Archive for May, 2013

The Good & the Ugly, of 14 Years of Democracy in Nigeria

Slow climbs!

Zainab Usman

Today marks exactly 14 years since the transition to democracy in Nigeria. Many Nigerians have mixed feelings about the progress and quality of our democratic process which seems to lumber ahead, mostly staggering, but sometimes with steady steps. Despite the few snags here and there, there is still cause to celebrate. To that effect, I am highlighting some good, some bad and a few ugly things about the process and the dividends. The list is by no means exhaustive.

 

GSM Mobile Telephony

Since the advent of GSM in 2001, the information and communications landscape has been radically revolutionised.

 

Nigerian Railways: Back to Life?

After more than 10years, the railway linking Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, to Kano, the country’s second largest city, reopened. Note that this was courtesy Chinese loans and investment. Here’s a video by a Financial Times reporter who took the train:

 

Score Card for the…

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It’s not a poem unless it rhymes

The test for poetry is if you can taste it with your bones!

Susan Daniels Poetry

Poems are not fossilized insects, caught mid-buzz
in amber, shakespeared museum pieces
with the correct number of feet in the meter,
waiting to be dusted off and counted,
or fizzed in pop culture, orange soda shaken
and hallmarked to the singsong tick
of a driveled metronome.

It’s not about form anymore.
This playing tennis without a net
volleys inside what’s spoken–call it poetry
or pretty prose, the difference is felt in the bones,
strung by breath and assonance if we have ears for it,
or blood pulled by a moon in full perigee, and the surety
of knowing night sings to us in the voices of crickets,
certain as day shouts the hard blue of sky, broken
by sunlight and poured into valleys.

A Dali is no da Vinci, though his art filters light
like stained glass does sun, from somewhere under the canvas,
and van Gogh stars reel over the world

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The BBC’s standards of journalism when it comes to South Africa

Journalism – in search of truth, balance and objectivity.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)


Yes, the BBC sent the snooty John Simpson to South Africa to do a bit of parachute journalism and be led around by the white “rights” group Afriforum (since when are they are a credible source?) to come up with this insulting question: “Do white people have a future in South Africa?” Read it here. The main claims of the piece (and a documentary broadcast in the UK on Sunday night) are that the white poor number about 400,000 (that would be about 10% of the white population), that there are 80 “white squatter camps” situated around the capital Pretoria, and that there’s a deliberate attempt on the part of the new government to neglect whites. These reports usually add attacks on white farmers into the mix as if there are direct links between these phenomena. And the BBC did that too. It’s a mashup of all the nonsense…

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Language policy in South Africa and the unfounded fears of a Zulu hegemony

Language, Boundary and Nationism!

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

Neville Alexander
Given South Africa’s stated commitment to multilingualism, you might not think that a requirement from one of the country’s universities that its students learn an indigenous African language would raise much alarm. Yet alarm has nonetheless been the reaction from a few unexpected quarters to the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s announcement that all first-year students enrolled from next near onwards will be required to develop “some level” of isiZulu proficiency by the time they graduate.

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What’s A State of Emergency Anyway?

Informative and educative

TexTheLaw

On the 15th of May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a State of Emergency in 3 states in the northern region of Nigeria. Apart from the debate on the propriety or otherwise of the declaration (or “proclamation” as the constitution calls it), a lot of debate has also been had on whether or not a state of emergency can be declared with the Governors of the affected states remaining in office. With all the “sacred” opinions flying about, perhaps it is time to take an academic look at what a State of Emergency is.

What Is A State of Emergency?

A state of emergency is a proclamation by the government of a country suspending certain judicial, legislative or executive functions, or suspending certain rights guaranteed by the constitution, during times of civil unrest or natural disasters. The concept of the need for the state to have emergency powers can be…

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The Voiceless Victims of the Vicious Violence of Boko Haram

written with compassion

FEATHERS PROJECT

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

Mass-grave-of-violence-victims

About 10,000 souls have been grinded in Boko haram (BH) blender since 2001. These innocents did not stand in the way of the vampires who have declared a hate war on the Nigerian state. They had each woken that morning with the ambitions filled with hope, to strive to lay food on the table, to seek for a better future but sometime during the day, they had been sent on – with a first class ticket – an early encounter in the void unknown. With time, the detonation of bombs became a daily icing that the living began referring to the dead as numbers. This was the situation before the declaration of state of emergency by the government on the hotspots where Boko haram had almost established sovereignty and wishes to continue their blood bath.

Unfortunately, this aspect has been missing in the national conversation since the…

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Bring Back the Book: Peers of an Expired Empire

FEATHERS PROJECT

By Nwachukwu Egbunike 

In Nigeria, you must capture the essence of your being by the number of titles you been able to acquire over the years. “Former special assistant, formerly choir master, etc” expresses the clout of the bearer. And such is the current ruforufo fight between two former public servants of the Federal Republic. To think that they are throwing arrows at each other just because of an ordinary book, haba!

These two super intelligent warriors of a stale empire have taken to the streets and their disciples have since joined their fight. Wahala started with an autobiographical fiction that the twitter king’s pen wrote. In his accidental hagiography, he revealed the backsides of his former peers. And not only that, his book attacked the retired emperor, the former deputy emperor and all those who were in the inner kitchen. The only innocent one was the author.

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