The iconic painter, Pablo Picasso, is acclaimed to have said that “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” If there is any validity to Picasso’s claim that a properly implemented plan is the only route to success, what then do we say to individuals and institutions that act like planning is anathema to success. Maybe such persons know something the rest of the world is ignorant of, or maybe the ignorance, wilful or accidental, is in the other direction.Continue reading “Nigeria’s War Against Holistic Planning”
In Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Dispossessed”, a discussion between Shevek and Bedap provides a backdrop to today’s article.
“Who do you think is lying to us?” Shevek demanded.
Placid, Bedap met his gaze. “Who, brother? Who but ourselves?”
A look at Bedap’s response betrays a truism about human behaviour. More times than not, we lie to ourselves, deceiving ourselves or gleefully accepting the lies others tell us. In a case of blissful self-delusion, we seem to find it easier to face false constructs instead of reality. Continue reading “Ultra-Modern Deceptions”
2017 just gave way to 2018 in a cacophony of jubilation, prayers, orgies, screams, joy and sorrow, depending on where one is in the globe and one’s proclivities. For me, for something like the first time in my young adult life, I neither got into the Christmas overdrive nor the new year’s festivities. I cannot really place why, but it seems somewhere in my mind, there’s something saying “2017? 2018? Kini big deal?” Maybe I would need Christopher Nolan to investigate the inception of this notion. Continue reading “2018: Another Year Begins”
The Italian poet, Cesare Pavese, is attributed to have coined this: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” This quote is very true as most humans cannot remember a full day, only key moments on certain days. The only exceptions are the few persons like Jill Price who can remember entire days of their lives. Sadly, we do not all have this gift (or curse?) of never forgetting, so it’s best we make good memories that would stay by our side all our days. Continue reading “A Journey of Life”
Let me begin with a quote by George Washington Carver. He wrote that “Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.” Since most calls for secession in Nigeria are linked to hatred of one tribe or region for the other, Carver’s theory stipulates that Nigerians are afraid of something; something so fearsome as to trigger vitriolic hatred. Continue reading “Theorising Nigerian Hatred”
Not a few persons are aware of the maxim that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. This quote has been used repeatedly in speeches, articles and books. What quite a few persons know is the existence of a related quote by America’s Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln looked at the democratic process and concluded that “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” Although in literal terms, it is incredulous that paper could be more potent than solid lead, developed democracies have realised that a trusted ballot system not only enables citizen participation but also enables structures for development. Continue reading “The UK’s General Election 2017: Lessons for Nigeria”
The adage, “experience is the best teacher”, wrongly assumes that experience is efficacious in delivering instruction. What that adage failed to consider is that “fools despise wisdom and instruction”. In other words, for a fool, even experience is not good enough to serve as a teacher. Trying to teach a fool, even using experience, is like explaining how a colour looks to a person who was born blind. Unfortunately, this is the kind of situation Nigeria finds itself. At the risk of seeming unpatriotic, I still say that Nigeria is like a fool for whom thirty lessons is insufficient. Continue reading “One Lesson Too Many”
On Saturday, 1st October 1960, thousands of happy Nigerians gathered at the Race Course Square (Tafawa Balewa Square) Lagos, to witness their young country’s independence ceremony. For many persons who shared greetings and basked in the ambient excitement, the full import of “independence” was not known. The knowledge that “the white man will go, and we will lead ourselves”, was enough reason to celebrate. Today, fifty-five years later, Nigeria is sorely in need of that common drive that fuelled the campaign for independence.