Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nigeria's Top 10 Bestselling Books (February 2007)

- The Godfathers Are Not to Blame, by Adebayo Alao-Akala, Two Kings Press

- The Foreign Oil Worker's Guide to Ijaw, MEND Press

- Korean for Militant Beginners, MEND Press

- King Baba - Plays by ex-PDP Chieftains, edited by Atiku Abubakar, Broomhouse Publications

- This Animal called Atiku, by Olusegun Obasanjo, EFCC Press

- Morality and Nigerian Politics - A personal testimony (PhD Dissertation by Chris Uba, Onitsha Market University Press)

- Chicken Noodle Network - The Suppressed Scandals of Ted Turner's Conglomerate, by Frank Nweke Junior, Aso Press

- The Virtues of Taciturnicity - A Memoir, by Femi Fani-Kayode, Bulldog Press

- Who is Who of Corruption in Nigeria (Revised Standard Version), edited by Ahmadu Ali and Olusegun Obasanjo, Leaking Umbrella Press

- The Nigerian Navy's Guide to Navigating the Niger Delta Creeks, by Jeff Koinage, CNN Press

Another Self-Portrait

Omo Alagbede in Giorgio Dior Armani face-cap, 2007

Omo Alagbede: A (Gentleman's) Self Portrait

Omo Alagbede in scottish bowler-hat, gecko bow-tie and hawaiian neck-tie; self-portrait on canvas; 2007

(created using SCRIBBLER and paint)


(A one act play by Omo Alagbede; 2006)
For Ladoja, Ngige and DSP

HIS EXCELLENCY: I hear men’s voices. I smell the blood of a politician…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: What are you saying, Your Excellency?

HIS EXCELLENCY: Go onto the balcony and tell me what you see.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (goes and returns) I see nothing. You confuse me, your Excellency.

HIS EXCELLENCY: Your inner eyes fail you, and that, for an aspiring politician, is a tragedy of the highest order. Now go back and look again.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (goes, screams, and runs back) I see them now, now I see them. How – who – why – did they get here? So many – what…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Blessed are they who do not see, yet believe

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (still in a panic) Who are they, your Excellency?

HIS EXCELLENCY: (chuckles) They are friends. I think that you had better summon all the strength in you. We have a long night ahead.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: I’m not sure I understand you Sir. Do you know those people. Were you expecting them? Don’t you want to come to the balcony to have a look at them?

HIS EXCELLENCY: Before they were, I knew...

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Are they for us, Sir?

HIS EXCELLENCY: (laughs) You know nothing? You see nothing? Are you alive or are you not? Is there nothing in your head? You, on whom foolishness sits like a corrupt Judge…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: I’m sorry to upset you Sir, but… I.. am…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Quit the speech. They that are against us are more than they that are for us. They that are against us are they that were for us.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: So they are enemies…

HIS EXCELLENCY: This is the night of long … poisoned umbrellas. Pray, where is my deputy?

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Your deputy, Sir? Your Excellency, I don’t mean to be uncouth, but the Alfa is charred and yet you ask for his beard? Your deputy left this morning. He said he was going leave. Was it not you who approved his leave?

HIS EXCELLENCY: That, precisely, is the point, my young friend. What used to be the Government House, has become The Government Garden of Gethsemane (chuckles).

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: That doesn’t sound comforting at all, your Excellency, even though I understand it not…

HIS EXCELLENCY: You will understand, young man. But then again, you never may… Our camp has suffered plunder. The gods are not to blame, blame the godfathers instead..

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Again Sir, I do not mean to be rude, but are you sure you do not need some rest…?

HIS EXCELLENCY: The season of rest is long past, sadly. This is the season of the final stand. Call me my Chief Security Officer at once!

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (dashes off and returns; pants) He’s not at his seat Sir. His office is locked. Wait a minute Sir, I think I remember something? Yes, yes, I overheard him telling your deputy that he was summoned to Abuja for an important meeting…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Abuja, you said. Excellent. I will lift up mine eyes to the Rock, from whence cometh my downfall. Call me my lawyer, now!

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Which one of them Sir? The one who defended you against the allegations of certificate forgery, or the one who defended you at the election petition tribunal? Or shall I call the Senior Advocate of the Moneyed who helped the First Lady to sue that magazine that claimed she imported a container of lipstick with Government money.

HIS EXCELLENCY: Just get me any damn lawyer and for Heaven’s sake stop the cheek!

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: I’m sorry Sir. (dashes off and returns). There are two lawyers downstairs Sir, but both of them have a splitting headache. At least that’s what they said…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Good. That leaves my Campaign Organisation. Get me my director of mobilization.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (dashes off and returns) He’s in his office quite alright Sir, but he says that on the basis of the memo you wrote officially disbanding the organization when you won a second term, technically he is no longer your Mob. Director.

HIS EXCELLENCY: I see. I told you. That leaves you and me, perhaps only me. I fear to ask you to get me the First Lady. I fear she may decline to come, she may say she’s got nothing to wear.. Here we are, you and me, caught between the devil and the deep green-and-white marshes of Abuja. Prepare for your death. (chuckles). Just kidding. Get me the phone. I need to speak with Switzerland… (he dials a number)… hello, hello, is that the Manager in charge of African Funds… good …this is his Excellency speaking… yes, from Nigeria… my code… NG544210… I need to.. what! Who? Are you in your right mind? Freeze! Who gave you such orders? This is a breach of…hello.. hello…hello…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (calling from the balcony) Sir… those people outside, the mob, they are beginning to climb the fence. They are waving swords in the air. They are … is that not your godfather, Chief Dr. Egowokudi that I see? Eepa! Sir, your deputy is amidst them, look at him leaping over the fence like an antelope…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Get inside at once, my friend. This is no time to be a football commentator! We have come to the end of ourselves, and this I say both metaphorically and literally. Drastic situations, drastic solutions. Where is the key to the wardrobe? I hope the contents are intact. The skirt-suits, the wigs, the bras? The jewellery? I shall wring someone’s neck tonight if the wardrobe has been tampered with…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Now you confuse me beyond confusion your Excellency!

HIS EXCELLENCY: Watch and pray, my young friend. Do as I do, and you will be as I am. (chuckles). Now listen! I shall be Mrs. November, Official Massager of His Excellency. And you shall be Miss Molete, Chief Cleaner, Governor’s Office. Here, use the pink lipstick. Not too flashy, just right for a cleaner. The mob is not after massagers and cleaners. They seek the big fish. We are no longer the big fish – at least for now, my dear Miss Molete…


(c) Omo Alagbede, 2006

Thursday, February 15, 2007

3 Things flu

This flu has been wandering around blogsville for a while... I finally caught it in laspapi's compound...


Three things that scare me:
1. The thought that blogging might actually be the new arrowhead of Aliens & UFO Inc's (age-old) conspiracy to finally take over (read "Acquire") majority shares on Planet Earth! (Don't ask me how! Just imagine if they paid every earthling blogger a decent sum to put up a post on "100 reasons why Aliens should take over on Planet Earth". I'm sure I'll effortlessly think up 200)
2. The thought that the novel might truly be dead - yet mine remains unwritten!
3. Poverty

Three people who make me laugh:
1. The Nigerian Politician
2. A bragging Nigerian
3. Dubbya.

Three Things I love:
1. Books
2. Bookshops
3. The Internet.

Three Things I hate:
1. Those idiots who think misruling Nigeria is a competition that they must win.
2. The absence of a viable publishing industry in Nigeria
3. A sluggish Internet connection

Three Things I don't understand:
1. Nigeria
2. Why I'm finding it so difficult to start my novel
3. Women (Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't)

Three things on my desk (right now):
1. A stamp pad
2. My mobile phones (yeah, plural!)
3. Earphones

Three things I’m doing right now:
1. Filling this questionnaire
2. Thinking hard
3. Endlessly clicking the "refresh" button in the hope that good news (You have just won the Booker!) will have arrived in my email.

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Write a great novel.
2. Enter the Guinesss Book of Records for the author with the longest booksigning queue ever since the invention of print
3. Write another great novel.

Three things I can do:
1. Procrastinate
2. Browse
3. Write novels (The Power of Positive Thinking!)

Three things you should listen to:
1. A Nigerian politician
2. A Nigerian football fan
3. Your heartbeat (for musical and also for confirmatory purposes)

Three things you should never listen to:
1. A Nigerian politician
2. Any politician
3. George Bush's suspicions

Three things I’d like to learn:
1. Salsa
2. Bass Guitar
3. The English Language

Three favourite foods:
1. Chicken Republic's Chicken wings 'n chips
2. Amala and ewedu soup
3. Milo (the FOOD drink of future champions)

Three beverages I drink regularly:
1. Water
2. Coca Cola
3. The Fountain of Knowledge

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
1. Famous Five (read)
2. Voltron (watched)
3. Tintin (read)

Book 'n Chips

The Book

The Epilogue / Postscript

Pictures taken by Omo Alagbede at the launch of Love's Lie, a novel by Seye Oke; Nu-metro Bookstores, Lagos; December 2006

Yacht on Alpha Beach (Bidders Welcome!)

Pic taken by OmoAlagbede on Alpha Beach, Lagos, December 2006

Monday, February 12, 2007

100 things you didn't know you didn't know - and never bothered to find out!

That is the title of the latest series you should watch out for on this blog. Let me repeat the title again. (Repeat again, as in "reverse back"):

100 things you didn't know you didn't know - and never bothered to find out!

First in the series (aka No 1) is: The Origin of Valentine - and maybe of the species (2 for the price of 1)

How did Valentine's Day come about?

It started in a garden. You-know-which-garden. Yeah. The serpent gave the historic, first ever val's gift, to Iv, thus launching Valentine's Day. (Forget the St. Valentine's nonsense. It was an afterthought invented by atheists to avoid talking about the garden).

The first ever val's gift, as you have guessed, was an apple. (A bite from an apple, actually, not the whole apple, damn the stingy serpent!)

Where did this leave Heydam?

The angry, jealous, first-man, arrives from the farm to realise that his wife has been valled. He kills the serpent, and in a sparkling moment of brainwave (smb), prepares it (roasting, boiling) and serves it for supper, thus producing, by (more or less) one act, the following:

1) The first act of culpable homicide (a serpenticide) in human history

2) The species known as Homo-Serpent (the "t" is silent, the "serpen" is pronounced with a twist of the lips)
NB. After the supper of snake-suya, snake-burger, snake-in-apple-and-curry sauce and apple juice, Heydam made his way into his wife's leaves (remember, cotton pants, G-strings, tampons, sanitary pads, wrappers and what-have-you were still centuries away from invention) and performed his, uhm, duties, as a husband, or better still, as a MAN. Ehem. Which, uhm, uhm, explains the genetic, uhm, basis for "Homo-Serpent". Or does it?

3) The world's first barbecue night

4) The event that Africans now regard as primal in the evolution of African cuisine (bushmeat!). They (Africans) have since moved on to bigger bushmeat conquests like lions, cheetahs, baboons.

I guess that the question uppermost on your disbelieving (that's your bleddy bizness!) minds is:
"So how did flowers and chocolates come to displace apples as valentine gifts?"

I won't answer it! I put it to you to think hard and come up with your own answers. The answer closest to the true answer (which only I know) will win an autographed copy of my forthcoming book "More banal tales from the you-know-which garden" (Bullshit Press, 2007)

Quote of the Day

"... when you begin your career as grandly as [Shapiro] did, where can you go but down?
-- JIM HARRISON (New York Times)

OmoAlagbede says: Selah!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize 2006

I start off my blogcarnation with good news. My good news (lol).

Last week came with the announcement that I have been awarded a (2006) Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize.

The prize awards between $1,000 and $25,000 annually for the finest lyric poems celebrating the spirit of life, written by poets under 40.

I won a $1,000 prize for my poem VISITING THE YELLOW RIVER.

I consider this my first Poetry Prize*

*Last year, my poem LIFE SCIENCES, earned me a "Noteworthy Poet" selection in the 2006 Castello di Duino poetry competition (plus publication in the competition anthology, translation of my poem to Italian, and a recording of the poem on audio CD); but the Dorothy Rosenberg is my first "win", if you get my drift...

Blogging, like Satan, is alive and well on planet Earth

Don't misinterprete the title of this post. It is simply an allusion to a book by the American evangelist and Christian writer, Hal Lindsey, titled Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth.

Blogging and the devil have nothing in common -- other than the fact that both of them love to walk to and fro on the face of the earth, seeking whom to devour. Last time we checked, blogging was winning. Far more people are under the influence of blogging that the devil's.

Sin is out, bloggin is in.

It used to be said that "The devil findeth work for idle hands". Now, how can he any longer, when the once-idle hands are now busy in eternal conversation with computer keyboards.

Sorry for the digression. Twas da devil.

This is what ChristianWriter had to say in response to my last, despairing post:
"But of course you must blog. Don't be selfish. Think of the people who stalk your blog daily when they should be doing more grown-up things like working.Blogging rules. Don't abandon ship. And that's an order. "

Talatu-carmen said: "but, alas, the spirit of blogging has fully possessed me."

My friend, Chude, has just joined the blogging train, just when I was thinking of abandoning ship.

Even iGwatala, who first caught the blog-fatigue (blog-flu?) disease, has been cured miraculously.

What shall we say to these things?

OmoAlagbede is back to reclaim his place in Blogaria.

PS> If this blog will not allow the novel to see the light of day, then perhaps the novel was never meant to be. Ha ha!