Monthly Archives: November 2013

My Sports Radio Chronicles

My first experience of radio listening came in my mum’s shop. My mum used to have an old Aiwa radio in her shop and it filled the immediate atmosphere with the sounds emanating from the limited radio stations that existed in 1998/99. As a little boy, below the age of 12, I got attracted to Rhythm 93.7FM which filled the air waves with cool music. I couldn’t miss opening my mum’s shop every Sunday before 12:30pm to listen to Fela Jamz played non-stop for 30minutes.

Kchibo kk903 my SW and FM Radio

In that my pre-teenage era, when a Christian tape isn’t playing, I locked my mum’s dial to 93.7 and occasionally tuned RayPower100.5FM for some other flavour and OGBCII Fm stereo to listen to the Apostle of the denomination I attend. I later found out about Cool 96.9FM and there was competition. Admission into a Unity boarding school restricted me from the air waves and in 6 years I have lost the little touch I had about radio programs and presenters.

Between2004 and 2006, Brila 88.9FM came onboard. The first sports radio in Africa founded by Larry Izamoje. A survey in Lagos and south west Nigeria indicated that Brila was the station most listened to. Larry fascinated me with his Sports and Music, Bimbo Adeola held me captive with his MTN Player Score card. Others like Yemi Fagbolagbu made the station the bomb. I dare not miss Sports Drive and The Fans Assembly unless NEPA decided otherwise. I credit Bimbo and MTN Player Score card for making me Love “Stand Up for the Champion” by Right Fred.

In late 2005, I travelled down the East to start university education and Brila FM was left behind in Lagos. In my naivety I tried tuning 88.9 in Owerri to get Brilain Lagos but to no avail. I had to make do with Radio Nigeria Heartland 100.5FM in Owerri. The station couldn’t stand amongst the Lagos stations but it was better none.

Then came my good friend Algernon Ilea.k.a. prof, who introduced me to the Kchibo transistor radio. When we couldn’t watch any match in the viewing centers we would make do with the transistor radio and tune BBC. I fell in love with the BBC and Kchibo and after the next holiday I had my own. Ile taught me how to get BBC and I later realised that the radio commentary was faster, more explanatory and full of information and excitement. We do go with it to viewing centres and they knew us for shouting “goal!!”first before the television displays it. When NEPA strikes, they relied on us.

Every Saturday in those days, once it is 1400GMT our portable transistor radio wouldecho “This is Sports World with Rosser Feller…” How would we forget Mike Ingham, the BBC chief football correspondent?His opinions were respected. You dare not miss Alan Green’s football commentary. The vivid image you get from his use of adjectives to describe proceedings on the pitch is only comparable to watching it on a 3D TV set. I missed the masculine-voiced man that reads out the summary scores at 1600GMT or 1700GMT. I also love that correspondent that reports as if he is unserious but very funny. I credit BBC for teaching me how to pronounce “Wenger”. It is pronounced “Venger”.

The BBC became my hope for news even in areas without neither GSM nor radio stations around. Where so ever I went, my Kchibo went with me. It was my bestfriend. I didn’t miss Focus On Africa,and I enjoyed Farai Mongazi’s anchorage of Africa Football.

Between2006 and 2009, I followed BBC sports and Heartland FM. But Oba Stephen introduced Cosmo FM Enugu to me.That station held Enugu, Anambra, Kogi, Benue and others captive. That was the beginning of the revolution in the South East and South-South. I remember always keeping a date with Frank’s Sports Track every 7:30am with Stephen’s radio in his room.

In May 2009, I moved to Port Harcourt and fell heads over heels with the sportscrew at Family Love FM. The crew had Carl Orakwe and China Achueru and two others. They made up my breakfast from6:45-7:00am. I dare not miss their midweek show at night. I later heard Bimbo Adeola’s voice on a station only to realize that he has left Brila FM. He was running an Etisalat sponsored sports programme round the federation. He had a unique voice that you would love to listen to.

Returning to Owerri in 2010, a certain Hot FM had emerged and had stolen the Owerri populace from the hands of the government owned Heartland FM and Orient 94.4 FM.They were exciting to listen to but they were APGA-like, yet I couldn’t turn away from the PH stations. I still tuned Family Love FM and Cool FM PH.

Cool FM PH became the happening thing in Rivers, Bayelsa and Imo. There I heard Femi Obong-Daniels for the first time.I was surprised to hear China Achueru’s voice in cool FM PH and later realized he had moved to the Cool Family. The Cool Football Fans Time every evening was superb with facebook comments read always.

Later,Femi Obong-Daniels left PH for Lagos to spearhead the Cool Football fans Time on Cool96.9FM in the evenings. Deji Tinubu and his crew held the cool sports fans in the morning with the unique Sports Express. Sports Express later left Cool 96.9FM after Femi and the Gang was formed to take over all sports in Cool FM and Wazobia FM.

Nigeria info FM was born as a talk station to make up the CoolWazobiaInfo Family. Its frequency is 99.1 in Lagos. Femi and the Gang are in charge of all sports show on the station. No matter the sports event, they are living up to expectation, following and reporting live be it Champions League night, any football event, Formula One,Tennis and even Boxing. And anyone can be a presenter; just call. Femi and the Gang have presenters like Femi Obong-Daniels, Princess Fiona, Kelechi Nwosu, Emmanuel Etim, Okon Inyang, Bolarinwa, Titus, Bimbo Awoyele and Kelechi Nkoro who just left on 22April, 2013. The Gang used to have Carl Orakwe and even China Achueru. They still work togethe rsharing vital information.

Jimmie’s voice attracted me to Classic 97.4FM. I loved his tone and direct sports reporting. He had to move to The Beat 99.9FM to continue his good work. This was because Sports Express had shifted to Classic FM. Sports Express have people like Leye Adeloju, Bode etc. I hear Classic FM, The Beat FM and Naija FM are together.

Every morning I am torn apart by Jimmie, Femi and the Gang, Sports Express and Brila FM. 7:00-7:15 is Jimmie’s time on The Beat 99.9FM. I immediately switchover to Femi and the Gang on Nigeria Info 99.1FM which is actuallybetween 7:05 and 7:30am. 7:30-7:45am is Sports Express on Classic 97.4FM beforeI switch to Cool 96.9FM for Score with the Gang till 8:00am. By8:00am I tune to Brila FM till I am tired.

My weekends have been taking over by Femi and the Gang. They get to the studio on Saturdays from 12pm-8pm and Sundays from 12pm-7pm. I momentarily switch to Brila FM for Talk Sports from UK and rarely use my Kchibo again for BBC views. When I am not watching, I am listening to the Gang be it mid-week or weekend.

This chronicle was originally written in the light of Kelechi Nkoro’s absence from the Gang for a period but things change and errors are corrected, views are sampled, explanations become clearer. Before this present edit, this was how the post ended:

This chronicle was instigated by the exit of Kelechi Nkoro, the Italian Mafia, from the Gang and the CoolWazobiaInfo Family. He left for higher achievements but I feel something went terribly wrong. I love every member of the Gang and respect the views of every presenter I have come across in every station I listen to. I love Nkoro’s controversies, insightful arguments and humour. Would there still be Kelechi Nkoro’s Top 20 Team?

Thanks to digital radio on phones, I would search for him anywhere he goes. Be it the BeatClassicNaija Family, his views is all I seek.

Nkoro remained and I PORTed. I moved to the seemingly garden city and have almost been robbed of my Radio experience, starved of my favourite radio shows in Lagos, whining in distaste for the level in Port Harcourt. I still follow on twitter and facebook.

But, in hope, Love FM PH remains and the spice from my speakers from 6:45am to 7am is enjoyable and the PH Gang of Nigeria info FM have captured the PH populace. 7:05am to 7:30am is like a most for many and the weekends seem customary now. I don’t miss the weekend shows with Chuma Nnoli and his assistant Ngela. They tune in to Lagos sometimes and I become excited hearing Femi and the Gang again.

In all, I value every one that works behind the mic in various studios. I appreciate your diligence in dishing out information. continue the good work. I can only wish I was part of you. If I wasn’t an engineer, I would have been a sports presenter. keep it up radio presenters.

follow on twitter @amoscp
Amos Chibuzor.

Yhello MTN: I Hate These Messages

It was the first week of the month and as an NYSC corps member my monthly allowance popularly called allowie was yet to be paid for nthe last 6 weeks. The reserves was getting low and thus expenses was drastically reduced.

Every corp members had their phones close by, anticipating a bank alert from NYSC. We laid on our mattresses, played games on our PCs and phones, listened to the roasting of cocks and bleats of sheep, hoping for that alert. The Message tone of my phone was heard and I rushed in anticipation only to see a message from MTN N.

MTN N annoying messages

MTN N annoying messages

With annoyance, I bellowed at my phone and throw it farther away from me. So many Nigerians receive this type of messages daily and the contents of this message are exemplified in the list below:

  • It’s Y’ello Friday. Get free dating tips from MTN Play all week long. Text DATE to 700 to get started! Offer ends 11:59pm 15th November, 2013
  • Be vigilant about monitoring ur child. Gone are the days when you drop our child with your neighbor. Text CAP to 700 for Child abuse prevention tips. N50/week
  • Wanna Play? Brainteaser Quiz. Answer 3 questions for a chance to Win Airtime recharge pins of N100, N200, N400 & N750! Text BRAIN to 31077. N10/SMS. T&C Apply.
  • Enjoy 1 Month Free Twitter, Eskimi or 2Go when you activate MTN GoodyBag Social bundles this season at only N60 monthly. Simply dial *662# and select a bundle
  • Are u 08034220767? Please send OK to 7070! Your 08034220767 is one of the successful with access to MTN’s N2,000,000 draw today! Subscribe for N100/day.
  • Another week of exciting prizes to be won! BB Z10, Galaxy tab 3 and more! Text DETTOL to 5030 now! N10/SMS

These and many more are example of messages I receive from MTN on a daily basis. Some may seem helpful and insightful but many if not all end up in wasted funds. Imagine subscribing for N100/day aiming to get N2,000,000 daily prize? Scam.

I don’t know if I am out-of-luck or that these promo especially from 5030 are dubious. I received a message from 5030 just like the last one above (Biggest news of the year. DETTOL soap is now N100. Come on board to win fantastic prizes and a grand prize of KIA RIO with Dettol. Text Dettol to 5030. N10/SMS). I decided to try it out to see the end. I was not bothered by the N10/sms and was licking my lips for the KIA RIO

I sent “DETTOL” to 5030 and another message came in: (Answer 3 questions correctly and qualify for this week’s fabulous prizes! Dettol soap new price is 01A.200 01B.100 Send answer to 5030. E.g. 01A)

I looked at the message and budgeted N30 more for the game. I was to be disappointed after the third question to see another question. it went on until I had answered about 11 questions. N110 was gone and this was the message that emerged:”Excellent! You have entered into this week’s draw ujwkagzyua

I waited for a week to see any further message to see if I had won or how I had fared. but I was only sent another message to play again. I just vex. I played along because I could afford N100 at that time but these messages are getting me annoyed by the day.

You might be making an important call, attending an important meeting only to be interrupted by a message from MTN or any other network or pseudo-network telling you some mumbo-jumbo.

Do you remember this MTN ULTIMATE WONDER promo? SCAM!! Echo.com.ng can tell you more.

Have you experienced what I have experienced? Please share in the comment section.

follow on twitter @amoscp

 

Flight Left, Drive Right: A Race Against Time

I woke up on Friday morning in the wee hours to get ready for my trip to the ancient city of Benin. I was to deliver a parcel to a firm before the close of business. Delivering a parcel should be less than 5 minutes so a 7:30am flight was booked to the Capital of Edo state. Another was booked to bring me back by 5:00pm same day.

The rising sun was still far away when I walked through the departures entrance of the Murtala Mohammed Domestic Airport. It was 6:15am and I went through the protocols of checking in. I met some friends and colleagues heading to Port Harcourt but I was a lone ranger to Benin.

Departure for Arik Air Flight W3 743 to Benin has been postponed by 30 minutes due to bad weather. Arik Air regrets the inconveniences the change may have caused. Please bear with us

My ear pricked as I heard “Benin” in the announcement. I quickly picked up my parcel and headed for an attendant. I enquired and was told that the flight had been postponed by 30 minutes.

30 minutes? That is ok” I thought, “after all I am only delivering a parcel which won’t take the whole day” I took a sit beside a damsel close to the exit door so as to be amongst the first to get into the shuttle bus from the waiting room to flight. I was thinking in the Molue way as a Lagosian, where you need to be amongst the first to get in to get a better sit. I wanted to get in early so as to secure my parcel in a good place.

arik

I looked at my LED Watch that my cousin bought for me, the time was 8:10am. Nigeria!! For a 7:30am flight? I shrugged as I started to watch a movie on my phone. I had downloaded Accepted recently because it is one of my best movies of all time. You need to get it. With my ear phone plugged to my ears, I gazed at the movie lapping with smiles some scenes in the movie that were exceptional.

Departure for Arik Air Flight W3 743 to Benin has been postponed by 30 minutes due to bad weather. Arik Air regrets the inconveniences the change may have caused. Please bear with us

Again?!! I unplugged my earphones from my ear to hear murmurs around the hall. “Are you also going to Benin?” I asked the damsel sitting next to me. She nodded in affirmation and we started exchanging pleasantries. She told me how her first and only trip to Benin by road was. She complained of headache and body ache. I smiled and told her that people even travel farther to the east and south-south. She had vowed not to travel by road to Benin again.

Passengers for Arik Air Flight W3 743 to Benin should start boarding now

Benin-bound passengers sprang to their feet after so many delays and headed to the exit door for final confirmation and entrance to the shuttle bus to the plane.

Sorry, there is still bad weather in Benin. Have your seats

With immense unhappiness, I took my seat looking at my wrist watch and wondering when the flight would take off. It was 10:00am and I was still in Lagos when I should have delivered the parcel and have a personnel excursion in Benin. I was beginning to be worried. The parcel must get to Benin before 4:30pm and I must be in Lagos same day for some personnel business. This was a race against time.

Departure for Arik Air Flight W3 743 to Benin has been postponed till 15:30 hours due to bad weather. Arik Air regrets the inconveniences the change may have caused. Please bear with us. The flight has been postponed to 3:30pm

The sound of the last announcement was like a dagger to my chest. 3:30pm? Would I get to Benin before 4:30pm? Even if I do, can I navigate to the address before 4:30? Can I be able to come back same day by the 5:00pm flight? How sure are we that the 3:30pm flight would fly by 3:30pm with all this changes in time and seemingly bad weather in Benin.

This was becoming too much for my RAM and I had to make some vital calls. This was a race against time and the submission of that parcel was paramount. A group of people depended on my delivery of the parcel and we had to take another means: road.

With an exorbitant fee to be paid and a goal to get to Benin before the close of business, I set out in a cream coloured Toyota Camry. The traffic lights and jams in Ikeja hindered our sweet passage to the outskirts of Lagos.

We met traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway before we diverted to the Sagamu-Ore-Benin road. We met various traffic but we maneuvered and came out unscathed. In as much as we were in a hurry, the speedometer of the Camry never read above 80kmph. I wanted to see 100kmph or even 110kmph but kept that want to myself, preferring a safe trip to Benin to an early trip to Hades.

In the Camry: Benin-Ore Expressway

In the Camry: Benin-Ore Expressway

At intervals of 30minutes, I received calls from my colleagues confirming my exact location on the express road. The hope was dwindling as the 4:00pm approached. I was yet in Benin, just on the outskirts of Ondo approaching Edo state.

Calls were made at frantic speed but that couldn’t make the Camry go at lightning speed to bypass the numerous vehicles on the road. I made calls to the damsel I met at the airport and the unavailability of her phone gave me the impression that she might have boarded the 3:30pm flight. I was beginning to wonder if it wasn’t better that I waited for the 3:30pm flight.

4:30pm. Close of Business. I was stuck in traffic approaching Ring Road which is about 1km away. I was told the office I was to get to was close to ring road. My worries increased knowing full well the countenance would be down if the parcel wasn’t delivered.

4:40pm. We have navigated the Ring Road and was on the road on which the office is located. We enquired from passer-bys and we needed to move on and down the road. Behold a grid-lock traffic.

I took the parcel from the car, told the driver to locate the office and pack anywhere. I ran consistently looking at my watch as if the time would rewind for my sake, our sake. I ran through the traffic dodging bicycles and pedestrians. I walked briskly through the security post without any inquiry into a building.

Where is the legal office?” I asked. “By this time?” came the reply. “Check the next building. Upstairs”. The time was 4:48pm.

Out and away, I vamoosed to the appointed building and was fortunate to meet the lady in charge as she was about leaving the building. I begged and begged explaining the flight troubles and stressing where I was coming from. She had sympathy on me and directed to the office where the parcel was received. 5:00pm Received.

Deadline day delivery? Not the best. Now I began to question: why deliver a parcel on a deadline day? Why not a day before or weeks before? I could only start this type of reason because I have delivered the parcel.

We make plans daily to achieve different goals. Too many times we assume the world would be perfect just for us. We think the system is 100% efficient. Even in seemingly efficient societies, the act of God as it is termed in Law can usurp plans. We need to make various plans for a project: plan A, B, C and Z. Do a full feasibility study of every project and be ready for changes.

Recently in LA, over 400 flights were cancelled due to a mere shooting. In Nigeria, flight delay and cancellation have been for many reasons which include weather and security. One of such reasons for flight delay is “High Dignitaries boarding”. Imagine delaying a flight that would convey over 150 people because of 10 so called High Dignitaries. Story for another day.

I tuned the television late that evening to see stories of the LA shootings and the corresponding flight delays. In my tiredness I called the damsel to see if she had arrived Benin.

I am in Lagos oh. The flight didn’t go. I am just tired. This Arik People eh. I wish I had gone with you

She went on to explain to me how it panned out in Lagos. The 3:30pm flight had been postponed again to 5:00pm which was boarded by 5:30pm. They left Lagos and on getting to Benin, the pilot complained of bad weather and poor visibility. Thus, they took a U-turn and headed back to Lagos. There was chaos in Murtala Mohammed Airport. So many people had their money refunded. The air was full of abuses and disappointment.

I looked up to the heavens through the white painted ceilings of my room and said “Thank You Lord”. I broke my unprepared fast. I had not taken anything since the sun rose that morning except a bunch of banana. Fried Rice and Chicken was dissected at an alarming rate. I fed my eyes with Transit, a movie on Mnet before saying “Thank You” again.

I closed my eyes in thanksgiving to the Creator. What the Flight couldn’t do, the car did. We had no accident nor any security or police issues. In all give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

follow on twitter @amoscp