Returning to Nigeria | Featured Artiste: J.Clone

So, December 31st is here at last. 2011 has been quite a year for Relentless.  For one thing, it was the year this blog was born (Why am I referring to myself in the third person? Maybe this should go on the New Year Resolution list).  I want to start out by saying a very big Thank You to every single person who has visited, commented, sent me a private message, stalked, etc ... I really and truly appreciate your support this year.  As you have watered, so shall you also be watered in Jesus name.  May the Lord God cause all your endeavors to prosper and be fruitful in 2012.  E se gan-an.

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I know when you saw the title of today's blog post, you were probably wondering whether Relentless was moving back to Nigeria.  I am keeping my lips sealed on that for now, but I really want to address this issue, i.e. the issue of relocating to Nigeria, for those who live in the diaspora (US, Canada, UK, Jamaica, Togo ... LOL!) It is not something I can cover in one single blog post, but I wanted to get started on it before the end of 2011.  I guess you can tell I am a last minute person ... *sigh* (Another item has just been added to my New Year Resolution list).

Anyway, over the last couple of years, I have observed within my own personal circles and also amongst Nigerians in general, a growing trend, i.e. people who have lived in various countries outside Nigeria for several years, suddenly moving back to Nigeria for various reasons.  In fact, the reasons are just as varied as the people who move back and they include:

Intermingled Smoke | Featured Artiste: Mofe

I can hardly believe that 2012 is just around the corner! But it's true.  How was your Christmas? Boxing Day nko? Wonderful, I hope. I want to say a special thank you to all those who took time to send me Christmas wishes.  Many, Many thanks! E se gan-an!

The inspiration for today's post (well, just the title sha) came from an article I read a few months ago written by Tolu Ogunlesi.  Specifically, this part caught my attention:

I imagine that the smoke from her “kitchen” mingles happily with that emerging from the luxurious kitchens of the nearby 5-star Eko Hotels – evidence perhaps of the classlessness that distinguishes smoke from the human existence.

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The mental picture that that sentence evokes has stayed with me since I read the article and it stirred something else in my heart that I had not really explored extensively before, i.e. what would be the yardstick to measure progress in Nigeria's educational system.  I still don't have an answer to that question, but I believe I am making progress sha.  For now, what I have come up with is this: Until people like Iya Seun, mentioned in Tolu Ogunlesi's article, can get good quality education for their children without paying an arm and a leg, we have not yet made progress.  (As an aside, I wonder how this statement will change by December 2012 ... I will just have to wait and see to evaluate that, won't I?!)  If there is anyone who needs free education (or the next best thing to free education, which I believe is highly subsidized education), it would be this woman's children.

14 Pillars | Featured Artiste: Jahdiel

A few months ago, I watched a video of Fela Durotoye, a respected motivational speaker and mentor based in Nigeria, where he discussed one of the subjects that is dear to my heart: Education (Duh!) He outlined 14 Pillars of Education on which the educational system in Nigeria rests.

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He actually described them as 'COBWEBS' (Interesting choice of words) because he said that no single strand of a cobweb can stand alone, but they are all inter-connected, i.e. one strand of a cobweb ALONE and by itself cannot catch all the problems that exist in Nigeria's educational system.  Please see the video below:

No means NO | Featured Artiste: KingJames

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I don't know how many ways a person can say "NO" to get the message across.  But for the sake of sanity, let's assume that No means NO! In case you were wondering, I am referring to that dirty word, 'Rape.'  However way you define it, it is non-consensual sex, i.e. whether the victim is a man or a woman, if he or she did not consent to the act, it is rape.

While I don't want to make this post an all-encompassing "let's-discuss-every-possible-aspect-of-rape" post, there is one particular excuse I have heard, one particular justification that irks me to no end, i.e. the victim was dressed provocatively.  I mean, COME ON! Even if a person walks around the streets stark naked, you cannot and should not use that as an excuse to justify rape.  I am all for decency in dressing (more on that later) and really advocate dressing the way you would want to be addressed (cheesy, I know, but you get my point), but we live in a diverse world and we are not all on the same moral frequency.  If a woman (or man) says NO, just assume that the person really means NO and don't go any further.

One Kobo | Featured Artiste: Gogo Majin

*Quick Note: I think I have resolved the problem with Disqus.  Thank you so much for your patience :-) *runs off to next paragraph to begin post*

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[catching her breath and fanning herself] 
Even if you have never vocalized it, you have a philosophy on money and finances which dictates how you handle your finances.  The question is: how did you develop that philosophy or better still, who taught you the value of money? If you really examine yourself, you might discover that consciously or unconsciously, you have adopted the philosophy and / or attitudes your parents (or guardians) had towards money.  Depending on what that philosophy is, it might be a good or bad thing.  You might have had parents who were very frugal or spendthrifts or an unhealthy combination of both.  More than likely, it rubbed off on you. 

What got me thinking about this was the fact that inasmuch as many Nigerian parents insist that their children should choose certain professions, they do not emphasize financial education.  Apart from finding fulfillment in your profession/career, it is supposed to supply your immediate needs e.g. food, clothing, shelter, makeup, perfume, Brazilian weave, Yaba weave, fake eyelashes, over-priced designer shirts (the one where the horse is flogging the man and not vice-versa *wink*), iPad, bicycle, generator, bucket, etc …LOL (I couldn’t help myself … I just had to have fun with that list ... I think I got carried away and added stuff for NYSC camp *smh*) The list is endless, but you (and not your aristo or “sugar-mummy”) are supposed to be able to afford these expenses based on your income.  My point is this: parents often say “go and read law, go and read medicine, go and read ______ (fill in the blanks) so you can make plenty money like Uncle So-and-So,” but you usually don’t hear parents talking about how these kids should acquire financial wisdom/intelligence to manage the supposed “money” that they will spend the rest of their lives making.