I was at Gurara Falls!

​Too much work and no play will eventually make Jack to not only be a dull boy but also, a petty non-entity!

This was the rationale behind how me and few colleagues at the Nigerian Law school, Abuja decided to visit Gurara Falls today for a picnic. Gurara Falls is the foremost tourists’ attraction located in Niger state. 

We had so much fun nobody on this trip would forget in a hurry. It was memorable. I was amazed at the sights. Nigeria is too blessed with natural resources, we don’t even know our own worth. 

Geographically, it is located enroute Suleja and Minna(state capital) road, accommodating a space spanning about 200 meters. Gurara river is a major tributary of the famed River Niger.

Climbing the various mountains and maneuvering through the different rocks is a lot of exercise for the body, and it’s been said to have therapeutic effect.

Such a natural habitat with lots of big trees, leaves, shrubberies, rocks and water is just too pristine and idyllic. It has a special capacity to heal the human body, spirit and soul. I was inspired to write this article while at the Falls, another testament to the kind of special capacity I’m talking about.

However, as perfect as Gurara is, there are still projects the government and corporate bodies could carry out there in order to make the Falls a cynosure of all eyes. 

For example, nothing stops the place from being turned into a full-blown resort. I noticed today that when our provisions finished at a point, we needed to buy water. The sun was much and people were really thirsty but there was no such place designated for such business. 

There should be adequate security within and outside the environment. Anything as good as that deserves to be guarded jealously, especially in this era of terrorist attacks.

Such a major tourist attraction, and in fact, very close to the state capital deserves a 5, if not a 7-star hotel. I sincerely hope the Niger state government would get to work on that.

DOWNLOAD: Rich Homie Tommy x Emtee (re-fix) – Mama (Prod. by Latham)

My readers must have found out by now that I’m a man of many sides. Well, my creative juice flowed even further recently when I recorded a rap song. To God be the glory for making it all seem so easy. It all came very fast, I recognised that moment and knew I had to take advantage of it.

So I sat on my bed on Thursday night of November 3rd (around 8:50pm), while listening to South African rapper, Emtee’s song ‘Mama’ from the multiple award-winning ‘Avery’ album.

I had heard the song before but it came differently to me that fateful night. The melody, the harmony, the keyboard and hook/chorus got me writing down lyrics instantly. I knew I had to drop a verse or two on the beat.

So I called my talented childhood friend, ‘Latham the producer’ on the following day & we recorded the song on Tuesday, 8th November. We knocked it off in about 3 hours. It was magic! The chemistry was too much, the studio harmony was splendid. I don’t think I could have worked with anyone better. This goes out to every upcoming artist, you have to work with a producer who sees your vision and can clearly show you his own vision as well.

I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I buried the potential to do music. Always knew I could do this from day one. I finally put those lessons learned in the juvenile choir to use.

I specially chose to release the song for free downloads today in commemoration of my late mum’s one year remembrance. Recorded under my alter-ego, ‘Rich Homie Tommy’ (#RHT). The song is titled Mama, not departing from the inspiration behind this.

It’s safe now to say watch-out for me! This is most likely the #1stofMany more music to come from me.

Follow the link below to download:

DOWNLOAD: Rich Homie Tommy x Emtee (re-fix) – Mama (Prod. by Latham)

https://www.datafilehost.com/d/81af4c69

Open letter to AKON

Dear Akon,

The recent untimely deaths of two legendary African football coaches, in persons of Stephen Keshi & Shuaibu Amodu, got me thinking in terms of living legends who aren’t being celebrated enough.

That brings me to you, Akon. You deserve one or two lifetime achievement awards for what you’ve accomplished musically. Left to me, I’d organise I special award ceremony in your honour today if I could. I don’t even understand why you’ve not gotten multiple Grammys by now. We don’t want no posthumous awards for someone that great & you surely deserve to be celebrated while energetic.

On your song ‘Ghetto’-
The instrumentals got all the brothers reminiscing about the ghettos, made the ‘shawties’ jump in ecstasy, the fishes leaped in the waters, the lions roared for joy in the wild and thunder strikes appeared from the heavens. ‘Ghetto’ changed the way the world listens to music in 2005. Akon, you forever changed our world with your style of singing!

‘Locked Up’ was the ultimate classic hip hop song. That style has become the prototype for every new artist in that genre ever since- from TeeFLii to Bryson Tiller to Tory Lanez.

‘Belly Dancer’ was just out of this world. Nobody had ever anything like that before.

On ‘Lonely’, It’s safe to say I was swept off my feet by the sweet rendition and video. I still remember how me & my high school mates used to imitate some moves from the video. It is in a class of its own and broke new grounds.

The songs, ‘Show Out’, ‘The Rain’, ‘Clap Again’ and ‘Don’t Matter’, are great timeless classics. You have more than 100 classics, I simply can’t mention all…but I’m probably the biggest Akon fan in the world.

I don’t want to wait for the next 20 or 30 years before I express my mind on a musician who has blessed my world with his musical acumen. I don’t want to be passive with my love when I should be loud & clear about it, just as Akon’s divine vocals are.

Lest I forget, thanks again for your charitable endeavors, bringing power to Africa with ‘Lighting Africa’ in 2014.
God bless.

With Love,

Tomiwa Olasiyan.

The most pious youth ‘on da block.’

The idea of God to me has always been a supreme being who should be known & communed with individually, by every individual. I’ve never really been at home with the idea of putting all my spiritual hopes in a man, such as a pastor, not even a prophet.

Also, the idea of going to church every Sunday in my nicest frocks, looking all prim and proper while obeying every order from the pastor as is usual here in Africa has never been attractive to me. We tend to do convenient things for God and even sometimes oppress our brethren who are poorer than us. While people put up with these calm appearances, a whole lot of politics, schematics and logistics go on behind the scenes of the altar. This also doesn’t appeal to me.

I happened to have attended while growing up, one of these traditional christian churches where the rigid ideals are upheld. So there was this ‘prim gentleman’ in our church back then called Mr Dimeji (surname intentionally withheld to avoid easy identification) who was the youth leader. He would stand on the front porch of the church and call out emphatically (deliberately so the church elders would notice), names of all the youths trying to avoid youth meetings.

My brother and I, immediately after service would have entered the car and be waiting for mum to finish at her own women leaders’ meetings. There were some other youths like us who would be hiding in their parents’ cars after the normal church service. Some would dash home immediately after service.

Now, it wasn’t that we were as stubborn or always uncooperative but these youth meetings were most times too boring and unnecessarily long. To have a long meeting of 1 or 2 hours after a usually long Sunday service is always like eternity to anybody, especially youths. It was torture. Most importantly, some of us had advanced several degrees more academically, morally and even spiritually than this youth leader called Mr Dimeji. Deep down, we were not engaged. He became our head without an election. He was just there naturally, probably because he was among the few oldest bachelors.

This youth leader called Mr Dimeji would most readily run after those youths who were rushing home after service. He didn’t do it in a dignified way. Rather, he would scream their names in front of the whole church, making the parents know their children were avoiding commitments. Sometimes he would spread his assault towards those of us in the cars, even coming to preach to us why we should come to youth meetings. Another bad idea about these meetings was that they were held every week for no tangible reason.

Actually, I attended some of the youth meetings after being talked into it by my mum (who I always respected), but I was soon discouraged as we were not actively engaged. The meetings would drag on for an hour or more and Mr Dimeji would be the only one talking, new sermons that meant nothing to our personal lives. We didn’t need any such schooling. The young man didn’t even have the exposure of most of us present there.

The high point was when we discovered soon enough that this Mr Dimeji impregnated a lady he was yet to marry. The craziest thing was that the lady was alleged to not even be of christian faith. The lady was said to be a muslim. Mr Dimeji stopped attending the church after that saga. Probably, he was too ashamed or he didn’t want to face the people. I noticed everyone had a question or two they wanted to clarify from the horse’s mouth. Everyone was dazed. Oh, what a cracker!

This was a gentleman who taught in the bible school, gave the church sermons on special Sundays, even at the annual youth anniversaries. This was a youth leader who the whole church (the elders I mean, not majority of youths) looked up to. This was the young man who represented the youth movement, even those of us who didn’t fancy the meetings.

After he stopped attending church, I never met or saw him, for several years to come. Till late last year (Dec. 4th, 2015) at my mum’s burial when someone tapped my back. I looked back and it turned out to be Mr Dimeji. Oh, what a cracker again! How he heard about my mum’s incidence, I don’t know for sure. Haven’t seen him again ever since to clarify the question(s).

Many people are like Mr Dimeji. They hide under the cloak of religion albeit, filled with iniquity deep down. The worst part is the amount of people they drag down with themselves. The number of those who wrongly hold them as role models. The innocent ones who sheepishly follow these dirty lots. One or two incidents of youths impregnating each other quickly followed that Mr Dimeji incidence. It was the prototype of a bad example.

What’s worst, people like Mr Dimeji are experts at making better folks feel inferior to them. They talk about hell as if it was made & designed for the listeners/congregation. They make you miserable, make you think you’re so bad, even dangerous to yourself. They’re always quick to remind you of your inadequacies. Watch out for people like Mr Dimeji, they’re everywhere. With their self-righteous mentality, they can drive you to an edge, the edge of extinction, never to be heard or seen again.

Life Is War

Life is war

Life is war. I’m fighting for my life.
So when you call my phone and I don’t answer,
Don’t be vexed because I might be fighting for my life.

When I need your help and you disappoint me,
I quickly understand because just like me,
You’re simply fighting for your life.

We have different wars and battles to fight,
I don’t know what war you’re fighting, you don’t know mine,
But we’re united in the fact that we’re simply fighting for our lives.

Some people live their lives smiling most times, while some cry most times,
Life’s an unbalanced scale, it treats people differently.
When sadness comes, reminisce on the good times.

It is folly for a man to laugh all the time, even when happy,
For how could you know if your neighbour is mourning?
For life is war and we’re all fighting for our lives.

A brush with death (part 2)

It is not life itself that’s so important. It’s about living rightly!
-Anonymous

Today is my anniversary. An unusual anniversary. Today marks one year since I had that life-threatening car accident on the morning of August 13, 2015. It was a bright Thursday morning.

I had a bad feeling that day when I woke up. Even though I had planned since the previous week to travel and drive myself the to school, I woke up & suddenly didn’t feel like making the journey again.

I went back into the house to call my dad’s attention to what I thought was a bad sound from the car engine. He played down my worries & reassured me nothing was wrong with the car. With that in mind, I zoomed off.

I got into the middle of Iwo road and a lot of people looking for free ride to Osun state beckoned me to stop. I carried nobody. I still can’t fathom whether that was the best or worst decision I ever made. For if I had stopped to give a lift, perhaps the danger would pass me by. Or perhaps, by the time I started speeding the passenger would have cautioned me.

On the other hand, if I stopped to pick someone and the accident happened same way, what if I survive and the passenger dies? If I were to decide, I’d want to believe the second option. Going by the suddenness of the accident (it all happened under a slit second), the vehicle motion and impact on the rock inside the roadside bush, it was likely any passenger would have died or broken a leg at least.

Besides, a careless passenger would not have used the seat-belt. I wouldn’t have told my passenger to use the belt. Back then, I merely used it because I was fresh from driving school & my teachers harped on it. It was a thing of instincts, not because I ever thought the safety belts could ever save my life. It was more of following a norm than of careful thought.

I drove with speed. One of my cool friends who was the President of Prima Strata- an educational club in my Faculty, was putting up an induction party that night for inductees. I was a club member so he had called to invite me and asked to use my car for dropping ladies going home late. With all that in mind, I thought more about the late-night party as I drove and less about handling the car in my charge.

I had planned being in school till the next day even though I told my parents I’d be back home same day. (I knew they’d persuade me to be home that day so I simply said what I knew they wanted to hear.)

As I said earlier, I was speeding & had carelessly exceeded the speed limits. Normally I shouldn’t even travel alone or drive such long distance journey being barely 6 months out of a 3-week driving school program. I hope young people who would be opportuned to read this would learn from me & not be as suicidal as I was.

I enjoyed (well, I still do) driving, especially when music from the CD player is blazing through the bass speaker. So for the duration of time which I drove before the accident, I was fixated on a particular song (Takoto) from 9ice’s sophomore album. Ever since, I’ve dreaded the mere sound of that song. The song still sends shivers down my spine anytime I hear it being played, bringing memories I’d rather forget, my brush with death.

Midway through my journey, I was going to overtake an articulated lorry when I suddenly bumped into a pothole. I panicked & hit the brake suddenly with force. Within that split second I had lost control of my car, my vision was blurry due to flames emitting from the engine, the car was somersaulting e.t.c. The experience is indescribable, I wish I could explain every detail but I can’t.

Luckily for me, a Police checkpoint was nearby on the other side of the highway. Those men rushed to my side. I was already climbing out of the car when they got to me. By then I still thought the car would explode so I was rushing to be out.

One of the Police eyewitnesses said my car was practically floating in the air. How I survived such landing, I do not know. But I do know a large rock situated in the bush nearby stopped the car, permanently condemning the rear bumper. The car got damaged beyond recognition.

My use of the seat belt also helped, including the airbags. Perhaps I would have flown out of the car while it tumbled. When I see commuters hiding from the road safety officials, I just pity their ignorance. The Road Safety Corps are basically ‘begging’ you to save your own lives! Fastening the seat belts and having an airbag-enabled car could make a difference in any accident.

Please tell somebody you know to tell somebody they know!!!

The misconceptions about the African male child.

Most of the African poems, novels, novella and short stories I’ve read (and believe me I’ve read a whole lot) always paint the African man as brutish, timid, difficult and even sometimes wicked. While the female counterparts are painted in a beautiful imagery, with supple “breasts & buttocks”, loving mothers, the “talk of the town spinster”, Amope the one-in-town, pretty damsel…

All these adjectives are okay by me so far other men aren’t complaining. But I just wonder why the feminists still yearn for more. Everyday my hears are filled on the radio & tv, from articles claiming women are trampled upon. The African feminists need to ask the Indian women what they face in a country where a woman is raped or brutalized every 2 minutes! Yes, every 2 minutes! Maybe by that comparison, African feminists would learn to appreciate more the African man’s gentle soul & romanticism.

Yes I know the wars that have ravaged Africa over the years brought the bad reputation on the African male. Stories abound of soldiers, even child soldiers in Sierra Leone and Liberia who brutalized, maimed and raped women at will. But these evils are offsprings of war anywhere. It is not so different to what Fidel Castro did in Cuba or what Saddam Hussein did in Iraq or what has been done in Syria, Palestine etc. I once heard an uncorroborated story of how Castro single-handedly had sex with over 10,000 women(adults & children) while at the height of his powers in the Caribbean country. No African man has ever done that, our worst dictators didn’t.

I’ve read of how Idi Amin was a romantic who had a family, he got mad when his youngest & most enterprising wife had an affair with his associate. I’m not supporting how Amin went about the judgment, I’m interested in how he cared enough about his woman for him to get angry. The Burkina Faso military revolutionary Thomas Sankara had only one wife and was a loving husband till his untimely death. The average African man, if given the idyllic environment to flourish like his European counterpart, will automatically be loving, caring and dote on his wife.

The socio-economic and political atmosphere in Africa has been brutish towards all species, hence the resultant reaction towards African women. One day I know the African man would be seen for what he truly is, a responsible, gentle and harmless individual with a strong urge not only to succeed but to cater for everyone around him.

*I wish the ‘spirit’ had led me to write this on World Father’s day, but I hope it would carry full effect all the same.

-To be continued