Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The 5-Petal Rose

I found this in my email. I wrote it 4 years ago and honestly, reading it again today made me wonder if I was high on something cheap.


I hope you like it.

A beauty so rare so true
One that reaches and touches the soul
Its fragrance so subtle, so captivating
Its prickly pain yet ever so sharp

I hold on to its stem, 
Seeking  something more
How much longer am I supposed to sacrifice
One after the other
The petals keep dropping,


I do not want to watch 
I struggle for a firmer grip
wondering if im doing right

This beautiful flower of mine,
nourished and cherished.
I cling yet i bleed
My caramel skin
glistens in the moonlight
The tears i shed 

Nurture it with me, my love
tend this rare thing we share
I do not want to watch it die
but it seems I alone can not make it live

My 5-petalled Rose

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Boko Haram- Sunday Sunday Malaise

I’m tired of everything about Nigeria. Really and truly. I hate the ignorance of our people the most.
If you read my blog you would know that I am a God lover, worshipper, fearer, believer… but I HATE organized religion. With a PASSION> I hate the way we carry on like we’re better than the next person because we have been born into a certain cocoon. Christians teaching their kids to hate muslims, Southerners telling the next generation that the Northerners are of the devil… arghh it kills me.
I read a blog tonight and I had to share it with as wide an audience as possible.
Please read it, understand it, enjoy it, then share it.
We need to kill ignorance ASAP. So many people are thriving on the fact that we’re not united as a result of ignorance and greed. Let’s put them to shame today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Been Long Since You Saw Me

I just discovered Windows Live Writer and hence, why I’ve found my way back here.

It’s been such a long time and I feel like doing my best Wande Coal impression and scream “Been Long You Saw Me”. I sha added “since” in my own title because I think Wande gbagauned in that his own song title.

Hmm so I know I should be here writing about how my book is at the second stage of proof reading blah blah blah but this is not so. In my months of joblessness I have been extremely busy… not writing oh.. cooking. Well you see when a person quits their job with plenty plenty lofty dreams of chasing their passion it appears they forget slightly that they have to eat, or buy credit or even fuel their car. It wasn’t like I forgot oh, I had a plan I just didn’t realise that running your own business would be that physically exhausting.

So I started Atoke’s Kitchen and basically what we do (ok I’m saying ‘we’ so you’d think I have a string of people working for me…but the entirety of our staff strength is here typing this post) is cook soup. All sorts of soup. Oha, Okazi, Okra, egusi, Efo riro.. name it… soups and we deliver it to your doorstep. Let me not lie to you… it  is mad exhausting because in Nigeria doing ANY kind of business sucks. Why? NEPA! because there’s never light I can’t store food so any time I get an order I have to go to the market early in the morning, the come back to cook and then do the delivery myself. As much as I love cooking I must say that it is HARD work and the work isn’t in the cooking itself oh.. it’s in the preparation of the ingredients for cooking. The profit margin is also not that wide such that I’d employ someone (even though I doubt I’d allow someone else cook because I like my food a particular way and I doubt if any one else can do it as I want) anyway so I coasted along on the profits from Atoke’s Kitchen for 3 months… not sure where salvation would come from, always too exhausted from the day’s activities to even write. My friends would constantly remind me “ you didn’t quit your job to cook oh” I remembered na but did any of them offer to fuel my car and I said NO? Lol but I trudged on. Then in the middle of all this struggling for money and all I went and got heart broken again! I mean I didn’t even know I had a boyfriend and there I was.. holding the pieces of my heart and soul together because I had been dumped.

My brothers and sisters I will never ever pray that my enemy goes through what I went through. I couldn’t tell anybody. I was crying every damn day for over 6 weeks. I would look in the mirror and it wasn’t myself I was seeing. I struggled to keep up the fa├žade of happy camper all the time. The few friends I told had the most stupid responses in the world, looking back I don’t blame them I just know better than to share my issues with anybody no matter how close they are. People always know how to chat sh*t! they come at you with “You know I’m here for you” and then they turn around and say stuff like “Why are you deceiving yourself. Were you in love?”

A special shout out to my friend Remi who was so incredibly amazing! I can’t tell you enough that this is the second time this girl has shown amazing strength in the face of my despair. The first time was when I went to pick a vault to bury my brother in and then recently when she would call me from jand and I’d spend 30mins on the phone just crying! Hahahaha I look back now and think… she is a champ! I’d go to hell and back for that girl.

Anyway, so here I am, I’ve gummed the pieces of my heart back together, I’m not bitter or broken.. I’m not in that place of “yepa I can never love any man again” I’m stronger and you know why? Because the ONE TRUE friend, lover, companion, savior, KING is with me. My God! My Saviour! My Father. Jehovah! Ok I’ll stop now but seriously if you don’t know God I wonder who you turn to when you’re broken? Chei!!! God is too awesome abeg!

To all the people who felt I was being cold/withdrawn when I was down.. biko I don’t know what to say oh.. I can’t be a happy chipmunk 365 days of the year na! But I’m fine now I’m back and better.

In other fantastic news… I got a job. yeah like a proper 9-5 and it’s at an online magazine called BellaNaija.com. I also got admission for a masters in Creative Writing in the UK so please I shall be going about with my begging bowl for money abeg 11k pounds is not beans.

I’m happy guys, really in a good place but not because of all this good news I’m sharing oh (those ones na recent development 2 weeks ago sef) but because God rubbed my back from January till now. Infact He’s still rubbing my back till now sef saying “Aderonke omo mi… I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU”

If you don’t know God I beg you… FIND HIM TODAY!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The fortune teller's error

I was given an assignment by a new writing instructor. "Write a story beginning with the line 'The fortune teller was mistaken'. It should have no conversation and it should not be more than 500 words" I hope you like it.


 The fortune teller was mistaken. You step out of your apartment building and you're given an umbrella to protect you from the torrential downpour as you walk briskly to your car. Fixing a bright smile on your face, you hand the brolly back and look forward to the day with carefully masked apprehension. You don't think it will be a bad day because despite the rain you're able to remain dry. Irrespective of the dark clouds, you see the ray of the sun peeking through the drapes of the sky. The fortune teller was mistaken. You cannot imagine how the tarrots could have read anything more than success and glamour in your future. You have worked too long and too hard to deserve anything else. You know that after all these years at the mill, it is only right that providence dishes you a nice warm meal. So you smile, you push the words out of your head, you know in your heart that all good things work together for the good of those who love God. You know you are one of them and as you get into the office building you meet the elevator still on the ground floor. The world is your oyster, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The elevator is symbolic for you. You step in and smoothen your jacket and stare at the aluminum wall of the lift. All you can see is success, pride and courage. The ringer, indicating you have arrived on your floor jarrs you out of your little reverie. Bright lights; yes: snuffed out candles; no. The fortune teller was mistaken. You know this because as you walk towards your new corner office with the fantastic view of the city you receive warm, congratulatory pats on the back. Your name is on the door for the first time in 15 years of working here. You've seen it in your dreams and the reality is even more fulfilling. You settle in to work, allowing the warm feel of the leather and the soft texture of the interior of your new shoes ease you into your new job and then the floor shakes beneath you. You feel the tremors of the building resonating right to where you're sitting. You panic and then in an instant you see the ceiling hurtling towards you at a flashing speed. It's all happening so fast, one minute you are crawling on all fours and the next minute the loud pop which deafens you for an instant and sends the heavens down. Bright lights. Snuffed out candles. Your last thought before the blackness envelopes you. The fortune teller was not mistaken. Lights. Candles. Bombs.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The lady in the mirror

The hallway bears the mark of hundreds of people who have walked through the front doors of this building. This towering edifice in the middle of the central business district is but a tiny indication of the fact that it houses one of the topmost Audit and Tax Advisory firms in the country. Immediately you enter, you are soaked in the life force that seems to have a hold on the people who come here daily to make an impact. Today, I have a meeting with management. Another assessment session. I have had twelve of these sessions in the last 13 years. I have come out of every one of them with a plastic smile and with a practiced I am fine look on my face. I know the drill by now. They call me in, they tell me that my records are outstanding, I work long hours and I am never tardy. They prattle on for ten minutes or so, depending on who is doing the talking and then they bring it up. “However, Fatimah, at the moment there is really no management position vacant. We understand how valuable an asset you are to us at the moment but we really regret that we cannot make you a partner at the moment. You know we will not fail to reward your efforts as you rightly deserve.” I am weary on the inside, but on the outside I keep my composure. I flick back the thick wavy mass of Peruvian hair cascading down my face. It is my way of pushing down the nervous tremor running through me. I am dressed as smartly and relaxed as I can manage. I don’t have a jacket on, I don't want the stuffiness that comes with it. Gray pants that hug my hips as closely as decency would allow with a perfectly cut pink shirt with a ruffled collar.My gleaming black patent shoes with its 4-inched heels are comfortably chic. I strive to maintain a perfect blend of stylish and professionalism at all times. One leg infront of the other, down these hallowed halls of Vincent Obong & Co. I approach the door of the conference room and push it back; standing ramrod straight I throw my head slightly, it is time. *** You’ve probably heard my story before, only you may not have heard it told by me. I hear them whispering about me around the office but I have grown immune to their talk. I am old enough to know that irrespective of what you do in life and no matter your decisions in life somebody somewhere will believe you have done wrong or you have not chosen wisely. To those people, I gladly say ‘walk in my shoes’. I splash water on my face and I watch the droplets of water trickle down my face.I dab my face with the soft towel I always carry around. I am waiting to be called. I stare at the lady in the mirror and she stares right back. She looks glamorous and confident. I on the other hand don't feel as good as she looks. I remember Tony's hand pumping mine on the ride over to the hotel. "You deserve this hun. This is your night and you look beautiful. You need to calm down. You have achieved the highest position in your industry by virtue of your position at work. Hard work does pay. So relax, have fun, take pictures and revel in the glory and let me enjoy the glitz and glam that comes with being married to the first woman to be bestowed with this honour in the finance industry. You deserve this." Today is supposed to be the happiest day of my career life. What I feel at the moment cannot be described. I don’t recall how many times I have been asked how I feel about my success in the industry and my achievements in the firm; my reaction has been the same: wry smile, mumbled words and incoherent gestures of appreciation. Do I deserve this? Really? Do I? Is the lady in the mirror capable of doing what I have done? It's amazing what a person who is determined can do. Hard work? Yes I put in a lot of that and more. Long hours? Yes I do deserve this award. I adjust my dress at the waist as I hear my name over the loud sound system. I should get back to the hall. It's a shame some people at Vincent O won't be here in the audience. Year after year there was no space at the top for me, so I created space. I had to. I worked too hard to be pushed aside for too long. Martin, the divisional head of forensics had his head buried in breasts to notice when I stretched out my hand and slipped the tiny pill into his drink. Amaka always had a false smile anytime they had those management meetings. She was the head of the personnel management team. She would give me the look of "As a fellow woman, I understand what it means to be passed over". What did she understand? She probably would have more clarity now as she is in another realm. The news report said that her car just skidded off the highway on her way back from a team building retreat just outside of Lagos. It took all of 4,000Naira to have her car fixed up just before the trip. Bright eyed and nervous, I touch the mirror because I do not recognize the person staring back at me. No space at the top for me? I made space and I am sitting at the top. I can hear my name over the speakers. "Fatimah Waziri" I smile at the reflection in the mirror. Hard work does pay but they didn’t tell me I had to add the spice of cunning to get to the top.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Beginnings

It's almost the end of January and here I am visiting my blog for the first time in 2012. It's never too late to say Happy New Year is it? oh well.. I hope the year started on a good note for all of you. The end of 2011 was incredibly tough for me as I had to grow up and open my eyes and see what the future had for me. I mean I'm always talking about doing things but never actually getting up to do it. As you know, I've started writing more and more and it's been incredibly exhilarating (abeg make una nor mind the spelling) but I never thought to do anything more than just writing but you see sometimes God puts things right in front of us and we just look away from it and we keep asking him to bless us. IT's a miracle that God is ever so patient with us sef. I mean, you keep saying he should bless you, He puts the basket of blessings in front of you and you don't even look at it. Lesson number one from today's post... When you're praying to God, don't pray in isolation, be extremely sensitive to his leading and unction. Writing isn't just a hobby, it's now a means of putting bread on my table and for this I am eternally grateful. Lesson number 2. Do not be afraid of taking risks. I am the worst person to be giving this advice cos besto calls me an over thinker and over thinkers are not by nature risk takers because they keep thinking of all the reasons why they shouldn't jump off the cliff. Well, I decided at the end of last year to take the leap off the ledge of the comfort of 9 to 5 and into the world of the unknown... i haven't landed on soft mattress yet oh... but hey... it's sink or swim or jam my head against a rock and I sure as hell am going to do everything to swim. Lesson number 3. When you are asking God to bless you, you have to be ready to receive the blessings. If you ask God to give you a husband and he hasn't answered you yet, it's probably because you are not yet the perfect wife for the dude he's arranging for you. If you're asking for a bigger car, you have to get that car park ready... I'm so overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do. my deliverables are mounting and I am afraid I am ill-equipped to cope.. but neh... I will do it. One story at a time, one synopsis at a time and I shall do it So that enough with the lessons. The good people at BellaNaija.com have published two of my pieces this year... Whoop woop... and I don't know when I'll stop being excited that people actually read stuff I write... maybe never. The links are here and Anyway.. let's toast to new beginnings and completions too Have a fab year ahead,