Nineteen Things Your Favorite Columnists Will Never Tell You By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

By Rudolph Okonkwo

When you become a successful writer, the most important question you will ever be asked is the simple, yet very tough, question: why do you write?

I have never been asked that question. Instead, I have been swamped with the second most important question: where do you get your inspiration?

Most writers answer the second question with a lie. It is usually a huge lie. A writer can say that the heavens open up when nobody is watching and arrows of words stream down into his head and join the veins until he lets them out by writing. Yeah, right. Tell it to the goats. Or the writer can say that his dead ancestors come out at night to leave synopses of stories on his reading table. Hm! Because I am my grandfather, I do sympathize with writers with such disposition. Some other writers will attribute their inspiration to something in the physical realm that most people know but cannot really relate to – like Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, LSD-25, or acid.

I am not in the mood to lie so I will answer the first question. Ok, you got me. That was a lie on its own. I will take the first question because I am making myself available for a radio interview today. I am dreaming that I might be asked that most important question. To avoid being stumped, I want to practice.

Somewhere, sometime ago, I did say that I write “to change the minds of men and repaint the pictures of things.” I have said this to myself for as long as I have written that I have even forgotten who actually said it.

I love to see the shape of words on paper. I love paragraphs; those that smile, those that cry and those that are bored. I love them all. I love the transformation of the whistling noise around me into essays. I hear voices like many people. I gently guide my voices to ruled papers or white screens. And once they are implanted, they transform from ghosts to hunting tigresses.

I know what you are thinking now: Stop all these gibberish. Why do you write? I write because I think I have something to say, something unique – a thing nobody is saying and nobody will say if I do not say it. I write because some people gave me the audacity to do so by reading things I wrote. I write because I have the impulse which came before the audacity. I write because I have acquired a license to do so after the audacity sank in. I write because I will lose the license if I stop. I write because after years and years of doing so, I have allowed myself to be defined by my writing.

A writer who ceases to write does not become a retired writer. He becomes a non-writer. And once you have been a writer, nothing is as scary as suddenly becoming a non-writer. It is like losing the wings with which you fly. It is like suddenly discovering that you cannot speak any longer. A writer who stops writing loses a lot but the most important of which is his voice. I dread losing my voice.

Of course, as I grow older, as I shed my youthful spirit, I have discovered a much nobler reason why I write: for readers. This is not pandering to you. After all, you have read to this point with no such need. When award winners pick their statues and say “this is for the fans,” I used to think it was all bull crap. Now I know it is not.

I write because of my readers.

Thank you, readers.

Now, I will tell you nineteen things your favorite columnists will never tell you.

1.) They are not as cute as their pictures look. Some pictures are photo-shopped. Their teeth are not that white – the only exception being Hannatu Musawa. Some pictures were taken when they were teenagers (wink, wink), before the gray hair came out. I know some who are constantly pushing their publishers to replace their pictures with every new picture they acquire. I will never forget the shock I felt the day I met MEE, my MEE after years of seeing her picture in Quality magazine, Weekend Concord and Classique magazine.

2.) If they have to write a two-part series, they suck at summarizing. If it’s up to a four-part series, the money was huge. If it’s up to 12-part series, they are applying for another job. (Sorry Reuben, I couldn’t help it.)

3.) They are not as tall as you imagined them to be. (I’m not mentioning names.) And as a matter of fact, they are not as short as they looked in those pictures. As an anonymous reader and commentator, it is very easy to haul abuses at them. But when you meet them in real life, you will feel sorry for them. You’ll find yourself smiling sheepishly as you shake their hands and wonder why you were so mean to them.

4.) Be mindful of the name they give their columns. If they call their column, “Excuse Me,” expect them to dance all over the pages. If they call it, “Correct Me If I’M Right,” chances are that they are messing with you. I swear.

5.) They are not as articulate as their writings. Oh, let me tell you, they all have first readers and second readers before their works go through editors. Some of them who use big grammar, when you hear them speak, they speak like Obi Okonkwo in No Longer at Ease- they use ‘is’ and ‘was’.

6.) You must know so many of your favorite columnists who sound angry in their columns. Don’t mind them. They are really pussycats. They cannot hurt a tsetse fly even if it lands on their scrotum- the women included. The worst culprits are those who look angry in their pictures. They are sissies from head to toe.

7.) Even though they grumble about corruption in Nigeria, they too are under pressure to build four homes like every politician – one in Abuja, one in Lagos, one in their state capital and one in their village. The only difference is that while politicians loot the treasury to accomplish their mission, I see these columnists buying lottery tickets. Poor souls!

8.) Calling their work a masterpiece doesn’t always make their heads swell. In fact, the baby egomanias amongst them think you are mocking their works by overusing that word. This is how they categorize works: ‘so-so’ is for works that anyone can write. ‘Great’ is for works that you cannot write. ‘Masterpiece’ is for works that even the gods cannot write. The public intellectuals do not mind. In fact, they demand that you call all their works masterpieces.

9.) If they title all their columns, How To Do This, How To Do That, watch very well, they will soon run out of things they know how to do.
10.) If you want to make their heads swell, don’t tell them you would have given them your sister if she wasn’t married. Most of them cannot perform. I hope you know what I mean. And don’t tell her you would have married her, she’s only interested in marrying an oil tycoon. If you want their heads to swell up, just tell them, “Thank you for your service.” The day I heard a reader say it to a colleague, I wondered why nobody had ever said that to me.

11.) Oh, don’t think they do not read your comments. They do. Some even enter your comments in their diaries- one told me to write this as an incentive for you to use your real name. Go figure! Some encourage their friends to come and defend them on the comment page. They are that vain- including those who swear that they never read comments.

12.) And please, please, please, don’t ever ask them for money. Forget that you see their pictures in the newspapers and all over the web. Many of them have no shishi, no penny. Those who get paid get peanuts. And I know some columnists who are essentially paying newspapers to carry their columns. They are just as broke as Majek Fashek. They have no money and no influence. Don’t even ask them to help you publish your article on their platform. Some have never seen the inside of their media house.

13.) This one is very important: don’t assume that the person whose picture you are looking at wrote that article you are reading. Some are written by their wives, some by their husbands and some by their girlfriends. Yeah. I’m not allowed to talk about the columns that spokespersons of politicians and newsmakers write. That’s beyond the scope of this piece.

14.) Whatever you do, don’t ask them to open the trunk of their cars. If you do, you will lose the hope that if, somehow, you hand the country over to your favorite columnists they will fix it. The junk in their car trunk will tell you they are as disorganized as the secretary to the federal government.

15.) If you really disagree with them and want to give them a piece of your mind, don’t just call them a fool, an idiot, stupid, anti-Christ, ugly, atheist, sadist and gay. Don’t abuse their mother and father. Don’t ask them to hug the transformer. They have immunity from those common expressions. You see, in school, they were taught to run away from clichés. Always find a creative way to hit back at them. For example, call them ‘dancing and farting nincompoops’. It will make them smile because most of them cannot dance. I know. I’ve seen them make a mess of themselves in the name of dancing. Also, they want to know that you really put an effort in your insult. That’s how you gain their respect.

16.) Sometimes, they have nothing to write about. But they won’t tell you or spare you their nonsense. (wink, wink) Let's face it, all they write every year is just recycling of the same things they have been writing for years. Most of them are just like Cool and Gang, old musicians playing the same old hits they had decades ago. For instance, tell me, have you read anything new from Levi Obijiofor in the last ten years? Exactly my point! If commentary was football most of them would have been retired. They wouldn’t be wearing the national jersey the way they currently do with arthritis of the brain and all what.

17.) But to really get under their skin, stop reading and stop commenting and watch them go back to driving taxis and bathing corpses. If you’re going to be that mean, be ready to have your name mentioned in their suicide notes. (Deri & Wahala, please take note.)

18.) Despite what I said in point 16, the best amongst them know more than they tell you. Just the way you use less than 11% of what you know, they tell less than 11% of what they know. Sometimes it is because they are involved. At other times it is because their hands are tied. I’m not allowed to say more than this.

19.) If they agree with you all the time, they must be mumu. If you agree with them all the time, you must be mumu.

Ok, I could go up to twenty but that should do. You don’t expect me to reveal all the secrets of our trade. Do you? I don’t want to be kicked out of our National Association of Professional Armchair Critics (NAPAC). So, please, fill in the gap.

And as always, please correct me if I’m right.

Happy New Year.


37 comment(s)
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You caught the seagull just in time. I understand from tomorrow all birds will be grounded because of the ash cloud.


TIME is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can't afford to lose. See the link below for more info.





Forgive us our sins

There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you. - Peter De Vries (1910-93)

The joys of parents are secret, & so are their griefs & fears. - Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Your heaven lies under the feet of your mother. - The Hadith

A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. The Bible (Provs., 10:1)

Honour thy father & thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which thy God giveth thee. The Bible (Exods, 20:12)


...better stop because you are, inch by inch, certifying yourself as a queer. listen to you...

" There's only one way to be sure I'm straight like St. Moritz: Ask your mother to bend over before me and see how deep I will stick my ........."

right THERE at the blank, every MAN will stick their ANACONDA (thats what am working with...FYI). and you stick YOUR FOOT??? fuck!!! what are you scared of...huh! it ain't gonna bite. it's got no teeth...but ofcourse, you wouldn't know nothing about that because you are tunde4f's never shut up and respond to every post.



Reading you makes me want to put every thought down in writing. Simply interesting for want of a better word...a Masterpiece!

Happy New year to you too.

@Usual suspecT - U da man!!

Tundemess is no fucking techie - he is a charge and bail lawyer hence his deep rooted hatred for the astute OC.

lol, you won't kill me "nwa abalukwu"

you're on point my brother, keep it rolling


@KaparaK...mighty shout out to you blud. you are a helluva guy. thanks for hushing my imagination of these two rats. steady biggups!!! madd respect to you. one more thing though...this tunde4k guy, is he a tech guy? what i found is making my head spin and i hate to jump the gun here.

@ KaparaK aka the usual suspect : We're in 21013 Punk !

@ Aborigne Kaparak:
This article was written in 2012, see how long it took an aborigine "oloja" to finish reading and reacting to it? You've "struck out" twice, one more chance, fool. There's only one way to be sure I'm straight like St. Moritz : Ask your mother to bend over before me and see how deep I will stick my foot into her putrid aborigine hole that you crawled out of. Stupid drunk, smoke some more, you need it.

Slimy creek crooks are worthless to Nigeria and the Ibo will continue to Lord over you fools till eternity. No brainers. One clown owning 48 houses in Abuja yet, none in his enclave. Azazi buried in a borrowed tomb bcoc no road to his enclave. Meni buried in a freezer bcos Utuoke is flooded. Born-to-Drink animals. Aborigines should be gathered together and set on fire! Publish your mother's near-naked mug shot, not mine. Idiot. Omo gbana! Drunkard, it's : Ibos Before Others. Gospel !

@Usual suspect! - Ride on!!!

@usual suspect, you no go kill me with lafuta! Honestly these two guys give me the willies – particularly the Tundemess (Gbenga Olubisi) of a guy who likes throwing stones, with little or no provocation, from his Romford ivory perch, UK.

Give us a shout if u want another cesspit rat smoked out of his putrefied hole.

@ wrote!

@tundemash : RESPECT pal, I dey gbadun you!

you dey GBADUN tundefuck??? REALLY??? i knew you were a fruitcake. you look sweet in your mug. some kind of lipstick or is it all natural??? i bet you twist your bum bum when you walk. why in the hell will a dude tell another dude "gbadun" if both are not sweet on each candy ass. i hope that shit stops in vienna or wherever fuck y'all meet because people back home don't play that mess. they might have you hanging upside down like a lizard....hehehehehe. thanks for the laugh!!!! LWKMD!!! is truly wahala. is truly wahala. your passion surely gives you away reading about the yam festival in vienna. fucking de javu laced with the rantings of an ibo natzi about the superiority of ndigbo, just like you rant here. unfucking believable...monkey come chop banana...hahahaha...even got a 'mugshot'. going to fix me a stiff drink and blow some smoke. a little blunt...maybe some blow for the weekend. uzoma ahamefula...hhhhmmmmnnnnn!!! now some good sameritan can flush out that rat tundefuck from his putrified gutter.

Still My Man

Mr. Rudolph - Even though I do not share your religious views, but I love your crative writing. Please keep writing. Your articles and that of Paul Omoruyi always have something new and interesting!!!

@Wahala - Nigerian monkey chattering from his Swiss tower

@Wahala (Uzoma Ahamefule)
Your inferiority complex is spread all over in the puke you regurgitated below. Please stop hiding behind and embarrassing the great Igbo people by admitting to who you truly are - a sniffling NGA-BIAFRAN, because that is the only language you speak since you can't engage in enlightened communication. Now, you and Tundemess should get lost!

You 've the talent

You have the talent; you've the gut. Go on and write. You are good. Have the best of 2013.

@ Rudolf Okonkwo : Happy New Year ! ...Frohes Neues Jahr !!

@ Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo:
Coz, I will go the extra distance for you :
20) The meaning of their Middle Names!

I was enjoying your joke until you took a swipe at me by lumping me with that Brain Dead clown Deri (#17). I took umbrage at that but you're forgiven! If Deri na dead body, I would whup his ass with 24 lashes of koboko before washing him with Sapele Water and loading him in a Cadboard Coffin for his trip to Hell. I would "piss" in his face as final disRespect before paying Omolanke to dump him in a cemetary, not in my taxi !

Actually, I prefer articles (think of, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri's brazen outing) because of their spontaneity, Columnists invariably lie to "fill in the columns" since ideas are limited. Or, as Rudolf said, their wives, friends and Crumb-catchers contribute to keep the Column going, aka Ojoro! I avoid female Columnists (Hannatu, Dr. Ezeanya), they lack originality.

@tundemash : RESPECT pal, I dey gbadun you!


Leave Levi Obijiofor Alone!

I can only blame the nincompoops who use you as their violin to lampoon writers that they seriously envy. There is enough space for all birds to fly! So, what is the real problem?

Why must you pick on Levi Obijiofor et al? Why not pick on radical writers that would spend the next two weeks washing you with grim? Envy is the root of all evil.

Get a life and move on. Did one don do! It is a bad sign that 2013 will be a bad year for you. Can't you see it? You are a sponsored hater/writer and US based sadist. Levi will get the last laugh!!

19 tins ur favorite...

dat was a very brilliant and comic piece, pls keep it up..i always enjoy r write-ups...i think should be seen more as a poetic comedian. If there is anything like dat...happy new year sir!

Hilarious and

Hilarious and Insightful.
First time here.

Thanks for nothing

See your big head. You want us to thank you for your service. What service? Destroying the name of your country? Bad sons and daughters. That's all that you unpatriotic columnists are.

You are among the BEST in the Trade

You have always been a vibrant writer and never a dull moment with your piece.

Thank you for this brain food, You sure make folks REASON

Happy New Year to you, Sowore and the whole SH team... I wish you all a prosperous and a healthy New Year.



Lovely! Masterpiece!!

Lovely! Masterpiece!! Excellent work, you farting and dancing...

Happy new year Nwanne and may your ink never run dry even though I pray for you to meet Christ soon.

Regards to your beautiful family, from a former agnostic who once held many of the same views you do currently...

Lookia Nwa Okonkwo

Lookia nwa Okonkwo, next time pick a man of your size. Leave my brother Levi Obijiofor alone. If you no dey fear why you no touch the likes of Pius Adesanmi and Okey Ndibe? They for show you how much tortoise dey cost of Agbaja market. And by the way, how you come know say Hanuta Musawa teeth dey real white? Abi you don kiss am? Nonsense write up. Next time when you no get anything to write, rest. No be by force say you must write.

Point of correction

Sir Rudolf, wonderful usual. You asked to be corrected if you're right so i've edited all the "they" to "i", and also "them" to "me"(in my head). All the 19 tips are about you.............Correct Me If I Am Right

You are not wromg

I dont want to say its brilliant because I will be telling you the truth. I will like you to reveal more of writer secrets. Meanwhile we expect to read more quality pieces from you this year. Happy new year Rudolf and best wishes for 2013.

Is this ur new yr resolution?

Oga Rudolf, i read all your piece the whole of 2012 .And what a swell time i had. I was looking forward to the usual revealing content but saw this.... Haba! Is this your new year resolution? Interesting as it is you should have saved this for ,like, January 15th .As of today 1st January 2013, I expected an expose on the 'origin of new year celebrations', 'the Gregorian or Julian calender', 'the role of new year eve on the new year', 'my new year resolution','the role of prayers in human destiny'. Common Rudolf, something interesting!

Well u r stil an intelligent

Well u r stil an intelligent fool - khenine

Mention their names

"Ok, I could go up to twenty, but that should do".
Here item no. 16 is being applied, uh? U explicitly reveal u nd ur coleaque identity. If I were u I could've mention their names.

Reason 13 -Leonard Shilgba ("Associated" Prof of Arithmetic

Reason number 13 fits the profile of one Leonard Shilgba (the "associated" Prof of Arithmetic) who works for a Thief Atiku in the latter's American University. He criticises Great Jonah's noble office along the thoughts and instructions of his paymaster but he earns his salary from an Institution built by one of the most "successful" public servant thieves in continent Nigeria. Atiku had left head of Customs as a full blown billionaire in dollars, and then build a University beyond d read of pple he stole frm. May his plane crash overhead the Den of lions or d Whale laden Pacific - AMEN.

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