Archive - January 2018

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January in review: Wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for sókótó
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Young, strong and cap-in-hand
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Just take the trash and go
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Be wary, that water dispenser might be much more
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G.L.i.B-bed: Quotes & Notes

January in review: Wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for sókótó

We have to let go of the life we planned…And accept the one that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell   Just before the new year rang in, I began mapping out (and writing down) my plans for it. Right after the holiday, things took off to a swimming start in the direction I envisioned. Accompanied with a heady feeling, they were happening at lightning-bolt speed. Thirty days later, I’ve been mulling over the above quote for a while now. Perhaps what I seek out there is smack in front of me. I’ve either set my sights above it or I’d rather not acknowledge it. A three -course meal for deep introspection. Food for thought. In other news, my reading is still on the back burner as I have spent most of the month fleshing out ideas for a new writing path ( while chasing external illusions).  January saw me begin a fast! I haven’t done that in eons. It was billed to last  for 21 days but was truncated on the 10th after I slipped on the stairs, slamming my neck, spine and behind hard on concrete. No worries. Nothing’s broken. Just had a lot of pain for a lot of time. I’m back to my healthy self. I trust your January was a good one too. See ya next month!

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Young, strong and cap-in-hand

It seemed to confront him everywhere he went that day; either en route a location or at the destination . At the ATM, he noticed the absence of the expected queues as he manoeuvered into a suitable parking spot.Two people waited their turns. Parked to the right was a car with its bonnet opened and its owner, a woman, leaning on it. Not part of the money- withdrawing category, it was obvious what had happened to her car. The sparse gathering made it easy to notice the oddity amongst them. A woman – youngish, agile, alert – with a baby strapped to her back. Odd because she seemed to be loitering. Neither coming nor going. Just there, like an indecision. He thought nothing of her as he headed towards an unoccupied machine, but noticed from the periphery of his vision as she suddenly accompanied the man who had just vacated the space he was about to use. Minutes after he was through with his business, the lady appeared again; this time by his side as he made to re -enter his car. The leaning lady by the car was witness as he pointedly ignored the one by his door. By now, he had deduced why she hadn’t quite fit into the scene, why she stood out. And she was bold about it as her fingers, firmly wrapped about the door handle, prevented him from closing the door behind him, requesting (no, demanding) for a minute of his time (in grammatically correct sentences to his observation). ‘I don’t have a minute.’ He told her evenly before shutting the door and kicking the engine to life. There was a church right next to the ATM; how about she approached its members and plead her case? He thought as he slowly reversed onto the road. And as for lady leaner, she could save her disapproving stare for someone who cared. Or better still, proffer help to her fellow woman. At the bakery, the young man who accosted (for want of a better word) him was brash and arrogant about it. ‘Gimme money make I”more

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Just take the trash and go

They came again last night. At 9p.m. The air heavy with their signature putrid stench, an unsavoury harbinger. Hanging rather comfortably, lazily even, like damp clothes draped out to dry. In minimal lighting and in no time, silhouettes of people dashed this way and that with diverse sizes of garbage from houses, from still opened kiosks, from adjoining streets. Hurried movements with little or no words except the random greetings to the handlers and their driver. Just take the trash and go. Who would have thought?  The first time the dump truck appeared in our neighbourhood at this inconvenient hour, voices rose in protest: What nonsense? What’s the time? What happened during the day? Why now? How disturbing, annoying, … etc? But amongst ourselves, and not within earshot of those who had us struggling with huge – sized dustbins, opening our gates to an unexpected, late guest for public (or is it private now?) service when we should be winding down after a long day. No apology was given; even graver, none was expected. Only in our clime do paid service providers believe they are bestowing upon their clients a favour when doing their jobs. Now this brazen behaviour is becoming the new normal. This has to be their third or fourth night of collection in the last two months. And the protests have gone silent since their second time around. Once I mentioned it to a friend of mine in another neighbourhood nearby, and she stunned me when she uttered: ‘They came at 6a.m. to mine!’  And her neighbours were caught up in the scurry to rid their houses of accumulated filth. She, on the other hand, didn’t lift a limb. But spent a few memorable days inhaling  the stench of that decision. And that’s, most likely, what propels us in our neighbourhood. The city’s one big dump, a sight for sores eyes as we drive through it . Our leaders and the politics they engage in are just as dirty – smearing our economy(and us) even further. We refuse to harbour refuse in our houses either, our place”more

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Be wary, that water dispenser might be much more

A slurping sound from her left side drew her glance. A little boy, seated with his mum, was noisily emptying the cold, clear liquid from an equally transparent plastic cup. Her gaze shifted to the water dispenser at a corner of the waiting lounge by the entrance. Then it slanted to the six-year-old besides her; she had forgotten to bring along a bottle of water for him, and they had a long wait ahead of them. ‘At least two hours’, was the nurse’s response 10 minutes ago, when she had enquired how long it would take to get the results of the blood sample they had just withdrawn from her child. So they settled in for the wait; another torture to her night time ordeal of tepid – sponging her fever – ravaged son two days in a row. Her swollen, sleep – deprived eyes spoke volumes of working overtime while monitoring his temperature which yo-yoed between hot and scorching. Even now, they drooped intermittently. The 10-minute snooze she had snatched earlier proving ineffectual. But wait, they would. Anything to set him on the path of recovery and regain her beauty night’s rest. There was just a small snag; if he asked for water, then she’d…Her thoughts froze, half – formed and her once sagging eyelids widened measurably. She watched as one of the clinic’s security guards halted by the water dispenser, fit a bottle (of his personal use) securely, firmly into the cold-water sprout before flipping it open. Her eyes, cleared of all soupcon of sleep, followed the gushing water as the bottle filled up, and her mind envisioned as any and every bacterium from its mouth surrounded the sprout. Stunned, her fingers dug deep into the armrest of her chair as she slowly processed the incident and its implications. How many times had she drank water from that same dispenser on her many, many visits to the hospital? Especially very recently. How many times had her children? Was the guard completely clueless of the import of his actions? A guard in a clinic no less? She had indeed”more

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G.L.i.B-bed: Quotes & Notes

Happy New Year! I have to stop this – waiting until half way through January before yelling ‘happy new year’ or making my first post. Now that is settled, onto the issue of this article. Can I say, for certain, that I’ve begun my rhythm of reading for 2018? I hesitate to do. Considering the books I aim to devour take time and space; they are mostly fiction and are intentional picks in my reading list. These, like an accident, happened upon me while spring – cleaning my bookshelf last year. I had planned to give them a cursory glance – they are compact, quote – packed and I’d be done in a flash. I had also planned to spend the month of January in a mind- charting, goal – setting manner in areas of career, writing/blogging, reading list, physical and mental and spiritual thrusts, etc. Organize all those December to – do lists and thoughts, and align them accordingly for 2018. Reading, if it occurred, would be the articles which caught my eye and interest off the internet and social media, as well as the notes I’ve compiled over the years on most of the text I’ve read. (Years ago, this was a habit – referring to my notes at intervals like a refresher course for life, my skills set and work path. I haven’t engaged in this activity in eons. Instead I’ve just been reading new material, and making new, unreferred-to notes. So I’m making it a habit of my life once again, starting off the year with it and refreshing my mind every quarter or so). In that context, I can slide these palm- sized volumes. No long stretch of plot and subplots to engulf me, they consist of one or several quotes per page on one trait or the other. And like my notes, they are compact. I was done with both in an hour; even considering reading them again. But before then, here are some of the quotes that gave me cause for pause or made me chuckle at its truth: On Influence You can’t”more

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