Monday, 31 December 2012

Beating the Grass

As we climbed the grassy hill, the sun warmed my back as a mild wind blew, bending the tall elephant grass on our path. I adjusted the strap of the water bottle and glanced at my father,he muttered a curse and spat as he flogged the cow closest to him. I exchanged uneasy looks with my elder brother,he shrugged philosophically as if to say, "such is life"
Baba went ahead of us,thrashing the tall grasses  all the time time cursing Ali,his bosom friend,my elder brother,Sule was marrying his first child,Amina. when the cows stopped to graze,baba asked us to sit down and then he told us stories about our culture, "do you know why the groom is flogged during the marriage ceremony?"He asked Sule as he sat down to drink his kunu,he shook his head, "many years ago,our ancestors gave their daughters out to other tribes,but they were maltreated by these men who always hide their true character so our ancestors decided that to test their true nature they must be made to pass through a test". He turned to look at me, squinting against the sun, "why do we beat the grass?" he asked, i scratched my sweaty armpit, it felt like a test, i cleared my throat, "sometimes dangerous animals hide under the bushes, we dont want to step on snakes so we beat the bush to chase them out" he nodded smiling, "humans, like grass, need to be beaten to bring out hidden nature" at this point he turned to Sule, "this is why you cannot be exempted from the flogging you will receive before you marry Amina. Sule looked down, he had told me that he was afraid he will cry when he is flogged and that will bring shame to him and his wife, "but baba, i dont have any snakes hiding inside me" he replied and for the first time that day, my father laughed, he threw his head back and laughed hard."when you are being flogged, remember that!" he replied Sule back. The day passed without anything else happening. But eight days later, whlen Sule was being flogged, our eyes connected and instead of tears, he laughed hard like baba, and i joined him, because the only thing inside us, was laughter and joy and baba's wise words, When you beat the grass, be ready for what will come out of it. Birthday Bro Mike,this short story is for you!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Season's Greetings...

Its Christmas morning, my family and I are gathered in my elder sister's house, we have so much to be  fact thankful for, the fact that we are all alive and well, the children are growing well and passing their exams with flying colors, our parents are doing okay in the village. I look back at the year in retrospect, we have been through ups and downs, but for every down, God has been there to raise us higher, to know that this day, so many years ago, our savior was born, makes me feel so thankful, because if He hadnt showed up when He did, life as we know it would not be in existence. I am so thankful to God, the Father, that He loved us enough to send His son to us. For a wonderful year, I say Thank You Jesus, Youre my Star, my Hero, my All. Merry Christmas everyone!Enjoy your day!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Under the Mistletoe...

I remember Christmas as a kid, it was simply magical! the air was crisp, we were off school on holidays, my elder sister was making homemade ice cream with my mum's cake coloring ah!it was fun all the way! It was my favorite time of the year, my elder brother was around to regale us with fantastic stories of local folklore, but Christmas day we actually wore brand new outfits and ate as much food (rice, fried meat, chin-chin, soft drinks, candies we got from distant relatives, etc) as we could! Then we visited some relatives driving around in my father’s Peugeot 504 and were given money! Slick brand new five naira notes that mum allowed to keep and spend on whatever we want. Ah! Those were the good old days… 
Christmas these days leave me wanting more, have i outgrown my childhood innocence and lost the magic of the season? or have i, finally realized that it isn't a day the government ordained for children to eat as much as they want and get monetary gifts from usually stingy relatives... One thing stays the same, the feeling of expectancy, you know something wonderful is about to happen, I don't know if I'm the only one that thinks that way, but I'm always so expectant during the Christmas period. And I don't get disappointed, I always find or get something that gives me that 'aha!' moment. I love Christmas, I love the fact that we have set out a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus (who cares if He was really born in October?!) the fact that we mark His birthday in such a big way feels me with warmth. I'm expectant again this Christmas, so much can happen and I'm sure so many wonderful things will, you know how they say if you're standing under a mistletoe you get kissed? Well, I'm standing under God's mistletoe and I expect a huge-giant-out-of-this-world-kiss from my heavenly father!Fingers crossed! I will fill you in as we go on....

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The False Truth(concluding part!)

Pastor Ivie drove automatically towards the church her mind elsewhere. Two days ago, the witch that tried to tear her home apart had been prayed for by their deliverance pastors, then the elders had decided that she should be suspended and demoted to a mere church member indefinitely. Although she had been instructed to apologize to the pastor and his wife, Ivie felt they were too lenient on the stupid girl. What if the public got wind of her allegations? She pondered as she slowed down at a junction, her husband’s good name would have been in jeopardy, she horned as an okada man stopped in front of her to drop a fare and her poor husband had been patient and quite tolerant throughout the whole ordeal. She resumed driving and made a left turn, she accelerated and finally stopped in front of the giant church edifice, the things her poor husband went through in the name of the Lord, she thought again as she alighted and opened the back door of her Toyota Yaris to bring out the food flask from the basket. She locked the door and walked slowly towards the church office. Her poor husband worked too hard and his reward was a demented girl accusing him of adultery. Take for instance today, she murmured to herself, he had left home as early as 6am because the church needed funds and one of the enablers had told him to meet him at the airport to collect the check! She hissed angrily, people were so cruel! why not ask the pastor to send someone to pick up the damned check! How much could it possibly be? She got to her husband’s office door and rearranged her sour features, she was surprising him with lunch and she didn’t want to ruin the moment. Mentally pushing all thoughts aside, she entered the office and found it empty, even though the door was unlocked and the door to the inner office was partly open. She was just about to call out when she heard her voice! The witch was in her husband’s office!
Tina shifted on the pastor’s chair and eyed the kneeling pastor in front of her, “you think I’m moved by your pleadings?” she said as the pastor sniffed and wiped tears from his face, “I said I’m sorry, if you had waited for me to return before telling Ivie, we won’t be in this predicament, but I’m still ready to do everything we planned, please sweet baby” Tina looked towards the partly opened door, “abeg get up o! I don’t want someone to come and see their great pastor on his knees begging the church’s ‘Mary Magdalene’ as they call me now”
“I don’t care! I love you and our unborn baby,  please, give me a chance to be in your lives” he begged edging closer to the chair. Tina stopped him with a look, “so my money is ready?” He nodded vigorously, “I was at Elder Ekanem’s house early this morning to collect it, fifteen thousand dollars” he said trying to impress her, Tina sat up, “Eh? That’s not enough now!” He rose now, knowing she was pacified, “I will send the rest by the end of the month, after the feast of multiplications” He leaned closer to her and touched her face, “you don’t know how much I love you!” he murmured, she removed his hand from her chin, “how were you able to escape from the dragon?” Referring to his wife, Ivie, Pastor Patrick Onovo shrugged and stretched, yawning, “I told her one of the enablers wanted to give me a check and he wanted me to pick it up at the airport before his flight to London” he sat at the edge of the large table, “and she believed that?” Tina laughed incredulously, “the brains on that poor woman!” Patrick reached for her as they heard the outer door close, they froze! “I thought you said no one knows you’re here!” Tina whispered, Pastor Patrick shook his head as he hedged cautiously towards the door, he opened the inner door and peered into the empty reception area, seeing no one he sighed in relief and announced to Tina that it was the wind, if he had checked closely, he would have seen the oily ring the bottom of the food flask made on one of the couches, where Ivie dropped it when she heard Tina’s voice. Oblivious to the truth, they continued to plan Tina’s trip abroad as Tina accused and Pastor Patrick begged and cajoled.

The VIP lounge at the Muritala Mohammed airport was scanty, even so Ada was reluctant to leave her daughter alone to ease herself, she felt she will embarrass Aisha if she told their waitress to sit with her while she made the short trip to the bathroom, she was so pressed, she thought as she looked around again desperately, she saw the skinny woman wearing black track suit smiling and walking towards her, something about her was familiar but Ada didn’t recognize her, “Hello sister Ada” the lady said in a melodious voice, instantly Ada knew who she was! The choir mistress in her church, she smiled guiltily, she didn’t want to be associated with that church anymore. “Hi” she replied feebly forcing a close mouthed smile. Tina waved to Aisha and she waved back cheerfully, Ada knew that Aisha liked the other woman, Aisha wanted to be a singer when she was of age, making a decision, Ada turned to the choir mistress, “please can you watch her for me? She not strong and I need to use the bathroom” Not waiting for a reply Ada dashed off as Tina took her place beside Aisha, she looked at the anemic girl in concern, “what is wrong with you?” she asked maternal instinct kicking in, Aisha looked down at her folded hands on her lap, then she raised her head suddenly and looked Tina in the eye, “please don’t tell my mum, but he hurt me” she simply said, “who?” Tina asked puzzled and alarmed at the same time, Aisha touched her stomach and suddenly, Tina knew who she was talking about. It felt as if icy fingers were squeezing her lower abdomen as she reached and cradled Aisha, “how many times?” she asked as tears coursed down her face, “eight times” Aisha mumbled, “he said I needed to be cleansed and he had to do it seven times, but he did it eight times instead” Aisha paused and stared at Tina, “maybe that’s why I got pregnant” Tina shook her head as she trembled beside Aisha, “no its not your fault, he—” her voice broke and she cleared it, “he is just the devil’s incarnate” she whispered viciously, angered and pained at the same time. Aisha kept staring at her, “Bola told me that he did hers eleven times, when she got pregnant her mother bought the local herbs to help her remove it, he gave them money to take care of her, she bought the herbs for me when” she stopped talking and sat looking at her hands again. Tina stared at the frail little girl and tried to visualize her with a giant like Pastor Patrick, she shook her head again, Bola was the sturdy sixteen years old daughter of Elder Ekanem the church treasurer, at least she was strong enough but this tiny girl…
“Did you tell your mother or anyone else?” Aisha shook her head, “mum loves him”
“Everyone loves him” Tina replied bitterly, she hugged Aisha again and wiped her face, “where are you going to?”
“To my dad’s in Alberta, Canada” Writing her number on a sheet of paper, she handed it to Aisha, “will you call me from time to time?” Aisha stared at the paper in awe, “yes I will I promise!” she said as she hugged Tina. Tina smiled amused at Aisha’s hero worshipping, “you have to tell you mother though, you can’t keep this bottled up, promise me you will tell her” Aisha nodded, “I promise” she replied quietly as Ada made her way to them, “what are you promising her?” Tina got up and Ada promptly sat back down as she looked from Tina to Aisha, “I told her to call me, I would love to hear from her, anytime!” Tina said as she finally left them and went to sit down. Ada frowned as Aisha reached to hug her and looked actually happy, she hugged her back contemplatively. Tina sat deep in thought, her only hope of making it abroad was Pastor Patrick, but armed with the information she just heard she didn’t want anything to do with him, after struggling with her conscience for a while, she decided to hold off cutting him off, she was after all pregnant for him and broke, when she gets a job in her new location, she will cut him off, she resolved and felt instantly better.


It was Wednesday evening service, the church was packed as the visiting pastor of one of the new Pentecostal churches made his way to the podium, he stood for a while until the applause died down before he brought a white handkerchief and patted his slightly sweaty face. His permed hair was shiny and curly. He raised a hand and the yellow diamond ring he wore on his pinky flashed. Ivie sat in her usual chair on the dais next to the pastors and choristers as the service went on, they had the visiting pastor talking about tithing and giving to God to prosper and her husband, Pastor Patrick sat beside her nodding and clapping to the message. She knew she should have confronted him with what she heard the day before, but she figured she will be the one to lose if her husband were to confess to the truth, she after all could not have a baby and Patrick knew but still married her, even when he knew it was a result of a perforated womb from numerous abortions, no, she thought again, it was her turn to do something back for her husband, she will never disclose his secret she vowed in her mind as she saw Elder Ekanem fiddling with his phone, then he dropped it and looked at her with such hostility, she shifted on her seat, could Elder Ekanem read minds? She pondered as her phone vibrated and she picked it and saw the small envelope indicating there was a new message in her phone box. Then she knew who the mad texter was even before she read the vicious message he just sent to her. And it suddenly dawned on her that Tina was not the first of her husband’s infidelity, Bola, Elder Ekanem’s second daughter had taken in last year and she had praised her husband for the moral and financial support he had showed the family. Presently, her husband reached for her hand and squeezed her numb fingers as a show of affection, she stared at their enjoined hands on her lap and almost started laughing, what a sick joke her life was she thought bleakly, but this was her life, his shame was her shame too. So she squeezed his hand back and smiled at him instead.
The flight was almost full, Ada sat down and rearranged Aisha’s blanket around her protectively, “mum, I’m ready to talk about it but you must never tell, please!” Ada nodded mutely and braced herself as if she was about to receive a blow, “okay” she replied in a shaky voice. “Its pastor Patrick, he said I should never tell or else I will go to hell for tattling” Aisha said quietly plucking at the thread of the soft woolen blanket covering her legs, “Pastor Patrick did what?” Ada asked confused, “told you not to tell me?”  Aisha shook her head, “Pastor Patrick did it” She glanced at her mother and saw her stunned, pained expression, “pastor...” Ada muttered and couldn’t speak, “okay, I will never tell anyone, I promise”
As the plane taxied towards the runway for takeoff and Aisha closed her eyes as the sleeping drugs took effect, Ada looked out of the window and wondered what she will tell TJ when they got to Canada, her stomach was hot and cold at the same time as she tried to imagine the six feet plus Pastor of the church she attended with her diminutive daughter, it brought hot tears of rage and humiliation to her eyes. She thumbed the brand new novel by Chimamanda Adichie, “Half of a yellow sun” she had thought it will keep her company during the long flight, but the only thing that consumed Ada’s thoughts now, was what to tell her husband when they got to him.
TJ was waiting for them at the arrival terminal when they cleared with immigration, he picked Aisha up as if she weighed nothing and glared at Ada, “who did this?” he mouthed behind his daughter’s back, Ada stared at him for a long time, her internal struggle mercifully did not show on her thin, sharp features, “its Danladi, Daudu’s younger brother” she whispered back.
Danladi, was the gateman’s younger brother that had lived with them until a few weeks back, he had returned home to help their father with his cattle and was killed in a bomb blast in their Kaduna settlement a day after getting home, everyone knew Aisha had a crush on him and had been inconsolable when he died, which was why his name came to her so easily.
TJ turned and walked away saying nothing.
Ada followed, already feeling heavy with guilt for lying on a dead boy, but the lie, she thought decidedly, was better than telling the truth.
The end

Friday, 23 November 2012


“So” Elder Chinyere started, “Sister Tina, you are accusing the pastor of fornication?” Tina looked down at her hands, “that’s not what I’m saying” she mumbled suddenly aware of her folly, “what are you saying, witch?” Pastor Ivie shouted, “Ivie, please calm down let her talk” Elder Orosanya admonished, they all turned to Tina who sat there fidgeting, looking for a way to get out of her present predicament, “Pastor was talking about how Haggai was a blessing to the household of Abraham until Isaac was born” she paused, “and you thought you will be the Haggai in my home?” Ivie said again eying the other woman heavily, “I thought if I told her that I was pregnant she will be happy to hear the cry of a baby, regardless of where it’s coming from” Engineer Kufre shook his head disbelievingly, "are you pregnant or not?" he asked amidst cries of "gbam!" "ehen" and other grunts of assent, Tina looked down, refusing to answer. "Tell the witch to confess o!no wonder sunday service has not been power packed like before!" Pastor Ivie screamed from where she was sitting, "the problem is not who she is pregnant for" Elder Orosanya said trying to be philosophical, "the problem is why finger the pastor of this church as the culprit!" Some of the elders nodded again, Elder Ekanem disagreed, "the pastor is a man, why not accuse him? abi is he the holy spirit?" he asked as Engineer Kufre again asked him to shut his dirty mouth if he had nothing better to say. Sister Chinyere shifted in her seat in the fractured silence as she exchanged looks with the other elders, “I think we need to inform the deliverance department that the head of choir is possessed! because this girl" pointing a crooked bony finger at Tina, " wants to divide the church!” she proclaimed as everyone nodded in consent, finally Pastor Ivie started to cry, lamenting on how hard it was to be the mother in Israel when there were demons parading as choir mistresses. Tina sat quietly saying nothing, it was almost as if after making her proclamation she had returned to her normal quiet self, “the pastor must hear of this!” said retired engineer Kufre, Elder Ekanem eyed him and turned his back to them all, he disagreed with the possession theory, but as usual, he kept quiet.
The doctor finished his check up and patted Aisha’s shoulder, the nurse moved in and started to sponge bath her, she had been instructed not to allow her stand up, she had lost a lot of blood. Ada paced outside the room, once in a while she will take a sneak peek at the half opened door to see if her daughter was alright, then she will resume pacing. She wasn't sure what to tell her husband. After breakfast, she had asked Aisha who was responsible for her pregnancy and she had replied that it was someone from the church, meaning her husband had been right after all. When she had pressed her for a name Aisha had started crying again and she had been asked to leave the room so that the doctor could conduct his check up on the patient. She held her phone now in her hand, dreading the call to TJ her husband, the nurse presently came out of Aisha’s room, smiled at her and walked away. Ada reentered the room and stared at her daughter, suddenly she wished her own mother was still alive, Dame Mona would have known exactly what to do she thought dismally. She took her seat again and leaned forward, “daddy wants to say hello to you, are you up to it?” Aisha nodded vigorously. Finally after inhaling and exhaling several times, Ada placed the call, just as she was going to say hello, her husband’s brusque voice cut her off, “put her on the phone!” he said without pleasantries. Ada handed the phone to Aisha who shifted to get comfortable and for the first time since the ordeal started, she saw her daughter smile as she chatted animatedly with her father. Ada got up and left the room, feeling lost and dejected.
 “Is it Sister Chinyere’s son, Godfrey? You told me he was always playing pranks when you went for counseling” Ada asked trying in vain to get the name of the boy responsible for knocking her daughter up and leaving her to clean up the mess, she has been calling the names of all the boys in the teenage section but Aisha kept shaking her head, her father had asked and she had started crying, presently tears welled up again in her eyes and Ada leaned from her sitting position to wipe them, “if you tell me, it will be our secret, I won’t even tell your dad.” She cajoled quietly, Aisha shook her head again, “Please mum, I don’t want to talk about it ever again” she said turning her head away, she was healing the bleeding had stopped completely, there was no spotting and the doctor had informed Ada after the morning check up that she will be ready to go back home by evening. Ada sighed heavily, TJ had ordered her to bring his daughter to Canada as soon as she could fly; it was almost as if Ada had allowed what happened to happen deliberately. Why was he so angry with her? She was just as shocked by the whole event as he was, she rearranged the sheet protectively around her daughter and got up and stretched, it was Monday afternoon, she  would have been rounding up the Monday morning  meeting and returning to her office to tackle the files, but she was instead in a hospital room, trying to make her daughter tell her how she got pregnant right under her nose, some mother, Ada thought again as she exited the room, she was going home to cook and hopefully sleep a little before returning in the evening, to bring her daughter home.TO BE CONTD...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Pastor Mrs. Ivie Onovo sat on the bed deep in thought, her mobile phone lay on her ample lap. She sighed heavily as she glanced down at the phone, this was the fifteenth threat she was receiving.
And they were all viciously worded against her husband. What did a wonderful man like her husband ever do other than to help people and bring them closer to Jesus? The man in question entered the room, and shrugged off the suit he had on, it was almost midnight and he had not eaten.
Ivie struggled up and went to him, he was tall, six feet and several inches and broad shouldered, he made her five feet eleven inches 254 pounds body look diminutive, she smiled as she allowed herself to be held,
“You work too hard” she murmured against his left breast.
He rubbed her back more vigorously, “only as the Lord admonishes, someone has to do the work” he murmured kissing her upturned face, “how was your day?” he asked quietly, “hectic, you know we had to go to the market for the foodstuffs for the women’s Sunday banquet, then I had to rush to your sister’s place because she wanted me to pick Urie and Jude up, then I drove her to the airport and…”
“You’re right it was really hectic” he cut her off with a yawn,
“Did you manage to prepare any sumptuous meal for your starving husband?” he teased kissing her some more, “will pounded yam and vegetable soup with stock fish and goat meat do?” she asked smiling, knowing it was his favorite meal, “I will manage it” he replied with a straight face before they both started laughing, she looked up at his kind face and wondered again who the demented texter was and what a man as gentle as her husband ever did to warrant such hateful words…
Tina waited patiently as elder Orosanye entered the pastor’s office, she looked down on the book on her lap, Tim Lahaye’s Spirit-controlled Temperament, she knew the book had helped her understand herself more. She was more controlled and tolerant now than before, she knew the pastor had given it to her for specific reasons and she was thankful for his insight. She smiled as a thought came to mind. She smoothened her pleated skirt and reflexively touched her lower abdomen. Sister Agnes, the pastor’s PA walked in noisily and sat down behind the clustered table.
She ignored Tina who after eying her looked down on the book on her lap again and sighed, then turning to stare pointedly at her, “sister Agnes, I dey greet o!” she said forcing a smile, Sister Agnes raised her head and looked at her with barely veiled hostility, “Madam I greet you back!” she spat out and turned back to the report she was writing. She hated Tina, the airs the stupid girl had, as if been the choir leader made her the most important person in the whole world, if anyone should assume airs, it should be her, after all she was the one that planned the pastor’s itinerary, yet she tried to be humble she thought hotly. She was going to make her wait today; she resolved and felt instantly better.

The sun was bright; the curtains moved lazily in the breeze, the room smelt faintly of Dettol and some flowery aerosol freshener.
Aisha sniffed and tried to sit up.
She gasped as the pain shot from her navel to her lower abdomen.
Cradling her flat throbbing stomach on her hands she blinked the tears from her eyes and tried to look around without moving.
Her mother was sleeping, folded on the worn armchair the color of yeast.
She wiped her tears with the back of her palm and agonized on what to tell her mother when she woke up.
Ada stirred and sneezed twice before opening her eyes, she groaned as she straightened stiff muscles, then staring belatedly on the bed she met her daughter’s pensive look, rushing to her side amidst moans of pains she dropped to one knee and took Aisha’s cold hand, kissing it she stroke her forehead as she started to weep, “I’m so sorry I didn’t protect you better” she whispered into the frail girl’s ear.
 Aisha managed to turn and buried her head on her mother’s neck sobbing openly.
Ada was not sure whether it was in pains or shame she wept, it didn’t matter, her daughter was hurt and she did what any mother would do naturally; console her.

“…it doesn’t matter what you’re passing through, Jesus knows, and He’s here for you…” the choir sang on as the pastor made the altar call, several people; in various throes of emotions were already standing in front of the well decorated altar.
Pastor Onovo wiped the sweat from his handsome face and beckoned to his wife to take the damp handkerchief from him as the church continued to pray for the new converts. Sister Tina sang on, wondering how much longer before the service ended.
She was starving.
The choir members were not allowed to eat until after church on Sundays, she wondered if she could sneak out during the announcement period to buy some snacks from across the church, but decided against it, it was too open, if the other members saw her, they will tag her an unserious leader and she wanted to be the first to see the pastor today after church.
She had waited for four hours yesterday before that cow, his PA had told her that he had gone for a meeting in another church. The stupid witch! She thought as she rounded up the song she was singing.

The fight started at three that afternoon.
The members of the church committee had just finished saying the grace when they heard raised voices coming from the pastor’s office which was two doors away from the boardroom where they were.
Elder Bartholomew Esezobor reacted first, he quickly yanked the door open and waddled towards the noise, Elder Chinyere Uko who was behind him pushed him aside and ran headlong into the office.
They all stopped when they saw it was the pastor’s wife and Sister Tina.
They all stared at each other shrugging, helplessly. Everyone knew of the animosity between them, “you are the devil’s incarnate!!” Pastor Ivie shouted shrilly as she moved closer to Tina, shoving her with her shoulder, Tina staggered back,
“And you are a barren cow!”
Elder Chinyere threw her skinny frame between them, “please pastor Ivie calm down” she had to shout to be heard, the men took cues from her and started pulling the two screaming women apart.
They were able to calm them down after a while, when Elder Jude Orosanye, the oldest and the wealthiest in the committee asked what transpired, the shouting match started again. It took a bellow from retired engineer Kufre, the most educated member of the board, as he always loved to say to shut them up. Silenced, Tina started to cry, elder Chinyere hugged her and asked what was wrong, it was unusual to see her cry.
“I just wanted to inform this dried cow that I was going to be a blessing for her home when she attacked me!”
“You are a curse to your generation, imagine this witch! God Forbid!!” Pastor Ivie shouted trying again to reach Tina; she was held back, “what kind of blessing?” Elder Ekanem Udo, who had been a silent observer since asked, he was after all the treasurer of the church if there was something that will profit the church, he wanted to know about it, Tina sniffed and looked around self consciously, “I am pregnant for Pastor Patrick” she said, wiping her nose, Ivie made another dash to hit her as the five elders stood stunned staring at her, “which Pastor Patrick?” Elder Chinyere asked, she knew that there was a youth pastor, recently ordained who was also called Patrick.
“The Pastor of this church, Pastor Patrick Onovo!”
“You are a big liar! You hear? Tell the devil that he has failed!!”
“I am not lying, you stupid fat cow!”
“You want to tarnish the name of God’s own servant, you will fail, you hear? Spiritual wickedness in high places!”
“Look at the witch calling me wickedness; are you not wicked for sucking the pastor dry all these years and you have nothing to show for it? Eh? Answer me now!”
The elders looked at each other then Elder Kufre stepped forward, “brethren, let us stop hurling accusations around, let us sit down and discuss this like matured adults” there was a collective yes from the other elders, “ah, my elders you want to take this witch seriously?” Ivie asked, “Pastor Ivie, let us just sit down and discuss it” Elder Chinyere cajoled.
They all filed out of the pastor’s office and made their way back to the boardroom, Sister Agnes, who had been hiding under her desk got up and clapped her hands together, “nnsogbu di na Katanga!” she muttered as she started to pack up for home in feverish excitement.TO BE CONTD...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


The doctor nodded gravely, “to whom?” she asked in a strangled voice, “we were hoping you would help us with that, you have no clue at all?” he asked her again, she shook her head, both in disbelieve for what she hearing and in denial, “I know no such boy” she replied her mind in a blur.
“Can I see her, doctor?” she asked, still not believing that she was discussing her daughter, “she’s asleep and we’d rather not want her awakened” he replied, “oh no, I only want to see, just to make sure…”her voice trailed off.
He nodded, pitying her.
They both got up at the same time and headed for the door.
 Ada re-entered the reception and felt ashamed as if she had done something wrong, did all the orderlies know? She wondered as she passed a nurse who greeted her genially, they must all know and wonder what kind of mother I am, she thought again in disbelieve, the doctor opened the door down the hall and gestured for her to enter after touching his lips with his index finger, she nodded dumbly and hesitated, what if there was no mistake? And her daughter had actually attempted abortion? No one taught you how to deal with such problems when you became a mother, babies were the only things that came without manuals she thought distractedly.
She straightened her spine, her late mother would have said she was being spineless; the Da-silva women were strong and indestructible.
She entered the room and could barely make out the tiny form sleeping quietly on the hospital bed. She neared the bed and looked closely, it was really her daughter, smaller and a little pale, but her daughter nonetheless, sleeping on the hospital bed.
Ada felt hot tears coursing down her face before she realized she was weeping openly, her little girl had been violated and was trying to fix the problem, or was it consensual? She thought as anger and doubt bubbled together within her constricted chest, she shook her head forcefully, she knew Ivory, someone had forced themselves on her but why hadn’t she told me? Ada agonized.
She jumped when she felt the doctor’s hand on her shoulder, he motioned her to the door and she shook her head at him, she was not leaving this room until her daughter woke up. The doctor looked at her sympathetically, it was always so hard, he touched her elbow again, “let’s just discuss, you can come back” he said quietly, Ada turned and walked out of the room without struggle, her red eyes ablaze.
Immediately the door closed she turned towards the doctor, “someone will pay for this” she hissed through clenched teeth, the doctor nodded passively, he knew mothers always believed the best of their off-springs, “we have a police friend on ground if you want to talk to him, as you know, this is a serious matter” he said as Ada’s eyes grew bigger, it was painful for the doctor to see, “you already involved the police without my consent” she roared, “I will sue if this case embarrasses any member of my family” she thundered at the doctor, finally satisfied that she had an object to vent her anger on, “and to even insinuate that she brought this upon herself is both insulting and demeaning of my capabilities as a mother” she said, enunciating her words,
“Madam, I apologize for annoying you, but the police was called to protect the hospital, she was brought here profusely bleeding and unconscious, please let us sit and discuss this issue privately” he begged, his hospital was just beginning to gain recognition, he didn’t want any negative reports circulating the estate.
Ada glared at him and decided to do as he advised, they went back towards the dusty office, she paused as he opened the door, “I have to make some calls” she said and walked away abruptly in the opposite direction.
The doctor sighed heavily, shaking his head.

“…what are you saying?” the male voice asked tinged with worry and astonishment, it was so difficult hearing him talk like that, “I don’t have details yet but I thought you would want to know…” her thin voice trailed off, she was so fatigued, “we will know more by tomorrow, she’s sleeping now” she added to reassure him.
There was static and silence, “are you still there?” she asked raising her voice a little,
“I told you not to drag my children to that church of yours!” his tone was raw and vicious, she drew the phone away from her ear and stared at it before pressing it back to her ear, “honey this has nothing to do with church”
“How do you know?” came the quick reply, she closed her eyes and ran a paper dry hand over her face, her eyes itched and watered, “honey, let’s just wait till tomorrow, when she’s awake, I will get the truth from her” she waited when she heard a sniff from the other end, oh God, why was this happening now? She thought desperately, she sighed and stifled a sob of her own, “TJ?” she said hesitantly, he coughed then cleared his throat, “Just make sure you let me know the minute she’s awake, no matter the time, I want to talk to her” he ended the call before she could say anything back.
Slowly dropping the phone, she turned and walked back towards the doctor’s office, she squared her shoulders before knocking on the door, without waiting for a response, she opened the door and entered, it was going to be a long night, she thought when she saw the scrawny looking man that was seated on the seat she just vacated. TO BE CONTD...

Friday, 16 November 2012


Judith has been a nurse for eight years, she had started as a cleaner, then she had been moved after three months to the dispensary, where she quickly learnt about pharmacology, she was doing so well that the doctor, an aged man that had studied as an obstetrician, had decided to train her as a nurse. He had allowed her to inject patients the first six months of the training; it had not been easy for Judith, a bubbly, plump kind hearted girl of twenty-two, who hated hurting people’s feelings. Eventually she got the hang of it and was swiftly moved to fixing of IVs and carrying out minor examinations. It was no surprise to anyone when the old doctor finally promoted her to Head nurse and married her. When he was not in the hospital, she covered for him. When the young girl was rushed to their hospital that afternoon, she had taken one look at her and known what the diagnosis was. When she had called her husband for examination, he had pronounced the same diagnosis. Because she was bleeding profusely, she had suggested that they either turn them away or contact the police. After several pleadings from the young aboki man who seemed to be the culprit, that also brought the unconscious girl, they had finally agreed to call their friend Ete, who was a police sergeant and put the girl under close observation.
It was almost nine forty-five before a harried woman rushed through the hospital dirty glass doors to ask about her daughter’s condition. Judith examined her through large innocent looking eyes, she was rake thin, her grey colored skirt suit—though well tailored—was two sizes too big for her, permed hair that got to her shoulders, parted on the side, eyes that were closely set and red rimmed, she had been crying obviously, a thin runny nose and her thin lips were chapped and slightly bleeding, she must have been biting them throughout on her way to the hospital.
“Madam, calm down, she is stabilized now” she said soothingly, pitying the woman, being a mother of a five year old daughter herself, the mothers were always the last to know, she thought shaking her head as the poor woman started to cry, “whhhat is wrong with her?” she managed to get out between sobs, “em, the doctor is with a patient, but he will soon be through” Judith said evasively, quickly getting up to go fetch her husband. Ada started pacing, wondering what they had for dinner the night before and whether or not she was looking ill in anyway but she couldn’t remember, a frustrated sob escaped from her as the old doctor made his ponderous way towards her. She stopped pacing and wiped the tears from her eyes angrily, she hated to be so weak.
“Madam” the doctor said in a calm baritone and steered her away from the reception towards his office, she followed silently as he squeezed her wet palm and murmured platitudes to her. She calmed down considerably as she was ushered into a large, colorfully decorated office. He offered her an armchair and sat on the one close to it, looking at her keenly, he noticed she was strained and undernourished, “your daughter will be just fine, we had to transfuse when we saw that she was in dire need of blood” he mumbled patting her hand as he rang for housekeeping, “but you on the other hand need some food in your system, we will get you an orange drink and maybe some snacks” he told the orderly that showed up, looking at her as he spoke, she nodded and managed a dry-lipped, close-mouthed smile.
He sighed, it was always so difficult when handling relatives, no matter how many times he had done it, “we will wait a little for the orderly and the food while I finish my evening examination of your daughter and another patient, just stay here till I return” he said and got up before she could protest.
Ada sat there numb, cold and wondering how she had failed so woefully as a mother.
It must be the prawns, she thought again as she finally remembered yesterday’s dinner, I thought they didn’t look fresh yet I used them for the coconut rice, she berated herself, what else could it be that will make her faint? 
The door opened again quietly and the orderly handed her a paper plate of meat-pie and a plastic bottle of fanta, she took it and nodded to him. As he retreated, she took a small bite of the pie and found it warm and moist. She took another bite, this time bigger and chewed slowly, she took a gulp of the fanta and another big bite of the pie, it was quite tasty she thought as her mind wandered towards work, she still had three reports to write and the employees’ data base to update, she sighed and placed the half-eaten snack on the worn stool beside her and drank all the fanta, then looking around, she noticed that the office was slightly dusty, she frowned. Why would the doctor’s office be dusty except for the reason that he didn’t use it all the time. She got up abruptly and headed for the door, something bad has happened she thought in panic as she yanked the door open and found the doctor standing in front of her, he smiled and ushered her back in.
“She’s stabilized and resting, I had to sedate her when we couldn’t hold her down for the IV” he paused and frowned, “she was quite beside herself with grief and remorse, she said you would kill her if you found out”
Ada blinked uncomprehendingly, why would she be remorseful for eating bad prawns,
“I don’t understand doctor, I made the dinner” she said to the doctor who merely nodded and offered her the seat she just vacated, “you think her illness has to do with food poisoning?” he inquired quietly as he sat down heavily, “yes, is it something else?” she asked as the cold finger of fear gripped her again, oh God, please let it not be anything worse, she prayed as the doctor cleared his throat, “em, yes it is” he said and stared into space, “does your daughter have a boyfriend?” he asked suddenly, Ada threw her head back and laughed heartily, boyfriend? she thought, she had problems getting her daughter to mingle with other people, she was a chronic bookworm that was why she started counseling in church, she was too antisocial, “no, doctor, she doesn’t have a boyfriend, she barely even have female friends much less boys” she replied with a wan smile, the doctor wrung his hands and hung his head in deep thought, he found this particular case difficult to handle, maybe because he saw that she was already overwrought and overworked, “well, your daughter was three months pregnant and trying to abort it, she took some strong, local contraceptives and would have bled to death if your gateman hadn’t rushed her to the hospital” he said bluntly, the truth couldn’t be sweetened he thought as he saw astonishment, then confusion on her thin features, “I am here for Aisha Ivory Isa-Mohammed doctor” she explained, they probably had more than one female teenager here. The doctor sighed and nodded his head, “I’m talking about her” he paused and flipped her chart open he had entered with open, “age fifteen, weight forty kilograms, blood group B-positive, with a healed fractured wound on her right arm, five stitches on that injury” he looked at her in askance, “yes she fell from her sleigh when she was ten, I was in the kitchen preparing the eggnog for the church Christmas brunch in Wichita” she replied automatically defensive, eyes wide with shock, “pregnant?” she whispered almost in awe. To Be Continued...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


As you all know, I write as a hobby, and since I've not been published I think I should share one of my short stories with you, so that you can judge whether I should quit my day job and take up writing(Lol!)
Don't worry, just read and let me know what you think, I don't bite! This one is a short story titled,
"The False Truth" its in a compilation called A Mouthful Of Silence (AMOS) Enjoy!


The meeting finally ended at three-fifteen that Friday afternoon, Ada’s head was pounding, even as she nodded into the phone she winced and gestured to her secretary to drop the documents and messages she brought into the emptying office, she was the branch manager of a first generation bank.
Assuring Mrs. Ogbodo that the bank stocks were not really dropping she smiled weakly as she finally replaced her phone and took a sip from her mug of tepid coffee, she gagged and placed it down grimacing and opened her top drawer and reached for the bottle of Aleve she kept specially there for days like this.
Whenever she was having her period, her head pounded, her skin grew hot and cold and she suffered double visions, she was afraid to go to the hospital because she was sure she will find out they were symptoms of the big C, so she suffered and swallowed pain-killers her husband sent her from Canada. She endured more of the bitter fluid to wash down the slim pill.
She shook her head and groaned in regret, she had to stop abusing her body like this.
Her secretary came in again and her desk phone started ringing simultaneously, she grabbed the phone and dropped it back on the cradle, “what now, Chichi?” she asked as she looked at her through hooded eyes, “sorry ma, your gate man called, he said it was urgent, you should call him as soon as you can” she said and slowly retreated thankfully taking the half drank cup of coffee with her. Ada sighed, Daudu, her gateman was melodramatic, he called everything urgent.
The last time the PHCN people visited and threatened to cut their electricity, he had called and announced it as ‘urgent’ , when her mother-in-law came to stay for two weeks two months ago, she had been called approximately four times daily because of one ‘urgent’ excuse or the other.
She blamed herself for buying the idiot a phone and actually recharging it. Frowning she reached for her mobile phone and found out he had also called her fourteen times there, she hissed and dropped the phone, she had too much to do, she decided to tackle most of the documents and soon was lost until Chichi came in to say goodnight.
She looked up with a squint, she really needed to visit an optician, her eyes were getting worse she thought as she blinked at the wall clock, it read 8:45 and she rubbed her eyes to remove the black spots as she bade Chichi goodnight.
Stretching her lean arms above her small head, she grabbed her phone which was still on silent and stuffed some of the documents into her laptop bag and shut down her Sony Vio lap top, then reaching for the desk phone she told her driver John to bring the car around to the front of the building.
By the time she made it down from her eight floor office with the elevator, John was waiting slightly panicky, for her in the almost deserted lobby, “what is it John?” she asked as she took in his worried expression, “Madam, I don dey call you since” he replied as he hastily stepped forward and took her laptop bag and her hand bag from her,
“Proper English John, I’ve warned you!” she scolded, she hated when he addressed her in pidgin English, “Na Aisha, madam” John replied ignoring her warning as he rushed forward to get the door for her, “my daughter?” she asked blankly, “yes ma, she faint, dem don rush am go hospital na im we dey call you for since” he continued as they got to the car.
Ada halted as her stomach dropped and the taste of the coffee she took all day came back up, she struggled to swallow, “what” she said but her voice was weak and her throat too bitter, clearing her throat again, “what did they say is wrong with my child?” she asked a little stronger, John shrugged as he swung his car door open, “dem no know, but dem say if she no get blood, she go die” he replied as he entered into the car and expertly reversed and entered the already congested road.To Be Continued...

Friday, 2 November 2012


Hello Everyone!
I know its been quite a while since I wrote anything, my apologies, Life has been happening and we thank God for being alive to witness another day! Anyways, have you all been thinking about me? praying for me?Thank you friends! I have missed you all too, so so much you cannot tell...
I know you're wondering  what the title word means but before I tell you, I want to ask, what that restrain in your life is. Restrains are things that hold you back from achieving your goals, dreams and aspirations
It could be financial, or medical, or emotional for that matter, it doesn't matter, situations are really good at crippling us.
When you are broke, its like a prison, there are so many things you need to do but you cant because you just don't have the money to make them happen. Or it could be an illness, I remember when I was growing up, I was Asthmatic, it was just so restraining.
I couldn't do a lot of things, eat certain food, inhale dust, I had to go everywhere with a Ventolin inhaler, quite embarrassing too. I remember the last time I used that inhaler, I was in my twenties, watching a preacher on the telly and he was talking about how one can be healed totally.
I listen and I decided to exercise my faith. I announced to my family that I was healed and I threw away my inhaler. It was radical, but I was tired of being ill.
The next day, I had a crisis and it was a terrible one, all night long I stayed up, leaning against a table because I couldn't sit up straight or lie down, it was as if my lungs were filled with fluids and i was trying to draw air from the fluids, excruciating!
I remember I kept saying in my mind by "His stripes I am healed" I couldn't even talk, eat or do anything
It  was around 5am in the morning before I drifted off to sleep, I woke up lightheaded and so much better. And that was the day I left the restrain of Asthma.
So, What does Ephphata mean?
 Its God's word for us this November, and it simply means "BE OPENED!"
All the doors the enemies have shut against you, the restrains that have held you in place for so long, that have helped you so well to hide your God given talent, well God is saying, "BE OPENED!"
Just as Jesus used the word years ago to get a deaf and dumb man to be healed, He's saying it again today to you and your miracle will come silently, instantly and completely!
What must you do?
You may not suffer through the night like I had to(even though God came through for me in the morning!) but you must believe that God wants to open new doors to your health, your prosperity, your hidden, unexposed talent, your faith(cos the opposite of all your fears and insecurity is faith) and you will experience a newness, a lightheartedness, a sense of peace that you yourself will find foreign to your usually mundane, restrained or contained existence.
Be ready to walk if you're crawling, be ready to run if you're walking, be ready to fly, if you're running, I say Ephphatha!
Dig up that talent and write that book! or make that movie or go back for that degree, its no longer a laughable or impossible achievement, its for real! God has opened the flood gate of heaven and He wants you to partake of heaven sweepstakes, the only currency you need, is your faith, not only faith in God, because even demons believe there's a God and they tremble, but more importantly your faith in yourself! That God loves you enough to single you out for a blessing.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Greener Pastures

Once there was a boy, who was crazy about toy bikes. On his seventh birthday, there was nothing he didnt do to make sure he got his wish, he helped his mum in the kitchen, he took out the garbage, did his home work without prompting, helped his father in keeping away the heavy tools he used for his carpentry trade. on the morning of his birthday, confident that he had 'paid his dues', he made his way out of his cupboard-like room to the living room to find his mum beaming holding a large, crudely wrapped gift. without further ado he grabbed the gift from his mother and opened it. The excitement died from his face and was replaced with anger, "dont you like it?" his concerned mother asked. the boy started at the used toy bike with holes and scratched paint and turned his face to his mother, 'I wanted a brand new one!" he wailed as tears coursed down his face. It was the worst day ever for the boy, not only was the toy bike scrap, it didnt have wheels and it couldnt move like he envisioned, he took the toy bike and hid it inside his tiny wardrobe where he would never set eyes on it again. Months went by and the house next to theirs was sold and a new family moved in. One morning, standing on tip toes by the picket fence that demarcated the homes, he spied a boy his age step out of the other house. The boy looked around, not finding anyone to play with went back into the house. Moments later, he came out with a big colorful toy bike with wheels! The boy gasped as he remembered again that this was exactly what he wanted and worked so hard for! He ran back into his house and had a good cry. Every day after school, the other boy rode his bike alone. Finally after several months, the other family invited the boy and his parents to sunday lunch, he couldnt contain his excitement! Finally, he thought, a chance to ride the other boy's bike and show his parents what he wanted in the first place. Church that sunday was so boring and so long as the boy practically willed the preacher to stop talking and round  up. Eventually church was over and they headed to their neighbour's home. They were met at the door by the other boy and his parents, when the introductions were over, they were invited into the living room and the other boy invited the boy to come to his room, "where is your bike?" he asked unable to contain his excitement, "right here" the other boy replied, "would you like a ride?" "yes!" he screamed as the other boy wheeled out the bike. The boy bend down for a closer look at his dream bike and discovered that the bike was old, with few holes, and the pedal was held in place by some copper wires! This wasn't the brand new bike he saw everyday, he thought as the other boy stood by proudly, "but its old and worn!" he exclaimed, "yup!" the other boy replied, "but my dad and I worked really hard to put it back together!" he said proudly. The boy could see that the tires were crudely cut out of rubber, he stared at the bike and the other boy's proud beaming face and it finally dawned on him! He could work to make his bike better too. Racing into the living room he went straight to his father, "dad, please can you help me fix my bike?" he asked, His father looked at him and said, "on one condition" he paused as the boy wondered what chores he had to do to pay for the fix, "we do it together!" the father declared, "YES!" the boy screamed as he ran out again to play with the other boy. The boy and his father had worked hard on his bike, in the end the father told him he will finish up and present the bike to him on Christmas morning. On Christmas day, he ran out again and went straight to the small Christmas tree they managed to decorate, underneath was a large gift, wrapped in nylon Christmas papers. the boy reached for it slowly, though he knew it was his old bike and he had worked on restoring it with his father, he didn't know what else his father had done to it. Carefully unwrapping the papers, he saw that his father had painted the bike, filled out the holes and smoothened the rubber tires they added, it looked like a brand new bike. he turned with tears in his eyes and saw his father waiting expectantly, rushing into his arms, he thanked his father repeatedly then turning to his mother, "I'm sorry mum, this is the best gift ever!" It was a very merry Christmas indeed! THE END
The problem with us humans is that we always think the grass is greener at the other side, we complain about our jobs, bitch about our environment while dreaming that somewhere or someone else's job is better than ours. Yesterday, after work, I had to get some gas for my car and there's been scarcity so I was on the queue for hours! Just when it was two cars away from getting to the pump, they stopped selling! My tank was empty, I got down and walked to the office and had to beg one of the attendants to just sell enough for me to get home. Eventually I was able to fill my tank and when I got home, I was so discouraged and tired, I was just murmuring to God about the state of our country when my younger sister entered. She was so happy to be home, she had to wrestle to get into a commercial bus just to get home! I realized that no matter how bad we think we have it, someone else is envying us and wishing they could be like us while we are busy looking else where and wishing we were there! And on and on it goes, but I want you to learn from the story, work with what you've got! Make it work for you! The grass isn't really greener on the other side, its probably just the same as yours. Ask God for help in working what you have and you will see how great that  job or wife or home or whatever it is you have you dont value becomes! When Moses met with God and God asked him, "what's that you've got in you hand?" You think if Moses knew that his staff could part the red sea or change into a serpent he would have replied so casually? Take a closer look at that thing again and I dare to ask you, "What's that you've got there?" God can use it!All you have to do is ASK!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

10 First Dates 2!

Date #5: He was my sister's account officer in one of the new generation banks, he was nice, polite and even a christian!(what more could a girl ask for, right?) After several calls, he invited me to church one Sunday  "to visit your future assembly" he said with a laugh, I laughed right along. So I had to tell my pastor, cos as a worker in my local church, he needed to excuse me. Before I left his office he prayed with me and said, "father open her eyes to see him the right way, let him display his true character to her" Shoo! which kind prayer be dat? the guy na christian nah! I said a reluctant amen and went on my merry way. Sunday dawned bright and clear, I took a taxi to Festac where the church was located and he met me at the door of the church, ever so courteous, he ushered me to my sit which was quite close to Faze, the famous singer! I tried not to trip so I don't rain on his parade. The service was awesome! And after service we went to one of the eateries for lunch (chips and chicken with a bottle of soft drink). Since he lived close by, he decided to show me his place. we walked over to the massive block of cramped flats. As usual, there was no electricity. The place was small and stuffy, so I took off my jacket (I was wearing this really nice off shoulder dry lace dress) the next thing I knew bros was trying to cop a feel!He probably saw my taking off my jacket as an invitation, I tried talking, e no work o! it was as if i was wrestling with an octopus, shoo! which kind wahala be this nah? So I did the only thing I knew how to do, I called big brother Jesus! I cant remember the words but just as I was done, NEPA brought back the light(Up NEPA and thank you Jesus!!) He got up to put on the AC and i jumped up and ran for the door, "what is it?" he asked puzzled, "I'm going home!" I announced as I headed for the stairs, he ran after me and hailed a cab asking if everything was okay, I no fit even talk! He paid the cab fare and that was that!Moooving on joor!!
Date #6: This happened a long time ago, I was still in my early twenties...
We(my nephews, niece and I) were sitting outside my sister's house, there was no electricity so we were shooting breeze when we saw this really clean Mercedes V-Boot approaching (since it was still in vogue then we were all admiring it) all of a sudden the car sputtered and died in front of us! the driver(seems he was also the owner) jumped down and looked around, he was wearing a turtle neck skin tight black Tee, his muscle bulged as he slammed the door angrily. He wiped his large forehead with a white handkerchief and stared at us. I turned to my nephews playing the good Samaritan and asked them to help him push his car. they grudgingly obliged. eventually I joined and we pushed till the car started, he was so grateful, "wow! I've never met any one like you, so down to earth!" he exclaimed, I gave him a toothy smile, "if you're not busy tomorrow can I check on you?" he asked after he had inquired whether I stayed around and I said yes. "okay" I replied with a shrug. The next afternoon, I saw his car pull up as I was waving to my neighbor's son. The next thing I knew, bros jump down from his car and slapped me! I tell you for like five seconds everything went black, then I saw tiny lights like stars before my vision cleared, "so this is how you will cheat on me?eh?" bros raged, "greeting every Tom, Dick and Harry in the neighborhood when I was slaving away buying you this expensive perfume?" He said thrusting a badly wrapped gift under my nose, I grabbed the gift and ran into my house shutting the door. When I told my sister what transpired, she went out and gave him a piece of her mind. So I got a designer perfume for a slap, na wa o!Try dat kind thing now eh, infact...
Date #7: This one I met at a shopping mall, in the bread aisle, when he said Hello, I had to look around to make sure there wasn't a baby around because his voice was so tiny! eyya, his voice never broke! I thought sympathetically as I shook his hand.(no be him fault joor!) We exchanged numbers and three weeks later we agreed to meet for lunch one Saturday. It was a posh restaurant in Victoria Island. We shared a taxi on our way back because we lived in the same axis. As usual traffic was heavy so we decided to stop somewhere for drinks.
And drink he did! The green bottles in front of him kept multiplying as I sucked down the malt I opted for. And as they increased bros got frisky, no be small thing o! the drunker he got(abeg forgive the grammer o) the more profanities he used and the more he blasphemed! All his jokes were focused on the Holy spirit! Shoo! As I finished my second bottle of Malt I told him I needed to go home, I no fit hear those things again o, God no go hear say na joke! We shared another taxi and parted ways in front of my estate gate, the next day he couldn't even remember any of it! We remained friends, because I'm still trying to get him to stop drinking so much, abi, wetin person for do?
Date # 8: This one wasn't even a date, but he was someone I fancied when I was still in the university...
We met at a church revival, he was one of those stylish spirito brothers,(you know a smooth blend of spiritualism and fine physical packaging!) So again, we exchanged numbers and kept in touch, one day he called and invited me to his church so I went. After church he bought doughnuts and soft drinks and we just sat down talking about the youths, God and Nigeria, it was quite an interesting afternoon.
By the time I got home, I was smiling and thinking of whether we will make a good couple or not. The first flash came that evening. My phone rang for the briefest moment and stopped. I checked the caller ID and it was my Stylish Spirito! I eyed the phone suspiciously refusing to believe he was flashing me, but it persisted so I called back.
"Em, hi!" he said, "please can you send me #1,000 recharge card? I really need to make an important call" For a moment I couldn't reply, "okay I will" I said as my brains tried to process it, was this a one-off thing? I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and sent the recharge to him, two days later, stylish spirito wanted to know if I was home, he was hungry and wanted some food(fried rice and chicken!) I hastily cooked the food and even borrowed money to buy a pack of juice.
He came, quaffed the food and drank all the juice and promptly left! By the same weekend he showed up again just when my younger sister and I were about to eat dinner(okra soup and fufu) We politely invited him and he joined us. We never take two swallows of food, stylish spirito don finish the fish and meat for our soup! Na so we come swallow fufu without obstacles for the soup, while he was busy picking his teeth. As he rose to go, he turned to me and said, "can I get T-fare from you?" That was it for me, I gave him #200 to take him home and away from my life, shikena!I be like ATM machine?
Date #9: This also happened when I was still in school...
One of my course mate's friends and I shared similar interest (Indian movies, books,chocolates...) Its only natural to plan to visit her in Lagos during the holidays. She mentioned that her elder brother just returned from Italy, he was a shoe trader in Onitsha. I greeted the swarthy looking man that walked in when we were having chocolates and tea respectfully. He tried to make polite conversation but I could tell he struggled with English. He also substituted his 'Rs' for 'Ls' and vice versa. I answered respectfully trying not to laugh. When I got home that night, my friend called, "my brother likes you o! he wants to see you tomorrow at ***(an eatery close to their house)" She came over the next day and we went to the venue together, when her brother showed up she excused us. We ordered snacks and ate, while he tried to carry a conversation in English, I finally pitied him and replied in Igbo, he was ecstatic! We conversed fluently in Igbo,  then he told me the reason he wanted to see me was to tell me that he wanted me to bear him a son.
He's been married for eight years, he said, but his wife, who lives in the UK was without an issue. I told him it went against my belief and he told me I will be handsomely rewarded, what if I bear a daughter? I asked, He shrugged his shoulders, "then I will give you half the money!" he replied, "but I will still make you my wife and you will live with me in Onitsha" I imagined myself a member of the OMATA traders' wives association, see levels,abi? "sir, you're married already, and I have no interest in being a second wife, thank you for your generous offer"
Guess who's not my friend anymore?Yup, his sister!And finally..
Date #10: We were in school together, always liked each other but didn't really do anything about it because we were both too young, so twelve years later when we met at a reunion we were both eager to see each other. He looked great and complimented me for getting more beautiful over the years. We went out once, to a high brow restaurant in Victoria Island, then he asked me to be his baby mama! Just like that,
"I see you have good moral upbringing and since I'm not planning to get married, we can just have kids together" he said in a cultured tone. That wasn't all o!
It came with conditions, to attain the enviable status of his baby mama, I was never to reveal who the father of my children is, the children themselves cannot know that he's their father.
I was to introduce him to them only as "Mummy's special friend" the moment anyone finds out that he fathered the children, he will cut all ties with me and stop supporting his children. Of course I thanked him and said, "No Deal!"
So I hope you've enjoyed yourself at my expense, I'm sure you know its your turn to tell stories of your one-time-only dates.
So, let's dish!

Monday, 15 October 2012

10 First Dates!

So you all know I'm single and while I have not seriously searched, I have kept my eyes open (shine your eyes!) and in the past I've been on some dates that were so terrible that it wasn't only the chemistry that wasn't there, the geography was off the map and the math was just not adding up (you know, 1+1 kept bringing 0!) Just from the first date, you know they wouldn't fly...
Well, I've compiled some of those dates I've been in over the years that didn't go anywhere and I'm sharing, you can laugh your head off, but by the tenth first date, you better be ready to dish as well!Lets see...
 Date #1: This happened a while back, the pre- Cynthia days when Social medias were not as dangerous as they are now...I watched this film producer/director's movie, it was quite interesting and he posed a question and encouraged comments on his webpage. So I left a comment and he replied and we started chatting from there. After months of chatting we finally exchanged numbers and I thought, not only did he sound intelligent, he had such a nice voice. so after several more months of talking on the phone, we decided to meet and since this were my pre-automobile days, we agreed to meet at the scenic park of the estate I lived then, it was public enough but also private enough for us to talk without interruption. 
It was a Saturday afternoon, he called to tell me he was at the gate of the estate, so I bummed a ride from my brother to the gate and called him.
He described his car and as I looked around the filling station by the estate gate, I could see a mechanic working under the hood of a car that matched his description, I asked if his car was being fixed and he said he was having some issues on his way,  "okay where are you?" I asked as I tried to rationalize that at least he had a car, abi? "across the road" he replied, I turned and looked across the highway, the only person I saw was a short black guy in cut-off Tees and a faded jeans, can this be the person I've been talking to? "what are you doing across the road?" I asked suspiciously, because the person I was staring at though had his back turned towards me was peeing by the roadside, "I, em, I'm easing myself" he said into the phone! yikes! I thought as I hurriedly cut the call and prayed he will not ask to shake hands, when he was finally done with his (sic) business, he jogged back across the road and I nodded at him, hands folded across my chest. We proceeded  to the park eventually but my mind wasn't in it anymore, after that date, I knew I wasn't seeing him again. Why you ask? After the Pee-fest on the road like an animal, he bought some snacks and ate it without washing his hands, enough said! Moving on!
Date #2: We were introduced by a mutual friend, he was tall, nice looking and had this really laid back attitude that was both endearing and unsettling at the same time. We arranged to go out the next day and since I was home from school(AAU, Ekpoma!yup!) we planned to meet early in the evening because I didn't know him enough to be out with him at night. I waited by my estate gate because I didn't want him to know my house and he came in an SUV, posh! I hopped in, put my seat belt on and he asked where I'd like to go, if I said to a restaurant, he will think I'm greedy, if I said to the movies we may end up spending more time than I wanted to, so I asked him to pick a place and with a smile he nodded and we were off! 
We ended up at Kuramo beach, don't quite like the beach (I know!everyone and their mothers think a romantic date is a walk by the beach but not me) it is just too sandy and wet for my liking, but I didn't want to spoil the moment so I smiled and tried to be enthusiastic.
He ordered Star and I ordered Soda, "you don't want something else?" he asked puzzled, "no, thank you!" I replied with a smile, "what about Gordon spark?" he asked again, I shook my head, "I don't take alcohol" He shook his head in disbelieve, "what of Smirnoff ice?" "um that's alcoholic too" I replied. Shrugging nonchalantly, he ordered suya (now you're talking!) and as we ate he fidgeted, "is something wrong, too spicy?" I asked pointing to the suya. He shook his head, "no, I want some rabbit" Rabbit? "I didn't know they sold rabbits here" I replied, he laughed and beckoned to one of the abokis selling sweets and cigarette on the beach. he whispered into his ears and the aboki dropped his wares and disappeared. I stopped eating, puzzled and sensing something was off. The aboki returned and palmed something to him. I saw him pay him and he brought out a small rectangular sheet of paper, my eyes almost popped out! Igbo
He rolled a Fela-worthy joint and lit up(shoo! na so I waka enter trouble?chai!) He even offered me the joint, shaking my head furiously I eased my chair back, "this is herbs, it aids digestion and doctors say it cures nausea in cancer patients" he said still holding it out, "my digestive system works fine, in fact my bowels are quite loose enough at the moment and I'm not recovering from any type cancer!" I snapped back.
 He nodded philosophically and continued smoking, no wonder he was so laid back, bros was stoned or always as high as a kite! I kept checking my wristwatch until he noticed, "you want to go? its not even 7pm yet" he complained, "ah you don't know my sister" I replied, "if I'm not home by 7pm she will lock me out" He smiled broadly, "then you can crash in my house!" I had to think fast, " I leave for school tomorrow, shey you will bucks me up?" the smile vanished and he picked up his half full glass and downed it. I sighed in relief as we headed back to the rowdy car park. 
By the time he got to my estate gate, I had promised Jehova that henceforth I will be in my best behavior, no lying, no missing Sunday service if I survive the ride back home. He drove like a bat out of hell. 
Immediately the car stopped I jumped down and waved happily to him with a smile, it was a goodbye forever smile
He called and called after that day and I never picked his calls, I think the message finally got to his drug fogged brain! Danburuba!(as my hausa peeps will say)
Date # 3 joor!: This one started out so promising,chai...
Okay I attended the End-of-the-year party of one of our Nollywood female stars, the place was packed and jumping. 
I sat primly at one corner sipping on chilled avian and watching celebrities gyrate on the dance floor, I saw him coming from the hallway, wearing a well cut tuxedo he had the bushy Ojukwu beard that looked really distinguished and artistic at the same time, I tagged him John Legend, because he sort of looked like him. He nodded to me and I nodded back as he walked by, shoo! why didn't he stop to say hello? I pondered as I took another sip of water. "what are you having?" I heard the voice from behind my left ear and choked, with burning throat and watery red eyes, I turned and saw it was my John Legend!Yay! "Water" I managed to say clearing my throat. "can I sit down?" he asked politely, o boy if you hear the phonetics eh! I nodded not trusting myself to speak, my tongue no fit stretch reach like that nah! He introduced himself (we will continue to call him John Legend) and said he was an architect and a fashion designer in New York! (for my mind I say, "Thank you Jesus!")we sha exchanged cards and at midnight like a certain fairy tale (no I didn't leave any shoe behind) as pre-arranged, my brother came to pick me up. He walked me to the car and held the door open for me and made me promise to call when I get home. 
As I dey reach house I checked my credits I only had #70.00 on my phone and it was too late to buy a recharge card so I called anyway, and as he picked I told him I was home and just as he was about to comment, the call was lost as my service provider displayed my account balance, #0.09! I hissed and dropped the phone, I was so loading up tomorrow and calling! Just as I was stepping out of the animal print dress I wore to the party, my phone started to ring, he called back!
We chatted well into the night and he promised to call the next day so we can go out, I readily agreed. And I waited, and waited and waited. 
Two weeks later I was washing my hair when the phone started to ring, I toweled my hair before reaching it, it stopped ringing. Just as I was checking the caller ID it started to ring again, John Legend! He apologized for not calling, he was down with malaria and cold, but he"s better now, sore throat gone, can we see? Yes, I answered enthusiastically  we absolutely can!He picked me up three hours later and we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, it was super cool! 
We kept in touch and called regularly. After months of communication, several lunches(okay it wasn't just one date!) and hundreds of text messages later, we were picking baby names and planning how to visit his father in the east to be properly introduced to the family when he got a call to come back to the states. We promised to keep in touch and he left. After four emails and one phone message with no reply back, I decided to move on, it was too good to be true anyway...
It was June two months after the no-replies and I was attending an art/jewelry show in the same Italian restaurant we had gone on our first date (see why it features?) I was with two of my elder sisters and my nephew was our designated driver. We got to the venue  hours after the opening time and I was told to find out if the event was still holding. Pushing the large wooden door open, I headed upstairs and discovered the place was still bustling with Art and Fashion people alike. I was just about to turn and head back out to get my sisters when I saw the outline of the beard, John Legend! With racing heart and sweaty palms I hedged closer until I could see without being seen, it was him!
 I scurried downstairs and practically ran for the car, when I got in I told them the show was still on but I had no interest in going in anymore. My sisters knew me enough to know something was up, when I told them I saw John Legend they walked me back to the restaurant because they thought I should confront him, not my style. By the time we got back, he was in the presence of another lady, who seemed glued to his right arm. I approached him and he just went, "Hi Hellene!" as if we were just friends. I couldn't wait to leave the place, he eventually called to apologize(plenty talk talk!)  he isn't ready for a serious relationship, he can't do long distance relationship, hes a New Yorker...on and on, na so we see am for my American Dream, moving on!
Date #4: I took myself out for a movie(and that the only reason why this one featured!), and while I waited for my movie to start I walked around, window shopping. The guy was standing by a Toy Watch shop as I passed he straightened up and said hello. 
Since it will be rude and childish not to say hi back I said hello! (the whole sentence was said in heavy Yoruba accent, apologies my Yoruba peeps!) "My name is Wasiu, I(came out as Hii) lives at VI (coming out as Fii I!) "Good for you!" I replied as I threw myself into the elevator and vanished out of that place before you could say, 'Lapuchinetta!'
To be Continued....

Friday, 12 October 2012

Dare to be Different!!

So I wrote this piece for a youth magazine a long time ago, thought i should share it with you all! TGIF!!!

Have you ever had to learn a new slang, or worn an outfit that you were not even comfortable in, or drank alcohol in order to blend with the crowd, or go with the flow or just simply to belong? Well, we all have. Some of us more than the others, but we have had to do things, that we see others doing so we can “belong” or be among the “in” crowd. Being “cool” or “crested” is fine, as long as we still remember who we are in the midst of all the “blending in” we do.
For instance if you don’t talk with a foreign accent; American or British(faked most times)you’re not considered “cool”, if you don’t use slang like ”tight” or “wicked’ or ‘fresh” you’re considered old or not current. The problem with belonging or being current is that it scrapes away the very fragment of individuality or uniqueness that such an individual possesses, leaving a bland, boring person. The truth is that most of us have forgotten who we are or who we can become, we cannot be anyone except we are imitating someone else, and this is pathetic.
Every individual was divinely created with such distinct, quality and potentials to help humanity; the loss of this uniqueness may be the cause to most of our societal problems today, which we are so quick to blame on the government. Have you ever sat down to ask yourself why you were born? What purpose you will serve in this world and how? Trying to blend in and be like everyone else is not serving that purpose, I mean yes, we must try to be educated, obey the laws of the land and pay our taxes (I’m sure most people have NEVER paid taxes all their lives!) and utility bills, but how about inventing something that will help the society instead of just complaining like everybody else? How about speaking up, for the weak, taking a stand against exam malpractices, keeping your environment clean by not littering the streets with pack of the Gala and “pure” water you had for lunch, how about that? You don’t have to invent a light bulb(but if you can invent one that doesn’t use electricity or batteries, by all means DO!) or be the first in your community to fly an airplane to be different, start by being the first to graduate, or the first among your friends to say “no” to drugs, or the first to walk away from that cult war(it isn’t really worth it, really!) or the first to stop “blocking”(paying the lecturers to pass you, haba!) those courses you didn’t study for because you were busy partying…just do things different, start small; think differently by dreaming big for yourself, study harder, wear those shoes that are comfortable instead of the fashionable pair that you almost cannot walk in, learn to see things from other’s perspectives (except yours only!) and please, quit blaming the government for everything; from  the bad roads(which is partially their fault, no be lie!) to your failing grades, just dare to be different! 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Busy Being a Christian! (BBC)

The tasteless killing of the four UNIPORT students in Aluu community has left me feeling scared for Nigeria. I mean, these are the people I fondly refer to as my very own peeps! The warm hearted, ever cheerful, eager to help people that suddenly grew blood-thirsty on that fateful day.
At first like most of us do when faced with such atrocity, I shrugged and tried to ignore it, but I just couldn't. It took seeing the faces of those four boys to get through to me(I refused to watch the graphic video that chronicled their gruesome deaths!I just cant stomach such visuals!)
But when I saw a still picture of them walking naked to the community leader's home for judgement, I finally came undone. When, I pondered deep into the night, did Nigeria become so bad? where are the warm, kind-hearted people I thought we were? What exactly are the Christians (myself included!) doing about the state of our great nation?
Suddenly we have become spectators in our land, witnessing evils and mouthing platitudes that help us hurry along with our businesses.
Shouldn't we(as Christians) be the light of the world? If indeed there are as many Christians in Nigeria as there are churches to attend (and there are many, I know!) then why isn't Nigeria burning bright for God? Why isn't our land peaceful, or healed for that matter? Can there possibly be so much darkness if we (Christians) are as alive in Christ as we should be? I pondered these thoughts and the only deductions I made was that we (Christians in Nigeria) need to genuinely repent before our God, and humble ourselves, and turn from our wicked ways, so that our God can forgive us and our land (Nigeria) can be healed.
Now more than ever we need to seek God's face for our country. Our leaders have failed us, we have failed each other, but God will not fail this country!
Let us stop the attitude of acting busy just for show and really Do what God would want us to do; Love your neighbor as yourselves and Love the Lord your God with all your heart!
If we love God, we will not deface His creation, we will think twice before we mete out any kind of justice (was that really justice?) on each other, we will look before we leap.
And tragedies like the killing of those four students will not occur.
I appeal to all Christians, Nigerians, home and abroad, while you're acting Busy Being a Christian our land is slowly falling apart.
Let us be more than spectators, take five minutes (okay two minutes!) of your time every day for the next thirty days to pray for mercy for Nigeria and Nigerians and ask God to heal our land, this is too much!
The Violence must stop! Let your light shine, be the salt that you were created to be and manifest the manifold wisdom of our Creator, that His name may be glorified in us and through us.
Thank you for participating in the prayers for the four dead students and their families, May God have mercy on us and heal our lands in Jesus name, amen!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Cardboard Testimony

Hey Everyone! Hope your weekend was restful? Mine was anything but.
It was my younger sister's introduction and there was a million and one thing to do to prepare for the initial visitation from our soon to be in-laws.. it was awesome though!
We had an array of mouth watering dishes,cat fish pepper soup, peppered snails, fried rice, jollof rice, pounded yam with ewedu soup, efo riro and egusi soup prepared by all the women in the house!Yup!
By the time they were done eating, I'm sure they understood more, why their brother wanted to marry our little sweetheart. The whole event went so well and by eight pm in the night I was headed home, tired but very happy for my sweetheart. I decided to stay in on Sunday.
I had just settled in after making a quick pit (bathroom) stop in the wee hours of the morning when my younger brother Aflie called! I contemplated whether to ignore the call or answer.
Thankfully, the call was lost but he followed with a text message, persistent little bugger! I lay there trying to get back to sleep as my mind wondered what was so urgent.
I finally picked up the phone and opened the message, it read, "your movie is showing today in church so get your *** ass to church now!" I jumped out of bed as if i'd been stung, my movie was showing?!
Let me shed more light to the matter, I'm in the drama team in my church and earlier in the year, the pastor told us that he didn't want us doing stage presentations anymore, he wanted us to film five to ten minutes plays for screening in church on Sundays.
So finally last month, we shot our first feature which was written, produced and directed by me! I knew the only reason I was in church was to see people's reaction to our efforts and finally, after the offering and testimony, our short film was finally aired. it was phenomenal! I know it was technically not sound and most of the actors were untrained, but the message was passed and people appreciated it.
But Church took a turn for the better because the pastor's message was titled, "Thank You Jesus!" and to thank God, he had the ministers write what they used to be in the past before they got saved and how Jesus changed their lives, it was called the Cardboard Testimony because the words were written on cardboards held by each minister! it was awesome, watching all those well dressed people and seeing the conflicts, pain and struggle of their past. It reduced the whole church( okay I'm stretching the truth! not the whole church but me and some other people around me) to tears!
At the end of the day, my Cardboard Testimony, was my short film titled, "Captives of the Mighty"
Because though we are bound or imprisoned by our selfish ambitions, burning with anger toward those who hurt us, broken by our past mistakes, when the light of God is introduced to our situations, we are set free! Healed from pain, mended from hurt, made whole by His love and totally free from the darkness within!
What is your cardboard testimony? list all your former vices on one side, it doesn't matter how shameful they look after you write them down, just write! Then turn that page over and list all you have gained from knowing Jesus(if you indeed know Him) see what a huge difference your life has become? That's the state of grace! It is by God's grace that you have been saved, alive and well! Never take that for granted.
I love this verse of the bible that says, "although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall the fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" When all else fails, praise God, because the availability of Life means there's still hope and a chance to make things better!
(write your vices as comments here, and i promise to pray along with you about a change for the better, no matter how bad they are,write them anyway!)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Chicken Effect

My car had some issues over the weekend so its been fixed and i had to take a bus to work today. I almost forgot how tight those things are! We were jammed into rows of fives then as if that was not humiliating enough, they left the overhead light on throughout given the bus an eerie feel like a coop for day old chicks. The conductor and the fat lady on the second row kept us entertained with colorful diatribe from the conductor on how fat she was while she went at him from the religious angle. she first of all called him a demon, then she told him that if he was sent to her by the devil he should go back to hell.
I had to scream several times for my change to be heard.
Then the man on the fourth row probably felt left out so he joined in calling the conductor and the driver, "mumu!" he then threatened the conductor that if he's not stopped at his bus stop he was going to pour sand on his face, which drew laughter from everyone in the bus. The tension finally broke and we got to Obalende bus terminal on a happier note than when the journey began.
But really that's quintessential naija bus ride for you. its anything but uneventful. I got down and though i felt nostalgic, I couldn't help praying that I don't have to repeat the ride again tomorrow. Naija or no naija flavor, having a car is a necessity in Lagos! And i thank God for my own, in fact I prayed for mercy to God if by chance I had nagged about the long fuel queues or being stuck in traffic in an A-Ceed car when others where languishing inside the rickety buses. My point is THANK GOD! Because you're better than so many.
And you may not be where you want or ought to be, but youre so far from where you used to be!

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Dream Part 3

We entered and I took off my uniform without his asking, if I didn’t struggle, it won’t hurt too much that is what he says every day.
I took off my torn pant mama bought before she went to heaven; Aunty Rose said God called her to plait the angels’ hair.
He didn’t stay too long and it didn’t hurt much, he grunted again and asked me to call Eno when I go out.
They were both seated on the bags now, “he said I should call you” I muttered to Eno and sat down near Omini, dusting the sand from my arms and legs “when are we going home?” he asked, “shut up!” I yelled at him, my stomach was hurting so I doubled over, I could see Eno’s feet as she walked slowly towards the shed kicking up the damp sand as she went.
She was already crying, she did it every afternoon, cry and sometimes, I hear her screaming when she is in there and him shouting at her to shut up, I want to go there and see if she is okay, but I don’t, he said karate is turn by turn, if we look at each other, he will double the lesson, so I stay no matter what I hear.
I dozed off, I felt his hand on my shoulder waking me up, he was smiling again,
“Now you children should go straight home” he said wiping sweat from his face.
We all nodded, Eno was still sniffing. “I will come with jollof rice tomorrow” I squinted up at him, he said that too every day.
Omini waved, he was the only one that waved every day, Eno and I never look back, then we ran and ran till we got to the end of the road and I had to hold their hands to cross the express way, “Eno, will you tell?”
Eno shook her head, “what about you Omini?” he shook his head with a huge smile showing the gap in front of his teeth.
I sighed in relief and we crossed the road, our house was close to the road.
When we got home, papa was fanning himself and drinking local drink called ogogoro, he eyed us, “did I not warn you not to go play at the beach again?” he asked before we greeted him.
I nodded, “take your brother and sister in and wash their uniforms and my dirty clothes inside the bucket, then sweep the house, there’s no food for you all for disobeying me!” he was always angry.
There was always no food, but we already ate.
After mama died and went to heaven when Omini came home as a baby, papa stopped smiling and throwing us up like he used to do, but mama’s brother was doing it now and feeding us too, he said mama told him to take care of us and teach us karate, so it was okay, but sometimes, I don’t want to learn karate anymore, why did mama tell him to teach us? I wanted to tell him today that I was tired of learning, but when he came, all I could think about was the food, but I will tell him tomorrow.
We all did our homework together and then it was time for the evening bath, first I bathed Eno, she cried when I washed between her legs, then I bathed Omini and they went to sleep.
I had my bath and lay down too beside them on the floor.
When I woke up in the morning, papa was still sleeping on the chair, holding his bottle of ogogoro, so I dressed Omini up and helped Eno to zip her pinafore and we went to school without food again.
After school, we will go to the shed and meet him and eat.
 Maybe today, he will bring jollof rice for us…

“Madam!” his voice cut into my reverie, I straightened up and smiled automatically again, the sweat had glued the shirt to my back, it felt ticklish, “I’m sorry I didn’t get your last remark” I said. He nodded and pointed to my face, “you need a touch up, we have time for just one more question” he paused again.
I saw the make-up artist approach, gasped and tsk tsked at me, then she proceeded to reapply the makeup I had wiped off, first wiping my face with wet tissues that felt so refreshing, “what do you hope to gain now that you have won this prestigious award?”
“A better life for the children of Africa, a change of the cognitive process from basic needs like food, clothing and shelter to better goals” I said instead.
Famous enough to make a lot of money!
She reapplied the gloss and powdered my nose, I felt like sneezing so I rubbed my nose, she glowered at me; I apologized with a sheepish smile.
“One Minute!” I heard the producer call out, the frenzy increased and my stomach jumped knotting and unknotting, I was this close!
And then all I could see was the camera, the red dot that blinked as the director counted down to the time; finally, Ima’s dream was coming to pass!
“…Four, three, two…”

The End
This goes out to all who were sexually molested as children, fight back by keeping your dreams alive!