Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Baba M...:


So, you gave us LORD Donald Trump as American President, with your prediction in Phantom Trail ? That is a serious matter. In fact, it is as serious as the time that Professor Wole Soyinka and other Nigerian radical nationalist plotters schemed, plotted and re-plotted to try to get Nigeria's then arch-dictator Abacha killed. The situation became more dire or serious for my family and me when Professor Soyinka-- enjoying Eba, Egusi soup (laced with grilled fish, etc.), spicy dodo and good wine -- predicted openly in our Bloomington, Indiana home that his anti-Abacha radical nationalist group did not need to murder Abacha anymore, but that (as he predicted) "in a few weeks, the bastard will bed dead"!  And, lo and behold, Abacha did die shortly there after, to our astonishment! Was Viagara overdose involved? Since the story was well covered in Transition 121, I need not --in Baba Ijebu's idiom description -- "beat about the bush".


For comic relief, I may add:  Your mention that you played the exhibition game at 18 did remind me of what I often tell my two "rascal" sons whenever they drag me to play a game, be it soccer, basketball or lawn tennis. When I get tired easily, they start mocking me. Yet, they forget that at their age (18, for example), I used to play those games very well without being so easily tired.


Many thanks for your fascinating accounts in the book and also here on SIR Toyin's Dialogue! Sometimes, I wonder about the dullness of life without all the fascinating and even non-fascinating stuff that we read about on Dialogue; imagine not having the serious data that VC Aluko shares with us! then comes quarrels of several brothers and sisters in their arguments. In Bab Ijebu's word again, he used to tell his much younger, second wife: "Don't be argumentative with your senior rival..." We all knew that he had a lot more passion for the younger wife, who was about 25 years his junior in age! Wow!!  


Warm wishes from Oregon's Pacific Ocean Coast, where we plan to celebrate almost a quarter of a century of our marriage on May 7th, the day I expect the limp in my right hip to disappear!!!


A.B. Assensoh, Oregon.


From: Michael Vickers <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:58 AM
To: Assensoh, Akwasi B.;; Toyin Falola
Cc:; Doyin Coker-Kolo; Afoaku, Osita; Afoaku, Oyibo Helisita; Dawn; Ford, T Michael;; Philip Aka

My Brother Akwasi,  An interesting comparison: Canada, an American—footie nation, had ONE college player taken up in the NFL Draft. …Along with a few Free Agent signings. …Indeed, another interesting note:  age 18 I played an Exhibition/ Pre-Season game with BC Lions (another story in itself), against SF 49ers at Candlestick Park—Inside Linebacker. Didn't win. But an experience of importance. In fact I went on that Fall to play only one year of (Canadian) College footie. Queens Univ. Messed up my academics. Hence the end of my footie career. I was not as clever as Adewale. I discovered I had to work seriously if serious grades/ and satisfaction were to be achieved. 

Glad you enjoyed/ found useful Phantom Trail. One of the big eye-openers of my life. …Also allowed me to predict with confidence the election of Trump. Reinforced by my tour of the back-country of Eastern Texas/ Louisiana/ Mississippi, following attendance at Falola's TOFAC of 2015. No change. The "comfortable", not extreme poverty of the bulk of the 200 millions residing in that huge expanse/ cultural wasteland called Middle America, something about which we never hear from FOX News/ or with all the cha-cha-cha about celebrity folk/ others (like footie players) who have hit the jackpot. …

Trail thus is the record of a very important aspect of my education about the real America. Not, I might add, a recount Americans or Canadians wanted to hear. Little interest/ poor sales. Reasonable sales in Europe and UK and elsewhere. While I wrote it because I wanted to; nevertheless my basic motivation was to provide something, fairly simple, that would enable young folk to learn and understand things that were totally absent from my days of Canada education. Sadly, the very rich human and cultural narrative of the land and folk of the Americas is largely absent. And as you will know, institutions are instructed/ choose to avoid/ evade the subject. …And of course for very obvious reasons; at least until/ or if/ when one is old enough to figure it out for oneself. …

My oh my. …One does wonder:  is there anywhere amongst us there is such a thing as a fair and honest person? Is it possible? So many layers carefully varnished into place to be scraped away to get near the simple and common reality. At base we share so much. We ARE all one. As our Brother Oloruntoyin Falola is at such pains constantly and in so many remarkable, ever-inventive ways, to demonstrate. …Pardon me. This Elder making noises again.  …All this as I enjoy the splendid, solitary silence of a wondrously green and flora-abundant presence here on ancient Downs of Sussex. A magical place. It allows space and nurture for the type of person I am and have become. I am a fortunate person. The Creator, along with Dame Fortuna, and my special deity, the Orisa Osun, have, with one or two hiccups, seen me safely through. I am grateful and thankful. I render daily thanks, and make regular offerings. They do demand attention. And quite rightly so. …Quite enough. 

Best, Baba m

On 02/05/2017 10:08, "Assensoh, Akwasi B." <> wrote:

Dear Baba Michael (Baba M...):

Many thanks, indeed, as I very much liked your brief comment on Nigerian NFL draftees of what you described as "American footie game". I did very much agree with you because several Nigerian youngsters I personally happened to know did succeed in going to the NFL from college, where they made tons of the "Almighty Dollar" (as Charles Dickens once called the U.S. Dollar)! One of the youngsters was my former Indiana University brilliant student, Adewale ('Wale), who started out with Miami Dolphins before being traded to Chicago Bears as a "great sacker"; 'Wale surprised my family and me with his sense of gratitude when he later sent by mail to my family and me in Indiana a box of Dolphin sporting souvenirs of T-shirts, caps, cups, etc. Also, the son of our family's female Nigerian Journalist friend (Mrs. Helen A. Okpokowuruk of Charlotte, NC) made it big to the NFL. So, there is, truly, a tradition of Nigerian youngsters with annual NFL draft connections.

By the way, while I am at it with the foregoing comment, please, let me also thank you very much for the autographed copy of your 316-page monograph, "Phantom Trail....Antiquity", which you sent to me a while back. On recent trips with my family to Louisiana and Mississippi, I had the fortune of bringing the copy to enjoy some of the first class essays in the publication. The monograph made my 2017 spring break trip worthwhile, and I cannot thank you enough, Baba Michael, for sharing with me the gem contained in the monograph! Hopefully, other Dialogue brothers and sisters will try to look for copies of the 2005 monograph, if they do not already have one. The published essays are still relevant to our day (in 2017)!

With warm wishes from Oregon.
A.B. Assensoh, Oregon.

Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 6:14 PM

Very impressive showing of Africa folk in annual US Pro Football Draft from US universities. Clearly Nigerians go for the American footie game. All but a few are of Nigerian birth or parentage.
Baba m

Sent from my iPad

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