Monday, September 7, 2015


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This article came up after I had an ideagasm while reading the transcription of Chip Kidd’s TED talk (The Art of First Impressions in Design and Life) video in which the word was mentioned.

For a while now, the blog has been idle due to inactivity or what my good friend have referred to as not just a ‘block’ but a ‘writer’s idea block’. He may be correct because it has actually been months since my last upload. Although there should be no excuse for the little community of readers; there actually is. I have been sent on the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme here in Zamfara state and my routine have been slightly skewed, hence little or no time to write.

Back to the article, The term “ideagasm” is a merger of two words ‘idea’ and ‘orgasm’ which simply stands for the orgasmic feeling when one’s mind becomes impregnated with ideas or better still, the feeling that comes with an “Eureka” moment (Ikeji, 2015). For a writer, this is one of those times we cherish as we just go ahead and put pen to paper; letting it flow.

Writer’s block is a phenomenon which many writers like me detest. You just want to pen something down but have no idea on how to go about it. My longest block was for over 4 months after which I stumbled and fell on an inspiration which made me experience one of my memorable ideagasm as a budding writer. The product of that idea, later led to an article which made the content editor for the Jobberman blog then, contact and had me submit articles which were published on a weekly basis some time ago. I may not be an expert on idea generation for writers but these few generators I am about to share have worked for me and could be helpful to budding writers lacking ideas or suffering from ‘the block’. Thank me later!

Other people’s material: I would like to place a disclaimer here that this is in no way supporting or advocating for plagiarism. What I simply mean by this is that by reading other people’s material, you may experience an ideagasm maybe from a new word or from how a sentence is constructed and from there; you could be typing over a thousand words. The Forbes website, and a plethora of news stories have been helpful to me in the past and still are. Remember: If you are not reading, you are not writing.

Use of Apps: Sounds funny right? But it is serious business as app developers have come up with apps that can help you generate titles for your work when you put in key words. Some of these apps suggest titles for your work and proffer additional information that you may find helpful. One of these apps which I just came across and got to like is named Portent. A little keyword search on Google would redirect you to their site for download. Others are Hubspot, Buzzsumo, etc.

Knowledgeable discussions: Being observant while certain discussions are ongoing is one of a budding writer’s biggest tools. There are a thousand and one stories and articles from “knowledgeable” discussions with friends, in a formal/informal setting or even in a meeting. I started writing an article on Nigeria and the nuclear energy issue after seeing one news story on SouthAfrica’s new nuclear plants just yesterday. That story spurned a discussion amongst the people in that room with me and an argument ensued on whether the country is ripe for nuclear energy or not. I spoke when the need be, put pen to paper and then jotted down salient points for my next article.

Every writer’s nightmare -the block- could arise from a lack of ideas but incorporating simple rituals as the ones stated above could see you having a long lasting writing life.

Keep writing!


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015


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Recently, I was on one of Abuja’s numerous highways when my eyes caught an MTN ad on a billboard with the inscription learning is good, practice is better. I picked up a pen, wrote that down and the rest of this article is what happened next.

Some years ago, I took driving lessons from a friend. I learnt the basics and felt like I have arrived. A couple of weeks later, I would end up bashing the car against a gate when I was asked to drop some people off. I learnt the skill quite alright but never took time to practice. Each time I look back at that incident, I always think to myself learning to drive was good but practicing it would have been better. This same thing was going to repeat itself sometime in 2008 when I represented my school’s local government area in a Spelling Bee competition. I picked up the dictionary, learnt most of the words but didn’t make out time to vigorously practice them because I felt I knew them already. I lost out of the competition that could have seen me clinching the 250,000 naira prize money and becoming the governor of Lagos State for one day. Again, if only I had practiced.

The art of writing could be learned, one could get books on writing to teach oneself. You could also decide to take writing lessons from professionals in the field or even seasoned writers and then do some fine writings. It takes constant practice to either stick to or up your game, if not; all that is learned would be meaningless. Learning the art is one thing and constant practice is just the way to go as you keep tasking your brain, becoming more productive and dishing out some fine stories, write-ups or articles as the case may be. There are a lot of people who never sat in a class to take formal writing lessons but learnt the art on their own, wrote consistently and today they have the sign writer boldly written on their chest just like the Superman ‘S’sign. And just like Superman, could save the world when the need arises, these people could defend the sign on their chest when called upon or tasked with writing.

90 if not 95% of the reasons why students fail exams or don’t perform to the best of their ability is solely because of lack of practice. (The other 5 or 10% could be left for the other factors giving the Nigerian education system.) Even assignments and class works are designed to foster the act of practicing in the students so as to have or show in-depth knowledge of what they are being taught. I am yet to see a student who opens their books constantly, practice every single thing that was written in there and not at least pass their exams in a normal condition. That is, putting certain factors aside.

Ever wondered what the political arena and leadership in general would look like if a good number of those who ‘studied’ political science as a course and/or have a good knowledge of public administration or even took leadership courses are at the helm of affairs in the country’s government. (Studied was enclosed in inverted commas because every single person who finds themselves within the four walls of any higher institution in this country carries the tag ‘student’ wherever they go, the reference therein doesn’t really include every political science students.) For the purpose of this article, you’d agree that if these same people put all that have been learnt into practice, there would be an array of workable policies and progress would be recorded in some if not all sectors of the economy. But then again, politics in this country is based on ‘experience’, godfathers and all what’s not.

Learning is one thing but practice is another and of course better. It takes practice to attain that near-perfect state in whatever it is one is doing or getting oneself involved in. Indeed, just like that MTN advert said: learning is good, practice is better.


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


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Disclaimer: This article is not an attempt to speak ill of the church or mar its image and shouldn’t be treated as such.  It is strictly an “imperfect” observation and opinion of the writer.

Some topic seems to be so sacred that nobody wants to talk about or discuss it even when some have given it serious thought. We stopped existing in the medieval times a long time ago and nobody would cut off your head or hang you on a tree for speaking your mind even if it is not in favour of the church. Last time I checked, the era of the Spanish inquisition is no more. I refuse to be one of those that would put religion before God. The subject of this article is with reference to the Roman Catholic Church.

Let me state emphatically that I was born and bred a catholic before those thoroughbred-soldiers-of-Christ set of Catholics would start hurling stones/arrows of criticism at me. Silence or shying away from issues has never been proven to be a solution to problems. And although this may not be a problem to millions of Catholics around the world, it is to me. 

When you take a look at all the popes in the Catholic Church from Saint Peter to Pope Francis, there is no single black man amongst the 266 men that have become pope till date and it leaves one wondering if black men don’t serve God too or if they are not good enough to be popes. I may be ignorant of the procedures or criteria for selecting a pope but I believe that all things being equal a black man should have been made pope at one time or the other since the church came into existence, if it is to be fair. There have been black cardinals if I am not mistaken and I have been privileged to have the understanding that two of them presently are Nigerians. It was said that one was among the preferatti /papabile to succeed Pope John Paul II and I guess that is the only level that a man of colour would attain in trying to become pope.

I was talking to an acquaintance who happens to be a writer about this subject and he mentioned that Papacy could be coming to the blacks soon since it has moved from Europe where it was situated to a third world country as seen in the current Pope emerging from Argentina. His tone could be perceived as saying: All we have to do as coloured people is hope that it would come down to us someday. Truth is: As long as internal politics are at play in the church, I doubt if we would be seeing a black pope soon.  Some people would say, “why not serve God and forget about who becomes pope or not?” And my reply would be that I have always been an advocate of justice and equality and would not shy away from asking necessary questions.  The only proof to ascertain equality as humans is by making a position of power open or available to qualified persons no matter their race or colour. This was at play when a black man became the president of the USA for the first time.

Another area where I think racial profiling could be found in the church is in canonization or the art of making someone a Saint. You can count the number of black men that are Saints (in the church’s standards) but when it comes to those on the other side of the divide, the number is overwhelming. Growing up in a catholic family, I attended the block rosary crusade which was almost mandatory for young Catholics and in several of our meetings, we read the Lives of The Saints. Several saints were mentioned in the book and their life and works chronicled. If memory permits, the only black saint I could recall coming across is Charles Lwanga and his companions from Uganda. To be on the safe side, I tried searching for black saints on Google and the only result of note took me the site of a catholic diocese where eight saints were mentioned, just eight.  Although, I may be ignorant again of the criteria for someone attaining Sainthood but I know that if the church is being fair, there should be more black saints in the church. The late Iwene Tansi has been called “Blessed” ever since I learnt how to read and Late Pope John Paul II who died in 2005 was beautified last year. I don’t know what the church’s reasons are for not Canonizing Fr. Tansi but I would state that apart from whatever reasons there are, his skin colour and the part of the world where he is from could not be far away from it.

I may not have read the Canon Law of The Church from cover to cover but that should not stop me from saying what I believe is obvious and should be looked into. The Roman Catholic Church may not appear to be liberal and I am not suggesting that it should be but some things have to be readdressed and of course with divine guidance. Conservatism have worked for the church over the years but little changes like equality, I believe would not collapse the structure of the body of Christ.

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