My Best Friend’s Dad- And Now, Ebube (Final conclusion)

Over a year later

BOMA

“So, when are you planning to travel?”
“About week and a half from today. I seriously need a vacation”
“Aww, you poor baby”
“My bank account begs to differ and I’m not a baby”.
” I hear you”
She rolls her eyes. “Since you’re being such an annoying prat, let me start my own; when are you going to ask my sister to marry you?”
“How is Patrick?”

EBUBE

It is 6pm and I’ve seen my last scheduled client for today. He’s a follow up and today is his last session. He was my very first client and he had a variety of problems including OCD, suicidal tendencies, clinical depression. When my friend and I had successfully campaigned that psychology services be added to the list of services covered by the Health Maintenance Organizations affiliated with her hospital, his mother brought him the next day. An only child, he was her pride and joy. When he came in, he was nervous, mumbling to himself and he refused to sit on the chair until I had cleaned it three times with a mixture of Dettol and bleach. As I assess the confident, handsome young man in front of me, I’m grateful that I was the one who had gotten him to open up.
Before he leaves, he opens his bag and hands me a card and a gift card to go shopping. Then he asks, “Can I hug you?”
And I feel so fulfilled.

BOMA

It really was my fault. I can’t deny it. I like Tega, no doubt. And as Morayo’s search for a boyfriend had led her to some massive assholes before (she had told me stories) I decided to do the gentlemanly thing and introduce her to another gentleman who was girlfriend hunting. And I can’t deny that having Tega paired up with someone else gave me peace of mind. I had seen interest in his eyes when he looked at Ebube and I had hated it.
About 2 months after the wedding, I set up a double date. Ebube warned me. She said I it was better if I threw a party and introduced them but I didn’t listen. So now, we’re on another double date and Tega has just proposed. And all eyes are on me. I’m not so cheesy as to synchronize a proposal.
Ebube is very calmly sipping her smoothie and maintaining a straight face. Looking at her now, I wonder what’s wrong with me. I love this girl. I actually like her. I’ve prayed with her, about her, for her and I have a peaceful feeling about our relationship. My dad keeps telling me that if I don’t marry her, he will marry her himself and make her my stepmother. What exactly is wrong with me?
On the drive back to Ebube’s house, she calmly keeps sipping her smoothie and writing something on her tab.
“What do you think about the proposal”?
“It was nice. It’s surprising though that he proposed to her during our double date. I was praying you wouldn’t do the same ”
“You don’t want me to propose to you?”
She flips the tab closed and directs me to park. “Of course, I want you to propose to me. But I don’t like public scenes and I don’t want you to jump into this before you’re ready. I love you. You love me. I know who you are and you know me. That’s okay for me at this point. Don’t stress yourself thinking that I’m disappointed that you haven’t yet proposed. I’m not. When it’s the right time, you’ll feel it and so will I. We good? ”
“Yes.”
And then I drop her at home.

You’ll know the right time and the right one.

My mom used to say that to me. And I finally get it.

EBUBE

In the office the next day, I get a surprise visitor. Boma smiles at me, walking slowly towards me clutching an envelope. His hands are holding it so tight. It’s a sign that he’s nervous. Involuntarily, I flashback to the first time he asked me out.
He hands me a letter. Then he closes his hand over mine and squeezes it. I squeeze his back, then I drop it and turn over the letter.

To my son’s future wife.

I stare at him, quizzically. “Future wife? Is this your way of proposing to me?”
“No. At least not yet. I mean to say, not right now but I wanted you to know where I want this to go. I plan to ask you to marry me one day but I don’t think it’s time yet. And neither do you.”

I purse my lips, smile and nod. He gives me a soft kiss and he leaves immediately afterwards.

He told me about the letters a while back, on one of our nightly conversations. And I’m nervous. This woman did not know me. I doubt I ever met her in my life. She had no impression of my personality. And I know how protective most mothers are of their sons.
When I begin to have an anxiety attack, I imagine Boma in my head. “What should I do” I ask him.

“Don’t be scared. Just open it”

So, hands shaking, I open it and all my fears dissolve when I read the opening line.

Dear one,

Forgive the cheesy salutation. I discarded sweetheart and honeybunny because one is trite and probably holds no meaning now and the other makes you sound like a child. And I doubt my son wants to marry a person he considers a child.

I’m rambling, aren’t I? Forgive me. You’re probably wondering what someone you might have never met has to say to you. I’m not sure. But I knew that I wanted to pass on some words of advice to you. If you’re reading this, chances are 50-50 that you might have met me or that you haven’t.
I’ve been praying for you since my son was born. I’ve prayed for your schooling, your education, your social, financial and spiritual life. I’ve prayed for your jobs and your businesses. I’ve prayed that you will be a great influence on my boy and he on you. The Bible says that we are not supposed to tell of our charitable deeds but I wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about you for a very long time. And even though I might not have met you, I asked God to send angels to take care of you in my stead. And I know they’ve done a great job of it.

If my son is marrying you, I’m quite sure you have a good heart. Boma might not know this but I’ve watched his dating preferences closely. I know that the deciding factor for him whenever he asks anyone out is whether or not they’re kind or if they are compassionate. He hasn’t changed, I’m sure. And I hope he won’t ever.

I have a favour to ask of you: be kind to my family. My husband is a teddy bear but sometimes he can simply be a bear. If you met him as a bear, I can only hope that you see beneath the exterior, to the loving man, the awesome father beneath that. If you met him as a teddy bear, please give him all the hugs and the love you would give an actual teddy bear. He loves people. And if you’ve met him, if you can see beneath the sometimes brash exterior, you can’t help but love him in return.

My daughter may act serious. She can be scary. But really, the most important thing to her, is her family. And if you treat her brother well, if you treat her father well, she will be friendly with you. Please don’t turn her away. She needs good friends; people who are invested in her life and her choices. She needs female confidants. I ask you, please be that for her.

How is your spiritual life? What is your current relationship with God? I have prayed that it is great. I have prayed that whatever else you might doubt, that by the time my son meets you, you are completely certain, whatever else you may doubt, that God loves you and will always be there for you. I have never subscribed to the belief that it is the sole duty of the woman to pray for the home. Whenever God would ask me to pray for my husband or my children, I would wake my husband up and ask him to pray with me. It used to annoy him. Once, he left our bedroom for a couple of months because he felt that I was disturbing him. Then my mom fell sick and I traveled to take care of her, leaving our two children with him, then our son got kidnapped but thankfully was rescued two days afterwards after my husband emptied his savings of 7 years. When I came back, my husband led the prayers. When I was too tired to pray, he would pray for me to receive strength. In the home you create with my son, I ask you to remember at all times, that although one will chase a thousand, two will put to rout 10,000. The sole responsibility for prayer does not rest only on you. If my son loves you enough to think of marrying you, he must have prayed for you. But don’t be satisfied with that, he needs to keep loving you enough to pray with you, to pray for you and to pray with and for the children the two of you might have.

Also, if you choose to have children (and this is grandmotherly bias speaking, I hope you do), pray with them. Constantly. Talk about prayer with them as easily as you talk about chores and school work. Make it normal for them. Sing praise songs with them. You’ll raise leaders that have a Godly heart that way.

In your business or your workplace, please don’t be a doormat. Be nice, definitely but be firm as well. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Balance your time. Set priorities and boundaries.
Take very good care of yourself.

Every single day, whatever you’re feeling, tell yourself that you are a queen. Reject any behavior from anyone that does not take into account your crown. When you feel like a queen, you attract two kinds of people; those who see and respect your crown and those who see your crown and want to remove it. Appreciate and affirm the first set, be nice but very firm with the second set.
Give no one any reason to speak bad about you. They will speak bad about you, definitely, but there is a confidence that comes from knowing that they have no basis to. Remember that once Saul fell asleep in a cave where David was hiding and David and his men had more than sufficient opportunity to kill him? Can you imagine how he would have felt if he had actually killed him when Shimei the son of Gera was insulting him? There is a justification that comes with having integrity. Never sell yours.

Never judge yourself or anyone based on circumstances. You’re a Queen, whatever your circumstances. Keep being queenly.

This letter is a hodgepodge collection of my thoughts. There’s a second letter. Even Boma doesn’t know about it. But I wanted to write to you. And tell you that I love you. And welcome you to the family.

I wish you tons of blessings on every side. May God bless you, my daughter.

Love,
Amelia (that’s a great name for a child, don’t you think so?)

By the time I’m done reading the letter, tears have pooled in my eyes. I place a call to Stephanie and we catch up. And I’m really grateful that she and I are friends.
Today, I’m going over to Pabby’s. Amara finally agreed to leave little Iris with us and go to dinner with her husband and it’s odd how much I’m looking forward to changing her diapers.

My dad and his wife are looking into the possibility of reconciling. I know that my little brother is praying that it will work out. Almost as much as he’s praying for Boma and I to get married soon. I don’t know why my family keeps on trying to marry me off. Then I remember how ardently Iris and I used to pray that her dad would marry my mom. Karma is cold hearted. And she has a very long memory.

I see my last patient of the day and she’s in a better place and she’s treating herself well. I’m happy about her progress.
When she leaves, I pick up my phone and predictably there it is;
“Have you read the letter yet? Are you madly in love with my mom now?”
“Yes I’ve read it. And yes, I am. However, I hope you know, this does not take the place of an actual proposal. I expect sparkles and fireworks.”
“You’ll get it. About a year from now?”
“Nahh. 6 months is good”

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Article Recommendation
http://www.kacheetee.com/blog/2016/2/20/ – I read her entire blog through and through in one afternoon. I love this one cos it’s funny.
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Charity Recommendations

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Kit Kids for school
Experience God’s Blessing Foundation
Diamond Bank
Account Number: 0070195322

AND

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Invitation

imageIt’s not my Church but it seems liked it would be an awesome programme to attend. Who wants to go too!
It's not my Church but it seems liked it would be an awesome programme to attend. Who wants to go too!

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Have an amazing week ahead.

Cheers!

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My Best Friend’s Dad – And Now, Ebube (Finale) 2

EBUBE

The decorations were stunning. My mom had started trying out a latent passion of hers a couple of years back; interior decorating and event planning.  But I’d never seen the overall effect of anything she had done.
Today I was going to. Patrick and Bunmi had hired her. The doors were shut and the lights switched off. There were long ropes of tiny silver twinkling lights providing minimal illumination. At least that’s what I could see from the picture my brother sent me.
However, when the wedding party of which I was a part, danced into the reception venue, electric sparklers went off and the lights in the hall were switched on.
And we danced. And danced. As the Chief Bridesmaid a lot of eyes and videos were on me, and a lot of people who did not know me from Adam or Eve would add commentary no one had asked for. “You don’t know how to dance”.
” Look at the bride, she is even dancing better than you”
“You think you’re still a baby? Don’t be looking for husband. Stay there”
I was tired. I was hungry. And when I heard that last statement, I was officially done. I looked around and spotting the table where the bridesmaids and groomsmen were supposed to sit, I made my way there. Within minutes, Amara came over to join me. Soon Bunmi and Patrick started kissing and tables began to fill up. The dance was unofficially over.
Amara’s husband came over to join us.
I raised my eyebrows, “Daniel, I was not informed. When did you become a bridesmaid?”
“Since my wife decided to sit at this table.”
I roll my eyes. “I presume you guys will start sucking oranges now?”
“It’s mango season actually”, Amara chirps in.
The appetizers arrive and I take a plate of small chops and another plate of asun.
“Does she seem hungry to you? Or is it just me?”
“Actually, she seems angry to me”
“Hangry”, they chorus. I roll my eyes.
“Can you take your cuteness somewhere else for a little bit? This asun is not going to chew itself”
Amara snatches my plate and I shrug and carry the small chops instead. “Why are you hangry? Tell us”
“Well, I’m hungry because you threatened to murder me if I ruined my perfectly applied lipstick before the ceremony and I’m angry because in this country, the second people can’t ask you how school is anymore, they want to ask you how marriage is. You keep asking me why I need to travel so much. That’s why.”
Amara comes over to sit beside me, “I’m sorry. None of us ever meant to pressure you into anything. I just wanted you to stay home. I wanted all three of us to be able to go out dancing. For our kids not to be able to differentiate between us because we would be so close. Since Iris died, you’ve locked yourself off from this family and we worried about you for a long time. Do you know, while Daniel and I were dating I dragged him to a night vigil…”
“You went to a night vigil?”
“Yes. I dragged him to a night vigil with the theme, Let my blessing stay. But you didn’t.”
“Well, my name is not Blessing”
“Your middle name is Ngozi. Same thing”
“Thank you for worrying about me. Really. But I’m not a child anymore.”
“I know. But I still see you as one sometimes. Remember the first time you made jollof rice?”
We laugh. “I always wonder how you guys ate that rice without cursing me”
“We ate it because we loved you. We still do. And nagging you to stay home might not work but remember how I told you that one day your jollof rice would be better than mine? Well, one day you will stay home for a full year and wonder why you travelled so much.”
“Amen”
She rolls her eyes. I give her a side hug and spear a piece of asun.
“So Awesome Amara, when were you planning on telling the family about your pregnancy?”
And Daniel begins to choke.

BOMA

At the reception, after the dancing, Patrick remembered that he forgot his phone at the church so I went back for it. By the time I got back, the table for the groomsmen and bridesmaids was full, Ebube was with Amara and they were both laughing at something and the waiters were bringing out the second course. I’d really wanted a plate of asun or nkwobi. The things we do for our friends.
I spot my father and my sister at a nearby table and there’s a free seat next to Steph.
So I slide into it. “Wedding’s over. I’m ready to hear about my new brother in-law. You said you’ve been dating for 3 days?”
“Let me eat first. I’m not ready to talk about anything right now. The abacha is calling me.”
“But if we don’t talk, I’ll be bored!”
“Go and talk to your girlfriend. See her there”
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“You’re sure? You’re really sure?”
“Just eat your abacha and leave me alone.”
“Thought so myself”
She got her food and started eating and I went to the buffet to fill my plate.

Then before dessert, Patrick took a microphone and began singing to Bunmi. When I heard the song, I started laughing. Not many people knew Bunmi’s middle name and it honored Patrick’s long time love of animated movies.

Look how she lights up the sky
Ma Belle Evangeline
So far above me, yet I
Know her heart belongs to only me
Je t’adore, je t’aime
Evangeline
You’re my queen of the night sky
So still, so bright
Someone as beautiful as she
Could love someone like me
Love always finds a way, it’s true
I love you, Evangeline”

The applause was thunderous and I sneak a look over at Ebube.
Patrick and Bunmi had had a rocky start at first. Bunmi was very quiet, very introverted and Patrick was not. But after they had been going out for a month, Patrick called me.
“I know who I want to get married to. She doesn’t realize it yet. But one day I’m going to marry her and we’re going to be insanely happy. Watch.”

I’d thought of sharing that tidbit in my Best Man toast but it felt wrong. And way too personal to be in a public speech.

The couple is dancing now. After the first song which was for them only, my dad stands up and pulls my sister into his arms. I think of going to dance with Ebube but I see that she’s dancing with Tega. When the song ends, my dad and Tega switch partners and I go to ask Bunmi for a favour.

EBUBE

After I’m done dancing with Boma’s father, I want to sit down but Tega apparently wants to dance with me again.
Then I hear the distinctive opening theme of the Freshlyground song; Pot Belly and I remember a promise I’d made to Boma. And just as I’m looking around the hall for him, he taps Tega and smoothly cuts in.
“Smooth. Very smooth.”
“Thank you. I wanted to talk to you. Honestly. And leave all my cards on the table and completely up to you”
“Okay”
“The first time I saw you, at your mom’s wedding, I developed a crush on you. It lasted for a long time and when I saw you in church that day, it was fortuitous and I was happy we would have a real conversation. Then, when you agreed to go out with me, I was over the moon.
I never wanted you to travel. But it wasn’t my place to tell you not to go. I didn’t want to be that person. So I watched you go. And we began a sorta kinda relationship.
But here’s the thing. I don’t want a sorta kinda relationship with you. From the first day I met you, I wanted a proper relationship with you. I want to have impromptu movie dates, to laugh with you, cry with you, comfort you, pray with you. I want to listen to your problems and have you listen to mine. You said it’s okay but I know that you’re still upset that I asked if Morayo had a boyfriend. I’m sorry about that. Truly. I was only trying to make you jealous. Very stupid of me. You don’t like getting angry. You would hate to get jealous. So you won’t do it.
But this is the issue; I’m currently on the verge of falling in love with you. I’m not going to let myself fall if I’m going to be falling alone. And I’m not going to ask you either. This time, I’m leaving everything in your hands.”

BOMA

By the time the song is over, I’ve said everything I planned to say and I make to walk away. She lets me walk. And now she’s dancing with Tega again. I guess I have my answer.
I still need to give the Best Man toast but the wedding has lost all its colour for me.
Then she sits beside me.
“Hey”
“Hi”
“I’ve been thinking myself. I’ve volunteered for a lot of different online organizations for many countries. I’ve been thinking of setting up one in Lagos. I could take a job as a psychologist in a private hospital. My friend has been asking me to come and join her for years.
I could help you get your company off the ground. And I really want to be here when Amara gives birth to my godson or goddaughter. The point is, I want to try.”
“Okay”
“Is that all you’re going to say?”
“Yes. I don’t hear a question. What else do you want me to say?”
“Boma, will you go out with me? I promise to buy you 2 bowls of nkwobi if you do”
“Let me think about it. It’s time for the toast”
She rolls her eyes at me.
I give her a kiss on the mouth. “Sometimes, there’s no reason to talk to communicate. I expect you to come over to my house tomorrow. And Ebube, don’t bring Tega.”
*
Song lyrics: Ma Belle Evangeline by Jim Cummings (the Princess and the Frog)

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Article Recommendation

http://optimisticnigerian.com/2016/04/12/the-11th-commandments-a-wifes-guide/- Hint: she was being sarcastic.

Charity Recommendation

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A couple of weeks back, I read a sad story in Sunday Punch. An alleged misdiagnoses means that the initial problem is now exacerbated. The account details are in the above image.
Thank you.
Thank God!

Thanking the Blister that I refuse to let become a Scar Ep. 2

Earlier this year, I found out that someone for whom I had voluntarily looked like a fool in order to help was scamming me or at the very least, misrepresenting facts. Truth is, I had been a little suspicious. When we were in law school together, there were things he did that made me a bit suspicious. I won’t go into that.
I had done even more than you’d expect someone who was related to you to do but this person seemed prepared to continue scamming me and his whole family was in on it. I’d like to say I was angry but I really wasn’t. I was hurt, I felt betrayed but at the same time I don’t know the full story. And I don’t want to know. I don’t care anymore. Obviously some of the story is true but there are some bits that he forgot to mention, such as a very inconvenient addiction to designer clothes and an entitlement mentality.
If you’re Nigerian, you’ve probably heard rumors of a person who gave something to a beggar and nothing ever went well for the person again. You might have watched movies where the elder brother of a person would ask him to come back home for Christmas. Then, when he returns home and gives same elder brother money out of the goodness of his heart, he ends up dead the next day and his family are consequently treated horribly by the elder brother of lore, after which they sing mournful songs to their departed husband and father, begging him for help, one of them joins “bad gangs” and another gets tempted by bread and cold Fanta left on the roadside but eventually doesn’t eat it, but then, we see someone who does eat it and turns into a lovely chicken (I’m basically giving you the storyline of Onwa December here).
I should be upset. I know. But, before I decided on whether or not to be upset, I talked to God. You see, I had very strongly felt that God had wanted me to help that fellow. It was an incredibly strong feeling. I wouldn’t have done so much if I had believed otherwise. But this year, that feeling, that certainty washed away. I doubt God will ever ask you to do anything where there is an absence of need. And I had helped him anonymously about a week before he came, presenting another “urgent” request.
I asked God, “Why did you have me help this person? Why didn’t I just give everything I gave to someone who really needed it? Why? I’m feeling like such a fool today. I’m feeling so betrayed. So ashamed. And this shame, it is not my shame. By rights, I should not be feeling this shame.
I help people because you asked me to help people. I help others because your Word says that I should. That she that watereth shall also be watered. Why did you have me help someone who did not need it? Someone who was actively, along with his family, scamming me and mine. Why?”
And then God said, “The fact that he doesn’t need help now does not mean that he never needed help. Haven’t you wondered why you no longer feel any desire to help him? That desire to help him, it came from me. He asked me for help. I sent you. Now, I have withdrawn you. You once asked me, that whether or not you give things to people who actually need them or to scam artists, that I should give you the blessing of the giver and neutralize any plan to use your gift for evil. Can you say that I have not kept My Word? Can you say that you have not been watered?”

And I couldn’t. So I rested. But I refuse to give him anything else. There are many people, so many people who genuinely need help and I won’t help a faker when I know he’s faking. Not anymore.
I have many similar stories. Of people who burrow their way into my life because I’m supposedly nice and generous.
There was the woman who entered a tricycle with me and begged me to pay her fare. Actually the begging came after. She entered the tricycle, not knowing me from absolutely anywhere and looked me up and down. Obviously assuming that I could afford to pay both my fare and hers, she simply asked me to pay for her. I stared blankly at her, then she begged me.
Or the person I met at my sewing classes. The instructor is the one I actually blame for this, because he was the one who asked him to ask me for money. What, do I have Billionaire stamped on my forehead? Anyway, it was around the time I found out I’d become a lawyer and I believe in sharing happiness. But since then, he calls me almost every blessed day. And I’m crazy tired.
Once, I was walking back home from sewing lessons and I saw this woman begging. I walked by but, because of something (the fact that she had two kids), I went back and gave her some money. Then before I knew it, she sent one of her sons to shadow me. I mean, I gave her mint. And you can’t just have one mint note in your purse. How can? So her son walked behind me a long way off, asking me for money all the way. I actually planned to give him something. I did. But I wasn’t sure I’d have enough money left to pay the okada guy I planned to take, so I told him to leave me alone and he retorted something along the lines of “God will not bless you”. I want to say that I laughed but that statement made me so angry.
One of the funny tales I remember has to do with a certain woman who had a baby and was begging for transportation to go home. I gave her enough money to get home, then she looked me up and down, very contemptuously, might I add and said, “What about my baby?”.

When I was younger, as recently as 2014, I used to feel obligated to help people. Obliged to actually. Whenever I had the very human desire to not do a damn thing, I’ll remember my mom saying, “There are many people with very serious problems in this world” and I’d dip into my pocket and surrender whatever I had. There were times I wouldn’t have money for myself because I had given it to someone else who supposedly needed my help. Since 2014, I’ve come to realize that not everyone seeking help actually needs it. That not everyone who stands, kneels or lies by the roadside actually has a problem. I’ve seen a supposedly blind man look at a phone and make a phone call. In so many ways, I’m jaded now. I’ve seen way too much to believe everybody’s tall tales. I’ve been scammed a little too often to trust blindly.
Earlier this year and early last year, I promised myself I wouldn’t give a damn thing to anyone. I could actually imagine God laughing at me when I said that. I broke both those promises very early into the year.

But I’ve talked so much about the negatives. Let me tell you about the positives.

95% of every thing I own is a gift from someone. My shoes, my hats, my watches, my perfumes, my laptop. I hardly ever have to buy anything. The minute I think, “Ooh, I’d like that”, someone brings or buys it for me. No one ever had to tell me that if I give clothes, I’d get clothes. I wanted shoes, so I gave shoes. I got 4 pairs of shoes. I give perfumes, I’ve never had to buy perfumes for myself. In fact, I used to complain that people only ever seemed to give me perfumes.
This year, I want someone to send me a cake. So I will (complete the sentence).
There’s a lot of benefit to giving people things, honestly and no matter how many times I get scammed, how many times I get so mad when someone looks at my gift with disdain, I doubt I’ll ever stop doing it.

However, something I recently inculcated in my life, is to sniff out the motive for whatever I give. In 2014, I pretty much emptied my savings of 6 years in attempt to help God save me. Or take my life. Other times, I’d do something bad to someone, apologize, pray, still feel bad about it and then go on to give something I hadn’t planned to give. Guilt giving. I’m trying to eliminate that from my life. My top top top top love language is Acts of Service. I’m one of those people who goes awww when the man in a show cooks and cleans for his wife. I don’t awww as much when he brings gifts. Case in point- How I met your mother. The episode where Barney scrubs Ted’s apartment and fills the fridge with milk. His motives were “selfish”(I don’t think so personally), granted but Awwwwwwww! (Watch it). One of my most watched episodes of all time.
And I decoded all the things I wanted someone to do for me, no strings attached and I started doing them for others. Stand up so I can sit down in a BRT? Check.
Pay my transport fare? Check, due again though.
Buy me lunch? Check but it’s due again.
Send me a cake. Negatory. Anyone have suggestions?
Etcetera etcetera.

Sometimes, I do stuff that specifically can never be repaid.
My point is simple. Wherever you can, whatever you have, do something for someone else. It doesn’t have to be money related. It can be as simple as helping a woman hawking drinks lift the basin onto her head or standing so someone else sits or calling passengers for a bus or taking the fares and sorting out change if the bus has no conductor.
But you have the power. So much of it. And you might not see what your sacrifices will bring for you but I once read this prayer:

” Lord, may we never lack people to stand in our defense. May our good gifts and our sacrifices continually speak for us in the evil day”

Somebody say Amen!
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By the way, as soon as I’m done with Ebube’s story, I’m going on strike.

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http://www.shadesofbrownnigeria.blogspot.com.ng/2016/02/dear-african-womanyou-are-not-good.html?m=1

Happy Mishmash Tuesdays, Week 7

STORY ONE

On Saturday, Nonso took the dog to a nearby veterinarian to get a shot. #Rabiespreventionissuperimportantespeciallyasthedogthinksmylegisabone.
I didn’t accompany him but when he got back, he told me a wonderful story that kind of makes me wish I had. Kind of. But probably not.
So apparently, the vets were looking into the dogs ears etc and they were about to stick the needle in his butt. Until he saw it that is. He cried, (Mikey cries. You should hear it, it’s quite beautiful. Haunting, but beautiful as well) and screamed and then, when Nonso picked him up, he peed and pooped on him.
Did you read that?
He peed and he pooped on him.
When Nonso told me that, this was the expression on my face:
image

I’m not an evil person. Actually, I’m okay with being an evil person so it doesn’t bother me if you think it.
But the main reason I was holding back laughter instead of consoling my brother is because he does the exact same thing to me.
In the house, it is not uncommon to hear Nonso screaming, “Mikey, see that girl (me). Isn’t her leg juicy, isn’t it meaty? Quick, go and bite it”.
I stopped telling Nonso that the dog urinated on me because it always sent him into fits of laughter.
But karma is a perpetually dissatisfied beautiful woman. And she visited my brother on Saturday.
Laugh with me people. And from what he said, the poop was rank. Even the vets noticed it. Score!

STORY TWO

The dynamics of my house are too diverse to be told in a single story. Not that I planned to. But when it comes to food, certain things are constant.
1.My dad loves garri above every other food.
2. My mom hardly ever eats garri, except if she or I have just made soup.
3. My mom also looves to take a bite or multiple bites of everyone’s food.
But, despite loving to taste everyone’s food, one of the fastest ways to irritate my mom is to touch her food. Don’t try it. You’ll save your ears a lot of pain that way.
But on Sunday, this last Sunday morning, my mom made a plate of food and I refused to let the plate go without tasting it. And what do you know, my mom and I shared a plate of food that wasn’t mine. For the first time in a very long time. Or ever. Can’t remember.

STORY THREE

So, remember how last Tuesday, I mentioned how I had no energy to write Happy Tuesdays?
Well, I don’t know how it happened because the cap was securely locked and there were no spills but I began to smell one of my favorite perfumes everywhere and I mean every blessed place I went. For almost 3 days. I’d start feeling horrible about something and this smell would come and tickle my nose and it wouldn’t leave until I smiled. I can’t say I know why it happened like that. But I think God is invested in my personal happiness. That’s beautiful, no?

STORY FOUR

This is one of those I want you to think stories. And reply me.

In the police station today, while I was waiting to see someone, the channel was switched to Africa Magic Yoruba and an interesting movie was on- Femi Driver. Seeing as it’s already on Africa Magic, I’m not sure it’s a copyright infringement if I give you the entire gist of the movie. OK. So this dude, Femi, wants to get married but being a rich man, he wants his wife to love him for who he is. All well and good. So he and his driver, Egin trade places and he tries this trick on his girlfriends who beforehand don’t know his house, apparently. Yes, I said girlfriends.
There’s a juxtaposition at play in the movie. The case of Bukky, the girlfriend who falls for the trap and the case of Idontremember who loves him for who he is.
He loves Bukky but when I watched it, he introduced whatshername to his boss first. After that one passed the initial test with flying colours, he tried it on Bukky.
I liked the film. I really did. But;
1. If you want a virtuous woman, how do you hope to get one when you as a man are a stupid cheat?
2. If you introduced whatsherface as the original victim and she scaled through, what would you have done if Bukky had also scaled through? Married both of them?
3. And a question for all of you reading, honestly speaking, all things being equal, would you date a driver? Or an artisan?
Because lots of people kept saying Bukky’s unwillingness to made her a bad woman and I want to know what makes her bad.

HAPPY FIVE

In recent times,this video has been giving me life. Peep the officer’s expression when he receives the phone call about the latest robbery.
As a lawyer, I have certain issues with the arrest, but I understand that it’s fiction. But, still.

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Article Recommendations

http://www.shadesofbrownnigeria.blogspot.com.ng/2016/02/there-are-many-hardworking-black.html – The first time I read this post, I mad loved it. Read it and see why. 😃

http://zikoko.com- This e- magazine is one of the funniest things I found off Twitter.

My Best Friend’s Dad- And Now, Ebube (Finale) 1

EBUBE

Saturday morning dawns, bright and clear. It is Bunmi’s wedding day and I’m her chief bridesmaid. I’d set my alarm to wake me up an hour and 30 minutes earlier than usual. I set out her wedding dress, her veil and the decorative beaded combs that will fasten the veil to her hair. The photographer is going to come and take pictures of the items. None of us have ever really cared about makeup so instead of paying a makeup artist an outrageous sum of money to come do our makeup, we plan to do them for each other. Bunmi is only going to be wearing mascara and lipstick. No foundation, no powder. I’ll be helping her with that.
After I’m done setting everything out, I set out for a walk, with my watch timer set to beep and vibrate after 30 minutes. All the bridesmaids and everyone in the bride’s wedding party is staying at Frank’s house, except my dad who’ll meet us at the church where the wedding will take place.
I walk, lost in thought, thinking of Stephanie. Her boyfriend had asked her to marry him and given that the both of them are part American and unwilling to move back to Nigeria, her father’s dreams of having his baby move back home have died a sad death. He’ll be arriving tomorrow to meet with  Stephanie’s dad and her brother.
Thinking of Iris, she would have loved to be here today. One of the promises Bunmi made her when she began walking again and undergoing painful physiotherapy, was that if she (Bunmi) ever got married, she’d be on her bridal train.
Thinking of Morayo, who seems so lonely. She needs friends. I’m trying to be that. We; Stephanie, Amara, Bunmi and I met up with her yesterday. But what else does she need? As irritated as I am with Boma, I’m not willing to donate him to her though. Even if I wasn’t interested in him, I’ve never felt comfortable being a matchmaker.
Thinking of Boma and trying to decide what to do about him. I’m upset and disappointed about his attitude and I need to be sure of what action to take next. We haven’t spoken to each other since the night we went to pick his sister up, by mutual decision.
I’m thinking of what to do next when I sense a presence power walking close to me. I turn to look.
“Good morning Frank”
“Today is a Frank day?”
“Seems to be. Getting ready to walk your favorite stepdaughter down the aisle?”
“I don’t know why all of you keep insisting that Bunmi is my favorite. I love all of you equally.”
“Of course”
“You don’t believe me?”
“I plead the Fifth amendment”
“The Fifth Amendment applies to America. This is Nigeria. Nigeria is a sovereign state with its own laws.”
“How’s my mom this morning?”
“Fine. She’s praying with Bunmi now”
“My brother?”
“He’s playing games with Amara and her husband”
“Amara has already arrived?”
“Around the time you left. Are you feeling closed in again? Thinking of where you’ll travel to next?”
I stare at him. “Actually, I was thinking of Iris and some other people. I miss her. And I feel so lonely without her. No one ever seems able to understand me the way she did”
“Really?”
“You sound like you don’t believe me.”
“That’s not for me to say. Do you believe you? And if you do, what are the grounds of your belief? And once you’re done asking and answering those questions, ask yourself this, am I too invested in the past that I’m neglecting my present and my future?”
“Very clever. I’ll think about it.”
We walk together silently until my watch begins to beep and we both turn around.
“For the record, my favorite among you  girls is the one who invested so many years diligently caring for my daughter. I’ve never forgotten that. I’ll never forget it.”
“I love you too Pabby.”
Arm in arm, we head back home.

BOMA

As Patrick’s Best Man, my duties included helping him decide which tuxedo to wear, helping him knot his bow tie (he almost strangled himself), organizing the rest of the groomsmen, sharing breakfast with everyone and having an hour prayer session with everyone about the wedding as well as the marriage. Then we took a ton of goofy looking pictures.
I had thought he’d be nervous, fantasized that I’d be telling him to calm down but as the convoy rolled to the church, I looked over at him and he was serene and smiling wistfully.
“Last day as a bachelor, old friend”
“I thought you’d be nervous. You don’t seem to be”
“I’m not. I found my one and I’m as sure as ever about it.”
“I wish I had your confidence.”
“About Ebube?”
“Yes.”
“Ask yourself this question, ‘where and with whom do I see myself in 5 years?’. If you can see her in your future, then you need to do whatever you can to make it work”
“The guests are arriving. Time to go inside and get you married”
He opens the car door, “Boma, think about what I said, okay? I want both of you to be happy, with or apart from each other. You’re my brother and from today, she’s my sister. I don’t want you guys hurting each other. Think and think hard.”
“I will.”
Forty minutes later, as the organist plays a Jazz number I cannot remember the name of, I watch as Bunmi’s bridesmaids file in.
Then the music changes, and Patrick  takes a microphone and this time I recognize the song although I can see that not a lot of others do.
Bunmi’s whole family surrounds her as she walks up the aisle while Patrick sings.
One by one, her family members fall behind, first Amara’s husband, then her brother, then Amara, then Ebube, then Frank and her father, her mother kisses her on the cheek and hands her something then Bunmi turns around about a foot from the altar and with microphone in hand, she sings the last verse in sync with Patrick while everyone claps in time to the music or takes video coverage of the event:
I see a world for you and me
I hear a perfect harmony
Where you are is where I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be
And I’ll be the one you can run to
I’ll be the one who’s meant to love you
Now, and always till our days are through
You know I doooooo
You know I doooooo
Time to say the words
Never been so sure
Wanna spend my life with youuuu
You know I do”

When they’re done singing, they hand their microphones to the Pastor and grin at each other.
Then the wedding ceremony starts. Bunmi says her vows first.
“The first time I met you was not ideal. At all. I wanted to get something from you and you were being obnoxious and annoying. And worse still you took a liking to me. I don’t know what came over me that made me agree to a second meeting but I have had cause to bless that thing since then.
You’re really kind and really funny. You quiet the noise in my head, you restored my faith in humanity and I’m never afraid when I’m around you. You are my rock, the love of my life and every day, I thank God for bringing you into my life. You make me see colours where before I only saw grey. You make me snort, I’d never done that before I met you. You make me so happy. You’re the best friend I’ve ever had and I’m so very happy that I met you. I love you. I plan to keep loving you till the day I die. So help me God.”
Then Ebube hands her a ring which she slides onto Patrick’s finger.
Then Patrick says his vows, the one we helped him write and once he’s done reading them, Ebube and I look at each other in bemusement.
Then they both turn to the Pastor and he blesses the marriage.

EBUBE

Bunmi’s wedding is very emotional for me. Tears are running down my face unchecked and I’m laughing and crying at the same time.
At this point the wedding is over and Bunmi and Patrick are signing the register. Suddenly a hand appears, holding a handkerchief out to me.
It’s not Boma and I’m surprised to note that I wanted it to be him. His name is Tega and surprisingly, his hasty, horribly told jokes are able to incite a laugh from me.
“That’s much better. I hate to see a woman crying.”
“Thank you”
“Are you coming to the reception?”
“Yes”
“Will you save me a dance?”
“Sure, especially as I’ve ruined your handkerchief”
“See you there.”
He leaves and I blow my nose into the handkerchief.
“Hey”
“Hi”
“Lovely service”
“Definitely”
“I’m sorry about what I said”
“It’s okay. Everything is fine”
“Because of Tega?”
“You know him?”
“He’s Patrick’s cousin. Is everything fine because of him?”
“Can we have this discussion at the reception? They’re about to take pictures.”

*
Song lyrics: I do by Drew Seeley

*

Article Recommendation

http://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/the-great-exchange/

#WarRoom

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Charity Recommendation

image
Although it's over now, if you want to help with the next one, please call the number above. Cheers

Take Me Deeper

So, I opened the link and read this (http://www.imperfectlyperfectlives.com/there-is-more/) today. Amazing. I was so sober at some parts. The Lord is calling us to a deeper relationship with himself. A closer one. Will you listen? Will you draw closer to him?
These are the lyrics to one of my favorite gospel songs. You’re welcome.

Deeper in Love – Don Moen

Album: Let Your Glory Fall

Verse 1
There is a longing
only You can fill
A raging tempest
only You can still
My soul is thirsty Lord
to know You as I’m known
Drink from the river
that flows before Your throne

Chorus
Take me deeper
Deeper in love with You
Jesus hold me close in Your embrace
Take me deeper
Deeper than I’ve ever been before
I just want to love You more and more
How I long to be deeper in love

Verse 2
Sunrise to sunrise
I will seek Your face
Drawn by the Spirit
to the promise of Your grace
My heart has found in You
a hope that will abide
Here in Your presence
forever satisfied

(Repeat Chorus 2 times)

How I long to be deeper in love

Culled from http://allthelyrics.com. Submitted by a guest. Cheers for them.
👏

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Article Recommendation

Meanwhile, this taught me a very important lesson while making me shriek with laughter- http://thei535project.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/an-important-lesson-on-what-to-wear-to-church/
(Extraordinarily important, this lesson)

My Best Friend’s Dad- And Now, Ebube (Scene 14)

7 MONTHS LATER

EBUBE

Patrick is pacing and disturbing my concentration. I huff angrily.
Boma smirks at me.
“Patrick!”
“What?”
“You’re disturbing me. Sit down, please”
“I can’t”
“Then I can’t help you”
He sits down and gives me a distracted frown. “I’d be happier sitting down if we’ve come up with the vows already”
“Boma, are you getting married this week?”
“Not at all!”
“Ebube, are you getting married this week?”, Boma asks in return.
“Hell no!”
“Patrick…”
He glares at me. I glare back at him. He drops his eyes, “I’m sorry. I’m just frazzled”
“I understand. But if you want us to help you write your vows, you need to stop distracting me”
“Alright. I’m sorry.”
“Not a problem. Now tell us, what do you think about Bunmi, what do you think when you see her?”
He relaxes and smiles. “She’s so pretty. Very bossy. She’s very funny even though she doesn’t think so and yet she’s so vulnerable, you can’t help wanting to protect her. She’s there for me every time, even while we were broken up. I forgot to be scared about how my family will relate with her, because the very first time she met them, she fit in so perfectly with them. These days when I go home to visit, my mom asks about her even before she asks about me. No matter how busy she is, she always carves out some time to take care of the people she loves. I used to measure my life by milestones; when I got my first car, my first great job, when I moved out, when I started building a house. These days I measure my life by her. I used to believe there was no one in the world who could see the me that no one else saw. The inner me. Mostly because I never let them see it. But she sees it and she’s still here. She’s my best friend. I’ve dated a lot. I used to date like it was going out of fashion but until I met her, it was all meaningless to me, sorry Boma. She makes me feel complete. Happy. I can only hope that I do the same for her”
I smile at Boma, he smiles at me. Then we both smile at Patrick.
“What?”, he asks.
“You owe me a Large Shortbread pack for wasting my time”
“You owe me a Jumbo sized bag of Skittles”
“But we haven’t come up with anything yet. That’s why I called you.”
“We haven’t? Ebube, you were writing, right? Could you read back what he said, in the form of vows?”
“Sure.”
I deepen my voice. “You’re incredibly beautiful, very bossy and yet so vulnerable, I want to take care of you. You’re there for me, every time. I want to be there for you forever. You love my family so much, you’ve displaced me in their affections and though I haven’t been able to do the same in your family, I vow to keep trying. And, failing that, as I inevitably will, I vow to be the best little brother, big brother, son and uncle that I possibly can be to your family members, who are now mine.
You see the inner me, the unattractive parts of me and still you’re here. I can’t say I’m looking forward to smelling your morning breath but I want to wake up with you as many times as life allows us. Because you are my best friend. The best friend I’ve ever had. And I vow to keep trying to make you as happy as you’ve made me. As happy as you constantly make me. So help me God”
“I said that?”
“I embellished it a little, but yes, you did”
“I’m amazing!”
“You owe me two large shortbreads”
“You owe me two jumbo sized Skittles”

BOMA

“Movie?”
“How long do we have before your sister’s flight arrives?”
“5 hours and 21 minutes left.”
“Sure”
We get into her car and she drives to the closest cinema. We take a look at the movies showing, choose one, get our tickets and then get some snacks.
“I miss Calabar”, she says.
I don’t respond.
“It was so peaceful”
“Are you going to open your Shortbread soon?”
She rolls her eyes and passes it to me.
Soon, it’s five minutes to our movie and we get on the queue that has formed.
We get into the movie theater, it’s an action movie and although it’s great, I’m not paying it any attention. I sneak a glance at Ebube, she’s engrossed in the movie and sharing her small chops with the teenager on her other side. Some things never change. I smile and I study her face covertly. I don’t know when or how it happened but somehow, Ebube and I have settled into a relationship of sorts. No definition as yet, but as I watch her leave the piece of chicken to the guy, I begin to come up with a plan to get her to want to define our relationship.
When the movie is over, there’s still 3 hours left till my sister’s flight is supposed to land. So Ebube suggests that we check out a go- karting arena nearby. Despite the fact that I’ve been driving for over 10 years, I keep getting into accidents which are quite painful despite the sport being a mock version of driving. Ebube on the other hand is zooming around the track and does not seem to have any problems navigating the surprise obstacles.
Soon after, when our laps have finished, she comes to check on me, wearing a naughty smile. “Were you looking at me? You hit so many things, it was as though you were staring at a bright light only you could see”
“Nope. I was thinking that given the situation at the airport, it would be best if we got something to eat right now. What would you like to eat?”
“Actually, I was thinking that I’d like to go another round. You know what I like. Order for me”. Then she shuts one eye at me and bounds off.
So, I go the bar and order two glasses of Chapman and food for the both of us. Then I notice a girl seated by my right, staring at me. Every time I turn to look at her, she shifts her stare to her phone. I signal the waiter for a third glass of Chapman.

EBUBE

When I get back from my extra rounds of go karting, I’m not surprised to hear my belly grumbling. There’s less than 2 hours left until Stephanie’s flight arrives and I’m hoping she’s as nice as she sounded on the phone. I get into the enclosure where I left Boma and I see him laughing with a girl, both of them sipping Chapman.
Now what do we have here?
I stand by the door watching their body language. Hers is clearly conveying interest. His? Not so much. Then why is he still talking to her? He has a right to talk to anyone he wants. He’s a human being, I remind myself.
But he has kissed me. We’ve hung out. We’re pretty much dating.

Are you sure he knows that you think of him as your boyfriend?

No. So, how do I handle this? With grace and serenity. I saunter toward them. “Heyo!”
“This is Ebube, my friend. Owner of the Chapman with the melting ice blocks and certifiably terrible at winking”, he says.
Oh, so that’s how it is. He’s obviously trying to make me jealous. Well, two can play that game. I take my Chapman and sit at the other side of the girl.
“Hey, its nice to meet you. What’s your name? And what’s the name of that book on your phone?”

BOMA

By the time I finish my food, the Chapman and a glass of water, Ebube and Morayo are eating from the same plate and laughing like co- conspirators at something. Morayo’s chair is facing Ebube’s and they’re both bent over, watching a video on Ebube’s phone. A video!
It is a sad day when a guy has to pull away his friend who he was trying to make his girlfriend from the person he was trying to use to make her jealous. A sad day indeed.
I had to wait for them to exchange numbers and for Ebube to get another plate of food to go. Morayo barely even looked at me but she gave Ebube a hug. It’s a sad day indeed.
“Boma, do you want to share?” she asks me.
We’re at the airport parking lot now. Since we’re not allowed to wait inside, we’re sitting in the car. I’d emailed my sister to call me when she gets off the plane and reunites with her baggage. The last time she visited, I’d come by 1pm and left by 8. Never again.
“Sure” I pick a chip. “You and Morayo really hit it off, right?”
“Well, she’s nice and direct. You know how much I like nice and direct people. We’ll be hanging out sometime next week or maybe this week, after the wedding”
“Did she tell you if she has a boyfriend?”
She stares at me. “No, she doesn’t. But she did mention that she has a twin brother who is single. I could call her right now and set up a double date. Should I?”
I’m saved from replying by my sister’s phone call.
We go meet her, wordlessly.
When she catches sight of us, she gives me a wide grin and then runs into Ebube’s outstretched arms.

You’ve displaced me in my family’s affections.

And suddenly, it’s clear to me what to do.

EBUBE

Apparently God was listening when I asked him to let her be nice. She has consistently chattered at me all through the drive home. We’re both in the backseat. Boma is driving. I want to include him in the conversation before I remember what he said earlier.  His question got me thinking, “Do I actually want this relationship?”
He’s kissed me. Many times. We’ve hung out, talked about how many kids we want (Him- 2, me – 1 and he’s always sending me articles about the benefit of having more than one child), since we embarked on this, whatever-this-is, I’ve come home 6 times and he’s met me 6 times. It’s unheard of for me to return so many times. And if what his father said is true, it’s unprecedented for him too. What the heck have we been doing if he had the nerve to ask about someone else?
I need to think. I really need to think.
We’re at Boma’s house now and I’m smiling and nodding my head at Stephanie’s story of a blind date she went on. She’s watching her father closely while attempting to look innocent. It’s obvious to me that he’s her boyfriend now. Then Boma moves closer to me. A simple change in position and yet I’m done.
“Steph, will you see me off?”
“Oh my, look at the time. I forgot that you don’t live with us. Of course”
“Goodbye Sir”
He comes over to me and gives me a big hug and pinches my cheek. “See you at the wedding?”
“Definitely”
“Save me a dance”
“It will be my genuine pleasure”
Then we walk out.
Near the gate, I notice that Stephanie is staring at me with open curiosity. “There was a time I wasn’t sure about you”
“Hmm, why not?”
“The way my brother and father spoke about you, you seemed too good to be true. I’ll confess, one of the reasons I came back was to check you out.”
“And the second reason?”
“To see my ex boothang get married.”
“You dated Patrick? How? When? Oooh, now I get why he said sorry to your brother”
“How? Very easy. He was my first boyfriend in fact. When? For an extremely short period of time but we kept hanging out together because watching my brother glare at us was too damn funny. And he said sorry to Boma. Why?”
“We were helping him write his… Forget I said anything. Just ask your brother about it”
“Okay. Don’t you want to hear my verdict on you?”
“I knew you’d eventually get there”
She smirks at me. “I like you. You’re sassy, funny and kind. Not many girls would stay over an hour in a house with someone they’re upset with without making a scene”
“How did you know I’m mad at your brother?”
“I love to study people. You didn’t bring him into conversation in the car, or in the house and you keep calling him ‘my brother’, instead of using his name”
“Since we’re dishing out personal advice, I’ll advise you to tell your father the truth. That you’re dating that guy you mentioned. Have been dating him for a long time in fact.”
“Touche. Want to hang out tomorrow?”
*

Article Recommendation
http://diaryofafeduplad.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/when-the-heart-murmurs/

Charity Recommendation
http://www.gofundme.com/4hrrcx4jhzw- For the health and home of someone.

http://www.gofundme.com/rcx4jhzw – Debbie’s Funeral costs

Happy (Mishmash) Tuesdays – Week 6

Honestly, until about 1pm today, I doubted that I’d post this week’s installment. And if I did, I planned to simply post funny pictures. Fuel scarcity, scary humidity, we haven’t had running water for almost 6 full months, no light, getting to and from work today cost 150% (125% more for me because I like to walk) more than it normally did= No energy.
Then I realized, that if I, Ms. Obianuju Ayalogu, who has believed for years that laughter and mischievousness can cure everything is feeling so down, how much more everyone else?

So, this is my offering, I hope it incites a token laugh or a happy belly full of them. Because you’ve got to be happy. You’ve got to be able to say, “Man, times are currently difficult, but God is still working miracles in my life and I’m not going to stop laughing, praising him, confessing those miracles until I can see them, hold them, taste them or count them. 😉”

Here goes everything-

STORY ONE

I have a bit of a sapiosexual crush on Nasir El- Rufai. (Nope, I have not nor do I plan to read the Accidental Public Servant. That book is over a thousand pages and it’s not fiction. Rule of thumb- I always prefer reading fiction)

But, I LOVE HIS BRAIN!

I’ve watched his career, the same way I’m watching Babatunde Raji Fashola’s career and just as I was over the moon when he (BRF) was appointed Minister of Power, I was over the moon when I heard he was elected Governor of Kaduna state.
I’m withholding judgment on BRF’s tenure as Minister of Power till the end of 2017 (next year) but right now, I’ve shed so many happy tears that El- Rufai is the Governor of Kaduna.

Let me explain why:

Once upon a time, I used to read newspapers everyday. Read interviews with Nigerian public officials, with governors and Ministers and Commissioners and I used to follow up. And hope. And believe in the dreams they’d spin, the promises they made, smiling sincerely into the camera lens. At a point I could list Yar’Adua’s 7 point agenda by heart. And I rocked myself to sleep believing that we’d have steady power supply by 2012.

And with each disappointment, with each promise that wasn’t kept, when  each news story broke that someone who had promised something that I had believed and was hoping on had instead diverted the funds meant to execute that thing into his/her pocket, I’d get extremely angry, then seriously depressed. So many people these days say that the problem of Nigerian people is how we mostly wordlessly adjust, acclimatize and accept every new hurdle the government presents. And while I logically agree with that, as someone who had invested much in the tales that turned out to be fables spun for us by our leaders, I could understand how we no longer care to test our voices.
I hardly ever read newspapers anymore. Hardly ever watch the news. It’s too depressing, too sad, too heartbreaking when you realize that the ground on which you stand is constructed with pretty lies and false promises. “You say it best, when you say nothing at all”

So, I stopped bothering. But for some, I still do.

The only newspaper I can say I consistently read is the Sunday Punch. And even then, I read it on Monday, mostly. Tuesdays or Wednesdays some other times. I look at the interviews and if there’s an interesting headline or an interesting interviewee, I’ll read. So, that’s how I came to read his interview today.
And for the first time in a long time, I’m really happy about a politician. This is why:
1. He is slowly and steadily changing the face of Kaduna’s educational system. People, public officials need to understand this, it is not only about building schools. He says he inherited 4225 primary schools. Should be okay, you’d think, but there were no windows, roofs, toilets, seats. Only about 58 – 62% of all the teachers were qualified as well. He’s renovating the schools and vetting the teachers. He has a program where kids are being fed in school and he’s initiating one where kids might be given allowances. Did you hear that? He also plans to eliminate the almajiri system in Kaduna. Yes!

2. Not only does he pay his workers salaries (I threw one newspaper away when I read of a Southwest governor, who I shall not name, who came, in a car, probably with a convoy, to pray with workers whom he had not paid for 5 months. If I had read any more, I would have started fantasizing about beating him up), he set up a system where his state’s workers can choose whether or not they belong to any union, so that the automatic Union fees deducted from every workers’ monthly salary would become a subjective fee. I was smiling and crying when I read that. He’s also verifying the identity of his workers, so that he can weed out the ghost workers.

3. He understands the destructive power of mindless religion. I wanted to shake someone in happiness when I read that.
Just read this. Lekwanu this awesomeness:

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This is the point where I affirm that I am indeed a Christian, a Jesus lover who speaks to him everyday. But He knows, that I can reel out so many instances where myself, my family and my friends have fallen victim to religious quacks. Home and abroad.

And this paragraph right here, sent my face into a fit of confusion. I was crying so hard and laughing so much at the same time:

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Could you take a minute to say this prayer with me:
“Father, please let Nasir El- Rufai complete his tenure in good health and with total clear- headedness. Let him implement every plan he has promised to implement. Let him see it through to the end.
And if he has gotten Uju’s hopes up for nothing, please let him disgrace himself, let the recording of him disgracing himself get on YouTube and become a highly publicized meme. In Jesus’ mighty name I’ve prayed. Amen!”

And this one too, “Father Lord, please let Fashola as minister of power regain the faculties that made him such a great governor in Lagos State, and use them to sort out these constant scarcities of power. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

And finally, this one, “Lord, please let the Water Corporation stop giving Uju’s family the runaround. Let them give her family steady running water for at least a month. In Jesus’ Mighty Name we’ve prayed. Amen”

STORY TWO – We thank God for Telemundo

Sometime last year, I detested Telemundo and Zeeworld. With a passion. Zeeworld especially. In so many of their shows, particularly the one a visitor introduced Nonso to (Eternal Love), the heroine is quite annoying, the heroes are even more annoying and the supporting characters make you want to tear your hair out and scream into a pillow. But none of these, as far as I was concerned, compares with the insipidity of the script. Lemme give you a spoiler. Just one: In Eternal Love, the heroine is told by someone, that she will face 5 or 6 deadly experiences, one of which is fire. So, one of our “heroes”, her legally married husband, took her out of the house made with stone and bricks, into the open air where they are to fall asleep on a raised embankment, constructed solely of wood. They fall asleep. The fire comes. The fire almost kills them. At a point, I will confess, I wish it had.
When Nonso finally shifted focus to Telemundo, I was quite relieved. That show had many more insipid moments.
Telemundo on the other hand, is a whole different animal. Or, group of animals, I should say.
But a Telemundo show has certain storyline staples, no matter what genre it falls into.
1. There is always more than one story. There are some shows I’ve watched with as many as 6 major characters, each with their own background and agendas.
2. One of the major characters is always, repeat after me, ALWAYS cheating.
3. The good woman is very easily identifiable, she’s praying to the Virgin. Doesn’t stop her from doing questionable things. The minute a character, who is female, prays to the Virgin or kisses her crucifix, understand that she is that show’s designated “good woman”. However, if she does this in a hospital or in a church, the jury is still out.

4. There is always a murder. Or a suspected murder. Always.

At a point, I got tired of keeping up with the convoluted story lines but then I heard the Spanish version of Bailando. It was the theme song of Queen of Hearts. And I’d attempt belly dancing. Or, I would be eating when the channel was set to Telemundo. Soon, I began to watch it, even, to have a peripheral interest in the characters. Given my love for stories, the shows began to appeal, just a little bit more to me. Don’t be fooled, on a normal day, I only truly care about one show on Telemundo-  Fearless Heart. The rest I regularly don’t even bother watching. And I’m currently hooked on Fearless Heart for 4 reasons-

1. The songs. Every couple has a song that specially captures their love story. I really like Mi Primer Amor right now (My first love). I’m rediscovering my love for Spanish and Latin inspired music.

2. Brigitte Bozzo and to a lesser extent, Nicole Arci. Child actresses. It was because of Brigitte that I even began listening to and watching the show. The things she said, I laughed so hard.

3. The villains. I have a soft spot for villains, sometimes even in real life. Doesn’t mean I like them or anything of the sort, just means I love a good back story and my interest in psychology permits me to see why they became the way they are.

4. The women kick ass. Female bodyguards. I automatically love strong women who are nice. Even if they’re only characters in a story. Plus, they’re both in a predicament right now and I want to watch them get out of it.

But, we thank God for Telemundo because the stories make you forget your problems, even for a little while.

STORY THREE – MIKEY’S BAD HABITS

You had to know I’d talk about the dog.
In truth, he’s the funniest of the stories. To me, at least.
Two weeks ago, we stopped bringing the dog inside to sleep. And we were right to stop. He has stopped looking for a way to escape and now actively likes us. So, there’s no fear there. But in that testimony, a problem arises. The dog is very smart. And the dog has noticed how my mom yells and screams when he opens the door (he can and has butted the door open and gotten inside before) and comes inside. So, he uses it as a bargaining chip. For instance, whenever I go outside to open the gate for my mom or to put off the generator, he runs circles around my leg and in between them. A couple of times, I’d close my legs tight together and he’d scratch at them until I yelp and open them. A couple of times, he has tripped me and given me innocent doggy faces when I get angry with him.
Then again, if he does not feel like I’ve spent enough time with him, anticipating that I plan to go back into the house, he’ll wait for me on the top stair. If I open the door, easy access. If I pull him out of the way, do you know how fast he runs back there? I’ve had to stay outside until 2AM playing with him. I got a reprieve when he shimmied down off my leg and went to investigate the generator.
Then, there’s the pee. I’ve said before that Mikey obviously sees me as his fire hydrant. He peed on me as soon as I stepped into the house today. How long was he holding it, I wonder? And the paw prints. I got this white lace maxi skirt that I’ve wanted to wear for a month but Mikey has paws that are usually a tad muddy. Mikey has teeth and he loves to use them to shred everything. So, nahh.
Then there’s the biting. Mikey has bitten me before. I had to scream “bad dog” many times before he got the message that you do not bite your owners. He still forgets sometimes though.
Tugging on my clothes, whether I’m wearing them or hanging them up to dry.
I know he’s just bored. But I don’t know how to make life interesting for dogs. Can anyone recommend a good storybook or PG novel for him to read?

STORY FOUR – THE AWESOME CALMNESS

Berger straight! Ojodu Berger!
I always choose the first option unless I have something to do in Ojodu.
But the problem I’ve found, is that a lot of the people who go by Berger straight most usually drop on the Expressway and run across it to the other side. Honestly, I firmly believe it would be better if they had gotten on a bus going through Ojodu Berger (this one passes through Agidingbi) instead. At least, that way they can walk down instead of running across the Expressway and risking their lives. And the most annoying thing? Is that in most places where they have both buses being called, they are exactly the same price. I keep wondering, what the heck is the motivation for someone to needlessly risk their lives that way?
The state government must have reasoned the same way because they’re currently building an overhead bridge so people will stop playing solitaire with their lives. I’m happy about the overhead bridge but it engenders a lot of problems for me. Because:

1. The construction of the overhead bridge means that the staircases leading from the bus stop on the Express to the bottom from where I can walk home have been taken out, leaving only a piece of rock that I have developed nightmares about.

2. Most of the buses know that on the average, most people who take their buses prefer to run across the expressway so instead of stopping at my preferred bus stop, New Garage which according to the government should be their last bus stop, they stop at 2nd Oando and then pick up passengers going to Ogun state. About 90% of the time, I can reason with the driver to drop me at the Junction instead but sometimes I can’t. Especially if the driver and the conductors are serious agberos. Well, today was one such day. He stopped on the Express and said that was the last bus stop. Then barely 30 seconds later, without even giving me time to get off the bus, he started driving again. I have a nice bruise next to my hipbone for his impatience. Anyway, he collected passengers on the Expressway and I told him I wanted to stop at the junction. He might have heard me. He might not. To cut a long story short, I think he wanted to teach me a lesson, he drove all the way into Ogun state before he stopped for me to get down.
I could see it as a dreadful inconvenience, sure. But instead I choose to see it as him losing the 100 naira fare he might have gotten for my seat.
I walked home. I got home later but at least I got home safe. And calm.

FIVE – PICTURES

So, on Twitter there’s this hashtag- #Iwasinmyhouseandtrailercametojamme. It is bloody, mostly. Sometimes it’s unexpected. Someone could be expressing their opinion and someone else would take offense and insult them which I totally don’t agree with but others, like this one I’m about to show you now, I wholeheartedly support.

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The extraordinarily stupid tweet.

And then:

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Gbam.

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Smashwords – God is an Entrepreneur – a book by Gwarzala Dan-mutum. Available for download here.

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