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89: Why I Don’t ‘Celebrate’ Birthday

Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234
A few years back, I barely noticed the passing of my birthdays. A few years later, during my postsecondary school days, I began to get a lone reminder of the days: SMS from my bank. That is no longer the case. The day comes with a lot of buzz and fuss. A plethora of “Happy Birthday” messages trickle into my phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc inboxes and timelines. Some close friends call; others walk into my office to express their wishes and prayers. What a change! I am heartily grateful, ladies and gentlemen. But that was not my (our?) culture. It gradually becomes so due to the “sameness” effect of globalization, which conjoins cultures. Today, people go to the extent of writing “Happy birthday to myself” on the social media!
Celebrating birthday that way is rather a new culture, at least so I believe. It is a novel culture we are willingly adopting today; it was not imposed on us by anyone, lest you think that. Therefore, I don’t outright look do…
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(88): Kannywood Movie Review: Husna ko Huzna

Director:         Falalu A. Dorayi Producer:       Tahir I. Tahir Story:              M.M. Haruna Language:      Hausa Year:               2017 Company:      M.M. Haruna Film Production, Kano
Introduction The film, Husna ko Huzna, comes with quite a number of novelties. Notably, it was not hurriedly produced as were many films in Kannywood film industry. I can remember being told of its pre-production and production phases almost a year ago. The post production, too, took unconventional period before it’s finished. This is replete in the handling of the special effects (VFX) used in the film. The advertorial is yet another well-planned thing, for every now and then, listeners of different radio stations in Kano, and probably beyond, were informed about the film. The voiceover adds a freebie to the prospective viewers that the film was carefully subtitled in Standard English, unlike other films. Many viewers would not expect anything short of this as the executive producer cum screenwriter, M…

(87): Mumbai to Lagos; A Tale of Two Cities

Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234
Starting with an apology to the 19th-century great novelist, Charles Dickens, as the title of this piece was inspired by the title of his 1859’s historical novel; the contexts of the two texts cannot, however, be related. The article chronicles my short stays at Mumbai, India, and Lagos in Nigeria, while making a kind of comparison between the two, and then with my birthplace, Kano. This was motivated by the striking parallels I have discovered between the two cities. For instance, both are the commercial capitals of their country; both neighboured seas; both are like convergent points of different ethnic groups; both headquartered one of the world’s leading film industries; both are lands of opportunities; both are populated by the posh and the poor people; etc. This is a continuation of my Facebook status update while still in Lagos a couple of days ago.
In reaction to the said status update, some people said that I have not seen anything yet in Lagos. I thin…

(86): June 1st

Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234 As I have consecutively written in the past 3 years, astrologists would want me to believe that June 1st is my lucky day. I don’t and won’t concur as I don’t believe in that pseudoscience. Doubtless, for at least two life-shaping incidents that happened to me on the day in 2012 and 2013, I feel obliged to acknowledge its presence. Perhaps known to some readers of my writings, I was employed by the Bayero University, Kano on the day in 2012 and exactly a year after, in 2013, I and one Khadija were pronounced man and wife. I have since then appreciated living with this lady. All thanks are due to Allah, the Exalted, for His blessings and everything.
I think some of the points I wrote a couple of years ago on this day deserve repeating, for they are very topical and ever relevant. I wrote thus:
The secret of a happy family is nothing hidden. Quarreling is more or less unavoidable. That makes a boring life an interesting one. Don’t let it though escalate. Come t…

(85): Islam, Culture, Social Media and the Rest of Us

Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
Facebook, or any other social media, is no longer what it used to be: a mere, innocuous social networking site for friending, chatting, sharing pictures and the like. It is, today, a life shaping platform. This and a whole host of other reasons, therefore, call for parents, guardians and all to be (more) wary of how, and of course who, his/her children, wards, younger siblings, etc interact with. I will give three (3) examples.
First, the Internet, in general, is a harbour for amassed pornographic contents. Recently, the Indian government banned viewing of porn contents in their country. But due to pressure and protests, they had to lift the ban. These days, there are many pages for that on Facebook, chat groups on WhatsApp, etc. The kids can be smart but not really smarter. Devise your ways to curtail this via best possible means.
While the first danger could easily be detected, the second one is eerily, barely detectable. This is the rise of perverted…

(84): Emir Sanusi’s Diatribe and Question of Superior Opinion

Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
A famous line from Shakespeare’s celebrated Romeo and Juliet poses a question, thus: “What is in a name?” While Juliet believes that there’s nothing significant in a name, for Romeo will remain her heartthrob irrespective of his family’s name, affiliation matters in many other places such as Nigeria. The play, if adapted and set here, would (should) be different. There is so much meaning attached to names in the Nigerian socio-political context and discourse. Perhaps, that is why the former governor of the Nigerian apex bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) quickly changed his name to Muhammadu Sanusi II when he ascended to power as the emir of Kano in 2014.
Other possible reasons could be his effort to start life afresh, free of politics, and to maintain the tradition, and to revive the genealogy of his grandfather who was also an emir. The then SLS was well-known to be a very vocal, daring and assertive, public intellectual. Lo, the same old SLS keeps on …

(83): Yes Man (A Short Story)

Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234
Religion is one single thing many Nigerians of whatever dispensations take in high esteem. Religion is many a time, viewed as the opium for the subjugation of masses or as their Achilles’ heel. To Rahama, the story is different; religion means nothing to her. It is simply an identifier that she’s a Muslim lady. One might think having grown up in a multi-religious house would intuitively teach her to have the respect of some sort for religion, wrong. Her Imams and pastors do not use Qur’an or Bible.
A 28-year-old, stout Rahama Tsoho belongs to a disreputable family of three. Her father, an ex-service man, divorced their mother when she’s only two. She stays with the father, her sister with the mother. She had longed to marry since her teenage, but she couldn’t. She always attributes this to her look and family. So, she vows to live a better life in the future by hook or crook and begins to use highly effective and expensive bleaching creams to brighten her skin. …