Archive - March 2013

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My daughter, my self
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Naija – style Notices
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Happy New What???

My daughter, my self

The introduction was one – sided; she was asleep. There was no chance for first (and lasting) impressions. I did all the talking and staring. Sometimes I smiled but not for long. I didn’t stay long either; I was still in pain. That was six years ago. And I’m almost tempted to say (or write) ‘how fast they grow’/ ‘how time flies’. Soon we’ll be talking heels and weaves. Idolor and daughters. That’s what’s a close cousin of mine called me back then, and I’d encourage him. It was no secret, I wanted daughters. To do girly things with, to be girly with but more importantly ( and a little selfishly too) to have a little ‘me’. I was curious to see what a younger, female, version of me would turn out to be. Would she have sharper or softer features than me? Would she look exactly like me or not? Understandably, I was very excited when T arrived. Finally, my wish was going to come true. How wrong I was. My first sighting of her (during our first introduction) deflated that excitement like a balloon, with a loud pop. A striking resemblance   There was little or nothing in[…]

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Naija – style Notices

Did you hear the joke about the Nigerian woman going abroad for the first time to visit her son living there? On arrival at his house, she claimed it was missing something. Wondering what it could be, her son offered some suggestions. Was it in the kitchen? Or in the bathroom? Or perhaps in the bedrooms? Not any of those, she said. It’s the front of the house. It doesn’t have the usual notice scribbled on – ‘This house is not for sale’. Naija notices were, literally, the writing on the wall in my growing up years. There was hardly ever a time they weren’t part of living. If anything, new ones were created to increase the number. And over two decades later, some of them have remained robust, accompanied us into the 21st century and are almost grandparents to my children. The question is: do they still have the effects they had years ago (if yes, aren’t there other [read: better/more refined] ways to send out their various messages) or have they became so ingrained in our psyche over time that we think nothing of it as we (mindlessly/happily) scrawl away? Well, some are definitely embedded in mine and[…]

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Happy New What???

Where did ‘Happy New Month’ come from? How did it start? Yesterday, a friend of mine called me. After the initial pleasantries and platitudes, the next thing she said was ‘Happy New Month’. There was a momentary lull in the once vibrant conversation; I didn’t know how to respond. Right now, I don’t remember if I said ‘Same to you’ or ‘Thank you’ but I mumbled something eventually and we continued talking. Before the call I had been on Facebook for about 20 minutes or so, and it had been rife with various forms of the happy -new-month greeting/salutation/whatmacallit. For a moment, I wondered: what was the appropriate response to this…phrase, statement, greeting? Was there something to it like ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Happy New Year‘? Or was it for want of something to say at the end of another 30/31 days since nothing was said before at the beginning of a month? It brings to mind a certain language which has a greeting for almost any and everything. Maybe that had a role to play too. During the oil subsidy protest at the start of the year, my hairdresser actually said to me: ‘Happy oil subsidy!’ Are you serious, madam?[…]

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