1
October in review: comme ci, comme ća
2
G.L.i.B -bed: There’s nothing funny about war
3
The beast in our breasts
4
G.L.i.B – bed: The Islamist
5
G.L.i.B-bed: The house my father built
6
A toast to all …certified and otherwise
7
Nigeria’s 57th: Independence day thoughts
8
September in review: Still recovering
9
Prompt: A happy story in three words
10
G.L.i.B-bed: A thousand splendid suns

October in review: comme ci, comme ća

This 10th month felt unfulfilling to me. In terms of my plans for it. Yes, I did read books – three of them – The Islamist, The House My Father Built & Burma Boy. Yes, I did my work out, quite diligently too, save for the time an upset stomach halted me temporarily in my tracks for a couple of days. My 9 – 5 was humdrum, snail – pacing along. No private jobs were bagged this month either. No, I didn’t blog in the manner I’d have preferred – more posts about books read than insights on other everyday events – but I attained my target for the month. It didn’t feel me with any form of satisfaction. Somewhere in the month, I prepped (inadequately too. Let’s see the outcome of that this time next month) for NaNoWriMo. If I can call the three pages of plot notes that! Then I began and completed several editing tests in a frenzy of 14 days for self- improvement and career development. I am yet to attempt any more in the last week or so. Life happened but I intend to return to them and include in my weekly or monthly learning[…]

Read More

G.L.i.B -bed: There’s nothing funny about war

If I hadn’t listened to a review before reading this book, I’d have been blissfully unaware obtuse fact that Kyaffin, Farabiti and Samanja were English words spoken with an Hausa accent. Recounting the WWII experience through the eyes of young African/Nigerian soldiers was equal parts entertaining, sobering, hilarious and depressing. Ordinary fishermen, farmers, traders, most of whom mere teenagers, saw themselves transformed into soldiers of wars from their simple vocations. Their days of mundane working hours, filled with the occasional excitement, seemed a lifetime ago compared to their present situation of terror – filled days and bomb- blasting nights. There’s nothing funny about war. The hellish conditions on the battlefield. The Armageddon that erupts between the warring factions and fight for the ultimate win. Little sleep. Fear of life. Casualties. Diseases. Traps. Landmines… But somehow Biyi Bandele injects a sprinkling of humour and laughter alongside. Perhaps, it’s just as well. Fighting and surviving within breathing distance of intentional enemy fire is one of the most daunting feats any body can experience, capable of altering regular people physically, psychologically, emotionally. A little laughter, a little teasing can do a lot to retain humanity, sanity and purpose. Burma Boy delivers, in minute,[…]

Read More

The beast in our breasts

The call came through on one of those days when I had the second dose of malaria medication flowing in my veins; the time when I was hovering between sickening nausea and weakened limbs. The last thing I craved was answer a call and expel the last vestige of energy I had left. No, I’ll pass. I picked it up. What the caller (a former colleague and friend) had to say made my sickly situation grossly inconsequential. My response, instinctive as it was, was equally news to her as her pronouncement had been to me. A former supervisor (a truly beautiful soul who morphed into a friend, sounding board, co-conspirator and big sister) had died…of breast cancer. I had been aware of her condition and her subsequent relocation to the US for better, further treatment. The reports of her situation sounded good. Last I heard, she was in excellent health. Not anymore. The cancer had won. And I thought she had won.  Going to the States and all. Getting the best of care – chemotherapy, constant monitoring, mastectomy even. I thought she had won. I was not privy to the prognosis of her affliction but whatever it had been (early/last[…]

Read More

G.L.i.B – bed: The Islamist

With the rise of terrorism, ISIS and Boko Haram right here in our backyard, the choice to read this book was a no – brainer. With a subtitle like Why I joined radical Islam in Britain, what I saw and why I left, did I need any other compelling reason to dive into it head first? Nothing to lose and everything to gain. Though published exactly a decade ago, its contents are just as potent and relevant today (if not more) as they were at the time of release. And who better equipped to reveal the workings and process of radical Islam than a former ardent, active member of the group? Incredibly detailed and, often times, disquieting, the author chronicles his religious, educational and social choices spanning a period of ten years (from mid – teenage years to his early/mid – twenties). In so doing, he lays bare the inner, systematic indoctrination into Islamic extremism of young, impressionable minds; effectively using the foolproof strategy: Teach a child the way he should go and when he grows up, he would not depart from it.  The outcome of which have manifested in present day ISIS’ rampage, global terrorism and our very own[…]

Read More

G.L.i.B-bed: The house my father built

After the unsated feeling left behind by Diary of a Dead Nigerian and Like a Mule bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, one would have thought I’d steer clear of small – sized novels. But neigh, the first read of this month, The House My Father Built by Adewale Maja – Pearce, fits perfectly into the little mould, and promptly leaving me with a sense of unfinifshedness (if there’s a word like that!) as the other two previous books did. Third time’s the charm, right? Perhaps I’m a sucker for short, well – written book. The pull to devour them always triumph over thick tomes with promises of more reading time. For me, it’s not how big; it’s how well – put together. And thirdly, (didn’t know I was counting), sadly, small novels tick all the right boxes for me. I am willing to risk the Oliver Twist’s feeling it would elicit when I turn the last page. No disappointment there. I was left wanting more after consuming the book in less than 48 hours. The landlord-tenant relationship in Nigeria is a rather unique one. At some point in time, the tenant could be mistaken for the owner of the[…]

Read More

A toast to all …certified and otherwise

If you’ve held a child and jogged along as s/he learnt to ride a bicycle on your instructions… If you’ve pointed out words and painstakingly pronounced them properly for another to repeat and remember and read… If you’ve effected an attitude adjustment where there was once deviant behaviour… If you’ve trained a child, a sibling, a protege in the way s/he should go and s/he is yet to depart from it… If you’ve inspired confidence, kindness, gratitude and a pay-it-forward way of life… If you’ve nurtured and mentored a dream, a passion into full-blown tangible reality… If you’ve instilled discipline, obedience, respect, courtesy, empathy in another… If your guidance, nudging, support and frequent yelling have resulted in a better human… If after reading the following quote: “The mistakes of a doctor are buried underground, the mistakes of a lawyer are locked behind bars but the mistakes of a teacher walk up and down the streets ” you think of all the other possible options you’d have taken to instruct, impact effectively… Then raise your glass with mine in a toast to us. However, if you’ve done all of the above (and so much more) as a calling, in a controlled[…]

Read More

Nigeria’s 57th: Independence day thoughts

This time last year, I wrote a laundry list of Nigeria’s faults and foibles, dwelling on our various disappointments and disgraces, reliving the country’s shams and shame. It was basically a scorecard with a large X mark in bold and bright red colour. The question I asked was: If Nigeria were to be likened to a person, would s/he be considered successful at 56? This time yesterday, God knows. I was geared up to reprise the incident on a larger scale, replete with caustic remarks and snide sides. It was already in the works; use the words of the national anthem or the pledge (or maybe, the coat of arms) and take them apart, line after line. An hour – long radio progam interrupted my dangerous intentions. A special in commemoration of the nation’s independence anniversary. Both anchors of the show – male and female – urged listeners to call in and mention any national achievement that made for personal pride. The first person started it off with Nigeria’s first world cup appearance in ’94. Then the female anchor chipped in with hers – the GSM revolution and the ease it had brought into our daily activities. The next couple[…]

Read More

September in review: Still recovering

It’s amazing how at the end of last month, I looked forward to the prospect of this one.  30 days have come and gone, and I am not twirling in delight; neither am I signing with relief or laying down in exhaustion. Instead, silently, I am seething with contained anger at one aspect of my life – blogging. Besides this post (and one other), I can be described as going awol on this month. That’s because I spent most of the month trying to get up to speed with August’s posts (and yet to complete them, by the way. * covers my face in shame. *) They are taking longer than expected, and so is my recovery period from the four – week holidays with four energetic little humans. The only meaningful writing I engaged in can be found in my journal; even that took quite an effort to achieve at the end of every day. And I wish I could say that was the only blip in a month which seemed like a very smooth ride from the beginning. My reading took a severe beating as well. From a fantastic – four – books- in – four- weeks last[…]

Read More

G.L.i.B-bed: A thousand splendid suns

This book gave me more mixed feelings than any other novel had in a long while. One minute there was hope in the horizon, light at the end of the dark passage; the very next, it came crashing down like a ton of bricks jarred by a mischievous toddler. It was no help that the location was Afghanistan and the lives of two women juxtaposed, highlighting their different upbringing, until the effects of war bring them together. More depressing was the Muslim customs laid out in the book – child brides, uneducated females, hijab-wearing invisible women, etc. A stunning display of the heights patriarchy can be taken to, leaving a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach each time I gleaned an inference or occurrence of any one of them. Nevertheless, I kept my eyes glued to the pages until the very last leaf; there was no stopping me on this rollercoaster of self – inflicted despair. Khaled Houseini’s depiction of his homeland and its practices, the Afghan war period and its dire consequences were reminiscent of Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. (Ironically, both titles have the word sun in them. I wonder if the sun played[…]

Read More

Copyright © 2013. Idolors domain