By Funmilola (Fummylolah)

Dear Farouk,

How are you? I really hope that all is well with you. I'm sure that all should be well because in spite of your present predicament you are still entitled to three full meals with complements of juice and assorted drinks (even those who didn't attempt to bomb planes live on less than $1 a day in 9ja). When you are finally convicted, you will still be fed on government expense. You'll be allowed to play games and participate in sporting activities. If you so desire, you'll be allowed to pursue the Master's Degree that you abandoned. (By the way I struggled to pay the fees for my Masters). My father was never a bank chief (not even a community or micro finance bank).

By Crisford Chogugudza

All the evidence regarding the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize Accolades suggest that Africans are not hot favourites to receive the coveted prize. Whether this is deliberate or coincidental nobody knows. For many years, African luminaries have performed reasonable efforts in bringing or contributing to peace in Africa since the genesis of nationalism and Independence in late 1950s. Some of these African luminaries who qualify to receive the Nobel Peace Prize include the following among others Ellen Johnson-Sir leaf of Liberia, Ken Saro Wiwa of Nigeria, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, John Garang of Sudan, the late Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe, the late Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, the African Union and Ecowas. A few of the above African grandees should all have been awarded this coveted peace prize at some point in time, if at all peace making was the only factor determining who should receive the coveted prize. Zimbabwe’s Morgan Tsvangirai has been in the running for the top Prize for two years and has clearly been snubbed on both occasions. The writing is already on the wall, Tsvangirai is not going to get the elusive prize and perhaps it is high time his nomination is withdrawn for 2011.

By Biko Agozino

‘Unlike societies right next to the Igbo for instance – more famously the Benin, or further West, the Yoruba or, all the way southwards of the continent, the Kwazulu of the legendary Shaka – the Igbo, with their strong social formation rooted in republicanism, would appear to belie my general claim. The Igbo have no history of expansionism, being content with a strong organization around autonomous clan entities that made contact – friendly or unfriendly with one another as the need arose (Wole Soyinka, Distinguished Nyerere Lecture, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 2010: 1).

By Damola Awoyokun

We should pay closer attention to the debate between Fr Hassan Kukah and Dr Ebenezer Obadare. It represents much more than even the participants seems to realise. While Kukah sees Obadare’s complaints as mere “contribution to knowledge and in which case, there would really have been no need to do a rejoinder,” it is no exaggeration to say, the debate is the soul of the nation struggling to free itself from grip of sinister darkness that masquerades as light of truth. There is no instrument more cogent, more effective in enslaving Nigerians than religion and God-talk. Today, when armed robbers want to rob a bank, they call prayer meeting. When Yar Adua’s minders wanted to sell the ruse of his sickness in Saudi Arabia, they asked us to pray hard for him in order to distract us from the fact that they had kidnapped the instruments of presidency so that no one else could claim power. And for two months daily prayers flowed from National Assembly to every church and mosque. And we that dared to criticise the sick man as another Mugabe hanging onto power at all cost were made to feel heartless.

By Biko Agozino

Ruben Abati made very insightful observations in his analysis of the failure of the Nigerian national football team to inspire enthusiasm from supporters at home and abroad during the World Cup in South Africa. He concluded that the outing has brought more shame than pride to Nigerians given the Nigerian preparations for the competition were characteristically shoddy, while the South Africans distinguished themselves by organizing an efficient competition at a level that Nigeria could not manage, the way they effortlessly introduced a new equipment to the game, the vuvuzela, while Nigeria has yet to bring an innovation to the game we love so much, and how their national team played well even when they lost or drew while the Super Eagles are praying that some other team should suffer misfortune at the hands of some other team in order for us to qualify by default the way we managed to qualify for the finals.

We were lapping up the last of warm sunshine before fall fully reins in while driving to the movies lately. The Fela’s tape that my husband was recently gifted was mildly blasting in the background. My hubby is a huge Fela fan and so was my dad. I grew up listening to Fela and all other different types of music. My recently bereaved father was a veritable music lover and had exposed us, his children to the different types of music; afro-beat, calypso, blues, traditional Igbo beats, and you name it.

By Mwatabu S. Okantah

I was in African airspace. Africa. I was seated aboard a Ghana Airways jet bound for Dakar, Senegal. I had begun my journey in Nigeria. Actually, it had begun in South Carolina, in Charleston, in Geechee country, in the Africa kidnapped inside a wandering people's lore. I had to find Africa on American shores. If I could not find, and see Africa in myself, in the America a held hostage people created, it would never have meaning in my personal life. Only then could I truly know, and make peace with the collective who we have become as a distinct New World people. Approximately two weeks prior to leaving for West Africa, I began my pilgrimage in the black belt, in the low country along the South Carolina coast.

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