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Category Archives: Memoirs

Natural Hair Karma!

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I haven’t written a memoir in a while.

I’ll be the first to admit that. Well I got married (stale gist) and a lot of well meaning people were fast to point out that MizChutzpah would have to put a lid on her memoirs since no well meaning married woman should ever be caught talking about her personal life on social media!

Well I’m not sure they were referring to tales about my unruly hair oh cos if they were- biko thou judge and jury no vex, but this tale must be told!

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You already know my hair is one kain, read here if you have forgotten: this my hair sef

Anyway thanks to relaxers and good weaves I had been managing my hair jejerly and a lot of people even gave me pretty nice compliments because the hair upon all its shakara cleans up real nice on good hair days! And then the advent of the natural hair journey movement changed my life!
I’ll admit that in the early days I was like lailai ti lailai, I am team relaxer for life (who doesn’t like sleek straight oyinbo looking hair?) and the way some of the girls were wearing the hair like class captain badge sef and not even packing it properly just put me off.

Then came the fights on social media, name calling and what not became the order of the day. The naturalistas trying to make everyone feel like they betrayed their forefathers simply because they put relaxer in their hair! I would just sip my tea like Kermit and buy my Dr. Miracle while enjoying the debate on Bellanaija! I couldn’t imagine having to struggle with a comb every single day for the rest of my adult life. I had it all figured out truly until I stumbled into this whole no relaxer movement pretty much by accident!

I had bought my relaxer (it’s still sitting on my drawer) but couldn’t find the time to go to the salon (not a DIY freak abeg). After I was forced to remove my weave (when hubby is almost going to kick you out of the bed because the weave is starting to smell), I contemplated what to do with the dew hair. One morning I packed it to work as best as I could, hoping I’d breeze in and breeze out before anyone really took notice though truth be told for some reason I was feeling myself that day (the hair was fine sha) and got some natural hair compliments (odd) though one babe told me to go and relax the hair sharply. Anyway I kept putting it off till it became a thing somewhat (thanks to wigs, they are the real MVP).

Fast forward a couple of months and there I was, bored on a Saturday night in March 2016 and watching youtube videos when I stumbled on a DIY big chop video (shey I told you I wasn’t a DIY person). Anyway my hands got all itchy and I knew I was about to do something stupid, I left hubby in the sitting room and like a naughty child went in to play with my toys (toys being a sharp pair of scissors, my hair being led like a sheep to the slaughter and my mirror) and chop, chop, chop I went, feeling like Edward Scissorshands and somehow deriving some morbid satisfaction from seeing my hair fall to the ground. I walked quietly to the sitting room to confess my sins and reverend father was not pleased! His first reaction was a horrified expression while he was gathering the memento to utter his first words. Feeling cocky I gave him the scissors to finish the job since the middle of my hair looked like a rat had had a field day there. Being the supportive man he is, he quietly added barber to his cv and tried not to say the words he so badly wanted to say. I wore a hair band to church the next morning and I absolutely hated my hair. I won’t lie I sat on the toilet seat after church and cried my eyes out till it was time to make lunch. Nothing eats at your self-confidence like having hair that can’t pack!

Fast forward a couple of months, a million trial and errors and endless wigs not to mention the fortune spent on hair products half of which I couldn’t or wouldn’t use and my hair and its hunger for hair products had become a standing joke in the house. The hair had grown to a point where it could be joined with plenty attachment to make a base for weaves and I was living my life almost the same way as before the big chop (team weaves and braids), to me it was not a movement, I had nothing to prove. I wanted to feel beautiful and whatever helped me achieve that was my business alone! I’d like to give a shout out at this point to closures, whoever invented them should just come and collect her award because my hair was too short and natchy to peek out from a weave so that really wasn’t an option! Anyway since I was playing for both teams, I knew one day karma would catch up with me (it kuku has and I didn’t die so I shall continue this hair bigamy unrepentantly forever)!

About the karma incidence…

It was my birthday and I needed to renew my passport. The day before, I had put my hair in twists so that it would have a nice curl by the morning (thanks to youtube I had become a natural hair stylist guru of sorts plus the hair had grown plenty oh). Unfortunately my forestry reserve of hair was having the birthday blues and refused to be tamed so I put a hair band around it and left it looking the way natural hair looks when we don’t comb it (it’s still a style) and feeling the urban chic, I waltzed on cloud 9 to the immigration office. There was a short queue for the data capture and the woman in front of me caused quite a scene with her gorimapa ‘Amber Rose’ inspired blonde hair/head and when they refused to take her pic with her head looking like that, she had to beg random strangers for their wigs till an older woman obliged. If you have never borrowed a stranger’s wig, without a mirror or comb and had your picture taken the very next second for a passport that you would have for 5 years and a pic that would contribute to your luck at the visa office, then you cannot fully understand this woman’s ill-fortune. People found it so ludicrous they could barely contain their mirth. I won’t lie, I probably chuckled a little bit because really what if the wig had lice? (Mi o wa ku). Anyway that’s how it was my turn oh and I got up feeling fly and sat at the photo booth only to hear the worst words ever said to me: “Madam hoff ya scarf, no scarf fo pazzpot”. First of all WTF, second it’s a hair band, third WTF….sigh….why me? On my birthday of all days? How would I explain this cave woman passport photo? Anyway I could see from the impatient look in the man’s eyes that he wasn’t joking and he couldn’t be bought or swayed so I jejerly ‘hoff’ the thing and allowed my wild mane go free. I couldn’t even get myself to look at the picture on the screen. I looked like ‘I woke up like this’ but not flawless like Beyonce, more like the ‘I didn’t comb my hair before bed taadaa’ kinda look. #villageheadmaster #rugged #africangeh #villagebelle. I probably died a thousand times (the kind of death that your yeye lungs continue to collect air like they cannot sense the dire situation).

Anyway please don’t ask to see my passport and if you work in a visa office and happen to come across a hair with a face , I would like to just put it out there that I wasn’t trying to make a statement, the hair just refused to behave that day…here’s a toast to the next 5 years rocking my fro in my international passport! #karmaisunkind

Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,
And next time you think you are having a bad day, look at your well coiffed hair in your passport photograph and thank Jesus!
xoxo
πŸ™‚

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Memoirs

 

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The City called Chaos!

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Valentine’s day has come and gone and while many remember fondly the day and it’s sweet memories, others are glad it’s in the past. I spent the weekend attending a friend’s wedding in the ancient city of Ibadan and I must say those hilarious memes about Ibadan peeps don’t even tell half the story. πŸ˜‰

Driving into the town, we were in awe of the okada men who drove their rickety bikes like they were Harley-Davidsons giving motorists a heart attack every time they pulled a stunt. I couldn’t help blessing Fashola and Oshiomole for curbing this menace in the metropolitan areas of their respective states. We checked into a hotel in Bodija supposedly one of the good ones and we were welcomed by a rude receptionist who’d probably just realized she was the side chick judging by her surly demeanor. It was Valentine’s day and the six of us checked into three rooms on the same floor eagerly anticipating the rest of the evening. We had a good laugh about all the people wearing red or a touch of red, from the vulcanizer to the bus conductor and the bride and groom had not been left out, their engagement colours being red and gold.

The men had threatened to burst our romantic bubble by announcing that they were going for the groom’s bachelor’s eve party that night with none of their wives in tow. We begged, cajoled, threatened and cried but all our pleas fell on deaf ears. The men imagined scenes from ‘Hangover’ and ‘Last Vegas’ and were not gonna fall for anything we were saying. When we realized they weren’t budging we revolted and announced we were gonna have a ladies’ night, wear our sexiest and paint the town red without our significant others. Alas we forgot we were a long way from home. The first disaster was the absence of running water in the entire hotel. We couldn’t take our baths or flush the toilets, it was absolutely ludicrous. The staff ended up fetching buckets of water for us to our consternation. Then in a bid to cheer us up, one of the bell boys announced that the hotel had Val presents for every room and so we trooped downstairs to claim our pressies. The side chick receptionist looked mildly surprised and then crestfallen when she reluctantly handed us the gifts, I guess she was hoping she would end up with one of them at the end of her shift. Well if she had been nicer I would have given up my ‘hamper’. The so-called hamper consisted of some sweets, onion crackers, nasco biscuit, an artificial rose and a bottle of cheap vodka but like they say it’s the thought that counts and these people needed us thinking sweet thoughts since they hadn’t fixed the water problem!

The guys decided to accompany us to shoprite. I think they were either worried about the hot dresses their wives were wearing or the fact that our itinerary included a movie at shoprite, dinner at a Chinese restaurant, suya, liquor and shaking our ukwu at any club we found before midnight! Anyway as far as they were concerned Ibadan was unsafe and they needed to keep us safe. I was still scoffing at that concept when we noticed that the women in the car in front of us were being robbed. Seriously what do you do when you notice that sort of activity in the car in front of you? There were no cops on the road and the taxi had no plate number. My friend tried to be a hero and was trailing the car but the driver noticed us and increased his speed along with some dangerous swerves and soon we realized we had not only lost them but we were lost as well.

We eventually got to shoprite and I experienced shoprite Ibadan for the first time in history. I think I actually feel safer in the market on Lagos Island than I ever did throughout my time there. There were thousands of people running against you and basically doing nothing. I could only imagine the pilfering rate, the security was obviously swamped. Seriously tho’ why would there be that many people at shoprite on Valentine’s day not doing anything? Did dudes take chicks to shoprite for dates? #eternallyconfused
My wallet was securely wedged between my arm and chest throughout. The guys were thoroughly frazzled and begged us to just buy suya in addition to the party favors we got from shoprite and have a quiet bridal shower at the hotel. We finally agreed after they promised to take us out somewhere romantic the next evening and after they showed us the way to the suya they left us to our fate.

The rest of the night was an angry blur (more like a bleh). We made the mistake of going to options 24-7 to buy suya and the other half of the population of Ibadan were there. It took us two hours and four reorders to finally get our soggy, onion-less suya, throw in two guys – one obviously having a mid-life crisis and the other still trying to find himself who were both hoping to get lucky and then the female police woman patrolling the road at night not to mention almost getting lost and we were back at the hotel too tired to have the crazy party we had planned. The men were just leaving for the bach eve and the hotel manager announced that my friend K and her hubby were the lucky winners of a romantic dinner for two in the hotel lobby (rolling my eyes), maybe the dining room was fully booked but the table for two at the lobby was anything but romantic and my friend’s hubby announced he was on his way out and that was the end of that story (I wonder what was on the menu πŸ˜‰ )

The next day was beautiful, the wedding was a gorgeous one and we had a splendid time. After it we decided to watch Kevin Hart’s new movie “About last night“.

It would have been a great movie if my hubby hadn’t dozed off ten minutes into the movie. The Ibadan cinema was hot, noisy and shabby but they had a gregarious audience and their comments added to the excitement (p.s if you are one of those people who like quiet cinemas DO NOT go here). That night I didn’t sleep a wink. I spent the night vomiting and stooling and by morning I felt like the walking dead. Everybody blamed the Chinese I had at the wedding. It was Ibadan’s way of saying ‘I am glad you came, do visit us again…’ (evil laugh)

I jejerly bought imodium and kissed the rustic city goodbye…
How was your weekend? I know mine sounds like it was the weekend from hell but despite being stuck in the city called chaos, I had mad fun! πŸ˜‰

There was a poll on the website asking readers if they thought Valentine’s day was overrated and majority (57%) felt it was overrated. I actually agree with the majority simply because I have learnt not to put too much pressure on myself or my loved ones. Too many of us have made val’s day about the gifts instead of the emotion behind the gestures. I had an awesome time because I was surrounded by friends and family (even though I almost died). It’s never too late to make the person you love feel special, don’t wait till February 14th next year to do it.

Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,
(writing posts for y’all to read is really therapeutic, do drop a comment so I know you are there…)

Xxx

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Life, Memoirs

 

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Eggs on the run!

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What do Mondays and burnt toast have in common? Actually nothing unless you are Miz Chutzpah and this happens to be the craziest Monday morning you’ve had in ages or how else would you explain what happened to me this morning?

Here goes…

I woke up in time this morning, thankfully I said my morning prayers or heaven forbid, my morning could have been much worse. I was about to jump into the bathroom at a quarter to 7 when I remembered that hubby had a big day this morning and it’d be nice to make him some breakfast from scratch instead of warming leftovers. So armed with superwoman strength, I dashed to the kitchen, ditching my towel on the way and decided to make my special mayonnaise toasted egg sandwiches for him. I figured I could make them in ten minutes max and still get out of the house on time.

My sister in law had bought us Shoprite bread from Lagos the evening before and with glee I ignored the Benin-bought sliced bread on my kitchen table and began to cut nice, thick slices of bread for my sandwiches. One minute later, disaster struck. I broke the first egg onto the first slice of bread and it stayed put, tried repeating it with the second slice and the whole egg slithered off like it had somewhere else it had to be in a hurry. There I was struggling to catch runny eggs with my bare hands and seconds later I sighed at the futility of my actions and decided I’d let that egg go. I noticed the bread wasn’t evenly sliced hence the getaway egg saga and turned it to a more advantageous position (P.S: Always use already sliced bread when making sandwiches in a toaster).Β The new position only worked a little cos I still saw half the egg drip onto my already messed up kitchen table. Ignoring it and getting slightly irritated, I proceeded to put the second slices of bread over the egg clad bread and close the toaster and OMG the silly thing wouldn’t budge, much less close! Obviously the width of the bread was far beyond the capacity of the toaster but I wasn’t about to give up! I hoisted all @/$#@ kilograms of me unto the toaster determined to make it close by fire by force and then I heard two sounds. A big ole crack (groannnnn) as my trusty toaster split on the side and a deep chuckle as my hubby who had been quietly watching the whole drama burst into fits of laughter (Damn I didn’t know he was there!).

I was soooooo embarrassed….sooooo frustrated…..and wait for it…..so pissed!!! (Arrrrghhhh). Hubby asked me to calm down and go take a bath that he’d save the situation #supermantinz this was after helping me to close the already cracked toaster and put it on. I muttered something unintelligible and proceeded to leave the kitchen when I had another brainwave. The kitchen table was messy with eggs all over the place and I wanted it cleaned up cos I didn’t wanna come out of the bathroom smelling fresh and then have to clean up the mess. And so I attempted to clear the table and as I picked up a knife by holding the blade I howled in agony! The kitchen table had shocked me. My hubby quickly switched off the toaster and asked me to just go and take a shower #straightfacesmiley. I felt like such a klutz.Β I left the kitchen visibly angry with myself and then spotted the dining table where I had hurriedly left the rest of the shoprite bread outside its bag, I carried the bread gingerly to the kitchen to avoid littering my floor with crumbs and hubby glanced at me curiously wondering what was next. I stood by the dustbin and verrrry gingerly put the rest of the bread back into its bag and the f**king bag gave way!!! Hubby picked up the bread silently from the floor and with unshed tears blurring my vision, I ran as fast as I could to the bathroom.

This was a classic case of Murphy’s law- ‘whatever could go wrong would go wrong’. I was soooo pissed and cursed Murphy in all the languages my angry head could muster. What a great way to start a Monday….

As I sit in my office munching on burnt toast (don’t ask), I can’t but smile at the misadventures I had this morning. Thankfully the rest of my morning has been uneventful. Speaking of thanks, the bible says; ‘In all things and for all things, give thanks!’. It’s a bit difficult to give thanks when all the ill-fated dudes on the planet have conspired to drive you crazy but there’s always a reason to be thankful. I am thankful I didn’t get shocked to death- that’s as much thankfulness as I can manage at this point, but being thankful in all things is a learned behaviour and I’m learning. It’s our human default setting to complain or grumble when things don’t go as planned. ButΒ todayΒ I charge you to be thankful even when Murphy is in the building and your eggs are on the run!!!Β I cannot guarantee that your week will be problem free but I can guarantee that being thankful will get you more results than being a grump! My mama used to say complaining never got anybody anywhere.

So here’s to a week of gratitude!!! Have a great Monday chutzpah fam, Xoxoxo πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

 
7 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Memoirs

 

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I just love awards, don’t you?

Hey guys, Memoirs of a woman with chutzpah recently won another award, bestowed on us by a really cool mom-diva I only just discovered- Chinny! Here’s a link to her blog: http://isetfiretotherain.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/you-blog-i-blog/ πŸ˜‰

It was quite unexpected and with utmost delight and lots of giggles, I wanna dedicate the award to my fans especially the ones who send me comments via fb, linkedin, blackberry messenger, face to face, twitter and especially those who take the time out to post comments on the blog site. Also wanna dedicate the award to my fellow bloggers both friends and frenemies, my old editor (you-know-yourself), my ‘heart’ and my whole army of family and friends. Love you guys and grateful for the support. All glory to God!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The award came with some conditions (no free lunch in Freetown) πŸ™‚ Here they are:

1.Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
2.Share 7 things about yourself.
3.Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!

Ok here goes…
I’d like to thank Chinny for the award, she’s a great writer and I enjoyed reading 7 awesome things bout her and can’t wait to explore her blog. πŸ˜‰ I wanna assure her that with the heart she’s got beating beneath her left breast, she’ll always be a great mom and also warn her that hating onions makes her more prone to a vampire attack (or is it garlic?) πŸ˜‰
Anyway thanks so much for the recognition and thanks for reading my blog.
(There’s a link to her blog above)

Now this is the scary part…7 more things about me??? *can’t look*
Gave you 27 on my birthday, soon you’ll know the color of the pata I wear on Sundays. :O Geez! TMI… Stalkers keep off, don’t make me go gaga on your ass!
*Diva moment over*

Now back to the task at hand:
1. I love cartoons and I totally love Disney channel on DSTV…my bf thinks it’ll make me dull πŸ™‚ but I figure you fry the same brain-cells watching African Magic as you fry re-living your childhood on a flat screen!
2. I used to be un-adventurous when it came to travelling but all of a sudden my parents are complaining that I can’t keep my feet in one town for 2 minutes. I blame NYSC because before I got posted to Ondo state against my wishes, the only place I’d travelled to alone was Johannesburg while in med school for a one month electives program! Now in less than a year, I’ve been to Kaduna, Abuja, Benin, Akure and Ibadan. πŸ™‚ More travels to come…at least, till the day I become the ‘good wife’.
3. I’ve been an MC at three bridal showers! When my friends convinced me to do the first one, I wondered how on earth they could have thought I’d be great for the part and despite my un-confessed stage fright, they made me do it and now I’m considering a career in it! πŸ™‚ ‘Jill of all trades’
4. I recently discovered that onions don’t make me cry anymore. Not sure if I’ve run out of tear-resources but I remember my struggle with onions and all the remedies I tried in a bid to look sexy while chopping ’em. (Trust me a runny nose, eyes bloodshot from crying and black streaks of mascara running down my face do not a charming cook make!)
I tried refrigerating the onions and tried chewing gum while cutting. Even tried facing a particular direction, can’t remember if it was against the wind or facing the wind but suddenly, I’m a hardened cook and those 10 onions had nothing on me! πŸ™‚
5. I believe no price is too much to pay for comfort! Well I mean monetary price oh, not blood and tears! On several occasions I have paid the hairdresser extra to come do my hair at home, I recently paid the phone guy to deliver my new blackberry at home and I have been known to pay the optician, shoe/dress-seller, tailor etc just so I can avoid the blazing sun and traffic! I sacrifice my hard-earned dough taking cabs when a car is not available and would rather sit at home than jump a bus if I can help it. Practising for the life of the rich and famous πŸ™‚
6. I love the wind in my face and after I got over my phobia of okadas last year and actually rode one, I’d have been un-stoppable save for the fact that my mum forbade us from sitting atop an okada in Lagos. She wants us alive and with our limbs intact! I confess that I have broken this rule once or twice in Lagos (sorry mum, had to!) But outside Lagos, I’m a badass passenger! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
7. My sisters call me ‘the crazy perfectionist!’ Hehehe πŸ˜‰
From time to time, my alter-ego comes out and I become a clean freak. The girl who decides out of the blues that the whole house needs spring-cleaning and surface cleaning isn’t ok or that an abandoned store-room needs to be put in order! I guess I do have a ‘choleric’ lurking in there somewhere. When I was doing my internship at LUTH, my colleagues used to call me a machine cos once I was in work mode, I was unstoppable and never tired. Pity my sanguine is the dominant me and I do enjoy lazy days a tad too much… πŸ˜‰

Now time to pass this award on to 15 recently discovered blogs…
I didn’t know there were so many blogs out there till the Nigerian blog awards. Before then, I only knew about Bellanaija (http://bellanaija.com), Memoirs of a slu…shhkid (http://www.360nobs.com/category/360-randoms/memoirs-of-a-slu-shhkid/), Femmelounge (http://femmelounge.org) and Diary of an ex-schoolnerd (http://exschoolnerd.net). Still love these websites but now I have so many more that are competing for my heart especially the new ones that remind me of how scary but fun starting a blog can be.

So today I’d like to bestow this award to 15 blogs that I find thoroughly fascinating!
In no particular order…
1. …What I think: http://babaneyo.wordpress.com/
2. Chronicles of a student who knew too little: http://www.pipishakes.blogspot.com/
3. Chronicles of da naΓ―ve: http://boyindizzl.wordpress.com/
4. Throes of a Safi boi: http://leonmacedon.wordpress.com/
5. Donsege: http://donsege.wordpress.com/
6. Ebuwa Alhaji speaks: http://ebuwa-alhajispeaks.blogspot.com/
7. Out of my head: http://ladetawak.wordpress.com/
8. Feisty pen: http://berryfeistypen.blogspot.com/
9. FAB blog: http://blog.fabmagazineonline.com/
10. Rose of Sharon: http://roseofsharonwrites.blogspot.com/
11. eTransformed: http://etransformed.wordpress.com/
12. GISTDOTCOM: http://gistdotcom.com/
13. The toolsman’s blog: http://thetoolsman.wordpress.com/
14. Good Nigerian Girl: http://goodnigeriangirl.com/
15. Le Dynamique Proffeseur: http://dynamiqueprofesseur.blogspot.com/

Hey winners, the same 3 conditions apply- scroll up to read ’em again. (I don’t make the rules!) πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

I wanted to put Myne Whitman writes: http://mynewhitmanwrites.com/ because I absolutely love her but she had already received the award! (Much love sis!)

So thanks again Chinny for giving me something new to write about today and of course, for the award!
Memoirs of a woman with chutzpah is a year old this month (yay me!)…I wonder what would’ve happened if I wasn’t bored to my ears that fateful afternoon???

Have a great day peeps…only a couple of hours left and we get to say TGIF!!! xoxoxo πŸ˜‰

 
17 Comments

Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Memoirs

 

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Lagos traffic…the never ending story!

Β  Sorry I’ve been off radar for a while. The hassle of moving towns, getting a new job and developing a whole new routine got me busy as a bee with my mind doing cartwheels. I still had time for a mini-vacation in Benin tho’. πŸ˜‰ That town does things for me that the hustle and bustle of Lagos could never do. Everybody needs a rustic getaway every once in a while, won’t call it a vacation per se cos vacations imply laulau spending and please note I wasn’t talking about your village, that would be too cliche! πŸ˜‰

Of course I’m gonna miss Abuja and all the family and friends I left behind not to mention the peace and quiet and obvious laid back attitude everyone has. Even the hustle is done in slow motion unlike Lagos. Too bad Boko Haram has got everyone there living in fear. Every public place has become a checkpoint for our Naija bomb squad. Even women’s handbags are no more sacred, they get to be brutally ransacked when visiting some government offices. I heard the outgoing corpers in Abuja won’t be getting a POP in Abuja for security reasons, ah well they are better off stressed than dead. Was reading in the papers that MEND sent a letter that they plan to bomb Eagle’s square on Independence day and I found it amusing. The MEND group like a second wife are obviously bemused that Boko Haram has stolen all their shine and public spotlight. I guess no matter how full of terror a terrorist is, he still needs attention like a diva on a red carpet! πŸ˜‰ May God protect us all as MEND and Boko Haram fight over the coveted most feared position this Independence day. Truly I pray for a peaceful 1st of October. Enough lives have been lost and our land stinks of shed blood. GEJ we need to get you some Redbull so you can put more energy into curbing this menace. Meanwhile your people are solidly behind you.

One thing that will always make Abuja seem attractive to me is the lack of traffic. It took me more than an hour to go from Ozone cinemas to UNILAG yesterday and I silently told myself ‘Welcome to Lasgidi!!!’ Anyone who lives in a major city knows there’s a price to pay. Whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, motorist or molue-ist every morning, every evening and sometimes in the afternoon just when the sun is hottest, the combo of blazing sun, blaring horns and speedometers reading 20km/hr (sometimes less) is as common as NEPA taking light and the sacrifice you pay for being urban!

I thought about making a list of the things that cause traffic, but that wouldn’t be quite an interesting list since the causes are usually the same. The biggest in my opinion being some impatient person usually a danfo driver who breaks a traffic law, tries to overtake and ends up facing on-coming vehicles and has his band of follow-follow goons behind him thereby causing a traffic jam cos the cars can neither move forward nor backwards. Other common causes are jalopies breaking down, flat tyres, LASTMA and MOPO picking the wrong time to do their jobs, accidents, floods, bad roads, armed-robbers and pedestrians competing with cars for road space. Many times the people would prefer to sit in their cars cussing and complaining rather than getting out of the car and tryna solve the problem. Thank goodness for the Lagos agberos who are God-sent for such a time as this. They immediately take on the role of traffic-warden aka yellow fever when the uniformed, pot-bellied men have gone AWOL!

So, instead I thought about the funny stuff you see people do in their cars or while sitting in a bus, when stuck in a traffic jam, things that you’d only see done in Lagos traffic! Naija πŸ˜‰ Here are my top ten!
10.) Pinging/Tweeting: Since blackberries became pure water, Lagosians have made it their duty to update their status or tweet about traffic. Giving a second by second account of how hot or annoyed or late you are thanks to traffic has become the most common Lagos status update followed by ‘MTN ooooh’ and ‘Nepa please bring light’ and of course the occasional ‘Baba God noni!’ Usually one eye is on the phone and the other eye on the lookout for LASTMA or theiving agberos depending on your current location!
9.) Get out of the car to see what’s going on. This is a favorite for most men in traffic. They usually do it for aproko reasons though a select few do it to go pee in the gutter or hail the gala man or fan ice-cream seller for some quick chops! Usually they aggravate traffic cos they are not in the car when the cars begin to move leading to more horns honking. Other times, they cause unnecessary panic by peddling false rumours i.e thieves operating in front!
8.) Become the DJ of Club ‘Eko bridge’. Yeah everyone has a radio in the car, from the cab guy to the guy in the S-class and when the traffic’s heavy and cars are crawling, radios blaring usually substitute for car horns. From owambe songs to hip hop to gospel to hausa music, everyone has a radio and wants his neighbour to know that regardless of the way my car looks, I beta pass you! Some motorists even go as far as dancing in the stationary car which often looks like a raucous from the outside.
7.) Nose picking. I know all of us have seen this, and most of us have done it. But when traffic is at a stand still, it’s like everything becomes so much more extreme and so much grosser! I guess because you can REALLY see the person digging and scraping and twisting that finger up there and with bated breaths we look to see what will be done with the newly discovered treasure! Ewwww…
6.) Make-up application. No matter where a woman is heading, whether it is home or the office, traffic always provides an excuse for her to look into that tiny visor mirror and re-do her makeup. We could swear that some women pray for traffic to give them some extra time to apply the pancake and to keep the car in one position so the eyeliner doesn’t run when applied.
5.) Eat gala. Trust me if there wasn’t a huge market for gala fostered by the constant Lagos traffic, the street vendors wouldn’t consider it their number one merchandise.
4.) Sleep. Yes traffic in Lagos can be that bad. And after a long day at work, it isn’t unheard of to have to wake the man in front of you with your horn when the cars start moving and he has dozed off. After all there’s no traffic in dreamland…
3.) Honk the horn with all the frustration you have piled up. Who are you honking at? Nobody’s going anywhere. It won’t make the goons causing the hold up in front to get a brain and the noise aggravates the heat so just relax ok…
2.) Make advances. This is ridiculous but twice I have been asked for my number while sitting very bored, in traffic. Usually by the guy in the adjacent car who believes in making the most of a bad situation. I never gave ’em half a chance but I’m sure somewhere in Lagos, a couple are thanking Lagos traffic for leading them to true love!
1. ) Make out. If you haven’t witnessed a horny couple making out in Lagos traffic then you probably haven’t been stuck in traffic enough times at night! From kisses to suspicious female heads bobbing below window level, Lagos is a place where nothing is strange just look and you shall see… πŸ˜‰

Anyway we Lagosians have learnt to adapt. We sweat less, our blood pressure shoots up less in response to the traffic and generally we have learnt to take all the stress in our stride. After all who wan die on top traffic? It is an evil that is here to stay and we are ready to combat, avoid, tackle and bear it any way we can. Many have resorted to waking at 4am, getting to work before 7, dozing in their cars till work starts and then after work, chilling at city mall or silverbird till around 10pm when the traffic eases up. Say ‘amen’ if I just described you! Ah well, it’s all part of the hustle. πŸ™‚

May God bless our hustle, have a great night peeps…xoxoxo πŸ˜‰

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Memoirs, Urban Culture

 

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Happy birthday to me…xxx

Β  Β  Β Mortals cannot choose the day they are born or the day they die, their choices begin and end after these two are made for them…

I didn’t choose to be born on the 5th of September but that was the day my mama’s water broke and the doctor announced it was a girl…that girl turned 27 two days ago…

I decided to do a l’il research about the 5th of September not that I’m superstitious or anything but like every optimist out there, I’ve always known I was special…

First thing I googled was famous people born that day and apparently a couple of odd ball characters share birthdays with me! There were presidents, football players, mathematicians, poets, royalty, actresses, composers and great business men, even famous criminals!

Most of the names didn’t ring a bell but of the ones that did, Jesse James the famous criminal and son of a clergy man struck me the most. Not that I have any criminal intent but here was a man who was born on the same day as dozens of great men and decided to go down in history as a famous bank/train robber! He had a choice, yes times could have been tough and his clergy father over-strict but he blazed his own trail and that was exactly what I wanted to do. Make a name for myself, be so great that at my funeral they’d have to truncate the eulogy cos there’d be too many wonderful things to say and who knows, I could even end up on the 5000 naira note later on, or win a Nobel prize…. πŸ˜‰

All men are born equal…some more equal than others… πŸ˜‰

Someone asked once why all the great men in Nigerian history had no shoes growing up. The thing is, no matter how great you are or how rosy things are in your life, there’s gonna be that thorn, that storm, that weakness, that dark cloud hiding your sunshine. That thing that seeks to define you…How you handle it determines if you’ll be a hero or a zero…

Before I start my list, for all who are wondering how I spent my birthday, here’s a shocker…I spent it in bed! Tossing and turning and reflecting for the greater part of the day. 27 can be a scary age, just 3 years short of 30. I wasn’t all I’d hoped to be but I hadn’t done too badly either. I had goals I’d achieved, goals I’d left hanging and dreams I’d almost forgotten. I also had some hard life decisions to make…At 5.30 pm, I got a call from an old friend that shook me out of my reverie and as I planned the later part of my day, I made the rather hard decision to kiss Abuja goodbye…

The rest of my day was fun thanks to J, E and S and I got some really cool gifts though I was a bit disappointed that everyone skipped the private jet, range rover sports and land in Maitama on my wish list! πŸ™‚

Now to the 27 things that are part of a great list of awesome events that made me the 27 year old I am today….

1) When I’m in love, I forget to eat which is great cos I like food. I’ve been called ijekuje, medemede, grubido and queen gaul because of my love for fast food and sweet things…. At the same time, I am conscious of my weight so alternate between fasts/diets/the gym and large helpings of cake and suya! Thankfully I’m tall… πŸ™‚

2) I wrote and sold my first novel in primary four. It was about a magic mirror. All 10 copies were painstakingly hand-written and illustrated on white paper cut up and arranged in book-form and sold to my classmates for 2 naira, 50 kobo each. My mom never knew! World’s youngest entrepreneur?

3) The first boy I ever had a crush on was in church. He was nerdy, wore glasses, had pimples and was awfully smart. One day he tapped my shoulder from behind apparently to catch my attention and electricity went through my body. I was 12 at the time and I’m still not sure if it was the anointing, butterflies or jazz! πŸ˜‰

4) I don’t know my right hand from my left. I have a little birth mark on my right hand that I look at every time I need directions and I’ve learnt to do that at lightening speed! Don’t laugh, I heard only geniuses have that problem. Seems I’m using both halves of my brain equally! πŸ˜‰

5) I shake my leg and it’s contagious. Sometimes I do it in my sleep and I have 8 different types of shakes and the best of boyfriends have given up after trying to decipher my secret code. I shake my leg when I’m sleepy, bored, angry, horny, restless, excited, nervous or praying! I’m shaking it right now… πŸ™‚

6) I’m a helpless romantic and water full my eye! I really get into a movie, so into it that where others say ‘awwwww, sad’ I cry buckets! Even cried when I watched ‘Lion King!’ I’m also jumpy, couldn’t find my purse after ‘Snakes on a plane’ cos I’d flung it in fright at some point. Nevertheless, I love horror!

7) I pray before I do anything, even before going clubbing… #shameonme! I’m no better than those criminals who pray before robbing…geez! But He is faithful and I’ve never been robbed, mugged, kidnapped, in an accident, drugged etc though my guardian angels did advice I slow my role so I’ve become more indoorsy of late! πŸ˜‰

8 ) I cried the first time I entered the anatomy lab and saw all those dead bodies. I wasn’t scared or disgusted, I was just sad that I had to cut them up to achieve my dream. They had dreams too… #sentimental

9) I used to be deadly afraid of dogs till I moved to Abuja. Now I live with Nikky, Buddy, Jack and Nikky’s 5 pups. Alsatians and a Bullmastiff. Now i could almost write a book about dogs…

10) I’m afraid of heights, and that also includes being carried so no sweeping me off my feet please. Thank God carrying your wife across the threshold no be by force!

11) When I was in the university, I was superstitious about sandals and slippers. Every time I did something wrong or felt guilty about something, the strap of my shoe cut, no matter how new it was or how strong it looked and I had to do the walk of shame to the nearest shoe-maker…

12) I love my friends and family but I’m terrible at keeping in touch…and would rather send an sms than call… 😦

13) I thought Beast was the sexiest X-Men character! And would have totally married Rock in fantastic four. Something about soft, brainy yet brawny guys not necessarily conventionally hot…

14) At various points in my life, I have wanted to be a genetic engineer, an architect, a pilot, a sexologist, a police woman and a house wife…

15) I was an ugly duckling till the end of secondary school, I have almost no pics left for public viewing of me between age 9 and 16! Any man who fancied me then, knew the meaning of true love or was enthralled with the boobs on the skinny black girl!

16) The first time I was ever on TV was a children’s program on NTA channel 10. I was in JS2 then and my mates teased the hell out of me and my green aunty-give-me-cake-dress!

17) I’ve made grown men cry and grown men have made me cry!

18) I believe in love and would never marry a man for his money. Unfortunately it has been a while since a millionaire tested that theory! πŸ˜‰

19) I love children and I wanna be a pediatrician but after failing primaries, I am thinking I’ll just give birth to loads of ’em or open an orphanage instead! Now considering other disciplines of medicine…

20) I love sexy lingerie….

21) I wanna change the world…and I wanna go to heaven…both are not easy tasks!

22) I would like to get married next year and have a kid before December 2012 just in case the world does end on that day!!!

23) I got duped by a conman for the first time in history. 65k waka just like that! And I always thought I had waffi sense! So much for Isoko wayo…. 😦

24) I spend more time on my blackberry than any other activity. My not so secret sin…

25) My favorite part of my blog is the site stats…seeing the number of people that visited my blog everyday gives me a daily dose of self-achievement…love you guys!

26) Of the seven deadly sins, if I was gonna be judged on one, it would probably be lust… 😦

27) I’m easily satisfied and have been called low maintenance by every single guy who I’ve ever been remotely involved with, i’m starting to think it isn’t such a compliment anymore. Need to develop a love of money and a hunger for the finer things of life… πŸ˜‰

I will end this blog with excerpts from http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/september-5-birthday-astrology.htmΒ I am allowed to be self-absorbed since this post is dedicated to me and the author had such lovely things to say about the September 5 breed. πŸ˜‰

“Because of their attitude and appearance, VirgosΒ born on September 5 stand out in a crowd. Intelligent and composed, they are usually in control of their emotions. They’re not just physically attractive but also are composed and dignified.

Relationships are the essence of life for September 5 people, and they spend their life working to make them the best they can be. They have a talent for making marriageΒ work and are responsible and affectionate. They are loyal and expect the same.

They are often highly educated, yet many make their livings in nonacademic jobs. They work hard to achieve financial security.Β September 5 natives are often satisfied after attaining even modest goals. They balance professional goals with their personal lives without losing sight of either.

Don’t hate, appreciate…we are far from perfect but we will take over the world…if you ain’t born on September 5, ask God why???? Have a lovely night peeps… xoxoxo πŸ˜‰

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Hall of Fame, Memoirs

 

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B-E-N-I-N

Β  I recently took a refreshing mini-holiday. I had been craving some excitement and some TLC so I packed my little bag and I was on the next Arik flight, destination: Benin city! I had never been to Benin by air and never flown with Arik so I knew there was an adventure lurking somewhere. As I boarded the plane, a very hot flight attendant ushered me in and he was the first thing I actually took notice of as I had been busy with my phone from the moment I checked in. And as if I’d been given the forbidden fruit, my eyes were opened and I looked around, seeing the other passengers for the first time and I was transported back to the time when the hunks on the covers of the Mills and Boons I read, ruled my world. It was like someone had cloned a whole plane of Tyson Beckfords and left me in there, I found my sit, took a deep breath and brought out a book to read. I always read on the plane cos if I’m not reading then I’m sleeping and falling asleep on the plane usually makes me wake up slightly deaf because of the pressure. The title of my book was ‘Act like a lady, think like a man’ by Steve Harvey and Lord knows, I definitely didn’t need to be thinking like a woman on that plane or my thoughts would have run amok! Kudos to Arik for getting me to Benin on time though the pilot did announce that the price for punctuality was that we would only be served water as the snack people hadn’t arrived by the time the plane was taking off. A woman beside me had groaned at the news, obviously she’d have preferred to have her flight delayed for an hour or two than be denied the pleasures of an almost tasteless bread-roll and a plastic cup of juice. I on the other hand couldn’t wait to get off the plane regardless of the eye-candy cos I was gonna be seeing a certain someone… πŸ˜‰

One of the places I visited was Asotime groove. It’s Benin’s version of Abuja’s Blakes resort but with much more humor. I’d like to announce to you that Michael Jackson didn’t die, he only relocated to Benin where he now wears a green shiny shirt, obviously his favorite and was given another shot at dark skin. I might be wrong but the guy doing the moonwalk must have done some jazz after MJ died, like a transference of skill. Wizkid was in the building too or his twin maybe and the guy was dancing and miming like he was the real deal. I was ecstatic as I have of recent developed a great love for that under-aged boy and I danced and sang along to my heart’s content, maybe under the influence but I’d deny that in court… πŸ™‚

While we are on the subject of alcohol, I couldn’t help noticing the customer service at a certain joint we visited. A guy called ‘Humphrey’ (don’t laugh) was our waiter for the night and he kept repeating his name like he was afraid we’d tip someone else when it was time to pay and while watching a football match, my eyes strayed to the big signboard on one of the walls of the bar. ‘IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH OUR SERVICES, PLEASE CALL 080….’ There were three numbers and I was absolutely tripped. In Lagos, the only signboard you’d see in a joint like that would be ‘NO CREDIT TODAY, TRY AGAIN TOMORROW’ or more to the point, ‘WE DON’T SELL ON CREDIT AND GOODS OPENED CANNOT BE RETURNED!’ Benin I hail you oh! I wonder if they’d give you your money back if you complained. πŸ™‚

I couldn’t help noticing how fashion conscious everybody was. The boys had obviously never gotten past the 50cents or Ja Rule fad and wore chains on their necks that looked so heavy it made me wonder if slavery hadn’t been abolished in Benin. The bling blings matched their ‘Get rich or die trying’ attitude and their women weren’t left out. I honestly believe Bini girls are the best dressed girls in Nigeria. They don’t believe less is more and could give Miss Pepeye a run for her money yet they still look fabulous in a way all their own. Even the woman that sold me cow leg in the market was decked up! From false eyelashes and ?brazilian hair to clothes, shoes and jewelry all in bright yellow and long curvy fingernails to match. The way she worked that meat with her nails made me wonder…

On my last night in the town, I stopped by a supermarket and while I was there a man walked in looking like a cross between a drunk homeless person and Bob Marley re-incarnated and in a strong American accent, asked the alarmed shopkeeper if she sold rizlas. He sounded like he was asking for close-up toothpaste and I could hardly control my laughter. Guess everything the Bini people do is with flair and aplomb. πŸ™‚

At last it was time to say goodbye but only for a while. I had cooked snail for the first time in this city, along with my famous edikainkong and explored one of the oldest cities in Africa and I couldn’t wait to do it again. Shout out to baby boy who made the trip a fantastic one. Abuja looks slightly less colorful now…

Off to bed folks, thoughts of wizkid on my mind…purely innocent! Loving track 06….have a great night peeps…xoxoxo πŸ˜‰

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Memoirs

 

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