- I read somewhere recently that the United Nations is to recommend China’s one child policy to Nigeria. This may not be a bad idea after-all, because there are too many impoverished couples with a football team number of kids whom they can scarcely afford to take care of. You see people in rural areas who can barely scrape a living, but the husband and wife have a set of children who are almost the same age – 12, 11, 10 and 6 months, 9, 8.5, 5,4, 3.
There was a man in my village like that. He had 6 kids all close to the same age, and his wife was knocked up again. Here he was begging me for money for school fees for his kids and to start a business, but his wife was only 27, and she had dropped 6 kids already.
The kids came one by one to the living room as he introduced them to me: “You people should come and greet your uncle from Lagos, and thank him because he brought us groundnut and bread. Esco, this is the first born, his name is Monday.”
And I kid you not, so it continued. The next one’s name was Friday. All of the male kids had the days of the week as their names, except the 2 girls who were named after months – Augustina and Julie (July, as he pronounced it).
Looking at his wife’s huge pregnant stomach, I sneered as I said “And let me guess, that one would be called D-day.”
His wife laughed uneasily, and the man hissed. By the next Xmas season, the foetus in the belly (D-Day) had a younger sibling too. He was named Valantyne (Valentine).
Forget all these condom and contraceptive programs by the Ministry of Health, our government should start preaching self-control instead of birth control. Having a large family has its own distinct advantages, once you have the means to cater for all – I am from a large family, but I know how stressful beginning of school terms was for my folks – school fees for kids always ran into 5 -6 figures.
Going to school in the morning was always a huge logistics nightmare. My old man had to buy a Hiace bus to ferry us all. First the seats had to be removed, and new rows of seats welded in to create room, just like Danfo buses. And shopping for food in my house was like shopping for an owambe party. Traders in the market fought against each other, and competed to get my mums custom because her average monthly shop was usually like this: 6 fowls, a bag of rice, a bag of yellow garri, 15 tubers of yam, a 300 liter gallon of palm oil. Before the days of frozen chicken, it was a whole fowl per meal to feed everyone, and even the last child ended up with the chicken head and comb. Haha
Another disadvantage was having to wear hand-me-downs. To save cost, you may have to wear your older’s siblings old clothes, while they rocked trendier new season gear. Except if your elder sibling was a smaller size than you, and then they rocked hand-me-ups which is even more humiliating. Despite being a guy, I still didn’t escape hand-me-downs from my older sister. Relax your mind, no, I wasn’t a cross dresser or Ken or anything. Bata by Choice sandals and shoes were mostly unisex, you see. Advise: keep your family unit small.
I am all for everybody’s right to procreate and spread their glorious seed across the earth but it is my personal philosophy that your whole family should fit into a car. Husband driving, wife riding shotgun, and the 2 or 3 kids at the back. I said car, as in sedan car, and not a jeep o! Not a Kia Picanto, Daewoo Racer or Nissan Q45 (House on wheels). My model family size would be Uncle Phil’s in the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or to hit close to home, who can remember the Bako family of 4 who undertook a Nigerian road trip through the states of the federation in that primary school Macmillan’s English textbook?
- I have decided to eat healthier and cut down on carbs, espousing a diet filled with vegetables. I like to cook sometimes, and I have started doing a mean stir-fry. Ingredients needed – low cholesterol vegetable oil, mushrooms, onions, shrimps, green and red bell peppers, onions, minced meat, mixed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, peas). All you need is a Wok pan and some decent spices, and Esco’s secret recipe. If you add and ask me nicely on Twitter, I would send you my recipe.Below is a picture of stuff I put together myself. I know my presentation is off, but I am not a star chef, besides blame it on the poor Blackberry camera. I should cook dinner for one of you sometime.
It is an expensive way to eat in these expensive times, but hospital bills are equally as expensive. I put fuel in my car, and not kerosene, so why should my body ingest less?
I decided to cut back on snacks and sugar because I was finding it hard to lace my shoes and breathe at the same time. Haha. Eddie Murphy once said that if you wanted to know how fat you were, look at your stomach when you are sitting on a toilet bowl. Some weeks ago, after a heavy dinner of swallows, I screamed when I saw my girth, while in the loo. I looked like half a bag of pure water. I have embraced better eating habits, and the occasional work out thrown in.
And I am eating healthier to improve fitness and not just finesse. In fact my new mantra towards my health goals is lifted straight from a Ghostface Killah song lyric: Hit the gym for 2 weeks, come back chiseled/ elbows unique, meet the new me….
And I feel like a million bucks. I recently needed to dash out somewhere for an appointment, and got to my car and remembered that I had forgotten something upstairs. I dashed up he flight of stairs in a jiffy without breaking a sweat, and without puffing for breath. You should have seen the way I was celebrating at the top of the staircase. It was like the Philadelphia steps scene from the movie Rocky.
Now if only older 1004 estate in Victoria Island still existed, I would have tried to test my new fitness levels. The elevators never worked in the old 1004.
- Seeing as the Super Eagles have fallen our hands after failing to qualify on Saturday for the 2012 African Nations Cup, I have shifted my attention to my new love – Pro Evolution Soccer 2012.This soccer game for the Sony Playstation and Xbox 360 consoles came out 2 weeks ago in America. What a game!
I don’t know how many of you play video games, but if you are into your football, this is the Ferrari of soccer games. By the way, I have also played FIFA 2012 and it sucks. It is glossy but lacks substance. Let me put it this way, FIFA is like moi moi with eggs and corned beef inside but cooked in a tin, and served as beans casserole. PES 2012 is like plain moi moi with no filler, nice steamed in the traditional plantain leaf, over a nice stack of burning firewood.
I have been handing out beat-downs to challengers online on Xbox Live. So if any of you want to throw down, my gamer tag is EscoWoah. Yep, your neighbourhood “Literati:Satires On Nigerian Life” is now on Xbox Live. Next stop, Sonny Iraboh Live, Saturday Night Live, then Hollywood (or Nollywood), Android and I-tune applicaions, then clothing brands, toys, franchises, books, journals. Say Ameen!
If you are online, please let’s have a game. If you are one of those glory hunter players who only choose Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan or Man U, worry not – I have something for you. I recently beat 4 consecutive gamers who chose Barcelona, and I used Athletico Madrid and Bordeaux.
It is also available for the Iphone, I-pad or I-pods as a free download initially, and then you have to pay 3.99 pounds (about N1000) for the full game. You should try it. Don’t say Esco doesn’t try to hook you up.
CAN YOU IMAGINE
- About 32.5million Nigerians are unemployed, the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said recently. They should make that 32,503,000 because Airtel recently sacked 3000 employees prompting an investigation by the House of Reps. Unemployment is a huge problem in Nigeria, and our government are just folding their arms clueless about the scale of the problem. Unemployed or idle youngsters are more dangerous than Boko Haram or Niger Delta militants
I actually believe the the NBS’s figure is modest. When I heard them say 32.5m, my first thought was, is that number for Lagos or the whole of Nigeria? Drive down some parts of Lagos in the early hours of the morning, and you would see scores of people just chilling, looking on. Our figures for those out of work are way more than that amount. I personally know about 100,000 people that are not gainfully employed, and they have cousins, sisters and uncles. People just don’t have anything doing, and if everyone should open a business, who would be the customers? Where is the capital by the way? A lot of Nigerians are idle, and that’s why when there is an incident or accident in a public place, you see swathes of by-standers surrounding the place for hours on end. Una nor get work?
And not just the rural areas, the problem is also with the middle class as well. I know people that returned from completing their post-grad degrees abroad, and could not get jobs. Many returned back. People in Lagos especially put up a façade, and would tell you that they are ‘consultants’ or general contractors, when in fact they do nada. Some of those unemployed 32.5million include your Lagos-town fashionistas, social circuit huggers and red carpet aladins. Dem no dey write ‘umemployed’ for face. Some people are working but not employed. What is the difference? They have an office that they go to, but they have not been paid salaries or received any benefits in months.
The unemployment situation worsened with the shake-ups in the banking sector in 2009, when several CEO’s were removed for alleged gross embezzlement, banks started laying off staff by the thousands. It has continued to present. It is anomaly of epic proportions that we have youths willing to go to school in this country, some reading up to doctorate level, but there are not nearly enough jobs to go round.
And if you have your dream job, do not turn your nose up at the un-employed. Being employed in Nigeria these days seems to be about who you know, than what you know., and not about merit. Also being at the right place at the right time with the right company helps too. Some years ago when he was the president, Obasanjo went to a state in the north to commission a project. He was taking questions from reporters when a lady who had just completely NYSC interjected that she was frustrated because she was looking for work. OBJ commanded his security detail to find her a job asap. “Strings” (I didn’t say g-strings o) were pulled, and the lady was hooked up with a plum position in Abuja. I am looking for Obama.
- Girls who refuse to go on dates with you unless it is to the Galleria to watch movies or some swanky restaurant when they can stuff their faces. What is it with some Nigerian girls and refusing to do something different? A few girls seem to think that a date must equal food and film? What happened to peeping the aesthetic, hanging at the beach. Heck, can’t we go to the National Museum at Onikan, so that I could show you Igbo Ukwu Bronze pots, Nok terraculture plus the limousine Murtala was slain in? Or why don’t we head to the National Theatre at Iganmu, and catch an Ola Rotimi play? Nah, she would rather watch a Jon Favreau romantic comedy at Silverbird, but not before we visit the sharwama and popcorn stands.
A friend of mine recently met this girl he really fancied. He decided to take her on a date, and wanted to do something different. They both lived in Abuja, so he had a good idea. Or so he thought
He showed up at the girls house, and picked her up. The girl got into the car, looked at the backseat and screamed “What are you doing with a bed sheet?”
The back seats had a basket filled with a loaf of premium sliced butter bread, butter, crackers, cheese, bubbly, baked beans, sausage, ham, some juice, a small deck and a cloth.
He replied “Nah, it is a table-cloth. I wanted us to go to a park for a picnic.”
She opened her eyes in disbelief “Pick pin? No oh! I can’t go to any park, the sun would make my skin dark. Take me to Ceddi Plaza or somewhere to eat or drop me off.”
He dropped her off. Like a bad habit.
- People who say “My names are….” I don’t know why certain people do this. They are the sort of people to adhere stupidly to this plural rule, but fail ‘grammatically’ in other instances by saying something like “Are you from where?”
As a social rule of the thumb, never ever say my names are unless you are possessed with a demon or unclean spirit called Legion (they said they were many), or if you are bi-polar, or if you are a blue blooded aristocrat with titles to boot. No, Otunba, Nze, Chief do not count.
- Ever since I posted up my email address to be contacted for the writing services I offer, I have been inundated with emails from spammers. With subjects names like “Urgent Confidential Respond”, “Lottery Winner”, “Hello Dear” and “Please Get Back to Me”, I have received yahoo yahoo bait emails from fictional Central Bank governors, widows to men with fortunes who need a business partner, and I have even been told that I have won the U.K Visa Lottery (which I don’t remember entering in the first place if it does exist).
To these scammers, if you are reading, why na? I am a P.I.M.P, you can’t pimp me. You cannot spam and scam me at the same time so please quit forthwith. I don’t even read your emails anymore, I just delete them. My dedicated readers who wish me well, you know I love you.