Time to leave.

This story is available in an audio version on iTunes Podcast.

We lived in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, where my husband owned a thriving manufacturing business. I was a stay at home mother of one – my Oriade. We were stinkingly rich, wealthy, affluent – whatever word you could use to describe two people who lived in a seven-bedroom house with a gym, basketball court, two playrooms and a swimming pool.

Well, my husband was. He always liked to remind me that it was his money, and I was only sharing in it. He didn’t want me to work though, never. Whenever I brought up the topic his brows would do a wiggle dance and his nostrils opened up as he threw a fit.

Didn’t he give me everything I asked for? I obviously didn’t appreciate his hard work. Why was I such a thankless wife?

“Nike, the Bible says to train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, kind, working at home. Please, let’s not anger the Holy Spirit.”

So I just stopped asking.

Continue reading “Time to leave.”

Home.

I was able to put this together after months of being under a creative dry spell. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any tips for me to get over this block don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments, please.

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A lone tear rolled down my left cheek as my mother ignored my nagging and struggled to pull the comb through my thick, afro hair. I shuddered, imagining little blobs of blood forming on my scalp.

Maami, it hurts!’

We were outside in the hut-like building where the bicycles and hula hoops slept at night. It was the place maami made us stay because she knew that if baami saw my tears, he would rescue me from her smooth, long, shaven legs that were tightly wrapped around my torso.

I wondered if I would ever grow up to be like her. She was beauty in itself. Speaking with purpose and eloquence. When she walked, her hips swayed from side to side with force. It was her big bum-bum that caused it to move that way. “Shine-shine baby!” The Igbo man selling shirts on the corner of the house always hailed her with his two hands raised to the sides of his face in salutation.

As she weaved my hair into a neat Shuku Ologede, her hands pressed my head closer between her thighs and her index finger lightly tapped my head in rhythm. I didn’t mind it. She didn’t smell like Iya Yewande, who oozed an unpleasant rotten fishy smell when she pushed my head between her fat thighs, almost in a bid to push me in and give me a rebirth.

Continue reading “Home.”

Not so fiction.

I recently listened to Chimamanda’s Ted talk ‘The danger of the single story’. It reminded me of old times so I decided to tell you my story.

For the longest time, all my characters had ‘English’ names; from Kate to John to my favourite name, Eric (I overused this name sote I’m sure all the Erics were sneezing multiple times). I struggled to give them the ‘abroad’ lifestyle that I was not familiar with. Forced them to eat baked beans, drink orange juice with their bowl of cereal and speak back to their parents. I mean, unlike Chimamanda, I knew what baked beans tasted like but it was the underlying problem I became worried about. I held the ‘international’ lifestyle so high that I started to think I wasn’t good enough. The characters in my writings mocked my Nigerian accent and my lunch of stewed beans and plantain. Why didn’t school serve us burgers as lunch? Why couldn’t my thirteen-year-old boyfriend sleep over in my room? Why couldn’t I go for walks to the parks? Continue reading “Not so fiction.”

Uncle Kareem.

I had my first kiss when I was twelve years old. It was from my uncle Kareem. His lips were soft and plump like the pillows on my bed. His upper lip was dark like that of a chronic smoker and the bottom was deep pink, like the colour of the cotton underwear I was wearing. He had his hands cupped around my face and had the look of love in his eyes. I knew this wasn’t supposed to happen but he had promised to help me with the Math homework I had at school.

‘Don’t tell your mummy oh. Don’t you like it?’

I could feel the heat of his breath very close to my skin. It was obvious what he had had for dinner – Two scoops of fried rice, three deep-fried turkey breasts and a cold bottle of Fanta; just the way he liked it. And yes, I did like it. I liked the way his moustache tickled my face, but my head shook side to side in disagreement. He pulled back and sat on the rim of the bed with an offended look.

‘Ehn, your teacher will give you zero and mummy will beat you.’

So I let him carry me on his lap and kiss me – His tongue wagging in my mouth with too much force than I had expected.

Continue reading “Uncle Kareem.”