Why African Companies Play Local

Perhaps, it’s safe to say that NO African company WILL make the first ten most valuable Fortune 100 companies’ list. It may happen but not in our life time.  For now, the first ten are still the same players and they are:

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Apple, for instance, creates radical products.  Most people buy Apple products for one, two or all of these reasons: innovation and simplicity. These features stem from radical thinking. Their ad shows why they come up with groundbreaking products.

Fortune 100 usually produce products and services with their core at heart.

For example, Facebook’s mission is to make “the world more open and connected.” They are doing a good job at that. As at march 2017, Facebook boasted of 1.94 million monthly users.

In Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action he argues that “People don’t buy WHAT you do but WHY you do it”. The premise of the book is that once you understand the why (beliefs) of what you are about to do then you’d gain not only the loyalty of your customers but also inspire them to stay with your company through thick and thin.

Ever wonder why people would buy an Apple iPhone 7 or  Smart Watch for any price? Your answer is as good as mine.

These companies disrupt status quo and change how the world works. How would the world be without the top ten companies on the Fortune 100 list? Now think about that for some seconds.

There’s not one African company in the fortune 100 list.

Why? Is that Africa lack innovators or thinkers ?

Africa has innovators and thinkers. The problem is that they they think too small and play for short term.  Vusi Thembekwayo reiterates the same point. To borrow Thembekwayo’s words, companies should start playing on a global scale and business as a marathon. For instance, a corner shop owner in Ibadan should think of how to expand and reach a consumer in China or New York.

African entrepreneurs must start thinking long term. Going into business solely for money is the wrong way to approach things. It behooves new entrepreneurs to study Sinek’s Golden Circle:

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  1. Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.

  2. How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.

  3. What – This is what the company does to fulfil that core belief.

Is it safe to say that most African companies don’t understand why their business exists? The simple answer would be yes. Most companies start with WHAT and move to HOW without necessarily understanding their WHY.

Looking at the most valuable brands in Africa, you’d realise that most of these companies, at their core,  are profit driven.  There’s no plan to innovate or invent.

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Africa needs new [radical] companies and thinkers.  The present crop of African companies play local because most of the founders of the companies don’t aim to disrupt the status quo. For any African company to be in the Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs and businessmen must start thinking of new ideas or innovations that would change not only Africa but the world.

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One Book Every Student Researcher MUST Read

A supervisor’s feedback about a student researcher’s essay/thesis is important. It guides and informs the researcher’s work. When they fall on these lines “your argument is weak” or “your claims and evidences don’t match” (which is often the case),  they can crush any student’s moral.

It’s more devastating when these remarks become consistent. However, this can be avoided if the researcher learns how to make claims, present evidences and warrants and these secrets are one book:The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing and Publishing)

This book helped me during my Phd. It was my go-to manual.

I’m not saying there are no other books on how to write a well-rounded essay. I’m just saying this one directed me and I’m SURE any new researcher will find it useful. I can boldly say this, therefore:

Dear researcher, if you’ve not read this book, stop whatever you are doing right now, find the book, sit down and read it. Then read it again.

The authors, researchers themselves, presented their argument in a clear and concise manner.

Why should read it? The following are key takeaways:

  •  Connecting with your reader: recreating yourself and your audience·
  • Asking questions, finding answers
  •  How to plan your project
  • How to move from questions to sources and how to ask the right questions
  • How to write topics
  • Making a claim and supporting it
  •  Making good arguments
  • Claims and evidence
  • How to make warrants: the basis of our belief and reasoning
  • Preparing to draft, drafting and revision
  •  Communicating evidence visually

It will:

Introduce beginning researchers to uses, and objectives of research and its reporting;

Guide beginning and intermediate researchers through the complexities of planning, organizing and drafting a report that poses a significant problem and offers a convincing solution;

 Show all researchers, from beginning to advanced, how to read their reports as their readers will, how to diagnose passages that readers are likely to find difficult, and how to revise them quickly and efficiently.

The authors’ argue that:

Society needs people with critical minds, people who can look at issues , ask their own questions and find their own answers.

The ability to proffer answers to the myriad of questions that exist in our setting is the job of a researcher and more importantly, the ability to ask the tough questions is one of the most important jobs of a researcher. This book will turn you into a complete researcher.

Read it and thank me later.

BOOTH, W., COLOMB, G., WILLIAMS, J., BIZUP, J. and FITZGERALD, W., 2016. The Craft of Research. Fourth edn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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How to be a good racist

The topic of racism is often frowned upon. It’s usually followed with remarks like, “Not again.” “Have we not gone past this?” Actually, we haven’t. Avoiding the topic makes it more dangerous. To move forward,  we have to talk about the existence of our differences, understand them and look for ways to work amicably.

Let’s remove the gauze on the scab. Let’s define what racism is before explaining how to be a good racist.

I like this definition of racism:

Racism =racial prejudice + systemic, institutional power. To say people of color can be racist, denies the power imbalance inherent in racism. Certainly, people of color can be and are prejudiced against white people. That was a part of their societal conditioning. A person of color can act on prejudices to insult or hurt a white person. But there is a difference between being hurt and being oppressed. People of color, as a social group, do not have the societal, institutional power to oppress white people as a group.

 True, it’s hard to see a black man oppress a white man. It’s rare.

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Racism, to borrow Karl Marx’s ideology is “here [,] it is standing up, not only holding itself up but rising, getting up and lifting itself, lifting its head, redressing itself and addressing itself.”  Racists have orchestrated a new way of couching their hate, they are evolving too as we enter new eras.

There are different types of racists. They are the shameless types and the improved ones respectively. In England, I’ve met both.

The first type approached me at a train station. He called me a monkey and made monkey sounds. At first, I didn’t want to respond to his chants but when he started hopping in front of me and started taunting me with his animalistic behaviour, I put him in his place by digging my fist into his face. I couldn’t resist it. When the police came, he explained what motivated his actions. His mates had dared him. It was then I concluded that perhaps, these types of racists are trained or pushed by their peers or even parents to be hostile to those who don’t look like them. These ones learn these traits. Children, regardless of colour, play together until they grow up. They quickly learn from the society about differences and begin to act their racist roles. Dr. Robert Williams puts it succinctly when he says parents, institutions and society teach “racial hatred and racial fear”.

The second type of racist is that one that keeps you close and crushes you with love. As a student at Kingston University, in our world literature class, the lecturer requested that we select writers we would like to read. I selected Ben Okri and Salman Rushdie. Our lecturer overlooked my selections.

She felt comfortable with were D.H. Lawrence, Charles Dickens and other white American authors. Some of my classmates told me not to make a big fuss about it.

Some weeks later, she added James Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain as if that singular act was going to make me leap into the sky. In the class for Baldwin’s discussion, she called on me first to explain the book. Immediately, I felt some arrows piercing me. Being the only black boy in the class, I wanted to ask why I should be the first person to answer that question. I had so many questions. I remembered that I echoed some words from the blurb just to keep the class moving. I never returned to that class again and of course, she never questioned my absence.

This kind of trained dislike is the most dangerous of all. These ones are diplomatic and selective in their use of hate. I met one like that some days ago and told the story on my Facebook post. They don’t present it out in the open. Some would argue that they don’t see how that lecturer was in any way racist. Well, in the academic setting, silent discrimination is the new way form of racism. The eyes can’t see it but the body can feel it.

There are several ways to be a good racist in these contemporary times. They are, but not limited to:

Smile always: Whenever you go to a shop, at the cash till, there’s always that ready cashier smiling and ready to treat you royally because you hold the cash. They’ve been trained to make you feel like a god. That’s how a good racist behaves. He/she doesn’t want to sound harsh or mean, she wants to be seen as nice but deep down, she wants to crush you. This is the best practise in the game of racism.

Make uninformed decisions: Walk around with a sensible dose of stereotypical thinking. Whenever you see black man, assume the worse. He could be either a con artist or a thief. Ensure you walk around thinking that all blacks are evil.

It’s essential for racists to arm themselves with these steps and it’s more important for the so-called minority tribes to recognise these subtle moves.

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Of Fake news, Alternative facts, and Chibok Girls

News about the Chibok girls, which normally aroused widespread emotional responses, now seems like a confession of mad theories and ideological hocus-pocus. When fresh reports revealed that another eighty-two girls were released by their captors, Nigerians—both sympathisers and conspiracy theorists — welcomed the news with ambivalence.

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Nigerians believe they’ve been served an assortment of lies about the Chibok girls. Nnedi Okorafor‘s concern about the issue makes her ponder as follows:

“I wonder what they’ve dealt with since they were taken. I wonder what care they’ll get in their return. I wonder what they won’t admit to. I wonder if they will forever be pariahs in their communities. I wonder if they will be forced to go abroad where they will be a different kind of pariah. I wonder if the monsters who kidnapped them will ever be punished. I wonder who’s behind it all. I wonder if those are even the right girls. I wonder who the girls are if those aren’t the right girls. I wonder what Nigeria will do to protect girls from terrorists. I wonder how many girls have been raped, murdered and forced into “marriage” for the sake of religious fundamentalism. I wonder what Boko Haram really is and who really is behind it. I wonder a lot of things.”

These are important questions which deserve answers especially what “Boko Haram really is” and what care the girls will get after they return. BBC’s explores some of the latter in this report. In the same vein, Wole Soyinka argues that Boko Haram is an offshoot of a political agenda set to keep the nation in perpetual unrest. Based on Soyinka’s argument, one could make the case for the Chibok girls as a political project. But, we can’t make solid conclusions till answers are provided.

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True, facts are hard to verify these days. Heavy information overflow, fast news, and the lack of media gatekeepers have paved the way for existence of fake news and alternative facts. Alternative facts gained wide coverage when America’s Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House aide, used the phrase “alternative facts” to defend Sean Spicer’s inaccurate inauguration report . Judging from her position, reality as presented by mainstream media is not what it really is.

Also, by avoiding the absurd professional practices of journalism, fake news becomes real journalism. No one can verify “what is useful, credible and important”. Amarnath Amarasingam states that the fact that some people get their news from various sources, fake news becomes the truth. People now turn to blogs, Facebook posts and tweets for news and strains the ethical framework of journalistic practices.

Despite these factors, events happen and deserve credible reportage. What should be held as the absolute truth presented by media? It’s imperative to answer these questions, before delving into how these factors affect the doubts that has wrapped the Chibok girls’ stories in Nigeria.

First, the Nigerian media failed to fulfil its role as the watchdog of the society. They are, sadly, the paid Pied Piper playing tunes as directed by their masters. And when the fourth estate fails on this level, it affects the credibility of reports presented to the audience. It’s not a new phenomenon. It’s what lead Ikhide to question Tobore’s human trafficking story.

Again, the absence of gatekeepers is problematic especially “in the world of twenty-four-hour news and constant streams of user-generated material, the effects of gaffes, blunders, or plain old poor decisions are much more difficult to control or contain.” To meet deadlines, most media houses churn out stories and draw hasty conclusions thereby mis-informing their consumers. And often, before clarification, a story could go viral which is impossible to backtrack and “very difficult to even control”. It’s the failure of leadership that allows digital media present news without media gatekeepers “who are considered influential as to their role in shaping the media agenda

The Chibok story went viral before questions were asked and after three years, Nigerians are more worried about the story behind the capture girls. Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri questions are potent enough to make Nigerians think deeply about the Chibok story. She asks:

“[Let’s]Find out the circumstances that led to their abduction? What made it possible for such high number of girls to suddenly enrol for WAEC exams in a region that historically has the highest record of out-of-school pupils and child brides? Who paid the WAEC fees? When? In what language was the exam written? Who ordered them to converge in a hostel? How were they abducted? Where were they taken to, at first? What kind of houses were they ‘kept in’? Private homes? Forests? Villages? How were they distributed across locations? What and who did they see during their confinement? How did they survive? How were they rescued?”

The pursuit of truth is hard where profits is the sole focus of most media houses. One is forced to conclude on inconclusive reports. Professor Moses Ochonu says it’s unscholarly to believe in conspiracy theories, but with various presentations of this story, I am beginning to smell something foul in the whole saga.

That said, I believe the girls were kidnapped but one wonders if they are victims of political schemes or, true hostages of an extremist groups.  Nigerian media has a major role to play in exposing religious zealotry, illicit political schemes and more importantly, in clearing doubts about happenings in the country. This may prevent a recurrence of the Chibok saga.

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Walking Through Covenant University’s Memories.

We’re a Covenant Generation

Pursuing excellence

Redeemed to reign

Learning to lead

We are bound by an oath

Obeying rules to rule

Making Kings of youth

Flying high on covenant wings

Wisdom’s call for change

Inspired on fire

With courage

Marching on in grace

God’s own arrow

Shot for glory.

The above words are from Covenant University’s anthem. Some students say them with false pride and tall doubts and others say them with strong conviction. For some, they wonder if they really want  “excellence” while others pondered on what it meant to fly on covenant wings.

Before I delve into my memory chest, permit me, dear reader, to remind you of Paul’s admonition in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Simply put, no human is perfect. Let these words be etched at the back of your mind as you take a walk with me down memory lane.

Luscious and well-manicured green grass spread its colours around the university, trees boasted of their healthy mix of yellow and brown leaves and various flowers greeted eyes with their radiance. Covenant University’s environs was a serene world, perhaps the only piece of land with tranquil characteristics in the notoriously chaotic Sango Ota. The buildings dazzled visitors and told tales of great lectures taking place inside of them.

Covenant University has indeed made “kings of youth”. I’m one of those kings. The university restructured my perspective towards life—from negative to positive—and some of the tenets still guide me today. I would touch on these learned principles later.

Early Years

Getting good university education in Nigeria is hard. After a short stint at University of Port Harcourt (a colossal waste of time), my father suggested Covenant University and thought that would be the best place to get a “good” university education in Nigeria.

Fortunately, I was admitted after going through their rigorous screening. Sometime in September/October, I started my academic sojourn in Covenant University where we were termed the second set.

I had heard, from students in the first set, about the fierceness of the pastors, the double standards of students’ spies and the generousness of some unholy teachers. Also, stories about a group of students who had tried to protest against the university’s authorities lived rent free in the air and, more importantly, stories about how they were silenced with expulsion were whispered in every corner of the university. No one wanted such fate. Like Charlie Marlow in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, I decided to be “loyal to the nightmare of my choice.” However, my loyalty didn’t serve me well most times.

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I had collected my matriculation gown and hat, ready for the next day’s matriculation and had begun to walk back to my hostel when someone tapped my back. I discovered it was a beautiful lady. Her cherub face was touched with red blush, her fairness shone bright under Ota’s sun and she rolled gum in her mouth like an expert. She stretched out her hand in greeting and I responded accordingly. Such confidence had the tendency to turn any man on. My mind thought of different things she wanted: maybe she wanted to ask where she could get her graduation gown; or she wanted to know something about the graduation day; perhaps, she just wanted to talk. In the middle of chewing her gum, she spelled out her name and told me with a strange American accent:

“Is there no where one could drink a bottle of cold lager around here?”

On hearing this, my blood raced into that sweet spot that instigates all negative actions. Dylan Thomas spoke about wise men knowing “dark is right” and his words became clear. I could have said no but this kind of boldness, this kind of sassiness, and this kind of all-up-in-your-face attitude I never expected to find in this space. Quickly, I pointed towards the big gate, we walked and talked about the school and other issues.

Outside the university, with my gown now safely tucked in her handbag, we boarded a taxi to the nearest joint. The bottles of lager were served and we drank it to stave off our thirst. As if water wouldn’t have done the trick. She laughed about the ludicrousness of the laws and described how pure survival mode was the only saving grace to save our kind.

After one hour, she ordered the third bottle, I wanted to refuse the offer but, it had been one week since the refreshing taste of lager washed the back of my throat. So, I relaxed and drank that bottle with the support of some pieces of suya.

We returned to school that evening and she presented my matriculation gown to me and reminded me that we had to try again the next day.

My dream of having another cold lager was squashed that evening. The holy nose of one member of the school’s Revolutionary Squad sniffed the booze on my body as I breezed past him. He stopped me. He came close, sniffed around my neck and ears, like a dog. He shook his head and asked for my name. I studied him for a minute and mentioned any name that came to mind. Again, he shook his head and told me to go and sin no more.

As an aside, let’s quickly put into perspective the functions of the above lords. The Revolutionary Squad is a bunch of sea pirates selected solely for the purpose of catching lawbreakers and ensuring that they dance to the full tune of the law. These ones are the protectors of the university and would do anything in their power to make sure that devils are expelled. They hover around the school like angels and shoot arrows of destruction on stubborn culprits. If Covenant University had hell, these ones would be the one who would escort you to hell’s gate. And, their members are usually proud of the job. One of such member comes to mind; his name is simply Ekpeyoung. The canard was that he was an old soldier, who put senselessness over his academic pursuit. No one knows if he ever graduated. What a waste!

Then you have the school’s secret service. These ones are the most dangerous of all. They are the snitches among students. They pretend to enjoy the vagaries of students’ desires but only go to report to members of students’ affairs about evil practices on campus. The problem with these ones is that one couldn’t really tell who they were; it could be your very close friend.

Those two groups contributed to the crashing of dreams and ending of academic sojourns of so many students.

After matriculation, we soon realised that there are levels to living on campus: mobile phones were not allowed, no jeans, no relationships and no missing of church. I’ve written here the top secrets for graduating from the school and I hope, seriously, it helps a student.

My confidence drained from that experience with the Revolutionary Squad member, who had saved me from expulsion by overlooking my human imperfections and giving me another chance.

There was no way to indulge in these excessive behaviours so one had to look for other distractions. I had told myself that it would be nice to have a few female friends and chat about anything apart from school work. Luck presented one but I killed the friendship with a singular text message . She avoided me for months. I went ahead to eliminate every chance to have female friends in mass communication and English classes because of my penchant of writing and passing crazy notes in class.

Plus, my bold friend who I met before matriculation day had decided to return to America. She couldn’t withstand the restrictions. I decided to focus on studies, therefore.

Teachers played a heavy role in adding to the memory. We had a fine literary scholar, he boasted about the number of books he had read and wrote articles about the evils in our society. His goatee was always fresh and he never wore ties like his colleagues. He lasted for two sessions or so before the authorities spat him out for breaking basic dress codes. I remember very good teachers who came and went and always cursed the day they stepped foot in that school.

One teacher would abuse the vice chancellor down to the dean of our college. We knew he would never last. One Friday morning, in his usual bubbly self, he said “awon alakori ti ni kin lo.” That’s all he said and we never saw him again. Teachers came and went; it was a norm.

However, some withstood the test of time because they were able to dance to the sweet tunes of the chancellor and deans. These ones abused students. One teacher told me “she would squeeze my balls” and other days she would describe students as “losers” and “failures”. Psychologically, she wrecked many students. The fear of this lecturer would later make one student beat a drum to shreds during one drama rehearsal. While the student wanted to be on the lecturer’s good side, she still used the opportunity to vent her anger. It’s good to be loved by the teachers as they would be considerate with their marks but going against their wishes usually lead to failure.

Another lecturer, with her American plus British accents, once drove me out of the human development class. She had told me to shave some strands of hair gaining space on my jaw some days before that class, but I had spent my money on other important things. On seeing me on that day, she concluded that I was devilishly rude and banned me from attending three subsequent classes. She also told me to write apology letters to the department and other unknown individuals.

The teacher-student relationship was a strange one. I know lecturers were expelled too for trying to make their way into pants of some female students too.

But, then again, remember romans 3:23

IT IS WELL AND OTHER SOCIAL ABSURDITIES

Covenant University is wrapped around biblical and motivational sayings. However, “it is well” stood out. If you had a toothache plus headache and backache on the same day, a friend was in his right senses to tell you “it is well.”

I realised this the hard way. I had been nominated to represent the handball team for my college. One day, as we played in the inter-college spots, I landed wrongly and sprained my left ankle. The philosophy lecturer at that time, Nwogu, screamed, “It is well.” As if the singular pronunciation of those words would stop the excruciating pain. Even after doctors conformed that I had sprained the ankle dangerously, everyone who visited me rubbed those words on my wound.

The words are used in academic space too. There was a pastor in mass communication who thought prayers would replace hard work. In every prayer meeting, he prayed as if God would drop answers into his head. However, when the results for a particular test came out, he failed. He claimed that everything was well.

That “well” was a delusional space, where one could swim in when things are not going as planned. Any student, teacher or preacher could jump into the space to blur the edges of reality. And most people, who knew how to use it, used it well. These illusions fed into our social coexistence on campus.

Students sought new ways of doing things. Since they couldn’t mix with other sexes, they applied for weekend exeats in generous numbers. Many students used this as an avenue to explore other options of social life. All around Ota, Lagos and far and wide, students of Covenant University were known for their ability to spend huge sums of money on having fun. Our appreciation were sung in unmentionable places but when we returned to school we quickly cursed the demons that pushed some of us into those dark corners.

The restrained life we had led introduced students to improvised way of completing their physical desires too. Once, it was rumoured that a couple of queens, as they were called, were found with different dildos. Those queens.

And, of course, in boys’ hostels, there were telling marks on the slippery floors of the bathroom. No one knew why some boys spent about one hour in the shower.

Every dark corner was used diligently especially when there was any interruption in power. The gap between the cafeteria and that female halls was the scene for quick fingers to feel the succulence of royal breasts and for lips to quickly wipe away the oils of lip-glosses.

The restrained life led students to form all sorts of groups. A six-foot guy comes to mind here. He was very athletic, loved to play basketball and carried himself like a champion. No one knew he had ties with a dangerous group in his former university. He decided to form an extension in Covenant University but his plans didn’t work. He was hurled out with his cohorts.

Almost immediately after the expulsion of that group above, another thirty-two students were poured out of the university. They had attended a party where a covenant university student was stabbed in the head. For being in the picture, their future was punctured.

When rules are not obeyed in this place it leads to ruins. Parents know this and students know this too. So, it’s therefore shocking to see that some parents attempting to sue the university for suspending their children. Logically speaking, no one is above the university’s law.

These are the disadvantages of constricting adults to a regimen, to a particular way of doing things and to a particular way of reasoning. They bring a side that is strange to the outside world and present hellish characteristics in unbelievable proportions. But then again, as we are always reminded, “you applied to the school; the school never applied to you.”

GOOD SIDES OF HEAVEN

Amidst these long stretches of sad tales about the university, there are good sides one must remember. I see my self as the university now. Disciplined, focused and dedicated to achieving tall goals. These features I don’t think I would have got from another university.

In my second year, when I was struggling with CGPA, I read a green book by one of the pastors in the school and it changed me. It was in that university that I developed my reading habits, which would later open many doors for me.

In that same space, I gained friends that have inspired me to pursue goals that I would naturally shy away from.

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At the end, a Covenant University graduate is expected to be “mentally resourceful” and “visionary”. I think many eagles are these and many more. “They are”, to borrow the chancellor’s words, “blazing the trail” in their respective fields.

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How Recycled Leaders Affect Nigeria’s Development

 

As far as sustainable business development and creating safer environments in the future, recycling plays a huge role. David Rainey says, “Integrating reuse and recycling in the value network is an important step in achieving environmentally and economically sound practices.” Rainey in is his work highlights how recycling could benefit industries and companies. Yet, he warns that recycling reduces the inflow of new catalysts. Reusing old products, in other words, would never spark new products.

With the aforementioned point at hand, one can argue that reusing old leaders in Nigeria would never birth new leaders with fresh ideas. It is futile, therefore, when we expect change from recycled leaders. Nigeria is a typical example of Rainey’s warning.

Nigerians, it seems, don’t seek new leaders, they want what they know and will try the same material even if it has been used and battered by time and other factors. A quick rundown of leaders in the fourth republic reveals Nigerian’s penchant for clinging to the old.

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In 1999, after a general election that was replete with sleaze, the former general and former military president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo rolled into the democratic presidential seat. Nigerians expected that the leopard’s spot should have been removed with the showers of democracy. They discovered too soon that a wild animal in the past remains wild even after been domesticated by titular dispositions like “democratic president”. Sat Obiyan and Kunle Amuwo described Obasanjo’s regime as “anti-intellectual” and worse than Abacha’s regime. They also argued that Obasanjo used the opportunity to “insult, harass and denigrate” Nigerian academics and his enemies.

Like a general, he came with an agenda to wipe away his enemies. To do it democratically, he invented a pet project, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and then placed a rabid dog in charge, to pursue his enemies. The dog’s name was Nuhu Ribadu. Frisky Larr argues that Ribadu was used to “prosecute the president’s enemies”. Of course, the dog over looked the master’s corrupt practices.

One must add that recycled leaders are often shortsighted because they have personal missions. They come to a position with old ways of doing things and this often leaves an indelible mark on new leaders.

As such, when Goodluck Ebele Jonathan stumbled on the seat of leadership, he thought the space was for self-gratification. He proceeded to emptying the country’s coffers.

Ask any Nigerian what they would do when if they stumbled into office and they would probably say: “I would steal and work.” That was what Jonathan attempted to do but he placed one over the other and couldn’t tell the difference between stealing and corruption. Jonathan and his cronies almost licked the oil dry which drove Nigerians crazy.

Frustrated, Nigerians quickly ran to their recycle bin and, in there, they found a 1983 general. They decided to reuse it. However, they forgot to measure the cost of recycling. Again, as Rainey warns, his presence reduced the inflow of fresh ideas. It is such archaic mentality that made him say his wife belongs “to the other room”, made him treat the Fulani herdsmen crisis with levity and focus solely on elimination of corruption. Again, as seen in Obasanjo’s era, there are no long-term plans. Not one policy or action has been activated towards the development of education, health and social welfare of Nigerians. It’s obvious that no tangible or intangible sustenance or substantial positive results comes from existing or newly changed systems that clings on leadership styles of battered, tired and old leaders. It’s simply engaging in a journey in circles.

Nations that move onto new heights and achieve goals have young leaders who serve with strength and maintain clear heads to make good decisions. For example, Canada’s Justin Trudeau is forty-five years old and his policies and actions present a path to creating a better country and put his country before himself. This is not to say presidents must be young to lead, it’s to say that citizens must elect fresh leaders. Going into the past to search for a leader is expensive and would not add anything to the economic and social well being of any nation.

Nigerians need to search for leaders who have a long-term agenda, a fresh leader who is free from the stranglehold of godfathers and a leader who believes that the people’s welfare is more important than vendettas and personal riches. Change comes from leaving behind who and what we were, but redefining who and what we should be.

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No Jollof for You…

Imagine this…Imagine attending a Nigerian party and the host says:

“No jollof for you.”

How would you react? One of the following would be your response:

“Iro, ko possible!”

“Tufia! Which kind nonsense be that?”

If you want to be polite, you could say:

“Bring wetin dey, I go manage am.”

Ain’t no Nigerian party, without jollof.

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Jollof rice presents, with its firewood sensation, tomato sauces and spices, a compendium of emotions, a conduit for steamy camaraderie and sparks conversations that pounded yam and egusi or eba and okro soup wouldn’t  dare to produce. Everyone knows this. Even foreigners.

So, it’s not a surprise to see CNN’s Richard Quest start his recent assignment to Lagos by tasting Nigerian jollof. Venue was Terra Kulture. Jollof served. And, after placing seven grains of rice in his mouth, he quipped in his typical kolo fashion:

“It’s just rice.”

To which someone replied:

“Your father yansh. It’s just rice ke?”

Or, maybe not.

Quest’s response is what can make a host say: “No jollof for you.” There might be another reason he described it as “just rice”. E fit be say the food no sweet. I mean who goes to the posh side of town to enjoy jollof. Someone should take him to White House, Yaba or somewhere around Obalende under bridge to taste jollof rice. I bet he’d NEVER say such nonsense. Nonsense.

His jollof research re-opened the #jollofwars. Questions arose about who made the best jollof: Ghanians or Nigerians. The people took to twitter again to report to him who made the best jollof. Comman see fight on twitter. It was funny to watch. Oyibo people can turn black people head sha. I’m sure Quest must be laughing at our idleness.

The matter escalated when he asked Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who made the best jollof rice and oga minister said: 

“Senegal.”

Senegal loun-loun!

Twitter went on fire again. All kind of abuse were poured on minister. Shet men, it was too much.

Quest quickly, like a referee, defended the minister. Saying blah-blah-blah. Quest, Nigerians can’t blame you jere. You’ve come to do your work for your company. Oya, do it and comman go to Amrika. Please. And next time, no jollof for you! Shior!

 

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