Symphony of Confusion by Osowe Olugbenga (@gbengaosowe)

SYMPHONY OF CONFUSION – Osowe Oluwagbenga

Hiohiohiohio

Hysterical laughter from the throats of elders,

Mocking,

The cacophony of voices of their children,

Anger’s children,

Coherently incoherent in speech,

And consistently inconsistent

In their convictions,

Daggers drawn, bellies receiving

Harpoons set, jugulars endangering

Swords of words subversively delivered

Facts distorted,

Truth corrupted,

Laughter

Kwakwakwakwa

Harmonized guffaws,

From the ones who enslave us,

Our confusion, their joy

Our fights and battles, their entertainment,

Children of anger they call us

Spawns of confusion we truly are,

Mutual hatred and bile

Flowing

Birthed in ignorance,

Fuelled by arrogance

And pride,

Not for motherland

It’s all about our bruised egos

Symphony of confusion

Cacophony of opinions

Common sense takes the back seat,

Conversations driven by arrogance

Shhhhhh…. Do not disturb

Mudslinging in progress

In robes of dirt we all now dress

Hurling insults,

Trading blames,

Cacophony of thoughts

Symphony of distortion

Accusations and Rebuttals

Energy dissipating

Nation building ignoring

Peace still elusive

Now the looters stay looting

Youths one another keep abusing

We against we, divided

By our egos and opinions

They amongst them

United in dishonour

Laughing and mocking,

Plundering and pillaging

Their mirth, a harmony

Our voices, a symphony of confusion

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A Narrow Passage by Mofifunoluwa Aje (@rossymorph)

imagesCAULKA03

Relaxing from the stress of the day in her sitting room, Bolade stretched her spotless legs on the footrest placed in front of her. She was a very hardworking young lady in her early 20s, if not a workhorse, she was close to that. She was so famished that day but she could barely take her dinner because she was worn out, so she decided to relax and sip an energy drink.

Bolade was a stunning and beautiful lady, the fantasy of every man. She however did not allow her beauty to take over her senses. She had broken up with her boyfriend about five months before and she had not been able to get him out of her head though she had tried very hard, probably because Wale was her first love. Their relationship was barely two years old when Bolade had to let go, she could not afford to jeopardize her future because of his insistence on sleeping with her. She had kept herself for many years and she had promised not to open her thighs for any man no matter how strong the love was until her wedding night. It was difficult but Bolade had to say goodbye when Wale totally changed his attitude towards her.

Reminiscing, strokes of tears rolled down her pretty and fresh face and then a knock on her door brought her back to reality. She opened the door.  It was Wale. She was taken aback because she wasn’t expecting anybody and if anybody, not Wale and not even at that time.

“Well, whatever he is here for, courtesy demands I allow him in.” She unconsciously voiced her thoughts.

“I wasn’t expecting you and not at this time Wale what do you want from me?” She said with a straight and uninviting look.

“Whoa, my name is still so sweet to hear from your mouth, oh! How romantic.”

Bolade wished she hadn’t mentioned his name which now sounded so irritating to her. “Let me tell you and you listen well.” She talked to him as if he was one of those primary school students she takes home lessons.

“If you are here for peace, I’m so not interested in that so…” She didn’t finish her sentence, she instead showed him the way out.

“You have never stopped amazing me sweetheart, you know?” he said as he confidently walked to the sofa and sat. “You can join me here” he chuckled and focused his gaze on her, ignoring her you-are-not-wanted-here look.

She wasn’t comfortable with his presence, she told him to go that she needed to rest from the stress of the day. Wale jumped up as if he was angry and headed for the door, within a twinkle of an eye, he locked the door and gave Bolade a you-are-in-trouble look. Bolade immediately read his face and thought of the next action, because the atmosphere already announced rape.

Her eyes flashed to the remote control on the center table, but that was too light to save her. He moved closer to her, grabbed her cloth so tight with his hands, and forced her fragile back on the sofa. She could barely do anything because she was very weak, the only thing she could do was to plead for help.

Nothing could stop Wale from doing what he had planned to do, not even the plea and the helpless cry of this innocent lady. Bolade realizing this, gathered strength, yanked him off and ran to the kitchen in search of her knife or any other sharp object she could use to protect herself.

“I can’t use this” she said to herself while holding the glittering knife. “He might die.”Her eyes caught the stirring rod which was as old as her grandmother, she usually did not prepare swallow so it had never occurred to her to get another one, left with no other option at that time, she took it instead and ran back to the sitting room because the kitchen was not the safest place to hide since her door was faulty and She had been too busy to repair it. She briskly searched for Wale but couldn’t find him. Fear gripped her heart the more, because she didn’t know where he could be hiding or what next he was planning to do.

Then, suddenly from nowhere, he gripped her from behind, making her rod fall on the floor; she thought all hope was gone. She tried so hard to catch her breath and gathered momentum to give him a very hard blow on his face, which affected his vision, he staggered to stand and see, but his eyes remained blurred, yet he held on to the hem of Bolade’s cloth not willing to let her go. She however, forcefully snatched her cloth away from Wale.

Bolade gasped, she tried to open the door which Wale had locked. It seemed as though the door was not locked with the key she had always used, she thought that maybe it was because she was panicking; she twisted the key to the right and left about four times. “Oh! Thank God, it’s opened” she thought aloud. She was about running out when a force from behind drew her back. Obviously, Wale had regained his strength; the force made her fall down. The fall was like an answer to her prayers as she saw the high heeled shoe she had not taken inside after she came back from work. She had to forget her feelings for him as she strongly hit the shoe on Wale not minding what part of the body the shoe would hit. She took to her heels, locked the door and ran to her neighbour’s house to put a call through to the police. It was a narrow escape.

Hmm! I wonder when ladies will be free from this. The news carries it almost every day; “A 65-year man rapes a girl aged 15,” “A 25year old lady was raped to death” and so many other headlines. This is just a medium to tell guys and the men out there to help put a stop to sexual harassment by controlling their “appetite” and desire for sex, to also give respect to ladies and their body. And also for the ladies to try as much as possible in their own way to avoid anything that could lead to rape.

 

Follow @rossymorph

Ife Won Gbona by Kayode Faniyi (@il__Duce)

ife gbona

 

It should be impossible. Finding personal space within the turmoil, the tumult, that was the hostel area of the university campus at night should be impossible but the gravity of their engagement wove a cocoon around them. So feet sloshed noisily through mud, some clacked over tar and mouths yapped excitedly or solemnly and cars honked and revved recklessly and big speakers flung music far and wide and later flung voices selling products far and wide. But they were in their special cocoon deliberating on issues of the gravest importance. Thus the chaos slipped by them noiselessly on that night the sky banished the stars from its face.

She was the more comfortable of the two. This was her territory: it was the front of her hall of residence; he was trying to make incursions into her life. Every girl knew how to dance that dance by instinct. For three weeks, she had led him in that dance, inviting without inviting, dismissing without dismissing. She had boxed herself into a corner however when she had unwittingly put a deadline to a concrete response. It had to have fallen out of its own volition because as soon as she had uttered “three weeks,” she had wished she hadn’t. It really was an open-and-shut thing, but the thrills of the delay were the fun. And like any CEO worth his salt cuts costs, he had tried to cut the time, because it really was open-and-shut. But you never know till you take the plunge.

She would interject briefly, and watch the perplexity jump into his eyes, like: wasn’t this already obvious? She’d pull a poker face and he’d be forced to ramble, she half-listening, he jittery, tentative, on unfamiliar, treacherous terrain. The jitters were a sight for her twinkling eyes, the ramble music to her ears. And as the clouds shifted to reveal the crescent remains of a giraffe-chomped moon, in the open seclusion of their special cocoon, she finally brought the dance to a halt, fearing that the monotony might scare him away. That perplexity again. He sought clarification, dreams no strangers to uttering illusions. She proclaimed the monosyllable clearer and it flared like New Year’s Day fireworks through his night. Crack! Crackcrackcrack! Crackcrack!

“Yes! She said yes!”

Response, in coming, was swift.

“Who said yes? That girl abi?” replied a Facebook friend whose name he had been too thrilled to register.

“What girl?” he teased, “My mum finally agreed to send me some money.”

“You’re an idiot.”

He had even forgotten to at least hug her, or how do they react to these sorts of events anyway? Wheeling away, in glee or not, certainly wasn’t one of the more acceptable reactions. But he had heard her laughter fly after him as he wheeled away. She had put him through hell!

To love was one heckuva thing. They had been friends, good friends for the past couple of months, after having bumped into each other volunteering for work during NASS week – an annual avenue for the union of science students to jamboree and as an afterthought, learn. She had been in Refreshments and he, in smartly tucked-in black white over black, had been manning the aisles as one of Protocol at Conference Centre, venue of the annual NASS Week Lecture. Professor Lamikanra, the pharmacist-poet had been delivering his keynote speech as the Special Guest of Honour – the title and content of which scant attention had been paid to – when he stopped, declared that the hall was a congress of chatter and proceeded to walk out – unprecedented in any annals of Ife history.

He had been busy stealing glances at the smiling girl close to the entrance, where the refreshments stall had been set. Her fringe bounced on her forehead and her bangle-like earrings danced beneath her ears as she dashed from cupping punch to allotting assorted pastry to serving trays. Her lithe frame, itself framed by a snug powder blue T-shirt and black form-fitting jeans, was unburdened by any of those extravagances of protrusions men were wont to lust after. He hung back to clear the mess the professor’s untimely departure had caused and later on managed to find himself in her general direction by happenstance. Total happenstance.

She was in the same department as he, he learnt, only a year lower. And since the students in the department were mammoth, it was plausible that neither had ever set eyes on the other in at least two years.

That stuffy academic – who the devil does he think he is, leaving a public lecture midway? What if they were making noise? Were they primary school pupils? Those are the ones required to keep mum. Nonsense. Better things to talk about anyway. Cooking was her favourite hobby, no? The way she was flying up and down back there… Nah, she just loves organizing stuff. She’s quite the cook though. Just the wafting past of the aroma of her cuisine and Lazarus would come forth… no, kick the tomb down at about the second day, no Jesus needed. No kidding. Hysteria! She got jokes. Take it easy, bro. Actually, her hobby was singing and she had once considered a career in music but a grimly determined lecherous producer had swung her off that course. Sad. His own hobby was reading. Oh? She loved to read too. And to write? Well, past her diary, not really. Well, he pretends to write poems and stuff like that. Poems,huh? Funny how he said pretend to write but had he ever read Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka? Oh yes, he had read it and God, the cheek of Kongi. West African sepia, peroxide blonde palms, plain or milk chocolate complexion… God, hilarious and yes, served that racist so-and-so right. No, he was only twenty-six, the hair would have been raven black then, just like his friction-blackened bottom, not the flamboyant sporangiophores of these days. She’s quite the delight; she wouldn’t mind if he asked for her number, no? Sure. Zero-eight-zero-three-eight-zero-six-five-zero-nine-zero. She didn’t care much for people saying “o” for zero – it’s a digit, c’mon. It’s crazy what the telecoms companies around here put them through, he’s calling her line right beside her and he’s getting “not available at the moment.” It’s crazy, maybe he should just reel out his number. Okay. With what name should he save the number? NASS Week girl. Laughter. Lade, actually. Oh, fine, his cousin, twice removed, pretty beautiful, just like her, answers Lade too. Oh, what a coincidence. Lades are typically fine. Are they now? What’s his name, by the way? Bisola. Shucks. Androgynous. Well, his mother and all… but forget all that, she has a wonderful. You flatterer. Thanks anyway. Phone call. She has to run now, but it’s been nice meeting him. Later. Headlamps.

What had followed was a great friendship, nine months of it, nine months of which they could not have been separate for more than four months, adjusting for inconsequential stuff like sleep, personal time and separate classes. They were a poster couple in denial, the department concluded, when upon enquiry they would deny dating.

Two weeks into the tenth month, he had stuttered through “I think it’s time we take our friendship to the next level.” Fucking chore. And the conniving nanny-goat had pretended that he was speaking Obahiagbon. “What do you mean the next level?” What did she think? Instead, he had struggled over the great detail of presenting their history to their present and the prospects of their future together, plus, he really, really loved her. And next to breakfast… and maybe lunch… maybe dinner too, she was the best thing he had known for the past nine months, Honest to God. She hadn’t bought the sales pitch; she bought time instead. Internal bedlam; external discomfiture.

But she had finally said yes. There had been times his faith had flagged but the wait hadn’t petered out to dashed dreams. The wait paid off. Good things, he had read somewhere, come to those who wait. Like tips.

And like all lovers who had newly sought each other out, they had begun a fevered voyage of discovery. Of the next five months, perhaps four they spent together or something that unbelievable. Linked by fingers, they attended theatrical productions and concerts and whatever was on at the fabled Amphi. Soon they sought privacy and reduced their retinue of friends to a retinue of two. Soon, they started to kiss, she dogging his hands’ just so they did not roam to restricted areas. Soon, the restrictions were lifted and with that, the need arose to seek out crevices, nooks, crannies, to exacerbate each other’s raging passions, always stopping short of one last film of barrier.

Then she had proceeded on Industrial Attachment while he prepared to graduate. The brewery gig had been facilitated by Tola, a best friend before that boy came along to knock her down a few pegs. Tola’s mother had a friend who had another friend who owed the initial friend a favour; and IT placement? Blob of cream.

And there, she had been besieged by men and boys: sophisticated old men who knew well how to railroad a girl into seeing things their way, and passionate boys besotted by beauty who wheedled assiduously till she gave them some audience, any audience at all. At Ijebu-Ode, on the premises of GrapeHop Breweries, she had come to realize the enormous power accorded her by erm… which one administers beauty – was it Aphrodite or Venus now? There had even been a boy who didn’t mind playing second fiddle to the boyfriend she told him about – he just wanted to be called hers too! She had given a few things a long hard thought… and no, she loved him – the poor him back at school – head over heels… or so, but… could one love two… should one love two? She perished the thought.

Back in school, he had transformed into a painstaking burrower and grub-worm going through the pages of the internet and fat books, ferreting out any information relevant to penicillin resistance in bacteria. Penicillin had essentially become a useless anti-bacterial agent – you learnt that in Year Two. Bacteria, pluckier than every folk tale tortoise put together, had found the means to thwart Fleming’s noble efforts – like manufacturing the enzyme Penicillinase – by digesting Penicillin. He and a group of twelve others had isolated Staphylococcus species from all manner of sources, most cringe-worthy of which were roaches immersed in test tubes of nutrient broth and swabs of pig poo. Scientists must however soldier on without relent or disgust and so they had completed isolation and characterization, and finally subjected the scrutiny-survivors to antibiotic sensitivity tests to determine what antibiotic and which does of that antibiotic might work or not. “Your lot,” drawled Dr Ahmed, bespectacled and perennially worn out, “falls on Penicillin.”

Penicillin did not have his full attention however. There was Mary – the buck-toothed beauty, ebony but for her teeth, a classmate over at Dr Asiwaju’s lab. There was Itunu in Year Two Microbiology whose eyes smoked volumes and volumes of naked lust. There was Abiodun in Professor Imole’s lab, whose innocence and Christian piety was so alluring he wanted to rid her of them. But he loved her – the her on IT – and why the hell was he harbouring crushes for three different girls when it was as obvious as the sun where his heart lay? He perished the thought. His heart went to Lade, wherever she was, and he thought that boys might be feeling towards her the way he was feeling towards these other girls, and thought that older men might presently be executing schemes to lay their grubby mitts on her, and became overcome by an animal rage he had to stand still for minutes on Motion Ground to repress. Mongrel snarl.

Heck, he had to suppress raging jealousy when she as much as talked to any other boy whilst they were together. Jealousy was that concept the extent of which he’d only been exposed to soon as the right combination and amount of chemicals signalled he was in love with Lade. It was fashionable to claim one didn’t get jealous, and that jealousy was for the emotionally craven. But, could love be and jealousy be absent? Perhaps, if there were no proprietary instincts… Light bulb. That could be the subject of a poem Ayn Rand would find absolutely abhorrent, reject and denounce stronger than she did Kant.

One Small Step for a Man
by Bisola Sotade.

If there were no proprietary instincts:

Breakups wouldn’t be messy;
  hearts wouldn’t break – for
I wouldn’t own you,
  or try,
  nor would you me.
Our children will be our children;
  one for all
  and all for one.
One small step for every man
  would truly be giant leaps
  for all of mankind.
You wouldn’t scythe me down from lofty height
  because you’d tower,
  you’d soar high as I.
Leaders wouldn’t be corrupt;
  the saner isms, who knows,
  might even work!
There would be no selves to serve;
   dining would be collective.
There would finally be rationale
   for the existence
   of words like “perfect”, “utopia”, “ideal”, “love”.
Skin colour would be just that –
   different shades of one
   not criterion –
   to accept or to deny…

…If there were no proprietary instincts.

And then she came back to school, two-month attachment over, and all was well, no word, not one, about the icebergs marginally missed.

That night, they had found a crevice, this time a building in construction, well off the civilization of possible intruders – past the Sports Centre, past the banks and set back some fifty metres off the long stretch of Road One. Rumour had it that the building was to house a research centre or so, but its completion, as usual, had been put on hold for very long. They set at each other with a vengeance. They kissed and groped and sucked and shed excessive skin like defoliating snakes and fell to love, she grasping the frame of a window, he grasping her waist, thrusting gently from behind and sometimes working his hands up to ply her small breasts topped by nipples that stood out like twin minarets over a domed mosque. He had been in heaven, his face a picture of vagina-wrought ecstasy. In her case, “God, I’m getting fucked and I love it!” she blurted, amidst moans and moans and moans. God sighed: one more set of prematurely humping human in the habit of invoking His Holy Name in the middle of this sweet – He made it; He knows – but untimely therefore unholy act. He – Bisola – had chuckled at her new-found candour, whispering (and kissing) the fact into her ears. And when the deed had been done, she cried. For innocence forever bid bye, she cried. For new waters that demanded navigation, she cried. For a vow of celibacy she in a flight of Christian fancy had taken, she cried. She cried, for now she wouldn’t come to marriage unsoiled. He patted her back and she cried on his chest and he thought: Damn! that was good!

And wearing a moulding blue gown over an impeccably snug black suit over a pink-and-white chequered shirt and a sleek slim black tie, he was convoked, and it was time to leave her once again and hope against hope, in their deep of deeps, that distance would hold, rather than break. Back at his hotel room residence, the goodbye had taken all night. There was sweat, and tears, and seminal fluid; and sweat and tears and seminal fluid, and sweat and tears and seminal fluid. Till they were spent. Utterly.

And while he was gone, she’d missed their bodies locked, writhing in that enduring struggle. She’d missed the aimless strolls into the night, the pretentious star-gazing like scenes leaping from pages of formula romance. She’d missed his idiotic prancing, or what he must have felt was dancing. She’d missed his jokes. She’d missed the seduction – trailing kisses over her face, teasing her lips till she at last fell in step with his lust. She’d missed the conferences about the portents of the future, those enormous eyes of his poring over every inch of her face, the beauty of the twin brown probes unnerving and comforting at once. You didn’t want to be staring into those eyes up close. And she’d thought: Oh, if only he were here, he’d know what to say and his eyes and lips, well, they’d settle the business. But he wasn’t and she’d thought… and there were boys, tons of boys, from the downright despicable to the downright desirable… and they weren’t going away… and she thought. What love was this that permitted the prospect of others? And so on the battle raged in her lithe frame, weighing on her mind, and unsettling her heart like that day a year or so ago she’d fallen in love with him.

He’d come back. She’d been glad, ecstatic even. He’d been gone for six months, pre-NYSC call-up work. For one week, they’d stuck to each other like a dog stuck in a bitch, rolling back the months, catching up on lost company… the coitus too. The phone calls, the messages weren’t it, never could be. There was nothing like the medium of presence. There was nothing like seeing the reckless laughter as it spilled forth from both their mouths, or the smiles the voices over the telephone hinted at. There was nothing like kissing the kisses they crudely mimicked over the phone.

He always understood. God, she loved that expression: “I get, Lade. I understand.” Then they’d forget whatever it was that was the problem. She’d finally opened up to him about her IT travails. “Communication is key among couples,” he’d say. So she told him how sorely tempted she had been and he had understood. “It’s human nature. The important thing is you passed the test.” And they had forgotten about it. He hadn’t bothered to tell of his own temptations – what was the point?

The cosmos had to have thrown a party. Several stars struggled to outwinkle themselves and the full moon beamed the full force of its dull ambience over the world, and the lovers silently contemplated their love. He sat swinging his legs absently, his hands tangled in her hair, looking down at her, a smile plastered on his face, and she lay on his laps twiddling her thumbs, staring up at the partying cosmos, her hair a mass of brown, synthetic untidiness. Desires had been sated earlier; now, satiation pushed silence to beg contemplation.

He’d understand. He always does. All she needed to do was just broach it and broach the topic she would. He would understand.

“Bisola,” she murmured, “I,” tentative, “I want to break up.”

Silence. Astonishment. Sombre procession of memories before his eyes. Memories lived: The promises of forever. The poems and longass love letters. The passion of loving, the rapture of sex. The public dinners. The furtive fiestas. Memories unlived: He tuxedo-clad, she in virginal-white, the unruly silence, the eternal wait for the time allotted to reservations to pass without event. Kids – two boys and two girls meandering over the lawn. The holidays. The getaways. The joint accounts, the jointly owned businesses… the jointly earned acclaim.

Animal rage snarled at the betrayal of love, at the audacity to embark upon the betrayal of love. The jarring bareness of the building suddenly became forbidding. The surrounding darkness of the semi-forest suddenly became forbidding. She looked lovingly into his eyes waiting to hear the soothing “I understand”, waiting for the inevitable inquiry which she’d satisfy satisfactorily. Out of her sight, the fingers of his right hand curled round a stone and grasped it tightly.

You’ve probably heard the sentiment expressed before, that there exists only a thin, semi-permeable membrane separating love and hate. You’ve probably heard of how quickly that membrane can be dissolved, given the right conditions. Love, like blood, a homogenous muddle ultimately separable into love and hate, like blood and serum. Love and hate: two extremes of one spectrum united in cyclic oneness. Love and hate: one the ying, the other the yang. Love and hate: the seeds of one contained in the other’s height. The British writer, Will Self, once wrote: “Love and hate are intimately comingled.” In order to hate, one will surely have loved first.

His left hand tightened around her chest like a clamp around a slab of wood. He struck. Surprise muted her for several seconds.

The frogs and crickets that previously lay quiet in the enveloping darkness kicked off in horror at the ferocity of the blows and the frightening yelps of pain. Her screams mingled with their cacophonous chorus of horrific chirps and croaks to create music suited to blackness. She struggled and bit and thrashed. His resolve, however, had become iron.

 The writer is on twitter as @il_duce . Check out some of his other works on his blog.  http://kayodefaniyi.wordpress.com/

My Mother….The Sunbeam by @sleekdami

Hi, everyone

@sleekdami is a reader and a friend. She lost her Mom last week. May her soul rest in peace

Amen

AKSO6W6CAZD1HTBCAG74PQ5CAEOM4ERCA33ZKMXCAGOB40WCAPWEQMPCAEBRDR1CAC7EP3XCADR1DAXCAM8ZS4GCAFTU3S9CAWQ6JVHCA0QAEJ0CACLN4W4CAB2OGNWCA7VB1G5CABALXC9CA0IR6SYCAT4G2KY

Tuesday

9.03 pm,‎​I knocked on  my house door in Abuja after staying in Karu holdup, after all the greetings,‎​I sat to charge my phone.

“Your mum is sick.” said my aunt,

ehen ‎​I didn’t know” ‎​I replied

“E wo she will be fine”

“Hmm ‎​I think it’s serious my aunt said, she is in the hospital on her 3rd drip.”

“Really? alright ‎​I would call Popsi”

‎​I got up and went to my room, changed into my night wear and ate,‎​I called my sis ,

“How far shey u heard Mumsi is sick,

She – “yea, ‎​I spoke to Popsi. Would take a break from work tomorrow and see her”

Me– “aii keep me posted”

‎​I said a word of prayer and slept

 

Wednesday –

Was at work by 7am,typical bank resumption time, finished d morning meeting by 8am,was trying hard not to think about my mom ,believing  she would be fine as usual “mummy was never sick” occasional headache and tiredness …that’s all.

Fast forward -10 am, ‎​I called my sis, she said mommy didn’t sleep all night, we are taking her to Lasuth”

“aii, keep me posted ” was all ‎​I could manage to say

God ‎​I am scared, different thoughts running through my mind, ‎​I went to d ladies….tears were running down, my colleague saw me and was scolding me for not having faith, your mummy would be fine don’t worry,

Hmmm….my mummy is never sick was d only thing ‎​I managed to say

“Have faith” she said, “Its okay…” ‎​

I wiped my tears and went to my seat.

‎​I said a prayer all through that day as ‎​I went about fulfilling my obligations, even the SMS alert of salary didn’t cheer me up….

8PM

I’m home early…my aunt wasn’t home, it was just her kids,‎​I hurriedly micro waved their food and mine and we sat down eating,

‎​I had been on d phone all day with my dad and sis …mommy had to be operated upon ASAP for intestinal obstruction after about five scans and x-rays….operation was scheduled for 7pm…It was a ten hour operation, ‎​I begged to speak with her on phone they said she was too weak to talk, but that the surgeons seemed optimistic.

10PM

‎​I gave my aunt the situation report and bade her goodnight, ‎​I told my sis to text me on the progress of the surgery

Thursday- 5am

Alarm rang and ‎​I woke up…..hmm….the SMS came in

“Surgery was successful, she’s been transferred to ICU, the next 72 hours are critical, keep praying”

‎​I said a quick prayer to God smiling….a dream came back to my head….Rewind..Wednesday night

Wednesday night..

‎​I dreamt…..‎​I saw my mom lying down looking slimmer:

Me – Orobo (‎​I called her Orobo and she would normally say “you would be bigger than me”) “How are you…how was your surgery?”

Mummy – “I’m fine ‎​I didn’t need the surgery.”

Me- “Okay but you are fine?”

Mummy- “Yes”

Thursday Morning – 5.20am

While bathing a song came to my mind

“Eni ta jo shana daa,o ti ku o ti lo”

‎​I rejected it with the blood of Jesus and sang a song of thanks giving.

8.45am– office…heavy rain started sudden stray thought passed

“Your mom is dead”‎​I rejected it again, the dream came to mind” ‎​I rejected it

9.00 am– My younger sister called…

She- “I was calling them at the hospital; no one is picking up their call.”

Me– “Don’t worry they are busy would call you back.”

‎​I called my sister’s phone, my other aunt picked

Aunt-Hello

Me– please where is my sister? How’s Mumsi?

Aunt– (sniffing) “she’s fine she’s fine don’t worry.”

Me-“Are u sure? You are lying”

The line went dead!

‎​I called my dad

Me– Daddy how far? What’s happening?

Daddy– “There is no need to lie; the doctor just told me my wife is no longer alive.” (he breaks down)

Me-“Daddy calm down,‎​I will be in Lagos tomorrow.”

Shaky hands,‎​I shut down my office work station, picked my bags and walked out

My colleagues were asking and already shouting “Jesus”

Only one thing was on my mind “last night dream” she said –“I didn’t need it, I am fine.”

“Oh God, not my mummy!!!!!”

In all things ‎​I have learnt to give thanks, the numerous calls from my wonderful family and friends, the trip to the airport…‎​I cried all through till Dana touched down at 10am on Friday ,till ‎​I got to my house gate, shaky legs, seeing all the cars parked outside the gate. Plastic chairs rented and canopy for friends who came to greet us… Oh the condolence registers….my mummy’s face smiling back and everyone…..

Its well….my mummy my friend…God bless u

TWIN-OBITS- FOR COMMON SENSE&CAUTION BY (@gbengaosowe & @il_duce)

TWIN OBITS – FOR COMMON SENSE & CAUTION

Adieu Common-Sense – Osowe Oluwagbenga @gbengaosowe

rip-common-sense-2-toon

Common sense is dead and gone to the grave

Ooh, aah, gone to the grave

We went to the burial and said #OMaseO

Ooh, aah, and said #OMaseO

It’s buried in iPads and tablets, living no more

Ooh, aah, living no more

A #hashtag is all we need for making news trend

Ooh, aah, making news trend

It matters not to us if the news is true or false

Ooh, aah, is true or false

We’ve chosen ignorance though Google is our friend

Ooh, aah, Google is our friend

A little research to know the truth, but no, we won’t do

Ooh, aah, no, we won’t do

The words of an Overlord supercedes research

Ooh, aah, supercedes research

The juicier the merrier, so let’s spread fast-fast

Ooh, aah, let’s spread fast-fast

The elders laugh at us, and called us bad names

Ooh, aah, no, called us bad names

Like collective children of anger, and so on and so forth

Ooh, aah, so on and so forth

I thought about their words and lo it was true

Ooh, aah, lo it was true

Anger and emotion drives us much more than reason

Ooh, aah, more than reason

We fight ourselves and take sides based on half-truths

Ooh, aah, based on half truths

Common sense is dead, it died in our hands

        RIP CAUTION – Kayode Faniyi @il__duce

imagesCAHUO56H

Old Caution is dead; he slunk to his grave

Ooh-aah, slunk to his grave

He died of neglect; lonely to the death

Ooh-aah, lonely to the death

Digestion we interred too for the AfterLife

Ooh-aah, for the AfterLife

Loyal horseman dear slow Digestion was

Ooh-aah, dear slow Digestion was

Along came Overlords to rest him in piss

Ooh-aah, rest him in piss

Some squatting, some upright; all soaked him in…damn

Ooh-aah, soaked him in…damn

And quickly like lightning tweety flock followed

Ooh-aah, tweety flock followed

With wisecracking hashtags, tweety flock followed

Ooh-aah, tweety flock followed

In vain an end to Caution’s plight we pleaded

Ooh-aah, plight we pleaded

But natt’ring and twitt’ring they paid us scant heed

Ooh-aah, paid us scant heed

To Folly’s, Caution’s arch-foe they pandered instead

Ooh-aah, they pandered instead

Good Caution is dead; you pushed him to die

Ooh-aah, you pushed him to die

 photo credits:google images

CHRONICLES: 8 FIGURES AND A SHORT DASH By Gbenga Osowe (@gbengaosowe)

imagesCAS3TVEN

Countless numbers of fowls, beheaded
Tubers of yam, pounded
Bottles of drinks, emptied                                                                                                                                                  
Merry-making and dancing,
An ecstatic father, an elated mother,
The solemnity amidst the merriment
As the priest pronounces the new-born’s name,
And the party continues
 
 Omo tuntun alejo aiye, omo {Oh new born babe, a guest in this world}
 Iya aburo ku ewu o, omo {Congratulations to the mother of the child}
 
Anguish and joy on the face of the mother,
Fear and excitement in the heart of the daughter,
Excitement, at the learning world ahead
Fear of the unknown within this world called school,
6 years of primary,
3 of junior secondary,
3 more of senior secondary
And the ivory towers beckon,
 
 Bata re a dun ko ko ka {Smart footwear will adorn your feet}

To ba k’awe re {When you become educated]
Bata re a dun ko ko ka [Smart shoes will adorn your feet]
 
                                             
Our baby is now a lady,
And oh the suitors come a-calling,
The date is set,
Hall prepared,
Groomsmen, dapper
Bridesmaid, resplendent
The groom’s eyes, gleaming
The bride eyes, teary
As she leaves her parents, a newcomer, in a new home
The song of “the women of the house”, delivered in ironic joy
 
 Ile awa dun, oko ni ng fo’sho {We have a lovely home, where husbands do the laundry}

Ile awa dun, oko ni ng pon’mi {We have a lovely home, where husbands fetch the water}
 
                                           
It’s four months from then, and the telltale signs are showing,
The birth of a new born is imminent,
The cycle of life in continuum,
5 more months, now the contraptions
Off we go to the theatre
But this is no play
 
The doctor’s needle, wrongfully inserted,
The surgeon’s knife wielded carelessly,
The blood gushes forth,
Stitch it! Patch it!
The damage, already done
 
The spasms, the throes
The agony, the last breath
The cries of the bereaved parents,
The plight of the semi-orphaned child
The sadness of siblings, friends and colleagues,
The ephemerality of life in its entirety
And the sweet hope of glorious eternity
Chronicles of a life
1980 – 2010
Eight digits and a short dash
A dash filled with memories of an industrious lady
 
 
Written In memory of AGIRI, OMOYEMI (nee OSOWE) and to the many women lost to childbirth.
1980 – 2010
 

MOTOR JAM POLICE – Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe) & Toyin Fabunmi

akara

MOTOR JAM POLICE – Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe)

Melodious rhythms echoes from the bean cake seller

As she bids all to come and gladly partake of her delicacy,

“Sweet honey bean cake, bring small money make u come take”

Then two silly swerves of the vehicle,

Like a madman on cheap drugs

And alas of the cake, none would yet partake

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

Abeg na who go pay?

Who’s going to pay for the young lives brought to waste?

After the many years suffered in stained ivory towers,

Learning obsolete theories, mastering the science and art of copy and paste

Who’s going to pay for the lives cut short by bullets gone astray?

From the hands of policemen who for the reason of their protection earn their pay

Who’s going to pay for the lives cut short by the criminals called militants?

Amnesty pays, did I just hear you say?

Amnesty never pays the victims but the perpetrators

To keep them at bay while the same sad conditions continue to enslave us

So we earn so much but sit atop the list of debtors,

While we watch and see as sanity and progress visit our less illustrious neighbours

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

At least make una sha bring home the tray!

What will you do with the tray when there are no bean cakes to trade?

For fanciful display like the cranium of a beauty queen lacking in its matter grey?

Or you keep the tray like a symbol of your once beautiful past with tales

Of how you swayed your hips and made young men your every command obey

Now you walk aided by a dead wood, creaking footsteps with every move,

Your time in life is way past noon,

Your offspring no longer have time for you

They only bother with how much longer you’ll live before they’ll have to bury you,

So they’d throw talk-of-the-town parties in merry

Feeding their vanities and ego but while you live gives not a damn about you

 

 

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

Ehn ehn, e don tey no be today?

 

I see the regrets on the faces of old men looking forlorn

Reading between the lines of the wrinkled faces

The tales of men who wished they made hay while the sun shone

Stares at me, daring me to make the same mistakes of their generation,

So many chances, not taken

So many stories, not told

So many battles, not fought

So many songs, not sung

So many mistakes already, I dare not make more

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

Oya, all of una youths, wetin go be una gain?

 

I see youths like Mama’s wasted honey flavoured bean cakes,

Deprived of giving the world their flavour to savour,

No way would I be part of this wasted generation

And watch generations yet unborn curse me when my head is full of grey

For my inactions when the world was waiting for me to be the solution

To the problems facing the nations

Now I’m going to get up from this swampy place and

Be the honey soaked bean cake, feeding the world with knowledge

And passions of my heart, day by day.

 

 

 

MOTOR JAM POLICE–A Short Play by Toyin Fabunmi

Mama alakara’s shed has been hit by a police car which was hit by a danfo. Her shed is gone, her adogan and agbada are broken, and palm oil flows on the ground like a river of blood. Akara balls roll in the sun like there was an invisible force chasing them. Her enamel trays lay scattered amidst the ruins of the wooden shed.

Mama alakara shrieks, tears her hair out, removes her head tie and straps it around her waist.

Mama Alakara: yeh… ofo se, oriburuku ba esu odara.

Turns to the gathering crowd

Can you all see that my life has been ruined? Can you all see that they have killed me?

The police men ignore her and climb back into their van zooming away from the scene.

 

Mama Alakara: You people stood and watched. You watched the unfortunate beings leave. You watched them hit my shed and you allowed them leave.

Crowd murmurs and wring their hands helplessly.

Mama Alakara: Which one of you will say he doesn’t know my husband? Akanni onigi, the one that is known in every saw mill and carpenter workshop from here to Patigi.

Crowd nods their head

 

Mama Alakara: You all also know that his profits are spent in bars and whore houses. Some women have husbands, some women are widows, and other women have husbands who are alive but might as well be dead. You all know that Adunni alakara oloyin falls in the latter category.

Man: Yes Adunni Alakara we know that very well. Was it not the other day that I saw him in Ijora Badiya with Iya Oyinbo in a ….

Iya alakara cuts in

 

Adunni Alakara: Kowope Alajo save your breath. Baba Onigi’s issue is not my problem today. My problem today is: who will repair my shed, who will replace my broken Adogan and Agbada?  I want you all to tell me who will buy now another keg of palm oil for me. Do you know how much a keg of palm oil is now? Do you know how much a sack of beans costs in Balogun market these days?

Woman: Adunni Alakara, don’t talk too much, much words causes one to offend the almighty. We all know the extent of your loss. We know how hard things are these days; we know how hard it is to feed our children, clothe them and send them to school.

Mama Alakara: Food you say? The sacrifice with which we appease the god of the stomach, the one Edumare placed inside us to demand daily and regular sacrifices. We all know how it itches and bite when it has not been satisfied. We know how it makes our children cry. Abefe, (mama alakara points to a woman with a bowl of pure water perched on her head.) is it not this god that makes your child Boritife come to my shed every afternoon, mucus dripping from his over sized nose, hands outstretched for crumbs of akara.

Woman selling pure water: Yes Adunni alakara, the stomach takes no appeasement than food. But be strong Adunni you would bounce back. Orisa oke will return your loss in multiples.

Mama Alakara: Orisa Oke? The same orisa oke that has watched the six sons and two daughters I have for Baba Onigi remain jobless for many years now? Most of you here know that those children were fed and bred on this akara business. Most of you here know that I trained these children with money made from this my akara business.

Old Woman: Yes Adunni we know. You are a brave woman, you did well. Pity the children do not have jobs despite the huge books they read.

 

Mama alakara: Yes you are right, it’s a great pity. I started Akara frying thirty and six years ago, the moment I realised that baba onigi would not mind watching my children and I starve to death. See this Adogan and Agbada (she points to the shards of the broken tripod and frying pot) those were gifts from my mother. Iya Alaso of blessed memory. You all know her.

Crowd murmurs

Old woman: Ahhh iya daadaa, obinrin takuntakun. The whole of Isale eko knows her

Mama Alakara: Thank you Iya wa. She gave me those items and told me to take my destiny in my hands. She told me the government would not know if I starve to death, she told me a woman has to be strong for herself and for her children. So I opened this shed and sent my children to school. I didn’t ask the government for anything. This road has not been tarred in my lifetime and I would love to see it black and shining but I did not ask for that.

This city has never seen water that flows in pipes. I did not ask the government for that too. I needed electricity to watch my black and white television and the coloured one when it came, I still did not ask for that. It would have gladdened my heart if my children could have gone to school without having to pay for fees or books. I still did not ask for that. All I asked from this government was to provide jobs for my six sons and two daughters. This they did not do. All I asked from this government was to be able to fry my Akara in peace. Yet they sent their agents, the ones cursed to wear mourning clothes to destroy the source of my livelihood. Who do I turn to now? Pray answer me.

Young man in Danfo bus: Mama we are all sad about what has happened. This lunatic (points at danfo driver) drank burukutu before starting the bus today and has been on a mission to drive us to death but almighty God didn’t allow it to happen. Ma, I am a graduate, unemployed and I’m aging. We all are in this unfortunate situation together. All we can do is keep hoping and praying. All we can do is live one day at a time and hope for the best. I believe that things will get better.

Crowd murmurs and nods their head

Man: Yes it will get better, hopefully before we cross to the other side. Be consoled Adunni. We all have to go back to our daily jobs.

Crowd disperses, the danfo moves away. Adunni Alakara picks her trays, places them under arm and walks away soliloquizing.

photo credit: google images

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