Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Adult that Bed-wets!

By Emmanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu 

I have always wondered
how mothers willingly contain the frequent cleaning-up of children’s waste
discharges. But then their toleration of that drudgery is mainly dependent on
the age of the child. It would be unpardonable for a grown child to urinate
while asleep, let alone an adult. An adult’s urine is sheer nasal torture, especially
given his complex biology and food habits. We would not forgive the adult that
bed-wets, for two reasons. First, the sheer acidity of his product is
unsettling; and secondly we would feel disappointed at his treacherous bladder. In the
case to be discussed, it is not just one adult but a swarm of them, each
contributing a quota towards the formation of a huge, embarrassing  compost of odour.

The foregoing  is a mere analogy to depict a situation in
which someone you know had some education, exposure and sophistication begins
to exhibit a totally despicable primitive attitude, letting out a kind of
orientation that places him in the same constituency as the unlettered among us. His outbursts belie
his learning yet his appearance and profile assert membership to civilisation. He
brandishes a university degree; shows an awareness of trends in fashion,
politics and social life;  he probably  has a plum corporate
job, travels overseas, and has all the trappings of a modern being, including
ownership of smartphones and other state-of-the-art gadgetry  –  devices
that should ordinarily enhance his access to knowledge. And with his obsessive
blackberry phone, this creature, a fellow youth,  sends you  broadcasts, warning  you of killer apples, oranges and suya that have been supposedly poisoned by the hands of Boko Haram, that faceless entity that makes a hobby of dispatching  innocents. No, he is not done, this informant, you must also not wear a particular colour of dress today or tomorrow: the occult among us have concluded plans with Death to pluck away people wearing certain colours. And then "switch off your phones tonight" he says, some radiation from Mars of all places is on its way to haunt humanity. Did he not also warn you of killer telephone numbers sometime ago? He cares, that's why he's obsessed with your safety! He continues to send you similar ridiculous messages bearing the same evidence in
foolery, grapevine productions he could not employ his overrated brain to
scrutinize. In his communications, you see two individuals in one: a learned
fellow on the one hand and a garnished illiterate on the other.

This matter is not as
frivolous as it sounds, for it reveals a hollowness in cerebral engagement and
a symptom of intellectual anemia in the average Nigerian youth. The indictment
goes further to embarrass our education sector, a system that tends to develop,
even unsatisfactorily, only  the social
and academic departments in the youth, leaving his intellect and thought-power
totally fallow. Today’s youth is a mere spectator of intellectual discourse, if
not a hater of it, but a robotic consumer of social products, a fun addict, and
a fan of materialism. His civilization begins with the Internet and
show-business  and ends with high-end
fashion and trendy telephones, while his inner being – his intellect – is left
pathetically crude so that superstition and blind religion can have a field

Meanwhile, one can
easily forgive the uneducated individual for hawking a rumour as primordial as
death by telephony and dress colour – just as mothers would tolerate bed-wetting by relatively
young kids. On the other hand, it is tantamount to adult bed-wetting  for a fellow who had invested a large part of
his life in educational refinement to spew baseless and brazen rumours – and we
would not so easily forgive that. For, in the latter, we mourn not only a
costly waste of time in the classroom but also the fact that an individual who
is properly equipped by the circumstance of higher education to disabuse other
minds of misconceptions, and torpedo the propagation of a silly falsehood, is
actually a willing courier of rumour. This has a wider implication.

One of such
implications is that his complicity further authenticates the rumour, as the less-knowing would not bother to put up some skepticism. ‘If it comes from him then it must be true’. And then the network
of rumour swells, giving rise to a more pervasive climate of fear.

This piece was provoked
as much  by the denigration of education through the involvement of educated individuals in this grapevine
circular, as by the  staggering population
of the converted. Scores and scores of fellow educated youths – and ‘educated’
here is used in a rather cynical sense – blared forth warning messages that lack the least content of cogency. Recognition however,
must be given to the fact that the youth’s harassment by superstition merely
reflects a society’s belief pattern, an anomaly that could have been upturned
by a robust intellectual culture that would subject all contentious  phenomena to the dialectics of reason and
tests of validity. This societal belief in superstition had also catalyzed a fear-induced
pentecostal spirituality in the Christian faith, for instance.

Now before I am termed
a blind idealist, let me make it clear that I do not doubt the possibility of
witchcraft. Much as I  do not have
knowledge of spiritual laws, I do not believe that witchcraft or black magic
has the power to affect us in the manner stated, otherwise we could concede to
it the power to do everything, even the power to alter the entire contents of
this piece and replace same with an entirely different version that is a  tribute to diabolism, before you get to read it. Our society
has ceded so much space to magic and superstition, leaving no more than a mere
foot-space for men – and that little space is yet animated by fear.

Just like similar
rumours of evil magic in the past, these ones have fizzled, but mind you the fact that commentaries like this rained to debunk the falsity of these concoctions does not mean that your informant has now been properly educated, no. Expect another soon. The whole wave of superstitious rumour-mongering comes as episodes  in one huge, endless soap-opera. We had heard of okada passengers disappearing the moment
they attempted to wear so-called bewitched helmets. Sometimes one suspects that
these rumours are actually intended as comic reliefs to a people tossed dizzily
about by a myriad of national woes. But this must stop. The comedy is too
costly in a society where superstition is a living culture. Let every educated
Nigerian who pressed a button to propagate any of such messages bury his head in
shame: he is an adult that bed-wets.

Emmanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu is a young Nigerian intellectual who is very keen about the written word. His articles have appeared in several national dailies and blogs. His first literary work is due for publication soon. Emma lives in Lagos. See Emma's blog Here

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Movie Review: Desmond Elliots In The Cupboard

 By Cynthia Ugbe

 Watching Desmond Elliot's movie In The Cupboard reminded me of John Grisham's novel  The Testament. The stinkingly rich Desouza family is archetypal of the Troyfelan  family in The Testament. Both families have issues. Issues that find their way back to childhood. In both stories, the siblings never grew up together. Growing up in the family was simply a formality. The real life existed out there. All they needed was wait, wait till they came of age and phew! Off they went to different parts of the world, only to return when the old man died. You know the drill with stories like this? Home coming aint exactly like family reunion!  Why? Old wounds are reopened, egos clash, conflict of interests ensue, greed, secrets... the list could stretch on! Shades of the typical spoilt rich kid syndrome. Talking on the title of the movie, Director Desmond Elliot says it could have been Skeletons in the cupboard! Changed it on second thought.. now, in the cupboard is cool but Skeletons in the cupboard? You're right! Desmond Elliot got lucky on that one!
 Okay. To the scoop of the movie. The six  Desouza siblings  are gathered with their mother, the elegant Veronica 'Ronnie’ Desouza ( Biola
Williams) after the death of their father to hear the old man's will. They have come back from different parts of the world. There is a lot of salivating going on. Of course you can't see it but it's in their eyes when they look at each other and at the envelope containing the will. They all want a share of the old mans booty!

The will is a bag of secrets.

It hits every one like a bullet!

First is the startling revelation that Tega the second son is not a Desouza! Imagine having to find out that your family is not your real family! All hell is let loose when this secret is revealed! But it is just the beginning! More skeletons abound in the cupboard. What follows is a twisting and thickening plot that gets deeper and deeper until all members of the Desouza family are swimming neck deep in it... including their lawyer! The Desouza fortune had become a looming cloud over them.. threatening to tear the family apart!
 Biolla Williams plays the role of their matriarchal mother Caroline Ronnie Desouza who holds the answers to most of the questions, but she too must tread veeery very carefully. The over ambitious first son is Uti Nwachukwu. He is sly and dangerous but he does not know about the lawyers sizzling affair with his homosexual sister. She too has her eyes on the booty and the lawyer is her ace card... her one way ticket to the kingdom of wealth!

Other siblings are not left out in the Saga. They too are hatching their own plans, manipulating, creeping, hacking their way into the Desouza treasure chest! The last child Tara finds solace in her camera.. she is recording everything. Admist all the chaos, one thing still holds them together. They are family. So they must fight, and find that love that once held them together. The movie is set in the modern city of lagos.
          Desmond Elliot
In The Cupboard is an intriguing family saga that aims to highlight the Importance of families sticking together says Director Desmond Elliot.  "These days it is so disheartening to see
brothers and sisters at each other's throats over
issues of land, property and other things. This
movie just goes to show family are meant to stick
together". The movie was co produced by Caroline Danjuma and stared the likes of  Ini Edo, Uti Nwachukwu,
Lydia Forson, Morris Sesay and Biola Williams. In The Cupboard is currently showing in cinemas nationwide. 

Cynthia Ugbe is a banker and a Theater Arts graduate of  The University of Nigeria Nsukka. She is also a model, Aspiring  film producer and Movies Editor of  TER. Cynthia writes from lagos.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: Nolly wood takes off on The Last Flight To Abuja

 Award winning director Obi Emelonye must be a very happy man right now. .. Do you you remember The Mirror Boy? Winner of Break through Artiste Monaco film festival 2011, winner Best young actor African Movie Academy Awards 2011, Two prestigous Screen nation awards 2011. Well, this is the guy behind  the movie and he’s done it again!

The memories from the huge success of his latest movie last Flight to Abuja must be like golden pearls right now! That’s no exagerration.. here’s the gist. The movie was premeired last Friday at The Palms Shopping Mall with huge media presence, talk about celebrities! Corporate Nigeria was present too.. big names like Diamond bank.. blah blah blah. Ok lets cut to the chase. I wasn’t watching the movie with the eye of a critic. I left my critic lenses at home but this is what I have to say.

As the saying goes; a good story alone doesn’t make a good movie, there are other elements too. This movie had them. With realistic acting and compelling dialogue, the likes of Jim Iyke, Omotala Jalade, Hakeem K Kazeem, Ali Nuhu and Jide Kosoko boldly brought the directors concept to light; fluid movements and all. The movie is a portrayal of loopholes in the aviation industry.  I have been wondering if it is a coincidence that this movie is coming at a time that the aviation industry in Nigeria just suffered a fatal blow. You know what I am talking about rite? Of course! The dana plana crash! God bless our souls. Now, its no gainsaying when we say that Nollywood has taken off.. Maybe you are still stuck with the likes of those movies we used to watch when we were kids.. Nneka The Pretty Serpent and Living In Bondage .. What of  Isakaba? Don’t want to go into the hilarious antics they dished out to us in the name of effects rite now,no disrespect to old Nollywood but new Nollywood has gone past that level, at least today we can listen to intresting dailogue, enjoy an intrigiung plot and even spare our selves the horror of predicting the next sequel of events, the next scene, even the next lines! You did that with the old Nollywood movies rite? Well, everythings changed now. 

The movie is about this company that  records huge profit in business so it decides to give the members of the board of directors a treat - An all expense paid flight to Abuja, can you dig that? With all the arrangements made, the duo and other passengers board the Flamingo flight to Abuja on their all expense paid trip.. well, all expense paid trip turned out to be the trip they all wished they never made. Sadly the plane crash landed somewhere in Ibadan. Why? - technical issues. The same technical issues we’ve been battling all our lives! Go watch the movie for more gist. The acting was good, camera actions and movements where also commendable, good plot, good storyline just that they could have done better with the quality of the camera as the movie appeared blurred on the gaint cinema screen. The camera also failed to project colour in the movie. Asides that, every other thing was commendable - The crashing  plane appeared real to some extent, it surpassed the normal Nollywood fake crashes! lol. View pics below. Thanks to Bella Naija!


                                                                     Obi Emelonye                                  
                                                                   Halima Abubakar                

                                                                   Uti Nwachuckwu

                                                                Damilola Adegbite


                                                                   Mabel Makun


                                                 Captain Matthew & Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde

                                                                   Yaw and AY

                                                               Mabel & AY Makun

                                                                Jeffery Daniels

                                                                 Anthony Monjaro

 Piece written by Cynthia Ugbe


 Cynthia Ugbe is a Banker and a Graduate of Theater arts from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. She is also a Model, aspiring Movie Director and Movies Editor of TER. Cynthia writes from Lagos.

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