YEARS AGO I HAD AN ARGUMENT WITH A FRIEND OVER SOME ISSUES OF MORALITY - OR HER LACK OF MORALS. ANYWAY, IN A BID TO PUT AN END TO THE LENGTHY ARGUMENT SHE SAID ' IN LIFE, CHILI, THERE ARE NO BLACKS AND WHITES, JUST SHADES OF GREY'. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD HEARD THAT ANALYSIS, BUT I WOULD STRUGGLE TO DISPROVE IT, FOR EVER.
In a way I want to be dead And yet I don't want to be.
I can analyse things somewhat rationally, How this might be a mental health issue How it could be hereditary
Yet I cannot rationalise How it is not my fault that I needed help from someone and she turned her back on me Stopped answering my calls Or texts How it is not a sign that the world really doesn't need my presence
I am scared around knives
I wish I could stop feeling this way I want it all to stop I want to go But I don't want to go.
That was the name I knew her by until I was 32.
We always called our maternal aunties by their children's names.
Even they did it too.
So she never really had an identity until I was an adult.
I didn't like her as a child, I thought she was always angry, she never seemed to laugh.
It wasn't really a frown, the expression on her face;
It was the absence of a smile.
And a reason for it.
Mouth turned downwards at the sides, almost permanently,
Eyebrows slightly creased, eyes unlit.
Decades later, I realised it was not a frown, it was an expression of resignation;
As much as is possible on the face.
She had been a pregnant teen and lost out on education with her siblings. She had then become deeply religious and married a faithful but poor man And had 5 more children, only one of whom was successful In the way parents counted success. Then the man had fallen gravely ill Exhausting all medical and spiritual options And all financial resources And died Life ha…
december is the last month of the year
It would make sense to end it all here
Just a deliberate slit
Downwards not sideways
As the movies
It's funny but she knows she would not have to try too hard
If she were to slit her wrist
Not as hard as they tried when they needed a vein
To push medication down
That was the irony of her life
The healthy things were difficult
The harmful things came easy
We are at the same point again
Where we have been for ages
It makes sense to stop the train
To get off the bus
Maybe I was conceived as a joke
And no one will tell me
A joke should not last this long
It becomes a mistake
Just one deliberate vertical line
And we are free
You are free
You are not the product of your circumstances. You are a composite of all the things you believe, and all the places you believe you can go...You can step out of your history and create a new day for yourself...Even if every bad thing that can happen to you, does. - Oprah I am not one to quote- and conversely worship- Oprah but I stumbled on this quote from an old post I wrote several years back and it seemed to speak to me. However, I still did not quite understand it until a few days ago.
I learnt from this article to turn my thinking about the issues I have on its head and one of the things I came up with was going to make a presentation to an old but very influential friend of mine. Turns out it was the right nudging because I cannot explain how inspired I am after that meeting. There are friends who bring you down to earth and there are those who lift you high; but rarely do you find anyone who does both simultaneously and gloriously. I came for one conversation and I had several t…
A friend on Twitter brought my attention to the video below and I thought the whole message and idea was profound on so many levels. Of course, the obvious one is how we train ourselves to walk away from people in need, but on a deeper level, for me, it is indicative of how we might be so wrapped up in life that we are unaware of the suffering of those closest to us. Figuratively and literally. ' How are you', we ask. 'Fine', they answer and we move on. Because sometimes we really do not want to hear the long answer. Or we are just observing social convention. Or we have issues of our own to bother about.
A lady I know almost died of malaria this week. She lives in a house with her sibling and their cousin but they live so apart (emotionally) that nobody knew she was ill, or even cared.And she could not afford the 1500 naira (about $8) for the drug. Hell, she could not even afford to eat. But looking at her you would never guess that she had that issue; educated, wel…
I have struggled with writing this post. Struggled since the few days that I heard the news that practically everyone on Nigerian Twitter and in Nigeria heard: Sugabelly's rape story. If you have not heard it by some strange turn of events read it here. You should not be able to avoid it. No Nigerian should. It has opened up the rot that we would rather remain covered for eternity. The rot that is our culture and our way of life; a culture of rape, abuse and subjugation of girls and women just because they are female.
In many ways I am in awe of what Sugabelly has been able to do, In telling her story she encouraged the story to be told, the perpetrator to be confronted and the nightmare to be cut short. For so many women. You cannot imagine the number of people who came out with rape stories just in support of her, Different women from different places. It was crazy. But what was crazier were the insults. People who wondered why if she was raped by the Mustapha Audu character, sh…