SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

Hey there. How has your day been? Mine has been… never mind. I had the usual blogger’s hassle of deciding what to post, thanks to not having a fixed plan of what to post per time- Will someone please get me the Cassie Dave’s blog planner? 😩 I dallied between posting a long, angry post about why Nigeria will never be better; similar to the one I posted here; a post about myself, but as usual, I shied away from that because  I don’t fancy putting myself all out here; or a story. When I got tired of trying to decide, I went to go read my feeds. And that was when I saw that I had been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger’s Award by Treasure! Tresh saved me from my indecision on what to post, and I’m so grateful for that! Thanks, Tresh!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers that are creative, optimistic and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

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RULES

Thank the Blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.

Answer 11 questions the Blogger(s) gave you.
Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

So, to the questions Tresh gave me to answer.

1. Who are you? What makes you who you are?

I am Dunni. I am a shy person who is very boisterous and goofy around the people I am comfortable with. I am a creative, and I naturally gravitate towards artsy things. My quirks make me who I am- my old soul that makes me a deeply traditional person; and the resultant restrain that I have when it comes to internet affairs- how I am not as enthusiastic about social media as the average Nigerian youth; the inexplicable hurt I feel when I see suffering; my love affair with my comfort zone; and toxic relationship with procrastination, even as I strive to better myself and achieve my dreams…

2. If you could relive a moment in your life, what would it be? 

It would be the day when I was home alone and my absolute chum, Uncle Akin (of blessed memory) came in without knocking. Pleasantly shocked, I screamed his name and hugged him tight as he laughed.

3. What’s your future plan?

To serve God, and humanity. To preserve the Yoruba culture. To inspire people to become better versions of themselves, and draw them to God.

4. What’s your go to quote?

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

5. What advice will you give to a new blogger?

Push it, but don’t push it too hard. Give yourself room, and time to grow, and enjoy the journey all the way.

6. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Reading.

7. What’s your favourite movie?

Uh. I don’t have one.

8. If you could invent something, what would it be? 

A device that can help me with journalling my memories in hard format without having to sit down to write/type.

9. Who inspires you?

Every woman who balances a home with career, parenting and still manages not to lose herself in the process.

10. What’s a daily routine you can’t do without? 

Well, I would usually reply, “Going to the toilet in the morning”, but a strike in school some time ago, and the resultant water scarcity taught me otherwise. I had to hold the contents of my bowels for two days, and I learnt that routines can be changed. A month long fast at the beginning of the year also left me feeling light in the mornings, and my routine got skewed.

11. Describe your ideal home. 

Hmmn. My ideal home is clean and airy- this does not mean it is devoid of the usual clutter that makes a home comfy. After all, it is not a hospital ward. 😏 It is full of love, laughter, and music; the laughter always rings in it. It is peaceful, because God is in it, and in charge. It is warm and welcoming , filled with books and art. It is a haven.

My nominees 

Perfectly True Life

Cassie Daves

Pribodunke

The Drunk Archer

Journalthreesixty

Old Naija

Iriowen

Hit or Miss Books

Pearl n peeps

Its Shares

I’ll leave the 11th nominee place open as an open tag to everyone who might be interested. Please feel free to do a post on the award too.

I would like my nominees to answer the same questions I answered above, as I’m too lazy to think up new questions I’d love to know you more. 😜

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW • ARROWS OF RAIN• OKEY NDIBE

Hey there. So, as usual, I have been doing a lot of reading, both in my spare time and busy times. This year, I found a new way to use my whatsapp status; and that was posting a short review of books I read, and tagging them with a number. I have never really kept count of how many books I read in the past (except for a time in secondary school when my dad randomly asked me how many books I have read and I tried writing out the names of the all the ones I remembered. I finally got tired after filing foolscap sheets and stopped writing). I should insert here that while I love to read, (I would rather be in a room full of books than a room full of people); love to sniff books and have books as one of my favourite inanimate objects, I don’t consider myself a serious bookworm…yet. This is because I don’t really spend on books; I have heard of bookworms who can spend their entire allowance on books (no thanks, I would rather borrow from you 😛); and I don’t go crazy excited at the mention of a book festival (because really, so many people…Nah). Most of the books I have are gifts, so…you get it.

Well, by the end of February, I had read eight books. Now, I didn’t consider that a huge feat, in fact, I didn’t think of it until a friend texted me and told me he was impressed with the number. Then some other people suggested reviewing books I read, on a different platform apart from my status. I wanted to slap myself on the head for not having thought about it (well, maybe it crossed my mind but I pushed it out because the thought of writing long reviews was not so pleasing to my lazy self.) 😜

Anyways, I realised that having a book review section on the blog would reduce the pressure of having to think of new stuff to post every now and then, so I took the plunge. So now, to the book review proper.

SUMMARY
In the country of Madia (based in part on Ndibe’s native Nigeria) a young prostitute runs into the sea and drowns. The last man who spoke to her, the “madman” Bukuru, is asked to account for her last moments. When his testimony implicates the Madian armed forces, Bukuru is arrested and charged with her death. At the first day of trial, Bukuru, acting as his own attorney, counters these charges with allegations of his own, speaking not only of government complicity in a series of violent assaults and killings, but telling the court that the president of Madia himself is guilty of rape and murder. The incident is hushed up, and Bukuru is sent back to prison, where he will likely meet his end. But a young journalist manages to visit him, and together they journey through decades of history that illuminate Bukuru’s life, and that of the entire nation. A brave and powerful work of fiction, Arrows of Rain is a brilliant dramatization of the complex factors behind the near-collapse of a nation from one of the most exciting novelists writing today.

MY OPINION
This was a very lovely book. No, ‘lovely’ does not do justice to the book, because it will probably makeyou think the book is all flowery and funny and sweet. It is not. There are places where there is pain; deep, serious pain that makes you wonder at how much wickedness humans are capable of. This book touched me in many different ways, but the most resonating one was the events that led to Bukuru’s madness.

In the short review I posted on my WhatsApp status shortly after reading the book, I wrote that, “Running away from our fears is not always the solution..” Now this is easy to say but not exactly easy to follow. I know this because I can also be a very fearful person, shying away from opportunities to meet new people or do new things just because I am scared. I have had spells of depression from losing big opportunities, so I could relate with Bukuru losing it completely after his fears did not give the escape he sought.

I liked the way this book was written, with grammar that did not have me running to my dictionary from time to time, while still helping me to learn new words in the process. The narrative was easy to follow too; with a beautiful play on words that made me marvel at Okey Ndibe’s mastery.

It was obvious that “Madia” in the book was Nigeria, but I still got confused at first when real Nigerian cities were mentioned as part of Madia. I had a tough time trying to decipher if some of the fictional cities were representative of real cities in Nigeria; and trying to match some of the events in the book with events in Nigerian history. I had no luck with that though, and soon gave up and allowed myself to enjoy the book.

MY JUDGEMENT
This is a book I would gladly recommend for anyone to read, but especially if you enjoy books that provoke deep thoughts and emotions.

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QUOTES FROM THE BOOK

“…white men came here and threw together all kinds of odds and ends and called it a nation. None of us was ever asked if we wanted to belong to this new nation, or on what condition.”

“The man in the Rolls Royce flaunts his loot because he believes it is his legitimate spoils. He has not stolen from those he considers his people, but from strangers. The poor people singing his praises don’t believe that he has robbed or disinherited them. They admire him because he has made his way in the territory left to us by the whites and has won his fortune.”

“…we live in a bastard nation…we must decide what to do with this illegitimate offspring…the first step is to turn it into a completely different nation. Not by means of violence, but symbolically, through our constitution. We must be ready to say two things. One, that any section of this country is free to leave…”

“What was my life but a succession of  evasion, silences, abdications?”

“Remember, a story never forgives silence. Speech is the mouth’s debt to a story.”

Have you read this book? Do you have books you would like me to review? Let’s talk in the comments section.

 

SO FAR, SO … MEH

Hey there! 

Long time no post. I know, I know. I have this habit of running off so often and leaving this space to gather dust. *deep sigh* My procrastination eh, is on another level. Hopefully, 2018 is the year I’ll begin to break its hold on me, and get a grip on myself. I have not been off because I was busy, that was always the issue before, but thank the Lord, I’m done with uni. You should have seen the huge, silly smile on my face on the day I submitted my project! The relief I felt was out of this world! I took off immediately, and travelled out of Ibadan to go indulge in pure laziness  rest in my hometown, Ago Iwoye (which is in Ogun State, in case you’re wondering).

In the midst of studying for my final exams and dealing with my project, I got a logo designed for my fashion design business! My brand name is Ewèsóo! (Hey! We sew!), and I got it from the Ijebu greeting Ewèsóo. IMG-20180126-WA0004

There’s a page for it on Instagram, and while I’m still compiling the pictures to post there, you can still please go ahead and follow. Thank you! There’s a funny story behind how the brand got its name and logo, and that will be posted soon.

My last post was last month, and I was just settling into my lazy routine then. Not wanting to just jump back into posting like there had been no break in between, I have decided to do a recap of what has been going on in my life lately. Have a fun read.

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I HAVE BEEN:

  • Sleeping: Like a newborn. Seriously! I have been sleeping so much, and truth is, I have been enjoying it. It is so much different from spending my days sweating away in a lab, having to wake up at night to read, and being yanked out of sleep by my alarm.
  • Reading: Plenty books! Especially Nigerian ones. Thanks to a couple of friends, especially Stephanie, I got a load of books by Nigerian authors, and these have been my companions over the past few weeks. Thanks Steph!
  • Doing: Reviews of the books I’ve read, and tagging them #ireadNaija. The bad thing is, I’ve only been posting the reviews on my WhatsApp status. I haven’t been putting them up on the blog because some of them seemed too short. Bad move, right? Will make amends.
  • Playing: With my two year old niece and laughing at how she mimics everything everyone says! Even when I’m telling her to behave herself, she repeats my words and then smiles mischievously; making me laugh! She’s so much fun to be with!
  • Feeling: Suspended. Like I’m this tiny particle in the atmosphere, floating along, moving towards the next phase of my life.
  • Thinking: Of how to make money in the little time I have before I go to NYSC camp.
  • Hoping: To finish writing some stories I started some days ago. Its funny how you get excited at the idea of a story, and you have it all figured out in your head, but when its time to write it out, it seems to be playing hide and seek with you, and you have to tease it out of your head patiently.
  • Loving: Cassie Daves’ blog! I have been reading that blog everyday now for about five days straight. I have always been a lover of her blog, but I wasn’t consistent with reading it. Last week, when looking for inspiration to blog, I went to check her site, and I got sucked in! You might want to check it out too!
  • Wishing: For the Cassie Daves Blog Planner. A blog planner is essential for every blogger, and hers is just so lovely! I would really love to get it. It is available in different designs, and it being made by a Nigerian just makes me love it more.
  • Wanting: A full kit of products for my hair and skin (face).
  • Hoping: That someone will decide to sponsor my wishes above. Just lemme pick up the products at a supermarket, and order the blog planner, and pay for everything! Hehe! Wishes do come true. *fingers crossed*
  • Fine-tuning: My driving skills. Had two major scares today on the road when I almost hit people, and when I faced oncoming traffic and my brain froze in fear, even as my brother shouted, and I kept thinking, “I’m going to kill people!” I finally swerved back to my lane, my heart pounding and the images flashing before my eyes. That reminded me that expertise will come with time and practice. Don’t get scared when I’m on the wheels tho, you’re in safe hands…I think? Hehe.
  • Looking forward: To returning to Ibadan so I can make some money from sewing! Bring your clothes eh?

Thank you for reading!

I would love to hear from you. How has your life been lately? Let’s talk in the comments section.

 

 

DO YOU WANT MY LIFE?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a different life; wanted to be someone else apart from myself because I thought other people were better off. I would see someone and wish I were them. I don’t know how I came about that mindset, but it stayed with me for a very long time. Right from childhood, I was unsatisfied with my life. I wanted more; more hair when I saw a hairy girl; a low cut when I saw a pretty girl with low cut; a fair complexion when I saw a child with fair complexion who was fussed over; thin legs when I saw someone with those…You get the picture.

Till I grew up, I constantly compared myself to others. I would not say it out loud, it was something that went on in my mind. Slowly, and without realizing it, I had come to think that I was not good enough. Even when people complimented my strengths or assets, I would think to myself, “Its not as good as so and so.” I would always find someone who could do it better and run myself down. If I was told, “Oh, you write well!” I would say thank you, but I would immediately think of someone else who wrote better, who had won many awards for their writing, and tell myself, “Maybe if you wrote like so and so person you would get more compliments.”
I didn’t realise how bad this was for me until a few years ago when it started to result in spells of depression for me.Screenshot_20180226-175005

Because I was always comparing myself to other people, I had stopped seeing my own strengths. You’ve probably heard a quote of how it’s bad for people to compare their weaknesses against other people’s strengths; but that’s exactly what I did to myself. When, for instance, admiring someone who excelled at inorganic chemistry, I would begin to feel bad that I was weak at it; forgetting that I excelled at Biology or English. I would begin to rile myself for being weak at inorganic chemistry. Oh, I was foolish! At public speaking events, I have always been told to work on my delivery. I automatically thought my delivery was bad, and so I would compare myself to the gurus who had excellent delivery. I forgot that my voice is always being complimented as being strong and confident, and attention-grabbing. It was until a friend helped me work on my delivery that I realised that all I needed was more practice, and my delivery would be good.

In other parts of my life too, I was unsatisfied, simply because I failed to appreciate what I had. I thought I would be happy if my life was like that of other people. I had planned my life out in my head since I was little, and it saddened me that it was not going according to the plan. I thought I had failed because I hadn’t achieved as much success as some over people; I failed to realise that we have different journeys.Screenshot_20180226-174821.png I don’t know what made me assume that other people had it going on fine for them. Maybe if I was slim like so, or if I was chubby like so, I would happy. So and so looks so happy, I wish I had her life. Christ! I wish I had a different face, a different name, a different complexion, a different set of teeth…and so on. The madness began to stop one day when I looked at myself in the mirror and it occurred to me that if someone else had my face, I would wish for it. It was an Eureka! moment for me, honestly. I laughed out loud, and told myself how foolish I’ve been.be-your-self-and-get-your-own-destiny-in-your-life-quote-the-best-of-picture-quote-of-the-day-930x930.jpg

This attitude strained a few relationships for me, but thank God for friends who refuse to let us ruin ourselves. A good friend noticed this attitude in me and talked to me about it on more than one occasion. He pleaded,cajoled, and at one point, even spoke harshly to me. The irony of the whole situation is that I’m always preaching to him to count his blessings, but I was doing the exact opposite of that. He made me realise the many things I’m blessed with but which I overlook. He showed me all the things I take for granted that some people seriously pray for. Slowly, my perspective began to change. I began to see that nobody has a perfect life. Your life is simply what you make of it. If I continue to sit down and wish for another person’s life, I will make nothing of this life that I have, and my life will be a waste. Realising that I am wonderfully and fearfully made, that I am blessed, and that I am better off than some people gave me sense to stop comparing myself to others.AAEAAQAAAAAAAAe-AAAAJGU5YTJiOGZlLTdhMDItNDYyMy1hODM3LWUzYjBkNTY3ZWQ5OQ.jpg

So, to you reading this; do you want my life? I think you should appreciate your own life. Realise that everyone has battles they are fighting, and stop wishing for their lives. Appreciate yourself, you are one of a kind!

Images: Google

 

AJÉÌÍGBÉ II

II

Ìyá Àjé picked up three of the cowries
Licked them, and raised them to the sky
Like an offering to Irúnmolè, the deities
And, in an unearthly voice
That caused the entire market to go still
She cursed him, saying,
“Ajéìígbé, you trample on the poor
Because Elédùmarè favoured you
You carry yourself about
Like you are the sea itself, the home of cowries
Ajéìígbé, you forget that Owókòníran; money has no pedigree
You forget that those who were rich yesterday
Are now dead and forgotten

Ajéìígbé! This day I curse you!
Even if yams sprout on the ground
And mangoes rain like water
Even if bananas fly like birds and land at your doorstep
Prosperity will fail you!
Even if cocoa develops legs and walks to your house
Even if the oil palm tree grows in your backyard
And the oil press is in your room
Prosperity will fail you!”

After saying these words, Ìyá Àjé turned and walked out of the market
Ajéìígbé shook off the terror on his face
And continued to throw cowries at people
But that was the last day he did so
For, by the next morning, everything Ajéìígbé owned went up in flames
And his bags of cowries were washed back into the ocean
When he sought a remedy,
He was asked to bring the three cowries with which Ìyá Àjé cursed him
Cowries which, when asked,Ìyá Àjé said she had thrown into the ocean
Alas, no remedy could be found for Ajéìígbé
And…
Like spit dries in the mouth of a dead man,
Ajéìígbé’s prosperity dried up!

 

Thank you for reading!

 

 

AJÉÌÍGBÉ

I

Ajéìígbé struts into the marketplace
His shoulders as high as Òkè Olúmo
His abetí ajá cap towering on his head
Like the heaps of yams on his slaves’ heads
His slaves rallying around him like èèrà around honey
His smile wide like that of a fool
You can smell his arrogance from miles away
You can hear his agbádá flapping in the wind
His slaves calling out, “Baba, e rora o! Be careful!”
Sycophants singing, “Ajéìígbé! B’ójà tilè kùtà!”

Ajéìígbé sits under a shed in the market
Drinking pamwine and eating eran ìgbé
Two slaves attending to him, while the others sell the farm produce
He responds to the greetings of passersby
When they shout, “Ajéìígbé! Prosperity never perishes!”
He replies, “B’ójà tilè kùtà! Even if goods fail to sell!”

Ajéìígbé’s departure from the marketplace
Is louder than his entry
He struts out, shoulders now higher than Olúmo
His agbádá made bigger by the hundreds of handfuls of cowries
His slaves carrying empty baskets
And bulging sacks of cowries
Chants of “Ajéìígbé!” even louder
Ajéìígbé’s smile even wider

In an effort to clear his path
His slaves push people around and over
But even more people rush before him
Shouting his name and grovelling before him
In an attempt to have some cowries thrown at them

Hmmn.
All of this ended on ojó burúkú
The evil day, when Èsù decided to forgo his usual drink of blood
And had a drink of water
It was evening in the marketplace
As traders packed their igbá of goods
Ajéìígbé strutted like eye ògòngò, the bald ostrich, out of the market
His slaves cleared his path, shoving people out of his way
Ìyá Àjé, the witch, refused to move
Ajéìígbé dug his hands into his pockets
And cast some cowries at her

Ìyá Àjé picked up three of the cowries
Licked them, and raised them to the sky
Like an offering to Irúnmolè, the deities
And, in an unearthly voice
That caused the entire market to go still
She cursed him, saying…

 

…The rest of the poem will be revealed in part II. Do come back!

UNSURE

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Unsure of myself
The pen seems to fail in my hands
Afterall, it has been so long
Together, we have written so much
Literature reviews, assignments, microbial assessments
But no poems, no stories, no songs

I hold the pen in my hand
My fingernail in my mouth
And ideas in my head
Flurrying about like birds before a storm
Unsure of where to fly
Unsure whether to converge or disperse

I am unsure of what might be made
When I put pen to paper
After all, it has been so long
I am afraid of what I’ll make
Of whether I’ll even be able to make anything!

But unsure though I am,
I would rather venture out into that uncertainty
Than remain seated here in discomfort
Pulled in many different directions
By the birds in my head which continuously chirp
“Fly! Fly! Let us loose! We want to fly!”

 

3:11pm
Queen Elizabeth II Hall
University of Ibadan.