Saturday, December 27, 2008

Darkness By Daylight

On entering a Lagos bus
My eyes beheld the windscreen
The view that was in front of us
Is captured in this scene

Both wipers were stuck outside
Midways up the glass
The decorations festooned inside
Reminded one of Xmas

I wonder how the driver sees
By rainfall or by dark
Whenever I see that bus again
Remind me please to ask!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Disgust Alert: If you're eating, abeg comot!

I recall reading an article years ago in Awake's "Watching the World" captioned "Holy Germs" in which they talked about the discovery of dangerous pathogens in the water used for religious ceremonies. I recently discovered such disease-causing pathogens may actually co-habit freely even in the highly antiseptic halls of medical facilities too!

Where could the source be? The loo of course!

To have successfully carried out this “investigation”, you have to take into consideration the fact that one of my personal quirks makes me a very poor fan of "watering the great outdoors". And so after a particularly grueling equipment installation in a foremost medical facility located somewhere in the South-West I decided to use the public porcelain throne to do a number 2.

This is the sight that met my eyes as dutifully captured by Agent Samsung E250:

To cut a long story short and bring this case to a persuasive conclusion, I just pointed Little Man in the right direction, did my do (no, I didn't miss the target) and scurried away quickly before samonella typhi would jump on me!

The brown stains on the wall under the cistern are actually signs of bad masonry work, the cistern itself is broken and the bowl was BLACK! And yes, the Plimsoll line on the wall close to the floor does show the level of water on the ground.

When you take into account the litres of sanitation products the hospital uses for other health purposes, it’s a shame the toilets have to be in such bad shape in a particular department of the hospital that raises most of its income and where even tap heads are religiously wiped clean with vats of antiseptic. Washed off all the germs on your hand? Here have some more from the toilet!

Apart from the loo-induced trauma, there was one slightly amusing side to the gist. You need to see the way the boss looked at me when he saw me emerging from Armageddon and gave me a very wide berth like I had just caught scabies or something!

What’s the possible outcome of this case? After the initial “clues” it wasn't an entirely bad experience though. At the end of the day I wasn’t feeling pressed anymore, I had material for this post and I’d gotten a lecture about how stress-free outdoor watering can be - and healthy too!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

F R A U D Alert!

Banking - Online - Fraud

** Long post alert**

This is a FRAUD ALERT and should be taken VERY SERIOUSLY. If possible, tell others of this phenomenon so that they can protect themselves appropriately.

Dear Blogville,

There exists out there a certain crooked individual / group of individuals who are not reading our blogs out of distraction or recreation, or even out of appreciation of our literary skills. He / she / they are reading your blog to see what tiny piece of personal information they can steal from it to defraud you.

And I should know… I almost fell victim to their antics!

Some dude (who imagines he’s smart) after reading of my ATM worries on my other blog (see here and here) has decided to pester me with e-mail purportedly originating from InterSwitch, the company behind almost all ATM transactions in Nigeria.

Excerpts from the e-mail are reproduced below:

Dear Interswitch Card Holder,
During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures with affiliated banks, we have detected a slight error in your account information.
This might be due to either of the following reasons:
1. A recent change in your personal information (i.e. change of address).
2. Multiple failed attempts on online shopping websites.
3. An inability to accurately verify your selected option of payment due to an internal error within our processors.
Please update and verify your information by clicking the link below: (link had been removed by blogmaster for your safety)
If your account information is not updated within 48 hours then your ability to access your account will become restricted.
Note: Card Number (printed on card issued by bank) and Pin are numeric. Refer to your Debit and/or Cash Cards.
Thank you for choosing, Interswitch

Further information at the bottom of the mail listed several possible terminals where I may have unsuccessfully attempted to use my ATM in the recent past. I admit I was curious to see where the link led to but curiousity was definitely not going to kill this cat, no siree! The link, characteristic of fraudulent “phishing” requests [1], actually leads to a fake Interswitch site that requests your Card Number and PIN.

After getting such a mail, several red flags should pop up instantly in the receipients’ minds. First of all, InterSwitch, being the operators behind the cash cards already possess a database containing all their issued cards alongside each Customer’s PIN which the terminal cross-checks each time you use your card. Asking you therefore to fill in such same information into a vulnerable website is therefore very stupid to say the least.

Second, what actually got all the flags in my head flying at full mast was the fact that I NEVER use this blog’s e-mail ID for any sort of official matter or correspondence whatsoever. None of my bank details contains such info so unless InterSwitch employed the services of a particularly strong sorcerer, there’s absolutely no bloody way they could have known if my real life identity carries an ATM card or not, not to talk of using one. The mail therefore was a randomly-generated one sent after reading my said posts.

Thirdly, a cursory search via Google for InterSwitch’s real website yields several interesting links warning people to the presence of the same said fraudulent site and almost no link to the real McCoy. InterSwitch it seems doesn’t make its URL public - a fact that these spammers are taking full advantage of by posing as them.

The fact that this scam isn’t actually new should have spurred InterSwitch to not only issue strong public statements denouncing the fake e-mails but actually gotten the spammers’ ISP to shut them down. It’s rather scary to think that there’s someone out there who wants to use my card info to login as me and even knows which bank’s terminals I use. In fact the whole thing smacks seriously of an inside job. How many Nigerians actually have the technology to make blank ATM cards which they can later re-program with my card info?

I guess I’m rather lucky but how many more gullible people are going to fall victim before InterSwitch wakes up from their corporate slumber?

Bloggers please beware…

Pix: Plastic Cashless. My two currently rather-useless ATM cards. Both aren’t working.

[1] The term “phishing” refers to a process whereby an online trickster (a.k.a. cyber crook) places a link in an e-mail or website which if clicked, directs you to a look-alike of a genuine website that usually requires you logging in with a PIN or password. The phisher’s site database however stores your PIN/password which the crook then uses to log into the real site as YOU!

Imagine if someone were to design a webpage that looks exactly like your login page. After logging in, the fake site then saves your login info into a database which the phisher uses to log into the real page as you. Once the hacker is in, the damage he / she could cause to your blog is endless including posting slanderous things, insulting other Bloggers in comments posing as you, change your password (thereby locking you out of your blog) or (God forbid!) even deleting the WHOLE blog.

Apart from blogging, the most targeted sites for phishing are financial sites like online banks and auctions where the phishers use the stolen PIN info to operate the victims’ accounts transferring the cash inside into their own accounts and running up monumental debts for the real account holders.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rear Advertising: The Other End Of The "Divide"

Warning: Please do not try to imitate this art form. You might get slapped or worse.

Disclaimer: These pictures do not in any way encourage voyeurism. They were only taken because the subjects in question were "willing". As a matter of fact, they “broadcasted” for several minutes.


1. Please do not take this seriously. I intended it for fun. Seriously...
2. The blog author does not in any form intend this as a slight against women. He seriously loves women! He is still trying to get a pix of guys “sagging”.
3. These pictures should not be misconstrued by any person or religious bodies as a weapon against indecent dressing. This blog author fully condones and seriously endorses indecent dressing especially since he gets no action otherwise. Sights like these actually do brighten his relatively dull days.
4. If the said pix makes you detest the blog author so and makes you want to take out your anger on him, then please kindly look out for him “sagging” and snap his picture. He would love the publicity!
PS: Try not to include his face. It would seriously ruin the Kodak moment…

Pixes: Panty Pleasures. Location: MDS Road and Onward Garage respectively, Osogbo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

That We May Not Forget…

News - Public Opinion

The following photos are actually freeze-frames from the notorious Uzoma Okere video on CNN’s iReport.

Caught in the middle of the footage is a young lady who tries to help when Uzoma is being manhandled by the Naval ratings.

Photo Caption: I Am Your Sister…

What struck me was the fact that almost no-one has acknowledged the efforts of the lady in question and several bystanders who tried to intervene.

The panel investigating the assault has submitted its report. The nation now awaits justice.
You can read my full views on this incident by clicking here.

Thank you.

Film Footage Copyright: CNN iReport and Closecalls.

PS: Sorry for the fuzzy pictures. A camera phone's resolution is only just barely enough...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Behind The Veil

Disclaimer: This post / picture is NOT IN ANY WAY meant as an insult to any religious / ethnic groups neither is it intended to instigate religious or anti-religious sentiments.

Pix: Surrounded yet Alone. Veiled woman wearing a burqa in the ever-busy area of Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria trying to catch a bus.

Hijab: See Wikipedia definition here

During my varsity days, there was once a highly-touted drama performance called “Behind The Veil”. I never went to see it but from what I gathered, the drama took a critical look at the lives of women compelled to put on a veil.

Whenever I see women like the one in the pix I am always curious to know what goes on in the minds of such women constrained to mask their physical features from the rest of the world. I am astounded by their stoicism as they wear their all-black attire even under the heat of the harshest sunlight. I also wonder what makes a woman agree to what looks to me like the highest form of submission.

It’s even more puzzling and pathetic when I see the ones who also have children whom they zip into their backs like a reversal of kangaroo parentage.

A lot of questions also come to mind: Are they really very beautiful women or very ugly or illiterate as some people claim? In what circumstances - if any - are they permitted to take off the veil? What is the permissible degree of interaction with society they are allowed? If one of them wanted to travel overseas or run a bank account, how would they take passports? How do they undergo an ultrasound scan and how do the nursing ones breastfeed? What happens in the case of an accident? Is one allowed to touch them? Do they really see out of those openings?

Every time I see a woman wearing such coverings (like one who once sold me a SIM pack who was enclosed from head to toenail except for one ungloved hand) I am always tempted to start off a conversation with them but the fear of misunderstanding and gender holds me back. I guess they might only relate better to their fellow women that with us.

Men, in my view, are such selfish creatures. We make the women veil themselves to hide their beauty (inner or outer, imaginary or real) from the world and yet we go ahead to eye other women in their miniskirts and figure-hugging jeans. I once saw a man drive his fully-veiled wife to a park so she could get a bus to Kaduna. As she stood out there in the heat, alone on one spot, distant, cut off from the rest of humanity, watching her husband as he walked around freely chatting with the drivers and (obviously) eyeing other females, I wondered what thoughts ran through her mind. Did she envy us? Or was she totally content in her submissiveness?

I also wonder what would have been her husband’s reaction if he was informed that the rules had somehow been changed and he, this time would be the one mandated to wear the hijab…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Monster of Indecision & A Question Of Time…

A large percentage of you bloggers out there who (out of curiosity or happenstance or maybe a lack of something better to do or whatever reasons) have mistakenly wandered to these pages of mine from time to time may have noticed that it seems to have taken me like forever to update.
This omission is highly regrettable yet intentional.

Over the past few months since I created the blog, a lot of questions have crawled, marched and leap-frogged through my mind. Just like I said in the first post:

"…I wonder: Have I just given birth to a good child? Or a monster?"

I’m still wondering…

The Phoneparazzi might just turn out to be a blessing. A gift I want to give - for the first time in my life - willingly to the whole world, unreserved, unconditionally.

Or it might also turn out to be a curse. For I am cursed with a lot of indecision on what my subject matters should be or how to present them. Some of these photos will just be outright nosy; some others are plain, unadulterated crap. But there are some that evoke a private emotion for me; an unguarded moment, a fleeting second captured in time, trapped in the ones and zeros of the digital memory of my phone and the thoughts they evoke. And I’m still so willing and grateful to share them.

After a lot of thinking, I’ve finally decided that instead of just snapping and uploading pictures from my phone straight to the blog just like any other photoblog, I might as well turn each picture into a social commentary of sorts complete with a discourse on what each picture portrays.

My biggest weakness is that I like writing too much. I just hope I don’t regret this…

It’s just a question of time before I find out.

Pixes: "Digital Convergence - Different Views of Life". Landscapes created using combination of camera phone, PC, graphics editing software and Windows XP wallpaper on a bright idle day.
Resulting pictures are a befitting fusion of all these elements, the idleness factor inclusive…

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Introducing The Phoneparazzi…

Hello and Welcome to The Phoneparazzi! This is my very first photo blog and I’m really nervous as I try to imagine how it will eventually turn out. I wonder: Have I just given birth to a good child? Or a monster?

There has always been a paparazzo in me but unlike the real life ones who chase after celebrities, I rather just chase after Life. Or wait for it and snap it as it comes.

I once used to have a camera but after another took a fancy to it and never returned it, I’ve taken to observing subjects through my sibling’s digital camera or relying on my phone to so the snapping. This is the beginning of yet another journey for me.

And I’m inviting everyone to come along. Just like all my other blogs, this is an Open Forum so all Guest Contributors are welcome. Like any game though, there have to be some governing rules (which I’ll get to post later) so there won’t be any dirty play.

So much to say! They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

I guess I’ll let mine do all the talking…