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Random Yarns: Sharing a Coke, That Underwood Bloke and Aso Rock

Coca Cola brought the ‘Share a Coke with … ‘ campaign to Nigeria last year and while it was known, it only became popular/well talked about over the festive period because, Owambes and Ama Chop Chops and what not.

Unfortunately, I am one of quite a number of coke heads who’s not seen a bottle with my name on it meanwhile a good friend of mine had the ‘guts’ to spell his name out on two bottles.

Given, “Ade” and “Segun” would be easy to come by really, how hard can it be to get a bottle with “Michael” or “Leke” on it? “Ade” precedes my “Leke“, yes, but an “Ade” bottle alone won’t cut it for me. Too mainstream.

Adesegun, you made it!
Adesegun, you made it!

As I pondered in pseudo-anger at this commercial marginalization of self and pointed a blame finger (of bottling up what is a most avoidable instance) at the nearest biggest entity concerned; the Nigeria Bottling Company, a cloud of perspective drifted over my cloud of judgement.

‘Coca Cola wants us to share a coke with someone whose name we’ve got on a bottle we’ve bought. When did the notion of sharing become one of giving self rather than giving out?’

And that’s how I fell into the ‘deepness’ and, in hindsight, realised that rather than cuss at having not seen my name on a bottle but a name such as “Isoken” on about three bottles, I should have picked up one Isoken bottle and gone about with it unopened till one fateful day when I’d actually come across someone bearing Isoken and ‘share a coke with’.

Been told it would make for a rather poor pick up line though. Still, “Are you Chidera? Because I’d love to share a coke with you” would be given a fair trial.

Oh, by the way, is Isoken a masculine or feminine name? And what tribe does it come from? Never heard the name before but it got three bottles. Commercial marginalisation!

One name I have heard of very well is Francis. The current Pope chose the name and became the first pontiff to bear the name. It is also the name Claire chooses to call her husband; Mr. Underwood, rather than Frank as most others at referred to him.

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President Underwood
President Underwood

Took me three nights to watch all episodes of the first and second season of House of Cards and at first, I was enjoying it very much. Then there was a lull along the episodes of the second season but for a show that’d come highly recommended by a good number of folks including the Emmy’s, I watched on.

Some conversations felt too tailored, which is good but sometimes bordered on boredom. Then there was Peter Russo and Garett Walker who could have seen Francis’ end game long before he got his way with them, yet ultimately got plundered.

Albeit being on the sideline watching it unfold allows one to see through the foundation and spot the pimple, added to Underwood being the kind of snake that used and disposed of assets and liabilities based on how the big picture for him was getting painted.

Would have been nice to see Garett Walker put up a better ‘fight’ for the presidency nonetheless, more so with a powerful billionaire on his side but Underwood is a ruthless snake.

The moment that made up for it all however was the closing minute and thirty seconds before the credits rolled to end the second season; complete with the score and with President Underwood pushing away the seat trying to share his moment unduly and giving it just the appropriate dose of glare, is, probably, the best moment ‘television’ has shown me in my time alive… so far.

A good double knuckle to that!

Been told there will be a third season, which I’m not remotely pleased to hear of because, how do you continue from what is a classic end to a season of a show? I’m not interested in what Francis Underwood does during his time at the House, but the show’s producers get the benefit of doubt here.

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Meanwhile, before Underwood’s time at the House begins, an incumbent President will hope to keep at bay a former military Head of State from becoming the resident at Aso Rock for the next four years, at least.

“Buhari may be in his seventies but I’d still vote for him, even if he dies before election day” and “GEJ is working, Nigeria is working. Buhari is an extremist who will destroy Nigeria. I’ll vote GEJ abeg”.

We sadly have to make the choice between a government whose bad outweighs the good …

GEJ meme

… and an aged contender who comes with good intentions … and the road to perdition is … ?

Hopefully, that won’t be the case with Buhari, whose prospect of becoming President of the largest black nation hasn’t been any better than it is now; a period in which it seems majority would desperately rather have any person not named Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan as President from the end of May.

That said, it would be lovely if all concerned tread carefully at this critical point of the country’s history. It’s just an election but many precedents of our peculiar nation easily make it much more, probably more than we feel can be handled.

Religious and tribal sentiments have hardly ever done this nation much good amd while it is routine to see the two leading camps in the presidential race embark on smear campaigns, the degree of thoughts hovering about – in physical conversations and mostly on social media – needs to be checked.

Nigeria is already complicated enough with the number of tribes around, spreading ‘facts’ which have the potential of causing great unrest only ensures to distract the electorate from the real issues at hand.

What can be done to ensure basic amenities (clean water and power supply, education, healthcare, housing and more) are made available and accessible to a high percentage of the population?

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We say excess revenue from the period crude oil price averaged $100/barrel was wasted, can we then figure and outline how we’ll manage the economy now that crude oil price is below $50/barrel?

In what ways can job creation become reality and not just numbers? Is the country making provisions that would ensure more jobs are available such as recent efforts to get major car-makers to have functioning assemblies here?

These and more – such as budgetary allocations and implementation – are what should be making the rounds all the time, rather than broadcast messages about one religion being something or a political party marginalizing a certain tribe.

Let’s not be the generation that sold its franchise to the Ministry of Stomach Infrastructure and allowed itself to be gravely misled by the media’s mostly unfiltered information. Let us be the generation that ended crude oil’s monopoly on our economy, which we subsequently boosted.

In the words of J. Cole, “sometimes I wanna save the world and not be thinking about how”. Getting Nigeria on the right track of development is in our hands hence, none of the 14 (yes, we’ve managed to forget the dozen others) presidential aspirants should be made into a messiah or the harbinger of destruction.

Rather, who we vote for should be the one with a real mission to lead Nigeria right not the one with a clean past or the most academic degrees. Don’t be distracted, be guided and vote wisely.

Adeleke Afolayan

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  • I have not seen my name yet on the Coca-cola bottle here in ABJ, none of the people I contacted down south have seen it either. As for house of cards, my brother recommended it because I like politics but I can’t just watching unending series; I don’t have the patience.
    Nigerian politics has taken a new dimension which is needed in an evolving democracy like ours. But sadly, none of political parties is really addressing the issues at hand.

    Nice one Sir!

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