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Archive for the month “October, 2010”

Nigeria at 50: The dusk of despair or the dawn of hope

Nigeria marks her 50th anniversary of independence from British rule today, the 1st of October 2010. I’m not going to go into the long and detailed history of Nigeria under British rule, you can check out Wikipedia for that. I am however going to talk about the different feelings a 50-year old Nigeria evoke in me and several other Nigerians.

Much has been written by many articulate, eloquent and prolific writers about the state of play in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, even more will be written today in commemoration of her 50th anniversary. Sometimes these works of writing portray the country in a good light, but more often than not, in a very bad light.

In this blog post, I just want to express in my own words how I feel.

Nigeria; what a conundrum!

A nation brimming with potential

Has now become a sanctum

For all things nonessential.

Nigeria; what a riddle!

The poor are wretched yet the rich get richer,

With no class in the middle

Corruption is the clincher.

Nigeria; what an enigma!

One so endowed with natural resources

Yet boldly bearing the stigma

Of her government pilfering all she grosses.

Nigeria; what a puzzle!

Laying claims to democracy

Whilst constantly seeking to muzzle

Any who decry her hypocrisy.

Nigeria; what a mystery!

Replete with inspiring landscape,

A vast population and a rich history

And yet so many trying to escape.

Nigeria, the Giant of Africa

Will you from the ashes arise?

Shall we once again see a flicker,

As your greatness, you reprise?

What’s the deal with…DFS?

For as long as I’ve lived in the UK (14 going on 15 years), DFS, the furniture store, has had a sale all year round! When I first started to see the adverts on TV, the slogan was “Everything must go!” At which point I assumed the store was closing down for good.

However, over the years, rather than closing down they seem to have waxed stronger and have a sale for every season of the year. There have since been a string of television and radio adverts with catchy tag lines. They include;

  • Think Sofas, think DFS
  • Double savings in the summer sale ending this Sunday (usually at 5pm)
  • Buy now, pay later
  • Buy now, pay nothing for the first year
  • Four years free credit
  • Four years free credit and pay nothing for the first year

This list is by no means exhaustive as there has been so many of them, I couldn’t keep count. The fact that I even remember these is bad for my street cred!

Their latest offering is “£400 off every sofa in the 2011 collection”.

If your mind works like does, you’ve most probably wondered the same things I have;

  • Why do they always have a sale which ends soon but no sooner than it ends, another starts?
  • How does DFS make any money if they always have a sale on?
  • Isn’t the ‘sale’ just a gimmick to attract customers?
  • The sofas must be overpriced in the first place, that’s why they advertised prices as reduced!

In my opinion, having constant sales is a marketing ploy to draw in unsuspecting and guileless customers to buy furniture which was originally overpriced at seemingly bargain prices. Unfortunately it would appear it works as they are still in business. As a matter of fact, it has worked so well that Lord Kirkham, the founder of DFS, was made £300m richer when he sold the company earlier this year.

Now I can’t speak for the quality of their products as I have never purchased any but I do wish they would stop harassing TV viewers and radio listeners with their never-ending sale adverts and alliterative tag-lines.

But I bet you the owners of the newly acquired business are thinking “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; If it worked for Lord Kirkham for 41 years, it’ll probably work for us”.

Unfortunately, we, tormented and traumatised souls, just have to watch this space to see if anything changes. Until then, we’ll live in hope.

Tara for now.

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