Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 Countdown Numero Uno

The year is almost over! Yipeee! 2013 has been a WONDERFUL year for me, I don't even know where to start. I apologize for the long absence, I actually had alot to write but never got around to putting the words down. Now if only someone could invent a device that wirelessly transcribes our thoughts into words, life would be so easy...A few items have been on my mind lately, so I'll just ramble a bit...

This year I read quite a number of books by Nigerian/African authors and it rekindled the fire and passion I once had for anything African. I have to admit that our Nigerian authors are very gifted and deserve alot of commendation. "Americannah" by Chimamanda was nice, it felt like she was writing her story because I could identify with the protagonist (life as an international student). Other authors that caught my eye include Seyi Atta (Swallow/Everything Good will come), Adaobi Nwabuani ( I do not come to you by chance), E.C. Osondu (BBC), Chika Unigwe (On Black Sister's street), but to mention a few. The Naijastories website is also a brilliant concept, there seems to be a rejuvenation of the reading culture and that is a fantastic trend. I still recall reading Wole Soyinka's "Ake" many years ago, still remains one of the best books I've ever read. So in 2014, try to make out a little time and read a few african/nigerian books, you'll be surprised. My new plan for 2014 is to 'sample' a few Nollywood movies, I have to admit (ashamed) that I've always been a big Nollywood critic/basher. I have watched just 2 Nigerian movies in the past 10 years (shame dey catch me) and thanks to Myne Whitman and my rediscovered patriotism, I've decided to support rather than criticize. My first project will be to watch "The Meeting" by Rita Dominic, the trailers look appetizing.

On a more serious note, the current crisis in South Sudan and Central African Republic is depressing. I honestly don't know the root of Africa's problems. I read a few history books about the colonialization of Africa by Europe between the mid 1800s and 1900s, and it was eye opening. In an indirect way, we can trace the roots of all our problems back to those days. Maybe we would have remained content as separate tribes, with our unique and individual traditions, but the truth is that modernization or westernization was and still is inevitable. There is this great divide in African nations, along religious and tribal lines that inevitably builds cracks and craters along economic and political lines. The troublesome trend is that when the angst rears its head in the political and economic sphere, the tribal and religious angle suffers the backlash. During the days of racial tensions in the West, there was this misguided interpretation of the privilege of 'skin color', a tangible differentiator that a bunch of fanatics jumped on, magnified and manipulated into maltreating a whole race. But when I look at African countries torn apart by wars and periodic genocide, I can't place a finger on a tangible reason for neighbors to fight except for the sole fact that neighbors are meant to be separated by walls and boundaries, not forced to be subject to one authority. "The problem with Africa is..." you can fill the blank, it is a sad situation.

Life as a married man has been wonderful. I am a 'modern man' which roughly translates to: I'm not the conventional guy, I believe marriage is a partnership and a journey that 2 friends should enjoy, with both parties willing to make sacrifices, the ultimate of which is love. I am not a fan of feminism, neither do I subscribe to patriarchy, I simply believe in love and equality. I've learnt alot from being married and it has made me a better man. Sometimes I get upset when I read or hear about people's (Nigerians and Africans in general) attitude to marriage or being single. We truly need a 'reorientation', a redefinition of our supposed culture, which people throw up in arguments. I don't know about you, but culture is supposed to adapt to people, not people to culture. I want a world where a girl/boy will be free to decide if/when/who, he/she wants to marry without pressure from society, a society where men and women would look beyond gender and treat everyone with EQUAL respect, that is my hope for the future.

Before I sign off, if you are not a fan of Breaking Bad, I highly recommend that you watch the series. It was one of the best shows ever written (in my humble biased opinion). As for Scandal, I don dey tire for Olivia Pope. I'm looking forward to "The Walking Dead" in 2014 though, beautiful but sad...

I'll possibly go on a blogging spree and write post for each day left till the year is over, lol. Anyway, we have just  4 days to go, let's take time out count our blessings, reflect on the year and start prepping for 2014...May our hustle never knock engine!

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