Archive for the ‘INTERVIEWS: THE 3,2,1 SERIES’ Category

Wow, so it’s been a little while I did an interview, basically because I didn’t just want to interview people who’ve been interviewed so many times already you could practically quote the answers, and even before you asked! It’s more my style to uncover people behind things that have really impressed/inspired me, or shine my Fairy light on people/areas I think we should all be aware of. What comes to your mind when you hear the name Onyeka Nwelue? To answer this question you should be on Twitter and Facebook, be Nigerian (not compulsory but will help), and if not for anything, be aware of the #LunchwithGEJ saga that sparked not a few wars and set the juices of writers (creative or not) flowing. Some of the articles can be found here, here, here, and here. Sorry if I didn’t list yours!

Anyways, somehow, Onyeka and I got talking and I remember saying I would really like to look inside his head; understand the way he thinks. I thought about it for a couple days and then the light bulb moment came; why not do an interview? Ah ha!

Little background on Onyeka; he wrote ‘The Abyssinian Boy’ (DADA Books, 2009) when he was 18, won the 2009 TM ALUKO Prize for First Book, 2nd runner-up, IBRAHIM TAHIR Prize for Fiction, nominated for the Future Awards 2010, lectured at NSS College, Ottapalam in Kerala, South India, appeared at The Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival alongside South African writer, Andre Brink and has interviewed Wole Soyinka for the Guardian. He is currently working on his debut film, The Distant Light and second novel. The son of a politician-father, and school-teacher mother, Onyeka writes mainly on religion and sexuality. On to the interview, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Onyeka (right) and some good people

FGS: First question, tell me three things you hate?

Onyeka: I hate beans, dogs (I know someone will be pissed off right now) and poverty!

FGS: who is that ‘someone’?

Onyeka: A world-class flutist who has over nine dogs and loves his dogs so much, that he thinks they are human beings too!

FGS: So your parents didn’t force you to eat beans as a child? Mine did, and beans is one of my best meals today!

Onyeka: My mom did. My father is a good cook. He used to cook for us while my mother was trying to get a university degree. And he was just cooking beans and making pap in the morning and I was getting angry, but I couldn’t do anything.

FGS: Ha ha ha ha!!!! Ok, let’s move to question two; or maybe I should ask that later on in this interview. What do you think?

Onyeka: Go ahead. I am here to answer anything!

FGS: Tell me about you. What is it that we don’t know already?

Onyeka: I am 23 years old. You already know that! I was a seminarian for 6 years. I practiced Hinduism for some time and visited the Buddhist monastery in Dharamshala, India, thinking I would become a Buddhist, but no, I couldn’t. I tried other religions by reading about them and meeting people who were part of them and decided to turn to atheism, which I find satisfying right now.

FGS: You’re younger than I am (which isn’t surprising since I am older than everyone – Fairy sturvs)

Onyeka: I have studied Sociology & Anthropology for 3 years and gave up, by withdrawing officially and travelling back to India to train as a scriptwriter. I have also lectured at Centre for Research in Art of Film & TV (CRAFT). I teach Film Adaptation. Few days ago, which nobody knows, except people close to me, I’ve been admitted into Prague Film School, so I will be starting the session by September. I’ve struggled to make films (hopefully, my documentary will be out soon) and I’m working as the editor of FilmAfrique, published by the Africa Film Academy, curators of African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). The last is that: I can’t hold my mouth. I talk a lot.

FGS: So, for the first time I’m having a chat with an atheist; I’m not going to pass the opportunity to ask some ‘home’ questions! What does that mean? I know atheism entails not believing in God, so what do you believe in?

FGS: *congratulations on your admission; I hope you’ll finish that*

Onyeka: Oh, thanks. I will definitely finish. This is something I’ve always wanted to do: filmmaking. I had imagined myself as an anthropologist for a long time and I found it awkward! Back to the question about God: truth is, yes, atheism is the belief that there is no God, but that doesn’t mean that I have a proof that there is no God or you have a proof that there is God.

FGS: So you just don’t believe.

Onyeka: Every one of us has questioned the existence of God, once or twice. There is no doubt about this. It is left for us now to choose what we want. I am happy I’ve chosen atheism, because it brought out another part of me that I didn’t know existed: that man who could tell anyone anything because there is no paradise for him and no hell…

FGS: Religion is the opium of the masses right? I spoke with a friend here in the UK one day on religion et al and he said he didn’t believe in God because his government takes care of him. Would you say the same?

Onyeka: Well, a friend said recently that I need to communicate with God. I was in the seminary for 6 years! God didn’t show. I was being bullied. I was maltreated and I also turned into a bully myself when I was made the Head Boy! So, you see? Man is your God. He rules over you and as time goes on, you become the Other Man’s God too. Life is just like that. There is nothing we can do with our imagination that much, but to think of someone who will always watch over us, even when we are in toilet. Or bathing naked in the bathroom; this awesome God is watching over us in the bathroom like a pervert!

FGS: Hmmm……

Onyeka: So, the answer to your question is this: if the God of your friend in the UK is his Government, my God is that person who is always by my side when I need help. No one can fault this conclusion and I think anyone who does, has actually seen God or ‘felt’ God as they always claim, which I find very ridiculous.

World Famous peace sign……

FGS: Ok, since this is just to get your thoughts on that, why don’t we move on to what I’m itching to talk about….the note you wrote about the lunch.

Onyeka: Okay. If you ask me, na who I go ask? LOL.

FGS: One question: What informed that article?

Onyeka: I don’t jump into conclusions. I was patient enough to wait for them to start blowing the smoke around and it was getting right into my nostrils. And I just didn’t find it funny that Chude Jideonwo was being attacked with fine grammar, which didn’t come off as insulting as it should when you write like a certain Onyeka Nwelue that didn’t go to school. And I am also not very good at running around the bush. I am not very good at looking at others being clamped down.

FGS: So who was being ‘clamped down on’? Because, it seemed to me (and a couple others who were made aware of the incident via notes that young people were just upset that there seemed to be a lot of secrecy about the whole thing)

Onyeka: I honestly felt if Feyi thought Chude went wrong somewhere, he should just say it, without running around like a village child…

FGS: Let’s be easy on our expressions………. what do you mean by running around? You said Feyi was ‘running around’.

Onyeka: He should not have gone to that length of wanting the dude to update his Facebook and Twitter, telling the world where he was and trying to keep them in the loop about the things that didn’t concern them. If he did in the past, he didn’t have to continue. If you read that Feyi’s stuff closely (and which you need to), he was being too personal on Chude and Amara Nwankpa, but the good thing these days is that these young men build some strong friendships after yabbing themselves and I’m sure Chude and Feyi are friends right now. He could have just done a less-worded note, saying, “Chude, this is where you went wrong.” And then try to tell us a bit about what they know that has been happening in the dark. That I can swallow and not comparing the young man to Tinubu, which actually annoyed me.

FGS: So from where you stand, if given the chance you would write that note again?

Onyeka: Mine?

FGS: yes

Onyeka: Definitely. I sat down in my office that very day reading all the Tweets and comments. Everyone abused me. They wanted me to write something more INTELLIGENT; that they read Feyi’s stuff and mine side by side and they wanted quality education, because Onyeka Nwelue is not educated. But hey, every writer single possesses a different style from the other. Feyi has expressed himself the way he wanted and I was there doing mine. I am sure if we meet, you won’t find me speaking English, so I would have even written the stuff in Igbo, ka o buru nani Ndigbo ga-agu ihe m dere…

FGS: lol!!

Onyeka: And please, don’t translate this to anyone who doesn’t understand it. Please.

FGS: I’ll try not to…. but you know I have a wide audience….

Onyeka: Please, don’t! FGS: I promise to try.

Onyeka: I have just finished my second book, narrated by a Chinese man and I have Chinese in it, which I’ve refused to translate. My first book I wrote some Hindi, which I intentionally refused to translate and a lot of Igbo words too. I feel people should know what they are supposed to know, so if I have to write that note again, I will do it in Igbo Language and you will find out that those people who think they have quality education (in English) don’t know anything at all…

FGS: So on to the second set of questions I was going to ask; what are two things you think people will absolutely love you for?

Onyeka: Nobody loves me, except my parents, my siblings, my publisher and my boss (who absolutely tolerates my eccentricism and mood swings). I don’t know why anyone should love me and arrogantly speaking, right now in my life, I don’t care!

FGS: Hmmm, don’t you ever feel lonely?

Onyeka and Jenny

Onyeka: Not at all.

FGS: So there are no two things that someone can love you for? This is an opportunity for you to sell yourself…. *wink*

Onyeka: Ha, ha ha. Cool. Let them love me for not believing in God. Let them love me for NOTHING. I just like it that I won’t have to sell myself or force anyone to love me!

FGS: Do you have a girlfriend?

Onyeka: We broke up with my girlfriend in March; we felt we should just take time off. But you see us together most of the time!

FGS: Forgive me if that question was a bit personal

Onyeka: No, it’s fine.

FGS: Where do you see yourself in the next three years?

Onyeka: I will be 26 years then! LOL

FGS: apart from advancing in years, what else will you have achieved/done?

Onyeka: I understood your question. I just don’t want to say anything about my plans. I have learnt not to talk about some certain things before they happen! Hope you understand?

FGS: I understand…

Onyeka: Thank you so much, my love, for understanding.

FGS: You’re welcome. What in your opinion is the problem with Nigeria?

Onyeka: I will definitely blame the ONE problem with Nigeria on RELIGION!

FGS: Seriously? religion? Not corruption, light or anything?

Onyeka: No. Religion. There is God, so if there is power outage, the old woman in the neighbourhood says, “God, please bring this light na.” The pastor milks market woman in the church, by using the name of God. They go home broke, because they are scared of not giving to God percentage of what they make in the market. Of course, God has directed those Hebrew retards to write it in the Bible, so they must do it. A woman who is so poor has to make a contribution for some Bishop Oyedepo guy to buy a jet and you don’t see it as a problem with Nigeria.

Onyeka: *unprintable*

FGS: Ok, how do we take care of the ‘religion’ problem?

Onyeka: First, we have to tax the church, the mosque and other religious centres in the country!

FGS: I saw that post on Facebook, so you think that taxing the religious institutions will solve the problems in Nigeria?

Onyeka: Yes it will, to a certain extent. The Government needs to watch them closely. They are the ones causing all the wahala in the country, I will tell you. They are the ones who feed the people with lies. They are the ones the people listen to, because they are believed to come from God. They are the ones who possess more power than the celebrities.

FGS: Ok, thanks for talking to me Onyeka. One final word; ANYTHING you want to say?

Onyeka: You are welcome! Final word: biri ka m biri. Please, don’t translate again. LOL.

FGS: So let’s say I gave you that opportunity again, but I said you had to give that final word in English……

Onyeka: Erm, it is difficult in English. Okay, I will just say, live and make we live. Is that okay?

FGS: Great! Thanks Onyeka!!!

Onyeka: Thank you so much.

Onyeka Nwelue

On that note, I give you Onyeka Nwelue, and wrap the first/second interview in the 3, 2, 1 series! Guess who I’ll be talking to next? Keep guessing, or tell me who you’d rather I spoke to, and why!

Related articles

So I was looking through Facebook today, and I saw one article on the whole post election crisis in Nigeria that wasn’t inspired by hysteria, based on falsehood (whether partial or outright), designed to incite hatred, or full or ridiculous theories and postulations.

It was written by @elnathan, Abuja Based legal practitioner and writer. He’s a poet, writer (currently working on his second collection of short stories), blogger (http://elnathanjohn.blogspot.com/) and enjoys attending literary readings and critique sessions. Most importantly, he is single!

I caught up with him (wasn’t difficult at all) and I’ve reproduced our discussion (uncut), and then the article that caught my eye….

ME: First question, what makes you different from every one else?

ELNATHAN: I think that we essentially share the same humanity and are all different shades of the same color. I like to think that people are essentially the same. Apart from my name and distinctive dark shade, there is little else.

ME: Three things you hate?

ELNATHAN: I hate reality shows, hair on my head, and men that abuse women

ME: Nice! I wish I could pick up on men abusing women but that’s not the thrust of the discussion for today…

ELNATHAN: lol

ME: Where did you grow up?

ELNATHAN: Kaduna, U/rimi to be precise

ME: I lived in Kaduna myself for a bit, matter of fact I am told that I could speak Hausa fluently at some point in my life. What was growing up for you like?

ELNATHAN: Growing up was sometimes confusing, depressing, but was mostly regular boring stuff. Go to school, sneak out to play football, sneak to the river with my brother and pray that my father doesn’t catch us. It was depressing because I questioned everything around me and didn’t get any answers. I grew up faster than my age. I remember  at about 10 or so trying to force myself to imagine eternity, when I read about God not having a beginning or an end; I ended up with a massive headache. After those headaches I know better…

ME: lol! Do you still try to imagine eternity? What the after life holds?

ELNATHAN: Yes I still do, many times. I mostly imagine what it feels like to be dead…

ME: Now that’s not exactly a good line of thought is it?

ELNATHAN: Sometimes it is a necessary line of thought

ME: Do you think that people in Kaduna (and indeed other parts of the North) are thinking along those lines now?

ELNATHAN: I guess they would be thinking more about life than of death. A sad state of affairs, Kaduna; where humans strip themselves of humanity.

ME: According to your article, the trust the different cadres of people in the North had in their leaders has been eroded over time…

ELNATHAN: Yes, completely. The traditional institutions used to command so much respect and trust. These days people painfully aware of the betrayal of that trust on every level. Thus the leaders have squandered the goodwill they once had and are unable to be the stabilising force their positions demand them to be during trying and violent times like these. The political leaders have done nothing but loot the comm wealth and turned the political scene into a theatre of the absurd.

ME: In their minds, is Buhari’s loss at the polls an expression of that of that or is it a case of a sitting keg of gun powder exploding on relevant or irrelevant impact?

ELNATHAN: Buhari is the only one person in the entire sad equation of mistrust, mutual suspicion and injustice. Buhari’s loss at the polls was simply a trigger for the unleashing of a frustrated angry crowd of impoverished, uneducated people, whose condition is the result of a deliberate policy of Northern leaders to keep the people loyal and subservient to them.

ME: I asked that question because Buhari wasn’t necessarily popular in some pars of Nigeria, whether of his making or not

ELNATHAN: Buhari has long been a symbol in the North of clean politics, of integrity and of trust. He has a cult following in the North where people have lost hope in all their leaders

ME: What of other parts of the country? The other areas where he needed to win?

ELNATHAN: Well the unfortunate ethnic and religious divisions, deliberate misinformation, and dirty political propaganda has combined to make sure that certain parts of the country do not see Buhari as anything but a fanatical Muslim.

ME: I agree with that. Before I let my reader enjoy the beauty that is your article, if you had one wish now that were sure would be granted, what would it be?

ELNATHAN: Improved power supply in all parts of the country!

BUHARI, THE MANY NORTH’S AND JUSTICE

I have read many articles, intelligent and painfully ignorant, about the current crises, which any Northerner or perceptive observer could have predicted. I am neither shocked nor confounded by the riots and the killings.

I choose to ignore the ignorant comments especially from people who live on the other side of the Niger behind computers and blackberry’s who have no clue about the complexity of this ‘North’.

This crisis is a bit different in my estimation from the other mindless religious conflicts that have visited the north. For the first time in the North(especially the Muslim North), I heard young uneducated men expressing hope that for once there is a worthy man on the ballot; that at last their time has come. For the first time, there was actual trust in a person to whom they bequeathed all their dreams. This man was General Buhari. Anyone who speaks Hausa and knows the Hausa speaking people will know the importance of the concept of ‘amana’. Trust. It is the one thing that is cherished above most things in the Muslim North. It is not uncommon for you to meet a Hausa petty trader to give you goods without money or collateral, regardless of whether he knows you or not. In fact I still remember how my mother at the market in U/Rimi in the North of Kaduna city, would stop a Hausa motorcyclist (she always insisted on a Hausa man) whom she had never met, give him her shopping sometimes worth thousands and describe her house to him. She would pay him and not fret about the things reaching home. My mother always only bought meat from Hausa Muslims because she trusted that it would be fresh and that it was not a dead animal. In Hausa communities, shops would be left open when people went to say their prayers. Amana. Trust.

This is the trust that has been squandered by Northern leaders, notably in the past 12 years-members of the PDP led ruling class, and before that, military and traditional leaders. These Northern leaders have destroyed every level of trust given to them without questioning by their people. One man seemed to rise above all the filth, above all the distrust. They noticed his lifestyle. They didn’t see flashy cars in his drive way. They didn’t see his kids drive around town recklessly with loud music spending plenty money on their pre pubescent girlfriends. They didn’t hear scandals of massive overseas accounts. They met him at petrol stations. They saw an honest, straightforward, religious man. So when they went to the streets, they went first after their own leaders who had squandered this trust and those who they perceive had abetted them. Sadly, as with all mob actions, it provided the perfect cover for criminals, miscreants and those with sinister agendas (and there are plenty in this North- politicians, thieves and fundamentalists). So eventually, churches were burnt and innocent people killed.

However, the man is a Muslim and unapologetically so. He has not been afraid to express his ‘Muslimness’ in public. This alone is enough to constitute a problem in the North. For we are not one North. We are many North’s. There is the Muslim North. The uneducated rural North. The aristocratic North. The cosmopolitan North. The Christian North… each with its own interests and sometimes as different from each other as people from different countries. The marginalisation of minority groups in the North has also hurt Buhari who is seen as the face of the oppressor by at least some in the Christian minority. The countless religious crises have divided the North and created mutual suspicion, further highlighting the fact that the idea of a single united North is a myth. Some have suggested that Sardauna created one North and that we only recently created divisions. This is far from the truth. The facade which was One North was in fact a mix of dominant and dominated people, peace existing only because the quiet grievances of minorities like non-Muslims had not concretised into vocal movements for the exercise of rights. The Jos crisis is a classic example of the manifestation of decades of frustration among the minorities. That manifestation though reactionary is more than a knee jerk reaction. It is minorities paranoid about the increasing dominance of the majority and taking rash actions to hold onto power, land and resources in a region where the dominant sentiment among minorities is that if you are not Hausa Fulani or Muslim, you will be marginalised.

The decades of injustice meted out on Nigerians by their leaders have made eventual violent reaction inevitable. The many poisonous variables in our polity which have been allowed to interact under the lazy watch of Nigeria’s thieving political class have fixed themselves firmly in our polity. What we are now dealing with are just the early warning signs of a cancer that is malignant. Our mutual suspicions make us easy to exploit and set against each other, so that while we are fighting over whose god is bigger, our government loots the commonwealth. Where there is no justice there cannot be peace. An aggrieved man is many times an irrational man. It is wrong to always judge a reaction, which is unplanned, when you do not judge first, the action, which is planned. A reaction is many times worse than an action, for it is delivered without a sense of proportion, only a sense of wanting release. There is usually more passion in a reaction. He who sets a ball rolling should prepare to follow it wherever it rolls to.

This government has a choice. To move beyond its rigged landslide victory and actually give its citizens a semblance of justice. To move from the hawks that now have it by the scrotum, namely PDP party investors, and work for its citizens- give them roads, electricity and rule of law. To provide infrastructure and stop the massive looting of government resources that is now going on. Or. To oversee the early days of the disintegration of a Nigerian state that has miraculously held on for the past 50 years.

So it’s been a little while I did a chronicle that wasn’t school and learning related, and that’s due to the fact I’ve gotten to that point where I’m pleading with God for extra hours at the end of the day…. It’s also because there’s too much happening! From Nigeria to Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe to Egypt, to Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and Japan, it’s almost impossible to keep up!

Anyways, I’m back, and repeating my promise to give you something to engage with every week, and I’ll keep that promise; at least I’m not promising 50,000 posts in one day!

On to the business of the day; I’ve wanted to run interviews on this blog for a while because despite all the ‘sad’ things around us, there are young people who are doing exceptionally brilliant stuff! Especially the ones that if you’re not told of, you’d likely miss.

The idea for the first interview came about a week ago, when I was researching facts for an article that would show the impact social media has had/is having on politics in Nigeria and I stumbled on ‘Nigerian Constitution App for Blackberry’, developed by a Nigerian, Zubair Abubakar.

Zubair Abubakar, fine boy  abi? Brains too!

I found him on Twitter, asked for an interview, and below is an hour’s worth of our discussion, reproduced as taken off Gtalk!

Enjoy…!

FGS: hey, good evening!

ZUBAIR: hey!!!

FGS: good evening…… Nice day?

ZUBAIR: good evening ma, yes, I had a nice day. You?

FGS: yes, I’ve had fun, especially since I finished a report I’ve been trying to write since Wednesday

ZUBAIR: ah, great!

FGS: yup! So basically, I wanted to do this interview because as part of my research on Social Media and Nigerian politics I stumbled on @techloy’s site, and I saw your work

ZUBAIR: oh ok…..

FGS: And I believe that it’s a platform for people to get to know you, and the work that you do…and it’ll help our knowledge base so that our arguments and requests from government are backed with a knowledge of what we are entitled to..

ZUBAIR: ok, sure!

FGS: great, thank you. Let’s start with, what is the one thing you hate?

ZUBAIR: WOW, I love so many things, I cant even pick one thing that I hate…but I would say dishonesty from people and people trying to take advantage of others.

FGS: Ok, we’ll pick through your answer but please tell me three things you love, since you said you love ‘so many things’

ZUBAIR: I love to impact in peoples lives

FGS: that’s one…

ZUBAIR: I love reading and learning basically

FGS: that’s 2a and 2b

ZUBAIR: I love God

FGS: three! Ok, back to the things you hate, have you ever felt someone was taking advantage of you? Tell me (us) about it..

ZUBAIR: yea couple of times;well a typical example is the way Nigerian leaders rule over us without caring about be accountable to us(me)

FGS: Isn’t that a function of their knowledge of the fact that we didn’t care? I say ‘didn’t’ because we do now…

ZUBAIR: Well, exactly!

FGS: Why would you say then that they ‘took advantage’ of you, since you agreed with me that they had a reason to?

ZUBAIR: well, in the moral sense, because you have a reason or power to take advantage of someone doesn’t make it okay to do so!

FGS: Agreed…. Forgive my manners, I forgot I didn’t ask who you are, and what you do…

ZUBAIR: LOL, I guess you already know that

FGS: No(insert smiling smiley)

ZUBAIR: I am a web/mobile application developer, a TED fellow, a volunteer amongst other things.I currently work with connectnigeria.com as a lead developer

FGS: Wow….And your name is? I know your twitter handle is @zubairabubakar

ZUBAIR: you can get more here: http://www.ted.com/profiles/9272http://www.facebook.com/zabubakar,zubairabubakar.com,

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/zubair-abubakar/3/329/935. Zubair Abubakar is my full name

FGS: Have you always been a ‘techie’? By that I mean is it something you’ve always had a flair/skill for, or you studied and acquired it?

ZUBAIR: yes I have always been a techie, but my studies helped a great deal to develop the skills

FGS: What/where was school?

ZUBAIR: I first did a diploma in Information Systems Management at APTECH Computer Education, Lagos,then a BSc. Computer Science at Ashesi University Ghana

FGS: How long have you been building apps?

ZUBAIR: web apps or mobile?

FGS: both

ZUBAIR: since 2003, so that’s roughly about 8yrs!

FGS: Wow….what’s the first app you developed? (web and/or mobile). By the way, I was in first year for the greater part of 2003

ZUBAIR: oh really! Well, it was a web app, a diploma project, where customers can create accounts, deposit(virtually), check their account balance

FGS: neat…Can we digress a bit? How do virtual deposits happen? I can understand online transfers, deposits via ATM’s et al but I don’t really get virtual deposits, and I’ve been too lazy to google it!

ZUBAIR: a simple implementation could be the use of recharge cards

FGS:ok….

ZUBAIR: so a website may sell the recharge cards and ask users to buy a card of certain value (say N5000) and then load the value of the card into his/her account on the website

FGS: oh ok…

ZUBAIR: then the account reads that he/she has N5000 on the website and can use it to buy stuff or transfer to another user

FGS: Nice….is it in use now? The app?

FGS: Zubair? (he was gone for like 8 minutes)

ZUBAIR: hey sorry for the break in transmission…thanks to NEPA.. lol

FGS: that’s fine; one of the reasons we’re all going out to vote next month abi?

ZUBAIR: exactly! And no, the app is not in use

FGS: Did you register in February ?

ZUBAIR: no; in January, why?

FGS: January I beg your pardon… DO you have your voters card?

ZUBAIR: yes

FGS: Ok, I would have been very worried if you didn’t! That would have been one less vote…. What was the experience like? Easy, difficult?

ZUBAIR: well ok, could have been way better

FGS: ok, that’s what everyone thinks… What prompted the Nigerian constitution for BB app? And don’t worry, we’ll be talking about things other than work in a bit…

ZUBAIR: lol its ok. Well I was learning how to develop for blackberry phones at the time so I thought about what app I could develop to make an impact and coincidentally, I was lazily reading the constitution then

FGS: ok…

ZUBAIR: and then it occurred to me that Nigerians don’t read or don’t even have access to the constitution; what if I developed an app that would let them read it on their phones……and that was it!

This is what the app looks like, get familiar!!

FGS: neat!!! Now to the stuff that sells papers…how old are you?

ZUBAIR: lol, 27

FGS: ok, back to the app. Has it been successful, how popular is it?

ZUBAIR: well, I would say yes, I has been downloaded 15,000+ times, here you go

http://mobileappsnigeria.com/nigerianconstitution/ (that’s the link to download it guys)

FGS: wow…that’s a lot of downloads! @techloy did a little analysis of the amount of money you would have made if you sold the app

ZUBAIR: it has also set a record of most downloaded app in Nigeria within 72hr – 10,000 downloads

FGS: Yes, I am aware of that…kudos!!!

ZUBAIR: yep, I know right! Thanks; a big thanks to social media

FGS: How are you publicizing the app, because there are currently more than 80 million Nigerians using mobile phones; placing this app in the hands of even a tenth of that number would be great.

ZUBAIR: my plan exactly; so far its has been, bb broadcast, facebook posts, twitter, and blog posts

FGS: ok, nice. When you are building apps, what do you do?

ZUBAIR: do you mean when I am NOT building apps?

FGS: yes, excuse me

ZUBAIR: ok, well couple of things, reading, volunteering, sports, hang out with friends

FGS: Any ‘special’ friend?

ZUBAIR: LOL, wife you mean?

FGS: whatever…wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, cat, dog, you choose….

ZUBAIR:LOL, not really, I’m mostly a loner

FGS: are you lending credence to the saying that techies are ‘loners’?

ZUBAIR: yep to some extent :)

FGS:You’re not even trying to deny it! Anyways, my final three questions (and I must thank you for being a sport), what’s your favourite childhood memory?

ZUBAIR: lol, you are welcome

FGS: what’s your favourite childhood memory?

ZUBAIR: I’ve had couple, I think I first time on a plane would be the one

FGS: What’s your favourite meal?

ZUBAIR: tuwo rice with fresh fish stew

FGS: who’s your most favourite person in the world?

ZUBAIR: dead or alive?

FGS: You choose

ZUBAIR: Gandhi

me: thank you very much!!!

And that my dear friends, is Zubair, and the end of the interview (and this chronicle)… Feel free to talk to him on Twitter, he’s an easy, approachable fella, and please download the app, and forward the link! Knowledge of the law will enable us lead more productive lives, and ensure that no one tramples on our rights. Thank me later!