Little boy ashore letting down his net on a canoe

Where Will These Plans Berth?

The viral song “Egungun be careful na express you dey go”  evokes laughter many years after its release by maverick Fuji music artiste, Abass Akande Obesere. Its follow up lyrics, “…motor go jam you” is a warning cloaked in humour amid the energetic dancing that accompanies the song. To the more discerning audience, the advice embedded in the musical expression is not lost. In fact, it could pass for a proverb: one that can be employed by a parent to admonish a recalcitrant child or a teacher to a student towing the wrong path.

Before You Put Yourself Out There

She’s received heavy criticism for her less-than-encouraging words to auditioners who showed up for the Nigerian Idol music reality TV show. For someone who’s far more experienced and must have had her fair share of struggles on her journey to stardom, folks figured she should have been more empathetic towards the idol-hopefuls trying to achieve the same dream. 

Lion roaring to attack

Initial “Gra Gra” And Other Moves That Lead Nowhere

 

He clenched his jaw and swung from side to side in the manner of boxers. Eyes never leaving his opponent. Compare his muscular frame to the average build of his opposing number and you’d not be accused of being hasty if you adjudged the pending fight a bit of a mismatch. But when the announcements were done with and it was time to exchange fisticuffs, the savage mien soon gave way to an average countenance. The stance before the onset of the fight had no bearing on what played out when it was action time. The menacing character got beaten by the unassuming-looking personality I had been so certain he would defeat.

Burna Boy wearing sunshades and touching his lips with his little food

Burna Boy And The Burden Of Faux Humility

The euphoria that has trailed the announcement of Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy was expected. We had been there before…waiting with bated breaths in periods of heightened anticipation that often ended up in disappointment when artistes like King Sunny Ade and Femi Kuti bagged multiple nominations that failed to result in the big prize.

And even when artistes of Nigerian origin like Babatunde Olatunji and Sikiru Adepoju were named winners, it felt a little weird to associate ourselves with their uncommon feat—a result of their foreign affiliation.

The Mythical Concept Of Balance

“You need to find balance”: these words can come in form of an admonition, advice or appeal. The most common instance where we hear this is in respect of work and family. We are told to find work-life balance and when folks say this, they mean we should not be found to be tilting towards one spectrum of our existence at the expense of the other. The gender that hears this the most is female. Women are admonished to ensure they never neglect the home because of a career, and so, all her life, she is in a constant state of contouring herself in many different ways to see that she “finds that balance”.

Two pairs of sneakers on either side of a defined line

Where Blurry Boundaries Aren’t Allowed

Without boundaries, nothing is sacred. I could repeat this simple sentence throughout this piece in the hope that it would sink and I would have passed a cogent message across, but I would be breaking a basic essay rule if I did so. However, the unsettling news concerning the incessant spate of kidnapping, especially in secondary schools domiciled in the northern part of the country is not only worrisome, but also a clear case of playing Russian Roulette with the lives of those who form a part of the most vulnerable in our society—our children.

Heart emoji surrounded by rusty handcuffs

Scorned Lovers and Moral Codes

It happened in some foreign country. She had had her suspicions that he was cheating and had done her little homework such that she was able to catch him on a romantic date with another lady. She was enraged and proceeded to retrieve the clothes she had gifted him…right there on the streets. His protests and appeals for her to rethink her move were ignored; she wanted to humiliate him as he did her by sharing what should have been exclusive to them with another. It was mission accomplished in the end—she had paid him back in the most debasing way

In Deed, Not Words

February is one of my favourite months. For one, it’s the much-touted month of love and behind my sometimes aloof exterior, I’m quite the lover girl. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but like it often does, the memories of the day linger long after the day is gone. For couples, it’s the one day even the shyest of them break their privacy rule to engage in some PDA. Singles dread the day as it represents a stark reminder of lost, unrequited or non-existent eros love, except, of course, the gangsters amongst them who cannot be bothered by all the fuss surrounding the day.

Looking at the word "Silence" in the newspaper through a magnifying glass

When Silence Is Not Golden

Looking at the word "Silence" in the newspaper through a magnifying glass

Many times, it makes sense to be silent. In a world where trouble is always brewing beneath the surface of even the most seemingly innocuous gestures, the option to be silent is a commonsensical one. Two shady politicians deploy verbal missiles to tackle each other; not your business, keep your silence game tight. Some random individual says something unsavoury about you; they may be seeking attention, be silent. Sensitive subjects like religion and ethnicity are being discussed and tempers are flaring; it makes sense to not exacerbate the situation. Be silent. However, in some cases, being silent takes on a more sinister meaning.   

Emilia: This Tragedy, This Pain

Dear Emilia,

They say there are four or five stages of grief, but since I learnt of your passing, I have been stuck in the shock stage. I have wandered between shock and disbelief since the wee hours of Saturday when I stumbled on the Facebook post that would send me into a state of sadness that I last experienced when I lost my father. And since then, I have asked no one, in particular, the question, “How can Emilia die?” Indeed, how plausible is it that you no longer exist in this realm. It’s the most preposterous thing; bereft of a scintilla of logic, yet I find myself writing this piece…talking about you in the past tense.