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Author Archives: Folabi Williams

About Folabi Williams

Me? Well, I am unassuming, quiet and a good listener, can be sarcastically nasty sometimes, (Rude & Bold). Don't take my word for it ask others about me. A banker, a consultant, an aspiring satirist and social commentator. Love life!

Jubilee Bridge, Ajah, Lagos

Jubilee Bridge, Ajah, Lagos

Ok so Gov’nor Ambode did well to construct this bridge, in all honesty it was done in good faith and everyone including my humble self, looked forward with palpable expectation to its completion and imminent opening to the public amidst excruciating daily hardship the commuters experience daily.

Now that it has been open to public; save for weekends, early mornings (before 6:30am) and late evenings (after 9:45pm), you cannot see any difference between traffic movements in the days of the roundabout and the Jubilee bridge solution. In fact commuters say they had smoother journeys/movements while the bridge was being constructed.

What is responsible for this apparent lack of gratitude to the Gov’nor and the state government? It’s not farfetched, it’s not difficult. A visit to Ajah inward Addo road at these nightmarish periods will give you the answers. Sometimes I think our town planners, traffic managers or whatever appellation they go by do not think out their strategies properly before commencing with implementation.

It is unheard of to start with, that you allow a bus stop by a roundabout or an intersection. This was the problem in the era of the Ajah roundabout. One would have expected that the construction of the bridge/intersection will come with a correction of this error. The volume of traffic from Abraham Adesanya and VGC ends are enormous at the peak period such that it seems one is trying to fast fill a bottle with a slim neck using a funnel; it will be slow, it will be laborious and there will be spill over at the funnel’s end!

Addo road junction with Lekki express is a two lanes, two way median demarcated road. On both sides the road is bad, filled with man-holes (for the fact that potholes will not adequately describe the holes there). This unfortunately is the least of the problem there, the main issue is the lack of terminus for commuters to pick bus/bike or tricycle which are the common mode of transport for majority of the inhabitants of this area.

The Tricycle, the bikes and the buses have calmly claimed a lane and occasionally make unconscious incursion into the other lane. And then the almighty area boys aka ‘agberos’ backed by the you-know-who of the area are in firm control, not even the LASTMA or the LCC muscle-bulging guys can do anything about traffic control there.

These submissions above simply turn what could have been the gains of the “JUBILEE BRIDGE” to pains, severe pains. Most evenings I psyche myself to face the traffic, and face it I must because I have to see my family.

This is more than just a review, it’s a plea to the Gov’nor to please do something!

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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Life, Personal

 

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A Valentine Gone South-South!

A Valentine Gone South-South!

I admit this could have been a beautiful love story, one that I would have reveled in telling for a long time if it had not happened the way it did!

So here is how it happened.

I met her online a week ago, she told me her name, Valentina and I kind of joked how it reminded me of Valentine. We chatted each day and started growing fond of each other. We made plans to see and chose the 14th of February, what day could be better.

She told me she lives in faraway Port Harcourt, ‘that is no problem my dear’, I said, ‘as long as you are willing to make the journey, I am willing to make the arrangement’. Thank God for instant bank transfer, so I asked for her account details. Once I get the account details, I could do a transfer to her and she can purchase her ticket to Lagos. She told me not to worry, that she can handle that by herself.

Really? There must still be some good girls on this earth, especially with all the stories one hears of girl-scammers. So we made plans as we continued to chat each day and I felt like I have known her all my life in just six days of ‘boot camp‘ like chatting. She wouldn’t let up, ‘Honey, have you eaten?’, I would answer, ‘Yes dear, thanks for caring’. ‘Boo, what are you doing?’, and I will respond, ‘Just chatting with you?’. We exchanged almost all the lovey-dovey emoticons and chatting abbreviations like they were going out of fashion. In short, she was in my head, and my head was in it!

I asked her to come in a day earlier, so that we can meet up and get more acquainted physically. She told me that Valentine eve being a Monday; she has to show up at work since she will be taking Tuesday and possibly Wednesday off. It sounded plausible to me, and I bought it. So she will take the first flight on Tuesday morning and by noon at most, we should be in each other’s arm, can’t wait!

I had made plans to pick her up at the airport and drop her off at the hotel I had reserved for our “unforgettable” meeting. So an hour before her planned departure for Lagos, she tells me her flight has been postponed. Postponed? ‘Darling, just for 4 hours, you know how it is on a day like this. The airline had a backlog from yesterday, but we should be off hopefully by 11am dear’. As I process her response, I couldn’t help but tell myself, ‘its ok, she will be in your arms soon, and at least the night is still there’.

Darl, guess what, we just landed and I quickly dashed to see my cousin, I know once I set my eyes on you, I won’t be able to do anything else or go anywhere. So here is what am proposing, let me spend some time with her, and I just come meet up with you for diner and from there am yours all the way!’. What was I supposed to say to this? First I did not pay for her ticket down to Lagos, secondly I didn’t want her to think I don’t want her to see her cousin and certainly I don’t want her feeling my only motive is …. you know what!

I had to agree with her, it seemed the logical thing to do. After all she is right, I won’t let her out of my sight once I see her. I have planned the day down to the last second.  So I told her we should meet at ‘La Mango’. ‘Do you know the place?’ she responded, ‘Don’t worry honey, I’ll find it, my cousin knows Lagos very well’. That settled, we agreed to meet at 7pm.

I made my way to ‘La Mango’, was seated by 6:45pm, my heart was pumping with excitement. This is it, finally I am going to meet her. I sat strategically where I could see everyone as they come in. At 6:53pm, there she was, strolling in, she didn’t look dressed for diner, but then, I shrugged it off, probably she is one of those girls that don’t give a damn about formal dressing. We hugged and I took some seconds to take in her perfume, exotic, charming, uhmmm that should compensate for the dress down.

As I sat her down she said to me, ‘Nice watch you have there, can I see it?’. I quickly pulled it off and gave it to her. She puts it on her wrist as if to test for fitness. I quickly chipped in, ‘It fits you, though it’s not a female watch’. “Really?’, she said. ‘Anyway, let me enjoy it while we are here’. I didn’t see any harm in that, so I let her keep it on as we made our order starting with a bottle of red wine.

Honey, can I use your phone to make a call, just to tell my cousin am with you now’, ‘Sure!’. I gave her my iPhone 7 bought 2 weeks ago. She dialed a number and say hello twice, then she gestured at me, raised the phone, pointed at her ear and pointed at the exit. I understood this to mean, she was having difficulty hearing and wanted to go out where the noise level is lower, though I didn’t see anything wrong with the noise level, I just received a call a couple of minutes before she arrived.

Nevertheless, I waived it, what could go wrong, her bag is there on the table and she just arrived. As she made for the exit, and she kept on going towards the road, next thing I noticed was my babe climbing onto a waiting bike, I got up to run after her, but was rather late. I dashed back to pick her bag, as I rummaged through it, I discovered that it was not just a bag, but a cheap one, packed full with folded newspapers.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that the girl from south-south has just pulled a fast one on me. What am I going to tell Akin about the watch I borrowed from him or the seller of the iPhone 7 that I only made a down payment for? Fortunately I still have my wallet with me as the waiter ran after me to pay for the wine. Valentina, what kind of name is that? I asked myself, not common.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Life, Love, Personal

 

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Valentine’s Day – It is what it is!

Valentine’s Day – It is what it is!

A lot has been said about Valentine, no not that Val, yes I know he is a jolly good fella. My reference is to Valentine’s day as it is celebrated all across the world by lovers. I need not bore you with the story you know as far back as kindergarten about the saint who died for love and a day was set aside to remember him, bla, bla, bla. History has it, ironic as it may sound, that Valentine whose day we celebrate as a day of love died in a Roman prison, how Roman-tic!

Valentine’s day is a day to express and celebrate the spirit of love. A day set aside for exchange of gifts; in the US and UK, the most popular gifts exchange among lovers aside from the renewal of their pledge of undying love are candies, cards and mostly flowers. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. In Africa, it is different and certainly in Nigeria the most popular gifts are ….. left to your imagination!

I have seen contacts on Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Facebook and even the dying BBM specifying what gifts they want for Valentine’s day. Some of these messages are specific and with stern warnings; ‘This or nothing for you on that day‘. Funny as it may sound, that’s what it is and ‘Romeo’ must express his undying love as commanded by ‘She that must be obeyed’. After all it happens just once a year,’why can’t he save towards it?’

Naija version of ‘Valentine celebration’ reminds me of the annual Bazaar harvest in orthodox churches (don’t know if they still do it), where the item goes to the highest bidder! I call that ‘Love for sale’. I dare say the essence of the celebration is lost in the selfish aggrandizement of the so called ‘gift’.

All said and done, there are still some true lovers out there, and to you I say….

Happy Valentine’s day!

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2017 in Life, Love, Personal

 

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My Princess, Opemipo dazzels @ 3

My Princess, Opemipo dazzels @ 3

Ope: What is this?
Me: Monkey..
Ope: Good, what is this?
Me: Cat…
Ope: No, try again
Me: Big cat…
Ope: Uhmmm, look very well
Me: Tiger….
Ope: Yes. Well done, clap for yourself!

Na lie, this girl wan turn teacher for my koro koro eyes, no way oooh… woosai!

I thank the almighty for giving my family the opportunity to witness another year, and another experience with our “Akanni”, “Riyike”, “Ayobami”, “Opemipo”.

Opemipo, Deborah, may you experience the best life can offer. As you grow in age, may the wisdom of God encompass you. May you not be found wanting among your peers. As you progress on your journey, every stumbling block shall turn to a stepping stone for you.

The Lord will send you help, even before you need or ask for it. Heaven and earth shall be rise to defend your cause. You shall be a blessing to your generation. where ever and when ever your name is being mentioned it shall be for the glory of God and advancement of his kingdom.

As you have started singing His chorus and yearn to fellowship, this zeal will continue to consume you and lead you to a good place.

You shall continue to be a source of joy to your mother and I.

God bless you today, always and forever.

Happy birthday to you, enjoy your day!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Life, Personal

 

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It’s a Fitness Watch and a Boom Box 

It’s a Fitness Watch and a Boom Box 

So the courier guy walks in and says I have a package for you, am like who have I offended? After all am not related to Dele Giwa. “From where?” I asked, he looked at the delivery instructions and responded, “the package is from InterSwitch sir”.

“That’s alright, I will sign for it, thank you”, I responded as I proceeded to take the delivery.

About this time, two years ago Interswitch gave me an iPhone, iPhone 6 to be precise and last year they weren’t so spectacular as I got a bluetooth music player and a power bank that doubles as an advert medium for their Quickteller.

So I was a bit curious to see what it will be this time, this Buharecession period.

Gbam! It’s first a Fitbit blaze (a smart fitness watch) and second, a Bose SoundLink Color (a Bluetooth speaker). Unlike the one I got last year that was brandless. I guess they got feedbacks on it’s acceptability/appreciation. Mine is still in the box it came with. I guess I will now have a reason to give it out.

So in a nutshell, thanks to Interswitch, I guess they have demonstrated that Job 22:29 can apply in their situation. I pray it works for you and I as well, for where situations are south bound, in your case and mine, it shall point north (north as in upward, not Sambisa forest oh)

Now let me go setup my Fitbit, I actually need that thing, am getting lazy at my exercises. As for the sound box, let’s make some noise!

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Life, Personal

 

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Irrational Calm Attitude

Got to work this morning and settled down to Asa’s music. As I was being serenaded by the crooner with music that really speak to the soul and situation around us, I just couldn’t help but identify with songs like Jailer, Preacher man, Bibanke, even her cover of “Feelin good” by Nina Simone did not escape her special touch. Such a huge talent she is.

Then came Fire on the mountain and I just could not help remembering having read something on twitter two days ago by Ayo Sogunro; “So much violence in January alone. @Asa_official has captured our irrational calm attitude towards news that should shake us. Sigh”.

“There is fire on the mountain,
And nobody seems to be on the run,
Oh there is fire on the mountain top,
And no one is running.

I wake up in the morning,
Tell you what I see on my TV screen,
I see the blood of an innocent child,
And everybody’s watching”

So I say to myself, that’s true, tune to news channels on cable television, even our local stations and stories of mayhem, violence, destruction and all that speak devastation and obliteration are what stares us slam bang in the face. All we do is watch and sometime an occasional gasp or in our local parlance, an “eeyah” are the much we utter and life goes on. And we continue watching!

We are so dead to emotions now that we take it in our strides as if these violence and dependencies are part of the daily routine, like they should be expected. Some even tune to these stations to play catch up.

The song so much made me think about everything and all things, and her question reverberates in my head again; “Don’t you think there’s something wrong with this?” How can we feel so calm and unperturbed? “Don’t you think there’s something wrong with us?”

We need to sit up and begin to ask the questions relevant to peace, there is some good in everyone, however little; every conscious effort towards harmony is a step forward and a signal to terminate perpetual evil. Otherwise we will be heading towards the end, and as Asa succinctly put it;

“One day the river will over flow,
And there’ll be nowhere for us to go,
And we will run, run,

Wishing we had put out the fire”

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Life, Personal

 

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His Grace Has Brought Me This Far!

There are a few things one ought to be grateful for, and to God all glory must always be.

I woke up this morning and am a year older. Not that it came suddenly, I know a lot of people who spent a day, two days, even 360 or 364 days expecting and preparing for it. But they never had the opportunity to witness it.

Am a year older today, because God ordained it, am a year older today because in his infinite mercy he made it so.Am a year older today, not because am better than those who are no more, am a year older today because my maker says to me; “though you are fighting a good fight, you have not finished your course, continue to keep the faith!”

Am a year older today, in spite of recession, I made a conscious decision that progression without transgression shall be my portion, and that my friends is my motivation for this year.

Am a year older today and I know my God shall make the remaining 363 days memorable, each bundled with miracles yet untold.

So when at the first opportunity to utter a word this morning, I responded with “same to you too” to a birthday wish from my dear wife. I knew it will be a good day, a good month and a good year, recession or not!

To all my friends, thank you for being there, may God keep us in his care for better and glorious things ahead. 

Cheers in good health and hope for better days ahead!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized