I’m a fan of TuFace Idibia for the very same reason as Whizkid is. Here is why…


Do you know that TuFace Idibia first met Annie Macaulay when she was 15? She’s about 32 now. They actually met on transit in a public ride, an occasion on which he had to part with his ‘last card’ for Annie and her friends’ fare; he would spend the rest of the day without food. Do you also know that TuFace did rent a nightclub to propose to Annie? On this occasion, she was greeted by an empty space on arrival to the venue of their date. Everyone suddenly showed up from hiding to get the business of the night rolling. Do you equally know that some of the accessories he used for his traditional marriage, especially the cap and pair of shoes, were auctioned for charity afterwards? Of course, I’m dead sure you know his white wedding happened in faraway Dubai, such a high society get-together that a Ferrari wasn’t too much for a gift.

Don’t mind me. I know those bits about Innocent Ujah Idibia (a.k.a TuFace) because I’m a no small fan of his. His songs are some of my very best, especially One Love, Unkind to Mankind, In the Eyes, and Like Her Better (of Plantashun Boiz days). And whenever he makes any headline I make sure I check out the news item to the very last word. I’m that much a fan of his.


And then I recently found out that Whizkid is also a diehard fan of TuFace. In his very own words: It is TuFace, and after TuFace is still TuFace. He is just there, in a class of his own. There is just no compare. That was Whizkid speaking on The Juice. He also recounted how he first met TuFace as a boy of 11 around OJB’s studio in Lagos. And he said that his earliest experiences of TuFace are unforgettable; “He is even the coolest guy anybody can chill out with right now.”

Now, it turns out that Whizkid and I are TuFace’s fans for the very same reason: his profound and breathtaking humility. He definitely isn’t humbler than Jesus Christ and probably not more than Pope Francis, but his humility rings a bell. To say the least, he is down to earth.

Let me explain. I had my very first date with his profound humility on national TV. It was an interview session and he was the celebrity-guest. And you know how journalists tackle celebrities with as far as impossible questions. On this occasion the questions were many, ranging from his musical career to his private life, and there were plentiful explanations he needed to give. You could see him struggling to keep pace with the questions no thanks to his poor command of the English Language. And then he says the shocking: “You know say me no go school, so make I talk am how I fit talk am.” He immediately reverted to pidgin English. You may be wondering what the big deal is here. If so, then imagine being the most celebrated African musician from inside African (with a globally recognized award to show for it) on national TV talking pidgin because you couldn’t grapple with English. I hope you now get it. But he didn’t even feel one bit embarrassed; he kept saying his thing, keeping his calm and being the best. On that day and always, TuFace stands out as himself.

Back to Whizkid. At the tender age of 10 or so, Whizkid was always hanging around OJB’s musical studio in Lagos, watching the big boys do their thing and quietly nursing his musical ambition. He was consistent in hanging around there. Guess who first noticed him? TuFace. TuFace friendlily called him up and inquired from the kid what he does and why he comes hanging around. You can guess that mentorship followed. And see what the kid has turned out today: amazing.

Then to TuFace. He was once asked how humility became his unique selling point. He gives an interesting answer: “I never forget that I come from down there. Sometimes I even forget my present self and just go on with life as usual.” Again, he is one human being you don’t need to remind of his weaknesses. His many songs tell you that ‘his sins are always before him’.

We can learn so much already from this amazing guy, TuFace.

5 reasons why people tell lies and how to relate with each reason


Who loves to be told the truth – always? Everybody, I suppose. Who loves to be told as much as a lie, just one lie? Nobody, I guess. But the irony is that the same Everybody who always wants to be told the truth, the same Somebody who abhors lies, and would not even accept as much as a slice of lie, is the same Somebody that tells lies, or, at least, has told one before – for one reason or another; in one way or the other. I should immediately give kudos to whoever hasn’t told as much as one lie before – including the infamous white lie; yours is definitely the kingdom of heaven. And I hereby exclude such a person from the sweeping generalization I earlier made – that Everybody tells or has told a lie before.

If Adam had his way he would have told God a lie; he resorted to the blame-game because no lie was readily available. Eve had no option but to resort to the last option: blame the serpent. I bet Adam and Eve would have “lied” if there was a third human party in Eden. Their actions reveal that humans are hardwired to evading responsibility, which is one motivation behind lying. However, the point I’m driving at here is that human nature is wont to lying. Put differently, lying is a natural disposition. How so, one may already be wondering. Simple: the very first law of nature is self-preservation, and lying is its loyal and faithful servant.

Moreover, the higher life we all aspire to abhors lying. In Christian ethics, for instance, lying is a no small sin. It is so big a sin that Apostle Paul mentioned it as one of those sins that could deny one access to the kingdom of heaven; he even ranked it with sexual immorality. Everyday morality sees telling of lies the same way. There is this way a liar is just seen as an undesirable element and a thief. For lying, a spouse could go as far as suing for divorce; it is grave matter.

The simultaneous ubiquity (almost everybody does it) and abhorrence (everybody hates it) of lies got me thinking. Why should a liar hate being lied to? This is funny. And to this effect a joke was once told, one for which you’ll die laughing:

A burglar found this sign on the door of a safe house he was about to blow: “Please do not use dynamite. This safe is not locked. Just turn the knob.” The instant he turned the knob a sand bag fell on him, the premises were flood-lit and sirens woke the entire neighbourhood. When the Master visited the man in prison he found him bitter: “How am I ever going to trust another human being again?”

[Adapted from Anthony de Mello’s One Minute Nonsense]

Now, it is important to know and understand why people lie. Of course, this knowledge wouldn’t justify any one lie. It will essentially serve two reasons: firstly, knowing the motivation behind lying will help us discourage lying in those under our watch. For instance, being in the know that fear can cause one to lie, one may choose to always begin one’s interrogation by allaying the other of their fears. Secondly, this knowledge will help one in classifying and relating with liars. Pieces of information from one who is wont to lying to deceive, for instance, would have to always be double-checked.

1. Some people lie because they’re afraid: The classical example here is Sarah, the patriarch Abraham’s wife. Her immediate reaction to the prophecy of her childbearing was laughter. And when she was queried to this effect, she lied – “because she was afraid.” Yes, some people lie because they’re either afraid of punishment or may risk losing something dear to them telling the truth. How on earth is a woman supposed to tell her husband the truth of her cheating, or a husband tell his wife of his? Who is not afraid of divorce?

To relate with people whose lying is motivated by fear: always allay them of their fears. In this regard, a mother may tell her son that he should simply tell the truth and that’s it, no big deal. These people should know that truth sets free – in one way or the other. Of course, put mosquitoes away and malaria is no more.

2. Some people lie as part of being over-protective: Parents and guardians are particularly guilty here, including friends and self-acclaimed well-meaning acquaintances. The thinking that a child be protected from the devastating effect the news of a parent’s death may bring may lead to his/her being told the parent travelled faraway and won’t be coming back for a really long time. In a bid to install sexual restraint in a daughter, mum may conjure up all kinds of lies, with some as terrible as “you’ll get pregnant by any form of bodily contact with the opposite sex.” And when the child discovers it was a lie and confronts such a parent, the response is usually: “I said it for our own good; I was protecting you.”

How do you relate with these ones? You may not doubt their protective intent, but since all lie is lie you may wish to begin to cross-check facts that seem overly protective coming from those quarters.

3. Some people lie to retain their holier-than-thou reputation: Some people want to be more Catholic than the Pope; they want to be more American than Americans. Having gained the holier-than-thou reputation, the next thing is to retain it. And so, when they do things that are inconsistent with this reputation, they can tell all the lies on the planet to cover up. They will say things like: ”How on earth do you think I’m capable of a thing like that? Don’t you know I’m a holy person, and don’t you know that people who do such things will burn in hell?”

These ones are simply deceiving themselves; leave them.

4. Some people lie to mislead: Many teachers and preachers belong here. Because they want to win people over to their side of the divide they tell lies. In a bid to grow their own congregation some pastors will say all kinds of horrible things about other churches, so as to have members of those churches being disparaged come over to theirs.

One should particular not be gullible. Always cross-check. Always think. Always research. Always ask questions. And, importantly, never take anyone that castigates others seriously.

5. Most people lie because they’re thieves:
The classical example here is Judas Iscariot. He would protest that the 300 denarii worth of ointment being splashed on Jesus’ feet would have been sold and the money given to the poor, not because he cared one bit about the poor but because he was a thief. The most potent instrument readily available to thieves is lies, which is why it’s a consensus that liars are thieves – if not of material possessions, of truth.

Oh, no! The only way to relate with thieves is to keep them at an arm’s length. To suspect their every word and deed. Yes, to show them charity, but from a distance.


The ‘Men who built America’ and the ones that will rebuild Nigeria


The Men Who Built America is the title of History.com’s docudrama chronicling how America, as we know, admire, and even adore it today, came about. Although America prides herself as God’s Own Country, men it was who built it. And, interestingly, the men showcased in the docudrama were not the ‘many men’; no, they were just five (5) in number: Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Henry Ford. Of course, there is no doubt that the rest of America’s manhood had their hands on the nation-building project, but it was the combined weight pulled by those titans at their respective stations that sealed America’s development fate.


Vanderbilt University speaks to the very first of them all – Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was more. The Commodore, a nickname that accrued from his shipping exploits, was the indisputable king of America’s rail transport, a industry he’d push to the limits. And its trickle down on the economy was massive.


The Ohio oilman, John D. Rockefeller, ran the American oil industry as a near-monopoly, given that he owned about 90% of oil refineries in America. He made so much money that he stands as the richest modern American. And, of course, the Rockefeller Foundation still ministers to present societal needs.


America grew vertical on Andrew Carnegie’s steel; he made the building of skyscrapers possible by flooding the market with steel.


There is today a giant financial institution in America called J.P. Morgan; that’s him. His influence on America’s financial life was so profound that “Morganization” is a valid economic concept (meaning: to install order in a chaotic or overly competitive industry). Morgan was the one man who had the capacity to financially bail out the US government. The Panama Canal is reputed as one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by human beings; Morgan’s US Steel it was that did it.


Ford Motors and the Ford Foundation came down to us from Henry Ford. It is said that he democratized automobile, making it possible for the average American to afford one.

However one tries to see it, the hand these men bore in building contemporary America can never be over emphasized. And because America is home to the amazing discoveries and inventions that revolutionalized the planet, we can say, by extension, that the men who built America built the planet.

The point of this seemingly lengthy exposé on the men who built America is to arrive at this one particularly peculiar trait that was common to all of them: the government didn’t exist. They provided for themselves whatever infrastructure they needed for the smooth running of their business. I repeat: government is one word that didn’t matter to them. And when a particular presidential aspirant, William Jennings Bryan, came howling threats at them, hinting a clampdown on big business if he’s elected, these men came together at a roundtable, and there adopted Morgan’s suggestion: We buy our president. And they did buy William McKinley.


Time to face home: Nigeria. That this house has fallen is no news. Achebe aptly captured it in these words: This is an example of a country that has fallen down; it has collapsed. And so, time spent on further exposing or lamenting the situation amounts to time wasted indeed. Focusing on the way forward will serve us better.

The most important question anyone can ask in or about Nigeria right now must touch on the way forward for our national experience. It is essentially this: Who will rebuild Nigeria? The men who built America already said how: ignore the government. This point owes its truism to the fact that the government and its policies has become a good reason for inaction to many a Nigerian citizen. Here, it is always the government to blame, and the name Buhari is probably the most castigated name on the planet, second only to Jonathan – his immediate predecessor.

Come to think of it, what difference will blaming the government make? It can at best constitute an inexcusable excuse. And, don’t get me wrong, I know that the government plays the backbone role in the country’s body, especially in the economic sphere, but who says those with backbone problems can’t use wheelchair to cruise around town. Trust me, you can do it the Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan and Ford’s way.

Finally, the men and women who can ignore Buhari and his change agenda are those that can rebuild Nigeria. And you really never know how much of a rebuilder you can be until you give it a try. Just try; you never know.