Tuesday, 31 January 2012

" Oh No I've Run Mad Again" IV- Insane in the Membrane.

Insane in the Membrane

“When the baby is born, you wrap him in this towel. None of that diaper nonsense”
“Babies, they don’t know diaper or towel. They shit too much.” The mid wife bit on her chewing stick aggressively.
Faded tattoos and blackened lips, her earlier life must have been wild.
“Breathe and push with all your might.”
“Aargh” I pushed.
“God if you let this baby live, I’ll be the best mother, I swear.”
“Look at this one, becoming religious, because of common labour.” she laughed.
“My friend, push like a woman!”
Just as she said that, the power went out.
Panic embraced me.
“Oh God what is this?” I cried.
“My friend, forget about the electricity and push! Do you know how many babies are born without power in this neighbourhood?”
What kind of life is this child being born into? I sobbed.
I swear this baby will be something good, someone who would take me out of this slum.
I bore down and pushed with new determination.
“Ehen! That’s it!”The mid wife smacked my thigh.
Wiggling the baby, carelessly, in my face.
“It’s a boy!” she smacked his bum and he squealed in pain.
“Ayomide.”I sighed and reclined.
Listening to the best song ever sang, my baby’s cry.
In seconds he was washed and cleaned and in my arms.
“N500.” She stretched out blood stained hands to me.
I unfolded the wad of cash from my bra and handed it to her.
“I’ll be back in the morning to help you with the recovery."
She counted the cash again and let herself out.
Out of routine, I knew where the lantern was.
I got up and guided myself, lighting the little lantern and then holding it over the make shift crib.
I looked into the eyes of the most beautiful baby.
Love overwhelmed me and I cried.
I was truly glad that no one else was there. This neighbourhood had no time for tears or fickle emotions.
I had not made a lot of myself, but my child would. I grabbed his feet and swore it with my life.
I truly had not made a lot of myself; dropped out of school at fourteen, pregnant at twenty.
Tears welled up in my eyes.
Perhaps when I was born, my mother looked over me as I did him and prayed over me, but she could not give me what she did not have.
I had no hope, and to be honest, I didn’t know how or where I’d find some, but I needed to get it quick for my son’s sake
The electricity returned, flickering for a brief second and going off again.
It was as though someone at the office was sending an official welcome.
Welcome to the land of haves and have-nots. Dear Ayomide, you are a have-not. Goodbye!”
I grabbed the only pillow I had and lay it under him.

My neighbourhood had not intended on being a slum.
It once stood high in the middle of Lagos, a proud site.
Fresh paint air, shiny windows and balconies that looked on to the gardens below.
It definitely had not intended on becoming 'the slums'.
But what was it to do when the hundred and something people it was intended for invited a hundred and something more.
I was in the number, of the hundred more invited.
A sparkle in my eyes, determination in my heart to make it in the city of prosperity, Lagos.
Everyone was told a story of the person who lived in a village and then moved to Lagos and suddenly became a ‘somebody’, everyone wanted their own nugget of the goldmine.
On a rickety bus with over thirty passengers I rode from Akure to the City of Excellence.
Lagos herself welcomed us. Arms opened, throbbing, alive.
My first five minutes in the city included being in an accident with a motorcyclist and then having my wallet swiped.
Lagos, Lagos, Lagos, like the heartbeat of a race horse, always pulsating; always alive.
I struggled as hard as I could to become one of its success stories, but the harder I pushed forward the more the inflow new comers pushed me backwards.
Ah, I see you snickering at me and rolling your eyes.
I tried, you really must believe me!
I tried hair dressing, dress making, cleaning, cooking, nothing ever lasted, as soon as the next idiot from some village came, I was out.
In the end, I was introduced to Madam Rosa.
Madam Rosa ran an institute for women.  The women were entertainers you see, it really wasn’t a difficult job; lay down, shut your eyes, get paid.
It became my life, until Ayomide.
Ayomide was a strong boy.
He was unlike any other child in the neighbourhood.
The women downstairs were always complaining that I spoiled him.
They complained that I never found him guilty of any offense.
How could I, to begin with, my Ayomide could do no wrong; he was a sweet young boy.
I do admit that I had seen an occasional pencil or candy that wasn’t his in his school bag, but kids would be kids right?
As my dear boy grew, I knew I had to stop working for Madam Rosa.
I was determined that my son would go University and become ‘a somebody’.
I was awfully surprised when I learned that Ayomide had skipped out on most of his SS3 and University was far from hopeful.
I spoke to him about it and his explanation seemed valid to me.
We decided that in his best interested, a trade would be worthwhile.
Still neighbours whispered behind my back, ‘She’s spoiling that child! She should have smacked him, she should have…’
They didn’t know Ayomide like I did; he was a sweet young boy and would hurt anyone.
I cannot deny the fact that overtime, the pencils and candy had gradually turned into money, clothes, phones etc.
I knew they were gifts they just had to be! My Ayomide had no iota of wrong in him.
My high esteems of my dear son came crashing down one sunny Saturday morning, when from outside my window, I heard violent chants.
One of the women downstairs mumbled something in Yoruba about ‘a child that doesn’t learn manners at home will be taught somewhere else.’
“Ayomide!” I ran to my son’s side but I was stopped by the neighbourhood’s chief vigilante.
“Madam, wait there!”His voice, rough from years of drinking and drugs, most likely.
“That’s my son!”
“Ehen, so? This boy na thief, we just dey wait make im mess up!”
It was then I realized that he was holding a can of kerosene.
“What do you think you’re going to do with that?”I screamed.
Seeing that I was about to lose my mind, the neighbours held me down.
“Ayomide, tell them! Tell them you’re innocent!”I wept as my boy was stuffed into a tire.
“Ayomide!”I screamed, tears streaming down my face.
“You knew then as you know now!”He smiled.
Why the hell was this stupid boy smiling at me?
“Ayomide, please tell these people that they are wrong.”
“Eventually it had to come to this! Eventually some justice was to be carried out, if not by you then, I guess by them.”
“I blame you though.” He continued.
All this while, the big man with the rough voice was dousing him and the tire with kerosene.
“I’m not blameless in this, but I blame you. If you had done something earlier, we both wouldn’t be here right now!”
I sat on the floor, watching helplessly as my dear little boy was consumed by the flames.
The neighbours chanted and screamed. Most of them pointing at me and whispering.
I was forced to sit there, on the muddy dirty street and watch as my son burnt to a crisp.
The vigilantes made me sit there, until the flames finally died down.
“Ayomide…”I crawled to his burnt remains and held him.
Not caring that the embers burnt my skin, I lay there and fell asleep, apologizing for all my errors.

This story is my opinion of Boko Haram and the current President.
I have long felt that Boko Haram and their acts, where no more than a little child acting up and throwing tantrums for attention. When I was a kid, I did stupid things, but as soon as I did, a parent was there to stop and curb that habit!
In my opinion, these so called terrorists have been testing the ‘discipline’ of the President and so far he’s been very tolerating.
As in the above story, with Ayomide’s mother, who knew what her son was becoming but refused to curb it, these ‘terrorists’ very much like Ayomide are only going to get worse.
In the end with Ayomide, it wasn’t the police who ‘disciplined’ him, it was the neighbourhood vigilante.
I believe a time is coming when people aren’t going to wait for the parent; they are simply going to march into the streets and take matters into their own hands.

Monday, 23 January 2012


One thing I absolutely love to do, is to have give-aways
Good news for you!
Today I'm giving away TEJU COLE'S OPEN CITY!

All you have to do to win this, is be a follow this blog and beneath this post simple leave a comment with any three digit number!
FOR EXAMPLE: I want that Book, totally love Teju Cole! 455.
Entries open up today and close Feb 4th.
Best wishes!!!

Friday, 20 January 2012

You Wanna Read This Trust me!!

Howdy there loves!
So I recently got an offer to write and become an editor on a rapidly growing Canadian Website, I'm so magnanimous it hurts! LOL
If you're interested in being a part of the 'team' just send me an e-mail: mobola@dudunorth.com
Check the website out: www.dudunorth.com. Literature is under DuduLove.
I'll be on the look out for your e-mail.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

To be Honest...

Right Now, I have a huge migraine and I've had it for about 20 hours .
I know its because I have a lot on my mind and as much as I try to get old thoughts out of the way to make space for the new ones jumping in my head like firecrackers, there seems to be very little time between the two processes.
To be honest I have been trying my hardest to write something about the situation in Nigeria, you know, as a continuation of the series, but I just cant seem to type the right words.
I read blogs and Newspapers and all these literary pieces with eloquent words and when I open Ms Word, all I can seem to do is stare at my cursor.
To be honest, I have come to realize that my heart is far too broken, and the disappointed and pained tears have since dried from my eyes and words really cant be used for what I feel.
I dont want to write a humorous, satirical, sarcastic, event brilliant, short story as to how I feel.
My heart is too broken, too many times, too much pain and disappointment have caked up my eyes so now all I see is a white screen and a cursor, but words cant explain.
All the promises and lies, from past leaders have left me feeling like a a bride left waiting for a groom at the alter.
I feel like I've been raped raw by hope, the hope that things will change.
I've watched innocent people get shot by 'accident', just for waiting for the bus, women get raped, just for wearing skirts, children denied education just because their parents arent governors, uncles, left to die in front of hospitals because they didnt have registration cards....
To be honest, I have no words for the way I really feel........the disappointed and pained tears have long dried up in my eyes...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

" Oh No I've Run Mad Again" III -Bla Bla Blah Sheep

I once heard that fear is the best way to condition a person’s mind. Instil fears into the hearts of your followers and provide yourself as their only hope and help and they will follow you like mindless zombies.

Bla Bla Blah! Sheep

“It’s offering time!” The man boomed into the microphone.
“Therefore, you must give.”
The instrumentalists and singers quickly marched behind him and began a rendition of ‘Give and it will come back to you.’
The holy man gyrated, stylishly eyeing the donations being inserted into envelopes
“Give and it will come back to you I say!”
“I want you to know that God is in the house tonight!” He did his special dance.
The congregation shouted in response.
“Choir sing that song one more time!”
The ushers went about with collection bowls, passing them along so that the faithful could put in their envelopes.
“I want you to know that it’s the season for your great reward!”
The congregation shouted and applauded.
Gbemi wasn’t used to this sort of crowd.
She had been born in the States and had only come to visit her father’s parents.
They’d insisted that she come to see ‘the Holy man’.
She thought it’s been weird that she was not invited to the Church, or participate in the service, but all her grandmother could chatter about was the ‘Holy man’.
“He wears white because it’s the color of God and only uses purple items.”
“His seat in the church is purple, his cars are purple, customized with purple interiors as well.”Her grandmother had said.
Gbemi fanned herself in the back of the building. She couldn’t bear to use the word church for it.
The Holy man raised his hands again and the congregation shouted and applauded.
“This time, I tell you that God is in the house.”
More cheering and applause.
“Your offering must be no less than N1,000.”He nodded affirmatively.
“What?”She gasped in shock.
What was more bewildering was the fact that like brain washed persons better yet zombies, the congregation cheered on.
Gbemi was in a pained surprise, especially because it was visible that a good third of the congregation were in the lower class percentile.
They didn’t strike her as persons who had N1,000 to deposit in an offering bowl.
On closer inspection, Gbemi saw the saddened pained expressions on their faces.
Made worse with the Holy man’s proclamation that ‘God would not be tolerant of less than N1,000.’
He went on to say that every member should take out the money from their envelopes and lift them up, to be visible by him and no usher should accept an offering less than the amount specified.
Oh Gbemi was incensed.
Her lip quivered and she motioned to say something about it, when her grandmother pinched her.
“Don’t you dare, embarrass me here tonight.” She cautioned severely.
Her grandmother waved crisp thousand naira notes.
Gbemi was painfully appalled and saddened, even worse as she had no outlet to her anger.
In the back, those who obviously had less than a thousand naira sobbed and cried out to God for forgiveness.
“Holy Man!”
“Holy Man”
The congregation boomed, running to his feet and tossing scrunched up naira notes.
“Bless you!”He smiled in appreciation as each patron tossed their hard earned notes at him.
“This is madness! How can one man make a people feel less than worthy of God because of money?” Gbemi asked no one in particular.
“Holy Man”
“Holy Man”
The congregation continued to chant in the background.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

" Oh No I've Run Mad Again" II -The Twist

Even I have once chuckled at the idea of sitting on a couch and talking to a psychologist. We aren’t that kind of people, we are strong and if we fall we get right back up.
Psssh, depression? Counselling? It’s for Westerners that have no spine and too much money!
Even I have once chuckled at the idea.

The Twist

She bought the rope on Monday.
After a weekend of loneliness, she went out and bought the rope.
She had never assumed herself to ever be as tired of life as to want to take hers but everyday she spent alive these past months have been worse than death.
Antonia counted the money and handed it to the attendant. She bought the pills on Tuesday.
As a kid she had played with dolls, brushed their pretty little heads and even learnt to make pretty little braids.
As she grew, she read books and learnt everything there was to know about children.
It was as though it was her life’s worth to be a mother.
Of course her friends laughed at her. All through University all she read and talked about were children.
Wa bimo lemo!” Her granny had prayed on her 24th birthday.
Blessing her with the prayer for twins.
Every morning, Antonia sang the prayer song.
Every morning till her period didn’t come.
Till the monthly blood flow was replaced by cramps.
So she went to the hospital and was told that her womb had an infection.
How could her womb have an infection? She had done nothing with it!
“These things happen.” the doctor said.
“Is there something I can take for it?”
“I’m sorry but at this rate, to save your life, we must take out your womb.”
To save my life?
Antonia died in the doctor’s seat that day.
Did he not realize that the children her womb was to bear was her life?
But he insisted, her mother insisted, even her fiancé .
In order to save her life, she lay on the bed and allowed the doctor, take her life.
Everything from then on became shades of appalling gray.
“Antonia, it’s not the end of the world you know. You could always adopt kids.”
It was an idea, a really good idea.
She decided that she’d bring it up when her fiancé came to visit.
He didn’t.
She was in the hospital for two weeks and not once did he come.
So she went to his house, upset, yet worried that something had happened to him.
And there he was, with another.
“She’s a woman, you’re not.” He was his sole explaination.
“You’re not!”  Like ripples on water, like the fanning out of alarms, those words, reached into her already dead self and killed her, again.
She wasn’t ill anymore, not physically at least.
Not in the places that eyes could see and hands massage out. Pain that no pill had yet been created for shot through her.
Antonia went home to find peace, but broken hearted, she was of no use to anyone.
She couldn’t laugh and tickle her siblings as she used to.
She didn’t want to eat, drink or go out.
“Is she still in her room?”She’d over heard someone say.
“Why is she acting like a baby? Is she the only one that something like this would happen to?”
“All that rubbish of just crying and crying. If it was left to me, I’ll give her a good slap!” They’d said.
She was no longer a woman. She no longer had any usefulness.
Her fiancé who she thought would love her through fire and hail, who knew her more than any other, who supposedly loved her, couldn’t anymore because she’s become a figurine.
“She looked like a woman sounded like one, but really wasn’t.”
Who would want her now?” They all whispered it when they thought she was asleep.
So she took the rope in her hands and twisted it round her neck.
She stood on the chair and began to weep.
Then from the living room she heard a voice say, “Is that silly girl still crying? This is rubbish! If she doesn’t stop, I’ll kick her out and send her to the village. She can go wallow there in self pity!”
Antonia shut her eyes and imagined what her children would have looked like as she gently nudged the chair out of place.

-Not trying to be a downer, I assure you these two are the saddest of the series! Thanks for stopping by!