One Tuesday Morning..

When public transport that never works in your favour particularly targets you on a work morning

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After waiting 20-something minutes at the bus stop for a red bus, my colleague whom I was sure must have left already gradually appeared in the distance. He had come to join me in the wait.

Some few minutes later, after internally contemplating taking a yellow bus (danfo) and ready to jump on the one that had just stopped in my front, my colleague snapped me out of my deliberation and flagged down a red bus. Yes! 💃🏾💃🏾 A red bus finally turned up 😭! Ketu-Ojota-Mile12-Sabo-Koodu-GRA! 😻😻
The b
-more–>Ojota. Not a single moment of regret 😌.

Cross the overhead bridge to the other side and get on a connecting bus. No trouble. I do this everyday, no? Surely, God won’t let anyone spoil my joy this morning.

So I got on an unfortunately snail-ish connecting bus and a few minutes in: O ga o 🙄! Eleyi na ma tun bole ni Radio 😒 (So this one too will get off at Radio). After stopping at pretty much every bus stop on that seemingly infinite Kudirat Abiola road, the man who gently sat in my front got the glare of life from behind when he said he was going to stop at the first bus stop on the next road.

From that point on, people got off at nearly every stop 😩.. until I heard a funny sound with different volumes and turned back to see my colleague swiftly move across the seat, away from the window. Have you heard when a pump is being played with and someone keeps letting air out and blocking the hose in short, quick successions? That was the sound. The bus gradually slowed down and, lo and behold, the tyre had gone flat 🙆🏾. Completely flat 😐.

What?! Me that has been complaining about the speed and about all the people getting off at all the bus stops since! The tyre now decides to go flat 😐🙄! Which time am I not going to get to work late like this, o Lord 😫! Why, oh why 😭?

I started looking around to see what alternatives were nearby, since I was now only two stops away from my destination’s bus stop. The conductor took us to the nearest bus stop — which was thankfully a few feet in front — and got a bus to carry us all.

Until I got to my stop, I was thinking about how the conductor of the bus we were now in dared not ask us for money 🙄. After we had paid 100 naira for the entire journey, that one will now ask us to pay 50 naira again 🙄. Nonsense and rubbish. As if we were the ones who deflated the tyre. Mschew.

So I heard my bus stop and I said “O wa”. I got down and kept a steady side eye in case I heard “Owo da?” 🙄. Money ko! Na me say make tyre buss for road? Or una no sabi una sef 😒.

Whew! I looked at the time; 08:05. 😮😃 chei!! I cannot believe it!! God, thank you o!

Next stop: the entrance of the office estate gate. Bikes waiting: 0 😲. Maruwas ready to go: loading ☹️. 😢😭😫🤦🏾‍♀️ Manuella, give up. Last last, you’ll be 10 minutes late.

Whew! That’s it for now guys 😁. Thanks for reading 😘!

Returning to Naija – One Year On..

The weather has simply refused to accommodate my skin

It’s been an exact year since I returned to Naija from the UK. My body is still not used to the Nigerian heat 😐. Within minutes or a few feet of even hurriedly walking, I sweat as if I’d just finished a one-hour hellishly intensive gym session.

I carried hand fans (notice the plural there) around — and supplemented those with a face towel — in my first few months back. I used to religiously use the sunscreen spray I bought in surplus when I was coming back. This is a year later and I’m still carrying the same hand fan I used to carry. In fact, I’ve had to re-tack the straws around the poor thing. 

I’ve added another fan to my collection to replace the one that got lost one full-handed, scorching late afternoon in November 2016. I’m still thinking of buying another one of those foldable fans — I don’t know what they’re called.

When the power goes out, I mentally start panicking because I know my face is about to start melting, whether or not I have makeup on 😫. Sometimes, the power doesn’t even need to go out. The air con just needs to be running on a low current and my face will start oozing oil 😢. I spend the most part of my days at work and visibly in air con. But before noon, my face is so oily I look as if I’ve been in the kitchen all morning 🙄.

Travelling to and from work and everywhere in between and outside is an oil and sweat bath 😩. Before I get halfway to work, my forehead is so oily. I’m constantly and now unconsciously wiping away at my cheeks and nose, trying to dull the shine 😭!

I hate powders and padding my face with all sorts. My daily makeup routine doesn’t go beyond my signature eyebrows, my eyeliner and my mascara, which is even occasional. So to start worrying about layering my face all in the name of controlling the oilfest is a headache I wouldn’t even wish on my enemies 😫.

Interestingly though, foundation was a part of my signature look while I was in uni and I think that was the norm for about two years. The closest I had to an oily face was 7/8 pm, when I’d done my face up since 7 am. But here, 😩 h’o my goodneizz!! If my face doesn’t look like a greased frying pan, it’s not me 😢.

Itches? 🙋🏾 My body is just too familiar with the feeling 😩! When I’m out, or wherever even and power is out, ☹️ I could start itching if it feels stuffy. It’s like power outage is signal for my facial pores and neck pores to start oozing with liquid 😩. When I go around with my hand fan, even while standing on the road waiting for a bus, or on a bike, those around joke about my being hot, but they just don’t know! So I just laugh with them.

Do you know what makes all this particularly so for me? My body overheats, always. Literally. Those who know me and get into long hugs with me will tell you that my body is always literally hot. Burning. Strangers think I’m ill, those who know me say “this your warm body” 🙃. Imagine carrying a hot water bottle to your face in this Nigerian heat 😫!

That’s just the weather and the atmosphere and their incompatibility with my facial skin and my body.

The rest is story for another, no, other days 😏. 

Till you see my taillights again, 👋🏾!

Nigerians Are Such Interesting and Delightful People

The Nigerian life is one in a lifetime

My word 😩! I once swore this would never be me; I never imagined myself being so busy that I couldn’t write for the purpose of sharing 🙈. Oh, yes, I journal, still 🌝. But even that is suffering small small 😩. 

So.. I’ve had this particular post in draft mode for over a month now.. 👀. Actually, I suddenly feel the need to go on a writing spree.. Like I should just pack a small bag and jet off to maybe Seychelles 🤔. Oh, who am I kidding 😩!

Anyhoo, Nigerians.. ☹️😓😪🙄. Indeed, all those emoji apply when I think about my citizenship 😩. This country is full of life. Literally. If you want to experience life as a concept or you want a phenomenal life, just come here and subject yourself to every kind of experience there is. Forget your status, your culture, your dos and don’ts, your preconceptions, everything; come as a new, empty canvas. 

Where else do you go to an office early in the morning and you almost can’t hear yourself over a local-language radio station blasting throughout the room? Then, you stand midway through to an adjacent office, and you can hear a completely different radio station playing in the adjacent office. Both radios are battling for airspace and earspace.. in an office 😂!

Nigeria!

Have you ever been in a bus where the driver honestly and clearly believes that James Bond has a career in Nigeria? The driver drives as if he’s on an empty F1 track, when the already undersized road is congested 😐. And when the bigger brothers of the road come up beside him, his rascality or confidence – or whatever drives his thinking – causes him to play a mindless game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe with the lives of those in the bus 😐.

Nigerians!

Have you ever tried to demand customer service in Nigeria? I’ll let that sink in, if you’re a true Nigerian 😆😂. See, customer service is a fairy-tale in Nigeria. The workers here treat customers as if they are the ones begrudgingly paying for the service being offered to the customers. Service attendants can be so rude and cold; customers immediately get the vibe that they’re bothering the attendants with their requests 🙄. If you don’t look like you can pay extra for their time, it’s very likely that your request will be treated as pestering.

Nigerians!

Can you imagine – except if you’ve been in such a situation – being in a bus where the front passenger door flies ajar every few minutes, as if to register its own space on the road. 😐 Oh, Lord! 😂 I’ve even lost count of how many times this has happened in a bus that I’ve been in. For the love of public transport 🙄!

Nigeria!

Have you ever seen where state and national service buildings look like the remnants of an apocalypse 😐? The best part? They’re not out of service; they’re still very much “functioning”. If you look closely enough, you’ll see shapes in human form travelling within the floors of the building 😐. These services are often “emergency services”; headquarters of “emergency services”. If you drive around the Lagos State secretariat.. 🤦🏾‍♀️. Now, if you go in.. 💀.

Nigeria!

I will end there, before my eyes get stuck up there. 

Until you see me again 😩 let’s hope it’s not next year.. buh-bye 🙋🏾!

Nigeria: Is Feminism a Trend?

It’s baffling how some Nigerian women think they can enrol into the school of thought of Feminism, and leave the lifestyle behind.

One question I’ve had to ask myself again and again – just to answer my own question of what Nigerian women are up to – is if feminism is nothing more than a trend to Nigerian women. 

It’s the 21st century! The average human being wants to be trendy in whatever areas of living they consider relevant to them. People buy things because their status needs them; people pursue opportunities because hypothetically everyone is pursuing those opportunities; people get into ventures because those ventures are supposedly the new money-mines; people alter their lives to match the lives of others because of the illusion of different represented states of affairs. 

Nigerian women are the champions of that movement: The Global Trend Followers’ Movement. They blindly copy trends – hair styles, fitness, fashion, ideologies, culinary, and much more – from the western world without evaluating the substance of those trends and deciding if they themselves are suitable followers of the trend. They don’t weigh the content and demands of the trends against their peculiar circumstances – location, environment, resources, values, beliefs, lifestyle, etc. – before adopting them. Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly, Nigerian women in their numbers have done this with feminism. Some of them ooze so much unenlightenment about the topic and it’s application in their lives that I just shudder at their speeches. 

I do not identify myself as a feminist. Matter of fact, I don’t come with any labels – that’s what I tell people when they start to categorise me. Nonetheless, I share some of the ideas entertained by feminists, to certain degrees, some of which I will discuss in relation to the topics below that address that the application of some of these ideas. 


Income Inequality & Performance Qualities
For instance, I believe that men and women should be treated equally as far as is practical and possibly so. If they both have the same job description but perform their duties to different degrees of quality, I don’t see a problem with them being paid differently. 

I can’t for the life of me spot any injustice or inequality in rewarding person A more than person B, where person A’s output is more than that of his/her colleague, person B, who is doing the exact same job. Now, some of the people I’ve talked to, who claim to be feminists, will categorically tell you that they don’t subscribe to that mindset. You’d hear some of them tell you that in so far as persons A and B are delivering the minimum required quality on the job, paying one more than the other for doing more breeds inequality 😐. Really? Ok. 

That is one. The next thing that actually makes me realise that some of these Nigerian women crying feminism don’t know what they’re on about, is where you hear them talk about equality and female independence, without wanting to put in the work required to activate that. Independence is a constant state of being; you don’t achieve independence once and for all, you have to keep it going. Equality is the same.


Equality & Adjustments
A lot of Nigerian women don’t seem to understand that if you want to be equal to someone, you have to do what it takes to be on the same level as they are. If you rearrange your fingers to match lengths, some are going to have to look taller, some will have to look shorter. You need to make adjustments; they just don’t fall into place. 

If you see a man you want to be equal to, you have to make adjustments to match his levels. You may have to earn the same amount, have the same expenses and income influxes; you may have to consume the same products that he consumers; you may have to match his residence, car(s), social circles; and so much more. If we are to be honest with ourselves, pursuing equality in some areas is impractical and pointless. I don’t see the need for comparison. 


Independence

“This product is not for the lazy nor the ‘all-talk-and-no-action’ people.” That’s a warning label that ought to come with independence as a pursuit. So many people crave, no, want independence, but they aren’t willing to put in the work needed to achieve it. Some others talk about independence so much you think it’s a done deal for them, but they’re not going to achieve it because they’re never going to move from talk to action. 

For you to stand on your own two feet, it means that you are able to afford what you desire without contribution from other sources; you are able to fend for yourself and singularly bear and perform your financial responsibilities.

Now, let me tell you what some “feminists” do or believe in Nigeria. They go out on dates and expect the guy to pay for expense they incur. They go to the salons to get their hairs done and expect their men to pay for the expenses. They splurge on products for themselves and expect their men to pay for the expenses. They travel to exotic locations and expect their men to foot the bills and make it an all-expense-paid trip. 😐

I haven’t started o! Some of these women are working and earning incomes, but do me the favour of asking them exactly what they do with their income. Some of them don’t even have a single stream of income, but they’re the most spending people. They’re buying the latest of everything; buying what they definitely cannot afford; spending someone else’s hard earned money on themselves… and they claim to be equal to those people and demand to be treated equally… how?

And if you’re by chance thinking “Oh, but it’s not all about money…”, let me tell you, it is. Money answers all things. All things. Money will fetch you the resources you need to achieve independence. If you don’t have the financial capability to build your own independence, don’t live off of someone else’s resources and expect to be placed on the same level as they are on. You’re not a match for them and that’s the truth. So you either get your own copy of independence or you humbly live off of another person’s benevolence. 

In case you still don’t get it: everything is not what it seems! That is the case with feminism. If you think it’s something that you want to get into, error; it’s not a profession or industry. If you think it’s a school of thought you want to enrol in, you’re half way there; there’s a whole lifestyle behind it that you have to be willing to adopt. As is with every other lifestyle change or decision, you have to evaluate if feminism is for you, and if you are for feminism. 

Until you see me again, 🤞🏾