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Monday, April 25, 2016

Prince and the Price of Fame.

When Prince, the greatly talented musician died suddenly the other week, the memory of Michael Jackson’s equally sudden death flashed across one's mind. The manner of their deaths was as tragic as it was weird. In spite of their larger-than-life public image, each one of them was all alone, helpless and pathetic at the time of death. And both of them had drug issues. Why not? When fame and riches go together in the life of a person, there is often a huge price to pay. Sadly, such consequences include, but not limited to acute loneliness, emotional disturbances and sadness. They can’t afford to cope with the reality of life. After all, they are “superstars”. It’s considered an entitlement for the famous to be in high spirits on 24-7 basis. Alas, that is not possible according to the law of nature. So, what do the insanely rich and famous do? They get their “high spirits” anyhow, unnaturally.  
Now, the drug dealer that had been supplying “the stuff” to Prince for about 25 years had come out to state that, the superstar once spent $40,000 at one time on drugs. When poor folks indulge in hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances, they are called drug addicts or worse, “crack heads”. They also get thrown into jails. It’s however a different ball game for the famous. Society excuses them for being on “pain killers”. They are cast as victims of the pressure of being filthy rich and famous. In fact, ordinary people are supposed to sympathize with them whenever this happens. 
Let’s hope the up-and-coming artistes learn from the sad ends of Prince and some others before him - Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, James Brown and a whole lot of others. It’s alright to dream and aspire for stardom. But there is a need for those with such an aspiration to make provisions for the future consequences of fame. Right now, there are millions of young people turning their backs on basic education. If they are not aspiring to become sports stars, they are struggling in the music industry and each of them is aspiring to become another “Prince”. What a pity!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Chi-Raq, a Movie as a Social Commentary.

Just watched the movie, Chi-Raq. Almost every Spike Lee's movie is a social commentary on the Black American communities. Chi-Raq, his latest work for instance, deserves to be seen by every African American. But that obviously, will never be the case.
The problem is that Lee's movies tell "too much" truth in a society where the word "Truth" is a hated, bitter pill to swallow.

Even though Chi-Raq reveals everything that is wrong in our communities, it's too boring for a people that will rather see something else, possibly, a movie that turns a blind eye to the truth and simply entertain.
It's so sad to learn, through Chi-Raq that in Chicago city alone, the number of young Black folks that were murdered in cold blood by fellow Black people, is almost the same as the number of all Americans killed in the Iraqi war.

The same movie paints a vivid picture of how we, as Black people, enjoy using the "N", the "B" and the "H" words blatantly on each other in a daily orgy of profane, self-denigrations.
Yet, if a non-Black person should use an equal dose of those negative words on a Black person or, worse still, kill a Black guy, there would be riots and mayhem on the streets. What a society!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Waiting to Lick a Hot Soup.

“Sex is a gift from God in which you are one with another person. There is nothing wrong with sex and sexuality. God created both for the enjoyment of MARRIED couples. In our society, waiting for marriage to have sex is often considered a practice of the past. Yet, the effect of sex on our spirits is unchanging. When you have sex with someone, you’re leaving them a piece of yourself, and taking a part of them with you…” – Meagan Good and Devon Franklin in their book, WAIT.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Nigerians and the Plague of Predictions.

“16. Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
17. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.’
18. She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment, the spirit left her.” - Acts 16:16-18 (New International Version).
The above passage in the Bible often comes to mind at the beginning of every year. It’s that time of the year in Nigeria when every General Overseer, Bishop or other sundry spiritualist announces his “vision” of what the new year portends for individual Nigerians and the nation in general. And with what one has heard so far, many of the so-called predictions were arrant nonsense, some of them were the results of mere personal analysis of national events and others were simply lifted from internet reports. Yet, gullible Nigerians are (as usual) lapping them up.
I therefore imagine a situation where the spirit ordered out of the woman in the Bible passage crept into the body of a Nigerian bystander. That person only had to go into the Nigerian Christendom, wear the garb of a pastor and…boom…he or she would become famous and stinking rich. Why so? Ours is a society where people are always desperate for just anyone to foretell their future under the guise of “seeing visions”.

Monday, December 28, 2015

My Strange Christmas Gift.

On Christmas day, it was raining like crazy as I left for work. Shortly afterward, a front tire burst in motion. I managed to pull into a gas station and would have relied on my insurance company for help but they said it would take hours. After removing the bad tire, I reached for the donut (extra tire) but to my horror, it had was totally flat. Unfortunately, the gas station had turned off their Air pump because of the holiday. I felt like kicking it. Now, at my tether’s end, I sat in the car praying for a miracle.

Soon, a middle-aged lady pulled into the gas station to ask for directions to a store. I told her all the stores had closed for Christmas. She thanked me and was about to pull away when, out of curiosity, she asked what I was doing in the rain. I told her about my situation. And to my surprise, she simply said: “I’ll take you to a gas station where you can fill-up the spare tire…”

We kept going from one gas station to the other. None however had a functioning Air pump. I was exasperated until finally, we got lucky. But I didn’t have quarters to operate it. As if on cue, the lady opened her glove compartment to get the needed $1:50 coins. After a while, it dawned on both of us that the extra tire was not taking in air. It was like pouring water into a basket.

Now utterly perplexed, I politely asked if the lady could take me to work. Not minding the distance, she said “why not?” At this stage, we were both drenched and tired. But not for once did she express any regret or frustration. When I asked her about this, she only smiled. She however admonished me for being blasphemous when I referred to her as my guardian angel. And when I offered her money for gas, she felt offended and disappointed. To her, the whole thing was her Christmas gift to me.

As she dropped me off at work, the lady ignored my expression of gratitude. She said: “God has a reason for everything. So, in every situation you find yourself…no matter how disappointing or frustrating…don't despair. Instead, just give thanks to the Lord. Merry Christmas!”