Nigeria Rocks! Showcasing Nigerian Youth-led Activities in the Information Society…

Nigeria Rocks!

Beginning from the first phase of the WSIS when Paradigm Initiative Nigeria coordinated the Policy Train, through to the Rural Youth National Information Society Campaigns (RYNICs), pictorial and video images of the process were being archived. WSIS Nigeria Youth Caucus invites you to a session that will showcase the 20-minute documentary tagged, “Nigeria Rocks”, which unfolds the archive of Nigerian youth involvement (and action) through the entire WSIS process. The session will also feature the public presentation of the book titled, “Global Process, Local Reality” — a celebration of how young Nigerians have maximized the WSIS process, and an expression of their resolve to partner with relevant stakeholders towards building a people-centred and development-focused Information Society for Nigeria, Africa and the world.

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Time: 1600 – 1700
Venue: Youth Caucus Pavilion

Join us at the Youth Caucus Pavilion… and please see more information about the documentary (“Nigeria Rocks!”) and book (“Global Process, Local Reality”) below:

1. Global Process, Local Reality
Through the WSIS process, numerous documents have been produced by various members of the Nigerian WSIS Youth Caucus, and various meetings produced feedback from other young people through administered questionnaires. These results (from the questionnaire, campaign reports, meeting reports and articles) will remain as definite proof of the action taken by young Nigerians in their bid to move from words to action. Chronicling these results in the form of a book will place the inestimable information pack in the hands of a variety of beneficiaries – including researchers, development workers, international organisations, United Nations’ summit participants, young Nigerians, civil society, and many more.

In a book titled, Global Process, Local Reality — with a little less than a hundred pages, and amazing contributions from the people that can best tell the story of Nigerian youth’s inclusion in the WSIS process — one can only say at this point that you should keep your fingers crossed. Are you interested in knowing more about The Policy Train? Curious about how Nigeria’s youth were Extending the Perimeter? Would you be glad to know how we also did the work of Measuring the Impact? How about the opportunity of Reconnecting in Berlin or the popular journey From Bamako to Accra? We are also going to share with you on the task of Exporting the Influence and announce The Birth of N.Y.I.N. You would enjoy our story of The Road to Geneva and join us in answering The Quo Vadis Question. We explained how we’re Combatting the Big Threat! The book teaches The Power of Information and is itself, History in the Making. Already, People are Talking! Not to worry, we’ll leave you with some Notes on Contributors.

2. Nigeria Rocks
In 2003, the global Youth Caucus (led by TakingITGlobal) produced a 60-minute documentary that has become one of the most reliable platforms for reliving the WSIS Phase 1 moments, and evaluating the process. Beginning from the first phase of the WSIS when Paradigm Initiative Nigeria coordinated the Policy Train through to the Rural Youth National Information Society Campaigns (RYNICs) coordinated by Paradigm Initiative Nigeria and Knowledge House Africa, pictorial and video images of the process are being archived.

Along with the book, a 15-minute documentary tagged, Nigeria Rocks, archives Nigerian youths’ involvement (and action) through the entire WSIS process. The material will celebrate volunteer efforts of dynamic young Nigerians and their supporters; provide a veritable resource-base for future action and research; and identify with the theme of Nigerian youth participation at the WSIS Accra meeting, as supported by Heinrich Böll Foundation – Nigeria Rocks!

Flying After 22-10

Speaking with a participant after my presentation...

I had considered cancelling the trip, for reasons ranging from just “I-don’t-feel-like-travelling” to consideration of weather condition. With all these toughts coming about 10 days after the 22-10 Lisa tragedy in Nigeria, your guess is as good as mine. And I actually had a good reason not to leave Lagos — we were recording scenes and interviews for the “Nigeria Rocks” documentary that will be unveiled at the WSIS meeting later in the month, in Tunis. Then my phone rang… it was Vitalis, who was of course wondering why I wasn’t at the IAVE Workshop’s Opening Ceremony. He stressed that fact that I was being expected and that he felt there was some strong intrerest in the topic I was to speak on: ICT4V: The Role of ICTs in Volunteering. We discussed the best route to Umuahia (Abia State, Nigeria) both by air and road, since there is no airport in the town where the meeting is being hosted.

November 3 morning, I made my way to the airport very early in the day and got myself two things — a return ticket to and from Owerri, and a newspaper. Both were of great importance, and I can explain. The ticket will take care of the flight but the newspaper was to help shorten the distance, at least I wouldn’t be able to read through the entire newspaper in 50 minutes which was expected to be the flight duration — and reading has a way of shortening distances, and reducing my worry at every bump mid-air. And thanks to the idea of getting the newspaper, I was able to read The Verdict according to Segun Adeniyi (my Thursday
tonic) in which he continued his Change of Guard series and wrote on Reuben Abati — the columnist who not only knows how to make you expect his next feature (to help summarise the week’s happenings) but goes ahead to offer valuable input within the polity through his pen. I don’t miss Abati…

There was a one hour delay before the actual flight but one can’t rule that out as unusual. What was unusual was the chaos in-flight — my seat had 3 claimants as three people had authentic 21E tickets! And that was not all, there were people who couldn’t find their seat numbers in the plane (which apparently wasn’t the original aircraft planned for the flight). But outside that, I noticed that the passengers were quite attentive when the cabin crew was busy with in-flight
instructions… it was interesting to see people switch off their phones without being begged (as it was usual practice pre- 22-10). While looking forward to a quick flight, there was the question of a stop-over in Enugu before the final landing in Owerri. I thought that was unfair to me because I was already running late for the meeting, but what can one passenger do. But was it luck when the pilot announced that they would actually touch down at Owerri before proceeding to Enugu… and even though my neighbour was sad, I caught myself saying, “one man’s meat…” but had to stop mid-statement. The flight wasn’t bump-free, and you could literally feel prayers cutting through every fibre of air each time that happened.

When the pilot announced that there was rain in Owerri (a few minutes after he announced that we should be on ground shortly), the aircraft became more silent. A few minutes after that, descent began… and before I could readjust my seating position to try and get a glimpse of how close we were to the ground, almost all the passengers clapped — evidently for the pilot for his ability to get us to Owerri safely in spite of his earlier warning (that could have reminded us all of the 22-10 story of rainfall and a possible thunder strike). And just when the surprise on my face leaked out, my flight neighbour commented, “you shouldn’t take these things for granted”. And I noticed that phones were unusually quiet even after the flight came to a complete stop. People do change…

On arriving Owerri, I called my hosts and then made my way (about one hour by road, from the airport) to Umuahia. My presentation went really well, and it was great to discuss with so many people about how they could use ICTs in their present efforts. And not to forget the dinner that was hosted by the Abia State Government (and there was so much reference to 2007) 🙂

Something Dey Happen!

Photo courtesy AFP

If you love music, especially good music from Nigeria, then you will know the phrase, “nothing dey happen”. 2 Face (Tu Face Idibia), the young man from Benue state who sneaked into the minds of Nigerian music lovers — and more — with our eyes wide open, is known with the phrase. But I dare say the humble dazzling musician owes Nigerians an apology … he needs to apologise for saying “nothing dey happen”, and start saying, “something dey happen” 🙂

Just two nights ago, he proved to the world that he’s not just a flash in Nigeria’s pan, but a phenomenon whose time has come. 2 Face is in our face, he’s here, and something is happening! At the MTV Europe awards (which I tried to monitor its countdown from 3.5 hours from my meeting venue — Abia State, Nigeria — but could only see the last segment for obvious reasons), 2 Face did Nigeria proud when he won in the Best African act category! Not only is he the first African to win this award (that in itself is an award) :), he is also adding this to his “collections” at a time when his fame and collective love is soaring…

Drive through Lagos, watch TV, just live your normal life — and 2 Face will whisper in your ears. Bill boards, the popular TV and… and the loudest song I heard as we drove into Umuahia from Owerri airport 2 days ago. Congratulations 2 Face… and thanks for making us proud. Nigeria Rocks!