Thursday, February 9, 2012

Musing into Love


What are you?

Who are you?

Are you matter?

Do you have weight and occupy space?

Are you a person?

Are you some sort of pit?

A pit where people fall into and experience heaven?

Are you real?

Can I feel you?

Can I touch you?

Are you the reason why a man clings to a woman and wait for eternal separation?

Are you the reason behind existence?

The reason behind my birth

Were you the feeble hands that held me?

That nursed me; nurtured me and breast fed me?
What colour are you?

I once heard you are red

Is that true?

But now I hear you are blue

Do you live?

Do you die?

Do you walk around?

Do you have an end?

When were you born?

Were you born on a Sunday?

Do you like flowers and chocolates?

Or would you refer just dates?

What do you taste like?

What do you feel like?

Are you a boy-girl thing?

Or a boy-boy thing?

Is it true you hide within homes, humble homes?

Or are you just homeless?

Are you around when we fight?

When father beats mother?

When we resent father?

When people kill people and nations fight nations

Do you know me?

Do you know my name?

I hear People from your country are called lovers?

What is your culture?

What is your pledge?

How are you made?

Are you made on mountains or on plains?

Are you made on creaking beds?

I once heard you were born in a manger

I hear you are free

As free as FREE

Do you have a name?

Do you have a meaning?

Please answer me...

Love, who are you? What are you? And what do you
Want from me?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where I belong

Where I belong

Dejected and isolated
I was ugly
Nobody loved me
I crawled
Everybody flew
They eat sweet juices
I was left with bitter vegetables
They basked in the sun
I hid in my cocoon.
“Be patient” I said
“Be patient with my beautiful imperfections”
They scoffed and laughed
I felt it within... my true beauty
I brooded, I cried
At last I slept, I died
I woke to fly.
With my wings spread, I flew
Above height, beyond expectations
I was the ugly caterpillar
Look at me now.... I’m a butterfly
Clothed in the prettiest dresses
Perfumed in flowers
Fed with red nectar.
Oh look, you ugly black moths wish
You wish you were me
Me, the ugly one.
Today I fly, far into the rainbows
Where I belong
To dine with my kind
Goodbye black moths


Friday, June 3, 2011

Hello yesterday

Hello yesterday
Where are you?
It was like a dream
A little nap, i woke,
And you were gone

Just like the day before.
I read the note you left on the wall
Nostalgia embraced me
Tears showed me
And regrets comforted me

Are you coming back?
Will I see you again?
Today is here with me now
We both are worried
We’re on a train to grave land

It’s almost midnight and soon
Tomorrow will be here
We both are nervous
Butterflies are partying in my tummy
Remember how we wished,
How we talked all night

Anticipating tomorrow
Will she be fair?
Will she be beautiful?
Will I be happy to meet her?

I know not…

Friday, April 22, 2011

My friends and I

This world is unfair and wicked, I spent my life living for others and in the end what do I get in return? NOTHING! Absolutely nothing! No reward, no appreciation No love. Human beings are ingrates. Right now I have no friends, no wife, no family and no place to rest my head.
Here is my story, According to my mother; I was born on a cold night. The very night I was born my people decided to occupy the whole fancy hospital, hotel and local guest house. My mother had no choice but to deliver me in a stinky manger. None of my people cared to visit, they were busy getting drunk on red wine, it was Passover. Instead strangers celebrated my birth and brought me gifts.
Teenage-hood was not so easy I grew up as a carpenter, trying to help my father support the family, I knew I was smart I could have even gone to school and become a scribe, a lawyer, or a teacher become rich, famous and popular but I choose not to be all that. I knew which stunt to pull to be adopted by the king as his son still I choose to be carpenter, of the low class. Hitting the hammer head hard on the stubborn Lebanese cider wood day and night, sweating and wishing for a better life.

Well I endured it all “such is life” as they’ll say. I grew up fast, turned out to be super smart and popular and people loved me (oh how I miss those days). I had haters too. But in the end I got friends I shared with them all that I had. Twelve of them knew me inside out, we went through up and downs just as normal friends.
I did no one any harm all I did was; save the dying, raise the dead, feed the hungry and save the lost. I just wanted them to love me and accept me, to thank me but they didn’t, they never did. My people hated me. Strangers even loved me more and gave me water at the well.

My haters were powerful, they wanted me dead. They were envious of my fame and power so they plotted to kill me; I wondered how they were my going to get me I was Innocent. It shocked me to know how easy it was. Just thirty pieces of silver and a petty kiss on the cheek sold me out. I was betrayed by my very own friend, who I dine and wine with.
I thought that was the end, my brothers rejected me, they choose Barnabas – a criminal over me, my enemies crowned me king, my best friend (my tightest Hommie) denied three times, THREE WHOLE TIMES!!!... My people spat me in the face, the same I hands I healed of paralysis stoned me. My friends deserted me and at last they crucified me, dehumanized me. I died a shameful death, Innocent me nailed as a criminal and while I was about to take my last breath I saw my friends who I had shared everything with pack their fishing net down the lake to resume their fishing job with no remorse or guilt. I was mourned by Strangers.

Thank God miraculously I came back to life after three days. Yes I did it’s called resurrection its spiritual. I forgave my friends and my enemies and till date I still forgive them. But the truth is that On that my death day I discovered who my true friends were and apart from Simeon who helped me carry my cross and my mother who watched me die slowly and felt every bit of my pain I had no friends.

It’s a pity I’m still a lonely man, begging for friendship and acceptance. Would you take me as you dearly beloveth friend, to love and to cherish, never to betray for cheap coins, to respect me and follow me all the days of your life? If yes, then call me now am alive.

Happy Easter

Yesu Christi

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrity Reads Africa - 8th Edition

I will be there, and so will ECLIPSE and MELONY

Celebrity influence is a strong social tool; People tend to do whatever their Celebrity Idol say is cool. It won’t be a surprise if Michael Jackson fanatics set their hair ablaze at one point in their life. Mr. Bede Okoro has taken full advantage of this tool of influence.
Celebrity Reads Africa is an Initiative aimed to Encourage, Promote and Resurrect the dead reading culture of Nigerians and Africa at large. I once heard a saying “if you want to hide something away from a black man, hide it in a book”. Celebrity Reads Africa promotes Nigeria Literature, Celebrities from Different spheres where they gather for a public reading, and read a Chapter or Two from their favourite Nigerian book. This creates a hype which excites their fans and pushes them to Read and participate.

This initiative has been a full success all thanks to Mr. Bede Okoro and his team. Celebrity Reads has also been Hosted in Ghana too. This Edition will be here in Lagos, Nigeria and I am most excited about this Month’s Edition, the 8th Edition On the 30th of April at Terra Kulture - Nigerian Cultural Centre Plot 1376, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Two of my favourite musicians will be there, LIVE. Thinking about it makes me want to fast forward time. I can’t wait to watch them perform ECLIPSE my Rap idol and MELONY the man with the platinum voice.
Readings will be done by:
Bisila Bokoko (Executive Director, Spain-United States Chamber of Commerce & Founder, Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project)
Ali Baba (Ace Comedian/Doyen of Nigerian Comedy)
Sound Sultan (HipHop and R&B Singer/Recording Artiste)
Andre Blaze (Seasoned VeeJay/Entertainment TV Presenter)
Special Guest Authors:
Michael Afenfia (Writer/Author of the book 'When the moon caught fire')
Teresa Oyibo Ameh (Children Books Writer & Author of 5 bestselling Children Books)

And oh I guess I forgot to tell you there’d be light refreshment this edition indeed is power packed.
Please for your own good, don’t dare miss it… For me? I won’t miss it for anything in this world… I will listen, I will watch, I will laugh and I will sing along loud and clear to every lyrics of ECLIPSE, MELONY and SOUND SULTAN.
I will most definitely go with my camera I will take photos and I promise I’ll keep you posted.

See ya at Terra Kulture on the 30th.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The familiar Smell

Dear diary,

Pardon me for not updating lately; I’ve been very busy of recent, rehearsing my keys for my live performance with Asa. Today is a memorable day for me and i decided to myself that i must come tender you my story in shorthand.

Today makes it exactly one that I met Ifeanyi, i still remember vividly that very morning, i woke early and while i had breakfast i over heard Ellen DeGeneres talking on the television, excited about the coming holiday- St. Valentine’s day, she was talking about how valentine comes with magic. She spoke so convincingly i believed her i went to school that morning expectant i had been infected with Ellen’s excitement. I waited for the magic, but nothing came, nothing spectacular happened, nothing magical apart from a rather strong, strange smell in class, amidst all perfumes and scents in class i could perceive a difference, it was strong, it was manly, it was angry i loved it, it was a mystery for my nostrils to interpret, well a new boy joined our class that day.

The smell lingered. it lingered on for days, till the point, It even became my motivation for school, i loved it, memories of the smell followed me home, it kept me company. Days passed i never spoke with the new boy, though i knew he was the wearer of the perfume, i choose not to speak to him.

It was two days to valentine and i was wondering what all the vain noise was about, i wondered what a jailed disobedient prisoner had got to do with flowers and roses and candles and chocolates the thought was rather funny to me. Well i don’t believe in love, at least not in this world. Being born blind i have come to know life is not a fairytale where love exists, there’s no prince charming, there’s no fairy-god-mother and there’s no love.

All there is are just confused emotions of lust, attraction, desperation and pity. I am seventeen and all my life people always view me through the eyes of pity disguising it to be love, they are constantly trying to help and when they want to talk about me, they go through the stress of using the most polite of terms as “visual impairment” and other funny 10-15 lettered phrases where they can just say blind. They make the word ‘blind’ seem like a taboo. I’m sorry I’m drifting

Being blind gave me abilities those who can see do not possess, i smell lies, i know the tone of lies. Most times when i listen to people say “i love you” on the television or in reality i know when they are lying, in fact 99% of the times, my guesses are right.

Well dear diary this is the story of how i discovered the “unrealistic” 1% in the statement “i love you”

Llast year, on Valentine’s Day after i had made up my mind on not joining everybody in the madness, i decided to go the only place where madness was not found. I went to church, Sunday school children class to the precise. I spent my Valentine in church playing piano for the kids as they celebrated in the valentine service; i was told everyone was dressed in red apart from Windy who was dressed in black, the kids sang beautifully in A-minor, i remember playing my favourite songs including my favourite hymn “amazing grace” with that soul comforting line ‘once blind and now i see’.

After service while we parked up our instruments, something unbelievable happened, that familiar smell from school, that angry perfume saturated the air around me, i heard footsteps approach me from behind and then a tap on my shoulder saying “:hi, I’m Ifeanyi and i enjoyed your performance, you make magic with the piano” as i smiled beautifully and said “thank you Ifeanyi, my name is Ebere, it’s nice meeting you...” and before i could go further to confirm if he was the same “familiar smell” at school mom came and took me away it was time to go home.

The next day at school i came early waiting for the smell, yearning to tickle my nostrils. It didn’t come, two days passed and still it never came and on the third day i gave up hope. On that third day, After the first class which was-music class as i walked down the school hallway i perceived it, my pleasurable perfume, i reacted in joy, a few heartbeat skipped in excitement, the smell approached me and after it, came a comforting voice, saying “Excuse me please, where can i meet Ebere now, i need to meet with her”? And i speedily replied, “i am Ebere, is there a problem”? We sat and talked, i asked about his absence from school, he missed school for his eye checked up,

Till date i have not discovered what was with me and the perfume but all i know was that, i loved it and that it made me happy, Break time came that day and i spent it all with Ifeanyi, we talked about almost everything and we had a lot in common like : he prefers Pepsi to coke, he likes rock music, he loves the smell of dust in the rain, he wants to be a musician when he grows up, he had never been kissed and a whole lot more. We spent the break time in the music room and that day i discovered that “unrealistic 1%” i found love, i touched it, i spoke with it, we sang together. Ifeanyi’s voice was heavenly, i melted when we sang and played “Another day in paradise by Phil Collins” i remember how i fought the tears bursting through my dry eyes and how the more i fought the more it came running, rushing down my cheeks, dropping profusely on the piano keys. Music is my idea of heaven, since my imagination can’t phantom colours, i don’t know what the colour white looks like or gold or understand the idea of the cloud or what it looks like. That very day i went to heaven, i walked on the streets of gold, i danced in the clouds. Break time was over and i wished we never went back to class

After that day we became best of friends, my school, Rosa’s school for the blind became paradise for me, i found a reason to be happy, a reason to anticipate school, we always spent our free time together in the music room. Ifeanyi had low vision, he wasn’t fully blind, the condition developed after a severe illness the previous year, he always told me i smile beautifully, though everyone tells me that, his was different it sounded genuine, i was told i smiled the most, and the best in our family picture, Ifeanyi visits our house every weekend and we play the piano, we teach each other new stuff every day. All my life i had depended on other people’s judgement and opinions, i was told trees are green and roses are red and the oceans and skies are blue. I was told mirrors reflect images but right now there is one thing i need no one to tell me, i know what i’m feeling is beyond normal two weeks, just exactly two weeks after valentine Ifeanyi wrote me on a Braille, i feared to read, i hesitated after much self motivation i read the note and lo and behold my fear arrested me he wrote it bold “i love you”. I was sure this was love; i knew this was the 1%, Ifeanyi was my eyes, he made life worth living. My love for Ifeanyi was blind, it couldn’t see, it didn’t know if he was tall, dark and handsome, it believed, it saw more than the physical, it looked within and it didn’t care. I’ve never dreamt since i was born, but with Ifeanyi i know i am dreaming even when I’m awake.

Well that was last year, this year valentine is almost here and i’ve not heard from Ifeanyi, we were going out up till December when he left our school, the ophthalmologist said his eyes were good, and they were much better, too bad he left without saying goodbye.

Dear diary every day i wait, i crave, i sniff... but the familiar smell is not coming back, and that’s why i cherish the red sweater in my wardrobe I’ve not washed it for one year now and I’ve been fighting the fading of the perfume. Ifeanyi’s perfume is buried within yarn, trapped in the woven wool; that is my valentine, that is my heaven.

Right now in believe in love, i met love, i touched love, i sang with it, i smelt it, it smelt manly and strong, it smelt angry

Love is real...

Love lives...

It lives in my wardrobe...

And it is red...

Goodbye hopeville

The things I’ve experienced in this little fifteen years of my life – most forty

year olds I’ve not seen half of it. Sometimes I wonder if really I am fifteen years

old. Even Mami, my mother seems confused about my real birth date, I was once

told I was born on the 24th of January 1996, then later I was told it was on the

21st. Grandma still argues about my age with Mami if am fifteen or sixteen. I know by

now you are wondering what kind of home I came from. This is my story.

Papi, my Father died seventeen years ago even before I was born, everything we

owned was forcefully taken from us by our uncles, my father’s brothers. Mami

faced the most inhuman of conditions; she was accused of murdering Papi. One

morning Mami and i (eight months old in her womb) ran away, we ran far away and

that was how we got here. We have nothing here, we are professional beggars now,

begging is our family business. I was born into poverty; I was born with no silver spoon in fact I was born with no

spoon, not even a wooden spoon. My siblings and I work hard day and night to get

the family as alive as possible.

We live in an old unfinished hotel building- ‘Hopeville’, the cracking brick

walls are decorated with green mosses, and the floors rugged with dry brown

overgrown mosses. Our room has just one long bench, an old painting of mother

Mary and baby Jesus and an old mattress on which we all lie, bed wet and play

on. The building is huge, a three storey building with sixty rooms housing

sixteen other families of homeless beggars like us, we are the beggar community.

Life here is hard. We fight for everything, we fight to sleep, we fight to wake

and we fight to live. Through early childhood, I was taught how to bend my hand

into my big shirt with my elbow sticking out with my forearm appearing to be cut

and amputated. I practised it over and over that sometimes I subconsciously feel


We work in shifts, my younger siblings work during the early hours and me and my

brother and I take over from mid noon, we roam the busy roads wearing the

dirtiest and the best of our rags, with our shaved hair decorated with sparkling

white ring worm and dandruff. Laughter and fun is not allowed during work hours

so we appear as convincing and pathetic as possible. Wearing the saddest of face,

i always get the biggest returns. Timi, my eleven year old brother always gets

jealous he never gets as much returns as me. Mami rewards me daily with a few

more morsels of Eba at night. Meat in our soup is only during special occasions

like Christmas or Valentine when people hypocritically decide to show love. We

eat bones and biscuit bones on Sundays, bones gathered from the abattoirs. We

are malnourished. We eat twice daily, sometimes once and it’s Eba morning and

Night. I tasted milk for the first time when I was 8.

Last week, I lost my virginity to my boyfriend Musa, It was painful. I cried all

night, though we didn’t last long like those white people in the ‘blue films’ we

watch at Mike the Electrician’s shop. Musa is eighteen, once a beggar now retired

he is a bus conductor and professional pickpocket he is very talented at it and

everyday he gives me money and gifts. He says he loves me and that he’ll marry

me. I love him too and that was why I agreed to do with him what Mami does with

his father Mr Adamu. Timi, my brother and I always peek when they do it. I feel

embarrassed when i hear Mami moan and scream. Musa’s father, Mr Adamu is my

Mami’s boyfriend and her contract husband. He is the father of my six siblings.

Mami pays him to get her pregnant because he’s a ‘strong breed’ as grandma says.

In this our begging business only ‘strong breeds’ survive and withstand the

fiercest of conditions through the sun and through the rain.

Our biggest competition remain the Arabian beggars and the white Niger Republic

beggars as they hustle harder than us and get more returns because Nigerians are

just so stupid falling for anything white be it USA, UK, China, Egypt or

even white Niger Republics!. What a pity.

Mami needs as many children as possible to increase returns Two years ago; I

lost my sister Bosa to cholera and pneumonia. Her death has left a big vacuum in

our home, I miss her so much. Just like other begging homes, eight kids make a

perfect begging ‘staff’ With Eight kids (workers) on the road, a future is sure.

The younger we are the better for us, when I was a baby, mom took me to work on

the streets and highway till I was three and ready to walk and work on my own. I

worked then with restrictions I wanted to be free just like other kids.

Well now am free and off the chain, I do whatever I like and no one cares, it’s

sad no one really cares. I can’t wait for night to come; I’ll be sleeping over

at my boyfriend’s and he promises to introduce me to some big men. He’s been

making plans for our meeting since last month. Tomorrow is our meeting day. At

last everything is set I will be travelling overseas to Italy to get a better

job. This is a big secret He said I should not tell Mami and I didn’t. I have my

little bag packed and I did not forget my condoms. I will miss home, I’ll

miss my siblings, I’ll miss begging on the streets and fighting hard.

Tomorrow I will be sold but for good. I know I’ll be back someday, to give Mami

hope, to save Timi, Dami, Sola, Taiye and Kehinde(the twins), and Sade, the baby

(Mami’s greatest assert). To give Grandma a befitting funeral.

I have no fears. I know Freedom is not free so I’m ready to pay the price.

With tears in my eyes. Goodbye yesterday...Goodbye Hopeville.

Welcome Tomorrow, Hello Italy...