That Time I Was Mistaken for a Prostitute…Twice in One Morning

It was a typical frigid harmattan morning in Abuja. The day was still waiting to break so it was dark when the cab driver pulled up in front of a plaza in Wuse II, which was to be the takeoff point of my friends and I. Our friend was getting married in Delta State, you see, so a number of us were to travel together with a hired minibus.

It seemed I was the first one to arrive but before I realised this, I had seen two women standing a few yards away from the gate of the plaza, just before the car stopped.

“Those may be my friends,” I remember saying to the driver.

“Ah, Aunty…” he replied with obvious cautiousness, “you sure? Those babes, na ashana them be o…”

Ehn? Ashana ke

Prostitutes?

I looked at them again, noticing they didn’t have the typical ‘look’ prostitutes are depicted to have.

“Sister,” he said hesitantly, “you sure say this place good so? Call your friend, make we know where she dey.

I took my phone out of my handbag and proceeded to do so. I don’t remember if she picked up or not or if her number was unreachable. I just know I was still stuck in a dire situation after all said and done.

Make I carry my bag from boot,” I told him, my heart slowly beginning to fill with apprehension.

We both got out of the car after he popped the lever to open the boot. He took out my suitcase and handed it to me.

You no want make I wait?” he asked again. “Make day break small…”

I thought hard about it. It was dark and lonely and if he left, apart from those women, it would be just me. Also, it seemed the gate of the plaza was locked, so the option of me waiting inside was ruled out. I desperately wanted him to wait with me but I knew that would require me paying for his extra time. I had no spare cash on me, save for my cab fare. My plan had been to use the ATM as soon as I could find one. Preferably in daylight.

So I turned down his offer to wait with me.

“OK,” he said finally as I gave him his money. “Happy Christmas.”

He drove away while I rolled my suitcase, deciding to wait at the gate of the plaza, whose security lights were thankfully switched on.

So there I was, a thousand and one things running through my head, my pashmina wrapped tightly around me—whether it was to ward off the cold or my fears is open for debate. I hadn’t been waiting for too long when a black sleek sedan pulled up in front of the two women who had been there earlier. I watched them walk to the car, one leaning through the front passenger window. There was a brief exchange before the girls walked away from the car, back to their previous position. The car drove away from them…and pulled up right in front of me.

I froze.

Aye mi. Continue reading “That Time I Was Mistaken for a Prostitute…Twice in One Morning”

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New Year, New Pressures: My Thoughts and Opinions

From as far back as the first week of December (2017), I’d been pondering over what my first post of 2018 would be.

Would I share some of my greatest lessons from 2017?

Would I share how I think we can all make the most of 2018 or share with you my goals?

Would I come at you with a typical-ish motivational post, telling you the beginning of the year is an opportunity to start all over, a chance to rewrite your life, etc., etc.?

I definitely knew my post would have no ‘new year, new me’ mantra (because a new year, does not a new person make).

I have a few opinions on the drama that comes with a new year, though. I shall share two of them with you.

 

Flower vase and diary

 

1st of January is Just Another Day

The 1st of January is usually a day that gets people excited. The most obvious reason is that it represents the beginning of a new chapter, a new phase, fresh hope. A chance to redo things, right wrongs…and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, because it is preceded by the 31st Of December, a figurative ‘end’, it’s also a reminder of goals that are yet to be. It’s a reminder of hopes and dreams that haven’t come to pass.

We’ve reached the end of another year and I’m still not married.

We’ve reached the end of another year and still no babies.

We’ve reached the end of another year and still no promotion at work.

We’ve reached the end of another year and I’m still waiting for admission into the university. Continue reading “New Year, New Pressures: My Thoughts and Opinions”

Christmas Greetings to You, You…and You

So…Nigeria is in quite the hot mess right about now.

*insert pregnant pause*

And, I know too many of us are feeling the heat. However, I’m not writing to lament as I’m sure you don’t need to look too far to see and hear others doing so—on social media, from people around you and even the things you’re most likely experiencing yourself. Continue reading “Christmas Greetings to You, You…and You”

The Ting Goes ‘Skrrrra! Pa Pa Ka Ka Ka!

Boom! Issa post yo!

(I’ve just crossed something off my bucket list—I have finally used ‘Issa’ in a sentence! *this is where I imagine an applause, excited whistling and roses being thrown at me*)

Hm! Like. A. Joke. I haven’t posted here in over a month.

Heyyyy! Aye mi temi! Ba mi! Apostle must hear of this! My sisters and brothers, I’m also wondering how that happened?

My excuse hasn’t been writer’s block or lack of inspiration—I’ve been finding inspiration in almost everything, even the most mundane things. So no, it’s been none of that.

I just didn’t feel like any of my scheduled posts were…complete and compelling enough for eyes other than mine…and my proofreaders, of course. Maybe I’m just being too much? They say writers are their own biggest critics and are extremely sensitive about their work. Mayhap, I am a writer after all. Haha. Continue reading “The Ting Goes ‘Skrrrra! Pa Pa Ka Ka Ka!”

You Really Oughta Live and Let Live

Egbe bere, ugo bere
Nke si ibe ya ebela
Nku kwaa ya

This is by far one of my favourite Igbo proverbs. It means:

Let the hawk perch, let the eagle perch
The one that says that his mate shouldn’t perch
May his wings be broken

In simple terms: ‘Live and let live’.

What is this you’re eating? Is this food for a human being or for a goat? Where is the meat? You’re in Nigeria o! You’re not oyibo. Don’t you know Nigerians can’t be vegetarians?

I don’t understand why a grown woman would decide to do a birthday photo shoot and surround herself with balloons and childish props. Why not act your age in the pictures you take—you’re too old for this s**t!

Why is she wearing those shoes? She has such a weird style.

This babe! We’ve never seen your real face before o! Madam Contour and Highlight! Na only you waka come!

Why are you cooking the egusi like that? That’s not how we do it my village.

Why are you having a full English breakfast at 2 in the afternoon?

How can people just decide to not have children when they are both medically fit to. That makes no sense!

You want to be a stay-at-home mum? Wow…

You want to be a career mum? Wow…

Why do they always bend their legs like that when taking pictures?

Sigh… Continue reading “You Really Oughta Live and Let Live”

Journaling, It’s Benefits and 4 Tips On Doing It Effectively

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned here how much I love journaling, have I? Well, I love it. It’s a habit I developed about three years ago and since I began, I’ve never looked back.

I have journals that serve different purposes:

My Life Journal: I use this to just put my random thoughts on paper and record my views on various subjects. I write about current affairs in my life and address any emotions connected to them; I write about my fears, regrets and hopes. I take stock of my life, write down lessons learned and milestones attained.

My Blog Planner: Here, I write down my goals and blog topic ideas for Oma’s Serendipity; basically, anything related to my blog and moving it to the ‘permanent site’ are contained here.

My Dream Book: In this, I record my ideas, goals and aspirations mostly related to my career/business and my life’s purpose. I put down visions I have of where I want to be. This is based on something that’s even biblical.

Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2‬:‭2‬ GW)

My Faith Journal: I record lessons from my walk with God, Bible study notes and my personal messages from God.

Bullet Journal (Lite): I first heard of bullet journaling a few months ago, when I read a post on http://www.finallyfiona.com, which is run by the lovely Fiona Kolade. A bullet journal is a highly detailed organiser where you write mostly to-do lists and mark tasks off as soon as they’re completed. I can’t seem to find the post where Fiona wrote about it but this post on Buzzfeed gives an explicit explanation of what bullet journaling is. It describes it better than anywhere else I’ve seen.

Although mine isn’t so detailed—hence, the reason I call it a bullet journal lite—it still serves the purpose of keeping me more organised, but I’m actually considering practising bullet journaling fully. Continue reading “Journaling, It’s Benefits and 4 Tips On Doing It Effectively”

Random Musings || What Women Empowerment Isn’t

There’s this young woman whose account I follow on Instagram. For the purpose of this post, I’ll refer to her as Instagram Lady. To be honest, I’d rather not follow her but I continue to because I think she’s a phenomenal writer and I absolutely love her literary work.

If you’re a woman whose mind has been freed from the shackles of society’s expectations of what a lady should be—in terms of how we must act, what we are allowed to become, etc.—I understand how it can be annoying when you meet or interact with a woman who hasn’t quite…seen the light yet. I’m talking about the type of woman who is so smug about her, sometimes, self-imposed subjugation; the type of woman that feels she has to condense herself, become shrivelled, seem unintelligent or unambitious in order to be tagged ‘an ideal woman’. The type of woman whose marital status is more or less the only reason she holds her head high. She’s married, you see, and has vowed to spend the rest of her years condemning those oh-so-lowly, unmarried womenfolk. She’s the type of woman whose ideologies of the true meaning of submission are so unbelievably warped, you can’t help but ask, “Seestah…them do you for your village?” Continue reading “Random Musings || What Women Empowerment Isn’t”

Story Time || Creatures of the Night and Prayer Warriors

It was almost 1 a.m when my dad asked for the generator to be turned off and unfortunately, I wasn’t asleep. I was doing some writing actually, trying to complete my post on happiness. PHCN decided to do what they’re best known for—holding power—and that week had been particularly bad. I worked till I was satisfied with what I’d written; or at least satisfied enough to go to bed. The time was about 3.25 a.m or so. I settled under the covers, closed my eyes…and that’s when they came.

ZzzzZZZZ…BZZZzzzZZZ…

Sigh.

Our rather unfriendly neighbourhood mosquitoes.

What is this now, I thought. Did I not spray this room with insecticide earlier?

BBZZZZZZZZZ…

I’m surprised my skin has not scarred from slapping myself so much in a bid to kill the idiot buggers. You know the most annoying thing? They can let you be for a few minutes. Then when you’re just about falling asleep, zzzzZZZZ! In your ear! Short, quick, but highly irritating. Ugh! My brother once told me, a few years ago, that he read an article which stated that mosquitoes in Africa have somehow evolved to develop exoskeletons. For this reason, they have become resistant to conventional insecticides. I don’t know how accurate that information is, but, omo, I believe! It’s like we are dealing with a special specie of mosquitoes nowadays. And if you see how huge they are, ehn! Ha!

Continue reading “Story Time || Creatures of the Night and Prayer Warriors”

Banter || Sex Education: How Early Is Too Early?

About three years ago or so, a friend of mine who is a teacher in a private primary school in Abuja, told me they had begun teaching the pupils Sex Education. Honestly, that didn’t sit too well with me. I had felt it was too early. I still feel it’s too early. The average age of the oldest pupil in any primary school is ten years, maximum, eleven.

I have always had the thought that if you expose something to someone that they didn’t know about before, and you make it seem forbidden, their interest is piqued. You know what they say about the forbidden fruit seeming sweeter. I fear that exposing a child to that type of information may further arouse their already highly curious minds and cause them to become interested in ‘testing’. Continue reading “Banter || Sex Education: How Early Is Too Early?”

Story Time || Drama At The Cow Foot Seller’s Stall (Mummy’s Day)

“What is it?” a distant part of my brain heard my mum scream, her strong arms enveloping me. “WHAT IS IT?!”

Oh crap, I thought, feeling helpless and unable to control the horrific thing I knew was about to happen. And that’s how I fainted in the market on Friday…

 * * *

“Let’s buy the chiffon first,” my mum said as we got to the entrance of the market. It was a sunny day but the weather wasn’t too overbearing.

I agreed to her suggestion and we made our way to the section of the market that sold fabrics. In no time, we found the seller she knew. The next thirty-something minutes were spent selecting fabrics, haggling over the prices, interacting with other customers and finally, paying. It was time for us to get the other things we came for—beef, egusi, okazi, Cameroon pepper, smoked fish, okporoko, crayfish…

“We need to buy garri,” she said, looking at the piece of paper which contained our shopping list. “But let’s buy cow leg first.”

She, as well as every other Nigerian, referred to a cow’s foot as ‘cow leg’. We got to the seller’s stall, his table filled with various cuts of cow feet and hide and we had to wait our turn, as there were two customers already there. I don’t know how long we stood before I started to feel funny. Out of the blue, with no warning whatsoever—first, my right shoulder started aching, my neck felt stiff, then I became dizzy, my vision blurred, everything around me becoming pixelated; my head, my whole body, in fact, started to feel heavy, my limbs turning to jelly. Continue reading “Story Time || Drama At The Cow Foot Seller’s Stall (Mummy’s Day)”