Update from Qudus' blog

Dec 4, 2008

There is a natural mystique flowing in NIGERIA

What is happening in this country, everybody seems to be Nigerian these days, I recently heard that the richest man in Africa is a Nigerian, Dangote or what does that his wretched name sounds like. Somebody must really be attempting to kid everybody, well minus me. Nigeria, that NATION OF MANY PARADOX, they call them Africa’s most populous nation, and they take that to the bazaar, often regarded as the crime GIANT, SYNONYMOUS TO 419, corruption, and lawlessness, not to mention the oil BOOM, that is BETTER KNOWN RECENTLY AS OIL curse, illustrated by the ongoing rebellion in the Niger Delta. This place of all evils, and how possible will it be that people can still think straight or have time for fun and talent discovery in these chaos, this irritating nation mainly known for her long military dictatorship in the hands of Abacha and others that we can't name because they are still alive dictating in disguise. 

Nigeria that was once the major regret of Christopher Okigbo, that great poet that was killed during Biafra, even Wole soyinka, the Nobel laureate, Chinua Achebe and the likes of Fela Kuti, the king of afrobeat, not to mention others forced out and now claimed by the diaspora, the likes of Okwui Nwezor, Olu Oguibge, Henry Oguike, Peter Badejo, Sam Shonibare those british artists and statesmen, you think if they were in Nigeria they would have been what they are today, you can't claim that those ones are still Nigerians anyway, they are citizens of the world even if most of them were born and brought up in Nigeria, their works, we have been very familiar with mostly in Europe and America and has inspired many of our own artistes throughout the world. Now, all of a sudden so many original and talented young Nigerian artists want to start flocking our European scenes? Admittedly, Nigeria is by far one the most populous country in the world. Ok ok. Which is a good excuse to have all sort of offbeat breeds popping out from there. But nevertheless, who else can you mention in present tense, do you want to talk about Femi and Seun Kuti, those ones we can understand, for they are the sons of the great Fela Kuti and nothing else can come out of Nigeria than that anyway, without forgetting Tony Allen, his former accomplice.

But wait, did someone just whispered JayJay Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo, those soccer guru and world acclaimed star... oh no the grammy award winner Seal... and Keziah Jones, the inventor of the "blufunk", no don't tell me these guys are also Nigerians, Keziah that was discovered playing in the metro of Paris, oh no I am a big fan of that genius, the last time he played a surprise concert at the Parisian metro, I couldn't get to see him, but hold on, i'm getting another eye opening news now, that the just concluded, first ever Mtv Africa Music Awards was colonized by some Nigerian artists, no no its a lie, D'banj, 9ice, P.Square,
Naeto C, Ikechukwu, are you sure these guys didn't bribe the organisers, I mean look at the list of winners, ohhh... No wonder they won, it was organised in Abuja, I beg stop fooling me, but even more, for the past three years, we've witnessed another three formidable Nigerian singers invading our radio waves and enchanting our summer festivals. Ayo, Asa and Nneka, ok, sincerely I have to give up now, because here are three good reasons to look at contemporary Nigeria with another eye. Now guys don't mind my unpatriotic utterances, i'm no longer a citizen of the world, i'm actually a Nigerian, cos I think at this moment being a Nigerian is a different kind of cliché, the creative energy in this nation entity is just something to reckon with, at least now people can start making my name synonymous to talents and possibilities, the world has began to place Nigeria on a different platform, so now there is the world, there is United States of America, there is Africa and there is also Nigeria apart. so the Nigerian dream is really alive, now everybody wants to VISIT THIS REVOLUTIONARY NATION THROUGH THE windows of The Nigerian urban music, dance, movies, football and all other trivial means that we took just for what they were.

In the tail end of the 20th century this country just kept surprising us with all sorts of booms, after the eve of independence, the post-colonial power tussle of the sixties that geared up inspiration for the action movie makers in Hollywood, the coup d'état boom was our first hearing to the word boom, should we talk of the oil boom of the 70s, that was followed by the corruption boom of the 80s, which made many of us lost hope in the future of this cursed nation, with resourceful people, but the 90s was the beginning of the soccer and Nollywood movies boom, and then the 21st century opened up with some serious booms, miraculously we see the telecommunication boom, financial system boom, apart from this musician that kept bothering our air waves and as it is beginning to seem now, we are about to witness the dance boom, photography boom, and other inconsequential booms, ok from today on, I'll never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers, and no matter what rubbish I lay my hands on now, I will never let anybody tell me who I am, cos they only want to tell me who they want me to be, so after all the national and international condemnation Nollywood got, yet their destiny can't be changed, and this even goes beyond what scholars can put on paper, or what the major players in this Nigerian dreams themselves can analyse, 

Nigeria is becoming the Nation that really needs a carefully close look at, because even before Obama came up with the “Yes we can” slogan, Nigerians has been saying it with their ways and actions in a very informal and banal way, The individual is a major player and the embodiment of the Nigerian dream. IN THE NEW NIGERIA, EVERYMAN IS A CREATOR, they have become the re-inventors of culture and tradition, a contemporary Nigerian is first a Nigerian above all other things, he is less of his ethnic grouping, likewise does the question of being an African is of any importance to him, he has made himself a dynamic interlocutor between past and the future,
FOR HE CAN FEEL THE NEED FOR A NEW NATION BUILDING WITH OR WITHOUT THE STATE, consciously or unconsciously, through playfulness or mere survival instinct, and talent is no longer a password to success, neither does originality seems to be enough, but all that must be supported with consistency and a marketing gimmick that is definitely out of this world, Nigeria is cursed with everything good and bad, cursed with talent, corruption, greediness, creativity, indiscipline, natural and human resources, corruption, insensitivity to filthy surroundings and many other identifiable plagues in our catalogue of the national mystique. A Nigerian cares less about stereotypes and give no damn about what the international media is saying about them, 

So who is the man telling me that the cities of the future are still lying somewhere in Europe, or taking the directions of Tokyo, Doha or Beijing, hell no, the cities of the future are completed work in progress, cities in motion and adhering to contemporary needs of a city, made what it is by the resourcefulness of its creative and entrepreneurial citizens, producing intense proximity of loads of activities and performance of all sorts, from selling and buying, to fighting and praying, loading and unloading, road shows of all sorts, touting, crimes and daily minor violence, all working side by side with dirt, waste, history, energy, slums and sweat to sustain the everyday hustling that put a totally different light to their moment of merrymaking, worship and love. All these are what the city of the future is made of and not defined by its architectural extravagant extravaganza. In ungovernable cities like Lagos or Benin city for example, the rule of law, law of gravity and the formal pulls of life are brought to the lime light at the square everyday by the people, with full support of the thugs and touts, to be assembled and demolished even before the end of the inaugural party and political shows, set in motion by the state, to celebrate the new reinstated rules and regulation, the people in turn takes from all that is visible and in present tense, to make the informal never changing, yet mobile government, through of course their creative energy, many thanks to their public reputation and street credibility that none of the statesmen can boast of.

Any un-Nigerian reader out there reading this article might be thinking, what a patriot and flag wavers contemporary Nigerians must be, well you might be missing the point, yes Nigerians are flag wavers above other things, but I don't know if it can be linked to patriotism, its just fashion, its becoming hip to wear the national colour and proclaim the national slogans, Naija 4 life, Proudly Nigerian etc. without any deep implication attached, but evidently the youth culture and the ruling informal government is very green in colour, and no one wishes to dig into that hidden sack, because for me, the word patriot in dictionary terms is a person who loves and cares deeply about his country and not one who says he loves his country, Patriotism is an emotion of love directed by a critical intelligence, and how can this be possible if the rulers and the ruled are not on parallel grounds and have no common goal of maintaining the dispensation at which the nation lives. The only true patriots we have in Nigeria are the ruling class, they are the ones who cling religiously to the notion of patriotism, clowning themselves with the importance of the national pledge and hymn. What I'm trying to say here is that, Nigeria is entirely different from Nigerians, Nigeria is such a hopeless country, but Nigerians on the other hand are so much of a reassuring sect, despite their ungovernable characteristics, they are a complete opposite to the ruling class, when you visit Nigeria as a foreigner, the visible wonders 
you see everywhere are mere invention of Nigerians, the people you meet on your daily encounters that will make you return with a whole new idea of what Nigeria stands for, because from outside Nigeria the only information we get are the governmental magic of the ruling class who calls themselves Nigeria.

Dec 3, 2008

Qudus appears in the long list of "The Future Awards".

The Central Working Committee of The Future Awards, on the morning of Tuesday, the 2nd of December, announced the list of nominees for the 4th edition of Nigeria’s most respected youth awards. 

“It’s been weeks of intense work and research, and we are proud, immensely proud of the list we have from more than 10, 000 nominations! Voting starts immediately, alongside the rigorous 4-stage judging process. All the details, including the full list, will be posted on the website www.thefuturenigeria.com,” said Emilia Asim-Ita, the Award’s PR Director. “And what really warmed our hearts about this list were the twin facts that we have a healthy percentage of nominees from all parts of Nigeria, and even though it’s a star-studded list, more than 50 per cent of the nominees are non-celebrities. “

The Future Awards rewards achieving young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 31. The long list is, as usual, filled with the brightest and best young Nigerians from all over the country – in music, sports, the corporate world, technology, business, amongst others. 


On-Air Personality of the Year (Radio) 

Phoenix (Rhythm Lagos) 
Tito Otons (Raypower Lagos) 
Tyeng Gyang (Cool FM Abuja) 
Douglas Nwokocha (Rhythm Abuja) 
Yaw & Matse (Wazobia FM Lagos) 
Wildchild (Rhythm FM Lagos) 
Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi (Cool FM Lagos)
Chuks Roberts (Cosmo FM Enugu) 

Best Use of Technology

Saheed Adejuwon
Titilayo Akinsanmi
Bamidele Odufuye
Lanre Lawal 
Icebox Studios 
Yinka Adetoye 
Yusuf Jimoh
Oluwaseun Faniran

Best Use of Advocacy

Temidayo Israel 
Mohammed Ahmed-Shaibu
Ugochukwu Nwosu 
Tosyn Bucknor 
Toyosi Akerele
Obinna Etele 
Emmanuel James-Odiase
Emmanuel Etim

Musician of the Year 

Naeto C
Rooftop MCs
Banky W 

Actor of the Year

Jennifer Osamor
Funke Akindele
Gabriel Afolayan 
Tonto Dike
Oge Okoye 
Nonso Diobi 
Mercy Johnson 
OC Ukeje 

Artist of the Year

Ogunnubi Babadeji
Seyi Taylor
Abraham Oghobase
Emeka Okereke
Jumoke Verissimo 
Adolphus Opara 
Tolulope Ogunlesi
Jide Alakija 

Magazine of the Year 

Soundcity Blast 
The Applause
Déjà vu 

Style Entrepreneur of the Year 

Dumebi Agbakoba (Dakou Collections)
Funke Adegbola (Ella Brown Couture) 
Korede Roberts (Fusion) 
Uche Nnaji (Ouch!)
Ebubedike Mary (West n Couture) 
Yewande Perigrino (Beyond Faces) 
Olamide Ajayi (Iconola) 
Linda Ikeji (Blackdove Communications) 

Comedian of the Year

Wale Gates 
Teju Babyface
Tunde Ednut 
Seyi Law
Holly Mallam 

Business Owner of the Year 

Mosunmola Umoru (Honeysuckles PTL) 
Tochukwu Onyemelukwe (Cotek) 
Alexander Yangs (Testify Music)
Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture) 
Ibidun Ighodalo (Elizabeth R) 
Funke Awobokun (Cocktails In & Out) 
Hassan Rilwan (Focal Point Publishing Ltd)
Anita Ibru (Minerva) 

Professional of the Year 

Kolawole Osinowo (Nokia West Africa) 
Oluyemi Oluwole (Chevron Corporation) 
Shile Obiesan (Consolidated Media Associates) 
Dr. Dayo Osholowu (Special Olympics Nigeria) 
Uche Okorji (Utchay Okorji Associates) 
Fatima Mohammed (Chapel Hill and Dunham)
Fola Aiyesimoju (Stanbic Bank) 
Carrena Sola (Travant) 

Model of the Year 

Bryan Okpara 
Warebi Martha 
Bisi Rahman 
Bisi Sowemimo 
Amaka Chirah 
Isi Atagamen 
Owobo Ogunlaja
Olubunmi Ademokoya 

Team of the Year 

Blue Labs Technologies
DNMT (Dance Na De Main Thing)
Four Kornerz 
Babs Educational Consult
The UnRulies 
Javabean Ltd
Mo Hits Crew

Journalist of the Year 

Rachel Ogbu (Newswatch)
Samuel Olatunji (The Sun) 
Azuh Amatus (The Sun)
Arukaino Umukoro (National Standard) 
Blessing Ogunli (TheNEWS) 
Abdulkareem Baba Aminu (Daily Trust) 
Ruonah Agbroko (Thisday) 
Funke Adetutu (BusinessDay) 

On-Air Personality of the Year (TV) 

Onyinye Igwe (Soundcity)
Tana Egbo (Channel O) 
Lamide Akintobi )(Channels TV) 
Dayo Ephraim (Hip TV)
Blaze (Nigezie) 
Adaure Achumba (STV) 
Jimmie Akinsola (The Best of Football) 
Jumoke Alao (AIT) 

Screen Producer of the Year 

Gbenga Salu
Soji Ogunnaike
Matthew Ogunlola
Onye Ubanatu 
Chuka Ejorh 
Clarence Peters
Kemi Adetiba 
Dayo Oyedele

Sportsperson of the Year 

Yagazie Chukwumerije 
Damola Osayomi
Osaze Odemwingie
Mikel Obi
Eniola Aluko
Obinna Nsofor
Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke 
Olusoji Fasugba

Music Producer of the Year 

Wole Oni 
Alex Yangs 
ID Cabassa
Don Jazzy 
Jesse Jags 
TY Mix

Dancer of the Year

Qudus Onikeku
Kafilat Shafaru
Onyekachi Okengwu 
Wale Akinbola Sodade
Jennifer Ogbor 
Bimbo Obafunwa 
Buddy Agedah 
Flex (Nonso Cajetan Asobe)

Young Person of the Year:  

Bukola Elemide (Asa)
Toyin Bello 
Yagazie Chukwumerije
Louise Priddy 
Oluchi Orlandi
Don Jazzy (Michael Ajere)
Cobhams Asuquo 
Funke Bucknor-Obruthe