RSS

Category Archives: Literature/Writing

THE BIG BEANS THEORY

Isn’t it funny how you probably can’t stand beans but you would jump on the first Moin Moin wrap you see?

Any fellow beanlievers, say ayy! 

Well, provided it’s the right one.

There are few other things I believe in. 

Besides God, love, family, myself and John Legend, of course. But I sure know and believe that Moin Moin is only ever two things; good or bad. No in betweens.

It’s either you love it or you don’t!

It’s either it’s lit or a mess.

A hit or a miss.

No in betweens.

I’ve had too many misses. 

So, I tend to avoid it all together.

Now, I’m not a connoisseur on beans and it’s produce, products and by-products. Notwithstanding the fact that I enjoy and can make a mean Gbegiri stew, I think. But I can’t even stand Ewa Ayogin

Hi. I live in Lagos. I can’t stand Ewa Agoyin. No, I’m not abnormal. No, I wasn’t dropped on the head as a baby. No, not even with extra ‘oyel‘.

Yes, I said it. Ewa Agoyin is just not my specs. And yes, I said specs.

Give me Akara instead! 

Fresh, hot, steaming oil bean cakes, fried crisp to it’s utmost destruction. 

But it’s a good type of destruction, if you know what I mean. 

Growing up, there were two types of Akara. The ‘normal’ soft ones, with no crunch whatsoever and tiny. So tiny, it finished and you wonder how that happened. Then, the other one.

Little ol’ me, I couldn’t stand it. Those palm-oil bean cakes with the little peppers, red and green and absolutely not my favourite. Mum never made them, even though I bet she knew how. We bought them from our trusted customer, every Tuesday and we took them with homemade Ogi. I loved the crunch but couldn’t stand the heat. You couldn’t even beat that heat, not even if you pulled out all the mini peppers.

It was torture and perfection at the same time. 

I haven’t touched that type of Akara in years. Now, it’s that torture and perfection I desperately seek.

Beans and Maize. What a maze! Lol. It’s a horrible rhyme, I know. My infamous Adalu story happened in Ss2, also known as Grade 11, Year 5, whatever. I had never made it in my life but it was my exam and I wanted to impress the ‘convalescent’ who in real life was just two scary teachers anyway! My mashed potatoes and poached egg was an absolute flop so this was my one chance.

Oh and impress, I did. With my hard corn and beans that took forever to cook. Complaints flying left and right. Tears threatening and a lot of pressure. 

The teachers would watch your every move and taste your every move.

The end result was however, worth it but bye, Adalu. Till we meet again.

Beans.

Beans, love it or hate it. 

I should have probably titled this piece that but what I couldn’t decide was which was more cliché. 

Beans.

So unpredictable, could be absolutely pain-ish today, comfort food tomorrow.

Too many variations and so much diversity. 

Reminds me of a place I know, Nig… Can I get help with that?

But the great thing is, like our dear country, Nigeria, there’s really something for everyone. 

Written By Titilope Adedokun

Published By Great Opara

 
 

Tags: , , ,

HOMECOMING

Neto sat comfortably in the back seat of the SUV as it breezed to church; it was a bleak Sunday morning. Turning his head to the left, he couldn’t help but notice how the landscape, the feel of the vehicle and the cloudy weather of the day threw him back to a fateful Sunday morning in August, five years prior. Then, an Indomie-branded bus transported him and forty-plus weary, homesick souls back to church after a week-long teens camp. He couldn’t exactly call it a camp, but a mass gathering in a not-so-secluded posh school which felt like home in every way, only that it wasn’t. The night before his return was camp fire night. It was supposed to be an epic conclusion- not just to the undeniably eventful camp, but possibly to his seventeen years of living and studying in Nigeria. Like Batman v Superman, it fell below his expectations.

Yes, the food and snacks were good. The open-air performances next to the camp fire had a primal feel to them. He had a decent time with his friends. But when he gazed up at the silver-dotted indigo sky that night, after his ‘good’ bye, he knew it just wasn’t it.

The ride back to church that bleak Sunday morning was almost wordless. His phone was long dead, so he couldn’t listen to music or play games or chat with his friends after being AWOL for seven long days. And he wasn’t much of a reader. He could barely talk to the pretty girl seated next to him. There was no point starting anything transient, as transient as what he and Ebiere had. At least, what he thought he and Ebiere had. The very impetus behind his embarking on a final camping experience became the very one behind his desire to depart. Stripped of his companions, with an undesirable weather, Neto’s thoughts revolved around the uncertain life ahead and the painful one behind. He was indeed kissed by a rose. The only problem was that its thorns sunk in deep, so deep that its petals fell helplessly to their demise, leaving Neto to reel from the searing pain.
The same pain he bottled up within and corked so tightly for so many months.

Neto remembered how everyone was told to drop penned-down prayer requests into a set of boxes, before that night. He remembered his parents were on the brink of a divorce, prior to the commencement of camp. He didn’t even care if they still loved each other or not. All he wanted was for them to not separate. He penned down the request. Neto also desperately wanted New York University to consider his application and admit him. He wasn’t considering his Nigerian option in CU. He knew what he wanted and he had faith in the possibility of success. He penned it down. Having stood to submit it, Neto remembered Ebiere. Inasmuch as he wanted to be with her, to spend the rest of his life with her, his ambition was also important. He wasn’t even sure if she still felt the same love, like or whatever it was she felt. If indeed she ever felt anything.

Nevertheless, he got back down and wrote that he did not want to be separated from Ebiere. It contradicted his second request, but he didn’t care. It was very kamikaze, since only one of his final two requests could logically be fulfilled, or even none. But he wrapped it, went to the platform and dropped it in one of the boxes.
The day after that, he watched as the numerous boxes rose up to the heavens and Heaven in flames after being prayed over. He turned to his left. He saw her standing alone, in the dark. At that moment, Neto had his own camp fire burning within him. He approached her. He made to ensure a most satisfactory goodbye, with a most memorable parting gift. But the rest as they say is history.
Neto got down from the SUV as his eyes ran through the church building. God had granted his second camp request. And his first, too. He hadn’t returned to the country ever since he left. He hadn’t been to the church since that bleak Sunday morning. Basking in the spirit of homecoming, a wave of nostalgic feelings swept through him. The grey clouds still hadn’t ceased, similar to the way they didn’t cease when he got down from the bus five years prior. He had returned then, as well. He said his goodbyes to everyone he could see, to every soul he could salvage. Five years on, on another bleak Sunday morning, none of those faces could be seen. Apparently, everyone had their respective five years to change, to evolve and for some, to conclude.

As the clouds began to drop snippets for the upcoming blockbuster, Neto made it to the spot he and Ebiere last saw before they parted ways. As expected, she was already standing there, her back turned to him. She was facing the same iconic landscape he faced five years prior. The blockbuster loomed even greater; neither he nor Ebiere moved an inch. He remembered how, at that same spot five years ago, she placed her hand on his shoulder and changed everything. The look in her eyes that day could have meant anything. What she said could have meant anything. What they actually meant, Neto still didn’t know. He would never know.

The blockbuster began in earnest. Inevitably, slowly, she finally turned back to face him. The same gap between them as they stood five years ago repeated itself as lightning streaked well above their heads. Lightning could strike the same spot twice, after all. He saw the same look in her eyes. He saw the same hand making it towards his shoulder, but he caught it gently. As he grasped it, lost in her eyes, an avalanche of memories came crashing down; memories of a not-so-distant life that felt like an eternity prior, memories that could never be re-experienced. But he let go.
Slowly, he turned back and made his way to the interior without looking back at her as the blockbuster neared its climax. Nothing had changed. Nothing would.
Written by Clinton Durueke
Published by Great Opara

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: ,

THOUGHTS OF A SUICIDAL

BrokenSeparated into parts or pieces by being hit, damaged or altered

Something is wrong with me. 

I am a masterpiece, I am 

Beauty to behold but please be told,

Don’t open the ornamented doors, lift the embroidered carpet, remove the wig

Never look beneath for my broken is not to be seen. 

Yes, open your eyes and look

But don’t far. Don’t go deep. Don’t search wide.

Let me hide

Behind the façade

Why decide

Decide you need to know me better

Better watch out 

Think again 

Again I beseech 

Let me hide.

 No! you don’t have the right to right my wrongs. 

What is wrong with you? 

No! what is wrong with me? 

E-motionless
Unable to find my way 

I want to find joy 

I want my troubles to go away 

I want to know peace as I know my name 

I want true happiness

I want genuine love 

I want to feel!

I feel stuck

I want to move!

What is wrong with me?
Desperate

What am I not doing right?

Why this much pain?

I cry myself to sleep at night 

Hoping my morning would be bright

Open my curtains to the light 

But as hard as I fight with all might

I cannot quite feel alright… 

What is wrong with me?
Alone

Why am I this way? 

I want to scream 

I have nightmares 

Of when I was little

And my cupboard was my close companion

And the cobwebs weren’t nuisance

And I could block the whole world 

My daddy didn’t love me 

My mummy shouldn’t have had me

I’m certain God hates me

What is wrong with me?
Written by Olamide Davis

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

ADRONITIS

Only a phrase resounds in my head, “I’m sorry “ .If you ask me, I don’t know for what exactly. No, I don’t particularly have any regrets, but I definitely feel the absence of your youthful presence.Your courage, I immediately admired, saying you loved me , investing so much time to that effectgave so much to know me , and you still had all for loss.
If only I knew me, I’ve never quite deciphered what this creature “Me” is about. When you ask me , who exactly I am, what I want, what my spec is, or what captivates me; All these questions, lead me to a door, that may lead to a possible answer, walking through this door with all excitement to find you these answers, I am only welcomed by the barricade of yet another door and another.
Forgive me, forgive my inability to love you back, I do not know how to. I do not know what “ Right” is right or might be wrong.
Pardon me for shutting the door against any acknowledgement of your love, I’m just skeptical, reality in itself might not be real, and the word “ Love” in itself might be synonymous to hurt, deceit and hate.
I see your back now, walking away with all determination, because you finally see, the things I couldn’t bring myself to tell you; that I’m not that one, I’m not worthy of this love of yours and you cannot discern my complexities , you never will, I can’t myself.
I replay your last words to me and the coldness with which they were relayed , I replay the words you first blurted out and the gleaming passion in your eyes. The story wouldn’t have been any different , I am still a puzzle , laid back, not able to fix itself. So let me be, that lone warrior, whose appearance is as a dove, but whose rigours is as the troubled sea’s.
You have shown me that I am not without any emotions, a cold heart .I feel my heart’ s hurt in every word I scribble down. You have opened yet another door, I thought was lost in oblivion, and for this, I pledge my gratitude from the other side.
Written by Folasade Edun

 

Tags: ,

A LETTER TO THE DIFFERENT

Hi,
You’re amazing. 
I hope you know that.

Our world is so weird, you know. It’s funny how we are continuously rebuked for being set apart. Somehow, we are the weird ones. Somehow, we don’t fit in. 

Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve never wanted to fit in. Standing out is more daring! Think about it. To be the one whose values still stand in the face of mediocrity. The one who keeps promises, the one to whom the little things matter the most. Some people call it weird, I call it insightfulness and intellectual separateness, in a good way.

It’s amazing how people get so much flack for not being a certain way, or doing certain things. Think about it, you’ve probably hated on a girl because of her weird fashion choice or a boy because he stuck out like a sore thumb. You’ve made fun of people because they don’t do things the regular way. We all have but the question remains, why should we even be regular? 

I find it intellectually daunting that people care so much about what others are doing, in their lives. One time, I overheard people talking about someone, complaining about what she did, in her own life and I wondered, why does someone’s actions that do not affect you in any way, why does it bother you so much? Why is his thinking odd because he does things a certain different way to come about one result? 

My darling different, yes you are different. Yes, you are weird, odd or some other adjective they’ve come up with again. They never run out of these things! Yes, maybe you’re too ‘deep’ and stand out like neon in a field of neutrals! Or you’re just carefree, happy as a breeze! 
It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing you. Be different because you want to, because that’s what you are. You’re amazing just the way you are. Maybe they don’t understand it, at least not yet. But don’t let it change you. 
Keep being different.
Spread your wings and fly!
Even if your wings are made of gold, not feathers.

Yours,
Titilope.

Written By Titilope Adedokun

 
 

Tags: , , ,

SERENITY

Tola can hear the megaphones of the church down the street blaring.
She hisses and draws her blankets up. She pops in her earphones and presses play on her Ed Sheeran playlist.
At least she can still sleep in peace.
Subconsciously she reaches out to the other side of the bed, Niyi’s side.
It is cold and empty. The way she felt the rainy evening he left. The day he found out about the abortion.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Niyi is spitting furious as he clutches the receipt from the nondescript clinic where she had the D&C.
His cold words and disdain sting even as she struggles to explain herself.
How could you do this to us,Tola!“, he thunders
She is mute.
Soft spoken to a fault,Niyi has never raised his voice at her in all their years together.
Still furious,he continues: “it was our child! Our child! How could you kill it with no qualms? No fear! You had an abortion without telling me! How could you?
His voice drops to a broken whisper
How could you?

Tola can’t find any answer.
All her reasons at the time seem to have evaporated. She can’t say anything justifiable, not with the naked hurt on his face.
Niyi looks at her as if seeing her for the first time.
Then with a look of distaste,he turns and stalks into their bedroom where he begins to toss his things into one of his duffel bags.
Tola finally finds her voice.
Niyi,please. Don’t leave. I can explain.
He laughs ,a mirthless sound.
Explain what?”
His voice is as cool as ice.He is still tossing his things into the bag,his back turned to her.
When we first met,we both agreed that our careers came first. We didn’t plan for this. This was a mistake.I couldn’t put this on you!

How thoughtful“, he says coldly.He whirls around to face her,his face furious.
You should have told me,damn it!“, he rages.” It was a part of me too! I was entitled to know,Tola! You call it a mistake?How could you be so selfish?
I’m sorry “,she whispers in a cracked voice” .
Please don’t leave“.
He stares at her but his eyes are those of a stranger,cold and impassive.
I can’t talk to you now, Tola. I don’t want to. I have to go“.
With that ,he zips his duffel closed and leaves without a backward glance.

The apartment door slams shut.
Alone,Tola sinks to the floor and gives in to her tears. She has never been able to cry daintily and her sobs are loud and throaty,racking her petite frame.
She has never felt this alone.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

It’s been a month now and Niyi hasn’t still picked her calls and her trips to his office have been futile.
She has called his brother,Deji to inquire about his whereabouts but Deji’s hasty denial confirms that he knows. Niyi must have told him about it.
Tola has left endless remorseful messages on his answering machine and sent him emails and texts.
His only response is to mail back his own keys to their shared apartment.
Tola, finally coming to terms with this,the end of what they had, is an emotional mess.
And it starts to reflect,even at work.
Finally,she takes two weeks off to regain herself,whatever that means. It is what her boss suggested in that no nonsense manner of hers after she burst into tears in the middle of a meeting.
Now,on this Sunday morning,the last day of her forced leave, this church people are putting paid to her plans of sleeping in till twelve.
As she burrows in deeper,the megaphones seem to get louder as if reprimanding her.
She can’t recall when last she went to church.
Niyi wasn’t the churchgoing type and neither is she.
This church which is two blocks from her apartment is one of the new generation churches. Its enthusiastic members are always showering her with pamphlets,inviting her to this progamme or that.
Niyi used to tease her about actually honouring one of their invites.
Tola suddenly hit by an unshakeable resolve rolls out of bed and hits the shower. Then she hunts up an appropriate dress and heads out.
She walks the short distance to the church and is ushered in by a smiling usher.
She takes a tentative step in and hears the melodious peals of the singing choir.
Tola is struck instantly by an indescribable feeling,one that she hasn’t felt in a long time.
It is one that calms the turbulent emotions swirling inside her.
She feels a weightless sensation,as if she is floating in the air.
Her remorse seems to fade away.
She is at peace.

Written By Miracle Eme

Published by Great Opara

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

QUEENS’ AVENUE

What do you call a boy who stands up to his bullies? An Ambulance!

She laughed so hard the drink in her mouth came out of her nose. She loved his jokes. The simplicity and the lack of effort in the jokes were the real punchline. But he didn’t know. He thought he was funny. She smirked every time he smiled confidently after telling his joke but his charm never gave her the courage to tell him he was no Chris Rock. His smile would always confuse her and she would forget anything bad about him she knew was obvious. She was in love. She had to be. After all this was how they described it in the movies. She knew there was something special about him when she met him on that cold evening on Queens’ Avenue. She was walking home alone which was a stupid idea to begin with when a man came out of nowhere and pointed a gun at her and asked her for her purse. She hesitated at first but he rose his voice and his demeanor rather than the gun frightened her and she gave him the purse. He had a terrible look in his eyes, scarier than looking down the barrel of any gun. He was turning around to leave when out of nowhere an elbow swung into his face and he went crashing down, unconscious. He had come to her rescue. He was her knight in shining armor. He was Kevin. He was her protector and her own personal comedian.

She asked Kevin to tell her another joke but he didn’t reply. Something was wrong. He wasn’t moving. “Hey Kevin. C’mon tell me another joke” but he wouldn’t say anything. In fact he wasn’t even moving he just sat there staring at her. “Kevin? Kevin answer me. Kevin!” She started screaming his name at the top her lungs till the Psychiatric doctor and two nurses came in. “What’s the matter Sophie? Are you alright?” the female doctor asked her as she instructed the nurses to inject Sophie with something. “Kevin won’t tell me anymore jokes” she said pointing to the empty space in front of her bed. The Doctor looked at her with pity and nodded her head sympathetically as the nurses injected her again. It was a daily routine.

Written By Martin Achimugu

Published By Great Opara

 
 

Tags: , ,