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
Blast(ing) from the past(ing)

When I was 13 or so, I was invited to a party by a friend. The hostess was Rosemary, a girl of about my age whom I had a huge crush on. So off I went in my bell-botteomed jeans (I do not recollect if I had a denim waist-coat on). When we stepped into the party and Rosemary saw me, she beamed a wide, beautiful smile of welcome, and told me, "Why don't you sit down there? Someone your size will come in soon". It took me a while to get over that. I lacked height at that age sha, and didn't start elongating till I was about 15. Still, what kind of put down was that, made all the worse because it wasn't said with malice?

My father once caught me pawing at a female at age 14 or so. I was fully clothed but it was on our kitchen floor, a very undignified position to be viewed by the pater familias. He looked at me and went back shutting the door behind him and never breathed a word of it. Needless to say, passion died that day.

My first real (not that we ever got physical) girlfriend, Aminat. called me up while I was playing cards with my brother and cousins. "laspapi, are we going out (having a relationship)?". "Of course, we are", I replied, put the phone down and returned to the cards and my first relationship was born.

When I was 17, I received a letter from a girl who liked me. Florence, her name was, she must have been 15 or so and ugly as sin (ok, I was shallow. I still have my shallow moments). The note read- "As deep of(sic) an ocean, so is my love for you. If I need you, will you come to me? You're the flower in my ganden(sic),the honey in....etc" I remember that letter because my older brother, jinta, will never let me forget it.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

as published by the Sunday Guardian

of October 7

The Generation Gap

The older I get, the more I observe how it is perfectly possible for intimate partners to be separated by many years. Often, it is the man who is older, and frequently, ten to fifteen year gaps and sometimes even more, are no longer out of the ordinary. In some cases, it is the female who is older, one of the most celebrated cases worldwide being that of Demi Moore, ex-wife of the “Die-Hard” actor, Bruce Willis. Demi, a good-looking woman is 42 and her current husband, Ashton Kutcher, 27.

So, is there a problem with relationships that are between people of different generations? Theoretically, a man who goes out with a girl he is 16 or 17 years older than, is biologically able to father that partner. Should society frown at this manner of relationship, and if society does concern itself, should the partners care?

Sometimes, there is a danger inherent in people of the same age choosing each other as partners. The rapidity of the maturity of females can be mind-blowing in many cases. As a 15 year old, I had girls about my age who were “girlfriends” but in retrospect, I wonder what they really must have thought of my actions and ways of thinking then, and how some of my more immature actions must have appeared to them. Females have a tendency to mature faster than the male gender, in body and mind, accepting the reality that is life much faster than men do, and it is a rare 15-year-old male that can match up with his female counterpart in issues at that age. It takes a while, often, for the male to catch up in reasoning, in logic and in maturity.

Now, make no mistake, there are many relationships between age-mates and peers that work out very well, the male partner in this case having the necessary composure and presence of mind to ensure the smooth running of the partnership.

Some might say the relationship generation gap thing is just about men wanting to trade in older women for newer models, wanting slim, nubile ‘trophies’ instead of partners who are struggling to resist the pull of gravity on “assets” that were once prime estate. This might be true in some cases, but the truth remains that in many cases, men sometimes reach an age when they are as comfortable with their peers as with females who are much younger than they are. The natural poise of many women also enables them to carry on meaningful discourse with older men allowing relationships to develop. Men are sometimes drawn to younger women because many of the things the men have achieved attract the respect of the younger females. Women who have seen a man struggle through years of nothingness are less likely to be impressed by his strutting and preening when he finally achieves success. Some men seek the validity of appreciation from younger partners. A bit selfish, I reckon, but relationships even between peers come about for many reasons, some as strange as the one jut mentioned.

The other side of women attaining maturity and physical prime, faster, is that when men finally attain their physical prime, they usually stay there longer. There was an article I read a short while ago, where the female writer in her twenties (I can’t recall her name) said she found herself more and more, strongly attracted to PSGs or Powerful Sexy Greys as she put it. Men who even though aging and greying are at the acme of their confidence, assurance gained from years of overcoming obstacles, positive achievements and repeated successes.

So we go back to the question, is there anything the matter with relationships where there are huge age differences? The viewpoint of the Whisperer is that people must only have relationships they are comfortable with. Your life is yours to live exactly as you want and as long as your choice falls within the law, (a thirty year old having a relationship with a fourteen year old will spend a long time in prison and justifiably so), you may have anyone you desire as long as the person is willing to have you. Just ensure that both partners are qualified as adults within the law.

There will always be the generational gap issue in relationships, but it is the state of the hearts of those in the equation that matters. The key is finding someone you care about enough, and turning your back on prejudices that will bring you unhappiness.

Was invited to be a guest speaker today on WAPi, (Words & Pictures), an initiative sponsored by the British Council and produced by Emem Emma, former member of the Girl-Band, KUSH. The theme of the programme: Who you be? And the target audience- young men and women from all over the city (and some from outside) who are into the Arts. Venue was the grounds of the British Council, Thompson Avenue, Ikoyi.

There were hundreds of youths gathered, and there were music performances, very good and some not very good as well as drama, rap, graffiti, performance poetry and dance. Notable amongst the songs today was Tosyn Buckner’s “Hidden Motives”, her soft rock release that’s currently playing on the airwaves now. Maybe it wasn’t such a hard task for Tosyn producing such great music, her father being the Nigerian music legend, Segun Bucknor, “adan ri sogba sogba, oko ’ya la mala”. If you don’t know who that is, ask your parents. My father loved the man.

I told the gathered crowd what I could, of the journey to the point I stand today in the arts and gave advice as how to manoeuvre in the thorny fields of artville . Apparently, I’m considered a person of note in the things I do, and several told me they came because they heard announcements on the radio, I’d be speaking. Seasoned “youths” like the TV presenter, Denrele Edun were around as guests too as was “Ibiyemi” the female vocalist who sang her “Can you love me?”

WAPi comes up once a month on the grounds of British Council.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Terra Kulture as part of the Theatre@Terra project in collaboration with Jasonvision presents

A Gathering Of Eagles

3 Icons of African Theatre

Zulu Sofola/Femi Osofisan/Ahmed Yerima

(Live Drama every Sunday, October-December/13 Legendary Stage Plays)

Sunday October 7-
The Engagement
written by Femi Osofisan/directed by Sunkanmi Adebayo

Sunday October 14-
The Wizard of Law
written by Zulu Sofola/directed by Gbenga Adekanmbi

Sunday October 21-
written by Ahmed Yerima/directed by Segun Adefila

Sunday October 28-
The Twist
written by Ahmed Yerima/directed by Wole Oguntokun

Venue: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island
Time: 3pm and 6pm (Every Sunday)
Tickets: N2000 / Students with I.D. N1500

Theatre@Terra is produced by Wole Oguntokun

For enquiries and tickets, please call- 0802 301 3778, 01-897 1691 or e-mail

A man of God of Ghanaian extraction was arrested and interrogated at
Entebbe Airport after he attempted to clear a machine which, police
say; he has been using to deliver electric current on unsuspecting
worshippers during church service.

"Pastor' Obiri Konjo Yeboah on July 5 failed to convince Aviation
Police officers why he needed this machine to do God's work. He is
now facing serious charges including fraud and false pretence,"
Police Spokesman Asan Kasingye told Sunday Monitor.

Police said the machine could be worn like a corset on the body. It
also can generate up to 12 volts. "When (he) touches his flock, they fall down (thinking) he is using super natural powers," Asan Kasingye said. The machine is placed on any part of the body and gives a pleasant electric shock to whoever
touches you.

The waterproof electric machine is activated within 10 seconds and
can emit sparks of static electricity between the user's fingers
while in darkness. The American company manufactures the machine
known for freaking people's minds.
Kasingye said the machine using the body as a conductor of
electricity, transfers the current to the person in contact but the
one using the device remains unaffected. Other "Born Again" pastors
including the head of the National Council of Born Again Churches
(NCBC), a body that regulate Pentecostal churches, are calling for
prosecution of Yeboah.

"Police should interrogate him properly, know where he stays and the
people he works with so that we get a clear picture of it all," said
Pastor Alex Mitala who heads NCBC. Yeboah is a pastor in We Are One
Ministry Church on Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road , Makerere. His father,
other pastors say, is Obiri Yeboah, the controversial pioneer of
miracle healing in Uganda . His followers include several local
pastors including John Kakande.

Pastor Solomon Male said: "It's a pity they have arrested Yeboah but
police should not allow him to use a machine to deceive he has
supernatural powers," Male said. "Yeboah's father was a witch,
magician and I am not surprised that he was caught with that
machine," Male added.

Yeboah has denied charges he tried to import an electric shock
machine to make people believe he could pass on the Holy Spirit.
"This is a toy. It was sent for my daughters' birthday," said Yeboah.
The pastor told the BBC that during his prayers, members of the
congregation "act as the spirit comes in them".
There has been a massive growth in churches set up by charismatic
preachers in Africa in recent years, amid fears some could be

The website of the company which makes the "Electric Touch" machine,
among other magic tricks, says: "Charge a spoon, keys or coins and
watch as it shocks a volunteer!"

"They will believe you have supernatural powers!"
10 things

1. Throw out nonessential numbers.
These include age, weight, and height.
Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain get idle.
"An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time
with him or her! u know...someone like me!

6. The tears happen:
Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourself.
LIVE while you are alive.

7 Surround yourself with what you love:
Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.
Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, even to a foreign country, but NOT to where the
guilt is

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

And if you don't send this to at least four people - who cares?
But do share this with someone.

Monday, October 01, 2007


I wandered into a store last Friday looking for "Fruit 'n Fibre", my favourite cereal, and a toothbrush. In came an elderly man in glasses who said hello to the shop attendant and stretched a hand out to me. Out of courtesy, I shook his hand and continued with my business.

The attendant had a friend seated playing football on a portable Play Station. "Nice", I commented and said how much I liked the real game.

"You play football", the attendant asked? "Every Friday night, my shin-guards are always in the car", I said. That caught the elderly man's attention. He said his name was Israel Okome a.k.a. Izzy, he was aged 63, and he had played for Stationery Stores Football Club from 1967-69, and thereafter had played for Ashante Kotoko in Ghana before being part of the founding team called Vie-Pass(sic) of Benin that later became Bendel Insurance.

According to him, he had played in an era when there was little money in football, alongside greats like the goal keeper- Peter Fregene a.k.a. Apo (Bag), Austin Ofoku a.k.a. Mazelli, Paul Hamilton a.k.a. Wonderboy, Rigogo (now deceased), Willie Andrews in Ghana, Dan Ajibade in Ibadan and many others.

His point was that the lack of eduction of many players of that era had driven them to poverty after their careers were over. He said, "an Ibo chap told me in my footballing days that education was the best thing and football wouldn't last forever, so I obtained a certificate from the Institute of Purchasing and Supplies and worked for the Nigerian Railways Corporation".

"Izzy" is now a pensioner who lives off his NRC benefits but is saddened when he recalls the fate of his colleagues. He says he cried when he saw an old ex-footballer, P. Adelaja, with a hoe in his hands, digging at a work-site. Peter Fregene who was once Nigeria's greatest goal-keeper, has diabetes-induced hypertension and appears to have little to take care of his medical needs.

According to him, players like Segun Odegbami (civil engineering) and Adokie Amesi-Emeka (law), who came after his generation, were wise in getting an education. Odegbami is one of the country's best known sports administrators now and Adokie (who was known as "Chief Justice" in his playing days) was Attorney General of his state for many years.

So there will come a time when we might no longer be the newest kids on the block. It would be good to be prepared.
The Girl Whisperer

as published by the

Sunday Guardian of Sept 30

The False Messiah

Many of us go through the grind of living, hoping that someday, somehow, we will meet that one person who will take all our troubles away. Someone who, with a sweep of one hand, will cancel all our fears and make everything all right. Someone who will understand the reasons we made the mistakes we did, and like the Arabian proverb goes, take all those blunders in one fist and blow them away like sand.

Let the Whisperer be as blunt as he has ever been, today. It will never happen. You will never come across another human who can take your life and make it all right. You must wake up to reality and understand that you must sort yourself out first, learn to love you, and then hopefully you’ll come across another person who will appreciate you as you are, blunders and all, and then complement you.

Looking for another person, a messiah to give us joy is a form of denial, a type of escape from reality. All humans have their own hang-ups and one of the most selfish things you can inflict on another human is to bring all your own unresolved issues and try to pin on that person. Who needs extra pain?

Prospective partners balk sometimes, when they see the weights others are attempting to load on their backs, for if you meet a man who has perfected his own coping mechanism, he does not want anyone to upset the balance.
When a man, for instance, enters a relationship, not knowing the amount of work necessary just to run a normal conversation with a female seeking a messiah instead of a partner, the man will run, no matter how upsetting that might be for the female. My advice for females is to resolve their own issues first, if they want to have successful relationships. Females should sort matters that trouble them emotionally, psychologically and even physically. The matters that they cannot resolve except through time should be made clear to the prospective partner for a revelation after the commencement of the relationship will lead to problems.

On the flip side, men should be careful about avowing "love" to every female they meet. A man should observe the person in question properly, remembering the police cliché, “In God we trust. All others we check out”. Being patient might save you from the hands of a virago. There are people whom, when their advances are rejected, turn into misshapen creatures that stalk your nightmares. They will create scenes at your work place; seek out your friends to spread malicious and untrue gossip about you and many other things unhinged minds have the ability to conjure.

Therefore, men, learn from me (which I know you will not) and be careful whom you whisper sweet words to.
Women listen attentively to the things you say (even if sometimes, they are the ones putting you under great pressure to say these things) and if you do not mean the declarations of Camelot-type love on the tip of your tongue, do not open your mouth to utter them. There are people whom, if you got to know them properly, you would not touch with a barge pole, so why rush?

A girl I barely knew asked me repeatedly to share a blood-oath with her under the stars. Any one, male or female who thinks a blood covenant is the only thing that can keep you, is one you must run far from. Angelie Jolie might make it appear cool but do not be fooled, you are not there when she tries to sleep at night. Needless to say, this person frothed at the mouth when I took off at a full gallop (Yeah, the Whisperer can run too)

Thoroughbreds and the “Girl next door” are your best bets to have successful and meaningful relationships with. A well-bred person is difficult to leave anyway, because you perceive that you need the balance they instinctively give to your lives. If you do give in to a moment of madness and leave a female like this, you might regret your rashness for a long while. The options available on the open market aren’t always as attractive as you might think and there is nothing like being captured permanently by a bestial type to make you long for all the well-bred people you rubbished as you sowed your wild oats.