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.

[Picture from HERE]
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.

The reason why I picked Iya Seun as the focal point of today's topic is this: To me, she represents the typical Nigerian businesswoman.  So, she does not have a "shop" or a "stall" in the market, does not sell imported jewellery from Dubai (and God knows where else), but she has that in-born will to survive, and this is how she knows how to provide basic needs for her family.  For those of us based in Nigeria, over this Christmas holiday, I am assuming you did not do all your shopping (for food, at least) at Shop Rite or some other supermarket.  You, more than likely, had to go to the market, and haggle over prices of various foodstuffs with market women (except if you had to buy beef ... then you would have had to deal with the "Baba Eleran" instead ... I have often wondered how this division of labor came about, i.e. why mostly men sell meat (beef) and women sell fish, chicken, etc ... Apart from the obvious reason that the men who sell the meat work at the abbatoir, do you know any other reason why?)  I put Iya Seun and these market women in the same category: they are engaging in the most rudimentary form of "business" to earn a living for their families.

See, you can call me a dreamer (like Joseph), but I really believe that the solution to Nigeria's problems lies in the hands of young people.  As you very well know, "young people" has nothing to do with class.  I am referring to young people / youth of any class. I don't for one minute believe that it is only "awon omo olowo" (children of rich people) that have the mental aptitude or ideas that can propel Nigeria into her greater destiny.  But, "awon omo olowo" are the ones who are given the opporunity to lead and rule by virtue of their birth, position, connections ... you get the picture.  Yes, we are seeing more and more people of humble birth and background "making it", but that's not enough.  I don't believe in leaving things to chance.  We can be very deliberate with this thing, i.e. make a concentrated and calculated effort to educate the younger generation because we are the ones who will kuku reap the benefits.  Just imagine all the ideas, inventions, solutions, etc lying dormant in the minds and hearts of children and young adults, which will die because they are too consumed with everyday survival wahala to spend their growing years channeling that creative energy in the right direction.  Okay, I will stop here for now ... I know my thoughts were all over the place today, but I hope you get the picture :-)

Featured Artiste: MOFE

I like reading about people who were born somewhere in Nigeria, grew up elsewhere, went to school somewhere else and probably work somewhere else (Yikes! Too many "else" and "where" in one sentence ... pardon me, abegi!) That pretty much describes today's featured artiste, Mofe, who is from Warri, Delta State, was born in Kaduna State and was bred in Lagos State.  Here's her hit single, "Never wanna see you fall":


And now for my brief opinion:

[Mofe Adomi / Facebook]
Likes:  The first thing that grabs your attention about this song is the beat.  It has this contemporary pop sound / feel that doesn't fit neatly into the traditional gospel music category.  And that is what I actually like.  It's different, a nice, welcome change.  I also like the tempo and how it builds up and keeps you wanting / anticipating more.  I like the instrumentals and the way they were combined.  The background vocals were just okay and pretty much reflected whatever the soloist was doing.  I like her vocal texture and I think she understands her vocal range well, especially when she sings lower notes (or should I say in a lower key ... *sigh* Pick one sha ...).  Also, she sings this song with a good dose of passion and makes you really believe she means what she is saying.  That's always a plus :-)

Dislikes:  I could not understand the lyrics for the most part except for the "Never wanna see you fall" part, which is repeated throughout the song. I blame that on faulty pronounciation. It is like the music overshadowed her voice and she was struggling to be heard above the sound of the music.  The transition to the modulation (the "if you just TRY" part) which now carries over to the end of the song was quite "iffy" because it sounded like she was going off key, but she was able to get back on track and stayed on track till the end of the song.  It also sounds like she was stumbling over the beats in some parts.  All in all though, this is an okay song.

And finally, some more information on Mofe:

Artiste's Stage Name: Mofe

Artiste's Real Name: Mofe Adomi

ReverbNation Page:

Social Networks:  Twitter | 

 .... Now, off to countdown till the end of 2011.  One more blog post to go before the year is over though ... Ciao!

I completely agree with you that Nigeria's future can only be secured if we invest in our young people. Watch out for my 'Give a book and save a future campaign' which I'll be launching on my blog in the new year. I'll be soliciting the support of well meaning Nigerians especially people like you with a passion for education. Together we can all make a difference.

Have a blessed 2012 ahead :)


Excellently written piece dear. you mentioned "in-born will to survive", I think that is what keeps people alive in Nigeria, the will to survive and hopes for better tomorrow.
I am not sure about the young generation, from what I have seen around me,I think our generation has misplaced priorities. we are too busy spending on champagne and hair extensions to think about how to move the country forward. Those with the will have no way and those with the way have no will.

I will definitely be on the lookout for your campaign, which is a really good idea, by the way.  Thanks for the heads up.  I will help spread the word here on your behalf and send in materials I think might be useful as well.  And yes, together we can ALL make a difference!

All the best in 2012!

Thanks for the compliments ... Glad you liked it :D

Yes, that in-born will to survive is particularly acute in Nigerians for whatever reason (your guess is as good as mine) and you can't miss it....

However, I have a slight disagreement on the younger generation's impact (or potential impact).  They have the strength and power to pick up where the older ones have left up (or even given up) and in fact, quite a number of them are already doing so.  I myself would not have been aware but for the advent of initiatives like The Future Awards.  I agree that a lot of people in the younger generation are carried away with the "expensive-weave-wearing" mindset and "ginger-your-swagger" (or "swagger-your-ginger" .... LOL!) mentality, but there are those who are making a difference and the hardwork those few have put in has made a  BIG difference.  

Need I remind you that you are making a difference too? :-)

Thanks so much, Rhapsody! Happy New Year to you too!

Until we develop our education sector to a reasonably good standard, the future of the country will remain in jeopardy. We pray that the government put that sector on the top pf their prioriity list

You're right, Atilola.  Unfortunately, those who prioritize education tend to be those who are not in power, otherwise things would not be the way they are today.  But who knows what can change in 2012? We need to stay hopeful, right? 

Happy New Year!!!


I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

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