I quit the slums (part 1)


Before I start writing this , I will want to beg for indulgence from my sister, my senior friend and my mentor , Buky Ojelabi as I am going to use her last post ‘Leaving behind comfort zones’ as a reference point.

Few days ago before Sister Buky posted her new note , she sent a copy to me to edit and to professionally advise on , though I wasn’t able to finally edit as I was no where I could use the Ms office , I read it and immediately I saw ‘’comfort zones’’ , I mentally laughed ,knowing that this is me in a different way.

For me , leaving my past is as stressful  and painful like a cow wrestling with labour pains , leaving my past which unfortunately is my comfort zone is what I live for everyday , as I can’t wait to disassociate myself  from those mistakes that boldly stare me in the face anytime I want to, in my desperate bid to get away , I have often prayed for ‘Amnesia’ so at least I can forget. But like the saying ‘’if wishes are horses , beggars will ride’’, I can only wish that the past will vanish and I will forget , I can’t , the sting can only be taken away.

My comfort zones were all along refuse sites ,that I have been  terribly used to , they are relationships that are toxic that I have become addicted to , they are mindsets that have built talons and claws inside my psyche and become strongholds, comfort zones are the valleys of my dry bones.

When Buky sent that note and I saw her reference to London as her comfort zone where she had fond memories , mine is not like that , I have always found it rather easy to say goodbye to the good stuff  that come my way, it is the garbage I keep struggling with like a wet fish on a dry land.

As a media person , I get to see lots of things that confuse and surprise me , one of the news in my office is the report of people that live in a particular slum in Lagos(Nigeria), the slum is partially one big refuse site , where people live in , shacks have been  built over the years on this settlement. People live, cook and have kids  in this slum, known as home to them, when they were asked if they will like to relocate to a safer and cleaner  environment , they out rightly refused claiming that the slum has become a home to them as they can’t imagine life without the filth.

As I write this piece, there is a similarity between me and these slum settlers, but unlike them, I can’t wait to bolt out from this life sucking circumstances. As a single lady of considerable age and with a figure so petite , I often wondered why I am yet to have a man in my life , several times  I have put myself on a hot seat just to know what exactly is the issue , people that are concerned about my single status have often planned blind dates for me , but they don’t just work because am not allowing it to. Most times I keep seeing myself as the person that is not good enough to have an individual to devote all the love on , I have been used to comfort zones of relationships where  I have  to work like a jackal in  order to make the relationship see the light of the day . I get scared and sweaty whenever I have a young man fawning over me , seeking my attention , a great part of me screams at me to run as it can’t be real , while in the toxic relationships , I am the chief planner , chief talker , chief giver ,like mother bee trying to always win love.

Anytime I talk to my father about it ,and I cry endlessly about how unfair things are to me , the only answer I receive from the Holy Spirit is ‘ ‘Why can’t you accept love , if you are still finding hard to receive love  from humans you can see, how will receive the ultimate love from God you can’t see’’. As I heard this ,this morning , tears splatter down my face because I don’t know why am stuck on this refuse site ,looking for more dirt to eat while the only One that can save me stands near me beckoning me to come out.

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My new hunger


The other day at home on my bed receiving a call from a friend, surrounded by family, I suddenly came to a realization that the word called JOY is not as common as people tend to assume because it is not earthly at all. For a long time , in fact for all I could remember, I have always longed for things that will spring forth joy in me , this pursuit has been one major force that throws me into lots of friendships , relationships, it in a way contributed to my compulsive shopaholic habit.

Joy is one thing everyone desire even the most reprobate, for me it’s that thing in me that I can’t give a name to , that completion that my heart desperately yearns for , sometimes I have this ‘déjà vu ‘ feeling  that I have experienced it before  , then in a flash it dissolves like a heap of ash on the sea. As I receive that call , I try to draw my joy from it , from the calming, baritone voice of my friend , but I couldn’t , even though I was at that minute happy that I am with him on the airwaves , sharing views, right there ,a thought crept  into my subconscious that happiness is far different from joy. It is like day and night, it is not even nearest in meaning like I was taught in my lexicon classes way back, they are opposite, each sourced from different personalities.

While happiness can be bought in any market of today’s world , it can be faked by even the dumbest actors , it can be imagined by anybody and of course be gotten through any means , joy is like a spring that has only one source; GOD .

Years before now, I will sit and think that having a man will in a way complete me , that it will somehow give my life a meaning , how wrong I was to ignorantly commit this blunder , because no matter how much love a man claims to have for me , no matter how much of my body he can reach and touch  , there will always a part of me ,he won’t ever get to ;my Spirit , and if he can’t get there , how can he satisfy its desires. Before you get me wrong , it’s 100% possible that a man loves me , and he makes me deliriously excited and feel all the tingles in this world , but the fact remains that he is not capable of helping me discover my purpose which alone can bring forth joy in me. That essence of life can only be gotten through a Higher Source.

My hunger for joy has made trek the crowdy  road of materialism ,as I get to this point , I can only sigh because am still walking this road, I can only beg God to teach me not to look around and focus on Him for in Him , there is joy or let me write , He’s JOY personified. In this market of ‘ ‘get more ,get more’’ , a lot screams at me saying ‘ ‘more T.M, Hawes & Curtis, Polo shirts ,Nine West, designer goods , latest phones will land me into the country called JOY’’, but am always wrong anytime I make this assumption for it is a foolish thing to think that  any of these termites prone stuff will ever give me that eternal joy.

As an individual that loves to personalize things , I hereby give my definition of this ethereal gift , Joy is being restful in the midst of pain , knowing that trials are normal things God uses to strengthen us and make us super heroes. Joy is being contented when there is nothing that looks like mint in my bank account , and I can dance with my neighbor that bought his 3rd car. Joy is knowing that there are some things I shouldn’t bother trying to unravel for they are mysteries reserved for heaven. Joy is believing in God and thanking  even when my body loses it youthful appeal and bow to diseases, to me that is joy.

This joy am writing about , does it look like anything any human can give me.

My age status


There is something about ‘age’ that makes it a phenomenon of all times , it is a mystery that got people of all races ticking and uncomfortable , because it daily points them to the grave. This age happens to everyone and it’s certainly happening to me now, here and then I hear my bones creak refusing to do things , it never complained of years ago ,age is dropping so many changes on my doorsteps. Whenever it happens –I mean age- we are often faced with two choices ;either we accept the changes and wisely adjust to it or we become grizzly bears and complain endlessly about how unfair time has been to us.

As a female of a petite stature, I have often considered myself a ‘late bloomer’, a term used for people that find it rather difficult to start things in life , people that spend years dancing around the pot rather sitting down and eat from the pot.

Whenever I gist with friends and they ask me about my plans for the future , I am always quick to lecture them about this peculiar system , and I will go on and on about my late entry into adolescence, how I waited like Princess Fiona on the castle towers for my puberty , how I patiently waited for my first toaster as it did not come in High school as expected ,so I can have something to talk about when my teenage friends blab about theirs .I will sadly go down memory lane of how for five consecutive Valentine years , I was a spectator on the street called love and how I eagerly waited for the feet popping kiss.

Before you crucify me about the feet popping kiss, I have no apology that am a die hard romantic , I still believe in erratic heart beats , tingling toes , sinking tummies and of course earth stopping , mountain moving kisses between me and my man , that is a subject for another day.


This year I will be a year older , and am suddenly aware that am no longer that starry eyed teenager, I am now a responsible taxpaying young lady , and I must in every way rise up to the task dropped to my doorstep. My age this year is making me discover lots of things like suddenly realizing that ‘Love at first sight’ is a just a piece of shit I ingested from those dumb paperback romances I spent my teenage years reading . Surprising this year , the knowledge that no matter how much I bend for people , they can’t all like me is being corroborated . This 26th year of my existence , I am seriously assured that prayer works and for it be a habit , it must be done all the time even when I don’t feel like it and that in this world , there are lots of bad people and I can be one if I don’t hold on to the Only One (Jesus Christ) that can only fill my heart with so much love for Him and my fellow humans. This year , am discovering that age is slowly catching up on me and I must in every way become a God chaser , regardless of my ‘late bloomer’ status.

GOD-The One I will Fear


Since I started this year , I have been sure about one thing in my life , I have been confident that God is too faithful , He can’t fail no matter how late it feels to me. His love is so obvious that I know He can’t let go of me because I am His special girl, this year I have decided on one single thing ;to let go of all the issues that threaten my existence and fear God immensely.

‘Fear of God’, this is a  phrase , I certainly have an idea of  its meaning but sadly not the truth ; ‘Is it cowering behind the shelves whenever I hear His voice; Is it by  playing church every Sunday; Is it by acting nice to everyone I see and not speaking my mind; Is it by crying every time I am in His presence ‘’ , because these used to be what I felt ‘The fear of God is’’.

These days I have been having a change of heart by the Holy Spirit , the fear of God is loving  God wholeheartedly , it is by living every second for Him, it’s by knowing that ‘’from Him comes all good things’’ , it is by thinking about Him every second even before  I take any decision , it is by stopping being desperate.

This is the fear of God , this year I will be 26 years and these years have been full of good and bad times , and it is only worth living because of God. God is not just a religion I picked up from my parents , nor is He Someone I talk to whenever I feel like , He is my life , the reason why I live , the force behind my existence , He’s the only One that I talk to 24 hours a day and doesn’t get tired of listening to me.

He knows my form even before my parents dreamt of meeting , He proposed me as a female to be a wonderful helpmeet for that man that I have not yet met. He knows those nights when sleep take a walk from me , because of the thoughts that  weigh heavily on my heart ,He sees when tears wet my pillows out of sheer exhaustion and He comforts me with His words and sometimes I really feel His strong arms gently rocking me to sleep with His thoughts on my mind.

Year after year , He sees my failed attempts at love , and He sits with me when I use my tears to form a puddle when I didn’t have my way and gently reminds me that ‘True love still exist’ ,I just need to stay still and let Him to finish His work on me , whenever He tells me this , my head literally swells  with joy because I know if 
He says  it ,it is only a matter of time , it  shall come to pass.

In this 26th year of my existence , I sure have lots of dreams , lots of battles , lots of  habits to break away from , lots of places to go to , lots of things to do , but I choose to put them all on hold and fear God immensely because at the end of the day , He’s all that matters.

What I want in a man? part 2


Christmas this year was one ‘quick show’ for me, as I only got a day off from work to travel home to Ilesa, so I had to spend the other day (boxing day) at work which was very sad for me, people that heard that I was at work only confirmed their fears of me being a workaholic, lol.

One good thing that  came out from this ‘always at work’ issue is that I have finally learnt how to be stay  still in a place and think , hours of being glued in front of the  system has produced periods of meditation which I have not being able to achieve in the past years. With the meditation sessions comes along my new hobby: MUSIC, while streaming through songs last  Christmas , since I was stuck in the office , I heard a song from Toni Braxton.

Toni Braxton’s ‘Woman’ made sense to me as I gently swing my hips to the beats , ‘I am a woman who knows what she wants,,,,,’ and the question that keeps appearing in my mind is ‘ what exactly do I need in a man’ . This question scares me more than the rodents that invaded my room when I was in the University , because I really can’t answer , I know am supposed to know ,but I don’t because I can only have a list if I know myself. Since I wrote the first part of this piece , I have been going about with a small brown jotter in my bag , scribbling my thoughts every minute trying so hard to compile something for this piece am writing.

Now am writing , and without the small brown jotter because the list in it  doesn’t make sense to me , if I were to go by a list , then I would have had an answer to Buky when she asked me . If I were to have a list then it is not going to start at all with  a Man , it’s not going to  make it’s headlines’ MAN LIST’, because it is not about him this time , it is about having that long chat with God , so that I can really know who I am. My list is not starting with MAN-CAPABILITIES, it  is starting with me.

When Buky mentioned ‘list’  weeks ago , I was a little bit insincere because I had a list then , I had a list I have been judging men with  all these years , it’s a twisted one , but I have it anyway , it goes thus : God fearing , intelligent, handsome , smart, high sense of humour , easy to be with , and obviously taller than me , romantic, passionate , e.t.c , that was the list in my mind, I guessed I didn’t tell  Buky about it  because I knew right in my heart , that was not the list God wanted, though it looks kind of cool. My old list is self- centred , petty , it’s a list that asks too much from  a human . It should not be like that .

I am a woman , and I ovulate every month ,that is not a mistake , it is for a purpose , I am specifically created by God to bring comfort to everyone around me , bring love to people that seemingly  look as if they don’t need it , add wisdom to my beauty at all times , be the best wife any man can ask for , train up kids that will in future destroy the kingdom of hell , that is the list I should have, not going about having 101 things my man should have  .

If I fail to be all these , then I am certainly not in a position to have a list about a man at all , because if he were to be the best man that ever walked on  this earth , I will never be fit for him.In all this I pray to God to make  me a woman that will be a woman in deed because eventually the Bible saying ‘Deep calls  unto deep in the roar of your waterfall’ will come true between me and my man.