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Monday, 8 August 2011


London’s burning! The youth are looting and rioting. Shop-owners are fleeing. The police are out on the streets desperately trying to keep order as chaos rages around them. Politicians are wringing their hands ineffectually and making namby-pamby statements. Youth leaders & so-called self-appointed community leaders are blaming the government and cuts and blah-di-blah yabba dabba doooo rubbish .. but there’s one group missing in action – yup, the PARENTS of the criminal yobs roaming the street, looting, causing violent and terrorising others. These children are getting off on a sense of a rush of POWER!

So, where are their PARENTS??????

Now some of my readers will blame the government and say ‘oh, the government says we can’t smack our kids’ (that’s a lie actually – the UK has a LAW allowing reasonable chastisement of children as long as it doesn’t break skin or leave horrible bruises). People say, we can’t tell our children off .. social services will take them away .. etc etc . BUNKUM! NO Government has said don’t tell your children off, has said don’t teach them good manners, don’t tell them off when they are rude to others, don’t stop them bullying younger kids, don’t make them do their homework, don’t be cheeky to your teachers, don’t say NO to them, don’t put them in the naughty corner, don’t send them off to their rooms, don’t withdraw privileges etc etc etc.

What I am trying to say is even IF you cannot smack or do NOT want to smack your kids, there are many many ways of disciplining children and raising them to become polite hardworking disciplined individuals! Good parents all down the ages have and will always find a way to raise their kids right.

Walk into any shopping centre and you find 2 yr old children throwing tantrums and telling their parents to shut-up! Why? The parents said they cannot have a sweet or chocolate they want. Parents call out to their 4yr old children who ignore them and continue their wrong-doing. Parents say with  pride ‘oh, my 3 year old is so stubborn. I can’t control him o’ RUBBISH! Your 3 yr old is a child – you are the parent! If you cannot control a 3 yr old, if a 2 yr old can tell daddy or mummy to shut-up and are then begged and bribed or apologised to by the parent, then kids are being raised who will fear and respect absolutely NO-ONE! Parents go to schools to FIGHT teachers who tell their children off! Then we turn around and blame the government! RUBBISH!

It is not for the government to raise our kids – it was not the government’s decision to have those kids. Parents are the only ones on the face of this earth who HAVE a MORAL responsibility to raise their own kids.  This is not the time for excuses about marriages breaking down or unmarried parents or single parents. All those are cop-out excuses. Being poor, a single parent, a divorced parent, a baby mama or baby daddy, a 2-parent family does NOT give you an excuse to run out on raising your kids. Bottom line, when you CHOOSE to bring a child into the world, you BECOME an adult. Let us all Man up, Woman up, put stupid differences aside and RAISE the kids that we have.

Think of how quickly these riots would be over, if these kids had parents they feared. One lady called LBC radio earlier. She had called her son and found out he was involved in a riot. She told him to get his backside back home otherwise she would come and drag him away from there. The young man promptly went home. Now, that is a parent who has put in the years of hard work, toil and graft that is called child-rearing! If your kid loves, respects and fears  you when they are 3, they will still love, respect AND fear you when they are 16yr old lanky teenagers who tower over you. And if they despise, disrespect and tell you to shut-up when they are 3, well don't be surprised if they are out of control at 16!

In conclusion I say, parents are called to be parents and NOT their children’s friends. A parent has to often make unpopular decisions and do things your kids will absolutely HATE you for at the time. Don’t worry, do the right job and these very same kids will thank you years later. In their 20’s and 30’s, they WILL become your friends.

Parenting is a grave responsibility – GOD has given us our children as a gift – let us raise them right!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Jewels of the night

'pon different times
times shared .. times past
times hoped for .. times gone by

in the dark still quiet that speaks night
thoughts hum
chatter loudly
weave a subtle dreamy spell ..

different thoughts
vie for pre-eminence
trip upon each other
in a mad dash to rush to the fore …

tis thoughts y’see
not words
tis thoughts .. in a meetin of two minds
that is the greatest thing shared

so in the cool still velvety night
all is quiet ..
no words intrude to rudely shatter
the peaceful
harmony of self ..
thoughts are laid out
examined like jewels
probed for answers
turned upside-down .. inside-out

and finally - there it is
all laid out
bare n free ..
truth is reached .. is touched .. is won
tis all in the thoughts you see
all there
waitin .. longin to be set free

thoughts of ..
you and me ..

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Lagos - the city of a 1001 dreams (part 1)

I miss Lagos. The Lagos I miss no longer exists but the slightly faded damsel  who has replaced the ‘Eko’ of my dreams is still my home. England, the land of my birth is a great country, and I have lived here over half of my life, but Eko is the place that holds my heart.

How can I describe the love-affair I have going with this city? I see all her flaws, her ugliness, her shoddiness, the corruption destroying her from the inside out, the vast inequalities of wealth, with the mega-rich served by the dirt poor.

Eko, a city where ££million homes are a couple of miles from shanty huts with holes in the roofs; where the rich fly to the West for regular medical check-ups while the poor die in creaky hospitals with no drugs; middle-class families have a stable of 2 – 3 cars while their maids who work 18hr days, 6 days a week might never have a car all their lives.  A city that has lost its moral core where university girls sell themselves for a new Blackberry phone and phone credit while Churches sprout on every corner, where no-one EVER asks questions how anyone makes their money - Drug dealers dance side-by-side with hardworking bankers.

Eko, the city of a luxurious life-style - Europeans who have never lived in Africa find it difficult to understand when I say it’s not unusual for middle-class families to have a driver, a maid, a cook and maybe a gardener.

Lagos throbs and blares with a Zillion environment-destroying diesel generators and loud street-parties that can go on until the wee hours. Eko, the undisputed melting pot of Nigeria where members of every Nigerian tribe live together cheek by jowl united by Pidgin, our common lingua-franca. 

Lagosians are so openly ‘religious’ and so ‘tolerant’ that Mosques are built next to Churches, Muslims marry Christians, but this cloak of religious practice is mainly lip-service as most will flee to juju doctors when unexplained events happen.

This is my Lagos.

Despite her flaws, every time I step out of what surely must be the crappiest airport in the world, Muritala Mohammed Airport, love for this city grips my heart.

Eko is that sexy, seductive, beautiful, greedy, money-grubbing, demanding mistress you know only wants you for your money but you keep going back for more as you just can’t get her out of your head.

Eko, the city of my dreams.