2007-2016, Ten years of blogging… don’t read it all at once!

with geoff angela parselelo1

The world has changed. The world remains the same.


2021 (3)2020 (20)2019 (12)2018 (4)2017 (13)2016 (11)2015 (43)2014 (47)2013 (38)2012 (43)2011 (49)
  • Maryam, on Magnus (9)
    And that’s the other thing: somebody will come to your house with one packet of orange juice and drink two bottles of beer before he goes…
  • Letter to a Young Wife, from an Old (28)
    Besides, all your married friends have horror tales of their own, and it is in bad taste to complain to a doctor about your pimple, when he is sitting on an elephantiasis of the scrotum.
  • The Ramselling Truthangel of Zambaputu (8)
    Wherefore this travesty, this hypocrisy, whereby the big thief sentences the small thief while other thieves applaud?
  • Infusion 20 & The Mystery of the Good Reading (8)
    The secret of a reading is that it is NOT about the reading. The reader can read a writer's work more effectively in private. More cheaply too.
  • Reading in Abuja (0)
    Diaries of a Dead African, at Abuja tonight...
  • Sacrificing the Next Generation; Lessons from Abraham (2)
    Our youth have both the brains and the brawn. They have the vote, they have the skills, they have the visions. They have all it takes to take control of their societies. Yet, the only nattering we hear? 'Where's the ram, Papa?' 'Where's the ram?''
  • The Tragic Life and Death of a Short Story (10)
    I raised her with the best of hopes. She seemed a prize winner from the start, the way her sentences flowed, each paragraph tastefully asserted by a scintillating metaphor.
  • What's for Lunch? (2)
    Okada may refer to: ...commercial motorcycles in Nigeria;.... Wikipedia
  • Ancestral Stone (1)
    Among that tribe of broken folk who never saw their kin again, he was Mister Broken Leg himself, for his mother was the village ace with a grindstone.
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer-in-Residence (7) (3)
    He cleared his throat. 'It was a very sad case. Unfortunately my grandfather didn't teach me anything about curing homosexuality.' He cleared his throat again and glared at me, 'Make sure you don't write anything about this, you hear?'
  • On hearing Screams from Abuja (8)
    Condolences, one and all...
  • A Formal Notice of Burials to Come (7)
    Do you enter public buildings? Prepare for your own funeral.
  • An Email Affair (15 of 15) (13)
    'Ex-' rules apply... If you see my car driving down the bridge, go for a swim or something
  • An Email Affair (14 of 15) (4)
    My headache is gone now. Thanks for the concern.
  • An Email Affair (13 of 15) (7)
    I truly love you, Sou.
  • An Email Affair (12 of 15) (9)
    unlike you, I won't blame God. The Devil made me do it, alright? If I live long enough, I'll make my peace with God, but right now, I'm following my heart.
  • An Email Affair (11 of 15) (9)
    You should eat very well that evening - so you are strong enough for the deliverance session. Book a hotel room somewhere out of town.
  • An Email Affair (10 of 15) (9)
    I really can’t do this ‘simmering’ thing. Take my pot off your cooker completely if you don’t have the liver to bring me to the boil.
  • An Email Affair (9 of 15) (6)
    Understanding? Can you even read English?
  • An Email Affair (8 of 15) (8)
    The rooms of my life will be darkened by a collision with you. Our sex will be beautiful but cursed.
  • An Email Affair (7 of 15) (6)
    I want to see your eyes when you say those words to me. Do you understand?
  • An Email Affair (6 of 15) (7)
    We have quarreled many, many times in our eleven years of marriage, yet, she has never called me a failure. Never called me a worm. Not once.
  • An Email Affair (5 of 15) (9)
    This morning, as I lay in bed, trying to fake a heart attack as we agreed, I.. I… reached out my hand a hundred times to wake Sylvia up, I swear, I just couldn't!
  • An Email Affair (4 of 15) (9)
    Oh God, Sou! Did you have a real heart attack?
  • An Email Affair (3 of 15) (14)
    ...there’s something maddening about this keyboard that takes and hardens all the soft things I want to say… you can’t imagine how many yards of type I have written and erased because they look so sinful on the screen…
  • An Email Affair (2 of 15) (17)
    I don't know if I like to smell of food. I like my food but I prefer to leave the smells in the kitchen... or in the dining room...
  • An Email Affair (1 of 15) (17)
    I hate to have to meet like this in the church building, but I'll die if we have to wait till Tuesday. Please say we can get it over with, this weekend.
  • A Library in Asaba (17)
    Here is the prediction: every good book you place in the excited hands of a 10-year old today is a gun you take away from the hands of a thirty-year old career armed robber of the future. We cannot all live in walled estates forever. One day, our SUVs will go out to play. On that day when we come face-to-face with the childhoods that we have made, or marred, the lives we save will be our own.
  • Seer & Sons (3)
    Now, Boromio was as good a place as any to go crazy in...
  • Diary Girl (0)
    I remember no yesterdays. They erase as I sleep and all I have on their morrows are a newly-rinsed mind and my many-coloured notebooks with dates on their spines.
  • Urban Architecture (9)
    You have always defended the corruption and nepotism in the system, despite its terrible impact on you, because you lived in the hope that someday it might be your turn. That day arrives in a flush:
  • The Fundamental Human Right to Wee-Free (3)
    Someone clearly has to speak up for the fundamental human right to take a leak for free. This is trickier than it sounds, for one will immediately be accused of trivialising such hoary human rights as the right to life and the right to free association.
  • Natural Mystic Terrorist (7)
    Many more will have to suffer, Don't tell no lie...
  • The Seven Deadly Sins (1) (0)
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer in Residence (6) (2)
    'What's this?' said the man suspiciously, 'Girlsmagnet,' whispered De Sampa conspiratorially, 'If they like, let them spray all the mansecticide they want, just rub this behind your ears and on your adams apple, let me see who born the girl that will say no!'
  • The Obama Patriotic Theory on the Acceptable Slaughter of Humans (2)
    Overheard at a War Crimes Tribunal Satan expects every president to do his duty to his own nation – in the wars that follow, the Devil himself won't have to do a thing
  • Swaziland's (Politico-Economic) Revolution (0)
    King Mswati III on his part, thinks that what his country needs is an economic revolution, not a political one. The (by inference) lazy citizens should work harder and sacrifice more he said; small farmers should look for loans, should focus on getting the job done, rather than clock-watching...
  • Revolutionary Notes: Moral Clarity (4)
    If the would-be revolutionary cannot risk being accused of immorality by the status quo, if she is too afraid to be vilified or denigrated by the present order... then alternative hobbies are highly recommended - fishing, karaoke, and stamp-collection, for instance.
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer-in-Residence (5) (7)
    'Have you phoned her?' she asked. 'No.' 'Why? If the card is too expensive for you, how much is three minutes phonecall? Do you want to borrow my phone?'
  • How to get a Ph.D from the London School of Economics (0)
    Ought the priest remark the blood on the fingernails of the hand stretching for the collection bowl?
  • This Revolution will not be Franchised (3)
    In the realm of politics, franchises are also big business. Dictators with options on oil-producing – or otherwise strategic – countries can sign franchises with a superpower or the other. In return for military protection, UN Security Council veto services, Diplomacy PR services, revolution suppression, loot-laundry and similar services, the client dictator-franchisee guarantees military bases for its political franchisor and sweetheart deals for the franchisor's corporations.
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer-in-Residence (4) (8)
    I dearly wanted to remind him that I was not his apprentice, and that confronting Rayo was way beyond anything in the conditions we had agreed... but I knew very well that there was no such thing as a free glass of wine, or roast goat meat for that matter. I sighed heavily and rose to my feet.
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer-in-Residence (3) (0)
    'You are in a witchdoctor's yard, not a hospital,' I told her loftily, 'there's no microwave oven here.'
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer-in-Residence (2) (4)
    'Spirits can be unpredictable,' he continued. 'My first boy started stammering after the first week of his apprenticeship. Just like that. Took me months and months to cure that one...'
  • The Secret Diary of the Witchdoctor's Writer-in-Residence (1) (7)
    He had a ringside view of a witchdoctor's surgery, but he was sworn on oath not to say a word...
  • Launching African Writing, print (0)
    African Writing launches in Oxford...
  • Why Yesterday? (3)
    I have an eye on Yesterday, because it is our true homeland.
  • Ben Ali's Bloodied Nose (3)
    This Tunisian Fever has bloodied Ben Ali's nose; with any luck it is an infectious malady. No doubt there will be some tossing and turning in certain Presidential beds up and down the world
  • Okey Ndibe & The Ghost of Sani Abacha (2)
    Critical voices are part of the equation of a Renascent Nigeria and the Presidential message of moderation is one that should go, both to the terrorists taking a cue from the Bomber of Dele Giwa, to public servant extremists who constitute the claw ends of the renascent ghost of Sani Abacha.
2010 (50)
  • Not so, Adaobi… (7)
    wholesale cultural suicide is too high a price to pay for national unity
  • The Mo Ibrahim Prize vs. The Spoilt Brat Prize for African Leadership (11)
    The Spoilt Brat Prize for African Leadership is awarded annually by prize committees of morally bankrupt armies, sleepy citizens, and timid neighbouring heads of state. Recent winners include Robert (Lose-an-Election-Throw-a-Tantrum) Mugabe. The 2008 prize went to President Mwai (I'm-Going-Nowhere) Kibaki of Kenya. Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo is a front-runner for the 2010 prize.
  • Dear Laurent Gbagbo (17)
    Due to the scarcity of African ex-presidents (your colleagues - for some reason - prefer to retire to mausoleums) you may be in a position to commence a lucrative career on the international circuit as a much fêted public speaker.
  • MaCharlie at Yahoo (Part 5 of 5) (12)
  • MaCharlie at Yahoo (Part 4 of 5) (14)
  • MaCharlie at Yahoo (Part 3 of 5) (6)
  • Ma Charlie at Yahoo (Part 2 of 5) (8)
    MaCharlie, I don't have time to write much about Viagra. Internet here is very expensive. I have two graves to fill in Waterside and this is not the time for me to be explaining that sort of thing.
  • MaCharlie at Yahoo (Part 1 of 5) (13)
    I know we are both too old for children and I will not ask miracles. But what I ask, you must do faithfully.
  • The Ransom Letters (Part 6 of 6) (36)
    I also have some going away presents for you. You can't sell them for much, so just give these trinkets to the women in your lives. Because I really, really pity them.
  • The Ransom Letters (Part 5 of 6) (26)
    Please now, behave like kidnappers. After all you are not working in Guantanamo.
  • The Ransom Letters (Part 4 of 6) (22)
    If you want to alter a cheque why couldn't you look for the same black biro that I used to write it? How much is black biro?
  • The Ransom Letters (Part 3 of 6) (21)
    Despite that you are a kidnapper and I am a respectable housewife, with the things I did to get that spending money, we might still meet in hell!
  • The Vennyans are Coming (0)
  • The Ransom Letters (Part 2 of 6) (15)
    Don't say I'm teaching you your job o, but normally kidnappers will kidnap a child or a wife or something, not the main man who can raise the money.
  • The Ransom Letters (Part 1 of 6) (14)
    I know you may not have budgeted for it when you were planning this kidnapping, but you have to spend money to get money, not so?
  • The Falling Value of Human Life (2)
    In literature as in life, when death is piled upon death it ceases to 'translate'. 50 Die in Church House Slaughter, 900,000 Die in Eight Month Campaign... we can read these statistics without tears, hear them on the news without cost to appetite... whereas the cat caught in our lawnmower blade may well traumatise us for life
  • 'Slovo' is Slovak for 'Word' (2)
    The whole idea of festive uniforms tends to underline the disconcerting proximity between our seasons of ostentation and those of want...
  • Buck-Passing in the Gulf of Mexico (0)
    The world of the multinational is a rapidly shrinking one - staff and resources circulate incestuously in one mobile industry. When lax standards are accepted in one part of the world they will eventually come to roost in other parts where disasters are neither as easy to ignore, nor as cheap to sort.
  • Happy Birthday, DoaDA (0)
    Once you open the pages of a novel you see, you embark fully into the realm of fiction..
  • Funding the Ministry of Attack (1)
    What happens to a bomb deferred? Does it dry up or fester, et cetera? Actually, it just explodes; like the arsenal that blew up hundreds of innocents in a Lagos munitions dump back in 2002.
  • Something strange happened to my Teacup yesterday. (0)
    Be very, very afraid. For even the craniums of plebians have a breaking point. I am no prophet, but have spoken. No seer, but have seen it. Yesterday, my long-suffering teacup bled tea on my breakfast table.
  • How to Recognise a Third World Country… attn: Office of the Pope (0)
    No, Cardinal Kaspar, Britain is not a Third World country. There are certain sure fire ways to tell whether or not you are in a Third World Country. I will now list some of them for your future use:
  • Condolences, condolences. (0)
    Why does the wine for the toast taste bloody?
  • Banning Glasses from British Pubs (1)
    Sooner or later we will have to address the real solution: how to ensure that the modern 21st century family can produce civilised citizens who can drink out of glass glasses, rather than hooligans.
  • Sentencing for Six (or a portrait of the persona as a… woman) (0)
    "It started out a rape—I will swear to this on my mother's grave."
  • Why South Africa is not really a Country (9)
    History starts everyday. 2010's rash of 50th anniversaries is another opportunity for African nations (some more urgently than most) to look again with an objective blend of subjectivity at their most-referenced bastion of identity, the Name.
  • The Art of War vs. The War of Art (0)
    And yet the Arts face a greater threat than recession: competition from the most unlikely theatre, that of War. Instruments of war have been transmogrified into Art
  • A September Eleven Poem (4)
    'The World Changed forever on September, 11, 2010' 'Really?'
  • Upon finally learning 'How to Euthanise a Cactus' (3)
    I had been wondering how to Euthanise a Cactus, ever since I first stumbled upon the title of Stephen Derwent Partington's second poetry collection.
  • The Colonist Fights Back…(Cambridge finally trumps Harvard) (6)
    knowledge is no democracy. Never was. Never will be.
  • Jamming with Books in Lagos (0)
  • Labour on the Ropes (2)
  • The New Corruption Tax (0)
  • A Magic Bullet for Corporate Corruption (1)
    The Scramble for Africa continues apace. It is the responsibilty of this generation to put on the brakes.
  • Tugging at the Ancestral Cord. (0)
  • Joining the British National Party (0)
    The white-only membership of the BNP is at the heart of its identity. Its current constitution defines its potential membership with the particularity of an apartheid byelaw:
  • Why President Goodluck should have Rejected his Appointment (2)
    The ten naira question of course was why it was necessary concoct a 'doctrine of necessity' that was totally unnecessary in the first place.
  • Balancing the Narrative (0)
    Which is why African Writing needs your partnership to present a counter-balancing narrative that proceeds, not just from Africa’s writers, thinkers and artists but from an alternative mindset that does not centre the world in New York, Los Angeles or London.
  • The Ten Commandments of Nigerian Politics (1)
  • Ngugi v. Young African Writers (3)
    But Ngugi will never veer too far from his pet subject, the African language. Here is a quote from the interview, his only reservation against young African writers is that, 'I have not (so far - I may be wrong) seen a young writer of the new generation who takes a positive stand for and on behalf of African languages.' This is the Ngugi challenge for young African writers. Still I'd like to throw Ngugi a challenge of his own: an important award in his name for a work of fiction published in a language indigenous to Africa
  • The Rumble in London (II) (3)
    If you agree that an effective Electoral Recall clause is the way to go, please send a mail to Just add your name and address for now, along with any special skills you may want to contribute to this campaign. And spread the word. We will contact you in the days and weeks ahead. The Movement has started.
  • The Rumble in London (I) (19)
    Enough is enough! they cried, and even for that catharsis alone, one sensed, the public protest was worth it. As their countrymen melted into the non-Nigerian Africanness of the besieged professional - or cleaner - in London, these ones had stood up publicly to identify with, to stand up for their troubled nation. And they were not just striking out for nation, they were striking out for themselves. For their spiritual health.
  • America's Finest Moment (No. …?) (3)
    There will also be time to reflect on the historical injustices suffered by that island state, and to do something about it. But this is a moment, simply to say 'thank you America'.
  • So Why are we having a Nigerian Winter in London? (0)
  • Why we are no Longer at Ease (21)
    Let us dream a simple dream made fantastic by our present circumstances.
  • Prayer before Flight (5)
    When the prodding wand comes my way let it beep briefly, and be gone
  • An Ugly Day in Cabinda (0)
    The report of gunfire will resound in South Africa where football administrators will be squirming in their bullet-proof vests as they plan a hijack-free World Cup.
  • The Greatest Shame of the 21st Century is… (3)
  • The Mutallab Factor (0)
  • Blair's War against his Conscience (0)
2009 (23)
  • Making (& unmaking) a State in the Name of Art (2)
    Alex Hartley's Nowhereisland Project has Chuma Nwokolo wishing for a Ministry of Common Sense.
  • Hitting Trees with Sticks (5)
    So there's my money for you: hovering between Other Men's Gods and Hitting Trees. [I won't make a good judge because I'll tell them to just split the prize money down the middle and be done with it.]
  • Obama and The Surge (0)
    It is the responsibility of the Allies, with appropriate cultural sensitivity, to so midwife an improvement in the lives of the majority of Afghans that THEY will withstand the ideologues of the Taliban. Otherwise, all Obama would have achieved by his latest announcement is a surge in body bags, flying stateside.
  • Yar'Adua's Broken Heart. (0)
  • The Sexiness of War (0)
    The message surely is a clear one: nothing turns us off like war and death.
  • Sudan on YouTube (2)
  • Phèdre, Sanford and Love Stories from Athens to Argentina (0)
    Mr. President can err eggregiously with a million tons of explosives, can order the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocents, the sack of foreign governments, and still retire to bugle and brass bands... but if a potential president has a fling with an Argentinian lass his moral fibre becomes too coarse for the White House?
  • Moazzam Begg and the Case of the Suicide Bombing Donkey. (0)
    Quick memo to torturers who will not be watching Taxi to the Dark Side. You will get intelligence. It will not be intelligent
  • Jersey's Film Festival '09 (0)
  • Ethnic Engineering & Human Cloning (0)
    A zoo, with all the best intentions, is still a zoo.
  • Money, Memory and Peru-Bolivian Gold (0)
    If a two-hundred-year-long immersion in the Atlantic cannot drown the legal personality of a ship load of gold, what will it take to erase the legal rights of people?
  • Lessons I am Learning; No. 2. Titling Stuff (7)
  • Finding Thinkstone (1)
    It may be exiled here in Guernsey but it is still its own self. It still bears a rough facet that will match the cliff from whence it was chipped, whether on the cliffs of Sark or Mauritania. It is craggy and inarticulate. Gruff, dour. Unamenable. Almost obsidian, dense.
  • The Mirror Test of Identity Relations (6)
  • Mwai Kibaki and the case of the Phantom Wife (1)
    The First Lady of Kenya is an elderly woman. She does not exactly have the left jab of Britain's John Prescott, who punched an egg-thrower back in 2001.
  • Books for Hire in Lagos (1)
    He then said something that has remained with me since then: He said that those who want to read, who hunger for knowledge, will never steal books but will instead hurry to share them.
  • Lessons I am Learning; No. 1. Simmering Poems. (2)
  • Tayeb Salih's Season of Migration to the Stars (1)
    Salih was that great painter of the Sudanese countryside, and chronicler of his compatriots' spirit. Reading his book was the luminous window into the world I entered.
  • Sub-Atlantic Accidents (0)
  • Companion Dreams (0)
    If your life is as smooth as an expressway, perhaps you have far to travel.
  • The Human Stain (0)
    Thus far, we had kept our contagion earthside. On this epochal day of our outing, we have taken a giant step for the human stain.
  • The Audacity of Hope (0)
    One gets the sense of a pyramid scheme, of an audacious mass hallucination in which we are all complicit. Every once in a while, our hot air balloon fails and collapses around us, and it is the duty of the great and good to borrow, borrow, borrow, and encourage us to do the same until we can get the confidence (trick) running again.
  • The Silver Express (2)
    True Discipline won't do deals with the flesh. We are either on higher ground, our feet planted on certainty, or we are at some point on the slippery slope, sliding downwards. The tension between what we want to do and what we have to do produces the propellant that fires us forward. Discipline is the true fuel of the Silver Express, building the momentum that speeds us towards our destiny.
2008 (13)2007 (3)

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