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Guess who December 17, 2008

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And, we’re back! Various real life commitments and annoying internet problems (oh we will be getting to that shortly) have kept us from bringing you new slaps, but it has allowed us to think about quite a few things.

The first is that although we do have some ideas on things and people in Nigeria to slap, we are curious to find out what our readers think. Who would YOU like us to slap on your behalf.

You wouldn’t have to do anything. Just give us the name and why you feel they should be slapped and we will do all the research and so on necessary to deal out the punishment. Easy eh?

A few caveats though, we are already planning on slapping our esteemed friends at ‘NASA‘, MTV Base for their unbelievably crap MAMAs (don’t let their website fool you!), Silverbird TV is also in the queue, and finally PHCN is too easy a target for a slap (well, until they push us too far then the gloves will come off). Everything else is fair game.

We are currently working on getting someone who will allow us to deal with stupid politicians in terms of research etc. so don’t think we are dodging them for fear of reprisal or whatever.

Hope you all are looking forward to the holidays! For those of you travelling out of the country, go well and return o! And for those of you staying, don’t let Naija get to you (either through frutration or via armed robbery).

African muggles are crazy. November 19, 2008

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Gotta love that hat.

Gotta love that hat.

Okay, if there is one thing that you can say about former teen witch now Evang (Prophetess? Witchfinder General? Psycho? Unscrupulous businesswoman? Satanist?) Helen Ukpabio, it’s that she is thorough. If you are a witch/wizard you can come for deliverance. If you are a victim of witchery/wizardry you can come for help. And, if you are not sure, you can come for clearance/screening.

Screening!

This is just the tip of the anthill though. She also gives guidance on catching young witches and wizards BEFORE they have a chance to manifest themselves and destroy their parents. She even has a video that’s available on youtube to show you the symptoms of childhood witchcraft and consequences of not acting on time. Watch at your own discretion, it will most likely incite extreme feelings of anger, disgust and disbelief.

For the first time in a long time, I am so filled with confusion and rage that I am not sure how to proceed with the slapping that this woman so obviously deserves.

Where to begin? Do we start with her stupid hat in that picture? The way her lips curl into a smile/sneer in that flyer? What about her book, from which we get this choice excerpt on her website:

LIFE BEFORE KNOWING THE LORD

This is just a brief history of my life. Full story is written in a book titled “THE SEAT OF SATAN EXPOSED”. I was initiated into Olumba cult at 14 years of age, I was also betrothed to Lucifer as would be wife. This automatically qualifies me to attend a spiritual school for the Royals. I was trained in concepts of mysticism, occultism, spiritism, Satanism, demonism and general cultism. The idea of developing strategies that will aid in keeping activities of the cult alive and seeing more human registering with the occult kingdom is the number one goal of the occult kingdom.

The practice of witchcraft, necromancy, familiar spirits, and other spiritistic activities in order to multiply them thereby causing confusion multiplying wrong altars are Satan’s strategy to help water down the true churches are some of their activities.

Finally, the Lord brought me out in His own time. I was saved, born again, sanctified well taught in the word. I was 14 years when Olumba seized me to work for Satan but at 17 years, the Lord brought me out to His glory.

Man, all these BScs in -isms in just three years? She must have been a child prodigy, and obviously still an agent of Satan (as can be seen in her Freudian slip “This automatically qualifies me to attend a spiritual school for the Royals.” showing she is still attending this most hallowed of spiritual educational institutions). Now, I am not going to advocate for her to be burnt at the stake or any such thing because, well, that would just not be Christian now would it? It would be far better, and in keeping with justice to have her shipped to Singapore for a rattan flogging. The full 24 strokes.

But, until that happens, we need to administer some medicine in the form of our own brand of justice.

This woman has preyed on the ignorance and fears of people in order to charge exhorbitant amounts in order to torture children all in the name of salvation. Her church, Liberty Gospel Church, specialises in the ‘deliverance’ of people from witchcraft/wizardry of any sort. Adults go there and scream, gesticulate and vomit all in the name of being delivered from whatever maleficent power supposedly has a hold over them. Children, get beaten and tortured. If you are crazy already and believe that your problems in life are as a result of supernatural forces instead of the laws of cause and effect, then you deserve to have a woman like Helen Ukpabio as your spiritual ‘leader’.

For example,

Cause: You are lazy and have a sense of entitlement leading you to believe that you do not need to work hard to earn money, after all you are ‘smart’.

Effect: You remain poor and have no money with which to feed your most likely over-sized family.

This has nothing to do with witchcraft. It has to do with you being lazy. See? Not so difficult. Satanist Ukpabio though has spotted that a lot of people have trouble with this simple concept and has decided to offer them an alternative…the WITCH HUNT!

The WITCH HUNT! is a simple enough concept. Basically, if anything unpleasant at all requires some form of responsibility to be taken by yourself, blame it on a witch or wizard. Better yet! Blame it on your child, that’s sleeping in the back. She must be a witch! After all she is running a temperature in bed. It couldn’t possibly be a fever.

Yes, muggles in Africa are crazy and I am ashamed to say that these people are my brethren. Our relationship with Christianity is such a tenuous one, and in part I blame the missionaries who came here and adopted a ‘quantity over quality’ approach. All that most Nigerians have done is superimpose traditionalist beliefs unto Christianity allowing parasites like Helen Ukpabio to fester and grow.

But, the slap today is not just directed at her and her church. It is also directed at the so slow it’s static response of the government, our journalists, other religious organisations to this situation. It has taken a foreign organisation and foreign news services to bring this issue to light.

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY ALL DOING?

The government of Akwa Ibom was just sitting pretty while children under their care have been abused, repeatedly with the promise of more abuse and permament psychological damage. Even the Democratic Republic of Congo is getting their act together about their own witch hunt problem, and they are in the middle of a war! Come on people, it is not rocket science, I know we don’t do that well.

The other churches present there. Surely the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Pentecostal and other churches in Akwa Ibom would have heard of this monstrous act been perpertrated by someone claiming to be one of the fold. They should have picketed Liberty Gospel Church’s ‘temple’ and raised an alarm.

Nigerian journalists in general are just a disappointment. Most of them sitting pretty until someone comes to pay them money in order for them to do any reporting of any sort. The torture of children in a so-called democracy country by religious fundamentalists does not rank as news for them? Maybe the children should have come to give them some money to get their story told. Now that a foreign news team has come and gone, they can start covering it and showing their outrage. Maybe if they were actually doing their jobs, we might have found out even before Mr. Gary Foxcroft ever saw such a thing happening.

The final slap is reserved for the parents and relatives of these children. They should all be ashamed of themselves. In this time, in this age, they can justify the ritualistic torture of their own flesh and blood for some very ephemeral gain. These sorts of people should never be allowed to have children, and in fact be neutered to prevent their stupidity from spreading. We need less Nigerians like this thank you very much!

I am not so set in my views to say that witchcraft could not, or in fact, does not exist, but more often than not, the worst things that happen on this planet do not require any supernatural force or malignant principalities. All they require is a healthy dose of stupidity and a person like Helen Ukpabio.

Madam Evang, this slap is for you!

We are siccing the monkey on you!

We are siccing the monkey on you!

Some links for those who want to help out in any way. Let us try and end this nonsense. For those of you in Akwa Ibom or even in the neighbouring state of Cross River, you should also get in touch with your representatives to let them know you are pissed off with the state of affairs.

Good Friday (14/11/2008) November 14, 2008

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It’s Good Friday over here at Slap! HQ, so we are only going to be nice today. No snark, sarcasm, and no negativity. Just the celebration of all the good stuff that’s been going on in this country of ours.

First, the quick and assured response by the both the Federal and State Governments as well as Nigerian citizens on facebook with regards to the case of Uzoma Okere and Rear Admiral Arogundade. This shows that as a nation we are at least beginning to realise that everybody has rights regardless of affiliation to any organisation/institution/service and should be treated as such. We wait for justice to be done for her and for the Armed Forces to do the right thing and immediately court martial the so-called admiral and make sure he doesn’t even get his pension. He may not be the only high ranking officer abusing/letting his subordinates abuse his position, but he will make a good example to the rest of them.

4th Republic

4th Republic

Secondly, there’s a new album that just came out by a group known as 4th Republic. They have two videos out on youtube at the moment. My personal favourite is this one. The album is quite nice with a mixture of Naija pop and straight hip hop in it. Some of the songs are really classic material however, and you should definitely give the album a listen. Buy it and support Nigerian music!

Speaking of listening to albums, M.I had his listening party almost two weeks ago now. It was a blast and had the talented MC on the mic both hosting and performing. He is a real talent and again I say that everyone should pick up his album, you will not be disappointed at all!

And tagentially linked to that, on the 31st of October, Lagosians gathered at Swe to have fun at the first TRICK or TREAT halloween party. It was quite nice to see Nigerians actually dressing up and having fun. Hope they do another one next year and they do a LOT more to make it even better.

The last Felabration was really great! Damon Albarn from Gorillaz was there as well as Kano, Baaba Maal, and of course the Kutis with Femi Kuti quoted as saying that his father would be “Dancing in his grave” which is as morbid and punk a statement as we have ever heard and suits Fela very well. Good on Storm for making it happen again this year.

Zain – Yes, them again November 12, 2008

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Ok, before it starts to look like we are specifically targeting Zain and in the employ of some other telecom, let me start with the caveat that, unfortunately, aside from general bad service, they are the ones participating in extra-curricular stupidity that has come to our notice.
We are pretty sure that the other telecom companies are also up to no good, but until we find out what those deeds are, we will have to continue like this. In fact it just occurred to me that there are always Etisalat’s awful radio adverts to address…

So, unto the topic at hand. Zain and the new, Ikoyi based headquarters.

After getting rebranded as Zain, I guess the higher ups decided that they needed to leave as much as possible behind so that we, their customers will forget about Celtel as an entity. They have repainted the majority of their offices and service centres an eyeball turning magenta, and pale green, changed their recharge cards to reflect the new Zain brand identity, taken down all their old billboards, flooded the airwaves with transformation and affirmation radio adverts, print and TV adverts, and, if you’re one of the chosen few, changed the Celtel name on your phone to Zain amongst other things.

It was not enough. Their management thought that people still remembered that they were Celtel. Surely, it must have something to do with their head office off Sanusi Fafunwa in Victoria Island. Yes, that must be it! Whenever people drove by Sanusi Fafunwa, they thought varying thoughts such as, “Waoh! Look at Celtel’s office over there! I wish I could visit!” and “I wish I worked at Celtel’s head office, my friend works there!”.

No, this simply could not do. The head office must be destroyed and then rebuilt.

I imagine the board meeting at which this proposition was made. Brows furrowed and throats ‘hmmd’ in agreement. The building had to go. A little voice from somewhere in the back of the room however reminded them that the building did not belong to them and was in fact on a long-term lease which was yet to expire.

“Oh.” they all exclaimed in unison, realising then and there that the only other option was to lease a new building and move everyone out of their current one. After all, they had the funds. What else could they possibly spend it on?

The little voice spoke up again and suggested that maybe they could use it to upgrade their base stations, maybe even build new ones and maybe, just maybe get their 3G platform off the ground and into the hands of customers to reward them for long years of loyalty.

But, unfortunately as is the case with these things, little voices are only heard once every blue moon and it had already used up its chance to be heard.

And so it was that Zain sent out people to go and look for a fitting edifice with which to destroy the average customer’s connection between the company formerly known as Celtel and the company now known as Zain.

And it would have worked too, if it wasn’t for the fact that everyone who knew about it got distracted by the fact that Zain paid the princely sum of $27 million for a five year lease on this building.

Heck all I see whenever I dream about the building, and believe me I have nightmares about it, is a huge $ sign threatening to devour…something or someone. Well, either that or  that the $ is for $lap.

If you haven’t visited their new office yet (and I say ‘yet’ because I believe every customer of Zain should, if only to see what their credit is paying for), let me describe it to you.

It is a towering edifice with 8 floors and a penthouse office. All floors are open plan, ensuring that if staff A is on facebook instead of doing any work, they can be confident that they won’t get into any trouble because they can see their boss also on facebook about two tables away.

The interior staircases are designed to ensure maximum injury during a fire or other emergency that demands expedient evacuation of the building.

There are hundreds of staff in this building and yet they are all served by two elevators that can hold a maximum of 8 people and stall with a minimum of two. In a brilliant stroke of inefficient design, the building is split up into two wings. These wings are only connected on three of those eight floors. So, if you are on floor 3, wing A and wanted to see a colleague on floor 3, wing B, maybe to help them get a signature, you would have to wait for the elevator to be available, or climb stairs to cross over and then go back up or down to their floor. Then again, maybe it was designed in this way to minimise employee interaction with known troublemakers seperated in order to maximise productivity…you never know.

There is a lot of glass, and they are located by the sea which of course allows for nice views. The waiting area is also rather nice.

Now that you know WHAT they paid for, let us discuss HOW they ‘agreed’ to pay for it.

According to various sources, the building in question was brought up before the board of directors and minor investors. They all recoiled in horror at the price of the lease (as is wont for someone with any lick of sanity or perspective) and said they were not going to have anything to do with it. After some arguing, they agreed that a comittee should be set up to investigate the going rate of buildings and so on in Banana Island and report back to the board so that they could make an informed decision. This was instructed by the Zain chairman himself, Gamaliel Onosode, who according to some reports was specifically against the payment of such a ridiculous sum telling the comittee to “ensure that Celtel (oops, surely they mean Zain? Dammit they really need to do something about that) gets maximum value from the transaction; ensure that the rent payable is not only reasonable but is in line with market rate; to negotiate other fees including service charge, legal fees, agency fees etc; to get best value for the company; and to ensure that legal documentation is such that the interest of the company is protected.”.

The comittee went and did their research and came back with findings showing that one of their competitors (who we believe to be Etisalat by the way) had paid $20 million to outright purchase their own building and compound. So, obviously the $27 million was just not something that could be defended. To put this in perspective in case $7 million sounds like a small figure to you, that is N833,000,000. In short, a 0.8 billion naira difference. There were other discrepancies in the proposal document as well that they discovered, but this one stuck out like a sore thumb, like a Nigerian in Siberia!

I imagine the comittee rushed back to Zain HQ, out of breath from all their running and pumped with adrenaline. After all, they were about to save their company from making a terrible mistake. They would be heroes!

They must have run to the chairman’s office and slammed open the door. Important news must be backed by grand entrances after all! They threw their document on his table and told him what they had discovered. As their presentation went on however, they began to feel uneasy. Why was he looking at them in such a strange way? Sometimes it looked like bewilderment, and at others like a sort of quiet guilt, and yet at others, like he couldn’t (or was trying his damnedest not to) hear them. But, young, energetic pups that they were, they finished their presentation and waited for his praise and applause.

Only the air conditioning marked the passage of time as they waited for their chairman to speak. He finally cleared his throat and then told them that actually, they (NOT the board of directors I should stress, but another group made up of majority shareholders) had already authorised the payment for the building.

Some people said that when pressed as to why he took such a decision without waiting for the report of a comittee he had formed to advice him and the company on what to do, he said, he ‘forgot’.

Whether or not that is true is irrelevant, but it does throw some sharp relief unto the ridiculousness of the whole story. The leadership of a multi-national, multi-billion naira company made such a bad decision in so short a time and thought they could just walk away from it. It surely must be because of the failure of memory, either due to senility or subtle brain damage.

Please note that for the past seven years, Vmobile/Celtel/Zain has not paid dividends to its investors.

The wrongness of this situation, the audacity, and more pertinently the stupidity of it, has caused me, to write this long article detailing the reason they are getting slapped yet again.

1. For having a leadership that can put personal gain (and let us make no bones about it, there was major chopping in this) before the health of their company and investors.

*SLAP*

2. For not even trying to be subtle about it. At least, credit your shareholders with some intelligence!

*SLAP*

3. And, finally, for spending money that could have been used on making me a happier customer on something as unnecessary as a new head office even though you still have a lease running on your previous office!

*SLAP*

zain-slap

Don't worry, it's for your own good Cel...I mean Zain.

P.S To all Zain subscribers and concerned Nigerians who would want to thank us for doing this deed on your behalfs, don’t worry, slapping is its own reward.

Lagos Traffic Offenders – Are you one of them? November 10, 2008

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Time For Your Medicine

Time For Your Medicine

This is a tough one. There are so many problems — so many to slap! Even I, a cold and heartless dispenser of hot and cold slaps feel myself becoming — overwhelmed. But No. My duty to enlightened and self aware Nigerians — no matter how few and far between they are — is clear. My resolve iron clad. Today, hot slaps must be doled out and some of you reading this may actually be on the receiving end of them. I do not apologise. I am Evilina after all, and you know you had this one coming.

The topic is of course, Lagos Traffic Offenders. Ah. I felt that. The slight speeding up of your heart rate. Some of you are reacting, as fellow victims, with righteous indignation. Others of you (and you know yourselves) with guilt. My dear guilty readers, do not shrink from the sting of a well deserved slap. It is like medicine; unpleasant and so very good for you.

So, we’ve all been out there in that jungle that is the Lagos transit system and we’ve seen them; the ones who make worse what is already at best a messy and disheartening situation. I am not even going to go into all the sub-domains that fall under this broad category. Unfortunately slaps are such an urgently needed resource in this country that I cannot afford to use them all up here.

Today we shall be honouring the LTOs finest that is some of the most outrageous traffic offenders to be found in this country and possibly on the entire planet. Here they are in all their incomprehensible glory:

Mr. Hurtle down the wrong lane against oncoming traffic at full speed (especially at night with your headlights on full glare) – The go slow on your lane was too much and your need to get to your destination too urgent. You counted the cost. Not only is there a chance of horribly killing yourself and any other person in your car but there is the additional toll of the people in the other vehicle in the collision and any pedestrian who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course that is the worst case scenario. A better one would be creating the mother of all traffic jams by completely blocking vehicles that were actually going in the correct direction (unlike your enterprising self) and causing hundreds and possibly thousands of Nigerians who never did anything to you to be even later than they had to be in getting to their destination. Yes. You counted the cost and somehow, in your warped mind, it was worth it. You are clearly a sociopath with the intelligence level of moss. It is almost not worth it dispensing this slap on you but one lives in hope that the mind clearing effects of a vicious, hot one will somehow help. Other remedies include a prolonged stay at one of our fine local asylums.

*SLAP*

Mr. Drive backwards against oncoming traffic at full speed for at least half a kilometre – Because 12 minutes of turning around and making your turn legally is a life time to wait. What possible extenuating circumstances can there be for this offence? May be you are the victim of a terrible disease that makes you age 20 times faster than normal people and making that turn the proper way would have meant getting to your destination an old and grey man. Or if that is too far fetched, perhaps you were simply out of petrol and driving backwards like a stuntman from the Italian Job seemed like a more efficient way to get to the petrol station turn off that you had missed. I actually prefer this explanation. It makes me feel that we are not hopeless as a nation, merely full of stupid people. And if you have been following this blog you will know that identifying and slapping stupid people is absolutely what we do. So, for driving around with no petrol then risking everyone’s lives so you can get some before your car packs up:

*SLAP*

Mr. Drive at night without any form of traffic lights on your vehicle whatsoeverYours is the dark hulk that materialises out of nowhere on Lagos’s notoriously unlit night roads. You are the triumph of the driver with fast reflexes and the bane of the sleepy commuter returning home from unremunerated over time. You are the cruel judgement hand of the road gods. I cannot hope to understand your motivation. Perhaps you really are merely a vessel and an avatar for God’s will, appearing only before those whose time sheets God has signed off on. Or maybe you are just a regular person who paid a lot for good juju and therefore thinks them self invincible (and if the other person in the collision isn’t then maybe they should’ve gotten the same traditional insurance, right?) Whatever it is you are, you are getting slapped because you play a role that you don’t have to. Every time you get in your unlit vehicle at night and motor down an unlit street, blending in with the shadows and the dark pot holed roads, it’s like you made a decision to kill someone. You should actually be in jail but for now a hot slap will have to suffice.

*SLAP*

Mr. Sixteen Wheeler who thought they could make that hairpin turn into that narrow road that was already choked with trafficBoth you and I know that you didn’t really believe you could make that turn. Now your truck is broken down/ tipped over across the path of traffic and no one is going anywhere. You have a blank expression on your face and you are avoiding everyone’s eyes. At that moment, I find that I love you a little. How could I not? I owe my existence to your kind. I would love to stay with you and break my slap hand off on you but unfortunately, as I have mentioned, I don’t have the time. So I will leave you with an extremely well deserved, head spinner that will make your eyes water and my slap hand ache. I am consoled in leaving you by the fact that I know I will see you again. Your kind always comes back.

*SLAP*

Mr. Drive on the pavement - I am not addressing Danfos or Okada’s here because I consider them to be part of the topography of Lagos roads like potholes and lakes. I am talking of people who actually climb off the road onto the pavement in the hopes of moving faster than traffic and then later cutting in in front slowing the lane down even further. Quite the feat in selfishness, that. What I wish I could do is fly you abroad to Western Nations that also use roads and pavement. As I can’t I will just have to explain it to you. I think you will find that in Western Nations like say Germany or the US, cars tend to stay on the roads leaving pavements for pedestrians. This is true even during traffic jams. The only time you will find a car on the pavement in a Western Nation is when it is in the midst of a car accident. This is because pavements are for people and roads are for cars. You can look it up if you don’t believe me ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidewalk). It’s how white people do things, It is true that it takes more time but ultimately they still get where they are going and most times faster than we do. Now there is a possibility that you already know this but will drive on the pavement anyway. In that case, you should know that you are scum.

*SLAP*

Mrs. Drive as though you are the only person on the road: You play a dangerous game by re-enacting I am Legend every time you get in a car. You drive in the middle of two lanes, weaving erratically about any time someone attempts to over take you (the only time you show any awareness that you are not alone). Trafficating is anathema to you and you can and will make sudden turns when you see fit. And let us not forget your signature move, the sudden stop in the middle of the road so you can properly think about where it is you are going again. You are truly a mythological beast in that I did not even believe in you until I encountered you. Yes, like Satan the ultimate deceiver, you convince everyone that you could not possibly exist. No one could possibly drive in such a stupid, suicidal manner (barring of course Okadas). By the time we find out how wrong we are, it is too late and you have claimed our front bumper and possibly one of our head lights. I will not pretend to understand your motivations. I will simply continue to warn others of your existence and leave you with the slap that I owe you.

*SLAP*

Mr. Cutting in front of you after you Trafficate: We are both in traffic. I need to get into your lane. I see you in the next lane through my side mirror. You are driving at a relaxed pace and have left enough of a gap in front of you for me to make my switch. Gratefully I do the courteous thing and trafficate, letting you know that I would like to move into the space you have so generously provided. I begin to make my move and what do you do? You suddenly adopt a stony expression and a manic gleam in your eye. YOU – HIT -YOUR – GAS – PEDAL and you almost take out both my trafficator and the rear bumper of the car in front of you in your bid to block my entrance into your lane. Then you sit there stony faced while I stare at you slack jawed as a growing horde of okadas blare their truck horns in my ears, impatient because I am blocking the passage between the lanes. This one happens every day, two or three times a day. Sometimes there’s a reason. The car you had to block was one that had already broken down three or four times in the course of this go slow and you were damned if it was going to break down in front of you. Or maybe the car didn’t make any indication of its intention at all and yours was just instinctive, defensive driving (though why you had the space in front of you then, I don’t understand). Or maybe it was a sixteen wheeler and we all know how those can be. The truth however is that for too many of you it is just mean, selfish, stupid Grags. To those people I say, if you don’t want someone to pull in front of you do not lead them on by leaving a car sized space in front of you in traffic!

*SLAP*

Mr. Pedestrian/Lemming -

Not all LTO’s are actually in vehicles. A lot of pedestrians daily commit any manner of traffic atrocity in our city of Lagos. My particular favourites are the suicidal night crossers. I will elucidate. As I have already described, Lagos roads are typically unlit and this includes even expressways. Now black people have never been known for being particularly visible at night. You would think then, that in a nation of black people, crossing unlit roads at night would be approached with more caution by said black people than say, maybe, white people. But as usual, in Nigeria, reality is the warped and corrupted cousin of logic. What we have in reality is black people usually (and this is my best bit) wearing black on black ensembles randomly dashing across unlit, potholed roads on nights whose darkness is unrelieved by so much as a cloudy moon. Imagine how fun this must be for night commuters. My driving teacher had a very philosophical attitude to this pedestrian kamikazes. He called them “Suyas” his logic being that anything that was killed on a road (i.e. road kill) usually ends up as suya, therefore anyone who flings themselves under the wheels of your vehicle at night may as well be suya. Imagine a driving teacher telling one that? Only in Nigeria, I think. Anyway, I am dispensing Slaps to those road lemmings in the hopes of saving the occasional life, so:

*SLAP*

I know I have by no means covered all the categories of traffic sinners that daily ply the roads of Lagos State, but like I said it is a broad area and I can only cover the most prominent. I do, however welcome contributions if you think I may have overlooked a glaring one. Expose those road hooligans here and enjoy the catharsis that can be found in slap dispensation. Long live SLAP!

Sorry we’ve been away! November 7, 2008

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We’ve been away for quite a while now and for that I would like to apologise.

Real life along with some other issues reduced the amount of time that the members of the Slap! team could devote to slapping fools all over the country, but we are going to be back properly in a few weeks with a renewed schedule that we will keep to and regular articles highlighting the various stupidities of our country and country people.

To keep you going until our official relaunch which will be announced here, we will be posting a few articles that are quite topical on Monday morning.

First is the case of Uzoma Okere who was beaten by naval soldiers under the command of Rear Admiral Arogundade whose convoy was blocked by the poor lady. This is appalling, and beyond the slaps we will be administering, we also implore you all to contact the military representative and to write letters to the local newspapers whereever you are in the country or out of it. They must not get away with this.

Secondly, we will be slapping that great telecom giant, Zain again because of their alleged spending of 27 million dollars on the lease of a building in Banana Island that was neither apparently agreed upon by the board, nor in fact necessary considering they already had a building in Victoria Island.

And last but not least, we would like to dedicate a special slap to all those drivers on the streets of Lagos who believe that driving on the wrong side of the road is in fact a ‘right’ since they are in more of a hurry than anybody else.

So, please look forward to these. With regards to the case with Uzoma Okere and her beating, instead of waiting for our article, you can go to facebook and show your support there at – and you can also contact the Nigerian Ministry of Womens Affairs, Saudatu Usman Bungudu at sbungudunigeria.gov.ng and simuhammad@fmwa.gov.ng

Thanks for bearing with our lull, and we promise you won’t be disappointed once we come out of it.

Pseudo Celebrities September 17, 2008

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Celebrity |səˈlebrətē|: A widely recognized or famous person who commands a high degree of PUBLIC and MEDIA ATTENTION.

I recently opened my facebook home page only to be bombarded by the stupidest crap imaginable: a note by a completely confused little girl celebrating a whole week of her own self- importance and as I beat a hasty retreat, I began to wonder why these group of sub-humans without self worth would just not let us be. Can u imagine the gall of these cretins? They actually believe, I mean actually believe that people actually give a damn about their puny efforts at significance. Ladies and gentlemen i introduce you to the world of the self acclaimed celebrities.

It’s absolutely unbelievable, the levels of self delusion that these people descend to in their desperate need for attention. They are everywhere now, attaching themselves to true celebs (groupies is the true term), coming up with ‘charitable’ causes of dubious origin and generally forcing their way into your life; begging for your recognition.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that anyone who has had dealings with or is associated with these clowns is left with a really bad taste in their mouth.

Classic examples of these neurotics are the….the….., what the hell do they call themselves again? Can’t remember right now but I wonder why a group of adult, working class men and women would sit down and come up with daft group names for themselves. I mean we all went to high school and even did the whole sorority/fraternity thing already. I don’t think we should be punished just because someone had bad high school and college years. It’s not our fault! (I know unpopularity sucks).

Oh I remember now, the unrulies. Unruly gorris, nobs (what sort of nicknames are those; lmao) and of course, the Redstrat pretenders

All these dastardly dimwits would have escaped slipping onto my radar and subsequently being slapped if not for their very annoying habit off making a downright nuisance of themselves at every opportunity they get (or create). everywhere you go, there they are making so much noise and acting like a bunch of mentally challenged children that you begin to wonder how they were ever let out of the house.

An album launch; there they are, prancing about, crying to be noticed

A concert; full frontal ear attack that practically drowns out the music

A book reading; oozing infantile self importance

A simple get together; battling for attention.

Why? Were they so deprived of a childhood that they feel that the rest of us must make up for it?

Oh of course, there’s the support group: the self acclaimed lord of the pen and screen, that ‘Big Brother’ chap, some young newscaster on Channels (OMG) TV and unbelievably rude wench and a host of other dodgy wannabes.

I always believed that being a celebrity meant that you had talent and would work hard to create something–written, painted, sculpted, acted out–and the like. Not so anymore. Apparently all you have to do is host a pointless event like the future awards or feature in a reality show that you didn’t even win or jump in front of every camera at every opportunity you get and give an opinion on….whatever or (the easiest) write millions of notes on facebook and tag away and voila! You’re a celebrity.

People it seems believe they are famous not for doing anything worthwhile or having some special talents, but merely for being… wow! The rest of us are now supposed to bow and kowtow in awe when we are graced with their presence.

F@#K THAT!!

These fellows and ‘fellowettes’ aint even got any real money or fame. SHIT!!

A very smart guy recently wrote a real note on facebook that generated some controversy and had all the little worms scurrying out of their holes to defend themselves. My favorite part was:

They call themselves celebrities and they run to the market with it, abeg o! I don’t want to be part of your revolution, if I won’t dance, what do I do with this celebrity title? Form a ‘padi-padi’ coalition to try and oppress, or feel more important than the people that have problems similar to mine; so there will be another underground celebrity friend of mine who will organize events and awards to valorize my talent and creativity, and in-turn valorize his own image as the organizer of a one-in-town event, that recruits mobs of other fakers and maybe a real celeb or two, which will only end up making me become too paranoid to travel easily within the streets of Lagos, on okadas, in buses or taxis if I wish. To be a part of this ‘celebrity’ world, where i keep stoking the fires of my childish need to have the last word and show off… just so the public will have a love/hate relationship with me. CELEBRITY MY YANSH

I quite agree. So here’s a slap for all the fake people out there who:

a. kiss ass to get on top. SLAP!!

b. bother us with mindless shit on facebook. SLAP!!

c. give us another reason not to watch naija events on TV. SLAP!!

d. add you as a friend on facebook so they can send you the latest video of their favorite celeb over and over again, dedicating the same track to you almost a thousand times… sorry I didn’t come to join facebook to be part of your business strategy. SLAP! SLAP!! SLAP!!!

A big SLAP for all pseudo celebrities.

CELEBRITY MY ASS!

Yours sincerely,

Flex

The Case of the Multi-faced Telecom. September 9, 2008

Posted by slapnigeria in random shit, Uncategorized.
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This is my ode to a book series I loved when I was a little girl and not yet Evilina, the mistress of hot and cold slaps. The Nancy Drew mystery books by Caroline Keene destroyed my eyesight because I couldn’t put them down and would read them under my blanket at night by the ambient light that came in through my window from the passage outside my room. I loved the names the mysteries had like, The Clue in the Crossword Cipher and The Password to Larkspur Lane and I would fantasise about being like her and cracking inscrutable cases once a week. I bring up my childhood heroine now because I feel that I finally have a case that would have been worthy of her skill. It is, of course, the case of Zain, the multi-faced Telecommunications Company.

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge that Zain has not been singled out for the honour of a slap because they are a crappy service provider. In that, they are well matched by their market contemporaries, MTN and Glo. No, Zain has been singled out because they have turned being a crappy Telecom Service Provider into something more than itself. They have turned it into Art.

As their services have gone from really bad to piss take, I have wondered, why? Why do they think they can get away with this? I began, like Nancy Drew, to investigate the matter and everything began to point in a single direction.

Multiple Personality Disorder.

This condition, now professionally referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is defined in almighty Wikipedia as “a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a condition in which a single person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment.[1] The diagnosis requires that at least two personalities routinely take control of the individual’s behaviour with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness…” If you have been in Nigeria within the last three years, this should sound familiar to you. A single entity? Multiple distinct identities or personalities? VMobile, Celtel and Zain? Forgetting how to provide actual telecommunication services?

Lets not forget that this telecom provider actually started of as Econet Wireless Nigeria after which it manifested its first personality, Vodacom, which apparently lasted only a month. It may have been the shortest lived of Econet’s multiple identities but it certainly seemed to open the floodgates and I’m afraid its all been down hill from there. That’s right down hill, because with each successively cheesier identity, the Telecom’s services have been seeking newer and lower depths of crappy.

Again, I reiterate that Nigeria’s telecom services industry in general is an exercise in shame and exploitation but Zain! It’s like they’ve pretty much given up on putting any calls through! Perhaps they want to shift sectors? Maybe go into entertainment and event planning? Lord knows it’s the only area in which they seem to be active.

Which brings to mind a sub-mystery in this case; just what are they using all that lovely new Zane cash for? Here are my hypotheses:

1. To alleviate boredom by distracting innocent, Nigerian commuters with their new, garish aquamarine and magenta brand palette and causing random road carnage (because we don’t have enough of that).

2. To compete with Etisalat and Silverbird on who can build the biggest phallic symbol on Banana Island.

3. To irritate Nigerian Internet surfers to death with their absolutely gross and spamalicious banner campaign thereby substantially reducing yahoozey occurrences.

4. To pretend to compete with Facebook with their total joke of a social networking website, Central Station.

5. To release yet another heavily branded and meaningless service (Tru Call) providing yet another excuse for high level Zane employees to party their a**es off at the expense of we the paying customers who are, alas, still yet to receive anything resembling telecommunication services from them since their latest metamorphosis.

Please feel free to append to this list! But back to my original diagnosis. The first step towards healing is identifying and admitting the problem. Zain has obviously been suffering from the Psychopathic problem known as Multiple Personality Disorder (also known within Church circles as “Legion”). I don’t know what could have started it. Most studies seem to support childhood abuse. Who abused Zain when they were Econet? Was it the stockholders? Was it her employees? Was it MTN, the evil competition from overseas? We hope one day, Zain will heal enough to get on Moments with Mo’ and tell us. Until then we must suggest an immediate prescription.

On Slap! we are pretty old school and I think that the Churches will agree with us in our belief that the best thing for a case of MPD is some cold, hard, head clearing Slaps. Time to take your medicine, Zain.

1. For being so crappy that it’s easier to call someone using another service provider than someone also using Zain.
*SLAP*
2. For abuse of branding.
*SLAP*
3. For polluting our internet with your ugly banner ads.
*SLAP*
4. For your stupid new tag line! You know damn well that it is not a beautiful world and not being able to make phone calls is part of the problem.
*SLAP*
5. For the aquamarine and magenta buildings! Why? What did we ever do to you guys?
*SLAP*
6. For Central Station which I have refrained from going into because it will be getting its own post. But it’s still f***ing embarrassing.
*SLAP*

I still have a lot of slap left in me for Zain but my co-writers are restraining me and telling me that it’s enough. I can only say that I truly hope it is.

Let the healing begin.

080808 September 8, 2008

Posted by slapnigeria in Books, People.
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080808

One of the first things about 080808 that hits you is how many syllables it takes to say the name. If you say it properly, nine syllables, if you shorten it, six. And if you were to write it out, it would contain twenty-seven characters minus spaces. With spaces it would have twenty-nine characters.

Another thing that would probably hit you is its packaging. The novel is dinky and has a pleasing, non-threatening typeface set in an eye-pleasing and bibliophobe-calming point size. It has good packaging.

By this point you are probably wondering what this has got to do with me slapping 080808 or by extension Leke Alder, or maybe even by a further increment, his publisher, which brings us back to Leke Alder as he published his own book.

Well, before I get to the slapping, which will surely come in due course, I need you to understand why the book, and by extension the author need a good slap back to reality.

The above was an exercise in ironic post-modern writing. I have written the first couple of paragraphs in Leke Alder’s inimitable ‘faction’-prose style, imitating him in order to let you the reader know that I have read his book, and indeed understand his style. I also just threw out another reference there by assuming that you would not have picked up on that just as he would have. Lots of tiny insignificant details that in the end don’t add up to much more than padding to a book that turned out to be pretty humble in size anyway.

080808 is ostensibly a book about a military dictator who plans to extend his rule in a country called Ingera, and how his plan draws the attention of various international agencies, and the talents of the protagonist. Larry Hamilton.

What 080808 is really about is Leke Alder, and what he could (would/wished he could) have done during some of the political turmoil that have occurred in our great country. Don’t believe me? Please look here. Study the logo. Read the summary and the rationale behind it. Got it memorised?

Good. Now let us turn to page 041. “Larry had one elbow on the table, his body slightly diffident to the table at a slight angle. The arm on the table was over his mouth, a familiar posture when trying to take things in.”

No. He. Didn’t.

Oh. Yes. He. Did.

This book ladies and gentlemen, and I apologise to the ladies in advance, is Leke Alder’s masturbatory gift to us his fellow Nigerians. And, on a meta-narrative level, it is a cautionary tale on the pitfalls of surrounding one’s self only with people that are stupider than or just plain defer all the time to you. One could get an inflated sense of self worth you know.

Where to begin?

“HE CAME INTO THE OFFICE THAT MORNING, all geared up for the Monday morning meeting. Normally business starts at 9am but Monday mornings are different (In case you didn’t get the memo, it’s Monday, and its in the morning). The business review meeting starts at 8am and it can go on for up to 6 hours. At this meeting, all client instructions are reviewed, including the status of different jobs. Client difficulties are discussed, and strategies mapped out for the week. The entire group meets on Monday mornings: Specialty Practices, Strategy, Media, IT, Design…the works; and if you’ve been tardy on your job, you will dread Monday mornings at HDL Consulting. (HDL is the acronym of the first names of the founding partners – Harold, David and Larry).”

Leke Alder introduces us to his main character, right off the bat, one of the three controlling partners of a consulting firm called Alder Consulting…sorry, I mean HDL Consulting, on a Monday morning no less, and yes, you just read a word-for-word quote of the first paragraph. Who is this ‘HE?’ Let’s check the second paragraph -

“He is known to be extremely impatient with the niceties of greetings on Monday mornings. Hardly acknowledging good mornings from the receptionist and one or two junior partners milling about the reception desk, he walked briskly past reception, down the oak paneled[sic] corridor, into the lobby of light leading to the elevator. He rode the elevator up the 7th floor[sic] where the partners’ offices are located. It is also where the general conference room is situate[sic]. The joke in the office is that he takes very strong coffee on Monday mornings, (possibly mixed with Redbull some say). He always seems charged and ready to go. The truth of course is that Larry Hamilton…”

Success! We have a name for our mysterious ‘He’, as well as a peripatetic description of his office, office ‘jokes’, and office culture. Now, I am not bemoaning the fact that it took him two paragraphs to introduce the character’s name, oh no, I am bemoaning the fact that he doesn’t introduce him, not because he is building up some sort of mystery or suspense, but because he got carried away with the sundry details of his office environment (his being most likely Leke Alder) and some character traits (that are obviously there to make this character seem quirky and hence lovably/admirably eccentric). This occurs throughout the book -

“He had landed safely. No, he had no knowledge of a plane crash. That year he travelled to Montreal, London, New York, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Dubai, Johannesburg, Accra, Dakar…about 21 countries and 45 cities in all, some repeatedly. Even though he travels first class, it was still uncomfortable. How comfortable can you be on a padded camping bed, which is the way he sees airplane seats. And the flights were sometimes too long. China was a total of 24 hours including switch-overs. He’s really impatient with long flights. The endless waiting for the plane to touch down, the terribly over-cooked and tasteless airline meals…And he hated immigration desks. Same stupid questions because he looked younger than his age. He suffered jet lags as he zoomed in and out of time zones: it can be so disorienting. That was last year. Today is Saturday, and he would relax.”

Yeah we get it. Larry hates flying (does Leke Alder?)

This, is my favourite infodump in the whole book -

“He settled on a sofa in his living room, kicked back his feet and unbundled “Helen’s pack” as he calls it. The files were about twenty in all. He began to go through them. He signed some letters, reviewed proposals, read reports and annotated instructions. He doesn’t really like reading files but it’s an executive necessity. He was through in one hour. Having sorted out the files, he settled down to his magazines. The first was of course The Economist. The lead stories in the January 27 – February 2, 2007 edition were Barack Obama? The Wandering Palestinian: 60 years soon; How bad is Russia’s oil industry? Myanmar’s miserry; The proud father of LSD. As he flipped through to read the article on the upstart Senator Barack Obama, he came across this advertisement spread on pages 64 and 65

(below this he inserts a scanned black and white image of the economist)

The header intrigued him. It asked, Does Science make belief in God obsolete? It was an advert by the Templeton Foundation and it featured the abbreviated opinions of eight scholars, some in favour, some against, and others noncommital. “It depends”, said Michael Sherman, a Professor at Claremont Graduate University and author of Why Darwin Matters. “Absolutely not!” said William Phillips, a fellow of Joint Quantum Institute of the University of Maryland.”No, and yes”, said Christoph Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna who was lead editor of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. “No, but it should”, said Christoph Hitchens, Author[sic] of God Is Not Great and the editor of The Portable Atheist.“No”, said Robert Sapolsky, a Professor of Neurological Sciences at Stanford University and author of A Primate’s Memoir.…”

He proceeds to list two more comments and then focuses on one more to expand upon. If I have to tell you what is wrong with that, then you should send me your name and contact information so that I can slap you too then recommend some creative writing courses and books.

This is even the okay stuff. I am not going to type out sections where he focuses on how wonderful, deep and intelligent Larry Hamilton is – to the detriment of any proper character development or story progression – or how all the female characters are one dimensional, or how the actual plot of the book does not start (and I do mean this. not even some foreshadowing) until the last paragraph of chapter 5, and then in chapter 6, instead of building on this, we get a paragraph on Larry’s BMW Z4 and how it can do 0-60 km/hr in 6.2 seconds and loads and loads of exposition on Larry’s meeting with one of the organisations that make up the ‘intrigue’ of the book. Chapter 7 is two pages long and introduces the general. A thinly veiled Abacha analogue, down to the fact that he keeps nocturnal hours.

Come on Mr. Alder, you can do better than this surely? The book is all over the place. In all the promotional material it is touted as a fast-paced thriller. In the book, it is touted as a ‘faction’, it starts of reading like fiction with long expository and highly descriptive scenes, and then in one amazingly odd scene on page 041, becomes a report on the events of this ‘Ingeran conspiracy’ by Leke Alder.

“Please forgive me for running ahead of myself. My name is Tomilade Brown. I run a group of companies with interests spanning finance, telecoms and oil. I am the Chairman of this group. To my right is …” [Editors note: The names of the other members of The Committee of Twelve are withheld for security reasons. But they control the media, oil and gas, banking, real estate, manufacturing, telecoms and IT sectors of the Ingeran economy. To reveal their names is to jeopardise their interests as well as Leke Alder's source, Talking Drum, in the CIA].”

Make up your mind man! Are you writing a book about ‘real events’ with fictional characters? Or are you reporting on an actual event? Or are you writing a fiction with the added conceit that you are reporting on this fiction? This is the first I heard of Leke Alder and his ‘source’ since beginning this book.

I could continue on this tangent and begin talking about Leke Alder the man behind this rubbish, but I think I have mentioned his name enough already.

080808 is a silly, not engaging, amateurish, neurotic, self-aggrandising and badly edited piece of writing and I pray that it does not leave these shores in appreciable numbers as it could undo all the work that our current crop of Nigerian writers and their predecessors (like Chinua Achebe) have worked so hard to achieve.

Then again, maybe I am giving it too much credit. Most people will begin reading, get perplexed, get more perplexed, laugh at places they are not supposed to, and promptly forget about it and its place in Nigerian Literature (read: the wannabe pile).

194 slaps to the hand that wrote this book (one for every page) and another to the face of its editor and publisher…oh…they’re all probably the same person. Sorry Mr. Alder, you shouldn’t have written and published a crappy book about yourself and your fantasies (reality? schizophrenic nightmare landscape?) because when critics start tearing into it, they will inevitably tear into you as well.

Or, as in our case, slap you and your book really hard.

080808 you had it coming

080808 you had it coming

For more bizarre, existential comedy, you can visit his website at www.lekealder.com

Good Sturvs September 5, 2008

Posted by slapnigeria in Web.
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Let me start by asking you a few questions. Have you ever found yourself browsing the net looking for some naija sturvs? Maybe music videos, news, blogs etc? Have you ever been pissed of that there’s so much sturvs on the net from everyone else apart from naija people? Or that you find some really good naija sturvs like 4 years after its no longer relevant? Have you ever collected over 15 GB of random naija sturvs just so you can share them with your friends later? Well enter http://www.sturvs.com to save the day.

Just in case you’ve been living in a prehistoric village on the outskirts of Lake Chad or you don’t live your entire life on facebook (which is a good thing by the way) sturvs.com is a Nigerian sturvs aggregator. You know what I mean? I love the way they took the naija word, flipped it and made it officially official.

Sturvs.com is the first (or at least biggest of the first) of its kind project and its providing a service that has been sorely needed by Nigerians for ages. The biggest genius on their part is in how they plugged into facebook. They took perhaps the most dominant internet force in Nigeria right now and used its reach to draw traffic. The fact that they also utilized the open source Pligg CMS shows a tech savvy that intrigues me greatly. Nigerians generally assume anything free is substandard or bad, especially when there’s someone round the corner trying to sell you the same? product for 50 million.

They still have quite a long way to go but so far so good. I’ll be following their growth closely and so should you. Get to clicking! Go check out that sturvs.

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