Family, Love, Marriage and Other Ramblings

I am traveling home for Easter. I need to see my mom and father and kin and kith. I had planned to go during Mothering Sunday but I was going to take a girl out-to watch Rangers versus Enyimba. You didn’t go to see your mother because of a girl? Wow, terrible! Yes, carry a gun and shoot me. I called my mother and explained that I was tied up and wouldn’t make it. She was fine with it and said till Easter. So you can cry more than the celebrant, from now to August Meeting, if you like, it doesn’t move me. Your eyes, your tears. Is it not my mother who has been making noises about marriage—well, I was taking my future iyawo out.

Future Iyawo indeed. The girl is beautiful, soft-spoken, smart and a terrific cook. But she doesn’t entirely trust me, she kept saying that a part of her felt I would end up hurting her. I can never hurt a fly, I would say and you are my dove. If I can’t hurt a fly why should I hurt a full dove?

So it came to pass on a certain day, I appeared on bae’s door unannounced.

“Who is at the door?” she said in response to my knock.

“Your landlord,” I replied.

“Go away landlord, I don’t owe you.”

Hehehe. I opened the curtain. She was seated in the middle of the room. There was a yellow chap seated on the chair behind her. I lost one “he” in my “hehehe”.

“But you didn’t say you will come now,” my sweetheart told me. What a way to welcome your man after a hard day in the office.

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“I was passing by and decided to drop in.”

“Should I bring a chair for you?”

Outside? Ahh! “Not necessary,” I said.

Awkward silence.

“How was work?” she asked.

“Fine.”

Another silence. Awkward.

I went home, walking like a deflated tyre that the owner forced on the road. She didn’t even see me off. I don’t blame her. The fire in my eyes would light an oven. I was the one who was going to hurt her, remember? She must have watched so many Who Wants to be Millionaire episodes? Fastest fingers first.

Bae has been calling since then but chere, kam je village first. The yellow guy could be her cousin, her pastor or “just a friend”. Perhaps. For now, I am occupied. I don’t like the way my supervisor at work looks at me and I can’t remember my aunt’s blouse size. When I returned to Enugu I would have her time. I could go to her house with my sword, and shout Yellow, Yellow, like Brad Pitt called Hector out. When he comes out, I would say now you know who you are fighting.

I am going home. If my people know how I feel now they would suspend all silly talks about marriage till farther notice. What is a marriage? But look at this thing o. Like play, like joke, I would go and marry and become a responsible father for the rest of my life. One last excitement, please. I would turn my hair to dreadlocks, pierce my ear and draw a tattoo on my shoulder then I would wear a sleeveless shirt and fubu three-quarters and go and sit down in bush bar, order point and kill and hum at the beats.

Talking about marriage, Linda Ikeji is engaged and I am not the man. No, I am not crying; it is onions that entered my eyes. It doesn’t yet sound real to me. Before I know it, I would just go and fall in the lagoon. Better watch me. But there is no lagoon in this city, you will say. There will be o. The rate at which I am crying, I would cry her a lagoon and drown in it. It is not like I am crying over spilled Linda, it is the onions. I work in an onion juice factory. I am happy for Linda.

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And the guy who stole Linda from me is somehow yellow (I am not sure about his yellowness but I already have one experience with a yellow guy, I now see yellow guys everywhere, even in my dream); that’s two yellow guys in one week. I am not doing again. I am going home to mama. To a place where no yellow man can reach.

My little brother is not coming home this Easter. They would make me kill the chicken. The last time I killed a chicken was in 2012. I was holidaying in Lagos, in my sister’s place. So the chicken was to be killed. I haven’t killed no chicken for a while, so I just went behind the house and cut the nigger’s throat. I went back to the sitting room where the Super Eagles were playing Liberia (I believe we won 6-1). While on this, my sister’s first or second son came to the room and said, “Uncle, the okuko have wake up.”

What! I ran out. Yes, the okuko has resurrected. It stood with bloodied throat watching me, daring me. I rushed to it and removed the head and took the head to the sitting room.

Sigh. I would be killing another okuko. The thing I do for family. I believe I would use a machete. One blow and the bitch will lose her head. A headless fowl cannot resurrect. Call me Jon Snow.

Easter is coming. It is coming sooner this year, why not? Now that APC has joined the Pharisees and the Sadducees in the negotiating with Judas Iscariot to betray the Lord Jesus Christ. At last, APC can count this as their achievement. Early in the week, someone, on Twitter, challenged Nigerians to name one project Buhari and APC initiated and completed in their three years in power. She was offering 20K for the answer. As of Wednesday, the amount has risen to 150k, no answer. You could have mentioned this Easter just that APC didn’t initiate it. It is there forefather Herod who began the whole denouement.

I need to go home. In fact, I need to start building my own house. When I get home, I would ask my father to give me a land where I can build. If I do nothing in the land, I would clear it, get a lorry of sand on it and have an engineer come check it out. Then I would run back to Enugu and tell everyone that I am building a house in the village. No one would know that I have only succeeded in denying a yellow man from growing cocoyam in the land.

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I have to go now. I need to go and rest poor head. Too much things have happened to me in one week. The other day, on Facebook, someone sent me a message saying they have the power to give me lucky charm, promotion, money etc. On the head of the list was “make your ex come back to you”. Hehehe. Like this. X.

But come to think of it, they say Linda Ikeji’s fiancé was her ex-boyfriend. What an ex! A good ex. What really make a good ex? A good boyfriend goes on to make a good ex or a bad bae turns out a good ex? Which is it?

Me, all my exes belie definition. Recently, one called me to ask if I had bought a car. A cheap shot. The other time, I told one on her birthday that I would surprise her. I didn’t get her anything. That should surprise her. She surprised me first. Shebi na me and Nigerian girls, just leave us alone. The person who throws the other down, let them take their glory to the market square.

In another news, Lagos State was shut down yesterday because the president was coming to commission a bus stop. A bus stop! A holiday for a bus-stop. I am laughing. It is not funny. I am laughing my cry. A cryter. Well, let this not be the memory you of Holy Thursday. Let me tell you a story about Holy Thursday. You know Holy Thursday is the day Christians commemorate the Last Supper; Catholics take this a step further by having a leg-washing session.

So after playing football that year, we were ten or twelve, still dripping sweat, we went to the Cathedral to have our legs washed. Personally, I wanted only the bishop to touch my bony legs. A stout steward drove us away at the door. Just look at him. If it were in the Bible, someone would have said, “Let the dirty urchins come unto the Lord.” To say the truth, our legs were stinking dirty. I think even Jesus wouldn’t want to touch our legs without hand gloves.

Mehn, let me go and have a head-cut. Honestly, I am not happy with my barber. He is no longer the wise barber I used to call personal barber to the White House. But in defence of Tunde, I am angry with many people nowadays. I am angry with my landlord. My rent is due in weeks and the closer my rent, the angrier I get with my landlord. And I have resolved not to pay him the rent once. I will drag the rent and pay him in three installments. It is not as if I do not have the money. Although, I am building a house in the village but that is not the reason. My landlord is a wicked man. That is why.

Let me give you an instance. You will come home tired. You will drag your carcass to the bathroom and turn on the shower. And the shower isn’t running; urhahhh! You will call the landlord and he will tell you that one tall boy on the third floor brought a girl home so he decided to switch off the showers in order to reduce their enjoyment. “This place is not a whore house.”

What a terrisome person.

You know that the MMM founder nigger died on Monday. A few months ago I wrote a story “When the devil says yes”. Now, he is gone to be with the devil his ancestors. Call me prophet. Nigerians began to make it look like the guy stole their money. He didn’t biko. When you went to the bank it was Aliyu or Abulu or Ufuma that you paid, not the Nigger of Russia. Keep believing he took your money if that makes you happy and pretend his death has healed you.

Let me come and be going. This Easter is blessed. May the chicken submit their throats unto thee. If not, just remove the head, put it in your purse and go away. Let the fowl resurrect headless.

In case you have time in your hand, read my Easter Rice brouhaha story from 2014. It will crack you up real hard. One of the most read posts on my blog. You may also read my New Year resolutions. It is a shame that this great blog has been reduced to a monthly affair. It is well, at least I am still coming here from time to time to kill you, and when I do I give my all. Nearly 2000 words and I am going away only because my Uber driver is waiting. Haters will say it is Ubachukwu the keke rider. Pay them no heed. My Uber driver. I am outta here. Have a great Easter everyone.

Minus yellow men.

 

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Letter to My Little Brother as He Enters the University

They say my brother goes where the fighting is thickest and he’s only a pretender. – Game of Thrones (Season 2, Episode 9)

University education used to be a big deal in Nigeria. Real big deal. I remember growing up as a boy in the dusty streets of Southern Kaduna in the mid-1990s. There was only one guy in the university in the whole group of streets around us. He was a celebrity. We looked up to him, with awe and a dreamy eye. There was something in the way he walked, talked and looked at you that sets him aside, apart from us and almost too real for us.

In the early 2000s, university education was no longer such a big deal, but it was still a big deal. People in the university managed to stand out. It was at this time that people believed JAMB does negative marking, and passing could make you a local hero.

The big dealership of the university has continually declined to the stage where I wrote why you should go to the university  (one of my most read posts ever), to the stage today in which no one cares.

Or so I thought until I attended my brother’s matriculation about two weeks back. The road leading to Nsukka was quite busy. The campus was colorful with students dressed in their corporate best and carrying broad smiles; phone cameras flashed; photographers feasted on the kids. There were parents, canopies and jollof rice. People care!

University education is (somehow still) a big deal.

So today, after weeks of procrastinating, I sit before the desktop to write a letter to my brother to offer some words over his education. Because I am a writer; because I write whatever I want; because I feel like writing. It doesn’t matter why I write this, you are reading it so it serves some purpose. (I will close each passage with a quote from Game of Throne series which I grudgingly watched and liked late last year.)

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Dear Brother,

You have become a man. You are leaving home to stay on your own for the first time. It is a big deal. You will be tempted to enjoy this new found freedom with careless abandon. Enjoy it. Forget about careless abandon. When I left for Zaria over eight years ago, mama gave me a simple advice; she said: “In all your reading, remember to eat well and draw close to God.” I pass this advice to you. If you spend a good deal of time on your knees and in the kitchen, you won’t have the time for careless abandon. I don’t even know what careless abandon means.

And now my watch begins.

You will notice, as you have, that life on the campus is unnecessarily hard. You know how hard it was to submit your files because Non-Academy Staff Union were on strike. You know how much difficult it is to follow the strange patterns of lecturers, how overcrowded lecture halls, how unpredictable the entire system is. How frustrating. You must have read my how my supervisor roasted me.

You already have a clue about how unnecessarily difficult some humans charged with the education of the next generation can be. Don’t let this remove sleep from your eyes, in fact, expect the system to mess up. Take a look at what a Facebook philosopher wrote:

“In this Nigeria Case, there are three things involved.

1. I cannot kill myself.

2. I cannot come and kill myself.

3. I cannot come and go and kill myself.”

This should be your watchword.

Storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish and I keep paddling.

Don’t lose your soul, nor personality, nor talent in the campus.

The degree you’ll be getting after four years in the university is just one aspect of the whole package. One over four. The other three are outside the classroom, in the Friendships you build, in the connections you make, in the skills you learned, in the experiences you undergo and in the person you have begotten. I daresay that ninety percent of the things that sustained me I got outside of the classroom.

Don’t lose your soul bro. You play football, carry your boots close to your chest; you were practicing the keyboard before admission, keep pressing this (in fact, learn the bass guitar and the trumpet before you graduate). Don’t let assignments, tests, quizzes, whatever rob you of your talents and ambitions.

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Don’t just let anyone deceive you that you need to pass very well to make it in life. Lies. Of course, you must take your books seriously but first class or third class or pass doesn’t matter. Just have sense and use it. And please it’s a four years course. Finish it in four (or how long ASUU decides four years is)

It’s easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor.

Make us proud.

Like I did them. Even though you’re in the second best university in Nigeria. Think of UNN as the Kingsroad

Honour took you to Kingsroad and honour brought you back.

And now my letter is ended

Yours sincerely,

K.

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