Twitter Badge

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Cabal is commenting....

Its my first post (yay!) I am so nervous. Ok. Let's go!

Hey Everyone!

My name is ...unpronounceable. Yes. I know you are Nigerian but still... ok try it yourself..

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji. 

Some girls think the name is sexy but if you are not Yoruba, you'll think I was trying to trick you into speaking in tongues. Thankfully, unlike Nigerian politics, this problem has a solution. If bruising your tongue is not your thing, you can just call me "E" the alphabet.

All you need to know about me is that I am the political junkie. I read Nigerian newspapers online while normal human beings my age read Perez Hilton and TMZ (ehn...deny it now), I have tons of active Nigerian politicians on my Facebook friend list (who knew they could facebook chat?) and I write about it a lot( so much that I now run my school's official newspaper)

For my first post I want to pay respects to Nigerian online commenters! (Brap! Brap!) They fascinate me! Like seriously. When I have a bad day (like when regressions I have been working on for a few weeks turn out to be wack models), I usually go to teh Nigerian internet for comfort. Believe you me, it never ever fails! Crazy spelling and grammar errors, insults, pidgin, slang or just the stupidity of some of them are made for laughter.

One of the words I have been seeing increased usage of over the past few months in the Nigerian online political space is "cabal". All of a sudden, its like the word just exploded in the Nigerian political dictionary. 

So I performed a small experiment. Using my junkie powers I sought to find out how many times the word cabal was used in a Nigerian political discourse....

in newspapers comment sections.......

on my facebook......

even on google.....

What is particularly funny about the cabal thing is that although it is often used as a derogatory term to describe the Nigerian political elite, it seem its actually Uncle Yaddie and his cohorts who made the word "cabal"  nigerian cool....

They had used the word to describe a group of Nigerian businessmen who had cornered the fuel importation business so that petrol was scarce and expensive. Funnily enough, it backfired.

Nevertheless, I think it will make for a wonderful drinking game for Nigerian political junkies like me. any takers?

Fun fact about the word "cabal": Indonesians use it way more than we do. I wonder what it means in their language....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

#NigerianPeopleTwitter II

#NigerianPeopleTwitter has struck again. As of 9 am today, #nigeriangrammar was a trending topic... DC

...New York...the world.

What does this all mean?
Well. for starters it means that Nigerians have arrived on teh internets. 419 emails don't count. Email, although still in use, has been pushed into the realm of snail mail (#wheredeydodatat). Social networking is now recognized as the premier form of interneting. If you aren't part of any social network, you are either gay, old fashioned or maybe both. It's also nice to see Nigeria recognized for something that isn't 419 or Mutallab (I bet you've forgotten about that guy, eh?).

Also, this means there are a lot of Nigerians in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia for you n00bs), ATL and NYC. And the same goes for London. However, this topic didn't trend in Texas as far as I know. This could either mean the Nigerian presence in Houston has been greatly exaggerated or Nigerians in Houston are akata-rized (GASP!). The latter seems more likely from personal experience and I guess they fall under BlackPeopleTwitter now. For shame. Another far-fetched, and very plausible, explanation is that Igbo people can't use computers*.

99.99999% of Nigerians in Houston are Igbo**.
Igbo people can't use computers (see Nosa's mother and Nosa's girlfriend***).
Twitter requires a computer (or phone or iTouch or PDA).

That could actually be it, y'know

PS: Follow us on twitter (@SNLoveHate).

*I await Sugabelly's rebuttal.
** Exaggeration as per usual.
***I expect no action for the next month as soon as she reads this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The adventures of Sugabelly and her internationalbusinessmarketingorsomethingclass Pt. 3

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I know I did.

Anyway here's the followup to the last post. Note that these stories have been published before on Sugabelly's blog but I felt they were too good not to be posted here. Long story short, these are not my experiences but Sugabelly's.

One more thing, don't forget to follow us on twitter @SNLoveHate.We are dabbling in micro-blogging too.

have homework. Not a lot, but I have to do a cultural analysis on Nigeria in order to develop a marketing report between Nigeria and the United States (I mentioned this before in the International Business posts). My group members are doing other parts of the cultural analysis, but I chose to handle Living Conditions, Diet and Nutrition, Housing, Clothing, and Language.

In other words, I did oversabi and deliberately picked the most voluminous parts of the project. To be honest it wasn't all nobility on my part. I picked those ones because I was very afraid that my group members would botch them and come up with something like this:

Living Conditions - Nigerians live on less than $1 a day

Diet and Nutrition - Nigerians eat African food

Housing - Nigerians live in round huts

Clothing - Nigerians wear dashiki

Language - Nigerians speak Africanese (yes, a coworker actually said this to me. He's lucky I didn't break his teeth with my keyboard. Oloshi.)

So maybe I'm just a paranoid control freak, but while this is a school project, I desperately want my country to be represented in the best possible and most informative light. In doing this project I have quickly discovered that there is almost NO reliable FORMAL/OFFICIAL information about Nigeria out there. All the most accurate and reliable in-depth information on life, demographics, and culture in Nigeria are found in the form of personal accounts - Nigerian blogs. Unfortunately, students aren't encouraged to cite blogs, but maybe they should start considering that because a lot of the so-called academic/official information on Nigeria out there is a crock of bullshit and differs mightily from the reality of life in Nigeria.

I'm not writing this to gripe about my group members, just to report what's going on so far. One of them sent me his part on social security in Nigeria and I noticed that he was citing only US sources. There wasn't a single Nigerian source in his document. Also, he hadn't even bothered to find out what social security is called in Nigeria, he just referred to it with the United States title 'Social Security'. I sent it back to him and told him to go look up National Social Insurance Trust Fund. I don't want to sound mean, but I feel like I might end up doing double work because I am basically having to spoon feed all of them information and point them in the right direction. I mean, come on, you CANNOT base an in-depth report on Nigeria on US government sources. The CIA lists the life-expectancy for Nigerians as 45 yet the Nigerian age of retirement is 65. Does that not tell you something????? How can the Nigerian age of retirement be 65 if by that time the average Nigerian is supposed to be dead for twenty years already?!?

I mean, come on. It's like they have no clue. Anyway, so I sent them some helpful Nigerian websites to start them off. I don't want it to feel like I did the entire project on my own so I just gave them a few blogs and things that would quickly familiarize them with Nigeria socially/culturally/politically e.g. 234NEXT (Shout out to Solomon Sydelle: Nigerian Curiosity is another of them!! =D - Fear not! We are college students therefore we are honour bound to cite you fairly and completely for any and all of your amazing political quotes!!)

So yeah, right now I'm writing about meat and vegetable consumption rates in Nigeria, typical meals in Nigeria, malnutrition rates, and foods available. I plan to break this section down by ethnic group and then further break it down by Urban or Rural dwellers. (i.e. for instance, Igbos who live in cities tend to eat foreign/imported breakfast foods - breakfast cereals, quaker oats, etc, while Igbos who live in villages tend to eat traditional breakfast foods - gari and groundnuts, etc)

I will then further break it down, so please everyone I need your help. I'm confident about writing about Igbo habits and general habits of everyone one else, but I need some more details. Could you please tell me:

Three typical traditional Yoruba meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) that would be eaten by a Yoruba family living in a very rural part of the country

Three typical meals that would be eaten by a Yoruba family living in Lagos (it doesn't have to be all strictly Yoruba food - see my example about Igbos above)

I know a lot of Yoruba foods, I just don't know the necessary ORDER in which they might be eaten. I'm a big fan of amala, gbegiri and ewedu, ewa and stew, dodo, moi-moi, etc. (FYI: Yoruba moi-moi with egg inside made with banana leaves is THE BEST moi-moi on Earth - Igbo people eat your hearts out. They beat us on this one, hands down)

Same thing for Hausa, Edo, Fulani, Igala, Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Berom, Tiv, Nupe, etc.

You don't have to answer them all, just supply me with what you know, I'll find out anything else by calling my friends and doing research.

I also need to know the names of Nigerian vegetables (as many as you know and their English names if available)

I also need to know the names of Nigerian foods (again as many as you know). For the foods please list them in this format:

Amala - Yoruba, Jimmanu - Igbo, and so on.

This project is CRAZY. There is so much information that needs to be put down. Nigeria is a big country y'all! =D

Apart from food I'm also doing types of housing available in Nigeria (I don't really get this one. What do they mean TYPES?), whether most Nigerians own their houses or rent (I'll have to break this down by socio-economic class, by region, AND by urban or rural dwelling, as well as by tribe - Fulani bororoje anyone? They don't live in houses [they're nomadic] so this doesn't apply to them). I also have to say whether most Nigerians live in one-family dwellings or with other families. - I personally think this one is tricky because "family" in Nigeria can mean a mini-nation by itself. I don't know what they count as "one family". Oh well.

The other fun category I'm doing is Clothing. I am going to have a field day with this one. I have to write about Nigeria's National Dress (LMAO!!!! - There is none. There are like 1000 types of "national dress" in Naij) as well as the types of clothing worn to work - this one is simple, Nigerians wear both western and traditional attire to work. However, I've noticed that most civil servants in Abuja wear traditional clothes to work (at least they do at my Aunt's office) which I think is GREAT!!!!!! =D

Finally, I am covering Language. The big one. The colossus. I am going to list the official languages, then I will list my languages in order of the number of speakers and pervasiveness of use (I personally think it is wrong to speak only English in Nigerian businesses) and then I am going to list any main dialects that fall under the individual languages.

And after all this stuff, I will be cross-checking the work of my group members for any errors or falsities about Nigeria the Beloved and making changes to their work. I will also do the final proof-reading before we submit. (Why do I feel like a Communist Chinese Dictator for ensuring this report doesn't go out painting my country in a bad light? I guess Americans would call it censorship but it isn't really. I'm just going to make sure they aren't being lazy and throwing out ridiculous "facts" like 90% of Nigerians live on $1 a day and there is no middle class *side eye CIA, seriously yo, side eye*)

The whole thing is due on Wednesday, so wish me luck!!! =D

Original Post

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The adventures of Sugabelly and her internationalbusinessmarketingorsomethingclass Pt. 2

Usual preamble here

I'm typing this now while it's still fresh in my mind and while I'm still seething, so forgive me. I just got out of my Comparative Management class. As in, just now. As in class ended fifteen minutes ago.

This is without a doubt the single most frustrating, infuriating, irritating, annoying, despairing, unbelievable, and completely incredulous experience of my entire academic life.

I took everyone's advice from the last post and decided to take it up with the professor. I did that today after a fashion. We were discussing trade blocs (e.g. NAFTA), and I raised my hand and asked the professor why there were no African trade blocs on the screen such as ECOWAS (now I know ECOWAS isn't purely a trade bloc, but it partly involves the ostensible free movement of goods, money, and individuals among its member states). The professor said that was a good question and then asked the class whether anyone had considered investing in Africa and why they would or would not invest in Africa.

And that was when all hell broke loose... in my head at least.

Please be aware that this is a 300 level class. In other words, this class is populated almost entirely by Juniors and Seniors (i.e. Third and Final year students). Based on this, the answers they started giving threatened to give me a mental break down.

I quote.

Let me repeat that.

"But isn't Africa's only industry agriculture?"

"But the United States produces all the things that Africa produces so what would we want to buy from them?" [Yeah, and that's the reason why people are dying every day in Congo so you can have your mobile phones and diamond engagement rings right?]

"But there are no banks in Africa." [I kid you not. AND, this is the SECOND time I am hearing this particular one, in TWO completely different classes.]

"Isn't there lots of crime going on there?" [Wow because the United States is sooooooo safe]

"But there are Somalian pirates all over the place." [Yes, because Somalia stretches across the entire continent]

"But aren't most Africans like illiterate? Like how will they be able to do business?" [Yes, but never mind the 'African' girl sitting IN FRONT OF YOU that answers all the professor's questions correctly while most of you are still negotiating your nerve synapses]

"Who cares? It's Africa"

"Last I heard, Africa's government had collapsed." [Yeah, because there is one government in Africa]

"But there's genocide there." [Yeah, genocide is just floating about in the air bumping off unsuspecting foreign investors in any corner of the continent]

"But Africa is an agrarian country" [he said it twice. Even after I said 'but it's a continent']

"Mugabe won't let us" [as if Mugabe is the president of Africa]

"Africa is really dangerous. There are diseases there." [as if there are no diseases in any other part of the world]

"What's the point? There's no technology there."[which of course is the reason I flew to school on the back of an ostrich. Or was it a flying giraffe?]

"But how will we understand the African dialect?" [But of course, Africa is a country and all Africans speak ONE AFRICAN DIALECT. Note, not language, but DIALECT. ]

These are all direct quotes from my classmates. They are still ringing in my ears. It's that fresh. I couldn't even find the energy to argue. It's like one moment I was so angry, and the next I was in disbelief and shock and the next I suddenly felt so sad that I just put my head on the desk and covered my ears. It felt like if I heard anymore, I would cry.

I am completely appalled at the arrogance of these people. Yes, it is arrogance, egotism, and unparalleled self-centredness. How dare they sit there and feel comfortable not knowing even the first thing about Africa not to speak of Nigeria, yet they expect me to know everything about them and their countries and their economies?

I feel so disgusted right now. You have no idea. In my International Marketing class yesterday the professor asked the class to list all the African countries on a piece of paper. He didn't give us enough time because we were trying to rush but that's beside the point. The point is, when he said 'stop' I was on number 36. The next person after me had five countries. Five. FIVE!!!! That's all you fucking know?? FIVE???

I listed 36 African countries and given enough time I would have finished writing the whole list. I can list at least 80% of the countries in ANY continent on this planet, and they all sit there feeling okay and satisfied, and FUCKING PROUD about being able to list a measly five African countries. Who the fuck do these people think they are? And why the fuck do I have to be the one to do double work to know all about them and myself while they don't even do me the common courtesy of REMEMBERING that Africa is not even a country.

Things got even worse when he asked us to guess the populations of a number of countries he listed. Because I'm from Nigeria, the professor listed Nigeria as one of the countries along with Belgium (the country of those other boys I mentioned in the last post).

Majority of the class guessed the population of Nigeria to be under 10 million. Someone actually said the population of Nigeria is 2 million.

It's not funny anymore. It is NOT FUNNY ANYMORE!!!!

I'm serious. I leave every class feeling defeated. Not just because of the level of ignorance and stupidity surrounding me, but because anyone that tries to correct their impressions of Africa is met with anger, indifference, and outright disregard. The professor had to literally beg them to listen to his explanation about economies in Africa. The looks on everyone's faces suggested that most of them would rather be doing something, anything else, and that they thought the man was wasting their time. And this is not a class that anyone hates. Everyone in that class LOVES this class and this professor. We have so much fun in class, it's unbelievable that it's a high level class. Yet once the topic moves to Africa people pull out their phones and start texting, drawing in their notebooks, gisting with their friends, etc. Most people don't even take notes because they feel they won't need it.

And on top of everything, they now regard me as a bad person for daring to take the focus of the class away from their beloved Europe and shine the spotlight on Africa. I don't really care what they think but being the class enemy is tiresome and something I'd rather avoid, only I can't. I cannot in good conscience go through my business classes learning nothing about the continent. It would be cheating myself. But I don't know how to deal with this, I really don't. Every class that otherwise would be amazing is leaving me feeling like shit. It's like I just realised for real this time that in the eyes of most non-Africans, we don't mean shit. In their eyes, we're not even worth the gum stuck under their shoe.

It just hit me so hard. We Africans have to work SO HARD for these idiotic people to accept us. We have to learn about them, we have to speak their language, we have to adopt elements of their culture, we play their instruments, we play their sports, hell, we even straighten our hair and bleach our skin and give our children stupid sounding names in their languages just to accommodate them, only to have them throw it in our faces like it's nothing. Where is the reciprocity? All this talk about globalization is crap. It's not globalization, it's Westernization parading as globalization. Globalization implies equal exchange of ideas, trade, information, culture, etc across all borders not the general conglomeration of everyone culture wise and everything else wise towards the West. What makes me so angry is not even the fact that I know all this stuff about Europe and America but that none of them think we're worth learning about. They can't be bothered. To them we're insignificant, yet every day we figuratively throw ourselves at their feet. The question we should be asking ourselves is: What are THEY doing to accommodate us?

Answer: Nothing. BIG FAT NOTHING.

Yet we changed our entire lifestyles because of them. We change everything for them. We do everything THEIR way.

They think it's actually okay to not know anything about Africa and live their lives. These same people would be shocked if I said I didn't know something about Europe or America. Yet not knowing how many countries there are in Africa is not a big deal.

You know what? Between my business classes, the guy on DeviantArt that said that most African women have shoulders that are much wider than their hips (he then went on to say that Caucasian women have fully developed breasts and hips), and the Japanese idiot that proclaimed that for a business to be successful it must have access to three markets or it will fail - Japan, North America (excluding Mexico) and Europe, I fucking give up.

Oh yeah, Japanse Dude-dono, why don't you shut the fuck up and tell your crackpot theory to Adenuga? Last time I checked Globacom had access to only one market: THE NIGERIAN ONE and they seem to be doing just fucking fine.*
It's disgusting. That's all it is. I feel sick.

How about this? I give the fuck up.

*Yes, I know Globacom has expansion plans and may have already even expanded into other continental countries, but even when it was restricted simply to Nigeria, it was doing stupendously well.

Original post

Some of you might have read the original post, that's good. I feel the content is just too good not to be put on here.

Oh don't forget to follow us on twitter. @SNLoveHate

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The adventures of Sugabelly and her internationalbusinessmarketingorsomethingclass Pt. I

Since she's too lazy* to do it, I'll do it for her.

So I just got out of International Marketing, and we're supposed to form groups and develop a marketing strategy between the United States and a chosen country. I joined a group with two Belgians and one American, and they immediately suggested France (I wanted to do Nigeria). They then found out that France was already taken, and then suggested Germany. In the end I insisted on Nigeria and just wrote it down on the paper and gave it to the professor before anyone could protest.

I know I strong-armed them and I feel slightly guilty for it but the whole thing makes me mad as fuck and here's why. When they found out France and Belgium were taken they suggested Germany, a neighbouring country in Europe. When I suggested Nigeria everyone looked at me like I had grown a second head and with slight disgust as if I was crazy to suggest an African country. I just want at least one of the reports to be on Nigeria for once. Why can't a project be about Nigeria? Why does it always have to be about bloody Europe? Why? Why??

It kills me... it infuriates me that nobody ever wants to talk about or discuss or learn about African countries. It just totally kills me. I am an INTERNATIONAL Business major, yet in all of my business classes we NEVER discuss any African countries in any capacity and even when they are mentioned, it's only for the briefest of moments and individual nations are referred to as 'Africa'.

I hate that word. I honestly do. I never thought much about it growing up, but ever since I came to America, "Africa" has sounded like a dirty word to me. To me, using the word "Africa" when you mean Nigeria, or Ghana, or Tanzania is the equivalent of going to Mass during the homily, grabbing the mic from the priest and screaming "pussy" to the congregation. That's how much it upsets me. And what makes me even more upset, sad, and frustrated is that in three years I don't think I have learned anything that might help me do business more effectively in Nigeria or on the continent. Oh, I 've learned how to do business with Europe, and America, and Asia, but every time I bring up something in class to do with Nigeria's economy, or I try to relate the class material to the current economic and financial situation in Nigeria, I hear people grumbling and muttering and sighing as if I'm derailing the class from learning relevant information by introducing an off-topic discussion. People in my business classes just act as if African countries aren't worth learning about as though we aren't part of the international market. It galls me. I'm telling you, it fucking galls me.

The general attitude is 'oh we'll never have to do business with Africa..." or "who does business with Africa?" or like someone in my Macroeconomics class said, (and I kid you not) "There are no banks or stock markets in Africa"

Don't get me wrong, I love my classes. I love my business classes so much. The stuff we're learning is exciting, relevant, and real, but it is INCOMPLETE. The textbooks have breakdowns of every continent EXCEPT ours. Sometimes after class I feel like crying because I'm so frustrated, not just by the lack of information about Nigeria and other important African economies but by the attitude of my classmates who behave as if African countries and their economies are so far beneath their notice that learning anything about them, even their names would be a waste of their school fees.

I feel like by the time I graduate I'll be able to stroll into Paris or Tokyo and do business, but if I want to do business in Lagos or Harare then I'm going to have to completely go it on my own on a wing and a prayer and without even one fucking textbook to back me the fuck up.

I'm sorry I'm swearing so much in this post but it's either swear or cry. My group members seem very annoyed that they will have to do this marketing report on Nigeria, and they're pretty much treating it as a joke. They've already broken into two camps based on their assumptions. One side is assuming that there will be little to no work to do and everything will be easy because there can't possibly be any kind of significant economic activity going on in Nigeria. The other side is upset because they are assuming that they will have to work extra hard because it will be almost impossible to find any kind of useful information about the economy or culture of an African country.

I swear the way people say the word 'Africa' in my business classes, it sounds like a swear word. They say it with this little laugh as if ' oh, it's just Africa, what could there possibly be to learn about Africa?' You have no idea how mad it makes me. No freaking idea. I once voiced this complaint to an American classmate and she said to me "Well this is America. I didn't come here to learn about Africa. I came here to learn International Business. If you wanted to learn about Africa why didn't you stay in Africa?"

Is it just me or does she not know that International in respect to America means every other country in the world besides America... including the African ones?

Update: Just got out of my Comparative Management class and we were talking about globalization and discussing the winners and losers of globalization. So the professor asked us to come up with reasons why some countries or companies have been globalization winners and why others have been losers. So among other things I mentioned that countries that have lost in globalization tend to have many desirable resources but weak governments that do not enforce laws that protect citizens and ensure that most of the benefits and revenues generated from those resources are retained within domestic borders for to the advantage of the citizens. I then said that in the first century of globalization (i.e. early 1800s to the 1900s), faltering political institutions in certain countries allowed many western nations to come in and literally steal resources or manipulate and abuse trade agreements to gross degrees.

And then this boy in front of me turned around and said 'Well if you don't like America so much, why are you studying here?" I get statements like this all the time. And I'm like 'what, you can't take hearing criticism about your country but you think it's okay to criticize mine?" I wasn't even talking specifically about his country but it's so annoying that people here get so defensive the moment you even slightly disapprove of their trade practices (even if they were a hundred years ago), yet they have no problem talking about corruption and going on about African countries as if they've lived there all their lives and totally know the deal with what's going on. I don't even get what he was angry about. Hell after all the talk about globalization, Africa wasn't mentioned once. Not even once. I felt insulted by that, should I be angry too? It's like these American and European students can't handle a world in which they and their countries are not the centres of attention twenty-four-seven. If it all wasn't so sad, it would be amusing.

It's not like I raise hell or even say anything bad in any of my classes. My business classes are full of a lot of discussion, and the problem is that the American/European students are always so shocked and irritated when I disagree with their general consensus. It's like they can't handle hearing a different viewpoint. They don't seem to understand that things, business practices, attitudes and opinions to their trade practices or their economic policies are different in other parts of the world, and that does not make me evil for saying that Americans are partly in their recession because they are such slaves to purchasing on credit. It's true. If you don't like hearing it from a Nigerian because you think that I'm "African" and therefore should have no right to point out your faults then I'm sorry but fuck that and fuck you for sitting on a high horse in the first place. I'm Nigerian, I'm not starving to death. I never had to trek anywhere to find clean water, and surprise, surprise, I actually like my country and enjoy living there. Yes, it's different from your country, and I admit that there are a lot of things I'd love to see improved, but I am SO TIRED of people in my classes expecting me to be gushing with gratefulness and wonder at being on American soil because they assume that because I am "African" then I must have suffered terribly and come from a horrendous life in my country. I'm sick of it. This is the age of the fucking Internet. There is no excuse to walk about thinking all Africans are the same and hopeless and dying. No excuse. I don't want to have to be the person that keeps correcting everyone or that has to 'educate' people. I don't expect other people to have to constantly educate me about their culture. I do my due diligence and do my research if I'm going to be in another country or culture for any significant amount of time. It's only mutual respect and obviously Africans aren't respected anywhere.

I probably should go book an appointment with my shrink because if this is how I'm going to feel after every business class then I'm going to need psychiatric support. I was so excited to be doing all business classes this term. So excited. But right now it feels like in the eyes of the world we are insignificant and not worth learning about and it hurts.

Original Post

*No shots

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010



Don't forget to follow us@SNLoveHate

*PS: Click picture to enlarge