International Women’s Day┬á

May you find love 

I pray you become all you need to be. 

May you find happiness 

I pray you never undercut yourself. 

May you find peace 

I pray you righteousness and health. 

May you find appreciation
I pray you more honor than you deserve. 

#internationalwomensday

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Mama Mia

My mum is just a mum. 

No slaying… 

Not a diva… 

No swag… 

Does not own a smartphone. 

The quintessential mother; loving, selfless, godly, religious, safe… You know, mummy-ish. Every phone call from her ended with a prayer. She is a Christian and a ‘prayer warrior.’

I come from the Northern part of the country. A job in the federal capital territory was a dream come true. I jumped at it enthusiastically. 

The first few months were tough. My learning curve was steep. But I balanced out. As things got better, I moved into a better part of town. I got a car and started to make new friends. 

I met a group of attractive women et al. They were called the ‘witches of Harlem’ behind their backs. They had a Goth/Emo combination going on. They were easily the life of any party or occasion. 

I have always done well with women. Women love me. I think it is because I am nice… Yes, really I am. 

The ‘head witch’ was Ada. 

She was hot. 

Hawt. 

Haute. 

She had a tattoo of a tiger over her left boob. It started between her breasts all the way… Uhmmmm… Left. She was tastefully pierced and studded here and there. I first met her at a soiree hosted by the American embassy. 

She walked up to me and told me that she liked me. She then asked if we could date. I was single at the time so I said yes. I love tigers…

My rep’and market value skyrocketed afterward! I suddenly began to get invited everywhere. My affiliation with the witches of Harlem was well received. I began to be called, ‘the wizard of Oz’. 

Teehee… Me, church-boy, a wizard?! Teehee…  

Anyway, Ada was okay. I truly have dated better. Looking back now, I think I had started to find her boring. All bark and no bite. I have been with ‘church girls’ that behaved like your favourite pornstar. So, I found Ada a tad lacklustre. 

I have always insisted on condoms. Despite the fact that Ada hated condoms. 

I insisted despite the clean bill of health her blood work from National Hospital showed…She raved and ranted about her hatred of condoms… Shed a crocodile tear or two… Threatened to sexually starve me…  (and she did). I insisted on the condoms regardless. 

Remember that she sexually starved me? Right…it lasted about a week. She staged the fight on a Friday. 

By the next Friday then, I was on a casual date with Adriana, the daughter of a Brazilian diplomat. We were at MarionStones┬« eating grilled steak and vegetables when Ada suddenly showed up and was disrespectful to me and my date. She caused such a scene that we were all asked to leave the establishment. 

Adriana already knew about Ada, so she was cool and wanted another date if I “survived the night.”

I got back to my studio apartment to meet a livid Ada, who proceeded to verbally abuse me. She said that she would make my life miserable and that I “had better fall back into formation!” 

I calmly broke up with her and walked her out of my house. 

The nightmares started that very night. I woke up screaming every night for the next few days. I would wake up and see scratches and cuts all over my body. Injuries that were not there the night before, injuries that no human could have inflicted. 

I became skittish and paranoid. I was tormented by ghouls and nightmares every single time I shut my eyes. 

I uncharacteristically called my mum and requested that she come spend a few days. She uncharacteristically accepted and said she would be at my place by dusk the next day. 

That same day,  Ada called and asked if I had “come back to my senses” yet. I told her to “go and die!”

That night, she showed up in my dreams with a few garishly dressed women and told me that I was going to die the next day. 

I woke up troubled. I was starting to understand that these women were not just called ‘witches’ for fun. I was suffering the wrath of a witch scorned. I am not ashamed to admit that I knew I was going to die the next day. I was a broken spirit. My only regret was that I could not reach my mum to spare her the trauma of being the first person to see my corpse. 

I actually put my affairs in order before noon the next day. My mum arrived towards evening. After fussing and praying over me for half an hour, she left me in my room. I was now more optimistic. I had faith and hope. 

I must have drifted off to sleep because when I opened my eyes, Ada and three of her friends were in my room holding gourds and cowhide whips. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out. My heart began to beat violently, my tongue felt swollen and my eyes bulged as they took turns assaulting and battering my strangely supine (and somewhat restrained) body. 

Ada then pulled out a long porcupine quill sharpened at the tip, dipped it into her gourd and approached me, her intention obvious… Just then the door of my room flew open and my mum stepped in. 

I tried to call out for my mum to save herself until I saw that she was smiling.

 Yes, smiling! 

You do not want to see my mum smiling when nothing is funny. 

She locked eyes with Ada who was now looking back and forth between my mother and I in confusion. 

“Rachel, I… I don’t understand… What are you doing here?”

“He is my son!!” Was all my mum said through gritted teeth. 

At her words I felt a great weight lift off me, unseen shackles seemed to fall off my body and I regained  my faculties instantly. 

I looked up to see Ada and her goons curtsy humbly at my mum and then, I swear (down), vanish into thin air. 

 

I tried to bring up the topic the next day, but then my mum started to smile… 

One For Mum…

Abeg if una see my mama
Hail her well-well
Wash her well with grammar
Your boy don show her hell.

I don thief; I don lie
I don fight; I don bloody
I dey sick; I dey die
She cure all, mummy dey steady.

Na she dey call always
Sabi to pray like Jesus wife
Our house always in place
For us, she fit free her life.

Momsie no vex abeg
You try, na me no dey gree
Yet you carry me like egg
Despite my ‘ef up’, you still love me.

Mummy I don hold ground
Relax ya mind, no more sorrow
Mummy smile, make you dey proud
Your prayer dem, e don dey show.

Baba God I thank You o!
Abeg make she still dey…
Momsie your boy love you o!!
Happy Mother’s Day.

For The Married (Part 3)

3) KNOW YOUR PREY

I love Lions and Tigers.

Ligers and Tigons too.

Leopards and Cheetahs.

I love big cats.

I love Natural Geographic. Cool stuff about the animal kingdom going on there.
The episodes about big cats hunting have me riveted. Ever see the shows? Awesome!
Especially when they hunt. Serious business I tell you.

Them cats know their prey;
They know how fast a deer can go.
They know how keen the eyesight of different prey is.
They know wind direction instinctively, and adjust appropriately.
They know where the watering holes are.
They know which particular quarry they want in a whole herd and work to isolate that one.

They can spot potential prey by observing their weaknesses. Illnesses. Immaturity. Youth. Rookie mistakes.

The cats know themselves too;
How fast they can go. What part of the terrain camouflages them best.
They know how hungry they are, and more importantly, they know exactly what they need to do.
Instincts, genetics, experience and much more, funnel these potent ingredients into a fantastic predator.

Do you know your husband?

Do you know your wife?

Have you ever bothered to know who they are and what they stand for? What they live for? What they would die for?

Do you even know if they really like broccoli? Asparagus? Pizza, or caviar?
If they prefer Merlot to Sauvignon? Vodka to Scotch?

Or its just, “my husband drinks alcohol sha…”

Or, “I sha dey know say wifey like ice cream…”

I have always maintained that, “what we pay for, is really ignorance.”
The same thing you are paying cash for, a more savvy individual is getting it for free.
The issue causing you sleepless nights is not her mother, or rich ex.
Darling, the stuff making you cry is not his girlfriends or wayward lifestyle.

It is your ignorance.

Ignorance of your prey.

You have not “studied to show yourself approved”.

“Draw near to listen” to your spouse. Study them dispassionately.
Read their mannerisms. Your spouse is your prey!
You belong to each other. Chase down, hunt (pay rapt attention to) your beloved daily.

Read them again like a daily devotional or like a fresh copy of your favorite magazine.

Own your marriage.
Own your home.

You need to because, “where your treasure lies, there your heart will be also.”
Or rather, where your spouses’ treasure lies; is where their heart will be.
What does your beloved treasure? What is important to them?

If you cannot, or will not studiously find the answer to these questions, then you are not where your beloved is.
He/she is watching MTV; and you, Telemundo.

You will generally be at polar opposites. Share a few laughs maybe when you both meet occasionally at mutual “drinking holes”, and then they are off to watch MTV…and you, Telemundo.

Do not be lazy. Take care to know the state of your lover. Know when they are lying. (Yes it is possible).
Take care to know when they are afraid or worried.
Have the good grace to be patient even when you smell a rat.
Do not show your hand too soon.
Not every situation requires explanation, defense or full disclosure. At the particular point you notice it I mean.

Understand your spouse. Know them to the best of your ability. Just try is all I am saying.
A wise man once told me, ” marriage is to be endured to be enjoyed .”

Marriage, like any worthwhile endeavor, takes effort, commitment and sacrifice.

I close with a few lines I picked off a mates’ Facebook thread:-

The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws.
That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they are out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, its seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.”

Lovealways!

For The Married (Part 2)

This is the second of a 5-part series.

There Francine..happy now?
#bighug#

2) TWO’S COMPANY, THREE’S A CROWD

Depending on your religious bent, the amount of wives (or husbands) you take is quite irrelevant to the point I am trying to make.

Let me explain.

I am dealing with “third parties” to a marriage.

The new testament Christian is instructed to have one spouse.
The Muslim is permitted to have no more than four. If he can love them all equally.
The African traditionalist can acquire as many as his warped ego can accommodate.
And I understand that rich Arabs may maintain a harem outside their official wives.
And king Solomon, gotta love this dude…700 wives and 300 concubines! I am in awe of the man.

The extremes are endless, and obviously disparate.

I am not here to question ‘excesses’ or things I don’t agree with. I am just trying to offer advice on how to make a marriage work based on exemplary lives of a couple of decent folks I am acquainted with.

But for ease of transmission, and ease of assimilation, my premise is on a ‘one man, one woman’ foundation. Feel free to expand the formula exponentially as it suits your marital constituents. The principles hold true, irrespective.

As I began earlier, a third party is anyone or anything you are not married to. It is as simple as it sounds.

A) Infidelity/Unfaithfulness.

It is a popular and obvious culprit that needs no introduction or explanation. Don’t cheat!
Yes I know, there are situations that may have arisen. But there is always a reason for bad behaviour.
In a marriage though, it is wrong. Stop it.
What bears hammering home though, is emotional unfaithfulness. Escapism via children, religious activity, work, gaming, vices (alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse), friends, online/cyber romances…the list is endless.
These are all third parties that did not say, “I do”.
A safe way to check and ultimately stop these excesses is to have your spouse in on all your activities. At least they should have a working knowledge of who you are, where you are, and what you are doing.
Ouch! Yeah?
Trust me, I am one for privacy and secretiveness. I feel your pain. But, the truth; like rain, does not care who it falls on.”
In truth, barring full disclosure, you are simply sitting on a bomb that is counting down.
Wait…for…it…

B) Shut up!

A lot of trivia is escalated because one, or both of you will not stop talking.
By talking I mean relating the problem(s) on ground to anyone else but your spouse or a mutually agreed upon, competent counsellor.
Zip it! If you do not, one of you, or both alike will get hurt.
I don’t believe people always have to get stuff off their chest. I think that character is weak and immature. But that is just my temperament speaking.
If the problem you are facing concerns physical and/or emotional abuse, please do NOT shut up.
If the issues are unlawful and life-threatening; to you or anyone else, please do NOT shut up.
Communication is about listening, as well as speaking. It is about understanding where your spouse is at, and letting them know where you are at. And then finding mutual ground in love and respect.

I will shut up for now. Later!

For The Married (Part 1)

So you’ve snagged yourself a companion…

Maybe even wangled a ring? Or even audience with a minister… Married huh? Bully for you! Don’t know you personally, but I’m one for progress and fruitful relationships. My warm congratulations.

How long now? Are things waning slightly? Not as rosy as you thought? Interference experienced?

You’re thinking, “must be his mum, her friends, her ex…Oh, Snap!! Its the devil!!!”

Well…maybe one of them. Maybe all of them. Maybe none.

But before you do anything rash, consider a few pointers as postulated (and subsequently elucidated) by a few good, decent, godly, married and older folk.

For The Married

1) Sex

No dodging this bullet…

Its how come 97% of us came to be. Oh the bliss! Nothing quite like this activity… Or not. Probably not in your case?

Sigh…

Firstly, study. Yes. Read up. Google the topic if you are at a loss. It ought to be common knowledge by now that,great lovers are made; not born.”
I have earlier posts that handle this subject.
Bottom line is that it takes effort. It is your responsibility to cater for your spouses sexual needs (tongue-in-cheek) all of them. Within reason of course (snigger…)

Secondly, Push boundaries. You are one! Reinvent your sex lives. Be innovative. Try new stuff. Break out the Kamasutra. Sex education. You are married for crying out loud, ideally you only have each other. Who best to get wild and kinky with if not with your spouse; if they are willing and/or teachable?

Third; so maybe you see your spouse surfing a porn site…or in possession of pornographic materials…and or paraphernalia?
Flip? Make a scene? Fight? Depending on your religious and moral inclinations, I guess you may be justified.
May I proffer a more diplomatic approach though? I call it informed intelligence.
Before you vent, go through the pornographic material objectively if you can. Learn what goes on in your beloved fantasies. Maybe it was a pop-up from a previous viewer? Maybe an advertisement they accidentally clicked on (yes, its been known to happen). And maybe they like porn.
If you’re lucky, its your body type they are really into. If not, you now know what to work on.
How? Consider going through the material with them. Downplay the situation. Don’t take stuff too personally. Life does not revolve around you…you are not oxygen or blood. Maybe its a position they were relishing? Consider making their fantasy come true.
Remember, to each other, you may be ice cream. But who realistically wants to eat ice cream for the rest of their lives? Exquisite as ice cream may be?
You now have the informed intelligence to vary your ice cream.
Flavour it up; Strawberry flavour? Cappuccino? There are dozens to choose from. Soft serve? Hard? On a cone? In a tub? Toppings? How many scoops? How to eat it? Lick? Suck? Your choice.
Informed intelligence empowers you. It may lend you the tact of not even bringing up the issue. Why not simply act out their fantasy for them? They would think God came through for them personally!

Fourthly, I humbly recommend that you both work on your diet.

Eat loads of bananas- women.
And snails- men.
Or…
Cucumbers- women.
Oysters- men.

Oh please! Stop rereading those lines!!

I mean cunnilingus and fellatio!

Keep up…work with me!

There’s nothing quite as intimate as the aforementioned cuisine when served in a giving and loving atmosphere.
Nothing binds quite as much as consumption of bananas and snails. No better ties to bind with.
Think of the mutual submissiveness… The humbling of one to the other and vice versa? The naughtiness? The secret and taboo dimensions…

Once in a while, toss in a bottle of wine. There’s a classic vintage I recommend. “69”. Truly unforgettable.
A pleasant shock to the palate.
Served chilled or at room temperature, this vintage will bind you to it eternally.

A toast to you both in advance.

For The Unmarried

I was at a wedding recently. I was moved to romantic heights.
It was a very refreshing event – after I woke up.

Before the romantics on board begin calling me “emotionally crippled,” something happened while I slept…yes, thank you for asking, I received a revelation. I accrued unto knowledge, an epiphany I know I am supposed to propagate.

The wedding was in Benin, Edo state. Nigeria. Hence the my partial rendition of this piece in the official Nigerian patois, “Broken English”.

For The Unmarried

1) Shine ya eye!

Good people abound. There are many lovely angels walking about pretending to be human. There is someone for everyone. Look closely is all I’m saying. Also, scrutinize! Not all that glitters is gold. Gold usually has to be discovered; laboured for, mined, cleaned, processed and then designed to look just like the goldsmith wants it to – beautiful.

2) Lion no dey born monkey!

Old habits die hard. Careful who you fall for. Oh please shut it! You can control who you fall for. Don’t even get me started on “love at first sight!” Thou evil and heartless generation! Opportunists!
I digress…apologies.
Hang around a bad person long enough, you would start to see the best side of them. Invariably start to accept them for who they are. Invariably start to accept bad things as the norm.
Funny thing about personalities is that opposites attract. Yet the very character that attracts two lovers, would be the same character that eventually causes friction. Usually enough to separate the lovers.
If you hang around questionable establishments, you will find questionable friends and maybe questionable love. More often than not, if they were pretending they revert to type down the road. With you in tow, my (now questionable) friend.

3) No carry ya wife do girlfriend

Do not treat a good woman badly. Do not toy with a good man either.
Many people lose out on love out of shortsightedness. They treat their best choices of suitable life partners shabbily – like a fling, and never quite get their groove back. Or the person back.
Reasons may range from over ambition, to greed, to bad advice, to immaturity, and to stupidity.
Its a personal judgement call. But a good person is a good person. The wise ones pursue potential in their choice of mates.
“Ready-made’s” are already set in stone, you will find that you’re soon caught between a rock and a hard place.

4) Handshake wey don reach elbow… No be handshake again.

Maybe you’ve found such a one? What in God’s name are you waiting for? Marry them for crying out loud! Commit to them my indecisive (and often, self centered) friend! Tell them how you feel. Show them how you feel. Do right by them and do the honorable thing.
Its been two years since they proposed, friend, return the ring. Except if your country is involved in war of some sort, and one party is drafted.

5) Una two no be pikin; couple yasef!

Ever notice that marriage is the only institution that gives you a certificate before graduation?
My point is that marriage is for life. Marriage is for serious minded people. It is not a status. It is not meant to be just romantic.
Many people treat their marriages like they’re dating and so experience boyfriend and girlfriend issues whilst married.
Grow up! Act your age. Play your part. If you do not understand marriage, do your research from holy books first. Please stop traumatising both families. The ripple effect of marital problems are far reaching. Stop worsening marriage statistics. Don’t let your poor choices misinform and ‘miseducate’ the willing.
If you don’t get it, please leave marriage alone till you do.

Nkpam! (Finish!)