Oguntowo Tolu: AM I CHASTE? 2

Hi readers, last week we started a tour into the life of Toyin Babatope, as we have read about her experience in class with her maths teacher and have opened our eyes to a part of her.
‘Am I chaste’ reveals more of Toyin’s story on this BlogSpot every Thursday. Enjoy!

‘How many times have I warned you to always wash the plates as soon as you return from school? I have to beg you to do what seems to be your only chore in this house, yet I don’t even need to tell you food is ready before you consume it like the fire upon Elijah’s altar’. Oreofe is eleven years of age, gradually manifesting puberty; he’s beginning to show some characters of adolescence that I’m uncomfortable with. He finds it so hard to accept that he’s but a child; every action of his tends to make a pseudo-adult out of him. Though with an age difference of about four years, he wouldn’t call me ‘aunty’ as culture demands; instead he slams my name on me. I actually acknowledge that he is quite brilliant; more often mom will say to him ‘a brilliant chap without morals is less useful to his society’.
‘Apeke!’ mom called out in a voice covered with cough, ‘Ma!’ I responded as I went to her in the living room where she sat busy marking the scripts of her pupils. ‘How far have you gone with the cooking?’ she asked in a countenance that expressed lateness. ‘The food is getting late, don’t let us eat at night today, we ought to have taken something at this time’. ‘I’m through with the okra soup and I have also warmed the stew, it’s just left for the water to boil and I’ll prepare eba’. ‘Well-done my dear’ mom remarked then I suddenly remembered ‘the fish in the stew will be insufficient for tonight’s meal; there is just a tail and a head in it’. Mom sighed and said ‘we will not go hungry in Jesus name; you take the head and share the tail between your brothers’.
A woman so full of faith, maybe because we didn’t have choice though, her belief in God tends to strengthen as the days go by. Our support was cut off when I lost my dad in a ghastly motor accident on his way back from a seminar at Lokoja. I was just nine and didn’t understand the weight of his demise. All I could imagine was that we wouldn’t see him again, the asun and stick sweets that often accompanied his arrival would be no more and the house would be so boring because his presence filled everywhere with life. Mom didn’t have to get a job, dad wanted that we be raised properly and he knew to do that, mom had to get focused at her motherly role and no distractions from any job. She is an NCE holder in Biology / integrated Science from the Federal College of Education, Kontagora. Until his death, mom was a comfortable housewife which had no financial worries. The weight of dad’s absence started to dawn on me just few months after his burial. Our relatives were so shameless, everyone that came had something to take back home. It started with Uncle Soji, he came on a visit and discovered that our television had broken down and so he offered to fix it. That was the last time we saw the television and so went some other appliances in the house. Mom never protested against their deeds, the love between my parents was so strong such that people doubted if they ever had their differences. It was uncomfortable for relatives to stay unnecessarily long; dad wanted the family to be as ‘nuclear’ as possible.
Food is ready and served as mom came out hurriedly out of the room all dressed up for church, she is the secretary of ‘Abigail’- the women group of the church. ‘I will eat when I return, keep my eba in the warmer’. We ate our meal, Tayo the baby of the house was fond of Nnena the daughter of our tiv neighbor and as usual he went to play with her. Oreofe had left to hang out with his friends. I sat on the mattress with my back against the wall in the room, my mind was always busy, not because I was imaginative but I was disturbed. I am fast growing into a lady and even if I’m too busy to notice it, this long queue of men of various sizes, ages complexions and attitudes was always there to call my attention. ‘Can’t they take their eyes off minors?’ I thought aloud. ‘Toyin!’ Oreofe called, ‘uncle Sola is waiting for you outside’. ‘What does he want again?’ I murmured as I got up angrily…….

Udofia Joseph: KNIGHT IN ARMOUR SHINING

YOUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR

Walking down this road for the fifth time,
I couldn’t but notice how lonely I am.
Right, left, couples kissed, others giggled,
Here I was, my heart aching, longing for one,
One whose heart and mine will beat as one.

Walking down the market, searching for my better half,
Rotten and sour species, I saw, but I’ll rather starve.
Gazing around, searching for my damsel,
Hours, days, months, awaiting the perfect beauty,
Seeing none. None, fit to carry out the wife’s duty.

The moment I saw you, my heart couldn’t keep its pace,
Your physique, I say, is the best in our race,
At once, I knew my quest has reached an end.
Moving close to you, I quietly muttered Grace,
And even before I spoke, I saw that smile that settled on your face.

Thrilled by your smile; cute, lovely, one I had never seen,
I couldn’t but bring you close, locking your skin in mine,
Promising you, never to let you out of my sight.
Suddenly, your captors came, dragging you out of my sight in horror,
Today, I return, battle ready: Your knight in shining armour.

Santi Femi Owoyemi: PAINTING PAINS

This piece is excellent and breath taking. ENJOY!

Folashade found out that I had traveled to Lagos and it broke her heart. I hadn’t told her about the job opening because I did not want to raise her hopes. I had planned to tell her only after the job had come through. Since my friend, Gbenga, stayed not far away from the firm where the recruitment test was taking place, I decided to put up with him for the period of my stay – a couple of days. Gbenga had taken a picture of me, him and Zainab, and had uploaded it on Facebook. Gbenga tagged me on the picture; that was how Folashade found out that I was in Lagos. Zainab was an old lover of mine but we did not date because of our religious differences. I had told Folashade about Zainab a long time before we began to see each other and once, I had shown her Zainab’s picture. However, I never knew she would never forget the face.

Everyday spent in Lagos wore me out and, somehow, I had begun to take my frustration out on Folashade. Folashade began to grow cold. I noticed it but I did not know why, for it was her nature, most of the time, to keep silent over the things that hurt her. She hardly ever complained about the things I did. Her reservations and hesitations were made evident in her sighs and her silence. I promised to see her the following day after my test but I didn’t. however, because I had passed the first test, I could not return to Ibadan as planned because the second round of tests had been scheduled for a few days. I called Folashade to let her know that I would not be visiting her as planned. She sighed and said ok. The whole time, I did not tell her my purpose in Lagos. I had simply promised to explain it all to her when I returned.

Unknown to me, Folashade had become disturbed and distraught because of all that was happening. I did not realize, too, that no matter the reassuring words I spoke, my evasiveness drilled a hole right through her heart. It amazed her that I had, once again, begun to hang out with an old lover. She had lost sleep because I had become cranky and evasive over the phone. She would later tell me, that Lagos took away the warmth I always radiated and handed back to her a stone cold man. When again I called that I would not be returning as I had first promised, the news left her sullen and heartbroken. I wrote the second test and because I passed, and once again, I could not leave Lagos. I waited a few days for my interview after which I was sent a mail that I had successfully passed the recruitment tests. I was to resume the following week.

Quickly, I returned to Ibadan to give the good news to Folashade and also get myself prepared to resume. All through my journey back to Ibadan, I ruminated over how right Folashade had been all along. With a job and a pay of almost six digits, and a woman like Folashade, truly everything good had come. I was blind by my desperation for the job that I did not realize how far apart Folashade and I had been. But before I left Lagos, I had gone to a jewelry store and had bought a ring. My first port of call was my lecturer’s office. He lifted me off my feet with joy and said congratulations a million times in his hoarse voice. It was after the whole felicity that I went home to meet the start of many disasters. I got to my one room apartment and found out that the door had been pulled down. The apartment had been burgled! Everything that I had had been taken away – clothes, appliances, beddings…everything was gone! Speechlessly, I stared at the empty house. But with a ring in my pocket and an explanation to give, I figured out to see Folashade first.

I was on my way to Folashade’s when I got a call from the firm. The caller had simply told me to hold-on and not resume yet until the firm got in touch with me. The ride to Folashade’s place was thirty seven minutes. I had rehearsed how the proposal would play out. I recited my lines again and imagined the glow that would emanate from her eyes. For one last time, as I approached her hostel, I looked at the ring. Even in the setting sun of the evening, it had a glint. It wasn’t the most expensive jewelry but it was a good place to start from. I walked into the house and everywhere was silent, only the noise of kids playing in the sand, a few houses away and the soft moaning of a woman enduring an unusual pleasure. Folashade’s door was closed but not bolted. With a slight push, the lock gave way and I peered in grinning. That was when I was struck by a thunderbolt. Folashade lay on her bed – naked and sweaty with a strange boy lay right on top of her with his boxers sagged.

The commotion began the moment I intruded. The boy jumped up. Confused and clumsy, he grabbed his trousers and rushed out of the room. I had come a few minutes too late. Folashade lay weak on her bed with her legs spread wide apart. The bed-sheet was stained with her blood and she gasped for breath. At first, I lost bearing of where I was… then, I lost my ability to feel. Gradually, I began to feel again and the only thing I felt was being crudely sawn into pieces. I felt a hand pull and poke my intestines. My hands began to tremble; not out of fear but out of an uncontrollable rage. That was when the box fell from my hands and the ring wobbled towards her. She stared at it and she burst into tears. That was when the rage became disgust. She tried to rise up but she fell again. I picked up the ring, replaced it in the box then I left. I went to a friend’s house but I said no word. That was how I ended homeless, clothless and heart-wrecked all in one day!

The next few days were rough on me. I lived under the torment of what I had witnessed. In the silence of my friend’s room on the topmost floor of the building, I was haunted by pictures of her legs spread wide in a V shape, moaning and making love to another man. The memories stung like I had been attacked by a colony of bees. I would cover my face through the night hoping to not dream but I dreamed still. My dreams became predictable. They were dreams of that evening. At last, I lost my sleep. Because everyone knew how love had burned in our hearts, Folashade and I, the truth became unbelievable. The world favoured Folashade, everyone believed she loved me more than I did. I went through several bouts of emotions till I did not know who I was nor what I felt anymore. Through it all, a barrage of appeals in the form of calls and text messages overwhelmed my phone.

It was in the heat of these happenings that I got a mail from the firm, regretfully announcing that the position had been offered to someone else. It was then, that for the first time, I told my friend everything. I wept like a child as I told the story. It’s been four weeks since all of these happened. Life lost its taste immediately after that and I wanted none of it anymore so, I began to crave death so I set the noose high in the ceiling. I watch as the sun says goodbye…it is a beautiful time to say goodbye to the world too. The sun would arise tomorrow but not me. I am looking out of the window, watching the people that line up the busy road that runs past the house. It is then that I see that which I had always sought.

I see an old couple walk hand in hand down the road, again. I had spotted them from the very day I moved into my friend’s apartment. They remind me of what I have always desired – to be with Folashade till my bones are weary in my shrunken body and my hair is grey and all my teeth are gone. I watch the old couple till I cannot not see anymore because my eyes have welled up with tears. Love is beautiful, but it has its moments of pain. for the first time, I begin to wonder if I had contributed to my own undoing.

I ask my friend when he returns from work that evening:

“If you had to paint your life, with what colour would you paint your pains?” He rambles and begins to snore soon after. My answer comes at dawn. I choose to paint my pain gold and live through it; for pain is the pathway through which love’s value is tested. To choose to die and to choose to love for while to love still has hope of joy, to die is a worthless price to pay, I reckon. So, I reach for my phone and call Folashade. It’s been five weeks of haunting silence. She’s lost her voice. I see her a few days later and she is lean and her eyes, puffed. I hold her hands and she begins to cry. One day, we shall grow old together, and the world shall see us and wonder our perfect we are together, just because we have painted the pains of today right. The colour you paint your pain is how you see your pain. In the end, it is your perspective.

If you have to paint your pains, tell me my friend, what will it be?

ok, beautiful story hey? well, here is actually the Part 1 below

Painting Pains _1

I am sitting by the window. I am not idle, I am keeping a vigilant watch as the sun, a round thing with an amber glow begins to sink into the darkening sky. It threatens to rain through the darkness that has begun to descend. I share a panoramic view of the landscape from the topmost floor of the building – views of rusty roofs, birds gliding in the sky with strange sounds as they flap their wings and a storm gathering in boughs of cloud. It is such a beautiful evening but in me, beauty is broken for underneath my feet is the picture of a girl ripped into pieces and over my head dangles a noose. The girl whose picture lays in pieces under my feet is the pain in my pride. She is the reason why for the past three weeks I have stayed up late at night, wishing for death to come for me before dawn. She’s the reason why I wish not to go back home, except in an urn – cremated. She is the reason for the noose that dangles from the ceiling. She is the reason for the story.

I want to hang myself. That is one way I can catch the bus that goes home. It is the only way I can think of to explain this pain. Death is home: though death is pain, albeit short-lived. The pain I feel this moment is the kind of pain that cannot be let out because there are no words that are fit perfect for it. And so, because it can’t be spoken, it stays within and leaves me broken. Like a tumour, it grows within. It never leaves. Am I overreacting? Perhaps after that you have read this story you can judge me rightly. This story isn’t so much about a girl. She is only a part of a bigger tragedy. Sometimes when we hurt, it is not what is done that hurts us. Rather, it is knowing the mastermind behind the hurt that hurts. That is how my story begins. It begins with a girl; she is the one whose picture I ripped underneath my feet.

It was in my final year in the university that I met Folashade. It was at a fellowship meeting. I had had my eyes buried in the holy-book, trying to keep up with the Bible reading. A mosquito bite on my arm was all the distraction I needed. I missed the mosquito because through the distraction, my eyes had caught something. From that point on, I was no longer in the meeting. My gaze flitted between the altar and the girl. All through the sermon, my mind schemed how to get the damsel’s attention. For a tongue tied guy like me, that task was like a camel walking through the eye of the needle. Though I had no plan on how to get the girl, God had his own plan. God showed up on the scene when the damsel stood up as a visitor in the meeting. Quickly I jumped to my feet (as the head of the Welfare Team) before any other member of the team would, and gave her a godly welcome. Her palms were soft and her fingerbones felt delicate. In her sky-blue top and black jeans skirt, she looked fragile like she would break into pieces if not handled with care. I led her to a special seat reserved for visitors and handed her a form to fill.

That was when I knew her name: Folashade.

It began with a phone call under the guise of follow-up. Right after the phone call was an official visit. Soon after, came the unofficial calls and the unapproved visits. I had found love while doing God’s work. She soon found love too. The friendship continued till the end of the first semester. It was during the mid semester break that we began to date each other. The love we shared was so strong and because we did not put it in check, we began to do irrational things. We would run out into torrential downpours of rain, she made me chase her down the long stretches of unfamiliar roads. We would hug each other and laugh hard at how silly we were. It was once during one of our downpour adventures that we had stopped right in the middle of the rain and had shared a kiss. Her lips tasted like almond, she slowly opened her eyes and smiled. No fear, no guilt, no words. Her eyes said it all…they reflected joy!

I was posted to a small town in Jos for my NYSC program. I taught Government and Social-Studies at a public secondary school situated in the heart of the town. Because there was hardly ever light, and the commercial spot where I could charge my phone was far, I would trek the distance to Dan Musa’s place. It was the closest point that I could charge my phone at, for a fee of fifty naira. As I walked the mile, I would hum a tune to myself with my mind fixed on Folashade.

Folashade did ridiculous things too. She customized all her tee-shirts with my nickname. As the relationship grew through the months, she began to use my picture as her profile picture on Facebook and Twitter. Halfway through my Youth Service program, Folashade did the unexpected. She got on a bus coming to Jos and only informed me of her plan when she got to Abuja.

She had barely spent twelve hours when an ethnic clash broke out and we all stayed indoors quivering with fear. It was during that period that, for the first time, the kisses were no longer sufficient. So, we tried to have sex. For the pain she felt and the fear that nudged at my heart as I tried to pierce through her hymen, we refrained and settled for just the kisses. Almost every hour, we kissed very feverishly and giggled delightfully, like small children amused by rainfall, thereafter. Once the security officers restored peace and calm, Folashade returned to Ilorin and our love continued and blossomed.

Having forwarded my CV to many companies, I returned to Ibadan after I completed my youth service program. I waited to be called upon for a job but nothing came through. The wait began to look long and frustrating when after three months, nothing had worked out. Folashade always called because I had become broke. She would always assure me that everything would be okay eventually. She always reminded me that it was just a phase I was passing through. Six months after the completion of my NYSC program, I approached a lecturer in my alma mater. I volunteered to be his Research Assistant. Gladly, he took me in. Even though he never paid me a fixed fee, he always took care of my transportation and lunch. I kept on with him till one morning when I got a mail that a Financial advisory firm in Lagos was recruiting; so I went to Lagos.

That was when the troubles began.

santi blogs at santiwrites.wordpress.com. follow him on twitter @santifemi

Source: http://santiwrites.wordpress.com

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Ayokunle Odekunle: LETTER TO MY UNBORN CHILD!

Dear readers, this piece is one of my favourite. have loved it since he first wrote it in 2009. you will find it intriguing

LETTER TO MY UNBORN CHILD
PS: I wrote this article in 2009 as a student of the University of Ibadan. Just feel like sharing once more. Enjoy!

Hello sweetie,

I am staring into the dark now, reminiscing, and thinking of how life was and how it is now. I also am trying to imagine how it would be during your own time, when I the agile Oddy would probably be a bent old man with bald head and sunken eyes.

I remember when I was a kid, things were good. My dad would go to work early and come back early. Mummy never had to work because daddy’s salary was enough for the family. Daddy would always buy things for me being the only child then. I remember the TALES BY MOONLIGHT, SPEAK OUT, MEGA CHECKMATE and that EKO BANK ADVERT ‘a brand of quality banking…that’s Ecko bank, that’s Ecko bank’ and the Planta advert ‘children its breakfast time. Breakfast time is planta time, planta…’

Things started changing economically and I remember Daddy told mummy to go and dust up her certificates because she had to start working too. That was when I started seeing less of mummy. Mummy would return from work very late and leave home very early and that way, I started seeing less of mummy.

I entered secondary school, and things had deteriorated. Daddy (a lawyer) told me I might not do very well unless I studied Law or medicine, Engineering, or accounting. I wanted to be a journalist I insisted but daddy would not agree. Writing was my forte I told daddy but daddy felt otherwise. I had to settle for law which I am studying now in a once great university.

Sweetheart, things have changed really from when I was young till date. Morality has been thrown to the winds, Intellect is at its lowest ebb, The SPEAK OUTS of those days have been replaced with mediocre shows. Even the political atmosphere is now bloody. I remember ‘on the march again, Nigeria on the March again, looking for Mr President…Mko is our man o’. Oh! How I wish those days could come back.

Now as a university undergraduate, I believe I have a fair knowledge of what life is about. I have always tried to be the best in everything I do and I have been coming under the stick for everything I do. While some would say I am actually playful and brilliant, others insist I am cocky, proud and arrogant. While some love what I do, others see nothing good in it.

So, one day, I told my father, your grandfather. I was weeping and heartbroken. I told him people hate me and the likes. He looked me straight in the eyes, took me outside to a mango tree and he asked me to choose the one I would throw stones at and I told him that would have to be the ripe and good one. He had made his point as he told me that people only attack what his good and that people attack me cos I am a good fruit. I was so excited afterwards as nothing could ever move me again. Not even the worst critics who would carry a megaphone and scream HE IS PROUD, NAIL HIM.

Sweetie, your dad loves to do things that are right not minding whose ox is gored, I implore you do the same.

Your mummy sends her greetings. Although I think I know who your mummy should be, things could take a dramatic turn as man proposes as God disposes.

I wonder how life would be when you are my age. Maybe there would be uninterrupted power supply or maybe corruption would still be celebrated to the high heavens as it is now. I wonder if history would teach you of diligent men of the past who always try to be the best in all they do.

I have to go now sweetie as valentine is around the corner and I must get something for mommy to remind her of my unflinching love for her but remember that you must have something which you can die for or you would not be fit to live. Also in life, you can’t win all battles. You win some and loose some and whenever you fall, try to rise up again.

One last thing dear, never look down on people because we never know who is who,only look down on people when you want to help them up. Also know that nothing you do in life is failure-proof because even God’s design for mankind failed. when you want something, you should push and push until you get it…even the strongest doors squeak and fall under pressure. Impossibility is nothing

Your daddy is also a lover of unpopular opinion. He sticks to his guns no matter the position of the opposition. He hates following the crowd and he would rather go the other way to create his own path… his own way. You should aspire to do the same. Men who follow the crowd are never remembered by history. To make history, you should to dare to do the unthinkable.

With love from Daddy.

Oddy

– NOTE: The ‘Mummy” in the piece has since left me. Lol

Ayokunle is a Lawyer practicing at a top Firm in Lagos. follow him @oddy4real

source: Ynaija

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Makinde Similoluwa: THE BUTCHER’S LOVE LETTER

LOVE LETTER I

Dear Sikira!

The first time you passed in front of where I sell meat, I was in a heavenly trance and I told myself that your beauty is made in Heaven and not China. My Imam talks about Aljannah and the treasures therein but seeing you everyday is my Aljannah; just let me be your love and enjoy your ‘treasures’.
Anywhere you want to travel to, just tell me. If it is the “United States of Alapere” or the “People’s Republic of Kafanchan”, just tell me. Anywhere your love leads (except of course Prison: prisons scares the life out of me) I will follow.

All Chelsea fans are meat sellers and garage boys but if you agree to love me, I swear, I’ll switch to Arsenal which is for decent people.
I want my children to come from you. If you marry me, your parents would not have to use money to buy meat again as I will provide everything. I will buy the finest of “bend down select” clothes for you even if I have to go out naked; I will buy the most expensive rubber “slipars shoe” for you even if that means my life savings will go for it and I have to walk bare footed; I will buy you a car (I think a ‘pick up’ befits you) and even be your driver.

I am the king of the only one room mud castle in the village. Come be my wife and be the queen; our children will be princes and princesses there. You are my confessor, let me be your seeker. Never doubt me lailai. I will take care of you that your parents will fail to recognise you. If you marry me, I promise not to look at other women! What would I even look for that you don’t have in “surplus”.
Though your tribal mark is a beautiful nonsense, I still love you. Love covers all things including ugly tribal marks. You ought to be thankful that the finest meat seller is writing to toast you self. I heard from Luku my friend that one boy that rides “okada” toasted you. See, he is a fraud. My love is real and his own is fake.

When we marry, you can sleep on the bed and I will have no problem sleeping on the mat. I will use money to destroy you and also use money to rebuild you. Meat cannot finish so also my money.
See, I have to go now and I’m expecting your reply. I love you from head to toe.

Yours in Love,

Alaba
Senior Butcher
Malu Dara Abattoir

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Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo: MY LOVE!

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MY LOVE
A perfect ally for posterity she is

Precipitous Passions pushed up

Just a peep at this dazzling wonder

Peace prodded in my heart at her sight

Protein to all living cells in me she is

Bone of my Bone

Your photorealism is truly real

The green herbs of my life garden you photosynthesise

Phosphorus in my darkest hour she is

My ponderous plateau melts at her touch

Like the Portobello, you are my precious

You are simply the love of my life

Ola Daniel: A Night too Heavy 2

The expectance of the heavenly ‘joy’ in her stomach was the real deal in the golden world of the Agboola’s. It was more than expected. The baby ‘things’ were always being bought in anticipation of her glorious entrance. She was christened ‘Dovelyne’ even though she was yet to be born. Dont just get bothered about the name. they just knew she would be as cute as a Dove. to show how serious the delivery of the baby was to them, Isabella was even on ‘delivery leave’. It was indeed a moment to carve and inscribe on the clean slate of history. It was a moment to behold.

Isabella was resting her head majestically on the bed. She was awake, just thanking God for the gift of life and supplies of financial provision. Bode turned to her side and kissed her belly for some seconds. It was as if he was expecting the baby to respond from the womb with a kiss too.

Bode heard the door of the guest room opened and he immediately knew his mom was coming for her regular early morning impartation or better still ‘outpouring’ of parental blessing. Her face was blank and at the same time full of curiosity. Her eyes were swollen and red. It wasn’t an eye defect. Not at all! She just didn’t close her eyes throughout the night. Mrs Agboola was up at bed thinking about what was strange about her son’s home. She couldn’t just fix it. The nut was just too hard for her to crack.

She pondered in her heart and told herself “she was one of the whores I used to see at Allen Avenue, in Nigeria”. She was happy she finally cracked the nut, but a part of her professed the thought was erroneous. She asked for Isabella’s mom’s name and her dad’s name. Isabella Brown was obviously her maiden name. That was part of her ‘golden discoveries’ which she saw on their Wedding Anniversary Card perfectly placed in the drawer in the guest’s room during her late night adventurous search.

The granny bombarded Isabella with several questions; looked at her keenly and desperately. Mrs Agboola requested she be taken on a visit to Isabella’s mom. Upon getting there, it was another rather unsurprising, but strange discovery. She recognised her almost immediately! Juliet had not really changed. Her cute pink lips were still there. Her contagious enticing smile was still much present. Juliet was Mr and Mrs Agboola’s family nurse. After much warmth greetings and reminiscence, Juliet asked about Mr Agboola and Mrs Agboola told her he was late. That was another sad moment in Mrs Agboola’s life. The memory was still pretty fresh in her head. Mr and Mrs Agboola were both in the living room with their kids when two strongly armed men in their rebel uniform came in and started slapping them. Mr Agboola was a retired soldier. He thought he could tactically disarm the men. But the rest was a history.

 Mr Agboola was killed and his wife was brutally injured, while their kids ran out in different directions. Mrs Agboola later gained consciousness and Bode was found. It was the civil war, so Sade must have been killed by stray bullet.

Mrs Agboola after some minutes came alive from her reminiscence. “That was the past; we just have to talk about the present”. It was later discovered Isabella’s supposed mom was no great deal her real mom but a fostered one who rescued her out of the country on gun point during the Nigerian Civil War and subsequently rechristened her.

After much historical ‘tracing’ and permutation, the sweet ‘honeyed’ home immediately turned sour as tears drifted freely and uncontrollably off their faces. Mrs Abosede Agboola was indeed an ‘unwanted’ guest. Isabella was discovered to be the Sade that mysteriously disappeared to an unknown ‘beyond’ as the mark put on the left ear of Bode and Sade’s at birth was found on Isabella. Isabella almost ran mad. She even did for some 48hours. Her ‘golden city’ was crumbling in her bare eyes. After finding a way through her ‘Walls of Jericho’ and ‘usurped’ tranquility, she finally remembered her two sons and then broke into tears uncontrollably at the point she touched her protruded belly. “How can I be the mother of the kids to my blood brother? How can I be carrying my brother’s baby in my womb?” She couldn’t just guess an answer to all these ‘unhilarious’ questions. She stabbed herself severally; at least to die in honour was better off staying actively alive in shame. Her heart was incessantly beating with a dirge accompanying every beat. Their home was full of tears and wailing as they bitterly stared at the face of the unending sorrow that this ‘inhuman’ fate brought their way. Isabella; soaked in tears and sweat; walked staggeringly towards the main balcony of the building, screamed and fell off. It was a glowing glory falling down at the peak of its dawn. Better they say is the end of a matter than the beginning thereof. But if she had known this was how her ‘end’ would look like, she would have wished she was raped and that young guy unremorsefully killed at his ‘uninvited’ intruding.

Desmond was woken up by the alarming scream of Tofunmi and discovered she was deeply soaked in a ‘pool’ of sweat, panting so heavily as if Hell was ‘beckoning’ at her. She gazed into the air and her eyes were; on successive times; on the four walls of the room. She wanted to be sure if appearance is truly not reality. She took a deep-relieving breath and said; “thank God, it was all a Nightmare”. She held Desmond so tight, prayed such and slept off deeply. It was indeed a night too heavy!

 

I HATE THEM!

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM MY PUBLISHED NOVELLA ‘CHAUVINISM’. I HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY IT – Oluwatosin

“You are hereby dismissed from the services of this company. You are to surrender every property in your possession”
Mrs. Ajibade felt like a stone had been hurled at her. She could not believe what she just heard; probably her ears were playing pranks with her. Termination? Impossible! In a split second, her mind travelled back to the day she got employed into the company. She had finished with a second class upper in Economics from the University of Ibadan. After her youth service in Taraba state, she was offered a job in this organization as a financial secretary. With diligence and hard work, she rose to the position of the head of the company’s marketing unit. Due to her beautiful ideas and innovations, the company has prospered. It has severally been nominated for company of the year award and widely accepted as the fastest growing business organization in Nigeria. Deals that brought millions of naira were brokered by her insight and business wits.
Then her mind drifted back to two months earlier when she lost her husband to cancer. She was left to cater for their four kids alone. “How can she now lose her job and how will she support her children when she is unemployed? She asked herself.
“Mrs. Ajibade, are you with me? She jolted back to reality.
“But sir, what have I done to deserve this?
“you are not to question my authority okay” she looked at the man she so much respect for his diligent lifestyle, she saw him as a role model though she was older than him. Now the respect she once had for him was overshadowed by anger, resentment, frustration and bitterness. “I am not questioning your authority sir, but I believe that I deserve an explanation after all my years of loyal service to this firm” she was clearly putting an effort into pushing the resentment from his voice.
“You will get that from the Managing Director. Will you please excuse me? I have a lot to attend to” he turned his swivel chair to face the window as he said this.
She left his office without further argument for the MD’s office. She knocked and a voice asked her to come in. she entered into a spacious room well decorated with modern office furniture. Behind the desk sat a plumb man with a cheerful face. The moment he saw her, his cheerful countenance fell.
“Mrs. Ajibade, I’m really sorry but there was nothing I could do” said Mr. Harry the MD.
“But….. But….. What was my offence? Tears she had been trying to suppress gushed out with full force like a torrential rain. Even Mr. Harry could not hold back his tears. “This woman does not deserve this after she has just passed through” he thought. He pushed back the imagination of the kind of life his wife and children would live if he should die.
Finally he stood from his chair and went round to Mrs. Ajibade “everything will be okay”
“Sir I lost my husband two months ago and now I’ve lost my job, now you are telling me things will be okay?
“You’ve done nothing wrong my dear, God understand”
“ oh really, all these shouldn’t have happened if he does” Mr. Harry subtly avoided her gaze since he had no answer to her question “you are right, if God truly understands, He ought to always watch over us but on the other hand we cannot question God just as we in this company cannot question the Chairman” said Mr. Harry .
“But with all sincerity, I’ve never been treated this way my whole life, Mr. Akintunde treated me like a leper a nobody. When I demanded an explanation, he simply ordered me out of his office in an annoying polite manner.
Mr. Harry looked her in the eyes and wondered why Mr. Akintunde waited till now before kicking her out. He wanted to tell her that she was lucky to have stayed in the company for so long but restrained himself and said ‘let me tell you something about the Chairman, no one knows anything about his family since he has never for once talked about them. I’ve been working with him for the past ten years; I have never seen a woman with him despite his wealth and affluence. More than fifteen women have worked in this organization; none of them climbed this far. They were all booted out by him based on one flimsy excuse’. He concluded with a compassion laden voice.
‘Hmmm, what excuse did he give for my dismissal?
‘That for the last two months, you have been too moody and gloomy for his liking’
‘What! She screamed ‘did he expect me to be happy and excited that I lost my husband’ she said banging the table and frightening Mr. harry in the process.
‘Calm down okay, I think you’ve actually being on his mind for a long time. He simply took the very first excuse that surfaced to kick you out’
She kept quiet like a catholic priest in deep meditation then slowly asked ‘what you are telling me sir is that Mr. Akintunde doesn’t like women working for him’
‘I think it goes beyond that’
‘What do you mean sir?
‘I think Mr. Akintunde is a chauvinist’
‘Oh no! sir. That can’t be in an age where women now rule our world’ she protested.
‘Believe you me my dear; he is an old fashioned chauvinist. I believe there is a reason for this. A reason traceable to his past. Mrs. Ajibade, I think that more than ever before that Mr. Akintunde needs our prayers.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Throughout that day, the only thing that occupied Mrs. Ajibade was her dismissal from her place of employment with no proper explanation to the best of her knowledge, she had done nothing wrong. No matter the offence, the worst punishment should have been suspension or salary deduction.
‘ I think Mr.Akintunde is a chauvinist’ those words kept reverberating in her mind, how can he be a chauvinist? Why a Woman hater? Is it possible in this century of great and astute womanhood? So many questions; questions that defied answers. Tried as much as she could, she found it difficult to believe.
The problem was the fact that there was nobody to discuss the issue with. The pillar that had been her support from God was no more; that great man that God made her husband. If he was still alive, he would have told her what to do. Even if there was nothing that could be done to salvage the situation, his soothing words only was enough to assure her.
Right now, her mind was in a state of commotion and turmoil. She finally decided to call her Pastor; another pillar of support since she lost her loving husband. She dialed his number and after three rings, Pastor David picked the call.
‘Hello’ Pastor Omowaye’s cheerful voice came on air.
‘Hello sir’
‘I hope all is well, your voice sounds dull’
‘There is a problem I will like to share with you sir’
‘Go on, spill it out. A problem shared is half solved and our God is a God of solution; so out with it’ Pastor David is a man full of enthusiasm and one can easily detect this in his voice.
‘Sir I lost my job today’ again tears threatened to choke up her voice. ‘And there was no tangible reason for it’
‘My dear, God is in control. Now try and pull yourself together so you can explain everything better, did you see this coming. I mean was there any premonition that something like this would happen?
‘No sir. There was no such thing until this morning when I was told my attention was needed in the chairman’s office. It was from him I got the news of my dismissal. Strangely enough, I am not suppose to receive the news from the chairman but from my immediate superior’
‘You tried to query your immediate boss about it right?
‘Yes sir’
‘What did he say?’
‘He said Mr.Akintunde our chairman is a chauvinist’
‘A chauvinist?
‘Uhm. He said I am the longest serving female worker in the firm. Others before me were kicked out before long for no particular reason. He has no wife or any female friend for that matter.’
‘Mrs. Ajibade if all you have told me is true, which I know it is, and then we need to pray for Mr. Akintunde. Join me in serious prayers for him because he seriously needs our prayers’

What do you think? Is Atiku bothered about Education?

by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo

What do you think? Is Atiku bothered about Education?
We all thought that his political career was over; that he was buried and long gone but then we forgot that Talleyrand once said “in war, you die only once, in politics, you die to rise again”. Atiku Abubakar is a man who has never been far away from controversy. He refused to support President Obasanjo’s third term ambition. Chief Okikiola kindly returned the favour by making sure that Atiku will not be his successor, preferring a sick Alhaji Yar’Adua to the energetic and controversial Atiku. With Yar’Adua out of the way, Atiku thought he had his chance. All he had to do was beat the Otuoke ‘Boy’ who went to school without a shoe at the PDP primary in 2011. Unfortunately, the Otuoke ‘Boy’ had not only the political support of the party bigwigs but also as someone noted ‘divine backing’.

With the heavy beating he took at the PDP convention, it was only safe and fair to assume that the Adamawa Chief was a dead man at least in the world of politics. But that is now far from the truth, it seems that Atiku only took a vacation; a forced vacation for that matter. Now, he is back and controlling things. He might yet be a pawn in the hands of the Northern Oligarchs who are vent at seeing a Northerner back at the Aso Villa, though he is not himself a push-over. He miraculously kicked out all the other northern gladiators in 2011, in the process earning the ‘northern consensus candidate’ title.

However, what I am more concerned about is the fact that Atiku seems to know how to play this game and to say that he is playing it well will be a gross understatement. Recently, he has taken to social networking site, twitter and is gradually establishing himself as a ‘well-loved’ ‘twitter activist’. He understands that the opinion of the people is essential in any democratic settings, therefore he often posts tweets asking his followers to tweet at him what they thought of some germane national issues. There is absolutely nothing wrong in this and it must infact be commended. If more politicians will take to social networking site and maintain a rapport with the people they have sworn to serve, it will be great news for our democracy. This is because what obtains currently shows that these men don’t give a damn what we think is right. As long as a policy does not favour them, it automatically does not favour the electorate and it would be pursued no matter how good it is. We only get to enjoy the dividends of democracy where the dividend makes them comfortable.

Thus the presence of these men on twitter is good; however one must question the motive behind this move. If the motive is to indeed allow the people air their views on national issues, it is fine. If however, these men are only playing games with us, then we have better told them to shut up and keep their opinions to themselves. President Goodluck Jonathan won many with that ‘SCHOOL WITHOUT SHOES’ advert, he put us in an emotional imbalance, he made us sympathetic and we believed that a man who have had such experience will understand the plight of the masses and do all within his power to put an end to their daily bread of suffering buttered with hunger. Whether he has done enough to prove that is left for you to decide. He was a man of the people in 2011, I am not sure that we can say the same in 2013, only two years later.

Alhaji Atiku is particularly fond of asking about what can be done to improve the educational sector in Nigeria. He has conducted this survey for more than a month now. I had no issues with that (considering that the Universities have been shut for months now and education is at its lowest ebb) until Seun Anikulapo Kuti asked him a salient question which had never occurred to me.
Seun Anikulapo Kuti ‏@RealSeunKuti

“@atiku: So what are your solutions for solving Nigeria’s education problems? Please tweet them at me.” after all dis yrs in govt u no know
With that Seun sparked an interesting conversation, check some of them:
Professor Sam ‏@IamProf_Sam

@RealSeunKuti ! Haba ! U are a human right activist ! U re not donjazzy who is an entertainer he might not reply
Ebirim Anozie ‏@AnoDavinci

@realseunkuti @atiku tks at seun, u de mind am!!! We dont know who will be president, but we know who CANNOT be!! education ko, atiku ni!!

Black Monk ‏@deleodd
I been tell am make hin and him cohorts make their private university affordable for the common man pikin o,abi? @RealSeunKuti @atiku

Ayoola B.A sunday ‏@ASundaycent 10h
@RealSeunKuti I don’t just know what dis old man problem is….. Anyhw sha, na we Nigerians no get sense.. Na we dey allow dem twist us..

The question then is: is Alhaji Atiku really bothered about the state of education in Nigeria? Do you think Atiku is sincere or is he merely playing to the gallery? Drop your opinion in the comment box below.

Oguntowo Tolu : AM I CHASTE?

It’s another Monday morning again and as usual it is mathematics- the subject to start the week with. We all rose as it was the practice to greet our ever ‘boning’, tall but well-dressed teacher Mr. Doyin good morning. I feared him so much, at some point I got used to his floggings and shouts since I was the most vulnerable victim in his class.
‘Oluwatoyin Babatope!!’ was the voice that called me back from my subconscious, as screamed by the teacher. I knew I was in trouble again; sleeping in Mr. Doyin’s class was a taboo. Sincerely, the last writings I saw on the board consciously were 09/07/2004 at the top left corner, Mathematics at mid-top being the subject and Simultaneous equations-the most acclaimed topic I was not even eager to meet, was just at below ‘Mathematics’ underlined in his peculiar zigzag pattern. When I got up to respond to his call, all three segments of the board had already been filled with calculations which obviously meant that I was more than an hour asleep in the two-hour class. ‘What was the last thing I said?’ screamed Mr. Doyin, I could barely recollect the first statements in class let alone the last things he said, Mayowa- my constant pest in class was always there to say something to me, this time he said ‘did you have pap and valium for breakfast today?’, the whole class busted into laughter although Mr. Doyin’s face was still straight. As I began ‘sir.. I ..’ ‘you can never change!!’ he retorted, ‘I’m not sure you see a future before you, you better get married and be useful to your husband at least.’ At these words, the whole class went silent and I could read sympathy on the faces of my class mates, Mayowa inclusive. I knew some of them would wonder what warranted such remarks. He eventually asked me to sit, but for the remaining thirty five minutes of the class, I was lost in the thought of what my teacher had perceived about my life.

Who was I supposed to explain to that I don’t have a bedtime? Whenever I returned from my weekend job with the Glades’ on Saturday nights, I will arrange my sibling’s clothes for Sunday’s service so they could at least look good enough to conceal our family’s financial predicament. Returning from church after several obligatory meetings, I will have to branch off at Bimbo’s house to copy her already done assignment to save myself from some extra lashes. Finally, getting home to cook dinner and breakfast simultaneously against the morning and then if we are lucky to have power, I will have to iron the partially dried uniforms of my siblings which were washed briefly when I returned from Bimbo’s house. So if I have an audience that would listen, is this explanation not past twenty minutes out of class time?
The day got over after what had looked like a great way to start a week, but I didn’t bother so much I was used to my Mondays. Home was the most important thing on my mind; I needed to get there on time because of the many things seeking my attention. As I was dashing home already late, one of my regular unwanted escorts came beckoning from behind just as I turned into Imole road, ‘toyin! toyin! wait now!’. Sola is a clerk at the Urban and Regional Planning Office adjacent my school. I wish the extramural classes had not existed we would never have had to close at the same time. He is one hell of a person you’ll soon find out…