How I Save Using EBATES

why buy anything if you are not getting it on a deal anyway?

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Hi friend,

You have not clicked on this post by chance and I am here to tell you why that is. You are always happy when you score a deal, you feel better knowing that you have saved some money after purchasing an item at a reduced price, your change is precious to you, you are always on the look out for sales on every holiday and at the end of every season, you are blessed with great taste and you are discerning enough to know that you do not have to break bank to get the things you want.

EBATES is here to make your online and in-store (US only) shopping experience better than ever before, you can sign up with my link and get $10 USD in Ebates payment instantly to start enjoying the ultimate rebate experience of your life.

HOW IT WORKS

1. Sign Up to EBATES by copying this link to your browser:

ebates.com/r/IJEY10?eeid=34782

2. Search the EBATES directory for the store you want to shop on: AMAZON, Target, ULTA, SEPHORA, etc.

3. Click on the banner, EBATES creates a Shopping Trip with a unique code and redirects you to the store.

4. Cash Back is activated, add items to your Shopping Cart, EBATES applies coupons to your order, Check Out and Pay as you’d normally do.

5. EBATES refunds you a % of the total amount spent on each Shopping Trip to your account, you can choose how you want to get paid. Every quarter, a BIG FAT CHEQUE is paid out to you via your preferred method, it is the total Cash Back you have earned throughout the three-month period.

TIP: Some stores offer as high as 20-30% Cash Back if you use EBATES!

My Experience

I started using Ebates because I was looking for ways to save money, as a student it is part of the life I live, asking for student discount at supermarkets, etc. I have never been happier with my online purchases, I have paid for flights, books, skin care products, sports equipment, hotel stays, clothing, etc. through Ebates and gotten Cash Back on every purchase made so far. Ebates is unique because they offer Daily Double Cash Back, I added the Ebates extension to my Chrome Web Browser and it alerts me of deals, coupons and Cash Back when I visit any website that is affiliated with Ebates. It is very convenient and quarterly, receiving a BIG FAT CHEQUE is something that takes me by surprise. It makes me happy to know that I save on everything I find on the internet. It is amazing!

 

TIP: EBATES sends the best emails so be on the look out for those updates on daily double deals, why buy anything if you are not getting it on a deal anyway?

Hair Goals

Hair takes a long time to get done, thankful for Podcasts!

Things I am discovering about myself and my hair:

1. I am determined to complete this transition to natural hair.

2. I look up to the hills, from whence doth my willpower come? (Number 1 above is due to the fact that I have announced it to the world through my blog, that I am transitioning to natchee.)

3. Finger-Detangling hair is so good for the muscles of the upper limb, talk about tone!

4. I am not a hair person: I’d rather have another person do my hair than do it by myself. (Hair takes a long time to get done, thankful for Podcasts!)

5. Why am I not a hair person?

6. Going natural is cost effective in the long run. Realistically, a clarifying shampoo, cheap conditioner, water and shea butter/coconut oil are all the ingredients I will need to maintain a healthy head of hair.

7. Don’t touch your hair when you are not in a good mood: this is a cardinal rule.

8. Sticks and stones may break my bones but twists will never hurt me.

9. I must continue to do everything in my power to keep my hair stretched out at all times.

10. Trim: what is dead needs to be cut off and discarded.

Happy Birthday Bro

It was Nnanna’s birthday yesterday, you see, he is my favourite person in this world. We grew up together in the same houses. Nnanna and I are siblings: Brother and Sister. Over the years I have learnt so much from my brother, one day he tweeted “I am not your role model” and it got me thinking about the way we live our lives as model children, poster children for good upbringing, home training and manners especially in our social media world. That tweet made me recoil, at first it was “what is this boy saying?! Doesn’t he know that he is expected to be a good kid? That being a good kid must mean that he is a role model?” Later it was, “This role model banter is really stifling, ‘Big Brother’ is watching kind of stifling. One cannot simply drink water and drop cup because one KNOWS that the world is watching. Which kind of Orwellian wahala?” So I came to see where my brother was coming from when he made the tweet and my heart opened up to the option of a new alternative.

Let me talk a little bit about privilege: Due to the way my parents and role models brought me up, I think anybody who has any kind of privilege e.g. Good education, etc. has a responsibility to use their privilege-given access to help out in some way, even if it means simply showing a good example by living an honest life, you know, just to demonstrate to others that having privilege means that you must live an honest life. You follow? So this my perspective on how a privileged life must be led, albeit naive, is what I tried to practice and even standardized for others like Nnanna to live by, hence my initial reaction.

A bit of background: My family is Nigerian, Christian, and Educated. The Holy Book has codified the way we as Christians should live our lives and an important aspect of this is excellence. Bible says we are heirs of the father, we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, we are wonderfully and fearfully made, we have been called by the father etc. For my Nigerian Christian family, this means that in the lives we live we must portray the word of God as a way of evangelism which can also be seen as being role models to others that are not yet saved. In practice, we must do well in school, always show respect to everyone, don’t fight, don’t fornicate, clubbing? What is a club? Smoking? If you must smoke do it secretly because it is not a good look as a child from a Christian background and the list goes on and on. It is what I will call Church Culture: this is a consciousness that is cultivated in the minds of Christian children from a very young age, to live by example. I don’t think these rules are bad, instead I think they help to breed adults that end up living in a bubble at best and at worst, being extremely judgmental of everybody else that strays from Church Culture.

My brother has taught me that being who you are by just living your life is the way to go. It is better to be your modest, humble, brilliant self than to be all these things just for the approval. It is best to live your life and know that you are attracting the people who really like you for who you are, than to live in the gaze of those watching out for when you make a mistake. Nnanna showed me that it shouldn’t be that difficult to occupy my space in this world, people will eventually be fine. More importantly, I am accepting that it is ill advised to change with the weather ever so often, for the sake of pleasing people. We are young, intelligent, beautiful and handsome individuals, we are also prone to making mistakes and we mustn’t always judge ourselves harshly. I hope this post makes you think about image and lifestyle and all that good stuff!

John 14:15  “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.



 

Confession

I am sharing this with you because I want to hear back from you. I hope that after reading this, you will be able to offer your thoughts and some advice if need be, in the comments section below. I am one of those women that want women to have equal opportunities with men, I detest oppression in every shape, manner or form and especially from the opposite sex. I am also generally amused whenever a woman proclaims that she is not a Feminist. Amused because I do not have the patience nor range with which to examine why any woman would want to remain disenfranchised in this life, compared to men folk. I take it that a lot of men in Nigeria are yet to accept that Feminism or Gender Equality is something of a phenomenon that does not care for their thoughts and feelings rather, it is centered around all women, their rights and freedoms, their education and health, their bodies, and all the spaces they should occupy in the world.

In Nigeria, heterosexual relationships are the norm, our culture as a country, is popular for upholding the celebration of marriage between man and woman in very high esteem. Marriage is the fulcrum of Nigerian Society, it is the singular most unifying force that cuts across religion, tribe or tongue. Our National football team used to be number one but then Weddings came along. The coming together of a man and woman to start a family is considered as a defining milestone and every self-respecting young Nigerian is in fact expected to aspire towards marriage. Considering the influence of the various religious practices inherent in the country, Nigerian ethnic groups have diverse views on the celebration of marriage or what a wedding ceremony should look like. Common elements of wedding ceremonies that exist across the country are payment of dowry, music and dance, a large gathering of family and well wishers, lots of food and drinks, the compulsory parental blessings and the beautiful attires worn by bride and groom on their special day.

There’s a blossoming Nigerian Weddings market in the country, from catering, MC, DJ, Comedian, events planning, decorating, make-up to photography an industry has emerged organically from our collective obsession with marriage and wedding ceremonies. Within a decade we have seen the exponential growth of these businesses that service the Nigerian Weddings industry, young entrepreneurs abound and our economy is benefiting from it, we are eating the fruits of our marriage obsession. The feedback is indeed very encouraging, every weekend there’s a big wedding ceremony taking place somewhere in towns and villages all over the country. Our wedding vendors are very creative, the Comedians never run out of jokes, Nigerian parents who have unmarried adult children are asking their heirs, “when will you introduce him/her to us?” Not minding whether or not there’s a him or her at all. Aunties and Uncles are not left out, they’re all in the business of matchmaking nowadays, on a very low key even neighbours, friends of the family and well-meaning mommies in church have taken up Ẹlẹgbẹ as their side-hustle. Nigerians love a good party and wedding ceremonies are our final form of partying. There’s no party like a Nigerian wedding party. A movie on Nigerian wedding parties is the highest grossing movie in the history of Nollywood at 500 million Naira.

I have no problems whatsoever with the institution of marriage. I expect that it is clear to any keen observer of Nigerian society that our marriage culture is heavily gendered, it is essentially a ‘woman issue’. Some argue that there’s a biological clock ticking off and therefore young women should be seen to be actively working hard to beat their innate clocks. A lot of people attribute marriage to be the zenith of every woman’s social growth and development, it is evident in the way we compliment our young girls, we are quick to drop “wife material” or “wifey of life”, and in the way we bless them when they do seemingly mundane tasks around the house, “you will marry a good husband”, all these are unsolicited approval of marriageability and if anything, a subtle assertion that a woman’s purpose in life is to end up with a man who will eventually complete her because she is incomplete. The resultant effect of this kind of incessant obsessive hinting and reasoning is we are feeding the idea into their subconsciousness, that the ultimate prize is marriage and it must be achieved by all means. Sometimes we even attach an age cap to our statement of expectations, “Your mates are getting married”, as though there is a specified time appointed for marriage, some uncouth individuals go further to insult women using the appropriate-age-for-marriage social construct, “You are forming shakara, see you in Shiloh when you’re 30” when these women don’t give in to their unwanted advances.

The crossroads that is the social commentary surrounding marriage culture in Nigeria leaves me feeling like the purpose of a Nigerian marriage is to tie a woman up and I will explain. Please ignore the stereotyped nature of what I’m about to tell you and take away the message instead. We hear a lot of stories, about our mothers’ generation and their conquests in cooking for their husbands, cherubic docility and expert child-rearing skills. We also hear a lot of stories about the current rise in the rate of divorce, and we have read those harsh comments on popular blogs, about Feminists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that want to sink the ship of culture and tradition by preaching to young women about their rights as human beings to be able to lead the kind of lives they want to, especially away from the smoke of the kerosene stove. These Feminists are seen as bad eggs, no kidding. Since the beginning of the Feminism movement in Nigeria, the proponents of marriage culture have waged a line of attack against young female feminists, claiming that it is their right to marry young maidens and bestow respect upon them by giving these maidens their last names, determine how these maidens work to earn a living or IF they even work at all, and most importantly ensure that these maidens cook for them. I have never seen where men are so adamant on being fed and nourished by women before. Nigerian men have very strong opinions about their nutrition coming from the labour of their wives’ hands.

This generation of young women are already on their way to heading big corporations, many of them have started their own businesses, those of them that are still in school are studying hard to become professionals and so many more are learning skills by the weekend to supplement their income. The Young Nigerian Woman ecosystem is fast changing and superstars emerge everyday from within. Nigerian girls are not smiling in Engineering, Arts, Business, Academia, Finance, Aviation, Theology, Media, Law, Health, Tourism, Environmental Sciences, Economics, etc. They are on a mission to take over. The gospel of feminism is not only talking the talk but walking the walk in our neck of the woods. All their lives, these young women have been taught and socialized to WANT to end up married (not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to get married). They are on Bellanaija in the middle of the night ooh-ing and aah-ing at pictures, choosing colours and dreaming of their Cinderella dresses. This same group of women are getting more informed in the daytime, they are the ones heavily involved in the feminist conversations going on in social media forums, arguing for women’s rights on Twitter, reading Woolf, writing about their lived experiences on Facebook, and basking in affirming poetry by Shire and Umebinyuo alike, the literary heroines of their time. They are inspired and as a result, making bolder choices, taking every opportunity available to them, the complete opposite of their mothers’ generation.

Now, my confession is that I am disillusioned by the marriage culture in my country and each time I see THE post on social media, you know the standard announcement post, a picture of her left hand with beautifully manicured fingers and a shiny rock sitting on that precious middle finger, and how can I forget the attendant “OMG! I’m so happy for you dear! Congratulations!!!” or the “You deserve it! Congratulations!!!” comments from her friends and well wishers (oozing of a mixture of surprise, jealousy/envy, sadness, forced cheeriness and hope), any previous interest I might have had dips a little more.

It is the blatant desperation in those comments that gets to me the most. I wish everyone would calm down and know that they are doing okay sweetie!

The End

Ẹlẹgbẹ – (n) Yoruba : Matchmaker.

Nollywood – Nigeria’s movie industry

Shakara – (v) Pidgin Yoruba : Pretending

Shiloh – (n) A prayer meeting held in South Western Nigeria organized by a Big Church.

Featured Image: A beautiful wedding ceremony curated by Bellanaija

Wetin Dem Talk?

Christiana dream one kind dream last night. Since her mama born am, she don use her eye see different different things for this life wey she never ever talk about, but that was not until yesterday when she use her two legs waka go meet Aunty Counsellor, come open her mouth like pipe wey don burst out water full everywhere.

Inside the dream, person call Ranti, Christiana best friend for this world wey we dey so, tell Ranti say she see where them carry Christiana gist on top WhatsApp group chat, unto say as breeze blow fowl yansh don open and na Christiana be the fowl. Christiana no remember who call Ranti but she know say na Ranti tell am say her story don enter town brekete. Fear catch am.

Christiana jump up from sleep! She wipe her eyes make she dey see clearly. Her mind come dey follow her talk say, inside this Lagos? If people ever know the kind things wey Ranti say dem dey discuss about her for inside the dream? Her own don finish be that na. She dey suspect Aunty Counsellor even though she no tell am the things Ranti talk say those people for the WhatsApp don know about. Even Ranti sef no know those details about her life, upon how dem be like five and six.

Her secrets plenty no be small. She dey fear say na Bobo, her pikin wey never reach six years old, go suffer pass if people ever know about the kind life wey she don live. Christiana no dey fear before because she know say if na in those days when na only she dey, wahala no for dey because, she for don brush anybody wey wan use her eye see dutty but now wey she don born Bobo she no fit do some kind things again. How e go take affect Bobo life for outside? Na the question she come dey always ask herself before she do anything.

Wetin sef? E no get anybody for this life wey holy pass! Na the quarrel wey enter Christiana chest be that. Make anybody come meet me if him know say e no get secret for this world, if all of them talk say they never do anything bad before, make them come face me, water dey comot from Christiana eye as she dey for bed. She dey think am, say if people gather somewhere dey judge am, even if say na for inside dream e take happen, say e must to mean something. Christiana dey confused as to whether or not she go carry this dream go meet Aunty Counsellor, she fit help her understand wetin dey happen to her.

Ah, Bobo don wake.

Bobo enter Christiana bedroom, sidon for corner of the mattress dey look him mama like person wey miss road, sleep full him eye. Bobo how now? You no fit greet your mama? Christiana ask her pikin. Bobo turn him head face the mirror she hang for the other side of the room, he dey still like wooden image, Bobo no be you I dey talk to? Christiana ask am again. Bobo turn around look him mama for eye, he open mouth and the thing wey follow send electric shock straight to Christiana spinal cord. Bobo ask him mama, wetin dem talk?

The introduction of Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar

The stories are based in Nigeria and the artists are authentically Nigerian…here’s to supporting Nigerian creatives.

Please Donate to Akbar Comics by visiting this Kickstarter link.

Hi friends,
Today I bring you great news, there’s a new comic in town! The stories are based in Nigeria and the artists are authentically Nigerian. They go by the name ‘Akbar Comics’ and they need your money to realize their dream of disrupting the scope of African Pop culture as we know it with their collective artistic genius, they have created a Kickstarter campaign and they have till June the first to meet their goal of crowd-sourcing $$$.
Please keep on reading this post to learn more about the guys behind Akbar Comics and to peruse characters from their debut release titled CAPTAIN CALABAR. Here’s to supporting Nigerian creatives.
– Jayjeystic

The year is two thousand and thirteen, the location is Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State Nigeria. A group of teenage boys, some fresh out of secondary school, have just been sorted to the same room in one of the male hostels in campus. The algorithm that put them together is a small but important stroke in the grand scheme of things. They are not just roommates, they each become their brother’s keeper and evolve into the lifelong friends destiny predisposed them to be. Time will unveil them as a gifted trio from the Department of Architecture. With a holy combination of mad skills, hard work, and a shared love for cartoons, they birth the new anti-hero: Captain Calabar. They have great dreams of changing the landscape of African pop culture through the utilization of their natural talents in telling the stories of modern day Nigeria.

Meet Timehin Akinde 

Timehin Akinde Akbar comics
Timehin Akinde, Akbar comics

Timehin is a simple guy, you will find him anywhere near chill vibes and Palm trees. He is one of the two initial founders of and the creative writer at Akbar Comics, he also coined the name ‘Captain Calabar’ as a testament to the popular Nigerian stereotype of assuming that anybody from the Efik/Ibibio speaking South-South sub-region of Nigeria is from CALABAR.

 Calabar (also referred to as “Canaan City”) is a city in Cross River State, in south southern Nigeria.

Many moons ago, in the small dorm room occupied by a tight circle of friends, Timehin nicknamed his friend Joshua Akpan Captain Calabar”.

Meet Joshua Akpan

Joshua Akpan, Akbar Comics
Joshua Akpan, Akbar Comics

Even though he is from Akwa Ibom State, his squad quickly took to calling him Captain Calabar. Joshua is a talented Artist who loves Bob Marley and Kendrick Lamar. He is a trained Architect, works as an illustrator, and is one of the three initial founders of Akbar Arts

The original name for Calabar was Akwa Akpa, from the Efik language.

He joined his friend Abasido Akpan in Akbar Comics. 

Meet Abasido Akpan

Abasido Akpan, Akbar Comics
Abasido Akpan, Akbar Comics

Abasido is also from Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria, he is the visionary behind Akbar Arts, an illustrator, and a business man with a great sense of humour. Abasido has been described as “a really really good artist” by some of his friends, probably because he is known to give beards to the beardless in his cartoons. Abasido A.K.A Akbar pushed his art under Akbar Arts before he came up with the idea for Akbar Comics as a subsidiary of Akbar Arts in July of two thousand and sixteen.

Calabar is a port city, near the Cameroon border. It sits on a hill near the Calabar River and the Cross River delta.

Timehin in telling the story of Akbar Comics had this to say about Abasido’s pivotal role:

“Then one day Abasido hit me up and was like let’s make something with this, initially it was supposed to be an animation but making a comic is easier. So long story short, we’ve been friends since and broke-ness forced us to come up with the idea! (laughter)”

-timehin akinde, akbar comics


Meet Some Of The Characters:

Image-1
Akbar Comics, Captain Calabar #1 AUG 2017
Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar: Adewale Ogunjobi
Name: Adewale Ogunjobi aka Dr. Ken Abilities: Complete mastery of the spiritual arts (Babalawo settings). Direct descendant of Ogun. Immortal.
Captain Calabar - Akbar Comics
Name: Anwang John-Bassey aka Captain Calabar Abilities: Superhuman strength, flight and invulnerability given to him by the Ekpe spirit.
Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar: Lanre Williams
Name: Lanre Williams Abilities: Computer genius, ex-yahoo boy with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Nigerian underground scene.
Akbar Comics; Captain Calabar
Captain Calabar derives his powers from his tattoos written in the Nsibidi script, a language similar to hieroglyphics invented by the Ekpe tribe.
Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar: Shalewa
Name: Shalewa. Abilities: Proficient in the art of underwater warfare (mami water levels). Lieutenant of Karishika’s army. Underground Runz Girl


Please don’t forget that Captain Calabar needs our help, you can donate by clicking me or by sharing this post.

Buy The Song

My friend from before the war, KidMarley has 2 EP’s to his name AND YOU SIMPLY CANNOT DOWNLOAD HIS SONGS ILLEGALLY. He has sense.

What happened?

So today I wanted to buy Adekunle Gold’s album, GOLD, off SPINLET where I go to buy the type of music I like listening to (music in which language native to Nigeria is used alongside English language to make a masterpiece) and 4 different debit cards later “INTERNAL_ERROR(3)” told me ntor gi . I gave up. I asked Spinlet to send me a 2.00USD voucher via Twitter and *crickets*.

Why?

Music is inexpensive and everyone downloads illegally, which is not fair. So I buy CD’s in traffic when in Nigeria, albums online when not in traffic, or listen on YouTube when I have free WiFi/can’t afford the album/when it’s not the type of music I like (refer to the first paragraph) to have in my private collection or stash. I started buying music in 2014. I got Ajebutter22 -Anytime Soon and Asa  – Bed of Stone on third mainland bridge and since then through Spinlet I’ve added Flavour(nabania) – Blessed, Phyno – No Guts No Glory, Falz – Stories That Touch and Sean Tizzle – The Journey to my stash.

The Future

I want to buy Fela’s discography (for posterity and most importantly for the culture ) in VINYL!!! So I have been looking at hybrid turntables on Amazon….those things cost money. When I save up enough to afford one I will do a review-blog-post about the one I select, the process of buying, shipping, et cetera. I am in the market for an iPod, it will eventually mark my introduction to the iOS universe and it will also serve as a repository for my stash. An added advantage is I get to download iOS Apps that I NEED for medical school (this message is not sponsored by Apple, I wish it was). I hope my favorite musicians jump on the “Apple Music” bandwagon, just in case Spinlet decides to keep messing up I need to be able to BUY THE SONG from a trusted source. I haven’t looked at TIDAL and good ole SPOTIFY is not supported in my region, cry with me please.

Music and Me

The thing with Music and me is that I use music to store memories and emotions. It is something I discovered I could do as far back as 2011 and since then I’ve used it to my advantage. Other’s cram or use other means to retain big mental data, Ijeoma simply listens to music while she ruminates on the idea or concept that she’s trying to never forget and whenever she needs to recall (slow smile) she presses PLAY. All the details come back, it’s just like a movie. Wait, this happens to others too right?

A Little Bit of History

Our parents made my older sister and I start Piano from when I was around 3 years old, yes, I am a watered-down geek. I used to perform (musical prodigy) in parts of Lagos back in the late 90’s with my sister. I also own a Violin and it is PURPLE!!! (R.I.P Prince). My sister is a DJ, she plays the Piano + Guitar and my brother is interested in everything JAZZ, he’s currently in the market for an entry-level Saxophone. We once had a family friend visit and he looked around our living room and said he felt like he was in a recording studio (Laughs). My dad used to be a DJ in Enugu State in the 80’s, he also played the Guitar while my mom is a veteran Chorister of the Anglican Diocese – Delta state and Lagos state Nigeria respectively. Music is important to me and my loved ones, suffice to say I come from a very very “Musial Family”.

Conclusion

Frankly I’d like to see my favorite musicians earn monies from their art. My friend from before the war, KidMarley , has 2 EP’s to his name AND YOU SIMPLY CANNOT DOWNLOAD HIS SONGS ILLEGALLY. He has sense. The entire internet does not have MP3 copies of his music in circulation, you ask how? They’re all on his SoundCloud and anybody that must listen has to go there and play it from there. This way he gets to have total control of the distribution of his art and most importantly, profit from his art is assured. I wish other Nigerian musical businessmen and women were as smart.

Advice to Singers/Musicians: Monetize your art. This message obviously doesn’t apply to the artistes that create free music.

WORRY IS MADNESS is my favorite on the Days B4 Denim EP by KidMarley, I hope you enjoyed listening and reading. Please tell me your favorite Nigerian songs in the comments, right now I am loving Jukwese by  Humblesmith!



***

EP – acronym – Extended Play: An EP is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP.

ntor gi – Igbo – sorry for you

By HASSAN TAIWO

We are kissing and kissing and kissing and my stomach is tingling.

It starts where it all starts, the beginning. We are walking down the road where rain has made a puddle and we are having to be jumping, jumping and jumping like Olympian high jumpers. He is telling me things, telling me about how his weekend went, tracing the scar on his head as he is telling me these things. I am listening, listening as far as the arc of his full lips permit, listening as far as the rough tangle of his hair permit, listening as far as his perfect face allows. He is noticing. He is noticing that I am looking him. He is asking me “What?”, “Nothing” I reply as I be catching myself. He is telling me now about how his childhood went, one story after the other, telling me about how girls be liking him and he doesn’t like them back, telling me about how girls be too dramatic. Telling me all these with those perfectly arched lips. I am only hearing as far as his hotness of himself permits my senses. I am tingling, tingling with trepidation. He notices me notice these things and asks “What?” again. This time, it is different, I summon courage and tell him “I want to kiss you”.  He weighs it in his head and finally he be saying, “I have a boyfriend’, I thought you should know”. I laugh and also be saying I have a girlfriend, I also thought you should know”. We both be smiling the smile with the promise of more.

  We are kissing and kissing and kissing and my stomach is tingling. Butterflies in my stomach tingling, Mama’s sweet jollof rice tingling, Kumbaya for my souls’ reprieve tingling and sweet sweet honey tingling. This is going on and on like a good movie just that in our case the director is not yelling that we be cutting. I am beginning to be thinking that this boy has been hiding the whole of heaven In his lips this whole time. Mid-reverie, the boy whose mother they be saying is a witch and father a demon shines light on us and next thing he be shouting “Fag! Fag! Gay! Gay!”. I is breaking the embrace, I is scared, I is thinking there is no way out of this one. Next thing, people are coming out to gather us, to snap us, to beat us. Next thing, I is hearing him tell them that he is the fag, he blackmailed me, I is hearing him tell them to leave me alone. Next thing, the crowd is telling me *Ndo, **Pele, Sorry. Next thing, I is seeing them take him away with slaps and kicks. I is screaming “I am sorry!” but my voice is not responding. My voice is not talking. My voice is not a voice.

   I be go to my room but I can’t be sleeping. I be hearing his screams as they beat him, put sticks in his anus, slap him around. I can’t be sleeping. I be screaming, I be praying, I be being miserable. Too much! too much! too much! my mind be saying. My mind is telling me that I can’t let him be dying like that, I can’t let heaven be treated like that. I be opening a word document, I be typing, be telling the world the truth, be typing, be crying, be typing, be crying. When I be finished, as I wanting  to be saving the document, I be remembering the words fag! gay! fag! gay! also be remembering Ndo, Pele, Sorry. I be liking the other one better, I be liking the sympathy and care, I no be liking the screaming. Now, my hand is betraying me, I be pressing delete when I want to be saving, as I am deleting, I am shouting to heaven Ndo, Pele, Sorry. Ndo, Pele, Sorry. I be crying too as I am shouting it to my heaven, Ndo, Pele, Sorry. I be remembering that hot March those many years ago, when Mama be telling me “Humans always find a way to make themselves victims in another’s tragedy”. Softly, softly, I be whispering it as I fall asleep, Ndo…Pele…Sorr….


*Ndo – Igbo – Sorry
**Pele – Yoruba – Sorry

niankh
The above picture of two men kissing is of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum. They were ancient Egyptian royal servants; they are believed to be the first recorded same-sex couples in history. It is the only tomb in the necropolis where men are displayed embracing and holding hands. In addition, their chosen names form a linguistic reference to their closeness: Niankhkhnum means ‘Joined to life’ and Khnumhotep means ‘Joined to the blessed state of the dead’, and together the names can be translated as ‘Joined in life and joined in death’.

The Procession

The dominant voice in her head still had the strength to be a Commentator meanwhile the will to live mixed with her sweat and seeped out of her pores.

ding ding ding ding, a Whatsapp message entered Onyi’s phone and she murmured, “who is that rude boy blowing up my phone by this time of the night?” She reached for her phone and unplugged it from where it was charging beside her bed. The room was dark. Before she unlocked her screen she saw from the drop-down notification bar that the message was from her class Whatsapp group. A thought snaked its way into her head, I just hope sey we no get emergency test tomorrow like this so. Onyi drew her secret pattern on the touch screen with her right thumb, touched open the Whatsapp app, and she read the message. What she saw made her cackle like a Witch from one of the elite covens in Edo state.

ha-haha-hahaha-hahahahaha-hahaha-ha-ha-ha-hahahahaha-haha-ha, she lost control, hahaha-haha-hahahaha-ha-ha-hahaha-ha-hahahaha-ha.  This went on for a while. She started clapping her hands in tandem with her words “this-must-be-a-joke, na-lie, this-na-April-fool“. By this time, her roommate Kene had woken up from deep sleep. She moved around noisily on her bed which was on the other side of the very big, old wardrobe they shared, on a good day it served as a boundary between the girls’ large personalities.

vroom-shrr-brr-grrr-drrr, She tossed and turned in her bed, she sure wasn’t in the mood for  Onyi’s rubbish drama tonight. Kene started rambling loud enough for Onyi to hear her,  “Madam are you alright? Do you know what time it is? Please you are disturbing the peace of the whole hostel and I am trying to sleep, my head is aching me abeg, reduce your voice. Don’t you know the time? What kind of behaviour is this? Consider me too na, no be only you get loud voice for this room, me sef fit decide to run mad but….” her voice was hoarse.  Kene talked very fast, like she was trying to finish licking a moderately sized Ube that just got off the grill before it got cold.

peeem-peeeem-peeeeeeem, peeee-peeee, pim-pim, pe-pe-pe-peeeee, The sheer number of humans walking on the main road that early in the morning drove the Drivers crazy, one can assume that they unanimously agreed to forget their hands on their horns at the same time. It was the next morning and Kene walked beside Onyi on the main road, they moved together in silence while others sang those awful songs.  Kene made sure Onyi walked on the inner side of the road. She knew that she was all Onyi had at that moment in time and she was going to do everything she could to make her roommate feel safe. She took Onyi’s hand, to make sure she didn’t lose her in the crowd, and led her, navigating the crowd like her mom used to do when they were out in public back when she was a little girl.

yeeeee-eeehhh-ewooooo-onwuuu-ewoo-yeee-onwuoo, The voices went up in unison as the group approached their final destination. Onyi felt hollow, she had a blank expression on her face. The dominant voice in her head still had the strength to be a Commentator meanwhile the will to live mixed with her sweat and seeped out of her pores. She couldn’t help but study her environment: hian why is that one manifesting. She was breathless, it felt as if a hand was squeezing her chest and she squeezed Kene’s hand tightly: so this is how this boy just left without collecting my number? She felt her head turn towards the direction of the loudest voice: This Morenike too dey do one kind it’s not as if she ever acknowledged his existence. Onyi felt drained, she didn’t sleep a wink throughout the nightKene was saying something to her, she looked straight at her face but her ears failed her. “ehn?” That was the first thing she uttered since they started walking. Her voice betrayed her, it was weak and tiny. She sounded like a starved baby Zombie.

It was a sad day for the entire Department of Geology in  Nsukka, 300 Level to be precise. The previous night their Class Representative hung himself at The Cricket Pavilion while the school slept. He was a charismatic leader, well loved by those he served. His Lecturers fondly referred to him as “Bright Chap” because he had a record breaking GPA of 4.9. He was also tall, dark, handsome, and the object of Onyi’s desire. When she read the Whatsapp message she temporarily lost her mind because the phrasing was unforgivable, the grammar wrong, and whoever sent it was in such a hurry, he or she spelled black without a ‘c’. Onyi decked in White from her head to her toe, She looked like his angel for that day.

New Message: 015 Geo-Ginger Group

“Felix is been found dead at Cricket Pavilion by his hostel guys, they say he committed (Suicide) but they are investigating. you guys should wear all blak tomorrow morning for the procession, we start at main gate and walk to department by 8AM. May he r.i.p, what a pity. onwu di njo”

01:23AM

***
This story is based on true events.
May the controversy end on it’s own.
R.I.P Nwanne.

How to become a Childhood Friend

There is no such thing as a perfectly written eulogy. – Ijeoma Wogu 2016

Coming up with the title of this short, I had Prof. Wole Soyinka and Mr. Okey Ndibe in mind
Re: The man died. Foreign gods Inc.

I have a gazillion Childhood Friends. I pray for them everyday, I love them and wish for nothing but the best for them, all the time.


Ifunanya and I went to Secondary School together where we hardly said ten words to ourselves for the entire period of three years we spent in the same confinements. We got into the same University and became inseparable. We were familiar in an unfamiliar place, so we became a team (makes you wonder about the beauty of biology doesn’t it?) helping each other through our individual life battles and culture shock. She is the only person in the world that has asked me to be her ‘birthday maid’, as in a maid of honour but for her birthday and not her wedding. She recently came down with malaria and she reacted to her treatment, the following conversation ensued:


IFUNANYA:
Had drip yesterday.
And injections.
Was reacting to a malaria drug
So they had to suppress it
 JAYJEYSTIC:
Ndo o
What drug?
IFUNANYA:
Serious tremors tho, weakness and loss of appetite
Lol
I have try
I’m a survivor
 JAYJEYSTIC:
Malaria na bastard Sha
 IFUNANYA:
Camosunate
 JAYJEYSTIC:
The stuff sounds like something they use to fight Boko haram
Camo
 IFUNANYA:
Looool
This geh


Tayo is the one friend to whom I have reported all my major life events since we were teenagers, since the early Facebook and BBM days. When I passed my SSCE, when I got into university, when I failed a course in university, when I was in an accident, when I moved continents, when I had that existential crisis on virginity and what not, when I had to go to different embassies by myself I hatched an elaborate plan and ran it by him. That time I tweeted about how much I appreciate all my friends that look out for me, I was referring to Tayo because he had asked:


TAYO:
How e dey go
JAYJEYSTIC:
E get as e be [ long chat where I pour out my frustrations, which I was unaware were gathered at the brim of my mind, waiting to come out]
Thanks for asking.
TAYO:
*one strength emoji* I like your spirit though. Keep up the ‘fight’ and don’t be discouraged.
JAYJEYSTIC:
Thanks. Same to you.
TAYO:
*one kiss emoji*
JAYJEYSTIC:
Aww *four kiss emojis*


Chisom walked down the corridor of Manuwa Hall with her freshly braided head of hair that made her hang her neck at an angle to help reduce the pain, she looked a bit puffy, and ready to take on Monday morning simultaneously. We didn’t notice her until she started taking off her slippers by the door, She exclaimed in her peculiar way when she finally entered the room “Ah! You guys are eating Plantain and you didn’t invite me!“. The first thing that struck me about her was her complexion. She was the fairest person I had ever seen, Omalicha. The second thing was that she wore socks indoors, like me. Ours was predestined. In the following weeks, we shared our stories, zoomed in on our similarities and there was no stopping us. By the time it was the Student Union Government election season, we had formed our own version of the cool kids subculture in school. Once, during the campaigns, an aspirant came to the hostel to talk to Chisom and when he left she said to me smiling “I feel like we’re the Kingmakers, we are important in this election, we decide who wins…“. Chisom taught me how to acknowledge my privilege in life and how to use it. To an extent, she taught me how to be human. When I won a beauty pageant it was Chisom behind the scenes, literally. Before I left Nigeria she invited me to her parents’ house in Abuja, twice. We sat down and talked about this and that and it was that week it got real for me: I was leaving my friends behind, I even said to myself “I’m not going to make new friends abroad“.


Kingsley and I met in 2014, he doesn’t know this but the very first time I met him, he was teaching a tutorial. I was listening to him teach and that was when I saw him through the eyes I imagine Simon Cowell uses to judge Got-Talent shows, and by the time we were done with the tutorial, I was Simon hitting the Golden Buzzer for him to move on to the “live shows”. That night, when I got back to my room I made a tweet about him. I said how he was full of promise and how he was a great teacher. Time did it’s thing and sooner than I had expected, we actually became sort of friends. I think he also  came to see me with the “Simon Cowell googles” but I’m not sure, you can never be sure when it comes to that boy. Kingsley recently entered into a short story competition called #JollofRice by Okadabooks and he won the first round, (by getting the highest number of votes/reads from the general internet public). His story was unique, very very well written, funny, Nigerian and relevant to the time it was written. Today I woke up to a Whatsapp from Kingsley:


KINGSLEY:
I lost * three crying emojis*
JAYJEYSTIC:
You won.
Don’t say that.
KINGSLEY:
Lol. Don’t worry I am over the loss now.
JAYJEYSTIC:
Okay.

I think I reacted to the message in the way he expected. To a large section of the people I have come to befriend, I am that friend who believes in your dreams fiercely, as if they were mine. The grounded one, you know, the one that scolds. The one that hands out tough love cookies without batting an eyelid, also the one you can rely on to reassure you. Kinda like my version of what Tayo is to me.


Bunie was my sister’s next door neighbour at her place off campus, He was also her classmate. I found him annoying in the way you find a tall, handsome, light-skinned boy that goes to your Teenagers Church annoying and the feeling was mutual. We got along despite each other, I was staying with my sister that semester and Bunie’s Chess board worked its magic to bring us together. It was our common ground. As usual there was no light/power that night in my sister’s room. We played two sets by candle light and he won both so I lost interest in the game. Sore loser that I am. We bickered and bantered, I started playing with the matchbox.  I lit a matchstick and blew it out, put it in my mouth and instantly felt like smoking something, anything. My sister’s room was on the second floor, I got up from my position on the floor and opened the window, sat on the window stool with half my upper body leaning outside, there was neither burglary proof nor mosquito net standing guard so it was just human, window, and night breeze. There was a piece of paper on her table, I reached for and took it, rolled it, not minding what was written on it. Bunie was carried away with the business of arranging the board for another round, he looked up at me when he sensed burning paper and shouted in horror

“what are you doing?!”

His voice was laced with concern and panic? I laughed and coughed. Bunie warned me to stop playing with fire and in that moment, he too became my Childhood Friend, for life.


For: Kayode (Sir Kassanova) Adeniji.
1994-2016
Sun re o, ore mi atata