Under Pressure.

I do not know now where I got the impression from, that Lawanson market was the market with highest priced goods in the whole of Surulere and Idi-Araba market which is barely 500meters away was the cheapest. I think the women who own stalls in the market are more serious than those in other markets with a wider variety of goods and that is why this morning, I took my body to Lawanson to buy the plantains and vegetables I needed to make the meal my spirit had been craving for nearly a month. Continue reading →

I am not Wife Material… And It’s ok.

This post has been sitting pretty in my drafts since June 30th, I wrote it at a time I found myself writing about marriage a whole lot. I decided to shelve it until another time and I guess that time is now…

 

Recently, I was having a conversation with a much older man about marriage and a woman’s place in the home. If you know me well- or at least read my blog regularly, you’d know that I do not believe in having specific gender roles in a marriage.
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Of Choices and Necessary Radios.

Yesterday morning, I braved the now inevitable traffic to Aguda, Surulere to get my hair done by the woman who’s been plaiting my hair for nearly ten years. Because my hair is thick and springy and my scalp is ridiculously tender with a negative pain threshold, getting my hair done elsewhere is nearly unthinkable as she understands how to handle the strands and how to comb it without causing excessive pain.

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Kenny Rogers, Mary and Me.

A few weeks before Kenny Rogers died, I was actively seeking his songs on YouTube. At the time, I didn’t even know he was in the danger of dying as I assumed he would get to be at least ninety years old. Coincidentally, I had done the same for Bill Withers and after he died, I stopped looking for songs of artists who are still alive.

Anyway, this morning I set my current playlist to Kenny Rogers only and started my walk. Listening to Kenny for me is listening to a lifelong friend, I have so many memories linked to his music. Good times, bad times and memories of the uncertain days of being a teenager and wondering how my life would turn out. To answer that, it is very different from what I expected.

Just as I turned into a side street, a new song came up. I’ve written about this song before (see link HERE and HERE), it’s Kenny’s version of a pretty popular gospel song titled Mary, did you know? As always when I listen to the song, I wonder at Mary’s courage to have that child even with all the consequences. She could very easily have been killed for adultery amongst other things.

If I found that I was pregnant today, my biggest challenge would be providing for my child. While my parents would be a little disappointed at my being pregnant outside marriage at this ‘advanced age’, but they would know I want that child and accept the child. Society and its judgmental stance has no effect on me.

Yet even with all my advantages, I do not think I would accept the kind of offer Mary got. At least not immediately like she did. I would take time to think about it and analyse the situation and plan my next steps. As you can easily tell, obedience doesn’t come easily to me.

For most of last year, I kept being led to teachings about obedience during my Covenant Time. It was so insistent that I got scared at some point, wondering what huge thing God required of me. it was so bad that I would often just open my Bible to find something else and on the first page I open, I’d find a verse or section on obedience. Trust me if there is any Bible verse on obedience, I definitely read it last year.

This morning, I woke up well before my alarm and even though I wanted to sleep, I knew the purpose of my waking up was for me to continue work on an editing project. I resisted and resisted, snuggling deeper in my bed and shutting my eyes firmly while waiting for sleep to return but it didn’t. I had already set my alarm an hour earlier than I start my day normally in order to give me more time to study the word and pray as well as work on the project. So, I wasn’t going to sacrifice even more sleep when that early morning sleep was the sweetest and most fulfilling part of sleep for me.

I saw a post on Facebook by ON Yeka (if you aren’t her Facebook friend, what are you doing on Facebook?) where she asked people to talk about their experiences with dreams coming true. As I read contributions and typed my own response, I felt a sense of loss. Once upon a time, I could see a thing in my dream and it would happen exactly that way in real life, sadly that stopped about three years ago.

Sometime this week Monday or Tuesday most likely, I was sitting on my bed and I was reminded of my sadness over the dream thing. However, I was offered a new perspective about the matter. I had become a lot more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and having been taken on obedience school, I didn’t need dreams to know the mind of God for me. All I had to do was listen.

As I was resisting the leading to wake up this morning, I remembered that conversation and I knew I had to get up. I took my laptop and Bible to the parlour so I could study and pray before starting the project. Just as I opened my Bible, a preacher came with his mega-phone and began to preach. I smiled because if I was still on my bed and struggling to sleep, I would have been very pissed indeed.

A few minutes into the reading, I heard a sound which made me burst into laughter. It was one of those machines which empty septic pits and those things are loud even during the day when there are other noises to compete. Even if I was in deep sleep, the noise would have shaken me awake.

I was still feeling pretty puffed up about my experience this morning until the song came up. My tiny actions pale in scale comparison to hers, hers were world shaking. Right now, I am still glad about the experience even though I do not think I should get an award for it.

Today, I did 10k plus steps at one go. It’s something I’ve never done before and I didn’t even feel excessively tired when I got home. I used another route and didn’t need to climb a bridge, I think that bridge on my normal route saps my energy.

I wrote about how my craving for Coca-Cola has reduced – it’s now pretty easy for me to resist the dark, bubbly liquid. Since I got my fitband which tells me how many calories I lose per workout, it’s helped me get more disciplined about many things. For example, the calorific value of a 50cl bottle of coke is 210cals and if you look at the screenshot above, you’d find that even after walking nearly 4,000 steps and covering 2.75km, I still would not burn off a bottle of coke.

I guess listening to Kenny and the stories in his songs made me go further than I have done before. May his soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

Swiftly or Not…

SWIFTLY OR NOT…

Two days ago, I noticed something I had never seen before in Isaiah 60. It was a huge surprise because it is one chapter of the Bible that I can say I have read at least a hundred times, there was a time I had to read it daily for several months. Yet I missed the significance of the last sentence of the last verse.

“The least of you will become a thousand,

The smallest a mighty nation,

I am the Lord;

In its time I will do this swiftly.” – NIV

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That’s The Way, I Like It…

I probably have a thousand favourite songs and one of them is the No 1 hit by KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way I Like It. I am extremely partial to songs made in the 1970s – funk, rock and disco – the unholy trinity that gets me into nirvana. I like 70’s pop and soul too but I think those genres really got great in the 1980s and of course Jazz is timeless, no era can lay claim.

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The Brighter Life.

Two things triggered this post, someone’s tweet about celebrating her boyfriend’s 33rd birthday and Ifediora’s Facebook post about beer.

 

As a child, I absolutely loved the adverts on TV and radio. I preferred adverts to TV shows, often being annoyed that boring TV shows were interrupting my adverts. Perhaps I was more drawn to the songs, I’ve always been more interested in music than anything else.

 

Thursdays was my favourite day of the week because Lever Brothers’s 8pm slot had my favourite adverts, from Treetop to Breeze soap to Walls Ice Cream (I can still sing the complete song and I can probably write a one-thousand-word post on my memories of that brand of ice cream) and of course, planta margarine with the family descending the stairs and how it made want to be grown up for some reason.

 

I remember Checkmate as being this incredibly annoying show which interrupted my adverts on Thursdays. The only thing I remember about the show was Uncle Norbert Young played a professor in it and there was a young lady called Tamuno who was blackmailing him or something. Funny, I don’t even remember RMD from the show, just the professor and Tamuno and the Fuji family.

 

But Beer adverts had my entire heart, from Gulder’s Ultimate advert with the Rolls Royce as the ultimate car, Everest and diamond as the ultimate in their category and gulder the ultimate beer to Guinness power adverts, I loved them all. My favourite one however, was Star’s Share the Brighter Life advert.

 

It couldn’t have been more perfect if I had directed it myself, the bright lights and happy people who were clinking glass as white bubbles floated on the gold liquid which called my name. I wanted to be grown up so bad, to be an adult who would go to parties and share the brighter life while drinking that beautiful liquid.

 

I am still puzzled by my reaction to the partying in that advert because I have never liked parties. When I look at the pictures from my first birthday, I always chuckle at the varied expressions of discomfort on my face. The older me recognizes all of them, I wanted to be away from the noise and the pesky children.

 

Uncle Nnamdi was concurrently the best uncle in the world and the coolest person ever, you could tell him anything – literally anything at all, and he would take it seriously and you could have an actual conversation about it. He didn’t snitch or preach, he would listen and give advice that made more sense than anything we’d ever heard before.

 

One day when I was seven, Uncle Nnamdi was around that evening and we were all watching TV. After singing along to the star advert on TV, I went to meet him where he was perched on the sofa with one leg folded under him as was his usual custom.

 

He rubbed my head – another usual custom of his, as I sat next to him while the questions burning my mind were speeding up my throat. He was the only person I could have this conversation with without getting a shouting or lectures or reminders about my being a child. I was seven years old at the time and inside my head I was a grown woman.

 

I really hated being a child but my true hatred was reserved for the occasions when someone said, “Scosco/Adaku/Nnedi you’re just a child and you can’t do this or you can’t understand that because you’re a child”. Uncle Nnamdi never did that, he would explain anything I wanted to know with a fascinating story. He and his immediate elder sister – my mother, could make up stories instantly about any topic and for many years, I thought those stories were gospel.

 

I asked him how adults could bear to drink beer even though it was very bitter, I was asking because I wanted to start drinking Star lager but the bitter taste was a deterrent. I didn’t even know that I couldn’t even afford beer as I had no money. My grandmother (who lived nearby) sold drinks and at the time I didn’t know I needed money to get drinks, because if I wanted anything I would ask my grandmother and get it.

 

Was it still bitter in their mouths when they drank it? When would it stop being bitter for me? I asked. He told me my taste buds were not mature enough to taste the sweetness of beer, when I was grown up I would like it. On my thirty-third birthday, my taste buds would suddenly acquire the ability to enjoy the taste of beer. This was why there was a beer named “33” export lager beer because 33 was the age for starting beer.

 

“So it would disappear like magic?” I asked, for I wanted to be a glamourous magician when I grew up.

“Exactly Computer, just like magic.” He replied and rubbed my head again.

 

And so, I relaxed about the beer matter because I now understood beer was a thing to wait to grow up for. When I finally turned 33, I would drink beer and enjoy parties and share the brighter life without getting a headache about the noise people made in parties.

 

I have been excited about turning 33 since then, it is the only birthday which truly excites me. 18 was only noteworthy because I could get to vote and drive, neither of which I did at 18 anyway, but 33 was the real deal for me, the one which meant I was finally grown up.

 

I am still looking forward to turning 33 but for a long time I had forgotten exactly why 33 was so special (and not just because Jesus finished his earthly ministry at 33).

 

You know, I’d give anything in the world to be able to share a bottle of Star or “33” with Uncle Nnamdi on the cool December 31st evening of my 33rd birthday.

 

 

Offended Not.

When I turned 15, I got a diary for a birthday present. It was a slim book with black covers and I was enthralled by it. I religiously recorded everything which happened to me in the tiny spaces between the lines. I had forgotten about the diary all this time, until I saw a post on Facebook yesterday about using a gas cooker for the first time and I remembered how my diary died.

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So Long, Majek.

Sometime last year, there was a rumour that Majek Fashek had died but I didn’t believe it for one second and unsurprisingly, it was confirmed that he was still alive. This morning however, when I saw the announcement of his death on a friend’s WhatsApp status, I screamed. The sky was a sickly shade of grey and the rain sounded as if the sky was crying. I knew it was true, Majek the rainmaker had gone home.

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Temptation.

One of my absolute favourite songs is the monster hit Temptation by P-Square, it’s a song that always gets me in a certain mood, always. Once upon a time, I was a very serious P-Square fan. I was the kind of fan who bought three copies of each album, played their songs often enough to drive the people who lived with me crazy, knew the lyrics to all songs by heart… that sorta thing. Continue reading →