Look and Laugh

That’s the title of one of my favorite songs by Fela Ransome Kuti, which I listened to for the second time in two days yesterday, while working out at the gym.
As much as I love Fela, I often skip forward to the next song when he comes up on the IPod while I’m at the gym. The problem is that you know his song is going to last 15-20 minutes, and I’ve got my gym routine set up as an overall airing out session: good exercise, read something totally unrelated to work while I’m on the bike, and listen to as much good music as I can squeeze into a 45-60 minute session.
Look and Laugh, which I’d never listened to so carefully before, though, is remarkable in a number of ways. Fela plays really clever tricks with his pronunciation of words like “country” and “democracy,” partly in order to force them into his rhyme and time schemes, but also partly, I think, to subvert the terms themselves; to get us to question them.
The musicianship is excellent here, several steps above the normally hypnotic Fela horn choruses, which are already so effective as to cause you to discount them after repeated listenings.
Best, though, are the lyrics, which are incendiary, and vividly recall the sham democracy of the Shagari years. I’ve done my best with the transcript:
“Since long time I never write new ‘ting. Long time I never sing new song. Long time I never write new ‘ting. Long time I never sing new song.
Many of you go dey wonder why, your man never sing new song. Many of you go dey wonder why, your man never write new ting. My brother no be so da be say, da bi I won’t keep quiet. My brother no be say I no want write new song for you to make you to think I’m happy. What ‘ting ya dey do be say. What ting ya dey do be say. (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu)
I say what ‘ting ya dey do. Ah dey looku and dey laughu. I say what ‘ting ya dey do. Ah dey looku and dey laughu. Change this way, me and you. (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.). Guns for this cunt-TE –ry (country). Now wish for me. They looku and dey laughu. What ting de no sing, about in this cunt-TE –ry (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.) Sing sing sing. Till dem come. Come charge me. For armed robbery. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.) A dey say make you bring your ears, near rap to me, and hear my experience, hear about (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.) I say what ‘ting ya dey do, say. (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.) Ah dey looku and dey laughu. I say what ‘ting ya dey do, say. (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.) Ha ha ha ha he he he. Ha ha ha ha he he he. Ah shookudu, ah shookudu, (Chorus: Hey!) Ah shookudu. (Chorus: Hey! Hey!) Oooh.
Waiting man go do dey do one night Obasanjo pass guv’ment to Shagari-oh. Shagari do dey guv’ment regime four years – No head, No tail. Inside this no head no tail, same water no light till day. Shagari himself say the economy of de cunt-ery is collapsing. Then those old people with gap on eye, carrying walking stick come on to. With ah PPP, oh ye PPP, na say. All for 198-thuree (1983). (Chorus: They looku and dey laughu.) I must look and laugh-u. What ‘ting I no sing, about in this cunt-TE –ry. Sing sing sing. Till dem come. Come charge me, for armed robbery. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. Ha ha ha ha he he he. Ha ha ha ha he he he. Ah shookudu, ah shookudu, (Chorus: Hey!) Ah shookudu. (Chorus: Hey! Hey!) Oooh.
Contractor and minister commissioner make agreement to make road. All of us know how done government they take make road for year. Then the road starts, asphalt put, machines signs and stones. As the road starts, Shagari makes announcement, contractor self makes own. Contractor say as the economy done go things go cost, so road must stop. Government say no more money. Contractor go, government stay. Chey da one nourish to laugh-u. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. (Chorus: Looku and ah laughu.) I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. (Chorus: Looku and ah laughu.) What ting ya no sing about in this cunt-ery. When dem come and burn my houses. All my property. Burn one of them-oh. Pity, pity me. Kill my Mama. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. What ‘ting Ah no sing, about in this cunt-ery? What ‘ting Ah no sing, about in this cunt-ery? Sing sing sing. Four years later. Till dem come, break break de house. De house I dey stay. Dey come beat beat me, till dey say I dey die. Till the ting say I done die. Then I get up. Them tie my hands. Dem tie my legs. Dem throw me inside police infront. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. Them come carry me go. Dem charge me for, charge for armed robbery. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must-o looku and-o laugh-o. I must ha-ha-ha hey hey hey, Ah shookudu, ah shookudu, (Chorus: Hey!) Ah shookudu. (Chorus: Hey! Hey!) Oooh.
Look at our television and listen to our radio in Nigeria, the way dem do their nonsense finish. Newspaper self go join. My obie say too many oversea things in our home, too small. They way them do with our own smallThe way we do with our small self…. No plan, set, no ideas in sight, them dem dey go copy overseas, dey go. Government dis, guvment dat, in dey tights this and dungarees. Ahhh, looku loouku, laugh-u laugh-u. I no no what tin dem do inside. Looku loouku, laugh-u laugh-u
Police uniform come important. Nothing to do for this cunt-ery. Go to court in big a big English, and still dem do dey nonsense. Looku loouku, laugh-u laugh-u
Nigeria still dey he where dey. Poor man still plenty. looku loouku, Laugh-u laugh-u. Guvment people dey still enjoy dey, with police supporting. Looku loouku, laugh-u laugh-u. Nigeria still dey he where dey. Poor man still plenty. looku loouku, Laugh-u laugh-u.
I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh. I must look-u and laugh.

I’ve written at length about Fela in my book, having been privileged to see a show at the Shrine in Lagos. There is a brilliant reminiscence below from my colleague, Jogn Darnton, of the Times. There’s also an excerpt of an interview I found on the web.

How Fela Landed Me In Jail
John Darnton, an associate editor of The New York Times, was its West Africa correspondent from 1976 to 1979.
IT’S not always easy to realize when you’re in the presence of genius — especially when it comes in the form of a muscular 5-foot-7 Nigerian, dressed in leopard-skin bikini underpants, his eyes blurry-red from overindulgence in marijuana, who is ranting on and on about a toothbrush. Not a specific toothbrush, but the very idea — the concept — of the toothbrush, which turns out to be a vestige of colonialism, another Western assault on the dignity of Africans.
”Before the white man came, we Africans used sharpened sticks to clean our teeth,” said Fela, glaring out from the stage. ”I’ve thrown away my toothbrush. My brothers, we must all throw away our toothbrushes.”
It wasn’t one of his more thoughtful diatribes. Still, the audience of 400 or so, mostly men in their 20’s and 30’s, drank it in. The time was somewhere around 3 a.m., in July 1976, at the Shrine, Fela’s nightclub in the Surulere section of Lagos. The ramshackle structure was roofed in corrugated metal and threaded by open sewage drains, with women in Band-Aid-strip panties gyrating on bird-cage platforms under the red neon glow of a giant map of Africa. It didn’t look like the center of a political-musical revolution.
I liked going to the Shrine: the sweltering heat, the pounding music, the palpable anger in the air, the weapons search at the door, where it was hard to say if more weapons were going or coming. It was my education. The teacher was Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the originator of Afrobeat, a synthesis of Nigerian high life and American jazz and rock. Thoughts of Fela, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1997, came flooding back recently as I went to an exhibition in his honor at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, at 583 Broadway in SoHo. The show, ”Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti,” explores his influence through the work of 34 artists. It says he ”was arguably Africa’s most influential musician of the last 50 years.”
Who am I to argue? Simply put, Fela was the best performer I’ve ever seen. And not incidentally, he was Nigeria’s most notorious political dissident. He had been arrested a half-dozen times. His songs were not allowed on government radio but blared out of thousands of shanties in the slums, which is to say everywhere. Little did I know that my contact with him would help land me in a Lagos dungeon, also stripped to my underwear, and then earn me a one-way ticket out of the country, together with my wife and our two daughters, ages 4 and 6. But I get ahead of myself.
Late one night in February 1976, I arrived in Lagos to take up residence as the West Africa correspondent for The New York Times. The next morning I awakened to military music on the radio. A coup was under way, and the head of state, Murtala Muhammed, had been gunned down in his Mercedes in a traffic jam. The coup failed. But because it was said to involve a former ruler who lived in London, it ignited a week of anti-Western demonstrations, and during one of these I noticed a bizarre caravan of young people led by a Ken Kesey-type Day-Glo bus.
”What’s that?” I asked.
”That is Fela,” said an Agence France-Presse man, the only other Western reporter in town, ”and to the government, he’s nothing but trouble.” Over the ensuing weeks, I heard more and more about him, so I resolved to meet this 38-year-old legend.
His house, painted yellow and encircled by barbed wire, was called the Kalakuta Republic, because, I was to discover, he took the position that he and his followers could no longer get along with Nigeria, and so had decided to secede. When my wife, Nina, and I were ushered in, we found him an imperial presence. He was seated on a thronelike chair (as always, in his bikini briefs), smoking a cigar-sized joint that was held for him between tokes by one of three or four female attendants. The interview was awkward at first, but he soon warmed up; he was grateful to America, which he had visited in 1969, for teaching him about black power, he said. It was odd, he added, but it took photos of African-Americans wearing dashikis on 125th Street for Nigerians to feel proud in their own national dress. What he most disparaged about the United States was the size of the joints: ”Do you believe,” he told his circle of wide-eyed followers, ”over there, they light up one little one, and they have to pass it around!”
Later that night — much later — we accompanied Fela to the Shrine, a walk of about four blocks. In a ritual that I was to see repeated time and again, he stopped traffic for blocks around, strolling down the center of the street like a bantam toreador while a multitude of worshipers pressed in from all sides, throwing clenched-fist power salutes and chanting his name in a quasi-religious fervor: ”Fay-leh!” ”Fay-leh!” ”Fay-leh!”
Once we were inside, the music took some getting used to. The songs by his band, Afrika 70, lasted 40 minutes or more, and after a while, the beat behind the jazz riffs caught momentum. But from the first moment, his performance was electrifying: imagine the sauciness of Mick Jagger, the rebellious snarl of Bob Dylan and the cool authority of John Coltrane. He strutted and strolled, danced and pranced and played the saxophone like a madman. From time to time, he would break into pidgin English to drive home a political point about the backwardness of Africa or the corruption of its leaders. He derided the ”colonized” African: ”African man no de bare African name. African man no de think African style.” And in a song called ”Zombie o Zombie,” he taunted the military, marching around the stage with his sax tucked under his arm like a rifle. The audience loved it. It was the military, of course, that eventually did him in.
Over the course of a year, we saw quite a bit of Fela. Once, in an attempt to deepen the friendship by removing him from his entourage, we invited him to dinner at our place on the island of Ikoyi, the enclave for rich Nigerians and foreigners, that he sometimes lambasted in his songs. My wife negotiated the numbers. He wanted to bring 38. She insisted on 3. They struck a compromise: it would be 5. The evening of the dinner, he turned up almost on time — in the Day-Glo bus, with 18 others. We ate small. He sat in the tallest chair and put his own records on the hi-fi, just like home. The next day he sent us a thank-you gift: a jar of the substance he called N.N.G. — Nigerian natural grass.
Fela was born in Abeokuta, the center of Yoruba culture, to a family that grew to prominence under British colonialism. (His father was an Anglican preacher, and his mother a fighter for independence.) In 1959 he studied classical music in London, where he fell under the spell of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and other Americans. It took years for his jazz-infused music to catch on at home.
His politics were not deep. His three heroes were Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, which was fine, but also Sékou Touré, the leftist tyrant of Guinea; and Idi Amin, the deranged buffoon leading Uganda into bloody ruination. I could never shake his idolatry for Amin, whom he admired as ”a big man.” Inside his own republic, he himself was a dictator. He meted out punishments: lashings with a cane for the men and confinement in a tin-shed ”jail” for women. Once, in a hotel room in Accra, Ghana, we walked in while he was administering ”justice” to one of his 27 wives, and we turned and left in disgust.
My own time in the slammer can be traced to the evening of Feb. 18, 1977. Our dinner was interrupted with a frantic knock at the door. It was a runner from Fela, delivering a two-word message: ”Come — urgent.” I made my way to the Kalakuta Republic, and from blocks away, I saw flames leaping high into the night air. Soldiers were beating passers-by, who were fleeing with their arms raised in a gesture of surrender. It was a riot by the military. It lasted five hours. When it was over, Fela was wounded, along with 60 others, including his mother (who was to die much later from her injuries). I high-tailed it home, wrote an article and sent it off to New York. The next morning, I picked up the Nigerian newspapers and saw how seriously the government viewed the incident: not a single word anywhere on the attack.
The riot caused such public distress that the military authorities held a public inquiry in the new national theater. I accompanied a friend, a drummer named Bayo Martins, who had had a falling out with Fela but still respected him. As the only white face in the crowd, I was not hard to spot; police summoned me, confiscated my notes and told me to leave. A small item appeared in a Nigerian paper the next day.
One week later, after I returned from Ethiopia, I found four plainclothes security policemen in my office, rifling the files. One was pretending to read letters — and holding them upside down. Luckily, about three hours later, my driver appeared. I took him aside and gave a message to be delivered to my wife: for God’s sake, get rid of Fela’s gift. I used a term he had never heard, and in carrying out my injunction, he breathlessly mangled it (the malalaba? maraluba? Maryjanal?), but she caught on and flushed it down the toilet moments before the police arrived.
I was taken to a prison and handed over to a 7-foot-tall warden who was stripped to the waist, with a raised scar curving around his shoulder and across his belly. He demanded my clothes, piece by piece. When I removed my shirt, he was shocked at the juju charm around my neck and asked, politely, where I had obtained it.
”Zaire,” I replied. Even then, Zaire was collapsing as a country, but its magic was the envy of the continent. In exchange for an elephant-hair bracelet, the warden let me keep my underpants. He escorted me to an underground cell with a straw mat and a tiny window that was out of reach. After about eight hours, I was summoned for interrogation by a young man in reflecting sunglasses. I had been told by the American ambassador weeks before that the military authorities were displeased with various articles I had written: one on infant mortality, one on pirates in Lagos harbor and one on a campaign to unsnarl Lagos’s notorious traffic jams by whipping motorists. But among the questions put to me by the young man was: ”And what kind of music do you like?” I was definitely a lover of Brahms and Beethoven.
Some 16 hours later, after my wife and daughters also put in time in jail, we were expelled from the country. The man who locked us into a holding cell at Murtala Muhammed Airport shook his head sadly and said, ”I am so ashamed for my country.” The plane we were put on landed in Kenya, and there we remained for another three years.
From time to time, I would hear about Fela. Many years later, in 1986, he came to New York and called me. He said I should quit the newspaper and go to work for him as his ”minister of information.”
I was taken aback. ”Minister?” I said. ”What are you — some kind of country?”
He laughed and said: ”Yes. And I’m bigger than all Nigeria.”
Copyright – The New York Times
The Interview:
© Hank Eso, Wednesday 21 May 2003
On his yabis and drugs: I thank you my brother. My original yabis (heckling) is one thing I have miss most since leaving Nigeria on 2 August 1997 for the great beyond. Here in limbo, there is no hassle, I can shack my igbo (marijuana) without molest from Bamayi, or any olokpa. “Let’s Start” (1971). First, you people for yonder don’t understand that igbo is an “Afrodesiac” (1973) and God made it for us to enjoy. Igbo is medicinal too. Imagine all the hemp we grow in Nigeria, exporting it will yield more revenue than oil. Instead of exporting LNG we should be exporting “N. N. G. (Nigerian Natural Grass).” Onyinbo say hemp is illegal, only because it does not grow in his land. But they understand that demand creates supply. All the big army boys can pretend all they want– but behind the walls of their mansions in Ikoyi, V.I., former Maroko and Lekki, dem all de shack.
On life after death: Well, since I left the country, some VIPs “Vagabonds In Power” have joined me here. I see Oga Sani, occasionally, and I see Musa Yardua, Tunde Idiagbon and also their friend my egbo, Moshood Abiola – the “Parambulator” (1983). MKO is restless, all he does is “Waka Waka” (1966), as if he has unfinished business or rendezvous with history at Aso Rock. Well, we all are managing here je je as in this afterlife called Piscataway, there is equality for all, “No accommodation/No discrimination” (1979) and no molestation. Anyway, all those khaki rascals now each pretend to be a “Gentleman” (1973). When we see and we salute, but I know that we are all “Opposite People” (1977). Oga Sani sef, how he left Nigeria is still surprising to him; “Just Like That” (1990). Not even a simple “Coffin For Head of State” (1979). Really, “He Miss Road” (1975), since he is in the barracks where Ken Saro Wiwa is the head korofo. Every morning, na bolekaja!
On the state of the Nigerian nation: We Naija people here all feel like the man in the Bible who asked God to send Lazarus to his people to change their ways. But there is no chance. Nigerians go sabi, but only when they learn, until then, “Confusion” (1973) go reign and “Everything Scatter” (1975). But mind you “Confusion Break Bones” (1990), but not the spirit. From here we see a lot of people fighting for their rights, we see also the pretenders and usurpers, and those who do nasty things on the name of “Democrazy”. They fight on how the share oil revenue, yet “No Agreement” (1977). They clamor to lead, as if they be “Aigana” (1960) or Sunny Adewusi, for the common man there is still “No Bread” (1976) and the entire nation and the economy is “Up Side Down” (1976). My brother Hank, that is not “Progress” (1977). Any suegbe, even omolanke know that. Area boys for agbada still de in charge!
On speaking up: I know that like you, many Nigerians are worried whether the country go survive. Everywhere, na OPC, Egbesu, Bakkasi Boys. For night and day there are “army robbers”. Them even worse pass Oyenusi, Willy Bizimo and Lawrence Anini. Nobody is safe. Well, I still don’t like Buhari for jailing me but I respect him for staying with the rest to salvage Nigeria together. Abi, was that not what he said? Look, my message to my compatriots is always the same: “Fear Not for Man” (1977), because “You No Go Die Unless You Wan Die” (1971). Whether like me they throw you into “Alagbon Close” (1974), or “Kirikiri”, no matter the “Frustration” (1983), the “Stratavarious” (1971) complications and “Sorrow Tears And Blood” (1981), you will always overcome, if you believe, if you don’t vacillate. Those who vacillate become the “Original Sufferhead” (1981), like my brother Tai Solarin. I asked him, why you Tai, why dine with the devil without a long spoon? He had no answer. He misses Mayflower but here he has the entire Sunflower he needs. All those killed for taking a stand, Pa Rewane, Kudirat Abiola, even the Cicero of Agodi, uncle Bola Ige, now enjoy more peace, better than they ever got in Nigeria.
On the economy: Look at what the soldiers and politicians have done to the Nigerian economy. Everything in Nigeria is now “Expensive Shit” (1975), worthless. With all their so-called wisdom there is deficit, inflation, hunger, immobilization, they can’t even apply the motorpark principles of economics, talk less the ethical code raised in “Fela’s Budget Special” (1975) which was why they tried to destroy my “Kalakuta Show” (1976). Bad leadership, hypocrisy, and selfishness – that’s “Why Black Man Dey Suffer” (1971). But why must our people continue “Shuffering and Shimiling” (1977)? There is no more miliki, no more “Ariya” (1973). It is such a shame for a richly endowed nation. Nigeria is a “Country of Pain”. Our main economic principle is still kleptocracy — aluta continua!
On peoples’ right: People must have rights and they have to be respected. Their vote must also be respected. Only in Nigeria will the policeman charge you for vagrancy in your own house. If you stop the policeman to ask for direction, he will ask, “Who’re You re?” (1971). And if he stops you on the road for inspection he will first ask, Wetin you carry? The common man is still he policeman’s bank.
About Nigeria’s leadership: There is none. Iro ni. None whatsoever. We used to complain about bad leadership under the military because of all that “Army Arrangement” (1985), but now, the civilian come with their agbada, kickbacks and “Colonial Mentality” (1981). What has happened is that the politicians have carried their “Wayo” (1969) and “Ikoyi Blindness” (1976) to Abuja. If I was still in Nigeria “I Go Shout Plenty” (1977) just like Gani Fawehimi and Buhari are shouting. If you don’t know let me tell you. Intelligence is not “Witchcraft” (1969) and good governance is not “Power Show” (1981). Leadership is about planning and serving the people. It is all about “M. O. P. -Movement of The People” (1984). To move forward, we must make “Movement of The People Political Statement Number 1” (1990).
Of our education system : What system? Witness what is happening in our schools. Ye kparipa! Strikes, cultism, “Na Fight O” (1971), all kinds of “Roforofo Fight” (1972); Student versus Teachers, ASSU versus Government, and NUT versus Governors. In the classrooms rather than “Question Jam Answer” (1972), we hear “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense” (1985). In the end all our children do is “Die Die” (1965). Good education is not “Fogo-Fogo” (1972. Without solid education we can’t have progress. Education in Nigeria is like “Ojuelegba” – stop and go- strike and jam- standstill — all na yeye.
On press freedom: They used to call me “Mr. Big Mouth” (1977), just because I called it as I saw it. Now, the come has come to become. (Oh, KO, still blows big grammatical here). But look at what happened to the Nigerian press after Dele Giwa. Now they are all praise singers, “AGIP- Any Government In Power”, people of brown envelopes chanting “Before I Jump Like Monkey Give Me Banana”. The only press freedom in Nigeria is the “Noise For Vendor Mouth” (1975). Yet the media bosses and owners will be the first ones to sing “Don’t Gag Me” (1975) followed by their “Beggar’s Song” (1975) and shout. Really, my friend, “Ye Ye De Smell” (1971). The press and Government is like Daboh and Tarka!
On Nigeria being an African power. Dreams, like talk, is cheap. That was Bolaji Akinyemi’s idea –original Ilesha thinking – tiwan tiwan. . The issue is “Open and Close” (1971). We are not leaders but “Beasts Of No Nation” (1989). Today we sell Bakassi, tomorrow we go sell Badagry. Who respects Nigeria? And for what? Our 419? Aremu’s “Unnecessary Begging” (1976), or for our government of “ITT-International Thief Thief” (1980)? What we have is “Football Government.” Our greatest asset is to “Chop And Clean Mouth Like Nothing Happen”. The challenge to address the “Blackman’s Cry” (1970) is beyond us; try as we may, unless there is profound change. We may shout long Live “O.A.U.”, “Viva Nigeria” (1969), “Keep Nigeria One” (1969) and “Viva Africa” (1970), but all that is “Pansa Pansa”. It is all like the “Palm-Wine Sound” (1977) of the Pirates Confraternity. Ehi – Orders is Orders!
When things are hard at home we face ECOMOG, or the oga patapata to travel abroad.
On multiparty politics: Abeg commot for my face oja re. That one is “Shakara” (1972). Real Shakara oloje. We wanted independence and we got it. We also fought apartheid shouting “Blacks Got To Be Free” (1980). But where is the freedom in Nigeria? Where is the multi-party system? What we have is a system of “Chop & Quench” (1972). Waki and die. We want to be like America. We listen to BBC because we want to be like oyinbo for Britain. So, all we are, is “B. B. C. (Big Blind Country)”. For us, multiparty system is about “Going In and Coming Out” (1972), but only the same people over and over again. Obasanjo dey kampe. Saraki dey, Ekwueme dey, Enahoro dey, Shagari dey, Gowon dey, Balarabe Musa dey, Shonekan dey, Jim Nwobo dey too, all na the same people – all na jan jala dem be. That is why they do selection and called it election; the end result will be a “G. O. C. (Government of Crooks)”.
On 2003 general elections: Which election? Who vote? And who win? First, the whole thing they called Legacy House earthquake was an “Army Arrangement.” — an electoral fistulas. INEC deliver for PDP but not for Nigerians. Can’t you see? N true say khaki no be leather, but agbada no make “Zombie” man politician. This selection was for the Generals: Obasanjo, Buhari, Ojukwu, Ike Nwachukwu, and meanwhile, Babangida and Abdulsallami dey for back for Minna Hilltop de do manipulation. Even Aikomu of Iruah, dey inside too. Now the selection is over, the Europeans they brought to give them credibility says that the process was dirty and full of magomago and biribiri. But trust our leaders, they say the oyinbo EU observers are wrong. Why? Because, “Observation No Crime” (1977). So everybody must go to election tribunal, for “Cross Examination” (1985). When they reach tribunal, another were judge like Judge Okorodudu go begin talk grammar. The SAN go stand in front of the tribunal where “Mr Grammatology-Lisationalism Is the Boss” (1976) with his dirty white wig an pontificate nonsense. After they jail you for stealing your vote the judged go beg you. That is their own style of Appeal. In the end, it is not for the observer “White Man To Suffer” (1970), for telling the truth, na we people of obodo Nigeria go suffer. The entire sickening episode is original wayo, wuruwuru, jipiti and magomago. Obasanjo says it is our culture. No. It his own interpretation of culture, military-political culture. Otta farm culture.
Everything dem do for the 2003 selections na charade-o. INEC and Abel Goubadia the “Government Chicken Boy” (1985) with his “Follow-Follow” kpafuka everything. Ah, these Bendelites, why do take jobs they can’t do? I remember the other one, Ovie Whiskey of FEDECO, who said he will faint when he sees one million. Well, me I will not faint for such small amount, because I don’t worship money. If you remember when Motown carry their “Onifere” (1966) mentality come to offer me a million dollars [for all my music catalog], I refused. I told them, “hey, shit, no. I wipe my ass with a million dollars. That’s my toilet paper bill!” But even more, our worthless naira now drives everyone crazy. “So PDP say them win, bah? No, that no be the people’s mandate, instead na “Authority Stealing” and authoritarian democracy. Now General Buhari has challenged General Obasanjo. When a General challenges another General in the open, before bloody civilians, that is “Stalemate” (1977).
On Our Transport system: Nothing has changed. More people are dying on the road, mostly the poor. Every day on the road is a struggle, potholes, death traps, broken bridges, all with no VIO, and no roadworthiness. Fuel sef is scarce. Everyman wants to own a jalopy; even if it is ramshackle box on four wheels, molue or sokinso. His thinking is “Don’t Make Garnan Garnan”(1975) for me because you get Obokun, Lexus or Hummer. Meanwhile, who controls the road? Nobody. Nigerian Police (without force) is there collecting money. FRSC is there directing drivers to “Overtake Don Overtake Overtake” (1989), in the center “Yellow Fever’ (1976) people are doing their own maja maja and “C. R. F. J. J. (Clear Road for Jaga Jaga)” thing. Nothing has changed except that more Nigerians now die in luxury – that is, inside the luxurious coffins called luxurious buses. Nigeria Airways is no Nigeria Airwaste!
On Sharia: That one na “Palaver”. When “Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am” (1979), wetin e de find? Na trouble big time. Hausa, Yoruba, Ijaw, Kanuri, Efik, even some Igbo sef, fought to “Keep Nigeria One.” All of them be “Blood Brothers 69” (1972). No one remembered Sharia then. Like ACB — African Continental Bank- Mosque dey for one corner, for another corner Church dey, even Aladura and Efa dey. Then we win the war and the task is done; oil begin to flow, we begin talk nonsense Sharia. That na rubbish. Those who want to follow Sharia like “Zombie” (1976), go die with Sharia. “Who No Know Go Know” (1975). Anyone who follow Sharia is “Swegbe and Pako” (1971). It is like Black Scorpion following Sisi Iyabo – like being a fool with no comparison!
On HIV-AIDS Protection: As long as man live there must be “Na Poi” (1972) no matter “C. S. A. A. (Condom Stalawagy and Scatter).” The man wants it and also the “Lady” (1970) wants it. Even the Federal Palace “A. S. B. O. P (Akunakuna, Senior Brother of Parabulator)” wants it. First, it starts like a joke, with the “Frustration of My Lady” (1977), when the man is looking for a “Mattress” (1975), to rest on, so he starts the “Cock Dance” by singing “Sisi me-o”, “Everyday I Got My Blues” (1966) or “My Baby Don Love Me” (1968). The lady wants to do “Shakara”, but she knows it is an “Open and Close” (1971) case. When the hormone starts to rage, there is no “Gentleman” (1973)” no “Jealousy” (1975), and no “Go Slow” (1976). The man and woman become “Shenshema” (1971), no sense, no thinking, you just want to do. Then the woman screams “Egbe Mi O, Carry Me, I Want to Die”(1971). The man must act or stop being a man. But after the “Yeshe Yeshe” (1966), comes the African Indigenous Destructive System -AIDS. Me, I be Fela, I don carry HIV before I develop AIDS like film for inside camera. Let those who want hear listen — to chuk-chuk de sweet – but na “Die-Die” the follow. Protect yourself always! Water no get enemy, but AIDS no get friend.

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