Another sunny tune (geddit?) for a relatively sunny day from 2001, homeboy's getting a melodic can of whoop-ass unleashed upon him boi!
Enjoy a bit of sassy girl power!
I can't think of a better tune to start off the new week. This song still knocks haaaaaaaard! Can you believe it's now 18 freaking years old?!
Arrested Development - People Everyday
So sometime last year, this restaurant (which shall remain nameless) was doing a promotion where you'd come and have lunch or dinner from a menu with no prices on it and then in lieu of a bill, you'd pay as much as you think the meal was worth. Sounds like a great deal right? So of course, being the cheapskates and lovers of eating out that we are, Afrocentric, Nsromma and I trekked down to Farringdon looking for the said restaurant. Ah screw it, the restaurant's called The Little Bay. So after going up and down Mount Pleasant and Farringdon Road we eventually find the place right by where we first started. Isn't that always the case? By this stage we were cold, hungry and irritable and the fact that we had to wait for a table didn't exactly help manners.
The real excitement began when it was time to pay the bill. We'd already decided to pay a fiver each before even entering the place but when it actually came down to it, the pressure was unbelievable. The three gloating women who had happily trekked halfway across London in search of an (almost) free meal disappeared. Beads of sweat appeared on our top lips and surreptitious glances were made towards the door. We eventually came up with a plan that we'd pay 10 pounds TOTAL between the three of us and Nsoromma and Afrocentric would take the lead out of the door whilst I stayed to paid the bill. This seem like a great plan in theory but the execution was another story. My nerves began to fail me when the waitress came to ask if "everything was okay" as she saw us trying to slyly slip on our coats and scarves. It also didn't help that we were the only black people in there as well. Way to disprove the stereotypes about black people being stingy girls! Nsoromma and Afrocentric "conveniently" found something fascinating on their phones and sidled out of the door. I sat there for about half a second before grabbing my bag, throwing down the tenner and practically sprinting out of the door. We collapsed in fits of giggles as soon as we put daylight between ourselves and the restaurant.
This restaurant had a genius marketing plan. Enough people were probably so terrified of looking stingy that they overpaid on their meals, therefore offsetting cheapskates like us. Nevertheless, this was definitely one of the most painful dining experiences I've ever had. So it's over to you. Can you beat our experience? Let's hear it!
(On a side note: there's a Jamaican Restaurant in South Norwood called "Rastarant" and I've always thought this was the greatest name ever! Any good restaurant names to share?)
Today, not dissimilar from most Thursdays, I was on my way home from work. It was around 9.08 pm, and I was just entering the gate to my house when I received a text from Nsoromma. “Please tell me you are watching Welcome to Lagos”, it read. “Shit!” I thought, rushing through the gate and pushing through my front door in one messy bundle. Whoever knows me knows how anal I am about watching a film or a show from its very first second. And I had missed a whole eight minutes! mini sanɛ nɛ! (Loose tr: oh dear!) So I ran straight upstairs,totally forgetting about the televised political debate, not stopping to say hi to my family downstairs in the living room, not even pausing to take a breath, or to pass Go and collect my £200. I had to watch this programme I had been waiting for the whole week.
I practically catapulted myself into my room and made a beeline for my TV. Quick...Remote...BBC 2. Once I had finally managed to get the TV onto the right channel, and sit down, I must admit I was a tad disappointed by what I was confronted with: a grown ass man sporting dirty overalls and a cap rummaging through piles of junk in a massive dump site. What the hell is this? KMT! I was tempted to switch it over, but as the show progressed, I realised this man sells the “goods” he finds in the dump to make a living. And then the documentary followed the man into his home, (Joseph, I think his name was), and the way he interacted with his family. His daughter’s first birthday was approaching and he and his wife were planning a birthday party. Something he said caught my attention. It was along the lines of “If I had to work in a dumpsite smellier and dirtier than the one I’m in now to earn more money, I would do it to give my family a good life.” I am not really sure what the programme had covered so far, but for me that was the first of many stereotypes of Nigerians it had broken. For example, not all Nigerian men are dictators, fiercely ruling over their women and their families while refusing to actually interact with them with any sort of affection. Shoot me if you want, but that’s the portrayal of Nigerian men I had actually believed.
The documentary also showed how Lagosians and people from other places made a livelihood in the big cattle market. It documented people negotiating over the price of cows, and other cattle (that I cannot remember!) It also showed how a man (I have forgotten his name) processed Cow’s blood to make chicken feed. What I liked about the show was that, for once, Africans were being shown to be resourceful, working hard for a living, rather than passively accepting aid or fighting over food items being thrown from UN trucks.
Also, although these people were living in squalid conditions, they were happy. Rather than playing the victim, they seemed to be content with their lot. I also noticed that the narrator often used words such as “optimistic”, and “hard-working” to describe the Nigerian people.
My criticisms? Well firstly, in typical BBC style, I feel the show did impose its opinions on its audience a bit. Like the uncomfortable close up of the man talking into the camera with a chewing stick in his mouth. I mean I’m sure the BBC would never document life in London, and have a white man speaking into the camera while brushing his teeth and spitting foam into the camera.
I also disliked the way subtitles were put up even when what was being said was in perfectly comprehendible English. It just seemed a bit patronising. Subtitles, in my opinion, are totally acceptable if people are speaking Pidgin or in their different languages. And while, we are on the subject, why are subtitles always needed when it’s an African speaking, no matter how clear his English is? *sigh*
Also, I feel the great British public has been brainwashed with enough images of abject poverty in Africa. I don’t think they needed to see anymore. But I got the sense that the show was one episode in a series of many. So I sincerely hope that life in the more glamorous side of Lagos will be later broadcasted.
You may disagree with me, but one thing the documentary did not lack was the entertainment factor, it was certainly interesting. I think it did attempt to be real, but I couldn’t help but feel the Lagosians were sometimes being mocked. To finish, let me add that I actually sat there watching the show with my coat on and didn’t think to take it off until it was over!
Picture taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2010/04/welcome-to-lagos-itll-defy-you.shtml
I know I really need to actually finish a post about something other than music! But since the sun has been shining small in London town I've been tripping down memory lane with my music. And came across this little 1990's gem. I loved this song and the album that spawned it The Writing's On The Wall back when I was in school!
For a long time, I have been wondering why we do some of the things we do. What I mean is the certain traditions that we put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into to make sure they never become extent. For example, why do we eat fish on Good Friday? And why do we put up a tree at Christmas?
But they do not bug me as much as some of the unwritten rules that govern Ghanaian social etiquette. Firstly, why is it rude to give and receive with your left hand? I have directed this question to my mother on many occasions, and all she can offer is "because the left is the dirty hand". However, she has no idea how this rule made its way into Ghanaian society and why the tradition still lives on. I don't think it's a problem per se that these rules exist, but I would just like a bit more information about them. I remember telling my manager at work that I would have to be careful about which hand I use when I'm in Ghana. She asked me "why?" and I told her because the left hand was considered "unclean", then she asked me "why?" again, and I did not have anything tangible to offer.
Secondly, why is it that when you enter a room, where a number of people are gathered, you have to greet everyone, starting from the left (or is it right?) and work your way round in a clockwise motion? I remember going to an aunt's party and being ushered (read: shoved) into the living room by my mother to greet everyone. As I was doing what I assumed to be the right thing, I noticed everybody in the room fiercely staring at me. When I later pointed this out to my mother, she told me it was becasue I went the wrong way around the room. Does it have to be such a big deal?
I am not pretending to be a super-liberal, do-anything-that-goes-against-the norms-of-society type of person, who would do anything to break the rules, it's just that I am baffled why some people insist on abiding to the handbook on Ghanaian social etiquette, when it's missing the hows and whys.