Monday, August 31, 2020

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Reggae Series, No. 20: Alton Ellis, "Cry Tough"

'How can a man be tough

rougher than the world

(tougher than the world),

for if he's rough,

he's against the world'.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue6fwbUujFk

 

 

USA Africa Dialogue Series - OríkìGenesis:OlabiyiYai’s Oríkì Philosophy as a Paradigm for Human Development



                                       

                                                                                                                     

                                                           

                                              


                                                                                                    OríkìGenesis

 

                                             Olabiyi Yai's Oríkì Philosophy as a Paradigm for Human Development    

 



                                                                                                     

                                                                         

                                                                            


Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju
Comparative Cognitive Processes and Systems
"Exploring Every Corner of the Cosmos in Search of Knowledge" 

 

The Meaning of this Work and What Inspired It 


This is a construction of an idea of human development 
 from  Ọlabiyi Babalola Yai's interpretation of particular Yoruba terms, the philosophical term orí, the literary genre oríkì, the disciplinary concept ìtàn and  the designation of a particular lifestyle, àrè.

 

These ideas are reworked in terms of a vision of human growth within the dynamism of existence. This is done through quotations from Yai's essays, contextualized by my own reframing of the significance of those quotations, placed in square brackets, with the entire sequence prefaced by quotations from other contexts that reinforce the thrust  of the vision I am distilling from Yai's work.


My evocations of the kola nut, the egg, the proverb, the parable and the riddle are transpositions of Yai's references to Yoruba metaphors in his text that inspires this one.


Visual art evoking ideas of creativity suggested by  knotting and unknotting represented through  the elegant swirls of the Ghanaian Akan symbol Nyansapon, as shown in its traditional form above and its adaptation as a company logo by VeliaAfrica, shown below, and spirals of progressionrecreation and infinity in the opon ifa circular template and the Nsibidi art of Victor Ekpuk are invoked here to complement Yai's soaring thought.

 

This is part of a project exploring Yoruba aesthetics through a study of the writings of two philosophers of Yoruba art and aesthetics, Rowland Abiodun and Babatunde Lawal. Abiodun's work is directly influenced by Yai and that of Lawal is indirectly related to it.

 

This piece is a development from my first response to reading Yai in the light of these investigations, "Exploring Intersections of African Discourses: Celebrating Ọlabiyi Babalola Yai, Scholar Extraordinaire of African Arts and African Philosophies." (academia.edu( PDF), Scribd (PDF), Facebook, LinkedIn, Rowland Abiodun and Babatunde Lawal, Philosophers of Yoruba Art blog,  Twitter).

 

 

Quotations and Interpretations

 

The months and days are the travelers of eternity. The years that come and go are also voyagers. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. I too for years past have been stirred by the sight of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind to ceaseless thoughts of roaming.

 

From the opening lines of Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho's The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Quoting different translations of the lines, first two sentences and last sentence by Donald Keene. Third  sentence by Sam Hamill.  All from  "Narrow Road to the Deep North, Opening Paragraph, Ten Translations" at the website of David Barnill, scholar in nature writing. Other superb resources, such as US and Japanese nature writing may be found on other sections of the site Accessed 8/31/2020.

 

 

                                                                                         

                                                                     


[In this painting, Good Morning, Sunrise by Victor Ekpuk] the spiral is an Nsibidi sign [ a Nigerian Cross River region ideographic system] meaning journey, but it also suggests the sun and eternity. Ekpuk's strong palette of warm reds, deep blacks, cool blues and whites contributes to the overall sense of animation.

From the website of the Smithsonian exhibition, Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art.


Orí is essence, attribute, and quintessence… the uniqueness of persons, animals, and things, their inner eye and ear, their sharpest point and their most alert guide as they navigate through this world and the one beyond.


                                                                                                        

                                                     



The ideal artist … is an àrè [ as understood in Yoruba]. No etymology of the word has been attempted, but the most plausible one would derive it from the verb re, which means to depart.


Lagbayi, the Yoruba transcendental sculptor, lived as an àrè. An àrè is an itinerant, a permanent stranger precisely because he or she can be permanent nowhere.

                                                                                                                                                                              

 [An àrè is a person who approaches life as an] oríkì, an unfinished and generative art enterprise. Oríkì [saluting and invoking the essence and expression of cosmic and individual being in sentient beings' efforts to understand and navigate the cosmos in relation to their own identity, a process] inseparable from ìtàn, to spread [in time and space], to shine, irradiate, investigate, illuminate.

                                                                                           

                                                                       

                                                                



[ An àrè  is committed to pìtàn, to splitting in multiples the kernels of possibility, separating and ingesting the two lobes of the kola nut of being and becoming, hatching the egg of tomorrow in ways visionary, splitting open the luminous core of the proverb that is life, untying the knot of the parable of existence,  unloosening its radiance,  de-riddling  history,  shedding light ] on human existence through time and space  [in the spirit of ] Òrúnmìlà [Eleri-Ipin, Witness to Creation] Opìtàn ilẹ Ifẹ, He who deriddles ìtàn, i.e., unravels history throughout Ifẹ territory [ the womb and consummation of terrestrial time in Yoruba mythology,


Jacob Olupona's  City of 201 Gods: Ilé-Ifè in Time, Space, and the Imagination explores the depth and complexity of Ile-Ife in the  Yoruba cosmos.   My "Ile-Ife : Geographical, Affective, Metaphysical and Mystical Interpretations by Awo Falokun" is a very short but imagistically evocative excursion into these ideas from one perspective].


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RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

ADDENDUM

For the avoidance of doubt I think what TF is hinting at is what is called the Ombudsman in the UK.

While the NUC cannot enforce sanctions on the govt that is its principal  the tertiary education Ombudsman can impose and enforce penalties and sanctions on both the government and ASUU that will be binding on both for reneging on agreements or agreed outcomes.

If ASUU feels shortchanged it goes straight to the Ombudsman rather than resort to strikes.  It will be the duty of the Ombudsman to engage the government directly and ensure it meets its part of  agreements on a timely manner.

Ideally members of such an Ombudsman will be a cross party affair.

OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: OLAYINKA AGBETUYI <yagbetuyi@hotmail.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 22:08 (GMT+00:00)
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

That is why TF's main argument of a necessary mediated partnership between ASUU and these governmental agencies is germane and critical in the interests of all. To see that neither side is compromised or allows itself to be compromised   This will flag off a renewed commitment.

OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: 'Adeshina Afolayan' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 21:51 (GMT+00:00)
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Boxbe This message is eligible for Automatic Cleanup! (usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com) Add cleanup rule | More info
Ọ̀gá OAA,
I am just attempting to point out the contradiction inherent in wanting a revitalized system without the will power to follow through to the logical conclusion. I trade union will usually not be willing to rein in its members even when they are sabotaging the same system they want revitalized. 

Ọ̀gá TF already brilliantly pointed out the democratic process which ought to ensure that local governments, civil society and the people themselves to agitate for an improved educational system. 

ASUU is too compromised in its present state to bring such a desired transformation to the Nigerian university system.


Adeshina 


Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

On Monday, August 31, 2020, 8:47 PM, OLAYINKA AGBETUYI <yagbetuyi@hotmail.com> wrote:

Oga Afolayan.

I lost you in the last paragraph.

Is the revitalization of the university system not part of ASUU's vital interests considering the larger picture?

Can they function optimally without an autogenous  framework for revitalization  to which Prof Falola alluded with respect to  the United Nations percentile budgetary allocations?

OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: 'Adeshina Afolayan' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 20:20 (GMT+00:00)
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Boxbe This message is eligible for Automatic Cleanup! (usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com) Add cleanup rule | More info
Dear TF,
Let me first commend your good heart, and your deep commitment to the Fatherland. It is clear to everyone on this forum that you are a patriot. For those of us at close quarters, we feel your pain, and even impotence, at how the destinies of students could be so politicized like this. Which is why your recommendations on the way forward are crucial.

The question, however, is: Who is listening?

Both parties to the crisis are operating from some perspectives of set beliefs. For ASUU, the government understands nothing but strike actions. And the strikes must continue, no matter whose ox is gored or whose lives are sacrificed. There is even the saying that strikes are not "ended" but "suspended". The fixation on strike action has become a fetish! I do not need to say anything about the government. You have beautifully characterized the illogic of government actions and policies. Which is why i found your Recommendation 7 very curious. What would compel the government to give 26% to education, given the illogicality of politician's "legacy" thinking that lacks future relevance? If allocating 26% to education does not provide the political factor that all politicians are looking for, it will not work. 

With regard to Recommendation 6, aren't politicians and transparency mutually exclusive? Even ASUU is not transparent in her dealing with members. Ask members from the various branches, and you will hear tales of woes. This is galling because this is supposed to be an association of intellectuals who ought to know better. 

Recommendations 3 and 4 appear contradictory. If ASUU must insist on resolving the IPPIS issue before suspending the strike (recommendation 3), then why should the association suspend the strike while the alternative payment platform UTAS is being tested? And if the integrity test fails, should ASUU resume the strike? 

There is a whole lot at stake in this wahala that is not open to all of us. For instance, government has since forcibly migrated all those who refused to register for the IPPIS to the platform, and they have been issued the IPPIS number. And yet, the government refused to still pay these same people the June, July and August salaries because it is insisting they must register.  

My argument has always been simple: Let ASUU revert to being a traditional trade union that is interested in fighting for her members and their interests. The struggle for the revitalization of the university is a contradiction since striking and other internal symptoms mean that ASUU itself is already compromised with regard to the objective it is fighting for.  

 

Adeshina Afolayan, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of Ibadan

+23480-3928-8429


On Monday, August 31, 2020, 06:09:20 PM GMT+1, Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu> wrote:




Sent from my iPhone

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RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

That is why TF's main argument of a necessary mediated partnership between ASUU and these governmental agencies is germane and critical in the interests of all. To see that neither side is compromised or allows itself to be compromised   This will flag off a renewed commitment.

OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: 'Adeshina Afolayan' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 21:51 (GMT+00:00)
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Boxbe This message is eligible for Automatic Cleanup! (usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com) Add cleanup rule | More info
Ọ̀gá OAA,
I am just attempting to point out the contradiction inherent in wanting a revitalized system without the will power to follow through to the logical conclusion. I trade union will usually not be willing to rein in its members even when they are sabotaging the same system they want revitalized. 

Ọ̀gá TF already brilliantly pointed out the democratic process which ought to ensure that local governments, civil society and the people themselves to agitate for an improved educational system. 

ASUU is too compromised in its present state to bring such a desired transformation to the Nigerian university system.


Adeshina 


Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

On Monday, August 31, 2020, 8:47 PM, OLAYINKA AGBETUYI <yagbetuyi@hotmail.com> wrote:

Oga Afolayan.

I lost you in the last paragraph.

Is the revitalization of the university system not part of ASUU's vital interests considering the larger picture?

Can they function optimally without an autogenous  framework for revitalization  to which Prof Falola alluded with respect to  the United Nations percentile budgetary allocations?

OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: 'Adeshina Afolayan' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 20:20 (GMT+00:00)
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Boxbe This message is eligible for Automatic Cleanup! (usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com) Add cleanup rule | More info
Dear TF,
Let me first commend your good heart, and your deep commitment to the Fatherland. It is clear to everyone on this forum that you are a patriot. For those of us at close quarters, we feel your pain, and even impotence, at how the destinies of students could be so politicized like this. Which is why your recommendations on the way forward are crucial.

The question, however, is: Who is listening?

Both parties to the crisis are operating from some perspectives of set beliefs. For ASUU, the government understands nothing but strike actions. And the strikes must continue, no matter whose ox is gored or whose lives are sacrificed. There is even the saying that strikes are not "ended" but "suspended". The fixation on strike action has become a fetish! I do not need to say anything about the government. You have beautifully characterized the illogic of government actions and policies. Which is why i found your Recommendation 7 very curious. What would compel the government to give 26% to education, given the illogicality of politician's "legacy" thinking that lacks future relevance? If allocating 26% to education does not provide the political factor that all politicians are looking for, it will not work. 

With regard to Recommendation 6, aren't politicians and transparency mutually exclusive? Even ASUU is not transparent in her dealing with members. Ask members from the various branches, and you will hear tales of woes. This is galling because this is supposed to be an association of intellectuals who ought to know better. 

Recommendations 3 and 4 appear contradictory. If ASUU must insist on resolving the IPPIS issue before suspending the strike (recommendation 3), then why should the association suspend the strike while the alternative payment platform UTAS is being tested? And if the integrity test fails, should ASUU resume the strike? 

There is a whole lot at stake in this wahala that is not open to all of us. For instance, government has since forcibly migrated all those who refused to register for the IPPIS to the platform, and they have been issued the IPPIS number. And yet, the government refused to still pay these same people the June, July and August salaries because it is insisting they must register.  

My argument has always been simple: Let ASUU revert to being a traditional trade union that is interested in fighting for her members and their interests. The struggle for the revitalization of the university is a contradiction since striking and other internal symptoms mean that ASUU itself is already compromised with regard to the objective it is fighting for.  

 

Adeshina Afolayan, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of Ibadan

+23480-3928-8429


On Monday, August 31, 2020, 06:09:20 PM GMT+1, Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu> wrote:




Sent from my iPhone

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RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Ha haha ha...

Let me join the laughter.  This time at the expense of the position that it is possible to separate the role of ASUU as a trade union as well as the power house of the nation's intelligentsia and educational development.


OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: Moses Ebe Ochonu <meochonu@gmail.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 21:49 (GMT+00:00)
To: USAAfricaDialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

My argument has always been simple: Let ASUU revert to being a traditional trade union that is interested in fighting for her members and their interests. The struggle for the revitalization of the university is a contradiction since striking and other internal symptoms mean that ASUU itself is already compromised with regard to the objective it is fighting for.  

Thanks AA. This is the koko of the matter, to use a Nigerianism. ASUU is a confused organization with an identity crisis. Unless and until it resolves that crisis of self and being, no serious person should take it seriously. Embrace your primal identity as a trade union and no one will have a problem with you if you decide to strike ten times a year to press home demands regarding the interests of your members. But when you claim, FALSELY, that you're fighting for the revitalization of the Nigerian university system and you incubate and protect mediocrity and resist accountability in teaching, research, and ethics (the three areas with direct bearing on outcomes and standards in the system), why should reasonable people not dismiss and laugh at your antics and rhetoric as they're doing?


On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 2:16 PM 'Adeshina Afolayan' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> wrote:
Dear TF,
Let me first commend your good heart, and your deep commitment to the Fatherland. It is clear to everyone on this forum that you are a patriot. For those of us at close quarters, we feel your pain, and even impotence, at how the destinies of students could be so politicized like this. Which is why your recommendations on the way forward are crucial.

The question, however, is: Who is listening?

Both parties to the crisis are operating from some perspectives of set beliefs. For ASUU, the government understands nothing but strike actions. And the strikes must continue, no matter whose ox is gored or whose lives are sacrificed. There is even the saying that strikes are not "ended" but "suspended". The fixation on strike action has become a fetish! I do not need to say anything about the government. You have beautifully characterized the illogic of government actions and policies. Which is why i found your Recommendation 7 very curious. What would compel the government to give 26% to education, given the illogicality of politician's "legacy" thinking that lacks future relevance? If allocating 26% to education does not provide the political factor that all politicians are looking for, it will not work. 

With regard to Recommendation 6, aren't politicians and transparency mutually exclusive? Even ASUU is not transparent in her dealing with members. Ask members from the various branches, and you will hear tales of woes. This is galling because this is supposed to be an association of intellectuals who ought to know better. 

Recommendations 3 and 4 appear contradictory. If ASUU must insist on resolving the IPPIS issue before suspending the strike (recommendation 3), then why should the association suspend the strike while the alternative payment platform UTAS is being tested? And if the integrity test fails, should ASUU resume the strike? 

There is a whole lot at stake in this wahala that is not open to all of us. For instance, government has since forcibly migrated all those who refused to register for the IPPIS to the platform, and they have been issued the IPPIS number. And yet, the government refused to still pay these same people the June, July and August salaries because it is insisting they must register.  

My argument has always been simple: Let ASUU revert to being a traditional trade union that is interested in fighting for her members and their interests. The struggle for the revitalization of the university is a contradiction since striking and other internal symptoms mean that ASUU itself is already compromised with regard to the objective it is fighting for.  

 

Adeshina Afolayan, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of Ibadan


+23480-3928-8429


On Monday, August 31, 2020, 06:09:20 PM GMT+1, Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu> wrote:




Sent from my iPhone

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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Ọ̀gá OAA,
I am just attempting to point out the contradiction inherent in wanting a revitalized system without the will power to follow through to the logical conclusion. I trade union will usually not be willing to rein in its members even when they are sabotaging the same system they want revitalized. 

Ọ̀gá TF already brilliantly pointed out the democratic process which ought to ensure that local governments, civil society and the people themselves to agitate for an improved educational system. 

ASUU is too compromised in its present state to bring such a desired transformation to the Nigerian university system.


Adeshina 


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On Monday, August 31, 2020, 8:47 PM, OLAYINKA AGBETUYI <yagbetuyi@hotmail.com> wrote:

Oga Afolayan.

I lost you in the last paragraph.

Is the revitalization of the university system not part of ASUU's vital interests considering the larger picture?

Can they function optimally without an autogenous  framework for revitalization  to which Prof Falola alluded with respect to  the United Nations percentile budgetary allocations?

OAA



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



-------- Original message --------
From: 'Adeshina Afolayan' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: 31/08/2020 20:20 (GMT+00:00)
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Striking ASUU

Boxbe This message is eligible for Automatic Cleanup! (usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com) Add cleanup rule | More info
Dear TF,
Let me first commend your good heart, and your deep commitment to the Fatherland. It is clear to everyone on this forum that you are a patriot. For those of us at close quarters, we feel your pain, and even impotence, at how the destinies of students could be so politicized like this. Which is why your recommendations on the way forward are crucial.

The question, however, is: Who is listening?

Both parties to the crisis are operating from some perspectives of set beliefs. For ASUU, the government understands nothing but strike actions. And the strikes must continue, no matter whose ox is gored or whose lives are sacrificed. There is even the saying that strikes are not "ended" but "suspended". The fixation on strike action has become a fetish! I do not need to say anything about the government. You have beautifully characterized the illogic of government actions and policies. Which is why i found your Recommendation 7 very curious. What would compel the government to give 26% to education, given the illogicality of politician's "legacy" thinking that lacks future relevance? If allocating 26% to education does not provide the political factor that all politicians are looking for, it will not work. 

With regard to Recommendation 6, aren't politicians and transparency mutually exclusive? Even ASUU is not transparent in her dealing with members. Ask members from the various branches, and you will hear tales of woes. This is galling because this is supposed to be an association of intellectuals who ought to know better. 

Recommendations 3 and 4 appear contradictory. If ASUU must insist on resolving the IPPIS issue before suspending the strike (recommendation 3), then why should the association suspend the strike while the alternative payment platform UTAS is being tested? And if the integrity test fails, should ASUU resume the strike? 

There is a whole lot at stake in this wahala that is not open to all of us. For instance, government has since forcibly migrated all those who refused to register for the IPPIS to the platform, and they have been issued the IPPIS number. And yet, the government refused to still pay these same people the June, July and August salaries because it is insisting they must register.  

My argument has always been simple: Let ASUU revert to being a traditional trade union that is interested in fighting for her members and their interests. The struggle for the revitalization of the university is a contradiction since striking and other internal symptoms mean that ASUU itself is already compromised with regard to the objective it is fighting for.  

 

Adeshina Afolayan, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of Ibadan

+23480-3928-8429


On Monday, August 31, 2020, 06:09:20 PM GMT+1, Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu> wrote:




Sent from my iPhone

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Facts First from CNN: President shares white nationalist's video in retweet falsely blaming Black Lives Matter for 2019 Subway Assault

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/31/politics/fact-check-trump-subway-assault-black-lives-matter-antifa/index.html

"The end justifies the means." This is the president of the United States. I never thought I would see or read this in a "Liberal Democratic State." I will be teaching liberal democracy in my class tomorrow. Whatever happened to free and fair elections?  

Just musing.

Ike 

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