December 31, 2010

The truth

....Saying 'I chose you' would mean I had a choice. the truth lies within me...

I stole the above line from my friend (i hold my breath as i lay claim on friendship with this wordsmith) His work can be found at .

First time i read that line, it blew me away like very few lines can...It made me think how simple life is and how complicated it feels.
Feelings and reality, oil and water.

We all have a choice...Most of us prefer to take the easier path and not choose at all. We console ourselves with notions of predestination and fate.

The truth lies within you...

You can choose. You just choose not to...

Thank you Bulumko...

Song of the day: One Republic- Secrets

December 30, 2010

David Gray "This Years Love"

I think this is the perfect song to close the year...may this year's love last always for y'all

M to the Rescue

I dressed for work in the dark today. Thanks to PHCN and their disregard for young ladies living alone who do not understand the mechanics of the changing engine oil, servicing generators and change overs.

I was very sure something was wrong and even after checking myself out in as many rear view mirrors as i could manage, i still felt under dressed....till i walked into M's office and he gave me a slow lingering once over...and smiled that smile designed to break hearts.

Suddenly everything was right with the world...

Happy new year in advance people...i have a good feeling about this one...

Song of the day(no thinking twice about this one...): Asa- Bimpe(i get a kick off singing the first three lines to co-workers...they end up laughing at my accent)

December 22, 2010

Mo' Dele

Mo'dele came home like the prodigal child
Sores from all over the place on her body
Scars I didn't dare to question their source
She came home and like the father in the story
I opened my doors and my heart to her again
Only I am not her father

I am the man who loves her like none other
I am the man in the shadows
I am the one poised to catch her when she falls
I am a miserable man

Mo'dele left again one morning
Like the restless falcon that has a home only in the next hunt
She left me a penciled note that said 'thank you'
And a sweater to warm my nights
There was no need to search for my heart
It was long gone

I am a miserable man
Glad to wallow in my misery
Because within it lies hope
That someday she will be back
And maybe it will be to stay

Till then, Mo'dele,
Till, you come home

P.s Mo'dele is Yoruba for 'I have come home'. I find more and more, home is hard to recognize for so many!

Song of the day: Boyzone- Everyday i love you

December 16, 2010

Picture perfect

I have stopped paying much attention to Facebook. Ever since i learned that nothing is as it seems and all the picture perfect lives i see are just as broken and incomplete as mine. 
Nothing is ever as it seems. Cameras can hide the pain, hide the sadness, hide the division, ....paint a happier life than we can ever live...

I went through loads of my pictures and each told a different story than i know was true and i wondered how much longer before the can  of worms is opened and the facade lost forever...Facebook, Hi5, Myspace ...All of them scream out loud how happy and complete we all are...and yet there are wars and disease and deaths and divorces and breakups and shame. Do they happen only to people not on Facebook? Are we immune just because our lives are lived on web-pages?

I think its alright we want to forget so long as we remember what is real and what is not. Its when we lose sight of that that we are lost.

Song of day: UB40 - Many rivers to cross

December 14, 2010

'Tis the season

So its Christmas...
I had almost forgotten till i went to Falomo and the amazing Xmas decorations reminded me.(Well done, Church of Assumption!!!)
Last Christmas was amazing..Calabar and friends and self discovery...
This year, i don't know what to do with myself...the man i love is zillions of miles away and our hearts are fraught with cuts-deep and shallow....lets just say this Christmas , love isn't in the air

There will be no Calabar-one vacation per year please...My account is still bearing the brunt of London...
Friends?!! Oh boy!!! I can count my friends on one hand and they are millions of miles away.

Still...I have  a good feeling about this one...

There is family and its been a while we all spent Xmas together. it might also be the last time in a  long time as school and new families call.
There are new folks i look forward to making friends with and Tee might just be spending Xmas in Lagos. There is still the euphoria of London and all the lovely shopping i got to do.
There is presents...and that's the best part...the giving .and (pardon me), the receiving. i know loads of people say its better to give than to receive but i think its a two way give and you will get..i look forward to both ends.
This year i want to try the orphanage...Its time i do something for someone that really needs it..i am hoping i can convince my colleagues at the office to join me and make a ball out of it...

Merry Christmas everyone...and GIVE...

November 30, 2010

M called me today!

M called me today!

Its been a couple of interesting days...
Been burning the midnight candle and trying to make sense outta crazy questions!
My men won the El Classico in grand style-what can I say? Nobody does it better!
Love is in the air and even though I don't want to enjoy it, I am! :)

I miss work...I know,I know...I am weird like that. But that's the way it is!

So when M called today, he reminded me of how much I miss work...the hallways where you can rub shoulders with just about anyone, the lunch room and the great food(all of a sudden, my cooking doesn't seem do good anymore), my boss(that huge teddy bear that will gobble you up in a heart beat and spit you out whole in another!), my colleagues, my boys, my desk, my friends,my incorrigible customers...and M!

I miss M,his smile,his socks, those eyes that wither and flatter at the same time.

I know the more I go on about M, the more folks think there is something more! Something am not saying!
True! There is something more!

In many ways,if I were male I would be M and I see so much of myself in him. Its why we hate each other one minute and are best friends the next! Okay, best friends is an exaggeration! But you get the point!

M is the me I am not brave enough to be...
I am so very glad he has enough courage for two.

Song of the day: The Script - For the first time

November 24, 2010

Going home...

Its my last day here and i have been looking outside the window instead of packing.

What will i miss? Order,shopping,the cold, Oxford street, my friends

What won't i miss? Order,the cold, junk food

I cant wait to get back home and yet i can...

Land of the two rivers,
Your warmth tugs at my heart and bids me return
Till i am reminded of the callousness and coldness 
With which you deal with the ones who love you

I am coming home
Home isn't where the heart is
Its where the road leads
And I cannot wait to see you.

Song of the day: George Michael-As

November 12, 2010

Off to London...

So am off to London for a  vacation..its been ages i had one of those...a vacation i mean...

I can't wait to hold Ukeme, see KK, shop with OmoTee and make new friends.

I am on a limited budget but men...i plan to make the best use of all my pounds and shop till i drop.

I will still be blogging though and reading terribly hard..

My muse has been on vacation awhile i envy her, threats do not bother her...she takes her leave when she wills and returns when she deems fit. Oh to be such a free spirit...

I wish B and i were going on this trip together..we have planned it all year but life went and happened and here i am, going on a trip alone.

I embrace it with open arms...and a twinkle in my eye

Song of the day: Michael Buble-Hold on

November 4, 2010

The Second Child

He was the second child, unobtrusive in every way. For the short time while he was the last child, he had been important. Then came along another to take his place and gone were the days of hanging onto his mother's skirts and he had to relinquish his seat on his father's shoulders. He slipped quietly into oblivion. Remembered only when he did something exceptional or terribly bad. Sometimes he felt like he could disappear and no one would notice. The elder one had once been his playmate but then she had grown up and had giggling girl friends to take his place. The baby wasn't old enough to be much of a playmate but at least he tried. As he grew, he found more interesting things to engage him than his elder brother.

One day, an old relative came to visit. Like others before him he paid more attention to the others than to the second child. He stayed longer than any other visiting relative. The second child liked him very much. He would go out all day and come back with sweets for each child and while he didn't pay him any more attention than the rest, he still liked the sweets. He told them stories every evening after every meal and while the baby always fell asleep before the story ended and the first child usually found TV more interesting, he listened attentively as the relative weaved tales of magic. For that short while he was the only one, all attention was on him.

Time passed and the relative went away but the second child never forgot him . he had found his way out of obscurity. He made up stories and read them. As the baby grew older, he fell in love with his elder brother's tales and hung on to his every word. His parents took notice when he won inter school writing competitions. They sang his praises to all and sundry when he brought home a generator as 2nd prize.Their interest heightened as he won state competitions. He became the golden child as his first book sold a million copies.

He was awarded the Orange Prize yesterday.

His mother insists on being called 'Mama Nobel Laureate'. His father insists he took after him. His sister has two children and invokes his name to correct them. The baby has a beard now and has taken up writing classes along with the burdens of medical school.

He realizes too late that the spotlight was not very different from obscurity. It is just as demanding to be hero as it was to dream of being one.

October 20, 2010

Dream snatchers

Last night i dreamt i was on a hill.
Alone. And yet i wasn't lonely.
The wind breathed in my ears and played with my hair.
The sun warmed my skin.
The birds serenaded my ascent.
It was the most beautiful feeling ever.
I woke up to find you watching me with that strange look upon your face that heralded a joining.
It wasn't the wind after all.
It was your heavy breathing.
It wasn't the sun that warmed me.
It was the heat your lust gave off.
It wasn't the birds.
It was the whistling in your nostrils .

You went to work.
I kissed you goodbye.
Cleaned the house.
Put your dinner in the microwave.
Packed my things, locked the doors and left you.
You have stolen my dreams for the last time. 

Song of the day: Destiny's Child-Emotions

October 13, 2010

Dear John

So i know this child. He is really a  baby actually. He will be two in January. I think he still makes it in the baby category. I forget sometimes, in fact  i forget loads of times. He is smart like that. Calls me 'Antiee' and knows two plus two makes four. I wonder how many of you reading this knew what one plus one was at four years of age. I am just saying...

Last week i gave him a balloon and he said...'chank yuuuu'

I took a deep breath and almost burst into tears. I didn't - thank God. I imagine how quickly his bewildered mother would have whisked him away from the weird 'Antiee'. Thankfully doubts about my sanity weren't called into question that day. 

Things haven't been going as planned. Scrap that, they haven't been going well at all. I wake up, go to work, walk the talk, talk the walk but my insides are all messed up and in need of healing. I have taken to crying a lot-in the bathroom at work, at home, in my father's arms...anywhere where it is safe
I know how to do the whole smiling while dying inside thing so very few people know. I have been mighty angry, plenty bitter and very very sad. On Friday , Lil John brought the first real smile to my face in days. I kissed him and said you are welcome. He laughed that amazingly heartbreaking baby laugh of his and broke into a song. The lyrics were pretty messed up but i would know the melody anywhere. Shakira would have been proud. Even babies know the 'Time for Africa'

Dear John. He said 'chank yuu' a hundred times to me that night.  The balloon kept falling off its little straw and i kept fixing it. My patience didn't run out. Every time he looked at me with those eyes to signal he needed help i dutifully did the needful. It reminded me of how faithful God is and all the times i have needed help and have been too confused to ask and He keeps helping. He hasn't run out of patience either

So this is my thank you Post. It is possible, actually it is more than likely that i will be needing to remember reasons to be thankful in the days ahead.  I hope i have the presence of mind to come back to this post and remember what its all about. Thank you dear John for the reminder.

Song of day: Mary Mary- Thank you

October 11, 2010

Strangers to self

He is my friend. I have never been his. He is the one i run to when it all falls apart. He always lets me in when everyone else has shut the door in my face. He is magical, he is sweet, he is him and i am so thankful he found me. More thankful, he stays...

This is something he wrote a while ago and has let me borrow while my muse is on holiday :). 

We are well acquainted to what we are not
And strangers to what we are
That’s why it’s hard to be ourselves.
We are in conflict with the inner self:
The one only us know
But well settled with the outside self:
The one everyone knows
Antisocial cavemen
Living in a social civilization
we trade War and discrimination
For peace and diversity
Our minds are still primitive
So we can’t understand that our differences make us even the same
Busy getting caught in the web
we forget our common origin
In the network of books with faces
We really should be finding our own spaces

 Song of the day: One republic- Stop & stare

October 8, 2010

M & me

I saw M today. He had the best shave ever. It made me want to nuzzle him. If you know me even a little bit, you will know i don't do facial hair.. it tickles and not in a funny way. It gets in the way of good kissing. My men have always been clean shaven. The first time a boyfriend kept a beard i didn't kiss him for a whole week till he got rid of it.

Back to M. He is on his way for a  meeting when i see him. He does a double take and his eyes does the whole stripping thing. One of the amazing things about M is how he stares at ladies and doesn't even pretend or hide that he is looking. He looks at my face and smiles that slow serpentine smile that i love so much. I laugh and say hey. I feel  so good inside already that i make the mistake of leaning to hug him. Now if you have read my blog before you will know about M and you will know my friend hates, detests, completely abhors hugs. M hesitates  but only for a  second. Next thing i know M is hugging me willingly for the first time in our almost two years old love-hate friendship.

When he finally lets go, he stutters ' eh are you dating now?' I almost kiss him. My friend - a man of many extremes. He can make u feel as low as dirt and he can raise you higher than the stars. Today isn't one of my brave days so i just smile and saunter away leaving him staring. I envy the girl that will change his mind about settling down. I envy the girl that will make him do the double take everyday.

 I am ready to take on the world tonight. Thank you M

p.s M is an amazing guy. We are best friends some days, worst enemies on others. Don't get it twisted. Besides he is smarter than i...i would never have anything to do with a man smarter than i just saying...

Song of the day: Maxwell- Stop the world

Masquerades (3)

Its been two months since the day i bought the masks. She didn't make it back home that night. I bathed the kids and took them to school the next day. Like the bright stars that they are, they knew better than to ask. Or maybe they saw the grayness in my world and pitied me.

Night came and i came home from work. The house told me she was back before i entered. It was always like that. It brightened at her presence and pined for her when she left. It was quiet everywhere but i knew she was back.

'I always knew it was Nifemi'  I turned, startled by her voice in the darkness of our dining room. She was sitting where i sat the night before. Mask in her hands. ' I just wanted you to know. In case you think you ever ahd me fooled. I have always known'. 
I didn't dare to move. I feared even to breathe. If she heard me breathe, maybe she would change her mind and stop.

She stood and took my hand and led me to the bedroom. The other bed that had been my prison this long year had been removed. There were tears in her eyes. They rolled down her cheeks. The angels had taken away my speech . Like Zechariah, they feared i would spoil the miracle if i said anything. I took off her clothes  with a reverence that was evidenced by my shaking hands. That night, she whispered my name with every breath, with every moan. She climaxed with my name on her lips.

I rushed home the next evening.  I had regained my speech at work. I wanted to sing of my love for her. Tell of my eternal gratitude to her. Croon about my undying loyalty. I got out of the car and my eyes went to the bin. It had been that way since the first day the i saw my flowers discarded. I held my breath as i made my way to look in it. Only the masks were there. Mine and Nifemi's.

I let out my breath and raced into the house. My flowers were beside her reading lamp.

The era of the masquerades was over.

P.S this was a lot harder to write than i thought possible. I am not so sure fiction is my thing. :)

Song of  the day: Green day- 21 Guns

September 30, 2010

In retrospect...

I cried me a river on Monday.

I am not exactly sure why. What matters is that its over...pls God.

Tuesday, i was waited upon by Northern royalty. Escape helps everyone.

Wednesday, i got my groove back. Rocked my stilettos on red earth and didn't miss a beat.

Kissed my Northern warriors goodbye.

Smiled hello at the Eyo masquerades at every turn in my town.

You can take a girl away from Lagos, it will take plenty more to take Lagos away from her.

I am home. Tears forgotten, the taste of Kilishi still on my tongue, the drama of Lekki traffic all around me.

Life is grand...for now...

Song of the day: Bon Jovi - Its all about loving you

September 23, 2010

A Happy Place

Where the bed bugs don't bite
Where ice cream is a staple
and weight scales are a taboo                                                                       
Where i am me and you are you
and love is free
Where i get paid for doing what i love

Where i am still Cinderella
and midnight never comes

Where there is no hunger
Where there are no wars
No floods, no earthquakes, 
No disease, No death
No pain, No sadness

I am Cinderella
and midnight never comes

But midnight will come
It will steal upon us like the morning tide
disease, death,
pain, sadness

But before it gets here,
I will hold my prince and dance
And make enough memories to last me till dawn.

P.S For UY-Love you babes-my Cinderella always
and for all of you in love...even if its with yourselves :)

Song of the day: Boyzone- Everyday i love you

September 20, 2010

Living Nigerian...

I have been watching the recent happenings in the  political scene with indifference. That indifference has slowly given way to rage. I don't mind all the nasty old men declaring their intentions. Its a free country last i i checked but what i cannot stand is the attitude of the people. The sad, easy-to-bamboozle, money hungry, undignified, disloyal populace.

They are the reason for a shame so overwhelming it cannot be covered. They are the root of a reproach so strong my knees weaken at the thought. They are the reason i would gladly exchange my passport for ANY other. And my generation, ha, those ones are the sickest of the lot. That anyone in this generation that grew up with; no electricity, terrible roads, JAMB and 6 as the average number of years spent in the university, crippling unemployment that has led them into armed robbery, 419, etc; can even think of supporting the same evil old men that are responsible is inconceivable. In fact it is outright insane. It makes me want to weep. It makes me want to just find somewhere and hibernate.

We lost it somewhere along the line. We are too foolish to retrace our steps. History will stand in judgment against us. Our children will not be as forgiving as we have been. They will point accusing fingers and burn us at the stakes for this evil. The soul that sinneth it shall die.

The hardest part of it all is i am not so very different from them .

Song of the Day: Tracy Chapman - Revolution

September 18, 2010


When we were young and played in the sand, we would go to Mazi Mbanu's house and like little monkeys, climb his udala tree and make away with the fruit. When it wasn't udala season, we climbed his paw paw trees and gorged ourselves with the orange meat. Our bellies would be distended by the time the our scout sounded the alarm. But we all agreed that udala season was the best.

Mazi would run after us with his bow legs. He would curse at us and say 'Your mates are getting women pregnant! Stop acting like children!'. But that's all we were; children! And we loved every moment of it. we would scatter in different directions. He never seemed to be able to catch anybody. Other days, he couldn't seem to be bothered. He just walked slowly and ignored children running in every direction.

I would run home and my mother would be waiting with her cane. 'Leave the boy alone. He is only being young.' My father would say. 'Being young shouldn't involve sending that old man to the grave' My mother would retort.' 'He is already there' Papa would reply with a solemn voice.
Mazi had lost his entire family in a bus accident on their way back from the city a few months back.

Sometimes, we would imagine that the graves of his wife and children would open and they would come and get us for stealing their fruit. We took turns scaring each other and getting a laugh out of it. I shiver now to think of the brazen acts that only youth could afford.When we were young, life was day by day. Our only worries were not getting caught at our petty crimes and who got to scrape the bottom of the pot at the end of the day. Life and death and the people left to carry on meant little to us

Mazi Mbanu died at the beginning of one udala season. I never forgave him for that. He could have waited till the end of the season. We had our fill that day. We kept rotating scouts. The alarm never sounded. I remember stocking my pockets full with as much fruit as possible. maybe somehow i knew it was the end.

He was found early the next morning when a neighbor came calling to borrow snuff. We never went back. What his physical form couldn't achieve, his spirit did. We were cured. None of the gang ever braved Mazi's compound again. To think that we had committed atrocities while his body grew cold was the source of many nightmares.

By the next udala season, we were clad in khaki shorts and herded off to school. Mazi won after all. We grew up.

Song of the day: The Corrs- So Young

September 15, 2010

Wednesday the 15th

It rained this morning. Actually it started last night. i could tell because i heard that silly dog whimpering. She hates it when it rains. Comes scratching at our door. So lets just say, i dreamt of rain and flood and the dog and my meds too. i might have lived all my life with a practitioner of medicine but i will never like meds!!! 

I made it to work on time. Surprise, Surprise, V.I was flooded!!! One of these days, water go carry all of una go...

Anyways i was frothing at the lips and mumbling obscenities to all those deserving when some pick-up dropped off M. There he was looking all instructable and unbothered with green socks(who wears green socks to work is all i want to know). The following conversation took place...

K: 'Hey Baba Suwe! I am calling the fashion police on you. How can you wear green socks to work and carry your head up high?

'M: 'Why can't you just say good morning. B would say good morning and ask how i got here. Yoruba girls!"
K: 'Well B is Yoruba too or did you miss the memo? Mschewww...why didn't you say good morning either?"

M: 'I was going to before you attacked me'

By this time, we are about to go our separate ways. So i opened my arms wide to hug him. M hates hugs. He dodges me. I start walking off and he is still standing, staring at my butt. M likes butts. I turn around and walk back to him, kiss him on his cheek, laugh and run to my office. Last i saw of M he was standing there touching where my mouth had been and smiling. 

He thinks we should hang out one of these days. It will be a total disaster!!! But i got tough love for M.

Good morning people!!!

Song of the day: Rob Thomas (M loves him)- Ever The Same

September 13, 2010

There she goes

Found her on the desert plains. She became my oasis in that strange land. It took me two years to look in her direction. It was well worth the wait.

She won every heart with her smile. But it was my soul she stole with her goodness.

She saw through every facade i put up. She laughed her way through my temper. She came back no matter how many times i showed her the door. she taught me lessons i never taught i could learn. On my birthdays, she would wake me up, and pray for me at dawn.
Its been 6 years since i found my sister. Its been two years since i laid eyes on her. so much water under the bridge and yet i know i will never love like this again.

White tiger, my sister, my friend, my angel...there are friends and there are FRIENDS!!! You, my lovely, are evidence that God loves me. Thank you!!!

p.s If you cry today eh, i will never wish you happy birthday again ...and you know it isn't beyond me!!

Song of the day: Six Pence None The Richer - There she goes

September 7, 2010

Land of dreams...

'Tu a ra ya aka...'
My mum's sonorous voice finds me in the land of dreams. It nudges me to wake. I want to wake. I want to see her face. I want to see her eyes light up. Her furrowed brow when she is serious. Her smooth skin as light bounces off it like a mirror. I want to see her laugh. I want to go home with her and fall asleep on her bosom. I am sick of hearing her only. I want to see my Mama.

'Onye ne me ma imela, imela...'
I smile in the land of my dreams. My mother can praise God in the worst of times. I know where i am. I hear strange voices so i know it isn't home. I can feel. I can hear. I can't see. I can't move and i cant speak. I have heard the doctors say that i am in a coma. I also heard them tell my uncles they do not know if i will ever wake up. Mama wasn't there that time.

'Kpo ya Chukwu o gaza...'
She is always here. My Mama. By now i can hear the sadness in her voice. I listen closely and i know the tears will begin anytime soon. Yet she sings. With the bravery of an amazon, she sings.

'Iwo nikan logo ye...'
She makes the switch from Ibo to Yoruba so effortlessly. My mother's mother was of Itsekiri-Yoruba origin. my mother's father was Ibo. Mama speaks all three languages. I knew an Itsekiri chorus wasn't far off.

'Tosan'. I turned towards the voice that called me. 'Papa!' I say as i recognize the voice and the man walking towards me.

I run towards him. There is no ground in this land but 'run' is the only word i can use to describe what i did to get closer to him. He held me. I smelled the spicy scent that went everywhere with my father when he used to be. He pulled away and said 'You are a big woman now'.

We laughed as we both remembered nights when as a child  i would sit in his lap and describe my forthcoming adventures as a 'big woman'.

As swiftly as the laughter came, so it disappeared .
'Tosan, why are you here?'  I avoided my father's eyes.
'I don't know, Papa. I want to wake up and see mama but i cannot'.
'Are you sure that's what you want, Tosan?' He took my chin and looked into my eyes.

My father could always see through me. The truth was life had dealt me too many bad turns. I couldn't deal. I didn't want to deal. The accident became my excuse not to live. To be but not to live. I could stay as i was and listen to Mama sing all day and night long. It was safe here. Nothing bad could get me here. Mama would get them first.

Outside my mother's arms, evil and pain lurked everywhere in the world. It had found me in the death of my father. It had found me in the betrayal of men. It had found me in  love. And now i didn't dare wake up. For i knew that while waking up would mean my mother's arms, it also meant pain. There was none without the other.

'Tosan, you must choose. You can't sit on the fence for much longer.' My father held me once more and turned away.

'But where are you going?' I called after him.
He turned 'You know the answer to that, Tosan. It is where you will come someday. I fear it might be sooner than you should if you don't choose.'
'I am afraid, Papa. Afraid of the end, afraid of what will happen in the between'.
'Then there will no beginning, my princess. If you need me, I will be in your dreams, in your thoughts'...

I watched as he turned and walked back into the light that he had come from.

'Tu ara ya ma ma...'
She still sings. From the land of my dreams, I hear her and the sobs rack my body. I cry for my mother. I cry for my father. I cry for myself . I cry hoping that through the tears i might find the strength to face all i have been running from. From the land of my dreams, i hear my mother cry out for the doctors. I feel hands everywhere, searching for a sign, a promise that this passivity is maybe over. Then I hear the doctor tell Mama it is normal. The tears on my face don't mean anything. I hear her sigh and continue singing. She kisses my tears and takes my hand in hers and continues her song.

'Imela, Imela'...

Soon, Mama, soon...

Song of the Day: Green Day- 21 Guns

September 3, 2010

Just a Girl

Most days, i am not sure who i am. Most nights, i can't sleep for fear that by morning, what i was for that day wouldn't be there when i wake up.

Today, I am just a girl who is very afraid that she has forgotten how to love.

Or worse, that he has...

So i am gonna take Sir Shina Peters' advice and 'dance, dance and forget your sorrow'

Song of the day: Lagbaja - Konko below

August 31, 2010

Masquerades (2)

She doesn't whisper my name anymore when we make love. I can't even remember the last time we shared sleeping space. Like cobwebs that cover unused places, so is my memory of love with her.

The devil has no free gift. I should have known that. I should have known that for every stolen kiss of nectar, i would pay a price worth its weight in gold. I should have known that for every tremulous crescendo reached in the back seat of my car, i would descend a thousand depths.

Water from a stolen cistern. I exchanged my wife's anthill colored skin with its maps of our years together for youthful supple flesh. I have known heaven in her arms. I have known hell out of it.

She is still with me because she loves the children. I am thankful for that. If we didn't have them, she would be gone faster than spit dries in the Sahara. When she looks at them, i am reminded of the light that was my wife before i extinguished it.

We sleep in the same room. Two beds so far apart, i could have been in another room. She insists we keep up appearances for the children's sakes. I cannot bear the thought of life without her. My conscience mocks me. ' You should have thought of that before you succumbed like a goat in heat'
I have tried almost every way to win her back. To light up her eyes again. I have failed. Still i try. Flowers everyday. I find them in the bin when i get home. I have sent entreaties to plead my case. Everything has failed...

Nifemi comes home from school. He runs to me to be lifted and i lift him up effortlessly. He tells me about his school play. He plays one of the masquerades, he tells me. I need to buy him a get-up. For the first time in a long time i smile. It takes a while but i find a mask similar to that one Nifemi the elder wore to drive Ihuoma into my arms. I buy two masks. one for my son. One for me...

I call her home the next day. Its an emergency i say. I refuse to say more. I wait till she comes marching in. Ready to throttle me if any harm had come to her children and i refused to tell her over the phone. That's when she finds me at the dining table. The mask in my hands. I offer it to her. Tears fills her eyes. My wife remembers.

She turns around to leave. I watch her go. I have run out of words. I have failed again. I had hoped she would see beyond the concealment. The charade of manliness that has driven us farther than oceans could have. This disguise of deceit, of pain, of distrust, of adultery. I offered her the masquerade with the hope that she would see through it all to that boy that loved her from the first. I had hoped for the magic of Nifemi again...

Night came and she didn't come home.

I put the children to bed. And then sat on the couch, mask in hand, to wait... 

P.S To understand this, I'd refer you here
I hope its worth it...The picture is from the Calabar Carnival 2009

Song of the Day: John Legend - Everybody Knows

August 30, 2010


Do you remember that time at the cinema? It was a movie we had been looking forward to all year. We had to queue up  for tickets and some man just stepped in front of you. Poor man. He probably took a long look at the queue and saw a 5foot tall lady as the weakest link. He couldn't have been farther from the truth. I laughed so much that day as you gave him a piece of your mind. Shaking your finger in his face as you asked him if no one taught him any better. I laughed but i was afraid for you. He was six foot plus after all

You were so spontaneous, so full of energy, so self righteous. Few people approved of a woman who said what was on her mind. I loved every piece of that mind.

Every one in my family likes my new girlfriend. My friends too. She lets me hang out with the boys as much as i want and never complains. She isn't as needy as you were. With her I sometimes feel like an accessory. Something you have only because it looks good and not cause its necessary. With you, there was never anytime for much else. You were my every minute of my every day.

My new girl is always so impeccably dressed. It still makes me smile to think of how we went to a wedding in mathcing dungarees, how you loved your Adire and made bras out of it.
Everyone tells me she will make a perfect wife. They say our life together will be picture perfect. My favorite picture of you is in my t-shirt wearing no bra, no makeup, and showing the camera your middle finger. I took that picture. She doesn't take pictures expect she has make up on, and looks like a queen. 

I saw you at the bus stop yesterday. You were helping a  bunch of kids cross the road. I wanted to call out to you but she was in the car. I stopped the car to let you cross. Yes, that was me! She only commented on how ugly the kid's uniforms were.
I am by the bus stop again today. I am alone this time.I am hoping you show up to help the kids cross. I know you well enough to know you will stop to help them again and again. I don't have a plan but i brought my camera. I know you will probably curse at me. Possibly show me the middle finger. In fact am hoping on it. I will be back here everyday crossing every road, every bridge with you. Maybe someday you will reach out and hold my hand. Maybe someday you will let me hold your hand and we will cross the roads together.

P.S This was inspired by John Mayer's song, Comfortable...i borrowed a  bit from Michael Buble's Everything and The Script's Man Who can't be Moved provided the ending. Song of the day? Take your pick.

And the beautiful girl is my friend T...

August 27, 2010


Every Christmas, we go to the village. We go because Iya spends all year crying over the phone about how we never come to visit. Baba says families should be together during festivities. So we all go even though I always find him puttering around with Uncle Sesan's Staff and stones after a few days. It is clear that he misses his golf.

I miss all the coconut girls that will be coming home for the holidays.By the time, we make it back to the city, they are all gone, back to wherever they came from and leaving no trace behind they were even here. All I am left with are tales from my friends whose kind parents understand adolescent needs and let them spend Christmas in the city

One Christmas, Baba loads us into the car and we drive down to the village. Iya is grinning like the village drunk when we arrive. She calls out to me 'Akogun'.

'Iya, please don't call me that,' I say.

I am fourteen and missing out on coconut girls so I am not in the mood for fond names. I see the hurt in her eyes. I do not care. I still go ahead to hug her. I have no choice in that matter. Baba's eyes are worse than daggers placed in fire. I sulk throughout the rest of the day daydreaming about the girls with their 'oyinbo' accents and foreign scents.

A few days pass but I continue to sulk. Iya has had enough and makes me go to the river with her. I plead with Baba with my eyes  to speak up for me but he pretends not to notice. On our way, Iya asks me if i have a  girlfriend. I am stunned. I look back at her. She dares to ask me this. The reason why i am here in this remote village while my friends gallivant with coconut beauties in Surulere presumes to question my non-existent love life.. I look away and tell her i am too young. She laughs at me. 

It is like the ice between us is broken by that question. We start to talk and end up conversing our way to the river. Actually, Iya does most of the talking while I am enthralled by the tales she tells. Tales that sound impossible to my mind but must be true because so intensely does she tell them.

When we get to the river, she finds a place for us to sit. We eat the food she had brought along. We laugh. Most of all I get to know my grandaunt better. Or maybe, I am just reminded. Baba talks about how as a child I never left Iya's side if I could help it. I had forgotten what it was that drew me to her.

I ask her as we eat why she always calls me Akogun. She tells me of the warriors of old. It was a title reserved for great men. She hopes i will be great someday. I tell her i am no warrior. Iya tells me its the heart that makes the warrior not the skill. The sun is setting when Iya tells me her old bones need rest. She asks me to take a photograph of her with my new camera.I tell her to pose for me. 

She is sitting on a rock by the river  in her favorite clothes, sedate jewelry and that's when I noticed she dressed up for me. She walked all the way to the river so we could be alone even though she still limps from her last fall. She woke up early to make a picnic lunch so iIwouldn't be hungry.She took off her head tie that covers the almost bald gray head so I could sit comfortably. Through my new camera lens, I see old love.

'Akogun', she calls out to me. 'Hurry up. my buttock bones hurt'.

I laugh and I take her picture.

I will go ahead and become a great man. I will find me a 'coconut' beauty to marry. I will have my own children. I will show them the dog-eared photograph i have of Iya. I will try and show them the love in her bald head. The youth in her dancing eyes. The curve of her lips that is poised to call out my praise name. Her wrinkled skin that shines with hope for my future. They will sulk and hiss at me when I tell them its time to visit Iya. But like my father before me, I will ignore them knowing that someday they will see also what I see in my grandaunt. I trust Iya to show them.

August 26, 2010

Rant (1)

There's always this one person that knows how to get to you. Most likely there are more than one.And very likely they are  assholes and because they know they can make you hurt, they will.

We all have these kind of people in our lives. Sometimes by design, Mostly its by choice. We hang on because we are afraid of the unknown. The adage 'the devil you know is better than the angel you don't know' becomes our defense. What we forget is that no matter how bad the angel or how saintly the devil, you will always end up preferring the angel

Fortunately, sooner or later, hopefully its sooner,you realize that these assholes only have that power because you have given it to them. Like Esau you sell your birthright to peace of mind. Unlike Esau though, there is redemption for you. You can choose to show the wheedling needling bastards the door and keep that door shut.

Maybe someday the usurpers will see the light and receive transformations and become Israels. Mostly they won't. If they do, find it within yourself to open that door again. Be cautious, take as much time as possible before letting them back in. Its your life. Make no excuses for being happy. Make no excuses for getting rid of people that have nothing but ill to add to your life. Its your responsibility to make yourself happy.

Song of the day: The Script- End where i begin

August 25, 2010


So i heard Michael Bublé's Everything for the first time yesterday morning on radio. Yes, yes, i know am three years late!!! God bless Manny (Cool Fm) for playing the best songs ever every morning. I held very still and listened to every word. It was love at first sound. it has always been that way with me and Mr Bublé. We have serious chemistry. i downloaded it hurriedly and it has been on replay ever since

How does he do it? Time and time again. He churns out songs that leave me on a perpetual high. I have a feeling he lives in the inner recesses of my mind. He just takes all the things i want to say but never find the words or rhymes for and sings it perfectly.

I was still playing the song as i left work yesterday. M was coming back in. I dont even want to hazard where from. I stopped in front of him and put the phone to his ears. He broke out in smiles. And then he laughed and then he sang. Its been a long time since i got M to smile like that. My friend is stingy with his smiles. That made my day. Seeing M so happy.

I think to myself how universal music really is. It took a song by a man from millions of miles away, a different culture, different tastes, different make my friend smile today. It just shows how mighty we are if only we try.

 I bet Mr Bublé never knew he would make M smile yesterday or me so very upbeat. I bet he wrote that song trying to make a living or maybe to just get airtime on the radio. He definitely didnt know about moody M or crazy Kiah and i doubt he will ever know.

I haven't been able to write anything these past few days. Everything i do come up with i end up trashing or Nengak helps me trash. We all have something it is we want  to do. For some its singing, for others its dancing, helping people, giving ...for some like me its writing. Whatever it is, try not to underestimate it. A million people will tell you its crap but you never know whose day you are going to make shine... whose night you are going to light up

You're a carousel
You're a wishing well
And you light me up
When you ring my bell
You're a mystery
You're from outer space
You're every minute of my every day

Song of the day: DUH!!! :)

August 19, 2010

Masquerades (1)

I didn't want to but Nifemi said no one would find out. So i did. And we got caught. Nifemi started to cry. I didn't. Papa would have killed me if i cried before a beating. I was a big boy. Big boys don't cry. So Mr Amuche stripped us to our shorts and whipped us in front of everybody.
That was the first time i saw her. In my shorts. They were the white ones that had turned brown and had holes in them. While Amuche whipped us with all his fury, i forgot where i was and the pain, the jeers and everything else. I had eyes for only her. Her skin was the color of the anthills we played upon. She had a gap in her milky white teeth. Just like mine. Only mine was caused by the loss of my incisors. Hers was crafted by hands unseen. Later Nifemi asked me why i had not yelled out like he did. ' Because Amuche flogs like a woman' I said and winked. Nifemi eyed me and rubbed his bottom harder.

I was seven and in love. Alas, Amuche had eroded all hope of my ever winning her heart.

Everyday, i searched for her with my eyes. I stopped looking forward to the holidays because it meant my eyes would be starved of her. Whenever my eyes found her, my heart did ponponpon like Amuche's bicycle horn.

I told Nifemi. We made a plan. One day, as she walked home from school, an 'egwugwu' attacked her. The 'egwugwu' mask  looked similar to the one we used in school for the last play. She ran and squealed and i was there to save her. Less than 5-foot tall, with nothing but my books to protect her. Her knight in shining armor. She clung to me as i threw sand at my best friend. 'Egwugwu' took to his heels.

She became my girl friend. I saw less and less of Nifemi. Every time i did, she was always with me. He would smile at me and wink. I would smile back. I couldn't bring myself to wink. Keeping secrets are what makes best friends out of us. 

When we make love, she whispers my name and climaxes with 'egwugwu' on her lips. 22 years later and Nifemi still has my gratitude. I named our first son after him.

Song of the day: White Houses- Vanessa Carlton

August 13, 2010

Blog Fever..

I have absolutely nothing to write about today.

Its the weekend and these people from the office that obviously haven't had enough of me for the past five days want me back here tomorrow. God dey!!!

I am loving this blog thingy...Dols got me to change my template and background for the 3rd time. She is a hard woman to please. I hope no one has been bored to death yet by all the ramblings of my mind.
I even got someone to start blogging and am gradually finding friendship,laughter, on blog-ville.

Life is so beautiful right now. Yes,  LCC de find my trouble with all these talk of tolls. Yes, i still find myself finding it hard to let go and let God. And yes, i am still plenty angry... But i am here and i refuse to go down easy. I have found that the best way to do that is to find beauty even in the littlest things.(Dalai Lama would be proud)

This weekend ,the devil is a big fat black liar. I will read my books. I shall find strength to go shopping for cream shoes for UK's wedding. And  i will not binge on Sharwama...So help me God.

Have a great weekend and don't forget to ..breathe and love, love, love...

P.S thank you my followers (Ah, finally I'm becoming like Jesus)...kisses

Song of the Day: Jason Mraz - The Remedy

August 12, 2010

Just in Case

I see them flock around you. Svelte young beauties with bouncy pointed breasts. Board stomachs without scars. Thighs that are stretch mark free. Faces that are alien to the ravages of time. They flock around you despite the gray beard and the belly that i have nursed all these years. They are drawn by the wealth that is visible in your every nuance. In case you forget and somehow decide they are better than your wife of 27 years, remember all these.

In case you ever forget. And i know that it is possible that you will. We are human after all . Susceptible to amnesia - self-inflicted and sometimes through means we have no control over. Who knows if we shall escape that horror that is Alzheimer? Or the numerous accidents that can steal our memories and leave our pages blank? Memories are as vulnerable as our bodies. Who knows if tomorrow might bring seas of sorrow or despair, wealth or abundance to wash away all memories of all that i am to you?

In case you forget, the wrinkles on my face are from years of worrying about you those nights you stayed out late, those days you couldn't face the dawn because of pain and despair, those times you were grieved in your spirit and unwilling to face whatever life had to offer. In case you forget, the laugh lines near my lips are from the joy you brought me over the years, the laughter you drew from my lips with your clumsy advances to win my heart, the clowning you engaged in to elicit a smile from my face when all other efforts had failed.

In case you forget, the stretch marks are from the four children i have borne you. The scar across my stomach from the last one that you so wanted to be a girl. I suckled and nourished them from the bowels of milk nature gifted me with. That should explain the sagging breasts.

In case you forget, i make the best jollof rice.its all you ever eat. It is your best meal and years of cooking it has made me into a plump woman and no more the svelte girl you met on the streets of Akoka. The cook must taste the meal first after all. If salad had been your favorite meal, it would be another story altogether.

In case you forget, my eyes are dimmer and i wear glasses because i cooked for five long years with firewood. You couldn't afford better then. Now we have all the shiny stuff in the kitchen but back then i had the firewood, my hands, my lungs and my eyes to make your meals.

In case you forget, i love you. I have loved you for the best part of my life. I will never love again like this. Never like this.

Most of all,  in case you forgot, my father is still very good with his guns and my brother, the one that never liked you,is a major in the army now and he is acclaimed for being a sharp shooter.

Just in case you forget...

Song of the Day:  The Script- I 'm Yours

August 11, 2010

Black Suspenders

It was raining when he was born. It was only fitting it should rain when he went home. No, that can't be right. Home was with her. Not in that lonely cold gaping sore in the earth.

But the priest said he was going home and painted pictures of the wonderful welcome he would receive in heaven. The angels would sing a chorus. Trumpets would herald his homecoming and so on and so forth. What a load of crock. He was hers, by God, and he belonged here with her. She should have been the first to go. Then she could help the angels make his welcome home sweeter. Alas, they knew best or so the priest said over and over again.

It poured harder on the day she decided to give his things away.She kept his black suspenders.She remembered the phase of wearing them every and any where. She smoked secretly.Well, if keeping secrets meant Nana knowing. She couldn't bring herself to drink the wine she had bought to celebrate his homecoming..
She didn't notice anything anymore. Couldn't have, didn't even want to try. Nana handled life. She was content in the grave with her son.

If she noticed anything, it was the silence his departure brought. The emptiness that substituted his presence. Yes, he had lived thousand of miles away these past few years but he was always an email away. Not anymore. The absence was complete now. The silence so thick she could cut through it.

She feared if she began to notice anything else, it would mean the end. She would drown. They had murdered her first born son. The warrior that forced his way into her life after she had resigned herself to barrenness.He opened her womb and left it incapable of birthing another. As if he knew she possessed the ability to love only one. An Abiku they called him. An Angel he was. What did they know? Did they wake up at night to hear him gasping for air, refusing to give up his hold on life? Did they see his eyes brim with tears every time he woke up in  a hospital? His father left for another, for healthy and less demanding children. But even that was OK. They had each other.Against all odds, he blossomed. he fought death and won time and time again. Only to die on the roads his father was supposed to maintain. The irony of it all. The newspapers were in ecstasy . 'The son of the Minister of Works dies from a road accident'!  Headline after headline screamed. Once again, it was all about the father. Nobody mentioned that a light, her light  had left the world.

She buried her heart with him and went back home. She never cried. Day after day...she waited for death. She opened her arms to it, welcomed it. It eluded her. She implored it to take its satisfaction with her. Death ignored her pleas and sought other lucrative ventures.

Its been a year. She still works. Designing houses. Contracts are few and far between. Not many people appreciate the only colors she has to offer- black and gray. Its his anniversary in a few days. She needs pictures for his memorial. Another circus his father has planned. She only hears about it because he has no pictures of his first child. She will not share the ones she has with the world. Maybe she will find some random picture in her mail. In-box is 568. She starts to trash them. She almost deletes it too. Mail from a ghost. She hesitates a moment and opens it.

Nana is by the door in a heartbeat. Nana finds her on the floor. The sobs rack her small frame so hard. Nana does a double-take. It cannot be. This woman who wouldn't cry even during the worst of times. This mountain that stood head up high as she was paraded in the triviality they called a funeral. She who stared in defiance at the cameras and the 'mourners' who had never even met him. 'What is it? What happened eh?' Nana bellows

It takes  a while before she  can speak. They are cuddled up together. Two middle aged women who lost the center of their world. One his mother,the other his nanny. He left her a gift. There are pictures in the email she almost deleted. A little boy. He wears suspenders. His mother says he will wear nothing without suspenders.He is three. He has her smile. He has her name. Bami-dele, come home with me.

There are so many questions in her head. Why he never said anything? Why the woman had waited so long to let his people know she had borne their son? So many questions and yet no doubt.The boy wore suspenders after all.

Her heart is exhumed from the grave.She tells death she is no longer interested.There is something to live for. She goes shopping for new suspenders. 

Song of the Day: Morning After Dark-Timbaland :)

August 3, 2010

Rose Colored Glasses

My Grandma has the funniest glasses ever. They make her look like an owl. Sometimes i am not sure if she doesn't make them look owlish. There is no separating them.

Every time we come to visit, she hugs us and lifts us up. She doesn't lift Chike up anymore. He is all grown up now. Chike doesn't begrudge her. He thinks she smells like camphor anyways.

After all the hugs and the lifting ups, she sets us down. Lines us up and out comes the rose colored glasses. With it she peers closely at each face. She sits at her stool and peruses our faces. Like books she has read before and in which she hopes to find new meaning.

Grandma takes her time. I have always wondered what she searches for with such patience. I will ask her one day.
When she is done, she hugs us with renewed fervor. kisses and calls us pet names we blush at.

Grandma's rose colored glasses. Morning came and she couldn't find them. She wept and called me Chike. I am not Chike, i say. She says to me 'without my glasses you are all same to me, with them i see each of you for who you are'.

I searched hard for Grandma's glasses. Chike found them. She hugged him to her breast and tried to lift him up again. He didn't fuss. I think he missed Grandma for those few days when she called him Anwuli and Bingo.