This isn’t news

    Finding and reporting news in Abuja can be a thankless job. So every now and again I take time off foreheading* a brick wall to laugh at the things I cannot change. In my Zen state, I can completely overlook the many obstacles to my existence as a news correspondent.
    I can now find lateness amusing. So what if the host of an event operates on ‘African time’. I also absolutely don’t care if they don’t thank or reference the media in their awful speeches or that they continue to make the president their guest of honor for everything. It is perplexing that the less likely he is to show up, the bigger his picture in their program. I would tell them to get over themselves and invite a reasonable alternative, but that would involve caring on my part. And I’m all out of that.

    Sometimes I wonder why they say that the president is heavily represented by his proxy. For the sake of clarity, what the heck does ‘heavily represented’ even mean? And can someone be lightly represented? In my jaded experience ‘heavily representing’ is code for some dude, who shows up 2 hours late and has no idea what is going on, but gets to sit on the high table .
    In the spirit of not caring, I will also stop mocking all excessively long high tables. It really doesn’t matter to me, if there are more people on the high table than attending guests. I will accept the words of all suck-up-MCs who claim that everybody is equal but give special recognition to rich people in the audience (I happen to be familiar with George Orwell’s “some animals are more equal than others” concept) But hey! If anyone ever walks up to an MC after a conference and says ‘I like the way you called my name, here is a million naira!’ I will give up sarcasm.

      Just once I would like someone to walk up to the mic and say “Screw protocol**” before jumping into a well writing speech. But I know that that would lead to the collapse of this reality and I am not yet brave enough to meet Walternate.

      Now as stated above, I can forgive almost anything, except Personal Assistants. PAs are antiprogress robots. They give me adult night terrors and make me consider the merits plunging 50 feet of the nearest 50 feet building… on a good day.
      In a logical world, a journalist is the best friend of a PA, if only for the purpose of mutual job preservation. My six month old niece can tell you that providing reporters with information is the easiest path to free publicity. But logic, is on permanent vacation and sass and attitude are her substitutes.

      And for your pleasure, here are my greatest hits of PA rejection confusion:

        Me: where is the conference hall?
        PA: There are many conferences going on!
        Me: I’m talking about the one for your organization (she was wearing their logo)
        PA: (suddenly suspicious of my ability to read minds) who are you?
        Me: I’m with the press (holding up my card)
        PA: there are many conferences going on which do you want to attend.
        Me: Can I take a look at the program
        PA: These are only for guests.
        Me: I just want a quick look.
        PA: you can if you register for the conference
        Me: Okay, how do I do that?
        PA: It costs 10,000 naira.
        Me: I ‘m part of the media!
        PA: (After thinking for a few seconds) 8,000 naira.
        Me: Can I look at the program?
        PA: (while clutching a stack) there aren’t anymore.
        She was hoping here stupidity was contagious.
        Me: Can I have one of the free carrier bags.
        PA: No they have finished.
        Five minutes later with me still standing there she gives one to some guy.
        Me: Hey, I thought you said that there were no more
        PA: He said that he is our boss’s friend…
        Me: So that gives him the power to create carrier bags out of thin air?
        PA: (blank look and then disapproving look) he said…
        Me: I heard you, I’m not sure you understand English (is what I should have said but I just walked away… I usually just walk away)
        Till PAs become human, I will continue to report from trenches inhabited by people who think muting their phones is tantamount to suicide. While listening to proxys who ‘heavily represent’ others who were too smart to show up.

        * Foreheading: the act of persistently striking and object with your forehead.
        ** Protocol: is a set of guideline or rules that demand the recognition of all important personnel at an event. This includes interrupting the program to acknowledge latecomers. If a speaker cannot remember all the important people he/she says, “All protocols observed”.
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All puff, no power with pink.

    I’m an aunt now, a real one. So all you market people trying to flatter me into buying your crap and the entire younger than me Nigerian population, who play at being respectful by calling me aunty can suck it (respectfully). I don’t need you to call ‘aunty’ anymore.
    As we aunts know, with baby nieces, come baby feet and baby talk and baby diapers but most importantly big (not baby) responsibility. So now I must give up my life of anarchy. (Crickets) Fine my life of passive aggressive mutiny and take on this challenge. Awesome we are all on the same page.
    These days most people are less verbal of their preference for male children, because recently little girls got upgraded to little accessories.
    Not to point a finger at Hanana, Britney, Lindsey, but methinks that baby girls these days are way over dressed. Seriously if she can’t count, I seriously doubt she needs a weave or braids to weigh her down, even if they have sparkly beads attached.
    Lil boys have it good. Worst case scenario, they get a cool afro or a mohawk and people think it’s cute if they want to run around naked. Little girls get little heels, and bedazzled clothes, not to mention the bangles, and beaded bracelets. Isn’t it a little early to be husband hunting?

    I won’t go into the ½ tops that are more slutty than cute. I mean does anyone else long for the good old days of aunty-give-me cake ball gowns and mama-tie-me-for-back dresses, that you could twirl round and round and round in. Okay maybe those days weren’t so great. Those dresses were kinda itchy, but I don’t think this invasion of pink is the answer.

    Besides, who died and assigned pink to girls? And blue for boys? Not to go feminist paranoid on you, but how come girl toys are mainly pink, while boys get to play with a multicolored arsenal of toys? Most people buy cars, bricks, legos, action figures, planes for boys but tend to buy doll and doll accessories for girls. (Be honest, are you one such person?) Seriously how many of us can grow up to be fairies, princesses and mermaids? Plus am I the only one who finds it strange that those bratz have no noses (I see a future of unrealistic plastic surgery aspirations in our future)
    I’ve gone and said what we all know. Nigerian girls grow up to be second class citizens. Sure these days they get educated and can have jobs, but the most people expect from them is still to get married and have children. If one more person says ‘Na woman’ in reference to bad driving, I just might do something very unaunty like. So my fellow aunties lets do the right thing. Let little girls be little girls. Cute, comfortable and free, at least till they are old enough to understand our reality as Nigerian females.

Parking Mad

    Things in Lagos are hard (duh!) and one thing you can count on remaining hard is finding a parking spot. It is a fact that the closer you get to your destination; the harder it is to find parking. To be clear, there are spaces were you might perch your car but chances are, that the moment you encounter such a primo spot, you will be set upon by one of the following:
      1. A matching set of “no parking” signs chained together.
      2. Spots that perpetually say reserved but have never in the company’s existence been occupied.
      3. And the coup de grace; The MD’s space. This remains the most coveted spot, protected by uniformed stooges who will only materialize after you have performed your most incredible feat of parking.
    Banks are the number one repeat offender of this crime. Never mind the fact that their MD is often halfway around the world. Or that he has a driver that will pick him up from the front of the building; because lets face it people of his caliber are incapable of walking in the sun.
    As humble customers duke it out with uniformed guards for a spot that the MD has probably never seen, I take time out to issue blame. What stupid architect does not recommend parking? No, he probably thought that there should be more parking too.
    Yeap! Like everything else that’s wrong in Nigeria, this problem comes from the top. He, who pays the piper, dictates the parking. These are people who won’t think twice about putting a 20ft-shopping plaza in an area that’s possibly residential. You can get the state to approve obviously illegal construction, yet the idea of a parking lot is foreign to you.
    Here’s my point. To the CEOs, the MDs and all the other BIs (Big Initials) give up your spots and if you are so lazy, get your driver to do his job and pull the car around. In the end, try and think of the customers because we are getting sick and tired of this and a pissed of Yamika tends to key the cars of executives…Just saying.

Other parking offenses include:
• The total lack of handicap parking and access ways
• Bikes that take up whole car spots
• Badly parked cars (those lines aren’t suggestions)