How Can I Continue To Love You?

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Its hard to be a patriot in today’s Nigeria with the psyche of the average Nigerian been bashed on a daily on every side.

Shall we talk about the insensitivity of the ruling class in its bold display of profligacy in the face of mass penury? Or shall we describe the hardship faced on a daily by the common Nigerian in their struggle to eke out a living in the face of infrastructural decay and severe economic hardship?

Shall we paint a picture of how the land has gone from green to red with the all too frequent bloodletting by forces of greed and sabotage that seem determined to foster the extinction of the unlucky middle and lower class as we are reduced to unfortunate statistics? Or shall we discuss how the custodians of power continue to spew total idiocy without regard to the pitiable condition of the governed as they reside on the alternate side of plush reality?

How can we love our nation when there is no place for our dreams? How can we inspire ourselves to hope for the future when we continue to wallow between the threshold of deprivation and survival?

How is it that a nation so blessed can yet be so cursed?

The future is bleak for the beautiful ones unborn for there is no legacy to bequeath. To be born into Nigeria without a silver spoon is to be born into condemnation; it is to be born without a fair shot at greatness; it is to be born to live the all too famous lie that “things will get better”.

Pessimism, you say.

No. Reality more like.

We have evolved the lowest form of adaptability. That is why we lie; that’s how we are comfortable with the lie of how things are. We indulge too often in the greatest opiate of all and reside in a state of perpetual high where we believe that God will come down from heaven and deliver us.

Shebi na only Nigeria dey this world?

What is the way forward?

Where shall we go when this dysfunctional and disjointed family of misfits implodes? What shall we do when this unholy marriage held on by the thinning rope of hope in a shared tragic history snaps? What happens when the blood of the earth we fight and kill each other for drains out?

How can I continue to love you Nigeria when you break my heart everyday?

The Ultimate Warrior: A Tribute To The Great Past

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He came into the scene and immediately caught our attention. We were used to the famous and unmatchable antics of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bret Hart, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Sergeant Slaughter and a host of other wrestling greats from the 80′s/90′s but there was something about this guy. He looked different, acted different; in fact, he brought the drama into dramatic and before long, he became everybody’s favorite.

I remember a day many years ago; when I and my siblings were coming back from school. I couldn’t have been more than 10. As my dad drove close to the gate of the compound where we lived, we saw a neighbourhood playmate dressed in the Ultimate Warrior regalia (which actually meant not being dressed at all except for a dirty underwear and ropes tied on the leans biceps of each arm to a scrawny little body that bore no semblance to the muscular ferocity of the ring warrior and the trademark chalk sketch on his face), huffing and puffing as arms went up and down in calculated motions as if he was trying to draw strength from above.

We all laughed that day and though my dad would never have allowed me or my younger brother do that without consequences (and by that, I mean good thrashing with a cane), I secretly longed that for a short while, I could be like my neighbourhood playmate and dress like everybody’s favorite WWF(as it was called then and it remains for me the only time when we had real wrestling ) hero for a few minutes, run around the streets of my neighbourhood and just be like the Ultimate Warrior.

We all loved the WWF character played by James Brian Hellwig. He was dogged and never ever seemed to give-up. The epic encounter between himself and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI where he bested Hulk Hogan to clinch the WWF title remains one of the best wrestling matches of all time.

The Ultimate Warrior was an inspiration to my childhood and though he didn’t last on the wrestling scene as long as other WWE greats, he made a lasting impression on me and on every kid of my generation who was really into what wrestling was and not what it is today.

James Brian Hellwig a.k.a. The Ultimate Warrior died on the 9th of April, 2014 at the age of 54. May his soul rest in peace and may his family find comfort in the fact that his heroics inspired many worldwide.

He will never be forgotten.

Malcolm.

Tales of Deceit: The Legend of Veronica (5)

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“Dude, are you serious?! You still had her number after what now, two years?” Fizz asked ludicrously as he poured himself a generous shot from the bottle of Hennesey that stood majestically on the glass table.

“If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you’re in love!” Carl added laughing.

“Love? Not an existing word in his dictionary.” Fizz said pointing at Markus laughing; Carl joined in.

Markus was still sort of smouldering after everything that happened the evening before. The story was too damn shameful and embarrassing so he had kept it in for a while but confided in his friends Fizz and Carl when he couldn’t hold it much longer.

They were in his little 3 bedroom duplex in the family mansion which consisted of 3 marble duplexes at the heart of Ikoyi, a sprawling compound of tiled flooring and beautiful gardens bounded by an expansive drive way littered with exotic cars and a swimming pool on each side. They had come in a little after 7am having bade their paramours farewell, still a little drunk from their escapades and in dire need of a step down.

“That fucker of a dude just ruined a fantastic evening I had laid out. She was ready for me, I tell you. I had her eating from my hands.” Markus vibrated.

His mind replayed the infamous evening which he had just recounted. After Veronica ran off, he had just stood there in shock totally bamboozled. The face-capped dude who just claimed to be her husband was heaving and shaking with murderous rage. He was restrained by his friend and two other waiters until the manager and security showed up.

Now these security guys were no-nonsense guys. Markus could tell as they impatiently tapped their batons in their palms waiting for a go from the manager to pummel whoever was responsible for disturbing the peace until the manager recognized him.

“Are you alright sir?” He asked. The manager was a beefy and rotund Lebanese called Arnold who never seemed to stop sweating regardless of whatever atmospheric climate he found himself. They had met a couple of times before at other occasions and he never seemed to forget the guy because he looked and dressed funny and seemed to sweat for a living.

“I’m fine.” He had said impatiently. He had hurriedly left the embarrassing scene as all attention seemed to focus on him. His confidence had taken a big blow and he was determined to remedy it by all means available to him.

He was surprised that bits and pieces of his misadventure had already begun to filter into ears. He recalled with distaste Amanda’s tirade when she called him while he was at the club last night. He was on his fourth glass of Jack when her call came through.

“Hey baby” He had said.

“Don’t baby me!” She screamed, the high pitch of her shrill voice nearly rupturing his eardrums. His regular VIP spot at Club Ntyce was soundproof from the organized madness down stairs.

“Why didn’t you call me, huh? You went in search of your other whores, right? And you thought I wouldn’t hear about it?!”

“Baby, be cool. What are you talking about?” He had said calmly.

“DON’T! Don’t tell me to cool down. You thought I wouldn’t hear about how you went after another man’s wife? How could you go so low?!” She screamed louder.

Shit! He muttered. It wasn’t more than a few hours yet she had already heard. He had chosen a spot on the Mainland for the dinner with Veronica to be out of the prying eyes of the gossip media but that obviously didn’t work.

“You’re drunk. Call me when you sober up.” He said curtly and hung up. Looking at his phone, he decided to switch it off. He didn’t need all that drama right now.

He had leaned back on lounging chairs and let the reverberating sounds of music on the soundproof walls distract him for a minute. He shouldn’t be out tonight, he decided. If Amanda had heard, it wouldn’t be long before everybody else did. He finished up his drink, picked up his half-smoked cigar and his jacket and headed out, leaving behind the half drunk bottle of Jack.

He spotted Carl and Fizz in the company of some ladies at the bar and decided against letting them know he was heading home as they didn’t see him. As he entered his white Porshe Carrera with number plates “Markus 1″, he suddenly realized that the car was too loud for such a clandestine move. He had been plain silly.

“Uh-oh! Look who’s in the news again.” Carl said suddenly, teleporting him back to now.

“What’s that?” He asked warily.

“Your adventure is already on blogs!” Carl said as he scrolled through his iPad, laughing as Fizz joined him. They both read.

“Popular Lagos playboy Markus Adeleye is in the news again and this time, reliable information has it that he got caught with another man’s wife. More details to follow shortly.”

“God, I hate bloggers! Markus groaned.” Is that Linda Ikeji?”

“No. Its Moji Delano.” Carl replied laughing.

“You failed to mention she was married Mark.” Fizz said with disapproval.

“How the fuck was I to know she was married? She wasn’t wearing a ring!” Markus exclaimed in exasperation.

“This complicates things. Your girls will start callin…” Carl was interrupted by the Markus ringing phone. Markus peered at the caller display suspiciously and made an impatient movement. Carl resumed his volley of laughter.

“Its Amanda again. Sometimes I wonder if she has a tail on me.” He muttered and let the phone ring out. Within 10 seconds, the phone was ringing again. He swiftly muted the phone.

“I so don’t wanna be you right now.” Carl said still laughing. “She’s gonna give you hell for this.”

“Fuck her!” Markus said nonchalantly. “Like I give a damn. I’m a lot more bothered about when this gets to my mom. She reads all these fucking blogs.”

“Ha ha, you’re royally screwed man. She’s definitely gonna see this.” Fizz said.

The intercom rang.

“Shit! Hope that’s not my mom.” He picked it up.

“Yeah?”

“Good morning sir.” It was Tony, the Head of Security at the gate.

“What is it?”

“Miss Amanda is at the gate demanding to see you.” Tony said breathlessly. Markus could hear Amanda’s shrill voice in the background arguing with the other guards.

“What the fuck?!” He exclaimed angrily. “I don’t want to see her and I don’t want her making a scene either. Handle it.” Markus said curtly and hung up.

“Can you believe that bitch is at the gate?!” He exclaimed angrily.

“Oh dear! She must be about to explode from holding all that verbal venom specially reserved for you.” Carl said again.

“Men, shut the fuck up!” He said angrily as he threw on his bathrobe and wore his slippers.

“You’re going to the gate?” Fizz asked.

“The gate? To do what? I’m going to the house see my mom. Its time for some damage control.”

With that, he left his apartment.

Unemployment: A Threat To National Security

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Having being out of the unemployed circle for a while, one tends to forget the horror and difficulties that young Nigerian graduates go through on a daily basis. I remember with distaste being part of a humongous crowd when I was applying for a job in the civil service some time ago and I thank God everyday that today, I am employed and can at least afford to cater for my basic needs to an extent.

The unemployment rate in Nigeria is perhaps one of the biggest threats to national security. It is a difficult pill to swallow that after more than a decade in a democracy (pseudo-democracy more like) and with our great endowment by nature, nothing has changed despite the fact that the Minister of Finance and co-ordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has continued to reel out meaningless facts and figures of how our economy is growing; statistics that have absolutely no bearing on the life of the common Nigerian. The reality is that things have never gotten better; they have astronomically gotten worse.

More heartbreaking is the fact that the reckless brigandage supervised by the ruling party PDP has continued unabated. On a frequent basis, Nigerians have been stunned to the point of numbness at ridiculous amounts of monies meant for curing the nation of its ills that have found their way into the accounts and pockets of a miniscule percentage of the population without consequence while poverty reigns supreme.

It is no rocket science to understand why there’s been an upsurge in crime and violence in recent times. People have lost hope and now have nothing else to lose. In a nation where the government doesn’t give a damn about her citizens, people must survive. We have been cast back to the stone ages in terms of quality of life; we now live in a society where a man must hurt another in order to survive. In a lot of ways, we have regressed to the state of nature where life is “nasty, brutish and short” as aptly captured in the Social Contract treatise of Thomas Hobbes.

A friend alerted me to a post on Linda Ikeji’s blog yesterday evening about the Immigrations Recruitment exercise that was slated for yesterday. A first glance at the pictures of the mamoth crowd in different states where the exercise held had me wondering if this was actually a recruitment exercise. It felt more like a soccer match, World Cup finals between Nigeria and Brazil which was particularly ironical as some of the venues were in stadiums.

In all states where this sham, this testimonial to the failure of governance held, the story was the same. For less than 5,000 positions, the number of graduates who turned out nationwide was way above half a million mark! If the Goodluck Jonathan administration ever got to see this and did not squirm in their seats or feel an ounce of remorse for the pathetic condition of these people, then by God, they deserve to die horrible deaths!

I write this article with bitterness in my heart because for many years, the Nigerian government has committed the greatest crime against Nigerians. A government that persistently refuses to empower the supposed “leaders of tomorrow” is a million times worse than the frightful menace of terrorism and insurgency.

Boko Haram as a terrorist group is a lot more useful than this administration. Their objective is terror and wanton destruction; a goal to which they have achieved resounding success time and time again. The government on the other hand, that is supposed to be the custodian and the equitable distributor of the nation’s wealth has FAILED in their purpose every single time. Even worse is their indifference to the worsening plight of the masses while they luxuriate in the opulence of ill-gotten wealth and wallow in the stupidity of mediocrity.

Tragedy in such inhuman conditions is bound to occur and occur it did. Reports have it that as much as 19 persons lost their lives in their search for a means of livelihood. Even worse are reports that amongst these unfortunate souls was a young woman heavy with child. This, in my opinion, is just as bad as the brutal murder of school children in their sleep.

I have consistently maintained that our elitist government is out to drain her citizens of their essence like vampires. Over half a million applicants, yet the Immigration Service deemed it fit to turn the exercise into a revenue generating one by collecting a registration fee of N1000 from UNEMPLOYED graduates. If this is not cruelty, then I don’t know what cruelty is.

This is consistent with the behaviour of government agencies who arbitrarily bring up all sorts of ridiculous exercises at heartless prices in order to bleed the already ailing masses dry. Take the new number plates for example. Apart from the Nigerian map on it, its no different from the previous one. I am yet to be convinced how it would aid crime detection as some claim when in 2014, Nigeria still has no database that stores information on her citizens. Yet, the change has been made mandatory and it is ridiculously pricey.

The thought of such a large army of unemployed graduates extinguishes any flicker of hope in my mind for the future in Nigeria. The fact that the government has consistently failed to function and do her primary duty of delivering basic amenities to her citizens is a recipe for anarchy.

May the souls of those who lost their lives in this latest unfortunate venture rest in peace.

Amen.

Photo Credits: Linda Ikeji’s Blog

Startup To Prevent Election Rigging Using Mobile Phones In 2014 & 2015 Elections In Nigeria

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It does not take rocket science to be convinced that a large percentage, if not all of the elections in the past in Nigeria have in one way or another been adulterated. Although the general populace does not know what exactly is responsible for these heinous actions, whether the electoral body’s incompetence or dishonesty or the criminal actions of political parties and their cronies, it cannot be overemphasized that some measures have to be put in place to ensure the integrity of the electoral process is no longer compromised and that announced election results reflect the people’s choices.

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In view of these past, and sadly normal occurrences of irregularities and jeopardy in the electoral processes that Nigeria has experienced in the previous elections, a platform NigeriaDecide has been developed to monitor election and ensure the integrity of election results. NigeriaDecide is a platform intended to collate the results exactly as announced in each polling unit across the nation and transfer them to a safe and secure server where everyone can view the results online.

 


This is to ensure anyone and everyone can have a picture of the results that are expected to be announced by the electoral monitoring body. This will help to have an idea of where the discrepancies occurred and the appropriate quarters can be challenged concerning the published results.


This requires that everybody be interested in making sure that their choices in the elections are not over-ruled by some unpleasant elements in the polity. In this wise, there is a need for all to be actively involved in the process – from voter’s registration right through to the election results announcement.

The effectiveness of the NigeriaDecide platform depends on the active participation of concerned Nigerians in the electoral process. This will require the submission of the results announced in each polling unit by SMS to the NigeriaDecide platform for it to be collated and secured on the server.

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There are over 120,025 (one hundred and twenty thousand and twenty-five) polling units in Nigeria, so there needs to be active involvement of concerned Nigerians for this undertaking to be accomplished and to cover all polling and the results from each polling unit, so that the interests of all Nigerians are equally represented (at least 120,025 people are needed).


To be part of this election monitoring platform, you must be registered to vote (you will need the polling unit number on your voter’s card to register on the NigeriaDecide platform). To register on the platform, SMS “polling unit number” e.g. 05/07/09/008 to 09037346541. You will immediately receive a registration confirmation alert on your phone. Then on the election day, to send in election results announced at the polling unit, SMS “party acronym and score” space “party acronym and score” until the last party and score e.g. aa500 apc503 acd512 pdp503 and send to 09037346541.

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The NigeriaDecide platform is powered by CloudWare Technologies, an innovative technological solutions provider that provides appropriate technological measures to meet Africa’s pressing needs. CloudWare Technologies’ client base ranges from individuals to corporate establishment, federal government and international organizations.

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For more information and better information on the electoral process, email info@nigeriadecide.org or call 0700CLOUDSMS or visit www.nigeriadecide.org

 

 

 

Living To Die

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From the time the first cries of a new born are uttered, after the umbilical connection to the beautiful quiet of the uterus is severed, man is born to die. Every step and breath taken from birth is a step that leads us all closer to our final destination which is death.

Life is uncertain but death is sure; that is the curse of our mortal shell. The bane of our existence is that we live to deteriorate, and deteriorate to die. All the things we hold dear and worry about; our poverty or wealth, beauty or ugliness, fitness or fat, potentials or its total absence and our social status means not much at the end of the day because when we cease to be, so does all such pursuits.

Equality is a word we bandy about and strive for in life but it is ironical that it only becomes achievable in death. In death, all plans, struggles and strife cease; all pursuits lose fervour and dissipate into nothingness. For the first time, a silver spoon never matters for we all rot to dust regardless of who we were.

These were the thoughts that filled my head as I watched my friend lay at his final resting place today. It matters no more now how death disfigured his handsome features, how intelligent he was, what his dreams and aspirations were, what he owned or the life he hoped to live. All that remain are the memories he left behind that live in the hearts of those he touched.

For us who knew him, as we trudge to our inevitable destination, his demise is sharp reminder that death is non-discriminatory. How good we are or how bad can never shield us from the fate of certain death. What we did in life can never make a case for us when we get to the crossroads. When and where our hourglass runs its course is where the road ends.

Is there life after death? Despite what our various faiths tell us, we can never really know till we go and sadly, those who know can never tell. All we can really be certain of is who we are and where we are now because the next moment and place is not certain.

Living with the consciousness that we are born to die should make us resolve to live for the now because that is all we truly own. For that reason, we must learn to cherish every breath, love without restraint, appreciate the life we’ve been given, strive for worthy causes every where and every time and above all, be happy and be agents of happiness.

The uncertainty of life and the certainty of death will be much easier to live with.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Dear Chimamanda, We Are Not A Monkey-See, Monkey-Do Nation

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Before I proceed, let me state for the record that I am not a homophobe; I once was but I have come to understand that our indiscretions do not make us less human. As a matter of fact, our indiscretions are an affirmation of our humanity. That being said, I believe the aspect of the new anti-gay law which criminalizes homosexual unions is timely.

However, criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults in their privacy is straight up ridiculous. Inasmuch as I respect Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and agree with her that Nigeria’s anti-gay law is ill-advised, sloppy, draconian and unconstitutional, I beg to differ on what spurred it on. Her statement that the debate was not home-grown is baffling at best.

To quote her, “And it (the law) is informed not by a home-grown debate but by a cynically borrowed one: we turned on CNN and heard western countries debating ‘same sex marriage’ and we decided that we, too, would pass a law banning same sex marriage.”

One then begins to wonder, does this mean that Chimamanda would rather have Nigeria isolate herself from the Global Village the world has become and hence, not make laws of interest to her? Nigeria is a sovereign nation and until the Constitution is amended to state otherwise, the Government is saddled with the responsibility of making laws that they believe to be of benefit to the Nigerian population.

For some reason, I wonder if her being out of Nigeria for so long has left her out of touch with much of what has really been going on with regard to this issue. We all know that in recent times, the agitation for gay rights has gathered momentum around the world. Majority of Nigerians I believe, were content with knowing that homosexuality was an anomaly present in our society but still are culturally light years away from viewing it as normal or embracing it.
 
The sudden agitation for gay rights in parts of Africa was an affront to the African way of life and like the proverbial rat trying to get the attention of a sleeping cat the backlash, though irrational was expected. The demonstrations that took place during the International Conference on HIV/AIDS 2005 in Rio de Janeiro for which Nigeria attended spurred the events that led to the law we have today.
 
Because of the certainty of its spread, the Nigerian Government took proactive steps to nip this trend in the bud and initiated moves to have a legislation passed against legalizing homosexual unions as early as in 2006. Several earlier attempts at sponsoring the bill failed as a result of the activities of faceless lobbyists.
 
I recall specifically watching a delegation of gay Nigerians living in Diaspora making a case for gay rights on the floor of the Senate sometime last year. Naturally, I like many Nigerians was baffled and appalled by this which seemed to be an open confrontation. The boldness of the delegation was frightening. My guess is that this irked not a few members of the Senate who resolved to pass the Bill in record time.
 
When word of the Bill got around, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron was quoted at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia last year, threatening to withhold foreign aid from African countries that discriminated against homosexuals. The Nigerian Senate responded swiftly and bluntly too that the UK government could keep their aid.
 
That was one of the few moments when I was actually proud of the Nigerian Government. The Senate however, did not stop at that. They went on to produce probably one of the fastest laws to ever have come out of the National Assembly following due democratic process; a deliberate response in my estimation to showcase Nigerian sovereignty.
 
Chimamanda’s statement as quoted above is emotion-laden and totally unnecessary. To denigrate the Nigerian populace by that statement leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Her statement would imply that Nigerians do not have a proper grasp of the problems that face them.
 
With her status as a literary icon and as a Nigerian Ambassador, one would expect a certain kind of caution that would necessitate proper investigation before making such.
 
There is no action without reaction and for a country quite as docile as ours in terms of legislative capabilities, I really wonder if she would rather have us be overwhelmed by it before reacting as we are known to do.
 
*To read Chimamanda Adichie’s article, click the link below.

http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/article/chimamanda-adichie-writes-anti-gay-law

Malcolm O. Ifi

To Whom My Heart is True and Pure

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As breathing comes naturally
So does the beating of my gentle heart
Dance to the drums of love and passion
That you inspire
You are the rhythm and harmony in the music
Making my tired head nod in unison
Filling me with the energy to tango
As was done in Rio de la Plata

For some reason, the scars of time past
Evened out as you came in
Like little Casper you crept, coolly
Seeping through with little resistance
My walls of defense crumbled at your voice
Till I was delirious with weakness
And only too eager to surrender
And in your bondage have I blossomed

There is no freedom, for it is a lie
But in your love have I found truth
For the sweetness of your lips has
Liberated me from the bitterness of the past From the deficiency of self-sufficiency
Into the wholesomeness of your presence
The refreshing difference of your intellect
Is a lifelong companion to my aspirations

Your beauty is my proof of good in the world
In a crazy world, you’re my place of peace
My life is beautiful because for you I glow
Like the colourful blanket of the clouds
With the Sun just beneath the horizon
You are imperfect, yet perfect for me
And like your name, you have enriched me

Thanks for opening the blinds of my heart
To a view unknown but yet beautiful

Happy Valentine…

Remembering Sylvester “Sly Bane Barzini” Awenlimobor

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You can tell a lot about the quality of life a man lived by what is said about him when he is gone. The streams of comments I’ve seen today about my dear friend Sly Bane Barzini has made me realize what an impact he had on the people who were fortunate enough to come across him.

I’ve known Sly since 2003. In fact, today I had flashes of the first day we met. It was many years ago in Uniben and the only thing robust about him at the time was his character. What struck me about him was his acerbic wit that couldn’t camouflage his jovial and wonderful personality. He had a characteristic way of speaking his mind. None could have guessed at the time that he would switch career paths to Journalism.

Through Journalism, he lit up his section of the world as a voice against corruption and injustice with his satirical articles and his frequent engagements with friends on social topics on the social media platform. Sly was a man of the people with unquestionable integrity and he served them well with his intellect…something that is not so common these days.

Being constantly on the move because of his job and the Lagos hustle and bustle, we seldom saw each other but whenever we did, it was always something to remember. He had this special energy about him that was infectious and always bolstered by bottles of brew.

I was particularly moved at how swiftly he swung into action when I needed a favour. I was almost embarrassed at how he went about making calls to make sure I got the assistance I needed but that was vintage Sly; going the extra mile. He would do that for everyone of his friends.

Today marked a long time in my life since I broke down and shed tears uncontrollably like a baby. I just couldn’t comprehend having someone I always assumed would always be around, unconsciously adding colour to this hard life to be snatched so painfully by the cold hands of callous ineptitude and infrastructural decay.

I was on my way to work in the wee hours of the morning when I received the news and it never really hit me till I got to the office. Only then did I realise that I would never have the opportunity to engage him again by any available medium and this breaks my heart beyond repair. This premature loss is too close for comfort and has brought to mind the frightening reality that life is fleeting…a wisp of smoke quickly dispersed in wind.

Just a few weeks ago, we were exchanging some laughs over his satirically eloquent article about the social media activist and today, he’s no more. I have never felt this frightened in a while that I could die tomorrow and that would be the end for me. All sorts of questions have filled my head today about the quality of life I lead. What would be the legacy I leave behind? Would I cry for me like I cried for him if I died tomorrow? Would I be missed?

I am saddened by the paradox of all this; that Sly, like millions of other Nigerians have become statistical data, victims of the ills of a grossly incompetent system he vehemently spoke and wrote against. The insatiable appetite of ineptitude and the hydra-headed monster has snuffed out one of the starlights of this generation.

I have decided to comfort myself with the fact that he left this world a happier man, having challenged the status quo by doing what he loved and affected lives positively all the way. If there’s anything I’ve learned from his life, it’s that the battle for good by all legitimate means seldom offers reward but standing for something positive is everything.

Sly, as the angels clothe you in a robe of many colours for your service to humanity, know that we will miss you sorely and what you stood for, the battle that you gave your life for must continue so that generations unborn will not experience the decay that has plagued us since birth.

Rest well and be bothered no more by the ills of a nation you loved so dearly and died in the service of.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Remembering Sylvestor “Sly Bane Barzini” Awenlimobor

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You can tell a lot about the quality of life a man lived by what is said about him when he is gone. The streams of comments I’ve seen today about my dear friend Sly Bane Barzini has made me realize what an impact he had on the people who were fortunate enough to come across him.

I’ve known Sly since 2003. In fact, today I had flashes of the first day we met. It was many years ago in Uniben and the only thing robust about him at the time was his character. What struck me about him was his acerbic wit that couldn’t camouflage his jovial and wonderful personality. He had a characteristic way of speaking his mind. None could have guessed at the time that he would switch career paths to Journalism.

Through Journalism, he lit up his section of the world as a voice against corruption and injustice with his satirical articles and his frequent engagements with friends on social topics on the social media platform. Sly was a man of the people with unquestionable integrity and he served them well with his intellect…something that is not so common these days.

Being constantly on the move because of his job and the Lagos hustle and bustle, we seldom saw each other but whenever we did, it was always something to remember. He had this special energy about him that was infectious and always bolstered by bottles of brew.

I was particularly moved at how swiftly he swung into action when I needed a favour. I was almost embarrassed at how he went about making calls to make sure I got the assistance I needed but that was vintage Sly; going the extra mile. He would do that for everyone of his friends.

Today marked a long time in my life since I broke down and shed tears uncontrollably like a baby. I just couldn’t comprehend having someone I always assumed would always be around, unconsciously adding colour to this hard life to be snatched so painfully by the cold hands of callous ineptitude and infrastructural decay.

I was on my way to work in the wee hours of the morning when I received the news and it never really hit me till I got to the office. Only then did I realise that I would never have the opportunity to engage him again by any available medium and this breaks my heart beyond repair. This premature loss is too close for comfort and has brought to mind the frightening reality that life is fleeting…a wisp of smoke quickly dispersed in wind.

Just a few weeks ago, we were exchanging some laughs over his satirically eloquent article about the social media activist and today, he’s no more. I have never felt this frightened in a while that I could die tomorrow and that would be the end for me. All sorts of questions have filled my head today about the quality of life I lead. What would be the legacy I leave behind? Would I cry for me like I cried for him if I died tomorrow? Would I be missed?

I am saddened by the paradox of all this; that Sly, like millions of other Nigerians have become statistical data, victims of the ills of a grossly incompetent system he vehemently spoke and wrote against. The insatiable appetite of ineptitude and the hydra-headed monster has snuffed out one of the starlights of this generation.

I have decided to comfort myself with the fact that he left this world a happier man, having challenged the status quo by doing what he loved and affected lives positively all the way. If there’s anything I’ve learned from his life, it’s that the battle for good by all legitimate means seldom offers reward but standing for something positive is everything.

Sly, as the angels clothe you in a robe of many colours for your service to humanity, know that we will miss you sorely and what you stood for, the battle that you gave your life for must continue so that generations unborn will not experience the decay that has plagued us since birth.

Rest well and be bothered no more by the ills of a nation you loved so dearly and died in the service of.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Peak

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I have felt the warmth of sun in your smile
The gentle caress of the perfumed evening breeze in your touch
The taste of the elixir of life in your kiss
And the intoxication of being drunk in your love

The colours now seem sharper
And the days, longer and fairer

I do not know how it all came to be
All these feelings with their healing
But I have been touched to know
Things can never be the same with or without you
Music can never be any sweeter
Neither can the stars twinkle any brighter

Because the peak just has to be you

The Anti-Gay Law: Another Opinion Out of Millions

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I wanted to write an article on the topic but a lot of that has been flying all over the place with most echoing the other so I chose to let the matter be. However, since I was specifically called out by my friend Dr. Chukwusomnazu Nwanze to give my point of view, here it is.

The contents of the Anti-gay Law is a poor testament to legislative drafting in Nigeria which will in the long run, pose more problems than it seeks to cure. This is because it violates the fundamental human rights of privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of association. I will explain further, lest some gay rights activists chew me up on this one.

Inasmuch as I abhor the act which I consider an anomaly and a crime against nature, I don’t see it as a crime against the law except in the case of where it is forced or paedophilia. The law is meant to protect the private rights of its citizens. Generally, what anybody does in the privacy of his bedroom shouldn’t concern anybody so long as it doesn’t infringe on the right of another person.

Freedom of expression and association are rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution and the constitution being the grund norm of the nation, any law made that is inconsistent to it is voidable to the point of that inconsistency.

However, I must point out that you can never seperate the laws of the society from the ‘volkgeist’ or spirit of the people. The spirit of the Nigerian people is greatly against homosexuality, that’s why the failures and the probable problems posed by this new law will pass the untrained eye.

The law does not show what constitutes elements of the crime; neither it does categorizes what sort of display of affection between people of the same sex will be classified as gay or, how do we prove beyond all reasonable doubt that a person has engaged in homosexual acts, except where it was done in the full glare of the public. These pointed lapses makes the law draconian and discriminatory at best.

The greatest injustice of all is where the Act seeks to punish those who witness it “directly or indirectly” or show even tacit support of it with a prison term of up to 10 years is the ultimate recipe for disaster, especially in the kind of country we live in. This is basically taking away the right of all Nigerians to hold a contrary opinion on the subject without facing the risk of a jail term.

What’s to stop Nigerian public officials and politicians alike from using this law as a tool of oppression?

Personally, I see the law as backlash to the increasing boldness of the homosexual community. I was shell-shocked when some time in 2012 or so, some LGBT activists came to Nigeria and attempted to sell the idea to the Nigerian Senate. The outrage it spawned was palpable and this probably informed the Senate to do the half-assed job it did.

For the record, same-sex relations between men has never been legal in Nigeria anyway. Section 217 of the Criminal Code Act penalizes indecent practices between males. A revision of the Criminal Code would have sufficed to ensure it is in tune with modern realities.

I don’t think the Anti-Gay law will stand the test of time because of the many lapses. By the time it comes up for interpretation before an erudite Supreme Court judge, the ridiculous aspects will be done away with.

Like I have constantly maintained, the National Assembly is full of lazy and ignorant jokers. This new law has no bearing on development in Nigeria. If they want to show Nigerians that they are earning their ridiculous emoluments, we have laws dating back to as early as 1900′s begging for revision; the PIB is still stuck in limbo.
They have used this to cover the eyes of Nigerians to more important issues and personally, we have over-flogged the back and forth arguments enough. I think it’s time we put the issue to rest and face more important ones.

Engage me on twitter @saymalcolm

Tales of Deceit: The Legend of Veronica (4)

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Chidi was amazed. He had seen this guy’s picture on Veronica’s phone many times. The first time he asked who he was, she responded dismissively that he was a supplier of some of the accessories she sold. This same dude always called at odd hours at night and he had noticed she always switched her conversation to Yoruba language whenever he called.

God Lord! What a fool I’ve been, he thought miserably. I trusted this bitch absolutely against my better judgment.

He wasn’t the prying type but the few times he did, he always came up with shocking discoveries. He remembered the first incident he was exposed to. She had come back from one of her numerous shopping trips for her merchandize. He had wanted to make a call but didn’t have credit so she pointed her phone to him. He had tried the number several times but there was no response so he decided to send a text instead.

Scrolling to “compose message”, he stumbled on a text she had composed but was yet to send. It read;

“Thanks darling. My stomach still hurts a bit but I’ll be fine. I miss you too.”

A bomb went off inside his head. He went through her inbox, sent items and drafts and what he saw confounded him. To be sure he wasn’t over reacting, he called the number with her phone and a male voice said;

“Hello baby…” He hung up immediately, his heart pounding so hard that he could barely breathe. She entered the room from the general kitchen where she had been cooking and he suspected she sensed immediately that something was wrong.

“Baby, where you able to reach the person?” She asked innocently.

“No.” He said tightly.

When she saw the phone in his hand, an expression of fear jumped into her eyes but it was quickly gone but he saw it.

“I need to call Mary sef. She’ll be wondering why I haven’t call her yet.” She said casually but fidgeting nervously.

“Can I have my phone?” She asked.

Chidi didn’t answer but kept staring at her. He finally handed her the phone without a word, got up from the bed and got dressed.

“Where are you going? The food is ready.” She said, still play-acting.

“I’m not hungry.” He said harshly.

He watched her look at the phone and gasp. He had left the draft for her to see.

“Baby, I can explain…” She started with a cuddly, baby expression on her face but he cut her short.

“Of course, you can. Let me give you time to think of what lie to tell me.” He had said as he stormed out of the room in anger.

“Baby, please…” She pleaded holding his arm but he shrugged her away roughly.

“Don’t touch me!” He shouted. With that, he was gone.

After not a few sticks of Benson & Hedges and a few bottles with a couple of friends, he calmed down somewhat. He had gone back to the room they shared a few minutes past 12am . As soon as he got inside, she jumped from the bed and knelt down, holding his legs with tears in her eyes.

“Baby, please let me explain.” She cried.

“I’m listening. Go on.” He said nonchalantly. She went on to tell him a tale about how one of the guys she bought stuff from at cheap prices had been asking her out for a while and she had constantly rebuffed him but she didn’t want to ruin the business relationship they had so she allowed him take her out, blah, blah, blah.

By the time she was done with her cock and bull story, he said nothing and headed straight to bed. Somehow, he let that slide but he became aware that trusting her could be dangerous especially as he couldn’t monitor her. Still, he loved her anyway.

The second time was about less than a year later. This time, he had raw evidence. He had stumbled on her email on his laptop after she failed to sign out after using it. Out of curiosity, he scrolled to her sent items and there it was again! She had sent a photo of her breasts to another guy, a Nigerian who was an American soldier based in the US. His shock as he read the trail of emails between her and this Adebayo could not be quantified.

She had even gone as far as meeting the guy’s family and had taken photos with them. He broke up with her immediately and didn’t have to tell her to get her stuff and leave before she did.

It took almost a year for him to get over that after she sent emissary after emissary to plead on her behalf, including her mother he’d never met at that time and her elder brother whom he’d met once. He took her back because he still loved her but he warned himself that she was no wife material and a third time would be the deal breaker.

Looking at Wale now, he couldn’t begin to imagine the lies she had told this guy about him as well. He snickered at the thought.

“She told me the person who stays here is her cousin. I didn’t expect it to be you” Wale was saying looking rather confused.

“Wow! This girl is something else!! I’m a cousin?” Chidi exclaimed, laughing so hard.

“Yes. I’ve dropped her off here a couple of times.” He said in dismay.

“She told me you were a business partner of hers.” Chidi said, still laughing.

“A what?!” Wale exclaimed visibly shaken.

“A business partner.” Chidi repeated with laughter.

Wale took off his face cap and scratched his head in disbelief. He couldn’t believe what was happening. A business partner?! Hell, I am her sponsor!!! He looked at Maxwell and felt a bit intimidated by his size and more intimidated by the tales Veronica had told him about this guy.

Veronica had practically idolized this guy. She told him Maxwell stayed in VGC; that Maxwell has once bought her a brand new Gulf 4 to beg her to come back to him which she refused; that Maxwell had professional assassins as friends; that Maxwell had always wanted to find out his identity so that he could do away with him; that Maxwell was going to kill him for snatching him away from him…what didn’t she say about this guy! She had practically used this guy to put the fear of God in him. He had been scared that after the events of last night, his life was in danger.

“You’re the one with her phone?” Chidi asked, breaking into his thoughts.

Wale stopped short. “Are you the guy I spoke to on the phone a while ago?”

“Yeah.” Chidi said, folding his arms and leaning on Wale’s car. Today was turning out to be a day of revelations.

“Are you the one who bought the phone for her?” Wale asked.

“Me?” Chidi asked, rather surprised. “No. Why?”

“She told me Maxwell bought the phone for her.” He said, a bit relieved.

“Back up a minute.” Chidi exclaimed, holding up his hand. “I’m missing something here. I’m Maxwell but I certainly didn’t buy her the phone she uses. When did she tell you this and how did you come by her phone?”

Wale sighed miserably. “It’s a long story.”

“Well, pray tell. I’ve got all the time in the world.” Chidi said patiently.

“Hmmm. Na wa oh.” Emeka exclaimed suddenly, totally stunned. He had watched the exchange between Wale and this “cousin” of Veronica and the story unfolding was nothing he ever expected in his wildest dreams.

The events of the evening had left Wale a broken man. He had been surprised when Wale bolted out on him last night while they were having drinks at the bar. When he saw Wale at his gate early this morning, looking devastated, he knew something was seriously wrong. When Wale finally calmed down and explained what happened, he was so shocked that he could barely speak for some time.

This evening again, it was an entirely different story!

He knew there was something off about Veronica whom he knew quite well having met her several times but he never could put his finger to it. This right here was epic! How could one so angelic be so demonic?

He looked at his dejected friend and felt pity for him. He knew better than anybody how crazy Wale was about Veronica. He had gone through all sorts because of the girl. He had major disagreements with his mother and siblings over this same girl. He even went as far as moving out of the family house to rent a place for her sake only to experience this!

Women are devils sha, he thought. He had had own his fair share of experience in that department but it didn’t compare to this at all!

This Maxwell guy seemed amused the whole time. He probably didn’t understand the gravity of what was going on here. How could he? He probably was just there for the ride, feeding off Wale’s investment. Still, he sort of liked the guy.

“Do you have any idea where Veronica is now?” He asked.

“She said she was coming over this evening but wanted to pick up her phone first.” Chidi volunteered. “By the way, did she tell you she was robbed last night?” He asked Wale.

“Robbed ke? Ha! This girl has killed me!” Wale wailed.

“What do you mean? How then did you get her phone?” Chidi asked surprised.

“Let’s just find her first.” Emeka said, cutting in. “Wale will tell you on the way.”

“Huh? Find her? Now, why will I want to do that? You can tell me right here.” Chidi said to Wale. “I’m not moving an inch till I get some answers. Besides, where do you think you’re going to find her.”

“Her house. Where else?” Emeka answered incredulously. “Her people know you, don’t they?” He said to Wale.

“I know her brothers.” Wale said.

“Oh, so you do too?” Chidi asked quite surprised. “Wow!” He muttered. “This just keeps getting better and better.”

“The question is do they know you?” Emeka asked pointedly at Chidi.

“Of course!” Chidi responded sharply, almost offended. “How won’t they know me?”

“No offence bros. Na question I dey ask.” Emeka said apologetically.

“None taken. It’s just a ridiculous question is all.” Chidi said lightly.

“Ok, so what do we do now?” Emeka asked, beginning to get impatient.

“Calm down. I’m yet to understand how Wale got her phone when she told me she was robbed.” Chidi insisted.

“Ok, I’ll tell you.” Wale said, sighing heavily.

Tales of Deceit: The Legend of Veronica (3)

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Veronica ran as fast as she could as tears streamed out of her eyes. She had never felt so embarrassed her whole life. She remembered with fear the murderous look in Wale’s eyes. She remembered with anger as his hand connected viciously with her face. Her face was still smarting terribly. She was lucky Lawrence was there to hold him back. What was Lawrence doing there anyway? How did Wale find out where she was? How dare he call her his wife? How did a supposedly pleasant evening end up being such a disaster?

When she left Wale’s place, all she had wanted to do was have a bath, change to something casual and go to be with Chidi as she had planned initially. It was the call from an unregistered number which came in that changed everything.

“Hello.” She had said tiredly. Wale had worn her out.

“Hi…am I speaking with Veronica?” The heavily accented voice had said, rather hesitantly. She sat up from her bed.

“Yes, you are.” She racked her brains as to who this could be.

“Oh my days!” The voice had exclaimed with relief. “I could have sworn you gave me a wrong number.”

“I gave you my number?” She asked surprised.

“You sure did!” The voice said, confidently now. “You actually wrote it down for me on a Dubai Mall receipt…”

And she had screamed in delight.

2007 had been a difficult year for her. She was depressed. She needed fresh air. The Nigerian educational system was on the verge of frustrating her life. After almost four years in school, her admission process was found to be flawed and she was left hanging, unaware of her fate. She had cried so hard that night while Chidi comforted her, encouraging her not to be deterred.

“You’ve got many other talents. Your life doesn’t have to be verified by formal education. I’m sure we can work something for you.” Chidi had said, holding her close and kissing her forehead tenderly.

The only sound in the typical student-furnished room they had shared was the quiet hum of the battered air conditioner that had seen better years but still served loyally.

“But what am I going to tell my parents? All these years of investing in me to get a degree. At the eleventh hour, they tell me my admission is invalid! ” She said bitterly, tear streaming from her eyes.

Chidi who had been preparing for his final exams had left the reading table and joined her on the bed. He held her hands as she cried and ranted while he had remained silent, deep in thought.

“The right thing would be to tell them…” He started and as she was about to protest, he continued, “…but on the contrary, you can do something else and be successful at it.”

She considered his words; he was most likely on to something as he often was whenever he kept silent for short periods of time. He was a reflective man of few words but expressive nonetheless.

“What can I do?” She asked, not feeling too confident.

“You’ve got mad skills when it comes to marketing. I’ve always marveled at how quick you sold off those shoes Peter sent down.” He said, his eyes lighting up with enthusiasm. It was always infectious when they did.

Peter was Chidi’s oldest friend; they had been friends since childhood. She remembered when Peter had come into Nigeria with a collection of designer shoes he was to supply to one of his contacts. The deal went sour and Peter was left with the large merchandise, confused as to what to do. Peter had offered them a generous commission if they could sell it off for him. Chidi had been doubtful but she jumped at the offer and in less than a month, she had sold all 48 pairs.

Peter had been so happy that he added a generous tip on the commission and even went as far as suggesting they work towards a collaboration. She had smiled at the thought.

“So what do you say? All we need to do is get enough capital to get you started.” Chidi had said smiling. “You don’t worry. No one will ask about a degree when you own a successful chain of designer stores.”

She had looked at him with grateful eyes and laughed.

“What would I do without you?” She kissed him long and hard on the lips until emotions overflowed.

Three months later, she had the sum of N800,000 in her account. Chidi had raised a good percentage of it while she got the rest and they decided Dubai was to be her first shopping destination.

That was how she met Markus. She had spotted him while checking in. He was handsome and well dressed. She had always loved guys with style. He reminded her a lot of Chidi who she was already missing dearly. She remembered to call him to give progress updates as he demanded. He was so protective.

As she boarded, she looked up to see Markus ahead smiling at her. She knew the smile too well. She was no stranger to getting looks from men. As a young girl, it creeped her out because she always felt naked when she got that look and it made her uncomfortable. With time, she got used to it and milked it for what it was worth. When she was in a bad mood however, she would totally ignore them but that day, she had been so excited. It was her first trip out of Nigeria.

She had just settled in and was about to fasten her seat belt when Markus came out from the First Class section and walked down the aisle towards her and stopped only to whisper to the fat middle aged woman who sat next to her.

Without so much as a word, the middle aged woman retrieved her hand luggage and moved to the First Class section while he settled down next to her. She was shocked but decided to ignore him until he said his first words.

“You’ve got the lovliest eyes I’ve ever seen.” He said with a clean British accent.

And she was hooked.

He was smart and witty and smelled money but she could tell he was a player. She just decided to humour herself and be entertained by him. Markus, however had other plans as he wouldn’t let her be. When they got to Dubai, he had followed her everywhere and paid every bill. She decided to enjoy it while she could.

She would never have given him her number but she felt rather guilty when she did a mental calculation of what he spent that night. He had offered her a room in the most expensive hotel in Dubai but she politely declined and let him have her number. She never thought she would see him again so she was shocked, and impressed that he did call. When he asked for a dinner date, her mind was in turmoil. She had no appropriate gown that would suit the evening, which was odd…until her mind went to the bag she had come home with.

Chidi was still the love of her life but a lot had happened since those good years. Twice she had slipped up in the relationship and he had found out but forgave her. Now however, she wasn’t so sure of his intentions towards her anymore especially as he had told her he wasn’t ready to get married. This was worrisome because the pressure on her to get married had mounted to unbearable levels. Her mother had been on her case for some time now. So had her brothers. She had decided it was best to leave all options open.

She thought of Markus. What would he think of her now? She didn’t really care much anyway. She would probably never hear from him again after tonight’s fiasco. Still, she felt a pang of regret that he had to witness what happened. At that point, she was grateful he had picked her up at a rendezvous point close to where she lived. She didn’t want him showing up and putting her under the obligation of explaining. She wasn’t sure could stand seeing him again

She had managed to get a cab and it was while inside the cab, she remembered her bag and her phone.

“Shit!” She exclaimed loudly and angrily inside the cab without meaning to.

“Eh?” The driver, had asked looking at her from the rear mirror.

“Don’t mind me Baba. I just remembered I forgot something.” She said in fluent Yoruba.

“Ok. I thought you were talking to me.” He responded. Baba Aremu had seen the dark bruise around her eye and had shook his head in pity. Such a pretty lady. He was no stranger to this kind of thing as he had been a cab driver in Lagos for nearly fifteen years so nothing surprised him.

This one must be a high-class prostitute, he thought judging from how she was dressed. The blackness around her right eye told him she had had a rough night. Lagos was a tough place to live in.

Veronica had thought of heading to Chidi’s place immediately after the incident but decided against it. He would interrogate her and she was in no mood to conjure stories from 21 questions. She had planned to spend the night with him after dinner with Markus until Wale ruined it.

It was almost eleven pm when she got home. The street was quiet; a very uncommon occurrence on this part of Ikeja. It was always noisy with the monstrous rumble of a million generators. PHCN had decided to show mercy on this night.

When cab pulled up in front of her gate, she collected money from Adamu, the Mayguard and paid her fare. She prayed fervently that her mother was asleep. She couldn’t afford to be seen like this. The lights in the house were off. Her prayers were answered, her mother was fast asleep. She tiptoed into her mother’s bedroom and retrieved her phone which lay on the table charging. As she tiptoed out, she checked the account balance. It was more than enough.

She went to her room and locked the door securely. Her eyes hurt so much; the water hadn’t stopped pouring but they weren’t tears anymore. When she looked in the mirror to assess the damage, she silently cursed Wale. He would suffer for this, she vowed as she dialed Chidi’s number.

Tales of Deceit: The Legend of Veronica (2)

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Here’s my Christmas gift to the wonderful followers and readers of my blog. May the joy and blessings of Christmas rest with you and yours forever.

Amen!

Malcolm.
——————————
As Wale sat in his car waiting for Emeka to call out this mysterious cousin of Veronica he had never had the pleasure of meeting, his hand shook with a mixture of fear and rage, so much so that he gripped the steering wheel tighter than necessary.

He thought he had just one problem now; to make up for his violent reaction last night but the calls he had received and the messages he had read on her Blackberry was straight up scandalous! None of them however, infuriated him more than the call he had received from Veronica’s phone a few minutes ago. It had totally floored him.

He thought she used to kid him when she told him she could always go back to her ex whenever he refused her what she wanted. Now he knew the threat of the ex was real.

Yesterday started of like an ordinary day. He had just come back into Lagos from Calabar on a business trip which had kept him out of Lagos for nearly three weeks and he couldn’t wait to see her. He had bought a lovely dress that was her perfect match. She was a difficult person to please but he could tell she loved it because she allowed him make love to her without making a fuss.

He was so sure that the time was right to pop the question again. She had put him on hold since the first time he did that in 2009. Her reason made sense; he’d had a son as a teenager and she didn’t want to get married to someone who already had a kid. That didn’t stop him though. He had upped the ante since then by putting her on a salary and buying all manner of expensive gifts each time he got the chance.

Two years after that, he was thinking now was the time. She was been out of school and though she didn’t really have a regular job, he believed she wouldn’t turn him down now seeing as he had invested so much. He had just moved out of from his flat in the family house in Surulere and had rented a flat far from home because she loved her privacy. He gave her whatever she needed to furnish the house thinking it would show how serious he was.

Apparently, she had still had other ideas.

The problem was that she was beautiful and she knew it. How do you tame a woman who obviously had the eyes of many men on her? The only way out was to marry her quickly but that hadn’t worked out so far but he was determined to try again. His only ally was time. She was three years shy of thirty and was aware that time was flying fast and most of her friends were married with kids now. He had no doubts that she would say yes.

Now however, he wasn’t so sure.

She wanted to meet up with some friends so he dropped her off still feeling a little disappointed that she wouldn’t stay the night. He deserved that much as the dress was ridiculously expensive but he knew better than to push.

So it was surprising when a few hours to 9:30, a friend had called him saying he had just seen her at Protea Hotel in Ikeja with some other guy. He didn’t believe it because they had spoken a few minutes to 8pm that evening when she called him to say she was home. However, Lawrence was very insistent that it was Veronica he saw. He even sent a photo of her having dinner with some guy.

It was then he flew into uncontrollable rage. He left his half-empty bottle of Guiness Stout and his friends at the bar and drove carelessly from Surulere to Ikeja. Lawrence was waiting at the parking lot when he drove in and parked.

“She still still dey there?” He had asked almost breathlessly, anger and misery written all over his face.

“Yeah. If to say she see me, she for don move.” Lawrence said with concern on his face.

Lawrence had known Wale for years. They had attended the same primary and secondary school together until Wale dropped out when his father passed on to handle his family business. They hardly rolled in the same circle these days with Wale being an engineer but they remained close friends.

When Lawrence had first met Veronica a year ago at Wale’s mother’s 58th birthday party, he was concerned for his friend. This girl is too flashy for you, he had warned but Wale picked offense so he said no more. It was ironical that he was now the harbinger of bad tidings. He had wanted to mind his business and act like he never saw Veronica but his conscience wouldn’t let him. He made the call against his better judgment that warned him that someday, he would be the enemy.

Wale said nothing further and went straight into the hotel reception and headed for the restaurant. His eyes scanned the scanty tables and his first view of Veronica brought tears to his eyes. She was wearing the really short red dress he had just bought her and was laughing at something the handsome and casually dressed young man had said. He was holding her hands too!

His rage took over.

He strode purposefully to the table, deaf to Lawrence’s advice to be calm. As he got closer to the table, his hand began its violent shake. Always a sign that it was about to hit somebody or something. The only thing on his mind at that point was to smash his hands, which had become a fist into the handsome face of the young man.

Unfortunately, he got close to Veronica first as she had her back to him. The dress was meant to be for him, to be worn only when they went out together. The design exposed a generous portion of her light-skinned back.

His rage reach its apogee.
……………………………………

Markus met Veronica on his way to Dubai in 2007. They had shared the same seat on the plane and had struck up a conversation. He was handsome, charming and a spoiled, rich brat. His father owned an oil business empire that spanned the major cities in Nigeria and a few countries in West Africa. Being the only son, he was destined to take over when his father passed on; something he was waiting patiently to happen.

Since he finished his MBA from the London Business School, he had come back home hoping for a seat on the board of directors but his father had other ideas. He was to start as a low level executive in the company and despite his mother’s entreaties, he had refused the job and instead spent his time partying and womanizing.

He had decided to go to Dubai to shop before heading back to London and that was when he met her. Veronica was a goddess and there and then, he knew he had to have her. She proved however, to be a hard nut to crack. He had spent over £2000 on her that night shopping in Dubai Mall and was amazed when she coyly refused to accompany him to his hotel room. She had business to attend to she said and she left him with a piece of paper that had her phone number in Nigeria.

“Call me when you get back home.” She had said with a look that held so much promise. He had kept that paper till this night and when he showed it to her, she laughed with delight and touched his hands tenderly.

He was amused when he saw a baseball hat-wearing fellow walk towards them with a strange expression on his face.

“What kind of guy wears a face cap at night?” He whispered to Veronica, leaning forward towards her.

“What are you talking about?” Veronica giggled as she looked up to see the man in the face cap who had only just approached their table.

It happened so fast that Markus had problems believing if what he saw actually happened.

The back of the face-capped fellow’s right hand swung in a perfect, descending arc with such force and blistering speed that it made a resounding “TWACK” as it connected with Veronica’s face so hard that she fell off her seat. As she fell to the ground, her foot tipped the table that held a dinner of prawns, her Blackberry phone, plates and cutleries, two filled glasses and a near-empty bottle of Champagne to the floor with a loud crash that shook the large hall.

“What the fuck!” Markus exclaimed as he jumped from his seat to avoid any stains on his white shirt. His Gucci pants were not spared as the white sparkling liquid splashed on it as it fell to the ground.

By this time, some of the diners had alerted the waiters who sprang in from all directions. The face-capped man advanced towards a confused and horrified Markus as he stepped back cowardly, unsure of what was going on. His saving grace was the gentleman who held the face-capped man from behind with an equally horrifying expression on his face.

“Wale!!!! What is wrong with you?!” He screamed.

Veronica was on the floor, speechless and in shock as she looked up at all three men. Her face hurt so bad like she had just been stung by a thousand bees and slapped-punched by a Gorilla. She could taste blood on her lips but the skin around her right eye took the weight of the hit and was already tender and swollen when she covered them with her hands. Tears flowed.

“What are you doing with my wife!” The mad, face-capped man snarled as he struggled to break free from his friend who was now joined by the male waiters and security personnel who wrestled him to the floor.

Markus couldn’t hide his shock as a million pairs of eyes stared at him. The diners couldn’t believe their luck as they experienced this live Nollywood drama. They had abandoned their meals and formed clusters around the center stage.

“You’re married?! He asked in a whisper as his gazed turned to Veronica who lay on the floor whimpering. The million pairs of eyes followed suit.

Veronica took stock of the situation. Words would be useless here as she felt eternal judgment and damnation beam from the eyes of the spectators and participants alike. She scrambled to her feet and ran like mad out of the restaurant.

Nobody stopped her.

She left behind her bag and her Blackberry.

Tales of Deceit: The Legend of Veronica (1)

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“It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

-Mark Twain

The air was still. The usual awareness of external noises ceased as his ears temporarily lost their function. The heat was particularly unbearable this afternoon but he didn’t notice…not after he received the call. He stared in space numbly as sweat trickled down from his neck down to his bare chest.

Chidi wasn’t sure how long he sat there but suddenly, his brain came alive and he jumped up like a man who just realised he had something urgent to do. His brain was working over time now. He needed to confirm at all costs that he heard right a few minutes ago.

He picked up his mobile phone and dialed the only number he’d known from heart for years besides his own.

“Your account balance is low. Please recharge as soon as possible.” The automated female voice said to him.

He swore angrily. The last call he made had swallowed up what was left of his units. The time displayed on the phone was 6:36pm. By this time, he should have been resting after a hectic day at work. He had managed to leave early from work in order to avoid the traffic but in Lagos, that is mostly a pipe dream.

He still had on the trouser he had worn to work. He had only managed to take off his shirt and the inner tees when the call came in and it replayed in his mind with frightening clarity.

Veronica was robbed last night…or so she told him. She was supposed to spend the night at his place last night and he had stayed up late expecting her but she never showed up. He had reservations about her nocturnal habits but he was too in love care, too gullible that he believed her lies and consequently, blind to see.

He had been in love for nearly 8 years. Since the first day he met her as an undergrad in his Sophomore year and she, a Jambite, he fell for her and he fell hard. They were well known on Campus then as an almost inseparable duo. As he edged towards graduation, they moved in together on campus and most of those years where the best of his life.

But today, the mist fell from his eyes and finally, he could see.

His mind went back to the call he had just received. When Veronica had called him last night with an unknown number, he was surprised.

“What happened to your phone?” He had asked.

“I was attacked by robbers oh. I had to run away and even dropped my phone in the process. They even beat me up…”

That was all it took to rile him up. He had wanted to leave the house in the dead of the night to go and find her, wherever she was but she managed to calm him down by saying she was ok now and at home.

She promised to come over later today and he had been expecting her. She had called again while he was at the office and told him she was going to pick up her phone. Someone had picked it up and had kept it for her, she said. She was the reason he left the office early today.

He had called her number when he got home hoping she had retrieved her phone but he got the shock of his life.

First, it was a guy who answered the phone.

“Oh, I thought Veronica had picked up her phone.” He said, wondering why she still hadn’t gone to pick up the phone.

“Who is this?” The voice asked with an authority that alerted him.

“It’s Veronica’s fiance.” He had said.

“I AM Veronica’s fiance.” The voice replied assertively.

Chidi was taken aback. He didn’t believe he heard right.

“Say that again please?” He asked politely, wondering if his ears were playing tricks.

“I am Veronica’s fiance.” The voice repeated.

Chidi was a thinking man and could define Eureka moments. This was one of them. There were several times he suspected and even had outright proof that Veronica was a two-timing slut who wore a deeply religious garb but somehow, he made excuses for her and continued to love her. This time, he’d had it!

“I see.” He said. “How long have you been dating her?”

“How long have you been dating her?” The voice said, repeating his question.

“I asked you first.” He said.

He heard a deep sigh through the static. “I have been dating her since 2008.”

Good Lord! This girl has been fooling me for 3 years…if not even more. The realization hit him like a sledge hammer to his gut.

The voice nudged him back to consciousness. “How about you? How long have you been dating her?”

“For over seven years…since August 7th, 2003.” Chidi responded numbly, automatically. He remembered the day just like it was yesterday. He had met her through a mutual friend and they had taken an instant liking to each other…or so he thought.

He heard the voice catch his breath sharply. The information must have shocked him as well.

“Are you…” And the line went dead.

That was the reason he was going to get more calling credit.

He threw on a t-shirt and stepped out of the house. The scathing sun was setting and there was some semblance of coolness which contrasted greatly with the severe humidity that pervaded the day.

As he got close to the gate, he saw Mohammed, the cheerful mayguard walking towards him.

“I dey come find you Oga.” He said with his characteristic cheerfulness.

“Ok. I be want make you help me buy recharge card sef.” Chidi responded as he brought out his wallet.

“Person dey find you.” He said as he led Chidi to his little shed at the gate entrance which housed his mini kiosk and sleeping quarters. There was a well dressed young man standing there with an iPhone in his hand.

“Thank you Maigida.” The man said in heavily accented English.

“Hello,” Chidi said, extending his hand for a handshake which the man took. “I understand you are looking for me.”

“Not really. My name is Emeka. I’m looking for the cousin of one of my friends who stays here.” He said.

He leaned forward and unlocked his iPhone to show the picture. A familiar picture stared at Chidi in the face.

“Veronica?” He asked surprised. Emeka nodded vigorously with a smile.

“She usually comes here to visit her cousin here.” He continued innocently.

Chidi’s misery knew no bounds. So she went as far as telling people he was a cousin? A girl he dated for almost 8 years and was planning to get married to?! For some strange reason, he burst into laughter.

Emeka looked at him with a puzzled expression on his face. Why the hell is this guy laughing?

“Are you the one looking for her?” Chidi finally asked when the laughter subsided.

“No. I’m asking on behalf of my friend.” He said, still confused.

“Where is your friend?” Chidi asked, determined that nothing about Veronica would surprise him ever again.

“He’s in the car outside.” Emeka led him outside of the compound to the beat-up Cherokee that was parked outside.

Chidi saw the head of someone seated in the driver’s seat. The guy had apparently been watching the rear mirror and stepped out of the car immediately.

When Chidi swore he would never be surprised again, he never knew how wrong he could be. The man was about 5’8 in height, dark in complexion and wore a face cap.

When all three men got close to each other, he saw the man blink in surprise.

“I know you!” Chidi exclaimed. “Your name is Wale!!”

“I know you too. Your name is Maxwell!”

***

Follow the writer on twitter @saymalcolm

Words Are Powerful

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The sooner we understand and appreciate the power of words, the better for our future. Words are precisely the medium by which we, by which this world came to be in existence…only they were God’s Words, not ours. So this leads us to the conclusion that words are more meaningful, much more potent than the famous ACTION. This kinda swims against the tide of our physical reality. But why not? Isn’t it also true that all physical manifestations are resultants of spiritual occurrences?

I like to think of it this way; if words are responsible for the existence of this world and everything that has become, then words are rooted in the spirit while actions are strictly physical. This makes so much sense to me. Without words, everything ceases to exist. Words spoken without or words harboured within spur the spirit to harness powers we yet know not of and somehow push all forms to the achievement of that which is said.

Words are Gods. Words are of gods. But we are only men, human with little understanding of things we cannot see, touch, smell and feel. The question then becomes “how do we learn to create, to build, to manifest our desires through words?”

The only way is to know who you are! Interestingly, anyone who seeks to know himself can only do so by knowing his maker. So, invariably, to exercise the power of words to mould our physical reality we must seek to know ourselves and only by striving to know our Creator can we hope to know who we really are.

A simple way to begin the knowing of yourself must then be to appreciate Genesis 1:27 where we are made to understand that “God created mankind in His own image…”. Isn’t that just wonderful! The same Supremacy that made this world come forth created us human to BE like him! So it all makes sense from there: IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, SEEK TO KNOW THE ONE WHO MADE YOU AND IN WHO’S IMAGE YOU WERE MADE.

Ponder on this. Good morning to y’all.

-Arinze S. Ifi

Follow Arinze on twitter @iamxari

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XL)

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May 20th, 2013.
3:07am

The gods are not without a sense of karma. Sometimes, penance is not good enough to blot out a career of promiscuity. In the end, the unforgetting and unforgiving hands of time gets back at you.

This is Nemesis; this is the force of nature showing to me once again how powerless we are as humans against certain things.

As I write the final episode of my memoirs, my heart bleeds and my blood is my ink.

I wanted to keep the fact that I was free of the deadly virus secret until Christy and I did the test yesterday but I just couldn’t. The joy and relief was too much to contain. Over, the past few weeks, Christy spent every weekend with me. We seldom went out. We would stay in-doors and talk for hours. She hadn’t told her folks about the engagement yet. We were going to break the news this weekend to them if all went well, she said.

I had smiled secretly to myself. There was nothing like taking a test you already knew the answers too. My level of confidence was 1000% and she noticed it.

“You’ve been a bit different.” She said. We were at home in the kitchen. She was cooking and I was doing the dishes.

“How do you mean?”

“You know what I mean.” She insisted.

“Honestly honey, I don’t.” I said. I suspected that she suspected something so I had to tread carefully so as not to reveal the knowledge I could barely contain.

“Is different good?” I asked after a pause.

“Well, yeah. Its sweet actually. You seem really happy.” She said with a smile.

“Why wouldn’t I be? I’ve got everything I need…right here, right now.” I dropped the plate I was rinsing and advanced closer to her. She retreated playfully.

“Your hands are wet!” She screamed playfully as I grabbed her waist and pulled her to me. I tried to kiss her but she threw her face away coyly. After a brief struggle, she succumbed and gave me a deep kiss that was heavily suggestive…the kind that gets the show on the road.

A breathless me looked into her eyes inquiring if we could get the show on the road. A tongue out was what I got in response.

“You wish!” She said as she laughed. I pleaded with my eyes as my hands caressed her body the way she liked it but she pulled away.

“Seriously?!” I exclaimed extremely disappointed…again. She laughed and went back to the pot on the fire.

I stood and watched her. She had on one of my tee shirts that was a little bogus on her which she knotted at the base and those little shorts that drove me mad. Her curved backside potruded viciously. I licked my lips hungrily and shook my head in regret as she opened the pot. The wonderful aroma of jollof rice filled the kitchen again.

“Almost done.” She said, more to herself than to me. She turned to say something but stopped and stared at the obvious bulge in my shorts.

“This is getting ridiculous.” I complained bitterly. “For how long are you going to be this mean to me?”

“Oh, come on! You’ve patiently waited for a month. Why can’t you wait a couple of hours?” She said still smiling.

I sighed heavily. If anyone had told me I’d be able to wait this long, I’d have asked what the person was smoking. I turned back to conclude the dishes.

“Baby,” she said affectionately, “I promise I’ll make the wait worthwhile.”

“Its okay. This is your way of getting even with me. I get it.” I said feigning nonchalance.

“No…that’s not true.” Christy said, rather alarmed. “I’m not trying to get even.”

“Ok. If you say so.” I said, cleaning my hands. I waited for her to turn off the gas.

“Do you want to eat now?” She asked. Her face glistened with sweat. She looked perfect as always. Her hair was down to her shoulders and the knot on the tee shirt at the base made her look sexy-casual.

“When we get back.”

We headed to the room in silence. I lay on the bed and switched on the TV. She undressed and wrapped her towel around her. I made no attempt to shift my gaze from the TV and oogle as I normally would.

She noticed this and blocked my view. “Are you mad at me?”

“I can’t get mad at you. You know that.”

She came and sat by my side on the bed. I pulled her to me and kissed her forehead.

“I trust you baby. I just want to be sure.” She said with a sad look on her face.

“What if I told you I’m positive that I’m negative.” I said mischievously. She looked at me with surprise.

“How do you mean?” She asked puzzled.

“I took the test last week.” I said unable to contain myself any further. She gave me a look that made me laugh.

“Are you that desperate?” She chided shaking her head.

“You know I am.” I said laughing. I reached for the bedside drawer and retrieved a novel. The envelope was inside it. She took the envelope and opened it. As she read through, a smile crossed her face.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” She asked.

“I really didn’t want to. I don’t know why I just did. I wanted us to go there with the knowledge that I had the answers to the test.” I said grinning evilly.

She hit my leg playfully. “I hate you!”

“And I love you too.” I said laughing as I grabbed her, tugging at the towel.

“Don’t even think about it!” She said, her eyes flashing in mock anger.

“Ok, I’ll wait.” I said, letting go.

“I still don’t trust it anyway. It could be doctored.” She said giving me the tongue as she headed to the bathroom. I laughed.

An hour later, we arrived at the hospital just in time for our appointment. The pretty nurse of the other day was not on duty. The one on duty had a very bored expression on her face as she watched the Nollywood movie on the screen. When Christy asked her about Aisha – the other nurse, she answered with a very uninterested tone, hardly volunteering the information required.

“What a sour puss.” Christy muttered as she came back and sat next to me.

“Just for kicks, what happens if I’m infected.” I asked. “Have you ever thought about it?”

“Of course I have.” She said sweetly. There was a long silence before she continued.

“I’ll probably kill Kemi…and do you last to save you the misery.” She said sweetly.

“Ha, ha! Very funny.” I scoffed.

“You’ll be surprised.” She said, still smiling. The smile was superficial and I sensed a seriousness veiled underneath it.

“And if you find you’ve been infected?” I asked still pressing.

“Same thing.” She said casually resting her back on the chair.

I laughed nervously and began to think of different scenarios. What if Andrew’s test was wrong?

The door opened and an elderly woman stepped out with a younger man I assumed was her son. Behind them was a handsome man with a sprinkle of grey on his hair and a totally white goatee. He wore gold-rimmed glasses that glinted in the bright light of the waiting room and an immaculate white coat.

I assumed he was the Dr. Bode George. Christy had told me so much about him. In fact, she practical harped his praises. Looking at him now, I could see why. He was very handsome and regal in appearance. Time and age had been very kind to him. I admired him instantly.

He glanced in our direction and as he spotted Christy, a wide smile appeared on his face.

“Chris!” He exclaimed, beaming and expanding his arms which Christy ran into.

I stood up and inched closer.

“Meet my fiance, Uncle George. His name is Michael.” Christy said, looking at me smiling. I was pleasantly surprised. So she had told him? I put on my winning smile and extended my hand which he took. His grip was surprisingly fit and firm and his stare, not really friendly.

“How are you, young man?” He had a deep and cultured voice.

My mind was a mixture of emotions as I felt with a weird sense of certainly that something was amiss. His eyes were very familiar.

“I’m great sir.” I said, suddenly unsure of myself.

“Uncle George is my godfather.” Christy said excitedly. I knew this but what I didn’t know was he was the doctor we were coming to see.

He led us into his expansive and tastefully furnished office replete with all sorts of medical charts and told us to sit. The chairs were very comfortable and as I looked around, I didn’t fail to see award plaques and certificates from around the world. He reeked of wealth and success.

“So, what happened last month? You ran off on me.” He said with a smile to Christy.

“I told you, our friend’s wife put to bed that day and requested that we come over.” Christy replied, looking at me.

“Oh yes, you did.” He said. To me, he said, “So we finally meet. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“Yes indeed. So have I.” I said. I could feel some vibes from this guy and I knew it wasn’t that he liked me. I wondered how much Christy told him about me.

He surveyed me for some seconds before he reached for the phone on his desk.

“Tell Shola to come in here with the kit.” He said into the phone, presumably to the nurse in the waiting room and put down the phone.

He looked at Christy who was suddenly quiet and laughed. “Don’t tell me you’re still afraid of needles.”

“Its not funny Uncle.” She pouted. I looked at Christy and recalled that she indeed hated injections.

“It’s going to be ok. Needles are not that bad. Just a prick and it’s over.” I said caressing her hands affectionately. She gripped my hands and smiled at me.

From the corner of my eyes, I caught another strange but yet intense look from him. Damn! What it is with this guy?!

“So, what do you do for a living young man.” He asked, more out of courtesy than interest.

“I’m into advertising…and the name is Michael.” I said, gradually getting irritated.

“Advertising…hmmm.” He said, rubbing his goatee thoughtfully. “How’s the advertising industry these days?”

I was about to respond when the door opened and a younger doctor came in carrying a kit. Christy shivered and tightened her grip on my hand. I felt the cold metal of the engagement ring and smiled.

“It’s gonna be right honey.” I whispered reassuringly.

The blood extraction went without much issue and we sat back to wait while Christy and Dr. George chatted back and forth. I was troubled, not by the test but the attitude of this man. Was this how godfathers responded to their goddaughter’s fiances? I thought of Olivia.

“Have you both considered doing a blood type test?” I heard him ask.

“Not really.” Christy replied.

“Why?” He asked looking at me.

“Well, I’ve always known my genotype is AS. Luckily, Christy is AA.” I said, returning his hard stare.

“But you’ve always known mine.” Christy said to him.

“I see.” He said quietly. He looked troubled and remained silent till Shola returned with two slips and handed it over and left as unobtrusively as he came.

Christy leaned forward excitedly. “What does it say?”

He took his time. “The HIV tests came up negative.” He said quietly.

Christy sighed with relief. She looked at me with a smile that made the world beautiful.

“I love you.” She whispered with gratitude. “We’ll be off now Uncle. We’ve got plans to make!” She said giddy with excitement as we both stood up.

“Thank you sir.” I said, grateful to leave.

“Christy, can I talk to you…in private?” He asked with sunken shoulders. The confidence he exuded when we came in was gone.

“You can tell us anything.” She said happily, leaning against me, totally oblivious of the change in his demeanor. Inasmuch as I was gratefully aware that the celibate wait was finally over, I had a premonition.

“It’s ok honey. I’ll wait outside.” I said, kissing her forehead.

“You sure you’ll be ok?” She asked pouting, looking up at me. Her eyes…they were so beautiful.

“Of course.” I smiled at her. I cast a glance at Dr. George. He had taken off his gold-rimmed glasses and was cleaning the frames nervously. I saw that familiarity again and this time, the warning lights in my head went off.

I hesitated as I looked at Dr. George. His face pleaded for privacy. I obliged and left the office pensive. Outside in the waiting room, I couldn’t sit down. I was nervous and worried as I paced back and forth to the obvious discomfort of the nurse. There was an answer to the question that plagued me but I couldn’t just put my finger on it.

I paced for about ten minutes and sat down as more patients came in. I continued to wait impatiently. The nurse picked up the phone some fifteen minutes later and called to announce the arrival of the new patients. Shortly after, Christy came out. She had lost the spring in her step and her make-up was smeared with tears.

“What’s the matter?” I asked alarmed as I stood up. She looked dazed and lost and didn’t utter a word. She walked past me and sat down.

I was enraged and barged into Dr. George’s office. He was sitted at his desk with his hands on his face. He looked up in shock.

“What just happened? What did you tell her?” I asked angrily.

He composed himself and put his glasses back on before he responded.

“It’s a family affair. It’s none of your business.” He replied curtly.

I wished I could grab his throat and shake the answers out of him but I had to be out there with Christy. I stormed out of his office shaking with rage. Christy hadn’t moved an inch as she continued to stare vacantly into space from where she sat.

“Honey…” I started as I sat next to her, holding her.

“Please take me home.” She said listlessly.

I suddenly became aware that all attention was focused on us. I took Christy by the hand and led her out into the warm sunshine.

“Baby…what is it?” I asked again, unable to contain myself. When she didn’t respond, I sighed in frustration and led her to the car. I opened the door for her and she stood still, looking lost. This is serious, I thought. I gently led her into the car and strapped her seat belt.

I got into the car started the engine. From the corner of my eye, I saw the nurse at the waiting room running towards the car. I rolled down.

“She forgot her bag.” She said breathlessly as she handed the brown Louis Vuitton bag I bought Christy some weeks back. I took the bag without a word, ignoring the curious expression on her face. Christy’s face remained deadpan.

I drove like a madman weaving through the light Sunday traffic and beating some red lights in the process till we got home. Christy’s phone rang incessantly all through the drive but she made no attempt to get it. My mind was in severe turmoil as I couldn’t even guess what was wrong.

She came down from the car after I parked, ignoring Salisu’s greeting. She went straight to the door and waited with folded arms. My heart was in my throat as I grabbed her bag and rushed to open the door for her. The phone in her bag was still ringing. She went into the sitting room and sat down.

“I need a drink.” She said, finally. An odd request to complement the surrounding mystery.

I retrieved the half-full bottle of Jack Daniel in the refrigerator and poured a generous shot into a glass and handed it to her. She drank the whole thing once!

I fixed myself a generous one and followed suit.

“My life is a lie.” She said as she broke down into uncontrollable tears. I held her close, a little bit relieved that it wasn’t about me. I was still lost.

“It’s ok baby. Whatever it is, you can tell me. I’m here.” I said desperately. She clung to me tightly as her tears poured in torrents soaking my shirt.

My head swirled in total confusion. What in the world is going on?!

I held her close and waited patiently till her tears subsided. I continued to kiss her salty tears and reassure her that whatever it was, we would be alright, we would get through it. After a while, her tears stopped.

“Do you love me?” She asked with baby-like innocence that rent my heart.

“You know I do baby. I love you with every fibre of my being.” I said in utter desperation. I kissed her salty lips again and again.

“Talk to me.” I pleaded.

“I’m AS.” She said as her tears came again.

My heart stopped.

“What…what do you mean? H…how’s that possible?” I stammered helplessly.

Her tears streamed again. My head swam to the past, to the saddest day of my life…the day my mother died. I was transported as if by magic to when I was twelve. My father was still very young. There were tears in his eyes as he held me close.

“Your mother had an SS genotype. That’s why she was sick all the time.” He explained.

“Are you going to be sick and die too?” I had asked, young and ignorant with tears in my eyes.

“No son. I’ll always be here with you.” He said, wiping my eyes.

“Am I going to die?” I asked.

“No, you won’t die. When you get older I’ll explain it all to you.” He had said. He never had to explain to me because I was obsessed with the SS Genotype for many years. I pored through medical books so much so that he thought I was going to study medicine.

This was the second time in many years that I remembered this sad episode of my life. The first time was last year when I told Christy about it.

“But you told me you were AA…your whole family…” I whispered, heartbroken.

“It’s complicated…my mother lied to me…” She whimpered.

“What do you mean?” I was a confused man.

“I’m not my father’s daughter. Dr. George is my biological father.” She said as the fresh tears rolled out without restraint.

Illumination came immediately. It was the eyes!

The End…
For now. :D
……………………………………………………..
Thanks to every Mickey Jay fan out there for being a source of encouragement and inspiration.

God bless you all.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Rantings Of A Disgruntled Manchester United Fan

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When Sir Alex Ferguson chose former Everton Manager David Moyes as his successor to manage the legacy he built at the one-time fortress of Old Trafford, I was apprehensive and feared the worst. But again, this was the decision of the great Sir Alex Ferguson and I knew better than to question this decision.

Apparently, I was wrong. Ferguson for all his greatness is still human after all. Moyes has proved himself to be the chink in the seemingly impenetrable image of Sir Alex Ferguson. Fifteen matches into the league and it has become apparent that Moyes is drowning in the over-sized shoes his predecessor left behind. He has succeeded in demystifying the club’s greatness much so that the awe of greatness that heralded our arrival against any club has vanished. Even the little clubs can now hope to get a piece of United and actually go on to get it!

At the beginning of the season, I realized that Moyes would not perform miracles overnight and decided he needed time. I erased from my mind all thoughts of retaining the league title and focused on a spot at the UEFA Champions League next season, the specific preserve of Arsenal fans. However, it is beyond doubt now that the hope of a spot at the UCL is fast becoming a mirage. With three back to back home loses, I have decided to put things in perspective.

Manchester United currently sits ugly at the 9th position in the Premiership. This is eerily familiar with Moyes and it brings me to the conclusion that the Moyes at United is the same Moyes at Everton. He has shown a remarkable consistency with mediocrity that appears to be a trademark.

Who were we kidding?

This is a guy who has been in the Premiership for over 15 years without a silverware to show for it. I think somehow, Moyes still believes he is coaching Everton. How else do you explain a coach who came into a club with so much money at their disposal and managed to make just one mediocre signing in the transfer window? As if that wasn’t bad enough, it had to be from Everton!

Word on the grapevine has it that before Mezut Ozil was sold to Arsenal, he was offered to Moyes who stubbornly refused and decided to continue chasing fools gold in Cesc Fabregas. It was crystal clear that there was a gaping hole in the midfeild which needed to be plugged with a creative midfeilder; everything that defines Ozil, yet he kept bidding despite several rebuffs without making contingency plans should the pipe dream fail.

Manchester United under Moyes has hobbled and is now on a downward spiral. With fans like me now having nothing to look forward to every weekend with the unique transformation of the club from superb to pathetic, it is time for the Board of Manchester United, especially Sir Alex Ferguson to swallow the bitter pill of the truth that Moyes is not of United stock and start searching for a replacement.

Granted, the team is quite ordinary and it has never been more clearer that the imposing image of Sir Alex, his foresight and tactical dexterity made the club what it is today. A smart coach would have made massive changes in the team, besides changing the backroom staff and started to build his own legacy but not Moyes. He is less than half the man Ferguson is and yet hopes to achieve results with the ordinary team Ferguson made super. That is impossible!

My advise to the board: cut your loses now while you still can and save us the trouble of wondering how we took a free fall from the top of the table to the relegation spot because at this rate, with Moyes, it certainly is not looking impossible anymore.

Worse still is the fact that Moyes is beginning to make Manchester United look like a sinking ship, a no-go destination point for world class players who would normally have loved to come to Old Trafford. I just hope Robin Van Persie is not regretting his decision to join United just yet.

My ten kobo on the issue and yes, I DEY VEX!!!!!

Malcolm O. Ifi.

The Tree Has Fallen

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The tree has fallen!
That great tree
From which many branches sprung
Lovingly sheltering many
From the harshness of reality
Of the curse of the black race
Weather-beaten, incarcerated
But notions stood firm
Love and reconciliation,
The creeds emblazoned on the rare crest
From the jungle of Mzansi
This gentle lion arose, a king for all
Unblemished by the murky waters
And the gospel of intolerance
Resolute and firm as an ambassador of peace
Donning perfectly the toga of a sacrificial lamb
Our very own Black Jesus
Laying down the foundation
For the politics of love
As opposed to love of politics
Indeed, you are the prototype
Of World statesmanship
The genesis of African leadership
And the epitome of humility and peace
To which the world aspires
May your gentle heart forever inspire us to love
Beyond creed, colour and religion
May your gentle smile
Forever remind us that a peaceful world
Is indeed possible
May your impeccable leadership
Inspire Africa to love herself again
May your legacy of selflessness
Deliver us from the greed of politics

Oke osisi adago
The tree has indeed fallen
Yet the legacy stands tall
To intercede for the children
From the scorching rays of the sun

Adieu Madiba!

For: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
1918 – 2013

Gratitude

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Day break.

I awoke to the symphony of birds. The melodious tunes of these beautiful little creatures filled me with nostalgia. I was cast back in time to when my life was easier but difficult…slower. I am irresistibly drawn to nature’s music; the invisible orchestra conducted by the angels themselves. No guitar strings, no piano cords…just the sounds of gratitude for another chance to live in this beautiful world.

The bird-calls lead me outside the confines of what I call home. Its just a few minutes past six on a week day but it feels like Christmas. No activity on the streets yet but from the surrounding houses, I feel the stirring of the various souls residing within.

The air is clear and light with a freshness that feels alien from the tired and saturated one I’m used to. I feel closer to the birds as they sing and hop from tree to tree with glee. The colours on their sleeves are brighter than I can remember and blends perfectly with the green upon which they reside.

I take a minute to inhale life and all its goodness. The feel of the rush of clean air in my lungs is pure intoxication. My eyes open to the clear blue skies. The gentle and rare mix of blue and white is the colour of God. He peeps at me from the curtain of the clouds and smiles. The warms rays of that smile warms me up from the pleasant morning cold and adds a little yellow to the blanket of the sky.

I am surrounded by lush green, well watered by the morning dew; red sands and majestically constructed buildings; the love of God and the genius of mankind.

What a beautiful world.

In these few moments, the beauty of life unfolds before my eyes. To be gifted with this view is divine providence. To be alive and healthy enough to appreciate it is proof of love.

I take stock of my life in 2013 even as its curtain closes. I have gone farther in my journey through life and I’m much closer to where I want to be. I have learned to sail with the wind rather than fight against it. My course is plotted by a divine compass and I can sleep through the iceberg-laden ocean with all confidence and not face the fate of the Titanic.

Not because I’m a skilled captain, not because I know my path and where my destination is, but because the force of love steers the wheel.

God is love…and I’m grateful.

Emasculated

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“You are a sorry excuse for a son-in-law! You can’t even afford to pay for your house rent. I don’t know how we ended with such a useless man like you!”

The harsh words of Mrs. Okwuchukwu, a woman he once called “Mama” had stung worse than the sting of a scorpion and it kept replaying in his head with crystal clarity. It was like she was inside his head. When she first uttered those words, Uche prayed for the floor to open up and swallow him for he had never felt so useless in his life but the floor held firm and wouldn’t budge.

What killed him the most was that Ada stood there and watched as her mother hurled unprintable words at him. Wasn’t she supposed to stand by him in all this? Instead, she stood by her mother.

His head had remained glued to the unobliging floor as her merciless tirade continued. She was a shrew with a venomous mouth. He found it ironic that this same woman had welcomed him with open arms two years ago when he first visited her home.

Since his wedding eleven months ago, the only word to that came into his head whenever he tried to define himself was “emasculated”. This was a non-existent word in his vocabulary some years ago. He reeked of confidence and prospect as a high flying banker. He had made efforts to culture himself to a fine gentleman despite his humble beginnings and he succeeded immensely.

This was what Ada saw in him; this was what everyone saw in him. He remembered the day he went on one knee and asked Ada to be his wife. He remembered the tears in her eyes as she said yes. He remembered the pride in his heart when he pulled into the compound of his prospective in-laws in his brand new Kia Cerrato. He remembered the good words they all spoke of him.

It felt like a life time ago.

He saw the tired disappointment in Ada’s eyes everyday when he came back home from another futile adventure into the saturated labour market. The fact that there was a baby on the way didn’t help. There were no jobs. No, there were jobs but he knew no one with the sufficient clout to pull the right strings to get him one.

Since he lost his job six months into his marriage, he had been living in penury and was heavily in debt. How did this come to be? He had money. He never clubbed, he wasn’t a womanizer, neither was he much of drinker. He had saved judiciously a generous percentage of his income for the four years he worked in the banking industry. Where did the money go?

He gnashed his teeth in anguish as the words of his mother-in-law flashed in his head again. He remembered her demeanor, the way her body shook with rage, how her eyes flashed in contempt as she spoke. She meant every word; he was convinced of that. He knew she wasn’t a nice woman but money and success could butter and shut her up. What he didn’t know was that money and success would leave so suddenly.

“In my house! In my home!!” He moaned silently as a teardrop escaped his eye which he cleaned off immediately.

“I’m a man.” He assured himself without much belief in the words.

He stood up from where he sat for the past thirty minutes, bemoaning his incredible misfortune. Ada and her mother had gone to shop for the baby that would be due in a few months and they didn’t think to invite him because he couldn’t afford to pay for a damn thing!

How could he when he had spent his savings on the ridiculously expensive wedding few months ago? He wanted to keep his in-laws happy so he spent more than he could afford so that they could impress their friends. What a fool he had been? Now, he had nothing. He had sold his car and most of the expensive stuff he owned.

When the rent came up for payment last month, he had nothing. He had managed to rustle up a little money from his friends and his elder brother but it was meager and barely made 50% of the rent. Ada had called her mother without consulting him and the rent was paid. Now, she had practically moved in because he no longer had a say.

“Is this life?” He wondered out aloud.

He looked at his beat-up phone and considered the course of action he was about to take. He shuddered at the thought.

Should I call her? He thought.

Somehow, Debola knew. She knew what he was going through and had offered to help many times but he wouldn’t have it. He couldn’t give up his pride and collect the money she offered even though he needed it more than anything in the world. He knew she still wanted him and if he took her money, that would be the beginning of the end. She was too forward, too bold. His marriage didn’t stop her. She still wanted him.

He thought of Ada. He really loved her but he wasn’t sure she loved him anymore. She was sweet and supportive at the early stages but now she was different; she was cold. She carried out her wifely duties like a robot. Those little details she took care of before were gone now. They used to talk. They used to pray. Now, he felt like he was living with a stranger. He didn’t know her anymore.

How could she betray him so? He couldn’t get over the fact that she called her mother into their home at the slightest hint of trouble rather than rough it out with him. Wasn’t that what marriage was about? Did the words “for better or for worse” not mean anything to her?

He sat down again. He was torn. Even if he got past this, would things ever be the way they were? He wasn’t sure.

He leaned on the chair and closed his eyes. That idea that he had kept at bay danced perilously close to his head. He pushed it away with lesser resolve and it came right back.

What would people think? What would people say? He laughed at the question. Isn’t that what has put me in this predicament? People will always talk and right now, he knew what they were saying behind his back.

Irresponsible man. Dead-beat husband. Useless son-in-law and most likely, foolish father.

The pride he had fought hard to keep had eroded with misfortune.

He opened his eyes in realization. The worst had happened. His pride was just as valuable as a sack of cattle dung. It wasn’t going to get him anywhere.

He thought about the child. His mother-in-law would do a good job of tarnishing what was left of his image when he or she finally came into this world. That was not the picture of fatherhood he dreamed of.

Without further hesitation, he picked up the phone and dialled. Debola picked on the first ring.

“Uche.” She exclaimed, quite surprised. He never called. He wouldn’t even pick when she did. Her heartbeat rate went up.

“Are you at home?” He asked.

“Yes.”

“I’m coming.” He said. There was a loud silence over the line. The only audible sound was mild static…till he heard her catch her breath.

“What about your wife?” She asked with a shaky voice.

“I’m coming for good.” He said with finality. Debola went silent again. Her mind was a mixture of excitement, relief and fear.

“My credit is almost out. Say something.” He said impatiently.

“Ok. I’ll be waiting.” She said almost immediately and the phone went dead.

She jumped up from her bed where she had been lying down watching TV and reached for her drawer. She brought out an old picture. It was from six years ago. They were much younger then. She was laughing at something he had said before the picture was taken and he had this mischievous look on his face.

She placed the picture on her chest and cried.

**********************

Ada and her mother arrived with lots of baby stuff in the trunk of her Picanto. She hated the car. She still wished Uche hadn’t sold his Cerrato and left this matchbox for her. Well, they needed the money.

She didn’t know how she felt but she felt sorry for him. She constantly cursed herself for standing by and watch her mother rain abuses on him in her characteristic manner. What could she have done? The pregnancy always left her too tired to want to engage in arguments and besides, you don’t bite the finger that feeds you.

Her maternal leave was without pay because she was already pregnant when started work at the Real Estate Company on the Island so things were really rough. She knew it was a mistake to call her mother into her marriage but somehow, she was glad she did. Being the only child of her mother, she knew her mother would do anything to see her comfortable. The downside was that her mother’s influence had grown and she now practically ran the house.

It wasn’t Uche’s fault. She had several friends who had lost their jobs as well in the Banking sector but somehow, she couldn’t bring herself to terms with it. He had warned her that they were going to have to tighten their belts after the wedding. He had spent so much but then, he had a good job. Bouncing back wouldn’t have been so hard if he wasn’t laid off.

The baby kicked. It was the only positive thing in her life at the moment. She smiled as she gently caressed her stomach, cooing to the baby that things would be ok. She wished she could tell Uche the baby kicked but the palpable tension between them since her mother arrived wouldn’t let her.

“The baby kicked.” She said to her mother

“Mmmmm. He knows that we just went shopping for him so he’s happy.” Her mother said as she brought out things from the back seat and the trunk.

“You’re so sure it’s a boy.” Ada teased.

“Yes oh and God will answer my prayer. Oya go inside and rest, inugo?” She said endearingly with a smile. “I’ll prepare pepper soup for you when I come in.”

“Ok mama.” Ada responded with a smile. The metal protector was locked. Uche was out. I wonder where he went to, she thought. She remembered the episode before she left and felt sad. She hoped he would cool down and get back home in time. She would try to apologize to him on her mother’s behalf. She took out her keys from her bag and opened the protector and door and went inside.

She was hot and fortunately, PHCN had decided to be nice today. She switched on the fan and Air Conditioner and sat on the sofa where Uche had sat not less than 20 minutes ago and closed her eyes.

She became aware of a piece of paper that flew off the table because of the force of the breeze from the fan. She leaned forward with difficulty and picked it up. I was a neatly folded A4 paper with her name on it. The handwriting was Uche’s. So he leaves notes now when he goes out, she thought smiling. That’s a good start.

The smile however disappeared from her face when she unfolded the paper and read it.

Frantically, she stood up, momentarily forgetting her condition and ran into the spare room where he usually spent most of his time and now slept. The table was tidy and devoid of his many books. Not a trace of his shoes, slippers or even his clothes.

She ran to the bedroom they once shared and opened the wardrobes. His clothes were gone and so was everything that gave a hint of masculine presence.

“Mama! Mama!!” She screamed as she crumpled to the floor and broke into uncontrollable sobs.

“What is it?” Her mother asked, clearly agitated as she scrambled into the room. She prayed it wasn’t premature labour.

“My husband has left me!” Ada wailed as she held her hair. She could almost hear him say the words she read in the final paragraph of the letter.

“You and your mother have succeeded in totally emasculating me. I’m now a useless stranger in my own home. What kept me this long was the child you carry. I now realize the child may never need me. The child will have a father in your mother.”

Her mother stood in shock as she noticed the change in the bedroom until her eyes strayed to the letter on the tidy bed. She picked it up and read.

**************
The End

I am @saymalcolm on twitter.

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXIX)

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image

April 16th, 2013
12:45am

After the visit to the hospital to see my beloved Goddaughter for the first time and the drinks afterwards, I had cause for sober reflection. I started to think how selfish I had been for a while, living just for myself and the pleasures of life. Seeing the unadulterated joy and pride in Tunde and Amaka’s eyes woke me up to how much I wanted a family of my own…a wife and a mini-me to live for. I was jealous of how effortlessly Tunde made the transition from playboy to family guy.

Meanwhile, I had a more important thing to worry about. I had called up Andrew and asked for an appointment.

“Is everything all right?” He had asked with concern.

“Oh, sure. I just want to do a little check up.” I said casually.

“You’re not due for another two months so for you to request for an appointment, something is not right.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? Does something need to be wrong before I book an appointment? See this guy oh.” I said, feigning irritation.

Andrew laughed and had his secretary call me up with a date. As a parting shot, he asked:

“Is your engine having problems?”

“Gerrawayou!” I said, laughing and hung up.

Christy spent the night after Tunde’s fatherhood celebration and was true to her word despite my advances. I tried to get her in the mood and I succeeded always to an extent but she wouldn’t let me go further. I had slept that night a frustrated man. The whole perceive-but-don’t-taste, taste-but-don’t-eat, eat-but-don’t-swallow was the most frustrating thing ever.

On Sunday, we both went to church together after which she headed home to prepare for the week. To make sure I was well prepared, I stopped by at the hospital to see Andrew. I wasn’t specific about what I wanted but a HIV test was amongst the many things I wanted him to check for. Though he insisted that he did that every time I came in for my general check-up, I needed to be sure there would be no surprises. We went through the motions of the general tests and I was given a clean bill of health as usual.

“What about HIV test?” I asked.

“Our lab scientists are unavailable at the moment. Except you want to come back tomorrow?” He asked as he took off his lab coat.

“How long will it take to get results?” I asked.

“I’ll recommend a Polymerase Chain Reaction test…”

“A what?” I asked blinking.

“PCR for short. It’s foolproof and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes.” He replied laughing.

“So there are tests that aren’t foolproof?” I asked wide eyed.

“Of course there are though the margin of error is very low.”

“I’ll be here by 12pm tomorrow for the Polyre…PCR tomorrow.” I said. He laughed.

“Hmmm. Been riding without a helmet, eh?” He said, eyeing me slyly as he cleared his desk.

“No. Just want to be sure.” I said nonchalantly.

“Yeah.” He said, not believing me.

“Going out?” I asked, changing the subject.

“Yeah. Got a date with the wife.” He said, grinning sheepishly. “She just came back on friday.”

“Oh, cool. No more hanging out at the bar.” I said smiling.

He laughed.

“By the way, you still owe me a drink. You can’t just engage a woman and not buy booze. It’s not done. I was with Tuoyo and Ifeanyi last week and every one is wondering how you’ve been keeping a low profile after you popped the question.”

“Oh, don’t you worry. In due time. Na una go run.” I said laughing.

I spent the remainder of the day at the hospital and accompanied Tunde, Amaka and my God-daughter, Olivia home when they were both given a clean bill of health. Tunde had this smug look on his face while we were at the hospital and I wondered about it but he wouldn’t tell. Somehow, the warning bells that should have rang in my head did not after his insistence that I accompany them home when they left the hospital. I was basking in my new found Godfather status so I didn’t suspect a thing. When I finally realised, it was too late.

We drove into the compound which was eerily quiet. Strange, I thought as I was privy to the conversation that Christy’s mom had just come into town and was at home waiting for us to return.

“Maybe she’s sleeping.” Amaka said as she took the keys from the bag while Tunde carried little Olivia gently who was fast asleep. I was expecting to see some activity but it was all quiet and dark.

As the doors opened, the light came on automatically and we saw a group of about 15 people cheering. The house was decorated with a banner that read;

“WELCOME HOME OLIVIA.”

At the center of these wonderful people, was Kemi!

Oh, not again! I thought exasperated. Can’t I go through life without running into her time and time again?!

I threw a stern look at Tunde who was busy exchanging greetings with friends who came, most of whom were neighbours to welcome Amaka and the newest addition to the family, the adorable Olivia. I now understood why he had that look of mischief in his face. I shook my head.

Seriously though, I thought to myself, how could Kemi not be here? She was Amaka’s close friend. I was still surprised that she hadn’t mentioned all that had gone on between us to her. Amaka would have surely giving me the lecture of life about the error of my ways. Tunde had done a good job of not divulging my secrets during their pillow talk; I loved him for that.

Kemi as always was the center of attraction and rightly so. She was dressed in simple jeans and a tank that generously exposed her cleavage. She glowed with a certain confidence and seemed to always have this sex appeal that emanated from her and drew me, and I’m sure many other men like metal to magnet. The worst part was she seemed to do it with so much ease and it so happened that at this point, I was feeling sexually vulnerable having not had some…from anywhere in a while.

Kemi didn’t seem surprised to see me at all. She even acted like I was a ghost and I was grateful for that. After our last episode, I swore I’d never have anything to do with her again. After exchanging a few nice words with Amaka’s mom who handed me a bottle of red wine and plate of chops, I decided to call Christy and tell her. No more secrets, I thought to myself. I strolled to the balcony and called her.

“Can I trust you?” That was all she asked after a long pause.

“Yes.” I said.

“Ok. Try and leave as early as possible. You know you have to be at work tomorrow.” She said.

“I will. Have a good night. I call you when I get home.” I said and hung up.

I stayed on the balcony for a while longer, savoring the evening breeze when Tunde came to join me.

“Check in with madam yet?” He asked.

“Just did. So that funny look on your face was because you knew she was going to be here?” I accused.

He laughed. “Didn’t you know she would be here?”

“I didn’t think of it.” I said.

“For God’s sake bro, I hope you’re over her?” He asked with a concerned look that made me laugh.

“I was never below her.”

He gave me a sly look. “Really? Seriously? Not even once?”

I gave him a puzzled look.

“Even while in the sack?” He added mischievously. I laughed and punched his arm lightly as he ran inside.

“Ok, ok. Its picture time.” Amaka called.

I went back in. The fussing over Olivia as she slept like an angel in her cradle had simmered down. Neighbours and friends formed little clusters and had light talks over drinks and food. The atmosphere was genial and calm. I carried a chair and positioned it closely before the cradle and sat, admiring the innocent beauty of my God daughter.

“She’s adorable, isn’t she?” A familiar voice said.

I didn’t turn around. “Yes. She is.”

“I hear you’re her God father.” She said, drawing a chair and sitting next to me.

“Yep.” I said, wishing she wouldn’t ruin my quiet moment.

“What a coincidence. I’m her God mother too!”

“Why am I not surprised?” I asked, in resignation.

She laughed and remained silent for while. I was so conscious of the proximity between us that I broke into a nervous sweat. I was disturbed that she still had some pull over me.

“How’s Christy?” She asked.

I gave her a sly look. “Like you care.”

“You really see me as the devil, don’t you?” She asked, amused.

“Well…I don’t have an answer to that.” I said with a shrug.

“I’m not. I’m just a girl who…” She continued but was interrupted by the flash of the camera. It was Amaka’s cousin, Andrea.

“You guys look fantastic as Godparents.” She said excitedly. “Please pose for a proper shot.” She said in a thick British accent.

I turned and faced the camera with a smile when without warning, Kemi hooked her hands in mine as the camera flashed.

“Its perfect!” Anwuli exclaimed.

“Let me see.” Kemi asked, joining her. I turned my attention back to Olivia who stirred.

“Ok people, show’s over. I’m taking the baby inside.” Amaka’s mom said. “And you should be resting.” She said to Amaka.

That was my cue. I rose and bade everyone goodbye and headed out.

“Mickey!” Kemi called out as I entered my car.

I acted like I didn’t hear and zoomed off.
…………………………………………………

I was strangely anxious as I sat in the waiting room. The hospital here didn’t have the ostentatious sophistication of Reddington but it was an efficiently run and fully functional hospital. Still, the faint but familiar smell of antiseptics didn’t make me feel too comfortable.

I picked up a newspaper to occupy my mind and keep the growing anxiety at bay. I had come in 22 minutes early for my appointment with Andrew and had my blood taken. I had taken the test thrice before but the thought that there were tests that weren’t foolproof was disturbing. The fact that it was almost an hour since my blood was taken didn’t help.

The door to his office opened and an obese woman dressed in skirt suit stepped out. She signaled to me that I could go in. With my heart thumping and threatening to burst out of my rib cage, I put my game face on and walked into his office.

“Hello Mickey.” He rose from his seat and extended his hands which I grasped as I nodded, dimly aware that my palms were sweaty.

“Please sit.” I obeyed, trepidation eating away at my soul.

He put on his glasses and studied the paper. He was in no hurry, which infuriated me a little. After that, he put down the paper and took off his glasses, slowly and stared at me intently.

All these theatrics just to announce a frigging test result?! I wanted to shout “Get on with it man!” but I kept silent, keeping my face expressionless.

“You’re unusually calm.” He said, smiling. When I didn’t respond, he shrugged.

“Your test came back negative. You can breathe now.” He said smiling expansively.

Thank you sweet Jesus!

I exhaled.

Follow on twitter @saymalcolm

Frozen

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The glitter of youth will never fade
Though the pain of loss lingers
Of what could and would have been
The beauty of stillness in an eternal pose
Make light the immeasurable loss
The sweetest moments remain
Trapped in the treasure box of time
With the keys forever lost to sad tears
But replaced with joyful memories
Of times past perfectly stowed away
In the restless invisible safetybox covered in
Blood and tissue
To be summoned at will
Or triggered by a glance at the frozen smile
Tastefully preserved on paper,
Frozen motions of happier times
And pleasant thoughts that reside within
As changes come, never will it touch you
Neither will the tough reality of life
Poke at your unchanging beauty
Or colour grey what is black
For you have ascended high and above
Beyond the reach of wrinkling skins
Dimming sights, dying hyper-activity
And the consciousness of passing time
Youthful immortality is who you are
For you are frozen in time
Forever to be loved
Forever to be remembered
For the beauty you gave

For Obii Nwadukwe, Blessing Oruma, Onome Duvie, Isoken Elaho, Precious Odiete, Omoye Omoike and to the rest of my family and friends frozen in time.

Of Treasure Chests And Gift Boxes

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The red ball came to me on a platter
A gift from the gods
To heal pain of the treasure lost at sea
Its radiant colour dulled the memory
Of past glitter and gold
My companion in lonely moments,
As the attachment grew
It had none of sparkle of the past
But it shined bright like the sun
Powered by fire, it lit the path
Through uncertainty and doubt
And for a while, all was well again
But it bounced, bounced too high
And it knew it bounced
Yet it would not trade air for balance
Its ego inflated as did importance
Till it grew wings and soared
Beyond reach
I lost grip
Threw out the lasso to rein it in
But alas!
The lasso stretched thin…and broke

Not another one gone
Broken dreams, and a broken lasso
Pick up the pieces, we shall
As well as valuable lessons
Perhaps, a ball less inflated
Perhaps, a lasso more thickly spun
Perhaps, more care and skill in care
In anticipation for unwrapped gift box(es)
Or the unlocked chest(s)
That lay ahead
With hopes of the ultimate prize

131119

Never The Same

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The hurt thrives
The mask of nonchalance wears thin
From the scars that remain
A constant reminder of what should have been
What could have been but never was
The memory stays vivid just like yesterday
As it pops in and out at will
How do we forget the pain
And yet, hold on to precious memories?
We do not regret the memory
But we regret the pain
That drops with the weight of an anchor
When we least expect
Life is pain, and pain is love
But love is the substance of all things

The loss is a void that can never be filled
Replacement is the only viable option
To bring back a semblance
Of that which was once sweet
But its never the same
We learn the hard way that sometimes
Letting go is all that is left
Starting from the scratch is hard
But the joy is in watching the sprouting seed
Grow Into a tree
From which branches spread forth
To offer a shade from the sun and rain

In the end, it can be beautiful again
But it is never the same

131110

Touch Not The King – Episode One

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My parents were warriors. I can remember vaguely the face of a roaring lion on the shiny brass breastplate of my father and the long sharp curvy Spicala snake on the spear of my mother. We lived a good life, my twin brother and I because we were of the royal circle and distant blood relatives of the king.

In addition to being of royal blood, my ancestry for the past five generations formed the elite squad known as the Kiminag or the Kings Guard. My parents protected the king like my grandparents had done before them. History has it that our great kingdom was formed by one powerful family, our family. We were once a small unit of disjointed little clans frequently, harried by the Magars who were terrible night marauders who left death and destruction in their wake.

We were told our great ancestor Harid, the richest and most intelligent man amongst the clans devised a plan to repel the Magars which was carried out successfully with the sword skill of his younger brother Kiminag and his wife Cerio who was a skilled archer as well as the youngest of them, Porter who was a blacksmith and the inventor traps for hunting.

Harid has devised a plan which was brilliantly executed that left the Magars fleeing never to return in years. When word of the success of Harid reached the other clans, they submitted themselves to be under the protection of Harid and being a just man, he sheltered them.

The walls that previously covered the little settlement was extended to cover the 14 clans and soon, Harid was made king. His rule with made the kingdom great and at his death, the kingdom took the name of Hariding.

………………………………………………………

The twin cubs played with their mother in their jungle habitat. It was a hot sunny morning and they had just suckled greatly a tired lioness and now they wanted her to play. She shoved them aside gently as they tugged at her ears and pulled at her legs hoping for some action but she would not oblige them today. They soon lost interest and began to chase butterflies under the lioness’ watchful eyes.

She had nothing to fear especially as the Pride was nearby. The Alpha male was taking a lazy rest with his minions after the heavy feeding of last night. He had conducted the hunt of the Water-Buffalo last night and they had all fed heavily. He was a giant of a lion with an expansive mane and the loudest roar ever that sounded like the battle cry of a million lions. He ruled the Pride with an iron fist and none of the other males would dare him for fear of facing the fate of the last one who tried.

The cubs chased and chased and when they went too far for comfort, the lioness would carry them back gently with her mouth back into their secure confines but as is the case with young cubs unaware of the danger, they strayed quite too often.

On this day however, a human party wandered to their domain and all hell broke lose.

………………………………………………

It was the 34 year old King Azarid and his entourage. Now Azarid was not the regular Harid. He was a flamboyant, notorious drunk who loved the pleasure of many women from which he gathered a growing army of illegitimate children.

His only legitimate son, Aza was no less fortunate as he would not teach him the true ways of the Harid to the disapproval of my parents. They had voiced their concern about this deviation from custom that had kept our position absolute for generations but Azarid would not listen. He never did since the mysterious circumstances that led to the loss of his queen a few years before.

Since the death of his queen, Azarid became a reckless and paranoid man and it was in his time that he enacted the abominable law that the king should not be touched. My parents were amazed by this as they were taught from birth to keep the king safe by all means necessary.

The fact that we were related to king by blood and were all sworn to loyalty till death made it even more confusing especially at the critical time in our history when the Harid no longer had monopoly to wealth. Strong families had grown over the years and had begun to question the right of the Harids to rule.

It wasn’t long before this new law was put to the test.

Azarid, in his quest to sample as many women on earth as possible entertained a party of 300 damsels across the nearby regions. He had been pressured over the years to take a new bride for his queen and many had heard of the wealth and prosperity of Hariding so they jostled for a place as allies as the surest way was by sending in their most beautiful women for Azarid’s sampling pleasure especially as word had got out about his love for women.

Azarid, a great talker in the midst of women entertained them greatly and told them great tales of valour. Azarid had never really seen action in the battle field; not because he was a coward but because he was barred by law. He was raised a true Harid and was a great swordsman. His father Barogo had waged wars and had expanded the kingdom greatly and my father was instrumental in this.

Barogo however, had an addiction. He loved to hunt lions which in my immediate family was viewed as abominable as it was our crest for generations. He killed several in his time and it was in that addiction that he lost his life a day to his 50th birthday.

Azarid continued to entertain his 300 damsels and in a bid to further impress them with his valour, he organized a lion hunt against the advice of my parents. The party arrived upon a pride and carefully skirted the males, focusing on the young lioness and her twin cubs. Azarid’s skill at archery was legendary and with one draw of his bow, the lioness was mortally wounded. She would not stop however as she struggled to take her cubs back to the Pride from where they strayed. Azarid was now focused on getting the cubs, suddenly convinced that lion skin that hung in the king’s chamber would no longer suffice.

My father advised against this as it was unheard of but Azarid would not listen. In a bid to impress, rather than deliver another shot to kill, he decided to strike with his sword. My parents remained at his side as he advanced towards the struggling lioness who was weakened by this time. However, as he drew nearer with my parents bringing in the rear, she abandoned the her cubs and launched one last attack at her assailant. The inebriated Azarid was stunned and could only stare in shock as the lioness leaped to rip him apart.

My father instinctively pulled a rooted Azarid out of the way and crumbled under the attack of the ferocious lioness. It was the spear of my mother that saved my father. Her vicious thrusts ensured that she was not widowed and we not orphaned at that moment. She did not stop until the lioness was dead. When the king came to, he was furious. He had just embarrassed himself before 300 hundred damsels and their chaperones. He ordered my father to go after the cubs who had by this time began to nudge their dead mother.

My father however grabbed the shaken king and took him back to the royal carriage and ordered the carriage back to Hariding. The king however warned him not return without the cubs so he had my mother accompany the king and went after the cubs. When he arrived Hariding, news of the tale preceded him and he was given a hero’s welcome by the commoners. He would not acknowledge this as he was only concerned about his duty to his king. The king was well but ordered that my parents be put to death for violating the law against touching the king.

This is how my twin brother and I became orphans.

Good Night

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Before I submit to the weariness of the day
I shall subject my thoughts to visions of thee
The vivid clarity of the taste of thine supple lips
And the comforting feel of thine bosom upon mine
They shall navigate my soul upon peaceful waters
Where rest awaits earnestly to lock me in its comforting embrace
Sleep tight even as your pretty eyes lights the path through the uncharted waters of darkness

October 22, 2013
10:15pm

Throwback

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It was the exposure
It was the proximity
It was the willing submission
To whims of emotion
That stirred up old passions again
As all senses of stimuli participated
Actively, with a sense of recklessness
The search for the long lost rake
Revived the undead spirit
Willfully buried under layers of aches

Before the mirror image once again
I stood, penitent
Garbed in the armour of chivalry
Offers of supplication
Sacrifice of time
Birthed glorious memories
Though mischief masked noble pursuits
In time, the thin wisp of smoke
Became mass and developed form
Realer than empirical evidence
Provided by all else

The icicle that should have pierced
In blood and gore
Seeped and caressed in altered state
The invisible phantom
Which began with mental intercourse
Wrecked havoc once again
Declaring in a loud voice
“Slave that thou art
Forever bound in love and pain”
You cannot run, you cannot hide
In due time, find you we shall

To Duel With The Pigs.

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Fuck the police!

I say it again, FUCK THE POLICE!!

I’m not Dr. Dre. I’m not Ice Cube or Tupac Shakur. Neither I am negatively influenced by rap music. I’m just a simple guy, a law abiding citizen of Nigeria who got caught in an unfortunate situation.

My name is Ben. 13th of October marks the second anniversary of the day I lost my friend at the hands of the corrupt and incompetent lot we call the Nigerian Police Force, and in order to commemorate it, I have decided to tell my story.

I have kept the ordeal I faced at the hands of these trigger-happy buffoons within me this long because I’m still in shock when I realize just how close I got to joining my ancestors in the afterlife.

Two years ago, I was just a regular graduate, self-employed and trying to eke out a living for myself in the harsh economic climate of Nigeria. I was not a Yahoo-boy, neither was I an armed robber or a kidnapper. I was just a web designer; a skill I learned which was totally outside my course of study considering the fact that I studied Political Science.

Business was good. In fact, at the time it was so good that I had just managed to buy a car after a series of jobs that paid well. I bought a Toyota Camry to convey me from place to place as the demand for my skill was high. Things were looking so good that I decided that perhaps, I didn’t need to be employed by anybody. All I just needed to do was form my own company.

I digress.

My fellow compadres in the struggle were glad about my new acquisition and in our usual manner as guys, we were going to “wash” it. We picked one of the popular open bars in Benin where I resided at the time. We could have gone to somewhere classier but the typical Benin-bred boy loves to hold such outings in places where beer is sold at “pump-price”.

And so the drinking began. It was just me, Efe, Tobore and Anthony. We were all graduates of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and no, we were not cultists! Efe was a Second Class Upper graduate of Electrical Engineering, a real intelligent fellow and one who had high hopes about a Shell interview he just did. Tobore was a straight-up “Waffi” boy. He had been a street hustler all his life and who can blame him? His parents died at a very young age and he practically sponsored himself through university.

Anthony on the other hand, was the “butti” amongst us. His parents and siblings were all based in the United States of America and only came into Nigeria twice in a year. None of us ever understood why he stubbornly insisted on staying in Nigeria. He successfully managed his father’s water factory and was making good money.

We drank long into the night as we all had great stamina in our alcohol consumption; something that took years to build. When it became obvious to me that the money I had earmarked for the night wasn’t going to “cripple” the “barrels” I had as friends, I decided to quit while I was still ahead.

Anthony wanted us to continue at his expense but by unanimous decision, we decided it was time we head home since we had a wedding to attend in the morning. That was the beginning of our misfortune. No one could ever have guessed that was going to be our last outing as a complete crew.

We hit the road at about 1:30am. It was a Friday night and the road was free and I couldn’t resist the temptation to not speed, within reasonable limits of course, as we were all in high spirits and the virgin engine virtually begged to be “flogged”.

We had just got to the intersection at Five Junction when we noticed that the car that had been trailing us for quite a while had picked up speed and was gaining on us. We thought these were robbers or kidnappers as it was quite a phenomenon at the time so I decided to drive to a densely populated place and by this time, the only logical place was Iyaro. When we got there, we parked by the road side and came down from the vehicle as we all badly needed to take a piss.

The next thing I heard was a screech and I turned in horror to see the fender of my new car crumple before my very eyes. I was stark raving mad! The assailant car was actually a battered blue Toyota Hilux truck. As we hurriedly ended our synchronized urinating session to give these idiots a piece of our mind, we saw three men dressed in black trousers and vests on which was written ‘POLICE’ jump out with guns.

Naturally, we chilled in our demeanor but advanced towards them nonetheless expecting an explanation for this madness.

“Oga, why una bash my…” I never completed the statement as the black ugly face I was approaching in the flash of an eye, crashed the butt of his gun on my face. I was in the process of falling to the floor and blacking out when I saw that my compadres were facing almost the same treatment.

Darkness.

I awoke a few hours later in a dark, slimy, smelly cell, stripped to my boxers and singlet. The smell was an unholy cocktail of ammonia and unwashed bodies that hung in the air like a thick layer of smoke and almost choked the life out of me. My head throbbed seriously and that was when I remembered the butt of the gun crashing on my forehead. My hand instinctively went there as it made contact with the foreign bump, I felt pain that I had never felt before. It was like a sledge hammer had just crashed on my skull. I winced in pain still totally confused as to how I got there. My face was filled with caked blood.

I looked around as my eyes got used to the dimly lit cell. There were about 12 inmates in here. Some were curled in fetal positions, fast asleep while other talked in hushed tones. I saw a guy with sparkling white singlet that had several blood stains sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. As I looked closer, I realized it was Tony. I heaved a sigh of relief as I ignored the crushing pain in my head and crawled towards him.

He seemed lost in thought and didn’t even notice as I crawled towards him until I called his name.

“Tony!” My voice was hoarse and sounded more like a croak in my ears but it got his attention. He looked at me with a certain dullness I had never seen before. His nose was still bleeding but other than that, he looked fine.

He didn’t respond. He just continued to stare at me blankly.

“Where are the others?” I asked in a whisper as I joined him and rested my back against the wall.

He still didn’t respond as he continued to look straight ahead.

“Tony.” I whispered again. “Where is Efe?”

It was then that I saw the tears streaming from his eyes. I had never seen him cry before. As I saw him cry, the hopelessness of our situation suddenly dawned on me and like a baby, I began to cry too.

We cried for quite a while until the tears could come no more. That was when he finally spoke.

“They killed him.” He wailed.

“Killed who?!” I asked in shock, barely believing my ears.

“They shot Efe.”

It was like my heart stop beating for five seconds as it felt like an anchor just dropped on my chest. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t say a word. I just lost track of time.

“Where is Tobore?” I asked after about an hour in my estimation.

“He must have escaped somehow.” Tony said in between sniffs.

I rested my head on the wall and a kind of fatigue overwhelmed me that I fell asleep.

I woke up with a start to see that everywhere had become bright. I saw dirt and the dirty inmates clearly now. Tony was tapping me gently and telling me to wake up. A woman was at the counter yelling at the policemen on duty.

“That’s my Aunty Gertrude!” He said excitedly. “She’ll get us out of here!”

I ignored the pain and rushed to the iron bars to see for myself. I saw the grey haired woman dressed in a long blue native gown ranting and cursing at the top of her voice.

“I want to see my son!” She screamed.

Finally, they allowed her come through.

“Ah Osasere!” She wailed mournfully. “See what they have done to you!”

“They killed my friend!” Tony cried, and somewhere in the recess of my mind, I thought it was a bad dream. I burst into tears realizing that Efe was truly dead.

Some of the inmates rushed to the bar smearing us with their stink as they begged Aunty Getrude for money to buy bread.

“Mummy abeg na. We never chop for five days.” They chorused.

I could tell that Aunty Gertrude was taken aback by the stench emanating from these unwashed bodies. She quickly pulled out a thousand Naira note and gingerly gave it to one of the numerous outstretched hands.

“For all of you.” She said, but they didn’t hear her as a mini riot broke out as everyone of the inmates wanted a piece of that one note. I looked on in amazement until three officers came to the bar and shouted at them.

“Uncle Joe is on his way to the Commissioner’s house as we speak. You will soon be out.” She said, trying to placate us.

My hope soared and suddenly, I couldn’t wait to get out of here. We heard noise at the counter and there and then, I saw my brother, my cousin, seven combat-ready soldiers and Tobore.

“Peter!” I yelled. I have never been happier seeing my elder brother. We haven’t talked for months because of a mild disagreement we had but yet, he was here.

“That’s my brother there!” He shouted angrily, pushing aside the policeman that stood in his way so forcefully that he fell. He was dressed in shorts and a white t-shirt but by his clean shave, I’m sure they could tell that he was a military officer. His military escorts were already doing a good job of pulverizing anything that wore a police uniform. It was total chaos as the inmates suddenly began to cheer as their ‘oppressors’ were given a taste of their own medicine.

The keys to the cell that the policemen had earlier said was with their oga who wouldn’t be back till monday materialized mysteriously and we were free. My brother was so incensed when he saw my face that he took four of the police officers on duty as hostages until they brought the men responsible for our detention and the death of Efe.

I don’t know what became of the brutes who attacked us as I left for Lagos the next day with Efe’s body for his funeral and have never returned. Neither did Tony; he left for America a few weeks after Efe’s burial and I don’t think he’ll ever return. Tobore is now based in Abuja and is doing quite well.

My web design company is doing well too but I’m more interested in politics now which is rather strange. I love the study of Political Science but I’ve never wanted to go anywhere near Nigerian politics as it is a very dirty game; but after deep thoughts as to why things are the way they are in this country, who will duel with the pig if nobody wants to get stained by the mud?

Since a revolution is highly unlikely in this country, the only way to sanitize the system is for young people like me and you who are positively driven to get into government and effect the changes we sorely need since the punks at the helm of affairs are comfortable with the status quo.

Come 2015, I’m going to contest for a seat in my State’s House of Assembly. Tobore and Tony are in full support and have pledged to fund my campaign even if it means liquidating their assets.

Its the least we can do for our friend.

Rest in peace Efe.

*This is a work of fiction.

Malcolm O. Ifi is on twitter @saymalcolm

The Woman In The Red Dress

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lady in red

It was an ordinary day, a Thursday. It started no different from any other working day. I woke up by 5 and went through the motions of preparing for work, half-asleep until I had my bath. Then began the bus wait with my fellow regular early-rising commuters, the lone bus that arrived and the mad rush that ensued, the traffic as it gathered momentum, the relief at making the journey half-way and finally alighting at the final stop.

My mind at that moment was blank…ok, not totally blank but occupied with the usual unmemorable fly-by-the-moment-stuff. It could be said that at that point, my mind was blank and nothing prepared me for the image that would haunt me for the rest of the day.

It had to be the red dress that made her stand-out from afar. I had taken the really long route to the office because the short-cut to the office could be a dangerous place when it rained, especially when you wear shoes that does not have enough grip and the path becomes a slippery slope strewn with pointy rocks and is bordered by a stream of putrid, dark-coloured water with the occasional bubbles…the much touted Victoria Island.

It definitely was the red dress. My short-sightedness picked out the colour amidst the sea of people as they filed out successfully out of the death-trap which I staunchly refused to pass on this day because of the mild shower of the morning. The first thought that crossed my mind was why a girl dressed like that would pass that dangerous path on this wet morning. Was she a really brave woman or was I a very cautious man?

As I drew closer, I noticed the figure…she was all curves. Naturally, this peaked my interest because I still couldn’t see her face clearly. I subconsciously decided to break the distance between us to see if the face matched that really hot body.

She was walking ahead of me and she looked back. The closest thing behind her was me and I was at least fifteen paces behind. The trajectory of her glance suggested that she was looking in my direction, and then she turned away. My heart skipped a beat when almost immediately, she looked back again. I was certain this time that she was looking at me.

She stopped at a little shop on the road side to buy something. This afforded me some time to catch up and finally feed my curiosity. As I got close to the shop, my legs guided me in the direction of the shop to where she stood even before my head even thought to go there.

Finally just a few breaths away, my eyes scanned her body intently and my head decided that I was, on this so-suddenly-beautiful-morning beholding a classic work of art. She wore black flat shoes on shapely feet and well-structured legs that had the complexion of freshly carved wood and the smoothness of fine sculpture.

The red dress was just above her knees. It was an absolute perfect fit; not ridiculously tight but fitted enough to accentuate the sharp curves that connected her slim waist to her fleshy back side. I was aware of her looking back as I approached the shop. Her face was beautiful and at that moment, I felt fulfilled. There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a great body matched with a face that ought to be on something else…or somebody else.

Hey eyes were bold; those kinds of bold pretty eyes that reminded me often of pretty little “ajebutta” kids, cute and calm. She had a light make-up on; understandably so considering it was still quite early but it looked perfect on her.

We must have assessed each other for not more than five seconds when she turned her attention back to the Mallam. She was selecting from a wide assortment of sweets he had put on a flat plate when one of the ones she picked fell to the ground and finally settled right where I stood. I swiftly picked it up and handed it over to her.

“Thank you.” She said with a musical voice and a smile that could have powered the planet.

Our hands touched as she took the fallen sweet from my hand and the electric current that passed through from her to me was instantaneous and shocking. I merely nodded and kept a straight face.

She finished her purchase and continued on her way as I continued to admire her. She must have felt my roving eyes caressing her body because she looked back again and smiled at me. I smiled back and turned my attention to the Mallam who had been patiently waiting for me to tell him what I wanted to buy. I hurriedly made a purchase and decided to catch up with her.

My office building was just a stone throw away and I was quite sure that hers was somewhere nearby. I was going to find out.

To my utter dismay, I saw her enter the gates of my office building. I doubled my footsteps and by the time I made it through to the gate and the door and the reception, she was nowhere to be found. I cursed.

I figured that she worked on one of the floors of the office building. If not, she would still have been at the reception filling her name on the Visitor’s Register

The clang of the elevator made me realize that it had just stopped. It was on the fourth floor.

Hmmm, fourth floor.

I took the other elevator to the fourth floor instead of the third. As the elevator doors swung open, I took a peep and there she was, resplendent in her red speaking softly into the phone. She turned and our eyes met again. Her face registered her surprised as much as my heart skipped a beat. I was surprised because I didn’t expect to see her there considering the time that had gone by and somehow, something in me hoped that I wouldn’t.

As I rode a step down, I considered the events that led up to this moment. Normally, a serious chase would have been in effect but time and experience has made me lose a lot of my usual spontaneity and thread more cautiously. Besides, there’s a thing about red that is sexy, yet dangerous. I don’t need danger now – no sir, I don’t! I decided to leave it all to chance. If we ever ran into each other again, the universe would have set the ball rolling for me to get on her case.

Still, after all said and done, the day was well lit by the smile of the beautiful woman in the red dress.

Follow the writer on twitter @saymalcolm

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXVIII)

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image

The drive to the hospital was a quiet one. Christy’s attempt to engage me in a conversation was a total failure. When she saw that I wasn’t in the mood to talk, she left me alone. My heart thumped so hard that I feared it would actually jump out of my chest. My mind had run haywire with questions of “What ifs?”.

I couldn’t understand my agitation. I was one who never took my health for granted; that was why I had a complete check-up with my doctor every six months, the last one being about four months ago. An evil voice kept reminding me that a lot could happen in four months and I cringed at the thought. All the times I had dug into several women without protection flashed through my head with frightening clarity.

Dear Lord, please deliver me from my wayward dick, I prayed silently.

I looked at Christy. She looked quite calm. She wouldn’t be if the worst happened. She would kill me. Well, I thought, that would be a lot better than falling victim to the virus.

I was certain I was just being jittery over nothing. Dr. Andrew was the best doctor I knew. He was a party animal like I was but totally dependable when it came to his profession. He would be my first victim if anything horrible happened today.

“Are you ok?” Christy asked suddenly, barging into my thoughts.

“Of course, I am.” I responded swiftly but I think she knew better because she increased the air-conditioner. I didn’t realise that asides from my palms being sweaty, beads of sweat had begun to form on my forehead despite the artificial cool air that circulated inside the car.

“I just wonder if you’ll ever trust me again.” I said after some time.

“I will but you’ll have to work for it.” She said quietly.

I looked at her but her face had this serene expression. I couldn’t guess what she was thinking but I suspected she was enjoying herself immensely.

Nothing much I can do about that, is there?

We were in the waiting room some thirty minutes later. The hospital reeked of wealth. It wasn’t the hospital for the common man and as if to buttress that, I caught a glimpse of a couple of Nollywood celebrities heading out for the parking lot.

There were five people just ahead of us; a couple, two elderly women and a man. I was so troubled that by this time, I could hardly breathe. I was grateful for the seat the very pretty nurse directed me to while Christy stayed with her at the counter for a little chat. Something, I was grateful for.

My mind had run miles afar when the ringing of my phone brought me back from wherever I was. It was Tunde. He had a knack for calling me at odd times.

“How far?”

“Guess who’s a daddy to a beautiful little girl!” He said excitedly. It was more of a statement than a question.

“Whaaaaattt?!” I said out of shock. My loud exclamation caught Christy’s attention as well as several others in the reception.

“When?” I asked.

“About 30 minutes ago.” He said with an animated voice.

“Is it nine months yet?” I asked suspiciously.

“Err…no. It’s actually seven months.”

“Ah, so apparently, she was with child before you both got married?” I said in a patronizing tone. He laughed long and hard.

“You’re just a big fool!” He said still laughing.

“When did she go into labour?” I asked.

“Around 4am this morning.”

“Wow! How is Amaka and the baby?”

“They are both doing fine. They are asleep now. Dude, women are strong oh! I now understand why Shaggy sang the strong ‘Strength of a woman’.” I couldn’t help myself from laughing.

“I’m serious man. Its a real privilege to have a woman go through the pains of child birth for you. After witnessing the really, really traumatizing…spectacle of childbirth, I had to call my mother and thank her. Did you know that humans can only bear up to 45 dels of pain…”

“What’s a del?” I interrupted.

“It’s the unit for measuring pain, you doofus. Didn’t you learn anything in school?” He asked, irritated at the interruption to his lecture.

“Did you learn that in school?” I asked, not willing to back down.

“Yes na!” He insisted.

“Liar, liar! Old papa like you.” I said, laughing.

“Sharrap there! You think say I be your mate again? Go born pikin if you think say e easy!” He responded authoritatively.

I was laughing so hard that Christy by this time was by my side with a puzzled look on her face.

“As I was saying…” He continued, “…humans can only bear up to 45 dels of pain but a woman at the time of giving birth experiences up to 57 dels of pain. And to think we call them the weaker sex!”

“Who are you talking to?” Christy asked impatiently when I didn’t respond to the puzzled expression on her face.

“Amaka just put to bed!” I said excitedly. She shrieked loudly in excitement that Tunde asked where I was and who I was with.

“I’m with Christy.” I replied.

“Serious? Oya, give her the phone sharply!” He said.

I handed the phone to her and they talked. I trusted Tunde had his wits about him because she laughed all through their conversation. While they talked, a thought crossed my mind.

“Ok, let me give him the phone.” Christy said, still laughing as she handed the phone over.

“How’s it going to be?” I asked.

“You know how its going to be. TONIGHT, WE DRINK!” He declared in the voice I imagined to be that of King Leonides of Sparta.

“So are you and Christy now official?” He asked. I could hear clearly the mischief in his voice. Christy was standing right next to me with excitement written all over her face.

“Hello? Hello?” I shouted into the phone.

“I can hear you.” Tunde said.

“Hello?” I shouted again.

“Is MTN messing you up again?” He asked obviously irritated. I cut the call.

“The network has disappeared. Let me call him outside. I’ll be right back.” I said hurriedly to Christy as I strolled out of the reception, nearly barging into a young woman and her son. I apologised profusely. As soon as I was outside earshot, I dialed his number but the line was busy. I kept calling until the call connected.

“Dude, I need you help.” I said urgently.

“Oh, talk to daddy.” He with all benignity.

“I need you to insist to Christy that my attention is needed with you and Amaka right now.”

“Huh?” He responded, totally confused. “What’s going on?”

“I’ll explain later. If she asks, tell her as the Godfather to your daughter, my attention is urgently needed there.” I said desperately.

“Err…ok. What…never mind.” He sighed.

“Thanks hommie. We’re on our way.” I said cheerfully.

I was glad to see that we still had five people ahead of us when I got back to the reception.

“Baby, we have to go now.” I said urgently.

“Go where?” She asked surprised.

” We have to go and meet Tunde and Amaka at the hospital but we have to buy some stuffs for them first.”

“Do you know how long it took me to arrange for this appointment?” She exclaimed angrily.

“I know baby but we have to reschedule.” I said patiently.

She gave me a long, cold and hard stare.

“No. We are not rescheduling.” She said firmly.

“Baby please. You know his baby is my God-daughter.” I pleaded, fearing her adamant posture.

“Did you tell him we were at the hospital?” She asked, her face expressionless.

“No.” I said truthfully.

She thought for a while as my heart was busy doing flip-flops.

“Ok, let’s go.” She said in a defeated voice. As she made arrangements for a reschedule with the pretty nurse, the image of Spartacus after he defeated Theokoles in the arena of Capua crept into mind.

The drive to The Palms was a silent one. So was the brief shopping and the drive to meet Tunde and his family at the hospital. All my attempts to start up a cheerful conversation hit a solid brick wall.

“I hope you know what this means?” She said suddenly as I took out the things I had bought from the trunk.

“What?” I said feigning ignorance.

“You don’t get none of this until we do the test.” She said, demonstrating her royal sexiness. I didn’t think of that.

“How long are we talking about?” I asked, suddenly alarmed.

“I was able to get a date for May 19th so in about a month’s time.” She said as she took the bag of apples.

Aw sheeeeeeetttt!!!!!

*Special credit goes out to @soakclothier for the wonderful story cover. Bless up bro!

Follow me on twitter @saymalcolm

The Can

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The illusion of the familiar is a strong one
It has been the norm for years
Completely obscuring the truth
Or any semblance of it
The path is what it is said to be
And like kids and the ice cream truck
We join the never ending queue
Patiently waiting for our turn
That may never come

The carrot dangles in its crunchy juiciness
Hardly can we resist the temptation
For we have been groomed to need it
Like the children of Hamelin
We dance into the rat race
While passion,skill and desire
Slowly gravitates into oblivion
As time flies, the disillusionment is complete
The prison sentence fully operational
Lulled by the false sense of security
Dreams die, risk is buried
Subjugation and captivity is complete

The can is not made of steel bars
Neither is it made of brick walls
It is a state of mind
An invisible blockade in the mind’s eye
That leaves no room to wonder
About the road not taken
It is the beginning and end of aspiration
For a life time of adjustments
Where satisfaction becomes a mirage

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXVII)

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*coughs*

Hello dear readers,

Before anything, let me apologize deeply for my prolonged absence on the Mickey Jay Series. It has been due to some unforseen circumstances beyond my control. I have been plagued with the worst form of writers block yet and have had a very, veeery (note the emphasis) tight schedule since the last episode.

Still, most of you have been very patient and have not relented in sending in mails, calls, chats and the likes asking about the whereabouts of Mickey Jay and encouraging me to continue with the series which I was thinking I’d run out of steam for. It is to you all that I dedicate this episode. Your faith in me inspired this.

Danke!

——————————

April 13th, 2013.

10:22pm

I’m nursing my fifth bottle of Goldberg which seems to have replaced my other favorite green bottle in recent times at a crowded bar. Its my third visit to this new bar and I enjoy the condition of anonymity. I had decided that it would be my favorite spot whenever I want to be away from the world of people I know, drown in loud music and soak in alcohol. However, today is not at all like my first visit. The loud music does little to drown the amplified thoughts and questions in my head and I feel like I’ve been drinking water all evening.

It gets to be like that sometimes. The voices in my head won’t stop yapping and the alcohol has no effect on me whatsoever this evening. Its probably time to step to take it up a notch and where else can I do that but at the New Africa Shrine.

I’ve been a depressed man since yesterday. Christy finally put me out of my misery and came over…without warning. In the past, that would have bothered me but recently, I lost taste for all things beautiful, curved, soft and feminine so there wasn’t even a chance of her catching me doing anything untoward.

It was a strange feeling when I opened the door and saw her half-hearted smile. It felt like a metal clamp dropped to my chest to stop my heart beat. She looked lovely as usual in ways words cannot describe. I felt a stirring in me, alien and depressing. I stood aside without a word and let her in.

She walked into the sitting room, looking around like she was here for the first time. Indeed, it was the first time since she left. Not much had changed expect for the ridiculously expensive Samsung HD screen that stood on the wall. I watched her as she looked around, not as much as a word had been exchanged.

This is strange, this is new, I thought to myself. Dreams of how I had imagined this meeting would be flooded my mind. Her leaping on me, the expert catch, the hot kisses and tears, the urgent love making on the couch and then to the bedroom, the soft pillow-talk and reaffirmation of love afterwards under the dim red lights I had newly installed in my room with the box of cold chocolates that I had bought and kept in my freezer all this while in anticipation…

*sigh*

Today was not going to be a day of fulfilled dreams.

“How have you been?” The melody in her voice jarred me back from my stupid reverie. I was tongue-tied; all I could manage was a shrug. I felt weak and the sofa gladly received me.

She took a seat across and stared at me for a while before she continued.

“Have I been mean?” She asked.

“That’s a rhetorical question.” I blurted out bitterly without meaning to. I took a deep breath to calm myself down. “You know the answer to that.” As if I suddenly remembered, my eyes strayed to her finger. The ring wasn’t on it. I felt myself deflate instantly.

She caught my gaze and touched the long necklace she wore on her neck which was hidden inside her blouse as if in response. It was a mixture of white and yellow gold I’d bought for her some time ago. The ring hung on it like the perfect pendant. It still didn’t make me feel better.

“I don’t want to wear it yet until I’m sure…” She said hesitantly.

“Sure of what?” I blurted again, scarcely able to hold myself. “You’ve kept me in suspense for weeks. Are you pregnant?”

“No.” She replied without hesitation.

“Then what?!” I asked angrily. “A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can’t be that hard to give.” She was shocked at my tone.

“I’m fucking tired of this. This has to be the first time a guy has been kept in this much miserable suspense over a proposal. How can you be so cruel?” Oops! My stupid mouth.

“I’m cruel? Oh, that’s perfect! What then should we call a lying and cheating boyfriend who goes about sleeping with my colleagues?!” She asked venomously.

I felt that one. I should have been more patient before I let it degenerate to this but it was all out in the open now so might as well…

“Colleague. Not colleagues.” I corrected mildly.

“Who cares?!” She cried. “You’re a cold-hearted bastard! I knew you were cheating on me but I didn’t want to believe it. What I never believed was that you’d sink as low as Kemi!”

Whoa! Are we going forward or going backwards, I thought, too shocked to speak. There was nothing to say anyway so I kept mute. Its not like the calm and collected way she had taken all this didn’t bother me. It did and I knew it was going to come up soon. She needed closure. Didn’t know it was gonna be today.

“Even at Tunde’s wedding, you lied to me! You bullied me! What a laugh Kemi must have had!” She vented, her face animated, flushed…and sexy as hell. I wished I could fast-forward to the more interesting part I was sure so would come soon enough.

“How could you make such a fool out of me?!” She asked, the tears flowing.

I closed the distance between us in seconds.

“Baby, I was a fool. I was too stupid and too dumb.” I knelt down in front of her where she sat.

“Look at me.” I said, placing my hands on her thighs. “I’ve been a wreck and there’s no doubt that I don’t deserve another chance with you for my juvenile delinquency but I’m wiser now, I promise.” I said desperately.

She looked at me and looked away again, her sobbing intensifying. I stood up and pulled her up to me. She didn’t resist so I held her close and kissed her forehead as her sobbing reached a crescendo.

“I’m so sorry honey. I’ll never stray again for as long as we’re together. You’re a perfect woman and you don’t deserve to hurt but I can make this right if only you’ll give me another chance.” I mumbled in between planting kisses on her forehead.

“I know this is a big leap considering my tomfoolery but just give me a chance. That’s all I ask. I’ve shed my old skin for the new man dedicated to you and you alone.” I said. She continued to whimper and sniff. I could feel the wetness of her tears on my chest. I looked at her; her make up was a mess and my t-shirt could testify but she was still so beautiful.

I cleaned her tears with my hands. It was then I saw the love in her eyes return.

“I love you Christy.” I said genuinely.

“I love you too Mickey.” She said in between sniffs. When I made to kiss her, she turned away and broke off from my embrace. I was shocked!

“For the love of God, Christy! How long are you going to shut me out?” I said, quite frustrated. She sat down and reached for her bag. I watched in dismay as she brought out her make-up kit.

“We have an appointment in about two hours. I booked an appointment for us.” She said, as she carried on with her artistic craft.

“Appointment? What appointment?!” I asked, flabbergasted, thoughts of a wonderful love-making session receding drastically. She reached for her bag and retrieved a card and handed it to me. It was a card from Reddington Hospital.

“What’s this for? I thought you said you weren’t pregnant?” I asked, even more mystified.

She looked up, having just about concluded her speedy but perfectly executed make-up.

“We’re going to do a HIV test.”

Sweet Jesus!!!!! (۳º̩̩́_º̩̩̀)۳

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Be Nice. Be Polite.

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“Get up from my seat.” The addressed who sat alone quietly nursing a bottle of Guiness stout looked up to see who his addressee was. It was a tall but lanky fellow clad in the usual white tee-shirt, shorts, socks and canvass which was the standard parade outfit for NYSC members.

“How is this your seat? It was empty when I got here.” Dennis replied.

“Guy, arrange yourself! I was here before. Stand up before I burst bottle for your head!” He said roughly and confidently as two of his friends stood behind him.

Dennis was a quiet and reflective fellow with a mentality unlike that of any of his peers. It would be accurate to describe him as way beyond his years because from a young age, he behaved like an adult.  However, he didn’t like threats and never cowed to it.

He rose up from the seat in a semi-menacing manner despite his diminutive stature and asked with all seriousness.

“You will do what?”

The tall lanky fellow wasn’t expecting that so he backed away a bit but seemed to remember that his crew was behind him and once again, stood his ground.

“I go burst bottle for your head!” He said again.
Dennis considered the consequences should things escalate and decided it wasn’t worth it.

He smiled at the lanky young man and his body guards and strolled away, leaving behind a half drunk bottle of beer. As he strolled away, he overheard them as they asked themselves,
“You know who the guy be?” One of them asked.

“Forget am. No level!” The lanky one’s voice responded clearly.

Dennis shook his head as he continued to stroll.

A few weeks later…

“We need somebody who is tall to fill in for Majemite in the defense line-up. His roommates say he’s at the health center.” Sergeant Okoro said, his face filled with animation. It was the penultimate day of the NYSC orientation camp and a soccer competition was organized to commemorate the passing out parade. As the platoon commandant, his team were favorites to win and he was taking no chances.

“Any ideas Dennis? You’re the team captain.”

Dennis look around the eager faces and spotted a familiar one who was jumping about eagerly.

“Segun can defend very well.” One of the team members volunteered, pushing the familiar face forward.

“You can defend?” Sergeant Okoro asked.

“Yes. Very well.” Segun replied, stepping forward. The platoon commandant turned to Dennis.

“He never partook in any of our training sessions.” Dennis said quietly.

“And so? Haven’t we been jogging since the orientation camp began?” Segun asked arrogantly.

“You still haven’t learned any manners, have you?” Dennis asked looking up at him with unflinching eyes. Segun made to push him away but Sergeant Okoro stepped in.

“This is not the time to measure dick sizes here.” He said impatiently.

“You don’t remember me, do you?” Dennis asked. “Are you still planning to “burst my head’?” Dennis asked, smiling again.

Segun was taken aback. He suddenly remembered the face of the diminutive fellow he threatened a few weeks back.

“I don’t have time for this shit!” He said disgusted and walked away.

“You! Come back here!!” Sergeant Okoro bellowed. Segun retraced his step quickly. The platoon commandant was as friendly as it could get but he was greatly feared by his platoon…and loved.

“What’s the matter between you two?” He asked Segun and Dennis.

“Nothing sir. Just a minor misunderstanding.” Dennis replied. “We have a replacement already.”

Three years later…

“The tax people are here to see you sir.” His secretary called.

“Tax people?” He asked.

“Yes sir.” She replied

“What do they want? We don’t owe them anything.” He said, more to himself than to his secretary. “State or federal?” He asked.

“State.” There was a little commotion over the phone before she added. “Its Mr. Osamuyi.”

He considered the amount of work on his desk. He was friends with the state tax man who happened to be a fellow tribesman. He decided to see him.

“Send them in.” He said.

Mr. Esosa Osamuyi was an easy going fellow with an extremely loud voice and a rotund stomach which Dennis understood to be the outcome of regular intake of Gulder lager beer. They had met on numerous occasions outside the work environments and had even had drinks together on a few occasions.

“My able chairman!” His loud voiced boomed before he entered the office.

“Esosa, how are you? Long time.” Dennis said, rising up to grasp the outstretched hand for a shake.

“Yes indeed. I’ve been on leave. I just resumed yesterday and I was in the neighbourhood so I thought I’d stop by with my boys and say hello.” He said in his usual good-natured manner reserved for tax-paying citizens. He turned and saw that his companions were huddled close to the door.

“You boys should come inside and greet chairman.” He bawled impatiently.

The two men came in and greeted Dennis timidly, profusely and respectfully. Dennis waved them to take the sofa. No sooner had he done this did he recognise the taller of the two of them.

“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” He asked pointing at the taller one who had just taken a seat.

“I don’t believe we’ve met sir.” He responded respectfully.

“I thought we had. He looks like someone I know.” Dennis said off-handedly to Esosa and they both laughed. After a little small talk, Esosa rose to leave with his junior colleagues, it struck Dennis.

“Segun…your name is Segun.” He said with conviction.

“Yes sir, that’s my name.” Segun responded with a smile that revealed his surprise.

“So you have met chairman.” Esosa said, more of a statement than a question and was just as surprised.

“You did your NYSC in Lagos, right?” Dennis asked, very sure now.

“Yes…” Segun replied hesitantly, still not sure where he had met this man.

Dennis smiled and shook his head.

“What a small world.”

Based on a true story.
………………………………………………….

Never judge a man by his size, what he wears or even his status. There is a great difference between appearance and reality.

Never look down on any person except you possess the prophetic insight of Nostradamus. A slave today can be a king tomorrow and vice versa. The uncertainty of life makes it one of the biggest risks ever.

It costs nothing to be polite or nice so be polite and nice. It can etch your face in heart of a person for a life time.

Finally, its very easy to forget about the people you stepped on their toes. As easy as you forget is how easy they remember and God help you if they remember and are in a much better position to take their pound of flesh.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Rodent Tales: Judgment Day

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Vincent on deathrow

Vincent on deathrow

When I last wrote about my fears of the what the war veteran Little Victor, planned to do after escaping a glue-laden paper board set up by me to put an end to his nefarious activities in my bedroom, I seriously wanted to…no, NEEDED to believe that my mind was being overactive. Well, if the mind can conceive it, then it is very possible.

Since that time, I have had more “roomies”; little speedsters I’ve christened Vincent and Greg. How can I differentiate? I’ll tell you.

Victor, as you all know is the bold survivor. His fresh hairy skin was marred by the little glue battle of some days ago. He’s the only rat who constantly has the guts to come and stare at me while I’m in the john. I suspect he knows what I’m doing and how at that point in time, I can’t make any life-threatening moves. I’m serious considering adopting him for a pet. He’s too damn smart.

Vincent is the newest guy. At first, I thought it was Victor still sauntering all over the place whenever he pleased but I noticed the difference in size. Vincent is a lot smaller but just as fast.

Then there’s Greg. Greg is the one I like to call Kimbus Magista or king of food. This rotund rodent first caught my attention two days after Victor’s close shave with death. From the first time I began to take note of Greg, he chose the kitchen as his base of operations. His size never made me wonder why. Whenever I reached for my carton of Indomie, half-bag of rice or any other food item that managed to reside in my scanty kitchen, I would seem him scuttling away with difficulty.

There’s been one good thing about Victor’s experience though. Since he narrowly escaped the jaws of death, my room has been rodent free. Victor must have spread word to his cohorts to avoid the room at all costs except they wanted to their life expectancy to be cut short and they heeded his warning.

However, my kitchen has become crowded of late. I can’t have three rats running around every time I step into the kitchen. It never worried me much because I seldom stock the kitchen with food items apart from the minimum standard requirement of every bachelor kitchen.

Enter rat-glue again!

I noticed that the headquarters was someplace behind the fridge so I positioned the rat-glue at the back of the fridge.

Dear friends, it was an instant hit! Vincent fell prey. I came back from work to find poor Vincent wallowing face-down in glue. The thick puddle indicated a lot of struggle and for once, I was sure there was no escaping this one. Still, I decided to take no prisoners.

I carried my trap and its prize and headed down stairs immediately. The moment I lifted the trap, Vincent began to scream loudly as his struggle intensified like a prisoner on deathrow just about to get the chair. I was surprised because some how, I felt he could read my mind and the two words in capital letters – NO MERCY.

“Bros, abeg na…I nor go do again…I will never come into your house again. In fact, na me go do road block for your house. No rat go near your house again..” I imagined Vincent pleading but I don’t understand ratty.

The terrified screams turned to helpless whimpers as I got a little stick to pry him off the glue board. By the time, I succeeded in prying him off, there was no hope for him. The glue had contorted his whole little body structure. There was no need to harm him further as the glue had done a thorough job. To be sure that he could never boast of scars of war, I cast him into the filth of one of Surulere’s gutters, never to be seen or heard of again!

One down, two to go!

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Ese Walter: Confessions Of A Heartbroken Woman

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The noise on twitter over a supposed rape by the pastor of a popular church got me worried as is always the case when I hear stories of “men of God” who fell from grace and got caught. The few people I tried to interact with on the topic didn’t give me much so I decided to ask for the link itself which I got.

Knowing the way misinformation spreads on social media, I wasn’t surprised to find that what actually happened was much different. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

Whether the story is true or not is another matter, though it certainly has a familiar ring to it knowing the kind of country we live in. Ese Walter’s confession is a microcosm of what actually happens in many religious organizations. Things are that bad now.

However, the tone of her writing had not an iota of remorse but stinks of bitterness; the bitterness of a woman who feels used, not abused. There was something very carefree and vindictive about her confession that raises serious doubts as to the motive she declared. I saw a woman who’s heart was torn to shreds and so desperately wanted to get her pound of flesh back that she didn’t give a fuck about anything again – pardon my french.

Before I continue, I know someone is already saying, “Here’s a COZA voltron!”. Wrong! I’m not a member of COZA, neither am I defending Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. Didn’t even know what the COZA acronym stood for till this evening. The name Fatoyinbo rang a bell but I knew nothing about him so I visited google. I don’t even know what he looks like but I’ve heard of COZA because I was impressed by one of their worship centers I happened to pass by when I visited Abuja.

In fact, those who know me well know that I have never hidden my distaste for all these “funky” new generation churches that believe the Bible has become too old fashioned and needs to be modernized to suit the needs of the newer generation…

Back to my analysis of Ese Walter’s confession.
I noticed in Ese, a similar trend of what I’ve always complained about in many Christian worshippers in Nigeria. How people transmute an unseen God into the form and image of the pastor has forever baffled me. A testament of what I call “god-objectification”. It is peculiar to christians who learn to accept whatever their preacher preaches to be the gospel truth, even when the Holy Bible says otherwise.
If this confession was written by someone who had no knowledge of good or evil, a status I can only ascribe to a baby, I would have believed her motives to be noble. However, she stated she was already doing a Masters program in the UK when this supposed “abuse” began which would mean she is was way above 21 age wise. How someone in today’s world can claim not to know “her left from her right” at that age is mind-boggling to say the least!

A person her age ought to have known that having an affair with a MARRIED MAN is like sailing through uncharted waters; the possibility of a ship wreck is 99 out of 100. This is even more so when the man you are having an affair with is your spiritual counselor. You just can’t claim that you were “rolling under the sheets” consensually with a man and say you were afraid or even suggest that you may have been in a trance-like state while you both had sex DAILY for over a week. Its absurd! She wasn’t kidnapped or forced to visit or stay in his hotel room. If she really had a conscience attack, she would have fled after the first bout and never returned. This is where I break it to you all that read her confession that she ENJOYED every bit of the encounter.

Her story brings to mind a video that went viral on social media early this year, the “power-enter” video. If she’s as educated as she would have the world believe, then she couldn’t have fallen for his charms if she didn’t want to. Her confession tells me something, she’s a dumb bimbo. #MonicaLewinsky alert!

The aim of this rejoinder of sorts is not to attack her person of course. Its just to point out what a good story it is…too good to be taken in its entirety as the truth. One thing I know is that you can never decide until you’ve heard both sides. Unfortunately, the possibility of hearing Pastor Fatoyinbo’s side of the story appears to be slim. If he indeed had an affair with Ese Walters, the honourable thing to do would be to own up to his mistakes and probably bar himself from representing himself as a minister of God.

Ese Walter’s allegation that he misled her is watery and not to be taken seriously because she misled herself. What any rational woman worth her salt would do after such advances have been made to her by a “man of God” would be to flee the man and his church. She wasn’t rational which leads me to only one conclusion; she was in love with him.

That being said, it is instructive to mention an observation. I have noticed that is not uncommon to have male student pastors in University Campus Fellowships flocked by women of easy virtue who claim to be in need of one form of counseling or the other. These supposed counseling sessions usually end up in another dimension when the threshold of self-restraint and discipline breaks. This unfortunate occurrence now seems to have solidified itself as rumours of pastors having sexual trysts with their members are rife.

The world is filled with all sorts of charlatans in frocks and collars. Salvation is personal and even more so especially as the guide book to a true relationship with God, the Holy Bible is still very much accessible. The truth about God does not lie in the actions or doctrine of any pastor or religious institution. Its in the Bible for you to see. As long as you are mature enough to know the difference between good and evil, you WILL NOT give in to any ridiculous doctrine peddled by swindlers in cassocks or more recently, suits except you want to, or you are too weak to resist them.

If you worship in a church where a watered down version of the gospel is preached, jump ship immediately. After all, variety is one thing we do not lack when it comes to churches in Nigeria. Don’t blame your excesses or weaknesses on the pastor who “betrayed” you because God gave you a brain to think, so use it! On the last day, everybody go answer e papa name. Pastor will not shoulder the blame for your sins because like you, he will stand before God to be judged accordingly.

Do not be deceived. God is not mocked.

Oh, yeah “cheers to the freaking weekend”. I’ll drink to that!

Malcolm O. Ifi.

To read Ese Walter’s confession, click the link below.

http://esewalter.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/my-affair-with-pastor-biodun-fatoyinbo-of-coza/

The Triumph Of Little Victor

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My first encounter with Little Victor happened almost three weeks ago. I had just moved into a new place in Surulere and was still in the process of unpacking. I had a large stack of empty cartons in my room which previously housed all sorts of appliances and because of my really hectic schedule, I still hadn’t had the chance to do a proper clean up. If you are a worker in Lagos, you know what I mean.

Anyway, I think it was the first night I spent in the room. It was dark…because I put the lights out. The only sound was the quiet hum of the air-conditioner and the distant rumble of faraway generators in the neighborhood. PHCN was gracious to me that night.

I was supposed to be asleep because it was quite late and I had to be at work the next day but as is often the case with me, I tossed and turned for quite a while in a bid to seduce sleep but she wouldn’t oblige me so in silent frustration, I decided to head to the sitting room to watch some tv.

The moment I switched on the lights in my room, I saw a black flash on the rug. At first, I thought that was my eye adjusting to the sudden illumination from the sixty-watt bulb that hung in the middle of the ceiling. I let it slide but as I was about to head out of the room, I saw the black flash again and this time, I realized that I had a trespassing roommate.

Now here’s the thing about me; I hate creepy crawlies. I am yet to be convinced why creatures like roaches and the likes exist. I have been told that they all in their own way, contribute to maintain balance in the ecosystem but I’m of a different view. I think they were put on this earth to trouble my soul because they creep the hell out of me. Ok, maybe I don’t really have a problem with their existence, I just don’t want them to exist around my personal space.

Rodents are another matter. As a child, I had heard of this particular breed of smelly mice or skunk if you will, with a pointed mouth referred to in Igbo language as “Onu Nkapi”. It was a popular breed mostly found in boarding school dormitories and village tales because of its intelligence – let me explain: Legend has it that a favorite pastime of the rat was to nibble at the feet of humans while they slept and when signs of discomfort began to show, they would pause and blow air at the spot of the feet they feasted to soothe the pain and prevent discovery. The unsuspecting victim would wake up and feel shock and pain when the nibbled part of the foot touched the ground. Ever since that tale, I have added rodents to my list of odious creatures.

I digress. I was greatly disturbed to find that I had a rodent as a roomie. The fear of the legend of “Onu Nkapi” which was notorious for the spread of lassa fever made me convert the sitting room to a temporary bedroom while I pondered on how to arrest the situation. Little Victor, as I christened him, always made it a point of duty to remind me that we both had equal rights in the occupancy of my room.

Whenever I went into the room to retrieve something, there he was staring at me…taunting me, daring me. Any thought of giving him a chase never crossed my mind as I knew it would be a futile exercise because he was almost as fast as the speed of light. If he were human, I would have suspected Wally West’s hand…or other appendage in Little Victor’s parentage.

After deep thought and sufficient investigation into its effectiveness, I bought the popular rat trap usually hawked by the road side whenever I headed home in the customary Lagos traffic. I was convinced that I had found a way to effectively dispose of my unwanted roomie so I decided to do a wholesome clean-up of my room on Saturday.

Suprisingly, Little Victor was nowhere to be found that day and the better part of Sunday which struck me as odd. I wondered if he had turned a new leaf and had decided to leave me and MY ROOM the hell alone. Just as a precaution, I opened the rat trap which consisted of a thick layer of glue on a paper board and placed it by the side of the wall which was his favoured route.  

I stepped into my room late yesterday evening. The power was out so it was dark but I heard struggling movements and when I beamed my beloved torch light Nokia on the spot I placed the trap, I was elated to see the trap had caught its prize. There was Little Victor in a thick puddle of glue struggling to get out.

I grinned evilly. I thought of a million ways to send Little Victor to his ancestors and none seemed right at the moment. I drew nearer for a closer look and there was this look of determination in his eyes that I found intriguing. I think I saw fear when I peered into his black, watery-looking eyes that suddenly screamed innocence. I felt the evil intent in me relent and I decided to let him wear himself out. Besides, I had no energy to deal with it at that moment especially as power was out. I closed the door and headed to the sitting room to sleep.

I was hurriedly preparing for work this morning when I remembered and decided to check on Little Victor to see how he had fared during the night and I was amazed to find that he had escaped! On closer investigation, I discovered it was quite a struggle. Little Victor also succeeded in smearing my shoes in glue; a pointer to the fact that he was still very much in the room. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he chomped on my shoe in retaliation!

I was astonished - I never knew that rodents could be so vindictive!

As I type this brief story now, I realise that the battle for who inhabits MY ROOM between Little Victor and I just got started. I am surprised at how he managed to survive the ordeal. Most rats as small as he is usually die from the exhaustion of such prolonged struggle.

If the little bugger eventually dies in my room, I’ll have to wait till weekend to be able to clear my room once again and by that time, rigor mortis would have set in, making the room practically inhabitable for a time. If he doesn’t die, I imagine him showing off his welts of war, addressing a congregation of motivated little rats determined to make my life miserable by exacting some form of revenge.

I sincerely hope this is the rambling of an over-active mind.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Bus Tales

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It was a happy day for me. I had just concluded a small business deal that afforded me the money to buy the latest mobile phone in vogue at that time; a Nokia 6630. I was particularly feeling generous that day too so I called up my girl friend…well, she’s an ex now – and took her out on a splurge.

After a totally fun day, I decided to escort her home as was the practice. Now when I use the word “escort”, you’d probably say “Oh, she lived in the neighbourhood”. No she didn’t. I lived in Surulere at that time, while she at Ikeja. Looking back now, I have to laugh. The crazy things we do for love!

Anyway, no sooner than we stepped out of my apartment, this annoying rain started right out of nowhere. We had to run to the bus stop which unfortunately had no shade to hide under. All thoughts of flagging down a cab vanished as we saw this Danfo heading to Ojuelegba.

It was a mad rush to secure seats but with enough ‘gra gra’, I was able to secure two for my girl and I even in the midst of the struggling multitude. We got the two middle seats in the back and my girl sat on my left with my arm as her head rest. We settled down for what was a very short ride as we were engaged in a very interesting conversation.

However, the dude on my right was determined to infect me with some form of virus or bacteria, whatever he was spreading that day. He coughed and coughed and coughed! The kind of cough that comes from inside and rocks your body and that of anyone in close proximity and believe me, sardines in a can had more space than we had in the bus.

Its terrible being in a closed space where you are unsure of its sanitary conditions with a person coughing but its worse when the person won’t close his damned mouth while he’s at it!

I must have collected a fair share of bacterium that day and decided to suspend the interesting conversation with my girl and hold my breath for as long as I could. As the dude continued to cough, echoes of “ekpele oh” spilled from the mouths of other passengers in sympathy.

Honestly, I was mildly irritated by his incessant coughing and the obvious discomfort it caused me that I forgot to show sympathy for his condition. I reprimanded myself for not doing that.

“Sorry oh. This your cough is quite serious. Try and take drugs when you get home.” I said sympathetically.

He nodded as the coughing continued. I had done my bit, I said to myself. So from then on, I ignored him.

As soon as we got to Ojuelegba, he hurried out of the bus still coughing and disappeared into the crowd. I really felt sorry for the guy…until I discovered what really happened.

Here’s the part where I admit that at that time, I was a JJC in Lagos. When I usually hear people say that their pocket got picked in the bus, I’m always hard on them saying things like, “You weren’t vigilant”, “You are not security conscious” – that kind of thing. Words I learnt from my dad who is over-security conscious.

On that particular day, I wore jeans trousers. Jeans afford extra security because of their thick nature. I always believed my pocket could never get picked while I wore jeans. My left pocket housed my Blackberry phone – Cool down! It was probably the first model ever made, black and white display, a gift from my aunt and course, not activated – and my RIGHT pocket housed my few hours old Nokia 6630.

You should have seen me at Ojuelegba that day; I was mad! I had just spent about 35grand to get that phone and now it was gone. I abandoned my girlfriend and searched for that coughing rogue but he was nowhere to be found. I called the number and it rang but the guy cut the call almost immediately. I sent him a stinker text message and he switched off the phone.

At that point, I knew it was over. I put my girl in a bus and went home a very sad man.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

*This short story is my contribution to the series Bus Tales by @newnaija on http://isaacolanewnaija.wordpress.com

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXVI)

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April 6th, 2013
9: 45pm

“So the girl of your dreams says ‘yes’ and you go into hiding when we should be celebrating. What kind of man does that?” Tunde asked more calmly now.

We were at an old bar in Surulere we used to frequent when we stayed together. I had called him up when I decided we should hangout. I was sick of my own company and tired of hiding especially as Christy hadn’t called since the night I proposed. Besides, I had kept him in the dark for too long.

He had a bottle of his favorite lager before him while I had a bottle of water. I wasn’t in the mood to drink yet.

He had been breathing fire non stop for the past fifteen minutes. He didn’t take too kindly to fact that I chose to disappear after everything.

“You won’t understand.” I said glumly.

“What’s there to understand?” He asked giving me a ridiculous look.

I tried to speak but the words wouldn’t come out.

“You look awful too. Are you trying out a new look or did you have a fight with your barber?” He said referring to the rough beard on my face.

I sighed.

“Ok, what’s the problem?” He asked.

“That’s the problem. I don’t know! I just don’t feel right.” I said with frustration.

“When was the last time you got laid?” He asked mischievously. I had to laugh.

“You’re crazy!” I retorted.

“I’m serious. That could be why you’re the way you are. You’ve started your mourning way too early.”

“Mourning ke? What mourning?” I asked surprised.

“The death of the player in you.” He winked.

“Nah, its not that.” I said dismissively.

“If its not that, then what is it?” He asked looking troubled now.

I took a sip of water from the half full glass in front of me and ruminated for a minute before I responded.

“I’m scared…” I began.

“We are saying the same thing.”

“No, we are not. I don’t feel in control anymore. Christy has flipped the aces; she now has control over this relationship. I’m worried about that.”

Tunde roared in laughter. When I didn’t laugh with him, he got serious.

“What do you mean?”

“The “yes” she gave me, is conditional.” I said.

“Conditional? How do you mean?” He asked puzzled. I went on to explain what happened after I proposed.

“She’s waiting for something? What does that mean…?” He stopped short and his eyes opened wide in realization.

“Is she pregnant?!” He blurted out, shocked.

“How should I know?!” I said in exasperation. “The suspense is killing me.”

Tunde went quiet for a few minutes before he continued.

“When last did you guys speak?” He asked.

“The last time we saw.”

“Hmmm…” He mumbled as he touched his beards thoughtfully. There was a little distraction as a noisy bunch, consisting of three guys and five ladies came into the bar. I didn’t bother to look back.

“Is that Esther?” Tunde whispered, putting his face down as his facial expression changed.

“Esther? Which Esther?!” I said, craning my neck to look at the noisy bunch. The lady in question was unmistakable. Plump and fair but extremely pretty with grace and style that always made her standout in a crowd. She still wore her medicated glasses that made her look geeky in a sexy way.

“Uh oh! She’s the one!!” I whispered in shock. “What the fuck is she doing here? I thought she relocated to London?!”

“Let’s get the hell out of here!” He said desperately. I nodded in agreement. We signaled the waiter who came with our bill. As we sorted the bill out, we realized it would take a load of good fortune for her not to see us as Esther and her noisy crew were positioned on a table at the entrance which unfortunately, was the only exit.

Tunde drew the waiter close and asked if there was an alternative exit at the back. He shook his head furiously saying it was out of bounds for customers. When I pulled out a thousand naira note and handed it over, he refused vehemently, saying he didn’t want to lose his job. We had no choice; we had to pass the regular exit somehow.

I looked in her direction again in disbelief and somehow, it drew her gaze but I looked away before our eyes met. Tunde had long shifted by this time to make sure my back obstructed her view in case she looked in our direction.

“There’s only one way out of this; misdirection.” I whispered. Tunde gave me a look like “what the hell are you talking about?!”

I signaled the waiter again. I ordered and paid for a bottle of Baileys and told him to send it to her, careful not to point, stare or give myself away with strict instructions to take the particular path that obstructed her view to the exit. The plan was to make a run for it when her view was blocked.

Tunde nodded in agreement at my ingenuity. As the waiter approached her table, we hurried towards the exit. We had just reached the exit and were almost home free when we heard her voice.

“Tunde!!!!!!!!”
……………………………………..

September 14th, 2011.
5: 15pm.

“I have to let Esther go. I can’t keep up with this. Amaka has a way of knowing when I lie and she’s finding it hard to trust me at the moment.” Tunde said desperately.

I couldn’t stop laughing as he finally had the nerve to voice out the changes I had seen in him recently. Ever since he met Amaka, he had become a different man – driven by an irresistible urge to possess her.

“Are you going to keep laughing or help me out with this?!” He exclaimed angrily.

“Sorry bros, I can’t help it. Its just funny to see you like this.” I said, still laughing.

He made an impatient movement and walked around the sitting room in the apartment we shared; his demeanor that of a deeply troubled man. His phone vibrated again.

“See!” He exclaimed in misery. “She’s calling me again!” Another volley of laughter erupted from my mouth. My sides were aching.

“Answer the phone and tell her you don’t want again. How hard can that be?” I said, beginning to feel irritated.

“You don’t understand. It will destroy her!” Tunde exclaimed, his hands flailing helplessly.

“If you knew this, why did you lead her on?” I asked mercilessly.

He looked at me with disappointment.

“I never led her on. You know how these things go.” He said defensively.

“Ok oh!” I said, still laughing.

“I told her I relocated to Port Harcourt. She’s in Port Harcourt now! She’s been calling and sending me messages asking where I am.” He said.

“That’s serious. Ok, what do you want?” I asked seriously.

“I don’t want to break her heart but I just want her to forget about me.” Tunde replied desperately. His phone vibrated again and he looked at it in anger. “At this rate, Amaka can’t call me.”

“Give me the phone.” I said, extending my hand.

“What do you want to do?” He asked, taking a step back away from me.

“Give me the phone jor!” I said. When he handed the phone over, I continued. “There’s no way she won’t be heartbroken. You have to come to terms with that but I can shift the blame of the heartbreak from you.”

I waited for a few minutes and the phone began to vibrate again.

“Hello,” I said, my voice sounding tearful.

“Tunde, how can you…”

“Its Mickey.” I said solemnly.

“Oh, Mickey! Hi, I’ve been trying to reach Tunde for the past two days but he’s not been answering my…”

“Tunde is no longer with us.” I said, cutting in with a subdued tone. I heard her catch her breath sharply.

“What…what do you mean?” She stammered, her voice shaky.

“His bus collided with an oil tanker…there was a fire…” I said, my voice breaking. Tunde who was sitting on the sofa with his hand on head, looked up at me with utter disbelief.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!! Noooo!!!” She screamed, nearly damaging my ear drum. I had to take the phone away from my ear as her loud wail escaped the phone speaker.

I was shocked at how easy the lie came to me. Her genuine sorrow made me realize how serious and graphic my lie was and I began to wonder if I could keep up.

“I have to go now. His mother just came in.” I said hurriedly.

“Please, where are you…” She began but I cut the phone and removed the sim.

“Mickey! What the fuck!!” Tunde yelled helplessly.

“Problem solved.” I said as a matter of fact, hiding my own dismay at my heartless tale.

“How could you do that?! I have to call her back.” Tunde said, greatly agitated.

“And tell her what? That you resurrected on the second day?” I asked. “This is a golden opportunity for you. Don’t waste it.”

“Give me my phone.” He said angrily, coming towards me. I handed the phone to him.

“The sim too!”

“Calm down. I just did you a favour. Think of Amaka.”

He stood there, towering over me where I sat, in shock. I was just as shocked as he was but he would never realize that. He walked around the sitting room with his hands on his waist, a troubled man.

“If you can’t handle it, here’s your sim. Call her and tell her it was a prank.” I said, resigning to the fact that I may have gone too far.

He took the sim and sat down. He fiddled with it, deep in thought.

“How did she take it?” He asked sadly.

“You heard her, didn’t you? She’s heartbroken.” I said casually.

He sighed as his face softened up.

“I know you’re madly in love with Amaka. You need this. Some day, you’ll remember this and thank me.” I said soothingly.

He sighed heavily again. “How do we keep this up?”

“Destroy that sim. At least, she doesn’t know much about you. She doesn’t know where we live; she has met just me, Louis and Tuoyo. She can’t reach any of us – at least I think so. This is how you sever all contact with her – for the love of your life.” I said.

He remained quiet for a while.

“But that was cold, man. Mean and cold!” He exclaimed.

“Cheer up son.” I said with an avuncular air. “You’ll thank me later.”
………………………………………………

We both stopped short as we heard her voice and looked at her. She was struggling to stand up from where she sat. When she finally did, her tears were flowing like geysers. Her companions stood too and asked her what the matter was as they eyed us suspiciously.

We had been caught red-handed. I looked at Tunde; he was dumb-struck, just like I was . I took one more look at Esther who had broken down totally. Her companions comforted her and tried to find out what was going on but she could do nothing but cry. I looked at Tunde once more and the telepathic message that passed through our eyes could be summed up in one word; FLIGHT!

And flee, did we.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

FOR WE MUST NOT CRY

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I love colours, I love colourful dresses more
Like what Little Amy wears
I love her yellow hair
They contrast deeply to my rich black hair
Her eyes are blue with thick lashes
I envy them a lot
She is my companion when I’m alone
She never says anything to me
But we understand each other perfectly

She is pretty, just as I am
That was why I asked for her
And on my 9th birthday, she was my gift
For being a good girl all year long

I wish I hadn’t been a good girl
I wish I couldn’t just get her off the shelf
I wish I didn’t own her
Just because she was pretty
Somehow, I know how she really feels
Because I feel it too
The bearded man picked me
Like I picked her off the counter
He thought I was pretty
Now, I am to him what Amanda is to me

He tells me he loves me
But every night, he hurts me
I have been told not to cry
Because that is what little girls are for
I try not to cry…but I do
The pain is so much…
I cry without meaning to
I bleed and I die a little inside
When he puts his monstrous play-thing in me

When he leaves, I’m hurting and sore
I crawl back to my bed…to Little Amy
I tell her how sorry I am
I should never have picked her off the shelf
It was greedy of me to want her for myself
I am too big and she is too little
Though I brush her golden hair every night
I can see the changes in the colour
I see the fine, golden strands
That sticks to the brush
While she grows bald

But she’s like me
She never complains because she can’t
Its what she was made for
I never see her tears
And he never sees mine
My song is sweet and loud
That I never hear her screams
When my fine comb pulls her scalp
Just the same way
His groans overshadow my screams of pain
As he thrusts over and over again

We share the comfort of each other
After every ordeal
Hers in silence, mine in muted sobs
For we must not cry

#ChildNotBride!

Malcolm O. Ifi

Problems With Mobile Viewing Of Malcolm’s Blog

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Hi guys,

We have been trying to reconstruct Malcolm’s Blog and in the process, we encountered some unforeseen difficulties that have made mobile viewing difficult.

Investigations have revealed that this is a general problem on wordpress.com and we’ve laid complaints and expect it to be resolved as soon as possible.

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Admin Team.

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXV)

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playboy

22th April, 2013.
12: 13pm

As I sat in my office, my heart raced faster than normal. It had been that way since that night. I was unable to concentrate at work and pretty much everything else. I lived in fear but I felt relieved. Indeed, the first step is always the longest stride. My injuries were healing nicely but I had to make up a lie about my injuries even though I told myself I’d never lie again. So much for promises made to myself.

Even though the outcome was what I expected, I still couldn’t believe everything that happened. From my close shave with death at the hands of those hoodlums to the epiphany I had and the result afterwards.

Tunde was furious when I refused to take any of his calls after that night. I was supposed to give him feedback but what was I going to tell him? He sent several consolation messages when he realised that the worst might have happened. He warned me not to ever consider suicide, else he would chase me to the fiery depths of Hades and kill me himself. Even Amaka called but I wouldn’t take any of their calls. Tuoyo and Ifeanyi assumed the worst and checked up on my house everyday after work but never met me.

I needed some time away from the world to think so I lodged in a hotel. I used a cab everyday to work and made sure none of my friends could reach me while I was there. Malik and Nike gave me space, thinking I was grieving for my non-existent friend who’s funeral I attended.

Was I really ready to be a different person from who I was? Didn’t Christy deserve better than me? She hadn’t called me since that day. It was her idea that we shouldn’t speak till something happened. What “something” was, I couldn’t fathom and she wouldn’t tell.
…………………………………

Retro:

“Christy, I’m a jerk. Probably the biggest jerk you’ve ever met.” She didn’t utter a word. Neither was there a in change in her facial expression which I watched intently for any positive sign. She continued to clean my face gently with warm water laced with disinfectant.

“I screwed up big time. I betrayed you deeply and I haven’t had the nerve to show my face…until now.” I continued. There was still no change in her facial expression. It was totally blank.

“Christy…” I said gently. I took the hand that held the warm wet cloth to stop her from what she was doing. She finally looked at me with a tired expression on her face.

“I almost died today. ” I said with emphasis. “All I could think of was the fact that the one person I love in this world is probably still angry with me for the dumb, dumb mistake I made.”

I paused to recollect myself.

“I guess when my life flashed before my eyes, all I could see was the sadness in your eyes the day you left me. I had to live to make it right…if you’ll ever let me.” There was still no change in her demeanor. My words seemed useless. I had to let my heart speak.

“Chris…” I went on one knee, still holding her hand and taking the other in mine. “I’ve been totally miserable without you. You are the string that held my life together. I tried to forget you…I had other girls but none could fill the gaping hole you left. No one could occupy the special place you have in my heart.”

Her eyes became misty and she looked away.

“Chris, I’m here now…much wiser and ready to be the man you want.” I said candidly. I touched her face and felt her shiver. I turned her face to meet mine and that was when I saw her tears.

“Baby, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. All I ask is for one last chance. I swear on my life that I’ll make it right…I’ll never stray again…I’ll never make you cry ever again.” I said, very near to tears myself. I hated to see her hurt.

She stood up and left me on my knees and walked around the luxuriously furnished sitting room, deep in thought and suddenly she stopped and turned to me.

“Mickey, please stand up.” Her voice was soft and steady.

“I won’t until you forgive me.” I said earnestly. She smiled and shook her head.

“Well, you can stand up then.” She said.

“Do you forgive me?” I asked.

“Are you trying to bully me into forgiving you?” She asked with a little sneer.

“I can’t do that. I’m just…I just hope there’s still a little something in your heart that will make you forgive me…a little?”. I said hopefully. She came towards me and pulled me up to my feet.

“I forgave you a long time ago. I can’t stay angry at you for so long.” She said. When I made to hold her, she pushed me back.

“I’m not done yet.” Here goes, I thought.

“I find it rather distasteful that you could go behind my back and…and…God! Why did it have to be Kemi?!” She asked, her body shaking with emotion. I looked down, feeling deeply ashamed for the first time.

“I hated you for so long but I couldn’t keep up with it. It was eating me up inside so I decided to let it go. You hurt me so much…you made a fool out of me. When I think of the lies you told me at Tunde’s wedding…God! I was such a fool!! I knew you were lying but I didn’t want to believe it. How could you look me in the eye and lie and still sleep soundly at night with me by your side?” She shook as she spoke but it wasn’t rage, it was something else.

“I don’t know if I can ever trust you again…after that.” She said tears falling from her eyes.

“Baby…” I started but she cut me short.

“Don’t “baby” me! What you did was so, so wrong. I don’t deserve it. No one has ever hurt me the way you have. Yet, I just…just know that there’s something…I don’t know.” She said exasperated for the lack of words to capture how she felt, I guessed. She cleaned her eyes with the back of her hand.

There was an awkward silence. I felt like a child who was being scolded for taking a dip into the cookie jar. Yet, her reprimand though stern, wasn’t harsh. I didn’t know what to do.

“Chris, I know it may be hard to trust me again but all I ask is one last chance to prove myself…”

“My heart can’t take another shocker. Its too fragile…” She said, shaking her head.

“I’ll cushion my hands…I’ll do anything.” I said desperately.

“Your lip is still bleeding.” She said, dipping the cloth into the little bowl of water on the floor and dabbing my mouth. The water was lukewarm now but I still felt a little sting from the disinfectant. I held her hands.

“Just one last chance.” I pleaded. “I’m not perfect but I’ve put away my childish ways and I swear I’ll …”

“Shhh…your lips are bleeding again.” She said, trying to dab my lips again. I took her hand with the wet cloth and put it on my heart.

“My heart bleeds more. I don’t want to live without you. I need you Chris. I love you.” I said.

She sighed painfully and looked down. I reached for my pocket and went on one knee.

“Chris, this is probably not the best time to do this but if I die tomorrow, I’ll burn in a hell of my own making for realising too late what you’re worth. The day I first met you, I admit that you were just another girl but now, I know you’re THE girl.” As the suede box came out of my pocket, her hands flew to her mouth as she gasped.

“I guess what all my frolicking has done for me is show me that no one compares to you. I’m done with my sampling…I’m done with playing around. If you will marry me, I promise to treat you like the queen you are.” I retrieved the diamond ring and put it on her finger and kissed it with fervent prayers.

“Will you marry me Chris?” I said, looking up at her.

Her tears flowed freely and before long, she broke into heavy sobs.

“Why are you doing this now?” She cried. “This cruel. This is wicked.”

“I…I…I…don’t understand.” I stammered bemused.

“I can’t do this now. I can’t deal with this now. Its late. I have to get to bed. You have to go.” She said sobbing.

I felt myself deflate instantly. As I stood, she hurried me out of the house, crying profusely. I kept muttering “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, totally lost. Before I knew it, I was out in the dark and silent night. I walked unsteadily to my car, my mind totally blank. I entered the car and sat there watching as the darkness of the night faded gradually. I was too depressed to do anything but sit and mope.

An hour or more must have passed before a text message alert on my phone woke me up from my dazed stupor. It was from Christy. A short but concise message.

“My answer is YES but I think we shouldn’t communicate for a while. I’m waiting for something. Please go home now.”

Malcolm O. Ifi.

I Am Poetry

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By Arinze Ifi.

There can be no poetry where truth is absent. Science speak about facts and rationale, poetry speaks about truth…which is validated by the fluidity of expression, laden with intent so sincere, so true.

Poetry, like truth will not be discerned with fine logic, but by simple understanding the heart it deciphers.

Poetry appeals to the conscience, for that is the place of truth. She need not be refined, neither well organised…she knows her way home, and the choice of how to get there is her prerogative.

As misleading as would be judging character with dress sense, so it is with charming words and poetry. Charming words are calculated whereas poetry is spontaneous; charming words aim to impress whereas poetry aims to express; charming words pay compliment to ego, whereas poetry pays her compliments to nature; charming words are viscous whereas poetry flows through…

In all of my search for peace and tranquil, the abstractions from which I attempt to mould my perfect bliss comes not from anything else but poetry: that mindful expression, visible only to the mind’s eye and leading to the pathway of truth.

The Admonition

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Come to me thou fairest of ladies
For I need thee now
I am frail and weak
The weight of the world is my burden
And the shackles of time, my bond
My wings are clipped
And gravity has me glued to the earth
How I long to soar with the angels
Even as they beckon unto me
Their eyes filled with satisfaction
Of all I hope for

Be patient my love, she said
For good things come to those who wait
And the best for those
Who never settle for less
The moon never appears at daylight
Nor the sun at night
Do not be bowled over by the angels
Or for what thou seest in their pretty eyes
For beyond the glow are invisible tears
And pain well hidden

The forces hold you down
For your time is not yet come
You must learn how to walk
You must learn to run like a gazelle
Before you may take flight
Some are born with perfect wings
Others grow them with time
Each man has a journey
As unique and as different as a thumb print
Be useful as you await your map
For like others, it will lead you home

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXIV)

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playboy

18th April, 2013.
2: 00am

“My God! Mickey, what happened to you?!” Christy exclaimed, her hands flying to cover her mouth. She looked incredibly sexy in her semi-transparent nighties. Her hair was hidden beneath the colourful scarf she had on. There was genuine shock and worry in her eyes. I felt flattered to see that she still cared. Her heart had to be made of stone if she didn’t any way because at this particular point, I was a sight for sore eyes. My shirt was badly torn, I had a bad bump on my head that had some caked blood on it; my upper lip was badly cut and I could still taste my blood every now and then.

“Chris, whatever happened to me is irrelevant right now. All that matters is that I’m alive and I’m here…right now.” I said desperately.

“Come inside. Let’s get you cleaned up.” She said holding my hand and leading me inside. I finally got the info I’d been seeking; thanks to Clarisse. I had to call her and plead with her to hear me out. After much talk, she gave me the address of Christy’s new hideout – her cousin’s place in VGC.
…………………………….

The events that led me to that evening was one I never thought could ever happen. I had managed to escape Nike’s clutches after a wild night at her place. I justified my actions on the grounds that I owed her one and that it would be my last act of infidelity should things go as I planned.

I made extensive plans over the weekend to devise the most romantic way to recapture Christy’s heart. I chose to use the information I gathered to my advantage. I had spent the whole day bombarding her with emails, hand written notes begging her forgiveness. I wrote her streams of poetry which I knew she loved. I sent gifts to her at intervals at the office, making sure I littered her desk with gifts of penance.

I couldn’t have done any of this without my mole in her office, John. I gave him a call informing him of my clandestine location around her office premises where I had mounted a stakeout in the hopes of getting a glimpse of her. He was delighted to see me and the fact that I had a good bottle of his favorite Vodka waiting for him cleared whatever awkward feeling there might have been. He updated me on all that had transpired since the break-up. He told me about the scene she had with Kunle when he wouldn’t stop coming to the office.

Christy now suspected that something had gone on between him and Kemi and I had figured that would be the case when I made my confession about the video. The fact that Kemi was now regarded as a “relationship spoiler” made my chances look even better. I was convinced that there may still be a chance to salvage what was left.

I arranged with Tunde to appear at her branch to open up an account with her bank. He was to strike up a conversation with her that would lead them to making an arrangement for a brief beach outing after work that day. It would be a tough request but I knew she would oblige him. She liked Tunde a lot and if he requested catch-up time, she would never say no. Also, in the event that she asked of my whereabouts, he was to tell her that I had taken a 3 day leave of absence to attend the funeral of a childhood friend.

There was a particular spot where I and Christy always stood whenever we went to the beach. It gave us a breathtaking view of the Atlantic and at the right time, you could actually see the sun set. It was picture perfect. When I told Tunde that was where I intended to pop the question, he smiled and patted me on the back and said with a hilariously avuncular air, “I taught you well son.” Not before he warned me of what a bruise a refusal would do to my ego though.

However, most times things never go as planned.

I had prepared my mind that there were three possible outcomes; an outright refusal, a request for time to consider it or if all went well, an excited “yes”. I prayed it would be the latter. Tunde alerted Ifeanyi and Tuoyo as to what I was planning to do. They all knew the story so they wanted to be there to laugh at me should the worst happen and then console me. I didn’t care though. I was convinced that something drastic was needed and this was the best I could come up with.

Tunde gave me regular progress updates after he and Christy had met and discussed. She seemed glad at the prospect of hanging out with him after work but she didn’t ask of me. Not once did she act like I existed even when Tunde alluded to time past. He was alarmed about this as much as I was. Apparently the notes, mails and gifts I sent to soften her up a bit had not produced the desired result. I began to wonder about the what Clarisse and John had told me. Were they exaggerating my chances?

I shrugged off all fears and decided to push on. I realized that since I conceived the idea on how to get Christy back, I hadn’t really been sleeping or eating well for the past two days as I was as anxious as I was excited. It finally began to take its toll on me. When Tunde updated me that Christy was getting off from work quite late, I decided to nap a bit knowing he would handle all that needed to done. Thank God Amaka had traveled to be with her mom who hadn’t been feeling to well for some time or else she would have had my head on a plate for making her husband stay out so late.

Well, I overslept. I had dozed off around 6pm hoping to sleep for an hour but I woke with a start around 10: 12pm . I had slept so deep that I didn’t even realized it rained. My phone had over 12 missed calls and several messages, all from Tunde. I called him immediately.

“Guy, na wa for you oh! Where did you drop your phones?!” He said with relief.

“If I tell you what happened, you won’t believe. Do you know that I slept off?” I said honestly.

“You slept off?!” He asked in disbelief.

“Immediately after we spoke the last time. I thought I’d just sleep for an hour. I didn’t even know it rained.”

“Does this mean you’re still at home?” He asked alarmed.

“I’m just about leaving the house now.”

“Christy is already on her way to the beach oh. You better get your arse down here!” He roared angrily.

“Cool down bros. I dey come.” I said laughing.

I washed my face and changed my clothes in record time. I made sure the little suede box was in my pocket before I dashed into my car and drove like a maniac. Luckily, I was against the traffic so movement wasn’t so terrible and it cleared up as I approached the bridge. I was doing 110km/h when I came upon a bad spot on the bridge with those loose metals. I cut down speed and swerved – thank God for abs – and partially avoided it but it punctured my right back tire.

I swore under my breath. This couldn’t be happening!

I stopped the car, well aware that the spot was a dangerous place to be at that time of the night. I assessed the damage and considered whether to change the tire or manage it but I didn’t want to damage the rims. I called Tunde and told him about my unfortunate situation. He laughed and told me the elements were against me today as Christy was about to head home and he couldn’t hold her back much longer as she had to prepare for work the next day. He told me he was sending Tuoyo and Ifeanyi to come and assist me.

When I cut the call, I opened the trunk of my car and looked inside. As I contemplated on how to start, that was when I heard the voices. I looked on and saw three burly “agberos” walking towards me from the little Road Safety shack on the bridge. I didn’t even suspect anybody would be there by this time. As they drew nearer, so did the pungent aroma of marijuana. I was in trouble!

“Iwo ati moto tuntun e! Olorun ti mu o loni!!” I heard a coarse voice say. I gripped my wheel spanner and held it behind me.

“Chairmen, una well done oh!” I said respectfully but they ignored me. I observed them closely. The one who spoke had an open bottle of Alomo Bitters which he sipped at intervals as he eyed me maliciously. He was as black as the night and he wore a dirty red windbreaker which matched with colour of his eyes. The other two wore matching white t-shirts which had seen better days but they all matched each other in height and stature. The one on the left stubbornly smoked at the tip of what was left of the blunt. There was no way he wasn’t smoking part of the two fingers that held the blunt as well.

“Funmi lowo!” Red windbreaker growled.

“I nor dey hear Yoruba.” I said quietly as they advanced towards me. I kept my hands behind me. My wheel spanner was wet from the sweat in my palm.

Red windbreaker nodded his head softly which I saw as a sort of signal and my body tensed. His henchmen flew at me and knocked me into the open trunk of my car. The wheel spanner clattered uselessly to the floor. As they struggled to put me inside the trunk, my free right foot lashed out at the jaw of the first guy and I heard a snap before the scream as he fell to the floor. The other assailant took one glance at his hurt comrade and rained battering punches on me. I shielded my head as my left hand now freed from the clutches of the other, searched desperately for anything metal to hold as I struggled to get out of the trunk. I grabbed something which wasn’t metal but I bashed his head with it anyway and got a temporary respite as I forced my way out of the trunk.

Red windbreaker watched all this with an amusing expression on his face. He paid no attention to his comrade whose jaw I just broke as he writhed on the floor, clutching his mouth in agony. He just wrapped a big chain around his fist as he prepared for me.

“Oh, you motherfuckers! You just pissed me off!!” I said angrily as I tasted the blood on my lips, bouncing and taking a karate stance. I was lucky they didn’t have a gun.

“Bring it on!”

The white t-shirt guy lunged at me in rage, taking a wild swing which I blocked with my left hand and gave him a karate chop on his neck followed by a firm punch with my right to his sternum. I didn’t get the desired result but he staggered backwards and I followed immediately with a straight kick that connected perfectly with his jaw.

“Mogbe!” He yelled in pain as he stumbled and fell. Red windbreaker swung his long heavy metal chain at me with ease and I ducked just in time but it grazed the top of my head, drawing blood. The pain was unbelievable but I had to stay focused because these men would certainly kill me if they bested me. I picked up the wheel spanner as he tried to swing the chain again and danced away from reach. The first guy I’d broken his jaw was up but I swung the wheel spanner and connected with his head and he dropped like dead game without so much as a grunt.

The whole time of this brawl, I noticed two cars pass but they picked up speed as soon as they realized what was happening and left me to my fate. It was the car that drove in from the Marina on the wrong side of the bridge that saved me. As the headlights zoomed in on us, Red Windbreaker took to his heels, leaving behind his comrades. The guy with the broken jaw was out cold but the other scrambled to his feet and followed suit.

“Cowards!” I yelled. I leaned against the car gratefully and caught my breath. I kicked the unconscious dude on the floor in anger but he didn’t respond. The wheel spanner had done a good job. They met the wrong customer today. Tuoyo and Ifeanyi were out of the car, sprinting as they saw the sprawled form of my assailant on the floor.

“Shit man! Na you knock this guy out?!” Tuoyo asked with shock.

“E nor learn karate for nothing.” Ifeanyi responded with awe. I was too drained to say anything.

“Guys, abeg my tyre.” I said tiredly, pointing to my punctured tyre. Tuoyo hurriedly went to work while I and Ifeanyi kept watch, wary of reprisals. We were at the Marina in 15 minutes and as we approached Elegushin beach, my phone rang. It was Tunde.

“Dude, how far? I tried my best to hold her back oh. It didn’t work; she just drove out now.” He said apologetically.

Damn!

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Finding Balance

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The heart yearned for its mirror image
A feminine reflection of self
The eyes that would see through mine
And from who’s, I’d draw strength
To counter the delirious weakness
A direct result of awe at perfection
Over time and space continuum
Like silent wishes and prayers
Made at the dash of a shooting star
You were made many years ago
Different from me as I was from you
But made to go through fire
As was I, to fulfill demands of refinement
Walking the tracks of smoldering coal
Moulded at the hands of experience
That revealed our intertwined paths

You were a dream I could only whisper
Sweet, lofty, ephemeral, unattainable
Dissolving into smoke with each grasp
So frustrating
As time and time again
I relapsed to contentment with reality
But the fire only waned
It was never put out
Whiffs of you from a distance
Was enough to rekindle hopes
Hopes so frail, yet so strong
Like Canaries, we sang to each other
With each song came conviction
That breached time and space

A new purpose is set now
The course has been charted
The plan has been altered to fit two
Uncertainty means not much
For certainly, we now walk together
Friends, lovers and partners
Creating paths out of Daedalus’ labyrinth
To the ultimate goal
For which we live and breathe!

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXIV)

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playboy

April 13th, 2013.
05: 32am.

I got my three days leave approved later in the evening, thanks to Nike’s persistence and influence. She made it known that I owed her and she was going to collect, seeing that it was a weekend. I was so glad that I didn’t mind. I decided to give her a treat by taking her to the cinema to see a movie on saturday but she wanted my friday as well. Malik was so jealous that he made no attempt to hide it. He even went as far as passing a snide comment about banging management to curry special favours. He could be such a douchebag at times.

Nike and I left the office separately some few minutes after 8pm after we agreed that I’d leave my car behind. I left first and went to a bar close by so she could meet me up there as my boss was still very much around. She met me up a “bottle of red wine” later. She insisted we head over to her place in Lekki which was not too far from where the office was and movement was against traffic. She wanted to freshen up for the evening. Luckily, I always had a spare change of clothes in my car so I agreed it was a good idea. I strolled back to the office garage and retrieved a small duffel bag I always kept for such emergencies and she picked me up outside the gate.

I knew where her place was as I had driven her there before but I had never gone inside. I didn’t want to but now that we did, I was impressed. She stayed in one of those expensive gated estates that had massive security protocols. She got me through the first without so much as a question from the heavily muscled, mean-looking guards that would have intimidated me any day. In fact, they were so deferential to her that I even detected a little awe in their faces when they looked at me. She was indeed the iron lady.

She drove into a brilliantly lighted mini-city with trees decorating the streets. This was one of the things that constantly surprises me about Lagos. I know what the state is capable of but it still surprised me a lot when I came to such places. The first thought that crossed my head was that this was an ideal place to raise a family. I wondered how much it would cost to own a house here. I needed to up my game!

“We are here.” Nike said cheerily jolting me back to the present. She had just driven into a flowered compound that held two parking spaces. Her new SUV, a BMW X6 was still under the tarpaulin. She had told me about it when she returned from Kenya but had never used it. The Toyota Camry went to the empty space.

“Nice place to live, this estate.” I said with admiration.

“You like it?” She asked smiling.

“I do. Very much.” Stepping out of the car, the air smelled different. It was scented with the pleasant aroma of all sorts of wide flowers. Very unlike the densely polluted Lagos air I was so used to.

“I hear one of the houses here will be coming up for sale real soon.” She said as she searched her bag for her keys.

“Really? Any idea how much?” I asked.

“I’ll find out. You want to buy?” She asked quite surprised.

“Wouldn’t mind if I could. ” I replied. “Just want to have an idea of how much it. Some of my friends may be interested as well.”

She opened her doors and led the way to a tastefully furnished apartment that any man worth his style would be proud of. From her exquisite leather seats, thick rug, pink-flowered curtains that matched the sparkling chandelier that hung on the ceiling, larva lamp, aquarium, ceramic urns to her monster HD TV screen.

“So what can I offer you? I remember you have an affinity for Jack.” She said, smiling coyly referring to last encounter.

“Jack is good.” I said smiling back, knowing at that point that we wouldn’t be going out anytime soon. She brought out a fresh bottle and handed it to me to break the seal. When I had done that, I poured a shot inside the two glasses she set before me. She swallowed hers in a gulp and made a funny sound that made me laugh.

“I felt that! Now I know why you take it straight.” She exclaimed laughing.

“Its not the best every time though. Especially if you’re having more than a couple of shots.” I said, sipping on mine. There was a curious gaze on her face as she observed me.

“Why are you staring at me like that?” I asked, mildly surprised.

“Nothing. I’m just glad you came with me. I had the idea that you never wanted to visit me here, especially as you made clear that you didn’t want me to visit.” She said.

“Well, you know why.”

“Yeah. Your girl…or is it girls?” She winked mischievously.

“Whatever.” I said laughing. I finished my drink.

“Let me show you around.” She said sweetly. She could tell by this time that I liked what I saw.

“Ok.” I said, shrugging. She took my hand and led me to the kitchen. You know those kitchens you see on MTV Cribs? Hers was straight out of it. A well-stocked double fridge attached to the wall, cabinets of polished hard wood, sparkling utensils that seem to never have been used, marble floors and walls…it was all too much. What young, hustling man wouldn’t feel intimidated by all this. My respect for her skyrocketed.

“So what do you think?” She asked.

“What do I think? I’m amazed…overwhelmed. You’ve got mad style and you certainly know how to live it up.” I said sincerely.

She smiled shyly looking very pleased. “I don’t get to cook much though. I wish I had the time…or someone to cook for.” Her voice dropped as her face did.

A strong wave of emotions gripped me. It was a mixture of pity and sadness at how empty and lonely her life must be. She was an independent woman; strong and successful on the outside but yearning for something deep and passionate behind her shell of corporate success.

I held her face in my hands and kissed her. Her response was instantaneous; it was like she expected my reaction to her words. Her tongue was on fire as she took over the initiative and stung my lips with hot kisses, violently probing my mouth and sucking at my tongue, leaving me breathless. As I held on to her back, she acrobatically jumped on me, wrapping her legs around my waist with automatic precision. I held on to her while kissing her lips, her neck line, nibbling her ear lobes, kissing the fleshy part of her chest while she moaned.

As things fired up, she tore at my shirt ripping off two buttons in the heat of the moment. The light sounds of the buttons as they bounced on the marble floor made me realise how quiet the house was. The rest of my clothing came off with ease as I struggled with hers. I was stark naked with my cock hard and throbbing while I struggled to get her off hers. She laughed at my urgency and assisted me in undressing her as bare as I was. Our hurriedly dispatched clothes was a blight on the tidy kitchen.

I ravished her breasts with my mouth as she somehow continued to stroke my hardness, making me lose my mind. I lifted her to the polished wood and when I entered her, she was well lubricated and shuddered with delight as the whole of me slid into her with minimal interference. As our synchronized movements became feverish and more animalistic, I felt the pressure build and withdrew immediately, eager to deliver a sterling performance on away ground.

I lifted her from the table and told her to point the way to her bedroom. She giggled and showed the way. We both knew that this was our destination all along…

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Turning Tables (XI)

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“I’m proud of you man.” Max was telling me. “So you’re finally going to settle down. That’s good. Really good.” He said beaming.

“Yeah. I’ve never been surer of anything. I’m at a really good place in my life right now.” I said feeling different. I had never seen a happier Bola since the morning I proposed. It was quite a joy to watch the unconscious smile on her lips and the adoration in her eyes when she looked at me. I felt lucky.

When I called my mom to tell her about the engagement, she sighed with resignation; all hopes of her match-making gone to flames but she was happy. I had hoped that she would get off my back with talk of grand kids and such. How wrong I was! After trying unsuccessfully to pry with guile if Bola was already pregnant, she came out straight and asked.

“Mom, she’s not pregnant.” I said patiently.

“Why?” She asked, surprised.

“What do you mean by ‘why’?” I asked, not too surprised at her insistence. I knew what was coming next.

“How do you know she can bear children then?” She asked seriously.

“Is she not a woman? That’s what women do – bear children.” I said, toying with her.

My mother sighed disappointed before she continued. “Stop acting like a child who is unaware. Don’t you know that before you purchase goods in the market, you must properly examine them to be sure you got a good bargain?”

I burst into a fit of laughter as my mother spoke. She sounded so serious. “Mom, this is marriage; not a commercial transaction.”

“What will you say after a year and she doesn’t give me a grandchild?” She asked relentlessly.

“Ah! So all you care about is your grandchild?”

“I don’t have much left to hope for in this life. My grandchildren are the last satisfaction I’ll gain in what’s left of my life. And you know I will not always be around.”

“Oh c’mon mommy! You’ll live forever. Stop acting like you’ll be no more. You’re the strongest woman I know.” I said, chiding her gently.

“I’m not going to live forever, oh. Hmmm, aburom mmuo.” She said.

“Stop being pessimistic now, eh…mommy?”

She sighed and didn’t speak about the issue further. We went on to discuss about arrangements to visit Bola’s parents and other ancilliary matters after which she advised me to be careful. We both knew specifically what she was talking about but didn’t draw the matter any further.

I was a bit uneasy after the call because it brought back the nagging worry that there was still a lose end. I hated loose ends because they had a habit of coming back to bite you in the arse when you least expected it. I could take all the precautions in the world but it still wouldn’t be as certain as knowing what your ill-wisher had in mind for you. Well, I found out soon enough.

It happened two days after I returned from formal introductions with Bola’s parents. We chose the weekend for convenience. I had gone with Alex, an old childhood friend I hardly saw because of the Lagos hustle, Gbenga – a work colleague, my cousin Emeka and of course, Max to Ogun State where Bola’s parents resided. It was a cheerful affair and Dr. And Mrs. Walter Okikiola proved to be a handful pair. They seemed to complete each others sentences as the never-ending questions came on and on. A few of Bola’s uncles, cousins and family friends were present but her granny – who spoke queen’s English was the star of the day as she kept fussing over me, telling me what a nice looking chap I was.

Dr. Walter Okikiola was a consultant gynaecologist who had a very successful private practice in Ogun State. I began to understand why he wanted Bola to follow in his steps. Mrs. Evelyn Okikiola was a branch manager with one of the old generation banks. They had three daughters and I finally met the other two; Ola, a journalist and Temi, an engineering student in Babcock University. They were a happy family and I was glad we would be joining forces soon.

Bola came back to Lagos on Monday morning as she was on the evening shift. I didn’t get to see her because I had already left for work but we talked for hours on the phone as she regaled me with tales of what transpired after I had left with my entourage. I promised I’d pick her up when her shift ended at 6pm if I didn’t get the chance to stop by. My day was already looking to be a very busy one as I had to visit the site and meet clients, make payments and purchases.

It was around 4pm that I found some time for myself. I decided to surprise her figuring she wouldn’t be expecting me till much later. When I drove into the hospital premises, she was at the entrance with several colleagues. Her face lit up at once as she saw my car. As I parked, her colleagues dispersed as she left them and walked towards me.

“What are you doing here by this time?” She asked, quite glad to see me. She gave me a hug and a peck.

“I just had some spare time and thought I’d see my baby.” I said, holding her tightly.

“Grandma has called twice already today asking about you. You better call her.” I laughed, recalling how fussy she was.

“I will. In fact, let me call her now…” I stopped short as I saw the familiar figure of Lola walking towards us. She was dressed in casual jeans and a t-shirt with a fanciful leather hand glove and a red scarf for her hair. Her hand bag was strapped to her shoulders which she looked into from time to time She didn’t look too well. Bola saw my gaze and turned; I heard her catch her breath.

“Your ex.” She whispered.

“I know baby. Just wait for me here, let me see what she wants.” I said softly. She nodded. I walked towards Lola and stopped when she got close.

“Tony.” She said, smiling at me. A smile that still had traces of shock and bore a hint of malice.

“Lola.” I said, keeping my face expressionless.

“I didn’t know I’d meet you here.” She said, shuffling her feet.

“Neither did I.” I said quietly. She regarded me for a few seconds.

“Congratulations on your engagement.” She didn’t do much to hide the bitterness in her voice.

I hid my surprise well. She had been doing a good job of keeping tabs on me. “Thank you.” I said.

“I wanted to congratulate her too for stealing my man.” She said maliciously and loud enough for Bola to hear.

“Your man?” I sighed in exasperation. “Does Joy know you’re here?” I asked as I began to scroll through my address book to find Joy’s number.

She was fast but I was watching her the whole time. She pushed me aside suddenly and bolted towards Bola who had been resting on my car watching us intently. Bola straightened up defiantly as she saw Lola approach. I reached out and caught her right hand which held something that I didn’t see on time. I jerked her backwards roughly and the little bottle she held spilled on my right hand and parts of my shirt.

I watched in horror as the liquid fried the skin on my hand and created black holes which dug their way to my chest, on the spots it came in contact with my shirt. The speed at which my skin deteriorated as it came in contact with the odious liquid was amazing! Lola and Bola screamed simultaneously!

Knowing what the contents of the bottle was, I ignored the pain temporarily and knocked it off Lola’s hands. She seemed shocked at the fact that my skin was burning as she stared hopelessly. The little bottle smashed on the floor releasing what was left of its contents. A little smoke design rose from the shards of the broken bottle. Bola was screaming for the hospital security, two of them were sprinting with amazing agility towards us. Lola knelt close to me, crying and saying “I’m sorry” over and over again.

I hurriedly peeled off my burning shirt, ignoring the searing pain on my hands. Bola by this time had gripped Lola’s hair after discarding her red scarf and was raining blows all over her body totally berserk. It was a quite a frightful picture of her in her nursing outfit beating the shit out of Lola. The security guards managed to pull Bola off who was in tears as she struggled out of their grip and ran towards me.

“Baby, I’m so sorry…what kind of madness is this?” She wept as she examined my hands. By this time, there was quite a crowd outside watching the unexpected spectacle. Bola’s colleagues rushed to my side and led me inside the hospital. As we got to the entrance, a gurney was waiting where I was told to lie on immediately and my acid-burned hands were put on ice. There were a couple of blotches on my chest. Bola caught up with the gurney and continued to weep at my disfigured hand.

“Its alright, baby. I’ll be okay.” I said, smiling amidst the pain, trying to soothe her. She nodded through her tears. I smiled and closed my eyes. At least, I was able to save her. I became conscious of the familiar smell of the hospital and laughed at myself. I was here again, thanks to Lola!

Translations:
*aburom mmuo – I’m not a spirit.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Mickey Jay: Memoirs Of A Lagos Playboy (XXXII)

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playboyApril 12, 2013.
11: 23pm

“You’ve been avoiding me.” I heard Nike’s voice say.

“What?” I said looking up. She was wearing a grey skirt suit with a black blouse. Her short skirt gave a generous view of her light skinned and spotless legs. She looked stunning as always.

“No, I’m not. Just got a lot on my mind lately.” I said. I was sitting in the cafeteria having a cup of coffee as I went through the morning’s paper. I woke up feeling chills and a bit slow so I figured some caffeine in the system would help. I was so engrossed in what I was reading that I didn’t bother to look up when I heard the clack-clack of her heels in the tiled floor until she spoke.

She pulled a chair and sat close, staring at me. I could feel her eyes on me but I chose not to react. When she saw I wasn’t willing to say anything, she spoke.

“Did I do something wrong?” She asked. I looked up from my paper.

“How?”

“You’ve been avoiding me…”

“I…” I tried to cut in but she wouldn’t have it.

“… And don’t say you haven’t. I know when someone doesn’t want to talk to me. I wasn’t born yesterday.”

I sighed and leaned back on my seat. It was a few minutes past 8am and the buzz of office activity was just picking up. I was hoping to get a few moments of quiet before attacking the files on my desk but it wasn’t to be.

“You promised me we’d hangout and I’ve been waiting for you but it seems you’re not interested any more.” She continued, visibly agitated. I remembered that we’d spoken a few times since she returned from Kenya and I only made the offer for us to hang out on the premise that she would head back before we had a chance. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to be heading back any time soon so unconsciously, I’d been avoiding her.

“Its not that.” I said.

“Then what is it? You’ve never even dropped by my office to say hi…when we’re at meetings, you totally ignore me…after such meetings, you disappear before I have a chance to recover…”

“A close friend died.” I said, cutting her short. I watched as her expression went from sadness to shock, then sympathy. I was even surprised how those words came out from my mouth. I had received word last week about the passing on of a former neighbour. We weren’t that close but he was a cool dude.

“I’m so sorry.” She said taking my hand with genuine care in her eyes. I gave her most solemn look as I nodded sadly.

“Were you close?” She asked, her voice laden with concern.

“Like brothers.” I lied, soaking up her sympathy greedily and putting up my most mournful face. She drew her seat and closer and caressed my back.

“I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me? I feel so insensitive coming here complaining. What can I do to make it better?” She asked.

“Oh, don’t worry. I’ll be ok.” I said unconvincingly.

“Come on, just tell me…I’ll do anything.” She insisted in the most sincere way that I found sweet.

I hesitated. “I wouldn’t mind a few days off. I’d like to travel to pay my respects. I took a few days off last month so I know it may seem awkward asking for another this month.”

“Done.” She said smiling and caressing my hands. I managed to smile back when on the inside, I felt like bursting. She was a darling of the director and besides, she once headed the HR Department so she still had a lot of clout there.

“Thank you, Nike.” I said gratefully caressing her hands when Malik barged into the cafeteria.

“Dude, what are you doing here…” He stopped when her saw Nike and I holding hands.

“Morning Nike.” He said, his voice sounding a bit stuffed as he attempted miserably to hide a smirk. She withdrew her hands from mine immediately and stood up.

“Malik.” She nodded before left the cafe. Malik waited for her get out of ear shot before he spoke.

“Mickey, Mickey!” He said, grinning mischievously. He sat down where she had just left and leaned back and surveyed my smiling face.

“What’s this smile for? Was she proposing to you?” He asked, laughing.

“Nope. I just got a few days off.” I said, grinning from ear to ear like a satisfied Cheshire cat, totally impressed with myself.

“How? You took a few days off like a month ago. Director no go even consider you at all till next year, wallahi!” He said.

“We shall see.” I said smiling confidently. “Why were you looking for me?”

“There’s a guy who wants to see you. He’s been at the waiting area for the past ten minutes.” He said excitedly. “People are saying he’s that Nigerian basket baller who plays in the NBA.”

“Huh?” I was dumbfounded.

“Suzanne is all over him right now.” He said laughing. I didn’t believe a word of what Malik said but I poured what remained of my coffee away and rushed towards my office with Malik struggling to keep up. Would that dude have the nerve to show his face here, I wondered.

I got to the waiting area in front of my office but the long chair was empty, so was the rest of my section. I felt cold rage grip me. Did he enter my office uninvited? I didn’t even look back to ask Malik where he was. I opened the door with anger expecting to see his intimidating form looking around my private space and tampering with my property but my office was just as I had left it.

I sighed in relief because I had no idea how I was going to react. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to stop myself from smashing my fist into his face. As I took some time to calm and regain my composure, I heard his infuriating baritone call my name.

“Well, if it isn’t the non-dancing Michael Jackson where he ekes out a living.” He said with derision.

I closed my fist regretfully, wishing we could just settle this thing he had for me with our fists once and for all. I turned around and looked at him. Suzanne and Phoebe, both basketball afficionados were fussing around him, giggling with such adoration that I found extremely silly. Malik and a few other colleagues barged into my office snapping away with their phones, tablets and iPads.

“You have a very bad habit of popping in places where you’re not wanted, don’t you Kunle?” I said quietly as I strode to my seat.

“Oh, I think I’m wanted here.” He smiled at Suzanne and Phoebe who both giggled foolishly. Malik who had been watching with surprise moved into the office and extended his hand to Kunle.

“I’m Malik. I’m Mickey’s friend and most trusted colleague.” He said shamelessly.

I shook my head in disgust. He was a star and those who had seen him on TV never failed to remind him what a star he was. He shook hands with Malik while he gave me a ridiculous look.

“Would you excuse your groupies now? I haven’t got all day.” I said, switching on my laptop.

He sighed regretfully at Sue and Phoebe and bade them farewell. They blushed and giggled like kids who just got candy; it was infuriating. As the little crowd exited my office, Malik stayed on.

“You too.” I said, nodding to Malik.

“Come on!” He exclaimed disappointedly. He headed for the door and stopped when he stood next to Kunle. It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. Malik was about 5’7 and looked like a Lilliputian where Kunle stood.

“I’ll be honoured to give you a tour of the office when you’re done here.” He said in his most patronizing tone.

“Malik!” I called again and he skipped out of my office shutting the door respectfully. Kunle watched all this with amusement on his face.

“Interesting people you work with.” He remarked.

“What do you want now?” I asked exasperated. “You don’t seem to have an ounce of respect for other people’s privacy.”

“Aren’t you going to offer me a seat.” He asked.

“Sit down if you want to and get on with it.” I said impatiently.

“Why are you being so mean to me? Ok, I took Çhristy from you but not many guys do that and provide you with a soft landing cushion, eh?” He said, grinning knowingly, and sitting down across my desk.

I raised my eyebrows. “What are you talking about?”

He leaned forward and smiled. “I’m talking about Chloe my man! You think I dunno you’ve been hitting that?”

“Hitting what? Dude, some of us actually have to work for a living…not chase a leather ball around so if you don’t mind…” I said.

“Ouch!” He said leaning back. He looked at me for a while in silence. “Ok man, you win. Whatever I had with Christy, you’ve destroyed.” He said, sighing.

It was my turn to be amused. I was exceedingly glad at this but I told myself not to trust this dude.

“Boo-hoo. So you’ve come to cry to me.” I said with disdain. He smiled.

“You’re still mad at me. With good reason too.” He said.

“Oh, I’m overjoyed with you.” I said with sarcasm. He stood up.

“I won’t take up more of your time. She didn’t send me here but I know she still loves you.” He paused and looked at me. I was flipping through some papers without seeing them as my heart thumped like it was going to jump out of my chest. I was acting like I wasn’t interested in what he was saying but my ears were working at full capacity.

“I’m just trying to show good faith here. I care about her and I just want to be sure that you’ll treat her right…”

“Get out.” I said quietly, looking up at him. He stared at me for a few seconds, smiled and left. I leaned back on my chair and smiled from the bottom of my heart in a long time.

Malcolm O. Ifi.

Decoding The Secret Language of the Universe: How Your Beliefs Shape Your Reality

Hi guys,

I apologize for not writing in quite a while. I’ve been unbelievably busy.

Yesterday however, I stumbled on this wonderful and thought-provoking article written by Steve Pavlin and thought I should share it on my blog.

Read, ponder and believe!

………………………………..

HJ: Every single thing you encounter on your journey through life is highly significant.  Every moment contains the potential for awakening.  Life is a feedback loop, a cosmic mirror if you will, constantly reflecting back to you the contents of your own heart and mind.

A book I have been reading made the analogy that the mind is like an oven.  Whatever you put in an oven is baked.  You can put a cake in or a shoe in and the oven will do the exact same thing — bake.  The mind works the same way.  It brings into your life whatever it is you hold in it.  If you fill it with doubt, confusion and limiting beliefs, well then you will get a life that reflects those things and everyone you encounter will reflect them back to you because they will influence everything you say, think and do.

On the other hand, if you hold the thought or vibration of love, abundance and peace, that is what you will experience in the circumstances in your life and will find people reflecting back to you time and time again.

Therefore, you meet yourself time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.  When you realize this, you gain a mirror into your mind and soul that allows you to grow and evolve your consciousness at incredible speeds.

This is the path to freedom.  This is the path to awakening.  This is the path to deep, lasting peace that is totally within your reach in every moment.

Remember, the Buddha awakened in an instant.  You have the exact same potential within you.

- Truth

Do Your Beliefs Reflect Reality or Create It?

By Steve Pavlina | Steve Pavlina

Does it really make sense to convince yourself to believe something that may or may not be true? Where do you draw the line?

What defines truth? Is truth an external quality, completely independent of the observer?

If reality is completely independent of you, external and objective, then you can say that truth is entirely outside yourself. Truth would then be independently measurable and verifiable. This means that your beliefs will have no effect on reality itself. Whether you believe the world is peaceful or violent, your thoughts will have no impact on the level of peace in the world.

But if reality is at least partially subjective, then you cannot separate external truth from your own thoughts. Your thoughts would be affecting external reality. This means that you cannot merely look to external reality for truth because your thoughts are creating it. If you believe the world is peaceful or violent, your own thoughts contribute to shaping the world in accordance with your beliefs.

So if reality is 100% independent of our thoughts, then it makes sense to study external reality to figure out what to believe. Seeing is believing. The best we can do is to perceive external reality as accurately as possible, so we can make the best possible decisions.

But if reality is even partially created by our thoughts, then we cannot merely look to external reality as an impartial observer because our thoughts will be creating things at the same time we’re trying to observe. There can be no passive observation in this case. Our own beliefs will be reshaping reality. Believing is seeing. If this is how reality works, then we need to assume great care in choosing our thoughts responsibly because they are affecting the world itself.

So which type of reality do we actually live in?
Many people behave as if we live in the purely objective reality. However, it’s easy to see that this answer is definitely wrong, but only when you’re on the outside looking in. If you believe in a purely objective reality, you’ve trapped yourself in your own thought bubble, where your beliefs are creating a higher degree of objectivity than inherently exists. By dropping this belief, you’ll be more capable of taking advantage of the creative power of your thoughts. In order to use your thoughts to create, you must first believe it’s at least conceivably possible to do so.

There are several reasons why this is so. First, if quantum theory is to be believed, then it’s clear that our observations influence reality. An unobserved quantum system can be expressed only probabilistically, but an observed one undergoes quantum collapse and manifests a single, measurable outcome. And this effect can even be linked with macroscopic events, such as in the case of Schrodinger’s cat experiment.

However, you don’t need to dive into quantum physics to see how your thoughts affect reality. At the very least, it should be obvious that you’re capable of interacting with the world through direct action. If you make a decision to do something and then do it, your thoughts are affecting reality through your actions.

Secondly, your thoughts can affect reality through indirect action, whereby your beliefs make you a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go to work each day, you’re a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s no law of the universe that says you have to do so. It’s your beliefs that get you going to work each day. And when you do that, you have an impact on the world, again through your actions. You perform certain work, and you neglect to perform different work. Your beliefs about reality will be reflected through your actions, often in extremely subtle ways. I haven’t had a job since the early 90s because I believe I don’t need one and that I wouldn’t ever want one. That shapes my experience of reality as well as impacting everyone who comes into contact with me.

Thirdly, there may be a pathway that allows for your thoughts to impact reality while bypassing direct action, such as through superconscious means. For example, do your thoughts about wanting to start your own business somehow mobilize the universe to bring you the resources you need through the experience of synchronicities? Many people believe this to be the case. This is something I’ve been studying actively lately, trying to understand to what degree I can change reality just by intending it to change.

But whether you believe in superconscious effects or not, you should at least be able to accept that your thoughts can change reality through direct (conscious) or indirect (subconscious) action. You can act upon the world. You can move things around, talk to people, make changes, etc. Of course, if you harbor the belief that your actions will be ineffective, then you create yourself as a powerless entity. But if you were to change your beliefs about that, you could significantly change the world.

Your thoughts are not merely passive observations. They have a creative component to them. And that component, however small it may be, means that you are creating whenever you think. You’re either directly making decisions, or you’re programming your subconscious, or you’re putting out superconscious intentions that will eventually manifest in some way.

This is a key point. Understand that beliefs are decisions. They are choices. When you hold a belief, you aren’t merely observing reality — you’re actively creating it. So if you adopt the belief that you will lose weight, understand that what you’re doing is choosing to lose weight. You’re setting up the prophecy you wish to fulfill. If your thoughts could not impact reality, then this would be foolish. But if your thoughts can and do impact reality, then it’s just common sense to choose the beliefs that are aligned with what you wish to create. So if you’re overweight and believe you cannot lose weight, you’re actually choosing to be fat. And underlying that belief may be a whole web of other disempowering beliefs — you may need to unravel quite a few of these in order to feel comfortable creating fitness for yourself.

The belief that reality is purely objective and that your thoughts cannot influence it is nothing but a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby you abuse the power of thought to make yourself powerless. And it is only fear that causes you to do this, fear that if you were to fully embrace the creative power of your thoughts, you wouldn’t be able to handle it and would be overwhelmed with a feeling of responsibility. But that fear is also a belief, one which you’re equally free to drop because it doesn’t serve you. You have the power to let it go whenever you’re ready.

I hold the belief that my thoughts are capable of having a significant impact on reality, and I feel a strong sense of responsibility for what I am creating with my thinking. It took a long time, but I feel I’ve successfully aligned my dominant thoughts with what I believe is the greatest good of all — for all of us to grow more conscious and aware. My whole life is aligned with that purpose. But ultimately it’s a choice. This is how I choose to live.

I think that anyone who’s been following my progress for the past year can see how my thoughts and beliefs are helping to reshape reality. Because I believe I can have an impact, I’m able to do so. Like everyone else I’m a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have the privilege of reaching out to a lot of people every time I sit down to write (in October this site received 975,000 page views). But this simply occurred as a natural consequence of my chosen beliefs. I didn’t look to external reality to decide whether I could do this or not. I didn’t waste time looking outside myself to figure out how successful I could be. I simply decided to make it so, knowing that my beliefs would find a way to manifest. On the other hand, I could just as easily have settled for beliefs that would have me sitting around and doing nothing.

Now fast forward ten or twenty years. It shouldn’t be hard to predict the effect my beliefs will have in the long run. It will mean eventually influencing millions of people on a regular basis. And if the effect is a strong and positive one, then it can have a significant impact on the future direction of life on earth. The individual effects may be small, but the cumulative effect of getting more people to consciously chose a purpose for their lives could be huge. Now if one person can have such an impact simply by choosing to believe it’s possible to do so, then what could 10 or 100 or 1000 people accomplish if they consciously chose to harbor thoughts which serve the greatest good of all?

So the problem with looking purely outside yourself to decide what to believe is that you make yourself powerless by doing so. This approach would only make sense if you were a passive observer viewing an independent system. But that’s not the reality you’re living in. You aren’t a passive observer. You’re a part of what you’re observing. Right now you might be perceiving yourself as a small and insignificant part of the whole, but you can choose to play a bigger and more impactful role if you want to.

Is it true that with greater power comes greater responsibility? No. Your responsibility remains the same, regardless of how much power you have. You can only give up power, never responsibility. And the first way you give up power is to mistakenly believe you do not possess the power which you already do.

Culled from http://www.thehealersjournal.com

TO SADIQ ABACHA — ON BEHALF OF WOLE SOYINKA | BY AYO SOGUNRO

saymalcolm:

This right here is the mother of all rejoinders. Read, reminisce and react!

Originally posted on Ayo Sogunro's Chaise:

Dear Sadiq Abacha,

I do not know you personally, but I admire your filial bravery—however misguided—in defending the honour of your father, the late General Sani Abacha. This in itself is not a problem; it is an obligation—in this cultural construct of ours—for children to rise to the defence of their parents, no matter what infamy or perfidy the said parent might have dabbled in.

The problem I have with your letter, however, arises from two issues: (i) your disparaging of Wole Soyinka, who—despite your referral to an anecdotal opinion that calls him as “a common writer”—is a great father figure, and a source of inspiration, to a fair number of us young Nigerians; and (ii) your attempt to revise Nigerian history and substitute our national experience with your personal opinions.

Therefore, it is necessary that we who are either Wole Soyinka’s “socio-political” children, or who are ordinary Nigerians…

View original 1,336 more words

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