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Anyone in the world

It was a pleasant Saturday morning with the glaze of the morning sun beckoning good tidings to my sleepy black African skinned face. It's time to get out of bed, to bead the Friday fiesta spirit goodbye and say hello to the cleaning and laundry spirit of Saturday. It had been a week of stress and fun each in its own appropriate measures but now, it has come to the weekend I have long for all week.

The chores before me I quickly itemised so as not to leave any undone I mean all the laundry, cleaning and of course the hair making, nail polishing, not forgetting the dress picking. But top of the list is quickly getting some groceries for the house as I am also out of detergent. Muhammad would have been wonderful in this regard if his kiosk has not been recently demolished for security reasons.

I quickly picked up the car keys hoping to get everything on my list in an imaginary jiffy so I can be done with everything and carry out the most important task of the day, sleep. I do know nothing beats the much widely awaited Sunday afternoon sleep, but this in my definition with the way I was feeling, would describe it even more.

I drove out the house with the beautiful voice of oceans drive Tunde Bayewu soothing my spirit. I felt even more soothed when the next track started with the wonderful John Legend appealing to my pleasant side. Amidst this confluence of rhythmic pleasure I was having, saw I a police check point with one of our supposed Nigerian finest flapping me to the side of the road.

I stopped as instructed by the man in black who already had his riffle pointed at me like am a criminal at the firing squad or worst of, a member of the salvage boko harm group. He came to me asking the usual check point question 'where are your paper's'.

Confidently, I presented him with the papers of the car together with my driving licence hoping to be set free to be on my way as they usually do. He went through the documents in his hand page after page he turned looking so assuredly like someone who has just recovered a stolen vehicle. Minutes later, he turned to me and said madam, where is your tint permit.

I was stunned by this question as I know that this man with an Oyo artwork on each side of his cheek now has me by the wrist. I muttered awhile before finding the courage to respond with the question, 'I taught that isn't necessary with a factory installed tint'.

This is it, officer Taoffek Olanihun as got me. He responded with his voice raised like that of a hunter who just killed an elephant. 'Ha madammu it ishz ferri importanti o, infact iff you get to hour stasion u will know how important it is'.

The taught of going through the police station stress quickly ran through my mind. I should be almost done with washing by now and soon preparing to go meet mama preye my hair dresser but now it's the police station that is eminent. No joining the multitude of people flooding twitter about the previous night or surfing through facebook checking out the pictures of newest couples and various aso ebi worn.

I remain seated in the car with my papers and license still in Olanihun's possession. He walked past the side of the car expecting me to say something or do something which I was hoping will come from him.

After some minutes,  the true descendent of Oyomesi came by and said the magic words I have been praying for. Madammu, wetin we go do now? I responded with slow and frustrated tone to show the dilemma I have been having since I was pulled over by him.

He said madam, the tint permit dey very necessary o but as this one come be now, wetin you get for us make you dey go. As this words came pouring out of his lips, a part of me wanted to hush him and tell him all the things I have always said regarding bribery. I wanted to tell him of how he is contributing to the downhill of our great country and of how he is stomping on his own dignity but I couldn't. I am guilty as charged. I do not have a tint permit though I didn't know it is now necessary but as they say, ignorance is not acceptable before the law.

I succumbed to the temptation before me. I told the officer of the little I took out with me and of how we can split it. I gave him what he requested and was soon asked to be on my way. I left the police check point after spending some forty five minutes with them. I left feeling lucky that I don't have to go through the horror of going to the police station to get my car out.

Later in the evening as I was about to jump into my bed, I had a flashback on the day. About my encounter with officer Olanihun and his people. About how I have on that day contributed to the societal decline in values, but alas I consoled myself with the thought that everyone is doing it though it doesn't make it right.

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by Onaopemipo Dara - Monday, 13 October 2014, 12:26 PM
Anyone in the world

The author's writing style is very witty, unpretentious and descriptive like a straightforward favourite story being retold. Tolkien's The Hobbit may have been a portrayal of his experience of World War I, of a forceful heroism, a relatable protagonist (himself perhaps) who has been unwittingly lured from his rustic quiet settlement into an adventure where the stakes are high. This reflection is based on the first 5 chapters of the book.

Chapter 1: An Unexpected Journey

The story is a bildungsroman - a formative education and coming of age story- of Bilbo Baggins the main character and protagonist. This is a bit of an irony as he is 50 years old. Bilbo sounds like a simple, prim and proper hobbit with seemingly great pedigree, especially on his father Bungo Baggins' side. Gandalf is a witty wizard, who probably chose Bilbo for his mother Belladonna Took and his maternal grandfather Old Took's blood runs through him. He put a sign on Bilbo's door saying he was a burglar to lead the dwarves to him.

Chapter 2: Roast Mutton

As the journey began, Bilbo seemed to struggle with his Took-side and Baggins-side: He missed his quiet little hobbit life yet the adventure sparked his curiosity. Bilbo however pushed himself to live up to what was expected of him (despite the fact that the dwarves now knew he wasn't a burglar) which was critical to his personal growth on this episodic quest. This was seen when he bravely and stupidly went to pick William the troll's pocket.

Chapter 3: A Short Rest

The difference in the beings and their settlements explored in each chapter so far, brings to mind, the difference in race and cultures in today's modern world, the hostilities expressed between some like the dwarves and the trolls; and the alliances formed as with the hobbit and dwarves, also the elves and the travellers.

Chapter 4: Over Hill and Under Hill

"There were many paths that led up into those mountains and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends; and most of the passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers.” This brings to mind the way life is, where there are seemingly many means to an end but not all means lead to the desired end or to any end at all. The battle of the stone giants and the resulting thunderstorm uses animism suggesting inanimate object such as stone were living beings with a mind of their own.

Chapter 5: Riddles In The Dark

Bilbo's constant craving for his home and his food is a natural human behaviour of craving comfort and wanting the best for our wellbeing. The riddles Gollum gave were of an ancient historical style while the riddles Bilbo gave were of a similar style to modern nursery rhymes yet they both understood the workings of riddles and the game. This fact points to the contrast and similarity of Antiquity and Modernism in language, tradition, worlds and concepts. This also showcases Tolkien's deep background and research into philology, mythology - study of ancient languages and of ancient fables.

Picture of Sarah Haman
by Sarah Haman - Monday, 13 October 2014, 7:55 AM
Anyone in the world

I had yet no idea of that "place to be”. I firmly believed it was not just a fruit of my fantasy. Such a place existed. And time passed on, until one day, my father announced a delegation of Nigerian golf players was coming for dinner. The Cameroon golf tournament brought them. "From Nigeria” I thought. "The powerful country with sympathetic people.” My opinion, from the few Nigerian movies I had watched, and each time, stricken by the outstanding roads, interchanges, bridges, houses, cars, infrastructure, wow! Nigeria was undeniably a great country! And my judgment about Nigerians appeared to be right: all our guests, on- that muddy night, removed their shoes before walking into the house. As we were begging them to put their shoes on, they requested not to allow them dirty our house. I was seduced by their behavior which I considered unpretentious. Where will you see that in Cameroon? And here they were, so cheerful! Chatting, singing, clapping, dancing! The whole night, it was Nigeria, Nigeria again and Nigeria after. A joyous night we all had. And for me particularly, a host of souvenirs: Nigerians, easy going people, attached to their culture and values and, above all, proud of their country. What struck me most: the successful people who bore all this simplicity: superior army officials, prominent business men, CEOs of reputable companies: so true, so genuinely true and simple!

As I enjoyed the company of our guests, my dad called me. "How far have you gone with AAA? He asked. Four guests were looking at me, eager to hear my response. I did not know what answer to give. Was he being a proud dad announcing to the world his daughter was going to one of the prestigious schools in terms of advertising? I hoped not. "Nigeria has no envy for South Africa,” I thought. Or was he simply inquiring? Whatever the case, the moment was inauspicious for bad news. I chose a vague and prudent answer: "I have not had any answer from them. It has been a while since I checked my mail.” Dad said nothing, but I knew something was taking shape on his mind.

On the morning that followed, before leaving for office, just as I expected, dad unburdened his mind: "Yesterday, my friends told me about the Lagos Business School. It's such a great school. Find out about it. It sounds better to me than that your AAA advertising school.” I was happy. God Himself was in accordance with what I thought. I could not resist a relieving smile which instantly enlightened the whole of my being. The name just sounded august: The Lagos Business School! It resounded over and over in my mind, always more impressive, majestic. I began dreaming, imagining myself in such a formidable place. I knew nothing about the school. This was the first time I ever heard its intimidating name, but I knew I was to be there. Something about it challenged me in a passionate way. My LBS experience had started.

[ Modified: Monday, 13 October 2014, 7:55 AM ]
Picture of obehi usifo-ogbebor
by obehi usifo-ogbebor - Sunday, 12 October 2014, 12:50 PM
Anyone in the world

I picked a copy of a daily newspaper and on front page was a caption on ''Women married to older men''. At first I found it amusing, but on a second thought, why judge a person on his/her preferred choice. We are quick to do that because we assume a person can only marry an older man or woman out of greed and the desire for his/her wealth, and usually termed them ''Gold Diggers''. For some people in such relationship, it could only end up with more lies and less love on the part of the younger lover, the fear of uncertainty (death or sickness). While all these may indeed a possibility, others have a different reason for this choice.

One may decide to go for an older lover (by the way, whoever said an older person must be someone who has being married in the past) who because of age and experience (being there seen it all) now understand the need to be settled. Such a person most likely will have better dedication to marriage, than a young one. Who is still experimenting, even with his or her marriage.

Most people who enter into the covenant of marriage always hope to remain in it. With this in mind, the choice of settling for any one should answer the question; am I sure with this man or woman I can endure the hardship of marriage and fulfill my vow of ''till death do us part'' (According to the Christian rites at marriage), Are we both ready to be married with the knowledge of what marriage fully entails, Is the other party just like I am, ready to be devoted to the sacred duties and obligations that comes with marriage? For some it is the razzmatazz of marriage, for others their '' biological clock'', or even the pressure from family and friends that informs their decision.

For marriage to be worth your while, make a choice of what works for you and what will actually help you stay in it. If the choice of settling for an older lover helps you accomplish that, then so be it. Who cares what the world thinks. None of those raising their brows will help you leave through a difficult marriage, so do what you are almost certain works for you.