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Category Archives: Memoirs

Happy birthday to me…xxx

     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…. 😉

All men are born equal…some more equal than others… 😉

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! 🙂

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… 🙂

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! 😉

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! 😉

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… 🙂

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! 😉

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! 😉

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… 😉

I will end this blog with excerpts from http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/september-5-birthday-astrology.htm 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. 😉

“Because of their attitude and appearance, Virgos 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 marriage 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. 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 😉

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

 

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B-E-N-I-N

  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… 😉

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… 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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 😉

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Memoirs

 

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A-B-U-J-A

   I’ve been moping around for a bit, trying to live the sedentary lifestyle mature people are famous for. I gave the excuse that I needed to crawl into a hole and regenerate the parts missing when my heart crash-landed some months ago. I had a foolproof routine. Work-Gym-Home, on other days it was Work-Cinema-Yahuza’s suya which is an absolute delight and makes all the Lagos suya I chopped so happily, taste like rice scraped from the bottom of the pot- and then home. I was fine till my friend announced I was a time-bomb waiting to explode. Now anyone who has been following the news lately or who has seen it first-hand in Abuja realises that bombs are no longer just 5-letter words that go BOOM on your TV screen. In the past weeks, I have had to call family twice to check if they were okay and then there were speculations about the bombing at the police headquarters being a suicide bombing. Nigerians are NOT suicide bombers, period! We may be a lot of things but fools we are not. 70 virgins? When we get to heaven, we’ll bargain for 5. Money for our families? What’s the guarantee you won’t screw us over after we are 6 feet under? Abeg! That was no suicide bombing…here’s how I see it. Mr X’s job was simple. Drive the car into the police headquarters, park it somewhere not too close to people and then run for dear life while the timer counted down to the explosion. Now what went wrong, you ask? First of all, there was traffic, which is becoming a fairly common occurrence in Abuja. Abuja please, please don’t become Lagos! Secondly the guard at the gate wasted time asking him “Anything for your boys”, when the timer had started counting and he had to fish in his pocket for some change. Thirdly, there was a man in front of him with total disregard for traffic laws, who refused to just park but blocked the road to the car park while hailing his bros at the police headquarters. And our dear Mr X, who was already breaking in a sweat, finally found somewhere to park, only to realise the door of the car didn’t open from inside. His superiors weren’t about to waste a perfectly good car when he could drive a decent-from-the-outside cabu-cabu to its early grave. By the time he realised the door had to be opened from outside and finally fished for the winder since the automatic windows chose that moment to prove the car electrician was high on kasapreko the day he fixed the car, time had run out for bros…”May the soul of the officer he took with him, rest in perfect peace!” Nigerians let’s make love not war. Okay not too much love, we can barely feed  the babies popping up everywhere. So back to my friend calling me an event waiting to happen…I didn’t think I was strung out, infact I thought I was doing quite great. Yes it’d been ages since I danced to Fimile by Kas in front of the mirror and been even longer since I sweated to the beat of Kabba Kabba but I’d hummed Port Harcourt boy all day, a couple of days before so what was all this talk. He convinced me that I needed to live a little and let out some steam so armed with my close friend F (miss you babe), we decided to hit the town.

Our waka like I like to call it, started at Ketchup an open bar restaurant in Wuse 2. Anyone who knows the capital city, knows that there are more joints in Wuse 2 than anywhere else in Abuja. I am led to believe that’s where the first set of Ibo boys from Aba came to set up camp! The DJ was doing it right with blasts from the past. Anyone who knows me well, knows that music from way back is like adrenaline in my veins. We went from ‘Return of the Mac’ to ‘Ladies Night’ to ‘Make it rain’ and when he started with the Nigerian hits that got us all groovy way back in secondary school, he had me by the balls! (oops I need to grow a pair!), We moved to Soho, our entourage growing to a party of 6 and my first impression of Soho was that it was a white man club. There weren’t enough Nigerians in sight and the music made me think of a quiet evening at Piccolomondo. #dead! We stayed a few minutes and headed for Play. Play was hot. The DJ was on point and I danced like there was no tomorrow. It got a bit weird when I got asked to dance by two of the girls who’d been sitting beside me in the VIP section. Now since they obviously weren’t hos and my date had this big goofy grin on his face probably dreaming up a menage a trois, I put the worrisome debates on their sexuality behind me and danced heartily till my shoes called for a timeout. It was a great night and the fact that I had a job interview the next morning at a private hospital made it one to remember. I barely made it to the hospital, makeup concealing my lack of sleep, my mind willfully conjuring medical scenarios and tryna switch from fun mode to save-a-soul mode. Once I saw the other doctors in their over-sized suits, poring through last-minute medical handbooks, I sighed…I should’ve just stayed at home cos the other candidates also looked bereft of sleep but obviously for a reason entirely different from mine. So I kissed my locum job goodbye. Thank God for 9-5’s!

And there began a new chapter. I was determined to explore the fun side of town. Tired of being a tourist, I decided some exposure was needed and I had so much fun. Wonderland was exhilarating, the dancers at Blakes had asses that were loosely sewn to the rest of their body as their gyration took on a life of its own. I met so many people and had so much fun that I had to catch my breath before I exploded from exhaustion! I took a keke marwa for the first time, #more emancipation, got over my fear of dogs thanks to Jack, Nicky, Buddy and Austin’s shaggy ole dog and had my share of taking proposals to the National Assembly. Anyone who lives in Abuja knows that if you haven’t hustled for a contract of some sort then you’ve been left behind and my job as a health advisor on research and projects had me going places and meeting people who I’d hitherto watched on TV, now hoping they’d be willing to share their piece of the national cake! My red skirt almost got me into trouble at the National Assembly but in my defence, the skirt wasn’t short, my legs were just long and the heels weren’t helping. Yes I’d put my moping around days behind me and was fast falling in love with the town.

There must be something in the air around here because for some reason, 90% of the men who chat me up everyday are between the ages of 22 and 25 and is it me or does that scream cougar?!! I don’t wanna be arrested lads and I don’t care if my spirit is young or if my pastor has me confessing; ‘My youth is renewed like the eagle’s’. Whatever it is, I no do! Haba! I know I’m tryna get my groove back but I ain’t Stella and if I hear age is nothing but a number one more time, I shall plank on a transformer! ;-).
And just before I say goodnight, what is this new planking trend? I have heard all sorts, everybody is claiming it. There are those who say planking is good for the abdominal muscles #teamhealthjunkies and those who plank because it’s the new fad on twitter #teamfollowfollow and those who are anti-planking #teamplankersarewankers and those who think planking is the secret language of the devil #teamplankingtohell and finally those who are eagerly waiting for planking to become a new term for sex…according to my friend Jay, “Two planks,nailed and nailing together. Hard Wood connecting em as they lying together/hammering/screwing as they tighten together…bond so strong can withstand any weather!…let it rain!” #futuristicplanking. Shout out to my friend Jay Vox! 😉 It’s a wonder how sex begins all and ends all. We humans, creative as we are really do have a one-track mind.

As I get ready for bed. I ask you to consider where your mind’s been lately…the mind is really the devil’s workshop, tell him his rent is due and kick him out! And if you haven’t voted please go to http://www.nigerianblogawards.com/vote.php to vote for Memoirs of a woman with Chutzpah! Love you guys…you make blogging worthwhile. Have a great night peeps…xoxoxo 😉

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Hall of Fame, Memoirs

 

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A tale of two cities

  I’ve always loved Abuja. It has all the things I love about Lagos and less of the things I hate.
We’d always flirted around, our trysts lasting for three to five days at a time. Wild exciting nights in the capital city. My lover enticed me with her clubs, fish joints and quiet swagger and then we saw each other more as our affair blossomed, I began to memorize her roads, sight landmarks and be welcomed into the inner caucus. I was out to explore.

She dazzled me with a new lifestyle and begged me to change my perception and get a new orientation. I saw things that made me marvel. Point and kill rabbits in a garden-resort where preserving greenlife was their hallmark. The rabbits tried and found guilty of decades of grass-nibbling awaited their execution. I felt a wave of nausea as I looked at the innocent eyes of the rabbits their fates already sealed. The polo clad cannibals were justified in their protection of the grass as their own contribution towards preventing total annihilation from the depleting ozone layer and if along the way a delicious meal was thrown in, who were they to refuse.

I was amazed that instead of being sold gala and bottled coke in the well-ordered traffic, I was offered gold rings and other form of jewellry by non-Hausa, street hawkers. Our own l’il Las Vegas. ‘Madam make oga buy you this nice gold ring, I go put in one chain for you. Church dey for the next junction!’ I laughed all the way to the airport! Marriage made easy 101. Guys you are fast running out of excuses! 😉

The airport sadly is something I’ll greatly miss my trusty lover Lagos for. MM2 thanks to Wale Babalakin is all the things the Abuja airport is not. As I waited for my flight on a supposed queue being jostled by disgruntled passengers, I got serenaded by touts left, right and center and avoided eye-contact as every person who caught my eye unceremoniously demanded a tip. I switched to Oshodi mode and got it over and done with quickly enough. It was a tryst through and through, ridden with exciting tales to tell.

While sowing my wild oats, an old flame called.
Benin was one of those lovers that called you up once in a while and it was like not a day had gone by since the last time you were together. The place remained the same. I decided to go by road and Edegbe lines was the logical choice being an old faithful. It was an executive fully air-conditioned bus and the passengers were mostly students. The trip was a jolly one with fast-flowing Bini conversations blocking out the hi-life music in the background. All was well till a passenger, Mr X decided to cause chaos by farting in the enclosed air-tight bus. Now if there was any other ethnic group packed in the bus, we may have been able to downplay and possibly ignore the eroding of our nasal linings and inherent asphyxiation but not the Bini people. They cursed and squirmed and covered their noses with anything from a handky to nylon bags. They cursed his diet, his ass, his lack of bus etiquettes and his ‘shamelessness’ in fluent pidgin and then a good Samaritan thought it most helpful to spray a generous amount of perfume Y into the air-tight confines which had us all coughing and wheezing with the acrid mix of eau de fart! At Ore when we stopped to eat, the passengers warned the unknown offender to locate a toilet and not to buy any eggs or beans. Outspoken and audacious, these people were only concerned about breathing in at least 20% pure oxygen given the circumstances. The rest of the trip was uneventful. Benin embraced me, toasted me with freshly plucked chickens and banga soup. It tempted me away from the hustle and bustle of Las gidi to a more rustic lifestyle without letting go of the vibrancy of city life. I felt the sting of a soldier ants and the bite of sand-flies anew. Pidgin english was the acceptable lingo with a lilt that was entirely theirs. But an old flame is an old flame and soon our time was up. My heart longed for Lagos and away I went.

The dude loading the travelling bags on the bus threatened to mark my face and treat my f**k up cos I refused to tip him after being over-charged for my trip. He hadn’t treated it there and then because several passengers had within earshot warned me to ignore him. I laughed, little did he know that Benin was just a classic case of ‘Okafor’s law’. We’d been lovers once, years ago when I was a kid and my dad made me spend a greater part of my summer holidays in Benin with my dear uncle and an opportunity had arisen to renew the warmth of this old flame but that being done, it was time to let bygones be bygones. I had gotten closure. He could do me no harm even if he tried though I did hope I didn’t have a look-alike in Benin.

As I returned to Lagos, I felt the familiar stirring of my heart as I looked upon my home but something was amiss. Abuja had made an offer I couldn’t refuse. She wanted to be more than friends with benefits. She had me sprung with a hint of a future I’d only imagined. So I kissed Lagos goodbye and hopped on a plane with a one-way ticket to the arms of a casual lover offering a more meaningful relationship.

My welcome party started at Cubana with Tuface Idibia in the house. It was an after-wedding party and a wonderful way to baptize me into the Abuja crowd.
I was armed with all of my Lagos swagger and was secretly impressed at how calm people were. In Lagos, if a celeb hit an excusive club, at least one ‘bros’ could be bet on to go over-board and need restraint from the unsmiling bodyguards but not here. Tuface hugged and shook everyone in a genial manner, ordered Moet on the house and settled down on the couch opposite me, grinning from ear to ear. The DJ too was on-point. Instead of indulging in hero-worship and putting away his mix-tapes to play Tuface’s latest album back to back, he played some fat oldies which got everyone dancing to a fevered pitch. I couldn’t understand why some of the girls with their over-priced brazilian hair would wear slippers akin to flip-flops to club, I reckoned they must be Brazilian too. 🙂

Today I’m off to Kaduna with a health guru, an entrepeneur and an international strategist to look at a site for a world-class facility and I smile to myself…Life has only begun and Abuja has stolen my heart!

Have a great sunday people…xoxo

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Hall of Fame, Memoirs

 

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Life&Times of a Lasgidi Job seeker!

  Ok so yesterday I was a corper and today I’m unemployed and sitting in the reception of a clinic on a street in Onikan waiting for my first interview. I’m in a waist coat and pencil skirt with a big handbag carrying my credentials and I can’t help but smile when I remember the days when job seekers would carry clear bags up and down.
The receptionist is nice though her shrill, bird-like voice and constant chatter doesn’t match my mood. I keep worrying if they are gonna ask me some very hard questions at the interview and from time to time I open my medical text book wondering what on earth I could possibly read in 20 minutes.
It’s finally time for the interview and all’s well till I’m asked what my salary expectations are. My mind goes to the cab guy I had to pay two thousand naira for cab fare and I start to do a mental calculation. Lagos is expensive, I’d make an Akure cab man’s week if I gave him two thousand for one trip. Anyway I give ’em a figure and the look on their faces seems to say I should have asked for more. Oh well, was playing it safe. But truth is, I heard that’s what they pay their medical officers anyway! Then I’m asked what I’d do if I was on call on a sunday morning and there was no water for the patients to take their baths. I attack the question Lasgidi style. ‘Madam first I go assure the patients that the matter dey under control, then I go call security make them get aboki way go fetch water, after that I go pay oh but on monday you go refund my money complete’ 😉
Lol! You know yours truly was at an interview so translate that into butty, Queen’s english and there you have it! The women laughed and then one of ’em said ‘Just call management.’
Now unless management is not ‘Naija-oriented,’ I’ll still be left with the only practical solution which is what I gave ’em. Then they asked me to stand up so they could assess my dressing. Thank God my mama had done that at home. Shirt on point, waist coat on point, skirt way below my knees and not too tight and medium-heeled shoes to match.
They said they’d call and I left just as the second candidate, my friend ‘R’ went in for hers.

After that our waka really began. There was a clinic in Obalende that we wanted to drop our CV’s at and the man we asked for directions assured us that we could walk from Onikan to Obalende, we walked first to an eatery to get some food since it was well past noon and we were at risk of succumbing to the combo of hot sun, high heels and hunger pangs. After that, we walked all the way to the clinic my pencil skirt did not permit okada-hopping and I learned that when going job-hunting in Lagos, trousers are best. We got there tired and breathless and still had to climb up four flights of stairs to drop the CV.
From there we took a cab to V.I to drop one more CV and my friend met up with a blind date.
Mr BD had a lot of attitude and no swag whatsoever in his puny frame and my friend called her matchmaker to give her a piece of her mind!
It cracked me up when she said; ‘How you go give me man way as we dey waka, I go run go front make people no know say we dey together!!! Biko oh’
And it got me thinking, in this day and age, blackberries and social networks have really given blind dates a pair of glasses. The guy obviously preferred a surprise attack!

We hung out at Ice cream factory and I was transported to a land of orgasmic flavors and sinful desserts. It didn’t hurt that the service boys were extremely pleasant and as my friend put it, as good on the eyes as the menu.
We ordered, we laughed, we ate, we had fun and I could’ve sworn it was the Lagos version of ‘Sex and the city’. Three women having a great time and some much-deserved rest after an afternoon of job hunting.
The waiter kept coming to our table to ask us if we needed anything else and my friend noticed his fly was open, we had a good laugh about that after he left. Maybe he was selling something else…
The ice cream was on point and just as I was wondering if it could get any better, eye-candies rolled in. Shout out to Lagos for having some of the hottest guys this side of the Sahara. We giggled and IM’d about ’em and of course the guys had this look on their face of ‘I totally know you girls are checking us out’. Please what happened to guys who in the good ole days were unaware of their obvious hotness? Lagos ti baje.
Didn’t realise I’d missed Lasgidi so much. Too bad my heart’s in another town but abuja holds a lot of promise….I can sense it!

I happened to glance at the time and I exclaimed. I’d totally forgotten that it was a friday and we had chilled till rush hour which was not part of the plan. Blame it on too much enjoyment. I called my trusty but pricey cab man and he said he’d be there in an hour. The girls and I were so engrossed in our discussion that the time flew by and the cab guy was outside waiting. We got in and as we joined the insane traffic I sighed…
Two hours later, still crawling in traffic with our bbs off and our moods borderline irritable, our cab guy had a brainwave and turned off the road. We drove for 5 minutes traffic free only to find ourselves in a traffic worse than the first. Lagos na wa! Going from the island to the mainland on a weekday evening is a hellish experience. L’il wonder most people prefer to chill on the island till the traffic thins out. Since I had a curfew and was wearing clothes I considered stuffy, battling traffic was the only option I allowed myself. I got home at past 9 after driving through inner city markets and unfamiliar roads, handbag and phones tucked securely between our legs on the floor of the cab.
My first day post NYSC and Lagos had already sucked me in and then sucked me dry. I was exhausted and my wallet was depressingly lighter. Spent 6k in one day and from what I heard I didn’t do too badly. I wondered how Lagosians coped with their meagre salaries and maximum expenses?
In Akure, life was so easy and cheap. I’m sure their life expectancy there must surely be higher but what is life if you don’t live it to the fullest right? 😉

Off to Abuja today for a week. Let’s see what the capital city has to offer. Holla at your girl….have a great day folks…xoxo 😉

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2011 in Memoirs

 

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Just the gods taking a piss?

     It’s raining now, the skies are dark, the weather’s cool and lightning streaks the dark clouds like a patterned gypsy skirt. The rains have always been a blessing and a curse. Growing up, rainy days were exciting days, we were banned from dancing in the rain and instead made to sit in class and sing; ‘Rain rain go away, come again another day, l’il Kome wants to play’ but I figured it was Mrs S my primary school teacher who wanted to play, she absolutely hated the rain, her car wouldn’t start, she’d often be heard grumbling to the other teachers about the mad-traffic and floods and once she panicked when the rain started suddenly cos she’d forgotten to shut the windows at home. Yes Mrs S hated the rain and so did her almost-original leather shoes cos they’d go squish-squash as she walked particularly after a downpour and they seemed to say ‘squish-squash, rain sucks!’. We on the other-hand loved the rain, we got to put on our rain-coats with matching umbrellas and watch enviously the children on the road who happily danced naked in the rain. Obviously they had nicer parents! As I grew older, I begun to share Mrs S’s hatred for wet weather. Not all rain was bad I sensibly reasoned. I liked the rain that made you wanna be fruitful and multiply. I loved the rain that aided much needed sleep. I loved the rain that made Nepa’s f**k-ups more bearable and somewhere in the heart of Nigeria some 21st century farmers were thankful for every drop as they saw money for their children’s school fees where we only saw water for their crops. But while this kind of rain could be described as mother nature’s tears of joy, there were some forms of rain that could only be described as the gods taking a piss. Rain that made you wanna flip the bird every time thunder did ‘notice me or I kpai’. This kinda rain ruined Gucci shoes, made weave-on done after endless hours waiting and then more hours enduring the pain and having to part with half your wages just to look like a happening Lagos chic start to smell after the first week! This same rain fell a man’s hand making him wish he had prayed over his car that so desperately needed servicing before leaving the house. This rain made men late for dates, had men and women in expensive outfits, pushing cars on Ikorodu road and ruined hours of expert make-up. Why couldn’t the gods announce when their bladders were full? Why would they wait till rush hour before suddenly unleashing torrents of H20 like a 2yr old without bladder control? Not even caring that you were on a bike or waiting on the side of the road for transport or that your umbrella was forgotten at home. Much evil has come from rains such as this. Heavy rain made Mrs A decide to skip weekday service and she caught Mr A on top of Ekaette! If it hadn’t rained so heavily L wouldn’t have been forced to spend the night at K’s place and wouldn’t have had to run for dear life, shoes in hand, panties left behind when K’s girlfriend appeared in the morning with all the ‘were’ only a Waffi girl could pull off! If the rain hadn’t flooded the town, W’s Fendi dress wouldn’t have been drenched in muddy water when a car sped past. I’m not complaining about the rain. Some couples need the rain or the woman’s p would happily seal off with cob-webs. Some people need the rain to dissipate stress, keep them resting indoors a little and prevent money-induced hypertension. How would umbrella sellers or cobblers make their money without rain? Since your shoes are more likely to open mouth during rainy season and has anyone noticed that the umbrellas on sale seem to all have been mass-produced in China a.k.a Aba? I love the rain, it gives me an opportunity to cuddle up under my warm blanket with a good book and a hot cuppa chocolate or better still play mummy and daddy with my bobo. It’s raining right now and I’m wondering if you’ve taken a moment to be grateful to the ultimate Rain maker cos annoying as an unexpected downpour can be, Nigeria without rain would be one more disaster to worry about. Have a lovely wet day peeps….xoxo

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in Memoirs

 

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The alcoholic who drank too little!

       Alcohol is a fundamental part of our human rights! It’s high up there on the list of compulsory rights like the right to own a mobile-phone and the right to be on facebook!
Men of old fought for honor and glory and celebrated with wine and women! Now we fight for money and respect but our means of celebration haven’t changed much! Imagine you, Noah, Hitler and Kunta Kinte drinking the same stuff. Course it’s gotten more refined and more expensive but just when wine-technology was advancing, people started craving the old stuff, calling it vintage! So why bother? If I had a casket of wine from Noah’s days, I’d probably be a f**king billionaire.

The first time I encountered the stuff was while I was still lost in my little amniotic sac, trying to decide if I wanted to be president or just commander in chief of the amniotic forces! My mom was not an alcoholic, No! I was her first child and a gift from God hence the name ‘Oghenekome’. It was my crafty paternal grandma, God bless her soul who initiated me into the world of highs and hangovers!
When my mom was heavily pregnant with me, she travelled to see mama and as soon as mama saw her round belly bursting with promise, she took a bottle of ogogoro and poured it out on her belly, blessing me in rapid Isoko. I almost was named Ogogo, but for my father who saved the day, deciding that his first daughter wouldn’t go the way of the bottle! I could’ve sworn my amniotic fluid got a minute diffusion of the conc stuff cos I came into the world strangely calm and the nurse swears my first cry sounded like Terry G’s free madness!

I tasted my first drop of alcohol at the tender age of 3. My dad loved 33 export lager beer, I can still remember the advert on tv. After he had been done entertaining some friends one beautiful day, I sneaked stealthily to the glasses on the stool and studied them for a while. My mum kept warning me not to take food from strangers and in my little mind I figured if I could decipher daddy’s cup I wouldn’t get koboko. Well that was almost impossible cos all the glasses looked alike so I picked the middle glass since it was near
daddy’s chair or just maybe because it was the only one with a sufficient amount of golden liquid to satisfy both my curiosity and inherent alcohol cravings. I was caught in the act and daddy was the only one that found it amusing, thankfully if not, this would have been a sad tale! From time to time he’d offer me a little sip. Love you daddy! 😉

My mom was always deeply religious, she still is. She preached against drinking alcohol saying we were a royal priesthood and bombarding us with scriptures. It worked for most of our formative and teen years cos she proudly reared sober children despite our occasional trips to daddy’s back cupboard. It was more for the adventure and risk of getting caught than for the genetic cravings we didn’t even know we had!

In the university, I was that chick that knew a hundred and one ways of sipping coke in a manner that looked like I was sipping a magarita! At clubs, I had coke-on-the-beach, coke-on-the rocks, coke orgasms and coke-mopolitan! All I needed was a tall glass my trusty dash of lime and lots of crushed ice. The bartendar would wink at me when I placed my order, never daring to question it. He didn’t need to cos I was always that chick who’d dance all night in six-inch stilletoes up until morning. I’d always been excitable and I daresay my adrenaline levels far exceeded normal limits, my mom always attributed it to the libation poured on her tummy preceding my arrival.
Sometimes I’d hear a person say to him, I’ll have what she’s having and he’d say ‘E don finish!’

In med school, my friend S loved her alcohol and she had this way of laughing without the slightest provocation when tipsy, it was so cute! Everyone loves a happy drunk. She always seemed to be cracking a secret joke and I always hoped if I ever got tipsy, I’d be like a lab scientist who accidentally inhaled nitrous oxide!
That was sadly never to be, the first time I got drunk was as a result of peer pressure from a boyfriend eager to see me explore my wild side. I was watching Final destination and as I sipped on my rum and coke, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t gonna get drunk! Me, original waffi babe way dey use sepe wash mouth! Or so I thought… I decided to act drunk so my boyfriend wouldn’t be disappointed and as I got up to display, I did 360 degrees and fell right back on the couch. I was dazed, I felt like I was sitting on the bed watching my body display like a dog doing tricks! My boyfriend started to laugh, I’d made him sign a contract that he’d behave so I wondered what he planned to do with the rare opportunity! He asked me a question, can’t remember what exactly but I opened my mouth and open it stayed. I talked and talked and talked, intermittently staggering to the toilet to pee and talking non-stop as I went. I told him his flatmate was hitting on me, I told him I hated the Hawes&Curtis shirt he’d just bought. I told him I wanted to kiss a cute guy in my class (name witheld;-) )!
How I talked, alcohol had loosened my tongue, 45minutes later, I slept off and didn’t wake up till the next morning! I had a headache and I couldn’t remember much. All I knew from the neighbor’s gist was that he’d punched his flatmate and the guy was moving out! Not my fault right?
I stayed off the stuff for a while till one fateful night while playing truth or dare in a room with seven other people, I was dared to allow a guy ravish me for 10minutes! Hellooooo? Give the guy free access, E never even work for am! Mtchewww… Never!!! So I said No and the fine was downing a large glass of vodka! I whispered to my friends to make sure I got to my room safely and that’s the last I remember save for the fact that vodka is pronounced wodka and it wodkas my head mehn!!!

My next escapade involved champagne, I’d always been fascinated by the hype and since I was a late bloomer, my champagne popping days didn’t start till much later. The first time I popped a bottle. Actually they popped while I stood at a safe distance cos I have a fear of flying corks, bursting balloons and banger! Wonder what they all have in common?
Anyway as I was saying, the first time was at a socialite birthday bash and I was fronting to the max, there I was looking fly, sipping on my glass of champagne, life was good till I attempted to stand and fell back heavily on my chair! Now if getting knackered at a social event with media coverage is bad, then you’ll surely cringe cos next thing I knew I was fighting sleep. My lids were heavy, my body unresponsive and the chairman was making an important speech and my chair was right in front. Oh well…I’m not sure if my sleeping picture made it to City people but at least no one could accuse me for not closing my eyes to the paparazzi.

After that I discovered Irish cream and I was hooked!
Guys kept giving me bottles of the creamy stuff as complimentary gifts or maybe a desperate attempt to get me tipsy enough to get into bed with them but they never got to reap the rewards of their labor, guys chocolate would get you there faster! Science has proven that chocolate triggers the same part of a woman’s brain that sex does! Pleasure in a box 😉
I always felt sleepy after alcohol. Where was the high everyone spoke of? Or was it an old wive’s tale? I never felt like speaking Jamaican after getting high neither did I suddenly receive my calling as a comedian like Klint d Drunk! I only had one thing constantly get high, my libido!!! Let’s not go there but someone ought to do the research; The relationship between the sudden horniness of dark skinned lagos girls and ethanol by Dr Moet et al!
Anyway I decided alcohol was only good for heartbreaks and I was a regular in-door alcoholic, cry-drink-sleep-cry-drink-sleep. I only needed less than a quarter glass of irish cream to get me high so one bottle usually sufficed for the mourning period!
I have had my share of hangovers, embarassingly after minute amounts of alcohol! I’ve been laughed at for my disgracefully low alcohol tolerance level and I’ve been teased after getting high on a bottle of smirnoff ice! But I stand unmoved although I dey humble! And to all those whose hands I’ve fallen as a result of my shameless coke-drinking, it is an addiction I’m tryna fight!
I still wonder why my friend ‘L-roy’ chants, ‘sexy anita, mamcita, sweeter than a magarita’ anytime he wan hail me when he know say I no sabi the difference between a magarita and a sex-on-the-beach!
Anyway before you lecture me, I’m googling it as we speak.
This is the story of a girl whose abinibi was frustrated by lack of ability!
Alcohol flows through my veins, my people love strong drink and there’s nothing as lovely as the smell of beer, so don’t be alarmed if I smell your beer without drinking it or sip at the head without going all the way cos I’m some form of hybrid like a vampire vegetarian. I don’t mean to give your beer a premature ejaculation, I’m just an alcoholic who had too little alcohol!!!
Oh well…at least I’ll never drive my car into a stationary truck! Though for the records, the allegation was false and reliable sources claim there were no traces of alcohol in his system!
Please don’t drink and drive, many lives have been lost cos the peeps thought the combination of a good high and some loud badass music was the sheeettt!
Stay safe peeps, one luv xoxo
R.I.P Da Grin
Olenu bi pon pon pon pon pon pon!
We miss you like mad…

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Memoirs

 

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Marion Jones with a sword?

        I’ve never been confrontational. The desire to run every time I was faced with difficulty has been with me since childhood. My earliest recollection of running was when I was four. My mother had beaten me for turning her powder into baby food for my dolls. My excuse being they were hungry. After the unjust punishment was meted out, I quietly packed my lunch box with some of the incriminating baby food took my doll’s hand and whispered, ‘I’m running away!’ I walked past my mum, shoulders squared, got to the door and in as dignifying a manner as i could muster given that my bum was still sore from the spanking tried to open the great door, my mum watched me in silent curiosity. I finally opened it and walked out. By the time I got to the gate my puzzled mother figured out what I was trying to do, ran after me and scooped me in her arms and back into the house against my will if I might add and worse still she laughed and laughed making it hard to remain dignified. It was a standing joke in my house for ages and it didn’t stop me from trying to run away again and again. I got smarter each time; the second time I remembered to take one naira and the last slice of bread left over from breakfast, the third time I remembered to leave a note in big sprawling handwriting ‘Dear Mum, dont find me, I’ve run away to daddys ofis!’ Hoping she’d understand this time and let me be. Like I said earlier, daddy was always the good cop! Everytime for reasons unknown to me I never made it past Adamu our trusted mallam. Maybe Mummy had told him not to let me run away but each time I decided that leaving was best, he’d offer me a sweet and cajole me to sit with him for a while and the next thing I knew my mom would be there and she never even tried to conceal her amusement.

A few years later, I was playing police&thief with my neighbor Segun when we walked into a potential death trap. Luckily for me I’d acquired great skill in the art of running coupled with a great pair of legs which were quite gangly at the time and though I’d never be Marion Jones, the fastest woman on earth, I could proudly yell, ‘Catch me if you can’ when making an exit!
So there we were playing police&thief with our siblings and everyone else had long tired of the game save for us, when Segun had a brainwave! One of the neighbors owned a pair of very ferocious alsatian dogs who scared the living daylights out of all the kids in the area so much so that we’d rather stay home than be their supper. In our eyes they were lions and we weren’t Davids just ordinary little boys and girls. What Segun was suggesting was ridiculous. I opened my mouth in disbelief! He actually wanted us to fill up our water guns and go kill the dogs? Now you must understand that these weren’t normal dogs, they were super dogs almost taller than we were and they weren’t chained or in their cages that morning they were locked up in the front veranda of our neighbor’s house. ‘Dont be such a girl’ Segun cajoled, ‘They are locked up and can’t bite us joor’ I hated being called a girl cos I was quite brave and had won all the boys in arm wrestling plus I was taller than Segun and could wield a gun like the best of ’em, so we agreed on a surprise attack, no allies just we& our water-arms. The dogs were enraged and barked like they’d gone mad, running wildly within the confines of their temporary cell and snarling at us as we gave squirt after squirt of H2O when suddenly it happened! Just as we got carried away and started enjoying ourselves and using all the catch phrases from Rambo, one of the dogs pushed the gate and it gave way. Now I have to pause at this period of my writing and scream AHHHHHHHHHH! Now back to my unfortunate tale… We ran for dear life, my ears pounding, my legs taking on a life of their own and taking me out of there as fast as they could muster and then some! As I got to the safety of my house and locked the door, I heard a piercing scream and then a howl. Segun and I had run in opposite directions and now my man was down! I ran shouting to my mother who was waiting for the mechanic to bring back her car and told her about the tragedy that had befallen my dear comrade. I could see him in my mind’s eye, ripped to shreds, gun still in bloodied hand. No sooner had the words ‘dog’ and ‘Segun’ left my mouth that my mom raced as fast as she could down the stairs to the gate. She had to carry Segun on her back to the clinic cos the mechanic was still to show and he was in bad shape. I held his hand throughout, wailing just as loudly as he did and when the nurse finally gave him the injection, I had to be carried out, I was always a sympathetic child, how would Segun know I felt his predicament in my heart if I didn’t cry him a river! His leg was in bad shape but it healed quite nicely and the incident was soon forgotten. The neighbor never apologized, meanie!

As I grew older everytime a problem loomed over me I was given two choices, running shoes or a sword. I only unsheathed my sword after careful assessment of my enemies. If they were smaller or cowering or had obvious weaknesses I showed ’em no mercy but if they were a formidable force I ran not away per say, only to get backup! Backup was usually sought for on my knees and with God on my team and all the arsenal my one man army could muster we were mostly undefeated. I did run a couple of times; not for backup this time, I kid you not but the saying that he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day cannot be over-emphasized!

In secondary school most people knew me as the really nice girl who’d rather suffer in silence than stand for her rights and a lot of girls took advantage but something changed after JSCE. One day I looked myself in the mirror and in my best Clint Eastwood voice said ‘No more Mr Nice guy!’
My classmates didn’t notice my swag first time around but soon they noticed that the sweet girl had been replaced by a no-nonsense girl who hummed Ja Rule’s songs with a straight face and scribbled ride or die on every desk! Anyway my classmate T must have been unaware of the changes cos one fine day at break time after we’d struggled to get the biggest meat pie and the coldest bottle of coke there was a little drama! I’d opened my coke standing right by T and a drop of it fell on her skirt. ‘I’m so so sorry’ Neetah Nice said with an apologetic face. T said nothing and I shrugged and went to my seat. The next thing I knew I was given a bright orange bath sponsored by the Coca-cola company and I looked up in shock, there was T with a self-satisfied smirk on her face. Neetah Nice was shoved aside in my mind and Neetah No-Nonsense stepped out! I retaliated pouring my coke all over her and a part of it splashed on B who was going to return her empty bottle. In a fit of rage much akin to that seen when Agberos fight on the streets of lagos, B smashed her bottle against the wall and looked like she’d stab somebody! I was worse hit and as I stood stunned wondering how I got involved in a bottle fight, someone screamed ‘Anita you’re bleeding!’ I looked at my hand and there were little cuts were I’d been hit by pieces of glass and I asked myself ‘What would Ja Rule do?’ I bounced out of class with as much swagger as I could muster and straight to the bathroom. As I closed the door, I burst into tears. Now that was the real Anita and she was bleeding, I had little cuts everywhere and I bawled like a baby as I cleaned myself up. I wanted my mummy! Fifteen minutes later I returned to the class with a new out look to life. A couple of things changed;
1. I got my respect, I’d become a bad-ass QC girl and along with the respect came girls with crushes! (Don’t ask)
2. I and T became friends and I’m glad to say we still are, nothing brings two girls closer together than wondering which of us is gonna get stabbed!
3. I am pleased to announce that I no longer say ‘What would Ja Rule do?’ I am no longer a thug angel and I will not ride or die but I’m still not totally against the ‘Get rich or die trying’ fad oh!
4. I now know that there ain’t no shame in running from a fight, my tennis shoes are well worn from running but at the same time I’ve used my sword a couple of times for worthy causes!
Pick your battles my dear friends, only a living man can complain when NEPA takes light!
Our people say a live dog is better than a dead lion! Run if you have to and feel free to quote these sayings as you exit the building!
Have a great day peeps! Xoxo 😉

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2010 in Memoirs

 

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Aunties from hell?!!

       Over the years due to the fact that both my parents worked for a living and had four rather unruly children to take care of, we were subjected to a varying number of strangers, living in our house and taking care of our needs. To the world they were house-helps, to us they were aunties! Mummy always insisted they be female since she had three girls and didn’t want them molested! We had been taught from an early age to scream at the top of our lungs and run as fast as we could to an adult if any man as much as tried to look at our pants much less touch us and we obeyed mummy to the letter! I’m not sure if she had a say in the looks or heights of the girls that were sent to live with us but they were always highly unattractive! Well what can I say? My mum was a smart woman… The first aunty we had was Aunty Grace. Not too sure what she was like cos I was a toddler but I figured she was nice cos she stayed with us a while. I was a little monkey as a toddler and gave her grief. Anytime we were home alone she’d put me in my play pen which I considered a tall prison and go about her duties. I first tried to gnaw at the rubber coated wooden bars but they wouldn’t budge, soon I figured out how to climb out. I was a lazy child, by my 1st birthday I absolutely refused to walk, my mom was mortified, the doctor said I was normal. I’d crawl at an alarming speed and my walker was my personal ferrari! I loved to crawl and that was all I was interested in so you can imagine Aunty Grace’s consternation when she saw me beside her. She screamed, I grinned and she screamed again. When my mum returned from work she told my mum in no uncertain terms that she thought I was possessed and she knew a prophet that could help since only spirits could have helped me out of the play pen. My mum calmed her and hatched a plan. I was put in the play pen and they pretended to leave the room but actually hid behind the door. Soon I got bored and started trying to escape, after several attempts the pigeon flew and my mum and aunty came out of hiding both screaming, one in surprise, the other in relief. Guess I wasn’t a witch afterall! The next was Aunty Ime, she was wicked and unfortunately for her, my sibs & I had just watched ‘The sounds of music’. We got her removed though I can’t seem to remember what evil prank we played on her. Next came Aunty Comfort! She was a comfort all right. Nice woman, used to buy us sweets and stuff but she gave mama attitude and got evicted! Next was Aunty Blessing! I’d just hit puberty when she came along. She always wore a huge turban and had a dress with really, really high shoulder pads and big boobs! She was a sight to behold, every time she washed clothes, she provided entertainment for the whole neighborhood with her singing…”On my wedding day, songs of glorious music reign in the air, on my wedding day, on my wedding day….” She had a thick calabar accent so it sounded more like ”On my werrin day…!” She made me her friend and confidante and told me about her dream man John! He was a big mechanic in her village and she had heard from God in her dream that he was her man! One day as we sat washing clothes, actually she washed, I sat, a strange thing happened. She was leaning over the basin of clothes when out popped her two breasts if u remember I’d mentioned earlier that they were quite huge but nothing prepared me for the big shoulder pads that fell into the soapy water. My eyes widened in amazement and all that was left of her big boobs were groundnuts that were even smaller than my 12 year old oranges! I laughed so hard I cried. ‘What would John say?’ I asked. ‘He no go know’ she responded, ‘He go toush am for dark!’ ‘What if nepa brings light?’ I teased. She looked at me with mild irritation as she rescued her sinking breasts and headed for the house…’I go off am joor!’ She returned soon after with a new pair of breasts and continued her washing and singing like nothing happened! I wonder if she ever married John. Then there was Aunty Bunmi, now even mummy agrees she goofed with this one! She had been given to us by a church member, she was a young single mother with no place to stay, desperately seeking a job. Now my mother has always been a kind-hearted woman and despite my father’s quiet objection she brought Aunty Bunmi in! We kids became baby sitters in addition to doing the house work cos she was such a frail thing and could barely carry her own body much less carry a broom! If that was the worst part we’d have been grateful but one evening as my father prepared to go out, he couldn’t find his very expensive native that my mum had bought him for his 40th birthday. He’d asked Bunmi to keep it in his drawer after she brought them from the dry-cleaners. As my mother stepped in to investigate, she was just saying maybe the girl had put it in the wrong drawer when she screamed! The other drawers were completely empty, all my father’s natives were gone, so were my mother’s expensive georges and laces. No one was spared, my shoes recently sent to me from america were gone too as well as a couple of my baffs! I cried my eyes out, Bunmi and her kid were missing too, no surprise there. My mum traced her to her brother’s house, she had sold most of the stuff and my mom’s friends beat her up, kinda felt bad for her cos her baby kept crying too like he sensed his milk source was getting whipped, guess he didn’t like whipped cream 😉 !!! Anyway we managed to put her and our stolen goods behind us and we children happily did the chores for a while. Then there was Fatima who we learnt was kidnapped from coutonou and mama gave her money to go back home, hope it wasn’t a scam! Then there was Titi who painted her long fixed nails all day and refused to do the dishes, that got her fired pretty fast! After her came sunday whom we weren’t allowed to call aunty, guess because he was a guy! Then there was Aunty Dayo who was pretty good save for the fact that she chased away every guy that came to visit us claiming they’d leave us pregnant! Then we had drivers too and l would be crazy not to mention Uncle Peter who always smelt of igbo, smoked while driving us to school, never missed a pot-hole, drove like hurricane Katrina and loved the sort of one-hit Ibo songs played on Ekeledilichukwu buses! He’s late now, R.I.P uncle Peter! Then there was uncle Ayo, the typical lagos driver. Always late, very obnoxious and he often carried girls in the car. He was fun though, miss uncle Ayo, guess he wasn’t a hit with the parents! Now we are older, drivers are not needed cos everyone can drive save for me (dont ask!) and we keep the house clean and in order without any extra help so imagine my surprise when my mum called to say she was getting a house-help! OMG!!! Abeg make una help me beg my mother! Sigh… 😦 The saga continues… Have a lovely day peeps, xoxo 😉

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2010 in Memoirs

 

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This is what i had to do to be a doctor…so R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!

      As part fulfillment for my attainment of the M.B;B.S degree, I learnt that it would be required of me to provide basic healthcare to certain communities in Lagos and it’s immediate surroundings. My community immersion began on the 16th of June 2008. My first assignment was to spend 4 working days in Alhaji Masha Surulere popularly known as Shitta. Since I had never been there before I left school in the old rickety school bus with an open mind, my lively group members in tow and with a Ghana must go full of drugs, medical supplies and health education tools. Being the group rep, I was asked a lot of questions about where we were headed by my over-eager group members that i just couldn’t answer. We arrived at Shitta at 9.30 am and the place was like any other part of Lagos only worse with overpopulated rambling storey buildings and dirty surroundings and a great number of young men who should have been at work hanging on the streets. We the final year medical students of the University of Lagos, College of Medicine became street doctors going from flat to flat, household to household interviewing the people, finding out their health and health related problems and treating their illnesses. We also had in-depth interviews with the leaders of the community to hear their views on the standard of living, health and other problems in the community. The only fee collected from them was minimal and only during the sale of prescribed drugs. Also we had a focused group discussion on sexually transmitted diseases where the youths aired their views and we tried to correct their misconceptions. We also went to the African gospel nursery and primary school located in the community where we assessed the children’s nutritional status, de-wormed them and examined them as well as treating the common illnesses we encountered. We knew our limits and referred patients who needed expert care to the nearest functional hospital. We also carried out a mass immunization exercise. On the last day, we presented our findings to the leaders of the community and put our heads together to come up with possible solutions to present in our action plan to the Local government. The major health problems in Shitta were malaria, hypertension and arthritis while the health related problems were overcrowding with up to seven adults living in a small room, unemployment amongst the youth and a high percentage of old people in addition to poor environmental sanitation due to poor drainage. On the 22nd of June, we left school in some hired old buses to a destination unknown. Ire-akari village they called it. Our arsenal was an assortment of food, clothes, mosquito repellants and our faithful Ghana must go full of medical supplies. Most of us hadn’t been to a village in years and were dreading the thought of spending four nights in a village unknown. All we told our parents and guardians was that we were headed to Pakoto in Ifo Local government of Ogun state. We arrived there at 12.30pm. the village looked deserted, maybe the villagers were still in church. The bus stopped at an unpainted duplex and we waited with bated breaths. Our facilitators asked us to come down with all our luggage and we were ushered into a small bungalow behind and given two rooms the size of prison cells with only one window unprotected by netting per room. This was the beginning of a long ordeal. We had to use pit latrines, there was no electricity in the village as the transformer had blown months ago and was yet to be fixed, we had to sleep on bare concrete floor at the mercy of sand flies thankfully a few of us, I included had brought mattresses. In those five days we were expected to fill questionnaires, interview the people, treat their illnesses, count the number of houses, draw a map, de-worm all their school children as well as assess their nutritional status and immunize the people especially the children in the village. We also had to conduct focus group discussions on HIV/AIDS, a topic chosen by us because during our interviews we realized the people had no knowledge on HIV/AIDS. The people were cordial and initially a bit skeptical of us. The palm wine was fresh and the village lacked mosquitoes- what a blessing! There were three primary schools in the village but the children had to travel miles for secondary education. Many of the children were undernourished and had varying skin diseases. We had to educate some of their parents on cheap sources of protein. On the last day we gave out food stuffs and provisions to the villagers and they prayed lengthily for our success. It was quite an experience. I was thankful that I could help this people in my own little way. It wasn’t easy because all of us were city kids used to the comfort of high brow Lagos but we survived. Looking back I can laugh at all the incidences that made me cry like falling on my way to the stream into elephant grass and not only tearing my jeans but itching all night because of the elephant grass. We thought the Institute of Community Health was punishing us by sending us into the wild but we returned fulfilled and more aware of the problems of the masses. I wish more programs like this would be incorporated into medical schools nation wide and that more importantly, the government will reach out to these mostly unnoticed set of people. I got an A and I was excited although honestly, I wouldn’t wanna repeat that experience. Today I’m a proud doctor and all I can say is E seun Baba!!!

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Health, Memoirs

 

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