No condition is permanent

 

“No Nigerian arrangement is permanent unless that which has been arrived at by negotiated compromise. This fundamental principle is more than a habit. It is deeply rooted in the way of life. It is a religion.” – Peter Enahoro, “How to be a Nigerian”.

“No condition is permanent” this is the phrase that defines us as Nigerian. If Nigerian is a pizza, this phrase is like the pineapple to the Hawaian – it is everywhere. It is pasted on the windscreen of  the danfo bus I am sitting in. It was also  painted above the notice –  “If I am driving recklessly, please call 080-a-number-that-will-probably-never-ring-when-dialed”- on the trailer the danfo just drove pass as it meandered through the thick Lagos traffic.  Perhaps it attests to our unique national optimism that we can allow incompetent drivers on the road and expect other road users to make sure they drive safely,  but I digress. My thoughts are interrupted by Sunny, the bus driver, who I now know has 3 wives, 2 girlfriends and 7 (soon to be 9) children, a group he will like me to join in the capacity of “his extra tyre”. “Can you see that?” He points at a  2017 Porsche Cayennes with the same conviction he did when he asked me to be his “extra tyre” saying that he’ll one day  upgrade his battered 2003 model Toyota bus to it. . He says “Don’t worry, I will buy your own. Colour porpu! Walahi o ma fit e. Shey you wi be my extra tyre?”. I ignore him and finally he says “aunteee, no condition is permanent o!”. To him that sealed the validity of his aspirations as he reminds me that  he once drove a similar car when he worked as a company driver. Now, he owned his own bus, run down as it may be, and tomorrow he’ll own his own Porsche. His confidence was like someone that of someone who had just presented a full business plan, starting capital and profit projections.

No condition is permanent that why the musician whose voice is crooning on the airwaves reminds us that “Ti o ba n rise mase pe padi e lo le”. An admonishment that  the mighty may still fall and so he ought not to call anyone lazy. Perhaps this explains the corruption. It is the reason why the man in the Porsche tipped the policemen heftily as they hailed him chanting “my honourable…..shon sa” for doing a job they’re paid to. Maybe we’re looking at it the wrong way. Perhaps every time the bill to raise the national minimum wage comes up for voting, Mr. honourable-with-the-Porsche remembers how fickle his political life span is, how he’ll forever be hailed as honourable and that he will always be one from whom a hefty tip is expected. Hence, he heeds the advice his colleagues gave him at the beginning of his tenure- “alawe,  remember that no condition is permanent”- and votes nay.  He reminds himself that at least the lootable portion of the national cake  remains intact and he can always rid his guilt with hefty tips that guarantee he will always be remembered as a kind man.

“No condition is permanent” is what I hear myself say, as I walk pass a pot hole on my way back home, and I almost bite my tongue in contempt of the phrase. It is my fifth interview in 3 months and unlike the others, I did not have to endure the scrawny look on the secretary’s face when she tells me the position as been filled and the nasty attitude which she responds with when I object to the transport fare I wasted to attend their scheduled interview. The interview held and I attended it looking dishevelled. Oh no, I did not leave my house looking that way. In fact, I must say I survived the treacherous journey as I navigated the meander littered with pot holes to make it out of the the Agege municipality, a ghetto I call home. As surreal as it may seem, the gator lines that framed my white A-line skirt weathered the storm of dusty danfo seats, and the weight of the child bearing hips of the woman with whom I shared the front passenger seat of the danfo bus. Oh….I was not late. In fact I arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule but I arrived soaking wet. I still feel the interviewers eyes on me when noticed the extra weight of my skirt  now visible in the giant mud map that made it hard to  believe it was once white. Three to four footsteps from the bus stop and a car navigating its way through the potholes of Sani Ali street took a dive into a pot hole leaving me soaked, a gift of the silent conspiracy between mother nature, the bad government and the car-owning-upper class Lagosian.

*******

This piece is inspired by the Peter Enahoro’s “How to be a Nigerian” (Recommended by Oluchee). A book first published in 1966 which lends it well to what Chris Abani refers to as the Noir era. Aptly titled “How to be a Nigerian”, it was written 6 years post independence which is enough time to evolve from shadows of colonialism and the both world wars and settle upon our national identity. The book itself testifies to our struggles to emerge out from colonialism as it was published by The Daily times and printed by Caxton Press, both figments of our colonial past that no longer exist in Nigeria. But as they say, no condition is permanent. Today we talk about how the literary world is littered with the likes of Kachifo and Okada books. In noir Nigeria, perhaps, what we can agree 53 years later is that the one permanent thing is our piety to the notion that “NO CONDITION IS PERMANENT”

Nigerian/African food in Prague

People talk about bad food cravings during pregnancy but never really about holiday food cravings. I think the power of food to make you feel at home in foreign lands is often underestimated. When food unites, there is a degree of familiarity it brings about that makes everything seem less distant (I decided this after my first bowl of pepper soup at a Nigerian restaurant in the UK). I will stop with the rambling and tell you about finding African/Nigerian food in Prague (Czech Republic).

For some food…

  1. Classic Afro bistro: A  Nigerian restaurant which serves everything from efo riro and ogbono to pepper soup. It is located at Katerinska 2/485/20, 128 00 Nove Mesto. The closest tram station is Stepanska from which the restaurant is a 5-6 minute walk. The closest metro stations are Karlovo Namesti (which is on the yellow line) and I.P Pavlova (which is on the red line) and outside of which you can get a tram heading to Stepanska. Important: this does not open until 1pm.

For some groceries –

  1. An African Shop: I do not remember the exact name of this store but it definitely meets all your grocery needs. This shop stocks everything from indomie, plantain and stock fish to your favorite cantu hair products. At the time of this blog post, the shop is not on google maps. However, it can be found on Ve Smeckach street located between the Mustek and Muzeum Metro stations (both on the green line). The shop will be no more than a 10-minute walk from either metro stations. Try to locate the alley way next to El Pueblo Steak House. Head into the alley way and take the second right and then down a set of stairs. This should bring you straight to the shop.
  2. Shalamar foods: This is a Pakistani food shop. However, it meets your african food needs selling african spices, scotch bonnet and plantain among other things. It is located at Lipanska 835/3, 130 00 Praha 3-Zizkov, Prague. The closest tram stop is Lipanska and the store is a 2 minute walk up an hill behind the tram stop.

Dear reader, if you locate any other African stores or restaurants, kindly drop a description in the comment section below.

Remember

The stark whiteness of the dress ran endlessly or so it seemed from the angle the photo was taken. But perhaps what made this picture worth the double take was the way her jet-black fused with the white lace like the milk I pour in my morning coffee. My grandfather will call his ‘adumaradan’ as he did, turning from eulogy to compliments. I hear his voice say it again and realise just how much I miss him. Perhaps if he had been here at the time that everything came crashing down, I would have found some comfort in his lightly spoken admonishment. Maybe not this time……at least this issue was not one about my beauty. I was Icarus and he, the sun; I flew too close and he burnt me. But why this picture – of all the pictures I scrolled past mindlessly watching my Instagram feed attempting to get him and it off my mind, I wonder. I observe this woman’s face and it felt which felt unfamiliar given how long I had stared at the photo. Now I cast my mind back to the moment when the photo first pierced my reverie and finally understand why – I saw myself in all of my ‘adumaradan-eleyinju-ege-eyinfunjowo’ grace and not her. The warm tears begin to roll down my face again moistening the dried streaks of tears left earlier. Now I ask: Should I have seen it coming? Now I think, why was I so scared of him? How did he successfully make me feel like my privilege was something I ought to apologise for?

I loved him and he loved me too. After 4 years, am I crazy by being reluctant to doubt us given how we ended? I cast my mind to how insignificant our meeting was; to how had not needed the toilet so urgently, that now unfortunate incident of literally running into him would not have happened. Perhaps, if I had left work on time as I planned to, I would not have been in such a rush to get ready and leave my house. Better still, if Chi had been stuck in traffic as usual, perhaps she would have gotten to my house as quickly as she did, giving me more time after I got ready to use the toilet. But then, how far back do I go? do I also start to blame Yinka for being born on that date or her boyfriend, Tonye, for the planning the party which took me to that restaurant in the first place; or blame Azeez’s IBS and its perpetual post-lunch vandalism of the office toilet which rendered it useful only to the strong-hearted. Do I blame myself for taking time to listen to him? Perhaps I should never have gone for that first date or the second……but he had me at the first date and he knew it for the next four years.

I always said I would never date someone who I could not see a future with…….and at the time, I saw the future with him. It seemed from the first date that we wanted the same things despite starkly different pasts and at the time, this all made sense. As much as I will like to say I was struck by his beauty that day, I must say it was more about shoulders. They seemed so sturdy and strong…………perhaps mature aged by the weight of the responsibility he shouldered daily. For me at that prime age of 24, that was all I wanted……..a responsible man. What exactly I meant by “responsible” is no longer clear to me. I remember the first date……and the moment I agreed to go on that date with him. He had been waiting outside the toilet and I had breezed past him on my way back to join the surprise before Tonye confirms Yinka’s arrival. He stopped me outside the private dining room Tonye had booked, to introduce himself and asked for my name. I was reluctant and so I gave him a fake name and as I was about to walk off, he pestered me for my number. Now I wonder why I did not give him a fake number. He called a day later and somehow, he managed to convince me to go on that first date and I thought why not; after all, I had not been in a relationship in a while. I remember being so happy after the first date, that made it all seem worth it. He told me he knew from that moment that I would be his wife. I also remember that we both had such a good time that our second date happened the next day…….I mean, he asked. Three years later, he would propose on the anniversary of our first date and I would accept convincing myself that we could work through our issues. Yet, now I think, the differences we found at the start would be the end of us.

I was St Saviours, Ikoyi and he was Mushin Public primary. I was the Cornell University and he was OSCOTECH. I was an only child and he was the first of 5 children. We were different, but I loved him. I remember first major fight – Major like we did not speak for 3 or 4 days after a very intense argument. Thinking about it now, maybe I should have seen the end at that point. It was a year into our relationship, and it had been my birthday a couple of days earlier. He did not get me anything for my birthday just like he did during valentine’s day. Although I had accepted the excuse that he was broke from having to pay his younger sister’s school fees and give his brother an allowance, I still had this unresolved feeling that I was somehow trifling in his world. He was trying to open up to me about his pending expenses that meant his following months’ salary had been tightly allocated before it even arrived. As spoke, I began to wonder why the previous month, I was not a consideration in his money allocation. He moved on to talking about his younger brother’s bad spending habits given he gave him money to last him six month a couple of months prior. I started to wonder why even the smallest gift for me could not take priority over his brother’s needs. I was surprised to hear myself say “Will your family’s needs always take priority over me?”. But I was even more surprised by the nonchalance that accompanied his response – “So long as they are more consequential than yours, yes”. That was enough to get my head spinning and I let it all out. He had referred to me as a spoilt brat with a sense of entitlement and stormed off. Was I really entitled to expect even the smallest thing from my partner on my 25th birthday? I remember feeling my world stop but now I know that it was only a peak into what would be the end of us.

In the end, it would be his ₦500-a-plate catering versus my ₦5000-a-plate catering and the arm that stretched out from the responsibility shoulder that would be break the camel’s back. We started planning the wedding after he met my family which went hitch free. I remember my dad being excited at the fact that he finally had “son” who studied engineering especially one as obscure as Mechatronics. With master’s degrees in engineering and Management from Unilag, and now owner of an alternative energy start-up, he was perfect on paper, every parents dream. He already had has  had me and then he had my parents. I remember when he took me to choose my rings and the fight that ensued. He gave me a budget which he did not want to go over by ₦50,000 and when I offered to pay the difference, he threw that phrase -“spoilt brat”- at me again. In retrospect that word defined key moments in our relationship when he used it as a joke – my 26th birthday when daddy gifted me a Rolex watch; when the Chanel bag my mom got me when I got promoted; when I told him about the girls trip I was taking to Mykonos or when he used to justify his frugality when it came to me. Now, from the impact of his palm against my cheek which accompanied him calling me a spoilt brat during our last moments together, I know those shoulders did not show responsibility but oozed ego. This is the first time he would hit me, and I remember trying to rationalise it because it had been an intense couple of days of fight after fight trying to iron out the final details of our wedding parties.

I remember thinking it was his sense of responsibility that made him want to contribute to the cost of the wedding although traditionally, the burden ought to have been my parents. In the course of that final fight, I remember mentioning that my parents wanted to pay for it all and that he did not have to chip in if he felt their preferred caterer was too expensive. The fast pace at which this fight occurred left me remembering very little but his response this remains vivid in my memory – “YOU ARE MARRYING INTO MY FAMILY NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. YOUR PARENTS ARE NOT BUYING A SON-IN-LAW AND SO THEY ARE NOT PAYING FOR THIS WEDDING. THIS IS MY HOME AND NOT THEIRS AND SO LONG AS THAT IS THE CASE, I DO NOT NEED THEM DICTATING HOW I RUN THINGS, I AM NOT THEIR PUPPET”. I do not remember what I said in response, but I remember the slap that will follow and the way he called me a spoilt brat with utmost disdain. I remember falling into the solace of the sofa against which I stood.

 

***Let’s discuss in the comment section where the faults lay with this relationship. I look forward to hearing from you 365-ers

 

Glossary

– Adumaradan: dark skin shines – Name given to a beautiful woman with glowing dark skin

– Eleyinju-ege: Hazel eyes – Name give to a person who is described as having graceful eyes

– Eyinfunjowo: teeth whiter than cowries – Name given to a person with very white teeth, a trait seen by the Yoruba people as a sign of beauty.

– OSCOTECH: Osun State College of Technology – A state owned University located in Osun state Nigeria

– Mushin: A local government area situated on the mainland of Lagos State, Nigeria – It is known for its poor sanitation congestion and low-quality housing.

– Ikoyi: An area situated in the Eti-Osa Local government of Lagos state – it is recognised as one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Nigeria

 

‘How to Write About Africa’: A Tribute to Binyavanga Wainaina

I started reading at a time when many will consider late, but I can say that I fell in love with African fiction harder than many others. One of the first books I read then was written by this brilliant author. The book title ‘One day I will write about this place’ is a memoir. I love reading books that give me an experience and this one, I can promise, does just that.  One of my favorites parts of the book is in the first chapter where the authors describes water. I can say I have never been more thirstier!

The first knowledge I had of his death was from a post made by Chimamada Ngozi Adiche announcing his death. I am sure my heart broke into pieces at the time as I really looked forward to another book from him. Immediately, I went to check if he wrote anything else since his memoir. I came across this article titled ‘How to Write About Africa’ and honestly, it was the most intriguing thing since…..since! To introduce you lovely readers to my literary hero, I decided to do a summary of this piece of perfection below.

How to write about Africa

biny

1. A cover with only prominent Africans. Or if you must, include a picture of one ina a Masai or Zulu or Drogon dress

2. The modern African is a fat man who steals or works in the Visa office refusing to give work permits to qualified westerners………an enemy of development who makes it difficult for the good hearted expats to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas

3. The starving African must be included with your hero a beautiful tragic international celebrity/aristocrat who bathes, feeds and can teach them.

4.You must describe in detail mutilated genitals, naked breasts, dead bodies, the real Africa – suffering filthy people, and finally no dead/suffering white people

5.Describe Africa as bright with big and red sunsets, and big sky.

 

I’m back baby! and (you deserve an explanation)

Dear 365-ers,

I really owe you an explanation for my abrupt absence………….for 2 whole years. Hmm and indeed, there is a lot to be said but now I am back and cross my heart not to go missing again. As for your pending questions, the answers are simple:

where have I been? School! I started my degree in Law in the summer of 2017 and might I say, it took over my life. Errmm…..and  during the holidays? I fell out of love with reading and writing (a whole conversation deserving its own post) because I had to do at such a high intensity for school and so the idea of coming home to write did not appeal to me at all. Also, to be honest, my whole summer was spent going from one internship to another and there was really no time.

What has changed? Obviously, the fact that I am back because I missed you all and the ever supportive community of bloggers here (Hello Oluchi). They say absence makes the heart fonder, and it really does. In the time I have taken away from here, I have missed writing this and I am glad to be back.

What happens when you get tired of writing again? Before this, I always felt the pressure to tell just stories as that was all I thought I had to say. However, I must say I have grown to a point where I now understand that even being unable to tell a story is something worth discussing given it is a natural part of life to fall in and out of love with what we do. Lets just say, I have changed gears and have come into a new learning curve. This one is about learning not to quit even when the going gets tough. The best part is that now that this has been said, I have you 365-ers here to hold me accountable.

Before I go on to post my first post of this new, I have to declare my love for you readers and your support for my posts (imperfections and all). Yes, I know that we are a dot in the grand spectrum of the internet (some may even consider us too small to have a name like 365-ers) but I still owe you my appreciation. Thanks for reading, commenting, liking and supporting.

Yours truly,

Her..

HAIR DRESSING EXPERIENCE – home service or home safice

I often wonder why certain hair dressers are so badly behaved. Before hair dressers, whose profession I respect, come for me for being the bad customer (and so deserving of the bad experience, read the highlighted points below first.

  1. I invited a hairdresser to provide her services for me at home. She told me over the phone that she would be along at a certain time but she unapologetically waltzes in a whole hour after the time she promised.
  2. At some point, I noticed she had put too much pull on my baby hairs to weave the cornrows – y’all know how uncomfortable that can be and so I told her to correct that on the future cornrows she would weave.
  3. When I raise my hand with a mirror in it to make sure that she is weaving what exactly I wanted, she smacked my hand down and then made up some silly superstitious BS – She said that her weaving will get slower if I look at her weaving in the mirror. I concede to stop her from giving this an excuse for spending so much time on my hair
  4. Half way through weaving my hair, I excuse myself to go the bathroom where I see the cornrows are not taking the shape that they are supposed to. I tell her and instead of conceding that she did not know how to make the style I want (or trying to correct the mistake she made) she continued with the mistake I had corrected her about and so I end up with a hairstyle that is very ugly and is not in any way what I want.
  5. Whilst she was making my hair, I ran out of my a bottle of R&R luxury coconut oil and so I got another  one. Can you believe that she went ahead to take away the spray bottle, even though I told her I wanted to use it?
  6. At the end, despite not satisfying my demands and stealing(or whatever you might like to call taking what does not belong to you) from me, she had the audacity to ask for a full payment –  which I most definitely did not give her – I paid her 500 naira less (let me know if you would have done otherwise in the comment section or by email).

Here is one for all those hair dresser that are not that different from our aunty home safice above:

  1. Don’t try to wing it (a.k.a freestyle) – If you know you cannot meet your customer’s hair style demands, tell them before you begin to weave their hair. This is so that the customer can either change their mind or accept blame if they insist on making it and you don’t get it right.
  2. Freestyle-er – If you do decide to wing it against the customer’s knowledge and it is works out – good for you! If it does not work out, don’t expect full payment from the client after all, you did not meet their demands.
  3. Claim-ist – Just because my hair oil or hair cream finishes, or I have left over extensions or tracks, does not mean it automatically belongs to you. Haba, did you buy it with your own money? – as long as don’t have the customer’s permission, taking it is stealing. Don’t say because 365 blog says do not take it until you have permission to validates you to ask the customer – No it does not. Except the customer is about to throw it away, don’t ask – you are not entitled to  it and asking can sometimes put the customer in an uncomfortable position.
  4. Over familiarity – In the words of Jay Ru – ‘ye ma form familiarity’……just stoppet!
  5.  Keep appointments – This applies to both parties, not just the hairdressers. And if you know you can’t make it for the time you originally scheduled, the other party should be contacted.

 

Please like, subscribe and comment(let me know your own home safice or other hair dressing experience – you can also email me!)

Glossary 

safice – service (as pronounced by some people of the yoruba tribe of Nigeria)

Shoboroko says: Are Wizkid and Davido fighting for 2face idibia’s title?

Like rice, cubed sugar, the accents of almost every OAP on Lagos radio stations, pointy nose, and 75.97% of the things that were on the shelves before the 2014 recession, Nigerians have gone again to import something new,  it’s the concept of having a baby mama. So for a very long time, it has not been strange to find women who have had children for a man out of wedlock, but lately the game has changed to invent the title, Baby Mama. Yes! Baby Mama, just like you will refer to a person with a doctorate degree as Doctor (Dr), and a divorced woman as Ms, you can now refer to a woman who had a child for a celebrity either whilst they were in a relationship or as a result of a one, two, three or four nights stand as a Baby Mama(Bm)…….hehehehhhehehhhehhehehehheheh, even monkey won dey relevant.

Before the arrival of this trend and its miraculous inclusion in our regular honorifics, it was popular knowledge that musician, 2Face Idibia, had had children with different women. However, in those not too distant days, the identities and profile of these women were kept low-key and the news of 2face’s exploits were neither publicised or celebrated. How times have changed? In about the same space of time, celebrities Davido, Wizkid, and Olamide announced,separately, that they were expecting their first set of offspring from women who suddenly started to carry the Baby Mama(BM) title, and that was how all began. As with all other trends, it started to spread quickly such that we started to hear of other musicians having baby mamas (even those women who had their children 10 years early were now been listed on the “10 ten hottest celebrity Baby mamas” list), and of course, we spread the trend to the rest of Africa, even to the far corners of Tanzania.

As usual, we not only copy, but we also copy and update or simply just over-use the trend, either to make up for the time the’trend’ took before it got to us or to secure our sense of identity as Nigerians. Same goes for this BM trend, of course we had to over-do it. Why not! I mean we probably already eat more rice than Thailand; an average Nigerian woman’s nose at an Owambe is pointier than Pinocchio’s; our OAPs sound whiter than the whites( with more nose-speaking effects than people from Essex); with Lasagna running out before garri on our store shelves; and finally our celebrities with more children born out of wedlock than born in wedlock, and a collection of baby mamas ranging in size, shapes, tribes and skin color who are featured on lifestyle magazines without any real reason for being celebrated

No, I’m not angry, not at all, I’m just sad. Sad because:

I wonder if these women understand, that for this two-word status, all of the possible consequences that this could have on their child if they eventually decide the get married to another man. It will mean that the public already knows that he/she is not you new husband, who you may have asked him/her to call daddy, is not his real father before he is old enough to differentiate between what is real and is not.  it will mean that no matter how hard you and that new Mr. try to make him as much a part of the family, he will always feel like an outsider – especially if you go on to have other kids.

These women have once again shown women as, indeed, the weaker sex, who are content with their sole purpose in life being to bear a mans child to secure their livelihood. They set a standard that is so low and hence will validate men calling hardworking and career driven women as “bitches”.

That these men, have not only shown to other young men that there is nothing wrong with having unprotected sex.

These men have shown that having a child is something to be done when you are wealthy enough to provide for them, rather than when you are responsible enough to provide a secure and loving environment for a child to grown unscathed.

Society has helped these men validate their masculinity through their show of prolificity, by publicly celebrating them and by giving these women social relevance for bearing children for these celebrities….or yeye-brities as I like to call them.

Together, when they, one day, have to tell the stories to their children, the first impression that such a child will have of themselves is that ‘it is public knowledge that I am a result of sex, not love’

——–If I must say so, shout out to all the real baby mothers out there. I mean those who did not deliberately have their children to obtain the Bm status; those who fell victim of circumstance and did not deliberately go out of their way to get pregnant for men because of how much they have in their accounts; those who do not rely 100% on their children’s father to survive; those who were led on to make certain choices based solely on the deceitful ways of the Demons out there and those who may have at some point considered abortion but decided to go ahead to have the child and still provide a good environment for their child to grow.

Book review: Chika Unigwe’s On black sisters’ street

Rating: 8.5/10

I discovered this book about 2 years ago on Amazon, and unfortunately for me then, I got a taste of something good that kept me wanting more. At the time, it was unavailable for purchase on Amazon and the same was the case with Jazzhole – the best book store in Lagos, scouts honor. One day one day, I was talking to someone at work about my love for African, particularly Nigerian, literature, and he told me about this Nigerian book that he had but he did not remember the title. I was completely oblivious to the fact that this mystery book will be on that ranks high on my to read list. Lo and behold, the following day, he presents me with a copy of ‘On black sister’s street’ and I could not help but scream in joy.

The book tells the story of 4 black ladies, united in prostitution to become sisters. The main character Chisom turned Sisi, is a jobless university graduate who the fear of poverty pushed her to seek help from Oga Dele, who sex trafficked her to Antwerp. Efe, a teenage mother working as a cleaner at Oga Dele’s office, who upon a death in her family, is saddled with responsibilities that force her to drop out of school to fend her siblings. Alek turned Joyce, who unlike the other girls, is originally from war-torn Sudan, where her entire family was killed and where she finds love to an Ibo Nigerian man who brings her to Nigeria to marry her, but upon refusal by his family,  takes her to Oga Dele to organise her travel. The fourth girl Ama, a victim of child abuse perpetrated by her step-father, who met Oga Dele whilst working at a restaurant owned by her aunt in Lagos. Suddenly, a death occurs, and this causes the ladies to pen up about their stories for the first time, bringing to light the fact that Oga Dele and his phrase “Belgium next to London” was a common denominator.

I will some up my entire reading experience with the word ‘captivating’. I say this because, even in moments where I had to stop reading, I could not stop thinking, speculating, and on certain occasions, discussing the book. It will be a crime to do this review with touching on Chika’s impeccable ability to accurately and intensely describe scenarios, leaving you living in the book. But, guys I must say this book was a twister. Not a twister in the Chimamanda fashion of leaving readers to make their own conclusions, but in the sense that what you expect to happen at the end, is totally not what happens – and I mean this in a good way. Most of all, this book was very real guys – with realistic characters and a realistic ending, and this is not only because of its twisted nature. For a story with characters with such sad stories, a lot of authors can be tempted to lead readers on a happily ever after trail, but this story was not one of such, it was simply real. More often than not,  authors are tempted to make book unnecessarily long thereby meandering the story and character development, Chika kept it simply captivating in 258 straight-to the-point pages – good for those who do not like very long reads.

I find it hard to pick something I did not like about the boo, but for the sake of being picky I will give one.

  • I did not like the way she broke the characters stories into scattered paragraphs…..but I guess that was to sort of put some mystery to the stories without giving it all away at once.

 

Shoboroko says: Let’s be real, you’re a tiff (thief)

This is a rant! yes, a rant! A rant on the excessive, somewhat, unreasonable demands that (some) women place on men when they start to itemise what they call the 10 yards of husband material but what I call the 55 yards of madness material

“I don’t want a daddy’s boy, I want #gbogboteamself-mademen, but my ideal man must not be more than 4 years older than you because he needs to be current, trendy and to understand all the inside jokes you make with your friends”………*raised eyebrows* How this is possible? How can a man that joined the work force 3-5 years ahead of to have gathered enough experience to build a company that makes Uber-level returns?

“He should be 30 years old when we get married, no more than 31 anyway. Our first house must be a 5 bedroom house in Ikoyi; his first car, a 2016 Mercedes Benz G-wagon; his wedding present to me, a 2016 Porsche Cayenne; and our honey moon; a PJ trip to an Island he rented for two weeks. Most of all, he must run a legitimate business that got him featured on the 30 under 30 Forbes list” – but how!. Is your husband material going to be a reincarnation of Mark Zuckerberg? How does an average  30 year old come to afford all these luxuries that you have listed from a business that is not YY(yahoo yahoo) a.k.a 419 and its other variations like YY+, YY++, and YY++(squared)

“I don’t want a man that is the first born, too much responsibilities, or the last born, his mum will be too attached to him. In fact, I’ll prefer my mother-in-law to be long dead by the time we get married, to avoid all those mother-in-law drama….abeg! I’m not cut out for that life. And yes, he must be from a monogamous family – no step relatives drama, maybe the 2nd of three boys- I do not want a female sister-in-law, they can be worse the mothers, and not just any family but a real christian family where they will not have had any fetish covenants that can backfire on me and my kids – but they should not be too religious, I cannot stand a family where the whole Christmas holiday is turned into a fervent fasting and prayer galore.” You want your mother-in-law dead! So lets assume she, like most mothers in that time, got married between the age of 22 and 25 and she had your “husband” at 24, if he is 30, your mother-in-law must be about 54. And so you wish death upon your 55-year-old mother-in-law (no matter how dramatic she is)! Just start praying that you do not give birth to a male son, because if you do, your daughter-in-law is bound to wish you death at the early age of 55……….that’s all

“He must be successful. I mean he must have risen well above his peers because he is a dedicated hardworker, but he must show me 100% attention, love and care; make me feel important; be able to command me, dominate me- but not too much, that he becomes controlling or becomes a wife beater; and most of all make me his queen” Haba! so you say he should be controlling but not too controlling to the extent that he beats you i.e. when he says jump, you say how high but yet he allows you to do your own thing…….arrgggghh! Is he Jesus? How do you expect a human being like you to be guarded by such a vague line? how can you be so illogically demanding to expect a man who is a ‘dedicated hardworker’ to show you 100% attention and still be 100% dedicated to his work? Queen ko, Queen ni, keep deceiving yourself!

Are you one of those ladies expecting a man who is 55 yards of madness material? I have an important message for you, and it is that ‘you are are a grrbido, long throat, an Ole (thief), Olojukokoro, wobia, Oloshi, Olodo, and frankly, an Apoda’

Conspiracy theory: “Banana fall on you” – what did Davido mean?

Money fall on you

Banana fall on you

Prada fall on you

cause I’m in love with you

 

Money fall on you

Banana fall on……..holllupppp! Bana..whattttttt! *confused*

This was my reaction when I first heard the song. And Once again, Davido has proves that he is not only a king, but also a confusionist, with this banger. Sooooo…….what exactly did he mean by ‘Banana fall on you’?

Possible theories;

  1. The night before he wrote that line, he had a dream that it was raining bananas the same way Rihanna had a dream about raining men
  2. His daughter, Imade, really enjoys the Banana fruit like many other kids and so whilst his money is falling on her, Prada is also falling on her as well as her favorite, Banana fruit
  3. His girlfriend absolutely loves Dodo and/or Bananas and she told him she missed them the night before because they are going out of season
  4. or maybe B.A.N.A.N.A is a code word for something we don’t know *wink* *wink*

I know you guys have also come up with your own theories of what the falling banana’s means(let me know in the comment section), but seriously, I am tired of speculating, Davido needs to come out and tell us ASAP.