The stories in this blog are first draft stories with minimal editing, sort of like a practice blog.

Sunday, 31 August 2014


On a beautiful evening in the middle of January in the mid 1990s, a brother and sister were playing happily in their living room. They just finished watching "tales by moonlight" on television, had their evening cornflakes and were expecting rice and stew in an hour, life was good to them. The girl had turned six only two weeks earlier and the boy was only four and half. They were the best of friends and the worst of enemies, their fights were the stuff legends were made of. However no one with brains ever tried to come between them, they were ruthless to their enemies- real or percieved.

That Sunday was not a run in the mill Sunday, their mother had gone to the hospital to bring them a sibling. Each of them wanted the child to be the same sex as them, it would change the balance of power in the household in favour on the sex with the higher population. As you can imagine it was a tense evening for the siblings.
Around 7:30pm their grandmother's neighbour walked in, they ran to hug her. She was in her early thirties and was the first wife of the four year old boy, and an honorary aunty of the siblings. She's full of smiles and announced to them that their mother had had the baby and it was a girl. Instantly there was an eruption of opposing emotions in the children. The girl jumped on the table and danced while the boy sat on the ground and cried. Eventually they both calmed down, ate their dinner and slept off while waiting for their daddy to come home.

The next morning their daddy wakes them up, it's a school day. "Your mummy has delivered the baby" he tells them, "it's a boy!". The girl is stunned, she refused to believe her tender ears. It had to be a prank, daddy liked telling jokes and funny stories, he was only teasing her. "It's a girl" she tells him, her voice full of conviction, "aunty Tina told us yesterday", "aunty Tina kor, get ready for school jare" he replied. She finds her mummy's friend in the living room, she reckons the woman will tell her the truth, unlike daddy who had a hidden agenda.

She calmly asked her what her mother had, her aunt smiles and tells her it's a boy. Our heroine was devastated, like Rachel she refused to be consoled. She wept and threw the worst tantrum Lagos had ever seen in a six year old girl, she said she wasn't going to have her bath or eat or go to school. Her father had no patience for her histrionics, he put her on his shoulder and carried her to the bathroom. She was bathed, fed and bundled to school in tears. Her brother wisely said nothing,  he probably didn't want to be a victim of misplaced aggression. By the time she got to school, she'd calmed down and even began to plot. It wasn't so bad, mummy could have twin girls next and power would be in the hands of the girls again. Another brother wasn't so bad, the poor girl didn't know they'd not have another sibling.

When our heroine got home, she was even happy she had a brother. She'd even decided on a name for him, she'd named him after her uncle. The uncle had a sister who bore the same name with her, she liked the idea of her brother and her being an ordered pair like her uncle and aunty. As soon as her daddy came back from work she tells him of her decision to name her brother, he agreed the name was perfect. He told her they were going to see the baby that day, she smiled wanly.

They flew into their mother's arms the minute they got into the room, she hugged them like she hadn't seen them in years. After the hugs they went to see the baby. He was the most beautiful baby ever born, his hair was curly and long, his face was that of an angel. The little boy got bored and went back to his mother. His sister couldn't get enough of their baby, her beautiful, beautiful baby. 

"Mummy I've given him a name already, his name is Chibuzo".

 Her mother considered the name, she liked it and agreed with it. Our heroine smiled warmly, turns to the baby and announced to him "Your name is Chibuzo" , the baby smiled in response. Her parents told her she'd only imagined his smile, she didn't listen to them, she knew what she saw.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Beauty in the eyes of a market woman

I heard about a certain lemon and ginger drink that would help me breathe better, I've had respiratory issues for a long time, and I was willing to try anything that'd help me live a better life.
I searched high and low for lemons, my mum was of the opinion that since it wasn't lemon season I wouldn't find them. "Why don't you use limes instead" she said, she'd even gone to Mushin market to find them for me but she didn't find any. The recipe called for lemons and not lime, I wasn't going to use any substitute, I wasn't taking chances.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Windsong- the awakening

Today is the day I became a woman, my blood stained dress confirmed it to my mother when I got back from the stream. I didn't even know I'd been bleeding, only felt funny sensations between my legs and now my mother tells me I'm a woman.

   What does that even mean? Is the blood the rite of initiation? I don't ponder for long, my mother provides me with rags to place between my legs and demonstrates how to use them. It doesn't even occur to me to ask her why I'm bleeding or have become a woman by this flow of blood. This is 1949, Nigerian teenagers were still dumb- mothers had it good those days, don't you agree?