Month: July 2015

The Curious Death of Baba Sola

Originally posted on Nigerian Newcomer:
My mother’s cousin died last month and relatives called from the village to tell her. But the phone connection was so bad, she couldn’t hear them, so when they said he died of cancer, my mother, standing by the window for better reception, said, “What? Tanker ke? Ni bo?” The person on the end of the line replied, “At home.” My mother hung up and put her hand over her mouth. She said, “Baba Sola ti ku o. A tanker ran into his house and killed him.” What struck me later, after it was cleared up, wasn’t her mistake but that for her, both options seemed equally likely. That here, between tanker and cancer, one did not seem more farfetched than the other.

The Friday Fun: 31 July 2015

Today I looked out of my window and saw a stray cat licking its paw. It didn’t matter to Cat that around him, there were cars jostling for space in a narrow road, street hawkers desperate to flog their wares of rapidly rotting fruit, security guards walking their respective beats on guard against danger, office workers in suits and ties pounding the pavement on the way from one meeting to another.  All Cat cared about was its paw, and licking it, so that’s what Cat did- lick, lick, lick, slowly and deliberately, with complete focus and utter indifference to the cares and demands of the world about it. There’s a lesson to be learned from Cat- that no matter how frantic and frenzied the world may be around you, it’s very important, nay absolutely crucial, to take a moment and concentrate on you.  Cat was saying, with each delicate pass of his tongue, “Humans- why not pause in your mad schemes and endless worries, pick a thing that nourishes you, and do it?” Now, it’s …

The Friday Fun: 24 July 2015

Has it been a long week? Have you felt as if time was moving slower than a mudslide, taunting you with day after day of memos and meetings? Have you found yourself feeling just as tired upon waking as you did upon going to bed? Have you felt yourself spread too thin to take any real pleasure in existing, like too little butter on too much bread? If you’ve experienced, or are currently experiencing, any of the above, what you need is a solid, uncompromising weekend. Lucky for you, road-travellers, the weekend is waiting to comfort and restore you. Here are a few things to help you get into it. 1. This oldie but goodie from Feist- My Moon, My Man- because it’s just perfect, isn’t it? 2. This Abuja-set love story from our own files this week, Bamboo, to push whoever needs it to follow not just their hearts, but their heads too. I recall standing on a balcony with him, shivering on a sleety November evening, laughing at the way my boyfriend and …

Fiction: Bamboo

*We are hopeful this will be the first in a series of short stories exploring love and relationships, of any nature, set in any Nigerian town. To kick it off, and encourage more submissions (!) this piece- on young, frivolous, privileged and unwise love- is set in Abuja, Nigeria. Send in your submissions in the usual way- xx mf* We are in a bar called Bamboo. I have not, in all the times I have come here, seen any bamboo anywhere at all. But the name seems to raise no one’s eyebrows but mine. It is the first place he has taken me to since I moved here. We debate everything- music, politics, and the definition of bravery. Tonight we are arguing about Jay Z. I say “Of course he’s a social phenomenon! I once bonded with a 50 year old Russian man on a flight over 99 Problems! Could Ludacris do that?” He says “Ludacris is a bad example. The man can’t even spell.” He is wearing blue. So am I. Our knees touch …

The Friday Fun: 17 July 2015

The silent sadness of early mornings, desk-bound boredom, and exhausted journeys home may linger for a little while, but the irreplaceable memories of a well spent weekend last a lifetime; for weeping may last through the working week but we’re here to remind you that joy, and the Fun, cometh on a Friday. It’s the weekend dear hearts, here are a few things to help you get into it. 1. Firstly, the superbly cast Suicide Squad trailer, featuring the ever-lickable Will Smith as Deadshot and Viola Davis bringing her personal brand of regal dignity to the dubious Amanda Waller. Extra happy points come from the soundtrack to this – a wispy, gorgeous cover of  The Bee Gees I Started A Joke. 2. Another trailer, you lucky dogs- this time in the form of the slightly joyless but suitably epic-looking Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Somehow, Zac Snyder has a magical ability to leach all the joy out of superheroes, leaving only angst behind, but you can’t deny his trailers always make you want to …

The Friday Fun: 10 July 2015

Tomorrow, you get to be as rude as you like to your shrill alarm clock, because Saturday mornings are for lie-ins. Tomorrow, you get to forgo sensible clothes, and schlep around in those ratty trackpants you should really throw away, alternatively, finally have a reason to wear that dress that makes no real sense but was too pretty not to buy. Tomorrow, you get to forget the name of your boss, the password for your work computer, the 384 niggly little things on your To-Do List that never seem to get done. Tomorrow, you get to do whatever the hell you want to do, and then you get to do it all again, if you like, the day after. Because, dream weavers, tomorrow is Saturday, which comes after this beloved Friday. The weekend, therefore, has come so here are a few things to help you get into it. 1. This darkly thrilling music video- Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money- to remind you that sometimes, you need to not give a f***. (Seriously, that’s it. …