Tag Archives: Inspiration

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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MESSAGE TO THE INSECURE PERSON

Good Evening fam, it’s yet another blog post Thursday. I apologise for taking a one month hiatus yet again, it’s due to the long work of fiction I’m working on. I’ll soon be done anyways that’s good news.

Today, however I write with extreme passion. This specific fire has been burning in me for a week plus now and I couldn’t just wait for today to make this post.

Today my message is for the insecure person. Now there are several types of insecurity but today I’m talking of one type and that is ‘Personal Image Insecurity’. I know it probably doesn’t exist but necessity is the mother of all inventions.

What is Personal Image Insecurity, it is when you aren’t content with yourself and so strive to be part of a different group of people.

We all go through this insecurity right from when our 5 year old selves wanting to be part of the older kids and play with them or when we wanted to be part of the cool kids who oblivious to us were even our age mates. It’s naturally ingrained but as we grow through childhood and into teenage, it’s expected to disappear. We are expected to accept ourselves but very sadly most of us never grow, we remain like those children who want to be part of the ‘cool kids’. The problem with wanting to be part of the cool kids is when you eventually become part of them they suddenly seem like the dull kids and you want to be part of another mentally created cool kids and on and on till you lose yourself.

William Shakespeare once said,

“To thine own self be true!”

That means don’t lie to yourself. Be yourself and don’t live under a façade. Christian Hip Hop artist Lecrae also in his track Free from It all said,

‘Live for everyone else gotcha losin’ yourself’

Now to why this post has been burning me, it is so unfortunate and misfortunate all together that many people in our world today refuse to accept who they are and what they have and want to be what they aren’t. What do I mean? There’s this infamous story of this young man whose mother had a badly damaged eye which made him ashamed of her. One day she finally told him she had incurred that injury while saving him from death as a baby. The part I’m focusing on is ashamed of her. But this example doesn’t illustrate my point well. About two weeks ago I heard that a young man in JSS3 denied his father. His father was a poor man managing to educate him in one of Jos finest Secondary Schools. Because he was ashamed of his father’s clothing and car, he told his classmates that was his driver. Long story cut short the Principal found out and punished the boy and I commend her although not fully because counseling him would have been much more effective anyways she just saved this young man a lot of future stress that’s if he got the right message.

Many of you will be quick to call him foolish boy but many of us do the same thing. Lemme give some examples. You’re a young guy and manage to feed your hungry phone with 200mb every week which is really stringent but you’re aspiring and saving up to buy an IPhone7. Question?

How are you going to feed that IPhone? Why do you want the Iphone? The same reason that boy called his father his driver, you want to fit in, you don’t want to be looked down upon get it?

Another example, your parents are poor people managing to pass by every day and they manage to send you to the University. When you reach there, you start forming big girl. The garri you will normally soak without groundnut sef and eat with your parents at home, on arriving campus you won’t even near Garri, you’ll join ‘pepperdemgang’ and form ‘Shawarma burger’ girl.

It doesn’t end there, I’ve personally seen adults and it pains me do this.

You’re a single lady who just got a job and you begin to see the successful pimping single girls around. Immediately you want to be part of them. Mary K Products are in vogue, you go to your friend who sells Mary K products and take products on loan (bashi) of N150, 000 (N stands for Nigerian currency Naira) Tomorrow you see a new kind of shoe in vogue, you go and take N20, 000 bashi. By next month when you’re supposed to pay off your Mary K products, you pay half and go and take bashi of another N100, 000 Avon products because Avon is in vogue. Then you notice your car is out of vogue, you take car loan and go and buy a very expensive car. Before you know it, you’ll reach broke because of your salary deductions and your creditors will start calling then you’ll go to this friend borrow N20, 000 and pay one off, go to the next person and borrow N50,000 on and on till you exhaust your friends. My question once again is who you were deceiving?

And even married people suffer this…You know you and your husband don’t make much but because you want to level to the other women around, you force your child into an expensive Primary School, Secondary School or even Private University. Then you can’t let your child go to school with biscuit or inferior provisions, etc. because it doesn’t level up. By the time you’re done sending the child to school, you’ll soak garri and eat with your husband. Who are you deceiving? Who is being cheated?

Folks, truth is we can’t all be even in life and whether we like it or not, there will always be a higher class than us. They will never get exhausted

So what am I suggesting. Again

‘To Thine own self be true’ be 100% authentically real

Don’t lie. When you catch yourself envying the ‘cool kids’ remind yourself that trying to be them won’t make you them but working hard and diligently might take you where they are and even beyond one day. For those of you like me whose Parents managed to escape the village by the tip of the river bank, if they lived false lives, they wouldn’t have been where they are today and able to give us the lives we live even if it doesn’t measure up to what we want.

Something I do every day when I see something I want but don’t have is I use it as motivation and fuel to work hard so one day my children will not ‘be ever seeing but not having’ like me. So that I can provide it for my own children that’s the life. Truth is bitter so I understand for those of you who find this hard but all that money and time you spend trying to be like ‘dem guys’ will fare a lot better and produce more if you spend that time working hard to make it.

So fam, I’ve said it at least, I feel a huge load off my chest.

Be you, don’t lie to yourself, and accept where you are and work hard!

Song Recommendations – Tedashii Be me and I’m Good. Group 1 Crew – I Know

God bless ya’ll have a blessed day or night as the case may be.