Archive for the ‘longreads’ Category

In the previous days before getting here, there was no heightened feelings, rapid blinks, bloated head and fast paced pulses. I was completely light, flexible and free.

Now I am in this confined space where I gasp for air and yearn for the open space, light, polluted domes, synthetic hearts, and dusty atmosphere.

I need something that someone can give but someone else has, it is unfair yet fair; the latter being her and the former being me. If it were a reverse I would still be engulfed by this cocoon of discomfort because I would cause a rift that could have been avoided if I had tampered with my oestrogen levels.

This time of my journey in a world that seems realistic yet unrealistic-never mind…sometimes I have the tendency to be nihilistic but then I do believe in the Creator so I wouldn’t let that nature take the greater part of me thereby causing Him to cut the tight thread I am fighting so hard to hold on to- is so hard to avoid, I cannot possibly commit the cowardly act of running away?

I need to stay and fight, break through, tear down, plant explosive devices and clean up the carcass that will be my blood machine.

Such deceit that my intricate organ plays on itself. Such a pity that it is in my cranium and the other that decides to act the fool probably because it is suffocated by layers of pigment, fat, cartilage, bone or tied down by a network of long thin tubes.

They never let my decisions be the final word instead, they bounce and thrust, shove and burst until the ache comes causing my pores to expand and water, making me see little round circular rainbows, turning my optical vision into a microscope, even worse in sleep it is open and sees more images from my organ, such trickery that is mastered it does succeed in making me give in to irrational thoughts often deluding myself of reality. It pushes, the fool pushes, such painful jabs to my chest, it does not like to be ignored but I prefer deceit not foolishness so endurance might take the place of my name.

I had no idea that there was another enemy that crossed all negative adjectives and became smart, it is often underestimated and because of this it is given time to develop and concoct a series of curved and straight lines.

It makes allies with the pharynx and epiglottis then attacks in such a way that is rather invisible but later becomes so transparent giving its victim a tendency for insanity, suicidal thoughts and a qualifier for electromagnetic shocks.

In the event that on this day I should spill my guts to the one who tainted it, don’t put me in a coffin because that would be an insult to me.

I want exposure. Should I decay, leave me be in my disintegration because all I have done is give excuses for the very innocent parts that I control but mostly because I finally have what I need that I didn’t really give thought to wanting since my wanting wanted something else that would have caused massive destruction and made me deny my birthright.

MiniMe is back and she decided to make her entry quite “grand”!

CAUTIONARY ADVICE: if you’ve had a bad day, do not read this. Depending on how emotional you are, this writeup might be depressing for you and might make your day worse. Come back some other time if you wish.

Today was a sad day for many. A terrorist attack at a café in Sydney, Australia, left two dead including the gunman. I hate speaking about tragic events because it just makes me sad and downcast. But I have to because, so many people take a lot of things for granted while others are aware but choose not to SEE because they cannot face the truth. And the truth to many is brutal; one thing about it is that it may piss you off at first but it will set you free.

cropped-img_0709.jpg Life is an endless circle. Generations come and go, but the earth lasts forever. The sun rises, and the sun sets, and then it rushes back to the place where it will rise again. The wind blows toward the south and shifts toward the north. Round and round it blows. It blows in a full circle. All streams flow into the sea but the sea is never full. The water finds it way back to the place where the streams began in order to start flowing again.

Whatever has happened before will happen again. Whatever has been done before will be done again.

People always say the world will be better and life will be good. In my own opinion, the world was, is and will always be “better”. Life IS good. Some of us fail to realise, that everything happening on earth took place before. There is nothing new under the sun.

People killed each other before; they stole and committed all sorts of crimes. When World War One occurred, victims and witnesses thought that was the end. Those of us that weren’t born yet only have archive footages and books. But we will never understand or feel the terror of those that witnessed it. That is why we think everything that is happening today is worse than events of past times.

I see everything as pointless. Everything turns out the same way for everyone. All people will share the same destiny, whether they are good or bad. And that thing is death. But I know that people who are alive have more hope than those that are dead. All of us who live know that we will die but the dead know nothing. They are gone forever. What reward is there for them? The memory of them will fade and they can’t take part in anything that happens on earth.

So what do I say for us who are all alive?

  1.  Enjoy life with those we love. This is what we get for our hard work
  2. Whatever presents itself for us to do, do it with all of our might because there is no knowledge, planning or skill in the grave where we’re all going

The two people that died today probably woke up thinking “o! Another beautiful day or stressful day!” It is also possible that they were not satisfied, happy, contented or at peace with themselves. They might have been planning on doing something, all the while postponing or procrastinating.

Even if people may live for many years, they should enjoy every one of them while remembering that there will be many dark days. Live boldly making sure that you put wisdom first. The clock is ticking and everyday we age.

Nothing is new. Nothing from the past is remembered. A Quote by Aristotle:

Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Exempt are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love.

And in the future, those who come after us will remember nothing.

Let us remember those who were affected in today’s attack and all those who are suffering presently. It could or can be one of us. All we have is time and no one knows when it will stop ticking for us. Enjoy life; don’t die sad and miserable.

If you are thinking “o I am too old”, stop. You are never too old to do anything. You might look in the mirror and see wrinkles, sagged skin and baggy eyes but know that age is in the heart. If you feel old you will act old but if you feel young at heart you will act young. It is all about perception.

REFERENCE: The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.

You might not be religious but it is not wrong to study. The Bible is also a book.

The following story you are about to read is my form of research. This is the best way I can address real life issues and it works for me. It is about the terrorism in my country…Nigeria. Their brutal methods and lack of humanity.

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Guns, fire, machetes, loud cries, popping sounds, blood! Blood everywhere! What is happening? I see them in their hundreds. Some are on foot while others are on bikes. They are everywhere! Where is mother and father? They said they would protect me! Where are they?!  I need them! My little brother and sister are wailing! I can’t attend to them now… I need to run.

It was peaceful this morning. I and my friends went to pluck mangoes from our neighbour’s orchard and he chased us with a very long stick. We were laughing but we still got the mangoes. They were very delicious. Daddy bought me a lollipop although mother is always against me taking sugar. They worked it out though…

O no! I can’t run. They are here. Two of them. They are dressed in dirty trousers and torn shirts. They have shawls wrapped around their necks and their heavy boots are dusty. Both of them have guns and bullets wrapped around their bodies. There are knives on their belts.

I don’t know whether to be scared or not. My hands are shaking and my sister and brother won’t stop crying. One of them go to the mattress where my siblings are. He picks my brother up. No! Mama said to take care of him! He removes his knife and…

I see blood! More blood! My feet are numb. I can’t move. I don’t understand… My brother he’s not crying anymore neither is my sister. I am half happy that the annoying noise has stopped and half scared. What does it mean?? They are about to leave but one of them brings out a matchbox and creates fire. I don’t like fire. One time I put my hand in a candle flame and it hurt. I see my mother rushing in. I want to go to her but the other one seizes her by her veil.

“We will keep this one eh…” He laughs and injures her with his knife.

There is fire everywhere… I can’t stand it. I run out of the house and into the hands of the man. My mother…she sees me. She is crying. I want to go to her. The other one slaps me! Father is the only one allowed to slap me! I beat him back but he laughs wickedly. He releases me and I run to mother.

They have put us in the back of a truck. I can’t see anything. They put a cloth around my eyes. Are we playing hide and seek? Is this a game? I don’t like this game.  The journey is long and tiring. Finally! It has stopped. My eyes hurt! The sunlight is sharp and intense. They are pushing me and mother. I see other people. Some are looking so thin. Oh my! Where is that old man’s legs… What are they doing to him. Pop! He’s lying still now. My mother… she covers my eyes.  I want to bathe, I am hungry.

It is two days now and I have not eaten or bathed. I heard mother screaming yesterday. She made me promise to close my eyes so I couldn’t see why she was screaming. When I opened them, I saw her at the corner. She was praying. Her clothes were torn and her face was bruised.

I am in a car now. I don’t know where they are taking me. It is very hot and they beat me for complaining about the Hijab they made me wear. My mother screamed as she watched me go. I don’t know why she was screaming. They said that if I did what they said, I could go home with mama back to daddy, but if I didn’t, they would make mama cry. The thing they’ve wrapped around me is poking my belly and arms. It is too heavy but I will do what they want so they can take me back home. Then I will play with my friends in the stream and steal apples from my neighbour’s orchard. Then go to school and read those books with nice little pictures in them.

I come down from the car and go to where the market stall is. They are watching me. They said to look for where people are. I see them. I see small people like me laughing. I see big people watching a football match. I see women doing their hair. O how I hate doing my hair… Boom!!!!

This is now the terrorists M.O. Using small children mostly girls as suicide bombers. I have no idea what leads to it though. This is just how I imagine it happening. This week a ten year old girl was arrested after being caught wearing a suicide vest under her Hijab.

Reality hurts.

I sat down on the steps of the bungalow knotting up the hair of my Barbie doll, although, at the time it looked like I was doing something beautiful. I chose that day to wear my favorite English dress.

barbie

My grandfather brought it all the way from England for me as a birthday present. It was white and had these little rosy petals on it. I never liked to wear dresses but this particular one was quite pretty.

I hummed the nursery ryhme “Twinkle, twinkle little star” while I worked. My mother was at work and my father was… somewhere. A noise however interrupted my little project. I looked up and saw my brother and his friends riding down the slope.

They stopped in front of the house. My brother climbed off his bicycle. After ruffling my hair, he went inside to drink some water. His friends came up to me and sat on the steps.

I saw them earlier so there was no need to exchange greetings. There was no need for formality since they were my friends as well. I never got along with the girls.

My brother came out of the house wiping his mouth with his sleeve. I looked up to him, “Where are you going next?” I asked.

I could stay alone for days and wouldn’t mind but this time I felt like doing something.

“We’re going to climb those rocks over there”.

I grinned. He looked down at me narrowing his eyes

“Miriam… no”

I gave him the little kitten look. His friends all tried to persuade him.

“You know mama won’t like that”

“How? She will”. I said in a soft voice.

“Are you going like that?”

I squealed in delight and looked down at my dress. I shrugged “Yes. The rocks aren’t so high”.

He nodded and I dropped my Barbie doll on a nearby chair.

I got my little bicycle and climbed. We rode to the rocks and parked.

The rocks were not so steep but my brother and his friends made a fuss over me. Ensuring that I was in front of them; helping me maintain my balance. It annoyed me a bit but they let me come with them and I had to take that into consideration.

We reached the top and we saw a tree. It was very healthy and not too tall. There were little creamy colored things hanging from it. They looked like peaches.

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We all went to the tree and our friend plucked the fruit. It had little hairs on it and appeared succulent. The whole thing made my mouth water.  He spoke, “I think I know this fruit”. He opened it easily. It had a yellowish interior with little seeds in it. We all plucked ours and went through the same process. I popped one of the seeds into my mouth and sucked it.

It had a sweet and sour taste. I liked it and so did the others. We gathered some more and carried it back down the rock. I placed mine into the little basket in front of my bicycle.

As we rode back, I started to feel a little bit uncomfortable. My brother and his friends were unusually quiet. I blinked rapidly because the road was becoming blurry.

“I feel sick,” my brother said.

His friends were all scratching parts of their bodies. Suddenly, it hit me full force. It was like millions of needles were piercing my skin. I stopped riding and started to scratch my body. I didn’t know which part was itching me. My fingers were everywhere.

It felt like time stopped and I remember running fast. Really fast. Tom and Jerry FAST. At some point our friends disappeared one after the other and it was just my brother and I.

tommy run

We pulled each other. It was suddenly crab mentality… king of the hill competition.

I had no idea why we were doing that until we got home. It was a race to the shower. We just wanted some relief and we didn’t care how we got it as long as the itching stopped.

My brother and I got to the bathroom. I entered it before he did but he pulled me out and turned on the shower. I started to cry and curse him.

I felt like crying, laughing and pulling out my hair all at once. I heard my brothers frantic scratching. Water was flying everywhere.

weeping-smiley

I saw the sink and I did something I never thought I’d do. I ripped my pretty, pretty, pretty dress off. Tore it to shreds. I turned on the faucet and threw water on my body. It just wasn’t enough. I cursed my brother… “I hate you!! I hate you!!! I wish you weren’t my brother! Bloody hell!!”. Got the last curse from Ron in the Harry potter movie.

We both turned that bathroom into a swimming pool. I got so frustrated that the adrenaline rush hit me. I shoved my brother out of the shower and stayed under it. The itching continued for hours, although the cold water toned it down a bit.

My mother… “sigh”. She dealt with us. That was no fruit. It was definitely not a fruit.

Movies spread like wild fire. The moment it is released, there is a sort of chain reaction that occurs. For those living outside Nigeria, let me educate you a bit on how we acquire and get to know about these releases.

There are two illegal channels that are very common and popular: the Internet and pirates. Almost every Nigerian who gets an average and above income have satellite dishes installed in their homes. The most popular is DSTV.

DSTV puts up ads of movie trailers and have “behind the scenes” inserts in between programs. As soon as a person sees what he or she likes, all they have to do is go to the video store where there are hundreds of pirated copies and purchase the movie. In my next post, I’ll explain how the piracy structure is in Nigeria and how we suffer from it in relation to our favourite foreign shows.

 If a person has purchased a 6 GB and above data plan, has a Wi-Fi connection or has hacked into their mobile network provider’s site, all that is left to do is visit the illegal sites that have these movies and download.

When one person has gotten the movie, another chain reaction takes place. All I have to do is get my hard drive and send the movie to it. Then my friends gets access to it and copies what I have, (then I copy what they have). Their friends ask them for theirs and so on and so fort.

 However, it is important you know that not all Nigerians like to break the rules. The few who are moral and respect other people’s line of work, purchase these movies online or legally watch it either on DSTV, the local channels or other authorized methods.

We have unlimited amount of movies from different parts of the world, thanks to both legal and illegal distribution channels. The most popular movies we have, come from the three largest movie producers in the world: India’s Bollywood, Nigeria’s Nollywood and America’s Hollywood.

Without further delay, lets get to my opinion of what these movies say about you and I

 

BOLLYWOOD

1.Colours! Colours! Colours! Indians love it! They even have a festival of colours called Holi.

2. Dancing and singing! Indians are great and creative dancers. They are incomplete without it. They are also known for their unique singing voices.

3. This word cannot be placed as a single genre when it comes to Indian movies. Love is always in the air, be it horror, drama, action and all the others. The word should be a universal genre.

4. Cultural values. They protect and preserve their culture.

5. Respect for elders, parents and relatives.

6. Modestly dressed women and no nudity.

7. They adore their sweets, lentils, parathas and curry.

8. They are religious.

Recently, the western culture has had an effect in their movies and on them. Below are things I’ve seen that weren’t in the old movies:

1. The ladies love mini skirts and short dresses. The men love their tight pants and half buttoned shirts.

2. They don’t shy away from kissing and sex anymore.

3. Songs have an electronic vibe to it.

4. It’s now “in with dating and dancing in clubs” and “out with prearranged marriages”.

 

NOLLYWOOD

1. We love all Voodoo/witchcraft stuff

2. We have disciplinarians as parents. It does not matter if a person is ten, thirty or forty years old. They are eligible for sore bottoms; as long as their parents or grandparents are still alive

3. We are hardworking, especially when it comes to manual labour.

4. A party passes as a party when there are wads of Naira/dollar notes flying in the air.

5. We love our music.

6. We respect our elders.

7. We love our Adires, Aso ebi, Kaftans and babarigas (Nigerian fabrics)

8. Fufu, Pounded yam, Eba, Amala, Egusi soup, pomo, ..I can keep em’ coming. For those of you who are lost right now, I’ll mention one word and you’ll be found. FOOD!!!

9. Weight loss??? Who the hell cares!

10. Criminals, almost never get caught

11. Our virgins are our pride.

12. Church! Church! Church!

Western culture has also affected our movies and us.

1. We are wannabes

2. We don’t like to use our natural accents.

3. We are all rich and live in big houses.

4. Teenagers talk back to their parents.

5. Virgins are decreasing in number.

 

HOLLYWOOD

1. Americans are hard working and honest folks.

2. They brainstorm and are intellectually sound.

3. They believe that they are supreme.

4. DRUGS!!! Popular ones are methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and cigarettes.

5. Party! Party! Party!

6. They see sex as a casual thing. To them it is like breathing.

7. Advanced technology.

8. Weight loss is essential. If you’re not slim, you’re not pretty.

9. They love their Martini’s, doughnuts, beer, pizza and beef.

10. Teens don’t have respect for their parents and elders. This is what a Nigerian parent would say after watching a scene where an American teenager tells his or her mother to get out of their room because they’re are on the phone: “kai! Let them just give me this child for one day”.

11. They are very determined people and will work their way to the top.

12. They love the holidays, thanksgiving and travelling.

13. They are daring in a very foolish way. Jumping off cliffs, breaking bottles on their heads, purposely setting themselves on fire, leaps from high buildings without any safety gear on, performing stunts with their bicycles, skateboards and ending up with dislocated joints, broken bones or a bloody nose. (We watch the show “America’s greatest fools” on SonyMax).

14. Concerts and superstars are a big thing for them.

15. Intense bullying in schools.

16. Perfection, perfection, perfection!

The western world has influenced them in the following ways…. Just kidding! They ARE the westerners.

This post is not aimed at abusing anybody’s culture or country. If anyone feels that way, it was not my intention to do so. What I have stated may not be 100% correct. I am just interpreting in my own way, what I have seen in the movies. When I say movies, I don’t mean every single one.

Please feel free to comment on what you think movies you’ve watched say about their country and people.

On story de-depot, your thoughts matter. Cheerio!

This phrase does not sit right with me at all. What exactly, would whoever came up with the phrase, define the word “teenager” as?

In the Advanced Oxford Learners dictionary, the word teenager is defined as a person who is between the ages of 13 and 19.

There are three kinds of people in the world; the good, the, in my own words, in-betweens and the bad. We all belong to one of the afore-mentioned categories. Whichever category we belong to, we cannot dispute the fact that we all exhibit the same traits, namely: jealousy, anger, envy, sadness, happiness, indifference, mood swings, etc.   Another fact is, drinking, smoking and partying is what almost everyone does. So why sum up what people of different age groups do and restrict it to a specific group of individuals?

What is the difference between a high school party, a sorority/freshman/college party and a cocktail party? I have one answer for that. Make-believe.

Adults, looking elegant and regal in their long gowns, polished shoes and recently bought/retrieved from the dark corner of the closet suits, walk down the rented hall or polished corridor of their friend/boss’s home trying to show co-workers/friends/strangers that they are better and richer. Excusing themselves and heading over to restrooms so they can re-touch their make-up and search for the right expression which will be used later on to fool others who are equally doing the same thing.

Teenagers, dressed in T-shirts, faded jeans, spaghetti tops, mini skirts, shorts, run around the crowded house. Bobbing their heads to music blaring from the speakers. Screaming at the top of their lungs. Boys looking for a way to get laid and girls wanting to get rid of the branded name that causes them so much embarassment. In one word “Virgin”. Both sexes getting drunk and high.

The fact is, in my opinion, some adults and teenagers have identical thoughts in their minds. Most of which are  sex, drugs and money.  Examples of where we can find most of these pretentious people, showing their true selves are in Nigeria’s capital Abuja and Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria. For those in the USA,the city of lights- Las Vegas., the big apple-New York and the nation’s capital, Washington DC.

Basically, for the sake of this article, there are two kinds of people on earth: the responsible and the irresponsible. So adults please stop trying to pin a particular trait on a selected age group. I say out with “acting like a bunch of teenagers”

If people still want to use it,  I might as well bring up one of mine “a bunch of destructive, immoral and pretentious adults”

Of course it wouldn’t make sense, since we all exhibit those traits. Therefore, Irrespective of our gender, age group and social status, we should all behave with decorum while enjoying the world too.  And for all you party freaks, please, by all means party!! but don’t loose yourselves. Bad things happen when you do.