Friday, April 28, 2006

School is on strike. Our professors are once again resorting to the muliply failed idea of not going to work until they get what they want. Well, for the past two decades, I do not think that they have got what they want. Why would the politicians ever care for the plight of today's youth? Their children are abroad studying alongside the children of the white man. The same white man they connive with to bring this country to its knees
I do not know how long it would take. The strike, I mean. Last stime it took seven months and just as I thought I would either kill myself or someone in my family from boredom and frustration, ASUU balked and gave in; in the interests of the students. At least, this time, we finished exams just before leaving. I do not know what I am going to do with myself for the next few months.
As at this very moment, I have no job and my book has not been accepted for publishing. I have refused to loose my mind at the prospect of being broke this summer and jobless. At least I have a home to go to. I will just have to compete with Tawa, the housegirl for her pay as I will be doing a whole lot of most of the kitchen chores and supervising the house. I will become the housekeeper and she will be the maid and my mother will be in housewife heaven. I think she is going to be preoccupied with a lot of parties this summer. So many of her friends' children are getting married and as many of her friends are wives of politicians, I will be given an opportunity to see my country's money being squandered at will.
The last wedding I went to took place at the Adebayo House on Allen Avenue. There were over six thousand people in attendance, including Tinubu, some governors and ministers. we only saw the parents of the couple for a few minutes; long enough to get our picture with them taken to be put on BOS, in Ovation, Citipeople and Expressions. My mum was so happy to see herself rubbing shoulders with the "rich and famous". I do not know what my father was thinking.
I always wonder what he thinks about most of his colleagues when he sees them living the way they do. I know I always wonder what changed. I remember as a little girl, watching them secretly meeting in our house after Abiola was arrested, trying to form a network to get him out, the truth out to the people and return the president elect to his rightful position as the leader to the country. These men that I am talking about, now have third and fourth wives, all of whom are at least a third of their ages. The only news one hears or reads about them is at social gatherings.
These were men that as a little girl, I aspired to be married to. Men who would speak eloquently about the country's problems and profer solutions on the spot on what to do about them. Some of them were arrested for their public opinions on the military government and the escalating levels of corruption in the society. Now they had become the figureheads of a dying society, of a people gone so far astray that I sometimes fear that one day, our greed will wipe us off the face of the earth.
I do not ever discuss my thoughts with my father. Our relationship is a strange one. He would be so disappointed if he knew half the things I had done. As a woman. As his child. But what am I to do.
The society has left my father behind in his OLD ways of thinking. His ways of thinking cannot apply to the society today. Not when he thinks with the mind of a graduate of a british university from a time when our naira was ywice the dollar and equal to the pound. When our leaders had the training to assume their positions and execute their duties. From a time when the black mind was celebrated as superior to the that of the white man. A time when we as a people planned our lives. A time before oil.
Now, he sends his daughter to school in an environment where her association with the most powerful around is what will guarantee her survival and protection. Something that her father cannot do.
I will return home for the strike. I will return to my father's house. I will return to the old man with the old ideas. To the man who still believes that hardwork and honesty are the two keys to success. To the man who married a woman who wants so badly to be a social butterfly. To the man I call father.
I will return to my father's house because thanks to the government, that is the only place where there is a decent human being left. Maybe I will be able to retrace my steps to my innocence. In my father's house.

Monday, April 17, 2006

i swear, the day that my family finds my blog, i will be immediately disowned. My father has already written me off as having not much to offer. It hurts sometimes but then, i myself know that i have gotten myself in so much trouble that i would make the same assessment of myself.
Anyways, I did something bad to my aunty, Mama Elelubo.
First, I have to tell you how she came about the name. It's what we have called her for centuries, as far back as I can remember anything. For some reason, the only dish I have a memory of ever eating in her house is Amala. I have racked my brain as to why that is but all i know is that everytime we go to her house, I have only ever eaten Amala. And that in itself is odd because I clearly remember spending two weeks at xmas by her and the family.
Now, whilst she is a splendid amala cook and concocter, she is a nasty person. My God, if you thought I did not particularly care for My Aunty Femi, Aunty Bola (Mama Elelubo) really brings on the rash.
she came to our house for Easter. I went home looking for money from my parents and those guys just figured, you know what, we will just kill the living day lights out of this girl and they saddled me with the task of preparing frejohn and fish. My God, if I have to clean one more catfish, I will loose my mind.
That's where I was, since my arrival from Ife, cleaning fish and trying not to kill either one of my sisters. Sayo had been delegated to be my official assistant but noooooo, that useless girl took off for only God knows where and left me and Tawa to slug it out. My mum was watching tv; I mean, what is the point of having children if you cannot enslave them in the future and justify it as upbringing. I am even surprised that my fingers are stil functional after handling all that fish in cold water. Plus, the ghastly things, are sold to you alive and I have to chase it around the huge bowl and then smash its head in before I can kill it. Sigh. The lengths we will go to to eat another animal.
And then, the visistors (who apparently have no houses of their own to cook in) came trooping and never failed to complement my mother on what a spectacular cook she was. Did she correct them and say that it was her collegiate daughter whom she had sent to Ife to pursue a degree in Business Administration, that she had shoved in the kitchen to do the cooking or that she was assisted by the ever silent Tawa (sometimes, i fear that girl; she does not talk. She can sit in silence for hours. At least, numeorus tests have shown that she is not stupid at all: which is the scary part.) who had been shipped in from Ibadan.
i sha cooked and cooked and then what will Mama Elelubo say after she had devoured two plates? That my fish could have done with more cleansing!!!! Can you imagine the fat cow.
I do not know why she is allowed into the house at all. She is dad's sister and all she ever does is come to cause katakata.
Her battle with my mother went on for years till my brother was born. Obviously my mother was failing in her duties as a wife in her "inability" to produce a male child. And Aunty Bola took it upon herself to search for a replacement.
So, what did I do to the heiffer?
Well. let's just say that I know where the keys to her car is. Let her ride danfo for a few days. Cos I know she said that she cannot find the car's spare.
I offered to tear thne house apart and find her keys for her while we ushered her into a taxi that I am sure she paid for because the money dad handed me to give her, I conveniently forgot on the dining table as I escorted her out.
I am not a bad person. I was provoked.

Friday, April 14, 2006

i had to come home today because I am broke and need to refuel on food and cash. besides, campus is becoming depressing by the day and then, there's the fact that today is Good Friday so everywhere is closed down so that the christians can have one more way to laud their faith over everone else.
Ibinabo called...finally. There wasn't much to say. i think it was worse for him because I wasn't screaming or making a fuss. What did he think I was going to do. for the fact that I had not decapitated him on the sport should have indicated to him that as I walked away from the scene, i was walking away from him and from us. US. Was there ever any us.
I am beginning to wonder what it is really like for men who keep yound women as mistresses. you know, like those sugar daddies( older men who run around with young girls less than half their age). How must it feel knowing that the only reason someone is with you is because of the money that you give to them and that they consider sex with you nothing more than part of the business arrangement. How must it feel to know that in reality they cringe when you touch them, especially those over weight, potbellied imbeciles that seem to have found their way into the coffers of the country's economy.
Ibinabo is not like that. I mean, not pot bellied and ugly. he is really quite good looking and very intelligent. he is the youngest manager in the bank where he works. he has been sent on numerous business trips because he is very well trusted. But, i do not think Ibinabo knows that he can indeed have a meaningful relationship even if he does not throw his money or the knowledge of it around.
I hvae noted that most african men have not been taught to believe in themselves without the accolades heaped upon them by women. they need us to define them because they have never been taught to define themselves without us to be their backbones, their ceremonial robes and trophies. If only they, as strong African men, knew their own power and celebrated themselves, they will not be seeking women who are of the same age as their grandchildren to help them recapture the youth they never had a chance to experience or define.
But Ibinabo is not like that. Not yet.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

You will never believe what I saw yesterday. Since what happened happened, I have been nearly incoherent with anger.
Can you imagine what is saw on my way back from the post office yesterday?
Why was Ibinabo trying to extract this girl's large intestines with his mouth? Can you imagine, I saw my boyfriend (if you can call him that) trying to swallow this girl infront of Savory's. I almost fell down when I saw him. I could not believe that he would have the audacity to have another girlfriend right here on the same campus as I and so blatantly flaunt her in public with not a care that someone I know would see them and that it would get back to me.
And do you know that he saw me?
And he SHRUGGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. He Shrugged!!! He Shrugged!!!
What does that mean? What does that mean? Is he crazy?
He did not even stop what he was doing and the stupid bitch actually had the audacity to dagger me. The ugly heiffer actually gave me 'the look'; you know, the one when you are just daring someone to mess with you.
At that moment, I just wished that I had been raised on the streets and would have kicked some arse.
Then, I realised why he had shrugged and so, i simply walked off.
Ibinabo had shrugged because he knew that we had never defined our relationship and he knew that I too had not been faithful. I mean, I had two other guys supporting me last year and then there was Chinedu.
As I am writing this, I am calming down. When i first decided to update my blog, I intended to use it to abuse the life of the girl Ibinabo was with. i know her name, department and her hostel room. I know that she came in through diploma and whom she hangs out with. I went snooping and have discovered all there is to know about her and I have also discovered that she is just like me.
We are both trying to survive in this country. We both have older men in our lives, on whom we depend on for financial survival. We are both female and if there is one ting I know, it's that the greatest battle a woman will ever have to fight is not against a man but against other women.
Ibinabo has to show that he is not a punk; not a bitch. Not bound to my thong. I understand that. So, I am not going to stress.
I have other things on my mind now. I alomost forgot that when I saw Ibinabo, I was coming back from the post office. Still no word from any agency. I do not even know what to do or think.
I just want to get out of this country, so much. I am fed up with life here. Everyday, it's one problem or the other. One hassle or the other. You struggle with NEPA, with lack of water, hostel accomodations, school fees, professors, course loads, expensive handouts, understocked libraries, weight, the price of living, thieving school officials, thieving government officials, and to top it all off, as a woman , you struggle with men.
I am so weary of it all. Sometimes, when you are doing all these worldly things, it can be exciting but when you get home and close the door behind you, you find that you are by yourself and if you are like me, a thinker, you will find that you are burdened by what you think about all that you see.
I wish there was a way to go back in time and change the outcome of things.
I have to take stock of my life, especially as I am trying to become a writer; the likes of which will rival Nnamandi Adichie, Buchie Emecheta and Seffi Etta.
You know what my real problem is, I am too intelligent for most of the things I do. i move with friends whom i always like to call the SURVIVORS. They are just getting from day to day, allowing the tide of things to push them about. they wait for things to happen. Never proactive, always reactive. I, on the other hand, cause things to happen.
But, because I know that i will never fit in if i am myself, i do things everyone does. Date older men because it is currently in vogue, wear the latest hair style, the latest fashion, attend all the happening parties, indulge in all that everyone is indulging in so that I am also mentioned when the happening people on campus are being talked about. I have truly lost myself and i only needed to see a refelction of what I am doing to myself, in the face of the girl that Ibinabo was with, for me to feel this dirty and sullied.
Most of my friends do not eeven know that I have this blog. If they did, would they care. I wonder how many of them read anything other than citipeople or ovation.
Ibinabo has not called and neither will I. I think if he calls, I will listen to what he has to say and then, I will explain to him that I am not upset. I am tired. If he needs to express his virility or recapture his youth by dating a girl in university, then he should by all means do so. I am just not going to be that girl any longer.
i need to start from now, showing this great mind that I have.
I am a queen and I have to act like one.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

my goodness, i just realised that it has been about five months since i blogged. And almost that long since I even read that of anybody else.
I have been going through alot. This year is proving to be somewhat of a challenge and yet at the same time, a multitude of miracles. I have survived so much and I am preparing for a big change in my life.
I finally finished my first manuscript (it was supposed to have been finished since 2004 but somehow, I managed to drag it into december 2005)
So, this is how the international publishing industry works:
1. You, the author, wrack your brain for months/years and pour out all your creativity into a manuscript that you are so certain is going to launch you into financial success and give you the money to buy your own house and tell your father that he can keep his and your mother that you do not have to be proper because now, you can buy yourself a husband. I mean, with the money I am imagining, I should be able to pay his bride price and that of all his siblings.
2. Then, you start to look for publishing companies that publish your will discover that they do not accept 'unsolicited manuscripts'. Long and short, if you do not have someone to talk to them on your behalf, they do not want to meet you, or read the next 'Gone With The wind'. Mine's much better by the way.
3. You, then start to look for agents, most of whom are lsited in books and publications that you have to buy. Even then, some charge to read your manuscript (why do you think i wrote a book...I was hungry; i need money and so, I wrote a book to sell and make money.) You only fall in love with writing after your advance cheque and the red in your debt account starts to recede.
4. You then send them the first fifty pages of your story (double spaced, one inch margin, indented paragraphs...phew), a self addressed and stamped envelope, a synopsis, cover letter and contact details. Do you know how much it costs to print about thirty of these packages and send them out IN US DOLLARS.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????
5. Then they send it back to you: " we wish you well in your writing endeavours...blah, blah, blah, or something like that, but we do not feel that your manuscript is suited to the type of work we represent.
6. You cry and ask God Why?
7. The next batch of rejections come back
8. You start to search for a rich boyfriend because you are broke from this publishing venture
9. Then, suddenly, a ray of hope, one asks for the whole manuscript.
10. You think and think about where you are going to pring about two hundred and ninety pages ....
11. ah, karamba...eureka: the school internet cafe where you have printing limit of thirty pages
12. You walk in, sign in and change computers every thirty minutes. You spend about three hours coz u know: ink finishes, the printer has thirty jobs lined up and u are number thirty, the attachment file of your manuscript will not open, the cafe manager suspects what you are up to, you see someone you know and you do not want anyone to know that you have written what will be the source of your financial liberation, u have to pee and when u get back te chick you have been secretly hating cos she is such a better dresser has planted her fat derriere in your seat....
13. You print your 'dreams and aspirations' and package it with prayer an dhand it over to the post office and wait.
14. You contemplate suicide because there has been no response and you have banked everything on the fact that they will love it and immediately want to represent you. Infact, they have pushed it on a test audience and have a publisher waiting to put the book out.
15. you wait, go even more broke as you await the response
16. you come back from school and a huge package is awaiting you in the mail: your returned manuscript
17. You almost refuse to collect it
18. the editor tells you what is wrong with it and that if you can fix it, maybe you and she can talk
19. You spen a nerve wracking week, on the story and fix it up, change it, etcetera,etcetera
20. You go back to step 10-13
21. You are waiting and any day soon, you will hear from them and all your problems will be solved cos right now, I am owing my private school about $4,000+ in tuition and I have until May 5th to straighten it all out.
22. Cannot call mumsie or pupsie cos they had given me the money and I spent it. On what, i do not know, but somewhere, there is a laptop, etc in the list of things that I purchased.
23. I am waiting on my miracle and I feel that it is about to come.
24. Until then, I am going to piggy back on my friend and go with her to Abuja. She has up and left me in the dust. Last month, she upgraded 'aristos' for a local senator or house of assembly rep, or whatever u choose to call him ( he sha, has escort and money and has asked her to accompany him to Abuja and 'BRING A FRIEND.' I nearly beat her into choosing me.
25. I have to go and study, maybe, i can polish up my shoddy grades and earn the department subsidised tuition scholarship and ting
26. Who knows, anyways, when I am done here at the cafe, i will go and check my mail