Blog, Essays, Writers

Sour Sixteen by Ebube Ezeadum.

  People might claim that the sixteenth year Of a teenager is rather dear. My case, however, was nothing near. Don’t question it; let me make it clear… In about four rapid but solid taps, her flat palm, as wide as a table tennis bat, sent pains to my thigh. “Oh oo…” I grumbled, my voice garnished with fatigue. “My fren wake up!” She uttered in one hasty breath, “get up and prepare for school.” I nonetheless laid still on the bed. She suddenly moved to the back of the bed to bring the terror that spoke louder than her voice —  Slender Brown. This was no human name, at least to the understanding of my family members. It was the name we called the brown and slender “cane” my mother used to discipline us. (This same object of terror had other names in other families in the neighbourhood — Iya Tunde calls it: Mr. Do-good; Mummy Chisom named it: Dr. Goody goody; And almost every evening whenever Joseph came back from school late, we all heard her “Truthteller” landing on Joseph’s buttocks.) I knew better than to remain in bed. But before I could run out of the room, she had found Mr. Slender Brown and she stood at the only door out of the room. Today wasn’t a lucky day. My mother held the cane up. Her eyes on me, mine focused on the cane. And the cane stared back, bold as a mirror, ready to devour. Abruptly, mummy smiled. I didn’t know why. “If not that today’s your birthday now, you would have seen my other side,” She made her reason for the smile obvious, “Will you go and prepare for school?!” It was more of a command than a request. And I understood that. Today was my birthday? I didn’t even remember sef. I went to the sitting room. My other sisters were already there, leading the morning devotion. I sat down too, and my mum came out of the room. We rounded our prayer with the Rosary. Shortly after, we went to do our various assigned chunk of chores. It was a new week and based on the weekly rotation, it was my turn to wash the dishes — the only nightmare I was physically awake in and yet couldn’t do anything about. Customarily, washing of the dishes had to be done the night before — my mother hated seeing dirty dishes in the morning — and so I tried not to make as much noise while doing so. I pinched the edge of a soup plate, white as an elephant tusk. And dripping from it was a horrid mixture of slimy okra remnants, oversoaked rice grains, water and some clustered ships of red oil afloat. A God-has-blessed-us-with-manna spot that must have been trodded by roaches and God know what else. Iyamma! I didn’t know how I later washed those dishes, but I was so glad I survived the experience! Since my battle with the dishes was a rather long one, I got to school late. And the gatekeeper at the school was not my mum; he didn’t know that it was my birthday that day. And I didn’t bother telling him. Other malicious students had used that as an excuse for not being flogged. But that was no longer effective since Mr. Paul realized that one of my seniors, Jide, had had up to three “birthdays” just last month. So I didn’t “sweat” it. It was past 8 am and my reward, just like other students in my condition, was to do ten rounds of frog jump across the vehicle-barren street. This “forced exercise” was then rounded off with five strokes of the “cane” on my aching calf. I nearly crawled to my class that day. Finally getting to my seat to rest my legs was as relieving as water is to a traveller of the scourging desert. It was only a drop of relief that the day started with my favourite subject — Physics. The way our physics teacher interestingly explained projectile motion quickly soothed the pains I was experiencing earlier. And after some other subjects and note-writings in-between, it was the time almost every normal student longed for — lunch break time! Being my birthday, well, apart from mum’s special prayer, she gave me #200 to spend on myself. Some days, she would give me #50, when she had it of course, and most times, I had to go to school cashless. And so, the #200 she gave me was relatively as huge as it could get. As I walked across the school corridor heading towards the snacks shed, I saw our head girl and two other seniors bending to whisper at each other’s ears. And then one of the girls pointed in my direction. Were they talking about me? I squeezed my pocket to ascertain that my “birthday money” was still there. Stealing a glance at the trio, I realised that they were egging our head girl on to come towards my direction. “Go naaoow!” they chorused at her. And when she took a deep breath in. Her first foot came forward, then the second, until she came running towards me. Oh My God! It was a big honour to have our head girl remember my birthday. Her arms spread forward as the breeze resisted her sky blue pinafore as she came forward. I was so expectant of the hug. I imagined many things: the warmth, the fact I was remembered and the projectile motion my teacher had taught earlier coming to me in a woman form. I also thought I’d fall on the ground with her — it would be like in the cartoons. The only difference would be that there was a soft grass landing on the TV screen but here, in reality, it was gravel and clay soil. I didn’t usually hug girls, yet, I couldn’t miss this. I spread out my arms, slowly but thoughtfully. And

Essays, Writers

 Let Me Do Your Make Up by Arueze Chisom.

You see that sentence up there, which most times seem like a favor, have terrorized me more than ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram put together has ever done to any country. Sitting in an almost empty rickety bus that keeps displacing me from my seat anytime it hits a pothole, my brain decides to dredge up an experience that I know I would need years of therapy to forget. Even a blind man knows that most of Nigerian roads are more of pot holes less of tar ones, so I was alternating between the window seat and the conductor seat which made the flash back more painful to recall. Two years ago, I was in my second year in the University. Having successfully gone past the era of ‘fresher’,  I made the decision to let the school go through me and not always the other way round.  I felt bolder and braver. I decided to test the waters by doing away with most of my clothings that spelled out  my   naivety and went for something chic. Though there was an aspect of me that was yet to change: my make up routine. I was a white powder and lip gloss kind of girl, nothing more nothing less. Seeing my classmates all glammed  up made me eager to learn  a new makeup routine.  I tried to learn but everything I did was getting me to look exactly opposite of my classmates. I ditched it, mentally reminding myself to do that after exams. The week ahead got me all giddy because it wasn’t just going to be a mundane one as my roommate had planned on celebrating her birthday in Grand. Some where in my head, I had tucked  away the dress I would wear. Checking it from time to time to avoid any change of plans or wardrobe malfunction. I already had a vivid imagination of what I would look like:  I would wear a bodycon sea green gown  and a silver slightly high heeled sandals( I was more comfortable on flats, but It was a risk I was willing to take). As I reminisced on my imagination I  smiled sheepishly to myself  but there was a little problem that was actually a big one.  I didn’t visualize what my face would look like. I wondered who would do my makeup? I didn’t have enough money to call a make up artist because I felt it was trivial but I made up my mind not to go the party with a face bare of makeup. I was so happy with my thoughts I decided that  there must be some one who would definitely make me up. On the day of the party, I woke up like every other day and  went about my normal day but always conscious of the time so as not to be late. Once it was 3’o clock, I turned deaf ears to anyone who tried to hold me back at school and took to my heels, straight to my house. When I got to my house, there were people I wasn’t conversant with but they were friends with my roommate so it was okay. As we got ready, make up kits brushes, clothes  shoes were littered every where but no body picked them up. As I hung around trying to replicate what I saa around me, a girl who was also invited to the party offered to help me put on some make up. Grinning like an idiot I said a quick thank you and sat on a chair, then she began. She applied the first liquid brown stuff, she could lay her eyes on, she told me it was called the foundation. I relaxed, thinking to myself  anything that has foundation will definitely be strong just like a house.  Using a small foam to blend it in. Then after a while i thought we were through but she applied another and another. She kept going on that I lost count and decided to relax. As she was applying them, my roommate had finished her make up. Then  I beckoned on her to hurry  up. Around 6:30 pm my roommate burst into the room saying the car we would ride with was here. Then she announced she was through, grateful and glad I grabbed my purse and ran to the car as the other girls were scurrying like squirrels trying to get one thing or the other. As we sandwiched ourselves at the back of the car, I  tried to take a picture but the image I saw staring right back at me made me skip a heart beat. Suddenly the car stopped. We had gotten to our destination. I felt like the ground should open and swallow me. The girls with me  started giggling, the one who couldn’t hold it in burst out into fits of laughter. She said and I quote “ you face looks like a corpse embalmed” then everyone started laughing. The girl who had done the havoc to my face, was trying so hard not to laugh. So as we were standing there some guys approached us,  Immediately they looked at me, I could never forget the look on their face. They kept coughing like tuberculosis patients trying so hard not to laugh. At that moment I couldn’t take it anymore, looked around for some water to wash my face. Immediately I did, I left there and boarded the first bus I saw to my house.  At times it’s advised to stick to what you know.   Arueze Chisom Precious, a passionate writer can be reached through

Essays, Writers

A Children’s Party Would Have Been Better by Oluwaseun Osanyinro.

The smile of the guy beside me turned my stomach inside out. I was not sure he was smiling at me or smiling at his imagination. Well, nobody seemed normal in this place. I adjusted on my seat uncomfortably and looked around for my best friend to be sure I was not alone. When the old man sitting in front of me smiled, I almost had nausea. What he was thinking of, with his crooked teeth can not be good and how my friend located this hell hole was still a mystery. I guess depression turned her to a detective. I finally realized one could be intoxicated by proxy and one could smoke without necessarily holding the stick or pipe because I was practically inhaling whatever the guy next to me smoked. I was so sure I could get high if I stayed a minute more yet I did not stand to leave. I wanted to be here for Sharon as the cool headed best friend I was, taking her safely home if I could last one more minute in this place. I should have known sitting quietly in a corner was a kind of invitation to the male species around. The smiles should have been a give away or the constant side comments as they passed by. The first came and asked for a dance which I politely declined. The second offered another drink and I refused. For a while, I enjoyed some sort of peace while Sharon moved from one dance partner to another to a beat that could wake the dead. Depression had escalated to throwing caution to the wind which she would probably regret tomorrow morning. My peace was however short-lived when this man walked towards me. He had the arrogance of a peacock with his two side men. I braced myself to reject his offer of which I regretted. As he walked towards me, I adjusted and mentally called my best friend. It was high time we left. He ordered another round of drinks to the hails of his fans and smiled at me like he had done something worth praising. They were drunk already so another round made no difference. He must have thought he had won me over as he happily asked what else I wanted. My response was not in words but action. Standing up and trying to walk out, I found myself directly in front of him. Silence must not have been his strong forte because he barked or rather shouted. By this time, the club quietened and everyone turned towards us. I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. He once again asked in loud voice where I thought I was going. He went on to declare who he was, what he owns and how he could have anything he wanted. Obviously not me. Standing became uncomfortable, my tongue was tied, the atmosphere was foggy and I was feeling light headed. I quietly told him I was so sorry but I had to leave immediately. I tried side stepping him but he moved directly to my path again. The whispers were not helping me think clearly and the walls were beginning to go in circles. Great! I was intoxicated. My admirer came closer making me step back as he got himself the nearest chair and sat. My gaze moved from him to the crowd watching us. On sighting my friend, I began searching for the nearest exit to get away from Mr Arrogant. I could not stay one more minute. The bar man thought it wise to provide the drinks at that moment and the sight increased my nausea. Seeing no more drama, the crowd dispersed back to the dancing floor and tables while I battled with puking at the feet of Mr Arrogant. Finally, Sharon decided she had had all the excitement her body could take for the night and walked towards us. She blinked her lashes at Mr Arrogant causing him to smile sheepishly while she explained that I needed to go urgently. He grudgingly accepted and I almost shouted Hallelujah but halfway into my excitement, I emptied my stomach at his feet, saw the walls spinning and then black. I quickly came to while being carried out but did not open my eyes. A lady can only face embarrassment once at a time and I knew Mr Arrogant still around the corner. Watching with a partially opened eyes, I made sure Sharon was the only one in the car before I jumped up and demanded she moved over while I take over the wheel. I was already humiliated but not planning to die soon. In her shocked daze, she moved over and watched me speed away from the club house. She wanted to understand what happened back there but I was not ready to explain. I had been drunk on, smoked on, shouted at, bullied, laughed at and worse, fainted in less than two hours and I was not planning to revisit those memories. If I see Mr Arrogant, it would even be too soon. Our journey continued in silence while Sharon slept. In the silence, I swore never to visit a club house or accompany a friend to any smoking and drinking environment. My stomach was still inside out and Sharon was sleeping peacefully. Next time anyone is depressed, I would suggest a children party if any party at all. Osanyinro Oluwaseun, a graduate of Microbiology and currently a master student of Public Health at the University of Ibadan runs a blog on WordPress

Essays, Writers

Awkward by Oluremi Daniel.

“How far bros! I get original gold chain wey I wan sell o!” M.K. said just as I got out of the room to enter the sitting room. He and my cousins were now looking at me for a response. I was startled! How was I supposed to explain that I wasn’t that type of guy….that type of cool? Oba and Korede were also hailing me. Then he dropped the bombshell, “Na just 250k na, you be boss na!” I felt like entering the ground. At this point I wasn’t sure if they were mocking me, trying to assess my financial stance or were sincerely advertising the bracelet. I wanted to tell them that I was from a conservative christian family, where we do not use jewelry but I couldn’t utter a word! Even if I did use jewelry I wasn’t about to spend someone’s five month salary on a metal band. I was just chuckling like a baby. How could people I just met for not more than an hour hit me with something like that. After a very awkward period of more flattering from their side and more silent chuckles from mine , I gently exited the place and went into the compound. I could see subtle looks of disappointment on their faces as I left. That was too much too fast! For more clarity, let us take a rewind to a few hours before I even got to their house, shall we? The day had finally come! The anticipated wedding of my cousin,  was drawing near and my mom, brother and I were on our way to Ibadan from our residence in Abeokuta. The event had been hyped for long and in good spirit. This is because the bride-to-be and her 5 younger siblings are distant cousins, ones I had not seen in nothing less than 5 years and my brother had not seen ever. To understand even better, a little preview of their family tree is required. My maternal grandmother had three daughters: Aunty Titi, Aunty Ranti and My mom. Hence my mom was the last child. All the three sisters lived far away from each other, Aunty Titi in Kwara State and Aunty Ranti in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and this was not in favour of our extended family. My aunts visited us occasionally so I knew them to an extent. However, we the children really didn’t know much about each other. This made the wedding an avenue to know that side of my family. Tofunmi, the cousin to be married, was a wonderful person to me. The memories of her from more than 5 years were still warm in my heart. She was the only one of them that was really accommodating to me when we met for the first time at an occasion they also came for in Ibadan. Back then, even though she had just met me, she gave me her phone, talked with me and even sat in the same place with me. The icing on the cake was that she was now a barrister! I was so proud of her and everything she had achieved after all those years. In fact, she happens to be the only lawyer from my mother’s family. Her husband to be was a rich dude based in South Africa. In order to make sure that the ceremony was convenient for many important people to attend and because the place was the childhood home town of both my aunt and her husband, Ibadan was chosen as the location of the wedding. The best event centres were booked, nice cloth materials were selected and mind-blowing souvenirs were prepared. It was going to be a lit party, one that needed preparation mentally, composure-wise and appearance-wise. Me and my younger brother got our hair trimmed, made our attires at a talented fashion designer’s shop and were headed towards the convergence point at Ibadan. As children of the last born of the three, we were to lodge in their Ibadan house, which they built part of and furnished to accommodate nothing less than 10 people. We left Abeokuta on Thursday, a day before the engagement ceremony to ensure that we (especially my mom, who was a passionate party planner) played our individual roles in the planning and preparation for the days ahead. As a fashion sensitive person, I carefully selected my outfit and that of my brother to make sure our first-ish impression would be satisfying. I had recently gotten a scholarship and so I bought and wore a black sweatshirt with purple and grey hues as well as a nice pair of joggers and a sleek pair of slides; a classic casual wear. I wasn’t looking bad, and I made sure I didn’t throughout the whole series of functions. On getting to the house, as we alighted from the motorcycle we boarded, I saw two young guys coming our way: a fair guy with brown plaited locks on his head and a dark guy with a oversized white tee and red pants. When we got to the gate of the large compound, I was face to face with Korede. Korede was the fourth child of the six and he was probably a couple years older than me. After exchanging greetings, the inevitable introduction began. “Korede, meet my doctor, Daniel.”, my mom said while pointing to me. We all smiled at each other when she said that. I however was not happy I got introduced that way. It was just too cheesy and I felt somehow embarrassed. “Daniel, meet my celebrity, Kinzboy!” my mom hailed Korede. It turns out that my cousin was a popular musician in Abuja. The other guy was his friend and producer, M.K (I never knew the meaning of that abbreviation or the his real name throughout the party). “Don’t you know me? Haven’t you heard my song?”Korede asked. I shook my head to indicate that I didn’t. I am not really a fan

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