Tuesday, 12 May 2020

SKIN: A PRODUCT OF DIVINITY'S FINEST BLACKSMITH


A portrait of a dark-skinned girl

SKIN

I  don't know what they mean
When they say 
We are like clay in the hands of the potter 
This skin on our bones 
Is not a thing muddy hands can create 
We are made from diamond pieces
Our teeth, silver coated 
Our eyebrows like lashes made of natural  silk 
We are the product of divinities finest blacksmith 

If we are dust 
Then it must be gold dust 
We carry the ancient ancestry of roots and culture on our skin 
An age-long continuity of fore glory 
We glow our way out of stereotypes 
We are the true type 
Something too heavy for libraries to document
We are more than research papers.
Our stories are solid on rocks 
A treasure for mines 
We are too heavy a heritage 
For any  continent to define 

Call us brown 
Call us back 
We are the flavor of the earth 
The reason the sun is too afraid to burn 
Call it melanin if you will
This skin is not a thing mortals can comprehend 
We can't explain to them 
That black is not a color 
It's a badge of honor 

So if they want to understand the races this
Skin has won 
The single stories it had turned to diversity 
Then they must
Ask the gatekeeper of mother nature 
we are not clay in the potter's hands
We are a product of divinities finest blacksmith.


Beautiful dark-skinned woman

BLEACH 

When they ask you to bleach your skin 
Ask them how long they will soak a hand full of sand into a bucket of detergent 
Before they realize it was not Picasso that gave it colour 

Ask them how long they will peel their tone 
Before they understand that purity is not a virtue that is visible on skin surfaces 
Tell them that if they wanted to challenge 
Their bones to a whitenicious contest
They should simply donate themselves to a primary school science laboratory 

Tell them that your skin is vintage 
A dark-toned sepia 
That this outward covering 
Is more than skin 
It is the identity of foremothers before you and after 
The color of earth and soil for growing 

Tell them this is the color of progress 
What English vocabulary means by thick skin 
The only kind of coco that does not taint tongues 
The type  worthy of syllables of praise 
Embrace this blackness 
It is the only type that is not 
A metaphor for actual darkness 
It is light for a path of identity to thrive
So when they ask you 
Just tell them 
Tell them.


Follow this Amazing dark skinned beauty. She makes lovely wigs and it is shockingly affordable. Don't say I didn't do anything for you o


Thursday, 7 May 2020

LESSONS I LEARNT FROM MY EXES AND FRIENDS

Friends kissing

I know that by the heading a lot of you came here to hear how one Jaja from opobo broke my heart. You came for the tea. I laugh in all things cupid. Far be it from me to disappoint you. I will make it worth your while but everything is not about man okay.

friendship with benefits

We will talk about friendship today and you just might hear man gist one day. Lol.
Friendships are very important to me. like I am literally a reflection of my friends so I am mindful of people I consider close-knit. I think its time we all familiarise ourselves with the term acquaintance. Not every hello I am Grace from Abia is your friend. The fact that you have spoken a few times and laughed at the same jokes doesn't mean you are now soul brothers and sisters.

Friendships can die, it can grow cold no matter the number of years put into it and it's totally okay.  Life just happened and you grew up ( or not because maybe the other person just chose to ghost you) either ways it has not brought out the cure for corona so just move on okay.

This post is not to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do o neither is it friendship 101 master class. This is just my observation from Exes and friends yes I have exes, ex-friends, ex-colleagues, ex group members (resist the urge to roll your eyes please.)



7 lessons from my friends and exes


Resist the urge to be entitled:

 Sweetheart, see eh nobody owes you anything. Your friends are out here trying to be your friends, not your lord and personal savior. There are not going to supply all your needs. Stop the 'don’t you know you are supposed to call me( except of course you are buying the airtime) or I called and you didn’t pick( kpele o Oprah Winfrey) or one that most recently happened to me so you knew I was online and you didn’t chat me up( this one hit home)'
friendship quotes

 I am not trying to make excuses for friends who don’t show up because a friend in need is a friend indeed. I am just saying that lean on me no be press me die.

Show up for your friends: 

I don’t care what your love language is but act of service should be a compulsory love language in your friendship. It is not enough to post wcw and mcm on your Whatsapp status. Be there. Let your presence be evident in their lives.

 A very special friend of mine taught me this and all she did was show up for me all the time and I got the memo that aunty it’s not all about hugs and word of mouth. Be there! If they sell stuff try to patronize them or if you are broke help them market and advertise it. Whatever it is they are doing show support.
Friendship

Your besty Is not my besty:  

If you are close friends with someone and they are vulnerable enough to tell you their business. Please dear, when you meet that your other close friend which is not your close friend's close friend, Zip it. It truly is not and can never be rocket science. Know your boundaries. It's okay for your friend to have other friends. Even if you don't like them.

Understand each other’s triggers:

It's normal to yab and make fun of each other as friends but please know where to draw the line. I have been guilty of overstepping my boundaries. I now have sense. If your friend is insecure about weight don’t call him/her orobo in public, if they are broke, don’t take them to the canteen and say pick the drink let me pay, I know you don't have money( I have seen this one life).

 If they don’t like having conversations outside, don’t drag them into your circle of interest and be shouting talk now( I have done this one to somebody before, it wasn’t funny when I received sense) And please don't be too sensitive as a friend. Learn to take a simple joke and understand that sarcasm is a love language( I speak it fluently by the way)

Learn to communicate your feelings to your friends:  

Trust me if your friends wanted to be soothsayers and interpreters they know where to sign up. So speak if you feel hurt by their actions. Carrying face will only give you wrinkles. Some of us even go silent and expect to be begged( when I am not your life partner, lol, I am kidding, I am heavily on this table)

Friendship


Not all friendships last forever:

Well except the smell of your poop when visitors are coming. Let me be serious. The fact that you have been friends from your mother's womb doesn’t make you inseparable. Even Siamese twins can be separated ask ben Carson.

When you start to feel uncomfortable or being friends just doesn’t feel right anymore unfriend each other. Sometimes you notice you have drifted apart and you don’t know how it happened. Don’t worry it’s the universe saving you from further heartbreak or not but you get the point. Plus if you are the only one making the effort, check that friendship. Don’t beg for attention anyone who is intentional about you will attend to you.

Show appreciation to your friends: 

Granted, they are your friends and you have come a long way but a thank you will do and it's not hard to say, don’t trivialize the love and care. make your friend feel seen. Say I love you, be reciprocal. It won't make you any less human.
Appreciation

I had a conversation with someone who said all this mushiness is for ladies and guys don't need it or do it. That your G is your G period. Do you agree?

This tea I just spilled can apply if you are dating too or so I hear.
If you have any other lessons share with me, plus I’d love to hear your opinions on this. Do you have bad friends you still keep or friends who make you uncomfortable but you still call them friend and why ( I have them too, let's chat in the comments)
Friendship
As you can see. I am having fun with the gifs why didn't I discover it sooner.



Friday, 1 May 2020

POETRY FEATURING FRANK MOTHS ART WORK

This is the launch of a new category on my blog. I think I'd name it " The poem per art series" what do you think?
I have been deeply moved and inspired by a lot of amazing art lately so I decided to let you explore this beauty with me.
The poetry is not an attempt to explain the artwork. This will just be me writing whatever poetry came to me when I looked at the artwork.

Today we will be looking at the awesomeness of Frank moth. His whole collection tells you about the future in a tone that still holds the past as valid. It's unexplainable and retrograde in a way that is still progressing. I love the vintage vibe Frank moth displays in his artwork.

Frank moths bio 

Frank Moth, a self-taught digital collage artist with his other half. He has been designing for many years before the alias “Frank Moth” was born in 2014. He tries to create nostalgic postcards from the future, in the search for eternity 
Current city: Veria, Northern Greece
Clients: Bullitt Hotel Dublin, Stanford University, Estrella Street Food Greece, Electric Litany 

A DISPLAY OF FRANK MOTHS ARTWORK AND MY POETRY


Frank moth

ORCHID 

Dear girl with coco skin and silver 

Uneasy lies the head that 
bears a garden of thoughts 
A crown cannot be as heavy 
As a bouquet of uncertainties 
Deeply rooted in the mind 

 When the body bears something
That is  both pain and passion 
It is bound to explode into 
Something loud 
A time bomb or maybe even fireworks 
Anything to give the world a warning 
To tell it that it is futile to bury 
 Dreams and thoughts 
No matter how unsure they are
Because you  can't bury a
 Potential seedling and except 
 it to just decay 

Dear girl with coco skin and silver 
That which fingers your mind to aspiration 
Is a bright sunshine yellow 
A living green 
A divine white to 
Remind you how important 
the voices in your head are

Dear girl with coco skin and silver 
Even if your growth is tamed 
 Slow-paced or weird 
Remember that butterflies don't perch 
On gloomy flowers 
Yours is something new to be witnessed
A thing nature announces 
So much so flying creatures perch on
To see for themselves and tell the tale 

The world is sustained by diversity 
Not uniformity 
So dear girl with coco skin and silver 
Sprout in the only way you know-how
It is the world's duty to revolve and adjust 
Not yours.

Frank moth

LISTEN

Be still and know
Your ears were created with an
 opening capable of sieving,
A mighty sound collector
That can expel and retain
Yet you are not utilizing it?
They tell you how to move
Live, eat, use your body
And you absorb it like
 foam to soapy water?
No!
Your eardrums can go silent
 To the talking and
 drumming of negativity
Who gave the stereo the audacity to blast without your approval

Be still and know
That the moving your destiny is tied to
Your listening
What background music do you want playing for your future
The naysaying of the past
The downplaying opinions of present talkers
Or the quietness of your god feeling
Sieve!

Be still and know
That your ears are the
greatest sound instrument
One ironic enough
to hear without listening
Let their banter be mere letters
dropping in out of your ears
Never let it be strong enough to
Become a word you don't need

Be still and know
That you cannot see the rainbow
Without first listening to the sound of the rain

Frank moth

                 SLEEPLESS PILLOW 

They say all you do is dream 
That you imagine a lot 
That you talk about the mountains 
You will move 
When you haven't even gone up a hill
They say you are just a dozer 
A common bedfellow 
So you crawl and lay on
 your sleepless pillow 
And instead of dreaming 
Have a nightmare 

Here's my advice to you dreamer 
Don't wake up
For you will never know if dreams 
Come true if you don't dream about it 
When they mock you again 
Tell them that the nations
 you are building 
Cannot be understood by men
 with earthly genes 
Tell them that shutting your eyes 
Is not to rest your mind 
Tell them it is only to collect 
Enough blueprints to rule mankind 

Dreamer 
It's okay to dream 
But just don't take too long to wake up 
Because wonderland may soon become neverland.

Frank moth
    

                 EVERY WOMAN 

When they call you ordinary woman 
With the normalcy on their tongue 
Forgive them 
It is not easy to
Pronounce mother of the universe
Bearer of dynasties 
Carrier of earthen vessels 
godmother of fathers 
In one moving of the tongue 

When they call you weaker vessel
With their physical strength in display 
Enlighten them 
Your model is not a thing to be 
Understood by beings who think 
With muscles and biceps 
Teach them that during creation 
It was not the able-bodied
 that were sought after 
That the savior did not need testosterone 
To be birthed  

When they deny you a seat at the table
Remind them that a curator like you 
Doesn't need their furniture to be recognized 
Ask them where they were when 
You signed the contract with divinity 
To bring lives into Earth
Tell them that you don't need a seat 
When your whole being is a citadel! 
Then finally take that seat 
Because you can and 
When your body has been used as a passage
Mere passengers cannot deny you wood.

MORE OF FRANK MOTHS ARTWORK


Frank moth

Frank moth

Frank moth


Frank moth

If you read up to this point you are a mastermind. So do you like frank moth? Did you like my poetry? Which one is your favorite? Do you think I should continue with this series? I'd like to know what you think of the artwork itself and then the poetry. Cheers!

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

LET ME DROWN MY BROWN SKIN


Let me drown

 The hotness of the shower burnt my brown skin. It peeled off the first layer of my expensive skin but I sat still, drowning slowly in my tears and stale flesh. Minutes turned into hours and then to days since I went on dry land, the shower has been my solace because I was too bruised to throw myself into the ocean. 

It’s not that I have not tried but each time I went in to drown myself someone saved me. I would then have to Inhale the stench of hospital antiseptic for days. I am fortunate not to be locked up in a mental asylum because I know I am stable, And I tell doctor Rida that I go to the beach to practice the swimming lessons I learned online, the multiple folds that sculpt her forehead show that she doesn’t believe me but she let me go anyway.

Today I have blocked the bathroom pipe and I shut the doors, letting my beautiful body rust in the bathtub. I let my phone ring because I wanted to see the endless numbers of people who claimed to care.

 Chuma has called twelve times in the last one minute and I don’t understand why, what does he want now, he broke off our engagement last week, he had no right!
He said I was selfish, that I was strange and very defensive. I was innocent of these accusations, I was only trying to protect him from himself.

He had just lost his mother and was crying his eyeballs out in immense pain so I cut his wrist with a kitchen knife so that he could forget the loss of his mother and feel a different kind of temporal pain, pain that will lead to relief.

Salty Blonde Oil Print, oil painting beach fashion portrait

When I lost my job I scrapped my heels till I saw blood flowing from my veins, It didn’t bring back my job but it took away the heaviness I felt in my soul.
It moved the pain to my foot and I focused more on healing that I soon forgot I was Jobless. So I don’t understand why he ran out of my apartment that night, screaming.  He called me a raving lunatic when I only wanted to take his pain away; people are so ungrateful, to say the least.

Even grace has called me multiple times! I don’t know if I should hate her or not because I never told her what happened the night she took me to the club, but she took me to the club that is all that matters right? It is her fault I was drugged and gang-raped. Again I do not know if it was rape or not because I didn’t resist any of them, something in my head tells me I wanted it, that the numbness I felt on my hands and toes was just an illusion I made up to enjoy multiple rounds of sex.

They dumped me near the gutter and Grace found me, all she did was scold me for getting drunk in the club. She did ask if I was hurt but I said nothing, she should have freaking pushed harder!

I grew a fresh kind of resentment towards her; it is the same Kind of resentment I had for my father when He abandoned me after my mother died from breast cancer.
Grace traveled to Greece two weeks later. It is funny how people move on with their lives even when you are in close contact with death.

My skin is starting to feel like soft pudding and my legs are swollen, one would think that after my numerous breast implants, liposuctions and skin-tightening procedures nothing could damage my skin. I watched everything decay slowly.

I remember growing up in my neighborhood with many children my age, all of them had curves or full breasts and really lovely acne free face but I was different and I was insulted for It. Before mother died she said I was a Late bloomer just like her, she said I will grow into a lovely shape In my twenties so I endured the body shamming from the children till I was twenty-one and I had my first butt Implants.

I still did not feel better with the curves and I never appreciated myself till I met Otti, my first boyfriend. I felt grateful that he chose me. I thanked him and kissed him on the forehead each time he beat me or smashed my head against the wall.

The first time it was because I forgot to charge His Phone and the last time just before we broke up was because I squeezed the toothpaste from the middle.
He said he was tired of my Indiscipline and that the three babies he forced me to abort were never his. He called me a slut even though he was my first.

I killed our children before they got a chance to see the world. I am a bad person and I deserve to drown.
My apartment was already flooded with water and It had started to leak out to the door but I am sure my neighbors are too carried away by the hustle and bustle of Lagos to care over water coming out of a snubs apartment. The tap had been running for hours, I don’t know why It won’t just drown me as fast as the ocean nearly did.

Josep Moncada Juaneda.
Photo By Josep Moncada Juaneda.

It is almost time for my appointment with doctor Rida and she has called thrice.
 I never gave her my residential address but she said she would find me if I missed my appointment. I hope she finds me when my soul has departed because this process is taking longer than usual.

I hate that she asks me questions about my past, I hate that she wants me to open up and let it go, I hate that she says nobody owes me anything.

What kind of psychiatrist is she? Of course, the world owes me. The universe and the people in it need to suffer for destroying me and if I can’t destroy them, I will destroy myself.
I could just hang or stab myself but chuma removed all the fans and hangers, He said he wanted to replace them; he took all my kitchen utensils away, now my house is empty.

 It was either that or he would report me to the police; I guess he forgot to cut my water supply too. He was so foolish.
My body feels so weak and I am in serious pain, I see myself hanging on the air and I am slowly slipping away.

The voices in my head tell me to soak my head fully into the bathtub but I am too weak to move.
 I think people are knocking and shouting at the door and I hear the sound of an ambulance.

"Azilla, Azilla " is all I can make out, only Grace calls me by my full name but she ran off to Greece.
It must be my Imagination.
They are trying to pull my door down and I wish the water will consume all of them.

‘’Illa why! I love you" that must be Chuma's voice

"move her in, now... One, Two, Three... Press it in...Let her breathe" I hear Dr. Rida dishing out commands to save a life that I want to be lost.

I thought I had closed my eyes forever but I opened it in the general hospital with that familiar unpleasantness of mint and antiseptic. I opened my eyes to Grace, Dr. Rida and Chuma staring at me with pity and hope. I do not speak to them.

I think mental health is something we must all take very seriously. We are in the middle of a pandemic and this can make a lot of people panic. Learn to check up on people. Tell me your thoughts and experiences on mental health. Have you ever experienced it? Do you know someone who has?

Thursday, 2 April 2020

SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES YOU MUST TAKE

Welcome to today’s episode of I have come to judge you. but before I start. let me just beg you to stay safe this Coronavirus period.

Corona virus

I would have done a proper research on this Corona thing for you but I watched a video of people dying in Italy, it was as if the god of death had summoned them for altar call so  I decided to leave it for the courageous. I know now the reason God drove me to the Arts because Lord! Medicine is not for the faint-hearted. Shout out to Doctors all over the world.

Now please while we are confined to our homes what are you doing with your time. I hope you are not becoming a couch potato or a bed warmer. I hope Netflix is not the only thing you are using to chill. I hope you have not become a bedfellow?

Why social distancing affects your time


Remember a time you said you wanted to do a lot of things but your excuse was  ‘’I don’t have time’’  now that you have all the time what have you achieved. The human brain, I think loves to adapt and rest. So there is a hundred percent chance you will come out of this social distancing period valueless.
Yes, I know the world is going through a pandemic and you are allowed to panic be a couch potato.  This post, however, is for people who want to be productive while social distancing.

Social distancing

Social distancing strategies to employ 

This blog post is for you and me don’t worry. I told this hard truth to myself as well. I now understand that in this life you will never have time for anything, rather you create time for everything. Think about it, when you were working or going to school, you were even more productive. You created time for Important things. Right now you have a lot of time you did not ask for or create.

Think for a moment what have you with it.  Yes, 2020 has been crazy. Nobody asked for it but now that we are here please utilize it.

You will be here people will come out of this period with their published books, released songs or they would have done something instrumental to the fulfillment of their purpose and aspirations.

For students like me, you will hear all your friends shouting ‘’I am bored’’  #sleeping all day. I laugh, it is not that your friends or mine are deceivers, Just know that most of them are coming out of this Corona break with finished course outlines and finished textbooks. Don’t play yourself. Read.

If there is anything I love and hate about our generation. It is that we have so much knowledge but we lack wisdom. This is a wake-up call, use this time and discover your passion, your forte, etc. I am not even limiting this to talent.

Explore the things you never thought possible. Start to do them. Time flies, we are already in April and before you say jack Robinson this break will be over even if it is for 3 months.

I am not an expert at dishing Advice but I just thought it wise to tell you that not everybody is resting this period some of us are thinking and doing. See, it's social distancing not an avenue for time-wasting. It is quarantine, not an avenue to waste your time.

Set social distancing goals 


Stand up! I don’t know about you but one of my goals is to come out of this Isolation period with the weight I used to Enter it, so its little progress but I skip at least thrice a week. You are my community so I shared this with you, just to tell you that you can choose anything. It can be working on your speech or learning how to laugh more.

Corona virus


Make a lifestyle change while social distancing 

Tell me any new progress or lifestyle change you have made this period. It doesn't have to be drastic. It is the little things because I want you to make it a Habit. You could decide to read 2 pages of your novel or school book a day or practice one skill you are bad at. It could be anything really.

 Since stores are not open you can visit my post on Why you should not +reading habits and mediums for  Ebook ideas

I just don’t want you to come out of COVID_19  worse than you were when you got in. it was during the ASUU STRIKE in 2018 that I realized that writing is what I will do long term. It was also the year. I wrote the most and won most of my writing awards. In periods of isolation, discoveries are made.

Sometimes isolation allows God to mold you into a person fit for his purpose.  It is not punishment it is preparation - Bishop Td Jakes.

Here is my poem for you. To remind you of who you are.

Dear reader,
Have you looked at your palms?
How the lines grace it
crossing and crossing
Like tiny branches on a tree

Reader
Look at it now
Do you know nothing can break these lines
Even when your palm is broken?
Reader
Divinity drew these lines and
Only divinity can erase it

Reader, we are like lines drawn
on the palm of this world
And though the world be broken
We must make our mark
We must still cross parts
We must bind ourselves
together till we bond
We must be visible

 Reader only divinity can erase us
Not sickness, not weakness,
Not an infant virus
You are too visible to vanish
Too important to be impoverished

But reader
Dormant  lines do not lead to any path
Dormant lines are useless to a broken palm
Reader
I don't have many words for you
But I  know the universe expels uselessness
And the palm is hollow without its lines
I also know that anything that doesn't
Move is stagnant
 And stagnancy oozes
The World is already oozing don't be
Part of the waste!

And because I love Trevor noah. Watch this 



If you want to read more on coronavirus click THIS it is an article by my very resourceful friend Nwokpor Collins. It's all you need to know. 


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

DIVORCE IS FOR SCORNED WOMEN

                         
Domestic Violence
Image by Gregory pappas

  Last night I  lay on my sleepless pillow because I had become a watch woman for my mother’s pain. I watched her smile intently at the broken mirror on the cracked wall that demarcated her wedding picture from the remaining photographs, she observed dryly this lonely version of herself.

Mother spoke very few words especially when father was around. She would send me to find out what he wanted to eat and how he wanted It to be prepared because the Last time she made the poundo yam she got from the supermarket he rejected it and added that she must pound the yam, then roll into tiny balls before he could eat it. He made mother quit her Job and he embarrassed all her university friends.

Mother cooked like her doctorate ended in the kitchen. Perhaps to her it was therapeutic  or It was just another means for Aunty Okwi to give her usual half-baked advice and go home with a cooler of ofe oha. Aunty Okwi had battle scars and black patches on her yellow skin, she tells mother that it is a badge of honor and her husband’s love language is physical touch.

She tells mother that divorce is for scorned women who do not understand the true meaning of womanhood. She said mother must submit even though her elder brother is a brand ambassador for all the brothels in town.

‘’At least he is not beating you and he is giving you feeding money.’’
’Onweghi ihe anya huru gba Obara’’ there is nothing the eyes sees and cries blood.
  Aunty Okwi howled because my mother said she wanted a divorce.

 It was not long before aunty Okwi was admitted to the general hospital. She had lost yet another pregnancy and she told the doctor she fell face down while running at the gym, never mind that aunty Okwi was a voluptuous plus-sized woman who panted like a hungry bulldog each time she tried to climb the staircase let alone the treadmill. I pitied her but it seemed like she had resigned to bad fate and she was not my concern, my mother was.

 The frustration of being unwanted by a man that swore sacred vows to you on the altar is a different kind of betrayal so it's little  surprise that my mother began to pray naked every midnight with candles and ashes. she drew the names of Father’s mistresses from her weary tongue

"Prisca may you be scarred until you leave my husband...’’

"Blessing May you be cursed for life’’

"Angelica, you foreign husband snatching demon, let your coven catch fire!....’’

I  prayed with her once before I rebelled because I wondered why she didn’t pray for father's penis to rot like the one I watched on African Magic. Was it not him who met the women in the first place?

Mother paid no close attention to me so she didn’t know when I saw my first period or that it was Uncle Eke – father’s drop out younger brother that bought me sanitary towels after he licked my lips. This was not the first time, the other day he came around he took long minutes to study the lines and curves of my body with his sinful hands and he promised to teach me what it meant to be a real woman. It felt right to meet him when I saw the bloodstain on my dress.

Father’s bloodline was dented with promiscuity but I didn’t complain, uncle Eke and I touched each other whenever he wanted while mother said her lengthy prayers thrice a day.  Father was not a good man but I thought he was a good father because he bought me gifts so I felt I betrayed my mother by letting her marinate in her misery.

I wanted her to live a little and explore the world but I overheard Aunty Okwi say that men are naturally polygamous and it is a woman's divine duty to tame them with bottom power but father no longer found Mother attractive enough to share his bed.
*
‘’Ada... and that prophet said I lacked the fruit of the spirit, especially long suffering’’
’mua nka....mua ‘’ me..me, in particular, she yelled as she barged into the house with a bitter snare in her eyes.

Father had not come home in weeks, apparently, he had traveled to America with Angelica. A truck came to pick father’s things from the house and his things were everything except our underwear and some of our clothing.

 Our flat Echoes due to emptiness and mother now goes to 'Restore the mantle ministry' where she ties a suede turban and sings hymns on the pastor's thighs as he rubs her buttocks in Holy Communion. 


What do you think of the characters in this short story?  Who do you hate, love, pity etc? Tell me

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

MAMMON

 
Mammon
Image by pawel czerwinski via unsplash

It was not weird for you to have an affair with your fathers' age mate, as a matter of fact to you it was the same thing, the only difference was that one was purely biological and platonic while the other was just erotic and beneficial.
  He sipped the freshly squeezed orange juice like the straw was a pole and his tongue was a stripper.
It always fascinated you how modern and energetic he was at that old age. He was nothing like your father, the legendary Pa James, old and grey with a mustache as thick as those of the colonial masters you saw in his old history books.

Your father drank from a square stainless steel mug and he gulped whatever liquid it contained with no care for class or sexiness. it was easy to see why Chief became the ideal father figure for you. After all who wanted to have a man who wrapped faded tie and die material around his crotch and sat on a cane chair all day long as a father.

The smell of cigarettes, alcohol and cheap perfume pervaded the space with the harsh stench of weed wafting through your nostrils. But what more could be expected of a club packed with Jobless boys and cheating men?
It was the only club in the neighborhood and certainly not a safe place for a girl considering the number of rape cases vaguely reported on daily times. You knew your mother would turn in her grave if she saw you, scantily dressed with slits as high as the slave walls in Badagry. but the disco light flattered your skimpy neon dress and you liked the strut you achieved with your toned thighs. Your mother could summersault in her grave if she wanted to.

Women as modest as she never remained the only wives of their husbands and the younger women that stole the attention of their husbands were brainwashed daughters of the high chiefs or whitewashed African waitresses who were really just glorified prostitutes.

The foreigners found them attractive thus they became the hottest assets in the market for local men to price and pride in.
You scanned the room for chief but he was not at his regular VVIP lounge. He sat loosely at one corner with four men and a swamp of desperate girls, you knew how to swerve his attention so you walked over to the table and twerked to the beat of ‘Lady by Fela Kuti’ as his caressed your butt cheeks in ecstasy.
The drunken men cheered at your sensual talent and they hailed chief for the good catch while bickering about making money from the new government.

’ you know we are not truly independent’’ The Oldest man in the group yelled, a dry-looking retired university professor who in your opinion had been deeply submerged in theories that practical things became nothing short of fiction to him.

His glasses slipped down the bridge of his flat nose and it intrigued you how this man presumably in his late sixties found solace in seven bottles of whiskey but you ignored him this time. The men laughed at him and cheered prof! Prof!

‘’why didn’t you leave with the colonial masters, so that you can go there and continue to serve tables and kiss feet’’ another retorted.

‘’The left us brainwashed, now we are going to chase after what we have chased away ‘’ Prof yelled caressing the long weaves on a girl's hair; he made jokes about not wanting to spending the night with her because the real owner of the hair might come to interrupt their copulation.

You were uninterested in the conversation and Chief perceived it. He knew you hated their company but according to him, a woman as intelligent as you were deserved a sit at every table.  He held your waist to a stop as he whispered for you to continue in his motel room. You stood up to leave and the old men looked at you hungrily in the same way your father looks at overripe paw before he plucked them from the tree.

You swayed your hips to announce your departure when the prof hit your buttocks. Just  as the white men did with their canes when trying to get natives to twist their tongues into syllables their ancestors were not even familiar with. The audacity of man!
You slapped him to the surprise of everyone at the club. He remorselessly gave you a harsh snare and bantered loudly about the calamitous arrogance colonialism has brought to African women.

The men yelled distinctly, calling you prostitute and all sorts as you walked away with chief but prostitution was far from your job description. You only slept with the men you dated and when you met Chief he became the only one.

    It first started from the famous Campus in Lagos, you had just one year to finish your degree in literature and your father could not afford to pay the tuition after his cocoa plantation was burnt down mysteriously.

As if wearing cheap clothes and being broke all the time due to the meager amount given to you per semester in a parcel from the village as pocket money was not enough suffering, he wanted you to become a dropout and marry Emekus, a trader in Onitsha with a very thick Igbo accent that made your name sound like a vocal expression of peppery sewage and slime as opposed to Cynthia.

 According to your father, he was well to do and he would open a provision store for you in the market.
 Chief saved you from this misery. He saw you dancing at the club; you had to be wild about your last days so you effortlessly landed on his bed that night. He must have really enjoyed himself because he called you every weekend from that day and he even helped you secure a Visa at the embassy so that you could keep him company in Europe when he was bored of his wife and three children.

You spent fewer holidays in the village with your father and when he asked about your refusal to come home you told him you had to stay back in school because of the bulk of your course work.

The girls in your hostel thought chief was your father because it was very uncommon to see a man possibly in his early seventies with a girl who was barely twenty. but he was better than the small campus boys who wore long chains and tried to sound like 50 cents just to impress girls.

It was not weird for you to have an affair with your fathers' age mate, as a matter of fact to you it was the same thing, the only difference was that one was purely biological and platonic while the other was just erotic and beneficial.

Your roommate lotanna was a bright student of international relations and she was not very pleased with your open lifestyle. She was also very religious because you had lost count of the times her songs of exaltation startled you out of your hangover. It sounded like your fathers' incantation when he poured dry gin on the soil of the dilapidated shrine beside the yam barn in the village.

 The same one your mother destroyed many times because she said the white priest taught them about a man who will come to save the world from sin.

Father knew some scriptures too but he was not obsessed like your mother or at least he was taught during the adult education classes he had to take to become a cashier at the post office. The only scripture that escaped his lips when mother called out his supposed heathen behavior was ‘ give to Ceasar what is caesars and to the gods what belongs to them.’

God! God! Not gods’ mother would yell. She said you were worst than your father at least he believed in something but you didn’t.  She told you it was better to be swayed by every wind of doctrine than to be out of tune with the entire belief systems of the world.

When she caught you with Jon the elementary school teacher just before you gained admission, she held your hands and gave you a sermon about being unchaste and how it demeans a woman’s pride and reduced her bride price. You barely listened.

She asked you to stop before you get possessed with the spirit of polyandry like your grandmother. She looked at you like a rascal in need of dire redemption just the way Lotanna looked at you when you told her you were traveling with chief so that he could see his family and you would keep him company. She disapproved but she said she would ask God to forgive you, you liked her because unlike the rest of the religious people you met on campus she was the most spiritual and the less judgmental.

She would look at you with a forced smile and say
‘’you know for someone who is not studying international relations you travel quite much’’ and then she would hug you goodbye.

Chief wanted one last night at the club with his friends, the ones he knew you despised so much. You were not really the wild girl chief was smitten by, the club was just a  place where people converged to blow off steam, a crowded gathering of different personalities with diverse motives.

You told Chief his professor friend was a rapist
that was not professor Ike’s intention’’ he yelled with mild irritation  removing your hand from his boxers
‘’All I am saying is that it is hard to decipher the true intentions of a man who touches a woman’s body without her consent’’ you said apologetically.

You left for the club with chief, at the round table they were fewer men than there ever was. They said the professor got a job offer from Cambridge and another man who you never paid much attention to was found dead in his motel room.

It was obvious he died on top of a woman. The local security went looking for her.  You wondered if it would ever happen to you and chief, for once you considered his family.

From the photograph in his wallet you saw the innocence in his last daughters' eyes, the fierceness in the first, and then his son; a fine young gentleman in his early twenties. Didn’t they know their father was a womanizer? Did his wife just trust him or did she just buy the idea that all men are polygamous and shoved it aside? Was it because he was rich so she chose to ignore his infidelity because surely she would have suspected the late-night calls chief received from various women even when he was with you.

The flight was going to leave in about eight hours you didn’t want to leave, this was not the first time you flew across borders with chief but this time it didn’t feel right or maybe it was because Lotanna said that God showed her in a vision that the plane crashed.

You were not one to believe the visions and dreams of religious fanatics but indecisiveness left you open to any consideration that could solidify your uneasiness. Chief hates to waste his money and he beat you once when he paid for two nights in a guest house and you didn’t show up because you were not in the mood. He never beat you after that day but you saw the tendencies in his eyes.

You did not travel and the plane did not crash as prophesied. You waited for the chief to come back from his trip so that you can apologize. It was very easy to apologize chief was easy to please, just five minutes of mild foreplay you could get him panting like a bulldog and singing your praise as an indication to stop. He was just a very perverted old man if not, wisdom entailed that he be fully retired and stayed home with his family.

You hear his first daughter is a lawyer that walks for shell and you wondered if there was a provision in the constitution that tried adults for infidelity and fornication. He didn’t show up that night nor the night after neither did he call. You used your savings to rent an apartment off-campus because chief said he was tired of motels and brothels.

You changed your wardrobe too because a free graduate like you had to keep away from campus trends especially those jeans that fitted tightly at the waistline became extremely triangular and lose at the end. The last time you made such extravagant expense chief covered for it. Had he not suggested refunding you after his trip you wouldn’t have bothered with house hunting let alone gone on a shopping spree?

A parcel came from the village. This time it was typewritten and Pa James was not known to punch hard keys to the detriment of his wrinkling fingers. He wrote on, no matter how long the letter. Cell phones were very expensive and only a few city people owned it, even if you bought one for him he would not be able to use it, not because he couldn’t learn how to control the white man’s gadget but because there was no network reception.

 After the vacation of white men from the villages, the mast was brought down mysteriously and it took sweat, tooth, and nail to build it in the first place. If your father asked the local typist to type this letter then there was a problem. You decided not to read the letter.

Chief came by your house and was impressed with the furnishing of the one-room apartment. He didn’t seem angry at all and he didn’t apologize for disappearing for a month and putting you in a position where you had to cook your meals and sleep with a random man at the club in order to conserve costs and pay your bills, but you forgave him. His visits became more frequent, each time he came it seemed like he wanted to salvage what he could before vanishing again.

He didn’t last five minutes again, he would go multiple rounds of pleasure and ask that you cuddle. He said his doctor added energy-boosting supplements to his blood pressure dosage He told you that there was a problem with his account officer and he was buying shares so it was hard to withdraw cash and that’s why the cheque he gave you bounced four times.

You believed him knowing full well he had a lying tongue because it was easy to bask in the uncertainty of a lie than to face the harshness of the truth in your disbelief.
One month had passed since the letter.

The cheque continued to bounce. You sat up and wondered about your life, how you became so dependent on a man for upkeep. It seemed like you stuck with him to keep up with the expensive lifestyle of rich girls in your town and you had not thought about savings because cash was always a booty call away.
Tufiakwa!’ God forbid, you would often yell after two hours of deep worrying and a rush of goosebumps.

The first time you stole money, it was from your mothers' hymnals. You overheard her say that she had gathered money for her tithe and you were perplexed. The Family fed from hand to mouth yet she was willing to give away ten percent of the proceedings from her small stall. You didn’t understand how your mother could be bought into that sort of foolishness.

It was better you spent. the money than for her to give it to an Invisible God that only existed in her naivety. She punished you for stealing and made you kneel for two hours as she cried and prayed.

She anointed your head with oil that smelt more pleasant than the regular kernel oil used to eat roasted yam. She poured what he described as holy water which was just normal water from the borehole which she refilled and took to the parish twice a week for blessing and asked you to drink.

It was the holy water that would wash away all your infirmities. You never stole from her after that and this was not because you repented but because of the emptiness and fear in your mother's hollow eyes when she held your shoulders, shook you vigorously after the deliverance session and yelled

‘’ My child you will burn  because you cannot serve God and mammon!’’

Insomnia was not a condition you thought you could suffer because you always slept like a baby regardless. But for three nights you sat on your sleepless pillow replaying your life as though you were in a theatre and all the mishaps were just rehearsals for the grand show.

Chief Oladeji Olukanmi had just told you, Cynthia Nwakeogo Nnamdi, that he wanted a new life and his family was moving back to Nigeria. He callously spewed the fact that he could no longer afford you like you were some overpriced piece of figurine he had to dispose of.
’Baby  Cy you must understand the effect of the new government on the economy and my family ‘’ He said still panting from pleasure.

‘’My wife and children must not know about our flimsy friendship’’ your heart raced to wait for the bottom line.
’sorry I don’t have any more money to give you, but you know you are a sharp girl, I am sure you can find another man to leech unto’’ He said as he smiled and put on his agbada.

You watched him leave without uttering a word and since then you had spoken only a few words. As you sat sleepless on your bed you picked up your father's letter. Two weeks had gone by and you thought to do him the courtesy of at least reading it. He didn’t write the letter but they were his words. He had just been diagnosed it a heart disease and he wanted to see you before he passed on.

You didn’t know what to do with that information. once you thought of praying but to what, to whom? You understood for a fleeting moment what hope meant. You felt what it is to believe in something even if there was no guarantee the pain would pass, just the feeling that something divine was at the helm of affairs was a ray of hope.

You didn’t know whether to call on Amadioha and the ancestors like your heathen father praised who for some reason could not heal your father or strike chief down or to pray to the God of your mother and speak in unknown tongues like Lotanna.

Your mother died trying to birth another child because she said she must bear your father more children unless his seed would fly to various fields of desire and become a hunting weed.

None of them seemed worthy of the praise from your tongue but you were losing your mind so you prayed to both of them. You asked your ancestors to make chief pay for using you and dumping you like trash and you asked the Christian God of your mother for strength and prosperity.

Lotanna came to pick you up with her husband’s beetles. It had stickers, flyers, and posters plastered all over the windscreen and rearview mirror. She was going to introduce you to her pastor who was going to pray for you and lead you to salvation. On the way to church, she told you her husband dreamt of an angel sending them a new convertible and the lord was about to change her status for good.

The service was good save for the members who screamed ‘yes sir! Ride on sir!’ after every word from the pulpit. This was not the way your mother worshipped. Hers was more orthodox and solemn. You stayed and became a member of the Gods Radicals ministry and it was not long before you started casting out demons and speaking in a language that sounded like a posh incantation.

A letter came in that your father had died and he needed to be buried based on tradition. Lotanna said the pastor must pray for God to accept him in heaven. It was a futile idea to you so you did not indulge. You went home and home felt like homelessness.

Your father's Shrine had been demolished and it became a center for block Rosary, the sofa was soaked due to the leak on the roof and the whole house smelled like decayed rodent and bush meat. You let them bury him and dedicate his corpse to the gods. It almost felt surreal if it wasn’t a sad occurrence that you were the last of your father’s name, the only surviving of your mother’s seed. It was almost heroic.

You returned to Lagos a broke orphan who believed in a new God. The new pastor said forgiveness is a necessary virtue for a Christian. He said vengeance was for God and that God always repays the best way. Now that you see chief had been arrested for embezzlement and his properties seized, you believed in this new God even more.


I wrote this story with no clue what to do with it. What do you think about this story? Criticism, appraisal, anything. 







Friday, 13 March 2020

10 REASONS TO APPLY FOR THE NIGERIAN STUDENTS POETRY PRIZE

NSPP 2020 EDITION 

The Nigerian students poetry prize



DEADLINE: March 31st, 2020 

The Nigerian student's poetry prize is an initiative of Poets in Nigeria (PIN) aimed at stimulating literary creativity and encouraging critical thinking among Nigerian undergraduates. Since its inception in 2016 at the University of Ibadan, the prize has received about 2500 entries from students representing over 100 tertiary institutions (including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, schools of nursing and seminary schools).
Reputed as the foremost poetry prize for Nigerian students, the NSPP has awarded over a million Naira (1,000,000) to winning entrants. 

10 REASONS TO APPLY FOR THE NIGERIAN STUDENTS POETRY PRIZE

  1. You will not die
  2. Right now you are not doing anything
  3. Whether you win or not you would have successfully written a poem (   bragging rights )
  4. You don't even have to be perfect. You just need to be articulate about expressing yourself in lines.
  5. If they were looking for already made poets. They know where to find them, this wouldn't have been open for you and me. 
  6. The poem doesn't have to Rhyme
  7. If you win that prize, it is enough to calm your nerves. 
  8. Nobody will beat you if you  don't make the cut 
  9. All I am saying is just write.  You never know.
  10.   Your poem will be published in an anthology selling across Nigeria if you make it to top 100(  I was in this category last year) let me show you
I didn't win but I made it to top hundred. My poem is in an actual book. Orgasmic!

If you win your poem will be used as the title of the Anthology! 
This could be you but are busy making excuses.

Successfully added PIN to my list of bragging and you can too
PRIZES 
Aside rewarding the  prize winners (top three entrants) with a total cash prize of ₦500,000, the top 100 entrants will each receive a certificate of excellence and complimentary a copy of the NSPP anthology which features their works.
  • 1st Prize – ₦250,000
  • 2nd Prize – ₦150,000
  • 3rd Prize – ₦100,000
  • Consolation Prize – ₦25,000 each for 4th and 5th best entrants 
ELIGIBILITY
  • Open to all Nigerian undergraduates studying in Nigeria and the diaspora
  • Entrants must be from a recognized tertiary institution
GUIDELINES
  • Submissions are to be made at http://nspp.poetsinnigeria.org.ng, with strict adherence to the instructions thereon.
  • Poems must be original intellectual property of the entrants.
  • An entrant is entitled to a single entry of 30 lines maximum.
  • No fixed themes. Entrants can write on any relevant theme.
  • Entries submitted must be previously unpublished. A submission discovered to have defaulted on this rule will be automatically voided.
  • All entrants are expected to purchase a minimum of one of the four NSPP anthologies uploaded on the submission portal.
  • Under no condition will the judges’ unanimous decisions be challenged.
  • Entering for the contest gives PIN automatic right to make use of entries as deemed appropriate.
  • Entries must be written in English. Native terminologies must be translated in English as footnotes.
  • Entrants should subscribe to for regular updates.

 This is a platform that is doing the Lord's work when it comes to giving young poets a voice. So jump on this. You don't have to be perfect just express yourself,it's poetry. I  happen to be the student Ambassador for Poets in Nigeria Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Let's put unizik on the submission map. 

For more inquiries visit their website at nspp.poetsinnigeria.org.ng

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