Thursday, December 11, 2008

She asked me because?

a) I’m single
b) I live alone
c) I’m observant
d) I’m career oriented
e) She believes that is all what girls like me do
f) All of the above

I was surprised to see four missed calls from her when I returned from a fruitless four hour meeting. We never talk on the phone. We rarely talk in person; I did not know she had my number. We are not close. She is my cousin’s sister-in-law.

From the start, when they (my cousin’s in-laws) came to “collect” their wife (my cousin). This sister-in-law had already separated herself from us (my other cousins and I). She was one of those girls that will look at you and say “I am not your mate, America is not a leveler. If we were back home, we won’t even be on speaking terms”. She is probably 6-9 years older. I still don’t know her age. My cousin says she is 35, her brother says she is 34 and she tells everybody that she is 36. Her age does not concern me; what I know is that she wants to be respected.

So far she has earned it until her call.

On my way home I listened to her message “Allied please call me back, you are my only hope, I know u can help me”

Obviously, this had to be serious for her to bypass my cousin to call me; I guess I was really her last hope. So I called her back and asked her what she wanted

“Where can I get a dildo? What store can I go?” she asked

“Excuse me? Kile wi? I had to switch to Yoruba because I was not sure I had heard correctly”

“Dildo, vibrator, E bo ni moti le ra? A very good one.” I know you will have that information, I don’t want to get it on the internet, I want to go to a store”

At this point I took a deep breath, I was amused. How did she come to the conclusion that I had info on adult stores? Or I might know what makes a very good dildo?

“How am I suppose to have that information” I said to her calmly

“Common Allied, u girls of nowadays (girl please! We are the same generation) that don’t want to be hooked up always have a solution for yourself. Just tell me where I can get it”

Back in the days, I would have said one or two not so nice things but I am older and wiser and I also know that her opinion of me does not matter. I could have told her that I don’t know an adult store, but the truth is I am very observant

“I don’t know where u can buy a dildo except on the internet. However, there is an adult store close to your mother’s house. I am not sure if they sell only “blue movies” (yes, I still call them that, It is just easier to say in public) but I am sure they will have information on where you can go and get it”

“Can you please go there for me and find out. I need to get it for a friend. Help me pick out a good one. u should know the latest abi?”

Is this lady Mad?

“No, I can’t help you go there, and like you said ‘us girls of nowadays that don’t want to be hooked up always have a solution for ourselves’. Sorry, a dildo is not part of it.”

I guess she heard the sass in my voice because she said her goodbye and I bade her one.


Question – Do Nigerians realize that it is normal for a single girl not to want to be hooked up?

There was a time an older lady (she is also 6-7 years older) asked to hook me up. She spoke about this guy from her church; a boy I have had the pleasure of meeting many times. He was an acquaintance. She went on and on about this guy until she noticed I was not excited.

“Allied, you are too picky, is it because he is big boned?”

“No aunty, it’s not that. I know Olumide, he is a nice guy. The thing is I don’t like hook ups”

Can you believe what she told/asked me?

“Oh, I see. You don’t want to date him because he will not fornicate with you’?

I was speechless for a moment, then I busted out laughing... first of all, who uses fornication in a sentence like that? And secondly, is she really for real? I just continued laughing until she herself was embrassed and she bade me goodbye

I know hook ups works for some, but there are people like us that don’t like them. It is not a sin. I have been labeled a Fornicator and a Dildo informant because I don’t like hook ups.

I don’t like HOOK ups – Yes I said it. I DON’T LIKE HOOK UPS...

And if you are offended I said that, please go jump off a cliff

Ok, don’t jump. But seriously just because you found your wife, husband, fiancée, fiancé, boyfriend, girlfriend, jump-off, cat, dog, sheep through hook ups does not mean everyone else has to go the same route.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And they say I’m picky

Text from a ‘toaster’

Hi allied, hope all is well. I am sick. It turns out I have mono and I have been in bed since last week. I hope u are still around when I get better. I really want to meet up in City. One more thing, U have beautiful lips

Can somebody say Ewwwwwwwww! The guy just stated he has mono, then he is talking about my lips. My skin actually crawled when I read the text.

A note to Cupid/Eros
Cupid, I seriously think the arrows in your quiver have lost its magic. Or maybe you are simply amusing yourself with different characters. I don’t even know why I am complaining to you, what else should I expect from a chubby baby? But if it the arrows that are causing errors, please get new ones from your mom (she still in good favor) and may I also suggest you take off your blindfold before shooting them

Monday, November 3, 2008

Souvenir - A Haiku Story

The days are shorter
Layer blankets and hot tea
Welcome winter

Escaping the blues
Pink Polka dot bikini
Australian summer

Nightlife & Vodka
Headboard knocking; Yes! Oh Yes
False intimacy

Everything must end
Bills waiting in mailbox
Looming solitude

Slanted deep brown eyes
Tuck in a wooly blanket
Autumn, a son’s birth

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Things I wish i knew years ago

I’m a year older today, and I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life. As much as I will like to always learn from the mistakes of others, I am humanly bond to make mine and learn tremendously from very single one.

Are there things I would have changed in my life? Probably, but I am not so sure because almost every poor choice I made shaped me into the woman I am today and it shouldn’t be surprising to say that I love me. However, there are a few things I wish I knew at some point in my life. It certainly would have made my life easier and less stressed. I am not sharing these things in regret but in hope that others can benefit from my blunders because we cannot live long enough to make them all by ourselves.

People will always have something to say. You don’t have to always listen.
l remember that at 8 years old, I was already 5’5. Aunties and Uncles said “Allied, you are growing too tall, no man will marry you if you grow any taller” Can u believe that? Of course, at that time when it had been instilled in us in school that the greatest achievements for girls were to be a good daughter then a great wife. The latter was going to be difficult if I did not somehow stunt my own growth. So at Age 8, Allied began to fast and pray so as not to grow an inch. Well I am 5’8 right now and I am the shortest in my family. Now all I hear is “if you are just as tall as your sister (5’10) you could have been a model.

All that stuff that’s stressing you out — it won’t matter in 5 years, let alone 15.
There have been many things that have happened to me, professionally and personally, that seem like the end of the world. And while these things were bad, they get blown up in my head so that they become major drama. They caused me to be depressed from time to time. What a waste of time. There are different problems at every stage in life. I remember when my biggest problem was when Kayode said he like omolade in primary 5B and not me. I told myself I will never like any boy again - Yeah right! Another big problem was this Data Structure class in University I couldn’t pass. I was one of the good students in computer science but still I could not pass this100 level course, it took 3 exams before I passed it in my last year. Still with a B+. There was also this crazy boss that was after my life, I thought I needed that job, but in the end, they let me go. It took me four weeks to understand that needed to happen for me to be where I am today. So, whatever those stress might be right now, just realized that it wouldn’t matter a single bit just a few years down the road. Perspective is a good thing to learn.

That skinny will be in vogue.
All those that called me “gbekumoyan” “Igbale” “walking stick” “Letter i” I want to see you now!! Ahh, I suffer oh, Kids and adult can be downright cruel. They called me names just because I was skinny. What didn’t I consume to make me fat – raw eggs, more raw eggs, milk and all other concoctions? Now, some of those *insert not so nice word* people see me now and as say “Allied, please tell me how you stayed your size”? drink raw eggs I say

Saying NO does not mean the end of the world.
I had a problem saying No and people took advantage of me. I had to start saying No, the first practice was telling myself in the mirror – it might sound silly but it worked. Now I am so good at it. Expect to hear a No from me if I have just finish cleaning the kitchen then you tell me to make you Iyan and Egusi. Expect to hear No, if you ask me to pick you up at your friend’s house at 1am on a workday when I am suppose to be at work at 7am. Infact I just said No to my little cousin (he is 1) he wants water, which means I have to stop typing... Okay maybe I am taking the No thing too far. ‘I am coming sweetie’

Just because you can pay the minimum doesn’t mean you can afford the balance.
Pay up your credit card debt and don’t buy so much stuff. My 20-year-old self would probably have read this post years ago and said, “Good advice!” But still I carried a large balance on my credit cards and paid my minimum balance. I was so mad when I got better in Mathematics and figured out how much I paid in interests for the stuff I don’t even own anymore.

A crying man does not equal a sensitive man.
Allied was ‘Mugued’. Just because a man cries when he hurts you, does not mean he is not evil. U know now that I think about it, I think I was just so shocked that he cried freely with me. As par I am Nigerian, I did not know what to do with a crying man except to “pet” him… ‘Sorry’ I say then clean his eyes then bring him water… Lol... I am laughing now, so funny

Six is not bad now. Please lets know what you wish you knew 5 -10 years ago. Like I said earlier, it is better to learn from other’s mistakes.

Wait!! Before you comment, remember to wish me a Happy Birthday :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time then Chance

This is a sequel to Time and Chance written by ablackjamesbond. We all know that sequels are never as good as the original. With that said, treat this piece as such. I promised the author that i will continue the narrative from the brilliant or rather stupid line in my opinion made Bayo a long eared, slow, sure footed domesticated mammal, related to the horse and used chiefly as a beast of burden. It is popular known as an ASS!


It is a difficult place to be emotionally. In between feeling cheated and trying to figure out what he thought she lacked as a woman and wife, forgiveness was also expected from her. Everyone in that living room knew Modupe’s mind was in turmoil. Occasionally, she let out a sorrowful loud sigh and sporadically shook her left leg as though defusing a cramp due to charley horse. For the first time in the 10 years that she had been married to Bayo, she felt extreme hatred towards him. The mess he had made of her life is about to be swept under the rug and never to be mentioned again, courtesy of the useless family meeting she was called to attend.

They were all seated in the living room waiting for the Olori Ebi [Head of the Family] to come out of the bathroom and start the proceedings. To her right sat her mother and her mother in law, her Pastor and one of the Deacons from the Church. Bayo sat at the corner in his favorite chair which is the tallest in the room. She thought he ought to have sat on the Apoti[1] in the kitchen, it suit the likes of him – a lowlife and shameless husband.

Olori Ebi finally appeared; everyone stood up, out of respect and allowed him to sit before taking their seats.
“Good afternoon everyone”, said Olori Ebi.
“The reason we are here today is to prevent a good thing from turning bad and address an indiscretion which is threatening the stability of the home of our children”

Modupe let out an audible “mmm” sound, in reference to the Olori Ebi’s choice of word “indiscretion”? If it wasn’t for her mother’s painful pinch, she would have told Baba Wande to throw all discretion to the wind and blurt out the truth about his nephew instead of layering it with pretty words.

“...ale tori ori fifo, ka be ori[2]” Olori Ebi continued “Modupe, Iwo la wa bee[3]. Please forgive Bayo. Asise ni[4]

She woke up to the knowledge that some contribution was expected of her.

“Forgive him? And how do I do that? Am I to pretend this indiscretion never happened? Or that he wasn’t in his right senses when he slept with that girl. And what am I to do with my aching heart? Mami[5] is there a remedy you can prescribe? Mami, e ma wo mi ni ran[6]” Modupe turned to her mother seriously seeking an answer.

‘Wa ni lati se suru ni’[7]. Her mother comforted her.

Olori Ebi asked Modupe to remember the good deeds Bayo had done in the past 10 years. He is still a good son, husband, provider, son-in-law, neighbor and also a friend. Baba Wande’s words soften Modupe’s heart and she started to reason her way through the situation. She could not understand how Bayo found the time to cheat? During the day he was always at work when she called, except when he was out to lunch with his clients. Even at those times, he calls to let her know where he would be. He also came home on time every evening to have dinner with the family, after which he retreats to his study to do more work on his computer. She had even joked with him last weekend that he was married to the machine.

The relationship she had with Bayo had always been a very cordial and close one; it would have to take more than just the beauty of a stupid girl to penetrate and destroy what they have built. Maybe her mother-in-law was right when she said Bayo was bewitched by that girl. Maybe he wasn’t in his right senses when that girl lured him to Ife. Maybe she should forgive him and solicit the help of her pastor to destroy the hex that Mope girl put on him. Modupe looked at her husband and she saw he was so deep in thought. He is truly sorry she thought

Olori Ebi: 'Dupe please don’t be angry. Ese bayo, jo fi ya mi[8]

Modupe: I have heard.

Olori Ebi: Bayo! Bayo!!

Bayo: Yes Sir!

Olori Ebi: “You have wronged this woman deeply but she is willing to forgive you because of the love you have shared this past 10 years and also for the sake of the children. So what do you have to say to her?”

Bayo: Modupe, mo de sa fun e to o. {Modupe, I still can’t believe you caught me after all the precautions I took]

The silence in the room was as deafening as it had been before the meeting started.

Modupe : Bayo lenu e[9]? BAYO!! You are a wicked person oh!! Ko buru [10] But before I forgive him, someone should please ask him a question for me.Would he forgive me for the same indiscretion? Baba Wande, Eba mi bi[11]

Bayo answered before Olori Ebi could retort “Dupe, darijinmi. Tori ife wa Darijinmi. Ise esu ni[12]

Modupe: I will forgive you, but not today. I want us to all come back here next week, because I will also be asking for Bayo’s forgiveness. I am sure the devil will also use me. We can both forgive each other.

Modupe stood up and walked out of the room. Her mother ran calling after her.

Iya Bayo: Obirin agbako wo leyi[13].

Bayo: Baba Wande, please beg Dupe for me. Ahh, she is going to spoil our marriage

Olori Ebi: Ko je danwo[14]. If she does, she might have just succeeded in bringing that Mope girl into this house.

Bayo: She better not do it, because I don’t think I can ever take the taunting of my friends and colleagues. Not in my life time will she bring disgrace into my family.

[1] Low stool
[2] Beheading one’s head is not the remedy for headache
[3] Modupe, we came here to plead
[4] It was a wrong move
[5] My Mother
[6] Mother, don’t just look at me ( means do something)
[7] You just have to have patience
[8] For Bayo’s sins, I will be responsible
[9] Bayo? I can’t believe you said that!
[10] It’s okay
[11] Please ask him
[12] ‘Dupe, forgive me because of our love.. It’s the devil handiwork
[13] What kind of terrible woman is this?
[14] She dare not do it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

For Rebecca

Clustered around papers, I remained on the carpet in the walk-in closet reminiscing all afternoon. The huge round hat box which housed my memorabilia sat stoically in between my tucked and folded legs bearing the depression made on its circumference. Apart from the dent, the box looked relatively new even though it’s a possession of a decade. It keeps secrets of the past, laughter of the present and memories for the future. Each content painted entrance scenery of past events ravishing to the eye and I simply allowed the memory of yesteryears transport me with joy.

Aaron’s letters was to bring me to the end of the journey. I chose them because his words were encouraging and strengthen to the soul. Aaron, who had been a very tall and brilliant white boy in college left sweet notes on my dorm bed once a week. In a subtle way, he professed his fondness of me but more than often his words was geared towards how he wished I could see myself in his eyes. He spoke like Confucius but with fundamentals principles from the Bible. I was never to settle for second best and should I come across difficulties along this path called earth, I was to listen to that still voice within me. His letters takes me to a warm and good place but my story is not about Aaron.

Amongst folded letters, I searched for the familiar yellow papers with the fading musk odor which use to be Aaron’s cologne but instead I found Jacob’s letters. Jacob and I grew up on an Island in New York and we attended the same church. As youths we engaged in every fun activity we were allowed and as time wore on my mother’s words came true. “Girls and Boys can never be friends. One will always want more” Jacob did.

In despite of his one sided “love”, our friendship continued. We cried, laughed and shared good memories. Jacob went far away to college while I went to college in the next state. His thirty or sometimes twenty nine page letters came every month. One for each day of the month and this went on for two years. We both came back home after college to find our Island too small for me. Jacob and I hung out but things were different. For me, he was boring and he in turn did not appreciate my newly acquired prefix and suffix in grammar.

‘Abeg, I am tired jare’

‘What was that? What is ‘a bag? And who is Jerry?’’ he would ask

‘Sorry, I meant I am tired’

‘Then just say you are tired’

A year after college, I moved out of the island but we kept in touch. He was sad and a little withdrawn but like every young lady just out of her teens, I was not going to be responsible for someone’s happiness. He asked me out again but I told him to forget about me. Besides I had already heard the speech from my grandmother “Mo omo eniti iwo ‘n se, Ma ba won fe enikeni ti kin se omo ile wa. A kin se be ni ebi wa”[1]

Jacob is Puerto Rican, and it is better not to start what i can’t finish. Well maybe if I had known my grandmother would die the year next and it wouldn’t matter to my parents who I marry as long as he is a man, I might have been more sensitive but God always knows best. You will have to forgive me again; but this story is also not about Jacob. It is about Rebecca.

You see, memories are like connectors, it leads us to down the chains to other events that are to unfold. Jacob’s letters opened the door to Rebecca’s. Like Jacob, Rebecca also grew up on the island and she is my best friend. She called me one day to see if I could come to the island because she had something to tell me. We picked the place and set the time we were to meet. I walked into the restaurant and saw her by the window with her eyes closed and fist clenched. She was praying. I hope this is good I thought. Her welcome hug lingered which made me a bit uncomfortable. “What is the matter” I asked

Rebecca is in love with Jacob. She had been nursing these feelings for four years. “I want to know if it is okay for me to tell him. I want your support but if by any chance you still like him, I will face reality and let it go”

“Tell him” I said “and if you must know, we never kissed him.” I smiled to assure her

Two years later, Rebecca asked me to be her maid of honor. Friends from our Island think it was a grave mistake I accepted. Rebecca was also advised to stay away from me. “You should be careful; you know her history with Jacob” Even my mom said “Do you think its wise? that would have been your life”

A year after the wedding, Jacob and Rebecca asked me to be godmother to their unborn child. I believed God cosigned on it because he was born on my birthday.

Rereading Jacob’s letters on the carpet in the walk-in closet that hot afternoon made me realize why Rebecca cried the night I shared those letters with her seven years ago. I misunderstood her tears for silliness because she always was the mushy type. I wished I had known then that it was because she loved him.

For Rebecca, The days of Jacob will seize to be mine
For you Rebecca, I tore his letters. Although he wrote them for me, he is living it with you.
For my dear Rebecca, Thank you for holding to our friendship.

[1] Know the child of whom you are, and don’t marry anyone that is not from our country. We don’t do that in this family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Other Side

Somehow, they were always around to see her step in or out of her red sport car. The Sub Rosa life she lives, aroused their interest in her arrivals and departures in that gated community of theirs. Sometimes, they would say hello when she looked their way but often they just stare. One of they rumored she was a model, but another disagreed for although she has the body structure and the height, her glasses and pull back ponytail makes her look more like a sexy teacher. ‘No’ the unassigned leader said authoritatively ‘the laptop she carries and the high heel she wears suggests she works in an office’. They all agreed that she is pretty and dresses very well.

They really did think she was a pretty girl until that warm Monday night. At 1:32am they saw a figure approaching in a familiar stride. They weren’t sure who it was until she said ‘can you please keep your voices down. I know summer is here and you have no school but some of us have to work tomorrow’ though her request was stated calmly with a slight accent that alluded she is bilingual, her voice was somewhat stern. Their action in response to her demand came in the form of a shrill cry – piercing and keening to her senses; she took a couple of steps back, afraid something was terribly wrong. It was not until one of them fell on his back with his hand on his stomach did she realize they were laughing at her.

‘What happened to you?’ He asked. ‘I mean, we always thought you are a babe but dag what happened?’

What they saw, they termed “African booty scratcher

Her hair was not packed in the usual pony tail but concealed in a tight black satin turban. Her face was bare except for the granny glasses that sat on the edged of her nose. They were huge and round, definitely not the cute squared frame she wore during the day. The faded white shirt clung to her body happily proclaiming the 60th birthday of an old woman. A rather long colorful Ankara covered the lower half of her body, to finish off the look; she wore two different color rubber slippers.

“What a transformation” another said

She in turn saw three young loafers always sitting under the big Juniper like tree below her bedroom window. Sometimes, she throws a smile their way acknowledging their greeting but often she prays for her brother when she sees the three, hoping he is not constituting a nuisance in somebody else’s life just like these loafers does in hers.

In an unmistakably Nigerian accent she yelled “what did you just called me? African booty scratcher? In your life you will not utter such again. You fool. If you don’t leave this place in ten minutes, I will show you what I am made of? Awon ode gbogboalianironu omode[1]. “

“You cannot do anything. We will leave when we are good and ready to do so”

“Wait and see. I am only giving you ten minutes. You will definitely regret it if you give me a reason to come out here again”

They continued to laugh

She was definitely pissed off, although her threat was an empty one; she felt a strong need to do something incase they decide to test her already worn thin patience. She paced up her down her bedroom, thinking about what she could do to get those boys away from the tree.

Twenty minutes passed and she still heard them laughing outside her window. One of them mimicked her accent and mannerism for their amusement.

She went into the kitchen and came back with her ammunition. Her first missile cascaded from her window down on their heads. As she finished pouring the big bucket of semi hot water, she remembered the heat wave prediction for that night. She returned to her kitchen and this time she came out with a big bucket of cold water, a broom and omorogun[2]. She stepped out of her house to their curses; many f’s and b’s flew out their mouth. Without retort, she threw the cold water at them, brought out the broom and proceeded to hit them one by one on their leg...

They all ran in disbelieve

With her left arm akimbo and the right holding the omorogun, she yelled “to ba bi yin da, come back here. Awon amu ni dese buruku[3]

They left and she went back into her house

Though, it was quiet she could not sleep. She never thought such actions could come from her.

She loved the rush; relish the verdict but not proud of the means it was derived

Maybe is she not gentle after all

Maybe Allied was never gentle to begin with

Maybe it is the other side of me…

[1] Idiots! Children that cannot think
[2] A stick used to make Eba or Amala
[3] If you are born complete, come back here. Evil people that leads one to sin

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ahón ni ìpínnlè ẹnu.

For those that can’t read Yoruba, the title translates to “The tongue is the border of the mouth.” This means there is a limit to everything.

People forget that!

The post is conversational. The Yoruba proverbs begin a new conversation and it also describes my feelings regarding the situation but it is all one story. I wish I could have written the entire post in Yoruba but I won’t because of obvious reasons.

Eni à ńgbé gègè ni yó ba ara rè jé.[1]

Allied won’t you buy our Aso ebi?

You are doing aso ebi?

Of course now – Don’t you know the naming ceremony for twins is a big deal?

It’s true. Ahh, I will also have twins ooo. How much is the aso ebi?

It is not expensive. $150 for both Ankara and Gele
(Why is every Ankara and Gele either $100 or $150? I am yet to see someone say $80 even $125, Na wa for Naija round up.)

I will send the money to your BA Account but how do I get my aso?

You know what? Make the money $170; I will mail them to you


Thank you. I will also celebrate with you oh...


Bí ọmọdé bá gun òkè àgbà, ó ńláti gbón.[2]

Brother Taju, please sew my Ankara well oh. The party is tonight

Allied, I sha don’t like when you bring me a rush job. You are going to pay ‘rush rush’ money

How much is “rush rush” money?


Eh? Will the cloth then iron and fold itself?

You are truly from Ijebu

Na you sabi. I am going to pay you $30 plus bring in customers. I will take some of your business cards to the party tonight (Yeah right)

Ah, thank you. Pay $45


Ahh, you are too stingy. Just bring the money

Enìkan kì í jé “Àwá dé.”[3]

I like that girl’s Ankara.

It is beautiful. But Allied, I thought you also bought Aso-ebi?

Yes now. I am wearing it

But it looks like you are the only one wearing this Ankara …

No, look at that table. One, two, three... Eight people are wearing it now.

And about thirty people are wearing the other one… Let me find out she sold you the left over Ankara.

Maybe the family is wearing something else... sebi I am just a friend…

Sade and Tolani are also friends but they are wearing the other Ankara. You do have to ask yourself, why everyone wearing the same Ankara pattern as yours is sitting together at the same table. You better go and join them…

You are not serious

Àgbà kì í fàárò họ ìdí kó má kan funfun[4]

Excuse me, Aunty Bose want you to join the others at the table in the extreme corner

Which Aunty? May I know why?

I guess it will be easier to coordinate the party if we are all together

(at the table)

Good evening Aunty

Good Evening. I want you to sit here with the others. Did Peju assign a task to you?

No Aunty

Well, you have to be assigned a task. It is the reason you are wearing the Ankara.

(during the party)

Allied did you serve table 4? (Yes aunty)

Allied, go and bring the cooler of Jollof rice from the truck (Yes aunty)

Allied why did you give that woman both meat and fish? (Sorry aunty)

Allied what is wrong with you? You are young, stop acting sluggish… (I rolled my eyes at aunty)
Allied take my daughter to the bathroom (Yes aunty)

Ìbàjé ọjó kan ò tán bòrò[5]

Aunty I am leaving. Good night

Leaving ke? We still have to pack the coolers in the van and clean the hall.

I have to go aunty. I need to be somewhere very early tomorrow

I see… After you have collected my Ankara – You are now running away when its time to work

Aunty, I don’t understand

If you knew you cannot work, why are you wearing my FREE Ankara? I told Peju to give them to people that will help me with the party. You should have bought the other Aso-ebi like everybody else.

Aunty, I bought this Ankara from Peju.

Èèyàn tí ò nítìjú ojú kan ni ìbá ní; a gbórín a tó tẹṣin.[6]

Peju, you really disappointed me. Why did you sell me that Ankara? Not only was it FREE, it was also meant to be worn by the servers of the lady who coordinated your party

Yes, but you did not have to help if you didn’t want to plus the servers are also my friends.

That is not the point. Did you tell that your Aunty Bose that you sold the Ankara because the lady disgraced me big time. You should have told me from the get go. I really feel cheated.

Allied, why are u making this a big deal? It is not that serious. It was my party and there were other people wearing the Ankara

There were Aunty Bose’s servers

Do you think you are better than they are? You think you are this mighty big shot?

Peju, obviously you miss the point. If there was no more Ankara, why did you make me buy that one? And if you wanted me to help out at the party - You should have said so. I feel cheated.

Are u calling me a cheat?

I want you to know that Àgbà tó mọ ìtìjú kì í folè ṣeré[7]

Ànán-mánàán ẹtú jìnfìn; oní-mónìí ẹtú jìnfìn; ẹran mìíràn ò sí nígbó léhìn ẹtu?[8]

I shouldn’t blame her. I think I have some kind of sticker on my forehead that says “gullible”. This is the 5th time that someone has sold me “extra” Ankara but this has been the worst experience. Was the $150 really worth it on her part? I have two options. Stop buying aso-ebi or I should start asking “Will EVERYone wear this Ankara?

Blogville, am I overreacting?

[1] It is the person who is revered that will disgrace himself or herself.(People who are placed on pedestals have ample opportunities to topple themselves.)

[2] If a child ascends the height of maturity, he/she must become wise.(Wisdom goes with age.)
[3] One person is not entitled to say, “Here we come.”(However mighty, one person is still only one person.)

[4] A grown person does not scratch his buttocks in the early morning without showing some whiteness.(Improper behavior brings disgrace.)
[5] The disgrace one incurs in one day does not disappear that soon.(Reputations are easy to destroy but most difficult to repair.)

[6] A shameless person deserves to have only one eye, that one as large as a horse's.(Human endowments are wasted on graceless people.)
[7] An elder who is wary of disgrace will not play at stealing.
[8] Yesterday the antelope was caught in a pit-trap; today the antelope is caught in a pit-trap; is there no other animal in the forest besides the antelope?(If the same person repeatedly finds himself or herself in difficulties others are able to avoid, one should look to the person's character for the explanation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Idol '08

Momsie told me I am the prettiest girl in the world - I believed her until I started school. Salewa had long jet black hair, Kiki was very light skinned and petite, Yewande was plump and her dark skinned glowed. I didn’t feel like the prettiest girl in the world.

When Momsie told me I have a really good voice – I was skeptical.

Do you have a good voice? Let everyone hear that beautiful voice of yours...

Sign up for Blogville Idol 2008

If you want to participate, send an email to Pink satin at or Opeke at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And it came to pass...

“Ka yi sauki yan zu ne?”[3]
“Allah zai tai makeka ka sami sauki[5]

Hajia Medinat was the last neighbor to visit Zainab after her tabarmar kunya[7]. Although, the neighbors knew what happened, they all treated her as if she had an illness that the common wontu[8] medicine could cure. Hajia Medinat said the same things as the others “eat, sleep and rest. Zaka sani sau ki yazu[9]

Zainab locked the door after Hajia Mediant left her house. She was not angry because she expected them to all stand together with aloof dignity. Their ridicules came in the form of lectures and their sorrowful mocks were accompanied with silent jeers. And of course, this embedded trait of theirs will transmit from one generation to another in the name of culture. A practice so long established that it has the force of law. Any one who does not adhere to it becomes an outcast. Zainab is a labeled reprobate, as a child she had been spoon fed the same customs but was wise enough to chew its morals and spit out its hypocrisy.

Her cell phone vibrated and she willed with intensity for it to be Musa but it was one of those annoying forward text messages from Hazzanat asking its recipient to forward the same text to twenty other people in order to have good luck in life. She slid the phone horizontally to reveal a QWERTY keyboard and hit delete. She was tempted to send Musa a text but decided against it. “He should be the one to come to me” she muttered under her breathe. She remembered their first major fight; it was the second day of Ramadan[10]. They met after the Maghrib[11] prayer to break their fast together. Musa who was always so sullen after work was full of cheer and praises for his boss. This was the same boss Bature, Musa vowed to mow down with his car. The change in attitude came as a surprise to Zainab

“Musa, did you get promoted?”

“No, but I know it’s coming very soon, Boss Bature called me a very intelligent man. In today’s meeting, he asked us a question and I was the only one who got it right”

“What is the question?”

‘If you are walking in a dark alley at night with your mother, wife and sister, suddenly a rapist appeared and you are overpowered. He then asks you to pick one person for him to rape, whom would you choose?’

“That’s a very tough question”

“No, it is not difficult when you really think about it. I chose my wife”

“You did what? Why would you do something stupid? Aren’t you supposed to protect me ….her? Ashamed of her admission, Zainab looked out the window hoping he did not catch her last word.

“I chose my wife because I cannot bear to see my mother go through such ordeal, and I would not pick my sister for the sole reason that she is not married. What man would marry her after he knows she was raped? But my wife, I know it is not her fault, I was there so I will forgive her”

“You can also forgive your mother” Zainab uttered in disgust.

Musa pulled her closer “are you angry with me? It was a hypothetical question. I would rather die before I give you up” That was enough to soothe Zainab’s feelings. The day ended pleasantly just has it needed to for two people in love.

Zainab was sucked out of deep sleep by the repeated blows which threaten the nails out of the door’s hinges. She looked at her wrist watch and the time was quarter to two. She immediately shook Musa’s sleeping figure on the adjacent sofa. Disoriented Musa was unable to think with clarity and act with intelligence. He asked Zainab to open the door. Hesitant in her steps, she reluctantly opens the door. Three gunmen pushed their way into the room rushing violently against Musa.

“Enter your room and bring out our allowance” One of the gunmen instructed authoritatively

“Sir, this is not my house, I am just a guest” Jellified Musa answered. The gunman looked from Musa to Zainab and slowly a smirk appeared on his lips and he simpered at Musa’s lame excuse. “I see... the cat is out and the mouse is out to play. I will also like to join in this game”

He motioned his men to bring Zainab as he unbuckled his belt. Musa pleaded and offer his car as atonement.

“What car do you drive”?
“A Toyota sir”
“What year”
“1982 sir”

“You must be mad. I drove a Lexus into this stupid compound and you are offering me a wretched car. I will never go backwards in life. Wretched man”

What every girl prays not to happen to her occurred that wee hours of the morning. Musa left shortly after the gunmen. He did not look at Zainab nor did he utter any comforting words.

A month slowly crawled by and he still hasn’t called.

The vibrating phone jolted Zainab to the present. It was another annoying text from Hazzanat. She slid the phone horizontally and began to text.

“Remember your answer to Boss Bature’s question... remember your words to me”

The reply came

“It would have been so if you are my wife... I am sorry”

The nausea came first, followed by her tears. She ran into the bathroom to release the first batch of bile that is to come every morning for the next four months.

[1] Good Morning
[2] Answer to greeting
[3] Are you well now?
[4] No
[5] God will help you get well
[6] Amen
[7] Matter of shame
[8] Arabic prayer written on a slate in black ink then rinsed with water. It is used as medicine.
[9] You will soon recover
[10] Islamic month of fasting
[11] The fourth daily salat -

Saturday, May 24, 2008

14th & Serenity

Click here for more information

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I have a CRUSH



How many times I call una?

…There is this very HOT guy working on my floor. I have been working here for three years and for the first time last month saw him. I am guessing he is a Newbie

I am not sure what he does here but I see him checking the Xerox machines, laser printers and other I don’t knows... I just see him looking everywhere sha. I don’t think he is part of the security team because those guys wear uniforms and he doesn’t. He is also not part of IT because that is my group. So who is he?

Let just call him Xerox guy. Guys I kid you not, God probably spend 3 days molding this guy. He is FINE… but come, Allied you are usually not attracted to light skinned guys, but this one is an exception. I find my self going to the bathroom 6 times a day like a pregnant woman just to check myself ke. I even know the times he will pass my cubicle sef.

Alas when we are alone together (babanla Juxtaposition) – hallway, near Xerox machine, pantry even elevator, I am always frowning. I don’t even know why. I just say hi and pop my earphones in my ears as in – please I don’t want to have a conversation with you” but inside I am like... Men, say something… Why do girls always have to do shakara?

He said good morning today and I just mumbled something under my breath... haa me sef... this mamiwater fine girl that’s in our office, she is a head tuner. I turn head whenever she walks by… And Yes I am straight

So she walked into the pantry and started chatting away with Xerox guy, touching his arms lightly here and there… Is she trying to leave her mark? Omo, if you want to leave a mark, piss on him... ewwwww

I am going to eye her tomorrow… But I am supposed to be professional... ok, I will pretend something entered my eye, and then look her up and down... LOL… what if they start dating (Good for them) but I cant have a crush on someone else boyfriend

Anyway sha, guys I am just excited that I have a crush… I haven’t had one for a while because men don’t just catch my eye like that...

I never date crushes... they are just there for my entertainment…

Wait oh; I don’t even know his name… Are there any rules for Crushes?

Check out the flier on the side page “where stories collide” click on it to learn more.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Won ti tag mi!!!

Rinsola tagged me
The rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you to this post
2. Mention the rules in your blog
3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

I fight with people in my head… No, i don’t have little people in my head. What i mean is i have arguments with people in my head. That did not sound right either. See, i am not confrontational, so when people irk me, step on my toes or plainly annoy me, instead of hashing it out with them. I just simply have a heated conversation with them in my head.

I cannot walk around the house naked or sleep naked. I know we females have to love our body and don’t get me wrong I do love mine but I just can’t just walk around the house naked or sleep naked. A female friend once asked me if I have ever stood in front of the mirror to look at myself naked. Let just stay she cannot to sleep over at my place anymore….

I have to sleep on the left side of the bed. If I ever give that side up for you, be aware that I must really really really like you.

I make fun of people I like. This is strange but if I am very nice and proper to you then you are still an acquaintance.

I do not liter. It is not unusual to see me with a little cute bag of rubbish. I will not drop it until I see a garbage bin. I hate it when people leave their litters on the floor especially at the movies.

I find everything dirty when it rains outside.

I think everyone in blogville has done this, so I can’t tag anyone.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where have i been?

I cant really say. it is not that i dont want to tell but i really dont know. Before i knew it the month of April is over.

I will be back in May!! I promise


Thanks to all those that checked up on me.. I really missed u guys

Monday, March 17, 2008

Look at Greed

Stuff found in Dr Daudi Balali's house. He is the ex-president of Bank of Tanzania. Apparently he had a branch of the Central Bank in his house.

This is ridiculous …had to share

Long Live Africa

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Engagement

The square, fold over pearlized ecru wedding invitation card passed around the room. With each hand that briefly held it came a “wow” or “it’s very beautiful” from its owner. Mrs. Bodunrinde was pleased with the reaction the card received. Her investment in the optional beveled borders was well worth it because members of her NGO thought it gave the card a distinguish look.

She described her daughter’s wedding gown as a satin A-line dress. The satin she chose because of its exquisite drapes and as they would all agree that an Inverted triangle figure like Tejumade’s will flatter an a-line dress. The bodice would be embroidered not with sequins but fourteen karats diamonds which would later be made into a necklace and bracelet for her unborn granddaughter. The details and color of the aso-ebi she left unsaid, her intention is to wow them as she did with the wedding invitation.

“Are your in-laws the same Akindugbe? The Akindugbe enterprise?” Mrs. Komolafe the vice president asked. Her face wore a somewhat quizzical look almost mocking.

Although her demeanor did not betray her, Mrs. Bodunrinde felt uneasy. This question was one she was afraid of. Her constant fights with Tejumade had been why she had to pick Sesan Akindugbe for a husband. He was first introduced to her as an entrepreneur until she probed further and got to know he owned a small shop managing fifteen workers – he is the head artisan. – A mere carpenter. “If you want to do charity, please donate money and not your entire life” she advised Tejumade on several occasions.

“No, they are not the same Akindugbe, but I think they are related one way or the other. It doesn’t matter if he is not from wealth, you know children of nowadays want to marry for love. Anyway, let’s get back to the agenda of this meeting. Where are we with the funds for the orphanage?

Sweat trickled down Sesan’s armpit even though he took a shower thirty minutes ago. The heat is merciless on those it considers lazy and sitting in traffic is regarded as idling away the day. He removed his fila, as if the breeze will somehow flow through his head to dry the sweat under his arm which by then had moved down his side. He tried to maneuver his way into the middle lane which seemed to move at a snail’s pace but his mother’s gele obstructed his view. She looked sad. Although her head was abased, Sesan could see the traces of wrinkles around her eye area. It only happens when she squints – an askance look of disapproval. He glanced at the rearview mirror a few times trying to catch her attention but to no avail.

Mrs. Akindugbe did not object the union between her son and Tejumade but she felt the Bodunrindes overbore them with their superior attitude. After the momi nmo e, both families agreed that the Akindugbes will host the engagement party for the couple but to her dismay, she got an Invitation with a letter inviting her to her son’s engagement party stating ‘the consensus of opinion is that we should do the engagement as well’. The opinion of whom they took, the letter didn’t say.

Sesan drove through the landscaped arc driveway to the massive building that stood in the middle. The valet attendants did not approach him; they simply looked at the car and pointed to where he could park. The Mercedes behind him got a different treatment; they almost carried the man into the building. Sesan walked with his parents to the entrance where he was asked for his invitation. “I am the groom” he mentioned. With a swift pass the guard motioned him in but not without a thorough glance.

The hall was beautifully lit with chandeliers. Orange and white bandhni drapes along with gold tissue surrounded the entire room. Inflated vinyl champagne bottles decorated with colored streamers added décor to individual tables. Waiters carried trays of intoxicating drinks served in slender transparent glasses to warm the atmosphere for a successful party. On the right side of the room sat the rest of the Akindugbe’s relatives who exhaled a sigh of relief when Sesan and his parents entered the room. It was not that the groom was late but many of them were on pins and needles watching the unaccustomed glamour being played out. At a point, each and everyone secretly checked their invitation again to see if they had indeed come to the right party.

The Alaga iduro started the ceremony. Sesan’s relatives did the customary prostration to Tejumade’s family. After much cajoling from the groom’s relatives they were allowed to sit down. A fabricated story was told on how the couple met, alluding to their difference in economic background. Tejumade was praised for her education, manners, beauty and character.

“Sesan, you can't find a girl better than Tejumade” the Alaga iduro bellowed through the microphone. “But we all know she can”

The room rang with laughter but it was louder on the left side.

“We now call on soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Bodunrinde …oh I am sorry Mr. and Mrs. Akin…. Akindubi… Akindugbe” the Alaga Iduro managed to say

The left side hearty laughter rang again.

Tejumade was asked to take out one item she will always need out of the trousseau Sesan’s relatives presented as a gift to her. She looked through the box and drew out a set of iro ati buba; she hesitated for a minute then she picked up the oja aran instead. She walked briskly towards the Alaga iduro who paused in her speech; unsure of what to say.

Laughter rang on the right side of the room this time

Mrs. Akindugbe knew her moment had come. At last she will be recognized as the Iya oko.

Her gesture was calculated. She took the microphone from the Alaga iduro and walked to Tejumade.

Although, she knew it was unnecessary and petty, but still opt for the chance

“I am glad that we still have two things to teach you in our family. Things your refinement cannot erase nor can your family wealth buy. They are our culture and customs.” Mrs. Akindugbe guided Tejumade back to the trousseau and handed her the white bridal bible.

“This is what you were to take.”

Her speech was a waltz to the rest of the Akindugbe family. They welcomed their triumph with thudding claps.

Tejumade dropped the bible and spun on her heels; she ran as fast as she could out of the room. Sesan followed. Confusion and murmurs overtook the hall and shame of ruin registered on both the mothers’ faces.

Aso-ebi - Attire for the family
Fila - hat
Gele - headtie
momi nmo e - Introduction
Alaga iduro - MC/Narrator
iro ati buba - Blouse and wrapper
oja aran - Velvet clothe used for securing a child when backed
Iya oko - husband's mother

Monday, February 25, 2008

She is Cultured

Six years old Wemimo sat between her mother's thighs making faces to ease the pain that came from her hair plait. Her mother’s hand moved rapidly as she passed the three part hair sections over one another in turn. “Gbo ri duro fun mi*” her mother snapped sporadically in between her talk with Mama Comfort who came to share the latest gossip in the compound.

“… although I heard her scream I just couldn’t be bothered. Maybe when he beats her black and blue then she will know not to bother him when he is drunk. When will she learn not to provoke her husband? It is as if she enjoys what goes on in their lives. Imagine, she went crying to the landlord this morning. I don’t understand why she craves so much attention” Mama Comfort tattled.

“So she can cry?” Wemimo’s mother let out a loud hiss. “Can you believe she wanted to fight me this afternoon? All because I removed her dry clothes from the barbwire fence. She terrorizes the whole building with her bickering when her priority is to take care of her husband. Don’t even get me started on how she mollycoddles that rotten son of hers Subomi. He is bad influence; Wemimo I hope you stopped playing with him like I ordered?”

Wemimo murmured a yes accompanied with a nod. She felt the compulsion to defend her friend Subomi who is more mannered than Comfort the mango stealer but it was best to please her mother at the moment because she knew a knock on her already throbbing head will definitely increase her misery.

Twelve years old Wemimo walked into a scattered mess living room. The room resembled the aftermath of a violent storm. A stray paper here and a lone book there, at the corner laid her brother’s football and sneakers smeared with mud. On the center table, specks of garri swam in a ring of water, stray cheerios played on the floor while the box stood at the base of the entertainment center. She watched as brown dried leaves were swept in an air vortex then its lazy rage quit as suddenly as it began.

“Bamidele” she screeched “why is the house so messy. Tidy this place up before mummy gets home”

“Why should I do it, aren’t you the girl?” he stated nonchalantly

Her face turned red with rage. “You must be mad. Did I participate in this mess? You made it and you must clean it up” Wemimo’s mother walked in during her outburst and was taken aback at the mess.

“How can I have a daughter and still come home to a dirty home?”

“But mummy, Bamidele, made the mess, I just ….”

“Clean this up now before you father comes home. As for you Bamidele, are you a pig? Look at the mess you created for your sister to clean up. I don’t ever want you to make such a mess again. Do you hear me?

“Yes mummy” he beamed and feasted his eyes back to the television just in time to see Clarke Kent change into superman

Eighteen years old Wemimo woke up to her mother terrified screams; she lunged for her wrapper and ran towards to her parent’s room. Her mother crouched on the floor with both hands on her head; the inarticulate sounds she uttered could not be deciphered. Wemimo’s father had a Koboko in his right hand, he looked like someone who had just quenched his rage of thirst but wanted more to get the sweet feeling of the very first drop. His smiling face disturbed Wemimo, it was the same facial expression he gave when he was promoted the year before and when Alaji Bakare forgave his huge loan. To him, that smile is associated with good. To him, what he just did to her mother is good.

Wemimo helped her mother up and led her towards the door then she turned to her father “I would have been proud of you if you had done this to Alaji Bakare’s son Ibrahim when he slapped you for stepping on his shoes.” She didn’t say more but the shame of that day crowded her father face.

She returned from school to see her mother waiting at the gate. “Wemimo, I hope you did not mention what happened this morning to anybody? What happens in this house should stay in this house. When you get inside, please apologize to your father. Under no circumstances should a daughter talk to her father the way you did this morning. Things happen in marriage, when you get married you will understand”

Twenty eight years old Wemimo rushed into her parent’s home crying with her two children in tow. “Mummy, i am divorcing Kunle. He slapped me twice in front of the children.”

“What did you do to him” she said calmly

“What did I do? Did you just ask what I did to him? What ever I did should not warrant any beating from him.”

pele, ile oko, ile eko ni. He is only teaching you”. Go in and sleep but tomorrow your father and I will go there with you. Under no circumstances should you ever leave your husband home. Do you know how many women will gladly take your place”?

Wemimo fought, she pleaded, she left for her uncle’s place but she heard the same thing there “ile oko, ile eko ni*”. She sought the help of friends, she got a small place to live, She was gossiped about at work, she was insulted and spat upon – “after all a woman who earns as much as she does can never respect her husband”. She was fired from work, her children were taken from her, she was evicted with no place to go.

Tired and broken she went back home

Home was with Kunle

He gave her a room, he gave her the children, he got her a job, and he beat her once a while

But she survived

Fifty four years old Wemimo sat on the balcony in her house with a newspaper in hand. Temilade her daughter rushed in crying “Mom, I am done with Dapo, I cannot take his daily physical and emotional abuse any more”

“What did you do to him”? was the first sentense Wemimo uttered.

Gbo ri duro fun mi – Keep your head straight
Pele – Sorry
Ile oko ile eko ni – Your husband house is a place of learning

(Sorry for the errors.. no time to proof read)

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I was going to put up another story then I realized it wasn’t appropriate for Valentine’s Day. I don’t want the heaviness of it to tamper with the love in the air (eyes roll)…instead I decided to do the game of THINGS… This should be intresting. I love to see some of your answers and please feel free to add to Things you think people should know..

Things your parents forgot to tell you
That being an adult came with it set of problems -a whole lot of them. If I knew, I wouldn’t have been in a hurry to grow up.

Things you can do to get rid of unwanted guests
While talking to them, go and in out of rooms lighting candles of different colors, then ask them if they want to join you in evoking the angry spirits that live within the wall of your house.

Things you wouldn’t want to find in your Christmas stockings

Things you shouldn’t do at your wedding
When the minister says that you may kiss the Bride that does not include a full body grope.

Things you shouldn’t say to your friend before they go into battle
Be self assured that i will take proper care of your husband. He will not lack anything.

Things people do when no one is looking
Truly being themselves or pulling out a wedgy

Things you shouldn’t do on an airplane
Wear too much perfume or cologne. Please lay off the duty-free shops when you are about to board. Perfume should be a seductive scent when you pass and not make the eyes of the person next to you water

Things you wish were delivered
Men – I wish I can just order them according to how I like and if it is not what I want, I have 30 days to return him.

Things you should not do if you want to make a first impression
Please don’t pick your nose, flick the booger then clean the tip of your finger with your shirt

Things kids know more about than Adults

Things paramedics shouldn’t say to a patient on the way to the hospital
Any last words?

Monday, February 4, 2008

My Journey

I surveyed my future inheritance from the massive balcony overlooking the northern courtyard in my father’s palace. The dandelions and purple tulips gave the plains a unique color of deep blackish brown. From afar, the plains look dead and blanched but close up it becomes a beautiful place filled with flowers; swaying to the rhythm of the wind. Life is really good at home but I needed to see what was beyond those plains.

My father is a very powerful and wealthy king. His reign and praises is known in the entire kingdom and beyond. As an heir to the throne, I enjoyed all the rights I am entitled to in the palace. One of those rights includes the freedom to see and talk to my father any time of any given day, even when he has other pressing matters to attend. One day I told him how bored I was in the kingdom. I want to see the world and all its glory.

He called me a child for my lack of understanding. “I love you and want you here. Life is terrible down there. It is filled with hunched backs caused by drooped shoulders pulled down by the heavy weight of their self inflicted problems”

“But you are very powerful, why can’t you make them all happy”?

“The problem is that my people do not acknowledge me as their king therefore, they refuse to obey the laws of my land. The few who obey don’t fully understand the law hence the chaos.”

“But daddy, I want to see for myself.” I pouted

With a heavy sigh, “Do your will. Tomorrow you will go on your journey. All I said will be revealed to you.”

I mulled over the conversation I had with my father as I packed all I thought was necessary and compulsory to go on a pilgrimage. I stood before him the next day combat ready. He advised me to leave my luggage behind because it will not be needed. He descended the throne and embraced me, his warmth enveloped my whole being, his fatherly love tugged at my heart and immediately I was ashamed for wanting to leave home. With my eyes closed, he kissed me on the cheeks and bade me farewell.

Suddenly, i was in a dark warm enclosed space. There was not much room for movements but surprisingly I was very comfortable. I heard blurred familiar noise and sounds which put me to sleep. Without warning, I was transitioned from the dark amniotic sac into an infinite cold space with bright lights as coarse voices shouted “dhukha, dhukha*

Woh ladki hai (n)*” the disappointed midwife exclaimed. I heard my mother sob. My entry to the world was like being in a warm swimming pool right after a dive and abruptly you raise your head from the water. It was very uncomfortable. The world felt huge, alien and cold. My mother Lata kissed me and whispered into my ears. “Asha”. My dad Vishnu scolded her for what she did then took me from her, “you should not have named her” he sorrowfully added “she cannot stay” A bucket of cow milk was brought into the room, and he submerged me into the opaque white liquid till I stopped breathing. I had come as hope for them but because I was born a female in Bihar, my faith was death. Since my parents have no money to pay for a future dowry, the problem had to be taken care of now. If they had let me live, I would have lived up to my name - Asha*.

I returned traumatized; into another sac within minutes of leaving the first one. I prayed to be born a second time to a place where females are cherished. My prayer was answered; my new mom Jennifer was overjoyed to see a beautiful baby girl with a head full of dark hair. Frank, my new dad cried the tears of joy when he held his first child. My grandparents spoiled me very much. Life was good in Little Elm, Texas.

I turned one, two, and three, on my fourth birthday Frank passed away. Two years later, Jennifer’s new boyfriend Tom raped me continuously till I turned nine. I passed away the night he held tightly to my neck so I would stop screaming when he thrust his member into me.

I reentered benumb into yet another sac. This time I prayed to be born a male. Again, my prayer was answered and I was born to Nkem and Etim Ebong in Nigeria; a place where male children are a source of pride for the family. My birth was celebrated and I received many gifts for being the first son. I was happy in that household until my parents accused me of wizardry at the age of four. I was beaten and tied to a tree in a nameless street in a town called Esit Eket in Awka ibom for five days without anything to eat. Weak in spirit, I closed my eyes and whispered a message to my daddy “please forgive me; I am ready to come home”. The plains looked even more beautiful with its dandelions and purple tulips when I opened my eyes.

dhukha - Push
Woh ladki hai (n) - She is a girl
Asha - Hope

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Ariyike admired her naked figure in front of the antique bureau in the master bedroom. Her left hand hiked up her hair in a ponytail-like manner while her right traced an invisible line into the smoothness of her dark skin. The trail started from the nape of the neck, passed between her breasts and ended just below her navel.

“All a waste” came her whisper. She quickly grabbed a night gown when she heard a knock on the door. “Who is it”? The door opened just as she managed to pull a house coat over her transparent night wear. Her father in law poked his head in the room “Bahu*, your saas* and I are going to the mandir*, please tell Vinod to pick us up at six”.

Teak ke. Phir milenge Sasur ji*” she did a quick one knee bend as she voiced these Hindi words Vinod taught her, but she wasn’t sure it was right to have added “Sasur*” at the end. In the Yoruba culture, your father in-law becomes your father. Next time she will say “Baap*” instead of Sasur*. Her father in-law gave no indication he heard her practiced Hindi. He closed the door quietly and walked silently down the hall to meet his wife. Not until Ariyike heard the front door close, did she realize she had also greeted him the Yoruba way. He will soon mention to Vinod that her knees keep bending whenever she talks to them.

It has always been WE, THEY and THEM from the beginning

Seven months ago, she came into this very house as a guest. Vinod had finally shown courage to tell his parents about their plans to marry. She sat stoically on the sofa while her past and future was discussed. Her mother in law cried and shook herself violently clamoring “Kyon beta? Kyon? tumara patnii nahee hai*” over and over again. Those were the first Hindi words she looked up herself. She expected rejection not shame. To the Sharmas, her marriage to Vinod would result to the lost of their family honor. Their tashrif*. How are they to look other Indian families in the eye without shame? Does Vinod remember he has two unmarried sisters? Who will marry them?

Two weeks before, she had dealt with the same issue with her parents, but the worst her mother said was "no family member will attend Your ceremony". The emphasis on 'your' was for her to know she is in it alone. Her father called the extended family to talk some sense into Ariyike but she did not relent. In a mist of tears, she informed them she had made her choice, her love transcends language and culture, they would understand if only they left their cultural cocoon.

The same scenario played in the Sharma’s house. Vinod told his parents “its either her or i will never marry”.

Beta*, they don’t understand marriage like us. They leave their husband at the first sign of trouble. Understand us beta*, we are your parents. We know what is good for you”

“She is the solution to my life”

Ariyike got up from the plastic covered sofa and knelt in front of his parents. She cried and swore never to leave Vinod. Without speaking, Vinod’s father helped her up and took her to the altar room they kept in the house; he pointed to some statues and told her to swear before them. He lit incense and chanted some mantras. Ariyike swore to Ganesh, the statue with the head of an elephant, then to Brahma, the three headed god in the Buddha position. She was also asked to present flowers to a blue colored god who is known as lord ram. On her own accord, she brought out a small bible from her purse and swore to her own God never leave to Vinod.

It would have been easy for Ariyike to cope if she experienced inevitable mundane changes of the seasons in marriage but hers was extraordinary. She left Vinod a note on the fridge to pick up his parents from the temple at 6pm. They have not spoken since she found the pictures under his cufflink box. She went to the room and stared at them again. The first Polaroid was of a naked stranger sleeping peacefully, ‘sleeping beauty’ was written on the back of the picture. The second had Vinod holding the stranger in a loving clasp, ‘frozen moments’ it said. In the third and last Polaroid, Vinod was kissing him.

She chose to stay. She had to stay. She has to prove to her in-laws that she can grapple just like any Indian girl. She has to prove to her parents that she did not make the wrong choice by marrying out of her culture. She has to prove to Vinod she is more than enough for him. She has to prove to herself that she is happy.


Bahu – Daughter –in law
Saas – Mother in law
Sasur – Father in law
Mandir – Temple
Teak ke. Phir milenge Sasur ji – Fine. Good bye father in law
Baap – Father
Kyon beta? Kyon? tumara patnii nahee hai – Why Child(male)? Why? This is not your wife
Beta - Male child
Tashrif - Honor

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mirror of Choice

With the instructions her mother left behind, Olape spoke with authority to Asabi. “You cannot leave until you clean the freezer”. Asabi merely grunted, if it were another day she would have hissed or sang aloud how tomorrow is very pregnant. The master always ends up serving the servant in most of her songs. Today is different though. It is Asabi’s last day as a maid in the Iteyin’s household. She is traveling back to her village to get married.

“Aunty Olape, what are you going to give me before I go” she shouted with glee. The girls are only eight months apart but because of the position Olape held in the house as the master’s daughter along with Asabi’s upbringing in a community that believes one has to give respect to anyone who is at least six months older, Asabi is bond to call Olape an honorary aunty.

“Give you? I don’t know why you are happy, you barely know the guy” She remarked in disgust.

Twenty year old Asabi gave a coy smile. She twisted the dust rag around her index finger as she answered “I remember he sold fish in our night market before I left the village five years ago but now he is rich. Mami said he now owns three okadas and he rents them out to drivers. I will be his first wife”

“How old his he?”

“I cannot say, he should be Baba Iyabo’s age but I know he will take care of me. Mami said he paid for my trip to come back to the village, she also said I will be the madam of his house”

Olape felt sorry for her. Baba Iyabo is the Iteyin’s driver and he is in his early fifties. She wondered in amazement the poor choices these illiterate girls make. Items not worthy of being classified as luxury dangles in front of them and they fall for it. Asabi is going to marry an old fart just because he has three okadas. Thank God she, Olape Iteyin is educated and can see beyond okadas.

“Olape, you have to weigh this option carefully. Kola’s mother just spoke to your father and me concerning your hand in marriage. When did you start dating Kola? I thought it was Segun family you introduced us to?

“Mummy, Segun is not serious. He never wants to do anything, we don’t go to the movies nor do we go out to eat. There is nothing romantic about him. I met Kola two months ago and mummy can you believe he is based in the US” ?

“Olape, your choice should not be based on that. We know Segun and his family very well and they are nice people. We don’t know too much about Kola’s family and they want to hold this marriage next month. As your mother, I will advice you to give it a thought.”

“Mom I have made my choice. I love Kolawole very much” her eyes glisten as the thought of living in Boston came to her already distant mind.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Did Somebody say Weirdo?

Ok, I for fear.

Happy New Year!!! I haven’t bloggd in a while. I was so busy. Ok I lied; I was not busy jare, just lazy to blog. My muse and I were luxuriating during my 2 weeks vacation doing absolutely nothing. I invited some bloggers over to my place and we had (Ok, let me speak for myself) I had the most amazing time with them. We gisted till 7 in the morning. These bloggers had lots of funny stories to tell, they are even more animated in person.

Anyway, I know this is really late. I was tagged by many people but it was hard to come up with 8 weird things about me. For the sane reason that I don’t consider myself weird at all, so this is my lousy attempt to join the Weirdo crew.

1. If you help me in any manner, I will always be loyal to you. Not to say I am disloyal to other people. Example, Let say I need $3 and you came to my rescue, there is nothing you can do that will make me say I won’t be there for you. Even if you treat me bad. I will always remember what you did for me.

2. I cannot sleep when someone else sleeps beside me. I don’t know what I will do when I get married. I will wake up if they move, breathe loudly or God forbid they snore.

3. When I am bored I write my name and cell number over and over again. I will write them in Caps, then lower case, then Caps and lower case.

4. I have lots of native for someone who is not an owanbe chick. Once a month, I try most of them on, complete with accessories excluding the Gele (head tie). I then admire myself in the mirror but sadly no place to go. But this year I have decided to start wearing them to my friends function. Most of them are Indians and they wear their own outfit. So why shouldn’t I wear mine.

5. When I am angry, I clean. I don’t know how to fight. Not with words, fist or silent treatment. When the place is spotless, I feel better and I move on. If I hold in bitterness, where will my happiness dock?

6. I detest Malls. I would rather spend my time watching Cspan. (Which I also dislike) Please why do people go window shopping? What purpose does that serve? Why do people hang out at the mall? For what reason? I only go the mall like 1 or twice a year and it is to places I know I can’t find outside the mall like Things Engraved.

7. I don’t like to memorize people cell phone numbers. I dislike it when people ask you what their cell phone number is just because they know yours. I don’t even know my Mom’s new cell phone number. In this day and age that I don’t have to dial, all I do is store you name, number and press enter. I only remember numbers I dial. Another reason is when I delete you from my cell phone what is the purpose when I know your number off head (please tell me I am not the only one that do this? Delete a number you know by heart from a cell phone)

8. I remember people’s birthday. If I meet you once and you tell me your birthday, be sure that I will remember for life.

Ok, I made it to number 8; you can see that I am not weird.