Olodo Rabata | Featured Artiste(s): Stage One

Since I started out on that note, I might as well sing the song:

Olodo Rabata
Oju eja lo mo o je
O o ni je pepa
Sileti lo mo o je

[Picture from HERE]
Sorry to anyone who just had a flashback into a traumatic past because of this song, but there is a purpose to this.  So, please hang on.

A few years ago, I watched (and bought) a copy of a Nollywood movie called 'White Waters' featuring Rita Dominic and AMBO (Amstel Malta Box Office) Winner, at that time, OC (Okechukwu) Ukeje.  It was directed by the uber talented Izu Ojukwu.  

Apparently, there are some waterfalls in Nassarawa State called "Farin Ruwa" which literally means 'White Waters.'  Two points to note about the movie for the sake of this blog post:
  • I deliberately dubbed Melvin's (played by OC Ukeje) friend, a fish, with my own personal nickname: DELICIOUS [bursts out laughing]. I honestly did not plan to do two posts on fish back to back.  It just happened. Anyway, the fish was actually called "Loneliness" and later, "Mon Ami" (which of course means "My friend" in French).  I still prefer Delicious. 
  • [Spoiler Alert] Melvin repeated some classes in primary school and later dropped out of secondary school.  This is where the Olodo song comes in.

'Olodo' (in case you didn't know) is a derogatory Yoruba name which roughly translates to 'dunce' or 'dummy.'  The rabata part makes it worse because it means the person is a big, fat dunce.  If a child gets his schoolwork wrong either completely or partially or just gets a poor grade, his parents, teachers (and others who have no business being around kids in the first place) might refer to him as an "Olodo."  Ouch! 

As harsh as that is, what White Waters stirred up in me was the fact that for a child who has been labelled unjustifiably as an "Olodo,"  his consistently poor academic performance might be due to a serious learning disability (which I believe was Melvin's problem) or the child might just be a slow learner.  In other words, the child is not innately stupid, as is often assumed.  Unfortunately, as the system functions in Nigeria, there is little to no room to deal with this problem with the tools that are necessary.  Those 'tools' cost money, of course, but before we get to that point, identifying that this is a problem at all is something that is not typically addressed. 

It pains me to think of the children who grow up and pass through life with such harsh and degrading labels.  And as you know, labels have a way of sticking.  [Remember your nickname in school? Do people still address you with that name?] However, tweaking the teaching and/or learning methods might help.  I have seen people who barely passed classes like Mathematics in Nigeria go abroad and make 'A's in the same subject.  If a child does not understand what he is being taught, I think it is a poor reflection on the teacher and not the child. I don't think it is fair to label anyone a dunce because they have a problem working mathematical equations, for example.  Do you agree? Or do you think it is right/fair to label a child (or adult) an 'Olodo' because he still cannot solve quadratic equations, for example? 

Featured Artiste(s): Stage One

Last week was Stage One Week, but due to extenuating circumstances (Chei! See grammar!) I did not get to complete the week with their other song.  So, here is their second song (the one I actually prefer) titled "Rise Again":


The Good:  What I truly love about this song is that the  dynamics of the song mimic the title:  you can literally see (or hear?) the song change from one level to another (without using something predictable like modulation).  To me, it mimics a plane taking off from the runway.  You just know something better is coming and you keep waiting for it (the song, I mean; not the plane ;-) But the plane is cool too).  The lead vocalist seems to be very comfortable with the key and the pace/tempo and you can hear it in his voice.  Oh, and did I mention that the intro was magical? Well, it was.  I liked the punctuation of the piano/keyboard's keys with the guitar chords.  

What really caught my attention was the addition of layers and layers using the instruments.  It made the song rich and full, but it was balanced out, so it was not overdone.  Just when you think the song is over, it picks up again with a more intense rock feel courtesy of the guitar (I don't know which type, but you can definitely hear it).  The echoing voice also added a nice touch and played out like an instrument in its own right.  I get the idea that each member of this band takes his role seriously.  Do you hear it?   

The Bad:  Inasmuch as I loved the dynamics of the song, there is one part of it that I felt could have really taken this song to greater heights.  The song talks about rising again, but it 'gets off the ground' but does not keep rising in the way I was expecting.  I wanted to import some 'thunder' from their other song 'The Rising' and inject it into this song at key points (e.g. where "You will rise again" is consistently repeated).  For me, the song rises to a certain level and then it 'plateaus' (No pun intended: The guys are based in Jos, Plateau State).  It could have been catapulted into much higher realms.  For real.

I hope you enjoyed the song as much as I did :-)  Kachi, the lead guitarist was kind enough (Thanks Kachi) to let me know who was who (I was curious ... and confused), so I thought I would share that with you.  From left to right (see picture below), the four young men who are collectively known as 'Stage One' are: Joseph Jawfu (Bass guitar), Yehoshua Odidi (Drums), Kachi Mozie (Backing vocals/Lead guitar/Acoustic guitar/Piano) and Nuhu Gaina (Lead vocals/Acoustic guitar/Piano).  

L - R: Joe, Yehoshua, Kachi, Nuhu ~ Stage One / ReverbNation
Hopefully, you got to know the guys a bit better with that brief info.  Check out the previous post for even more information in case you missed it.  

That's it from me.  I shall see you guys before the week is over. *fingers crossed*  Cheers!

***Download "Rise Again" on Stage One's ReverbNation Page.

True phenomenon that happens a lot. Training a slow-learning child might require lots of patience and faith. But thing is, how many teachers/patience even have that patience. Most times, the easiest way is to Register 'Olodo' and other names. May God help us aspiring parents/teachers.

Michael Onobote

You know , my brother seemed to be an olodo growing up, because he could not read,  the proof that he was just a slow learner is that he is so brilliant today speaks  and writes like an oyinbo too..go figure so it certainly happens!

I totally agree with you on the slow learning thing. Nigeria doesn't really cater for kids with learning disabilities such as dyslexia (Orlando Bloom suffers from this) Altho i used to hate math, it never got too bad so no labeling.

The truth is that some children are fast in learning while some are slow. The slow ones require more patience and skill to teach and not everyone has that skill

"If a child does not understand what he is being taught, I think it is a poor reflection on the teacher", from my point of view working as a teacher, this may not always be true. Sometimes there are other factors at play for example environment, genetics, working memory (to do with part of the brain responsible for the intelligence), family issues, personal worries, learning difficulties (a wide spectrum of this exists) etc. Intelligence is relative in my opinion, a child may not be good at Maths but can be very creative and good at Art or Music, do you call that child a 'dunce'? I don't think so.

Our society seems to place so much emphasis on Maths and Sciences as the yardstick to measure intelligence which I don't particularly agree with. There's more to intelligence than the ability to solve quadratic equations.

I heard about WW and that it was a really nice movie. I agree with you that labels are terrible and can have unforseen repercussions, some are actually self fulfilling. I was a teacher for a couple of years and I made sure never to mock my struggling pupils. 

Who are these guys! They are amazing! I love this song wow!

So many ! eh? Now let me go listen to the previous one!

I just think people generally like to place labels on people. I remember in Pry school we had to sing that song to anyone who couldnt solve a problem on the chalk board or after a test. The teachers thought  singing that song would make the child so ashamed, she wouldnt fail next time.


I think it's a mix of society and cultural expectations. Some people feel the need to live down to the standard once they have been tagged Olodo. I was an olodo myself in Junior High, not that I wasn't smart, I just was never interested in studying. My life changed when I had a crush on my government teacher in ss1 and I started studying for his class to impress him, I found that studying wasn't so difficult and I read for my other classes as well. My point is.... we can all learn, we just have to be nurtured. 

Yes, Michael.  It does require lots of patience and faith and ideally, the parents should be the ones who provide this.  But the ideal is not reality for many.  To answer your question, I would say "not many" teachers have that kind of patience.  But calling the child an Olodo does not solve the problem. May God help us all!

Would you look at that! That's how life is.  Your brother's case reminds me of that bible verse that says that the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  Thank God your brother is a success story.  For some others though, this name calling is destructive and does more damage than can be assessed immediately.  Thanks for sharing your brother's story, by the way.  It made a difference!

Your observation is correct, Atilola.  Not everyone has the patience and skill to deal with so-called 'slow learners' (I prefer to call them 'late bloomers'). I think where the teachers fall short, the parents should pick up the slack.  Afterall, the teacher cannot care more about the child's well-being than the parents, right?

Now, this is why I appreciate your feedback.  You work in the educational system and understand better than some of us how these things work.  Your perspective as a teacher has helped to shed some light on some other things I did not even consider when I put this together.  I particularly like what you mentioned about family issues.  I think that's the key to all this: who bears the burden for the child's education - family or school? Intelligence is relative like you stated, but tests and exams don't take that into consideration.  Whether a child is good at Maths or not, he or she still has to score up to a certain point before he can pass.  Furthermore, among Nigerians especially, making an A in Arts or Music is not the same thing as making an A in Maths.  

You also raised another important point: Using Maths and Sciences to measure intelligence is the norm, but how relevant is that to real life experiences?  That, I think is a curriculum issue.  This brings to mind the Pillars of Education Fela Durotoye mentioned in this post: http://relentlessbuilder.blogspot.com/2011/12/14-pillars-featured-artiste-jahdiel_11.html

White Waters is one of the few movies I actually don't regret buying :-) It was a good movie with many lessons to learn, but that one on education really registered with me because I had not ever thought of learning disabilities in relation to Nigerian children before.  So that was an eye-opener for me.  Well, well, well ... So you were a teacher? I try to imagine you flogging your students or marking their scripts with red ink and I can't help chuckling to myself ... LOL! Seriously though,  it's good to know you were conscientious enough not to mock your pupils. I am sure your students appreciated it.

And the guys ... Stage One ... Cool, aren't they?  It's coming across groups like this that is one of the fun aspects of the work I do here.  Yes, the previous one is in the previous post.  I am sure they appreciate the feedback and your support :-)

About the labels, I think it makes it convenient to put people into neat, little categories.  But to whose detriment?  You know the teacher/relative/person who puts the label on the child might forget, but the child won't forget.  It was in primary school that I also learnt that song (even though it wasn't on the syllabus ... LOL!) It's amazing how some teachers think though; I can't see any good coming out of this type of public shame except to give the child a complex.  Poor choices!  Thanks for stopping by :-)

Men! See gist o ... LOL! Crush on your government teacher? What wouldn't I do to see a picture of this man? *grinning*  Ah, your story is quite interesting because of the effect it had on you.  I would have thought it would turn out to be a distraction, but it actually had a positive effect on your academic performance.  Funny enough, I LOVED government in secondary school.  My teacher was a woman though, and I didn't have the privilege of having a "hot" teacher.  You make a strong point though:  no one is beyond hope.  Nurturing can work.  For the kids that need A LOT more help though, who has the patience to 'nurture' them?

Toin: I am so sorry ... I can't imagine why I skipped over your comment :-(

You're right on Nigeria not really catering for kids with learning disabilities.  I have actually come across just one NGO in Jos that focuses on this.  But before watching the movie, I did not ever think of Nigerian kids with learning disabilities at all.  So it was a real eye-opener for me.  Thanks for the Orlando Bloom info ... I had no idea ... And look at him today! I actually LOVE Maths and am glad to hear you didn't get labelled.  You were spared that, thank God!


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