Happy Tuesday Week 14

ONE

When I started work this year, I knew that given my desire not to get entangled with the drama that comes with driving and maintaining a car, I would have to regularly take buses.

Not that I had a problem with that. But some days, I’ve had cause to roll my eyes at the antics of my fellow passengers, the bus driver or conductor etc etc. But there are some days when I love the diverse personalities in buses. A while back for instance, after work, I entered a bus and after I’d paid, I decided to read a book I’d had with me all day. Then my seat partner to the right decided that it was as good a time as any to toast me. He introduced himself, I did the same and then I told him that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. But some people have selective hearing. So he kept on asking me questions, joking with me, jostling me when I wouldn’t respond and so on. It was annoying behavior but I wasn’t annoyed. I knew if I responded at all, he would capitalize on it. Then my seat partner to the left passed me a note, “Did you know this idiot from before?” And then I gave up the pretext of reading and started passing notes and doing my best to avoid letting my seat partner to the right see the notes while giving monosyllabic responses to his queries.

It was a very interesting bus ride all in all. My seat partner to the right, the toaster gave me back my bus fare, along with his card and my seat partner to the left rolled his eyes and made me laugh. Some days, I love buses.

TWO

Some days, I can’t stand buses. The endless waits for one, the uncomfortable seats, the unilaterally hiked prices. It can get quite annoying. 

It got extraordinarily frustrating three weeks ago. In Surulere for CDS, a friend had introduced me to a cheaper method of getting home that would involve me taking an airconditioned BRT at Ojuelegba to Ketu/Ojota, then a walk and another bus to my preferred stop. Aforementioned friend not being around, I attempted the journey solo. And it would have been perfect. Except that a keke driver had driven away with my change, my phone battery was less than 10%, I needed to sleep badly because I’d deprived myself for too long and I didn’t have as much cash with me as I normally feel comfortable with, for some reason. BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THIS STORY TO NOTE THAT I STILL HAD MONEY.

Anyway, after a while, the horrible traffic situation had the Napep driver take a different route, I had to lug my super tired body up the overhead bridge and down the other side only for me to meet this incredibly long line for the Ketu/Ojota buses. The problem was that they couldn’t print tickets for the buses. Like really? Buses came, buses went, empty BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T PRINT TICKETS! I was extremely tired so I didn’t even have the energy to get mad. I tried to reason with the ticket sellers to get them to find another way to sort the mess out. No luck. I waited for a while when it seemed the machine had begun printing again, but it was only a temporary reprieve and it died again. So I went to the danfos. I just wanted to get home and quickly too. Then I entered a danfo, which only 2 weeks back was N100. When the conductor told me that it was N200, I was quite upset.

Reasoning that I’d pay the same N200 also to get the Maryland/Ikeja bus and whilst Ketu/Ojota was extremely foreign to me, it’s virtually impossible for me to get lost in Ikeja, I got off the bus. A bus driver nearby, it was a police bus but he wasn’t wearing the uniform, asked me why I’d gotten down. A bit irritated with the conversation, I told him it was because I didn’t have enough money to cover the hiked fare. Which was a big fat lie. Then I made to leave so I could board a bus to Ikeja and get started on sleeping and he stopped me. I turned back only to see him opening his wallet to give me money to get home. It isn’t often that I get gobsmacked. But I was. And ashamed. Very ashamed. It’s been a while since I met someone so nice as to offer money to a complete stranger who allegedly couldn’t get home. I refused. Whatever else, I knew I couldn’t accept that money. I’d much rather have paid the hiked fare and had to withdraw money for the second stage of the journey but my conscience wouldn’t have let me sleep if I had taken money from him.So I thanked him profusely but I refused. He asked me how I would get home and I said I’d figure it out somehow. Then I thanked him again and ran to an Ikeja bus. I paid and got started on my sleep. 

It turned out that I didn’t have to withdraw money for the second stage either. I shared the bus with an old acquaintance and he paid both my fare and his. But still, I really like knowing that there are super helpful people still around.

THREE

On the 20th of July at 3:25am, I was deeply in my 4th hour of sleep having realized that an extra hour of sleep would greatly help my mood when I had to go and open the gate for my mom’s driver at 5:00am. 

Then my mom came into my room and “Uju, get up. Uju get up. I think Mikey is dead.”

I vaulted out of my bed and ran to the door. As I was about to open the door, my mom dragged me back into the house.

You guys know the I pass my neighbor generators right? Well we have one. Usually, we use it on weeks where electricity supply has been marvelous and we just need light for the fans, the TV or to charge our phones. But last year, someone jumped our fence and stole that generator. We got a new one but chained it with the much larger generators. Then we noticed that someone had pretty much destroyed the support of the new generator, the chained part so they could take it. 

When we got Mikey, we stopped bringing it inside. Present day, the generator repairman my dad uses, called my dad to tell him that he saw our generator in his compound. Knowing how high spirited Mikey is, I knew they’d have to have done something to him so he wouldn’t alert the house. My mom stopped me from going outside because, what if the thieves were still around? They had stolen my wallet before, torn through the window of my parent’s room and taken my dad’s trousers to rifle through for money and phones before. 

When you are woken up because of a problem, then told that you cannot go out to investigate that problem and you happen to be a Christian, the solution is obvious, innit?

So I prayed, for my mad dog, that I wouldn’t find him with his neck snapped and blood oozing out. For our small generator that we’d find it, that I never be put in this situation again.

5:00am came and my mom’s driver knocked on the outside gate. My mom followed me outside. Safety in numbers and all that. Then when I got close to the gate, the dog came out, rubbing my legs. Apparently they had given him something that made him sleep, and then super groggy because he wasn’t coordinated and wasn’t barking and dragging buckets on the floor as usual. But he was alive, and later that day, we got the small generator back.

You may have 10 dogs, a 100 gates, a super security system. But unless the Lord keeps your house, your security is and will always be in vain. Thank you so much Lord. In case you guys haven’t realized yet, Happy ….days are testimony days. And this paragraph is an invitation to try the wonders of God for yourself. Try Him. Please. You won’t regret it.

FOUR

Most years, I only fall sick once. But that sickness will be a doozy. I’ve had pneumonia, muscle cramps that leave me unable to walk without extreme pain or unable to talk audibly or write legibly or the sickness will be mental instead. And I know my body intimately. Whenever I start to lose weight, it always starts from my hips. Leggings need to be held with a belt, tight jeans become baggy etc etc. Then my face, then finally my stomach. I’m currently rolling my eyes.

So about two weeks back, I noticed pain in my chest and my ribs, trouble inhaling deeply and slight tenderness in my back and ribs. Symptoms of pneumonia. Plus a dangerous stomach ache, missing appetite, a painful tightness in the left side of my head and a racking, productive cough. 

And I was like, Lord, we talked about this last year. That time my leg cramped up and I couldn’t walk properly, remember how I prayed? And the next day it disappeared? I need a miracle Lord. I don’t want to have pneumonia again. I don’t want to have ulcer again, I’ve been eating proper meals at regular intervals, haven’t I, I don’t want to have migraines and eyeaches either, I don’t have any plans to spend time in any hospital. Lord please, heal me. Then I went out with a friend, we got food, asun and ice cream at Coldstone. I got home and was only able to eat about 3 forkfuls. But I shared the asun with my dad and Nonso, shared the Coldstone with Nonso and kept mine in the freezer. And then I went to bed. The next day, the pain in my chest had greatly lessened, the tightness in the left side of my head had disappeared, my eyes were clear and not swollen, I had only a slight discomfort in my stomach which disappeared when I had a proper meal and I was so grateful. Please people, thank God with me.

FIVE

You gotta appreciate the funnies:

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http://chynanu.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/evening-sonatas/#comments

Wedding Playlist Suggestions 2

The last post I did on this topic got some attention on social media. Thanks for liking it guys.

In the last post, someone told me that many things are happening in the world and the fact that I’m not getting married doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.

Maybe so. I agree, in fact. But in my world, I’m one of the principal characters, so nothing is happening in my world that has me compiling a wedding playlist. You guys are smart. You understand the difference.

I completely intend to get to the songs that were recommended to me, but I just listened to the song I’m about to recommend; again and I knew it was next on the turnstile.

Wattpad introduced me to this song, actually. In about 3 Wattpad books, at slow dances, at the turning point in the relationship of the characters, they’d pick this song. I was curious, so I went on YouTube to search for it. I did not like the official video of the song, I didn’t. But the video is hardly important. Also, it made me laugh that a romantic song had the line, “I’ll be love’s suicide” in it. But I know fantastic when I hear it. And when I read it.

Speaking of Wattpad and knowing fantastic, check out these books on Wattpad:

a) 100 Reasons Why by Amanda M. It’s unusual, but it was so lovely, it made me cry.

b) The Bad Boy’s Girl by Jessgirl93/BlairHoldenX. In real life, I don’t like bad boys, can’t even imagine myself with one. So, I don’t know why I keep reading about them. But this book is fantastic. Like 100 million reads. Totally awesome. 

c) Last but definitely not least, Like That by HollisMayer. She reached out to me (when I like a book or an article, I have to reach out to the person who’s responsible for it and commend them. It needs to be done) and I told her that she could write professionally. I’d definitely buy. Little heavy on the suspense, but I fell in love with Emily right away.

Also, Adaeze (adaezewrites.com) has a Pay As You Read story out right now called The Escape. It’s good, but then all her stories are good. Check this out!

Before I turn this into a very long article, the song is I’ll be by Edwin McCain. And it’s really really REALLY GOOD.

Thanks go to http://www.azlyrics.com. Thanks guys!

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The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath.
And emeralds from mountains thrust towards the sky
Never revealing their depth.
Tell me that we belong together,
Dress it up with the trappings of love.
I’ll be captivated,
I’ll hang from your lips,
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above.

[Chorus:]
I’ll be your crying shoulder,
I’ll be love’s suicide
I’ll be better when I’m older,
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life.

And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed.
You’re my survival, you’re my living proof.
My love is alive and not dead.
Tell me that we belong together.
Dress it up with the trappings of love.
I’ll be captivated,
I’ll hang from your lips,
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

[Chorus]

And I’ve dropped out, I’ve burned up, I’ve fought my way back from the dead.
I’ve tuned in, turned on, remembered the things that you said

[Chorus:]
I’ll be your crying shoulder,
I’ll be love’s suicide
I’ll be better when I’m older,
I’ll be the greatest fan of your…
I’ll be your crying shoulder,
I’ll be love’s suicide
I’ll be better when I’m older,
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life.

The greatest fan of your life.
…greatest fan of your life.

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Been a while but Article Recommendation:

http://www.eurekanaija.com/2013/04/19/feminism/

Wedding Playlist Suggestions 1

​Nothing is happening. I’m not alluding to anything or giving you guys hints. I just love the lyrics to this song.But if any of you guys are planning to get married soon, may I suggest this song?

While I love the lyrics and that it’s a slow number, it’s not exactly a song you can dance to.

Credit for the lyrics goes to http://www.songlyrics.com. Thank you!

John Waller – The Marriage Prayer 

Artist: John Waller

Album: As For Me And My House

[Verse 1:]

Father, 

I said till*

Death do us part

I want to mean it

With all of my heart

Help me to love you

More than I love her

Then I know I can 

Love her more

Than anyone else


[Pre:]

And bring her in

Your presence today

Make her what 

You want her to be


[Chorus:]

I pray to hear her heart

I pray she’ll love you more

I pray to cherish and serve her

And we’ll bring you glory today, I pray


[Verse 2: ~Josee Waller~]

Father, 

I said till 

Death do us part

I want to mean it

With all of my heart

\n Help me to love you

More than I love him

Then I know I can 

Love him more

Than anyone else


[Pre:]

And bring him in

Your presence today

Make him what 

You want him to be

Chorus:

Bridge:

Lord, help me love her

As you love the church, your bride

(Josee) Help me submit to him

As I submit to you, my life

Chorus: (2x)

Out:

This is my prayer Amen

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LEARNING TO BE A BITCH (For Nedoux)

​ So the day after I wrote this post, Nedoux contacted me. The minute I saw the notification on my WhatsApp, I had a sense that it related to the post. After exchanging some pleasantries she asked me a question, and that question led to the posting of today. So thank you Nedoux, for exercising big sister concern. It’s nice to be worried over sometimes. 

Also, as much as possible, I don’t want to post Talk Thursday on Thursdays anymore lest it be mistaken for hers.

By the way, Grace dear, happy belated birthday. I wish you love, joy, prosperity and deep seated joyfulness.

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The world is not kind to women. It is an acknowledged, but commonly ignored fact. But I’m not here to cry about gender inequalities and how unfair they are to my gender.

I’ve had a picture like this since my first year in the University. Photo credit: Britney Spears on Twitter. Smart chic.

The point of this write up, is to point out something that I think a lot of people have warped. Have you ever watched Mean Girls? That constant backstabbing, the constant ambition to destroy others, that’s how life is. Ceasefires of hostilities are called, whenever people make alliances, the most recognizable of which are friendships and marriage.

So Obianuju, WHO IS A BITCH? 

According to the 2006 version of the Encarta dictionary, a bitch is a highly offensive term which insults a woman’s temperament.

Thus, a woman can only be called a bitch, when she acts in such a way that can be categorized as bitchy. 

But, according to the perceptions of people, who may be jealous or mean, a bitch is a woman or girl who manages to earn more than them or be more successful than they are.

A bitch is a woman who walks on the road and does not bother to contort herself into unnatural shapes so that a man or a boy can pass by first.

A bitch is someone who does not answer to every “Hey baby”and every kissy face made at her. 

A bitch is someone who hardly answers strangers when they ask why she’s laughing.

A bitch; is someone who doesn’t like small talk when it’s time to collect the money you’re owing her or when you’re standing over her food.

A bitch is someone who does not tolerate you insulting her, or screaming at her and will knock you down several pegs if you do.

A bitch is someone who will slide out of every one of your surprise lean ins, which are only  meant to tap current.

A bitch is someone who does not like strangers holding her hands hostage while drenching her face with saliva.

A bitch is someone who stares at you when you tell her you love her after a day.

A bitch is someone who tells you she has a boyfriend, which is true, when you try to set her up with your friend because you want to be recognized as the ultimate matchmaker during their wedding ceremony.

A bitch is someone who does not believe in swearing for her lecturers when she fails an exam.

A bitch is someone who does not believe that respect should still be maintained when your lesson teacher chases you all around your parents house trying to touch your pubescent private parts.

A bitch is someone who will wrestle you for the remote when you forget to tell her please and decide to hold it hostage.

A bitch is someone who hates being woken up from sleep to make food for her cousin who already has a plate of food in front of him.

A bitch is someone who does not believe that teenagers under 18 should be in relationships especially with older people.

A bitch is someone who will block your number when the first thing you inquire about when you want to take her on a date for Valentine’s Day is whether she’d be willing to have sex with you afterwards.

A bitch, is anyone who will butt into any conversation where the advice bring given to her younger brother is potentially catastrophic.

A bitch is someone who will not allow anyone, employer, family member or not, speak to her or treat her like an incompetent, stupid thief.

A bitch is anyone who believes that promises need to be kept, that friendships shouldn’t be tossed aside without explanation or at least an argument. 

Photo credit: http://www.coolchaser.com

Basically, a bitch is anyone who believes in living her life with dignity, respecting herself, respecting others, and their rights when they’re able to comprehend them. A bitch is anyone with a mind of her own. And as such, I’m a bitch. Obianuju Jennifer Ayalogu is a stark, raving, happy bitch. It took me a long time to learn how to be one but now that I know how to be, I plan to never not be a bitch.

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By the way, Nedoux is organizing her first program. 

The details of it are in the picture below. So if you’re interested and I do hope you are, just send that email.

Happy Thursday Week 13/Talk Thursday Week 1

Hey,

I don’t want to write 5 stories of things that made me happy today. I want in addition to that, to talk about completely, totally random stuff.
It’s filtered into Happy “Tuesdays” before even. Here for instance. The stories will be happy, because by nature, I’m a happy person. But today I just want to talk.

*
Since Thursday last week, Nonso has been giving me the silent treatment. Truth be told, I’m quite relieved. And can I say, I genuinely don’t care. He and I still talk but in stilted sentences(him); “Don’t put off the generator now, I want to watch something” and authoritative ones (me);
“Close my door and put off the light. Exactly the way you met it” but of course when in unfamiliar environments, he reverts back to the familiar, me.
The genesis of this round of silent treatment was on Thursday evening. Nonso has control of the remote about 70% of the time because he instituted a rule. The first person who touches the remote when they bring light or switch on the generator owns it until they take light or switch off the generator.
I don’t have a problem with this rule. When I have the remote, if he asks to watch a show, 8 times out of 10, I’ll let him. And vice versa. But on Thursday, going by his rules, the remote was mine. I didn’t have any particular attachment to what I was watching and if he had asked me to change the channel or asked to see something else, I would no doubt have given it to him. But no. Despite seeing me with the remote, he grabbed it and when I asked him to return it, he told me belligerently that he wanted to watch a match.
When I finally stood up and wrestled the remote from his hand, he began to insult me. I’m not by nature a very stubborn person. But it needs to be established again perhaps, that when I’m provoked to upset, I can and probably will be a first class bitch. But here I was, still being nice. I asked him why he didn’t say please, he insulted me again. Then I turned back to my fried spaghetti and salad and ignored him.
He didn’t eat spaghetti that day. Normally, between him, myself and my dad who had traveled, spaghetti tends to finish before my mom gets to eat. So like I said, the silent treatment has been on for five days now and I’m relieved because I do not have the energy to answer my brother’s regularly- asked profoundly stupid questions (he knows they’re stupid, I know they’re stupid, the whole family knows they’re stupid), or deal with how he takes offense at pretty much everything. I’ve dealt with moody teenagers before. I’m happy for this current reprieve. And I got to eat seconds of my amazing spaghetti. There is no downside to this.
*
On Tuesday, I was told to go to the Magistrate Court in Ogba to follow up on a file in a court. Although I didn’t know the address of the Magistrate Court, I knew that going there too early wasn’t advisable. So when I finally decided to go, I asked my dad to drop me at Berger. Before he did though, he had to stop at a bank. While he was there, the person who’d parked in front of him came out and seeing me in the car asked me to call (my dad) to move out. He said it a bit rudely but I wasn’t going to make a big deal. I called my dad, my dad assured me he’d be out soon. Then this person came around again and this is where I got pissed, he SCREAMED at me and left. I took it. Then driven by an anger and a refusal to let this situation repeat itself, I unhooked my seatbelt, got out of the car, all the while I felt not a damn thing, then I went over to meet him. And I told him that the fact that my dad’s car was blocking his did not give him the right to talk “at” me and scream at me. Then I went back to the car. When my dad came out, he started telling him a fictionalized version of the story. He cast himself as the beleaguered party. He told me to please call him to move the car. He told me the second time to please call him again. And I the witch, told him that nothing at all gave him the right to tell me to tell him to move the car. He was not my mate and I did not have any right to speak to him like that.
My point already having been made, I listened to this person paint me black with a bit of boredom. My dad apologized. Getting into the car, my dad didn’t say a word to me but after a while we started joking as per usual. And I told him my version. There is no point to this story. Just an annoying event in an otherwise lovely day. I felt guilty after a while though. I can be a bitch yes, but I hate that my dad was the one to apologize for my round of bitchitude.
*
Now the awesomest story of today, My family just grew!
A little boy named Akosa (short form of Akaolisa I.e the hand of God) was just born to my cousin. And of course, just like his big sister, he waited for an older cousin’s birthday to show up.

image
But look at that cuteness!

Happy Thursday Week 12

ONE

You all know how much I dislike walking in the rain. Well, one more downside to walking in the rain, is that your shoes get fully soaked and then begin to disintegrate. Last week Wednesday, I walked a lot of places and then this heavy downpour came afterward. I was safely inside the courthouse by that time though. But afterwards, my favourite black shoes were extremely soaked, and the front of it was coming apart. I was extremely frustrated at having to take careful little steps while I was carrying a lot of files and documents. And I was hungry too. And then, on my way out of the office going home, I saw this woman. She works near my office, her car happens to be a distinctive two door and I unconsciously memorized her license plate number. I have all my immediate family’s plate numbers memorized as well. It’s a subconscious thing. But since that day, I’d never gone home with her because:
(I) I hate asking for favours.
(II) I’ve never managed to be out of the office at the same time she is. I don’t even know her office but I know it’s close by.
But that day, everything aligned perfectly, my wet shoes were spared a lot of the pressure I would have put on them and allowed to dry out in peace. We talked, I ate the food I’d been lugging around for an hour. I was so happy. I really love those shoes. It was such a perfect & timely testimony.

TWO

I’ve wanted to get baptized since 2012. I was baptized as a baby but a lot of people hold the view that unless I’m convicted as to the reason for my baptism, it’s only a ceremony and holds no real meaning. I hold that belief myself, in fact.
To that end, I took Believers Class (the only 3 year Believers Class ever I’m sure) at my former/parent’s church. Then there was Baptismal class. Since Believer’s Class took 3 years, I didn’t want to wait another 7 years to be baptized. So I made it a resolution. I can be ultra laissez faire and regularly go with the flow, but when I want something to be done as much as I wanted to be baptized, I had to make it a priority.
So I changed churches, enrolled in their baptismal class earlier this year. Lessons finished in late March or early April, and we just missed the Easter baptismal set. The next batch was due around September but we wrote the Exams in late May.
Then on Thursday last week, I got a call and was informed that my baptism was slated for Saturday morning at the Redeemed Camp but I had to attend a “vigil” first. It was a massive surprise but on Friday last week, I was at camp with my backpack filled with my phone, wallet, food to eat at the vigil, a novel to read on the drive, my hand cream and sanitizer, pashmina and a skirt in case someone told me my trousers were prohibited.
Quel surprise! It turned out that the “vigil” was a retreat. A 3 day retreat. I was angry for like 2 minutes then I rationalized again that I would stay, get baptized and then go home.
The morning of the baptism, they told me that they couldn’t baptize my braids along with my body and mind so they were loosened and after about an hour I was dunked into the water, teeth tightly clenched, nose filling up with water. They even had to do it again because my body was stiff.
Then we got back to the others for a prayer walk and breakfast. The accommodation provided was a bit like a hostel. A very clean one though. And it was very nice in retrospect, if I’d brought along my nightgown, toothbrush, bathroom slippers, SOAP, scarf, hairbrush, face wash and coverlet I have no doubt that I would have loved it. But I didn’t bring them so I just liked it.
The prayer walk took about 4 hours instead of the scheduled 2. One of my greatest blessings, I believe, is my ability to know my limits. Physically and mentally. To know what I will and will not accept, tolerate or do. On that walk, I realized at a point that if I continued, I’d probably die (serious exaggeration), have my first fainting episode or be so sore for days afterward, I wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere without pain. So like a self respecting person, I turned back, retraced my steps and started making my way back to base. My plan was to take a shower, wash my hair, eat breakfast and take a bus to my house. But as it turned out, my roommates had taken the key to the room, there were no duplicate copies at the reception either. So I sat down and waited in the cafeteria for almost 3 hours. When they eventually got back, I did all the above and got home safe and happy. It wasn’t hard to see the benefits to myself. I got baptized, the braids that would have taken me about 3 hours and a lot of arm pain to loosen was loosened in less than 20 minutes, I got an extra 3 hours to sleep and some time alone to commune with God.

THREE

One of the hazards of using the Oregun route is the unbelievable traffic that descends sometimes. When that traffic comes, you’d hardly see any tricycles or buses to take you. And although I generally don’t mind walking, I’d walked a lot during the course of the day and I was tired. Plus, there was the ever present threat of more rain.
Then after about 30 minutes of waiting and being on the losing side of battles for spaces on tricycles, I struck up a conversation with a girl but it was the stilted conversation of two people with much else on their minds. Then she got on a tricycle and while it was passing by me, she asked where I planned to stop. It was the same place she was stopping so she asked the driver for special permission to carry me. As she was carrying me, I wanted to pay but she didn’t even let me do that. I just sat there feeling really thankful.

FOUR

From lots of experience, I know that if you drop anything in a bus, you shouldn’t expect any one to help you pick it up. It doesn’t matter if it’s directly in front of them, or that you being the one to pick it up will cause extreme discomfort. It’s not their job and they won’t do it. So yesterday when someone bumped my hand at the same time the bus took a sharp left turn and sent my book flying, I looked around for it and I saw it in a very hard to reach place. I decided to finish my phone call before I contorted myself enough to reach it so I turned to the front and kept talking when someone tapped me on the shoulder with my book in hand.
I thanked her and allowed myself enjoy a deep feeling of wellbeing. Something else to be thankful for; the road was very free and I got home in record time.

FIVE

After almost a year of going to Water Corporation to find out the problem, buying water three or four times a week etc, we’re finally getting a borehole. I’m very relieved I must say. I moved past tired months ago.
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Article Recommendation

It’s not an article. There’s this application called Wattpad. As a user, you can post chapters of books you’re writing for the Wattpad audience to read for free. I downloaded it because I like reading. But I never read anything on it. Last week Thursday, I was filing at court and it was taking a lot of time and I’d finished my paperback novel. So I opened the application and I got started reading one book, recommended by Wattpad called “The Good Girl’s Bad Boys” about bullying and friendship. It was massively unusual and it was written by a fourteen year old, which I’m jealous of, but I would recommend it over and over and over again. It’s really good. You don’t even mind when the story veers off into uncharted waters.
Read it if you can, hmm?

Happy Tuesdays Week 11

NUMERO UNO
So, I invite you guys for quite a bit of stuff, but I don’t show you what happened at a lot of it. But here; a baby step.
So, #TheExcision was on Saturday, the 11th of June, 2016.
Getting there was my major problem. I knew to get on the BRT, take a bus and drop at Lekki Phase 1, but from there, I planned to play it by ear. I wasn’t worried. Not really. But my major problem lay in coordinating my plans with someone else’s.
She’s a friend of mine. I invited her for the programme and she, having had my phone and watched all the videos of Janette…ikz on it, fell like I did, in serious like with her.
When there’s a variable in my plans that I am unaware of, I prefer to go early so I can mumble, jumble, miss my way enough but still get there within time.
I suggested 12 noon, she said 2:30pm, I suggested 2. We agreed she’d call around 2ish. Then I waited, confirmed that I wouldn’t see two of my other friends there etc. And then I almost fell asleep waiting for her call. So I got up, got dressed, and started leaving.
I stopped somewhere and called her. “The MTN number you have dialed is switched off…” I waited and tried again. And after about 25 minutes, I knew I was about to combust with anger so I started walking. Got to Berger and on the BRT, chose a single seat, then her call came through. Where was I?
Then I moved to a double seat, the Ticketer came by, told me my ticket was for Metro not BRT, so I left my stuff and ran back to get a BRT ticket then ran back. By then the BRT was very full, standing room only, my friend wasn’t there and lots of people had come by asking about the seat I’d saved for her. (3:21pm) The driver entered at the same time her call came through. Needless to say, she did not follow me. I got there almost an hour late and I wasn’t happy about it at all. But, despite my irritation, despite my angst, it turned out that the event began late. Lucky me.
Now, you must know this, I primarily went there to see Janette…ikz. All the other spoken word artists I would listen to but Janette was the primary reason I went. The beginning of my puppy dog like was last year. Abuja. Cutie and Chike weren’t around, the others had travelled. My uncle had unlimited Internet. I watched one of her videos; her wedding video and I really liked everything so I watched and watched and watched.
And then I saw about 3 of my friends outside, was talking to someone when I saw a flash of red hair in an afro. I swear, I ran towards it. Literally ran. My thighs reminded me of that run for the next 2 days; I strained a muscle. When I got there I really wanted to give her a massive hug. But I’m not Mikey, and I do have self control. I should have hugged her. I don’t think she’d have pushed me off. #ineedahug. I contented myself with taking multiple pictures of her and the rest of them.
Well, the event went really well. I discovered that when she performed The Whole Truth, which I’ve watched about 60 times, I kinda dissociated. There was an extra verse in this particular one though. I listened to that the hardest.
Good thing I didn’t watch all their videos beforehand. The biggest revelations of the day for me, were Ezekiel Azonwu (@wordsbyezekiel) and Preston Perry (@Preston_n_Perry). I’ve listened to both of the foreign female artists, more to Janette…ikz though and a little bit to Ezekiel. But I’d never listened to Preston before. I’d read his Instagram sermons though and he seemed solid. But he blew my mind. He was the only artist I snapped my fingers for. Not that the others were undeserving. I just felt so attuned to his performances.
On the local spoken word artists, I was really impressed with Plumbline and Gaise. And one woman stood out for me. Atilola herself. I even follow her on Twitter not knowing she was the convener of the entire event. And I’ve binge read her blog before and I loved it. Check it out. Click on the link!
Also, I met someone in real life that’s been a great blogger friend to me. I won’t tell you her name. I’ll just add up a pic of the 2 of us.

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I eventually met up with my friend, we shared a plate of small chops, and my Shortbread and my papa came to pick us up. I’d planned to sleep over. Finito. I got a picture of myself with all four spoken word artists but I’m super disgusted that I didn’t even open my mouth to say anything encouraging. I’m ashamed of myself. As simple as that.
But I wouldn’t trade my attendance for a carton of Shortbread and skittles and that’s saying a lot.

DEUX
I’ve learned to recognize particular days. For instance, there are days when it seems that every car would like to hit me. It’s not an exaggeration, merely a fact. And for a long while, I victim blamed, in other words, I blamed my self for a bit, my way of walking, not crossing the road fast enough. And then I noticed a pattern, whenever these days came around, the drivers of these vehicles were either running red lights, going the wrong way, careening too close to the sidewalk, driving angry or blind or just plain stupid. But the point is that I am always the intended victim of the fallout. I don’t want to tell y’all any long stories. Yesterday, I was running late and my thighs still burned when I walked, so I hopped on a bike to get to the park. It registered only later, but in the thick of Berger traffic, a danfo bus almost collided with my spinal cord. Barely an inch apart. It’s easy to be brave when there’s no immediate danger or when it has passed. Just thank God for my life. I’ve heard and seen too many accidents arising from incidents such as this to take my near miss for granted. The day of course brought some more over adventurous drivers my way, my boss and one other person who almost ran over my leg; this clown who misjudged the space between a parked car and the road and almost splintered my knee, one human being who started reversing without bothering to check the rearview mirror. But hey, Obianuju is safe and happy. Obianuju is fine. Thank God.

TROIS
So the Sunday before this one that just passed, one of my cousins graduated from Babcock with a degree in Accounting. We went for his graduation and I’m super happy about it.
Pictures:

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The graduand's mother
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Is it weird that Nonso is taller than most of us now?
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So much cuteness...

QUARTRE
A couple of weeks back, my boss asked me to go file something at the National Industrial Court and well, I won’t get into the why of it, but he asked me to keep whatever change there was after paying the filing fees and the lateness fees. But here’s the thing, the calculations for the lateness and filing fees we did were way off because the lateness fees were a whole lot smaller than we’d calculated. Which means, therefore that….
I was so happy that day. And so thankful.

CINQ
I have a confession, I’ve never particularly known how I look. I can take a picture of myself and look at the expression on my face but never really at my face itself. Am I making sense?
Added to that, I don’t use makeup, except lipstick and whenever I’m applying it, I use the mirror on my phone and keep it pointed at my lips. I know I’m attractive, but I’ve never really cared either which way. And my skin tone changes so often, I’m never sure if I’m dark or light skinned. Or how it really matters in the grand scheme of my life.
Also, pretty much everyday, someone would come up to me, commenting as to how much I look like someone else they knew.
Anyway, recently on a car ride, something caught my attention, my face. It’s one thing to know that you’re a “good person”, that you don’t have too many acne battle scars, that you don’t have pointy ears but it’s quite another thing to look at the whole picture and realize that you are in fact, quite beautiful. Outside and in.
This particular post might seem vain to some of you, I know that. But it’s groundbreaking to me.

Happy Thursdays: Week 10

This is going to be short. As short as I can make it.

ONE
I love rain. I love the smell, and every once in a while, I love dancing in it. When I’m in my house. When I’m outside though, I still like it, Nigeria can be a bit too hot and I have a perpetual tan but then, the rain can be a drag to walk in. And I mostly love to walk.
But that day, my shoes were soaked and I still had a long way to walk.
So, I asked a tricycle to drop me where I needed to go. I planned to pay too. He said no. Then I asked another one, he took me all the way there and the only payment I made was “Thank you”. And it was accepted.

TWO
I have a special relationship with God. Whenever I’m very angry with someone and I don’t want to fly off the handle, I talk to Him and he tells me something that makes me laugh and calm down.
When I’m sitting on a chair sometimes and leaning back, he tells me to right the chair because if I fall in that position, my spine will be compromised.
It’s a special thing knowing that you have the most powerful being in the Universe looking out for your interests. Looking out for your happiness. And I just want to reiterate how much I love my GOD.

THREE
I have to make plans. If I don’t have a plan, then I’m postponing the making of the plan until I have all my variables in order. And when I have all my variables in order, I pray about it all and then I decide.
I have made 2 long term plans. One has been debated in my head for almost 5 years. I’m happy I finally came to a resolution.

FOUR
I’m happy Adaezenwa finally completed Shadow of a Rainbow. She’s also got a new blog theme. Go check it is!

FIVE
I’m happy that I have life, food, health and a home. The rain raged so hard one night no one wanted to go switch off the generator. And at that moment, I thanked God that the rain would only get me wet for a couple of minutes before I dried off inside. And I thought about those whose beds are underneath bridges. I have much to be thankful for.

What about you?

23 Joy

How do I love you? Let me count the ways:

1. I love you because you have a laugh that is even louder than mine. When the both of us are laughing, no one looks at me. They look at us both.

2. I love you because you made me ofada sauce and got me slippers. I didn’t ask for the slippers and that sauce was lovely.

3. I love you because you finally learned to save! Do you know how many times I actually started creating a budget for you? When you told me you had finally started, I was so relieved.

4. I love you because you don’t indulge my flights of generosity. Because I have had to trick you to get you to take something from me. I plan to keep remembering. It makes me smile.

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5. I love you because you’re honest. And principled. And it’s nice to know I can count on you.

6. I love you because you sent me that document almost 5 times. You could simply have given up. But you sent them so many times until I could finally read it. Thank you!

7. I love you because you call me. You hold me accountable. You and Ife are kinda the only reasons I haven’t deleted my WhatsApp. Kinda.

8. I love you because you’ve made my godmother leave me at your house. Like, I didn’t even realize that it had gotten so late.

9. I love you because you called me to ask me to describe you. Here’s another one: You rock.

10. I love you because when you’re at home, you only wear skirts. It’s funny to me because… Well, it’s just funny.

11. I love you because you keep foisting earrings on me. And threatening me if I dare give them out. You can be scary.

12. I love you because when you, me, Tomi and Ife go out, I don’t feel so alone because you’re dark skinned too. And it also comes out in pictures.

13. I love you because you taught Ife some bad language.

14. I love you because you buy me credit and send it to me. It’s so nice!

15. I love you because you like food as much as I do. You’re one of the only people who does not comment on my portions or tell me I’m eating too much or too little.

16. I love you because you help in tangible ways always. When I told you I wanted to prepare a document, you sent me articles for pointers and you keep following up.

17. I love you because you’re a bully. In your own way. And usually for other people.

18. I love you because you can calm my temper down by displaying some of yours.

19. Because, beauty consultant.

20. I love you because when I was saying I’d probably not have kids, you told me you had to see a child with my face in the future. It’s one of the reasons I’m coming around to the idea.

21. Because you gave me a mug that says “Good morning Beautiful”

22. Because you make the best Mac and cheese ever

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23. Because you make me feel good, important, loved.

I’m happy you’re alive sweetie. May God bless you very abundantly for me.

Amen!

Feliz Cumpleanos!

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Woman Crush Every Blessed day – Mama

You’re the amazingest woman I know. I also know that if I ever do write down the name of this blog for you, you will take offense at the word amazingest. And tell me, “Uju, English!”. But you are. And unless Chike or Uche or Nkiru show you my blog, you won’t see it. I might print it out for you. I don’t know. I think I will. But I don’t know.

Granted, you and I were not close when I was 11 till I was 17. But I understood. I still understand. I forgive you and I genuinely don’t care anymore.

You taught me how to laugh at life. No, not because you laugh at it, but because you have said and done some of the most amazingly irrational things that I had no choice but to. I plan to keep remembering the time you screamed at me to put off the generator by 7:10pm so that we could use it in the night, or how you told me that we don’t fry plantain in pans and then later, that it was irresponsible to fry it in pots. It makes me smile on days when I realize that the sun is being an annoying Chike and I’m not wearing a hat. It makes me laugh sometimes, the kind of laughter that caused that girl to walk to the other side of the road in 2014.

You constantly tease me that I couldn’t be your daughter. How could your daughter not have any fashion sense? How could your daughter be comfortable being an introvert? Shior! Well, the growing number of people who tell me I look like you will disagree but have you actually realized that there’s no way I could not not be your daughter? Because it would really amuse me to watch you deal with a daughter who likes going out and who out fashionistas you. You won’t be able to deal. But then again, you’re the strongest woman I know. You can deal with anything.

I hate people shouting at me. I do. But because I grew up with you, I’m no longer scared of it. Which is amazing because my current boss has a shouting type of voice.

Remember the time you told me to accompany you to the airport? I didn’t want to say anything to your driver that day but you pulled out the emotional blackmail card and I trotted after you. You really should have gotten on the plane without feeling the need to give me anything, really. I did not ask you for anything. And I had to wonder exactly how you expected me to hand over 500 naira to Chike from you with a straight face. But really, thank you for the 250. I bought credit bringing my balance to a round 1000 naira. You know how much I like round figures.

You taught me not to complain. Ever. Amazingly, (since this lesson came at 13, the I don’t like you years) I learnt this lesson and learned it well. I do my best to improve on every situation I do not like instead of complaining about it.

Nwanyi agu, Adaeze, the way you give amazes me. I hated the salon when I was younger, remember that time you kept sending me back to the salon because I refused to wash and set my hair? But the time you followed me to make sure I did it, I noticed a side of you that I actually envied. You most likely don’t remember it. There were 2 girls, they looked like they were in the university and they were hotly arguing with the stylist about the bill. You asked her how much it was, told them not to worry, you’d take care of it. I put myself in their shoes in that instant. I’ve never been able to get myself out of it. Thank you. I remember that time a woman came visiting and you gave her your only silver shoes. I will never forget that the next day Obiamaka gave you an even prettier pair. And you kept exclaiming happily. No matter how many personal details have slipped through my memory, that one never has. I could tell a million stories of your love for giving.

You magnify the good in each of us. I remember the first time I started writing. You’d happily read every story and tell me how great a job I did. It didn’t scare me when I read one of my poems aloud in secondary school, JSS1. Because if my mommy liked it, who was everybody else? Fortunately for my overblown self confidence, every body liked it.

Every once in a while, I look at this wide family you brought me into and I mentally pick and choose who my mom should be (I’ll look into extending it and rearranging entire families soon. Don’t be scared. You’ll still be Mama Doctor na Lawyer. It’s just my vibrant imagination). All things considered, I think Aunty Obi would be my best fit. She doesn’t shout at me, she lets me eat as little as I want without asking me afterwards if that thing on my plate was food, and she very calmly unlooks when she sees me awake by 3AM or she joins me and we have nice conversations, she doesn’t mind if I don’t come out of my room all day and she buys me stuff even when I haven’t asked. But then again, she juices lettuce and cucumbers and drinks it. And she tells me to try it because it’s good for my bones. Actually I’ve tried it and I like it if I add a little fresh juice to it. But if Aunty Obi was my mother, you’d be Aunty Eliza to me and Ifeanyi would be your daughter. And I’d be working in an oil company right now! Yay me! But I have a feeling I’ll miss getting up by 1AM because Obianuju, I’m hungry. And you’ll miss me oh, because Ifeanyi will not share her perfumes with you or tell you to take them the second time you sssssssssssssssssssssssssssspray them. Or her jewelry. Or her shoes.
Will Ifeanyi know to keep quiet when you start shouting? Will she actually come out of her room to bring you your phone that is in your bag right next to you? I hope she does. Really.

But most of all, I wanted you to know that I love you. May thousands come when you call, may you have fantastic friends, may your children think up inventive ways to spoil you silly. Kisses and hugs.

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