What crinkum crankum means…

There’s a hilarious clip of a Naija dude called Patrick Obahiagbon, that’s during the rounds. It’s the one below…

I quoted the first line on Twitter and aside from tonnes of laughter I also got quite a few queries about WTH dude was actually saying. So here it is. The transcript and a translation. Props to Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporter for this. 

“Let me say as quickly as possible, the political “crinkum crankum”, if you like, the political “higi haga” that has enveloped the politics of Rivers State for a period of time now has all the trappings of an odoriferous saga cum ‘’gargantua gaga,” and I am bewildered that this situation is of no serious concern to the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…

It is very crystal clear like the biblical ‘teke teke menoyafasin.’ It is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind…If you look at the totality of the crisis in Rivers State just now, it leaves me with two conclusions that 2015 is inherently laden with a political and democratic ‘Thalidomide.’ Two, some social scientists like myself have gone to town for donkey’s years, saying that what we have is not democracy but civilian rule. But with recent events, I say no. Nigeria is neither witnessing civilian rule nor democracy but what we have at best is a form of government I call ‘kakitomoboplutocracy’ and that is bad for us as a nation…As far as I am concerned, I can see the ship of the Nigerian state hovering around the political Bermuda Triangle, and if we do not take urgent and responsible steps… My critical history and historiography of the study shows that the war of attrition in Rivers State did not commence with the Obio/Okpor political tendency. It commenced, strictly speaking, from the suspicion that Governor Rotimi Amaechi nurses an ambition for the Vice- Presidency of this country.’’ ~ Patrick Obahiagbon. 

Here’s what the phrases in quotation marks above actually mean. Or not! 

1. Crinkum crankum: Something full of twists and turns; A thing fancifully or excessively intricate and elaborate. 

2. Higi haga: (Synonym of above?) 

3. Odoriferous: Giving off a strong and offensive odour; Morally offensive. 

4. Gargantua gaga: Huge, widespread madness; Celebration of insanity? Was Obahiagbon referring to the 16th Century novels written by the French author, François Rabelais, based on The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, the story of two giants, a father, Gargantua, and his son Pantagruel, and their adventures, written in an amusing, extravagant, satirical vein? 

5. Teke teke: Was he making reference here to the 2009 Japanese horror film, titled “Teketeke” directed by Kôji Shiraishi and based on urban legend? 

6. Menoyafasin: !!!#%@?Help needed!!! 

7. Thalidomide: An anti-nausea and sedative drug that was introduced in the late 1950’s to be used as a sleeping pill, and was quickly discovered to help pregnant women with the effects of morning sickness. It was sold from 1957 until 1962, when it was withdrawn after being found to be a teratogen, which caused many different forms of birth defects, including still- born babies. 

8. Kakitomoboplutocracy: A Kakistocracy is defined as a government by the worst. A Mobocracy is a government by mobs or crowds, while a Plutocracy is either – 1. The rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy. 2. A government or state in which the wealthy class rules, or 3. A class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth. A ‘Kakitomoboplutocracy’ would therefore imply a merger of all three forms of government.  

9. Historiography: The writing of history, especially based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particular details from the authentic materials of those sources, and the synthesis of those details into a narrative that stands the test of critical examination; The term also refers to the theory and history of historical writing. 

The Selfie… (a professor’s view)

This mini thesis on the Selfie comes from Laurence Allard, a French Professor of Communication Sciences in Paris and Lille, co-author of the book Mobile Phone and Creation (Armand Colin / Recherches), and creator of the Mobactu blog. She was interviewed by Olivier Laurent for Time Magazine in mid-2014.

“The selfie originates from established self-portrait practices in the history of painting and photography, but also from online practices best represented by the use of profile pictures.

“It possesses a real genealogy. But it has also found its own autonomy and definition. Today, we’d be mistaken to define the selfie as a narcissist object or simple self-portrait.
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“I am an African” an iconic speech by a former president of the ANC

“I am an African, and I set my pride in my race over against a hostile public opinion”.

Sounds familiar?

Nope, it’s not former South African’s president Thabo Mbeki’s most memorable speech. It is in actuality the beginning of an iconic speech in 1906 by one of the founding fathers of the ANC, Pixley ka Seme, and perhaps forms some of the inspiration for Mbeki’s more famous oration.


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An Open Letter to Margaret Thatcher…

An open letter to Mrs Margaret Thatcher from General Olusegun Obasanjo

Gen Olusegun Obasanjo

Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria


Margaret Thatcher, UK

Obasanjo is a former president of Nigeria (and former head of it’s military government in the 1970s. In fact he handed over power to a civil government in 1979). Thatcher, recently deceased, was Britian’s first woman prime minister. Known as the Iron Lady, she is arguably the most well-known British Prime Minister since Sir Winston Churchill.

This letter was written in August 1986 and relates to Britain’s position on South Africa and Apartheid at the time, which was hawkish to say the least.

Special thanks to Scelo Gcabashe for unearthing it…

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the attitude of the imprissoned by WEB du Bois

“The attitudes of an imprisoned” group could take one of three forms:

  1. a feeling of revolt and revenge;
  2. an attempt to adjust all thought and action to the will of the greater groups;
  3. or, a determined attempt at self-development, self-realization, in spite of envisioning discouragements and prejudice”

W.E.B. Du Bois (African American scholar and activist)