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DEBUNKING THE MYTHS ABOUT OMOYELE SOWORE

 

DEBUNKING THE MYTHS ABOUT OMOYELE SOWORE

 

I write this piece to correct some popular fallacies about Omoyele Sowore. For some of you that may not know him, Sowore is a presidential aspirant who ran for the AAC political party in the recently concluded 2019 Nigerian General Elections. Many of you know that I have always held a neutral stance on Nigerian politics due to its particularly messy nature, but Sowore’s campaign stood out enough to gain my attention and support, mainly due to his Personal History, his utter fearlessness at speaking the truth, his wildly ambitious ideas and the fact that his campaign was completely crowdfunded – a feat unheard of in Nigerian politics.

As evidenced by the election results, many Nigerians did not share my enthusiasm, however the point of this post is not to win you over or castigate your decisions (or indecisions), but rather to correct some erroneous notions being peddled about the candidate. As is custom with politics, smear campaigns usually trail the character of every popular candidate pre and post-election. Announcing candidature for such a prestigious public office as the presidency will most likely get you attacked by rivals and the insecure. Especially in the context of the social media age, where people spread fantastic and unlikely stories online for clout and monetary gain. The point of this post is to sieve through all the propaganda and present the facts about Sowore. This write-up is for the inquisitive and those getting acquainted with the Nigerian political landscape.

First off, I would like to say that most of the criticism I have heard about Sowore has seemed purely subjective. When asked, people tend to cite his proud manner, saying it borders on arrogance rather than confidence, or his aggressiveness during arguments. Sometimes it’s his hairstyle or conservative style of clothing which are all products of his Personal Beliefs or previous histories of oppression by the military for his activism, which tend to change a person’s outlook on life. Secondly, I am quite aware that I could be wrong in my assumptions as it does require a certain hunger for power to aspire for the presidency anyway. I will try to be as objective as possible.

 

1. SOWORE IS A WEED SMOKER

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I had to start with the most entertaining of the presumptions. Funny as this sounds, the allegation that Sowore smokes weed (Cannabis/Marijuana) trailed his campaign the most; especially among the youths. Some claimed that he was so enamoured with the drug that his sole purpose for contesting was to get it legalized. Even though he had personally denied the claims on numerous interviews.

The major reasons for this allegation against him were twofold:
First, Sowore had envisioned the rising demand for Marijuana especially considering its recent legalization in developed countries such as Canada and parts of the USA. Therefore, he included sales of the controversial drug for foreign exchange as part of his campaign promises. Unfortunately for him, the morality of his ambitions became questionable to Nigeria’s highly religious and suspicious citizens. Although currently, the exportation of Marijuana is being considered by the Ondo state government Exportation of the drug has however been accepted by countries like Uganda and promises high revenue streams for the nation.

Secondly, Sowore has always been vocal about his respect for Nigerian Afrobeat Legend, Fela Kuti. Fela was known for his revolutionary music that addressed themes of political oppression, military suppression and cultural identity in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Fela was also an ardent and outspoken weed smoker, a fact which many Nigerians felt was Sowore’s main regard for the late superstar. It should be said that Fela’s sons, Femi and Seun Kuti, openly endorsed Sowore as their candidate for the 2019 elections.

 

2. AMAECHI USED THE AAC TO CAUSE HAVOC IN THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS

One of the more character damaging accusations, Sowore has been accused by the public of conniving with Former Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi to disrupt activities during the just concluded elections. The story goes that Amaechi wanted control of the state over his rival, now Gov. Nyesom Wike, but since his party, the APC, was not eligible for the elections, he enlisted the AAC Governorship candidate as his protégé and directed military powers to the state to ensure victory.

Not only is there the lack of evidence to corroborate this story, both Sowore and the AAC released statements denouncing any alliance with the APC once Amaechi declared his support for their candidate. These announcements went wholly ignored however, and the narrative continued. I also found it particularly concerning that Sowore and his party bore the brunt of the blame for the Violence that occurred, but Amaechi and the APC who were presumed to have orchestrated these acts are not questioned. Why blame Sowore and not the actual causes?

I have a theory that Nigerians have grown wary of trusting politicians, due to being failed so much in the past, that they are constantly on the lookout for signs of disappointment. It was a recurrent theme during the elections to hear quotes like “The Devil you know is better than the Angel you don’t know.” Or “We don’t need a saint to rule us.” Or “Anybody can talk big and get away with it, just look at Oshiomole.” Secondly, I imagine people felt safer attacking Sowore for their problems because there would be no fear of reprisal. He seemed the best conduit to channel frustrations to, given his controversial stances and lack of military might.

 

3. THE THIRD FORCE SAGA

Very often the question is brought up, “Why won’t Sowore join hands with other young candidates?” and yet he is also touted as a “Third Force Candidate”. Well, there is a reason for both. First of all, Sowore long denied being a part of the Third Force. And on the subject of Coalitions, he never joined one either.

The story of the PACT (Presidential Aspirants Coming Together) coalition gives some insight into the type of character that Sowore is. Stubborn, no doubt, but principled. It goes that deliberations were made for the younger candidates to join forces to be able to compete against the political giants that are the PDP and APC. Of the candidates being considered were presidential aspirants Sowore, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu. At the coalition meeting, Sowore suggested that each candidate campaigned with their individual parties first, to gauge their strengths. His idea was shot down, as the others wanted a consensus candidate immediately. Sowore then announced his unwillingness to participate, saying that a straw poll was not strong enough to determine the ideal presidential candidate. Fela Durotoye was then elected over Kingsley Moghalu as the consensus candidate in a process refereed by Oby Ezekwesili. Unfortunately, this decision did not hold very long, as evidenced by the fact that Fela Durotoye, Kingsley Moghalu AND Oby Ezekwesili all ran for the Presidential elections. The aftermath of this was that Mrs Ezekwesili’s party declared for the APC for some reason, while both Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu announced their withdrawal from partisan politics following their respective losses.
Sowore has always held strong that his reason for participation in politics are purely ideological and he would not dilute the message he is trying to convey by joining coalitions, even though it may result in election losses.

 

4. SOWORE DID NOT DO A PROPER CAMPAIGN + STOLE ELECTION MONEY

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Nigerian elections post-military rule have been characterized by big money spending and budgets running into billions of Nigeria. So, when Omoyele Sowore decided to run for President with a budget of about 150 million Naira, wholly crowdfunded and with support from friends, under his own registered political party, it was alleged that his ambitions bordered on cajoling the Nigerian public.

So, when Sowore boldly announced in early 2019 that he had conducted campaigns in 34 states across the Federation, many Nigerians scoffed at him and with good reason too. With such a meager budget (as opposed to his competition), Sowore’s physical campaigns were limited to Town Hall meetings and street rallies, a huge contrast to the large stadium gatherings that characterized the APC and PDP campaigns. Where Sowore felt he must have put in the most work in answering his critics and settling public queries, he just did not have enough reach as the major opponents. He chose to focus on quality, rather than quantity. His rallies were not displayed on popular media and Television either, as he did not hold much sway there, but evidence of his campaign travels is littered on Social Media, especially Facebook and Youtube.

Sowore however, did argue that of all the Presidential Candidates, he campaigned the most. He made multiple appearances on AIT, Channels TV, Arise TV, TVC, Wazobia TV, even venturing to the BBC and BBC Pidgin. His interview with the NTA was marred by Technical difficulties which elicited cries of ‘sabotage’ from his fanbase. He was excluded from the popular BON/Channels debate although he was voted third in the polls to make an appearance. He gave talks on multiple radio stations as well. Sowore was also the only candidate to give a breakdown of his campaign finances and spending to the public for scrutiny. He made it an almost daily habit to announce the identities of his donors on Facebook and Youtube in the months leading to the elections.

 

5. SAHARA REPORTERS IS A PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Sowore’s publishing firm has always been a hotbed of controversy in Nigeria, first for the fact that it is based in America, it was seen to have some foreign influence. It was also alleged that his media machine was used in the outing of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. Also, its brand of Citizen-Based Journalism has been deemed as dictatorial, with many claims about politicians that have been vehemently denied, but hardly disproven.

Sowore has denied being influenced by foreign agents in running his publishing house. Because the paper holds nothing back when giving its reports, it has been deemed anarchist in its operations, even though many of its stories are backed with evidence. The media house is largely seen as an extension of the man himself, rather than an independent business. As a result, many of the paper’s claims have gone uninvestigated, except when “politically expedient” as Sowore claims. The most recent citation is the accusation of the Former Chief Justice of Nigeria of corruption, a claim Sahara Reporters made months earlier.

 

Hopefully, I have done some justice to clearing some Misinformation about the candidate that is Omoyele Sowore. If you have any other allegations you feel I may have missed, or claims I made that you feel are wrong, please feel free to address them in the Comments Section below.

 

PS. My name is OB Keeng. I’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

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LET US LEGALISE CORRUPTION

Let Us Legalise Corruption

 

Much ado about corruption. Stopping it was almost the entire manifesto of our current president. It has a broad definition which is pretty much the opposite of integrity. In our country it means when a government official embezzles cash or makes decisions that favour them personally and disfavour the nation.

But is corruption really that bad tho? In my discussions with friends, acquaintances and random strangers I have discovered that some people believe corruption helps drive the economy. Some say it helps keep the money in circulation. We like to cite the prosperity of the United States of America as an example of why corruption isn’t that bad. Some people say hey fuck it, we’re corrupt, let’s own it. When a family member is in public office and they don’t enrich themselves they are seen as fools. When a family member is in office and they don’t use the opportunity to employ their family members they’re seen as evil. Even the comedian Basketmouth stated the best model of leadership to be that of “You chop, I chop.”

In this post, I am going to try to give reasons why corruption is bad for the economy. I am going to speak in layman terms too, because one, I’m not an economist by profession, two, I love telling stories and giving analogies and three, I look forward to a lot of outrage in my comments section. Okay, here we go.

As I mentioned in an older post, Nigerians have a warped view of money. The paper ‘Money’ as we know it is really a store of value; it is not valuable in itself. It has to be managed too, that is why the Central Bank can’t just decide to flood the country with naira notes. If they do, there will be inflation. If they don’t supply enough notes, there will also be inflation. There is already inflation. Many people are not aware that it costs us to mint said notes. Which is why it should be an offence to deface naira notes; and why it was distasteful the way we rejected coins, which last longer and are much more cost effective.

The world is global now, and countries interact with themselves like people these days. Ignorance can’t be afforded now because it costs us. Strong economies are built on their volume of trade and income streams. What determines the value of your currency is basically a question of “how useful is your money?” The richest countries in the world are those that provide the most value.

For example, the USA which we try so much to emulate, has so many income streams from so many different parts of the world. Their entertainment sector alone sees a lot of viewers and customers from foreign nations. While the ‘Black Panther’ movie had us making Wakanda signs and adorning native dresses, the producers made $1.4 billion globally from a budget of $200 million. This is just one example from one sector. Hell the website I’m using right now is an American creation. You’re boosting their economy right now just by reading this. The USA has many other products which are exported to our country for cash and other resources. That’s value.

Countries like Saudi Arabia provide value by having a massive store of oil reserves which they provide to other countries. India is making leaps in Medicine and industrialization. China is a country that has seemed to master the Industrialisation complex and is a technology world giant. They provide value by sending us pretty much all the electronics we use.

So the real question becomes what value does Nigeria provide to the outside world?

A knee jerk response would be “hey! crude oil” as even the government has complained that we are operating a mono economy. But that’s where the corruption comes in. Nigeria does not refine her own crude. So what we have now is this weird arrangement where crude oil is exported, refined, then re-imported to us for a fee, costing us employment opportunities, development of our industries and many other big words I’m too pissed to mention right now. As a kid, I read how crude oil is distilled in secondary school chemistry textbooks, but at some point in our history, it became less of a priority for us, I guess.

There are a lot of national advancements I heard of as a kid that seem like folk tales now. I heard Nigeria milled steel at some point in Ajaokuta, I heard $1 was equal to 1 naira in ancient times, I heard the Nigerian football team was once 5th in the FIFA rankings, I heard coal was once mined in Enugu, I heard of a rich culture and tradition, I heard we once used coins as legal tender and they were called kobo, I heard that fuel once sold for 5 naira to a litre, but I can barely remember what a 5 naira note looks like anyways. Nigeria is just 58 years old, but it all seems to have happened so long ago.

Now, we have developed a culture of consumerism to the point that we import what we can easily produce. One reason is we were too late to hop on the technology train. The second is corruption. Our best and brightest brains are exported to foreign countries where their talents are better appreciated, while we wallow in mediocrity. It is because of corruption that the best football players may never see the green of a national team jersey, that is if the funds for the jerseys have not been diverted to private pockets. It is still because of corruption that a Nigerian tailoring company may never be considered to manufacture said jerseys…

Our last Olympic football team was sponsored almost in its entirety by the generous Nigerian soccer legend, John Mikel Obi. Despite the Nigerian team arriving the country 2 hours to the start of their tournament, the nation went on to win bronze. One world cup tournament later, Mikel’s parents were kidnapped and held for ransom during the world’s premiere footballing tournament. Mikel was forced to keep a straight face and play like nothing was wrong while he was dying inside.

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In a corrupt system, the value of money gradually becomes useless. That is evident and we are the evidence. It becomes a game of who can cheat the other the most, and all products and services are watered down to their barest element and drained of quality. Transactions are carried out without trust, which means less reliance on trade, which means less transactions. We have heard many cases of corrupt individuals diverting money overseas, or even digging giant pits in their own homes to store money. This drives currency out of circulation and kills its value, because it’s not in use. It would be much better if it was reinvested in the country, but then the environment isn’t too safe for investment is it? due to, again, corruption. It has even reached a point where borrowed money cannot be accounted for, driving the nation further into debt.

I have no doubt that the Nigerian story will be one for the history books. It reads like a biblical tale of woe. Like a manual of 101 things to avoid when starting your nation. One of the many reminders of the cruelty of humanity. I do hope we get it right one day. Till then, I remain focused on survival and enlightenment.

 

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

THE BATMAN – JOKER RELATIONSHIP

The Batman – Joker relationship…

 

This post is an attempt to breakdown the mindsets of two of the most exciting, most intense, most ridiculously dressed antagonists in the history of modern cinema: The Batman and the Joker. These two have been popular a long time, and ever since The Dark Knight their fame has skyrocketed to nuclear status, yet their relationship remains as complex as ever.

As I type this, filming is underway on the latest Batman inspired movie and it features Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. I’m really excited to see his rendition of the madman. He’s such a seasoned actor who has played crazy in many movies before (Gladiator anyone?) so he has the experience.

Now I understand that a lot of people are very invested in these characters, so I want to state early that this is a personal interpretation. Also, some of the events I describe may not be “canon” to you, as there are hundreds of reading material on the Batman, some contradicting each other. Let’s just have some fun with the fact that these are fictional characters. Basically, this entire paragraph is an attempt to ward off attacks from “DC fanboys” 😊 OK let’s do this.

 

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Just taking a selfie with my bestie

 

To many people, the Batman is your basic superhero story where the good guy faces the bad guys and comes out on top; albeit with a darker Instagram filter. But what makes Batman so unique is that behind this beloved tale is a very harrowing treatise on human psychology. Almost every character in the franchise is a victim of a very troubled past and it shows…

 

The Batman

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People love the Batman for many reasons. He fights injustice at great personal risk to himself and little to no reward. He is a relatable orphan boy who is trying to make the best of his life and situation. He is so good at what he does that his enemies revere him and actual superpowered beings fear him. He has so much personal discipline that he can stand toe to toe with superhumans, aliens, gods, demons, clowns and still come out on top. In some story arcs, even Wonderwoman falls in love with him, yet he refuses her advances, maybe because a simple hug from her could paralyse him? Nope, just personal discipline.

He is founder and leader of the Justice League. He is rich as fukkkkkk and gets to use a variety of cool gadgets. He appeals to people of all ages so he’s a marketer’s dream. So it can be funny to think that behind all of this is a scared little boy who believes that by fighting criminals, he is avenging the death of his parents.

Batman’s origin story has been treated to exhaustion, but it is very important to his character. As a young boy at age 10 Bruce Wayne and his parents were leaving a theatre when his parents were shot and killed before his very eyes by an unknown robber (I’ll tell you his name, just Chill). Little did that robber know that he had just given rise to the greatest menace that his kind would ever have to face: the Batman.

As a child, Bruce Wayne was very prone to fears and anxieties. It is known that he harboured a fear for bats which carried well into his adulthood, inspiring his Batman persona. As the Batman, he tries to impose his childhood fears on the criminals he faces in Gotham city. He seeks to inspire in them the very same fears he felt as a young boy as punishment for taking his parents from him. He does this by trying to be the biggest, scariest bat of them all.

Another widely known principle of the Batman is that he does not kill (in cold blood). As noble as this must seem for such a relentless vigilante, the reason is far more basic than moral. Killing would be a cruel reminder of the trauma he felt when watching his parents die, so he can’t bring himself to do it. I believe that by killing he would be doing unspeakable harm to his parents’ memories which would further his descent into madness.

Batman is just as crazy, if not crazier than the villains he faces. The major reason he is able to retain some semblance of sanity is due to the influence of his butler, Alfred. Alfred Pennyworth was entrusted with the care of Bruce from the moment his parents died and he took up the position wholeheartedly. As a result, Bruce retained a strong father figure in Alfred.

As you may have noticed, many of Batman’s mannerisms mirror those of Alfred himself: his cold dry wit is Batman’s preferred source of humour. His ability to slink from room to room unnoticed; his quiet nature, all mirrored by the caped crusader. For all of Alfred’s complaints that Bruce Wayne chooses to remain single, he never noticed that it may be as a result of his personal influence, being a single man himself and choosing to remain one since Bruce was placed in his care.

 

 

The Joker ;D

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Dangerous and philosophical in his crazy, the Joker is the undisputed bastion of evil in the Batman universe. Few would forget Heath Ledger’s award-winning rendition of the Joker prior to his untimely death. The Joker’s MO is to revel in destruction.

His origin stories are vague and left to interpretation. One widely accepted theory is that he was a failed comedian who opted for a life of crime and ended up losing his pregnant wife and getting horribly disfigured in the process. Some even posit that there are multiple Jokers. But whatever incarnation of the Joker you may choose to accept, it is clear that they have one thing in common – a terrible past.

Whenever the Joker tries to make mention of his past, whether real or imagined it is always negative, so even as much as he tries to forget, the traumatizing nature of it will always set in. He is a character that has chosen to mask his pain in laughter, be it physical or emotional pain. He laughs when he is in a dangerous situation that he can’t escape, he laughs when being physically beaten, he even seems to take joy in the suffering of others. He tries to rationalize the trauma of his past by believing that life is meaningless and he enforces this by causing mayhem. In this way, he is not your average criminal, as money and power are secondary to his goals.

***

It is only after the examination of both characters, the Batman and the Joker, that you can appreciate the uniqueness of their relationship. They are two people operating on two opposite ends of a spectrum of ideology and they fascinate each other. Both men believe that their way of handling their past trauma is the “right” way and refuse to be convinced otherwise. They are each other’s most convincing arguments.

It is the major reason they refuse to kill each other because since they are so equally driven and equally matched, either one needs the other to see their viewpoint. If Batman can get the Joker to change his ways, it validates his life purpose, if the Joker can get the Batman to abandon his ideals, him lashing out at society is not in vain. They exist to prove each other wrong. Have you ever wondered why many of their iconic battles take place in rooms filled with mirrors?

The overarching theme of the Batman is a philosophical one. You can choose to be a victim of your past or you can choose to take action, but then, how much of the past is within your control to make amends and then, what actions are truly justified to take?

 

Also, I find it funny that the Joker (disfigured murderer in makeup) can keep a long-term relationship where the Batman (Handsome billionaire) can’t.

 

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

MONEY IS KILLING NIGERIANS

I credit Henry David Thoreau for the critical structure of this essay

MONEY IS KILLING NIGERIANS

I do not think that I will be alone in saying that I am quite enamored by the concept of money. Whether it’s the printed pieces of paper that seem to dictate the daily lives of the people, or the bank account numbers that seemingly determine self-worth, it is a system of value that nobody really chooses but everyone agrees on.

A “poor” man is seen as a person who does not have money in “adequate” amounts; and this adequacy is defined by how he compares with his peers. In an attempt to garner more money the “poor” man must undertake a series of risky, monotonous or otherwise soul-crushing tasks; tasks which are rarely natural to the human condition in order to survive. Tasks that only result in more tasks, making him/her even more subservient to the circumstances that they had tried to escape in the process.

Ever since the discovery of oil, “urbanization” and subsequent westernization, Nigerians have developed a warped sense of money. Instead of money being a tool to develop and improve life, foster trade and innovation, instead it has become a goal to be attained; and because of this, money that is meant to simplify life has been made to compound it.

The “poor” man that grows his own food and makes his own shelter is now a villager, a relic of an old age and not worthy of any respect. If he cannot escape his circumstance he is seen as spiritually deficient. As he cannot put his experiences to paper he is deemed an illiterate. But the “rich” man is wise. The “rich” man who attains foreign appliances which he cannot produce nor maintain, the “rich” man who has lost all semblance of bodily fitness, who actively spends on products designed to destroy his body and soul.

Money has become a god in itself, and its ways are mysterious indeed. In its poetic beauty it is no respecter of persons. It may choose to bless the short or the tall, the book-smart or the street-smart, the fit or the unfit, the hardworking or the lazy. Money can bless a generation and curse another within the same family. It can strengthen a tribe or it can destroy it. It can motivate a nation or it can demoralize it.

Pray tell, the use of acquiring a multi-million naira vehicle, if there are no roads for it to ply? It would seem that the nation has imported its stock of appliances in excess that there is not enough electricity generated to utilize them… We are an island of consumers. There is little incentive to produce anything of value; even the humble toothpick is imported from overseas, as well as the noble straw. I still find it hard to place where the lack of support for local business stems from. Is it out of hatred for our fellow man? Or the fear that he might rise above us? Could it stem from a lack of trust in his abilities or his intentions? We seem to crave foreign intervention for issues we could handle perfectly ourselves. We seek to “escape” to foreign lands with less natural resources and harsher climates than our own for some semblance of sanity. We go where we are not needed nor wanted to find what we destroyed.

We rejected coins because notes were easier to handle (which is the most logical conclusion from that debacle). When the people don’t like something, they don’t like something. We chose inflation instead. And yet the notes we clung on to we crumple and deface on a daily basis. Where a coin could have lasted a decade, a note can only last a year.

I find it ironic that the learned politician, who fearfully stashes away large sums of money in his sewage pit, cutting it off from circulation and ventilation, thereby driving down its value both literally and economically, is more respected than the internet fraudster; the G man who through ingenuity and skill, plays on the greed of his victims and injects foreign currency into the economy.

Our priorities are long lost.

But why do I write all this? Let it be known, humble reader, that this is no call to pacifism; for there is nothing more dangerous to the human condition. After all, this is the realm of power, and the violent take it by force and whatnot. But if this is our true nature and this is how things are meant to be… why then do the people complain. I do tire of the incessant complaining. The “poor” man complains vehemently about his condition as does the “rich” man. If there is one thing that will unify the nation it is lamentation and apportioning blame to anyone other than ourselves. Gathered around a newspaper stand the herd argue bitterly over the many transgressions of the shepherd, blaming him for all their ills. At political gatherings the shepherd berates the herd for not toiling hard enough in the sun, as he fears for his security and seeks protection with the wolves.

Best not to further dampen your spirits by entertaining fantasies of what could have been. Best to adapt and overcome. Celebrate the scavenger and learn his ways. Give us Barabbas and keep your Messiahs. We refuse to yield.

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

KIDS, STOP LISTENING TO ADULTS!

LESSON 1: PHONES & THE INTERNET

When I was younger it was bad manners to bring a cellphone to class. In fact, ANY electronics you brought to class was considered “contraband” and seized immediately. So the Game Boys, Nokias, Motorolas, CDs of any kind, even digital watches that beeped too loud, all found their way to the headmaster’s drawer till further notice (i.e. whenever you grew the balls to ask for them back).

Back then, those who risked bringing any contraband to class were the “bad boys”, the “bad girls”, the kids to stay away from. If you were caught using you were just as culpable, even if the device wasn’t yours. Your parents were called. It was intense. The tears, the corporal punishment, the shame, all because Batman’s punches from level 6 were a little too loud in Math class.

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SO YOU CAN IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I visited said class recently. Now at a legal age to get wasted on alcohol, talk less of carrying a phone to class. The guards looked at me funny when I said I came for ‘Nostalgia’ which is understandable I guess…

EVERY KID had an iPad and a phone. Not only was it not contraband, it was actually mandatory to have one. They used iPads DURING class as an alternative to books. There were actual classes dedicated to surfing the internet responsibly, I STILL saw kids playing Batman behind the desk mind you, but this time it’s cool. It’s learning.

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When I say “Kids Stop Listening to Adults!” I’m not kidding. Every adult advised against having a phone as a kid. Worst of all Parents, for the child’s “protection”. Can’t be too hard on them though, considering that mobile use in my country started in 2001, and even then the internet wasn’t really a thing till around 2007. But now…

There’s an actual economy dedicated to phone use, internet use, electronic management. Companies pay for people to handle twitter accounts for them now, there’s courses for Social Media Metric Analysis. App development has become a 9 to 5. In fact , my country’s most popular blogger, Linda Ikeji, is worth 12 million dollars and an employer of labour. She runs a gossip blog; make of that what you will.

So imagine the possibilities if you had allowed yourself get a headstart in that market as a kid.

 

LESSON 2: VIDEO GAMES

“Stop playing video games so much” seems like pretty good advice on the surface, especially when barking from the lips of an adult you are dependent upon. Now take those negative affirmations, crank up the volume to 200% and place them in the early 2000s, when the Playstation one had just started to become a thing in my country. A kid that played video games was one that wasted his life, his potential and his eyes. I had friends whose consoles were actually thrown in the trash for insubordination.

NOW FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT…

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As at the time of this post the person with the most subscriptions on Youtube is a young man from Sweden called Pewdiepie. A silly name to adopt right? Pewdiepie is worth 20 million dollars and has over 18 billion views and counting. What did he do to get so successful you ask?

At the age of 25, Pewdiepie had made 7.4 million dollars by FILMING HIMSELF PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. He had dropped out of school to develop his Youtube account, which pissed off his Parents as you would imagine. I expect they’re okay with it now. The gaming companies certainly are: they pay him to advertise their consoles and programs on his website. Amazingly, Pewdiepie is not the only one to have gained success doing Video Game Commentary, an entire host of others have made 10 million dollars and above from it: ElRubiusOMG (27.4 million subscribers), Fernanfloo (26.4 million subscribers), JuegaGerman (24.6 million subscribers) just to name a few of these rich nerds 🙂

An entire market has been created for Video game players now, known as E SPORTS. These are video game competitions that offer up to 5 million dollars in winnings per competition. The Video Game Industry now supports a variety of businesses, Commentators, Analysts, Game developers, Models, Musicians, Actors and Voice Actors, even Game Testers. Amazing isn’t it?

 

LESSON 3: MUSIC

I could write an entire novel on how much Parents did not wish for their kids to become musicians as a kid. Then I could release a book series explaining with examples how wrong they’ve been proven. As part of the “Stay in School Mantra” that was wildly popular in the late 90’s for some reason, any kids that wished to venture into music were labeled delinquents, unserious and lacking motivations.

Musicians were nothing to aspire to become, which seems quite funny now seeing as there’s SO MUCH MUSIC in our daily life that it has become impossible to ignore. Musicians smoked weed on television, flaunted their sexual exploits, dressed in suggestive and revealing displays. Musicians were seen as drug abusers, sex offenders, even spiritually and mentally disturbed individuals. While some of this might hold true (indeed it does in some cases), it seems wholly irrelevant now…

BECAUSE NOWADAYS

nowadays

Larger than life Musical Characters are actually marketed TO children, so all the tattoed, drug using, sexual imagery is cool now for kids. “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” is just a label put on albums to avoid trouble. Kids are finally free to listen to who they want and aspire to become. Music has been so accepted culturally that it affects almost everything related to lifestyle. Clothing, Hair Care and Beauty products, the automobile industry, language… Musicians receive endorsements from MacDonalds, Burger King, Adidas, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Mercedes, you get the picture.

Not only are musicians no longer pariahs, they are actually revered now. The weirder the better: Piercings, Tattooes, Prison convictions, Coloured hair, all displays for value as a creative artiste. We now live in a wonderful time where rappers receive keys to the city, perform at government functions and for government officials and schools…

A rapper known as Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for Music recently… damn, as a kid it was wrong to even use the F word. What a time to be alive.

 

LESSON 4: FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

ronaldo

Hate it or Love it, Football is the most popular sport in the world, played in over 200 countries. A single football match can see up to 70,000 travelling fans. In the English Premier League (My Country’s favourite), the cheapest matchday ticket costs more than 30 pounds.

In the wake of the recently concluded World Cup, I’m going to run some random statistics about Football’s International Association, FIFA. FIFA is a Non-Profit Organisation by the way…

FIFA’s revenue from 2015-2018 totals about 5.65 billion dollars. In 2017 alone it stood at 734 million dollars. FOX currently holds the rights to televise the 2022 World cup, but it wasn’t cheap, they paid 400 million dollars for it. FIFA made 527 million during the 2014 World Cup from the sale of TICKETS. They made 1.45 billion dollars from marketing rights for the 2015-2018 cycle. I’m going to stop here for now…

IT WOULD SEEM
…ludicrous from outside observation that so much can be generated from two teams of 11 players each kicking a leather ball around. Funny enough, even today kids are discouraged from choosing Football as a profession in my country. The sport is so loved, universally watched, has sprung a plethora of betting websites, yet hardly supported by the Government. But I digress…

KIDS STOP LISTENING TO ADULTS!

Not to say that your parents don’t want the best for you. They really do. But the thing is, a parent will most likely act on certain impulses when it comes to their children. The Impulse to keep their kids protected from any harm is one; Some Parents want to see kids continue their Legacy, rather than build their own. Worst of all, growing up makes you Jaded, Cynical and less open to exploring new opportunities; so some Parents don’t want their kids taking unnecessary risks. But…

DO WHAT YOU LIKE

…as a Kid you have no such fears. That’s the beauty of it. You can develop an interest in almost anything. As long as it’s productive, do it. Cultivate your talents. Explore your environment. You never know, that thing you discuss with your friends on the playground could be the next big thing…

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

THE MESSIAH COMPLEX

If you are new to the drama and glamour that is the Nigerian Election just wait till 2019. Oh boy! are you in for a treat. The campaign jingles will be catchy and memorable, The Promises to serve will be grandiose and verbose, People will get arrested, others freed, the Media and Social Media houses will experience a content frenzy. The excitement of the FIFA World cup pales in comparison to the quest for leadership in this Nation. And yet, after the high that the process gives, all we are left with is the crushing disappointment of reality. This is due in part to what I call…

 

THE MESSIAH COMPLEX

 

For some time now the Nigerian people have been fond of searching for “The One”. The Political Saviour who will arrive and completely change the country’s fortunes overnight. The Religious sensibilities of the people will reach a peak every four years. It would seem that every Electoral candidate comes with the promise of performing miracles.

Goodluck-Jonathan

 

I had no shoes” said President Goodluck Jonathan in the battle for 2011. It was a tale of Legend, a young boy whose lack of footwear could not hold him back from pursuing an education. We were intrigued to learn his secret. Four years of the most gruesome allegations of misappropriation later, a new warrior unsheathed his blade…

 

Muhammadu-Buhari-speech

 

“I am going to kill corruption” said President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. We jumped at the opportunity. Finally, a man who killed vices with his bare hands. The change we needed became the change we never expected. The youths were reported to the colonial masters. “They want everything free”. It was an unkind critique of the human condition.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

 

I eagerly anticipate the Miracles that will the claimed by the next set of aspirants, where every campaign banner will be photoshopped to the last hair, with quotes that illustrate a heaven within the reach of the people. If we have learnt one thing from our 58 years of independence, it is that the old ways do not work. Why then, would we continue to use them?

It would seem that the nation is aging in reverse. Personally, I would expect a leader to be the best representative of the people. If I had wanted someone to represent me, I would look for the strongest, the most intelligent, the most well spoken. A leader to me, is not a miracle worker, but one that inspires hope and gives a sense of direction. It is why we Africans idolize the Nelson Mandelas and Martin Luther Kings.

But maybe that’s just me. There is no escaping the conundrum. One must lead for others to follow, otherwise we all ply the roads with no direction. Would you rather drive your car into a ditch knowingly or unknowingly? My major gripe with the Nigerian people is that in the wake of religious and ethic disunity,
we have been so busy searching for answers that we forgot to ask questions. The only solution is inquiry. This time around,

 

ASK QUESTIONS

 

Ask for debates, Ask for town hall meetings, Ask for manifestos. Your candidate, who is he? Who is she? Where are they from? What have they done? What do they wish to do? What qualifies them for public service? How can they help the nation?

Ask and ask again, otherwise your voters card is just a tool for your slavery. For another four years at least.

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

I don’t know about you but I believe in miracles. Not because I have proof or anything like that, only because in my lifetime, I am lucky to have witnessed two of the greatest miracle workers my country ever produced at work. Their names alone strike fear into the hearts of wandering demons and underworld princesses. Those names are:  PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME and PROPHET T.B. JOSHUA.

Pastor-Chris-Oyakhilome-and-Prophet-TB-Joshua

Typing those names alone sent shivers down my spine. If you’re hearing these names for the first time, and are unfamiliar with their work, let me enlighten you with a hip hop analogy: These two are to the exorcist game what Drake and Kendrick Lamar are to the rap game. Pastor Chris being the Drake in this situation and Prophet TBJ being the Kdot. I’ll give a brief description of each below.

 

PASTOR CHRIS

Pastor-Chris4

Beloved pastor, author, singer and Ph.D holder (Ph.D – Pretty Huge Divinity). Pastor Chris took an alternative approach to casting out demons to huge success. This is the first man I ever saw on Tv to sweet talk a demon to death. His method is very scientific if you think about it

  • First, he gets in touch with the demon’s emotions. Tries to understand the motivations of the demon. Holds hands with the human vessel and sometimes hugs them. You know, he’s like a therapist but one with godlike powers.

 

  • Second, he serenades the demon, sometimes with a song from his youth, other times with ballroom dancing and lots of eye contact. Seriously tho, What demon could resist this?

Chris-Oyakhilome

 

  • Third, he explains the situation to the demon. “You know I can’t have you possessing one of my members” sometimes in tears… sometimes the demon is in tears… sometimes the audience is in tears… I’m just saying, there’s a lot of tears involved.

 

  • Finally he expels the demon with a gentle breeze of his minty fresh breath. The demon swoons. It’s pretty much game over after that.

 

PROPHET TBJ

Prophet-TB-Joshua

Earlier I compared this man (of God) with Kendrick Lamar and its not just because both men call themselves Prophets… Prophet TBJ really doesn’t care about the hood politics or conventions of the healing game… that demon is coming out one way or another.

Prophet TBJ declares all out war on all demons and tolerates no arguments. He’s been known to whip demons, berate demons, lock them up, arrest demons (with handcuffs).

His deliverance equipment reads like something out of the SAW movie series or a hardcore BDSM fantasy – ropes, canes, masks, cages, you name it, he has it.  Needless to say, by the time he’s done with a demon, they’re left extremely sore by the experience. All this he does with a wry smile on his face.

tbj

 

Now that I’m done adoring these great men (of God), I want to address an issue…

A lot of nonbelievers and atheists would argue.. “This is stupid, miracles aren’t real” and “If miracles are real, and exorcism is true, how come there are still a lot of crazy people on the street?” You have a point, there are a lot of crazy people out there. But I will answer that question how all great men of God have answered questions, with a parable….

 

Once upon a time I was strolling through our neighbourhood market and as fate would have it, there was a notorious madman roaming the streets. A Keke Napep pastor at the time, new to the rules and regulations of miracle working, looked to challenge himself and his faith and saw this as an opportunity to show himself.

“I will cure that madman” he said.

The traders on the street scoffed, unbelieving; but the pastor was not deterred. The madman stood by the gutter, staring into the horizon when the pastor approached him.

“MADMAN” the pastor called out.

The madman, shocked by the address, responded “What did you call me?”

“I want to introduce you to my God!” the pastor continued. “The one that will cure all your problems!”

“Who told you I have problems?” asked the madman.

The Pastor bellowed “Do not be afraid!!! The God I am speaking of is up there in the heavens. Look up.”

The madman looked up. “I can’t see anything”

“It is because you are blind! You are blind to the word of God!! I said LOOK UP”

“There is nothing there.”

“You are not looking properly. LOOK UP”

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

ORIJIN STORIES

Sometimes I feel like the origin stories of my favorite actors and musicians are made up fairy tales. In fact, sometimes I feel like Wikipedia profiles are absolute crap. I’ll explain.

Take someone like D’Banj for instance– African Music Megastar, Cultural Icon, Gifted Entertainer and World Class Fela Impersonator.

dbanj

Now, according to his internet biography, D’Banj once worked as a security guard in the UK before he became a musician.

Assuming this were to be true, could you just imagine the mannerisms and hilarisms of D’Banj being a security guard? Exactly what kind of organization would hire such a skinny fellow to stand guard at the gate?  Do security uniforms come in sleeveless shirts and bootcut trouser varieties?

Pulse-D-banj-as-Fela

…and how come not a single customer of said institution has ever stepped forward to testify to the fact that D’banj once welcomed them in through the doors. It would seem like a pretty memorable event to have D’Banj usher you into the building..

Customer enters

Security man: “Oshe!! Welcome-to-Customer-Care-Services-UK-Limited-PLC-Im-D’Banj… or-Ski-Banj-like-my-Jamaican-friends-call-me-and-BEFORE-you-enter-the-building-please-permit-me-to-inspect-that-BIG-BIG-BIG-BOOTY”

Customer: ‘Can I go in with my bag?’

Security man: “FIILE!! Don’t touch it. Leave it! We will take-care-of-it for you.”

Customer: ‘Will it be safe?’

Security man: “No long tin. No long tin.”

Customer: ‘Can you direct me to the receptionist’s desk?’

Security man: “Just move that booty to the left of the corridor and you will meet one mamalette with a green blouse. Just ask her “WHY ME OH!” She will direct you to a babylette on the second floor. She will tell you the koko.”

You know what? On second thought—I think he would make an excellent security guard.

Now, DON JAZZY’s origin story is totally unbelievable, not to mention unacceptable.

Don-Jazzy

The story is that he used to sell akara when he was a toddler, but I don’t see how that can be true… he would be giving away akara for free like it was water—

–I mean have you seen this guy’s twitter account? The guy is too generous. He practically gives away a new car every week.

The only way I could really see Don Jazzy as an akara seller was if a customer vexed the guy and got him angry for some reason. Like imagine if a  customer tried to steal some akara from him and he caught them…

Customer: “Is it because of one akara I tried to take from you that you’re frowning like this? This small akara?”

Akara seller: ‘Egbon Customer, If you want the akara, come and take it.’
don jazzy fallout

Are there any origin stories of your favorite celebrities that you think are absolute balderdash? Feel free to comment below…

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

LET’s TALK ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE

I just like the way white people operate, very smooth and calm like, ya know?

I mean don’t get me wrong, I love Black people, I love Asians, I love Hispanics, Smurfs, whatever your skin colour… that’s not the point of this post. It’s just that, white people have this, quality…

Take a country like ours for instance. If you bring a white man to your business the business will mysteriously start to grow. Lemme repeat that statement for you guys just in case you didn’t get that, in pidgin. If you bring oyibo come your shop, market go dey move. I’m not even joking about this.

The white dude doesn’t even have to do anything. Seriously, let’s test this. Find the nearest white guy in your area (this might be harder for those of you in Ojuelegba) and place him in front of your shop; right next to the carton of Indomie, and watch the business grow. Double props if it’s a white girl. It doesn’t even matter if she has like 50 tattoos or something. It’s all good. White people tattoos are the least dangerous tattoos you can think of…

tattoo

Have you seen when a white guy is covering the news, like when an earthquake happens?

Very calm and collected reporting–

“Three hundred people were killed today in Earthquake Rebecca today and fifty more were left injured. The disaster occurred at 3o’clock in the afternoon…” all with a straight face.

tv-reporter

You’d think she was telling a bedtime story or something.

Even when the disaster victim is white they’re still chill about it—

“Sir the earthquake took us all by surprise.. can you please tell us what happened, in your own words”

“Well, I was walking my dog around the area when I heard some strange noises. The ground began to shake so I thought ‘that’s weird’ that doesn’t usually happen, so I took cover under that tree, took a selfie and dialed 911…”
whos-that-girl-reporter-for-fox-sports-28-hq-photos-28

It’s surreal.

Now Imagine if the earthquake happened in this country. Even that imagination alone is enough to make some people shout “God forbid” at their phone screens talk less of the earthquake itself. Say an earthquake happened in Ikorodu…

“Sir the earthquake took us all by surprise.. can you please describe what happened in your own wor–”
….
“Chei! CHEI! Oh mY God, OH MY GOD……

I was just taking my baff next thing I heard.. GbUruMGBURUUURRUgburum so I jumped outside the window. That is why you are seeing me in my towel right now. I don’t think I can enter that house again until ma Pastor prays over the compound…”
…..

You know as a kid I used to think white people weren’t afraid of danger but that has to be ridiculous right? Everbody gets scared, right? right?

I remember watching a show called Jackass. In this show the characters would do the most humiliating hurtful things to their bodies. Like fight with bees and jump into a pool of ice water and fight bulls and shit. Now I noticed something about the characters of this show.

jackass

None of them were black.

They even had a white midget in there but no black guys. That show would never survive today.
….

Okay one last thing, to close out the post–

Remember the olden days when our forefathers lived in huts and wore lion skin and stuff? If you watch Africa Magic you know what I’m talking about.
The time where an African child’s mother would be like “My son, whatever you do, don’t go into the evil forest. If you go there you will DIE!”
And the son would say “No mother. I will not go into the evil forest. I do not want to DIE”

Now imagine if that woman adopted a white kid.

“William, I beg of you, in the name of God, do not go into the evil forest for any reason. If you do, you will DIE”

The white kid goes “Mom it’s okay, I went there yesterday it wasn’t that bad”

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TROLLS RIGHTS ACTIVIST – LOGIC LAUGHS

 

Ladies and/or gentlemen and people of all color welcome to the show,

we have a very special guest with us tonight… he is a very popular trolls rights activist, novelist and local singer… erm, he is the voice behind the hashtag #TrollsUnite and the founder of the Society for the Advancement of Trolling Rights Everywhere – #SATIRE please give a warm welcome to Logic Laughs.

 

applause-sign

 

Logic Laughs:  Thank you all, It’s great to be here

       Interviewer:  It’s great to have you here on the show Logic, can I call you Logic?

Logic Laughs:  Of course you can. I’m a very nice person. *CROSSES LEGS*

Interviewer:  I’m just going to get off the bat here, erm, because we’re all dying to hear your story… What inspired you to be a trolls rights activist?

Logic Laughs:  Thank you Oprah, I get that question a lot. I remember the first time I was called a Troll. I was posting some random tweets, you know on the website, Twitter?

     Interviewer:  mm hmm

Logic Laughs:  and out of the blue someone replies one of my tweets and tells me to “stop trolling”

     Interviewer:  They told you to “stop trolling”?

Logic Laughs:  *SIGHS* Yes

     Interviewer:  Terrible

Logic Laughs:  now obviously I didn’t know what trolling meant at the time

     Interviewer:  mm hmm

Logic Laughs:  so I typed in “trolling” into google search, and before I could finish typing,   some google suggestions started to appear

     Interviewer:  What kinds of suggestions?

Logic Laughs:  Like “I hate trolls” “Trolls are disgusting” “Trolls are the devil” stuff like that.

 

trolls

     Interviewer:  Just awful

Logic Laughs:  What’s even worse is that, I finally hit search, and there were all these…    depictions of trolls as monsters, trolls as computer geeks and stuff…

….Even in movies, like there’s this one movie where a troll walks into a girl’s    bathroom and tries to attack her –

     Interviewer:  What movie was that?

Logic Laughs:  Harry Potter, I think it was called

*AUDIENCE GASPS*

Logic Laughs:  and I remember thinking, how could anyone film something like this? A   troll would never attack anyone, much less a child, but they had us  attacking little girls in bathrooms.

     Interviewer:  It must have been an awful experience for you.

Logic Laughs:  *IN TEARS* It was.

     Interviewer: So what happened next?

Logic Laughs:  So I decided that I wasn’t going to take it anymore

*AUDIENCE CLAPS*

 

I decided that I would go out and do something about it you know. We trolls are as valid contributors to the society as any other person out there, I mean you can find us on, on Reddit forums, you can find us on Youtube comment sections, iMDb message boards, back seats of stadiums – we have a right to exist as much as anyone else.

 

bts_audience_applause

 

     Interviewer:  A very, very brave story. Erm… we have a caller for Logic on the line from   Boston, she is a mother of two and her name is Andrea. How are you  Andrea?

Andrea:  Great. It’s so great to be able to call in and talk to Logic Laughs, he has been an inspiration to me and my family in a big way.

     Logic Laughs:  Thank you. Glad to be of service.

Andrea:  My son recently went to school dressed like a Kardashian, and the other children actually mocked him for it

     Logic Laughs:  They mocked him?

Andrea:  I mean why can’t my son have a normal life like other kids without being vilified for it?

     Logic Laughs:  You see this is exactly what I’m talking about. This is why I fight hard everyday for #SATIRE. We need to stop the oppression of trolls. It’s ridiculous. I see no reason why a creative young man cant dress up as –   which Kardashian was that Andrea?

Andrea:  Kanye

     Logic Laughs:  – I mean it’s absolutely atrocious, don’t you think so Oprah?

Interviewer:  Stop calling me Oprah

     Logic Laughs:  – I see no reason why these people should choose to accost us just because they feel threatened by us. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

This is why as the founder of SATIRE, I am calling for the boycott of all  Harry Potter movies, Warcraft video games, lord of the Rings T-shirts and English dictionaries worldwide.

*AUDIENCE CHEERS*

Interviewer:  A very brave erm… statement. Alright before we end this segment I have a final question that I feel needs to be asked. What can ordinary citizens do to advance trolling rights?

     Logic Laughs:  It’s very simple. The key word here is tolerance, and knowing that trolls are people just like you. When you see us on your timeline or in the street, welcome us , don’t block us.

Interviewer:  So, stop blocking trolls?

     Logic Laughs:  Exactly, and there’s another technique I think might be useful

Interviewer:  Oh yea? What’s that?

     Logic Laughs:  Whenever you see a troll, you could open your mouth at them, and let some sounds come out of it.

Interviewer:  You mean like a cough?

      Logic Laughs:  Laughter, I meant laughter.

*AUDIENCE LAUGHS*

Interviewer:  Of course, well it’s been great having you on the show Logic and we hope to have you again soon.

     Logic Laughs:  Thanks for having me. It was great to be here *Adjusts Crocs*

Interviewer:  Alright, next on the show we have an interview with the leader of #STD – the Society for The Decaricaturisation of Donald Trump . Don’t touch that dial, we’ll be right back

*AUDIENCE CLAPS*

 

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.