Advance warning.

#onwriting
While I love, absolutely adore reading fiction, the books that mean the most to me are nonfiction or at least semi-autobiographical- like the beautiful “So long a letter” which reduced me to tears in the library of FGGC Bida just after my eleventh birthday and last month, when I “found” the pdf after years of searching for it in print. Continue reading →

Rekiya’s Tale.

They called her Rekiya, the name her mother whispered into her ears when she was born had been lost to time. She made Bambara under the dogoyaro tree near Aisha’s shop just before the mango groove where the village children plucked mangoes to sell at the market near Dutse. Her Bambara was the best in the whole town and just before she mixed the dough and pepper and set her rectangular pan with the round holes that formed the lush, oily, stretchy masses of perfection that had people queuing even before the first batch was ready. Continue reading →

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.

Lyrically- Look what Love Has Done to Me

Tomorrow’s my friend’s birthday, I met him on his birthday… not physically, on WhatsApp. It was his picture that brought us together, he was posed with a toothpick in his mouth and for a reason I cannot decipher even three years later, I was so irked by it that I kept complaining to Hero who’d put up the picture. Hero was irritated by my pestering and forwarded his number for me to tell him myself.

That was the start of one of the most beautiful friendships of my life, I’d have said the most beautiful but Hero would sulk and Zagira would send a barrage of WhatsApp messages. Anyway, he’s the quickest connection I’d ever made, he almost seemed to have a brand of truth serum and got me to tell him all my secrets. 
Three years on, I count him as one of the major blessings of my life, the one who knows me better than I know me, the one who will listen to my problems at midnight when he has to leave home at 4am (if you think the hustle is crazy in Naija, you should try relocating to Illinois USA). He’s still the one who has refused to find me an American bobo 😦 I’m mega vexing for him, like all my married friends who rub marital bliss in my face but refuse to hook me up… Is it fair?

I wanted to put up “That’s what friends are for” by Dinner Warwick but I was listening to a random selection on my phone and Patty Smith’s “Look what love has done to me” came up and I knew it was the right song. Knowing and loving Christian (Baby) has changed my life. Agape love oooo he’s a married man, biko. 

 Look What Love Has Done

I woke up this morning feeling lonely

There’s so much my heart just does not understand

There were times when nothing really mattered

But now I find I care too much

There’s life in everything I touch
Look what love has done to me

I am not who I used to be

Everything is changing, now we’ll never be the same

Look at what love has done to us

Will we ever learn to trust

We’re running out of time, there’s so little time

Baby look what love has done to me

Oh, yeah
Now it’s late at night, I’m here without you

I’m trying to make my way to where you are

Can’t you see, I’ll still be here waiting

Can’t you see, our two hearts were always meant to be as one
Look at what love has done to us

When will we ever learn to trust

We’re running out of time, there’s so little time, baby

Will you look what love has done to me
I’m calling out your name, baby

Calling out, calling out, yeah, yeah, yeah
Now look at what love has done to us

When will we ever learn to trust

We’re running out of time

There’s so, so little time, baby

Oh, look what love has done

Baby look what love has done to me
Look what love has done

Done to me