Monday, November 21, 2011

The Chronicles of Naija : Tired

          On Saturday, I drove past a dead body on my way to work. Right by my house. I couldn't believe what I was seeing at first: a woman had been left there to rot, covered in rags and dirt; two tires placed in front of her, signaling that something was obstructing traffic. A whole in the ground perhaps?
Down at the police station, I had to pretend to be calling important people in order for the cops to stop telling me that it was not their jurisdiction, that I had to go report it to another police station closer to my house.... and that "today is weekend."
I later found out that this woman had been left on the street for at least 4 hours. When I told people at work about this, they weren't the least surprised: some dead bodies had been left on the road for days in their neighborhoods.
Was it because she was poor that she didn't deserve to be treated with more respect? Is it a survival technique, for a majority of Nigerians to become so desensitized and detached, so individualistic?

          On Sunday, a new church opened right in front of my house, making it the third in a 100 yard radius. Hundreds of people came to my neighborhood to sing, pray, as well as pretend to be good people, while I was left to wonder where they and their so-called love and compassion had been the day before.

They'd been at a police station, sitting behind a counter, cracking jokes in Yoruba about a shocked oyimbo who, for the first time in his life, was trying to report the death of a human being.

I'm getting tired of this hypocrisy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Photo du Jour: George Sand(s)

Somewhat lost and stuck in traffic somewhere in Ibadan, driving by this truck brightened my day...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Chronicles of Naija : 419ers of Love

Like a lot of Nigerian men, Lekkan tends to think that after a sweet night of passion - though I have to admit this one was good - he's got me all wrapped around his finger.  That (I should think) we are now an item.
Isn't it what having sex means? The physical sealing of a deal, that which involves honesty, exclusivity, and longevity?

No! It shouldn't matter how many guys he's slept with in the past month (or days!), or the fact that he is kind of seeing someone at the moment. That pact only makes sense with me. I've got a special place in his heart, you know.

I'm back in Ibadan now, and Lekkan is feeling quite lonely down in Lagos. He needs friends, and since he doesn't know where to find them, it's only natural he should turn to me for help. 
We've got a bond now; we've got to help each other out!
He's not picky at all, as he's interested in friendship, real friendship, to keep him busy and away from trouble.
Why, yes. I've  got a special place in his heart. Don't you remember? 
But because he can't be friends with just everybody (who could?), he asks me to make a tiny little pre-selection for him (totally understandable!). I should only get him in touch with men who are "cute like models, tall, and masculine."
Didn't you know that it's where true friendship stems from?

Bitch please!

I truly don't mind the gray areas, and I would be more than glad to help (poor!) Lekkan fill the hole in his life (or someone else's, for that matter) if his lies weren't obvious to the point of being insulting.

The sad thing is that I've seen many boys act this way with one another, which can only mean one thing: some people actually do fall for this kind of blatant stupidity.
Even though I know this problem mirrors deeper societal issues, I can't help but feel sick when I think of Lekkan and the likes of him.
The 419ers of love.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Chronicles of Naija : Double Standards

Adeyemi dumped his girl (read one of his numerous conquests) a few months ago, which means he doesn't talk to her anymore, yet still feels the need to talk about her often, with as much contempt as he possibly can, that goes without saying. His recent hatred for her even drove him to cut her face out of any picture she was in.
"She's no good," he told me. When I dared ask why, he answered in all honesty, and as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, that "she used to sleep around with a lot of guys, and me, well I'm afraid of AIDS." 

Oh my...

How could a girl do this to him? Who did she think she was, having sex with various strangers while being officially single? A man? See, he would never do that to her. Well, maybe he would, or maybe he was actually banging other girls, but it's not the same thing, you know.... He's a man and a man is naturally entitled to the moral freedom of sleeping around town, while a woman is entitled to being faithful to her man, even if neither party considers this to be a relationship. For a woman to catch some fun is filthy and disgraceful. It's a direct attack on the first man who claimed her.

Of course, he never said those words. We rarely put words on what we hold for certain. The unquestionable truths of this universe don't need to be verbalized, they just are...
He couldn't figure out why that universal truth was unknown to her, and I couldn't figure out why I hadn't puked over his photo album yet. His heart was far from being broken, but his ego had been bruised, deeply, with the realization that two can play that game.

Who did she think she was?

Adeyemi is afraid of AIDS. He doesn't like women who have sex with more than one man, because promiscuity is how diseases are spread. So he feels it's a lot safer to do the sleeping around himself.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Black Widow

My hand brushes your forehead and lingers there, while the whispers coming out of my mouth start to weave themselves around you. Not what you expected, is it? You smile and your eyes light up, finally reflecting the longings you've been suppressing.
You've just been hit.
Neglected for so long, this secret spot in you is demanding reparation. But don't you worry my boy. Nurture is my pleasure. You won't go hungry for much longer. I'll give you what need if you just listen carefully.
Good boy.
And you thought you were chasing...
Your hunger brought you straight to me but baby, you're in for something different. Something you didn't suspect existed. Something you never knew you needed. But you do.
They all do.
One touch was enough for you to fall in this trap. Self-hypnosis alone could help you escape the web around you, for as I look straight into your eyes, there is no hiding. Listen to my body. This is the loving care you've been craving. Someone to truly see you and connect.
Look into my eyes.
Say it again, this is what you want.
Before you know it, our bodies are intertwined and your lips can't get enough of my kisses. The weight of your body up on mine delivers me from myself, and I can't remember if I'm in for the giving or the taking.
No empty words.
True physical dialogue.
Through this tear in my being I'm taking you all in. Forget about what caused it; you needed this more than anything. Freed from yourself and filled with love, let my addiction be your salvation tonight... if you can take it.

Was it all a dream or did we bond with incredible passion, you'll ask me later. Yes, what we shared was more than sex, though it was nothing but a moment. A need I had to quench.
Why take it further?
I must warn you,
I take no prisoners.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sinead. My Hero.

Given the recent sex scandals which have been rocking the Vatican lately, I thought now would be a good time to post the infamous video of Sinead O'Connor performing Bob Marley's War at SNL back in 1992. Sinead ended her performance by holding a picture of the Pope, tearing it into pieces, and then saying "Fight the real enemy!" Shock and outrage were to follow. This actually caused so much controversy that, even (or especially?) in the land where Freedom of Speech is supposed to reign supreme, censorship prevailed. Censorship was so strong that today, a lot of people I know have never heard of this "incident."
Sinead ripping the Pope is all they saw. They did not see or hear her denouncing of the child sexual abuse and the cover up going on in the Catholic Church at the time. The picture of the Pope was merely used a s symbol of the Vatican.

War - Sinéad O'CONNOR ( a cappella) on TV in 1992
Uploaded by Petite-Pince-Sans-Rire. - See the latest featured music videos.

Now people may not agree with Sinead's ways, it was, as she called it herself later a "ridiculous act, the gesture of a girl rebel." Indeed, such shocking acts usually elicit anger and an unwillingness to try and understand the person who performed them. Unfortunately, this seems to be extremely true in the U.S. It is such a shame that when people are shocked and/or offended, they choose to censor and bury their heads in the sand. In this day and age, how can people still think that ignorance is bliss?
However shocked people were, I hope that, in light of what is being unveiled about sexual scandals in the Church right now (which is actually nothing new, but should not be any less shocking), people can now see her message clearly and truly appreciate her courage.

Here is short documentary about the true signification of her gesture.

It's good to see that 18 years later, being a Priest, the fire within Sinead has not died. She recently said in the Irish Independent : "A true Christian is someone who, in any given situation, is supposed to ask themselves what would Jesus do, then try to do that. How an organisation which has acted, decade after decade, only to protect its business interests above the interests of children can feel it has the right to dictate to us what Christians should do is beyond belief.

"From the Pope on down, through the Vatican and therefore through the lower echelons, the whole organisation, in my belief, is utterly anti-Christian and evil, as proven by centuries of torture, bloodshed, burnings, terrorism, and coverings-up of 'the worst crime' known to man.

"And if Jesus Christ is to be seen in the vulnerable of this world, then all the church has done is crucify the man over and over and over again. If Christ was here, he would be burning down the Vatican. And I for one would be helping him."

I am not a christian but I do admire how true to her beliefs she is and how courageous she has always been. I also do believe that she and I share some fundamental values. And when I see what is going on in Uganda, where the problem is not child abuse but homosexuality, her message resounds all the more deeply in my heart. There is nothing more infuriating than religious hypocrisy (such as Scott Lively's). Spreading hatred in the name of so-called love is definitely not alright.

See also Joe.My.God and The Gospel According to Hate

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Forgive and Forget

Today, one of my friends' facebook status said that she can't forgive AND forget, that she will pick one. While she is known for her witty updates, I found this one to have a fundamental truth underneath its humorous surface. I was going to leave a comment on her profile. Sure, you can't actually forget because amnesia never helped any of us learn lessons from life; the answer was very simple to me. Then I thought some more and realized that what I had to say would probably not fit in that little box.

I've always thought about forgiving and forgetting in very simple terms; a very simple mathematical equation, an implacable logic. Someone tries to harm you. You decide to forgive them because human relationships are indispensable anyway, but you remember. If you forget (which never actually happens unless you black out), you won't be prepared when the same thing is about to happen again.
I was always a forgiver, but not a forgetter; it was only a matter of choice.

But something happened that made me wonder... When dealing with hurt feelings, how much of a choice do you really have?

The dictionary says that forgiving is to "stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake)." I used to believe that forgiving was a conscious act made by a person, when actually, the three magic words only mean that you are willing to see beyond the offense. But how do you consciously stop feeling angry or resentful?

If only time can heal, then wouldn't it be wise to say that only time can (make you) forgive?

Someone who had harmed me in the past did something today that seemed quite inoffensive at first but revived the harm which had been done in the past. This can only mean two things:  either my forgiveness is temporary, or my body had forgotten the hurt for a while, leading to a fake, reluctant forgiveness. And it was quick to remember!
If we never truly forget, is it possible to fully forgive? Can we actually go further than deciding we are willing to go beyond the hurt?

What is interesting it that both forgetting (or rather not remembering as vividly) and forgiving seem to be processes over which we have very little control. We can't consciously do either of them (without therapy, that is). Surely what matters most is the choice we make to move on, with or without that person.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Waking up

The sun is out, finally. Gently warming up my body, and fiercely attacking the thick coat of snow that has been piling up in the last few months. The snow is doing its best to resist but has already lost quite a few battles. Soon enough, it will be gone, revealing a numb scenery, one that has been sleeping, patiently waiting to bloom. Slowly but surely, nature is waking up. 
Is there any reason why I shouldn't? I have been hibernating, taking in a lot of things, but not creating any. When did I last drop a few lines here?

I have been active, though. As a matter of fact I have been swamped with work. This last semester at KSU has not been as calm as I had anticipated. Lots of reading, lots of thinking, and lots of writing.  Then there was also this Mariah Carey concert in Columbus for my birthday (which I can thank my soon-to-be ex-wife for!!), that Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert in Akron with Tiffy, and a few social outings with friends from Ohio. No, really, I haven't been sleeping that much.. But I have been hibernating.

So really, it's time for me to wake up and .... update!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I cannot see you when I speak
or hear you when my eyes are open.
Maybe it's something that I always sensed

Your dolls close their eyes when you put them to sleep,
Sinking into automatic darkness
Yet it's the blindness of my eyes that makes me see,
Forcing a sudden awareness

My heart starts to open
And my soul starts to bleed.
Both long for your wise innocence

If I listen close enough, I can hear it.
The empty melody of my own words
- or maybe yours -
Trying to shine a light.
But I fail to fully comprehend. And I fall.
I think I'm lost...
That nothing can change this

You are nothing
Then yes...
Nothing can change this

I only see you when I'm half asleep
or feel you when my heart is broken

Though I never asked for this,
Here you come again
And again

It's just a neurosis,
Feeding on itself.
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