About Me

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I'm a caterpillar that hasn't become a butterfly. My blog is about being in that cocoon, breaking free and everything that comes with it...

Friday, 26 September 2014

Daddy, Don't Be No Rolling Stone

I just recently started following Star's "The Winner is" hosted by Uti.
And it stood out for me that a lot of the contestants, in answer to how the prize money would be spent, replied that they would use parts of their money to buy Mommy a car or a house or set up a business... And they went on to explain how mommy had always been there for them, believed in them, loved them, supported them...

And I am left wondering where Daddy is.

Daddy where are you?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Why Sharing A Car With Your Spouse Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To Your Marriage

My husband and I have different schedules but just one car. I have to be at a meeting by 8am. He has to be somewhere by 10am. It doesn't make sense for me to go for my meeting by 8am and be back before 10am so he can use the car for his appointment. Any number of things could hold me back: Traffic, African Time, rain... So its just perfect for us to leave the house together.
He's not happy he has to get out so early (To meet an 8am ap, we have to be out of the house by 7am, which means we both have to be up by 6am) so he is grouchy.
I don't have the time to whip up breakfast before we leave (besides, I just can't eat breakfast that early) so DH is hungry as well.
We get into the car and the bad road and building traffic set him off. I am fuming in my seat at his irritability so early in the morning.
He turns on the volume of the stereo as high as it can possibly go. I can't deal with loud music at all so I turn it off completely. He is upset I turned off his music. I am upset I can't hear myself think with all the noise.
It starts raining all of a sudden and DH is still moving the car at 90km/h. I hold on to my seat belt for dear life and shout at him for driving like a maniac. He totally ignores me and I am upset he is not listening to me. I threaten to jump out of the car. 
The rain stops as suddenly as it started and I can't wait to get out of the car-to be as far away from this man as I can manage. We finally pull up at the venue for my appointment and I get out of the car only to encounter a rude security man. I am ready to transfer all my vexation on him. But DH sees and hears our exchange and comes out of the car. He approaches the thin security man suddenly looking taller and bigger than I have ever known him to be. In a gruff voice that warns "don't you mess with me", he barks  "Don't you talk to my wife like that...!"
Awwww...All the anger I had for him back in the car dissipates and I am in love with DH again-my defender and hero. I make a mental note to be nicer to him in the mornings, especially when we have conflicting schedules and to wake up an hour earlier to make him some take-out breakfast. Before he leaves, he comes around me and gives me a hug.
 Where did our fight go? "Call me when you are done" he says as he brushes his lips against my forehead.
I vow to make him his favourite pasta meal as soon as I get home.

Now, I doubt very much this would have happened if I had my own Mercedes Benz Cl (In Jesus name Amen!) and he had his own Range Rover Sport 2014 edition ( In JESUS Name!!!!!Amen!!!!!)
Sharing a car allows us fight, play, shout at mad drivers on the road together, make up, pray, make out, vex for each other and have one on one talks.

That said, I receive my own car in Jesus Name!!!! Amen!!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My Two Kobos: Half Of A Yellow Sun-The Movie

I have always admired Chimamanda Adichie's ability to weave stories steeped in historical truths so well researched. I have even, in moments of envy, wished I were her. So you can imagine how excited I was to finally get to watch Half Of A Yellow Sun.

DH wanted to watch something else that day on the TV but I bullied him into watching whatever it was on his phone.
So armed with the remote, I stretched out on the settee, covered myself with my favourite throw and wished I had some pop corn.

The movie started on a slow note. It didn't pull me in immediately as I had anticipated it would. I stifled a yawn as I waited for that part of the movie that would do the magic for me. Well, it never happened.
For some reason I just couldn't make any connection with the characters. I didn't know them well enough; didn't even feel sorry for all the trouble they went through. It almost felt like the film was just being acted out because it was after-all the prize winning Half of A Yellow Sun as opposed to being a story that had soul and depth and needed to be dramatized so well viewers would get lost in it. Just like the way we recited our crammed multiplication tables in primary school, not because we loved them but because we didn't want our teachers' scorn and bulala.

I remember watching 12 Years A Slave. Now that was some story. It pulled me in, left me angry, let me sad...simply messed up my mood.

I am afraid Half Of A Yellow Sun didn't do that for me. If anything, I awakened to find out the movie was still playing. So I got up, gathered my sleepy self, put off the TV and went to bed.

While I don't think Biyi Bandele did the book much justice, he still should be applauded. E didnt easy ma peepul.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Perfect Help?

I never bothered myself with helps until I had a baby.

My first help was a piece of work. She claimed she was in her 20s but her body shouted 30s. I won't forget in a hurry the sight of her g-string peeking out from low waist jeans, the joy she had at being around male guests or the driver, how she would sit down with her legs spread apart like all she ever thought about was sex and the lover's quarrel she consistently had at the gate with her boyfriend who I later found out was a gate man in the estate. I didn't allow her and her negative energy around my baby. She didn't last more than a month. I was glad to wake up one morning and find she never turned up for work. That was the last I heard of her.

My second help was a young girl of about 12 who didn't even know  that the name of her country was Nigeria. She lived to play and just be a child. Having her around was like having two children-my son inclusive. Straight out of the village, she had to be taught everything-How to use the toilet, how to bathe properly, how to wash plates at a sink and how to use simple household gadgets...Frustrating, I tell you. And she never told you when anything was the matter so you had to keep guessing. She wouldn't even let me know when she started seeing her period so I could get her sanitary pads. She preferred to drip blood all over the floor instead. My baby was obviously a toy to her-a toy to be shaken and rattled from side to side. Then she started stealing-Make up, jewelry and hair pieces mostly. She lasted just three months. I was relieved to see her go.

At this point,I decided to manage all by myself. It wasn't easy but my secret was tackling each day as it came.I think I did a good job plus I had family and friends who helped me every now and then.

Anyway, just last month, I am sitting at home minding my business when my gate man tells me about his sister who is on vacation from school and needs a house job to help raise money for her tuition. I agree to meet with her and I am blown away. When she resumed work, all she had to do was watch me at anything once and she'd take over. The house is swept and mopped before I wake every morning. Its like she reads my mind and gets kitchen stuff done even before I  ask. She has helped kill two roaches that appeared in my kitchen from God knows where (I am afraid of roaches. I hate em!). She communicates well and has a good sense of humour and isn't afraid to ask questions. My LO has taken to her and they are currently best of frenemies.
She goes to school in January. My goal is to savour every bit of the last quarter of the year with her in my employ and pray to God that she has no sudden change in behaviour...

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Great Outdoors

I'm glad I was born in the 80s.
That sweet era were being a child was truly magical.
Before those Ipads and Android devices and all sorts of computerized toys and games replaced the sheer joy of climbing trees, playing Ten Ten, chasing Fara, digging ant holes and cooking gourmet three course meals with sand and stones...
All that's changed today. Houses are built these days with not a single patch of grass in sight-interlocking tiles are preferred instead. Trees are none existent. Sand? God forbid! Back Yards and Court yards? Gone with the Land Lords' addiction to BQs. (Not that you can blame them. The BQs provide additional funds to cover mortgage repayments what with those insane interest rates banks lend money at).
Anyway, I want my little one to have a taste of what I enjoyed growing up so I have embarked on creating a play area for him. I am far from done but he already utilizes the space a great deal.
See a few pictures below:

Bamboo Fence and artificial grass

Stone corner. Ignore the wet wall please. Here he becomes Julius Berger's Engineer.

For some reason I never had the heart to get rid of these plastic cups which previously contained yogurt. Today, my son and his friends fill them with stones and squeal "Ice Cream!"

There's still so much for me to do-Get artificial trees and plants, play area sand, a blackboard, wall stickers, outdoor tent or play house, a rocking horse etc

I'd be sure to let you see the finished play area soon.

Time to retire for the night.

Good Night. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Let down your hair and eat some cake

Sometimes, you have to Pause,
And remind yourself that Rome wasn't built in a day;
                             that challenges eventually birth greatness;
                                        that you are not ALONE.
 What goes up eventually comes down,
                      But what grows up stays there.

And no one ever said growing up was easy.
                Ask that little baby travailing with teething;
                             or that one trying to walk.    
                     Remember your budding breasts and the pain that came with them?
 Remember your first encounter with red and the sudden realization that you were no longer that  little girl?
      Remember the pain of crushing on some guy who never  noticed you?
             All but the faintest of memories today...
                          Gone with the winds of yesterday.
                                    Blown away like chaff in the wind.
Sometimes, you have to Pause,
                          Look back at how far you have come. 
                                  So many wonderful pages yet unwritten...
                                         So many victories yet unclaimed.
     So  Pause, Exhale, Relax.
                            Let down your hair.
                                            Eat some cake...
From Next, Abuja


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sasha Fierce: My Latest Addition

She's 3 months old, loves to eat and loves to steal my slippers...

Hey Mom, It's My Shadow!

I hear my little one crying. He is outdoors playing and I am scared he may have hurt himself.
I come out to see what is going on and I see him wailing and pointing at the ground. I think for an instant he may have hurt his feet but he is at the same time awkwardly moving backwards like he is running away from something.
Finally I see it.
It's his shadow!
He is trying to run away from his shadow and crying because the black mass on the ground keeps following him.
I go to him laughing my heart out and with the help of the other kids around, show him that we all have shadows and that our shadows follow us all.
Soon, he is laughing and having a lot of fun with this new found friend.
It simply is beautiful watching kids learn about the world around them. They teach us to appreciate life in its uttermost simplicity.

Olivia Oyibo Photography

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

They Broke Into My Home...(A summary)

I was startled out of sleep by this loud crashing noise!
It was pitch black when I opened my eyes.
I heard footsteps, hushed voices and I knew my one nightmare had become a reality.
There were people in my house. 2am at night. Alone with the baby. People in my house.

My body trembled with fear and confusion.
I grabbed my sleeping toddler and held him close as I heard footsteps approach my door.
It wasn't locked so entrance was easy.
Three men shone light in my face from the torches they held.
Their weapons grinned darkly at me.

Oh, why did my husband have to travel that day? Oh, why didn't my sister return home that night?
"Wia the money? The 2.5million Naira? We no go touch you if you give us the money. So try make you cooperate." Their speaker managed some English through a thick Hausa accent and brown dirty teeth.
I let them have the money I had. It was my tithe. I was supposed to give it in church the previous Sunday except that I didn't make it to church.
Then, they turned my room upside down. My always tidy room made to look like a dump by hungry boys who like hyenas wait for the lioness to catch prey so they can feast.

For a moment, I felt pity deep down my heart for them...for the hunger, laziness, hopelessness, covetousness, poverty that would make able bodied men break into homes not theirs and wreak havoc and damage not necessary.

Then they took the laptops-Mine, my husband's and my sister's.
And I got angry.
I hadn't finished watching Game of Thrones! Season 4 was on my husband and sister's laptops! How dare them (they?)?!

They made me watch as they trashed my sister's room. She had just made money from some job. It was in her room. They took it.
They made me get them a box of matches so they could take a smoke break.
They made me find them bags for their booty-Jewelry, Unsewn fabrics, Laptops...
Memories burnt on the laptops all gone.
Pictures of my son, months and months of creative photography...gone in one night.

And as they turned to leave, one of them returned to me.
He threw a crumpled Five hundred Naira note at me.
"Madam, Manage this 500 naira buy yourself something for morning. And make you the pray for us so that we no go come back. Na our country condition cause am"

"Yes Sir", was my humble reply.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Sweet Potatoes and The Woman

oliviaoyibo photography
A Very True Story from a Kitchen:

Once upon a time, a woman went to the market and returned with loads of Irish potatoes and a few Sweet potatoes.
But she loved the Irish potatoes so much that she ate them all up and still didn't bother touching the Sweet potatoes.
The Sweet potatoes begged her to cook them for her eating pleasure but she still wouldn't.
Instead, she ignored them, left them to the elements of the weather and watched them wither away.
At first, the Sweet Potatoes got really depressed. It was a rotten feeling to be unwanted, unloved, unused...
It was a painful feeling to watch Irish Potatoes get peeled, diced, washed, fried and eaten with such relish...
They cried many a tears wallowing in self pity but that didn't change the woman's mind.

After many weeks of being left out in the rain, the Sweet potatoes thought to themselves:

" It's no use trying to make her love us. We would rot and die if we continue pinning for her attention. She has left us outside to grow old and useless and the rains would bring her desires to pass. Let's forget about her for awhile and build ourselves up. There's some soil on us from all the dirt that accompanied us from the market. Let's allow this same rain that can destroy us interact with our soil and sprout on us gardens of green leafy plants!"

 And with their decision made, they faced the terror of the rain and the heat of the sun with all the strength they could muster-knowing that it was working something really special on their inside.

It wasn't long before they sprouted. Every single one of them!

And one day, the woman came out with the intention of throwing them all away but was greeted with the most amazing sight!

Five old and worn Sweet potatoes smiling green with life!

Too speechless for words, she pulled out her camera and shot at them with wonder.
She couldn't throw them away and she couldn't eat them either.
Instead she watched them grow everyday into this sweet green garden.

And then it suddenly dawned on the Sweet potatoes that there were finer purposes in life than being eaten.

                                                                    ***The end***

Guess who the woman in the story was? It turns out she is also a Sweet Potato...selah...hehehehe
 Happy Democrazy Democracy day Nigeria!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Wedding Decor by Red Diamond Events

I walked into the tent and I was blown away.
Dreamy, romantic and passionate are words that came to mind. Now, tie them all up in this huge ball of simplicity. I imagined the couple, the utter pleasure they would derive from having their reception held in such an inspiring ambiance. All those petals, candles floating in huge glasses, purple covers, red satins, amazing flowers (I forget the name now. It's not like I studied Botany).

And as I captured shot after shot, I was reminded with every click of my camera that the room was entirely beautiful. Red Diamond Events did an amazing job. Contact them if you want that magic added to your day. And then you can call me for your photography. It's really that simple.

Oh yes, the flowers are Orchids! Just remembered (I go school). And shout out to Ademola Olaniran. Thanks guy! Follow him here.

The Origin Of Sagging

It's a trend I do not understand.
I haven't even tried to.
Wearing trousers on your feet, boxers on your knees and your bare butt on your butt...
What's there to understand?
However, very recently, whilst watching Discovery Channel, I had this light bulb moment!
It suddenly hit me, the origin of sagging!

See pictures for yourself:

But here's the deal: Baboons have a valid reason for putting their butts on display.
I am yet to find out the homosapiens' reasons.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Through a plastic cup

Photo by Olivia Oyibo

Photographing Lexi

At first, I was obviously the stranger whatwith this hideous contraption of a camera in hand. Bright eyes set in a yellow chubby face regarded me curiously as I bent over to her level.
 " Kuchi, kuchi, googoo, gaga" I spoke babynese. (I hope)
But she didn't crack a smile. If anything she cried a little. So her mom and I thought it best to put the camera down and have us get to know each other a little. (Same advice I would give adults-Put down those smart phones and turn off the TV sets everynow and then. Have some real conversations for Pete's sake! But then, I digress).
And that did the trick.
Little Lexi was a fireball of action, fun and fairytale (Though she's quite the tomboy I hear).

Enjoy a few of our pictures with mom's permission.

The lady in pink

See, I can smile too
Thumbs up!
Behind the curtains
Ah, what's a shoot without big brother?

Oh, let me be!
Bob The Builder?

Happy Birthday Alexis love! Here's wishing you a Nigeria where Girl Child Marriage and Boko Haram Abductions do not exist!


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

# Bring Back Our Girls !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Nightmare in which I am Nigerian

"Awaiting Dawn" by olivia oyibo
Sometimes, I feel I am in this bad dream and when I wake, I'd find out I am really Canadian or American or French or Ghanaian.

See, in this bad dream I am Nigerian- a country where lawlessness is celebrated, where teenagers are locked up for stealing phones while pot bellied politicians break away with billions of our naira in dollars and in property.

See, in this bad dream, our president trivialises corruption by saying " It's JUST stealing" while his wife cries in the name of God on TV making a mockery of the intellect of the average Nigerian.

In this dream, students get killed because they happen to be trying to get an education (For which there are no jobs but they don't know this yet) and 200 Chibok girls get abducted but life goes on as usual.

Except that the first lady interrupts life by making that show of crying on TV because the international community has put us on the spot. (Oh, repitition abi? I mentioned this already third paragraph above)

In this dream, I feel so powerless about making any positive changes ( I wore a head gear for my son and put up # bring back our girls# on BBM).

So, I go to a salon for a hair retouch (12 weeks of new growth), go shopping for clothes with cousins, watch TV, improve on my photography and google Immigration Canada.

Then at Night, I remember those girls and whisper a prayer for their rescue and thank God that me and mine are safe.

And as I slip into another dream, I hope to God that it is the one from which I shall awaken to my American heritage.

Where my blood is worth more than a show of tears put together by a first lady and her aides.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Bring Back Our Girls!!!

oliviaoyibo photography
Until they become women, girls have the right to eat candies, play with dolls, play ten-ten, crush on boys, imagine they are princesses, day dream about fairy tale weddings and have an education.

No where does this include being abducted by Boko Haram.

Bring Back Our Girls!


Friday, 25 April 2014

Trying my hands on poetry :)

Eyes everywhere,
watching you, following you;
Mouths everywhere,
tasting you, chewing you;
Ears everywhere,
hearing you through those walls.
What, my dear friend, have you been up to lately?


Model: Ejura of Indulge cakes. She makes the most delicious red velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Vision 2 years!

Hearts in the sand

The goal was to wean him at 12 months.
I failed woefully. I didn't even try.
So I pushed for 18 months which is where we are at now.
And I have tried the following:

1. Introduced him to a beverage so he can have something to fall back on. It hasn't worked. Yet.
2. Just plain refused to oblige him. It hasn't worked. Yet.
3. Put plasters over my breasts for about 5 days.It worked!

 But then (sigh), we had to queue up for fuel at this petrol station. And we were
there for about two hours. I didn't pack enough food. He got hungry and cranky. I had to do something! And I did.
So let's just say we are back to breastfeeding. (Blame it on the fuel scarcity)

And didn't WHO say Babies should be breastfed until two?read here


Monday, 14 April 2014

My Preamble and Pre- Birthday Photo Shoot with Siseng Gyang Rwang

It's easy to get discouraged when you feel you are something really special only to find out that You Win, Nigeria, Young African Leaders Initiative by President Obama and First Bank's The Writer Competition don't think so.
My conclusion at this moment (this moment because I may will feel differently about it tomorrow) is that I am done entering for competitions and fellowships and...
Instead I shall focus on improving on my skills, building castles in the air and working at actualizing my dreams.
Afterall, I have God to lean on don't I?
Plus I have learned something very vital out of these polite rejections (Dear Emdee, we are glad you applied for... but we are sorry we cannot take you this year for...). I have learned that men are really strong. They ask a girl out, she says NO rather rudely, they keep breathing and ask another out!

And now to happier things!

I had this pre-birthday photo shoot with Adorable Siseng Gyang Rwang who was a natural infront of the camera and didn't fail to entertain me with dance steps inbetween shots. She didn't cry even when she got tired and her happy smile and energy were contagious. There was also a cake smash session! Thanks to her mom who is every bit the birthday/events planner. Her Dad was amazing and it was beautiful to see the kiss he shared with his wife on his daughter's special moment. I had fun! Enjoy!
Lovely Siseng in White and Black.

Mommy got Alphabets in her name
Daddy n Mommy steal a moment! No, two moments!Don't look Sisi! lol
That moment D comes in and sweeps her off her feet. Lol!

Summer Cutie
Fairy Princess!
Purple n Pink!
Cake smash loading
My name starts with an S?
Ah, our guests!
Smash Cake by Indulge. Tasted yummy too.
You gotta love this Daddy n Mommy!

Happy Birthday Sisi love! You'd grow up to be an awesome woman in a Nigeria where peace and justice reigns!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Shit can be...

Cow dung somewhere at Dawaki

Depends on how you see it.
The same shit that stinks is the same shit that becomes manure.
Waste births life.
We die to live. Ultimately.
No running away from that shit.
Face it head long!
Embrace that challenge shit and when you are done kissing, make sure it becomes manure.

PS: Wishing you shit enough for excellent manure!
Origin of shit? See here

Monday, 24 March 2014

His sleeping moments bring me some peace

So it's morning and I'm awake but he is still asleep which is a good thing. That way, I can have some more "me" time-very very neccessary me time.
But he's sleeping so peacefully, I can't resist the urge to click away; so I decide to document the moment.

Bum in the air sleep position
Some stirring
Some ear scratching

Finally, eyes open!
Some eye scratching

A huge yawn which kinda reminds me of...
This! lol

 And just when you think the drama of waking up is over and done with, he gets off the bed and cracks me this sweet smile.
So yes, his sleeping moments bring me some peace but it sure is great to have him awake!