A letter to Zoe

I wrote this for my friend, Olayinka Olaseni. I haven’t shown it to her, I might not show it to her. This is how I write for my friends, it helps me bring some of our times together into words I can keep for years.

Here goes:

I know you know I write. 

I know you’ve know I love you.

I know you know I miss you.

I know you’ve known for a long time.

I bought akara last night, but I could taste a sadness in its oil; it was not the one we ate together. It was just another ball of fried beans, this one bad for my health.

My sister, 
I wish I knew more French than I do, after all, French is the language of love, Oui?

I want to tell you again, I love you and I wish you were here. I’m counting the days in my heart and I’m glad that every day goes to bring you a step back to this place.

So, when you have learnt all the French enough to conquer France, I’ll be here, so we can speak English together. But I will learn enough to let you know that now and always, 
Je t’aime.

                                               Nneamaka
Have a great day.

Advertisements

Hello from my system!

I don’t know why, but I was scared to look at my blog on my system, like someone who just underwent a facial reconstructive surgery being nervous about their face…

I held my breath, then I released, then I held it again when it seemed like I had forgotten my password, after being so comfortable blogging from my mobile.

I must say though! This feels like heaven, typing from my system, I should do this more often… which means there’s a new prayer request: modem. I can’t be buying 100Naira Wi-Fi access everyday na…

…But this feels great oh. okay, I see that I need to work on my web layout and all that, but thank you for sticking with me so far ,kai, this looks so not-so-fine, but it looked neat on my phone. So I will work on it. I feel happy lol, blogging from my system. oh well…

… a lot of ‘…’ today, and I don’t know where they’re coming from. it’s like, I’m experiencing my blog from a new perspective, and I see so much potential! I just have to detach myself from the 5 inches of my phone screen and learn to adapt to this awesome 14 inches worth of space.

I love you guys!

and I will work on this layout, so help me God! Amen.

Much Love,

from your Girlfriend

Who blogged on her system for the first time and is still feeling good about it.

 

 

In secondary school

Adults have always been more of my friends than my age mates. I mean, what could 21 year olds possibly know, that adults won’t know, right?

Nah. It’s never really been about that.

I did not really have friends in secondary school, which was a government school. I did not know how to relate and when I did, I did the wrong things, said the wrong things, made the wrong expressions, or I was really stubborn when we had arguments, and ended our friendships. I just didn’t get the hang and attachments that came with secondary school.

The teachers on the other hand, they just flowed with me like water.I enjoyed going to their offices, sitting down, having them ask me questions. As a prefect, they would advise me to be serious and not allow contrabands, or be caught cheating in the exam hall, or let anyone smuggle food out of the dining hall.

Let me say, that I was not a ‘perfect student’ in any way. Yes, I had a charisma around adults, but I was not a favourite among my set. My classmates were another matter though: it seemed to me like they had come to respect me as I was: their class captain with a weird way of life, weird, in the sense that I could not really flow with my age mates, but I was in my element with the staff.

Staff! Students and staff never really got along, and that was another problem, it seemed to them like I was a snitch. Because the staff liked me. And they showed it. And it grated on the other students’ nerves.

Till today, my classmates call me ‘class capo’ whenever they see me, anywhere. It got so embarrassing that even when I got to the university, and met some of them, they still called me class captain and head-boy (which is a story for another day). I had to beg them to let it go.

Now that I think of it, I enjoyed secondary school. I have a journal that chronicled my depression through out my seven years in FGGC Sagamu. I was depressed most of the time. And when I repeated a class? It was liquid hell. 

But the teachers were always there. There will be more on this. I promise myself that. 

This Innocence they talk about.

I have spoken with some people, after which they told me that I am innocent. 

Okay?

 I ask, is that a good or a bad thing? They say it is good, that I have not been corrupted by the happenings in the world.

I smile.

I have never been a happening babe on campus. Popular, sometimes, but to be in that circle of people who know what’s up? Not me.

One said I am innocent because I’m not ‘loose’, and don’t show signs of becoming so anytime soon.

Okay?

At times I begin to wonder if I sound like an idiot when someone says ‘there’s an innocence about you’. I hear something closer to ‘you haven’t seen the world, you don’t know how it works’.

Here’s the shocker: I have had my fair share of the world, as young as I am, from a little age, I was ‘exposed’ to the blows that life can deal you mercilessly, and if that doesn’t count, I’m seeing more everyday.

So why in the world has it not shown on my face, or in my speech?

I really wonder.

Suya Tales

I was at a suya spot one evening this week. The seller and I have become familiar, because every other night, at least another 100 naira leaves my allowance and enters his money plate.

I had made my order and after expressing my disapproval at his not having the ‘breast’ of the animal, I stood back to avoid the smoke from the grill. As he cut one piece, I took it, rolled it in dry pepper and threw it into my mouth.

Only this time, I managed to throw the pepper first before the suya. My airway got choked.

And that was when drama started.

I started to cough. I removed the meat in my mouth, thought it was a cough I could get out of my chest in a couple of seconds and go on with the suya. No way. In the minutes that followed, I felt my self getting into heart attack mode, with that alakoba piece of meat still in my hand. I held on to it, hoping to conquer.

I could not breathe. Whenever I tried, all I did was struggle to take in very little air. I was wheezing. ‘Water’ i was saying in my mind, ‘water’. Suya men never sold water. They just stood behind their table and sold meat till it finished, so I didn’t blame him for not having water. I just wanted to tear all my clothes off my body and let the air work wonders.

I was dancing on the walkway, choking on pepper, but I knew I was blessed of God when the suya man asked me if I wanted water. I took a satchet from him, finished it, and kept clearing my throat to get the pepper out. 

All this while, that suya was in my right hand.

I went to sit on the floor at the entrance of the faculty of science- we call it White House, because it’s white. Used to be white. When I felt like my breath was even enough, I put the suya in my mouth and savoured the fruit of my labour. Clearing my throat, I went to meet the seller.

 I had a smile on my face. He smiled too and said how he was surprised that a little cough could become something big, and told me he would buy kuli-kuli pepper next time- that one wasn’t as hot as this.

I said all was well, paid for my meat and left, all the while feeling happy that I conquered the suya that wanted to run away.

Glossary

Suya- grilled meat 

Alakoba-  something or someone that can put you in trouble

Kuli-kuli- a local snack

The Thing with Being Big

Good morning, Beloved.

Whatever your idea of big is, I leave to you. But this big is my big. I am big.huge in fact. Gone are the days when I would cry because I did not wear a size 8.

In retrospect, I never really cried, I just stayed hopeful that one day, I would grow up and see me, veery slim with long legs, on a runway.

Isn’t that where most of them end up? Or I should rephrase, isn’t that where movies have told us they end up? All the american teenagers who were bullied in highschool became supermodels in the future, with a lot of friends and fine teeth.

Oh, please, let me hear word.

I’m grown, with long legs, but no where near a size 8, make that a double, thank you. And if I say I want to be a model now? I’ll just be a plus sized model, they’re very much in business.

My costume and make up lecturer (an AMAA Award Winning  Thespian) would say that Africans are thick, naturally rounded and fleshy, but the western world has blinded some people to thinking anorexia is a fashion.- this interpretation is all mine.

I have noticed a trend around me and I now take it as one of those things that will keep happening to me. 

People like me, because I’m big- guys, men, boys who still reason in one direction-the one guided by their zippers, they think I ‘full-ground’ (which means you occupy space literally, but in Nigeria, means more things than that. In this context, it means you fill out nicely).

For some people, my big means I’m bossy, or a snob, or very motherly. For some it means I’m obese. For some other people, I should be a basketballer and stop wasting the height.
A colleague of mine who has big hips, has for the past three years been ashamed of her big back side; she would wear nice clothes but still have a scarf to ‘cover’ from her waist down. Very beautiful, but very insecure.

This lecturer had to call her out in front of the class one time. That was when she gave her pep talk on loving your body and accepting yourself.

 I had done that a long time ago, I even have a mantra to this day: we can’t all be slim. It gives me space to breathe and appreciate the ones who are not like me and the ones who I’m not like.

There is so much to say about this, and I will say it. With all my 81kg load of matter.

I Write Letters To My Future Husband

For the past couple of years, I have written letters to my husband- whom I don’t know, haven’t met (or maybe we have met, I don’t know) and have no clue about. I would tell him what is happening to me, what I feel, and how I think I would feel when it’s over.

I think of names to call him that are not usual, maybe something Hispanic *abeg+eye roll* or French- what with French being synonymous to love. If a name could be worn out, I think Nigerians would be on the A-list of ‘wear-out’ers. 

From Darling, sweetheart, honey, to mama Amaka, papa Amaka, that has been the norm, I tell my husband I would like to call him something different, and hope that he calls me something different too.

Not like: ‘hey, something different, come see this’ sic.

I want him to know me from when I’m growing up, I want him to feel the difference in my thoughts as I grow, evident in every letter I write. 

I let him know about my devotion to him, because I love him. Because he’s my friend.

I number the letters too, so that he’ll know the sequence in which I write them.

In every one I write, I’m honest, no disguises, no pretence, just me: stripped of all the mind decoration, so that I can say what is on my mind as it comes, after all, we would be together for the rest of our lives.

I write letters to my future husband, and I always end them with ‘yours, always’.

Smile through the pain

Grit your teeth, if you must, but smile.

There’s a kind of strength that comes from acknowledging you’re pained, but willing to not be grumpy about it.

See, people are pained in different ways: for some, it’s work, others, a health challenge, others have difficulty in finances, some struggle through identity crises, for some still, it’s spirituality and wanting to find God for self. We could go on and on. And on.

Seek help, if it’s beyond you, and when help comes, be brave enough to accept it. Gone are the times when people did things on their own, connect, hard as it may be.

In this part of the world where men can not cry, and women are termed feeble, because they do, there is so much of a restriction as to what to do and not to do.

But can you smile through those terrible times

Let someone else get encouraged because they see you. 

Most of all, when we turn to God for help, He helps us through, one way or the other. All you got to do is believe.

Happy Sunday, beloved, I hope this week brings you the best of all you desire. 

Make someone smile, will ya?

Much love,

Your Girlfriend.

Thank You

Just this morning, I sprained my knee in the bathroom of my hostel. It was not funny, but it was funny.

I have always sympathised with people who fell in that place, and said ‘eeey! Be careful oh’, ‘sorry oh!’ Or the more typical naija one, I would just shout ‘ye!’

I fell today in the bathroom, and I didn’t just fall. I slipped, then I kept skidding until someone held me. I was on the floor when I realised I had my knee bent at an odd angle so I mustered courage and bent it back. It made a crack sound.

I stood up. 

Before nko

And all I could say was Jesus help me, Holy spirit help me. I felt funny in my right leg. I know now that if I hadn’t immediately twisted my leg back, maybe my k-leg would be an ‘L’ by now 😯

I wanted to say thank you, that’s the core of this post.

To You, Awesome Individual who has liked every thing I have posted here, who has commented, thank you. I have because of you, been inspired to be consistent in this- I know say we never reach there yet, but one day…😄

I fell today in the bathroom. So I’m going to the health centre.

A kiss from me to you
A kiss from me to you