NO.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

It’s just a two-letter word.

Why then does it seem so hard to say?

There are tons of people who will come for you when you say NO…

1. Your parents and, if you’re African your entire extended family, for starters. After feeding you, taking care of you, sending you to school, sacrificing for you, and then you refuse to join the family business, a business that paid for everything you are enjoying.

“I gave birth to you, therefore I own you!” – Enraged Father
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Ungrateful Child that you are!

And so you bend to their will.

You just couldn’t say NO.

2. Society demands that you marry at a certain age, so it becomes a rush to get “hooked” before 30. So when Tom, Dick and Harry’s worse-off cousin named Trouble comes along you fall into his arms and say, “Yes I know his name is Trouble, but his own is actually Gentle Trouble, not Real Trouble.”

You were not love-struck, darling.

You were pressured…by society, by seemingly “well-meaning friends” who don’t know any better, by your family members who keep sending your number to random dudes that you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

And then, like a moth to a flame, you fly to close and you get burned.

Mr Gentle Trouble marries you and changes his name to Mr. Everyday Wahala.

You lose your self-esteem, your sense of purpose and nearly lose your face in a torrent of verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

Something you could have avoided, sister me.

If you had only said NO.

3. Get a job, get a job. See now, your mates are working in oil companies and earning six figures, what are you doing here pressing phone and laptop? Other people who are even pressing laptop like you are making money. I don’t even know for this your own sef.

God, when?

Then you succumb to the pressure and disdain. You get a job, any job, just to have that ‘respect’ of having a job and living the way everybody expects you to live.

I understand.

You stick to the job, hating yourself and hating every minute of it.

You have tried to kill the dream.

Everyone says it’s foolish.

“You’re only building castles in the air.”
“You better wake up and face reality.”

You have tried to do what the world tells you to do with your life: Get a job, work and forget about your dreams. They are not valid in this part of the world.

But just like God did with Jonah and that missions trip to Nineveh, your goals and dreams refuse to keep calm. Like the waves that battered the ship that was taking Jonah to a different destination, they continue to batter your spirit and then you finally realised you should have said NO to all those who were saying NO to your dreams.

It wasn’t even their dream in the first place.

I could go on and on, but you get the drift.

“To thine own self be true, and it will follow as the night the day…”

Shakespeare

This quote from a Shakespearean play has stuck with me since my years in secondary school and even though I have not always been true to myself, even though I have played the chameleon a lot of times (and I bear my scars)…this has always been the direction: be true to yourself.

Say NO to everything that’s contrary.

So now you see why NO can seem like such a heavy word to say?

However, you still have to find that inner strength to say it.

It will do you a world of good.

Cheers. Live your true life.

Ramblings.

I have just been diagnosed with a dual personality disorder. The doctor literally shouted his diagnosis at me across the living room, yes, that where I was, not in the hospital. You see, I receive a special home service that is priceless. 

Now I have been banished to the room, away from sight and sound. He said my presence infuriates him. I remember when I prayed to God and asked that if this being with this man wasn’t from Him (God), that He (God) should make my very presence irritating to this man, this doctor who has called me a liar, a bad woman, and a mental patient. 

I need therapy, he says. 

Writing is my therapy. 

You see, today’s outburst happened because he acted on something I said the previous night. He heard the words that came out of my lying mouth and took a decision about me without asking me if that as what I wanted. Imagine my audacity, imagine the effrontery, to expect to be asked what I wanted. I am still building castles in the air. I better go and cook and then be castigated for cooking. 

We are both suffering a loss, but I know he feels the pain more than I do. I mean, he has known her all his life, I only just came into the scene barely two years ago. I still feel like a stranger here…and I don’t know when this feeling will stop, or if “here” is where I am supposed to be. 

I am losing myself. 

I want to disappear to a new country, maybe change my identity, work in a coffee shop and make a modest living…look at me building more skyscrapers in the air. 

Maybe I really have a dual personality disorder. 

Or maybe I’m just weird. 

Or maybe I’m a selfish, self-centred being who doesn’t think before talking. or typing. or even breathing…since my breathing the same air with him is a problem. 

And all I wanted to do was to be there for him through his loss. 

And now I’ve failed at that, just like I fail at every single thing he has expected me to do. 

Let me tell you the story of this failure. 

It started on our wedding night. That was the first night he shouted at me. Why? Because I was overwhelmed by the constant activity with people and the party that was going to happen at his father’s house after the main reception. Because I was tired and I cried. Till now I wonder, what was I supposed to have done? Soldiered on while I died inside? 

The Bible says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Pls Google the exact Bible passage it comes from, I don’t have strength, thank you.)     

I am trying to guard my heart, but this s$&# is hard.

Lord, I need your help.  

The Sound of Silence 

Silhouette of a woman on a beach, Sound of Silence, calm, quiet

It’s dark and quiet. The mosquitoes have paused their nightly feed on my skin. For just a moment. The darkness is warm, welcoming, devoid of fear and all the terrible things that they said would come when the darkness came to take its place over our land. 

The silence that comes with the darkness is anything but…

…silent.

I hear the colours of my mind whisper to one another, invoking memories and thoughts of aeons past as I lie awake waiting for sleep to pay me a visit. 

I sense the earth settle in, not to slumber but to repose, in stately atmosphere till dawn breaks again over this part of our land. Yet I wait for sleep to pay me a visit. 

I lie still, and the movements of the wind and far-away engines come to me in quiet calm. Sleep must be out and about somewhere else. 

The darkness remains warm, but the heat in this room is getting hot. I get up and pour the white blessing over my face, neck and back. Any body seeing this white face of mine shine through this darkness would remember the ‘ojujus’ of yesteryears. I sit still and the sound of silence draws closer. The white blessing works its magic. The heat is now cool. Sleep went on a vacation. 

I pick up my phone and type this post. 

Sleep will probably come later. 

See you in the morning. 

#onelove #grateful #forlife 🙏

Can you relate? 

woman at lake

I could sit like this all day, lost in my thoughts

Have you ever been in a situation where you know you want to say something, but the words just can’t seem to take shape and come out of your mouth, or in this case, out on paper ? (oh, I forgot I was typing this.) 

Trust me, I am almost always in the kind of situation. It’s not like I don’t have things to talk about, it’s more about the fact that I’ve been so used to keeping quiet and keeping my thoughts bottled up that now it’s just second nature to me. 

Now a lot of people who know me personally would find it hard to believe, but it’s true, and some others who knew me as a child wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I still prefer my own company a lot of times. Heck, I used to go to wedding receptions, child dedications and birthday parties with my family, holding a novel that I would open and continue reading right in the midst of all the party noise. 

Yeah. True. 

Anybody ever felt like that before? You’re not alone…and you’re not a weirdo. Like me, you probably enjoy the sound of silence. You enjoy hearing the thoughts in your head sing a symphony. You cherish the peace of a cool breeze in the quiet of the evening. You could stay at home all day with a great novel, good music, free Wi-Fi and great music. 

And guess what? No you’re not boring, you’re not queer, you’re actually a really amazing person. You tend to be very loyal to your friends and family, and you are great at your job. I’m sure you are very sensitive to people’s feelings too. 

So hello fellow introvert and empath, you’re spectacular! 

Tap, tap, tap…TAP IT OUT! 

Hi guys…#sheepishsmile

sheepish smile

Yeah, sheepish smile 😄

It’s been a minute since I last blogged…sincere apologies…yours truly has been trying to juggle work and personal projects here and there…did I tell you that I’m now doing business on my own? More about that in a different post. 

All that writer’s block and not making out time to blog is over and done with…and no, this is not a New Year Resolution, it’s a decision…

Can someone please say Amen? 🙂

Amen. 🙏

So…how’ve y’all been? Tell me…did you eat your fill of chicken and fried rice during Christmas and New Year? Did you travel to the village, like I did, or did you stay in the city where you live, or did you travel out? Y’all remember that meme/saying that became popular during the holidays…something about “I want to travel to Dubai, but my bank account is directing me to the village”…hahaha…funny yeah…but mehn that wasn’t my reason for going to the village o! 😂 My bank account got nothing to do with my villa trip…I play by a different set of rules 🙂

I play by a different set of rules.

So yeah…let’s see…it’s a new year…even though January is in its 20th day now…I’ll be talking about the things I reeeeeeally want to ‘tap out’ this 2017…tap out, as in render null and void, deliberately outdate, things we need to cast and bind if you please 😂…okay let’s do this… 

Tap out picture from The Real

Courtesy The Real

Tap Out in 2017

1. Let me just kuku start with my personal number one skoin-skoin that needs to be tapped out…Chymdii, you need to stop procrastinating! Chai! Stop waiting for the perfect time and the best conditions to do something. Like my friend Vanessa Mbamarah of Ztallion says…”Build Regardless”. Nothing will come to you if you do not get up to take it. Get up and go! Take action! Write that blog post even if you are lying on your bed after a hearty meal with your battery at 30% and Candy Crush Soda Saga is calling your name. “Build Regardless”, in spite of the circumstances which may not be conducive, get going and do something about your dream and passion that won’t stop burning. 

I believe with this first tap-out of mine I have been able to cast the spirit of laziness and unproductivity out of my life n’aha Jisos, Amen. 🙏:)

Now for these personal peeves:

2. Bad English/ Incorrect Grammar 

All incorrect grammar turns me off big time, but this one just takes the cake: 

Men and brethren, biko it is not ‘one of the popular artiste’…do not forget the ‘s’ at the end of the word. It is one – singular, out of many – plural. Understood? Thank you. #CurtseyingGraciously

See eh…if you ever catch me write something that wasn’t grammatically correct, pls feel free to point it out to me, I’ll will gratefully thank you for it. Some of my friends know how far…as per, you send me a BC and I helpfully point out something that needs to be rewritten. I’m being a good friend, no be so? 

Every Gbagaun in 2017…we tap out! 

Tap out the real Jeanne Mai

Tapping it out with all strength…yeah I love Jeanne Mai and The Real!

3. All those sexy poses on Instagram 

Let me just say this, right here right now. Standing like your legs ain’t straight and throwing out one hip in the bid to look like Kim K on one side of your body in one particular angle will not help your destiny. Not at all. I saw one profile picture of Facebook, on the slideshow for ‘People you may know’ and honestly, when I saw the babe – who I really do not know- the thigh and hip that was pushed out seriously reminded me of chicken drumstick. As in seriously. 

No shade though…I’m not here to run anyone down or anything, I’m just saying it as I see it…there’s no need to for us women to pose just so the first thing that comes to anybody’s mind when they see a picture is the word ‘sexy’. 

Don’t try too hard to look sexy. 

In fact, don’t aim to look sexy. 

Dress to look good.  

Fashionable does not mean sexy. 

As a woman, we are a lot more things than sexy. We’re smart, we’re strong, we’re wise and we’re blessed with a lot more gifts than just satisfying the cravings of men’s loins. That is just one attribute out of many a woman has, and it should satisfy one man’s cravings, not to be explicitly and deliberately advertised for a multitude. 

So, no chicken legs and all that stuff this year. 

#NuffSaid. I didn’t plan to give a sermon.

#TapOutSexyPoses

4. Some guys need to grow up on Instagram and Snapchat too

Guys, you think I wasn’t gonna talk about yours too? Some people follow me on Instagram and I’m like kilonshele? Cos all I see on his page are those kind of popular poses guys do…which I can’t even describe. In case you didn’t know, me I’m old school o…so all those Drake and Wizkid wannabes and lookalikes, sorry, wrong number. 

Tap out! 

Akah Bants Video on YouTube

Check it out on YouTube!

For more tap outs that I could have written on this blog, but won’t, because Nnani Akah of Akah Bants on YouTube already has ’em covered…

oya click here…

so guys, go take a look…and repent if you’re guilty of any! 😁 

Peace and Love…

…yours truly, Andiispice. 

Have you read the papers?

man-791440_1280

“Have you read the papers, do you hear what they say?”

That’s the first line of Cobhams Asuquo’s single title “I still choose to worship You”.

This song has been in my head for some days now. I’ve been singing it in bits, until I couldn’t put I off any longer. Now I’m watching Cobhams Asuquo on Shazam as he renders this worship song that is truly “not your normal worship song”.

The lyrics are not your normal worship lyrics, neither is the sound. Especially in this video, where Cobhams’ raspy voice (here in this video) underscores the emotional pain of the series of bad news in the first verse.

YTA POST

Now what is there to learn? God is God anyway. So still choose to worship Him, in spite of all that is not ‘seemingly okay’…especially when all seems not okay. When all else may be topsy-turvy and it looks like help is nowhere in sight, there’s always something to do, and that is to lose your ‘self’ in worship and find yourself in God.

Lift up your voice…release the sweet-smelling savour of worship…and bless the Lord…for the gift of His Son and the grace to fight the battles you may be facing.

Bless ye the Lord…

One love.

The Danfo Files: Mummy why are we late?

Monday did not bring its usual gloom with it. Not where Foluke was concerned. She skipped along the sidewalk, her hand firmly in her mother’s warm grasp. The pleats in her uniform stood proud and straight, belying the worn-out patches that told of the number of older sisters who had washed and starched this same garment with care in their own time, just as their mother had taught them.

“Mummy, I can name everything that is here. See, there is a house, that is a car, this is a bucket, that is a gate. Mummy say after me, car…” Her daughter’s excitement at finally getting into Primary Two was infectious, but Mrs. Lawal was not in the mood, not today.

“Baby mi I’m not in the mood now”, Mrs. Lawal tried to quicken her pace. Foluke’s school was still miles away.

“Mummy mi why are you not in the mood now?” Little Foluke went on naming objects. “…flower, waterproof, dustbin…”

“This one is not a dustbin, it is a refuse dump. The dustbin is the small one that is in the house. See how they littered the street with the trash here.”

“Mummy why are you not in the mood now?”

“That is because we are late.”

“Mummy why are we late? We woke up since!”

“Yes, but we can not enter bus today.”

“Mummy why can’t we enter bus today?”

“That’s because I don’t have enough money today. Foluke don’t ask me why I don’t have enough money today.”

“Why can’t I ask you why you don’t have enough money today?”

“That’s because I don’t want to answer.”

“Don’t worry Mummy mi. You don’t need to answer. When I grow up I’ll give you plenty money.” Foluke broke free from her mother’s grip to spread her hands wide as she said ‘plenty money’.

Mrs. Lawal broke into a smile, scooped her youngest daughter into her arms, schoolbag, lunchbox and all, and hugged her close.

“God bless you my daughter.”

The school didn’t seem so far anymore.

The Danfo Files: The old woman

Okay,  so I got down from a bus at my stop along the expressway this evening. An elderly woman got down before me. I noticed how stooped she was. The hair on her head had turned white,  a white that showed the toil of her life. She asked me, in a strong voice that belied her age, if this was actually the bus stop that had been called out. It was obvious she wasn’t seeing very clearly. With determined steps she crossed the road and walked ahead to where she’d get a tricycle to her house. I slowed my pace and kept watching her walk by. I wondered where she had gone to that day, where she was coming from. Did she just go out to see a friend? Did she go to church? Did she go to work? No matter where she went, no woman of that age should be on the road in a bus, the kind that never waits for passengers to get down properly, the kind that rumbles on like its sole purpose was to make the bones in our bodies rattle to no end. I felt sorrow that this woman had to go through the stress of commuting by bus on the crazy roads of Lagos, and I wondered about her family. Did she have any children? Was there a car and driver available for her? It didn’t look like it, but I was hopeful for her sake, hopefully that this journey she undertook today was not an everyday thing, hoping she had the small comforts of life waiting for her at home and with family, hoping that she wasn’t also a part of the rat race that has got a lot of us young people in a tight grip in this weird kaleidoscope of a city called Lagos.

I wrote that short story because for every single person we see in the streets, there’s a story that may or may not be pleasant to hear, there are things we take for granted that mean a whole lot to people out there. I wrote that short story so that we could remember, in the crazy busy network of our lives, to stop, look around for a minute, see with our hearts the people around us and their stories, and do three things: 1. Count our blessings, every single teeny-weeny one of them. 2. Redeem the time and ensure we build a solid foundation for our children and ourselves in our old age. 3. Touch lives, in any little or big way we can.

The Danfo Files: Experience

image

Courtesy: okojieokhai.blogspot.com

Hi folks. How you been? I have been busy with work, but haven’t forgotten you, not one bit. I’m on my way to work this morning, and I thought to post this one. I call it the Experience. And no we ain’t doing no praise and worship, lol. It’s just common things you’d get to see while using the public transport system common to Lagos and Nigeria in general. The things I see, Lawdhuvmurrrcy! So until I get my car, I’ll keep letting you in on how you have not had the Danfo experience until you have:

1. Asked for a ‘waina’ (winder) to wind up the window when it rains.

2. Inhaled the conductor’s aromatic offering from his gloriously (I use this word liberally) unwashed corpus. (I hope speaking ‘crankum crinkum’ helps to make this part a lot more pleasant to read. Hmmmmmmmm…)

image

Courtesy: osundefender.org

3. Replied “owa!” and “oun bole!” when you hear your bus stop.

4. Witnessed agberos fighting at the park.

5. Been squashed between two individuals who collectively take up the bulk of space. At this point you do not have weight. You cannot occupy space. You are the thin slice of cabbage in a hefty beef burger.

image

Courtesy: engineer-ng.net

6. Stood in a bus, those white ones that are a newer generation from the original ‘molues’ of those days. Those ones that look like BRTs, but are white. 

7. Forgotten your change with the bus conductor. Free cash for the guy. Ooshey!

8. Been delayed when the bus breaks down or runs out of fuel.

9. Been shunted from one bus to another just because the driver has changed his mind about getting to the previously agreed destination. Nkem Owoh, sorry, this time agreement is not agreement.

10. Been able to recognise two or three of the drug peddlers or preachers who ply the same route as you.

There we have ’em, ten of them. Please feel free to add more in the comments section. See you later. Oya conductor, oun bole ooo!