Friday, August 25, 2006

God's Own Country

K and I went to the Quad Theater last night, and saw a short film written and directed by a Nigerian. It was called God's Own Country. I was all excited at the beginning of the movie, I thought this ought to be authentic to say the least.
The entire length of the movie was 43 minutes, but that was 40 minutes to long for me. It was incredibly excrutiating, and more so because I was incensed that anyone would even attempt to pass this off as art. Nollywood makes no apologies for what it is, so when you pick one of those lurid DVD's up you know exactly what you are getting into. This however was different. It was all decked out in sheep's clothing, and it wasn't until the entire theatre was silent and the credits had begun rolling that the wolf bared it's teeth.
I would attempt to give a review, but that have to involve the existence of a plot to be strung together. The one bright note was the impressive cinematography, but of course that just brought the shoddiness of everything else into sharp relief.
To sum it up, that movie delivered an excellent metaphor, albeit unknowingly, it was an adequate representation of the 'Naija Way'. Brilliant ideas, grandiose ambitions, one or two talented people in the mix, a bunch of lazy uneducated louts making up the rest, several corners cut and voila.....idea la need!
The movie was definitely a microcosm of what is all to frequetly the naija experience......frustration.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Professional Networking Naija Style

Nkem is in my head!!! His post today centred on the career choices ethnic minorities make with a Nigerian spin. I went to an informal naija networking event last night in Manhattan, and I may have been the only Government employee there. Matter of fact save for a few random attorneys and your odd engineer, the room was littered with people from the world of finance. Granted NYC is a natural destinantion for Financial Services professionals, but my fellow naija folks seem to be unusually obsessed with making that dough. So much so that they head straight for a profession that involves constantly being surrounded by money matters.

This probably stems from the Naija parent general perspective that you go to school to study Law, Medecine, Accounting or Engineering. Anything else will be met with a sneer. "What did you read?" people will ask with scorn. When you reply that you attained a PhD in International Affairs, they will put a fake smile on and say "I see". All the while praising God that they have 4 MBA's sleeping under their roof. Strange animal, that perception.......

NB. Off to Boston this weekend. Looking forward to a bit of a change from NYC, it's always nice to go away because the best part is coming back!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Reconciling the Vatican and moral responsibility

I was going to blog about embracing my inner summer-bunny on the beach this weekend or something trite like that, however reading Ayoke's blog recently brought to mind an issue that has bothered me for quite some time.

I was born a Catholic and raised a Christian, this is not about my faith. I love the Lord, so I do not believe that he will love me any less for questioning some the practices embraced by the Catholic Church. We look to the Church for guidance and clarity, and as such the Vatican wields an enourmous power. However, as we all know...With great power comes great resposibility. I consider the current stance on the Catholic Church regarding HIV and the use of condoms a flagrant abuse of that power, and a lack of moral responsibility.

The Catholic Church has banned the use of condoms, going as far as telling the worldwide flock that condoms promote the spread of HIV as their porosity allows the virus to pass through and spread the infection. Not only is this scientifically inaccurate, it underlines the 'head in the sand' mentality adopted by the Church when it comes to issues surrounding abstinence. Case in point, the Catholic nun who advised her HIV infected choirmaster against using a condom with his wife under the pretext that condoms would transfer the infection to her. The wife has now been unknowingly handed a death sentence by.....her Church???!!! Can anybody else see what is wrong with this picture?

Statistics show that in several countries worldwide, the highest number of incidences of new infection is taking place amongst married couples. Banning the use of condoms is only compounding the issue. I understand the promotion of abstinence as the best solution, because it is. However, the reality of the world we live in is that one persons abstinence does not guarantee that their partner will follow suit. The promotion of immoral practices i.e blatant distortion of facts and untruths presented as factual evidence has been employed by the Church to attain what they perceive to be a moral goal. I would argue that all credibility has been lost, and Catholic Church is complicit in the battering of humanity by HIV .

The bible says 'thou shalt not kill'. If you give an order sentencing someone to death, in my mind and the eyes of the rest of the world that makes you a murderer. I have seen no evidence thus far of anything that excludes the Catholic Church from this category. The blood of millions is on the hands of the Church and no amount of dogma or rhetoric can wash it off.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Oh the joy of 8 glasses of bubbly......
As I imbibe with the crunk rhythms engulfing me....
Embracing my inner summer-bunny....