some "quirky" things

I've been tagged....since....by both Loomnie and Standtall. I'm trying to attempt to blog at least once a week, maybe twice - so I think I am doing well so far....maybe. So as for six quirky...or maybe not so quirky...things...

1. I like to dance....alot. I'm not so good at it, but I enjoy it incredibly. I can't stand most of the R&B/hip-hop out there because of the lyrics (except for the Southern-style crunk, because I don't understand most of what they're saying anyway - and it's strictly meant for dancing). Why is this quirky? Two reasons A. Because most people I come in contact with think otherwise. I'm quite shy - but when it comes to dancing, I get a little ahead of myself. B. "Old school" music is what gets me jumping - put together tracks from Osadebe, de Coque, Oriental Brothers, Bright - and I'm so there. I enjoy the occasional soukous, but oldies are the goodies.

2. I've spent the past ten years of my life looking for a good planner (calendar, agenda book etc.). And haven't found it. I don't think I'll ever find one that will carry me for more than two months. I get bored very quickly and I am easily titillated by the search for a new planner/calendar (when I probably have more that enough in my possession).

3. Sleep is like my drug. There is no problem a 2-hour nap cannot assuage. I just feel sooooo much better after a good nap. Also, I never understood how some people find it difficult to fall a sleep - either because of stress, worries, or being uncomfortable. I have found that some of my best naps have taken place on the floor of the school library hours before a final exam or assignment. Pillows and blankets, purely optional.

4. When I was younger (around age 5-6), I used to think that some Caucasian women with a flat bum (behind, butt, ikebe, etc.) used to purposely wear cardboard paper in their undies. For the longest time, I itched to ask my first-grade teacher why on earth she would put cardboard in her pants. Fortunately, I was a good child and avoided the potential spanking I would receive at school and at home (I spent some of my elementary, that is primary, school years in rural North Carolina, where they still spanked unruly kids...this was in the early nineties....I think they have since abandoned corporal punishment in all North Carolinian public schools...correct me if I'm wrong....and of course, whenever my brothers and I got in trouble at school, we would receive even worse measure at home....but I think my parents' probably would have laughed over the situation....though privately and most likely after I received my beating....)

5. I get cold very easily - which is strange, because I have spent the majority of my life in a cold climate. I hate air conditioners because they are always too cold. I think the wind messes up perfectly warm days. I am the only one not looking for shade, even amongst my fellow Nigerians in Nigeria - and for the few times I was in Naija during the dry season, I felt so much at ease. I'm not terribly afraid of getting darker or sweating. I am usually the one wearing a jacket in the classroom or wearing long-sleeves in the summer (sometimes, summer fashion is sometimes lovelier than than of winter wear...sometimes). I think I seriously need to get this checked out.

6. I'd do anything for some roasted corn and ube (pear), right now, anything....uhhh, almost....well, it depends...email me - and we can figure out the details of the exchange. lol.

I tag the following people (who've probably been tagged like twice before)....Trae_Z, theAfroBeat, SolomonSydelle, Oracle, BacktoNaija, and Pink-Satin.

The rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you

2. Mention the rules in your blog

3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks of yours – six, not more.

4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them

5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged


a great iroko tree has fallen...

The passing of Chief Oliver Akanite (1947-2008) also known widely as Oliver de Coque closes a legendary chapter in modern Igbo music. He will be greatly greatly missed.


on akata-ism...

i've been holding back on whether i would like to discuss this topic seeing that i made a vow to myself that I would try not to divulge too much personal information on the web....but i felt that it is a topic that has to be dealt with...and dealt with, it shall...well, in the best way I can.

I recently made a vow to myself to stop frequenting the many African Hair Braiding salons that line almost every other corner of the town that I live in. Besides the fact that they charge me extra for having thick hair (well, before I cut it), are getting ridiculously expensive, can't do regular twists (I'm not a big fan of the kinky twists...), and never entertain my feeble attempts at bargaining...I'm finding that more and more my skin crawls at the salon gossip. Of course, gossip is a guaranteed feature of any hair salon and I have been known to indulge in this shameful habit (tsk, tsk). However, the more I frequent such places, the more I realize that the denigration of our trans-Atlantic brethren...i.e. African Americans....is a staple at some of these places (at least, the ones in my community....I'm sure it is not universal).

It is not only amongst our French-speaking African hair braiders does such exist. I have found myself shrinking back at many conversations I have had amongst Nigerians/Ghanaians that center around African Americans (aka, akata in Naija or cotton pickos in Ghana - both of which I find derogatory, since I have never heard those words used in a positive light before.....correct me if I am wrong).

Many find it interesting that I take such offense to such things, seeing that I have some ties to the recently immigrated African community. However, I feel that by being born in the US, I have recently come to the realization that I am, indeed, African American, though not in the traditional sense of the word. More, specifically, Nigerian American - though they never have that option on tax documents and college applications...but if anyone cared to ask...now you know.

Why the "recently?" Well, growing up, like many other first generation Americans of Nigerian extraction, I struggled trying to reconcile the two incongruent parts of my identity....that of being Nigerian and that of being American (I have the two passports to prove it....). And unfortunately, my ties to either community were tenuous, at best - being not fully accepted in the African American community because of my name, rice and stew luches (instead of ham and cheese sandwiches), and my threaded hairdos that my mom insisted I wear (errghhhh - they stuck out everywhere). On the flipside, in the Nigerian community I also stuck out because of my "ascent" (accent), my incessant questions, and my virtually non-existent pidgin English (I have improved since then, thanks to my significant other).

So I stood in between two communities - not realizing that I, my brothers, cousins and fellow first generationers belonged to a community of our own. And we possessed not a mixure of identities, but rather a valid identity all to its own - Nigerian American - to be defined by the individual at his/her own time.....but anyway I digress.

But back to my point. I believe that while living in United States, the category of "Nigerian-American" rightly falls under the umbrella of African American. Being African-American in the United States embraces a diversity of experiences - first-generation African Americans, descendants of slaves, recently immigrated Africans, and mixed race individuals like presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama (!!!). So I personally feel insulted when others under this umbrella of "African-American" denigrate (would I say, traditional?) African-Americans either because of their names (e.g. Tyquesha), food (e.g. chitlins), Ebonics or hairdos that stick out all over the place in a wide variety of Kool-Aid-like colours. The fact that after centuries of degradation from the dominant group, they have been able to maintain their own culture and traditions, distinct from mainstream America - is a testament to their strength of character. I personally think that amongst Africans in the US, the uniqueness of all African-American experiences, especially those different from our own, should be appreciated and not targeted for ridicule.

okay, I have finished my sermon for today...


ana enwe obodo enwe...

first a hearty congratulation is in order for the Obama victory last night. Hope all are fired up and ready to go.

i know this is more of a continuation of my last post, but it seems that many are also of the opinion that Nigerian politics is inherently corrupt - very much unlike American politics. However, as the the Democratic primaries dragged on (and continue to do so, apparently...), I can't help but find parallels between this race and the Abia state gubernatorial contest, which a year plus after the last votes had been cast, continues to go forward. Hmmmm, I thought it was "only in Nigeria," where one can take challenge the results of an election in the courts or so-called Rules and By-laws committees.

After Chief T.A. Orji of the Progressive People's Alliance (PPA) had been declared governor in Abia state, the Election Petition Tribunal wanted to nullify his victory on the grounds of ties to the infamous Okija shrine. Apparently, there is a video on youtube (which looks like a fake to me) of one of his excursions to the shrine. Sounds like Obama detractors took a page out of Onyema Ugochukwu's (PDP) play book with the youtube videos of the fiery Jeremiah Wright sermons. Does anyone know whether Orji has adequately "denounced and repudiated" his associations with the controversial cult....I'm a bit out of the loop?

While Obama detractors borrow (or is that plagiarize....remember the Deval Patrick debacle?) material from the PDP campaign, Ugochukwu has been caught borrowing material from the Democratic National Committee, stating that like McCain, Orji will serve as the "third term" of the failed incumbent (Bush, Orji Uzor Kalu).

At last check, T.A. Orji remains Abia state governor and Obama Democratic party leader. Both have that "...winning personal touch," which they use in "...courting people...." While Ugochukwu and Clinton are "distant and cannot seem able to rally the party...behind [their] efforts to achieve [their] ultimate goal." (quotables from this Vanguard article).

Personally, I can see how people might come to the conclusion that both Ugochukwu and Clinton might feel a sense of entitlement to the Abia state governorship or Democratic candidacy. That may explain why they just can't let go....just can't bow out (concede) gracefullyI mean, who is PPA? PDP is king regardless of where you go in Nigeria. And who is Barack Obama? Hillary is a Clinton...a CLINTON...afterall. I guess Oliver de Coque's mantra "ana enwe obodo enwe" (there are people that own this land) is a dying concept. (though, technically in the case of T.A. Orji, there is evidence of godfatherism....to be honest).

Please note, people, that most of these comments are made in jest and with a heavy dose of sarcasm.........we all need a little fun after quite the torturous primary season. I respect both the Clinton and Onyema Ugochukwu candidacies...way back when there was a time I was pro-Hillary. And still, there is a selfish part of me that wanted Onyema to win because he would be more likely to develop my side of Umuahia....