Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Canada

Scrubbing off the temporary tattoos I got over the weekend, it occurs to me that at this particular moment, there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be.

Sure I love the England of my birth but I’ve been away for so long that the faces and places have become a blur.

I love the Nigeria of my childhood but it holds so many bad memories. The family I treasure most is with me now… I probably have to forgive and re-love the people I left behind before I can be completely comfortable there again.

I love the Ghana that adopted me when I needed a place to go… but eat kenke and banku as much as I want, I’ll probably always be the tall yellow foreigner who speaks Twi with a weird accent.

Then there’s Canada… the destination it seems I’ve been traveling to all my life

My Accepting and Bilingual and Cold and Diverse Canada

My Equal and Funky and Gorgeous and Humanitarian Canada

I love this country with all my heart cos it gave me a new beginning

In this country, I discovered myself.

I have never been as proud to be a citizen as when I went to the 2007 Gay Pride Parade last weekend.

I have never been attracted to a female in my life but I am glad to live in a country where another woman who so desires can choose to move in with a woman, grow a mustache, remove her tits and wear flat shoes for the rest of her life.

It’s great to live in a place that is so accepting of differences… and choices

A man can go with his buddies and buy some foundation, lipliner, stilettos and a weave longer and blonder than mine if he so pleases.

He can change his name from Lawrence to Laura, get married to Anthony or Toni and raise kids without making headline news.

In My Canada you get to be whoever you want to be

I love the fact that I get to see much more guys with sexy 6-packs and cute butts on a particular day every year than I would if I chose to go to an all-male revue every Saturday for the rest the next 6 months.

I’m glad that I can go to the parade and without words tell my same-sex-loving friends that I cherish and support them no matter if they’re attracted to Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt.

I’m glad that I live in a country where I can be as open-minded as I want to be.

Canada… My Canada

Je t’aime

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Street With No Secrets

Every Saturday, Sandy and Ruthy and Barby knock on your door at exactly 6.35pm

They know it takes 25 minutes to walk to your AA meetings… and that you can’t stand to be late

You hate walking in when everyone’s already seated

You hate the sight of their collective pride… you made it to yet another meeting

You hate sitting with these people who act like you’re all in the same boat… like they understand

You hate the fact that you bare your soul here twice a week but find no absolution

You hate the fact that you feel like your time is running out


At 9pm on the dot, Sandy and Ruthy and Barby are right at the door to walk you home

You hate their incessant chatter especially when you’re nearing Jerry’s Bar

… you’re not going to touch another drink dammit

You hate how everybody acts like you’re gonna catch something if you’re in the same room as a bottle of anything…


Well sometimes you do wish you could just take another whiff of a rum and coke

… imbibe the temporary amnesia in a bottle of Mobarts beer

Perhaps just one sip of Jack Daniels would help drown out the voices…


The Baileys doesn’t judge you…

It just sits there… chilled and creamy and ready to be consumed

It doesn’t remind you that you’ve gone through another holiday alone

It doesn’t inform you that Bertha down the street has married that young fine engineer Adam and is pregnant with their first baby

The Baileys doesn’t give you grief cos you’ve postponed all your dreams as you aren’t sure what they are anymore

It just sits there… chilled and creamy and half consumed

It understands that sometimes a glass isn’t enough… and neither is two

It just gives and gives and gives…

Your mind stops being so dark and cold… familiar shadows start creeping in

Everything starts feeling a little better

The uglies start looking pretty

It just sits there… chilled and creamy and consumed

Then the numbness sets in and you blindly stumble home cos you know you’ve failed

… AGAIN…

It’s so hard living here on the street with no secrets

The street where everybody knows your name

The street where everybody knows your game

{For my big sister… it’s the first thing I wrote to the very end}

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mummy Sunday 16

Mummy,

I love you with all my heart but sometimes you drive me argghhh!!! I can imagine it’s probably not easy for you to accept this

… But you’re going to have to…

I’m 21

Not 1 or 11… 21

Old enough to choose to take a plane to Paris and go sight-seeing by myself

Old enough to get married and have a dozen kids if I so pleased

Old enough to go out and come home later than 11pm without getting locked out and having you document what minute of what hour I get in

I know you’ve done your best

In your lifetime, you’ve been through things that would make a lesser woman crumble

You’ve fought for yourself, you’ve fought for me… you’ve fought

But it’s time to just sit back and breathe mummy

You’ve raised me well enough that you should trust that I can take care of myself sometimes… that I have some common sense, discretion… some smarts

You can’t protect me from life mummy cos if you do… it’ll sneak up on me

And maybe then I won’t be prepared.

I’m 21 mummy… let me breathe.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dancing Queen (Miss BA)

I met you years ago… maybe in class, maybe after class… maybe in dance
I liked you from day one… your genuine smile, your engaging personality and openness… so much like me

We hung out with different people then, but whenever we ran into each other, we could listerally gist for hours about anything from boys to the price of gasoline in the city(strange especially seeing as we both can’t drive).

You’re so smart and beautiful and an absolute joy to be around
With the passing of time… I’ve gotten to see the real you
Past your gorgeous skin and constant smile… your obsession with the colour brown and sick dance moves…

… I see you

I used to think of you as a ‘when I see you’ friend… we talked and danced… and laughed and danced… and danced
But then we started talking… really talking…
We’d talk about the things that hurt… the things that made us smile… the tears(although I must mention that you look truly awful when you cry… lol), the people, the places… the memories.
You became more than a ‘when I see you’ friend, you became… a friend.
You contribute to my life in so many ways…(none of them monetary… lol)

I probably never told you this before... you're one of my closest friends cos I trust and love you like I do few others…
You go through so much yet you retain such beauty inside

You’re there for me when I need a friend… a shoulder to cry on… somebody I can count on… you go out of your way for me sometimes…
I love you completely


You’re unconventional and wacky and funny and gorgeous and problematic and have a great ass(I hope this doesn’t prompt you to start asking me out on romantic dates… cos I don’t play that… lol)

Miss BA aka Dancing Queen… in me you will always have a friend
Thanks for being the person that you are
I love you

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mummy Sunday 15:

Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers LondonBuki, this is my fifteenth Mummy Sunday post and the fifth installment of the “When You Weren’t There Mummy” series!!! I dedicate this to Iheoma… I probably won’t recognize you if I saw you now, but I remember your courage… to be you. Many people go through their lives not knowing who they are… or being able to stand up for themselves… but even then you did. 11 years later, I doff my hat to you Iheoma.

Boarding School Blues

Dear Mummy,

I’m not really sure if I mentioned in my last letter that while I lived with Aunty Obianuju, I got enrolled in a boarding school. I was 9 years old in Jss 2… the youngest in my class and school. Ifeoma Jonah was the second youngest- 10 years old in Jss 1.

They bought me a locker, desk and chair, box and bucket.

They bought me provisions- garium sulphate, indomie noodles, milo, milk and cubed st. Louis sugar.

They bought me a white and brown school uniform, purple maroon and white church outfit and green day-dress.

I remember my day-dress always used to smell like grass cos I never washed it in time to get it on the clothing lines.

I used to get beat up a lot at the assembly cos I could never find one pair of my socks.

It was an Adventist technical school so I had to go to church on Saturday, and couldn’t eat shrimp, snails, certain fish and pork.

It was hell initially cos I didn’t want to be there and Aunty Obianuju’s daughter Lillian made it hell sometimes…

She’d be really sweet one day, make me do her homework, and tell people how I was smart and could speak perfect English… then the next day she’d tell our friends how my sister and I were imposing on them in their home…

She was 3 years older than me… but I was a year ahead of her in school

I loved her so much… and hated her with an equal passion…

I didn’t stand up for myself then mummy cos life had beat me so hard… I took everything in stride and just cried inside.

I cried for a day when I wouldn’t have to move all the time…

I cried for a day when I wouldn’t have to endure just because I was living in someones house…

I cried for a day when I would have a place to call my own for as long as I wanted…

I cried for a day like today…

My first year in boarding school was a mass of stories and people, homework and errands:

Stories of “Lady Koi Koi” who walked in her stilettos at night and recruited people for her witchcraft... Stories of the ‘Bush Baby” the strange creature that cried at night, lured unsuspecting people outside and killed them.

There was Nwanyieze who claimed she’d been kidnapped by ritual killers but was released after she screamed Jesus. This probably would’ve been more believable if she didn’t have a new story to tell every month.

There was Mr. Fortune… the gorgeous gorgeous man that taught introductory technology or integrated science or agriculture… it didn’t really matter what he said… just the way he said what he said. He was beautiful and our home science mistress had an obvious crush on him… she was always brushing up on him. He probably would’ve been more open to her advances if her buck teeth didn’t keep getting in the way.

I remember my boarding school crush Nnamdi Okoro. This boy was dark chocolate genius. He had these big eyes, beautiful somewhat feminine hands… ahhhh

I remember missing a meal or two cos I was busy washing this stupid seniors dish… and having to drink garri and bonvita. I decided then that I would never again drink garri and bonvita if I didn’t have to… ever again

And I never will

I used to have a beautiful voice then mummy… people used to ask me to sing in a group… but I was embarrassed and shy…

I never sang… and I lost my voice

I remember Iheoma- the girl with the huge boobs whose parents were so poor they couldn’t afford to buy her a bra. She pulled her red ‘shimmy’ up to her boobs... it showed… and everybody knew.

She was an outcast… she ate shrimp, snails, certain fish and pork.

Those of us who were not born Adventist and used to eat those 'things' stopped and made it an ‘unclean’ old memory… but Iheoma ate her ‘shrimp and snails and certain fish and pork’ with relish under the glaring and disapproving eyes of the 50 odd girls in our dormitory.

She made no apologies for who she was

Even though people called her poor and trash… she wore her red shimmy and smiled and studied like every other student

She wasn’t ashamed…

Looking back on it now… I admire her so much cos it took a lot for her to stand up for herself despite what everybody else said…

11 years later, now I eat my shrimp with relish… hot and spicy

… and make no apologies whatsoever for who I am…

I remember visiting days…

I was in that school for 2 years and probably had 20 visiting days in total…

Your ex-husband… my father only came once!!!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Blogsville Idol

It is my pleasure to announce the upcoming blosgville idol. It promises to be tons of fun and will expose us to the vocal talents of some of our beloved blogsville ‘brethren’ (lol.. just needed something ‘b’ for effect)

Pink- Satin and Nigerian Opeke are the entertaining geniuses behind the idea.

Having said that, I have a bone to pick with the both of them!!!

I auditioned twice… and wasn’t chosen!!!

First, I treated them to a condensed version of ‘baby mi’ on my blog voice commenting thingie… then I went on their official page and sang a truly beautiful version of ‘I berieve I can fry’!!!
I sang these two songs in c-flat note with a soprano finish.


I didn’t eat fried food for 2 days in order to prepare the harmonica that is my voice for that audition.

I hate honey but I had it for breakfast on Wednesday to ‘smoothly saturate’ my vocal chords.

All that… and I didn’t get picked… so I vex!!!

I know the other contestants have bribed Opeke(who seems to have a thing for designer bags and ‘stringy underwear’ aka thongs) while pink-satin loves vacationing in metropolitan cities. I did not bribe them due to the fact that I have a spiritual and moral Ph.D and therefore don’t condone such behaviour(ok.. the real truth is that I haven’t started earning my pension and can’t afford these exorbitant bribes)

In fact since the advent of this blogsville idol, I have started noticing some things:
. Last night, as I was sleeping, I saw contestant Idemili chasing me in my dreams with a microphone and yelling my name

. Bobby Taylor has been mentally threatening me as well

. TaureanMinx has been begging me not to compete cos she truly wants to win as her blog-husband BabaAlaye promised to buy her an okada if she does.


Is it my fault that I have a voice which can make doves cry… ehn somebody please tell me… is it my fault?

Don’t worry… I’m not angry anymore now that I have gotten this off my chest


I love you blogsville idol… and I support you 100%…


Blogsville Idol Reject
Overwhelmed Naija Babe

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Positives:

I’m happy and healthy.

I’m here.

(plus I still have all my own teeth... lol)

I’m gonna write something about my best friend Jamal later on today or tomorrow… I wrote this cos I just wanted a breather from the 'last post'

I guess all I can and should do is to keep being the person I am… love the people I love… and bask in the positives of my life.

Ps. I’m craving sushi and cranberry juice

And for the hell of it... I'll share a couple of wise sayings that I was telling Ide on her blog yesterday...

  • The Igbo people say that if you wake up in the morning and a chicken suddenly starts 'purshuing'(lol... spellcheck londonbuki?!) you... you better run because you never know if it suddenly developed teeth overnight...
  • When you're walking on the street and you suddenly see someone stop in the middle of the road and start dancing... don't laugh... there has to be something beating drum for them somewhere. You might not be able to hear it... but they sure can
  • The frog does not run around in the day time without reason... it is either chasing after something... or something is chasing after it.
  • The child who says his mother will not sleep... will also not sleep
  • If your face is swollen from the severe beatings of life, smile and pretend to be a fat man.
  • A man has to hold his 'manhood' for his urine to have direction
  • the stick that the husband used to flog his old wife will sooner or later be used to flog the new wife

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I don’t business

Dear Skallies,

There’s no need to waste any time on pleasantries… so I’ll get on with it.

GET UP OFF ME!!!

I wonder why you’re in my fucking business… I fucking wonder

What’s the connection?

I wonder why you keep fucking grilling me… you must think I have your drawers on or something…

I swear it’s gotta be something in the Smirnoff lately cos y’all have been moving really murky…

I don’t business though

Self-proclaimed beauty queens and ‘stush’ chicks…

…but I’m sure even you know that yaki perms, hand-me-down weaves and buy 1 get 7 dresses do not a stush chick make

On the real though… y’all are so fucking ‘gorgeous’… so why don’t you stick to the tanning lotions, teeth whiteners and overall pageantry?!

Please repeat after yourselves: Gossip is NOT the new pink!!!(perhaps after the 777th time, it will stick)

I don’t get all up in your trash… so why are you in my bin?

Let go… LET THE FUCK GO!!!

Remember salt on an open wound stings skallies… it really stings

… and some wounds leave scars… large, ugly, horrible scars (and y'all know how they don’t like scars at ‘beauty school’)

It’s probably gonna burn a little not to yap… but resist the urge

If you know whats good for you… resist the motherfucking urge!

For the last time skallies: GET UP OFF ME... I'm ON TO YOU!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Life in a Song 4:

I love music.

Sometimes it’s the songs that get me… and sometimes it’s the artist.

Anita Baker is one of my favorite artists and not without reason:

Her voice is so smooth and sexy

and warm… so warm I wish I could curl up in it.

Ms. Baker just brings a sensual, stirring quality to every note she sings…

I’m the sort of person who falls in love with an album and listens to it on instant replay for weeks and even months on end…

I’ve come to know every instrumental and ad-lib on her ‘Rapture’ and ‘Best of Anita Baker’ albums…


A few of my favorite songs on those albums:

· You bring me joy: Her voice starts on this track like a warm spring breeze… you know the kind when you’re in a sundress and some cute sandals without a care in the world… the kind when you just met somebody nice and there are vibes and you see it actually going somewhere. “When I loose my way, your love comes smiling on me” Times when you remember someone and just smile… when you find pleasure in the mundane just because that person is there to share it with you. “I love you…cos you’re the finest thing I’ve seen in all my life”… Times when you see beauty in someone even when they don’t see it in themselves…

· You’re my Everything: “Got the sun in the morning I got the moon at night… I got your arms around me everythings all right…I just want to say that you’re my everything.” There’s so much story and joy and character in her voice… it’s the voice of a woman who has seen… a woman who has loved and lost… who knows exactly what it feels like. I couldn’t care less if she writes her songs or not… but I can just picture her making adjustments to the song as she records it… adding those little ‘scatty’ things she does… more ad-libs… taking it higher. I first heard this song in Nigeria. It brings back good memories… of my step sister who never got the lyrics of any song right and butchered this song till it was almost unrecognizable… very good memories.

· Giving you the best that I got: I love this song because she doesn’t say that she’s giving him the best that there is… just the best that she’s got. I read somewhere that love isn’t about loving a perfect person… but loving an imperfect person perfectly. I agree cos sometimes we get so caught up in the trivialities that we forget the essence of love… sometimes it’s about being able to love another ‘in spite of’

· Sweet Love: “With all my heart I love you baby, stay with me and you will see, my arms will hold you baby never leave cos I believe I’m in love… sweet love… hear me calling out your name, I feel no shame… don’t you ever go away, it’ll always be this way”

‘I’m in love… I feel no shame… I’m in love’ My favorite line of the entire song… I think that’s how it’s supposed to be… really. There should be no shame…

-

· No one in the world: ‘I look back on all those good times that we once shared… ‘

This one’s reminiscent… remembering someone you loved or genuinely cared about…and the good times. Ms. Baker’s begging for it quite literally: ‘Please take me back… baby I can’t go on without you… I’ll do whatever it takes to get you back with me again… I realize I need you here in my life’ The song is about mistakes and second chances, lost love and all it entails. No one in the world is so beautiful I can’t even explain. Her voice starts out really calm and sweet and mellow, but as the intensity of her emotions grows… so does her voice… it’s almost an ‘and I’m telling you I’m not going’ moment. If I was the guy she’s wants this much… if she could sing me this song just once a week… I’d take her back and adore her for the rest of my life… yeah, that’s the power of this woman’s voice.

· I love you just because: Not because he’s tall or handsome or rich or smart or generous… she loves him ‘just because’. Her voice on this track is so full…

“You’re a diamond in my mind… a precious gem to me, you’re so nice to have around… it’s amazing loving you, I’m doing things I never thought I’d do” This woman sings of ‘old love’… you know that love our grandparents and great grandparents used to have… the love that came before prenuptial agreements and separate bedrooms (although I’m aware valid arguments can be made for both

· Rapture: “I’m caught up in the rapture of love… nothing else can compare while I feel the magic of you…” When Anita Baker sings it, I feel like I can still let go… even after everything… to be ‘caught up in the rapture of love’. This is probably the song that everybody knows… there are elements of whimsy in this song… her voice is just so… ahhhh.

· Body and Soul: This song makes me wish I was a ballerina… the delicacy and intricacy of the dance almost captures the beauty of this song… almost.

· I apologize: This is probably my favorite Anita Baker song… my shoulders automatically shrug in pleasure everytime I hear it. Her voice, the lyrics, the background… it’s almost too much. It’s one of those songs I can picture being played in a Starbucks somewhere in Nova Scotia… a song that’ll make you want to order one more cappuccino… a song that you’d not mind staying a few minutes later even though your lunch break is over and your manager is an ***, you can’t leave just yet cos you have to listen till it’s completely over. If I was a singer… I’d sing this song. If I was an actor… I’d act this song. If I was a couturier… I’d make this song. If I was a painter… I’d paint this song. I read somewhere that “I love you” and “I’m sorry” are the most powerful phrases in the English language. I agree… and from the way she sings it… I think Anita Baker does as well. “When the road gets rough you say things you should not say… I never meant to treat my baby that way”. A couple of my friends think I have the ‘gift of gab’ and can talk myself out of most things… but this is probably one of the few instances where I’d let a song speak for me… I would play this song if I hurt someone I really cared about… cos it sings better than anything I could say. I’d die a happy woman if I could hear Anita Baker sing this song just once in my lifetime.

I would do an Uzo on this and tell you to send me your email addresses if you want these songs… but it might be easier for you to youtube them. However, if you’re gonna get fired at work for doing that… then I’ll send it to you( the only compromise is that I’ll expect a little ‘grease’/ ‘oil’/ ‘pepper’/ ‘lettuce’… all man needs to survive… lol)