Tag Archives: Nigeria

23Mar/16

JUMAI Episode 3

Mark looked up with weary eyes at the projector screen, the words were beginning to blur. It was early in the morning, he couldn’t be caught dozing. It wasn’t his fault though; he had been working with barely any sleep for three days. The UNICEF team came in early and were doing some ground work which meant he was doing some ground work. Today’s meeting was supposed to be the final one before everyone moved to Yobe. If it was this tough in Lagos, he was not looking forward to going to Yobe.
“I read in my report that as much as sixty people died at a point, what happened?” Kirk Helink asked.
Kirk Helink was the head of the UNICEF team and he was a lot like Dr Aderoju. He wanted results, the means as long as it was legal was none of his business.
“Mark, do you want to take this?” Dr Aderoju.
“Yes sir.” Mark said, hoping his drowsy face was not giving him away. “A few months ago after a major relief exercise, people started to get sick. We brought in several medical teams but they did not find anything wrong with the sick people. Unfortunately a lot of them died.”
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16Mar/16

Jumai Episode 2

Mark hurried up the stairs of the WAAP building. He hated being late for meetings, especially because he would get an earful from his boss. He looked at his reflection in the mirrored stairway, he liked what he saw.  Lateness wasn’t tolerated at WAAP, neither was raggedness. He straightened his tie and smiled; he looked good. He shook his head; he was admiring himself when his boss was probably typing his termination letter in his office.
He got to conference room door and stopped, took a deep breath and opened the door.
His eyes widened in surprise; the room was empty.
Was the meeting over? He checked his phone; he was just ten minutes late. He saw the ‘new mail’ icon blinking and he clicked on it. The mail was from his boss; the meeting had been postponed by two hours.
He sighed. At least now he could go over his presentation again before the meeting. He turned around and headed for his office.  As he approached his office, he saw someone standing in at his door. He could not tell who it was. Was she lost?
“Excuse me?” Mark said.
She turned around.
Jumai!
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09Mar/16

JUMAI Episode 1

Mark Ademola looked through the window of the plane as it continued its descent. The atmosphere was clear, it was going to be an uneventful end to an uneventful flight, which was good. He was back to his world, the place where he belonged.

Lagos was home; crazy and sometimes frustrating but home all the same.

He craned his neck to see if he could spot his street or his house. It was a habit he had that was yet to yield any results. Though he saw several roads and several houses, he never saw his own. Leaning back in his seat, he wondered why he kept trying; it was never going to happen.

A few minutes later the plane stopped and the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign went off.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.” The Captain announced. “The time is 9:15am…”

Mark ignored the mumbling Pilot and unfastened his seatbelt. It was crazy that he still needed to go to the office after the strenuous week he just had but that was his life. He stood from his seat and reached for the overhead cabinet. He opened it and removed his luggage.

Chop! Chop! Let’s go.

“Could you help me get my bag, please?” A rather compelling female voice called from behind him.

He looked back to see who the voice belonged to. He stopped at the sight that faced him. She looked at him with the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen.
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26Feb/16

Dear Momma #LettersOfTheHeart

Dear Momma
I saw you today, it’s been a while and though I can’t sincerely say I missed you, my life has been beautiful; my job, my school, David proposed to me.
You came over today to tell me about your new shop, you seemed very excited about it, you said it was the best you have ever had, it was big, it had basic facilities, enough parking space and it was at a strategic location for your business. It was barely 30 minutes from where I live; “now I can get to check on my baby” were the words you said.
I looked into your beautiful eyes momma, they are smaller now, duller than I remember, where’s that light I used to see in them? Your smile is thinner too. I looked at your face and all I could see staring back at me were tired eyes, thin smiles and wrinkles of a thousand worries.
I stood up to get you a drink and fix you a meal because it was all too much for me to bear, but when I stared back at you sitting on my couch, your back was a little bent momma, you looked small and tired, all broke inside me momma! How did all these years pass and I wasn’t there?
“I took a loan” you said, “oh Sara, this will be big, I can feel it, it’ll be a new life for us, I’ll be able to take care of myself, have some savings and take care of you darling”
I cried after you left momma.
I’m sorry.
All those years I watched you fight for me, you were all I had and I loved you, I wanted to protect you from the world, from the likes of my father whom I never knew. Those nights I wept because I couldn’t protect you, I watched all those men come into your life only to leave. I wanted you to see yourself as the hero I saw. You didn’t, you broke each time they left, but u loved me still.
Time passed and all that love I felt turned to anger; I was angry with you for not being all that you could be, I was ashamed of you momma. I saw you as weak and I hated it, I wanted to run away.
I moved out when I went away to college, oh momma! So long has it been since I looked at you with love. I’m sorry that you still have to be starting over, I’m sorry I turned away momma, no one taught you to love yourself or that you deserve to be cared for.
I can’t get back those years momma, but if you let me, I’ll love you the right way, let me take care of you.
Let me love you this Valentine and ever after.
Your  daughter,
Sara

14Feb/16

Dear Amanda #LettersOfTheHeart

Some people are beautiful, not in looks, not in what they say, just in what they are.

Dear Amanda,

It’s been a while I wrote you a letter, not since you made me write you letters in Yoruba. The effort put into those words is enough for a 100 letters and that’s probably why you’re just now receiving another letter from me.

I had long learned to write down words my heart really wanted to say which my lips couldn’t utter and today I share those words with you. Some of the words are in pictures and even though they are not words I wrote, I have kept them (some for over 5 years) because they expressed what was in my heart aptly at the times I saw them. They gave voice to my very deep thoughts and emotions.

Once upon a cold December morning, I saw you for maybe the 100th time; a graceful young lady who until that moment was just another girl I saw around. But that morning, something was different. You were like a diamond, glittering and catching my attention everywhere I turned. I got hooked forever. Or not.

pic1

Your beauty was simple yet ravishing, your carriage relaxed yet confident and your character gentle yet captivating. You became the dream, the mission was clear.

 

 

In retrospect, the lines below should have been my first line to you. You know I have wished severally that I could meet you for the first time all over again so I can say these words to you;

pic2

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone who’s ever fallen in love would know that expressions are really hard when you’re truly in love but I tried to express myself every way I could, sometimes the expressions were successful, at other times, they were woeful.

pic4

It was like we were in a maze; seeking to love and seeking to be loved but unable to meet those needs. I couldn’t understand why. Loving could be so simply complicated

 

 

I loved that you were different but I tried in vain to fully understand the thought pattern of women

pic5

 

 

 

 

This is the best way I could describe it. It was like I fell in love with a beautiful flower in full bloom with petals soft and tall like the Iroko tree, smelling like vanilla chocolate but was not really chocolate because it was made of flour and it wasn’t actually a flower.

Yeah, I was that confused.

The many little pretty things you did had taken up all of my heart. You say I taught you to give but I don’t know how true that is ’cause I know you are a black belt in giving. When life puts several hundred miles between us, I like that you were always ready to give me several hours of your days on end in phone conversations; that’s one of the little things that filled up my heart.

pic91

Like music stopping in the middle of a dance, the fire burned out. They say we forgot to stoke the fire. I asked how we were supposed to stoke the fire of love and there were a hundred responses but no answer.

 

We had to find our own answers. It took a while but we found our answer, and yeah baby, I chose you yesterday, I choose you today and I will choose you for the next thousand, thousand tomorrows.

pic9

 

We found our rhythym, you began to laugh like me and I could anticipate your next sigh, I knew when you were unsure and you could hear all the words I chose not to say. A steady fire had ignited in us both.

 

“Oh, I think that I’ve found myself a cheerleader
She is always right there when I need her

She gives me love and affection
Baby, did I mention
You’re the only girl for me
No, I don’t need a next one
Mama loves you too
She thinks I made the right selection
Now all that’s left to do
Is just for me to …”

(Cheerleader -Omi)

Some people are beautiful, in looks, in what they say, and in what they are. You my lover are beautiful

pic93

13Feb/16

Dear Morenike #LettersOfTheHeart

A hundred and five is the number that comes to my head when I think of all the years I wanna be with you”

That’s the songs that pops in my head whenever, wherever I set my eyes on you. I just wanna get on one knee and do it once and for all. The God-honest truth is I really dunno what I like/love about you. Maybe it’s the smile, your beauty, your sexy body; I really dunno. What exactly attracted me to you? All I know is I saw you once and I liked you. I tried to get you off my mind but I couldn’t, I was completely “love struck”. A couple of months later “bang bang bang”, you became ‘Mrs Black’ queen of my heart”.
I’ve being with a couple of girls in the short time I’ve spent in this life – good relationships in fact that I thought would lead to something great, but at the end of the day, they all left. Yours is the longest relationship I have ever been in and I definitely want more years with you.
We are always disagreeing, always making each other flare up and asking questions like “how did I even end up with you? but deep down we are sure that we are the best thing to ever happen to each other. And despite all the relationship “experiences” I’ve had; with you I’m a novice. You just make me wonder.
Baby I sure to God am hooked on you, you are my fix. I used to convince myself that I’m not the kinda guy to just “love up” and then make a lady “the beginning and the end” of my entire existence but that changed with you. You definitely make me wanna be a better person, always trying to bring out the best in me. Even if it means you have to sometimes be naughty/nasty about it.
You know I’m a man of many words always having something to say, but here I am finding it difficult to use my words appropriately to express the way I feel about you and how you make me feel. It took me three days to put this together and I still haven’t expressed myself the way I have it in my head. I honestly can’t explain how I feel or what exactly is the thing(s) I like/love about you. Baby you’re the best and “I LOVE YOU”
I started this by saying a hundred and five is number of years I wanna spend with you; we’ve just spent 2, 103 remaining which means I still have a lot of time to shower my love on you. I gave you the name “MORENIKE” for a reason. MORENIKE, ”MA DE KE E”. I know I’m very stupid and don’t always behave myself – that’s what love makes you do. So please baby bear with me.
Love you always.
Yours Truly,
Babatunde Oladapo Benjamin (DatBlacBoi).

12Feb/16

Dear Daughters #LettersOfTheHeart

A FATHERS WORDS
A(nother) letter to my Lovies
I know what you are thinking, I have written and spoken so much
“Father’s words’. Well, at my last check, it hasn’t killed you; quite
the contrary in fact; so again I write. One letter to three of you,
three letters to each of you-That you may learn lessons from and of
one another. Temi, Desola & Olaolu, I give you (yet again)…A Father’s
Words
Having three daughters is the dream. I remember when I began to moot
the idea and a lot of friends thought it weird, which normal African
man doesn’t want sons? I was lucky. Your mother liked the idea so here
we are; in hindsight, I think it is a great one. But i cannot deny, i
had real fears, how was i going to be able to raise decent young women
in a world that was fast decaying; would I be able to shield them
against the virulent pervasion that was consuming the world; looking
at three of you, I know without a doubt that God’s hands was behind it
all; Incontrovertibly so.
Temiloluwa, you are a pride of a daughter, I can’t stop thanking God
for you. Truth be told, you kind of remind me of your big Uncle Vic.
He was reputed to be everyone’s delight too. The way you organize and
marshal everything, and those awards that you always receive from
school- they really should consider changing Best Student Award to The
Temiloluwa Award. I like David too, that young man you have an eye
for. He is a good chap but I fear that while expecting him to make a
move, you unwittingly push him away. You see, good guys like David are
rare. They combine a mixture of traits that serve advantages and
disadvantages. He is confident but conservative. He is focused and
kind-hearted but most importantly he is sensitive to what you say and
do. I agree with you that he really likes you but i don’t think he
doesn’t know what he wants. You see, the little things you say and
think do not have any meaning get into his mind and make a deposit.
Last week you said what you really wanted to focus on without
distractions was building your global women’s rights group. A man like
David hears that and thinks “maybe she is not ready”. Another time you
teased him about all those his girls- Don’t be surprised he’s thinking
“maybe she just wants to be friends and not be the girl”. I once had a
female friend like that-immediately after secondary school; I liked
her a bit and was considering asking her about a relationship. But she
kept on yapping on how she wasn’t a fan of distance relationships. For
a young man heading off to university, I took that as a hint
(THANKFULLY to be honest) and left that. Years later, I learnt she was
actually expecting me to say something and I didn’t. My point is,
don’t give mixed signals. Say what you mean and mean what you say. I
know you well enough to not bother counselling you to however, not
sell yourself cheap. And if what I see in David’s eyes is what i think
it is, He will wait. And you will have each other. Just don’t make
each other waste time.
Desola, My Iron Lady. Your intolerance for foolishness combined with
the kindness of your heart makes me admire you ALWAYS. You question
anything and everything. The only thing that makes that not scary for
me is that Jesus has captured your heart from the beginning. But you
have friends I have words for. You see in my days, young people
swooned over Hollywood movies. But they made a costly assumption; they
felt Hollywood was a window to the ‘civilised’ society. It was in some
ways, but in others it really wasn’t. Hollywood was the forefront of
moral decadence in the US but they thought it was a reflection of the
general society. So they westernized their morality after the
Hollywood fashion. So much so that chastity became a thing to be
“ashamed” about. Some even took it further to suggest in their
dimension of feminism that it was a ploy to suppress women considering
that men seemed to get away with it. Even the ‘good’ girls started
wanting ‘experienced’ men on their wedding night- I wonder where they
wanted them to receive the experience from. Let your voice continue
to be loud, firm in what you believe. The discipline in waiting brews
a control for staying. Just look around at the divorce rates; see how
much emanated from infidelity. Some from my days felt they had made mistakes and made decisions- decisions which I am happy to say turned out a beautiful life for them, some others felt it didn’t matter and I guess they are fine too. They say we are old fashioned; yes we
are. But that’s only because our reason is different from theirs. They
did it for culture; even religion. We do it for dedication to our
faith. With you, I am hardly fearful; you have made a life of standing
for what you believe is right, even when you stand against the whole
world.  Boss Lady, Your Father salutes you!
Olauluwa my baby! Growing up the child of public figures cannot be
easy and I know it. Being Temi and Desola’s sister probably doesn’t
help; for many this could be an unbearable pressure but not my baby!
You keep slaying left right and centre. I have a concern though. I
fear that you do what is ‘proper’. You do things you think we like. We actually do like them but My darling, you are too young to
make heavy sacrifices for your family. You remind me of a character in
a popular movie in my childhood- The Lion King. The princess got to a
point where she had to ask “If there is so much I must be, Can i still
just be me, the way I am? Can i trust in my own heart or am i just one
part of some big plan?” Well, Olaoluwapemi Farra Amina, daughter of Adekunle. I
tell you today, no plan of anyone- not mine, not your mother’s, not
your sisters can/should supersede your own personal plans. Spread your
wings Sugar, Fly and Soar. Do exactly what you want so far you have
considered it well and reckon it to be right. You can be assured that
in your daddy you will find a smile of love, a twinkle of approval and
a wink of affection.

It will be Valentine’s in a few days. I wrote this letter and planned
that you would read it just before your mother and I return from our
outing. We have news. The Lord has done it! Actually more like The
Lord-Featuring Your Mum and I. You are (finally) getting a baby
Brother!
Love you all, Lovies. Really Really do.

06Feb/16

DEAR FRIENDZONED LADY #LETTERSOFTHEHEART

Dear Lady,

The emotions that flow between us is great when it concerns the matter of the heart. I’m always there for you through thick and thin, rain and sunshine, night and day, bad days and ’em legendary bad days.

I pride in the attention given to me, the comfort-ability you enjoy with me, the sincerity, the hidden emotions, the genuine laughter and rants, the movie outings, the dinner hangouts……but then you also enjoy the moments. Them oshofree things.

Now things seem to be going well and you expect me to pull the trigger of proposal but the bomb of “we are just friends” drops. It drops in a subtle way, with the effect not being too harsh or you feeling too bad or bitter.

Withdrawal from me will be so damning. Getting closer is a no go area too, maintaining the friendship tempo becomes a great deal. Then me, #YorubaDemon  *evil grin* gets closer, makes you feel comfortable, gets you to the other side of trust again. But then the unexpected happens. You fall in love with another guy. You start to assess and compare but I encourage you to go for it. And I pull back.

Here’s the beauty and joy of the whole process; you were never lonely. You were happy. I kept you looking radiant.

That’s my joy as a friendzoner.

Remember to say this PRAYER for me:

“Cheerful giver of love, bae of the baeless, boo of the booless, locate me and turn my life around till I meet that FRIENDZONED girl who will capture my heart so I can finally channel all these love to her.”

Regards.

Tobbie

05Feb/16

DEAR DAUGHTER IN-LOVE #LETTERSOFTHEHEART

A letter to my son’s wife on her wedding day.

My beautiful daughter,

I am so blessed to receive you into our home. Since before my son was born, I dreamed of the lady who would one day win his heart and be the mother of his children. You are an answer to my many many prayers. During my childbearing years, I always longed to have a daughter, however, God blessed our home with three wonderful sons. Your coming into our home is my long-awaited answer to that prayer.

I want you to know that we love and respect you. When we give you our son today, we will not take him back. He is yours and yours for life. Our family doesn’t believe in divorce nor will we ever support the break up of your home, regardless of the cause. We will not interfere in the affairs of your home, however, we will always be available should you need guidance or a sounding board.

By the Grace of God, we believe that we raised our son to be a good husband and father. We trained him to always respect women and to be a Godly example. Should he misbehave in any way, know that you can come to us and we will be happy to set him straight, without taking sides. We are committed to the success of your home. While we avail ourselves to you, please know that the truest source of strength and wisdom that you need as a wife is found only in God. I urge you to develop your relationship with Him further and seek Him for daily guidance. The power of prayer cannot be overemphasized.

I learned a lot from my Mother in Love and have a very good relationship with her. I sincerely hope that with time, you will grow to love me like I love her and that we will have a beautiful relationship.

Please take good care of my son. He is now your responsibility and no longer mine. He is a gentle and caring soul and needs to be handled with care. If you need any tips on how to get through to him, I’m always available to share with you all that I know.

He will love you more than he loves me and I’m ready to accept that. I want to see him further develop into the great man that he is called to be. Please be faithful to him, protect his heart and give him all of your love. He has been mine for so many years. I have done my best as a mother to raise him, but today, I hand him over to you. He is now yours to love, cherish, nurture and protect. He is the best gift I have to give. He is the product of my life’s work and prayers. May God grant you wisdom to cherish him, even more than his father and I have.

God bless you as you start this new journey, one that will last a lifetime. Congratulations on your marriage and may you experience all of the joys that come with marrying the love of your life.

With love and sincerity,

Laurie Idahosa

Your husband’s mother

@IdahosaLaurie

www.laurieidahosa.com