Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Thousand Words

It all started the day my mother asked us to start calling Aunty Toun “Mummy wa” I grew up knowing Aunty Toun as the lady who lived in the nice house in our area. Her house was the only “nice” house there anyway she lived alone and had nice looking cars always driving in and out of her house. Her car was the first one I ever entered and I remember touching the smooth leather seats throughout the ride to the market. My mother did some work for aunty, that’s a dignified way of saying she ran errands for her and in exchange for her services she got a little money, some raw food and with that she ensured that my little sister and I didn’t starve.
You see Aunty Toun is actually my father’s second cousin, but since we never knew our dad, my mother felt it was important to know some of his relatives. Aunty Toun was much younger than my mother but culture demanded she respected her so she was “Sisi Mi Toun” I didn’t understand why my mother was always deferring to her, was is it because she had a lot of money? Surely money was an important thing to have then. It commanded respect.
“Damilola, please go and wear your white dress and white socks, you know Aunty Toun doesn’t like it when you don’t dress well to her house”
Aunty Toun determined what we ate in our little room, what kind of clothes we wore and every other thing. I grew up resenting her and her condescending tone and little gifts.
“Dami and Ife come and say thank you to Aunty Toun. She has just given me your school fees for next term”
With every act of subservience by my mother my head spun, surely I had to do something to liberate my mother from this modern day slavery. When my mother said we should only call aunty “mummy wa” I made up my mind to stop collecting the presents from Aunty, I was going to make money for us.
I was 17 when I got the job at the petrol station and even though the pay was small, I took every kobo I made home to my mother. I would spend the time behind the till reading every scrap of information I could. My personal mantra was “Ignorance led to poverty” I was not going to be ignorant as ignorance led my mother to getting pregnant for a low life who claimed he was from the prominent Lagos Kuku family, when in fact he was actually their cook. Ignorance made her stick around him long enough to have even another baby and then he skipped town leaving her with two children and a false belief in a name.
So when Michael walked into the Mart to ask to buy lubricant for his SUV and showed more interest in me than in the lubricant he came to purchase I strengthened my resolve not to let any man lead me through ignorance to poverty. Something was different about him though, he was persistent and genuinely seemed to care. He was stung when I refused his tip the first time, “I don’t take hand outs sir; I like to earn my own money”. He seemed shocked that I could speak English properly, and for that we could only thank Aunty Toun the benefactor who ensured that my mother sent us to the best primary school in the area. He started bringing books for me to read and kept asking me to consider leaving work for school. I didn’t want to go to school, school would come later, but I surely didn’t want my sister to be raised with mummy wa’s money.
Michael became my friend and never stopped talking about my going back to school. I grew to trust him and look forward to his visits every evening. Then one day he said he was going back to America for his MBA.
“Dami, I want you to marry me. I want you to come with me to the U.S. We can build a life together there. You can go to school there and send for your Mom and sister later. I love you and I would love you for the rest of our lives”
That was five years ago. Today I’m standing at the window looking at mummy wa’s house and thinking life isn’t as dramatic as I pictured it to be. If this was a movie script I wasn’t supposed to be back here thinking of the morning I left Gary Indiana. I had become a captive in a place I had once called home, a battered captive; so I took my children and ran. It had been raining and I felt it was some deity giving his blessing for my actions. I had talked to some women about it “Ehn, he slapped you, and you still stayed there. Do you want to wait till you’re killed?”
“I can take anything oh, but that beating... no no no! My parents didn’t beat me it’s now a man that will make me his punching bag. Mba”
“My sister, you are strong sha o. The day Makinde raises his hand to even try it is the day I will go back home”
I was ashamed. I was living my mother’s life all over again, only this time I had armed myself with an education and I had saved enough money to start all over. I was strong and determined to try again. My children were only going to call one woman "Mummy wa" and that woman was me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I've been up to



Hi guys,

I haven't abandoned my blog oh, and no I'm not going to give you the tale of how I've been busy blah blah blah.. nehhh... I've just not been able to put my blog post thoughts together.
Last sunday I poured my heart out on my phone and I was going to come and post it on my blog and then writing instructor had other plans... he said ... Send it to BN... so.. that's what I did. I'll send you the link in another post.

Moving on, so October was Cancer awareness month and also the month of my birth... yay!! My birthday this year was really special because I had dinner with my close friends at The Four Points Sheraton and it was dutch! I really don't believe we were able to pull off an all man for himself style dinner in Naija. I mean I had the perfect birthday and i didn't go bankrupt. It was fun and I was really happy. The next weekend I had to go to Ogbomosho for my aunty's wedding. My aunty who is almost 50 was getting married for the first time and it was a really good thing for her. (I'll gist you guys about the wedding in another blog post!!1 plenty tory dey dia! :D)

What else happened in October... hmmm oh yes, a popular radio personality was taking short story entries for Cancer and she was going to post it on her blog. I sent in an entry and I was not shortlisted so I'm going to post it here for you guys to read and enjoy.

I'll be back sooner than you think.



I don’t know how long I sat in the vestry for, but the cup of tea someone had shoved into my hands when we first arrived at the church had turned cold along time ago. I couldn’t explain what I felt, I am not even sure at that time I felt anything. I just felt time pass, and the silence drummed in my ears like a loud gong. I had been asked to prepare to give a short word on Oyinkansola Idowu Cole.
What was I going to say? Where was I going to start from? That the last time I had a real relationship with my mother was when I was 13 That she wasn’t there to talk to me about boys, relationships and clothes?
I stared ahead at the wall ahead of me as if to find an answer to the questions I had been asking for almost 10 years but the cream wall just stared back at me. I remember that day back in J.S.3, Arin’s Mummy told me that I was going home with them because Mummy was not feeling strong enough to come and pick me.
“Your daddy has gone to the hospital with her, but she will be home soon. You will come and stay with us till she is strong enough”
“Can I see her? Can I go to the hospital? I can squeeze some orange juice for her. Mummy likes freshly squeezed orange juice when she has the flu”
I had said this, tongue in cheek, because I assumed my Mum was finally going to have another baby; you know how parents try to deceive kids into believing babies come from hospitals. I was being smart, if the adults could play the ‘flu game’ so could I.
I remember the sad smile on Mrs Kosoko’s face because of my naivety. I laughed out loud as the memory of that day brought a trickle of tears down my face. It was the first time I was crying since the 13th of September when the doctor walked into the waiting room to tell me my mum had passed. Why hadn’t I cried? It wasn’t because I was a cold heartless 22 year-old who didn’t care about her mother. It was because my mother had died over a year ago when she could no longer speak from the wracking pain. The lymphoma has taken a little of her till it took her voice.
"My mother was her voice. Oh how she would sing. I loved waking up on Saturday mornings to hear her raise the rafters with her voice clear as a bell, sweet as the sound of canaries in summer as she sang her favourite song, Amazing Grace.
I was shipped off to boarding house because the strain of taking care of Mom was taking its toll on my father. Every time I came home, my father looked older from caring for her, he was pouring all of his finances into her treatment and she didn’t seem to get better.
I remember coming home and being afraid to enter her room because it smelt of death. Her hugs lost their warmth because she grew weaker. I was afraid of my own mother because she looked so frail; she lost all her hair from the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy. My mother, bless her heart would always call me into her room to chat, to ask about the little details and most importantly she sang to me. There was something in knowing that she would always sing to me and even though she was not strong enough to keep me in check in my wild years as a teenager I would remember the words of her songs and be contrite.
My dad was struggling with the burden too; he would come back from work and sit by her bedside till he fell asleep. I had to grow up fast for her, for him, for me.
The doctor gave her 1 year to live, but my mother was a fighter. The embers of the love she felt for Daddy and I that kept her going. It felt like she wasn’t going to leave until I was old enough to take care of myself. She didn’t give up till 8 years later.
My mother, Oyinkansolami, the canary of my house stopped singing and was being laid to rest today. What was I going to say about a woman so strong and unique? I wept uncontrollably for my loss.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wonbiliki Wobia

I really need a driver if my blog wants to stay alive. How are they related? Well, I'll tell you.

On the long 2 hour drive to work I generate at least 4 blog posts everyday.. in my HEAD! ofcourse my head isn't the same as this blog so you can't read it in there. By the time I get to my desk, plug my phone in, turn on my computer and start reading emails I end up either forgetting to post or I've lost all the clarity I had about the structure and form my blogpost would come in. If I had a driver I'd probably just do up the post on the long ride to work. Today's ride was 2 and half hours... think of how many things that would have come up in this my small head.
Today's post is about food. Not about cooking or ranting about manlessness and knowing about food oh... it's about the consumption of food. But let me digress quickly. There's a show I listen to on the radio in the morning, it's called "Freshly Pressed" on Smooth 98.1. The read out headlines and then discuss it... If you live in Lagos I urge you to tune in. It's very informative and they have very intellectual discussions.

Freshly Pressed riled me up so much one morning about two weeks ago that I was coming to the office with the fire of a passionate Nigerian, coming to talk about the issues.. then I told myself... "Hmm... Armchair Activist.. you wont cool down!" Lol Anyway, there's alot going on in this Country that I wish I could do something about... really trully breaks my heart just thinking about the ineptitude of the leaders of this country. One of my best friends says that GEJ's name should be in the dictionary right next to "Inept" Loll

Speaking of Best Friends... Am I the only one who seems to have like 6 best friends? it just makes me feel like I'm an insincere (is this even a word?) person. And these special friends are scattered across the globe, they don't even know themselves but everyday I just thank God that they're in my life because honestly I don't know what I'd do without them. Seriously. (Luckily none of them read my blog so there shall be no head swelling and tingzz :D)

Moving on swiftly.. to the matter of FOOD!

On my birthday two years ago, I took a few of my close colleagues to dinner in some restaurant in V.I. I invited a veryyy close friend of mine who asked if she could come with her boyfriend. I said "Sure" I hadn't really interacted with this her new boyfriend at that time so I though oh it'd be a good opportunity to meet him. So visualize a table with about 6 of my colleagues and then my friend and her man walk in. We were already eating when they came so they sat down and started eating. The table was bubbly and everyone was gisting then dude (Friend's BF) stretches his hands forward for seconds. Now everyone is engrossed in the gist so nobody really cares anyway and food is for eating shey? Dude isn't really chatting much, understandable since he's not really familiar with people on the table...Next thing....hands stretched forth.. grabs the dish again and...Loll Let's just say everyone in the office were talking about my friends BF and how he's so much of a grub. It was so hillarious. I was paying for this dinner by the way oh... body just dey pepper me like... i would have asked them to pack that food and I've had it for lunch the next day.
One random day I was with that same friend of mine and her man was coming ... that same Foodie Guy. Then she said "Oh please let's quickly go out I don't want S to meet me at home. Everytime he comes here he's always asking for food or eating my Sister's food" I immediately forgave him for consuming my birthday food like that.

Some people like food ehn... I know you cant tell from my roundness yeah.. lol but I'm not a food lover. Like seriously, some people have conditioned their mind to believe that every food within their sights must be consumed... till it finishes hian!!
People, gluttony is a sin. IT IS A SIN.
One dude in my office musn't see you eating ni.. he mustoh beg ni sha

[oh snap!!!! i think he reads my blog! Lemme stop :)]

Anyway, your stomach doesn't need SOOOO much food. You don't have to eat till you burst. Be cautioned.

In a totally unrelated note, do not tell your friend if you think her boyfriend is uncultured or ill-mannered. She will delete your ass off BBM and 'defriend' you.

Lol My friend Remi is alive to tell the tale.

Ok guys, I think I've tried small today shey? I'm working on one fantab project with my writing instructor. We'll take a picture, then spin a tale around the picture. Both of us, different perspectives. Kinda exciting. Supposed to be a thousand words but yours truly has been faffing about. I've written 80 words since last week. :)

Wish me luck and enjoy the rest of your week


Unexpected Turns

There was no light, mosquitoes swarmed in through the hole in the net screen door. The stench of sweat and dirty clothes in the little ‘room and parlour’ could not be mistaken. It was rank. The room was illuminated by the dying light from the kerosene lantern which was sitting on a now abandoned television set. It had not worked in ages and it doubled as a stand for candles and when there was enough money to buy kerosene, the kerosene lantern. The fumes from the generators nearby and the fumes from the lantern were choking. The evening breeze helped a bit but it could only do so much. The curtains had been pulled up to allow a little fresh air in from the window, if the air could be called fresh. The room was rank. Eva sat on the tattered sofa and nestled the baby against her breasts, rocking herself back and forth and hoping to the heavens that he would sleep. She tried whispered softly into his ears “nne biko, my love i know it’s hot ehn, but baby’muo I need you to sleep for a while ehn?”. She tried to croon love songs so he would sleep. Love songs she heard when she was in a completely different place. A place she called home. She had to turn Eba because Alfred would soon be home and after a long day at Mile 12, he would eat and like a savage beast he would take her. She would lie there enduring his heaving and humping, thinking of a place far far away from this place and when he was done she would wipe herself up. He always spilled himself on the inside of her thighs, as if to avoid a mistake he had made earlier on. Weeping only earned her more physical pain, for the more she wept the harder he drove into her, slapping her into submission. She had learned to be strong, to take herself to a time when the world was bright and colourful. She had her whole life ahead of her and then like the lights going down on a stage, all of the light was snuffed out.
Armed robbers had entered the banking hall. She could hear them from the backroom where she was. The fear in the air was palpable, everywhere was still save for the voice of the leader whose voice was booming in the main hall, he was giving orders and threatening that anyone who made the wrong move was going to end up dead. She heard them asking for the branch manager. “who be Evelyn Adebanjo? No be she be branch manager abi wetin dem dey call am?” she felt the tremor in the pit of her belly, fear coursed through her veins. She prayed and supplicated as she lay on the floor of her office. Clutching the furr of her rug she bit her lips, she felt the chill run down her spine “Jesus Jesus Jesus” she kept repeating the words like a chant. Her toes were cold all of a sudden; she shook off her heels, thinking that if the need arose to run she would be ready. Morbid thoughts flashed in her head, if the thieves came in now, if they shot her in the head. She knew she was not going to try to be heroic; she was going to give them the key to the vault. She needed this to be over. She thought of her 16 year old daughter, her driver was supposed to have gone to pick her from school. She hoped to God that Kabir had not gone to pick her yet or that for some insane reason they were delayed. Her head was spinning, the thoughts that coursed through her head, the innocent customers. She wondered for a fleeting second if this was an inside job, if this had to do with the hundred gold bars in Chief Fowowe’s safety deposit box her thoughts were interrupted by a sudden nudge of the table under which she had crawled “Madam bank manager.... na you we dey find since oh oya commot for dia con carry us go vault”
She crawled out and led them down the stairs to the basement where the vault was. With shaky hands she held out the keys to the man who brought her down here. She heard him being called “O.C”, in a ‘profession’ like theirs you could hardly use your real name.
“Which one should I open sir?” With a quavering voice and fear all over her face, she was told to open box 315. At the sight of the gold bars, O.C could not control himself; he let out a loud whoop of celebration and took off his mask and called out to his mate.
“nna, why you con commot you mask nah? You dey crase? You no see sey dis woman dey here?”
O.C as if realizing that Evelyn could recognize him turned around, faced her and said “ that one no hard nah” He lifted the pistol he had put down in the vault and with the purposeful focus of a crazed cold hearted thief, pulled the trigger.
The bullet went straight to her head, as she swooned and in that last minute when the life ebbed out of her, she thought of her daughter, how she had no one in this world. Evelyn’s last thought on earth was that Eva would pull through, because she had raised a strong independent daughter, she let go and allowed the cold grip of death take her.
Nobody told her how she was related to Alfred, she was made come live with him in this hellhole. Her life, her dreams, her hopes, gone. Her mother, her best friend had been gone for almost 2 years now. It had been two of them from the beginning. Relatives came from nowhere, all wanting to help and after the burial they all said she could not go back to their home in 1004 flats. She was to go with “Uncle Alfred” he was the closest blood kin to her mother.
She stopped calling him “Uncle” the first day he grabbed her breasts.
“Come here, you this akunna kuna, daughter of an akunna kuna, why are you pretending that it’s not ashawo that your mother was doing to get all that money?”
Eva thought something in her had died the day her mom died, but she knew that her old self no longer existed the first day Alfred lay astride her and spread her legs apart. He was always sweating, like a dirty pig, with his putrid touch; he would grab her young breasts. Thrust after thrust he killed the old Eva and planted his seed. Nothing was said about her education. He hurled insults at her and violated her daily, but the more she thought about her past, the stronger she became.
She thought about the locket her mother had given her on her 15th birthday. Inside the locket, written behind the picture of Evelyn and Dapo and their baby daughter Eva was the passcode to the account being held in trust for her till she was 18.
She would be 18 in a few weeks, she would take Damien and turn her back on all this. She would build her life again, because her mother had raised a strong independent woman.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cracked Earthen Jars

The euphoria of being published on Bella Naija has not died i will not lie. I mean it's almost a month now and I still go there to get high on the positive comments.

Seriously, I love writing. The way it makes me feel these days ehn... I can start like four different stories and the ideas just keep turning in my head. It's truly an exhiliarating feeling which I cannot fully encapsulate with words.

The link to the story on BN is here:

Ok, so moving on.

The story below is something my writing instructor called "Nigerian Sex and The City"

I don't know about that sha, I think it just shows cracked earthen jars :D



Four women were meeting that evening. They had four different realities and the only thing that held them together was an inexplicable bond of friendship and love. It was to be an evening of laughing and talking over cocktails, of touching each other’s souls and reminding themselves that they loved each other. They planned to meet at Le Metisse, an upscale restaurant in Lagos. They were roommates in their freshman year at the Queen Mary University in London. They had moved back at different times after they graduated, swearing that nothing would ever tear them apart, they would be best friends forever. Other Nigerians envied them because they were rich, they were young and they had each other.
Adanma was the first to arrive. Always a sticker for being punctual, she was sitting down sipping a margarita at 5.50pm. The sun had gone down but the soft yellow glow of the dusk shaded the roof of the restaurant where she had chosen to sit. She looked over the balcony to the ground and watched the cars driving down the street. Her face veiled by really large sunglasses, you couldn’t tell what lurked beneath those darkened lenses. She felt her purse vibrating and picked it up to dig out her phone.
“you guys are just chronic late comers. Shey we said 6pm… Well I’ve been here for about 20 minutes now and I’ve downed my first strawberry margarita. I’m about to order a second” She paused because the glint of a white Range Rover Sport caught her attention. She listened for a second and watched the car a bit more “oh I think Tammy is here… oh hurry here abeg!! And Aisha, you had better be bringing my purse if you don’t want me to wring your neck”. Heaving a sigh of relief that at least one of the girls was here she took another sip of her cocktail, attempting to numb her pain so no one else could tell what she was going through. She didn’t expect any of them to understand anyway. Tammy for instance could never understand. Their lives were so different. None of them could honestly say that they didn't wish they could swap lives with Tammy. She was rich, smart, and beautiful and she was married to a gorgeous man from a prominent Lagos family. Tammy’s life was a fairy tale.
She sat and watched him as he polished off the last of the fish on his plate. She signaled for John to come and pack up. Clearing her throat and sitting up a bit she said "Tonye, my friends from Uni want us to go have drinks tomorrow. Is it fine with you?" He picked up the remote control and flipped through the channels till he found the Cable News Network, watching t.v for almost ten minutes, he spoke. " Ok. Mutiu can take you" the tone was not as condescending as she was used to, so she wanted to believe he was in a good mood. She was the epitome of the submissive wife. Sometimes she wanted to tear her hair out. She was living in a glass prison. Surrounded by beautiful things but she just wanted to be free, to be allowed to run free.
“thank you” as a slave grateful to her benefactor and not a wife to her husband, or from one partner to another. “Should I ask John to bring your fruits now?” She looked back at her husband who barely nodded in response to her enquiry and continued to watch the news.
She turned up the temperature of the air conditioning when she got into the room. It was cold, literally and figuratively. He never conversed with her as a partner, there was no decision making process in their home. He was the great liege and she was his servant. The beautiful princess locked in a very cold concrete tower, the only difference between her situation and any Disney adaptation was that she was locked in by the handsome prince who was supposed to save her. She heard his footsteps down the hall way. She couldn’t remember the last time he touched her, the last time he kissed her. She involuntarily bit her lower lips; something to hold back the tears that threatened any time she remembered she was living with the shell of the man she had married. In retrospect, he must have married her because they made the picture perfect couple, and when you married a princess, no one could easily tell that you preferred the touch of your best friend Richard. He didn’t want her, he wanted him but he was afraid of what society would think of him. So they continued with the façade; Tamuno and Tonye Briggs, their world being held up by an idea of the ideal.
The thoughts whirled in her head for the longest time and she didn’t realize when sleep pulled her into its warm embrace until she felt a nudge…
“Tamuno, please get up we need to talk”. She rubbed her eyes and blinked as her eyes struggled to adjust to the lights in the room
“What is it? Is something the matter?”
“I’m done Tammy. I’m done with this, this charade, this lie. I’m done hiding” He couldn’t even look her in the eyes, he averted his gaze. The same way he did when he gave her a new pair of Loubotins, or Mahnolos.
She stared blankly and told herself she was confused and didn’t know what he was talking about, but a woman always knows. She was quiet for the longest minute and knew that this was it, her marriage was crumbling and it was happening in the weirdest way ever.
“what do you want to do?”
“I don’t know Tammy, I don’t know, but you deserve better, and I can’t keep compensating with gifts. I’m really sorry. I’ll move my things out in the morning. You can keep the house.”
Tamuno’s world spun around her, she was being released from her cold tower, only in the most cruel way.
The laughter that rang out from the table where three of them sat was infectious. An innocent bystander looking at them would want to share in whatever it was that they were having because they were happy.
“I don’t know why we haven’t thought about doing this before, all of you forming busy and we’re all in this Lagos. So if this yeye Aisha didn’t even come to Lagos we won’t have seen your brake lights Mrs Briggs” Adanma teased
It was Aisha who noticed the cab roll up and saw Folake come out of it looking disheveled.
“Look at Folake oh, and why does she look so frazzled?” They looked at each other in shock. Folake was the ‘glamazon’ amongst them. She was the most fashion conscious and the one who cared the most about looks and clothes. When they were moving back, Ada and Folake had to travel together, and she would always recall the story of how she never thought it was humanly possible for a person to hurl back 8 suitcases of shoes, clothes and handbags.
When they were in school, Folake Williams had a lot of cash to throw around and they all knew it. She was the only one whose dad was would send £5,000 half way into the term because Folake would complain that her allowance had finished. He could afford it, he was a member of the Senate and there was a lot of money coming from Abuja. His daughter was a big spender. When the rest of them would scour the streets searching for bargains, Folake would hit the big stores for only the best. She was daddy’s only girl after all. She only needed to want it and it was hers.
When she got the message that her friends from Uni wanted to meet up for drinks, her reaction was a cocktail of emotions. On one hand she was excited to see them, especially Aisha whom she hadn’t even run into or seen in over three years but she was a long way from how she was when they knew her. She twirled her hair with her fingers, it felt soft and silky. She hadn't paid the balance outstanding of N90,000 but the hair was the least of her problems right now. The bank had repossessed her car because she had defaulted on her car payments. It was such a huge financial mess right now. She couldn't run to her father now, he had law enforcement fish to fry. The Economic and Financial Crimes Comission had dug their sticky little claws in her father and they weren't letting up. She hissed at the unfairness of it all. 'Stupid Stanbic!! Stupid EFCC!!' she heard a rap on the glass door of her office and looked up
“Folake, meeting at 3 with the client in his office. He liked your pitch earlier on and he wants to discuss the workability. If you can win this bid, I know there's definitely going to be something extra in your pay cheque this month”
“I woulda expected a more excited response from you. Are you ok?”
She smiled at her boss and just nodded. Wondering how much ‘extra’ could be when her take home was #200,000. Her car payments alone gulped more than half of that and she wasn’t even going to think about her maxed out overdraft facilities. She’d always thought she needed to cut back on shopping but now she had reached her limit, she couldn’t even afford to buy anything now. Now she had to hang with the girls that evening and she didn’t even have a car; she’d take a taxi but she didn’t even have enough money for a drink and a cab. She pushed her bangs back and sighed
“Folake, are you sure you’re alright?”
“No I’m fine Osahon. Thanks”
He turned around to leave and she knew right there in that instant that if she didn’t do this there would be no way for her to see her friends the next day.
“Err… Osa, please can you loan me 5k?” This was a very difficult for her but she was at her wits end, she had put herself in this mess and she didn’t have a clue how to get out of it.
He seemed to notice her discomfiture and pulled out his wallet and counted 10 pieces of crisp #1,000 notes and gave her. “it’s fine. You don’t have to return it”
Her voice shook as she collected the money and said “thank you. I don’t know what to say”
“Don’t say anything. Work on your presentation and bring you’re a-game to the client”
Four hours later, she could safely heave a sigh of relief that she did bring her A-game to the presentation the client was going with their ad campaign. It was also a good thing that Osa had bailed her out of her bind temporarily. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, trying to block out reality then her phone rang. The number didn’t look familiar and she picked
“Madam Folake, the cheque you left with my shop girl bounced. I have been calling you and you have not been taking my calls. See ehn, I don’t want to cause any trouble but please come with my money if you don’t want me to come and disgrace you in your office. That is all I will say for now”
Not giving her a chance to explain or even respond, the person on the other end of the line hung up. Lord, when was this going to come to an end?
It was always difficult having to decide what to eat and the menu had a diverse range of things to choose from.
“We should just order a large pizza and scoff it down with red wine. I hate having to choose what to eat” Ada said
“No way missy! We’re not doing Pizza. I want a long proper meal with you guys. This isn’t us in school all over again please. Besides it’s been ages since I saw you guys, I want to spend as much time as possible with all of you.”
Tammy who had been perusing the menu for the longest of time, suggested they had parmesean shrimp pasta.
“Oh that sounds just nice but does one of you have an epi pen ready for when Aisha goes into anaphylactic shock?”
Aisha had a horrible allergic reaction to sea food and it was something she found quite embarrassing. “You guys are not serious. I’ll just do steak and you guys can have your shrimp” She paused and looked at Adanma “You, why have you had those sunglasses on? Or the sun hasn’t gone down on your side of the table?”
Then she took the sunglasses off
She got back from work a little after 7pm and she was tired. She’d seen Ebuka’s car outside so she knew he was home. The lights in the room were off and the curtains were drawn. The only illumination from the room was the glare from the TV. There wasn’t any sign that he was in the room. She took off her jacket and put it in the wardrobe. She didn’t hear him come out of bathroom but she felt him stand behind her. He held her and nuzzled her neck “baby, I missed you”
She stiffened a bit. His touch did that to her, because she didn’t know what would come next. His hands roamed down from her breasts to her waist, holding her firmly in his grip
“I said I missed you. Did you not miss me?” He was breathing harder now, the full force of his erection pressing against her and backing her against the wardrobe door
“Ebuka, please I just got back from work and I’m tired. Please” She was squirming now but he was relentless. She groaned in pain because the door handle was pressing into her belly “you’re hurting me. Please stop”
He didn’t stop. He turned her body towards him, one hand firmly in between her legs, exercising some form of hold on her.
“You’re tired ehn? From doing what? Or who?” He was angry. She never knew what set him off but he was always angry. She squirmed because she knew what was going to happen next. This was a regular move from his play book. If she was too tired he would take her as savagely as he could, if she was submissive she would go away with minimal bruises; if she was resistant he would show her who the man in the house.
“I said tired from doing what? Am I not you husband?” her lips trembled, she tried to answer in the affirmative but she wasn’t fast enough. It was the first of a series of strikes that was going to hit her face... She started whimpering “You are.. you are my husband” With one fell swoop he pushed her skirt down and rammed into her. She bit her lips to concentrate on that pain instead of the pain from her rape. She was being raped by her husband. Constantly. How do you explain being abused by your husband? He rammed into her again and again muttering the words “I am your husband and nobody, has a right… a right.. a right…” he trailed off asserting his rights as he emptied his seed into her.
She lay there weeping as she did every time he got this way. She couldn’t run away, she had nowhere to run. She lay in a fetal position on the bed and she felt his weight on the bed
“Adanma… Nwunye’m… biko I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’m sorry. Please don’t cry.” She didn’t open her eyes but she knew the routine, she knew he held in his hands a bowl of warm water, a bottle of disinfectant and a towel. He was going to dab at her wounds and try to reduce the visual effect of her physical trauma
She cringed as warm towel touched her forehead, he gently cleaned the blood from her face, his feathery touch soothed her. The same hands that inflicted so much pain was nursing her. It was like a whole new being taken over him. She didn’t know which was which any more. She was tired of trying to rationalize him. There was no one to talk to and she was ashamed to talk about it. He colleagues were used to the band aids on her face and the constant wearing of sun glasses. She could hide her pain from the world and she had done so successfully, but she was going to meet with her friends tomorrow and she knew that those women knew her and loved her like no one else in the world. She wasn’t going to successfully hide this from them. She wasn’t sure she wanted to but she would try. She would try. Foundation and sunglasses would do the trick.
Nobody noticed the hours go by as Ada and Folake took turns in telling of their woes. Anger resonated from the table as they listened to Ada tell of her abuse It was almost unreal, this was happening to one of them and there was nothing they could do about it Folake who sat closest to Ada grabbed her hands and told her she didn’t have to stay and take the abuse. They sat in silence taking in the quiet of the night. They had asked the waiter to bring another bottle of red wine.
Tammy had been really quiet all evening, not that she was a really chatty person normally but she was dealing with her own issues, trying to make sense of it. She sat slowly taking it all in, everything she was listening to just showed the fragility of their existence. It was Folake’s voice that broke into her reverie,
“At least Tamz is fine.”
She cracked a wry smile, unsure of whether to tell them what was happening to her, not sure if to let them into this cracked earthen jar that was her life.
“See how she’s just smiling. Mrs Briggs. True I want to be like you when I grow up. First I want all your shoes because luckily I’m a size seven” she prattled on and didn’t notice the tears trickling down Tammy’s face
“Tonye’s gay”. It was the first time she’d said the words out loud, never saying it because she didn’t want it to be true; but it no matter how long she lied to herself it was irrelevant now because he was done lying to himself and the world. He was ready to fully embrace who he was and he had told her to move on.
“Tonye’s gay. My husband is gay”
The chill that went through all of them was unmistakable. Aisha pulled her into a warm hug and held on to her.
“You’ll be fine honey. You will be fine” She pulled back and held out her hands to her friends.
“It seems so real now you know our lives happening and so fast and it’s so sad that we are so near yet so far. We need to stay in touch. We’re sisters. Well at least I love you guys that much. I wanted us to get together ‘cause I had news and now it all seems so irrelevant now.” She paused, she took a large gulp of her glass of wine because she was going to need something strong to tell them why she was in Lagos
“ I have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I’ve been referred to a specialist in Lagos to determine how aggressive it is. I don’t want you guys to panic. I can beat this. I know I can”
And just when they thought the evening couldn’t get worse, Aisha dropped the elephant in the room

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quick detox

I make a conscious effort to make all my friendships very light and playful. You see, the thing with serious friendships is that you can't really control the damage they cause in the event of a breakdown.
Over the years I've not been successful in keeping my feelings at bay but I have perfected the art/skill of seeing an end in the horizon and so I quickly jump off the emotional train just before it crashes.
Many years ago my friend Chichi had to go to Uni. I was devastated. I didn't show it of course but I was broken. She had new friends and she tried to carry me along but we did it for a while and it failed. She moved on. I held on that friendship bond and I refused to be friends with any other person because I was being 'faithful'. I was lonely. Things were happening to me and I didn't have anyone to talk to. As time went by I started making new friends but I told myself 'never again' but who was I kidding? However, I was wiser; I formed a defense mechanic against these heartaches. Since I couldn't help forming these deep and intense friendships I had enough sense and foresight to quickly take my feet out before it got cold.

My friend is going for her LLm this September and I'm really sad.I told her I'm weaning myself off her so I'm trying not to see her often and all that. It's really hard. I was lamenting earlier on this week and someone said 'A girl is going away and you're this sad'. The bonds of friendships sometimes go beyond boy and girl and no I'm not a lesbian. But I'm mush! and I like to protect myself by being overly cheerful and playful. I never take things seriously enough.

In the past two weeks I've become really friendly and dependent on a new friend I made and really he's like the other half of me. You see, that in itself is a problem. So giving myself a heads up and taking my foot out of this seemingly comfortable 'foot spa' before the water gets cold.

I 'kent' shout abeg!!!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

TFESS Assignment

It would appear that I have neglected my blog for about a month, but I have not really. I have been working to make it even a better place (that sounds like a very poor campaign slogan right?) Anyway. I found out The Future awards people were having a class for aspiring writers and yours truly registered and every saturday for a month I attended writing classes. It was fun. The facilitators were really cool and I took plenty notes, kai I don't think I was even that serious in school. I was very punctual for every class. :D (yay me!!)

Anyway on the last day one of the facilitators gave us an assignment. Write an article directed at an online portl and don't exceed 700 words..

I wrote it, writing teacher/friend extraordinaire/ supporter re-arranged my paragraphs and the result is what we have here

The Gnawing Ache Called Abuse

In 2011, at the peak of what we like to call civilization, it is rather depressing to know that women are still being abused physically and emotionally in Nigeria. A few days ago, the social media went agog with the tale of a man who brutally killed his wife and mutilated her body in the most inhumane way. It was reported that the perpetrator of this dastardly act had been abusing the victim for so long before it eventually culminated in her murder.

Some call it resilience, suffering long for love. Others call it stupidity. But for some reason, this woman stayed while she was being beaten black and blue till she was killed. There has been a large outcry in the media for his head on a platter, and this is not without good reason.

But the situation itself leaves a number of unanswered questions. Why do women stay with abusive men? Does a woman derive a sense of stability from being with a man? Does being with a man, irrespective of how badly one is being treated lend one a sense of belonging? Self validation perhaps? Does a woman tell herself that the errant man will suddenly see the light and stop beating her? Does a woman who stays with an abusive man believe that someday, the man who wooed her will return?

This author will be so bold as to hazard a few humble submissions in answer to the posers listed above. The ‘why’ will forever remain a mystery. The reason is that, years of evolution have conditioned our flight or flight mechanisms to protect our personal existences. The psychological end of the debate is another kettle of fish entirely.

Does a woman derive a sense of stability from being with a man? Yes, to a certain extent women, as should men derive a sense of stability and belonging from being together. After all, companionship is what the very essence of marriage and being together is all about. However, this should not be done at the cost of one’s sensibility. While every little tiff and disagreement is not a reason to jump ship into a canoe of separation and divorce. Zero tolerance should be given to abuse in all its forms.

However this is not the case, as we speak and our society is to be blamed at every level. The first of which is the rush (and the pressure) to be married in record time. Young women edging closer to the big three-oh are constantly reminded of the gradually winding down biological clock by friends, family and even total strangers in some case. Who is to say, that this alone doesn’t push women to settle for ‘less’? And stay settled in the mess the ‘less’ has caused?

A lot of women who remain in abusive relationships are plagued with the questions "Where will I go?", "how will the world perceive the fact that I am unable to stay in my marriage?", "who will look after my kids?" And so they stay; enduring the split lip yesterday, the busted gut today and the broken nose tomorrow. They do this till one day they take their last breath.

In an age where women liberation and the woman's rights are being screamed at the rooftops, women are still their own worst enemies. A woman will judge another woman by such intensely high standards that one wonders where the loyalty lies amongst the fold. The married woman would look at the single woman with immense pity, urging her to ‘settle down’. The single woman would wonder what craze possesses one to lose one’s freedom for the shackles of marriage. The ‘settled’ woman looks down on the feminist as being too vocal, the single and financially self sufficient as being unfulfilled. The feminist looks at the ‘settled’ woman as being a betrayer of the folk, willing to trade independence for the not so controlled environment of marriage and kids. So while women are busy tearing themselves apart, no attention is being paid to the scourge which cuts across all types of women.

It is not enough for women to stand on the soap box and "demand for equal rights" from men. It is even fallacious to assume or even say that men are the bane of the feminine existence, neither is it enough to constantly remind men that we are not the weaker sex. It is important for us as women to stand together. We should respect and cherish ourselves enough to support and not pass judgments on each other. It is only in doing this that an abused woman would find the courage to admit that she is being abused and refuse to stand for it. Only then will she find comfort in knowing that there's a world out there that doesn't condone the victimizing of women.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It would appear that there's a recurrent theme in my work which is sadness and all.. as I've been told by my friends. I really write alot of sad stuff, even i didn't realise it was that bad. I try not to publish the reallly sad stuff here, I don't want you guys thinking I have issues... well i do but heck who doesn't

Anyway... I tried to infuse the CHEESE factor in this one. I tried not to barf as I wrote this and it was hard. Lol

Hope you like it

YIN 2008
I remember very vividly the first time I met her. It was the last working day in April and the banking hall was full. Pensioners were milling around, grumbling because the young boys who had come to collect money via Western Union were seemingly unruly and refusing to remain orderly. Salary earners in stuffy jackets, unable to withstand the heat from the ineffective air conditioning, young ladies with flowing hair punching away at their blackberries, all trying to get in and get out. The tellers seemed unable to keep up with the ardours task of keeping up with the throngs of people that kept coming into the bank. As the revolving doors opened, letting in another set of tired looking, sweaty people I sighed and went back to reading the copy of The Economist that I had brought in. It was looking like a long afternoon but I wasn’t going to go back to the office till I had gotten the mix up with my travel insurance and forex deposits sorted out. I remember the only reason I had walked towards the door was because I felt the tell tale pinch in my thigh from the accident, and I guessed I’d been sitting down for way too long. It was the worst time of the month to have gone to the bank but I was tired of sending incompetent people to get it done and I had to be in Helsinki the following week. I’d just walked past the doors when I felt the hot draft of air from outside, and then she walked in. She was talking on the phone so I had a little time to stare without being noticed. She was tall approximately 5ft 8” and dark skinned. She was wearing a black shirt tucked inside grey tailored pants that carefully moulded her derriere. She looked hot, literally and figuratively and almost telepathy was at work, she reached into her purse for a handkerchief to dab her forehead. I moved closer, I don’t know why but I did and I heard “Ok Carrot Cake, I have to get off the phone now before these security guys come to tell me I’m inside a bank. Yeah, Love you. Talk Later”
I took one last appreciative glance at the beautiful girl that just walked in and walked back to the waiting area. Hers was not a face a man forgets easily, plus she had the confidence and gait that was etched in my memory. Something about her struck a chord within me but I ignored it. I went back to reading my magazine and silently cursed the lucky sod who laid claims to her heart. 'What kinda wimp let's his woman call him Carrot Cake anyway?' I looked at her again "Damn, I'd be her carrot any day..." I thought wistfully. Women were stressful and like any normal red blooded male I enjoyed the hunt of a good chase and usually if the sex was good, it was a rewarding pat on the back for the effort made. I tried to see if she had a ring on her left hand but she had joined the queue of people trying to get money, and I really didn't envy her.
"Segun Balogun" I heard my name and let out a sigh of relief, the security guard at the bank pointed in the direction of the branch manager's office. "About damn time"

YANG 2009
My sister had never been known to do things in moderation and as such my nephew’s first birthday was not going to be an exception. She had ordered 3 huge cakes and there was enough food to feed an army. There were clowns and people in stuffed Disney characters that seemed to entertain the older children but scare the socks off the younger ones. The adults were milling around the garden, everyone needed an excuse to party and everyone knew that my sister Teniola did not do anything by half measures. I walked over to the barbecue stand and involuntarily inhaled; the scent of char and chicken skin made me hungry. Completely oblivious of my surroundings I grabbed the barbecue fork and dug into the biggest piece of chicken I saw on the grill.
“Someone is really hungry oh. We thank God” I heard my brother in law call in my direction and I knew that my twin would soon trail after him. I loved them both but their love and concern for me was almost stifling. I had snuck into the party because I didn’t want to be gawked at ‘the twin who isn't married’ 'isn't she the one who lost all that money to the pyramid scheme that went bust?' 'I hear she even tried to convince her parents to sell their house"
It had been a bumpy past couple of years and I was just finding myself again, but sometimes I really just wanted to be alone; maybe to soak myself in self pity but my sister and her husband were not having any of it.
"Carrot cake, you came!!!" Teni's sing song voice rang through the garden and I was slightly embarrassed because people turned around to stare. That was our "private" name. Like all identical twins, we shared a deeper bond beyond our looks and in all I'd been through she was the only person I'd come to lean on totally. I hugged her and held on, she whispered in my ear "trés chic... Showing off our long legs are we? Loads of good looking eligible men here. You plan to take some hearts home with you today?" I laughed and looked at her closely "none of that match making rubbish today abeg abeg abeg. I just want to eat plenty chicken and drink plenty red wine! Can you swing that?" I hissed in mock irritation and kissed her again.
I took my plate and went in search of some alcohol. A group of people huddled around the drinks section of the party and I could see someone was talking about 'bonds', 'coupons', 'rates'. These events in Lagos were more about networking than any other thing, I stood there for a while thinking of how to make my way through them toward the plastic cups.
I noticed the guy talking, his voice oozed authority and confidence, the kind of person who would feed you a whole load of crap and you'd take it because you were drawn in by the timbre of his voice. He was tall, but only slightly taller than I am. His features were strong and he looked really good. I realized I was actually staring and I looked away. Grabbing a seat near me, I sat, pinching away at my food till I could grab a drink. The noise from the bouncy castles distracted me a bit so I didn't realize he was standing by my side till he spoke. "Hey there!" He held out a plastic cup with orange juice. It was Mr. Hot Stuff Investment Banker. I wasn't sure if it'd be rude to decline but I wanted the strong stuff. He must have noticed my hesitation because he laughed and said "oh... My bad! You want some of the good stuff" I don't know why, but in that instant, maybe it was the sound of his laugh, or his intuition but I felt a pull towards him. "No it's fine. I'd have this. And yes you are right, I've been feening for the good stuff but this would do. Plus it feels funny sipping merlot from this plastic mess"
"You know your face looks really familiar, like I've met you before" he seemed uncomfortable as he spoke and I groaned and laughed at his discomfiture. "Sure my face looks familiar, that's my body double standing over there with her husband and her son" I laughed again. This was new. I was laughing a lot. He didn't seem like the sort to chat up a girl with the "your face looks familiar" line so I assumed he'd either worked with Teni before or something.
"No, not that. You don't even look that identical"
"Wow, that's a first! Not a lot of people can tell us apart"
"Well I can. I'm a stickler for details and you're slightly taller than your sister and you're errr..." He trailed off uncomfortably "I laughed again because I knew what he meant. I had rounder hips than Teni and even though I'd lost a lot of weight in the last year, I was still cursed with full hips.
"Yeah... I get what you mean" we both laughed and then he continued
"When I heard your sister call you Carrot Cake I remembered where we'd met... Well not really MET, but I saw you...". He rubbed his thigh involuntarily, I looked at him
"Do u want to sit down? Your leg is hurting?" I got up and made to go grab him a seat and he held me back... I turned around to face him and he moved closer. We stood toe to toe, he stared down at me and I felt my pulse quicken. I wanted to run away. I didn't need this, not now.
"You can feel it can't you? I know you can. I'm holding your wrist so I know. I felt it a year ago when you walked into that bank and I can feel it now. We can't run away from it. It's real and it's happening"
I looked at him, yanked my hand from his grasp and ran.


ONE 2010
He thought seminars and trainings were just a waste of time. He had always thought so; in the early days he spent hours preparing to lecture a bunch of uppity professionals who thought they had better things to do than learn about funds and the money market. He also had better things to do but twice a year he did this for himself to remind himself that the world needed to be educated about these things. These days he gave the lectures by rote, he had given hundreds of these speeches and he didn’t even need to look at his slides before he taught. He liked to look around the room and find at least one person who was remotely interested in what he was teaching, because these seminars were usually attended by mid level lawyers and bankers and they always had their head bent over their computers and he knew that these people really didn’t get the need to understand how the money market worked. Why their companies insisted on sending them here would never cease to amaze him; but he wasn’t complaining really. He needed the diversion. He needed to work and keep working because when he wasn’t working his mind roam free. Idle time meant thinking about a time that was so difficult for him. In the course of 18 months, he was played by a woman he thought he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He went on a downward spiral after that. In retrospect now that must have been a retarded time in his life because what intelligent man takes to drunken motorcycle races? Did he have a death wish? And then he had the accident which didn’t kill him but after months in a coma with a severe head injury and a broken left leg; with months of therapy and a bank account bleeding red he started making his way back. He realised being damaged and choosing to remain damaged had a longer lasting effect than one could ever imagine. And so he pulled himself together and started building his life again, choosing to work as much as he could to block out any pain, physical, emotional or financial.
Consciously pulling himself back to the board room and doing an overall sweep of the people he was about to spend the next 30 minutes or so teaching he sighed, he had a long day ahead of him. He had only gone half way through the slides when the door opened and Tayo walked in. She was wearing a blue t-shirt that had "I make 'em go WILD" written on it. He'd seen her exactly three times in his whole life and each time he felt something akin to peace. It was weird because he didn't even know her, he had asked about her though at the party last year after she fled. Tayo Olurin, she'd worked with Standard Charterd for five years. Single, very single. She'd has a couple of bad breaks and from what he gathered she had been on the mend. No wonder she ran when he started spewing all that jargon about "knowing" and "feeling". He wasn't lying though, he felt it and he knew it. Now more than ever he wanted the time to fly so he could go talk to her. He wondered if she'd still remember him. He needed to sit down soon because his thigh throbbed. He was supposed to use a cane but he told his physiotherapist that he was fine, but sometimes the pain rang through his brain if he stood up for too long.
She was late for the training, she didn't want to go anyway. It was a waste of her saturday as far as she was concerned but like every slave to the corporate machine, when work called you jumped. The trainer was running through some slides of bar charts and diagrams when she walked in, slightly embarrassed because her late entry had caused some kind of distraction she quickly pulled out the nearest chair and plunked herself into it. She'd just pulled out her laptop when she realized that she knew that voice; the chances of her ever forgetting it was very slim. It was the guy from the party last year. She felt an involuntary tremble in her stomach. She looked at him and she caught his gaze squarely on her. He remembered her and in that instant she knew that he knew that she also remembered him. She felt like a trapped mouse. She couldn't run as she did from the party, but she could sit out this session of the training and bail as soon as she could.
It was like the fates were against her because the next thirty minutes dragged on forever. She sat mesmerized by the wealth of knowledge he displayed and the ease with which he taught. She was clicking away furiously on her keyboard taking down notes and action points when she heard him behind her "Hi Tayo" He has a mischievous grin on his face which increased her discomfiture in seeing him "err, hi Mr Balogun"
"Oh right, I keep forgeting to stay within the lines of formality" he grinned again. His smile disarmed her and her words were caught in her throat. He sat down beside her whispered so only she could hear what he was saying
"Please let me take you to dinner. I promise I won't scare you away like the last time, but you have to admit there's something here. There's something that happens to me everytime I see you and I haven't felt that way before, but I know it's something good. It's calming and it's you. Please Tayo. This isn't a mistake"
She stared at him, his words left her dry mouthed because she felt exactly the same way. The fates and the oriental idea of yin and yang creating the perfect balance came to her head, he flooded her mind and it wasn't turmoil she felt, it was peace and calm.
She smiled and reached into her purse and pulled out her card.
"8, Taiwo Koya Avenue, Ilupeju. Pick me at 7"
It was him. It was her. They were the perfect match. There was balance

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Regenerative Cells

One thing has always fascinated me about the human body, it's our ability to heal. Irrespective of how bad we hurt, physically and emotionally, we heal. The scars remain but we heal.

This morning as I was walking down the road to meet my colleague for a ride to work, a commercial bike rider (OKADA) and his passenger slowed down beside me, collected my phone and zoomed off. Acttually they didn't really ZOOM like that, shey just took off. it's still surreal. One minute I'm telling my friend Jibola that he needs deliverance, the next minute I'm throwing my bag on the floor and racing after an okada... looking back now it must have been a hillarious sight. Plus I was shouting, "chase them, chase them, they took my phone". See the people around me just dey look, lol. When I couldn't run any more i kukuma came back to pick my bag and my cup of tea and resumed my posing and waka like I'd not just been robbed of a Seventy Thousand Naira phone. What has my stolen phone got to do with regenerative cells? Because I know I will be fine; not because I have money immediately to buy another phone right this minute... but because even though I'm hurt that I was robbed I know I will be fine. When my ipod was stolen I thought I would die... chei, what would my life be without music on the move? but what happened? I did NOT die!!

A friend of mine told me she was going through an emotional time, she was hurting from a recent heartbreak and she had turned to comfort eating. We had a long chat about how she was just going to end up fat with the same result eventually... she would heal, but not from all the mac and cheese and ice cream.. no.. but from the effluxion of time. Then she'd end up being that girl whose life came to a standstill, who became fat because a man left her.
Sometimes we hold on to our hurt because it makes us feel alive, like when we have a sore on our finger and then we keep touching it, it hurts but we keep touching it, hoping it heals, willing it to heal; and then when you notice, "hmm this thing doesn't hurt as much anymore sha", you pinch it a little bit (I dunno about you guys but this happens to me ALL the time) Why am I afraid to let the thing just heal, go away and if I'm lucky not leave a scar? I guess its how we are.
Sometimes you feel there are some things you will never recover from. Like the loss of a child, the loss of a husband? the loss of a sibling? I remember after the Sosoliso crash my heart went out to all those who lost their loved ones, but I kept thinking about MRs Ilabor who lost ALL her kids in that crash. I said, "if this thing happens to me I would just kill myself.." It wasn't until my brother died that I realised that whether it is one person oh, or two people oh... once you love someone and they die.. that pain that hits you is REAL. an avalanche and you think its just going to kill you from the overwhelming consumption of your essence, but then with every sunrise you get up, you trudge on, you heal, slowly but surely you heal.
I remember the story of the MD of transcorp who got arrested for some form of misappropriation of funds or the other and I could just imagine the kind of humiliation his wife must have felt. Guess who's out about and in the news again???? You guessed right.

My point, you will always get back up. why? because you're built that way. How fast you do and the damage that's done in your downtime however depends on you. How much of the circumstances/ the past do you want to steal from your future? How big a scar do you want to allow to be left behind?

You know you have regenerative cells, get up and move on. It's a new day so don't let the past take you away with it.



I should start raising funds for a new phone shey? Let me know if you need my account number :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

After The Rain

I've been working on this my writing thing and it's been fun so far. I've actually done it with a bit of trepidation but being able to do something constantly has filled me with so much joy. It's like I've recently discovered myself. True. :)

Anyway, so writing instructor asked me to do a story in the second person and my last post was my supposed attempt to write something in the second person. if you see the kain yab wey my teacher yab me ehn.... But being a sweetheart that he is, he told me to go and read one girl's blog and see how she wrote a particular post. Like a light bulb going on in my head, I immediately knew what to do.
His response Now you know what I asked you to do. this is still not good enough sha, work harder

Anywya, I hope you guys sha like it.


The Thunder

The sound of crashing thunder, the howl of the winds threatnening to take down everything in their path; the smell of the rain and the the striking of lightning leaving in its trail a glare bright enough to give an illusion of daylight. But you know better, you know that with every drop of the rain a darkness spreads within you. It is not enough to say that after the storms come a calm, because you know that with every storm, there has been another, and another and still another. You live because you are too much of a coward to do otherwise.
There is singing, and even though the people singing it are standing all around you, you can only hear it in a distance.
“when peace like a river
Attendeth my way
When sorrows like seas billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hath taught me to say
Even then, it is well, with my soul”

How can there be peace in the midst of this crashing thunder? The skies howl loudly again and you gaze up at the sky, the showers of the rain, like the tears of the sky. Nature seems to get how you feel, no one else seems to. You stare in silence, and you hear the words “dust to dust, ashes to ashes”, you don’t remember how the little shovel got into your hand, but you’re pouring the sand into the pit. You’re counting “one, two, three…”. Someone nudges you, people are milling around, all with words of comfort “Ireti, it is well. Be strong” “Take it easy Ireti. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh”. Strong arms hold you and pull you away. “Baby, let’s go home”
Like a dam whose barriers are broken down, that word “home” breaks something down, something you’ve managed to hold in for exactly. You realize there is no “home”, there is nowhere to go, there is nowhere called “home”. You let out a loud guttural scream and crumble right there on the ground
“No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want my baby. Give me back my baby. I want my son. I want my son.”
The heavens open up some more, it is raining heavily now, you're on the floor. It doesn't matter that you're sitting in the red sand on the grounds of Earthen Vaults. The roll of thunder is inside and outside of you. You do not want it to stop because it has become a familiar sound. You're one with thunder. It has become a part of you.
"Ireti, Ireti, Ireti"

The Storm

"I can't stand the rain! (uh-huh, uh-huh)
'gainst my window (against my window)
I can't stand the rain! (uh-huh, uh-huh)
'gainst my window (against my window)"

Missy Elliot's voice fills your head, your head is against the car door and the rain drops hit the window pane. With every slap of the rain, you’re transported to another time and place. It was another time when the storms of infertility and miscarriages rocked the boat of your existence. With every miscarriage you realize that something lays within you that is able to stand irrespective of the storms of life, you trudge on and yet again, it hits. Sorrow, tears, and blood like tidal waves and each one came with a force strong enough to topple and somehow you find an anchor. You reach out for him and his hand squeezes yours, he holds on to him. The car stops for a second you are back to the present reality and you realize the tears are from your eyes and the blood flows from your heart. The sorrow lingers deep within your soul. You feel the pressure on your hand again, you don’t turn around, and he doesn’t expect you to. He’s telling you without words “We are going to make it through this, together”
After years of trying to have a baby, you’re blessed with a baby boy. You choose to call him “Tamilore” because he’s nothing short of a blessing from God. He’s a good boy, the star and the light of your life. He’s the reason for which you get up in the morning and go to work, because you want him to have the best things you can give him. So you go to work and you come back every day, knowing that you’ve been blessed thoroughly.
“Ireti, where are you? I need you to come home now” It was downhill from then on. The words keep flashing through you head. You’re hearing it all over again, you’re reliving the last 7 days in your head again. “Kidnapped”, “ransom”, “ten million”, “confirmatory call”
The ‘confirmatory call’ never came. The money was taken to the drop off point. You know this because you stood anxiously by the door as they drove out of the house. Willing to remain at the door till your 9 year-old runs into your arms screaming “mama” you stand there till it starts raining, and then you go inside. He’ll come home. Home, where you all belong.

The Sunshine

"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference"

The car pulls into the driveway of the house and there’s stillness in the air. You are still staring out of the window, but it takes a minute before you realise that the rain has stopped. The door of the car is being opened and you’re being helped out of the car you realise that the sun is shining brightly. The dark clouds have given way for a clear blue canvas spread in the sky. There’s a rainbow in the horizon, you squint while trying to look at it, with a desire to put things into perspective, you stop and stare. People are milling around, there’s an uncomfortable silence, and everyone is waiting for you to take that first step towards the house. The step which indicates the rest of your life is continuing without Tamilore. The one which says you’re willing to move on.
You’re being held by your shoulders; support.
“We’ll be fine love”
You turn and stare at him. Swollen eyes , the result of sleepless nights. Days and nights of liasing with the police and the security detail from the office, working tirelessly to bring your little boy back home, all to no avail.

The clear blue skies bear no indication of the turmoil that preceded it. The rainbow which lines the edge of the blue canopy does not in any way let on that there had been a rumble in the sky, an outpouring of rain. ‘Twas all gone, the darkness; and like a new sheet spread across the wide expanse of the sky a new day.
You step forward, knowing that irrespective of the thunders, and the storm, there is always the sunshine that comes after it. He who holds the canopy of the sky with his hands is not going to live you nor forsake you.
So with an outstretched hand, you take the hand of your husband and your best friend and you take a step forward, into forever.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Alas, the world didn't end!!!

I'm a blog whore. I prowl the streets of blogville everyday, looking for something interesting to read. I jump on links posted on Twitter in search for something witty and interesting to read. I have found soo many funny and interesting blogs, sometimes I don't go back there because I don't remember their urls and for some reason I don't follow so many of them, thus I don't know when they have new posts. One thing I've discovered in my blog-ashewoism is this.. there are FUNNY and SMART people in this world ehn... like rolling on the floor humorous people. Sometimes I'm ashamed of my blog (x_x). If I were me I probably would not want to come back to this blog, so for those of you who make time out to actually read whatever garbbage I'm spewing on these pages... I thank you. Lol ( yes I'm practising my speech.. who knows when I might marry a prince or receive nobel peace prize for errr... world's life saving efo riro :D). Anyway, I promised to give my thoughts on this End of the world thing shey? ok that's why I'm here.

I rememmber when I was a lot younger, 'they' said the world was going to end on the 28th of October. My first thought was "Ah Ope oh! It's exactly a day after my birthday (hint hint.. for those of y'all who wanna get me pressies.. not too early to start planning) As a child, my sole priority was having to 'do my byday' Lol

An old preacher in the US of A predicted that the world would end on the 21st of May 2011. It was one of those things you hear and laugh. I mean for time immemorial people have been saying the world would end. Even in the time of Apostle Paul, they had been predicting the end of the world and he had to tell them " guys guys chill out. Only God knows when the world would end" (i paraphrased) Anyway we cracked jokes about how people who were interested in divesting themselves of their earthly possessions should hurry and do so since they had no need for it as the Harold Camping Chariot was definitely coming to take them home. I mean if thw world is going to end why would you need your Bentley?

We were riding to work and my friend asked me "If the world ends truly on saturday what would you be sad you didn't do? things you want to do before you go..." I said "nothing" She said "ahn ahn... u don't want to marry? have experienced the joy of child birth?" I had a blank look on my face as I gave it a second thought, my response was still the same "nothing"

Now don't get me wrong oh, I'm not saying I don't wanna be very rich or I don't wanna yell in the labour room, or have mind blowing married sex... I'm just saying.. I have no control over the time schedule of my existence here so why should I say by fire by force oh, i must born pikin before I kpai?or "ah the world must not end before I marry oh" IS IT IN UR HANDS? Last week a guy who was in law scool with me was shot dead in his own home... four days after his wedding. It was shocking and extremely sad. Right there, his life was snuffed out of him by assasains.

My point? it doesn't make any difference. Everybody's story is different. There is no checklist of 'achievements' that makes your life story more fulfilling than the next mans own. Make the best of your life. Touch lives. Make a difference, and when the time comes... hang your boots and go down a hero knowing that you did what you could in the time GIVEN to you.

Much love

Friday, May 20, 2011

Trial and Error

Hey people,
So if you're on Twitter and if you've heard of a man called Harold Camping or that's what I think his name is sha... you would have heard that the world is ending tommorrow the 21st of May 2011. SO I was going to do a long post about the world ending and my thoughts on it... as a friend of mine engaged me in a convo about things I would like to do before the world ends. Ofcourse "Contrary Ronke" did not care a hoot whether the world is ending or not. I promise I'll still do an end of the world post tonight... I mean.. you guys should read it before the world ends tommorow no be so?? LOL

It's been a while since I was here. I know I said I would repent and al but I've been lazy. Actually I haven't. I have been trying my hands on fiction writing and it's been fun. My brain stretches when I have this idea and sometimes I find mytself acting out my life as whatever character I am trying to build. It's been fun really. I have this "writing instructor" who tells me stuff to write and gives me a deadline and I like it cause it gives me a sense of purpose. I don't know if this writing thing is for me (OK I Lie... i know it is what I want to do, I just don't know if I'm good enough and also not sure how the people who fuel their cars from writing go about it!!) You see my instructor is a bit of a meanie... ( actually I love him so so much.. still a meanie though!! :p) and what I wanna share with you guys was rejected by him in fact he gave me a "thumbs down" :( **sad sad sad face**

I hope you guys are not as harsh as he is sha. Enjoy


Temi met Michael at V Bar in Lekki. It was one of those days you learned that the traffic on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue had gone on for hours and your best bet was to steer clear of it. Her colleague had suggested that bar, it was a sports bar and pretty decent, they could wait out the traffic and gist at the same time. Life was hectic enough as it was without having to add the stress of Lagos traffic to the madness of work all in one day. He was a gorgeous looking man and he knew it. He spoke to her slowly and quietly as if his voice was a treasure which he gave out in tiny doses. Offering to buy her another drink, he slid into the chair beside her. “Nice bag” he said as he put her bag on the table “Channel? Last season? It tickled her to no end that he knew about bags, you could tell that he was slowly charming her up. They chatted for over an hour and she giggled like a teenager every second of the way. He interjected every line with a word in pidgin and teased her mindlessly about being a light head when she said she didn’t want another drink. She gave him her card and asked him to call her, it was the boldest she had ever been, but this was a new Temi, she was happy she was not being so shy and introverted any more.
He called her later that night, and the day after that, and even after that. He was like a drug her system could not get enough of. It was like being on a roller coaster and she was not ready to get off. When he touched her she burned on the inside, like a teenager experiencing her first surge of hormones. Every time they got together, it was like a merging of two lost souls, her body craved his and his desired to mould her. She felt alive, he ignited her in a way no one else had. It was as if she had been locked up all her life and the night she met Michael was her liberation day. Her body told her head that she wanted this forever, nothing else mattered. The fact that he borrowed her car ever so often did not matter, she was cooped up in the office all day long anyway. What did it matter that he was owing her almost half a million naira now, monies he collected in little portions, all in the name of running his business. There was always a new idea he came up with, the last one was a travel club. He was going to get a bunch of people to take much needed holidays to the far east. What did it matter that she knew the ideas were the product of a child who never grew up living somewhere in the body of an adult. However, that body did wonderful things to her and so when she thought about it she let go of her inhibitions. After all, she accused Akin of being too serious. She broke up with him because he had every detail of his life AND her planned to the minutest detail. He didn't want to live a little. Everything was serious, and calculated with him. He was good, and kind and sweet but he never wanted to try something new. Temi was glad she allowed herself to live a little, enjoy the little thrills of life.
She was going to be thirty, she'd gone through the phases of people wondering when she was going to get married. "Always the bridesmaid; never the bride". Her life with Akin had been great; he was a good man, stable. Almost too stable infact, but she wanted more.
"I want to live a little, you never want to go anywhere, do anything new. I'm sick and tired of living like this." She was 25; it appeared life was stagnant so she threw in the towel. He tried to talk to her, to get her to listen... She wanted change. They had been together for almost 4 years; they were like an old married couple, only she wasn't happy. He tried to talk her out of it "tell me what you want me to do? Tell me how I can make it better. I want to be with you, because you complete me, you are mine". When a woman is done and filled with discontent, anything you do would only breed resentment and anger, and so he let her be.
She enjoyed being single, she had no restraints, no inhibitions. She travelled every year to a new city, tried out new things. Sky diving in Dubai, she volunteered at the winter olympics in Vancouver, saw the Massai of Kenya. She lived and she wanted to continue living, with the perfect man beside her, who wanted the same things she wanted.
You could tell that Michael lived, and Temi wanted this. That night he was wearing a Ralph Lauren Tee tucked into his jeans so the "H" of his Hermes belt was unmistakable. Michael exuded raw sexuality, his muscles strained against the shirt she just wanted to touch him, feel him. The only thing that kept Temi glued to her sit was a niggling thought which she'd been unable to shake off "how does he afford a new Hermes belt and Gucci slippers and his business isn't taking root???" He cared about her; he was always there to listen to her troubles about work. She shared with him her achievements. It didn't matter that the week after she told him she'd got a mid-year performance bonus, he told her about a brilliant idea he just had of how they could help people ship cars in from America and make an interest, if only he had a little start-up support. She pushed those thoughts aside because when it came to it, it was the little things that count. She had been talking about wanting to try out Indian food and so that evening they sat outside the Indian restaurant on Isaac John road in Ikeja and just there out of the blues, he knelt down with a gleaming ring in his hands he asked her to marry him.
Michael and his buddies were in the living room when she walked in carrying a plastic bag of groceries. They said distracted Hellos to her and continued watching the game. The air reeked with the smell of tobacco and a quick dart of her eyes to the table confirmed that it had been accompanied by Hennessey. Four grown men, sitting around idly all day drinking and smoking without a care in the world, you could tell that it was the bringer of the bacon who just walked in. This was the case literally as Temi untied the plastic bags that contained the bacon and ham she just bought, and arranged them neatly in the freezer. Shutting the door with a purpose you could sense the unusual vibe of anger and discontent resonating through her. It was the tobacco; she had asked that smoking be done outside her living room, on the balcony, downstairs, on the road, anywhere but her house.
Who marries a man with no source of income, no desire to provide for himself? Who marries a man who makes her body sing to the highest heaven at night but is content with sponging off his wife by day? His friends were losers, all hoping to "score". That was "loserspeak" for getting a financially comfortable, upwardly mobile professional woman. She didn't have to be too pretty as long as she looked like she was thirsty for something, or waiting to be found.
Temilola Irukevwe wanted to live and here she was indeed living yet dying slowly on the inside. You could see the misery in her eyes, the exhaustion as she cleared the dirty dishes in the sink. Ever so often her mind wandered to how life would have been different if she didn’t have to worry about paying the bills, buying fuel for the generator, paying the laundry man and the security guard. No point in crying over spilt milk. She peeled the potatoes and she hummed to DJ Klem and Efa “Try Again” the words “Everybody’s searching or waiting to be found” resonated in her head, in her search and her quest for something she found Michael. “I don’t care how many times I tried, I’ll try again, I’ll try again” The tears flowed and she sang, tears for herself because she realised she was waiting to be found. She grabbed a newspaper with which she would toss the potatoes peels and she spread it out on the kitchen worktop. The picture on the obituary jumped out at her and she let out a loud guttural scream. The words “Akin Kuteyi” “beloved son and brother” “motorcycle accident” “37 years old” floated before her eyes.
She wanted to live a little, and now she was dead inside. She had asked him to live a little, and now he was dead inside and outside.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Here and now

This is something i wrote as an entry for a writing workshop advert i saw in the papers last week. I changed my mind about sending it in. A friend of mine called it raunchy. Another friend said it had her juices stirred. :D. I totally enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it too.
Have a good day :)


I could hear the rustling sounds of the fallen leaves outside my window, the whirling of the wind and the slamming of windows. The sun had set and the evening breeze was there, sweeping away everything in it's path. One part of me wanted to go and close the window and pull the blinds, but I was being held back, by a force, so primal, so intense, so real. My eyes were closed, but for the clashing winds and the sound of threatning rain, I would have been completely oblivous to the world around me. I hung on to him for fear that if I let go I'd fall down, such was the intensity of the wave that was going through me. I felt his hands run down my back and then up my side, all the while his tongue plunged deep inside my mouth. It was like a dance, a primal quest for survival, what his tongue and mine were engaged in. I gave as much as I got. I gasped, knowing he had his palm on the cusp of one of the nubian twins. He rubbed my nipples and I felt his mouth pull away, I gasped again, as one who was being deprived of oxygen at the same time knowing that I would feel the tide beneath break loose once he kissed my now erect buds. I could only hope as I held him. I touched him, the hard length of him, all mine. I couldn't get a thought through my head, it felt like the whirling winds were only in my head and not outside my window, I could not think straight, because this was Seun. It has always been Seun for me. With him, I couldn't go through the motions, it was like my body recognized his and like a flute at the hands of a seasoned concert player, my body hummed. It wasn't Tumi, head of procurement at Cristol Oil and Gas, this was not Tumi, Chief Usher at Upper Room Fellowship Centre, this was just Tumi, primal female, nubile Tumi, at the hands of the only man who ever made her purr. And like a cat long deprived of milk, I purred as his fingers caressed my now damp panties! "Let's go upstairs", I head his voice ringing far away. How he managed to string together those words will forever elude me for I was ready to be ravished here and now on this wet wet wet June evening..
Sated is really putting it mildly, how I felt hours later. I got up to go to the bathroom and my limbs reminded me of how I felt. I stared at the mirror, I looked disheveled and yes, sated. With a wry smile on my face I traced my lips and thought, it would always be good between us. I thought about the times we spent deluding ourselves that we were just friends, all the years of suppressing what we both felt. Till that new year's day in 2003 when Alex called to tell me our Mom had died! I was confused, and numb. It was like I was on auto pilot. My Malaysian flatmate, bless her heart Christie called Seun. My friend, my gossip partner, my study mate, my confidante, the closest thing I had to family in that cold cold country, he came as soon as he could. He met me sitting on the floor, staring into the closet like a child! He held me for the longest time, and then he kissed me. I remember leaning into that kiss with the force of a thousand tsunamis. I guess I thought somehow, I could ease out the pain and hurt I felt. I smiled now at the memory of how that night ended. I had had the best sex of my life with my best friend. My best friend who was going home in 6months to marry his high school sweetheart.
8 years later, the roles are reversed and he has come to me for comfort. Tolu walked out on him and took his boys. I'd never stopped loving him. I glared at my reflection in the mirror, chiding myself "Tumi, fantastic, mind blowing, out of the world sex is NOT the same as love". But he came to me, I said to myself, he came to me... I have him now, and for me it has always been him. I walked back into the room, got into the bed and went astride Seun. I felt him stir, all of him, I took him inside me and threw my head back. If all I had was here and now, I was willing to take my chances.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I shall not die

"I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord"

My first conscious memory of these words from the bible was in July 1998. My aunty had cancer and the doctors had told her that it had spread into her bone marrow so she was brought back to Nigeria to die. I'd just come back home from secondary school and my parents were not in the country so my other aunty and I were alone in the house taking care of her. She was in a lot of pain when she was awake and to douse the effect of the pain she was put on Morphine. As you can imagine, the church folk kept trooping into the house with prayers and words of encouragement and bible passages. Prayers of different types, forms and nature (ehn you sha get my point... orishirishi). People came and prayed. She was told to recite that passage over and over and over "I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord". She recited the words, and on the 5th of August, my aunty died. I watched her suffer in so much pain, and she died.

As a young christian I just couldn't understand it, shebi they said she should declare, shebi she declared. I was torn between my grief and my wavering faith. I knew when my grandma died and she died in her sleep and she was old, but here was my aunty... aged 51 who taught me vowels and consonants... in pain and she still died after all that prayer? ha! I was so so confused. As I grew older I learnt that our prayers have to go with our faith, that when you pray you have to believe that our prayers would be answered. So I said ok, lesson learnt. Later on, I learnt that God has the sole discretion to answer prayers, so even when we pray, and we have faith that our prayers would be heard, HE has the final say cos he's the 'perfect' ONE who knows what is best for us and in the end of the day we say "thy will be done".

So does this mean that there is no need to pray so hard any more? does this mean that no matter how often we DECLARE something it is not a guarantee of getting what we want? I mean does this mean that people who die have no desire to live any more? is their work on earth done? if they had prayed harder, would they have lived? was their faith not strong enough to hold them through? I mean I prayed/ we all prayed for my cousin when he had the accident and he survived, he was bleeding into his brain and he survived, with a facial scar.. he survived.. and then Sage (my brother) dies?? But who are we to question God?? Does this mean that we should just take a siddon look approach with God and just say "You're gonna do what you would do anyway... I don't need to make any effort". If something doesn't work out for me, how do I know if I'm being inhibited by sin or if I'm just not praying hard enough or if I don't believe it enough or if God just doesn't want it for me? How do I know?

I know my blog isn't a theology class but sometimes I'm just sooo confused at the dynamics between God up in heaven and us earthlings, creatures of the Most High. What's our role exactly in the grand scheme of things?

Last night my sister got news that her friend died. He'd been ill for about 3 months and he got better. She was so excited that God did this great tremendous thing in the life of her friend and how He was faithful and next thing she hears Shegzy is dead. How do you reconcile that? is my faith too little to grasp how God works? Do I need to grow deeper in God? How much more faith do we need to have? and is it only when you face the final point of death that we hands off and say "Have your way oh Lord" If I declare that I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord, and the will of God is for me to die before I'm 30, does it mean I didn't declare hard enough?

I wanna live my life in such a way that when I'm gone I'd have achieved what I was placed on earth to do. I think I have gotten to the point where I don't care if I pass away today. I am not afraid of death. I have come to the point where I know that any day, any time I can slump and die. No this is not me being "unchristianly". This is me knowing that in the end of the day I'm not the one who determines whether I get to take the next breath or not, so why should I be going gragra. I'm going to live my life in the fear of God, and submit to the total and final will of God. I will have faith that HIS good and perfect will be done in my life. I'm not sure about declaring that I will not die. However, I will declare that while I have breath in me, I will live a life worthy of the number of years that God has chosen to give me...freely.

Whether or not i die... it's completely up to HIM

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wifey Much

I've been meaning to write about this issue for a longgggg time, I've just not been able to put my thoughts together long enough to actually type. I pray I'd be able to hit the 'publish' button today Saturday the 16th of April. hehehe. In other TOTALLY UNRELATED news... we have the presidential elections in Nigeria today. I woke up and i went to the polling booth to get accredited. I'm kinda proud of myself because I never thought I'd actually go through with it for two reasons;1, my mother practically threatened me with all sorts of things to get me to register and 2, I don't know who I'm gonna vote for. I know I want the basics of light, constant power, good roads, running water, a good transportation system and all that but I'm not sure that any of the people running are going to do anything differently anyway so I just felt i'd rather not vote. However, if you're a young educated Nigerian right now, and you dare say you're not voting it's tantamount to saying "may the refineries never work in Nigeria again lai lai" or " Nepa will never give us power again" so when it is 12, I shall stroll back to the polling booth and pray that the Holy Spirit gives me guidance as i thumbprint.

Ok, enough about politics, that isn't the point of today's post. As always I need your opinion on something that's niggling at the back of my head.

As a girl, if your boyfriend has a place of his own and your boo is a bit of a slob, do you clean up while you're there or is that tantamount to being a "wifey". Guys, if your girl helps you clean up a bit, fold your clothes, make sure your sink/work top is clean and dry, do you think she's being forward?

on the other hand if he stays at home with his folks and his mum and aunties are making sunday lunch do you go help out or do you sit not wanting to be deemed forward?

A friend of mine told a story of how she went to visit her boyfriend in Porthacourt and found the dude was sleeping with his landlord's daughter/niece/sister-inlaw. Anyway, my friend B, being a very calm 'porraicourt' girl told the 'helper' that she wasn't here to quarrel or fight with her. She said her issue was this, "if the girl dey help me sleep with am, she suppose dey help me dey clean the house na... no be sey I go come from lagos bathroom go still dey dirty, room go dey dirty,na me go still dey come buy things for inside fridge and all that". It was hilarious. Really what role does one play as a girlfriend play when she's in a 'serious' relationship. I don't mean where you guys are just f&^k buddies oh!!! (pardon my french) cos in that case no one expects you to notice anything other than what you're there for and how comfortable or rough you like getting IT!

Personally, I don't think it's an abomination to clean up your boyfriends place, especially if he lives alone, and if you're not a 'homebuddy' I think you can arrange for him to get a cleaner to come in once in a while to clean up the place. I mean you go there ALL the time anyway, why would you feel comfortable in a place that's so dirty and untidy? and no I'm not encouraging boys to be slobs but if I don't think the girls who date slobs should be given a free pass. Unless ofcourse she's a slob too. My cousin Aji lived in my house once. He's like the most untidy person I know in this world. His room always had dirty plates from two weekends in a row, his dirty shirts were always on the floor, his stinky socks and shoes were always on full display. I remember how my sister and cousin always used to ask him to clean up his room, but one thing I remember vividly is how girls used to come and go through that room. He had girlfriends who brought food to him in that smelly dirty room. I was always amazed. Don't get me wrong oh, Aji is such a sweetheart but I couldn't get past girls who dated him and stayed for hours in that room.

Am i the one with issues? cos no way am I gonna allow you keep me in a dirty place, instead i'll just have us meet somewhere else oh! Hian!!!! Worriz all that?

Anyway, is it too much to clean up where you'd be 'hosted' or is a girl over stepping her boundaries if she washes the dirty dishes in your sink? what if she arranges for someone to come and keep your place clean and tidy? do u assume she's fishing for a marriage proposal?

Is cleaning up too much?