Thursday, May 31, 2018

A LESSON FOR AFRICA: THE HIROSHIMA EXAMPLE

                                                                   Image courtesy of http://www.tesfanews.net

Having visited Hiroshima in Japan and left in awe of the developments even after the 1945 atomic bomb attacks, Prof. Krydz Ikwuemesi wrote in his book - A Critical Travelogue

"...But I know that even human beings work miracles and that the miracle of growth and development is not the monopoly of any race. A people only need the right will and spirit to be able to attain their golden destiny. To this extent, African countries, caught in the web of under-development and neocolonialism, certainly have a lot to learn from the Japanese experience..."

Japan was saddled with the task of rebuilding its country post WWII and looking at the country and how far they've come along, you'd agree with me that the leaders and its people did a fine job. For a place that was said to not be able to grow grass again to move from barren to what it is today according to Prof. Krydz's description is a feat that is only achievable with a changed mindet and a people's strongwill.

We as a people need to see ourselves as fit first and then tackle underdevelopment head-on. Our leaders need to wake up, see leadership as not just national service but a platform to drive development and also stop the habit of borrowing from foreign nations in the guise of developing their countries but instead enriching themselves and their generations unborn. This is just plain stupidity because as they squander this money, the future generation who is supposed to drive its development with revenues generated spend years and these resources paying the debt incurred by these crop of ineffective leaders cum thieves in power.

We need to believe in ourselves as Africans first and not really rely on the western world for everything. If they really want to assist as they claim, they should first start with putting a stop to the idea of colonial tax.It would shock you to learn that about 14 African countries are still paying colonial tax to France and we are not talking little money here but billions of US dollars. How do you expect these countries to grow with these conditions?

This is article was borne out of the desire to see us sit up as a continent and emancipate ourselves from mental slavery or neocolonialism if you like. We need a total overhaul of our mindset and start seeing ourselves as a strong continent that can drive its development. We need assistance in certain areas no doubt but overdependence on the same set of people who raped and sold us for years is what gave meaning to the term neocolonialism in the first place.

Wake up Africa!

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

A COLLECTION OF SOME OF MY RANDOM THOUGHTS


                                                           Image courtesy of http://www.viralnovelty.com


I decided to put down some of the things that just enter my mind at random with little or no editing and even though there is that option to turn some of these thoughts into longer articles, I decided to make them concise and straight to the point.

01: BEGINNING MEANS HALF-DONE

That you should be your first critic as regards the work you put out there is a salient fact in every artistic endeavor but the twist now is: in your head, there tend to be this struggle between putting pen to paper, brush to canvass etc and otherwise because that inner critic wants a quality output and anything short of that is better than not starting at all.

What do you do in this tricky situation? JUST START and be consistent. There is always room for editing but just make sure that you put something down no matter how little

What differentiates excellence from mediocre is learning from one's mistakes and turning those mistakes into masterpieces.

PS: This can be applied to every field of human endeavor.

02: ON RACISM AND TRIBALISM

Racism and tribalism are of the same family. These are social ills that have become normalized despite the number of campaigns against them. Nigerians for instance, practice tribalism openly while being closet racists.

Femke Van Zeijl describes our kind of racism in her article titled Oyibo Is Not A Compliment and a critical look at that article would open your eyes to the fact that we practice racism albeit subtly.

Tribalism on the other hand is our way of life in Naija. We eat, sleep, talk tribalism every day of our lives as Nigerians in our houses, schools, workplace and even sadly, religious places.


03: BRAIN DRAIN

There happens to be this mass exodus of skilled workers from the country to Europe and parts of America and some people are always poised to ask what could be responsible for the brain drain.

The answer is not far-fetched. People just want to experience a better life. How do you expect someone to stay in a place and earn peanuts when there is an option of earning and living comfortably somewhere else.

The average human craves comfort, little wonder why people go into crime just to either make ends meet or live like a king/queen.

A better country and a stable economy would lead to prosperity of citizens, better standard of living and even influx of investors amounting to ‘the good life’ and that is what is needed to put an end to this phenomenom that has seen us loose intelligent minds cum valuable assets.


04: AWAY FROM STATUS QUO

Write within the margin, they say. I just don’t think I can because it seems to me like writing within the margin is conforming to standards set by society. I mean, I am not some kid to be guided on what to do. If the writing is clear and legible, why worry about me not writing within the margin.

I for one think that we don’t have to stick to every dictate of the society while making decisions or life’s choices. As a creative, I am an advocate of painting outside the lines sometimes because that way, you stretch your imagination and not be held within a box.

Most of the discoveries and inventions the world over, stemmed from someone somewhere doing things a little different from that which is as they say, is the normal way of doing things.


05: FULFILLMENT

Try to look up the meaning of fulfillment and you wont go any further than this: “ A feeling of happiness and satisfaction.” That being said, fulfillment is experienced in diverse ways. For some, they get fulfilled after gulping several bottles of alcohol, some get theirs in between the thighs of their significant other. Babies get theirs from their mothers' bossom while for others, it could be from reading a book, seeing a TV show or movie but the piece de resistance is that fulfillment in itself is a state of mind and all you just have to do is key into that state and life becomes easy and fun.


06: POWER

Humans have a great affinity for power. Even some who claim not to would seize the opportunity to be in a position of power. The typical human just want to be in control, be it in a social gathering, religious gathering, school environment, workplace, etc people just want to have that god-like aura around them.

A good number of the supposedly ‘normal’ humans have Narcissistic Personality Disorder and this can only be diagnosed clinically, it could be likened to someone with a type of STI but who doesn’t know because of invisible symptoms.

Humans generally love to be in a position of POWER!


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Saturday, April 2, 2016

A NUCLEAR NIGERIA: ARE WE READY?

                                                    Image courtesy of www.theecologist.org
It is no longer news that the country is looking at generating power from Nuclear energy and it is on that basis that this article stems forth.

Nuclear energy being one the fastest means of power generation is not only expensive but unsafe and unstable. In developed countries where its usage is employed, there are established means of containment in the event of a nuclear disaster. Having said that, what comes to one’s mind is the Chernobyl, Three mile Island and Fukushima disasters which shook the countries they were situated and the world at large.

It is no longer news that there are moves to build nuclear plants in the country and this I believe should be a thing of concern giving our poor maintenance culture. We had problems maintaining our refineries here in the country which saw us importing refined products, something we have been doing for years and would continue for God-knows-how-long. Now come to think of it, how would a country that had issues maintaining refineries fare when it comes to maintaining nuclear power plants.

Let me take us on a little scientific journey on the workings of a nuclear power plant so we would at least know what we could be dealing with. Nuclear reactors are based on a scientific process known as nuclear fission which sees atoms of larger element disintegrate to yield smaller elements, of course with the emission of energy.

Nuclear power plants are powered by uranium (a type of radioactive element) which functions by heating up a turbine which produces electric power. South Africa is one African country where its usage is employed.
What could go wrong with nuclear power?

Radioactive wastes
This I believe should be our main concern as nuclear wastes could take a lot to contain. This extremely dangerous waste must be looked after for thousands of years. A little accident could spell doom for a future generation if it isn’t handled properly. Our maintenance culture again becomes a thing of worry.

Nuclear radiation
During this process of fission which powers reactors like breeders, there is usually a chain reaction which is of a cascade nature and this could sometimes give rise to Plutonium, an unnatural element which when released into nature could pose serious hazardous problems.

Preferred targets for terrorist attacks
 Movies and books have taught us that nuclear plants are hot targets for militants and terrorist organizations.

Nuclear accidents
Accidents do happen and in the event of a nuclear accident, there could be serious threat to the environment (Fukushima) and also human life (Chernobyl).


Nuclear experts have been contributing to the discourse and one of them , Wole Olaoye, who has been covering Nigeria’s nuclear aspiration for decades warned: “We have security problems in Nigeria right now. And I don’t want to think of a situation where we will manage the fallout of a nuclear leakage. With the level of incompetence with which we have treated our hydro-power stations. I don’t see us managing nuclear power competently and efficiently.”


Even as sustainable as nuclear energy may appear (although it is not in its entirety), I am still of the opinion that Nigeria is not yet ready.  Think the textile industries, power generation and distribution, Ajaokuta steel mill and others in the solid mineral industry, the car assembly plants, etc. Nuclear energy cannot just be handled the same way.  


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