I joined the Marvel fanboy horde and went to see Avengers: Endgame. I’ll talk about the movie itself in a second. But let’s linger a bit on the influence of America and Hollywood on our minds.
I joined the Marvel fanboy horde and went to see Avengers: Endgame. I’ll talk about the movie itself in a second. But let’s linger a bit on the influence of America and Hollywood on our minds.
So, I went about some shutterbug business over the weekend. This photography hobby has taken over me like a fake aladura spirit. I’m smitten. I put on my camera backpack and went to Makoko.
I’ve seen several beautiful shots of this Ghetto-Venice. But I told myself my pictures have got to be one of the evocative shots of Makoko.
Strange how poverty enchants.
So off I went.
My pictures were distinctively average.
Yea, some friends and colleagues think the pictures were decent. They give me too much credit. They don’t want to hurt my feelings.
But with Makoko, the journey is as intriguing as the destination. Walking gingerly on those wooden stiles with the black and foreboding water beneath, the path through a brothel, hiring a boat and putting out to open waters was more rewarding than any picture I took. And I made the acquaintance of very interesting fellas, notably a ‘Captain Segun’ who’s only captained a canoe.
Anyways, my mediocrity below.
Funny how mediocrity boasts…
Old age is not something I worry about a lot. Not because I have a pot of gold squirrelled away somewhere. My pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow. I know it’s there. All I have to do is beat everyone to the rainbow and dispossess the leprechaun guarding the pot.
Hang on a second! I’ve just had an epiphany!
In Nigeria, the leprechauns are politicians!
Behavioural scientists will have us know that the faculties that distinguish us from animals are capabilities such as reason, morality, inquiry, religion, aesthetics, aspiration, imagination, creativity, self-awareness, or self-reflection.
All that is great. But they are missing one essential faculty: stupidity.
That’s right. Stupidity.
A while back, a friend who lived outside the country told me he had met someone who knew me and worked with me in some capacity. He told me this chap had remarked about me: “Jide was a brilliant guy. A good person. But he was sometimes difficult to work with.”
Remember the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Where the sins of your past douchebaggery come to haunt you? Well, I was nothing like the philandering and Class-A insensate that Mathew McConaughey was in the movie, but still, I knew there were times when my colleagues must have felt like feeding me to a T-Rex.
Maybe to three T-Rexes.
The irony of it was that I wasn’t aware that I was being difficult. I thought I was doing my job. Doing what the job required.
Which is why I’m doing this post. To help someone out there check if they are on their way to the Jerk Hall of Fame or already awarded. Hopefully, it will help you avoid being that guy or babe.
So here are a few pointers. You may be difficult to work with if:
1. You are combustible too often. Anger is an undeniable human emotion. It may even be helpful. But if you explode at your colleagues or anyone too often, whatever the reason, you may be a difficult person to work with.
The dangerous thing about being quick to anger is that it loosens the tongue (or the pen) to say things you shouldn’t have said or act in ways you might regret later. Anger is good. But wrath isn’t.
2. Impatient with colleagues. People assimilate information or ‘get it’ at different rates. It doesn’t mean they are a doofus. If you think you’re smart or brilliant, I assure you that there is someone smarter and more brilliant than you are in your field or company. I have a hard time understanding Quantum Physics and Astronomy, which I’m interested in. Some guy at NASA may think I’m a dolt but I’d like to sit and hear a presentation from them about making people buy what they really don’t need.
Be patient with people.
3. You think you are indispensable. The feeling of being ‘untouchable’ could lead you into giving subordinates and colleagues a hard time. Please get this into your head: NO ONE is indispensable. Steve Jobs died and Apple became a trillion-dollar company.
Try not to believe you are indispensable. It’ll make you more human and humane to colleagues.
4. People don’t want to come to you. If colleagues don’t want to come to you for help because you are often technically and practically unable to help, that’s understandable. But be wary if they don’t come to you because they think you are a jerk. It is the same if a guy was assigned to you and he weeps and calls his wife to tell her he loves her.
No matter what you may have heard, you need more friends than enemies in your life. Folks whom people tend to gravitate towards tend to be better managers and hence, assume leadership positions quicker and stay there longer.
I’m not saying you should try to please everyone. You can’t. But if you could be a little more pleasant, a little more helpful, a little less arrogant or a little more accessible, please do it.
5. You believe work should be impersonal. One of the Kool-Aid we have drunk and are still drinking is the belief that the workplace should be formal and impersonal.
Until such a time when Betty the AI or George the Algo are your only workmates, you will have to deal with Chi-Chi the mother of three and Bassey the Pious.
When we believe work should be impersonal, we lose empathy and sensitivity. When people come to work, we don’t know what they may be facing in their personal lives.
There was once a colleague, mother of four, who often came late to work. She was often distracted. It affected her work. The people she worked with were unhappy with her performance. She was put on Performance Improvement Programme, a prelude to being fired if there was no noticeable change in a short period of time.
HR called her in for a chat. She burst into tears and spilt all that was happening in her life. Her husband beats her often. The fella was out of job but needed to show who was still the head of the house. There was little sunshine in her life. When we heard her story, many were remorseful, mea culpa, for the hard time we gave her.
People go through stuff in their lives. Sometimes, really hard stuff. Don’t add to it in the workplace. Before you are tempted to scream at them, be dismissive of them, write them a query or fire them, take a step back to consider maybe there’s something else going on behind the crisp shirt or slim skirt. Be a human. Screw the rule book.
As for me, I have long reformed. I realised that if I wanted to get to the very top, I could not be someone people found difficult to work with.
That and the fear of T-Rex.
So, Google released the most searched terms in Nigeria for half year 2018. The list made for a distressing read. See for yourself:
Boda Moses is a goal,
You know Iwobi no dey joke,
Make we bet,
Tear your shirt,
See, Mr Referee say is a goal,
Super Eagles is a winner,
Coca-Cola is a goal,
Omo Naija is a ginger,
Jersey wan o ma le to.
If Pepsi thought it could steal Coke’s thunder, its blood sugar must be low. Coke was never going to be last in a two-horse race.
The Pepsi Naija All The Way spot is the shiznit! Check it out below:
Neat, isn’t it? It’s trendy, bouncy and pumps you up. Makes you want to believe in Nigeria again. The spot reminded us of one of the reasons we are Nigerians: bagful of self-belief and swag.
Well, yea, the Naija spirit also sometimes turn into snakes and make away with money, and may even ask bribe from an archangel. But this spot is not about all that. The spot rather reps us in a positive way.
The MTN ‘Blind Bride’ and the Guinness ‘Goodluck Obieze’ TV spots are the two best spots I have seen this year. They struck a cord.
I don’t fancy myself a serious writer. However, if there is one writer that has had the most profound influence on my rather facetious writing, it is Wole Soyinka. Of course, Kongi will probably be horrified at my farcical writing, but I don’t care. I love the man. We share the same birthday. And true love lasts a lifetime.
In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, I have thought about how much of my personal data is out there. Data waiting to be harvested by some sick psychologist or ethnographer and deployed to warping my mind. I like to think that I have an iron-clad mind. But at the rate I give in to pepperoni pizza, maybe having an ‘open mind’ is not such a bad thing after all.
I’m absolutely delighted with Black Panther. But I’m not getting carried away with the gushing about Wakanda.
Look, there’s no way Nigeria and many African countries are going to turn into a Wakanda very soon. Not with reptiles and apes stashing away money.
By the way, that’s some real Snake In The Monkey’s Shadow stuff.
Aside from his use of an obscene term, I really do not understand the rage on the continent when President Trump referred to our beloved patch as ‘shithole countries.’
Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he shares the outrage of Africans on the disparagement by President Trump.
If by ‘shithole countries’ the man meant countries groaning under the weight of corruption, nepotism, abuse of power and disregard for rule of law, the social contract and the human condition, then he clearly wasn’t talking about the African continent.
I have always suspected that I was special but didn’t know exactly how. Now, I have a fair idea. Boy, am I one cool glass of water!
Now, don’t be hating. Turns out every human being is special too. That includes you. Yup. You are just as cool a glass of water as I am.
Only I am a chalice and you are a jug…
It’s barely four days into the new year and I’m already calling it quits with a New Year resolution. That’s a full month ahead of the time researchers say most people abandon their New Year resolutions. Great to start the year breaking records. Going to be an awesome year.
I never quite enjoyed marijuana. It made me appear smarter than I really was. Which was odd because marijuana was supposed to dull the senses. But how else could I have understood e=mc2 or known who killed John F Kennedy?
I know the Good Book says in all thy getting, get understanding. But once you start accepting the logic of square circles, you are on very dangerous grounds, my friend. Luckily, the other part of me – the part that abhors walking naked and collecting trash – had a more strident voice. A voice emboldened by years of chaste parenting and institutional morality. So, I didn’t quite take to marijuana.
Or put another way, can advertisers know if an advertising campaign will be a hit before it is aired?
It would be great to know this because advertising is the gateway to positioning, consideration sets and brand salience. And everyone has an opinion about it. Especially the consumer.
Not a week passes on LinkedIn without coming across scathing posts on recruiters, HR folks and HR practices.
“HR people are condescending towards candidates.”
“HR people are always looking to cheat you.”
“HR is always on the side of management.”
“HR feathers only its own nest.”
Not so many folks like President Mugabe and President Trump. Not me. I’m their biggest fan. I’d give anything to be in the presence of their awesomeness.
I like the two for different reasons though. For President Trump, I like that the office of POTUS hasn’t sobered him up. After all, he was Donald John Trump first before he became President Trump. Man is determined to be Donald John Trump with or without Air Force One.
A few months ago, the Minister for Information & Culture announced the government was going to ban the production of Nigerian movies, music videos and reality TV programmes outside the country. Such ban was to help grow the creative industry in Nigeria and to create jobs.
Said the minister:
‘It is Nigerians that pay for the consumption of these products and therefore they must be allowed and encouraged to participate in their production.’
If you had one shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?”
Eminem – “Lose Yourself .“ (Soundtrack for “8 Mile.” )
If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures, you should. It is a biopic about African-American female mathematicians working at NASA during the Cold War and its very public expression in the Space Race.
Can employees be as fanatical of their company as football fans are of their clubs? Be the company’s biggest advocates and cheerleader? I once knew a company whose employees hated the company. The work or the company didn’t fill them with pride. They hid their ID cards when they were in public. You would too if customers often beat you. Some of those customers could knock the Earth out of orbit with their blows.
Right now, most football fans are scouring sports sites for news on which players their clubs are buying next. They watch YouTube videos to see the rumoured players in action. They debate and bicker over prospects in WhatsApp groups.
Myself, I swear by Manchester United. Best football club in the world. Sir Alex should have been Prime Minister. Scholesy. Could have saved America loads of money and located bin Laden with a pass. And that De Gea. He can save a marriage.
That Etisalat Nigeria must rebrand is obvious. The UAE’s Etisalat Group has pulled out of the company and written down its value in it to nil. It says Etisalat Nigeria only has a few weeks to use its brand name. Presumably, if Etisalat Nigeria wants to keep using the brand name, it must pay franchising fees. That must be at least a couple of million dollars yearly. We are not aware that this option is on the table though. And if it is, taking it up will be unwise for a business that owes creditors over $680m, the source of its current troubles.
“Look out for the people who look out for you. Loyalty is everything.” – Found Online
I came across a YouTube video in which documentary maker Louis Theroux set out hoping to meet ‘MC Olu Omo.’ MC Olu Omo is the Treasurer of NURTW in Lagos and also the Chairman of the Oshodi chapter. According to popular opinion, he is also the Capofamiglia of ‘Oshland’ (Oshodi). The He-Whom-All-Fears. Goon Potentate-Over-Oshodi.
Brave soul, that Louis. There are some deaths that can’t kill a black man. Like those arising from bravery. Per the late Chinua Achebe: “It is from the compound of a coward that we point to where a brave man used to live.”
So, on May 1, my household downed tools. The missus would have me know that being a wife and a mother was work. Hard work, as a matter of fact. So in observance of Workers’ Day, she was taking the day off from most wifely duties. She pointed me in the direction of GTBank Food & Drink for the day’s feeding.
Outwardly, I made a fuss about the denial of my spousal culinary benefit. But the truth is, I am an epicure. A foodie. I’m the sort of guy you’ll find following MasterChef Australia and Anthony Bourdain: Paths Unknown. I consider cooking an art, a creative expression. Much like painting. But the good thing about cooking, quite unlike a Rembrandt, is that you can actually eat it.
I have been involved in a few projects where approvals depended on a motley bunch of people, most of whom had little knowledge of the project, what it entails or what success would look like. It was decision-making by committee. A consensus-oriented process that seldom leads to great work, at least as far as great advertising or marketing goes. One of such projects stood out.
GT Bank is my favourite bank. I use it the most. Not that if Segun Agbaje needed a kidney, I’d give him one of mine. But it’s a bank with a cause. With a value proposition. I’ll tell you two stories.
A couple of years ago, I was in New Zealand, a country with a 12-hour time difference to Nigeria. I went out one afternoon to use my dollar-denominated GT Bank card at an ATM. It didn’t work. Tried it a second time. Zilch. A third time. Nada. Not good. Needed cash badly. And well, it was also embarrassing. I was the only black man within a 50-kilometre radius. A Nigerian. Spending an inordinate amount of time at an ATM.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield.
There’s something decidedly hare-brained about jumping out of a perfectly good plane. A plane, if it isn’t obvious, is not a boat or a car. A plane flies. In the skies. With birds. There’s a reason we’re not birds. But man has never really been blessed with much discernment, have we?
Sky-diving was something I had always wanted to do. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a jet fighter pilot. You know, fly around the world and blow bad guys up. How I traded such altruistic aspiration for a life in brand management has got to be as mysterious as Po being the Dragon Warrior. Anyway, now that I have settled for a somewhat sedentary career, I thought jumping out of a plane might be the closest thing to feeling the thrill of being a fighter pilot.
But I had to battle a lot of monsters before my jump:
There must be something in the waters at Banana Island. It was just a few weeks ago that I wrote about Airtel Nigeria’s Lost TV spot and how different and refreshing the spot was from previous Airtel commercials, and indeed from category spots. Lost was a marker set down by Airtel against competition, and unwittingly, against itself. The next spot from the company was always going to draw keen attention. Will it match or beat Lost, or will it crash and burn under the weight of high expectation?
I’m a Christmas guy. I love Christmas. It’s my best time of the year. The harmattan. The lights. The carols. “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen…”“Odun lo so pin O, Baba Rere…” The nice hampers. The dodgy hampers. The teeming malls. Bliss. Joy to the world.
If only brands and companies will give us some really warm Christmas ad. We really could do with some cheer in this country right now.
“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn
So, I attended the 2017 LAIF Awards, my old stomping ground. I hadn’t been to one in some time and I thought it’d be great to see what the advertising industry was up to these days. When I was at TBWA, advertising awards were a big part of the network and my life. A strong agency showing at an award helped the agency get on clients’ radars and in consideration for businesses. It also helped us attract great talents, both creative and non-creative. The Omnicom Group, the holding company of BBDO, DDB and TBWA amongst others, had always been big on ‘doing great work.’ That ethos is reflected in the consistent and strong showings of the BBDO, DDB and TBWA networks at Cannes, One Show and D&AD.
I have always felt that Airtel Nigeria TV spots were the least engaging amongst all Telco advertising in Nigeria. For a brand that has consistently been in the Top 6 of marketing spenders in that last five years, I’d say this was rather unflattering.
Well, not any more. It’s new TV advertising, ‘Life Without Data,’ seems to be grabbing all the attention, in contrast to the marooned protagonist in the spot.
The other day a colleague and I went for lunch at one of the ‘posh’ restaurants in Lagos that catered largely to local palates. I have been to this particular restaurant a couple of times. The food is good, the ambience is nice and the service is OK. But I confess that I’m one who believes that for Nkwobi stay with Mama Ogedi, and for soul-lifting Amala, salvation is only to be found at a buka. I’m a relic, yea, but we were never intended to eat cow leg with a fork and knife. That’s why God gave us fingers. Ten of them.
So, I was reading the papers the other day, and walla, Glo has launched a 4G LTE service (wait, didn’t they launch that stuff in 2011?). I thought that was really great because mobile internet speed in Nigeria waver between ‘damn-it!’ and ‘you-gotta-be-kidding-me!’ So, clearly there is a consumer need there. Any network that meets this need can dip its hands into my pocket.
“Please paint our ceiling for the greater glory of God and as an inspiration and lesson to his people.”
That was the purported brief given by Pope Julius II to Michelangelo for the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Take a good look at this chap. Business executive. Professorial. Looks like he knows what he’s talking about.
A couple of days ago, I got a call from a recruiter. There was a supposed ‘senior’ role in her company they wanted to fill and my name came up.
Well, it was pleasing that my name came up in respect to something other than bills, allowances and pocket money. I’d always believed that the only people who thought about me were my wife and creditors. These days I can’t tell the difference between the two.
In all of the land of Vuka, there was no better bespoke tailor than Mr Thimble. He catered only to men and his apparels flattered the appearance of all, tall or stout, portly or willowy. The rich and greying, the nouveau riche and debonair, all journey from as far as the Far Kingdom to Vuka to be measured and fitted in Mr Thimble’s exceptional tailoring. At the annual Vuka Governor’s Ball, it was not uncommon to find the majority of the guests accoutred in the fine raiments of Mr Thimble.