One of the side effects of moving around quite a bit in childhood is that there is little room for enduring human friendships. Perhaps that goes some way to explain my reclusive persona. I had no real trouble making friends – I was engaging enough, I like to think – the trouble was keeping them for any meaningful length of time, and thereby forging lasting bonds.
Solace Chukwu's blog
It is one of football’s enduring conundrums: why do so few truly great players go on to come top managers?
Arrigo Sacchi’s famous assertion that one does not need to have been a racehorse in order to be a good jockey was a witty bon mot, but then if a prize-wining filly were to become a jockey, might it not stand to reason that it would be an exceeding good one?
"Every culture needs heroes, usually one who shares their world-view and has the same ends" Solace Chukwu shares his opinion on the idea of a black man playing James bond. Are you a writer or a poet? Do you wish to be featured on the ZODML blog? Email your short stories, poems, book review, opinion pieces, NYSC experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a staple of every secondary school in Nigeria: the Literary and Debating Society. It pretty much does what it says on the tin: writing and debating. The purview of its writing(s) is often limited to the school’s daily assembly, though some schools have the intuition to set aside a special day for the purpose of showcasing the genius of its students.
My secondary school was of the latter bent. It was ostensibly filed under the nebulous appellation “Extra-Curricular Activities”, and took place on Wednesdays I think (my memory may be a little hazy on this; I have lived many days *hoarse cough*). Think of it as a sort of all-purpose, all-comers-allowed thing.
When American referee Mark Geiger blew his whistle after ninety minutes on the 18th of June, it signalled the final knell for a group of legends. It was fitting that the most iconic of football venues, the Maracana, became the graveyard for a team that had defied change and wear. On that day, the Spanish national side saw the defence of its World Cup crown grind to an abrupt halt.
The signs had been there for many to see. Only five days earlier, the world had watched on, incredulous as a young Dutch team destroyed them 5-1 in Salvador. In itself, that game showcased football’s capacity for unpredictability. Spain went a goal up inside half an hour, could have gone two up soon after, conceded an equaliser on the stroke of half time and fell apart in the second half.
Huddled, my hips clamped in the vice-like grip of the passengers flanking me, I flounced and jounced in tandem with the bus. We had not been acquainted for very long, but my word, what chemistry we shared in this funky dance! The bus led, of course, and like a blushing debutante I followed, occasionally swept off my feet and unduly warm in secret places.
The bus conductor motioned at me for my fare, and I paid with a grimy bill (I give as good as I get, you better believe it). As I awaited my change, my eyes roamed and fell on the passenger on my left. He had his phone out, and I watched in horror as, after a brief period of contemplation, he opened the calculator application and computed this arithmetic operation:
The world is in the jet age. It has become a global village wherein, by use of sophisticated gadgetry, we create time and space warps. With the invention of the microwave oven, one of the most arduous of household chores was made easy. Grunting husband insisting on a warm meal just pulled into the driveway? No problem. Just pop it in the microwave.
Of course, if that level of convenience could be achieved in cooking, surely there had to be ways to limit the time allotted to other things. So people got creative. You only need to look at the manner of human relations in today’s world for an example of the ‘microwave’ culture.
You know what really grinds my gears about the news? Let’s say it’s 8:00pm. After a long, tiring day, you settle down on your couch with a steaming plate of porridge (insert: eba, fufu, iyan with that exotic, fish-laden soup you like so much, or whatever constitutes supper in your household) and flick over to a local news channel to catch up on happenings in the nation and the world. You are just in time to catch the headlines but as always, the TV channel is a study in tardiness, not hesitating to feature commercials till 8:05pm.