UNSUNG

i have had this turning in my mind for a few days now, it is not written to put any one  down, i do understand that in my writings as much as i try , my bias could show up from time to time.

In the short while that i have known me , i have concluded that i am a ” people person ” . I am happiest when i do what i can to make people around me more comfortable. I guess this might be the reason that my mentors are Mother Theresa and MLK. I also realize that we are all so different and see things thru different lenses. For this reason i will like for  you to read it objectively and take whatever part you find useful just so that we can make this “world a better place “.

A few days back , one of my workers buried his child, who had cerebral malaria. Her admission triggered the thoughts that have been churning in my mind for days now.

We definitely live in different times. lets take career choices , for instance ,i wanted to read sociology in education , my mum was vehement , insisted i must read pharmacy, i hated it but had no choice … i studied it …and many years later , i have found myself smack in the middle of my first love, sociology in education.

So i try the same method with my child ( ok ok…I am ashamed of it, but its the truth ) . ..the pikin no gree ooo..i soon found out there was little i could do.  So now we observe, our children aspiring to be footballers, “basketballers”, DJs, Musicians, Actors/Actresses, software designers….all sorts of courses now that u would have gotten ” classical ifoti” to even suggest  in our days …hehehe.

What is interesting about these careers is that you cant choose ’em just for the heck of it , its either you have it in you or you don’t … This is what makes them special….but the money that these careers can churn out tho….wowww…., the fame , the glory that goes with it .

Musicians here in Nigeria,have never had it so good , as in this dispensation… some songs sef ….not that you understand exactly what it is trying to communicate ..e.g.  ” take it..uhm..take it ugh..Alhaji…ehn ehn “???? itumo??? hehehe… but dollars rolled in .. and ” omo baba olowo” eventually ” l’owo ju daddy ooo”, however, you cant blame us , the society doesn’t help, so we watch music videos, that show the dollars, then the next thing is ” mo fe ra Ferrari  bobo, fly to parisi bobo”.. and the babes move in …in droves, and man soon realizes, that ” she still wants Ferrari, Bugatti plus my love o”.  So the music world presents a life style of dollars, babes, Bugatti,bling …ooo and Hennessy too…

Please don’t get me wrong , i agree that if you made the money you should enjoy it , move up in the social strata, buy new house, new cars , clothes , shoes…( BTW i find MTV’s ” my crib” very nauseating , abi na just me??…ah when one man has 40 pairs of shoes..and dozens that he has never worn before….tor…i think stuff can be done differently, but then like i said earlier , that’s just my opinion.

In recent times the musician that has ” stolen my heart ” has to be Akon …we all know about his present project providing electricity, i know of many missionary projects , in Africa, providing water , a bore hole costs may be 1.5 million ?? an industrial one can serve some villages, Bill Gates continues to invest in this African Scourge called malaria, Angelina Jolie has charitable interests in Africa. What about Bono??? That man has been a blessing to millions . There are people , maybe not as famous , who invest in research , yes, cancer and HIV labs , they contribute millions of dollars, euros, pounds towards this.

i will like to think our super stars are investing into the society too, the one that comes to mind is Dbanj and  his education charity called ” Mr Capable foundation “,but assuming that a number are not, this will be a good time to ” shakiti bobo”, and invest in our communities, help the fight  against malaria, provide portable water , invest in education do whatever you can, how ever little it is , to help the unsung … You cant touch the world by spending your hard earned money on just you and your own , but by how many of the unsung you reached with your songs ….AND your proceeds ,after all ” we are the world “.

 

THE NIGERIAN PIDGIN LANGUAGE : MAKING GIANT STRIDES .

I am at the moment doing some sociolinguistic survey , and i realize how blessed we are as a Nation. Nigeria , we are told, has one of the highest linguistic concentrations in the World . We have 505 living indigenous languages (there could be many more not on record ).

This explains to an extent , the advantage of English language . It can be argued that the original intent of English language domination was imperialistic or even capitalist in nature , but English has served as a unifying language in our multilingual society.

Realistically, when there is language domination , the dominated language is gradually lost but often times, a new language is formed , usually a mix between both languages involved .

In the not too distant past , Pidgin language was seen as the language of the “unschooled”.  I was raised in a “middle class ” family , my father being a civil servant , mother a Nurse and later a business woman .( we know that there is no middle class again ooo…tinz don change , hian !) Pidgin was the language spoken to the driver and gardener ( but never the mai guardi …hausa man if u dont understand his language , na u sabi, hehe). I dont remember what the driver did, but he told a lie, in an attempt to speak pidgin , i heard my mum say ” na lie be the lie wey you dey lie “…Ahh… the driver and gardener laughed so hard that day .

I think it is safe to say that Fela Anikulapo-Kuti , was the first to bring ‘swag” to pidgin thru music , there were other musicians obviously ,but his music made the average person appreciate Pidgin….. he went to the very prestigious university of Manchester , and so could speak the “Queen’s English ” but chose to speak pidgin , because he was able to reach both the educated, non-educated, all classes of people in terms of social status .

In recent times , Music has been one of the carriers of the Pidgin language in Nigeria, with songs like “Dorobuchi” and ” Na Godwin” to name just a few . African Movies are not left out , a number of successful ones have a good mix of English and Pidgin, one of my favorite movies in recent times ” 30 days in Atlanta ” , testifies to that ! Do I even need to mention the number of TV and radio shows , presented in Pidgin language .

There is no doubt that Pidgin language is gaining ground in the linguistic map of Nigeria. it has been stated that over 70 million Nigerians have it as a second language . Some speak it because that is the closest to English in terms of communication , however, there is a group i notice, who speak as a matter of choice .Since the whole essence of language is to enhance communication and therefore development , it is about time language policies are given another look , to see what can be done with the Nigerian Pidgin Language .. because , as i dey see am so, e dey hia to stay, e  no go waka go  at all at all ….hmmm!

The Audacity of Change

Every human on the face of this earth , deep down in his being wants change , wants something different , wants something better , maybe not better but something “new”. We work hard , so we can change our social, financial and psychological Status. Migration occurs because we want change . One of the reasons for this desire is usually a dissatisfaction of our present status . So you have been able to build a 4 bedroom house in one of the estates in Lagos… that’s a change compared to when you were renting apartments just a few years back ….but your eyes are on the 3 bedroom flats at lekki…smaller house, smaller compound but better location …you don’t mind this change , so you are willing to put your house up for sale so that you can buy into this “change”.

One thing can be considered the brakes in the desire for change ….UNCERTAINTY …how do you know for sure that your family will be more secure at lekki? how can you tell that this job offer will open more doors than the last ? how do you know what will be sitting in your account by the end of the year ….THE TRUTH? YOU JUST DON’T KNOW … and its ok …i mean not to know, this is part of the adventure ….it takes GUTS to get up and move when you have to …that is the Audacity of Change …