How Her Heart Breaks

You often ponder how the female heart breaks? I chose to break it down.

1. Your classic macho self gets mushy. You say we’re the only akara in your frying pan, only cockroach in your cupboard, only sugar in your tea, only rash in your butt. We carry sunshine in our eyes so we light up your otherwise gloomy life. Matter of fact, we’re your oxygen and you can’t breathe without us! Aaaw Poor you. We don’t want you to die so we say yes. And maybe we’re all blushes, twiddling fingers and giggles but that’s not the point. This is the priming stage. We’re all blossoms here.

2. You change our world. Literally. Make our world before you seem like a lackluster painting. That song, we sing it together. That meal, we cook it together- make a mess of your shirt, the kitchen, and maybe even the darn meal. The phone? Poor thing! Battery barely stays up because we’re burning up the lines from calls to chats to more calls to more chats. You sew yourself into the fabric of our lives and we let you. Bloody bite our lips with stars twinkling in our eyes while you’re at it. Cute, right?

heartus.3. You decide to leave our life. Hunh? What?! Leave! Really?! Reallllyyyyy??? You wave us a dandy bye while saying “get back to that life of dull monotones, no rant buddy, perfect schedules, and just you”. Fack! Why you gotta do that? Surely you realize our life before you doesn’t seem so perfect anymore? That the radio won’t stop playing THAT song? That we still have to cook THAT meal? That we now look at our phone often, thinking your heart is throbbing through it, anticipating us? That our bed now seems too big because we loved sharing it with you?

4. We curse you out, delete your contacts and evidences of you, purdah your name. But the universe is awful. So someone walks like you in a crowd and we freeze in our tracks. Or something huge happens, we pick the phone to tell you, and remember we shouldn’t. Or our nostrils flares with a tease of your perfume and dread, anxiety, fear, hope, excitement, anger dance tango on our nervous system. All at the same time. Just before we realize it’s not even you.

Some of those days we curl up, listen to music, cry. Or we hide our number, call you, and just listen to your voice, or the sound of you breathing. And you’re always fine. Always perfect. This is where we go really nuts. Wanting you desperately, sliding off the slope of sanity with thoughts and memories of you, when you couldn’t care less. When we fight with ourselves over one who won’t even love for us. Right there is where our hearts feel like bloodied pieces of piercing pain.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Image

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.

Image

AVirtual African Diary of IWD 2016

For the 105th time, the world celebrated the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and girls on Tuesday, March 8th. Named International Women’s Day since 1911, the 2016 celebration was themed “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up For Gender Equality”. Innumerable events were held across the world by countless bodies, but perhaps the most intriguing were online events with global audiences and participants. I participated in 3 online events where African youths highlighted/discussed gender equality and its implications, and the African female experience:

 

  1. Positives Connect, a social and informative platform for persons living with HIV, 

    Between Gender Inequality and HIVRecorded and Composed by: Dupe Kuku and Onwuka Chinedu Kester

    Posted by Positivesconnect on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

” target=”_blank”>explicated the role of gender inequality in festering the spread of HIV transmission.

  • West Africa Democracy Radio turned their microphones  over to women, and broadcast spoken word by women on themselves.
  • Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network provided a two-day