Sunday, February 25, 2007

We are the World!

I watch, have been watching with keen interest the events all culminating in the general elections in April in Nigeria. Really, it all looks like a drama or movie script. Old men who ought to sit back and hand over their 'good work' to the generation behind them are struggling and killing themselves over this 'national cake' that they have been eating and choking on for God knows how long ago.

And we, we, what have we been doing? Looking at them, watching them perform all their stunts now. Let them help sanitize the top, and exit it however they want to do it. We the youth are waiting, patiently, bidding our time and watching for the right time to launch into the mainstream.

Fearlessly we wait and watch, bravely we prepare and honestly we gird ourselves, ready to serve! We are the world!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

St. Valentine

This is really late. It should have been posted on Wednesday but it's okay sha. I want to share this story with you. Ii is St. Valentine's own story as told by him. Enjoy it.

St. Valentine's Story

Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support that law!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favorite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nollywood? Hollywood?

Tonight, I was talking with a new acquaintance and we dwelt majorly on Nollywood in comparison to Hollywood and Bollywood and I was disheartened at the way the guy talked. He blamed the 'poor' quality of Nollywood films on different people. First he said it was the producers, then the script writers, then the viewers themselves and finally the government or leadership as he put it.

Wait na, why is it that we always blame other people when problems arise? WHy don't we look inwards? Why must someone or some institution always be responsible for our problems? This person in question watches more of Hollywood to Nollywood o and he complains about an industry he's lost touch with o. When will we begin to see the Nigerian situation as ours? By the way, this fellow says he believes in the New Nigeria, yet he stocks Hollywood films. I'm not against Hollywood but when someone praises it above Nollywood, a Nigerian for that matter, it touches my Nigerian heart.

Whether in politics, entertainment, religion, sports, whatever...let us all as Nigerians take respponsibility for our shortcomings and together lift up our country. Her success is our success and her failure is our failure.

Arise O compatriots!