Shoboroko says “Nigerian parents are at it again!”

So this story caught my attention on the Aunty Bella feature on Bella Naija, and for the first time in a while I had nothing to say……..or may be I do (we shall find out). I do not understand why, and how, Nigerian parents have come to believe that their opinions are extremely important when it comes to who their child chooses as a spouse *eyes rolling*.  Just the other day, I was telling my mum about a wedding I was going to attend, and somehow the conversation swayed to how the groom was from Delta state. As soon as I said Delta, she did the God forbid it thing ( you know that thing where they hold their thumb and middle finger together on one hand, take the hand around their head in an anticlockwise motion and then snap – yh that one!) and she said “me, I don’t like that one. people from that side are very wicked”- like fam, am I getting married for you?!

See me see trouble o! who told her its her choice? and what exactly makes her think that she can dictate the tribe I marry from? Anyway today is not about my mum (that will require a whole blog series), so lets not get lost in the stew, let me give you a summary of this lady’s situation.

Miss Bella is an Indian potato, who found love, during her masters degree programme, with a Nigerian cookie. Without informing his parents, Naija cookie decides to propose to this Indian potato, who at that time had already spent a holiday with his family….then katakata bursts! His family want him to marry a girl who is from the same village, and clearly she is not even the same nationality, talk less village (and no! they don’t want her to do some karishika moves to become a member of their village, after existing as an indian for 28 years)…….eeewwwwoooo! Naija cookie loves his potato, as such he has fought his family over this issue. I guess this experience is what triggered FOB’s memory that Nigerian in laws are wicked, anyway, now he is also against the union of this potato and her cookie. The wedding preparations are still in going on, but as a result of this brouhaha, Indian potato has asked Bella Nigerians for advice on what to do. Shoboroko being an active member of this wonderful group, Bella Nigerians, has decided to give her own opinion.

Dear Miss:His family does not want us to get married,

  1. Press PAUSE – Wedding and marriages are an investment –  a lot of expenses – and so before you continue to invest in something that won’t yield your principal(your emotional dedication & money) talk less of the interest (happily ever after & a bella naija wedding), you should pause wedding preparations. This is not an eternal pause, no!, it is to give you time to re-evaluate how much this relationship is worth. You have said his family is strongly opposed to this marriage, and your parents, who initially agreed, are starting to think otherwise. This means that if you decide go ahead with the marriage, it is possible that both parent will remain opposed to your union…..not a great sign!
  2. ‘What Kind of man is he?’ have you even asked yourself that question? Family can be very useful in questioning a man’s behavior. Can you honestly vouch that he will never treat you badly or that there are other people outside of his family who he respects and listens to?……think deeply. You do not want to end up in a situation where he starts behaving badly and there is no one who you can ask to talk to him…….if you have not heard things gets spiritual sharply in Nigeria! 
  3. There is no point in trying to force them like you – you have to realise that it is not something you have done that has caused their hostile behavior, rather, it the fact that you are not what they expected for their son….and so, you can beg from now till rapture comes, it will change absolutely nothing!
  4. Beware of RESENTMENT. He may decide that he wants to go ahead with the marriage i.e. he is willing to become totally estranged from his family for you guys to be able to continue with this marriage. Really and truly, he may mean it, but he is only human. He can love you  more than life itself, but deeply resent you for leading him to have to make that choice and this hint of resentment may only become visible when there are little cracks in your marriage. What I am trying to say is, it is not enough to get him to thoroughly convince you that he is ok with this decision, go to COUNSELLING. In counseling, will be able to work through this situation until you are both happy with your decisions
  5. kill them with kindness – How do I cope once we get married e.g. at family functions? is a question, I am sure, is running through your mind. And you may also think that staying away from such events is the best way to go about it, but you’re wrong. In the comment section of the Aunty Bella post, someone said “kill them with kindness”, and I couldn’t say more or better…………on to number 6!
  6. What is life without taking risks: Love indeed is most important and sometimes it can be worth risking all, but imagine Love as a brick wall, and all the other little things, like finances & family, as nails. Every time any such issues arise, a nail is hammered into the wall. Sometimes, these nails are hit strong enough to chip off little bits of the brick, overtime, enough bits to form a block will have chipped off, and the entire wall will start to breakdown. 



Facades – Part 3: Her

Yes, I said finishing school! According to him, that was all that could make my lack of a pedigree, somewhat, better. Imagine your father-in-law to be saying that to you in your presence. This and the fact that his mother and sisters never liked me, is why reporting him to his family was impossible. He tells his mother everything, one thing that always leaves me rolling my eyes – like when he told her the sex of our first child against my instructions, and so I know she probably already knows about her. I cannot believe that I once thought that he was a man’s man with utmost regard for his mother and by extension all women, but now I see him as no more than a 42-year-old mamas boy.

We were a very close family, not just because of the limited space we had in our one bedroom apartment but because we had love. I remember my father massaging my mothers feet while watched soap operas at night and I remember how much effort my mother put into preparing my fathers clothes and food before he went to work. Tunde and I started out in a similar fashion. I remember an instance while we were dating, when I had to go on an official trip for two days and I came back to meet a very hungry Tunde. It was no hidden fact that Tunde could not cook, but at least I expected he’ll eat at his parents. Turns out all Mr. K had eaten was Suya all under the excuse that he was looking forward to my cooking. That night, I made him my minced meat spaghetti and he did not fail to show his appreciation with the love he showered me after. I used to derive joy in cooking for him, as my mother also did. Now, I no longer cook for him on my on terms, it’s usually forced in order to save my face from another trip down to the Kola Walter-Smith gallery.

My mother was a petty trader, a business that sustained the family while we waited for my father’s employers to pay him and in times after my father had exhausted his salary. My mother never spent any of the profit she made from her business directly, instead she gave them to him first – it was like she was a shopkeeper who was paid on commission. I remember my 5-year-old self once asked her why she did that and she said “I started the business with his money, so he owns all of the profit for now”.

Iye e always preached submission to me. One day, mama Risi, who lived in the shack next to our’s was shouting at her husband accusing him of cheating, Iye e said to me in Yoruba “look how she is shouting at the poor man, I don’t blame him for cheating on her. Husbands are supposed to be Lords, so a woman should never be caught screaming at her husband”. Back then I took whatever Iye e said as gold and now, even when she is no longer around I still do and I wish I didn’t.

“She is here to stay, so you had better behave yourself” Tunde said to me the first time he brought her home. It was two weeks after the kids went to school. Initially, she was here only a couple of nights during the week and on those days I stayed in my room. That only worked until one day he told me that I had to entertain her whenever she came around. I wanted to tell him off but I remembered Iye e words and I kept mute. Every time she came around, I organised with Victor, the cook to extensively entertain her. I did not have anything against her, after all she was not the one who married me, neither is she the one who is giving the rounds of pounding.

Every time I want to voice out my opinion, I hold back because I feel it will go against what Iye e had told me. But I how long I can keep this going.

Facades – Part 2: His..tory

I grew up in abject poverty. I mean abject poverty, my brain got me educated and that was my only savior.

My parents died when I was 9 in a car accident. I was sent to live with my blind maternal grandmother, Iye e. My mother was her only daughter and after her death, there was no one to take care of Iye e, plus she had the added burden of taking care of me, and so we took to begging on the streets. We lived in a shack in the Amukoko slums of Lagos with almost nothing and all the proceeds from our begging was dedicated to paying for my education. We ate anything edible, often times what we were gifted whilst begging and on days we did not receive anything edible, we ate whatever we picked in dustbins, plucked on trees or went to bed hungry.

At the end of my secondary education, I was awarded a two full scholarships to study economics one at the University of Ghana and the other in a University in the United Kingdom. I decided to stay closer to home by taking the one in Ghana. That summer before I left, I worked at a shop in the afternoon and hawked akara at night to make money to hire a help for Iye e whilst I was away. Iye e died when I was in my third year from a lung infection she never told me she had, for the fear of adding to my burden. From then on I became alone until I met Babatunde.

Whilst I was younger, I promised myself that my children will never have to suffer the same experiences that I did. In University, I sold male clothes part – time. One day, a trusted friend lured me into his house by promising to give me the amount he owed me and raped me. I did not want my son to ever have to pick food off the streets before he ate, neither did I want my daughter to be lured to rape before she could feed herself. I wanted them to have all the opportunities I never did, so don’t blame me for staying.

I attended Amukoko government school for my primary and secondary education while Tunde attended St. Saviours school, Ikoyi and Kings College respectively. He lived in a mansion in one of the most affluent neighborhoods, Ikoyi, and got a Peugeot as his first car at the age of 18, I inhabited a shack in Amukoko, an overpopulated and dangerous ghetto . His first job was as a manager at one of the leading professional services companies while mine was hawking akara(bean cake). His father was a Minister of Finance, or as it was known in those times a Finance secretary, while mine struggled to make ends meet doing menial jobs. Summary of the story is that he had a pedigree and I did not even have one, talkless of a bad one, so how did we meet?

I met Babatunde during my service year. Then, I worked in the same company that he did at that time. It was refreshing to find someone from a very wealthy background who was as ambitious to be a success on his own. I fell for him almost immediately, although I was a bit apprehensive about dating him considering he was 27 and I was 20, and we were from totally different backgrounds but he managed to convince me. He was my first boyfriend, and nine months into our relationship he proposed to me and I accepted. By the time I had turned 22, we were married and I was pregnant with our first child, Junior.

I find it difficult to reconcile the Tunde who fought his dad for his permission to marry me without having to go to finishing school in Switzerland, with this wife beater. At the time, I knew I was marrying one of the most eligible bachelors of Lagos but not once did he ever make me feel like I was any less than he or that I was disadvantaged because of my background. I remember him boasting of my brains to his friends, and even when they talked to him about marrying a girl with no pedigree, he ignored them. Through out the time we dated, he hardly ever got upset with me, and even when he did, not once did he hit me. And so I wondered for a long time what I did to change him?

Facades – Part 1: Our Life

For the better part of the last 6 hours, I am unable to wipe the smile off my face. But I guess that’s what spending time with your kids and then reminiscing about every moment you have had them since you birthed them, does to you. I was so proud when I found out Junior and Ewa came third and first respectively – no doubt they took after me. I remember the look of disappointment on Feyike ,an old classmate, wore when I told her I was only a house wife at 35. I have become overly familiar with that expression  but who I don’t really blame her and the others. ‘Efiko extraordinaire’, my nick name  back then because I had so much potential and even I knew it. 

I feel cold, cold with sadness, as I realise what on great opportunities I missed out on for what I thought was something, LOVE. Cold, ice-cold, at first my heart was frozen and now its on the floor in a million pieces. My LOVE for him, I now equate to the cataract in Iye’s eyes, although she could not see me, she could sense my emotions. Similarly, my love for him stopped me from seeing it, I still sensemy stupidity. 

Continue reading “Facades – Part 1: Our Life”

It’s a Shorelicious Monday…..

Dear readers of the 365 blog,

Today is a very special day for sooooo many reasons;

1. It’s the first day in the month of May

2. It’s the first month in the second quater of this year

3. It’s a Monday when Nigerians don’t have to go to work

4. It’s is a day that celebrates all professional workers

5. It’s the second day of the GT banks food and drinks fair 2017, and…………… all must go:)

But most importantly….

SHORELICIOUS is going to be at the GT bank food and drinks fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will describe shorelicious in instagram language – #madeinNigeria #sweetbuthealthy #fitfam #soulcompanion……get it! It’s a must try!!!!!!!

Their range of products currently includes;

All of which, I 100% approve of……….So make it a shorelicious monday at the GT food and drinks fair. Kindly leave comments below on your Shorelicious experience, follow shorelicious on instagram @Shorelicious and stay tuned to the 365 blog for a review of each product.


The 365 blog…..

A dream come true….

Maa chi/Maa ha/Maa jo,

Ye fro wo sen?

Remember I answered on question 25 of  The TMI Tag, that one of the places I will like t visit is Accra, Ghana………….people of the 365 blog, it finally happened. I, your girl, finally go to visit Accra. And the best part is the trip was sponsored by a reader of the 365 blog!…….*jokes*. But people, real talk…..would it be so bad gifted your girl an all expense paid holiday trip?……lol!

You know how sometimes, things coincidentally come together to work out as if it was planned to work out that way………yeah, you sister, I know you catch my drift. Anyway, that’s how my The TMI Tag post and going to Ghana worked out. I wrote the post on a Thursday, and by Monday, an opportunity to go to Ghana had presented itself, and by Friday of the same week I was touching down in Ghana by 7:20 am.

Did you know Nigeria is an hour away from Ghana? Anyway after the hassle of Nigerian airport procedures *eyes rolling*  and  35 minutes of a mouth-watering club sandwich at the Oasis Lounge in MMM 1, we boarded our Air peace flight, and arrived in Ghana at 7:20 amI only spent a day in Ghana. The actual program I went for was done by 10:00 am but my return ticket was not 6:00 pm Ghana time, so there was soooo much time to spare. I had not really planned any fun activities to do during the day because I expected the program to run much longer than it did.

After the program, we ordered an uber taxi that took us round town for about an hour, and I must say “Accra is clean and pretty”. After that, we headed to the famous Accra mall for lunch. I would have opted to have the famous Wache…..remember from Runtown’s Mad over you, “I know say she sabi cook wache”, but we were told the best place to find those are in mama put kind of places not fancy restaurants. Anyway, we settled for pizza at pizza hut and then went on to watch beauty and the beast in the cinema, to while away time. Desperation for free wi-fi led us to settle for at a coffee shop, in the mall, called Second Cup where I had an amazing drink called “a Berry Tea Chiller” and from there we went back to the airport. 

Berry Tea chiller
365 Blog – Second cup Berry Tea chiller

So, people……as expected, our flight got delayed. Must Nigerian Airlines always disappoint! can you believe that at 6pm, the plane that was supposed to take us back to lagos had not arrived in Ghana? I mean the one time I need you to be on time you are two hours late. And when the plane finally arrived, we were being passed from one gate to another like headless chickens, because the airport officials were also confused about where the gate was. The harrowing 3 hours spent waiting was not all bad……it came with the opportunity to have really amazing wheat croissants among other nice snacks at the Sanbra lounge……real talk guys, I really recommend this lounge for any persons who plans to visit Ghana, especially is you plan to go with a Nigerian airline, because they may just disappoint.

I have some random things I also want to tell you but I just can’t find an appropriate title for it….so, I will just list them below

  1. Nigeria, what the hell is wrong with us! Once I stepped into Ghana, I became embarrassed for Nigeria. How Ghana, which is not the so-called ‘Economic giant of Africa’ can have better airport than Nigeria still baffles me. Guys the whole airport was so organised…..and guess what they had more than one gate for departure! The whole process of departing the airport and arriving at the airport was hassle free…..I mean you did not have 50 million people checking your passport at every corner, so why Nigeria?
  2. Why is it that in Nigeria, at departures; there is one person to check your passport at the door, someone to write and check your details in front of the check in desk, another check at the check-in desk, another person to check when you about to get to the immigration queue, two people at the immigration queue, another immigration officer right after the immigration desk, another checker at the after the immigration, and another as you are about to board the plane……see I just don’t get it. Particularly with all the gbeborun immigration officers, who always want to associate your last name with a famous/wealthy Nigerian, and on occasions where they successfully make a link, intend to ask for ‘something for the weekend’…….*deep sigh* . I wonder, is it a lack of competence in one immigration officer that has caused the need for 4 different immigration officer to have to cross-check passports? and is the solution increasing the quantity or improving the quality.
  3. A guy at the mall was wearing a Zenith Bank printed fabric, a group of school kids wore uniform trad for school trip to the mall, and an airport official was wearing the national airport service fabric. From the airport till I arrived at the destination for my appointment, I kept seeing Ghanaians representing in their traditional attire. Thinking about it, Ghana is well-known for the high standards of its tailors. We were told that Fridays are an unofficial national traditional days, and that’s why people were dressed that way.


Mee da si for reading!

What do I do…..

I just cannot stop myself from staring at his face. He probably does not know it, but the mix of emotions I am currently under is like a spell that has left me partially deaf. Since he got on his knees, I have only been able to pick out 3 phrases; ‘most important’, ‘when I first’ and one other one that ended with ‘my mother’. This is one of those moments I wish I could remember every detail of for the rest of my life, I just cannot believe my brain has decided to fail me. I only hope that he wrote a speech, which he rehearsed for this proposal, at least that will leave me something to hold on to in memory of this moment.

Chuka and I’s families have been friends for three generations. His great grand father and mine had both grown up together in Imo state and although they were born to different families, they became more like brothers. The relationship between both families, although existent, would water down in the following generation and re-manifest in the relationship between our fathers.

Chuka and Akinlolu, my older brother attended the same secondary school, which made them very close friends. Chuka being an only child was always seeking Akin’s company and the fact that we lived in the same estate did not help because he was always over at our house. By the time I got into secondary school, the boys were already in their last year and after they graduated, he moved to England for his A-levels, then University degree and I don’t remember seeing him after that.

The next time I will see Chuka, I am in my second year in University and my brother is back in England for his graduate studies program. Tutu, my brothers girlfriend, had planned a surprise 26th birthday party him at a restaurant in Canary Wharf, London. I had missed my train to London, and had to take the another train an hour later. So I had to arrived at the restaurant still dressed in my home clothes and later on went to get changed in the bathroom. Being a successful party planner, Tutu had planned all the details down to the T and she did not fail to include sitting plans. I was to sit next to Chuka and upon arriving at my seat and exchanging greetings and we got talking. I enjoyed talking to him, and I think he felt the same because the only silent moments between us was when we were eating. He caught me up to speed, and that how I found out he lived and worked in the same county as my University and had been on the earlier train which I had missed. The coincidence got us laughing they kind of laughter that had tutu and some of her friend throwing glances at us, whilst birthday boy was completely oblivious.

The following day, we took the same train back home and our conversation had got even more interesting and that’s how it has been till date.  We exchanged contact but barely stayed in touch, because in between my crazy school schedule and his busy work schedule, there was not much time to spare……or at least that’s what I thought until last week when he told me I was totally wrong. Randomly out of the blue, he said to me “Do you know how much restraint it took me to stay away from you after Akin’s birthday?” that totally snatched my attention from the TV program I was watching. He continues saying “thinking back now, I think even then I wanted to marry you and I did not want to mess that up”. This was not the first time he would drop hints about marrying me, but I always ignored them, after all, guys say that all the time.

Chuka was one of the very intelligent ones. He had graduated with a first class degree in Economics from University College London, one of the top Universities in the United Kingdom. It was not unreasonable to expect that his master’s degree will happen at either Oxford or Cambridge University but to my utter shock, he joined me at Warwick University, the year after we met, for his Graduate degree program. I will soon find out that he had actually gotten an offer to go to University of California but had turned it down to come to Warwick…..I keep hoping one day he tell me the real reason why he declined the offer.

We started dating at end of my third year, not long after the night when he disguised our first date as a random cinema trip. I remember that night, mostly for the awkwardness of our first kiss and I smile. For about 5 months after we started dating, I lived in the fear of my brother finding out about us, but Chuka did not mind at all. In those months, I pleaded with him on several occasions not to tell Akin, although he soon found out. Chuka lived off Campus and sometimes when I wanted to get off the stress of studying medicine, I went to spend sometime at his apartment. I was having one of those days and I decided to go to his apartment, I call him but he does not pick up and so I just assume he is in class, and so I text him. For some reason, I find it easier to sleep in his apartment than I do in my school accommodation, and sleep is all I do. I wake up to my brothers face staring down at me, disapprovingly. Chuka starts to explain but instead Akin pushes him out of his way and storms out of the apartment. Akin returns not long after, calmer than he was when he left. We explained and although he was not very convinced, he learnt to accept us.

Three years later Akin is getting married to Motara and Chuka is proposing to me at their rehearsal dinner. Our mothers know Chuka and I are dating but I think the both fathers are still clueless. Once my mother said to me without mincing word that the only Ibo man she would permit me to marry was Chuka and I had laughed. Akin did not tell her, so the only way she must have found out was from her friend, Chuka’s mother.

On completion of his graduate studies, Chuka had returned home, whilst I completed my Undergrad studies. His father had insisted he come back home to run the family business. Once, Chuka had confided in me that he wanted to be an aeronautic engineer, but had to give up on his own dreams to protect his father’s legacy, and neither of his parents knew that. They had assumed that his flair had always been for economics.

I am pulled back to the present he is still on his knees, but now everyone is staring at me. Feeling the pressure of their stare, I close my eyes and I feel my hand stretching out to him and a couple of seconds later, I feel something foreign on my ring finger and loud cheers and claps. I finally open my eyes and he pulls me into his arms. I am speechless and continue to be until we all the cheering, hugs and congratulations stops.

I excuse myself to go the bathroom and for the first time I get a good look at the ring. it is a silver ring with perfectly arranged equidistant small-sized diamond stones covering its entire circumference, with a circular, medium-sized amethyst gem stone in the middle. Frankly, it’s the most beautiful ring, I have ever seen, not that I have seen many. I see a lot of thought has gone into it because it has got my birthstone, amethyst in the middle, there is only one which symbolises my birthday, 1st of February. I quickly count the number of small diamonds and I find there are 8 of them. I quickly check what month has diamonds as its birthstone, and I find its March.

I am still thinking what the 8th of March represents when I come face to face with Chuka as I swing the bathroom door open. He walks towards me forcing me to move back inside. He does not say anything, he just grabs my ring hand and I see he is relived when he finds my ring is right where he put it. He tells me he thought I had come to the bathroom to take it off and when I ask why he says “You just seemed so distant and hesitant out there. Initially I was scared you would say no and when you said yes and came to the bathroom, I thought you had said yes, not because you wanted to, but just so I was not embarrassed in front of our friends. I have died a thousand deaths out there not knowing what to think. Baby….please tell me we are on the same page”

“We are on the same page. I said yes, didn’t I?”

“So what’s wrong?”

I am a little hesitant to tell him why I had to go through our history but then I decide to tell him. So after a couple of minutes of silence I say “My father has another family” and I can see from the look on his face that he has some questions, so I proceed to answer them “Akin is completely clueless and you must not tell him. He tried to hide it but my mum knows, although she pretends they don’t exist”

We remain silent for a couple of minutes and then I go on to tell him my mind “I was distant because I had to run through our entire relationship to convince myself that entering a life-long commitment with you is the right thing. I don’t want to ever be in the position my mum is right now”

He is quiet for a while, we both are and suddenly he pulls me into a hug and after a while he says “I can’t promise to be the perfect husband, but I promise I will never put you through what your mother is going through. I will never cheat on you, the mere thought of it makes me cringe”

I start to think about the ring and I immediately the question that has been bothering me comes to mind and so I ask “why the 8th of march?”.

“Wow that was fast, I knew I married a smart woman, but I did not know you were that observant. Well….the 8th of March was the day I realised that I was in love with you and that I was going to marry you. I think it had something to do with that eye-opening kiss we shared at the cinema” He goes on to kiss me again, this time, it’s not awkward or eye-opening, instead its reassuring and deep.



Dear readers,

What will you do if your bf/gf proposes to you and you are not ready for marriage?

What do you reckon is the best way to deal with a partner who is not ready for commitment?

What will you do if you are her mother i.e. your husband has another family? Will you pretend they don’t exist too?

Let me know what your answer to these questions are, and your opinions in the comment section below. Please like comment and subscribe.

Thank you for reading.


365 Blog.

My first blogger recognition award


That is the only word that accurately sums up how I have felt since I read Ihuoma of OMA’S SERENDIPITY‘s blog post, where she nominated me for this very prestigious award. When I say nothing has been able to rid me of this feeling, I mean nothing! – not even the sleeping baby whose urine left a stain the size of  Africa on my ankara skirt.

As much as I will like to pour out my heart in an Oscar-worthy acceptance speech, this chain post award has some ground rules nominees have to follow. They are:


Fall Festival

So, first of all……

I will like to say a big thank you to someone who has made me dance shoki, galala, sekem, azonto, etigi, makossa, skelewu, shakiti bobo, yahooze,and alanta all at the same time in my head. This is no one other than the wonderful and creative Ihuoma of OMA’S SERENDIPITY who nominated me – y’all need to check out her blog.

2. I guess that refers to this post…..keep reading for more juice

3. How I started my blog:

I created my blog in October 2016, although I did not start posting until January 2017. I was going through a very rough period where everything just seemed to be going down south, and a good friend suggested that it might be a good time to start that blog I had always talked about. After a long conversation lamenting to my friend, I summoned courage to create the blog, but not the courage to write. I thought that I would suck at writing a blog because honestly essay writing was what I found most challenging about English Language at Secondary school. Also when I got to senior secondary school, I had to drop Lit-in-English course, because my teacher told my writing was as bad as that of primary school student……. LOL…. story story 

Fast forward to 2017, I promised myself the new year was going to bring about a new me. I was going to summon the courage to face some of my fears After 3 weeks, I finally decided on what to write in my first post – The six commandment of suit

So …… we are 3 months later, the 365 blog born out of deep sadness has become my refuge and a source of ecstasy.

4. Advice to new bloggers

As I write this, I hear a voice quietly whispering at the back of my mind “you just started blogging, what……3 months ago, do you think you are in the best position to give advice to new bloggers?”

Hmm….I will reply to this voice “experience is the best teacher, and although my experience is limited, it is still an experience and so I will share only what I have learnt”

So what have I learnt?

  • Don’t be forceful with your content: When I was doing my ground research for the blog before my first ever post, I read so many things about content planning and its importance, so I decided to give it a go……AND IT FAILED FOR ME. Trust me when I say that is probably what held back my first post. The title I had in mind for my first post was totally different from ended up as my first post. I spent a lot of time doing my content plan and I really wanted to make good use of it. But I found myself stuck……..a writers block before the real deal even begins, can you imagine? After so much time dragging it out, I finally finished writing the planned post and when I read it, it did not sound anything like I wanted it to. It did not flow well, it was what I’ll call……….forced. I guess what works for you works for you, a lot of people say planing content works for them, so it may work for you. But what I am trying to say is, if planning content does not work, don’t feel like you are doing something wrong just ‘let your inspiration drive you content’
  • When I first started, I was a bit lost…I thought I was doing something wrong because the number of views was not very impressive – another thing I learnt “let the numbers motivate you, not discourage you”. I contacted Berry Dakara of THE BERRY SWEET LIFESTYLE via email, and she told me something very important I will like to share with you. she said “At the same time, you might have a creative streak and think up 20 posts at the same time – in those times, pace yourself and schedule your posts in advance. There’s nothing like having already scheduled posts in the middle of writers block”.

I know you are confused…..isn’t that the same as content planning? Not really. This one involves writing as it comes to you and scheduling it for future posting, as opposed to the other which involves planning what you want to write before writing. The latter, for me, lets me write what inspires me when it does and gives me content for those times when I have a writer’s block.

  • one more thing…. I know it says 2, but I feel like I should add this one. I did not have any blogger around me  to put me through when I first started and so I contacted some established bloggers to help. As expected, most did not reply and finally Berry Dakara of THE BERRY SWEET LIFESTYLE responded. So in case you find yourself in a similar situation, try to contact other bloggers for help and don’t be discouraged from trying others if some don’t reply.

So the moral of the story is:

  • let inspiration drive your content
  • don’t be forceful with your content
  • when ideas come to mind, try to execute them as soon as possible. You don’t have to post them immediately, you can keep them for the time when you have a writer’s block
  • Let the numbers motivate you, not discourage you
  • Try to contact other bloggers, if you need someone to put you through. Feel free to contact me here. If it something I can give you advice on based on my limited experience, I will surely help.

5. Winners!!!!!!

I am glad I have the opportunity to pass this award on to other bloggers. And so….the 365 blog’s winners for the ‘Blogger recognition award’ are:

  1. Ngito Makenas of NGITOMAKENAS
  2. Kelly Sundberg of On Being Alive
  3. Oluchee of idle head
  4. missmondaymonday of This square peg
  6. When in the city
  7. Akintunde Aiki of Koroba
  8. Xceptional43 of 4unansweredprayers
  9. 21st century disciple 


Dehumanising rites

Adaeze, his sister, taps me on my shoulder to ask for his car keys again. Its the third time she has asked since Ken took his last breath an hour ago. I did not dignify her with a response the first two times and I am not going to this time, so I turn around and through my tears I stare at her for a few seconds and look away. I am now sure she has no emotional intelligence because she asked a fourth time as if she had been unaware of the hidden message in my stare, and so this time I tell her where it is and my tears amplify.

I was given very strict warning against this Yoruba – Ibo marriage by so many people but Ken promised me there is nothing to fear. He promised me that we had moved into the 21st century and those archaic traditions no longer applied. Whenever I reminded him about what I had seen in movies happening to widowed women, he got really upset with me and always asked “are you praying for me to die?” There he had me, I always pushed away those thoughts and found consolation in his promises.

Dear Ken Chimela Elechi

After 8 long days, it is the day we are finally laying your body to rest. I was informed that it is your family’s tradition for you to be buried in the village on the 8th day, but I suspect that is as much a lie or as archaic as some of the things I have heard in the past couple of days. All I feel is the heart break from your death and broken promises; and shame from all of the dehumanizing and ugly experiences I was put through. “Ken, I hope you’re seeing the results of making a promise you cannot keep”.

On getting home around 9pm on that day, I found all your sisters with your two of your uncles in the living room and now I knew where they went with your car after they suddenly disappeared from the hospital. Your office, my office and our bedroom was turned upside down and your sister Ginika started shouting “WHERE ARE THE DOCUMENTS TO OUR BROTHER’S HOUSES?” and that was how I found out what they were looking for and also that they had not found our secret safe. When I try to explain to them that I had no idea where they were, they start to make sentences that imply that I killed you. How could they even think that? I married you knowing you were a type 2 diabetic patient, and the doctors had just explained that you had a severe case of Myocardial infarction.”

After all the drama, I was informed that we had to leave for Owerri the following day to commence your funeral rites. The way they ganged up on me, I knew I could not object because the next thing they will resort to is to call me names in your language which I don’t understand or , the one that hurts the most, claim that I killed you. The following day, I was ready when they told me to be and the first thing they did when they saw me was to tell me I was in the wrong attire. Apparently, your sister had gone out of her way to sew me the only acceptable mourning uniform in your town, a black cotton wrapper and buba, and I was expected to be grateful for this. I watched as your sisters unpacked my suitcase removing all of my toiletries as they told me that I would not be bathing for the next 8 days while I morn you; and felt disgraced as they making snarky comments about some of my underwear. When they were done they told me that I had to remove my hair extensions, because I looked like a “prostitute” not a woman who had just lost her husband, but the interesting thing is your sister Ngozi had on hair extensions too. By the time they were done, I was a shadow of myself in an all black attire and that is the best I have looked in the past 8 days.

As soon as we got to Owerri, I was officially initiated into the Owerri widows club when they came to shave my hair. I had never cried as much and as hard as I did on this day, since the day you died, leaving me a widow; and when my mother died, leaving my sister and I, orphans. I did not cry for the loss of my hair but for the fact that I felt I had lost a connection to you. You described my hair, in its jet black richness, as a combination of gold and graphite, and you even hinted a couple of times, that this was what attracted you to me in the first place. I have not slept in 8 days, I have dozed off from the exhaustion I feel from crying all day and having to sit on my mourning throne – a very low stool, with no back support, all day. They believe that this is the only way your spirit will rest in peace and so I would not mind doing this and more, but for the three-month-old seeds, you sew, growing inside me.

After 7 years, we finally get what we have been searching for and you will be missing when they finally come. You did not tell your family because your sisters have not left out barren from the list of abuses rained on me daily, and I am glad you didn’t because they may have done something to hurt them . I have never been more determined to keep them alive, so determined that I ate whatever Dolapo, my sister, brought me in the toilet, when I took bathroom breaks from my mourning throne, during the 5 days hunger strike you family made compulsory for me.  I have come to know your family as united in wickedness, I am surprised you came out the gentle, loving man you were. Can you believe that your sisters have even allowed your Father’s cousin – Mama Nnena, who you hated so much and maltreated you to sleep in our master bedroom in the Owerri house?

Last night, I was finally allowed to step out of the Owerri house. I was given a towel and a bucket of water and under supervision by your sisters, I used the towel to wipe you clean, each time soaking and squeezing the towel in the bucket of water. As they watch, there is an argument going on in your language behind me, and I soon find out it is about whether I should be made to drink or bath with the water in the bucket. When I am done, they have reached a conclusion, and it is that I bath with it, after which I sit with your corpse until it is taken to the burial ground. I am reluctant initially, but then they tell me not do as they have said is to admit to killing you. 

Here I am Ken, I have been through hell and back for your soul and spirit to rest in peace. Now that we are finally going to bury you, the hell has to end as your body enters the ground. I have told Dolapo to pack my things, I leave this place today. Remember the promotion I was up for a couple of months ago that involved moving to South Africa, yes! that’s what’s next. But before I go back to work, I am moving to Lagos for the rest of my bereavement leave and I am going to be renting out our residence in Port Harcourt – before your family send me packing. As for the house in Owerri and in Abuja, they can have it. I have also decided to change my last name from Abolanle Elechi to Abolanle Ken-Elechi because I love you and I want my kids and I to continue to be associated with just you.

For the first time since you told me of the safe when we first go married, I looked inside it that day before we left for Owerri. I found the documents for all your properties and the agreement you made with your business partner, Chris, to transfer 30% of the company’s monthly profit to me, and in the event the company is sold, that I should be given 50% of the profit made from the sale. When I get to Port Harcourt to pack out of the house, I will post your sisters the documents for those two properties which I have given to them. I will also be instructing the bank to transfer all the money in your personal accounts to your sisters and uncles accounts, dividing it evenly while I keep what we have in your joint accounts. 

I love you and I will continue to love you. I don’t see how I will ever stop loving you having known you for 17 years and been in love with you for the last 12 years. Thank you for being patient loving and caring. Most of all, rest in peace but never leave my side.

Your Nkem.

I fold the letter neatly and put it in the inside pocket of the dark blue suit his sisters have insisted he wear. “Oya, its time to go to church” Sister Ngozi said as she adjusted the upper one of her two piece wrapper and a gold necklace, Ken bought for me sitting on her neck. ‘They told me I we were supposed to wear the black mourning outfit, but I guess that was meant for only me’ I think.


Do you think Abolanle could have made better decisions? let me know in the comment section below