Posts in Non-Fiction

Chronicles of a bored and tired girl || Same Same Same

Same people, same routine, same environment.
21 May 2018
16:33


I’m a bit on a low. I guess I am tired. Tired of University. In need of a fresh perspective to life. Away from the boring routine.
I’m starting to think I should get myself out of the pressure.

Beware of generating pressure instead of impact.
-Bishop oyedepo

If the academic calendar were run smoothly, I would be going to Law school this November but that isn’t possible any more. The school year wouldn’t be over by then. My mates and I are going next year.
For a while that worried me so much (my thoughts: I want to stop schooling already. Why would I go to law school next year, then still be there into 2020?!) and I whined. I just had to tell myself to snap out of it. How easy is it for us to dwell on the not-so-positives? Sometimes the circumstances aren’t negative, they simply clash with our ideas of utopia.
Staying in UI since 2013( actually 2013 session but we resumed in 2014 due to strikes) is bound to take its toll someday. Same people. Same environment. Same routine.
I’ll explain.
Same people.
No offence to all my loved ones. You guys know you’re the absolute best. It may not show on my face everyday but I’m a sucker for good friendship and when I get attached, I get attached. I love you guys.
But help! Lol. I need fresh perspectives behind fresh faces. Just help. I guess I’m starting to realize (took me so long eh) that I’m not a social person.
My friend Chizaram in the past six months or so has gone for two international conferences and rubbed minds with other law students, lawyers and important people. Thats amidst other adventures I know she has had outside of that. Your home girl on the other hand… Now, were I to have been at those conferences, I strongly doubt I would have made friends as easily as she did(I mean I’ve seen pictures. Lol. how do you get to take a dozen care free pictures with not one, not two, not five people in the space of a week for each of the conferences).
I’m not afraid of introductions or initiating conversations, no. Its just that small talks don’t cut it for me. Big talks do. And you just have to appreciate that not everyone is capable of having big talks. So there goes my meeting lots of people!

Same environment.
If I were to be a loose talker, I’d have started this part with: oh shoot me. Lol. I didn’t say that though. It’s the same places over and over again. I only gave you my three types of mornings right? I didn’t give you a breakdown of my day.
Its predictably uninteresting.
That’s not to say I don’t do any interesting things but I guess I have more interesting moments from what I read or watch on my phone and laptop than where I go. That has to change, or what do you say?
I’ve stayed in a private hostel since 200 level and it’s the same feel. The same room. The same curtains. The same type of table and wardrobe! The same entrance.
Left to me, I would have added spice to my personal apartment; Introduced plants, bought new wall art, switched up the arrangement to become airy and minimalist.
But, it isn’t left to me.
Same faculty. Same Chapel of the resurrection(where my fellowship holds services), same hostel.
Same routine.
I think I’ve pretty much explained this already.
What next?
I would say okay, every Friday or Saturday, I’ll go with a friend to some new place in town, but *weeps*, that’s money. A lot of money. Because the new places that I have in mind are high-end places. Every weekend?
You see now guys, you see why I’m tired? Why I’ll like to get called to the bar, work and earn?
Okay, this is a positive post so we’re cool.
😀😀It just feels good to let that off my chest.


If you have suggestions, let me know o. Or if its an all expense paid trip to some high-end place, I’m also interested. On a serious note, that’s why you guys rock. You’re a different world for me. Thank you for constantly reading what I write. My pen owes you.

“Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them.”

-Vlamdir Nabokov
(A quote you should know if you’ve visited my about me page).
Flowers and newness,
Debby.

Casual Catch up

Hello people.
How are you on this side? I’m well. I couldn’t put up a post last week because I was on an easter outreach at Benin republic. Read about it here.
I could’ve roamed my sim card, but there’s no use browsing at all during an outreach. Let’s focus on winning souls for Christ.
I had earlier tried to schedule a post but it didn’t work out.
I’m on my way right now to another outreach. This one is a medical outreach which holds once a month. It’s a return trip.
How have I been? Very well.
You? I’ll love to hear in the comment section.
Nothing much for today, this is only a casual blog post chat.
A life well lived as someone said isn’t just one that fulfils purpose but one that leads others to fulfil purpose.
One thing I know is when you are fulfilling your own purpose, you’re in a sense leading others to fulfil their purposes. There’s so much distraction today and when we find that one person dogged in their vision, we are motivated to keep to ours too.
In other words, be the best verion of yourself that you can be. Shine that light.
P.s: This is one of my shortest blog posts ever(I really don’t know why I often write epistles). Which should lead you to reading previous blog posts that you’ve missed by scrolling through the categories at the top of the page.
Warmest regards,
Debby.

Boarding House Reflections (3)

Hello people. Thanks for sticking by. Here is the last post for this series. I’m hopeful for more blog series in the future. This was my remark at it’s start:
” This brief series of posts that will be coming up, is aimed at reflecting on the human thought process given a few years interval. Graduating from secondary school often brings a different perspective and fresh enlightenment to many students. 
Same will probably apply in a few years from now. A change in thought process based on growth, it is wonderful to track it.

My letter:


Dearest Sparkles,
You would never have believed I, of all people, would forget the name “Sparkles“. But I did love, not until much later when I must have either discovered an old book or an old friend called me by that name. The name used to be my cuteness signature.

I would take a friend’s notebook in their absence, open randomly to the middle, scribble “sparkles” boldly, then write below in a small font “when you see this, remember I love you and smile” or something similar to those words. They always did smile. On a very random day, they’d get to that part of their notebook, see it and later come to hug me saying they saw what I wrote. And then we would both smile big goofy smiles. How easy, right?

A smile. In the years that follow, you would smile some more. Smile not so much because any friend did anything wonderful, but because you’ve learnt to find home in yourself. You do remember that at some point, mum and Dorcas told you you derived too much pleasure from friends. You thought it was true even then. How couldn’t it be, with a heart as warm as yours? You’ve had your share of losses; friends being one, and you’ve learnt to smile and find joy in your being. In God in you, and not necessarily from friends.

Friends. Many of them. Boarding school drew you into personalities, both in junior years and senior years. You fought with friends and stood strong by them, loyal. You read each other’s diary entries. You also had gists that lasted long into the night by joining those in room 5. Room 5 was for SS3 students you in SS2, knowing fully well you had boarding school routine and classes the next day while they were free, still you gisted. You covered each other’s secrets because young as you were, you had secrets, however silly.

Secrets. It was no secret who your special friend was. Occasionally, I now laugh, amused, when I recall how those silly juniors would chorus the refrain to the song call that was “senior Deborah,…” with “senior George is calling you!”. And Tosin, my roommate, wouldn’t stop teasing me.

But you care to know what I would appreciate later on? The launch into a fountain of life which I still drink. I recall my gists with Patience, nights in which she would fill me in on every detail about the two guys who liked her. I contrast them with mornings with Tabernacle, Tabernacle who had a beautifully strange name. It’s etched somewhere in my mind, her saying “the day I was going to resume here, even though I knew the meaning of my name, I had to ask my dad again because I knew you guys would ask me“. Meeting Tabernacle, was my first encounter with a young person who really loved God. Tabernacle would dash my belief that I was faithful in my morning devotions (after all, I observed it about three or four times out of seven days compared to some other people). Hers was a daily fellowship. We were roommates not by accident. I remember the times I cried because I wasn’t very serious with God. I remember the times we spoke and the wisdom she demonstrated (which was obviously beyond her years). I remember when she introduced room devotions on Saturday mornings (other than our cooperate hostel devotion as a Christian school) – an innovation which in retrospect, was a divine inspiration. I’ll like my daughter to blaze trails like Tabernacle. People came from the other apartment to join our room devotion. People came from other rooms just to observe. Tabernacle didn’t always know that. Some days, she only knew of her troubles that were inexplicable and she shared a lot. Blessed heart.
This is why I’d tell my younger version that the world is much larger than it seems and things aren’t always as bad as they appear. Tomorrow would be a lot better than the confusion of your teenage years.

It’s great you share a lot, you’ll find that relevant in the years to come.
Honesty and simplicity leave you precious in this dark and cruel times.
The gists you had about God were an investment into the jewel you now are, and it doesn’t fade. The gists you had about boys haven’t necessarily made the male folk easier to decipher. So why bother?

Debby, as you call yourself now, I love that you were daring and adventurous. It makes me happy to know you lived out your secondary school days. Days of horrific dancing, days of food exchange, borrowed items and young love.
I love you always, continue to learn with arms spread wide and the wind in your face. Your evening stroll routine helps mental health. Like I always advice my younger sister now, don’t miss watching the sunsets. In the few years that would succeed your graduation from secondary school, you wouldn’t have so much opportunity to watch the Sun set, so don’t miss it today.

Importantly, Sparkle!, because there aren’t two of you in this world. There never would be.
Love,
Big Debby.

N.B: The names used in this post are fictional substitutes.



Hope January 2018 has been good.
As Always, I’ll love to hear your thoughts. Comment and share.
Love and Peace,
Debby.

The One Who Owes The World

I rushed back into the school premises at a fast pace.
The blinding sun reminded me of my resolve to get a new pair of Sun shades. It was past 10am and my class must’ve begun, having been scheduled for 10am. I rushed towards the bus route going to faculty of law, at the car park.
I saw you, tall and fairly dark. Your eye glasses well perched on your nose. You had you shirt tucked into your trousers with a brown belt holding it in place. The Brown belt still looked good; not worn tired. I looked up at your face again. “Science, social sciences, law” you said expectantly.
Well, then.
Sister, are you going?” You adressed me. I nodded and said “law“, whilst looking at the motorbike lane. About four people were waiting in line for bikes. I contemplated going for a bike instead because I was in a hurry. I took a closer look at the bus.
Ah” I stared you down. “You just want to start loading? No o. No
No, enter. I would be leaving now, enter. Enter”
Obviously not, I thought. I’d be the first to sit in this bus. I turned to look at the bike lane again.
Look,” you said, “your mates are coming. Enter ” I looked back to see a few people who did not even glance once at you as they brushed past, heading for the bike lane. My resolve withered. I needed to be in class.
Two things kept me rooted beside your white bus.
First, I’m trying hard to stop riding on bikes for safety purposes. I began to ride on them only when I became a student in UI and I was sometimes left with no choice.
Secondly, your dressing. In that sun, you looked like a teacher. Tall enough to have that appearance, shirt tucked in, black shoes on, eye glasses with rope!
This shirt tucked in trouser is a serious topic, so let’s branch in.
I’ve been in UI for some years. I’ve even come to recognize a few cab drivers facially. A number of them come out and sit either at their secretariat by the park or under the tree near the drop loading point. The drop loading point is by the route loading to my hostel. Just yesterday, there was yet another argument between these men. They’re loud but I love that they always enjoy themselves to the fullest. The unspoken dress code convention is native attire or a faded shirt worn loosely on some slightly dirty trouser.
That is why, sir, I looked you over. My dad would’ve liked you.
The sun seemed to plead your cause too, as you stood there; A perfect example of a fervent business man. Your fervent plea to people to enter the bus and your argument that you will leave soon, allowed me to sit. I’d been in buses that left with some empty seats before. I sat in the front seat and watched you. Your eyes were focused. You beckoned at each person passing by, “science, social science, law“brother are you going? Sister enter, enter here” you paced. You moved from the right side of the bus to the left. I had two companions in the bus by then.
We waited because your perseverance blackmailed us.
I could’ve taken a cab drop, but I felt I’ll be unjust to you. How else could you make your morning rates if all of us chose to leave, unable to wait. 
We were conscious of the time and of our classes. For you, man must work.
You kept apologizing to us. I offered to pay two extra people’s bus fair, if you’d allow us leave.
You paced, you called. I waited.
I was sure my lecturer would let me in and that I didn’t have much to loose in this particular class.
At some point, I rolled my eyes, I should’ve just left since. What sort of pity ties you down when your ambition is on the line(maybe not that dramatic).
I then forgot my slight irritation well enough to start praying for you. For me too. Lord pls let this bus fill up quickly. Lord, help me o, I shouldn’t regard any class this way.
Where are the people? I craned my neck, I looked back, believing with you that passengers would come.
By the time we took off, with a full bus, I settled in to my amusement.
Sir, your dressing paved a way for you.
.
.
.
Two weeks later, I was watching a video on YouTube and I enjoyed it a bit. My hand hovered over the like button in a dilema for way too long. I wanted to click the like button only because I realized the video had been seen very many times while liked few times. 
I thought ‘let me support this video‘. Then I chided myself. Which kind of support is that? The videos I like keep entering a new folder. I don’t have to like this video. It’s made its impact. It will continue to make its impact if it doesn’t get deleted.
There is nothing wrong with liking a good youtube video but liking out of pity? No. 
I don’t have to live my life like I owe everyone and neither do you.
I know this is a pretty surprising post but it does matter. Stop haranguing yourself over the things that don’t really count.
You love the impeccable conductor? Pray for him in your mind, leave and enter your drop to class. The video doesn’t have many likes but you dont love it enough either? Be grateful you’ve seen it and click on another. This ‘I must like every video out of pity’ thing is uncalled for.
When it comes to seemingly little social matters like these, I love to share because I respect peace of mind. If I am at peace with myself(my right choices) and the same applies to you too, well it’s a peaceful world, innit? 
In 2018, don’t harangue yourself into unnecessary things you can’t help at the expense of your class or something important.
🍻To peace of mind, priorities and knowledge in 2018.

Care to share your thoughts? Diverging view?
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HAPPY NEW YEAR IN ADVANCE.

To all 'uncles'

I was enroute Ilorin from Ibadan. I got a seat at the back of the sienna vehicle.
When I got to the park, only two passengers were needed to fill up the vehicle, I was one of the two. The last person to come was a student, clothed in his uniform. He seemed like a person of Fulani descent. He also appeared to be going to the boarding house with the number of bags that trailed him. His mother and uncle pleaded that the driver accept 300 naira for his extra luggage in the boot. His mother came to the window and bent close, waving at him, she didn’t forget to give him an instruction. Does any mother forget?
At this stage, the third person sitted at the back seat became an ‘uncle’. I was at the extreme left, the student in between and the unclen at the right.
What school do you go to?” he asked.
The student responded. He was probably in senior class; he seemed tall enough and he wore a pair of trousers as opposed to shorts.
We were five minutes into the journey and the young chap was watching a movie on his phone.
I requested to, and prayed aloud, as the bus took off. As expected, not everyone said an ‘amen’. Uncle said amen, however. Loud amens. Thank you.
Let’s get a bit of background about uncle. Uncle got to the vehicle before I did. Whe I got there, he was angry. As he complained loudly in Yoruba language about the poor state of all the vehicles these days, he complained also about the time-wasting driver and his colleagues. He complained loudly that he hadn’t been given his change yet. 
You’d get a better picture when you imagine those people who complain aloud although they have no audience, those who have perfected the art of it. I thus, had no clue he was a Christian.
Thank you all the same for saying amen to the prayers. It was a smooth car ride.
So, the supposed Fulani student watching the movie laughed. I imagine the movie must have been hilarious. Uncle spoke up.
Do you know you can download your textbooks on your phone and read?” Uncle’s eyes darted about unsure as he said that.
The student nodded, probably thinking ‘thanks for your kind thoughts’. But kind thoughts were no where being over. It made uncle sure that textbooks could be downloaded. Cue the longest speech ever recited.
Instead of these movies you’re seeing, reading your books will do you good… You will be a first-class student. You’ll compete against not only students in Nigeria but world students…you’ll not concern with the state of Nigeria…there are jobs, oh there are jobs…that way you’ll live well… do your parents proud…do you know…in fact, there was… how many people…?” he went on. Believe me, he went on.
At the commencement of the speech, I had thought, ‘oh great, he must be a teacher, who is glad to find another erring student he can put on the right track’. Later, I doubted it. This was simply a desire to speak.
A fair-skinned lady who sat in front, who had said no amen to my prayers, turned back to stare at uncle reciting his impromtu speech, then she faced front. Later, she would bring out her small bible and read. So we’re fellow Christians? You said no amen.
Others also had to turn and stare at some point.
Uncle had a bible placed on his laps which he didn’t read. At some point during his speech, he left talk of the academics, and went into spirituality, talking about God. His voice loud and intrusive. I wondered if this was an approach to preaching.
At a point, all we could think ( I can boldly lay claim to reading everyone’s mind) was that, ‘uncle you’ve tried’, ‘Uncle remember “half a word is enough for the wise” ‘, ‘Uncle please, uncle please’.
His speech finally ended.
The boy told him “Thank You” and clicked the play button on his phone. This time, I imagine he held any laughter prompted by hilarious scenes to himself. But he saw the movie as he desired.
Variants of uncle show up at different locations, and at different times, under different citcumstamces.
 To all uncles, please learn that your first sermon is your appearance. Uncle’s burning anger was a longer speech than the one he tried to give the young boy verbally. I know someone who describes herself as a ‘complainer’. Don’t. It may seem a honest enough description of your person. I advise you shouldn’t be content with being a complainer. Have you ever heard:




 “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing”


 I work by that principle. If you’re presenting a constructive comment to the wrong party, that’s fair enough. I do that. If your aim, as clearly evidenced, is to make your audience aim and achieve better than the party which did wrong, that’s fair enough. I do that. But stop being the complainer. The person who says “i just have no chill”.
Uncle, respect younger people too. My younger sister has been giving me gist of what goes down at her secondary school. One thing I also often recollect about my time in secondary school, is how a number of teachers did not understand that students are humans. Students have feelings. You are not permitted to treat students how you wouldn’t treat other adults. They’re intelligent beings.
 One of Ifemelu’s opinion in the book Americanah by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie, was that aunty Uju was the only adult who treated her like her opinion mattered. And she loved aunty Uju.
Be that person who draws respect from students, not only because you’re older but because you deserve it. Don’t tie down a young student’s time in your own interest.
Respect other people’s time and wishes. There is this tweet I saw on twitter:




I wish for you, sincerely, to take your time but that doesn’t mean waste mine”


Uncle did not listen to the student. He probably meant well, which I credit but then he thought he could give his long winding opinion on education and Nigeria for as long as he pleased. Make your point known, keep silent. Respect people’s personal space, existence and wishes. 
Don’t be that other guy who entered the same taxi I did just the day before I travelled. He claimed he wanted to be my friend. He saw I was busy with my phone. I greeted him and politely told him I was busy. He wouldn’t let me be. He said “don’t you want me to be your friend?” Really? “Tell me your name naw” it was irritating. More irritating, because it reminded me of those who bugged me tirelessly in taxis while I was in secondary school. They saw a young girl and felt they could talk as they please. No you can’t. She is a human being, she may be young and beautiful but don’t badger her! Don’t be that person. I asked this guy, this time not politely, what kind of friend he would turn out, if he couldn’t respect my wishes now. I’m busy! And I did that for all the times I was troubled as a teenager.
Uncle, you mean well. Whatever your own case may be, but please learn courtesy. 
The bible says in Romans 14:16




Do not allow what you consider good, to be spoken of as evil



What do you think? ever done the same? Any experience with someone who would not respect other people’s feelings? Or other people’s time? Regardless of their age. I want to hear your thoughts.

Peacemakers

Have you ever spoken up when you saw something going on that was wrong? Were you scared? What ended up happening?”

When I saw this prompt, everything went silent in my head. Silent. Of course I knew  I had spoken up after seeing some wrongs being perpetuated a number of times but… the kind of example I wanted to tell wasn’t  coming to mind.
As I saw that prompt, what I interpreted it to be was: “have you ever spoken up for someone when …”  Not just “spoken up when you saw something wrong … “.
I have. It was a little activist work but I hope it matters. It was random but I pray she remembers it. It wasn’t the “lasting effect” type I suppose some people would think,  because there wasn’t some quote from the scriptures to accompany it. But as I wondered if it could actually be of lasting effect,  I remembered :

“blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God” matt5:9

I’m a peacemaker. Amidst other things, I’m an advocate for you, as a person,  making peace with yourself.
It was December 12 , 2016. The chapel Carol was slated for that day.  Chapel of the resurrection, UI has three youth fellowships: IVCU. SCM. TYF. The Carol was designed for the three fellowships and the Chapel children.
An hour before the Carol, I’m walking in the Chapel basement and I stop. I’m speaking with the sisters coordinator of my fellowship who doubles as my friend.
Someone else comes along. She walks briskly in a white dress that has full gathers at the waist. She has her hair let down; it’s a straight, black and shiny weave. I’m thinking it’s similar to the classic weavon I once fixed while in 100level.
She speaks quickly in the straight-to-the-fact manner of someone who has a program to oversee. Compere, I guess. She speaks kindly. She speaks with what I term butterfly flutters( I won’t explain this).
She asks my sisters coordinator cum friend , if she will be available to help with the distribution of the snacks as they had planned.
My friend twirls around  and points at me. “she’ll  help you”, she says.
Fast forward to three hours later, I join the preparation for distribution of snacks outside as the carol comes to a close.
The strategy is settled now and we’re waiting outside the auditorium for the proper time to begin sharing them.
Children are running everywhere. Screaming too. I’m lost in the melody of my mind.
Then I hear an indistinct conversation.
He is young and has an uplifted chin that forever gives him the appearance of a person wearing a smile. He is somewhat dark and short. He speaks with the air of someone who is familiar with people. He is older than she is.
My first observation – She is normal. His words, however, jolt me to notice the first observation of some other people. She is fat.
“… So” he drawls “you’ve been eating abi” he says.
She laughs in a manner and shakes her head.
“No? I can see it on you o or how have you gained weight again, ehn? What happened to exercising? You just stuff everything in your mouth. So do you like it this way now? You just keep eating, eating” he says. There is no hint of condensation in his voice. He is just speaking.
She keeps laughing as he speaks and somewhere in between manages things like “Nooo”
I sigh.
She is young. Maybe 15 or 16 years of age. She appears naive and worse still, used to ill treatment. Of course she doesn’t recognize this as an ill treatment.
I sigh again.
I speak before my ears take in too much of his words and before it is time to share the snacks. The children are still screaming and running. It’s a normal setting outside the chapel auditorium, just as the dusk falls .
“can I say something?” I ask him” I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation”
He looks at me. He is still shorter than I am. He has that appearance and I can’t tell if he smiles at me or its the cheek bone doing its trick again.
“yes” he says. I suspect it’s the former option. He smiles. He assumes I want to endorse his words or something.
“she shouldn’t stop eating just because she is fat. Who can really tell if she eats too much? If a slim person eats double the size she does, will it be okay in that case? ”
” oh no no. We understand each other. She knows I’m not insulting her” he says.
Did I expect a different response?
Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God.
I hope my words stuck with her that night. I hope she remembers it in years to come. I hope she doesn’t allow people tell her that sort of thing. I hope in the midst of some of those self depreciating laughs, if she still does, my words ring in her ears, uninvited, without prior notice.
I hope she makes peace with herself.
This  is my way of lending my voice to say stop shaming. Please stop it. As long as you’re aware you have no real point, please stop it. There are implications to this thing which you may not see everyday but it surely occurs. Some people develop Bulimia, others Anorexia. Or low self esteem.
The people you call fat,  don’t have to run the miles that slim people never have to consider in a decade, just to be in the shape that you endorse. If it’s for healthy living, no problem. If you’re in an unhealthy place, then make a commitment to better living, good. That’s different.
The people you call fat don’t have to eat one scoop of Mandarin ice cream flavor(maybe once in two years) and ten scoops of guilt alongside. Only guilt? No, alongside pain and self doubt. Low self esteem.
Always let people thrive. People have enough reasons to cause them doubt in their lifetime than for you to add to the list quite deliberately or carelessly.
Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called children of God.
I hope you find peace with yourself.

Debby.

The boy must Know Book!

So, my mum steps out of the car at the market to buy some items.
I’m in the car, I stare at her back.
Every time she gets down from the car without a second thought in order to buy foodstuff regardless of the fact that we’re (my sisters and I) in the car and she could as well send us to buy whatever it is, I’m awed. And she does that sooo often.
I even feel guilty. Grown as I am, I sit in the car. Sighs.
image
She walks to where the mallam had set up his stand for the fried rice ingredients.
Another woman at the same spot looks away seemingly uninterested while my mom prices the items. From here, I can tell my mum bargains in Hausa language.
When my mum shifts slightly such that her back is turned to the other woman, the seemingly uninterested woman resumes admiring her.
I smirk.
That’s not my focus Today. I only want to capture details.
image
From this vantage point where I sit in the car,
I see a market woman perched on a bench, her legs on either side of it, as a man would sit.
I take notice of her when my mom, on whom my gaze is fixed, asks “who is crying?” while she gazes lovingly at a young toddler wailing badly. Wailing badly!
It is then I notice the market woman, and I see another boy of about four years of age with her. She leans over a flimsy note book that is spread open on the bench.
Then I begin to hear her when I pay attention “oya, write four, write four!”
The boy, I assume her son, looks at her, no defiance on his face. No expression. He just looks at her.
She hits him.
“write four! ” she says as she raises and keeps her right hand hanging in a position set to hit him. She does hit him again.
” oloshi alabukun omo-ale”
And I gasp.
I know, I know, children are insulted everyday but really what has this boy done?
The boy is now crying. The toddler is also crying. But it’s a market, noise is allowed.
She threatens the four year old that if his tears drop, she would beat him even more.
He keeps crying.
What I see next as I picture an intervention in tones of sepia, is my mum walking up and explaining to the mother why she should cuddle him a bit and tell him to write the number she desires. Maybe teach him again.
We know after rain, comes sunshine right? Surely there must be another way to tackle this crying child.
Yorubas in Nigeria say “ta ba if owo osi na omode, a fi owo otun fa morawhen we use the right hand to discipline a child, we use the left hand to pull him close
As I imagine my mum explaining to the boy’s mother, I imagine the woman flaring up, fed up.
This is Nigeria. To this market woman, her son must “know book” he must become literate. He must drive cars and care for her. He must become more influential than anyone she knows.
This is the way of hope.
So I can imagine the good intentions with which this market woman now orders her son to kneel down.
Without the imagined scenes and tones of sepia, the boy doesn’t kneel down and she doesn’t beat him any longer either. I’m not in the market for much longer to see her(a market woman howbeit a mother)  train her son in the way she thinks best.
This one thing I know, the boy must “know book”.
This brings to mind the words “motherhood”, “education”, and the phrases “financial privilege”, “developing countries”, “a means to an end”.
The boy must know book!
Share your thoughts…

Write Debby, write!

Everybody says “write Debby, write”
If they could, they would write but I find myself in a cage. I know ideas still flood my head, I know I can express them. I know I should make more practice with writing, seek more knowledge on the art of it. But I don’t. I don’t do all that.
Today, someone told me
“don’t be so defensive”. I should discuss with more people. That was in the midst of a conversation which has prompted this post.
I’m having my chamber attachment with a law firm while on holiday. I couldn’t go to the court of Appeal with the group that went today. The cause list in the chamber listed my name under a case in the High court. I was back to the chamber in no time , because in legal parlance, “court did not sit”. It means for some reasons, the judge didn’t come so the case was adjourned.
I sat on an old couch in my old friend’s  office. Old friend, meaning my bunk mate who was in ss3 when I was in jss2. I listened to music, watched some videos and eventually, they came back from court. With the turn of events, I began talking to another church member who came visiting. Same secondary school too, in this case he was in ss3 when I was in Jss1.
I felt at home as the conversation wielded itself. A part of me was surfacing. That part that can jump from topic to topic in discussions without restraint. From law as a profession, to old friends in secondary school, to the marriage of said people, to professional ethics such as networking in Nigeria, to mentors and ambition, to friendship, to the definition of beauty, to how God speaks to man, to books.
The conversation was seamless. Just flowing. I spoke my mind, baring my honest views. I had to answer questions so I searched the archives of my mind.
I revived a part of me. While discussing, I told them my elder sister is my best friend. True that. I’m sooo close to my parents too, we discuss a lot. Casual conversation, serious conversation. Everything. But sometimes… (please picture this last sentence I wrote in a very very small voice that fades away).
Sometimes, other parts of me want to connect literally. Which is why I watch videos on YouTube of conversations between writers. They speak the truth and some of it resonates hard with me. Strikes some chords. I don’t have very many friends who connect with my intellectual writing side.
YouTube videos of conversations between people doesn’t flush out the need for you to speak yourself. So I did so today. And on matters which I rarely discuss with other friends.
At the time of posting this, I’m less excited. But I want to post it because steps to losing yourself has on its to-do list, “keep silent in times like this”.
P. S:  This is about four days after writing the above post but again steps to losing yourself… Right? And innit, it’s news to you even if it isn’t to me;)
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Speaking out, having friends, and writing,
Debby.

A day in Adeola Odutola law library

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I spent over ten minutes asking this library attendant to get me a book behind him. Over ten minutes. I was patient. I was being a Christian. I asked politely, simply. He ignored me blatantly yet slyly. He collected money from people who came to renew their library cards and gave them change and checked the list to be sure they had paid, he answered them just as they came up after me.
I felt weird. I felt abused. I was very patient, my voice loud yet small as something inside of me felt more inadequate the longer I waited. There was a guy beside me, who came after me, he asked for a textbook. Library attendant whom I’ve always greeted politely, stood up from his chair, got the book for him, sat back. The same guy asked for another book, the man stood again, got it for him. Before he sat, I asked him to get mine. A girl can never fully know if it’s her gender thats causing the bias. He ignored me, looking at others who came for library card renewal. You get that kind of pretence stance.
Something in the back of my throat knotted. I walked inside the library without the book. Tears were close. For what reason? Thoughts came, because I didn’t use makeup? Because I was polite? What was my offence? Why wasn’t I firmer in demanding when he delayed? Why did I want to cry? Why did I want to cry? Should I have been rude? Why? Why?
I’ll go back. I’ll tell him I demand a textbook. Another of my choice now, I’ve had time to rethink what I want to read. I’ll embrace the knot that formed at the back of my throat. It will speak better things for me in the years to come. I’ve lost a coat. I’m going outside now to offer another.
It’s surprising to me too, but this happened to me.
So what’s your view people?
-on the religious aspect
-On the tears
-gender
-and other themes
Fight or flight for you?

FASTING

We all need to write from a place we get. A familiar place and for that I thought:
God, food, family, quiet
The thing with fasting, she thought, was that it was never fully familiar. You could do it and get used to it on most days but on certain days, it was no respecter of persons. It clubbed and clubbed until the soldiers defending you dropped down their defences and you were under seige. Captured. Your stomach desolate. Burnt down like Jerusalem*.
In this case however you’re not really comforted by knowing a day is coming when you will eat. All your focus is on that moment. That day. Perhaps an opening for a meal will arrive. Can it arrive? You know it won’t. So maybe all the prophecies brought by Isaiah and Jeremiah did not pump up the Israelites. They had lost their glory beyond redemption as they saw it.
But God had a plan.
Dear stomach, on days you’re lost and depressed, God has a plan. Jerusalem was restored. Yaaay people. Yaaay.
* Jerusalem’ capture is recorded in 2 Kings 25 and see Haggai2:9 for the hope for the later house.
N. B: I’m no foodie. I just have to write about the things on my heart, you get it:)?
Though our outer man perishes, our inner man is being renewed. Yaaaay🙌.
Love and more fasting,
Your girl,
Debby.