I went to bed with an ache in my back. You haunted my dreams. I woke up trying to decide whether I was daydreaming or truly dreamt of you.

No exercise for me this morning. I will lump it together with tomorrows. The room is in shambles. I have to fix it, but not this morning. I grabbed the barbing kit, put a N1000 note in my pocket and went out to the next street to the tree under which my barber plies his trade.

There was a MOPOL (mobile policeman) on the seat. He was having his head shaved while having a lively conversation with the barber. He got up once done and started to walk away.

The barber asks for payment.

“I paid you last time” the MOPOL replied.

The barber called after him “419 MOPOL.”

We all smiled.

I sat down and told the barber that I was trying to grow my beard. So not to shave it off but he could “shape” it.

The MOPOL walked by again, and said he was going to the next street. The barber commented that the exercise was good for him, and added when he was out of earshot that the MOPOL needed the exercise, or how does he explain his sizable potbelly (which the policeman needed to lose).

Once done, I handed him the N1,000 naira note. His fee is N200. I told him to add the balance to the other “thing” (a side “venture”). He knows what I am talking about. I had given him N2,000 several weeks ago. He said he still had N1,200. The N800 should put it back at N2,000. No pain no gain.

Work was work. I should go (to the church) for (the weekly) fellowship, but various things were going on, and I watched 6PM come and go. Inertia. I couldn’t get up to go. Excuses. A colleague mentioned that Oblivion (the film) was out. I checked the Genesis Deluxe Cinema’s website and found that the last showing was for 8:50PM. I decided to go see the film. I left the office at 8:10PM only to find a gridlock on the road. It didn’t look like I would make it to the cinema before the film started, and I hate to miss the opening sequence of any film. I would try. I got to the cinema about 5 minutes late. Parked my car in a vacant lot between two jeeps and went in.

Paid and walked into the cinema hall. Fortunately, they were still showing previews of other films.

I walked up the aisle and found that a choice seat almost where I would have chosen even if I had come in earlier was still available. An Indian couple sat at the edge of the row, and several girls sat towards the other half so the seat almost dead center was free.

I sat down to enjoy the 2-hour film. The Indian couple talked from time to time. Not too much. It was nice (for them) not to be alone. It seems a lifetime ago when I was sitting in that same cinema (maybe even the same hall) next to you. I was glad I was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt because I could feel your arm against mine. I didn’t move it, and neither did you. The feeling was delightful. I could have sat there till the Sun went down, and the moon came up. But that was a lifetime ago. The wheels of time move quickly.

Tom Cruise delivered as usual.

It is 11:15PM and I was the last person out of the hall.

There were suddenly lots of young people coming up the stairs unto the top floor. Strange for that time of night. I walked past them and out into the night. I see a “Department of Medicine, LASU” bus. Maybe the throng just arriving were students. They looked young enough.

I walked towards my car. I passed a man leaning against his car. He said something to me that though I heard did not register at the time “That car has hit your car.”

My car was in view and there was a Toyota Corolla next to it. It was too close for comfort. In fact, it looked as if it was physically resting against mine on the driver’s side (of my car).

I was a little alarmed. I could see into the car and it looked as if the driver had his head on the steering wheel. I walked up to the car and tapped the boot. The car came alive and the driver reversed a little and drove sideways and stopped a couple of feet away. The driver came down. A young chap about my height (or maybe slightly taller). He looked at the front of his car.

I looked at my car and there was almost no damage. There was a small scratch on the side of the bumper that could have been made by something as small as a screwdriver.

Then he came round, tried to smile and apologized. He asked about my car and I told him there was almost no damage. He stretched out his hand and I shook it. I found the situation odd, so I asked him if he was drunk. He shook his head (difficult to tell if that was a yes or no). I noticed there was a girl in the passenger seat with her head in her hands. I asked if she was OK. She raised her head and looked in my direction. The chap opened the door and held the girls hand. I guess she was OK but probably embarrassed. She was really pretty.

The chap went back to look at the front of his car. He seemed to have run into the wall more than he had run into my car. He staggered a little. It was obvious he was more than a little drunk. He realized it and he was obviously embarrassed.

I asked if the girl could drive. He said no. I said I don’t think he should drive. He said he is not driving right now. I told him I think he should chill a little. Maybe get a drink of water.

He apologized again, shaking my hand. The other fellow that had spoken to me while I was approaching my car had walked up to us. He inquired if the damage wasn’t too much and the chap responded that he had run more into the wall than into my car. The other fellow went away.

The chap went back to sit in the driver’s seat. He leaned over to the girl with his arm either around her or on the back of her seat. Not sure what he was saying.

I drove off, then reversed again. I wanted a look at his license plate. If we meet again, I wanted to remember. His plate number read “EPE 4xx AL” (I am leaving out the 2 middle digits – replaced by the “xx”).

Hopefully, he would stay there for quite a while: Oblivion was just a wrong turn or decision away (for him and maybe for the girl also).

I am on my way home.

Another day.

Just like the rest.


Hopefully to oblivion.



I wish I had left my mind in Ibadan
A shell driving a shell to Lagos
Ignoring the statue at Challenge
Via Ijebu but not quite Epe

I wish I had left my heart in Ibadan
Then I wouldn’t have to “off” the radio
Because words like “Love, really?, drama, form, familiarity, talking, seriously?”
wouldn’t bother me so much

I wish I had left my past in Ibadan
Forgotten Geography
along with places such as Akobo, Mokola, Theatre, Bodija
Remembering nothing that quickened my heartbeat

I wish I had left my body in Ibadan
6 feet below ground
unmeasurable distance above earth
looking down with no care for love or lust or infatuation

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was broad daylight when I left Ibadan, so I decided to take the old Ibadan-Lagos road  from Ibadan to Lagos. It took me through Ijebu-Ode along the Lagos-Epe road.

The Church



I can’t help but marvel at the church above (the few times I have taken this route – always from Lagos to Ibadan except today I was going in the opposite direction and it was during the day). I pulled over, got out of the car and went to stand in front of the fence. I was tempted to go inside because there was the outline of 2 apostles on the metal double-door.

The bridge
This bridge below is just before the church (below). Not sure what it is called. But I guess the Federal Govt. “Omotosho-Epe-Ajah 330KV DC Transmission Line” at one end of the bridge should serve as a reference point.


I parked the car after going over the bridge (I couldn’t stop for some time so I parked a fair distance away from the bridge). Then I walked back (taking pictures along the way). Anything to keep the thoughts going through my mind at bay.

It all reminded me of my father. A surgeon (first class) and a farmer. He had a love of the land. Sweating under the mid-day Sun as he made the yam mounds. I still remember once the non-nonchalance with which he used the hoe to kill a snake that suddenly popped up once when he was making those mounds. He practically didn’t miss a beat.
Of course at the time (every Saturday spent on the farm), the gnats weren’t so nice, but we still had to fertilize the corn, weed the cassava fields, and clean out the piggery if necessary (actually fun getting in the pens with the pigs). And there was the fish ponds, the cattle, and the goats and sheep. There was the Mango trees, the sweet Agbalumo tree.
What wouldn’t I give now to spend a Saturday on the farm with him.
I think the fact that you could find me with slippers in the house and walking barefoot outside on the road/compound has something to do with my growing up 🙂







While taking photographs of the “creek”, a boat man came rowing midstream. I greeted him and asked if I could take his picture. He said to go right ahead. he even turned around the boat so I could get a good picture of him. He asked where I was from, and I said Lagos.




The other end of the bridge. The PHCN construction is just to the right.



The first “joint” where the bridge more or less started.

The pictures below were taken after I leaned over the bridge and greeted them. I asked if I could take their pictures. They didn’t understand me at first, but once they realised what I meant, they enthusiastically agreed.

Since they responded in Yoruba (but with the location at the back of my mind), I asked if they were Yoruba. The oldest boy told me that they were not Yoruba. That a lot of tribes were represented there. There were Ijaws, and other tribes. He himself was Togolese. I asked if he could speak French. he said very little. I greeted him “Bon joule”  to which he responded “Bon Joule madame”. We all burst out laughing at his mistake which he realised and I corrected (use Monsieur for men and madame for women)


Even the naked one in the group was willing to have his picture taken. I was the one that kept saying he should get in the water (since I was going to put up the pictures on my blog 🙂


Michael I think his name was. The most willing out of the group. He came up on the bridge afterwards to look at the pictures. Reporting to the rest that the pictures were very good.








Putting on a show for me (Michael I think). The little guy came up on the bridge, and jumped down into the water below! I asked him if he had done it before (jumped). He played along and pretended he hadn’t and it may be dangerous. I told him he was very brave. That I wouldn’t do it even if I was offered money!

Since they were all on the metal pipe, I told them I wanted to take a few more pictures. They decided to put the naked guy in the middle!





Back in the water!


I asked them what they did and they said “fish”. I said I didn’t think there would be big fishes in the water. they responded that it wasn’t the right season. That for now only small fishes are in the water.

I said goodbye. Once of them responded that I should “wash” the pictures. The others made fun of him!

It seems there are two ways we lose our “innocence” (the simple joy in being alive; in the wonders around us): age (growing up), and education.
Just after the bridge was a shed with a couple of kids under it. They were properly dressed and the bungalow in the background was probably their house. They were tending to a tray of smoked fish. I asked if I could take their picture and the boy said “Koni she she O!” (impossible!). Of course, it may just be superstition, who knows what I could do with the picture? Maybe “remote-control” them into slavery or money-making rituals! It contrasted heavily to the response I got a few meters away from the children and even men who were “closer” to the land.



The 25-liter plastic jerrycan collecting the real deal (palm-wine) from the palm tree!



The shed had various domestic items in it. I could also see a bottle of “Alomo” or whatever the aphrodisiac in the small green plastic bottle is called.



The other end of the bridge.


Village visit or consulting the “Babas”?


The car in the picture is a 2-door coupe.

The state of Nigeria


The old toll gate

The Epe bridge?


Loot from the Route!

The watermelon cost N600, the 6 mangoes cost N100, and the real poison (palm-wine) cost N500. After taking the pictures of the boys, it suddenly dawned on me that it would be a crime to leave the area (with all the palm-wine smell heavy in the air) without sampling some of it. There was a shed just a few meters up the road from where I had packed my car selling the good stuff 🙂
The plastic bottle is for size reference purposes. I bought the Mangoes and Watermelon at the T-junction (Epe/Ogun/Lagos).
I find it difficult to haggle too much with people selling food stuff. I think about all the effort it takes to grow them, the farmers and sellers under the fierce Sun … and I think how easy I may spend the same amount on something not even relevant such as a bottle of drink or a lunch …

The girl behind the polka dot

The girl behind the polka dot

It was the third of June
the rains beat down none too soon
for the heat, the heat was strong enough
to cook the brain

The rains lashed down
but I was safe behind the screen
the wipers screeched their protest
idle since last year
now venting their despair

The red carpet was out
the man ahead lost his footing
the cameras flashed
his shirt was dripping
the TV crews – shooting

The hall was crowded
the lighting occluded
the fashion impressive
the models attractive

Her face haunts my dreams
her vision my days
the rain washed away all:
sins and signs
things and grime

Love, affection, infatuation
gasps,whispers, exclamation
heaven, earth, and in between
death, taxes, all that lives within
lighting, thunder, lightening

silence …

It was the girl behind the polka dot.

Rumble in Rhodesia

Rumble in Rhodesia

The third war has come
…. and stayed

Oil was all that mattered
Oil is all that matters
They will kill you just because you have a car
Then kill you a second time for the oil in your car

I have a gun
Every other bullet is a blank
The lion facing me is not all lion
Neither am I all man
We both are part flesh, part machine
My watch tells me I am 70
My body is only 40
The lion has armour
The man has armour

I could end it all
If I popped one in the mouth
But a coward I am not
Cowardly – yes, from time to time
Reminds me of what the girl said so long ago
I have spent a life time and a half making it untrue
I wonder where she is

The lion advances
It radiates neither hate nor love
It was engineered for one goal:
Its purpose

I was caught
Stealing food for one of my kin
No kin in the flesh
But kin because we roam the wastelands together
Together by chance and challenges
She has a baby
Not mine
But a baby is a baby is helpless

Look at the map of the world
If you can find one
Back to the conference in 1845 with a smattering of 1914
Old alliances, new allies
All enemies, no friends

It is just one long evening
Am I alive or is this a memory chip in some computing grid
The claws felt real enough
The pain went from my back up my spine to my brain
… and back

I put the lion down
But no joy in victory
The third war is still on
Hell has come to stay
We did not go down
Hades came up

No matter how hard I pray
I know I still have to pay

So I am sending out my thoughts
If you receive them
I hope you will answer
Look for me in the never-ending dusk
A mist; a wisp; a whisper; a memory; a Shade
A man
A machine
A thought