Sunday, 22 November 2020

WHY I WRITE: OBEYING THE DIVINE



Why i write


I write to complete creation; to lend my hands to the moulding of this temporal space I am made to dwell in. 

I make sentences because my father left me with a head pan of letters and a shovel of words. He named me a builder and asked me to draw light from darkness, to invent and cement a storyline. He threatened to throw my birthright to the dogs if I do not create a soft landing, a base, an accessible megaphone to allow for koinonia among my brethren.

 I write with the audacity of a god, an heir to an empire the king left at foundation level and ascended into divine space. I write because I carry a yoke on my fingertips, a light burden that unearths itself in a form devoid of emptiness and ready to give the world shape. 

When I write, I am obeying the last wishes of my grandfather, a gentle spirit and king in a small village in southeastern Nigeria. I like to believe divinity sent him as my forerunner to deepen and uproot languages with his tongue, to travel across dynasties, and baptize royalties with moonlight stories so that I can be worthy enough to unbuckle the straps of people who have walked through timelessness. 

They say writing flows in my ancestry; that my mother and the mothers before her wrote on sands, that they registered shivers down the spines of men and scrawled threats into the palm wine keg of the drunkard who dared to beat them even before paper was invented. I write because I want to summon them, to make them have breath in this new world they are not accustomed to; to continue their legacy.

In this world full of limitations, writing is my escape route, my oxygen of confrontation, and my freedom lounge. When I write, I embody the temerity to call things that be not as though they are. Like a true daughter of a royal father, I give breath to clay and dare them to turn to dust.

I have the power to create life and take it, to transport bodies across continents from my favourite armchair and sprinkle diverse traits over the characters I have formed.

 When I put my pen to blank paper, I feel like a god with the bravado to build anthills in the savannah, to come out boldly and declare that the beautiful ones are not yet born, to look at the yellow sun and slice it in half, to behold the severity of chaos and still declare that everything good will come. 

I evade prosecution with my words. How I can boldly declare my sister a serial killer without facing the full wrath of the law or look the future in the eye and tell it that tomorrow died yesterday. I write because I can reinvent, alter time, build up, and tear down.

I write to remove the thorns of misogyny for daughters like me who will walk through tough paths on their journey to becoming unbreakable. I want to give them a weapon to bruise society when it tries to shrink them; to make them reject the suffering type of comfort that keeps them in anxiety with its claws around their necks.

I write to squeeze the necessity out of darkness until it is drained to comprehend the light. I write because, in a country clouded by bad judgment where I can be stoned to silence or death by anything that dares to fall apart, it is not my time to die. 


Writing workshops

I wrote this essay as a student at SprinNG & it was edited by my Mentor Ìbùkún

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

ON SARCASM AND SATIRE, WHAT DO I REALLY THINK?

 

What do you think about sarcasm and satire



Sarcasm and satire are my nosy neighbors and sassy best friends. When Chizaram, my overbearingly intrusive neighbor sees me struggling with my doorknob, a doorknob I spoilt and lazily forgot to call the carpenter to fix, she says, “hey! can I help?” and with relief in my heart I say, “yes please, I’d like that.” She looks at me, shrugs with indifference, and then walks away smirking, leaving me at the mercy and disappointment of a request I did not make. 

Chizaram once asked me whether the doctors were in need of more patients to fill up the empty hospital beds in the emergency ward because I left my gas cooker on and dozed off.

When I sang Blackbird by Nina Simone in my cracked rat-like pitch, she told me that Nina would be quaking at the awesomeness of my sonority. I do not know if I like Chizaram or not; maybe I like her a little because she made fun of our landlord’s big belly in front of everyone after he increased our rent. Or maybe not, but Chizaram is a necessary evil. 

When Ada sees me struggling with the doorknob, she tells me that the carpenter is not disabled, and the last time she checked, I didn’t have a degree in carpentry. When I doze off with my gas on, she tells me that crying is not my mother's favorite pastime, and my apartment will not mourn my departure to the great beyond. 

 When I sing Blackbird, Ada tells me to reduce my voice before Nina Simone loses her fan base; she says that she hopes the landlord’s bulgy belly is for charity. 

One time I flouted the traffic rules and I drove on the double lane. I was apprehended by the Police, and Ada came to bail me. I told her that a Public officer defaulted too, but the Policeman greeted him with a grin and flagged me down instead. She looked at me with tired eyes and said,  “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” 

I like Chizaram a lot. Some people don’t get her, but I do. I guess that’s why we are besties after all. 


Sarcasm and satire

I feel that both sarcasm and satire are important parts of humor and is necessary to spice up any form of writing, but I don’t always like to explain myself, and you have to explain sarcasm sometimes. You have to define your intention, you must explain sometimes that it is not out of spite, that you do not mean to be rude. Sometimes, you have to say to the person to whom you are being sarcastic, “can't you take a joke?” This happens a lot with sarcasm, but with satire, it's like bleach. It washes off the dirt from the surfaces, it enables the scales to fall from many eyes; it is a wakeup call – quite unexplainable. And like Elnathan John says, “never ever explain satire. 





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