Tag Archives: Sweden

My Nigerianness Has Expired

By Adeola Aderounmu

One day in December 2006, I sat in my car for more than 4 hours at a gas station in Festac Town, Lagos. We had queued up for petrol because the commodity had been scarce for some time. That morning when I arrived at the gas station at about 6 a.m, I thought I was going to be one of the first people at the station but to my chagrin surprise it appeared that some people slept over at the gas station.

Adeola Aderounmu 2008_2

As I waited and drove at snail speed to the nozzle where all the attention was, I saw how people struggled and fought to procure a commodity that is flowing freely right underneath their feet. For the first time in my life, I cried out loud, profusely with lots of tears flowing from my eyes. I was alone. There was no chance of consolation and my emotions burst without any hindrance. I had returned 2 weeks earlier from a place where I just drive to an unmanned gas station, fill my tank and drive away in no time. MyNigerianness had expired.

One day I wrote to a friend discussing about my paternal leave in 2007. He was shocked as I explained the process to him and that the plan was to be at home with my daughter who was one at the time. In 2011 I repeated the process taking care of our second child. In this piece titled- An argument for parental Leave,http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/adeola-aderounmu/an-argument-for-parental-leave-13.html, published here in the village square and in the Nigerian Guardian Newspaper I shared the experiences and the benefits of parental leave. But I know how far Nigeria and Nigerians are from such idealism. I know that my Nigeriannesss had expired.

When I’d talked to some people at home and abroad about picking up my children from school and making them dinner, I know the type of scorn and other types of reactions that people show (or sometimes fail to show). But if you grew up with my mother of blessed memory, it was imperative that you could cook. It was our next line of training after high school to take over the kitchen tasks while waiting for admission to the University.

During our younger years, we were required to be at home when the food was made so that we can participate in the consumption. If you were away, your reasons must be genuine and understandable. Unfortunately this family value given to boys and the ability to use it at home in the presence of the female members of the family is not generalised in Nigeria. Things fell apart many years ago and some misunderstanding of cultural values tangled with ego and ignorance.

There was one man I’d met regularly in Stockholm in the early 2000s. He was always late to our meetings and there was always one reason or the other while he came late. My replies were blunt; I always told him that I didn’t believe him. His problem was that he did not know how to shed the African time syndrome. I don’t meet this man again. He had since found his way back to Ibadan.

There are other things that remind me of the African time syndrome. One day I was invited to an event that was slated to start at 5pm. By 7pm, they had not even finished preparing the venue, so I left and when I got home I was able to see one of the football games for the evening. About a week later I heard from other people at another event that the New Yam Festival event went on to start around midnight! I was glad for the call I made-to return home before the evening burnt out. My Nigerianness had expired!

Last summer (2013) I started using my bicycle more often. I biked to the train station and then join the communal transport. When I arrived at work, I would have been on the bicycle, the train and the bus. I thought it would be over by the end of summer. No, it didn’t! I went on to bike to the train station over the autumn and then winter. Around 2008, I’d found the idea of people changing the tyres of their bicycle to winter tyres ridiculous but that was just what I did in December 2013 as winter sets in. My Nigerianness is over!

If someone had shown me this vision in 2001 or even in 2005, I would have laughed. Now I know that myNigerianness had totally expired. I no longer see the egoistic statuses that we went about dissipating when I was living in Nigeria. I know I’m never going to be able to give up that Nigerian sense of fashion and beauty. But for cars, they don’t mean the same thing to me as they did in 2001.

In another essay from July 2007 I’d asked a question: Who Planned Our Lives In Nigeria? Life can be easy or easier if we judge it by the simple things that have self-fulfilling effects.  Life can be more meaningful if we don’t live above our incomes and if we stop setting standards just to meet other people’s expectations or their fantasies.

Life is more worth living if we live gracefully. My hope for Nigeria is that the time will come when the majority of the people will stop struggling just to survive but rather that they are presented with the fair opportunities to let them reach their potentials and accomplish happiness built on contentment and selflessness. That time will be freedom time, a freedom that will be fought for.

I’m feeling that my hopes mean that the possibility of reviving my Nigerianness may have been lost forever.

aderounmu@gmail.com

How Obama Is Bringing Stockholm To 2 days Of Standstill

Barack Obama will visit Stockholm-Sweden from 4-5th of September 2013. For those 2 days life will become hell for some people especially those who live or work around Stockholm city.

We have not seen something like this before in Sweden, when the capital of Scandinavian would be brought to a halt because of a visit.

Obama is bringing:

1. Air Force One
2. His car- the beast
3. 5 helicopters
4. About 40 cars
5. 29 transport planes
6. Security from the secret service
7. About 300 advisers and press contacts
8. Other personals numbering around 150
9. 6 doctors
10. His cook

He will also be provided security by all the police in Stockholm.

I thought maybe the Swedish government can declare 2 days of holidays for everyone. Or maybe we can have the longest weekend ever closing on Tuesday night (3rd of spetember) and returning to work on Monday the 9th.

One of the busiest roads in Stockholm (E4) will be closed during Obama’s arrival and drive through to his destination in Stockholm. Large areas of the central part of Stockholm will not be accessible and transport will be severely affected.

While I understand the security and safety issues connected to Barack Obama, I do not personally appreciate the extremity attached to it. I do not appreciate that the lives of other people will be put on hold for up to 2 or 3 days depending on where Obama is threading.

A major train station will be locked for more than 12 hours. Some businesses and offices will be closed for certain periods.

Thousands of people will change their local and international travel plans for the sake of Barack Obama.

In this age of advances in technology and sophistication, I do not agree that what it takes to protect Obama is to pause or stop the lives of other people.

I think this has been taken too far.

I thought Nigerian rulers took things too far when they take over major parts of the cities or town during their worthless visits or attendances at events.

But looking closely on what is about to go down in terms of American and Swedish tax payers monies due to one Obama visit, I am almost weeping for the poor people in America.

Yoruba Union in Stockholm Celebrates First Ever Yoruba day

By Adeola Aderounmu

Yoruba Union in Stockholm was founded on the 15th of May, 2010. Our goals are clearly stated in the constitution of the Union:

• To serve as a common forum through which the Yorubas in Sweden can meet and discuss matters of common interests.
• To serve as an avenue for social and cultural interactions among the Yorubas and other nationalities
• To act, when necessary as a link between members of the union and the Swedish Authorities
• To promote and encourage solidarity at all times amongst members.
• To teach our children about the traditions and knowledge of the Yoruba race
• To show/ introduce the Yoruba culture to the the Yorubas and other people living in Stockholm and Sweden in general

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(Yoruba Union Members pose with Ambassador Amobi and his wife)

We knew that through these goals we will be able to achieve the following:

• create a community of Yoruba people living in Stockholm
• unite the Yorubas in Stockholm through this community
• create a sense of belonging for ourselves and our families in Sweden
• create an atmosphere for togetherness like the one we experienced, growing up in Nigeria and not the least,
• create a home away from home

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To make our plans come true we have been organizing different activities such as:

• Regular meetings to form a solid social contact among ourselves
• Organizing annual summer Yoruba Family Day in Stockholm. This year we will have the fourth edition of this tradition for our families and friends
• Organizing annual children’s day celebration for our children and friends of the Union.
• Inviting one another to our individual or family activities here in Sweden (marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies, house warming, graduation ceremonies and so on)

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(Drama showing the Kabiyesi and his subjects)

Nowadays, in addition to our regular monthly meetings, we also have our mingling and chat sessions every Wednesday at a place called Medborgarplatsen. We drink Yoruba palm wine and relax after work 7pm to 9pm, just like we used to meet under the tree way back in Nigeria.

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(Drama showing a Yoruba woman sweeping the house in the morning)

On the 11th of May 2013 our dreams in the Yoruba Union came true. We were able to organize the first ever Annual Yoruba Day Celebration in Stockholm. It took 3 years to get to this point but it was worth every minute we waited and invested into the process.

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(Yoruba Dancers)

Our special guest was the Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland His Excellency Onochie Amobi. He was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Amobi. We had other notable Nigerians at this inaugural event including Mr. Shola Mansur Amao, Engineer Olatunde Aluko, Mrs. Clara Kilete Rogo and Mr. Adetunji Ogunnoiki.

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(Yoruba Fashion Parade)

We also have the president of the Nigerian Union in Stockholm Mr. Dominic Emene in attendance. A representative of our partner organization-SENSUS Ms. Ingrid Bjurström was present to witness the special day.

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(Yoruba People, A beautiful race)

To see what transpired on the day we celebrated the first ever Yoruba Day in Stockholm, Sweden, anyone can subscribe to our YouTube channel to see some of the events that took place on the YORUBA DAY (type Yoruba union Stockholm). We had cultural dances, drama sketches, the ambassador’s speech and Yoruba fashion parade among other interesting things that took place on that day.

Yoruba People, Beautiful People
(This is lovely!)

The Yoruba Union in Stockholm has the following executive members, Lydia Akinwale-social secretary, Funmileyi Adenuga-treasurer, Abiola Kamoru Amos-Public Relations Officer, Ibrahim Onifade-secretary and Debo Fasheyi-Assistant PRO.

The union is made up of energetic young men and women who are intellectually rich and determined. In the group, positive energy radiates and different life experiences merge to create a dynamic forum that moves our common ideologies forward in the right direction.

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(The Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland HE Onochie Amobi, giving a speech at the ceremony)

Dialogue remains a useful tool in the group where issues are openly discussed and agreements reach based on democratic principles.

The group is well known in Stockholm and we remain popular among our sister organizations in Goteborg and Malmö. We continue to encourage our Yoruba brothers and sisters in Stockholm and its environs to become a part of us. But we show deep respect for people’s rights of association.

In the Yoruba Union family every member is important and treated with respect. Executive and non-executive members understand the principles on which the association was founded. Therefore we enjoyed utilizing our various resources and talents to the benefit of the association.

The cultural group is headed by Olarewaju Omogunloye, an expert in Yoruba folksongs and dance. We also enjoyed the company of Samuel Ayorinde, ex-super Eagle player who has hosted a number of our meetings. One of our members Samuel Oladipupo Ayoola often travels with his family from outside Stockholm to attend our meetings and events.

The Yoruba Union in Stockholm has come to stay and we are looking ahead to consolidating on the gains of the awareness we created during our recent celebration of the Yoruba Day. We will continue to look for more ways to promote the Yoruba ideals, culture and heritage in Sweden and elsewhere on the Scandinavian islands.

Oodua a gbe wa o..!

(An adaptation of the speech read by Adeola Aderounmu, president Yoruba Union, Stockholm, during the first ever Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm on May 11, 2013)

http://www.yorubaunion.se
info@yorubaunion.se

Nigerian Embassy in Sweden Gets First Biometric (Passport) Machine

By Adeola Aderounmu

The Nigerian Embassy in Sweden has commissioned its first biometric machine. The machine will serve Nigerians living in the Nordic countries namely Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark.

A passport officer at the embassy showing Amb Amobi how the machine works

A passport officer at the embassy showing Amb Amobi how the machine works

The Assistant Comptroller General of Immigration Rilwan Bala Musa was on hand on the 28th of March 2013 for the commissioning ceremony held at the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm.

With this development Nigerians in the Nordic countries will now be able to process and procure their Nigerian passport with ease after fulfilling the passport issuance or renewal requirements.

Biometric Machine at the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm

Biometric Machine at the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm

In a previous post:

http://nigeriavillagesquare.com/adeola-aderounmu/the-disgraceful-misadventures-of-the-nigerian-immigration-service.html

l had complain bitterly about the harrowing experiences of Nigerians in the Nordic region in procuring or renewing their passports.

passport office 2

The Nigerian Embassy in Sweden was opened in 1967. So, after 46 years of its existence the embassy in Stockholm finally made a landmark achievement that will alleviate the plights of Nigerians in the Nordica countries.

Assistant Comptroller General of Immigration Riliwan Giwa speaking with the Ambassador and other people present at the commissioning ceremony in Stockholm

Assistant Comptroller General of Immigration Riliwan Giwa speaking with the Ambassador and other people present at the commissioning ceremony in Stockholm

The present Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland Mr. Benedict Onochie Amobi made it the number-one target of his administration to ensure that the biometric machines are installed and functional. By working closely together with the Nigeria Immigration Office in Nigeria the promise he made when he assumed office in 2012 has now been fulfilled.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Winter Time And Accidents in Stockholm

Adeola Aderounmu

There are no expert or clever drivers when it comes to slippery roads caused by snow fall.

Here are two classical examples of what can happen to you when you drive at the “normal speed” around curve roads on during winter.

When you approach curve roads or unfamiliar roads it is better to reduce your speed to below the usual recommended limits

Car in Ditch

Car in Ditch

This car was either turning right or left into the road but it ended in a ditch because it turned at a high speed. I know because it is a road I drive past almost on a daily basis. The driver ended up in the dicth either due to ignorance of the road or underestimation of the effect of snow on the road. If the driver was cautious and still ended up in the dicth, then he or she probably has summer tyres on.

Akalla Road 275

Akalla Road 275

This second image is total careless driving. It could have ended badly and sadly if the driver had met an oncoming car or vehicle in the opposite direction.

This accident happened on a day we had wet snow. The driver was approaching a curve and kept a speed of 70km/h or more. At the curve, he swerved into adjacent lane meant for opposite traffic. He must have been very lucky not to run directly into an oncoming vehicle and I think I got there 5 or 10 minutes after the accident.

People should be more careful when they drive in the winter. Accidents rate automatically goes up during this time but with more caution, driving can still be safe regardless of the season.

God jul!