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Thursday, 4 April 2019

I must be afraid of the dark.



I must be afraid of the dark, I am not but maybe that’s just because I have not been diagnosed by an expert yet. Those psychiatric doctors with long faces and white hairs that reek of experience in knowing our innermost thoughts, I long to sit in front of one. For the fun of it and also so they can put a diagnosis to this thing I have.

First I am not insane, it’s nothing intense like that but I am not sane as well. The saying “there’s only a thin line between sanity and insanity” is a ruse, you can easily skip between the two sides and find there’s no divide. Normal, not normal, normal, not normal and on we go. It’s not actually the boxes that matter because everyone has their perception of what’s considered normal and what’s not. For example my mother finds it ludicrous that I called her recently  in a very high pitched voice declaring “my feet looks like grandmas’”, she doesn’t see the humor in that, in fact she is horrified her “almost 29years old daughter’s feet are beginning to get smaller and wrinkle without her having achieved anything (i.e. Marriage). It was humorous to me because I have always wondered why my feet were so small and boom I connected the dots but I was met with a “she is crazy and senseless” silence. So many other examples like when I laughed at the breakup message my boyfriend of 5years sent to me and cried when I got home and there was no light. Point is I doubt that insanity can be truly measured.

Personally I have always skipped between what’s considered normal and what’s not since I was little but I don’t think it was ever at a noticeable rate, I have no recollections of my mother (a psychologist) trying to semi-analyze the little me to find cracks in her mental state but now mother, father and some extended relations are increasingly sitting on the psychotherapists’ chair trying to figure out my level of crazy. First bulb that lights up in their head is “she is not married” which is quite archaic I mean, it’s the new age there are more goals to desire like actually publishing, getting a proper education, building a business empire but when and if I mention these I would be bound in chains and dragged to see a psychiatrist. Now I actually desire to see one and that’s normal to me. I have always been a realist and I like to put labels on things and situations around me, I would never believe a big foot sighting even if I saw one walking in front of me, I would look for a way to make it something real, something that already exists, that everyone knows about not something magical and unreal. So my desire to see a “white haired, well experienced, glasses wearing” therapist stems from this fact. There has to be a name for this thing wrong with my mind and I strongly feel its fear of the dark.

Let’s not get things twisted, I sleep with the lights off, love with the lights off and can find my way around my little apartment even in the middle of the night with no lights on. But I am afraid of the dark, there has to be a lamp present, even if it’s off. There has to be rays coming in from the stars in the night sky when I take a shower without lights on in my bathroom, my phones must be charged even though I would turn them off, there has to be light even when I do not need it or use it. It has to be there. That’s a legit fear right? Something not being there, something you might not need at the present or ever but mustn’t leave, the fact that it’s gone or not present is the scary part.

When I was 16 I had my eyes on this guy, he was much older and had us teenagers giggling anytime he looked our way. He was quite handsome and had such a cool air around him when he eventually came to me and asked me for a date/learning session in his house after my classes I agreed. I was super elated and the dates started, he would kiss and tease and I the naïve girl I was had butterflies fluttering about in my stomach when I told him I couldn’t do the “sex” thing yet and he agreed. It was so exciting, then one day during a lesson, between teasing he asked to play a game. Peek-a-boo and to play this game effectively I had to be blindfolded, he did and tied my arms to the bed and started touching me. Took all my clothes off and wouldn’t listen anymore when I said “stop that, it hurts”, the act ended with him inviting his two friends to partake in the fun. At a point I knew it wasn’t him, the hands were rougher and I begged to see what was being done to me and lo there were three men who were taking turns at shredding me. I cried, when I tried to scream, I got threatened to be made to walk home naked. I was told to get cleaned up and given my clothes when they were done and till date nothing beats the horror of those hours. Funny twist to the story is, he came back, apologized and explained the other guys put him up to it and he had no choice. There my fear of the dark reared its head and I took him back. Why? I do not need a therapist to explain that people saw us together, I was the lucky one and he had broken me, taken all I had that made me special (then) so why would I allow him leave? Then I would be left in the dark, with nothing, no one and my pride gone. I took him back. Fear of the dark.

Years later when I was in an abusive relationship while in the university this same fear hooked me to a spot and I still didn’t want to be left alone in the dark, I took the punches, fought back a couple of times but never left. I have seen this pattern in various aspects of my life over the years, fear of being left alone so I would rather stay with a pompous, self-absorbed man with no plans rather than sleep alone at night. It was never like I had to be with him every night but I could be alone in my room, comfortable with the fact that he’s somewhere telling another lady he loves how her thin arms wrapped around him as long as he was still mine…in a way. Stay in a job that depressed me daily than jump into the world of small scale business, digital marketing or even begin publishing my writing, all things I am pretty confident I can do but…fear of the dark.

Stability has always been that one thing I have always required to keep a balance in my mind and hence give the people around me less to worry about. It’s what people see so they don’t see that my insides are a mess, that I am still scared of blindfolds or that men removing their belts in front of me would send me into a fury or that I never felt complete since I was sixteen, that something was taken and this façade is how I have kept it all together. Now it goes against the grain of my structured life that I would be 29, single, contemplating hopping up and leaving town to start afresh in an unknown location, ditch the friends and job that have kept me going all these years. I have always been the type that would have just gotten married to “keep the peace” and stay miserable for the same. I have always been in a relationship, never single for 13 whole years, I always had someone or a backup someone that might just be as terrible but someone all the same. I have always had friends, a job, a house and basically I always had light even if were turned off.

It’s unusual for me to intentionally throw my lamps out this time and that’s why I need a “white haired, well experienced, glasses wearing” therapist to help me label this thing and hopefully get me not to jump out the window with the lamps. Though I have come to the realization that all my life I have lived for others, created a façade, smiled, cooked, cleaned, be good in bed, worked, called, texted, loved and moved a certain way for people to see and then be sure that I am fine in the head. Truth is I have not been fine for years, I was just too afraid to let anyone know. I am presently taking a list of things I do and things I love doing, comparing lists and doing only the things that are good for me, that “me” wants to do, the others can go out with the lamps. I never used them anyway.


PS: It’s quite possible that this is a figment of my imagination and the postulated scenarios are not true or even about Yenique.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

A visit to the Museum

Yesterday was a public holiday and a perfect opportunity to step out and feel the Lagos breeze. I had a plan though, a visit to the Museum. I once visited as a kid, my parents thought it nice to intimate us with our heritage and culture, now I want to tell them another round of thank “yous” as it turns out they took me to The National Museum Onikan Lagos and I only visited its shadow yesterday.

First the Museum was looking quite dull from the outside and then we paid an entrance fee of 300naira which is fair for what I thought I was going to see. I have been working on a series of short stories about the Yoruba creation myth and about our gods so I thought I would find some sort of inspiration from seeing relics of my culture…how wrong I was.

The air was humid, either the Air conditioners were not working or they weren’t turned on and the fans were just too few to help with that stuffy air. The “Ifa”/Yoruba relics were there but obviously from recent times and the stone carvings from the old times were dusty, cracked, broken off at the edges. Some descriptions were missing and others had wrong spellings or incomplete information. For example I would have loved to see or learn a little about the Igbo culture as well and there were too little things and then no sensible descriptions. The only thing I noticed there seemed to be a good number of were from the Akwa-Ibom/Cross Rivers region, they were beautiful pieces.

Now let’s not even talk about the Nigerian Government section, the curtains were dusty and then same few descriptions. I would think they would employ a storyteller to write captivating footnotes under each president’s image. I am not one to bash my country but honestly we could do better. This is a sham and they know, I guess that’s why we were instructed not to take pictures.

A museum is a representation of our culture and heritage and I am of the opinion it should at least be in good condition. For me as a kid it was a fun place to be but now some 18 years later I can neither find the thrill nor purpose of this place.

 

I would still continue on my search for inspiration and I hope I find it because I can’t wait to share more comical versions of Yoruba Myths for your pleasure.

 

XOXOXX…cheers to a happy New Year.

 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

What's your poison?

Your body gives you what you give it. I saw a movie yesterday about drug abuse and it's indirect impact on society. I kept saying "can't they see? Don't these people know it's dangerous?" It took me a while to realise I must be an hypocrite, I drink not excessively but I do and I cannot deny it's detrimental.

I have had migraine, days of being in a haze and insomnia due to my alcohol consumption yet here I am condemning drugs. The last migraine episode I promised never to drink again (lord help me) and it took me so long to get here.

Coming across this picture on @ugojesse page I understood the phrase "what's your poison?" Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and other addictive substances are dangerous, we need to understand this. Steering clear off it's path is the only way out.

Thanks for the wake up call Ugo.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Fayose's Ekiti

So I took some days off work to attend a family function and see my folks, well turns out it was a wrong time as it was election week in my home state. Trust me there ain't a wronger time to make a trip to Ekiti, the town is usually charged with strong vibes of political violence at this time and it's best to stay away.

I got to the park quite early and our mini van hit the road almost immediately it didn't take long before the driver and fellow passengers started a conversation. It must have started as an innocent discussion until someone brought up the Ekiti guber polls then things got exciting. Initially I was pretending not to listen until a fellow passenger(who I later discovered was a Mopol officer) said "The Buhari administeration is quite efficient, we just can't see it yet" , I legit looked at him as if to say "oga don't angry me" (it's an online joke). I decided to join in the talks and pointed out that 2019 was virtually here and if we can't see anything now we'd probably never see and that excuse alongside the "the previous administeration scattered everything" is stale. Please you can't be giving us these same excuses three years down the line, also considering the new issues arising, killings that could have been curtailed, same old electricity issues despite a huge increase in unit price and above all our deaf President who neither comments on our constant complaints or acts like he hears us rant. I mean dude can fly a chopper to campaign for Fayemi in Ekiti and open a bus station in Lagos but when there was a fire that claimed lives on Otedola bridge due to an avoidable situation the chopper ain't available? This Buhari man clearly does not care or he's plain insensitive and I won't stand by and watch anyone defend him. I got an "amen" from everyone except oga mopol but he had his face bent and that was enough for my ego.

Now after a couple of inputs from other passengers our journey continued on a lighter note and we started analyzing the Ekiti situation. How there's usually tension and the insatiable Ekiti people, they unitedly chase out a sitting governor and barely four years later they are suddenly clamouring for him, we laughed over that and reached an agreement that the people must have issues. Getting into the state we discovered "oga mopol's" benefit as there were over fifteen checkpoints before the state capital and all it took was a nod from him for them to free us. That was super cool by the way.

By the time we got into town and went through our glorious bridge I absolutely went "awwwwwwwwwwwwww", Fayose deserves an accolade for this. The bridge was not done halfway as per Naija goverment style " 20years project", it was completed and nicely so. Roads were clean, more infrastructure and a welcoming look. This could inadvertently bring companies and some other few parastatal into the state. But oga noh pay salary...for nine months. I fit don dey sleep for front of hin office, nine months no pay in a state where most of them work for the government!!! Even doctors, teachers, nurses, how then are they expected to do their jobs well? I wanted to support him because he undoubtedly has upgraded my town but I can't, I have uncles, aunties and a very young and bright doctor cousin he wasn't paying. People I planned to hang on their necks to come and pop bottles for me now can't, na dulling be this ooo. Anyway it seems supporting Fayose was a not going to be possible, but my town looked dope.

I intended to stay for a week but my journey was cut unexpectedly short as there was even more tension after the alleged assault on our dear Governor. Bike men avoided areas close to the state house and movement was with constraint. I headed back, quite sad I didn't have enough fun or gist with mum more. The journey back was long as there was no "oga mopol" and we got stopped at about 10 spots just in Ekiti. The millitary presence in the state is enough to wade off a war. Within a couple of hours we were back on sane ground (ie. Lagos) and I couldn't be more pissed to get home.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Sensibility 101

Late post, I wrote this two weeks ago but something happened and I only get to post today.

Last night as I was on my way to the store to get ONE supply I was constantly reminding myself “Funke you need only one thing from that store, one thing only”. It’s funny that I always do this drill before I enter any store whenever I am paying with my card and I constantly loose the fight except tonight. Now while in there I overheard another customer saying the charge on her ATM surprises her when she gets home as she is totally oblivious she has spent that much. I laughed because this is the total story of my life.

 

For example I get in there hoping to buy bread for breakfast then I pick shampoo (I still have some), I buy some random essential oil (I would only use it for 4 days judiciously and forget all about it till a pimple appears), I would buy noodles and eggs and soft drinks and kilishi and all other stupid things I know I don’t need but I am just being “card Happy”.

Usually it’s easier to pay with your card at cash points but it gives access to a lot of reckless spending. The simple logic is you know you can’t run out of cash there’s always that other important money for upkeep in your account you are not supposed to spend but then you can spend it. Anyways, I would like to spell out three simple tricks to help you stop this habit. I succeeded twice yesterday and I hope every time I remember I wrote this I can curb my unnecessary spending especially since I am broke.

# Always share your funds between accounts, one with easy access to the credit card and another/others for savings and apportioning purposes. This way when you are going shopping simply forward the right amount you need into the ATM card account you are shopping with. You can start with a little excess of maybe a thousand above your budget till you are stronger at this.

# Make a list of things you need every month, at least the things you remember. Of course I know you might not stick to it judiciously but that is just one step in the right direction. Instead of walking into a groceries store just shopping blindly, your list guides you to the important things and with time you ignore the things non-existent on your list.

# Lastly, the most foolproof way to curb your spending is withdrawing cash enough to get the things you need maybe with just minimal change. Walk into that store strong and determined with only your cash (leave the tempting card at home) and watch your spending reduce drastically.

Well well, that’s all for now. Do have a great week ahead and remember to follow the tips up there.xoxoxxxxxooo

 

 

 

 

Friday, 28 July 2017

*OBBA*



Let me tell you the story of one Yoruba god. It is Obba...the goddess of marriage, domestic things and meekness. She was breathtakingly beautiful the story says, after all she was the daughter of Yemoja. Her husband the valiant king of the Oyo Empire Sango, god of thunder, war fighter, strong and a man after the heart of many a maiden, he was the beginning and end of her. A tale that shows that love existed even in the days when the gods ruled the earth and that rivalry is usually atop a woman’s heart.


Sango the valiant had married Obba, Oshun and Oya but for some reason he desired Oshun more. This of course led to a rivalry and the ever meek Obba lost all ideas on how to keep her beloved husband in her bed or keep her thoughts in his head. In a drastic move she sought the advice of her very rival Oshun the apple of the King god's eye.
She asked in desperation "my fellow wife, please tell me how is it the king is always with you? How do you make him love you so?" Oshun must have smiled in her heart and said her next words sarcastically and out of spite "I cut off my right ear" she said "I put it in a soup and ever since he tasted it, he would want none other". However sarcastic she sounded, the joke was lost on our pretty queen who went ahead and did just that.

Sad day it was for she went ahead and made a soup with her ear for the king and when he saw an human ear floating above the potage he just could not believe his eyes. In a fit of rage which we all know should not be fun from a god of thunder (and lightening) he sent poor Obba away. Obba was devastated beyond words, she lay down somewhere along the road and her sadness overwhelmed her. She literally cried a river for she turned to one, the River Obba that runs through Iwo.
Till this day it can be heard at that spot two rivers still fighting for a man long gone. For Oshun also turned into a river and their waters meet, it is at the point of meeting you can clearly hear clashing and loud arguments (if only you’d listen closely).


PS: this is a personal version of one Yoruba myth. No evidence whatsoever to these stories but who needs that?

Friday, 30 June 2017

Let's talk about the web

What has social media done for or against you?

Personally I have sweet and sour tales from my social media addiction. I think by now everyone that knows me knows how addicted to the internet I am.

Well online I have made sales, learnt about SMEs', I once got a PR job through instagram(that turned out awful), I have been able to express myself through writing. Social media for me has been more of a blessing than a curse.

But then...there are the curses that make me check and double check when I am online. The first annoying thing that happened to me online was the job, tar@#$ put up an advert for an online PR manager and since I loved that I jumped at the offer. We argued about the pay for a while, then reached an agreement on work hours and pay. Babe breached agreement on both levels, I worked till 10pm sometimes, 12am once and I was living at least 2hours away from her studio. She was verbally abusive and damn she ended up not paying me a dime. All my efforts and little money in the bank gone. That b@t%$ had to ask "who diz?" When I called her a few weeks after quitting for my pay. I discovered later that was her tactic, she posts job openings(tantalizing ones), makes you work your ass off and then intentionally irritates you so you can quit. She has done this to several peeps, so now I just shake my head when I come across her posts on IG.

Something else about social media is the addiction, it's like a part of me that I can't cut off. That's totally not cool. I've met a few scammer boys too but I always find out their silliness before any harm is done. Except for this one dude that was all over me, so consistent and loving. Of course I was sceptical but the whole "mushiness" got to me, when I started falling I found out this guy's acclaimed ex is his fiancee. I carry my slippers run, e noh pain me sha cause I was treading softly initially so no damage done, but I kinda felt stupid(I could have been smarter).

Now all my bad experiences online(including writing for popular online magazines and not getting paid or getting your name edited out of the file) are not as much as the sweet ones. Online poetry forums, meeting friends who want nothing except ideas sharing and fun, knowledge, spying and hope are some of the few good things I've come across.

Care to share your social media experience?

Xoxoxo

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Superstition(a poem)

The poem itself is just a reflection of how I perceive life. I believe in an innate sixth sense, one that directs us , guides us.

Often I remember those days that my heart seemingly pounded for no apparent reason only to have one exciting or sad thing happen later in the day. My body was aware and it had informed me.

Watch, look, feel...after all we are African.

***********Superstition**************
Listen patiently every morning
All elements are speaking
They tell you to move or stay
The wind blows this way and that
Speaking words only the sharp can understand

The way the sea rolls tell a tale of do or don't
An African mind should know how to forecast it's own "whether"
Seat still and let the pounding of your heart
The first feet you take
The sound of running water
Lead you home.