The devil plays hard… (continued)

Friends
Friends ❤

If you’ve not read the 1st part, why? why would you deny yourself premium gossip?

Later that evening, I went for a story telling event hosted by Abuja Storyteller held at the Cube Cafe Maitama  and If you think this “white-est” thing I have done yet wait till I tell you about going kayaking and my plans to go skydiving in the future. I however won’t dive into the details because I see your impatient eyes scanning, trying to skip through this. WAIT, be patient, relax, chill your nerves… All I will tell you about the event is that it was super awesome, it made me feel like a child again and I will be attending the next one :).  It’s funny how I never regarded Storytelling as an Art form until I was blown away by the superb performance by Mara Menzies at the 2018 KABAFEST. I guess growing up in an African home listening to stories about our ancestry, traditions, folktales and the occasional Bible stories ever so often from my parents and grandparents really took the “Art” out of it in a sense. It was just something that happened naturally so I took it for granted. To me they were simply, stories.

Back to this story

Nothing “bad” happened that night on my way home. It was the perfect end to a totally amazing day. I was super excited when I got home, grinning from chin to chin and made a post that I was the happiest I had ever been. Apparently, the devil must have gone to bed early.

Fast forward to Sunday, the day the devil tried to reduce my “bride price”

I was really excited when we got back from church because I had planned quite “the outing”. While my sister was yapping about what we would have for lunch, I was running off to get ice and snacks for our picnic.

Oh, you thought we were just gonna kayak and go home? See ehn, my people have a saying that if you want to eat a frog, eat the biggest frog so that when you’re accused of being a frog eater you will stand proud. In the same way I was going to have the “white-est” weekend of my life yet. I was gonna do it to the best of my finance.

I do realize how racist I sound whenever I say I’m doing “white people” things. I do realize it.

At this point, I didn’t care much for hunger, I just wanted to get everything we needed on time. If you didn’t know anything about me, here’s a free fact; I am a sucker for going unnecessary early everywhere (a “white” characteristic). As a bonus fact; I hate to be kept waiting.

Our rendezvous time was 2pm so naturally by 1pm I started calling my friends to make sure we were all on schedule and as typical Nigerians they were all already ready. My friends are not liars, they are just women.

pause.

By 1:30pm I was dressed and literally begging my sister to just pick any of her 300 sneakers and put it on. “Stop asking me if this goes with this, it goes!!!” I was almost yelling at her when she took off the third shoe because it didn’t match what she was wearing. SHE WAS WEARING NAVY BLUE JEANS.

On getting to the stadium, I got lost. This was why I wanted to leave earlier in the 1st place. I’m no stranger to the stadium but I had never been to the lakeside and I wanted to get there and setup before my friends arrived. Instead, I found myself at the car park of the cricket field (I didn’t know we played cricket in Nigeria). A match was ongoing, so I approached someone standing at the entrance and got proper directions. As I started backing out of the parking lot which was jam-packed, a call came in from one of my friends. Before I could hear what Osen was saying, I heard that sound that all drivers hate to hear. that sound that tells you you have exceeded your intended destination. My sister screamed out my name and I hit the breaks immediately. I had hit someone’s car.

Aye Aye you don hit my car… If you said Oyibo repete, you are an OG. chop knuckle.

I called Osen back and she had arrived at Package A of the stadium her friend from where I was supposed to pick them up to join us at Package B. The Abuja National Stadium is divided into two parts by a bridge. The Main Bowl where the football pitch and tracks are, is Package A while the Basketball court, Swimming pool, Tennis court and other sports including Cricket are all located at the other half – Package B. Due to my present predicament, I couldn’t pick them up so they had to take directions from the security at the gate who directed them through a longer route. Like that wasn’t pressure enough, I just got off the phone with Haleema who was on her way too. Perfect fucking timing!

Needless to say, I started sweating in weird places.

My sister was sitting relaxed scrolling through her Instagram feed like we just made an order and was waiting for it to be delivered, totally unbothered. Maybe she was acting, so I tried my best to act like I wasn’t about to scream.

Where are magic powers when you need them? I came out to inspect the damage and thankfully it wasn’t that bad. I know how I painted the picture, but trust me it wasn’t that bad and as a good Nigerian that I am, I went up to one of the assisting officials and asked him to make an announcement so that I can inform the owner of the car of what I had done. To my greatest surprise two Indians emerged. oh, Cricket!… (Oyibo repete!!!)

…if you laughed, you’re racist too and if you say black people cannot be racist, you said it.

“Good afternoon gentlemen” I said,  sounding so calm while extending my hand to shake theirs. I hit your car as I was trying to reverse and I would like to pay for the damages… it’s a small scratch, you can come and take a look. Before I could even finish reciting my rehearsed speech calmly, the shorter of the two started running towards the car and his first expression was “you Nigerians”.

Chai we don suffer! See who dey talk oh, if I konk you enter ground ehn… na because say I no run?

That was my exact thought but I obviously couldn’t say that out loud. I extended an olive branch, so I had to stay in character. I was really hoping they would wave if off and say don’t worry about it cause I only had N500 in my pocket. After the tall one who I assumed to be the owner of the car finished accessing the damage, he said he would call his driver to come and take a look at it before they will decide on how much to pay.

That sweat in weird places started to appear in visible places but the sun was also out and burning so we shall blame the sun, okay? cool.

As Mohammed the driver confirmed that he was on his way and it would take him about 20 minutes to get here, I asked them to let me go and set up at location but their trust issues wouldn’t let them let me leave (I can’t say I blame them). I gave them my phone as collateral and left to setup with my sister at the lakeside. I quickly left her in charge and hurried back to meet them. On getting my phone back I had missed calls from Haleema and Osen. Talk about handling pressure like a boss, I directed Haleema to come meet me, while Osen and her friend were still playing “Dana the explorer”. At this point, I really couldn’t help them so they were gonna get some much needed tan.

 

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Soon after Haleema arrived, Mohammed came too (don’t grin nasty child). After he spoke with the Indians, they told me I could go 🙂 . He must have convinced them that it was nothing major (like I told you). I don’t know how my nostrils managed it, but the air I exhaled could grow a forest.

That happened just in time to pick up Osen and Bera and in no time, we were all smiles getting comfortable in our kayaks.

 

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Everything was reverting back to the plan I initially had in my head. After we had worked our arms paddling, we proceeded to have an amazing picnic. I can’t begin describe the fun we were having, it was everything I dreamed of and more. That was until a call from an unknown number came in.

I totally forgot I made an order the previous day in all my excitement and the delivery man was at the house. “I’ll be there in 10 mins Sir, I just stepped out” – as I ended the call, I excused myself from the gang and ran towards the car, only turning back to scream, “I’ll be back” (yeah, terminator style). Got to the car as fast as my legs could carry me barely breaking a sweat, put that baby in reverse and deliberately looked around properly before hitting the gas. Can you blame me?

I proceeded to drive like a GTA character because I had committed myself to 10 mins and I keep to my words more often than not. It’s times like this I’m thankful to God I live in Abuja, because; Wide Roads!!! I got to him in no time, picked up the package and was about to get in the car when I noticed a pool of water coming from underneath the car. I was sure it wasn’t from my car because I just drove it here and there was no high temperature indication or smoke coming from the bonnet. I decided to get on my knee and check regardless just to be sure, and boy was I wrong. It was as if someone forgot to tightly close a tap in my engine. I popped the bonnet and to my greatest surprise water vapour was leaking from a pipe underneath the engine block.

What sort of rubbish is this? Why now? Well, better now since I was home right?

I had to wait for about 30 minutes for the car to cool down before I proceeded to replace all the water that had been lost. I couldn’t risk taking this car back so I went in the house and grabbed the keys to the second car which had no fuel in it. In my hurry, I hit my neighbors car on the way out. Luckily for me it was “another light scratch”. I decided on the spot that it was not worth disturbing their peace over and further wasting my time as It was already after 6pm and I was already getting calls from my sister who was worried at this point. I couldn’t explain over the phone so I told her I was on my way.

After getting fuel at a close by filling station, I attempted to repeat my reckless GTA style driving to save time but before I could even go far, I hit a taxi man.

NOT AGAIN?! THIS AIN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN TO ME… (in Keri Hilson’s voice)

Luckily AGAIN, it was nothing major AGAIN. Coupled with the fact that the taxi was already pretty beat up, he didn’t even bother to get out and access the damage.

I GUESS WHAT IS DEAD CAN NEVER DIE

I apologized and continued my reckless driving because at this point, I was furious, angry, and my “fuck it” meter was at it’s max. The car simultaneously began to cry out too but I ignored it. If I perish I perish.

My only goal was to get to the stadium ASAP and get my friends out of there. On getting there I checked the car, not because I cared much for it but only to make sure it would get us back. Would you believe this one had started overheating too? Remember everything I said about being furious and angry and reckless? Quick maths; raise all that by the power of 3.

Leaving the bonnet open to let out the steam and possibly cool the engine, I proceeded to gather my friends and supplies back to the car. They obviously had questions about why the car was different but I wasn’t in the chatting mood. I returned to the engine and without thinking, I opened the radiator cover which was physically hot to the touch with my bare hands because I was angry and I was greeted by an eruption of hot water.

Notice how anger tends to cloud good judgement?  Earlier, I had applied good judgement but this time I was impatient. Thanks to God for some quick reflexes, the water narrowly missed my eyes and hit my forehead instead. Remember your previous answer? Now raise the total to the power of crazy. I could swear I was breathing out fire at this point so I poured ice water from the cooler on my face and into the radiator. I couldn’t find a rag to dry out the water that splashed all over the electrical components in the engine so I said; fuck it, no wahala and slammed the bonnet shut.

Needless to say, I drove out worse than I drove in.

Thinking about it all when I got calm, I realised how quickly a bad situation became worse because of the way I chose to react. Maybe the devil wasn’t after me after all. I am however thankful to God that I and my friends got home safely.

If you made it this far, I thank you. Thank you for reading and please take an extra minute to say a prayer for our soldiers that don’t make it home to their loved ones everyday due to the reckless decision of others.

 

PS:

I survived with only a small scar. Jokes aside, there are so many lessons to be drawn from this story.

The devil plays hard but God created the game 🙂

Please follow my friends on the gram:

Haleema

Osen

Bera

My sister

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The devil plays hard…

Barely 24 hours after declaring I was the happiest I had ever been, problems started to crawl out the woodwork. It’s really like the demon on my shoulder has a notepad and he makes hourly report to the devil. How else would I explain kayaking with friends one minute and almost getting blinded by rising hot water hitting my face from the cars’ radiator?

Friends
Friends ❤

This story starts on the evening of Friday the 23rd of November, 2018 (only a snitch begins a story like this)

Well, I was resting jejely in preparation for my usual Saturday long runs when I got a text from Wendu asking if I would be going hiking the next day and my answer was a blatant NO. I went ahead and suggested she join my hiking group as they’d be going on a hike that Saturday but she said she’d rather not go since she wouldn’t know anyone there. Fair enough, I was gonna try to convince her to go alone regardless but it had been a minute since we saw each other and I missed her so I said; fuck it, no wahala, let’s go…

That was when she dropped the poster for another hiking group saying; that was the one she had in mind all along… at this point I must have broken the world record for the longest eye roll but because I was looking for any excuse to hang out with her, I said; fuck it, no wahala, let’s go…

“I skipped running with my crew only to come here and meet just a handful of people” was what I was thinking as I stood and counted the cars parked in front of City Park when Wendu pulled up at the muster point and literally said the same thing out loud. For a hot minute, we thought about ditching them for my own hike group but it was already too late as my group usually leaves early. Besides someone did not leave her house on time and her friend Blessing whom I now found out suggested this hiking group was on her way to join us and she was running late… so we said; fuck it, no wahala, let’s stick with it.

On getting to the hiking site there were a lot more cars and I noticed that students from Nile University were also here too. No thanks to the huge white bus that carried their name and a flock of noisy young adults who were obviously very excited to be here. As we got out of the car, we were literally just talking about how this hike might not be so bad after all when someone in black pants and boots,wearing shades and carrying a white backpack brushed past Wendu’s shoulder. She turned back to say sorry then went on to make some other “unnecessary comments” talking about; but you know you were on the road and kept walking. We all stood in awe watching her match along. The madman in me wanted to curse this person out but my Lord and personal saviour held my tongue. Like this whole road is wide AF and Wendu did not occupy the whole road. If she had just said sorry and kept it rolling, it would be all fine. And to be honest, it wasn’t a big deal till she said all that extra stuff.

I think I know that person though, I have seen that face before… I said turning to Wendu who was obviously not interested in hearing me out.

Saisy!! I called out to her when it came time to pay, as that familiar face had now become clearer. Saisy AKA “the connector” was part of the organizing team here but I met her a couple of months ago when I volunteered for the inaugural Millennial Summit at which she was a Key Speaker. She is a Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of JustAskSaisy. She is your go to for any and everything LEGIT (just for emphasis sake). She has a wealth of wisdom and is one of the most hardworking women I know, yet she makes time for this. Technically, she was still working too but that’s not the gist. Would you believe she recognized me too and actually hugged me?!! At that moment I instantly forgave her for everything. We had quite the chat but that’s not for y’all to know lol

Madam Esesua
Saisy ❤

 

The first half of the hike wasn’t as intense as it was dramatic as some grown babies were screaming as we walked through a dark wet tunnel which I hoped wasn’t sewage water… too late to cry now. In no time we were at our 1st rest point on a hill overlooking Guzape. Kids were singing happy birthday behind me and I turned to an actual birthday celebration with cake and drinks on a hill top. That was really cute.

 

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Turning back to gist with Wendu and Blessing, I noticed these Nile University students clustering around this tom boyish looking fellow who had been in front of me the whole while during the hike until this point. They were all beaming with joy and excitement and I was still confused as to what was going on till she stood up to take a picture with them.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I tapped Wendu on her shoulder, look look is that not… before the words could leave my mouth, this young guy walked up to her and called out “Maraji Maraji” in the most stereotypical Hausa accent ever, I want to take picture with you. For a bit I was star struck I won’t even lie. Like I had been standing right next to her the whole time and I did not even know it. At that point I made myself a promise that if I ever get famous, I’m getting myself a hat.

I’m sure she wasn’t trying to disguise herself but it worked perfectly because I’m sure I’m not blind, yet. Being famous must be hard because I could tell she just wanted to sit and talk with her friend but every kid on the hill including me wanted to take pictures with her. When she was done with that session, I let her be. I mean I’m a huge fan but I’m a sensitive person too.

That is why as soon as she stood up again, I rushed her lol… okay, I didn’t rush rush per say – I casually walked up to her and waited for her and her friend to finish taking pictures before I and my gang proceeded to invade their privacy. I know, I’m sensitive like that. She even let me take a picture of them. She was really cool and friendly.

 

How can this hike get any better? Well, let me tell you.

The second half of the hike was long and very intense, it was like walking through the wilderness. The path was mostly narrow and bushy and at times we had to raise our hands up just to avoid getting scratched by the weed. All these felt like a breeze as we were singing, occasionally dancing but mostly laughing all the way through it because my girl Wendu is a delight to be around. She is funny with a sense of humour that is so pure and a laughter that is very contagious, she’s simply a bundle of joy. Don’t tell her I said this, but I low-key go to church every Sunday with hopes of seeing her. Meanwhile, her friend Blessing, to whom I should say thank you to is a real estate professional and she was helping us breakdown every type of house we came across on our trail and I must tell you, Nigerians are building massive mansions in the hills. I guess you could say, Blessing was really a blessing to me after all. I can’t remember half the things we talked about but I have vivid images of all the smiles and laughter we shared. Thank you guys :*

On our way home, Wendu “our driver” (she’ll kill me but idc lol) started hearing some funny noises so I killed the radio and we could all hear it too. She pulled over and, we noticed we had been riding a flat tire, It was no big deal. I guess these things do happen right? I got to work and replaced it with the spare and she drove around till we found a vulcanizer who fixed the punctured tire.

You see, I didn’t really think much of the incident that happened on our way home till I almost lost my pretty face the next day. That was when I started connecting the dots and it all made sense to me. I promise to tell you all about it on the next post. 🙂

 

PS;

Thank you so much for reading. The full gist is too long, so I split it in two. The second part will be public in than 24 hours or less. I just don’t want to over feed you 🙂

“Jejely” translates to patiently

“Wahala” translates to problem

Please follow my friends on the gram

Wendu

Blessing

Saisy

Maraji

#KABAFEST18 – Day 1

The Kaduna book and arts festival 2018 started today  the 5th of September 2018 on a very high note I must say, and that’s really why I’m back here. My passion for writing has been reignited!

FIRST OF ALL, HOW MANY NIGERIAN EVENTS DO YOU KNOW BEGIN AS AT WHEN DUE??? THIS WAS MY FIRST!

That was my first surprise. I was a bit late (45 I won’t tell you if it’s minutes or seconds because it’s obviously not hours or days) to the event as I was trying to navigate through this city that’s new to me. On getting to Silversand Hotel in the heart of Kaduna, I was indeed pleased by the level of organization and planning that went into this. All I had to do was tell the guys at the entrance my name and my ID card and bag was handed to me. This is my first literary event and I’m already making mental notes to attend more, *cough-cough akefestival­ cough-cough*.

…Bless me

My highlight of the opening ceremony was definitely the storytelling by the world renowned Mara Menzies. The way she spoke, just lit up the room… her hand gestures, body movements, the natural sounds she made and the way she engaged her audience by using us to dramatize her story did more to suck me into the story. The art of great storytelling perfected. I watched her flawless combination of techniques and was totally totally amazed. I think I’m in love.

So many celebrities were present too, there was great music by the legendary Jeremiah Gyang, poetry presentation by Ashiru Nagoma Dan-Auta, i know that’s a handful. even though I didn’t understand a word he said as his presentation was done in hausa, I enjoyed it no the less and I got to see Veteran Author Zaynab Alkali (The Queen) as she was presented with a well deserved lifetime achievement award for her work in helping advance literacy in the country especially in Northern Nigeria.

Moving around with my hands behind my back walking in slow gentle strides like the international observer that I am. there was really a lot to take in. How can I forget the well curated book store? The awesome selection of African literature, poetry, so many choices… my lord! It’s little things like this that remind me I’m poor, not for long though.

As the first half of the event drew to a close I knew I had to head back in bright daylight because I once again had to find my way back to where I came from. My people have a saying that the person that asks questions never gets loss and in the most literal sense of the saying, that was how I was able to get home. And by home I mean my Airbnb which would be my cousin’s house at the other end of town because mans cannot afford to stay anywhere closer, but not for long though.

I couldn’t stay for the second half which was the Art exhibition because, daylight. My fun fair is just beginning, this is day 1 of 4 and I’m super pumped for tomorrow.

This event inspired me. Thank you KABAFEST.

Thanks for reading. Cheers