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Humans of Abeokuta: Episode 3

Abeokuta is an ancient town. It’s people live by ancient ways. This means they adhere to ways of life indoctrinated by their forebears; including food and drink. I used to think its status as a State capital, and location between Lagos and Oyo States would have influenced it someway. You know, introduced the love of junk food and luxury beverages. I was wrong. And the discovery of only 2 standard shawarma spots should told me so. But it didn’t.

Time was 8:45 a.m yesterday, and I was at a residential training. I had strolled to the breakfast table was heavy feet and eyes; the effect of catching sleep in brief glimpses of shut eyes and quiet mind. My words slurred when I greeted “good morning”; heavy, thick, and seductive, with some unintended bedroom huskiness. A hand paused midair. Oil gathered at the base of the scooping spoon.

“Plop. Plop”

The sound of oil dropping on stew in the warmer sounded like the tick of my wristwatch.

It is loud. Too loud. Louder than it should be.

The words seeped slowly through my subconscious; cautious, as if not to jar me. The tiptoe of the hungover. Light dimmed, my eyes squinted to focus on the face of the person holding the scooping spoon. It was my colleague. Mouth agape, adam’s apple bobbing like one repeatedly swallowing spittle or strugglng for words; he looked lost. Something nudged at my consciousness; a persistent knock seeking attention. There had been a subliminal message in the initial thought.

If the drop of oil sounded too loud, then the room was too quiet.

The room hadn’t been quiet when I walked in; brief seconds ago. Curious, I looked round the room. There were colleagues with forks halfway to their lips, and some with hands idly twirling spoons in mugs. They were all watching me. Puzzled, I lifted a brow; a low shift of my face to ask a question. That seemed to break the jinx. Laughter, hushed comments…

“Did someone keep you awake all night?”

A voice, filled with laughter and teasing. I shook my head, jesting acknowledgement of the thought that raised the question.

“Your voice is strange this morning. Like you’re still asleep. And coffee’s been exhausted.”

Coffee…exhausted.

That was all I heard. While my head questioned how coffee could finish, my feet led the way to my room. Once there, I fetched my wallet. It was not the kind of day to broach without coffee.

Fifteen minutes and eight shops -5 of which were still locked- later, I was still without coffee.

Who doesn’t stock coffee?

How does someone sell these chocolate beverages but not coffee?

Do people in this area live coffee-less?

Why are some shops locked?

Who knows if the locked shops have coffee in them? Can I check?

Is breaking-and-entering still a crime?

Unanswered questions racing through my mind; disbelieving my coffeelessness. How could neighbourhood shops be locked at almost 9 a.m? Why would anyone have a beverage shop and not stock coffee?

Desperation awoke my basic survival instinct. I recalled the back-up sachet coffee lying peacefully in my purse; untouched for almost 6 months. Feet lighter, I strode purposefully back to the hotel. Splinters of memory replayed in my mind. The attendants in the 3 shops which had been open. Two of them had gone blank, asking what coffee was. The third had raised eyebrows, examined me up and down like one who’d just discovered an alien, and asked:

T’anin mu Nescaafu?

Translated: “Who drinks coffee?”

 

Editorial: Are they lesbianing together? Or Identifying a gay woman in five easy steps or An Idiot’s Guide to Recognizing Lesbians or Gender Expression or As you Like it!

9jafeminista

Sorry about the several titles of this piece, it was done this way because we understand Nigerians aversion to sarcasm, some people claim Nigerians do not understand sarcasm, but we beg to differ, we believe that Nigerians do understand sarcasm, they just prefer things to be explained PROPERLY to them. And that’s exactly what we have done with the titles EXPLAINED everything so you can be in no doubt of what this article is about.

Before we go totally off point, we wish to redirect you to the title, why would you be wasting your precious time here if not for the fact that you saw the word lesbian in the headline and you’ve always wondered what they do, who are these women? Are there women who actually prefer sleeping with other women when preeks abound? Or is lesbianism a myth, like … like dragons andexpression unicorns, and Kashamu and…

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Body Diary: Insomniac Tales

Midnight

*Dupe looks at wristwatch. Thinks:* I should maybe sleep. But there’s power. And internet. And music. Sleep… *Ponders the attractions of sleep. Thinks:* There’s no reason to sleep

02:34 a.m

*laptop beeps, a message from a contact.*

Contact:         “When exactly do you sleep?”

Dupe:              “When the spirit requests”

*Thinks:* Dang! Time’s really gone. I should sleep.

04:09 a.m

*Phone beeps, messages from Sir Beau*

Sir Beau:              “I know you’re not awake.”

“You know you’re not awake. ”

“I’ve slept and woken. We both know you better not be awake”

Dupe:                    “Maybe I’ve slept too”

Sir Beau:              “You posted on fb 2 hours ago. And Twitter says you’ve been serial tweeting. So when exactly did your ‘sleep’ happen?”

Dupe:                    “*jaw drop smiley* I said ‘maybe’ na”

Sir Beau:              “Why the hell are you still up?”

Dupe:                    “Maybe I’m too cold to sleep. And maybe that’s your fault for leaving a girl sans cuddles in this cold weather”

Sir Beau:              “And that’s how someone can’t take you vacationing in winter. Cuddle Kong*”

“Seriously tho’, go to bed Girl. Now.”

Dupe:                    “Aye”

*switches off phone’s mobile data, and disconnects wingle from laptop. Mumbles to self*

“There are haters in this life. Stalking lover haters.

*Eyes start start to ache. Dupe yawns, glances at Kong*

Dupe:                    “We can sleep now. What say you? Ready for bed?”

*Lifts Kong for some scary dance he doesn’t seem to favour much. Switches off lights, shuts down laptop, cuddles Kong, and lays head on pillow*

*Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring*

*Dupe picks phone. Screen says ‘6:00 a.m Get up Lazy’. *

Dupe:                    “Y’an joking.”

*Shuts off alarm. Puts head back to pillow, cuddles Kong closer. Then, from just outside the window:*

“Kukuruuku!”

*Opens eyes. Thinks:* But won’t this cock die? Who did I offend, enh? I just want to rest eyes small. Abi what’s all this?

“Kukuruuku! Kukuruuku!! Kukur…”

*Dupe gets out of bed; tears clogging her throat as she looks at the barely creased sheets. Goes to make coffee*

P.S:

Kong* is Dupe’s amiable teddy.

 

 

 

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Luxury

via Daily Prompt: Luxury

It was the sixties. Women had to compete with other women -wives and concubines- for their husband’s attention, affection, giving hand, and thrusting penis. Same women also had to always be on their best behaviour around in-laws; and in-laws were always around. In addition, they had to be the epitome of commerce, selflessness, servitude, silence, long-suffering, and humility -Christs par excellence- to the community. Perhaps most of all, they had to raise sterling children: a female whose promising cherry ensnared a man from a reputable family, and a male whose fabled prowess, money, or good looks had all the girls competing to win his marriage proposal.

It was the sixties. A mother’s success rode almost exclusively on the back of her children’s perceived satisfaction of societal expectations and standards.  Then, there were some boys who often went out spotless but returned dirty and sometimes bloodied. They never got home before the sun went to sleep, usually were too tired to participate meaningfully in chores, got their siblings into trouble, caused the vexation of their fathers, and brought shame and ridicule upon their mothers. Mothers with such boys usually kept vigil with the cold space on their mat; examining their minds for the list of wrongs they had done, wondering which could have caused someone such offence as to curse them with such fate. Often they begged the son, and his ‘head’, to have mercy on them.

“You have made me the jest of everyone. Neighbours and peers mock me. Your father’s other wives are turning him against me. Quit your bad habit, save me from shame.”

They would cry, plead, call on the breasts he suckled in blackmail; their ultimate weapon to demand obedience.

It was the sixties. Footballers were rascals; everyone knew. They went out clean and returned dirty, sometimes bloodied. They cursed the wombs that bore them, dishonoured the breasts that suckled them, and were deaf to the voices that crooned them lullabies at infancy. They were also disreputable. Girls -intoxicated by victory or the exhibit of masculinity in primitive frames of guts and glory- sometimes offered their cherry to footballers who thought them a prize, and made trophies of them. Inevitably, footballers were envied, hated, and respected by fellow males who had neither human nor sculpted trophies. My father liked to play football. And he was good at it. His team would hardly ever play without him, his name was known in all the neighbouring towns, and the girls either hated or loved him. He was a “rascal”.

It was the sixties. Luxury, as my father tells, was returning home to elder sisters who had done his chores and hidden away some meal for him. It was playing football in the rain confidently; knowing his brother always had eyes on him, and was ready to put him on his back and race to the clinic if he had another crisis of pneumonia. It was never being afraid of the many males who ambushed him because he had elder brothers and cousins everyone knew better than to mess with. It was a father who always gave him a cone of ice-cream bought from big cities –away from the reprimanding eyes of his mother- and beamed eyes full of pride when his team won. It was a mother who swaddled him in her fanciest heaviest wrappers, while she watched the night and prayed for him to live through the cold.

It is twenty-sixteen. Luxury would be reading this to my father and laughing as he throws cute insults, swears words, and threatens me in a mix of disbelief, dismay, awe, and adoration.

Nigerian women must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand!

9jafeminista

Frankly speaking, I don’t see anything bad in what the G.O of RCCG preached about. He spoke for the men, from the male angle. Now, what are ladies telling themselves on this issue?

I think single ladies should also up their game! I do not mean they should go add to their culinary skills, single ladies need to start demanding and setting standards for the type of person they’d settle for.

Would they?

Are they not more bothered on how to prove they are a “wife material” in order to grab a penis? While the men are “dishing” out criteria to them what are the ladies doing? They’re smiling and nodding their heads in jubilation that the days of their “sorrow” as Singles are going to be over.

No man is doing you any favour by asking for your hand in marriage. You can decide not to marry a man…

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The Books and I

27/07/2016

18:45hrs

Phone: *Beep beep*

Dupe: *musing*

“message at this hour of the day tho”

*picks phone lazily, reads new text*

“Aaah… salary y’av come. I’ll finally be able to do that money spending analysis thing. Let’s even know how we really spend our money by the end of the month. Good Mister Finance Officer ”

28/07/2016

17:30hrs

*Dupe starts mail correspondences *

17:45hrs

*browsing books after following Goodreads e-mail link*

Dupe: *whispering to self; trans-like*

“Daaamn. Boooooks”

*drools*

18:30hrs

Laptop: *Beep*

On-screen tab: “you do not have sufficient funds to complete this transaction”

Dupe: *Jaw drops. Lone tear rolls down cheek. Blinks unbelieving at teller response*

“Salary y’av finish? God! Hunger. Hunger is coming.”

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Humans of Abeokuta: Episode 2

That’s how I wrote the past two episodes in my head and my notebook…. You forgive me; right? Please say you do.

Abeokuta is often confused for being geographically sizable because people clump its neighbouring towns with it. But it is actually a small town. A really very small town. If you’ve never lived in a small town, there are some things you probably take for granted:

  1. Everyone minds their business
  2. Everyone is in too much of a hurry to ‘small talk’
  3. The place is too big for people to know other people’s businesses

In small towns, such as Abeokuta, these rules don’t apply. Matter of fact, people make it their business to discuss other people’s businesses. You don’t believe me? Here’s how I found out; just last week.

I was at a residential training, multi-tasking listening and chatting. It was against the rules to use gadgets during classes, but my hands were under the table, serial tweeting. I had gotten really good at chatting while looking straight at the presenter and stealing glances at my phone- thank God for touchscreen phones and typewriting classes. I was particularly enjoying Trillary (Trump/Hillary) tweets when the man two seats away tapped my shoulder insistently. I looked at him, wondering if I had gotten too engrossed with my phone and missed something that required my attention at the training. Then:

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Man: *excited* “This is an extension worker. He has the experience of speaking with farmers”

Me: *puzzled* “You tapped me?”

Man: *grins. leans closer* “His first wife left him because he did not have money. They say that even while they were married she was seeing a politician who was giving her all the money she was using to buy things in the house. When she got pregnant for the politician, she left him.”

*uses nose to point in the direction of the man making a presentation in front of the class*

“As we heard, the man could not take the shame. That was when he went to the village. He became the head of farmers there. During Gbenga Daniels’ tenure he was made an extension worker, because he is educated and other farmers trust whatever he says. We also heard that he is not really a man”

Me: *quirks head at the interesting possibility that the speaker is a cross dresser or of some other uncustomary sexual preference*

Man: *voice drops decibels lower. Eyes glisten as one revealing a scandalous detail* He cannot do! His ‘kini’ is scared of women! They said that’s how he knew his wife was adulterous. But that his wife enh… Women are evil! She got pregnant for someone when her husband could not even do! They said the woman now…

Me: *jaw drops as the tale of another person’s life becomes hydra-headed* They’ll fine us for side-talking Sir

So, if you ever visit Abeokuta -or any other small town for that matter- know to hide your business like gold. And, of course, tell me thank you for forewarning you.

P.S: ‘kini’ is euphemism for ‘penis’