There is a popular proverb in Nigeria which states, “The person who has never left his father’s farm thinks the farm is the biggest in the village”. If the meaning has not jumped at you, here’s another version: “Until you leave your father’s house, you will think your mother is the best cook on earth”. There’s some kind of epiphany that happens when you go outside your conventional zone and get to experience life in other areas. This has been my experience with Port Harcourt. Continue reading “Cry, My Beloved Port Harcourt”
This is the fourth part in a series tagged “A Stroll Through Israel”. If you won’t jump into the fourth episode of a Game of Thrones season, you may want to begin with the first article.
Our trip to Israel began with Tel Aviv, then Nazareth, Bethlehem, Rawabi and Ramallah. Having gone through these cities to view Israel and Palestine from a different lens, it was time to tour what is unarguably the most contested piece of hills in this galaxy. From being a space merely contested for mainly political reasons, Jerusalem morphed into the site of a religiously-charged contest, and has now retained the political dimension, making it a hotspot for flares. It is in this context that the #LetsTalkBusiness entourage went on a tour of Old Jerusalem. Continue reading “Jerusalem: Land of Uneasy Peace, Religion and Business”
This is the third part in a series tagged “A Stroll Through Israel”. If you won’t jump into the third episode of a Game of Thrones season, you may want to begin with the first article.
When you hear or read of the Israel-Palestine conflict, what comes to your mind? If all you think of is chaos, poverty, oppression and bloodshed, no one would blame you. The media have ensured negativity is groomed in people’s minds. However, there is more to Palestine than the media presents. Join me through a day spent unlearning and relearning about Palestine. Continue reading “A Day for Palestine”
Israel meets Palestine
It is commonly said that there are two sides to every story. One thing with life is that we sometimes seek to view life in terms of absolutes—right vs wrong, black vs white, good vs evil—but sometimes life isn’t something that can be linearly modelled as it covers more than fifty shades of grey. In this second part of the series, we relive a day spent partly in Israel and partly in land governed by the Palestinian Authority. Continue reading “A Stroll Through Israel [Part 2]”
The clock had just gone past 8pm local time when the EasyJet plane touched the tarmac at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. It was the end of a five-hour flight that had departed the UK earlier that day. On board were fourteen UK students, stepping into the warm Tel Aviv evening with eyes set on a trip that was months in the waiting. These students were joined by two others who had arrived on earlier flights. For me, it was the end of a four-month wait after an earlier disappointment. Continue reading “A Stroll Through Israel [Part 1]”
Growing up in Nigeria, one phrase continuously heard was “African time”. It appears the world had a meeting and assigned a special time-keeping system to Africans, with Nigerians as the guardians of this time standard. With such a reputation at odds with the famous timekeeping Swiss, stereotypical expectations assume that Nigerians would never be early at anything, even if their lives were to depend on being early. Unfortunately, while some Nigerians try to defeat this stereotype, some others go extra lengths to ensure Nigeria’s battered image remains unredeemed. Continue reading “Redeeming a Battered Image”
At face value, education is “hyped” as being very important. Civil society organisations and other groups routinely buttress the value of education, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where millions are related to poverty. Even the usually detached government has decreed compulsory basic education. Despite all the uproar about education, some persons still see it as valueless. For them, formal education is an albatross best avoided if one has the means. Continue reading “Education’s Relative Value”
Over the years, some incidents in Nigeria have tried to portray it as a theatre of the absurd. Periodically, news reports spring up, bewildering many Nigerians who wonder if the main characters lack commonsense, and the decency to save Nigerians the shame of watching foolish dramas. The #FreeEse incident is a quintessential example of a lot that is wrong in Nigeria. Continue reading “#FreeEse: When The Constitution Is Not Supreme”
Malcolm Gladwell in his book, “Outliers”, examined the effects of culture and environment on individuals’ actions, responses, thoughts and mannerisms. He showed that even seemingly mundane matters are influenced by these two factors. In the little time spent in different parts of Nigeria, I have seen that the way mistakes are viewed and handled leans heavily on a cultural support. Continue reading “Culture-Veiled Mistakes”
The paradoxical title ensued from a discussion with a friend. How can a person be described as being proud, yet not having pride? Is there more to the expression? Or is it just a play of words? Continue reading “Proud But without Pride”