Author - idolor

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While I was planning
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Celebration of Life
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I don’t like cigarettes…and I like to smoke!
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I, Juggler
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Why baking during the weekend is a no, no for me.
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Red Sand: Reconnecting…
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Red Sand: Reporting Live from Grandma’s House.
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Red Sand: Are We There Yet?
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More of them
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In September

While I was planning

For one day only, T becomes a Hausa girl, looking adorable in the traditional attire, accessories and a calabash in her arms. She’s wearing a pair of ballerina pumps to complete the look; I didn’t get her Hausa slippers. Her brother’s roots remain unchanged though; just slightly modified. He moves from a Yoruba boy to a rather dignified – looking Yoruba hunter with his purple dashiki and fila tilted at an angle. Today is world cultural day and the children’s school are not only celebrating it verbally but also visually. The children have been put into groups of different tribes and told to dress accordingly. For five years on this particular day, T has worn outfits sewn from Ankara fabrics. I just couldn’t be bothered into dressing her up like a typical Yoruba girl. I felt this was yet another minor annoyance from the school (as though I needed one!) that involved money, time, thought and resources; all of which I wasn’t quite willing to part with without a compelling reason. Especially when the chances of repeating the outfit for a different occasion is nil. It is the same feeling I had towards other days the school pulled out of[…]

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Celebration of Life

Someone died in my neighbourhood recently. The colourful posters announcing his passage showed a man ten years away from being called a centenarian. They also showed that he had been someone’s father, uncle, brother, grandfather and great grandfather; he had been something to everyone who had known him. And as become the norm, the posters had the headliner ‘Celebration of Life’. That phrase that began to appear in the ‘90s on death notices, replacing the more depressing word ‘obituary’. And perhaps attempting to replace our grief- stricken hearts and sense of loss with new thinking, new paradigms about death. Being thankful that the deceased’s passed this way instead of mourning a life that is no more.  I totally get this. I don’t completely agree with it. Back to my neighbourhood. I was running errands on the day the commendation service was slated to take place. I would have gone by the poster – ridden house without a passing glance but for the sound and scene in front of it that stopped me short. Instrumentalists – a trumpeter and a drummer – gave music that was upbeat, alluring and akin to that of a football supporters’ club’s sound during a match;[…]

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I don’t like cigarettes…and I like to smoke!

Me: I’m an early bird, early riser, and wake – up – before- dawn kind of woman. Him: T has a pajamas top with the inscription: ‘I don’t do mornings.’ Now that aptly describes my beau. Me: That’s why I’m a dreamer. Everything’s so nice when I’m dreaming. Visions in my mind when I’m dreaming. I feel like dreaming all the time. I’m the dreamer. I love to build crystal clear, perfect castles in the air. A modern day Joseph-ine, that’s me. Him: He. Is. My. Reality. Check! Me: I hear a story and take it at face value. Him: Hears the same story…analysis, paralysis Me: I can plan one, two, six months ahead. Him: lastminute.com Do opposites attract? Or are men and women different because they’re supposed to be? Y’know, the Mars and Venus concept. My beau and I have had different life experiences which add up to make us whole, complete individuals. These experiences make us very different from each other in our approach to love and life. It is how we handle these differences that matter, not the differences themselves. That’s why I do the morning school run with the children. Me: I love to be prompt,[…]

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I, Juggler

Plantains are sizzling quite nicely in the pan and won’t start browning for about a minute or two. That’s just time enough to check on Chairman in the sitting room and set T straight on her next item of homework. A little while later as I flip each oblong-shaped piece over, my mind (and eyes) fleetingly stray to the dishes within arm’s length which I had temporarily abandoned in order to start lunch. No worries, I think, I’d finish them off while the plantains are getting thoroughly cooked. I put the frying fork down and make towards the sink. Then I stop, grab one of the stools in the kitchen and sit down. Sheesh! I was doing it again; doing more than one activity at a time aka multitasking, that which the corporate world thrive on (I think). However, it cannot take the credit for starting this hard — to — break habit; reading/writing in the loo many, many years ago comes to mind immediately. But honing the habit, a regular 8am — 5pm (and often times, longer) job did that perfectly. How many times did I simultaneously have a face-to- face conversation while on the ‘phone? Or type and[…]

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Why baking during the weekend is a no, no for me.

  …because the children are around!   Chairman wants to know what everything! His little yellow fingers hover over the cup of desiccated coconut as he asks: ‘Mummy, what is this?’ I remove it from his reach just in time. Unfazed, he moves onto the raisins resting in a plate nearby. T wants to lend a hand! ‘Mummy, let me do it.’ She helps whisk the eggs while I pray she doesn’t spill them and, with me supporting her, sifts the flour. They taste most of my fruit and leave me short! More often than not, there’s always fresh fruit going into the cakes I bake except raisins and desiccated coconut. It’s while I’m dicing the apples that the children want some or when I’m about to mash the bananas that they appear with outstretched hands and toothy smiles. I don’t mind giving out my oranges because it’s usually the zest I need but would out rightly refuse to share the lime because I use both the zest and the juice. Nevertheless, they still get some of the fruit in sight. Energy which was supposed to be channeled towards the task at hand is expended being a drill sergeant! ‘Don’t[…]

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Red Sand: Reconnecting…

  He was waiting in front of the security door as I emerged from it, and with scant regard for the people in the banking all, I hugged him warmly but not before noticing that signature smile of his. We hadn’t seen each other in three, almost four years. Before then, almost a decade. And he had kept in touch faithfully. Calling and texting just because. Until four years ago when he had gone through a personal crisis. I took over the baton of keeping the communication channel between us open; his prompt responses to my messages told me he thought the same way and made my efforts so worthwhile. And the years seemed to have changed little about him. That very light – skinned tone was still…well, very light; his height showed no difference despite his ever – so – slight weight gain; and that quiet, serene air around him basically enveloped me along with the hug. By the way, where were his glasses? We disengaged and he took one of my palms in his as he led me away in the direction of his office, commenting on the fact that I looked every bit the same. ‘I’m fat!’[…]

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Red Sand: Reporting Live from Grandma’s House.

‘Laolu’s not sitting down.’ Ebru’s voice reached me from behind as I did the dishes. ‘Yoma’s eating her meat before finishing her food!’ Lily bellowed from the dinning table. ‘Annie fell down.’ T informed me. Yes. They were all there…well, almost all of them. emo committee. Representing their families, gathering for the holidays. While still single, living away from home and by some unspoken code, every year end saw my siblings and me converge at my mum’s for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, armed with gifts for everyone. By the time we all got married, the number of houseguests swelled with spouses and offspring, and has continued to swell. At first, the presents increased to encompass everyone but in recent years, only the children get to unwrap shiny Christmasy parcels and given by an in – house Santa Claus too! From Iceland, Norway and, three years ago when my family was absent, Agbarho. Yeah, right. Santa Claus is actually one of my elder brothers dressed in the red and white outfit, and loads of cotton wool stuck on his fair face for beard. The focus has shifted to the children. There is more emphasis on their excitement, enjoyment and[…]

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Red Sand: Are We There Yet?

I stank. Of vomit. Thankfully not the sort that contained oil and spices. Rather dried fruit and wheat. But I stank all the same. My attempts at cleaning up with moist wipes allowed me breathe in some version of clean air for a while until the Harmattan wind dried up my clothing, leaving pale brown streaks of Chairman’s breakfast behind. Then the smell re – introduced itself to me. We met an amazing traffic jam on our way out and spent two and a half hours getting out of Lagos. In that traffic was when T uttered suddenly: ‘Mummy, I want to throw up.’ I was holding up a ziploc bag for her as she emptied her bowels into it when Chairman (who was sitting on my lap) thought vomiting was trending and, without warning, released his breakfast on both of us. Now I was worried. The air conditioner went off and the windows came down. Cleaning up, at the time, was the least thing on my mind as I checked both of them for fever but found none. Emmanuel, the man in the driver’s seat, asked if I wanted to continue the journey. By now, we were out of[…]

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More of them

The following takes place between July 19th and August 23rd. For national peace, local stability and my personal peace of mind, I usually do not tell T when we’re going visiting or on holidays or if we’re expecting family who are staying for more than a week. She finds out when we arrive at our destination or just before our guests walk through the front door. If not, she’ll relentlessly hound me about the when, who and where until she wears me out. This time was no different; some of her cousins were visiting and she knew nothing about about it. Others were joining in on the holiday fun later on but both of us would know when it became necessary. As always, I knew first then she (who was on a need – to – know basis) became aware much, much, much later. Nevertheless, at any given time between the period stated above, there were at least four children in the house — raising the decibel of noise significantly, testing my  partially horned referee skills (and non – existent UEFA ones) while providing material for this blog. All of T’s cousins arrived at different times of day as though[…]

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In September

Chairman began school today. And like any mother leaving her child in school for the first time, I was slightly worried. Apprehensive. What would his attitude towards this new part of his life be? Would he cry? Cling desperately to me when I turned to leave? Give his teachers cause for concern? By the time July rolled in, I began sounding him out about this impending phase.’You’re going to school in September.’ I’d say. ‘Yesh.’ He’d agree and start undressing, thinking we were going to pick T up from school. Then, whenever he upset me, the statement would come out as a threat. ‘You’re going to school in September!’ ‘Yesh.’ He’d still agree and carry on with his life. By now realizing it meant something else but not exactly sure what. One morning, he was crying as T left for school, asking to go along with her. I comforted him with the same words. ‘Don’t worry, dear. You’re going to school soon.’ ‘Yesh,’ he replied tearfully. ‘In epepmber.’ In September. He clutched his lunch bag tightly and silently stared straight ahead as we neared the school. It was nothing new to him; he had accompanied me time and again to[…]

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