Another Independence day… 

The “Hausas” have little to offer so they ensure rulership 

The “Igbos” like to climb people’s head so never again will they rule

The “Yorubas” just love to party so they follow the rulers

The “others” who may actually be more than half the nations population are generally categorised with the above three based on proximity 

Stereotypes always have some truths engrained but halve a fact and the Truth is lost. 
As a primary pupil, Independence day celebrations got me elated with a sense of pride in my nation

Today, I’m indifferent knowing wonderfully drafted speeches is one of the strengths of the Elected; trumped only by corruption and an insatiable quest for more power. 
As Nigeria reaches 57 today and live on past glory, I see no reason for celebrations

And No, I don’t have a panacea either

I just know what won’t help; 

Biafra, Arewa or Odudua Republic 

Our present “Federal Republic” won’t help either

Maybe, taking steps to enforce the resolutions of the 2014 National conference might help (you probably have forgotten about that) 

Same way I believe Nigeria would have been better if the 1966 Aburi conference resolutions were enforced. 
Now don’t get me wrong, neither of the resolutions in the 2 conferences were perfect; heck! Who needs 42 scrambled hen scratches called states with at best, 10 surviving long enough to be scrutinised? 

No, they weren’t

But enforcing a resolution from a conference with almost every tribe, organisation and creed in attendance will give real hope

Hope that we are men and women of honour who can always come together to find a common ground for development 
The Unity of Nigeria was lost after rescinding on the Aburi Conference

We didn’t learn from it but repeated the same action in 2014

There is now a call for “Restructuring” 

I probably don’t know what that word actually means

But my guts tell me it might help. 

I hope we can listen to that call

Or Nigeria may shatter into 99 friable pieces 

Me, you, someone or people you care about may lose their lives in that process 
Take a stand for Nigeria’s unity today

No freaking Independent day wishes or prayers 

The Genie is a myth, 

I haven’t come across a place in my Bible that imply miracles happen when actions aren’t in keeping with man’s prayer 

And we shouldn’t forget, seems religion is directly proportional to corruption these days

The present administration may be right on one thing after all 

CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU AND ME. 

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The Hit

They say one is not yet dead if the sound is heard, what use is life if you can see its end? 

Differing thoughts ran through his mind. A Map of an unknown world was being drawn on the floor, it freely flowed, fluid like Tai Chi movements on canvas. It wasn’t the sexy he had come to adore on his woman’s lips, nor the gorgeous he saw in his mother’s rose chintz gown. It was a pool of his blood, a map of death. 

Oh, that faultless woman, where had she gone wrong? Where in her ethics did she not teach well?  He remembers the strokes, the 12 on his bare back. “Tunde, I love you, ” she’d  say; “But you won’t hold a Gun someday, not on my life”. Her prophesy was fulfilled. He never held a gun as long as she lived. That wonderful woman passed away couple of years back under circumstances that are still sketchy in his thoughts.

He feels his fingers go cold, stiff and numb. His heart beat hastened, then began to slow as the seconds passed by, each getting shorter as the interval between heart beats grew farther apart, just like his mother’s ethics had departed from him. 
“Ibro, I get this hit wey dey confirm, 700k easy for us to share.”

“700k, for where?” “Where this info come from? ”

“I been dey gist with Garba when him mention say him oga go withdraw money for share for them boys whey help am beat that opposition man.” 

“Nice one, the kind brockage wey dis change era don put man pikin for, I no mind any kind package now fah.”

As Tunde listened to Ibro and Dolapo converse making no bother to involve him, a surge of hot blood sprang up his throat. A need for adventure. He had joined the gang not long ago and isn’t due for such big projects. It did not matter that he was always there to help put the plans together for them.

“Guys, I want to go out today, I need the high.”

He takes in another breathe, laboured as it is, blood and air splash out off his chest, he should be dead by now if the bullet had passed just an inch lower through his heart, he probably would have started his judgement, with angel Gabriel bringing in his book of wrongs,  that is, if those stories his mother told were true or probably, just passed away into nothingness, a dark abyss of the unknown. Which ever would be prefered, saved from this moment of pain. 
No one knows how it went wrong, the sirens were heard, a husky voice had spoken into a megaphone or whatever Nigerian police use to make announcement and from there, panic set in.
“Ibro, did you set us up?” Kunle had asked in the frenzy. 
“Me? Which kine yarn be this? Why I come dey hold gun with wuna?  abi na so I foolish reach?”
“My children, just drop your gun and surrender.”
“Shut up old woman!” Kunle had commanded. 
“Your end is here, surrender and face the mus…”
Her sentence ended mid way as Kunle, in his “Let-The-Bullet-Talk” mood fired a shot. 
“Guy, if today is the day I die, I won’t go down alone.’  Four more shots were fired, two children and a housemaid.

He tried to move a limb but the weight of his own appendage could not be bared. His sights got blurred and just as he was about to give up the ghost he heard his name.

Kunle! Kunle!! The voice initially sounding from a distance was now close by. 

Kunle!!! That was when it flashed across his face.  Light. 

A letter to Her, from Me

Lying on my bed with so much I could do; notes to study for tests, novels to read for leisure, food to cook for lunch, I am not lost for what to do and even the time I think I have, might not be enough to accomplish all these. I could blab on and on about more things I could be doing this afternoon, but sometimes, the mind only has one thing it would rather be doing asides which, nothing else can satisfy.
Yesterday, as I sat on that chair staring at you, I was captivated by your smile; the way your lips curved, like Cupid’s bow, shooting a quiver at my heart; the upper lip marked with a beauty mark on each half, the faint on the left and the evident, that one on the right. I stared into your eyes, drowning in their power to stop time. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I marvelled at your intellect, I can’t outright say how, but I saw your willingness to learn and amass information. Few things, only few things attract me more to ladies, and that’s not all.
I remember the first day I actually came to see you, that day your cohort studied on what not to give in a relationship. Now, I’m not in any way as innocent as I should be. I have known women, maybe more than a few, and I wasn’t planning for a ‘sexless-ba-touching’ relationship when next I dated. Somehow, I had given up on finding a woman who still held on to such ageless morals and virtues. Maybe I felt undeserving of such a woman but you guys brought back to my attention; there are those set apart – who refuse to eat of the ‘King’s table’ but are better nourished.
This is still not all but it touches the three things I look out for in people, In women; The Body, The Mind, and The Spirit… In no particular order.
I don’t believe there is one person fashioned by the creator for each and everyone of us, or to have success in a relationship, a family, we must find and connect to that one. I don’t believe people fall in love or out of love, God is not an accident. I do believe though, that we Love, a decision we can make or not. I believe we are created thus.
I can’t describe sufficiently how I long to hear your voice, that tiny treble musical in every note. Your captivating voice.

I’d love to kiss you. Whatever follows should be fun and I can’t say I never thought of the various possibilities, but I will respect you, whatever your decision – the best wine takes time and I am willing to wait for that perfection –  this is assuming I am lucky enough to have the conversation go that far.

I decided that first day I came to see you. I want to open up my heart to you, to give you my all if you welcome me. I would like to date you, and hope it doesn’t end there if you are willing… Only if you are willing.
I decide to Love you.
I realise opening our hearts to Love is a hard task. It opens us up, makes us feel vulnerable with neither armour nor shield, yet, that I would like to dare ask of you. “Open up your heart, welcome me.
You’ve said you want to take your time, that I respect. You don’t want to go into yet another mistake, that I understand. You believe you’d know the one when you see him, so I’m tempted to just be cowed and probably never show you this writing, wait for that love angel to show you a picture of me as I pretend I’m contented being your friend, wanting nothing more. That may save my head from another No, the two alphabets of rejection that makes some feel ‘Not Good Enough’ as maybe, just maybe you feel nothing for me…

…. But I won’t, I didn’t, I just showed you.

Carry Your Yoke Now

While making a 6.4k run with #nikerunning this morning, I saw this small figure jogging towards me. It was a boy about 7-8 years old (definitely not more) in his work out clothes and a jacket around 6am hitting the road alone. There was no one ahead of him but I noticed and adult and another girl about 14 years old coming about 10-15 metres behind him who I suppose were his companions. I was wowed.

My awe came from the realisation that I know adults who feel waking up at 6am to prepare for an 8am appointment is punishment –  now that is acceptable if you are a multimillionaire who is satisfied with your “arrival”.
I know adults who I fear may miss their own wedding due to their lack of time management abilities – “No vex, this one no get any single situation wey e fit dey acceptable”.
I also know people who at less than 30 do not want to do any exercise beyond eating their own meals – “My friend, you do not deserve that food and soon your laziness may take the food, the plate and cutlery and even the bed you lay on to eat away from you”.

Now this is a poke, and If any of my “fictional” analogies seem inspired by your case, believe me, with 100% veracity I say it is you! Vex! So that you can start #MakingTheFutureToday.

I’ll close with a saying from my Pastor, Dr. Erasmus Ameh-Wealth, “Carry your yoke now that you are Young” lest you lose strength when you are older

We Cannot All Be Feminists – Nel Ibuola

Yegazie has a video on YouTube, I watched it last weekend. As the video began, she emphasized it was no response to another video of same title, that seemed to have been released earlier by another user on the same website.
I had thought then that the disclaimer was needless, until I began to work on this writing and I see how much I am compelled, mostly by social nobility, to dissociate this work from that of Chimamanda- which I believe you probably have read or heard. Stories and words are powerful and they belong to nobody.

image

The intention to uphold a universal equity between genders is beautiful and admirable, so I like feminism and think we all should. We all should LIKE feminism.
By our civilization, we have come to understand better the position of sexes; that I can write not because I am a man, that I can cook well not because I am a woman. Our function and positions are not defined from or by our sexes, we should understand. We cannot and must not attempt to stretch further any idea that perceives a person is better by only the chance of their gender, something they entirely had no choice over, we should understand.
A man is a man not because the penis is superior to the vagina, no, by no definition is a penis even close to as beautiful and potentially valuable as a vagina is. And sure, testosterones, baritone and muscle bulks dont make him almighty, they are all easily matched by Estrogens, alto and fatty curves. A woman is the most beautiful of creatures, we should not argue this, her gait and gaze glisten. No human or its form is more superior than another simply by their gender. If the topic of superiority should come up in a future, I’d tell you intelligence, forbearance and hardwork always dwarfs gender. Every human is equal, unique and different, that is the idea feminism stands for.
I believe entirely in the grand agenda of feminism, but I have a problem with ‘new-age feminists’ . I do not celebrate them, I should, but I cannot. I cannot celebrate people who have corrupted an idea so ingenious and noble as feminism. Since 1895, when the words were first inked, several females have risen to attempt to claim its glory, each striving to both redefine and possess it. A lot of beautiful names with glorious memories have worked to make the idea even more noble and genuine, Adrienne Rich has done more for feminism than Thomas Edison for electricity, and her papers provoke proper reasoning. But I cannot say same of French Feminist Valeri Jean Solanas, greatly applauded as a “heroine”, “woman-right champion” and even termed by Florynce Kennedy as the “most important spokeswoman of the feminist movement”. Valeri continuously and popularly said “To call a man an animal is to flatter him, he is a machine,  a walking dildo… And deep down, every man knows he is a worthless piece of shit”. Those were the moment Feminists began to decay in perspective and the new-age feminists emerged. A theory that purely strived for equity was corrupted.
Feminists from then began mostly to thirst for gender-superiority, to become same as the monster they repelled. It saw imbalance in everything and craved for an abolishment, the way people sit in buses, how they hold cellphones, road signs and name initials. Each time it spots these imbalance, it doesnt strive for a balance, it mostly will request the same imbalance is repeated in its favour. Put the woman to the right, Place her head upwards and his also downwards, O that colour isnt woman friendly, its all neutral.
Facebook recently changed its icons and sure I noticed, but I hadnt noticed the details responsive to New-age Feminists demand, the friend request icon. In the old icon, a silhouette of a man was in front and to the left, his shoulders etched into the woman, feminists were uncomfortable with this, I was too. So following several debates and papers, facebook was pressured to make new icons that placed the woman in front and to the left, as large as the man and her shoulder etched into him. That wasnt equity if he now stand behind her, and under the shadows of her shoulder, thats superiority.
In the earlier parts of this work, I had made straight as an arrow that I do not support, and is discomforted by ideas that project superiority based on gender or equally flimsy details, by extension now, I am discomforted by feminists and cannot respect them. A movement that now foster gender hatred and superiority is not to be celebrated, even in the most dysfunctional community.
Feminist are not an equity conscious group, they have emerged as a hate group, and soon Mothers will begin to despise their sons, only for their ‘unfortunate’ masculinity.
Clearly, we cannot all belong to a movement that breeds gender hatred.
– – –
At the end of the video, Yegazie turned heads down, her Afro concealed her trunk almost entirely, her svelte upper limbs sparce on each side, then she said “Mehn, I’m looking buff mehn. I’m looking buff”.
Hilarious self-obsession, just like feminism.

Nel Ibuola writes, studies and lives in Jos. He is currently working on his second blog-novel which you can read here. This is one of the works in his building compendium – Shrinks and Madmen.
He is on Twitter and Instagram as @n_ibuola

What do you think?

It’s been ages since I last posted. I had to prepare for a professional exam which was hectic. Good news is, I aced it and I have some period of respite so here I am. But since I haven’t written in a while I give you this short piece for your opinion while I cook something up.

She loved him with all that was her yet, their two tribes have been at war since the first day she knew to differentiate between people. As she walked the garden mesmerizing in the thought of their love, she heard footsteps behind her. Before she could turn to face the direction of the steps a voice betrayed it’s identity.
“No! You must not be seen with that man again. I forbid you.”
As quickly as he had come and spoken he turned and left. Saké on the other hand had not even the time to prostrate in obeisance to her father, the king.

Four hours later at their tryst, they talked about the affection they have for each other. The way they couldn’t live if the other was to cease.
“Let’s just do it love”, he told her.
“You know we can’t”, she replied. “It’s against my belief”.
“I love you and you love me too. Why then do we hoard our bodies from each other?”
The conversation continued, getting more intense with every sentence exchanged. Every word spoken in defence of their individual opinion. Saké heard anger in his voice, saw desperation in his face. This wasn’t the man she had come to love, the one she had defiled reason and her parents to be with. Today he was different. She made to leave but he held her hand. A beast now beheld her.
Minutes later, the Princess was in tatters, clothes torn, pride lost. She had been raped by the one she thought was love.
Weeks later, she new it. The nausea, the bloated feeling, she was weeks late.

If you were in her shoes,  will you or will you not consider to abort this conception? What will you do?

Thanks for the time spared to read this. Please endeavor to leave your thoughts, views and/or comments behind. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Iyim-Eli

LOST INNOCENCE

Swimming in a sea of love and affection, turning whenever I wished, changing my position – like the times – I was always in motion. My movement though discomforting, gave the one who loved me more the assurance I was there. Assurance I hadn’t gone back.

I ate whenever I wanted, maybe not literally, but all I ever needed flowed into me, unceasingly. I bathed in provision, swam in abundance. Nothing I needed was away from me, literally, I swam in it.

I remember the hands, feeling for me periodically, checking to see if I was alright, doing all fine. I wanted to tell them I was, that they needed not worry, but I couldn’t, I knew not they worried, what was worry?

Then I got bigger, and heavier, and descended. My home wasn’t enough for me, I needed more provision. Then I felt the push, the contractions, I was going into a world where my survival was independent of hers.

I remember the tightening in my chest, the need to take something in. The churning of my abdomen, I needed to suck. So, I took a breathe, and opened my eyes. The lights, though beautiful scared me. I was in the world, I felt disconnected. Something was missing. So I cried. That was when I lost it – my innocence – the day I was born, I WORRIED.

Thanks for the time spared to read this. Please endeavor to leave your thoughts, views and/or comments behind. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Iyim-Eli

HANG IN

Dear sons,
I have missed chances and overlooked privileges, I have failed attempts and successful outcomes, and all of them have shaped me to the man writing this letter.

Please find love in your teenage hood, don’t wait till everything is grey and stale, careful and unadventurous. Don’t wait till all the pulse is collapsed.
Find love and don’t clog your heart; let her in and walk you through your dark corridors. Your heart thumb loud, and she’d make your lips say funny words. Don’t forget to tell her how beautiful her nose is, mimic how she throws her head from side to side when she smiles. Tell her how her gait reminds you of a childhood dream, how her scent seduces.

Tell her also how angry she makes you, and if ever be a moment to be jealous, shut your lips.

Love is beautiful, and don’t you mind what anybody will tell you, it is the best of things. So when she finally breaks your heart, and she will; don’t hate love for it, don’t forget love is beautiful still. That the sharpest knives cut deepest and the most beautiful things hurt most. But you should still fall in love and don’t clog your heart, the scars of heartbreak will strengthen you more than any whip on naked back can. Think less about her and let her stay in the history she choose. If you ever have the might, forgive her, remember she is just lost in the world like you, or your sisters.

I’d beg you, fall in love again. Find a woman you love and loves you back and stay faithful to her, yet do not waste energy on a love that wants to leave; it’s sign post for the blind and music for the deaf.

As your teenage peak and the hormones rage, and the girls don’t give more than kisses, you’d be tempted, first in the shower, to stimulate your erection and stroke it back to flaccidity.
Neither I nor your mother will be there, and I cannot promise you that it will feel bad or you will try to stop, the urge will surge, and crack you at late lonely nights. It is additive, it weakens the bones and toxic to the brain, it will attack your self-image, and soon it will be awkward to stare at your mother’s beautiful iris comfortably. But your mother, do not stop to behold her beauty please, allow your brains to evolve and your bones, concrete.

Money is funny, and not even I understands it well. It is a concubine, visiting when all is dark and dead, and leaving before the torch behind the skies light. It’s a concubine whose naked skin and back-door acrobatics will leave you insatiable. I hope this will be easy for you, but like all skillful concubines, they will snap your spine if you let them. They are best gifted to the bachelor with no woman and much need for a cozy skin; give out money as soon as you’ve earned it– and yes, you must earn all your money, it will fetch you honour and loyalty. You will find out how cheap people are, and your spine will stay by you till old age.

You will get to school and it will be hostile there from the first day. You’d cry and find someone who will make you cry, but please, stay in school. Do your assignments yourself, that way you won’t feel out of place when you sneak pornography between your notebooks, you won’t feel like an empty head when you’re chased out of class. Stay in school and learn fancy English, and calculus and relativity of matter. Read books twice as you sleep, tell your mother when school becomes difficult; I might not understand you well enough.

Just stay in school and keep learning daily, and one day, just when you’ve learnt enough, money will find you. Nobody finds it, it finds us. And you will know when it has found you, it might propel you to finish the degree or compel you to stop in your track, but like all matters of the heart, you’ll know when it’s your call.

Church and religion is difficult to talk about, it is mostly political and limiting. Find a religion that reads a book, has order, respects the neighbours and has flaws historically. Bow to their god and meditate a lot, until you can obtain absolute solitude, do not call yourself a god, solidarity with your brothers and worship of your creator is your best strength. You must not inherit my church, but respect the rosary, make the sign-of-the-cross when you are out on options, say “My help is in the name of the Lord” when you’re troubled, and “Glory be to the father” when you’re grateful. Fast and forgive trespassers, other than these, stay away from the drunken argument of religion and its sickening politics.

Emotions will rush afore you like dust in the Sahara, but be calm and strong. Fear and anger are bilious, do not taste them, do not serve them. Gratitude and love can bloat, do not hold them to yourself.

Finally, family is a gift. I speak of your uncles and cousins and grandparents also; the inseparable sheath that feeds and protects you, even the days you doubt these, they love you endlessly. Open your worries to them and let them see your intent. Success or failures must not break the bridges between you, shed-off your garment of pride or sorrow whenever you smell your blood. Family is all you’d ever truly have.

Nel Ibuola lives in Jos, where he studies medicine. He has just finished work on his first book- Things Easily Lost, which he published free electronically on OkadaBooks. This letter is an extract from the short fiction. He tweets from @n_ibuola, and blogs on nelibuola.wordpress.com.

Thanks for the time spared to read this. Please endeavor to leave your thoughts, views and/or comments behind. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Iyim-Eli