DON’T HOLD ON IF IT CEASES TO WORK

Some relationships are not just worth it. The stress they give you will take everything from you. I learnt this the hard way, and if only I could go back in time, I’m sure I’d have done things differently. I gave my best. My utmost actually – time, money, dedication. Just name it. God knows I tried. You know how it is when you see the way someone treats others before you and you decide for yourself that you’re bound to be treated as fairly, and you think that’s enough due diligence done, and because you think, “Why not?! Mine cannot be any different.” How wrong I was! September 2016 – May 2018. Twenty months gone down the drain. Or let’s say I washed it all down the drain. I knew it was time to fold up and walk away. Like that old country song about knowing when to hold on, when to fold up and when to walk away and when to run. The relationship was an abusive one out of which I was so slow to drag myself. You know how to hope that things will get better makes you hold on to something that, from all indications, isn’t going to work. That’s exactly how it happened in our case. If you remember, three months or so ago when I came grumbling about how she was treating me, all most of you did was to tell me to chill and get used to it, reminding me of how apparently I was getting better treatment than the one I was buddies with for all my adult life. Only a few people advised me to end it. I only wish I didn’t go with the majority. One instance when the voice of the people definitely wasn’t the voice of God. I quickly forgot that the one everyone ridiculed was calm, friendly, pliant, compliant, and very responsive to all my gestures of love and care. What a fool I was to have listened! Well, what’s done is done. I can either wallow in regret or walk away and never look back. I’ve chosen the latter. I know I looked like I’ve been having the time of my life seeing the pictures and the posts I made about her suggest so. But then, isn’t every farce of a relationship like that? One thing I didn’t realise is that not everything is for everyone. I saw how she was so kind and nice to this particular friend of mine, and so I took the plunge only to land head first. In all fairness to her, this particular friend of mine comes from the deeper end of the gene pool, and so it was easier for her to treat her a whole lot better than she did me. Well, the moral of the story is to learn to take a walk from any relationship that doesn’t do you any good. It’s just not worth the stress. Walk away before you hurt yourself, the person, or even anyone somehow involved in getting you two to know each other. Just like I sometimes want to bite off my friend’s ear. So long, my unruly, uncooperative, unyielding, unbending and most of all ungrowing natural hair. See you never! Wait! What were you thinking this was about? It’s just my hair joor! I’ve given up and relaxed the blasted thing. Funmilayo, my boothang, so long!!!

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She’s Always Thinking About My Good.

I was sitting by myself a few days ago, when my five year old walked up to me with one of her a hundred-in-a-day neck hugs and her, “Mommy I love you. You’re the best mommy I could ever have.”, and we had this brief conversation.

She: Mommy thank you for taking care of me and my sister. Don’t worry when I grow up I’ll pay you back.

I honestly wasn’t paying much attention when she was talking at first because I was tired. Don’t look at me like that! You know how children can be. My own in particular can talk your ears off if you let them. But I had to do a quick replay of the last sentence in my mind and I was literally gobsmacked by the suddenness of it and the fact that this was the first time she ever said such a thing.

Me: Jesus! Doo I’m not taking care of you so you can pay me back. I’m doing it because I love you and that’s what I’m supposed to do. Besides, that’s what God expects of me.” A part of my heart was struck with indescribable warmth that such a little girl could be sensitive and think so kindly of me, and that she’s already aware that her mother won’t always be this strong and agile, and that there’ll come a day when I’ll be old, grey and needing the kind of care and comfort I bring them now. Another part of my heart was worried that she felt she needed to pay me back or yield “returns on investment”.

God knows I felt bad that something told her that I’d require her to pay me back for loving her. I was worried for days, until I talked to someone who helped me see how blessed I am to have my little girl tell me that at such a tender age. She helped me understand that it actually came from a place of deep and sincere love, and that she just spoke what scripture said about the fruit of the womb being God’s reward and that I’m blessed to have them in my quiver. So I’ve made it a point of duty to thank my Nadia for thinking so highly of me in such a futuristic light. Sometimes, I think I’m not doing it right but moments like this make me know I’m doing just right in my little way.

P.S: To reinforce what a wonder in kindness and love she is, here’s a ‘charm bracelet’ she made me about ten days ago when I had a bad case of menstrual cramps that had no respect for my parity. She said it would take my pain away. I’ve had it on since then, and I intend to keep it on, at least until the string breaks.

PSS: It didn’t take the cramps away though. 😂😂

FOUR YEARS OF NO YOU…

​​“Precious ones, a life so loved

That left footprints in my heart, now a treasure to my soul.

May the memories flow with the waters.

I’ll let you go!  I’ll let you go!! I’ll let you go!!!”

If tears could bring you back, then by now I’d have cried a river-full.

If longing to have you right before me counted for much, then I’d never have to miss you.

If only the vow we swore that till death do us part didn’t turn out to just as it meant, then we’d never have had to be apart.

If memories were more than just that, and if they could be relived in the true sense of the word, then most of problems would stand solved. 


If my  many questions all had answers, then I’d certainly have stopped asking by now, and, perhaps, gotten to understand what the Mighty Unseen One is up to.


If smiles, and belly-deep laughters, the kind you usually choke on, and even shed tears from, lasted forever, then I’d never have to miss them with each breaking day.

If persissting in guilt and anger and denial had anything substantial to offer, then I think I certainly would still be in those places without any semblance of sanity enough to write this.

If God wasn’t just, I’d have spent each day contemplating the unfairness of life, and undermining the graciousness of the Father and the strength of his hand upon me. 

If  the size and loftiness of the dreams you had, and the heights to which you aspired, were limiting factors, then you’d be here striving each day to live each of those dreams.

If the Sovereign One ever asked us before doing as he sees fit, then you,d never had to leave as soon as you did.

If every one of us had express permissions to persist on this side of the divide for the length of time it took to live every single dream we have, then a maqn of your sort would live forever.

If heaven were only a stroll away, then we’d see you every waking day.

If a father’s love for his children truly was without such an end, then our daughters would have you right here.  

If time ever did stand still, then it wouldn’t be a long, painful four years already.


Nadia is now six

Erdoo is now four

The burden is lighter

Though the sting is still there, and

The doubts still arise

There are some memories I don’t want to revisit because I hate to face the reality of the fact that comes with doing so.

I’m stronger now. Much stronger

I can say your name and not be mad at you and myself and at God and at life.

It’s said that the day a gone loved one is forgotten is the day his name ceases to be mentioned. How can it be? I say your name when:

I write my full names

When our children have to say their full names.

When I want to scold them or call them out and I yell, “Onovmba Orseer, va nen hen!”

When your dad and I talk about you.

When your mom and I reminisce about your picky eating habits and how much like you Erdoo is in that regard.

When your parents count the number of children they has (you’re never far away from their thoughts. Never)

You might be gone – sometimes it’s still unbelievable – but you’re never forgotten, for to live in the hearts of those you love is to never die.

You know, it’s been four full years but the denial is still so strong sometimes and not even standing at your graveside convinces me. There’s this one person I always have to call again and again to ask if it was really you. And as the good man, and your dear friend, that he is, he’s always patient to reassure me that indeed it was your body that laid buried in that grave.

I thank the Lord for sorting out your big little girl because I tapped out in the fight to give her fitting answers to her questions. Now, she’s the one who tells me things about your passing and how she thinks her Unseen Daddy knew why He had to let you die. I must admit that sometimes she leaves me more confused than comforted. She’s gone ahead of me to tell her sister so much about you and your absence during their ‘gossip’ time, that always leaves me in wonder.

Ordedoo, this is not how we planned it or where we planned to be, but this is how it is and this is where we are. I’m thankful to the Father for being gracious and faithful to us all this time. It could have only been Him. The first taste of warmwood and gall that filled my mouth is slowly fading away and is being replaced by the sweetness of the peace that only Jesus could have given and because I made peace with God and His decision to take you within less than three years of our union. I thank Him for letting me stay even when I wanted to with you, and I’m grateful that my heart didn’t go with you.

Orseer, we miss you, no doubt but I’m assured that things will get better with each passing day. 

Rest on, Ordedoo and sing to your heart’s content. We’ll surely see again at the Master’s feet, where we wouldn’t have to miss you ever again.

A TALE WITHOUT A THEME

Story! Story!!

SCENE 1:
I found myself standing on the south end of the Ministry of Works roundabout, waiting to cross to the other side to get a vehicle to get my phone fixed. I had 110 stainless steel spoons, packed in two bundles of 55 apiece, when this commercial motorcyclist stopped in front of me. I wondered when the ban on commercial motorcycles was lifted, and then again why he stopped when I didn’t call for him. A lady standing right next to me hopped on the bike, only for this faceless idiot to attempt to smack me in the butt. I instinctively flexed my hips forward, while at the same time swinging one of the bundles of spoons towards the back of his head. (You might wonder how this two motions are possible, especially for someone like me who has no knowledge of martial arts. Just read on.) “God saved you today!”, I muttered, referring to him and, as an afterthought, my butt which he meant to smack with his leprous hand.
I was around this area to fix my phone which had just fallen only slightly but the impact was mysteriously severe enough to break the rear casing in two, even though the flip case was still intact, with buttons I never knew existed in an android phone strewn all over the place. I had all the ‘buttons’ safely kept in a Ziploc pouch.
SCENE 2:
I was standing in a boutique, in Shawiya Shipping Complex, where the phone fell again. This time it became more like a shell, and would even come on no matter how I turned the battery. What I was there for, I cannot remember but when I stepped out, I realised it was already almost nighttime. How can? It was sunny just a moment ago na!
There were phone repair shops just across the road from where I stood in front of that boutique , which I don’t remember ever being there. It used to be bookshops, and a Vitafoam deposit right around this area. I could have fixed the phone there but I wasn’t confident because Oga Emma and Abdul, my go to guys for phone issues, weren’t here and it was already too late to get to their place.
I shelved the idea of fixing the phone because I had to get back home to prepare for work.
SCENE 3:
I’m the only passenger in agrey Peugeot 504 cab. On the way home, shortly after boarding the cab, I noticed there was a throng of people, mostly men, dressed in white kaftans, and caps in the traditional black and white stripe pattern of the Tiv. Uncle Chia was there, but I made sure he didn’t see me even though he was looking in my direction. He’d have called to worry over what the matter was with my car.
The distance from the Hoe Roundabout where I boarded the cab to the Donga Road roundabout should be about 200metres, and in the time it took to cover it, it was strangely daytime again. So, I decided I might as well do something else before heading home. It was after I got down from this supposed taxi that I realised I was in my own car, and James was the driver, and on his way to fetch the girls from school! “This guy just wants to finish this remaining fuel.”,  I grumbled to myself. He was supposed to wait for me since work was on the same way as their school. That way, I can conserve the fuel by cutting down the back and forth trips.
SCENE 4:
I crossed the road to go back to whence I came, just to try to get my phone fixed when I saw this neat Fulani mallam selling the cleanest and freshest aya (tigernuts) I have ever seen. I bought a measure for 700 bucks, a fair price to pay for the labour he had already put into removing the husks (please read on because you’ll get to understand why the aya in my story has husks)   and soaking them before selling to the famed kunun aya (tigernut juice) lovers like me. I’m not telling you what the juice is famed for. No way!
Everything seemed to have been in place for me to get my juice on, because just a few feet away from that spot was a mill, and it was on the same spot where Unity Bank was. I got there, and got my stuff ground. The owner of the mill also sold coconuts as well, but somehow I blissfully forgot to grind it with the aya. I mentally steeled myself for the ache in my biceps that awaited me from grating the coconuts.
While outside the mill, I noticed the cellophane bag had sprung a leak. So I turned back to get another bag. This was when I noticed him. Tall, lean, slightly muscular, dark-skinned, and with a punk afro cut. He had this sharp chin, and high cheek bones. I took all these in looking at him from the corner of my eyes while I told the mill owner my complaint.  But I don’t remember the colour of his eyes or the shape of his lips, but something about his voice sounded very friendly. He took my gruel from me and completely changed the cellophane bags. Apparently, he worked here.
I struck up a conversation with him, and there found out he was there as a past time, and to “have an idea of what life outside his own world is like.” I was about to ask what his world is like when he handed me my cellophane, and right about the same time, a group of people in black pants and Maggi Chicken cube promo Ts were dancing to, “You are exalted Lord above all earth.” I know you’re wondering what that gospel song has to do with a promo stunt for a cooking seasoning. Well so was I, until I saw one of the team members. I saw Eketi in my dream! Lawd a’mercy!!! I was so excited, but something about the environment felt very different. It didn’t feel like Jalingo any longer.
It’s either I’ve forgotten what happened next or there was an indiscernible lull in the sequence of events, because the next person I saw was my sister Benny in the same outfit as Eketi, dancing to the gospel tunes as well. We hugged so tight, and just as we started talking, the clouds began to gather and our voices got drowned out as the thunder rumbled, and lightening flashed.
And just as it was right there in that scene, so it was right outside my window. The loud clap of a thunder jolted me out of my sweet, haphazard dream at exactly 1:45pm. I’d been asleep for almost two hours, and had only 15 minutes to be at work.
This funny dream only meant the following:
I was tired. Very, very tired. I had an extremely busy weekend during which I helped organise a church programme. Those spoons in the first scene of the story were rented from a caterer, and I returned them exactly how I described.
My recently acquired phone has developed an affinity for the ground. It fell three times on Sunday, with one of the impacts shattering the protective screen. Lucky me!
School runs is always on my mind. Even when I’m asleep. Please when is the next holiday? I don tire!
This fuel scarcity, and eventua removal of subsidy, has really entered my subconscious mind to the extent that I even complain of fuel shortage in my dreams. Father deliver!
Kunun aya! But why?! Is it that bad that you had to even remind me of what I already know, even in my subconscious? I know some of my friends reading this will start laughing. Y’all know yourselves.
I saw Eketi. This must be a sign because it’s seemed to refute the belief that you can’t dream of someone you’ve never seen. I guess my mind has seen her countless times in the past three years of taking rewarding trips into her rich mind.
I saw my sister, Benny! This can only mean one thing – I miss her terribly! Babe, when you de come my side?
And finally, and very importantly, I met a guy I liked!😂😂😂 The letter I wrote yesterday may just be about him. And you’ll find it right here on the blog.
Oya o! My Josephs and Daniels, any other possible interpretations?

P.S: No mallam ever washes his aya before selling them, and the stuff has no husks. This is one part of the dream that makes me realise I have to treat malaria or maybe go on a vacation. I’m tired. Aswear!!!

YOU AND I.

I know you’re out there somewhere.
When will you come?
Where will we meet?
How will it be?
Will it be in the day or sometime at night?
Will we meet by ourselves or through another?
How would you be looking on that day?
Will you be all prim and proper, or all sweaty from the day’s hustling?
Will you have had kids already?
What will your name be? Will it be an Emeka, a Jose, an Efe, a Chan, a Tunde, a Haruna , a Johann, an Aniekan or even a Yash?
Will you be light or dark skinned? Bearded or clean shaven?
I don’t know you as yet but I’m sure of one thing. You’ll be a good, kind, godly, loving, caring and giving man. You’ll be what I’ve prayed and hoped for. You’ll be a dream come true.
I won’t expect you to be a superman saving a helpless lady.
Yes, you’ll be my knight, but I’m not expecting your armour to be bright and shining. I know there’d be chinks and dents here and there, each a tale of the hits you had in the course of your life’s journey. You’d have known battles before you meet me, for as it is, I’m no helpless and flawless princess waiting on a knight. You’ll find me a warrior princess with my own battle scars, not necessarily in competition with yours but just as evidence of my own life’s journey. And when we meet, winning each other would be the last battle we’ll have to fight alone.
I’m not expecting you to be a perfect man, but I know that right now and leading up to when we’d have become one for the other, you’d be a kind, loving, giving, forgiving, godly and generous man. You’d be that man who laughs freely, heartily and easily. You’ll love easily, and generously.
Our children would have a godly father and a good example of how to walk God’s straight and narrow path. Our sons will learn how to be godly and honest men, and your life with me will show them how to treat a woman right. You’d be the first man to let our daughters know how precious and beautiful they are, and they’ll know what the minimum requirement for a romantic relationship is just by watching us.
I need you now, and I know you need me just as well. But it’s not because either of us is insecure and so needs the other for the fulfilment of societal expectations, but because we are exactly what the Father has graciously stored up for the other, without which the other wouldn’t be perfect.
I’m a handful. But I’ll also fill your heart to overflow. I might test your very last nerve sometimes, but I know you’ll know behind every such action is a heart that loves you truly.
I’m not perfect. Not even by the longest shot. But even then, I’ll be just right for you. I’ll be the very reason for your courage to rise each morning, and the excitement that closes your day. There’ll be a spring in your step, and a constant boyish smile on your face, and you’d never be ashamed to tell anyone who cares to listen that I’m the reason for it.
You’ll find that asking for my submission and respect would be an absent thought, for you would have made it so easy such that even when I’d playfully smack you in the head, or whack you in the butt, I’ll do it with submission. (I guess you’re laughing right now at the thought of it. I am, too cos I swear I don’t know you smack someone’s butt submissively.)
There will be times when I won’t be home when you return for the day, but you’d surely find tales of me everywhere in our space – from the smiles on the faces of our children to stories some corners of the house would tell of just the two us, and most importantly, in every part of you. I’ll possess you fully, and completely. You’ll find that none else would ever do. The thought of another would be like eating lean sandwiches while at a gourmet feast. Your friends will wonder what the hurry is at the end of each day, and why I’ve become the song of your lips. Your answer will be that it’s because you’ve found all you’ve been searching for. My friends get to see how brighter my smiles get when I drift off in the middle of a conversation lost in the dreamland that has become my everyday reality.
We’ll live each day loving, giving and caring for each other, not wishing for each day to end, while looking forward to the next when we’d do much better for each other. Your arms will be my only place of solace as mine will be for you.
As it is, we’re already doing great by ourselves. So, I can imagine what an explosive combination we’d make when the time finally comes. Ours will definitely be a terrific team.
Right now we exist as distant dreams in each other’s minds. But all in time, baby. All in time. Till then, we’ll be here being amazing by ourselves.
I know you’re out there because good men abound. My friends have them as brothers and husbands, and I have them as friends. So, I’ll wait for you.  And while I do, I’ll keep rocking! And so should you.