It died.

My neighbour’s dog is dead. Yes, It died today.

It of the wild 5:00 am barking sprees, as though it were auditioning for Canine Idol and needed to practise its tuneless staccato song. For some reason, the left side of my head ached more than the right side as each verse of gbof-gbof-gbof marched through my ears waking me up.  An unsolicited alarm clock.

It of the stinky poo dropped generously like presents for whoever cared for gifts of the intestinal variety.  Watching a dog strain to release poo reminds me of labouring during childbirth.

There is a careless abandon in that grip of contractions,  a primal need to expel what must be expelled from its body. No graces or airs whatsoever, Nature’s call must be heeded regardless of who sees, hears or even smells.

I once heard its carer speaking Yoruba to it  “ò kí n gbórò?”  (can’t you hear), like one would scold a naughty child,  as she shooed it into its kernel but it refused to cooperate immediately.  I mused, did It understand her? I’d assumed the dog “spoke” English only.


Traditionally woven

Unwrinkle your nose, shit is perfectly edible and might be eaten at some point.

The choice of how to eat it is what’s more important you see, for though it is well known that shit can simply be eaten with one’s bare unwashed hands, shit can also be eaten properly with a fork and knife. Even with chopsticks, for the more adventurous.

Yes, some sit down to devour the pungent faecal mass with such polished table manners, one would imagine it were a three course meal at a cordon bleu restaurant, with the stinky shit artfully plated on fine china, silverware laid atop folded napkins, steamed hand towels and fine linen tablecloth.

The housemaid is pregnant.  ‘But that’s how men are, they are all like that’.  Resigned acceptance or perhaps aloof indifference.

So, with a knife she cuts into the sizzling shit and guides the fork into her mouth, then washes it down with diarrhoeic champagne bubbling with a most peculiar breed of shame; the sort that another’s embarrassment imposes on one.

‘What would people say?’ To the casual observer, she’s relishing her feast. To herself, with no small measure of compromise, she says Hmm this isn’t half as bad as it appears, in fact it leaves a sweet tangy after-taste if I push it to the back of my throat then swallow quickly without chewing.  An acquired taste of sorts.

Sewing Asooke 1

In defining shit, need anyone be reminded of the fact that it decomposes? When exposed in the open, it breaks down till all that remains is grains of dirt that eventually blend with the earth.



Pink gun love

If I had on my posh ajebutter hat,  I’d have titled this post “Bang-Bang” mimicking the sound of a gun expelling bullets.

The tragic news of senseless killings, regardless of where it happens, always touches me deeply. I empathise with those caught in the crossfire of thoughts within another person’s disturbed mind and sympathise with their loved ones.  Everyone is entitled to the right to die a more dignified death.

Recently, I was surprised to learn that a man responsible for mass shootings in the US simply walked into a licensed store and purchased two guns with the casual ease of buying Bazooka bubble gum.

I wondered, what would be the motive for purchasing a gun? What else could guns possibly be used for? So, to give those who make lax regulations that piggyback on the second amendment the benefit of the doubt, I made a list of possible alternatives outside of firing and killing:


I’m not giving up on you

At first glance, certain events seem irredeemable, absolutely down the drains of annihilation and beyond the grasp of salvation. One might wish and wish with all their might, but once past that finish line of destruction some things remain irreversible you see.

One example that comes to mind is preparing ògì corn pap in a pot that is atop a stove, and stirring absentmindedly until alas the pudding thickens, inadvertently setting into wobbly èko. Rapidly stirring in a futile attempt to salvage the situation only condemns it further, deeper into its solid state, because èko will never revert to flowy pap. Q.E.D.

Still on the topic of cooking, as I find that quite a number of culinary mistakes have a way of being stubbornly unresponsive even after being gently cajoled back to the path of purposefulness, overly-salty rice is another example.  How does one un-salt rice that’s bordering on becoming quite like Lot’s disobedient wife?  A lost cause, really.

Likewise, tears that have begun to run down one’s face.  One can’t un-cry those, so might as well have a good cry, ruined mascara or not, puzzled/alarmed spectators be damned.

In staying the course of bodily emissions, one cannot not add farts to this list, for a fart that’s been let out cannot be tidily tucked back in.  So, one might as well allow the offended others marinate in one’s own offensive essence.

Drawing (5)

And whilst magnanimously permitting them to do so, one must have the requisite self-righteous facial expression in place, arranging one’s mug into an almost bored look as though one is oh so above the mortal act of emitting gases from the putrefied remains of digested food within their own bowels.


Hoping for Hope


I was seventeen when I wrote my first poem “A Suicide Note”.  In that sad way that one leaves behind bits of themselves in the whirlwind of moving houses or cities, it got forgotten, not unfastened from my wardrobe door.  Like memories, possessions too get caught in the haze of transitions.

Still, I remember most of it exactly as it was first written-


Debating about debates

For four days every month since I “became a woman” at the age of eleven,  my crampy discomfort coerces me into wishing I were male and afterwards I continue to take delight in the complexities that make me female. At least until the next time, next month.

I’ve regarded the many heated debates about female-male equality/equity with mixed feelings on the one hand and detachment on the other hand. Would it be considered utterly flippant if I was sincere enough to admit that sometimes I couldn’t care less about feminism?  Quite simply, I am mostly concerned about being treated fairly compared to the next person, whether male or female, with or without a penis. Period. (this reminds me of crampy discomforts).

Oju Zipped mouth

Recently, I read an article, and in it the Nigerian writer articulately expressed their displeasure at the use of an all-white cast in a particular Hollywood film. Their main grouse was that the black race was not represented, which to them ranked even lower on the Unfairness scale than being represented inaccurately. Their argument was that the whole thing reeked of lack of diversity.


Profile me Pretty

I was highly amused to discover that there’s all sorts of profiling. Within five minutes of chatting me up, my red pout probably dazzled this bobo and he proceeded to interview me for a role that I wasn’t even aware I’d applied for.

“Are you catholic?” he enquired, amongst other things, I chuckled gently at his forwardness. He wondered why, and I cheekily commended him for having his checklist ready and within reach. He laughed a caught-in-the-act sort of laugh.

Guy Oju

While Religious denomination profiling is one bowl of soaked Ijebu garri with idly floating ground nuts,   Silver spoon profiling is another bowl altogether with milk added. That sly “What does your father do for a living?”

Let’s not forget the more subtle yet so powerful, it really packs a punch, I bet you’ve missed it several times because it seemed so innocent, like nothing more than a polite request. “What is your name?” Yes, this, sometimes, is the grandmother of Tribal profiling.


Wrapped around your little finger

The Urban Dictionary definition of the above expression made me chuckle; A term used when a girl has a guy under her command, means the guy will pretty much follow his girl’s every wish and do whatever she wants.

Sprinkle some Andrews Liver Salt over this expression and voila! it bubbles into the plot of a Nollywood movie.

Scheming Lady puts a love potion in Mr. Man’s food. He becomes pretty much wrapped around her little finger. His Loving Mother becomes suspicious and accuses Scheming Lady, who weepingly confesses. The antidote is found and Mr. Man becomes free (“Remote Control” Parts 1, 2 and 3. Grab your copy now!).

How to sew a kimono dress 6

I quite like the world of Nollywood, where evil is punished and good is rewarded. Where it is either black or white with no middle ground whatsoever, so save your political correctness for the movie about your own life.  Don’t forget to tie your sanctimonious gèlè as movie plots are usually pregnant with moral undertones.


Pepper Soup

There are three sides to most stories, the side The Observer jigsaws together from the bits and pieces that fall off the dining table, the side The Observed eats from the bowl that Life has served them and the side that Life itself cooks while stirring its brass pot.

Life will cook a spicy, eye-watering, tongue-burning soup, and with each torturous spoonful, The Observed hops uncontrollably whilst inhaling air into their mouth to cool their burning cheeks.

The Observer, who has no way of seeing the steaming bowl, simply sees the seemingly rhythmic hopping.  Some might exclaim in admiration “Ah! He is break-dancing so well”, some might ask suspiciously, “Ah! Why is he dancing?” and others might conclude disdainfully, “Ah! I can dance better than him”.

For in the absence of X-ray vision, they cannot see the peppery soup wreaking havoc as it viciously embraces the throat with its heat and travels down a fiery path to the belly of The Observed.

Perspectives. You see this way, I see that way. We are both seeing.

Yet again, the snake-like fuel queues have returned, the Naira is entangled in its awkward “stop it but I like it” romance with the Dollar and the crude oil boom has deserted us like a runaway husband given the news that his wife has just birthed their third set of triplets.


I live here

To live in Lagos is to know when to flaunt your body.  I will always be amused by the tales of Danfo bus drivers who resort to stripping naked to avoid being penalised by LASTMA officers after flouting traffic laws.  ♫ I’m sexy and I know it ♫

To live in Lagos is to know not to run when you hear shouts of olè, as you might get confused for the thief and receive fiery punishment for much more than restless legs.

I once heard a joke about a man who was running wildly, and as he raced along everyone who saw him joined him unquestioning.  When asked why they were running they’d simply point at him and say “Something must be chasing him, I don’t want it to catch me.”  To live in Lagos is to intuitively know what sort of race to join.

Lagos sewing notions

To live in Lagos is to accept that everyone owns you, people feel entitled to a piece of everyone else whether they like it or not. An unspoken communal ownership of human beings.  Lines as thin as the translucent strings seen when lifting amala from well-whipped ewedu stew separate your business from my business and our business.