For the last 24 hours I have neither eaten nor drank anything. I did not speak to a single soul. I set eyes on no one on account of being locked up intentionally in my room.
I read my SMS but responded to none. I had turned off my mobile data and done the same to the Internet service provider modems of which I had two. I had shutdown my laptop as well. I had unplugged the TV and DSTV.

I had set the status on my Whatsapp profile to “SMS only”. I have to remember to change it. So I have more or less been cut off from all social media.

On the table is a plate with 3 slices of bread which I kept just in case. There’s a bag full of 20 pieces of 50-CL water sachets just in case as well. I didn’t touch either the bread or water. There’s half a bucket of water which I finally dipped a small face towel into and used to wipe my face and torso sometime in the afternoon. Not that I was really uncomfortable or sweaty but it was something to do. 24 hours is a long time.

I had a fan running all day courtesy of the inverter. No AC since there’s no electricity supply from the mains since morning. I was loath to open the windows during the day even when the temperature went up. It came close to being unbearable at some point.

As at 9PM I had 49 missed calls. Probably from under 20 people. Most are probably work related. Most of the SMS are from automated systems at the various banks at which I held accounts. It’s surprising that even on our birthdays especially those of us who are naturally reticent the few number of calls we get. I suspect when I enable mobile data on my phone and put on my laptop, there will be plenty of impersonal one-liners from friends and acquaintances. We get what we sow. Someone who wants friends must show himself friendly or something like that so I cannot complain. On the other hand, the Yorubas say it’s impossible for the same 20 kids to remain close friends for 20 years.

I am grateful for the calls (apologies for not accepting them) and those one-liners. The fact that people even take the pains to write them means they spared you a thought even during their busy schedules. Thank you.

I have read a ton of Sherlock Holmes and come away with the believe that “The Yellow face” is one of the best of his engagements. I am sure it’s based on sentiments: especially the ending. I read most of the book “The Rhineland Mystics: an anthology”.

I remember for some reason that the word “interregnum” is one of my most favourite words.

I did a few other “things” while alone in my room of course. I tried to exorcise myself of some of my personal demons. I am not sure if how successful I have been but hopefully I am better now in all aspects than I was 24 hours ago.

At 9:44PM someone put on the generator and it was blissful to feel the first waves of cool air wafting from the AC.

A little “Sunshine” would have made a world of difference but she shines a long way away across the oceans.

I cannot say if I have achieved anything permanently positive by my actions of the past 24 hours though I hope so.

Final tally was 54 missed calls, several SMS and 119 new Whatsapp messages. I suspect most of them are from my secondary school class Whatsapp group.

Now that the “break” is over, I intend to take a proper bath and then go and indulge in something light. After all, it’s my birthday.

NB: apologies again to all those who tried to reach me. I will get around to returning the calls and SMS shortly.



So I get in a taxi (at the Immigrations office in Ikoyi) bound for the office in Victoria Island. The taxi man proposed N1,500 as the charge. I countered with N1,000. Back and forth and he finally asked me to get in but hoped I would “add” something.

Driving a Taxi must be a lonely job to a large extent. Between clients, you are probably just driving around. Then people come into your live for brief periods of time, most will not leave any last impressions, but some will (including the guy that pulls a stickup on you and robs you of your day’s takings). So generally, taxi drivers are ready to talk. I am usually ready to listen – especially if you don’t expect more from me than the brief responses that indicates I don’t mind you going on or that I am at least listening.

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

Taxi driver: “You see. It’s the fuel scarcity. If you check in the back of my cab, you will see several jerrycans there. The queues in the petrol stations are horrendous. In addition, they are hoarding the fuel.”

(I looked in the back and only saw a tiny 4-liter oil can so I said jokingly, “I don’t see any jerrycans here.”

“I just dropped them off because I needed to carry some heavy stuff for a client.”

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

“My wife just delivered twins after many years of trying. My family had advised me to send her away. If not that we already had one child from several years before it would have been difficult. But I stuck with her. What’s the alternative? Get a new wife? Besides, you can’t trust most of these young ladies of nowadays. They are prostituting themselves all over the place.”

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

“You see in fact I am fed up. This taxi is not even mine. Though I hope God will bless me this year and I will be able to buy my own. It’s on lease. I came all the way from Sango this morning to pick it up. See (holding up a ticket), this is a railway ticket in my hand. Sometimes, when I drop a client, by the time I drive round and get another one, my fuel is almost gone. If you don’t want to suffer, make sure you are out of this area before 4:30PM.

The petrol stations have fuel. They are just hoarding it. In some stations, they took delivery of 3 huge tanker-load of fuel about two to three weeks ago. We saw them. They locked it up claiming that the federal government wants to hike up the price. What’s their concern with that? This is fuel they took delivery of several weeks ago at the current price!”

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

“When you are driving, be careful of these Maruwa (commercial tricycles), they can get one in trouble. They behave like chickens on the road.

If you are still in this neighborhood by 4:00PM,  you will know that Jesus is not a Nigerian (referring to the traffic-jam). My body is aching all over. See how dirty I am all over from the oil. But I give thanks to God all the same.

Yesterday when I leased this car. I was fortunate enough to repent quickly (“Olorun lo je kin tete ronu pi wada”). I just parked it. For over an hour and a half, not even one client!

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

“When they reopen this station (we were passing by the NNPC station under renovation) , it will be very fine. I suspect someone else must have bought it over. I heard they have taken it back from the previous owner. That they owe a lot of money (“won je iya-laya gbese”). But I am sure they have sold it to one of the cabal.”

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

“Beans is expensive in my area (I suspect the reference is to the Yoruba association of beans with twins). It’s N200 per Derica (measuring can). I was fortunate last week. While waiting to pick up clients, I went with a friend and found these Hausa traders. They are more reasonable. We got the beans at N160 per Derica.”

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

The traffic in V/I was already bad. At the Sanusi Fafunwa junction, I asked him to pull over. I said I would walk through Sanusi Fafunwa to Karimu Kotun street. He asked if that wasn’t too long a walk but was quite grateful when I insisted. I brought out everything in my pocket (N1,205). Handed over N1,200 for which he was even more grateful.

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

He needed to find water to top up his radiator. We parted ways at that point.

Time and Chance

Time and Chance

It was late and I was in the office. I might have been working hard … or hardly working.
Maybe just idling while the “file” completed downloading unto my external drive which was going to crash dramatically later that same night taking away with it lots of important documents – but that is another story.
I took an incoming call, spoke for some minutes and hung up. The gentleman came in at about that moment. He had been just about waiting at the doorway for me to end my call.

“Good evening. Apologies Sir. Sorry to disturb you. I heard your voice and couldn’t but help coming in.”

He walked towards my seat but he was more interested in the inanimate objects on the table.
He gestured at a few dirty cups around the office.

“Please can I take these?”

I said yes. I remembered I had seen him earlier in the office kitchenette when he had helped me wash a teaspoon while I waited at the door. For some reason I had taken off my shoes and went there in my socks. The office and the hallways were carpeted but the kitchenette had a tiled floor which was a little wet in parts when I got there. I had assumed he was one of the office assistants even though I was seeing him for the first time. But he was more than willing to help and I said thanks and went my way.

“You see. Google across the hall is having a programme and we need all the tea cups and spoons for tomorrow.”

“Yes. I noticed there were quite a lot of people there in the afternoon.”

By then he was at the door.

“Thanks again for this.” he said gesturing at the cups and spoons in his hands.

“Hey, why don’t you come over and check out what we are doing with the place?” he was all smiles.

I hesitated a little. I wasn’t particularly curious. Also I had looked in briefly the previous Friday when they were moving in. Also that afternoon during or after their “session” or so, they had left the door open for some time and I had seen parts of the interior on my way to my office.

But he insisted.

So I got up and crossed into the other office.

“What do you think?”

Looked nice and not quite like a formal office. I guess this is one of those perks Google is known for: some section of the office space to make staff and guests really feel at home.

“I am setting up the place now. By tomorrow it will be totally different.” He spoke in terms that sounded as if he was one of the “proper” Google staff. That sounds unkind I know, but if you want to know, I have colleagues that can tell you a thing or two about how precarious even the position of so-called full employees are in such companies.

He showed me the refreshment table by the door. “You see this is why I needed all the cups and spoons.” Nicely laid out were several rows of porcelain white tea cups, teaspoons and saucers. He literally beamed at them.

“By tomorrow this place will be hustling and bustling. So the place has to be ready.”

I looked around some more, not really moving too much since it was one big colorful room and I could see the whole place from just inside the doorway where I was.
I thanked him and retreated into the hall separating the two offices.

“My name is E. P. What is yours?” He spoke well and with confidence.


“Wow! That was my father’s name. He was the first Surveyor General of this country.”

I nodded my head and let it show on my face that I was impressed.
I don’t want to slander him but I thought I had caught a whiff of something stronger than deodorant on him while he had been in my office. Especially since at some point, he was standing next to my table while talking to me. I would also have sworn under oath that he was just imperceptibly unsteady on his feet. Then there was the fact that he was too “friendly” for someone who hardly knew me and had more or less invaded our office space by literally inviting himself in.
A few more pleasantries. He thanked me a few more times and I went back into my office and he into the Google-verse.
I would take a wild guess that he came from a reasonably affluent background especially given his command of English and his confidence and possibly the position he claimed his dad had occupied long ago. At least he was doing an honest job. But I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that several years back when he was younger, he might have been running around some impressive household while other waited on him, and there he was that night picking up late after the Google invitees (they made me feel old 🙂 and their hosts had left. Setting the place in order for their return the following morning.

I could of course be completely wrong about him.

But then time and chance happens to us all. And what those two don’t cover, there is always the thing the Yorubas call “A fo wo fa.” to even things out rather unsatisfactorily for all concerned. Otherwise Adam wouldn’t have discovered that there was such a feeling as regret (and the modern world we live in is proof that it all went south from there onwards).

“And God was walking in the garden in the cool of the evening. And Adam was hiding crouched over in the bushes biting his nails with gut-wrenching regret.”

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

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.”


G.E.L (Gays, Extremists and a little pink Lamp)

So let’s start with a disclaimer. This blog post is meant to be rude. Don’t read too much into it. I am now going to start from the beginning … or as close to it as is possible.

NOTE: I am not homophobic. I am not homophobic. I am not homophobic. I am not homophobic. I do not hate LGBTs nor anyone for that matter. Even if everybody hates Chris, that does not include the “Little dude from across the street. Lemme hold a dollar” guy. Well, you can look at me like that fella except without the implied “I will beat you up if you don’t comply” threat. We good? Good. Shall we?

So I bought a rechargeable lamp a week or so ago. It is mostly white but with a little pink. I didn’t think too much of it at the time and didn’t really use it much until tonight. Well, the 9KVA generator tried to pull a “spontaneous combustion” on me last night (well, actually it was the plug on the cable that tried to do that, but I guess one can’t blame it – after all, it can’t tell a holy day apart from a weekday). Anyways, tonight I whipped out some tools and decided I was going to fix it since NEPA (the power supply company) had not deemed it fit to supply electricity throughout the weekend. There was still some juice in the Inverter but I wasn’t going to wait until it was completely dead.

But I digress. So I had the lamp on the kitchen table and my cousin once removed (truth be told, I can never seem to get that “removed” thing straight. She is the daughter of my much older cousin) comes into the kitchen, sees the new lamp and goes “Isn’t that a little too pink?” to which I responded: “I am connecting with my gay side.”

Which of course got me thinking and that is how “we” arrived at this blog entry.

Now, I don’t have anything against gays (or more appropriately LGBTs – that’s Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transvestites). Having said that, so that people know where I stand in the ongoing debate (not the one about whether there is a global “Gay Agenda” or not), I would rather prefer that all gay people are straight (says the chap who has never had a girlfriend – but that as they say, is another story).

So anyways, I cut the two cables from the burnt plug (fully convinced that I could tell them apart), only to return later with an older plug I found lying around to discover that the two cables where actually the same colour! I called up a friend who is a mechanical engineer (but into the Inverter business) and he said it is unlikely that I would do any damage no matter how I connect the cables (neutral and live) but just to be sure I don’t mistakenly reverse the polarity, he would have his electrical engineer staff come around in the morning to fix it (fortunately while I was battling the plug, NEPA, a sure member of the pantheon “brought” the electricity supply back!).

So I abandoned my electric dreams and went back to the kitchen. There was a whole smoked chicken to cook and fry, along with some Irish potatoes (cook only). So there I was at 38, scraping away at the skin of a couple of potatoes (no, I am not talking about myself. I am younger than 38. I was referring to my twin who turned 38 back in April). Now I don’t have anything against peeling potatoes. In fact if I do get married, whoever the lucky (opinions may differ of course) lady is, we will man the kitchen together for as long as she wants me there. What I am saying is that I do know how to be a couch potato – I don’t mind sitting back in the parlor and knocking back a few or playing with whatever console (game) is available along with that 55-inch OLED TV and 7-speaker surround sound system (just saying).

But again I digress. What I was saying is that I don’t believe all that nonsense about “I was born this way” (Lady G. can literally lick my … and if you want to sue me, make sure it’s in the US of A. Don’t forget to send a one-way ticket while you are at it. I can be your house guest while we duke it out in the court system and the court of public opinion – whatever that is worth nowadays).

I warned you before. This post is “rude.”


Now, I concede that there is something to be said for “predisposition.” We will consider “predisposition” along with “environment” as they are invariably linked. Let me explain. Take a boy who has 5 sisters. Let’s say he is not the first born but somewhere around the middle. Now there are several possible outcomes.
One, if he is effeminate to start with, he may grow up to be:
a. just still effeminate, or
b. gay (“wow sis, that dress looks great on you, but I bet it will look even better on me!”), or
c. just a regular chap who has seen it all (maybe even jaded), or
d. Terror on the girls.

Two, if he wasn’t effeminate to start with, we could probably cross out option (a) above.

If any of that doesn’t make sense, you are in good company. I don’t understand it either. Nothing to lose sleep over.

Which reminds me of a pair of twins we had back in my secondary school days. I went to a boys-only secondary school. They were reasonably alike but definitely not identical. Very good footballers so they were quite popular. But they had another skill up their sleeves. They both had a tendency to want to share several juniors’ beds. I think they were lonely (tongue in cheek). Well, it got to a point where what they were up to became common knowledge. In addition, certain of their “victims” started walking “funny” (the Yoruba term was “gan-di” as in “gan-di rin” – “walking uncomfortably with the buttocks jutting out or as if they had something between their legs” – that’s actually not very explanatory – all men have something between their legs – but you get my meaning I am sure).

Well, one Saturday, the whole boarding house ganged up on them. An assembly was called, where they were named and shamed. Then the whole student body (boarders) literally ran them out of the hostels and the school. I can’t for the life of me remember whether they actually finished their education in the school (may be as “day“ students if the shame wasn’t too much – but definitely not as boarders!)

Their case is probably an aberration. Two twin brothers! On the other hand, maybe they were “experimenting” between the two of them before they then found themselves in the much more “fertile” grounds of the boarding house.

But I digress. So I told my cousin I was getting in touch with my gay side. Let’s leave that there for a minute shall we.

But what has extremists (in the subject) got to do with all this? I am glad you asked. If you live in my country and you don’t know what “Boko Haram” is, stop reading right now. Go over to Google and “google” the term. When you are familiar with the term, come back here – I am not going anywhere soon. Unless of course the second coming happens, in which case if you are still reading this, then you are in a shitload of trouble and you better start praying that “Boko Haram” gets you soon!

If you still don’t know who or what “Boko Haram” is, here is a brief explanation. They are a group (or several loosely affiliated groups) of extremists who have sworn against “Westernization” in all forms. They have caused untold damage to lives and properties in the country. The government finally woke up one day, suddenly had an “Eureka” moment and decided “we won’t take their shit anymore!” and sent the military to put them down. That “engagement” is still ongoing.

Now, while I continue to pray that common sense prevail in this country, and we somehow get beyond our tribalistic agendas which are holding us back as a nation, one should still plan for all contingencies. After all, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Arc (that’s not an original saying from me – I borrowed it). Though it is highly unlikely (they thought the titanic couldn’t sink), there is a chance (even if it is one in 170 million) that this country may become the fiefdom of the extremists (God forbid bad thing!). But I am prepared – can you see the “tuft” on my chin? If you are  a man and you don’t have one, better start growing one now – the difference between keeping and losing your head may just be that fuzz on your chin!

Now, as I have said before, I do not know if there is (or not) a “Gay agenda”. But if we swing to another extreme possibility, and we become more gay than not, then I am prepared as well.  All I need do is whip out my pink-white lantern and I am totally in there (as in “Everybody hates Chris” in-there)!

Which brings us back full cycle to where we started from. No one has a right to hate another (or another’s way of life – you may of course dislike their way of life – but that’s totally different from hate – and it shouldn’t prompt you to do heinous things). God gave us all free will (to choose). We can try within reasonable limits to convince another of what we think is right or wrong, but under no circumstances should we turn that to hate or denigration (of the party or parties with different sociological “leanings”). If indeed someone’s way of life bothers you, the only way you can achieve lasting change is to show constant love – let your own way of life convince the person.

I have to stop this now before I start ranting. Before I am labeled a right-winger. I am not a right-winger; neither am I a left-winger; I don’t belong to the center either. I am a “can’t we all just get long?” kind of guy (that was from Rodney King).

At last, I think with that I have succeeded in convincing you (as opposed to my learned colleague) once and for all, to make love not war! You are probably wondering why I am so excited (same here too). It is either I am going to win the lottery tomorrow, or the sugar and alcohol in the bottle of Coca-Cola and Smirnoff Ice I took just as I started writing this article that’s responsible (“I feel good!”).
“Kids, don’t mix Sugar and Ice, hmmn-kay.”

18/06/2013 (01:34AM)



Ife the city.

Ife the Yoruba word for love.


Today (Sunday) I stopped at the old tollgate just at the entrance to Ife (on my way back to Ibadan).

“How much?” I asked the lady with the tray of bananas. One of several women trying to sell me fruits of various kinds including oranges, pears, etc.

“N200” she said.

“But these bananas are small.” I said.

“That’s how we found them.” she said as a form of apology for the size of the bananas.

I haggled half-heartedly because it was expected.

She insisted on two hundred Naira. Her face took on a pleading look. I relented.

She put the bananas in a plastic bag and handed it to me. I paid.

The middle aged man in the “Yellow Fever” uniform standing along the road with the fruit sellers asked if I would be kind enough to give him a lift to Ikire. I was sure he wasn’t completely sure he would get a positive response. I asked him to hop in which he gratefully did.

He was somewhat dirty and didn’t smell too good. But who would after being in the African midday Sun all day?

I noticed his eyes were bloodshot even though he had on a pair of dark glasses. I thought I smelled some of the local gin on him.

He told me he was transferred from Ikire to Ife (or was it the opposite?) early this year and he had not yet secured accommodation locally so he has been shuttling between the two towns (probably a distance of about 40KM).

I put on the radio. A call-in Yoruba programme was on air. People called in or sent in SMS asking the radio presenters to “beg” their loved ones (husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, etc.) for wrongs they had done to them. They would give the person’s name, their names, and ask for forgiveness. The presenters will then plead on behalf of the caller.

Time passed.

We came to a point on the road. A small white car had run off the road into the brush just by the road side. I don’t think it was too bad as we could still see the driver’s head and he seemed OK. Their was also no urgency in the actions of the FRSC officers diverting traffic at the point. There was a huge trailer on the road trying to turn around. I suspect it might have caused the small car to run off the road.

I dropped off the traffic officer at the Ikire junction.

I was on the road again when I got a call from “The Realist” (a friend; a sister; a kindred spirit; :-).

Which reminded me of the previous day’s events. (Not that I had actually forgotten).

I had gone on a little adventure on the campus grounds with “The Realist”.

The highlight was a visit to the zoo.

Which still consisted of a lot of virgin forest. Hanging vines. Dark paths. The whole setup very Indiana Jones like. Broken here and there by the enclosures of various animals. I might have missed a couple but the animals in the zoo consisted of the following:

A couple of lions. They didn’t look well fed nor happy. They were locked up. The tip of their ears raw with the flies bothering them. Despite making lots of noise to get their attention, they were too disinterested (or ill?) to even give us a look. One was lying in its own piss and feaces. It was all a little depressing. I had read on the Internet the day before that there were only 34 lions left in the whole country. I guess these two were part of those 34. I wasn’t sure how long they could survive in that setting (maybe we will soon be down to 32).

There was a dwarf crocodile lying completely still in the Sun; a river turtle; a crested “something-something” bird; a couple of ostriches.

A hyena which we didn’t see on the first pass of its enclosure partly due to the “little” jungle in its enclosure. It was visible on our return journey. The enclosure wall was about waist high, so I guess hyenas can’t jump or climb. All the same it was disconcerting.

We took some pictures.

hyena1    hyena2

hyena3    hyena4

A little python. I understand from “The Realist” that there used to be a huge long black python there as well. (Maybe it had gone to snake heaven).

We came across an enclosure with “Maxwell’s Duiker” on the little signboard, but the animal(s) were absent. Maybe gone the way of the big snake as well.

There were some monkeys as well. Their enclosure wall was very high. Probably close to 20-feet in some places. I guess it is needed to keep the monkeys in. I should have taken some pictures.

While we were there, only one other group (probably from Ife town due to the mix and look of the 6 or so people) showed up. So much potential unrealised (a reflection of the country).

We still enjoyed the visit though. It was also some exercise as we were both sweating due to the exertion (the terrain was undulating).

We left the zoo and visited some other areas of the campus.

At some point we were in front of the “Dramatic Arts” cloister of buildings. I remember I used to go to there when I was still a student to go look at the statues put up by the Fine Arts students; sometimes I would go to the workshop at the back to watch them work.

The campus had changed a lot. Lots of construction going on. Lots of cars.

All good things come to an end. I dropped off “The Realist.”

I went to “Ajose Lecture theatre” by myself but the place was locked up due to renovations going on. I looked through a crack in the door and could see all the new seats wrapped up in cellophane.

I drove to the staff quarters to the home of a close friend. I was going to stay the night with his family.

I almost didn’t make it to church this morning (Sunday). I wasn’t keen but the wife was just a little (gently) persistent enough to make me change my mind.

I was glad I went for the service. I didn’t know my friend was going to preach. He was actually one of the church elders!

church1    church2

tope1    tope2

Back “home”, I dozed on and off after the well-made meal of yam and fried eggs 🙂

Five thirty and I got on the road for the trip back to Ibadan.

I got to Ibadan about an hour later.

It was mentioned in church that this is the month of grace. May the good Lord be gracious to all of us.