Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp are down

I can bet that in the last 3 hours this has been the most popular topic trending the globe. At about 4.22pm today GMT+1 I noticed that my WhatsApp messages were sent but not getting delivered. Like any normal person I thought it might have been that my mobile data had expired or that my home wifi needed a reboot. But I later discovered I wasn’t the only one experiencing connectivity issues. My friend whom I called experienced the same problem on his WhatsApp. I went to Instagram and it was not loading. That’s when I went online and got a better glimpse of the scale of the problem:

Source: downdetector.com

Since Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were all down I decided to find out what was happening in the news:

Source: CNN

And next I was curious to find out what was trending on Twitter in Nigeria and of course I wasn’t surprised:

Source: twitter.com

Whilst I’m sure that this issue will be resolved (eventually) it does make you wonder what effect this downtime is having on people and businesses. WhatsApp has assured subscribers that the issue is being worked on:

I can imagine people being forced to use other alternatives to chat in the interim; SMS, RCS, MS Teams, etc. My heart goes out to everyone celebrating birthdays today who were looking forward to getting likes, comments and messages. For others, this downtime might mean a chance to finally get up to stretch the legs and go for that long-suppressed wee.

Hopefully this incident will remind us of how dependent we’ve become on technology and for us to ALWAYS have alternatives to EVERYTHING in life so you’re not caught unawares or left in the dark.

Do let me know what your experience has been today not having access to Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp for a number of hours? I would love to hear from you 🙂

V is for Vaccine

Image credit: syfy.com

I’ve gone from Covid-19 pandemic to Lockdown to Remote working and I’m wondering how long I will continue to endure this ‘covi-cation’. I’m already accepting the fact that I’ll have to have more virtual meetings, Collabos on Microsoft Teams and video calls for that human touch. I’m not quite ready to meet different people frequently face-to-face. I’m also not quite ready to face taking the vaccine.

From the moment I learnt that a shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine had arrived in Nigeria I was about as excited as an ex-convict opening his thirteenth letter thanking him for his interest in the job role applied for. Of course what follows includes words like ‘Unfortunately’, ‘better suited’ and ‘wish you the best’.

First of all I have little faith in the capacity of my government to store the vaccine at the prescribed temperature as “Any temperature-controlled drug product that is out of its required temperature will lose its benefits eventually. I pay my taxes and my power bills on time yet I do not have constant power supply. Why should i believe that there is a mega coldroom facility for these vaccines that is powered up 24/7?

Secondly I keep hearing that even after taking the vaccine one can still get the coronavirus. So you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Why then hurry to line up or register for what would not protect me? After all people have gotten better after treatment before the vaccine was ready.

My third concern is that this vaccine is one of two doses required for effectiveness. A study suggested that a 12-week interval would make the second dose more effective. That implies that I’d better set a reminder in my calendar and hope that when the due date is upon me I still have access to the vaccine in it’s supposed 2°C to 8°C state.

What’s the Verdict? Am I voraciously vetting the viability of the vaccine before it’s voyage into my veins? Or am I vying for your vote to validate the ‘vector’ that’s once ventured into vile vermin and vulnerable volunteers? Either way I’m vividly venting with my virtual voice.

The #EndSARS Phenomenon

The last couple of days have been anything but the ‘new normal’ that the Corona pandemic forced us to get accustomed to in Nigeria. We are currently in Day 12 of the #EndSARS protests which was triggered on October 6, 2020 after a civilian was shot and killed by a member of the Special Anit-Roberry Squad (SARS), among other known atrocities committed hitherto (Source: The African Report). The youths of Nigeria have had enough of the police brutality, extortion, abduction and molestation over the years. Promises from the Federal government for a police reform are seemingly no different from those made within the last decade. As at today the demands below have not been fully met:

Source: Cofinance.com

However there has been a recent update to this agenda which captures the 5-point agenda collectively as one point and goes on to list six others in detail, making it the 7-point agenda.

We are living in unusual times where the youths have had enough of the promises and lack of action by the government parastatals. As far as they are concerned there is no accountable leader running the affairs of Nigeria.

“I bet the government is wishing that the Big Brother Naija Lockdown show was still running at this time to serve as a perfect distraction.”

Ironically, the #EndSARS movement is deliberately without a leader which makes it difficult for the Federal Government to target focus on and ‘deal’ with. I bet the government is wishing that the Big Brother Naija show was still running at this time to serve as a distraction. The youths have been articulate with their demands on behalf of the nation. We await a worthy response from the opposition as we usher in a new Nigeria and possibly birth a new Independence Day.

The prayer is that the fallen angels we lost will not have died in vain…

Source: @NigeriaStories via Twitter

A special thank you to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for his support 🙂

This coordination and aid disbursement around the peaceful protests would not have been possible without the help of the devoted Feminist Coalition. Thank you!

The saga continues…

BBNaija Lockdown 2020 Updates: Down to 15

5 out and 15 left to fight for N85m worth of prizes.

Quick recap

It has been a roller-coaster this last couple of weeks – Tochi and Eric were evicted from the Big Brother house two weeks ago and then last week the bottom four were Kaisha, TrikyTee, Wathoni and Neo. Vee burst into tears as soon as Neo’s name was called by Ebuka. Kaisha was the first of the four to see the Big Brother Exit door and in similar fashion the remaining housemates expected a second name to be called for eviction. In a twist of fate Ebuka announced that the remaining nominated housemates were safe, to which Neo went flat on the floor with relief. Tension soon got doused and the housemates had a moment to reflect.

The Koko

Two weeks ago when Erica was HoH and nominated Kiddwaya as her DHoH it was a bittersweet experience – sweet for Erica and Kidd but bitter for the rest of the housemates, especially Laycon. Erica got into altercations with at least two female housemates (Lucy and Wathoni) and on top of that the house lost their wager. Everyone managed to find solace in eating food in silos or as couples. The house was clearly divided. Fast forward to this week, we saw Kiddwaya emerge as the new HoH after beating his closest rival (Prince) in the Arena game. Kidd picked Tolanibaj as his DHoH since Erica was exempt from being either HoH or DHoH but Tolanibaj is a close friend to Erica. Kidd was determined to establish his new regime as one that is fair to all and brings the housemates together. This was not as easy as he had hoped

Animal Farm

Kiddwaya wanted the housemates to eat together like a family as they had done when they first came into the BB house. Two separate pots of food were made for some reason. One pot was shared to all but when one of the housemates asked about the other pot Erica (neither a HoH or DHoH) said it was for four people (presumably Prince, Tolanibaj, Kidd and herself). This got Praise, Wathoni and a few others worked up and they went into factions. Later it was discovered that the same pot in contention was carried to the HoH private lounge for ‘safekeeping’ (If anyone knows what happened to that pot of stew please drop a comment). A second attempt at eating together was somewhat achieved when Nengi cooked for the house. Her jollof rice and chicken was well received by all.

Big Brother on vacaction

BB called in Kidd to secretly inform him that he was going away for some days but didn’t want the other housemates to know. He instructed Kidd that if he was able to keep this a secret then he would get a prize on his return. So far Kidd has done a good job – not so sure about BB who is always calling some phone to the hearing of all the housemates who have come to accept BB’s new way of interacting with Kidd only. Smh.

Happy Birthday Vee

Neo professed his love to Vee and disclosed the secret plans behind the scene to get her flowers. She was pleasantly surprised and BB arranged for a birthday cake and munchies. They all said a few words to appreciate and wish Vee the best (except for Neo who rambled into a never-ending epistle). They were obviously served the most food that evening.

Eviction Prediction

Wathoni has shown lack of interest in being in the BB house. She is likely to be the one of the bottom four housemates with the least votes.

BBNaija Lockdown 2020 Updates: Down to 18

Quick Recap

Last Sunday must have been a shocker for all Big Brother Naija Fans – after the public voted for for housemates they wanted to keep in the BB House, the bottom four with the least votes were Eric, Katrina, Lilo and Praise. Big Brother went on to ask the remaining housemates to each pick two out of the four nominated housemates whom they would want to see leave the BB House. Unfortunately the show organizers did not allow viewers to see all the nominations. The result – Erica and Lilo were evicted, leaving Praise and Eric devastated and relieved respectively (Praise went to sulk in his bed while Eric drowned his emotions in a plate of hot Indomie. So much for the #Liric ship). It’s game on and all the housemates seemed to have woken from their slumber.

The Koko

#BBLucy was head of house (HoH) last week and virtually all the housemates complained about her brash approach to leadership (It was actually dictatorship). She claims to have had a premonition that she would be going home this Sunday. #BBOzo is the current HoH and it seems everything is going his way: He enjoyed his birthday celebration courtesy of Big Brother, he won the HoH role (choosing #BBDora as his deputy), and he recently won an arena challenge which translates to getting pampered compulsorily by the other housemates for the rest of the week. Even #BBNengi appears to be warming up to him after giving him a tough time from Day 1. Perhaps there’s hope for the #Ozone ship yet.

Change of Strategy

Praise – After almost getting evicted last week he went from motivational speaker to comedian. Hope his exceptional housemate-mimicking tactics will win the hearts of new fans.

Neo – All of a sudden he’s turned to the gossip monger carrying the Ozone ship matter on his head. There have been some heated exchanges between #BBDorathy and #BBNengi but #BBOzo has done well in keeping things calm.

All We Do Is Win Win Win!

Thanks to Ozo and his meticulous leadership the housemates won their wager (for the first time in this season’s history). The mood in the house went from zero to a hundred (Kupe) and they’re glad to have more cash to buy available food options for the week. The housemates have shown more seriousness with daily chores and arena games so their wins were well deserved.

From Bore To Snore

The following housemates have had no impact in the house and may as well be invisible: Wathoni, Tolanibaj, Kaisha and Eric.


#BBLaycon beheld a passionate kiss between #Erica and #Kiddwaya which was too much for him to handle – so much so he left the group and went to his room. #BBPraise gave him a good pep talk and encouraged him to keep his head up. By Sunday there will be more heartbreak when at least one housemate gets evicted from the BB House. In the meantime it’s going to be lit in the house party tonight. Keep it locked.

BBNaija Lockdown 2020 Updates: Served Hot

Image source: https://dailypost.ng/

Quick recap

Two weeks ago 20 housemates went into the Big Brother house for the Season 5 edition tagged #bbnaijalockdown (on Twitter although many have argued it should have been themed ‘BBN Entanglement’). 10 young men and 10 young women all competing for N85m worth of prizes (peanuts when compared to the number of sms sent by the public every minute for duration of the show (90 days…yeah, do the math). Now that’s out of the way let’s get right down to it.

The Koko

Emotions (commonly mistaken for chemistry) between housemates have led to the development of some face-offs and situation-ships. If I were to put these 20 housemates into categories it would be as follows (as at today):
Getting the men’s attention: Nengi, Erica, Lilo, Vee and Dora
Getting the women’s attention: Kiddwaya, Eric, Neo, Prince and Ozo
Getting Friend-zoned: Laycon, TrickyTee and Tochi
Getting ignored: Kaisha, Lucy and Brighto
Getting their way (no HoH): Praise
Getting into drama: Ka3na and Tolanibaj
Getting by: Wathoni

Ships gathering full steam:

  • The Kiddrica
  • The Liric
  • The Neve

Ships that hit an iceberg:

  • The Ozone

The Love Triangle Dodecagon (12 sides):

Eric likes Lilo who’s close to Vee who likes Neo whose nipple was licked by Ka3na who doesn’t go for younger men but actually likes Praise who wants to see Ozo get close to Nengi who likes Prince who spends time with Wathoni who likes Kidd who would rather date Erica who is attracted to Laycon ‘mentally’.

Best quote this week: Praise – ‘I WANT TO KISS SOMEBODY’S WIFE!’

On the Front Burna:

Praise, Dora and Trickytee have instigated a next level game that would make their last Truth or Dare game look like child’s play. This Saturday night invitees have been advised to brush their teeth, use mouthwash and do not come to the War and Dark room if they have cold feet or wish to be more spectators.

Prediction for Sunday eviction: Kaysha

Did you enjoy the analyses? Share with others and drop a comment. Also check back for another post where I ‘break fings down’. Thanks for reading!

Fiction: 2021 (Pt.1)

I woke up tired. Thought about turning on the TV. But I quickly changed my mind; rather have a strong dose of caffeine than another dose of Covid news. Had a shower and threw some clothes on. Kissed my wife and daughter then grabbed my car keys and face mask. Whispered a prayer and ventured into the unknown. Just a typical start to the new normal.

Hit the highway and got lost in the soundtrack of my life. As I drove through lanes of masked motorists I recalled the last social gathering I attended – a wedding reception. There I was greeted with security detail brandishing digital thermometers. My wife and I had to produce our invitations to gain entry. Once in, it was a stark contrast to my pre-covid wedding reception of close to 1,000 guests. Due to the government restrictions around congregation numbers, there were no more than 50 scantily seated family members, relatives and close friends in attendance. It was still a fun party.

Red light ahead snapped me back into consciousness. The government had taken over many billboards as creating more hygiene awareness superseded the private sector’s objective of driving consumer purchases. Local celebrities were the new face of hygiene and social distancing compliance. Street hawkers became a thing of the past. The cheapest public transportation was by bus as most motorcycles were banned. The combination of these elements made for a reduced journey time of 20 minutes – usually 45 minutes.

Arriving at my office building, I go through the usual protocol with security personnel getting my temperature scanned and hands sanitized – a ritual that somehow was reminiscent of the order enforced in the Equilibrium movie. At the lobby my finger was going nowhere near the elevator button. Instead I used the corner tip of my ID card. 50 per cent capacity was observed once inside. Familiar faces were greeted with gentle nods. Hands tucked away in pockets or arms firmly folded. Soon after silence was golden except for the female elevator voice announcing arrival at my floor. I step out and head to my second home.

Photo credit: Dreamstime

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

MJ Earth Song - Pinterest

I decided to compile a list of songs that I believe tell a story of the mood in Nigeria in the early days of the pandemic to date. The soundtrack goes like this:

Earth song by Michael Jackson – This was the turning point when we realized there was a global problem that was spiraling out of control.

New born by Muse – We were seeing other continents waking up to a new world; a new reality which would soon become our own.

Drugs don’t work by Verve – There were rumours fast spreading in Nigeria about Chloroquine and other Malaria drugs being able to cure the corona virus COVID-19. But this led to more (and avoidable) deaths. I need a doctor by Dr. Dre ft Eminem, Skylar – Right now I’m trying to avoid going to hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. There are stories online about people with COVID-19 symptoms visiting regular hospitals instead of calling the NCDC helpline.

Gone too soon by Michael Jackson – The number of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths globally are alarming. My heart goes out to all those who have been hospitalized, the departed and those who have to cope with the loss. Land of Confusion by Genesis – Social media advises one thing and the news stations advise another. Can the Covid-19 virus survive on surfaces for up to 48hrs? Which masks are effective? Can sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol kill the virus? Is drinking alcohol more effective? It was becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish myth from fact.

Locked up by Akon – Lagos state announced a 14-day lock-down on March 29th  which later got extended by another 14 days. I’m currently at home with my family doing my part for society and getting to grips with working from home.

Lazy song by Bruno Mars – It was hard at first but I gradually got into a routine and created a work space with zero interruptions. I can only imagine how many people have bothered to shave, take a shower or change clothes in the last couple of days (don’t ask me).

Something new by Wiz Khalifa ft TY Dollar $ign – During this lock-down I noticed that people online have had more time to perfect their dance moves and partaking in the #somethingnewchallenge (Elbow left, elbow right, shake like a jellyfish then clap, I think). I’ve done mine at home but it will not be aired online.

Don’t rush by Young T and Bugsey ft Headie One – This was yet another song that birthed more creativity among the courageous before-and-after makeover pros across many social media platforms. #dontrushchallenge videos are quite addictive to watch.

Bored in the house by Curtis Roach – With the exception of those breaking the law, everybody who is meant to be observing the lock-down in specific states in Nigeria and states around the world can relate to this song.

They don’t care about us by Michael Jackson – There were reported cases in Lagos where residents complained that the palliative measures were not getting to their households. But the situation seems to have improved as the government is visibly going round to provide essential supplies on a door-to-door basis. Reaching out to over 20 million will be no small feat so a lot of patience from citizens is expected.

In the End by Linkin Park – Some of us are putting our trust in the government and scientists. And some of us are putting our trust in God. In the end we want to come out of this alive – that’s what matters. Staying Alive by BeeGees – With people losing jobs or having their customer base significantly impacted by the lock down order, it’s a struggle to make ends meet. Money makes the world go round. And a hungry man is an angry man. Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins – This has been a time when I have been moved by regular citizens coming out to donate food and drink supplies to communities without requesting government support. Everyone needs to demonstrate love to his or her neighbours and give to those who lack.

Heal the world by Michael Jackson – Spread the love; that’s my appeal to everyone while scientists around the world work towards developing the vaccine to tackle this pandemic. Save me by Remy Zero – We need a saviour now more than ever. Times like this I wish Superman was not a fictional hero. The recent cases reported in Kano state are alarming.

A new dawn by Michael Buble – Hoping for a new dawn very soon for everyone. Do share your thoughts on the soundtrack; what would you change? what would your soundtrack for this crisis period feature? I would love to know 🙂

Image credit: s629photobucket.com

Top 3 text messages EVERYBODY likes to receive

If you are reading this post it’s probably safe to assume that you are doing so via your mobile phone which is the first likely item you wouldn’t leave home without. Aside making and receiving calls we often send and receive SMS or text messages on our mobile phones. I personally don’t send that many text messages, thanks to WhatsApp. But when it comes to receiving text messages, the following are the top 3 (and I stand to be corrected):

  • Successful recharge: Who doesn’t like receiving airtime for making calls or buying internet data? Getting happy birthday messages are ok but put for God’s sake put some airtime on it. Especially when these messages clog up your inbox.
  • Credit alert: Who doesn’t like getting notifications about money coming into their bank accounts? Even if it’s N300 or less than $1 it’s still an inflow.
  • Send me your account number: Now this one is quite an exciting message if it’s from that debtor who’s been owing you money for the last 2 years, or if it’s from a donor whose sending a birthday/wedding/new born gift. But surprisingly the last time I sent this text to somebody it wasn’t for any of the mentioned reasons. Let’s just say that the next time somebody is ignoring your calls try sending this message from another phone number – I’m 100% sure he will call back immediately. Worked for me when one artisan was trying to dodge me 😀