That morning, Salewa logged in to her twitter account to find another tweet of a missing 16-year old girl. This time it wasn’t the usual stranger asking everyone to Retweet until the missing girl was found. This time it was her friend @niniayo who posted that his younger sister was missing. He had gone ahead to include his phone number for anyone who might have any information about the missing girl. Already the post boasts over 500 retweets and Salewa realized her 2-day hiatus made her miss the post. Lately it had been the norm – missing teenagers, kidnapped school children, residents killed in their houses. Salewa hurriedly took her mind off the recent happenings to concentrate on the post staring squarely at her through her phone screen. She did the needful by quoting the post “She’s my friend’s sister. If you’ve seen her please call this number”, posting it and then retweeting the original post by Niniayo. It was Tuesday morning.

The alarm on her phone subsequently went off. It was lecture time and she was still at home. She contemplated calling Niniayo first but decided not to. After all, there was a chance they’d meet in one of the classes holding that day. “Wasn’t Fiction class holding today?” She asked herself. Everyone called Niniayo “Ayo” because “Niniayo” sounded like a name one’s parents would give a daughter. Salewa hurriedly went into the bathroom she shared with about 50 other girls on the first floor of Queen Amina hostel at the University of Lagos. The day was going to be a tight one. There was still that quarrel to settle with Titi her best friend. Salewa had told Titi that her (Titi’s) boyfriend was cheating on her. The matter had led to a row and Titi’s boyfriend had accused Salewa of being lesbian who wanted Titi for herself. “Funny matter,” Salewa whispered to herself, smiling in that smug way of hers. She definitely was no lesbian, especially with her here-and-there relationship with Ayo. She and Ayo were not close enough to be called an item, but they were close enough for something to be brewing between them. However, Salewa sometimes gets the feeling she’s misreading signs from Ayo. “Time will tell”, she mused. Their friends knew they were just really good friends or worst case scenario, friends with benefits. She never bothered with what people said. There was class to attend and the thesis supervisor to meet after. There was also the school Library to visit as well.“One at a time”, Salewa said to herself as she headed out of the bathroom to get ready for school and face the business of the day.
“How long are we supposed to keep her?” Awele heard the-man-with-the-slur ask. By now she knew there were three of them and she’d come to identify them by their voices. The men never call each other by name when with her. There was man-with-the-slur, man-that-stammers and man-with-the-calm-voice. Of the three, man-with-the-calm-voice scares her the most. Something tells her behind the calm is a devil she wouldn’t like to meet. Awele has been held for so long now that she could have lost count by a few days. However the rise and set of the sun which she peeped through her not-too-tight blindfold helped her keep count. It’s been no more than three days.

Awele knew Ayo would be blaming himself right now. She was supposed to wait for him to get back from class the day she was taken so he could drop her off at boarding school but Awele had wanted to see the latest Spiderman movie at the nearby Ikeja City Mall. She knew Ayo would never let them watch it, he despised Spiderman. Ayo’s said there was nothing unique about Peter Parker. That he was just a science experiment that bit into the wrong hands. Literally. And as a rule in the house, Awele was never to go anywhere without Ayo. She could not bear going back to Queen C, the nickname for the prestigious Queen’s College situated at the heart of Yaba, to tell her friends that she hadn’t yet seen Peter Parker’s latest antics. It would only confirm everything they think of her –Daddy’s girl.

So immediately Ayo had left for class that day, Awele had snuck out of the house and joined a cab from GRA to City Mall. She had done it several times with Ayo she could have done it so many times in the past by herself. But that was the first time she will be doing it.
Ayo was shouting at Charles in front of the faculty – something about grown men acting and talking like women. He kept shouting at the poor guy who stood bewildered at the rage. Everyone knew Ayo had been temperamental since his sister went missing. There was a bond between Ayo and Awele which many do not yet understand. Not even their parents. So his mood was explainable. But why Charles?
Mr. and Mrs. Ofure had been with the police trying to find their missing girl while their home was swamped with sympathizers. Ayo stayed away from home more, avoiding the pitiful glances of sympathizers especially with the continued absence of his missing sister. On one of such days, Mrs. Ofure had walked into Awele’s room to ensure it was in order. She wanted to stay connected to her child. She walked in and found a couple of lipstick stains on the dresser as if someone had left them there in a hurry. She looked around the house hoping in her heart that the girl had somehow returned home. The lipstick stains. She wondered at the lipstick stains.
“Hiya! Thi-th-this world dooooon spoil o. Wha-wha-wha-what is-this world co-co-ming to?” Awele heard the man-that-stammers say to man-the-calm-voice.
“How caaaaa-an man be slee-slee-slee-slee-ping with man, Ngwanu?” He continued. “Tuuuuu-tu-fiakwa”. Just the, music credit from Fox’s Empire series filtered in through the room where Awele was being held. She instinctively knew that whatever man-that-stammers was about, Jamal Lyon was right at the centre.
“Thiiiiiis Oyibo peo-eo-ple dey ma-ma-mad I swearrrr. H-ha-how pikin go for front of hiiim Pa-pa-pa talk say na-na man li-li-like am him dey like kp-kp-kpansh? I tr-trust my Papa. Pa-pa-pa…”

Shhh”, man-with-calm-voice cuts in in that commanding tone that lets you know who’s in charge.

“Guy abeg”, man-that-stammers retorted. “I-i-i-magine say for that yaaaaa vil-lage, your wife tell you say sh-sh-she born man. As in ma-ma-man wey strong, man wey-wey be say if your wa-wife born as first pi-pi-pikin, other men go-go-go greet you Twa-le! Say-say you do-do-do well. Ma-make that man com-co-come say na fe-fellow man e wan-wan dey follow”.

“But na true dis guy talk”, says the man-with-a-slur. “Our people talk say pikin wey go be man, na from how him stretch him small manhood we go take know. This kain one wey dey wear girl cloth, e don already dey show where him manhood dey.”

Again the man-with-calm-voice said, “pikin no go bad sote we go carry am give lion chop. As pikin don say na man im like nko? Nna, no be that one we come do for here. After all, this thing na film”

As snippets of the conversations got to Awele, she again remembered Ayo. As a child, she always went in search of the next toy to play with – from Barbie Dolls to neighbours’ children to classmates. She always wanted more playmates. Being the only girl, she even begged her parents for a sister but their parents already had a plan. They would not have more than 2 children. And Ayo already came first. Awele didn’t mind that. Only that sometimes, she wished Ayo was a girl so they could both bond in a way only sisters could.
It’s been three days since Awele went missing. Whenever Ayo had been home, he’d go straight Ayo to Awele’s room but no one knew. He missed Awele greatly and holidays when they could both hang-out were his best. Awele was a great listener and very intuitive. She understood him and could almost read his mind. Every minute with his little sister felt like she was put in the family to be his guardian. Even though she was younger, sometimes Ayo felt she helped him keep his sanity amidst all the expectations their father heaped on him. When they were younger, their father had put him in boarding school just because he was playing dress up with Awele and had dressed up as a girl. He didn’t understand it. It was innocent child’s play. Ayo knew how deeply Awele wanted a sister and how much their parents wished he were a girl, their-mother-come-back, they’d mentioned countless times before. So in that one instant, he thought to himself, “let me be a girl just this once. Let me be her sister just this once”. It was an instant that changed everything.

Ayo had pleaded with their father to let him remain at his former school and promised never to dress up as a girl again. Their father had been adamant. His reason: Ayo was supposed to be the elder. Why should an elder dress like a girl to make his sister happy?
Ayo had resumed his new school a sullen child. Gone was the care-free Ayo. Awele became his only connection to the life he was once a central part of and only when he was with her would anyone find a smile on his face. By the time she was completing her primary education, Ayo was getting ready for his senior secondary education.

Not long after, she had been enrolled into Queen’s College which was a far distance from his secondary school. He realized he could no longer sneak around to see her in school as he had done in her primary school. But his admission into the University of Lagos changed that. It meant he could always stop at QC to see Awele.

Then Ayo met Salewa and he could see everything his sister was and more. And again a lot changed with him. He had found someone outside his sister who could understand him. Someone who didn’t have to wait for him to say anything to know what he was thinking. They were really good friends, at least that was the front they kept among their other friends. However only he and Salewa knew there were sparks in there somewhere. His friendship with Salewa changed a lot of things. She knew he was carefree but the expectations from his father put pressure on him and on some days his smiles were far. But with her and Awele, it was easier for him to laugh.

No one knew he and Salewa were more than friends. A lot of times, he had overheard friends and class mates saying that Salewa was a lesbian and that the only man they ever saw her with was Ayo. He always laughed when whispers like that came to him. Salewa was a voracious lover. He knew that for sure. This time, a big smile came to him. It was an easy laugh. He let it out just as easily.
His mind went back to another time. He was nine. He had returned from playing football at the field just opposite their home when he overhead his mother speaking with his father.

“You know Osaron I had wished Ayo was a girl when I first held him. I so wanted Mama to come back to us.”
“Our mother returned to us, Omo”, he replied. “She only came as a boy”.
“If he were mother, she wouldn’t come as a boy”, she replied.
“He is such a handsome boy. I think we should have given him a name of his own, instead of imposing Mother’s on him”, his father affirmed.
“I agree, we should”, his mother replied as if reading her husband’s mind.
It all made sense to Ayo then. The jokes Ayo’s classmates made of his name. How they said it was a girl’s name. They made fun of him. And one day, when he had had enough, he changed the name on his notebook to just “Ayo” and he had punched anyone in the face who so much as snickered behind his back. But that day, he realized he was not the child his parents wanted. They wanted their mother back and he came. He was supposed to be a girl.

A week later, he had found Awele crying from her favourite toy missing an arm. In no time at all, he had her laughing again. Their father had walked in on them. “Abomination”, he had shouted as he looked disdainfully at Ayo who was in one of their mother’s clothes which they had both made into a cropped top over his chest. Two weeks later Ayo was on his way to King’s College and it was the last time Ayo ever played dress up.
It’s been two weeks since Awele went missing. Four days since she was put on a bus along with 12 other girls to begin their trip to Europe. She had been sold to a prostitution ring and her new buyers will hear nothing of calling her parents for a ransom. She would work her way to freedom, they had decided.

For Ayo, it’s equally been two weeks. Two weeks since he decided, until Awele returned, he would be the daughter their parents had always wanted. The daughter Awele would have been if she was home. Mr. Ofure had denounced him immediately, refusing to habour an abomination in his home. “No son of mine will live in my home a girl”, he had announced furiously. Their mother had been inconsolable.

Salewa had gone back to Twitter and posted “My boyfriend is now a girl. His sister is still missing. My bad, make that “her””. Already she boasts of over 10,000 retweets with even more mentions and replies. Retweets are still counting.

Written by Taiwo Odumala
©July 2017


The Driving Test

I don’t like tests. Don’t get me wrong, I pass them. But I don’t like them. Reason? How does my answering them correctly indicate that I really know what I know? How do 5 sets of questions determine that I have really learnt what I was meant to over a period of time? What if I didn’t actually know the answers and only crammed them for the purpose of passing the test? I digress.

So about a week ago, I carried out a test of my own. Some kind of survey – let’s call it a driving test. It started when I mentioned in a Whatsapp status that I find it weird that when I’m driving on expressways linking two or more states, I rarely find women behind the wheel. But the moment I get into a state, women crop up almost one out of every two cars. So I carried out a survey – 12 women responded, all between ages Twenty-five and Forty-five. Four of those Twelve have been driving less than three years. Only one doesn’t own a car or drive. Only one doesn’t own a car but drives. Their reason, fear – fear of trucks and tankers, fear of bad roads, fear of car breaking down with no help coming, fear of commercial drivers. Truth be told, those Danfos and trucks can put the fear of God in somebody especially when they swerve to your lane and start saying “wo egbe e o” (watch your side o) while simultaneously hitting the side of their bus/trucks or just full out blaring their horns. But it’s my lane now, you think to yourself. Before you know it, they are right ahead of you threatening another car to wo-egbe-e-o as they move to take that space too. They are not okay walahi!

Picture this.
My friend Biona *not real name was heading to Surulere sometime ago. She prides herself on being street and strong-headed – one of those I-no-go-gree people. But the moment a truck blares its horn or she sees a trailer coming at full speed behind her, gra-gra don end. She swerves into the exit lane and parks the car. Then she waits an extra three to five minutes after the truck has gone to continue her journey.

The first time I stepped behind the wheel of a car was in Sagamu at one secondary school at High Court road. The next time I stepped behind a wheel was on Oda Road in Akure. My driving school instructor, let’s call him Baba, cramped 4 of us inside the car and gave us lessons while we all took turns to drive. Just before the roundabout towards Governor’s office, I was to exit the roundabout at the second turning and make my way towards a side road leading to Ijoka road. I nearly climbed the curb. My mistake was trying to figure out how to switch gears and still shuttle between brakes and clutch and the throttle. I looked down. Next thing, I was on the receiving end of a “Towa”. It was a hot slap that landed on the back of my neck. Anger rose up in me and tears sprang from the pain. I nearly retorted then I realized any comment I made at that time would have me “being referred home”. i.e. I would be regarded as a person with no home training for talking back or shouting at an elder. I held my tongue. Ah! The effort.

Back at the driving school, Baba said in Yoruba: A car is not something you pose with. It is a machine. It can kill. It requires a lot of responsibility – to you, to other road users, to the car. And one thing you don’t want to do when you drive is be afraid. You must have no fear when you handle a car. You must not panic. Behind the wheel, you must pack up your fears and throw them out.

Several times while living in Apapa, I snuck under a parked truck waiting for another truck to pass. Whenever that happened which was frequently, I was afraid. Every time I looked around me and all I saw was a sea of parked and moving 9ft 6inches high trucks and trailers, I almost pissed in my seat. So I psyched myself out of those fears. So a trailer is honking like a mad man. Ehn he should fly now. He sha won’t climb over me. Okay, Danfo is flashing lights behind me. Eh yah! He’ll wait noni.

I can hear your thoughts right now; this one wants to die o, you’re thinking. Truth be told, if you parked every time a trailer or Danfo blares at you, when will you ever get to where you’re going?
Let’s go back to my test.

Here’s the thing: no matter what, the fears will always be there. Who says we can’t do things afraid? What’s life without fears, without risks and without the strength to push them aside? The Greatest Showman has something to say – comfort is the enemy of progress. So for now I’ll go on in the world, in hope that one day, one woman will join me in driving on the expressways. And that woman will become ten women. And ten will become hundred until one day I can drive on the expressway and not have people look at me like I have the wrong head on my body.


Africans on Sale in Libya: It’s the 15th Century All Over Again

Sometime last week, I saw a video on an Instagram page belonging to Diary of a Naija Girl (DANG). It was pulled off a CNN report about ongoing human auction in Libya. The young man in the video, Victory a 21 year old Nigerian, recounted his ordeal in the 8 months he was traded until he was able to buy his freedom. It was gut-wrenching.

I decided to do a thorough search about the CNN report via Google, and the results from the search Engine had me angry. Then I watched the full report. From the video, humans are sold as “merchandise”. Humans are sold like cattle and forced to work. In Victory’s words, even while they were doing the work, they are beaten. They were abused. Some died.

I remember a story I heard a few months ago during my Annual Leave, that a woman celebrated after she got a call that her daughter had finally crossed into Europe. At the time, all I could think about was that girl who would have had a harrowing experience. Now I think to myself, was she sold too and forced to work until she could buy back her freedom and escape into Europe? Or is she still someone’s slave in Europe? These questions, I’ll never get answers to.

In many online comments, the judgement were, what were people looking for trying to escape into Europe through Libya? Some said these horrifying incidents will teach people to stay home. But it’s easy to condemn people for taking a chance if it will give them a better life than they currently have in Nigeria. Many of us are online to see and read the stories. The people who are right now saving every kobo to make the trip to Libya are largely unaware of these events. No be who chop belleful dey buy data? They just want to make it out of these climes. We keep saying Europe has its problems, but to them Europe without food is better than Nigeria without food.

Let’s go back to Victory and the countless unnamed Africans who have been or are still going through such horrifying experiences in Libya. The world finally heard about Libya’s thriving human auctioning industry. From all indications, it is an open secret. The UN is naturally appalled because it is violation of the basic rights of man. Celebrities, Football icons are adding their voice to it on social media, calling for an immediate stop to it. Some African countries are acting swiftly to get their people out.

I heard this morning that some 239 Nigerians arrived today from Libya. However more are still in shackles. The Nigerian Government has “naturally” remained silent. “If the rights of a resident alien are violated without proper redress in the state of residence, his home state is warranted by international law in coming to his assistance and interposing diplomatically on his behalf.” (pg 507 of The American Journal of International Law). What is the Nigerian government doing to ensure other Nigerians currently still in shackles in Libya is released and returned safely home? What are we doing to ensure when they get back home, there are effective social welfare programmes to set them up with? Are we calling for diplomatic protection of every one still in Libya? Are there stringent diplomatic measures already ongoing against Libya to push them to conduct a full scale territorial search for those who may still be held in Libya? Will perpetrators be tried?

This is the time for the Nigerian House of Assembly to call an emergency session. The Nigerian government should fix the country so that our people can stop escaping the country. If country good, who go wan run comot? Nigeria is in disarray economically. Social welfare is non-existent. The Nigerian life is not worth a Naira to the government. Make we first comot the dust wey dey our eye before we comot another person own. We need to fix our home. We need to intensify efforts to stop illegal migration of our people. We need to educate the populace in urban and especially rural communities on the dangers of sneaking into Europe through Libya. The government should make it easy for us to be Nigerians. We need to bring back our people while also fixing our home.

A Happy Ending?

On a street not far from yours, lived an everyday girl, who also doubled as a slay queen and head turner. Under the fading light of the evening sun, with gentle breeze and childish giggles in the air, is a party happening. It is the celebration of a marriage, and there she was basking in the melodious tunes of the party band as it ascends to a climax.

At that same party was a young man who couldn’t take his eyes off the dancing Damsel. He was no prince but was fine enough to be a Demon. “Demon”, her brain screamed in acknowledgement of what she already knew. But her heart was doing the somersault. It was turmoil inside of her. Her feet kept up with the music, unbothered with the war inside. Her face remained lit. LIT!

He walked towards her, letting his feet speak the same language as hers. And together they danced the evening into the night. She kicked her shoes off in total abandon. They weren’t glassy like Cinderella’s; they were just rubber slippers – the kind that women are quick to substitute their heels for after wearing one for hours.
Party bystanders looked on, in enjoyment of the dance romance unfolding before their eyes. “Lovely couple”, they complimented in a wishy tone. A few women were seen throwing evil glances at them. She just stole another brother they could have hitched. She couldn’t be bothered.

As the music took a mellower tune, he looked at her in awe. He was marvelled by her open disposition and the make-up streaked happiness that brightened her face. “I’m Dotun”, he finally said, introducing himself. “Veronica”, she said in a whispery tone. Taking in the sound of her voice, its feathery sound, like gentle breeze on a Harmattan evening, he popped the question. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

The question throws her off-balance. Her heart skips as she gulps in air, stalling for time so she can find her voice.

“No”, she said.

He smiled as an echo of silence passed between them.

Her thoughts: He looks like he is scouting for a girlfriend

His thoughts: She is really beautiful.

Skeptical, almost unsure, like he needed to gauge her next reaction, he said “You’re really beautiful. Are you sure you don’t have a boyfriend? I’m asking for a friend; come, let me introduce you to him. He is a gentleman.”

How to Capture Ojuju Calabar

One day, you enter your house and drop your bag on the kitchen counter as your hands find the light switch on the wall. As the light comes on, you notice your things are everywhere. Slowly, you walk towards the sitting room. There are things on the floor, the chairs, ironing table. Piles and piles of them. “Who did this?”, you ask yourself as you trip over something. It’s a book. Then you walk into your room. Everything’s just as you left it. Except…Where’s the earring you wore at Seun’s birthday? You opened your wardrobe to find your blue sequinned dress has had a quick dialogue with invisible legs. Its empty spot on the wardrobe hanger tells you. You know it’s not among the pile you found outside your bedroom; you would have noticed. The Jero Plays. You had it by the bed. Now that spot is empty too.

You should call your siblings perhaps they came home in your absence. Your phone. Oh no! That too? Arghh!!! Now you’re angry. You go back to the front door and begin sorting everything. The clothes on the floor go in the laundry basket. The ones on the chairs go into the wardrobe. You pick up the shoes; one foot here, another there, you arrange them on the rack. The books are finally back on the shelf, now you can stop tripping over them. Then it came. BAM!!! You know who Ojuju Calabar is.

You remember when you came home yesterday and dashed into the visitor’s room because you were really pressed, you took off the sequinned dress and left it there. Then you entered your room and sat staring out the window at the moon? You left the earrings there too. And after your evening shower, you were reading a book at the ironing table? The Jero Plays. And the phone? If only you hadn’t dropped your bag on the kitchen counter when you came in moments ago.


An Evening of Many Days…

It’s Christmas eve as Ebun walked home from the hospital where she works as an intern pharmacist. Normally, hospitals are her least favourite. The irony, here she is, a hospital Pharmacist. Over time, she came to realize that it’s better being a worker in a hospital than a patient. Besides if everyone hated hospitals and stayed away, who will take care of sick people?

Her friend Biose always wondered why a cheerful lady like Ebun would choose such a depressing profession. At least, that’s what Biose calls it. But Biose would never understand that despite the hundreds of sick people that throng to the private hospital where Ebun works, She feels fulfilled when one person walks out hale and hearty, ready to take the world again.

That night, just before Ebun left the Gynaecology clinic Pharmacy where she has been posted for the past three weeks, the Pharmacist on duty asked her to attend to her last patient for the day before another intern took over on the next shift. The patient seemed pregnant. However on checking her case note, Ebun realized the patient wasn’t. With a Fibroid growth in a dangerous position and a HIV positive status, doctors seem afraid to operate on her. However, no one would summon enough courage to tell the patient.

“Help me”, the patient’s cries of pain and frustration echoed in Ebun’s mind as she took the few remaining steps towards home. “Pharmacist, e gba mi. I don’t miss clinic nor my drugs. Yet whenever I come here, the doctors say my PCV count is too low and they can’t operate on me. And when I go for tests, the other doctors say my PCV count is normal. Who exactly is deceiving me?”, she added just before Ebun handed her some prescribed drugs.

Ebun remembered how after the patient left again for HIV clinic to see if someone would consider her plight, the Pharmacist on duty had casually mentioned, talking to no one in particular, that no surgeon would take on the lady’s case because they think she has little chance of making it out of the operating room alive.

Ebun knocked on the door to her brother’s flat just then as her sister-in-law opened the door to let her in. The sound from the TV in the sitting room welcomed her home as the door shut firmly behind her. Ibadan is a cold city this time of the year.

Of Maturity, Feeling Entitled and Commonsense…

So far, I have realized it’s easier for one to say “I’m mature” than for them to show maturity. And About commonsense, please don’t let anyone tell you commonsense is common. It’s a lie.

Let me start with the ladies. My dear on-fleek-on-fleek sisters. It’s Christmas, hope on fleek is not un fleek? But I have one very simple question to ask. I hear you all are “claiming” feminist these days. What’s feminism please? And please don’t come here and say that being a “manly” woman is feminism and being submissive is not. See ehn, you don’t need to shout what you are. Life is not a competition between men and women. We are here to complete one another. You are a woman. Be. Take care of you. And take care of him. And when he wants to take care of you, please don’t pull the feminist card. Let him. Let him be the man. And enjoy every minute of it. And if he doesn’t take care of you without you asking, then…

Anyways, back to Feminism, it is not about standing against men nor is it about being untrue to you just to please a man. Feminism is about you as a woman having the say in your own life. Argue in the comment section please.

However that a man should take care of you shouldn’t make you a liability to him nor should it make you a well-dressed beggar. Das how one girl stylishly told Fisayo to take her to Coldstone Creamery. Fisayo eagerly agreed. Shebi it’s to take her and she’ll pay for her buy. Only for Sister to say “ah ahn, you can’t buy ordinary Coldstone for me?” Sister if it’s “ordinary coldstone”, why can’t you buy for yourself with your own money? We ladies need to learn to appreciate little gestures and stop with the sense of entitlement.

My dear brothers, why is it that when we tell you “I like you”, then you begin to form Trey Songz. Brotherly, I like you is not equal to I want to have sex with you. Neither is it equal to I will do anything you ask just so I can be bae. Maybe for some ladies it is. But for me, it only means I like your attitude or personality. Nothing more. Okay, maybe more sometimes. One time I told a guy I liked him (i really did like more than his personality) and he decided to use that as a reason to start misbehaving. So I cannot like you and tell you without you using it as an opportunity to act like an asshole? Brother, where art thy maturity?

I know Adekunle Gold’s Orente song is blowing minds right now. Adekunle win for that song sha. E cash out wella. But you guys are missing the point of that song. The point is Orente will not complain when you have commonsense. And Commonsense in this case means knowing the right to do at a particular time without being prompted. Look at it this way, Adekunle did not have money but he had the sense to make bae happy, to think of her needs without her asking. He paid attention and cared. How will she complain? However, he also knows he has to hustle hard to be great so that bae will keep staying. Why else do you think he sang #Pick Up? But you, you are forming hard guy because you believe caring or loving is a sign of weakness. Be there o. The seizethebae gang are coming. They have plenty love and care to give on a platter.

All I’m saying is that let commonsense be your guiding force. Ladies, When you receive a gift, say “thank you”. Also #BoyfriendNotATM. Take care of you and your man. Earn your keep, no matter how small. It will earn you more respect.

Guys, man up. Take care of you and your ladies. Also, loving or caring are not weakness signs either. If anyone takes advantage of you because you are caring or loving, then they are the problem.

Have a happy Christmas people. Remember, let commonsense be your guiding force.

Monday Gone Wrong or Just a Book of Subs

I woke up this morning all shades of blue, never mind that that’s my favourite colour and it’s what I’m wearing at the moment. Music is not helping either as Fisayo has been on the Monday morning flow with his playlist. So maybe I simply need to rant. So here I am, trying to rant.

My Keni and Basi told me I give off different vibes to different people and as such it’s easy to misunderstand the kind of person I am. So this is about clearing doubts, in case you have some. Soyinka once wrote that a Tiger does not proclaim its tigritude. It pounces. Sir, I disagree. In today’s confused world, sometimes a tiger has to announce (shout sef, in case the jungle no wan hear) its tigritude.

So here goes.

I am a home person. I too like house. So night clubs, house parties, night parties are not my thing. You will not find me there. Except the house party is not the 18+ kind and the invitation is from someone I trust explicitly. For those that think being homey is equal to Cook. Big lie. I cook for only two reasons. One, I like food and that includes knowing what goes into my food. You will rarely find me eating junk (Pizza is the exception sha) Two, there’s a joy that comes with keeping bellies full. I like that feeling. But this second reason is on rare occasions. So if you ever come visiting and I offer you food (something that is not noodles), you are special.

That said, I know we all have our troubles and demons and fears. Some of us are quite adept at keeping them under wraps and when they hit, we crawl up somewhere to sort them out before we re-emerge again. and that’s fine. Some look to other people to help them figure things out and keep them on the straight, and that’s fine too.

However there’s a problem when people think being your friend is a favour or that friendship should not be mutually benefiting. Some will ‘flash’, and while you’re thinking what could be wrong, and you call back,  they go “Mo ni kin ki e ni” (I just thought to say hello). A flash passes that message how precisely? One thing I’ve learnt, if someone really needs something, they will call.

To everyone out there pulling Machiavelli stunts, una sef follow. If you are the kind that notes how many people buzzed you daily, you’re part of the problem. Then there are the ones that change DP and tell their friends, “You’ll see now, so and so person/people will be the first to ping to ask what’s wrong. Just watch.” Just because people care doesn’t mean they want extra something from you. For some of us, it’s just being nice. You know how they say “be nice to people, you never know who is contemplating suicide”? Ehn oh, we are simply trying to save you from killing yourself. But if for that reason you’re getting the I’m-Obama vibe, please don’t let us stop your greatness. *In Sound Sultan’s voice* Na only you go teach yourself.

Then there are those who keep their mouths shut about what’s going on with them but when it comes to you, they want to hear everything. The moment you hold back certain information, they go begin vex. Some will even say you have Igberaga (pride). You no talk but you want make I talk. How na? Where that one take dey happen? In this world, you get as much as you give. And sometimes, you don’t get anything. Sometimes there are no returns on investment.

I’ve been told I’m the most boring person alive even though I’m nice. Always in my comfort zone, very private yet quick to make friends. Those close to me know I can gist from now till tomorrow. But the moment you start feeling important, all the best fam. Iss nor fight. Who I am is dependent on you. If you’re boring, I will be boring. Ati bee bee lo. But note, I will not go out of my comfort zone to please you if I know you will not do same for me.

Shout out to everyone who has been keeping it real from go. The ones that when they buzz or you meet, even though you haven’t talked in a while, you talk like the last time was just yesterday. I’m happy just knowing you all are doing great wherever you are and that’s more than enough. Keeping daily tabs on people is not my thing. So that the once in a while I check on you, it’s really sincere.

Anyway, it’s the season of change. Change for the better. Don’t be left behind.

PS> Part two is coming. Time to correct certain attitudes and social behaviour.

Oh finally, the Lunch lady is here!

#StoryTime: A Hand From Within

It was a hectic day at work for Ade who is a Senior Manager at an Integrated Marketing Company in Lagos. Despite the stress, she made it back home early enough to catch her daughter, Princess, finishing up her assignment while her older cousin, Seun, monitored her. It was 7:30pm.

Seun being an ultimate poster child, always did what needs to be done without being told. In fact, Ade knew that if not for the presence of the young teenager in her home, she would have had to pick up her daughter every day at her mother’s because she was averse to the idea of housemaids. And since her schedule is most of the time unpredictable, that meant not seeing her child days at a time and she wouldn’t have any of that.

“Sade is good with Princess”, she thought as her eyes watch both girls; one older, the other with worship in her eyes- the way a little girl can only look at an elder sister. “As if she were my own daughter”, Ade mused.

Like a cat catching the scent of Fried Fish, Ade perceived the scent of Fish Pepper-soup wafting out of the kitchen which Seun went into just then. She blessed the day she ignored her friend’s advice to get a maid to help in taking care of her child. Instead of having stranger in her home, she’d rather have family.
“Family is worse, it won’t be easy getting them out of your home when shit happens”, Yinka told her when she mentioned it last year at one of their weekly catch-up.
“Family is everything”, Ade replied Yinka.

Just then, she heard her husband’s car enter into the premises. Soon enough, he came into the house with his keys dangling in one hand and his bag in the other. “Hi darling,” he beamed in that way he does with her. She blushed and moved right into his arms to give him a quick kiss on the lips. He didn’t linger as he hurried into their private bathroom to wash off the grit, and of course, road rage, which has become the new deal in Lagos. His mother always said there’s nothing a cold shower and good sleep can’t fix. She was right.

That night after dinner, they all sat as one big happy family watching TV. Usually, at that time, Princess would be asleep, even more so if the next day was a week day. However that night, she was up- bright-eyed too. Not like most kids are when they are trying not to sleep so that their eyes were half-slit. Ade soon asked Princess to go to sleep but Eze urged her to let her be since the next day was a Saturday.
Just then, Ade caught a scene in the movie which was showing on TV which she hadn’t really been focused on as she lay half-awake half-asleep with her head snuggly resting on Eze’s lap. Seeing Joy Bryant and Michael Ealy in explicit sexual position in About Last Night, she promptly whispered to Eze to change the channel.

Princess spoke up just then, “Mummy, so white people do that thing too.”
“What thing, darling?”, Ade asked absentmindedly as she concentrated on the news station, Channels, trying to catch the details since Eze just tuned in.
“That thing that Aunty Seun does to me in Church, every time she takes me to pee, or when we are alone at home.”, Princess replied.
This time, it was Eze who asked in that firm husky voice of his.

“What thing, Princess?”
Princess stood up, walked to the table at the centre of the room, picked up the TV remote and changed the channel.
“That thing”, she replied innocently pointing at the screen.

Ade and Eze both looked at the screen, to the scene unfolding before them, where Michael had his head between Joy’s leg while she writhe in ecstatic delight; slowly dawning on them that their daughter had all the while been left in the hands of a teenager who has been touching her in all the wrong ways.


If na you, wetin you go do? *Let the comment section overflow*