Mandela…and others…..(Rantalot)

Dear Readalot,

I’m not even sure when last I wrote you. I apologize. Small. Because you didn’t ask of me.

Lagos, being Lagos, plenty has happened. Many, I have forgotten. Many, I don’t care about. As you might have guessed, this will be one of those rant-about-pretty-much-anything days.

OWANBE

owambeFor those who have no idea what this means, this is what Igbo people call Yoruba parties. Yes, only Igbo people. As far as I know anyway.
My aunt had her 50th birthday party the other weekend. It was pretty awesome being that I was sprayed some nice money. But, that didn’t even happen until the party was almost over. Before this happened, I was the official party housegirl. I’m not com
plaining. At least, not anymore.

I got Gulder for my uncles, salad for my grandfather, fork for my aunt and shared souvenirs for the entire family. I also walked around taking pictures with my uncle’s very sexy camera (TMI).

Anyway, the real problem was not that I did these things. It was that I did them in 24-inch heels. Sorry, 24 and a half. For some reason, my legs refused, adamantly, to have a certain, very important conversation with my brain;

LEGS: Guy, body dey pain oh.
BRAIN: Oh?
LEGS: Yup. What should I do?
BRAIN: Gaan wear your slippers.

So yeah, for about a week or so after the party, I didn’t feel my feet. I could have walked on fire If I wanted. I didn’t though. “Thou shall not test the Lord your God.”

However, minus the pain, I had an absolutely lovely time at the party. I don’t attend too many parties, but I love a good Owanbe. There’s a lot of love, food, music and laughter to go around. And of course, money.

As we were leaving the party, one of the band members asked me for my number. I said no, smiled and walked away. He sent one of his band members after me. An albino. Homie said his friend really wanted my number. He got tired of asking and returned to his master. My aunt had seen the exchange.

AUNT: Simi, albino is toasting you?
ME: No, aunty.
AUNT: Albino is toasting my niece. How did that happen?
ME: You see, aunty, what happened is…*sigh*

I realized there was absolutely nothing I could say to make the situation seem any better. So, I let it go.

GENIUS IDEASmoney-thief

Last night, my mum went to Balogun market. Unfortunately, almost a hundred thousand naira was stolen from her bag. She couldn’t buy any of the things she had planned to buy. She didn’t see the thief steal the money. She can’t even tell exactly when the money was stolen.

Sad.

The family found out together because she told us in the family chat room. Everyone was annoyed. Understandably so. Everyone had different reactions.

My sister-in-law was trying to find out how the money was taken. She was trying to figure out ways to keep her money if she had to go to the market.

MRS. YELLALOT: I will wear shorts that have pocket and wear trousers on it.

I thought this would have been a pretty genius idea except for the fact that I started picturing her taking off her clothes in front of shops whenever she wanted to pay for anything. I had a feeling that the shop owners might frown on it. But what do I know?

My eldest brother, the husband of the afore-mentioned said;

YELLALOT: Mummy send me the details of what was in the bag so I can call the AIG in charge of Alagbon to work on it. We can still catch the thieves.
MOM: I did not even see his face. Except the AIG wants to catch all the thieves in Balogun.
MRS. YELLALOT: Leave them. Don’t worry God will arrest them.
ME: Bro, thank God. If they arrest me or my boyfriend, I can call you to call AIG. Bless God.

Another genius idea shey?
But my mum didn’t think so. His wife didn’t think so either. Another genius idea bites the dust. Or maybe not.
At least now I have someone I can use to threaten policemen. Like they say; – “Every disappointment is a blessing sometimes and in some situations.”

While I was busy thanking God for this blessing, my other brother, Wozealot said;

WOZEALOT: Simi, the way things are going, one may not even be surprised if you get arrested.

Where is the love?
I’m not a bad girl or nothing. Like he doesn’t know people get arrested when they are fighting for freedom.

Anyway, when I saw what was happening to all these genius ideas, I decided to keep my own to myself. Mine might have included a babalawo or a gun…but I’m not at liberty to say.

My mum’s genius idea ruled the day;

MOM: Let’s pray he or they will give their lives to Christ and change.

MANDELA

mandela415x479 Mandela, the Legend of Legends, is dead.

I first saw the news on twitter last night. I automatically believed it was a lie. You can’t blame me though. Before his actual death, many people had already used mouth to kill him. It’s almost like some people were waiting for him to die because they were in a hurry to put up his quotes as their status messages on Facebook and Twitter.

I remember when he was really ill and in the hospital for weeks. Media from all around the world camped around the hospital. They couldn’t even let the man be sick in peace. Or let his family take care of him in peace.

He was a great man. His life was a beautiful example of love, forgiveness, hope, persistence, strength. He was admired by the world, but first, he belonged to his family. That’s my opinion anyway.
But like a friend of mine said – “Take your opinion to the Lord in prayer.”

Someone asked why our president, GEJ, hasn’t given a speech yet about Mandela’s demise. What will he say? How will he say it? Who is willing to write a speech that he won’t even read well?
Abeg!

Mandela isn’t the only famous man that died this week. Paul Walker, one of the main actors from Fast and Furious, also passed away in a car crash.

When I heard the news, I felt a little guilty. I used to complain about the guy’s acting. I would say, “The guy is too stiff jor. He no sabi act.”
So when I heard he died. I felt guilty. It took me a couple of hours to realize it wasn’t my lack of love for his acting that caused the crash.
Truth is whether or not there were people who didn’t appreciate his work, he will be remembered. For good. Asides his acting, he was also philanthropic and he did his job well.

When you go, who will remember you? And for what?
Is it for toasting all the ladies in your area?
Or for stealing meat?
Or for snatching husbands?
Or for making people sad?
Or for owing money?

Or will it be for making people happy?
Or for loving your enemies?
Or for giving?
Or for pounding yam for your husband at 2am?
Or for sacrificing?
Or for making a difference?

It’s your call.

Yours truly, Rantalot

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Ojuju Calabar

ojuju calabar Dear Readalot,

As a kid, I didn’t lie much. I can’t say how many times I must have heard – “All liars go to hell.” From Sunday school teachers. From my parents. From society. And what kid isn’t scared of hell? I was. Other times, they would scare us with – “Ojuju Calabar will catch you.” I will never forgive whoever came up with ‘Ojuju Calabar’. Robbed me of my childhood.

Being that I broke a lot of plates and bit a lotta people (who deserved it); I’m sure there were things I would have liked to lie about;

“No mummy, I didn’t bite him. I don’t know how his hand entered my mouth.”
“No daddy, I didn’t break the plate. It saw me and fell down in fear.”
“No aunty, I didn’t eat the cake. What is cake?”

Problem is, after a while, our parents stop telling us about the danger of hell. They stop telling us about the wickedness of Ojuju. So we forget. We start lying.

Overtime, I’ve come across all kinds of liars. Some people lie to get themselves out of trouble.

BABE: Good morning sir.
BOSS: Have you finished work on that document?
BABE: I finished it last night sir, but I was mugged on my way to work.
BOSS: U say?
BABE: A thief stole my bag on my way to work. The document was in my bag sir. I’m so sorry.
BOSS: What about that bag on your table?
BABE: Uhm…sir that’s my bible bag. They didn’t steal that one.

Some poeple lie to protect the ones they care about.

MAN: So did my wife really sleep with your boss?
MAN’s FRIEND: Err…no.
MAN: Really?
MAN’s FRIEND: Yea, really.

Some people lie to get something they want.

BOY: Baby girl, I dey feel you die.
GIRL: Mschew. You’re not my type.
BOY: But Adenuga is my mum’s ex-boyfriend.
GIRL: Ehen?
BOY: I swear down.
GIRL: Okay, you’re my type.

Some people lie because they’re insecure.

GIRL1: Sheeet! If you see that Michael Kors bag I just bought. The tin is fire!
GIRL 2: Oh? Me too I just bought one correct designer bag.
GIRL 1: For real? Which one?
GIRL 2: Gucci and Gabana.
GIRL 1: U say?
GIRL 2: It’s a new brand. You don’t know it.

Some people lie because…actually for no reason at all. Or because they can’t help it.

GIRL: Wow, I love the blue skies.
BOY: The sky is purple.
GIRL: Huh?
BOY: Purple skies.

My brother, Calmalot, has actually told some of the funniest lies I’ve ever heard.

MUM: Why did you take the meat?
CALMALOT: Me? Meat? I didn’t take it.
MUM: But that’s the meat in your hand.
CALMALOT: I don’t know anything about it.
MUM: But it’s right there in your hand.
CALMALOT: I haven’t eaten all day. I don’t know about it.

OR

MUM: I can’t find the book I put here.
CALMALOT: Book? I don’t know about it.
MUM: But you were home alone the entire day?
CALMALOT: Yes. I don’t know about it.
MUM: Did anyone else come to the house?
CALMALOT: Not at all. I was alone all day.
MUM: So who took it?
CALMALOT: I don’t know.
MUM: Was it a spirit?
CALMALOT: I don’t know about it.

Usually, my mum walks away and finds a corner to pray for him.

Cell phones have been the biggest groomers of liars in this Naija. In a bus somewhere in Ikorodu, some guy is on the phone like;
“Guy I don reach Lekki. Five minutes now, I go reach your side. In fact, come outside.”

People aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. It’s the norm now. It’s so bad that people won’t believe you even if you’re saying the truth. A lot of people make the argument that some lies aren’t bad.
They say it’s just a means to an end. It’s a little white lie. I wonder who first painted a lie.

It’s funny that when something bad almost happens, we scream “The devil is a liar.” I can imagine the devil asking, “You nko?”

Do you think some lies are excusable? If you do, when? Why?

Lying is stressful. You usually have to tell several lies to cover the first lie. And then you forget all those lies and have to make up new lies. It’s like a full-time job. How about just saying the truth. Getting punched. Getting it outta the way? How about it?

Yours truly, Rantalot.

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RANTALOT BACK – POOR AND FAMOUS!!!

fame

Dear Readalot

Fame is one those things that a lot of people wanna attain. People want to walk on the streets and be  acknowledged. “I know that guy na.” When you’re famous, people want to associate with you more. They want other people to know that they know you.

When you’re famous, all your distant cousins and family friend’s family friends want to associate with you. Fame is wild. A famous man/woman is always in the limelight. Everyone wants to know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. For some reason, they start to think that even when you’re doing the regular stuff, you do it different from other regular people. This is why you find magazines with large spreads of famous people eating, swimming, laughing, making phone calls etc. like they do it differently. Famous people are like aliens.

Fame is different from fame. Fame in Lagos is diferent from fame in Ibadan. Fame in Ibadan is different from fame in Abuja. Fame in Abuja is different from fame in Yankee which is also different from fame in Somalia. When the legend, Michael Jackson, was alive, He was the perfect example of Ultimate Fame. Unborn children already knew who he was. People would cry and faint at his concerts. He couldn’t go out much because he was too recognisable and people would pounce on him.

In naija, the famous people are either very lucky or very unlucky. Nigerians don’t have time. If they’re not benefitting anything from you, they don’t care about you even if all your forefathers were famous. They won’t cry at your concerts unless somebody beats them. If you want to be real famous with all the efizi, you gotta pick a correct location. Don’t pick Nigeria.

In yankee, most of the famous people have money. The ones that don’t are richer than the average non-famous person. The other day, I heard about this famous American artist who went bankrupt. Because of her bankruptcy, she moved into another small mansion with a pool and the works. For her, life was hard. Many stars in naija don’t even know how to swim talk less of having a pool. Stars are like the next guy struggling for survival. You can enter danfo and sit next to a Nollywood actor or musician.
YOU: Bros hafar na? Na here you dey?
STAR: Na so we see am oh.

Anyone can be famous. Not anyone can be a star. If your face is on TV, maybe for one competition or something, everybody recognises you. When they see you on top of okada, they won’t know that you didn’t win the money. Their own is, “Omo I see this guy wey dey sing on top bike men. No swag at all.” It’s safe to say that in this case, fame is a curse.

Yesterday, two grown very famous men living in the States took to twitter and started insulting themselves.

GUY1: I have more money than you
GUY2: Issalie, you are owing everybody money and you’ll now be lying to everybody. Oniro osi.
GUY1: If not for me, nobody will even know you. Oniranu.
GUY2: Liar. Bully. Everybody said I won this tweet battle.
ME: O_o

These two men are men I can easily call Granpa and this kindof argument is one you would expect between teenagers. But still, if they weren’t very famous men with about 2 million followers each, nobody would have noticed or cared.

Fame has it’s pros, it also has its cons. But I personally think non-famous people are happier people. You can buy boli when you want, enter bus without having to wear face cap. You don’t have to look good all the time because nobody really cares and nobody expects too much of you. You don’t have to pretend to like people you can’t stand. If you diss someone on twitter, they won’t show you on TV. So if you’re not famous, be very grateful.

Yours truly, My Friend,

Rantalot (http://therantlot.blogspot.com)