Sunday, 15 October 2017

I was thinking this morning..... about Nigeria Wedding Colours

Nigerian Wedding Colours

I was thinking this morning.... about colours and how it has evolved in Nigeria. If you think you are familiar with colour types, pick up Nigerian wedding invites and test yourself. A colleague invited me to his daughter's wedding and as I read the invite, I saw 'Colour of the Day; Aqua/Fayrouz Green.' 'Which one be Aqua/Fayrouz Green again na?' I had quipped. As I soliloquized, I recalled watching a Nigeria movie, 'Dance to my beat,' recently where the colour for the wedding was 'Champagne gold.' Trust me, when I heard 'champagne gold,' I struggled to picture what it will look like.
 
The way we are going in Nigeria, we will soon establish our own colour scheme. Haba naija!!! Until my adult life, I never knew that there were other colours aside from the basic primary and secondary colours we were taught in school. Since I started receiving wedding invitations, I now know that we have tertiary and now Nigeria colours.
 
But wait a minute, why have we chosen to depict our colours with food and drink instead of using the actual names? Could it be sheer laziness to find out what the shade of colour is called or our proclivity for 'owambe' or 'igbadun?' 'Think Party, Think Food and drinks!' Is the colour description meant to give an indication of what to expect at the event? Maybe. When the colour is Aqua/Fayrouz green, expect lots of water, Fayrouz and other soda drinks, but when it is champagne gold, you know what to expect.
 
I found out that the colour my friend called Fayrouz green could either be Lime, Pear, Chartreuse or even Parakeet and what they call champagne gold could either be Blonde, Daffodil or even Dandelion. If you think about it deeply, you will not blame Nigerians for being creative. Imagine reading the colour of the day in an invite to be 'Chartreuse or Parakeet,' how on earth will one know that it is a shade of green?
 
Yes it is creative associating the colour to something everyone is familiar with, my only grouse with our choice of description is that some are too elitist. For example, how can a typical waffi man know what champagne gold looks like when he has never drank champagne before? Instead of saying 'champagne gold,' why don't they say 'Chinchin gold?' They can also use 'Alomo Bitters red,' 'Dogonyaro green,' 'Indomie cream,' 'Coca Cola black' and so on.
 
Another challenge I have with our brand of colour scheme creation is that it feeds the 'aso-ebi agenda.' All I can say is that it is well.
 
In closing my colourful thought, I am pleading with event planners to minimize the description of colours with food and drinks because it masks the essence of the occasion. For example, the message of Isaiah 1:18 is repentance and salvation, now imagine a Nigerian invite reading, 'Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins are like Alomo bitters red, they shall be as white as rice; though they are red like Valentino wine, they shall become white like fresh pounded yam.' Be careful with your illustrations. May God help us to manage our 'igbadun mentality.'
 
Happy Sunday.
 
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

I was thinking this morning..... about Youths and Elders

Youths and Elders
I was thinking this morning......on my way back from work the other day, I turned on the radio to listen to the major news where I get information on the local environment. What I heard got me very confused. The presenter had read out a statement which he credited to 'the Youth wing of the Rivers Elders Forum.' For some seconds I tried to make sense of what 'Youth wing of Elders Forum' really meant. Does it mean these guys are the youngest of the elders or there are youths that are elders?' In my search for understanding, I recalled watching on TV some time back, the visit of youths from the south-south of Nigeria to the then Acting President, Yemi Osibanjo. Watching these so-called youths stand with Osibanjo for group photograph made Osibanjo look like a teenager. I asked myself at the time, if these were youths or elders. Now I know better, they were the 'Youth wing of the Elders Forum.'
 
As I continued to scratch my head in confusion, I recalled a true story a doctor friend, now retired, told me. He had mentioned that some years ago, an expat arrived the organization to resume as a staff supposedly under 60 years, though his looks said otherwise. Like we do in Nigeria, he decided to give him a warm welcome with a vigorous handshake. To his chagrin, the man's hand dislocated from the shoulder. At this point the expat confessed to being in his late seventies. Hmm!!! He must be a member of the youth wing of the elders forum.
 
You know, I have always wondered when that common saying in Nigeria, 'the youths are the leaders of tomorrow' will come to pass. Little did I know that it is already being fulfilled. I found out that the average age of the current Federal ministers is 55 years, with the youngest, Abubakar Malami and Kemi Adeosun being 50 years and Audu Ogbeh, the oldest being 70 years. Hmm!!! Look at the current Senate. Of the 109 seats, there is no senator below 40 years of age. Dino Melaye is the youngest at 42 years and Shaaba Lafiagi the oldest at 76 years. What is clear is that with 83 of the senators (76%) aged between 50 and 70 years, don't make the mistake of thinking the majority of our leaders are elder statesmen. No! No!! No!!! They are simply members of the youth wing of the elders forum.
 
I am not sure what the motivation is for an elder to lay claim to being a youth or whether there is a demographic called youths, but whatever it is, something ain't right, like the Americans will say. Joel 2:28 says, 'And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.' But the way it is in Nigeria, it is the old men dreaming dreams and seeing visions, while the young men are either sleeping and snoring or helping the old men achieve their dreams. Youths, wake up and be truly youths.
 
Happy Sunday.
 
.......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.
 













Sunday, 1 October 2017

I was thinking this morning ...... about Independence Day

Independence Day
I was thinking this morning..... about Independence Day. I woke up this morning with smiles recalling how as students in the early eighties we looked forward to Independence Day. How with freshly washed and ironed uniforms, we all troop to the Warri Township Stadium for the Independence Day match past. Oh, we took every step with great expectation of a glorious future for our nation. Today, 57 years after we were granted independence, we are still grappling with potty training issues. At a time when only last Monday, Dubai launched the world's first self-flying taxi, we cannot even boast of a decent taxi on a decent road, instead our own pacesetter state was donating 1000 power generators to the Nigerian Police. Oh God, where did we get it wrong?
 
As I sat by the edge of the bed lost in thought, my mind drifted to my 57 years old colleague getting ready for retirement. With his children out of university, he was ready to step aside, confident of facing what lies post-retirement. But why is Nigeria still a baby at 57?
 
Could it be because of bad leaders? Yes. Could it also be because we are docile followers? Yes. As I hung on to that line of thought, I recalled the Ugandan Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde of Democratic Party, who in deference to his party position had told the press, 'I have consistently stated that I will not kowtow in their poohoo.' Even as I smiled at his statement, knowing fully well that 'the guy dey learn work where our very own Patrick Obahiagbon is,' I realized how apt a point he has made. We the followers have not only been docile, we have been kowtowing in the poohoo of our past and present political leaders.
 
I know from college that 'kowtow' means to bow down in adoration, and recently found out that 'poohoo' means useless cries of pain made when one is pooing. Think about it, we know the politicians are looting us dry. Looting the money meant for education, health care, power and even our pension. We shout and wail on social media, but when the next thief is discovered to belong to our political party or tribe, we excuse it. We let it go. For the rest of us, these same people return in different garbs shouting on top their voice how they have become politically born-again and now want to better our lives. We vote them in again. Ah, we are kowtowing in their poohoo.
 
Step it down one level. You see parents support their kids to beat the school laws by smuggling contraband into the hostels. Some even go further to support malpractice in schools, because the noise all around them is how the end justifies the means. More and more parents are failing their children because we are no longer the moral and spiritual beacons we are expected to be. Oh, a broken family is a broken nation. We all are kowtowing in their poohoo.
 
As we look forward to another 12 months when we will return to celebrate Nigeria at 58, I beg you, do not kowtow in the poohoo of those that are dragging us down. We must return the ancient landmarks. The scripture says in Hosea 14:1, 'Nigeria, come back! Return to your God! You're down but you're not out.'
 
Happy Independence.
 
....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.