Friday, November 7, 2008

An Obama Win and the Black Man

I can not even begin to imagine the joy that people who have lived through segregation here and apartheid in south Africa must be going through to see a black man attain the highest political office world.

My heart goes out to them and I salute the courage of everyone who has ever stood up to segregation, racism and apartheid. Most black people are celebrating Obama's victory and everybody is talking about the change it will bring. But I keep asking myself, does this mean racism will stop? will I no longer experience overt or covert racism and stereotyping as a person of color? The answer is no.

Tomorrow, a white (or even a black) woman somewhere in the world will still cross the road when she is alone on a street and sees a black man walking towards her. Tomorrow someone is still going to be stopped and searched simply because of his color. Tomorrow someone will miss a great opportunity simply because of his color.So i ask what does Obama's win mean for the blacks?

Having thought deeply, I think it means those who have never dared to dream can dare to dream. It means u can wake up today and say; “I can fulfill my destiny no matter what my circumstances are".

To my thinking, this win means for the black person is Hope and a renewed commitment to your personal goals and vision. The change that we hope that this win will bring can only be achieved by us as individuals.

Do you have a vision or a purpose? if yes, begin to walk towards it with renewed strength knowing that circumstances cannot limit you. If no, now is the time to start dreamingwhatever your dreams are, keep on walking towards it. God helping you, you will get there.I salute President-elect Obama for daring to hope.

by Yemi Ayeni

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Soda Machine

Life is like a Soda Machine. One day it's there offering multiple brands and tastes with the added luxury of ICE; the next day its OUT OF ORDER.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life is Gamble

Back then in high school, certain individuals would always come out victorious on the chess board. I spent good time observing the trend but unfortunately did not develop an interest in the game. I just could not decipher the concept of two individuals racking their brains for hours over an imaginary medieval war.

The postulation from my consistent observation was that the winners or "check mate experts" were not necessarily the most brilliant guy's in class, but the smartest. How? the winners were often the group of guy's who never spent time in class and whose names were never called as the top five on exam results or routing tests.

Contrary to this, the other party would be the guy whose head would literally be smoking in class. The guy who would spend time in unknown zones. The guy whose name would always feature on the top 5 list. Then someday, some guy comes in from out of the blues and takes over the board.

look my friends (borrowed line), Life comes with all kinds of scenarios. There are those who are faced with certain opportunities, grab the chance and succeed over and over again. Then comes another group who always have greater chances, grab them and falter consistently even in the eye's of positive mathematical projections.

This may sound absurd but it does seem that life is a gamble and if it is; you just have to keep at it even though it seems to falter recurrently. Some of this situations are checks and balances for the future. You grab an opportunity, you take it up and try. Sometimes the fall is so hard that it really leads to a chain of catastrophe's but never give up.

Look at it this way, if millions of individuals had given up after trying, there would be no Las Vegas, Atlantic City or the great Atlantis. Last line: be smarter than intelligent. A combination of the two would even be better. So my friends, life is a gamble. You rather stay in and keep trying because one day will be yours or you pull up the hand brake and give up.
Any experiences? Post and share on comments.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Overloaded USA

This is USA. It gets overloaded from time to time and eventually sheds its "feathers"...Housing, Finance, Oil, Politics....
opinions welcomed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Extreme Paranoia

I certainly hope that we all take a moment to reflect on how much the world has changed in just a short time. There is always the good side of change, the bad, the scary and the unsure. I will take you through a realistic scenario which would give you the opportunity to probably reflect some more.

At 35,000 ft above sea level, a glance through the windows of the pressurized cabin brings some memory to your sub conscious mind or at least makes you marvel at the experience. To keep the time ticking and keep your mind distracted from the pressures of life especially on long distance flights, lots of unique scenarios come to mind.

One of these is the constant call and choice of Cabernet, Merlot, straight up Johnny Walker or fruit juices as the case may be. Others choose flipping through tons of megabytes of stored movies; that is if you are lucky to be on one of those tech A340's or B777's.

What I find really unique is the "boardroom Meetings" at the AFT-rear of the plane where passengers decide to hang out after exercising their human rights in the toilets. Between 3-5 hours into a transatlantic flight is always the fun time and right time to hear all the economic gossips and other hilarious comments by passengers some of whom might be embarking on journeys to the unknown.

The Air hostesses sometimes join in on the gist session and are always on hand to lend a Cabernet or a micro bottle of Bailey's and some other condiment's. The interesting aspect of these gatherings is that brand new friends and business contacts are consummated.

Well folks, I am sorry to announce that all that fun has now become a federal offence especially on flights to and from the USA. I guess its just another example of extreme paranoia. The sad announcement came through the speakers on one of my recent flights. We were advised not to gather at the rear of the plane for any reason other than waiting to use the toilet(bathroom). Such are the times we live in.

We leave in a world full of fear. It feels like freedom has become an element of diction and not a human right. There are thousands of CCTV's everywhere you go. Wire taps, text taps, toothbrush taps and all other taps just makes you wonder what the world has turned into. Your comments will be appreciated.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What If

What if Eskimo's suddenly found themselves in the Sahara Dessert? if Lions found themselves in posh homes as pets? if electric power stayed on uninterrupted for 2 weeks in Victoria Island? if a drive along the Sagamu Benin expressway was devoid of a single pot hole?

What if motorists in Nigeria suddenly found themselves with a choice of bio diesel, Flex Fuels, mid and super grade of fuel at the gas pump? if the Naira to the dollar became 1:1 again?

The world we live in today is highly complex. As at 2005, real estate investors in the United States had no clue that trouble was brewing. As at 2006, the great American Dream was fulfilled by numerous tax payers. Working class citizens and their families were proud to be at home, in their own houses watching the NFL, NASCAR or NBA as a family unit.

It's 2008. Suddenly, the same home is boarded up. The breadwinner is out of job. The family unit crumbles. What if the real estate market remained the same as 2004? Great institutions have crumbled. Fannie Mae, Indymac and so many billion dollar companies; Insurance giants AIG??

Look guys, I do not know what they tell you but it a disastrous situation that surpasses the impact of Katrina, Ike, twin towers, the tour bus crash in Texas and the train crash in California. This is the Great Mortgage Meltdown.

What if the real estate guy's never showed you a house to buy? what if your apartment complex management dangled great incentives at you? what if the lenders never gave you those enticing ARMS or payment schemes or interest only payments?

What if the suitcase carrying mortgage brokers never invited the public to those weekend forums at posh hotels with free coffee and snacks which they used as avenues to enlighten dreamers about the gains of home ownership? what if they did not use examples of people who made 1000% profit in a few months?

Guess what? its possible for lions to live as pets, for Eskimo's to adapt to the Sahara and for electric power to stay on uninterrupted in Victoria Island Lagos for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The power of sixteen wheels

A drive along the Lagos - Ibadan expressway, a major highway in Nigeria, in the early 90's would have been described as pleasurable, risk free and quick. Today, the same drive is characterised by multiple doses of consistent prayers, subconscious fright of the unknown and uncontrollable anxiety as you approach your destination. In summary; its a cosmic nightmare. A monumental disgrace to administrations both past and present and a constant reminder of the obvious ineptitude and neglect of the Masses who ply the road daily.

I have read and witnessed the impact of faith based organizations that have all turned the highway into some sort of pilgrimage destination. I have heard and read criticisms to that effect. I have been indirectly affected and can attest to massive loss of man hour time due to uncontrollable commotion at the entrances to these sites.

Non of these however comes close to the incidence that occurred in August which was perpetrated by drivers of sixteen wheelers. What occurred could best be described as an act of economic sabotage or even treason.

One of the past state administrator's with a foresight had instigated the construction of a multi million Naira park area for truckers. Apparently, the truckers had become a menace to society as they shunned the park and continued to create homes along some stretches of the road thereby forcing motorists to squeeze through a single lane filled with pollutants from the outdated truck engines. If that was not health degrading enough, the sight of filth at this location along one of the nations busiest highways is retrogressive.

Well, with all of these and after several notices and attempts to relocate the illegal park, the legislated Government officials decided to enforce the movement by the only measure best known to stubborn men; force. The officials towed some of the trucks and confined them till a time when the others were forced to move.

The next action that occurred was shocking and unbelievable. The truck drivers took offence at the Governments action and within a jiffy, they had sabotaged the economy of a great Nation by blocking the entire highway in protest. That was the only way they felt they could show the "power of sixteen wheels". The blockade was on for several hours based on reports from eye witnesses.

Who really is in charge here? what confidence does this sort of action give the public, what would investor's feel about stability? what efforts are being made to enlighten the disgruntled truckers? The pathetic aspect of the issues is that 85% of the trucks are not even road worthy by international standards. Try driving behind one of them struggling to ascend a hilly terrain of the highway. The carbon monoxide attack that follows is indescribable. Hello, it's 2008 and some issues like this should not occur.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If you Believe

Someone once stated that believer's have no need to panic or worry over economic and financial downturns. How? well believers belong to a supernatural economy that knows no bubble or depression. It's a faith thing. Set your mind on worries on the ground and you'll probably not get too far. Believe that you belong to a higher economy, then see what happens next.

Twice I had to change the production date of my second issue of Trendy Africa Magazine. The contents had to be updated which required extensive research. There were too many worries down here. Just too many and too complicated. But one day, a faith based gentleman walked up to me. During our discussion he mentioned; "hey Tosan, do you know that your economy is not of this earth but of high above? believe and see things change".

I stood back and thought over this for a second. Apparently, the gentleman had come to my job to replace a tire on his vehicle. On inspection, I realized that he needed a set. I directed him to see a sales representative and after much consultation he opted for a set.

Today, my second issue is a reality. Reality with the right mind set. Those who know can attest to how much time I had to wait for $1 of support. Expectations, realizations, dreams and vision all seemed to fade with every passing hour but I always remembered the real economy I belonged too.

I also believe that those who believed that they had expectations to inspire me can still achieve it. There is still so much more to be done and guess what? the product would always be a physical reality of our input. All you have to do is just believe.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I remain inspired by the vision that we have started, by the hope that cannot be reversed, by faith that is irreversible, by love that keeps us together; Keep hope alive, success is ours...

If I enumerate the challenges of recent times, it would probably bring tears to the eyes of the compassionate, laughter to the vocal cords of the hater's, lip service to the restless, wonder to the doubtful and reversal of faith to the writer.

The wise choice? I rest my pen but before I do that, a word of encouragement to all who do not know what the future holds, what you do not know would not harm. Be Strong, be courageous, never say never, always try, never give in, never let any one suppress your vision(the attached photo is a testimony) be open to criticism; Keep hope Alive!

Today, I had to forgo an important trip to San Fransisco to be with my great fellow Alumni of a great Alma matter, OAU Ile-Ife. So much had gone into the plans. My accommodation had been booked on the 28th of May 2008. No one ever knows what tomorrow holds. Last word: Pray.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Uneasy lies the head...(2)

The worlds greatest athletic meet, the olympic games has come and gone for 2008 and I must say that China gave the world a treat. If you are human and did not catch a glimpse of any of the games, see a photograph or hear some news on radio, then you probably must have been on vacation to Jupiter.

Anyway, back to reality. I have scripted extracts from my forthcoming magazine and would love to share with you my continuation in the series of the exciting world of Headgears.

As a child, I had lots of thoughts about adult behaviors. I guess it was just part of growing up. One of those thoughts was sort of worrisome to me. Let me explain. My mother is from the rich cultural tribe of Itsekiri in the southern part of Nigeria and one of the attributes of the culture is flamboyant dress code of the women who most often adorn “george” materials and complimenting pieces on the head.

To make matters more complicated, we virtually lived most of our lives in the western part of Nigeria were the Yoruba tribe dominates. They also have a culture that is characterized by tasty and rich dress codes. They however combine silky lacy materials, jacquard, “aso oke” (high cloth) guinea brocade and until recently, Ankara. What really caught my attention back then was the contraption that had to be positioned and fit tightly on the head of women as a compliment to the exiting attires.

The precision, concentration, sweat the number of pins and clips all to have the thick material fit perfectly on ones head was exciting and puzzling to me. Understand the combination? Well, as I matured in age, it became clearer to me. This has led me to showcase the exciting world of Headgears as I prepare to call the contraption.

I must say for those who actually know the feel, it is not an easy task to get the material shaped into various appealing styles. Imaging a high grade linen material that is “Super Starched”; that’s the feel I am talking about. That is exactly how Headgears feel... to be continued

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Medal Counts

Hey, I am sure most of you have been highly entertained by the on going Olympic games in China. However, I need some clarification on the presentation and reporting of the medal counts.

Am I wrong; I thought the norm is that the country with the highest number of gold medals is the leader and should rightly be at the top of the medal table.

Have you noticed the presentation of some Western News media table count? theirs is that the country with the highest total number of medals collectively is at the top of the medal table.

The Olympic official website has a comprehensive medal table that is ranked by highest number of Gold medals. Which is the correct or official medal count indicator??
Stop Press: Nigeria is now on the olympic medal table with bronze medals from the Women's long jump and the Women's 4 x 100m Relay. Okagbare Blessing glided through the air with full determination to put her name on the history book of Athletes.
The relay team comprising of Idoka Franca, Kemasuode Gloria, Ismaila Hamilat and Osayomi Oludamola combined to create some thrills as they clintched the revered bronze medal in the relay.
Notice the diversity in the relay team? great stuff. Think about this; the ladies all competed with the world's best. Don't you think its worth celebrating?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Celebrate Africa

It is imperative that once again in history, we have the opportunity of celebrating Africa and it's achievement. It's not about the longest bridge in the world, nor the tallest building in the world. It's about the spirit of sheer determination, the spirit to conquer and to be the best.

It's the Nigerian under 23 football team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They beat Belgium 4 -1 to qualify for the finals against Argentina. Nigeria is poised to go for gold at the Olympics.
This is the opportunity we need to blow some trumpet about this achievement. It is a task for the local advertisers, the local multinationals and the media to get creative at making the most of the situation.

Africa and especially Nigeria has to be on prime time news right now. Football has over the years been a game of unity, one that has brought the most number of countries to a common playing field. The home media has a chance to profile each player. They have a chance to run with the glory and indemnify the coaches and all those responsible for putting the team together.

Screaming headlines should be the name of the game. You can imaging what countries like the USA are doing for every single gold they achieve. Every gold medal is worshipped as an institution with tentacles reaching out to commercial opportunities as well as endorsements. The information superhighways are all screaming at you from all angles.

Syndicated networks are not sleeping. It's a multi million dollar chance and the least we can do is celebrate. Guy's lets cheer them to Gold and glorify Africa once again.
Helloooooooo!!!!! we earned the SILVER medal. Great Job Guys!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Customized Nuptial: The Alade Experience

I sincerely hope that the times are not racing too fast and too furious for me. By virtue of my adopted profession, I am able to experience the epicentre of certain events and sometimes lounge back stage if you know what I mean.

Anyway, the experience at the Alade wedding in Dallas recently was thrilling. The show of class and style was as clear as the blue sea coastline around the exotic south of France. If you have experienced an Aeriel view of Nice, the rich getaway city on South of France, you could literally catch a glimpse of sea creatures as they swim proudly around the bay.

I say proudly because they are lucky not to be around the "Eleko Beach" lake as that would make them instant victims of some hot grill waiting to be consumed by ever merry Lagosians. And whats more; they may end up swimming with "Gulder" or some "Odeku" concussion.

Back to the Wedding. The Bride, Wunmi did something so unique. She actually entertained guests by simulating a fashion show with her bridal train. I thought that was intellectually awesome. It was not your straight jacket kind of event. The cocktail hour was novel. Guests literally had their fill before the main event.

I hope to capture much more of this kind of entertaining nuptials and implore planners to get really original and individualistic in their choice of routine. This was an unpredictable event with lots of trends. You may view photos on and view link on Bunmi and Wunmi Alade.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Medal for TOGO

Woo Hoo! you cannot even begin to imaging my joy. My dear country of birth has a MEDAL from what may be described as the best OLYMPIC games yet. Boukpeti Benjamin won the bronze medal at the Canoe competition.

Well, my excitement? let me explain. I am Togolese by ascendancy but a Naturalized Nigerian by cosmic design. Togo used to be my favorite holiday spot in the good old eighty's when my Dad and his brothers would drive with pride in a convoy of about 8 vehicles occupied by Wives and children. It was so cool that after spending the entire day by the ocean, on the very clear and clean beach, we would retire to Grandpa's mansion and settle to sleep outside on woven Mats. For REAL folks! We usually spend 14 days on each trip and never wish to return to money generating Nigeria.

LOT'S OF THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN OUR (MY) GENERATION. Togo used to be the ultimate shopping destination. Grand Marche - the big market in Lome, Togo's capital used to be the bee hive of activities. The trunk of our 1978 Toyota Corona was always overfilled with all sorts of food stuff such as rice, tomato puree, dried and processed cassava-garri and sometimes fresh sea crabs that would escape and surprise us in the vehicles cabin. Gone are the good old fun days.

Sometimes, while the parents are lost on the third floor of the market probably arguing about time and what color of "ankara" to buy, my eyes would be transfixed on some young mammary glands exposed by a certain cult of maids without fear or favor. I sometimes wonder what adrenalin rush got into me at that age.

Anyway, Togo is a slim and small country in West Africa squashed in between Ghana on the left and Republic of Benin on the right. Nice french speaking people, rich in culture and sometimes respectful to a fault. Hey! I have a vision to return and turn around the tourism potential of my little town, Anecho. Those of you who know this place; tell me? do you remember Hotel Oasis with the lake characterised by a mini zoo and paddle canoes? Imaging.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Uneasy lies the Head...

OK, I really need to congratulate myself for finding this moment to create my own blog. Congrats!! Anyhow, it's the way to go. So friends, you now have the opportunity of sampling a little of my style of expressing issues and dramatizing topics that are related to life.

Let me assume that you have viewed my website one time or the other, or have you not?? Without much hesitation, rewind your eyes and follow the link to the underlined site.

You would be tantalized with a different view of Africa. Captivating images, mind boggling literature, eye popping headgear's popularly referred to as "gele" and all the other juicy stuff.

Uneasy lies the head that wears "gele" will be the introductory topic for this spot. Mind you, the phrase "gele" may be satirical and may be used as reference to so many other things that characterize my life thus far. ENJOY.