Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize For Literature

A French writer, Patrick Modiano has been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was honoured for the ‘art of memory’ as the Nobel Prize Twitter @NobelPrize handle stated.

Mr Modiano lives in Paris and is known to be media averse. In the past, he rarely granted interviews.

This news will be unpleasant for all that had hoped for Ngugi waThiongo to win it this year and had been bouyed by reports that he had the highest odds.

This being the 111th Nobel, it’s award to a European male is likely to provoke censure by critics and publishers who have been calling for diversity in literary art.

We congratulate Mr Modiano and look forward to discovering his work.

What do you think of the Modiano win? Have your say in the comments! 🙂

LindaGate: OMG LindaIkeji’s ‘Blog Not Found’

The past four days have witnessed an escalation of hostilities between Ms Linda Ikeji and a man known as MrAydee over copyright violations.

Mr Aydee accused Ms Ikeji of taking pictures from his blog and using them on hers without attribution. He asked for the posts to be taken down but says Ms Ikeji ignored him, then blocked him on Twitter.

Thereafter, he reported her to Google who took down the posts and according to Ms Ikeji changed her Adsense settings.

Mr Aydee and some other Twitter users alerted other global blogs to Ms Ikeji’s use of their material without permission, blogs like Getty Images and Daily Mail.

Yesterday, Ms Ikeji replied with a robust response stating that she had used material without permission but that so did every other person. She accused Mr Aydee and Jeremy Weate of wanting to bring her down.

At the end of her response she stated that God was with her and no one was big enough to bring her down.

Ayo Sorungo wrote a rejoinder. addressed to Ms Ikeji titled Re: The Guys That Want To Take LIB Down. In his letter he said,

“To people like me, the moral right to be acknowledged as the writer is sufficient, and we do not care much about the economic rights—which is why I will never get to buy a Range Rover.”

And went on to advise Ikeji on business model changes that would prevent such trouble in future.

Naija Twitter (as the Nigerian arm of Twitter is called) was aflame with opinions, jokes, jibes, twitfights and even death threats.

Some writers used the opportunity to re-open Intellectual Property (IP) debate in earnest. Elnathan John, Jeremy Weate, Sugabelly, and many others wrote to express their displeasure with the current state of affairs–Bloggers lifting material with intrepidity.

Linda Ikeji Blog Readers–LIBers as they are called– jumped to Ms Ikeji’s defence.

Also in her defence was MrFixNigeria, and Chude writer of ‘Are We The Turning Point Generation’ (Cough,cough) and owner of YNaija.

This afternoon however, Ms Ikeji’s blog was declared ‘not found’.

Does this mean the demise of the ‘most popular blog’ in Nigeria?

Only Time will tell.

Gender Equations

Are men and women equal?
If no,
Who is the lesser?

The woman?
Because she has fewer muscles?

The man?
Because he does not bear a womb?

Are all humans equal?
Is the poor man equal to the rich?
Is the lame man equal to the athlete?
Is the illiterate equal to the prof?

Is human life a mere function of what one has, or does or owns?

Or is it more?

Is it the soul?

The unseen man
Not man made or man destroyed,
Keeper of conscience
Tender, seared or scoured?

Tell me, teacher
I need to know.

6 Good Things Ebola Brought To Nigeria

Ebola. A one word terror that has gripped Nigeria in the throes of national hysteria. Having no cure or vaccine, killing it’s victims in a most dehumanising way, thwarting regional efforts to curb its spread, the Ebola Virus Disease is the stuff of science fiction or real life WHO nightmares.

So, when Ebola was imported into to Nigeria by a Liberian Diplomat, the polity was understandably agitated. Social media was agog with advice, speculation, theories and lamentation. A particularly unfortunate incident was a Prank Blackberry Broadcast a girl sent asking her friends to bathe and drink salt to prevent the deadly disease. The broadcast went viral and at least two people are rumoured to have died of complications of hypernatremia, less in fact than died of Ebola within the same time frame.

However, Ebola’s arrival in Nigeria has not been an entirely evil event. It also brought some goodies. Six of these goodies include:

1. A Clean Hands Revolution.
Never in our national history have we cared about hand hygiene as we do now. Hand-washing is preached and practiced in homes, offices and schools at previously unimaginable rates.

Even more amusing is the rash of hand sanitizing creams that have flooded the country. Now, many offices, banks, companies and schools demand visitors hands are smeared with hand sanitizer before they are granted access.

It is unclear how this would help prevent Ebola in people at low or no risk, but it is certain that one can expect lower incidences of contact diseases like diarrhoea and common cold in Nigeria this year. And that is a good thing.

2. More Attention To Personal Space

Nigerians are notorious for dramatic greetings. We hug, kiss, shake hands, lift each other off the ground and spin ourselves around.

Before Ebola.

Now, a wave offered from * meter or two will do. Who wan die?

3. An End To a Protracted Doctor’s. Strike

Some will argue this point, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Draculaen measures adopted by the Federal government to stop the doctor’s strike was partly caused by the Ebola outbreak. Politicians used the outbreak to pressure doctors to return to work and the polity wailed about doctors insensitivity. Never mind that most hospitals are yet to equip or train their doctors to respond. The strike has been called off. Let’s hope many non-Ebola deaths have been so prevented.

4. An Upgrade In Personal Protective Equipment In Health Centres Nationwide.

This point is speculative. It is believed that with N1.9 Billion released for a nationwide response, Personal Protective Equipment will now become available in all government hospitals.
This will go along way to protect healthcare workers from getting infected with disease while at work.

Even before Ebola, many centre lacked protective material as basic as gloves. Googles, body suits, boots and masks were a pipe dream.

Hopefully, Ebola will mean more money devoted to Personal Protective Equipment and safer work places for Nigerian healthcare workers.

5. Fresh Respect For Field Epidemiologists.

With the success of the Ebola Response following the outbreak in Lagos, many people have scrambled to take the credit. Epistles have been written in praise of the State governor, the ruling party, and foreign aid agencies.

The truth is, the Ebola response was successful because of the efforts of little known hardly seen group of medical personnel — the field epidemiologists.

As part of the HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria, the American government has sponsored the selection and training of doctors, vets and lab scientists in the discipline of field epidemiology.

Recently, the training program began to suffer budget cuts and funding reduction. Many feared it would be scrapped altogether.

Not anymore.

Ebola has shown that the little known discipline of field epidemiology is in fact crucial to prevent public health nightmare in developing countries.

And with that, more money is being pumped into training. There’s no need to close the field epidemiology program; rather plans are underway to expand it to cater for regional and continental threat.

6. More Funding For Emergency Response.

Finally, the Ebola outbreak has brought more funding for emergency response. Research, equipment, supplies, training and strengthening of networks that would have taken years are being fast tracked in months.

Ebola is a terrible disease but it seems to have brought some good along with its terror.

Family Finance: Who Should Pay The Bills?

Last week I read a tweet asking if a man was meant to foot all the bills for the home when the lady is also working and earning an income. What would the lady do with her money if the guys spends his on the home, he asked. Wasn’t it unfair to expect one party to bear the entire burden of the bills? What about being a helper? Helping with the money aspect?

The tweet made me think about the role of money in marriage. Communication, sex and money are said to be the biggest issues marriage maintenance. And money is said to involved in over 70% of family riffs.

Different models for family finance have been proposed and used in modern homes. They include:

The Not-A-Dime school who believes a man should provide everything including matches, salt and safety-pins.

The 50-50 group that advocates for bill sharing and equal contributions.

The Keep-Your-Money group where the woman will fund the entire family expense with the man doing little or nothing.

The Man-Provides-I-Support group let’s the man take responsibility for large bills like rent, fees, feeding etc while chipping in to provide extras and to tide the family over if the man runs into a rough spot.

What is your preferred model? Which has worked for you or your parents, siblings etc.? Please share below.

7 Things Great Literature Does

Literature, the first discipline known to man after all, what was the Spirit hovering over the water if not back story? And what was “Let there be light.” If not Act one, scene one?

So literature has always been part of being human. It has helped carry our stories from age to age. It has warned us, shaped us, comforted us and entertained us. Literature is us.

Consequently, we always searching for new ways to experience our reality, fantasies and ideas. Billions of dollars and aeons of time is spent making, publishing, reading and receiving literary inventions like books, poems, texts and blogposts.

We don’t want good work, we want great work. The problem is, no one seems to agree on what great work is. Thankfully, it is easier to agree on what great literature does.

Here, I am sharing some of the things great literature does.

1. Great literature makes a good read.

2. Great literature lends itself, is quotable.

3. Great literature lingers after the last word, is memorable.

4. Great literature stays relevant, is evergreen.

5. Great literature touches people.

6. Great literature inspires people to create.

7. Great literature says something important.

8. Great literature leaves readers better than it met them.

9. Great literature is re-read, again and again.

10. Great literature is shared, from one generation to another.

One reviewer of Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go said when you read the book, “you will know what great literature can do”. The jury might still be out on that, but if it does, that will be amazing.

What else does Great Literature do ? In your view?