Ikenga!

Ikenga!

She looked to her left, then her right. There was no one in sight. She could see light from afar but no shadows or figures. She kept walking, almost running. She knew that everything ends tonight.

It used to be sweet and good, but now, it’s painful.

Pain-ful. And bad.

Ugly-bad.

She continued to run-walk.

Everything had been good and beautiful until her husband, Ikenga, brought that witch of a sister to live with them. She had protested the decision, but Ikenga had promised her that it was just for some time. Maybe a month or two. But that month or two had stretched into six, seven, eight, nine months and half, and that girl became pregnant.

Pregnant! She almost screamed, she clamped her mouth with her left hand.

Pregnant for Ikenga!

Who would believe this?

And he never attempted to deny it. All he said was that she wasn’t related to him .

But how could she have been so foolish? How could she not have seen that they were not related? That the girl was his new wife, sent from the village by her mother-in-law, to come and take her Ikenga from her.

That witch of a mother!

She kept walking and running.

Crying.

That girl with her nonsense pregnancy! Ha the way she’d been flaunting it, as if she wants to torment my childlessness. It’s not my fault that my stomach cannot hold a pregnancy.

Ikenga had been so supportive of her, consoling her and fighting his mother for her. He had comforted her and followed her to all the doctors and pastors that were recommended. He had cooked and drank and bathed with all the oil and herbs and potions and concoctions they were given. He had prayed and fasted and thrown small parties for children like they were told, parties because children are spirits and if treated well and kindly with love and generosity, could bring babies to those who sought them.

Ikenga!

Why didn’t you tell me that you wanted a baby badly? Why humiliate me?

A light flashed from afar. A thick voice, almost like leather, asked who it was. She stopped.

Police! Yes. It was the police.

She ran towards them.

They kept the torchlight shining into her face, blinding her.

“Woman, what is the problem? Where are you coming from this late in the night?”

“I killed them! My husband and the pregnant girl. I killed them both with poison. Please arrest me… arrest me now!”

 

Som’Adina Kambilinudo is a writer, a human being. 

Nigerian women must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand!

Nigerian women must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand!

Frankly speaking, I don’t see anything bad in what the G.O of RCCG preached about. He spoke for the men, from the male angle. Now, what are ladies telling themselves on this issue?

I think single ladies should also up their game! I do not mean they should go add to their culinary skills, single ladies need to start demanding and setting standards for the type of person they’d settle for.

Would they?

Are they not more bothered on how to prove they are a “wife material” in order to grab a penis? While the men are “dishing” out criteria to them what are the ladies doing? They’re smiling and nodding their heads in jubilation that the days of their “sorrow” as Singles are going to be over.

No man is doing you any favour by asking for your hand in marriage. You can decide not to marry a man who can’t cook, you can decide not to marry a man who can’t do house chores, and you can decide not to marry a man who can’t pray for 24hrs abeg!

It is either he meets your criteria or he “waka front” with his penis.

Listen, even if you can cook for Africa, if you marry a man who can’t cook, you won’t find it funny at some point.

Go and ask women who their husbands can’t even boil water, go and ask women married to men who just cross their legs in the sitting room watching Arsenal and Chelsea play while their “virtuous wives” are running from pillar to post: from the kitchen to the bedroom, changing diapers, running around all alone. They will tell you how frustrating it is. Whether you are sick or not, you will enter the kitchen and cook, whether you are pregnant and unfit, God help you if your pregnancy is the way it does me whenever I “carry belle”, you’d so look like a skeleton that you won’t even see yourself, let alone see kitchen, but you will still cook because you must take care of your husband who must be “kept” so as not to become ‘husbandless and go to hell fire’.

That is double wahala!

You know it is only Nigerian women who must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand and pestle in the other!

Hian!

Please, that Bullshit that our mothers and great-grandmothers had 50 children and still did all the house chores doesn’t apply here at all. Some of our mothers who suffered and suffered to keep their Husbands still got “more wives” added to them after all the cooking, the daily pounding of yam and preparing “efo riro” didn’t make them the “superb” wife still.
This is 2016, there are Bankers, Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Engineers etc. among women.Some women augment the income of their husbands, some single handedly pay the bills, while their jobless or “Contractor husbands” stay home all day. They will sit down and cross leg at home till their wives return from work. You mean, it is fair if these set of women return from work at 10:pm and they’d still dash to the kitchen, grab mortar and pestle and start pounding yam?

Abeg, as they are giving you criteria before they can marry you, give them yours too. Whatever criteria they set for you, set it for them too. Nobody is doing you favor by toasting you or by asking you to marry them. Or are you languishing and waiting earnestly for a “Messiah” to come pick you from the gutter?

In pastor E. A Adeboye’s voice… “Ladies, don’t marry a man who can’t pray for one hour at a stretch, don’t marry a man who can’t cook. Don’t marry a lazy man. Ask the nigga to pack his penis in a polythene bag and go find somewhere to sit joor. You don’t need him.”

*Drops mic*

 

buki
Bukola Afolabi Ogunyeye

 

This is all your fault…And slaps her again.

This is all your fault…And slaps her again.

You started drinking when you were pregnant with your first baby, a bottle of small stout spread over four or five days to help with the nausea. By the time you had your second, you were up to one bottle every two days. By the time your daughter – your third child – came, you were drinking close to three bottles every day; ogogoro on days you didn’t have money to spend.

Do you know how much blood comes out of a head wound? Plenty.  Especially when you’re hit on the head with a spanner by your husband. This is after you’ve insulted him for hours and torn his shirt because he wouldn’t bring enough money for your daughter’s naming ceremony. It’s been five days since you brought her home, two weeks since you had her, a tiny little thing who almost died, and you should be resting but it is important to have this party.  It doesn’t matter that your husband hasn’t been getting much work as a tanker driver. Other drivers are complaining about his drinking.

When he is asked why he drinks, he says he has a witch at home.
When you are asked why you drink, you say, you are married to the devil.
Neighbours help you when the blood starts to flow. They got tired of separating your fights a long time ago. Too many people had been hit by a stray fist from you or your husband so they stayed away. But today there is blood and so they hold you by the hand – still spewing invectives and kicking– and take you to a nearby chemist.
Your first has been standing by the door all along; it was his shout, mummy! that drew the neighbours’ attention. Your second is in the village with your mother, he was sick before your went to the hospital. The baby is inside your one-room apartment, asleep through the quarrel.

He goes into the room after everyone leaves, you with the neighbours, your husband to his favourite bar. He struggles to climb the bed, forbidden to him because he wets himself every night.

He lifts the baby net gently. He sits there and looks at her for a few minutes.
The slap is sudden, startling her awake; her cry is piercing.

This is all your fault, he says. And slaps her again.

– Enajite Efemuaye

For women who walk on the dark-side

For women who walk on the dark-side

This is for you… Yes you on those high, high heels. Your bright red lipstick, your body fitting clothes showing plump backsides, bouncy breasts, you’re enough your dreams are valid
For you trawling the streets of Ayilara, Ikeja, Mokola, Agbani Market in the dead of night,  turning tricks… You are human, your dreams are valid
This is for you on Teevee, twerking to the beats of violence, your Brazilian weaves, 12inches of lashes of nails, you’re enough, your dreams are valid
This is for you, yes you of the dark desires, BDSM, fantasies, role plays, you that like them plenty, like them rough, like them period. You’re human you’re real, your dreams are valid
This for you that don’t fit in, you don’t like sex, you don’t like kisses, orgasm is just not your thing,  you’re enough your dreams are valid
This is for you who loves other women, you like them wild you like them pretty you love to wipe their lipsticks off with tender kisses, you’re human, your dreams are valid
This is for you my beauty queen,  named as one sex but you know it’s not true, toss your weaves my wo-man my pretty you’re human your dreams are valid
This is for you my warrior princess your kombat boots, your low cut hair, your swagger, bow-tie, skinny jeans,  you’re human your dreams are valid
This is for all my girls that walk on the dark side, the edgy, the non-conformists, the girls wearing tats, piercings, nose rings…
you’re enough your dreams are valid…

– Ayodele Olofintuade

Love will never treat you less

Love will never treat you less

Love should not hurt. Love shouldn’t break you physically, mentally and spiritually.
Love should not expose you to harm and damage.
Love should not dehumanise and degrade you.
Love should not come in blows, slaps or bruises.
Love should not render you unsafe or afraid.
Love should not turn you to a shadow or a ghost.
Love should not put your life, health or future at risk.
Love should not resort to violence as a means to settle conflicts and disagreements.

No woman should be taught that love is how much hurt/pains you can tolerate from a man. No, that is not love.

Knowing what love is and is not means you value yourself and life. Love will never treat you less. Love will never seek to destroy you.

Enwogo C Cleopas

COULDN’T YOU HAVE AT LEAST CLEANED YOURSELF UP?

COULDN’T YOU HAVE AT LEAST CLEANED YOURSELF UP?

PAPA: Giiift!
GIFT: Obidi, did you hear papa’s voice?
OBIDI: No
(Gift continues peeling the yam)
PAPA: Giiiift
(No response)
PAPA: Obidikeee
(The voice was louder this time)
OBIDI: Saahhh, I’m coming.
(Obidi looks at his sister as if to say I didn’t hear his voice before)
PAPA: Where is your sister?
OBIDI: She is peeling the yam sir.
PAPA: Where were you?
OBIDI: I was helping her sir.
PAPA: Don’t you have better things to do – better things than hanging around a kitchen?
OBIDI: No, papa – I was just helping her blow the fire.
PAPA: Are you mad? Your mates are playing ball down the road, it is my business what you choose to do with your life, not yours.  (Pulling his ear)
If I ever find you anywhere close to the kitchen, you will stoop down for days.
Am I clear? (No response) Are you deaf, am I clear?
OBIDI: No – I mean, yes papa.
PAPA: So you were with her, you heard me call you; she did not hear me call her. Tell her if I don’t see her before I open my eyes, she will stoop down too.
(Obidi holds his left ear as he leaves the room)
(A few seconds later, Gift enters and faces her father, fear is written all over her face)
PAPA: Why did you let me waste my voice, you want to tell me that you did not hear me ba?
GIFT: No papa.
PAPA: How will you hear me, when all you do is walk about the house, eating every food and blowing up? We cannot even find you a husband because nobody wants to marry a fat amoeba. Look in the mirror. If you can’t help yourself, nobody can help you. I am just saying my own.
GIFT: Sorry papa.
PAPA: Sorry for yourself.  Put off the light and lie down here.
GIFT: Papa, I cannot do it today, I have blood.
(Gift backs slowly towards the wall)
PAPA: Will you shut up your rotten mouth and obey your father, oh – I see you have another father outside this house that will be paying your school fees ba?
(At this point, Gift is  crying and dodging her father as he tries to reach for her)
If you don’t shut up, I will beat the living daylight out of you. Put off the light and lie down here my friend!
(Gift looks at her father and makes several kneeling gestures as she continues crying)
PAPA: That your cry will soon turn into something else if you don’t answer me.
( Papa grabs her by the elbow and forcefully places her hand on his crotch and he begins to squeeze himself with her hand)
(Gift is crying, but makes no sound)
(Papa pushes her down and rubs petroleum jelly between her thighs and begins to rub his penis between them )
(Gift just lays there, she does not move, she uses her hand to cover her eyes in the dim room and tiny sobs slips out of her. Papa uses one finger to move her panties aside and he takes his hand away immediately he realises that she truly had blood. Papa, let out a loud moan and pulls the left arm of her blouse down and he begins to fondle with her breast. Gift did not make any move. After some minutes, Papa stands up and zips his trouser)
Get out of here, if you say pim to anyone – you trust what I can do.
(Gift does not take her hand away from her face. She hits her leg against a stool as she makes her way out of the room)
PAPA: That is the only thing you know how to do, spoiling things.
(Gift sits on the floor outside Papa’s room – the shoulder of her blouse was slack on one side. Her hands are still on her face and this time, her sobs were a little louder. Her skirt was rumpled and Papa’s cum was already drying up between her thighs and from the way she sat, it was very visible as it formed a map on her dark skin)
(Moments later)
OBIDI:   Mama, welcome.
Mama:   Where is Gift, has she finished cooking the yam?
OBIDI:   Mama, I don’t know what is wrong with Gift o, she is just sitting on the floor outside Papa’s door and she is crying.
MAMA: Crying, why?
OBIDI:   Mama, I don’t know o.
MAMA: Is your father at home?
  (Mama asked suspiciously)
OBIDI:   Yes, he is inside.
MAMA: (Thinking aloud, as she walks towards Papa’s room) I hope this man has not done it again?
(Gift is already asleep by the time Mama gets there, Mama notices the cum on her   daughters thigh)
MAMA: (Mama is speaking to herself quietly)
Chai, what does this man want me to do, ehn? Nobody is even safe in this house. Is this how we will continue living? Look what he has done to the poor girl again! How will I even tell people – how will they look at us… at me?
(Mama spanks Gift to wake up)
(Gift opens her eyes and looks at her mother, her eyes are dry and she continues to stare without making any move)
Obidike get me some water.
MAMA:  You too, you just came here and started sleeping, don’t you have any sense at all? You earned this foolishness from your father. Couldn’t you have at least cleaned yourself up – what if it was someone else that found you like this? You people will not kill me in this house. If your father refuses to be sensible, does that mean you should also be senseless? You better start learning things for yourself, I cannot teach you everything. Just make sure you don’t say pim to anyone. One day, God will punish him in His own way.
(Tears stream down Gift’s eyes as her mother uses a towel to clean up her thigh. She does not make a sound.)

The End

An Original play by TIENCEPAY LAWAL

Shagari Street

Shagari Street

It always begins with a song. Then memory sets in. Soon you are coursing down familiar roads, back streets, broken waters. Suddenly, you are back here again. It is the same house on Shagari Street with busybody neighbours.

You are one of the privileged few; you own a tokunbo car, you live in a self-contain, your white-collar job holds retirement benefits. And you worked for it; you earned by self-sacrifice as you soldiered through university fending for yourself.

It always began with a song. Fela. Then you lit your first cigarette. Orlando Owoh. Then you took your first gulp of liquor. You found your taste in forbidden substances, in the brew for the society’s dregs. The foremost reason stayed with you. You wear it on a locket, your mother, a maiden image just before Father desecrated her, left her for death.

Every time the thought recourse through you, you make  a fist and aim to drive it into wall, faces. You could not forgive the old bastard, not even at his funeral. You could barely hold the urge to grip his cold cotton-wool stuffed nose. Let him die again.

You carried the bitterness in a pouch, like bile. It stained your demeanour, left a tinge that earned the respect of men, the curiosity of ladies.

It was first trendy classmates, then desperate youth corp members, then she. You saw mother in her, didn’t you? It was the same eyes, you could swear on Father’s grave. It was the same smile too. Sade was a reincarnate.

Forbidden fruits never stayed out of your reach, pursuing a spouse out of the reach of your social class. Middle-class still you were. But education, you thought, was the cure to social divisions, the melting pot for unexplained inequalities.

She loved you. She treasured you. She kissed the strip of skin between your brows and yet, you did not shiver out of your dream. You had to have her, by all means. Orphan marries into Old money. Daughter of Millionaire Elopes. Perfect tabloid captions.

She left the old mansion in fair clothes and followed you to Shagari Street. You turned a princess into a house-keeper. She made your meals and your bed, and you both slept in it like young cubs. You kept her nights feverish and during her days, you fled to make money.

Then life happened. The cusp of love once filled with affection was diluted with reality’s tragedies. Tragedies you could live with. Tragedies she could live without. Then one night you returned and she had sulked back to the old mansion.

It always begins with a song. Burning Spear. You lit your first spliff. Bob Marley. Then you hit her on her return. Your bunched fist jammed into her translucent skin and called blood.

She returned but you didn’t. You did not forgive her; let soothing waters of love run on your hurt. Let the aqueous mixture sublime on the bed of passion, moans, and orgasms. You put a bottle of liquor in your right, a glowing spliff in your left, a condom on your member and you fucked the world instead.

You skipped nights and days, strayed into the dregs of the city to squeeze cheap lemon-sized breasts, oblivious of her missed period, her growing belly, your seed, the baby.

When her water broke, you were nowhere to be found. You were hustling the street for forbidden substances. Sade was wailing. Baby was coming. Sade was weeping, crying out labour pains on the floor of your apartment on Shagari Street. You were lying with a jaunty dancer called Linda. Sade stopped to cry and you shivered your orgasm. Baby stopped to move and you lit another spliff.

You returned to Shagari Street and you heard about their deaths. You had desecrated her, left her for death too.

You are Father.

Dami Ajayi

*First published on Mr Dami Ajayi.wordpress.com

*Published with author’s permission