Cannabis perfume, Gay Prisoners and London Potholes
Perfumes. I rarely use them. Unlike Yemi my bosom friend who recently introduced me to a perfumer called Silvano Casoli. But Silvano is irreverent in the kind of whacky names she gives to eau de colognes. On Friday, I went to my High Street perfume store for a session of testing. Facing me was a robust bottle of Silvano’s called ‘Naked’. Then the shop assistant sized me up. She must have received the code that unlocks my fantasy. ‘Can you wait a second?’ she said. ‘Of course yes,’ I answered. She rummaged through a brown box and there in her soft palm was the best bargain for my perfume hunting. It looked delicately bohemian. ‘Is it because I am black,’ I protested. ‘No sir, you see many black people love this perfume’, she encouraged. ‘You mean this scent called Cannabis is preferred among your black customers?’ I queried. ‘Honestly, it puzzles me but it is fashionable among them,’ she said laughing. ‘Do you know what Cannabis is?’ I argued. ‘Yes…it is skunk, hashish, Indian Hemp spliff, Raffa and stone’. What! ‘Yes, all my black friends smoke it sir,’ she advised. ‘Shut up that is racist stereotype.’
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
And that brings me back to the issue of higher education. As the countries of the world pumps billions into higher education in competition for global recognition, Nigeria is wasting its resources and money on feeding its politicians. A new study shows that universities in the Far East are rocketing to the top of the education table. Several Asian higher institutions are keen to steal the crown from Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford. This revelation comes from the Times Higher Education Supplement’s World Reputation rankings 2012 which measures academic prestige. American Harvard University still maintains its reputation as the best higher institution on the planet in the list of 100, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UK’s Cambridge. Oxford’s golden age is wilting. It came a poor sixth in the league table. The most amazing breakthrough is the emergence of Tokyo and Kyoto universities in eighth and 20th places respectively while the Singapore’s National University came to 23rd. China is also making headway and blazing academic excellence. Its Tsinghua University is rated 30 while the University of Hong Kong sits at 40. The saddest news is that Nigeria and the entire universities in the African continent are unrecognised among the best 100 in the world. Forget it. UI is not there! As I write, innocent children are under trees in Nigeria struggling to learn. As I write, the money and resources meant for the uplifting of our educational system are being violently squandered by simpering and demented thieves we called politicians. Any wonder then that China is recolonising, recapturing and reconfiguring the entire resources of Africa?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe may be a jaded icon of his country’s independent struggle. When he roared, thousands of white farmers abandoned their bleating sheep for other greener pastures. Britain’s response was to bring Zimbabwe to her knees. Ordinary Zimbabweans went through the wheel barrow experience. It was bigger than the curse of famine on Zimbabwe. Nigerians may need Ghana-must-go bags to buy their jeeps. In Zimbabwe, you need a wheel barrow of Zim shillings to purchase a loaf of bread. Zimbabwe has healed its wound and eaten the humble pie. However, there is someone in Zimbabwe stoking further the red-hot hatred Mugabe has for homosexuals. Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change has caused a kinky stir with her suggestion that prisoners in Zimbabwe should be given sex toys to prevent an outbreak of homosexuality in Zimbabwe’s overcrowded prisons. ‘In other countries they provide sex gadgets and have constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises,’ she told a parliamentary meeting on gender and development. Last July, notorious Mlotshwa suggested that the spread of HIV among married couples could be curbed by injecting husbands with chemicals to limit their sexual appetites. Meanwhile, I am yet to read anywhere in the UK of large consignment of sex toys from Soho to Zimbabwe to arrest the desire of prisoners from turning into gays, the people Mugabe repeatedly described as ‘worse than pigs and dogs.’ Between sex toys and iyan and egusi, I wil wager my last coin that Nigerian prisoners will go for the latter any day.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
If you think that bad roads with potholes are mainly peculiar to African roads, please think again. It has however being revealed that local authorities in England and Wales are still miles behind road repairs and maintenance. The UK has the most brutally efficient tax regime in the world. Yearly, road users are taxed for using the roads. In its new report, the Asphalt Industry Alliance claims that 1.7million potholes were repaired last year. It is suggested that councils in England will need 11 years to fill all the potholes on their roads. Welsh councils on the other hand will take 17 years to fill theirs. Both England and Wales will need £10billion for the repair project. There is a difference between Nigeria and UK in the handling and approach to the essential infrastructure like road maintenance. Britain has a figure to prove that 1.7 million potholes were mended last year. I can guarantee that our average Nigerian Council Chairman may not have figures for potholes repaired but he certainly can give a correct figure of the numbers of jeep he buys yearly for personal vanity and cronies.