Home is where I am me. 

I’ve been in Benin-city for less than six hours and I’ve already heard the most outrageous (true) stories, laughed until my stomach clenched in protest and howled from every spectra of emotion from the things I’ve seen and heard. 

I could write an essay, several actually; on what this city means to me. How the differing landscapes are as familiar as my name, or my ears receiving  the flavour of Pidgin English makes my heart crackle and pop and how it is the language I’m most comfortable with, even though I first heard it after my seventeenth birthday. Perhaps it is the abundance of plantain and how you can get masses of it at prices that would shoot guilt daggers in you, or my favourite people calling this city home- especially that five year old girl who makes me believe in soul mates and past lives. 

Maybe it’s the ease of conversation here, and the music with the words I don’t understand even if I twirl the rhythm  around my fingers, as my mind uproots stories I am too lazy to sit in front of a computer and strike the keys that unlock the magic. 

I should write “I love Benin-city”, but that is not wholly true; each time I scoop from the cauldron, the emotions are never the same. I’ll just write the truest thing- this town is where all my parts collide, where I am most capable of being me.

Break The Cycle

“I will NEVER call my son from his room to come and hand me the remote that’s next to me like my parents did.

#BreakTheCycle”- Chike Delic Obi.

 

So I saw Chike’s post on Facebook about breaking the cycle and a certain mocking comment “Don’t worry when the time comes” prompted this post.

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Having Fear For Breakfast.

Earlier today, I was browsing through the videos on my phone looking for redundant videos to delete. I have dozens of videos that were donated to my phone from WhatsApp groups and a certain friend in obodo Amelika who sends me every funny video he discovers and the unfunny, scary ones too. When I got to the December 2016 videos, the thumbnail of one of them brought back memories that had me chuckling even before I opened the video. Continue reading →

Akara Chronicles

I was writing about going to ‘Mango village’ while I was in JSS1 with Glory (I can’t remember if Martha came with us or if she was supposed to be the sentry} but as I wrote, I remembered the story you are about to read and began to write it instead.

 

When I was in JSS1, I was a bony, big eyed bibliophile who had only one bucket, a green OK plast contraption that provided for all my needs which was only one- washing my body. I washed my clothes at the tap and formed a pouch with my house wear, as other girls did, for taking the clothes to the dormitory without needing a container for them. You didn’t need a bucket of water to flush the toilet, you simply needed a paper or leather (nylon) bag and a good throwing arm for flinging the products of your business far into the corn farms that framed the back of our dormitory. If you were not in the frame of mind to expose your tender buttocks to other girls and most importantly, the teachers in staff quarters who used the road a few meters across from Culverwell, you would brave the faecal landmines to have only the budding ears of corn and God as witnesses to your bowel unloading activities. Continue reading →

Of Bridges and Mortality

The bus stops at the bridge in front of the National Stadium and you come down, there’s a woman at the back of the bus who’s insulting the conductor. You don’t linger to hear the end of the argument, it had started even before you boarded at Anthony bus stop and it will continue until she gets tired of shouting at him. You’re very grateful to have gotten to Stadium without losing a limb, the driver had driven with the speed of a man who was pursued by a vengeful ex girlfriend.

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The only thing to fear…

They called it scaling, it was an almost seamless operation with one girl astride the old tank holding a bucket to scoop water. Other girls would carry buckets on their heads waiting to fill them with the scooped water and they would carry the buckets to the small clearing where there were perhaps hundreds of buckets, they would exchange the buckets of water for empty buckets while the girls appointed to keep watch over the water stood silently and menacingly. Continue reading →