>Tribal War

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Allow me to start by saying this: If you think you are better than anyone by virtue of being born into a particular tribe, then YOU HAVE FAILED LIFE. Hello and welcome to today’s post.

So on Friday night/Saturday morning, for reasons yet unknown to me, some people on twitter started throwing around tribal slurs and making jibes at other tribes. I’m sure it started innocently enough but soon took on a life of its own. Apparently, the majority of participants in this semi-humorous exchange of ‘ideas’ were of the Igbo and Yoruba persuasions and they indeed proceeded to vigorously insult everyone and everything about the other tribes from the ‘Girls’ of the tribe (some did so with very colorful illustrations by way of twitpics) to the ‘Famous’ members of the tribe including Baba Sege OBJ, Old soldier Ojukwu, Patience Ozokwor…even poor little Kelly Hansome was dragged into the fray

The fallout of this collective foolishness under the guise of humor included several hurt feelings, unfollows, an unknown number of reported blockings and at least one severely retarded, though mildly entertaining, twitterfight between two people whose handles I do not care enough about to remember. However, the fight led to one of the participants receiving intense curses that I can only describe as being ‘deeper than rap’. If I were him, I would rededicate my life to Christ and go and see my Pastor tomorrow for special prayers.

Anyway, whilst all this was going on, I was getting my Switzerland swag on, you know, remaining neutral, reading the tweets and chuckling at some while sipping on some fine spirits (God bless the Russians for what they do with potatoes). But in all this alleged ‘jest’, I did detect a lot of latent tribalism boiling beneath the surface. I mean, the kinds of things that were said are not things that just come off the top of one’s head, no, I think not, they seemed more like deep seated distrust, misgivings and spite dressed up in the attire of jokes and fun.

I know some will say I’m taking the matter a bit too seriously but then again shouldn’t I? Think about it. These kind of things seem benign enough but they never end well. I’m going to go back to Rwanda circa 1994 and paint you all a pretty picture. The Hutus and Tutsis. 800,000 people killed in less than 100 days. Neighbors who had lived peacefully next to each other for 20 years, smiling at and greeting each other, woke up one day and start slicing and dicing each other up into suya-sized pieces with machetes. You think all that intense anger and hate just appeared overnight? You do, do you? (-______-) Use your head. They had a rich history of smaller tribal clashes and so the resentment and hate was already there, just waiting for an excuse to be unleashed.

Equally importantly though was the effect of public speech on the madness, the role of one radio station in particular, RTLM in the matter is quite poignant. They never broadcasted outright hate speech, but they did make plenty of jokes about Tutsis being ‘cockroaches’ and not being as strong as the ‘Hutus’ thus making it easy for the extremists to hijack the already existing hate propaganda and use it in their highly effective ‘Kill the cockroaches’ campaign.

Ok. Yeah, sorry I had to bring up Rwanda but I wanted to ram my point into your heads. Making statements like “My tribe is better than yours” is one of the easiest ways to begin brainwashing yourself into tribalism. Calling people “omo igbo” and “dirty hausa” is just the beginning of the dehumanization process that can eventually lead to widespread violence.

And if you think you are immune just because you are ‘educated’ or ‘civilized’, then I think you need to stop, park well and get a map because clearly you have ‘miss road’. Think about Nazi Germany circa 1939: filled to the brim with smart, young, civilized Germans. You think ALL Germans hated Jews with enough passion to bundle them off into concentration camps and attempt to exterminate them with all the industrial and economic precision and efficiency of a Petrochemical plant? Of course not.But they all told and laughed at the ‘Greedy Jew’ jokes. The ‘Witch Gypsy’ jokes and they all stood by when the first torches were tossed into the “Jew Banks” and said nothing. Why? Because they thought they were better than the Jews. That’s always where it starts.

Oh Wow! See what I did there? I brought up Nazi Germany too! *Ghen Ghen* Did I just bring up both Nazi Germany and the Rwandan genocide (Two of the biggest ethnic disasters of the last century) in response to a paltry twitter event that no one will remember one week from now? O_O? Talk about over reacting O_o.

Is it really an overreaction though? Is it? Maybe. Maybe not. But I will conclude the way I began, if you believe your tribe is better than any other tribe on the planet by virtue of having been born into that tribe, YOU HAVE FAILED LIFE. People are people. All people have equal capacity for stupidity, wickedness, sluttiness, female facial hair growth, Ugliness, Cruelty, Greed and Evil. Just because you and you tribe members band together to attack/make jest of one tribe today doesn’t mean that they won’t turn on you tomorrow.

Think carefully on these things.

Feel free to spew your bile in the comment box below.

>What those Kids taught me

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by @NerdyChique.

For the past 3 months, I’ve been working with kids. I cannot begin to express how much joy I’ve gotten from this, but I can say that it has made me wonder why I grew up so fast, why I didn’t enjoy my childhood as much as these kids appear to do.
On one of those days when I was having one of my ‘lost childhood’ pity parties, I had an epiphany (or maybe it was a stroke of insanity):
I wondered: ‘is it not possible to bring back those days, those feelings?’
I heard myself ask myself (yeah, I know); ‘how?’
‘Study these kids, act like them’ (voice 2) said.
‘You mean you want me to act like a child in my twenty-something-th year of existence on this earth? When my mates have entered their husbands houses started having children of their own?’
Voice 2 asked again: ‘Well, what do you have to lose?’
And finally I told myself: ‘okay, let’s give this a try’
Quick Fact about me: once I’ve made a decision, I stick to that decision with the tenacity of a militarized bulldog. So in the week that followed, I made up my mind to observe and study the kids who seemed to be that happiest of the lot, and I began to act like them (to a reasonable extent. I mean…I had no intention of being locked up in an institution for mental instability). I took this exercise very seriously, I even stocked up on biscuits and Capri Sonne to munch on and help get into character.
Luckily for me, they were on registration break, so I didn’t have to wear a uniform and follow them to school (Yes, I think I would have done it, I was quite desperate). Anyway, during this seemingly inane experiment with my inner child, I learnt quite a lot. More than I expected to.
The first major lesson I learned was they don’t let things bother them for long. In many instances, I watched Sa’id, one of my “observees”, fall down while trying to make his way from one point to another (usually on some absurd mission). As long as there were no adults to make a fuss about the fall, he would get up, dust himself off and keep moving. He didn’t stand there moaning and whining about falling or run around telling everyone how he fell, he just kept MOVING!
On several occasions, I have seen Sa’id and another one of my “observees”, Lizzy crying for various reasons. A lizard could have scared them, their older sibling hit them, or on one specific occasion, a car nearly hit Lizzy. In all these ‘scary’ experiences, one thing stood out to me: they immediately ran to locate their mums, dads or some older siblings and sometimes even Me :D. And immediately they reached the outstretched arms of whoever they were running to, the crying stopped. That was their system. Their support and anchor. We all need a support system. People who make your life better just by being in it. They plant smiles on your face constantly. Everything is better when you see them or talk to them. You need those people.
Several times, I have watched both of them filled with curiosity as they see or experience something new. An insect, an oddly shaped stone, a new toy, a new environment. I have watched their eyes light up in wonder and amazement as they reach out to the new thing and explore. This ‘exploring’ usually involves reaching out, rubbing their hands all over it, looking at it and in many instances …finally putting it in their mouths. That is, until an adult stops them.
Watching them, I ask myself ‘where has all that curiosity gone?’ A lot of us go about daily without noticing or observing the world, not engaging our senses. We use things and devices, the logic of which we barely have the faintest inkling. Worst of all we don’t even seem to WANT to know. When we finally summon the courage to explore, to ask, we let people discourage us.
‘What you are doing, they ask?’;
‘Why do you want to know’?
‘Just do what I told you’
‘Just follow the procedure’ …and immediately, just like that, we lose focus, interest, we stop trying to understand and just do.
I think the thing I observed that stuck out the most though was their capacity for unconditional love. These kids warmed up to me within minutes of setting eyes on me and I can boldly say that they love me, although I struggle to say the same about them. You see, somewhere along the long trek to adulthood, we have lost that welcoming ability, that willingness to let go and just be. Maybe it’s the result of accumulated negative experiences, excessive warnings from semi-paranoid but well-meaning parents and friends, stories we’ve been told or read about. But the hard truth is a lot of us are cold, plain cold to strangers. It’s almost inhuman.
During this observation/immersion experiment, there were experiences that were less than positive to me and if there was anything that really annoyed me about them, it would have to be the the never-ending barrage of questions about everything and anything. It tired me. But along the line, I realized that the reason this annoyed me was because I was impatient. I didn’t want to take time to answer their questions and maybe, just maybe, unwittingly, I had started the process of killing their childish curiosity. Stealing their childhood from them just as adults before me had stolen mine. So, I resolved within myself to answer every question to the best of my ability, annoying though they may be. I’m still watching them. I learn something new every day. It surprises me how much these kids have to teach us, and how easily we put them down; ignore them; brush them aside without a second thought.
I know, in many ways, we can’t afford to be as carefree as these children. Life is hard and cruel; people can be evil. I understand. I’m not completely naive. But there is still something to be said for retaining your childhood sensibilities. What would it profit a man to be successful and yet unhappy as many of us young adults seem to be?
We’ve let worry take over our lives so we sleep in comfortable houses with restless minds.
We’ve cut off/lost faith in our support systems and are scared to let other people in due to our own trust issues. We are slaves to our own fears.
We’ve lost the sense of wonder that draws us to discover, to smile, to immerse ourselves in the world. Instead, we chase money desperately, doing jobs and things that we have no interest in or find deplorable. The mind slowly rots away.
Worst of all, many of us don’t even know what love is anymore. We’ve let life steal that carefree acceptance that we had as children. It’s a pity.
No wonder when many of us look back, we remember our childhood fondly and wonder how life became this way. But the truth is: in many ways…we made it this way. As children, life was an open field, but we built the walls of this present prison ourselves. I’m not saying we should take all the walls down, they do protect us but I think the least we can do is put in a few windows…let some air in…learn a few things from the children.
(This post was written by @NerdyChique and edited by yours truly. You’ll be seeing quite a few posts from her on this blog for a while since I have exams and a trip to Thailand coming up over the next few weeks so yeah… I’m quite occupied. I will mostly serve as editor/publisher 😀 Have a great weekend y’all! and have a happy Easter. Rock your inner child!)

Awesomeness made flesh..

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I was watching the movie ‘The Prestige’ with a group of friends (actually classmates) a few week

s ago and we were thoroughly enjoying the movie. Then we got to the part where the great D’anton Goes to meet Nikola Tesla for help with a magic trick and then someone asked: “Tesla was real person right? It’s like I’ve heard the name before…”


At this point I almost died of shock. How can anyone, much less an engineer, not know who the great Nikola Tesla was?HABA! No! My own personal person TESLA?!

I proceeded to lecture them all on the life and times of Nikola Tesla who is quite possibly the greatest scientist/engineer/mad bastard to have ever walked the earth.

I also tagged them in a facebook note I wrote a few years back about the man (admittedly, much of it was plagiarized from www.cracked.com, but hey, don’t judge me, it was written a while ago and I wasn’t yet the promising young wordsmith I am today 😀 -if you like be there doing Yimu, your tongue will catch fire. But a lot of the tone and emphasis is mine)

Anyway, I felt I should share this with you all as well so here, enjoy!

Apparently, surprisingly few people these days are familiar with the life and times of one of humankind’s most eccentric, badass, and volumetrically-insane scientific super-geniuses. Its funny how so many people, even engineers and scientists, that use things he came up with seem to have little or no idea about who Telsa was.
First off, Nikola Tesla was fucking brilliant. And not just like Albert Einsteins “Bad guy siddon there dey look book” brilliant, either – I mean like, “holy shit! My head just exploded (from all the paraga awesomeness)” brilliant.

The Croatian-born engineer spoke eight languages, almost single-handedly developed technology that harnessed the power of electricity for household use, and invented things like electrical generators, FM radio, remote control, robots, spark plugs, fluorescent lights, and giant-ass machines that shoot enormous, brain-frying lightning bolts all over the place like crazy. He had an unyielding, steel-trap photographic memory and an insane ability to visualize even the

most complex pieces of machinery – the guy did advanced calculus and physics equations in his fucking evil head, memorized entire books at a time, and successfully pulled off scientific experiments that modern-day technology STILL can’t replicate. For instance, in 2007 a group of lesser geniuses at MIT got all pumped up out of their minds because they wirelessly transmitted energy a distance seven feet through the air. Nikola Tesla once lit 200 lightbulbs from a power source 26 miles away, and he did it in 1899 with a machine he built from spare parts in the middle of the desert. To this day, nobody can really figure out how the hell he pulled that shit off, because two-thirds of the schematics only existed in the darkest recesses of Tesla’s all-powerful evil madman brain.

Of course, much like many other eccentric giga-geniuses and diabolical masterminds, Tesla was also completely insane. He was prone to nervous breakdowns, claimed to receive weird visions in the middle of the night, spoke to pigeons, and occasionally thought he was receiving electromagnetic signals from extraterrestrials on Mars. He was also obsessive-compulsive and hated round objects, human hair, jewelry, and anything that wasn’t divisible by three. He was also asexual and celibate for his entire life. Basically, Nikola Tesla was the ultimate mad scientist, which is seriously bloody awesome.

Another sweet thing about Tesla was that he conducted the sort of crazy experiments that generally result in hordes of angry villages breaking down the door to your lab with torches and pitchforks a la Frankenstein. One time, while he was working on magnetic resonance, he allegedly discovered the resonant frequency of the Earth and caused a bloody earthquake so powerful that it almost obliterated the 5th Avenue New York building that housed his Frankenstein Castle of a laboratory. Shit was flying off the walls, the drywall was breaking apart, the cops were coming after him, and Tesla had to smash his device with a sledge hammer to keep it from demolishing an entire city block. Later, he boasted that he could have built a device

powerful enough to split the Earth in two. Nobody dared him to prove it. I mean Dem dey crase? Nobody wanted to test the Nigga.

Tesla also ordered the construction of the Wardenclyffe Tesla Tower, a giant building shaped like an erect penis that would have housed the largest Tesla coil ever built. The massive structure, ostensibly designed to wirelessly transmit power, has been cited as a potential cause of the mysterious 1908 Tunguska Event – a ten-megaton blast that detonated in the wastelands above central Russia that completely obliterated and deforested everything unlucky enough to be located within a several hundred mile radius. While nothing has ever successfully proven

Tesla’s involvement in the ass-destroyingly huge explosion, it’s pretty awesome that this guy could potentially have detonated a weapon 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, and have done it back before they’d even invented the submachine gun.

During his adventures blinding half of the world with science, Nikola Tesla harnessed the power of Niagara Falls into the first hydroelectric power plant, constructed a bath designed to cleanse the human body of germs using nothing but electricity, and created a 130-foot long bolt of lightning from one of his massive coils (a feat which to this day remains the world record for

man-made lightning), but perhaps his most badass invention was his face-melting, tank-destroying, super-secret Atomic Death Ray. In the 1920s he claimed to be working on a tower that could potentially have spewed forth a gigantic beam of ionized particles capable of disintegrating aircraft from 200 miles away and blinking most men out of existence like something out of ‘star wars’. His weapon, known as the “Teleforce Beam” allegedly shot ball lightning at 60 million volts, liquefying its targets with enough power to vaporize steel, and, while it could shoot further than 200 miles, it’s effectiveness beyond that range was limited only by the curvature of the Earth. Luckily for all humans, this crazy shit never came to fruition – most of the schematics and plans existed only in Tesla’s head, and when he died of heart failure in

1943, little hard data on the project existed. Still, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI confiscated all his personal shit and locked it away anyways, just to be safe.

Despite being incredibly popular during his day, now Tesla remains largely overlooked among lists of the greatest inventors and scientists of the modern era. Thomas Edison gets all the glory for discovering the lightbulb, but it was his one-time assistant and life-long arch-nemesis, Nikola Tesla (yes, Tesla worked for Edison and invented most of what people attribute to Edison today), who made the breakthroughs in alternating-current technology that allowed for people

to cheaply use electricity to power appliances and lighting in their homes. They constantly fought about whether to use alternating or direct-currents (their bitter blood feud resulted in both men being snubbed from the Nobel Prize committee), but ultimately Tesla was the one who delivered the fatal kick-to-the-crotch that ended the battle – at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, his AC generators illuminated the entire experience, marking the first time that an event of that magnitude had ever taken place under the glow of artificial light. Today, all homes and appliances run on Tesla’s AC current and Edisons DC is used for batteries. Lil’ Tommy Edison had to go home and cry like a little baby bitch.

Nikola Tesla was one of those super-genius badasses whose intellect placed him dangerously on the precipice between “great scientific mind” and “utter bloody madness”. He held 700 patents at the time of his death, made groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of physics, robotics, steam turbine engineering, and magnetism, and once melted one of his assistants’ hands by overloading it with X-rays – which isn’t really scientific, but is still pretty bloody awesome. And honestly, if there were one man on this planet who was ever capable of single-handedly destroying the entire planet through his insane scientific discoveries, it was Tesla. That alone should qualify him as a pretty righteous badass worthy of your undying respect.

>Overdose.

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by @NerdyChique

I saw a tweet the other day that said something like religion has become sort of like a culture for Nigerians. It drew my attention immediately. It went further to say that Nigerians thank God by default, for example, statements like: ‘thank God I was home when you came’, ‘thank God PHCN restored the power’…and many other instances. I am not one easily given to making generalizations, but sometimes they are necessary for simplification and thus a better understanding of some cases so I shall.

Religion is not an issue I like to bring up because, well, it brings out the crazed fanatic in a lot of us. Some people adopt the “Off with her head” approach to religious debates and I still like my big head the way it is. I’ve had it this way for a while now and it think it quite suits me. But I will just attempt to brush upon a few issues surrounding religion (deep breath)

First off, in my opinion, religion is NOT faith. Faith is belief, plain and true. It requires nothing but an unwavering belief in certain things, even (especially) without proof. A religion is supposed to be a set of principles or directives guiding a person’s behavior, habits and character. Being the ‘religious’ people we claim to be, something must have failed spectacularly somewhere because I do not see many Nigerians living like there’s any particular set of principles guiding any of our activities. Yet, on Friday afternoons and Sunday mornings, we troop out in our millions to our various places of worship to sing the songs, dance the dances, pray the prayers and perform the rituals which constitute our chosen ‘religion’.

Who exactly do we think we are deceiving? Our neighbors? God? When communities and countries that do not claim to be half as religious as we claim we are seem to perform better on the corruption scale than we do. Who are we trying to fool exactly? Excuse me if I’m wrong, but I believe one of the things religions claim is the potential to transform live for the better by giving them meaning and order and principles. Where then is this transformation our religions claim?

Just in the middle of that thought, I realize something. Religion, for a lot of us, is our means of escape. It is little better than an addiction, our drug; as the German philosopher and revolutionary Karl Marx once claimed, it is the “opium of the masses”. You know, when human beings go through hard times, they look for a means of escape. Some turn to alcohol, some drugs, some food, and in the process become addicts. In Nigeria, it seems we turn to religion. As with other addictions, religion is good in small doses, (in fact it works perfectly if we mix in a little true faith) but many of us, especially in Nigeria, overdose on it in its raw form and have to keep going back to our dealers for refills. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, we are in the church, the mosque, the synagogue, shrine or whatever place we have chosen as our place of our worship, begging for a hit.

One question you may ask is: “is it a good addiction?” True, some addictions are good or at least harmless, music for example; some are bad, like alcohol, drugs or even food. Addiction to religion can be deadly. Holding on too tightly to the rituals, procedures and dogma of a religion without any actual faith and understanding is what leads to religious abuse. Religious fanaticism stems directly from this abuse. Religious fanatics are the pawns that are manipulated in the many so-called ‘religious’ wars, we humans seem to engage in so frequently. Sadly, many of these wars and battles are more economic than religious but that is a debate for another day.

“What then is the solution?” you may ask. I will be the first to admit that I do not know if there is a solution in sight. I am pretty sure, however, that education sheds light in dark areas. So if we spent a little more time educating ourselves on what our respective religions actually entail: The origin, the faith, separating the true faith from the adopted culture of the religion and understanding that many religions are based on the same tenets and principles, accepting that we are human, fallible and all prone to fall from grace. This kind of education would help many of us realize that the faith is infinitely more important than the religion and hence we would be less likely to fall victim to this addiction. But then again this is just my opinion.

N.B: I wrote this in church (yeah, I know)

(This post was written by my friend @Nerdychique. I merely edited, christened and published it here because well…I agree with a lot of it and Its my blog and I can do whatever I like. )

>A letter to my Mother…

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Olu-mummy.

That was my reply anytime you called me by my full name: Oluwole, either in jest or in anger. It seems just like yesterday we were watching movies together, discussing issues and joking with each other and just like that 9 months ago, Olu-mummy was gone. The proud smile, the listening ear, the nurturing hands, the loving gaze and jovial countenance that were my Olu-mummy are gone forever. We all know that one day, we will all pass away but I never imagined it would be so soon. If only my tears could bring you back, I would cry forever. But you have gone to rest and I miss you terribly. To me, to us, your children, you were more than a mother; you were a great friend, a confidant, a rock to lean on. There is much we have learnt from you about life and love. I cannot bring myself to write of them all, I would weep for days.

The months leading up to and since your passing have been difficult beyond belief; I can only describe them as a ‘Season of Mists’ and your departure made them even more difficult. But I know you are resting, liberated from the troubles of this world, looking down on us, making intercessions on our behalf, guiding, smiling. While I wish you could have tarried a little, stayed with us long enough to dance with us at our weddings and smile your radiant smile at our children, God saw fit to call you to him then. So it was with bitter acquiescence, I did bid you goodbye and sweet rest in the Lords bosom, farewell, my absent friend, my departed mother.

This mother’s day, all I pray is that we, your children shall soon conclude the season of mists, live joyful, fulfilled lives too make you proud and that we all be reunited when the time is due.

Happy Mother’s Day Olu-mummy,

Your Son, Oluwole.

>The Reason

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@NerdyChique sent this to me a few days ago and it touched me in a very special way. I feel its something we can all identify with in our own different ways so read, enjoy, share.

“The Reason:

Everybody needs a Reason.

A reason to roll over, place their feet on the floor and heave themselves out of bed every morning. Some people know what their Reason is, some people have it handed to them at the same time they draw their first breath, or speak their first word or kiss their first love.

Some people do not know what their Reason is, and therefore the search for it becomes the Reason. Some people can’t see their Reason, couldn’t even name it, if pressed, but yet that doesn’t matter, because it stands in front, beside, behind them, lives inside them.

To have no Reason is to observe, to exist only without participation. A very unlucky few are born without A Reason and never find it, or lose it somewhere along the way..the death of a loved one perhaps, or the obstacles of life- those are known as the Damned, the Soulless.

The strong among those find another Reason and continue to participate in life. The weak, who sometimes were not even aware of their own frailty until that point, retreat into themselves. They too become Soulless, waiting only until Someone draws their name from the Hat and they can lay down and sleep without waking.”


—Reasonable Beings, and their Reasons for Being by Alla Comptoir