Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Someone came via inbox to express sincere appreciation for my multiple posts, which he found to be highly engaging, even though brief in content. And the impressions they make seem long lasting.

However, the person wanted me to make and post only one update per day, so that it can be better discussed, digested, comprehended and assimilated by persons reading them.

So I took the trouble to explain a few things thus;

I've done that before during my earlier Facebook (FB) days around 2009-2010, restricting my posts to just one update per day. But now I do Twitter as well as other social media stuffs and have linked my FB account to some of these.

So, what I post on Facebook now appears as a tweet on my Twitter handle, that way one compliments the other. Same happens with my Messenger and other links, thus one post ends up serving 2 or more social media platforms effectively.

Now while it is cool to pour out prose on FB, other social media demand that posts and updates be short and sharp, yet be rich and deep with reflective meanings. Thus account holders are subjected to limitations in number of alphabets or words they can use.

These limits became necessary due to a recent discovery that unless one is conducting a research, most texts and messages are no longer read in full. People now tend to read the first one or two lines of any note and thereafter move on.

It is like a bait to a fish. If it finds it attractive, it will first circle around it, then take a little bite off the edges, letting its taste buds sample it's palatability. If it passes the litmus test, the fish would then indulge in enjoying, getting hooked that is.

Subsequently, most readers some of whom can be CEOs will abandon the reading if it fails to catch their interest within 5 seconds. That time is all they are willing to sacrifice to be impressed, else they will ignore it.

Therefore if anyone fails to keep them interested in their submission within the first few seconds, then the writer is simply wasting their time. Armed with this realization, many communication drives now strive to deliver their message in this first 5 seconds.

And that is why these days you see a lot of recent posts coming to you like that.

On FB, there those who write their updates in prose with the aim of making such posts fully understood. They thereby detail their presentations and spare time to further engage their readers in an interactive session for hours on end.

Other media platforms do it differently. The approach is to encourage their users to provide followers with catchy headlines sort of a thing, followed by a brief introduction to the subject matter and thereafter attach a link for any interested person to read further details on a website.

Being a poet, and we all know how poetry can be highly economical with words, and quotes even more so, I find it very easy to create such memes in multiple bits and hits for my e-friends to reflect upon.

Reason for doing that? That is the new trend. People are being encouraged to write less, yet make more impact with the words, while at the same time create a visual impact using images in a media convergence delivery.

People now just want to deliver their message in as few letters or words as possible, often between 140 - 160 maximum letters. If creative enough would add an image to compliment the message as a single TKO "punch".

Besides, there is that trending posts with those color backgrounds on FB. Just like SMS texts on mobile phones with 160 letters, it only allows for about 150 characters I think, where Twitter uses only 140 alphabets, spaces inclusive.

So what is happening, one might ask? Well, communication is downsizing in its time engagement! Using less to achieve more. In fact media contents are currently being designed to flow along this new trend. Le Corbusier's "Less is more..." is back in full.

For those who noticed, Whatsapp videos are 16 MB max. Texts get truncated after a certain length and audios also have limits set beyond which one cannot cross. FB words on posts are 8000 max and so on across the social media.

Not forgetting that people nowadays barely read more than a few lines of most writings due to their very busy and very tight schedules. Corporate letters are best written to contain all vital information on the first page for quick absorption.

Of course advertising on radio also flows along that design. Thus there are jingles of 15, 30, 45 and 60 seconds, which is the maximum time allowed for that. Anything over and above this 1 minute time frame is regarded as a hype.

Therefore the unfolding trend is to deliver your messages in series of bullets, PowerPoint style, so that you don't miss being read or your intended message being delivered, heard or understood. Most especially if the audience do not have a good grasp of language of communication.

Again as ads professionals, which I happen to be one, I employ that knowledge to ensures that the reader gets "punched" with the message within that first 5 phenomenal seconds. Mind you, billboard messages are most effective if delivered in a few words as well, which can be read as a pedestrian, rider or even a fast driver passes by - 7 max.

So, now you know why I do what I do. It is based on all these foregoing information and much more. It's not just communicating and effectively too for that matter, but it is to done that way to maximally impact upon you with the communicated message.

When the message is short, it is easier to recall and remember. Therefore it is more effective and most impactious.

There is a huge difference between the two.

(c)2017 Tijjani M. M.
All Rights Reserved


A friend I respect tagged me on one of the social media platforms among several others friends on a sound post, citing a very famous hadith and requested that we express ourselves sincerely about the matter currently occupying most patriotic citizens of Arewa and even beyond our borders.

I told him I want to talk sincerely, but I have friends who are pro-Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) that are hurting because I'm talking about SanKano and his utterances, some of which with all due respect to His Highness I sincerely believe are unbecoming of a king of his status to express them the way he is doing. Following the steps of him who says to fear no man and speak the truth notwithstanding who ox is gored.

Please note that it is not what the Emir is saying, some of which are the realities on the ground that is the problem, but the way he is saying it. And he needs not go about it as if he is on a mission or has an ulterior motive. Let him take his people along. For achieving this will not be child's play nor will it be within a short period, but the long term.

For starters, HRH will need to come from his air of "sophistication, well experienced and highly qualified" attitude down to the level of his talakawa. In fact, he has to go about it one on one and even further still to the simpletons' level and talk to them, make them grasp it, understand it, desire it, hunger for it and subsequently lead them on to pursue and achieve it.

He needs not do any taqiyya, politics, dance around things thing as someone suggested. He simply needs to study and understand his subjects and then using that knowledge, approach them with the issue in a civil and courteous manner. They deserve respect as a people, even if as individuals nobody is worthy of his attention, which of course even that is not possible.
There are bound to be those who are better endowed and vice-versa. It is the Sunnah of Allaah SWT to do that among mankind. Let us all call to mind Prophet Moses (AS) and his encounter with Kidr (AS) and how their sojourn as depicted in the Qur'an shows. Therefore respect is a two-way traffic. To earn it, you must give it, accord it first. And humbleness and humility is often the secret to reverence and elevation.
The Emir's immediate subjects are mostly Muslims and as stated in the Qur'an amongst mankind these are the best of humans when it comes to doing what is right and best for their society. All they need is a leader to pledge their allegiance to. Someone they can trust not to betray them and that is it. Once this is achieved, it is finished. He will win this if he knows how to go about it properly.
Sadly, HRH initial approach in thinking that embarrassing, disgracing, rubbishing their level of advancement and blaming their religion for the lack of progress is what will make the people wake up, make them comply or respond to his call is not it. This is essentially where many of them have found offense with his call. Not that they do not believe he means well for them.
Besides, the actual fault of the backwardness of northern region and its people lies squarely on the shoulders of its educated elite. The intellectuals of Arewa are the ones who have failed their people and their region. Each of the elites, not the rich and wealthy, no, but the ones who were and are opportune to go to universities, other higher institutions and traveled round the world are the ones who have retarded their society's growth with their self-centered attitude.
Notwithstanding all that can be cited to buttress the initial setback in establishing western education in the north, those that eventually acquired the education to degree level or its equivalent and higher should have taken the trouble to design a sustainable plan that ought to have taken the region to the level that will keep it at par and competitive with not just south of Nigeria, but the rest of the world. Alas, this did not happen.
And so this is where Sanusi Lamido Sanusi comes in. If he truly did care, he should have mobilized others equally enlightened mind from way back when he came out of the university. With all his brilliance and experience in finance and management, he could have come far with the mission. And now that he is the Emir of one of the most influential traditional throne in not just Arewa, Nigeria or even Africa but the whole world, he would have done what is necessary to arrest this disgraceful situation he now sits and reigns over.
Fact of the matter is we are all aware of what Arewa problems are. Someone to lead us out of the quagmire is what we are looking for. At the top President Muhammad Buhari is doing that for Nigeria and at this State level, however none, I repeat NONE is better qualified, equipped or suited than HRH to do this. Enen if there are any other, the Emir with his clout as SanKano has an edge in this quest.
Unfortunately, though full aware of its objectives he is not in tandem with the project demands. That is why I once said in a poem I wrote at the beginning of his reign that "I didn't want SLS to become the 15th Emir of Kano." For any who has read the piece would see my reasons why? By Allah if any with a little comprehension of English should read it, he or she will easily understand and surely agree with me. Might not be all anyway.
Bottom-line of all this? Muhammad Sanusi II is wasting the best of himself on that throne. As captured in that piece of poetry for those who would find it difficult to grasp it at first, SLS should have gone into politics and vied for Governorship of Kano State or contested for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Then and only then would the best of SLS have truly manifested! This is my personal belief.
As for those blind supporters of our king, who are shouting don't bother about the messenger, concentrate on the message. I just want to say that the worth, value, quality, credibility and soundness of the message is usually in the chosen messenger. Never make the mistake of sending your message through the wrong messenger. Chose carefully someone with the right qualities, eloquence, charisma, character, finesse, appeal and so on to do the job if you want the project to succeed.

A simple similitude would elucidate this better; a good meal, a tantalizing gourmet cuisine served in a dirty, unkempt, dusty, smeared and stained plate or delivered in a rude and uncouth manner will surely not be palatable to its consumer, no matter how clean, neat and beautiful is the waiter. Besides, we have a unique case here where the messenger doubles as the owner of the message.

Unfortunately, the approach which should have been foolproof, with knowledge of the target's sentiments and sensitivity, delivered with wisdom in approach, choice of words and place of delivery, as well as measurement in apportioning the message and finally being patient in the pursuit of the goals intended are all not here taken into due regards and consideration in this case.

Rather a crude, disgracing and embarrassing method to the sensitivity of the people is used to present these golden aspirations to its target populace. Feeling disrespected, many at the base of society feel they deserve better from their king. Thus we are left with a good cause, yes, but due to the style of presentation and disregard for the audiences disposition, the people are willing to throw away the baby, along with the bath water. Which is rather unfortunate?

Again as Muslims, we must call to mind at the cost of being labeled 6th or 13th century minded Muslims how the Rasool SAWS introduced Islam into pagan Makkah, and how it was soon to spread throughout the whole world. Are the Emir of Kano's subjects any more backwards than the Bedouin arab Muhammad (SAWS) met in the 6th century? Of course not. Well, it took him 23 years to achieve his goal.  

For any with a similar agenda for his people, could that 6th century approach be less effective with a populace that are no better when it comes to their mindset, not withstanding their being in the 21st century? Despite all advancement due to science and technology, basically mankind is still the same. There is nothing we are doing now that we were not doing earlier. The only thing that is different is how we do things.

This is my simple take on this matter, with all due respect. I sincerely believe the approach should have been better.

(c) 2017 Tijjani M. M.
All Rights Reserved