Exclusive promo video to promote the launch of The Crazy Nigerian – a hilarious memoir of mishaps and misadventures, by Tonwa Anthony. Enjoy!
Exclusive promo video to promote the launch of The Crazy Nigerian – a hilarious memoir of mishaps and misadventures, by Tonwa Anthony. Enjoy!
I received an office email yesterday informing me about an important meeting at my employer’s head office slated for Thursday. I rushed through the mail like I did with others (because there were always just too many mails and too little time). I absorbed the key facts – Date, Time, Venue and then carried on with my outdoor marketing. Today I even decided to read that mail again to confirm the floor I was going to (22nd floor…sure hope the lift is working). I was running very late as I got held up in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam (and unlike most major cities, in Lagos Island its ALWAYS rush hour). I got to the building 1.5hours late and was bracing myself for a reprimand.
Whilst waiting for the elevator I was conjuring up excuses for my lateness – ‘I fainted from dehydration’, ‘There was a road-block that was caused by a runaway cow’, ‘My mailbox couldn’t open until about an hour ago’. ‘Nah, they’re all too lame’, I thought. I got to the meeting room and met what looked like the aftermath of the meeting – people coming out of the room and saying their goodbyes to the host/sender of the email (yikes!). I took a deep breath and walked up to him with an honest apology for my lateness. But before I could consider dropping an excuse he left me dumbfounded when he said, ‘Didn’t you read the memo? The meeting is for Thursday, December 2nd!’. What was my response? ‘Well THAT certainly takes care of the feeling of guilt for coming late.’ We both had a hearty chuckle, at my expense.
What were my learning points?
Just when I thought life was becoming a little bit boring and predictable I experienced a sudden rush of adrenaline 2 nights ago around 8pm when I heard a loud bang in my bathroom. There wasn’t any electricity at the time and I was alone in my flat. I walked past the bathroom (which serves as a spare for guests and is separate from my ensuite) and for a second I thought it was a gun-shot. The next I thought was that my sink had fallen apart or the shower curtain rail came crashing down…but surely it must have been a fire cracker or something. With the light from my Nokia E75 I sneaked into the bathroom and inspected the surroundings and then I tripped on something metallic. I picked it up and at first I thought it might have been part of a heavy duty nail but on closer inspection I realized it was a bullet.
The first thing I would have done at this point is call in the CSI (Las Vegas) team to do their nifty forensic work. I would let Grisham bamboozle me with words like ‘Trajectory’ and ‘Ricochet’ and the watch them as they scamper around looking for the ‘Entry point’. That night I barely slept because I felt this wasn’t random. I’ve lived in this flat for close to 6months and nothing like this has ever happened. I couldn’t help but ask myself, ‘Was someone trying to kill me?’
I had a mental list of people I suspected I had ticked-off and probably wanted my blood as payback:
I found later the following day that there was a hole in my bathroom ceiling. Part of the shape was an exact replica of the bullet lying horizontally. I expected the shape to be round. There were no holes in my window or walls so I got Googling…asking the seemingly dumb question, ‘Can a bullet go off by itself?’
I was pleasantly suprised indeed when I came across the following answer from Yahoo! Answers: “No. Something has to make contact with the primer or cause the primer to get really hot. Dropping or hitting a round, or throwing it into a fire can cause it ignite.” So it was actually possible for the bullet to have just gone off without being in a gun chamber. By the looks of the photo above, the bullet must have been lying flat when it suddenly penetrated the ceiling unto my bathroom floor. So how could this be explained further?
If you observe in the diagram opposite, my bullet is very similar and there is actually a primer at the back of the bullet (labelled ‘5’). What could have triggered it? Heat? If so why didn’t it go off in the peak of the hot afternoon? Why in the evening after dark? Could a mouse or rat have been tampering with the primer before the bullet went off? I didn’t see any rodent body parts or blood around the crime scene. This bullet just descended by its own free will.
Thankfully I wasn’t doing a ‘Number 2’ when this near-homicide took place. Just imagine, being found dead with a bullet in your head, pants halfway down, toilet unflushed and no trace of a killer. That’s what I call a freak accident – Perhaps this can be used for the next Final Destination movie installment ( …I think they should be working on part 5 now.) But this begs the question, what kind of tenants where living in this apartment before I moved in? Drug barons?, Assassins? Ex-military mercenaries? Are there anymore bullets lying up there in my ceiling. Even worse, is there gun cache up there? a dead body? If I start to smell something funny (and I know it’s not me) then I’m going up there to investigate…
N.B – That black spot in the celing is the bullet hole…crikey!
Well how can I forget September 2008 when my bank was having its financial year end (which in the Nigerian Banking industry means every bank starts to scramble around for large money deposits in order to claim the no.1 spot for having the largest liability base…the grand prize being that you get to keep your job!).
I remember how fellow colleagues would genuinely fall ill with stress, some with high blood pressure, and why? All because they got SMS/text messages at odd hours of the day (including weekends) from bosses who taunt them to AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE current accounts and fixed term deposits or to REALIZE GROWTH in their account portfolio. I remember when each week would be inundated with impromptu meetings – meetings with other bank branches’ marketing team and their respective managers. Such gruelling sessions were like the ‘Show and Tell’ in Elementary/Primary School…only, you were showing to the whole audience how you planned to leap from a balance sheet of N100m (One Hundred Million Naira) to N250m in under 3weeks. I remember the tall tales marketing staff used to tell…stories of fat cheques that were due the following week…and then the following week…and then the following week. I remember how they had to defend their jobs by justifying why they should still be paid their salary.
I remember how the boldest and most confident of marketers would suddenly be reduced to a bucket of nerves as they stuttered through their cock and bull Deposit Mobilization strategies. Of course their bosses were quick to ridicule and threaten them with a letter of displeasure – that’s a prelude to a sack, in simple English. I remember how some marketers avoided the subsequent meetings especially when the millions they promised the previous week never materialized. Oh, how I remember how some banks would accept to pay to willing Fixed Deposit customers outrageous rates well above that of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and in some cases staff would make up the interest difference from their own personal funds to pay to the oblivious, greedy customer. I remember the pressure got so much that you could cut the tension in bank branches with a knife. You were almost driven to the point of holding customers at gunpoint just so they took you more seriously and coughed out the millions that we so stupidly thought they were hiding at home under their matresses.
I remember how some marketing staff would encourage their known customers to move funds from competitor banks into ours. Even worse was when a branch within the bank moved funds from another bank branch, meaning the bank as a whole wasn’t actually growing but suffering a bout of indigestible cannibalization of accounts. I remember hearing stories of female marketers who would ‘stoop so low’ just to get a measly million into their account portfolio…and in some unfortuante cases were given dud cheques: a classic Lose-Lose situation.
I remember how the month would draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag and your demanour was truly tested. Some who couldn’t take the heat or the humiliation any longer dropped their resignation letters and stayed at home waiting for the grass to get greener somewhere else…anywhere else. I remember how some skilled marketers would turn on the waterworks when a customer came into the branch to make a portfolio-shattering withdrawal in this ’ember’ month. I remember how I almost uttered to my superior ‘What are YOU doing to ensure that we grow our deposit base? Show me YOUR prospect list! How much money have YOU brought today? How many phone calls have YOU made? Why should the bank still be paying YOUR salary???’ I remember it all too well and now I have another 13days to go before I can even begin to forget September 2009. “Lord, give me strength…”
‘I would like some tea, please. Don’t ask me HOW I would like it. Don’t try to make small talk with me. Up until 2minutes ago we were total strangers. You are not doing this because you want to. You are doing this because you have to. Don’t try to stall me with questions that would only intensify a thirst which, before you came prouncing along, wasn’t initially there. Just pour it and drop it and I’ll try not to sip it and spill it. I don’t care if it’s Iced Tea or Regular hot tea. I don’t care if its Earl Grey, De-Caff, Herbal or Chai Tea. I don’t care if it’s made by Lipton, Twinning’s, PG Tips, Tetley or low-budget teabags made for Economy class passengers. I don’t care if it comes with milk either so don’t ask me if I want full creamed, skimmed, semi-skimmed, evaporated, condensed, powdered, or any other white liquid substance that was supposedly drawn from a cow…or goat for that matter. Don’t assume that I would use the sugar in the sachet. You don’t know if I like to use sweetners. You don’t know if I take my tea with honey. You must be thinking that if I allowed you to ask how I take my tea I could have responded with a single-sentence which would save time and energy for both you and I? Well I would have said something like “I take it in a teacup like everyone else” – not the kind of answer you would like to hear. So now that you’ve probably learnt a thing or two (or not) ask me how I would like take my tea…I dare you’ xD
…Al Megrahi would still be in jail. Well unless there is any evidence to say that he was not involved in the Lockerbie bombing I think he shouldn’t have been released on ‘compassionate grounds’. Yes I deliberately put that in inverted commas because, let’s face it, that’s a whole lot of bull****! Why else would Seif Al-Islam, the son of Col. Gaddafi (the ridiculously oil-rich Libyan leader) claim that every time British diplomats came over to discuss business in the past he would push forward a written request for the bomber’s release which was constantly refused…until now.
To make matters even worse for Britain, Gaddafi himself makes a public statement to the news media thanking UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew for encouraging the Scottish government to release Megrahi. Of course Britain quickly steps up to the plate in the guise of a creepy Lord Mendelson (Business Secretary) to deny all allegations of a trade deal as ‘implausible’ and ‘offensive’. Have you stopped to ask yourself whether the Scottish government have ever released a prisoner on the grounds of a terminal illness? Is there absolute conclusive evidence to confirm that Megrahi really has only less than 3months to live?
Britain has to be careful that it doesn’t damage its relations with the U.S government. 270 innocent people lost their lives after an explosive was detonated in a passenger plane in Lockerbie, Scotland. About 170 of the victims were American. Al Megrahi was convicted after Scotland Intelligence claimed that he was involved in the bombing but was not willing to cough up the names of his accomplices. Megrahi (more commonly referred to as The Lockerbie Bomber) claims he is not responsible for killing anyone but he doesn’t actually deny being part of the syndicate that masterminded this massacre…hmm.
Americans and other revolting citizens watched as Megrahi returned to Libya…in style – cruising in Gaddafi’s private jet, relaxing at a nifty 2-storey manor and enjoying celebrity-acclaim amongst the Libyan residents. The sickening bit for me is that I have not seen one sign of remorse since he was released. He’s smiling now though, probably thinking, ‘بفضل النفط الليبي أنا على الأراضي الليبية’ ! (Ok, if you’re that curious you can translate this in this pretty cool link…or not)
As the principal of International School Ibadan announced that the JSCE (Junior Secondary School Examination) results would be posted up in front of her office I felt nauseous. I wasn’t sure if it was bad luck to have already gotten trouser measurements done at my local tailor before the exam results were released. What if I didn’t make it through? My trousers would be bloody useless and I’d have to endure another year in I.S.I wearing a pair of A.H.Is (AssHole Irritants). Girls had no problem because their blue-white striped dress/uniform didn’t have to look any different from junior to senior year. Thankfully I breathed a sigh of relief as I attained 2A’s and 5C in my 8subjects (I’m not mentioning what I got in Yoruba language). I vaguely remember jumping up and down like a deranged rottweiler that had a piece of meat dangled over its head. I proceeded to run into the nearby open field with fellow classmates who also sailed through the exams. We ran like we were being chased by… Rottweilers. I almost failed to take notice of the few guys whom we left behind moping at their inadequate grades and therefore bore long faces (okay, not like Rottweilers…more like Dobermen!)
Of course this next chapter in my school life called for a celebration. I took it upon myself to have a small get-together for my ‘Class of 1993’. Unfortunately I didn’t have an much more than the Naira equivalent of £10 back then which could just barely cater for about 20-30 guests max (I must have been nuts!). I invited 25 schoolmates to my cousin’s crib where I resided, about 60 eventually showed up and filled up almost every part of the house! I soon quickly realised that 48 bottled drinks (2 crates) would not quite cut the ‘3:1 guzzling ratio’ of my invitees. The 2 small coolers of cooked rice and chicken didn’t go round because I didnt plan for the following: Boarder boys and girls sneakings out of their hostels; Geeks/Nerds/Bookworms/Efikos gate crashing; and schoolmates from the set below mine (JSS3) also taking advantage of the fact that I did not have a bouncer to ‘man the door’. So I had geeks playing video games in the TV room, boarder girl escapees changing clothes in my cousin’s bedroom, boarder boys slow-dancing with girls in the living room whilst my Aunt was within the house. There was no DJ but just one raga tape being put on the loop courtesy of all the horny boys hoping to literally tap some ass from a slowdance. The 5kg cake and 2 tubs of ice-cream I had planned for dessert was not going to be able to feed THIS multitude. This wasn’t a get-together…this was a get-together-everybody-who-heard-about-this-party. I mean some of the guests there didnt even know my name or the fact that I was hosting this fiasco. To make matters worse, the girl I had a crush on was busy slowdancing with some guy I didnt even invite, Meanwhile I was busy trying to feed the hungry, entertain the bored, and save my shaky reputation all at the same time. I was glad when it was all over, to say the least. The house survived with 2 shattered drinking glasses and a broken window lever. I on the other hand remained intact!
In an amazing twist of fate, I was hailed by the majority of my set for making a noble effort at throwing a shindig (which I’d rather remember as a ‘shit-dig’). The geeks were even more grateful because they knew that they may never gain such easy access into a party again. I somehow became everybody’s pal…the one who didn’t discriminate…the one who didn’t stop the music and shout “ALL BOYS OUT!” and proceeded to reveal a list of boys who were not given the fake invitation cards…no, I wasn’t seen as cruel…I was Mr.Nice guy Subsequent parties got better and better (no thanks to me). I do remember one guy who threw a party but would have sooner thrown himself over a bridge after only 1 girl turned up amidst a house filled with over 15guys…a case of bad advertising? Well, the grub didn’t go to waste.
Ah yes, those grey trousers really were worth the 3 year-wait. I was ‘toasting’ girls a one class year or two below me and feeling pretty cool with my skinny self. I was later appointed by my principal as the school’s Health Prefect, though for the love of God I never found out what a health prefect was nor did I know what my responsibilities were supposed to be. I just made sure the sick bay was hygenic and wasn’t congested or saturated with students who were feigning illness. I was given a badge which I wore proudly like a sheriff. If only I went guns blazing a little less when it came to asking a girl, ‘Will you go out with me?…’
…is another man’s treasure? Well I’ve got a Nokia 7900 Prism that says ‘NO!’ – thats if you want to keep beating the life out of it everytime it freezes when a message comes through it. I can vaguely remember how I strolled into the Nokia shop barely a year ago, coughed out N70,000 (which is over £200 or over $300) and was one of the ‘privileged’ few to be pouncing around town with a phone which got quite a lot of ‘Ooh! Nice phone!’, ‘It’s unique!’, ‘I haven’t seen this before!’, (Hindsight – thanks to you gawkers I didnt return the phone sooner to get a refund).
It was as slim as kate moss, black as Whoopi’s lips, had more colour theme choices than Amy Winehouse’s make-up artist (oops, I forgot she does it herself), and boasted more tricks than Harry Potter’s wand. Well I was tricked alright. I was tricked into thinking an engraved Aluminium casing was mega cool. For N70,000 I should be getting at least Titanium, shouldn’t I? For N70,000 I should be getting not just 1GB of built-in memory but 3GB! For 70,000 bleeping Naira I should be getting more than a 2 mega-pixel camera, FM radio and bluetooth – bluetooth! What genius came up with THAT term? The next pushy salesperson that offers me a ‘BLUETOOTH’ will get a ‘BLACKEYE’.
I will not be ripped off again (Aaaaargh!!!) I shall not succumb to the…oh my…could it be? Could Nokia be entrancing me yet again with a nonsenical technological blunder utterly unworthy to be categorized as a cutting-edge mobile phone? Its so slick…stylish…kinky…qwerty…look at it slide…the screen is huge…how much is it? How much? I think I’m falling for the E75…shh, I just can’t help it. I hate you Nokia…making me spend my money…and in 8months I know this’ll be trash too…but for 11years now when has that ever stopped me 🙂
Interviewer: “Looking back to when Nigerian Interrupted hit WordPress, what has made it worth your while?”
Jollof: “I can’t explain it – That feeling of excitement when I suddenly see a surge in my page views, the reviews, the comments…I guess coupled with the fact that I’m the ‘Author/Moderator/CEO’ around here I know it’s mostly my effort (well, WordPress have to take some credit for the tools). It got me questioning myself, ‘Am I writing what I want or what I think people want to read?’
With me it’s a bit of both. I’m a bit of a control freak so there’s no way I’m letting anyone type for me, first of all. All ideas come from my exposure to the Net, all media, the real world, my experiences and random thoughts. If I don’t have a gut feeling that I should write about something then I don’t. I need to chuckle a bit when I’m typing the material so I know it deserves the CrazyNigerian seal of approval.
However I do listen to feedback. What I gathered before changing my blog design (to incorporate the iconic ‘Photo fun’ redneck lizard) was that I needed more pictures and a better web layout. Surprisingly my page views have since picked up. The comments on my content have mostly been positive. I don’t know if I wrote what they wanted to read or if they were just curious about the utterances of a crazy Nigerian. Either way, it seems I’m doing something right…but not always right. The highest number of page views I ever received in a single day was a measly 96 until 23rd June when I received 103 views (so the 100-mark is not that elusive after all!) Today I average about 10-20 views daily and…HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I’VE NOT FINISHED YET! I’M STILL TALKING TO YOU!!!”
Earlier today I was just craving for a bit of toast, which I dont eat regularly. And I suddenly had a flashback to the early 80s when I heard this peculiar song by Streetband (A UK group). The song is kinda irritating now when I hear it but as a kid it made me laugh for whatever reason beknown to me. Was it the way the lead singer, Paul Young, was just chatting away throughout the song, the cheesy chorus, the crunching sounds of someone biting through toast or was it just the monologue-rap with the corny beat and the silly sound effects…wait, I think I hear the kettle boiling! Well, I’m going to share this excruciating audio experience with you, my inquisitive readers. Get your butter knives out and lets make…