by Onoshenuasi Nwabuikwu
Now Whitney’s dead
I’d meant to talk about Whitney’s sad passing last week but somehow managed to skip it altogether. Anyway, I’m not so good at talking about these kinds of things. Especially because in these parts, as soon as somebody dies, he/she assumes sainthood almost immediately. People would lie through their teeth just so they’re not caught speaking ill of the dead.
Back to Whitney’s death, I couldn’t have been any sadder even if I’d known her personally. I’ve already had cause to grieve for her once when the news of her drug use (and abuse) broke it felt like someone had died. So, this feels almost like her second death. At a time it seemed like she was almost winning the fight…
All of which brings me to some outsiders who’re attempting to weep more than the bereaved. The same people who gobbled up stories of Whitney, gleefully shared many stories and pictures of Whitney in different humiliating situations. Even those that were not so true. Now she’s dead and some people are actually acting as if they didn’t know she was mortal? How many of these people allowed these considerations to influence the things they said, wrote or spread?
It’s sometimes very difficult to remember stars/celebrities as human beings. But we are the ones who want them as ‘un-normal’ as possible. How can they be anything but ‘un-normal’ considering the bubble they’re in and the fantasy lives they ‘live’ onscreen? How do you come down from that? We, somehow, set them up very high (on a pedestal) and the only thing they can do is fall because the only way to go is down. Now, Whitney’s dead and some have already moved like vultures to her daughter. As they begin to report all kinds of things, would they remember, would the readers remember that for anyone, young or old, least of all an 18 year old, losing your mother is extra tough? And when what seems like the inevitable happens, there would be people waiting on the sidelines just to say: These celebrities are fickle, they can’t keep their relationships, can’t stay sober… God forbid that we imagine ourselves in their shoes. We are normal, (self) righteous (but boring) people, after all.
The return of Jacob’s Cross
Jacob’s Cross, the drama series on MNET (dstv channel 102) is back for a new season. The story about the intrigues in the Abayomi-Makhubu empires continues. Johannesburg, South Africa is the main setting but there are stopovers in Lagos, Nigeria and other African countries like Angola and most recently Kenya.
Bola Abayomi (Fabian Lojede) is the evil genius who has survived one caper too many. He has ‘died’ more than once and ‘resurrected’. However, there are times his character seems rather one-dimensional. I don’t find him frightening but mostly comical because his antics sometimes make him appear more like a buffoon than a hardened ‘bad man’. There’s Jacob Makhubu-Abayomi (Hlomla Dandala) who only learnt about his real father as an adult. Still, he is chosen over Bola. Jacob is an idealistic businessman who seeks to do things right perhaps pointing a way for the African of the future. Although he has had his fair share of scandals especially with the opposite sex. He was just settling down to being the proper husband to his wife Lerato (Mmabatho Montso). Then tragedy strikes.
Then there’s Folake (Moky Makura) the only daughter. In another scenario, Folake would’ve taken control of the Abayomi empire, however, in spite of her efforts and capability, her gender always catches up with her. Added to this mix are characters like Andile (Jet Novuka) Jacob’s half brother; Prospero Brand (Anthony Bishop), Jacob’s friend and business partner, Adanna (Kendra Etufunwa), Bola’s well-matched evil wife; Obinna ‘Shy’ Soludo, her brother and Folake’s ‘husband’, etc.
The new season is just two episodes gone but it is clear that the series is maintaining its fast-paced and riveting storytelling. Nonetheless I’m hoping that Nigeria will get a better portrayal, visually this new season. Lagos doesn’t always connote rowdy Danfo parks for instance. And how is Bola’s character going to progress?
CBN presents N25m to victims of Madalla Christmas Day bombing
-AIT news headlines, Tuesday February 21, 7 pm-ish.
There is nothing grammatically wrong with the above statement. There’s also nothing about the money involved to raise eyebrows, ordinarily. The reason this is news is because the Central Bank under the leadership of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had earlier donated N100m to the victims of the Boko Haram January 21 bombing in Kano. And people wondered why the CBN favoured Kano victims when the Madalla incident happened almost one month earlier.
On the surface, it’s easy to see why Sanusi would feel more for the Kano victims. It is his state after all. In any case, if he had donated his personal money, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But the Central Bank of Nigeria belongs or supposedly belongs to all Nigerians. However, consider for a minute that the CBN governor had reportedly cited the unequal sharing of Nigeria’s “oil money” as cause for the killing of innocent people by Boko Haram. So, perhaps, he was simply trying to right some of that. Not that N100m can solve the gross injustice Sanusi alluded to.
Yet. I worry that Sanusi’s CBN is gradually becoming a regular Father Christmas.
Nigeria Police, worst paid in West Africa, PSC
-AIT News headline, Tuesday February 21, 7 pm-ish.
Really! I think we can safely say this did not come as a huge surprise. And just like news about bombings and deaths in certain places say Afghanistan or Pakistan, there are things we can also agree no longer constitute news. You don’t need to go round West Africa to know that our police men are not well taken care of. Have you seen the way those recruits at the Police College, Lagos go in search of water with their ‘pails’? It took me over ten years to realise those men in dirty ‘white’ shorts parading on the Bank Anthony Way were not condemned prisoners but our future ‘friends’ and ‘defenders’.
I know some of you probably think our police do not deserve any better but you’re wrong. What we need to do is treat them well and rid the force of the bad ones…
In any case, now that the PSC (Police Service Commission?) has made this life changing discovery, what is the Commission going to do about it?
Awards from the 62nd Berlinale…
Golden bear for the best film
Caesar Must Die (Cesare deve morire) by Paolo & Vittorio Taviani
Jury grand prix-silver bear
‘Just The Wind’ (Csak a szél) by Bence Fliegauf
Silver bear for best director
Christian Petzold for Barbara
Silver bear for best actress
Rachel Mwanza in Rebelle (War Witch) by Kim Nguyen
Silver bear for best actor
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard in En Kongelig Affære (A Royal Affair) by Nikolaj Arcel
Prize of the Berlinale Talent Campus
Christoph Fleischmann (Germany)
Berlin today award
Rafael Balulu (Israel) for ‘Batman At The Checkpoint’
David Lalé (United Kingdom) for ‘White Lobster’