By Ekundayo Ayodeji,
Pious had always been a careful boy. Even as a kid, he had taken all the elderly advice to heart. He always looked left, and right, then left again before crossing. He never spoke to strangers, ignoring them as they called to him on the way to and from school. Even when playing “catcher” with his friends in school he never let people grab him, because of suspected germs. But he had one major flaw- nail biting. He just couldn’t stop. Even throughout his secondary school up until his university days. He just never could bring himself to use a nail-cutter; he chewed on his nail when he was scared, worried, hungry or bored. Pious had read somewhere about obsessive compulsive behavior. That must be what it is, that’s my OCD. He always used to say to himself. That all changed on the 26th of July 2014.
Continue reading Ebola in Nigeria: Fear is a Choice
By Niyi,Out of the many “house girls” we had, Kubura was my favourite. Kubura started working with us when she was about 16 and in no time she had woven herself into the fabric of domestic life at ours’. Meal times weren’t the same without her roaring laughter, her plastic blue cup full of Tetley tea and her hearty bowl of indomie and boiled eggs. In fact, there was no mealtime without Kubura! I can still recall her tiny voice saying, “Whoever eats alone dies alone”. Kubura would wake me up for school, Kubura would accompany the driver to pick me up, Kubura would sit with me as I ate lunch, Kubura would wake me up for my evening lessons and Kubura would sit with me to watch Super Story every Thursday. Although she was at least 8years older than me, the age gap was very blurred and she had become one of my best friends and greatest confidants. She had become like family. I hope at this point, you can understand why I was extremely sad when Kubura said it was time to leave- I couldn’t rationalise her ambition outside our family and our day-to-day life.
Continue reading Kubura My Favourite
By Omayeli Arenyeka,“POP CHAMPAGNE!” Mohammed Aliyu recited the lyrics of Dr. Sid’s club smash. He was headed to Club Ecstasy with the Mercedes Benz he got for his birthday at around 11p.m. His father, Ibrahim Aliyu joked the car was the money for a scholarship program in his state. Too busy singing, he didn’t realize that he was driving at 100 mph — 40 mph above the speed limit. At least, not until he was stopped by a heavyset police officer.
Continue reading Money Changes Hands
By Chinazar Okoro,
As I looked at my NYSC call-up letter, I wanted to shed tears.
Lagos? Lagos? Lagos! It truly said. My dad’s runz had worked. I had dreamed of one year out of Lagos. So standing in the Faculty Officer’s office was a real bubble-bursting moment for me. As I walked through the door, my classmates looked at me questioningly, no different from the way they looked at the others who had walked through the same door.
Continue reading Corper We
By Naya A,
I grew up with the illusions of having a fairytale wedding by the seaside with a few relatives and friends even though I know my mother’s church members would all gatecrash the wedding because she is the chairwoman of the prayer committee. Oh no! I won’t have the usual long train of bridesmaids and the ‘carnival’ they call Nigerian weddings. Fast-forward fifteen years later, i’m fresh out of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, a theatre arts graduate,having bagged my parents desired second class upper ‘2.1’ like my nigerians would say. All my conversations with my mom would end with “so any special guy yet?”, a long pause on my end, and then my mom saying “hmm,don’t chase them away with all these your career talk o. Keep hollywood out of it, a woman needs to be under a man oo.” I would sigh and reassure her that she would be the first to hear about any suitor.
Continue reading Becoming a Mrs.
By Omolemo Matloga,
I don’t believe “the average Nigerian” exists in this world, given how large and diverse our population is, where would one begin to consider such?
I have visited several states and from those experiences I have been enlightened that Lagos life is very different from life in Abuja or Bauchi. We are a country of different experiences but very similar thinking.
Continue reading Not the Average Nigerian
By Oba Banwo,
I, like every other human on this earth, did not choose where I am from. I had no control over the circumstances into which I was born, and I had no foreknowledge of the world that would be my reality. I was born in Nigeria, and I am of Nigerian ancestry. I was privileged to have the family that I did, to live in the home that I grew up in, and to have the education that defines so much of who I am today. From the moment I was aware of my surroundings, I began my torrid love affair with Nigeria, or rather my arranged marriage to Nigeria, because this was a marriage devoid of love. Rather, it was, at the best of times, characterized by complacency. This complacency arose because I had come to see things I loathed about my surroundings as the norm. It was normal to expect no supply of power; it was normal to go to bed terrified each night because of the possibility of being rudely awakened by armed robbers; it was normal to see politicians embezzle public funds, then proceed to offer explanations for their expenditures that were insults to our intelligence; and it was normal to see men and women who we did not vote for repeatedly rise to power. But this was alright, because as long as the possibility of moving abroad remained, I would bear it for just a little while longer, before escaping this loveless marriage.
Continue reading My Arranged Marriage To Nigeria
By Sir Farouk,
The other day a family friend of mine mistakenly struck down a commercial motorcycle rider (Okada in common parlance) and the young man died. Now the family friend in question stopped his car and came down to help, however this did not seem to matter as a crowd of angry people had gathered and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of the driver despite the fact that he kept pleading that it was an accident. He was being dragged to the bush to be burnt alive by the mob and was saved by the timely intervention of the Nigerian police (ironic, seeing as the Nigerian police typically isn’t helpful to the citizenry but I guess since this happened in Abuja it makes sense). The driver was near death and was saved from the swiftness that is jungle justice.
Continue reading Why are Nigerians so Angry?
Since I was born, that Ikorodu road has not been developed. It has been the same. Unlevel, unsafe, and when it rains, it is like a booby trap for the average car. This is so unfair to the people living there that were promised change and improvements. I’ve been going through that road almost every day of my life. It has become a part of me and I even considered it to be home cause It does remind me of home. I associated myself with this road positively until one rainy day when my car was stuck in the gaping hole in the road. I couldn’t move this car out and I was causing so much problems for other drivers on the road. My car was acting like a roadblock and the number of cars piling up behind me was exponentially increasing. Then LASMA came and helped me out but threatened to seize my car if I didn’t pay a fine for road violation.
Continue reading Nigeria’s Problem
By Omolemo Matloga,
As I write this, I’m watching on TV highlights of the France vs Nigeria World Cup game and how Nigeria has been knocked out of the football competition. The world cup brought us as a country together and now we’re no longer competing, it’s difficult to remember the other good things about the country. This is not to say that good does not exist here. Because it is fully present and Nigeria has been blessed with so much ‘good.’
Continue reading My Nigerian Encounters
I was discussing politics the other day with a close friend, Tolu. We were in the same car, driving to the mall. Tolu is a smart guy; the type that reads the newspapers everyday and can thoroughly analyze every political and economic move. I have a lot of respect for him so whenever he spoke, he left me hypnotised in his words as my head kept moving up and down in a continuous motion. He continued speaking about how he wanted to make a change and I was really ‘feeling his gist’ until he apparently finished his nice roll of gala which he had bought earlier. I was thrown into confusion when he flung the wrapper out of the window with so much force like his life depended on it. “Why did you do that?” I asked, “You’re littering the place.” He has no response although he said a few words, albeit nervously. “Everyone does it”
Continue reading Everyone Does It
You have not suffered until your generator is out of fuel, your car is out of fuel and you are basically stranded. If you can’t fuel your generator and nepa don’t bring light, how are you going to iron? how are you going to pump water? how are you going to microwave your food? how are you even going to store food in your freezer? In Nigeria, we are grounded without power.
Whenever people talked about petrol scarcity in the past, I looked on because I never had to drive…but when it hit me, I suffered.
Continue reading My Experience with Petrol Scarcity
By Wunmi Ajilore,
“Aye…She no want designer, she no want Ferrari, she say na my love o…”
I totally fell in love with that song. It’s so catchy. That was the 2014 NYSC Batch A Lagos camp anthem. We heard it during morning physical training, drills, mami market, concerts, etc. Even when hope seemed lost and I was so tired and worn out from the day’s activities, this song, brought joy to my life. LOL! I know, of all things.
Continue reading My NYSC Camp Experience
By Chinazar Okoro,
Ebun and I walked into the female ward in block E. It was one of the Saturdays when we were bored with poring over chemical structures and cramming botanical names. We strolled in with our labcoats, smiling as we greeted the nurses. They replied without giving us any attention, their heads bowed into patient files open before them.
Continue reading Let Us Pray
A few months ago I went to the Nigerian Immigration office in Lagos to renew my passport. I arrived in Alagbon close, Ikoyi at 1pm with protocol from my parent’s bank. They were there to assist me in case of trouble.
I was told that I didn’t have to do much but be present with my passport and answer a few questions. Bear in mind, the operations of this federal institution are so inefficient that it is actually infuriating to be in the presence of such lackluster. There are so many different lines and rooms for registration, hopeless waiting to be attended to and the general area is so unkept. One time I was there, one of the officials had a bunch of renewed passports on his desk and left the room with a few people unattended. What sort of indiscipline is this?
Continue reading My Experience in the Lagos Passport Office