tension, in which the military stood aside, a political compromise was eventually reached and a government of “national unity” formed under Prime Minister Balewa.” Was Dr. Azikiwe privy to the January 15, 1966 coup?There was also the political collateral damage of;
“Operation Banker’, a joint Army-Police operation in the Western region, led by then CO, 4th battalion, Lt. Col. Maimalari, allegedly at the behest of the pro-NPC regional Premier (Akintola) culminating in the declaration of a state of emergency in May 1962 after a fracas in the House of Assembly and the appointment of an administrator.

Interestingly, the General Staff Officer at the Army HQ in charge of Intelligence was none other than Captain Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu who, as a Major, was later to play a key role in the coup of January 1966 in which Maimalari lost his life.”This politicization of the military led to; “The arrest on September 22, 1962 and subsequent imprisonment of the opposition leader, Chief Awolowo, on suspicion of planning a civilian overthrow of the government. It was alleged that 300 volunteers were sent to Ghana for 3 weeks militia training.”
Interestingly; “The last interview granted to the magazine ‘West Africa’, by the late Prime Minister Balewa on January 14, a few hours to his death, went like this:
Question: Do you see the solution as taking the form of a coalition government in the West?

Balewa: Yes, it would have to be that …The Action Group has accepted my mediation, but the NNDP has asked for more time. If I use real force in the West – and make no mistake about it, I haven’t yet – then I could bring the people to their knees. But I don’t want to use force like that. Force can’ t bring peace to people’s hearts.
Question: Would you consider the release of Chief Awolowo as part of a political solution of the West’s troubles?

Balewa: I think that might be part of it; yes, obviously we would have to see.
This interview was not published until January 29, 1966.”
Little did Sir Balewa know that the political end game of the January 15, 1966 mutineers was to release then opposition leader, Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison and install him as head of a national unity government. Chief Awolowo has never confessed to being privy of the coup attempt though the official documents containing the details of what actually happened and how 54 years ago are still classified.May the souls of Sir Balewa and that of all those that lost their lives on January 15, 1966 continue to rest in peace.

LIKE IT OR NOT

To avoid being quite sorry,
it’s always prudent to worry.
Not just for the tiny bit thing,
but to also laugh, cry or sing.

Good are also ugly and bad;
and can turn fair moods sad.
Most friends’re opportunistic,
indeed their needs are mystic.

IN THEIR SHOES

Common is the expression;
not quite the true situation.
Rare does the circumstance,
fit the damned consequence.

Whenever the setting changes;
timid viewers face challenges,
same fashion commentators
will become eating predators.

#poem
#poetry

SKELETONS ABOUND

Skeletons still in the cupboard,
are still new, across the board.
Just a step into the near past,
reveals old habits always last.

Tombstones mark old cruelties;
hidden, mean, untold mysteries.
Looks are most deceptive tools, lying to the most gullible fools.

CHANGING TIMES

How the times have changed
and their days have managed
to turn our thrones into pulpits
our peaceful abodes into pits.

Mere words now make violence;
sacred scripture praise offence.
Social media taints knowledge,
as our youth mirror our tutelage.

#poem

PRISM

Times have aged into a routine;
one weaned, not born by cooks.
Money now owns worship’s sin,
as many heros become crooks.

Todays’ are yesterdays’ whores,
all their victories liken abortions.
All gains reach emptied shores;
laurels are prismatic emotions.

TIMELY STROLL

Time never stops in its track;
It will grow, age, dry or fly off,
But never ceases, end or lack.

Each time rolls in its moments;
Strolling by in its miserly bluff,
Daring all to enjoy its torments.

Picture from @kc_clancy

FUTURE SOLDIERS ON

We walk in steps, fits and starts,
Come and go like beatin’ hearts,
Pacing back, forth, yet onwards;
Winning battles, losing all wars.

Life drills all as an erring soldier,
Demands as needs never older,
For the future soldiers on bolder.

SOLDIER’S WISH

Waiting patiently for the nights
when we sit, raise our glasses,
toast trigger fingers’ heights,
gun powder and saves asses;
over our chilled whiskey shots,
brag about our notable shots.
We won’t lock horns with evil;
for not forever reigns the devil.

We might clatter like pawns
across their Chess boards,
as their domination quests runs.
But at some point it surely burns
and we won’t fall or die off.
For angels far away from here,
wait to shine feathers enough,
to spread wings with all of us;
Once this is over for ours & us.

Picture from @hify_2

CAN’T WAIT

Can’t wait to be felt and noticed. Can’t wait to be seen and heard;
To be right here acknowledged.

When not if, a certain constant,
As I stand out in this moment.
For what is now is my current.

Picture from @oj_deji

THERE ARE COWS & THERE ARE COWS

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

These are Wagyu cattle from which the most expensive beef in world comes from in Japan.

They are arguably the most pampered of domesticated animals, because their daily routine consists of regular massages, beer drinking, baths and listening to relaxing music.

It is believed by herdsmen over there, such delicate care helps to keep the highly priced beef known as “Kobe” so tender.

Meanwhile, other cattle, in you know where, are raised against the backdrop of Rat-ta-ta music of AK 47 gunfire.

With more civilized herdsmen, Denmark is not left out as
a group of students of the Scandinavian School of Cello dropped by to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Pezzo Capriccioso” to the delight of a herd of classical music loving cows.

Do not ask me if the following day milk production reached all time high. It did!

Meanwhile, over here the Rat-ta-ta…..Kwantinues.

Simply put –

Garbage in, Garbage out!

40 YEARS AGO!

Copied

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ᴀғʀᴀɪᴅ ᴏғ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.

……………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.

………………………………….

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴇᴀsʏ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ɪᴛ ɪs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ɪs sᴏ ᴇᴀsʏ.

…………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴡᴇ ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴛᴏ ᴏᴜʀ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs.

…………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴠɪʟʟᴀɢᴇʀs ᴡᴇʀᴇ ғʟᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪᴛʏ ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴊᴏʙs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴏᴡɴ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ғʟᴇᴇɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ CITY ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇ.

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40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғᴀᴛ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴅɪᴇᴛs ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ.

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40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ʀɪᴄʜ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ ᴀʀᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʀɪᴄʜ.

…………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ᴡᴏʀᴋᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡʜᴏʟᴇ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴏɴᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.

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40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴜᴅʏ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ʙᴏᴏᴋs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ғᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡʜᴀᴛsᴀᴘᴘ ᴍᴇssᴀɢᴇs.

40 YEARS AGO WAS 1980,

WHICH SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!

Hard ғᴀᴄᴛs of ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ’s ʟɪғᴇ.

GENERATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Don’t hate, observe and understudy instead

Devoid of sentiments, without sanctimonious grandstanding and negative profiling apart, tell me how the Indomie generation of Thank you Daddy can withstand this kid in future?

If truth be told, any kid that can command this kind of thunderous herd is way ahead in strategic thinking and tactical response of his peers. Shoes? He doesn’t need any. His stick is his keyboard and mouse for now.

Let us face it, dominating any environment is a mindset that must be cultivated early. This kid is not chauffeured to school. He is not on Social Media neither does he flip through DSTV channels. By the time he goes to school he doesn’t have to drop his CV anywhere.

Many Nigerians have so much modernized that we have abandoned the ethnic rites of passage for our young. The Fulani naturalis have not. They don’t abandon culture.

This kid doesn’t speak English but can effectively communicate with his herd. He can read their mind and decode their mood. He is already taking charge. His mates are still crying Mummy.

This kid might not be able to read and write but he is a natural GPS that can navigate without map reading. He can sniff rain days ahead and sense danger miles away. He doesn’t have to Google pasture. He is an ecological encyclopedia.

This kid’s swagger is earned.
Insult, deride and abuse his older ones. But you can never deny the potential, natural aptitude and work in progress in this kid.
How many conventional schools can package the unfinished greatness that is already apparent in him?

The Fulani. The Shuwa of the Lake Chad region. The Dinka of Sudan. The Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. The Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi. Even the Bedouins of the Arab world and Cowboys of America. Including the Hebrews of old. Keenly observe and carefully understudy them. They have always dominated their environment because of their understanding of the umbilical link between animal husbandry and human psychology – He who knows you most masters you more – by any means necessary.

“Hate is the reaction that we feel towards something that is threatening us. Fear is what happens when we can’t do anything about it.”

Life is historically a game of chess. We are mere players and the environment is our ultimate chessboard; “where a man must have a temper of iron”

It is either you stay ahead of the game or keep on complaining.

Sacking of Benin City: 124th Anniversary

By Dan Hicks 18th February was the 124-year anniversary of the sacking of Benin City by a British naval force.Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire.They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin.They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes – a collection of thousands of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria.Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.The story of the Benin Bronzes sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums.In The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks makes a powerful case for the urgent return of such objects, as part of a wider project of addressing the outstanding debt of colonialism.

The Spy who “Loved” Nigeria

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Sir Hanns Vischer

As they say; “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” Sir Hanns Vischer, was an agent of His Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service in Nigeria. He was referred to as “Dan Hausa” due to his mastery of the Hausa language which he helped in standardizing. He was also prolific in Arabic, Fulfulde and Kanuri in addition to Greek, French and German. Based in Kano from 1907 to 1919, his cover was head of the Education Department.

Gidan Dan Hausa, now a national monument was his official residence. The building had being in existence for about a hundred years before Kano was conquered by the British in 1903. It had previously served as the base of the overseer of the royal farming plantation outside the ancient city walls known as Rumada. Vischer rebuilt it from scratch making improvements in 1907.

The spymaster first came to Nigeria in 1901 and was based in Lokoja before he was reassigned to Maiduguri in 1903. By 1906, he crossed the Sahara Desert. He recounted his journey in a 1911 book entitled; “Across the Sahara from Tripoli to Borno” Another book he wrote is; “Rules for Hausa Spelling” printed in 1912.
Kano was crucial to the British in two aspects. First, in creating an elite that would oppose national independence. Second, it was a crucial cross roads in monitoring Francophone territories and the German colony of Kamerun.

According the historian, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman;
“The Hausa-speaking people, not only do they have dialects, which were barely mutually intelligible, but they have no tradition of a common origin.” Hausa as spoken and written today was therefore a British project. Vischer was one of the arrow heads.

Vischer’s residence also served as a school for sons of emirs from all over the North. With his wife who joined him in 1912, the couple moulded the young aristocrats teaching them how to read and write in English and Ajami (Arabic in Roman script) The school started with 30 pupils in 1909. Their hostel was within the Nasarawa palace of Kano emirate nearby.

Enrollment increased to over 200 princes by 1913 from the 11 provinces of the Northern Protectorate. It produced the first Western educated elites in the North that eventually became the first members of the House of Chiefs and Assembly both in Kaduna. Vischer’s school relocated becoming Katsina College in 1921, which is now Barewa College in Zaria.

The Vischers had two children at Gidan Dan Hausa. Their photographs including that of their house maid still adorn the main living room of the historic house to date.

The British did not come to the colonial contours of what became Nigeria for sightseeing – they came to plunder.
To pull that off they needed to apply “divide et impera” – divide and rule. They ensured no level of national consciousness could develop eventually preparing us for national independence without economic freedom.

The likes of Sir Vischer were instrumental to Pax Britannica. Such people are described as “capax imperii” – capable of ruling an empire by understanding and study of languages;
“One had only to watch him in his daily avocations in those early days to realize how completely at home he was with every class of society—whether he was engaged in grave deliberations with emirs, viziers and other high personages of the ruling hierarchy, or whether he was chaffing the hucksters at the market stalls as he rode through Kano city. No less revealing was it to see him in his own home pick up a native drum and, squatting on the floor, croon local Hausa songs to his own accompaniment. So inimitably did he do it that, if he had been hidden behind a screen, one would have said that an African musician had been engaged to entertain his guests”

At Gidan Dan Hausa, Vischer reorganized traditional Hausa building materials of “Tubali” and “Azara” by creatively using “Chafe” for plaster and “Makuba” for relieve motifs retaining “Zankwaye” (the horns at the top) and “Dakali” (the horizontal platform at the base)
Vischer used local labor sourced within the ancient city of Kano from “Unguwan Gini”

The original inhabitants of Kano are the “Abagawa” of the Nok Civilization. The “Wangara” from present-day Mali conquered and incorporated Kano into the Songhai Empire. Eventually the Habe held sway before the Hausanization process that followed the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate.

It has been the southern entrepôt of the Trans Saharan trade for millennia. Arabs and Tuaregs have been part of Kano’s mosaic for centuries.

It provided the perfect cover for Sir Hanns Vischer, a spymaster par excellence according to Nigel West in; Historical Dictionary of World War I Intelligence (2014)