Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's Been 2 Years Already

Almost forgot. Today is my 2nd blogiversary. It's been 2 quick years since I started blogging. I say 'quick' because obviously I can't believe that so much time has passed by. I will always say that the great thing about blogging or any form of journaling is the record you have of the time gone by. So often it may seem like we haven't been up to much, until we see a record of what we have actually done. It's great!

A year ago today I wondered what the coming year would bring me. Well, it turned out that it was more about trying to squeeze time to blog amidst the busyness of life than it was about creating any literary fireworks. Well, here's to an interesting 3rd year.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Jero Plays

Yesterday the Season of Wole Soyinka came to an astounding close with The Jero Plays, which was two plays in one, The Trials of Brother Jero and Jero's Metamorphosis. I'd never read nor seen either performed and totally enjoyed it. A friend told me that it was his least favourite play because it satirizes Christianity. Indeed it did. But perhaps not so much Christianity, but the slavish devotion and unquestioning loyalty that many display towards their spiritual celebrities. The celebrity in this set of plays is the fraudster masquerading as a man of God, Brother Jero.

The play was nicely adapted to modern times and referenced many incidents in Nigerian current affairs. It zinged with wit. One thing that never fails to amaze me about certain books or plays I have read that comment on the societies of their times (Jane Austen comes to mind) is how even though they might have been written so many years ago, many of the observations are still so relevant and on point today. At several junctures throughout the play the lady behind me would exclaim to her friends "You mean that Wole Soyinka noticed all this back then?", or "So all this was happening back then!" There's truly nothing new under the sun I guess.

I attended the 6pm show and the hall - very unlike the first week - was bursting to capacity. Even before the show started, hordes of people thronged outside the hall waiting to get in. And this wasn't a music concert. Unbelievable!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ken Banks Interview

In the 6th of his African Digerati interview series, Hash of White African interviews Ken Banks. Ken has done a lot of work in the use of mobile technologies to address social problems.

It's an interesting read.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wireless Networking Training

I've been seeing some interesting technology and social development-related workshops, grant and competition opportunities lately and have been meaning to post some of them up. This one looks totally fun. Although I am not really techie (hardcore techie people would say that I am NOT AT ALL techie), I love to take things apart and attempt to put them back together (I usually end up staring dismally at the parts wondering what went wrong). I love to scrutinise lines of code and figure out what's going on. I loved borrowing other people's code for web pages I used to develop, because that instantly made my site look (and hopefully work) a lot better. Maybe the word to describe people like me is 'techno-dilettante' or perhaps ordinary 'dilettante' would do just fine.


One Village Foundation-Ghana in partnership with Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing and WirelessGhana.com are implementing a 10- day Wireless Training as part of a series of emerging technology sessions. This training will be a point of convergence for at least 50 personnel from
the IT Community in Ghana and the West African Sub-region.

Topics covered will include Introduction to Wireless Networking; Setting up and Configuring Wireless Local Area Network (LAN); Building Local Routers & Introduction of WiFi Devices (USB, PCMC, etc.); Installing Open Source Software; Network Securities; and Bandwidth / Internet Link Optimization.

Looks totally fun!

Read more for further information.


I feel like I've neglected this blog a little bit lately. And it's not like there aren't things to blog about either. At work these days, I'm really, well..... working my little butt off - as I SHOULD be, I hasten to add. I'm trying to make sure I get enough sleep. I tend to sacrifice my sleep when I feel I have other more important things to do. Unfortunately, I can no longer survive on 4 hours sleep. It shows on my face and everyone at work comments on how tired I look. These are not statements that my vain side takes very kindly too, so for the sake of looking good the next day, blogging, catching up on emails and other 'non-essential' (read: non-work related) activities are shoved to the weekend. Alas, the weekend also comes with its own stuff to do.

I haven't forgotten about that meme, Tayari. I will do it!

Vacation Time

I've booked my leave. I'm so excited. I don't even know what I'm going to do with it yet, but that really doesn't matter at the moment. In fact, trying to figure out what I'm going to do with it is a big part of the fun.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Season Goes On

Was at TerraKulture on Sunday for lunch and it was such a beehive of activity. I wasn't able to attend the day's play Camwood on the Leaves in the ongoing Wole Soyinka season (I will be there unfailingly for this week's play).

I have to say that I was really pleased to observe the numbers of people streaming in to see the play. Wole mentioned that attendance had picked up and I noticed a huge billboard right by Silverbird Galleria (great location for it), in addition to the radio ads.

In the time I was there, people came into the restaurant for lunch or to hang-out before proceeding to the hall for the show.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Oh, Tayari tagged me for a meme. It's been a long while since I last completed a meme. I know I've been tagged 1 or 2 times in the last few months and was not able to do it. This one looks easy, so I'll do it. Of course, not now - being the eternal procrastinator that I am :-) ...........

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life as I See It

My friend Y moved to England over the weekend with her family. She has her reasons for moving and while I will miss her, I also understand.

That has got me thinking about life and setting goals for yourself. Being in school was exciting, because I was constantly learning new things, meeting new people and being challenged in a myriad of ways. Starting work was somewhat similar, but after a few years I think that, like with a lot of people, stasis sets in. Even in the best of jobs where you are regularly taking on new responsibilities, the other aspects of life can get somewhat routine. So it's home, work, home, work, home, work. And then some social engagement on Saturday and church on Sunday.

Then you have to take into account the other peculiarities of life in your particular location. Here in Lagos, it's horrible traffic, hardly any electricity, bad roads, noise, pollution and chaos. Sometimes, it makes me sit and wonder Is this it? Is this it for the rest of my life?"

I posed this question to my friend M some years ago and she responded matter-of-factly "I'm afraid so. This is it!" That answer was too dreary for me to even contemplate at the time and so I chose to believe that there had to be something more.

So, fast-forward a few years later, and life is not quite so grey. Occasionally some exciting events puncture the monotonous blanket of life. And I realise that I need to continually set goals. Once I've achieved those (Lord! I make it sound so easy), I make some new ones. For the most part though, there is a sometimes stifling sameness to my day-to-day life and I long to do something that will throw the whole damned comfortable routine out of kilter. Sometimes I want to pick up to another continent and start all over again and experience the excitement and scariness of adapting to a new life. Sometimes I simply want to take a vacation. Or read a book. Or do something I've never done before. Or meet someone who is totally different from everyone else I know.

Life is what you make of it, or so they say. So, what do I want to make of my life now?

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Open Architecture Challenge competition

Recieved this from a mailing list I belong to.

The Open Architecture Challenge is an open international design competition challenges the industry professionals and others to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to improve living conditions around the world. The Challenge organisers believe creating sustainable and replicable solutions can bring about social and economic change within the community and in the world.

This year's challenge will focus on the design and construction of technology centers or telecentres that will help a broad cross-section of a community realize greater educational, social and business opportunities via the Internet.

Visit Telecentre.org for more information.

Friday, July 06, 2007

True Love Celebrates Nigerian Women Bloggers

True Love West Africa did a great piece on Nigerian bloggers in which they profiled 5 Nigerian women bloggers: Bella Naija, Mona, Adaure, Bimby Lads and Taurean Minx. It's good to see the Nigerian blogosphere getting some recognition in the Nigerian press. Although there is a lot written about blogging, much of it is by the Western media or occasionally by the press of some other African countries.

Go to Bella Naija's blog to read the articles online.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Season of Soyinka

There's a Wole Soyinka tribute going on at Terra Kulture in honour of the noble laureate's 73rd birthday. All through the month of July, there will be a stage adaptation of a Wole Soyinka play. The tribute entitled A Season of Soyinka started yesterday with a play - the only one not written by Wole Soyinka - called Who's Afraid of Wole Soyinka?.

The play, written by Wole Oguntokun, is a sharp and witty look at the Abacha regime, which satirises real-life characters and events. The eponymous hero never makes an appearance, although there are many references to him. The mention of his name always provokes a strong reaction from the characters, whether it is one of fear, admiration or dislike.

I went in not knowing what the play would be about and loved that I really enjoyed it. It was a shame though that there were so few people at the show that I attended. I've become keenly aware that the arts are generally considered to be a luxury and a priviledge to be enjoyed mostly by the elite. However, there are so many art events that I have attended that didn't cost the earth or were (even better) free. For instance, I went to the Committee for Relevant Arts (CORA)'s annual book and arts fair last year, which was free. Terra Kulture also has exhibitions on and these are free too.

For many artists who I have spoken to, financial gain - while necessary - tends to be far less important than the process of expressing themselves through their art and finding an appreciative audience. Therefore, it must be tough to pour so much passion into works that do not reach as many people as they could. Or perhaps I am wrong. I have also heard some artists say that even if no one read their books, listened to their music or saw their artwork, they would keep on producing them nevertheless because they have stories inside them that they need to tell.

Anyway, A Season of Soyinka continues at Terra Kulture every Sunday this month with 2 shows at 3PM and 6PM. You missed one great play, so please try and check out some of the others.

July 8: The Lion and the Jewel
Directed by Tunji Sotimirin

July 15: Death and the King's Horseman
Directed by Segun Adefila

July 22: Camwood on the Leaves
Directed by Lekan Balogun

July 29: The Jero Plays
Directed by Wole Oguntokun

The Naked Truth

One of the things I was seriously worried about when I moved back home was that I would put on a lot of weight and become a big FAT mama. I would be walking less and driving around a lot more. I would be eating less healthily; I knew for a fact that I would indulge myself in all my favourite starchy and oily foods. I only hoped that I would not indulge myself too much. I also knew that chances were that I would hit the gym less, after all who wants to sit in traffic for perhaps an hour to and then fro just to spend the same hour working out? Not me, I didn’t think.

Well, I have become somewhat used to the traffic (I still hate it with a vengeance, but what can you do?). I have found a gym that works for me. However, I am not as slim as I used to be. While I am yet to become the enormous woman that I thought I might be, the weight has crept on all the same. For a start, I am definitely partaking of a lot more of the types of food that would make most dieticians keel over in shock. Never having been so keen on eating fruits or vegetables to start off with, I am definitely eating even less now (This is sheer laziness on my part. I find the washing and peeling that goes with eating fruits simply too bothersome). The hours added to my drive by going to the gym have become a huge disincentive to going (especially now in the rainy season and having to deal with the ever-worsening roads).

Despite it all though, I think I have done fairly well with my fitness regime – well, perhaps "well" is not an entirely accurate way to describe my efforts; more like "could have been worse." Anyway, my clothes (mostly) fit me and when I encounter some discomfort, I can typically explain it away with "Well, everyone knows (cough, cough) that ankara shrinks when you first wash it"; "It was time to throw out that outfit anyway"; "The label did say that it might shrink when washed." You get the generally idea. It was the clothes shrinking and not my girth expanding. And I lived quite happily in this state of bliss, until I recently went for a work-related meeting one day at an oil company and ran into an ex-corper friend of mine who works there now.

After the greetings he beheld me with a critical eye and commented, "Wow! You have really added weight oh!"

I barely held my disbelief in check.

- "What???", I exclaimed.
- "Yes, oh! You are much bigger than you were during service year."

I was staggered that someone would offer a (totally!!) unsolicited and potentially crushing review of one’s appearance in such a cavalier manner. Didn’t he realize that this bit of news could drive some women to low self-esteem and an eating disorder? (I will admit that I am given to occasional bouts of melodrama).

He continued, "You better be careful or else you will just become bigger and bigger until one day you look at yourself in the mirror and see that you’ve just become so fat."

I thanked him for his concern with a sarcasm that I know was totally missed. I later retold the story to my friends and sister and we laughed about it. I really should thank him because I think I needed that reality check. 'Good enough' isn’t working for me as well as I would like to think.