January 27, 2013

The Walk

Today, we are taking a break from Solape. I wrote this on the bus, on my way to school one cold day. I have the best siblings in the world. They have known me longer than most people (aside my parents). I am so glad I get to walk through life, hand in hand with them.

‘Wait o, wait so Ugonne can walk with you to school, o nwam.’
‘Mama, I am not walking with her oh. I want to walk with my friends. She can walk by herself or with other children in nursery. After all, you are always saying she is a big girl now and I should treat her like one.’
‘Shut that your mouth before my hand finds it. Oho, you are now too big to walk her to school but if it is to help her finish her food , it will not be beyond you. If you know that it was another woman that carried you in her womb for 9 months, biko don’t wait for your sister you hear, and then come back and meet me in this house. Ewu!’

I grumbled and mumbled but my mother paid me no mind as she continued getting my little sister ready for school. Ugonne stuck out her tongue at me and it was all I could do not to give her a knock. It was her first day at school and away from the vigilant eye of my mother. She couldn’t stay still with all the excitement that was running through her 4 year old body.

‘I am not walking her home sha. I have Interhouse Sports practice after school o.’
‘You just do what I sent you. I will send Osugo’s niece to come and get her when school closes. Now make sure you hold onto her hand and look left and right before crossing any road. Are you hearing me, you this child?’

I stamped my foot in frustration. Not only did I have to walk the child to school, I also had to bear the ignominy of holding onto her hand. I was going to be the laughing stock of the whole middle school. It was part of the unspoken rules; it was so not cool to be seen with tots from the nursery school, sibling or no sibling.
But I also knew which battles to pick and I chose the one of facing my classmates rather than that of my mother.

I held onto Ugonne’s hand as she skipped happily beside me, not a care in the world. It was all I could do not to smack her and tell her to shut up as she asked question after question about what school was like. The jay birds were singing their morning music all around us. The liles along the road were abloom and their perfume filled our noses. I paid the world no mind. All  I could focus on was not getting caught red-handed, walking a baby to school. I could already hear the names and titles the episode would produce.

‘Mummy’s boy’
‘Mummy’s little helper’
‘Nanny Ike’

The fates however decided I had suffered enough for one morning and we didn't come across any of my class mates on our way.
I let go of Ugonne’s hand the moment we were safely across the last road.

‘Ike! Ike! Don’t leave me.’ I heard my sister call out but I was walking away as fast as my legs could carry me. We were too near the school gates for our good luck to continue.

I will never know what made me look back. Over the years, I have contemplated the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’. It is the only way I can explain why I looked back. That and some sudden worry that took ahold of my soul. Maybe she would try and go back home and get run down by  a car. Maybe she would collapse with fright. Something happened just before I entered those school gates and I am thankful. 

The sight that greeted me as I looked behind me broke my heart forever. She had not moved from the spot where I let go of her tiny hand. Her eyes were filled with unshed tears as she looked around her at the strange surroundings, trying to understand how to navigate the lonely world she had been thrust into. Mama had brought me to school on my own first day and waited till I was safely cocooned in my classroom. I remembered seeing her wipe away tiny tears with the edge of her wrapper as my teacher's hand replaced where hers had been. Yet here I was, in my selfishness, refusing to do same for her child.

My broken heart broke even further and filled with pride as she took the first step forward, a determined look on her face.

‘Hey, Aje butter, you better hurry into school before the principal decides you are a late comer and you have to cut grass.’ I heard my friend, Osaze say.

I turned around to find him behind me. He immediately caught sight of Ugonne and began to chuckle.
‘Ahhh, they made you walk that small rat to school abi?’ He teased.

Here was my chance to walk away from it all with my reputation uncorrupted. I could have lied and said my mother walked us both to school and had just left. There were so many ways I could have refuted Osaze's observation but I did not. 

‘She is not a small rat. She is my sister.’ I said as I walked back the way I had come, my hand outstretched.
Mama never said anything to me about it so I knew Ugonne had never told on me. But my mother must have sensed that something had changed because she never asked me to walk Ugonne to school again. Time passed and my sister forgave me. Time passed and my primary school reputation was restored. Time passed and we grew - me into the protective older brother, she into the little lady who bucked against the reins of my protectiveness.

She called me two months ago.

'Yo lil sis, this one that you have called me today. Rain will fall oh.'

She giggled and I forgot London's gloomy weather.

'Stop teasing, Ike. I want to ask you a favor.'
'Anything for you, baby girl.'
'Oh when will you stop teasing me so much. I am a grown woman now you know.'
'And soon to be married and someone else's treasure. Don't remind me. I hope that fiancé of yours is treating you nicely, if not eh, I have other suitable candidates.'
'Hmmm Ike, knowing your choice of friends, I will pass. Now let me ask my favor so you can get back to work.'

'Alright then, am listening.'

'The doctor say Papa shouldn't strain himself after the stroke and I and Mama thought maybe it would be easier for him if you walked me down the aisle instead ...'


The strains of wedding music fill the church and she is tugging at my suit sleeve so we can get a move on. Under the white veil, I know is the impish smile she has never outgrown. The child I walked reluctantly to school is somewhere in this full grown woman who is in such a hurry to take this walk.

I close my hand over hers and she stops fidgeting. The bridal train is waiting for us to get a move on but I want a moment with my sister. I squeeze her hand tighter and she squeezes right back. I lift her veil and she breaks my heart for the second time.

'Stop peeping, Ike.’ She scolds.

So brave, this one, so much more than that cowardly nine year old boy. I make good use of my second chance and hold my head up high as I take my sister’s hand and walk her down the aisle.

Song of the day: Maroon 5- One More Night

January 24, 2013

Diary Entries: Mom

I apologize...then again, this tardiness is al on you guys. If you gave me more ideas of what to do with this tale, I would be early. Lol...

Ok be nice people and provide me with some inspiration for Solape. Do it for Solape. Y'all know how much you love her.... :)

Mum showed up at my door 4 days ago. The woman thinks this is Africa where you can just show up unannounced.  Lucky for her, it was one of those days when I was too tired to look up directions to the nearest hotel.

She is here for two weeks. It feels like forever to me. She says she is here on business and I snigger. She is here on business alright; MY business!

She and Segun are as tight as thieves already. She never fails to remind me that she is directly responsible for my good fortune in finding this "jewel of man". 

Segun says to always take the half full glass approach so here goes - The woman cooks so I get to eat great food without giving away a substantial part of my monthly income to Brooklyn's chefs. She cleans so I get to come home to a comfortingly neat apartment as against all the clutter that constitutes my life. Most of all, her endless chatter wearies me and leaves me with no strength to dream sad dreams.

You can't help but love Segun and his relentless optimism. Any man who still wants to hang out with my mother after 4 days of her non stop chatter deserves to be raptured with the saints. A mansion in heaven would also be fitting. 

I haven't told him about having sex with Marcus. I tell myself that what matters is that I never do it again. It is one of the few reasons I am glad Mom is around. She helps keep ghouls (Marcus) at bay.

We all had dinner together last night and between my mother and Segun, I felt human for the first time in a long time. After Segun dropped us off, Mom and I had some wine and talked. She said Segun is in love with me. I asked how she knew.

'I just know. No man looks at a woman that way without being in love.' My mother answered

'Oh come on Mom! You are just seeing stuff because you want to.' I told her as I refilled my wine glass.

'And you aren't seeing anything because you don't want to.'

She was right so I just drank some more wine.

'I saw your father in Abuja the other day. He asked after you. He says the family is organizing a 10 year memorial for Maami and they would love to have you there. Something about you being her favorite grandchild.'

I said nothing. There was no need to and soon enough the silence drove my mother to bed. 

I want to tell her that I know all about Maami's memorial. I want to tell her about the emails that I never reply. I want to tell her about the gifts that come in the mail every Christmas and are signed "Love Dad". I want to tell her how the folks at Goodwill look at me crazy whenever I hand over the brand new wristwatches, gadgets, perfumes every other Christmas. I want to ask her how forgiveness can come to her so easily.

I have an appointment with Elsa tomorrow so she can repair the butchery she performed on my hair last week. I will ask her what kind of flowers say thank you best. 

I will ask her what kind of flowers say 'I love you, Mom' best.

Song of the day: Ed Sheeran- Fall

January 19, 2013

Diary Entries: Maami

And Solape is back...this chapter in the series is pure Kiah. Y'all know how I do...Guaranteed to wring tears from your stony hearts.

Ok, if you don't want to read more sad stuff next episode, kindly use the bloody comment box! 

Thank you! :)

Last night I dreamed of Maami.

It is always the same dream.

We were sitting in our favorite place, under the mango tree. Maami was singing one of those yoruba songs that always left me feeling sad and happy at the same time. I put my hands in her curly white hair, closed my eyes and let the smell of the shea butter she used as hair cream, fill my nostrils. Of all her grandchildren, I was the only one allowed such privileges.

'Ki le o le she, olorun mi, ki le o le she?'

'When will you teach me a new song Maami?' I asked her in the dream.
'As soon as you learn all the ones I have been teaching you. You with your americana accent.' She replied and we both laughed.

We were still laughing when my father strode into the compound. I knelt before him in the way that Maami had told me good children greeted older people.

Maami called him 'Bamidele' in greeting as he walked towards us and so he had to be my father even though when I looked up at him, it was Marcus's face that stared back at me.

'Go to your room.' Maami said to me, touching my right foot softly as she gauged her son's mood.
I went. 
'What is she still doing here, Maami? I thought you assured me she would be gone by this week? Why is that bastard still here, eh Maami?'

'Bamidele! Leave the child alone. It is bad enough you treat her like a leper and reject her so harshly. She might not be your child but she is my grandchild. You might not see any good in her but everytime I look into her eyes, I see the man you could have been.' 

'I am old Bamidele and have no quarrel with no man. Leave her alone Bamidele, leave...'

My bedclothes were soaked in sweat when I finally woke up. I called in sick to work and I haven't returned any of Segun's calls.

It is only a dream I keep telling myself, it is only a dream, a dream that is also a memory.

My heart bleeds for the little girl, standing in the hallway of her grandmother's house, listening to her father's rejection.
But lightning doesn't strike twice and she is safe from him and his hurt now.

Marcus came over last night and we had sex.
He left immediately after and I stood in the hallway of my apartment building for the longest time, listening to the rejection that echoed in his hasty goodbye.

Maybe lightning does strike twice afterall.

Song of the day: Ed Sheeran- Give me love

January 18, 2013

Kiah's Diary



This is Kiah, reporting from her bed,where she will be until all these snow melts away. 

So I decided to break away from Solape for a while and whisk away the heavy curtains that shield me from y'all's curious views. Well some of the heavy curtains..not all...

There! Can you see me better now? No? Well then, pay more attention.

I stumbled upon Ed Sheeran last night as I watched Bailey dance with her new husband. If you don't know who Bailey is, you need a life. Am just saying... You need to start watching Grey's Anatomy. There is no better show on TV and if you argue with me, I will find you and do bad things to you.

Back to Ed Sheeran. It has been a while since anyone made me feel this way. I am a writer (if i might say so myself) and most of the music that gets churned out today gets on my nerves. What with those really, really, badly written lyrics. Please don't get me started on Rihanna and the like. 

So yesterday when I heard 'Kiss me' on Greys', I thought to myself that it had to be one of those one time wonders or one of those old bands/musicians i never got lucky to stumble upon.

And then I found 'Small Bump'. And 'Wake me up', ' A Team' and the rest as they say, is history...

I kept screaming with pleasure (get your minds out of the gutter biko) as i listened to song after song. Nothing got done after I listened to Small Bump - all of my home work, cooking, laundry- nothing at all.

This is Kiah. I am a seeker. It takes me a while to settle, a while to find something that I really want. But when I do, oh boy, I am like a dog with a bone.  Ok maybe that isn't a good allegory. Let's just say, I wear glasses and know when I have found treasure. More importantly, I know what to do with it.

I am in love with this amazing man. He isn't red haired like Mr Sheeran but he plays the guitar, the violin, writes poetry that would make Homer proud, and makes me so happy that it should be a crime.

I can't get either of them out of my head. 

This and God's faithfulness is how I know this is going to be an amazing year. 

Give me love like her

'Cos lately I've been waking up alone
Paint splattered teardrops on my shirt
Told you I'd let them go
And that I'll fight my corner
Maybe tonight I'll call ya

P.s if you are confused by this, rest assured, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! :)

Song of the day: Ed Sheeran - Drunk

January 16, 2013

Diary Entries: Segun

Hello darlings... 

Our favorite little lady has been busy and she has you all to thank for your many suggestions. Keep the ideas coming and help Solape tell her story, one diary entry at a time. Please find below the second installment in her story. 

If you have any complaints, blame yourselves  This story is only as good as you make it. :)

For those of you i haven't wished Happy New Year, HAPPY NEW YEAR and God bless you!

My mother has finally lost all her marbles. Before this, I used to suspect that she was a couple short. Now, I am convinced that they have all rolled away, to some deep dark hole where only Smigol from Lords of the Ring will ever find them.

She won't stop calling. She won't stop sending me bbms. She won't stop with the text messaging either. She basically stalked me all day at work today, calling the office phone like a hundred times. 

I don't blame her though; me and my big mouth. If I hadn't admitted to her that maybe Segun was a tad different from all the other clowns she has sent my way, none of these would be happening.

My phone is ringing. 

Give me a break Mom!!!

She is already talking wedding colours and grandchildren. For heaven's sakes Ma, I only met the man 3 weeks ago. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!! This woman eh!

There, my battery light is blinking. If I were smarter, I would switch off the phone completely but Segun said he would call at 6. 


Where do I start from? There is a ridiculous smile on my face right now and I want to slap myself. I am too old for this teenage Twilight bull crap. 


Thinking about him feels so good. I think about him and everything else immediately feels good; even the crappy haircut Elsa gave me today.


3 weeks, 2 days and a couple of hours ago, I put on my Goodwill shirt, prepared my diatribe againist the rich and headed on a date with a stranger.

I walked into the restaurant where we had agreed to meet and he was already waiting. That was the first sign of trouble. Who gets to a date more than 30 minutes early? 

He went on to hand me the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. It is the middle of winter and the man finds me the rarest flowers. Esla would love him. 

Marcus used to buy me flowers when we first started out.

Sigh... Marcus...

Segun... He couldn't seem to take his eyes off my face for even one second so my Goodwill shirt was a failure. I caught him looking at my behind as I walked to the ladies though.

Which reminds me; we haven't had sex!

Moving on...

We talked politics, Nigeria, books, music, business, careers. Somehow I forgot my rehearsed diatribe about the world's 1 percent. Somehow I forgot to be obnoxious. Somehow I enjoyed every moment. 

He walked me home and lingered too long by the door. I could tell he wanted to kiss me but was nervous. I liked that. I am too accustomed to men who take what they want from me without bothering to find out what I want.

I have seen him every day since. I told him about the 11 dollars from Starbucks on our first date and he drove me there the very next morning. The lady that gave me too much change had tears in her eyes and said 'God bless you' like a thousand times. Maami would have approved.

We haven't had sex.

It bothers me but only a little. Oh what the heck! It bothers me A LOT! I keep worrying about it. Maybe he doesn't find me sexually attractive. It would only serve me right after that Goodwill shirt episode. Sigh...

Marcus hasn't called since Christmas.

Segun calls his grandmother 'Maami' too. I envy the stories he has of her. Unlike mine, he can refresh his memories with only a phone call, while i have lost my Maami forever. He shares them with me now and again but I change the topic. I don't need any more reminders of my 'Maami'. I have all that I need in my dreams

I can feel Spring in my bones. Esla mentioned seeing green in her garden this morning. 

It is about time some warmth showed up in my life.

Song of the day: M.I - Teaser

January 15, 2013

Happy New Year, Diary Entries and other stories...

*Clears Cobwebs*

Well hello there! Its been a minute! I went and upped to Lagos and couldn't access my blog. I promise that I missed you guys the same way you missed me. I can't wait to read up on everyone's blogposts.

Have I said 'Happy New Year' yet?

Happy New Year! 

This year has already begun to unravel for me and it has been a great start. I am so pumped about the rest of the year. God will do amazing things in all our lives-we just need to trust.

I wrote a lot while at home and was even going to do some kind of collaboration with some other writer until, ahem, they started giving me B.S. 
If I told you once, I told you a thousand times, Nigeria, Lagos inspires me to no end. I am never at a loss of stories to tell when I am in that place. Even here, the best stories I write are those that are my dreams of home. 

I miss home already. 

Below is the first chapter from Diary Entries, a series I am writing about a girl. About a girl...sigh

Please comment and let me know what you think it is about, maybe you can even tell me what it should be about and i can move stuff around. This is an experiment i am not willing to let go of so help me out people...use the comment box and help me tell this story .

Happy New Year again!!!

The lady at Starbucks gave me too much change. I didn't realize until I had gotten on the bus. 

Still, I should have gone back. It is what Maami would have expected. She always said the world would be a better place if everyone was a little more honest. This was right after she would tell me and my cousins how she expected us to make the world better. Such pressure that woman doled out on little kids. Lol...

But Maami was a long time ago. 

I went to work and told myself that it did not matter. Starbucks made too much money anyways to keel over because of a lousy 11 dollars. Besides, it was there own fault if they couldn't train their staff in simple maths.

Spring is almost here and I am glad. I am so tired the grayness of winter. I am a summer child though so it is that season that I eagerly await. Maybe this year the La Isla bikini I splurged on two winters ago will be finally okay to wear. Which reminds me, I better get back on that diet.

Summer always makes me think of Maami and those eternal summers of my childhood. I miss her so much but this is the story of my life; I get by without the people I really need and surround myself with people that I don't.

Marcus hasn't called since Christmas. 

Speaking of men, I have a date with some clown whose parents my mother is trying to win favors with. 

"Mum, you said the same thing about the two last guys you tried hooking me up with.''And I was right. You are just too set in your ways to give good Nigerian boys a chance. You keep dating all those good for nothing  boys with rasta hair and oversized clothes."

''Marcus isn't good for nothing, Mom. He is just having a rough patch. And it is dreadlocks not rasta. You know what, whatever Mom, you are just prejudiced against black american boys."

''Wo, let me be prejudiced. I still think you would really like this one. He is smart and very respectful oh. His parents are also very influential in government and this might lead to a couple of contracts.''

"Is it too late for you to have more daughters? I swear this carrot and donkey thing you do with me must be bad for business."

My mother had laughed that her throaty laughter that everyone says I inherited. It made me think of better times when she was happier, when we were all happier. It made me think of how warm Maami's house always was; how it had little to do with the humidity of Lagos and everything to do with the love she never seemed to run out of. 

Anyway, I let my mother have her way and give some boy called Segun my number. He called yesterday to fix a date for tonight. He must be lonely as hell to want to get this on so soon. If only he knows what he is getting himself into.

I will be wearing one of the shirts I got from Goodwill for occasions like this. It has the right amount of holes to irritate the hell outta any silver spooned kid. I will also be sure to go into one of my practiced speeches about the 1% and how they are to blame for the problems of the world. I will bring that snotty rich kid to his knees and run him outta town. Kid won't know what hit him.

One would think after all these time, my mother would know better: you can lead a horse to the river, but you can't make her drink nada.

I am off to get dressed. It is a going to be a long night for some unsuspecting young man.

I miss Maami... and warmth. Tomorrow, I will return the 11 dollars.

Song of the day: Tuface- Rainbow