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Withdrawal symptoms
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A breather, please.
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May in review: The month of children
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G.L.i.B -bed: A Higher Loyalty
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Oniovo: Duets
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Oniovo: ofe dey run belle
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Oniovo: Sibling squabble
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Oniovo: We didn’t see this coming
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April in review: unusual weather conditions
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Oniovo: me ni ebe ai ta

Withdrawal symptoms

For the last 23 weeks or so… I have been in unfamiliar territory – reading e-books. New year, new things, I thought to myself. So I tried it out. Fire and Fury was by far the worst of the lot – in terms of how it was written. It was also the first of them all, starting me out on this untested route. However, it didn’t fall short in the entertainment department which was what I sought from it, as long as I overlooked Michael Wolfe’s writing inconsistencies. On the flip side, the best I’ve read has to be The Picture of Dorian Gray. A well-put together tome by the British Oscar Wilde did my syntax and grammar so much good I was sorry to see it come to an end. It cleansed me of all the Americanisms and flaws of Fire and Fury, throwing in striking statements from one of its principal characters. A Briton would definitely write my autobiography. Who said: “Everything sounds better in a British accent?” It applies to their writing skills too when done impeccably. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka was anyone’s nightmare come to reality, and a poor choice on my part after an[…]

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A breather, please.

Sometimes parenting can be overwhelming. So today, I gave the children toasted bread sandwiches with eggs and smoked fish filling to school as lunch, and some baked beans. Alu! A meal I’d never have contemplated as school lunch for them in my wildest imaginations. Especially when my house is still stocked with other healthy food options – potatoes, rice, plantains, yams, sauces, etc. Or proper food like they’ve known me to refer to them. But their scream of delight, when I agreed to this outrageous suggestion the day before during school run, overwhelmed any guilt I felt for the food choice. The first time I consented to pancakes as packed lunches, I got more kisses in appreciation that morning than I had received in three months. It made the gesture worth every heat and posture it took to prepare and have them packed early that morning. Even the minuscule nagging guilt at the back of my mind didn’t get an ounce of my undivided attention. Because sometimes parenting can be overwhelming, and one day lived outside the best laid plans wouldn’t have long – term effects, would result in absolutely thrilled children, and doesn’t imply I’m a bad mother. Time[…]

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May in review: The month of children

I must have mentioned it somewhere in this blog before, I regard May as the month of children because of the holidays – May 1st, May 27th & May 29th. Thrown into this party is my beau’s and Chairman’s birthdays. Hurray! The month also saw the children going on a weeklong midterm which coincided with the Nigerian children’s day celebrations and its democracy day. It was a seven -day long break, and I almost snapped in two. The rains began in earnest. I got caught in one which culminated into a cold and, finally malaria. All the plans to outperform my routine this month went out the window. I barely made the usual target of three times in a week. The royal wedding was this month and I saw every bit of it, uninterrupted by human intrusion or a no-light syndrome. Harry is taken, and Meghan looked gorgeous. Nothing spectacular occurred in my 9am – 5pm; same ole, same ole. And Oniovo came to an end this month to the utter dismay of some of my audience! Ah, it was a good ride while it lasted.  

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G.L.i.B -bed: A Higher Loyalty

When I told a friend of mine I had just finished reading James Comey’s book, she said: “That creep who cost Hillary the election.” Before the book, I shared her sentiment. Afterwards, I still do but not to the same degree. I understand, to an extent, why he did what he did when he did it. A Higher Loyalty continued on the e-book path I began this year with Fire and Fury. It reads slightly better than Wolfe’s but surprisingly, entertainment and education -wise, Fire and Fury did it for me.  Now that I think about it, maybe I read it in the hope that it would uncover more of the craziness that is the White House right now. Though my expectations weren’t met, I didn’t regret reading it eventually.

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Oniovo: Duets

There may be no relationship…that’s closer, finer, harder, sweeter, happier, sadder, more filled with joy or fraught with woe, than the relationship we have with our brothers and sisters. – Jeffrey Kluger   “Victor! Come with Jnr.” Uncle E.E.’s voice boomed from his door. “And Ejiro, come with Idolor.” He continued before entering the room. E.E. (his initials are better sounding than his name) is a paternal uncle of ours, whose house we spent many memorable holidays while growing up. With eight children of his and us in tow, those times were devoid of any dull moments. Whether during his period in DSC or afterwards in our hometown, we always looked forward to the holiday gatherings with anticipation. The bond between a sister and brother sometimes tightly woven, sometimes loosely held, but never broken. – sibling quote He was also an expert errand master, making ample use of the several children at his disposal, giving us a feel of the situation at his office. There was always something to do, somewhere to be, an errand to execute and sometimes accompanied with a well – written letter. And like our lord sending out his disciples in twos, none of Uncle Edward’s[…]

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Oniovo: ofe dey run belle

It was December ‘93` Three of us – Cy, Jnr & Idolor – travelled to Lagos to attend a relative’s nuptials. The ceremonies – traditional, church, reception – were all successful, the way typical Nigerian weddings go. For the youth amidst family and friends gathered to celebrate with the bride, the substantial number of adults present made the occasion even more so. Their presence meant more money. It had become a growing norm of sorts for adults to share cash upon their departure at the end of joyful gatherings. This was no different; in fact, this stood out as one of the biggest pay – outs (if we could call it that) ever. The inflow of money seemed endless to our delight. It was as though every new day, after the end of the wedding, brought in more naira notes to increase the pile we already had until the last adult departed. Five days later, it was our turn to head back home. Though aware of the amount of money that had swirled around his house, our uncle (whose house was the centre of all the activities and where almost every out-of-town relative stayed) still added to that stack by[…]

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Oniovo: Sibling squabble

“Tell your sister she’s dead!” Marie bellowed down the line to Jnr, her immediate elder brother, almost searing his ear drums in the process.  Fleetingly, he mused over what could have happened between his two younger sisters, two bff. Only this morning, Marie was one excited, expectant girl as she waved her goodbyes and begun her very first holiday trip to the newly – created capital city, Abuja. No trace of the venom spitting out of her then.  Having sisters with roughly the same dress size came with its benefits. Our outfits were endless; the combinations we could create went on forever. Shopping in each other’s wardrobes (in consent with the owner) was part of our fashion lifestyle.  The down side to this sharing formula was the reason for one foaming mad sister in faraway Abuja, and another back in Benin wearing a satisfied smile. Initially, our exchange of baffs was a smooth, agreeable affair. All sisters consulting one another before any switch took place, and everyone lived in harmony. In time, educational pursuits and wanderlust collided to keep us apart from one another. That’s when the trouble began. Away from home or still living in it, we all wanted[…]

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Oniovo: We didn’t see this coming

A pair of fleshy legs, streaked with dirt, strolled leisurely but purposefully past the adolescent girls seated on the ramp leading to the garage of the house. Two of them were corn-rowing the third’s thick tresses.  Surprised, three pairs of innocent gazes trailed the legs as they sauntered on, giving the girls a back view of more dirt – streaked, fleshy body; wild, unkempt and filthy hair; and an unforgettable moment in their lives.  With simultaneous muffled screams and piercing shrieks, the three girls fled in different directors; one to the gaping front door of her grandmother’s house; the other two to their parents’ next door.  There was a mad woman in our compound!  Her first port of call was at Aunty Betty’s kitchen, the gas cooker drawing her attention. Silently, she lifted up pot covers one after the other and squinted at the contents therein.  From a safe corner and in an uncharacteristically calm voice delivered in her British accent, Aunty Betty assumed the role of a negotiator in a hostage situation. “Don’t touch that. It’s poison.” She informed the nude, noiseless lady invading her kitchen uninvited. “It can kill you.” Never in her wildest imaginations did the picture[…]

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April in review: unusual weather conditions

Dry spell. Another phrase to describe the last 30 days for me. My inspiration level to write was at an all- time low, like an abandoned dried out well. No form of stimulation worked out for me – tips for overcoming writer’s block, everyday prompts, noticing my surroundings more closely, change of scenario, etc. Nothing worked. I went from a banging first quarter to a parched desert traveler. If the Oniovo serie hadn’t been conceived, written and scheduled for posting every Sunday, I would have recorded zilch presence on my blog in April. And the plan was to feature other articles in addition to Oniovo, thus increasing and, indeed, exceeding my target monthly. I barely made it. What the heck happened?! How disappointing! Never again! Shaun T. jogged along smoothly, and I interjected a new routine towards the end of the month. It achieved what I hoped it would – variety – but also brought along with it some aches and weaknesses. Nothing the body won’t get used to in time. 9am – 5pm was humdrum too, and I began and stopped reading two e-books out of sheer boredom (or the zeitgeist of my month). Then got sucked into suspend[…]

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Oniovo: me ni ebe ai ta

“me na.” She’d croak quietly, firmly from her corner of the sitting room as Tg and Pru chased each other, with reckless abandon, around the place in whatever game they were engaged in.  With our maternal grandmother, we thought there were several issues:  The communication gap The conspiracy theory The paranoia The reportage In hindsight, it was just one –  the communication gap. She spoke and understood sparse English Language; our grasp of Urhobo was atrocious. Though her prolonged presence was tilting the scale of our native language acquisition slightly in our favour. This was odd because our parents rapped the linguistic constantly between each other, with our neighbours and friends of theirs of similar traditional leanings. To their credit, they often included us in the “die wo gwuolor? wo ka rio usi? wo ghe si ran ye” dialogue.  They made intentional efforts to improve upon our wispy grip on it. It probably didn’t collide with our willingness to progress on the technicalities, proverbs and pronunciations that was the Urhobo Language at the time. Even with the presence of one, two, three live – in tutors. This singular issue fueled many -a-misunderstanding between us and mama, as we called her. The[…]

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