Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Better things will come

Its time to be positive. The trick in Nigeria (as anywhere) is not to get cynical. Its the lazydog position. There are always hidden pockets of positive energy to be unearthed. If you get cynical, you've just forgotten how to dig. Plus I like it when commentators say oyimbo will not stay. There's nothing that fires off a spirit off determination quite like someone saying you're just like the rest. I remember at college a smart ass I'd become close to giving me a calculating look once and saying I can see your future Jeremy: a nice safe wife and a nice safe life. I've been answering the fucker back ever since.

Music is always the inspiration. I have been absorbed by the compilation African Spirits out on the unfailingly excellent Soul Brother label. The opening track by Pharoah Sanders, Our Roots began in Africa is sonic majesty itself. And the jazz titan is still going strong after all these years - playing a gig in London soonish. Click here for a review and to listen.

Our inverter is knackered so we're going to have to buy a new one. This should give us guaranteed 12 hour power back-up from now on - and stem the moments of temporary depression.


nigeria, what's new 10:19 pm  

You can be both positive and cynical at the same time but that won't help Nigeria. Try this

Gbemi's Piece 5:53 am  

Keep your head up, Jeremy. Nigeria is not an easy place to live, work or play. Please do whatever it takes to keep sane. I don't know how you do it but I commend you for it. Your blog keeps me connected to my home country. Stay positive.

Akin 9:47 am  


Having not returned to Nigeria for a very, very long time, I cannot only commend you for your spirit and determination.

I know for my myself that, I cannot return to live in Nigeria, but your blog definitely has done much to keep my interest in Nigeria beyond just family.

I think you have captured the spirit of not just surviving but doing well - my head is just filled with the fairy-tale Nigeria that I knew in the 70s and early 80s.

I concur with Gbemi - Stay positive.

tobs 10:23 am  

It is funny how most of the people commenting on this blog, saying oyinbo will not stay, crtizicing critics on Nigeria and promosing a bright future for the country - they are not living there.

Most of the discussions on blogs like these are about what Nigeria need to do and how to do it, what's wrog with the country and the people, manefests on building a better society and so forth. But no-one is here to do it, except the oyinbo!

If you want to change Nigeria, get your arse back here and start doing something about it. If not, shut up.

fake man,  12:03 pm  

thanks tobs

Akin 12:04 pm  

Hello Tobs,

Your last paragraph is interesting, however, all I have to say is we all have a stake in Nigeria - living there or in Diaspora.

Sometimes, Nigerian problems or issues cannot be solved with an Island mentality, rather it requires different perspectives from diverse locations.

In my case, my being absent from Nigeria precludes me from instructing, on principle, but definitely not from advising or persuading my audience of another view - Sorry! I would not Shup Up!

two cents,  1:00 pm  

tobs, how do you know whether people commenting are in nigeria or not?

Regardless, if they grew up there, and have lived in Nigeria for decades, whether they are in Nigeria right now or not, they have more experience in the country than you do. So it's a bit much for you to wave around the fact that yourself or Jeremy have been working there for what 2 years, 3 years, as some sort of upper moral/intellectual hand.

Nigerians at home and abroad are just as intelligent and perceptive as you are. And we know our country and what it is like to live there more than you do. If you're not going to shut up about what you think of nigeria and nigerians, we sure won't shut up about what we think about you. It's that simple. You can say what you want, Nigerians can say what they want (excluding insults of course).

And what on earth do you mean that no one is working to change Nigeria except the Oyinbo! Your arrogance is astounding. So all the various nigerians at home and abroad fighting injustice, championing human rights, setting up NGOs, blogging...what are they doing...selling fish? Oh let me guess, because you have a blog where you talk about things most of us were complaining about when we were in Secondary School, that makes you better (and more knowledgeable and more praiseworthy) than all of us put together?

Do we have some sort of white-man's-burden complex Tobs?

kemi,  1:49 pm  

Tobs, Ignore him!

Two cents is the one with the white-man complex, this is evident from his comments.

two cents,  7:51 pm  

white man's burden complex. You should read up on it at

Anonymous,  11:08 am  

"No one is here to do it except the oyibo"....really?

tobs 2:15 pm  

Well, maybe 'shut up' was a bit over the top. But it got your attention.

In any case, I believe in results, doing stuff and not talking about it. That's my whole point.

Akin 8:52 pm  

Well, I am not given to histrionics in my commentary if I can help it.

Where I am in the position to do something, I do, and where I am in the position to advise, I advise.

In both cases, it is working towards towards results.

Anonymous,  12:00 am

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