Reflections

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I am not my face
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Thanksgiving
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It must have been love
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The way you make me feel II
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The way you make me feel
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The colour of giving
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November in review: Movember
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October in review: Is this the worst month ever for me?
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Like neighbourhood, like nation
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matename

I am not my face

How do you get used to something that was non – existent in your formative years? Then surfaced and took eternal residence in your life at precisely the threshold of adulthood? The older I got, the younger I looked (was that humanly possible?). Oscar Wilde needn’t have written The Portrait of Dorian Gray; I’m a breathing specimen.

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Thanksgiving

So I have this weekly post (mostly fiction, sometimes memoirs) I do every Sunday on Whatsapp to a couple of my contacts. Tomorrow makes a year of its inception. Below is a little note of appreciation I sent out this morning: Indulge me for a minute. Close your eyes. Imagine me behind a podium on a stately – looking stage, slaying with my chic evening dress and war paint on fleek. I am holding a portable- sized, silver – plated typewriter and a small, square piece of paper in my hands. The air is suffused with applause and background music as a voice – over announces my name and category. It’s obvious to all that I’m hyperventilating, and the looks of disbelief and happiness take turns flittering across my visage. Once I catch my breath (I’m on a clock now), I look down at the paper and open my mouth to speak… First, I’d like to thank God for the gift of penmanship. For my fascination with letters and words. The ability to string them together into coherent, readable blocks of text. For a seemingly endless spring of inspiration and a fertile imagination. The choice to indulge in what I love. Thank you, Lord, for the work of my hands. To my editors. Amid your own personal and professional commitments, Theo & Igho, you are both still able to fit in a sister’s work. Meeting your own time limits as well as mine. Your edits are one thing; your insights, suggestions, and questions are another. Thank you for your time and the pieces of you selflessly sprinkled all over my writings. And you, my reader, my very own oniovo!  The reason behind Sunday’s special rays. Tg, Adula, Eve, Refe, Franca, Ogaga, C.Eguaibor, P. Osazuwa… Uyi, Trish, Toby, Odo, Obehi, Ebuwa, Osas, Funmi, Jeje, Muimui, Rose, Ify… In a time- deprived society such as ours, you didn’t have to spend moments of your day of rest reading my work. I recognize that you had a choice but included us (my writings & I) anyway. Then went ahead to give feedback. In”more

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The way you make me feel II

This time, she gave him a proper appraisal, noticing the near – perfect dentition; his easy smile and dimpled cheeks; shiny, ebony complexion; shiny, shaved head. His looks in sync with the impeccable, blue tie knotted at his throat, resting on a light pink shirt. His shoes shone just as his hairless crown.

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The way you make me feel

“Not yet.” Naji informed her and leaned over her left shoulder. “Excuse me…” And taking hold of the mouse, she began to click. “Those are your files.” She uttered a few seconds later. “And other CC departmental documents you might need to access. Got it?” She straightened and, for a moment, met the intense, direct stare of the first man before she looked away. “Anything else?”

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The colour of giving

Blue, I understand, is another Christmas colour and legend has it green was the original colour for Christmas as it signifies life. The ancient Roman festival that was celebrated (and indeed replaced by Christmas) had holly and ivy wreaths. The holly and Ivy were revered because unlike other plants they survived the winter. However with the advent of Christianity, red (symbolising the death of Christ) became more prevalent plus St Nicholas wore red and so did the bishops.

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Like neighbourhood, like nation

Between the two streets are six public secondary schools – two of which are for children on the disability spectrum. Tucked away in its own cul-de-sac, as though different (it is!), is a seventh. A private one. In the mornings, the exodus is tame. Pockets of students trudging leisurely to their various compounds of learning. In groups of fives, twos, threes. Making minimal noises, providing additional background for the dawn of another day. But they do take up a whole lane of the street, and navigating around them takes skill, patience and tact. Your horn might prove effective after its second blare. On the other hand, seeing any of the private institution’s students walking to or from school is like a luna eclipse – an almost once-in-a-lifetime event.They arrive in style, on wheels – mostly luxurious and the kind that purrs when in motion. If you happen to peer through the windows, they could be seen tapping away on cellphones, snoozing or staring right back at you. No morning strolls for these ones. In the afternoons, it is bedlam. The noise from the public schools erupts like an active volcano right from their gates – a signal that school hours were over for that day.Imagine six schools simultaneously spurting out their occupants onto the streets. Streets where vendors of baked, fried, roasted and packaged goods await them. The hawkers’ cacophony of calls mixed with the unrhythmic, loud chatter of the students transforms the neighbourhood into an instant street fete, replete with chaotic music from a nearby barber’s shop. This time, they fill up the entire street like it’s one big sidewalk, and walking is not all they do – playing football with stones, other unrecognized games, impromptu brawls/quarrels amongst themselves, unscheduled meetings at the median of the street are just some of the other activities they get up to. Your horn might have to work overtime during this period, and continuously too if you hope to increase the turtle-slow pace you’ve been compelled to drive at. It is also likely that the cars behind yours have private school students in”more

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matename

Is this still in practise? Y’know, monikers, once translated, sounding rather weird because you can’t quite place them._ matename Isn’t it juvenile of any parent to christen his/her child as a direct jab at someone else? A medium to convey a message to a rival? Every time the child is called, it’s a slur, a shade at another person. matename Say it in Pidgin English…Yes, just so. The effect is more poignant in vernacular.With the English Language tone, an eavesdropper would erroneously equate the mate to a class- or age mate. But alas, the initial word that consists this unusual compound word refers to a sister-wife in a polygamous setting. 20 years ago, I was blissfully oblivious of this title. Then in a conversation with my mum, I mentioned one of my cousin’s middle name. And I had a bizarre moment as she uttered the word matename before going ahead to expound on it. Only us women can create such an incredulous label. matename Given our attitude towards each other, does this, by any chance have any link to the fact that we are our worst enemies?  Or the occurrence of soooo many mother’s day celebrations in a year  – denominations have different dates, countries have different dates as well while all over the world, the menfolk have just ONE father’s day celebration – because we can’t seem to agree on one that suits all of us? Considered in this context, it certainly makes sense to have this unpalatable word hanging around sister-wives, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, the probability of a similar situation existing amongst men is zilch to none. Their brotherhood and bond are attributes we’re still teething at. Yet, strangely, at the root of this nauseating norm is the male child. Or at least the two names I’ve come in contact with. Mitaire is one. The middle name of the close cousin I spoke about above. The first boy in a bevy of girls. Hence Mitaire  – a lovely- sounding, traditional tag – is a fitting epithet meaning ‘I have reached them.’ _ Them referring to a sister wife who,”more

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