Monday, June 11, 2007

Xenophobia in Mzansi

My friends in South Africa are a generation below me in age. They are incredible credit to their nation and to the continent of Africa. I attach a video about their views on the much maligned Nigerians in their midst. It is against this backdrop a new kind of crime emerges that builds on Xenophobia. One of the speakers, my brother and partner Siphiwe Mpiye wrote an article on Xenophobia in Y magazine recently in which he bigs this correspondent. He never told me about it but others did and I am privileged to count him as my brother. All must watch out he represents a future for his people and the continent that is huge.

Back to crime another similar brother who could be Siphiwe's twin Tade another future leader if there ever was robbed at gun point as he arrived at his Johannesburg hotel from the airport. This is not an isolated case as many Nigerians are targeted for being from that country not simply because of their nationality but what it represents. Nigerians visit Mzansi from a country with a cash economy, they have to declare the amounts they are carrying and their destination in Mzansi. I have no doubt that some unscrupulous official is disclosing this to armed co-conspirators who trail their victims or even wait for them at their hotel. This is a crime that draws little sympathy because of stereotypes of Nigerian. For Tade a telecoms executive, father , husband to be attacked on this level leaves scars not just of lost money but total vulnerability in a country where he has no friends. This must change and change soon even though CNN will not carry it neither will NTA or SABC broadcast it the real loser in the end will be Mzansi and as Siphiwe says we cannot afford such loss.

What did Aremu Do to you?

A government that delivers a home grown reform that increases GDP from average 2.5% till 1997 to an average 6% in 2007 including 10.2% growth in 2003. A three fold increase in Per Capita GDP at Purchasing Power Parity $1,800 . An average growth of Non oil sector of the economy at average 9% . Total eradication of Debt stock of about $38 billion dollars, both current account and trade surplus. The second fastest growing telecoms market in the world. A capital market that is reputed to yield returns up to 400%. Inflation reduced from over 20% to about 12 %. In any country someone who oversaw such a radical change in Macro- economic condition will be feted as an hero. Never mind that this same man was there to sign the peace agreement to end the Biafra war and oversaw the last time the country Nigeria had similar macro- economic direction. Many will say this is just good fortune nd a fluke for some of us people make their own fortune. Historians will look back at Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo and they will see a true Hero, a Nigerian Hero. Mrs Okonjo Iweala agrees with me in the video below.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Blag Matrix 'Bye Blair'

For those of us who live here in the United Kingdom we are going through a changing of the guards like has just gone on in Nigeria only we do not get to have a say on who rules us. Never mind about flawed elections in Gidi how about no election at all. Talk of corruption after nearly eight years since applying to the British government for the Abacha millions, Nigeria has yet had its stolen money returned. The city of London remains the money laundering capital of the world. Add to it that the government that takes 40% of my income as basic taxes stopped prosecution of BAE Systems for bribery in the Al Yammemah defence contract with Saudi Arabia. In fact Bribes were tax refundable if they were paid abroad until 2002. The same Government has continued to keep the people of the Chaigos of their Island even though the House of Lords had ruled in their favour.

My point, what is it that makes the average Nigerian elite take all the stolen and earned money to send their children to be indoctrinated in this environment? As I got on my flight from Lagos to london on the 3rd of June I was amazed how full the flight was with teenagers apparently going back to school accompanied or unaccompanied, spread across the upper class premium economy and the rare economy occupant. Good old blighty seems able to blag its way into being considered world class even though it is a country which looks to its past for its best moments, where innovation is ridiculed, excellence despised and victimhood crowned. A country that continues to run a scam on the rest of the world by putting the word Great in front of its name because it manages to bluff others to think they are somehow inferior. If only the world did not buy into this bullshit but everyone does. Life is just a confidence trick.

Step in the greatest fraud of the lot, Tony Blair Esq. My son reminded me I was his greatest fan and surely some time ago I truly believed Mr toothy grin was really committed to helping this country get beyond its overdose of insecurity and reposition itself for the unique challenges of the 21st century. No he was only committed to retaining Power so he always changed structure of things so that it appeared new even if the inside was decaying. On any given day when it is either too hot or too cold our transport infrastructure here completely shuts down. Mr Man manages to claim things that are not even his success. Take Sierra Leone where Nigerian army died in abundance to protect the country guess who claims being saviour yes, Toothy Tony. Have you not noticed that he only speaks 'truth' to the weak or down trodden like the Palestinians never challenges the Israelis or his buddy George W.

Never mind Tony they will be singing your praises in Ajegunle and Gugulethu when you tell them you are going to be tough on poverty and the causes.poverty. I hope they have the good sense to look outside before you leave. God save us from those who seek to help us.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Join us

Yaw the writer and producer of this play is a Renaissance man, co-traveller who brings Africa alive in her majesty anywhere he goes. Lets support him as he opens a new path for others to follow with this project. If you can get to Milton Keynes, England join us at this celebration of life. More postings soon.