Saturday, December 29, 2007

Leaving the city.

Lagos. Saturday Dec 29, 2007.

Where is Jerome?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ lang syne!

Should we forget our former friends
By whom we set great store?
Should we forget the friends we've met
And the brave days of yore?

This year’s gone. I shall never see it again and I write this for myself and for you who are given to thinking…to introspection.

Today, I sit, creator of this and that and with a reputation for good things and maybe some bad ones, and still in search of my first one million dollars. And I remember.

I remember the friends of my childhood, who walked the dusty streets of Surulere with me and are now gone to other realms. Today, I remember Femi Sadiq who smiled through our early years, Rashidi ‘Rash Boots’ Thanni who played football like a dream and shared childhood dreams with me, Segun Idowu with a sense of humour that could make you laugh at anything, Etekamba ‘wow and whadoo, ya know’, gone now, fallen asleep in a place where I will not follow yet. When it is time to meet with you again, will I recognize you?
I remember Dokun, and I think about how life can be unfair.

I remember Ayo-wole who visited for three days and taught me lessons I never knew my heart could accept.

And my big brothers Olusola and Oluyinka who looked out for me as I grew and taught me many lessons, by word and deed. And my older sisters, Olufunmilayo and Olubande, who were proud of me as a dusty-footed urchin, and whom I have since given reason for this pride. All four of whom read as if books and comics were going out of fashion and placed a desire in me I have not lost since.

And I remember my father, Supremo. And I am silent. And thankful. And very sad.

And I remember some of the boys from the street who’ve done good- kole banjo, femi adepitan, etop esen, bola and tope ogunseye, boma iruene, niyi oluwole, bobby ‘don soleonzo’ adeshipo…spread around the world for many, many years, and those cold harmattan mornings will never come again, where we all huddled and dreamed Aladdin’s dreams and played cowboys and Indians and police and t‘ief. Twenty children cannot stay together for twenty years

And I remember Jerome who would join the Shell Club boys as we played our daily football from 4pm to 6pm at Shell Club (now Eagle club), at the NPA sports ground, at Jalupon, at the Union Bank Sports Ground.
Jerome, who would drop the tray full of bread he had been sent out to sell and play football with us till nightfall. He was our friend. We never bought the bread, seeing we were just kids who would have supper waiting at home, but we would place the tray carefully some distance from the goal posts and play… and play. I do not think his parents ever profited from that bread. He would go to school in the morning and detour in the early evening sun of Shell Club, to play. Well done, Jerome, for not allowing your childhood to be stolen. And I remember soji wey and kelechi ejiogwu whose fences we would climb to get to the field. And suraju, who would take the football if he was displeased with any decision and run. Out of the pitch, out of the sports ground, through strange streets, ball under arm, ten of us in pursuit. I do not know if I will recognize you now, Jerome, if we pass by each other on the streets but you are my friend.

And I am grateful for many good memories and dreams that have come true and those still continuing to. They are important to me.

May the future be all we want it to be.

(photo- Jaekel House in the Railway Compound at Ebute-Metta now preserved for historical purposes)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Before The Rain.


Filming for The Stella Damasus Show continued at the singer, D'banj's home last Wednesday. D'Banj whose ability to entertain on stage (apart from his singing) is his greatest strength, proved to be as entertaining in person and revealed the most incredible things about himself during the recording. He revealed the reason for his song "Mobolowo won" (I escaped from their hands), the extent of his wealth (he's wealthy even by Western World standards, believe me), his relationship with his producer/manager- Don Jazzy, with Tu face, what he thought of old time singers like Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obe and many other things.

D Banj is the Vice President of Mo' Hits Records of which Don Jazzy is the President. Throughout the interview, Don Jazzy stayed in the studio, a recluse of sorts and content to let D' Banj have the lime-light. D'Banj however firmly believes Don Jazzy has been responsible for the successful direction of the Koko/No Long Thing phenomenon that has swept the nation and can say no wrong of him.

Group Picture shows artistes with Mo' Hits Records. Fron left, the rapper S.I.D. who used to be a member of da Trybe- d Trybes Men collective, Wande Coal who is regarded as one of Nigeria's best voices at the moment, Stella herself, and D'Banj's younger brother, also a singer. Seated on the floor playing his trademark harmonica is D'Banj after the interview.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I was at the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital yesterday, waiting for Stella Damasus (whose TV show I am producing) and the camera crew, so we could commence the recording of an episode.

As I stood waiting by my car and talking on the phone, I saw a woman in her 30s screaming at a slight-framed old man in his 80s. She, with a baby strapped to her back, said she was tired of taking care of him. She had done enough in her life for him and was tired of eneslavement. He had maltreated her all her life, made her childhood a misery. She said he would have to deal with his mental health problems himself, he and his fat shapeless wife. Her words in Yoruba.

The old man was pathetic and kept on trying to stand by her side but she would have none of it. Once, she slammed him in the chest and he almost broke in two. Karma, I thought. As my more retributive-minded friends who think I'm going to pay for every woman I've run away from would say, "life will bite you in the a*^e in the end. You just wait". For this old man, I thought, "he's getting payback in this world." As they circled my car, she now in possession of the old man's slippers and attempting to maim him with it, she showed me a small wound on her head which she said he had inflicted.

It was apparent she had had enough and called him unprintable names at the top of her voice. A member of staff of the hospital joined me in trying to appease her and that was when we found out from the old man, that she was the person who needed treatment. They had brought her from the Mountin Of Fire Church and she was having none of it. Some statistics say one in ten peiple will suffer some kind of mental health issue in their lifeime. Things are not always as they seem.

As security guards escorted the belligerent woman with the baby still strapped to her back into the deep recesses of the hospital, I watched the old man's wife as she approached and stood in misery looking at her ill daughter, and the old man himself, a little to one side, racked with grief.

I thought of how I had prejudged the old man based on how things looked. As I write this, I can almost hear the old man singing to me- "Walk a mile in my shoes, before you abuse, criticise and accuse, Walk a mile in my shoes"

Photo from left shows the Chief Clinical Psychologist of the hospital- Marcellinus Nwaogwu, laspapi and Stella after the recording.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I was driving by the local airport in the morning, yesterday, when I saw a little beggar girl aged about 7 run frantically to her mother, who was sitting by the road-side. I watched through the wind-screen as she frantically slapped her mother on the knees and signalled the older woman to run too. Then the child took off in fear, leaving her mother behind. I craned to see what/who was in pursuit of the child but it was hard to make out. Then I looked back at the old woman, she had goitre, and stood unsure,not knowing whether to fold her mat, grab her slippers etc She just sort of hopped from foot to foot then stood still as others fled around and past her.

Then I saw the pursuers. They were officials of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development and they'd brought a mighty vehicle to pick vagrants off the streets. I saw one of the officials grab the hand of a dwarf and drag him towards the bus. When I finally drew level with the bus, there were beggars and destitutes seated and standing everywhere in it. Blind beggars of both sexes and their child-guides too.

The woman whose child had warned her was left alone for some reason (maybe the bus was full) but as I drove past the bus, I saw a blind female beggar crying inside it. I couldnt get that image out of my head. There was no dignity in the tears, and the scene was soundless as she was in the bus, and I, in my car, but I could see her fear. She looked half-crazed with it.

They were probably taking them to Majidun, a camp to rehabilitate destitutes somewhere around ikorodu. I don't know if it will be a lasting solution however as begging pays much more than basket weaving ever can.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Men of all ages interested in being part of a group of Professionals and Students in weekly friday night 5-a-side football on Artificial Turf in relaxed surroundings somewhere in Ikoyi.

Spectators stands and comfortable lounge available for guests.

Game starts at 8pm every Friday under floodlights.

Limited spaces available.



Theatre@Terra presents the world premiere of the Stage Drama, 'The Wives', written by Dr Ahmed Parker Yerima, Director General Of The National Arts Theatre and Artistic Director of the Nigerian National Troupe.

THE WIVES: Everyone has something to hide. A wealthy man dies and many hidden things about the dearly beloved dead patriarch are brought to light as his wives converge, unearthing family secrets and broken taboos.

The play will be directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Date: Sunday the 16th, December
Venue: Terra Kulture
Time: 3pm & 6pm.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An African Christmas

Why sing we songs of mistletoe?
Why exalt we the pure white snow?
What meaning, tell, Rudolph's nose?
What romance bears fireside repose?
In an African Christmas.

Why not dream of harmattan air?
Why not laud bluest atmosphere?
Extol the smell of burning grass.
Sing you of dust not frost on glass
In an African Christmas.

It's not the seasons of the year
That tinge the wondrous Christmas air.
But Mary's infant meek and mild,
Praise then, all men, the Holy Child
In an African Christmas.

Oladejo Fabolude

Copyright ©2003 Oladejo Adebola Fabolude

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life is short,
Break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly,
Laugh uncontrollably,
Never regret anything that made you smile.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I've been locked away in a hotel since the night of Sunday the 2nd Of December and not due for release till Thursday the 6th.

The occasion? A writers' workshop for the adaptation of the Vagina Monologues, 'localizing' it and making it even more suitable for our environment.

The project is sponsored by the Dutch-based CORDAID and spear-headed in Nigeria by the Kudirat Initiative For Democracy (KIND), supported by Project Alert, Media COncern Initiative, The Ajegunle Community (ACP) Project and the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO).
laspapi will be directing the performances in March of next year.

Top photo shows laspapi and Tunde Aladese. Tunde also writes for True Love Magazine and is an Associate Producer on the talk show, "Moments with Mo".

3rd photo shows all the writers-(2nd from left) Ijeoma Ogwuegbu who also writes for the Sun Newspaper and is a regular on Funmi Iyanda's 'New Dawn' Talk show as a member of the Monday Women's Panel and extreme right, Princess Olufemi Kayode, who is Executive Director of Media Concern.

Bottom photo shows (from left) Josephine Effah-Chukwuma- Executive Director of Project Alert, Princess Olufemi-Kayode and Amy Oyekunle-Executive Director Of KIND.

As you can see, laspapi is the only male in a project made up of women. The 'Girl Whisperer' tag is not for nothing.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You're invited to Chika Unigwe's THE PHOENIX book reading.

Sunday Dec 8
Jazzhole, 168 Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi.

Fri Dec 14
Quintessence, Falomo Shopping Centre,
Time- 5pm

Saturday Dec 15
Bookworm, Eko Hotel Shopping Complex
Ajose Adeogun St, Victoria Island
Time 2pm.

Finally watched the 1978 movie, "I spit on your grave" a few days ago. Woman gets raped by 4 guys and proceeds to wipe out all the guys who participated in the heinous act.

As children, we all wanted to see this movie because it showed "skin" and I remember my best friend then telling me how great it was. I finally got to see it and was appalled at the bad acting and the terrible "film tricks".

I was glad when she killed them all off, their acting was that bad. She should have killed herself at the end too.

At one point, she buried an axe in the back of a guy swimming in a river. 2007 technology allowed me to slow down the dvd frames and what I first thought was the smooth white back of a swimming man was actually an expanse of yellow sand smoothened with fingers (you could see the finger marks and small puddles of water), In the days the film was made, you might have gotten away with it but today? Yet, Casablanca, a much older movie starring Humphrey Boggart and his catchphrase "Here's looking at you, kid", remains a classic because it is well thought out.

I spit on the grave of all those incompetent actors, their director and producers. Hmmpff.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Got tagged by Tayo

7 Weird things about me

1. Often, I prefer my own company. I'm silent in the mornings

2. I like to watch movies alone sometimes

3. I start fighting when the other person's tired.

3. No matter how complicated, people try to make an issue/discussion/argument, I can tell what the core is in a couple of minutes. "Complicated" types hate that.

4. I never get ill. After University, it just stopped.

5. Too many ex-girlfriends.

6. A tendency to totally keep away from situations/people I find disturbing.

7. I can read comics walking down a busy road.

Here are the rules
1) Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
2) Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
4) Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I tag Uzo, Funmi Iyanda, Prousette, Shola Pacheco, Sherri, Omosewa & 2ndCorin5:17

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Gathering Of Eagles continues through December-

Sunday December 2-
King Emene
Written by Zulu Sofola/Directed by Kenneth Uphopho

Sunday December 9-
A Restless Run Of Locusts
Written by Prof. Femi Osofisan/Directed by Sunkanmi Adebayo

Sunday Dec 16-
The Wives
Written by Dr Ahmed Yerima/Directed by Wole Oguntokun

Sunday December 23
Once Upon Four Robbers
Written by Femi Osofisan/Directed by Gbenga Adekanmbi

Sunday December 30
Morountodun (The Legend Of Moremi)
Written by Femi Osofisan/Performed by Renegade Theatre

All shows are at 3pm and 6pm

N2000 (Adults) / N1500 Students

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Guardian's still on strike but the Whisperer matches on.


as unpublished by the Sunday Guardian.

The Whisperer’s mother called him one day and looked at him for a long while, then she spoke. “You do know there is no perfect woman, don’t you? You’ll have to settle for one, some day. Just find a good girl and it‘ll be okay. ”. Like many men and women, I had spent my whole life, (since I was thirteen, actually) searching for the perfect mate, even though I was not the perfect man. Okay, I admit the Whisperer has moments when he feels close to perfection but doesn’t every one have these ego-filled moments? I had been flawed as a child by movies like ‘The Sounds Of Music’ and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ where love is so palpable and strong, you just know it will last for ever. Even till this day, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies and the perfect relationship. Somewhere in your heart, you know relationships are a bit more complicated than the film script makes it to be, but one hopes, longs for with all one’s being, and believes that one will find one’s own Snow White. Some perfect beauty, a Nicole Kidman or Vanessa Williams, beautiful inside and out, who will love us as we are, and accept us with all our foibles. She will not throw tantrums or go into a huff when we cannot afford to buy her diamond rings (her father’s too wealthy for her to be troubled by mundane things anyway). Her mother will be a beautiful, kind woman, accepting us as we are. In the cases of women who have these innate desires, the man of their dreams has the body of an Adonis, sculpted to perfection. He has the intelligence of an Einstein and the sense of humour of a Jon Stewart. Humanity always has flaws however, no matter how beautiful the packaging is, and the true definition of love might be the acceptance of another, with all his or her flaws and a willingness not to try to force our own ideals upon this person.

So I paid attention to my mother, the woman who had been the vessel chosen to bring the Whisperer to this earth but still, I did not follow her advice. Should the quest for the perfect mate ever be considered a mission impossible? Should we ever allow that dream to be taken from us?

It’s part of what makes life so much fun and totally zany, I think. The search for the perfect mate. This mate doesn’t exist, by the way, and there is no moment of absolute certainty, no matter how far you go in search of El Dorado, but the search can be a wonderful, event-filled thing. For the perverse minded, I’m not talking of a life of philandering and moving from bed to bed. What I’m talking of, is the eye you catch looking at you, as you turn a corner in your car or that person you know you might never have a chance to say hello to as he or she walks down the corridor, but who with a lilt of the head as he/she stands waiting for the elevators tells the story of your life.

Someone I think the world of did an analysis of me and my "girl whispering" ways a short while back and it made me sit and think of my own compulsions and the reasons I do the things I do. She said:
"I think you like women because you like them. Not because you want to have notches on your bedpost or anything but because there is something about the female form, female mind and female mannerisms that speaks(s) to you. Each female connects with a part of you, some much more than others."

It's as true as anything I have heard about myself and though I had tried to explain this many times to others, I had not been able to find the exact words for how it was with me.

So, for those who will continue the search for the Phantom Lover, who lives only in our dreams, we must remember that dreams tend to dissolve like clouds under the heat of the noon-day sun, and for all those who have woken up during the night and desperately tried to hold on to the bag of gold they discovered by the roadside or the wonderful partner they met while strolling, I tell them one thing, life can be hard. Still, there are people who exist, almost close to our own idea of perfection, whose flaws we can overlook, whose shortcomings do not disturb us. They are out there somewhere and here’s wishing you come across your own ’dream mate’, who will take on human form and accept you for who you are as well. Dreams can come true. Hopefully.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Comrade blew his top on the issue of the Big Brother Africa cover-up of sexual assault by the eventual winner of the reality show and the many excesses foisted upon Nigeria by citizens and foreigners alike.

Its a very fine piece and can be read here

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I play 5-a-side soccer weekly and after having dinner with the blogger, Toks boy, he expressed his desire to be part of this regular team. There was a mix-up however and toks had to get his first game in a long while playing with a team of strangers. Read his baptism of fire here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Once Upon Two Robbers

I stood outside my home last night receiving a quick call. Apart from my regular cell-phone, I have a 'mobile' landline, like most Lagosians. A starcomms phone that has a fading signal when calls come through within the concrete enclave called my flat. So I walked out of the apartment, and out of the compound and stood just before the gate, watching passersby as I spoke.

I live in Lagos, so it should surprise no one that the transformer that supplied electricity to my street had been whisked away by power officials about a week before. It had a fault and we have no idea when/if we will get it back.

The noises of generators from all four flats had pushed me to step out of the house and onto the pitch-dark street to carry on my conversation.
There's something about my road, not many houses on it, but it has a bar that attracts all sorts. Three roads lead off the road as well. I love my home, even though I think I pay far too much as rent, the present set of tenants are the first ever to inhabit the practically new house. However, I dislike the road its on, too busy atimes and I know the secluded interior of the compound attracts the attention of those walking by.

So I stood talking by the dark road last night, seeing but not registering the man who stood five metres across the road from me. As I spoke on the phone, it suddenly struck me, that on this dark empty part of the road, the man who had stood casually opposite my gate was only about 2 and half metres away and walking rapidly towards me. A little to his side and behind, there appeared to be another man also approaching me.

I swore into the phone, "f&*%$&g s*&t" (I'm not given to swearing) and without thinking swung to my left in the direction of the bar and walked rapidly towards it and its bright lights calling our hausa security guard who sat with his hausa friend who sells sweets outside the neighbouring house, as I walked. My sudden movement appeared to startle the stranger approaching me and I could see for a few brief moments, he was undecided as what to do. He actually stood in front of our gate, just staring. Alhaji, our guard heard me furiously calling his name and rushed up asking what the matter was. I pointed to the men. By the time Alhaji got there, they had disappeared into the darkness.

What would have happened? I'd have been led into the house, gun pressed into the small of my back. I might have been asked to get my neighbours to open their doors too. Many things could have happened. My friend was robbed like that a couple of years ago, three streets away. Some young men followed someone into his apartment and held them all up at gun-point. My house isn't as accessible to srangers but I won't be so careless again. My brother, Jinta, when on holiday, is always bemused that I study passersby when he and I go around Lagos. You see why now, bro?

The moral of the story? Open your eyes wide no matter where you live. Don't sit in parked cars or stand casually in uncertain areas to make phone calls. And remember, only the paranoid survive.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Diary Of a loquacious blogger and road runner

Friday Nov 9- Was late for the opening of the Lagos Book & Arts Frestival.

Saturday Nov 10- Day 2 of the Book & Arts Festival. I get entangled in a discussion about Biafra by juggernauts such as Prof Chukwuemeka Ike (Sunset at Dawn) and Eddie Iroh (Toads for Supper and former C.E.O. of the Federal Radio Corporation F.R.C.N.) Eddie Iroh says views like mine will help heal the 40 year old wounds of the war. I meet the bloggers Tayo & Omo Alagbede (Son of the blacksmith). Also chat with the soft rock singer, CON.tra.diction (Tosyn Bucknor), daughter of the music legend, Segun Bucknor (Adan ri so gba so gba)

Sunday Nov 11- Watched the play, Midnight Blackout, at Terra Kulture

Monday Nov 12- Start sending out letters seeking sponsorship for "Theatre@Terra". Rehearsals of the play I'm directing for this Month's Theatre@Terra - "Wedlock of the gods" by Zulu Sofola hold at 3pm.

Tuesday Nov 13- Receive a call that sales of FCMB's shares close today. Can't muster the funds to buy some. I grit my teeth and pretend I never intended to.

Wed Nov 14- Attend meeting with MEDIACONCERN, one of the bodies aligned with KIND in the production of the new monologues. Flat tyre. Play "werewolves v. vampires" till I'm square-eyed. It's all I seem to do on face-book.

Friday Nov 16- Attend the weekly drama workshop I run for students of the British International School, Lekki (Bet you didn't know I did that). Went to Astro Turf for weekly football game. DIdn't start playing till 8pm.

Sat Nov 17- Helon Habila's book tour commences with a reading at the SIlverbird Galleria. It is well attended- spend time chatting with Ebun Olatoye (True Love). Kaine Agary (Yellow Yellow), Ier (try to pronounce that-Its a Tiv name), Peju Adeniran (The medical doctor/writer), Tosyn Bucknor, the bloggers- Ore & Lola, the actress- Omonor Imobhio etc
Don't I know any men? I don't, I'm the Girl Whisperer. Just joking- Tony Khan, Daggar Tolar and Deoye Afolayan were all present. By the way, the blogger Jeremy, co-ordinated events, his company (Cassava Republic) being publisher of Habila's "Waiting For an Angel". The pretty 'A' tells me she's addicted to my blog. I am flattered. I had no idea she'd ever been there.
This Girl Whisperer Article was meant to be published in The Sunday Guardian of November the 11th. Alas, workers at the newspaper went on strike and so did my blog even though I am not an employee of the Guardian. So Prousette, here's the article even though it's not published yet.

Big Brother, Big Blunder

The entire continent watched as the remaining inhabitants of the Big Brother House, the Angolan, Tatiana; her lover, Richard Bezuidenhout; and the Nigerian female, Ofunneka Molokwu, drank themselves to a near-stupor with alcohol freely supplied by the producers of the programme. The rationale behind this, in retrospect must have been the loss of inhibitions by the three remaining housemates. The plan worked to horrifying perfection.

As Ofunneka, the Nigerian medical assistant lay comatose from drink, the Tanzanian, Richard, in full view of the cameras spewing live footage into millions of homes appeared to use his fingers to penetrate the most private part of Ofunneka’s anatomy. And a new dimension was added to African television. No matter how much we claim to be liberal on this continent now, it is not a very African thing to grope a non-consenting female, as she lies asleep. A female housemate tried to stop Richard from ravaging Ofunneka, but the deed was already done. After a while, the good-looking dread-locked Richard, who appears to be short on intelligence even at the best of times moved away from Ofunneka, sniffing his fingers as he did so.

According to Joseph Hundah, an executive at M-Net, the Television company in airing the programme, "There is no indication that Ofunneka was unconscious at the time." These spin-doctors chose to control damage by insinuating that Ofunneka, who vomited from excessive alcohol intake before apparently losing consciousness, consented to Richard’s act.

The Girl Whisperer studied law, and can state some things on this matter. The first is that Richard performed the most essential element of rape under criminal law. Penetration. It would not have mattered if he had used a coca-cola bottle or pencil for his act.

In search of conspiracy theories, I already had issues with the terrible photo of Ofunneka showing her with almost mongoloid features. Then, the producers of the programme played out the ultimate conspiracy. They denied anything untoward took place, even though they had locked Richard away in the diary room immediately they noticed matters had gotten out of hand and sent in paramedics. They had also cleaned up sms messages scrolled on the programme, none indicating the ensuing outcry that followed Richard’s act.

There are many things to look into. A scandal rocked British Television a few weeks back when it was discovered that one of their four biggest stations, ITV, had manipulated the use of premium phone lines. Voting had been rigged numerous times on phone-in programmes, votes were not counted in some cases and people were allowed to enter phone-in competitions they had no chance of winning. It would be a good idea to look closely at the African penchant to use the same medium that has been proven liable to be falsified, in terrestrial and cable programming.

Ofunneka will come out of the Big Brother House to meet the outside world and have to live the rest of her life as the butt of crude conversation and gutter jokes. She, however, has a remedy in law against the producers of the programme if rape can be proven.
This is a criminal issue and the Big Brother producers should be held liable, as should the perpetrator, Richard the Dull.

Her dreams, if any, of making it big in the world of television and films have been brought to a crashing halt by several misplaced fingers. The public is an unforgiving one and even if a rape occurs every forty seconds in South Africa, land of the African Big Brother, it is not an occurrence that is as usual here. If this act had occurred in the Big Brother House in the United Kingdom, the British government would almost certainly have gotten involved and pressurised the end of the programme. Last year, a case of bullying and racism marred the Big Brother production in that country and the government intervened. Ours, watches and waits, because it is unfamiliar territory.

Ofunneka was forcibly retired from her dreams the moment Richard committed his act. She walks around the house still, not knowing, not realizing that for her in many ways, the game is over, permanently and their might be no coming back from the mindless act of the brain-dead Richard. It would be a wise thing for her to start her pension plans by meeting her family lawyers to ensure the producers pay for an incident that will haunt her until the day she dies.

Top Photo- laspapi (right) with the actor, Bolaji Alonge, at Kola Krakue's birthday get-together 8 days ago at the Alara House Of Pain and Pleasure.Middle Photo- Laspapi talks to Kayode Krakue

Bottom Pic- Some Members of the House of Pain and Pleasure- Eyimife Gold, Bimbo 'Benbele' Akindele

Friday, November 09, 2007


One of my closest and most trusted friends wrote in from the United States after reading the post above. We haven't met in years.

Oluwole O.Oguntokun, Olambiwoninu, Koselupa. I had to
respond to the above titled blog. I ran into your
blog a few months ago and from time to time I go there
to read about some "truism". Now I'm not a frequent
guest on the blogsite which explains why I just read
about the above (posted since July).

As one of your friends from the past, I do agree that
some people need to get a life. I believe people are
obssessed with the other person's past when they see
him living the kind of life they only dare to live in
their imaginary world. Personally, I believe laspapi
has come full cycle, an adult of which there are not
many around. When you live life to the fullest,
pursing your passion and exhibiting the principles of
"each man to himself, God for us all" -then you are
fit to be declared an Adult. How else do you explain
this "playwright, poet, lawyer, dreamer" all in one

I believe I'm one of the few that saw you for the real
person you are and it will only be proper to declare,
if only this once - that Laspapi has come full cycle,
fly on!!!

One last plea - do not not publish this or at least
make it anon, I think you really don't like anonymous
stuff, which is why I did not post this on your
blogsite. Just like you, some things about your
nature stays with you, I'm still a very quiet person
communicating only with those who can bring the words
out, like you.

Got to go, the people I work for in this part of the
world (my kids) just woke up. No luxury of aunty to
go and brush their teeth in readiness for breakfast.

Keep up the good work and keep in touch."


First photo shows the new Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mohammed Abubakar (seated), by Funmi Iyanda at the show, New Dawn. Third from left and standing is laspapi. The C.O.P. had just been grilled by funmi on her show, over charges that his men were indiscriminately arresting females with short skirts or anything they considered indecent, as well as males with dreads and tatoos. Funmi herself had been harassed by some policemen as she rode in a car with Bose and Jide Bello.

The COP denied these allegations saying his men were under no such instructions. The madness on the streets stopped thereafter, however.

2nd photo shows laspapi (left) and Marcel Nwaogwu, a Clinical Psychologist at the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital on a New Dawn episode.

The Vagina Monologues, transcribed from hundreds of interviews with women by Eve Ensler has a primary goal, which is to stop abuse whether physical, emotional or mental, levelled against all women. It has been performed worldwide hundreds of times and has featured the likes of Glen Close, Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek, Sally Fields, Queen Latifah and thousands of other performers from all over the world. The Nigerian performances, sponsored by Hafsat Abiola-Costello's KIND (The Kudirat Abiola Initiative For Democracy) in 2006 and 2007 starred females like Joke Silva, Kate Henshaw, Omonor Imobhio, Iretiola Doyle, Elvina Ibru, Iyabode Olajumoke, Rita Dominic, Funmi Iyanda, Bose Afolabi, Teni Aofiyebi, Marie Ekpere and Azeezat.

The 2008 performance which will be adapted to feature issues that are not only universal but also African, will be directed by Wole Oguntokun. Some of you call him laspapi. There will be performances in Abuja as well as Lagos for starters, early next year. The Girl Whisperer as Artistic Director for the New Monologues? I knew there was a reason I wrote "Anatomy Of a Woman".

Photo shows Joke Silva, Omonor Imobhio, Iretola Doyle and Iyabode Olajumoke, all featured in the last performance. There'll be more details shortly.

Was on Funmi's show on Wednesday the 7th to discuss issues of the heart. Not funmi's or mine, but that of people who felt Funmi's wisdom and the practicality of the Whisperer might be of help to them.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cyprian Ekwensi, dies at 86

Veteran novelist, pharmacist and public commentator, Cyprian Ekwensi passed on yesterday.

Cyprian Odiatu Duaka Ekwensi was born at Minna in Northern Nigeria on September 26, 1921. He later lived in Onitsha in the Eastern area. He was educated at Achimota College in the Gold Coast, and at the Chelsea School of Pharmacy of London University. He lectured in pharmacy at Lagos and was employed as a pharmacist by the Nigerian Medical Corporation.

He married Eunice Anyiwo, and they had five children.

After favorable reception of his early writing, he joined the Nigerian Ministry for Information and had risen to be the director of that agency by the time of the first military coup in 1966. After the continuing disturbances in the Western and Northern regions in the summer of 1966, Ekwensi gave up his position and relocated his family to Enugu. He became chair of the Bureau for External Publicity in Biafra and an adviser to the head of state, Lt.-Col. Chukwemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.

Ekwensi began his writing career as a pamphleteer, and this perhaps explains the episodic nature of his novels. This tendency is well illustrated by People of the City (1954), in which Ekwensi gave a vibrant portrait of life in a West African city. It was the first major novel to be published by a Nigerian. Two novellas for children appeared in 1960; both The Drummer Boy and The Passport of Mallam Ilia were exercises in blending traditional themes with undisguised romanticism.

His most widely read novel, Jagua Nana, appeared in 1961. It was a return to the locale of People of the City but boasted a much more cohesive plot centered on the character of Jagua, a courtesan who had a love for the expensive. Even her name was a corruption of the expensive English auto. Her life personalised the conflict between the old traditional and modern urban Africa. Ekwensi published a sequel in 1987 titled Jagua Nana's Daughter.

Burning Grass (1961) is basically a collection of vignettes concerning a Fulani family. Its major contribution is the insight it presents into the life of this pastoral people. Ekwensi based the novel and the characters on a real family with whom he had previously lived. Between 1961 and 1966 Ekwensi published at least one major work every year. The most important of these were the novels, Beautiful Feathers (1963) and Iska (1966), and two collections of short stories, Rainmaker (1965) and Lokotown (1966). He continued to publish beyond the 1960s, and among his later works are the novel Divided We Stand (1980), the novella- Motherless Baby (1980), and The Restless City and Christmas Gold (1975), Behind the Convent Wall (1987), and Gone to Mecca (1991).

Ekwensi also published a number of works for children. Under the name C. O. D. Ekwensi, he released Ikolo the Wrestler and Other Ibo Tales (1947) and The Leopard's Claw (1950). In the 1960s, he wrote An African Night's Entertainment (1962), The Great Elephant-Bird (1965), and Trouble in Form Six (1966).

Ekwensi's later works for children include Coal Camp Boy (1971), Samankwe in the Strange Forest (1973), Samankwe and the Highway Robbers (1975), Masquerade Time! (1992), and King Forever! (1992).

In recognition of his skills as a writer, Ekwensi was awarded the Dag Hammarskjold International Prize for Literary Merit in 1969.

Ekwensi, a one-time Commissioner for Information in the old Anambra State, is survived by children and grand children.

(Culled from The Guardian Newspapers)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Spirit In Man

I got a call from Funmi Iyanda a few days ago. The coincidence was I'd typed out my latest Girl Whisperer article a few minutes before, which centred around her philosophy but which hadn't been published in the Guardian yet. She wanted me to accompany her to the Alakara Juvenile Centre run by Magaret Ekpe, the Superintendent of Police whom I blogged about recently.

This policewoman has used her funds as well as all the help she can get to look after babies and waifs no one is interested in, through her juvenile centre. At some point or the other however, all who do this kind of work in Nigeria turn to Funmi. Through her programmes, she's raised funds, created awareness, lobbied governments and individuals and personally helped scores of children and families. I like to see myself as selfless and dedicated to humanity, rising beyond the call of duty when my fellow man needs me. Funmi's works leave me in the dust. Without bothering to tabulate it, she as a person, does in a year more than the average charity orgnization will do throughout its existence.

I am baffled when conversations about this female turns to what she's wearing, whom she's seeing and what prices her shoes are. Do these people know what life is all about?

So I got into my car and instead of driving to funmi's, went directly to the juvenile centre where she caught up with me. I had my comcorder along and tried to film stuff as Margaret Ekpe showed us around. There were children everywhere, and the obstacles faced by this centre were plain to see.

Margaret pointed to a ten year old dark-skinned girl, low-cropped hair, a child you would want for a daughter. She had run from a remand home and been raped by two area boys who caught her some dark night. She was now resident at the Alakara juvenile centre. She was quiet, subdued. As funmi knelt to talk to her, I hung my head. I didn't have the strength to look on. What words could I find for a child like this? But Funmi had. She spoke gently to this child and I wondered.

Another boy, about 10 years old too, who had never walked until he came to the centre. He was reed-thin, head lolling on his shoulders, limbs splayed out on the floor, head resting against the wood of a double-bunk bed, barely able to speak. When his mother died, his family had left him behind at the grave side, presumably to die too. They just left him there and walked away. A Minaj Broadcast International TV crew passing by, saw something in torrential rain as they drove past the grave, and investigated. It was this boy, head barely above the water, fighting for his life, unable to call out for help.
The TV crew rescued him and took him to the centre. He had learnt to walk a bit since then, but often fell, Margaret said.

As I watched, another child-resident, about 8 or 9 years old, put her hand as a rest for his neck that couldn't be kept straight. Then she slid to the floor to sit beside him, put his hand on her own leg and rubbed that hand, a universal sign for re-assurance, that everything would be okay. My camera was on her but in the noise and confusion of all the other kids, she had no way of knowing. The act was selfless and of God.

I thought to myself, "I have wasted portions of my life, for this is what life is about, giving a cruel world, meaning". Not trying to prove to Mr Jones that I'm better than he is because I own a BMW. A child showing another unwanted child that his family might not have wanted him, but she was there if he needed anything, told me all that's important in life.

My friend, Funmilola Iyanda is a great woman. As is Margaret Ekpe, the policewoman. They are lifted above the murk and mire that is so easy for man to wallow in. If you disagree, that's your own shalala. For me, there can be nothing greater than service to humanity.
The Girl Whisperer

as published by the Sunday Guardian

of Sunday November 4

A Cinderella Story

I often spend time talking to Funmilola Iyanda, my friend for many years and someone I think very highly of. If you can take your eyes off the striking good looks of this Queen of the Screen, you would be amazed at the ease with which she drops nuggets that can act as guides to positive living. One day, in a relaxed moment with other friends as well as myself, she said: if you want to eat rice every day, you have to learn to garnish it in different ways. This was in direct reference to fidelity and staying with one partner. I’d never heard the matter voiced in such a graphic manner and the imagery her words conjured has never left my mind. By the way, other words for “Garnish” could be decorate, adorn, pretty up, dress up, embellish, prettify and beautify.

A problem many people have is the inability to stay with one partner until the end of their lives, no matter what they proclaim to the contrary. For some men, even if they stay married or remain partners to one person, a major issue that troubles them is the tendency to want to sample the wares on the side, with roving eyes that lock like radar on passing skirts. By the way, there are many women who are guilty of this too, with eyes that size men up and reveal their speculations. However, I digress. Many of us have woken up with palpitations in the middle of the night, thinking, “Am I going to spend the rest of my life with this one person?” You may admit it to me, I am the Girl Whisperer, and few things shock me.

I once had a female declare to me, “Wole, I can’t stay faithful in marriage, I just can’t”. She married a while after and I sometimes wonder if she has been able to overcome that ‘slight’ inability to cope with pressure. Still, the adage goes, “know thyself”. Maybe she knew herself more than a lot of us do of our own ways.

So back to Funmi Iyanda’s Garnish Principle. Is it possible that by making yourself more interesting and attractive to your partner, you may remain together, forever, till death do you part, just like the story of Cinderella and the handsome prince? Is it the refusal of men to eat white rice daily, as we call that crop in these parts, which causes many a breakage in relationships? I have been eating rice all my life, really, and Chinese people would love me for my fervency towards their gift to the world, but then in retrospect, my love for rice might be because many things can accompany it or beautify it. There is always something you can add to rice, make it more interesting with. If you serve your child, white rice, morning and night, a bland and unappealing meal, someday he is going to run away from home. Really. You will find him at your neighbour’s dining table, eating food they have taken the time to plan for. Now, imagine the kind of food a grown man or woman would eat at the neighbour’s if you refused to be imaginative. You might be able to drag your child back to your own home but it might be slightly more difficult to get an adult to return once he or she has tasted real cooking.

Now it does not matter if your partner is a religious leader or the Dalai Lama himself. He or she needs you to reinvent yourself from time to time, make yourself more interesting so that as the days and years go by, there are pleasures you can derive from each other along the way. Now women have a universal trait; they think highly of men who stay in the hot kitchen as they (the women) cook in hellish temperatures, steam everywhere, pots overturned and boiling over, half-peeled potatoes rolling around the kitchen floor, vegetables wilting before one’s very eyes. Make no mistake; no man likes to be in such conditions even if he pretends otherwise, except he is a chef. It might sound chauvinistic, but I’m afraid it does not remove from its truth. So I advice: Finish your garnishing before you call him to see the finished product, do not lose the mystique by forcing him to watch the process. Do it subtly, make it appear easy and then you might add to your value.

Life isn’t always fair, and we do not all end up in the Cinderella story where our partners love us forever through good and bad times and we live happily ever after. However, you could give your relationship a fighting chance by starting today with garnishing that rice.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The November schedule for Theatre@Terra in the month of November

Sunday November 4
written by Ahmed Yerima
directed by Kenneth Uphopho

Sunday November 11
Midnight Blackout
written by Femi Osofisan
directed by Taiwo Ibikunle

Sunday November 18
Who's Afraid Of Tai Solarin?
written by Femi Osofisan
Directed by Segun Adefila

Sunday November 25

Wedlock Of the Gods
written by Zulu Sofola
directed by Wole Oguntokun

All shows are at 3pm and 6pm.

Tickets: N2000 Adults/N1500 Students with I.D.)

Venue- Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage St, Victoria Island

Scintillate, Scintillate
Dimunitive Heavenly Body
As I contemplate your essence

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
How I wonder what you are
The Apprentice!!! (Chude and his people are at it again)

From Biodun Shobanjo: 'You're Fired!'

The man called 'Godfather of Nigerian Advertising', Biodun Shobanjo has joined the A-list cadre of business moguls which includes the US' Donald Trump, UK's Alan Sugar and SA's Tokyo Sexwale as a consortium consisting of The Executive Group, Storm Vision and Bank PHB has unveiled him as CEO for The Aprentice Africa!

The debonair bow-tie wearing icon, Biodun Shobanjo, at 63, is Chairman of the Troyka Group, which is the holding company for Nigeria's biggest ad agency, Insight Grey, SKG2, Optimum Exposure, Media Perpective, MediaCom, Quadrant and Halogen, employing over seven thousand Nigerian men and women.

The Godfather is bringing this intimidating resume to bear in coaching 18 young African men and women on the principles of business, success and winning.

For him, "Winning is not the most important thing, is the only thing."

Applications are now being accepted from young Africans all over the world - people with brilliance and street-smarts. DO you have what it takes? Apply here

Friday, November 02, 2007

Be kinder than necessary. Everyone you meet is fighting
some kind of battle

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Responses via e-mail to The Girl Whisperer column in the Sunday Guardian have been very instructive for me. However, the photos of females placed on the page, weekly, have brought me to the attention of a different breed. See below.

hello u beauty is enugh for u to enrent a permanent buil in i know that angel do live here on earth your autogragh which i saw on magazine amaze me too much.i don;t want to admire from distant.i am Isreal Efeogr a staff of delta steta college of phsical education and general contractor as well.want is your name an phone number?my number is 0806........i want to know you proper.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Once upon a time, I lived in a part of Lagos where friendships were strong and we all knew each other. Then we grew up. One day, we gathered, about ten of us, friends just chatting and talking, then lulu walked through the door. She was in her mid-to-late twenties and she had a young fellow in tow. What first struck us all about her were her good looks. She was beautiful by all standards, well-proportioned and could haver stopped a tsunami dead in its tracks. There was a hush as she came in, a kind of awe as we assessed her. She was about 5' 7", very fair, full lips, full everything (if you get my meaning), she wasn't fat or thin and had gorgeous hair. She was graceful and had knowing eyes that made it clear she didn't intend to do anything with you about her knowing. We looked at her hands, looked at her feet, surreptiously inspected her from the front, from the back, sideways and then we all began what boys and men spend all their lives doing... trying to impress the female sex.

Only one of us knew her a bit, as she had once stayed with him for a few days. lulu stayed out of town, no one knew where, and would reappear in Lagos and stay for indefinite periods. The relationship between her and our friend who knew her was strictly platonic as she soon showed when another one of us in a drunken fit drenched her (lulu) and her former host with beer, in a bid to declare them in a relationship. The drunken sod wasn't entirely to blame. The former host had tried to impress us with hints of something between him and lulu but that was soon laid to rest when lulu spat fire after the beer-splashing.

So, we all began to seek ways to make positive impressions on lulu over the next few days. We paid attention to her every need, just hung about the area at night, former boys in the 'hood, gathering to chat after work. See, I have met many girls, incredible-looking ones, lulu was in the top 3%. She was vivacious and didn't seem to have any particular line of work but dressed like a top-line model.

The really skilled ones amongst us in creating good impressions also sought to impress her younger brother who hung with her. He was as good looking as she was in a manly way, said he was 18 and was in the Nigerian Defence Academy. A trainee soldier. He looked young and fit. We bought stuff for him, food, drinks etc and when brother and sister could no longer stay where they were, another of our friends who still stayed in a house that was up for sale invited lulu and her brother to stay with him. He slept upstairs while lulu and her brother slept on a mattress in the empty living room downstairs.

This arrangement lasted a few days but I had to travel and soon pushed lulu to the back of my mind.

When I returned months later, I asked about lulu from my relative who had made friends with her younger brother, being about the same age with him. He sat on the kerb and laughed a long while, then with tears streaming down his face he told me the end of the story.

Apparently, lulu's younger brother had not been in the Nigerian Defence Academy. He was 15 years old then and was in secondary school.(The quick ones are picking up the scent now) He also wasn't her brother. She had posed as his aunt and had him released from school for some family meeting and had then absconded to Lagos with him where they could make love in peace.

What ruined her well-executed plan was the fact that the boy's parents went visiting their son (It was before the days of GSM in NIgeria)and the boy's Navy Officer father was informed that another 'aunt' had sought his release from the school. They had traced him to Lagos and to my friend's "For Sale" house and had arrested lulu and my friend and carried the under-aged blighter back to school.

I recalled the Defence Academy anecdotes the twerp used to tell us (we all fell for his stories) and how we'd all accepted the scenario. I could laugh at our foolishness though and even yelled a hello to lulu one day I drove past her (as she sat in a taxi) in Ikoyi traffic.

One thing I've learnt- Things aren't always what they seem.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

as published in the Sunday Guardian

of 28th October

Desperate Housewives

There is a portion of married and engaged females that considers itself besieged and troubled by a major headache, the cause of which is the other portion of their gender that is not married or set to marry in the immediate future. The Whisperer’s definition of a desperate housewife encompasses any woman whether married, engaged, in gainful employment, or otherwise who lives in absolute fear that someone, anyone, is going to run away with her man. Some married women feel uneasy around single women, whether divorced, separated or single. Therefore, they go to great lengths to protect their ’property’ from this group they consider man-hungry. They phone their men up everywhere they go, search their mobiles for saucy texts and strange addresses and clandestinely sniff their clothes for feminine perfumes or lipstick smudges when their men come home. These actions might result in several things; the irritation of many men at these women who have turned bloodhounds, amusement at the amateur sleuths or downright anger.

Often, women give too much credit to the ability of their men to attract other females and assume everyone who smiles at him by the elevators or at the cinemas must be aiming to share his bed and wake up to his charming smile in the morning. The class of females who are amongst the most feared by the desperate housewives are the students, young girls in universities and polytechnics who have nubile bodies and faces untroubled by the creases of age. I would like to ask you to trust the Whisperer on this one; these young girls are too busy going to raves and clubbing to give much thought to your husbands. If you do not know what a rave is, you can see how far removed from their world you and your partner are. If you say this Whisperer knows nothing because you can swear to many girls of this age who are in full pursuit of men like your own, I would like to say I am not talking of the ladies of the night. The world has always had ‘ladies of leisure’ solely for economic reasons just as it has always had economic refugees; people who do it for the money. Her main interest is the ease your man can add to her life financially. It’s nothing personal.

Then there are the ‘senior’ singles as well as the separated and the divorced, some with their own kids. Those in this category are often too busy building their lives and careers to give much thought to entrapping your man. The assurance of this set of women can be threatening to the insecure desperate housewife because the other woman appears to have everything under control. Male companionship might be important to these people but leading meaningful lives is just as important and these ones will often not settle for damaged goods. I like to think of them as superwomen.

I was told of a club, solely made up of women interested in charity, which refused anyone without husbands to join. Apparently, the single women who had joined them at the beginning had looked at their husbands in ‘funny’ ways. This amused me no end, knowing the lengths some desperate housewives themselves go to, in pursuit of other men, whether single or otherwise. I know one, who travelled abroad, sought out an indifferent ex-boyfriend, arranged a clandestine appointment with him and engaged in activities lawful only between herself and her man at home. She created an alibi by enlisting the aid of another desperate housewife who had travelled with her. That one held on to her phone and fielded calls from the man at home while she was busy elsewhere. It’s a fearful world, I reckon, and we are reminded from time to time as to how debauched it can be.

So maybe, with the desperate housewives, it might be an accurate knowledge of themselves that makes them suspicious of others. I heard advice given to married females once, to follow their husbands everywhere, on every trip and every journey, to drive out other females who come to their homes improperly dressed, showing too much skin or whatever the definition of improper dressing might be, so their husbands would not be led astray. When men are followed everywhere, it creates the impression they are in prison and they will do anything to escape their jailer. All humans crave freedom.

Do not forget the saying, “If you love something, set it free, if it comes back it is yours; if it doesn’t it never was”.

At least one person took serious offence at the issue of virgins, using strong words to express her disapproval. I chose not to publish.

One thing is obvious though, many women feel very strongly about the issue of their virginity (Or the lack of it). I respect that.

I hold on to the position that the females in my story didn't tell the truth and made themselves out to be what they were not. I have met truth-tellers before.

However, can't we all be friends and bury the weapons of war? (That wasn't a sexual pun, I swear).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When Hips Do Lie (Vol II)

Some reactions to Hips Don't Lie and Other Stories made me write this. Some were upset by the recollection but I stand by its truth. Here's another which I had thought not to mention but we're here to educate ourselves, aren't we?

Years ago, even before the other recollection, I met a female, one of the best students of her class in one of the foremost universities in this country. She was very intelligent, petite and all that. We got talking.

One day she told me she was a virgin. I asked, "you got to final year in this university without doing anything? How?"

She said it was the grace of God and I accepted. I'm not very presumptious, really. Those who know, know.

One day, months later, we got too excited in each other's company, things got out of hand and the impossible took place. At the end of our entanglement, out of breath and sweaty, I asked her a question with three words- "What just happened?"

Her answer? "If I tell you, you will never forget". I couldn't figure that out. "Tell me", I said.

Apparently, her former boyfriend had placed his organ used for procreation too close to her thigh as they made out. He didn't penetrate but those little tadpole-like things somehow got into her and made her pregnant.

According to her, the forceps used for the abortion disvirgined her, not her boyfriend. These were her words. I have not embellished or added anything. Before you call her a retard, this girl practically led her class from first year till graduation and went abroad to study after. She was no air-head.

I turned to my cousin, 'bomi and all her girl-friends from the University Of Ibadan, who made the house look like a female dorm during the holidays, and in a quest for enlightenment in my confused state, told them what this girl had said.

One of them, Mubo, looked at me as if I was crazy and led the laughter. "Wolzie, what is the matter with you? The 'tadpoles' have to swim up! You don't deposit them on a human thigh and then they somehow gravitate towards the nearest orifice. She had sex before she ever met you..."

My virgin told me that even her friend who took her to the hospital where the operation took place called her 'Holy Mary' because of the immaculate conception. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was probably being made fun of.

My submission- This is an issue many females have hang-ups about and refuse to face the truth of. I didn't go round in search of virgins. They were the ones who proferred themselves as such and even in the most ridiculous situations, held on to 'their truth'.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hips Don't Lie and Other Stories

Sometimes in conversations, I remember totally unrelated stuff. This particular recollection is from the days of rage.

Sometime in my past, I met this young woman, who was 25 then. She was a virgin, she said, and I asked her how she'd managed that. She wasn't sure herself, through grace or something, she said. but I respected her discipline or whatever had kept her going.

One day, after a long 'friendship' that lasted more than a year, she called me to offer her honour and I ...em ...honoured her offer. That night, we stayed up offering and honouring but I knew she had lied even though she repeatedly pretended pain. (The more sensitive readers should forgive the graphics here. I'm bleeping as much as I can but please read on. There's a lesson to this story)

The next day, she went her way but sent messages to me that made it appear as if I now held a special place in her heart for all time and me thinking of leaving her would amount to first degree murder.

So I sent a message saying, I was really sorry, but I knew there had been someone in occupation before. A kinder man might have kept mute but I hate injustice of all sorts (I think) and I couldn't bear to think that this young woman would go through life thinking

1) She had fooled me

2) I was stupid

3) Life was full of stupid people

She didn't reply my message or contact me for many months until one morning my phone rang. It was her.

HER: How are you?

ME: I'm ok

HER: Are you sure?

ME: 'cos I'm sure, what's wrong?

HER: Well, I've been dreaming about you. Every Night.

ME: Yes?

HER: Really bad dreams. Something seriously evil happened to you

ME: What kind?

HER: Don't worry about that. Are you sure you're ok, though?

ME: (Light dawning) Yeah, I'm fine.

HER: (Reluctantly) ok, bye.

ME: Bye.

An undeveloped mind thinking she could stampede me into fear? a re-union? I never told her that having a relationship with a virgin was a condition for a relationship. It was her idea. Unfortunately, her infrastructure couldn't handle her claims. And that bit about me being the victim in her dreams? What a load of rubbish. Does she know how many people spend their nights baying at the moon because of me? Not that I was bad like that but...

But into the now and the lesson in this recollected story- Never lay claims to being what you're not. We must remember the latin maxim- Nemo dat quod non habet- A man cannot/does not have the right to (or a woman in this case) give what he does not have.


One night at about 10pm, and as I drove on the outskirts of Lagos with a female passenger, my car passed a man walking fast in the darkness and holding what seemed to be a cutlass. Just in front of him, a few metres down, there was an old woman holding a plastic bag and walking very fast too. It was dark at this point in the road, a turn that had only bushes on either side. I slowed down by the woman, at leat 70 years old, keeping a sharp lookout for the man who had been following. He disappeared into the bush the moment my car rolled to a halt, engine running.

So I called out in vernacular to this elderly woman whom I could now see was half crazed with fear, "Mama, what are you doing on this deserted road?". She was afraid to come near me but soon partly overcame her fear and approached the car. Mama, I asked again, do you know the man that was following you?

And then it came out in a rush. She had been coming from Ibadan, her son's home where she had been holidaying and when she got to the expressway by the airport, she saw there were no buses and decided to walk further away from the waiting crowd to another bus-stop where buses might be easy. The man had followed and when they'd gotten to a deserted place had started yelling from behind, "fi 'le", or drop it. This was in relation to the platic bag she was carrying which contained only a broom and N70. Mama had not let go of the 'worthless' bag but had kept walking, half-stumbling.

At this point, my own hackles up, I asked her to get into the car, but her fear, now of me, returned. I spoke harshly, "Mama, if you don't get into the car, I will leave you here." I could already imagine the would-be assailant moving through the bushes to cut me, Super Man, off and deal me a kryptonite blow on the neck with his machete.

My tone jolted her into the car and we took off. She was staying with another son in a remote part of Lagos and knowing his family would have been worrying about her, had decided to start walking towards the general direction of home and until she could get a bus. When I stopped in civilization, she knelt by the car and prayed for me by the roadside. Prayers like that still act as a barrier against those who curse at the stars when they recollect my name.


I was driving on the 3rd Mainland Bridge with little traffic one quiet Sunday, with my friend, Wale, who was half asleep beside me when we saw a car (an old 504) with fire running along its fuselage underneath where it was parked. There was an elderly couple well into their sixties standing behind it, the female helpless and the old man futilely throwing handfuls of sand underneath the car. We stopped just ahead of them and raced back on foot as other cars numbering about 9 or 10 stopped, people hurtling out and racing towards the burning car.

With one mind, we raised the car on its side and began to try to quench the fire, clothes were used to beat it, people had kegs of water in their trunks and one man actually had a mix of soapy water (his own fire extinguisher).

The fire died and there was silence on that bridge. That day, I saw humanity stand to defend one of its own against the elements and I understood the purpose that has brought us all here. Unity. Rising above pettiness. Above inconsequential differences.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

as published in Guardian 'Life'

Sunday 21st October

Sleeping With The Enemy

An acquaintance of mine told me of his life-governing philosophy only a few days ago. According to him, this philosophy, which is steeped in deep-core African tradition, says that there are four sets of people in the world. The first set are those who tell their Maker- “I am off to the world to do good and great things”. The second set resolves to come to the world to prevent the first set from achieving its aim, while the third comes to the world to help the first in reaching its goals. The fourth set simply says, “I’m off to the earth to watch all these things unfold”. A bit simple, you might say, but a close study would show that nearly everyone you know falls into, at least, one of these broad categories.

At some point or the other in our lives, we all have met with people we are firmly convinced have no other purpose in life than to block our progress, stop our happiness or stem our joy. There must be some people nodding in agreement with me at this point and calling up vivid memories of such ‘blockers’, but the oddity that is life often shows itself in different ways. It is not all intimate relationships or marriages that are between friends or lovers. Sometimes, we become ensconced with people we are certain do not mean us well while at other times, it seems we have placed the reins of our lives in the hands of observers who will not lift a hand to help, if, God forbid, we are to fall.

How can you start a relationship with someone who is not your friend or does not love you, you might ask. It is quite possible. I stand to be corrected that the pummelling of a partner does not qualify as a relationship between friends or lovers. You don’t thrash your best friend from time to time, do you? Yet, cases abound. I’ll ignore all the sado-masochists who tell themselves they get kicked around because they deserve it. A lack of support in your passion or life’s work is also a pointer to a serious situation.

You must find a partner who has come to do good and great things or is willing to help in the achievement of these good and great things. Becoming an item with a joy-blocker, for want of a better word, may be the end of all you ever aspired for. There is nothing more wearisome to the spirit than having a relationship with, or living in the same house with a grey cloud.

If you are entangled with someone whose single-minded obsession and mission in life, appears to be to quash whatever satisfaction you might seek to derive from life; you must find the formula to negotiate the rocky terrain that these people make themselves on the route to your happiness. It is a blessed person who is in love with his or her friend.
If you are convinced you are sharing a bed with the enemy, a head-on-collision might not be the best way to correct the situation. Do not forget there are many times when it takes more courage not to react than to react.

On the other hand, if we are fortunate enough to come to a point where we come across those whom we consider helpful on the way to fulfilment, it is a great place to relax and rest. There are many helpful beings out there, and being sensitive when we meet others, will reveal these people to us. We must never forget that not all that is gold glitters, and often, the shine of the diamond is not noticed because it is covered in mud.

It is best to ignore the fourth category, that is, those who come to watch things happen, when you meet them. If you ignore those who are determined to steal your joy, however, and get lured into relationships that might become permanent, you do so at your own peril. It is a wise man who never turns his back on his enemies, remembering the adage that says, if you place your life in the hands of those who do not like you, you mortgage your future.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My eyes went red on Thursday.

As I drove up the Ojuelegba Road traffic in my air-conditioned "tokunbo/belgium" car, windows all the way up, musing, strains of "Olorun mi mo wa dupe" filtered in from blaring recordshop speakers.
To my right, a tall man, about 6' 3" with the build of the lead African in La Amistad and Blood Diamond danced by the shop rows to the music. He was obviously an Ibo shop attendant, dressed in well/worn short sleeved shirt and a pair of trousers which had had the hem lowered twice to cover his ankles, but still wasn't doing its job. I could see the lines where the thread had been released. He danced on to the yoruba song, oblivious to the stares of onlookers.

Olorun mi mo wa dupe
Iwo l'oba to se t'ana
Iwo l'oba to se t'eni
O da mi l'oju o se t'ola
Olorun mi mo wa dupe

My God, I've come to give thanks
You did yesterday's
You did today's
I'm confident you'll do tomorrow's
My God, I've come to give thanks

To my left, just by my window, another man, also in sun licked clothing passed, wearing rubber boat like shoes. He carried a torn polythene bag, just going his way. His face told his story. Defeated by life. I sat and watched them both in turns, at how the dice has rolled for us all, by reason of birth, of simple choices made as youths, of parents with money or without, with common sense or the lack of it.

The song continued, Olorun mi, mo wa dupe.

I gritted my teeth, changed gears. Men don't cry.

Friday, October 19, 2007


There's someone I think the world of. She did an analysis of me and my "girl whispering" ways two days ago.

"I think you like women because you like them. Not because you want to have notches on your bedpost or anything but because there is something about the female form, female mind and female mannerisms that speaks(s) to you. Each female connects with a part of you, some much more than others."

It's as true as anything I have heard about myself. I have tried to explain this many times but have failed. She gave my thoughts life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tales Of The Unexpected

I was a member of a church once and dropped by one afternoon for some business there. On my way out I noticed one of the Ministers seated at a table having a chat with a youngish man. The person being chatted with kept looking at me, his eyes flickering. As I continued on my way out, the Minister called out, "Bro' Wole, this man says he knows you". I drew closer and saw there was something familiar about this man who was slightly older than me.

The man in issue (we'll call him "Jay")asked if I'd ever lived in a certain part of Lagos, and I told him I had. And then it dawned. He had been part of the entourage of one of the most prominent dancers in Nigeria when I was a teenager and had lived with him in a house around my mother's. After we said hello to each other, Jay, with a face now hewn out of granite but dressed in an expensive shirt and an equally expensive-looking wristwatch told me his story as the Minister listened.

When the dancer had been chosen to represent Nigeria in a competition abroad, Jay had followed but had not returned when the dancer did. The British Immigration Officials found him and deported him a couple of years after and that was the beginning of his problems.

He was bent on returning to England and searched high and low for a visa. One day, as he went to another man he felt could help, he was told there might be a faster way to raise money to procure the papers. Armed Robbery. He joined a gang but was caught after a while and kept at the Kirikiri prison for more than six years awaiting trial. He contracted tubercolosis there and the other things prisoners are prone to.

One day, he was told that he had been released. His old gang had bought/lied/cheated him out of jail. But there was one condition, he had to repay the money used to spring him. Since he had no job, they told him he had to become a driver for their capers. They inscribed some stuff into his wrist (alternative medicine) and made him live with them in the apartment they inhabited around the church as they planned their next enterprise. He had been released at the same time with another young man they had co-opted into the gang too, and together they'd come to the church for services but one day, according to Jay, the gang had found a journal the other young man had kept of their activities and had killed him and thrown him by a roadside to make it look like a ritual murder. One of the leaders of the gang according to him, owned a nightclub in the Somolu area while another owned a petrol station chain. I knew the nightclub and the petrol stations (they exist till today, I reckon)

He had come to the church according to him, because he was afraid for his life and just wanted the fare for transport to Benin where his sister lived and where he aimed to start a new life away from the gang and other such influences. He said the gang did not know of his sister and he would run that instant if he had enough money to flee the city.

I gave him all that was in my pockets that day and the Minister told him that might be the last chance he would have to save his own life. He said he was fleeing to Benin from the church as the money I'd given him was adequate.

His memory faded for a few years and I left the church and moved country, then came back home. One Lagos monday morning, about 3 years ago, I drove out of the apartment I was staying in, turned onto a major street, and there was Jay! He was walking on the side of the road I was driving on, dressed in a long flowing caftan peculiar to the senegalese. He didn't seem to have a destination, just a liesurely stroll on a monday morning with those eyes that appeared as if they had ridden through hell and back and seemed to be looking for passengers. I stared hard, craning my head as I drove past, disbelieving my eyes. With the instincts of a true criminal, he turned too, probably feeling my eyes on him and for a long time, watched my car go down the road.

He didn't know who it was, I'm sure. But I knew that Jay still lived a life of crime. I just knew. I asked a friend one day, what he thought might have happened if Jay had entered my home with an armed gang and I'd recognized him.

He made a graphic gesture with his hands. I understood.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blastus Pastus

This came from reading ~mimi~'s post about a teacher who picked on her in high school. I didn't have a singular teacher who did so and I must confess that when I was punished, I was usually deserving of the punishment.

There was my English Teacher in form 1, Mrs. Apara, who gave me the name, Huckleberry Finn, after the character in 'Tom Sawyer' because my white uniform looked scruffy after just a term. Don't blame me, I was 10, my mum wasn't around to oversee stuff and I could soak my uniform a week before washing. Its amazing how much to the end of the spectrum I moved after a few years, unable to wear another's shirt if I could even detect body musk on it.

There was "Baba" Okonkwo who taught my father and taught me. Yeah, my father, uncles, older brothers and cousins all went to the same school. I think by my time, Baba Okonkwo had become a fixture.

There was Mr H. in my 2nd form, who would ask us, "Why are you lavving?". I swear. He taught English too.

There was Mrs. F who was pregnant through my entire secondary school stay. She bred more than rabbits did.

There was one Mrs. Somebody (no relative of the blogger but cant recollect her name) who would tell us daily- "Woe betide you".

There was Mr Abayomi, a sadist who taught us Agricultural Science and derived great pleasure from beating us black and blue. He'd enter the class and announce his palms were itching and then he'd look for any excuse to beat us half to death. I still owe him.

There was the portly Mrs Mbom who taught us Bible Knowledge in the 3rd form and asked my classmate, Joseph Ikunna, whom the Acts of the Apostles was written to. Ikunna replied, Mr. O. Theophilus and threw the entire class into laughter. Luke who wrote the Acts started with "As I wrote earlier, O Theophilus". Mrs Mbom caught me scribbling Ikunna's gaffe down on a piece of paper, held me in a neck-lock and severely pummelled me.

There was Mr Satish (or "Satiri yanna yanna" as we liked to call him) from India. He taught us Maths and told how he had to know the Multiplication table up until x20 by age 5 or he wouldn't be given breakfast. I was 13 and still struggling.

There was my favourite, Miss Oduwole who taught us the English Language and Literature in the 3rd form. She was pretty, petite, and I was her favourite.

There was Mr Subuloye who threatened to kill all truants from the Maths Class who had been giving his course a bad name. I carried a banner in that procession. He wrote a long list and beat them all silly but I absconded. I eneded up not doing my mock school certificate exams because I was afraid he'd trap me in the exam hall.

There was the dimunitive Ms Job, also from India, who taught Literature in the 4th form. She announced, 'the person who came first in literature has horrible writing.' That was me.

The pretty Indian, Mrs. Kamal, taught Government. I'm afraid she didn't teach it well.

There was the 'police dog', the Principal, Mr Olukunle's driver, who also carried a cane and was allowed to whip students. I still owe that one too.

School can be a terrifying place for children as well as a place of great fun. Parents really need to keep their eyes open. All in all, I had good times there.
The Girl Whisperer

as published by the Sunday Guardian

of October 14, 2007

Whispering War Songs

There was a game of chance known as Russian Roulette, made famous by soldiers during the Second World War. Russian soldiers, fighting under impossible conditions, defending their country in the icy wastes of Leningrad and watching friends and comrades drop like flies around them, would sit at moments when the pressure eased slightly and play a game they had devised. In this game, a revolver with six chambers would have a single bullet placed inside it and the bullet chamber would be spun, ensuring no one knew in which chamber the bullet would be. The men seated around the gun would take turns putting the gun to their own heads, and pulling the trigger. The jackpot often included the most prized possessions of those in the game meaning it was a lucrative game to play, but the cost of losing was the life of the player. If the bullet did not exit out of the gun into the head of the player pressing the trigger, he won. It was a game of sheer luck and one in which the stakes were very high. Real men played it, or so the players thought, and only those with nerve participated (or those with death wishes who were looking for a very quick way to die).

In retrospect, that game was a release valve for the horrors these soldiers faced during the war, for the sub-human conditions they fought under and for the mindless carnage that often consumed those that were dearest to them.

And by now, I have half the female readers wondering where I’m going with this one. It’s simple, really. A lot of us make many choices on relationships and affairs of the heart, not thinking them through. We play for high stakes, trusting all that is dear to us to be safe in the hands of another, and then place guns to our own heads, or into the hands of some person we have not taken the time to know fully well and then allow this person to pull the trigger.

The reason many relationships end in chaos is often because the partners, if they had known themselves all the way, would have been reluctant to trust each other in ‘a game of death’. There are people with misshapen psyches, with minds warped like stunted bald trees on barren wind-blasted wastelands, whom you have no business sharing your inner selves with. These people would desecrate all that is sacred to you if given half the chance, yet often at the beginning of what might become a relationship, and when the rosy glow pervades, colouring all you see, you forget the warning signals and take risks you would not ordinarily take if you were in your right senses.

When the stakes are high, as they often are, in affairs of the heart, make sure the person you are with, is not one given to suicidal impulses and I use that as a figure of speech. This Whisperer is as impulsive as the next man is but decided long ago, I have too much going for me to place my life in the hands of just any person who wanders by. When the voice of caution comes, do not be afraid to listen to it. Be particularly wary of someone who tries to stop you from checking whether the loaded gun has more than a bullet in its chambers, which would drastically reduce your odds for survival. This reflex has saved the Whisperer many times, allowing him to melt into the mist before he becomes a casualty or ends up being enslaved to a slave.

Two days ago, I heard a song, ‘Hidden motives’ by Tosyn Bucknor (also known as Contradiction) and the lyrics had me spell-bound. An example- "Sometimes, you call a friend’s house, hoping your friend’s brother would pick the phone" (in my case, it would be the friend’s sister).

Before playing the game (which is why men without serious intentions are called players), we must ask ourselves whether we have hidden motives in the things we do and what these motives might be. Being impulsive makes you feel alive, but do not ever mistake this for its half-brother, ‘rashness’, which can end up in you needing surgery to dislodge a bullet from your head.

I know a few girls, with heads much older than their years who understand the things I say and think; but I ask myself, "What are my motives here?" Asking questions will help you reduce the chances of shooting yourself in the head. There is no coming back from that once you make the mistake.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

funmi iyanda has blogged about a Nigerian police woman who has risen above the call of duty. Read here