Thursday, January 31, 2008

The prize

I wish you would let me go
to chase my childish quests and fantasies
sow my oats and then some more
see my path and then divert,
zig zagging like the fool I am
yet, you watch me do these things and smile
ever patient with your calm presence
you still my racing heart with your hand
and lead me from a path filled with thorns
you are never afraid to take my hand
and show me the way

I already know I won
For you were my prize a long time ago.

The local champion

Tega walked faster, like he was wont to do when he had so many things on his mind. He could not believe that Okiemute that small boy, had challenged him to a wrestling match. The atmosphere in the village had reached fever pitch and it was said that Owofasa was even collecting bets. It had been 5 years since his last match and his muscles were not as strong as they used to be. His small hut was already filled with his friends and family when he got there.

"I told you, you should have been practising!" that was his Uncle, Uvie.

"Now, that small boy, have you seen the muscles on him? they said he lifted Robo the other day." Robo was the heaviest women in the village, and it was said that she weighed more that a wheel barrow full of yams.

"They say he trains from morning till night, and he eats only cassava, he is as strong as an ox" chirped in his aunt.

"I saw his thighs, hard like yams...."

"And you, you are almost 40, Okiemute has not even marked his 20th birthday"

Tega, ignored their comments and sat at this usual chair in the corner, he took his pipe out, and began to stuff it.

"Is that really wise, at this time?

"I think you should not wrestle, you are too old"

"Should you be smoking? Okiemute does not smoke, they say his lungs are as clear as the Odewe river"

Tega looked around the room, he could have been vexed with their comments but he knew that they only said these things because they were worried for him.

"Go home, good people, all you have heard are tales, let not the appearance of Okiemute fool you, did anybody actually see him lift Robo?"

"No, we did not but he said he did it, and I believe him, why would he lie?" replied his aunt.

To be continued....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I just can't get it right!

You know how you want to do the right thing and then somehow it goes all wrong? You want someone's attention so you say something and yep, you got the attention alright, but for saying the wrong thing? You want to help, but you do more harm than good? You want someone to laugh, so u say a joke, and it back fires? Now, you are standing there like a want to explain that its not really like that, but then you's one of those days, you just can't seem to get it right.

Monday, January 21, 2008


When a female fires back
suddenly target don't know how to act
So he does what any little boy would do
Makin' up a few false rumors or two
That for sure is not a man to me
Slanderin' names for popularity
It's sad you only get your fame through controversy
But now it's time for me to come and give you more to say

- From Christina Aguilera's "can't hold us down"

A lot of things happened last week that brought up a topic that I have thought about ever so often. I am sure we have all read by now the slimy details of the obj divorce. When I read all the accusations being pelted out by her husband, to say the truth, I was not shocked. Why? Well, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of Nigerian men are petty: PETTY.

Let me explain. I remember even back then in secondary school, I was always baffled by the fact about how easy a young boy would confidently call an ex girlfriend "a prostitute". I have an older brother, so my teenage years were spent hanging out in his room listening to their escapades. Many times, I listened with annoyance as the so called ex boyfriend would tell his guys intimate details of his relationship and ofcourse reveal secrets the once "love of his life" told him in confidence. I have watched that scenario unfold many times as a teenager and I have always thought it was because they were young and did not know any better. Since then, I now have reasons to believe that a lot of Nigerian men act like immature fools the moment things do not go the way they want. Here are some examples I have witnessed, no be say anybody tell me oh!

Case 1: Boy and girl had been going out for a while, guy decides to break it off, girl agrees, they go their seperate ways. A couple of months later, boy decides he has made a mistake and wants girl back, but by then, girl has moved on and she tells him that. One day, Boy sees girl taking a walk with another man, he is enraged. He confronts her at her home and immediately opens his mouth where words like "ashawo" and "prostitute" flowed abundantly from. He shouted on the streets of London like an agbero, and if I was not there to witness this firsthand, I would never have believed that this gentleman, who was always so well dressed in suits and ties could have such a market behavior. He has since apologized, but it is too late to erase that image from my head.

Case 2: Guy and girl have a relationship, I saw the love unfold before my very eyes. Girl catches boy cheating. Relationship ends. I met the guy a couple of months later, when I asked why the relationship had ended; he began to disclose a lot of personal details about the woman. He never told me the real reason i.e. that he was caught cheating, but instead spent more than an hour insulting the woman. He had become an agbero over night.

Case 3: Boy and girl meet, have a relationship, things do not go well, they have different morals and principles in life. Relationship ends amicably, (or so she thought). Fast forward a couple of months and the city is ripe with all sorts of rumors. In this case, the guy came up with the most unbelievable lies and stories. I was embarrassed for his sake.

These are just three examples, but over the last couple of days, I have been discussing this topic with many of my friends in Nigeria and abroad. They have all had at least one boyfriend that either insulted them or made up stories after the relationship ended.

Blogville Ladies:

Have you ever had an ex that turned to an agbero after the relationship ended?

Do you think "being petty" is a common trait in Nigerian men?

Notice: This post does not in anyway support Moji, this is just a general observation that her case brought to light.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chinyere Udoma - Dalu maka idi nma gi

I dey try cultivate habit to dey grateful every morning when I wake up, with whatever, a few words of prayer, a song, a poem, anything that gives out a positive energy and ofcourse, being grateful. This is what I am listening to this morning, and she sure has put me in a great mood! Have a good day people!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Na my mama birthday!

Happy birthday, I can only wish to be like you. Your love, compassion for others, unbelievable strength, your are the best mummy in the world! You inspire us all.

The blanket

She was freezing. The cold was getting to her lungs and there was still four hours to go. Her mind slowly drifted to warm blankets and other times....she remembered the dark figure of her mother, silently doing her rounds, room to room, she would peek in, and put extra blankets on them. Sometimes, her father had come in; to do just that, put a blanket on her. She remembered her teenage years, sharing the room with her sister, she would wake up and feel the extra weight of her sister's blanket on her. She remembered those years at the university, those wild and drunken nights when names were forgotten and friendships insecure...yet, even then, she could sleep on floors or beds knowing that the warm comfort of a blanket would come, covered by a friend or stranger....

It was human. To react like that. It was an act of love, but most importantly, it was human. That was why she was so sure at this moment about the person sleeping beside her. She recalled with embarrassment the conversation.....

"It is cold"

"Ah! This one is my blanket oh!"

"Maybe we can is really cold"

"Ah! I cannot share oh, this one is my own"

He had tucked himself in the blanket and said "I love you".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Beauty... and tears

I was listening to Frank Sinatra, whose "something stupid" I can't get out of my head, and then I remembered this music...I am going to sleep, good night.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A rocky trail

Josephine looked out the window, she could see his back, his face was turned towards the sea. It was blowing hard and the skies were already getting dark. Soon, the sea would be was no place to be today. She knew that, as he did. She would give him a couple of minutes before going to remind him, he was safe where he was now, but soon...he would have to leave his mindless starring at the sea. She had quit her job immediately after the phone call. She had walked in her manager's office and said:

"I am sorry this is sudden, but I have to leave"

He had been surprised, they all were, twenty years at the same job and she had quit just like that. She had travelled the same day. She was surprised at how easy it had been to make the decision, it confirmed her feelings that the most important decisions in life never was so difficult to make after all. When she had arrived, she did not ask, he was the one that had told her.

"Chandra left. So you were right. Are happy now?"

"I quit my job"

"You are not going to have any money"

"Yes I am. I am renting out my apartment"

"Where will you live?"

"Here, of course. I ‘ll take Chandra’s room"

They did not talk anymore about Chandra, she knew enough already but she knew that a long time ago. Josephine checked the roast in the oven, it was coming along nicely, she removed her apron and put on her winter jacket. She would have to get a new one soon; she had had the same jacket for more than ten years. She walked slowly down the rough trail that led to the sea and was soon side by side with him.

"The north winds...there will be a storm tonight"

"Yes. I want to stay out...just for a while"

"Okay, I’ll go back to the house"

Josephine did not go back to the house, she hid behind the boat house and watched, hoping that today will be the day. She did not have to wait for long; slowly he placed his hands behind his wheel chair. It moved just a couple of centimeters and Josephine could see the great effort it had taken on his face.

"I know you are there. I am paralyzed, not blind"

She came out of her hiding place and smiled at her twin brother.

"I know, Joseph"

"You know, perhaps I can take on a sport? Do you know they have Paralympics? I bet if I start practicing now, I could make it to one of the events"

"Yes you could. You can do anything you want"

Josephine pushed the wheel chair on the rocky trail. Behind her, the sea was dark and raging, but in front of her, their home shone in the darkness. Yes, she thought, making the important decisions in life was easy.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Just another morning

The knocking on the door was persistent; Kalu was not going to go away. Chinedu dragged himself off the armchair which had been his bed for the last three days and opened the door.

"My God! What is this stench? How long have you been holed up in here?"

Kalu looked around the hotel room in disgust, he opened the window and looked for a place to seat where his new Armani suit would not be soiled, he found a clean space at the edge of the bed. Everywhere else was cluttered with empty wine bottles.

"I don’t know why you are punishing yourself like this, Chinedu. You knew this would happen one day"

Chinedu ignored his friend and took a long swap from the vodka bottle on the floor beside him.

"When was the last time you saw Oby? Now you are sitting here...honestly, you are something else"

"I do not care. I do not care. That’s what I said...I do not care"

"What is the problem? I do not understand you. How long did you thing she would wait?"

"Fuck you! Fuck have never wished me well...never". Chinedu had somehow slipped from the armchair to the floor.

"If you destroy my suit today, you will pay for it"

Kalu took off his suit and began cleaning the room. He gathered the empty bottles and put them in the bin and picked up the bits of food littered all over the floor. Next, he went to the bathroom and filled the bathtub with water.

"Do you know Anita is looking for you everywhere? Of course you don’t. Selfish bastard. Anita is a good girl, she does not deserve this"

"Anita...she is so lovely...lovely girl..."

"Yes, she is a lovely girl, you are lucky to have her and she does not deserve to be treated like this"

"Anita…is lovely...but she is not Oby"

Kalu looked at his friend. They had grown up together. Their parents had been neighbors and co-workers and the two boys had ended up in the same schools since nursery school. He could not remember a time when Chinedu was not in his life. Even now, with different careers and lifestyles, him a successful banker and Chinedu a writer, they still met each other on a weekly basis. The story of Oby and Chinedu. He had been there at the very beginning. He still remembered the day Oby came into their lives. His aunty had come from church with her. A friend’s daughter she had explained, staying over for the mid-term holidays because Owerri was too far to travel for only a two day break. The boys had sat fascinated for two hours starring at her long hair. They had never seen any girl with such long hair. She had caught them starring and to their surprise, she stuck her tongue out at them. He had thought her childish but Chinedu...Chinedu talked about her for two weeks straight, with his sharp memory, he had recounted every single detail of the young girl. That was when they were both 13. Now, they were 33.

For 15 years he had watched his friends make up and break up, and then, five years ago, on that faithful night, when he and Chindedu had been playing snooker, Chinedu had wanted to teach her a lesson. He had warned him, Oby was no longer a girl, she was now a woman demanding respect. Chinedu had laughed it off, she would wait only for ten minutes he had said, and then she would figure out that he was not coming. Oby had waited for five hours and the next day, she was out of their lives. They thought she would come back...she never did. Five years went by and they did not hear a word from her until last week, when his sister had brought the newspaper.

"Chinedu, come, take a bath, you will feel better. Let’s go to my place, we can play a game of pool, come now"

"What should I do? I have to do something...I have to"

"No, you do not have to do anything. If you wanted to, you would have done it years ago"

"Please, help me me"

"It’s too late, Chinedu. Just take a bath, I’ll order something to eat"

Rachel walked back in the room hurriedly, she did not think it wise waking Oby so early but Mama had insisted, she had said it was very important.

"Oby, Mama is here, she wants to talk", she shook Obiageli awake.

"Rachel, its five in the morning, what does she want?"

"Only God Knows"

Obiageli put on her dressing gown; she tied the band properly and washed her face with cold water. She peeped through the key hole of her room, and there, in the living room, she could see Mama Frank, already in her traditional wear. She opened the door and walked in the room.

"Good morning mama. I see you are already dressed"

"Yes my daughter, sit down"

Mama's looked at Obiageli's face as if searching for an answer.

"I lived my whole life with a man I did not love. For more than 30 years, I felt like a thief in his house. Every time he made love to me, I felt that way. I am tired now and too old for regrets...that is all I came to tell you. The feeling of being a thief in your own house...a horrible feeling"

Oby was surprised at Mama, the woman was speaking in parables and she did not like it. However, she had no other choice but to say that which was expected of her.

"Yes Mama"

Mama shook her head. She stood up and walked out of the room, her tiny beaded sandals making little clicking sounds as she went. She was hardly out of the room before the door opposite flew open and Rachel and Ada burst in laughing.

"What was that all about? And you self, "yes mama", abeg, it was too funny!"

Obiageli did not respond to the teasing of her friends, she sat silent and in less than three seconds the room became tense.

"No, no, you cannot do this now", Rachel looked at her friend earnestly "Oby, did you hear me? Forget about the old bat, you cannot do this now"

"What is it? Let the girl reflect if she wants to, Oby, think all you want jare" replied Ada who was fed up with Rachel’s controlling attitude.

Rachel looked across the room at her friend of more than twenty five years. She knew Oby like she knew herself, and the last thing they needed today was a reminder of Chinedu.

"I don’t know anything anymore" said Oby, sitting heavily on the bed.

"We don’t have time for this, not now"

"Who is the "we"? Ada walked over to Obiageli. "Think all you want dear, you have time"

Rachel looked at Ada, she would tell her later what she really thought of her, but for now, her job was to take care of Oby. She understood Oby better than herself and she was sure Chinedu was no good for her. She had been there through it all; she had been the one that picked up the pieces every time Chinedu struck. This time, she was not going to let her friend fall again.

"Did anybody phone?" asked Oby, looking up expectantly at Rachel.

"Nobody. Go and have a shower dear, we might as well start getting ready since we are up"

Obiageli looked at her dress. It was beautiful. She could feel Rachel’s eyes on her; she smiled at her and hoped it was enough to convince her friend that she was happy. She still couldn’t believe it was not Chinedu she was getting married to.

Chinedu took the phone from his friend and said what he had to: "I am sorry sweetheart, you know how it is when I am in the zone, I need my space, I am so sorry, I promise I’ll make it up to you. How are the kids?"
I have a headache. I cannot find you anywhere. Most times I find you in my dreams where you always are. Last night you were there again, holding my hand and telling me everything that only I can hear in dreams. You smiled when I laughed out loud and turned a page in the book you were reading. You did not mind when I crept to your side and started reading with you, you kissed my forehead. I tossed and turned and made those comments that only I can make when impatient for your attention. You stopped reading and held me tight, my head against your chest. Now, I am awake. You are not here; I do not know where you are. You are a dream and I have a headache.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I am not going to do a "recap" of the events of the past year cos if I ever want to remember what happened or my thoughts at this time, I'll just have to go through this blog.'s over, move the fuck on! Many thanks to you bloggers for your encouraging comments through out the year, all my friends, my wonderful family and a special someone whose faith in me has been....just...I have no words. God bless you all! Happy new year!