Sunday, October 4, 2015


Somehow I was positioned at a grotesque angle, my head rested on the treadmill, my right hand was somehow tucked between my breast and the ground, while the left was holding the side of the treadmill. My legs were splayed apart, one facing east and one facing west twisted as if in flight. I wished I had not decided I needed exercise that morning. Treadmill Fail contd.

"Idowu are you okay?" a rich baritone voice said in Nigerian accent. That was when I craned my neck and saw him.

I opened my mouth to speak but all that came out was a weak croak as I felt the vice-like grip of sudden sore-throat take over my vocals. I felt so ashamed that he will see me in such state, looking like some clumsy chump that got run over by a truck. He gently tried to raise me from the ground all the while speaking in soft tones, I couldn't grasp a word of what he was saying. Juwon assisted me off the ground with the help of the gym instructors. The pain numbed me so I just bit my already bloodied lips as tears silently dropped from the sides of my eyes down my face.

Juwon (not his real name) is a fine looking man by all standards and every woman's fantasy. Tall, dark, handsome, clean shaven with carved side burns, chiselled nose and jaw, impeccable dress sense that gives you a sense of the toned body underneath the clothes. When he walks into a room you can't help but notice his charisma. When he speaks his rich baritone intrigues. When he smiles at you, it seems you're the only woman in the world. He holds a degree from Harvard Business School runs a successful auto dealership in Lagos Nigeria while holding a regular job as New Business Manager in one of the new hedge funds in Nigeria. He's a real bloke.

I was drawn out of my musings when I was deposited on the bed. It wasn't my bed. I tried to look around the room but the effort almost cracked my skull. From what I could see as my eyes slowly moved around the room, it was opulently furnished. Much bigger and better than my room. It must be his room I thought. I opened my mouth to speak and there he was saying "Sshh! Idowu you have had a bad fall, I am trying to get a doctor her to check on you. you may have to be moved to the hospital. In the mean time you'll stay here with me. I'll take care of you." I started to shiver, whether it was because of the way he said it or because the room was frigidly cold, I don't know.

The doctor arrived a little over twenty minutes later. He examined my body, poking hard and softly sometimes, asking if i felt any pain. I nodded or shook my head each time as required. He wrote something on a piece of paper and handed over to Juwon who had been hovering around the whole time. Juwon nodded and saw the doctor off. When he came back, he sat on the bed beside me, he was so close I could feel the heat of his body. He said "I don't know how to tell you this...but first, what's your room number?" I panicked. "What?" I asked? "What did the doctor say?". He looked at me, a crooked smile on his irritatingly handsome face, and answered "The doctor says that except perhaps your ego, you will be perfectly alright in a week or two." "A week!" I squealed. "What about my meeting? my flight, I have to get back to Accra, I didn't make plans for this..." he just kept on smiling while I rambled on. Then "if its about your office, I can call. But the real problem will be where you'll be staying. The hotel manager called to check up on you while you were with the doctor and he says you are only booked for 2 nights and the hotel is fully booked till the end of the month. Since I am here for the next two weeks, you can stay with me. This place is big enough for a family."

"Ehn?" I squeaked. "Have you had breakfast, I haven't had anything myself, let me order something for the both of us, I know you prefer continental breakfast." He went on as if it was normal. I had to speak up, the fuzz in my head clearing "Juwon, I am not staying with you. Even if you are the last man standing, I am not staying withyou." I said, my voice rising with every word. He picked up the telephone beside the bed, the only thing indicating he hear me was a tick on his cheek. He was always good at keeping his composure and irritation under check. "One continental and one English breakfast." he said into the phone, "yes, king executive. Okay, that's fine." He dropped the receiver and sat on the bed and faced me and said. "Idowu, you can barely walk, you have bruised on your face and arm and your leg is swelling. I can tell you are not here with anyone so it is my duty as your boyfriend to take care of you." What?." I actually screamed. Juwon wasn't my boyfriend. We had been aquinted for 2 years during which time he had been in two different relationships but kept on pestering me for a relationship. With all his suave and class he had a philandering nature which I was not ready to explore. I had politely turned down his overtues and invitations to exotic weekends and never took him seriously. "You are not my boyfriend. We aren't even friends. You are just someone I know." I said dryly. He smiled, leaned towards me and said "Thats not what everyone thinks. For the first time in a long time I have something I really want. Just when my stay in Nairobi had become boring, my queen showed up. You and I are going to have much fun together." laughing eyes twinkling, he continued."Give me your room keys let me get your stuff. I guess you'll like to shower and wear something comfortable. I could speak with your meeting organizers and tell them what has befallen you."

I thought of my the undies I left spreadout on my bed, "No you can't go to my room. Its private." I said quickly trying to avoid his eyes. He turned my face towards his, and I flinched. I felt giddy.

To be continued....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Tinkerbel the Egufe Snatcher

A blood cuddling scream from the living room caught me unawares. In my shock I spilled ewedu soup (traditional yoruba delicacy) on my new white jean shorts. My elder sister who was sitting beside me quickly stood up and ran out of the room as I followed in close pursuit to the living room. The scene we met was like something from the famous Tom and Jerry cartoon. My youngest sister, Esse, was in tears, rolling on the floor and howling at the top of her lungs, while another younger sister, Ohis, had caught one of our dogs 'Jackie' and was trying to beat it with a shoe!

It was the year of our Lord, 2004, my elder sister and I were visiting home from university. We had bought amala (plantain meal) and ewedu with 'egufe' (goat meat). For as long as I can remember, our parents have prohibited buying cooked food from roadside canteens because my mom who was a nurse was conscious of the health hazards and my dad simply didn't like eating out. This strict upbringing however, did not stop us from craving the odd roadside akara (bean balls) fried in palm oil or the the tuwo (Hausa traditional meal) sold on the way from the local bustop. Rather it sharpened our thirst for roadside canteen foods.  

Photo Credits: Idowu Ejere sefiesm...Sept 2015

We had bought 4 helpings of amala and egufe and my elder sister and I went to eat in the bedroom, another taboo we never try when our parents are around, while my younger sisters went to eat in the living room sitting as close to the TV as possible. They had just settled down to eat when there was a knock on the door. A friend of one of our other sisters (we are so many), who was not at home at the time, came looking for her. Ohis was anxious to begin eating and so summarily explained that Olly was away on a French Village excursion. She saw the guest off but forgot to close the door to the porch so one of our dogs, Jackie, who had smelt the food from afar quietly entered the living room and ate Esses's Egufe. Esse who was at the fridge getting some water, walked in at that moment and let out a blood cuddling scream. We heard the scream from the bedroom and ran to the living room and found Ohis who was now back in the house trying to beat the dog.

The dog was faster than her and ran out through the front door closely followed by Ohis, crying Esse, Odion and I. As we chased the dog round the back of the house, the dog noticed that the back door was open and ran through it to the living room and at that moment it must have noticed that there was another plate of egufe right there, all for the taking! We chased the dog into the living room and saw it flee out the front door with Ohis's egufe in its mouth. 

Even as i recall that day i can't help but laugh as words cannot explain the sadness we all felt that day. Ohis and Esse's sadness was justified because the dog ate their meat but even when we shared with them we felt bad and they were still dissatisfied. Esse was to mourn about the egufe for dayssssss!

Right now I am on my way to 'Iya Oyo' restaurant in Utako Abuja.. egufe on my mind!