Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Even You Brutus!



I'm sorry I haven't been active in updating my blog, School stress has been taking its toll on me. My chest is so heavy with so many issues but I Dont know where to start. I guess I'll have to start from somewhere, the middle maybe.

Today is my elder brother's birthday. He is not just a brother, he is a friend, an ally and the source of most if the inspirations I get. Happy Birthday Bro Chibuike.

Hoping to make it my companion in the coming few days as I take you on a rollercoaster ride into some details of my life.

A lot of things have changed in my life in the past few days. These changes occurred in my relationships, philosophies and orientation about life. Life they say is the best teacher and if I’ve learnt anything from her, then it should be in the past few days. The lessons of the past few days are priceless and I will cherish them all through my life.

While I may have the temptation of going into full details, I am being constrained by the fact that doing so will mean mentioning names which may not enjoy the goodwill of some persons so I will let the sleeping dog lie by going parabolic.

As a young guy growing up in our contemporary society where perversity thrives, I may not boast of having the best morals, ethics or values, but there are values that make me unique and different from others. They cannot be compromise. One of such values is my altruistic nature which will form the basis of this blog post.

Most times I have had people scold me for being unnecessarily generous to a fault. For many people it is  foolish for someone to consider others before considering himself/herself and for that reason, I have been called a fool severally, with the most recent case being at the ATM where I went to withdraw money and had to relinquish my turn for some other fellow. After standing in the queue for several minutes this guy walked up to me after so many people in front of me refused to help him. He told me how he had a bus to meet up with and needed to withdraw the transport fare before sales of ticket will end. The desperation on the face of this guy was enough to melt my heart as I was no longer interested in the veracity of the guy’s story. I wanted to help the guy by allowing him withdraw before me, but those behind me refused vehemently, I was only left with the option of relinquishing my position for this guy.  The people on the queue must have wondered who this ‘guy’ was, but then that’s the typical me.

I can go on and on with instances but for the sake of time and space, I may stop here. However, I must confess though that this selfless attitude has put me in trouble a couple of times where in trying to help out I ended up hurting myself. The events of the past days and weeks have seen me question this attitude of mine. Is it really worth it?  You show all the care, help and love to someone and the person takes it for a ride and even come back to haunt you later. How much my heart cringes at this act of men.

Now, I know how Julius Ceased felt when he said to Marcus 'Et tu brute'. A deep feeling of regret, revenge and anger. It has happened to me and I know exactly how it feels.

I will continue this blog post tomorrow, duty calls. Until then, I’ve learnt to distance myself from anyone who is egoistic, anyone who appreciates and values money more than any other thing in life. I have learnt not to trust anyone. Finally, I’ve learnt to build my fortress in God alone.

May God help me.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Guide To A fruitful Campus Life




I have always wanted to do this, but my greatest problem has been time. Recently, I got involved with some venture that has kept me busy round the clock. However, because this is something I am passionate about and because my school (FUTO) will be doing the matriculation ceremony of the year one students later this week, I think this is the most appropriate time to write this, while trusting God that someone will read this post and be guided to live a good life as a student. I am dedicating this blog post to all my friends who just got admitted into different higher institutions of learning.
As a premise to this post I will like to start by congratulating you for gaining admission into the higher institution. You fought competitively with thousands of other students and here you stand about to sign the school Matricula. You are a champion!

However, as someone who just got admitted into the tertiary institution and perhaps being the first time you will be out of your parents home you need to be guided and tutored on what life in the university/polytechnic could be lest you make mistakes you may live to regret. 
Before you ask what authority I have to write on this delicate issue, I admit that I am no teacher of morals hence cannot be authority in matters of morality and life but with my little stay here in the university, I think I have a little to offer.

I must begin by warning that life in the university will not be a roller-coaster ride. You will be met with a lot of challenges and difficulties. It has not been easy for me writing this but inspiration has always come from looking up to my target, which leads me to my first advice; you can’t afford to be a student without setting targets. I set a target of second class upper as I entered the university and all my activities have always resolved around this. I also never wanted to be a triangular student (Hostel>Lectures>Church). I wanted to participate in a lot of extracurricular activities that will make me an all round graduate after 2016(my year of graduation). If you do not set targets for yourself then be sure to be comfortable with whatever nature brings your way. 

Friends! Friends! Friends! They can make or mar you. The issue of friendship has been the greatest bane of us students. The level of influence your friends can have on you cannot be measured. A good mannered student can change in a matter of weeks just by mingling with bad fellows. I have seen very good guys turn devils just by interacting with the wrong guys. Please, be careful of the people you call friends. The moment you discover that you do not share the same mission and vision with your friends it’s time to call it quit. The worst thing you will ever do is to think you are strong and matured hence cannot be influenced.  Interestingly, the guys who fall mostly for this are guys from very good homes. A Latin adage goes thus ‘Corruptio Optima pessima est’ meaning ‘corruption of the best is the worst corruption’.

For the boys amongst you, another temptation you will be facing will come from the girls. One thing I can assure you is that you cannot escape the advances. Not now when indecent dressing is beginning to look ‘decent’.   For someone like me, I am learning to get used to it. It’s an evil I have learned to live with. This however, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t condemn and speak against it for cording to ….. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to keep quiet.  So, be careful with the type of relationship you have with opposite sex. I would not go into the argument of how right or wrong it is to keep a girlfriend/boyfriend because it’s matter of discretion.  Let whatever relationship you have with the opposite sex be defined and limits set. 

Furthermore, do not make the mistake of passing through the university without letting the university pass through you. The university training should be a wholistic one that integrates different spheres of life from morality to sports and academics. This is why on your graduation the university will give you the certificate ‘pressuming’ you have been found worthy in ‘character’ and in ‘learning’. Identify yourself with the church you worship at home and be an active member of the church/fellowship. Identify also with people from the same area with you and join them in their weekly meetings.  There are so many other associations and groups to look out for. The-Enactus (formerly SIFE) is a great place to be for any student who is desirous of a better life after school. However, there is a caveat here. Make sure you do not join any association that is not registered under the student affairs unit of your school. They might not be what you think they are until you get initiated. Be careful of associations with unclear motives and intent. Be careful of cults. Be careful of cultists.

Another thing you must learn is how to strike a balance between your extracurricular life and your academic life, none should suffer at the expense of the other and do not forget that the primary reason why you came here is to graduate with a good grade. That aim should not be compromised. Do not at any point lose focus and do not be carried away by frivolities. 

The university life should prepare you for the harsh and unfriendly outer world you will be facing after graduation. Start from your first day in school to think and prepare for the future. You have to understand that life is not going to be easy after school. You should understand that there are few job opportunities for thousands of graduates who come out every year.  Employees are now going beyond the certificates in accessing candidates for employment. Start now to work on those employable skills which you will need after graduation. 

Finally, you cannot do without God. You need to strengthen your relationship with Him. It doesn’t end in you being a bright student. You can write exams and your script get lost along the way and you get an ‘F’. So do not be carried away by activities that you forget to take care of your spiritual life. In whatever you do be guided by your conscience and do nothing that will bring disrepute to the name of your family. Once more I say CONGRATULATIONs and I hope you make the best out of your stay in the school. God loves you.

Mundus.
  



Thursday, 6 February 2014

FUTO Politics: A Dirty Game??

This is not the best time to make a blog post. Not when I am so angry and bitter for the things happening around me. I just hope I will be able to write something coherent in this state.

Ever since I entered the university I have shown particular interest in student unionism. I have always followed the activities of the SUG even when my friends see it as not being worthwhile. At some time I even contemplated running for one position or the other, but with the events that happened today coupled with that of last year I feel so bad to associate myself with this whole sham. Continue reading to understand while I said so.

The Students Union Government election has always been something I look forward to. This year’s own has not been an exception. While some of my mates are already at home savoring the ‘little’ one week the university gave us to prepare for the new academic year, I have been busy running to one aspirant or the other, collecting their manifestoes and publishing on The-Infoscope. It was a work that gave me fulfillment and purpose. I was part of a process that involves me directly as a student and which will in the long run determine how well I will enjoy my stay here in FUTO.

After months of campaign by the aspirants, the final list of contestants was released today and the shock that followed that release orchestrated this write-up. Two presidential candidates were screened out and amongst this two is Uchenna; a strong contender for the office and a nightmare to other aspirants. They weren’t screened out because they were incompetent but because they were stubborn. Stubborn to accept the fact that the position of President, SUG is an exclusive reserve of Imolites. I have gone through the SUG constitution severally in an attempt to find where it was stated emphatically that SUG presidents must come from Imo state. I am still searching and I’ve not found. Before my very own eyes I saw merit and competency being murdered on the altar of indigeneity. I ask again, when did ‘state of origin’ become such a powerful factor that any other thing can be sacrificed. If this practice could be tolerated in state owned universities, that cannot be said of FUTO; a federal university. Whoever thinks it’s justified to rate candidates by their state of origin is disillusioned and shallow minded. I did a little research on the US governors and I discovered that 21 out of the 50 incumbent governors were born outside the state they are currently serving. They considered competency!

As I was bemoaning the faith of these two guys and some others who were disqualified because their opponents had fatter pockets, another self-ordained student stakeholder approached me with an offer; join the campaign team of an aspirant and be paid N400. If I was the violent type that fellow would have been cooling his feet at the FUTO medicals. It took a lot of self discipline for me to politely reject the offer. Even if I am ready to trade my conscience for money, N400 wouldn’t do. My fear however is that a good number of students took the offer.

Come tomorrow, I will solemnly go to the polling booth, exercise my franchise as a bona fide student and wait patiently for someone to come to my face and complain of one misdoing or the other from the SUG and I will be quick to remind him or her of Thabo Mbeki’s verdict on Nigerians; “Nigerians deserve the leaders they get”.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hurray! I am Plus One Today


Wow! Today is a great day for all of us. Hope you are enjoying your day? Today is “that day” I have always imagined – the day I can comfortably increase the numerical strength of my age. A quarter past the twentieth hour that faithful day signaled the journey to an unknown land. Today it is already exactly two decades into the journey and who knows how far this journey is taking me? 

Before arriving at the destination, who says it is out of place taking a look behind the scene. That is why we have to take Socrates more serious for advising us that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. It is about time to examine the progress made so far as well as appreciate those whose support and friendship have been the catalysts for my progress in life.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Happy birthday Excel-galaxy Ajah Anayo



Most times we get occupied with a lot of things that we forget to appreciate those friends who have been of great help and importance to our lives. Ipso facto, it will do me a great disservice if I fail to use this opportunity to extol and eulogize one person who has been a backbone to most of my successes, one man who has taught me how to break bounds and how to explore the world of unlimited possibility; Ajah Excel Anayo.

Ajah Excel, before I met you I’ve always aimed for the sky but you taught me to see the sky as nothing but my springboard. I would settle for anything a little above average but you have thought me to go for the best and be the best of whatever I can. I would put aside A lofty dream of mine when it seems to be impossible to actualize but you have shown me over time that the word impossibility does not exist. The list is indeed exhaustive of your immense contributions to my life that naming them all would be cumbersome.

You are a true definition of a true friend. You have shown repeatedly that it is better to have one true friend than a thousand praise singers. You’ve been a brother and a confident and I wonder if I could have gotten anybody better as a friend.

When I look at you I see the intelligence of Wole Soyinka, the doggedness of Olusegun Obasanjo, the tactfulness of Rochas Okorocha, the humility of Tuface Idibia, the business acumen of Peter Elumelu and the leadership qualities of Adams Oshiomole. Above all I see in you the fullness of YOU.

As you celebrate your birthday remember that there are still a lot you can achieve, the purpose of life is to live for others....reach out to someone today. Happy birthday and be rest assured of my prayers.

Cheers!

Mundus

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Me and Alchohol


About three years ago, when I left secondary school, a friend of mine invited me to a party in his house which I gladly obliged. I went there with one of my friends and as it’s usual with any party, the drinks were more than enough; beers, wines, spirits name them. In the course of the party, my friend offered me a bottle of beer; Star to be precise. Now this was the first time I was been faced with the temptation of taking anything alcoholic. Ever since I was born, I’ve never seen my dad taste alcohol, he detest it so much. Mum’s own was a little bit different because she sometimes takes palm wine, which contains a little amount of alcohol. My parents have always told us that we have ‘light brains’ which makes it incapacitated to handle the effects of alcohol. I never believed them; I thought it was just a ploy to scare us from even taking a sip. The mere mention of alcohol in our home exuded something disgusting, something ungodly and detestable. At a time we began seeing anybody who takes alcohol as a bad guy

Monday, 21 October 2013

Strike; A right approach to Nigeria's Educational Problem

My latest piece...Your comments will be appreciated.
 Strike; A right approach to Nigeria's Educational Problem
 If you are not of the opinion that the educational system in Nigeria is in shambles then you probably just landed from Moon. This is because the decay in the system can be breathed in the air. It is evident in WAEC and NECO results and more evident in the products we churn out of our polytechnics and universities yearly. Highlighting these problems will place us in a better position to understand fully the arguments I would put forward in the course of this essay.

The major problem with the educational system is that it is a product of the Nigerian system, the pervasive corruption, the eroded value system, bad policy implementation and lack of good governance. Some other factors that have remained a clog in the wheel of success in the nation’s education sector includes but not limited to, examination malpractice, poor quality of teachers, non conducive learning environment and the quest and over-consciousness on certificates. However, for the purpose of this essay, we will be looking at the problem of Education in Nigeria, mainly as that of lack of good governance, poor funding and bad policy implementation as these are the issues that bring rise to strike actions which is the kernel for discussion.

Strike actions have been seen all over the world as a very powerful conflict resolution tool albeit too extreme. It became common during the industrial revolution when mass labour became important. It is often the last resort when collective bargaining fails. It is something both the employees and employers never pray for as it cripples the entire system and leaves it in shambles.
In Nigeria, strike has been used way too often to settle conflicts in labour- management relations. Almost all unions must have at one time or the other embarked on an industrial action to press home their demands, with the union’s education sector bearing the biggest brunt. But has it really been effective?

It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria has been very unlucky to have leaders who place little or no premium on education. When in 2009 we elected as President and Vice President people who at one time or the other been in the academia, everyone thought things were going to be different, but that was not to be as those issues which has kept the Education sector moribund remains unsettled and even getting worst.

In 2008, teachers in public schools under the auspices of the National Union of Teachers embarked on an industrial action which lasted for more than a month over government’s refusal to issue circulars relating to the Harmonized Teachers’ Salary structure which was approved by the national council for education in October, 2003, suffice it to note that the FG was part of the NCE that approved the new salary structure, but to the utmost chagrin of the teachers, the FG decided to play politics with this issue and for five years, the NUT engaged them in series of dialogues and negotiations which culminated in the protracted strike action in 2008. FG was eventually forced to pass the circular after the strike was called off. Although only 18 states went ahead to implement the new salary structure, it wasn’t a lost battle. The pressure from the strike did paid off.

The academic staff union of universities ASUU has had a history of strike actions dating back to 1988 when it organized its first strike action to obtain fair wages and university autonomy, the first strike yielded no result as the union was proscribed only to be allowed to resume in 1990. Since the dawn of democracy in Nigeria, ASUU has been very vocal and continued to be militant in demanding the right of university workers amongst so many others, engaging their employers (The government) in series of dialogues, negotiations and lobbying but none yielded any significant fruit until in 2009 when ASUU declared an indefinite strike action which lasted for over three months. The strike action again led the Federal Government into entering into agreement with ASUU to pump in money into universities for its revitalization amongst so many other things.

Four years after signing the agreement FG is yet to implement seven out of the nine agreements reached. Showing once more how insincere and uncommitted they can be to the cause of education. In 2011 ASUU once again ordered its members nationwide to proceed on another indefinite strike action over Federal Government’s refusal to implement the agreements, FG once again in a bid to end the strike and with ASUU giving in a little bit signed a memorandum of understanding with ASUU bending a little bit the agreements signed in 2009.

Those who are against Strike actions would argue that when ASUU or NUT goes on strike it is indeed the students that bear the brunt, they are quick to remind us that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. They forget in a hurry also that nothing good comes easy. Before any major breakthrough there must be a sacrifice. It is the sacrifice we made during the Nigerian civil war that is keeping us united today as one big country. For a developing country like Nigeria certain sacrifices need to be taken today for a better tomorrow and strike actions are part of it.

Conclusively, though the ASUU strike with its frequency perplexes the mind, but when you are dealing with a government that has showed over time that it is deafer than the fish, blind and totally crippled by the grandeur of its delusions there are indeed very few choices. Strike seems to be the only thing that pricks up the government’s ears, hence it would be foolhardy not to stick to what works. Until we get a listening government, a government that is ready to honour its words, a government that is ready to enter into negotiations and fulfil whatsoever outcome it brings ASUU and NUT will continue to make use of Strikes to press home its demands.

Thanks for your time.

Uwakwe Martin

www.martinuwakwe.blogspot.com
 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Happy Birthday Mum


I would not bore you with the usual “My mama is the best mama in the world” ish, you probably have heard that a thousand times, after all as the Igbos will say ‘’enweghi onye na asi ofe nne ya siri adighi uto ’’. What however, I intend to achieve with this post it to tell the whole world how much I value this woman.

If I should relive my stay here on earth a thousand times, I will ask for her a thousand times. She is a quintessential mother, loving and caring. Most times I imagine what life would have been without her. 

Happy birthday to the most amazing, supportive, hardworking and caring mom in the whole world! Thank you for making me the individual that I am today — I would be nothing without you. I love you mama!!!!



Monday, 7 October 2013

Monday chit chat



I knew I was going to write something today, but what it was going to be on eluded me. So here goes some incoherent rants from me.

It’s being more than a week since I last wrote down something. In fact the last time I wrote down a piece longer than twitter’s characteristic 140 characters was on the 24th of September an article I wrote for a church magazine in my area.....you can read it here if you didn’t.

So a whole lot has happened in the past few weeks. I got a new PC, a Sony Vaio laptop with super duper features; it’s good to be in love again. 

I also started running an online news portal www.nigeriannewsportal.com . It’s good to be back to blogging and since then I’ve been blogging like hell thanks to ASUU, AIRTEL and ECN (formerly PHCN) for their cooperation. I now sleep for less than 4 hours every day, what matters is that I love my work and its paying... 

Now to serious matters, I am beginning to miss school. It’s been three months since I last saw most of my friends, three months since I last sold the Infoscope, three months since I last bought roasted yam from that old woman at the back of Hall B, three months since I last, three months since I last waited for {him} in front of Hostel C.....Ah, I can’t wait for ASUU to call of the strike but then  that doesn’t mean they should rush through the whole thing. Please dear ASUU; make sure you take your time. FG must honour to the very last all the contentious agreement they reached with you. There are no half measures this time around.

On Sunday, someone hacked into my email account and sent out spam mails to all my contacts, it was embarrassing logging in to my account and seeing some mails from ‘mailer daemon’ for those that weren’t delivered and I quickly clicked on the sent mails button, and there I saw dozens of mails sent out purportedly from me. Anyway I thank God that was where they ended; many would have gone further to do some bad bad things. So for all those who got mail from me, kindly ignore it, it wasn’t from me and I regret any inconveniences that particular mail might have caused you. I’m beefing up my security this time around. No lapses.

Also during the weekend I visited in my alma mater; St. Peters Seminary Okigwe to see some old friends. The feeling was awesome, not much has changed and I could remembered the skinny and malnourished Mundus running around, dodging one wicked prefect or the other, doing mischievous things lol....

I will be back during the week to give you guys some tutorials on how to avoid been scammed online. Scamming is in vogue and I think a lot of people ought to know how to make themselves less gullible and recognize one as soon they come. Till then, if it is too good to be true, it’s definitely not true.

 Have a wonderful week.

Mundus

Please drop your comments before leaving. I appreciate them

Monday, 30 September 2013

Nigerian at 53, Is It worth celebrating?



 

This is an article  I wrote for the Cross News Magazine, a monthly publication of the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria, Holy Cross Catholic Parish, Aladinma Owerri, Go through it and give me your thoughts using the comment form below, 
 
When the then Minister of Information Prof. Mrs. Dora Akunyili started the re-branding project in 2009, many saw it as one of those white elephant projects which will end up having no significance on the life of the average Nigerian. This is not surprising as most Nigerians are nothing but a bunch of naysayers, people who do not believe that anything good can come out from Nigeria. For this set of people, the future of the country looks bleak and is now at the mercy of divine intervention.  This set of Nigerians will prefer to dwell on the negatives while pretending to be oblivious of the many things worth celebrating, about Nigeria.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Introducing Nigerian News Portal


Its my pleasure to introduce to you www.nigeriannewsportal.com an online news portal.

Its a one stop destination for breaking Nigerian news

Like Their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nigeriannewsportal and you could be lucky to win yourself one of the Blackberry phones on offer.

Nigerian News Portal.....Trailing the blaze in information delivery

Thursday, 19 September 2013

My Birthday Message to Linda Ikeji.



It’s not every day I get the opportunity to write about this wonderful personality, however today is another wonderful opportunity for me to appreciate the gift of her life to humanity. At the beginning of this year I listed her as one of the persons who influenced my year (2012) positively. If you want to know why, read it up here.

Today is her birthday and the least I can do is to write her this piece.

Dear Ms Linda,

No doubt you will  get inundated with messages today, probably so much that replying them all will be as impossible as licking your elbow. The over 500 comments I am seeing on your blog now is already intimidating. I understand that, it’s what you get when you are a celebrity. So, I’m not expecting any form of acknowledgement from you neither am I doing this for famzing sake…I’m not Don Jazzy. I just wish you find time to go through this.

I guess you must have taken a walk down memory lane; you must have done a self examination and reached the conclusion that life couldn’t have been any better. The beginning might have not been rosy but definitely your position now is enough to make the memories of less significance. You worked hard, you paid your bills and today you are living comfortably.  You look at your bank statement today and like Davido you feel like you are ready for retirement. That’s cool. It’s a life many of us pray and struggle for. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Boy Called Mundus; A Memoir -2


So I wrote the sophomore exam and I came second with Nneoma this time around coming first, so two of us where to represent our diocese in the main scholarship exam at CIWA Port-Harcourt. At this point I had started to imagine myself clad in the Jesuits uniform. I was so confident I was going to pass the test. Who said confidence is all you need to pass an exam? How wrong I was.

On the eve of the exam my mum accompanied us to Port-Harcourt. How proud she was of her son. My getting a scholarship would make her happy, but then a scholarship in Jesuits College Abuja will leave her in ecstasy. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. Mum must be made happy. This time around my driving force was no longer to top Nneoma but to make mum happy.

On the day of the exam, we left house on time, timely enough to avoid the characteristic Port-Harcout traffic. The venue for the exam was crowded and the tension in the air was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.Fear started creeping in. I started to have feelings of self doubt. The whole confidence I had was leaving me. I knew before now that they needed just a hundred students and here I was in the midst of a thousand students. Lesson; the moment you allow fear to come in, you begin to lose it.

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