Showing posts from April, 2023

(158): Small Things Matter: Lessons from Hadiza Bala Usman's "Stepping On Toes"

By Muhsin Ibrahim Due to some reasons, I have not yet finished reading Hadiza Bala Usman's Stepping on Toes : My Odyssey at the Nigerian Ports Authority . However, as I read through, it felt like I wrote parts of the book. While she acknowledges that she is human and bound to err, the internal reforms she brought to the Nigeria n Port s Authority (NPA) are outstanding. What I love the most is how she paid attention to things we in Nigeria consider minor, such as the working condition of electric appliances, toilets, the ambience of the workplace, punctuality, etc. I will mention just three case scenarios. First, she learned that "the air-conditioning system was faulty, and [they] suggested installing a standing split unit in my office, but I refused" (p. 37). She insisted that the whole system has to work, kicking against "the mentality of insulating chief executives from the general situation in a working environment [in Nigeria]. (ibid.)" Excellent! Second,

(157): Malam Jamilu Salim: A Short Tribute to a Fatherly Administrator

By Muhsin Ibrahim Part One It was 2005 when I applied for admission into Bayero University, Kano (BUK).  In Nigeria, getting admission without knowing someone at the university is pretty hard . My late father was working there as an accountant, but remembering how my immediate older brother couldn’t secure admission a year before despite our father’s efforts, I did not bother to ask for his help. Our eldest brother (Yaya Babba), now late, was nonetheless a student. Knowing he was not an ‘ordinary’ student due to his age, I approached him for assistance. I was lucky Yaya Babba knew Malam Jamilu Ahmad Salim. I cannot say what his position at the University was then, but he could help, Yaya Babba assured me. My only fear was my SSCE result, which was neither WAEC nor NECO, the two conventional entry exams. I had NABTEB and was applying to the Faculty of Education. But on the other hand, my UTME/JAMB result was excellent. Yaya Babba met Malam Jamilu during a Hajj pilgrimage the pre

(156): Underreported: Toxic Bosses and Colleagues Cause 'japa' in Nigeria

By Muhsin Ibrahim It's only human to prioritise your interests. However, as per my interactions with many fellow Diasporans, many would rather stay and work in Nigeria than in our current host countries. In other words, we want to sacrifice our comfort for the fatherland. In fact, if given a chance, many of us would remain in Nigeria with half of the welfare we get here because, at least, we have more loving family and friends there than we can ever find overseas. People leave Nigeria not only because of the systemic failure the country is known for. We are resilient people who make do with many problems and fewer resources. For example, despite our infamous "infrastructural deficit", our entertainment industry is excelling. This is only one example of our success stories under an adverse atmosphere. Many folks run away from Nigeria because of toxic bosses, colleagues, or both. We complain about "seniority" and "jealousy" at secondary schools, but wors

(155): Actors Beyond the Screen: A Tale of Two Film Industries

  Actors Beyond the Screen: A Tale of Two Film Industries By Muhsin Ibrahim Many people find it difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality. Therefore, they mistakenly assume an actor's role is their actual behaviour outside the fictional world of a particular film. Some also think their beauty on camera is the same as off the camera - and hold several other presumptions. I saw posts where (Hausa) ladies declared their love for Korean film actors and K-pop stars. But, unknown to them, those actors don't only have heavy makeup, but some also have had plastic surgeries to enhance their looks. South Koreans are obsessed with their looks and go to any length to look exceptionally gorgeous. However, beyond the look, fame and fortune, many (of these) celebrities go through a lot in their lives. One of them, Moonbin, 25, died in an apparent suicide scenario last night. BBC reports that South Korea has the highest rate of suicide among developed countries. Most of the

(154): Hadiza Gabon, Rakiya Moussa and the rest of us

By Muhsin Ibrahim Hadiza Gabon is in the spotlight today. I find most of the criticisms of this Gabon's Room Talk Show amusing for three reasons. Just that you know, Rakiya Moussa, as a guest, emotionally shed tears when talking about her unrequited love experience. Some 'critics' blamed the presenter, Hadiza, for that. 1. Some of these critics don't know better about journalism ethics than Hadiza because they aren't journalists and have little or nothing to do with the profession. We just love bashing Kannywood people. They don't know how to do anything! 2. Talk shows like that don't have cut-and-dried rules. Gabon is a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres and her popular show. You don't have to be a journalist to host a programme like this. It's almost the same pattern globally. 3. The Internet has radically de-regularised journalism and changed entertainment industries and cultural production. Thus, even if there were rules guiding talk shows like