Two Dozen Questions for You All

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Some essayists and public commentators proffer solutions after they’ve pointed out the problems. Not me. Oh no, not me. Ok, may be I have done so on one or two occasions; but I generally don’t. I leave that task to avowed problems solvers like Michael Oluwagbemi, a.k.a Busanga. In fact, Busanga is one of the better writers around and is also of the younger generation. There is something about proffering long-distance solutions that just doesn’t sit well with me. Besides, more intelligent people should be saddled with finding solutions to completed matters. In other words, I point out the problems…let others deal with the solutions.

For about two weeks now, a series of questions have been floating on my mind. Some are serious and have far-reaching implications; while others are petty and insignificant. They waltz into my mind at any given hour of the day — whether I am giving or receiving lectures or pleasure, sleeping, having dinner or just lazing around in my dinky room. Just the other day, I received four amorous mails from guys who took me for a woman — because of my name. Oh heavens, why would anyone send love-note to someone they’ve never met? A thank you note may be in order. An introductory note may be good. In any case, today’s missive is primarily about questions that have been ping-ponging on my mind, so here I go:

  1. Why are the works of African scholars better known and more accessible abroad than at home? For instance, how many Kenyans or Ghanaians have ready access to and have read Ben Okri, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ali Mazrui, Sembene Ousmane, Wole Soyinka, Mariama Ba and others?
  2. Why do some Africans living in America act as though they are more Americanized than the Americans? They think funny. Speak funny. Eat funny. They have a comical life-style and relate to other Africans in an amusing sort of way. Ha, my people na wetin happen?
  3. Do you ever wonder whether Blacks everywhere are ill-fated? Africans supply cheap labor and raw materials; Blacks in the Caribbean provide amusement; Blacks in the US and Europe are in the lower rung of the economic and political ladder. What’s going on?
  4. Why don’t African leaders and their government replicate the fine things they see abroad in their respective countries? For instance, these leaders know about well-maintained roads and bridges, well-equipped hospitals and schools, and about law & order. Don’t they?
  5. Why are Africans abandoning their own Gods, deities, and other aspects of their culture 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 ours? How do we know our Gods are not the real deal?
  6. We don’t scold those who butcher their native language. We don’t frown on the inability of some Africans to speak the language of neighboring ethnic groups; but we frown on those who can’t read, write and speak colonizing languages like English and French Why?
  7. About 10 times a week, I receives emails scolding me for criticizing the government instead of “coming home to help rebuild the country.” In follow-up mails, about half would tell tales of suffering; the other half would express fervent hope of migrating. But castigate me for staying away then they too want to leave?
  8. Generally speaking why do women confess or admit to adultery, fornication and affairs of the heart? Why? Didn’t anyone advise them never to confess or admit to anything illicit? Women: if you mess around, keep it to yourself. Men don’t forget and forgive such slights and assault on their manhood. Never!
  9. If there indeed 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 cars and homes and concubines? Or perhaps they know things they are not telling their gullible followers?
  10. Why do African artists, i.e. musicians, painters, sculpturers, comedians, and others have to be validated and accepted in Europe and North America before they are considered successful at home? Do their counterparts abroad seek approval from their African counterparts?
  11. Generally, why are women fixated with romance and love public display of affection? It beats me. Most men don’t have time for the “this and that and that and this” — they just want to cut through the chase, get it done and move on to the next conquest or game.
  12. 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.
  13. In the US, the general public can and do visit the White House. So, why haven’t I heard of the African public visiting or touring the official residence of their Presidents? If I wanted to visit Aso Rock for instance, whom do I contact to make appointment? Really, I’d like to see how well the president lives.
  14. After the supposed virgin-birth of Jesus Christ, why hasn’t the world witnessed another virgin-birth? Also, why haven’t’ there been other prophets, say, in the mold of Jesus and Mohammed or other greats like Confucius. Could it be we’ve not been very attentive?
  15. Nigeria has about 45 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 — especially universities of science and technology?
  16. Why hasn’t anyone or a group of people impressed it upon the government and the oil companies that unless there is justice in Ijawland, there can be no peace, security and uninterrupted business in the Niger Delta? Sending in the military is a waste of resources. There will be destruction of property and disruption of oil flow and some deaths on both sides. But is that a reasonable solution?
  17. Why after all these years no one has died — for 3 or more days — rose and tell of an after life; yet, we have people peddling such notion in order to soothe people’s fear of the unknown. T

    here is nothing to be afraid of. This is it, folks. So live well and live happy. No one is guaranteed tomorrow; so live well…

  18. How come Nigeria and indeed Africa does not have 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? That we don’t matter?
  19. Why is Reuben Abati the numero uno essayists in Nigeria? He’s been a number of years now. He seems to be better known and has a dominant presence online and elsewhere compared to his colleagues and contemporaries — this in a nation of over 35 major newspapers and magazines and a country that once had several dozen first-class essayists at any given period?
  20. If HIV/AIDS is as rampant in Africa as the data shows, how come — 19 or so years after — it has not wiped out the entire continent? HIV/AIDS, malaria, sickle cell, famine, wars, and all kinds of man and natural disasters, yet Africa is still on her feet. Not on her knees.
  21. NIA (, NVS ( and GAMJI ( are all really great and may be better sites. But how and why in the world have they allowed Nigeriaworld (nigeriaworld) to remain this dominant for this long?
  22. Why does 90% of Nigeria look like slums and ghettoes when we have town and city planners? In addition, how come we have bad roads and bridges and poor infrastructures when we have all manner of engineers in our universities and ministries? You get a degree in town planning and become an ice-cream vendor?
  23. Why is Paul Adujie always in support of President Obasanjo even when the president is messing up and messing things up? And why does he always say nice things about the government even when the government abandons her duties towards her citizens?
Oh, just for my ego: how come I always get asked out by White, Hispanic and African-American 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. Why…my people, why?

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3 comments January 20, 2006 - 5:15 pm

Thanks bro for the compliments na u we dey look up to. On the question 5 : may be ..I repeat may be it is because while our own gods were asking people to kill twins and sacrfice human head and body, the gods of the foreigners was working so called miracles and wonders and enlightening its population..may be. And for question u know I have thesame question? I always wondered- why barricade urself into Aso that place up!

Anonymous January 20, 2006 - 12:00 pm

i will love to know m ore about the authour i ve read him in the vanguard once. okeme ejovwoke

Anonymous January 20, 2006 - 12:25 am

There are answers to some or all of your questions but asking them in a public forum will elicit proper response. I suggest you ask them on NIA. It'll make an interesting thread.


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