Monday, October 25, 2010

I don't know man.

I've been thinking about this for a long time. And really I don't know...
I don’t know who should be tried first? When it’s evident that both these men are guilty of severe crimes, Crimes against Humanity.
International arrest warrants need to be issued for these men for their heinous crimes, crimes against fashion.

On one side we have Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan looking bad. And next we have, semi-autonomous Southern Sudan’s president Salva Kiir looking ‘bader’.
Really cant say who is the worst or the ‘worstest” but the Janjaweed cant save them from being busted on this one. Since both are radically guilty of gross fashion right violations, they need to appear before The Hague to answer to these crimes.

Kiir a former rebel commander, visibly drawing inspiration from his dealings with good ol' Texas boy JR Ewing clearly has his swag on when he wears that stupid hat. But really we have to ask is there a Rodeo in war ridden, oil rich Southern Sudan?
As for Jonathan these offenses are a good enough reason for people not to vote for you in Nigeria’s upcoming elections. How can you be trusted to govern when clearly you cannot be trusted to dress yourself? The most tragic part of this whole story is that the hats also come in brown… 
Where are their wives, children, and frienemies, to tell them that they look a little silly?
A president should look presentable. Uncle Bob at his age has his game on point, his wife makes sure of it. So she can get her game on...

Who can we call to MEND this situation? Somebody has to bomb the stupid hat factory so this hot mess is no more.  

Yes I said it...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Free Period

Teaching, notably one of the most honourable professions in society may be on of the most undermined. The twelve years the average child spends in the education system are an immense influence in their life and teacher’s can make or break a child’s future ambitions and dreams. If these people have enormous influence on the progression of our future generations, why is it that their remuneration is minimal in comparison to the impact on society?

In recent months South Africa has been marred by civil service strikes; which involved two major sectors; health workers and teachers downed tools demanding wage increases, leaving their departments at a virtual stand still.
Teachers began to strike at a crucial period of the academic calendar, prior to end of year exams. It could be said that students were jubilant when lessons were cancelled. Drama’s played out typical of a “Nollywood” script, as threats of union rogues hijacking schools of teachers who refused to strike hit the headlines and sent parents into an inflated panic to rescue their children from Model C ambush.

It is a hearted concern for teachers to receive fair pay for the service they provide us. However the manner in which their protest was conducted brings into question the underlying value of this fine profession. Granted governments globally have failed to give those in the service the necessary dignity but what was their purpose in entering the field. Doctors train because they want to heal. Therefore teachers should teach because they want to inspire and ignite generations of greatness.
The South African Democratic Teachers Union’s decision to strike in that manner stripped the profession of its nobility. Simply labelling it a profession, no longer a passion.

Yes I said it...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crude Exploitation

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill blasted into the headlines the manner in which capitalism is detrimental to our ecological system. Crude oil the substance that many a war has been waged for washed up on the American gulf shores by the barrel. Billions of dollars were lost over the period of approximately six months that oil gushed by the second into the ocean.
British Petroleum, the owners of the offshore rig, pledged twenty billion dollars for the relief effort. However their image was demonised in the public eye with many African people declaring to boycott the brand.
In relation to their world, across the ocean in the Gulf of Guinea, ridden with crude, similar instances occurred daily according to some. The soil is blackened by imperialism and the plant of progression fails to bloom and the world has turned a blacked eye on the Niger Delta.
Nigeria, a country infamously known for its diversity and its colourful population gained independence from Britain in 1960. The country was blessed with a lucrative resource, black gold, crude oil, is the world’s sixth largest oil producer.
The blessing of the resource soon became one of Nigeria’s curses as oil production and sale boomed in the 1970’s so did corruption and mismanagement coupled with a legacy of coups. The focus in the Delta was solely oil production, of which only the government and foreign oil companies benefited from.
Activism in the Niger Delta began to rise in the early 1990’s, as groups from the region began so vocalise and mobilise their opposition of the exploitation. Tragically the regime at the time silenced any opposition; it is during this period that peaceful activists such as Ken Saro-Wiwa were executed without fair trial.
The government’s violent action and failure to address the grievances of their people escalated tensions in the region and ultimately paved the way to its militarisation.
One group the emerged from the creeks is the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, known as MEND.
MEND are known as one of the largest militant groups in the Delta and it has been reported that they have been engaged in activities such as sabotage of Delta oil production through the destruction of oil infrastructure, averting foreign interest in the region, kidnap of foreign oil workers and oil bunkering. MEND reports that their aim is to expose the decades of exploitation and oppression in the region and to localize the control of the oil industry and seek reparations for communities devastated by the industry.
On October 1st, 2010 during Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee celebration, bombs devastated celebration and killed twelve. It was immediately reported that MEND claimed responsibility for the attack with the purpose of highlighting the government’s failure to resolve the continuing exploitation. Henry Okah and alleged MEND leader was arrested in South Africa in connection with the bombings but denied any involvement. Raising his status from rebel militant to terrorist in what he deems is a political ploy to gain electoral favour in upcoming government elections.
The Niger Delta is a region of contrasts; foreign oil workers live in luxurious communities whereas villages in the Delta fail to fish or grow crops as the ecological system has been ravaged by oil spills. In desperation some lose their lives by siphoning fuel from pipelines, ethnic land is robbed from many communities and handed to oil companies. Communities are desperate for control over their own resources and do not want to witness further exploitation by the west.
The crisis of the Delta will cease when the government hears and aids the cries of its people. Then groups such as MEND would have in their greed whether though means of violence, terror and fought and won the cause of their people. Bloodshed is never justifiable but one can clearly see the escalation of the issue from peaceful protest to militancy is by no means coincidental.
The Delta and its people will not remain silent until companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Texaco confess their sins and make penance. And Africans should not grieve for the tears of distant lands until they clean the blood of their own wounds.