My Random Thoughts

Location: United Kingdom

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Naij, A History of Nigeria

It seems that the Naija Documentary I blogged about last year here is back and its bigger and better. For those who didn't get to see it, it was a three hour film of original footage from Nigeria's history featuring archival footage from Fela (he exposed his buttocks to camera to prove police brutality), Abiola - being interviewed while he was being arrested in the imprisonment that preceded his death, Major Nzeogwu - the day after the 1966 coup where he talks about killing the senior officers while they hid behind women and children. If you have the Saturday to spare, try and catch it on Saturday 10 May from 12.30pm-5.15pm -yes its now 4 and a half hours long, when I watched it last year they supplied free drinks and snacks too!

Film: Naij, A History of Nigeria plus Q & A with Jide Olanrewaju
Museum in Docklands, West India Quay (Docklands Light Railway)
Free entry: first come, first served

For more information see

Corruption, Mismanagement, Fraud,War are the stereotypical views of Nigeria and indeed Africa as a whole.This block-busting film explodes the mis-education and stereotypes and puts the country we now call Nigeria into context. This is the best film on African history and politics you will see this year. If you've ever asked yourself "why is Africa the way it is?" the answers are here.

Topics covered...
How the British fixed the elections, "Nigeria" does not exist, How Europeans encouraged civil war, The Role and Rise of the Army, The City of London = Corruption Head Office, Creating poverty as a means of control

Sunday, April 20, 2008

London Elects

London braces itself for the elections for Mayor and the London Assembly on the 1st May. While there are officially 10 candidates for London Mayor (including one representing the vile BNP), realistically its really a straight head to head between the incumbent Ken Livingstone and the comedian that is Boris Johnson.

When Boris first announced his candidacy it was a bit like your mate in the pub saying he was going to compete in X-Factor or American Idol, in other words a bit of a joke. In my view this joke has gone a bit too far as all of a sudden his candidacy is being taken seriously as there is a significant percentage of Londoners who have pledged to vote for him as he has a certain 'laddish' coolness.

While I am not the greatest of fans of 'red' Ken, I think he has a genuine passion for making London a world class city. However the congestion charge has impacted upon our lives, it has significantly reduced congestion in central london and is now being used as a model to emulate in major cities across the world. London buses have improved a lot from the days when you had to wait half an hour and 4 would arrive at the same time. And its no great coincidence that London won the race for the 2012 Olympics under Ken.

I used to laugh at Boris's buffoonery myself, as he is irreverent of authority and undoubtedly very intelligent but his style of idiocy I don't need in a mayor. His comments dismissing the Macpherson report, his referal to Tory leadership disputes as like "Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing" and the "piccaninnies" comment makes him completely unelectable for anyone of colour in my book (lets also not forget he had to apologise for condoning an article that claimed black people have a lower IQ).

Make sure you vote on 1 May and enjoy the American style dig at Boris Johnson's candidacy from Youtube below.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Culture of Hypocrisy...

Chimamanda has written a piece in the UK Guardian today, about the bill to stop women dressing ‘indecently’ currently being discussed by the Nigerian Senate. The piece speaks of the culture of hypocrisy prevailing in Nigeria where there is endemic institutional corruption, but the ‘morality’ that is flavour of the day is women’s dressing choices. To an extent the piece touches on the issue of Gender affiliations that have been discussed by bloggers such as Nneoma and Ebele.

I was slightly confused at the point where she mentions that the bill will particularly discriminate by class but I assume she was using the term ‘class’ in Nigeria interchangeably with economic status (class in other parts of the world particularly the UK or India is more a social stratification. Jeremy of Naijablog discusses class in Nigeria here).

At this point in history when Democratic voting African American women are torn between the fight to remain loyal to their gender or race (even the candidates Hilary and Obama will admit that there is little difference in their policy approaches), perhaps its time to discuss gender affiliation and particularly gender roles…

PS: Alice Walker has written a poignant piece about being an African American woman who will vote for Obama (see here).