Thursday, May 28, 2009



The game is up
So you can stop
Did you think that I was blind?
Did you think I wouldn’t mind?

Is what I feel
So here’s the deal
'Won’t play with you for one more day
My mind is made up, come what may!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I saw a dead body today...

There she was, lying on the tarred road, in an undignified pose of which no right thinking photographer would have approved, well except for those modern and artsy photographers deeply into the garish and macabre. Her legs were grotesquely bent askew, her neck twisted at an impossible angle. She wore a brown skirt which had ridden up her well-shaped thighs and a matching top which I couldn’t see clearly. When I looked closer, I saw she was light-skinned and wore one of the more expensive weaves available in the market. She had make-up on. She was once a good looking woman clearly full of life. But now, she was merely another carcass on Ikorodu road ironically lying under the pedestrian bridge. Judgment has never been swifter.

(Yes I did see a dead body today which affected me greatly :(, a wasted life just because she didn't use the pedestrain bridge that was, oh, so close to her. and Yes it WAS hit and run you had to see the damage to the body to imagine the impact that must have done that)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Me and my mother

For years, she strived to make me into a lady. Ladyship of course being by her own definition. Again, of course, she failed miserably.

I never did understand why she was always on my case. Don't slouch or walk with a swagger, chew with your mouth closed, help me out in the kitchen (but mom, everyone else is going with Dad to the club). She didn't even bother with an answer. One evil look and I was in the kitchen meekly cutting 'ugu'. I swore I'd been adopted. That's why she loved me less than my brothers who were practically allowed to do as they pleased. To her credit, she never did quite cage me like one would expect being a bit unorthodox herself. But every now and then she decided that maybe she should bring me up like her mother did her. So, I would pound the cocoyam for the 'oha' soup as opposed to using the blender. I would pound the pepper and chop the onions. I would lay my bed and follow her to Tejuosho market to buy basket of tomato and heap of yam! I hated every moment of it. I hated the haggling and the shoving and cussing that went on there. I still do by the way.

My brothers did house work too. Maybe it had something to do with my incessant "why can't I go out and play football?" kind of questions. I got to wash the cars once a week too. I actually enjoyed doing that. My parents, my Dad especially, thought the boys needed to be balanced to survive bachelorhood when the time came. He'd been a 'bachelor'' himself for a while and had to 'fend' for himself. He didn't want his sons to grow up not having a clue how to scrub floors or make a pot of stew. So there was a cooking roster and a duty roster. My brothers learnt to cook everything from fried yam to egusi soup. But then, whenever we had to go outside of the roster, guess who got picked first?

Then I turned twelve. And Mom thought we should have 'the talk'. So she gave me a book. I can't remember the exact title now but it was filled with uninteresting stuff about monthly cycles, counting the days, ovulation periods and safe periods, Billings method and so on and so forth. Nothing of the raunchy stuff I expected. Rewind a bit to when I was eight. My Dad bought a series of science books. The series started with book one, which was about unicellular organisms and progressively ended at book 16 which was about Man. It had all the gist about each specie, everything really from feeding habits to reproduction. Daddy gave me a book a week and suddenly stopped at book fifteen which, yes you are right, was about mammals (gorrillas and whales). Then no book sixteen. My brother and I were baffled. Because each book had the whole series listed at the back. We KNEW there was a book sixteen. Hmmm... something fishy was going on. So off we went in search of book sixteen and there it was tucked away in between some encyclopaedia in Dad's study. To cut a long story short, at eight I had seen live pictures, with real life models having sex. I saw a penis with semen at the tip of it. I knew that was the stuff that made women preggers. I knew exactly where you were supposed to put it and how the vaginal walls contracts and excretes lubrication to make sexual intercourse enjoyable and to carry the man's semen to the place where fertilization happened! So suffice it to say that Billing's method wasn't what I wanted to read at 12. I had also read enough Nick Carters and James Hadley Chases to know that sex was raunchy and sweaty and glorious and not the clinical thing my mother's book described. I gave her back the book with a straight face and swore I'd finished it. So we proceeded to have the talk... "You are growing into a woman now and will soon begin to notice some changes in your body" she began and I immediately felt embarrased for her. I just had the sense that she was as uncomfortable as I was, seriously, why couldn't she just spare both of us the torture? So she went on in that fashion until thankfully it was over, quickly. And we pretended it never happened. When I got my period she gave me a pack of tampons and the literature that came with the pack and sent me to the bathroom. Her good deed for the year done.

You see, my mother and I, we didn't know what to say to each other for a long time. It seemed that each time we opened our mouths we hurt each other. I was not the daughter of her dreams but I was the only one she had so it was a struggle adjusting to this little dissappointment that was me. I made her cut off my long hair when I was 10 so she kept the long strands for me to see what I made her do when I was old enough to appreciate it. Instead, when I was actually old enough I went bald by choice. Mummy never understood it. My mother would never wear a pair of jeans without accessorising it to the max. Jeans are for hippies in my Mother's books. My Mom is a pair of expensive blazers, lovely frilly dress, long curly hair, heely strappy sandals, manicured nails kind of chic. I am a jeans and sketchers wearing, dreadlocked, costume jewelry kind of chic.

When Mommy went to live in the US of A, it couldn't have been a better time because we were nearly at the point of tearing each other's throats apart. In her frustration at the ungainly woman I was growing up to be she made mistakes. In my none appreciation of the sensitivity of the situation I made mistakes. We fought, we ranted and we cried. We spilled sweat and even blood sometimes in our legendary battles. My father wisely stayed away from it all. I remember the day we saw her off to the airport, my brother's and I, 14 years ago. She had tears in her eyes and she said to me, "you won't cry now, you want me to go, don't you?" Well, hell Yeah!

Well, we've come a long way, me and my mother. Now we talk and we laugh. Now we can stay in the same home for weeks and not scratch each others gullets out. Now we talk on the phone for hours on end. Now we are both grown women who have our own experiences to enrich our lives. Now i appreciate the sacrifices she made for her children who she loves dearly. Now I know she loves me and wants the best for me. A bit misguided sometimes but extremely well intentioned and filled with love. I appreciate the wisdom the years have given her. I admire her strength and tenacity. I respect what she has made of her life. I love her. My beautiful mother.

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