Monthly Archives: February 2018

Black Panther Review: Wakanda, The One African Country That Could Never be Called a ’Shithole’

Black Panther is the first black-led Marvel film directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther/T’challa), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger), Angela Basset (Ramonda), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Daniel Kaluuya (W’kabi), Martin Freeman (K.Ross) and Winston Duke (M’baku).

I have been excited about Black Panther since it was announced in 2016 and when it hit our cinemas, I couldn’t wait. What I did was try to tone down my excitement because I hate to be disappointed. I watched with precision, writing down my thoughts and analyzing every action, my purpose was to see if Africa was portrayed as it is or as it should be. I stilled myself while watching the movie and somewhere in between, I forgot to be a critic and got sucked into the land of Wakanda.

This movie is set in a fictional African country called Wakanda, where citizens have managed to live without interference and colonization because they tricked the world into believing they are powerless, while the country sits on the most powerful mineral, vibranium. In this case, vibranium can literally turn water to wine.

Wakanda has 5 tribes and one king. In Wakanda, powerful men understand the advantage of working with powerful women. Women who are sexy, strong and at the same time, smart and funny. In Wakanda, the best warrior is female and she has a whole battalion of females fighting with her

Black Panther will make a lot of Africans happy because it is in sharp contrast with the world we live in our continent. I was happy to travel to the fictional Wakanda, to see how the government of the country has held on to their natural resources, protecting their country from invasion by hiding themselves in plain sight, and how they live in harmony. Even their technology is way advanced than the west and the chief scientist is a woman too. The leaders of Wakanda are noble, incorruptible, heroic and a mix of the young and the experienced. This African country, could never be referred to, as a ‘shit hole’

However, as true to Africa/Africans we find that the enemy of Wakanda is not the white man (Klaus) whom Black Panther fought tooth and nail to catch/kill, the real enemy is Wakanda’s very own, Killmonger, T’challa’s cousin who has lived all of his life in the US and holds a massive grudge against EVERYONE.

Killmonger’s anger may be well found, as the previous king, Tchalla’s father killed his own father. Killmonger wanted revenge, he had a right to be angry but he took things too far. He coveted the Wakanda throne and his sole mission was to destroy the world not minding how Wakanda would be affected. Killmonger would be stopped but first, he would rule Wakanda.

According to Lupita N’yogo, “We all see ourselves better when we see ourselves in someone else”. This film connects us all with the colour of our skin. Wherever you may come from in the world, if your skin is black, you’re a descendant of Africa. This is why Wakandans have all sorts of accents and influxes from Nigeria to Ghana to Southern and Eastern Africa. In this African country, being king was not compulsorily hereditary, if some tribes wanted, they could fight for the crown with the incumbent king. These community fights happened twice, and they were two of the most powerful, heart wrenching and superb part of the movie where rich African culture was lavishly displayed.

One problem I may have is the fight sequence; all the fight scenes were nicely choreographed but if you look really closely, you’ll see that it seemed like a conscious dance routine, it didn’t appear seamless all the time. Also, No one got the accents right but… who ever does?

This is a brilliant movie, well thought of, well scripted and a visual joy. The reveal of Wakanda was euphoric, it didn’t come as a shock because the camera took us from one mouth-watering scene to the next knowing the climax may be too much so the cinematographer prepared us as we finally landed in Wakanda, the beautiful country that took my breath away. Every angle shot was perfect, every colour matched, there were no irrelevant cuts and let me tell you, every view looked as real as life and as surreal as an artwork. I was curious about who shot those fantastic pictures and I went searching. I found out it’s a woman….Oh, the joy.

As all Marvel movies, Black Panther ended in victory and the hero prevailed. But the extra scene after the credits gave me pause. The future of Wakanda is in the hands of King T’challa and he has decided to open up Wakanda’s resources to other countries.

Question: Would you advise Wakanda to share their resources with the world? What would the repercussion(s) be?

Honestly, I worry that this may cause irreparable damage but T’challa is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He is a wise man with many great advisers so when next I travel to Wakanda, I hope the Africa we wish to live in remains as powerful, un-colonized and as developed as I left it in 2018.

If you’re from Wakanda, your skin colour is not a deterrent, you can be anyone you choose to be.


You can also read: Movie Review: The Royal Hibiscus Hotel

Chronicles of Baba, My Late Grandpa: Messing With an Old Man's Money,Not A Good Idea

Chronicles of Baba, My Late Grandpa: Messing With an Old Man’s Money, Not A Good Idea

Chronicles of Baba, My Late Grandpa : Messing With an Old Man’s Money, Not A Good Idea

Yesterday as I ran errands for my sister, I parked beside a man who spoke my grandpa’s dialect and the man sounded just like him. I shed a tear as I remembered my time with Grandpa and how he frustrated my life. Baba (as we fondly called him) lived with us before he died and I have stories for days about our time together.

Baba was not allowed to eat meat of any kind but when Mum was not home, he’d insist I serve him Turkey along with his food. I was under strict instructions not to, so I’d decline. Plus Baba had a huge stash of money under his bed in a red ‘aso oke” trouser which he’d always deny. So when he asks for Turkey, I’d ask for money then we’d reach an impasse.

On this day, I needed Money and I noticed Baba had dozed off in front of the TV so I snuck into his room and went straight for the red aso Oke under the bed. This man had over 100k, just sitting there. I took N5000 and as I was arranging his bed to look as tidy as I had originally met it, I felt the first sharp pain on my head; it was Baba’s walking stick.
“This,” he said as he tapped the tip of the walking stick on my head after every word

He tapped the same spot and did it so fast he was done by the time I turned around and scurried away. My head hurt so bad, I never ‘essperred’ it. When I saw him raise the walking stick again, I dodged, climbed the bed and escaped. Armed with N5000, I went shopping at Kantagora.

When I got back home, I expected a family meeting but everyone was in a good mood, including Baba and my mum. I was on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop

It happened around 2 am

From my sleep I felt someone shake me gently by the arm as I heard “pssst” “pssst” “Èmì (My soul, that’s what he called me), Èmì wake up”

I knew it was Baba. “What?” I snapped, still not happy with him. “Come and give me Turkey,” Baba said.

“But Baba mummy said I shouldn’t give you any meat,” I said as I sat up, knowing it was what I had to do. He had me by the balls.

“Turkey or I tell your mother that you’re now Shina Rambo,” He said, smiling still, so happy with himself.

I did what I had to do. Then learnt to perfect my thievery skills. I wasn’t ready for Grandpa to die because I couldn’t steal properly.

You can also read: Back to The Basics: For The First Time Since 2009, I Used A Public Transport in Lagos

Once Upon A Time, I Was Olivia Pope

Once Upon A Time, I Was Olivia Pope

Once Upon A Time, I Was Olivia Pope

Once upon a time, I thought it was my job to save you.
I imagined your capabilities and how I could make you brand new
I fell in love with that view
And when you said “Baby, for you I can be brand new”
I took that as my cue
So I assembled a crew

I changed my name to Olivia Pope
I assembled my associates
These bunch could keep our secrets
We would probe and solve your problems
I was full of hope

Once upon a time I was Olivia Pope
You weren’t good enough for me
My associates couldn’t but agree
So we turned you into a project
Like I would for a degree

But the project failed
The image in my head fizzled out
Even my associates bailed
It was time to end the project
Or was there still any prospect?

I read the files again
There was one paper that was never analyzed
The one where you proclaimed your love for me
Just as I am
I had missed that, while trying to fix you

Once upon a time I was Olivia Pope
I have closed shop
I was too busy trying to fix you, I forgot to love you
I can’t fix you
But I’ll love you, just as you are

And when my love is not enough,
I’ll still love you, but away from you.

First Date Disasters

My Date With Peter, The Grieving Handsome Man…

You may remember the story of Peter whose fine face succeeded in confusing me. If you missed the story, click here

After talking on the phone for some days, Peter insisted we had to meet since he was returning to London. He didn’t take much time off work according to him, so I picked a day. Unfortunately, I got a call to be on the mainland so I had to cancel. I called Peter to let him know this and he sounded like he understood but I knew he was disappointed.

Some hours later while I was having my meeting, Peter texted me to know how the meeting was going and where the meeting was holding, I told him the name of the hotel in GRA then turned over my phone as I didn’t want any distractions.

On my way home, Peter called me, “Hey I’m in Ikeja GRA, where are you? You’re not reading your messages”
“Oh wow. You didn’t tell me you were coming here, I’m already on my way back to the Island” I said regrettably
“Turn back” He insisted
Okay… we’re bossy, aren’t we? I turned back as I wasn’t far away at all

Seeing Peter for the first time since the last time was weird. He was even finer because he had shaved and had taken his time to dress up.

Oluwa oooo, let me just keep shut and not say much because I don’t want a repeat of last time. Should we hug or shake? I hate side hugs so I stretched out my hand to shake him. He looked at me weird but took my hand anyway.

“Okay, guess we’re shaking hands now,” he said and turned to see my reaction
I smiled and kept mute. I will only speak when the Holy Spirit gives me a go ahead. Not today devil!

As we were being led to our seats, he put his hand on my lower back, I almost jumped and screamed “Uncle stop touching” but I behaved like a lady should and ignored the fire burning behind me. I noticed he glanced at me often so after we were seated, I asked him “Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am” His voice wasn’t as excited as it was on the phone “I’m just wondering…you seem cold. Did I say or do something to upset you?”

Holy Spirit, can I talk now?

“No. You haven’t done anything wrong. I just don’t want to say something foolish like I said the first time we met”

“What did you say?” He asked, looking genuinely confused

Huh? He didn’t hear me. Have I been suffering in silence for nothing?

“Nothing. Don’t worry” I was in a better mood now. I sat up straighter and was ready to enjoy myself. Then…

“Okay then, Same to you,” Peter said and took a sip of water, looking at me through his drinking glass as his eyes twinkled wickedly, I noticed he was trying hard not to laugh but he couldn’t help himself and ended up laughing so hard he had to hold his chest

What was I doing while he laughed at me? It took me a few seconds to get it, but when I did, I laughed too. Maybe not as hard but his laughter was contagious and very sexy.

The ice was broken so I relaxed and enjoyed my date.

He is a gentleman and very funny too. He lives in ‘the abroad’ though but all through our date, there was no pressure on both sides to discuss what that means. We just had fun and made good memories.

We have stayed in touch but…

#TBT Flying Solo: My First Solo Trip Abroad

#TBT Flying Solo: My First Solo Trip Abroad

#TBT Flying Solo: My First Solo Trip Abroad

My first solo trip was to London, United Kingdom. This was my second trip ever on an aircraft.

One of my closest friends lived in London at the time with her sister’s family, it came to me naturally that I stayed with her.

My friend’s sister is still one of the nicest and most welcoming people I know and her husband was funny and interesting to talk to. I didn’t have a curfew but I was quite mindful of what time I got back home so on this trip, I couldn’t explore London, meet strangers and make friends as I normally would like. So most of the time, I was just shopping and taking pictures

On one of those shopping days, while my friend and I waited by an elevator to take us to another floor of the shopping mall, I saw two kids, standing not too far away from us. They couldn’t have been older than 14 or 15. They were trying really hard to swallow each other up with the way they kissed and touched with abandon. I was quite surprised so I intentionally stared at the girl (she was the one standing on my side), hoping she’d get embarrassed and stop. Instead, she nudged her boyfriend and drew his attention towards me. The boy removed his hand from inside her top and walked towards me

“wha’? wha’? Wha you looking at? Wha’ you looking at me like that for? huh? wha’?” The young lad said on his way to me, his gait like he had a stroke on one side even though he was just trying to walk cool

Ahn Ahn! Does this one want to be unfortunate? What was he planning to do, walking towards me like that? I looked at the tiny rat and stood my ground, waiting for him to get to me but my friend quickly pulled me into the elevator.

My friend told me to mind my business next time, that this was a regular occurrence and I would soon get used to it.

She was right, I saw more of that and learned to look away.

Next #TBT Flying Solo: My solo Trip to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Image in My Head: A Mother With Down Syndrome, Scared Her Daughter Would Be Taken Away

Image in My Head: A Mother With Down Syndrome, Scared Her Daughter Would Be Taken Away

Yesterday evening I was at the Ajah market to meet a couple of people. Standing outside a salon in the midst of some men getting the information I wanted, I felt someone tug at my sweatpants and I quickly held on to the waist because it seemed like it was the person’s job to pull it off me. I looked down, saw a little girl whose nose looked like it had never been cleaned while her face and hair were smeared with dirt. My heart immediately went out to her. I thought she was cute even with all that dirt. Before I could speak to her or she could say anything to me, one of the boys I was talking to shooed her away.

I watched her cross the street, her tiny bare feet stomping the ground as she crossed to the other side of the road. She stopped by another shop and held on to a man’s feet. The owner of the store also chased her away but I saw that the man whose leg she held on to gave her some money. She took to her heels again, bare feet picking up speed, then she turned a corner and she was gone.

I felt bad, I should have given her some money just like that other man. As I continued to chat with the boys, I couldn’t get the little girl out of my mind so I asked one of them “That small girl that came to beg just now, where is her mother?”

“Her mother dey that side,” One of the boys answered me as he pointed at the corner where the little girl had escaped into “but the woman no too get sense”

“Sense how? Does she have a shop here?” I asked, curious now

“No oh. When she dey here, she dey sweep front of our shop before everybody resume so we go give am small money. She no dey okay like sha”

“Take me to her, please,” I asked the young man who had been responding to my questions

In a very short while, we had rounded the corner and I immediately saw the little girl; seated on the floor, wide-eyed, squeezing water from a half-empty pure water sachet into her mouth. She was not alone, there was a woman seated on a white plastic chair beside her, backing me.

As soon as the girl saw me, I waved at her and she quickly ran to me, holding on to my legs, tilted her head a little so her big eyes could look at me then she stretched out her hands, palm open. I took her had and walked up to the mother.

“Hello ma,” I said as I tapped her shoulder. The woman turned around in her chair and I could see immediately why the boys said she didn’t have ‘sense’…she was a woman with Down Syndrome. I didn’t know what I was expecting but I was taken aback.

Still holding on to the little girl’s hand, I greeted the lady. “Good evening madam. I saw your daughter on the street and I thought I should say hello to her before I go” This lady looked at me, looked down at her daughter and in a sudden movement, stood and grabbed the girl from around my feet and started screaming at me. Her words were slurred but I could hear her asking me to stay away from her daughter. I looked at the young man who escorted me and he just shrugged and said “I tell you na”

What I saw wasn’t a crazy woman, I saw a scared woman, a woman who held on tight to her daughter and still looked helpless. She was warning me and begging me at the same time, crying. I tried to calm her down “It’s okay, I just want to say hello to your daughter, it’s okay…” I said in a low voice, tears filling my eyes. I was so sad and confused. I was also curious. I looked around, no one cared, everyone went about their business.

Still holding on to the girl, the woman grabbed her bag, turned the little girl around so she could balance on her back, held on to her feet. Still asking me to stay away, teary eyes looking straight into mine, daring me… she rushed past me

So I stood there, motionless, watched her limp away, flag down a bike and pfft, she was gone.

I asked around, no one knew her story, they just knew she would disappear and reappear in her own time, always with her daughter.

I sat in my car for a long time, the tears I had held back, now flowing freely. That woman’s panic expression would not leave my head. Even in her state, she protected her daughter. But what if I could overpower her? What happens, when someone really wants to take that girl from her, and all she has are her eyes, begging for the world not to take that one companion away?

What happens then?

A Grieving Handsome Man, My Chipped Nail and An Awkward Moment

An Ex-colleague lost his mum so I went to visit him yesterday.

When I got to his house – It was a big house and an even bigger compound- there was a small crowd seated all over. I didn’t know who to approach as there was no familiar face. However, my radar zoned in on a fine boy who seemed to be familiar with almost everyone. I smiled at him. He smiled back and quickly walked towards me.

“Hey you, long time. You came” Fine boy said as he pulled me close for a hug

Okay…I never forget fine boys so I was so sure we hadn’t met but to avoid embarrassment, I hugged him back and asked where I could find Nonso, my colleague (Not the real name but close). Instead of directing me to where I would find him, fine boy held me by the hand and took me past a large living room, a smaller one and a slightly long corridor then opened one of the doors that lined the hallway. He led me into the room where I saw Nonso, seated on the floor surrounded by guests, some of whom I knew.

I quickly released my hand and sat beside Nonso, gave him a hug and said a quick prayer with him. Then, I exchanged pleasantries with everyone else. Looking up, I noticed the fine boy was still in the room, staring at me. I looked away from him and whispered to Nonso “Abeg who be that fine boy wey bring me here?”

Nonso chuckled, “My brother na, Peter (Not real name). You can’t remember you’ve met him once or twice?”

I shook my head. “Was he fine like this then?” I asked Nonso and heard him laugh as I turned around again only to find that Peter was still there but this time, seated on the bed, resting his back on the wall, still looking at me.

Nonso drew my attention back to him. “Ahn ahn. He was the one who picked us up from the airport that time we went for a conference in London” Nonso looked at my face like he was trying to hypnotize me into remembering. I really had no recollection of Peter, even though I remember a family member of Nonso picked us up at the Heathrow Airport in 2010.

I shook my head and changed the topic.

Almost everyone decided to leave at the same time so Nonso saw them off. It was just I, Peter and an older lady in the room. Peter dragged himself off the bed and took Nonso’s position on the floor.

“I have a feeling you don’t remember me” Peter whispered in my ear.

He was too close, so I shifted a little and apologised. “I’m sorry”

He took my left palm “It’s okay, guess you were distracted. I’ve never forgotten about you sha. I ask after you all the time from Nonso” He whispered again, still close to my ear even after I had created some distance.

First of all, why sit close to me? Secondly, breathing was getting harder. I quickly snatched my hand and stood. It’s time to go. Never trust a grieving man who has time to flirt. Also, one of my nails was chipped. That was the finger he decided to play with as he held my hand. Was he indirectly telling me to go polish my nails or what? Ain’t nobody got time for nail shaming fine men.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” I said as I got up. I couldn’t hear myself, his sexy voice was still swirling somewhere in there.

“Please, can I get your number from Nonso?” I noticed he had gotten up too and was following me.

“Where is Nonso? I need a saviour” Were my thoughts.

When we got to my car, I didn’t wait around to look for my colleague, I just jumped into the car, ready to go. He asked me again “Please I would like your number, can I get it from Nonso?”

“Yes you can,” I said

“Okay then. Thank you for coming”

“Same to you,” I said

It was at this time, I knew Peter was sent by the Devil to confuse me. I’m a confident woman dammit!!!

Same to you? CHAI!!!