Monday, 14 November 2011

Of Blackberries and Reckless Pinging

I was just standing outside a customer’s premises, waiting for a car to come pick me, when my eyesight caught a middle-aged lady rushing towards the same door I had exited, looking over her left shoulder and screaming loudly “Ping me! Ping me! I cannot hear you.” As she hurriedly walked past me, I tried to decipher what was happening. Obviously, she had alighted from one of the many Suzuki cars parked outside by the walkway and could not wait to hear what her driver was telling her. She was carrying filed documents so she must have been going for a meeting. And one more thing, she was probably late. In fact, very late, because my wristwatch at that exact period was showing 2.17pm. Then it occurred to me that her driver too was using a blackberry and whatever the issue was, he was going to ping her during at her meeting.

In 2009, just as the iphone fad climaxed, the next “thing” to catch people’s attention was the just around the corner. Like the iphone, it promised to be sleek, stylish and expensive, to offer uncountable applications and get many technophiles busy. Except technologists, no one expected it. It came into the scene bold and curve, holding a javelin in one hand and pointing a touch in the other. It came first to the city and then travelled to the slums before finding its way to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and everywhere the 3G telephone signal went. It is still here in Lagos where the craze first started but for how long it will stay, no one knows. It is the almighty blackberry. Nicknamed BB and developed by the Research in Motion (RIM) company, this adult’s toy or tool (depending on how it is used) is now becoming the envy of little children.

I was an industrial trainee somewhere in Victoria Island when the BB entered Lagos. It did not struggle to introduce itself because the luxurious taste and tech groove of many lagosians quickly got its demand going. Like hot cakes served with iced coke, the BB sold. Many people around me, both those who had business using it and those whose salary rebuked it, were soon scheming and strategizing on how to purchase one. Today the idea is, if you are not using a BB and planning to buy one, you have been left behind. I even overheard a big girl persuading her boyfriend to make sure he got her another type on her forthcoming birthday. But the other idea is that those whose businesses demand on-the-go internet connectivity definitely needed portable internet devices like the BB smartphone. When high school seniors, yet-to-be matriculated undergraduates and unemployed adults start declaring their want of blackberries, you should know it is just because of the craze. Bitter truth: if your job or studies does not demand the use of an expensive smartphone or if you already have a laptop and reliable internet connectivity, owning a BB might just be an unwarranted liability.

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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

NYSC Members Discover Talents at KSC

NYSC Drama CD members at the Event

These days in Nigeria and with the global economic situation, classroom education is not enough to give youths a source of income. In fact, education does not guaranty employment rather, it makes students employable. As such, youths who have seen the four walls of high schools and universities with the evidence of due certificates are not necessarily going to get jobs after graduation. This is because certificates do not provide jobs. Instead, they confer the right to be given jobs upon potential job seekers. The reality is that the Nigerian labour market cannot absorb the number of students graduating from our secondary schools and higher institutions annually. These schools graduate students who become idle due to the inadequacy of vacancies. And since idle hands are the devils laboratory, these promising young minds often fall to various negative vices that create the troubles of teenage pregnancy, theft, insecurity, violence, and even terrorism existing in our society. Only those who are able to escape the trauma of prolonged joblessness by engaging in entrepreneurship and talent exhibition survive.

It was in the light of these facts that the NYSC Drama Community Development Group of the Eti-Osa 1 local government located in Victoria Island took up the responsibility of catching tomorrow’s talents young in their own special way. Being one of the youth corps members of the drama CD group, I was privileged to witness the course of events and now bring you a briefing. The approach we utilized in impacting the life of these youths was to execute a talent hunt project titled, “The KSC Talent Hunt” and our overall objective was to discover and encourage the exceptional talents among them. The project idea, being an output of a brainstorming executive meeting suggested by the Drama CD coordinator, Alhaja Igara A.O., was initiated by a team of Drama CD leaders namely: Bode Olatunji, Oscar Odeigah, Juan Onasanya, Corper Anita and Ekeagwu Khan. These wonderful folks met on the 21st of October and came up with the talent show idea which later developed into an ongoing project. A project team consisting of the executive CD members and other dynamic corps members was set up to ensure the attainment of its deliverables. That was how the project kicked off. Today, it can be said that the Drama CD group of Eti-Osa 1 LG have not just influenced their environment but also heightened the hopes of many students in the Kuramo Senior Secondary School.

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