NYSC DIARIES• IBADAN TO SOKOTO; MY ROAD TRIP ACROSS NIGERIA

Prior to NYSC, I had never been on a long road trip. My journeys ranged from fifty minutes to two hours; mostly from Ibadan to Ago Iwoye and occasionally to other states. I had always wanted to go on a long road trip ever since I read a story in an old English Language textbook of a Nigerian family that drove around Nigeria in their car. So when I got my posting letter and saw Sokoto on it, I was excited. Finally! My road trip was going to happen. I had read so many accounts of people who travelled across the country and watched the terrain gradually change. Now it was my turn! I also googled fun places to go in Sokoto and made a mental list to visit them when I got there.

 

I got my posting letter on Monday, April 16 and was to be in camp on Thursday. My dad told me that Sokoto was about a day’s journey by road and I most likely would be stressed and so gave me the option of flying. I was too excited at the prospects of a journey by road, so I turned down the option of a flight. My dad was amused when I said no over the phone. He thought I probably didn’t hear him well.

“Hello? Did you hear me? There’s a flight for Wednesday. Should I buy you a ticket?”
“Uh…no. I want to experience a long road journey.”
“Eh ehn? Are you sure? Okay o. I hope you will enjoy it o.”

 

When I booked my seat at a bus company and was told that my journey would be about 18 hours; I didn’t think much of it. However, by Tuesday, as I studied the map and saw how far Sokoto is from Ibadan, my excitement began to ebb. I delayed packing because I thought that way, Wednesday would never come and I would not have to leave home. I even told my mum I no longer wanted to serve. Sokoto was so far away and I could not always shuttle back and forth like I do between Ibadan and Ago Iwoye. Screenshot_20180618-182122

The arrows show my home down in Oyo state, and Sokoto state way up.

 

By nightfall, I knew I had to start packing if I wanted to get to the bus station early. As I packed everything I would need for one year away from home- because my parents said they don’t want me travelling so often- I got even sadder. I hugged my mum multiple times, because I knew I would not see her for a long time. She did most of the packing, arranging clothes and foodstuff and books in my bag as I handed them to her. When it was time to zip the bag up, it was too full and I had to sit on it for my mum to zip it up. 😝
We got to the bus station by 5:20 am because we had been told the bus would move by six. I didn’t leave Ibadan till ten, but that is a story for another day. Let me just summarize that for now and say, not every business that has an office and a staff is reliable. I booked my trip with this company because they had a office and could be tracked in case something happened; but they disappointed us in the end.
Now, to the jouney proper. Our driver, a man named Nuhu, was very fast, and we were in Osun in thirty nine minutes.
OSUN
I don’t remember much of Osun because we passed by very quickly. But I do remember seeing hawkers selling the legendary Dodo Ikire and akara osu. When the akara was thrust into the bus through one of the windows, we were shocked. One of us asked in Yoruba, “What is this?” and the boy replied as he ran after the bus, “Akara osu!” as we all burst into laughter.
ONDO
Akure is beautiful! I was enthralled by the sight of a long mountain range that looked like a very long table stretching across and reaching the skies. There were so many rocks apart from that one too. The major issue I had with Ondo was that there were too many speed breakers. Going from bump to bump gave me a slight headache and I was annoyed.
We stopped in Owo for some minutes for Nuhu to eat and to stretch our legs. He stressed it that everyone should eat and relieve themselves of whatever body wastes they wanted to because he would not stop for several more hours.
EDO
Edo state was funny. I saw fried yam being hawked. It was strange and hilarious. Again, as the hawkers crowded the bus and thrust in the round flat white things wrapped in clear nylon, we asked them, “What’s this?” and they replied, “Fried yam”. Some even had fried eggs too. We all laughed about eating stale eggs and getting a running stomach. We all knew that Nuhu would not stop for anyone because he was concentrated on covering a lot of distance while it was still daytime.
I have heard a lot of stuff about Edo people being fetish. Well, I saw it with my own eyes. We saw a long procession of men dressed in red and white outfits, brandishing cutlasses and chanting something in their dialect at some point on the side of the road. It was a spooky sight, I admit.
KOGI
Once we got into Kogi, I got very excited at the prospect of seeing River Niger. I could not wait to get to Lokoja. I had only ever seen River Niger on TV and could not wait to see it live. The terrain started changing markedly in Kogi. Rocks vanished and all I kept seeing was a reddish, powdery outcrop that looked eroded. I asked my friend, Grace, who is a geology student about it, and she said it was sandstone with bands of ironstone.
When we finally got to River Niger, I was so excited I had a sheepish smile on my face. I craned my neck out of the window to see as much of the River as I could. The people who plied the route regularly said the river had shrunk due to the harmattan and would be fuller during the rains. Still, it looked very wide to me.
ABUJA
We got to Abuja at 6:28 pm. The road was really nice in Abuja, and I dozed for a bit. We stopped in Abuja to eat again and then continued the journey. We assumed we would soon reach Sokoto. I checked Google maps to confirm and was shocked when I saw that we still had about nine hours of travelling before us. I stopped making notes about the journey after we spent hours on the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria express way. My back and legs were really cramped and I kept slipping in and out of sleep.
We stopped around midnight for Nuhu to take a nap. We were in a Northern state, but I didn’t know which one. We were shocked to see market stalls with fruits and other kinds of foodstuff left unattended with all the goods unsupervised. Such trust! That cannot happen in Ibadan. 😁 We soon resumed the journey, asking for directions from men sleeping by the road, and using Google maps as a guide when Nuhu seemed to get confused.
I remember waking up once around 3am and seeing that we were on a road with nothing but long stretches of sand on both sides. I gave up checking where we were and told myself we would get to the Nysc camp someday and went back to sleep. The bus’ movements jolted me out of sleep a few times and when I looked out, I still saw a sea of sand with waves on it as on water, on either side of the road. I muttered a prayer that we would not get lost in the desert.
Sometime in the morning, around 5:20am, we finally saw a board announcing that the camp was off a turning. A shout of joy went through the bus as we took the turning. Nuhu, who had been driving slowly due to fatigue, picked up speed, eager to get to the camp. However, we soon got pensive when we still didn’t see the camp in sight after driving for minutes. The only consolation we had was the blue dot on Google maps that showed us we were moving towards the camp.
We finally got to camp at 5:54 am. As I stepped down from the bus unto the sand, I smiled wearily and whispered, “Sokoto”. We took our luggage out of the bus and thanked Nuhu profusely for a smooth journey. I looked at the gates of the camp and a feeling I cannot totally articulate with words washed over me. Looking at other prospective corps members who had arrived earlier, as they queued to get water, the soldiers with their sticks and exaggerated stern faces, I had the urge to laugh even though I knew the three weeks ahead of me would not be so funny. We began to move towards the gate, each person huddling close to the next, uneager to be the first to go in. 😊The rest is history.
As for the places I noted down to visit? I have not been to one! I have been staying indoors most of the time, avoiding the sun like a wall gecko. The road trip was fun, but it was far more stressful than I imagined. I had never had to sit in one place for so long in my life. My body ached so much when we arrived in Sokoto but I had to ignore it and go through the arduous process of registration. I have had my taste of a road trip across Nigeria. Next time, I will gladly take a flight. 😜
Have you ever been on a road trip? How long was it? Was it stressful or fun? Let’s talk!
Thanks you for reading!

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NYSC DIARIES• CAMP I.

“Parade will advance in slow and quick time! Division into columns! By the right! Right wheel! Slow march!”
Up! Our legs would go in unison as we began our march around the sandy parade ground under the glare of sun so hot it seemed to sting. Our marching instructor, a soldier named Paulina, would follow us all around the grounds, yelling out corrections, insults and encouragements.
“Mama! You no know your left leg again? Wetin you dey do? Heys! Baba! Look your partner leg! You don dey jump! Where you dey go? You! You no dey hear? Mama, no be traditional dance we wan dance o! Now this is what I am talking about! You people are too good! I will buy you all five naira water each!”
For the first two weeks out of the three weeks I spent in the NYSC Orientation Camp, Wamakko, Sokoto State, my days followed the same routine. I had a taste of the strictly regimented life of soldiers and it was not too sweet. I would be up by four or earlier to bathe and dress up while still drowsy with sleep, then trudge to the parade ground, or run, if Paulina was already in the hall, throwing water at people for walking too slowly. We had morning devotion from 5 till about 5:30 or 5:45, depending on whether we prayed for Nigeria or prayed against destiny snatchers. 😝
After the prayers under a night sky that was still twinkly with stars, the Muslim brethren would join us on the parade ground as one of the camp officials led us to sing the NYSC and national anthems; “Youths ohvay za clarion call…” and we mimicked his Hausa accent. By 6am, whatever announcement was being made would be paused. We would stand still as a soldier blew the reveille to signify Nigeria’s awakening from slumber. The irony never failed to make me laugh. We, the ” Lazy Nigerian Youths” were awake by four, but Nigeria awoke by six. Hehe!
By 6:30, the platoons assigned to have lectures would run to the lecture hall, because the seats were never enough. The other platoons stayed behind in the pavilion to watch those of us in the parade march. Those of us marching were exempted from the 6:30 lectures because we had to practice our marching. This means we were on our feet from five till around 8am. It would have been cool, had the sun not always risen as early as 6am. By 7am, the sun was usually so hot that I greeted people, “Good afternoon”. 😜 It was also so bright, and reflected off the thousands of white shirts, shorts, socks and shoes of corps members, making it difficult for me to open my eyes well unless I had my shades on. After breakfast at eight, we had to be back on the parade ground for boring lectures that lasted till noon. This was the lowest part of the day for me; having to sit on creaky benches, the bare cement floor, or sometimes, a stone in the sun, to listen to boring drabness I had absolutely no interest in, and which sometimes were unintelligible because of the heavy Hausa accent. I usually laid my head on my knees and dozed off till it was time to close the lectures with the NYSC anthem again.
And talking about the anthem, we sang that thing so many times! At the beginning and end of every single event, lecture, and even social nights, we had to sing, ” Youths ohvay za clarion call…” Many times, I would just stand and look down at my shoes till the anthem ran out, and then sink gratefully back to my seat.
We had a break for lunch and siesta from noon till 4pm, when we had to march again. Marching was fun, though very stressful as well. I have always wanted to be in a march past parade- if that’s what its called😏- that’s what fueled my interest and kept me going, even on days when my back ached from standing for so long, and my feet cooked in my shoes. While everybody else found a shade to sit in, we had to stand in the sun, sweating and being showered in sand. Did I mention how sandy it is in Sokoto? Ah! Sand is everywhere! And it is blown around by hot wind that does nothing to soothe the scalding heat of the sun. While we stood in the sun, our other instructor, a male soldier called Oni would walk between our lines and tap our legs with his stick as he cracked dry jokes. One of the very few things I found funny about him was how he commanded us. Instead of the normal “Parade shun!”, he always said, “Parade tchoon! About toon!”

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With Soldier Oni.

 

 

I didn’t find his tapping of my legs with his stick funny, and I always wondered how to let him know. One day, while we stood scattered in the sun, he went around, tapping legs with his stick. When he tapped my leg, I made as if to kick him, and then stopped. He stopped, shocked. He turned to look at me in the face, and though my heart was thumping from fear, I kept a straight face and stared right back at him.

 

“Shoo. See otondo wey wan kick soldier o! You this small thing.” Then he turned away and continued tapping other people’s legs. I breathed a sigh of relief; he could have asked me to sit on the hot sand for hours, or pick all the litter on the parade ground. Phew! 😪 I might not have been so lucky if I had done that with the short soldier we called “Bunch up” because of the way he loved to yell “Bunch up bunch up bunch up!” when we ran to the parade ground in the mornings. That one seemed to carry around an extra bag of venom that he unleashed on people. He had a very young, prepubescent face that was devoid of hair, and he thoroughly enjoyed screaming orders at people older than him, and seeing them jump because he was in a uniform. He was not so patient with the people he commanded either.

 

On the other hand, when my platoon rehearsed the march past, Paulina would follow us around the field, making march past music with her mouth. “Jegejen, jenjen, jegejen ja!” She would drop her stick many times, show us some steps that were confusing, and have us rehearse many times over. We would march round the field up to five times, dust rising from our boots, and settling on our clothes and in our noses, making us sneeze. Yet, according to the soldiers, no extra movements were allowed when we were at attention, or when we were marching.
“If fly land for your mouth, just dey pray say e go comot. You must never raise your hand to chase it, as long as you dey attention. Is that clear?” We would all chorus “Yes sir!” Despite that, we had many laughs as people were chastised for scratching their legs while at attention, adjusting weaves, or even applying lip gloss. 😂

 

All of my experience in camp cannot be written in one post; it will be too long. So, for now, parade will have to end, and be continued another day. About toon! 😁

 

Have you gone for your service year? How was your experience in camp?Let’s discuss in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading!

 

*NYSC: National Youth Service Corps. A compulsory one year scheme set up by the Nigerian government, in which graduates of tertiary institutions are posted to different states of the nation to contribute to the development of the states; and to foster national unity amongst people of different tribes.

 

MY BEEF FOR OVERHYPED CITIES •I• ABUJA

 

Hullo.

If you follow this blog, (or try to, given my flight tendencies😀😀) you most likely already know that I ‘disappear’ from time to time. I come here, write something or two or three or four, and then go off for a while. Don’t mind me. I have to constantly remind myself that I have not yet *blown* like Aunty Linda Ikeji, so I still have to keep hustling at this blogging thing.
This post was inspired by my latest experiences. Of course. 😝 Okay, I’ll just cut to the chase. I am here to rant. 😤😤What’s with the hype in cities such as Lagos and Abuja? 😏 My friends already know I dislike the breakneck pace of the Lagos life, and have a lowkey beef with how almost all cool events have to hold in Lagos. But this rant is for Abuja. Lagos will have to wait till another day.
I recently finished my NYSC orientation course and decided to come rest in Abuja. Camp gist will come later; my body and soul are still recovering from the sheer stress of that place. Now back to my Abuja rant. Let me warn you at this point that if your allawee of nineteen thousand eight hundred naira is all you have, Abuja is probably not the best holiday spot for you. Well, unless you have family here, to take off the burden of feeding and accommodation.
Having my dad pay for my expenses kept me in the dark about how expensive things really were, until we went to get paracetamol at a nearby pharmacy. Now, in case you forgot, paracetamol is fifty or seventy naira per sachet, depending on the brand. The pharmacy had the regular brand on sale for two hundred naira. Ahn ahn! 🙅 Who died and needs transport fare to heaven? Why is paracetamol so expensive? We didn’t buy it o! Ijebu people that we are, buying it at that price would definitely have given us more headache! 😂😂
Last Sunday, we decided to go out to get food. The nearby ‘Mama Put’ were closed, and someone gave us descriptions to a ‘restaurant’ close by. As we strolled there, my dad and I talked about eating hot amala with ewedu soup, or semo and egusi soup. On getting to the ‘restaurant’, we saw that it was beside the pharmacy with overpriced drugs. That should have been our first warning. We walked in, and apart from the waitresses, the place was bereft of customers save for about four White and Indian men. That was our second warning.
My dad tapped me and whispered in Ijebu, “Ehm, do you think we should enter this place at all?” even as we kept walking to the door. As we entered, the waitresses all stood up and began to say Good evening in overly enthusiastic tones that told me they probably had not had a lot of people to greet all day. They fussed over us and ushered us to seats. Dad asked, “What food do you have?” as we gave each other funny looks about how seriously the table had been laid. One of the waitresses brought a menu, and my dad laughed and said, “Ah, àwon oní pálí ni. Oúnje àwon eléyìí máa wón- Ah. They are the cardboard bearers. These ones’ food will be expensive!”
The menu made me and my dad laugh so much. The first page was filled with drinks whose long, funny names I can’t even remember now. By the third page, my dad got bored and closed the menu and announced that there was nothing he could eat in it. The waitresses assured him there were, so he opened it again, and we saw a page listing different kinds of rice dishes in the range of #5000 to #20,000 per plate. Amidst serious laughter, we told the waitresses that we were looking for a place that sold hot semo or amala, that a restaurant had been described to us, and they didn’t fit the description. One of them smiled and told us we had probably been directed to the Mama Put. Hmmn. Sharp sharp, we stood up and said thank you. We laughed all the way out.
A plate of food for #17,000? Shall I eat with my entire allawee? It’s not manna that I’m being served, so why is it so expensive? And I am certain that those people weren’t going to serve us freshly prepared food, so what exactly would we pay so much for? Stale microwaved food? Even the Mama Put that we were looking for was too pricey for a Mama Put that is the equivalent of our beloved Iya Abula in Agbowo, or Ola Mummy in Bodija, Ibadan. Get over yourself, Abuja!IMG_20180524_135231_143.jpg

All the same, I’ll make a shout out to the low to moderately priced food outlets out there. You people rock! You make sure everybody gets fed, and that’s what matters. As for me, I would rather eat fresh, hot food from a Mama Put than rsik getting infected with Salmonella or Shigella from some refrigerated and poorly reheated, microwaved food. For those who would rather pay thousands for stale food, just so you can brag about having been to fancy restaurants, all the best.  😜

Thanks for reading.

Love. ❤

 

 

Images: Google.

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!

 

 

 

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