When I was growing up, the Nigerian lore surrounding signatures was that rich men had complicated signatures; I may be wrong, but based on a joke that I heard in the recent past, I think that the current academic research suggests that poor men are now the ones with complicated signatures.
On IWD2019, I’d like to speak about my experience in the one sphere known to me that is #balancedforbetter – Shitsuke Flag Football League (SFFL). SFFL does not just play lip service to inclusion and gender diversity, its intentions toward women are encoded in rules and backed by incentives.
Lagos evokes the color yellow, the sound of horns and radios barring, the energy of hustle and bustle. But have you realized that the color and sound of Lagos change from time to time. It changes so gradually that the transformation may be barely noticeable from one day to the other or even one month to the next. But every once in a while, I remember something that once was and no longer is or I notice something that now is, but previously wasn’t.
These men, who form part of the background of our every day, shuttling us from one place to the other, listening in on our most random and most intimate conversations; who know the way to all your friends’ houses and where the moin moin lady lives, and knows the generator man’s number and deals with the mechanic that we’ve never met, who come to pick us up from the club at 2am, come to change our tires or check our engines in the middle of Lekki Expressway, switch off their phones so they are beyond reach after we’ve set an agreement in place, but will send a text message about where not to fill up thetank.
At that point, I was reminded that some people really have the ability to retain an element of childlike purity within them; the little things truly matter; we can be happy if we choose to be; our attitudes towards things can magnify our joy; I don’t have to be rich to seriously overwhelm my mom with happiness, joy and pride.
You see, I was the type of little girl that didn’t run around too much, didn’t play too rough, didn’t fall down and get injured. But the confidence and settled-ness of my 30s are opening me up to trying new things, spurring me to push past imaginary boundaries of comfort zones towards purposely creating a full life that I am proud to live. So, when my friend sent out an open call for new players, my response was not “why”, which is the question that I have received the most when I tell people about this new past time, but “why NOT”? Since joining, I have been in awe of what I have discovered. I know for certain that I made the absolute right decision and I feel very privileged to be part of this league.
I think that if we consider this a problem, then we must acknowledge that it is a very elitist one and that it is only getting worse. Another aunty (all of whose children speak Igbo) was complaining to her daughter that none of her grandchildren speak Igbo and that she is the only one who speaks to them in Igbo. This was a really heartfelt conversation. And while I think some of it is due to generational differences, we must ask ourselves what we will have, who we will become if/when we lose our languages? I think we should probably listen to the undertones in what the older generation is trying to tell us.
There is something about the summer that makes it the perfect time to read. I have a theory that the most anticipated books of the year come out in the summer. This summer, I've already read An American Marriage, and I am looking forward to reading Educated with a friend.
Have you heard about the Global Book Exchange? Have you already participated? Once I saw it on a friend’s IG story on Sunday, I knew I had to be part of it.
Q: What type of soccer fan are you? A: I’m glad you asked. In team based sports, I always root for the underdogs, except in tennis (because Serena) and other individual sports >> where the better player needs to win. I grew up in the heyday of ManU and its EXTRA fans, and at that time I just wanted anyone playing ManU to win, but they’ve been humbled in recent times, so…
Have you noticed that in recent years, after you wave at or ignore the beggar that comes to knock at your window, they will ask for your already opened half-full bottle of water. I had never heard of or noticed this until a couple of months ago, in February, when a visiting friend mentioned it. Since then, it has happened to me three times, or every time that I have had a bottle of water in plain sight.
I think that being a mother is not about whether your child walked at 11 months, or how harried your morning routine tends to get, or whether they are wearing matching socks. Being a mom is about the instinct and heart that you have for your children. The way you consider them and always put them first – above even yourself. This is why, as I tell my friends all the time, as long as you are trying, you are the best mother for your child, the only mother they will ever need.
Happy Mother’s Day! You have the ability to transform mere bricks and mortar into the safest most loving place on earth; your arms are the most comforting blanket; your lap, the best seat in the house >> initially for all of my weight and eventually, the resting place for my head; your hand in mine, the greatest foundation and encouragement; your voice and words, the sweetest sound, the truest truth I have known >> compass, guide, beacon, conscience.
Many of us are not referred to by our given names, most of us answer nicknames, which are often times more endearing. So much so that some nicknames gain a life of their own and become more familiar than the bearer’s given name, this is the case for most of the Sunshines that I have met.
I know we all know what tomorrow is, not least of all because the telecommunication companies have been ringing it in our ears: “welcome to the month of love”. From the look of some of the posters going around it appears that, not wanting to be left out of any arena, some of our churches have jumped onto this bandwagon with ridiculous programming that will make even spas that provide “happy ending services” blush in response.
I am not anything that remotely resembles a runner. There is a smirk on my face as I write the word “runner” in conjunction with my name. I know some runners – I am not one of them. I quite literally, “run like a girl”; this phrase would not be an insult if applied to me. This is so, not because of my run time or my athleticism, but rather, the way my hands sway and my hips sashay. In secondary school, they laughed and jeered when in my SS3 my house was so desperate for runners that they included me in their 4 x 400m relay lineup >> I ended up being the linchpin, so "dusts my shoulder".
I have always had a fascination with names. Often times when I meet someone, I will marvel at their name and ask what it means >> this is how I randomly came to know that Adiya means Queen of Women. By now, I am very familiar with the meanings of many common Yoruba names, notwithstanding the fact that my Yoruba is only at an elementary level. I can’t lie, I’ve been in love with Yoruba names since I was a teenager.
Finding a name that encompasses the entire essence of something you are trying to create, i.e. something whose vibe you think you know, but really only as a concept in your mind; naming such a thing can be quite difficult.
Apparently there is a January funk phenomenon. I never knew this! I am actually kinda sorta mad that I am a fully grown adult and I am only just learning about being miserable in January. The funk I am talking about has more to do with the calendar than the weather.