The epic childhood story

Were you born in the era when the best chewing gum ever was sold for only two for 5 naira?

No, not Sprint chewing gum, that was two for one naira. *eyeroll* Bomky!

Bomky was in a shiny blue wrap with circles of pink balls all around. The chewing gum in itself was pink. It had this rare quality of being able to blow the largest of balloons, having it burst all over your face and not leaving the littlest trace! It was simply the gum for all! And then it fazed out so quickly 🙁 *one minute silence*

That’s hardly the story to be told.

Now, at the age of about 8, I was ready to be Bomky’s brand ambassador. I bought it, shared it around, chewed it, proclaimed the gospel about it, dreamed of it…. Name it, I did! Bomky was the deal!

There would be four characters in this story. I should introduce them now before I go on, ’cause they would take on peculiar roles in this tale.

Bisi: If you aren’t new here, you should know her. She’s the only sibling I’ve got. But here she played the villain. She’s been a sly sister for as long as I can remember *eyeroll*

Ruka: She was an eleven year old Cotonou girl who stayed with us to help out with chores. Child trafficking thingz! She played the dimwit 😐

Mother: She’s who she is, here

And of course, me 🙂
I’m as much a hero as it can get.

So, to the “epic” story.

It was a Saturday morning. My sister and I generally spent Saturdays studying and working momma/lesson teacher given homeworks. My dad was out. My mum was about to go out too. Before she left, she stated specifically : “None of you should go out, if I hear that you went out while I’m away, I’ll beat the hell out of you when I get back” (She is who she is, here) and then she left.

Only three seconds after she was out, Bisi said: “I want Bomky”

Now, y’all realize that I’m the ambassador for this brand, I mean what else is branding about if it isn’t’t ensuring a potential consumer is conversed to a loyal one, huh?

I took that statement with all seriousness and said “I’ll gaan buy for us”
“What if mummy catches you?” she asked.
“I’ll be fast, she won’t” I replied.
“Me I’m not there o!” the sly one said.

From somewhere, Ruka adds “I’ll go with you”
I should have known better.

We took 10 naira to buy four and we set out – Ruka and I.
We ran the whole stretch with me singing “Just be limbo, just be quick….” from Fragle rock – in my mind – the whole time. We bought it and turned around to run the whole stretch.

I was a very fit child, there I was basking in the euphoria of “dusting” Ruka while she tried to catch up behind. And then in a moment I looked back and saw my mother’s blue Peugeot 504 bending at the corner. I shouted to Ruka in Yoruba “Mummy’s coming, run!” I don’t know what she heard, but I saw her retreat and head to the car and do a courtesy like she was saying “welcome ma”.

I was rooted to the spot, entranced by her stupidity.

I heard my mum say “I was checking if it was both of you, I wasn’t sure, thank you for helping me confirm, now go and wait for me at home, I’m coming for you.” And with that, Ruka ran back to me, crying in advance.

You know the rest of the gist, my mum did beat the hell out of us and asked us to face the wall, kneel down and put up our hands for the next one hour. Bisi snickered behind with the “I told you so” look.

And yeah, the bomkys, they stayed in the medicine box on the dinning table for the next 6 months till someone threw them out.

I lost my brand endorsement.


Those little epiphanies

When I’m on the fast lane, living everyday like I’m entitled and complaining about the least significant things; I’m thankful for little rude awakenings that zap me back to reality and leave me feeling grateful for this level of grace I do not deserve.

Do you know Nick Vujicic? You should Google his images up. I met him today – on wikipedia – and he left me feeling grateful. It only felt right to share some of that with you.

I’m thankful for;

  • My mornings. They involve me getting off my bed tired as hell – after barely four hours of sleep – wondering what all of life is about. I get to see each new day. 
  • For all the fight and hate I had with my sister, growing up. We’re getting closer as the days go by. It’s the best thing in my life these days.
  • My parents who are constantly at each other’s throat, they’re alive and have that much vigor, That’s definitely a blessing of good health and vitality, yes?
  • Friends, who despite my inanities still find time to check on me and get angry when they have no idea what’s going on with my life. So much love 🙂
  • How I get totally pissed off at work and wish I could just give someone a piece of my mind. I’ve got a job!
  • My crazy broke days, when I starve at work till I’m home to have dinner. I feel what it is to have little and appreciate it more, when I have a lot
  • My inability to squeeze time out for the fun things of life. Makes me live the best of the littlest moment I get.
  • The plenty wrongs I’ve done. I’m a step closer to self discovery.

It’s a really long list, but I’ll stop now.

One of the most important things is knowing that in all the banter about how our lives are not-so-good, there are tons of people who hardly know what a fairly good life is. My dad’s favorite quote when I start to go on and on is  “I was crying I had no shoes, then I met someone who had no legs”

We really need to learn to breathe and be thankful through it all.


‘The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.’ – Karen S. Magee



She’s all I gat

The fondest memories I have of her are our early days. We’d go for summer holidays at our cousin’s. It was always the best part of our year. A house full of at least 12 kids with ages in a geometric sequence with a common ratio not less than 3.  We had crazy times then. At noon, when the power’s out and there’s little to do, we’d all gather in the living room. The chairs were arranged in a semi-circle. They’d put me in the middle and start to chant “Konko Konko Konko… ” with arms stretched out and bribes rolling out.

It was a game and we loved it. The rules of the game were simple. Run into the arms of the one you love the most. It was always the younger ones in the pack. I was the youngest and cutest. I was the centerpiece almost always and even then, making decisions were really tough. I’d hear “Konko, I’ll buy you Ice-cream” “Konko, wafers!” “Konko, I’m your only sister” That was her voice. *shrugs* She’s all I gat.

Growing up together was cruel. I always said I’d give anything to have an extra sibling. Our holidays just never seemed to align. I’d seat on the floor in her room and lay out the Monopoly board. I’d take out tokens for both of us and give us our allocated sums. They I’d set out to play the game alone. I’d say “Bisi play”  and then mimick her voice with a reply then play for her. Very creepy something. But I had and still have very little choices. She’s all I gat.

Somewhere along the line, I loathed her. Not ’cause I wanted to, but ’cause her life became a benchmark for mine. I never ever seemed to meet up and she never seemed to go off course so I could at least have a breather. It just always felt deliberate to me. Like she had it all figured out from time “I’ll be the maven, she’d be the unable apprentice” Those were dark times.  The good thing about time is it passes and important things today aren’t as important tomorrow. What’s that quote about connecting the dots from behind? Looking back, it made me better.

My sister’s taught me too many things. The most being the ability to faff and eat all sort’o junk love. There’s this great feeling knowing that come what may, there’s someone who’s been with you from the start, seen you in all your element and would still love you for you. That’s her. She’s all I gat.

Happy Birthday Bisi. I’m all you’ve gat too. Deal with it 😛