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.

Silhouette of a man with an outstretched arm

Our Special Brand Of Leadership

Influencer, visionary, courageous, empath—these are some of the words that come to mind when considers attributes of the quintessential leader. We are told a leader takes responsibility, seeks to serve first before being served, and when things go south, he is ready to take the fall for it while sharing accolades with his team members in times of success. This is how society defines good leadership. But what does society know? Leaders in my part of the world have cracked the code of inimitable leadership in a way that trashes whatever their counterparts in other climes think they are doing.

Thumb and index finger holding the Nigerian National Identity Card

COVID-19, NIN, And Bits Between

COVID-19 is back and with a vengeance. The steady increase in the number of people who are infected every day is not the only source of worry. This time around, fatalities are on a worrying rise too. And with the government still tinkering with the idea of imposing a lockdown, it’s safe to say we have continued from where we were in 2020. Nevertheless, the coronavirus is not the sole source of concern for the Nigerian, these days, a citizen of the most populous black nation in the world has to make peace with the idea that he may wake up to a blocked telephone line, no thanks to the ill-timed directive to get the National Identification Number registration done.

Richest Man in the World, Elon Musk taking questions in a car lot with his palms open

Transcending The Rat Race

In the part of the world I live, 40%of the population which translates to more than 80 million people live below the poverty line. But that’s not all, many of those who are fortunate to not fall within this bracket are only marginally doing better. One chronic illness and they are down to the dreaded penury group. Little wonder we are all about what to eat, how to survive, how to stay afloat amid the unending challenges that plague citizens of a consumer nation. Lofty ambitions are a luxury; in Nigeria, it’s all about being able to afford basic living expenses and keeping the kids in school.

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Let’s Forget The Government For A Second

Three things are certain in life: rain, tax, and Nigerians bashing their government for glaring ineptitude. Small pockets of conversations, large gatherings, a night out with friends, and commuter small talks have lamentations of irresponsibility on government’s path as a core feature. And this discontent that gives rise to criticism is valid. There’s no reconciling the abundance mother nature bestowed on Nigeria with her dismal socio-economic state.

Silhouette of ma n standing by the window

Stranger In My Dreams

My best friend, Bami and I were on our way to shop for groceries. It was the weekend, a time when we did our cooking for the week. But this time around, we were cooking for Bami. I was scheduled to spend a few days visiting my cousins in Badagry. I had met Bami at the NYSC camp and we had grown close, so close that everyone believed we were a couple. And each time any of us denied it, they scoffed or gave us look that told us they thought we were being untruthful. It did not help that Bami’s girlfriend was in Benin and I was without a lover. And while I had a slew of admirers, none had aroused more than a passing interest in me.

Fresh flowers springing forth in autumn

The Beauty Of Growth

The other day, my cousin and I were discussing music and he asked me a question that comes up quite often among Nigerian music lovers. One that centred around two of the biggest artistes in the country and whose music I preferred. I gave my answer. Told him I was more inclined towards the one who had transcended the desire to make hits for the fans and now did music he loved and had grown into. It didn’t matter that he once appealed to the masses too. He had now evolved and his fans would have to come to terms with this evolution.

Man in suit walking across the street

Take A Walk Through The Streets

As 2020 winds down, many things have changed around us. The optimism and hope that often heralds the pending dawn of a new year are missing, for good reason too. Everyone is cautious about their expectations from the coming year because of the many shocks 2020 served. But while a lot of changes have occurred in the way we live and our disposition to events, what has remained unchanged is the deep divide when it comes to opinions about the way Nigeria is currently run. The “hailers” and “wailers” within the polity have maintained their stance regarding national issues.