Wild Boars… International Cooperation at its best!

The answer to the various issues encountered by government administrations all over the world is simply to foster more international cooperation.

In recent years, ideology has shifted towards the left, we have witnessed the rise of nationalism that ends up caging their citizens in economic and social quagmire. The events of the last few days has gripped us all; not the world cup. I am referring to the young Thai football players – the Wild Boars. Our imaginations have been captured by their discovery and eventual rescue of the young lads, we have all said a little prayer for their safe rescue and recovery. There is definitely a Hollywood movie in their story as it invokes human spirit and endeavour at its best – a human togetherness I’ll call it.

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It mirrored the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners in 2010, it underlines that international cooperation can be a blessing; meaning that diverse collaboration shows that nations work best when they work together. We must praise the Thai government for seeking assistance for where other nations have special expertise. It did not insist that it could do everything itself.

My point is emphasised as follows – in a competitive world, nations (even individuals) must avail to take advantage of other nations’ skills to supplement their own in the face of adversity as the Thais have done in the successful effort to save lives. Let us pause for a moment, would we have a different outcome if the Nigerian government (in 2014) had called for help in rescuing the abducted girls from Chibok instead of the incompetency and ineptitude shown which has left the girls families in never-ending anguish.

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Moreover, we must agitate for the government albeit a different administration to seek international assistance from other beef producing countries such as Brazil and Argentina to drum up solutions to the incessant killings and conflicts between the herdsmen and farmers in the middle-belt of Nigeria. We must find a way to live together in peace and security.

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Crossing the Rubicon… Africa & Africans needs a bit of love, not their leaders. Please give us a hug! Our continent has been sold to the highest bidders!

It has been a while since I updated my blog posts that gave me a platform with confidence to express my views on societal issues.

Over the last half year I have been engrossed with a project that made me forget what my favourite ‘apple crumble’ tastes like. I was so immersed in achieving a positive outcome, as we know, no projects runs without hiccups. Hence the absentia. Please forgive me my dear ‘followers’, you will be pleased that I gained and acquired much needed skills of leadership, completing a project lifecycle (and a coveted award was the icing on the cake) and whilst seeking more opportunities in the field, I have proactively started an online retail company.

The phrase ‘crossing the rubicon’ was coined when Julius Caesar marched into Rome without disbanding his armies after he was called back to Rome by the Senate after he had become too powerful. This phrase also means reaching ‘a point of no return’. Nigeria upcoming elections is again at this crossroads. My emphasis to Nigerians in particular, and with the same notion to other countries that share this resourceful lush continent, and to black people all over the world. The black race will not be respected and accorded equality unless we engaged in real human development that protects human lives more than livestock; rule of law and justice for all regardless of their class. The Asian Tigers economies achieved success by focusing on human development in line with economic growth. Please correct my viewpoints, but I believe that there is a correlation between lack of real development in Africa (and Carribbean nations) and the incessant killings of young blacks in Britain, and even the indiscriminate shootings of blacks in the greatest nation on earth that devalues the lives of the people that built the nation in the first place.

The above simply means that the might of Africa is not standing behind her people anywhere in the world, we must perhaps be the most divided race on earth. I guess this is what has led us to yearn for individualism rather than a collective notion of governance that the west adheres to with greater success.

Why do I assert that you show love to Africans and marginalized people anywhere in the world labouring to survive in an unfriendly world where the bane of racism and other forms of discrimination is never far from the surface.

I completely understand the frustration of the locals in the gorgeous Amalfi coasts of Italy seeing these ‘blackened’ bodies washing up on their shores, as well as in the blue seas of the Greek Islands. These issues are primarily the responsibilities of successive African governments that continues to fail to prioritize ‘human development’. The West also has direct responsibilities, as their historical and colonial ‘divide & rule’ was a racial engagement of subjugation, plunder of resources and exploitation. It can be argued that African leaders engaged in corruption and mis-rule learnt this trick from the same countries agitating for anti-immigration policies. This does not mean that there are no progress across Africa, there are clearly for those whose parents can ensure the guarantee of education for their wards and so on, but it pains me to look into the eyes of young kids hawking snacks and iced water in the scorched sun serving those opportune to sit at least with some comfort in their air-conditioned SUVs in the maddening Lagos traffic.

This author focal point is that there is a real price for under-development, and this has led to Africans to take extreme measures in a world where at home their lives are at risk, especially young girls in schools. Women are trafficked unabated, with all the risks of constant abuse.

It is a shame that that Africans on the corridors of power will loot their own countries resources to fund private education in western institutions at the expense of their once-renowned institutions of the past.

As Europe veers towards the right politically, it would be useful not to implement anti-immigration policies from a hate point of view. It would rather benefit both continents, if the west asserts his influence without historical biases. The real change that Africa needs cannot come from within, there are just too many unconnected dots.

Please spare a thought for that African brother trying to hustle his way via Calais or that Ethiopian sister working as a maid in Jordan, cast your aspersions not on him or her but on their respective governments that does not even know of their existence.

Much love.

I wish you peace…

I have the heart and stomach of a King… says!

Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth I of England) said that “I have the heart and stomach of a King.” I surmise this as having the heart and stomach of a warrior personally. She made this speech or statement in August 1588 as there were questions being raised that her gender will restrict her from being the commander of the armed forces as the Spanish Armada was assembling in the North Sea ready to invade England.

The character of this speech implies that we must show ‘chiefest’ strength in the face of resistance. We must be defiant when confronted with battles in any of its ramifications. It illustrates that while acknowledging our weaknesses, it is our strength and guts that must reign supreme in the face of battles.

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It echoes the soundbite from the great Nelson Mandela which he uttered at the Supreme Court of South Africa in April 1964, stating that “It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. The ideal this astute man was referring to was the total freedom of the African people – a struggle for the right to live on their own God-given land. Here was a political prisoner pleading for his life against an unfair and unjust apartheid state, however he was ready to be condemned to death for his noble principles for advocating for all races in South Africa to live freely and equally.

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How I wish the leaders in this African region and beyond can borrow a leaf of wisdom from our beloved Madiba when he says that “during my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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My summation is that life can be a battlefield to varying degrees depending on the battle that one is confronted with, it could be political, social, economical or even internal battles. We must be like the spartan warriors of the past that were ready to fight to the last drop in the face of opposition.

Here are some of the great soundbites uttered by leaders of a long-gone era in the face of political and social resistance –

  1. John F Kennedy (Cold War – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country).
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru (Indian Independence – “a tryst with destiny).
  3. Abraham Lincoln (Gettysburgh – Civil War – “Government of the people, by the people, for the people).
  4. Martin Luther King (Civil Rights – “I have a dream”).Related image
  5. Winston Churchill (WWII – “their finest hour”, “we will fight them on the beaches”).Image result for william wilberforce
  6. William Wilberforce stood at the House of Commons in May 1789 and said “let us put an end at once to this inhuman traffic.” This was said in the presence of many MPs who were merchants exploiting Africa through the transatlantic slave trade. Of course, and as expected the establishment did not yield to this abolitionist request until three days before his death in 1833 when the Emancipation Bill was passed.
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Happy Reading!

 

The fragility of life endears us to the true veracity of our existence…

These are the words that meshed through my consciousness when I dropped the phone after speaking to a dear old cousin…

As I got off the DLR at Canary Wharf, I sat on the platform perplexed and wept internally, whilst workers of all sorts were rushing past, to get into their offices on time ( I guess they don’t want some ‘snooty’ manager telling them off for being five minutes late past the hour). That’s the joy of the ‘rat race’ innit – you spend so much on transport fare only for the constant delays of trains to impact your closely-guided punctuality records. Oh dear! I hope it doesn’t affect your bonus next February mate!

Life happens to us all is a familiar phrase we usually utter when confronted by difficulties that others are bearing, we drew from our own experiences to comfort them by assuring that things will get better. We regimentally say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Is there really?

Of course, no one can really navigate the journey of life without some challenges. We all want to live and lead our lives in peace and in tranquility without punctures on the odyssey of life. As we have now realised, that there are no guarantees – there is no security (be it at work, or at home or in society at large) that cannot be breached. This reveals that ‘Life is indeed Fragile’.

I will stop here as I ponder my next move in the chess game of life.

In the meantime, I will implore you to reach out to your loved ones on this beautiful and blessed Sunday morning.

Have a nice Sunday! Thanks for reading.

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My City of London: Overcoming Stalemate (5mins Read)

The very sad incidents over the last month has cast long dark shadows over my city of London, and the moods of the people have generally been muted. The fire at Grenfell Tower has shown the dark underbelly of a first class city, in which the local authority response was ineffectual in the early days, however the response of the public was beyond commendable.

We have all come together in small and big gestures of love and community esprit to send a message of our unyielding standing and stance with those who made it out of the inferno. My heart still bleeds for all the unaccountable victims of this tragedy, and others at the Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park mosque.

These occurrences have exposed deep issues within our communities. As it can be in any relationship there will be conflicts, and measures must be taken to resolve these issues.

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I will make my assertions clear below using marriage as an analogue  –

Marriage as well as society are interchangeable, they are birds of the same feathers and both goes through a period of togetherness and conflicts at times.

I grew up in and around West London back in the noughties – a few miles from Grenfell, and it had an atmosphere of tolerance, in comparison to other parts of London. This acceptance and inclusion was partly praised for a lot of the media houses (such as the BBC, EMI) established in the area which brings a lot of liberal minds into the community and also does employs a number of locals of which I was a beneficiary (I spent two years at the Beeb working on the production of factual programmes such as Top Gear amongst many others).

In addition, there are the wealthy enclaves in the surrounding areas of Chiswick, Fulham, Holland Park, Notting Hill to Bayswater and it does not matter where you are from in the area, you felt like you belong. We all ate Jerk chicken at the Ochi take-away in Shepherds Bush after a night of clubbing in the West End, after getting off Bus 94 from Regents Street or 207 from Trafalgar Square (oh I must say this was also the best era of music, we are talking about the like of Jodeci, LLCoolJ, Mary J Blige, Oasis, Blur and the likes, even the Spice Girls) and no one goes into the club strapped with a weapon. How times have changed right!

What is my point here? Things have changed, attitudes have changed, the people have changed; partly blamed on new arrivals and most importantly gentrification. Gentrification in the sense, the BBC has moved on (to Salford City, Manchester) and sold the studio and offices for conversion to luxury flats and boutique hotels. What is the cost-benefit analysis to the residents by having luxury hotels on their doorsteps instead of a behemoth employer like the BBC? What is the loss to the residents of White City, Harlseden, Latimer Road, North Acton, Ladbroke Grove who rely on the BBC for their sustenance. Yes, other companies have shoot up in the area, but cannot be compared to an employer that employs thousands of residents.

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What can the local authorities do and the government at large, (as in marriage) we cannot avoid conflict, we cannot ignore the issues otherwise the ‘sleeping lion’ will lay for a while until resurrected into something more destructive as we have witness recently. We must stop looking at the less priviledge as a nuisance to the system, those who have (the have-yachts) must invest locally and share their resources with the locals to resolve conflicts and use their resources to build a prosperous local economy.

We must note that the people are only reacting in the way they are (as anyone would with this senseless loss of souls), because they felt no empathy from the authorities. Empathy allows us to develop deeper understanding and insights into people’s daily issues and to come up with good lasting solutions.

In conclusion, local and national unresolved issues must be dealt with promptly through the set up of community-led public inquiry. Trust must be restored, it cannot be artificial. Real trust is what the local residents needs at this point.

This is my tribute to those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.

Please share your thoughts in the comment page

I wish you peace…

 

 

 

…Life goes on or should it? (4mins read)

Children’s lives have now been altered forever. The innocence that parents see in their offspring’s that sometimes make them to chuckle with silent pride and joy are now evaporating before their eyes.

Let me explain, the danger children encounters the world over are now truly global literally. In the years past, children in the West or in affluent economies or societies are shielded from the political and economic reality that children in other countries are exposed to on a daily basis.

Yes, you may say that children in the west are not exposed to child labour forcing them to work in an unregulated mine or in the plantation fields.

Yes, you may say children here are not being forcibly conscripted into a hidden militia in a despotic land or that they are not being put onto a dinghy boat to cross the rough waters of the Mediterranean Sea to safety and to seek refuge.

All of these are as a result of the politico-socio-economic failings in those countries, and children exposed to these elements are paying a huge price with their young lives.

Let me emphasize my point, the same politico-socio-economic assertions are impacting the lives of children negatively in the west as well, albeit differently. They are being impacted through the austere cuts to families and policing, security concerns; cyber-bullying…the lists goes on.

Children are no longer shielded from the impact of discrimination, intolerance and their ill-effects in their environments – they see it daily in the news, they hear it daily whilst playing innocently on the school playground. They see it planted on their mothers’ faces; they can hear it in the doubtful voices of the grannies and uncles. Oh no! The innocence has gone. CHILDREN HAVE BECOME ADULTS.

Our generation have let the youth down all over the world, as we have not taken enough responsibilities to confront the division in societies be it at home or abroad. We have done what we do best which is to transfer difficulties of our times to future generations. An example is the mortgaged-backed securities of the 2000s (2008 Financial Crisis), governments have borrowed to the hilt to avert those crises, only for the unborn to come into this world to pay it off.

What can we do individually and as a community to lessen the exposure that children faces all over the world. Yes, we must hold governments accountable to their part of the bargain to protect us and to create an enabling environment for children to grow up and to fulfil their potentials in safety and ease.

We must remember that these children are the policy-makers and leaders of tomorrow, and they will only enact laws and policies through the prism of their own childhood lenses.

I shed tears for the children of Manchester and around the world in this current climate of fear.

I wish you peace as you read and reflect on the issues of our times.