Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New e-ddress

The Wanderer Moves Again!
(why else is he The Wanderer!)

Meet the Wanderer here

Hurry before he slips out of the building again...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fela Meets Abba meets the Wanderer... in Uppsala

Not all who wander are lost.

The Wanderer has moved... HERE


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

News Update: Omo Alagbede selected as Nordic Africa Institute Guest Writer 2008


Click on the image to read an enlarged version

About the Nordic Africa Institute

Nordiska Afrikainstitutet in Uppsala is a research, documentation and information centre on modern Africa for the Nordic countries. It promotes research and studies on Africa in the Nordic countries and co-operation between African and Nordic researchers. It also disseminates information about current African issues. The Institute was founded in 1962. It is financed jointly by the Nordic countries and has a Programme and Research Council with members from all the Nordic countries.

The Nordic Africa Institute website is here

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Wanderer is Dead. Long Live the Photo-Wanderer


This is Omo Alagbede.

This might be the last time you will be reading from this blog(ger). After more than a year of meritorious wanderings The Wanderer has decided to annul himself, and re-incarnate - as a photo-blogger. I bought a NIKON D40 camera about 2 weeks ago, and I have decided to spend 2008, God willing, recreating Omo-Alagbede as a paparrazo.

The journey/journal shall proceed on shutterchance.com. About to begin is a journey whose end I cannot predict. To be a part of this journey, visit


Below is one of my pictures, taken on my first wandering with my new weapon - Alpha Beach, (Lagos) Saturday 22nd December 2007

Yours Wanderingly,

Omo Alagbede

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Omo Alagbede's Letter in Time (2)


Dear [Omo-Alagbede]:

I am happy to tell you that your comments appear in the Inbox of the December 17 issue, available on newsstands now. We are pleased that you took the time to register your thoughts, and we're sure that other readers will be interested to read your comments, too.

Thank you for your engaged interest in TIME, and best wishes.


My Letter to the Editor appears in this week's edition of TIME Magazine (December 17, 2007 issue), available on newsstands now. I wrote the piece in response to the TIME Dec 3, 2007 issue cover story on the demise of French culture.

(Scroll down a bit if you click on the link. It's the letter from the "ABEOKUTA, NIGERIA" fellow)

This is my second appearance in the TIME's Letters pages. 1st appearance was (almost exactly) a year ago - Dec 4, 2006 TIME Europe Issue): MY LETTER IN TIME EUROPE AND OTHER STORIES.

Next time I want to appear further inside the magazine (smiles).
Will let you know once that's done...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do you know any Nigerian songs that denigrate women?

In resonse to my Bank PHB post, (see below) lamenting the crudeness of Bank PHB's ongoing "Stash and Cash" Promo radio ad Raven commented as follows:

I haven't heard the ad in question but I have to say that (based on the short snippet of transcribed dialogue) it hardly seems to denigrate women in general. Most stereotypes have a basis (even if it is merely a flimsy basis) in fact and this particular one stands, I feel, on pretty solid ground. There is a certain category of Nigerian women (or maybe we should say "girls" in this instance) for whom this sort of behaviour is de rigeur, this routine badgering of boyfriends, uncles and proximate males for substantial sums of money. It may be sad, but it also happens to be true. If a similar advert showed several young men planning internet scams in an attempt to get some cash for their "babes" one would be unlikely to say that this was insulting to "Nigerian men in general" even if one were not entirely pleased at the portrayal. So lets try and cut the Bank PHB people some slack. It might not be a great ad campaign, it might not be particularly tasteful but, let's face it, it's hardly a moral outrage.

Well said Sir. The stereotype's not completely unfounded. But, truth be told, I don't think that this [other] message is what the bank intended to pass.

This is what we might call a case of competing messages: the actual, intended message vs the unintended, but overriding (subliminal?) message. The end result of this conflict of ideas is something like "static" - the mental equivalent of it at least.
The Bank wants to portray females (perhaps the ad is targetted at women, who often seem to have more "disposable" income than their male counterparts - see footnote) who are zealously participating in the Stash and Cash promo, but what they end up doing is masking that message with another, one that enters the (nebulous) realms of morality, and borders on unflattering/denigratory representation.

But again, I agree with Raven's point. There are a lot of Nigerian girls who exist to "GET". I get, therefore I am. Popular (Nigerian) Culture is full of representations.

Our comedians probably get away with these crude jokes because of the elements of reality embedded in them.
A lot of Nollywood storylines are about the "Girl-Grabber" - a girl(s) who maintains a set of pot-bellied funders, unbeknownst to one another - at least one of whom will be a "Senator" - or go by the name "Chief". There's almost no Nollywood movie that doesn't have a scene where a love-struck male is shown buying up a boutique or supermarket to win - or keep - the heart of his beau, to the haunting music of a soundtrack.

How many Nollywood-portrayed women actually work at making their own money? If they're not married to or concubined to a rich man, then they are heirs to their father's empires (in which case you'll find them falling in love with penurious men)

So you see, our problems are deep-seated. Self-reinforcing negativities.

This is where Misan's comment comes in:

Yes, we do have a long way to go, but how for do? a letter to Bank PHB telling them to withdraw the ad? Why do Nigerian men feel this way? i was raised in the "where there's smoke, there's fire" camp so we need to establish our dignity (by addressing the root cause of our materialistic society, whatever that might be (poverty, perhaps)) AS WELL AS fight for our dignity (i don't believe the two to be mutually exclusive).

We need to address both the root cause (materialism) and the flowering (unrestrained denigration by generalisation).

Let's start here. Let's try to compile a list of (popular) Nigerian song lyrics that portray Nigerian women as money-grabbing species. Do you know any? Anytime from the highlife days to the afro-hiphop days? Or even folk songs? Please post them as comments, and include the name of the musician, the song title, and the offending lyrics.

1.Women are undeniably often the managers of the (not meagre) family "shopping income"
2.See the illiterate market women of Agbeni and Balogun who run trading businesses worth millions of naira and yet somehow manage to evade the official SME data-gathering exercises.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bank PHB "Stash and Cash" Promo: Nigerian Women Have Work To Do!

Nigerian women have work to do.

They should stop mourning their loss of the Honorable Speakership, or ranting about Ofunneka's vodkaventure-fuelled ordeal in the hands of that Animal Called Rich; and instead face matters of Current, Pressing Reality (CRP). One of which is the ongoing Bank PHP Stash and Cash Promo advert. I’ve heard it on Radio a couple of times, I can’t say for certain if it’s on television as well.

It has two men talking. Their conversation goes something like: (I’m writing from memory, not transcribing the gist):

Man 1: The world’s coming to an end
Man 2: What is it again?
Man 1: I’ve been getting calls from girls professing their love for me, only for them to demand for the sum of 25,000 naira
Man 2: Hey, me too. My girlfriend’s been badgering me for 25,000 naira as well…

It turns out that what all the "grabbing" girls need the 25 grand for is the Bank PHB Stash and Cash Promo! The Promo asks consumers to deposit 25 grand and automatically stand the chance of winning millions in monthly draws. Of course, the more the deposits (multiples of 25 grand), the more your chances of winning (and of getting angry when you hit nothing!)

This ad is a Mama-of-All-Insults. As I see it, is a celebration of the belief (stereotype) that the Nigerian girl is a money-grabber. Our comedians (the basket mouths and co) have already hit jackpots cracking jokes about the Greed of the Nigerian Chic. (A common one goes like this: The bird-flu epidemic was a messiah to the pressured pockets of the Nigerian Male. It meant that Nigerian Girls no longer ordered expensive Chicken meals at their men's expenses. The comedian would then hope aloud that the flu spread to other female necessities like Recharge Cards, Cinema tickets etc)

She doesn’t earn money; she doesn’t want to earn money, she’s content with depending on their boyfriends and husbands for everything.
Recharge cards, sweet Sensation chicken, Fan Ice-cream, hairdressing bills.

Or are we supposed to be rejoicing with Bank PHB that they’re portraying a new breed of Nigerian girls who, while still milking their men dry, refrain from squandering the money on the bric-a-brac of "feminine maintenance", but rather choose to "invest" the loot/ransom?

Seen from another angle, this is PHB’s message: Nigerian girls are so money-conscious that they will terrorise all terrorisables to obtain money that will allow them reap from a disguised gambling opportunity – save 25 grand and win millions in a draw.

True, Robert Kiyosaki talked about leveraging Other People’s Money (OPM). But this one doesn’t sound like that. This advert, as I see it, is demeaning and insulting to Nigerian Women. It portrays them as "Get All You Can; and Can All You Get" varieties of the Homo Sapiens species.

Naija Women, Stop mourning Etteh and Ofunneka, and start fighting for your dignity.





Friday, November 23, 2007

Omo Alagbede wins 1st Facebook Poetry Competition

Last Friday (16 November 2007) Omo Alagbede was announced as the Winner of the 1st Facebook Poetry Competition (judged by Todd Swift and Daniel Mitchell) - for his poem "Instructions".

Facebook Poetry Competion 1.0
The Winners:
#1 Tolu Ogunlesi (Nigeria)
#2 Janet Vickers (Vancouver, BC)
#3 Dominic O’Rourke (London)

You may read the press release(s) here:

PS. Omo Alagbede will be pocketing a $150 prize for this win. Watch this page for more details on a forthcoming e-party and ink-and-beer-throwing session (facebook style)!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Maggy Delvaux-Mufu: The African Woman Who Set Herself on Fire


Comment from an informed reader:
(thank you frederic):

Check your information before publishing them or relaying them. Because, this information about Maggy Devaux-Mufu Mpia goes back to 2004 and not 2007. This woman burned herself on October 5, 2004 in Luxembourg and she died on Saturday October 9,2004 in Metz in France. Take care

Omo Alagbede's Note: The news below is not recent, as was made to originally appear. The facts though remain correct.

She set herself on fire.
To protest racism.
Maggy Delvaux-Mufu. 40-something year old mother of three. Belgian citizen (?) of Congolese Origin.

Omo Alagbede's Musings
Mama Africa. The "Mama" who doesn't act like one. The Mama who abandons her children to the cruelties of other mothers
All Belgian citizens are equal, but apparently, white ones are more equal than black ones.

Warning: The pics below are disturbing. So is racism.

Pictures (c) http://www.opamizik.com

From http://www.opamizik.com
The 42-year-old Belgian citizen and her husband had been facing financial difficulties. They had recently indebted themselves by buying a Citro├źn garage in Oberwampach, before realising they were missing the documents that would allow them to set up a business. Delvaux-Mufu wrote a letter to Le Jeudi recounting her story of bureaucratic difficulties and economic despair. “I’m against all forms of violence, but day after day, my family and I have to endure moral violence, discrimination, insults and much more from Mr Juncker’s administration”, she said in the letter published last week. Money problems had driven the woman to desperately plead her case at the Prime minister’s office early on the same day of the incident. Her threat to burn herself alive on Place des Martyrs after being turned away by the authorities caused government officials to contact the police. A city-wide search was organised, but nobody could foresee the woman would change her plans."

Read the full story here