Squashed Coins

23 May 19

Rapper 50 Cent: Photo: [email protected] After being tormented relentlessly and publicly by rapper 50 Cent for the past few months, singer Teairra Marie finally showed up in a Los Angeles County court to face off with her arch-adversary, bank statements in hand. The judge, subsequently, has squashed the warrant for Marie’s arrest for failing to […]

23 May 19
Consider This Your Invitation to Endless Wonder

Money in the Bank. What do you think about as a wrestling fan when you hear those words? Well, obviously you think of an iconic ladder match that takes place annually in WWE. Once it was a yearly thing at WrestleMania, now it’s its own PPV – usually with two of the same matches in […]

21 May 19

The Game of Good-byes This is the end of a decade-long love affair with one of the most influential television shows to ever air. Game of Thrones has proved that a fantasy show based on an uncompleted series of books written by an old white guy can slay the mainstream media with ice and fire. […]

21 May 19
9 to 5 Voyager

Country Count: 7 “It’s really cool, but it’s the 1950s there,” my cousin had told me. She had visited Cuba years ago, with my uncle. I had been discussing my upcoming trip with her, and as I was to find out, she was not wrong in her assertion. Quick disclaimer: I am half-Cuban. My mother […]

20 May 19
Michelle Louring

I almost got sad while writing this post for the very last episode of Game of Thrones. Not just because it was the end of an (overall) amazing show, but because I have really enjoyed channeling all my sarcasm and bad sense of humor into these posts. What am I going to spend my Mondays […]

17 May 19
The Radical Zimbabwean

My first ever memory of any money concept was of the iconic rabbit on the Zimbabwean 5 cent coin. This was enough to buy that ever refreshing freezit or two to quench the thirst that comes inevitably in the hot African sun. As a precocious and early reader, one thing I enjoyed the most was […]

15 May 19
the Mist-Shrouded Riverbank Willow Grove

story by Lisa Thomas, written by Eric Braaten Page II Over the following years Espa would play her way through many of the old gray cartridges in the game library at the village’s sharing center, but more often than not she passed her time seeking to hone the skills she would need for her future […]

14 May 19
The Tale of Common Things

State Secretary Maxwell Jones stood gloomily in the Royal Cemetery below the king’s beautiful grave. He was smoking a cigarette, which provided another thick layer of fog to what was already a foggy atmosphere. He glanced to his wristwatch every second and scratched his speckled scalp impatiently. Finally, the men he’d been waiting for arrived, […]

09 May 19
Thrive Global
In my last article, I covered Celebration, and as a confirmed foodie, I promised to do one on food. Although I did not start liking food until I was about 13 years old, I still loved the idea of food. However, the focus of this article is on African Britishness with respect to my life as a foodie and my experience with hawkers in ghetto Lagos. After sitting down to analyse this, I realised that I carry a wealth of knowledge. On the outside, I would always be seen as a Black British or African British, or how anyone wants to term it. On the contrary, I know that everything that we are and would ever be is already within us. God declared it, and I believe it. I feel it is just connecting with Him and pushing the right buttons. Of course, this is not to say that you don’t have to strive and nurture before you can bloom into who you are. Let me explain. I believe the mixed upbringing I had as a child made me what I am. I grew up with my grandmother in my most creative and formative years. And now I imagine she must have found my incessant curiosity and need to experience everything challenging. Image by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim – Unsplash Childhood While my parents were in England enduring being black or African British, my grandmother looked after my brother and I. As an only child, she had many half-sisters whom she ensured she saw regularly. We lived in Lagos, and for those who know Lagos in South West Nigeria, it is a bustling cosmopolitan hotspot of migrants, professionals, expatriates, etc. By the way, AfrAsia Bank and the New World Wealth (NWW) report on Africa Wealth in 2018 ranked Lagos as the 4th wealthiest city in Africa, behind Cairo, Johannesburg and Cape Town. When I examined some Asian cities like Tokyo, Shanghai and others like New York, London, etc., I discovered semblance of Lagos City about them. I consider Peckham in London, for example, a mini Lagos, full of black and African British people. Peckham In fact, I discovered a hidden gem like a mini Nigerian restaurant in Peckham known as Lolak. There you can eat the best soups with pounded yam and Amala. It has no frills or airs. You are served with a steaming mound of pounded yam or Amala and a massive bowl of soup, all for under £10! Amala and Okro soup at Lolak – Photo by Stella Ahmadou Lagos, Nigeria Incredibly, there are about 250 indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria. Out of these languages, three of them are considered amajor languages (Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo), as they enjoy wider range of users. The Yoruba language, for example, is the mainly used one in Lagos. However, Lagos as a city is filled with a composite lifestyle of rich versus poor, and clean versus dirty, depending on the side of the divide you encounter. It equally smells, is full of thieves, hawkers and kidnappers, and has a thriving Silicon valley. This is not to say that there are no honest, hardworking people in Lagos, as it is clearly the commercial centre of modern Nigeria. It definitely cannot be compared with the Black British experience in the UK. Lagos lacks electricity(which explains why it mostly runs on generators like most Nigerian cities), water and housing. It is also filled with shanty towns that sprout every few days and are almost immediately squashed by the government. It was formerly the capital of Nigeria before it was moved to the clinically clean Abuja. The residents of Lagos, whom we call Lagosians, cannot imagine living anywhere else. Well, I lived in Lagos till the age of 9 before I was whisked to a boring middle-class life in the City of Benin. My grandmother’s favourite half-sister lived in inner part of Lagos which you could almost call a ghetto, but because my grandmother loved her sister, we spent most of our time with her. This meant that I experienced what would be called ghetto Lagos firsthand. What a joy! Image by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim – Unsplash Dad’s Reaction to my Experience On a visit of my dad to Nigeria one time, the way I showed off my versatile knowledge of the nooks and crannies of rough Lagos, and my mispronounced spoken English horrified him. I think that hastened his return home! I absolutely loved my grandmother who sadly passed away when I was 11. Yes, that was a couple of years after I left her to live with my parents. It was really a painful period for me. Lagosians Perception of Food I know that so far I have not even discussed food here. It is coming. So my earliest memory of being a foodie was about the age of 5. In most ghetto habitation, there is always a set-up of food and drinks. The Lagosians, by the way, are so busy surviving in this melting pot of hours of traffic jams and dodging the thieves and pickpockets. They also try to escape not dying in the mass transportation, a small ‘death traps’ known as Danfo. Thus, they do not cook! Danfo – Lagos You heard me. Most cooking is done for celebrations and by the middle class and the rich. Even those ones tend to buy food. I do not mean sandwiches but steaming hot rice, goat meat, ayamase stew, boli and peanuts for lunch (roasted plantain), suya, Edikainko, etc. Why cook when you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner out on the street! My Early Life as a Foodie I digress again; forgive me. It was an exciting time of my life, and I am just happy sharing it with you. If memory serves me right, there was a woman right in front of my great aunt’s house that sold rice and stew from 2 huge pots, which sell out very quickly. I begged my grandmother to let me help out and sell. Yes, the woman allowed me, and I sold bowls of rice to hungry Lagosians who were amused at this precocious 5-year-old. I took it very seriously, and to some, I was generous, and to others, I gave smaller portions. She gently corrected it, but that was my first adventure in buying and selling, and I loved the jingle of coins in my hand! Perhaps this has changed, but when I grew up, fresh and clean meat came straight from the abattoir and had to be sold on the day. You buy your chicken live from the market and kill it in your backyard. Everything we ate was fresh and organic. I am not sure of these days of snail and fish farming. Hawkers Hawkers of food started from about 5 a.m. each day to catch early morning workers, and the best food was gone by 8 a.m. Each hawker sang out their wares in high lilting tones that were unique to them. There was a particular hawker that sold rice and stew and whose food I have never eaten anywhere else. Her food was so delicious that if you did not come out to buy your bowl early, it would be finished. She was also very strict and never sold beyond what she hawked each morning. African Britishness – Hawkers Another magical experience were the night markets which I pass by each day on my way home from school. There is wide-held belief that ghosts and spirits came to sell their wares to unwitting customers at night, but who knows. Revaluation of African Culture My favourites of the late Anthony Bourdain episodes were ones where he travelled to Asia, South America and Africa. I do still think in regret on how he ended his life. For Anthony Bourdain , food was a backdrop to the politics and culture of the countries. He was brave and crazy. Simply, I do not know if there would ever be anyone like him. I am determined to visit as many of those places as I can. I do believe that the food scene is changing fast in Britain, as black or African British millennials are waking up and embracing their culture. You have the chance to explore new tastes in the food scene. Grab it!
09 May 19

A European Jaunt  A few years ago I spent a couple of weeks in Europe visiting education agents, parents and former students, and enjoying an additional week or two of personal travel. Germany Wiesbaden While waiting for my train from Frankfurt airport to Wiesbaden a woman asked me if the train also went to Bingen. […]

08 May 19
Gold Coins

Source: Michael Ballanger for Streetwise Reports   05/06/2019 Sector expert Michael Ballanger suggests investors “never underestimate the replacement power of stocks within a Fed-induced credit bubble” and provides other observations on the markets. Looking back at the events of last week, the S&P 500 finally took out the October highs at 2,941 intraday, making the 2018 […]

05 May 19
The Female Wrestling Channel

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05 May 19
A New Generation.....a new attitude?

Week 3 June, 1996 Key Arena ATT: 15,184 TV: 15.06 The show opens much the same as it did last week…..with a ticked off KLiQ hijacking the opening minutes and marching their way down to the ring…..unlike last week however, their numbers are severely diminished, with only Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash and Sunny in attendance […]

03 May 19

I have tried to write this blog so many times in the last two years, but never really had the right words to say. I must have a good 15 half-written blogs scattered between my phone and my computer. After all, since my last blog post I’ve moved countries and re-started my life so there’s […]