Sleepless in Nigeria

Ali Baba and the 40 winks

The stress levels in Nigeria can reach alarming levels. In no other nation on earth, could you experience the joys and frustrations of living at the same time. You could be stuck in gridlocked traffic, look out of your car window and see an act that would make you smile or cry – like complete strangers helping a driver to jump-start a faulty car.  

We deal with so much in a typical day – traffic scrambles, work, business hustles, power outages etc etc. Insomnia, while it is a word that most may have heard about, is not something that you would ascribe to the typical Nigerian.

Here, it is presumed that once you have a roof over your head and can afford a decent Mouka or Vitafoam ‘mattrass’, then you should be able to catch 40 winks. If you  buy and lay a bed,  then you should lie on it and shut your eyes.  Only ‘winches’ and ‘armed robbers’ stay awake at night. Okay, noodles/mai-shy (fried egg) sellers do too, especially in the Obalende and Ojuelegba areas. In Naija, we also used to have ‘night-soil men’ who packed faeces from homes for a fee in a huge bucket, but ‘soak-away’ (septic tank) people have replaced them in most urban areas. Those night-soil men used to operate in the dead of the night because their job was really gross. Heaven help you, if you laughed or snickered at them, as they carried their load in a huge pan on their head. They would usually send a few your way.

However, I find myself up nowadays, sleepless and anxious, starring at the roof tiles and the swoosh of my Binatone ceiling fan. There are many things that would keep someone awake on a hot Nigerian night. There are many; please share yours:

  • Baygon and Shelltox defying mosquitoes singing in my ear and biting lumps out of me – I can’t go to sleep.
  • Noisy inconsiderate neighbors having an Owambe party on the street, with Ayefele music blasting from huge speakers – I can’t go to sleep
  • ‘Man Shall Not Live By Bread’ Ministries holding a ‘By Fire, By Thunder’ revival vigil next door – I can’t go to sleep
  • Armed robbers sent my street residents a notice to keep our valuables and cash ready as they are coming to make their rounds this week – I can’t go to sleep
  • Armed robbers make good on their promise, and are now operating and collecting the rent and other monies in our Landlord’s ground floor apartment right now – I can’t go to sleep
  • The sound of the exchange of gunfire in the distance, between OPC agents and robbers is just like a scene from Rambo 2 – I nor fit sleep o.
  • Our transformer blew up and has not be functional for 2 months now, so I am in pitch darkness, and starting to make out gruesome figures in the dark – how I go fit sleep?
  • The loud clank and stutter of my neighbour’s ‘Pure Water’ plant as he produces sachets for sale day and night in a room in his flat, in defiance of NAFDAC – I can’t go to sleep.
  • Free Glo midnight calls from cheapskate dates who would never spend a penny – I can’t go to sleep
  • Writhing from side to side, thinking of elaborate schemes to come up with the cash to pay 2 years rent even though my salary is only paid  monthly – I can’t go to sleep
  • Staying awake to check my window every now and again because the mai-guard sleeps on duty instead of doing his job – I can’t go to sleep
  • Remembering the deaths of the brave NYSC corpers murdered in cold blood last week, and those of them still stuck behind enemy lines – I can’t sleep at all
  • The roar and fumes of my neighbour’s ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generator from just outside my window despite the fact we agreed that he should install a silencer – I can’t go to sleep
  • The groans and moans coming from Mr. Okafor’s window as he loads his wife again for the umpteenth time this night, even though the number of children they have are almost a complete football team – I can’t go to sleep.
  • The putrid smell of fried fish mixed with the bad ooze of stagnant gutter coming from the opposite “Face Me, I Face You’ building – I can’t go to sleep
  • Etisalat sending uncountable ‘balance reminder’ or ‘marketing information’ SMS messages at all hours of the day – I can’t go to sleep.
  • I did the 0-1-0 diet plan today because I was too broke to afford foodstuffs – I can’t go to sleep
  • They have laid off most of the workers in my department, except the Boss’s girlfriend and people from his village; I may be next – I can’t go to sleep

A Letter To Our President (And His Wife Too)


Dear Mr. President, tell me what to do

In a 1999 Nollywood movie, which name I cannot remember now, the opening credits featured a song that struck a chord with me and which I never forgot to this day. The first line of the lyrics went “Oga Obasanjo, when you reach Aso Rock….”

It was basically an appeal song by a tortured but hopeful soul in touching pidgin English, to the then newly elected President, OBJ, asking him not to forget the masses when he assumed office, and further outlining measures he should take to improve the socio-economic situation of our dear country.

If only the singer of that song knew how good we got it then relatively; OBJ went to Aso Rock, and nearly transformed it into Olumo Rock, choosing to make a fortress out of the presidential villa by seeking a 3rd term. He was later banished to his chicken farm thankfully.

More than ten years later we are still singing the same tune.  Now we are belting it out, while using spoons to create a beat on our empty plates, in NEPA induced pitch darkness, cowering from religious bigotry, kidnapping and a the new threats of bomb attacks.

Any Nigerian on the street could outline what areas of the country need our new President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s urgent attention – power generation, security, job creation, the Niger Delta question etc. History has taught me that when we clamor for certain things from our government in Nigeria, we get something radically different.

As for me, I believe that everything we require the government to take action on can be summarized in 3 simple words – Bread, peace and freedom. By bread, I mean food on every Nigerian lunch table and the development of agriculture. Peace refers to the Delta militancy, the rise of religious bigotry, kidnapping and the breakdown of law and order. By freedom, I am talking about socio-economic emancipation, a truly laissez faire economy with state and individual rights so that businesses can boom, and entrepreneurship and private enterprise is encouraged. My own list below touches the little things, the economists, the opposition, social critics, government watchdogs and political lobbyists fail to pick up on.

I have decided, like any long suffering Nigerian citizen to voice my grievance and draw up a list of things that GEJ must take care of during his 2nd stint in power. I have decided to draft a letter to the president, and copy his wife Ms Jonathan. We too, need shelter from the rain under the national umbrella. Maybe my list is better off under my pillow, with my broken tooth, as I wait for the tooth fairy.

  1. The government should provide free milk to young kids at school.  I grew up a Samco and Ribena baby in the 80s, and this has shown in my orobo build today. The situation has changed as Nigeria tethers on the brink. I was in the east some years back, and witnessed a toddler in being fed unapologetic akpu (fufu) for breakfast! He also had that for lunch/dinner as well. Sadly as a result, he never grew taller than M.I. as he is in his teens now.


2.       Aso Rock should be reconstructed so that at least it should be accessible to the public, at least for viewing. Pardon the use of irony, but Aso Rock should not be more than a stone’s throw from the main street in which it     is  located on in Asokoro. Government should be visible to the common man, and every Nigerian should be able to point physically at the apex seat of the executive arm of Government; Martin Luther King once staged a March On Washington, all the way to the White House. We should be able to match on Aso for peaceful demonstrations. We would also like to have excursion trips for kids to Aso Rock. Heck, we could even have a hit TV series based on Aso Rock, like The West Wing was for the White House. We could call it the North Wing, or the South-South Wing. And Jim Iyke would play the president – I know he would love that. Now if only we could just see the damn place!

3.   The ingredients and nutritional content of all food products made and sold in Nigerian should be listed on the product wrapper itself.  Yes that includes pure water sachets. Though I fear that I may not like what I may find –      H2O, dirt, particles, the worker in the pure water plant’s hair, salmonella, everything – 200 calories. On the flip side, you may not really want to know what animal some of the suya you eat is from. Ignorance may be bliss sometimes.

4.  Do something urgent about potholes, road infrastructure, flooding of rivers and over flow of lakes and erosion problem in many parts of the country. By the way Mr. President, could you build a 2nd Niger Bridge across Asaba and Onitsha? When I was a kid, taking road trips to our home-town in the east during Xmas in our family car,  whenever we crossed the Niger Bridge, I and my siblings used to recite the names of all the major rivers in Africa, in a famous kids song at the time “Nile, Niger, Benue, Congo, Orange Limpopo, Zambezi.’

Now I could just imagine that if I took kids of today, and they decided to do the same they would sing clueless about the bodies of water  ‘Lagos canal, flood behind my house in Lekki, lagoon near National Theatre…’

5.   Ban NYSC or revamp the youth service program. The sad deaths of youth corpers lynched during the recent elections should be the final nail on the coffin of this monolithic program. NYSC does have some merits though but it should be about security of life first. During service, I saw some of the worst examples of corruption, ‘tribalism’ and nepotism in our dear nation.

First of all, the leader of our platoon misappropriated the bulk of platoon money in his care on beer and cigarettes at Mammy Market.  Then just before the bonfire night, the Yoruba and Ibo girls in another platoon fought about who should cook the rice given by the Commandant and Zonal Inspector to each platoon to celebrate the bonfire night.  The Ibo girls spitefully said that they do not want ‘ofe mmanu’ (oil stew), as a racial slur towards the Yoruba girls. The Yoruba girls retorted that the Ibo girls would cook mass-production ‘rice pottage’, as Ibos normally do. The boys in the platoon intervened, and so all the girls decided to prepare the meal together.  I am sure you have heard the saying that too many cooks spoil the broth – these ones murdered it. The outcome was mass production rice pottage floating in a sea of oil. Corpers still chopped it sha.

In its place, a program should be created where youths who graduate have the option of working on huge Federal funded modernized plantations and dairy farms growing food and cash crops. Here, we can solve the unemployment and food problem in one fell swoop.

The government should keep the NYSC anthem, by the way. I loved that song – ‘Youths obey the clarion call, let us lift our nation high…..’ *Sing with me*

6.  Abeg Sir GEJ, create a Social Benefit plan for older people in this nation. My grandmother until recently when age overwhelmed her at almost 90, had to fry and sell groundnut in the village to supplement her income. We her grand-kids do chip in as well, sending her favorite crates of Guinness Stout and provisions to her in the village. She is of the opinion that very bitter things absolutely prevent diabetes and sugar build up in the body, so she drinks stout like water. She also likes watching wrestling – bless her. Many old people are not so lucky in Nigeria.

7.  Outlaw child abuse and hawking. About two years ago, I was driving back home from work  in very slow Lekki traffic around 6.30pm, when I saw this kid of no more than 8 or 9 crying loudly on the side-walk. You know this type of cry where the person has his mouth open, with snot dribbling down his nose.

8.   For some reason, I felt very worried, so I wound down my window and asked the child what the matter was. Pointing to his sparse tray of 3 oranges, he explained that he had run to make a sale to a customer in a car, and by the time he had returned to his tray of oranges, someone had stolen all but three. He was wailing because he was afraid of what his guardian would do to him if he came home without the full amount of money for the sales. I asked him how much he would normally make for the whole tray. He replied N250!!! I then gave him N400, and told him to go straight home.

Relieved and very thankful, he took it. As I drove off, I looked in my rear view mirror, and saw that he just moved to a spot further down the road, to keep on selling the remaining 3 oranges. My heart bled for Nigeria that day. How could N250 (1 British Pound or $2) make a child cry like he had just been beaten up. His mates in developed countries are probably surfing, roller-skating or at home playing video games on Xbox Live with their friends.

9.  Government should promote measures that foster unity and neighborly love among different ethnicities. The recent riots in the North really sadden me. Abroad in some neighborhoods when a person moves in, your next door neighbor comes over with muffins, pudding or a steak/kidney pie and welcomes the new person to the neighborhood. I dream of a time when we could do the same. I can imagine a Fulani man moving in to a street in Warri and an Urhobo woman taking over Starch and Palm-nut soup to introduce herself and welcome him to the street.

Or maybe, government should give a tax exemption and a stipend to couples who inter-marry from different ethnic groups. If say, an Efik man marries an Itshekiri lass, they should get some cash payment or tax holiday from the Federal Government. I swear if that happens, I would just ‘manage’ Tiwa Savage and Omowunmi Akinfesi as my 2wives. Munachi Abi can wait.

10.  GEJ, please encourage and promote the production and exportation of local produce. If Nigerians can learn how to ‘package’ our products in a decent and marketable manner with ace quality control, the sky would be our limit. When I was in England, I had 2 oyibo girls ogling me for jollof rice during lunch. They also loved chin-chin too, whenever I brought some to work, like wow it is so crunchy and tasty!

I can imagine Nigeria producing and exporting canned moi moi spam (in a corned beef type tin), Kellogg’s Ijebu Garri with Nuts Cereal, Uncle Ben’s Ofada Rice, Campbell’s Ogbono Soup, Kilishi Beef Jerky.

11.  Finally Mr. President, you need to do something about the learning and spread of Nigerian languages and culture. In Lagos, many young people speak  English with a phony Lekki-British accent, but cannot say a word or write a sentence in their own dialect. Even pidgin English now sounds very funky and is loosing its ‘pidgin-ality.’ My Waffi roommate in University used to say ‘Abeg, make you give that radio bele’ (meaning please turn up the volume on the transistor radio).

Now I hear polished pidgin on the radio and in general conversations, like No mago mago; no wayo o. Or ‘abeg free me jor’

We had the Goethe Institute promoting German language and literature in Victoria Island some years back; why can’t we have a Benin Institute in say, England. Edo culture is so rich, that it should be up there with the best.

Our languages should not be left to go extinct. I was at a wedding a good few years back where the 2 fathers-in-law went at each other hammer and tongs when it came to the time for presenting and breaking of the kola-nuts at the start of the reception. The father of the bride wanted the reception proceedings conducted in Igbo language as the couple were both Igbo. The father of the groom disagreed as he preferred English, and the two of them grabbed furiously at the microphone. It nearly descended into a food fight, but Nigerians would never waste good chicken wings by tossing them at someone in anger.

The hot exchange between the 2 fathers had gone something like this:

The father of the bride – This is an Igbo gathering, so Igbo should be spoken. Igbo kwenu!

The father of the groom – People of different ethnicities are gathered here, and it would be unfair to alienate them. Besides this venue is in Lagos, so do not turn this reception into your village meeting.

The father of the bride – You are not a true Igbo man. You better remove that red cap and Isi –Agu tunic you are wearing. Any fool will tell you that the kola nut does not understand English or any other language but Igbo’

The father of the groom – See your head like isi-ewu. The kola would not understand your bad grammar either.

Well, at least we the audience learnt a few Igbo expletives that day.

I admire Yoruba movies for trying to promote the language by making the dialogue itself Yoruba and using rich proverbs. Movies like Omo Ghetto and Jenifa come to mind. Game shows of the past like Tan Mu O did well even though I did not understand a word.

But I have a problem with the translation in some of these Yoruba movies. I know Yoruba people are quite chatty, but please explain how in a movie dialogue, an actor speaking Yoruba would rant for about 4 minutes saying something like ‘Ni to ri na, mo fe ka wa lo si ile to gba lo si ya agba tori kpe…”

But the translation would be a very short sentence “Ok we will see later”


I tire oh.

What do you think, and what issues would you include in your letter to President GEJ?

I‘ve been born to represent, for that I’ve been heaven sent/
And I meant, every word, in my letter, to the President/

2Pac (Letter To The President, 1999)


* Picture courtesy of

Fly With Me

Shokongbelete o!

I did a bit of travelling last December, trying to connect America through England from Nigeria. I got to Murtala Mohammed International on time, but met the longest queue ever, and a busy departure area. It seemed that every person and their dog in Lagos had decided to travel on that particular day.

KLM ‘s line looked like an after-work queue for the BRT bus in CMS; British Airways too resembled a gas station queue during one of NUPENG and PENGASSAN’s off days. Lufthansa did not fare better. I did not even check for Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Nigerian or whatever it is called nowadays.

I got my luggage weighed and failed the test, like any true Nigeria, In our dear country, it seems to be a huge taboo to travel light internationally. Even if you plan to, people just would not let you. Please could you help me deliver chin-chin and ground-nuts for Sister Chop-chop in Kentish Town. Please she will come and meet you at Kentish-Town Tube station on Wednesday. Well, will you pay for my Zone 1-4 Travelcard? Na wa for you o.

Abeg, carry this bale of jacquard lace for Auntie Chinyere in New Jersey. She wants to wear it for her daughter’s graduation ceremony from University of Chicago.

Esco, please no vex. Make you take this Nigerian movie DVDs and CDs for me. My bros go come collect am for your hand, I don give am your number.

In my case, I was carrying a bit of all of the above and more. My mistake was letting some people know I was flying out briefly. One of them had made a late night trip to my house at 11 pm to give me items to help him ferry to long lost relative in Yankee. When I explained to him that his relative lives in Utah which is miles away from anywhere, he refused to take no for an answer. Yankee na Yankee naa! Even if I was going to Rhode Island, he wanted me to take the items and mail them, all 20 pounds of them, to Utah via UPS. course.

I paid for excess luggage reluctantly as I calculated the number of things I would have to forgo with the $80 charge – fast food, clothes, video games, music. I was not smiling when I got to the Immigration officers who unzip and physically search your boxes.

One of them saw me and his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Pulling the latex gloves on his grubby finger taut, he smoothed the creases on my box, and unzipped it with much speed like someone busting for a pee.

‘Good travel day sir’ he and the others chorused in unison. I thought to myself, good travel day?!

I ignored their verbose greetings, and replied with a grunt like Okoronkwo in ‘Things Fall Apart.’

One of them caressed the neatly packed items in my box, and his greedy eyes fired up as he saw 5 plastic bottles of chin chin and groundnuts. Licking his cracked lips he inquired ‘Why you de travel with all these foodstuffs? So na only you go chop all these items? You de carry chin chin and gra-nut go America? Why na? Food already boku for America.’

I replied curtly ‘ It is for my cousin who has not been in Nigeria for years. He likes Nigerian confectionery.’

The word must have confused him, as he waved me away.

I did not crack a smile when one asked me for a ‘parting fee’. I would have rather given him a parting shot, if I could.

Please I know I have broached this subject before, but why are the airport immigration top brass in Nigeria usually thick set with huge pot-bellies. Wetin full am? Someone once remarked that na egunje money full the belle so. Another person added that that explains why Fashola is trim. Then why isn’t  the slender Buhari our new president then? And maybe it is true, because ill-gotten or easily made money is always spent on thrifty things. I means the immigration man is not likely to use the bribe money to plaster or paint the parlour of the private house he is erecting. It is more likely to end up paying for big stout at a beer parlour.

And the extortion bid did not stop after I had passed the first batch of immigration. In fact, extortion in Nigerian airports begins from the moment your car drops you at the drop off point.  Forex merchants try to convince you to buy CFA even though you are going to Dubai. The trolley-guy tries to coerce you by snatching at your luggage, into renting a 2 wheeled contraption called an airport trolley, which is not free! And if you oblige him, you discover that he is also a part-travel agent. He can move you to the top of the check-in queue, or help you repack your heavy luggage to reduce the weight.

The chaps who man the X-ray machines are the most persuasive extortionists I have ever met, more tenacious than those sea shell and ornament sellers at Alfa beach; these X-ray guys should be political campaign fund-raisers. I cringe for womenfolk when I think about the immigration officers in charge of the X-ray cameras and who views the images. If you are a voluptuous female, then it is happy days.

Then I got to the final officers at the post before the waiting area. These people look through your hand luggage. I was carrying a laptop bag, and once the inspecting officer saw me he smiled. I knew what that meant – he wanted mula.

‘Anything for us sir, we are loyal’ he saluted.

‘Nah mate, sorry. I spent all the naira I had on excess luggage’ I explained

‘Bring any change you have; I am loyal’ he insisted.

‘Ok o, but you would not like it o’ I warned.

‘Make you surprise me’ he dared, closing his eyes.

I reached into my pocket, and out came the only change I had in naira. It was the crummiest, most tattered looking and cello-taped  10 naira you could imagine.

I attempted to squeeze it into his hands discreetly, but as soon as his eyes caught a whiff of the red coloured notes, he suspected that I had given him the ‘wrongest’ denomination.

And he withdrew his hand like I was a leper trying to make contact. ‘Ah! 10 naira, na him you wan take tip me? And you talk say na abroad you de travel. Abeg carry go jor; save journey.’

Na wa o. So this chap is the last line of hospitality between our dear nation and another country? And he is doing security!

These chaps are so focussed on getting tips that I would be surprised if they did their jobs properly.

I can just imagine Mutallab or any other stupid terrorist wanna-be being searched by one of these money hungry security agents.

The agent would open the chap’s bags and say ‘ What are these brown candle sticks with peanut powder inside? You de go celebrate birthday for abroad? Abi NEPA de take light for oyibo land?’

The threat would reply uneasily ‘ No, it is just dynamite. I, em…’

Not listening, the agent would interrupt ‘Leave that thing abeg. Anything for the boys…’

With a sick smile, the bomber would reply ‘Yes, how much do you want…’

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of ‘Fly With Me’. Besides do please share your own experiences in Nigerian or foreign airports.

I don’t land at an airport/

I call it the clearport/

Jay Z (Excuse Me Miss, 2002)

* picture courtesy of

Girls We Love and Hate

Sometime last year, I had an airport run to pick up my aunt from MM2 Ikeja, where she was flying in from Abuja. To beat Lekki traffic, I raced to the airport with hours to spare, and learnt that the flight had been delayed by over 2 hours due to the foggy weather. The airport was chaos defined, with travellers, stranded passengers, ticket touts, skimpy dressed air hostesses and the smell of fufu from Mr. Bigg’s African Kitchen all sharing the same space. The airport AC was blowing hot steam. I decided to split.

To while away time, I decided to drive around the Ikeja area for a bit. I then remembered that I had a friend who lived off Opebi Road. I gave her a ring and she told me to come over, because she was home.

I got to her place, and as soon as she opened the door, my heart missed a beat. In her small living room were 6 night-gown wearing girls, some eating, all gathered around the TV watching a movie. It was like they were having a pyjama slumber party or one of those Ann Summers girl meets. All that was missing were the cuffs and whips, sorry kobokos.

The last time I was around this many women in night wear, I was a 6-year-old who had accompanied my folks to go see my sister on visiting day at her boarding school. My sister, the ever proud elder sibling, had smuggled me into her dormitory to show me off to her friends, as she was putting the provisions we had brought her away. When I entered that Queens College dorm, even at my young age, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. Females of every shape, color and persuasion in a crammed space. They all came to say hi, rubbing my cheek, and pecking me as they remarked on how cute I was.  I like cougars, eh?

 Here in present time, the girls nodded as they acknowledge my presence politely before they turned back to the screen. They were watching the Funke Akindele movie “Ladies Men”. They were laughing out loud and passing comments about the film, while criticizing and dissecting the male psyche.

Basically, the movie was a story about how there are different types of men. – the mummy’s boy, the player, the lady beater, the workaholic and the ‘mugu’. The story of the movie revolved around different  female characters’ relationships with men each of whom had the above quality and how that had impacted their relationships.

One of the chicks in my friend’s house (her name was Ese) looked like one of those love battled-scarred females who has had heartbreak trauma from men in her past. She kept on sucking her teeth, anytime any of the male characters in the movie messed up. She kept going on and on about how all men were dogs, especially Nigerian ones. I didn’t mind her saying that, but she kept on looking at me at the same time. As the movie progressed, I noticed that Ese’s aggression had transferred to all the other girls, as they started really cursing out men in general and ex-boyfriends who had wronged them in the past. Suddenly I felt all eyes on me – like small chops on a wedding reception table.

When confronted with hostile situations like that, I did what I do best; I remain as cool as fan, and my mind begins to wonder.

Utilizing the classifications mentioned in the movie, I began to think about the types of girls we have in Nigeria.

  1. The Mummy’s Girl: This type of female divulges everything to her mum, including the words you used when you ‘toasted’ her. In fact her mother has knowledge of the fact that you used a lame line from a Katy Perry lyric when chatting up her daughter for the first time. Baby you are a firework. I means who says that?

Ma has probably read most of your BB messages to your girl, including those ones in which you included those girly smileys J. She has even seen your camp BB profile picture, and is following  (monitoring) you on Facebook under a covert name. Your girlfriend also told her mum how you were a cheap skate on your first date taking her to ‘before 12 noon’ movie on a weekday at Genesis Deluxe Cinema to save the pennies. You didn’t even get popcorn for yourself.

Her mum may also know the size of your agbunna, and have a copy of your birth certificate and passport – as insurance. I can bet that your girl’s favourite movie is Sly Stallone’s “Stop Or My Mum Will Shoot”

My friend dated a chick like this, and he nearly went crazy after a few weeks. The girl confessed to him that she had asked her ma’s permission before she agreed to go steady with him. The mum once called my friend out of the blue, to give him an unsolicited hint as to what Valentine Day’s present to get her daughter.  Thank you Ma, but with all due respect there is no way I am getting your daughter “a mother and daughter” ring set.

I have had a little experience with a Miss Mum’s pet many moons ago. I had been getting prank-calls on my house-line, and whenever I picked up the phone, the person – a female, snickered and dropped. There was this chick I suspected was doing it because we had decided to cool things off some days back. So I called her, and asked her if it were her. Her tone of voice and manner of denial convinced me that it was.

For one, her ‘anger’ seemed to be more than the ‘crime’ I had accused her of. She started laying into me seriously, asking me if I thought that she was so desperate as to be calling my house and hanging up. She started raising her voice, and so her mum who was sitted in the same room as her, asked her what the matter was.

She said “Mummy  come and see this boy  who is feeling special with himself. See me see wahala o. He is accusing me of calling his house and dropping the phone, like I don’t have better things to do.”

I was like ####?

I overheard the mum hiss, and get up as she came to phone, and cursed me out in perfect Edo language: Kevwe apkolovo sakpoba……idiot!!.

All I could get in was “ Mama, o gini biko?”

 Moral of the story: beware of lasses with Patience Ozokwo type of mothers.

  1. Workaholic chick – Ah, nothing do this working girl. This one is a career girl who clocks in crazy hours including weekend shifts. In Naija, this type of babes are usually bankers, doctors or private business owners.

A working girl is great; a workaholic one may be a bonus. Unless she is a marketer – then be afraid; be very afraid. Generally, there are few jobs in Nigeria. As far as her office is not Adeyemo Alajika pavement at ungodly hours, you should support any overtime she does.

Career women though, if they get their work-life balance right, are top of the food chain. Babes get your Dora Akinluyi on.

  1. Player- Yes there are women players, and guess what – what a man can do, a woman may do better. Nigerian chaps have egos and every chap will swear on a cutlass that he will cut any cheating girl loose immediately he finds out. Story! Some of these ‘poisonous’ girls, as my pal calls them, are so slick that you would only find out when they themselves are ready to dump you like a pure water sachet.

Bros, you would be there flexing like an oko iyawo, but your position in her life may actually be “assistant boyfriend”. Don’t be mad though; your own even better, as she also has several other males with varying titles on her food chain – deputy boyfriend, mugu, marriage plan B, Aristotle (aristo).

These girls are takers – they will take your time and resources, and take you on a ride.

 N.B: Chop and clean mouth. Sing along with me *there are many fish in the sea*


4.    Abusive ladies – A more common breed than you think, seeing that most people believe that Naija men are built like tanks and would win any physical fight. Good argument, only that being an abusive lady has nothing to do with physical strength.

These lasses physically and emotionally manipulate and devastate their partners. Who can remember that relationship between Apeno and Chief Jegede Shokoya in the 80s popular TV comedy “New Masquerade”. Jegede was scared shitless of his wife. He also spent many sleepless nights on the couch.

An abusive lady can deny you sex, food, a warm bed, rest of mind, and some can actually beat the crap out of you. Who can remember Serakus the really short Nigerian comedian who was married to a Lady Goliath?

I know this chap who used to date a wildfire chick called Uche. Uche was like that chick in “Why Did I Get Married.” Times 100. The funny thing was that she was a lekpa, but she had rage embedded in her veins.  She was paranoid about her fella cheating on her, and showed up to his office and apartment at impromptu times. If she came to his flat and she suspected that he was in and refusing to open the door to let her in, her mind went on a fantasy spin. Once she kicked in the door, and ran from room to room looking for the ‘girl’. No one was in – not even her boyfriend. She called a carpenter pronto.

Another time, she knocked and he did not hear because he was passed out on his couch, so she smashed his car side mirrors and headlights with her Birkin bag. It did much damage; the bag contained make-up, a Harry Potter novel, a huge dictionary, 3 phones, keys, and some other heavy material.

These types of women are difficult to decipher. When you break up with them, your  clueless family members wonder why you sent a wife material away. In fact, your siblings may say you were just tripping as all they can see outwardly is a “model citizen”

In fact chicks like this are nice to all your friends and family while you are dating. Two days after the wedding, they are trying to force you and your mum into the washing machine and press “fast spin”

N.B: Avoid unless someone in your village is a dibia or babalawo, and you want to send business his way frequently.

Also memorize the road to Yaba Hospital; you will visit there often.


  1. Mugu – These are feeble ladies who do everything their boyfriend tells them without protesting. Girls like this usually fall out with or do not keep in touch with their close friends once they get into a relationship.

 All this ‘ride or die’ babe want is love and attention from their chaps, and they will do absolutely anything. In the hands of the wrong man, a mugu girl can be a dangerous weapon. She soon gets transformed into a cook/washerman/sex machine/house-keeper/bank/messenger/obi oma.

Of course there are your average “girl next door” type of lasses, who do not necessarily fall under any of the above categories but it seems they may be an endangered species.

Which type of female are you; and if you are a lad, tell us about your experiences with any of the above.

Got a project chick, that plays her part/
And if it goes down y’all that’s my heart/
Baby girl so thorough she been with me from the start/

Jay Z (Girls, Girls, Girls 2001)

What kind of Articles do you prefer on WoahNigeria?

Seeing that this is voting season in Nigeria anyway, please I would really appreciate some feedback from everyone, so that WoahNigeria can be even better.

I am using the open-ballot system (not option A4); also feel free to write your preferences/comments in the bar provided in the last option of the poll.

Please, no poll rigging o.


Sergeant Pepper

At all, at all, na im bad pass

We have heard it announced, advertised on radio as infectious jingles, and appear on daily prints – “Police is Your Friend”. In Nigeria, the police’s role is to serve and protect. In fact our Police Force’s motto is “Serve and Protect with Integrity”.

They have not always done that, so now we beg them to protect our votes and safeguard our democracy by policing the ballots during elections. This picture evidences a betrayal of our collective trust. The last time I saw a picture of a Naija policeman on the web, he was carting away a huge bag of rice at a food scramble organized by Ms Jonathan last year.  In doing so, he displayed the brute strength and temperance of a U.S. Navy Seal in endurance training. Meanwhile people were being trampled to near death a little distance away, in the ensuing fight for PDP rice melee.

Ironically, the Nigerian Police Force service crest has a huge elephant inscribed on it. Not the most fleet-footed animal in the world. Slow, moody with a short memory. Reminds you of someone, eh?

Looking at the above picture, though we highly doubt it, the policeman’s superiors may summon him to Ikeja High Command to answer a query as to why he was catching 40 winks on duty while our votes were in danger of being misappropriated away by election fraudsters.

I struggle to think about the sort of excuses he may come up with in answers when confronted by the Inspector General. Which kain sleep I go dey sleep when elections de happen? Tufiakwa!! Never!  I  no sleep at all, lai lai. Make I explain:

  1. Sir, I was only checking my pulse because my heartbeat has been a bit irregular.
  2. I was only feigning sleep; it is part of a covert police operation to catch scheming ballot box thieves
  3. It was the work of my enemies who are people from other ‘tribes’ envious of my position as a designated ballot security agent. They sent a paparazzi photographer to snap me at my moment of weakness.
  4. I was playing a simple game of ‘spin the cap’ to pass the time. Honest.
  5. I was meditating in prayer for the success of the elections. And for you sir. May your enemies never catch you slumbering, sir. May EFCC never Tafa you.
  6. Some people from one of the major political parties tried to bribe me to help them perpetuate electoral fraud, but I refused so they ‘jazzed’ me with a ‘poisonous’ N1000 note so that I would pass out on the job. Funny enough that note seems to have disappeared too.
  7. I was searching for my service pistol on the ground.
  8. The person in that picture wasn’t me. It was ‘photo-shopped’ or ‘trans-imposed’.
  9. I was killing a ‘jigger’ bug by stepping on it, at that precise moment the picture was taken.
  10. I was possessed by a wicked spirit which made me unconscious for half an hour. Its name is “Esprit De Corps”

If all of the above fails, he can fall back on the fool-proof Nigerian excuse:  Please,  it was the work of the devil, sir.

Ah, sleep is the cousin of death.

The Pounded Yam and Pure Water Awards (4)

I Hail Oh!

  • Drunken Master” the 1978 kung-fu classic by Jackie Chan. Every Nigerian fella should see this one. By the way, going with my “Agbaya” theme below, can anyone remember when some people in Nigeria used to fool themselves and some mugus by strutting around  claiming that they were black-belt Kung-fu masters, dressed in Black Chinese jackets, jumpy black trousers, white socks and black Vans sneakers? These impostors fooled everyone until the era of the area boys crept in.
  • The D’Banj interview on BET was quite good, light-hearted entertainment. I like the manner in which he spoke, though his capacity of self-promotion and that of the Koko and Mo’Hits brand borders on embarrassing at times. Quite a number of  people have recently been criticizing him for ‘selling out’ due to the GEJ interview debacle. Fair enough. However when watching the BET interview, I decided to focus on the interview itself and its ramifications for Nigerian entertainment in the future, and eschew all politics. D’Banj has star quality no doubt, and he is easy to watch. However midway into the interview, I sort of reneged on my self promise to separate politics from music.  D’Banj admitted to the interviewer that he was not the best singer out there, but that he was an entertainer. I have addressed this same issue with Kenny St. Brown’s acceptance speech at an award ceremony last yr. As an entertainer, a superstar at that, you just never speak down on your talent in public. Never. ever.

As I was about to start ‘drinking panadol for another person’s matter’, I thought to myself maybe there was indeed a pure correlation between music and politics in Nigeria. Maybe the blur has been erased forever, since that period Abacha hired some respected singers and movie starts to drum up support for his life presidency through marches and concerts.

D’Banj admitted that he was not the most talented singer, right? So maybe it is the same with Nigerian politics. You do not have to be the most talented politician to contest or hold a public position. A singer who cannot hold a musical note without shattering our eardrums only requires a talented producer (ala Don Jazzy or El Dee) to make banging beats, so that the singer can repeat the words “Shake that thing, baby’ like a crazed aristo pimp. And if you are a Nigerian politician who is clueless about how to govern properly, all you need are talented special advisers, special assistants and technocrats ( even if they may be 20-30 at a time, sucking tax payer funds).

Are musicians the new politicians?

  • The 2nd out of my movie entries. Do not be mad, I love movies. However, please do not watch the scary flick Incidious which came out last week if you are faint-hearted. Warning! Will cause involuntary leakage. In the cinema hall, I was sat in, which was filled to almost full capacity, it was happy days for the chaps as their dates held on to them tightly as they screamed their lungs off. My mate thinks this movie is scarier than that picture of Nigerian actress Empress Njanma with the red Rihanna hair-do. I don’t know about that, but …
  • I know it is a bit old, but the M.I video for “Undisputed” is ace. I wouldn’t lie – I like the flow of the lyrics on that jam which made liking the video infectious for me. I mean, what is not to like in this: My time is prime like Keke/ Just jeje making my pepper/

The short black boy does his thing, no doubt. I like his delivery and energy on the mic. English people would say he is full of beans. Ok, sorry, bad use of the term.

  • Nigerian chap who created a Blackberry app which displays all the provisions of the Nigerian constitution. You deserve a spot on woahnigeria’s strong ping, sorry thing awards.

Have it...

You  de fall our hand!

  • The postponement of elections on April 2nd, which is unacceptable no matter the reason. Trust some quick-witted Naija people to start to a BBM cycle which claimed that the election itself was INEC  Commissioner Jega’s April Fool’s Day joke to Nigerians. I can only imagine what would have happened if the election date had originally fallen on World Food Day or Salah. INEC would have sent out foodstuff to the impoverished and disfranchised masses. Oh wait, a political party is already doing that with the biscuits and the rams.
  • In Edo State, the man who poisoned his crippled son by giving him food laced with the potent pesticide Gamalin 20?! Apparently, the man had been fed up with the young boy’s increasing medical bills and decided to end his life, while the mother was out of town. The boy had a speech problem, and could not walk either, crawling on his belly. I was enraged when I heard this. I think a law should be passed in Nigeria that if you do something in commission of a crime, that thing or a worse thing should be done to you as your punishment. For example, make this man drink Gamalin 30 (or 40) or any stronger pesticide if it exists. This may be a stronger deterrent than jail-time or a death sentence which is a mere finality.

In the same vein, corrupt politicians or people accused of misappropriating public funds should be made by EFCC to suffer what the impoverished masses have been going through these past decades. For example a corrupt politician should be made to move from his Ikoyi mansion to a leaky shanty in Okokomaiko with no electricity and running water, with a stagnant gutter passing through the living quarters, no idea of when his next meal would come, mosquitoes and gigantic houseflies as house-guests, and armed-robbery every other week. That should fix them.

  • The death of Liz Taylor, a true Hollywood icon. What however caught my attention was a documentary on TV which said that her kids stood to inherit her large jewelry collection among other things, reputedly on of the most expensive in the world, worth about $ 150 million.

I laughed when I heard the meagre amount being bandied about. Impressive it is, outstanding it is not. It would not even make the top 20 in Nigeria – I know an ex-governor whose wife’s collection of gems is worth at least twice that.

  • Back on my movie theme, what is with the spate of ultra-feminine all action heroine films being released this year, all in the mould of last year’s Angelina Jolie movie ‘Salt.’ This year, similar themed releases like Hanna and Sucker-Punch have over done the female gun-blazer/fighter thing a little bit.

Thinking to myself, I wonder when a Nollywood actress would feature in an all action movie, where she takes all-comers a la ‘Salt’. We have the female actresses for it, if the script is right and if the offer came. I can just imagine Mercy Johnson in role as a Bond girl. That would be awesome, but her ‘features’ may have to be air-brushed or the ratings may have to change to 18. Imagine her toting a Walter PPK pistol while clad in a fitted leather cat-suit and boots. That would definitely make Daniel Craig, or whoever the Bond is, shoot his load. Loaded gun, I mean.

Famous Nigerians In Hollywood

It would surprise you to know that we have a lot of Nigerian celebrities in Tinsel-town. Nope, I am not talking about Chinwetel Ejiofor, Sade or Stephanie Okereke’s increasing moves to direct international movies in collaboration with American film-makers. I am not even referring to Nneka the pretty, sultry crooner’s success, collaborating with the likes of Nas and performing with Mary J Blige, Lenny Kravitz and Gnarls Barkley.


It is not even about Faze’s 3 seconds of fame  supposedly signing up with Akon’s Konvict Music imprint, though that issue never saw the light of day like Chris Okotie’s presidential ambition.

Believe me when I say this, some Nigerian entertainers and politicians bear a striking resemblance to Yankee celebs. They had better start asking their folks some serious questions o. Ok I joke, I joke, but alas it is working.

In the post before this one, we saw example of closet Nigerians. In this one, we may just have kindred spirits separated by land and seas. They just may not know it yet.

Alright here you go:

Elohor Isiohor - Model Agency Owner

Naomi Campbell


Banky W - Mr Capable

Craig David


It's Don Jazzy again. Mogbono feli feli..



Rapper Parrish Smith of EPMD


Atiku Abubakar

John Amos - Actor (Coming To America, Roots)


Jedi - Comedian

Pleasure P (Singer, formerly of R'N'B group Pretty Ricky)



Basorge Tariah - Nigerian actor and Comedian


Freddo Starr of Onyx (r)

Skuki (r)


Jimmy Jones

Mohammed Abacha (son of ex- Head of State)