Lota kwa, remember
You do not find refuge in a collapsed house
You do not peel the scabs off old wounds
You do not unbury the dead
You do not chase uncertainty without care
This isn’t how you heal nne
Nne m, I’m restless
I want to tell your stories, I want to tell our stories
My pen is blunt and my tongue heavy
But these stories will be told
Truths reveled , sworn secrets exposed
All hell will be let loose
Promise me one thing Nne
That when your truth is reveled, my truth reveled
That I can still sit by your feet and rest my head on your laps
Rub my back til I fall asleep and call me nne m
It was very simple.
Every Sunday evening, Dera would come to get me from Ogechi’s house. On our way back she would stop to talk to Sam. I was to wait patiently like the good sister that I was until they were done talking. When she was done she would signal by saying “Ngwa Amaka let’s go” . Just by Issa’s kiosk opposite our house she would buy me sweets. And if anyone was to ask why we took long, I played a little after Dera came to get me.
It was very simple and that was how we had always done it until one fateful day …
This people should do and finish now, I though to myself. I was tired of slapping the mosquitoes that perched on my leg and I was hungry. If I had knew, I would had eaten the rice that Aunty Janet offered me
“Amaka, you no go eat rice”
“Aunty no thank you. I’m not that hungry”
The fact was , I was hungry but I refused the food. Mama was going to make ofe nsala this evening and I needed all the space in my tummy. Even though I wasn’t suppose to eat outside the house, I usually ate at Ogechi’s house. I would eat and pretend like I didn’t but Dera knew. She knew that I ate outside but she never told.
So I here I was , sitting on the pavement watching a group of ants on the wall and slapping mosquitoes that perched on my leg. I usually wondered what they discussed about. What did he tell her that made her smile so wide and be in such a happy mood. After their meetings she hardly got angry at me. She didn’t shout at me if I didn’t mop the bathroom floor after my bath. She didn’t give me mean stares when I spoke while she was speaking . She didn’t send me out when I walked in on her changing .
Even though these moments were short lived, I would willing sit on that pavement for an hour if it meant Dera would be nice to me for a whole day or two.
Dera was seven years my senior and I had come at a time when she didn’t want a toddler following her around. Mama used to make her take me everywhere with her. When she was going to a friend’s house, when she was sent on an errand; I wanted to come along
“Dera nekwa nwanne gi anya , look after your sister” Mama would always tell her
Murmuring she would give me a mean stare and it was left for me to walk fast in order to keep up with her. If we visited any of her friends I was supposed to stay in a corner and mind my business and not disgrace her. I remember one time she took me or was forced to take me along to her friend’s house. They spoke about things I didn’t understand. I know for one thing they don’t like their teachers. That part I understood because I didn’t like my Basic Science teacher too. But I didn’t know why whenever a boy’s name was mentioned one of them would start to smile and sound really funny. Even though I didn’t enjoy their conversations I still tagged along because I felt it would make Dera like me. And for eight years all I wanted was for Dera to like me.
“Why do I always have to look after her” she would complain sometimes “She can be annoying ”
“Shut up, she’s your small sister or e maro, you don’t know ” Mama would tell her
So if it meant sitting and waiting so Dera would like me, I’ll sit and wait.
“Stop it!.. No!.. Stop it! ”
I looked up to see Dera running towards me.
For those who we can sit down with, open ourselves to old and new things
For those who accept their imperfections and our imperfections
For those who accept a total stranger from Nigeria with an immense show of love
For him who is not afraid to speak his truth
For her who is far from home but building a home
For teaching a young girl that she too can speak to a spirit
That one cold night with words accompanied by soothing sounds , is what she carries continually with her
– thank you
So for my last post ‘Jigida’ I decided to take a few pictures since the ones I found on the internet were :
1. A little too explicit
2. Lacked that ‘je ne sais quoi’
So I decided to take pictures myself.
After my brief ‘photog’ moment, the post picture was chosen and I was left with a couple more. So decided to share them here
Beads – mine
Back drop- my mother’s materials that I wished I own and still hope I own
The pictures were taken with a phone camera and some the Snapchat app.
Hope you enjoy them 😊
Happy New Month!
It’s been over two months since my last post. And well I was waiting still I got that one picture that just said I-still-look-fab-despite-the-shit-I-have-been-through-be-inspired-by-me. But then *throws hands up* …hey.
I was really going to come up with this one inspirational or really deep post, but it seemed my poetic words aren’t just there. I can’t bundle up a whole lot in just few lines this time around. So instead I’ll talk about what has happened this few weeks.
1. The Big 2.0 !
I happen to have left my teen years behind me. No lie whenever it’s almost my birthday, I’m not excited until few hours to the 7th. Instead it’s anxiety, mostly anxiety. Anxious that I’m getting old and I still don’t have things figured out. But thankfully I have friends who can make you smile and give you badass face beat
There are issues you never want to remember or re visit or conversations you just think “Oh it’s done it’s done, I’ll probably never talk to this person again” . But deep inside you want to talk about it with those certain people about those certain issues. Tired of having those conversations with yourself, displaying those emotions only within you. The scene might never happen, that closure might not happen and you can’t keep living your life in a cycle. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
3. Forgiveness et Regrets
‘First forgive thyself. Ye can only give what thy hasth ‘
I feel that should be a quote somewhere in the Bible or a Shakespear play. I have learnt that some of the burden we carry within ourselves is the burden of unforgiveness . Not only towards other people but to ourselves. I can’t give what I don’t have. I can’t forgive you if I can’t forgive myself.
Most things I felt really useless or guilty for actually did make me smile, one way or the other and many times! So why should I regret my various moments of happiness even though some of them were short lived?
So instead choose not to regret your happiness.
4. Mental Illness
So sometime in November, my class went on a one week trip to the Neuropsychiatric Hospital at Abeokuta, or like we call it Aro. Through out that week we had classes and Ward Rounds. I bet you three years of psychology classes didn’t prepare most of us for saw. And no we didn’t see people tied up with chains, uncombed hair and laughing hysterically. No that is not just what mental illness is all about. You have people like you and I walking around , attending therapy sessions, take their medications, a few relapses, playing football. People my age, parents , people younger than me. People who have just literally started achieving things , people who have achieved way more than I have
Life just deals us different cards and nobody is above mental illness.
On a lighter note , I did take some pictures at Aro. Even though half of my course mates were all about how the place needed a ‘face lift’ , making it look really modern. Aro has this aura of serenity
I would have loved to take pictures of few old stone houses I saw. They had chimneys, gardens surrounded by lots of trees. I thought they were beautiful and my friend was like “Ehen Olivia won’t you take a picture, see the kind of thing you like. But we had gotten to a dead end and it was super dark and it felt like a scene from a horror movie. No lie.
5. Art of Breathing
Sometimes, all you need to do is breathe. Just breathe. I remember during this semester at some point I had a long week and I decided one afternoon I was just going to watch a movie and sleep. I get to my bed and it is soaked. Apparently someone (me) had left water on the bed and it was everywhere. My pillow, wrapper. I stared at it and I just put my head down. My whole body was ready to channel the physical, emotional and academic stress of the past few weeks into anger. And my friend is hovering around me “Olivia are you crying, it would dry”. I raised my head up and said “I can’t kill my self”
Load work of assignments, final year project, uncertainty in career choice, relationship/ situation-ship , uncertainty in various areas of life … breathe because no lies. If I don’t breathe I will die and I know I’m not going out like this
6. Pretty Bubble also known as Personal Space
Which some people choose to poke and poke and continue poking . Like people don’t even poke anymore on Facebook why are you doing this!!!!!!! No I don’t want breathe, I want you to learn to respect this invisible pretty bubble that you can’t see but you know exists. Sometimes you have to tell them I need a little time or space to myself, don’t touch me, my things, my parts because just don’t. This bubble is pink and bubbly don’t unbubble the bubbliness I beg you .
Sometimes you can’t .
You just can’t
When you sit down hugging your knees rocking yourself
With tears running down your cheeks
You silently call on someone, anyone to help you
But your voice is slightly above a whisper
Baby girl, talk your way through it
Say it with me “I’ll be fine”
Say it slowly, repeatedly
And when depression tries to mock your growing faith
Shake your head and say it loudly “I’ll be fine!” repeatedly
In that dark corner, in your room, in your closet, on your bathroom floor
In your mind
Hugging your knees with tears on your face
Rock yourself back to life, back to hope
Nne ama m , but speak life to yourself
Tell depression “I’ll be fine!”
– for September 10
For Oge. Vibes. Energies. Resonating. It’s incredible. This feeling. These wavelengths. The energies that the world exposes you to. I don’t have the words to describe it. But I’m nodding my head to an invisible beat. Tapping my fingers on this keyboard. The electricity desperate to leave them and get on this page. My feet […]