Now that you've killed me... The big question

The Beating Goes On (2013)
by Sigi Kolbe

With bitterness in your heart, You looked me in the eye, Thought of the government that failed you
Stabbed me in the chest after you tightened the noose you wrapped round my neck
Pulled the trigger that took my life, But took your soul in turn, and now that I’m gone
Does it make you a better person

You came home drunk, met me happy
Looked me in the eyes, but my excitement filled you with spite
You dragged me down the stairs
Ripped my fragile strands of hair off my scalp, the look on my face now that of fear
My head continuously bouncing off the descending steps like a Bball in the hands of Larry bird
Like an iterative step, you repeated the process over and over again
Cos stupid me was ready to stick with you over and over again
Till my life refused to stay one last time
And in protest, it said goodbye the final time
Now that I’m dead, with no more human bags for you to punch without reason
So tell me, has it made you a happier person?

This was a piece I wrote as part of a script for one 'Stop the Violence' spoken word video campaign I was involved in two years ago. We were 6 artists involved in the project. As usual, everyone wrote about why domestic violence is bad. I chose to flip mine, and write it in the voice of the abused, specifically when she was already dead.

I did this because, I know of men that beaten their wives to death. My friend never grew up with her mum because of this. The last memory of her mum she had was of her giving birth to twins in the labour ward after the husband beat the living daylight out of her, and the woman just gave up. Maybe she never wanted to return to the man alive anyway. My friend was about 10 years old, now left with 4 younger siblings. She became a mother very early. 

I have another story of my friend's aunt whose husband beat to death also. A former friend of mine also almost choked his wife to death. He was not remorseful. She still didn't want to leave him after that. He was even the one who kicked her out, with two kids that were less than 3 years old.

My question is how do these men feel, knowing they are the cause of their wives death? Are they remorseful, are they relieved? Do the faces of their children send them constant reminders, and cause them to repent, or are they happier? 

I don't have the anwer to the above question, but that was what inspired my part of the script.

So do you know anyone that has killed his wife in the process of wife battery? If yes, can you let us know, in the comment section, how he felt long afterwards?

You can watch the video project below.

Heat vs Cold. Which kills faster?

I spoke to someone who told me what she had been doing to cope with the heat. It is not news that the global warming is fast becoming a global warning, and it is not smiling with us in Lagos again. To make things worse, situations like this that would have been a non-issue by people sorting themselves out with their generators has now become a big deal because people don’t have fuel to power their generators. This season has become a leveller, and the number of people who can now form ‘status’ have drastically reduced.

Back to the story, she said she couldn’t sleep, no matter how much she tried. No amount of baths or manual ‘fanning’ could stop the heat. So she took her cover cloth, dipped it inside water, and squeezed it. In its damp state, she laid it on the bare ground, lay on it, and immediately, she was able to sleep.

I saw the sense in what she was trying to say. I was hot, so I created a soothing situation for my body, and it cooled me down. But alarm bells rang in my head. Was that even healthy for the body, especially the bones?

Is sleeping on something wet the way to go? Wouldn’t that lead to hypothermia or anything similar? I understand adjusting the temperature of the environment to regulate the weather and our bodies’ reaction to it. But sleeping directly on wet cloth?

Maybe some have tried it in the past, and it has worked. I am not a medical doctor, so I can’t give a definitive answer to this. But it doesn’t sound like something healthy for our body.

What do you think?

The making of Yoruba Demon(ess)es

The pressure on young ladies to get married is real. It is like if a man doesn’t find you, then do yourself a favour and find a man. Many women therefore hustle to get this done, and once this is achieved, Hallelujah, we can now move to stage two.

This stage is where things get comical, where the ladies have to insert themselves into their boyfriend’s families, especially in Yoruba culture. I have seen demons turned to angels, stingy girls suddenly become Santa Claus, introverts turned extroverts, just to make sure they are accepted at first. The ploy to spoil the in-laws is very real.

In Yoruba community, the communal culture and respect is very important. In-laws seem to have so much power. They can make or mar the woman’s marriage if the man is not strong or mature enough to shield his family from external influences.

I therefore see the fake smiles plastered on young girl’s faces when they are with in-laws, the unwilling courtesies bestowed on every family member, the loads and loads of bribes disguised as gifts. The thing is the in-laws know these things too, in many cases. But what do they care? After all, they are the beneficiaries of these things.

Coming from a very small and private family, I have always wondered I would be able to fake my way through this process. Thankfully, my mother always told me to be myself, and not to start what I can’t finish. There’s no need going to a man’s house, and fawning over your mother in law if you are not a natural fawner.

You hear Yoruba ladies who sight their in-laws, and they go “Oh mummy, you are looking so young, your skin is glowing o, mummy. This your hair, where did you make it? Ha, you like fixing? Don’t worry, when next I’m coming, I will buy Peruvian for you, bla bla bla.” They say all these, knowing 90% of everything is a LIE. She isn’t glowing or looking younger. In fact, her hair isn’t properly made.

I have seen a situation where there was a lot of fake fawning. It was so bad that I just had to walk away in irritation.

The unfortunate thing is that such acts cannot be sustained. After a while, the real person comes out, and the in-laws feel cheated because they feel the initial actions were just a front to get into the family, and they start saying things like the woman is a pretender. They might even tag her a Yoruba Demon who is just showing her true colour.

One of my closest friends is from a family of 4, i.e. she has just one sibling, her brother. She got married into a royal family. When she was courting, she used to tell me of how they used to be at the family house every weekend, cos there was always one party or the other. She would enter a room, and there could be as much as 50 in-laws seated in a circle. The bad part was that you couldn’t stand in the middle of the circle, and greet them all at once. Each in-law would require his/her own greeting. Even though my friend was a natural fawner, it was just too much. It was at that point I knew I could never get married into a royal family.

My friend has been married for 6 years now, and they don’t go to the family house or buy aso ebi every weekend anymore. They don’t do all those greeting of 70 people. In fact, they stay away as much as they can. It just wasn’t sustainable.

My opinion is that if you are a naturally polite, friendly, respectful and well-raised person, there won’t be need for fake smiles or shady compliments whenever you have to meet in-laws. Even if you are quiet and reserved, your character will shine through and speak for you. You will naturally understand that there are some places you shouldn’t go empty handed the first time. It won’t be bribery or effort to win people to your side so you can get the man to propose, it would just be second nature.

The main thing is just to be yourself, and people would love you for you.

The strings that connect Everyone

Hi people. How is everything? So much has been happening in my life lately. I'm tired, I'm overwhelmed, hardly getting sleep. And still, work must continue, Rhyme and Reason is this June. The thing is we still can't afford to drop any ball cos excuses don't get the job done. My life is changing rapidly before my eyes, and I don't feel prepared for this transition.

Because of this, I can't even cook up a proper blog post for you all, so please, enjoy the piece I have posted below. It is about what everyone, irrespective of who you are, rich, poor, sinner, saint, tall, short, white, black, handsome, ugly, will go through. Please read till the end, cos there's a climax.

Everyone is born
Everyone lives
Everyone hurts once in a while,
no matter how rock hard everyone tries to be or how everyone tries to hide it with a fake smile
Everyone feels pain
Everyone feels their problem is peculiar to them alone
Everyone feels isolated sometimes
whether rich, poor, kind, wicked, short, or tall
Because Everyone knows no one is immune to life’s rise and falls

Everyone feels loved at least, once in their life time
Everyone loves to live a lovely life, receive love, even though not Everyone might be able to reciprocate the lavish love on the one who loves them

Everyone has experienced insanity cos at a time
Everyone has taken an action
For which no one could offer a sane explanation,
but it doesn't matter because eventually, Everyone meets with the consequences for their actions

Everyone knows what it means to genuinely smile,
still Everyone knows what it means to cry from a heavy heart when love walks away by a thousand miles

Everyone has felt happy, sad, loved, disappointed, betrayed, angry, burdened
But Everyone knows that these emotions are unique to no one, so Everyone is not sympathetic since Everyone feels it is not a big deal

Everyone wants to live a good life,
have a yacht or two, and a house by the lakeside,
inexhaustible money in the bank, servants at their beck and call, anything to make this hard life worth living
Even though Everyone knows not Everyone will be willing…
or able to pay the shilling
it takes to get this life Everyone craves for so they could be chilling

Everyone has an assignment, a purpose, a destiny to fulfil
But sadly, not Everyone fulfils their dreams or understands their calling, and they get carried away by life’s deceptive thrills

In opinions and matters, Everyone thinks they are right
Which really is not bad, if at least, Everyone would learn to respects one another's rights
And then Everyone won't be facing potential danger caused by religious spite
And some who push their belief down everyone’s throats like peer-pressured high school drinkers forcing down their rum
resulting in so much intolerance which Everyone is now suffering from

Everyone says no one should be a quitter, and even quote quotes about quitters never being winners
But if Everyone thinks of it, in this, Everyone has been a hypocritical critic, because at least once, Everyone has quit something
Everyone fails at something, so Everyone shouldn’t feel bad if they fall, because of what Everyone will say,
cos the truth is Everyone can rise up again

Everyone has regrets, something they would erase if they could turn back the hands of time or repress
Everyone has secrets, something Everyone would gawk at
if they found out what scar Everyone was really hiding underneath their clothes, or the truth about the itchy scalp
covered by Everyone’s skull caps

Everyone doesn't want to grow old
But eventually Everyone grows old
Or at least Everyone prays to grow old
Because sooner or later Everyone realises that even though they didn't want to grow old, the only alternative would be to die young, and that is worse than growing old
Which, if Everyone really thinks of it, might not matter
Because at the end of the day,
Everyone dies