Thursday, November 27, 2008

You left? Just like that? Oh yes I did!

A friend of mine told me about the day she left her husband. She had not planned it, she had gone to pick up her son from day care and right there, in the middle of the street, with her son in his pram, with no money and no clothes, she thought to herself "No. I am not going back". And that was it. The decision had come just like that, so she understood me. That the fact that I had no plans, a fact that everybody else seemed to dwell upon, was quite reasonable to her.

How can you just leave a life without any plans?

She understood that that morning I left my life behind, it had come from nowhere. I just walked out, which is what I told everybody.

Next thing I knew, I was on a bus thinking "No. I am not going back".

That is how it was. I left my life behind with nothing. No clothes, no books, no plans. Just my laptop. It seemed strange to everyone else except my friend, who understood.

"Yes, you left just like that" she looked at me nodding...

It was perfectly understandable.

Note: This happened a while back, so no worries, I have since fixed what needs to be fixed so one can live like a full functioning miserable member of the society.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I can't keep myself and still keep you too...

I was supposed to be reading but irritation had wrapped its cloak around me and it is becoming harder to unravel the threads these days. My coffee felt bitter and tasteless in my mouth and I had the strong urge to hurl its contents at the couple that sat beside me.

They were part of a group. Two men and the couple. It seems the man(of the couple) wanted to stay on with his friends(the two men). He touched his wife's arm briefly as he whispered, imploring her to allow him stay on. He would meet her back home. She pretended she did not hear what he said and looked past him, her face as expressive as a slab of stone.

What was this kind of dance they were doing? This dance of "touch and go", this dance of trying always to make something out of nothing...even a scene as simple and banal like this...has become something.

The man did not stay on. His two friends left him in the scowl faced company of his wife. She promptly got up as soon as they left. They left the cafe together. In silence.

I remembered reading somewhere...something Kanye West had said, "nobody really wants to be alone".

I do not want to be alone either....but to take part in this dance of life...

"Ouch! You just stepped on my big toe"

I'm not loving you, the way I wanted to
I can't keep my cool, so I keep it true
I've got something to lose, so I've got to move
I can't keep myself and still keep you too
So I keep in mind, when I'm on my own
Somewhere far from home, in the danger zone
How many times did it take until I finally got through?
you lose, you lose
I ain't loving you, the way I wanted to
See I had to go, see I had to go
No more wasting time, we can't wait for life
which is wasting time, where's the finish line?

Monday, November 24, 2008

just another day...

In this shitty displeasure with planet earth and all its inhabitants continues...

Unfortunately, I dont have any words to describe just how I feel at the moment but think exile, alienated, dislocated, detached, etc, you know, every post colonial shit out there and I am it.

It has finally dawned on me that it might be time to get the hell out of this country.

Certainly I can't think of LIVING in Nigeria? I'll go nuts there as well...I love my anonymous lifestyle too much. Just the thought of how many people I have to call "sir, madam, aunty, uncle", the thought of all the people I would have to smile at, ask about their families, make small conversation...just the thought of having to explain just why I think "hubby", "sweetheart" (or is it sweetie?) "darling" is never gonna happen in my life, makes me wanna puke (Been there, done that, all penises should please shrivel up and fall off like rotten grapes...mind you, my current unhappiness is not caused by a penis, cos many a penis would love to think that they can wreck havoc on the lives of women. Not so. A penis is exactly what it is, just a damn penis).

I dont know what to do but the fact of life is that I have no friends here, no family....nothing.

I am leaving this shit place...God, I am suffocating!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'll see you later...

The man does not talk. He is a man of action not words. He strides in and out as he pleases. Sometimes she imagines he is a young tiger, leisurely strolling around its territory after a kill. It is impossible to talk to him. Impossible to say all the things she wants to say. How do you tell such a man that you love him? For the rest of her life, he would be lost in his world and she in hers.

He smiled at her as he shut the door, "I'll see you later" he said.

The door left its usual noise with his departure. A sharp sound that she had now come to detest.

"I love you", she said it out loud, to the empty hotel room which now reeked of the perfume he had left behind. She looked at the clock, she had enough time for a quick shower before her next customer arrived.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Written with a red pen...

The morning was cold.I walked down a street in a town that I once knew so well. A town where I once smoked Marlboros and ate cheap breakfasts. My hands in my pockets, I walked as fast as I could, to the train station which seems to be my new residence. I am always coming or going from it. I missed the train. I got a cup of coffee and a croissant. That’s what you do when you are extremely broke. Even in your "brokeness" you must preserve your dignity. My friend calls to see if I got the train. "No", I reply, I missed it...I inform her I am drinking coffee and waiting for the next train. She thinks it’s because of the coffee that I am late. I find it funny that she does not believe me. I laugh...even though all I want to do is cry. The train journey goes by fast and before I know it,my hands are clenched in my jacket pockets again and I hiss loudly at the cold breeze that welcomes me into my city.

My hands were shaking and I could feel the tears gathering in my eyes as I looked through my things...chewing gum...gym cards...stolen sweets...all from a different time and space. I emptied the pockets of an old bag and was wondering just how old the chewing gum was when I saw it...a card...with a picture of a little boy hung with pegs on a clothes line."Hang in there" it said...I opened the card with curiosity and in it, was written, with a red pen:

Dear Waffy,

This is my little way of saying I am here for you. I'm sorry life is being shitty at the moment but keep your head up and please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything I can do. Wish I had a magic wand and we could just make our own little world with only nice people in it. I am so thankful for your friendship, I know you can get through this. You are one of the strongest women I've ever met.

Fuck the world,
Fuck all the mean
sour, negative people-

YOU are what's important and YOU deserve to be happy!

Your friend,

Jojo does not live in this country anymore and the card must have been more than three years old.

At first, I thought I would curl up and cry, with the card and the bag in my hands...I thought I would think of all my friends that are no longer here with me...I thought I would think of friendships and just how fragile they are...

But the card had said "hang in there"....I lifted my head up and did what I had come to do in this cold city. My heart felt warm and light and my back felt straighter. If she thought all that of me, then I am not going to let her down.

I am going to fucking hang in there! Clothes line, pegs and all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Too fucked up to be "Christ like"...

Like many of you, I am still in shock after seeing the TV program about the situation in Akwa Ibom state. For those that do not live in the UK, please watch it here, that is the first part, there are six parts up on youtube, so make sure you see them all. My article on the wife of lucifer, you can read here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why so sensitive?

So I was a presenter today, part of a seminar focused on the future of Africa and the usual bla bla bla folks in the Diaspora like to engage themselves in. The last time I was there, many people (mostly old men) over 50 were busy blaming colonialism for the misfortunes of Africa. Now, let me state here that I do not downplay the effects colonialism has had on Africa or the terrible scars it has left behind.

However, it is boring to sing the same old song and discuss the same topics week after week after week. I therefore decided to spice up their intellectual brains a bit and made a presentation about what young Africans are discussing about on the internet and other places. Anyway, God help me I mentioned Solomonsydelle's PPP. However, I mostly focused on different ways to get ordinary people active in the society and how we can get people motivated to get active in their society. ( I talked about different examples where we could be more active, collectively)

After discussing some factors (which I will post later on this blog) I finished my presentation in a very positive light...or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when a South African intellectual told me that she could not identify herself with the Africa I had talked about and basically accused my presentation and me of being "racist"!

According to her, some racist social anthropologists had come up about similar factors about Africans (na the passive thing na im irritate am) and according to her, she had been very active in Apartheid South Africa, has always been active etc etc. Now, I had mentioned before, during and after the seminar that my experience was Nigerian and tried as often as I could to mention only examples that had to do with Nigeria. I think she took the whole thing way too personal and she mentioned later on about how she is always having to defend Africa from views like mine in the thirty years she has lived abroad.

Now, I told her the seminar was on different topics being discussed by the younger generation, and like it or not, we have mentioned the fact that we (the people) are not active enough in our society and would like to be more active. Yes, we can do more and we MUST do more if we want a change.

I think she was being too sensitive as the seminar was not about her and what she had done or not done in South Africa. I was not happy at all that instead of discussing the solutions I thought we would, I had to now defend my presentation from being tagged as "racist".

That is why I no dey too like dey do seminar with old old people. Their wahala too much self!

P.S: I heard her lamenting on the way to the train that "why can't we celebrate the hundreds of activists that have..."(didn't hear the remaining part). Honestly, there is no reason why we should not celebrate them, I would want to be celebrated(assuming I become a serious die hard mutherfucker)in the future. But that is not the seminar was about, the seminar was about "how" we can change Africa.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Watch our democracy in action here
On the third of november 2008 on Muhri Okunola Street, victoria Island Lagos, the traffic was chaotic. A young lady (Uzoma Okere) driving home from work didn't move her vehicle out of the way of a millitary convoy on time, resulting severe beatings by armed Nigerian Navy men. The convoy consisted of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade's personal Navy saloon car and his pilot truck, consisting of 6 armed bodyguards. The body guards in the process physically beat up several Price WaterHouse Coopers staff and destroyed cameras that were filming the event as it unfolded. The video clip was recorded from the PricewaterHouseCoopers office on a personal camera.


pic from NVS