There a lot of things that Nigeria as a country should be embarrassed about, it’s not just the fact that as an oil producing Country, we still have frequent fuel scarcities; or that we have an unsteady and unreliable power supply; or that Ghana, a way more smaller country than Nigeria, has a more valuable Currency than us; or that we are on the World’s top ten list of the most corrupt countries; or even that our maintenance culture in this country is so poor that National histories like the Tafawa Balewa square, National stadium etc, are in poor conditions; No, it’s not any of these sorry situations, but a certain group of people who knowingly or unknowingly are a National embarrassment. Who? You might wonder,’The Nigerian Police’ is my answer.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
I’m sure everyone is familiar with the current religious/political crisis going on in Nigeria at the moment; particularly in the Northern part of the country. The killing and maiming number is on the increase; Churches and Christians are the targets, and Corpers are victimized. One would stop to wonder if this crisis isn’t more religious than political. The reason is say this is prior to the election, the Northerners chanted ‘Vote for Islam, vote for Buhari’; and now their defense to the Riot and various acts of violence is that they cannot have a Christian president.
Sunday, 17 April 2011
A few days ago, I got a broadcast message on BBM, and it got me reminiscing on my childhood days. The content of the message was simple:
if you didn’t watch Ultimate Power a.k.a, Agbaranla or Ayamatanga;
if you didn’t say ‘stop lying on my head ooh!’;
if you didn’t wake up 7am on Saturday to watch Cadbury breakfast Tv;
if you didn’t sing NTA 2 channel 5, ela oju kan;
if you didn’t play Suwe of ten-ten;
or eat Nasco wafers, okin biscuits (both okin & shortcake), baba dudu, or drink fanta chapman
if you didn’t watch tales by moonlight, village masquerade, or even chorus to the Planta advert, ‘children its breakfast time, planta....’
The list goes on and on......well, if you didn’t do all this when you were young, you were a deprived Nigerian child. After reading the message, a flood of memories flowed in. Mehn!, that was the simple life. Those were the days when you would rush home from school and wait in front of the TV till 4pm when the rainbow coloured interlude stripes would wipe off and NTA 2 channel 5 would hum their intro music for the day and give us our afternoon dose of cartoons ranging from; teddy ruxpin (come dream with me tonight...), the little prince (the little prince from outta space can catch a shooting star and sail away....), Groovy goolies, or most importantly fraggle rock (dance your cares away, worries for another day....) Whoa, thinking of all that would put a smile on your face, and possibly a tear in your eye.
But that wasn’t all, after 7’o clock news, there was a promise of TV dramas, you dared not to miss. Even if your parents sent you off to bed, you just had to sneak back and watch ‘Jake & the fat Man’ or how else would you explain to your friends in class the next day how you dulled yourself by being sent off to bed. There was ‘Moonlighting’ as well, where we got introduced to Bruce Willis for the first time. And after that, there would be ‘sledge hammer’ who would intrigue us with his unethical police tactics. Oh yes, how could I have forgotten ‘Super-force’ (super-force would be right back!) I’m shivering in excitement right now,....that was truly the simply life, until technology ruined my childhood.
You see it started with the introduction of Cable TV. I went visiting some of my primary school friends at their home, and they were humming ‘I want to be a Care bear...’ Care bear? WTH? NO!, I want to be a muppet baby, I want to be piggy! And that’s how it all started, from cable TV, it became DSTV, and all the other TV’s.......hmmm and then blackberries and apples were no longer just fruits, but became devices...and now, our young kids have missed out on the simplicity of life, and now instead of table soccer, they have X-box; instead of Voltron, they have Ben-ten mschewwwww...... Ahh well, we can only make wishes, those days are far gone, and I just have to move on, but those are memories to be cherished forever.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Not until in 2008, was there a fashion explosion in the Nigerian fashion industry and ever since then the fashion BOOM has been getting louder. There have been several appraisals for the designers who dared to venture into an uncertain world of Nigerian fashion, experiments were made, trends were formed and style was revolutionized. There has been no turning back since then. For over two years now, the fashion industry has become the ‘IT’ industry. It seems like every other day, one new (so-called) designer is either discovered or self emerges. It’s almost like that’s the new best vocation; everywhere you go, one fashion lover or so, proclaim or declares his/herself a designer. Believe it or not becoming a designer is almost clichéd.
A while back, I was having drink with a friend at Prime Chinese, and a few guys walked up to us and somehow, our conversation ventured into fashion. One of the guys proclaimed in disgust saying that “any girl who is jobless can wake up one morning and call herself a designer”, and that I thought to myself what is this guy talking about, but it kinda struck me as true; and believe me, guys are beginning to pick up the bug. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be a player hater or nothing but loving fashion is not enough to make you a designer and it’s beginning to seem that way in Nigeria. All you need to do is get a good tailor who can make all the clothes you can create or most of the time, have copied from another designer and gbam, You are a designer!.
Speaking of copying, that’s becoming a regular trend now. Yes, there is nothing new under the Sun, but I don’t believe everything under the Sun has been discovered; point is there is nothing wrong in being innovative and creative. Which brings me to my next point, When would designers especially the upcoming ones stop using Ankara, Gosh! That fabric is becoming clichéd too! Someone revolutionized Ankara which pushed us to the fashion limelight, Good! But that doesn’t mean everyone should do so! Now if it’s not Ankara, it’s the use of embellishments. Duhh! Poor old Ankara has been used and over used; people seem to forget that there are other fabrics such as Linen, lace, Silk or even tweed which can be experimented with. If cutting up Ankara fabrics and sewing a few designs makes you a designer, then I’m designer too, and so is every tailor who owns a sewing machine around the corner. As a matter of fact, they are the original designers since taking your clothes to the tailor to sew up a style you like has been the trend for ages past (and present).
I was once sucked into this fashion melodrama that I actually registered for sewing classes, so that I could learn to sew and possibly make clothes for people. Well, you can say that I was doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. I liked fashion but that didn’t mean I was meant to be a designer. As you can guess, I became feedback, and so did my colleague in sewing class. She called me up one day and said ”Ebun, I’ve had enough, I’m not coming back! I don’t think this is what I want. I love clothes, but I don’t think I want to make them”. Well, you can say the same for me too. As a matter of fact, I prefer to dress people up than actually making clothes which makes me more of a stylist than a designer. A piece of advice, designing is not the only aspect of a fashion; there’s fashion styling, fashion communication, fashion retailing/ merchandising etc...Find out yourself, the one which really appeals to you or just be a fashion lover, plain and simple. The “I’m a designer” syndrome is so bad that the word “couture” haute or not has lost its valid meaning
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t celebrate our Nigerian designers; we should, and every day for that matter. But we want to celebrate those who have original talent and flair, it’s even more impressive when you are the one to start new trends, and others have to follow. If you have to go to fashion school to acquire more knowledge, then do so. Don’t just be another Ankara cutting, fashion loving, style copying fashionista, and then call yourself a designer. Because if that makes you a designer, then I’m a designer too, and so is everyone else.