Thursday, August 28, 2008

Next Stop, London

Sports - Olympics - Beijing 2008

According to an advert from Bank PHB shown constantly during the duration of the just concluded 29th Olympiad, a man needs to take more than 6 steps every second to beat the current 100 metres World record.

Well, Bank PHB lied…

Or rather, the Jamaican Usain Bolt proved them wrong using his long strides to beat not only the 100 metres but the 200 metres World records. And so the Beijing 2008 Olympics came to an end with the extinguishing of the Olympic torch that had burned steadily for the past 16 days marking the end of the Games that saw the breaking of over 40 world records and recording a large number of firsts.

During the course of the two weeks and two days broadcast, the world was held spellbound as several countries that were formerly tagged underdogs shocked everyone with their impressive showings on the medals table. On the other end of the divide, several big names failed to live up to expectations with their dismal performances.

Case in point of the former was Jamaica’s domination of the sprints with the “Thunderbolt” Usain doing most of the legwork. Nigerians however must have been very disappointed by the poor showings of their Team which failed to make any impact at all apart from the exploits of the male football team. Their well-earned silver medals plus 3 bronze medals in the athletics and Taekwondo was a fitting reflection of the fire-brigade approach that symbolized their state of preparedness.

Speaking of preparedness, the gains of planning ahead was evident especially when coupled with the power of determination. When American, Michael Phelps announced prior to the Games that he intended winning 8 gold medals in the swimming events, some people scoffed. Now after convincingly winning his stated 8 swimming medals, Michael is the one doing all the scoffing.

Phelps, Bolt and all the other new record holders must have trained hard, secretly breaking their respective world and Olympic records in their training facilities during the trials, each waiting for this chance to showcase their skills to an eager world. Their less-fortunate colleagues trained less, a few shot up on banned substances and all hoped to win.

In a closing ceremony that rivaled - if not surpassed - the opening ceremony, China pleased and wowed us with their pyrotechnics, gymnastic displays, stunning choreography, the non-stop ballet of lights and music and the selfless contributions of thousands of volunteers. From Beijing the baton now moves over to London which will play host to the world yet again 4 years from now. Heralded by the arrival of a double-decker bus, a stage performance by Jimmy Paige and Leona Lewis and the kick of a football into the crowd by poster boy David Beckham, London now shoulders the responsibility of making sure the world remains caught up in anticipation of the 30th Olympiad, London 2012.

Their inaccurate ad aside, Bank PHB does deserve FULL commendations for bringing this year’s games to the homes of the common people who wouldn’t have seen them otherwise. The up-to-the-minute broadcast of events as they happened has never been done in this country before. Let’s just hope four years from now there’ll be a Bank PHB to do same.

A rare display of thanks should also be duly given to NTA and the other BON studios for keeping our TVs alive with the best broadcast of the Olympics so far. They won an unrecognized silver medal. And while we are at it, we might as well give a rusty iron medal to the Power Holding Company for keeping the power on a bit more regularly. Or maybe to that your friendly neighbour with the noisy generator.

Oh, and lest I forget, there was one more gold medal that wasn’t listed on that table. It was given to the best Olympic viewer and was won by a Nigerian… Me!

See you in London…

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

With Love From China


Hello peeps!

As the Beijing 2008 Olympics wound down on Sunday it was no news that Team Nigeria made an appearance (finally!) on the medals table with one silver medal (not eleven as some people like to imagine) and three bronze.
My total ignorance of sports journalism aside, the next couple of posts represent my due reportage on the concluding events of the Olympics all the way from China, brought to you live from my bedroom as witnessed on a 14-inch colour TV:

Lawd Have Messi!
Despite the 5:00 AM kick-off time for the finals of the Olympic football event, many Nigerians (and Argentines too) woke earlier than usual to watch as the Dream Team IV lost by a lone goal suffering defeat at the hands of the boys in white and blue who clinched the Olympic gold medal in the football event.

Here are my reports as faithfully recorded during the Final match:

4:54 AM, Saturday 23rd August
It’s early hours on Saturday the 23rd of August in the year of our Lord 2008 and like a sizeable number of the Nigerian population I’m wide awake. In a few minutes from now, OUR boys, the Under-23 national football team will be filling out for the Finals.

I must admit, for someone who doesn’t watch much football, I’m rather nervous, almost as if I’m playing in the team myself. My tummy seems to be acting up but I’m ignoring the stupid thing. PHCN has been kind with the power, NTA opened on time and their broadcast signals look strong, Faze’s “Kolomental” is bumping on my earphones (I’ve been making free night calls since 3 AM, listening to music since 4 AM all in a bid to stay awake) and I’m wondering if the song doesn’t mirror my current mental state. I am very, very surprised at myself. I mean, I HARDLY watch football!

On the TV, the marketers are having a field day with various previously-unseen ads jostling for the few minutes before kick off. Most of them are irritating. The only exception is one that shows a high-heel shod model take on some guys in a football field as she traps, dribbles, parries and scores. Great ad, only I don’t catch the company’s name.

At last! Kick off and I sit back to watch Naija kick Argies ass!

10 minutes later…
Their boys seem to be dominating the field but I have no worries concerning our team’s ability to trounce them. As if to prove me wrong, one of them tries to fake a penalty but sorry, the referee’s too smart for that. Our defence holds strong but the fear of a certain Lionel Messi is still apparent in the air whenever he touches the ball. The Argies get a free kick which, much to my relief - and goalkeeper Ambrose Vanzekin’s - goes sailing over the bar. My stomach again!

20 minutes after that…
The commentators’ remarks on individual players cause me to smile, my only source of humour during the ordeal. One of them observes his colleague’s dilemma on realizing he’d be commenting on the Nigerian match giving that he is green-colour blind. The other talks about substitute Monday James’ interesting name and lack of a club and wonders on which day he was born.

All in all, Nigeria makes 5 goal attempts including a scorcher of a shot by Obinna Nsofor straight at the keeper. The ref too is not spared as another shot cannons off his back. Messi, true to form, fakes a penalty and due to a rule totally unknown to me, the players take a water break after 30 minutes due to the heat.

Three minutes after that, Osaze Odemwingie and Promise Isaac make two attempts at goal that gets my blood rushing very fast. In the melee, I even forget I have a stomach!

Exactly 37 minutes into the match…
PHCN STRIKES! WHAT?!? Inspired by Timaya I yell out, “Dem MAMA!” Temporarily shelving religion for fanaticism, I confine the entire staff of PHCN from the smallest cleaner to the biggest Oga to everlasting life in hellfire. And may Satan never take light there o! Thunder fire them!

Quickly searching for alternatives, I phone my sister many miles away to ask if the goalless score line has changed but she’s asleep! Imagine! Groggily, she gets up to turn on her TV. I start wondering if she comes from Sudan or something… Probably the Darfur area…

Roughly 5: 45 AM
The first half comes to a goalless end (no screams of “Goal!” from the neighbourhood yet, so I instinctively know this) and I’m still perplexed on what to do. Over in a neighbour’s house, his 2-stroke generator has been merrily chugging away since the blackout but I’m not that football crazy to knock on his door. Wouldn’t want to bet if he has a gun or not. Another type of 2-stroke engine kicks up as some adventurous youth gets on his okada to catch the action elsewhere.

My sister calls again to tell me of the goalless situation (which I know anyway) then she gleefully announces - in my own opinion - that PHCN has just struck in her area too! Think quick, I tell myself. What would Double - O - Seven do?

Roughly 6:10 AM
Just when I’m at my wit’s end, I recall my Samsung phone comes equipped with a radio. Foolish me! Plugging in the headset, I quickly scan the airwaves and catch a commentary on Gold 95.5 FM, Ilesha. As usual with radio commentary, the blood level rises even worse as I can’t see the action. Plain torture!

Then by about 6:19 AM, the sad news comes in: Nigeria has gone down by a goal. Almost immediately I feel a heavy dose of dread as I instinctively know we’ve lost the match.

The Rest of the Match…
Downcast, I prepare for work though with an ear still turned optimistically in the direction of the phone radio. Sadly, there is no good news, no redemption song to tell me we have equalized. Another attempt at goal for us! Soap in my eye, I beat Usain Bolt’s 100 metre record as dash out of the bathroom only to have my hopes dashed as the ball is saved yet again by the keeper.

As a distraction, I share a brief moment of elation as I marvel at the ease in which I just broke a world sprint record. Then I realize the distance I covered isn’t up to a hundred metres. Maybe next time…

At the End of the Match…
We win the silver medal! Though slightly disappointed, I realize it’s no use crying over losing the gold. Half full is better than half empty, if you catch my drift. On my way to work I swear, those Argies will see pepper come London 2012. By then Team Nigeria will show the world. We will surely win 8 gold medals.

The whisper of my inner voice comes clearly despite the din of the Suzuki Rascal bus conveying me to work. Eight gold medals? The chances of that are almost the same as me becoming the President of Nigeria…

Monday, August 25, 2008

Better keep it to yourself!

If you think you have a great business idea that you believe in, don't take it to the Dragon's' Den on national TV, chances are, they won't buy your idea...but they might steal it!

I marvel at the way they turn down business plans, afterall, the idea behind SMEs is to start small and build your dream into something great.

I think it's both stupid and hilarious when the dragons ask you how many millions you're putting into your business or what infrastructures you've put in place to support your business etc. If these pitchers had all these things, they wouldn't be on the show exposing their unique business ideas and secrets to copy cats in Nigeria and beyond in the first place.

As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong), these dradons have only backed one single business (the guy with the mobile map idea) and the show has been running for weeksssss now. I dare say there have been better ideas for the dragons to throw weight on but, what is wrong with them??? especially Chris Parkes and Alexander Amosu (even though I think he's really cute).

Alex. Chris

I loved the idea of making books and stationaries out of our local fabrics (pity I don't have millions of naira to back the guy's business idea) but no, 'someone' (below) had to point out the terrible finishing (as if???)

Helloooo! isn't that why the guy brought his idea to you? And someone complained about the price too...some of these dragons buy their stuff at NuMetro Media o! And a common jotter could cost much more there, you know?

I felt really sorry for that guy (and many more of his kind) because his idea may not be completely copy protected or registered .

I must confess that there've been some awfully stupid people with stupid ideas on the show but they got what was coming to them from the dragons...I have no problem with those ones.

Truth is, I dont understand what is wrong with UBA, MTN (who by the way, will sponsor anything, except of course a functioning customer care center for MTN users to call and bitch about their poor case you didn't know, 180 is a least on my MTN line it is) and the Dragons. If you know you won't support these people, just don't hide behind a trademark and try to steal people's business ideas, it ungodly!.

Besides, UBA should find something else to sponsor, they have no business with new ideas. Bank PHB!!! what's up?? Afterall, you're all about ideas.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bits And Pieces 3: Hedonism and Other Stories…

Much Better Drama
In as much as I dismissed Mr. Wale Adenuga’s ongoing series of Super Story, I must say the current editions of his family drama, “This Life” titled “Hands of a Stranger” are far better. Of course there’s still the issue of the plastic acting especially on the part of the rich man’s daughter (for example, she spends a whole weekend in a hotel with the Doctor guy and yet gets so blown away when he kisses her good night as if its their first kiss). And please, I need some corrections on this. Does the CBN building in Abuja also house a hotel? One would have thought whoever was in charge of Still Photography / Locations would have done better by using an outside shot of the Hilton for example, when depicting a hotel than the CBN building.

Apart from that, the other characters are just as good as one can expect from WAP and PEFTI and the storyline of a doctor forced to choose between his devoted girlfriend and a rich man’s daughter who promises him his own hospital is of fine quality too. Can’t figure out what I’m yakking about? “Hands of a Stranger” is worth watching so catch it on NTA on Tuesday evenings.

Even better is Femi Kayode and Greg Odutayo’s “Edge of Paradise” another family drama based on a typical middle-class family called the Anyanwus made up of a Software Engineer father, a teacher mother and the politically-acceptable population of three children. It deals with family matters like child upbringing and education, love and morality, fidelity and growing up issues. My best character? The hot teenage daughter who’s facing issues of her developing sexuality and her attraction to guys.

“Edge of Paradise” shows on the NTA on the same Tuesday nights.

Kelly “Not So” Hansome
There’s something about music videos that makes me never seem to get enough of them but recently I’m seriously tempted to redefine what videos I get to see or not. Don’t get me wrong, its not the excessive amounts of booty-shaking that gets done on the TV that’s getting me upset nor the quality of the videos themselves which as I pointed out in an earlier post are actually getting better. But as I said then: “…The trend is beginning to look like you can get away with a great music video even if the song in question is trash…”

Caught a music video by a dude called Kelly Hansome on Primetime Africa as aired on AIT on Friday 15/08 in the evening time. The wrong spelling of “Handsome” aside, the fact that the video was titled: “Mugu Don Pay” should have given me pause but it didn’t. After thoroughly enjoying the beats I was hearing, it wasn’t until a second version of the video was played that I actually listened to the lyrics of the song.

To summarize, “Mugu Don Pay” toes the lines of Olu Maintain’s “Yahoozee” in celebrating hedonism but Kelly Hansome goes a step further by compelling you to “shout Hallelujah because Mugu Don Pay”. Mr. Olu might have unconvincingly denied he was referring to the 419 lifestyle but Mr. Kelly doesn’t hide that fact one bit. As the chorus of that song goes:

Mugu don pay/ Shout Hallelujah! / Maga don pay / Shout Hallelujah/ Hallelujah (x7) Owo, kudi, ego… etc

What actually galls me is the inclusion of religious undertones to criminal tendencies. The problem is the song seems to be getting massive airplay almost akin to “Yahoozee” and many people will no doubt be rocking to the music without actually listening to what is being said. Don’t the National Film and Video Censors Board take a look at these music videos before the hit our airwaves? After all they temporarily banned Konga’s song despite the fact that artistes like D’Banj actually sing more explicit lyrics.

As for the music video in question, I’m even beginning to dislike it. It contains the same booty-shaking booty-less foreign (South African?) chicks who just copy Kelly Hansome’s money-spraying choreography without them having any idea whatsoever of what he’s singing about anyway.

Wear Your Helmet O!
No, not that one. I mean the REAL one. The Federal Road Safety Commission has launched its new safety campaigns concerning the use of helmets by okada (motorcycle) riders and their passengers and I can’t help suppressing a smile. I’m already imagining the comedy that’s sure to ensue when the law is enforced effective January 1, 2009.

I mean, how are those lovely Yoruba women going to wear that thingy over their geles when they hop on an okada to attend owambe on Saturdays? And the mental picture of their Northern counterparts wearing a helmet over their full length hijabs just cracks me up totally. Even funnier will be the Newsline-type stories that will emerge when certain passengers start accusing okada men of putting juju in the said helmets to hypnotize their unsuspecting clients into parting with their valuables. Or when someone claims they caught dandruff, ringworm, tapeworm, gonorrhea, syphilis or even HIV from sharing the same essential head gear with another thus compelling us to carry around our own personal helmets whenever we want to take a bike (just like the other personal helmets people carry around).

Then of course, there will be the usual defaulters who won’t disappoint us with their claims that they never knew of such a law when the FRSC nabs them. Nollywood movie script writers, are you ready? I can’t wait for a movie to be made of the resulting helmet saga.

Egg On My Face: They Did It Again!
Yes O! They did it again! And with a very wide margin too. Despite my misgivings about our national Under-23 football team a.k.a. Dream Team IV, those boys went out and TOTALLY steam-rolled over their opposition beating neighbouring Ivory Coast 2-0 and rubbishing Belgium with a resounding 4-1 win in the semi-finals of the ongoing Olympics football event.

Oddly enough (or should I say typically enough) I somehow managed to miss watching both matches, only catching their highlights the next morning. As you can guess, it was very embarrassing asking my fellow Nigerians what the score line was after each match.

I can’t say if Samson Siasia read my discouraging post on their previous performances in the preliminary rounds but it’s no big secret that many Nigerians doubted if the Dream Team’s efforts wouldn’t mirror the dismal performance of the rest of Team Nigeria who have consistently worked hard in crashing out of the medals table. But I was horribly wrong. Siasia’s boys are the real Team Nigeria. The rest of the contingent ought to have been called the Dream Team, or better yet, the Nightmare Team. As it is, the silver/gold won after the football finals may be our only medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

My own personal highlight was listening to the semi-final commentary on radio in Yoruba (yes, Yoruba!) Despite the fact that I don’t understand that tongue, I quickly discovered that the word “Goal” means the same thing in every language especially when yelled at the top of one’s lungs. I don’t know who the commentator guy on Orisun 89.5 FM, Ile-Ife was but he sure made the experience worth listening to with his own homemade sound effects and entreaties of “ko da o! Olorun, you know” and stuff like that. The guy was virtually a marketer, coach, musician, comedian and ardent member of the Nigerian Supporters’ Club all rolled into one. Kudos!

Now let me go and prepare my boys for the Finals, jo…

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Next Generation is here on Media Nemesis!!!!

Pop champagne!!!!

Woomie is here!!!

So, I've spent almost a decade trying to figure out what my maiden post on MN should be...but oh well! I decided to welcome myself here by myself first before cracking my fragile brains.

Watch out for the team of Woomie and Nutty Nutty eyes on this blog...Soon, y'all will stop watching T.V and movies and ads and even reading blogs sef. Why??? because we will watch all these things for you, lol!

Stay tuned for all the juicy news in Nigeria's world of entertainment (nemesis).

Like Naughty Eyes said earlier, if you think you have a critic bone in you, you're invited to contribute. Don't wait! You may need to audition to join in a few months (I mean like Pop Idols audition)

Anyways, stay tuned!

...I think I already said that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Horizons

Online - Blogs - Blogging

As if Life was not short enough, I had to go and make mine busier. I’m still NOT making any promises but here’s a sneak preview of a few new projects I’ll be handling in the next few months:

1. The Phoneparazzi
What do you get when you cross a smart guy with naughty eyes, innocent looks, a paparazzi heart, a camera phone and a blog? You get the Phoneparazzi! This photo-blog chronicles Life in Nigeria as seen through the lens of a camera phone.

2. MN Expanded
MN isn’t just about TV and music; it’s about what goes on online too. Starting anytime soon, you’ll be able to check out my views on certain blogs and websites that populate the WWW. (Thanks to Lolu-Kush and Charizard for the inspiration).

That apart, permit me to indulge myself as I will also take a critical look at my favourite pastime: video games. I admit I’m so mad about them that I’ll be wrestling the gamepad with my kids in years to come!
Plus: MN is still on the look-out for new Contributors so if you think there’s a single critic’s bone in your body, I’ll be glad to post your stuff here as well.

3. Nollywood Plots
Not only do I get to tear apart the movies, you get to read up the entire plot before you decide to see the movie or not. Yeah, I know it will be a movie spoiler but as an addition, you will get insights into the Nollywood personalities as well, courtesy of links to sites like and the artistes’ own webpages. The possible vehicle for this will be Wikipedia.

4. Fiction Online
Now is the turn of the Nemesis to do a reversal on me as I post some of my previous works of Literature online. If you’ve been thinking my writing is wack and never had an opportunity to say so, here’s YOUR chance to be the Reviewer.

5. The Office
When I’m not moonlighting as Naughty Eyes on Media Nemesis, you can catch me in the Office working my butt off as I am constantly bombarded with criticisms for leaving the best part of my brain at home. And it’s all my fault really for signing on that dotted line.

But it isn’t always about work. Office life can be fun too sometimes and this blog will tell you all there is to know within and even outside my workplace.

And when I’m not hard at work in the Office, you can catch me moonlighting as Naughty Eyes on Media Nemesis...

6. 419 Letters
It’s me versus the con boys as I take on a certain spammer who thinks I’m sucker enough to fall for his fraudulent e-mails. In this series of columns I get to analyze his plots and strategies as we play our word chess games. For this role I’ll be taking on yet another secret identity this time as a gullible, greedy and foolish Nigerian willing to part with his hard earned cash and account numbers.

In Conclusion…
So you see, there are so many more things to write about and these are just the visible tips. The icebergs are out there floating somewhere deep in my subconscious. I’ve got me some more serious writing to do and I have to bounce outta here. I’ll activate the links and notify everyone whenever the additional blogs become active.

Peace... for now.


Monday, August 18, 2008

An Elegy To Blogville

Online - Blogs - Blogging

Before someone I know reads this and panics… No, I’m not leaving blogville. Seems like yesterday I joined this party and I ain’t leaving at least till I celebrate my 1 year blog-iversary.

But it seems some people are getting tired of the virtual champagne and leaving cyberspace to nurse their hangovers at home. Any discerning blog viewer of mine would have noticed slight changes to my VIP Blog Posse. That’s right. The beautiful Stella Damasus Aboderin has decided to take a hike.

Oh, beautiful Stella D., the Number 3 of my fantasies… Why did you have to leave the party just as I had summoned courage to ask your hand for our cyber dance? If I could write a poem for you, honestly I would. She used to blog here but now the link goes nowhere. I hope you change your mind and come back better than. I still have your pages saved though.

Then there’s Pink Stain, part hostess of Blogville Idols 2008. We never met online or off but I got to know her through her online version of the music talent show. What sort of bombshell chick she was, I was just about to find out but never got the chance. By the time you read this, she might have deleted her blog too.

But it’s not all bad news though. Several Bloggers who decided to take a break (without our permission, o!) are now back full time. Yes, Esquire has returned and Funmi is also back (missed her so I almost died!) and Aloofar too after his post-Obama speech break. Here’s also wishing Fine Boy Agbero stays out of those notorious NURTW brawls so he can do his thing online the way he knows how to do so well. And our prayer vigils for Charizard worked too. That hommie needed some good ol’ cyber-loving and he’s fine right now.

On another sad note, another of my favs that will soon be taking the curtain call is The Nollywood Critique. When she first appeared with the piece, “An Ode to Nollywood”, I was way over the moon and asked to be a Contributor there. Some weeks ago, I got an e-mail from the movie maven herself saying she’s going to give the blog the axe. All those of you who visit and like the concept, please join me and send a well-worded e-mail to Nneoma pleading with her not to bow out.

After all if the party stops now, then who the hell am I supposed to dance with? I’d like to have my Posse back, PLEASEEEEE…????

PS: Quick Takes
It must have been a slightly difficult decision on her part but she accepted. What am I talking about? Yes, she accepted my proposal! And No, it wasn’t a marriage proposal.

A new slightly noticeable change to my blog is the inclusion of… wait for it… (drum roll please) A TEAM MEMBER! Join me in welcoming Woomie as she takes a seat on the MN Editorial desk. And our joint prayer is: May this Nemesis not come to an end.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is It Me? Or was this Chronicle really “Lost”?

TV - Reality - The Gist

When the curtains rolled by around 11pm Saturday 19th July to unveil the new season of Gulder Ultimate Search 5, many a people were glued to their seats as Nigerian Breweries PLC began yet another legend in the quest for money, a car, fame, fortune and failure for 10 youthful representatives of the Nigerian population. They were originally 10 called The Heroes of the Order that set foot on the Agwu Hills in Enugu State to recover the Lost Chronicle and exactly a week ago, the life of the last one standing, Michael Nwachukwu changed for good.

GUS is mostly about characters and the individuality of this year’s contestants was not in doubt. However it is no big secret that the physical rigours of the GUS series have been designed to screen out the weaker sex so that an Ultimate Man will always emerge just as in the past 4 editions. This year, there was a conscious effort among the females to turn this around even though one couldn’t help but wonder how their constant bickering was going to help them achieve this purpose. And of course, there’s always a quiet, brilliant contestant in this case, 24 year old graduate Abiola Olanrewaju who many thought would remain as the last girl standing.

The eviction drama in GUS 5 kicked off with one member each of different sexes been given the boot. First to take the curtain call was 22-year-old Law student, Rita Uloko whose departure was in connection to the physiological damage she suffered to her knee. It would be recalled that the issue of Rita’s knee had cropped up when she first suffered a fall during the drills which she soundly dismissed by jogging on the spot to prove her point. But the body does not lie. Another fall again on the same knee and Rita was history.

As if to dispel the underlying notion that GUS lauds only the display of brute strength over mental abilities, Brian Mokelu failed to solve his puzzle and thus forfeited not only his role as totem bearer but his chance for the big prize. In the words of host, Bob-Manuel Udoukwu, the 25-year-old UNN Geography student’s “relevance in the camp had hereby been terminated.”

Next to leave were Abiola and 25-year-old Fred Dutman for failing at the spear throwing contest but the fact that the other contestants scored points at all was nothing short of a miracle given the warped nature of the spears’ aerodynamics. Aspiring model and Rivers State indigene, Abigail Opuogulya aged 22 and smart but conceited JJ Okop were next to get the boot when their team came last as Abigail failed in yet another physical task.

The other males in this year’s edition, though not lacking in macho looks all seemed to lack the necessary grey matter needed to solve riddles apart from the seemingly haughty JJ who, true to history, would never have been the Ultimate Man. Into the mix were the fishwives Ruphina “Phina” Ohakwe (who at 27/28 years old was the oldest Hero and mother figure in the camp) and Abigail who were so intent in carving a niche in the viewers’ minds with their quarrelsomeness.

With the camp reduced to four the female cause was left to Phina and yet another quiet female, Linda Iweka, UNIABUJA Computer Science student aged 21, who never seemed too sure of herself to take charge at any time. There was a bit of melodrama when both females came last on yet another physical/mental task and everyone thought they would be evicted but this was not to be as both were thrown a lifeline. The dream for an Ultimate Woman was however further shattered when another set of physical removed first Phina and then Linda leaving Marketing graduate Frank Mohammed and 26-year-old “Big Mike” as he was fondly called to jostle for the crown. Of course, by now the outcome of GUS 5 is well known.

GUS 5 didn’t fail in its tradition as one of the (if not the most) popular reality TV shows but Despite its cult status, GUS Season 5 fell seriously short when compared to previous seasons 1 and 2 and sadly followed in the tradition of GUS 3 and 4 by failing to live up to its billings. There just wasn’t enough flash to keep the viewers’ attentions.

Take the characters for example. Maybe it was the editors’ fault but GUS 5 looked more robotic and less realistic. There was no bonding, no romance, no drama, hardly any comedy or friction between characters (apart from Phina and Abigail) and all the crucial socio-dramatic elements that go to make up a popular TV reality show. But then maybe it was the fault of the screening panel who seemed to focus mainly on contestants with materialistic tendencies instead of diverse, eccentric and radical personalities. Hardly a tear was shed when any contestant got evicted unlike in the previous editions as the remaining ones saw only each eviction as a chance for them to lay hands on the cash prize and the SUV.

The choice of host also had a few question marks. A reality TV show usually requires the services of a vibrant, versatile, convincing and witty host but disappointingly, host Bob-Manuel Udokwu has still remained the same Bob-Manuel of Season 4: The Golden Age with no improvement whatsoever. At least one can be grateful that he is far more bearable than the “Tin-Tin” host of Season 3 at NIFOR. Jungle Film Works (the TV Production company) wowed us with their cinematic prowess in previous years but like Bob-Manuel they also decided not to tinker with their magic formula this year showing exactly the same cinematic capabilities they displayed before.

The scenic Agwu Hills location of this year’s Search sadly excluded marine activities from the tasks which was a shame actually giving that the ability to swim was one of the criteria for choosing contestants. The tasks themselves while solely lacking in creativity, focused so much on the physical and less on the mental aspects thus successfully eliminating females from the Ultimate prize which, if one really thinks about the way Michael discovered it, actually had nothing to do with these much touted physical attributes. Any female doesn’t even need to go through the National Youth Service scheme to know they could overcome the obstacles en route to the prize but maybe at a slower pace.

And on a final note, there’s the issue of the Legend itself. There’s something about that Chronicle story that accompanied the Search that definitely didn’t stand up to the test of time and maybe therein lies the problem. The myths that surround every season of GUS are beginning to sound more absurd nowadays and even the tiniest tot in your house can see through the charade. The sci-fi tale of the emergence of a despot in the future who radically altered the Star Wars-like landscape and banned all forms of intellectual improvement (a la the movie “Equilibrium” and several others), leading to the Heroes of the Order sending the Lost Chronicle back in time to be discovered in Enugu was laughably ridiculous. The animated cartoon than came with the story was even more so.

In case there is a GUS 6 planned in the future (which is doubtable given that all the elements for brewing a good beer - which the Ultimate Search is about anyway - have been found) it would be great if NB Plc as well as Insight Communications as well as Jungle Filmworks put heads together to review the flaws apparent in GUS 5. The Scriptwriter, Director, art directors task builders/grips and film editors need to do more work to make the storyline more interesting the and the tasks more diversified while the narrator, host, contestants and even we the viewers need to put in more spirit in GUS.

I would have gladly helped too, but no one asked me to anyway…

PS: For more info on the past editions of the Gulder Ultimate Search such as previous winners, rewards, tasks and locations, click this link. To find out about the crew members a.k.a. the “Men” behind the Scenes click here. All referenced materials are copyright of NB Plc and related Agencies.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thrice Beaten, Twice Shy...

Sports - Beijing 2008 - Football

“And Obinna looks up to the sky and says ‘Thank you!’ while Goodson looks down to the ground and says ‘Oh no!’ "
- Commentator’s comment as Obinna Nsofor scores second goal against the USA in the ongoing Beijing Olympics football event.

Thrice Beaten…
Ok, I deserve it. Yes, I truly deserve it. The punishment, I mean of watching the Falcons suffer yet another defeat. And yes, I agree I swore not to ever watch them play again but it wasn’t entirely my fault that I broke my resolution barely 24 hours after making it.

In case I didn’t tell you before, being an avid watcher of ALL female sports especially gymnastics, volleyball, tennis and football (in that order), I swear there’s nothing that gets my testosterone pumping better than the hiking-up of a decidedly short skirt when those Williams sisters hit a sizzling service down the courts or the sights of all those things that make them female jiggle when their fellow feminine counterparts play the round leather game (not as if our female National team has much to jiggle anyway).

Plus: a certain blogger named Rayo put some thoughts in my head when she commented that maybe she’d consider signing up for the female National team (as if I thought I’d see her filing out against the Brazilian babes just like that!) And like I’ve said before, there’s something about female sports that can never keep me away.

So I decided to punish myself once again and watch them play against their Brazilian opponents. I admit the Brazilian female team was more than half the reason I endured le tortura in the first place. Apart from the United States team, this is one team that is undoubtedly all-woman (if you get my drift).

And with enemies like the ones I saw hammer our gals 3-1, men truly, who needs friends?

Twice Shy…
Since I’ve been breaking all my resolutions of late, I decided to watch the guys play too and I must say the match against the USA gave me more fun in the last five minutes than in the entire match! No one could have put it better than the commentator when he said: “Fans in the US and Nigeria must be biting their fingers by now. The fingernails have long gone!”

Now seriously, apart from their draw with the Netherlands, the male football team, Dream Team IV has twice come close to losing their victories over Japan and the U.S.A. Though the Nigerian team did emerge victorious in both encounters, the slim margins of 1 - 0 and 2 - 1 respectively is enough cause for concern.

Now I’m nowhere near a professional sports analyst and I’m very sure someone else somewhere must have done all the analysis on his/her blog but (whisper mode on) I have serious doubts about the Dream Team winning the Quarter final match against Ivory Coast.

The match starts in a few minutes. Ok, guys. I’ve expressed doubts in you. Now it’s your turn to GO OUT THERE AND PROVE ME WRONG!

PS: Back in Lagos… And loving it!
Ok, quickly: I’m back in Lagos after leaving for a very short while and this time it’s different ‘cause I brought my PC with me! Sadly I won’t be staying long enough to attend the Summer Bloggers Reunion next week. Verily, verily I say unto thee: Every day in this city is an eye-opener and I can’t wait to write about it when I get back to my base this weekend.

Stay posted!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Twice Beaten, Once Shy

I consider myself the No. 1 lover of the Woman race. No, I'm not a womaniser (ok, maybe I am in a way) but I just love women. I actually believe they were the ones being referred to when the Bible used the phrase "fearfully and wonderfully made". I recall one chick I was trying to convince in those days. At a point, my pleas must have gotten too tiring for her that she blurted out: "I don't know what you like in me, sef! I'm skinny (true), ugly (totally untrue), I have little boobs (very true), and I'm not so smart (slightly true)."

I just smiled and said: "I like you because you are a woman..." Those were tose days sha.

It's also no big secret that I'm not so particularly in love with football. Don't blame me. Blame those junior Okochas who never chose me during football practice not even as goalkeeper! My short-sight was actually to blame but I never forgave them for killing a young man's dream just like that.

However I am a great supporter and fanatical fan of the Nigerian female football team (and all female sport teams for that matter).But I couldn't reconcile my love for them with the fact that they got trashed fair and square in the ongoing Olympic Games in Beijing. I almost burst a blood vessel chearing them on only to be solely disappointed in the end.

Anyway, I'm not going to analyse the hows or whys of how we got beaten but I felt there should have just been a little more bit of committment on their part, especially Cynthia Uwak. And Sarah Michael's efforts came just too late.

I still love women and I'm still their fan but I think I'll stop watching their matches for now.

Got to go now. A guy in this cafe is reading every single word I'm writing as I type this. This cafe, sef... (BIG HISS!!!)

Monday, August 11, 2008


I'm still stuck here... but alive. And I didn't go blind, Thank God! You know, I'm beginning to actually enjoy this informal blogging style but I promise to get back to the MN Mission Statement as soon as possible.

Anyway, I went to church on Sunday and guess what? The place was FULL! I mean, it wasn't a Church festivity or anything and there were actually 3 other Masses to attend during the day but the place was bursting at its seams like Jesus was coming tomorrow (He actually was, but considered poor sinner me - and gave me another day to repent!)

Back to the Church... It was St. Cyprain's Church, New Oko Oba and I must say the followership I saw there moved me. The members of the congregation seemed to cheerfully adjust to the over-crowding as we all sought seating space even in the stairwell! Me, I took my small corner and tried to flatten myself against the wall as well as I could. My heart went out to some women, men and children who stood (yes, stood) for the entire duration of the Mass. It was a far cry from my Uni days in PHC were the students would have marched out if they couldn't find ikebe space. God must have looked down on His children that day and beamed with pride.

My only grudge was my stairwell seat which seemed to be a favourite for those church members walking up and down. I got stepped on by the guys and buffeted on the head by the hips of those well-endowed Yoruba women (I didn't mind the hips especially if they belonged to a virile vixen but the Catholic Mothers' was another issue altogether - there's just no dodging that one!) Let's just say I got a headache.

Ironically, my position was exactly at eye-level with every woman's left hand and it was a fun exercise watching the different way women wear their rings. Singles, engaged, married, fashion and the bare. It's a wonder I heard anything at all in Church yesterday. It was a great experience though worshipping in a committed Church.

As I walked home, I couldn't help wondering: Why are we so religious? And not so Godly?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hating on This Cybercafe

Hi y'all!

I was out for a while again, now I'm back again... again! Reason? I've been trapped in the Land of Eko, abandoned by my Boss who sent me here on an errand and mysteriously cut off my travel allowance midway through the whole thing. Told the guy I'm not returning to work till he pays all my allowances to the "A" so we're both sitting it out now to see who caves in first. Miss all the articles I have already saved on my HDD ready for posting but Thank God I have a bro who came to my rescue accomodation-wise. If not I might have been forced to sleep under the bridge (which one, by the way do people sleep under? Forgive me, I truly don't know)

I'm still stuck in Lasgidi without my darling PC so I can't blog as I used to hence my currently scattered form and format. Decided to try out the cybercafe close by and I'm sincerely regretting that decision. At least they are slightly better than one I went to that still uses Windows '95 (13 whole years after!) but nothing much separates the two. Worse, I hear it's the only one within the Fagba area of Agege.

Spent an entire hour just trying to log in to Blogger before realising it would never open. Switched to another PC and now I'm sitting in front of a system with a monitor that shows only the colour RED! Imagine that? I'm almost going blind typing this. Honestly, Lagos, I'm disappointed.

When folks like Laspapi and Esquire complain of Internet services, I'm always like: "Guys, don't worry. It ain't easy but let's manage till we all get our own individual browsing services." What a DREAM!

Anyways, if you don't read from me in a while, know I'm temporarily blind and jobless to boot. I'm thinking of turning professional beggar since that's the only qualification I'll soon have if I continue typing this.

So, I'm out...

Happy weekend!
PS: The pix shows the said RED monitor I had to use. To make matters worse, the cafe was in complete darkness!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bits And Pieces 2: No More Drama

TV - Drama - Summarized

Once upon a time, there was a hit TV series called Inside-Out that featured Barbara Soki. Then there were others such as Ripples, Checkmate, Behind The Clouds, and my personal favourite, Basi & Company. All these programmes had a peculiar characteristic in common: they made you hunger for next week’s edition. Viewers of today don’t just know what they missed.

How would they know, when examples of what they get as Drama include:

Un-Super Story
Much as I RESPECT and ADMIRE Mr. Wale Adenuga and his PEFTI productions, I am SO NOT feeling the current edition of his Super Story series titled: “Omajunwa - The Child of Destiny”. The artistes are stellar and all the necessary ingredients are sprinkled into the plot but the script seems somewhat dry (for lack of a better word).

Enebeli Elebuwa’s screen renditions of an invalid are right on the money but I think he delivered his act better while he was on his feet instead of just lying down all the time whining. His cheating wife, her Manager-boyfriend’s schemes, his insolent children’s continuous disobedience, the pseudo-serious security man (who by the way fails to amuse me every time) and the sudden introduction of a previously-unknown son aren’t helping in reviving the plot either. The only other person that may just keep me watching is the woman who portrays Adesuwa, the dedicated house help.

Mr. Adenuga, can you do something… Maybe like give us another better series. PLEASE…?

And TARIMA too…
Ok, so Emeka died long ago. Point One taken. OK, his widowed wife has been pregnant all this while. OK, Point Two. So, his village people still think she’s a witch. Big deal… When is TARIMA (Tribe And Religion In Marriage) going to come to an end? The deceased/widow plot has been flogged even far worse than a dead horse that I can’t just help thinking if the script writers can’t come up with something else. Why torture us so?

Now, as if to answer my prayers, Emeka’s ghost has taken to appearing to certain people in the village scaring the bejeezus out of them while mysteriously leaving the very people responsible for his demise and the ill-treatment of his widow looking none the worse for wear. And to make matters worse they decided to freshen up the musty storyline by reviving several formerly dumped characters and giving them a new lease of life with recycled dialogue.

Sigh… There isn’t any tiny morsel of suspense in the whole thing! And pray, when will his wife EVENTUALLY give birth?

What Area Are We In?
A certain drama series which features Patrick Otoro (as Barrister) as well as a certain long-legged, cute-in-her-own-way babe called Seyi Olu-something-or-the-other (as Rali) is supposed to mirror our country Nigeria in its own little way. Throw in Ikponmwosa Gold (as Vendor) and certain other obscure idiosyncratic characters together in an extremely boring script and that’s Area Eleven for you.

Area 11 (supposedly located somewhere in the FCT) is supposed to be a microcosm of our society with its attendant issues and its possible solutions but it misses the fine points of Drama horribly.

The character I most love to hate is a certain Senator - a caricature of the members of our dear National Assembly - who by the way says exactly the same thing every time.

Just 3 TV Dramas and I am already weary. The list could go on and on. Little wonder I favour the TV reality shows nowadays. Ever wondered why so many people are shunning evening Television to embrace the DVD craze, grabbing pirated copies of foreign TV series like “Desperate Housewives”, “Lost”, “Prison Break” and “24”?

Now you know why.