Saturday, 18 June 2016

GOODBYE

Everyone knew but me.

It should have been obvious in their silent whispers and distant eyes, but I was too naive; too ignorant and probably too young.

In this age, being young is not an excuse, but things are not the same now as they were then. Even a five year old understands now what I was ignorant about when I was ten and that is only seven years ago.

Where is Emmanuel? I asked mama.

You see, Emmanuel was my younger brother and I was so jealous of him.
Being eight years of age when he arrived, you can only try to understand what his birth meant to me when he was born. I had gotten so used to being an only child I felt little or no joy when the “bundle of joy” came.

Mama had been really happy when she found out she was pregnant and Papa pampered her a lot. There had been laughter and fun radiating the house I call home; at least that much I can remember. I once heard her tell our neighbor, Mama Esther that at last she will no longer be tagged barren. I could remember I had been shocked because we had been taught by Aunty Sade in my Sunday school in church that “Sarah was barren for a long time”, and Aunty Sade said a barren person is someone who has no child. I can remember because she made us repeat it after her severally. Aunty Sade also said, “Children are the heritage of God” while emphasizing that we are children of God, so I knew I was a child, but I still didn’t understand what mama meant, but I kept quiet: maybe barren had another meaning my Sunday school teacher didn’t tell me.
It was later that I got to understand that in our land, a woman with just a child is still tagged barren. No wonder there was so much fuss surrounding my brother’s birth.
Where is he? I asked again.

Mama looked at me and calmly said; so calm was she that I should have been able to read between the lines and know something was wrong: just two words and my joy knew no bounds: “He travelled.”

I didn’t even bother to ask where he went; I was so locked up in my selfishness.
All I could think of was having all the attention to myself; not having to share money and goodies from visitors with him. I was really excited and I screamed “Thank God!” Normally, Mama would have laughed but she didn’t; I should have known.

How was I supposed to know Emmanuel was dead? How was I to know my little brother had “found peace”? How was I to know we were never going to fight on anything ever again?
All is fair in love and war they say, but life hasn’t been fair: I wasn’t even allowed to say goodbye. No one thought I’d want to mourn him. Now it’s late, but hopefully not too late to say “rest on” to my favourite playmate and rival.

He went on a journey never to return. I never mourned him and it’s almost too late to; as I can barely remember his face. As his smile, cry and face fade into one on this special day which would have been the celebration of his birth, I say: “Goodbye!”

FAMILIAR STRANGERS

She looked familiar I saw
She thought the same I noticed
Like the awakening of Lazarus from the dead,
Recognition flickered across our countenances as we both remembered at once
Two stars across the cosmos were we; which together once told a story
I smiled, she waved
Funny how someone you knew like the back of your hand could become someone you don’t know at all
We were once FRIENDS
Five and six were we before time and chance happened to us both.
FAMILIAR STRANGERS…



I can’t live without you,
You are my missing rib,
The air that I breathe,
I will never leave you: those were the promises of a lifetime to come
He was the tea, I was the sugar
I was his bread, he was my butter
We were once LOVERS
Life happened to us both and here I am; still living!
FAMILIAR STRANGERS…



In sickness and in health, for better, for worse,
In riches and in poverty, for times and times again, till death do us part; were our vows.
It wasn’t death who did the parting; it was the fights, the shouts, the cries and the anger:
I couldn’t bear it no more, He couldn’t too:
We pleaded irreconcilable differences; differences we once bore in love
We were once MARRIED
He was the salt to my world; I was the center of his:
But love failed!
FAMILIAR STRANGERS…


I know this I thought to myself…
“Teach me”; she repeated, as if she could read my thoughts
“I’m just trying to remember the formula”; I said
“Okay!” She responded.
Then I went back in thought to the days when the thought of GP gaveth life to the dead
And hearing; “results are out” could make anyone have high blood pressure
Times when nights were no different from days and an “E” called for more celebration than an “A”
Books were my COMPANION
And here I am, trying to remember one of those things which once meant the world to me
FAMILIAR STRANGERS…

Love the journey; appreciate those you meet along the way. You are where you are now because of them. We all have one: familiar strangers! Your familiar stranger can be a nightmare dressed like a daydream or a diamond in the rough; whatever it is,remember your course took this turn because of their cause: the night came because day had been. As much as we want some to stay on they won’t. Their chapter of your story might have closed but that doesn’t mean the chapter is not in the book. That stranger you asked the direction from might have given you the wrong address knowingly or unknowingly but remember that you met your ‘life partner’ on that path; therefore, be grateful for people you meet daily and for the things you go through: it surely makes one stronger.
Your “familiar stranger” might be a “friend”, classmate, relative etc. learn to always appreciate people you meet and decisions/choices you make along the way. You might not be where you want to be, but you are not where you were: “A mistake you learn from is not a mistake.” Be grateful!






Friday, 25 March 2016

Superheroes- Duty Calls!

I really need to stop watching movies and reading books on superheroes; in fact, any kind of hero. I’ve been really busy with tests and lately exams, so I’ve not had the time to post anything here (*sad face).

Ok! Here is what happened: Yesterday, one of my former roommates (*now a graduate) came around with her cousin. She actually followed him and his mum to see his dentist at the dental clinic inside school, so she called me. There was so much catching up to do, it’s been like how many months since we last saw each other?... yeah; 3 months. Enough diversion… Wait! I’m supposed to be reading; I’ve got an exam tomorrow (sighs… *rolls eyes). I know I said enough diversion… now, I’m serious. Buh before I continue… (*just kidding).

My roommate’s cousin made me download about 3 games yesterday, which I forgot about almost immediately after they left. Today, I got a 'pop-up notification' on my phone, which I thought was a text message notification, and it read; “Duty Calls- Human Race is in Danger.” And the first feeling I experienced was “shock”, and my first thought was “Oh my goodness! They found me.” Then a thousand and one thoughts ran through my mind; how did they do this? What’s my first duty as a superhero? And the questions went on and on through my brain, but one particular question stood out: “DO I GET SUPER POWERS?”
So, I kept having all the weird thoughts, trust me, boredom is never a good thing, but once in a while, it’s very necessary, important and really good to visit fantasy land. All this weird thoughts is not my fault, just last week, a friend and I saw a movie (can’t remember the title now), and I went on and on about how I loved superheroes and wanting to become one.

If I was a superhero, which would I be? If I could choose one for myself; which would it be? Would it be Batman with the “future” technologies, or Wonder Woman? Or wait! Maybe I would just be Spiderman; I mean Spiderwoman, defending and protecting the world while weaving webs everywhere. Or maybe I will just create a new superhero entirely; that would be nice.

Everyone wants to be a superhero, and inside of everyone is a superhero. The question therefore is this, “Are you willing and ready to act like the hero you already are?” Saving the world is a stressful deal, and I sometimes wonder why anyone would even bother. Those gadgets seem cool, and the “acrobatics” seem too good to be true. The big screen lied! Saving the world is not as simple and easy as they make it look.

Living a life of purpose is a deliberate action, making impacts is an awful lot of work. The choices you make today go a long way to determine the future. Everything that happens to you is a potential story changer depending on your reaction and acceptance of it. Live intentionally every day. It’s in you, and it’s a choice. The future depends on the choices you make: Make each moment count; give your time, expertise and financial resource to making a difference in the lives and quality of life in whatever community you find yourself and in the world at large; ONE PERSON AT A TIME. Together, we can create a world filled with superheroes. Therefore, Duty Calls- Human Race is in Danger: Are you ready?


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

GONE...

A tear or two; a hollow in the heart
Memories awoken: Smile plastered on face
It's such a sweet sad feeling 'cos you no longer share the smile with me

Searching and looking at pictures;
Not to remind myself of how great you were,
But to once again face the reality
That you are no longer here

Your smile is imprinted on my heart
Your voice keeps echoing
The tears keep flowing
But they are not enough to wash away the pain

Dead; I heard
I pronounced it like it's a new word:
Refusing to believe it's real;
Pretending it's a nightmare

Now days run into weeks, weeks into months
And months into years;
It doesn't make the burden any lighter;
Nor does it fade the nightmare

I thought myself strong; but then I was broken
Tried to cope with the loss
God knows I'm still trying
But even though the weather is great, it doesn't mean it's no longer grey
You aren't here, so you wouldn't know

So a year is gone
And so much with it
We could have experienced it together, but death decided to be a bitch

I'm trying to make up for words unspoken, love unshared and dreams unrealized
But I still feel numb; as the pain is still not curbed:
I miss you still!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Alone!

In a dark room I was;
Wandering and searching for light
Emotions gave way and I've never felt more alone!
I cried out loud: Out of frustration or for help it's hard to figure
If only I would just find some light
If only my heart would stop beating so fast
Take a deep breath I heard the voice say
A voice from my past or just some sane part of me speaking?
Hard to figure out when everything is so dark

I can see; I cried out loud!
Truly I can!
A shadow was cast
As the rays of light figured their way into the room .
Everything was a blur
You don't see much when you've been in the dark for as long as I have
My eyes adjusted to the light and I saw it:
Everything was in shambles
Then I couldn't see it anymore
The ray of hope had been taken away.

I prepared my heart because now I had hope: If light came before, it would surely come again.
I waited upon it, reassuring myself that the hope I had seen was not just a fragment of my imagination
As reality and dream faded into one, I began to wonder if anything was even real.
I gave up the search, I lost hope: Some things are not just meant to be
Then suddenly; as unexpected as a baby's first word, I regained my sight!
I found hope...
And I became free: This time; free indeed and at last!
One thing I learnt though: NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER QUIT!

The difference between where you are now and where you want to be is "today":The fragment of hope for a tomorrow.

(inspired by the movie- Beyond the Lights(2014))

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

THE ONE-LEGGED HEN.

Yippee! It’s still the New Year and I hope it’s not too late to wish you a happy new year. My first post this year is about a hen. Hen; you say? Well, you read that right.

What would you say if you woke up tomorrow and saw an ad in the papers for a missing hen? What would be your reaction if this hen’s description was written in details and a huge amount of money was to be given to whosoever finds the hen? I am sure you would ask what’s so special about the hen and some will say things ranging from “rich people and their not knowing what to do with money” to “this is pure madness!” (Like madness is ever pure).

What if you found or heard an ad inviting anyone and everyone to the burial ceremony of a one-legged hen? This sure takes the madness to a whole new level. Some people (especially from my tribe – The Yorubas) will scream that the announcer wants to renew his blood money ritual, while others will say that not only is the end near, it has finally come.

This is the story of a one-legged hen my family once owned, and if given the opportunity, time and chance, I will be the announcer of the ‘most unique’ and ‘most caring’ hen that ever walked the earth.
If I have not succeeded in arousing your interest, this story is most certainly not for you. But if I have, sit tight and fasten your belts.

Once upon a time, at my tiny humble home in the great city of Ibadan, my dad brought a hen home. Soon enough, this hen got ‘pregnant’, by either adultery or fornication I wouldn’t know, because she was never married, or maybe she was. She got pregnant like I said and started laying eggs. She laid eleven eggs and cracked ten. Among these chicks was a special one. She just didn’t seem to fit, but unlike the ugly duckling living among the swans, she was actually a chick. Her feathers were as white as snow; she never seems to get dirty and as the chicks grew, she never seemed to leave their mother. She was so different.

This particular chick grew to become a very fine hen. If she was human, she could have passed as "Snow White". She then got pregnant and began to lay eggs. She cracked her first set of eggs and a whole new generation of chicks began. The strange thing about this hen though was that at feeding time, she made sure her chicks fed to a particular extent before she starts to feed. Whenever her chicks were ‘fighting’ on food, she would step in and share the food into bits and pieces for them. Whenever a hawk carries any of her chicks, she would not feed and would keep clucking the whole day as if she was in tears. On days like that, she would go extra vigilant and would attack anything and anyone that tries to come near her chicks like any raging mother would do.

Our fine hen later became old but not worn out. We didn’t want to dispose of her because of her fine set of chicks, and the way she keeps amusing us. A little while after she cracked her fourth set of eggs, she was bitten by a snake on a particular evening. It was a sad sight; seeing her wriggling in pain. She didn’t allow anyone near her; not even her chicks: she was like a mad woman in pain. As the venom spread, she moved further away from the house. By the next morning, she was nowhere to be found, and we assumed she was dead. Her chicks went all quiet like they knew what had befallen their mother. After about two days, the dead suddenly limped into our compound, and so great was her chicks clucking as they rallied round her. Everyone in my house was also happy.

This is not just the story of a hen, but that of survival and love.
Days rolled by, my family and I watched as this hen’s limb dried up and as the skin later fell off. She continued to limp around on a single limb without changing any of her spectacular characteristics. We felt so much that even thinking of eating her felt like murder.

After all these, ‘elese-kan’ (one-legged) as we now called her became ‘pregnant’ and laid eggs once again. It took us by surprise given all she had been through. She cracked the eggs and brought to life another beautiful set of chicks. They were so beautiful it was as if she gave her all knowing they would be her last. This chicks never grew to become hen and cocks before their mother went missing.

10 things I learnt from ‘Elese-kan’ you should embrace this year:

1. If there is food for one, there is food for all; Life is all about sharing.
2. Everyone is being held responsible to someone or something, never let them down.
3. In life, survival is the utmost: You have to keep the strive for survival up.
4. Never ever give up! Situations might not speak well today, but remember that it could be worse: There is no rainbow without rain; even the darkest tunnel has light at its end.
5. Dare to try! Successful people do not do different things; they do things differently, so, keep trying till it 'makes sense'.
6. People will remember you for the things you did, things you could have done and the things you didn’t do. Therefore, challenge yourself to do your best to be remembered for something good; even if it is that great smile.
7. Love all, hate none. Life is worth loving. Love everyone and everything around you. Share the love.
8. Everyone around you might have stereotyped you, surprise them!
9. Life is not about what life throws at you. How you handle what is thrown at you is what is called “living”.
10. No one takes note of you until you make a difference; and to keep yourself in the spotlight of relevance, you have to keep making differences. Therefore, touch lives positively.

The truth is no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Therefore, affect people around you positively. Together, we can make life more beautiful than it already is. Start from where you are.

If you find a one-legged hen in your vicinity resembling my description of elese-kan, contact me. I will definitely know if she’s the one. (Winks)

Remember, life is a time for making choices; death is a time to remember how we chose. As American General, Dwight Eisenhower said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of dog in the fight – It’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Therefore, live and not just exist and while existing, don’t forget to have fun.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The torture

(For victims of life: Rape victims, accident victims, orphans...)

Mental, physical or emotional torture; which is worse?
How do you heal?
Physical torture leaves you with scars, but you heal. Sooner the scars fade, and even when they don't, time robs the pain. Mental and emotional torture leaves no scar.
How do you make it go away? How do you make it fade?

The smile goes wider, the talk incessant, and the pain deeper. No one knows because they don't know. Hard to figure out her next move and what is going on in that pretty head.
Her night is laced with nightmares. She wriggles, turns and groans: Tossing and turning in her sleep, the furrow on her forehead deepens. She cries out for help. I tried to help but I couldn't. Hard to help when it's "just a dream". Or how can you help your almost lifeless body in pain while you watch?

She relives the torture over and over, not knowing if it's killing her or making her stronger. Everyone thinks she's strong but deep down she's falling apart. She can barely hold it together but she tries. God knows she does. A way to let out the pain is found. She tells a story about someone she used to know; they laughed. She jokes about it with her friends using different scenarios. Of course she has to tell it in a funny way. She adds bits and removes pieces. Saying it the exact way would tear her apart, and heavens know she's not ready for a crying session. She was glad they found it funny because to her it was not. Funny how funny things could seem when you are not the one experiencing 'the shit': The tides turn when you are involved.

She holds it together or so she thought until she's made to remember. She is called pompous just because she looks out for herself. She tries hard not to please but then misses out the fun. The torture continues, now realer than ever because it's that time of the year when forgetting is just impossible.

Although it's hard, she counts her blessing. She might have lost some, but she hasn't lost all. No matter what people thinks, she's happy. She remembers Cayla Mills words, indeed being strong is the only option she has. Those who know, knows she seems fine; probably too fine they get scared. No one forgets that easily they wondered. What psychological display is going on in that head?

She doesn't want to be reminded: She pushes away when "almost" close to. They want to hold her but she says no. She cares too much, feels too much and needs too much: So much it scares even her. Will she heal? Will she survive this?
Of course, she will! She's a survivor.

P.S: Everyone is going through a phase or two. Respect the phases, acknowledge it and don't judge. To everyone going through "shit": You have survived 100% of your worst days, you are doing great! You are a Survivor. This will pass.