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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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Friday, November 02, 2007

Nigeria's most eligible bachelor?

Have you seen him? Tell me you have seen him, did you notice the gap, the smile, sandhurst/oxford/Harvard education too, please please tell me he is single. It is almost midnight and I'm right in the middle of a tug of war between sleep and one of the giants. What is eating her I wonder as I croaked who? The new speaker of course, have you seen him? Do you know him? When are you going to interview him, is he single?

Its 7.40 a.m. now in Lagos and that scenario has been played out over 6 six times by different excited females so as an advocate of all that interests and give women joy, I called Hon Femi Gbajabiamila whose phone was switched off, I forget, politicians are not morning people. Why Femi, well it just happened that I ran into him last week at his wife's lovely and quaint café salamander in Abuja and he had Dimeji Bankole in tow.

As is his tradition Femi goes for my jugular on the effect of Ettehgate on the political progress of Nigerian women. I bark back and hard, Femi digs in deeper on other areas of my (in his words) rabid feminism and elements of the media, I prepare to go from bark to bite but then, in steps a soft but firm voice with a trace of a British accent bearing a pearl of down to earth logic. Who be dis I wonder even as Femi and I carry on, it's a game, and we both know it and love it. It called lets argue just to check the health of the old grey matter.

So ladies, that's my one and only encounter with the 37 year old new speaker, all I can tell you is that I am prone to feel people before I see them and what I felt from that encounter was good. For one he did not piss me off with some stuffily dressed, pretentious, supercilious, ridiculously exaggerated British public school accented brand of bullshit. He was courteous, smartly dressed in simple bùbá and sòkòtò, listened and made meaningful contribution to the conversation. In the interest of research I have dug up this little tit bit and discovered that he is indeed single, l do not know if he is searching, I shall ask this and other such nation building questions when I sit him down to a television interview. He didn't light my female fires as he seemed to have a Tom Crusoid challenge (I like my heels high) but it seem that generally we have got a good pin up for young, educated and progressive politicians, lets see how long the infatuation lasts or if indeed he will prove worthy of our national love.

On my part I am placated by the fact that we may have lost a woman (deservedly so) but we have hopefully gained a dynamic youth. Stop crossing your fingers.


Anonymous said...

I found myself holding my breath as I read your piece. Is he single? Is he single? Why does it matter to me when I am a married mother of twin girls? Wow ... 37! My age? The speaker? We have to pray for him, he MUST not fail!
I am excited for him. Funmi .... the ball is in your courts.

NigeriaPolitricks.com said...

I'm glad that someone this young is taking up the challenge as a speaker of the house. this is a break from the ranks of our sit-tight, do-nothing, old political clowns who have not only failed us but have made a mockery of our nation.
It is my fervent hope that Dimeji Bankole proves to all Nigerians that it is time for our young generation Nigerians to take the center stage in politics and right the wrongs that have been meted out to our nation-state by our old stock politicians.

And to all you ladies, stop drooling over this dude like he's the only piece of meat we got left...there are many Dimeji Bankole's around you! But all the same, goodluck!! lawl!!!

Anonymous said...

The old cynic in me has 5 words to say: too.good.to.be.true! Or can we dare to hope? I fervently wish him (and us) well.

Iyaeto said...

Nice1 let's hope all those long lost uncles, aunties and "galfriends" don't resurface. He sure is Nigeria's most eligible bachelor.
They should just let him do his job diligently. Chikena.

Anonymous said...

It's about time someone with credentials and young served in the public arena in Naija.

I wish him well.

LOL@ the Tom Crusoid bit....u r too funny. That too can be fixed, no worries.

Linda Ikeji said...

You said he's single?...got a number? lol. Seriously, im happy Etteh finally stepped down...isn't it such a relief, even for her? a woman let us down, i hope a youthful speaker wont do same...something tells me he won't. Now we officially have Nigeria's most eligible bachelor. Let the race begin.

Anonymous said...

wow...so he's single. No wonder he was quite shy when his colleagues were applauding him b4 his speech. Hmm...i sense you're falling for d dude, sis Funmi. But let me remind u, u're not d only one now o. All those Abuja babes are going to be onto him now like a leech.

Anonymous said...

Funmi.......you are funny.very very funny indeed!
And what if he's single? All you need to do is take a number and stand in line.Abuja babes vs Lagos babes..Let the battle begin!!!.........LOL!!!

Ms. Catwalq said...

I might need to see another picture to figure out if indeed I agree with the fuss about his looks...

I am waiting to see what he will do.

Sam Oracle said...

Still single?
Thatz news, well he already sounds like a good guy.
All the stories i've heard about him are positive so far
I hope he does what is expected of him.

(I hope he doesn't look at ladies too much, coz presently he's a free agent. he's not bound to any woman)

Anonymous said...

YAY for the young :) we're going to get it right, i tell you. we've tried the beer-bellied old men (forgive me), the woman (sigh. not sure what sort of representative she thought she was being but she's by no means representative of trustworthy women everywhere), and now it's up to the young western/ivy league educated man :)

i'm shallow :(


but on a more serious note, we're getting there by hook or crook. there's a method to your madness, nigeria. i'm all for trial and error in the absence of a plan.

i'm not sure if i'm being scarcastic or not...


Anonymous said...

ooooh, i'm also glad that the western-educated folks are finding their niche. we're coming back. shoot, at least i know i am. this winter business just isn't cutting it for me anymore :)


Nigerican said...

I'm glad he's young and educated.Hopefully he can help us with the change our generation is yearning for .About him being single ,hmmm... lets just let him focus on his job for now.

Love u're writing style :).

Unknown said...

Single eh? Dats good. A lot of girls standin in line... me included (ha ha ha!!). Seriously, its good dat the young pple are bein given a chance. I have a good feelin about this one. We are all praying for him.


hey im praying for this man o!!! and i know he is VERY single!!!!!!
but sisi mi, ur words sting o: ha ha i literaly ducked for cover when i read this : 'For one he did not piss me off with some stuffily dressed, pretentious, supercilious, ridiculously exaggerated British public school accented brand of bullshit' damn!!

Anonymous said...

Still single? that's worrying...

Funmi Iyanda said...

@iyabeji, mi o dagba ma la be, egun eran nikan ni mio le wo (not to old to lick soup o, na only the bone l no fit crack) baba sala comedy classic. married but not blind hum.. i dey hear you.
@ all, we are all daring to hope, that poor guy is carrying the hopes of a generation, l hope he knows that.
@nigerian politricks, wey dem?
@linda, wienna and pepski lala, abuja babes? who dat? Linda, you fine thing, you will make a nice looking couple.
@catwalq, trust you to spot the catch, one of my gal friends called and said she wasnt so sure looking from other picture angles, sigh!
@dee, berra come o, its begining to happen and na we and dem o, abeg dey come.
@36, gurl, you know more than you are letting on, what with all this voltron antics, c'mon spill the beans jo:-), abi you are the she, me l dey find nice wedding to wear dress go o.

lemonade factory said...

we are banking on bankole hope he does the youths proud and its high time our grand dads begin to step aside too so the next generation can take their rightful place

Anonymous said...

He's ugly...just my humble opinion.

Eunice said...

We ve 2 keep praying 4 him n all our leaders...I saw on d cover of a Newspaper ds mornig dt he evaded d NYSC programme...I honestly dnt know but is ds fact supposed 2 affect him. I'm actually clueless about dt.
At least we get a break 4rm all d recycled leaders.
As 4 Etteh...I'm glad she stepped down not becos i think she's done something wrong or right...just simply bcos d whole brouha was becoming a distraction 2 dr job description...r dy given dse by d way?
Is he cute...i dnt necessarily agree but dn dy say "1 man's meat is anoda's..."
LOS Babes v ABJ Babes : Ds shud b quite interestin!

Funmi: u r a hero 4 evry thing u've done, doing n still plan 2 do.