Thursday, January 19, 2017

My 5 new favourite things

I am human and constantly evolving, maybe more than most sef. I just recently noticed that my favourite things are changing. I remember writing about some of my favourite things (or was it people? one time). Anyway, my new favourite things, short but profound in my eyes are listed below. What are yours?
1.    Exercise (why are you laughing?) I kid you not! I have now developed a fondness for exercise. It helps to clear my head and more of my clothes now fit. It is also exhilarating to see my Nike Run app tell me how many kilometers I did in how many minutes. Yes, I now truly like exercise. I know I used to do it to stay alive before but now, I really don’t have to be coerced.

2. Sleeping (SMH! If you don’t quit laughing, I will stop here) Yes, I have developed a new fondness for sleeping and resting. It used to be that I could never relax enough to get to sleep and once I did, I started investigating intergalactic spaces and so I usually woke up exhausted even when I do manage to sleep. Also, I always felt life was passing me by while I slept, afterall, Its always morning somewhere on the earth.

3. I now like salads…..hehehehehehehehehe!!! Even me, I have to laugh at this one. I used to call this the ‘grass diet’….and me, I used to be carnivorous. Eating my meals with flesh of some kind was compulsory, not required. I couldn’t understand how my babies when they were, could eat a meal of swallow without meat or fish. But I now wake up craving salads and actually make them, eat them and enjoy them! Nothing wey God nor fit do. I however tolerate very few vegetables so my salads are always lit and I still like to have some flesh in them and I usually garnish with suya pepper. Hmmmmm! Delish!

4.I now value my solitude more than even before. Being a hyper person( in my head), I get exhausted when I spend time with a lot of people. I therefore always need the time away from crowds to recharge and reenergize. I can be the life of the party only for a short time before my batteries run down and out. Lately, I log out of interactions to be alone. And more and more, I am loving it and while I am not antisocial or anything, it does enhance my enjoyment of being around people knowing my time alone will soon come up.

5.I am enjoying minding my own business. In more ways than one, I find that I have no real need to volunteer information about what I know to be right. Some people deserve their delusions. I had mine and mayhaps I am thankful that some people minded their business enough to allow me them. Using social media a lot means you come in contact with a lot of ignorance and arrogance, sometimes dwelling in the same vessel, and I am learning more and more to leave well alone. Some people need their ignorance, some, their arrogance and so I am getting better at minding MY OWN business. This sometimes means my work, my play, my family, my health or even my sanity.

It’s really invigorating to look at your own evolution from time to time and just enjoy it; which is what this post is really about. Anyone who knows me well, knows being racked by doubts and insecurities has never meant I loved me any less (usually, a little too much) and I am more loving and accommodating of me nowadays. So, what are your new favourite things?

Friday, January 13, 2017

What Love is not.

I am usually unable to write a blogpost till my birthday week which for me marks the beginning of a new year but 2017 seems to have too much to offer and words have assailed me from the very first week of the year. I tried to ignore but these words, they won’t let me be.

Already, in 2017, I have seen how systematically, a change has begun, in places only I can discern and I am so excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.

Today, I remember my mum who passed 5years ago and I am astounded at her strength and person and the gift of friendship we eventually found as she passed. Our tumultuous relationship was comical mostly and looking back, I see how she raised me to have my opinions and encouraged me to stand up to whatever I felt wasn’t up to scratch which informed too many of our arguments. 
I remember her life with fondness and wistfulness.

As I went on my daily exercise walk earlier, I mentally wrote this article. I had so much to say and smiled at the deep wisdom I would exude cos I wanted to write about what love is not, which is one of the profound things I have discovered in recent times. The number of things mistaken for love is mindboggling but as I write now, I can hardly marshall two points together. This is why I say I am no writer and why when someone gushes over something I have written, I tell them thanks but…..Still, I will try.

Love is not being called upon to make sacrifices. Too many people mistake this for love. It is manipulation. Sacrifices by their very nature are a product of your inner convictions and when demanded, will usually clarify those convictions but some people use it to manipulate others to crystallize their commitment. No, that isn’t love.

Love is not grudging. If you have to really try, it usually isn’t. The effervescent quality of love is undeniable. And I don’t mean the giddy heady feeling alone. That is usually your raging hormones.

Love is not being used for another’s ends and means. That’s abuse. The scheming and planning to make you ‘toe a line’ and God-esque tendencies, determining what you are ‘allowed’ to do and how far you are allowed to go without a commensurate influence with that person. That ain’t love.

Love is not jealousy. I repeat, love ain’t jealousy. Too many have fallen for this untruth, believing that a person being jealous over them is love. It is a huge falsehood. There are many reasons why a person may be jealous over you without any real appreciation of your person. Sometimes, it’s a fundamental flaw of who they are. Nothing to do with you.

Love is not just service. A person can devotedly serve you with their life without loving you. Sad but true. For many whose love language is being served, they will fall for those who serve them and choose to believe they are loved regardless of what the truth is.

As with all things, I have learnt it upside down, first by finding out what it isn’t before seeing what it is.

Love starts with you, knowing your value and choosing to use that value as you see fit and being able to utilize that value in ways that empower, enable and elevate another but always retaining the key to your value in yourself. 

Too many hand their value to undeserving folk who decimate their being for any number of reasons in the name of love.

While what works for each of us differ, the fundamental nature of love is retaining the value of yourself and handing it over or taking it back on your own terms. Many may disagree with this assessment but this is what I have found to be true. 

At any time this choice is taken away from you, it is no longer love. It needs to be called by some other name which may not necessarily be bad but shouldn’t be disguised as love.

Hopefully, someone will read and learn something and do better but mostly, I wrote to get the words out of my head so I can think other thoughts. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

SHEA Sheer Brilliance

While in Jos, I went for my daily walk with my friend and longterm mate, Abdul. 

We are constantly ribbing each other but I would trust him with my life. Even the way he came to get me, I swear, if it had been any other person, they would get a slap. But its Abdul, he came and got me out of bed and cos I had missed (by this time) like a week’s worth of walks, I was chomping at the bit to go.

I knew he needed the exercise and my Nike Run app droned on and on about how slow we were walking and how below par we were performing. So, I tried to get him to do better (he’s lazier than me and more out of shape). You know, speed up. 

Problem is, was, I was wearing a pair of pants that were not happy about my voluptuous thighs touching and they split to allow the extra flesh room, but the rubbing continued. Which is how, by the time the 3km+ we walked were done, my thighs were on fire.

I rushed to the room and took off the offensive pants and wow! Angry red was the colour and boy! Did it sting?! 

Luckily, I had brought  a small tub of shea butter with me for creaming my body. I remembered Jos weather and my hatred for the Vaseline that attracted dust (which was available in abundance) at every movement but which was really the only salve that protected the skin from the harshness of the weather, so I had brought my shea butter along.

My skin has been lucky. It feeds on mostly natural stuff. 
Since I had my first child in 2002 and had after several warnings about the unsuitability of Johnsons baby products for Nigerian babies skins and my dowey eyed hypnotic stance upon entering a shop and seeing and liking the entire range and buying and using it on her which caused her to break out in angry red rashes all over, I had cried to my mum who promptly advised me to switch to coconut oil. I have since only used that for my skin. And luckily, my dad’s farm is still located near enough to Badagry that I can always get the purest form of it which I usually buy a 5litre keg of at a time which means my skin and that of the girls thank me glowingly.

But I digress.

I had my tub of shea butter and not just any. The special kind. 

I have 2 giant tubs of shea butter that has been finely blended and smoothed and scented and essences added cos I am a very sensual and smell-loving person. I watched my friend do the mix, one tub for hair and another for my skin. These two tubs are huge and I don’t take them out of my bedroom. I also have two small tubs of shea butter, and of these two, I had one. These two were created for me by the same friend and are special. One has chocolate essences and the other is a banana  flavoured tub and they are both beyond compare. I use either when I feel the skin feels dry and needs some pampering. I was describing the banana one I brought along to Jos to a classmate and he exclaimed, ‘no wonder you always smell edible’! Yup! It is that good.

Anyway, my droning about the shea butter is in relation to the very bad red, angry wound I was now nursing between my things, a very painful spot just a few centimeters from the seat of power. 

The poor wound was not helped by me donning a pair of jeans the following day and spending extended periods walking up and down to find an airline to fly me home from Abuja and the ensuing 7hour wait at the airport before throwing in the towel to try the following day. By the third day, it had become a huge sore with attendant pain. During all this time, I tried to put a coating of the shea butter on it which were the only times I was pain-free.

By the time I returned home, I was ready to cut out a portion of my thighs to obtain relief and I was now severely worried about infection. I got my antibiotic cream and tried to use it in between the shea butter application but no, those times I applied the antibiotic cream, the pain returned and it appeared only the shea butter gave me any relief.

So after a while, I ditched the antibiotic cream and used the shea butter alone and to my surprise, the healing sped up. I marveled at how much more effective the wound healed. 

Before my very eyes, I watched the neovascularization I had talked about when I was studying wound healing during the work I did with my Masters’ thesis  and the regranulation of my skin occur in quick succession. The itching that accompanied the healing alerted me that the tiny cells which carried histamine were rushing there and dumping their contents and angry red changed to bright pink and then white spots and then, black (melanin) returned and in under a week, my skin was healed.

I wish I had photos to share but like I said the wound was way too close to the seat of power and there is NO WAY I was taking or sharing any photos from there. It just got me thinking about the wound healing properties of shea butter and how it needs to be looked at again with respect to what it can do for surgical wounds (Researcher mode activated)🙋.

And of course I thought of how blessed I am to have the friend who blends and prepares my shea butter mixes. For her, it is a business born of love and I have watched her work at it with incredulity at how much she lovingly mixes and mixes till it is just right. I daresay the love in each tub adds to the power of the shea butter to heal, soothe and caress the skin. Whatever it is, I am won over (again and again) by the shea brilliance of shea butter.

Thanks Ajoxy baby! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Christmas Wishlist

In my alternate reality, I am the daughter of a stupendously rich man with a stupendously rich boyfriend who loves me so much and panders to my every desire while I live the life of a spoilt little rich girl doing whatever takes my fancy, one of which would be Veterinary clinical practice.

In this alternate reality, Christmas is coming and as is usual, both my rich father and BF are out to outdo each other to grant my every little wish and so, they ask direct and indirect questions to try and decipher what would catch my fancy and secure them the number one spot in my affections for the Christmas season.

So, I am having such a hard time deciding what I want as I already have so much and these that I am to ask for are just another in the long list of things I can get by reason of being the rich Daddy and Le Lover’s  girl.

So, if all was well with the world and I had no strong dislike of war and the attendant problems were all solved and here in my country, I’d already visited all the IDP camps and bought enough food for a year for them while I think up how to buy food for the next year. I’d provided housing for them, each one with their own flat large enough for their family to have privacy and good beds to sleep in and of course, bedsheets! I’d had schools set up so everyone on the camps can learn. Flown in teachers who want to teach and who can be compassionate and not mock any struggling student. Be they 6, 16 or 60years old.

Then, my Christmas wishlist would read something like......

I’d like a dream house with large rooms, walk-in dressing rooms and even larger bathrooms. The house has at least 5rooms so friends can come and stay when they like and the girls and I still each have our own room. There is an open plan kitchen-dining and light open spaces filled with bookshelves loaded down with books.

A semi-silent generator that has enough oomph to power everything and a battery and solar powered inverter mean I have always-on power.

 In the garage, I’d like an SUV, a 7 or 8 passenger minivan with drop down screens to watch movies when we travel and of cos my car....

Right now, I’m crushing on an Opel Astra in blue.

I’d like a designer bag, something pricey and quirky. Prada, Gucci or Gidan Nodza.

Something decadent to put my new brand new phone in. As per phones, I don’t do the exclusivity club, and even though I peep into that world sometimes, cos of my love for gadgets, will not be buying one anytime soon. 
And oh! A powerbank....😕

I’d like a tablet for the older daughter, just cause she is so smart and so disciplined with her things and hasn’t had a gift in a while. And she’s also such a geek!

A smart phone for the younger one for all her Youtube videos….

They both would also get a rack of new books from that online bookstore.

I’d like new bedsheets for all the beds we have. I already know where I am getting them. I have one new set but still want the new ones. That’s what being spoilt is about, no?

I’d also like five million dollars just because….please and thank you!

But most of all, I’d like to spend Christmas morning with everyone watching the sun come up and not wondering where their next meal would come from…..

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ARIK (the airline)

It's been a beautiful couple of days even though Arik(the airline) attempted to ruin it and failed. 

I wonder who owns Arik and why he/she is running the business in such a horrid manner?

Drove in from Jos to Abuja to try & fly back to Ibadan and when I got there, both airlines that fly to Ibadan had already done so. I then decided to fly to Lagos & brave the nightmare that I hear the Lagos-Ibadan expressway had become. My one and only error was thinking Arik(the airline) is one. 

Bought a ticket at about 1:30pm for a 4pm flight and at 7pm, I finally realised I was being given the runaround. Not a lot of information and a stressful waiting period later, I give up. I attempt to reschedule my flight for the next day to Ibadan & here is where I got gobsmacked! 

The staff who attended to me made it seem like a favour to do so. And of cos, yours truly lost it. I asked him who would pay for a taxi into town, the hotel room where I would spend one more day away from my luxurious bed and home (never mind the true state of my abode) and the hotel back to the airport the following morning. Said staff looked at me & conceded not to bill me for the rescheduling.... If you know me, you already know by this time, I needed paramedics to be on standby but looking around in incredulity, I find that I wasn't being pranked or anything & quite a number of people around me had that (another IJGB- that's code name for 'se se de' or 'Johnny Just Come') look on their faces & so I admitted defeat & slunk away. 

You would think this will set the stage for my 9:45am flight to leave on schedule the following day but oh no! Arriving at 7:51am at the airport to catch the flight was evidence of how disbelieving I am that any one can run an airline the way Arik (the airline) is run.

First a one hour delay, and then another & then they gave up every pretence at caring what we thought about how they felt about what we thought of them. 

Two hours after the last one hour delay, they finally ask 'all checked-in passengers on flight W3 400 to Ibadan on Arik (the airline) should proceed to board'. 

If you are already familiar with the horrors of their operations like Kenneth who said to me Arik (the airline) board times are mere suggestions or as he put it, 'come make we see if we go fly'....we flew and for a person who flies badly like me, I was oblivious to the experience till we landed. 

Arik(the airline), do you not think it's time to pack in this pretence of being an airline & face other lucrative businesses like selling pure water?! 

Or is someone holding a gun to your heads to make you sell tickets (not cheap oh!) when you have no fuel to power your shabby, smelly aircrafts?!! 

I know many will wonder if I did report & if you know me well, you already know the answer but even the NCAA official sounded exasperated and without a clear understanding of what the issue is (story for another day). 

Arik (the airline) is an absolute disgrace. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


AJ: what do you want?
Me: Why? Did He say you should ask me? Do I sound unsure?

AJ: Just answer me. What do you want?
Me: I waaannnt……..*snores*

Following morning……

AJ: er, so, you didn’t answer yesterday. What do you want?
Me: You know na…An easier life, the man of my dreams…

AJ: interrupts…, I am not taking those to Him. You know what He can be like.
Me: ehn ehn! Ya subbing your boss?

AJ: No! (with an eyeroll) you know what I mean. All those blanket type requests do is make Him ask me to do the exercise with you. You know, so stop wasting both our time please.
Me: Ehn, so what are you saying? An easier life is not specific enough for you?

AJ: Not even by a kilometer! You! Easier life? When someone will think that means one thing, you will start complaining ten seconds into whatever I deliver. No, please, be specific. I’m tired.
Me: How is it you are grumpy? Ain’t angels supposed to be….erm, at least, angelic.

AJ: Please, I am not in the mood for your cross examination today. Kindly tell me specifically, what do you want?
Me: Well, thing is, I asked already and when He thinks I am getting ahead of myself is when He does this. So, help me ask Him, is it fair?

AJ: rolling on the floor…..laughing. So, let me get you. Adenike, is it that you want to be last of your name?! You expect me, Angel Jamiu, to go to the Most High in response to His question to you and tell Him that you responded with a question and that the question is ‘is it fair’? You don’t like me. I’ve always suspected. Now, I have confirmation.
Me: But, kini big deal?

AJ: Kini yen noni…..where do you think I can get a job like this one, this side of eternity, please point me in that direction. Because its obvious you have a new job lined up for my sorry angelic ass. *flops down*

Me: but can a girl not seek clarification ni? You know He already knows what I want and you and I know what this is in aid of. So, I am not playing this game that He seems to like playing every now and then asking me what I want knowing fully well what I want.

AJ: sighs and raises hands in exasperation. I must have done something bad sometime in this century or why I was assigned to you is beyond me.  I do all the right things. I avert my face when you’re naked, I close my eyes when you watch…..

Me: Hey! Stop right there! Watch what?! Tell me, watch what?! Its like you want me to tell Big G how you encourage me to speed when driving abi?! Telling me, ‘I gat you, just a little faster’ till everybody now thinks I do that racing thing for myself, not knowing I was assigned an angel who loves speed & is an adrenaline junkie? Continue…..don’t goan deliver my response.

AJ: why are you like this, Adenike?
Me: Like how?

AJ: Like this! Giving me grief….
Me: kilzes! Deliver my message….ask Him, is it fair?

AJ: Okay, I will. But this is the last time you both will do this thing….
Me: interrupts….oh! You’re omniscient now?

AJ: Please! Don’t even joke about that! Of course I ain’t.

Me: So, go….until the next time.

AJ is code for Angel Jamiu, my personal guardian Angel. I have yet to 'see' him but I do not doubt that he exists. I know because I hear him curse when I do stuff that he has to save me from by a hair's breath (which is often!). He curses under his breath and sometimes makes me laugh at the wrong times creating the impression that I am not always sane but what he lacks in tact, he more than makes up for by saving me too many times and even running errands like providing the same service for my loved ones that he does for me. And I am absolutely smitten by him....but don't tell him that part.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Someone to gurgle at after a good breastfeeding. To share diaper rash sighs with and tell of your frustration at the man who always interrupts when the feeding machine woman is pledging her allegiance and love.

Someone to kick when no-one is looking and then start screaming at the top of your lungs and to make eyes at when the big humans come and spank his butt for making the cherubic angelic beauty cry. The first strains of friendship. The imbalance begins.

Then language developed and with it locomotory skills and the one who trusts you enough to put his hand to the fire because you assured it would not burn, forgetting that you both gasped at the wonder of what fire looked like. 

Who ran to hide when the big humans came and found you covered in palmoil because she said it looked like what her mum paints her lips in and decided to paint you in it. You stood still cos the feel of her hands on your body was delicious. The imbalance persists.

The one to whom you ran when you discovered body parts are different, wanting to see, compare. Whoa! This is huge, this difference. But you ambled over it as all the other things. 

You held hands shyly, endured the teasing and the taunts. You kept your confusion under wraps. This one is for your life journey. You can endure anything if she says you should. You share a history.

The tears. You don’t understand the tears. Why is she crying because the gangly boy said something you say to her all the time to her? What betrayal is this? 

She is growing in places you are afraid to look at. You want to hold her waist like before but it is causing you problems at night and at dawn. 

She giggles a whole lot and gets mad at things you are not even certain you did but you nod, mostly. Now, its chemistry.

She is no longer child. No doubt about that but she’s all yours again. Sharing confidences, asking how this or that looks and laughing, falling all over you. Blissfully unaware of how she looks, smells and feels so good and how much of a struggle it is not to taste, just a taste to serve as a reminder of what she tasted like when your kisses were innocent, a mere discovery. 

She’s your meter rule, the one against whom all the others lack a certain something. The only something you want. Up, on the pedestal she goes.

She betrays you again. She falls in love. For real this time. And even though you want to hate him, you agree, he is perfect, for her. 

Admitting that is more pain than breaking your leg falling down the stairs. That time you pretended to be fine till she looked at you and you wanted to break the other leg so she would do it again. 

How could she?! The ring burns a hole in your pocket, the size of hole it had burnt in your savings account. Friendship is what you share. Love is what you crave. Imbalance returns.

You want intimacy, more than anything. You crave friendship, you search and replace it with several things. Assured of your ability to cope. You find, mould, cast aside and repeat the process many times. Hearts and lives strewn across the timeline of your ultimate search.

You convince yourself it is you, not them and you’re right. What you seek is available but it is constantly evolving.

You hear her voice, like from across the ocean…..’can you talk?!’ And your world is okay again. 

Your friendship survived her love for him. She needs you again. You hold her tight, kiss her right and she looks up at you with scared eyes. 

The friendship you crave is here. 
Always will be.
And your full measure of luck and love….