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The Beautiful Woman

One time I lived in Ile-Ife, I saw a remarkable woman at Sabo market.

She was plump and beautiful; patiently waiting to collect her money from the woman sitting at the front in the bus, whom she had just sold oranges to.

Her skin was smooth; smooth like dark chocolate, and that was her skin colour too- dark chocolate.

Her lashes- oh, her lashes!- fanned her cheeks like thin, evenly distributed palm fronds on a branch.

I noticed them when she looked down into her waist pouch to get change to give her customer.

She had tiny moles at the top of her cheeks, scattered just beside her nose.

She had white teeth; white and neatly arranged, so when she smiled it was visible

She didn’t wear any jewelry, wore a simple iro and buba, yet she looked like the type of woman a King would take for wife.

I soon discovered she had a short fuse: before you said one, she would have replied with a thousand.

She didn’t joke with her money; couldn’t care less, if you couldn’t afford the amount she called her oranges to be; and definitely did not entertain any questions along the lines of ‘elo ni jale?’- (Yoruba, loosely translated to ‘how much would you take?’)

She took her money and crossed to the other side of the road where her stand was.

That was the last time I saw her.

The Gospel According to You

If your life was a book what would it read like?

A life well-lived is not just a life lived long.

Live life well means singing songs of comfort to the ones who are hurting-

be salt to the earth; light in the darkness; peace in chaos; love in hate.

A life well lived transcends life lived long.

It is those who chose right when they could have chosen wrong:

the ones who didn’t mind the name ‘weak’, if it could make others strong.

 

The Set Up

It’s refreshing to see a movie in which you don’t know what will happen next.

If you’re here for spoilers, I’m sorry, no show. The show is at the cinemas, where it’s showing. Haha!

I attended the mask-themed premiere of The Set Up and I was blown away. Nollywood is not here to joke, I felt so proud of the creative industry that night. It was a coming together of people who share dreams of promoting the art in all its forms all over the world.

This movie has so many twists, it makes you wonder who’s really winning. It’s full of mind games and you don’t even know who is being played, till a revelation is made.

There were a lot of ‘aaahhhhs’ in the cinema during the premiere. Every major character was beautifully developed in such a way that the person on the outside wouldn’t know when they began to be a part of the game, and not merely a victim.

‘Every action requires an equal, proportionate reaction’: It was an actor’s film the dialogue wasn’t boring. It was full of the give and take kind of conversations, quick wit and believable reactions, most of which got a rousing applause from the audience. The characters were fun to watch; it was easy to be drawn into their world.

While the funfare’s over, the movie definitely isn’t.

A summary of the movie: someone is set up by someone theytried to set up, who does so in conjunction with other people they had planned to set up. Everybody sets everybody else up, till someone wins.

That’s as much as I would be willing to tell.

I should start by commending the writer(s) of the movie.  Their mind is incredible. The storyline was just so commanding; as you would see for yourself.

It is refreshing to watch a movie in which you don’t know what will happen next! 

Every character brought a new revelation, so there were many twists in the progression; or what we thought was the progression of events, especially as each one was treated specially. There was a linkage between what happened to two different characters, why they did what they did and how the other person received it, so the entire movie was a smooth flow.

The editing was clean; there was a lot of good work done on the sound. To give an instance, the club scenes that had music, there was music right from the establishment shot of the exterior of the club to inside the club where that same music was being played, but with the right ambience. So it sounded how it would sound if a person was really talking a walk from outside to inside. The lighting, costume, makeup, the shots were neat and impressive.

Kudos to the director Niyi Akinmolayan, he was able to achieve a balance between the actors, the story and the delivery, it was a beautiful synergy. 

The movie is full of laughs and moments, and actors dedicated to their craft. A major lesson I learnt from the movie is the saying ‘where your smartness ends is where another person’s begins’.

Let’s now talk about a minor issue. Extras: In some scenes where there were extras, some of them made it appear like they were extras, it sort of distorted the wholesomeness of the scene for a bit: like, ‘I’m an extra, let me pretend I’m doing something I’m not really doing’, so one of the extras held a plate of food and pretended to take a bite. You’re already acting, don’t act like you’re acting ma.

In conclusion, would I recommend this film to anyone? I recommend it to everyone. At the end of the movie, we all felt we had been set up for such a ride. You would too. 

The Set Up starts showing in cinemas today, August 9 2019.

 

Do You Forgive Yourself?

Do you?

It’s easy to talk about forgiving people- even working through the pain till you can breathe easy whenever you remember the hurt.

But do you remember bad choices you made, or a project you didn’t quite put enough effort in, or a person you didn’t try hard enough with and still beat yourself up?

Living in guilt and self-condemnation is not good. Not for body, not for soul, and definitely not for spirit.

There was a time I found myself regularly justifying why something wasn’t right around me: coming up with the idea-and accepting it as right- that it was as a result of something I had done, or something that happened a while back that I haven’t yet totally healed from.

It takes a constant reminder of who you are in God to rid yourself of that kind of thought. Talking to yourself everyday, or whenever you sense something creeping up in your mind.

Because you’re not fighting against what people are saying to you or doing to you, but what you’re doing to yourself.

And that kind of pain won’t go with just some gulps of water and sleeping it over.

I remind myself that God loves me, and he wants only good for me. I tell myself that he’s forgiven me, and so I’m not held bound by what I have done before. We’re on a clean slate.

If you’re in that space right now, let yourself go.

It doesn’t happen instantly, but it’s a process you can enjoy and grow through.

Happy August.

This Friendship thing

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:17‬ ‭NIV

When I was younger and battling insecurity complexes I didn’t have friends, and I would tell people ‘I don’t need them’. I knew I wasn’t being honest, I just wanted to block the pain of being friendless. As you would guess, I was also very sensitive and somehow, everything was about me or was my fault.

Now I’m a little older and more secure with myself and my body, and I have friends. I tell people ‘you need friends’. You don’t need many, but you need genuine ones. We were not created to do life on our own.

Those times, as a teenager I thought I had to be something extra for the people I called my friends to see me as theirs for real: be extra saucy, be extra nice, or be extra dramatic.

It didn’t work.

I also tried to be the one who bought stuff for them so they wouldn’t leave.

It didn’t work.

There was always more that another person could do.

As I got older, and got more confident, read more books and spoke a to my mum about different things, I got less interested in having so many friends as I got interested in being a friend to people. ‘Okay, you don’t want to be friends, that’s okay, but how can I be of help right now?’

Was it always fun? Not really- because sometimes too I wanted to be the one people were catering to. I remember calling my mum one day in NYSC camp, crying.

I told her I had no friends in the camp, that I didn’t have people to walk with like the other girls who had already formed bonds and went about the place together.

We ended the conversation with her reminding me that it was okay to be on my own and enjoy my own company. Eventually I left camp with a few good friendships that are still going on.

Sometimes we’re okay, mentally strong and can withstand adversity on all sides, yet when we know that someone somewhere believes that we can, we’re strengthened to withstand the more.

We all want friends. We all need a good friend or two. But we seldom ask ourselves ‘am I qualified to be a friend to someone else?’

Are you?

Much love,

Your girlfriend

It’s Void!

I was an adhoc staff for the just concluded General elections in the country. As a serving corps member I was given the duty of a Presiding Officer (PO) for a Polling unit. A polling unit is a designated place on a street or estate where the election materials will be set up and residents- or people assigned to that unit, based on their registeration information- can cast their votes.

I was PO for Bourdillon Rd; this is a significant area for Lagosians, because that is where the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (also called the ‘Lion of Bourdillon’)- the national leader of the All Progressive’s Congress; the ruling political party- lives. that’s not where he cast his vote however.

I worked with a number of assistant presiding officers in three voting points.

The presidential election was peaceful in my unit, the party agents  were impatient, and the external observers were like hawks; watching everything.

The One Bad Egg:

Everything was going smoothly until one lady came in and tried to pour sand in our nicely-swelling garri; she had stood on the wrong queue in a wrong voting point, when she found out she came to my voting point and tried to jump the queue. All of a sudden there was commotion, someone on the queue shouted that if she was allowed to vote before him he would scatter the whole voting process. I had to call the police men present there to intervene, eventually after shouting matches between her and the electorate, and being unwilling to listen to anybody, and nobody willing to listen to her, the lady left. Fine lady. Bye ma.

During the gubernatorial elections, another lady came when I had declared voting closed. Everyone said voting had closed but she refused to listen. I also tried to speak with her but she told me not to speak. Ah. So I shut up. She did not vote. And I did not pay her any attention again

Although, honestly, looking back I think I should have just used my ‘power’ as a PO to let  her cast her vote, since she was the only one. but she had already been condescending in her speech and so I thought it was not a bad idea to just keep cancelling the ballot papers while she stood there.

I wouldn’t have liked that to be done to me, I should do better, compassion isn’t only for the ones who do good.

IT’S VOID!

It seemed like the party agents standing in for their candidates were out for blood; at any opportunity they would shout ‘it’s void!’ to discredit a vote for the next party. I began to wonder if it was more than election to an office… for the woman standing for APC that day, it was life and death.

We finished quite early, due to the low turnout of voters- Voter Apathy- and I returned to the registration area alongside my other learned, and not so learned colleagues.

One day, maybe I also will run for an office, till then let me be a good citizen of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God Bless Nigeria.

 And God bless you.

 

 

I Want…

In September 2017- two years ago I wrote something in my Google Keep; Keep has been an idea bank for me on so many occasions.

We all want so many things, sometimes we don’t even know how to express our innermost desires. And when we see them we may not even have the power to speak and go for it.

I want to break barriers

I want to move mountains

I want to silence shouts

And sing songs

And swim swiftly

On the turning tides

And the terrifying turbulence

Of man’s misery.

I want to be

I want to become

I want to come

To a place of rest

And peace of mind;

Without sharing pieces of my mind

Like meat to hungry dogs:

Keep my mind in one piece.

I want to love

I want to be loved

I want to be the light

At the end of your tunnel

The balm to soothe your nerves,

The voice that puts you to sleep,

The warmth from the cold

The cool from the heat.

I want to birth nations

And generations of men

And women that ride the tides

And stand their ground

I want strings of victories

And their knots of failures

That make my history

Greater than the pages of a book.

I want to see the future

Before she comes,

Have her talk, while I listen.

I want to hear the words

Before they’re said.

I want to stand in a crowd

And stand out.

And one day, when my future

Is my present- continuous,

I want my future

to see my present,

when it becomes my past

and smile.

I know there’s so much that can happen in time, but it doesn’t hold me back from imagining what the next few years would be like. I enjoy thinking about what wonder lies ahead of me.

Do you think about your future too?

Don’t hold yourself back from envisioning something beautiful for yourself.

Much love,

Your Girlfriend.

2019- HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.- Jeremiah 29:11

Image result for happy new year images

It’s 2019! The future we used to refer to has become Present.

Isn’t that wonderful?

 Welcome to a year of endless possibilities and remarkable achievements!

I feel like the exclamation mark is the simplest representation of the excitement I feel about this new year. And I won’t even pay any attention to the silly voice sarcastically asking if that’s not how I feel excited at the beginning of every year- get thee behind me! 

Close to the end of 2018, I was feeling a little down, of sorts, trying to look at the year in retrospect, and somehow, I was beating myself up too much for the slips I recalled.

I say too much, because it’s one of the things I consciously work on: crying over spilt milk- I mean, I can’t help it sometimes that I cry, but I try not to cry too long.

I did some evaluation, and though I didn’t do badly, I could have done much better.

But I did well! And it would be such a great disservice to myself, if I discredited myself!

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talk about using one hand to pat yourself on the back and the other to whip your behind; Carrot and Stick-ish?

This year would be one of depths, discoveries, and some serious light shining!

I haven’t written down my vision for the year though, but I have got my book ready; There’s just something about writing that makes goals all the more accomplishable.

What about you? How are you getting ready to take over the year?

You are marvelously helped of God ❤

Much Love,

Your Girlfriend.

 

 

 

NYSC MEMOIRS .1

Insert Man’O’War motivation song/chant: ‘you go born mumu, you go born mumu, if corper marry corper you go born mumu. Who no go no go know, who no go no go know wetin I see’

IMG_1917
…after crawling under wire and climbing over a 12ft wall, I’m good as new. I can’t say the same for my khaki though.

Hello my precious! it’s been a while since you last saw me.

I went to serve my country in a compulsory three-week orientation course for the National Youth Service Corps.  They call us ‘otondo’ ‘white fowl’ and some other not so flattering names, and it’s all for fun.

At least I don’t know who lost an arm or leg for being called fat legs or chicken. And i don’t also know a soldier who really gave a shot about who did.

Haha- the effrontery (side eye daggers).

Corper Wee!

Wa!

I learned so much about myself from those three weeks in the camp. So much so, I got a little uncomfortable some times, but isn’t that what life should be about?

I was supposed to do the post as soon as I got back; this has been a draft for about two weeks now, post convocation and health restoration.

Yes! This girl is a graduate! B.A in the bag for real. Inspite of all the strike and all what not.

IMG_1790.JPG
you know a sister got to put some drama into the picture.  How else would you know I’m a drama queen?

Life is fickle. Thank God whenever you’re able to complete a step of a journey, some people never get that opportunity.

So we download the gist one post at a time, ey?

I’ll be back with the juice.

Much Love,

Your Girlfriend.

 

Love Letters and Unkept Promises

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every time one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:7-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

One time after secondary school, I had this really amazing friendship with a boy. That was the first time in all my life I understood what girls in secondary school were talking about- getting worked up over boy issues; it was strange to me. I was more concerned with being a respected tomboy in our all-girls community, than slim-fitting skirts and wearing lipgloss. He was so intense- always saying deep sturvs.

I laugh at myself presently.

He would talk about the future and how it was going to be so beautiful, about the things we had in common, the way we fit so nicely and all of that boy-girl thing. We never really dated, we were just ‘talking’ and chilling – I think that’s the term.

It was really an interesting period, I became interested in lipstick and nice fitting clothes- I tried to be as girly as possible, because the young man had a bevy of side chicks waiting to devour this little seedling.

I call them side chicks because I saw myself as the main. After all, he called me every other day and his friends greeted me well.

Haha. If only I knew.

I would write funny notes and pass them to him and he would write me back, until it sort of became our ‘thing’. Then he wrote me the longest letter I had ever received in my young life: longer thank my penpal’s letters in secondary school, but it was no big deal.

My guy promised to be with me to the end of the world, yet after first year in University we were already strangers; he had moved on to the next.

‘What happened to ‘I will always love you? Even if you asked me out and I didn’t accept, couldn’t you just wait for a while?’

‘You didn’t have my time’

‘What?’

Water under the bridge. *eye roll*

The only thing left of that ‘season’ is the sheet of paper where he declared that he would push my wheelchair if ever I had to be in one.

He was that intense.

The only love letter I believe now is my bible. The word that consistently comes up to get me, comes up for me in my lowest state.

If it says I’m going to prosper, I believe.

If it says I’m royalty, best believe there’s a throne waiting for my glorious backside to sit on it.

After all, before I could read, the Author already gave me a precious gift: the gift of salvation and eternal life.

I’m still hoping to write something as beautiful as The Psalms for him.

Does this make you remember a moment you got or gave one of those letters?

Have a wonderful week.

Love,

Your Girlfriend.