When your own blood hates you

Hey people, wasup? How was Saturday for you? I hope you all went out to vote your conscience, and stayed out of trouble? Anyway, I trust you guys. My readers are wise and intelligent, just like me, lol.

I was thinking about something recently. Remember in this post, when I mentioned that in Brazil, people were asked to order poems from poets, and we were supposed to ‘cook’ the poem on the spot for the customers?

Well, the story of my first customer really touched me. She wanted me to write a poem for her daughter. Through the translator, she told me that her daughter detests and hates her for no just cause. She believes she is suffering from karma, as a result from something she has done in her past life.

They have never been close, and she hasn’t liked her since she was a child. She said that since the girl was small, she has continually done things to intentionally hurt her.

She went ahead to say that her marriage with her husband didn’t work out, and her daughter blamed her the more for this. According to her, she and her daughter were both mean to each other in the past, but she doesn’t want that anymore.

She said her daughter is now in her early twenties or late teens (can’t remember which), but she wants to make peace with her. She wants me to write a poem to tell her daughter she loves her, and doesn’t want to fight anymore.

You could see on the woman’s face that she was really hurting. It was really moving. Since the daughter wasn’t there to tell her own part of the story, I had to rely on just the woman’s version to cook the poem. The poem was for the daughter. I really hope the daughter would like the poem sha because she sounds hard and mean, according to the mother’s story, and I had about 5 to 15 minutes to deliver. I am actually writing this post because a copy of the poem fell out of my laptop bag.

By the time the translator and I read it to her, she was just crying and hugging me. When it was all over, it was surprising to see that she was still hanging around. She came to meet me, and kept pecking me, speaking Portuguese, which I didn’t understand a word of, while I kept telling her ‘I don’t know what you are saying’, lol. She even went to search for me on facebook, added me, and sends me occasional messages which I have to use google translate to understand, lol.

So what do you think? How do you pursue a path of peace with someone who detests you, especially your own daughter – someone you brought to this world? I know there are so many people in this situation, and they constantly hurt from the fact that someone who they love so much hates them, like father hates son, son hates father, etc.

What do you do? That's all I am asking.

The freedom of Anonymous Bloggers

When I set up my blogger account, and started blogging, I never knew there was anything like anonymous blogging. It wasn’t until I became active in blogsville that I noticed some bloggers had no identity. By then, it was already too late for me.

I feel like anonymous bloggers are so fortunate. I like ranting and letting out through my blog, but the fact that I am not anonymous means there is a limit to what I can say. Everyone knows my blog, so I can’t afford to give people undue access into my personal life, just by reading my blog, a mistake I made a couple of years ago. I mean, I can meet a distant relation I have not seen or talked to in over 10 years saying, “there was this personal article you wrote two years ago, it really touched me.” Haa, wahala.

Being an open identity blogger means you have automatic monitoring spirits on your case. So you might need to go to MFM prayer city for monthly spiritual check. Exes, stalkers, enemies, frenemies, families, friends, and even your parents will be using your blog to keep tab on you.

That is how last week, I was frying egg. My mum saw me, and said “you have started eating egg?”
I looked at her with a bewildered face, saying “why won’t I eat egg? Isn’t egg healthy? I never stopped eating egg.”

Then she goes “Didn’t you write about how eggs were affecting you on your blog some time ago?”
“That’s because I overdosed on eggs, aargh!”

You see what I mean by monitoring spirits? A post of over two years ago! You can read it here.

This is the reason why I am baffled at anonymous bloggers like Naija Bachelor who are eager to come out of the closet. It’s as if they just want to give up all that freedom I envy for nothing. All they get is a month or so of blogsville hailing, and when the mystery fades and dusts settles, they might wish again that they were anonymous.

Note please. If you are anonymous, that doesn’t mean you should say all the nonsense in this world. There are so many anonymouses whose covers have been blown. I personally know a couple of anonymous bloggers because they considered me worthy enough to reveal themselves to me, in person. So we don’t want to read your escapades about how you regularly cheat on your wife or husband, or colourful details of how many married men you have slept with. That kind of thing usually comes back to bite in the butt. You can read more about that here.

As for those who call themselves semi-anonymous like Toinlicious and Cherrywine, una jus dey deceive yaselves. You are either anonymous or not. *ducks blows*

And lastly, for anonymous commenters who hide their identities just to spew insulting and hate comments on people’s blogs, well, if you are not a coward, why don’t you comment using your real identity. Remember that you will sow what you reap, even if you repent in blogsville church and become born again!

Frank Talk about Mother’s Day craze

Warning: You are likely going to stone my blog page after reading this article, thereby damaging your screen, causing you to hate me for the loss you used your hands to incur. So beware before going ahead to read.

Firstly, let me burst your bubble by saying yesterday, 16th March, 2015, was not Mother's Day. I'm really sorry to break the news this way, but truth is sometimes bitter. Yesterday was Mothering Sunday, celebrated by Catholics in UK and Ireland, not Mother's Day. Anyway, moving on...

I got home from church yesterday, and proceeded to the kitchen to fix a meal for myself. While dicing the carrots, my mother came to the kitchen and said jokingly. “You did not even wish me happy mother’s day.”

I said “Ehen.” In my mind, I was like “you too?” lol. So I said “okay oooo, happy mother’s day.”
I was surprised because I have never said happy mother’s day to my mum. Please, don’t stone me, I promise you, I don’t hate my mum. It’s just that we were not raised with the mother’s day consciousness in my family, thereby causing my surprise.

I am therefore going ahead to blame the whole thing on social media. Lol. Yes, while some people blame Goodluck Jonathan for everything, including the fact that they accidentally cut their thumb in the kitchen, I blame social media for everything.

Ever since social media blew up, during every mother’s day, everyone puts up DP about how their mothers are the best in the world. Mother’s day is now more celebrated than in the past, such that my non-mothers-day-celebrating mother has now bitten the bug.

Back to the conversation. My mother now goes

“Or didn’t you celebrate mother’s day in your church?”

I said “I don’t know, I was with the teenagers all through.” This was not exactly true because I entered the main church briefly, and they asked all women to stand up in church, and sang ‘sweet mother’ for them. Also, in teens church, they asked every female to stand up, and we clapped for them.

“You are even supposed to buy me a gift to celebrate mother’s day.” she continued.

“Really? But you don’t buy me gifts on children’s day.” I said. “Am, I not a child to you? All these mother’s day and all other days are just holidays.” I said, making no sense, but wanting to cover my inadequacies as an inconsiderate daughter.

“But you used to get holidays every children’s day.” she said.

I just looked at her, and said to myself, “see, you don’t get the message. Were you the one giving me the holidays? And really, I meant you don’t give me gifts every children’s day, so why the guilt trip?”

There are just some people who can never be sent on a guilt trip, no matter how hard you try, and I am one of them.

Now, contrary to what you might be thinking, I love my mum. She is really cool, lol. She is so cool that she freezes the sun (no one should steal my punchline, abeg). So let’s get that out of the way. She buys me things, I buy her things – well sometimes. I was just so surprised that the whole social media mother’s day thing got to her.

My mum reads my blog posts. I hope I don’t get into trouble when she reads this one. She might just send me packing, lol. The woman has really tried sha. Having a frank-talk writer, poet and spoken word artist as a daughter is really a burden no mother should bear, lol.

Now in Nigeria, we just like to follow trends blindly. Did you guys notice that last year, when mother’s day was celebrated twice, some people started getting confused, saying “didn’t we celebrate mother’s day few weeks ago?” Well, that is because different countries celebrate mother’s day on different days. Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, United Kingdom, and Nigeria celebrate it fourth Sunday in the lent seasons, and it is called Mothering Sunday. The real Mother’s day, is on 2nd Sunday in May, which more than 60% of the world’s countries, including United States. This is why most times, since we like do follow follow, we celebrate it twice in Nigeria. First we do it with the Catholics because of Social Media following, and then we later do it with the United States. (You can read more about Mothering Sunday and Mother's Day - Google is your friend). Readers are leaders of information and knowledge!

Fact: Do you know that the founder of mother’s day, Anna Jarvis, later in her life started protesting the celebration of mother’s day, becoming a major opponent because she felt it had been commercialised? In fact, she spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting the celebration till she died.

Another thing, how come on mother’s day, everyone’s mother now becomes the best mother. Doesn’t that contradict the meaning of the word ‘best’, seeing that there can be only one ‘best’? Therefore, if everyone’s mother is best, it means no one’s mother is really the best.

Lastly I leave you with this meme I truly love, but did not create. Believe me, I didn’t write it. It goes something like

If everyone’s mother is the best, then who are the witches always flying at night, and doing bad things to other people?

I guess their kids are also out there telling us how their mum is the best mum in the world.

If you made it to the end of this post without breaking your screen, congratulations. But promise me you would not slap me when next you see me in person.

With that said, happy mother’s day Mothering Sunday to all the beautiful mothers and mothers to be out there. And that’s excluding the witches. *Ducks jazz*

So this still happens on roads

I was going to vigil last Friday night. I decided to follow someone because I had a busy weekend ahead, and I wasn’t sure I was going to get fuel, due to the current fuel scarcity. So I just wised up, and started saving my fuel. Funny enough, I later walked past the filling station, and there was no queue.

Anyway, so I left my house by 8.30 pm to walk all the way to my friend’s house, so we could go for the vigil together. I hate bus and bikes and I like to walk, so even though it was a very long walk, I decided to trek. I am a very fast walker and it took me 30 minutes to walk, so it would take a normal healthy person one hour to make the journey by trekking.

Anyway, after the first 10 minutes, some guy steps up to me. I had earphones on, listening to switchfoot, so I didn’t notice his presence. It was not until he got close to me that it occurred to me that this guy was trying to get my attention.

Seeing that it is a small world, and I am a nice girl, I removed my earphones to listen to what he was trying to say to me, in case he was trying to tell me that he recognised me from somewhere.

“Yes?” I started.

“Hi, I just want to talk to you and get to know you.” He said.

I put the earphones back on.

End of conversation.

I kept walk, ignoring the guy. I told myself he would soon leave me and turn back, seeing that the journey was still very long for me. I kept saying to myself “so guys still approach girls on the road in this day and age of modern technology.” I thought all the first timer toasting had graduated to facebook, twitter, whatsapp, etc. I was really shocked. I mean, I can’t remember when last I have made a journey by trekking since I started working from home a couple of years ago. And the time I tried it now, this happens.

Anyway, the guy didn’t do what I thought he would do. He just kept following me. Sometime, I would think he isn’t there, and 5 seconds later, he is right by my side. I wondered what kind of wahala this is. It wasn’t like I was spectacularly dressed. I was wearing a normal loose-fitting top and baggy harem dropcrotch pants. I tied a black scarf, flat sandals, and slung an old messenger bad in a diagonal fashion. That is to say, I was looking very ordinary! Yet this guy kept following.

After a while, I became irritated. I removed my earphones, and asked him to stop following me. All he could say was.

“I just want to get to know you. I can see you are walking very fast. You must be in a hurry.”

I put the earphones back on.

End of conversation.

And so, this guy kept following me. He walked with me through major roads and minor roads. I increased my pace, crossed the roads, passed through expressways, passed through dark corners, yet he never relented.

One time, he brushed my shoulder with his. I screamed “what’s all these?”

“Sorry, sorry, I just want to know you.” He said.

I put the earphones back on.

End of conversation.

Finally and gratefully, I got the gate of my friend’s street, which was manned by security guards. I spoke to the guards and mentioned who I wanted to see. The guy finally left me and walked away.
Maybe he thought I was approaching my house, and reporting him to the security guards. Or maybe he thought he had made headway by finally knowing my street, so he could hang around from time to time to look for me, lol. As for me, I was happy to be finally rid of the unwelcome companion.

I know I look far younger than my age, but I thought all these things happened in those days when I was 14 to 18 years old. I can’t imagine that guys still waste their time and sweat following ladies on the road. That is joblessness of the highest order, and oh so outdated.

“My name is Atilola, and I am not a thief!”

I believe this is going to be my most honest and vulnerable article ever. It is raw, no-holds-barred, and I will be mentioning names, real names of everyone involved.

It happened when I was in JSS3, I was 10 years old. It was on a Saturday morning in boarding school, Lagos State Model College, Badore. I think it was after our morning cleanups, when we were supposed to be rushing out of the hostel immediately after inspection, to go for breakfast, and then, afternoon prep. I rushed to the box room to change from my white wear to cheque, or maybe to the pick something from my box, which I did not lock. On entering there, I saw Onyinye Ilechukwu rush out, which meant she also went to quickly take something from or put something in her box. Upon locating my box, I encountered a big problem.

 It was locked!

It was my box alright, but it was locked with someone else’s padlock. I wondered why someone would lock my box. Whatever I wanted to pick was really valuable to me, and I felt since it was my box, I had the right to jack the padlock and throw it away. But it wasn’t those black padlocks you could simply jack. It was those side-shifting coloured ones. Anyway, I didn’t give up as the prefects were announcing “5 minutes more, 4 minutes more…”

Someone (I can’t remember who) came to the box room to get something from her own box, and saw me jacking the padlock. I said to the person “Can you imagine? Someone locked my box.” We discussed a bit, she left, and I continued try to jack. Seeing the futility of the situation, I left the hostel like that, as they were going to lock me in.

I got back to the hostel at about 4 or 5 pm, when suddenly people started shouting my name. I was confused. I was not like a superstar. Suddenly, someone dragged me, placed my box, which was now opened on my head. They were saying things like “Thief, Ole, etc.” they paraded me round all the female hostels, pushing me, singing thieves songs popular in boarding school.

There were fingers pointing, sneering jeering, staring, laughing booing, sniggering and snickering. The more I tried to explain that I had not stolen anything, the more they hit and pushed me around. My life was over. Things like this happen to other people, real thieves, not me.

They took me to Mrs Hamzat, the house mistress. I told her I didn’t steal anything. They had found Onyinye Ilechukwu’s ribena and other provisions in my box, locked. The girl who had seen me jacking my box (if only I could remember her name) had told everyone that she saw me jacking someone’s box, and I was trying to steal. I explained the whole thing to the house mistress, who did not believe me. I wondered why no one asked Onyinye how her padlock got to my own box. Would I jack her box, and then use her padlock to lock mine?

That night, Senior Kofo Allison, who was in SSS3, and had repeated a class, and largely seen as an olodo, always trying to feel cool with herself as one of the happening seniors, called me. She started acting like she was on my side. She first of all said I should confess, tell her the truth. I stuck to my story. She said things like I would be disgraced, etc. She said if I said I did it, she would make it go away, it would die down, etc. She did not allow me leave, basically bullied/cajoled me into writing a statement that I stole the items.

I had joined the choir about a month earlier. The next morning, in the dining hall, the choir mistress, who was also the food prefect, Senior Kemi Ogunbiyi came to my table, and whispered to me that I should stand on the table, so they could announce me as a thief in front of the whole school, as was the tradition. It was one thing for me to be labelled a thief in the girls’ hostels, but in front of the whole school? For a crime I didn’t commit? I started begging her saying “Senior Kemi please, senior Kemi please.” She kept insisting that I should stand up. The boys at the table were confused, but were more interested in eating up their food. I just kept begging, as the tears streamed down my face. My life would be over. After a while, she looked at me, and let me be. Needless to say, I was expelled from the choir. Mrs Hamzat (armed with the statement Kofo Allison bullied me to write) said I should bring my mum with me when I was resuming the next term.

Till today, no one ever asked me for my side of the story. I had been publicly labelled thief, so thief, I must be. I explained what really happened to my friends, that Onyinye (whose parents were always bringing her nice provisions) in a haste got to the box room, unlocked her box, but unzipped mine instead, threw her provisions in my own box, locked it, and rushed out. Or how else did her provisions and padlock end up in my box. So yes, I experienced jungle justice, only that I wasn't set on fire.

That Christmas holiday, I carried the heavy weight around. About few days to resumption, I told my mum everything, knowing I couldn’t return to school otherwise. I left out the fact that I had a written confession to the crime.

My mum did not even flinch as I told her about the incident. She just asked one thing. “Did you do it?” to which I responded “No.”

We went back to school the next term, and my mum went to see Mrs Hamzat. I told Mrs Hamzat I did not do it, and she said I was lying. She brought the statement out, and showed my mum. I was heartbroken. I’m sure my mum was confused. Anyway, my mum paid for seven times of all the items I allegedly stole, according to the rules of the school.

The reason I feel my mum believed me is because she never punished me. My mum is one of the strictest parents Nigerian families could ever have. She would beat your life out for every sin committed, and the one you would commit in future. In this case, she never punished me, and has never mentioned the event till date. I actually think she has forgotten about the incident.

When I finished JSS3, I left the school for another school, a day school this time. I never wanted to leave, but my parents basically uprooted me, lol. Ironically, I really liked that school, and I was just about to start my senior years, which was supposed to be the fun years of boarding school.

I saw Onyinye Ilechukwu twice after then. She was a year behind me, and had also left to a day school. For two consecutive years, we met at cowbell mathematics competition, where schools picked their best 2 math students in the senior and junior categories to write the test. She represented her school, and I represented mine. On both occasions, we stayed to talk like real old friends, but I don’t know if she remembered the incident.

Sometime in SSS3, when my mum was out of the country, after school, I took a bus all the way to Lagos State Model College Badore. This time, I was 14 years old, and I had one goal in mind. I looked for Mrs Hamzat, and asked her if she remembered the incident over three years ago. She seemed to remember a bit. Then I started.

“Excuse me ma, I did not steal those items. Senior Kofo Allison forced me to write that statement.”
This time, she was more receptive to me, maybe because I had come a long way to clear my name. She said I should not worry, that it was not a problem.

I asked her to find my statement and tear it up because I don’t want someone coming out in future to publicly declare me a thief because of a crime I did not commit. She said all the records and statements of student crimes had been destroyed, so I shouldn’t bother my head. She asked me to put it all behind, and live my life. She seemed earnest enough, so I believed her, and thanked her.

Even as at then, I knew that in future, I would become well-known in some circles, and I didn’t want this kind of thing coming to stain me.

The sad part is that since I was publicly disgraced in front of all the girls (it was not a small school) there are some people with sharp memories like mine, who would forever remember, statement or no statement.

If in future, any one should come with some false allegations against me, then I would willingly direct them to this post where I stated that…

“My name is Atilola Moronfolu, and I am not a thief!”