Tag Archives: Advice

Cool or Not Cool – To be or not to be?

Hello people, your blogger is back with yet another odd topic with a strong message. Some things to note before reading:

  1. This post if for young people

  2. Young is any age you want it to be

What is cool? What is not cool? A very hard question to answer, if you ask me.

It’s so unfortunate that we live in a time and age where nobody really asks this important question and so we fall for anything believing its ‘cool’.

The dictionary won’t give us a modern definition of the word cool as relates to things we do but I’ll give it a shot.

In this first 2 decades of the 21st century, we view cool as something to die for; something worth admiration; something worth reckoning with; something we want to emulate; something worth our energy investment.

Now that isn’t bad at all. It isn’t bad looking for things to emulate or be involved in; in fact it’s very good but when we pick useless things like we’ve been doing in recent years, then we begin to do stuff that are uncool in name of being ‘cool’. From the definition, it’s no wonder that celebrities rule the world in our day; they set the standards of cool and we follow them like sheep and do what they’re doing without even questioning if it’s cool or not. I find it very depressing that in this generation, we’ve lost the ability to question the intelligence of things.

Now that I’ve made my point, I would like to take us 100 years back. For those of us in Nigeria, 100 years ago is too far to have records but 80 years ago, let me tell you what cool was. Cool was being actively involved in the fight for independence. Cool was using the intellect you had acquired to play your active role in the aiding of and at the same time bringing down the Colonial Administration. For those in the Western World especially Britain and America, cool was leaving your family and even school to join the army. Cool was getting on mission ships loaded to Africa and come to educate our ancestors. Cool was inventing stuff and being the next revolutionists. If the concept of cool had been lost right from the beginning, there would be no internet, no television, no computer, no telephone, no Bill Gates and Steve Jobs with Microsoft and Apple respectively; all these things we enjoy now wouldn’t have been if the wonderful men and women of the 1980’s to 1999 didn’t know what cool was. In America, if the wonderful men and women of the 1950’s didn’t know what cool was, there would still be racial segregation in America, there would have been no Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcom X or Rosa Parks or Maya Angelou; these people although Americans are the reasons Blacks have voices today world-wide.

We live in a bad generation; technology has become so advanced that we have become complacent with the way things are. We no longer live with a war-time mind-set even though there are flames all around us, we live with a peace time mind set which is ironical. Technology has made us so satisfied we no longer think of how we can help, but we want to live in the moment till the chaos around envelopes us.

Cool is not being okay with the way things are and developing new and better things. Cool is not lying to ourselves that everything has been invented but finding new things or improving on those already invented.

Cool was MLK. Martin Luther King Jr. lived for only 39 years but by the time he died, he had a PH.D, a Nobel Prize and he played the key role in ending most of racial segregation in the America. America has had 44 Presidents of which more than half are dead but MLK not even a white talk more of a President has a public holiday every year celebrated in honour not just in America where it is celebrated officially, but unofficially in every other black nation.

Cool was Nelson Mandela choosing to spend 27 years in Prison, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana some years also, just to see their countries freedom.

Cool is Malala Yousofzai who won a Nobel Prize at just age 17. Cool is Nigerian Zuriel Oduwole who is currently travelling around the world as a public speaker. Cool is a young lady i follow on social media; Wadi Ben-Hirki who has a foundation and is fighting for various issues including female education. I follow a twitter page called Trends of Nigeria they advertise cool stuff from artists making various expert works from all types of materials to recently the video of a student here in Nigeria who made a drone and it actually flew and landed! Cool is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichiee and many other Nigerian writers who currently travels around speaking out on world issues.

But you and I reading this, what have we done? What have we done that is cool? Those of you reading this in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, what have you done that is cool? Those of you who are still young and agile, what do you plan to do that is cool instead of the nonsense of the 21st Century? What mark have you made on humanity? There are plenty problems in Nigeria alone to solve but what are we doing? Do you know the uneducated majority will be our problems in the future?

There are some things I challenge seriously and wonder where we dropped our brains. I heard of this new clothing line by Kanye West – What do they do? They make clothes with rips everywhere and yet we spend 10’s of Dollars we could use for a better cause to purchase them. Excuse me, if you wear clothes torn everywhere what different are you from the poor almajiri boys and mad people we see in the market? Or even worst, what different are we from our 20th Century ancestors who we regard as the uncivilized ones? Let me answer. The only difference between you and those almajiri boys is that while their clothes tore due to use, you bought torn clothes making you even madder!

I don’t listen to Nigerian music and it’s for a reason. Music is harmonic pleasing sound – Good music is music that teaches a message but the music in the Nigerian mainstream is something else. What’s cool about a song that has barely 6 lines of lyrics and no message with raucous videos displaying voluptuous content? No wonder the rate of immorality increase by the day! I don’t blame the artists though, it isn’t their fault. Anytime a new artist, a nobody with no connections tries to make a song with perfect sense and wonderful lyrics, they don’t sell; why? Because we don’t question our intelligence and automatically write them off. I have very few artists I respect in Nigeria people like Timi Dakolo, Waje, which kind because they know what it means to preach a message with your songs. From Dakolo’s totally sensible Love songs for his wife to Wajes new inspirational track Mountain that’s music and they’re doing something cool!

There’s gang violence everywhere in Chicago and artists like Lecrae and Derek Minor make music for this gang kids, to keep them out. That’s cool!

We watch movies every day and while some just keep with the so called ‘cool’ trends, others inspire us and leave us fuelled. That’s cool!

Black people are naturally talented people. All around the world black people are doing and have been doing revolutionary stuff but what are we doing? Why are we lying around mediocre when we were created to be meteoric?

I could ramble on and on about this topic but ill end here. I want you to think today. What could you possibly do that would leave a mark on humanity? What could you possibly do to create a change? What could you do that is cool?

Thank you for reading fam, i’ll see ya’ll next month!

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Judge not – Prejudice – Stereotype 

​Hello fam I’m back after one month exactly. I’ve been busy working trying to put a Novel in place and boy it ain’t easy. Today I’m back with a post about judgment and i hope you enjoy it. I have good news after too 

Don’t judge and you won’t be judged. Don’t judge me and I wont judge you. We hear this statements everyday and in fact utter them but I don’t think we understand the gravity of those statements which is why today my blog post is titled Prejudice

What is Prejudice? According to the good old faithful Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary 8th edition, Prejudice means an unreasonable dislike of or preference for a person, group, custom, etc. In other words, Prejudice is when you make a baseless judgement of someone or something and so express hatred for it without knowing what it really is.

Let me get my definitions over it. Stereotype according to the same dictionary means a fixed idea or image that many people have of a particular type of person or thing, but which is not often true in reality.

Now a stereotype is an idea; a judgement of someone or something you make which is not exactly true but because you have had a run in with the person or thing. For example, if a girl gets almost raped or hears of a close girl almost raped and because of that hates and fears men in general so much that she judges them the same, that’s a stereotype but prejudice is when you create a judgement based on nothing at all. It is a baseless argument. It is hating for no reason no backing be it legal or what.

Where I come from in Jos, Nigeria, West Africa, the World, Planet Earth, the Solar system, prejudice is very common and I believe it is everywhere but let me speak from my locality. So easy we make judgements without facts. Let me give a typical example.

You’re driving down the street at maybe Tudun Wada those of you who live in Jos will understand and you see a young girl who is facially or body shapely 18-22 if you don’t get to see her face backing a baby and selling kose- Akara- Beancake. Most people and I myself am formerly guilty of this immediately form our opinion, In hausa we’ll say, ‘ai ga wani karuwa, yan kauyen da sun yi ciki an kore su’ (if my hausa isn’t perfect I apologize but you get the gist). We cant use literal translation but basically in English what It means is ‘Look at one of those foolish girls, one of those village girls who came to stay with people in the city and got pregnant and lost their jobs’

But ladies and gentlemen let me break to you that some of those young ladies aren’t foolish girls as we claim. Some of them are victims of rape which was done without condoms, some of them are actually wives trying to make a living but with kid faces and bodies. Some of them are trying to make their way through school. Some of them are actually pregnant ‘foolish village girls’ but they’re trying to make a living and improve their situation but the second we see them we stereotype them and make a judgement already.

Its human to judge, but we can try to reduce the way we judge it would help us relate more better. Personally, I began to practice a system, when I meet or chat someone up for the first time, I put whatever opinion of the person I may have before hand gotten from other loquacious people or whoever linked us up at bay and try to make my own assessment. True in most cases the ‘gist’ is true but there are some cases in which people are wrongly presented maybe because they don’t maintain a good image or something, and if we flow with the water we join others to stereotype them.

A friend at the University of Jos recently shared an experience. He needed help with something and had approached a lecturer for help. The lecturer called him to his office and asked him why he smokes. Why? Simply because he naturally had dark lips this man assumed that he was a substance abuser. He kept telling the man he wasn’t a smoker but the man refused to bend.

You see we make opinions and refuse to bend. I have been at the end line of people making before hand opinions and I promise it wasn’t funny. So let me rephrase the phrase I started this post with, 

Don’t make a before hand opinion of someone, try to know them and their stories then you can make an opinion’ 

I believe this quote is much more efficient than ‘Don’t judge me and I wont judge you’. Like or hate it, you will be judged but you do your part and don’t judge and karma would surely reward all those who judged you.

 ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’

A quote by Toby Mac says, “Don’t judge my story by the chapter you walked in on” That makes a lot of sense, don’t judge someone based on the chapter you walked in on. In this case for my blog post, the chapter you walked in on is the story, the info, the gist you’ve heard about the person. Clear prejudice and make judgements only when you know people.

So announcement time. Ladies and gentlemen I got featured on Teen Ink! Crazy right I’m so super excited but i need you votes to Stand a chance of appearing in the paper back edition so head over to Vote Here and like my story. 

Thanks fam thanks for reading God bless you and don’t judge