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…

A Conscious Traveller – an African viewpoint in the City of Love. (3mins Read)

I will like to consider myself a conscious traveller when visiting new places especially if those places (countries) have had interactions in the past with my beloved Africa (Afrique). This impetus was first imbibed in me as a student visiting Hong Kong in the early 2000s; we were doing late night crawling in Kowloon night market when the local police jumped out of their vans with batons to round up Chinese from the mainland for deportation. I wonder if this still occurs today since Beijing now has full control over the former British enclave.

This is in parallel to what I witnessed on a recent trip to Paris and suburbs – the City of Love. I like to look and feel beyond the aesthetic beauty of the Eiffel and the lovely boutiques displaying their arrays of luxury items on the Champs Elysees or the charming and soothing view of the River Seine.

Why we call Paris the city of love and romance... but is it really?

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On my many trips to this great city I have always chosen to stay and visit the beauty spots only; however, I decided to take the family to other parts especially where the Africans resides legally and illegally – Chateau Rouge.

Oh Boy, I must say I was disappointed. My disappointed primarily lies with Africa. A continent that has continually allowed ethnic, religion and political issues; be it internal or externally imposed to stalled our developments and greatness thus allowing our young men and women to take huge personal risks to sojourn across the Sahara to conflicted Libya for further voyage to become unwanted labourers in another man’s country with no documentation.

What does it mean to live in a country where you have no status?

It means no right to live, no right to education, no right to welfare, in essence no right to LIFE thereby casting aspersion on the Universal Suffrage the city of Paris is known for. This further illustrates why these young men will take more risks by jumping into Lorries at Calais to cross the channel into Dover. If I ignorantly did not understand in the past, I do now. Any man would take such risk, because the bottom line is you die penniless on the streets in the City of Love. It appears the city of love is not reciprocating love to the illegals in Chateau Rouge.

Equally, was also disappointed to see police harassing and conducting raids in the markets where these ordinary people are trying to earn a living by selling roasted corn to their fellow kinsfolk.

Generally, any city of international reckoning will also have its own dark underbelly exposed by events as has been demonstrated across major cities from Grenfell in London, to protests in Charlottesville and more.

My summation is two-fold. Firstly, in other to stem the flow of illegal immigration to the west; the western nations (France, Britain, Germany) must not only use their influence to effect positive political changes but must move sincerely to remove the remaining invisible shackles of colonization that still restrict Africa from real development and freedom.

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Secondly, African authorities and her people must move beyond real or ‘imagined’ issues of ethnicity, tribal affiliations and endemic corruption to know that it is the continent that bears the lost when her youths are roaming aimlessly and rudderless in countries that refused them legal entry.

Please feel free to comment, share and debate.

Thank you for reading!

It takes a village to raise a child – an African proverb

This proverb implies that when a child is born, the entire community bears the responsibilities towards the upbringing and rearing of the child. They will ensure that he or she is equipped with the norms, traditions and customs of the land. The name given to the child will be in accordance with the family profession or line of work such as if they were goldsmiths, warriors, hunters or royalty.

The tribal marks below signifies the family edicts and origins of the tribes. In traditional Yoruba societies, every child is born into a patrilineal clan called idile baba in Yoruba language. The clan share clan names (orile), oriki (poetry), taboos (eewo) and facial marks (ila). The facial marks on the child assigns the child full clan membership rights. The children with facial marks are called Okola. Families or individuals lacking the normal features consistent with the tribe are not considered as acquiring full standing as agents in Yoruba society. They would also lack the capacity for meaningful behavior, such as greeting, stating and commanding.

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I must now say that these practices have now largely ceased in accordance with Child Rights Law across the land (a ban I totally support).

I sighed heavily though because now in the modern era, a lot of this precepts that gave us ‘true identity’ has now been eroded largely in part by colonialism and the unfortunate transatlantic voyages did untold and irreversible damages.

This brings me to the issue of immigration. Migrating from one part of the globe to another is what the world was built upon. People across centuries have always fled to various parts because of religious intolerance and persecutions, wars and conflicts. Some migrated because of trade in spices and commodities (such as the Silk Road), others fled because of natural phenomenon such as adverse weathers, rising sea levels, earthquakes and so on.

Humans like other species have constantly been on the move. We ‘humans’ are not created to be stagnant, we are ‘moving’ beings. Hence, it will be helpful to bear this in mind over this contentious immigrants debates in the West. Perhaps, we must ask ourselves, what role did our ancestors or (nature) play that has now resulted in having someone of different breed and colour has your neighbour, doctor, accountant or even as a lover!

The crust of my observations is that in light of modernity and enlightenment, we must hold on to the practices and customs that gave us our true meaning as a race, or culture. An example is that here in the west, there is the concept of ‘live and let live‘ – an idiom expressing the ideal of allowing each other to live their lives as each sees fit. However, sometimes this does not ring true in some cultures hence the reason for lack of assimilation and integrations in some communities.

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As an African (plus a Brit I must say), I get frustrated when I see some (and I say some in terms of few) African descents not living to the ideals of their proud origin. Frustratingly in the sense, that if we cannot correct or teach them to the norms of what is expected in fear of evading somebody space. This meant that for us as a community we have been rendered powerless in raising our children (and our neighbours children) for fear of retribution.

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In drawing to a close, we must seek to respect everybody’s rights (old and young) equally, however that respects also infers correction where it is needed. It is our collective societies that looses out in the end, if we do not correct bad behaviours in our several communities be it in the black, white or Asian communities.

Finally, the best antidote to this looming immigration issues is partly economic developments and good governance in the affected countries. People will rather stay in their own land to be part of the growth story and live their lives in accordance to their beliefs.

Let me know if you have differing thoughts and contributions…

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

Tips for men: A good woman, a better man.

Hmmm I hear you say… I’ve been looking to bring this notion into the public light. Why would I utter such a bold statement?

I happened to work in an industry where the ratio of women to men is 10:1 (lucky dude I hear you say). I am fortunate, in the sense that it has helped me in a number of ways to understand women and issues that concerns women in society at large. Let me make my assertions below –

Women talk or should I say women can talk! In my office, my ear is constantly ringing about delicious topics such as how well the date went with John over the weekend, fake eyelashes, glutes expansion, brazilian hair or which make-up brand is better suited to different shades and texture of skin types. In fact, I have a product in mind to launch to serve this growing market.

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How has it made me a better man? It has in the sense that on occasion where I have been invited to contribute to their discussions, I have to do it from an empathetic standpoint. I cannot be too macho about it or too dismissive, if for example it is an emotional topic such as a relationship that has gone sour or other emotive subjects.

It has allowed me to be respectful towards women (1) because I value their strength and assertiveness (maybe I have a twinkle for a woman with power perhaps) (2) some are go-getters (some have moved from small towns or other restrictive countries and they are now thriving in the big city with a prosperous career which in turn challenges us men to want to continue to flourish as well and to attain more).

How has this knowledge translated or transplanted into my own relationship? Simply, I have learnt to just ‘shut up’. Truly, I have learnt to listen and to be more understanding; and a realisation that men don’t always have the answers. To get the best out of a relationship (and working with women is to work collaboratively), you need to mull over the details and figures, sometimes it can lead to ‘analysis paralysis’ but it is well intended as we must avert risks at all costs.

It has helped me to be a well-rounded individual thus allowing me to broaden my horizons and learn about other topics. For example, I recently encouraged all women in my circle of influence to vote in the UK elections, as I made a point that women were not allowed to vote in the UK until 1918 (1920 in the US, and African-Americans not until 1965).

To conclude, I will state that my masculinity has not been diminished with the rise of feminism rather it has been enhanced by it, as it has allowed me to value my own strength and my own vision. Society will be better served if we sometimes look at issues from a woman’s viewpoint.

I am a father to two boys and I am raising them on this personal motto: To respect a lady is to respect yourself.

Do you have a contrary view? All feedbacks, share, comments are welcome.

 

 

Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving Auntie Theresa!

I believe the title above sums up the mood for this unnecessary snap election. In the last two years, the same party has thrown away its landslide victory and advantages for getting the nation’s finances in balance by calling for a referendum in the midst of austerity cuts and so on.

GENERAL ELECTION: HUNG PARLIAMENT CONFIRMED

PARTY SEATS +/- VOTES VOTE SHARE % +/-
Conservative 316 -12 13,568,716 42.4 +5.5%
Labour 261 +29 12,824,737 40.1 +9.5
SNP 35 -21 977,569 3.1 -1.7
Lib Dem 12 +4 2,327,425 7.3 -0.5
DUP 10 +2 292,316 0.9 +0.3
Plaid Cymru 4 +1 164,466 0.5 -0.1
Green 1 0 523,269 1.6 -2.1
UKIP 0 -1 593,852 1.9 -10.8

My opinionated view is that the conservative party should have embarked on policies that will impact positively on people’s lives rather than seeking a huge mandate to govern or focusing too much on the Brexit negotiations (a soft brexit will be better for the country in the long run!). The populace understood that cuts have to be made, but introducing policies for the elderly to sell their homes to pay for an inefficient social care package amongst a badly rushed-out manifesto is a stretch too far.

What lesson(s) can be drawn from this result – I will advise the government that we are not going to get the perfect Brexit deals as there are other external factors that are now in play. First of all, we have a pro-EU leader in France, meaning that there is no #Frexit, nor #Grexit on the table. It appears that EU leaders are now waking up from their grandeur Brussels palaces that the people will vote against unpopular policies in individual nation states. Secondly, Trump America’s isolationism (Paris Climate Accord – a case in point) will strengthen EU leaders to get their house in order as recently noted by Chancellor Angela Merkel about the US reliability as an ally.

Other interesting notions I have drawn is that, as in in life as well as in politics, you cannot count yourself out of the game. No matter your current circumstances, you never know what tide will carry you in or out of the sea of life.

As emphasised by a man that I adore, Warren Buffet (the Sage of Omaha) said “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”The tide has certainly gone out for conservative’s Auntie Theresa. Will Uncle Corbyn be ridden in on a tide of real change and hope. Well, we have to wait for the next elections maybe in six months time as I wrote in one of my blogs dated 17th May 2017 – Elections, elections and more elections – democracy galore!

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend…