My Random Thoughts

Location: United Kingdom

A Naija Guy living (and loving) in the UK.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When the table doesn't tell the full story...

The Premiership started yesterday after its summer break and after the first games the top five are Chelsea, Aston Villa, Bolton, Blackburn and Hull City.

Three of the top four of last season are eighth, ninth and tenth (Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd). Anyone want to wager the table won't be radically different in April?

And after 4 surprise Gold Medals today, Great Britain are third in a different table...
Like someone said, if Michael Phelps were a Country he'd be in the top ten of the tables...

Monday, July 14, 2008

So...where are you from?

I disguise my temptation to burst out into full giggle mode every time I hear that question asked by an English man I've met for the first time in some social setting. We could have been talking in a group for a while but on hearing my foriegn sounding first name they feel the need to ask the question: So where are you from? Dependent on my mood I could launch into a monologue about living in South London and the advantages of being 'Sauf' of the Thames. Its rare that after a couple of minutes of this that they are able to summon the courage to really define what they really meant.

I read Aba Boy's Lost Nationality with interest. I was in a training group recently where there were a couple of Asians who expressed similar views to Aba Boy and they had lived all their lives in the UK (basically they identified themselves as being from Pakistan and Kenya - an Indian kenyan). Is it about lineage or where you identify with?

When you hear the name "Mario Balotelli" what image comes to mind? And what if you were told he is a 17 year old soon to be playing for the Italian under 21 national team, would you think for a moment that he is the black kid in the picture? Or that he would speak Italian as fluently as in this youtube video?

Mario was born in Sicily to Ghanaian parents Thomas and Rose Barwuah. He was adopted from the age of 3 by the Balotelli family and will be given an Italian passport on his 18th birthday next month. He recently refused a call up to the Ghanaian National Team that went to the Nations Cup and has been touted as a future Italian full international.

Aba Boy I beg to submit that the issue is more complex than you outline. My football mad cousin is married to a Brazilian and their 10 year old son is showing promising signs of developing real skills. If he were good enough, does he play for the Super Eagles (upset mom), Brazil (break dads heart) or hold out for England the only country he really knows?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Blower's Daughter

The Blower's Daughter - One of my favourite songs, also features in one of my favourite films "Closer" featuring Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.

...Oh, did I say that I loathe you?

Did I say that I want to leave it all behind?

I can't take my mind off of you...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Congratulations Paul Ince...

Paul Ince has today been named the first black English manager of a premiership side (the only other 2 managers of premiership sides Jean Tigana of Fulham and Ruud Gullit of Chelsea, weren't 'English'). Considering that probably about 20% of the players in the premiership are black, in my opinion Ince's appointment is long overdue.

Ince's appointment brings to 4 the number of ex Alex Ferguson players currently managing teams in the top division (Steve Bruce, Roy Keane and Mark Hughes are the other 3). If we were to include ex Fergie deputies like Steve Mclaren, then ole Fergie has probably been single handedly responsible for training half of the English Premiership managers. LOL!

Anyway Congratulations Ince (the Guv'nor)! Lets hope you get a fair chance to prove yourself at Blackburn.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Obama's Cross

Saturday, May 03, 2008

On Boston Legal

While I can't say that Boston Legal is one of my favourite shows, I will admit it has its flashes of sheer brilliance. Wednesday night was one of them.

For those who aren't familiar with the show it features James Spader (Stargate) as Alan Shore, a Boston Lawyer who is the conscience of the irreverent law firm Crane, Poole and Schmidt. William Shatner (formerly the first captain of the Star ship, Enterprise in Star trek - to boldly go where no one has gone before) acts as Danny Crane, lead partner and mad cow disease sufferer.

The episode on Wednesday evening featured an analysis of the 'democratic' process of the candidate selection in the primaries for the Democrats. I've included a clip below where partner Shirley Schmidt discusses her preference for Hilary Clinton while Alan Shore stumps for Barack Obama. Its quite current, topical and educational. Catch it if you can.

I love its political discussions, its moral debates and how it sometimes breaks the fourth wall, (the first 30 seconds of the Wednesday show actually uses the characters to publicise the schedule change from Tuesdays to Wednesdays). Danny Crane and partners are startled to learn that the weekly firm meeting is shifting from Tuesdays at 10 to Wednesdays at 10 (clip below).

Friday, May 02, 2008

On Nigerian Names

I've been having an ongoing debate with my girlfriend over the last few weeks about Nigerian names.  It started out when I commented that there were more Nigerians in the UK with 'English' first names than there were with their 'Original' ethnic first names.  She disagreed as she explained that the majority of her friends use their Nigerian names at work not reverting to any English names. I wonder what percentage of Nigerians retain a Nigerian first name (like Ngozi, Ade and Tosin as opposed to Jane, Kate and Fred) in the working place in the west. 

At my very first job interview in the UK, the interviewer had my CV in front of him and seeing Morountodun (well I am an anonymous blogger after all)  he then proceeded to ask what my 'Christian' name is.  Studies have proven that recruiters tend to prefer to favour applicants with names they can easily pronounce, against applicants that have 'foriegn sounding names'.  

Our conversation has since proceeded to discussing potential child names, where I would prefer 'Christian' names for my children, but my girlfriend favours only Yoruba/African ones.  I think the compromise will be somewhere in the middle where we choose yoruba names with 'english' sounding abbreviations ie Fara (Oluwafaratimi), Kenny (Kehinde) etc.  I wonder if we are compromising...