Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lasgidi, through my eyes

Did you know;

1) People queue up for keke napep?
Underbridge Ikeja, in my own opinion, is a picture perfect spot for 'sights and sounds of Gidi'. That said, I will have you know that before now, I had always assumed long queues were synonymous to brt buses. So I hope you will understand the shocked expression I wore all day, after witnessing a brt-like queue yesterday under the bridge - and they all were waiting to board a keke.

2)You can buy secondhand anything in lagos?
If you've ever watched video clips of an end of year sales in some top shops abroad, then I bet you have an idea of what the aswani market along Isolo way looks like on its market day, with women and young girls of all ages, and class, in different states of deshabilles clamouring for the choicest picks - in other words, "first class pickings". I've had the opportunity to go browsing there, for bargains - or thrift shopping as my obodo oyinbo sisters will call it - and I can tell you firsthand, you will find anything you need there. From secondhand toilet soap (half used, and wrapped in a nylon of sorts), to secondhand weavons and attachments, and even to secondhand designer perfumes (this you'll see in dirty containers with their original concentration reduced by 10000. The sellers' excuses never changes - 'ermm madame, na the one weh custom reject be dis because dem no get packet', like duh!)

3) Some of the molue buses were once rejected metal scrapes, that were pieced together by some smart men?
Yes, true once again. The bus I boarded from barracks to ikeja, looked exactly like something pieced together by a mechanic I used to know in kwara (he was my neighbour during my NYSC days, and trust me, he knew his job, though all I ever saw him piece up, were old beetle cars- vintage huh?).
A chinese man when asked of what he thought about the amount of waste in lagos metropolis, said, 'I don't see waste here, all I see is wealth in raw cards.'
An apt description of the Lasgidi I see.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Godly pursuits

I thank thee for this gift of mine,
This free, undeserving grace,

I thank thee, O breath of life
May I remain pure and true

In me you've seen a special being,
Whom you've created, that much is clear....

Its hard to forget what I saw today, how I felt and what I thought. Never before had I seen a large pool of recently clotted blood, on a highway. Never before had I seen corpses stacked in a truck like butchered meat headed for the market place.
It strucked me then how frail we really are. It does hurt to know some people never think past today.
Do you ever wonder how God feels about the way we live? Do you ever marvel at the huge amount of patience he exercises with us, when it comes to dealing with our shortcomings?

Well, I do!

The thought of not making heaven is a worrisome/bothersome one for me. I'd rather not have existed at all, than to know of a better life and still choose to be a mediocre christian.
Today was a wakeup call to me - KAY you can't live forever!
So I have added a list of to do things in my diary for 2011.
I have promised myself to; live without past regrets, forgive myself and any others easily, find love and love deeply, let go of all mannerisms of hurts threatening to engulf me, appreciate the simple pleasures of life, to live fully each day and TO KNOW GOD extra extra intimately....
The requests have been sent out, and i just played my DO yours. Soul winning is a delicate birthing process. Treat all new converts like you would a 3month old baby...
Let us prove to the world who the true God is!!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

hair troubles

I have tried everything: coaxed, yelled, and even threatened. Am at my wits end and this is my last resort.
L'ange kay,
Blackberry keypad,
MTN network,

Dearest hair,
Its obvious we are now at an impasse and there really is no plausible solution. Do you ever wonder what I go through each day, pretending you're not stunted and at hade's door? Do you know how distressing it is for me to wake up from the good dreams and vivid long hair fantasies to face your coarse strands?
Did you forget we've been together longer than we care to remember?
You've been strong and steadfast, through my queer days, wild moments and plain outrageous seasons, so why can't you hold on for some years longer? You alone know the lengths I have gone, for physical revival and renewal: from using tons of THE virgin hair fertilizer, to adding 'weed' in my hair cream - I have tried everything. You just don't seem satisfied, now tell me, what do you really want from me?
I have confessed and admitted to been disrespectul, thoughtless and even wicked to you, but shebi all that's in the past? Why can't we move past this moment, this time, eh? Why can't you see me for who I am now, the grown-up me, who needs you to comply, so all systems will be in perfect working conditions?
Do you know how much I paid the last time we went to green dolphin? Ofcourse you don't, how can you? They asked me to pay for a treatment - some serum, supposedly harnessed from brazil, a miracle working-healing oil- that would cure us from this wretched condition, for all I know, that vial, probably contained aloe vera gel and ori. It caused me way too much than I had budgeted, and yes, I had to 'bone' a lot of other stuffs. Do I sense a teensy bit of gratitude? NO- but then again, na your norm na!
I don try, but most especially, I don tire. I am writing this letter as my last resort, if we don't settle now, then we will surely go to trial - at papa chiboy's barbing saloon- next week. I am fed up. How can I keep professing a change when I don't feel it - I no b bObama abeg o! I promised myself, this year would turn out great, so I am taking no chances, at all. I am willing to put myself 'out there' if any good will come out of it, if the'd be any improvement in your health, but if you don't sit up, am afraid going to trial is gonna be the only option. I have had enough of your breaking off and lack of lustre.
Normally, I would've done papa chiboy a long time ago, but you know the contours, ridges and plains of my large head - and I think I will look a mite scary ( though halloween's quite far off). What happened to that talk we had at the last annual 'family' meeting? We swore an oath to be there for each other come what may this 2011. It seems the other side's bought you already. Where's the fealty and allegiance you pledged to me?
Yea, I knew it. How could I be so blind and absolutely stoopid? How could I not see what was clearly written in my very legible handwriting?
Apart from the very obvious fact that you don't have ears, and no mouth - this translates to, you can't hear me and things. I think I've officially joined the 'LOONY' tunes fanclub.
But then, this is what you make me do.
Please reply ASAP, a course of action has to be executed soon.
Yours, gravely agrieved

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ramblings of a MAD village champion - 2

.....My brother had travelled on monday to parts unknown, his cellphone was switched off - had been for days. I just kept muttering to myself, "God please, please, let this be a dream please." Ofcourse it wasn't, it was reality, one I had hoped to never encounter in life. I subconciously summed the net worth of everything I had in my room. The phrase, a bleeding heart, finally made sense to me, after all these years of reading texts and barely giving it a deep thought. You hear how people are been robbed or mugged and you tell them how sorry you are, when you really can't imagine what they are going through. It finally dawned on me, the severity of what I had walked into. The house was robbed lastnight - yes, we had been robbed.
My room had been violated. No other word comes to mind to describe what I saw when I opened the door. First thing I noticed was how different it looked, it had been thoroughly thrashed, and searched. My jewellery cache was missing, I had things in there I was supposed to pass down to my daughters: the gold bracelet Uche gave me before she travelled, the bracelet aunt Amina gave me when she came visiting, my really costly charm bracelet, the first ever gold necklace I bought, some new gold ensemble recently acquired, the platinum earrings I had nagged Lanre to death to get me, my wristwatches, a gold brooch discovered in my mums' old trunks and some other trinkets of value. I noticed my box wasn't there either. Aunty Catherine gave it to me, the last time I went to see her. I loved that box, it was real classy and huge and it had been hers. My laptop was missing too.
They even discovered my stash of perfume. I am a perfume collector and I had a pretty extensive collection: from the amen I had gotten from my dad, the organza I had used for 3years very minimally, right down to the little black dress Nne sent for me last year.
Everything was gone; the uber cool salvatore ferragamo shades I had just gotten and was so proud of, the only cool-looking wallet I owned, my cellphone, all the money I had at home - even the 40naira change in my cross bag, my handbags, shoes, even clothes - I think they will have to reduce them before selling them off.
I was heart broken. Its not as if I have a job and would be able to replace some things soon, no, I am at the mercy of my family once again. They think I just don't want to get a job and be off their hair - someone please explain to them its a cut throat world out there, and am trying, but there's only this much a mere mortal can accomplish.
Human beings, we are really a fickle and vain bunch. There I was, mourning my stuffs and raging at the most high, when I should've knelt down and given him thanks for better things to come.
The thing is after conducting a search of the property, there was no sign of breaking and entry, this meant whoever did this, knew my house really well, knew the back door leading to the balcony upstairs wasn't locked, and had monitored the house and was certain no one was in. The person wasn't exactly a 'skilled thief' judging by what they took , the pressing iron and standing fan in the ironing room wasn't taken, my very portable CD player in my room wasn't missing, neither was the 14inches TV in my brothers' room - or maybe they didn't think them portable enough.
Chima, mama Nescos' son - the woman opposite my house who sells stuffs - and his friends' told me they saw Eka on wednesday, and asked me to question him.
Eka lived with us about 5months ago for a period of 4months, on and off. He schooled really close to my village and had carryovers and missing scripts in school which he needed to write. He used to be roommates with my cousin, and we gave him a place to stay after my cousin badgered us to. His stay with us was uneventful, until the day another of my cousin noticed their house had been broken into. I had been really suspicious of him - he was extremely uncomfortable around me and was always sneaking about. I know this aren't the best of reasons so I will chunk it up to my instincts. Long and short of it, he confessed to climbing my uncles' house with a ladder and robbing them - inspirational Cds, some of my missing pair of shoes and wires(??) were among the things we recovered.
We asked him to leave and never show himself in the village, ever again - well I wasn't exactly civil about the whole thing jare, I raged and yelled.
So there I was, wondering loudly, "what was he doing here, dressed in black, with a face cap? He doesn't know any family in my village besides ours."
He became my primary suspect, and I had to do something. After he was driven, his sister came to the house crying and begging for forgiveness. She was so sincere, I begged her to stop torturing herself. She kept telling us tales about him, and the problems he was giving their family. Truth be told, I was eager for her to leave, so we would just chalk that incident to one of the numerous bad choices we'd made in life.
I traced their aunts' house two days after the robbery, and collected his sisters' number. I called her and recounted the events to her, also telling her Eka was the main suspect.
About 30 minutes later, she called back, telling me how she's so upset and how much I hated her brother - that's why am accusing him. She kept on saying he never left their village, which by the way is not so far from mine, and that her mother and siblings were his alibi.
She really expects me to buy that? A grown man, regularly monitored by his family? Yea right!
She kept ranting, like her brother had never stolen before, ever. Her mum, cursing at me from the background like I was the villain. This is someone who knelt and begged before, just so we wouldn't report the case to his school authorites. I yelled back at them for awhile, then realised how silly I sounded. I was going to play it by the books.
I asked them to come to my village, Eka in tow, so he would challenge Chima and the others' that saw him. Ofcourse they refused, they think I should take their word for it, Ekas' word, a liar, and a thief? Who does that? How do you refuse to clear every allegation against you if you are innocent?
So, let's say, he really wasn't involved in this. Then I do owe them a massive apology, thank God am not to proud to know when I've been defeated.
Thing is, after typing this, I am a lot calmer, the anger has evaporated abi diffused. Things like these, always work themselves out, I think. I might have lost my stuffs, but am alive - that means, I am worth more than material goods( funny how it makes so much sense now), and those items can be replaced no matter how long it takes. Plus, mama was right, God never makes mistakes. So let the drama unfold, because there is always a price to pay for every action - I should know that, knowing how much I have paid for some past actions too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

ramblings of a MAD village champion

"Never go to bed angry - stay awake and plot your revenge." This is the first useful advice I have gotten off any website in recent times. I need to do something, to act - Haba! If I wasn't me, I would even be laughing at me. I have thought about going to okija shrine and to nne ogwuo - but I heard they kill with the speed of sound. I no want that kind one biko o! What I want is simply justice, undiluted justice or maybe a public confession.
How dare she call me back to rant? The other time she came to the house, her back bent with the xtra baggage of the shame she bore, now she says I am not being fair?
How dare they accuse me of being wicked and mean when all I want is to be able to wake up from this nightmare.
How dare I not go to a babalawo, when that seems to be the quickest route to a solution? How dare I start typing when my heart' s so heavy?
Mama said God's gonna come through because he never makes mistakes. I believe that, but I wish he could act faster - but then that wouldn't be God right?
Normally I would sleep through anything, even a fire alarm. Since it happened, I can barely sleep, now when PHCN don the respect theirselves.
Its funny how one can go from being a hero - albeit a local one - to a zero.
On the 15th of January 2011, I officially lost three quarter of all my worldly possesions - not like it was a huge stack - to arm robbers. I had never imagined my house was penetrable, well it's not exactly a fortress or a castle with a draw bridge and a moat, but in the history of Akabo-okechi, nde bi Ifepes' house had never been burgled - NEVER!
I didn't sleep at home that day, no, I spent the night at my cousins' and was rushing home to perform a quick ablution before heading to church that sunday morning. I let myself in through the side door, and didn't notice right away that the living room looked different - the dstv receiver was missing. My heart started a dance, one I wasn't used to. I raced up the staircase, the sound of my heavy self pounding on the terazzo steps, the only noise I could discern. The door to my brother's room was ajar. "But I locked you." I said to myself. I did remember locking it, or was I just imagining things?
My brothers' room was pretty messed up, his wardrobe and every other cupboard was open. I noticed his dvd was missing from its shelf.
By then, my heart was thundering as I waddled towards my bedroom.......

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

...and there was Lanre

"Love at first sight."
*long sigh*
Although I am a hopeless romantic, I belonged to the school of thought, "know him, then fall for him."
Well, this was before, way before I met Lanre. You see, everyday used to see me surfing the web in a frenzy. I was all over the 'en vogue' social media sites; Hi5, facebook, myspace and even twitter - still don't know why I follow people just to know about their bumpy plane rides!
I used to have a lot of friends on facebook - people I hadn't seen in decades and others I didn't even know. Then one day, I got up and removed/blocked about three quarter of my 'friends'.
My thinking?
I saw no reason why I should carry on with long paused gisting with folks that don't know jack about me and vice versa, lol-ing at some crazy status updates and gracing the walls of some others only on their birthdays.
I finally stopped accepting requests - even from people with 30 mutual friends. My love for them sites was waning. Just until he sent me an add request. We had no mutual friends and I couldn't access his profile - my SE phone was finally acting up. So i accepted his request, and we got chatting.
It was simply, "Love at first chat."
Lanre, in one word is sweet and, i had plenty firsts with him; he calls me to laugh about some silly thing that happened to him at work, or his bosses' ginger + garlic breath and sends me silly pictures of him in his work boots.
Lanre was hilarious. He even made us cry on the phone one day:

Lanre: "hey u!"
Me: "oga, ke kwanu?"
Lanre: "na u start o! kiloshele?"
Me: "ma binu, let's start over are u? hws work? missing me yet?"
Lanre: "easy, easy...haba! ok. Am fine, work'z, well work is work and no am not missing u yet."
Me: "hmmmmmmmmm...okay o!"
After a long pause....
Me: "am sad, just dnt know y."
Lanre: "I noticed...u dnt sound like u. Oya spill it!"
Me: "seriously I don't know...I just feel funny jare"
Lanre: "oya o!Mme....hold a sec!"

About two minutes later...

Lanre: "style of your hair, shape of your eyes and your nose....."
Me: "Omg! Omg! You remembered...."

Then I burst into tears. Part of the list by Neyo is my favourite track, off his year of the gentlemans' album. I love that track die! I love it! I cried all through the song and then some. Next thing I knew, lanre was crying too - he loves that track too, plus he is also a goofy character! I admit it was an awkward moment for us.....

It feels like all these happened an age ago. It's been months since we last spoke - after a horrible fight - and i seriously, don't remember his digits. I blocked his profile on facebook and twitter - I really don't care what's going on with him these days. But there are still nights when I find myself thinking of him and missing; our easy camaraderie, his teasing, my english lessons and my awoof 1500 recharge cards.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Warped fantasies

"Undress yourself and lie flat on your back." He said to me, his tone deceptively calm. I groaned inwardly, because I knew it was gonna come to this. I had even prepared myself - I had on a matching set of lingerie. The a.c hummed in the background and my heart thudded loudly in the room.
Years before, I had dreamt of this moment, and longed for this time with him. He hadn't changed much, and he hadn't shrinked much either. He was 6.3, with a footballers' build and a scientists' brain . He wasn't exactly the stop-and-stare kinda guy, but one was easily compelled to, stop and stare! He was my first, and my biggest crush ever. He was 28 when we first met and I was a sassy 12yr old. His family had recently moved into the flat adjacent ours and our parents had become fast friends. As he was an only child - a grown one, his parents loved having me around - to eat, play and just mess up the flat. His mom loved cleaning, and really needed me to mess things up.
We became buddies real quick - only then, he was uncle to me- and I shadowed his every step. I remember him pinching my ear when I called his then girlfriend, a heifer - a word I had heard him use a zillion times. I cringe everytime I replay that scene - aunty Nneka ceased playing with me that day.
He was errtin I dreamt of becoming. He was my role model, my bestfriend and my confidante, and I was the little sister he always wanted. Now that I think of it, I am certain the rogue knew I was crushing on him - he just never let on. About five years ago, they relocated to the U.S after they won a lottery - I swear if I could, I would've stowed away on their flight. I blatantly refused to say goodbye, and disappeared when it was time to go to the airport.

*Back to the present*

I was stalling. Waiting for something to happen. It was 13.15 and Obi, pardon me Dr. Obi had to go on his lunch break. There I was hopelessly daydreaming and killing time, when outside there was this long queue with seriously sick people waiting to see the good doctor. I don't know why I didn't wait to see my doctor - all I can say is, I was in a mad rush to get my checkup done.
"Nma-ma, this really doesn't have to be like this. Just take off your top, and bra, so I can check for lumps." He said to me again.
"But, why can't I see another doctor? I really don't want you to do this..." I answered, with a set expression on my face. I wasn't going to go through with it. No way! To have him see me, touch me? Lie lie! I'd rather reschedule and pay some more than sit through an intimate examination with Obi- whom I still had a crush on.
Chai! God na wa! I even had all the emails we sent each other in a saved folder called Obi - it was that bad jare.
I had followed...ermmmm... stalked him on facebook and twitter - with a phony ID ofcourse - so I knew he wasn't married, and that he had three kids - his daughter whom he named after me.
I just wanted him to know the adult me, maybe he would like me a little - wishful thinking!
I know him and he has always been drawn to the creme de la creme (am sorry my BB doesn't have the french language on it), and the almost wraith-like figures of models. He'd never notice me, not even if I wore only water.
So there I was once again, daydreaming of something that could NEVER be and spinning fantasies - talk about joblessness - when uncle Obi was sitting in our living room, with his wife and three children. Ever the entertainer, he was telling rib cracking jokes about his chinese suppliers.
They had just come in from lagos two nights before, to celebrate the ofala festival and they were staying with us -
seeing as he was dad's friend/business associate!