06 Feb

Rumours & Urban Legends

Back in the DayRumours Album Sleeve

Nigerians are the world leaders when it comes to spreading rumours. Here are a few I recall;

The Sound of Music

That Gretel, the little girl died during the making of sound of Music 2. They were all jumping from the plane with parachutes and her’s failed to open.  Gretel is alive and well, living  in LA and is resuming her acting career after a long break studying. Plus there was no Sound of Music 2. Maybe it got cancelled after she died?

Bonney M

That the man was married to the lead singer, the one with braids was his sister and the fourth one was really a man who performed a sex-change operation to become a woman.

Heavy D

That he jumped from the 2nd floor of a building, and he died. Heavy D has since gone on to release more albums and is still recording. When Heavy D released his non-posthumous album, a follow up rumour said he realised his enemies thought he died so his new album had a rap on it that said “no, I’m alive”. We got our own thang!!!

Yar Adua

That the Nigerian president was dead.

Mariam Babangida

Now dead for what seems to be the second time in the space of weeks.

Bush Baby

I fell for this one hook, line and sinker. Boarding school. 1983 to 1988. Aparently a midget with a rolled up mat and a kerosene lantern walking around. If you could get a hold of that mat you’ll be wealthy for the rest of your life, but you could get killed or transformed into one of them in the process. I feared for my life during night prep, refusing to sit near the window. And it was no small commotion if someone got up too noisily from their seat as it was taken as a sign that a bush baby had been spotted. Time to flee.

Bongos Ikwe

That he had an affair with former president Bababgida’s wife- Mariam, they had a son and the song Marianna was really about her. Said son mysteriously died during her reign as first lady.

Ola Ray, Thriller

That she was Nigerian, her real name is Olanrewaju and she dated Michael Jackson. Didn’t she have a secret child for him as well?

Evelyn King

Also Nigerian, can’t you see her lips?

Rafael Cameron

That he was Nigerian, his real name is Rafiu Kamoru. The music video we loved so much was shot in Port Harcourt.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUE91I70lG8]

Lawrence Anini

Our very own infamous superhero. That he would drop a naira note, do a spin and pick it up again all while driving at 200mph. Lawrence Anini was feared as the most notorious armed robber in Benin. Then there was Shina Rambo.

That Nigerians are the happiest, most generous and most vibrant group of people you’ll ever meet. Actually, that’s no rumour, lol!

I know there are more but I can’t recall…Thanks for stopping by!

28 Dec

The Nigerian Bomber Edition

I was the queue at the Department store today waiting to pay for my items when this woman a few yards away started shouting to the checkout assistants;

“Hey girl! hey girl!”

The woman in her sixties had a very strong Nigerian accent; she wore ankara with a turtle neck sweater on the inside and a long coat on the outside. Her gele was tied in a way that completely covered her ears.

“Hey you girl, hey you!” She continued very loudly. “Have you got Longjohns?!”

Pardon? The assistant had a can’t-you-see-I’m-serving others-attitude along with a why-don’t you-come-closer-so-you-don’t-have-to-shout? look.

Me? Embarrassed, but only slightly. I wavered between thoughts of directing her to Uni Qlo where thermals are sold, costing me my place in the queue and staying put, hoping she stopped her shouting. I chose the latter.  I chose the latter because thanks to Mutallab I have not been in a very patriotic mood. I have not been too keen on aligning myself with fellow Nigerians, even if it was just to offer help. I thought of ways in which I could successfully fly under the radar. From reverting to my maiden name and a first name I’m not fond of, to claiming Ghana as my motherland. At least the Ghanaians are a calmer bunch. They don’t shout, brag or do 419 (not that much anyway). I will be sad to curb my enthusiastic association with  Nollywood, Ovation magazine and designer  rice  and stew, but at least I enjoyed it when it lasted. Since I don’t attend Naija parties, I won’t be missing 40 year old bald men in tight jeans trying desperately to look 23, or the Naija-London babes with weaves down to their bums almost wearing shimmering mini-dresses. I look forward to the mouth-watering culture of Kenkey and shito, I binged on it while I was pregnant with child #4 so I’m well versed. I will also finally learn how to speak Twi, that way Suzy and I can at last gist to the exclusion of all others present.

 In the end I chose not to deny my people, instead I will face up to the fact that hailing from a country where one person chose to have  illogical idealolgies that resulted in him attempting to blow up NWA flight 243  is not the worst thing in the world. It is just one individual. Nigerians are not only shocked but dismayed and are certainly not in support of that sort of behavior. Come to think of it the population of the country is so high, the odds are there will be at least one nut-case. In fact I think we’ve done quite well 1 terrorist in every 151,319,500 people isn’t that bad, statistically speaking if the only requirement for being a terrorist was to be a Nigerian, and all the world was Nigeria, we would have a grand total of 44 terrorists in the entire world.

After paying for my goods I felt guilty that I didn’t help mama. Thankfully I found her in another part of the store and gave her very clear directions on where to find Longjohns. Not only that but I said goodbye to her with “God bless you ma” and the sweetest smile, you know how we love respect!  It felt good.

09 Aug

What turning 30 did for me…

That was 6 short years ago, the effects of which I still enjoy today. My chat with dear friend F (happy 30th!) brought this to the forefront of my mind. I have always loved the end of the year. Mum used to get my brothers and I together to pray into the new year. At the time dad was a socialist- referred to in a newspaper article I read as a child as the marxist, military doctor. So church was out of the question for him, he found it funny when on mum’s insistence we’d invite him to church 3 times a year- easter, christmas and new year’s eve. Anyway mum’s annual new year’s eve prayer amongst many others would be “Lord God, please let 1986 (or whatever year we were in) go with all its bad luck. Let all the bad things that happened this year NEVA, NEVA repeat itself again, AMEN!!!” Amidst the new year’s festivities, riding our bikes, climbing trees etc, she’d shout at us if we were being over exhuberant or naughty and say “IN THE NEW YEAR??? You’re already being naughty??” So the start of the year has always held a major significance for me. I have always seen it as a clean new slate, old things have passed away, all things have become new and don’t stain the new with old, bad habits.

When I turned 30, the same held true for me. I’m an April girl so it was a 2nd opportunity for a new start. I decided to take stock of my life. I’m an adult now, I told myself even though I’d been for all of 9 years- 7 in my parents eyes as I became an adult only when I got married. I looked back at my life and noted the things I loved about me, from my handwriting through my hair to my personality. My handwriting isn’t all that by the way but it is mine- it’s always been with me and I love it! I love my life. I love my friends, I love my family. I absolutely love my childhood and every memory I have. I of course noted the things I wasn’t so fond of. There were a few of them. I tend to procrastinate. I am not confrontational. In fact when I turned 30 I realised I could be quite a pushover- not very attractive. So I made a decision to turn things around. I started saying “no”. Like being in church and the pastor tells you to “write this down” or “underline that scripture”. Half the time I don’t want to because I want to underline what speaks to ME at the time I read it in my quiet time, also I hardly ever go back to read the notes I’ve taken. Then I end up with a stack of notebooks cluttering my bedroom, and feeling guilty if I attempt to throw them away. God showed me that I was free. Free to make my own decisions based on the wisdom He gave me and not based on the opinions of man- not even a man of the cloth.
I have always been an avid reader but at 30 I started to read with purpose. I read books that will bless me and not simply to have another gist for my girlfriends at our next buzz session.

At 36 I still say “no”. I say it gently but firmly. I make decisions based on how it blesses me and mine and the persons involved, not simply to fulfil the status-quo. I get tested everyday. At the hairdresser’s 2 days ago I fought the urge to hold a conversation with my stylist when all I really wanted to do was catch up on my reading. It still feels akward sometimes, the need to make conversations that end up being peppered with pregnant pauses.

I pray I don’t stop being the sweet girl I was while growing up. Cynicism sometimes tries to usurp that sweetness but I have Christ in me.

Dear Lord, I thank you for creating me, just as I am. I love the work you are currently doing in me, making me more like you daily. And Lord I pray where I have lost that gentleness as a result of life simply happening, replace it with your fragrant presence. Lord I also pray that my life will immensely bless all those I come into contact with, in Jesus name Amen

Thanks as always for reading!

01 Aug

Naija Flava

Yesterday found me at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2. Dear sis in law and nephew where returning home after a wonderful holiday with us. There was no time to be sad at their departure as much of my time was spent being extra careful not to bump anyone with my runaway trolley. I’m never quite ready to have a barrage of Yoruba rained on me.
We had four very, very large suitcases as we are sworn patriots. As we approached the lift, this man promptly grabbed my little nephew and lifted him up. Words were not needed. He didn’t need permission to help as we struggled with the trolleys, known to have a mind of their own. He didn’t need to ask where we were going, we know ourselves. This man didn’t say much as he led the way to the Bellview check in desk. Truthfully, I really wanted to stay there just to remain in sync but sis was flying with Arik Air so we broke the connection. But it felt nice. It felt nice when I profusely thanked him and he brushed me aside like, there’s no need for thanks, this is how we do. I felt like a floater when I identified thoughts of concern that he might make off with our child. But the native in me was stronger and I “just knew”
I remember feeling like a floater when I went home in April. The general accent of a lot of our people have evolved into a cross between Naija, Yankee and Jand. Everyone has a mobile phone. I didn’t hear a single western artist rapping or singing, it was all homegrown folk. I can’t get the picture of Uche the driver dancing relentlessly to ‘you’re the finest’ out of my mind.  See more from my April ’09 trip here.

05 Jul

Hello Good People!

Welcome to my first post. I am so excited to put my thoughts out as there’s plenty to say about me! I am a born again christian woman, in my 30s, happily married with some really adorable children. I wouldn’t do much of an introduction as I hope you’ll come back again and again to get a glimpse into my wonderful world!