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”.



 

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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?

Transitioning to Natchee

We live life in phases, after we die our lived lives will consist of our past, present and future. Life is a moving, breathing, feeling thing. Life goes on and on, up and down, back and forth, dips in and comes back out. Life is for living. Life is ALIVE like MR NIGER D! Shout out to you if your name is Uchendu, Ndubuisi, Ndubeze, Nduka or Adindu.

I am transitioning from relaxer to natural hair. Yay me. I know you are familiar with The Natural Hair Movement, oh yes, it is a movement. A whole book (Americanah) was written about it by the mighty Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, that’s how I know you know about it. I call it The Natural Hair Evangelical Movement because of how fervently (expertly and effectively) the gospel of growing and taking care of your hair the way it grows out from your scalp, as a woman of African ancestry, is being spread across all media. Individuals and Big Corporations have even made millions of USDollars from this evangelical movement, as expected of all evangelical movements in our capitalist world. The reason I am “going natural” as they say, is because it makes sense to me to want to nurture my own hair, however stubborn it may be. As you can see, I am drinking serious doses of self-love syrup these days.

I haven’t written in a while, it is because I am currently practicing how to transition from always thinking and writing about the negatives to a healthy balance of always thinking and writing about both the negatives and positives. I found myself becoming a Polemicist and that is not the style I envision for myself so I took a break from blogging to regroup, I apologize.

I am writing about myself, I hardly write about myself o. Lucky you.
The thing about not writing about myself on this blog, it’s not that I haven’t ever written about myself but that when I write on this blog, I am always talking to you my reader. Now, the voice and language I use to talk to my school teachers is different from the voice I use to talk to my friends, which is also different from the voice I use when I’m talking to my siblings, which is also different from the voice I use when I am talking to my parents. This last voice even has its own variations. Why am I telling you all about the intricacies of Jayjeystic’s Soundscape? Well, I am happy to announce that I am transitioning to natchee voice and language on the blog! At least I am considering it. Don’t worry I won’t tamper with the quality of the content, but get ready to meet Ijeoma: She is full of ideas and opinions, wild at heart and carries around a wide imagination in her head.


Natchee – something my friend Dr C. used to call females with natural hair, it means “Natural”.

MR NIGER D – an acronym from Integrated Science class, I met it again in Biology. Please if you remember MR NIGER D, leave a comment telling us what the letters stand for.

Uchendu – Igbo (n): Thoughts of life.

Ndubuisi – Igbo (n): Life is the most important.

Ndubeze – Igbo (n): Life is paramount.

Nduka – Igbo (n): Life is the greatest.

Adindu – Igbo (n): I am alive.

Diary – IJEOMA W.

Ijeoma shares a story of her family, values, and how she has incorporated higher education as self development in her life’s journey with online learning tools.

4TH MAY 2017, 12:31 AM

Learning is infinite in my family. We go to school, rest small, and then go back to school.

My mommy once said to me “You know in this family we are not traders or “business people”, what we do is book, so please read.” Both my parents have at different points in their lives studied for six degrees (combined), including professional certificate examinations. I have known about online education for a hot while now, at a point when I was in secondary school the dinning table in my house was practically a satellite university campus because my daddy was taking a Master’s degree program from a foreign university via the internet. Last year my Uncle Roman Oseghale graduated from the prestigious Telfer School of Management and Centre for Executive Leadership, University of Ottawa, Canada and last week he was the 8th speaker at The Platform. Essentially, “Book” is central to who I am becoming because my role models figuratively said so.

I took my first online course before I turned 18. The thing about having access and privilege is that if you don’t use it, it would have been a waste. On a rather uneventful day in my dorm room (shouts out to Manuwa Hall, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus), I had the opportunity of stumbling upon this website called COURSERA DOT ORG and I became very interested in learning what I was being taught in the classroom by myself, at least the courses I could find, so I started taking online courses that mirrored what my lecturers were teaching me in the classroom.

Part of it I will attribute to sheer curiosity. Coursera offered courses from Universities I could only dream about at the time, the first one I chose (and completed) was by Duke University, my friend Sanmi Oyenuga was studying Engineering there, I wanted to know what being a student at Duke felt like so I stayed up all night, having physically attended lectures during the day, learning and watching all these free lecture videos on my HP laptop with reliable internet courtesy of the “Lionet @ Manuwa” router that was conveniently mounted very close to the Mango tree whose leaves I could pluck if I put my hand through the pigeonhole in front of my room. The WiFi was strongest at night (back when Lionet was still Lionet, oh the sweet memories).

The internet has been good to me. So far, I have expanded my knowledge base and I am open to learning more about the world around me. I have started this free Bioethics course by Harvard University on edX.org today. It started in April, slated to end in October. I hope I finish it within the stipulated 7 weeks at a personal pace of 2 to 3 hours of study per week. Where I’m from, they measure accomplishments based on how much “Book” you know and how many lives you use your knowledge of “Book” to change for the better. I figured, I have unlimited internet data and I want to be successful in my village so why not take a course? On the 25th of April I watched a movie: “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, based on a book of same name credited to the incredible medical investigative journalist, Rebecca Skloot, two days ago my Americanah friend Ayi Daniels reminded me of the uproar that is Roe vs Wade and today I signed up for Professor Cohen and the team at HarvardX to school me on Medical Ethics, a course my lecturers have previously taught me in class, just because life is all about patterns, haha.

Thanks for reading to the end, buy yourself a bottle of Fanta!


Originally Posted On Facebook.

Diary – PAUL Amayo

 Introducing Diary; Paul Amayo talks about his lived experience and stumbling upon inspiration from God through the Bible and Priming a faulty pumping  machine.

19 APRIL 2017, 12:55 AM

I learnt something new today, it is called Priming.
So, I moved into this new place last December, I have a family of three living right above me and a single man just beside me. I like to keep to myself, a lot. I never really interact with them but I do take notice of behavioural patterns, the kids play from dusk till dawn and they seem never to tire. The other single man living behind me strikes me as a retired military personnel because of his physique and he’s always up to something: fixing his gen, his door, anything really. Living in Nigeria where there’s no constant power supply, we always have to be alert when it comes to pumping water so we have enough to use daily and he makes it a point of duty to always be the first to reach the pumping machine when power comes on. Every now and then, I try to make sure I get to the pumping machine before he does, just to show that I also care about everyone. For me, it isn’t a difficult job, it is basically  turning on a switch and walking away and remembering that when the tank gets full it starts to overflow, I walk back, turn it off, and that’s it, my job is done and I’m a good neighbour! I never thought there was anything more to pumping water than that. I mean think of it, what else could there be? The pumping machine does it’s job when prompted, right? So today my neighbor at the back (military personnel) called me to inform me that he was traveling and seeing as everyone else had traveled for the Easter holidays, it had just been us both in the compound for the past 2 days. He told me that I shouldn’t forget to pump water and then he added that the pumping machine wasn’t working properly because the water down under had dried up a little and the machine needed a little help. I’d have to prime it as he had been doing for the past few weeks, without my knowledge. I’d have to take a bowl of water and pour in down a pipe somewhere in the machine and that aids the pressure problem, the water goes down the hidden pipe and helps the machine to pump normally.  This new found knowledge really got me thinking, how many of us are desperately​ in need of some priming? Maybe not us, but how about those around us? How often do we say:
“She’s a strong girl!”
OR

“He’s surely doing okay and he probably doesn’t even need my help.”

Priming.
Galatians chapter 6 verse 2 says “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.” We are to prime others! Be a shoulder to lean on, even for the seemingly strong. Be there for those who never seem like they need anyone. Care for the caregivers amongst us. You never know who needs you to keep on functioning.
Gotta go now, the tank is full and overflowing. Stay primed up!!!


Sexy Jesus Freak

What makes us higher animals? Our ability to think of solutions, our ability to reason the way we do and our ability to work in teams+communicate our ideas with each other in sophisticated ways e.g various art forms. In other words, our ability to have conversations that lead to development, our inquisitive nature, and our powerful brains separate us from other vertebrates/mammals.

Yesterday me and my darling friend whose future children will call me nothing but “Mommy Ijey” each sat on both ends of our phones for three hours, talking about this and that. The topic of sexual purity and what it means (or what it should mean) for us young ‘Jesus Freaks’ came up. We concluded that:

Number one: It is a privilege to maintain your sexual purity (as follow come) from the get go, because so many people never had a chance to make that choice due to the inhumane hostility of the environment(s) they found themselves in, so we generally need to quiet down about being sexually pure and basically cut off the noses we tend to turn up at our “sexually impure” brothers and sisters- also what’s it with those shaming exercises carried out in places of worship anyway? I mean those “you had sex and we found out so come out and stand before the congregation, let everybody stare at you with judgement in their eyes” shaming exercises. They need to go.

Number two: That we Jesus Freaks need to stop treating this issue of sexual purity as if it is solely by our power and might that we stay pure and we need to start handing it over to the appropriate authority (Holy Spirit). We are taught to pray about every other area of daily life except the part that has to do with ‘go forth and multiply’. A lot of us have felt the pressure and strain associated with keeping it locked down until marriage and this shouldn’t be so, we agreed that it is not supposed to be so. If you are praying “God help me pass my exams”, don’t hesitate to add “God help me maintain sexual purity”, the Holy Spirit will not say “eww”, I promise. You shouldn’t have to do it on your own when you have Holy Spirit to help you.

Number three: That within our pristine Jesus Freak circles, we have managed to make Sex the biggest elephant that can ever fit into a room. Enough conversations are simply not being had about sex! Jesus Freaks are dying of curiosity meanwhile we are all living, breathing, walking proof of sex happening at some point in history, oh the irony. So we should start talking and asking questions and making this discussion the rule as opposed to the exception, in godly settings of course.

Number four: That sex is neither a bad thing nor an abnormal thing. It is a good thing and it is normal. Simple. Very important: you are not keeping yourself for your future husband or wife but for God. Jesus Freaks of the masculine gender need to desist from making it a topic of amusement and or self/ego aggrandizement, don’t be tempted to conflate sexual purity in this spiritual context, with the machinations with which patriarchy uses to hold women down. Tah! don’t do it!

Number five: That it is possible, Jesus Freaks of the feminine gender, to maintain sexual purity and not gloat/feel superior about it. On the last day nobody will be handing out trophies for “keeping yourself holy”. If you decide to honour God with your sexuality, do just that and keep it moving, you are honouring God and not man/religious leaders. The kingdom of God has other mandates and sex should not be made into an idol, besides babies are very expensive and STDs/STIs are disastrous.

The End.


Jesus Freaks = young people burning for Jesus/following Christ.

Back To Class

I have to get up for Class today.

PAUL K. AMAYO

These days, I wake up very early every morning, wondering where I missed it, if I missed it. How I missed it, why I missed it. What did I do that I shouldn’t have done, what can I do that should have been done. I buffer through each day, never truly feeling like I lived. I had a dream, have a dream. A plan and a time frame but somehow, I think I missed it. Or haven’t I? Year after year, the resilience I show can be commendable but it ends, thus far, the same way, with Hope.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hope! I love to hope and I pray we all have the right amount of Hope. That’s it, the right amount of Hope because too much can be bad….right? Well I dunno because Romans 4 vs 18 clearly says “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became…” So still, I wonder,  is this how it’s meant to be? Am I still strong enough to weather these storms or have I misinterpreted the message. Did I follow passion over purpose or are they fused together as they should be, working hand in hand for that Glorious Destiny?

I heard a great man say journey to any destination, not the arrival, is where the value lies so could it be that this journey, tough, surprising, often times difficult, is rich in value? I don’t know, really I don’t. The experiences have been crazy and trust me, passion hasn’t always been enough motivation to keep going. Sometimes the reason we continue is because we’ve simply given too much and now we feel we’re owed and deserve something. But I have heard heart breaking life stories. It doesn’t always happen that way.

The rules are different for every player.  It is fair to some, it is inhumane to others and downright indifferent to the rest. It surely surely hasn’t been fair to me, I must say, but who cares?  I don’t! So at the gym the other day I had my now so normal and frequent conversation with myself, the inner man, the Spirit of God residing in me. The harder the force of resistance you pull against,  the stronger you’re meant to become. A 50 KG lifting guy cannot expect to match the 100 KG lifting guy’s punch. They may have the same physical appearance but the structure of the inner muscles have been altered by their experiences.

Their experiences. I remember my Primary 4 class teacher always used to say that experience was the best teacher, he never told me that the classes were forced on us every minute of every day. He never even told me where his office was. I want to see him, Mr Experience, I think I’d like to drop the class. I think I’ve learnt enough. Can I see my score now? It should be high, very high, at least my friends think so. Then again, I think experience, yes, experience taught me that only the examiner can determine your score. Not your friends or family, just the examiner.

So my friends may think “Great Job Man” and the examiner says “Just A Little More” and that is what it is; Just a little more. I wish I learnt how to quit or give up when I was forming habits, I wish someone taught me that.  Sadly, no one did so now I’m this tired person that can’t quit. Maybe I should hope against all Hope and become, like my father, Abraham. Just maybe.  Maybe I should switch before it’s too late, or just maybe the horizon, the new horizon is up ahead, just a little more.

Waiting is a very hard place, and more so if you are not sure of what you are waiting for.

– Paul Amayo 2016

I have so many questions but Experience never answers; it teaches, silently, taking you through each lesson and hoping you don’t ever have to repeat that class because unlike Algebra, you will need each lesson very soon. I have to get up for Class today. I hope I find my rainbow, I hope I smile. I hope it’s a good day in Class. I’m still here, still waiting and wondering, never quitting.


Paul is back to grace the blog with his wisdom on it’s 3rd anniversary.

Thank you very much Paul for being the biggest contributor to this blog thus far and for making the world a better place by using your different talents to inspire us. Never forget, Impossible is Nothing. Keep changing lives.
Your Partner in Blog affairs,
J.

Fruit of The Testicle

Aanu had been pregnant before Femi and she made sure he was aware of this fact before going to the altar with him.

They have been married for 5 years and they are yet to give birth to a child.

Aanu read English language at the University of Abuja and graduated with honours. Her goal is to start a Nursery in her neighbourhood in the near future. Her husband Femi has a post-graduate degree in Engineering.  Aanu is from a privileged background and Femi was raised by his rich uncles and aunts. They worship in a popular Pentecostal church in Lagos near where they live. They are Shareholders in several multinationals, they own two cars, Landed property in Femi’s village, and a block of flats on the outskirts of  Lagos with very good tenants that pay them rent on time.

Lately their marriage has been sad and gloomy. It wasn’t always like this.

When they got married in 2011, they were so in love that their close friends and family members could not stop tapping into their marital bliss. Theirs was a story of a match made in heaven. They met at a Bridal shop in Allen Avenue Ikeja. Aanu was shopping for a pair of Silver sandals for her Parent’s 25th Wedding Anniversary and Femi was visiting his cousin Ire at work- Ire owns the shop. He helped her pick the right pair of shoes and he earned himself an invitation to the party. Aanu says it was love at first sight while Ire swears that She is Cupid.

They performed all the medical tests recommended to them by friends and foes before tying the nuptial knot and all their Doctors’ had pronounced them medically compatible.

Last week when Aanu stumbled upon a Comment left by her husband Femi on a popular American Gospel Singer’s Youtube channel, she felt very offended. He had written on a thread of Prayer Requests and he got 55 Likes and 30 Replies from well meaning Believers all around the World.

FEMI P. 6 days ago (edited)
Please pray for my wife to be blessed with the fruit of the womb, we’ve been married for five years and no issue.

Aanu had been pregnant before Femi and she made sure he was aware of this fact before going to the altar with him. He knew all there was to know about her past and he even said he loved her despite it. She also knew his life story so well that she could recite it on command. At least that was what she thought. The Youtube comment sowed a seed of anger and untold frustrations which brought some questions to the forefront of her mind;

1. Was Femi already fathering children elsewhere that he put the blame on her womb?
2. Was he saying that the burden of reproduction lay on her and her alone?
3. Were they no longer in this together?
4. What were her options Post-Femi?
5. Was he, God forbid, saying that her womb could not bear fruits because of her history?

Aanu needed answers. Losing sleep about the situation she decided that the best thing to do was to confront her husband about his Youtube comment.

“AANU C’MON DON’T BE CHILDISH!!! SINCE WHEN DID YOU START POLICING ME ON THE INTERNET? AND IF IT IS MAKING YOU SO ANGRY, THEN MAYBE IT IS TIME FOR US TO DO A FERTILITY TEST! THIS IS CRAZY, I DID NOT EXPECT THIS FROM YOU!” Femi was tired of her passive-aggressiveness anyway, besides, all he was trying to do was to be a good Christian husband to Aanu and she paid back by throwing baseless allegations of adultery and insubordination at him. Aanu was ungrateful, he saw that now. He had had to answer nosy family friends, neighbours and even defend her in front of relatives for five good years when they threw shade at his wife for not giving him a child and this was how she showed her appreciation. He picked up his phone and called their Doctor to schedule an appointment.

Femi was diagnosed with Idiopathic infertility after several scientific and non-scientific methods were used to evaluate him.

Aanu insisted he edit his Youtube comment to “Fruit of The Testicle”, She later forgave him after he apologized for causing their childlessness while being so ignorant about the effect his words had on her. Femi deleted the comment altogether. They decided to start the Nursery earlier than they had planned to because Femi admitted to her that he saw how excited she got when she held other people’s babies: the day he wrote the comment was the day her younger sister Toluwani came visiting with her own toddler. He really just wanted his wife to be happy and somehow, the Christian society he grew up in puts the responsibility of procreation on the woman alone that they even have special Prayer requests and Miracle healing sessions tagged Fruit of the Womb within the Church.

The End.

 

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.