Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prayer of a 419er

We all know the disservice 419ers/yahoo yahoo boys have done to Nigeria's reputation worldwide. Personally, I'm surprised that people are still falling prey to their tactics after years of publicity and warnings about them. I've received emails from yahoo guys before, and when I read them, the English is bad and the story doesn't seem believable to anyone with common sense. You've got to be a real mumu or just a greedy son of a gun to fall for them. But did you know some of these yahoo guys call on the Lord to help them in their schemes?

I'm not kidding.

I was talking to my cousin last week and he described a scene that he encountered when he went to use a computer in a cafe. It was early one morning in Lagos, and he went to the cafe to use the computer and print one important document from his email. He saw a group of about 4 men in their 40s and 50s gathered around a single computer. One of the men then lifted a prayer. "Oluwa thank you for a new day. Please bless our endeavors today with good things to smile to. May today never be  waste in Jesus name." Amen!" the other three answered.

My mouth literally dropped open when my cousin told me this eye-witness account. Like seriously, these men get boldness pass. How you go take open mouth, pray, make God help una commit crime? Truly mind-blowing. I was also surprised at the age of these 419ers. I guess in my mind, I always pictured them to be computer-savvy young guys, but that's not always the case, my cousin told me.

So this is what Nigeria's highly-religious culture has produced: people who are so God-conscious that even in their stealing, they must acknowledge God. I shouldn't be shocked though. It's the same as politicians or armed robbers giving God the glory for blessing them, doing the big man dance in line to give offering in church.

Nothing wey you no go see for this life.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tuface Idibia live in Detroit

  Last night I got to see the amazingly talented and award-winning Tuface Idibia live in concert in Detroit! It was an awesome and rare show, because big Naija artists rarely come to Detroit. Kudos to Club Nationale for bringing him.


 Tuface opened up with his song One Love and kept it flowing from there. He of course performed a special rendition of African Queen, along with If Love Is A Crime, See Me So, Only Me, and other of his hits.

One thing I really enjoyed about Tuface's performance was his storytelling and how he related to the crowd. Definitely a seasoned performer.

My major annoyance of the night was that the show started two hours late courtesy of African time. Then the organizers wanted to kill us with opening acts performing for two hours. Chei! Each performer was doing between two and four songs. Show wey suppose start by 9 started by 11, and before Tuface enter stay, time reach almost 1 a.m. We don suffa o! But it was worth it in the end :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


The status of university students in Nigeria has become so bad that students, both male and female, now prostitute themselves to pay their school fees. Just look at one such solicitation that I got in my Facebook inbox last month:
"Hello lady, my name is___________ , I am a loving and caring young guy looking for every means to survive and complete my university education. I need ur assistance if u can help me out. And if a reward or appreciation is needed, I can also be available to be ur SUGAR BOY, as dats the major process by which fellow students in the same condition like me go through to survive( after all medical test has been carried out to see that am healthy and fit). If you are willing to help me free-mindedly or wit a reward, pls reply my message of you reach me on _______________.  I am willing to do anything you will want me to do. Awaiting your reply my lady"

To which I have absolutely no response. I dey pray for these kids, because even though life is hard, there is a better way. Why not sell plantain or other goods to pay school fees? It's the pride of life that makes people forget that we human beings are not immortal. One little virus called HIV, and that could be the the beginning of the end of a young life. Wisdom is better than silver and gold. And a word is enough for the wise. What say you?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Michelle Williams sings Nigerian Praise Song with Beyonce and Kelly Rowland

Beyonce, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland
From The Yolanda Adams Morning Show

Michelle Williams is using a Nigerian praise song to bring about a comeback of sorts, including her former Destiny's Child group members, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland. In "Say Yes" the songbirds sing our familiar Naija priase tune  "When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no," a vibrant crowd dances African and African-inspired moves. I'm impressed, actually.

According to an interview I heard live on the Yolanda Adams Show this morning, Michelle's Nigerian producer introduced the song to her at the end of her album recording sessions and she loved it and decided to record it. See the influence us Naija get all over the world. And now they will help to popularize Nigerian music in the U.S. I hope this will break the door open for the great artists we have in Nigeria to be recognized in the US.

Enough talking... watch the video!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Soundtrack of my trip to Naija

On a lighter note, it's no secret that I love Naija music: it's versatile; it's unique; it's downright awesome! I'm of the opinion that the majority of the music made in the United States these days (pop/hip hop genres) are complete and utter nonsense. I don't know if it's Illuminati or whatever, but It's truly shameful that people actually sit down, produce it, and release it to the public, and the public embraces it -_-.  When I'm in my car, I very rarely listen to the radio. Its CDs all the way for me: Naija tunes, whether Afrobeat or gospel; for American music, it's old R&B, soul, gospel, and other sensible, wholesome music.

But  when I was in Naija, I got to feast on a lot of good music I hadn't heard before. Whether at my cousin's house or at a fast food restaurant, I was able to see music videos for the latest Naija songs (which I think it's pretty cool that fast food restaurants all have TVs tuned into music video stations, by the way). One of the songs I heard often, and really came to love was Aye by Davido. It has such a catchy beat, and lovely video concept; refreshing and original. I definitely found myself singing this to myself over and over once I got back. "She no want designer. She no want Ferrari. She say na my love oh. You belong to me and I belong to her oh. My baby, you go killi somebody... "  :)

Another song I heard a lot of was Rainbow by 2Face featuring T-Pain. What's T-Pain doing in Naija? Making music with the best, and going dred-less I guess :) It's good to see our Naija superstars gaining credibility with U.S. artists. "Ever since I left you... I've been to hell and I'm back, and now baby I, I wanna give you all my body and soul..." Ehn, so you no know before. You have to go to hell and back to know what she's worth.... See your life.... Mcheeeeewwwww.. Let's just hope she takes you back, for your sake.... LOL!!!!

And of course I can't forget Eminado by Tiwa Savage featuring Don Jazzy. With the way they repeat, "Eminado, eminado" in that song, I finally asked one of my cousins what they were saying. She told me they were saying "Emerald o, emerald o." I laughed, skeptically. Her daughter's name is Emerald, so that's the source of her analysis. I don't know whether she was trying confuse/play with me, or if she really believed it herself, but I found it quite amusing.

I'm sure there's plenty of new stuff out in the Naija airwaves by now... it's already a whole THREE months since my visit!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Can a Naija American Girl cope with a Nigerian Husband?


It goes without saying that the innocent school girls who were kidnapped over two weeks ago by Boko Haram in Nigeria are in my thoughts and prayers. It makes me sad and angry when I think of what's probably happening to those poor girls. I have sisters that age, and I'm ready to kill for any of them. I try not to get too deep in thought, but rather lift them in my prayers daily. I encourage everyone out there, more than posting #bringbackourgirls on social media outlets, pray for their safe delivery back to their families and for the Nigerian government to really get serious about the safety and security of its citizens. There needs to be an all out war declared on Boko Haram, end of story.

On to the title, and topic of my blog today: Can a Naija American girl cope with a Nigerian husband? It's a question that I've been asking myself seriously since coming back from Nigeria, and I'm really beginning to think that for me, the answer is no. Or it seriously, seriously depends on the man and his temperament. Being an educated, financially independent woman, I've come to value my independence and upward mobility, and I'm not ready to give that  up 100 percent, nor will I ever be. This is in direct opposition to the state of the average woman in Nigeria. Not to say that there are not plenty of independent and upwardly mobile women in Nigeria, but let's be honest. For many women in Nigeria, life consists of getting married, and then siddon for house dey born pikin, and nothing else... Moving on.

A few years ago, I did a post on the prevalence of nursing as a career choice for Nigerian women here in the United States. I coined a term which I call "Nigerian Nursing Syndrome" or "NNS". There's nothing wrong with being a nurse, that's for sure. But I came across an article about horrible things that are happening to Nigerian nurses all across the county. In an article titled An Epidemic: Nigerian Men Killing Their Nurse Wives In The US by Abiodun Ladepo, the author gives several cases of Nigerian men murdering their wives because she started making more money than him once she became a nurse and he could no longer control her. Some of them felt their wives disrespected them by not allowing him to control all of her money. Granted, the husband is still due a level of respect, no matter how much or how little money he makes; however, murder is in no case acceptable.

I'm wondering, in my analytical mind, what constitutes disrespect in the mind of a born and bred Nigerian man. Is it refusing to allow him to control every penny that comes into the household? Is it the liberty that comes with not having to ask your husband for money anymore? I can understand the frustration that can come when, after bringing your wife to the U.S. and supporting her through school, she then gets a job as a nurse and then totally disregards and disrespects him because now she's got her own money. But see the wahala wey the man don start in the first place. He went to Naija to pick a meek and mild woman that he will send to nursing school and then use as a cash cow when she finishes, but his plans backfired. Who's to blame? Hmmmm....

I am in no way saying that all Nigerian men are like this. In fact,  the men in my family are good, caring, and responsible men who would never even think it in their minds to do such wicked things to anyone, let alone their own wives. And to be honest, brutality against women is something that unfortunately, is all too common around the world, even in the United States.

So, can this Naija American girl cope with a Nigerian husband? The answer is, it remains to be seen. Whoever my and wherever my husband is, whether Nigerian or not, he's definitely going to be the type of man who is comfortable with a smart and successful lady, cause that's just who I am and strive to continue to be. Nigerian guys born in the U.S. like me have no problem with this, which leads me to believe that one of these might be a better fit for me, but hey, who knows? Still love my Naija guys though... no vex ;)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Naija American Girl Goes to Nigeria!

My last trip to Nigeria was 20 years ago!

After years of earnest desire, I finally got to go to Nigeria, and boy, was it a trip!  I was in Naija for the last two weeks of February and my trip was quite jam packed with all sorts of experiences. I spent the first week in Lagos before flying to Owerri, where my cousins picked me up and took me to our village in Isiala Ngwa in Abia State; from Isiala Ngwa I went to Umuahia, then back to Isiala Ngwa; when I left Isiala Ngwa for good, I went to Port Harcourt, was there for a day before going to Aba. I spent a night in Aba, then was off to Owerri to catch my flight back to Lagos and finish my trip there. Visiting, visiting, visiting was the name of the game. In all of that running around I saw the good, the bad, the ugly, the very ugly, the crazy, the ludicrous, the hilarious, and the strange. But my trip was a priceless experience that I am very glad to have, with the absolute best part being that I was able to see my family there.

I was able to meet family members I didn't really know before and see those that I've been communicating with for a long time. I heard all sorts of family stories and was able to share the things that happening on my side.
Highway sweeper on the Third Mainland Bridge
One thing I can say is transport.... Chineke meee! I am not used to having to board so many different methods of transport to get somewhere, but when in Rome... um, should I say, when in Naija, do wetin Naija dem dey do. Lol. So I rode everything from keke, danfo (bus), and the dreded okada (motorcycle) since that was what the people. A few times I was chanced to ride a taxi, which is usually a less hectic experience. That is, except if the taxi you are taking breaks down on the bridge from Lagos mainland to Victoria Island, the Third Mainland Bridge. That is exactly what happened on my fourth day in Naija.

Our taxi broke down on the bridge!
 When the taxi broke down, my first thought was, "What kind of thing is this?" It was during the morning rush hour, so the bridge was packed speeding cars, until the volume reached the point of a go slow (traffic jam). After getting over the initial annoyance, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take pictures and remember the experience. As I think back on my trip, it was definitely one of the most memorable things that happened. When I think back on it, all I can do is laugh. I must have told the story a dozen times already. :) We got rescued from our dangerous position on the bridge by a passing tow truck who hitched us to the back and towed us to one of the side exits of the bridge where we were able to catch another taxi to reach Victoria Island. Once on VI, I was able so see some lovely sights.

Mike Adenuga building on VI
With my smallest cousins (Mom's side)
One thing I gathered from my trip is that Lagos is definitely what I would call an overcrowded city. If I was to live in Nigeria, it definitely wouldn't be my first choice, lie lie. I kind of like Umuahia, from what I saw.

While I was in Nigeria I was able to get my hair braided and two outfits tailor made, items on my must do list.

All in all, my trip to Nigeria was a successful one. I'll be back soon with a post on the funniest things I observed while in Naija.

Click here to see all the pictures from  my trip.

My cousins and me :) (Dad's side)