Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Life more Extraordinary

And so one by one, Nigerians of incomparable gravitas leave us and our beleaguered polity behind.

Of course, in times like these, we the people, bring forth our well rehearsed eulogies and blow our mournful trumpets of gloom. We are very good at doing that you see....

I do want to bore you with the minutiae of Chinua Achebe's life, as this has already been recorded and decanted too many times to count. But it might be worth reminding us all, there is nothing stopping us (especially Nigerians) doing all we can, in any field we may find ourselves, of pursuing a life those left behind would not require enforcement or cohesion to celebrate.

As can be clearly seen with Achebe's life, whether you subscribed to the man or not, his achievements are indubitable. For those who think his talents were limited to writing novels, a visit is necessary to the literary critique (An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness) delivered by Achebe in 1975 in response to Joseph Conrad's novel, 'Heart of Darkness'.

Yes, I wasn't a complete disciple, as his political slant on certain issues veered away from mine, but then he had seen and endured a lot more than my novice could lay claim to. Besides as Ngozi Adichie rightly noted, we do 'remember differently' and let's be frank, most of my 'memories' are in reality 'pass me down,' in the true oral tradition, that the great scribe trumpeted until his last days.

One area though where I will forever remain on the same page with the great man is the written word. Being interested in prose myself, I have often fantasised about writing a critique of Achebe's work, but ironically, words always failed me.

Having seen various attempts in the same pursuit, I often seek comfort in knowing I am not alone in that eternal struggle.

In a TIME Magazine article in 2006, an equally gargantuan talent from our shores did his very best and surmised:

"Achebe's influence on writers of succeeding generations is too great to quantify. Above all, this griot of modern letters has left the authentic imprint of African cultures across the globe, with a succession of narratives that challenge the skewed view of the continent in European literary tradition. His confident narratives of the life that was destroyed under the colonial mandate serve as models both of historical restoration and of stylistic mastery."

When you combine all that, with the man's refusal of a national award (twice!) from Nigerian governments he considered to be inept and corrupt, then nothing extra is necessary or warranted to solidify the legacy of this Iroko of a man.

RIP sir!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Delusion of the Accidental Trailblazer?

I know....

Accidental trailblazer? No such thing, right? Right!

Looking around, it might still surprise you to find people, who somehow believe in a 'Steve Jobs-like' halo that will descend upon their head, without any turbulence along the way.

Their roadmap to success is full of unrealistic checkpoints and delusional goals, best suited for a Hollywood-spurn tale of minimal effort and maximum gains.

Actually, to be fair, even Hollywood rarely ventures into such naive terrain.

The gimme gimme, flash-in-a-pan, celebrity world we live in certainly doesn't help, but it is still left to us to begin to instill in each other a quest for depth. Flatulent discourse at the highest level of society should be discouraged, whilst we vigorously search for properly drilled individuals to lead us forth. In the event that we find no one, then let's lead ourselves....someone is bound to follow.

Fear should not be our best friend and apathy should be our sworn foe. Failure should be embraced, for from it emanates success. Even the great Apple late CEO told us of how he was as proud of his failed projects, as he was of the iphone, ipad, et al.

Pursue the things you love to do and leave unworthy tasks to those who see them as worthy. We cannot all seek the same path, hence why it is called trail-blazing. Put your heart into what you choose to do and please, please, please......stop moaning and less of the self-pity.

As we are often reminded, no one is coming to save us. Our continuous efforts, endeavours and exertions, are the propellants for the ambient grace that we seek. The world will only help you achieve your dream, if you learn to inspire yourself first.

No accidents, no coincidences, just a continuous push for Excellence and your gains will come. Pursue the unfashionable if it so grabs your heart, begin your party of one if is floats your boat, walk your own path.....

It's the Trailblazer's way!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Grey Smoke and and Sure Bets

As the world holds its collective breath in anticipation of news from Rome, it appears there have been some chimney malfunction at the Sistine Chapel. A cloud of greyish-looking smoke a few hours ago threw a large number of novices, like me, into frenzied speculation about the goings-on within those sacred walls.

A friend, equally bereft in the finer things concerning Catholic life, wondered if this indicated there had been a Latin pope! Apparently, in his little mind, there is a good reason why the confirmatory smoke has always been white.....yes you've guessed it....the popes are always white!

He did go on to give us his theory as no why a black pope will never emerge...and because I have confirmed (see above) this guy is a simpleton, you must already know by now, that he somehow related the black smoke, which confirms no pope has been chosen to the veracity of his theory. Honestly, some mothers do 'ave 'em!

Of course the Vatican has been kind enough to educate us the whiteness of the smoke will not be in doubt when a pontiff is chosen.

Let the smoking begin - Conclave Cardinals feeling the ongoing tension

As you can imagine, police forces worldwide, especially in areas where there are significant black populations are gearing up with their Triage and Incident planning, in anticipation of a roaring outburst of emotion that will sweep our streets in the event of a black pope. Two of the world's five most powerful people will be that is definitely a cause for hysterical celebration....of course, in the end it will  be an occurrence full of sound and fury...signifying nothing.

But you know we love a good party and if we could celebrate OJ getting off, you can just imagine what we have in store when it is a truly positive occasion. Obama's election celebrations will pale in comparison for sure.

In other related developments, some people walked away with tons of cash yesterday, having correctly predicted Barca would defeat Milan 4-0. Apparently, this was not just guesswork, as the Blaugrana had also defeated teams by the same scoreline during the 1958 and 1978 that is undoubtedly divine inspiration.

My only grouse rests with the fact I had not shown enough faith by laying down a few you think it will be a good idea to put a few pounds on the conclave repeating their voting pattern in those two years and putting my well earned money on a white pope being elected?


Thursday, 7 March 2013


In my current quest to get as much information out there about everything from political discourse to technological innovation, I am including a very informative link I found the other day. You may have already seen this, but you could always forward it to friends and acquaintances alike. No knowledge is wasted, right?

The moment you start a search on your computer, you are basically sending a lot of willing workers on an arduous journey to retrieve your information and because we are all min-tyrants, you want the results in nanoseconds and are not concerned with the stress and strain the workers go through. We just WANT it now!

The info-graphic link below basically spells out the arts and science behind the 'Search'....Google-style. Click and let the magic be revealed.

How Google Does it!

Searches happen a billion times a day (you probably ran one to get this blog) and the results pop up in a matter of seconds (ok, depending on your system I suppose - but you get the idea). This graphic spells out the Crawling, Indexing and Algorithms that go to work, the minute you click that button.

I found it very illuminating and I hope you do too. In the event you are a hardcore technophobe, don't hate...just participate. Everyone will have to be involved in the future anyway. Besides, just think about it like having to learn about the preparation and cooking, that goes on in a 3-star Michelin restaurant before you get your food.

I bet you feel much better now tongue

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Monster in your Hand!!!

Saw this incredibly educative info-graphic on the proliferation of mobile devices and just had to share (all permissions given). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

We will get back to blogging proper on Friday.....I got some gist for you. In the meantime, please Enjoy:

Media Creation; Unchained
Source: Media Creation; Unchained infographic

As we say on my side of town; END OF!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

White Smoke, Black Pope and Red Shoes?

As Peter Turkson of Ghana leads the odds (3/1) for becoming the next Papal father with almost every bookmaker in town, is it time for us to begin to imagine the unthinkable?

A Turkson spoof poster in front of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome 
Let's be honest with each other, a Black pope is even a bigger deal than having a Black US president. As Barack Obama once attested to....a piece of paper which was passed to him during his inauguration confirmed what he has always believed: the pope is one of the 3 most powerful people in the world. Obama was informed the US president is Number 4!

I bet you want to know the other 2.....not telling. You will have to read this blog religiously and I will bless you with that info.

In any case, by that power list calculation, we may be about to have two people with black blood in the Top 4 for the first and last time ever! I am confident this fact  will not be lost on the Sistine-resident Conclave, as they possess members with the most detailed encyclopedic mental rolodexes.

Besides, appointing a pope is serious business and the Italians, being big in serious business will push as much as possible against the first negroid African pope (yes, the previous three all had Caucasian features!). That's why I fear Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone being the next ranked favourite, leaves me fearing for Turkson's chances.

But seriously....a Black Pope? Can you imagine the Italian gangster movies now having to avoid using words like; Mulignan and Moolie? that will be interesting. We'll probably get a few people 'crossing the carpet' to other Christian groups and any Tea Party Catholics will just feel their world has ended....tee hee.

I must say though, the whole Vatican hulaboo has opened my eyes to many things. I now know my Catholic friends are actually a more prickly bunch than I initially thought, although with so many Irish faithful within their ranks, I suppose their collective sense of humour is still guaranteed for decades to come.

And if anyone had any doubts about the intact sense of humour, enter Cardinal Dolan (American-Irish member of the conclave - himself 33/1), who reassured us earlier this week on CNN's Amanpour,  that the papal red shoes were not a Prada creation:

"The Devil might have worn Prada.....but not this pope."

Papal shoemaker Adriano Stefanelli, with red loafer as worn by H.H. Pope Benedict XVI 

In my modest opinion, any movement that is led by someone who wears red shoes is clearly not worried about outside critique.

So the battle (sorry, the voting) begins soonest and a word of warning for the brothers and sisters out there...loads of people have been named favourite and went on to lose out. As Cardinal Barragan of Mexico once said:

"He who enters the conclave as a possible pope, comes out a cardinal."

Of course there are some entertaining odds for those who have more money than sense:

Oprah - 2000/1

Berlusconi - 2500/1

Mario Balotelli - 5000/1

Hey, don't laugh. Stranger things have happened, right? I mean who knew Benedict XVI would go out like that?!