Scattered Cities and Wedding Anniversaries

Ibadan is a very large and very scattered city. I honestly don’t understand why most big cities in Nigeria are unplanned. Maybe because its Nigeria and nothing is really planned. But it is somewhat different in Ibadan. Someone could wake up one day and decide to build his house by a cliff, because, well, its their great-grandfather’s cherished land. Others might erect structures facing another structure, because they think it’s the best place to do so. There were so many anomalies in the city of Ibadan, from the way the people spoke to the kinds of businesses found there.


This was what ran through Jumoke’s thoughts as she heard that her elder sister, Toke was going to settle in Ibadan right after getting married. In fact, Toke was to get married in the scattered city. Apparently, she had done the mandatory National Youth Service Corps there and had found love there too. In all her thoughts, Jumoke hoped that Toke’s husband was not going to be the kind of “Ibadan man” their mother had said were not any good. Jumoke had thought that Toke would receive some form of resistance and opposition in from her family in her decision to get married to her “Ibadan man”. She was however, shocked when the news of Toke’s engagement was received with joy and excitement. She was happy for her sister anyways, and happy that there was no resistance because, apparently, she has succeeded in fulfilling their mother’s demands for marriage for her.


So, when two years later, Jumoke had gone to visit Sister Toke to help care for her baby, and to escape from her mother’s whining, she met Jide in this same scattered city, and they started to fall for each other, she concluded that fate had something with the girls in the family and their affinity with these Ibadan men. In a few months later, she was married to the love of her life in a ceremony filled with pomp and pageantry, and one in which she felt her mother’s happiness was more than hers, the bride.


Jumoke began with a new life with her husband, Jide in Ibadan and started working in one of the top-tier restaurants as a cook. Life with Jide initially seemed okay as she had gotten used to his constant nagging and unending sexual demands, she had no choice over. The problem came when she had work to late at the restaurant a few times. The first time she came home late was a few days to Valentine. The restaurant she worked in had been receiving orders of planned surprises and there was so much work to do. She had come home exhausted, and she had met Jide by the kitchen door, waiting for her. She greeted him, hardly sparing him a glance and was walking in to retire to bed when she got pulled back by her hair. Startled, she asked, “what is the matter Jide?”


“The matter is that my wife is just getting home” he replied in a dangerously quiet voice


“And what is wrong with that?!” Jumoke was raising her voice now, she realised and she blamed it on the pain in her scalp. She remembered her mother telling her not to ever raise her voice at her husband
Slightly angered at the raise of her voice, Jide replied “oh, you want to shout at me and talk back at me now?”


Jumoke sighed and kept quiet. Jide took it as his cue to continue talking “Listen woman, I won’t have you addressing me that way, and I won’t have you entering this house when you like. The next time you come home this late again, you will sleep outside. Do you get me now?!”


Jumoke mumbled a reply and left the kitchen.


There were more late nights on Jumoke’s part and consequently, more days for her to not sleep in the house. The night she had come late after the first one, she had knocked and begged for Jide to open the door. He did not, and she had gone to a nearby church to sleep. More late nights, and church sleeping nights for her. On one occasion, Jide had come out one night to look for her at the door, and did not find her. The following morning when she returned, he questioned her about her whereabouts and had accused her thereafter, for going to the house of her male partners to sleep. When he didn’t get any response from her, he had gone ahead to heat the electric iron and marked her with it.

According to him, he had done it so she would no longer look attractive. Jumoke had cried so much that day and skipped work that day. She nursed the wound for weeks by herself and had worn long sleeved cloths to cover up the marks. But that was just one of the other many encounters. There were severe beatings on nights when she dared to refuse him sex, and three miscarriages in all, along with constant accusations that she had sacrificed her womb for beauty and as a result, she was childless.


In about two years of marriage, Jumoke had become a complete shadow of herself. There were days when she would run to Sister Toke’s house when it was unbearable, and her sister would send her bac, with the words “you should not leave your husband for anything”. Jide did not led her parents visit her, and the day Jumoke woe up with the confidence to call her mother and tell her everything, her mother had cried, not because of the ordeals she faced at Jide’s hand, but because Jumoke was trying to disgrace her and do the unthinkable- to leave her husband. So, Jumoke had to stay and live “in peace” with her husband.


It is Jumoke and Jide’s fifth year anniversary today. The air is filled with smoke from the firewood and the smell of burning jollof rice. Chairs are being arranged in front of the house, juju music is blaring from the speaker, and little kids are seen running around, with their mothers dealing with shouting at them not to get their party dress stained and at the same time, putting things in order for the party. An hour or so later, the party commences. The groom has been seated long ago, and the crowd is waiting for the highlight of the ceremony, the welcoming of the bride. The bride comes out, and@queenestherwriter it is a very beautiful lady with glistering eyes and a happy smile. It is not Jumoke, for Jumoke had long been buried over a year ago. It is Sola, Jide’s new wife. And Jide is very excited to see her.

P.S: this is someone’s true story, tweaked only slightly

I hope you get something from this story. Don’t forget to drop your thoughts!

All love💜

Corporate Queen

“I hate my job!” she said


“Oh, don’t get me started with that, your job isn’t even as stressful as mine” the other replied


“Babes, how can you say that? You know how bad my boss can be” the first speaker whined


“But you love your job. In fact, it’s what you have always wanted to do. And I don’t think your boss is that bad, she is a woman after all, so she should be more compassionate and understanding” her friend thoughtfully said


“That is exactly the problem! The fact that my boss is a woman! She makes us work our asses off like she is not supposed to be more understanding, she sets incredible guidelines that we just have to meet up with and one would just have to wonder if she has the time to take care of her family” she sighed exasperatedly


“Oh babe, don’t say that. It might not be exactly the way you put it” her friend spoke convincingly


“You said?” She raised her eyebrows and scrunched up her face. It is all that and more. I have not even told you of the way she bosses the men in the office around in a very disrespectful manner, and those ones would rather not say anything, because of course, she pays their salaries”


“Now, my dear, is it your job that’s stressing you or your boss? Which one now? Her friend said smirking


“See ehn, it is the both of them. The boss makes the job very much more stressful and….”


“Pick a side my sister”, her friend said, cutting her off


“Um, well, I really do not know now, I just know I’m stressed from work”


“You are unbelievable!”


Dear reader, I know the above conversation has left you thinking, or has made you conclude something. Or has even, provoked a certain line of thought in your minds. Now, I will help you guide those thoughts. The above conversation is one many of us are familiar with, and the issue being discussed is something that can be quite related to. The Corporate space around the world has seen more women coming in, and taking up leadership positions. There has also been an increase in the starting and growth of female owned business. Now, this is really a good thing because the idea that women should not be found is such spaces is phasing out. But newer misconceptions about the corporate world, the working space, factories and businesses are coming up. Some say things like “Oh, it’s good that more women are seen in these spaces but they should not take up leadership roles, they should not lead others”. Others say things like “You should not let these women be in leadership positions, they wouldn’t respect the men around as men, and they end up becoming too bossy”. There is more, but I hope you get the drift now.


The idea of equality is that the access to economic, political and social rights should be granted to anyone, irrespective of anything, and in this case, gender. So, when any one, a woman or man is aspiring for any position at all, and the person is qualified for such role on the basis of her/his abilities, things like gender should not be an obstacle. These obstacles, over time have been placed ahead many women who have worked hard and are striving to be where they want to be. It is very demeaning and bad for you to try to fit a woman into a particular picture that you have in your head, or whatever you think a woman should be, think, do or say. She wants to be a pilot, politician, executive director, leader, manager or whatever, let her. In some cases, people see a woman in certain fields or aspiring to be where they want to be, and they feel threatened? Why? How come? You need to change such thinking, dear. You really need to!


On the issue of female bosses and a certain notion about them, I think everyone somehow needs a purging of their minds, including these female leaders. Most women in key positions faced strong oppositions while coming up, and they constantly had to prove themselves to other people so many times before they were given a chance. So, when they become leaders, they increase their “proving game” to show others that they are capable of the position they are in. Sis, you really do not have to! You just have to do what is necessary as a leader in that position. Reduce the energy you use in trying to make people see how good you are because they have said something about you. Your normal work will tell any right-thinking person that you are great at your job. And no, ladies and gentlemen, female bosses are not harsh. They only want you to get the right things done in the right way, but you start picking up any slight change in her tone when she tells you to do something, and start having thoughts like, “she is a woman, she can’t talk to me that way’. Whop told you that sis/bro?? Get to work fast and stop saying things that do not make sense at all! Your boss heads you, and she wants to grow the organisation or her business so quit whining!


In essence, no woman owes you any form of “respect as a man” except the kind of respect that any human being should give another. In changing our minds and reorientating ourselves (note that I said ourselves which means I’m referring to men and woman, boys and girls), let us try to keep our minds open and not to be prejudiced against what any woman should do or not to do. No one is the Domestic Queen in your head or Corporate Queen, and let Corporate do just what they want to do without holding back.

It’s still March, the Women’s History Month!✨

Choose equality, choose love💜

Boots

Sand coloured boots.
They were my comfort and my nightmare. They brought peace to me and at the same time, came with a lot of troubles. I loved them and hated them. I found succour in them and despised them. How was this so?
When I told sand coloured boots how I felt about them, they only laughed and called me “imaginative little heart”

*****


When Corper Kene was brought into our class for the first time by Principal Waddell, my SS1 class went into a frenzy. He was handsome, in a very alluring way and he flashed his sparkling white teeth us, happy to be in our midst. The girls in my class swooned and swooned and the boys kept blank faces till they started grumbling. According to Principal Waddell, Corper Kene was to teach us Government in order for Mr. Friggs to concentrate on the Senior classes who would be preparing for exams. We were more than glad to be relieved of old Mr. Friggs. He had barely taught us twice and somehow, we had gotten used to his continuous spitting on our heads, while also stammering. So, imagine our joy when we knew that we were going to be having a younger teacher who was to be, the handsome Corper Kene.

It was one of those bad mornings for me. The bad mornings that preceded the “night activities”. I had woken up a few minutes late, and of course, my aunt, Aunty Evan didn’t spare me at all. I had prepared breakfast and lunch as usual and I had taken my three little cousins to school. So, when I reached the green gates of my school, the sun was fully out and I was ready for any punishment. I got into the school compound, and the prefects were very glad to have caught a “fish”. Uno, the Labour Prefect was already advancing towards me with her large cane. I knew I would be beaten thoroughly; the huge girl was known for the ability to give a person sores during caning. I was however happy that most of the junior students had gone to their classes so the embarrassment would be bearable for me. Just as Uno got to me and ordered me to kneel, Corper Kene appeared from the left where she was standing and said “I’d handle her Uno, don’t worry about it”. With one lingering look that showed anger at me, she walked off. I was very glad and turned to Corper Kene to thank him. With a stoic expression without looking at me, he said “keep kneeling, when everyone goes, you get up” and he walked away.
That incident was however the beginning of a good relationship with Corper Kene. It was like fate wanted us to bump into each other throughout that day, as twice, he saw me in the corridor and sent me on errands those times. When I returned from the second errand and reported to his office, he asked me my name, my class and where I lived before dismissing me. After that day, he would send people to my class to call me to his office, I would help him with errands and we would discuss about many things. Most of my break periods saw me in his office. I enjoyed talking to Corper Kene. He was caring, understanding and ready to listen. I even told him of my Aunt Evan and how I did not enjoy staying at her place because she gave me a lot of work to do. And then I told him of Aunt Evan’s husband and the things he had done to me and the things he had been making me do since I was 8. Together, we reported the case to his trusted police friend who teamed up with a non-governmental organisation to look into the case, so that I would get justice. To me, Corper Kene was the best friend and human I had ever met. Sometimes, he would even tease me about the first day he met me, and how I was literally shaking at the voice of Uno the Labour Prefect. On several weekends, when Aunt Evan and the kids went out, and her husband had gone to meet his mistress, Corper Kene would visit me, assist me in my home work and listen to my dreams. I even started getting accusations from my classmates that I was sleeping with him. I didn’t have any feeling that was untoward for Corper Kene, He was only my really trusted friend and companion. And I was sure he saw me that way too.

Several weeks after, while closing up Corper Kene’s office after school, when the school was almost empty, Corper Kene came up to me, held my shoulders and put his lips on mine. With shock and fear, I pushed him away forcefully and glared at him. I was about screaming out when he used his palm to cover my mouth. I saw his eyes filled with a certain desire and then he said in a husky tone “Rhoda, you have no idea how much I have wanted to do this, I am a man and I can not help myself. You are beautiful and your body is beautiful. I walk behind you most times to see your glorious bums from behind, I know you want this Rhoda, just let me do this.” And then, he brought his lips closer again. With renewed strength coming from the anger I felt at that point, I pushed him very strongly and he fell on his back. I ran to the door and was about running out when I felt his hands dragging my leg forcefully. I fell and landed on him. I struggled to get up but he was holding me so hard. The next thing I felt was his hands on my bum, rubbing it very sensually. I started crying, begging him to stop, not to go further. It was like something snapped in him that moment, his expression changed to a sober one and he let me go. I got up and adjusted my uniform, then walked out of his office.
The days following that day saw Corper Kene sending different parcels to me. In it were cards of “I am Sorry” and gifts. I usually tossed them far into my locker after reading them. I didn’t know what to think or how to feel. I was hurt, but I missed him. A week after the incident, I went to his office after school and met his head on his table. He looked up when I closed the door. He had emaciated in a few days and his eyes had become sunken. I felt bad. Without saying a word, he stood up from his table, came around and hugged me. I hugged him back. I had really missed him. In the next few days after that, we got back in track and the incident was never mentioned.

*****


Today is the day Corper Kene is leaving. His office has been cleared out and he is bidding the teachers and students farewell. I don’t look at him when he comes to me, I hate him so much and I will him too. He tries to hold my hands in the presence of my classmates, he tries to tell me sorry again, but I have blocked my ears in my mind. I hear my classmates snickering and urging me to take his hands and look at him. He eventually leaves after some time. The girls in my class start to call me names, saying I had bewitched Corper Kene and left him alone. But they do not know so much, in fact, they do not know anything. They don’t know that exactly three days after the first “incident”, Corper Kene had come to my house and we had talked till I slept off. They are not also aware that I woke up to Corper Kene touching and stroking the flesh between my legs while groping my breasts. The girls in my class are oblivious to the fact that I forgave Corper Kene for that, and so many times after. They do not also know that at 16, Corper Kene has made me a sex addict.
And they don’t know that now, I hate the boots, the sand coloured ones.

Today is International Women’s Day and the month is Women’s History Month, and I will be sharing stories of several women, who have faced several forms of abuse. I will also share stories of women who have encountered direct resistance and challenges in their lives. And also, I will share the stories of successful women.


Happy International Women’s Day!💜🎉

Suicide is an Option

While rejoicing in the thrills and possible opportunities 2021 might bring, we woke up one fine morning to news of a young man who took his life. We were shocked, shaken and stupefied. Our joy of walking into the new year was cut short and it felt like life had really started to dish out it’s usual misery. It did not stop at one. More followed.

And then, the internet, as usual, went into a frenzy of mental health talk and “speak to me, I’m always here” rants. It is usually the cycle after a quite unfortunate incident of unprecedented death. But really, that is where it starts and ends. We saw quite insensitive remarks too, and I think the one that caught me most was “suicide is not an option, why on earth would you kill yourself?”.

But I’m here to correct that and tell you that suicide is an option. Yes, it really is.

Suicide is an option because well, life could get really messy and messed up. Suicide is also an option because sometimes, you hit rock bottom and you don’t know how to get up. And when you eventually try to get up, you are knocked down again. Suicide is an option because everyone is only compassionate and kind when you are dead, or when you almost died. It is also an option because almost everyone is out there to add plenty mess to life’s mess. And most importantly, suicide is really an option because there’s this lot that think it’s not an option.

Now, don’t get me wrong yet. I am not encouraging suicide, or in any way, supporting it. I am only saying, there are many things that could lead to the consideration of ending your own life but you are not going to do that. You get to some situations or crossroads in life, and then you have so many options. You have the option of forging ahead or going back, kicking ass or ending it all. You pick one and deal with the consequences. Sometimes, the end result is something good, something miserable and even, death. Suicide is really an option but beautiful people, do not pick it!

I’m hardly a mental health enthusiast, but I guess I’m quite understanding of the behaviours and actions of people. It’s wrong when you say someone should not have committed suicide. One, because the person is already dead. And two, even though it’s a terrible reaction to things, many people don’t understand it yet. I think people should learn to be more understanding of people’s actions and experiences. Most importantly, jumping into conclusions is the fab now. And it should stop. Everyone is quick to “cancel” others based on the actions they took, not caring to know and understand what the real issue is. I’m grateful for the media and all, but I think its Cons outweigh its Pros. Many times, the media paints thing the way they want the public to see it and analyse it, and that has led to people forming really wrong opinions on certain issues, the use of derogatory words on people and just really terrible things.

I watched and waited for days after the news of the suicide for people to keep up their “be kind and compassionate” narrative. Nothing came. In fact, by that evening, people were quick to jump into their way of talking, assuming and yunno, savaging people. This should stop, really.

Suicide would always be an option, it would always be a choice, but you can choose to not pick it. You can choose to rise again, to walk through the sadness and terrible experience wholeheartedly with the hope of better days. It’s really sad when one just goes off like that, never to be seen again. I’m honestly trying to not sound motivational but I can hardly help it. There will be better days, and it won’t happen suddenly. It might take months, years but there will really be better days. These better days would not just come miraculously or magically, you have to put in the work. And staying down and depressed purposely won’t bring about what you are hoping for. It is going to be so trying and not easy, I must tell you. But please dears, do not go for the suicide option.

Lastly, render help when necessary and in anyway you can. Somehow, you are aware of people who really need some cheering up, loving up, care and encouragement around you. You might even need some of that yourself, but do not hesitate to give it to someone who needs lots of it. Above all, trust God!

Lots of love,

Queen Esther💜

Need to talk to someone, or read up about your mental health?

http://vheevian.home.blog is just the answer

Wrap me around, people

Hi there! I can literally hear you asking me right now, “where did you go”? and also telling me “we waited for your blog post!” Well, beautiful people who read this blog, I’m still here, and infact, ready to give you all so much more. I just went on a much needed break! One day, in stories, I’d narrate some of the things I did, saw, learnt and experienced on the break.(I promise!)

So, let’s see who(or what) is telling us to wrap them around. Well, it’s 2020. 2020, with all the good, bad, fine, beautiful, interesting, sad, terrible, ugly and unforgettable moments it brought is indeed telling us to wrap it around. Now, I’m not going to talk about the major events that happened this year, or events that also shaped our activities this year, I’m going to center more on the things that happened to you. Yes, you! The things which happened in our personal lives that we did not see on Twitter, or the ones that CNN did not do a report on(if you get it, though). Now, I know that for so many of us reading this, the year hardly went according to how we planned it to go. So what happened? Did it vex you so much, that you began to wonder what wrong you had done to the universe to scatter your plans this way? Or, did it create even more beautiful opportunities for you to achieve your dreams? Or did you sulk and cry the entire time, and then got up to kick several asses the way you wanted? Whichever one you did, or however way you reacted, I’m letting you know that it was okay doing what you did.

I also want you to know that despite all, you’re still alive. You might have even lost a loved one, or had a huge setback, or lost out on a big investment, or had several bitter experiences all in this year, but beautiful people, here you are, reading my beautiful story and relating to it. And trust me, it means a lot of things. It means there is hope, yeah a lot of hope and that, even if you have given up before, there are still a lot of things to hope for. Now, before I start going all “aspire to acquire” on you, I just want you to know that it’s a very big deal that you have life today, even though you might not be healthy and in the right state of mind, you’re alive and it’s a whole lot.

Moving on, you probably have a list of things you want to achieve in 2021 or not. If you do not have one, or if you are saying “I don’t want to have high expectations for the coming year because I don’t want to jinx it”, you can always make a plan anytime. There is no certain time you’re supposed to restrategise and write out your plans. It could be done anytime, the start of a year, the middle of a year or the end of a year. I think one mistake people make is to set high expectations when a new year is approaching and when they do not meet such expectations, they become discouraged and think they have failed. And most times, these goals are set because everyone around them is setting goals. I think 2020 gave us all some form of blows and knocks and while some people are already planning how to show 2021 pepper, others are still reeling from the impact of the events of this year and sulking. Whichever category you fall into, I’d like to tell you to wrap it all up.

In wrapping it all up, seek for progress. Because in whatever we are doing, the most important thing is to make progress. So, no matter how bad things might be now, there’s always a progressive side to it and there is always something it is trying to bring to fore. The way life is, good things don’t always come, bad things come too, including failures and setbacks. So, if you failed at something this year, it will be difficult for you to fail at that thing again. Because you have learnt and gone through the process. That means progress!

While also wrapping 2020 up, I think it’s important we take note of our relationships. Trust me, the people who you have around you determine so many things in your life, including your progress. Evaluate your relationships with people, state the basis(could be in your head) of what you stand to achieve and give out in being friends with a particular person. People usually make jokes of “cutting off” people at the start of a new year because it is the norm that people want a fresh start in the new year. So, they think some people are not good enough to be around with their new set goals. That shows the importance of our relationships.

And lastly my beautiful people, learn to be grateful. There are sooooo many things to be grateful for in our lives and around us. And, acknowledging the good things around us also help us to look at the several things we have been blessed with and takes our mind off worries.

The actual last thing now, don’t forget to reach for the stars!

P. S: I am supposed to write a major appreciation post to readers of this blog for the year but…

Anyhoo, thank you all!💜

Cheers to 2021!🥂

Races

Fairuza was chubby as a toddler, and as a young girl, that had hardly changed. She still possessed the extra flesh around her arms, her knees, her neck and still had chubby cheeks. Mama told her it was just a residue of “baby fat” which would go away soon, as soon as she became a mature woman. Fairuza couldn’t wait to be a mature woman, she was tired of the constant taunts by her schoolmates, when she finished races from home to school, last or got tired before the race ended.

So when that fateful night, she was jerked off from sleep roughly by Mama, alongside her three brothers, with smoke blinding her small eyes,threatening to choke her, and several shouts from all around her, then carried on Baba’s back who was running so fast, she didn’t know there were other races that would come, that she would have no chance to feel tired of. Baba was a big man and strong man, so Fairuza wasn’t scared of being thrown down. She was only scared of the burning houses on the street where all her memories where, her father’s large farm, and if her father’s two brothers who were carrying her brothers and Mama who wasn’t so strong trying to catch up with them.

She wasn’t expecting big and strong Baba to fall very roughly. Landing right on Baba’s back, she felt a scream escape her lips as she saw the blood gushing out of Baba’s back. He had been shot, and that was what led to the fall. Looking back, one of Baba’s younger brothers had been shot too, and was rolling on the floor with Faaiz, her immediate younger brother, trying to grip on the last moments of his life—he had been shot. Uncle Samad, who was still running but without her other brothers, picked her up forcefully from her father’s dying form, and began running faster. She could hear screams, shouts and she could see several lifeless bloodied bodies rolling in the sand, as Uncle Samad ran with her. Deciding not to focus so much on the chaos around her, Fairuza let her mind stray to her mother, her father, uncle and brothers, and if she would ever see them again.

After several moments of running nonstop , they got to somewhere that was somewhat peaceful and deserted. It was nighttime, so it seemed the occupants of that village were asleep. By this time, Uncle Samad had put her down, and they were walking farther into the other village. No words were exchanged between them, Fairuza just followed her Uncle as he walked tiredly. Moments passed and they were weak and worn out, from the running, walking and everything they had seen. Her Uncle stopped by a hit, sat down and beckoned on her to sit too. Few moments later, they both succumbed to the hands of sleep, with Fairuza’s head on her uncle’s shoulders.

Naturalising in Kungi village wasn’t so difficult for Fairuza and her Uncle Samad, as they were accepted so easily by the villagers and in some six months, Fairuza had not only naturalised, but had also made several friends at the village primary school when she now attended. Life had pretty returned to normal for her as she didn’t waste time in putting the loss of her family members behind her, and looked forward to better things. Her Uncle Samad soon became known in the village as one of the best carpenter and a food crop farmer. Nothing could go wrong again, Fairuza concluded in her 10-year-old mind.

Few years on, now becoming the “mature woman” she had been told someone much of, with big dreams of becoming a Professor, everything in Fairuza’s life seemed alright—except on thing. Her country, Nigeria. She often wondered how far she could go on dreaming of good things in a country filled with sadness, death, tears, blood, instability and everything bad. But she had strong hope, holding on to the strides people like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made.

Harvesting fresh and ripe tomatoes from her Uncle’s farm, was one of the things Fairuza liked best about going to the farm. With speed and effectiveness, she harvested the tomatoes, putting them in raffia sacks, before carefully placing them in the barns. They would be sold to farmers who had trucks going to other villages, towns and states even. Few moments later, she saw herds of cows passing through the pathway that divided her Uncle’s farm and another person’s. It was a normal occurrence so she dismissed it and went back to harvesting the tomatoes. She didn’t expect what happened next. In seconds, the cows had doubled and were plundering down crops, ready to be harvested on her Uncle’s farm. Horrified, she stood up and tried to stop the cows, flailing her arms and shouting. The cows were unresponsive and Fairuza was at loss on what next to do, as she watched crops being destroyed. The next thing that happened had her running and screaming in fear, the Fulanis who owned and controlled the cows were now shooting into the air, several gunshots were heard as she saw other people in nearby farms also taking to their heels.

Several thoughts were running through her mind as she ran. She had heard about farms being destroyed by herdsmen, but she had thought of it coming close in the least way. And here she was, running another race to survival. In distress, she ran, not knowing whether to run home to her Uncle or run to the opposite direction, where others were running to. She went with the latter, and kept running, ignoring the screams of those who had been hit by the herdsmen’s bullets. Consumed with the feeling of Déjà Vu, she put more strength in her legs and pushed herself to run more.

And then she felt it, the small piece of bullet that ended her race, and ended her dreams. It was over. She succumbed to the feeling of eternal rest, knowing that it was what she needed most.

💜

#EndSouthernKadunakillings

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June with the Teenth.

June 2020!

June 2020 was quite the eventful month, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way.

We were ushered into June 2020 with news of killings, deaths, riots, sexual violence, all amidst a global pandemic. It was hot mehn. On the midnight of June 1st, I stayed awake, hoping that somehow, things would just go back to normal suddenly. But it didn’t happen. I was sad, really. For me, June is probably my favourite month of the year, if there’s something like that. Apart from the fact that it’s my birth month, the sixth month of the year just brings some kind of life and optimism with it. So, imagine how I felt trying to take in one terrible news or the other, from the internet in June

Asides June, the past few months are times that I don’t think anyone would like to relieve, for obvious reasons. Turns out 2020 didn’t only have a pandemic to come with it, it had a lot more. Now, I’m going to resist the urge to talk about how bad things are, and talk about what I really want to share.

The whole world, in a rather shocking and terrible video, witnessed how a black man was killed by police officers towards the end of May. This event sparked a whole lot of protests and campaigns on the internet, and off the internet. Hash tags on all social media platforms, with streets lined with several protesters dominated the world for days. It is something I can’t forget. This time, it wasn’t just a trend, it was a real call to stop racism and racist activities in the United States of America, where the event took place, and other parts of the world. People defying social and physical distancing rules as a result of the pandemic made it even more serious. My sincere hope is that we get the results we protested for, and things actually get better.

Several days after the heat of the whole incident had reduced, the United States of America celebrated Juneteenth holiday, to commemorate the declaration of the end of slavery in America. And of course, there were several reactions to this too. My reaction was more of wonder, and surprise too. I had not heard of Juneteenth and what it stood for in my few years on this earth. But I guess the reason it was really celebrated, despite the pandemic, was because of the events that happened weeks earlier.

Now, if you don’t know this, I’ll be telling you now. The presence of Black Americans or African Americans in the United States of America is as a result of the Trans Atlantic slave trade that took place for centuries, many years ago. In the Trans Atlantic slave trade, Africans were forcefully taken from Africa and shipped off to America, which was a British Colony at that time, and to some other parts of Europe. The Africans taken were used as slaves and labourers on farms and in households.

However, the slaves became freed after many years of protest and resistance, and became naturalised into the American society. And since then, racism has been present. Although things are very much better now, there is still a long way to go in totally stamping out racism in the world.

Without digressing so much, I’ll be talking about Juneteenth, it’s origin, and what it stands for.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day, is a day set aside to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States of America. It’s first anniversary started in Texas, on June 19, 1866, hence the name Juneteenth(June and Nineteenth). Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed more than two years earlier, African Americans, especially in Texas, we’re just learning of it in 1865.

Importantly, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honouring the end of slavery in the United States of America. It was originally celebrated with prayer meetings and cookouts, alongside wearing new clothes to represent new found freedom. Within a few years, African Americans were celebrating it not only in Texas, but in other states, making it an annual tradition.

The colours red, white and blue which are colours associated with Juneteenth choice the American flag to symbolise that the enslaved people and their descendants were Americans.

Also, Juneteenth isn’t yet a federal holiday in the US, but it is recognised in about 47 states. On January 1st, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas, through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American legislator.

This year’s Juneteenth was marked with several protests to end police brutality on Black Americans, even in the light of the global pandemic.

So, “with these few points of mine, I hope I’ve been able to convince you, and not confuse you…”

Hehehe, trust me, that’s what I feel like saying after telling you about Juneteenth.

Actually, I really hope you know a few things about Juneteenth holiday now, and what it stands for, in our knowledge of undue racism and the suppression of black people, and I also hope that our knowledge helps us to know best to tackle racism and stamp him out.

I’ll really like to know what you think, so tell me a thing or two about Juneteenth holiday that you have read now, or known before!

P. S: one main reason I was interested in knowing about Juneteenth is that my birthday is 19th June!😁

Yes, I get it. Thank youuuuu💜

Dead Stars Shine?

Do stars even shine? Or twinkle?

If stars shine, it’s okay to tell someone “keep shining like the star you are”. And if they twinkle, our nursery rhyme, “Twinkle Twinkle little star” does make some sense yeah?

Anyways, whichever way you see it might be just fine. This ain’t a game of wits.

Now, on dead stars shining, how do the stars we look up to die in the first place? Then, shine after dying? I’ll tell you what I know.

Uwaila was told she’d shine. And she had believed it. She was convinced she would shine, and be famous. She had dreamt so much about shining. There were several bad times, many ugly times. But somehow, she knew she’d still shine. She didn’t just know how, but she somehow, put in deliberate actions to make her dreams come true. Entering into the University a little time after her age mates, was one of the things she considered as setbacks, but that didn’t deter her at all. She had a goal and she had planned to achieve it. She was resilient, diligent, and gave no room for laziness. Reading had become a hobby to her. Apart from it being an escape from the harsh realities of the society, it was something she had to do to achieve her goal.

The restrictions placed on movements and several major economic activities, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was bad for her at first. Who puts the world on hold to manifest itself, she had thought initially. Only Corona Virus, she had concluded. Disturbed by the increasing number of deaths caused by the pandemic at first, she had placed a kind of restriction on herself too. She strictly avoided public places, and spent most of her time indoors. Somehow, she had felt quite useless staying at home doing nothing. She had gone too far away from her beloved books, she needed to get back to them. Planning and strategising how best to make use of the lock down was no big deal for her. In few hours, she had drawn up a working timetable, which she would use to effectively coordinate her activities, till the lock down ended. Her plan wasn’t so hard to follow— she would start the week by reading for about 6 hours in the day, rest, eat, attend online services, then leave her apartment by 8pm and go to the church to read. The church was her safe abode, it shielded her from all the noise that came from the activities of the other occupants of the lodge she lived in. She was content with going to the church, relaxing on the soft leather seats there, and soaking up knowledge.

So when one night while reading, she heard people trying to come into the church, she wasn’t bothered. With her back faced to the entrance of the church, she concluded it was Pius, the security guard of the church, who sometimes, went round the church, doing his duty, and coming back to sit in the church for a while. Most times, he left the church key with her, he trusted her so much.

Without turning, she said, “Good evening Mr Pius”

Receiving no answer, she continued “I didn’t see you yesterday, is everything okay?”

When she didn’t still get a response from Pius, she decided to turn to see why he wasn’t responding, he was probably really sleepy. Before she could fully turn to look at the supposed security guard, a huge slap was thrown across her face, causing her to fall from the chair she was reading on. Stunned and afraid already, she looked up, and her eyes met that of George, a friend who was a member of the church like her too.

“George, what’s happening?” she noticed he was with someone else, a huge man, with an expression on his face that seemed unsettled.

The response she got was a kick on her stomach, with more slaps blinding her. Before she could process what was going on, her jeans had been pulled down and her sweater, torn. She realised what was about to happen, and started pleading with the men, with tears in her eyes.

“Please, don’t do this. Please don’t. George, what is the matter? Please talk to your friend, he can’t do this to me”

The one she called George was looking away by this time, he didn’t meet her eyes, and the other man, whose demeanour was gruff, was sitting on her now, ready to pounce on her.

In annoyance, the huge man reached for the fire extinguisher hanging just above them, and hit Uwa’s head with the bottom. She blacked out almost immediately. He was satisfied with what he did, there would be no resistance in carrying out his act. After several forceful thrusts into her, he gave way for George to do just as he had done. When they were both done, they arranged their clothes, and were about fleeing, till George realised something.

“Wait Yaw! She could wake up, she’s just unconscious, what do we do?”

“You sure say she never die?” the other man replied rather impatiently

“She’s alive”

With that, he brought out a pen knife from his back pocket, and cut her body in several places, leaving blood to gush out of the cuts.

And they hurriedly left the church, leaving Uwa unconscious, and fighting for her life.

It was the following morning, that the Pastor of the church, who had come to get a few things in the church, saw Uwa’s almost lifeless body, raised alarm and she was taken to the hospital.

In a few days, after several battles with life and living, Uwa died.

A star had gone! She was no more! Who would shine for her? Wasn’t she supposed to shine?

But Uwa wasn’t done yet, she was still going to be famous, even in death.

Early the following Sunday morning, Uwa was everywhere, she had become famous! She was seen smiling and staring at the faces of many Nigerians! She was dead, but was still shining! She was probably happy then, fulfilled even, her dreams had come true, and in no small way.

But at what cost?

Uwa’s story is the story of many Nigerian girls and women, whose life were cut short in their prime, to satisfy the evil cravings of beasts posing as humans.

In a rather too quick succession, Barakat and Azeezat had been made to shine too, in a way they never thought they would.

What more is there to say? Uwa, Barakat and Azeezat represent millions of other young girls, whose course of life changed, due to sexual violence and various forms of sexual assaults.

The past week hasn’t been too rosy for many Nigerians women, who have been forced to recount and rehash several accounts of similar woes meted out to them.

We have cried, mourned our dead stars, argued, trended hash tags, learnt and understood various things since Uwa died, and we have come up with one thing— action.

Action to say that we will no longer keep quiet on issues surrounding rape and sexual assault, action to change our mindset and know what to when we are close to encountering any form of sexual assault, and action to make Uwa, Barakat and Azeezat shine their beautiful yet, dead light in the future. We won’t be threatened or shut up again, neither will we be intimidated or coerced, we’ll stand up, in the little way we can, for our beautiful sisters when the need arises.

Lastly, rape laws in Nigeria supports the acts most times, the technicalities surrounding the proving of a rape case is extremely hard, and this has made justice on rapists almost impossible. With this notion, many rapists go about, perpetrating their evil act, because they feel nothing happens. But that’s going to be changing soon. We’re going to influence the decisions of our policy makers in the little way we can. We have drawn their attention towards this vice, and many of them are interested already, and are seeking for things to be done. So, we’re going to demand for what we really want.

There is this online platform— http://www.shineyoureye.org which let’s you learn about your elected representatives, follow their activities and engage them. Now, how are you going to be engaging them?

First, you could write a letter to request an explanation concerning decisions or opinions taken with respect to government policies, a bill under consideration or an already passed law or action of the government. In this case, it is a law that needs to be reviewed and ratified.

You could also, request a dialogue with the representatives, stating time, date and venue. This can only be done between the legislator and members of his/her constituency.

A constituency could also commission a team to highlight and submit a position paper on an issue or action which may affect the constituency. The legislator can be called on to take adequate actions to safeguard the constituency.

And very importantly, the legislator’s response and progress can be tracked and monitored on this platform. The platform also provides information on each elected official which includes educational background, policy interests, phone numbers and email addresses. So, the representatives can be reached easily through this platform.

There are still other ways to influence our decision making process, but these are the few I am rightly sure of. With these, in our little way, we can help Uwa, Barakat and Azeezat shine brightly in very beautiful ways.

NO TO RAPE

NO TO SEXUAL ASSAULTS

JUSTICE FOR UWA

JUSTICE FOR BARAKAT

JUSTICE FOR AZEEZAT

JUSTICE FOR ALL

💜💜

The bad, the good and the fiiine!

“Doctor, Doctor, Tofunmi come and see this aunty is a Doctor”, she said with her tiny mouth that was missing several teeth.

“Oh, it’s true o, the aunty is really a Doctor!” this other one said to be Tofunmi said very excitedly, like she had seen all she ever wished in her few years on this earth. She called out to their other friend, who was pushing his toy car in the sand few distances away from them.

“Ola!! Come and see Doctor!” Hearing that, the Ola boy left his beloved car that once took his attention, and came to see the “Doctor”.

The first girl who talked, whose name I didn’t get, and who was apparently bolder than her other friends asked me “Aunty, are you a Doctor?”

If I was not with children, I would have laughed my head off. But as I was with children who looked like they were barely above six years, I smiled very warmly and simply answered, “No, I’m not a Doctor”

Now, while you might have created a scenario in your head with the above conversation, let me tell you what exactly happened. Few days back, I was running an errand for my Dad, and I had to leave the house with rubber gloves–my Mum had made it a compulsory thing since, you know, this pandemic became quite spread in Nigeria. And then, just coming out of my house, I came across these children who were playing, and the conversation above happened.

Apparently, these children were quite oblivious of what was going on in the world, and in their beloved country. A pandemic had struck—and they had little or no idea about it. No one had told them, their guardians and parents hadn’t explained to them why they had to stay away from school. They just had to, and of course, they were glad to play at home all day.

Days later, I came out with my legendary “Doctor” gloves again, and this time, I met more children playing outside. They screamed in delight and called me “Doctor” again, even after telling some of them, days earlier, that I was no Doctor. I took that time to do the needful. I called them, and they gathered round me, with the promise of a sweet for all of them, for interrupting their play time. In the most simplest terms I could think of, I explained to them why they were sent home, and I told them about this disease that was ravaging the whole world. I explained the simplest preventive measure to them, which was washing their hands all the time, and avoiding contacts with almost everybody. They listened captivatingly, and they had so many questions after.

I remember one of them had asked, “so we should not play with our friends again?”

When I laughed and replied that they wouldn’t be able to play with their friends anymore, all of them exclaimed and their faces changed😂. I however said, that their play time will be less now, and tried to convince them that if they would be playing with their friends, they would have to wash their hands after. Without asking them, they started saying, “aunty, don’t worry, we’ll wash our hands well, we promise”. Like they knew what promises meant!

It was a beautiful time with them, and all of them went home, eager to show their parents their prize sweet and tell them of the new found information that “Doctor Aunty” had told them.

Yeahhhh, so that is the bad. The bad of what exactly? The bad of corona virus!!😔 Yes, it’s a bad thing that many people are still quite ignorant of the pandemic, and take no preventive measures. Many people, adults alike, still talk about the virus quite abstractly, like its something that’s happening in a movie they’re watching. Meanwhile, it’s around us, yes it is. And that is why they were not able to tell their children about it, and encourage them to practice simple hygiene, that could prevent the spread. And trust me, the ignorance is real bad. A whole lot of people say things like, “the virus can’t come here”, or “it’s an oyinbo disease, e no fit reach us”. It’s that bad!! And you know, this ignorance is also aiding the spread.

So please, to everyone reading this, take precautionary and preventive measures to stop the spread of this virus and let life get back to normal. Inform people around you too, engage people who are quite illetrate in discussions concerning what they think about the pandemic, and you’ll realise that you have a whole lot of myths to debunk concerning the virus.

Hopefully, the bad will turn to good, and people will be more informed on what to do and what not to do, and hopefully still, this pandemic will end. The little you do will help go a long way in preventing the spread of corona virus.

And yeahhhh, the good. Yes, there’s a good. The good in this corona virus, despite the thousands of deaths it has caused, is resttttt. Yes, rest. Rest because everyone is home, and most major cities of the world are on lock down. And it’s very relieving that me, and so many other people can get their so much desired rest. Okay, really, not necessarily rest and sleep in that sense. What I mean is that it’s like whether convenient or not, everyone is on a forced rest. And trust me, a whole lot of people needed it. People needed to just slow down in their pursuit of, you know, 2020 goals that was heading downwards anyway.

Yeah, I know so many people who are sitting comfortably on this table. So many people entered 2020 with “decade goals” and many developmental aims they would like to achieve this year. Don’t get me wrong, it is really really great to make beautiful goals and work towards them. But the thing is, many of us didn’t even know where we were headed. We just liked the fast paced level we were going at, and thought we were doing everything right. Well, we might have and we might have not. But what matters now is that we have the time to start again, to restrategise, to point out mistakes that would have been disastrous, to make more realistic goals and really, to rest from that fast paced level.

So yeah, that is the good. And whether you’re up to something productive or not this compulsory holiday, it doesn’t matter. Don’t feel pressured to achieve things that are quite unrealistic, because everyone around you is doing something. Don’t feel pressured to “make money while asleep”, or how do those motivators say it again? If you really just want to sleep and rest, and be on the internet all through, my dear, do it. You’ll be fine, too.

And so, the fiiine. The word “fine” is elongated because, well, it is a really fine thing. The fine thing that corona virus/quarantine/lock down/staying at home brought about is building relationships and creating memories. Now, by this, I’m referring to the family lifestyle. Before this, family members hardly had time to each other. Everyone was either on the move, or away. And the little holidays that came at short intervals were exclusively for rest. Now, there’s more than ample time to actually bond, create memories and build stronger relationships between family members. I was talking to a friend few days ago, and she told me that the little time her family has spent at home as a result of this lock down, her parents have been able to fix their strained relationship and everyone is happy again. And, I know there are several other cases like that.

Family is everything really, and most times, they would be there for you in your most difficult times. So, if there’s anything you need to do with your family, I think this is the best time. Learn to live quite peaceably with other members of your family, and forgive one another for any past occurrence, and just move ahead. To me, this is like the best thing about this virus.

Importantly my dears, very importantly;

Wash your hands frequently, please do, with soap and running water.

Avoid crowded areas, you’re supposed to stay at home anyway.

Disinfect commonly touched areas at home like door knobs, tables and surfaces in general.

Practice simple hygiene

Andddd, don’t touch your face!! I know it’s quite difficult, but please, don’t!

And yeahhhh, stay safe. I hope to meet you soon❤

Queen Esther💜

Laweh Blessing❤(the first person to be featured on this blog)

Woman, move!

“You can be everything in this world, Made, but don’t be a powerless woman” The first time my Dad had said that to me, was when the only thing I could think of was how I would cheat Makun of the next smoked gizzard Dad would bring home, with sand-stained gowns and a perfect 7 year old mind.


My Dad had always told me I was stronger than the average girl. I didn’t understand what he meant by “the average girl”, but my innocent mind told me it wasn’t something so good. My Mum, on the other hand, thought I was being unnecessarily pumped up with nothingness by my Dad, who was supposed to “train me like a girl” in her words. I remember asking her once being “trained like a girl” meant. She screamed and began to rave about how a girl should not ask questions like I was asking her, how I was supposed to keep mute and not be heard at all. She said submissiveness was the perfect attribute of a to-be woman.

But things were just so different with my Dad. He never told me so much about submissiveness or domination, or perfect attributes of to-be women. He only told me to be strong, and fearless and very powerful, and he sang his quote in my ears almost every time.

So, I think that was why the first time I met Dele, who had mistakenly pushed me from behind in the crowd of people trying to beat the rush hour traffic that Friday evening, when trying to get into one of those yellow buses, I looked him straight in the eyes and told him, “I am a very powerful woman, you can’t just push me like that!” Surprised and amused, he apologised while trying to hold in his laughter. I glared at him and he burst out laughing, earning stares from other passengers in the cramped bus.

That marked the beginning of something new. Dele was everything, or he felt like everything. He was “goals” for every lady around, and he became mine. Or rather, I became his. Whichever way, we had something beautiful and real going on. He picked me up from work everyday, as soon as he got his car months after our first meeting, and he dropped me off too. He basically knew all my friends, and all my movements too. So when about a year later after we first met, he popped the question, I gladly agreed.

Ohh, my father loved him. And my mother, adored him and sang his praises every time. She had told me one evening, when we were preparing dinner together, as we were hosting Dele, that she had been so scared I would never get a man, as I behaved like a man too! I laughed and whined, and told her that there were a few men before Dele that she did not know of. Of course, she didn’t believe me.

But Dele might not have been the perfect guy, he had flaws I called beautiful. One of the flaws was getting angry and hitting things, spoiling them in the process. And yes, one of his favourite things was me, Made. No, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t a bad thing, it wasn’t a toxic thing like many think, it was only a flaw. I had flaws too, and Dele took them quite well too without complaining.

So what’s the crime in getting angry and hitting things around? Everyone has their own levels of anger.

Our wedding was a fairytale I didn’t want to wake up from. But I had to anyway. And when Fiyinfoluwa came two years later, there was so much joy in our home. The first few months after Fiyinfoluwa was born, Dele treated me like a queen. Oh, I felt love like never before. He assisted so much in taking care of the baby especially when my Mum was around, that I tagged him “Father of the year” that year. And you think I would complain about his very occasional anger? No, definitely not. That was only a minute issue that could be overlooked.

Fiyin became our only child, after several years of trying to give birth to another. We accepted our fate in good faith and continued life–not quite happily though.

I still remember the day I have termed as the “D-day” like it happened minutes ago. Fiyin had just left for boarding school, the week earlier and most times, the house felt empty for me. I had just gotten another job, as I had resigned from my initial place of work when I had Fiyin. So since Fiyin was hardly around, the best thing to do was to occupy my mind. That Wednesday, I had come back from work to meet Dele sprawled out on the couch in the parlour. It was surprising to see him home before me(I knew he kept late nights with other women), and even more surprising to see him on the couch looking really downcast. I practically ran to where he was and touched him, asking him if everything was okay. He didn’t move, he just made groaning sounds and ignored me. Not wanting to make him angry, I stood up and started walking towards the room. I was in the bathroom, taking a shower, when I heard the door open.

“Dele, is that you?” I asked with my eyes closed.

I wasn’t ready for the response that followed. “You bit**, who did you expect? One of those your ugly small boys you frolic around with? Or is the pot-bellied grey-haired ones? Tell me, which one of them were you expecting??”

At this point, he was already shouting and I just kept mute, prepared for the slaps and blows that would come next. But that was not the case, the next thing I saw was my head on the bathroom floor. He had pushed me down and my head had hit the tiled floor hard. I winced in pain and tried to get up, all the while not saying anything.

“Won’t you say something, you h*e?!” he said as he kicked my naked body.

I didn’t still utter a word, I really didn’t know how best to respond to his accusations and his anger. It went on for long, the beatings, the slaps, the kicks. He screamed and shouted that he had lost his job because of my cheating habit. Apparently, he had been sacked that day, and was taking it all on me. I don’t know what happened next, but I kept slipping in and out of a trance, and every time I came back, I felt a belt whip across my already mutilated body.

I slipped into another trance, and in this trance, I stopped feeling all the pain. The next time I woke up was a week later, with my Mum and Fiyin’s face over me. I didn’t try to stand up because the pain I felt was too overwhelming. I could only cry at that point, more like she’d tears because no sound came out. My Mum and daughter rallied round me and we cried together. I was relieved to be alive, and to see my favourite people by my side.

I wouldn’t recount the aftermath of everything that happened in details, but eight months later, I had ceased to be a married woman. I had decided I was going to be the powerful woman my Dad had so much talked about, and so I had left my marriage. The insults came though, from close friends to family members and colleagues. I was too weak and irresponsible to keep a marriage, they said. But within, I knew I had made the best decision, and that I wasn’t a powerless woman.

I was free!!

Yeahhhh guyyys, don’t forget to comment your beautiful thoughts and like the post too.

Queen💜

PS: The above story is based on a true life story.

The End, yet?

I hated his guts, but I liked him too. No, I loved him. He was my father, and what child wouldn’t love her father? A father who spoilt her with numerous gifts almost every child coveted and wanted.

I loved him, even though I had seen him hit my mother till she fainted. It wasn’t once, or even twice. If mother fainted from father’s wrath, she had survived. Survived to a large extent. Last month, she had lost another baby. She had told me that was my little brother. And we already named him– Chimeremeze. It means God has made me King. Yes, my mother said Chimeremeze would come and become the King of our house, she said he would even be King over my father. I was excited! It meant a whole lot to us. There would be no more days of me going to see Mum in the hospital from school. And there would also not be days when Aunty Amarachi would come to pick me up from school and tell me in really hushed tones, “pray for your parents, they’re both insane”.

I was 16, alone in America, and in my final year in High School when I came back to the big home I shared with no one, and my phone rang immediately I landed on my couch. It was my mother. Surprised, I picked the call and spoke,
“Hello Mum, how are you? Long time no call. You didn’t even call me, and Ohh, I didn’t call you too, I’m sorry. Final year in High School over here is a lot of drama. And yes, I’ll be going to prom, there’s even a cute Jamaican guy who—”

“Ohh Nne, I’m getting a divorce” my mother cut off my rants with the simple statement.

I swallowed. “Mother? Are you okay?”

“Perfectly alright, Ify” she said and even laughed. A laughter that seemed happy.

Okay. I had been expecting this since I was about 8 years old, waited for the time my mother would say “no” to my father. Say no and never turn back. Say no to him and say yes to us. But at this moment, I suddenly became nervous. Maybe not nervous, but quite expectant and a bit scared too, of what would happen next.


Sensing my actual nervousness in my voice, my mother calmed me down with soothing words, and told me not to worry, that she had it all figured out and was handling it quite well. She said she had been able to build a 3 bedroom house in Surulere. Surulere wasn’t so bad, she said when I had questioned. They had high brow areas too, not like Ikoyi, but she told me we would do just fine. She talked about a new future for the two of us, just us, no father. It would be the end of one life and the beginning of another for us. And of course, I trusted mother.

*****

I don’t know if the Judge knew about us, and knew all the times my father had beaten my mother, to almost death. Because he fixed the hearing and trial date on August 20th, the same day my mother lost her fifth baby after Papa had almost maimed her. It was also the day my mother had tried to fight back, fight back for her child with blood trickling down her legs. I couldn’t forget that day. I witnessed everything, and I remember Papa flinging my mother’s almost unconscious body over his shoulders, running out of the house, and throwing her body in to the backseat of the Hilux. That was the time too, that I was literally shipped off to America.

The Judge didn’t wear a glasses, and my best friend, Mmesoma, had whispered to me at that point, that she thought the Judge was fake because he had no glasses on.

The hearing was to start at 9:00am, and my Mum had driven Mmesoma and I that morning. She drove so fast that we arrived at the court few minutes past 7, to see the irritable scowls on the security guard’s face. And I thought she was so eager to drive to her freedom after all these years. We however got in, and sat at the end of the first row, all three of us, anticipating “the end”.

It was few minutes past 10:00am, and we were still sorted, waiting for my father’s huge figure to show up. The Judge was getting impatient, and didn’t hesitate to show it. Several times, he called on Mr. Taofeek, my Dad’s lawyer, who at that point was already sweating, to ask about the whereabouts of his clent– my father.

If my mother was nervous, or apprehensive, she didn’t show it, admist the rising murmurs from other people who had come to witness the hearing. She was bold, sure even, that Papa would show up, and when I shot her a questioning look, she held my hands and said “Nne, don’t worry about anything, your father will soon be here”. I accepted her reassurance and leaned back into the foamy seat.

“He’s coming very soon”, I told Mmesoma as she rest her head on my shoulder. Sleep seemed to be the only thing she found comfort in.

It was three days later, after we had gone home quite shamefully on the day of the hearing after waiting till evening, and already concluded that perhaps, Papa had gone out of our lives for good, leaving no trace, that we heard that Papa had been found dead in his house, in his study. He had died the day before the hearing, according to autopsy, and was found dead by Mama Ene, our housekeeper since when I was a child, who had come to take the last of her things away from Papa’s house, she had said she couldn’t work there without Mama.

According to her, while going through the rooms once again, she passed Papa’s study, and after perceiving a foul odour, had opened the door to Papa’s lifeless, already smelly body and in fear, she had alerted the neighbours who in turn called the Police.

We were still very much unsettled about the news when we heard forceful knocking on the door of our new apartment in Surulere. My mother insisted on opening the door and I followed her closely behind. I don’t think I heard what the Police had said as soon as the door was opened, but I remembered Mama’s hands being handcuffed and her voice, so low and full of fear. She was saying, “I did it Nne, I didn’t know he would die, it was just a little poison in his coffee, just a little, very little…” her voice trailed off as she was dragged into the police van, and her voice broke into sobs, painful sobs, if you might think.

It was the really the end of father, ohh and of us too? Or maybe not. It was just the beginning of the end.

Yessssss!!!

I’m here, I didn’t go anywhere😊

Don’t forget to like, drop your thoughts and share too.

Thank you❤

Music and Poundings

Chidi was beautifully brown. His skin was what I referred to as milk chocolate. And he was so intelligent. Whenever there was an hot debate or issue that required a verdict that would serve everyone in the compound, Chidi was the one everyone went to. And, he would always prove himself to be intelligent.
His winks, every morning made my stomach twist, and his rich laughter just made my breathing stop. His beautiful voice, when he sang around the house made me squirm, in absolute wonder and awe. And whenever our skins brushed mistakenly, his eyes would meet mine, and then I would feel that silly wetness in my panties. No, it wasn’t exactly silly, I loved it, and I loved the fact that he caused it.

But the day I started feeling disgust for him was just last week. I don’t know why my supposed crush suddenly changed to utter disgust, but I can only guess why. I can only guess because I was sitting in the compound, talking with Mama Efe’s teenage kids, that tried to engage me in a conversation on who was better between Fireboy and Rema. But I stopped talking, and listening to them when I saw Chidi and that ugly dark skinned girl walk in, hand in hand. Chidi didn’t even greet me that evening, he was more consumed with his guest.

I shrugged off all possible thoughts of Chidi being that kind of man. He was my dream man, my own man, and he was just going to ask me out soon, I just had to wait a bit patiently. He loved me, I saw it in his eyes. And the dark girl wasn’t anyone to him. But it wasn’t until I was woken up by loud music and poundings on the wall around 1am that I realised that Chidi wasn’t my man. I could hear the irritating loud screams from that dirty dark girl, but I could hear the music and poundings more.
And that, is what I guess brought about the disgust I presently had for him.

It was the next morning, when he refused to meet my eyes when I tried to speak to him, that I knew the meaning of the night music and poundings.

Queen Esther💜

Drop your thoughts, I’d love to know what you think about the story. Thank you!

International Day of the Girl Child

The Girl Child!

You have heard this over and over again, about the Girl Child. Why is she so much mentioned? Why is she so much celebrated? Why so much attention towards her and her existence? What’s with her?

I’ll tell you. She’s no ordinary person. She holds futures and destinies in her hands and her mind. She’s strong and resilient. She’s a winner, a champion, a Queen. She’s her father’s pride and she holds a special place in her mother’s heart. She exists for a purpose. She is not to be shamed or looked down upon. She is to be held in high esteem and celebrated. She is a moulder of destinies, of nations and of the world. She rises, very slowly but outshines all. She’s a wonder to behold. She’s the Almighty’s creation, specially crafted for a million things. She is protected by everyone and seen as “tender hearted”. Everyone looks to her for a breakthrough, wherever she goes. She commands attention and exudes it too. She’s a girl, a growing woman.

The Girl Child!

She’s not to be used as an object of sexual pleasure and satisfaction, she’s far more than that. She’s not to be shut down at gatherings, she has brains too and can reason. She’s not to help another person’s dreams grow at the expense of hers, it’s dangerous, by that, she’s not fulfilling her purpose. She’s not to be sold for crates of drinks or for a fee, she’s human, too. She’s not supposed to be hidden, because, well, she’s a girl. Her dreams shouldn’t be cut short by the greed of people around her, and to fulfill the sexual desires of those who are willing to purchase her. Her place isn’t to warm someone’s bed or to slave away, she should be where she wants to be. Her genitals should not be sacrificed on an altar of burning iron, for vain practices or to keep her, it’s mutilation and that’s not what she wants, she wants something bigger. Her existence isn’t a shame, and those around her should not make her feel that way. Her dreams shouldn’t be discouraged or subdued, she is to build nations. Her progress should not be based on her body, she’s worth more than that. Her views should not be disrespected, most times, she prefers the best solutions. Her future should not be planned out for her, she can make her choices by herself.

The Girl Child!

I strongly envy her and the ability she possesses. Let us nurture her, to see this might she has. Let us encourage her, she needs us to grow. Let us help her grow her beautiful dreams. Let us train her to see the worth she has. Let us build her, so she can build the world.

She is the Girl Child, and she’s a treasure!!

Happy International Day of the Girl Child, 2019!!💐

Bad things happen!

First, I’ll really have to apologise for not posting anything here for a while. I don’t even know if it’s right for me to apologise, but still, I will. Life’s been hectic mehn, but rewarding too. So, let me say a few things.

Sometimes, I might come here, put up something just to make fun, ease everyone’s tension and talk about something that may be quite inconsequential. And other times, I’ll come here to air my views about a particular serious issue and how it affects me and the things around me. I’m saying all these, because you should really know what to expect anytime you get that notification that there’s a new post. And even me too, I should know what to expect, because, truthfully, I don’t know what I might be writing too. And since we’re on this ride together, I think you should know this.

Now, so yeah, on bad things happen! Yeah, bad things happen and, if no major bad thing has happened to you since you could make decisions by yourself, trust me, something is still going to go wrong somewhere. No, it’s not a declaration, or a pronouncement. Hell no, it’s not even a curse! It’s only the truth. And, it is just the way it is. No religious undertone to this really, but things will go wrong, sometime, at a particular point. Something will just tend to go out of the way you planned things to be, or the way you wanted things to be. It may be for a very short while, or long, or even, a lifetime. That’s the way life is, and if you ask me why, honestly, I have no idea because I’m still trying to figure out why, too. So, my own thought and talk on bad things happening is that when bad things happen, what do you do? How do you manage these bad things?

First, we must understand that things affect people differently. And some people are already prepared to deal with bad situations when they come, while some are not. Whichever way, how do you deal with it? Now, feeling sad isn’t bad at all. If anything, it’s healthy, like mentally healthy. I mean, what else will you do when things go wrong? It’s just best to feel sad. But then, don’t let the sad feeling take a whole part of you, don’t let it envelope you to the point where every step you take next is hinged on that sadness. Also, try not to let your sadness slip into pity. Pity is dangerous and it leads to many other worse things. Try as much as possible not to create a pity party of friends and family, and even enemies alike. And everyone around starts making you see the worst part of that bad thing and how “disadvantaged” you might have been because something went wrong. It doesn’t just help, it makes things way worse, and you start thinking you can’t come out of that thing that happened.

Also, try not to blame yourself for that bad thing that happened. Whether little or most part of the reason why that thing happened might have been your fault or might not. But that doesn’t mean you should blame yourself. I mean, that thing would have still likely happened if you had taken the steps you think are the “correct steps”. Realising your mistakes and trying to find other ways to do a particular thing is quite different from blaming yourself. Don’t be like “only if I had money at that time, I would have been able to seal this deal and gotten the bigger contract”. It’s not like you can go back and do something about it. Of course, you would surely feel like turning the hands of the clock back, it’s only normal to feel that way, but then, don’t dwell so much on such a feeling. Because when you do, nothing happens actually, you don’t go back to the time that thing happened, of course and you don’t move forward too. You see this blame game thingy, it’s a really toxic thing to do one’s self, really. While experience may not be the best teacher, I’m speaking out of experience here. Blaming yourself just makes you see yourself within the confines of whatever happened to you. And trust me, you don’t want to be limited by any small or big thing, because, of course, you’re way bigger than that thing.

Though there are varied degrees of situations to find one’s self in, there are a few ways to come out of whatever shit it is. Distracting yourself may or may not lead you to the answer you’ve been looking for. You can, as well, try something new, do something different, look elsewhere, develop a new skill. I mean, it’s success we’re all striving for, right? Now, in trying to distract yourself, don’t run away from that reality that something bad happened to you. Face that reality, look for another option and you’ll find yourself gradually getting out of whatever it is. As disappointing as failures or set backs could be, don’t drown yourself in activities that you know won’t really help the situation, it only delays a lot of good things that will come later.

More importantly, move on. Like, breathe on. Don’t drag that thing for too long. Keep living, without keeping a terrible memory of whatever bad thing might have happened in your mind. That’s literally the best thing to do, really. Life has better opportunities, and more mistakes too, so don’t dwell on the ones you already made. Learn from the mistakes and build something better. Using Beyonce’s words, “…step in your essence and know that you’re excellent…”. You’re to excel, not to be limited.

You’re really part of something way bigger!

P. S: I got the inspiration to write the greater part of this while standing in the rain!😊

The Right Attitude?

Well, I don’t know if this is the right topic for what I’m going to talk about. But then, this is just what I’m going to use. So, I want to point out a few things on how relating well with people helps. The right attitude to friends, classmates, enemies, playmates, customers and everyone around you just helps, in ways we can’t even understand.

Earlier this week, I was discussing with a friend. And then, she complained about how badly she was treated by this her customer. According to her, she usually bought food from this person, most times, spending quite a lot of money to buy food from this person, and it was something she did regularly. And on many occasions, she left “change” with the person, writing her name down, as an evidence whenever she came to collect it. On this particular day, she came to collect the change she had left with the person three days earlier. She got there, stated her request, and the first thing she got was a very snobbish attitude from the people who worked there. Put off, but still calm, my friend went to the woman herself, asking for her “change”. The woman did like no one was talking, and totally ignored this my friend. Annoyed at the whole situation, my friend started talking, visibly vexed now, demanding why she had to be treated that way, despite her constant patronage. More words were exchanged, and my friend eventually collected her “change”(I can’t say balance!). Leaving the place angrily, my friend swore never to have anything to do with the place or the woman again, and she told anyone she could tell about the poor customer service there and why they shouldn’t go there.

Now, I’ve had similar experiences, and trust me, I reacted the same way. Though mine have been more personal relationships, and what I did was to cut off from those people almost totally. The attitude you put forward in your normal relationship with people and it’s importance can’t really be overstated. I, for one, can’t deal with a crappy attitude. You don’t have be rude, snobby, abusive or even, too domineering. These things shape how people see you, or how people close to you define you. And trust me, no one likes to be talked about in a derogatory manner. You see that girl whose dressing you don’t really feel in your class, don’t talk down on her, be nice to her. As cliché as this may sound, we don’t all know where you’d be needing that person, sometime later. You see the elderly woman who cleans out your room everyday, be nice to her too. It just helps and goes a really long way.

Don’t talk down on people, because you think you have something that they lack. Don’t form sassy to feel good about yourself, it just makes you feel worse as the good feeling dies off immediately and then, an empty feeling comes in, haunting you. Try to treat people rightly because you’d be remembered for how you treated everyone around you. We don’t have to have that perfect character and everyone is surely not going to like you, but if you treat people rightly, even those who hate you for no reason will have nothing to say to you or against you.

Through all these, we help make the world better, hopefully!

The Right Attitude?

Well, I don’t know if this is the right topic for what I’m going to talk about. But then, this is just what I’m going to use. So, I want to point out a few things on how relating well with people helps. The right attitude to friends, classmates, enemies, playmates, customers and everyone around you just helps, in ways we can’t even understand.

Earlier this week, I was discussing with a friend. And then, she complained about how badly she was treated by this her customer. According to her, she usually bought food from this person, most times, spending quite a lot of money to buy food from this person, and it was something she did regularly. And on many occasions, she left “change” with the person, writing her name down, as an evidence whenever she came to collect it. On this particular day, she came to collect the change she had left with the person three days earlier. She got there, stated her request, and the first thing she got was a very snobbish attitude from the people who worked there. Put off, but still calm, my friend went to the woman herself, asking for her “change”. The woman did like no one was talking, and totally ignored this my friend. Annoyed at the whole situation, my friend started talking, visibly vexed now, demanding why she had to be treated that way, despite her constant patronage. More words were exchanged, and my friend eventually collected her “change”(I can’t say balance!). Leaving the place angrily, my friend swore never to have anything to do with the place or the woman again, and she told anyone she could tell about the poor customer service there and why they shouldn’t go there.

Now, I’ve had similar experiences, and trust me, I reacted the same way. Though mine have been more personal relationships, and what I did was to cut off from those people almost totally. The attitude you put forward in your normal relationship with people and it’s importance can’t really be overstated. I, for one, can’t deal with a crappy attitude. You don’t have be rude, snobby, abusive or even, too domineering. These things shape how people see you, or how people close to you define you. And trust me, no one likes to be talked about in a derogatory manner. You see that girl whose dressing you don’t really feel in your class, don’t talk down on her, be nice to her. As cliché as this may sound, we don’t all know where you’d be needing that person, sometime later. You see the elderly woman who cleans out your room everyday, be nice to her too. It just helps and goes a really long way.

Don’t talk down on people, because you think you have something that they lack. Don’t form sassy to feel good about yourself, it just makes you feel worse as the good feeling dies off immediately and then, an empty feeling comes in, haunting you. Try to treat people rightly because you’d be remembered for how you treated everyone around you. We don’t have to have that perfect character and everyone is surely not going to like you, but if you treat people rightly, even those who hate you for no reason will have nothing to say to you or against you.

Through all these, we help make the world better, hopefully!

Being Nigerian, neither a curse nor a blessing

Hey there! I’m Nigerian, and I’m neither proud nor ashamed. Okay, I’m not really here to tell you all the good potentials Nigeria may possess and how she needs to use it, neither am I here to talk about the problems, that we just have to agree have hindered most aspects of our development. I’m just here to tell you, how sweet, or maybe bitter Nigeria might be. And I’m saying this because most of y’all are Nigerians and may relate with most things I’d say.

So, as a Nigerian child, I was brought up, with the strong tenets of one of the dominant religions, with plenty smacks, slaps and beatings, and with a constant reminder that I am “the future”. Funny, yeah but not funny. Because if by mistake, I dare to even think out of what had been drilled into my head already, I was treading on the path of massive “destruction”.

Being a Nigerian is exciting, in many ways. Growing up, it felt like I was in a really big community that had no ending, lol. It was like the world was divided into two, with Nigeria on one part and the rest of the world on the other. It was like, Nigeria against the world! I don’t know why it felt and still feels that way, sometimes for me. I view the world in the “Nigerian eye”. Every Nigerian is blessed with a large amount of the ability to cope anywhere and everywhere, even inside a rock. There’s this survival thingy, I won’t call it instinct, but then, it’s just in your head that I will survive this thing even if it’s not really a difficult thing. For us, everything is seen as a struggle.

Every Nigerian is blessed also with an unmatched level of sarcasm! You wouldn’t understand, till you really understand😂. One little jab from someone is an opportunity to show how sarcastic, or in more relatable terms, how “savage” you are. One of the reasons why twitter can’t get enough of us!

One really sweet thing about the Nigerian people is that one little success must be celebrated in a big way. You see that party vibe? It’s embedded in us. Celebrations are great, but as a Nigerian, it’s a way for you to show to everyone what you have just acquired or the next level you have attained, or even, to make everyone “know say you don land”. And you see this parties, your friends, family members, including the distant ones and everyone that has ever come in contact with you must attend. To Nigerians, you don’t organise parties for yourself or your immediate family members, you organise parties for everyone in your neighbourhood. You see why you can’t afford to fuck up?

And Ohh, how can I forget the language of Nigerians?? Okay, there’s no Nigerian language, in that sense. There are so many languages in Nigeria but there’s an official language that only Nigerians understand. The official language in Nigeria is English but what we speak is an adulterated form of English with borrowed words from almost all our native languages. Words like “abi” and “sebi” are used for emphasis, I think, but these words are part of our Nigerian language which we speak normally. Our pronunciation of some English words can’t be found anywhere else. And, each tribe has a way they speak their English, like various versions of English that only your brother understands.

And ohh well, that’s me, being a Nigerian!😊

Have a great week ahead!

The Beginning!

First off, I feel this is coming quite late. I mean, I should have started this blog long ago. But it’s never too late, right? We’re here!

So, this blog site will be for anything in particular. Anything, like rants, short stories, articles and poems and many other things I seem fit to be put up here. The contents might change later on. Who knows, a series or two might start here.

Importantly, I’d like comments, likes, reviews and even referral of other people here. I’d really appreciate.

Thank you!

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