Monday, December 9, 2013

about a boy...

There once was a boy who loved to talk to strangers...

Monday, November 25, 2013

While you were sleeping...

You will wake, to the sounds of quickly rustling sheets
And dreamlike whispers that appear to emanate from lifeless tassels of brand new linen
Mangled into the urgent confusion that is quickly taking over your mind.

The curious breeze against your bare essentials
As you grope the darkness for what is left of your modesty
The old time friend you had kindly offered to share your bed, will be nowhere to find.

There are words we dare not speak, lest we give life to our mortal fears.
But heaven forbid that the sheets speak the truth
...then karma will be like a Birch tree
Savagely reduced into these jagged spears, that now stoke in smoldering embers, waiting for you...dear friend.

What the sheets told. .. her.

Friday, November 15, 2013

My one minute elevator madness moments, and being average.

I often consider myself to be a reasonably civil 'white-collared slave' in my starched shirt and professional 'poker face', until fate finds me in a lone elevator with my earphones plugged in, then all hell breaks loose.

Today it was 'black magic' crooning 'confam' with 'sasha p.' and it was friday morning after a long tiring week. My fumbled and ghastly laughable etighi moves took over.  This is my shameless confession - I loose all semblance of decorum and dance etighi like no man's business when I'm alone in an elevator.  It's like an evil spirit from 'Banky W' takes over my body.

I got caught out today. You know how it is when your song starts on the radio and you go "shoooo, that's my song!!!" and promptly, i leaned my neck forward like a starved turkey, stuck my butt out like a deranged fool and cracked one unconscious etighi side-step before quickly remembering that I wasn't alone in the elevator.

Two starched-faced white folks looked briefly at me, and for the life of me, I couldn't come up with a witty comeback fast enough.  To confirm my theory that my actions are manifestations of an evil spirit from my village, I returned a stupid cheeky smile that could only have looked like osufia's and hurried out at the next exit.

Someone asked me today how I often appear to be collected and in control (in other words, 'like a boss'. He didn't add that last bit, but it's good therapy to often massage your own ego). I thought to myself, 'you should see what I do in the elevator'.

I believe that one thing nigerians do best, is to not allow anybody make us feel inferior.  And i sort-of don't think this is another ego trip, because I've been told same by a few other african folks. It appears that a common opinion is that nigerians generally have an exaggerated / unnecessarily high opinions of ouselves.  Even for all the bad press that is hardly anyhing to be proud of.
I think that my many years of telling unruly danfo drivers to 'go and hug  transformer' has served me in good stead to generally not give a f&$....even when the truth is that, irrespective of my best poker face, all I often feel like is, plain and average- a crazed wanna-be professional who dances etighi when no-one is looking.

But if a two minute elevator madness moment continues to give me the pump to get through each day in this high stake craziness I have signed myself into, then ain't nothing wrong with that and God bless Banky, and Black Magic and Sasha P.

Everything confam.  Etighi etighi etighi...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blog anonymously...Yes! Yes! Yes!

We often get caught up in fads and loose track of the reason for our initial standpoint. In this regard, everybody is becoming a celebrity blogger, so my insatiable need to be recognised is gnawing at my crotch, so i'm going to join the bandwagon aye?

Start/maintain an anonymous blog? My opinion to that is aye, aye! The world is too much of a noisy stomping ground not to allow your mind the simple, beautiful indulgence of being able to monentarily roam free without the constraints of identification. So for those of that falter in opinion, here are my few cents.

When i come to this place, i imagine myself on a holiday...a lone cottage on a hill side. My mind is like a restless dog on a leash, but what freedom once we step into those wide open fields and i let her rip. She'd scamper off like a mad hatter through the wilds..sniffing from one blog to the other, in search of gold, of truth, of mutual identification. (Admittedly often these days all i return with is boring trifling, but you get the picture.) You and your thoughts....heck you need that, how can you not have that single moment in time?! Every sensible person needs that respite.

I like to think that anonymous blogging is an artform, like Banksy or Lagbaja. And the beauty of the genre is in the unapologetic honesty. I have heard the alternative argument saying, 'whatever i cannot say to someone's face, i don't say it'. But we know that is a stark lie. Nobody is that brazen. We all save face for whatever the motive, hence 100% honesty in expression is non-existent. Life is just not that simple. We don't tell our bosses our true intentions. We shut the door when we take a shit. We don't tell the vicar that yesterday's sermon was boring as hell. The human being is naturally bound by the need to maintain a sense of respectability, and esteem, so we collect our scripts and play the lines of who we are expected to be, well until someone invented the mask.

Ooh the Mask.....mid 16th century: from French masque, from Italian maschera, mascara, probably from medieval Latin masca 'witch, spectre', but influenced by Arabic masḾara 'buffoon' - wiki.

Give me an unrecognized anonymous blog over a thousand psychophant followers to play the gallery to. Do you see my point? A small church is great and will meet your spiritual needs until it starts to expand and you find that the pastor's opinions start to get watered down and censored to suit the differing opinions of audience. Maybe its just me, but my idea of a blog is like allowing a stranger to sneak into your private space to read the pages of your life. And it becomes a give and take sort of relationship - almost noble in intent, because in the end every person finds recognition in one blog space or the other. You see, chances are that if you flipped through the pages of twenty anonymous-honest-to-goodness blogs, you are likely to find one person who picks his nose in the same manner that you do. Then suddenly picking your nose like an ogre becomes perfectly normal, and your deed to humanity is done.

Fault lines... divisive issue or difference of opinion that is likely to have serious consequences. There are fault lines...and ever so real, they are.

I think that the danger of anonymous blogging is the tempt to loose yourself in the freedom of not having an identity. And it works in two ways, the first of which is that you join the bandwagon of foolishness that the internet world has become. I.e, selling your foolish opinion for free and thereby contributing to the world stock on unbridled stupidity in opinion and integrity. The second is that in your quest to have an opinion, you become the daft opinion that you are marketing to own, so none is any wiser for the trade.

But the good thing about blogging, is that it easily weeds out senseless people, and i mean that literally. Blogging/writing takes effort, that is why you would be hard to find an unintelligent person who has blogged consistently for a time. Hence, the kind of errors/sins one is prone to is bolstered by the corrals of reason / common sense. It is useful to have faith in these matters, because admittedly grace keeps one in that regard. But would you, for the error of triffling in an instance forgoe the benefit gained by solitude. I thought about it and the benefit seemed to outweigh the error--in my own opinion, at least. But i dare say, if you must fall, then fall you will and you must, so stagger and carry on. I say we get better for every step we falter on.

I have grown in this place. I have understood my very essense in this place, such that today my opinions are grounded on the solid foundation of me, who i am and who i am meant to be. Nobody has an opinion these days. People just retweet bullshit without thinking. I love Davido; Beyonce is so amazing, so imma twerk like this and bobb my head like that, but you don't know crap about any of these people. What do you kow about yourself in the first instance?!

Like i said, my opinions are mine opinions, and these are mine. Find yours. It does make them foolish or in any way correct. There are no black or white in these matters, except that the opinions belonged to you or not. I have erred on every side of the sins of anonymous blogging -.............
 because admittedly, it isn't only about the simple words on the pages, the complete stories are i what happens after the posts have been published and digested by the few.......... -but here is a code of conduct which i recently concluded made a whole lot of sense: As far as blogging goes, i think that there is beauty and art in the original artform, i.e without disclosure. But to each his own, every stock of trade has its place of appreciation. So write what you will, and how you will, bearing in mind the sobering truth that if heaven and judgement is real like they say, then even blog line might just as well contribute to the spoken words to which we each must account for.

This is a quick scribbled response after reading Nutty-J's of the few good ones left.
So excuse any errors...and blah blah blah...i'll likely return to edit later.

But, blog anonymously, yes yes yes, and let the world see how beautiful your unbridled mind is!

Mazel tov folks.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hehehe Kasala don burst...all up in this place!!!!!

I wrote a piece herein some months back, about a very random incident where i discovered that a friend's wife owns an annonymous blog, and she knew that i knew. My ever-sleuthful and resourceful self, I had neatly peeled away every facade and firewall she had set up, leaving no room for denial until she broke and begged me to keep a secret. I cannot recall if i ended up deleting that particular entry, but anyway, I received a frantic call late last night, asking me to meet K up at a local KFC. My spider senses immediately went hay-wire, because responsible married women are not allowed that level of fine randomness at 10:30pm.

I met a lone K behind a tall glass of pepsi and an untouched KFC snack box. I slid into the booth next to her, forcing a toothy grin into what was obviously a strained situation. She didn't allow any complimentaries.

The situation:
K had dozed off with an unattended private brower left open and her husband, J had returned home from work earlier than usual. She said she woke up to find him reading the blog. She panicked and left the house.
Admittedly my response was not the ideal one, but i could not help the involuntary cackle that escaped my mouth "Kasala don burst all up in this place mehn!"

I am usually not one to do the 'I told you" routine, but i definitedly told K-and she did not listen. People need to listen to me more often, i tell ya. I recalled how i had dissected and fully explained the precariousness of the situation to her, even citing my own dilemmas with "blogging and the unknowing partner". Thing is, if you have blogged for..let's even cap at a minimum of twelve months...chances are, a significant part of you starts to get unravelled on these pages. And when the blog is annonymous,and your partner is unaware, then it becomes a certain type of infidelity. Private browsing, late night blog posting, unexplained friendships with people that you cannot rationally explain the origin of where you know them from...such is the life. One time, i watched K laugh off an enquiry from J, saying that a certain random female friend (blogger), whom she called up to get her out of a fix during her trip in gidi, was...just a friend who fell from the sky! And the lies and necessary deception carry on like a ball of hay down a straw mountain.

My advice then was simple: Kill the blog, OR run a massive EDIT programme and confess your sins to your hubby. She did neither and so here we were, watching an asian immigrant mop up KFC tiles at 11pm whilst ignoring a blarring mobile phone's incessant ringing.

"What's your plan now?" I always believe that you should give everybody the first chance to dig themselves out of their own scrape.
"I don't know! Come home with me, and help me talk to him."
"And tell him what, exactly?"
"That it is not my blog."
"I thought you said he has read it."
"I know. I'm still going to deny everything."
"K, anybody who knows you and reads that blog with any tinge of suspicion will immediately put one on one together. How else do you think i found out? There is no lawyer on earth that can win that level of denial to your husband."
"There is no evidence. I've deleted the blog."
She showed me her android and the blogger interface and i knew K had gone mad.

The situation re-cap:
Husband discovers questionable blog. Wife panicks and leaves house. Blog URL suddenly stops working whilst husband is reading. Wife returns home after midnight. Husband is livid and wants answers. Wife claims ignorance. Uhmmm....who's going to buy that?!!!

Ofcourse, the finer details of what went on - as far as resolution goes, in K&J's house is best left undiscussed for obvious reasons.
But the situation still begs the question:
Is 'I do" = "I do not blog?"

I'm not talking here about the fine literary accomplishments of the Myne Whitmans or the faithful opinions and litanies of the Inyamu's Eldorado or Miss Fab's, which in their own right ought to be displayed without abandon for the world to appreciate and applaud. Instead, i am talking about the cacaphony of mid-life-crisis-type blog rants owned by supposed masked crazies who drink their lives full like tipsy glasses of fine chardonnay and tip over every intricate detail with reckless naked abandon on blinking blogger cursors. It is the nature of honesty in those pages that nobody is man(or woman) enough to own up to...And so the entries get fewer and fewer, until a sad day like this morning, when i key in the URL to one of my favourite blogs and get the unfortunate response:

Blog not found
Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name "abcdef" is available to register!

It is indeed a sad sad day when a blog dies - just evaporates into thin air as if it was never there in the first place.
So, not entirely permitting five faithful years of blog diaries to simply poof into nothingness, here's a respectful salute to my girl K!

To all the lost ones...Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Someone better write me a neat moving piece when my time comes!

Monday, May 27, 2013

One twitter morning...and some changes....

I woke one twitter morning and just decided that i don't want to become one of those people.

Self-proclaimed psychologists who dish out daily doses of their understandings of life with the audicity of correctness. And i'm not sure how many psychology degree courses we run in Nigeria, or maybe all you need to qualify is to live abroad for a few years, and that dons on you the qualification to be wiser than the rest of the lot. What do i know? But briefly excusing doing just the same, i think that all advice columns, radio shows and twitter nuggets of wisdoms should be caveat with '...based on my own understanding as a result of my experiences, i think that....'

Maybe then people can stop acting the stupid as a result of 'joe blogs said so and did same...'

Hugh Hefner wanna-be's. Admittedly, i have indicated quite a few within these pages, but to all of which, i plead the excuse of youth :) Things change as you grow older and hopefully wiser. You sort of have more to loose, so one tends to be less flippant about your reputation or the words that come out of your mind. The more sex you have, the less you inclined you are to rant about it anyways. For those who have not figured it out and still ask, this is the rite of passage for most popular blogspaces.
Talking Taboo is easy and cheap publicity, but talking too much can come back and bite your shiny behind. #ouch.

The City of Champaign popping and wedging dollar bills into red clubbing underwear...that ish is not real everyday life. The proper rite is to grow up and vacate the sit of exuberance to the next generation and in turn, become the cranky old bugger who sits on his porch screaming for the kids to keep the noise down. Egad, maybe i have just grown up is all.
These days, everybody has an opinion about everything....and we have all taken to the street to shout on the rooftops what we claim to 'know' about this and that, but in actual fact 'don't have any real clue about'....never admitting that neither opinion was ever given a second of prior sensible reasoning.

The big edit is thus defined: I am still who i am today, but foolery betide me if i have never changed from whom i used to be yesterday.

Welcome to my T.Notes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

From Tenerife...with Love...

Feet up...
Novels propped...
Well, it is not entirely summer, but you get the picture.
Vacation is Bliss.

I am pondering the future of these pages...
Certainly no longer my neat little private spot.
As i find myself having to often give consideration to audience.

It's the age old curse of exposure demands responsibility
When we become restrained to dance naked in the rain like yesterdays...
And seriously,linked-in and FB requests...clearly my annonymity is slowly becoming a breached b3st3rd.

I have tried to don a subtle new mask and slip into a new page...
But familiarity is where the heart lies...

So today i have walked the perimeter of this walls
and admitt i'd want to stay a while...
I'll be responsible elsewhere another day...

So, to all the hackers, let's cut a bargain...
Today, let my thoughts and soul roam free
None chasing any wishful stardom...only freedom.

And point me in the direction of the gates-to-identity i have ignorantly left swinging open

And when finally the curtains call,
we'll all end the show with a real honest toothy grin!



Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dear Atilola, Nigerian in Nigeria...

Dear Atilola...

I have followed your progress as a writer and a spoken word artiste for a little while, and for which i commend your tenacious spirit and the applaudable progress you have made in pursuing your dreams. Against this premise, you should understand that this response should not be mis-construed as a call-to-arms, but rather an opinionated response to your post.

I understand from the tone of your words, that the underlying emotions that prompted this piece are real, and i respect that. However, you err on the side of speaking from a biased understanding of the NID. You pointed out the danger of a single story, so i will elucidiate the points you are missing and thereby inadvertently inciting undue animousity. Because in as much as you have not drawn any distinctions between a Nigerian residing in Nigeria, then you cannot correctly draw distinctions-saying one NID is more noble than another. Any Nigerian who has afterall applied for a citizenship of any country has equally given up some extent of hope for fatherland. And whether noble or not - be it Myne Whitman, or Chimamanda Ngozi adichie, you might as well put them all in the same boat and call all foreign kettles charcoal-black.

What would drive a person so desperate to vacate where his roots lie in search of an experience that he does not even know exist? Understandably, the motives of the myraids of nigerians putting in immigration applications are diverse, but beneath everything is the stark dissapointment in our system, and a search for tangible, plausible hope. The kind of hope that when deferred for decades makes the heart sick. Hope for security when i shut my eyes to sleep, hope for light to read a novel in quietness, hope for safety in simple journeys across homeland roads, hope for medical facilities to treat the wounds that spill over from the heart into the bloodstreams. When hope is not justified, the words that return from the lips have the tendency to incite hurt. Hurtful words such as ' I have given up hope for Nigeria'. But if a hurting child speaks foolishness, do you slap him right there, or seek to address the cause of his pain? NIN, or NID, our hurts and pains are the same. It is that root dissapointment which should be attended to.

You correctly pointed out that despite our professed nonchalance and dearth to fatherland, we cannot stop talking and lamenting. I say, leave us to our laments, however we choose to make them - they are borne out of our own experiences. I may be able to speak in the tongues of colored men and of angels; I may possess foreign signates that brand me as a citizen of another country, but everyday and in everywhere, I am still an outsider, a foreigner - that is our experience as NID. Have they told you that side of the story, or the hurt of racist experiences. A black man that is ostracised by black Americans. A decorated academic that is belittled to a ten second TV advert charity case. Comic relief charity raises funds for starving children in Africa - an identity to be proud of? Did they forget to mention that our Nigerian nature to fight carried on into our present abode, where we now fight to give credence to our opinions, and undo the stigma wrought to our names by my NIN brothers at home who have made internet fraud an occupation?

You ask for a solution instead of complaints. But i can only think of the friend who was shot in Lagos traffic recently, and the assailant walks away in broad daylight, and of another who was briefly at home and got caught up in a savage mobb's retribution, and the cousin who lost his mother to a malaria mis-diagnosis. You write about silencing this bitterness as another uncommon and unfortunate occurrence, but unfortunate and counting still are the bloods that are still crying out for justice whilst politicians are spewing lies and MOG are acquiring private jets. No country is without her problems, yes. And our plights are not unique to Nigeria - agreed. But even the countries with current problems have some form of steady development to boast of. As a Nigerian, I have little.

Songs of hope aside, Nigeria is indeed a profound puzzle. And admittedly, it is not in anybody's place to steal the way of hope that each Nigerian navigates to get through each day living with this identity of being African, being Nigerian...It is also not in anyone's place to seek to silence the frustrations of the one who cries his own tears from a distant land.

When NEPA cuts power in the peak of a game, the NIN curses the government in frustration. Similarly if i return home having used up my days waging unnecssary battles for the sake of my colored skin and accentuated communications, and wish to retire my evening into day- dreams of motherland, only to turn on the t.v to another senseless boko haram bombing, then leave me be to curse whomever i wish to curse. Just like Akeem, the cleaner (or sanitation executive as he has now been donned) in my office whom i often spend friday evenings chatting with. And oh how he laments - of the poverty in his family at home. But how by cleaning office furniture in a foreign land, shelving his pride, he can pay for his children's fees and seek to relocate them to a country where they can dream and own a hope. And yes, Akeem curses the government and the politicians. And everytime he rinses his anticeptic wipes tools of trade, he further washes his hands off the dream of home. Will you curse Akeem too? Instead i listen to him, encourage him, and wish him well. That is the kind of comradeship that i know among NIDs. We stick together, spur each other on and seek to rebuild the ruins of our childhood dreams albeit in another man's land. Let sleeping dogs lie. I may have dreams for a better Nigeria, and Mr Okunde who lives next door is savagely embittered about home. But we enjoy a sunday roast together and speak our native tongues together. Don't draw devisive lines for us.

The winter is hardly over, so I have to pay for heating, water, electricity, council tax, expensive monthly rents and buy a thicker winter coat. In the nights, I hug a cup of tea, look out the window and pray for my family at home. Hope is hard for the NIN. But i assure you that the NID knows the same bitterness. A bastard child who roams closer to home, and the other prodigal one who finds feet in distant land, is however still a bastard - both of whom are simply in search of a real place to call home. Hence, a more useful conversation would be for how to rebuild a lost heritage, instead of looking over imaginery fences and calling out names. Because whilst we used up useful time on this argument, another local government councillor has walked home with a bag full of un-earned money that should have been used to pay Akeem's kid's school fees.

As for the opinion that every NID is a pitiable white man's slave....hardly worth debating.

Yours sincerely