The Eighteen Most Intelligent Questions Ever Asked

1. Why do writers suffer from writer’s block? Ever since I completed my formal education, I have been unable to do anything scholarly. For more than eight weeks now, I have been struggling to complete two book chapters I’ve been assigned to work on. I’d wake up in the morning, all pumped up, get to the library….nothing! Turn on my laptop at night… nothing. Go to Starbucks to write…nothing! How does one get out of this emptiness? Folks, it is scary. I need help.

2. Why do we Africans always, always quote European and American philosophers, sociologists, anthropologist, historians and other intellectuals? We rarely quote African intellectuals. In fact, we rarely quote or cite African parables and idioms. It is as if quoting foreign sources makes us better and more enlightened, makes us look and feel westernized, educated.

3. Forgive me. It just might be the kind of people I know and mingle with: why do most of the men treat white women and other non-Black women better than the African women they are dating or courting? In the bedroom, they’d do whatever the non-black suggest/ask/demand; but when it comes to fellow Black, they’d shy away. It is as if they take Black women for granted.

4. Within the African continent, foreign writers are more popular than African writers. How many African high school or college student do you suppose know who Ben Okri, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ali Mazrui, Sembene Ousmane, Mariama Ba and others are. How many Nigerian college students do you suppose know who Okey Ndibe or Pius Adesanmi is? Let me tell you something about Pius: I know Pius Adesanmi…he is a friend of mine.

5. Is it just me, or do you all have the feeling that, within the next 10-15 years, divorce rate within the Nigerian communities in the US and UK will, percentage wise, be higher than other groups within those countries. In Texas, California, and New York and around the Washington DC metropolis, the rate of divorce amongst Nigerian is almost appalling.

6. Every Nigerian I know hates corruption. Or at least, they all tell me they hate corruption. Yet, some of these people will gladly attend to visiting Nigerian officials they know are corrupt. These Nigerians wants to be seen, and are indeed seen, parleying with these officials. You’d be surprised at the number of Diaspora-Nigerians who help public officials to loot public treasury.

7. Why are Africans abandoning their own deities and aspects of their culture and religion for the western Gods and western way of life? Is this to say that “their” Gods and ways of life and worldview are superior to the African? How do we know the African deities are not the real deal? Why believe the fellows from Nazareth and Mecca when they had nothing to do with our ancestors. Oh well, what do I know?

8. Aggregated: as educated, street-smart and well-travelled as Nigerians are, they seem to have a high tolerance for stupidity, cowardice and mediocrity. Otherwise, how could men like Obasanjo, Abacha, Babangida and Shagari have presided over Nigeria? Today, we have Yar’Adua and Jonathan. At the state level, we have men like James Ibori and Timipre Sylva. How? Why? Check out the irony: the most educated, most wealthy, and most populous Black nation is being ruled by the least educated. What a joke!

9. If indeed there is a heaven or paradise, how come we have all these pastors and so-called men of God greedily amassing wealth and earthly possessions like airplanes, fancy cars and plush homes and concubines? Why not live and die “poor,” go to heaven and inherit what the Bible and the Quran promised. By the way: where do you find foolish people that make such donations, anyway? Oh well, I really won’t mind people sending me their hard-earned money, too. Call me; I’ll give you an address to send your tithe.

10. Why do African artists, i.e. musicians, painters, sculpturer, comedians, and others have to be validated and accepted in Europe and North America before they are considered successful in their homeland? If you are good, you are good. Do their western and Asian counterparts seek approval from their African counterparts before considering themselves good and or worthy? I sense inferiority complex here.

11. What is it about Africans that makes them un-accepting of adoption? In other words, why don’t Africans, living in the western world, adopt non-blood related children, say, the way Americans do? There are thousands of children who need nurturing and loving homes, you know. Heck, even in Africa, legal adoption is not common. Gee…who wants to raise another man’s child?

12. Why is it not a big-deal when Presidents/head of governments from Africa visit the United States, Canada or any European country? There is not a month one will not find an African head of government visiting Washington DC. Their presence, for the most part, goes unnoticed. But a visit by an American or European ranking official is usually a cause for celebration. President Obama visited Ghana, and the continent almost came to a stand-still. What nonsense!

13. Nigeria has about 50 private and public universities. Yet, we don’t hear about Nigerian inventions and scientific discoveries. No scientific advancements of any sort. So, what’s the purpose of these institutions? What’s their reason for being? To churn out yes-man and yes-sir robots, 419ers, dream-merchants, rapists and drug peddlers?

14. How come Nigeria, and indeed Africa, does not have real multinational corporations? We produce nothing and manufacture nothing. Our global presence and importance is very miniscule unless of course you factor in our supply of raw material and very cheap labor. Does that mean that in the global scheme of things Africans don’t count?

15. Why is Reuben Abati the numero uno essayist/journalist in Nigeria? He’s been leading the pack now for over a decade without noticeable challengers. Haba, is Abati the best Nigeria can offer. He is good. No doubt about that; but me think it is time others come to the fore. His challengers and superiors all live abroad. What a shame. We allow Reuben Abati and Pat Utomi to dominate the Nigerian intellectual landscape.

16. In a related matter, why is the Nigerian Guardian still the best and oft-quoted newspaper in Nigeria? Almost three decades after the Guardian entered the Nigerian space, not a single newspaper or magazine has been to challenge or displace it. I wonder why. But then if you consider the state of journalism today and within the last two decades, you’d understand why. A friend told me that “half of our so-called journalists are no better than area boys.” Jeunnalist, they call them.

17. I make no fun of this, but if HIV/AIDS is as rampant and deadly in Africa as the data shows, how come — 25 or so years after — it has not wiped out the entire continent? HIV/AIDS, malaria, sickle cell, famine, wars, airborne and waterborne diseases and all kinds of man made and natural disasters, yet the African continent is still on her feet. Not on her knees, but on her feet. What’s the explanation?

18. Oh, just for my ego: how come I always get asked out by White, Hispanic and other non-Black women, but not by African women? African women always wait for me to make the move. And even when I ask, they make shakara and play hard-to-get. Sisters, sisters, my dear sisters please, please, please ask me out. Make the first move. I am a big deal, you know.

Written by
Sabella Ogbobode Abidde
Join the discussion

  • President Obama visited Ghana, and the continent almost came to a stand-still. What nonsense!


    I find your question appalling and insulting. Are you aware that President Obama is the first African American since the incarnation of the the land stolen from the Native Americans became the USA to become president?

    Or are you upset because our president didn't wish to come to Nigeria and corruption?

  • Sabella i have come to really appreciate your ingenious rite up because they are like honey to my soul when nigeria girls do shakara for me especially when white girls are falling heads and knees wanting me to sign an autogragh for them.

  • The questions posed are all profound! The issue now is if all these untoward events are happening in Nigeria how can we better forecast events in the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and so on! We really need devine intervention in our polity.

  • Valid questions, my man. Valid questions. I always ask that no. 13 question. It is a mystery to me. Enter OAU gate in Ife, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived at the knowledge generation center of the world. It’s all shakara. But i have to say that Nigerian professors can really shake the world if they are supported, they are a ridiculously smart bunch! How come presidential and gubernatorial candidates always promise good roads & water? I’ve never heard a candidate promise research funds.

  • It should have been ‘Nineteen’ and not Eighteen Most Intelligent Questions Ever Asked. The nineteen is the psychological implementation of western democracy in Naija and other Afrikan nations. This so called democracy is similar root of slavery for the 21st century. Western democracy is: creating poverty, kidnapping, as Pete Edocie rightly noted that his kidnappers were not happy with the situation in the country. He said they told him that they were into the criminal act because they wanted to get their own share of the wealth being displayed by politicians. He said the kidnappers stated that although, people were repulsed by the act of seizing people, there was nothing else they could do. Further, family members steals, planning evil against each other; Naijans now greatly hate each other; the Niger Delta and Northern Boko Haram scenarios, etc?