That Movie Industry

I remember those cheesy lines, the horrible make up and mannerisms that were pushed in your face. Some low budget director, script writer thought he would make headlines after cooking up some fable and releasing a movie in weeks or months (at most). Then, after watching a movie where the script and scenes blew your mind and got you thinking afterwards, there were some others that were really low budget, they made you kiss your teeth with regret after watching. They lacked innovation, creativity and infact the family of good words that would have made a movie worth watching. Most had headlines that made you go “How uncreative can people get”?. It was Nollywood (Nigeria’s movie industry).

But I’m happy to tell you that those sad, horrible, despicable days are over (or almost over)!

Enter The Figurine:

The Figurine
The Figurine is a 2009 Nigerian thriller film written by Kemi Adesoye and produced & directed by Kunle Afolayan who also stars in the film as one of the main protagonists. The film received 10 nominations and won 5 awards at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2010, including the awards for Best Picture, Heart of Africa, AMAA Achievement in cinematography and AMAA Achievement in Visual Effect.

(Perhaps I’ll do a full movie review of The Figurine but until then, please manage this ‘trailer’):

While serving at a National Youth Service Corps camp, two friends find a mystical sculpture in an abandoned shrine in the forest, and one of them decides to take the artwork home. Unknown to them, the sculpture is from the Yoruba goddess Araromire which bestows seven years of good luck on anyone who encounters it, and after the seven years have expired, seven years of bad luck follow. The lives of the two friends begin to change for good, as they become successful and wealthy businessmen.
However, after seven years things start to change southwards. Ramsey Nouah, Omoni Oboli, Jide Kosoko and Kunle Afolayan among others acted in the movie. It had a budget of 50M (Yes 50!).

Even though they’ve not broken into the action genre, I’ll say that their thrillers, dramas and romance have improved in leaps and bounds. And let’s assume I’m being bias, I guess the awards they’ve garnered makes me think I just might be right.

Others like Ije, Mirror BoyTango with Me, Hoodrush, Last Flight to Abuja  and ofcourse the Jenifa franchise revive that voice that says they can get it right.

As a result  I’ve officially dropped out from the “Nollywood is crap” school and applied into the “Nollywood has a great future” international school. (hopefully I’ll get admitted).

SCENES FROM HOOD RUSH (LEFT) AND MARRIED BUT LIVING SINGLE BELOW(RIGHT)

Hood Rush

Married-But-Living-Single

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course there are still some horrible movies but then again inspite of movies like Avatar, Inception, Batman, etc you’ll agree with me that they are some American movies that do a terrible job at entertaining you.

Again, maybe I’m totally wrong about Nollywood. What do you think?

Still Tongue Swift Hands

Still tongue swift hands needs no elaborate explanation. Still in this context means quiet, subdued or gentle. Hand doesn’t imply the ‘extensions’ attached to your shoulders but action. Having said that, allow me to analyze all humans in terms of tongue and hand; the rate at which we use them.

First on the list are people who speak too little and do so little. Well it is safe to say that they move according to the speed of their tongues.  They go round in circles achieving nothing. They are at the bottom of the chain ofcourse. Very little can be said about them because they are the unknowns.

Next on the list are People who speak so much and do so little. These men are mirrored in the lives of corrupt politicians. They make false and unrealistic promises to get into the seat and do nothing as soon as their desires are accomplished. Another example perhaps the one we’re more familiar with are those who talk endlessly about things they want to do but never get their hands dirty for countless reasons. They are the mediocre major. They do just enough to get by.  Sad truth is that a lot of us fall in this category.

Getting high up the chain, we have people who speak a lot and do just as much. They are high achievers and live according to their words most of the time. But as you know there’ll be occasional slip-ups here and there BUT in general they come out tops. Some great leaders fly in this category.

There is another group of individuals and they truly fascinate me from my depths perhaps they would you too.

They are those who speak so little and yet do so much. They are men whose lives we look at with awe. They are god-like seeming to NEVER make mistakes but they do, they ALL do. They are mentors to countless and are loathed by those who deem them invisible.

Miles of words wouldn’t fully describe what makes them tick. Some are dead while others still breathe.  Their every word held to heart like the croc to its prey.

Very calculative individuals by nature, they run the simulation of the outcome of their words so that when they speak eventually, people are stunned.

I don’t think where you are now on this chain is really important. What is important is where you want to be in the future.

Because when a man truly wants something, he goes out and eventually gets it.

Anecdote- The path

While walking through a path that was made amidst grass, I began to wonder how it was made. I realized that someone must have started it by walking in on the grass passing through the rough terrain and enduring the risk of being beaten by an insect or reptile. And gradually after walking over and over on that path, it became visible and someone else followed and before long, everyone was doing it.

It reminded me of my secondary school days (the early 90s :D), every Sunday we would have Fried rice and Chicken; a delicious menu. There were 10 people on each dining table and it was arranged in such a way that I got to sit with my mates only. For some reason (I can’t really remember), I decided to use the duo of a knife and fork and it stuck; I liked it.. My choice was odd considering almost everyone ate with a spoon or at most a fork. It wasn’t a surprise that pretty soon they came hard on me saying all kind of things to get me to stop but I chose not to (perhaps to prove a point). To cut the rather boring story short, at the end of the semester term, almost everyone on the table was eating with a fork and knife. And those who didn’t/couldn’t ? felt uncomfortable.

Its simple, If you create a path and walk diligently in it long enough, you will soon discover that those who criticized you will follow. It doesn’t matter if what you believe in isn’t popular or the usual thing to do. If you will hold on to what you believe without wavering, you will influence your circle and ultimately the world. The icing on the cake being that you’ll be able to look back, smirk smile and say “No Regrets”.

I seek

I seek to know all because He is all-knowing
I seek to have all because He owns all-having
I seek to forgive all because He is all-forgiving
I seek to give all because He is all-giving
I seek to be merciful because He is all-merciful
I seek to touch lives because He is life-changing
I seek to give joy to all because He is joy-giving
I seek to do His will because He is the best at planning
I seek to trust in Him always because He is trust worth having
I seek to love Him because His love for me is everlasting
I seek to rise above all because He rose above all.
I seek to give Him glory with every breadth and step I make because He is deserves all
I seek to talk about Him because knowing Him is the best thing you can ever desire
Of all, I seek his kingdom above all things because He is preparing a place just for ME to acquire
One question though, just what do you seek and why?

Anecdote-Mop

While in school, the toilet in my room was in a deplorable state. Water leaked intermittently into the room and usually soaked the wardrobe that was close to it. It usually took me about 10 minutes to properly dry up the havoc caused. But the long lasting effect it had on the wardrobe could not be dried; It weakened even more at every flooding. And I had to clean it up as was the routine. I picked up the mop to start ‘work’ as usual but the situation was a little different because I was looking forward to finishing it in a shorter time than usual. Now usually, I started mopping the water that had spilled into the room, but I decided to take a different approach; I mopped from inside the toilet as against the norm of starting with the room with my feet getting wet as a result. It was not a very wise idea because as I mopped, the water spread further into the room and soaked the wardrobe even more than the previous occasions. At first it was as if I was wasting precious time but few minutes after, it was as if something magical had happened because the water dramatically. I finished shortly after. I traced the water leakage only to realize that it was a rather small opening. It got fixed that week in less than 5 minutes!
As I laid on my bed to rest after the hardwork #:-s, I mused over 3 lessons I had just assimilated. If you must get a different result then you must be ready to use a different approach. If you tolerate it, chances are you’ll never be able to change it. Little problems if left unvisited could spiral out of control.
Every problem you deal with has to be dealt with from the root. However stupid the idea may seem, it just must be done. Many of us will rather deal with the fruits of the problem rather than the roots (patching it up) because it seems like the logical thing to do. Oh how wrong we are! You can only patch for so long, pretty soon you’ll be unable to keep up with the show.

Take trash… Yels!

Absurd isn’t it?  Why should I take trash from people? Some are absolutely worthless and trust me if they give me trash, I won’t even take it. I’ll give them in multiple folds.

I want you to do something else, take the trash as it is. But why should I?

Every “trash” has good stuff in it. You don’t believe? Ask those who make a good living from recycling. Now that’s just physical trash you may say. Talk more of human beings who have brain sizes that are larger than computers.

But beyond that, I’m saying take trash because everyone has something to offer. Yes everyone!  At least if they don’t teach you what to do, they’ll teach you what NOT to do.

And just in-case you still don’t want to, remember that there’s someone who believes that there’s gold in you despite your million short comings and slip ups. He is God.

“Well that’s God’s business, I’m not him”. Remember He said “As you treat others, so would you be treated” (paraphrased).

*Take this with a pinch of salt.

Anecdote-Guitarist

I remember that Sabbath day when a guitarist desired to do a song in church. He came up stage and as with most people; he needed the keyboardist and all the equipment as well. And just as he was about to begin, the electricity went off. Normally after a few seconds, it was supposed to be restored but that didn’t happen. Apparently, a fault had developed and as a result the electrical equipment would be unavailable. Any normal person would have felt discouraged but not this guy (or that was what he exuded). He decided to go on anyway, risking the probability that his performance would have been lackluster; a comic event with everyone laughing intermittently.

He went on nevertheless, the picking and strumming began. It was rough, and even though he was inaudible, he still continued.  Gradually it got better, his audibility improved and pretty soon the congregation was singing with him. And then it happened; electricity was restored. And there was a new lease of life into the song almost instantly. The applause was deafening when he eventually ended.

In life, not all things we plan for comes out exactly as planned (Most things don’t). We shouldn’t give up on our goals and dreams simply because we are disadvantaged at a particular area.  There is hardly ever the perfect time to start anything. Sometimes God acts as a spectator. He stands and expects us to start something. Only when you start defying the odds will he put His hand to it and we all know what happens when He does.

*PS – I found out later that he had a very high GPA. I chuckled and said to myself “No wonder”.

Impressing People

They have two eyes, 2 legs, 1 head and a nose. They have challenges just like I do. They get scared; gosh they even dread some things. They make mistakes, some have made more mistakes than I can imagine just like I have. They’ve made wrong decisions like I have. They have things they’re craving earnestly just like I am. Aspirations like I have. They worry as I sometimes do. They feel pain, hurt, joy and love just like I do. They fail people just like I have, they’ve disappointed time and time again like I also have. Some of them not intentionally its only because they’re humans. So why was I trying to impress them again? I can’t even remember because as far as I’m concerned, they’re just like me. I’m done trying to impress anyone!

I’d rather impress the one who has no fears, no worries, no pain, and no hurt. Who can do what he wants, get what he wants, who is larger than life itself. He has no lack and gives me what I want, puts a smile on my face. He guides me every day, protects me from endless dangers. Picks me up when I fall. He knows what’s best for me. Even when I mess up, he still forgives me. He’s not tired of listening to me. My ever present help in times of desperation. To Him I owe my life. To him I owe all. He has never failed me and never will because He is God!

Atobajaìye, Âsoromatase, oba to joba lo, Arabaribiti Aribirabata, Lion of the tribe of Judah(dunno how to spell it in Yoruba), Agbanilagbatan, Lily of the Valley, Consuming Fire.

Now your turn, who would you rather impress?

The Power of One

When I think of the power of one, several things come to mind; some of which are proverbs like; A tree does not make a forest. A drop of water cannot make an ocean. The importance of togetherness is emphasized daily. “You cannot do it alone” is drummed into our ears every day. Everyday we’re made to believe that we’re too small. We’re made to believe that we’re just one person in over 6 billion people and our efforts cannot amount to much.

I have another theory because when I look at the likes of Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Socrates, Steve Jobs, Chimamanda Adichie, Barack Obama, and the several others that grace the news incessantly, I see something else, I see the power of ONE. I realize that there is so much power that lies within if only you tap into it. There is sooooooo much power that lies within you!

Those proverbs stated above are facts that cannot be denied and even I cannot deny the power of teamwork. However, I know that the power of one is paramount because 100 dumb heads are not better than Gates. Instead of cowering behind “teamwork”, let us seek to improve our strengths, do what we can where we can and in whatever way we can. After which we can be part of teams that will undoubtedly shape the world.

So next time you see that beggar on your street, don’t restrain from giving him simply because there are so many beggars that you can’t satisfy or reach out to.

Next time you think that picking the litter on the floor would make no difference because you’re just one person or because the next second someone would drop another, think again.

Next time you see someone hungry; give him something even if you consider it not much.

Next time you see that child you can give good advice and mentor, don’t look the other way, You could influence the next world shaker.

Next time you think of that great idea and lose hope because of resources and so many other things you don’t have, know that most great ideas started with one person who never gave up.

Next time you see something and think “oh I can’t do anything”, Think again because about everything and I mean everything, you have the power to influence if you choose to.

Next time you are faced with a million problems around you; don’t hold your hand from solving one of them simply because there are 999,999 unsolved left. Think, Think of the Power of One.

** What you do is not little, only little people think what they do is little.

An Offer You Just Can’t Refuse

How creative is your imagination? Let’s do a test run…

***

Imagine a philanthropist, not the one you’re accustomed to.  Forbes decided to take out his name from the world’s wealthiest because they do not have the resources to calculate his total worth. The amount of resources he controls and owns is inhuman. NASA has designed the new state-of-the-art equipment for his next summer on the moon (they’ve been doing that yearly for 12 years now). At one point when he said he was tired of earth, he bought half of the land mass of Mars (I wonder who he paid the money to).

The World Bank is pleading for more time on the loan they got from him. Truth is they have no means whatsoever of repaying him. IMF did better in this regard; they proposed a 200 year plan of repaying. He has declined offers to rule in over 300 countries (world leading economies I might add). The trio of Harvard, Yale and MIT have tried to get him to speak for a 3 minute lecture for the past 8 years but have failed so far.

The other time he said he didn’t like Nike, Gucci, and Armani; they almost shut down losing billions in revenue. 6 Facebook servers had to shut down for 27 days due to the amount of traffic his page generated 12 minutes after creating his account. They pleaded he close it after which they lost 300 million users.

Ferrari and Toyota have stopped producing cars for the masses and they are now the highest grossing automobile makers in the world. The reason is because they’re producing cars for him.

Just a year after coming into the health scene, the world doesn’t suffer from hunger anymore. He has made health care free for 2 continents, 2 continents now run on clean source of energy. Some believe he creates his own money, others think he is a devil amassing so much wealth from unknown places. Others believe he is the antichrist. But one thing is certain; he is the philanthropist’s (to the power of infinity) philanthropist. Beside him, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are very stingy people.

Now due to a string of very bizarre events I can’t even begin to describe, he meets you and develops a soft spot for you after the conversation. You become friends and he decides he would like to meet people like you. He is willing to give £10 million to anyone you introduce to him and £100 million to you for your effort. What would you do?

Would you go a day without telling someone about his philanthropy? Would you keep this offer from your friends and those you care about? We’ll even tell our enemies for sure. I bet that for some of us (including me) after exhausting all the friends and enemies we’ve got will go to the streets and pick total strangers and introduce them so we can get more.

***

Likewise God is telling you to evangelize (Matt 28:19) and also, He’s promising everybody you bring to him things money can and cannot even buy.  The tip of the iceberg for them is heaven provided they stay on the right track. You on the other hand get to go to heaven (where the streets are paved with gold among other things), a mansion, a crown(s), reunion with some family and friends and so much more.

Come to think of it, it’s a win-win situation.

Now I just told you about him, what are you waiting for?