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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mr. Endowed Becomes ‘The Scapegoat’ – D’Banj Unleashes Follow-up Single

As a follow up to the great video for his song Mr. Endowed, D’banj has released another track titled Scapegoat. It’s definitely a fun listen, like most music churned from the Mo’hits factory. Once again, impressive work by Don Jazzy. We’re totally loving the Highlife feeling on the song. Of course, we see him bringing back his harmonica days on this one.

And according to exclusive word from D’banj himself, “Every true husband is a scapegoat” Food for thought no?


Babayaro Brings The Best Of Both Worlds To Abuja.

Babayaro Brings The Best Of Both Worlds To Abuja.

Erstwhile Nigerian international goalkeeper, Emmanuel Babayaro, is set for the launch of his debut album in Abuja this weekend. On Sunday, September 19, 2010, the cream of the Nigerian politics, sports, public service etc, would gather to have their first listen to the works of the footballer turned musician and support him in an event organized by his record label, RECTITUDE RECORDS, at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

The event would be chaired by Chief Rochas Okorocha and has the confirmed attendance of Professor Dora Akunyili and a number of other ministers and senators plus past and present members of the Super Eagles of Nigeria including Daniel Amokachi, Ben Iroha, Mobi Oparaku, Osaze Odemwingie, Samson Siasia and, of course, his brother Celestine Babayaro. Performances would be by Cobhams Asuquo, Paul Play, Sound Sultan, label mates, 1924, Emmanuel himself and many more.

Emmanuel’s album entitled BEST OF BOTH WORLDS contains rap, jazz and Hip Hop numbers. It was produced by Cobhams, ID Cabasa, Frenzy and Lalah and has collabos with Cobmans, 1924 and Obyrymz. Listening parties have already been held in Kaduna and Abuja on the 3rd and 4th of this month, respectively. Lagos would follow in October.

Emmanuel Babayaro was a member of the Gold medal Atlanta Olympic team in 1996. He graduated to the Super Eagles but made just a handful of appearances for them. He has been coaching at his youth academy in Abuja since his retirement and return to the country. Speaking on the album and his music, he stated that his parents actually thought he would have a career in music instead of sports. “I have been an entertainer since childhood and during my football years I used to sing and dance to entertain my team mates. I and Celestine were the major entertainers in the national teams when we played. I have always had the dream of taking my music serious after my playing career and I am ready now. I have brought a new dish to the Nigerian music menu and I look forward to really making it big on the Nigerian music scene,” he said.

Story by Dro

I once had a crush on my Reverend's son-Actress Monalisa Chinda

Monalisa Chinda

Since her celebrated separation with her ex-husband, Segun Dejo-Richard, beautiful and gifted actress, Monalisa Chinda, has taken her act to a whole new level. In this engaging and revealing interview with CHIBUEZE OKEREKE, she talks about her crashed marriage, challenges, motherhood and other interesting issues

Apart from being a Glo ambassador, what else have you been doing, especially as not too many movie scripts are coming your way, so to say?

One of the things that have really taken up most of my time from January till now is the setting up of Royal Arts Academy. Apart from this, I have also produced a movie, which is yet to be out. Also, I tried to start my talk show which, somehow, might have to be postponed because it has been difficult getting sponsors. I also registered my NGO called Monalisa Code, which comprises Monalisa Smile and Monalsia Foundation for autistic children.

Why autistic children?

A very close friend of mine has a child who is autistic and she has been devastated ever since. She had the child normally, but we really didn’t know what happened along the way. I was touched by the development. She has been living with it for five years, but she is appearing to be normal now. It’s a very unique problem. I love kids and I really want to know what transforms them overnight. Sometimes, I wonder how the child is able to cope and the trauma that the mother goes through in raising such a child.

What are you going to be doing for them?

There are so many of them out there who really need assistance. I am going to create an enabling environment to bring the desired education and enlightenment on how best to integrate them into the society and also teach the parents on the best ways to relate with their autistic children.

With regard to movie, what are you working on now?

Of course, I miss acting so much. Though I am still acting, very few people are producing movies these days. It’s so bad that some actors have moved base to Asaba, just to get any small job. In fact, some have even been receiving pay cut. But at the moment, I am working on a production titled Catwalk, a magazine soap. It is like this popular foreign series, Ugly Betty. It’s on hold now because Emem Isong, who is producing it, is in America to premiere her movie. We’ve been on it now for like a year, trying to make sure we come out with the best quality production.

If you were getting movie scripts very often, would you have thought about going into production?

Probably not! Sometimes, some things happen for a reason and for people to discover their other sides. Desmond Elliot is a full-time director now. But then, it really cannot be acting forever. The older you become, the more creative and innovative your mind is. Right now, that is what is happening to a lot of us who have been in the industry for, at least, nine to 10 years now. We want to divert and do other things. When you are 40, you don’t expect yourself to act such sassy roles that you used to do when you were 25, and you cannot be seen competing with emerging new actresses on the block. So, you have to think ahead of you. Although there are still roles cut out for me, at the stage I am now, I cannot just take up any script. Back then, most of us used to do it for the money. Now, sometimes, when I see myself on Africa Magic, I marvel at what I was thinking to have taken some roles that I did in the past. Now, for me, it is the passion for making movies and not the money.

What did you want to achieve when you resolved to be writing a column in a newspaper?

Sincerely, I just stumbled on that aspect of my life. I used to have a diary when I was growing up. I was writing virtually all my day-to-day activities. So, when I was going through all that happened in my marriage, I was putting everything down. I noticed that every time I wrote those things down, the Lord often directed me on what to do. So, when the problem started in my marriage, the first person I ran to was my mum, asking her what I should do. With my mum on one side and my book of experiences on the other, my mum advised me to do what my hearts told me. So, basically, I decided to write because I wanted people to see my other side. This is because I know I have this very intimidating posture that can make people call me a no nonsense bitch. But I really wanted people to see my other side, which I am achieving through this column. I really like to touch people’s hearts. I like to feel people’s pains. I know that I have gone through a lot and that has made me to really want to reach out to people. Really, I just needed to write down my inner most thoughts and try to reach out to people who might be going through the same dilemma.

Assuming you were never married and you just want to settle down now, what would you do differently, given your experience?

I am a very deep person; I can stomach a lot of things; and I come across to you as someone that does not have a problem. If I am going through a problem, going by what I went through in my marriage, I just believe that the simple basic rule of understanding will come to play. Sometimes, when things happen, I put myself in the person’s shoes and I ask myself why I am reacting in such a manner. Love conquers all; love is foolishness, but it doesn’t mean that you are foolish.

Based on your experience, what kind of advice will you give your daughter when it comes to choosing a husband later in life?

I really don’t know how to answer this because it’s somehow complicated. I learnt a lot from my mum. My mother and father taught me everything that needed to be learnt, including sex, education and relationship with the opposite sex. Before she gets to that age where she wants to do all that, I would have worked on her, mentally. I will continually tell her to be herself, no matter what. But no matter what I tell my child today, if she still wants to go against my advice, she will.

You are always a busy person; so, how do you juggle motherhood with hustling?

I really don’t know how I get the strength, but I am hard-working. I am not a hustler, but I am hard-working. I don’t hustle or beg people for anything. I work hard and let my work speak for me. If I call one or two highly placed people in the society and ask them to be a part of a project I am working on, I don’t beep them continuously because that can be annoying. If I call you once or twice, I’ll wait for you to get back to me; and if I don’t hear from you, it means you are not interested. So, in the morning, I write out everything I need to do: I know I have to drop and pick my daughter from school; and when I cannot, I make sure that the school bus does that. So, if I can achieve 90 per cent of everything I set out to do in a day, I am most grateful and satisfied.

Are you saying it is as simple as that?

Yes, it is because I am used to it. If you tell yourself that something is difficult for you, it definitely will be. Now, I am a man, a woman and a mother. I don’t have a man helping me. Honestly, I really miss this. I have to be the one that will get the house in order, put the generator on and take my car to the mechanic. These are men’s jobs, but I don’t have anyone to do it. I don’t have to depend on anyone in order not to appear as a weak person. I was doing all these for myself when I was married, so it doesn’t really make a difference. I have always been that kind of person. I don’t like people doing things for me; I took after my dad in that aspect. He would make his bed, drop and pick us from school. My mother was a career woman.

For how long do you think all this can last? What do you do when you really need the presence of a man around you?

Honestly, when I think about things like that, I just open a bottle of wine and relax or what else would I do? Again, I talk to my mum a whole lot. Although I am not saying I am comfortable with it, I guess it’s because of my horrible experience and because it’s still fresh; so, I just don’t want anything that would distract me.

So, are you saying there is no man in your life now?

I would be lying if I say that.

If a movie has to be done about you, what aspect of your life would you love to be given prominence?

It is that part of my life that I showed a great level of perseverance and maturity; it is that aspect of my life where I had to stomach a whole lot of things; and I will want them to show that side of me that I was traumatized. A lot of women are going through all these, but it will be good for people to see how I lived and survived it.

I wonder if any couple would ever disclose whatever is responsible for the break-up of their marriage.

That is very true. You just cannot afford to let some things out. Who will you tell your story, so to say? Is it some young couples who are trying everything possible to keep their marriages? You just cannot say some things.

What was the feeling when your daughter had her first tooth and uttered the first word?

She had her first tooth pretty late; I think she was about nine months and her first word was ‘Daddy’ when she was about six months old. She just said, ‘Da da’ out of the blues… It’s too hurtful when you know that after carrying a child for nine months the first thing that comes out of her mouth is ‘Daddy’. I was very angry. I am with her 98 per cent of the time, yet she only remembered to call her daddy first.

What makes you happy whenever you look at your child?

It is the fact that, at least, I had something from that union. I was happy that, at least, I had something to fall back on; I mean something that constantly reminds me of God’s existence. She is my world; she is everything to me.

Since her celebrated separation with her ex-husband, Segun Dejo-Richard, beautiful and gifted actress, Monalisa Chinda, has taken her act to a whole new level. In this engaging and revealing interview with CHIBUEZE OKEREKE, she talks about her crashed marriage, challenges, motherhood and other interesting issues

One way or another, she is a constant reminder of your marriage.

(Cuts in) Honestly, she is not. She does not remind me of him at all.

Are you saying that her presence does not bring back the bad memories you had in your marriage?

Sincerely, she replaces everything with joy. Looking at her brings back that feeling of relief and happiness. In short, when I look at Tamar, I don’t think I remember all the things I went through. She reminds me of God’s love. Although she is supposed to be a constant reminder of the past of me where I had to waste five years of my life, she does not. When I look at everything, I just give God the glory. What would have happened to me if I did not come out with a child?

Does the child ever ask of her father?

Well, she is still pretty young and she does not know anything yet. When I left the house, she was still very young. Secondly, she is in school and she sees her friends being picked up by their daddies and some even talk about their daddies; so, naturally, she knows there must be a daddy somewhere. If she sees any man that is dark- skinned, she runs to him. For instance, there is this cousin of my ex-husband who is still my friend. Whenever he comes around, Tamar clings to him and refuses to let him go. I often wonder why she does that; and if she continues to do that, she is going to probably put me under pressure to get a permanent man in my life.

Is there any attempt to make her know her father?

(Laughs heartedly)…

When you are not working for Glo, acting or even writing, what do you do in your spare time?

I am often relaxed and I watch television a lot. I just stay with my child because she is my joy. I don’t have a man; so, she is everything to me.

Most women are used to calling honey to come and fix the car when it breaks down somewhere. But how do you manage?

Well, for me, there is no honey to call. What I do is just service the car when necessary and make sure it is in perfect working condition. Since I know that no one else is there to do that for me, I have to assume both the role of a man and woman to get things done for myself. Because there is money, I really don’t struggle so hard to get things done. However, I have got good friends like Zik Zulu who comes once in a while to check on us; and sometimes, when my car is at the Nissan shop, he gives me his car and driver to help me around. I also have some caring friends who try to be of help when it is most needed. I have got my uncle, Mr. Cool, and some male friends who assist me.

You are doing well for yourself now. Do you think your freedom has allowed you to be more focused on your life goals?

Well, I would say it was because I was in a wrong marriage. One can still achieve all this, even if one is married. There are some married people who are doing good things, but mine was a wrong marriage. It could be probably because I was in a very, very insecure union called marriage. Everything was scripted; everything was just not right. Yeah, I have the freedom and I’m really fulfilled. But I have to curtail this freedom. I tell myself every time that because I am free doesn’t me I shouldn’t just let go. Sometimes, I get so excited that I really want to go crazy, but I always caution myself and that is what makes me a woman and not a man. Men are free to do whatever they want, but should a woman try to exercise her freedom, she is seen as a whore in this country. So, you have to have self-control.

But can you recall any fond memory you had while the marriage lasted?

In all fairness, there were good memories. This is because in the beginning, it was excitement and that was because my man thought and believed that I was an epitome of a complete woman compared to his previous relationships. When I was pregnant and lost it, he used to be very devastated. Domestically, he was nice, but things just changed all of a sudden. Really, in the beginning, there were signs of it, but you know women always have this mindset that they would change and grow out of it. Everybody has his or her different sides of life and I really cannot judge him by that.

I remember you once told me in an interview that you won’t smoke or portray the devil’s agent. But all this changed; so, what happened?

One of the things you have to realize is that my husband then portrayed me in a certain way he wanted me to look. He was directing me. I was under a man and whatever thing he wanted, I had to abide by it. I am not a very spiritual person, but I know that I am at peace with my God. So, nothing happened; I was just trying to obey the man up there (laughs).

Could you recall the craziest thing you did when you were young?

(Laughs) I had a crush on our reverend’s son back then. But funny enough, we didn’t express our likeness for each other. But I knew he liked me too.


Oba’s curse on kidnappers or those who aid kidnappers refines Nigerians knowledge and extends debates

Security, what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today in Nigeria? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for, but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut? All over the whole world, security has become an issue of great concern, ranging from kidnapping, serial killing to terrorism. Wanton kidnapping emerged in Nigeria, and has become a herculean task to curb. Like a wild fire, it has spread too fast to many places in Nigerian cities and villages. Hence night life and moonlight folk tales are now turning history in our society because no one wants to be a victim of kidnap.

In an attempt to weaken this menace, the Oba of Benin, Ereduawa Omonoba of Edo State, marshalled out the traditional priests/priestesses of the African cultures and traditions in his dukedom who gathered together at Urhokpota Hall in Benin to invoke curses on all those who either kidnap or aid kidnappers as well as armed robbers and their abetters. The Chief Priest of Benin Kingdom, Chief Nosakhare Isekhure, said, “The exercise is to protect our people’s lives and property as well as the government. For us, the traditionalists, we know when crimes are going to the extreme; the police and security agents cannot do anything. We have the power to invoke the gods of the land and that is what we are doing right now. It is always the last resort.” Priests from Sango, Olokun, Aiyelala, Ashigidi, etcetera, were all dressed in their ceremonial regalia. Sculptors, amulets, talismans, gong, etcetera was taken round the city and some were buried. The land of Benin was cursed orally against the men of the underworld on the 10th to 12th of June 2010. This act, however, raised eyebrows. Different opinions ensued among Nigerians: from the traditional and the religious perspectives. From East, West, North and South of Nigeria, people were either in support of the act or were against.

This writer investigated the different opinions of people on the saga and anonymously or unanimously chronicled the opinions of the debaters. Those that were against this practice were of the opinion that it was illogical to be glamorizing myths and oral tradition in the 21st Century, as opposed to written records. They said that Africans should keep out from idol worshipping, even the moon, as a god in the name of culture and tradition, whereas other developed worlds were busy exploring scientific ways that would better the lots of the human race. The documented fact that civilization began in medieval Egypt has provoked questions among scholars on when did Africa start retrogressing.

But in a twist reaction, some reminded those opposed to African beliefs to note that even the Emperor of Japan worships the Sun; and if that is the case, is Japan not far more developed than Africa? It was argued from the supporters of the Oba’s ordinance that those calling Africans backward people are doing so, because their knowledge has done no single input to better Africa, except in condemnation. They added that such people are a big tragedy to Africa. Furthermore, they enthused that as a matter of exigency, there is great need for those who believe in Africa to unite formidably, without those who condemn African heritage. (“To hide under any form of education or civilisation and criticise the customs and traditions of a people that have passed the test of time is hypocritical.").

It was a shocker that the Nigerian authorities pride in giving her citizens freedom of worship, but only recognized and boast with Christianity and Islam as the ‘chosen’ ones, to the detriment of the African traditional beliefs. Against that backdrop, the Nigerian authorities perhaps forgot that the two religions mentioned above are alien. However, Oba’s supporters saw his act as the only way out of the cesspit Nigeria has fallen into in moral decadence, describing Christians who go to church on Sundays and are hell bent in seeing that all Nigerians become Christians with their preachment that they force down one’s throat even when the person was not ready to listen (without many of them exhibiting what they preached) as learning the ‘truth’ only on Sundays. Otherwise christened, “Sunday-truths.”

Does it mean that without the teachings of the two alien cultures – Christianity and Islam – that Africans had no cultural values? Many Nigerians saw the beliefs and principles of the adherents of the two religions as people who learn in awe, eschewing the cosmic ways of life that are deep-rooted in the African cultures and traditions. Criticisms had trailed the Oba’s action from the unbelievers of the Oba’s action. They attributed his action to the axiom: "With Faith, you can move mountains".

However, they do not believe that the curse would have any effect on those it was intended for. They gave their examples thus: “Everybody will sagely nod their head in agreement when you utter that sentiment. But, does anyone really believe it? If Mountain Everest has to be moved or levelled, will faith be the chosen tool? When Aso Rock (Nigeria’s citadel of power) was carved out from a small mountain, was faith deployed? Of course, not! Bombs and excavation tools were the chosen tools, so the theory that faith can move mountains is just feel-good Sunday-truth to be professed in awe, but never acted upon. Similarly, the theory that swearing on the Holy Bible or placing a curse will deter criminal and kidnapping activity is no different”.

While many gave their explications that hammer could be supplemented with a heavy metal in nailing things down the wood, meaning that the Oba’s curse was divine, some felt that Nigerians didn’t know the bottom-line. “Here is the bottom line: A hammer is the right tool for nailing things down, but it is not the correct tool for laundry. Similarly, curses and vigils are not at all the way to stop criminal and kidnapping activity.”

It wasn’t too long this curse was placed in Benin than the ‘insurgents’ wrecked havoc in Abia State, some kilometres from Edo State, and some traditional rulers and police officers were arrested for their alleged involvement in abetting the kidnappers to carry-out their nefarious activities. Before this arrest, it was awash on the media among Nigerians that they knew who the criminals were. “We know the criminals. We know where they hide. Where kidnapping is worse, we know who provides logistic cover – the Police. We know above all the social conditions that ferment this predictable decadence of community values. So, all these prayers and vigils and Babalawo curse-sessions are just beating around the bush. They are creating useless hope while the problem gets worse. We are wasting our own time. When we get serious about solving the problem, we will take the battle to the enemy.”

Following the contribution above, many Nigerians were in contemplative opinions of the efficacy of the curse with reference to government officials taking oath of office with the Holy Bible and Quran and yet deep their necks down the depth of corruption, what the tendency that Oba’s curse would act magic. “You hit the nail on the head! When Nigerian politicians swear with the Bible or Quran and hear the thunderous preaching of the pastor on Sunday and Imam on Friday, do they deter them from crime and corruption?”

Some of the people were of the opinion that even the clerics in the alien religions were not free and left out from corruption and it could be the reason the oath of office the politicians take doesn’t have adverse effect on them when they do the contrary. “Criminals and looters, even the ones in religion-infested Nigeria, are no fools. They know Amadioha will not strike anybody down. They know that the Babalawo curses don't work. They don't expect to spend an eternity in hell for looting the money that was budgeted for the maternity ward or for murdering one million Biafran infants.”

To a large extent, questions and questions were brewing over the curses individuals rain on the alleged thieving politicians, kidnappers and criminals. “The important question is whether these paranormal measures, whether Christian, Islamic or Voodoo really work.” The argument splat Nigerians in the public parliament; a Nigerian threw in his hat in questioning the supremacy of the analyst above on the things of Africans traditional matters and their culture, describing him as one of those who still believe in the myth that Satan is a Black man while Angel, a White man.

“There you go again, writing about things you're not qualified to write about. How many Babalawos have you consulted? You guys tend to believe anything Western scientists say even without proof. For example, you believe everything they say about their encounters on the moon but you have no empirical proof that they are telling you the truth. You are educated in Western ways but can't use the Western ways to achieve anything because the deeper secrets about certain Western things are hidden from the ‘third-worlders’ as you.”

He went further to cite his proof using the chemistry behind the nuclear bomb mechanization as an example of the truths the West hide from the ‘third-worlders’. “You may have PhD in physics, chemistry and whatnot, but the secrets to some of their deepest research will never be revealed to you. What then can you do with your Western education? For certain, it has confused you enough to speak on matters such as Babalawos that you have never experienced. I however supposed that the empiricism of the Western culture which I assume you have imbibed would have led you to seeking the truth about Babalawos before you claimed their curses don't work. Several Europeans have written on their experiences with so called "voodoo or juju". Stephen Farrow, a 1926 missionary to Abeokuta was one of them. Believe me; you don't want to be on the receiving end of a spiritual attack from a Babalawo. And, that is a fact. Denounce it at your own peril.”

They admonished Nigerians that they will realize that the progress made in contemporary civilization, the advances in science and technology and the progress in human and societal developments are all associated with the OPENNESS of knowledge promoted by Oyibo. “There are ways to retain proprietary rights to knowledge and its application, and societal laws have addressed most of these; however, the time-tested truism about knowledge is that the BEST APPROACH to derive the optimum benefits from knowledge is to OPEN IT UP and make it available to all persons, cultures and perspectives. Such an approach will likely further refine the knowledge and extend its application beyond the wildest imagination of the originators.”

Does the African traditional knowledge still lies in secrecy and myths? “One can’t speak of it. People are afraid of abuses; people don’t trust themselves and each other. Consequently, Africa suffers in all sectors, considered to be contributing little beyond arts to contemporary civilization, and reduced to a dumping ground for stale technologies and vague knowledge the people can’t apply to their daily lives. Thus, Africa continues to lag behind and suffer... You and I are the Africans you are talking about. The ball is in our court now; let us play the game. What are we waiting for before we handle knowledge to make progress? Don't we think that we have what it takes to achieve these objectives? Or, do we think that our Western ways of education we received are not enough to do something now?”

While it was said that Africa continued to lag behind and suffer, Africans have been admonished to take care and must do a re-think about how they handle knowledge so that they could make progress. “What we are waiting for to utilize African knowledge and traditional practices to advance Africa? I just said that a fundamental element in the use and application of knowledge is THE OPENNESS and ACCESS to the traditional knowledge by scientists or others, who then apply contemporary analytical and production methods to translate the knowledge into societal benefit/use...”

For instance, the formula (knowledge) of Egbe was asked, invisibility, gun-proof. Somebody said that all sorts of supernatural stories are associated with the knowledge about why it cannot be available to everybody and familiar tales about the spiritual consequences of mishandling the knowledge; and on the end, Africans will go nowhere. “That is our main problem. One solution to this problem is to write a book on the formulary of African traditional knowledge. That way, the knowledge and the cautionary statements or warnings will be there for people to experiment and verify the claims independently. That is how empiricism is built with knowledge, how knowledge is better translated and applied and how knowledge wins regards and respect for its merit and for the originator.”

The people argued that the world people do a lot of heinous things to humankind for economic want. They ascribe that even as dangerous as radioactivity is, people have published volumes to keep the knowledge of it for posterity. “The knowledge is out there. People have even published the contents of the 7 Books of Moses and the Tora that are thought to contain magical formulary used by early Jews, from Moses in the Exodus, to Joshua, Elijah, King David and King Solomon. People (Africans) are free to follow suit and acquire the knowledge and verify their claims, if they so wished. So, why are African knowledge and traditional practices still shrouded in myths, mysteries and superstitions?”

Adherents and adept believers in the African knowledge and traditional practices were admonished to publish a book on them and that African scientists will take it from there. “Mind you, the formula associated with these African knowledge and traditional practices should not require something out of the ordinary (e.g., human body parts, toxic wastes, etc), that will give us problems. Take care... On the contrary, we can't have the knowledge free. We have to pay the prize in money and time to learn the science behind the traditional medicine, Ho! Ha!

To have access to European knowledge you and I paid. Why shouldn't we be willing to respect whatever is our own?”

From the opinions, it was gathered that the bane of African history was the dearth in the art of chronicling events, because according to the people, the European knowledge is available in schools, training centres and vocational institutions, but an opinion said that Africans are not gluttons who sell knowledge for money. The question is: where is the African traditional knowledge? Is there any authentic published works? “Why do you say show you authentic published works. Have you any authentic work in any library in Nigeria I can lay my hands on right now on anything about African you have written to promote African ways of life? Have you gone to Oba's kingdom to register for a course in their science? Have you shown any interest to learn the ways of your fathers, which is free? I don't think so from your actions toward anything Africa.”

One man commented, rebuffing an attack on him by a member, saying that he had not shown himself as an adept of African traditional knowledge. He said that he was using the medium to ask whether there are published works on African beliefs to educate him because, according to him, most of what he had heard were shrouded in secrecy, myths and superstitions, similar to what people know about the traditional knowledge of the Arthurian era of Britain. To him, contemporary civilization is going past that era. Therefore, those who are frequently taking refuge in the demagoguery of “African This, African That”, should lead the way in showing to people the meat that is inherent in African knowledge, without resorting to secrecy, myths and superstitions of course. Thus, he asked, “Where is the beef?”

While he argued that he needed to see books with formulary on African traditional knowledge which he said would challenge people to experiment with them independently and Africans will know they got something and not keep swimming in the benefits/use of the Open and Available Knowledge of other people, riding fancy cars, flying planes, living in comfortable air-conditioned homes, using the Internet, telephones etcetera, one other person said: “...I have seen a book on workplace Voodoo. The problem in Nigeria is with thieves, kidnapping, etc. You can write a book on how to make a band of thieves dance around in someone's compound in confusion until the morning when the owner of the house wakes up to hand the thieves over to the authorities. Am I day dreaming? African tradition works!!! Tell us how to solve the problems in society.”

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State.

Story by Odimegwu Onwumere/