Musings

This Is Who We Are

We are sweet melanin,
Dark like the citrus, velvety licky-licky,
Golden like honey,
Creamy like soya milk,
Always popping.

We are the ones that command the red earth,
whisper prayers to the grey rolling waves of the sea,
The ones that wind surf blue skies, twilight mysteries and dry harmattan,
We bloom under thundering rainstorms.

Now that our choking habits are dying we’ve morphed. Like lustrous kinky, coils, locs grown from chemical scarred scalps.
We are industrious, conscious, compassionate, driven, creative, bold, humorous.

We are living art,
We are the sun wearing lipstick of blessings,
Carved brows of blazing excellence,
Highlighted with resilience by Her most high.

We are more than magic. We are the new culture. This is who we are.

END

Image credit: Hermes Iyele.

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Swallowed Moans

Friday

Staring into beautiful, slender, oval face we’d talked about anal sex as a gay person. I’d explained how the gripping pleasure makes it a worthwhile adventure. My opinions may have debunked myths of spontaneous poo, torn butts and disgusting homophobia. After all attraction and the desire for intimacy aren’t gendered phenomenon. His listening face agreed with a nod.  As the swing rocked back and forth I’d asked how did I begin talking all that? I think back to Friday morning when I’d been so sure of my weekend plans. The buzz of spoken Yoruba, microphone announcements by calm Matrons and bustle of quick, slow feet over the neat floors of General hospital was mixed with the breezy sun illuminating the green, pink and blue dotted shrubs around. That’s until I’d carefully climbed up and down three storeys of wheel chair ramp for a stamp at the Admin Office in the glassy, looming, Maternity Building.  The light blue, pale yellow highlighted skies darkened to grey changing my plans to hop buses to Ikeja for a pick-up. Tomorrow, I promised in text messages to my mother and baby mama.

Sunday

A few minutes to 5pm I wasn’t navigating winding, port-hole dotted Lagos roads in a cab enroute to Victoria Island. I sat on plastic chair at one of my favorite peppersoup joints. Merry Men movie ticket safely zipped away at the side of my nude handbag. I said a quiet thank you as a tall bottle of orange juice and a short tumbler were dropped in front of my opened novel on the plastic table. Melodic chatter in Igbo from a table of elderly men at my right was like Jazz. Occasionally my focus was interrupted by zooming cars, danfos and trucks speeding towards Igando. Yet again I lived an unexpected variation of Sunday. My eyes scan the pages of ‘explain love’ as my right fingers guide a orange tumbler to my red glossed lips. I’d admit I enjoyed the peaceful evening while Blythe, Cecillie, Jacques dealt with the catastrophic highlight of Luc’s art exhibition. How could it be Bryony who tells on Fred! Her accidental, harmless joke breaks Jacques’s heart and jaw. Like a joke I’d told an hour ago. Laughing As They Chased Us has offered me a very foreign glimpse into the daily lives of three couples living in South of France. An engaging debut novel by Sarah Jackman. I’d made a joke about stripping out of my hang-out clothes to settle back in bed with its captivating characters. A joke a handsome man didn’t appreciate. He lost his excitement and I understood him canceling our meet-up. I’d been distracted while he clearly stated these words to me. I didn’t look away from the tiny black words running across the pages. Where is Jacques? My eyes kept asking the narrator. I didn’t dwell on my caller’s upset tone. On a prior call I’d laughed as he called me out on my teasing threat, ‘Of course I wanted to see him’. ‘No, I don’t usually threaten people’. ‘Hello, hello?’ ‘Yes, threats are rude. I’m waiting’. I found that call intriguing, admirable but unusual. Many men hardly have a personally developed sense of self. Imagine how I felt when I finished that chapter then realize I wouldn’t watch the sunset with him. Cab apps are infuriating. They and my gasket-less car made me upset this week. Mid week when we’d planned to see I didn’t have cash. I’d declined the hang-out on that basis. He offered to cover tfare so plans stayed on track. But Fridays are my bank account’s faithful lover. I made a call to my partner. My unnerved voice explained he didn’t have to worry about late night traffic. I walked out of the spacious compound, kimono billowing in the wind, to catch my own sunset.

Stepping out of the white tiled bathroom I could see the dumpsites in my mind. My brown eyes scan the vanity table for a green bottle of rosewater. My fingers and bottles began my night tie skincare routine.  After refilling the tumbler with orange liquid twice I looked past the top of my book. The skyline was marked by refuse dumps piled high opposite Marturion Cinemas. These piles looked like brown, multi-colored waves crashing against the blue, late afternoon, sky. The sunset was as beautiful as the cow tail chopped in small bits in the steamy bowl. Each bite of the succulent ponmo, tasty beef and swallow of spicy soup made me moan. I couldn’t help but think if the orange, peach and purple sky would look different at Fiki Marine. Clouds, skies and sunshine at Ojo are the most beautiful in Lagos. A crisp one thousand naira note passed to the hands of my short server five minutes to the start of my movie. In the end I learnt how disconcerting it can be speaking your truth. For both the relieved speaker and stunned listener. I’d ended a relationship because a partner had joked about beating me during a tussle. It’s odd that the elements of nature connived with my unsettled intuition to prevent me leaving Ojo this weekend. My thoughts concluded as I wrapped a dark silk scarf around my bantu-knots.

 

My Booked Weekend

‘Belief fuels action. Consistent action yields result. Its Saturday, evaluate this week and plan for the next’-Adaeze Feyisayo

I decided to spend this weekend typing reviews, reading Asian mythical retellings from A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, packing up for Law School and rearranging the house. Of course, I packed up my bookstagram props box first. Which recent prop do you like more in my pictures, the balloons or pearls? 

But my plans got a little variation. My book girlfriend, Habeebah sent me Nnedi Okorafor’s short story collection, Kabu Kabu. I’ve already read and listened to some of its stories on online platforms. Captivating stories like The Baboon War, The Harmattan Winds, The Palm Tree Bandit and Spider the Artiste. Thanks Gem! I began reading it last night, gripping my pillowcase through the tension and mystical rides. My reading vigil ended by 3am.  I slept off to VanJess melodically singing through my earbuds with my EPUB reader glowing. 

I‘ve tried recalling how many paperback books, poems and online short fiction I have read this year. I regret not keeping count. This made me decide to share a list of all the flash stories and series I published this year. Watch out for that!  All of that aside, I moved back to my apartment on Sunday. I haven’t been here in three weeks due to flooding. It really feels good to be back. To be able to flll in my plant bottles and jar, boil ginger tea, lounge in lingerie and peacefully listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I noticed my creativity got a boost. I mean look at the pictures above. 

I really enjoyed reading The Used Life’s Footwork which discusses authenticity and creativity as time goes by. I share some thoughts in the comment section. In September I struggled with my creativity, authenticity and expressing the changes they were undergoing. If you’ve followed me on Instagram you’ll notice the change. In the end, I decided to be myself. All the vibrant, yummy, fiery and sometimes reserved versions. Other reads I enjoyed this weekend were Biology Practicals by Timehin Adegbeye and Her Lovers by Nana Darkoa. ‘She wanted to show the world the beauty and culture that Africa contained, and for herself, she had discovered that the best of culture was contained within people.’ 

If you haven’t read my latest story, BANTU KNOTS. A Youth Corper is found strangled in his apartment at Maryland in Lagos. The Police say its suicide but his secret lover has other suspicions. With October coming to an end, the year’s last two months are gaining on us.  Apart from evaluating my progress with my 2k18 reading goals or reading up DNF books. I’m curating reads for Law School which resumes mid November. I currently have three books on that list. I plan to begin saving and buying soon. Expect some book reviews and stories this coming week.

Enjoy your weekend Gem!

Podcast Review: 2 Pesewas

Podcast Description: 2 Pesewas is a weekly podcast hosted by Edi and Peaches. Broadcasting from DS Media in Tema, Ghana, the ladies discuss a range of issues from lowbrow to high: Hot button headlines, music to love and discover, and things that make you say WTF?! Each episode ends with a segment called “2 Pesewas”, where the ladies weigh in on a topic of their choosing. Unapologetically honest, incisive, and humourous, there’s never a dull moment on 2 Pesewas. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Youtube and TuneIn. I came across this podcast Wednesday night through Fruits of Love that lists tropical fruits and their health benefits for our sex lives based on an episode of this podcast. Some of these tropical fruits of love are bananas, watermelons, ginger, soursop, tangerine. These fruits contain high levels of zinc, manganese, folate (B9) and potassium. A woman’s body prepares itself for sex more quickly if zinc levels are high.  Did you know Ginger and Soursop contain nutrients that improve blood circulation to sex organs, libido, vision, hair growth and pain relief?

I listened to Season 2, Episode 19: Emotional Bank Account/ Vaginal Health and couldn’t agree more with their 2 Pesewas! Leave your vagina alone! Its a self cleansing organ. You can wash your vulva with soap but rinse your vagina with warm water only. Douching usually causes an imbalance in your vagina. Keeping your promises, being kind to yourself and others help your emotional bank account stay healthy. Run away from emotional vampires who drain you without giving back. I smiled when Peaches recommended Yuna’s Crush and Labrinth’s Jealous. It was nice to get new music, albums and artistes recommends from Edi. I already love Max Herre- 1ste Liebe ft Joy Denalane. The  WTF? Segment shows humans daily find ways to do outrageous things unregulated by law. The next day I continued Season 2,Episode 18: Tips for Upgrading your life/the Perfect Pot. The News really had me think conspiracy theories about the Chinese construction companies in Nigeria. Also about the economic hold Asian companies and foreign lender may have over Nigeria. Oh it didn’t help I’m writing my review of What It Means When A Man falls from the Sky by Leslie Nneka Arimah. It’s title story is set in a flooded earth where Africa accommodates Europe at the cost of its political and financial independence. Episode 18 offers pearls of wisdom and refers platform where you can learn daily. I can swear by Medium. In life, regular practice improves skills. This beats researching how to do something without frequent practice (ie. the parable of the perfect pot).

2 Pesewas is informative, engaging, blunt, witty and thought provoking. I enjoyed listening. It’s a fun but well researched. The co-hosts, Peaches and Edi discuss serious issues, trash discrimination of all sorts . They give applicable solutions to problems instead of problem bashing. These women are Gems for the new music of the week segment.  The songs that play in the background while its discussed is a time saving touch. Give Kirani AYAT, Sauti Sol and Sun EL, a listen! I appreciate their eloquence, intelligence, humor and objectiveness. They really have beautiful voices and the recording is crisp. I binge listened to it Thursday evening while cooking, painting my toes and twisting my moisturized hair into Bantu Knots.

Can you give their Podcast a listen and let me know what you think?