Archive for August, 2007

Christine Ohuruogu

August 30, 2007

Christine Ohuruogu won the 400 metres final at the Nagai Stadium yesterday after serving a one-year ban for missing three out-of-competition tests. She claims she simply forgot. Under the testing system in place in Britain, athletes have to give the anti-doping authorities their whereabouts for five hour-long slots every week. Ohuruogu claims that an event at her regular training track forced her to go elsewhere on the day of her third missed test, and that she simply forgot to tell the authorities.

She was tested a week before the missed drugs test and a week after, but today she is being treated as a drug cheat. With the savage attack that she has undergone by some sections of the British press one wonders whether this is all about drugs and a missed test, or whether there is a more sinister agenda.

Maybe Christine would have been better off carrying out her impulsive threat and donning the colours of Nigeria.

Notice me I am a Celeb!

August 28, 2007

The Notting hill carnival ended yesterday, and as expected a few Nigerian based ‘celebs’ and/or entertainers enhanced the occasion adding colour and noise. What 419naija however observed was the rather embarrassing quest of these ‘celebs’ to be recognised. The Nigerian brand of entertainment – albeit entertaining for the masses back home – still lacks a global feel as I pointed out to one of the unnamed ‘celebs’ who was making her first visit.

Most people outside the usual Nollywood/Naija hip-hop devotees simply cant tell between a Nigeria ‘celeb’ from a badly dressed black male/female visiting ‘the hill’ for the carnival.

So, regardless of all the hard sell and self promoted twaddle that comes out of Nigera, our entertainment business is still seen within the circles of those who care, as lacking professionalism, endemic with intellectual property theft, fake and poorly packaged. 

Until we stop deluding ourselves and ‘step up’ our game, a few more ‘celebs’ will need to ‘signpost’ their foreheads with “Notice me I am a celeb” to get any attention during next years’ carnival.

A feeble President?

August 26, 2007

The President of Nigeria has set aside Soludo’s Naira policy claiming it lacks merit. In a statement released by one of the Presidents Spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi, the Presidency gave a number of reasons why they would rather suspend this policy. Not one of these statements focussed on any tangible economic reasons why the policy is such a fiasco. The Nigerian way!

It wouldn’t flabbergast anyone that this statement, just like the EFCC cum attorney-general debacle, was rushed out because someone had got to the President in good time and gave him some unscrupulous reasons dismiss the idea.

We hold our horses to see if another announcement will be made (after another bout of consultations) to retract this one.

Madam Speaker

August 23, 2007

Some things never change. Mrs. Patricia Etteh, Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives is already in trouble over the award of a number of contracts (N628m) for the renovation of certain official residences. Last week, Madam Speaker, habitually and derogatorily referred to by some sections of the media as a hairdresser, was forced to cut back on an elaborate party she had planned in the US for her 54th birthday.

A breakdown of the contract for the renovation of the Speaker’s residence showed that demolition of a section of the building will cost N14.5m; furnishing, N35.4m; and installation of Close Circuit Television and a multiple intercom system, N30m.

External work will cost N64.2m; fittings and fixtures, N35m; metal detector, N10m; furnishing, N52.5m; and curtains, N10m!!!.

For the Deputy Speaker’s house, furnishing only will cost N55.2m.

Ten units of Toyota Land Cruiser will cost N123m and two 320 Mercedes Benz cars will cost N49.6m. – Source Vanguard Newspapers

There has been an argument from many quarters; backed up with demonstrable examples that sleaze in Nigeria is a preserve of male politicians. Mrs Etteh may just be on the threshold of rectifying that disparity.

9/11 Revisited

August 22, 2007

Its been reported in one of Nigeria’s newspapers that two former cult members or militants (is there really a difference anymore) are being offered Pilot Training in South Africa by the Rivers State government as a reward for denouncing cult practises.

Some may see this as a good gesture. A way to rewarding a couple of mislead guys, who have now made a U-turn for the better. Others may just wonder whether the Rivers State Government is about to train two future ‘9/11 ‘copycat’ pilots.

What these guys need is a dose of fairness and equity. Until they get that, they will always remain bitter and may turn against those they consider oppressors, even those that pay to send them on flying courses.