#2. The Problem With Sokoto

Sokoto Market

Image via Wikipedia

First things first, let’s face it; it’s a state many people don’t even remember when listing all the others.

Secondly, the weather is absolute crap. It’s hot and dry and sleepy and dusty and irritating.

For people like myself with soft skin and “sweet blood” (weird, right?!), it is absolute torture. Standing outside for more than five minutes means running back in with huge, ugly red swellings from the gazillion bites of numerous unidentifiable insects, winged and crippled. And no matter the precautions of the night before, each day I awaken to a rich harvest of mosquito bites, all grown and ripened overnight.

Horror of all horrors, there is virtually nowhere to shop! Everything is low-quality, mass-produced, mass imported crap. The very few things that manage to excite are, naturally, ridiculously overpriced.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, on to the real problem with Sokoto. TESTOSTERONE IS EVERYWHERE!!! Everything male follows you with eyes that make you, a seasoned woman, blush and lower your head in embarrassment. The young boys, the young adults, the recently married, the middle-aged, pot-bellied, the old, shrivelled-up men!

You feel shame on their collective behalf, deep pity for their deluded, miserable wives; shame floods your being when they shamelessly talk rubbish, making abject fools of themselves.

You are shocked into mute confusion when your (married, grey-haired, old) superior tells you point-blank that he wants you; he is experienced and will make you “forget your name after one round”. You stand stock-still, as though hypnotized, as he comes as close as his pot belly will allow. Slow motion takes over as you watch his pudgy hand reach out in the general direction of boob and you see the slimy intent in his beady, repulsive eyes. Cue the ice-cold shock of reality and a hasty retreat…


The Benefits of Sokoto

Okay, so it’s not all bad. Firstly, life is cheap… relatively so, anyway, so meat and (relatively) fresh veggies are a given. Also, transportation is dirt cheap.

Life in Sokoto forces you to forge strong, close friendships. You make real, good friends and are literally stuck with them; there just isn’t much else to do.

Now that’s out of the way….

The best thing about Sokoto is the testosterone! I know, right?! Total (male) strangers stare and smile at you, your bike man drools when you struggle to describe where you’re going, a car follows you across town because the dude wants your name, compliments come at you like the ubiquitous insects. In Sokoto, you are hot, baby!

Hahahaha!!! 🙂


Love Trilogy (Part I)

Symbol of the planet and Roman goddess Venus, ...

Intro: I recently wrote three separate poems, only to realize later that they were basically the same poem! Enjoy.



I’m not a real girl;

flighty, honest,

lacking in womanly wiles.




I love like a woman.

Fiercely, sacrificially,

open, fragile.




Make me your all and only.


Pushing you

for more

because I know you can.


Hanging on by chewed-up fingernails,

Hoping against hope,

a deer caught in headlights.




There is only so much

my mortal heart can take.

I love like a woman.



How Reading Began

San Diego City College Learing Recource City r...

Anyone who knows me well knows there’s nothing I enjoy more than being alone with a good book for several hours at a stretch. I have always been in love with books, much to the chagrin and exasperation of my mom all those times she would yell for me to do chores while I floated, oblivious, in a world within the pages of my latest attraction.

My dad, of blessed memory, instilled this constant need to consume books, though he didn’t know it. Being a lecturer, writer and avid book reviewer, he was nearly always surrounded by books of varying sizes and colours. Personally, aged about 5, I couldn’t understand why he chose to engross himself in dusty tomes instead of giving his undivided attention to me and my random chattering.

It started out as a desire to impress him really, to penetrate the world with which he was so taken. Frustrated after trying and failing to understand most of his books, I took to leaving little marks of myself on the back pages of his books, much to his dislike.

Even then, I was thoroughly stubborn and hated to admit that I couldn’t do anything I wanted. So instead, I began reading the comprehension passages in my English textbook… along with those in all the other textbooks I could find. So it happened that by Primary 2, I had read all the stories only those in Primary 6 were privy to. After that, it was on to the school library, then a small children’s library organized by a lecturer.

My sister’s romance collection was not left out. I think I was about 8 or 9years old when I read my first romance novels. I remember them rather vividly, even. The first one, Cheap Thrills, was about the usual girl who didn’t have the time for love, being too busy with her career. Anyway, she needs some gardening done and a pool put in or something so she hires a gorgeous slice of MAN(of course), begins to fantasize about him, they bond, have sex, profess undying love, live happily ever after, etc, etc.

The second, The Last Great Affair- I’m a bit sketchy on the details- was about a girl and a sailor or fisherman…. erm, whale hunter??? They had very rough sailing{:-)}, arguing because he was forever sailing off and leaving her crying her worried self to sleep. As expected though, they grasped love by the neck, came to a compromise about their issues and lived happily ever after.

At that point, I needed to conquer new territory and began inching into my dad’s library, tackling bits and pieces of the easier books. From then on, I  branched out into African Writers Series, a few literary classics, a little mythology, crime and murder mysteries and romantic comedies.

At last, I was in. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there to see it.

RIP, Ayo Mamudu.


#1. The Little Things

Call Waiting

I remember being with this guy and fighting about the same things over and over. My complaint was that it felt as though he had something to hide and his allegations were that I was paranoid and difficult. All that aside, though, we found a way to trundle along happily enough.

One night, however, my weird sleep pattern kicked in and I woke up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. Ignoring his earlier hints about how tired he was and how fast he would fall asleep, I called him up so he could entertain me back to sleep – you know, the usual boyfriend stuff. So, anyway, I get the call waiting tone, but confidently keep the phone pressed to my ear, practicing my “I can’t sleep” line in a cute voice. He had assured me countlessly that he would always pick my calls; rain, sun or call waiting. He doesn’t pick up now, though, so I wait, thinking he only wants to round up with the poor sod on the other line and call me back.

Thirty minutes later, no call. Oh-kaay. I call again, still call waiting. Now my eyes are truly wide open with narry a trace of sleep to be found in my bloodstream. About an hour after the first call, with no call back or text, I call again to discover he’s still on the phone.

Now, the number 3 has always inspired some kind of awe in me, so I resolve not to call again. I do, however, feel desperately sad because I realize that the guy I have fallen for will not always make the effort to be there for me when I need him.

Sitting up in bed at 3:45am, exhausted after my efforts at sobbing my heart out as quietly as possible, I feel the abject loneliness reach out of the darkness and punch me in the chest. So I curled up in the foetal position (really comforting, this) and let the lonesomeness warm my body while the salt marks on my face began drying slowly.

*             *           *

On the one hand, a guy could long for a no-strings relationship, but freak out when he gets it. He believes himself to be in love with her after a time, wants her to fall desperately for him and is convinced there is something terribly wrong with her when she doesn’t.

On the other hand, a guy meets a girl, likes her and works really hard to get her to like him back. Then he abruptly ceases to make any more effort, safe in the knowledge that she is relatively trapped by her feelings for him.

The moral of the long, rambling story is; when striving to please the significant female in your life, it is the wooing after entrapment that truly, truly counts.