nigeria's elections: four years of foreplay but they didn't come...

This weekend - that is the weekend that just passed and not the weekend that’s coming… aka this past weekend, every Nigerian was reminded of the country’s rather unfortunate sickness. The illness is nameless but rather symptom-full. Nigeria has an unfortunate tendency to embarrass its citizens. I cannot tell you the infinite number of ways that it does this, all I know is that it will.

This past weekend we were all reminded of Nigeria’s ability to embarrass its citizens. For those of you who do not know what happened here’s a break-down. A man called Mahmood Yakubu (The head of Nigeria's Electoral Office) was given four years to do one job that he ended up not doing. He’ll now somehow attempt to fix everything that went wrong in a week. 

It was very embarrassing for all of us. The banter from abroad came hot and heavy, and I didn’t like it very much. It’s the same way no one likes it when people call their ugly children grotesque. It’s rude. It’s especially annoying because people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If you’re American or British, you should read this as follows: Your shit has been stinking up and down the Atlantic for the past 3 years, so please bear with us. I predict a burst of outrage that has nothing to do with any Nigerian soon. 

I have many questions about the entire thing and because you’re so unlucky as to have clicked on this link you’re going to have to read them too – nobody likes a quitter.

Will Nigeria’s presidential elections be like the second coming of Jesus? (Always coming soon, morning, night or noon...)

Does this mean that the people who travelled out of the country for the weekend will have to travel again? (How inconsiderate!)

Does this mean that the people who travelled into the country to vote will have to remain here for a week? (This is unforgivable… Nigeria actually forced people to write the following email to work…

Hi Susan,

I won’t be able to make it to work this week because my country didn’t end up having elections. To perform my civic duty I’ll have to wait an extra week. Please allocate my leave days accordingly.

(Insert Nigerian Name)

Why are Arik and Aero (two local airlines) cutting fares by up to 50% to help Nigerians who wish to travel to go and vote during the 2019 General Elections? Didn’t the two of them almost go under recently? Is this good corporate governance? I applaud the patriotism but it shouldn't come at the cost of the capitalism. 

All jokes aside, I’m not sure that anyone knows what to think. I cannot believe that there was no sabotage involved and if there was sabotage I cannot say who did it. It’s just a rather expensive pill to swallow at a time when many Nigerians are probably a pill away from an overdose. 

Voter turn out will probably be affected. People that travelled to vote will need to do so again or miss a week of work. Any weddings or funerals planned for the 9th of March will have to be moved. And agents of night entertainment will probably consider the month cancelled for elections and clubbing appear to be mutually exclusive.


This was a line that didn't make it into the actual blog...

Nigeria's presidential elections were basically the political equivalent of impotence and erectile dysfunction - four years of foreplay but they never came. 

The Sense of an Ending


This is difficult to say, but something feels off. Maybe it’s that I expect too much. Maybe it’s that I contribute too little. Maybe it’s that I’ve let you down too many times. Or maybe our interests no longer align. Maybe it’s an ending and maybe it’s a beginning. Maybe it’s neither and I’m being paranoid. 
But if I don’t admit that there’s this thing I feel knowing full well that it might not actually exist, then I’ll have no way of understanding what’s going on. And maybe it would be better that way. But there is damage being done in the uncertainty and this is what I’d like to mitigate if I can. 

Or maybe all of this is for the best and speaking about it will only make it worse. The thing I most want to know is are you here or not here. But that I have to ask that at all is perhaps the only answer I need.

Happy Days,

The Island and the Sea


The lucky among us live on an island. There’s you, there’s me, our children, our friends, and some of the people we’ve rescued from the sea.

The island isn’t much of an island. There’s the sun, there’s rain, and I suppose there’s wind too but those things are everywhere. On the island, if there are palm trees, or any other sort of tree for that matter, then neither God nor nature put them there. And if there is sand, it is because one of us willed it to appear.

The sea too, isn’t really a sea. It isn’t strictly a large body of water with fish and sunken ships. However, it is possible to find a sunken ship, or two, or three, and water does feature frequently and often undesirably. There’s water when it rains. It remains on the streets in puddles, and sometimes the drains clog up so enthusiastically that the adventurous use it as an excuse to go kayaking. And sometimes there’s water even when it doesn’t rain because pipes do burst from time to time.

When a pipe bursts on an island, it’s fixed within the day. Islanders are a bit like gods. No effort is spared when shaping and molding our island to our standards. Men come in ships, some times from another island and sometimes from the sea to deal with it. The men that come from an island typically charge more. Their ships are clean and air conditioned so we islanders feel safer around them even though they may not do a better job than the men who come from the sea. But this is to be expected. Islanders have been known to flock together.

It isn’t too difficult to move from island to island or traverse the sea. All it takes is a ship, a couple of minutes, or hours; depending, on the roughness of your route, the time of day, an important figure passing by, anything really. When it comes down to it there is no logic to the sea routes here. Whatever we meet we take it just like that. And we don’t really complain. An islander’s ship is as close to an extension of their island as he or she can make it. It’s always reasonably new, and even when it isn’t it’s well maintained. But, it is impossible to tell an islander from a dweller of the sea simply by looking at the quality of the ship. You see, some dwellers of the sea have learned the formula and implemented it. Some of their ships are just like ours. This is why mothers tell their daughters, and fathers their sons, that it is only by titles and deeds that we may know the true measure of a man.

All islands are alike, but that should not imply that they are equal. Just as it is with all things some islands are better than others. Some are individual forts with more than enough agency to feed a village. Others are not so. People often pool their wealth to build an estate that matches the largesse of their betters but what they gain in comfort, they lose in solitude. These ones usually call their estates something that sounds like the antithesis of the sea like, Troy Court, or Goshen, or Living Gold. And even among these there is inequality. Some do not quite manage to stay unscathed from the scourge of the sea. There’s one called Dolphin, although it was once the haven of many an islander, time and circumstance have reduced it to something less than an island. Both its streets and its buildings are now largely indistinguishable from those that float on the sea. All it has left is its name and its reputation — Dolphin, the island that once was.

Islands are also safer than the sea. Situations that could be fatal on the sea aren’t on the island. Of course if you get shot in the head, then it doesn’t matter where you are. Dead is dead. Dead as a door nail or dead as rabies. But I once heard of a man — an island man, who fell from the penthouse of his island home. He smashed his face on the pavement, and if witnesses are to be believed, his brains just about spilled out from his nose. Everyone thought he’d die. He didn’t.

He was airlifted to a place where there are more islands than seas and was never heard from again. He didn’t die. I know that because bad news always travels. I believe he remained there, for they say his island in that new place is a lot better than his island here. Those that know his name don’t speak it often, because people from islands don’t like to explain how it was that a fellow islander pushed by no one fell 4 floors. The malicious say it wasn’t a fall but a jump, and once that’s considered the mystery of it makes sense. I do not believe it possible that an islander, no matter how gifted with rhetoric, could explain to the people from the sea whose daily experience is suffering that the comforts of the island were not enough to stop one of their own from from wanting to die.

The sea and the island are metaphors but at the same time they are not. I cannot speak of all the places that have them, but I can tell you that my city does. I was sailing home the other night through the overwhelmingly dark sea. I heard later that a pipeline had blown up somewhere, ending the supply of the stuff the steel angels rely on to guide the sleepless as they navigate the sleepless sea.

Mile after mile, I sailed on in the dark, avoiding unseen craters and fellow travelers, trusting that my familiarity with the route and the radiance of my floodlights would be enough to lead me. I continued like this until I got to the gate of my island; a lighthouse in the desolate Lekki sea.

Happy Days,

Notes on Falz' This is Nigeria: It's Brilliant!


This is Nigeria

It is likely that many Nigerians listened to and watched Childish Gambino's This is America with what I'd call an appreciative apathy. It's an eloquent essay on what it means to be black in America with imagery that borders on the grotesque, but however well put together, or however well executed, it is not Nigerian. Although we watch the news and sigh whenever racism rears its ugly head, that story is not ours. The blood that has been spilled is not that which pumps through our veins. It is a tragedy but it isn't our tragedy. This is important to remember when you think about Falz' This is Nigeria. Yes, it is derivative, and yes, it lacks the careful choreography of a slick Hollywood production, but those things take very little away from the value of what has been put forward.

Of course, because it is by Falz' own admission an adaptation, it cannot escape being criticised within the template set by the original. However, I would argue that this is the most basic form of criticism anyone should levy against it. The audience This is Nigeria is created for cares not for the original and if they do, no matter who, This is America cannot speak to our lives the same way This is Nigeria does. It may have been different if both were created 2 decades ago, when Western music perhaps had more sway on public opinion than Nigerian music, but this is not the case today.

In the beginning I wondered why Falz didn't make something entirely new - he clearly has the talent for it. I imagine that the lines had sat in his head for years. At the very least I do not think that any one who lives in Nigeria could ever be short of inspiration in this regard. Our suffering is generations long. But, what you must realise is this: had he created an entirely new song, with its own undoubtedly original video, he would have missed a window and indeed an opportunity. It wouldn't have seized the imagination the way it has. I wouldn't have gone up to Mama Afam and asked what she thought about it, because she quite frankly wouldn't know. And this is why any reference to This is America must be forgiven or even ignored.

Some may question the lack of an overarching narrative or message. This is America quite clearly tells black men to get their money regardless. But the same message is not applicable here for our problems are many and the solutions are all chicken and egg equations. There is no singular aggressor. There is no one tyrant. The issues play out like a battle with a hydra. For every head you cut off 2 or 3 sprout in its place. And even if you were to cut off one head and burn the stump, you'd still have 8 more heads to deal with. The song does point to a central problem at the beginning, a recording of a speech by Falz' father which says, "we operate a predictory neo-colonial capitalist system which is founded on fraud and corruption." As one pundit puts it, "Nigeria doesn't really have any new problems. We have new symptoms. The problems are all old, from before you and I were born."

With every headline you read in these parts, from the money swallowing snakes and monkeys to the many atrocities committed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), to the many headlines with numbers of the dead, our sense of apathy increases. I once said, in Nigeria all you can do is watch as the fucks you give simply bleed out of you. At the very least with this song and its derivative video, Falz has re-ignited the national conversation in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime, at least, not through music. And maybe, like all the conversations that came before it, it will end as collective murmurs of dissatisfaction which lead to nothing by way of change. But, every time we talk, one person among us grows closer to acting, and this is why our seemingly ineffective grumbling must continue.

I know a writer with whom it seems I will never agree, especially when we talk about Falz. Something can only be called mediocre when it is compared to other things in its category. It seems that after decades of silence, with Nigerian art sometimes trying and more often than not failing to evoke some sort of emotional response about the state of affairs in the country, someone has succeeded. Such a thing can never be called mediocre. It can only ever be brilliant.

Happy Days,



Another day, another beginning and all of that good stuff that you see on instagram, like instantly, and forget about the next second. I’m trying to be dark and sarcastic but I think I’m failing… desperately. Be that as it may, I’ve come to the realisation that the blog will never be what it was. I feel a bit stupid that I can’t tell you what it was, but that was the point wasn’t it? I don’t know that it was meant to be anything, or that I should have tried to make it be anything. It was what it was. 

The above is an immeasurably stupid paragraph but I’ll persist because I have wisdom to dispense. Or at least I think I do. Another random thought - So much uncertainty in such a formerly handsome young man. How will he ever get anywhere?

The other day, I was driving home. I had to change clothes. A banging suit jacket and un-ironed trousers won’t take you anywhere but home. I think I was half blind when I put them on and dashed out that morning. When I got to work, I was embarrassed. Dressing poorly takes up so much mental energy these days. You’ve got to spend your time… spiritual energy… qi? telling yourself over and over again that it’s okay when you know it’s not. And when people bring it up, you’ve got to find a self deprecating comeback that’s so funny it says, “Now here’s a guy who knows not to take himself too seriously.” Anyway, the trousers weren’t going to take me to the pool party I’d been invited to. Mid drive, some guy Oprah was interviewing  on some podcast that I only very rarely listen to said, “Set backs don’t mean go backs.” 

I love moments like that. Random words fly out of nowhere and knock you to Sunday school. So much truth in 6 words. Heart knots undone just because something said let’s see what Oprah’s got for us today. The same something that said, if you’re not going to delete the blog then you might as well write on it (there’s a brief note about this at the end). It didn’t stop there. When your heart finally talks to you it usually doesn’t stop until it gets the point across.  

So it went on. Dude it said, if you don’t write about something, anything, you’ll probably get so tired of your excuses that you’ll get depressed and try to boink yourself again. You either need to get it over with or get prepared to get nowhere in life. 

It had a point. Intern, to social media intern, to intern producer, to junior producer and digital analyst, to Anchor in one year has been pretty fucking fantastic (it’s the grace of God I swear) but if that writing aspect of the dream is unfulfilled then I’ll probably never be happy. 

500 words in under an hour. I’d say I was back but that’d be me jinxing it. 

Ps1-I know the url says I’m mad but if I ever do that then somebody needs to commit me to the nearest psych ward because your boy’s probably suicidal. And that’s not joke. I was once quite severely mentally ill and I live in mortal fear that if I slip up a bit too much I’ll end up there. I call it the sequelae of depression- that’s a pretty good phrase) 

Ps2- I’m never going to complain about the website again. I can’t do all things. People who try to do all things in Lagos get high blood pressure at birth. 

An Explanation


A friend asked me to take a good long look at the mirror. I have a sneaky suspicion that it should be “long good look” not “good long look” but that’s neither here nor there. Why he said it is also inconsequential, the only thing about it that matters is that he said it and it stuck. It is the trigger that inspired this unwilling explanation. 

I do not find mirrors particularly useful. They show you how you look and can stoke the fires of your vanity or self loathing; but whatever it is, what they show is merely only skin deep. Writing, on the other hand is a different thing entirely. When I write about myself, only the semantics can be adjusted. The who, the where, the when, all endlessly manipulatable. I alter them at will. The same is not true of the what and the why. The what: a statement of fact that this happened and that happened, rigid. The why: endless introspection about motives, mine or someone else’s. Always and everywhere incomparably deeper than I am willing to venture. 

Over the past year, many things have changed, and as regrettably cliche as this may read, nothing has changed. I read my journals from when I was 13, 17, 19, 22, and I am the same. The things I fear and the things I hope for, unchanged. The only difference is where I stand in relation to them.  If you talk about the concrete plan, the vast network of roads I may take to the final destination, then I am well on my way. I am a journalist not by a stretch of the imagination, or by some stranger’s estimation of my blog or talent. I have a degree that says so, and then there’s the job with CNBC Africa, the year I’ve spent without leave or many a sick day, reporting, writing, producing, tweeting and sometimes anchoring Africa’s business story. No amount of pity partying with demons, old or new could ever change this. I do, so therefore I am. 

If I wanted to take the easy way out, I’d say, “all of this journalisting is so intense that I simply have no time to write anything.” You would buy it without pause for thought, but there’d be no point. I do not write to deceive or to spin. If my motives were so shallow I’d stay silent and spare us both the agony. Are you tired yet? It is hard, is it not? To read 418 words at a stretch. 

The breadth of my contract took a while to sink in. I signed it straight away in spite of it; but the liberties I signed away stayed with me. How do I keep a blog called the Ramblings of a Madman and not somehow find myself in breach? What if I want to rant about a certain Company, but that Company’s a client or a potential client? There are clauses that require I seek permission before I embark on a project, and then there are some corners of the media world that I cannot venture into. 

I counted the days, the weeks and the months. On some days I’d blast out 300 words then delete them.Words once familiar seemed strange and then the you’re not any good demon and I started kicking it again. At that point I was damned. Even if I found the time and the presence of mind, whatever I managed to write wouldn’t be good enough. 

There was a bubbling, something underneath saying that happiness or at least my version of it isn’t what I thought it was. It isn’t the glittering fleeting feeling you get when you’re with friends, or when the thing you get when your now is infinite and it isn’t having a lot of money. It is climbing the rungs of a ladder one foot after the other, ensuring that at every stage of your journey, you’re at least a half step higher than where you were - a fraction closer to the dream. There’s a difference between happy in life and happy in now. Having both of them simultaneously would be amazing, ideal. But if I had to choose, I’d much rather have the former. 

I have taken a look in the mirror and I do not always like what I see. I am a journalist. I produce my show, or my shows, regardless of the day, or my mood, or the shit that happened the day before. I like this part of my reflection. The writer in me has not enjoyed the same growth. I do not like this part of my reflection. If only I was born fully formed, all good and wise and not at all reckless and occasionally foolish. If only I made no mistakes and crashed less cars. If only… If only… If only… But one foot ahead of the other, one step on the rung at a time. One word ahead of the other, one sentence at a time. 

A Trump Short


There is a lot about life that is beautiful. It’s the conversations that we hear, and the stories that we tell and how different they are. There are bursts of colour, unpredictable and commanding. There are the moments that we’d rather not remember, shaping us to ends that we cannot see. All of us subscribing to a higher purpose, or agenda. Not all of these are good, but there is a beauty to them all the same. The depths of depravity, the height of goodness, our uncute faces cute to me. 

When the man they call Teflon Trump was elected and then inaugurated, I remembered the terrifying pain of a broken heart. There was a world I was supposed to be in love with that I discovered didn’t love me. You can tell me why he won, and you can tell me how. Reductions of the absurd in the most academic prose. You can write of the anger the disenfranchised feel and you can proselytise the tales of the disillusioned. But there are two things you cannot do. You cannot convince me that he was deserving, and you cannot fool me into thinking that his win is good.

I read an essay once. It was so long ago that I can no longer remember who wrote it, but like all great essays, the meat of it remains. It was the story of a man who lost all faith in God, and replaced the vacuum with a profound belief in nothing. Things stayed that way until he had children. Not knowing how to instil in them the values he knew to be good, he took them to church that they could learn what he learned when he was just as young. The merit of hard work and honesty; the power of love; the meaning of forgiveness; the difference between what is right and wrong; the strength to aspire to do what is right; and the empathy to not judge too harshly the people who do wrong. These were the values I grew up with, and they are the same ones I will teach my children, even if they have now become relics. 

Villains are not scarce when history is concerned, but you could search the list and you’ll be hard pressed to find a man like Trump. Since he’s been given the spotlight he has never once taken the higher road, even when it has been easy. A tweet, a passing comment, a well timed dig, all performed to perfection as long as a win was within reach. Hand delivering pain and confusion when all but the insane would know to stay silent. And God how he lies. With frequency, with mania, with urgency, and utterly without point. 

People question his motives and theorise them. Maybe they think what I think; that he’s a man so desperate for love, affection, and attention that there’s no length he won’t go to for one of the three. He will break the world for no point but to be the one that broke it. Devil or Saint, he’ll take what he can get. But anyway you look at it, it’s a Trump world and the Trump is king. Racists applaud him and supremacists bow at his feet. He is a walking miasma of ire, and maybe that’s why he’s there. When things break subtly and imperceptibly it is difficult to know they are broken, and if we don’t know they are broken then they can’t be fixed. 

So to Trump I say, “Go ahead and break the world. Expose the fault lines of prejudice and show us the cost of failure.” After him, there’ll be another. It’s the way of life that nothing lasts forever. When he is done, we will fix it, and it’ll be a better world than the one he saw the White House in. 

There is a lot about life that is beautiful. It’s how we grow, and how we change and how we hope. We struggle and we fail and we learn. Sometimes we seem like the frailest beings, but when we triumph over our weakness it’s pretty damn fantastic.

Happy Days,

On Religion...


We must treasure the moments we have while we have them. While musing on the topic of Religion yesterday a sober thought struck me — what if it’s all untrue? It’s a difficult question to ask yourself. As a Christian, or more accurately, as someone brought up in the Christian religious tradition, you are taught that God is the universe and humans are at the centre. This theist centrism is not a metaphorical one, we Christians sincerely believe (most of the time) that we matter to God and that God matters to the universe — therefore what we do, think, and say are matters of universal importance (especially when judged through the lens of ‘God’[1]). Often, I am taken by the thought that this centrist paradigm feeds arrogance and self-importance in men; the fuel that ignites the flames of vanity.
By placing the individual at the centre of all creation we create justifications for our excesses because after all, all creation — even the birds, the trees, the sun, and the planets that litter the vast endlessness of our spangled universe — was made for the singular purpose of enabling humans transit between here and the hereafter. Isn’t this a dangerous morality? Is it surprising that what follows from this logic is a philosophy that obsesses about things unseen and remains ignorant of the present human condition? Is it not this ignorance, induced by our self-obsession, that is at the core of all suffering on earth?
As a Nigerian, this centrism is even more literal. It is the framework through which we relate to the stark world that surrounds us and how we make sense of the lives we live. My view is that our willingness to follow bad leaders and to live in blissful ignorance about the sorry state of our country stems from being socialized at an early age in religious (and cultural) traditions that inculcate a blind and unquestioning obedience to authority. Nonetheless, these words, these thoughts, are the privilege of my status. What does my philosophy matter to the poor man? What does my empathy profit him? Does it put food on the table? Who am I to tell him that he is poor? No, in fact, it probably comes across as the mindless prattling of a self-regarding elite who from Olympian heights condescends to know the experience of the poor man and what he needs. He does not know, God knows, God trusts, God provides, God decides, have faith, that is good enough.
In this sense quoting Marx’s famous words makes poignant sense — “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.” So even while I remain a staunch critic of the religious experience, even while I revile the odious corruption of the identity of God in the self-interest of man and his politics, I am softened by the understanding that for many the devotion to religion serves as a palliative. In a world of sham, imperfections, and broken promises, it offers aspirations that are perfect and divine.
[1] The character and characterization of God by humans either through biblical interpretation or societal norms bears heavily on the religious experience.
PS: This not atheism. At most it is a critique of religious practice.
Originally published on Eskor Toyo's medium account. Which we highly recommend. He's Reforming himself while living in Lagos. 

I skipped to My Lulu and killed my ankle but your Chairman was happy

There's a chune so magnificent that when I first heard it, I stood in front of my mirror shirtless and danced a very African dance. I basically shook my very tiny behind in a scandalous fashion for over 3 minutes. I wasn't drunk or anything like that. It was just that the song I was listening to was so good that I couldn't help myself.

Now some of you that are new may wonder what the jigglypuff it is that I mean by CHUNE. I'm a fairly generous guy so I'll tell you. 

A chune is a song so gloriously wonderlous (that's when wonderful meets fabulous and it doesn't happen very often) that everyone listening feels an almost irresistible compulsion to yell, "CHUNE!!!" And that's a word that really has no place in the English language. That's why you're unlikely to see it in the Oxford dictionary. 

Anyway, the song that made me shake my my very minuscule bum bum for far longer than a minuscule bum bum should ever be shaken is this one. 

It's called My Lulu and it's by District featuring Ajebutter 22. Now, I don't know a lot about District but the song is like puff puff. It's fluffy and wholesome, but also sweet and oily, and one listen is never enough. It's the same way no one ever has one puff puff in the small chops metallic pack. If you like puff puff and you eat one, before you know it the second and third are making their way to your stomach, pimples and muffin top be damned.

I forgot about it until a guy called Bolaji Fuga aka Laji tweeted about it the other day.
He's one of the people behind District. He calls himself a District creative but I don't really know what that means. I don't mind this too much because you can't really expect musicians to be normal. Before you say anything to me ask yourself if Davido is a normal person, and then keep quiet because he isn't. A normal person doesn't spend N100 million in two weeks on two cars in a recession year. It simply isn't something that a normal human being would do, and that's alright.

After I listened to it again, I was so moved that I tried to dance to it while playing a very aggressive game of squash. The chorus goes something like, "skip to my lou lou bae, omo you do me juju." Very catchy no? That's how I decided to skip to my lou and get the ball.

I did not get the ball. Instead, I skipped my ankle to its grave and ruined it.

Look at it. Ruined! 
Look at it, the ankle is just about done in. It's looking for the after life but the rest of my body is resisting the light mightily. I needed outside assistance so I hauled my well used Vulcan ankle brace out of the closet and strapped it in, that way, I could continue to skip to my Lulu with District without wondering if or when my ankle would decide to give up the ghost. Above is a picture of me listening to that song after work, wearing my strawhat and feeling pretty damn good about myself. I suggest that you do the same.

Happy Days,


This is me hyping a musical feature I used to do on troambyafam, we grade music out of loaves of a maximum of 5 loaves of bread or other such baked things.

Why? We aren't your typical Nigerian/Lagosian blog.

Is Davido a Car Addict? Minor Bell ringing in head.

Another day, another sign that Davido is a probable car addict, compulsive shopper and recession teflon. Yesterday, the star prompted several melt downs when he bought yet another extraordinary vehicle for seemingly no reason at all. I heard a woman in the gym succumb to a bout of complaining as a result of it. 

What a legendary photograph. Standing on N83 million. If I had that much I'd build a cash altar and do thanksgiving by myself. 

This one is N33 million. That's what most people are reporting but how would I know? If I go to a Benz showroom I'll have a stroke and die. 

In the middle of her squats she wailed, “This Davido matter is really weighing heavily on my spirit. In two weeks he’s spent over N100 million on cars. Now, I’m looking at myself and I can only shake my head. What of me? Do I not work hard? I work very hard but where is the money? If it is here I can’t see it. Today, I spent N 2.2 million buying $5,000, and I felt good about myself, then I heard about Davido and I felt useless.”

All of this begs the question, how many cars does Davido actually need? If he continues at this rate he’ll have an expensive vehicle for everyday of the month! Now I don’t have any problems with this. It’s his money and he isn’t in any sort of political office. Furthermore, musicians aren’t known for their wits so we can’t expect the young man to know very much at all about a little concept called saving for a rainy day. But still, we’re in a recession and inflation is murderous. Would it kill him to chill a little?
I suppose money really is funny when you've got this many dollars. That's how his cook will be relieving him of a few notes at a time and he won't know. Old chap, won't you put it in a bank?
Another person who could do with a chill pill is Kcee. Yesterday, Linda Ikeji did the devil’s work when she posted a picture of him holding a Louis Vuitton bag bursting with dollars. Underneath the picture he said, "Shut up! I'm still making the money in bags. Keep talking while I keep balling. God is greater than we all.” He’s since deleted the picture, but it doesn’t reduce the loudness of the but why question that’s ringing in my head. I suppose this is because over the weekend a couple of charlatans smashed the window at the back of my very humble Toyota and took my hair clippers.

So please guys, I know money is sweet, but times are hard and your people are petty. CHILL!

Happy Days,

Why we need to talk about mental health: Inspired by Tee Billz. Brought home by Niyi Okeowo


Before I started this article, I wondered for a second, if I had exhausted the topic of mental health. I have written about it more than once but sometimes I fear I write about it too much. It’s something that I lived, and it’s a question I ask myself all the time, but it isn’t everything. It barely scratches the surface. The one thing I’d hate to happen as a result is if depressed became my adjective. That would kill me. 

Sometimes I fear that it slips out unbidden, and while I may be fine with glueing shells to my man boobs and galavanting around the beach, I’m incredibly uncomfortable sharing my more painful moments. The way I see it, I’m supposed to be good always; happy always. I have always believed that that is my best self. When I’m not, I say that I am anyway with all hope that it will one day be true. And this is part of the problem. I am ashamed. I know that it’s an illness, and I know there’s nothing to be ashamed about but the shame lives on. 

Yesterday, Tee Billz, Tiwa Savage’s something or the other put up a picture of Kerry Washington with a quote that she’d made. It said, “My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?” It’s apt coming from Tee Billz. A little while ago he was on the side of a bridge in Lagos thinking about or trying to jump. Since then it’s been reported that he has received some sort of help. Underneath the picture he said, “If you can seek help for malaria and fever, don’t be ashamed about your psychological and emotional condition! Why are we so afraid to discuss mental health in our society?” That question is one that’s definitely worth asking. 

You can get tired of your own words and your own actions. Sometimes I feel like I’ve talked so much about depression that there’s nothing left to say and that’s usually when Niyi Okeowo, a creative genius in Lagos comes along with a quote or a retweet that raises awareness about mental health. When that happens, I think, “I may not have enough energy for another sentence, but I’ve certainly got enough to click the button that says retweet.” 

I hit him up on twitter with two questions: why he raises awareness about mental health on twitter and why he thinks it’s important that others do the same. Here’s what he had to say. 

I think mental health awareness is really important. Most Nigerian’s either don’t understand what it is or think it’s got something to do with being mad. There are a lot of kids, youths, and adults that have these issues but don’t know how to identify them. Apparently this generation thinks it’s lame to talk about your feelings. You have people that can’t even express themselves properly for fear of how they’ll be percieved by twitter. 

I do it because it’s really needed. Someone needs to talk about it. You hear of a lot of people committing suicide and we don’t know why. There’s this ignorant statement I’ve heard, “only white people commit suicide.” Just talking about it does two things for me. Firstly it helps me overcome my own demons and then it helps someone else overcome theirs. If we all really said how we felt… we’d probably be happier. We wouldn’t have so much to hide. But it’s the new age… Everybody wants to be perfect, no flaws… That’s the illusion of social media; everyone’s life is perfect. 

But it’s really the opposite. It’s okay to be broken as long as you find your way out of it. The moment people can see that its okay to have flaws is the point that people begin to understand why it’s important to talk about mental health. 

And then, it’s very important that those who understand it a little talk about it. When they do they’re doing a good thing. Mental health education is important. If I talk about it today, someone else feels the need to continue the wave and decides to talk about it tomorrow. Before you know it everyone’s talking about it. Everybody is learning. Everybody understands the dangers of not talking about it; the stigma and every other thing that involves mental health . The more hands come together to talk about it, the more we create awareness. This is how movements start. One person sparks the movement and the rest follow through. 

I know I delete my tweets every now and then. I could tweet about mental health today and the next month I've deleted my tweets, but, I’m trying to use art to tackle mental health. Exhibitions. Music. Literature. Any art form. Just bringing all of these art forms together under one umbrella to talk and tackle mental health issues. But yeah… It’s super important that we all talk about it. It’s the only way we can educate ourselves. The government either doesn’t care about or understand mental health. All we have is each other to be honest. 

Happy Days,

A Troam Team Discussion about the Girls on a Leash

Afam: This is so strange. My jaw's literally on the floor right now. I can't wrap my head around it.

Troamteam: Who's that?

Afam: It's a god dog alien man called Pretty Mike. His real name is Michael Nwalie and he owns a night club. 

Avenger: Where's this night club?

Afam: The Premium Times says it's Club Uno which was once called Q Club on Allen Avenue (It's a street/district in Lagos). 

Avenger: Is this what they do there? You know? Girls on leashes and horse tail whips.

Afam: I assume so. Why else would anyone turn up to a wedding with girls on leashes? It's only excusable if the club is kink oriented and maybe not even then.

Troamteam: Is this something we should be writing about? I know it's being talked about everywhere else but is there anything new that we can add to the discussion? And even if there is, should we be part of the viral machine? He clearly wants some sort of infamy for this and we are giving it to him. 

Afam: You have a point, but here's the thing. We can't not talk about it. I'd rather have it on here where we'll have a proper discussion about it, than somewhere else where they'll just put it up and say it's wrong. It isn't enough to say that it's wrong, we have to say why.

Avenger: It's clearly odd, but I'm struggling to see why it's wrong. If they're all consenting adults then I don't think wrong is the right word to describe it. It's strange and it's inappropriate but I'm not sure that it's wrong. 

Troamteam: It's wrong because having this out there in the light of day says that it's alright for a man to put a woman on a leash, and it's not. Impressionable people will see that and think that it's normal, and it isn't. 

Avenger: But that's the point. That it doesn't seem right doesn't mean that it's wrong. I can't tell anyone how they should live. It isn't my problem and it certainly isn't my business. 

Afam: I think it's wrong because it's misogynistic. It isn't news that women the world over are treated unfairly because they're women. This is one of the most explicit representations of that fact I have ever seen. It sends the message that it's alright, and because women are already relatively disadvantaged, it isn't harmless fun.

Avenger: Would you be as offended if it was a woman holding a man on a leash? 

Troamteam: No, but that's a crazy argument. Men have always been protected by society. Forgive the cliche but male privilege is a thing that exists. Over the holidays my 3 year old niece saw me washing the dishes and said, "Uncle why are you doing the woman's work?" I had to sit and tell her that who washes the dishes isn't gender specific. She's only three but she already believes that one of the many duties she has to shoulder as she gets older is dish washing. The image of a woman being confined to a leash is infinitely more harmful than the opposite because it makes a bad situation worse!

Afam: I think it's tricky because both of those things aren't great but I think @Troamteam has a point and I'll explain. If you had a son and he called you stupid is it more harmful or less harmful if you are the one that says it to him?

Avenger: They're both wrong.

Afam: But you cannot deny that it causes more harm when you say it than when your son says it. It's the same thing with cracker and nigger. I call a white person a cracker and it's just another rude thing that people say, but when a white person calls me a nigger it isn't. By calling me that he hasn't just insulted me because I annoyed him. He's called on my history as a black person (colonisation and slavery) and he's called whatever idea I have of that to the fore. And it's painful because, and I really hate to say this, we're still not free of white supremacy. So the two are not the same. 

Avenger: Fair enough. I can see that, but what of the sexual connotations behind it. What if it turns them on.

Troamteam: If that's the case, then they should do it where it's legal to have sex, and that isn't at a wedding in full view of the public. If it's because they're getting some sort of kink out of it then at the very least it's public indecency. 

Avenger: Chances are that he's doing it for the publicity, if he is I think there's some merit to it. When have any of you done something so outrageous so that you could be successful?

Afam: That's a fair point too. And I haven't done anything so crazy that it'd blow up the internet and earn me publicity. However, I'm glad that I don't think I have to. I think I'm better than that. I genuinely believe that there should be another way to get popular than having to put two girls on a leash and parade them around a wedding the same way I might do my dogs. It's such a disrespectful thing to do and now I'm not even referencing the fact that they're female. It is disrespectful to their humanity. 

Avenger: But what if they got paid for it. 

Troamteam: I hope that they did and handsomely too. I'm really bothered by it, and maybe that's why we should talk about it. Anything that bothers me this much has to be a topic of national conversation. 

Afam: @MamaAfam what do you make of this?

MamaAfam: My problem is that I'm looking at it from a woman's angle. How do I see myself to allow someone put a leash around me and walk me like a dog? To allow a man to lead me around like a dog... How do those women see themselves? Do they not understand the message they're sending out about womanhood? Do they not understand that they're degrading the essence of womanhood? Because they were not forced! If they were forced I would understand. And for society at large the guy should be stoned. And he was fine with people taking pictures? When it's not a carnival! It is not a float. And let's not even bring up the liberal argument. In England could you go to a wedding and put two women on a leash. I don't understand it. Ko ye mi ra ra (I am confused). Are we sure that those girls are mentally okay?

Avenger: That's an important question to ask because in as much as I don't think you can tell three adults what to do when it's not expressly illegal, it is vile. And you have to think of the mental or emotional state of a woman that let a man do this to her.  

Troamteam: Is it me, or is this looking a bit like prostitution?

Afam: It's not just you, and you're not the only one that's deeply bothered. I keep holding my head and literally asking myself if this is what it means to have free will because I'm not sure that everyone should. 

Avenger: I'm going to ask you guys a question and you must answer honestly. Do you or do you not want to go to his club now?

Troamteam: I don't want any part of me to ever be associated with anything that guy stands for so the answer's no. I will not dance to the music there, and I certainly won't pay for a drink there. I will not enable him in any way. 

Afam: I would go to see what it was like. I feel like it's better to know what's out there than it is to not know. So no matter how vile it was I'd go and see it. If I met him on the street I'd want to ask him about it too. There has to be more going on than I was just marketing my club so I decided to put a collar on two women and lead them around in daylight. If there isn't he's clearly insane. 

Avenger: The funniest thing would be what he would do if he has daughters. His past would quite literally scar them. 

Troamteam: That would be terrible. It wouldn't be funny at all! He should not have children at all. If he has daughters and they see that picture then it'll be all but impossible to remove that image from their minds. And if he has sons they'll go around thinking that they can put women on leashes. 

Afam: So he shouldn't have children?

Avenger: No. Probably not, but he will anyway, because anyone that does what that guy did, thinks it's acceptable behaviour. 

Afam: I don't know that I can do this anymore. I am quite literally exhausted. Let's leave this out there for the readers of the blog. I think we've said everything that we think about it, but I don't know that it's enough. I'd like to know what the readers have to say about this. So Afamzers/famzers/beloved readers, please tell us what you make of this fiend and his actions. 

Afam End Note:
This conversation literally happened on the shared google document that was meant to be a recap of episode three of Skinny Girl in Transit. Like I said, Afamzers/famzers/beloved readers, please tell us what you make of this fiend and his actions.

A very Troam Interview: Who's Adeolu Adefarasin?

Special people deserve special treatment. It's like when you meet someone and they tell you about an interesting but insane thing that they're doing, and you believe that they'll succeed even though you don't know them. This is how we felt when we met Adeolu Adefarasin, the actor who plays Nathan in Skinny Girl in Transit. To be perfectly honest the blog's official stance is as follows.

Adeolu Adefarasin isn't a god dog alien man like many of you tragic male characters out there. Heck! We're not even sure that he is a man. He's a demi-god or an exalted hero in a man's body. His hair is made of unicorn fluff and his skin is made of celestial bronze. He eats sunlight for breakfast and he shits rainbows. Everytime you're lucky enough to see a rainbow know that it isn't because of light and moisture in the air, it's because Adeolu Adefarasin has just taken a dump somewhere.

This interview is a TroambyAfam first. Typically, when we interview people, we skype them, record the conversation, and spend hours constructing a narrative using some of their best quotes. As we usually only interview good people that we respect we've got a small tendency to sound like we're in love, or like we've developed a passion for arse kissing, but not so. It's difficult to keep your cool when you meet awesome people. In this interview, we didn't skype Adeolu, because Afam would have been as awkward as hell, we sent a list of questions to his PR representative and he sent answers. We felt very professional about it.

And now for the man himself! 

When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?

I first got into acting when I moved to boarding school in the UK at the age of 13, but would say I first really decided I wanted to do acting when I had my first lead role in a school production. We did a performance of Agamemnon in which I played the title role. There were some highs and some epic fails, like me falling flat on my face in my underwear during the final bow, but it was such an adrenaline rush and I loved every moment of it.

He clearly has no shame. Here he is in Snapped, Nigeria's first Snapchat movie (Are those really a thing?), serving clavicles, chest hair, and area boy. It's a Halloween lewk. 

Once you knew what did you do about it?

When I decided I wanted to be an actor I fully committed, some would probably say overcommitted, because I did something that in hindsight I would change: I put all my eggs in one basket. For my A-Levels I studied Performing Arts, Photography and Media Studies. I went on to join the British National Youth theatre, get a degree in acting and study film. I steeped myself in classical work doing performances of both Othello and Hamlet.

Why did you move back to Lagos?

My decision to move back was surprising to even me, but after a while in the US, I came to the realisation that I was no longer doing acting that I enjoyed. I wanted to come home and be part of something bigger and set a path for myself that meant I could effect change. One of the reasons I love film is that I enjoy when a movie ends and I am changed. So, I moved back to create work on a stage where I believe I could have a great impact and create work with meaning.

What’s your dream role?

The example I’ll give here isn’t exactly my dream role, but I think it encapsulates what I am looking for in my dream role and that is The Joker in The Dark Knight. I hold Heath Ledger’s performance in such high regard. I want to play a role that is internally challenging; something dynamic, where there is real internal conflict; something where the character is at war with themselves. I believe it creates the opportunity for an actor to really get his hands dirty and find truth that all humans deal with but on a massive scale. For me, that is what film should always be: truth in the most intense and dramatic circumstances.

How did you get the Skinny Girl in Transit part?

Through unmerited favour. I got put in touch with Abimbola Craig through her mother actually, and really I procrastinated with reaching out but when I finally did it turned out they were looking. I sent in my acting reel and they liked my stuff, so they called me in for a meeting and we really hit it off. Since then Bimbo and NdaniTV have been an absolute blessing, and she is amazing to work alongside too.

What’s the most interesting thing about your character?

On the surface, Nathan is just the innocent gentleman, the good boy, but there is another side to him that comes out and gives him layers I enjoy and I think the audience will too. You can also see that he is methodical about that side, but only some people can see it; others just see the good boy.

Well he isn't looking very innocent or good in this picture. Here's the young man... I'm not quite sure what he's doing, but I suppose every actor needs a look like this in his repertoire. It's a bit intense so I asked a colleague who has a vagina about it and she said, "Lovely photo. Fine boy. How Old?" And I said, "Did your pastor tell you that 2017 is your year for marriage?" And she said, "maybe."

What was it like working with the cast?

I’m honestly quite a shy person so on the first day or two I was pretty quiet but the cast is amazing, and I mean every single member! It was just such a laugh from beginning to end and you could tell a real family was built there, but they welcome outsiders so well. I had a bit of a roasting session for the absolutely effervescent Bisola but that was the beginning of the love. I honestly had an amazing time on set and miss it a lot already.

What’s next for you?

Well I recently just finished on Season 3 of Gidi Up, so there’s that. I cannot wait to see audience’s reception to it. I am also currently in the long but thrilling process of producing my first film: a film I believe really captivates so much of Nigeria and has such a strong story that if told well, could be loved globally and that is what we are hoping to do.

Troamteam Take Aways...

You really mean the chap decided to become an actor after he fell down in his underwear as a child in public? How extraordinary! Anyway you look at it, this is not the expected reaction. I'd have run to my mummy, cried for days and if anyone ever asked me to go on stage again, I'd ask if their middle name was a dirty word like bastard.

Once he knew what he wanted he fully committed. This is good advice! Once you know what you want, commit like it's a Nigerian wedding and you're about to be sprayed with dollars!

Adeolu left the Overseas when he realised he wanted to create work on a stage where he believed he could have a great impact and create work with meaning. Aka money isn't the best motivator, meaning and fulfilment are.

He says he got his part in Skinny Girl in Transit through unmerited favour. Thank you Baba God for blessing your boy with some favour, because if not for that favour, I don't think we'd have blogged about him this year.

We'll be blogging and recapping Gidi Up season 3 too because where Adeolu goes, we shall follow.

To follow the young chairman on twitter, please click this hyper link because they're actually anal to make. 

If you're looking to start a fan club then you should probably start by following him on instagram. 

And if we haven't scared him away, we'll have him back to talk about how he's dealing with the receding hairline disease that's tying the destinies of many unfortunate young men in Nigeria right now. For that interview, it's a good idea to follow Afam on twitter, and then follow troamteam on twitter, because if you don't, you'll probably miss it.

Happy Days,

Cool fm's Freeze says Go forth and Masturbate... We will! Most of us already do!

I woke up to an imessage from Afam that said: "You probably shouldn't go to work because you're currently a cesspit of disease and that's putting it mildly. With any luck you'll take the day off and write like your life depends on it."

He was right. After a late contraction of the Harmattan flu, I'm convinced that my body is almost entirely made of mucus. I'm sick enough that leaving my bed today is an unrealistic dream, but I'm not ill enough to not work. I've got a jug of lemonade, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a cup of Jinseng tea beside me so don't worry. I have it on good authority that this is all you need to beat the flu. 

As interesting as my battle with the plague is we'll have to abandon my battle with the flu for a more interesting topic: Freeze and Masturbation. 

Freeze is an on air personality that I simply have no time for. If I had one wish it would be that he'd shut up. I do not wish him well, I do not wish him the best, I wish that he would put a sock in his mouth and leave it there. His mouth runs on the devil's bile and SPEED. It spews rubbish and nonsense with such regularity that his address should be the dustbin. However even the most villainous villains in all the land are fated to have at least one good day every decade, and it turns out that his happened rather recently. 

Enter Afam with an editorial interlude

Easy Tiger. Even though Freeze appears to speak without much thought with worrying frequency it is far better to be polite to the point of rudeness than it is to be straight up rude. For the record this errant thought and probable symptom of Jack Daniels induced liberalism is not my position on Freeze or the blog's for that matter. It's simply a man calling it as he sees it.

Afam out!

The whole thing began when a young man asked Freeze if wanking/beating the baton/stroking the disco stick was bad. And he asked this because he's probably been going at it like a crazy sex addict. He even asked about sex toys, which is fairly alternative when you're Nigerian. 

When I read the question which suffers from far too much arse kiss, I thought Freeze would say something like, "Don't masturbate because that's how the devil ties the destinies of men in his enormous calabash." But the OAP surprised me. In a rare display of common sense, Freeze said that it was probably fine and that God would probably understand. The first reason he cited was health. It has been proven more than once that men who empty their sperm banks almost daily are less likely to develop prostate cancer later on. The other explanations he gave were a little wonky. 

He implied that because boys aren't getting married at 13 like they did in the time Moses, and because men no longer have thousands of concubines, it's okay to masturbate.

I mostly agree. In Lagos I'm almost completely celibate. If I didn't have my right hand helping out from time to time I think I'd go mad! I'd walk into a bar, see something that looks like a girl, get down on one knee and propose instantly. Christianity says that adultery and fornication are bad, and that's fair enough. Somehow, doing it on my own seems like the lesser evil.

Happy Days,

Troam team. 


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