So, here I am, sitting pretty, Darjeeling and someone decides why not prop up my narcissism just a little bit with this challenge? Exce-what? Excellent.
But simply because I am too narcissistic to believe myself anything else but humble, here’s me modifying the title to 10 simple facts about myself.
For a link to the previous post on this challenge, see here
10 simple facts.
• I like food.
Sure, I’ve got favourites, everybody does (pounded yam and ogbolo, etc. etc.) but, food generally, general food, I go wack am. Your boy dey finish pot, go ask dem.
• I can cook.
It’s not even a brag. I, this man, whips up a mean anything. See, guy, knowing how to cook different from say you sabi cook one particular thing.
Me, sabi cook. Give me the recipe, I go run am.
Using pidgin English obviously because the emphasis must be made.
• I love driving.
Driving is one of my favourite things. Give me a fast car with a great engine and (take out the Nigerian police and) I’ll tour the world. I love the wide spaces and scenery, the sight of life flashing past at top speed, adrenaline pumping in my veins and a tingling in my feet. I love driving.
• I like to dance.
If you’ve ever seen me dance, thunder fire you for the image you’re laughing at. You’re mad. But really, I love dancing. Can barely dance past moving my waist in all the gyro-directions but, damn, I love to dance.
• I hate injections.
This here is the major reason why it’s impossible for me to do cocaine. It’s so major, it comes after my very excellent upbringing and family training. Give me all the tablets of this world, and I’ll swallow them. I’ll push them up my butt if I have to, but by Jove’s Casablanca Casino, I would not take a needle up any part of my body if I can help it.
• I don’t like doing fun alone.
This here is probably why I haven’t visited more countries than I have. Also why I haven’t had as much adventure as I constantly dream. I don’t have fun when I do it alone. I want to travel with others, to run up cliffs, to swim oceans and skydive. The fun is always in the companionship, all that communalism, than in the activity.
• I love minimalist design.
Or at least, what I think minimalism is. My house is themed in two tones, and that perhaps defines everything. It’s probably a gift, my ability to put little together to define much more.
• I value comfort over wealth.
In the diamond-water paradox, I will choose water every day of the bloody week. In my books, there is less honour, less value, in winning it all, with nothing to show; no peace, no joy, no time to enjoy it. Not the current rave but, give me enjoyment everytime.
• I Iove rock music.
Got addicted it after reading a christian book about the dangers of rock music. Actually. Book about rock music groupies losing their souls after being swayed by the music of a demon-slave rocker, and all I picked from it was, “Can I listen to some of this stuff?”. Hehe. I don’t know but the stirring vocals and oft-clashing instruments express me more than most else.
• I prefer no-name brands to fakes.
I hate wearing or using fakes. Give me a no-name brand anyday, or at worst, a barely known brand, than a fake. Maybe it’s because I have a pretty strong sense of originality, or maybe it’s just secondary school and all those days watching people teased for wearing Seun John from P-Diddy. I prefer people getting their due, for what they did, let them receive. Don’t steal ideas, don’t plagiarise.
Phew. Okay, so there they are. 10 simple facts about me. What do you think?
• I wrote (have been writing) this with my phone. Where the typos appear, forgive and notify.
• I really am a humble person.
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Writing this was interesting. I smiled more than once. It’s really satisfying to see how deepening this challenge is making me. Dredging up memories I thought lost. Writing this every morning before I set out, has put colour into my day.
Love is so inspirational. When you’re fifteen, a swelling bag of hormones and semen and emotions, falling in love is probably the most inspirational thing to happen to you. Poems fly off your hands, as fast as you can write them, lyrics to all the best romantic songs form your regular conversation; a rose becomes redder, the sunset more gold. Falling in love is so inspirational, especially when it’s your first love. You’re certain it would never end, you’re picking baby names and planning destination honeymoons.
Easy to do when your pocket money barely funds the bus fare to the next town.
My first love was nothing like the girls I had crushed on before her and physically different too, from the women after. Perhaps that was because I had been unintentional about falling there, and it was my first experience with growing into fondness.
She was kind. So kind. She had one of the quirkiest smiles ever, her cheeks squeeze into these dimples and her huge upper teeth poke just above her lips. She was, is, beautiful, not in that sharp prettiness that is the product of several treatments and dangerous concotions. Hers is a gentle beauty, soft and unobtrusive, but it pulls your eye and holds it there. She was trilingual, I remember nights learning the Yoruba bits to Styl Plus songs, to sing back to her. Days, poring over German to English dictionaries so I could flawlessly say; “Ich lieben dich”.
Still the only german phrase I know after, “Guten morgen” and “Achtung!”.
She gave me nightmares and happy dreams. Waking in a jolt, heart heavy because I feared she had replaced me in dream, waking soaked and sated because she chose me. Fifteen year old me, was a rollercoaster.
I told my mother about her, so certain I was of our eventual communalism, why not start now to make preparations?
She is married now, to a kind and handsome man, and has a beautiful baby I hope to see one day. To smile into his eyes, wondering all the time how those eyes would have looked riddled with astigmatism and short sightedness. Hehe.
We never did work out, as most of such relationships go, though we’ve remained friends.
My first kiss on the other hand. Ha. This was a rushed, giggly, mess of saliva that doesn’t deserve prose. Fascinating, strange, I didn’t have another until years after. Learning how to kiss was more about intention than practice. The willingness to exchange saliva with someone else, starts from the intensity of your intent. That’s what pushes you past their breath space, takes your eyes off the zit on their forehead and closes it, and then lets your lips brush and then push against theirs.
Kissing is delightful when you know how. A sense of headiness and belonging overwhelms you, especially when it’s your first kiss with that person. Acceptance. Every kiss wouldn’t feel like the first kiss; kisses begin to take on the role of sexual precursors, and bribes as the relationship deepens. Ha. But every once a while would come a passionate kiss, a welcoming, an acceptance, a binding. Those are the kisses worth anything.
Details required in this challenge are enough ammunition for a proper social engineer, it’s scary.
The older I get, the more I regret not maintaining a diary. Not like it would have helped me remember my earliest memory but, considering the cobweby fog that I see staring into the past, in a decade I probably would be hard pressed to remember today. That said, my earliest memories all revolve around growing up in a little town just off the Owerri-Port Harcourt-Aba road.
Sifting through those memories, like clawing though smoke, I’m awash with feelings of laughter and discovery. Learning that water is cool, that fire was hot, and that while sand can be fun to play with, and make into many shapes, it stings when it gets in your eyes.
One memory stands out in that very dim image, motivated perhaps by the fact that the picture exists somewhere, though I cannot recall now. I am perhaps 2 years, sitting on my legs, Japanese style, a feat I can barely attempt today, while my picture is being taken. My hair is combed out in an afro, cheeks plumpy like only a lot of akamu, sprinked through with soya bean powder and the occasional spoon of milk, can do. I am wearing a tiny blue singlet with brown stripes and shorts that match, staring into the camera defiantly.
I cannot remember much else of this memory, except that I was happy. Completely happy. I was at peace with the world, at ease and encouraged to learn, expected to laugh. It’s a sharp contrast with this day in 2019, where the expectations I face are that one be sombre and learning is restricted to the belief of the herd mind.
That 2 year old kid, stares back at me now, meaty arms planted on the sandy floor of my grandfather’s compound, and dares me not to be happy, not to be at ease.
Ha. Do I have a choice?
I regularly listen to advice from my younger selves. It’s a genuine sign of humility. Yes.
Also, the wisdom of your more naive self cannot be overestimated
It’s been an age, and some, posting here. But this is me again, trying my hand at this again and testing my focus with a challenge.
So here we go, with Day 1.
5 problems with Social Media
Without reservations, social media is probably the single, most significant technology since the development of the internet. Every phase and facet of modern life involves utilisation of a particular social media tool. With increasing dependence on social media for information, entertainment and even self awareness, it’s not altogether surprising that the problems associated with the tool have amplified. This is a list of five of those problems, today.
If you knew at first glance, the meaning of that word, you’re probably a living practitioner. I mean, no one having an active social life bandies around words like hermitism. Social media, while drawing closer the edges of the world, has delineated further the units in between. More and more loners have developed since the advent of the first ‘connected network’. While social media, as implied, is a tool for connections, it has taken to replacing face to face conversation and personal interactions, isolating communities and straining friendships.
Another problem that arises when personal interactions no longer exist is, people can assume identities that are either false, or worse, stolen. Simply because you can’t see them, someone could pretend to be anyone. This can be seen as freedom of expression in one verse, but victims arise in this scenarios when someone is played for a fool after believing in a false identity of another.
Likes, dislikes, and the fact that anyone, from anywhere, with or without prior conceptualisation, knowledge or experience, can offer opinions on anything about anyone is recipe for self loathing. Artists, and other individuals who rely on public adulation of their craft, risk much when exposed to the criticisms of social media.
Catfishes, purveying themselves as more than they are, more than anyone likely has the ability to be, in terms of wealth, beauty or some other sophistication, further diminish the self confidence of people already battling with insecurity.
At the start of the internet, in 1951, it was touted as a repository for information (read:Google). Want to learn about anything, read the internet. Want to get an unbiased view on happenings around the world, read the internet. That belief hasn’t disappeared, though it should.
With social media, anyone has the ability to say anything they want and share it as verified information. This is a problem, both in cases where the broadcaster is innocent of the falsehood of their claim, and in cases where it’s completely deliberate.
PS. I am not certain when the internet started, and I didn’t bother to check. That’s a completely bogus figure up there.
Similar to false information, but infinitely more dangerous, is the ability that social media gives for political bodies to promote any version of the truth for the sole reason of swaying a section of the electorate. Tiny, verifiable, pieces of information are overly amplified and spiced up with dashes of complete untruth to either discredit any otherwise credible person/thing, or grossly exalt an otherwise undeserving person/thing.
So there you have it, five problems with social media, as I see it. There are definitely lots more and they aren’t going away.
It’s been ages since I had to do this, and if it reads a bit dry, it’s the Harmattan.
E get this wise man wey talk something, e say, “things dey work out pass for those people wey dey make the best of how things work out”. The guy sabi die. Different ways dey wey things fit sup for this life, but na how and wetin you use am do, na him go make the different between whether you succeed to live another day, or you no succeed. Na person wey no plan well dey end up inside stew.
Definitely not a Dickens kind story.
E get this wise man wey talk something, e say, “things dey work out pass for those people wey dey make the best of how things work out”. The guy sabi die. Different ways dey wey things fit sup for this life, but na how and wetin you use am do, na him go make the different between whether you succeed to live another day, or you no succeed. Na person wey no plan well dey end up inside stew. If you play your cards right, na you go tanda in the near future with better lems, dey give people advice.
Make I clear you my story, maybe by the time wey I don finish, you go understand wetin I dey talk.
Okay, make I introduce myself. My name na Goat. Look me, yes you, look me. No dey look that fat woman wey stand there for road. No be nyash be that, that na person wey fat true true Continue reading “The Goat of Christmas Past”
Dedicated to the most self-less man I ever knew and the few stories he could tell me
In Africa, the sun rises and sets without warning, and the winds blow through the old forests with the songs of legends, the marks of their passing staining the blood-red sands.
And some of those legends are true.
In the old Edo, the first true black civilization, the empire was home to many tribes and cultures. Bound together by the Obas who ruled after the era of the Ogisos, the sky kings, it stretched almost five thousand miles in either direction; from the steppes of the Dahomey to the swamps of the Niger Delta. Within were the Itshekiri, the Etsako, the proud Ijaws and Urhobos, the noble Esan, the big and powerful Binis and the Igbos both west and east of the Niger River. All paid homage to the Oba and in turn were blessed by him, for the Oba was more than just a man, the Oba was king, the Oba was god on Earth.
Oba ghato kpe e!
The Bini empire was called Edo and it was powerful, the envy of the neighboring kingdoms to the west and the north. Their trade guilds employed the most skilled of artisans; blacksmiths and hunters, their warriors, soldiers from birth, trained in the knife, spear and hand-to-hand combat, and also in the finer arts of war and strategy and juju. It was strategy that led to the building of the Bini moats and high wall which surround the capital of the Edo Empire at Benin City, till this day. Moats that were built with the aid of giants enslaved and brought from across the deserts. Strategy and wisdom, both physical and spiritual.
The warriors who came from all over the kingdom, all swore allegiance to the throne of the Oba, and whether Esan or Ijaw, all spoke the lingua franca, a bastardization of the Bini language, known as the Edo language. Within this military were special cadres, the strategists, the juju priests and the elite warriors. This is a story of one of those elite warriors, and as with such tales, it began at night… Continue reading “Nwin-Nwin: The Legend Begins”
This post is not for lecherous old fellows or sick bastards looking for cheap ways to get 16 year olds. Nah. I spent time on this for the right reasons. That said, this post is for you there with a 21st century girl and for you the 21st century girl too.
You’ll be asking what a 21st century girl is right about now. This is the answer: a 21st century girl is typically a girl born within the 21st century (from year 2000) though this definition still extends to any girl below 25 at 2017. She is determined, exposed to the world, uninhibited, usually sexually active, headstrong etc. etc. Basically she is the pro-feminist, run with wolves, Arya Stark wannabe that Willow Smith sings about. Having a girl like that as your wife or girlfriend can be a bit of a task, and this post tells you just how to run through that task without killing yourself with 21 ways to keep your 21st century girl.
Guys, this is stuff you really need to know. Girls, this is stuff your #MCM has to know.
Alright, here we go.
Drop regular compliments
Sure, you saw this one coming. But let me explain. The 21st century man has forgotten how to compliment truly and if there is one thing 21st century girls love, or love to pretend they love, it’s the classics. They want a man that would drop the compliments as many times as possible. “Damn babe, you have got a great ass!”
“Damn! This boob fits right into my palm”
“Damn! That food was delicious. How do you manage to ALWAYS cook so good”
Yeah, just keep them going that way. They’ll love you for it. You know why 21st century girls are all over Instagram and Pinterest? Exactly, you got it. They want the regular compliments buddy.
Surprises can be bad you know. Like finding out you-still-do-weed-after-you-told-her-you-will-quit bad. Give her good surprises all the time, and they don’t have to be too expensive [yes, surprises are gifts, duh!]. Forget what pop culture magazines may tell you to sell their products, girls are not so much concerned about the cost, it’s the thought that counts. Surprise her with a bar of chocolate, tickets to the musical or the movie, pick her up from school straight to that fancy place you’ve been talking about for days. She’ll cherish those moments.
And here is a really important one. Surprise her at her house – that’s if you’re not married. Drop by unannounced. Nothing like not knowing when her boyfriend would show up to put Miss 21st Century Arya Willow Stark in the right place at all times. Oh, and let’s hope you are not the one surprised bud.
Give her some space but draw lines
On the converse side, you should give your girl some space. You do not want to be crowding her. She wants to break free or at least have the illusion of doing so. You have to let her go out with her friends to see a movie, attend a dinner, go swimming at the beach etc. without you. It is important though that you draw a line somewhere eg. She shouldn’t be out with guys past a certain time etc. Let her dance with other guys at the club, but not rock that special move she gives you. The reason for this is it lets you maintain some authority over her, and 21st century girls love authority the same way they love BDSM and Christian Grey.
Make her laugh
Money Comedy is the way to the heart, else Kevin Hart would never have found anybody. Make her laugh and she would be sure to stay with you. This works because her friends would also find you really cool and no 21st century girl is leaving her cool man with those vultures around.
Don’t be like the other guys
Whoever told you your girl shouldn’t be comparing you with other guys told a big lie. She will. And she should. That’s right, you want her to compare you to other guys. You want her to compare you with other guys and find out: “Wow, he’s not like any other guy!”
You’ve got to be neat, keep a neat wardrobe, clean clothes, nice house. Have a clean handkerchief, wear clean socks, change your boxers/briefs twice a day.
You’ve got to be time conscious. Always early, even when she will be late. It doesn’t hurt to have a schedule you run your life by – in moderation of course.
Can you sing, dance, write, have you ever made a funny Instagram video? 21st century girls want to be with men who are creative. Don’t ask me why. Ask Kim why she hasn’t left Kanye yet. Girls are attracted to the sensuality that creative men exude. “If he can be creative with words and pictures, then life with him will be awesome”. Discover your creativity and let her know about it ASAP.
Be careful when talking ABOUT other girls
Even if you are talking about Kim or J-Lo, there are certain attributes you should avoid talking about when it comes to other girls, except to laugh at. Sure, your girl or your wife may not be as talented as Tiwa Savage or Chimamanda Adichie, as hot as Kim or as athletic as Serena, but you do not have to say that or even acknowledge it ever. Which brings us to the next point.
Tell a white lie every once a while
This is as self-explanatory as it gets. “You are not fat baby, you are bootylicious”
“I am not a boobs man”
“I think judging girls by their ass size is derogatory”
“No one needs to score perfect As to be successful. Look at D’banj and Kanye, both dropped out”
You know why Vampire Diaries, Twilight and the rest of these monster romance flicks are so much the rave among 21st century girls? Because of the sensitivity of the characters. They are so humane. Edward Cullen is so sexy because he’s so hungry for Bella but he has to keep his demonic spirit at bay so he can love. The Salvatore brothers are so awesome and hot because they are so bad and wanna be so good but it’s so hard. Etc.
Share your weaknesses with her, even it makes you seem like you’re employing an injured bird technique, but trust me, it will draw her (mothering instincts and all) in and bam! She’s never leaving.
Put your relationship deets on Social Media
21st century girls need validation, if you haven’t figured that out by now. Change that relationship status to “In a relationship”, change your Twitter header to her photo, put up the photos from every time you go out on Instagram and watch her preen with joy and confidence.
Get along with her friends and fam
No matter how strong you think your love is, if you do not have a similar bond with her friends and family, she is definitely going to leave someday – except she’s an only child and loner, in which case she is the exception and you are going to have to leave your friends and fam and be everything to her. 21st century Girls are very herd oriented. If whatever group she belongs to – family or friends, resents you, chances of you working out slips down the drain pretty fast.
Be willing to compromise
You can’t have your way all the time. Letting her have her way once in a while would go a long way for your relationship, a lot longer than you playing boss all the time. 21st century girls are headstrong, and while they crave authority figures, they need to have their way every once in a while. On that note;
Let her be in charge sometimes
Not every time drive. Sometimes sit down in front seat and pretend you are comfortable with her being in charge of your lives and safety for a while. Let her make some of your mutual decisions. It doesn’t have to be formal, none of the things mentioned in this post have to be. It can be as simple as: “So bae, what would you love to eat tonight?”
“Where would you love to spend next summer?”
“I need your help deciding which design to go with for this building”[even if she doesn’t have your architectural degree].
Don’t be predictable
Surprise visits, good surprises etc. should have told you this by now. You cannot be predictable. The excitement fades when she can predict you down to the second and two metres. That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t know where you are at every time, but if last week you got angry when she mistakenly broke a really expensive vase, maybe you should react differently when she mistakenly ruins the picture of your late mum you’ve kept for 9 years.
Okay, that’s tough. But c’est la vie. Such is life.
Give massages on occasion
Another good surprise here. Massages relax the muscles, cause the release of dozens of endorphins (those chemicals released during orgasms) and always leave the person massaged really happy with the masseur/masseuse – except of course the masseuse is an Ijaw woman trying to massage that koko on your head back inside.
Whip out that oil or cream and stretch her out on the table for a massage without planning it. Or simply knead her neck when you walk past her, or while driving. This strengthens the bond of affection between you. And most importantly, you should not have to wait for her to ask for it.
Show her you are working hard for her attention
Girls love guys who work hard for their attention, but how is she going to know how much effort you are putting in if you do not show it? It’s not easy for you to send her texts, flowers, serenades or any of a dozen other romantic gestures. She needs to know this.
“Baby, is that Mercedes Benz for me?” Smile and say: “Yes baby, it is nothing”. Then leave the receipt lying around for her to see, so she knows how much that shit cost.
Pay her rent – if you are not living together, and then ‘mistakenly’ let her see your now-sad-looking account balance all the while smiling and saying: “I’ll do anything for you baby”.
The thing is, it may not be that difficult for you, but she doesn’t have to know that. She will feel more secure in your love for her when she sees what you are willing to do for her.
Take responsibility, eliminate your inner wuss
Shut up! You have an inner wuss. You do not always want to fight the guy who scratched your car, but she’s right there and she’s watching so you gotta “be a man”. Taking responsibility means when she comes to you with that problem, you do not simply ‘leave it to the authorities’ to handle, you take charge. 21st century girls need a take-charge man. You have to know how to drive a truck, shave a bear (yes, bear, not a typo), change a blown wall socket, repair a car on an empty highway at night with a toothpick and three recharge card vouchers. Or at least give off the air that you can. It’s simple, all you need to do is create an image of who you want to be, then be it.
Clear the air
It is really easy to think that since you are the guy, you shouldn’t be the one talking about your feelings without sounding like a jealous douche or the person trying to talk about the “problem” whenever you guys have a fight. That’s wrong bro. A lot of the time, relationships are messed up by unresolved issues built up over time because someone refused to clear the air. She was on the phone in the middle of the night, while you were supposed to be sleeping, and by morning the call log was deleted. Suspicious right? Talk to her and clear the air, keeping quiet about it would only keep you simmering till you boil over and everything sticky and smelly hits the fan.
In most cases, your suspicions were unsubstantiated.
If after a fight, you are still not okay with how things went, talk about it. Clear the air. You have a happier relationship when you feel secure.
No, I do not mean only nudes. Send photos of yourself at work, school, on the road, in the plane, working under the kitchen cabinet, in the car, bent over the bonnet, tinkering in your shed. Just send photos. Do you know there is actual statistical data that only 0.045% men actually take and send photos of themselves at work? And these 21st century girls want to see that.
21st century girls are literally the most visual females ever! And it is a really super-cute way to send sweet messages to bae. “Been thinking of you all day and now this work wants to attack me. Xoxo” then you add a photo of yourself swamped with dozens of worksheets. Totally guaranteed to get ‘Awws’ and an awesome dinner when you get home.
Sending these photos makes her understand that you think of her even when you are away.
Let her win!
It is absolutely necessary to let your girl know you are really smart at arguments, good at playing games and an absolute terror at Truth or Dare, but sometimes sir, let her win. There is a subliminal reason behind feminism in this century that has to do with girls winning over guys. Letting her win gives a sense of accomplishment that cannot be faked. If your girl [literally] feels like she is winning in your relationship, that’s an A plus bro.
Leave no doubts
All said and done, this is the most important thing you should do to keep your 21st century girl: you gotta leave no doubts, man. She should know at all times, that you love her absolutely and want to keep her. If she is ever in doubt, even for the tiniest smidgely second, there is a crack there. You should leave no doubts. Of the five love languages, the most effective remains Words of Affirmation. You should use this, a lot. Leave no doubts, and your girl wouldn’t leave.
So there they are, the 21 ways to keep your 21st century girl. Start practicing.
I have had several ruined relationships, and I am presently still uncertain if this makes me an expert on this topic or the worst advice ever
I actually interviewed several people to sample opinions for this post
I initially wrote this for TNC but it was rejected