And ‘Ember Arrives

Well hello there readers!
And ‘Ember arrives! Welcome to the first month in the ’ember quarter of the year. How is the year going for you? Good I hope. I am currently not where I want to be but not where I used to be. Learnt a lot over the past 8 months and I really hope to achieve more before the year ends.

This statement made by Jidenna (he is currently in Nigeria) which I came across on Pulse Ng when he was asked why he is not in a relationship is the most thoughtful I have seen all day. He said: “Being in a relationship is like gardening and if you can’t water the plants then you shouldn’t be in a relationship.”

Now that’s major food for thought. I am a science student and know the procedures that go on in nurturing a plant or gardening. It takes tenderness, dedication, love, investing a lot and care i.e. watering the plants. Think deeply about this and relate it to where you stand right now in your relationship. A lot of people can not even give a reason why they are in a relationship or state if they are nurturing the relationship.

I read an article recently on Funke Olotu’s blog about leaving the one you love. Reading the caption of the post, I was puzzled. However she talked about leaving the one you love when you can not make them happy or do not love them anymore. Yes you love them but do you know you might be causing more hurt by staying? Or they might even hate you in the future for pretending that long?

Relationships can be easy and blissful if you’re being honest with yourself and the person you’re dating. Relating this to Jidenna’s quote, one thing you should note is being in a relationship is not obligatory especially when you think you’re not ready for it. A relationship should be watered and developed for it to work. Don’t waste your time in the name of just being in a relationship for fun. Movies are not like the real world. You could see all sorts of scenerio on television but most of them don’t work in real life.

Today is September 1 on this side of the world which means there are just about four months left in this year. Exactly what do you intend to do with the rest of this year? It’s not too late to start. Ciao!

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My Farafina Trust Workshop Short Story Entry

Hi readers!
One thing you probably don’t know about me is the fact that I am a fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the writer of award winning novel “Half of a yellow sun”. Yes, I adore her and just might end up being like her one day. Just kidding! I look up to her in some aspects of literature and writing generally so when I saw the Farafina Trust Workshop advert, I knew I had to participate. Finally an opportunity to meet my role model.

Procrastinated as usual till the last day of submission. I had the beginning of the story in mind but didn’t start typing on my phone till past 6pm (The ColorNote app is one of my favs at the moment). Finished typing the story, edited it as best as I could and I sent it to the submission email.

It was then it occured to me that something was wrong. I checked my story again and discovered I exceeded the word limit. Bummer! I was dampened and knew I wouldn’t make it. Although a friend tried to encourage me to be positive, I knew how much importance is attached to rules being followed to the last full stop in competitions. Anyway, the list of the candidates who made it was posted about a month later and I didn’t make it.

Was I sad? Nope. Already expected the disappointment. Got over it hours later with the notion that the competition helped make me a better writer really. Nobody I knew made it either and Adriel who blogs at Adriel’s Journal also mentioned how heartbroken she was when she discovered she wasn’t selected in one of her blog posts. Funny enough that same story she submitted is making waves at the moment. How wonderful God can be! The struggles we go through as writers.

Even in life when it seems like you’re giving what you love your best shot but things are not coming easy, keep doing it. An appeal to everyone out there, if you’re in any position to help a writer out with editing, publishing or even just support, you should not hesitate. If you’re in the best position to help any creative out, please do. Please.

Anyway, here’s the story I submitted. I don’t have a title for it but do enjoy and kindly drop a comment below. I am ‘Dammy and I will not stop writing until my maker says so.

Farafina Trust Workshop Short Story

Name: Ajibike Oyindamola

I am a student of the University of Ibadan, Yoruba and an art enthusiast. Books for me have been my companions from a young age; eye openers and educative. Writing gives me opportunity to express myself, things I see and things I have experienced which other people can relate to.

“I found a lump.”
I said to Tiwa.
I watched the look on his face change. The shock was sort of amusing. But the situation at hand could not allow me to laugh out.
“Are you sure?” He asked.
Why would he ask me that question I wondered.
“Yes. The doctor at LUTH confirmed it.”
Silence hung between us and the movement of the maids downstairs echoed in the house.
“Just like mother.” He finally said.
“Yes.” I affirmed.
Our mother had committed suicide eight years before, leaving behind a note which informed us about her breast cancer. No one had known about it before.
“I can’t deal with it. Can’t cope with the pain. I haven’t been as strong as I used to be since your father left.” She had written.

The bottle of poison on her side table and glass of wine which laid on the rug beside her bed gave the cause of her death. No autopsy had been done.
“Jola, have you ever wondered about something?”
“What’s that?”
He looked away, gathering his thoughts. The look on his face showed he knew something.
“Perhaps it would be better if you talked to Dipo.”
Dipo was the first child of my mother, my elder brother.
“Talk to him about what?”
“Talk to him about mother’s death.”
The day mother had been found, I had refused to come out of my room. I felt numb and tired. Mother never had our time. Always after money and so we went from one boarding school to relatives houses. One time we had been shared among our aunts because mother had to go to Dubai for business.

Dipo had returned from Aunt Nnenna, father’s younger sister’s house different. He kept to himself for some days and then returned to his old jovial self but there was something different. Something more matured.
“Tiwalolu, I’m confused. Can you just tell me what is up?”
“I wish it was that easy. You would have to figure it out yourself.” He said and headed to his room.
The house was mother’s. We had agreed not to sell it after her death. It was to serve as a reminder of our childhood, most of which was without her.

When I turned up at the company the next day, I had to commend the good job Dipo was doing. The building looked magnificent. It did when it was mother’s company but now it had a bit modern features.
“Dipo the slayer!” I hailed him as I entered his office with the tag ‘Managing Director’ on the door.
The nickname was given to him back in secondary school when his uniform used to be well ironed and the girls were after him.
He chuckled lightly and opened his arms for our signature bear hug.
“Why have you come?” He asked.
“So I can’t come by to say hello to my brother?”
He raised his hands in defence.
“I didn’t say so.”
I cleared my throat and told him quietly.
“I was at the hospital last week and the doctor told me I have cancer.”
His face remained expressionless.
“I have cancer like mother.” I continued.
“Mother did not have cancer.” He said.
“What do you mean Dipo?”
“She committed suicide because she had cancer, didn’t she?” I queried.

He stood up and walked to the open door. He locked it, dragged the chair beside mine and sat in front of me.
“Jola, you’re quite old enough now I think. 24 years is something. I have tried all I can to keep the family together after mother’s death. Even though I was just 21 then. Sure you can see how well the company is doing.”
“I know. But you’re diverting from the question I asked.”
“I’m sure you would remember growing up and knowing your father left because your mother was never around to take care of the home. How did it feel it sister? Knowing your father would rather be with an uneducated girl than your award winning mother? Pitiful right? How did it feel like being in boarding school for over 6 years of your life in which you saw your mother just twice a year? Pitiful right?”
“She wasn’t a perfect woman yes but she was just trying to give us a better future.” I said.
“That I tried to convince myself. Telling myself she was doing it out of love. But she was thirsty for power wasn’t she? Power over her own children.” He yelled.
“Calm down Dipo.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down! I was raped! I was raped by my own Aunt and you’re telling me to calm down? I was raped and I couldn’t even tell my own mother because she wasn’t there to listen. I was bullied in junior class and yet I couldn’t tell my own mother. Of what essence is her existence then? I asked myself. All she wanted was the money and power and she had it all. I asked myself of what use is her being alive.”

I gasped in disbelief as the statement registered in my head.
“D…Dipo, you mean to tell.. to tell me..” I stammered.
“Yes sister. Yes, I killed her. Yes, I poisoned her wine. Yes, I wrote that suicide note.”
“Oh my God! I can’t believe this. I have a murderer for a brother.”
He reached out and grabbed my shoulders. He shook me and said:
“I am not a murderer. The real murderer is that woman who birthed us.”
I stood up and went to the window, I needed the fresh air.
“So Tiwa knew about this.”
“Yes he does. I told him about it some years back.”
“And he didn’t tell me or the police?”
“Why would he? He understood perfectly why I did it. She always said all she was doing was for us right? Well look at us today, I’m the managing director of her company, Tiwa has an engineering firm of his own and your newspaper and clothing line are the talk of the town.”
He stood up, walked towards me and placed a hand on my shoulder.
“You might see me as a bad person sister but I did what had to be done. For us. And I’m sorry you have cancer. Surely it’s in its early stage and can be treated?”
Still bewildered, I carried my bag and walked out of his office.
As I stepped into the street, I looked at the sky and breathed in the Lagos air. I knew what I just heard would never be told to another person. It had become a secret. Our secret.

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Rumor Has It!

rumor has it

Hi dear readers!
Thought I was done with my ramblings from some of my previous posts? Not yet. If I start to talk about some things my eyes see and my ears hear, I’d probably go on till infinity. Rumor has it that somebody are really fond of spreading rumors.

Another problem I think this generation has is the problem of rumors; starting, enlarging and sharing. Yes, I believe there are three processes involved in the rumor issue. The first which is the conceiving or starting state of a rumor. A person could probably make a harmless remark about someone or something which could be taken or understood as something else to another person.

Lady A could say “Tom and Lydia would make a great couple.” Surely that’s just a remark which Lady B could assume to be ‘Tom and Lydia are a couple’, this which neither Tom or Lydia know about and if either of them happen to hear the rumor and gets offended, Lady B who heard the root statement would point out Lady A as the source which Lady A would deny. Thus the rumor has been spread but by who?

I find it very offending when I hear some rumors that are just incredulous. Like I think to myself ‘Who thought of this?’. It’s one thing to make a joke out of a topic but rumor sharing is just so wrong.

Rumors lead to insecurity and lack of trust. It could lead to cyber bullying too. When a rumor starts to trend without people verifying it, the victim the rumor is about could be bullied too. And one of the fastest ways for information to spread is online. So a victim gets bullied over a matter that is not even true. How awful can that be? The worst part of it is years after the event, references could still be made to it.

A couple of years back, a friend of mine cracked a joke about how proud a certain girl could be which was actually hilarious. However, another girl overheard and soon the rumor started spreading when in fact it was a joke. It got so bad that the girl the rumor was about could not walk during school hours without having the feeling that someone was talking about her being proud at that moment. However, she had to change schools which brought a bit of relief for her.

Another time, a couple of students in my new secondary school went for a party and guys being guys, a rumor was started about a girl who was present at the party that did something that was not okay. People started spreading the rumor, judging the girl in question who actually was not even present at the party! Like what is wrong with some people?

Just don’t talk if you know you can’t bear the consequence of what you’re about to say. Rumors can lead to something else. Verify before you share. Make sure the source of the information is a reliable and truthful one. Dunno if I’m just rambling but really, some things are just not right.

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Life of Dammy || June Reflections

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Do you find it rather funny how things happen even though we try to stop them from happening? Like things that have happened to you before and you just don’t want them to reoccur but they eventually do.

Well, one major lesson I learnt from June reflections is to accept whatever God has in plan for you. There are just some happenings you can’t change. You have to accept that and stop beating yourself up because it really isn’t your fault.

Consider a mother that loses her child at an early age. She’d cry and be heartbroken. But what if that child would end up killing her or causing her more pain? Or not getting enough marks to study a course or in an exam and you have to settle for something else. What if you’d end up being better in the other course you’re stuck with? Think about it.

Also, there are some certain people who will pass through our lives, mainly to teach us lessons and make us better people but they won’t stay no matter how much you want them to, how bad you think you need them. People you have probably become dependent on and you can’t imagine a life without them. But like seasons, people change. You don’t have to get a prior notification and even when you see some things coming and are prepared for it, the force with which it would hit you could be surprising.

And that’s okay. God basically builds us with every situation we pass through with confidence that we will scale through. So hang on. All will end up well.​

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Perversion: Restricted To The Males?

Hi readers!
How are you doing today? Good I hope. School work would be hopefully back on next week! Yay! However, new posts would be up on the blog hopefully everyday.

Kindly check out my first article on The Naked Convos, a platform for writers to express themselves. Thank you!

Today’s blog post was motivated by a remark my younger sister made earlier this week which is “Guys are perverts. Girls are rarely perverted.” I thought about it for a while. She can be quite the stock of knowledge. If you do not feel comfortable reading about this issue, kindly stop now and check out the other posts.

I have known the meaning of pervert since age 10, all thanks to American Pie. And no, I don’t think the early knowledge of some things affected me in any way. It helped with relating to people and situations. Let’s not be hypocritical here.

A pervert is a person whose sexual habits are not considered acceptable

One with twisted sense of humor, values or morals.

Perversion Restricted To The Males

Acceptable by who I wonder? Society and people of course. Perversion can be developed in a person or influenced by others. People seem to think some of the oddities we have these days are restricted to the male sex but no, we have female affected too.

But are girls more perverted than guys? If you ask me, girls are either perverted or not perverted, while guys have a middle ground where they can be a little perverted. Generally girls are not as perverted as guys, but girl perverts are more extreme than guy perverts.
Girls can be equally perverted but guys are more open about perversion. Society shuns the idea of girls being perverted hence they hide it. To some, being perverted is somewhat normal and many of society’s rules are outdated and psychologically limiting.

Boys do a lot of things that make them more perverted though e.g. accidental touching twice or thrice (really? That old line), creepy stare (Some guys will undress you with their eyes), bringing up sexual and vulgar issues in most conversations. Some of these are just wrong.

Indeed we live in perverted times and like many of the issues wrong with this generation, there is little that can be done about it.

What’s your say about this?

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Poetry || Judgemental

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How funny it seems
To judge other people’s sins
And appraise others
Because of their wealth and looks
What goes on in personal lives
You have no idea
What pain they go through
Can you really see through?

But no you’d rather criticize
These poor people you traumatize
With your words
Mean and sharp like swords
You are no better
For your insides are bitter
You are not God
And you should be warned
For what gain comes with bullying
Self-esteems that you have dying
Fight for something more
Fight for something core
Why create diversity
Compromise your integrity
Hatred and shame for fun
Is this what parents and the nation would want?

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11 Thoughts At 11 O’Clock

Hi readers,
This is a kind of playful post. Just thoughts from earlier today. Enjoy!

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1. What’s with Ibadan nights and generator noise? You can’t even think of turning in early these days ’cause some sets would still be on till 12am. God bless my insomnia.

2. Annoying neighbours who make noise when walking.

3. When will IBEDC have mercy on us? Electricity is really important for a lot of things e.g. staying alive.

4. Still on neighbours, ever heard some conversations and you can’t help but laugh?
“I can’t find my panties!”
“How am I supposed to know where it is?”
“Are you sure you didn’t take it?”
“What would I use it for?”

5. Labrinth’s Jealous is like one of the coolest songs innit?

6. Is it just me or there’s actually that bliss that comes with wearing no bra on some days?

7. What’s with guys and bragging to impress girls? Some of us are not freaked about some things.
“So I’m working on a rap single and it’s gonna be the bomb!” Release it first let’s hear. “I just got the new Samsung phone. I’m cool like that I know.” *inserts eye rolling emoji*

8. A typical Nigerian funeral is advertised on every medium possible, how come the same is not done for weddings?

9. And this trend of most girls wanting to be either, hol’ up:
– Makeup artist (Banke Meshida is making money. Why can’t I too?)
– Model (The next Gigi Handid)
– Photographer (Ty Bello is my inspiration)
– Baby mama to a rich guy
– Fashion blogger
– Vlogger
Come on, you shouldn’t do things just because other people are. *sips tea*

10 On to the kids that depend so much on their parents, errr times are changing. You need to find something productive to do.

11 Whatever happened to Fanta apple? That sexy bottle of sugar filled liquid gold. Helloooo Coca Cola company, epp me!

Sooooo, what’s on your mind? Share your comments and thoughts below 😁

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And huh, kindly download the latest episode of News Straight Out Of The Calabash here. Humor in another light 😂

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Poetry || Akanmu

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Akanmu,
Like the moth which danced its way
Its way into the alluring flames
You will dance the dance of shame
You have spat on the four letter word
Said you don’t believe in it

Akanmu
You have forgotten
Refused to heed your mother’s warning
Like the carefree goat
You go about wrecking havoc
Defiling innocent ones
In the name of love
Yet you have no idea what it is
And you claim you do
Saying “I love you too.”

Akanmu
The sun will set
And you will be left alone
Run Akanmu!
Change Akanmu!
You will fall into your own pit
And make your way to the depth of Hades

*Akanmu – A name for a male of the Yoruba tribe

Wrote this series as a personal poetry challenge some months ago. You can check the posts out on my instagram @mystique_dammy

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