1
Oniovo: Those to whom I offer counsel or care
2
Two words
3
An unusual collection
4
Oniovo: Red sand
5
Oniovo: 10
6
08.03.18:#PressForProgress
7
February in review: Good vibes
8
Between two white lines
9
Wear a helmet
10
The first cut is the deepest

Oniovo: Those to whom I offer counsel or care

Good morning God, Thank you for the night’s rest and for this new day  Will you accompany me as I go my way? Thinking through my mind, living in my heart, Speaking through my mind and guiding my feet in the paths You wish me to follow? Bless me with robust health and the physical strength to carry my share of the world’s load. Give me a clear knowledge of the right and the courage to stand steadfastly by my convictions. Make my will strong, but let my voice and my touch be gentle. Teach me to be patient, and to be kind. Grant me the wisdom to guide only to their greatest good Those to whom I offer counsel or care Keep me so scrupulously honest that the slightly trust…   As it turned out, our parents not only operated a B & B, unknowingly, for an ever- widening select few… The prayer above was amongst our mother’s litany which she recited every morning. The line in bold aptly described another tag hanging over our house.  …our home was also an unofficial counselling centre.  Our parents’ friends hauled over their issues – mostly marital – to our house and[…]

Read More

Two words

Wake up. Don’t stop. Keep out. A fervent fan of the series, Criminal Minds, she just finished seeing the first episode of season 12. The abduction, torture and rescue of Emily Prentis – the head of the BAU team- had made for a riveting, edge – of – seat viewing. According to Prentis, two words helped keep her sanity during the entire ordeal. Wheels up. A phrase commonly spoken when the team had to fly out to a location to solve a case. For Prentis, it meant the search to rescue her was underway. How reassuring. If only the two – worded phrase she dreaded hearing each time had the same effect on her. Alas, they were anything but, leaving her in suspense mode instead. Not yet. Ever since her six-year-old learnt the twin terms, they have been his de facto arsenal. Albeit temporarily. ‘Are you ready to eat?’ ‘Not yet.’    ‘Time for your bath.’ ‘Mummy, please. Not yet.’    ‘TV’s over. Sleep time.’ ‘Not yet, naaaaaaaaaaaaahhh.’ The phrase in itself didn’t rattle her; it was the situation in which its use had the utmost effect – during meal times. Her son could deploy it for hours unending, as[…]

Read More

An unusual collection

Concern furrowed Twani’s mum’s brows when she first noticed her daughter’s fascination with birth dates. Hers. Her brother’s. Her parents’. Her cousins’. Her classmates’. Her friends’. ‘March 18 is Lily’s birthday.’ The 10-year-old girl would announce suddenly, out of nowhere; oftentimes in the middle of a totally unrelated conversation. Then she’d proceed to list out subsequent birth dates of family and friends she was aware of in that same month. To her mum’s dismay, she’d repeat the same process once a new month rolled in. Was the allure of a possible party pack, looming in the horizon, the reason for her daughter’s fixation on birth dates? Her mum wondered. Or a piece of fluffy, cake with dripping icing? Twani’s mum’s concern was quickly replaced with worry when the little girl mentioned a classmate’s brother’s birthdate and remembered her hairdresser’s sister’s daughter’s as well! What the…?! Increasingly, when Twani met a peer or a younger child for the first time, the very next question after ‘What is your name?’ was ‘When is your birthday?’ Her mother didn’t fancy the power a party pack had over her offspring; it seemed like it was making her obsessed with birth dates. On second thoughts,[…]

Read More

Oniovo: Red sand

The ancient kingdom of Benin was where we did most of our growing up. Smack in the centre of the city was where our house stood. Its proximity to everywhere –  a major market, the post office, a government hospital, the airport, the seat of government, a string of pharmacies, our place of worship, ring road (the mother of all bus stops) – gave us a certain privileged status. The centrality of its location was made more glaring by its position right behind the traditional ruler of the Benin Kingdom – the Oba of Benin’s palace. Omo n’Oba n’Edo  Uku Akpolokpolo. It took several rehearsals to effortlessly reel off that name in one breath. Not an easy feat back then considering some of our Bini friends couldn’t twist their tongues around their king’s appellation. Oba gha to kpe e. Ise! So, one of our brother’s friends tagged our house the Oba of Benin’s boys’ quarters. A part of the stretch of impenetrable red brick wall, that served as a fence, took up an entire side of our street. While others awoke to the golden view of the rising sun, ours was a mixture of seemingly endless concrete stronghold and yellow rays; a sight[…]

Read More

Oniovo: 10

There used to be 10 of us: Four girls and six boys. Picture growing up with this number of siblings; sufficient brothers to protect you, and just enough sisters to bond and be mischievous with. Now we’re nine, and the males still outnumber us by one. Cue our family portrait. 10 cheeky offspring grinning from ear to ear, and two parents smiling through the crowd. Then a shadow glosses over one of us, blanking out his image. Rest in power and peace, bro. Before the term ‘blended’ came to be, we were the visual attestation of it. Our mum, a widow, with four children. Our stepfather, a widower, with four of his own as well. They were also both ihwo Urhobo; their villages not very faraway from each other. Their native content was even a perfect match too – 99.9%. Coincidence? ajo, OboOghene. Together, they doubled the amount of competition and camaraderie amongst us, and went ahead to add two more offspring (a gender each) to douse that fire, rounding us off to a neat number 10. With this many people dwelling together – different personalities, unique perspectives, peculiar habits – surely it resulted in stifling accommodation, and less personal space per[…]

Read More

February in review: Good vibes

Inspiration exists but it must find you working – Pablo Picasso   The second month of the year was, surprisingly, a good month for me. Surprising because I had no expectations whatsoever. Indeed, I had things lined up to begin this month; I hadn’t anticipated the positive effects they would have on me. Despite being out of commission for a week due to malaria medication and drastically reducing my work out time, everything else came together in February. Finally, I read the last page of Fire and Fury; I wasn’t sad to close the book. It was long overdue. That’s what happens with an e-book. Nevertheless, I intend to try my hands on other e-books and speed up my reading time. My 9a.m. – 5p.m. gig got a much – needed boost from some news item and new posters; the phone calls kept coming in as well as the emails. Life was once again breathed into a project that had been in suspend mode for a tad too long. I started off two things. The first was posting an article to some of my contacts on Whatsapp every Sunday. This singular act pushed me to write more and keep to[…]

Read More

Between two white lines

  A car is parked by the curbside. Another is idling right next to it, creating a rather narrow path way for other road users. In turn, this arrangement gives rise to building traffic as cars are constrained to slow their pace at this point and carefully negotiate no scratches on their cars while tooting their horns in disgust – parents on the school run route during rush hours. The lady  behind the chaotic car is impervious to the loud and incessant  honking behind her; she awaits her ward who is buying a snack or two from one of the shops close to the school. A parking ticket strictly for parents’ parking infractions would be an idea whose time has come.  A Sienna, a rather long vehicle, kicks its engine to life in its parked spot. A CR4, searching for a space, notices the lights, and edges closer. The Sienna begins to back out but is unable to execute the move completely. The CR4 has left insufficient manoeuvring room for it to do so. Sienna toots once, twice but the CR4 doesn’t budge. Sienna driver alights and confronts CR4 driver, behind whose car a line of impatient waiting cars have[…]

Read More

Wear a helmet

One minute  I was descending, balancing cutlery and plates on my right hand; the next , I was slamming my neck, spine and butt hard on jutting, concrete, well – laid out slabs – knocking the breath out of me and sending that balanced pile flying in all directions.  I have a meeting at 9a.m on the island. Was my initial thought. I didn’t want to miss it. The possibility of a slipped disc or broken bones was insignificant. Much like the student who screamed:  ‘Ah! My CK jeans!‘ when shot in the leg by armed robbers.  It is difficult to describe what happened  because everything went so fast like …magic. Africa movie magic.  For several  dazed minutes, I didn’t move a muscle. After that initial thought , Inly then did my mind begin to process the incident while waiting to get back the wind that shot out of me upon impact.  The silence was eerie at 5.45a.m. as I finally, slowly craned my neck. That’s when fear began to sip in. Scared to move my entire body in the event of any physical or internal damage, I assessed the one in front of me. Most of the cutlery and plastic[…]

Read More

The first cut is the deepest

Online shopping? Nah, it wasn’t for her. Didi thought as Jumia’s discount sales on bags, shoes, women’s fashion flashed invitingly on the right. She was dinosaur like that. The touch, the smell, the physical effect on her senses led to a purchase. Merely viewing them did little or nothing to compel her to give money away. Her beau once ordered a pair of well – made, hand- crafted leather slippers (online) in two distinctive designs. They were beautiful onscreen, and even more up close when they arrived. The smell of rich, brown leather and a colour on them like the coat of a thoroughbred. The only issue? They were the perfect size for their four- year old son; Didi chuckled for days. She continued scrolling down her newsfeed. Nothing intriguing caught her eye amongst the assortment of posts by friends or family. Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Facebook seemed like the Sahara. Yudala soon took over the 100% off trend on electronics and more female accessories. Fleetingly, she paused. No harm screen- shopping. She did it all the time; then had recurring dreams about desired items much later. Once again, nothing interesting. She resumed scrolling until… She did need a new black[…]

Read More

Copyright © 2013. Idolors domain