Sunday, September 10, 2006

Naijablog on naijablog

Living and loving and laughing in Nigeria...

Since the start, I've been aware of the problematic nature of this blog - privileged white person being critical of Nigeria in Nigeria etc. Every now and again someone lingers in the comments for a few weeks and rants at me with accusations of colonialism etc. Its to be expected, given the set up. Being a bit cocky, it affects those around me more than it does me. This can bring out the worst in one: a toxic mixture of narcissism and egotism.

But I'm getting bored of the flak and concerned about how it affects those close to me - so although I've avoided it all this while for the sake of free speech, I'm going to have to start comment moderation...

The point of this blog, as with many of the other nigerian blogs that have mushroomed in the past couple of years, is to try and start a positive conversation about Nigeria, my adopted home, and unleash some optimistic stories about the place out into the world. This critically productive conversation is bigger than all of us, and vitally important. Its time to refocus back on that, and stop getting embroiled in pillow fights..

The sunset was lovely as always this evening, sitting on the balcony until dusk and the return of the mosquitoes.


Jeremy 12:10 am  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dsss,  12:11 am  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  1:41 am  

I enjoy some of the lively discussions in your comments Jeremy, I hope this doesn't damage that.

I completely understand and support your motives for comment moderation and suggest that those who wish to make comments unfit to be published on YOUR blog, start their own blogs. I promise to read it, even subscribe to it, if I can see an intelligent argument.

Jeremy, please continue your work. You have an interesting and inspiring story to tell and the world MUST hear it. Never let ignorant racists, whatever their own colour, get to you.

Dami 2:55 am  

hmm because of yeee mr jeremy i am investing 10£ in a dictionary,thesaurus at the 3 for 2 sale at whsmiths :D
keep up the good work

Shango,  5:26 am  

Can't stand the heat, huh? I understand. On my own blog, I have also turned on comment moderation for precisely this reason.

For the record (for what that's worth) while I dislike the vanity that is a side-effect of a tremendous amount of time spent immersed in theory--and there's nothing more theoretical than Philosophy--I do appreciate your "stories" and other insights, bad as they are. There is a place in this world for one such as you (you'll be please to hear :-); I'm sure with time, you'll come to realise that much of your ideology is faulty as History and Human Nature are not on your side, but I'm sure you can say the same to me. Time will tell.

We're about the same age, you and I. Unlike you, I was born and lived in Africa for my formative years and know from experience what a shithole Nigeria is. That experience has served to steel me against what I believe is the reason the country is in the doldrums: the same socialist, government-should-and-must-take-care-of it-all philosophy that I see you constantly espouse.

That kind of thinking hasn't helped anyone anywhere, and it gets my blood boiling, perhaps a bit too hot. You must understand that while you're perfectly free to opine on Nigeria and Nigerians, you are also free to leave at anytime you want, and your "experiment" is over, you can "wake up", if you will. For the vast majority of Nigerians, this is not possible. They cannot escape the nightmare, they have to sleep through it.

Perhaps one day, things will change and people like you will probably have a say in helping that process along, but it'll not happen in your lifetime, I wager, so go easy on those who have no choice.

That is all, carry on.

miky,  5:42 am  

keep doing your thing man, and be lessed focused with the critism

kazey 6:55 am  

Awww thats really sweet of you, adopting Nigeria as your home that is.

I do think moderating your blog commentaries, is a smart move, which is long time due, I think.

Stay Positive and hope you would soon be immune to the Nigerian mosquitoes.

Anonymous,  10:15 am  

Easy Jez. Pillow fights are unavoidable in forums(sic?) such as this.
I have ranted at you for one of your comments but not with the intention that you stop making such comments.
Born in England, raised in Nigeria, now back in England, I have my opinions (sometimes unprintable) about the state of the country and the attitudes of us its pple.
Such is the profile of us 'ranters': We feel the same way or even worse but we wont have a white person pointing it out. However what i dont subscribe to is personal attacks or name calling. The debate is valid and should be kept alive and stimulating and i think you have demonstrated this in not removing Shango's post(I would have!). Sorry on behalf of us all for all the hurt but don't bore us your readers by sticking to mundane or 'touristy' topics. cheers

culturalmiscellany 11:12 am  

Sorry you had to take this approach but I understand how you feel, probably more than you imagine. I aspire to be more honest in my opinions, like you, one day! There is, I have noticed, a time for being quiet and being respectful and a time when must speak up for oneself, state one's opinion or otherwise fear dying inside from unspoken words strangling your heart.

Anonymous,  2:21 pm  

J, I've read your blog for several months now and have never left a comment.

Now, it's time to say:

I share your vision, bro. Blog away.

Anonymous,  3:07 pm  

Keep the blog up, fascinating reading and a rare and only link to today's Nigeria that many of us in other parts of the world have.
What I don't get though, is you seem to really suffer there at times with the malaria, inept workers, corruption, frustration blah, blah etc....
Yet you choose to stay, out of all the wonderful, amazing places you could live in the world, you choose Nigeria, WHY?

Chxta 3:56 pm  

While I understand the moderation, I'd have been thouroughly miffed had you decided stop blogging all together.

My advice to you:
Nigerians tend to take things personal, so develop a thick skin. You need to see the amount of insults I receive both on my blog, and on Nairaland when I make a controversial statement...

Anonymous,  4:05 pm  


I too was born in England, raised in Nigeria and now living in the States. I look forward to your posts as it exposes me to a Nigeria through a foreigner's eyes which can be an interesting perspective.

Yes Nigeria is frustrating, challenging and can be boring. But Nigerians are dynamic, never say die people with a great deal of optimism and that gives me hope that one day the country will be better. Go easy on the critiscm and remember again that you live in a traditional African conservative society that is going through challenges.

I'm a doer. If you don't like something, fix it. You obviously enjoy this country so try and change what you dislike. Even if that contribution is small. You'd be surprised at what one man can achieve.

Keep on blogging but be more optimistic and stop being quite so cynical. You're in Nigeria now not England!

Anonymous,  4:05 pm  

Continue the blogging, Jeremy.

Akin 4:49 pm  

Hi Jeremy,

I think I have months ago suggested moderation for comments on your blog.

You do raise pertinent issues, unfortunately, sometimes whatever sensible thing is about to be said in commenting gets lost when the fingers move faster than the mind.

For many of us who need an educated and forthright window on Nigeria, you rank amongst the best sources, so moderate if you must, but you cannot desert your blog fans by stopping altogether.



Shango,  5:13 pm  

What's the matter with you all? The man never said he was going to stop blogging, only start moderating! English comprehension, who thought it was so difficult?

Anonymous,  6:49 pm  

lol you know we used to get five over ten in english comprehension

Akin 7:53 pm  

Let us put English Comprehension into context here, I have been visiting this blog since January and there was a time for a space of maybe 2 weeks, there was nothing from Jeremy.

Comprehension is one thing, but putting it all into context, one might say you are prohibiting your imagination from seeing beyond the literal.

Reading between the lines, which takes a little more than comprehension; beyond the talk of moderation; there is the implication that Jeremy may just not write about some issues, if he feels that poor comprehension or ignorance would take away from the import of his message, in some cases or impact on those around him badly.

The possibility of that kind of self-censorship would not augur well for all concerned.

Shango,  11:13 pm  

@akin: more and more I begin to suspect you're a dreaded member of the legal profession, to wit:

"Reading between the lines, which takes a little more than comprehension;"

AKA "invention" by the polite but "lying" by non-lawyers. :-)

I've taken another look at Jeremy's post, I still don't see where he even hints he'll be stopping commentary on those "special" issues. He says, in fact, that "rants" and "accusations of colonialism etc." don't affect him, "being a bit cocky".

He was in fact, "getting bored" with "pollow fights" because he would like to "refocus" on those "positive conversations" that are "critically productive". That doesn't sound like impending self-censorship. But I may be wrong(tm).

Tell me, Akin, are you a lawyer?

Anonymous,  9:12 am  

Hi Jeremy,

I think moderating your blog is well overdue. I don't think I could put up with all the slacks you get. First from Obokun close, then shango. I would have wiped him (I am positively sure that he is a he) off from my blogsphere.

What I enjoy about reading your blog is that you don't only critique, you also do. Between you and your wife, you have giving us beautiful Lagos Live, which makes Lagos appear more sexy than it is and then there is your cassava republic. This are all wonderful things you two are doing. Many of us are happy people like you are doing these things, but we are also slightly piqued by it beause it reflects our (my) own inadequacy of all talk and no action.

I am sure if you had stayed in the Uk you would not have thought to set these things up. abi?

So please don't censor yourself. We Nigerians just find it difficult hearing the truth especially from a white man. how come we don't get to hear about your wife?

Akin 12:32 pm  


Is there any wonder that thunder never sounds musical?

That natural phenomenon which is by happenstance leaves me with concern that your personification of thunder in lacking musical ability is reflecting on your lack of imagination in terms of context, comprehension and intended audience.

My comment was directed at Jeremy and he sees nothing wrong with the issues I raised or the statements I have made.

I prefer to engage in edifying commentary not prepubescent point-scoring.

Shango,  4:40 pm  

@Akin: do you really think that stringing together enough random words constitutes an argument? If that's the case, here's my rebuttal, following your rules:

Blah sanctimonious, blah blah, filigree instantaneous confidentialities in modality, blah childish.

Shango,  5:08 pm  

@anonymous: First from Obokun close, then shango. I would have wiped him (I am positively sure that he is a he) off from my blogsphere.

Hence the difference between you and an educated man who understands and is not afraid of criticism.

As a Nigerian myself, I have strugged to understand that criticism is not condemnation, a Nigerian pathology. Most Nigerians I know do not understand the distinction: any criticism is taken as a declaration of war. I've had to purge such inclinations.

What does it matter if I'm a he or a she?

Akin 5:12 pm  


Rather than use other people's blogs to spew out your brand of incoherence, incomprehensibility and cynicism, why don't you launch your own blog?

You probably have something to say, but I do not like your tone, your delivery or your expression, which is in line with my response to your comments in my blog.

It is just not fair to squat in other blog comment areas trying to be so off colour and pretending to be so smart.

Jeremy 5:13 pm  

Cor blimey - Shango on my side! I nearly fainted.

Anyway, we're all pillow fighting again. Come on Shango - post your blog address so we can see the (wo)man behind the masquerade..

Shango,  5:44 pm  

@Akin: I don't have to pretend, I am not smart. There, feel better?

@Jeremy: I'm sure you are familiar with the term fool's license? That's the reason for my masquerade ... really, how much fun would it be if you could point to some inanity on my blog as a riposte to the brilliance I'm displaying on your blog?

In time perhaps, when I'm less choleric.

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