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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Of Great Men

Location is one of those decaying pseudo elitist colonial leisure establishment that feeds the ego of the strangely wealthy but unaccomplished who gather periodically to fan the embers of nepotism and cronyism which guarantees their continued existence in the club of the rich and stupid. We have come to pitch an idea to a man so stupendously wealthy it is unreal. I know it is will not fly as the man probably hasn't got the foggiest idea what we are talking about and would feign indifference to hide his ignorance. He had asked for the meeting only because of my friend. Hers is a double FF cup and she is mixed race and based in London. Read top totty. As we waited for a response, some other such deep pocketed, distended stomach and dissipated bodies came in to much back slapping and lascivious "chop knuckles". The men had come in with a cache of the young, beautiful and lost; one was a Liberian "model".

Somehow the conversation turned to how highly desirable Nigerian men have become across the continent with the men thumping their chests Popeye like. Our "host" was wearing a $300,000 limited edition something or the other watch and boasting about his new home in Dubai. The others hailed him and started talking about their latest toys and sexual escapades. They then soundly condemned men from the rest of Africa calling them slackers and laggers. I felt it was my natural duty to point out that the reason Nigerian men were so popular is not because of their prowess but because they were notorious apa akotile danu (the mindless spendthrift who squanders the wealth of the family). Any fool with loose money can be happily dispossessed of such by anyone but look at what the men from some of those African countries with meagre resources are doing with their country. Look at Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, Cameroon and Egypt. When are we going to take the concept of greatness from the loins and muscles to the brain and heart? We did not get the job.

I am always alarmed to hear the way in which many men both old and young gloat about sexual prowess as a measure of greatness. As a male friend of mine said once, they talk about it with the same gleam in the eye and sense of accomplishment as he saw in a man who challenged the elements to cycle across Africa. I have observed even the lowliest of creatures and I see the way in which the male has sex with its females without much fuss or acclaim. Sex is good but sex does not a nation build, didn't one study show that Nigerian (read Nigerian men) have the most sex of all nations of the world. Stop grinning jo, are we not also top 3 in most corrupt, worse place to do business and live and other such dubious honours? If I were male (tufiakwa!) and I were of this sort of environment where the possession of a particular set of genitalia automatically qualifies me as a leader of all and master of universe, I would be terribly ashamed at the sort of nation I have built and certainly not go about draped in and defined by the toys made by thinking men of other climes or thump my chest based on ability to give pittance to young people whose options I have limited to have unbridled sex with my fat hairy arsed self!

Months later I am at a similar but spanking clean and well maintained establishment in a land far away, the men and women sitting around can buy my continent many times over. Most run companies, which produce the toys we so love but wore classic Seiko watches and actually listened as we talked. I asked an agile 55-year-old (thought he was 10 years younger) international media mogul what his hobbies are, oh I go rock climbing and surfing with my 25-year-old son he says. My friend's brilliant idea is now being implemented in another African country where the men do not exploit the young openly and strangulate the bright and gifted although sadly they are not quite as popular with women around the continent.

17 comments:

Soul said...

Funmi...
is this what you want me to come back to? Really?.

As a creative, who dreams up solutions to problems. This will kill me.
I have no problem with sex, as a matter of fact I love sex, dirty, clean, tantric, nasty, filthy, hard, soft, voyueristic, role play .. whatever. On that issue I'm extremely liberal.

What i do have a problem with is someone refusing to listen to problem solving ideas because they want sex.
Or things being commissioned not because they work, but because some rich person in govt, could afford to throwaway ex million just for the opportunity to fuck.

I see a heck of a lot of rich nigerian men wearing the latest and greatest names, but what I also see are a lot of nigerian men who have to buy pussy and complain about the fact that they have to buy it.

Their attitudes suck, their priorities are misplaced and unfortunately, their prowess is extremely over-rated, (especially when we are considering the distended bellies from under which the genitalia has to be searched for.

Soul said...

'One more gin'

One day, the wells will run dry.
One day, oil consumers will start to decrease and rdepedence on oil will diminish.

What will we do then?
We have no new innovations.
The things we buy in, we have no maintenance culture for.
Our brilliant thinkers are being drowned out by the sound of ignorance
and we are buying and selling the souls of our young.

The message I get from gidi is this, if you are a boy.. you berra get that money maaan! and you berra spend it and floss so peeps can see you.
If you are a girl, you betta be pretty or learn to sink to your knees, cos being a trick is your destiny. We';ll t you started early enough.. Don't worry your father won't say shit, cos he needs you to eat and feed the family.

Oh and little girls better get ready for the shit storm about to hit them, cos they will get blamed for the moral decline of Naija society.

What a mess. Does anyone doubt that Nigeria is more than wayyyy over due for an internal revolution?

Cheetarah said...

This is so true, but u know there are of course exceptions. Its a shame people cant see beyond their own stomachs sometimes.I had an arguement last week with some1 on the grounds of 'who is ur father' lol, And I asked why should this matter? It begs the question,how great are these Great men, are they not indeed our own creation because we choose to emulate such. I pray for the day the terms big boys and girls will be used as jokes and not be taken seriously.
@ soul- amongst the bad dwell the good, if ur ready to move back have no fear, do so but only when ur ready.

douby said...

Funmi,correction we are not the 3rd most currupt nation we are now the 11th most currupt nation (improvement ba?)
My on queston is how are we going to refocus. There's this football club on the island were most of the so calld island big boys are members of. they were invited to surulere to play and one of the so called big boys said " we dont do the mainland" i mean this is supposed to be one who's an achiever, someone to look up to.how do we let these nitwits know that life is not as mundane as their minds.
Sadly these are the people that fraternize with power in this state
how do we refocus

logosian said...

One of the things that shocked me about Naija when I relocated is just how elitist this country is. I had thought England was bad. Having money is not a crime as long as it was legally and morally obtained, but surely "stupendously wealthy" people should feel an obligation towards the less fortunate, and certainly must focus occasionally on something other than conspicuous consumption (which includes buying sexual favours.) The notion that Nigerian men are in demand in Africa for their deep pockets, while they flatter themselves that it is their sexual prowess the women lust after - made me laugh. Egotistical buffoons.

Nonesuch said...

What sexual prowess I beg to ask? Aint we all just massaging their over inflamed egos?

We just need to empower our young girls,ladies and women so they can say NO to some of this outragerously ridiculous men ( young, mid-age and old)and know that ISE(hard times in whatever dimension) doesnt kill but makes you stronger.There is always a way out and it should not be between your laps.

@douby Dont mind the 'new found wealth Island big boy'. Empty barrel always makes the LOUDEST noise. By their fruit we shall know them.

Funmi keep the post coming they are really food for thot. I refuse to be discouraged even in the face of such 'filth' that Nigeria will b GREAT again.

Sherri said...

the men are not to blame,as long as they find willing preys this cycle will continue.
it may sound naive, but i believe, it all begins and end with us women.
Funmi,i feel u o, i'm sure u know it goes on even in the western world perhaps on a larger scale but under subtle guises.
my mum calls them "awon oponu ayirada" lol

NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

Hmmm, interesting!...dat's why me like where I'm at? At least, I can discusss with intelligent minds, look at issues from a problem solving perspective and see ideas flourish and come to fruition...We ask why our nation is so backward? There you have...animals who have dicks 4 brains!

Missunderstood Naija bloke said...

My darling sister, ur experince is not a summation of the Nigerian men, but a reflection of wealth distribution in our dear nation.
This is a country where most of our rich men are looters,fraudsters and co.
And regardless of their nationality their behaviour is same ! As for naija men and woman around the world what makes us so endearing is our confidence, pride and self belief!!
Which is not so common especially amongst our brother from other African nations, even we so called "poor bobo" are still perceived attractive ( my head still not swollen ).
And like every male, we love sex shikena ! no apologises !
And even the bible says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
So like Soul is ever quick to point out don`t localise a global issue...

lolaojiks said...

Interesting Article,

Without discounting the subject matter, I would really like to applaud the use of words and language.

"As we waited for a response, some other such deep pocketed, distended stomach and dissipated bodies came in to much back slapping and lascivious "chop knuckles". The men had come in with a cache of the young, beautiful and lost; "

Well writtend

Island Big Boy (shoot me!) said...

Just wanted to let you know that not all the people on the Island football team are as mundane as folks who have posted comments portrayed them.

Folks like Chika Mordi who has been an MD of a bank in the past and is presently an Executive Director in UBA actually plays football regularly in Yaba, Surulere etc etc.

There is far too much male bashing here. Nothing wrong with that and I guess some of you may have had negative experiences with guys. All I just wanted to say is that life is too short for you ladies to let that hold you down. The rules of success are the same the world over. You have to bitch (talk) less and act more and chances are if you are gifted, focussed, determined and you persevere, you will achieve your goals.

At least Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ndidi Nwuneli,Nike Ogunlesi and Akunyili are not where they are because they opened their laps - they possess the virtues listed above. Good luck!

Funmi Iyanda said...

@ soul, yes this is what you will come back to but it is what you will also resolve not to become. it is not going to change until and unless the great of the heart and brain (and they are here,few and unsung but here) outnumber, outwit, outsmart and outshout the "great" of the loins. Dont leave us alone with the f--kers o, start coming home in bits, heart first, things are opening up slowly but surely. Also remember that there is lots you can do from where you are.

@misundastood naija bloke,
l find that true ability often whispers as it has no desperate requirement for validation of the ignorant: translation little pricks make the loudest noise. This post does not indict all men, it speaks the truth to a situation that many good thinking and no doubt good fucking Nigerian men find just as diminishing to their person. Our much vaunted "confidence" in the face of obvious failures is self delusionary and a huge joke on us. Humans are deviant but most have the good sense not to celebrate it.

@douby, l know, one of such was asked to inspect a 3 year incredibly audacious project being single handedly pursued by a rare great of heart and brain Nigerian male on the outskirts of Lagos. He arrived in his finery and refused to go beyond the express road because the access road was flooded even when he could see his destination. All he needed to do was roll up his trousers and hike down the valley or get on an okada. He turned back and wrote a bad report dressed in finery produced by the sons and daughters of the discoverers of "new" worlds who didnt even know where the heck they where going or even if they would fall off the edge of a world they believed was flat.
l passionately feel that a new generation of Nigerian men must redefine what it means to be great and refused to emulate many of their fathers and uncles or the new young monsters who emerge everyday. A great man builds great nations, projects, ideal and products, he just might happen to be a damn good lover too which is just as well as he does not need to buy sex. Dressed up little dicks are not cool, they are idiots or in the words of mr smith (clive owen in shoot em up) pussies with guns :-)!

@lolaojiks, a dupe.

Missunderstood Naija bloke said...

My dear sis, haba i beg to differ, our confidence stems from the fact that in all the madness and chaos, we as a pple still stand tall, and progress regardless.
It`s harder for the few "good" ones who ve to deal with the fact that due to their principle they can`t make fast money and judged slackers and ve to deal with issues like this from the woman as well, God knows it`s hard out there for a .....

Tayo said...

Haba Funmi! This is unbecoming and this indictment on Nigerian men is unfair and rather unfortunate.

Why did you waste your time with the dude when you were certain he wont by your idea? Also, did it not occur to you that some of the stories being brandished may be exaggerated ? His 300 000 whatever may not cost that much or really be a limited edition and he might just have a place he rents in Dubai and not owns ?

Have you heard of guys like Fela Durotoye, Lanre Kupoloyi, Fola Adeola, Leke Alder etc etc. Are they not men? Are they not making their own little effort in building this nation. Try and partner with these people and lets all work to make our nation great.

Anonymous said...

@ Tayo, Funmi is not indicting Men, something happened that involved men and she simply reported it.That is not to say that there are no exceptions.And you may have missed the point, it doesnt matter whether his clothes actually cost that much or if he owns a house in dubai, the fact that he boasted about it,is in itself the problem. A lot of men think with their dicks,home and abroad, but abroad they have the decency not to clebrate it, unfortunately it is not so in our dear country. I should know, I have lived in two diff. societies.

loomnie said...

Dear Ma (a la The Economist),

Thanks for highlighting this. But I think I should add that it might not be too right to paint everybody in the same colour. Like everywhere, Nigeria has its own share of bastards, and one might even say she has more than a fair share of those. But I would not agree that the setting you described would describe the typical Nigerian. If one wanted to understand why those 'successful' men behave that way one would have to consider a lot of things; the fact that you say that the guy you went to see is 'stupendously wealthy it is unreal' says a lot about what to expect from him and his company. Not many men who got rich honestly would be apa akotile ta.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@misunderstood, which is why l wrote this piece for all the men out there who do not want to be this but find themselves pressured into these puny little excuses of manhood. As for the women, story for another day.

@island big boy, you poor child you. abeg mai people, is it talking to me:-)?

@ tayo, l see you know or know of some of my friends.

@all, some will discern, some will not, its the way of the world, its all good.