Tag Archives: Family

Birthday Series (2)

My birthdays in Primary School were fun. Never during exams. Secondary School? Heck no. Always during exams. Even if it was a weekend, I sure had a paper the day the Monday after.

So didn’t do much celebrating. First, the era of going to school in mufti on my birthday was so OVER. Gosh, how would a chic like me do such? That’s so childish.

JSS1, I had like 3 papers that day. Think it was the first day of exams sef so omo, nobody send me o. Called some friends together after sha and shared the cake I brought to school. And drinks.

The JSS2. I think that’s one birthday I always want to forget. My mum always took her annual leave November/December and with all the holidays in between, resumed in January. For some strange reason I assumed it was because of me she took her leave then.

So JSS2, my birthday is a Friday and all through I was thinking she would ask me to invite friends over. Especially considering that the year before, she practically forgot it was my birthday till my father reminded her (by buying my cake *smh*). In my mind, I thought she would make it up to me but alas, she “didn’t”.

Monday, she didn’t say nada. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning, nothing. So I go to school as usual, already asked a friend to bake for me and shared the cake with my friends. School closed 12.30 on Fridays. 1pm, mumsie is nowhere to be found. 2pm. 3pm. 4pm. On my birthday, am still in School. Ok o. School was practically empty by then except for a few seniors and some of us juniors (my elder sister and I inclusive and some classmate of mine and his girlfriend who was my sister’s classmate; who was the basis of the gist I got to school on Monday morning to hear). Story for another time.

Mumsie finally shows up at about 5pm and starts apologizing about being called to work (remember she was on leave) for some meeting and goes on about telling someone to make food and she had to buy chicken, she didn’t know the meeting would take that long and on and on… Me, I was just fuming. And she ends with “shey your friends are coming?” Ha! I told her no o and she is like why? Told her I didn’t invite them na, how would I invite people and there won’t be food for them to eat. If she could slap me that day, she would have. So she starts going on and on about what kind of mother I thought she was; even if she didn’t ask me to invite people, did I think my friends would come and they won’t have food to eat? Well, it was too late to invite people. Fortunately, this family friend of mine was in the car. He came over with a couple of other friends and well, they all packed food home o…

As Ayefele said, they ate till they were full and had enough to take away. Then mumsie started packing food for neighbours and other family friends. And made me go with a cousin to drop the food at each person’s house and explain that it was my birthday and I brought food for them. *sigh*. Like that wasn’t enough, I get to school on Monday to hear stories.

JSS3. Same thing. Twas a Saturday or Sunday. One of those days sha. And omo, the house was full. Couldn’t read and I had exams, so quickly packed my load to our Ghanaian hairdresser’s house. Her husband is a teacher and they had this place in their house you could read. No distractions. You people can like to enjoy yourselves ehn. Me, I no dey dia.

SS1. The days of Further Maths and Yoruba exams on the same day. My friends FORGOT… yes.. they forgot my birthday (years after am still very burnt they forgot). All because we had 2 major papers on the same day… (Yoruba was a major paper for most of us o… never mind that most of us were Yorubas; didn’t matter). Not even Happy Birthday dropped from their mouths that morning. After exams nko? Mba. Nofin. Then the day after I start hearing Happy Birthday in arrears. Sorry, we didn’t remember cause of the exams. I made a promise to myself that day to forget each and everyone’s birthday for the next year. Sadly I couldn’t. Got a gift though from one of them after and still have it with me 9 years after. A keyholder with my name on it. Have guarded it with my life. Lol.

SS2 and SS3. No party too. Exams overshadowed my birthday. My friends had no choice than to remember sha….

Then came Uni… Or College….

I don’t do married men

Sure you are wondering what kind of topic this is. Well that is what I choose to write about.

I have been wondering for a while what the fascination is with single ladies and married men. It is like the ring on the men’s hands is what actually attracts the women to them. Gone are the days when you see a guy with a ring and you immediately back off; knowing he is already taken. Now, it is the ring gan gan that makes the woman want him more.

Many stupid and silly reasons have been given for such acts. He was just to attractive/nice/caring/everything I wanted in a man and yada yada. Sorry o, but there are no single men out there that have these same qualities?? It must be another woman’s husband? Like I always say, we women are our own worst enemies.

Or, I didn’t know he was married. Let’s say he was even so good at keeping his family away from you, the moment you got to know nko? Oh, it’s hard to break off ba? *kmt*. To think that most women even know about the man’s family from the onset. Even heard a very dumb one, “any time he mentioned his family in the UK, I thought he was talking about his father and mother”. Like seriously?

Oh, I needed money… And if you are that desperate, there are no single guys ba? The list is endless. I could go on and on.

This is not to absolve married men too sha. I have had a recently married man whose wife was pg come meet me one day at an event, introduces himself with some much pleasure like I was meant to know who he was (trust me, as I didn’t know who he was, I gave him this do I care look) and then he asks for my number and am like Whaow. Funny thing was I was invited for the wedding. I knew his sister-in-law but didn’t know who her sister was getting married to. Didn’t go for the wedding sha. Monday morning back at school, am gisting my friends and the friend I got to know his sister-in-law through is like that’s A’s brother-in-law, infact A’s sister is heavy at the moment.

Or during one of my vac jobs, this guy is so on my case (he didn’t wear his ring). I enter the lunch room with another colleague who not knowing the guy was disturbing me sees him and asks how madam and the daughter are. I so laughed that day. I still laugh any time I remember the look on his face.

What I still don’t get sha is what attracts women to married men.

Anyways, I am Deronk and I don’t do married men.

Deception

The Spirit of the New Age was the sermon my dear Pastor preached during Digging Deep on Tuesday. He broke it into parts and so part one which he talked about that day was on DECEPTION. I had to buy the CD immediately after Church cuz it was something I needed to hear. It was deep.

It is a serious issue o… It got me really really thinking. He started by using TRUTH to explain what deception was as we all know, truth is the opposite of deception. What really struck me most in all he said that day was the issue of relativity. In the bid to appear funky, tolerant of others, logical, not to be seen as strong-willed, we have allowed relativity to come into our speech and actions.

We begin to classify everything based on the circumstances, the situation . You hear people say things like “if you look at it from this angle”, “it is right in this context”, “let’s think about it in a ‘logical’ way and you would find out he/she is right”. I am pretty sad, because I believe I have fallen into that trap a couple of times. So as not to rock the boat or to be tolerant, I begin to rationalize the truth “I know what my Bible says about an issue but”… Keyword is BUT. I think when the word but gets introduced into the truth… well… we pretty much are telling a lie and deceiving ourselves and others.

It’s sad that as Christians we can’t stand up for what we know is true and right as other religions do. And we are “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, “the One True God”. We can’t face our friends, colleagues, relatives and let them know what we stand for? So as not/to get on the wrong side of the other person? So as not to lose their friendships?

Even within the Church, we have allowed relativity to creep in. The Bible doesn’t support divorce. I hear some Pastors allow their members to get a divorce “depending on the situation”. Makes me wonder. The only reason why divorce is allowed in the Bible is on grounds of infidelity and even at that, if you are getting a divorce based on that you have raised a standard by which you would be judged. So am thinking on what other grounds, what other situations do these Pastors allow their members to divorce? Like one of our A/P said, when you get married, you throw the key away, that door is never to be opened. And like PB said (as I like to call him), if you are leaving your marriage cause of maybe he/she beats you, are you saying you can’t take the matter to God? The one with whom nothing is IMPOSSIBLE? Are you saying the man or woman can’t change?

Another deception that I can’t shake off (which I heard for the first that day) was the issue of sex before marriage. Funny how people use the Bible to suit their motive. The same A/P says she saw this Spirit filled, tongue talking young woman who was pg and asked how she got herself into that situation. The chic tells her that in their church they are allowed to get pg as long as they are going to get married. And then quotes 1 Corinthians 7: 36 ; KJV- “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry”. “But if a man thinks he ought to marry his fiance because he has trouble controlling his passions and time is passing, it is all right; it is not a sin. Let them marry.” – NLT.

I first heard this passage when my pastor back in school, spoke to us about why he decided to marry early even without having much to take care of himself and his wife.  A point PB even mentioned this fact when this matter came up. The Bible is saying if you can’t hold yourself, it is better to get married than to burn. How that translated (in that church) to as long as you know you are getting married, you can start sleeping with each other beats me… It says let them marry not let them have sex. Or one I heard that a church says it’s members don’t have to pay tithes because God allowed tithe paying for the Levites, widows and the poor to have something to eat and it is an Old Testament Law; Christ came to abolish the law so that law doesn’t stand. And as there are no more “Levites” in the New Testament, it isn’t necessary. For the widows and the poor, you can give them whatever you can afford, plus the church has set up foundations to take care of such people. And am thinking really? Seriously?

I believe in this age, we Christians should know our Bible very very well. In fact, hug our Bibles because… hmmmmm…. people are being deceived o… and not on a small scale…  the devil isn’t taking it small at all; ko mu ni kekere. Or is it the issue of homosexuality we should talk on? Story for another day. I hear Christians say because this person is gay doesn’t make him a lesser person and story story. You hear things like “that is how God created them”. Nibo? Where? My Bible says God created them, male and female He did create not male and male or female and female; not Adam and Steve or Eve and Evelyn. “They are just being in tune with their sexuality” True their sexuality doesn’t make them lesser people but like my people would say, nkan ti o da, o da; what isn’t right isn’t right. #nuffsaid. Abortion…. you hear “if someone was raped and got pg should she keep the baby”? The situation issue again. I say yes. I agree, counsellors and people talking aint in the situation with you but I believe if you are a coG, all things (good or bad) would work together for your good. He makes all things beautiful in His time. My Bible gave strict instructions not to kill.

May God help us.

A/P: Assistant Pastor

pg: pregnant

coG: child of God

Just pondering

Sterotype

Sterotyping.

First topic I thought to write about when I started blogging. Just never got round to writing on it. I was discussing recently with a family friend and another friend (different occasions) and this same issue came up. I boned again. Yesterday a friend shared a link on Facebook, Chinamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story. Guess that was a “confirmation”. Lol. Long and short of the video is what sterotyping has done to us. I must say I love the fact that she didn’t use the word Sterotype; guess that’s the difference between writers and the rest of us. They can think up more attractive words and phrases.

We all have our single story. Many of them infact. Stories, experiences, e.t.c that have shaped the way we think and act about issues, people, our reaction to suitations and circumstances. Stories our mothers told us. Yes, 90% of the time, they do the story telling. Fathers too tell theirs but mothers have the medal when it comes to telling stories. And some how, these stories have come to shape our thoughts, action and reactions to people most especially.

Take for example; tribalism in Nigeria. I can write a book on stories my mum told me and stories I have heard about other tribes in Nigeria. God help the Igbos. From the way they treat their wives especially when the husband dies to the Alaba market issues and more recently kidnapping, a book can be written. Forgetting the fact that even amongst us Yorubas, there are a number of “tribes” who treat the wives worse upon the death of the husband. Forgetting that there are families and villages in Igboland who treat the wives well. Forgetting that Yorubas also “work” at Alaba market. Forgetting that even here in Lagos, babies are being kidnapped. Story for another day.

Anywayz I must confess that I broke the chains of tribalism a long time ago much to the chagrin of my mum and especially my aunty. Doesn’t help that my mum said 2… yes 2 of her friends told her they dreamt that they saw me wearing the “george”; the wrapper… So they concluded I was going to marry an Ibo man. Mumsie calls me and warns me not to think of it. Wahala.. I have a lot of Ibo friends. Infact my best friend is Ibo… I would def wear a george when she is getting married (I have a thousand times pictured myself wearing the george). Guess they never thought of that. Think I made matters worse, cause anytime this issue comes up; I tell her I aint even looking for an Ibo man, Itsekiri, Kalabari or Uroboho would do.

Or when I told her I wanted to serve in Calabar. The first question she asked was “is he from there? Is that where he stays?” *smh*. Or the days my aunty decides to ask who I am chatting with or who I was talking to on the phone, unfortunately for her, it is always a non-Yoruba person. Next thing I hear is “if you insist on going this way, me I wouldn’t come for your wedding”. Hmmmm. Truth be told, stories about other tribes (especially Ibos) make me scared, but I haven’t seen anything different amongst my people. So why bother?

Like I said, these stories and experiences (some of which most of us never even experienced ourselves; it is what people tell us we believe especially if the person talking is older) go along way in shaping us. Another single story. I grew up being told never to accept anything from a guy. Shoot me. Yes. Sad but that’s what I was told. Not my mum this time though. Cousins, uncles, family friends. I heard enough of “you see what happened to so and so chic (and def you would know the chic), it was because she collected this and this from a guy. When he came back to ask her she had to pay him back somehow”. So my watchword became “Never collect something you are sure if the person comes back to ask you, you wouldn’t be able to pay back especially if it is a guy”. More like never let a guy pay for anything. The statement isn’t entirely false in itself but in that context, I backed away from gifts of whatever sorts from even close male friends who would never ask me to do something I wouldn’t do. I made up my mind not to be in a suitation where someone would ask me to repay or give back something he gave me. Till the day I asked a friend for money. I was on my way to his place to pick up something, apparently no fuel in the car and the driver didn’t say anything.

Since I wasn’t stopping to buy anything, I didn’t take my purse or my bag. So am stuck mid-way. I call him, tell him what the issue was. He meets me where the car stopped…. with fuel in a jerry can (he didn’t give me the money). I gauged how much fuel it was and when I got back home, picked up my purse and went back to his place…. To give him the money. He was so upset, didn’t collect the money. I got back and called another friend and told her what happened and guess what. She tongue-lashed me. Seriously. That incident got me thinking. I had actually let my guard down and had once allowed a guy to pay for some stuff for me (okay, yes he was asking me out). 2 days later, a friend of his mentioned that afterall, he bought so and so for you. Trust me, I immediately matched up to the guy and gave him the exact amount he spent. Now, I still think that single story shaped the fact that even till now, though I now recieve gifts from guys and allow them to pay, a part of me still wants to pay for my stuff myself when am out with a guy… I think it shaped the fact that I think guys should let chics also pay when they go out, buy things with their own money for both of them…

I quite identify which Chinamanda’s first single story. The first “story” I tried to write was titled “The millionaire’s daughter” with a character named Jessica. Am so sure there is a book with that title but like she said because of the kind of books I read, I believed every book must have a foreign name; foreign characters. Infact, I had a pen name which definately wasn’t Nigerian… what we call here Christian names (see justification), because I didn’t believe anybody would want to read a book that had a Nigerian as author. I believed we were made to read Chinua Achebe and Cyprian Ekwensi because we were in Nigeria. Their books def didn’t sell outside that why we read them here.

Or my cousin’s roommates single story about Nigeria or better still, Africa (as quite a number of Americans see Africa as a country) as a place where people live on trees, stay in front of the President’s house every Wednesday to browse, wearing next to nothing. I also have a single story of Americans. Illiterates, who don’t know what is happening outside their state not to mention their country. Especially the whites. Who believe nothing good can come out of anything black. But have met a couple of them and am amazed how they think. Sterotype.

We all have our single stories. What we have to remember is that while the events, circumstances, suitations, stories, experiences that shape our single stories “might” be true, it can’t 100% true. There would be those that defy such sterotypes. We need to view each person as different; as an individual and not categorise. Because I saw someone who didn’t drive well and was female. Two friends had the same experience so I conclude that ALL FEMALE DRIVERS CAN’T DRIVE; they shouldn’t be allowed to drive (Arshavin beware). Sorry had to use that example. For all you know, it could be a man behind the wheels. Or because I was jilted by a guy means all guys are the same. Once again I use WE, cause I am also guilty.

May God help us.

Just pondering.